Making Low-Carb eating environmentally responsible…
Is it possible?
I (like many people) want to lose weight. Not loads…just enough to feel comfortable. I want to be at a better weight for my running — I know I felt my best and got my best times when I was a few kilograms lighter than I am today.
I’ve tried many approaches:
- exercising more than my intake (almost killed myself trying to out-run my stomach!)
- cutting calories and eating only salads (almost killed my husband and became a very cranky human.)
- cutting out sugar entirely (this has had a lasting effect on my awareness of sugar content … but shit it’s hard to go sugar free! Not really a long term option there.)
- Low GI eating… it lasted a little while I guess… but I didn’t feel great.
- Low Carb (Ketosis-low) … this worked the best! I felt great! I ran better, my mind was more clear, I just felt on top of things! BUT it cost a lot more than I was used to, and the high impact on the environment of all that meat in my diet weighed heavily on my mind.
So this has led me to wondering how I can be Low-Carb, long term, without too much financial impact, and even less environmental impact. Is it possible?
The supermarkets have so many types of chicken… unlabelled, barn raised, free range, cage free, “freedom farmed”, organic, organic-free-range… what the shit am I supposed to do with all this information?! Sure it might be cage-free… but how many chickens were crammed into this “cage-free” space! And as the wording on the label gets more luxurious sounding for the animal; the price tag goes up and up. And thats just chicken. Not to mention pork, beef, fish (plastic ocean much?!), lamb, etc.
And on the other side of it all, I go and read articles from relatively trustworthy sources (it is the internet after all…) who advise that eating meat is the biggest impact on our climate change situation; and that by cutting back our meat consumption we can seriously make a positive change in the environment.
Loop back round another circle to the thought that I live in New Zealand, where we have plenty of farms, and it seems nearly impossible for a cow to be anything but free-range grass fed beef stock.
So…if I make sure its New Zealand produce (buy local) organic, free range, grass fed, sustainably sourced, ethically slaughtered, and minimally impacting our planet… but still live on a budget of some sort because we don’t all have cash-fountains in our lawn…how does one get to that balance in their lifestyle, keep it, and not go bankrupt or bat-shit balmy in the process?!
<Edit 13 April 2017> Now a few months later, I’ve come back to this draft — I’d never even published this article! I no longer feel the pressure to lose weight. Somehow and somewhere in the last 3 months I’ve realised my weight is ok, and as long as I am being conscious and aware of my food decisions, that doesn’t need to be my driver to live a healthy, sustainable, resilient and low impact lifestyle. There’s far more important things to try and improve in my life and alter my habits. There are still so many unanswered questions… which might never be answered.