Our new columnist Lydia Harvey knew giving up grocery shopping for the year was going to be hard, what she didn't bargain for was the temptations of convenience that would try and lure her back in.
On New Year's Day this year I make the conscience decision to end my love affair with the supermarket. Not just one of them. All of them.
Now, this idea didn't begin as a whim or a last minute New Year's resolution, but one that had been brewing in my mind for a while and one my family and I had been planning for some time.
New Year's Day was D-Day for our family. It was the day we were saying goodbye to the supermarket and opening the door to a new lifestyle.
We kicked off our supermarket-free year off with a strong start by foraging for fresh foods, painstakingly watching the tomatoes turn from green to orange to red and not letting anything from our garden go to waste.
We bottled everything from our garden we weren't using and stockpiled produce from our generous neighbours.
We were not going to the supermarket and we had enough to live on. We were doing well.
This meant, of course, we had so much to learn there were going to be challenges and temptations ahead.
One of those challenges came after a large hiking trip with the family this summer. The kids were exhausted, I was tired and we wanted something to eat.
Surely I have enough will power to walk into a supermarket and get something small and come straight out."
There was a supermarket nearby and my first thought was: "Surely I have enough will power to walk into a supermarket and get something small and come straight out".
Walking into that supermarket was so hard! I knew in my head the supermarket didn't have control over me, yet I grabbed a trolley and started filling it with items I thought we needed.
I was completely overwhelmed. I literally had to stop and re-centre myself. I then did what I felt I had lost the willpower to do. I returned every single item in my trolley back to the shelves.
At that moment I realised how much we are sold the idea that we need to consume all these products in the supermarket.
The bright lights, the noises, the HUGE specials and the copious amounts of flashy packaging were luring us in.
It was seeing all this and looking at my trolley that I realised that the supermarket needed me more than I needed the supermarket.
My perspective had changed and I saw past all the items I wanted but didn't need and all I could see was plastic packaging and it broke my heart.
I suddenly felt empowered that I was making informed, positive choices and had really changed my mind-set since New Year's Day.
I had changed from being a simple consumer to a conscious consumer.
FROM LYDIA'S GARDEN
Lydia has the perfect healthy and delicious appetisers for your next party.
Super Simple Salsa Boats
2 cups of fine chopped tomatoes
2 cups of fine chopped cucumber (skin on or off)
1 fresh lemon juiced
Handful of fresh chopped spring onions
Fresh crushed chilli (to taste)
Combine everything in a bowl at room temperature. Cut and scoop seeds out of capsicum in the form of a "boat".
Place the salsa in the capsicum boat and top with fine chopped avocado.
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