Baby Step 2: Turn a vice into a virtue



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Kimberly’s blog focuses on a single objective each month intended to help her and her readers take baby steps toward better living in the spirit of New Southerner. You can keep up with her progress by checking her weekly blog, Baby Steps. She welcomes reader response and hopes you’ll share your stories and challenges in the comments section or by e-mailing her at

September Objective: Sustainable Body

UPDATE: Out with the old … No, wait! In with the old—into the belly

Last week’s baby step was to buy more whole foods for meals than processed food in boxes, preferably from a farmer, farmers market or other local source—organic, if possible.

So how did I do? Well, not too bad, I guess, if I give myself a tremendous amount of grace. I stole a dozen eggs from Bobbi, who buys them from her neighbor who has chickens, right after I posted my first blog. I went to the grocery on Friday night for bread, milk and a few items to get us through the week with the intention of going to the farmers market on Saturday.

I never made it to the farmers market, so I lived on eggs, organic bread and peanut butter and local honey. Oh, and a very large pizza we bought from a local chain because my family got sick of the deprivation. The worst part was forgetting my reusable bags. I now have a week’s worth of bathroom garbage can bags.

I spent a few days clearing our cabinets and refrigerator of all the bad food we had in the house—gummy bears, sugar-stuffed cereal puffs, etc. Mind you, I didn’t throw it away, but stuffed it all gleefully into my mouth, like a caterpillar munching everything before he crawls into his cocoon. Life as I had known it for about a year was ending, and it ended in a gluttonous party. No weight loss this week.

Next week, my husband, Jim, and I are going to the beach. Ugh! I forgot about this trip before I committed myself to sustainable eating. We’ll be  dining out a lot. No fast food, no gas store beef jerky and Twinkies. Maybe I’ll actually lose weight. Maybe.

Baby Step 2: Turn a vice into a virtue

I confess: I smoke, I drink beer on occasion and I would be happy if my coffee started as an IV drip a half hour before I wake up. I am a redneck woman!

To help me sleep at night, I smoke American Spirit cigarettes—a more expensive brand that uses good farming practices and boasts no additives or fillers. I actually smoke less since switching to American Spirit. Other brands, including a Kentucky brand, profess the same sustainable qualities.

The beer I drink is also expensive and was hard to get used to. It took me a while to keep from saying, “Bud Light, please,” after years of commercial indoctrination. The stronger taste offended my palette at first, but I have found an array of local beers and  microbreweries that have made my taste for beer more like a connoisseur’s adventure.

But the coffee I drink  is another story. The ground beans come in a huge generic tin can from God knows where. So for Week 2 of the Sustainable Body, I’m going to buy an organic coffee and brace for the headaches because I will likely have to cut my consumption in half due to the higher cost. When I get home from vacation, I’m going to hit the local coffee shops and wipe the dust from my coffee grinder.

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