Hiking to Buy Groceries

(Me with about 15 pounds of groceries on my back and Matt with about 35 pounds- ahhh true love!)

Not owning a car in Edinburgh is no biggie. The bus system here is great and the entire city is really very manageable by foot. There are even trains and buses that take you to nearly every little town in Scotland that your heart desires. But even with this cornucopia of public transport at my disposal, I still sometimes fantasize about my gas-guzzling Chevy that I left in the states.

Starting to eat an uber-healthy diet has changed our lifestyle in a number of ways: no more cookie time; no more quick stop to the local fish n chipee when our tummies growl; and no more hopping on a bus to Asda or toddling a few blocks down to Tesco. In order to be able to afford all this fruit and veg that we are eating, Matt and I now walk about 1.5 miles round trip to an inexpensive green grocer.

(On Lar: snood from Vivid Boutique in Decatur • thrifted shirt from Armstrongs in Edinburgh • Next pink skinnies • Hunter Boots wedge wellies) • hiking backpack is from a random outdoorsy store in Murica, Spain circa 2003 • Eugenia Kim hat • Primark coat and gloves)

I like to feel all noble and Lance Armstrongy because we are walking to buy healthy food, but really I just get whiny and grumpy-pants. I pine for the days of yore in Atlanta when I could drive .75 miles to my grocery store, fill up my trunk (or do I mean boot?) with tons of food, and then drive home and congratulate myself for.erm. finally going grocery shopping, with a nice cookie or two. or five. Horrible I know! Bad for the planet, bad for my health, bad for my cookie jar (always depleted).

I would like to think that if I did have a car in Scotland (and could drive manual, on the wrong side of the road!) that I would never use it except for romantic weekend excursions to castles and lochs. But I know that if I could, I would drive nearly everywhere — especially when it involves totting 20 cucumbers, 5 sweet potatoes, 2 bags of kale, innumerous cans of chick peas, jars of almond butter, peppers, squash, romaine, onions, avocados, etc.

(Daily green juice: cucumber, romaine, kale, apple and celery. not very good for cookie dipping if you were wondering)

The annoying part of all of this is that because I’m eating all these veggies and whole grains, I have a lot more energy and walking back up a hill with a hiking backpack full of veg isn’t as much of a problem as you would think. Sure, I gripe and groan the whole way (sorry, Matteo!), but — blast it all!– this eating healthy thing is working.

This above pic is actually a new favorite recipe of ours. We feel so decadent eating it: roasted sweet potato, black beans (cooked with onion and garlic and some veggie stock), lightly steamed kale, and kiwi (yes, kiwi!) salsa on corn tortillas – soooo good!


Don’t forget to enter Cath’s give-away, lovely readers! To find out how to win a pair of these awesome Feiyue sneaks, see this blog post (the one below). These sneaks were favored by Shaolin monks and now loved by Parisian hipsters. I feel these would go well with my new active lifestyle, non?


Dear Cath,

Do you find yourself more grumpy on this diet? I’m trying to over-come some of it with some ommmss and journaling, but it’s so much more satisfying to gripe. Why is that?

You should definitely try that sweet potato meal above though! It’s one of the only recipes that isn’t too salady and I don’t complain a jot when I eat it.



p.s. This was a photo from yesterday morning out of our kitchen window. Pretty ooo lala – non?


14 thoughts on “Hiking to Buy Groceries”

    1. Matt and I have mainly been doing the green juice and here is a great recipe for that:
      We mix it up sometimes if we run low on things, but it’s pretty much our go-to. It might take some time to get used to with all the veg, so feel free to add more fruit in for the time-being to sweeten it.
      Tara Stiles (yoga guru) also takes pics of a lot of her juices and tells you what she puts in them: beet, carrot, etc. :
      Other than that you can just use good ole google for some inspiration. Pretty much blending any fruit and veg together is delicious (carrot, apple, ginger is a big winner) — so don’t worry too much about the recipes.
      Hope that helps, Alicia!

  1. Love the pic of the pink sky (not so much of the gree-ale) 😉 Read that the Northern Lights were visible in EDI recently!

    Have you noticed an increase in your food costs with the new diet? Curious to know, especially since obesity is highly linked with poverty (will need to find the reference for that), coming down to unhealthy food being easier to find and cheaper.

    1. You are so right, Currylove. Matt and I are lucky enough to be able to afford eating more fruit and veg. We were eating mainly whole foods before this diet, so by cutting out meat (which is more expensive over here) but adding more organic foods (almond butter, seaweed, supplements), we’re spending about the same as before.
      If we had been eating more boxed, processed foods (much cheaper), this would have been a huge price jump.
      It is disheartening to think that eating healthy versus not being able to afford whole foods is another way the gap is widening between rich and poor.

  2. You’re reminding me of the days when I lived in Terrace, BC and had to hike to the grocery store. I’d spend about 30 minutes walking along the highway and another 15-20 on trails through the woods. Downhill wasn’t so bad, but going uphill with cartons of milk and orange juice in tow (along with the rest of my groceries) was brutal.

  3. You’re lucky you can just walk to the grocery store. right now it’s so cold and snowy here that it feels treacherous! Glad to hear the diet is working out though, and about the crankiness. there might be such thing as gluten-withdrawal? I know when I started to REALLY cut it out I got the worst headaches and mood-swings.


  4. Lar, I am so inspired by your veggie eating and veggie totin’! I just asked my husband if he would like to go on an all veggie diet (since a few days back he told me he wanted to cut out as much carb from our diet as possible) and he glared at me and barked, “hell no.” But I will definitely be trying that green juice and the tacos soon.

    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights

    1. Hi Erin! So we finally found some at a small independent store that sells American stuff – particularly Mexican foods. Before that, I considered making my own — they aren’t too hard to do, but I know it’s nothing like buying a stack of corn tortillas for $3. Hope that helps!

    2. Hey Erin,

      Lar and Matt stocked up on corn tortillas the last time they were in the states. They filled their luggage with ziplocks filled with tortillas. I don’t think they have them at all in the UK. Sorry!

      – Cath

  5. Good idea making them! Aldi had them once in the past and I bought loads.I miss Mexican food most of all being from SoCal :-/ Love your blog because I can totally relate.

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