Sunday, August 2, 2009

Finding the Family

I am going to start a project that has been in my head for at least the last two years. I wanted it to become a documentary film, but being short the 500K needed I thought I would start this way and at least I would be moving forward and helping others.

The idea: to take a family (or a couple) that are living a very fast food lifestyle and help them, over the course of a year, to become locavores. Locavore being a person who tries to eat more local foods, cook from scratch, buy more foods according to seasonal, local and organic precepts. I want to document the challenges and the joys of discovering that the food we eat can make our lives different. If someone wants to learn to preserve foods we can learn to can or dehydrate them. If you want a garden, let's start it. And, if you want urban chickens then I am here to teach you.

The idea is not to make anyone lose 100 pounds or get off their diabetes medication, but to find joy in the local foods community that Guilford County offers. If my participants do get healthier then what a great bonus, but it won't be the main purpose of the project. I can promise that by continuing down the path of the fast food lifestyle you won't get healthier so I guess my way may almost guarantee a positive change.

My ultimate goal is that by changing the way we eat we can change the world - one bite at a time.

So, I need to find a family/couple who wants to embark on this journey. I don't want a big family so, no more than two kids please and it is best if they are school age because I want everyone to document how they feel about the journey. I want the whole family to be willing to blog about the process and have their pictures/videos taken (who knows, maybe this will end up in a doc film someday?) This will also cost some time commitments and a little extra cash (possibly, but maybe not much more than the current food budget.) So, a family who has each kid going off in 6 directions constantly is not the family I want to start with - it's the family I want to help after my own feet are wet.

So, who am I that I want to do this. I am a Registered Dietitian who doesn't care much about "classic nutrition" meaning I am not here to put anyone on a diet. I believe that real foods will cure most of what ails us and that it is the processed food that we eat that is causing a lot of our societal bad health and obesity. This is not a research project and it has no funding and no purpose other than my own dreams to help others learn where there food comes from and how to prepare it. What is that classic quote, "give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach him to fish and prepare salmon croquettes and he eats deliciously for a lifetime!"

I want to teach real people with real busy lives that eating real food is easy and fun and the healthiest option for a dozen reasons - not just good health. I cook, work and have a 5 year old little girl. I have not always had perfect health or a slim waistline. (Actually I still don't have either, but I am a heck of a lot closer since adopting this locavore lifestyle than I ever was the other way.) But, enough about me - you'll get more of that as we go along. I have the expertise and the willingness - are you with me?

Let's share this journey together and taste the fun!! Please contact me at if you are interested in being part of my makeover project! Or just give me a shout out on my blog to support this new path!


  1. As the Dad of the aforementioned "5 year old little girl", I think you know you can count on me for my support and any help I can provide with this project. I've liked this idea from the first discussions we had about it over two years ago. And Anne-Marie is right. This is an atypical idea. It's not at all about diets or regimens, but about living a healthier life starting from one of the most basic components of that life - food, including, especially, the enjoyment thereof. I believe participation in this project is a great opportunity for a family interested in making positive changes in their well-being beginning with this most basic step - how we choose to feed ourselves. This probably sounds like a solicited testimonial, but it's not. I've seen major changes in my own life as a result of participating in this way of thinking and eating. It's much easier than I would have anticipated, too, because simple small steps become healthy habits almost without one's noticing it. I'll stop here to keep from going on too long, but I strongly encourage couples or families meeting the above criteria to contact Anne-Marie soon and let the fun begin!

  2. Hey Anne!

    You're off to a great start with this first post. I'm looking forward to staying in touch and seeing this project succeed.
    Love, Tina

  3. Hi Anne,
    This is a great idea. I am oddball RD as well, and like you, I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time. When we give our bodies what's needed to function optimally (including but not limited to eating slow food, face time with family and friends over home-cooked meals made with love, connecting with nature via growing a garden or keeping bees), it changes us emotionally and therefore lifts the frequency with which we meet the world. That then creates change in our own lives and eventually among those around us and on and on. First be the change you want to see in the world, right?
    Good luck in finding a family to guide! I'm looking forward to following your project.
    Also, I totally agree with you that many RDs tend to focus on calories and fat, recommending processed foods that fit within certain physical criteria--even though they may contain potentially harmful and low quality ingredients. On a positive more note, I do think that more RDs as well as others are starting to realize that this an out-dated way of viewing healthful eating/living. Kudos to you for taking action on your idea. Good things will surely come of it!
    Angie King MS, RD, LD
    Gourmet Healer, LLC
    Albuquerque, NM

  4. Anne-Marie!

    Congrats on getting this project started. I hope the right family appears quickly and easily. I'll pass this along to those I know. But most of the people I know who might be appropriate are already on this locavore path. Looking forward to following this story (and helping in any way I can).



  5. Very cool. I'll think about this...I know people of this description but willingness to do it is the problem!

  6. So glad to hear about another awesome project from Anne-Marie :)

    I'm wondering whether you'll be open to adjusting your demographic preferences (to include slightly older or younger children).

    Then again, with the offer of year-long guidance from a slow food locavore and registered dietician, I'm guessing that you'll get plenty of candidates that meet your needs.

    Spreading the word now! And looking forward to hearing more.