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Morning Tea on a 10-Mile Diet

Another lesson of 10-mile eating: To get your needs met you have to say what they are, and give your neighbors a chance to help you.
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When I got home late last night, Tricia had put my first food in my fridge. Talk about service. And a loving note on my counter.

I woke full of curiosity. How will this go? The first challenge out of the gate: milk for tea. I haven’t set up my weekly half gallon from my local cow yet. I don’t expect Tricia-like deliveries. I do need to go right to the source, so to speak. This cow is inside my 10 miles. But I knew my friendly neighbor would have some 10-mile milk from her source, so I broke one more “don’t ask” barrier of Pacific Northwest social reserve and called. Before I could get something decent on over my nightgown, she was at the door with a pint of the most delicious milk.

So goes another lesson of 10-mile eating: You have to be in relationship to pull it off. You can’t “just go to the store” and pay some U.S. dollars and skulk home with nary a conversation. And in relationship, you have to be vulnerable. To get your needs met, you have to say what they are. And risk getting turned down. And stay in relationship anyway.

So this diet isn’t just what goes into my mouth. It’s strengthening the web I am part of.

Vicki Robin is blogging for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions, about her experiment with a 10-mile diet on Whidbey Island, Wa. The coauthor of Your Money or Your Life, Vicki teaches classes about frugal, creative, and self-sufficient living (see 


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