Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh the Places we Go...

It's kind of funny to read my blog. I have not posted on it for awhile. And for good reason. Every time I thought I found some 'nutritional truth', I'd realize it didn't make sense.

I got fed up with 'fads' and just wanted to know what was the truth regarding health and nutrition-if there was such a thing.

Vegetarian...vegan...raw...whole Watchers...Atkins...low carb...low fat. Oiy! How is one to know what truly nourishes one's body?

I was constantly trying to make 'healthier' versions of things, but we didn't like them much-and I wasn't even convinced it was healthy! So why force us to eat things that weren't really nourishing our bodies anyway? I got tired of hearing what was not good for us-I wanted to know what we should eat.

I've taken to this way of life-I try to figure out what is 'perfect' and try to work my way to that-knowing I will never actually attain it until we get to Heaven. But it's fun to have a goal to work towards! :) I'm a very driven person-so this works for me.

So, I decided to search and research and pray and read until I was confident in what I found to be truly nourishing foods. I wanted to know what we should be eating-how it should be prepared, etc. And then teach us to actually like that food. Quite daunting for sure. I'm a lousy cook and the kids are lousy eaters-so I figured if we were going to learn-we might as well learn it all right from the beginning.

In one of my previous posts-I listed 7 goals I had...
1. Sprouts
2. Kefir
3. Less processed foods
4. Monthly meal plan
5. Veggies, veggies, veggies
6. Raw milk
7. Organic/sustainable

Well, I'd say I'm happy with my overall progress. :) I have learned a lot since then though!

I wrote that post after reading 'The Omnivore's Dilema' and reading through the website for the Weston A Price Foundation. From the WAPF website, I found the book I was so desperately looking for. I had decided what I really needed to figure out was how people ate before all the new technology and 'food science' came along. And I wasn't sure where to start. But this book told just that. It's by Sally Fallon and it's called Nourishing Traditions.

Oh man, what a great book! It explains why we have the health issues we do-and how people ate and still do eat-before all of the current industrialization. It's based mostly on the works of a dentist in the early 1900's. He wanted to know why so many of his American patients had cavities and narrow mouths. He became convinced it was due to their diet, so he traveled to various uncivilized cultures and was surprised to find them with very few cavities and near perfect mouths and teeth (and few or none of the civilized diseases that are prevalent in the US). So he studied their diets and wrote all that he learned in a book. I have not read his book, but I probably will in the near future.

Obviously one has to make one's own decisions on what is healthy and who and what to believe when it comes to research. But all that I've learned so far just makes sense. So I'm sticking to it! :)

Based on that book, a number of other books, blogs, people and chat groups, I will try to summarize what I have decided is the truth about nutrition, and what I have decided is 'perfect'. Now I'm on the long road of trying to 'get there'. But at least I know where I'm going finally! And apparently I'm not the only one-it seems to be going more main stream of late.

1. Vegetable oil is evil
2. Saturated Fats are NOT evil-our bodies desperately need them (butter, lard, tallow, egg yolks, cream/whole milk, coconut oil)
3. Grains need to be soaked or sprouted to be digested properly (hence all the gluten/wheat intolerances)
4. Cod Liver Oil is much better then vitamin tablets...Rrrrum punch-delicious! *hiccup*
5. Homemade stocks (broths) are powerhouses of nutrition-and easy to make once you get the hang of it. I do it once a week now. And truly inexpensive and easy to add to most meals.
6. Fermented vegetables and drinks are very healthy and easy to make. I have yet to make anything we like-but I'll keep trying! They should be eaten/drunk with every meal.
7. Enzymes are sadly missing from our diets and desperately necessary for proper assimilation of our foods
8. Raw Milk is God's gracious provision to mankind to truly, wholly nourish us. Pasteurization disturbs it's natural nourishing properties.
9. Fish is fantastic for the body and truly nourishes every part of it-esp (but not nearly limited to) the brain. It should be consumed weekly at least.
10. Eggs-worth their weight in gold-nutritionally speaking.
11. Liver should be eaten once a week (not even remotely there yet unfortunately)
12. Microwaves are just NOT a good way to heat up food.

After all my research, I was quite depressed and overwhelmed. It was the opposite of what we were eating-or even liked for that matter. But, again, I wanted to figure out what was 'perfect' for us to eat.

I knew a lot of changes had to take place. We need to actually sit down to meals-which we don't do! And I needed to change my attitude toward spending time finding and preparing meals. It can not be a chore-but a blessing and a service done to my Lord who graciously has chosen to give me life and a family to provide for. And I hope that attitude towards food and health gets passed on to my kids.

In all my research, I also have come to have a more appreciation for the earth and how God made it to provide our foods. And I appreciate the bio-dynamic farming, buying local/direct from the farmer, and 'green'/ecologically friendly living. They all seem to go hand in hand. I'll try to write more about all of that later.


My goal is for us to:

1. Eat a 'meat' every day. I try to buy local and sustainable when possible.

2. Lots of veggies-raw and cooked and smothered in butter.

3. Fermented Veggies and drinks with every meal.

4. 3 meals a day-breakfast and supper sitting down at home when possible.

5. Lots of homemade broth-in soups and sauces

6. Eggs, eggs, eggs

7. Take Cod Liver Oil daily

8. Drink raw milk and raw milk products (which I'm working on making my own-but that is a whole post in itself).

9. Consume few grains-and those we do eat should be organically grown and not genetically modified-preferably the more ancient grains-like amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa.
Brown rice is also a safe grain

10. Cut out sugar and try to switch to honey and maple syrup.

10. Most importantly-I'm trying to find local, responsibly raised foods. Again-another post in itself.

I am far from where I want to be, but I do like knowing where I'm going. It helps me to make little choices every day that lead in that direction. And it helps when I get frustrated or overwhelmed-to keep on chugging.

This is ridiculous long, but I wanted to share what I've learned in the last 6 months. Hopefully I'll post more as I learn more. :)

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