What do you do when something is stressing you out or overwhelming your brain?
Fight, flight, or…have a pity party with ice cream?
(I suppose that’s just a way of “flight”ing with added sugar, isn’t it? If you must flee, flee with food!)
Some folks probably do something productive like running or cleaning.
Some folks might want to take a nap.
Raises hand, lowers eyelids.
Some folks might throw themselves into a solution.
And others probably cruise the kitchen and eat too much.
Raises hand again…grabs chocolate chip from top shelf.
At least there’s always something healthy to eat if you’re falling into some stressed-out eating patterns…green vegetables are always safe, right?
Not according to some of the info I’ve been reading lately.
I got to the point where I honestly don’t know what to eat anymore.
My coping mechanism, along with those (ahem) chocolate chips, was to start a new document titled aptly, “things that are ticking me off right now.”
I started copying links to articles that were simply overwhelming my poor brain so that I could close the tabs and stop quickening my heart rate every time I passed them on Firefox (sped up my browsing, too, since I only had 60 tabs open instead of 75, you know…).
As a blogger, I added to my stress level thinking that I should probably publicly comment on all these things and share them with you all. Then I’d feel guilty because I don’t want to make all my dear readers overwhelmed with “too much information” about nutrition and natural living, since it’s seems that it’s always a moving target and mighty confusing.
Here’s what I’ll do.
I’m going to get this all off my chest in one choppy, multi-topic post. I’ll say a few words about this stuff, but I don’t really want to dig into it all further. It’s ticking me off, remember?!
If you don’t want to hear about more foods you can’t eat or when you’re supposed to be outside (hint: it’s either not between 10-3:00 or only right at noon, take your blasted blankety-blank pick!), then you may want to stop reading now. Go read about happy free preschool activities or enter this week’s giveaway or something with positive thoughts.
If you’re curious what I’ve been stumbling across or might want to learn something new (that will be new again next month, probably), forge ahead!
Problem: Will the Sun Kill You or Make you Healthy?
Details: I was always the mom who put sunscreen on her toddler every day with his clothes, because that’s what I was “supposed” to do so he didn’t get a sunburn, according to popular culture and modern medicine.
When I learned more about the hazards of chemical sunscreen, I switched to natural sunscreen and continued the habit of staying out of the sun when possible, especially between 10-3:00, and always used sunblock during those times.
Recently I’ve read that you shouldn’t shower with soap after sun exposure so the D can do its magic, but of course if you’re swimming in a chlorinated pool you might want to get that off right away…
I understand that Vitamin D is important, so I was always happy to get the kids out swimming after 4 p.m. with no sunblock on.
Now I read everywhere that you don’t get Vitamin D at that time, just the dangerous rays of the sun. The latest recommendation is to get full sun for 15 minutes exactly at noon. (Mercola, I think.)
Again, the opposite of what I thought was right.
And a little difficult to do with kids, so strictly scheduled.
Will anyone survive this world?
No, we’ll all die someday. Thank goodness we have that to look forward to! Heaven will be great, no sunburns…
How I’m dealing: No way am I going to let my kids get burned, and I’m not sending them out for 15 minutes at noon every day, either, then making them come in. I’m not that scheduled and that seems mean. “Go play…now come in!!”
We try to get a little sun before using sunscreen, but not if we’re going to be out a long time. Burns are too risky.
I’ll be updating the natural sunscreen review later today, hopefully, but the brand we’ve been defaulting to this summer is Kabana. They have a new sunblock with only 6 ingredients, one of which is Vitamin D.
Here’s what I will be adding to the review post:
Kabana’s new Vitamin D sunblock feels so safe to me, and it’s one of the only ones I’ll put on John (less than a year old). However, you should know that it doesn’t “rub in” at all, and it’s not meant to. My kids look a little ghostly, but it’s “safety first” for me with them, not beauty, and my husband won’t use it at all.
For us, we’ve been using Kabana’s tinted blend. They really do work as far as not looking white, but hubs was very worried he’d look like he was wearing makeup. He was relieved that he didn’t.
You should know about this one, though, that it stains clothing really, really badly. That’s why, even though it looks great on the kids, even John’s white baby skin, we won’t use it on them anymore. They’re too wiggly and we’ve wrecked a few shirts already and aren’t willing to risk more.
Problem: You Have to Have Perfect Olive Oil
Details: Cheeseslave posted on how “pure” olive oil should solidify in the refrigerator in 12 hours. If it didn’t, it had other vegetable oils mixed in secretly, the dastardly food corporations, you know. Tons of people freaked out about the brands she “outed” as not being pure because they remained liquid.
Then Primal Toad posted a rebuttal that made me both happy (Oh, good, another thing we don’t have to get so nit-picky about) and frustrated (Again, something that went viral and freaked people out unnecessarily!). His post did not go viral, as the boring truth rarely does. (Mine on the new Kerrygold butter didn’t either, although the original “beware” post certainly did.)
My olive oil, which I buy by the gallon from Soaper’s Choice (no advertising there, it’s just genuinely where I get it), does solidify in the fridge, which I learned when I refrigerated homemade salad dressings. My MIL’s also does, and I’m sure she buys the cheap stuff. So there.
How I’m dealing: Forget about it and move on. Just buy 100% extra virgin olive oil and enjoy it.
Problem: Healthy Salmon is from Alaska…but it’s Loaded with Radiation
Details: When I posted on finding safe fish, particularly salmon, I got an email from a reader stating simply: “The salmon in Alaska have extreme levels of radiation from the japan indecent.”
Sometimes, I hate our world. If that’s true – and it probably is! – then there is absolutely zero salmon you would want to eat, unless it was canned before Japan had its mess. Phooey.
How I’m dealing: I did take a minute to look into this one. I found some articles from Vital Choice on the purity of their salmon and how the radiation tests are coming back A-OK. As a discerning reader, you have to take these with a grain of salt, though, because as my mom says, they’re “information mixed with commerce” since the information comes from a company selling salmon!
I’m still eating salmon, from Alaska. But I might keep watching this story…the Japan radiation issue has been on my list to research for quite some time, and I just haven’t had the heart to do it.
Problem: That Expensive Bacon You’ve Been Buying? Nitrates There, Too
Maybe Nitrates Aren’t so Bad for You After All
This nitrate/nitrite thing? *eye roll*
Details: I wrote about some interesting coverage on how nitrate-free lunchmeat and bacon probably has more nitrates than ever HERE. My post was more to say, “Huh, this is odd, what do you think?” than to really teach or say that I bought into it.
How I’m dealing: I really do want to understand this. I don’t think it gives us the green card to eat conventional lunchmeat, but unfortunately, it may mean that the triple-the-price nitrate-free stuff isn’t much better. That’s such a bummer!!! So in the meantime, I’m buying the good stuff but super seldomly. And I’m getting stressed out.
Sooo…don’t eat the good proteins you used to eat, worry about your formerly healthy fats, and check this out:
Problem: Even Whole Foods Doesn’t Know Where Their Food Comes From
Details: A reader sent this on to me, a PDF showing that in some instances, they have no idea if what they are claiming to be organic actually is. Phooey badooey on that!
Problem: GMOs are Getting More Prevalent, and Some People Think That’s Dandy
Details: I haven’t posted anything on GMOs, genetically modified organisms, here at Kitchen Stewardship. It’s something I know I need to look into, and I do kind of/sort of try to avoid them when I can…but I can’t stomach the truth.
I know they’re going wild, and that GMO crops are infiltrating and cross-pollenating with regular crops so pretty soon, we won’t have a choice. I can’t imagine God wanted us to redo His job. They have to be bad…based on my hunch.
There’s a bill up in government that GMOs at least need to be labeled. At least the consumer can make their own darn decision, which is great.
Except that this professor seems to think that since he thinks GMOs are dandy, no one else should get to know what’s in their food.
How I’m dealing: I don’t have a Whole Foods nearby, and I’m throwing the “you’re an idiot” book at that professor. Feel free to throw it at me because I’m silly enough to mistrust GMOs on a hunch and also foolish enough not to avoid them like the plague like we probably should be doing. *raises white flag*
Problem: Soaking Grains is Just Confusing
Details: Ever since I kind of let my own soaking grains series die a quiet death, I’ve wondered what the real answer is.
Want to know why I never posted “To Soak or Not to Soak?”
Because I don’t know the answer.
The deeper I got into the research, the more I realized I’m absolutely not qualified to determine what to do. I didn’t know how to get the bottom of the issue, so I stopped digging.
The fact that our family found going grain-free to be helpful and then gluten-free and low-gluten almost all the time also meant that (a) the subject was a moot point most of the time (grain-free) and (b) many of my old grains recipes don’t even get pulled out (gluten-free).
When I really started getting upset with the subject is when Amanda Rose published her newest thoughts, based on research, that we don’t need to add an acidic medium to soak, just use warm water – but also DON’T use dairy at all! (I can’t find the source right now though.) This threw half my soaking recipes for a loop, and you know what? I checked out of the conversation.
When I started reading questions about coconut flour and phytic acid, I was really done. If I can’t even avoid the stuff when I’m grain-free, forget it!
How can it be a traditional practice and still, the advice does a complete 180-degree turn in the few years I’ve been trying it?
How I’m dealing: When I make grains, I nearly always soak them, but I don’t know if it does anything good. I don’t like refined grains, and I’d rather our family avoid grains, period, when we’re out of the house, especially glutenous grains. I have to simply be okay with not knowing the answer, and two other bloggers whom I respect dearly have posted on the subject.
I had their posts open for about a month before they made it into my “ticked off” document. They’re worth a read:
Problem: You Can’t Eat Nuts, Either
Details: Our food choices are getting narrower and narrower when we cut grains, avoid processed foods, ETC.
We eat a LOT of nuts, both as snacks and as flour in recipes.
I was just tickled (not!) when I read these “why you shouldn’t eat nuts” articles:
I probably should also mention that I bought 10 bags of Diamond brand walnuts on a super good sale, then noticed they included BHT on the nuts. So even when you think you’re buying a single-ingredient food, you’re stuck with a weird preservative. They had a very un-courteous reply to my query/dismay via their customer service. I will never buy that brand again.
How I’m dealing: I can’t, really. I still eat plenty of nuts. I’ll soak and dehydrate them into crispy nuts, because maybe it helps digestion, and there’s no question that in our family, we like the taste/feel much better. So that’s worth it.
Do I wonder about the whole idea of “it should take your time to crack open the nut, therefore you shouldn’t eat them by the handful” thing every time I feed my kids almonds? Almost. But I’m trying not to die of stress here.
Is There Anything Left to Eat?
Whenever I would get stressed about so many foods hitting the “they’re not healthy” chopping block, I would often say things like, “At least everyone says green vegetables are good for you, phew!”
This is probably the article that really got me started on my “ticking me off” document, since it’s pretty sensational and says “Don’t eat your green veggies, or else!”
It still frustrates me, though – did I mention we’re participating in our first CSA this year and have tons of leafy greens every single week? If any of us get kidney stones, I swear…!
How I’m dealing: I throw up my hands and go to McDonald’s!
I do throw up my hands, but it’s usually for chocolate chips, not McD’s.
I hate feeling afraid of food. This summer, I’m focusing on eating the best meat I can, lots of veggies (eat dirt, oxalates!), and making whole foods a priority. I want Jonathan to have a good start in his eating life, but I’m trying not to freak out about things.
We eat food.
If it’s grown in the ground or eats things grown in the ground, that’s 80% of the battle.
I make almost everything from scratch and like it that way.
Speaking of being afraid of food, which I feel like sometimes, Green Smoothie Girl also has a good series on antinutrients: are you letting them scare you away from whole foods? This girl does her research and cites things, which I really, really appreciate.
Stacy also wrote a very insightful post that made me feel better and guilty at the same time, tackling the issue of people going to extremes too much with food. The title is perfect: Food is Not Your God.
Now that my “ticking me off right now” document is a blank slate again, I’m taking a vacation from all those windows and tabs, all those helpful reader emails, all the questions and wonderings.
I’m going to play with my kids more.
I’m printing off some new recipes to try, things I think I’ll really enjoy and some grain-free or gluten-free stuff that I’ve been wanting to master. And we’ll eat plenty of greens if our CSA box has anything to say about it, so there! I’m trying to eat more fermented foods.
I’m leaving the computer OFF but for one sitting per week. It’s going to be wonderful (starting Monday). You’ll see mostly guest posts, recipe and Monday Mission reruns, a happy birthday ebook bundle sale…and I’ll see you again mid-August, refreshed and renewed and ready to talk about Safety in September and Organizing in October!
Feel free to comment away, and hopefully it will be interesting…but just realize that if I don’t like what you have to say, I might just copy you into my document instead of answering…
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Kabana, but they really are the best out there. Wise Choice Market is an advertiser receiving a complementary mention in a post. See my full disclosure statement here.