If you’re unfamiliar with my story, you’ll want to catch the beginnings here:
Part one: I’m a Born Conservationist
Part two: What I Learned from my Mother
Part three: What I Learned from my Children
Part four: The Origins of a Book/Time of Insanity
Part five: More Insanity: Get Out of the Pool!
I used to think I cooked pretty healthy meals. I made all sorts of casseroles and soups from scratch, served a side vegetable and fruit with every dinner, had a nightly salad, used low-fat dairy products and subbed whole wheat flour and reduced the sugar in much of my baking. Until I began my journey of nutritional transformation, I didn’t even know what I was missing!
Last week I shared about the paranoia and paralysis I felt when I became overwhelmed with too much new information. There were just too many changes to make, so I couldn’t do anything and worried about everything.
I was pretty fed up with everything I was reading contradicting everything I had previously been taught (and taught to others). It was hard to believe I’d been so led astray by the government and my teachers over the years. I spent most of Christmas vacation last year filling my poor husband’s ear with all the wild facts I was learning about how messed up our eating has become and all the things I would have to do to change our family’s health. My husband is a saint, truly. He helped me digest it all and realize that we can do a lot to make a difference but that we have to trust God with our health, too. He also wisely pointed out that giving myself a stress-induced disease while worrying about our health wouldn’t do anyone any good. Smart man, my husband.
I prayed about food and our health often, and I found peace in the idea that if God made it whole, we shouldn’t take it apart. The philosophy of traditional foods, that if we haven’t been eating it for thousands of years, it probably shouldn’t go in our mouths, resonated with truth in my heart and mind. When I read Real Food by Nina Planck, I felt like I was given the clarity I needed to begin making some real changes.
I started with Baby Steps (I don’t preach them to you all for no reason; it’s the only way I get anything done!), which meant things that were either free to change or took little mental effort or both. I changed my baking powder, experimented with avoiding the microwave. The Kitchen Stewardship® lifestyle, which I had been living for a few years, finally put its Real Food pants on, and we were ready to go. I had to accept the fact that I couldn’t do it all at once, even as I found out anew how much farther I had to go with every baby step I took.
I made some mistakes along the way and ended up throwing away some food, committing never to purchase again some foods that I had just discovered as “health foods.” I bought soybeans and then read that they are dangerous when unfermented. There they sit in my cupboard. I bought flax oil, only to discover that it went rancid faster than I could use it. I’ve documented my escapades with olive oil, ghee and raw milk yogurt. I haven’t really discussed (yet) our move to raw milk, grassfed beef, or our on-again-off-again relationship with fish. In the midst of my failures, I’ve had a lot of successes and learned so much. And, I hope, my family is ultimately healthier for it.
Next week, I’ll finally shut up after sharing with you MY LIST. It’s the running list in my computer of all the changes we’ve made over the past year. One can do a lot in a year’s worth of baby steps, believe me.