Cecily is napping, Aneliese is playing quietly, and I am sitting here sipping nettle tea while typing. A pot of chicken bone broth is quietly simmering on the stove as a jar of almonds soak in the cupboard and I try to track down some kefir culture. Tallow and pork fat sit in my fridge waiting to be rendered. Just a typical day in our little home.
Some of my friends, Lola, Beth, and Jamie have been blogging with great information about their food journeys lately and it brings my own food dilemma and journey to mind. I feel like I spend SO much time thinking about food and trying to make healthy choices. I have a weekly meal plan on the table waiting for the rest of the spots to be filled. And every when I feel like I have gotten to a place where I feel good about how we are eating, I realize that I am one step behind. I love good food and I love seeing the results of healthy eating. Sometimes I just wish it were easier.
We have almost entirely cut refined sugar out of our regular diet because I sweeten every thing either with honey, maple syrup (Canadian) and fruit with the exception being that I still use some sugar when I drink black tea. We eat mostly pastured organic meat. We eat a lot of great fats and our eggs are quality free range. Because of Aneliese’s celiac diet we now mostly eat seeds and nuts as opposed to grains. Our diet includes lots of fruit and vegetables for all of us but especially for the girls. And yet I always feel like I have some thing on my mind to research and figure out. What foods should we eat raw? Which ones will we get more nutrients from if they are cooked? Should I try the GAPS diet with Aneliese in hopes of healing her celiac disease? Is it worth risking it when she has gotten so healthy in the past months? Kefir? Cut out all grains? Find a raw milk source? Organic milk or no milk if we can’t get it raw? Where can I find the cheese that has no added color? What is Lacto-fermentation anyway? Do we need vitamin supplements? More meat or less meat? Liver??? How can I get more vitamin B from the foods I eat? Calcium? K2? And how about some energy please? And how can I do this all affordably in a way that takes care of the earth in which we live and those who are growing my food? And how can I be part of helping others to have healthy, quality food?
Mostly this is just a rant saying that right now I am feeling frustrated. I go through this a few times a year and I always balance out. But here is the thing, I really don’t want to spend as much time as I do thinking about what we eat. I see so many other areas in my life that need attention. The world is starving for more than just food. And yet, I also believe that knowledge gives responsibility. I am the main cook and grocery shopper. Because I know (to some extent) what is the best way for us to eat, I want and need to do that. Why does there have be more unhealthy options than there are healthy? It just seems wrong that I walk by aisles and aisles of what we call food when other mamas are trying to scrounge up anything just to fill their little ones hungry bellies.
Anyways. Here is my somewhat disjointed confession that I am floundering in the food department. And wondering, how on earth can I keep Aneliese healthy for two weeks of traveling? Now the effects of gluten in her system is so drastic from every day life that I really dread it. And the time for my food rant is over as Aneliese has found her way to my lap and Cecily is making waking noises. Plus, I finished my nettle tea!
I so know how you feel. Exactly. It’s easier here though… less time thinking about food and more time living.
And yes to liver. Seriously. It’s gross but with that and broth I don’t know what to do with all my new energy.
Thanks Lola! When you said about putting liver in meatloaf that gave me hope because I have been trying to convince myself that I can make it taste good on its own.
if you don’t mind i’m linking this post to my blog. My thoughts and feelings exactly. Traveling with children who cannot have gluten is very hard! During and after traveling and vacation I give my boys digestive enzymes and it seems to minamize the effect that trace gluten has on them. Not sure if that would help with your daughter or not but it may be something to look into. Also before we travel we look up grochery stores along the way and stop at them for food instead of fast food… that way we can give fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, and deli meats (even though some deli meats aren’t that great.. it’s much better then eating at a fast food resturant).
Oh man. I hear you!!! I think my comment on Lola’s food post was somewhere along, “Why am I always one step behind!?”I too love the responsibility and privilege of doing this for my family, but I’m also frustrated with the time, the internet browsing to find more info, that feeling of ‘not there yet’, the nutritional limits and dilemmas in this country, the global reality, and the continued issues of health we still face.
Thanks for posting. Hope to hear more soon 🙂
I also feel the same way. I am apparently behind where you are still. Yes there’s so much to learn. It seems we went especially wrong when we started adding man made chemicals to our food! Trying to get away from that is so much money and so much work. Changing the meat we buy is prob the hardest right now because the price difference is such a large chunk!
As for cheese with no added color… I usually get monteray jack cheese… that has no annatto coloring in it… i’ve found most of the white cheeses have no added colorings in them.
I found an aged white cheddar that we really like by balderson but I can only find it for a good price at Costco which is in the city and we go through quite a bit of cheese.
First off- I think you are amazing and I congratulate your strength, wisdom and uphill battle. I admire all of you here for your choices.On the other side of it…we always will be one step behind in good choice in life- but that never stops us from taking another step. Instead of getting down about that- absolve to be excited that there is always growth, always something new…it is never boring. And when you are tired perhaps it is a hint to look at the other parts of your life. Body is only one part. What do you need to work in or grow in mentally, socially, spiritually, emotionally? Perhaps your soul is begging you for attention in another area for awhile?
Don’t forget about these amazing strides in food- but maybe incorporate just the ones you have for now and turn to other parts of your life. It is easy to focus on one thing. For me- I am turning my focus on physical because I think to much socially, spiritually and mentally. I need to give more attention to food choices and it definitely is not my natural inclination.
What goes against your inclination? Perhaps it is time to give it some attention for awhile:)
You are amazing in the food choices. Quite honestly it is sad for someone like me who was never equipped or naturally gifted to hear women like all of you ( who were and are) feel like you are not doing enough. To me it sounds so overwhelming and then I think”Ok if they are not doing enough imagine what they would think if they saw what we eat.” I feel accomplished with our organic fruit and veggies!:)
Rejoice in your gifts ladies. Yes, take steps for more growth but also thank God for the wisdom and steps you have taken.
Thank you for your encouragement.And can I say that while I love to encourage others in healthy food choices and I admit I see families eating foods that concern me, for the most part I really don’t ever want to make judgements on others based on what or how they eat. For most of us it is small steps, one at a time.
Your blog is always inspiring. I know we all get frustrated with our gifts:) Seeing so many women feel they are not doing enough when all I see is quite a lot was a bit depressing today but overall I do love the foodie posts as it is not my forte and it balances me out. Good to hear you don’t judge as I know women who do but would probably be loathe to admit it. Luckily none of them happen to be my treasured friends. That would not go over well:)I love what you said about small steps. Just savour them. You always end up doing so well. Both Martha and Mary were welcomed at Jesus feet. He loved them both…We all need to be both but when it comes to deciding whether to take on more – I often ask myself at what cost?
I love that you do that too. It is neat to have a conversation about the journey. I like that you and Lola both talk about food but yet fill your blog with other things, family photos, advocacy for health or pads or the abused, and beautiful descriptions of life. It would not be the same without your food episodes.:) Just know you are not floundering..if you are I am drowning:) HA – although I do get what you mean and how on days like this it is easy to feel that way:)
Have a good sleep…