Suffice it to say that in many ways I've decided to embrace my inner tree hugger. The more I study health and try to solve my own health issues, the more I am pulled deeply into a world of fresh, whole, real foods. The less packaging the better. The more natural the better. I look for local, organic and fresh in my food plans. What excites me about this process right now is that my mom and sister have been experimenting a bit as well and I love the synergy of learning things together and making delicious, yummy food that tastes great and is great for my body. Who knew that health could be so much fun???
I am, once again in my life, on a giant learning curve. I feel enthused and inspired by health one day and overwhelmed and vexed by all the changes the next day. But all in all I can't get enough. I've always been a bit higher on the learning side of things than the doing side so I'm really focusing on doing now and not just learning.
Here are some of the changes I've been incorporating in my life and some readings that have helped me along the way.
1. Buying raw milk: I've never been much of a milk consumer. I think I stopped drinking milk as a teenager and I've never taken up the habit again. I pretty much gave up cereal around that time too. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have purchased a gallon of milk since I moved out on my own in college. I've always used other types of milk: rice milk, soy milk, almond milk and during the last couple of years coconut milk. My pantry is well stocked with almond milk and coconut milk but now I've purchased raw milk a few times in the last several months. Yummy! It makes me think about when we had a milk cow on our little farm in Burley and drinking fresh, creamy milk chilled to perfection. Maybe that's why I've never quite been able to stomach the pasteurized, homogenized variety on store shelves. This fresh-from-the-source milk just tastes so gooood!
2. Bought my first CSA vegetable share from a local farm: I am so excited about this. Lots of veggies, all organic and local and fresh from the vine. Most people agree there is just something different about eating a food fresh from its source--something that hasn't been picked early, wrapped in plastic and transported thousands of miles to hopefully ripen under the yellowish hue of fluorescent lights in your local big-box grocery store.
3. Working on purchasing pastured chicken, pork and beef from another local farmer: This excites me too. To know the source of my food, that I'm supporting my local economy and that I'm feeding my body the best nature has to offer. Animals that have been fed on natural grasses are full of omega 3s and a different kind of fat than the marbley white fat that we are all so used to seeing in our meat. That fat develops because beef are fed a heavy grain diet which allows them to pack on pounds quickly. When you look at grass-fed beef, the meat is not as marbled and the fat is more of a yellow color and much smaller.
4. Read a great blog NourishedKitchen.com that was featured on CNN in early March. This blogger had a real foods challenge with her readers for a month where everyone ate only foods that were local, fresh and not packaged. Can you imagine not consuming any packaged food for a month? Not a bit of packaged food at all? It was kind of inspiring to read what they made and how they ate for that month.
I'm working on incorporating more and more real foods in my life. I'm thrilled with some of the great recipes that have been coming into my life because of this research. I hope to be able to share more and more of those over the next few months.