As I have previously shared our food journey with you before, I thought there might be some of you wondering how that was going. So I thought a little, or not so little update as the case may be, would be on the cards today.
We have continued to exclude wheat from our diet (though the kids still eat some when out and about), and we have now found that for us adults occasionally eating it has some pretty negative effects. I know now that that is because my body is just not used to wheat anymore. Even spelt flour (though the kids are fine with spelt). It will give me stomach aches, insomnia and leave me hungrier for several days. Which is strange when I have eaten the stuff all my life. But I know how much better I feel without it.
|Wheat Belly bread with butter, strained yoghurt and maple syrup|
Fortunately a properly fermented wholemeal rye, spelt or kamut sourdough does not have the same effect, and so I think I will soon (budget permitting) look into buying a flour grinder to make our own fresh sourdough. This heavy bread tastes very wholesome and doesn't leave you hungry like I find ordinary bread does. The ancient way usually proves best.
We don't eat a lot of grain these days, but we occasionally have some such as rice or porridge made from oats. I try to follow the Nourishing Traditions way of soaking grains and serving it with plenty of butter or cream. The kids eat homemade popcorn, cooked in coconut oil, quite regularly. It is a favourite lunchbox filler.
I can't say it is not difficult finding snacks for kids when you don't buy anything processed. Apart from popcorn, I also make activated nuts, chickpea bombs, crackers (all three recipes from Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar) or slice up some cheese. There was initially some "teething" problems, but for the most part the kids are now used to it. It has been a tricky and sometimes emotional process though. It is not easy when most of your peers are eating out of packets.
As for meat, we have a full freezer of it right now. Buying meat week to week was proving far too expensive for us, so we bought a quarter side of grass fed beef from a local organic farmer, of which he had butchered (or minced or made sausages) to our specifications. I was also given all the bones, which I make stock/broth with about twice a week. We also bought a whole lamb from him, and another lamb from a farmer down the road. We managed to pack it all into our freezer in the fridge and our freezer in the garage. I think it will last us at least six months, but it is too early yet to say.
Another big change here has been the now weekly arrival of our organic box. We order a seasonal fruit and veg box, cream in little glass bottles and a few bottles of raw "bathing only" milk. I was so happy to finally find a way to include a little raw milk in our diet, though budget only allows a few bottles a week. This milk is almost double the price of premium full cream milk. The taste though is a revelation of how real milk should be. It is beautifully creamy and yellow. Definitely worth seeking out.
The garden is a little dormant right now, but I regularly use the prolifically growing kale (both Russian and Tuscan) and rocket. The cabbages, broad beans, parsnip, and beetroot are slowly growing, but are still not ready.
|Chocolate nut balls - though I sweeten mine with maple syprup|
For the last few months we have been taking fermented cod liver oil along with butter oil. Every night I melt the butter down and add it with the cod liver oil to a a little orange juice. The additional flavouring in the cod liver oil makes it a little easier to take.
So I guess you might be asking the question is all this effort really worth it? Has it made a difference in our health? I can say for the most part yes, though it has been up and down, as we figure out what foods we react with. We found that once you take out all processed food you suddenly become very sensitive to wheat, white sugar, certain oils, some alcohol and additives. If weight is anything to go by, we have both lost some, and I fit back into my pre-Violet clothes. Daniel is back to the size he was before we were married. But the bigger indicator, I think, is the disappearance of niggling little health problems, the extra energy and clearer skin.
Some days I have questioned whether all the food preparation is worth it, the loss of fitting into society and being able to eat anything without apparent consequence when you are out and about.
The way you eat could be likened to a journey. Along the way you try to figure things out, and you might change or adapt as you go along. You might stumble many times. But there are always new things to learn. New recipes to try or books to read. Real food to enjoy. Above all it is really hope that keeps you going. The hope for good health.
Links to previous posts on this topic :
the follow up food post