These are common phrases in our household when we talk about food.
Food has become something our family has really been focused on since I began eating a gluten free diet about 4 years ago. It was during this experience that I started learning more about the JUNK in our food and recognizing what a huge impact a healthy diet can have on your life. We focus on mostly eating foods that are naturally gluten free rather than eating gluten free alternatives (which are often laden with sugar, unhealthy grains and additives).
There is a HUGE discrepancy in America between what is FOOD and what is EDIBLE. A majority of the American diet consists of things that are edible but should not be considered food. Food is something your great grandparents would have known what to do with that is as close to it’s natural state as possible.
Our family is constantly trying to eat healthier and by doing so we are feeling so much better! The second biggest dietary change came when my friend Rebecca gave me the book Nourishing Traditions which TOTALLY challenges what we as Americas think is a good diet and encourages us to eat the way people ate several generations ago. Since beginning to adopt this lifestyle we have started to feel even better and are learning more and more about food. I definitely notice a difference in how I feel when we eat out or with others who don’t follow these lifestyle choices.
All this to say- our family and many of our friends don’t always get what we prefer to eat so I thought I’d break it down a bit into what some of our changes have been and some of our goals.
- Raw Milk
- We soak all of our beans and grains before we eat them (Nourished Kitchen has some great basic info on soaking grains)
- Buying as much in bulk as possible (this is more because of our desire to be zero waste, Azure Standard has really helped with this)
- Purchasing organic whenever possible (We love Door to Door Organics– the food shows up at our front door and their prices are not much more than conventional food- often Organic is cheaper)
- Making anything possible ourselves…. more on this in a future post
- Focusing on foods that are naturally gluten free like fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, dairy
- Cooking with less meat (I aim for meat 2 times a week, this saves us a ton on our grocery bill)
- Buying rice pasta from the local Asian Market (you can get pasta there for under $1 a pound and they have organic as well as brown rice and black rice pasta plus TONS of other types of pasta!)
- Not purchasing any premade/processed foods (the only exception is Mac and Cheese… we love Mac and Cheese)
- Not purchasing canned foods (the exception to this has been soups when we are sick and tomato products- which should always come from a jar if possible to eliminate BPA concerns)
- Growing our own food (I’m trying my hand at growing a few things!)
- To be locavores (we’d like to get to where 75% of our food is coming to us from a local source. This is an easy way to get started!)
- Purchasing more in bulk
- Eat leafy greens every day (I get SO sick of them but they’re so good for you…)
- Have 50% of our diet be vegetable based and raw
- Eliminate sugar (This one is huge for me. While sugar makes me feel AWFUL and gives me terrible mood swings. I made it 3 months last time- I gotta stick with it. I’m switching to blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, honey and dehydrated cane juice. We decided to dump agave nectar too after reading several articles suggesting it’s really NOT good for you)
- Incorporate more lacto-fermented foods
- Eliminate white foods unless they are dairy, fruit or veggie (with the exception of white rice for sushi)
- On-going personal goal for the last 2+ years- to not put anything into my mouth that I wouldn’t put into the mouth of my child… he gets it eventually through my milk (or even faster through the umbilical cord when I was pregnant) so I am always trying to be conscious of what I’m eating!!!
It seems like a lot, I know but it’s been gradual changes over almost 5 years that have brought us to this point. The only real hard and fast rule we follow when eating out or with others is that baby J and I have to eat gluten free.
I encourage you to take a good look at what you’re eating and how it’s being prepared and feel free to ask me for more info. If I can find time to cook this way as a working mom with a toddler anyone can!!!