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Always hungry...

I haven't always had a great diet: way too much sugar, not enough vegetables.  Never really thought about it too much as I was able to maintain a fairly light frame through exercise and ignored the less obvious issues.  I did used to get ridiculously hungry and woe betide those near me when I had a sugar low.  Then three big events happened; I got pregnant so providing a home for a growing baby makes you think, then we moved to California and it brought the extremes of nutrition to the forefront, and finally I developed severe hip issues.  My diet is now many worlds away from where I began, and I think my previous self would be very impressed/surprised at where I have got to.  I'm really interested in the changes that are in my future, I am enjoying this wisening (wizening) morphing growing process.

Where I am right now is vegetarian; at home we eat a diet high in organic vegetables, high in fats and low in sugar, practically all homemade.  I love fermenting foods. I aim that all the dairy and eggs we eat are secured from organic farms which care deeply for the well being of their animals.  I envisage a move to eating nothing animal produced from a farmed environment, but that is a future goal...

Some of the various food challenges I have attempted over the last few years that have led me to the here.

  • 5-2, Did this to support husband, made me totally re-evaluate signs of hunger versus signs of boredom.

  • Gluten free - tried to see if this was aggravating my eczema/psoriasis, stopped because morning sickness only allowed me to want gluten!

  • Paleo - Whole 30 - Loved this, but hard when rest of family not on board and I was only 2 weeks post-partum at the onset, totally reset the way I looked at limits, rather than the mindset of all the things I wasn't allowed I started to focus on the very many things I could have, eye opening!

  • Sugar-Free Month - Did this October 17, thought this would be horrendously difficult, in fact it was utterly liberating. I have endeavoured to follow it ever since but that is hard especially in social situations, so I have better boundaries.  I tend to only eat dark chocolate, or homemade cakes biscuits etc.  Its all about reaching a happy medium!

  • Vegetarian - I had always been the carnivore, but the ability to enjoy it against the ethics and ecological issues has become harder and harder.  I was the kid that went to the charcuterie and spent my pocket money on slice of jambon du pays not sweets, but although my taste buds haven't changed that much my mind has. I turned vegetarian on January 1st 2018 and had only had a few minor slips.  Mostly when someone hadn't known my new status or very occasionally when I couldn't bear to see food from my children's' plate go in the bin.

  • Vegan week - I think I would love to be vegan, the week was far easier than I envisioned, it is a work in progress, I am becoming more deliberate and considered in the dairy/eggs I consume.  I still eat fish but ideally I would only eat wild fish caught sustainably, or the amazing Mussels we ate the other day that husband collected from the rock pools on Pedn and whipped into an instant Marinere.

  • No fish or seafood - I have been thinking about this for the last year and a half of being vegetarian, I love eating fish, smoked salmon was up on the pedestal with cured ham as my favourite foods, but combination of not wanting to inflict harm upon creatures, or be party to the damaging nature of large scale fishing, and the unpleasant measures many fish farms employ the only answer was removal from my diet.  I chose my 40th birthday to be the change date, I work best to deadlines.

I love how these changes have totally transformed the joy I get from my diet,  I previously only saw deprivation in following holistic eating, but I realise that I was a bit mentally imprisoned by warped messages from food industry that doesn't care about health and a health industry that doesn't care about food.

Big thanks for nudges etc along the way to LibJ, LivSH, PipTat, ShazG, DolS, EWillis, CherieArr, JKiss, LEcker, CRh, TLowe&CWell, C&DSandz, SaGadere, LBart, HKnig, JuliaP and Bear... lovers of foods and changers of boundaries!

Also

Riverford, Hugh Fearnly-W amongst others

Michael Pollen, Nourishing Minimalism,

The Weston Price website

Found this from Ocean Robbins' website which mirrors much of my core principles!

 

 

Core Principles

 

  • Eat less sugar and processed junk.

  • Eat less animal products, especially when they come from factory farms.

  • Eat more whole plant foods.

  • Conscious sourcing.

  • It matters where your food comes from, it matters how it was produced, it matters if it was genetically engineered, or saturated with neurotoxic pesticides, or full of hormones and antibiotics, or if it was produced in a clean way with respect for the earth and respect for your health.

 

Steps Towards Progress

  1. Clear out your cupboards.

  2. Make a good shopping list of some healthy stuff and fill your cupboards and your fridge with good stuff that’s actually healthy.

  3. Find some recipes that are healthy, that are wholesome, that are nourishing.

  4. Create safety nets by having healthy foods available at all times, that are ready to go.

 

Tips for Eating Healthy

  • The most expensive calories you will ever eat are the ones that make you sick.

  • The second most expensive calories that we ever consume are the ones that we waste because we don’t eat them, because they’re excess calories.

    • The average American is eating about 500 calories a day too much.

  • We want to steer clear of excess restaurants, because a lot of eating out costs a premium.

  • Go organic with the dirty dozen.

    • The most pesticide-contaminated foods, according to Environmental Working Group are what they call the “Dirty Dozen.”

    • The Environmental Working Group has what they call the “Clean 15,” which are the foods that are the least pesticide-contaminated.

  • Cooking in quantity

    • When you’re stressed out, you’re more likely to eat out, you’re more likely to grab convenience foods. 

    • Don’t ever just make one meal at a time, at least with your staples.

  • Pay it forward and prepare. 

  • Cook extra for people you love in your community.

 

Why Healthy Food Costs More

  • We actually have a government subsidy system in place right now, where the US taxpayer, we subsidize junk food with tens of billions of dollars a year, subsidizing what’s called commodities crops. 

    • Twinkies

    • Wonder Bread

    • High-fructose corn syrup

    • Factory-farmed meat

    • Corn

    • Soy

    • Wheat

  • If an organically-certified farmer wants to get that certification, they’ve got to pay for the regulatory burden in order to be certified. And somebody who’s dousing their field with pesticides doesn’t have as much of a regulatory burden as the organic farmer, who’s doing the right thing. 

 

CSA

  • Community-Supported Agriculture

  • Every week, we get a big order of whatever the farm has available.

 

Humane Food Sources

  • If you’re going to eat meat, then better meat.

  • Make sure it’s coming from pasture-raised or grass-fed animals.

    • Organic means that an animal was not given hormones or antibiotics and was fed organic feed. It doesn’t mean it lived humanely.

    • Chickens

      • A regular bird might have been given 1 square foot.

      • A cage-free bird might be given 1 ½ square feet. 

      • Free-range might be 2 ½ square feet. 

      • Pasture-raised means 108 square feet.

    • Grass-fed means cows actually ate grass instead of grain and soybeans, which inherently means they have to be outside.

  • From an environmental resource standpoint, meat takes more resources, because any time you move up the food chain, animals need a certain amount of calories that they have to consume, and they’re going to produce less calories, because some of it’s going to go to hoof and hide and bone and energy the animal uses to move, and manure.

    • There’s a certain amount of grazing lands that are growing grass, and well-managed livestock can graze on that land sustainably when it’s done in certain ecosystems.

  • The factory farming system is profoundly cruel. Animals are being pumped full of hormones and antibiotics just to keep them alive under despicable conditions.

  • USDA organic certification

  • Fish

    • A lot of our fish is coming from farms.

    • It takes five pounds of seafood to make one pound of a farmed fish. 

    • They’re putting antibiotics into the water, so the fish don’t die. 

    • They’re adding pink color to farmed salmon’s water so that it won’t be grey because they’re not feeding it its natural diet. 

    • There are some farms that are doing things better, but it’s not regulated right now.

 

Is There Hope?

  • Food is changing, and we get to be a part of it.

  • As bad as things are, that’s how much better they can be with a change. 

  • Sales of organic food, sales of non-GMO food, sales of natural foods, are all skyrocketing.

  • Community-supported agriculture programs are growing.

  • Farmer’s markets are growing.

  • More and more people care where that food comes from, how it was produced.

  • Young people are starting to take an interest in growing food again. More and more kids are getting involved in growing food.

  • In the United States, we’ve had a steady decline in the number of farms in America over the course of the last century. In the last few years, that’s started to tip back the other way.

  • There are more and more community gardens, more and more church gardens, more and more school gardens. 

  • When you make a healthier food choice for yourself, you actually start to redirect your dollars, and you start to change the way food is grown, there becomes a higher demand for that healthier food, and then farmers start to plant different crops, and more farmers get with the program.

  • The food industry is changing as well. These companies are having to diversify. The way they’re doing it, interestingly enough, is by buying up the natural foods industry.

 

Giving Back

  • Trees for The Future

    • “We actually fund the planting of an organic food or nut tree in a low-income community with every single product we ever sell.” ~Ocean

 

One Last Word

“Food matters. So, make every bite count.”

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