Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Stop, breathe, think -- and food comments

I just wrote this to a friend, and it bears posting here.
Time is flying by for me -- every Saturday I stop, breathe, and think, "It's Saturday again already?!?" That's okay. I'm memorizing Latin and poetry along with the boys, and flexing my little-used math mental muscles, and encouraging Son1 through his writing exercises, and learning to write Italic along with the boys as well, and encouraging the boys in their Cub Scout projects and tasks. And we're starting to get more household chores done during the week than we did at first. Yay laundry and homecooked food!

The house needs a good paper-filing and general decluttering session, but we are on-pace with the homeschooling by the end of each week and we still kinda love the whole thing (not the work but the tackling and mastering of things and the aha! from time to time, of course).

Dear husband was more shocked by the appearance of whole milk in our fridge than anything I could say about trying a new approach to what we eat. As I read and think more about this traditional-foods, Nourishing Traditions, no-prepared/little-processed foods approach, I think it's really worth trying. Certainly the low-fat kick I've been on for 15 years has not prevented us from slowly adding fat to our bodies, nor had all of my "healthy" food choices and preparations lowered dear husband's blood pressure or my cholesterol numbers. We're pretty sedentary, but still! It also fits in very, very well with my increasing interest in eating locally produced foods and food that has as little manufactured stuff as possible (pesticides, hormones, herbicides, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, etc.).

So, I'm trying the easy stuff for this family. That is, aiming for a different balance "on the plate" -- protein and a bit of good fat for staying power, and veggie or whole grains to fill the tummy, rather than sweet things (oh my sweet tooth must be tamed!) and leaning heavily on carbohydrates. For me, working toward better portion sizes. Switching to better fats -- little-processed milk products and olive oil, for now. Soaking the whole wheat flour portion for my homemade breads, quick breads, pancakes, etc., to make more digestible the carb-y stuff we like. (Biscuits with half whole wheat, soaked, became the best, lightest, crispest WW biscuits I've ever made -- wow!) One son and I love the crispy almonds (soaked overnight to start the sprouting process, then dried in a slow oven). I am going to try soaking for black beans, rice, and lentils as well. Buying more (most? all?) grass-fed/pastured, organic meat from producers through our co-op, as well as free-range eggs. Working to spend less on packaged foods and fast food, and cook more frugally, as I once did, so we can buy this good stuff.

For more, I wait somewhat impatiently for my interlibrary loan of Nourishing Traditions to show up. My library's copy of the complementary The Maker's Diet is en route. I've found some similarly oriented Web sites for recipes and tips. And I'm keeping a critical eye out for good and bad changes in our bodies, our health, that stuff. Who knows if this will work out well, but I think it won't hurt us, really won't hurt us, to try it.


Phil said...

I hear you on the whole decluttering situation. It's not working well for me... Since I started homeschooling my son, there's little time for me to tackle the messes. By the end of the day I'm worn out, and I just look at it all and think, "Maybe this weekend" and then the weekend comes and we just want to do fun family things.

That's one reason why I'm kind of looking forward to cold weather and snow... It will keep us house-bound and then we'll have to face those piles!

Brian Glass said...

I cooking with Nourishing Traditions as well. It's slowly making a change in me and my family.

I'd like to recommend checking out Sue Gregg's whole grain recipes too. I'd start by trying her blender batter whole grain pancakes or waffles. My kids love them.

See http://suegregg.com

Laura said...

I think clutter comes with homeschooling- at least in our home.

I own Nourishing Traditions but honestly it sits on the bookshelf more than it's used.