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Our Real Food Journey…So Far

September 9, 2010

I am submitting this post to the Healthy Home Economist‘s Monday Mania – thanks for hosting this carnival, Sarah!

I wish I could say that we’re in a great place in our real food journey, but the perfectionist in me knows that we’re not in a great place yet, but we’re getting there.

It all began a few years ago when I went into a small health food store in the city where I grew up. I forget now what it was that I went in to ask for, but the owner explained that he didn’t carry it, and pointed me to the Nourishing Traditions cookbook he did have. Intrigued, my Mum and I bought the book. I read it, decided that no one could ever possibly follow this way of eating – or rather, way of living – and proceeded to allow it to collect dust on my bookshelf for a few years. If only I had not done that…imagine where our health could be today!! But alas, in the wake of some health challenges a few years later, I pulled it out again, dusted it off, and decided to give it a try.

Since then, here are the things we’ve been able to implement in our home (note that these things go beyond just food choice and preparation – body care, and household care are part of the same journey!):

  • We have a cow share, which gives us access to clean, delicious raw milk, as well as cheese and cream (started this about 2 years ago)
  • We buy our chickens from a local farm that raises them on pasture (we pre-order 30 every year now)
  • We buy our eggs from that same farm whenever we can
  • We buy local grass-fed beef in smallish (but still bulk) orders, including liver and bones for broth
  • Our pantry is a safe-zone: no fake oils, just the real ones, no prepared foods or sauces – in fact, my pantry is about two measly little shelves – at some point, I’ll post a picture of my pantry and outline what we keep in there
  • I am in the habit of soaking my oatmeal overnight  (if I haven’t done so, I won’t boil oats in the morning for breakfast, I just have something else)
  • I am in the habit of making bone broths, chicken broth in particular, beef broth less so, but have done it before. I make large batches and freeze it for future use.
  • I’m getting into the swing of kombucha-making. So far, the jury is still out. Updates to follow.
  • I’ve made whey (can’t wait to start using it in lots of fermented goodies!) and cream cheese (total flop – details to follow) from my clabbered raw milk, and today I attempted panacotta from raw cream (still setting in the fridge).
  • We try to take our fermented green pasture cod liver oil, but I have the least success with this. My husband takes it straight up without any hesitation. I gag even when I just smell it (I used to be able to take it straight too, but ever since I tried to take it while newly pregnant, there is always some gagging involved in getting it down for me). Naomi takes hers quite nicely, in a little bottle with a bit of expressed milk.
  • We’ve never had a microwave. I’ve not used a microwave for any cooking since 2005, and even before that, it was used minimally.
  • I try to store food in glass in the fridge. Some day, when I accumulate enough glass storage containers, I’d like to relegate the plastic tupperware-type container collection to something like Naomi’s crafts or other household organization uses.
  • I use a shower filter made by Jonathan Water which my lovely Aunts were kind enough to purchase for me for my birthday a couple years back. I love my filtered shower water!!
  • I don’t have any white sugar or processed flours in the house any longer. Or any prepared snacks or treats of any kind. Lately my go-to snack when I have a craving for something bad is a thin slice of toast (bread made from just rye flour salt and water), with lots of butter on it, and sometimes a bit of unsweetened peanut butter on top of that, or local honey
  • I made a vow recently (not a solemn one, and only with myself) not to allow any more toxins into this house. So, I’m using non-toxic laundry and dishwasher soaps (EXCELLENT products), and have started making a few of my own basic cleaners. Ideally, I’d like my cleaning product arsenal to just include vinegar, baking soda, essential oils,and hydrogen peroxide.

Also, I should note here a little more about myself: I am picky. My food needs to taste really, really good for me to go to all this trouble. And my house needs to be really clean despite the lack of high-powered mass-market cleaners. And my clothes need to be really clean. And I need to smell good even without heavily-perfumed toxin-laden body care products. If things I try don’t meet my high standards, I’ll be giving them the thumbs-down here, and trying something else.

So there you have it. That is all I can think of in terms of the changes we have made so far. Next time I’ll post on where I’d like to take this journey next.

Where are you at in your real food journey? What’s next on your to-do list?

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