It’s funny. It often happens that as soon as I think I have something figured out, I learn something new, or am inspired in another direction, and I go back to the drawing board. I’ve gone vegan.
JUST KIDDING!!!!!!! That will happen right after I win my second Oscar. After discovering the work of Weston A. Price, nothing could ever convince me that humans are not meant to eat animal foods in abundance (though proper sourcing, which includes humane treatment of the animals, is of utmost importance).
I’m talking about my thoughts on grains, and my priorities for my real food journey. I posted a long while back (here) and again more recently (here) about gearing up to start sprouting, dehydrating and grinding my own grain for things like fresh homemade bread and healthy cold breakfast cereal (because you simply cannot buy healthy cold breakfast cereal in the store – do you know what an extruded grain is?? If you don’t, read this before you pour your next bowl of cereal or eat another “rice cake”).
But – I have been reading a lot about grains recently, including re-reading sources I read long ago but have recently re-discovered. What I am reminded of is that grains are relatively new in the human diet, and that we were leaner, stronger, and healthier before the agricultural revolution occurred. I once spent many months without grains or sugar, and during that time, I felt energetic, I slept well, and I was lean. Since I know that this is what works for me, I need to focus my efforts on getting back to that place, as opposed to spending hours creating healthier versions of things that just aren’t as nutrient dense as other choices are. Plain and simple.
One major thing I have drifted away from recently (while I finished a degree, moved and had a baby) is eating “dinner for breakfast”. There is no reason why “breakfast foods” need to be sweet. It’s a habit, not a requirement. Dinner for breakfast involves re-inventing the morning palate. Real food is real food any time of day. When we were in Thailand a few years back, I remember that in one place we stayed, the Thai breakfast option was a bowl of fish soup with garlic and onions, while the Western option involved pastries with icing. I found that a bit embarrassing at the time!
When I was newly pregnant with our daughter and working crazy hours, my husband made me greens with my eggs every morning (both cooked in lots of butter) for the folic acid in particular, but also for the reason that vegetables are delicious at breakfast too, so long as you involve enough butter, and use unrefined sea salt to taste. Oh, and for the reason that he’s just an amazing guy all round :)
This calls for a re-statement of my real food journey goals. I will no longer be focusing on creating “healthier” versions of unhealthy things (though I am sure I will still do this sometimes). Instead, my new focus will be on creating things that are healthy in themselves, and breaking the vicious cycle of grain and sugar (even natural forms) dependence. I’ve done it before, so I know I can do it again. I can hardly wait to enjoy the tartness of plain yogurt without any maple syrup again. Or to eat a small, simple meal and feel satisfied at the end. These pleasures are missing in a grain-based diet, when the body craves more and more, and the palate’s threshold for sweet tastes only ever climbs. I’m sure I eat fewer grains and sugar than some people, but I have miles to go before I can claim a diet that resembles the pre-agricultural human diet.
My new manifesto with all of this in mind is something I will be pinning up on the kitchen wall:
Failing to Plan = Planning to Fail
Because without a menu plan in hand, a solid food procurement list (‘shopping’ implies making choices at the store, I am talking about intentional, planned food sourcing here), and a ready supply of nourishing snacks, the plan is to fail.
Coming up: my favourite homemade liver pâté recipe, and the next installments in my Urban Fermentation Project….stay tuned….I’m totally rejuvenated after my amazing holiday in England, and excited to get back to the kitchen and make things happen!
Anyone want to join me for some rejuvenated planning efforts this month? Have any tips for planning in general or for saying goodbye to grains and sugar in particular?
Like what you read? Subscribe to my feed or enter your email address in the top right corner so you never miss a post!