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February 8, 2011

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.

Goodbye, crackers! Even if you're homemade...

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?

This post is submitted to Real Food Wednesday and Monday Mania!!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2011 9:56 am

    We started GAPS about a month ago and haven’t really seen many benefits yet. I’m thinking instead of focusing on taking out the bad (Grains) we need to focus on getting in the good (more organ meats, broth and healthy fats). I was eating a lot of dried fruit to stay full at the beginning and my tummy doesn’t seem to like that. Good luck with your journey, I look forward to your updates!

    • February 8, 2011 10:09 am

      Hi Alison,

      Very true. My list of goals includes focusing on organ meats and fermented fare more, but I also had the goal of sprouting/grinding my own flour too, which is what I’m not keeping as a goal any longer. In our house, we’d be hard pressed to eat more bone broth, I think, but we can definitely find ways to get more good fats in! We’re a few days in to avoiding grains and sugar, and I’m finding that eating small meals frequently is the key for me in the transition. We’re not doing GAPS, but following a lot of its wisdom nonetheless. I wonder how long the benefits are supposed to take when adopting a full-GAPS diet. In any case, kudos for the efforts! I sure know that would be a challenge!!

      Thanks for stopping by,

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