Sunday, January 2, 2011

"oats, peas, beans, and barley too!" (old song my Grammy used to sing to us)

lately, i've been conducting a boatload of research on food/health stuff. it's part hobby, part serious. okay, mainly serious but the science/art/beauty behind FOOD is pretty darn fascinating! we are making SLOW changes to fit our lifestyle/family and praying about how the Lord would have us to not make it a legalistic (ie. never touching sweets over the holidays...i mean, really, who does that??) or even something that we are necessarily known by (because, ultimately, if we are children of God, we are NOT defined by what we eat but who we are in Christ).

with all that said, 2011 appears to hold a few further changes in the way of eating. well, let me back up a bit first. having since begun eating more whole foods (we really began making the changes after watching a certain documentary listed below), my hormones have really steadied themselves out (thank you, Lord!), my skin now glows (no more acne) my hair is thicker, i have way more energy, and i just feel better overall. Luke has often said how different he feels when we eat more 'junky' food or foods that are not nutrient dense and as close to their natural state as possible. i have to agree with him.

okay, now about the additional changes...

first, i tend to be VERY intense when working on something. be it photography-related bookkeeping and/or research, playing around with graphic design stuff, editing client sessions, working outside the home part-time, cleaning, etc etc...i actually forget to eat & drink. no lie. Luke has to remind me to drink water, especially. i can't believe i'm admitting this! so the first change i feel i need to commence is making sure i stay hydrated with water and eating whole, nutrient dense foods throughout the day.

secondly, i am bad about breakfast. it needs to be more substantive and consistent. enough said.

thirdly, i gravitate to carbs WAY more than protein. honestly, i don't think i eat enough protein or 'good' fats. so i bought some canned wild-caught salmon, eggs, cottage cheese, unprocessed cheddar cheese, and (still need to get) avacados. we do cook with olive oil, organic butter, and coconut oil so that's good. protein just seems 'heavy' for me or something. fruit, crackers, and bread (all carbs) just seem so much more accessible. don't get me wrong, fruits are essential and totally healthy (obviously). umm, Lizzy, can you say 'rabbit trail'...?

moving friend told me about how she's begun canning. she has two small children, a cottage industry, and a hubby who works out of town a lot. that said, canning totally intimidates me but i suppose i have no excuse! ;) we shall see what happens (if anything) on that front this year...

now, about soaking grains and all that kind of stuff. that kinda overwhelms me too. but again, i have another very talented friend who has FOUR going on FIVE kids and she soaks all her grains, bakes her own bread, etc etc. she even makes her own mayonnaise! she's amazing! okay, i guess i can look into that stuff too. (more about the benefits of soaking legumes, oats, grains below).

baking my own bread. now that's a notion. but every time i've tried to make wheat bread, it's been dry and hard. any suggestions out there?? i think i'll ask this question HERE, too.

we don't really have any good CSA's in our immediate area, so i've decided we will purchase the bulk of our produce from local farmer's markets and produce stands (in this region of the country, thankfully, there are lots!). i found a great health food store, Nature's Food Patch, just down the street from where i work. i also found ONE person who distributes grass fed beef @ a decent price in St. Pete's. and a distributor of free range eggs and Amish cheese in the next town over. Raw Honey in another neighboring town. so that's all going swimmingly (after HOURS of research, i might add! geesh!).

and i just discovered an essential oils/herbs shop right next door to where i work! yippie!

i totally don't expect anyone to read this post, especially in its entirety. it was really more for my sake to 'get it all out' on (cyber) paper and OFF my mind for a bit - all things food-related were getting just a little too crammed up there in the ol' noggin!

for those interested, below are some helpful links/resources.
more fun ramblings about food later!

DISCLAIMER: i don't necessarily agree with EVERYTHING in these 'food' books or on these 'food' sites. so please investigate for yourself -if interested -and take it all with a grain of salt. no pun intended! :)

Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (very informative and eye-opening)

Real Food for Mother & Baby by Nina Planck (read it, loved it)

Real Food by Nina Planck (have not read this one yet)

Perfect 10 Diet by Michael Aziz, M.D. (have not read it but my one sister has and she claims to have really benefitted from it in her overall health)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (own it, read half, need to finish. beautifully written and informative. however, i don't agree with evolutionary/mother earthish standpoint.)

Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (have not read it. probably will at some point)

Earth to Table by Jeff Crump & Bettina Schormann
(click HERE) ~ let's just say I REALLY want this for my birthday! any takers?? ;)

Food, Inc. (it just might change the way you look @ food)

Green Monster Movement (we love greens and smoothies around here)

Green Pasture (our parents' generation took Cod Liver oil for a reason! ;)

Weston A. Price Foundation (talks about the necessity of GOOD fats and other great stuff)

Spinach Tiger (good stock recipe)

The Nourishing Gourmet (very informative, yet easy to read)

101 Cookbooks (love this one!)

Passionate Homemaking (just great, great, great)

...and some more to the left of this post under 'sites i read'.

(note about the following: i've either read or watched all of this stuff. not just randomly finding things to post!)

~ about soaking grains: click HERE.

~ benefits of coconut oil (and its many uses): click HERE.

~ clarification over 'natural', 'organic', etc when it comes to poultry: click HERE.

~ what about BEEF?: click HERE and HERE.

~ plain old butter is better: click HERE and HERE.

~ what does BPA stand for anyway and what's all the fuss about?: click HERE.

~ isn't Aspartame so sweet? what about all other sugars?? well...yes and NO: click HERE.

~ gimme an H, gimme an F, gimme a C, gimme an S. what does that spell? TROUBLE! click HERE.

THIS was really cute and actually quite informative! the littlest girl @ the end is too cute!
go homeschoolers! :)
THIS is a bit dramatic but informative about the hidden dangers within processed foods
and other controversial stuff.


Isabella Hodge said...

really interesting lizzy! thanks for the info and tips. building a lifestyle that is healthy and wholesome is definitely a process that I'm still in myself. Im looking forward to browsing the sites you listed as i get the time.

wish I could have seen you when you were here for christmas...hope you and luke are doing well!! xoxo

Sarah Scripture said...

Lizzy, I'm curious. You said something about grass-fed beef. What is the advantage of grass-fed beef over any other? If cows are not fed grass, they're fed grain, right? I'm just kind of confused. If you don't have time to answer this question fully, it's ok. :) Hope you guys are doing well! I saw your photography website the other day and LOVE your photos!

Lizzy said...

Sarah, i'll send you a fb inbox - that way, i can send you some links. can't seem to attach them to this comment! :)

Jess said...

I can totally relate to your food research and efforts to be more journey started about 3 years ago due to some health issues. Here are a couple of thoughts. I make my own bread, using a sourdough starter. I was so intimidated until I had to do it as a project for a course I'm doing (more on that in a minute) and found out how easy it is. If you are interested in more info, let me know. I'm also taking 3 courses through Vintage Remedies, a herbalist and holistic school started by a Christian woman. I have finished her Family Herbalist course, which was life changing. I wish I had started it before I had my son a year ago. SO much great information. Soaking grains is really easy, too, and just becomes a habit once you get started. I just had to make changes to our diet slowly and eventually, everything falls into place, though it's never perfect! Oh, one more thing...protein is highly overrated. I learned in my course that we only need 25-40 g a day, which is really easy to get. We eat a Mediterranean style diet and just have meat 2 dinners a week. Anyway, sorry to be so long winded, and if you want any thoughts on the sourdough, I would be happy to pass them along. My hubs loves it and I make it with whole grain fresh ground flour.


Jenny said...

Love-love-love this post!!!! We saw and were equally horrified by Food, Inc. Read the books, saw Joel Salatan (or however you spell his name) speak in person, totally revved up. We actually swung to the vegan end of things for a few months, but it's SO easy to be legalistic and then JUDGMENTAL on top of it about what you're eating and what everyone ELSE is eating. I fell off the wagon entirely when I was pregnant (go figure) and we're moving back onto it recently. I find it totally fascinating to read all the books and watch the documentaries. Great recipes in "The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast" (can't remember the author off the top of my head). I'm not into the 'Daniel Fast,' I just got the book for the great recipes. Keep us posted on what else you learn!!

Lizzy said...

Jess - i would LOVE the sourdough recipe! and thanks for all the info and for commenting :)

Jenny - been there, done that with the whole 'judgmental' thing...still a battle to walk in humility & to be a teachable learner when it comes to stuff like this, but i too find this journey exciting/fascinating and enjoy sharing my findings with others (and so many have been kind enough to share so much with me, too!) glad you were blessed by this post and thanks for commenting. your Levi is one sweetie!!!

Jenny said...

Levi IS a sweetie!!! I could eat HIM!!! I'm so in love. :)

Just wanted to let you know how much fun I'm having clicking thru all your links. When I have some downtime I keep coming back to this post and checking out another little snippet. I made my own "green monster" smoothie for lunch today. :) Thanks for doing all the research. Hoping to watch that sugar lecture soon!