Thursday, July 18, 2013

eating a wee bit better- 7 quick takes

Paleo, gluten-free, vegan, meat-free, food sensitivities- it all seems a bit 'First-World Problem,' doesn't it? I can't open Facebook without feeling a wee bit guilty that my children have some fat in their diet that isn't coconut-based. It seems luxurious to insist that all our food is local, organic, really is enough to drive me crazy. And then- put my lupus (no tomatoes!) and chronic fatigue (no fat!) into the mix as well as Eastern Christian fasting (no meat!) I'm just going to 'eat a wee bit better' and we'll see where that takes us (if you click on my 'food' label, I am probably repeating and/or contradicting earlier posts):
1. One example of eating a 'wee bit better' will make all those foodies out there in internet-land cringe. I had a box of cherry jello. Yes, jello. A healthy mama would throw it out, but I decided to use it. I dissolved the 'devil's powder' with two cups of boiling water like the instructions say. Then, I added two cups of plain whole yogurt instead of two cups of cold water. I added a large carton of hulled and quartered strawberries as well as a pint of blueberries and two bananas. Because I didn't add sweetener to the fruit, the dessert was just sweet enough. I made some real whipped cream, barely sweetened but with extra vanilla (of course. I usually triple the amount). It made a fine dessert to celebrate our first daughter's 14th (!) birthday.
2. I think I have written about this...but I have gotten a lot of success with getting my young children to eat raw vegetables (cooked vegetables of all kinds have never been problematic) by dicing and grating the ingredients into a salad. They eat a lot more of the veggies than when I used larger pieces. Using cute, small bowls is also helpful. I dress salads immediately before serving with a simple homemade dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. I would like to get more ambitious with my dressings; does anybody have some winning recipes for a blue cheese dressing?
3. We recently visited my parents for a little summer vacation. Besides her large kitchen and my dad's delicious morning coffee (I don't bother to make my own at home...there is something about me that makes lousy coffee...I just drink black tea in the morning), I drooled over their refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom. This means that the fridge stuff- that you use much more than the frozen portion- is at eye level. My mom's fridge is so clean and it seems that nothing goes to waste. My next refrigerator is going to be like this! I'm sure that actually seeing what is available to eat would make our family eat a wee bit better.
4. I don't have any kombucha in the house, but I do gravitate towards a 'Nourishing Traditions' style of eating...except who can eat so much liver? I have begun soaking my beans, oats, rice and quinoa overnight as a nod to this great cookbook. Baby steps...and I have upped my consumption of apple cider vinegar.
5. I'm sure I have recommended these books before, but Love Soup and Twelve Months of Monastary Soups get me through the fasting times. I just cannot live on peanut butter and jam sandwiches...also- I can't get enough of Trader Joe's low sodium Garden Patch (V-8) juice...
6. My super-big goal in terms of food? I would love to purchase a Vitamix blender and a small freezer for the garage/homeschool room/family room
7. I also get my local CSA fruit and vegetable box every week which forces me to be original and flexible in my cooking...this is a huge help and I encourage anyone with a similar possibility to sign up!


  1. There are times I wonder if I'm too independent. That aside, I had gone through the Paleo movement/community. There's a lot out there which would put a lot of undue pressure on people. There's a call for perfection, but not an insistent demand, on it - nor should there be, as it's not at the hear of the movement.

    That aside, I did struggle a little, given how I was already in the mix of doing the whole Paleo/Primal thing, as I getting into Eastern Christianity.

    Main thing was the fasting. But, honestly, it was the best thing, for me. Normally, people are to ask or consult a priest, or someone who'd guide them as to how strictly a person was to follow the regimen, starting off.

    In my personal fashion, I tend to dive whole body in; and so I had to learn how to live without my daily dependence on protein/fat/veggies. It was a metanoia, of sorts; and it still is.

    I certainly almost fell into the danger of letting the diet/lifestyle be my God.

  2. About letting the food and lifestyle be our God- YES! And it seems that only rich Western countries have this problem....

  3. I got a CSA box last month and it felt like an achievement to use all the veggies before they went bad! I'm cheap though, so this month I just looked up what's in the box and bought it myself. It's not organic or local, but it's veggies so it counts.

    Yes, all these particular diets ARE a bit irritating. Especially the facebook-preachy ones.

  4. We have given the Twelve Months of Monastery Soups as Christmas presents. Great book!

  5. My MIL swears by her vitamix - good luck with all your food adventures!

  6. This is great to read; I can very much relate! Especially over feeling guilty that my kids aren't eating perfectly, and then feeling guilty that maybe I'm making healthful eating an idol. However, it is a First World Problem--we have too much access to food, and to junk food, so it makes sense it's an issue to figure out the balance. I am trying to get used to liver too. It's a Perfect Health Diet super-food. :)

    1. About husband loves! I need to cook it more....


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