Wednesday, May 4

starting the journey - traditional foods

About a year ago, a friend of mine was working her Pampered Chef table at our local Taste of Home Cooking Show and was providentially placed next to an Amish farmer who was advertising CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares for the season. She thought it sounded like something I'd be interested in, so she grabbed a couple of flyers. The rest is history. A history that I've been starting to blog and running out of time - so here's a short, very condensed version.

As I was filling out the forms, writing my letter (that I had to send in the mail - gasp! that took some getting used to!) and recruiting people to join the group to cut down on the gas costs, I noticed some fine print on the bottom of the page - "herd shares are available for those interested in raw milk, butter, and cream." Being the curious person that I am, I sat down at the computer to search for the answers to my sudden questions - what is a herd share, why do you need one and what is the benefit of raw milk? To make a very long story somewhat shorter, I found the Real Milk website, and through the farmer, was introduced to our local chapter leader for the Weston A Price Foundation. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I picked up produce share boxes for the rest of the summer, and as summer wore on, tried raw dairy and came off again at the recommendation of my nutritionist - my system wasn't ready for dairy of ANY kind yet - and then went back on. By the end of the summer, I was bringing back herd shares for 6 families. We'd purchased pastured fryer chickens from the farm, I was getting soy-free pastured eggs, farm fresh butter, and we were looking at making some changes in our diet. Since then, the route has grown. There are 20 families in our group, and I bring back herd shares each week. Raw dairy has been awesome for us.

We've also switched to a more traditional diet in some other ways - adding in traditional fats like butter, olive and coconut oil, taking out most other vegetable oils like corn and canola. *Trying* to cut out refined sugar and a lot of things we'd been eating that are in packages. Eating more meat products (yes, I said more) that are pasture raised, antibiotic free, fed things they were created to be fed. Fruits and vegetables that are local when possible, organic or pesticide free when possible. In other words, more traditional.

We are still on the journey - the BEGINNING of the journey. A friend and I were recently chatting about how food preferences can quickly get out of hand - and become an idol in your heart. She mentioned that when God provides something for her family, she is learning that it is pride for her to turn that down or throw it out because it doesn't meet her high standards of acceptable food. I can see her point, especially after my interactions with some super food snobs. :-) Balance is key, right?

In fact, while you will find large tubs of several kinds of coconut oil at our house, raw milk in our fridge and pastured beef in the freezer, you'll also find some tortilla chips and processed american cheese, coffeemate in the fridge door, boxed cereal in our pantry and mini snickers bars stuck way up in the back of the top shelf. I made gluten free pasta last night from a box. And added pastured ground beef. Irony, yes. Progress? Also yes.

This summer I am hoping to try a few new things - like making homemade lacto-fermented pickles (again) and cutting out even more of our processed go-to items. I'm really wanting to try sourdough bread (hoping gluten is soon a GO for me) and I'm definitely looking forward to our produce shares starting up again. We all do better when fresh veggies are delivered to our door - a new box each week to hurry and use up.

If you are interested in learning more about how traditional eating can benefit you, here are a few links to get you started.

Fat Head (a good place to start - some very good animations about cholesterol and diabetes)
Why Butter is Better (and there are more great articles on this site)
Real Milk (keep clicking the links down the left sidebar to learn more)

I'm quite sure that more of you are also on this journey, and have more great resources also - please feel free to share your experiences and resources in the comment section. I will remove nasty comments so - fair warning! :-)


LMLogan said...

very very interesting - seriously! what did the doc think of using "raw" milk products while pregnant? I should read up more on this :) btw - where are those preggo pics? :) post some pics on the milk,butter, stuff too!

Ben and April said...

We started our journey to eating the way you described several years ago. We love real milk and have a hard time drinking any conventional milk now. When you start reading and changing your thinking about the food industry and what is truly healthy for us, it is hard not to change your eating habits.

I grew up in a skim milk, low-fat home, fat-free home, so we have come a long way : ) Our goal is to try to eat as healthy as possible in our home. We do use packaged foods generally from Whole Foods so they are a better option.
And we eat out on a regular basis : )

Sounds like your journey is off to a great start!

TwoMuths said...

Lindsay - my doctor doesn't know - didn't ask - but my midwife is fine with it. :-) I haven't been able to stomach the milk very much lately - what a weird pregnancy this is! You and Scott should definitely watch the movie - some very interesting info in there. A great place to start.

Thanks, April! :-) I wish there was a Whole Foods near us - so jealous! :-)

christina said...

jenny-- i think this is GREAT! i am going to send my sister a link to your blog b/c she is really overhauling her family's food as well.

what i appreciate most is that you call it traditional foods. i have been slow to get on the "organic" train b/c i feel that it became trendy and not necessarily healthy. some companies use the phrase "made with organic ingredients" but as a whole the product…well.. rots. :)

balance, balance, balance… i love it. thanks for the resources. :)

Shyla said...

We have been using Raw milk for a few years now. i "drank it" (read: put it on my cereal - i have never drank milk.) I have been in the process of simplifying our lifestyle in a lot of ways - and this is one of them (eating whole, unprocessed foods.) i'll be interested in reading your links.

Alicia said...

Thanks for sharing your thought process and links. LOVE Fathead. Good good stuff. I've been on the more protein less sugar road for a while now but it's seriously hard for me to implement the changes in this carb-loving family! I'm hoping to at least try making some of our go-to munchies (i.e. crackers, chips) so that we can get the processed junk OUT. What's extra hard for me is not that the making from scratch is difficult it just takes so much time when added up. I have to really stay on top of making homemade granola bars and keeping the veggies cut up in our veggie tray or else when we get the munchies we've got no viable healthy options. :(

RIGHT ON about the balanced mindset. Especially when it comes to food issues -- they can be ridiculously distracting from what's truly important in light of eternity. And the food issues are so heavily promoted in the media in our age that it's easy to let it become an all-consuming religion.

Shelley said...

I'm a fan of real food.

Tim and Richelle said...

can't wait to read more as you share what sorts of things you notice and the impact these changes have on your family and health... as you know, we are on a similar journey. unfortunately, no amish farmers nearby for us. :-)

one of my friends i was talking to recently asked me the question about lifestyle differences and using more traditional "cholesterol laden" fats but a significantly more sedentery lifestyle. have you come across anything dealing with that question?

Rosemary said...

What a great option for 'city folks'. Hopefully your blog will get more people interested in 'real food'. Amazing how much the chemical companies and food manufacturers can get away with in the interest of the $$$. Next step: getting a place for your family where you can grow your own 'real food', play on 'real grass' and breath 'real air'. :D

TwoMuths said...

Aunt Rosemary - ABSOLUTELY! We hope and pray that is part of God's plan for our family for sure! :-) I'd love to have a bigger garden than 2 x 6. :-D

Carrie said...

I really enjoyed this post and plan to link to it on my blog soon, if that's OK! We are very slowly working our way toward more traditional foods, too. Unfortunately we are hampered by the expense factor right now, but hopefully not forever. :) I am hoping to learn more about sourdough this summer when I have time to fiddle with it. I have a friend who I can get some good starter from. Passionate Homemaking is one blog where there is quite a bit of traditional/nourishing/healthy living and food ideas and recipes . . . another one that I enjoy (which is currently doing a series on sourdough) is Home Joys. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey--thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that almost everyone I know that is trying to make these changes is not doing so on a lark or a journey of self-aggrandisement. It is typically a path tried out of frustration/desperation with the status quo and the health/sickness it provides. And people are sticking with it and working on it once they get a taste of it. Hmmm.

Five years ago, if I'd seen myself today, I would've thought all natural "stuff" was overboard and misguided. However, we want to stick with "better" (healed skin, almost stopped leg pain, etc.) for our family now that we're seeing results.

Passionate Homemaking has a good post about letting natural living become an idol. --Cindy