March 17, 2008

Finding Balance

All perfectionists reading this please raise your hand. LOL. Just kidding there :)

I'm sure that no one else gets uptight about following a plan perfectly like me, and then getting upset when life interrupts and mars the 'perfectness'. Ain't no such thing as perfect unless you are a tad psycho :)

Finding balance in life is not easy. Finding the right balance of eating in a way that tastes good, is health giving and easy on the budget is hard. I'm still working on that one myself. I think first you have to figure what your goal is. Are you sick? Do you just want to get healthier and establish healthy habits for your children? Are you trying to lose weight? Name your goal and then plan around it according to tastes and budget.

A lot of people have been reading the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. As I said before I first started reading it two years ago. (I have finally finished it-it is over 700 pages, most are recipes) So what is all the hype about this book? Well, it's about observing what people have traditionally eaten in the past before food became processed and noting how healthy they were. For instance, several tribes in Africa live off of raw goat milk, blood and some meat. In our Western culture, this would seem a recipe for heart disease and death. Yet these people are strong and beautiful and healthy. Dr. Weston Price traveled all over the world finding people who had no access to modern foods and noted how perfect their teeth were. (he was a dentist) He wrote book called Nutrition and Physical Regeneration, which was the basis of Nourishing Traditions.

So what is traditional food? Organic produce and whole grains, quality full fat meats, raw dairy products, lots of fermented foods and broths. In the front of the book there are several pages proving the deception of low fat eating. Quality fat is good for you- our brains particularly need good fat (omega 3 and fish oil) and our guts. What are the good fats? Believe it or not the saturated fats are the most nutritious to our bodies. I know, I know, it sounds completely wrong, but the research is there. So instead of margarine, canola oil and 2% milk, we need butter, virgin coconut and olive oils and full fat preferably raw milk and dairy products. Much of the book also goes into properly preparing grains as a way of pre-digesting them so the nutrients are more available to our body. Also many things are fermented the traditional way- it sits at room temperature for three days!!!! Red flags going up!!

"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God..." 1 Corinthians 3:19

Guess what, I make fermented saurkraut, kefir, yogurt etc. and no one has gotten sick :) I hate canned sauerkraut, but this homemade stuff is great. So, it's just a matter of being open to new things.

I am going into all of this because for me personally, I cannot do everything that that book tells me I need to do. I don't have time or resources or money for all of it. But I pick and choose what I feel is most important for us, what I have time for and what I can afford. If I feel something is really worth it that is more expensive (like raw goat milk) then I subtract something else and make a way for it to work. There are some things that I used to do that I don't anymore and there are some new things that I do now.

For instance, I used to make kombucha, a fermented beverage made from tea, every week. I dropped it. We never drank it fast enough and I felt making kefir would be much more beneficial to us. Now I make kefir, yogurt and have sourdough starter. I used to make chicken stock regularly, but lately haven't made time for it. I am making it a point to soak all my whole grains and whole grain flours before cooking, whereas before I didn't always do that. Now I at least plan to do it, even if it doesn't happen :) What works for me may not work for you. Many may find the whole Nourishing Traditions lifestyle too overwhelming and do something else.

We all know that eating plenty fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and quality meats are the healthy way to go. So if everything I'm talking about seems like too much, just make little changes and stick with something simple. That is what I did. I made small changes over time until I was ready to commit totally to cooking and eating this way. Now it is second nature to me. I couldn't not do what I do-I've prayed about it and I really feel God's direction in how we eat. It just takes some forethought.

So, does this make sense? I have floods of information coming in my brain and it's hard to get it all out the way I want.

Lately I am contemplating putting myself on a special eating plan. The problem with that is then I am constantly thinking about food and my restrictions. I don't want to be doing that, but I do need to think about it some. So here is what I've been thinking of doing:

1 meal a day should be all raw for cleansing and healing purposes
Reduce, reduce sugar, even good sugar for awhile
reduce carbs a bit
drink more water

So maybe for breakfast I would eat oatmeal, soaked overnight of course, with raw honey and coconut oil and some fruit. I don't usually snack in the morning, but I should be drinking more water then. Lunch could be a big salad, some more fruit and if very hungry make a kefir smoothie. (technically it is raw) Dinner could be whatever I'm feeding the family, but maybe a smaller portion. If I do it all day, then my reward could be some dark chocolate and nuts or something. I would allow tea and coffee too. Or I could do eggs and fruit in the morning. Just what I'm thinking about.
This way I'm meeting daily nutritional needs as well as lowering the amount of cooked foods I eat and hopefully will burn more calories than I eat, thus resulting in weightloss hopefully. If I start craving things, then I'll just pray real hard :) We'll see, I can't do anything till after Easter-too busy with Good Friday prep and stuff!!! Trying not to freak out...ahhhhh!


MAMA said...

"The problem with that is then I am constantly thinking about food and my restrictions"

What you said there is true!! I find I just cant do restriction for more than a little while. It almost seems that I start out doing it for health and somewhere, secretly it turns into "if only I could just loose weight"!!! So what is more important health or do i just wanna look good? If society preffered a chubbier woman would I bother with special dies????
Yet helath is important...especially if you're not feeling well....
sorry just thinking out loud here. I want good motives and I want a "plan" I can love and stick with and get healthy from.

Thirdtimemomma said...

In the season I am in super healthy nutrition/diet is not on my mind at all. We eat whole grains, mostly homemade breads, fresh fruits and veggies with every meal (usually raw) and whole milk (cant afford raw or hormone free, though I did find a brand that doesnt use the horrid cancer causeing hormone).. I guess what im saying is, eat to live, not live to eat. Or eat to serve the Father not eat to have a long life. WE must be wise stewards of our bodies (temples) but we must also be wise stewards of our time.. And if I am consumed (which I have been in the past) with serving the most healthful meal and I have no time to share my Messiah with those around me than good health and a prolonged exsistance is of no use to me..

Okay Im thinking out loud. :)

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you could tell us or show us how you soak your grains/oats etc...? I feel the same and AMEN everything you said. Do you still make your own bread? And what is kefir? What conainers and kitchen tools/things would I need to start implenting a more NT way of eating?

Thanks so much, i have found your site so very helpful and such an encourgaement to me. i have 4 children and im looking for that balance of healthy but duable in our life as wee live for the Lord! =) Thanks so much!

In Christ,
Momto4blessings =)

Anneatheart said...

Yes I agree thirdtimemomma- if I am so consumed with cooking and eating perfectly, and have a snobbish outlook on anyone who doesn't eat healthy, then I am missing the purpose of my existence. I have thought about lessening the 'workload' as far as cooking goes, but I just can't stop.It would feel wrong, and honestly, it doesn't take that much more time than just cooking from scratch. Like I said, there are some things I have dropped for the time being, and new things that I do now. I enjoy it and it's not taking away time from my family. Whatever works for you is the goal.