Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted here! I had gotten stressed about trying to keep up with blogging here and took a very long break, but lately I’ve been missing it, and wanted to start posting again, if only to keep track of my recipe adaptations.
Since it’s been so long, I wanted to give a brief update and overview on how we’ve been approaching food, especially the changes since I used to post regularly.
My basic food philosophy hasn’t really changed:
God made food good for you. He also gave us creativity and intelligence to be able to cook, combine and improve the food we eat, but as a general rule, the more processed and refined a food is, the more we risk it changing from the way it was meant to be eaten.
I also believe that there’s a range of individual nutritional needs. Some people do better with lots of meat and vegetables and very few starches. Some people have trouble digesting wheat or grains in general, but still need a good amount starches in other forms. Some people have amazing digestions and high energy needs and are able to eat a wide range of foods with little ill effect. Some people need the detoxifying effects of salads and raw vegetables. Some people have an easier time digesting the nutrients in vegetables after cooking.
I also find that my health does better overall when I eat mostly healthy food, but don’t stress about having some ‘splurge’ foods in the mix. For instance, I’m more likely to crave proteins and fats than I am to crave sugars, so if sweet things sound really good to me, I figure there’s a good reason, and I eat something sweet. If I’m having a really tired day (whether because of a flare up of my chronic health problems, or just because of being extra busy), I may feel better by taking a break from cooking and eating take-out instead of expending my energy on making a perfectly healthy meal.
So, this is how the above three points are personalized for us:
*Most weeks we eat three home cooked meals, every day. Those meals are mostly made from a variety of meats (mostly beef, chicken and pork, with some seafood thrown in), potatoes, rice, occasional other whole grains, vegetables and fruit (with an emphasis on seasonal produce) and some dairy (raw when possible), butter and other fats, such as lard, bone broth and sweeteners (turbinado sugar, honey, and maple syrup). When we eat food at other people’s houses or go out for date night, we don’t worry about the ingredients and simply enjoy what’s in front of us. (With the exception of a few ingredients noted below that cause major problems, such as tomato.)
*My husband started having intense trouble with acid reflux last spring. After a stretch on the GAPS diet his digestion improved, but he still have trouble with certain foods. Eating too much wheat seems to trigger problems, so I try to keep wheat based meals to a minimum, usually 0-2 per week. I also avoid tomatoes and spicy foods in my cooking, but sometimes replace tomato sauce with a beet based homemade ‘nomato’ sauce.
*I have an egg allergy, but am able to tolerate the small amounts of eggs in baked goods and such. So, I don’t make quiches or other egg based meals for dinner, but I am able to make quick breads and cookies and such without having to modify the recipe. I also occasionally am able to get my hands on duck eggs, and go on a big scrambled and deviled egg spree while I have the chance.
*My husband has a fairly fast burning metabolism, and seems to do best with a good balance of protein and carbs, so I try to include a starch (usually unprocessed or minimally processed, like the potatoes and brown rice mentioned above) with every meal.
*I seem to feel best with a high to moderate amount of protein and fat, and moderate to low amount of carbs. We have found very few meatless meals that satisfy our protein and fat needs, so most of our meals are meat based, with the occasional beans or lentils meal (usually cooked in chicken stock) thrown in. I have been experimenting with switching our meats over to grass fed, but haven’t figured out if I can sustain that on our grocery budget long term. I also digest cooked vegetables better than salads, so I often sautee or roast our vegetables.
*I keep a sourdough starter going and usually have fully fermented sourdough bread or rolls in the house, as well as making sourdough pancakes once every week or two.
*I try to keep some fermented vegetables and homemade yogurt on hand, usually at least sauerkraut, but don’t always keep up with it. I’d like to also get back to regularly making kefir, water kefir, and/or kombucha, but haven’t gotten any grains or scobies since last time I killed them.
*We often keep chocolate in the house, and occasionally other candy, but nearly all baked goods we eat are homemade, from either organic white flour, or soaked/fermented whole wheat flour, usually with turbinado sugar though occasionally with honey or maple syrup. I like to experiment with recipes for homemade candies and other ‘copy cat’ junk foods, made with real food ingredients, and sometimes they even turn out well.
Overall, the closest match to my food practices would be the Weston Price diet (following the 80/20 rule, of course), with adjustments for personal dietary needs. My first goal in cooking is to make food that tastes good, but I will use the healthiest ingredients I’m able to use to achieve that goal.
I’m not sure yet what my new posting schedule will look like, but I’m hoping to start sharing some recipes soon!