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If you haven’t already read Kelsi’s most recent blog post, you will want to. She shared a lot of great information and links to wonderful resources, as well as tips on helping one start small. For most, it’s not feasible to start buying all organic fruits and vegetables in addition to organic raw dairy and organic grass-fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat. Nor, is it feasible to change one’s other eating habits overnight and always make everything from scratch. BUT, you can make small changes.

I have felt overwhelmed at various times over the past 3 years, when I really started learning more about wholesome foods. Even though, Chris and I have ate “healthy” (aka: lots of fresh fruits and veggies and few processed foods), I realized that there was so much that I wasn’t doing. There were many things that I still had to learn in the kitchen. With this realization, there have been several times when I wanted to throw in the towel because I couldn’t do it all. Why do anything when I can’t do it all? Or in regards to Kelsi’s post, why spend money on some organic produce when I can’t have all organic produce? But with most things, even small changes can have big impacts.

At the beginning of my real food discovery, I had ample time, sometimes spending whole days in the kitchen. I was a stay-at-home wife with nothing other to do than keep a home and have good food on the table each night. I learned so much in that year. I ground my own grain to make fresh bread, harvested wild blackberries to put into the freezer for winter, and made my own butter, yogurt, cream cheese, and sour cream from raw dairy. Homemade kefir and lacto-fermented veggies were a regular part of our diet. I had the time (and energy) to do so many of the things that I read about.

Then a change…we left for Ecuador. One year in a rural, indigenous community with fresh cuy (guinea pig) becoming almost a staple. I no longer had my grain mill or food processor. I no longer had access to whole grain, safe raw dairy, or my kombucha grains. It was also almost impossible to find (or extremely expensive if you did) whole wheat flour, plain whole milk yogurt, and many of the other staples that had become part of our food diet in the States. I had to change my expectations. We were still eating healthy (fresh fruits and veggies at a fraction of the price and lots of free-range chicken and eggs) even though I couldn’t do everything I knew to do.

Then another change…a child. Though we are now back in the States, I am doing far less than I had envisioned. My grain mill is still packed away from when we left for Ecuador and my fresh bread is now made in a bread machine with store-bought sprouted whole wheat flour. Our lacto-fermented veggies have dwindled to fermented-veggie (homemade sauerkraut). Some weeks I feel so-accomplished and others I find it challenging to do even one extra in the kitchen.

And probably the biggest change…a food allergy. We realized two years ago that I was allergic to dairy and unfortunately for me, raw dairy seems to affect me even more. So, I am currently in a slow process to find healthful alternatives to foods I ate so frequently while still keeping within our food budget. All of my recipes can easily be converted to using dairy ingredients (I would if I could!)…butter instead of unrefined coconut oil, raw dairy instead of almond or coconut milk, etc.

So with all of these changes, I’m learning to start small…or continue small. Remember, even one small change has big impacts.

MEAL PLAN FOR THIS COMING WEEK:

Monday ~ French Onion Soup with Homemade French Bread

Tuesday ~ Huevos Rancheros

Wednesday ~ Dahl (recipe to come)

Thursday ~ Amish Baked Chicken (recipe below)

Friday ~ Homemade Pizza

Saturday ~ Dairy-free Mac-n-Cheese (This is a hit with even dairy lovers!)

Sunday ~ Dill popcorn (though we use coconut oil) and smoothies

**A fresh salad is a nightly staple. The Sweet & Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds make a great salad topper!

AMISH BAKED CHICKEN

Ingredients:

1/2 cup flour (whole wheat and sprouted if you can find it)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
3 teaspoons salt
3 pounds of chicken pieces (preferably organic, free-range…)

Directions:

Mix the dry ingredients well. Roll chicken pieces in mix until well coated. Place in greased pan and bake for 45-60 minutes at 375 F, turning once.

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This post is part of Recipe + Project Swap at It’s a Keeper, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Healthy 2Day Wednesdays at the Humbled Homemaker, and Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS and Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet and Fight Back Friday at the Food Renegade and Sunday School Blog Carnival at Butter Believer and Friday Food Flicks at Traditional-Foods.com, Freaky Fridays at Real Food Freaks

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