2

I was glancing through my long list of unread posts in my Bloglovin' feed the other day and stumbled upon one where a sentence caught my eye.  The writer had implied that happiness came from food.  Hmmm.  I have to completely disagree.  I could go on and on about where happiness DOES come from.  And maybe I will in another post. But that's not the part of the point I wish to 'argue' today. I don't believe happiness comes from food....but health does.

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Some of you may be wondering what happened to all my posts on food, recipes, etc. lately.  Don't worry.  I still eat daily. 😉

Photo By Pixabay
Photo By Pixabay

I also still eat healthy food...mostly paleo.

I just haven't posted much about it lately because, well--- one can only write about so many things and with November being picture book month and PiBoIdMo, my posts did weigh heavy with writing and reading.

Now on with food.

steak-353115_1280

Health comes from food.  No Doubt.

What you consume on a daily basis absolutely does have a PROFOUND effect on your health.  All of the vegetables, healthy proteins, and healthy fats that you consume absolutely have a positive effect on your body and health -  maintaining healthy body function and prevention of disease.  Adversely,  all the artificial ingredients, excessive amounts of grains, GMOs, and other toxic ingredients in foods, etc. that are ingested can absolutely have a detrimental effect on our overall health.

While I always knew this, it wasn't until about 9 years ago that I came to realize that what I thought was healthy food, really wasn't.  I started writing about this aspect of our lives in a post titled Our Food Story back in October of 2013, but haven't followed up a lot with it - other than a few posts on MSG, artificial colors and our paleo adventures with the Whole 30.  What it all comes down to is, while food is certainly not my religion, over the years  I have slowly realized that what the FDA tells us, what the food pyramid tells us, what school books tell us and what's provided in school lunches and hospital cafeterias across this great nation IS NOT HEALTHY FOOD.

I'm not going to make this a long post about what you should eat.  I'm not going to make this a post about how we can solve disease, even mental health issues with REAL FOOD.  I'm not going to go into details on MSG, artificial colors, preservatives, nitrates, and all the other things added into our food supply. Though I certainly could...

What I am going to say is this:

Health DOES come from food. REAL FOOD.  Anything else you put into your body - be it artificial ingredients,  things people claim is food but isn't, medications containing toxic ingredients, artificial ingredients contained in vaccines, etc. is HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE.

I'm not a medical doctor (see my disclosure page).  But I am a mother who has done a LOT of research into the health of herself and her family.  What I have discovered is NOT what I learned in school or was brought up to believe to be the way to health. What I have learned is there is more to learn.  And it starts with YOU.  YOU must do the research.  YOU must know what you put into your body, what it contains and what it's doing to YOUR health and the health of YOUR CHILDREN.

And please, DON'T ASSUME that what is reported on the front of a cereal box, the ad in a magazine, or even the evening news is accurate.  Do the research, but keep in mind who is providing the information.  Are they making money by keeping you in the dark and providing you with twisted information (i.e. the drug industry and the sugar industry?)?  Then is this really where you should be getting your information from?

Take the time to investigate.  Take the time to find quality food sources.  Take the time to prepare your own food within your own home on your stove top. Your health depends on what you are consuming on a daily basis and what you are allowing your body to be exposed to.

So what's really the point(s) of my post? Let me sum it all up:

Happiness Does NOT come from food.

Health DOES come from food.

Do the research.

Know what you are putting into your body.

Your health depends on it.

And while true happiness isn't contained in health alone, it certainly does help a lot.

Just sayin'....

 

 

4

This post is being written impulsively and I already know I'll be posting more in the future as this will be rather incomplete but, as I sat down to write about one topic, this topic just leaped out of nowhere into my head and I decided to go for it.

From the perspective of being a mom, I know it's very important to teach our kids about natural health and the difference between food products that is the main makeup of the standard American diet and REAL FOOD.

From the perspective of a homeschool mom who sometimes looks through health curriculums, I know there's not a whole lot out there that comes from this perspective.

So what I want to do here is suggest on HOW to go about teaching your kids about REAL FOOD and the differences between conventional thought and non-conventional, the latter being the thought I find to be scientifically proven and the better, healthier way to go.

The first and foremost thing you can do is have discussions with your child.  Involve your child during food preparation time and while washing your fresh greens, cutting tomatoes and onions, and sautéing some grass-fed beef or chicken, discuss WHY you have chosen this meal.  What nutrients is it providing?  Why did you choose organic greens over conventional greens that are less expensive?  Why did you choose the grass-fed beef from the farmer down in the valley instead of the bonus pack of conventional beef on sale at the local grocery store?

Secondly, involve your child in recipe selection, menu prep and grocery shopping.  Give your child hands on experience in selection of nutrient dense foods, delectable treats that are actually healthy and teach them how to pick out the best produce and meats at the store.

Thirdly, find what reading materials/curriculums are available.  This is the part I hope to add onto in the future.  Thus far I have two particular sources that I find beneficial for kids.

  1.  The Omnivore's Dilemma Young Reader's Edition - This is an edition of MichaelPollan's book written specifically for younger readers.  You can easily assign an older child to read this, but I suggest it as a read aloud to do as a family.
  2. Real Food Nutrition & Health  - Kristen Michaelis has an astounding blog Food Renegade and is a mother and passionate advocate for real food.  Use this book and her blog as tremendous sources for endless hours of discussion and education on Real Food.  She actually has a number of books and classes on her site. I was pleasantly surprised when looking for a link to include here that she has an edition of Real Food Nutrition and Health for younger kids now!  It looks really good and something I'll have to check out for my younger son in a couple of years 🙂
  3. Blogs - There are lots of blogs out there on real food.  I already mentioned Food Renegade written by Kristen Michaelis.  Others I recommend are 100 Days of Real Food, and Rubies & Radishes. There are a LOT more, but like I said - this post is written a bit impulsively.  I plan on working on searching out more books and completing a list of good blogs.  Blogs can be read by you and then posts you feel are pertinent or relevant can be read by your child and then followed by a family discussion.

Give me some feedback.  What are some other sources on Real Food that you use in the education of your child?

 

 

 

4

This is not representative of my religion.

I was sitting recently, amongst some friends who were talking about parenting, food, and other topics, when one casually said, “I just don’t get how some people make their food choices like a religion.” Some nodded along and the conversation drifted to other topics while I sat there… taking that in, wondering…. “Who and what did she mean by that?” She had followed up this statement with a quick add-on about time and other things, but I wondered if there was more behind her words? My paranoid self said (to me only of course), “Hey…are you talking about me?? Is that what you think?” While my defensive self (again, only to me) said, “Hey…do you know why I do what I do?? And by the way, Orthodoxy does mean more to me than my food…” So I’ve thought about this for a while. And I want to answer it….though I may be way off base by what this friend meant, but it’s something I wonder about. Are people judging me because what they see is this obsessed woman who spends an awful lot of her time in the kitchen, reading labels, and worrying about what her family will eat when they go away for the day, let alone for several days in an unfamiliar environment?

Food is not my religion. But it does play a really large part in my life as it is a (but not the only) top priority.

You see, without the food choices I make for our family, our family would be entirely different from what it is today. My cupboards would be overloaded with pharmaceutical drugs instead of organic nuts and other foods. I’d be lucky if I had enough stamina to make a pre-made laden with chemicals frozen dinner let alone make a well-balanced meal from scratch. My daughter would probably not be in college and may have had to spend time in a psychiatric unit by now.  I may not still be married. My son would probably be driving his high school teacher and principal crazy as we would probably not be homeschooling. And my youngest…well who knows, he may not even be here.

It is the food that some may think is my ‘religion’ that has saved us from what could only have otherwise been lives full of anxiety, depression, chaos, upheaval and nightmares of every sort. I will not go into the details here…I am not ready. You can certainly read  my earlier post that hints at the ordeals of our past life without Real Food and what we learned and how it changed us:

Our Food Story

In short, Real Food has brought us health. We no longer carry labels of mood orders not otherwise specified, bipolar-disorder, anxiety, depression, ADHD, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome, and the countless other labels added on and taken away here and there throughout several years of dysfunction.

That doesn’t mean we are perfect people. We still have stressful days, weeks, etc. but we can deal with them with clear heads and make rational decisions and think through the problems that arise and feel healthy while doing so. We can rise to the challenge of life without always feeling we will succumb to each one leading to great consequences. Occasionally we get colds and viruses too but they do occur much less frequently and we suffer by far less than we use to. And after doing the Whole30, I don’t even have the inclination to hide away with a bar of chocolate anymore! 🙂

This is closer...

But the food is not my religion. ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY  is. Worshipping God as taught by the Church as taught by the apostles…. That is my religion. But the very food that is one of my biggest priorities, right after God, my husband and children, the food that has saved my family from sure destruction comes from the Eternal, Unchanging, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, all-good, all-righteous, all-sufficient God that I pray fervently to and worship with all my being. It is He that makes our health possible through His creation.

I only ask that you try to see there is a difference and not judge me because it may APPEAR to you that I take it more seriously than God Himself.  I don't.  I spend time in prayer as well as time in the kitchen.  And I also know that eating the food we do will not extend our life beyond what God intends.  But I do believe that God gives us choices.  We have a choice to eat the food He has provided - giving us all the nourishment we need - or the food products and chemicals man has tampered with - giving us disease and poor health.  While food is not my religion, I am choosing the side of God in my choices. That is a determination I have made for myself and my family and want to share.

I will not judge you  -  so please don't judge me.  (I judge the food industry…it’s true…but not you) I hope (and pray) that you find the truth about the food industry and that you find the time and ability to cook from scratch for the betterment of the health of your own family…but do I judge you? No.. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like. I know it’s not easy.   I will not judge you. But I WILL encourage you. I WILL share what I know when I think it might help. I WILL give pointers when I think it might be possible that you’ll listen. That’s not judging…it’s sharing… its me feeling awful that I might know something that could help you and others and  feeling HORRIBLY guilty if I kept it to myself. But it’s up to you to do something about it…up to you whether you want to look more deeply into what I share with you and here, on this blog. You are my friend…I will not judge… but I will try to educate…it’s what I feel led to do. But it’s not a religion. Okay?

Other Relevant Posts: (in case you haven't read these yet 🙂 )

The Truth About MSG

Children And A Restricted Diet

Epigenetics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

It has occurred to me that a lot of people don't eat real food. In fact, they eat a lot of fake stuff.

 Those are sort of bold statements, I know.  I know a lot of people will argue with me.  I don't mean to offend. Really I don't.  But I've done a lot of reading on this subject and experimenting and this is my conclusion.  I'd like my readers to take a few minutes and think about this. 
DO you eat FOOD?  Or...do you eat food PRODUCTS?
REAL Food
Processed Foods
Well, first---- what exactly IS food?
The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary lists the following definitions for Food:
1
a:  material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy; also:  such food together with supplementary substances (as minerals, vitamins, and condiments)

b:  inorganic substances absorbed by plants in gaseous form or in water solution
2
:  nutriment in solid form
3
:  something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies <food for thought>
Wikepedia writes this:

Food is any substance[1] consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.

Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture. Today, most of the food energy consumed by the world population is supplied by the food industry.

Whoa!  What??? supplied by the food industry???  INDUSTRY??  Somehow I don't think they are talking about Old MacDonald down the road with his grass-fed cows, organic lettuce and apples....  While farmers fall under the primary sector for industry, note they are comparing industry of today to the gathering methods and agriculture of yesterday. This is where the problem lies.

Real food should nourish your body WITHOUT causing health problems.  Just as the definitions above state, food should sustain and  has the ability to repair the body.  Doritos don't heal your body.  Neither do Twinkies. Real food should come from Old MacDonald's farm, not the big industry that processes his produce and puts it into a Campbell's soup can laden with preservatives and additives and MSG that I've talked about in my post The Truth About MSG. Real food doesn't come with an ingredient label.

Douglas and Melissa Hartwig talk about what food is and what your standards for real food should be in their book It Starts With Food.  The standards we should have for real food, according to Melissa and Doug, are that foods we eat should promote a healthy psychological response (obviously MSG does not do that), a healthy hormonal response (dairy products pumped full of antibiotics and hormones will not do that), support a healthy gut, and support immune function and minimize inflammation.

You will not meet these food standards if you are consuming processed foods each day.  You will not reach optimal health. You are bound for health problems.  You will not feel the best  you can feel.

Now don't get me wrong.  It's not that you won't find ANY ingredient labels in my kitchen.  I'm not perfect.  I am human and I do like the occasional fast treat.  But my labels are minimal compared to the other foods in my kitchen. The majority of my grocery cart is filled with produce and grass-fed or organic meats and wild caught fish.   I'm encouraging you, for the nourishment and health of your body, to lower the amount of processed foods that come with ingredient labels into your home.  And, if you do bring those items into your home, read the ingredients, ponder over them... minimize the ones you buy with artificial ingredients and minimize how many of them you bring into your home and consume each day.  You don't have to do it overnight (though your body would later thank you)...but try to improve.

Challenge yourself. 

Buy a couple more vegetables this week.  Buy a couple less processed snacks and grab a bag of organic apples or a bag of nuts instead. Start your day out with some free-range chicken eggs and sautéed vegetables instead of a bowl of processed cereal. Make your own soup instead of opening a can.  What are you going to do to strive to eat more read food instead of more food products??

 Be well  🙂