Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lets talk about food (with injected pictures of really amazing meals)

Hey there.  It’s been a while since I have subjected any of you to my rambling deep thoughts… so I figure this post will be forgiven.  ;)

In the last year I have gone through a total food transformation.  One of those food transformations that can only be caused by the eating of foods making you or someone else in your family very sick.  I honestly have had a hard time believing in food sensitivities in some regards and then surprised beyond all reason that we are ALL not subjected to them in others.  On one hand, we all eat food. Some of us are more sensitive than others.  And I am always shocked at what people’s systems can handle without being amazingly sick in our western food diet!  The mutilation of the human diet is just mind baffling if you really study it at length. 

Strange fact about me, I can’t have cooked fruit, juice being the worst. So many of these things you see me making on here during this season of plenty I can’t and don’t eat later. The peaches and applesauce especially is just for my children or to be used in cooking. Occasionally I have something like a Jamba Juice or apple cider to test my juice resolve. I am always punished with severe intestinal cramping. So juice is out. Cooked juice is the worst (like apple juice from concentrate) unless I am using it in cooking where the concentrated juice sugar is mixed with tons of other things.



When I did the elimination diet for Luke’s vomiting issues back in April I had thoughts that I was crazy. That he just had reflux and would throw up no matter what I did. But now I see it is directly linked to dairy and soy. So I took those out as well as the cooked juice and the normal breastfeeding no-no’s that would cause gas.

Then Don decided to go on the Paleo/Primal diet 6 weeks ago. This is a HUGE change for my pasta-lovin’ man and I decided to take that challenge as well. I was THRILLED with this veggie heavy diet and excited that he was willing to take the plunge for something so completely different than his taste. The journey has already been rewarding. Although the price to feed our large growing brood nothing but produce and good cuts of meat is amazing! (I am figuring that out too, slowly but surely. More on that to come in another post.)


Turkey stuffed peppers with a salad from our garden (and bought avocado).

As I discovered the joys of cooking without grains and legumes (and some intense frustrations, I’ll be honest!) we became more and more happy with our diet but we were surprised when we had two completely different body reactions.  Where Don’s intestines started to clear out, mine backed up completely.  Both of us had to adjust what we were doing for our specific body needs.  Me, never being much of a carb addict, added my homemade three grain granola and wild rice back into my diet.  I figured that because my body was so limited (already I was “no cabbage family, no cucumber family, no juice, no soy, no dairy”) that I just wasn’t able to get enough fiber with the limitations I was dealing with when I added in paleo (ie: “no grains, no starchy tubers, and no legumes”…  so basically, I was eating meat and carrots).  I was back on track in a matter of days.  Don’s eventually leveled out and and my adjustments made it easy for me to follow suit.  I now had the new parameters for our ‘daily bread’ (which was now nothing but a figure of speech as we are no longer eating bread.  lol!) and set off to make the best menu I could. 


At this time Luke started being really interested in food.  I was looking at books like Organically Raised by Anni Daulter and Babylove by Norah O’Donnell for his first recipes and I realized that the requirements that were used to feed the youngest of our population were somehow forgotten once our bodies got to the ‘Age of the Happy Meal’


My first really GOOD grain-free dinner pancake with blackberry honey syrup.

This really got me thinking.  What happened to the way we fed ourselves as a society?  What happened to the simple foods that are for babies?  Why is it we have to add in so much stuff in our food?  Is it for taste?  Because I have found that very often the most simple fare is by far and away the best tasting.  A little olive oil and perhaps some salt on a whole huge pan of root veggies baked to fork tender, a teaspoon of honey on a bowl of fresh sliced strawberries…  what else is needed?  I have seen SO many restaurants that serve the seemingly ‘gourmet’ foods and really all they are doing is making super simple FRESH food.  What a strange conundrum that a box of mac & cheese (“with new fun shaped pasta!!”) reads like a science dictionary and something so simple as a half a pear with blue cheese and some reduced apple cider dressing would be a $12 first plate in a gourmet restaurant.  What a backwards world! 


Packing Don’s lunch of fajita salad with spring greens. 

I have watched the diet dictocrats go back and forth for a long time and this is the first time that they fall directly in line with some of my personal beliefs about food.  It has made me laugh aloud more than once to read the pure common sense that is coming out of some of the Paleo and Primal food writers.  Get outside every day.  Eat fruits and vegetables all the time.  Eat meat that hasn’t been raised standing in it’s own excrement.  That will make you healthier and feel better.  You don’t say?

I am excited to share some of my food findings and new recipes with you. And I am even more excited to see how easy this can be and share THAT with you.  I was really worried this would be tough as nails to try to get 6 people enjoying super simple, fresh food every day, but I am finding that once the crap was gone (and crap is such a limited term in my household already) this has been one of the most rewarding food journeys our family as taken.

Blessings to you and yours for this new and beautiful week!



mandi said...

Yes! We have had similar experiences with a make shift paleo diet. Right now I have added beans, brown rice and properly soaked grains back into our diet. And raw dairy products. But getting rid of the processed (whole wheat, organic) grains out of our diets has helped tremendously! And I know what you mean about crap being a relative term. When I talk about the trap of eating convenience foods around here I'm speaking of whole wheat pasta with fresh cheese sprinkled on top! ha! ; )

Frannie said...

Val, I'm so glad you're posting about this. I've been working on my food choices lately too due to lots of intestinal/weight issues and it's been so frustrating. One thing works well for me, then not for the family, then onto the next ideas and so on. I feel like I'm in a black hole, not sure where to turn next. Most times I get frustrated and turn back to the old stand by meals that we're used to but don't agree with me at all. Anyway, do you have any good books,blogs, etc to recommend for Paleo...there's so much out there I don't know where to spend my money & time. I love following your journey!

Unknown said...

I just found your blog and never even heard of such a diet but am striving to bring healthier meals to the table for my family! Thank you for sharing!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Mandi - So true. In my house as well we were getting rid of cliff bars, organic single ingredient pasta, organic new potatoes... stuff like that. The one that went away and now I have added back is cheese for my kids. I can't eat it, but they can and I think there is some serious benifits to them being able to get good dairy in their diet.

Frannie - I have done the same thing! For the longest time I would just make food in my house that I liked and then others would eat it... or not. lol! Then the husband started eating a whole other meal after the kids went to bed and my resolve collapsed. I can't tell you how amazing it has been to share this journey with my husband! Him starting to care about his food choices has made all the difference in the world for me and I hope you have a similarly awesome experience with the change. What ever you decide to do with paleo/primal you will be healthier just for looking into it and making small changes. :) It's a blessing for almost any lifestyle to add more fresh foods and awareness of where they come from.

Favorite websites:

Two lists that have really helped me with my shopping and selections:

and well known books that I have not yet read (the hold list at the library is quite long on these two) are
The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and Everyday Paleo

Hope that helps!



Anonymous said...

This is such a great article. I showed it to my husband and we are talking about doing a 30 day food/diet experiment. We're still discussing all the details but we both agree it will eye-opening! Thanks for the great post!

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