Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Carbs and Fertility

Okay, since I just had a baby, I still get lots of emails about pregnancy and fertility, and I got an email from babyzone.com with new research on fertility. Here is an interesting part about the correlation between carbs and fertility:


Carbohydrate Intake Linked to Infertility, Study Says

The Scoop: Eating carb-loaded foods such as sugary breakfast cereal could disrupt ovulation in some women and lead to fertilityproblems, according to a recent study from Harvard University. After analyzing the diets of over 18,000 women and calculating the glycemic index of foods eaten (glycemic index is the extent to which a food raises blood sugar), researchers found that women who ate large quantities of high glycemic index foods daily were 92 percent more likely to suffer from ovulatory infertility.

For Your Fertility: In the study, high glycemic index foods most associated with infertility risk included cold breakfast cereals, white rice and potatoes. According to researchers, a carb-filled, high glycemic preconception diet cancause hormonal disruptions and may mean women are skimping on certain fats known to have positive benefits for fertility (including saturated and mono-unsaturated fats). Also noted in the study were low glycemic foods that appeared to reduce risk for ovulation problems. These included brown rice, whole grain pasta, and whole grain bread.

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So, what's the bottom line: Fats are good for you! High carb foods are NOT (even if they are "low fat")! Your body needs them to function properly, including saturated fats! If you are trying to get pregnant, eat whole milk (preferable raw), lots of fish, eggs from free-range hens, and grass-fed beef (if possible). Lots of omega-3 fats are present in these, as well as saturated fats.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Diet and Response to Blog Comments

I started a new "diet" today to try to lose the rest of this baby weight! So far, so good! Basically, I'm cutting out all the refined sugar treats I still indulge in, diet soda, and I'm limiting my carb intake. I already eat only whole grains. But, I'm going with less than 70g of carbs a day for a few months (per Weston Price's site: http://westonaprice.org/askdoctor/losing-weight.html). I think that this a healthy amount and I tend to eat way too many starches. I'm also going to eat lot of healthy fats - butter, animal fats, and coconut oil. I recently read Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig about the importance of eating lots of healthy fats. They say that these healthy fats are essential to vitamin absorption and keep you satiated, so that you eat less.

My only concern with starting this "diet" (which really isn't a diet, but a continuation of my health quest) is breastfeeding. I don't want to lose my milk supply or eat too few calories. But, I know that the fats you eat are the most important while breastfeeding, so I'm not too concerned. I am more concerned about the asparatame in my breastmilk from drinking so many diet sodas. I'll keep you updated as to the results.

So, I tried to respond to comments, but my computer kept messing up and not letting me respond on the threads, so I'll respond here to Lindsey. As you can read from above, I really believe in the importance of fats, and everything I've learned as I've been reading and studying about health has gone contrary to popular "nutrionism", like eating low-fat, avoiding saturated fats, and consuming low-fat dairy products. I think that the natural foods that God made are the best for our bodies, not the food that the food industry created. So, I believe there is a reason why God made milk the way it is, rich in fat for calcium and vitamin absorption. So, I don't worry about the fat in milk, and I haven't gained a pound since I started drinking it. But, I do have more energy and my breakfast "holds on" a lot longer in the morning.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Deceptive Dairy Debate...

You hear a lot these days about dairy being bad for you. It's a pretty hot topic among health food people. However, most of the research is done on pasteurized milk and not raw milk from grass-fed cows. I feel like it's hard to compare the two milks. I am a believer in raw milk, you know, but I'm still interested in the arguments against dairy. So, here are some of the arguments against milk and my rebuttal.

#1 - Humans were not meant to drink cow milk. Cow milk is for cows, not people.
Yeah, well sunflower seeds are meant to grow sunflowers, potatoes are a root of a potato plant, and tomatoes are the ovary of a tomato plant. Can anyone think of a food whose sole purpose is human consumption? I can think of only one. Breast milk.

#2 - Osteoporosis rates actually increase in countries that drink a lot of dairy, so the calcium in milk does not lower the risk of osteoporosis.
The FDA recommends that adults drink low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Calcium, like many nutrients, cannot be absorbed without FAT. So, even though there may be "100%" of the calcium you need in an 8 ounce glass of milk, if you are drinking skim milk, none of that gets absorbed. You need whole, preferably raw, milk in order to reap the rewards of the calcium. So, my argument is that any old milk does not equal calcium absorption, only whole milk does.

#3 - Milk causes cancer.
Powdered milk is a carcinogen. Skim milk and 2% milk contain powdered milk. In fact, even commercial whole milk can contain powdered milk. Gross.

#4 - What's good for a baby cow may not be good for a human.
Okay. I'll give a little on this one. This may very well be true. However, milk has been a staple of the human diet since the dawn of history. Even in the Bible, God tells the Israelites that the Promised Land is a land flowing with milk and honey, signifying that the land would be full of prosperity and health. Historically, dairy has been central in many cultures. Grass-fed raw milk contains an almost perfect ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids for human consumption.

Even if cow milk isn't a perfect food for humans, it's still way better than man created alternatives: pasteurized skim milk (carcinogenic), soy milk (filled with estrogen and most of it is GMO), margarine (filled with transfat), soy cheese (eww), etc. Raw milk from grass-fed, pastured cows who are treated humanely and allowed live the way God intended for them to live produce an incredibly nutritious gift for us to consume. Let's stop criticizing milk and begin criticizing the dairy industry, the government, and the food marketers who have led us to believe that they can create a better product than the cow utter.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Awesome Quote on Real Food

"If God had wanted us to eat skinless, boneless chicken breasts, He'd have made chickens that were all breast with no fat, no skin and not a leg to stand on! If He'd wanted us to drink pasteurized fat-free milk, then fat-free milk would come boiling hot out of a cow's udder! And if He'd wanted us to eat soy protein and soy oil, the little bean would easily separate into its parts and not require a billion dollar processing plant that uses chemical solvents, extreme pressure, and hellfire temperatures. Nor would God's chosen food require tons of sugar and flavorings to make it taste halfway decent."

From the awesome article series on soy by Jim Rutz.
http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53675 - Quote taken from Part 4

Monday, November 9, 2009

I am in LOVE...

...with making homemade baby food. I don't know if it's because I enjoy saving the money or the cooking process. Or, maybe it's shopping for the produce and seeing Owen's reaction to the new foods. But, I think the best part of it for me is the knowledge that I am giving my son real, healthy food, that is rich in nutrition and taste!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Iron and Baby

Owen got his first taste of beef today. He loved it! Since we're not doing cereal, I wanted to start iron-rich foods. Most countries now (including the UK and Canada) recommend meat as a first food, but it's a major traditional first food worldwide. I bought one pound of grass-fed ground beef, browned it in a skillet, and blended it in the blender, adding water until it was the right consistency. I added some sweet potatoes to the stuff he ate tonight.

Anyway, I wanted to see how much iron babies needed, and I got some great info from wholesomebabyfood.com Thought I'd paste the link here: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/Iron.htm

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Food Recommendations by Weston A. Price Foundation

So Owen is 6 months now, and he's been eating some fruit and veggies once a day. I'm about to alternate giving him (homemade raw milk) yogurt and egg yolk in the morning, fruit/veggie at lunch, and pureed meat/veggie in the evening. We're working our way there. I've got to figure out how to make the yogurt and pureed meat. Never done that before.

Here's Weston A. Price's recommendations for feeding babies:

Foods By Age

4-6 Months

Minimal solid foods as tolerated by baby

Egg yolk--if tolerated, preferably from pastured chickens, lightly boiled and salted

Banana--mashed, for babies who are very mature and seem hungry

Cod liver oil-- 1/4 teaspoon high vitamin or 1/2 teaspoon regular, given with an eye dropper

6-8 months

Organic liver--grated frozen and added to egg yolk

Pureed meats--lamb, turkey, beef, chicken, liver and fish

Soup broth--(chicken, beef, lamb, fish) added to pureed meats and vegetables, or offered as a drink

Fermented foods--small amounts of yoghurt, kefir, sweet potato, taro, if desired

Raw mashed fruits--banana, melon, mangoes, papaya, avocado

Cooked, pureed fruits--organic apricot, peaches, pears, apples, cherries, berries

Cooked vegetables--zucchini, squash, sweet potato, carrots, beets, with butter or coconut oil

8-12 months

Continue to add variety and increase thickness and lumpiness of the foods already given from 4-8 months

Creamed vegetable soups

Homemade stews--all ingredinets cut small or mashed

Dairy--cottage cheese, mild harder raw cheese, cream, custards

Finger foods--when baby can grab and adequately chew, such as lightly steamed veggie sticks, mild cheese, avocado chunks, pieces of banana

Cod liver oil--increase to 1/2 teaspoon high vitamin or 1 teaspooon regular dose

Over 1 Year

Grains and legumes--properly soaked and cooked

Crispy nut butters--see recipes in Nourishing Traditions

Leafy green vegetables--cooked, with butter

Raw salad vegetables--cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.

Citrus fruit--fresh, organic

Whole egg--cooked

http://www.westonaprice.org/children/nourish-baby.html

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Homemade Baby Food

So, I started Owen on some real foods one month ago, when he was 5 months old. I was going to wait until 6 months, but all of those beautiful, seasonal first foods like squash and pumpkin and apples, tempted me and I gave in. I've been making them all at home from fresh, local produce. People keep on commenting how much work it is to make your own baby food, but it really isn't much work at all. It kind of surprises me when people say that, because it's way easier than cooking dinner for your family, and you can make so much at once!

Great article about nutrition for babies and the value of making your own baby food!
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-10-18-kids-and-vegetables_N.htm

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Soy Formula - Just Say No!

I heard someone say recently, "Soy formula can't be bad for babies. Why would they make soy formula if it was bad for babies?" It makes sense. Why would they make soy formula if it was bad for babies? It's sad, because that is the assumption that most women make. It seems logical. But, unfortunately, the FDA isn't quite the bedfellow we thought he was. In fact, he's quite a promiscuous little guy, in bed with all the food manufacturers. Here's some info on the dangers of soy formula from the Weston A. Price Foundation:

SOY FORMULA: BETTER THAN BREASTMILK?

An estimated 25% of North American babies receive infant formula made from processed soybeans. Parents use soy formula in the belief that is it healthier than formula based on cows' milk. Soy promotional material claims that soy provides complete protein that is less allergenic than cows' milk protein. When soy infant formula first became commercially available, manufacturers even promised that soy formula was "better than breast milk."

Parents have a right to know how these extravagant claims compare to scientific findings related to soy infant formula.

While soybeans are relatively high in protein compared to other legumes, scientists have long recognized them as a poor source of protein because other proteins found in soybeans act as potent enzyme inhibitors. These "antinutrients" block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors depress growth and cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.

The soy industry recognizes that trypsin inhibitors are a problem in infant formula and have spent millions of dollars to determine the best way to remove them. Trypsin inhibitors are large, tightly folded proteins that are only deactivated after a considerable period of heat treatment. This process removes most—but not all—of the trypsin inhibitors, but has the unfortunate side effect of over-denaturing the other proteins in soy, particularly lysine, rendering them difficult to digest and possibly toxic. Even in low amounts, trypsin inhibitors prevented normal growth in rats.

The main ingredient in soy infant formula is soy protein isolate, a powder extracted from soybeans through a process that involves not only high temperatures but also caustic chemicals. The alkaline soaking solution produces a carcinogen, lysinealine, and reduces the cystine content, which is already low in the soybean. Other carcinogens called nitrosamines are formed during high temperature spray drying.

Soybeans also contain high levels of phytic acid or phytates. This is an organic acid, present in the outer portion of all seeds, which blocks the uptake of essential minerals-calcium, magnesium, iron and especially zinc-in the intestinal tract. Soybeans have very high levels of a form of phytic acid that is particularly difficult to neutralize. As early as 1967, researchers testing soy formula found that it caused negative zinc balance in every infant to whom it was given. Scientists have found a strong correlation between phytate content in formula and poor growth, even when the diets were additionally supplemented with zinc. High amounts of phytic acid in soy foods and grains have caused retarded growth in children on macrobiotic diets. A reduced rate of growth is especially serious in the infant as it causes a delay in the accumulation of lipids in the myelin, and hence jeopardizes the development of the brain and nervous system.

Soy formula can also cause vitamin deficiencies. Soy increases the body's requirements for vitamin B12, a nutrient that is absolutely vital for good health. Early studies with soy formula indicated that soy blocks the uptake of fats. This may explain why soy seems to increase the body's requirements for fat-soluble vitamin D.

Aluminum content of soy formula is 10 times greater than milk based formula, and 100 times greater than unprocessed milk. Aluminum has a toxic effect on the kidneys of infants, and has been implicated as causing Alzheimer's in adults. Soy formulas lack cholesterol, another nutrient that is absolutely essential for the development of the brain and nervous system; they also lack lactose and galactose, which play an equally important role in the development of the nervous system. A number of other substances, which are unnecessary and of questionable safety, are added to soy formulas including carrageenan, guar gum, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), potassium citrate monohydrate, tricalcium phosphate, dibasic magnesium phosphate trihydrate, BHA and BHT.

What about the claim that soy formula is less allergenic than cows milk formula? Studies indicate that allergies to soy are almost as common as those to milk. Use of soy formula to treat infant diarrhea has had mixed results, some studies showing improvement with soy formula while others show none at all.

The most serious problem with soy formula is the presence of phytoestrogens or isoflavones. While many claims have been made about the health benefits of these estrogen-like compounds, animal studies indicate that they are powerful endocrine disrupters that alter growth patterns and cause sterility. Toxicologists estimate that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day. By contrast, almost no phytoestrogens have been detected in dairy-based infant formula or in human milk, even when the mother consumes soy products. A recent study found that babies fed soy-based formula had 13,000 to 22,0000 times more isoflavones in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula. Scientists have known for years that isoflavones in soy products can depress thyroid function, causing autoimmune thyroid disease and even cancer of the thyroid. But what are the effects of soy products on the hormonal development of the infant, both male and female?

Male infants undergo a "testosterone surge" during the first few months of life, when testosterone levels may be as high as those of an adult male. During this period, the infant is programed to express male characteristics after puberty, not only in the development of his sexual organs and other masculine physical traits, but also in setting patterns in the brain characteristic of male behavior. In monkeys, deficiency of male hormones impairs learning and the ability to perform visual discrimination tasks-such as would be required for reading-and retards the development of spatial perception, which is normally more acute in men than in women.

It goes without saying that future patterns of sexual orientation may also be influenced by the early hormonal environment. Pediatricians are noticing greater numbers of boys whose physical maturation is delayed, or does not occur at all, including lack of development of the sexual organs. Learning disabilities, especially in male children, have reached epidemic proportions. Soy infant feeding-which floods the bloodstream with female hormones that could inhibit the effects of male hormones-cannot be ignored as a possible cause for these tragic developments.

As for girls, an alarming number are entering puberty much earlier than normal, according to a recent study reported in the journal Pediatrics. Investigators found that one percent of all girls now show signs of puberty, such as breast development or pubic hair, before the age of three; by age eight, 14.7 percent of white girls and a whopping 48.3 percent of African-American girls had one or both of these characteristics. New data indicate that environmental estrogens such as PCBs and DDE (a breakdown product of DDT) may cause early sexual development in girls and a study in Puerto Rico implicated soy feeding as a cause of early menarche. The use of soy formula in the WIC program, which supplies free formula to welfare mothers, may explain the astronomical rates of early menarche in African American girls.

The consequences are tragic. Young girls with mature bodies must cope with feelings and urges that most children are not well-equipped to handle. And early maturation in girls is frequently a harbinger for problems with the reproductive system later in life including failure to menstruate, infertility and breast cancer.

Other problems that have been anecdotally associated with children of both sexes who were fed soy-based formula include extreme emotional behavior, asthma, immune system problems, pituitary insufficiency, thyroid disorders and irritable bowel syndrome.

Concerns about the dangers of soy have prompted consumer groups in New Zealand and Canada to call for a ban on the sale of soy infant formula. Milk-based formula contains a better protein profile and does not flood the infant with antinutrients and female hormones. Breast feeding is best IF the mother has consumed a healthy diet, one that is rich in animal proteins and fats, throughout her pregnancy and continues to do so while nursing her infant. Mothers who cannot breast feed, for whatever reason, should prepare homemade formula based on whole milk for their babies. The rare child allergic to whole milk formula should be given a whole foods meat-based formula, not one made of soy protein isolate. Parents who invest time in preparing homemade formula will be well rewarded with the joys of conferring robust good health on their children.

For references and further information on soy foods and soy formula, see www.soyonlineservice.co.nz or send $12 US to Soy Alert!, PMB #106-380, 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20007.



Saturday, August 22, 2009

Veggies and Fats!

Everyone knows that most things taste best in butter. Veggies especially. Who doesn't love cooked carrots in butter or a sweet potato with lots of butter.

But, butter's gotten a bad reputation over the past 60 years or so. We replaced butter with margarine (:P) and crisco. But, our taste buds knew something all along that our brains did not- butter makes veggies better for you! And, salads with fatty dressing are much healthier than salads with fat-free dressings! Woohoo!

Read this article from Mercola.com about tomatoes and fat. Interestingly enough, cooked tomatoes are better absorbed than raw, as well.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/08/22/Eat-Fat-With-Tomatoes-to-Absorb-All-the-Nutrients.aspx


So, question, when making baby food, should we add fat to make the nutrients better absorbed? I think maybe it means we should feed them real food in close proximity to nursing. I don't know. Interesting question.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Infant Cereal

Does it seem ridiculous to anyone but me that doctors would recommend anything "fortified" for a breastfed baby? Does it seem ridiculous to anyone but me to recommend vitamins for a newborn? Breastmilk is the perfect food, designed by God to be all that a baby needs. Why do the doctors try to make us give crap to our babies?

Here is a great blog about baby food and rice cereal. I plan to give Owen real food from the start - rich, potent with nutrients, superfoods. This seems so obvious to me. I don't know why people don't get it:

http://weightoftheevidence.blogspot.com/2005/10/infant-feeding-myths.html

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oatmeal Praline Cookies

Prep: 30 min - Bake: 10 min

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups unbleached whole wheat four
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup crushed pecans


Heat oven to 375°F. Combine brown sugar, butter and egg in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining cookie ingredients. Beat until well mixed. Stir in chocolate pieces by hand.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown on edges. Let stand 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Great Website!

I found this website. Great tool for finding out what's really in your food in GREAT detail. NutritionData.com . You can see extremely detailed nutritional info. I love it! I'm looking up everything.

Also watched a couple good documentaries: King Corn and A Beautiful Truth. Very interesting.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Soy and Salad Dressings

On the 4th, we spent the day at my in-laws' house. I was supposed to bring the salad, easy enough. I run into the store to pick up the ingredients, and I try to find a salad dressing. All of them were made with soybean oil. I couldn't find one that didn't. Gross. So bad for you. The food manufacturers know this. Why do they put it in the food? Probably because most lay-people don't. They see "soy" and think healthy. But, it's filled with estrogen. If you eat too much soy (which isn't hard because they are putting it in everything we eat now) you can miss periods or have trouble with infertility. I want to avoid industrialized soy, because it can really be damaging for boys. I don't want my son to have permanent health problems from soy.

So, I guess this means no more salad dressing from the store for us. Here's a great salad dressing option that's very Caesar Dressing like.

Rebekkah's Dressing
Lemon Juice
EV Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese
Garlic Salt
Basil Leaves

Combine all ingredients.

Easy enough!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weight loss

My baby turned 2 months old on Friday. He's so perfect. I love spending time with him and getting to know him. He's such a blessing. The Bible does not lie when it speaks of children being a blessing from the Lord.

What is not a blessing from the Lord (and probably part of the garden curse) is weight gain from pregnancy! UGH! I was a little overweight before pregnancy. And I gained 25 lbs, which was great, exactly what I should have gained. But, I have only lost 15 lbs. I thought that breastfeeding was supposed to melt the weight off.

I desperately want to lose the weight, but I don't know how to do that and eat well. I mean, I'm eating well. But, I don't want to "diet", because that seems unhealthy. I feel like if I eat right and exercise, I should just be the perfect weight, but I guess it doesn't work that way? Very annoying.

I went to a wedding yesterday and had nothing nice to wear because I'm 20 lbs heavier than I'd like to be. How can I lose it?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Recipes

Last night's menu:
Tilapia - cooked in extra virgin olive oil (which I know isn't the best for high heat, but I just like it) with Tony's and Garlic Salt.
Salad with homemade dressing - evoo, basil, garlic salt, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and feta cheese.
Grilled Zucchini - cooked in butter with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese.
Fruit Parfait - real yogurt with blackberries, apples, and blueberries.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finding Real Food

One of the hardest parts about trying to cook with real food is finding it! I've spent a lot of time looking around town and in local grocery stores for real food.


Raw Dairy, Grass-fed Beef, and Pastured/Free Range Eggs

I found two stores that sell raw milk. Right up the road from our apartment, there is a country store that sells all kinds of real food. It's really awesome! They sell grass-fed raw milk, raw milk cheese, free-range eggs, and grass-fed beef, among other things. I'm definitely excited about that place. Then, I found another place today. There is a produce store (more about it in a second) that sells raw milk also. It's a little less expensive than the other store, and it's jersey cow milk. There hasn't been much cream in the milk from country store, and I know that is supposed to be an indicator for the quality of milk. It's Holstein milk. Is the cream different from Jersey milk? I don't know. But, I'm going to try the milk from the produce store. I haven't tried the beef yet, but I think I'll go buy some this week. I also haven't tried the eggs or cheese yet. I'll probably continue to buy pasteurized cheese, because all this real food is going to get expensive. The eggs were only $2 a dozen, so I'll buy some soon. I found some free-range eggs at Walmart for $3.50, too, and that is what I am using now. They also had huge packages of grass-fed butter. I don't know how that compares in price, but I'm anxious to try it out.



Other Products

Other products have been harder to find. I had no idea how hard it was to find real food in the grocery store! For example, I'm looking for just regular old butter, and there is only one brand of real butter in the store, but 20 or 30 varieties of margarine or spread. I was looking for yogurt today and, again, only one brand of regular, non-low fat yogurt. I'm looking for pasta that is whole grain, but everything has industrialized soy in it. (I'm still not sure what you are supposed to eat in regards to grains, but I'm trying to buy whole grain pasta and bread with very few ingredients. I know ideally, I would make my own, but I just don't have the time or resources for that at this point. I'm also not sure what you are supposed to do in regards to cooking with sugar. Obviously, refined white sugar is a no-no, but is there something you can use instead? Any suggestions welcomed!) Fish is pretty easy to find and I'm just buying normal chicken from the store. Can't afford to go for 100% the best products out there. I think you have to choose your battles. I am buying chicken with the skin on it. In Real Food, Nina Planck says that there are a lot of vitamins and nutrients in the skin and bones and we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak, when it comes to chicken skin. Which, I frankly was excited to hear, because I've always loved eating the skin off chicken.



Produce

I was super psyched to go check out the local farmer's market this morning with mom. I had been planning this all week. We get there, and there are only 3 or 4 stands. I was so bummed. I did get some very beautiful blackberries, decent green beans, 6 great looking ears of corn, and a couple very large zucchini. But, then, I found that produce store in downtown, owned and stocked by a local farmer. Ninety percent of their fruits and veggies come from their own farm. I bought tomatoes, apples, sweet potatoes, and lemons. I was too scared to ask about the pesticides they use, but I figure buying locally is a step in the right direction and I'll ask about pesticides next time. I'm such a wimp. They also had some preserves that look yummy. All in all, I spent $15 on produce today and got more than enough for the week. I should've bought some strawberries. They looked amazing. But, I had already bought the blackberries, so I decided to wait until next time. The only produce I bought at the grocery store was lettuce, and I found a grocery store with
great lettuce. Did I mention we just moved to a new town? I'm still checking out all the grocery stores and comparing their products.

Real Food

Real Food

So, I thought I'd start off my first blog by talking about the books Real Food and Real Food for Mothers and Babies by Nina Planck and the impact these books have had on my thinking.

I, like most Americans, grew up eating a lot of industrialized food. Butter is bad, so you cook with margarine. Low-fat is best. Steer clear of fatty meats. I always struggled with my weight. I would say that I was somewhat of a slim person (not currently, however, because I'm still trying to lose the baby weight!), but I seemed to gain weight easily and quickly. I loved carbs in every form, especially from sugar. I have a major sweet tooth. I also didn't eat a lot of fruits and veggies. In fact, I didn't even like salads until my senior year of high school, and most vegetables I didn't try until I got married.

When I was pregnant with my son, I started thinking about nutrition more. I want him to get the nutrition he needs from food. I don't want him to struggle with weight. I want him to like fruits and veggies. And, I really wanted to eat well while pregnant and nursing. I started drinking way more milk (2% of course, because everyone knows that whole milk is bad for you, right?) and trying to get at least one serving of fruits and veggies in a day (way more than I had tried to before). My nutritional habits were starting to improve!

Around the time my son Owen was born, I ordered Real Food. I couldn't put it down. Nina Planck believes that our industrialized food is what is making us sick. Eating "real", traditional foods are healthy and what our body needs. These are foods found as they are in nature without being "improved" by the food companies, and they are also foods that we have been eating a long time. Some healthy "real" foods are obvious - vegetables and fruits, nuts, fish, etc. But others have been slammed culturally for a while - butter, whole milk (preferably raw), cheese, eggs, etc. These haven't been tampered with. They are easier for our body to digest and packed with easily digestible nutrients. Industrialized food should be avoided. These are things that have been "improved" like refined sugar, white flour, 2% or skim milk, margarine, all of the corn products that aren't actually corn.

This book revolutionized my thinking, and for the past several weeks, I've been trying to put this into practice for my family. Since I'm a total newb at this, I thought it'd be interesting to chronicle my journey away from industrialized food and towards healthy traditional foods.

FYI - I'd love suggestions and recipes!