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!