A Bit of My Food Journey, and Unanswered Questions

I’m feeling a little lost and confused right now.

I love food.  It is life.  It is health.  It is fun.

I love to cook it, I even love to buy it.  Alone time at a farmer’s market or my favorite grocery store is almost akin to going to the spa to me.

But I am feeling as though I am at another crossroads in my family’s food journey right now.

It all began with reading Fast Food Nation a couple of years ago.  Actually, it really began with my grandmother- a woman with an amazing ability to cook.  She passed it to my Dad, who shared it with me.  We all LOVE food.  You can’t be a really good cook without that passion for food, can you?

Fast Food Nation began a journey of finding out exactly what was in the food I was cooking, that I thought was healthy and good for my family.  I was appalled to find out the truth.  I immediately went through my cupboards, staying up until 2 or 3am that first night, reading every label and getting rid of any of what I had learned to be dangerous and unhealthy foods.  I read everything I could find at the library, and used book stores, I watched all the documentaries, I crawled the web until the wee hours, and I taught myself everything I could in the limited amount of time I had (raising my kids and living my life in the meantime).

I’m not going to go into huge detail, but here are the basics of what I learned, and how we changed our eating habits…

  • No High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Only grass fed beef from local farmers (I don’t make exceptions often for this one)
  • Eat raw milk and milk products
  • Eliminate “natural” and artificial flavorings, food dies, and MSG
  • No genetically engineered food (this is a hard one as it isn’t labeled- you have to do some research to do this one well, but its important!)
  • Eat organic fruits and veggies (we don’t make many exceptions on this one)
  • Buy pork and chicken from local farmers
  • Cook with whole grains, and unrefined sugar and flour
  • If there’s something on the label that I don’t know what it is, I don’t buy it
  • Cook 80% from scratch
  • That means only 20% processed (mostly that’s granola bars, organic cereal, organic macaroni and cheese, and veggie chips and pirate’s bootie in our house)

It sounds really great on paper (or on the screen I guess), but I don’t feel like its making enough of a difference.  I need to take the next step.

Mainly this is because my oldest daughter has some health and developmental issues that are not resolving.  I don’t want to go into great detail here, as I am very sensitive to feeling judged in this arena, and have received too much advice for her in the past.  But I’ve always felt that there is an answer in her nutrition that we have not yet truly discovered.  The raw milk has helped a lot.  The dark circles under her eyes, and congestion is greatly improved.  But we are still miles from being “better.”  I tried gluten free, and 75% diary free for two weeks, but didn’t notice much of a difference.  I am very interested in the Weston A Price Foundation, and Sally Fallon Morrell’s take on all of this.  I’m reading a couple of her books right now (Nourishing Traditions, and Eat Fat, Lose Fat).  I’m also reading about the GAPS diet.  And I have The Gluten Connection on my nightstand as well. I’m exploring some great websites.  I have found The Healthy Home Economist, The Food Renegade, The Nourished Kitchen, Real Food Forager, Tessa the Domestic Diva helpful in researching this and finding recipes and ideas.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by it all.  Everyone seems so certain that their idea is right.  I need to figure out which one is right for us, I realize that.  But its hard work.  And I have a child (OK, 2 children) who only eat a VERY limited variety of food.  So, attempting to change that up a number of times, in an effort to experiment, is not working out very well.

I would love to hear a bit of your food journey.  What has impacted you?  What has worked well for your family?  Are there any books, movies, or websites you would recommend?

If you are intrigued by this, and haven’t done so yet, I would recommend the movie Food Inc. as a good place to start.  I think its still available on instant viewing on Netflix. Also, Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal Vegetable, Miracle (mostly a story about her family’s experience), Fast Food Nation of course, any book by Michael Pollan.  And best of all- go to your local farmer’s market and chat up for local farmers.  They have a lot to share, and love to find someone interested in learning.

This post also shared on these great blog link ups…

http://www.nourishingtreasures.com,  http://amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.com,  http://www.21stcenturyhousewife.com,  Gluten Free Wednesdays,  allergy free wednesdays,  works for me wednesday,  frugally sustainable,  real food wednesday,  http://thischickcooks.net/,  http://raisinghomemakers.com/,  thriving on thursday, natural living link up, keep it real thursdays, pennywise platter thursdayhttp://www.withsomegrace.com/, foodie fridayhttp://naturalmothersnetwork.com,  http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com,  fat tuesday,  slightly indulgent tuesday,  http://younglivingoillady.com,  http://glutenfreehomemaker.com/,  the mommy club