Lately I’ve found that many people have some fascinating perceptions of what I eat. Laughing about this with a friend the other day, she said, “You love lists – you should make a list!” So here it is – my list of five things you might find interesting about my eating. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this list, is, it is, um, not all that unusual! And maybe that’s the lesson. If you put a little thought into eating real (good) foods, it’s not all that strange.
**Do I need a disclaimer that I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist and this is not a list telling you what to eat? Hopefully it is obvious that I’m sharing my food journey and all food journeys are welcome at the Lean.Green.Kitchen! Take the words that resonate with you and leave the rest.**
Number 5. I don’t eat tofu. Seems that many people think if you are a healthy eater, then you must eat tofu. I’m not really a fan texturally of the stuff and I’m scared of what I’ve learned about soy products. So I choose to avoid soy products, which basically means all processed foods are out, because soy is hidden in just about everything. And unless it’s organic, it probably includes GMO soy. Anywho, my kids love tofu, so I occasionally get them some organic sprouted tofu and let them have at it. To each their own.
Number 4. I avoid consuming vegetable oils and I eat full fat dairy. Eating fat is confusing for most Americans, and that is no surprise since we are constantly told conflicting information. After much research and a gut check, I’m honing in on my ideal cooking and baking fats.
I use: butter, tallow, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. It’s a small list, with a strong influence from the work of Sally Fallon and her book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. Her message shares how rich and full of nutrients “traditional fats” have always been and continue to be when from a quality source. All of a sudden butter from grass-fed dairy feels nourishing and fulfilling and the tallow I pulled off the top of the bone broth from my cow seems like a nutrient-rich and versatile start to many of my dishes.
My position on dairy is either 1.) skip it or 2.) consume full fat organic dairy, preferably from grass-fed cows. My dream situation would be to know the farm where my dairy comes from, but that hasn’t happened yet. When I can afford it and find it, raw dairy is my preference. I’ve read some riveting articles regarding the extreme processing milk goes through to have the fat removed, taking the majority of the nutrients with it. Additionally, I don’t want to support factory farms and I certainly don’t want to drink a product that comes from an animal pumped with man-made chemicals. Kind of defeats my goal of reducing my body’s chemical load.
Number 3. I don’t eat many grains, but -horrors- I eat some that are refined. Specifically I love flour tortillas and the whole wheat ones just aren’t the same. Also artisan bread is one of my favorite foods, so I get the loaf that looks, smells and feels the best, has an ingredient list with ingredients I believe should be in bread, and move on. Life is for living, and if you have a food you adore, I say make sure you have a chance to enjoy it. We don’t eat very many grains around here and when we do they are mostly whole grains. Good enough.
Number 2. I wish I could eat more like my kids. As much as my kids challenge me daily in my attempts to cram nutrient-rich food into their lives, they both have food habits that I envy.
My son loves fermented vegetables and will eat them with every meal if they are available. Do you know how good that is for you? Eating real fermented veggies (sauerkraut, pickled anything, etc) is the best way to support your gut and amp up your immune system. I sure wish I liked the taste of all those good-for-you bacteria-enhanced veggies with that salty-tarty-briny flavor. I stick with my kefir and daily probiotic supplement, but am determined to up my intake of fermented vegetables as I learn to ferment them myself this year.
My daughter intuitively knows when to stop eating. She stops when she is full even if it is her favorite food and there is a ton left on her plate. She says yes to dessert and then eats a bite or two and heads off to do something else. I can’t even grasp what that might feel like. I eat ice cream until my bowl is empty. End of story. I wonder how much ice cream I would need to eat in order for my body to say, “you know what, maybe I should stop now.”
Number 1. I try not to stress about food. This might be the thing that surprises the most people, but I plan out our meals, buy real whole foods, make the meals we eat at home using said real food, and then let the rest ride. If I don’t have processed foods in the house we don’t eat them, so that takes out that stress. And we eat enough at home so I don’t much care what we eat when we are at other people’s homes. If someone is willing to cook or bake for me and my family, I am stoked and don’t bring my food soapbox (lunchbox?) to the table. If you want to talk food with me I’m happy to, but I’m also happy to talk about a million other things.
Stress negatively impacts health, so I don’t see how freaking out about food makes my family healthier.
So there you have it! A close-up on my ever evolving food life. Anything surprising or interesting on the list? What would I find interesting about what you eat? Share in the comments!
If you are interested in more specifics about what I eat, I encourage you to check out my food rules.