|Homemade apple pie|
I have to admit, I was so excited when I saw Real Food in the list of topics that Staci gave us. This is something I am very, very passionate about and if you give me the chance I could go on and on and on about real food and what it means for your body. (Seriously. Just ask Ben... And my sister... And my sister in law... And my mother in law...)
My journey into Real food sort of started out of necessity early in our marriage and parenthood. The pre-made food was just too expensive. We were spending $600+ a month... for two people (the boys weren't eating solids yet.) It got to the point where I really needed to look at our budget and how we were spending money on food.
While I mostly cooked meals - as in, not just microwaving TV dinners, but actually using a stove and more than 5 ingredients - I was still using processed and boxed/canned ingredients.
I think not only being a mother opened my eyes to food and nutrition, but being the mother of preemies was an even stronger factor. I not only had new little lives to take care of, but new little lives that were fragile and sensitive, and needed strengthening.
So I started watching our budget, shopping carefully, and cooking things mostly from scratch.
Then I found this book.
I threw away our shortening and kicked as much soy out of our house as I could. I returned to the goodness of butter.
And then I found this book.
I bought lard, and removed (almost) the rest of anything processed and fake.
I have been trying to cook with raw, simple, basic ingredients ever since. Some things we can't quite do because of expense (I still buy pasteurized milk and meat from the store, raw and pasture-fed are too expensive), and some things I am getting better about (I'm now buying organic just-plain-peanuts peanut butter, and I've moved from regular all purpose flour to at least unbleached as well as adding in whole wheat), and some things we're doing pretty darn good (I am trying to grow most of our veggies, and those I don't I now get from the farmer's market.)
Nourishing Traditions really opened my eyes. It is food and facts that make sense. I believe that we should eat food in the purest form possible, as close as possible to the way God made and intended it. And the current state of the nation's health is a good indicator that what the smarty-pants doctors are saying isn't actually good for us.
And cooking real food is fun! I love being in the kitchen chopping and stirring and boiling and tasting and knowing that what I am making is not only good tasting but good for us.
|Drying plums in the oven|
I can tell you, that since we have changed our diet to real food that we are very rarely sick now. And the times we do get sick? We've either been naughty and gone on a fast food binge for a week and/or our bodies have been weakened from being over stressed and over tired.
It is more work, I won't lie. It's not easier. It takes a bit more effort - either to find the good ingredients, or to prepare them (although it doesn't take all that much longer). But it's worth it. Cooking with real food, to me, doesn't just feed the body.
It feeds the soul.
And isn't feeding the soul what homesteading is about?
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Visit the other women of the How We Homestead series:
Staci from Life At Cobble Hill Farm