I'm discovering that I must have a bit of an obsessive personality. Since writing my first blog post on Friday, I have been thinking constantly about what to write on next. Something interesting will happen to Sawyer and I'll think, "Oh, I'll have to write a blog about that," or I'll remember something cool I read about or heard at Bible study and think it is most definitely blog worthy. This is exactly why I specified in my first ever post that my blog needed to have a focus and purpose. I really want my blog to be helpful, not just amusing or even interesting.
That being said, even the recent life lessons or events that I would categorize as "purposeful" or focused are hard to organize. God has been teaching me so much lately and I want to share it all. So, what to write about first...
I recently read a book called, "In Defense of Food" by Micheal Pollan. Those of you who have known me for a while know that I love to read. I prefer mystery novels. A good John Grisham (or if I am in a sappy mood, an old Victoria Holt) is always entertaining-which is usually why I'm reading...to be entertained. There are a few good Christian life books like Francis Chan's, "Crazy Love," or Gary Thomas', "Sacred Marriage," that I'll thrown in before bed time or Tim and I will go through together but when I want to just sit and veg and read, its usually going to be something requiring little brain activity. Pollan's book has changed that.
The last few months have been interesting for us. We're going through a lot of changes. Some easy, most hard, but all good. The word "refinement" comes to mind when I think about how life has been lately. Though most of the "refining" has been on our spiritual lives, a good portion of it has also been on our physical lives, specifically in regards to how we eat. I have recently met some super cool women who are really into eating well and "In Defense of Food" was recommended after I began to ask a bizzilion questions of the "how and why" nature. What a read!
Pollan's main theme is simple: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." He walks the reader through what this looks like and the common sense reasoning behind his passion to convince people to eat "real" food. I am such a fan.
For the last six or so weeks, I have been cooking and using real food. In the grocery store, I try to only buy things with ingredients I recognize and can pronounce. If I don't know what it is or where it comes from, I put it back on the shelf and look for something else. Oh and the less ingredients that better. Basically, it means shopping the outside isles of the grocery store and spending a lot more time at the local Farmer's Market.
It was definitely all overwhelming at first. When I was starting reading the book I began to go through my fridge and was shocked at how much non-real food I had. Even my orange juice wasn't really "real" orange juice! Trying to change my mindset from buying what is cheapest to buying what is best has been tough, especially on the food budget we're dealing with. I am having to get really creative with recipes and food spending but knowing I am feeding my family good food is ridiculously rewarding. And, ask Tim, we have been eatin' good lately. What I love so much about this way of thinking is its not a diet at all! The only foods restricted and the ones that aren't even real food! Bacon-real food, steak-real food, ice cream-real food, coffee-real food, even BUTTER is real food! Obviously, all things in moderation is always a good rule, but I am hear to testify that it is possible to eat really good and healthy food, while on a tight budget!
I have certainly not master the cooking part and it is not something we do every meal (today we had bbq brisket I bought and heated up in the microwave and served on buns made from about 30 ingredients) but I have challenged myself to try to make 4-5 dinners a week from real foods. So far, so good.
Each week I'm trying something new. Last week, I made whole wheat pancakes from scratch. Way better then Bisquick, let me tell you. This week, I am going to attempt to make bread. I'll let you know how that goes! I am going to make a file of the recipes I like so others can enjoy as well.
Of all our recent changes, the slow switch from processed foods to "real food" has been the most fun, hands down. I love all that I am learning about seasonal fruits and veggies, soil quality, and grass feed beef and (again with the obsessive personality) can't wait to learn more.