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real food

Food Is my Friend

Recently, I was out to have a beer and some pub food with a friend. When our gorgeous food came (fries loaded with meat, jalapeno’s, & CHEESE!!!), I arranged my plate and snapped a picture.

“Are you food blogging now?” asks my friend.

Nope.

Looking at my Instagram, you would think I do nothing but eat and drink beer & wine all the time :). I could have a worse reputation.

I am by no means a food blogger, nor do I want to be. They do some hard work, that involves lots of
prep & editing.

I just love food. I love to eat. I think “pretty” food is marvelous, and I think we have lost the art of eating. Everyone is so busy watching everything they eat, there is no more joy in enjoying food.

A short while ago, I decided I would no longer villianize food. I was getting into the flow of : watching for wheat, does it have soy?, are there preservatives, IS IT FROM CHINA????,  is it local, bla bla bla. The foods I ate as an alternative tasted blah. I was eating plainly to subside my hunger, not enjoying the food. And I was not feeling good. Food was making me feel blah.

I am going to throw in here that I was tested for a gluten intolerance, and according to that test, wheat should be my friend. To my best knowledge, I do not have any serious food allergies or issues.

I have decided to eat the foods my body craves. If it wants bread, I will either bake it myself from the best ancient grain or wheat flour I can find, or buy really expensive sourdough bread (which, btw, has fluctuating consequences for me). Same goes for pasta. If I want nothing but meat all day, I will eat nothing but meat. I find that I LOVE eating something bold & spicy, then something sweet, then bold & spicy……you get the picture. I have gone away from “food pyramid” eating to “instinct eating”.  I no longer follow any diet. I get ideas from paleo bloggers, because that matches closest to how I eat.  I love raw milk, CHEESE!!!, eggs, and SUGAR :).

I have learned to avoid foods that my body does not like. Just stay open, your body tells you when something is not working, even if it is “healthy”, or if you have eaten it all your life.  For example, my body does not love chicken right now. I have a freezer full of chickens we raised and harvested ourselves, yet my body does not want it. It does want beef, and pork only in form of bacon, prosciutto, & dry salami. And lots of fish, much of it coming out of little cans. I eat tuna, herring, and sardines, lots of them. Right now I am not loving kales & greens, but that could change as it gets colder. Salads are daily.

Since I have stopped looking at food as my enemy, my body feels better. My spirit is dancing, because it LOVES to eat!

To get back to my Instagram pictures. I don’t prepare special meals, what you see is what I eat :). I think that is why my food pictures get the most likes (apart from the many pictures of my chickens or my dog!), they are authentic. I think people can feel the joy that food is bringing me, and they like seeing happy food.

So my friends, go talk to your food! Listen to your body, eat freely, live healthy!

xoxo,
Heike
P.S. If you want to follow my food, and the rest of my daily adventure, log into Instagram :).

My theory: LOVE my food, loose weight, and recalibrate my body.

Food is good

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love food :). Honestly, you probably think I do nothing but cook & eat.

Actually, I do eat often. I love food!

Food as never been an “issue” for me. When I was younger, my metabolism and way of life supported my giant appetite. Even after I hit 30, had two kids, etc, I could pretty much eat what and how much I wanted.

It was not until a few years ago that I noticed issues when I ate certain foods. Foods that I have always eaten. I will feel slightly (or not so slightly) nauseous after eating, or, I will get a metallic taste in my mouth and become very fatigued.  I tested negative for a gluten allergy, but realized that every time I ate (American!) wheat, I would have the metallic incident.

I have gained weight, have trouble sleeping, have dry & sallow skin, and am never thirsty , so I have to force/remind myself to drink water. I also get terrible inflammation pain in my nerves in my feet & legs.

And yes, I am over 40, and no, I don’t think it is age :).

Over the last years I have tried: no wheat, ancient grains, juicing, fasting, no carbs, with carbs, raw foods, not raw, inflammation diets, blood type diets, etc.

I have come to the conclusion that my body, and spirit, do not respond to any of these positively, so I am going to try one more experiment. I am going to include my husband, who, after quitting smoking a little over a year ago, has gained over 30lbs. I also do not believe in a restrictive diet (since I do not have medical issues), and I believe if you still love and enjoy the food you are eating, instead of seeing it as an enemy, it will nourish you.

My theory:

We are going to eat grass fed/free range beef, pork, & chicken (more beef, less chicken for me, as I can only eat it smothered in curry, otherwise I get sick. Not a big fan of pork, love bacon, though!), which we do already. I am going to “lightly” follow the blood type diet recommendations, as some of the “avoid” foods do hold true and make me feel ill. I am 0+, my husband is B. Protein is a major player.

We will eat lots of veggies (cooked or fermented for easy digesting), and smaller amounts of salad (since it is raw) and fruit (yummy, but lots of SUGAH!! :)). I will make more hearty salads that we can also have as snacks, such as bean salads, spelt, etc.

I will get my husband to eat joghurt, kefir, and drink kombucha :).  I love all of these, he does not. He also has a terrible sweet tooth, and I am sure the fermented foods will help curb his outrageous sugar cravings. What human can eat 3 doughnuts at once without getting sick???? For this time, I will likely stay away from raw milk (…:(….), but have the fermented version of it.

Yes, we will have bread. BUT, again, only fermented. I make my own sourdough, and it is pretty tasty. It is very simple to make (you can find a no-knead recipe here: http://www.herbmagik.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-easiest-sourdough-bread-in.html. or, you can follow the recipe in Nourishing Traditions, which I use now). You can buy sourdough or traditionally fermented bread, but check your source. Many commercially made sourdough breads are not leavened the traditional way (12 hours or more).

So, I will make all bread, and also pasta. I will make the pasta with spelt or einkorn flour (this is new to me, will post as I make it!).  Basically, I am making sure that the carbs we eat follow traditional philosophy, which is easy on the digestion.

My husband loves rice, I do not :).
We will continue to drink coffee, and eat small amounts of real cane sugar. 

 My hope is that through this diet, we will both loose 10+ lbs (he can stand a little more)  without stressing our body. I also want to “recalibrate” our bodies to perform as it is meant to, so that we continue to nourish ourselves without restrictions.

As for my kids, they will just wonder why mama is cooking so much :).

Weigh in: 148lbs (I am sure that is ALL muscle…)

Gross, yet fantastic food of my youth. How did I survive?

Tonight, I ate a bologna ( baloney!!!)  sandwich.

Right now, I am regretting it immensely, as my stomach is crying out “What the HELL?????”

I can’t remember the last time I had a bologna sandwich on soft, crappy white bread (that you can roll into a ball) with mustard & mayonnaise. It was so good for a moment :). Bologna is one of those foods I lived on as a kid. I had phases where I only ate certain things. For a long while my bologna with mustard & mayo, then Alphabet Soup.

Strangely, coming from a mixed German/American household, these foods were like treasures to me as a child. So were Lucky Charms. My German family would not touch those foods with a 10ft pole, LOL. I ate them, and survived. I even grew up to be a healthy, happy, organic, crunchy, real food eating adult.

My husband, who I swear just does this to rile me up, will go shopping and buy $1 white bread, bologna, Fruit Loops (ew…never ate those), those strange little pie things you can buy at a gas station, $1 cookies, etc. His stomach will survive an acapolypse. He is one of those lucky humans that is trim, even though he violates all laws of food. He did gain 30 lbs this year after he quit smoking (yeah for him!!!), but he is still quite average and only snickers when I watch him eat to see if he will self-destruct.

My kids will not touch bologna :)….they will eat tongue sausage, blood wurst, and other adventurous meats, but not Oscar Meyer mystery meat.  They do, however, love to indulge in blue/red/multi-colored Slurpies from 7Eleven, and other questionable junk food that I raise my eyebrows to.

I have learned, over time, that our diet is helathy and “real” enough that our bodies will excuse an insanity moment every once in a while.  Quite frankly, our bodies also make us suffer a little (I won’t go into details, but shouts of “blue POOP!!” have rung out in this house…) so that we don’t indulge too often.

Now I am craving a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Waste not – and visit Yosemite with your food budget!

I don’t know about you, but whenever I try to do a “budget” for our household, FOOD is always the biggest category.

I spend most of our monthly budget on food. Granted, buying “real food” is more expensive than purchasing coupon support packaged food, but I know that part of my big price tag is mis-management.

I know this because my fridge is packed, as is my freezer, AND my pantry…..YET….the most common statement in my house from the kitchen: “We have NOTHING to eat!!!”

And, I throw a good amout of food away. It is a damn shame, really. It comes from stocking up, or buying things with a meal in mind that never happens.  Or, because I go purchase things while I am hungry. Sometimes, the food I grow comes in fast, and I don’t have the time or space to preserve it. If I can’t get it to friends or neighbors quick enough, it goes to waste.

Thankfully, I have chickens and a thriving compost, so at least the food does not go into the garbage.

I have decided to cut our food budget (with the saved money going into a vacation fund. I have never been to Yosemite, and will remedy that) and create

Fridge Challenge Meal

less food waste.

Steps:

  1. Use what is in the fridge/freezer/pantry NOW, only supplementing with fresh items that need to be replenished, like salads, milk, etc. Creativity, and the open mind of the family is important here :). 
  2. Every time I throw food away (aka, give it to the chickens or compost), I will write down the dollar amount on a piece of paper on my fridge. 
  3. Menu planning. It will kill me, but in the end, I think it will make things much easier. 
  4. Clear out freezer. I really need an upright freezer. I have chest freezer now, and I swear, I don’t know what is at the bottom. I am going to explore. Mainly, I am going to make it my mission to use all the meat, veggies, and fruit stored before I get more. 
  5. Prepare pantry for more bulk foods.  Ok, I just ate jam this morning that I made in 2010. :)…yes, it was still good, but really, it is time to hit that stash. Also asking friends if they would like some, because a girl can only eat so many sweet & sour pickles.

I could get more vigilante about it, but realistically, I won’t sick to it. These steps are doable right now, and will clear my freezer and pantry space in a about a month for a more organized food space.

I will be posting some of my “clear the fridge meals” on Instagram as I go.  Here are some things that I have noticed in the last days of putting together ingredients:

  1. Cut stale bread in cubes, keep airtight and add to soups. Makes them “meaty”, according to my son :). 
  2. Keep fresh ginger. It can be added to soups, veggies, salad dressings, and gives anything zing!
  3. Turmeric, again, a great spice for veggie combos, soups, stews, or meat. 
  4. Use your crockpot!!! Mine is now slowing cooking bone broth, a good base. 
  5. Family can get grumpy. Especially meat eating husbands. Make sure to find ways to make “real food” (which is what I cook all the time, but if it does not have SOLID meat, so no stew, it is not real for husband) and keep him happy. I will also show mine the dollar list from my fridge and vacation jar full of money…that works.  Get kids involved by letting them make up a meal with available ingredients. 
  6. Cook big pots of rice. Rice can be fried, added to soups, or made into delicious rice pudding :)…great for fruit compot that you make with aged fruit!

We live in an abundant world, now we have to learn to live in it :).
Warmly,
Heike

P.S. Due to the high amount of comment spam, I have closed comments for now. I DO WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!  🙂 Please come comment on Facebook!

The care & feeding of a Teenager Spirit

        

 My sweet teenager :).
 How often does the media implore us with horror visions of being a parent of a
teenager? Their moods, stupid antics, laziness, boredom, …..just general blah??
They suggest that we, as parents, just accept this fact as normal, and wait
until they are adults. 
Thankfully, I have been blessed with an inquisitive, verbal,
fabulous, moody, open-minded (yet opinionated),self reliant (most of the
time),  intelligent teenage girl. Oh, she
is not perfect, and the hormones and teenager cooties come through regularly,
but I feel that is a part of growing up, and needs to be dealt with just as any
other growing pain.
I have found that when I recognized to greet & nurture
my teenager’s spirit, it has made a huge difference.
There are times when my “baby” returns from events, trips,
or just spending a few hours in certain situations like this: Mean, irritated,
snarky, fatigued, sick with headaches, throat aches, stomach pains. She is
tired, and also emotionally depleted. Her little spirit is withered.
I could let her isolate herself with her iPod &
headphones, yell at her for being snarky, tell her to sleep more and text less,
etc.
Instead, I have found the correlation. “HOME”, our house
that is, is a rejuvenating sanctuary for her spirit. As chaotic as it is, it is
safe. I have learned that the magic of
food
helps banish that “mean teen”. I don’t mean fries, burgers, & ice
cream or other sweets. No, I see my teen craving nourishing food such as onion
soup with turmeric, nettle tea, fermented food such as sauerkraut & beet
kvaas does the trick. Within a short time, she regains her powers and is
herself again.
Society will look at small children that throw a tantrum,
and often say “They had too much sugar.” Or “No more food coloring for you!”
What if parents treated their teen throwing a “teen tantrum”
the same way they would treat a small child? I know the foods listed above are
not your average popular teen fare ( or that of kids, for that matter), and
many of them will wrinkle their nose at it. My tip? Tell them to try it, and if
it does not make them feel better, you will leave them alone with it NEXT TIME :).
Good luck!