On Friday, I said I’d come back with specific suggestions for getting to know your food better in 2011. This doesn’t mean you must draw on your eggs like B. did. It also doesn’t mean you should name your cow before you butcher it. Really, each of us may have a different way to get to know our food. I’d like to give you three suggestions for the New Year — they’re open enough to make your own.
So, here they are, three ways to get to know your food in 2011.
1. Grow Something New
No matter what else you’re raising or growing already, try something different. We added alot of animals to our homestead in 2010, and this year, I’m hoping to add a garden and chickens. The chickens may happen this week! The garden is totally Lord willing. What can you grow? A row of herbs on your windowsill? How about a hanging pot of greens/lettuces? Backyard chickens, goats, lamb, a small garden? Big or small, grow something this year — so you and your children can appreciate food that comes from its true source, the Lord through His design for our world.
If you can’t grow something new yourself, try to replace some industrial food with its counterpart from a local, artisan source or farm. You’ll be feeding yourself while you feed your community.
2. Feed Your Gut More
“Think of your intestines as soil and grass: the villi are like the soil, and the layer of good bacteria is like the grass covering the soil. If you go to a meadow or a perennial grass field and you overgraze or do something to strip the grass, the soil will become eroded. If this condition continues, you get further erosion of soil, you get cracks in the soil, and surface material starts seeping into the ground water. That is exactly the same process that happens in the human gut. People “strip their grass” with antibiotics, with vaccines, with processed foods, with not getting the right flora via the birth canal due either to a C-section or gut dysbiosis in the mother. Lastly, “civilized” people today are no longer eating probiotic foods. All these factors create an unhealthy gut ecology, a flattening of the villi, and actual holes in the gut wall.” –Wise Traditions article by Tom Cowan, MD
In 2010, I ran a Probiotics: Every Meal series. I shared my ideas and received your ideas for eating probiotics (aka gut food) at every meal and then some, even desserts! I know many people read the series, but not many participated. This did not surprise me, and I was okay with it being food for thought. You see, we Americans don’t have a “cultured food” culture. It isn’t second nature to put a scoop of sauerkraut next to our burger; most people can their vegetables instead of fermenting them; and most sugar-laden yogurts from the grocery store lack any active cultures (are you thinking what I’m thinking — what’s the point of that?).
What is a probiotic food? A food that contains beneficial bacteria or yeasts — organisms that are good for the gut. As a bonus, those foods usually contain enzymes, too!
It takes work to get our heads around making and serving cultured, probiotic foods regularly. My family made a concerted effort in 2009 and 2010 to eat cultured foods with every meal — and we’ve done pretty well. If I serve a meal without a cultured something, that gives me pause. I feel like something is missing! Strangely satisfying. And that’s exactly what I want for you.
Okay, so having a cultured, probiotic food every meal as we do might sound like too much. That’s fine. Anything is better than nothing — so YOU pick the frequency. Once per week? Once per day? Please don’t choose once per month; I know you can do better than that.
For probiotic breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and dessert ideas, revisit the Probiotics: Every Meal series. To get help learning how to make sauerkraut or other fermented veggies; cultured dairy like kefir, sour cream, yogurt or cheeses; or beverages such as water kefir, check out the in-depth video and print tutorials and forum support at GNOWFGLINS eCourse. And our brand-new service, the weekly menu plans, include a cultured food each week!
3. Add a Traditional Method of Food Preparation
What do you want to learn next? You’re probably already eating real foods. Are they prepared well for optimum nutrition? Soaking, sprouting and fermenting can improve just about every food group! You’ll get better digestion and nutrition out of your seeds and nuts, grains and beans, fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy. Just choose one method and food group — do you want to ditch the cans and soak/cook your own beans? how about learning to make sourdough foods like pasta, muffins, crackers or cake? or start by soaking your morning oatmeal. This blog hosts many recipes to guide your learning, and we’ll walk alongside you go step-by-step and week-by-week at GNOWFGLINS eCourse.
My family and I want to learn about traditional methods of preservation — like smoking and salting meats and making pemmican. Actually, that was one of my goals for 2010, but it didn’t happen (except for jerky, which actually turned out not too traditional).
What are your New Year’s food resolutions? Which of these do you think you can do? How can you make it your own and doable for you and your family? I am here to help you succeed, so please keep in touch and let me know how I can help you. God bless your new year.