Friday, January 29, 2010

Learning about food

This last week or two has been spent immersed in books.  I've been reading about nutrition.  Since my health concerns are centered around Crohns (everyone's got something right?), which is specific to the digestive system, you can see my renewed interest in what I eat.  From various blogs I've been reading I kept coming across the book Nourishing Traditions, about eating what's been made for thousands of years.  My library didn't have the book on hand when I was there but they did have the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.  That's the research the Nourishing Traditions is based on.  I figured it was probably a better beginning place anyway.  I have been so amazed at what I'm reading.  I always knew eating better equaled better health but I never saw it spelled out quite like this.  Weston Price, the author, is a dentist from about 70-80 years ago who wanted to know why his US patients were getting more and more cavities instead of fewer.  He compares primitive diets to more modernized diets of groups around the world.   He finds significant differences between the health of those on primitive diets and those on modernized diets eating sugars and processed foods (and imagine how much more processed our diets are now in comparison!)  I've never read a health or nutrition book and felt so moved to change my behaviors.  I'm also questioning some of what I've been taught all my life about food, a good start and well intentioned but maybe thousands of years of eaters knew something about what their bodies needed.

I'm also reading Real Food by Nina Planck.  Her book explains what to eat and why.  I'm not super excited to go back to the grocery store anymore, though I know I will at least for now. Another fascinating book.

I'm not much for purchasing books. I go through too many to keep in my house, so I support my local library frequently.  But these are two books I might consider keepers on my shelf.  I want them to refer back to and so I can hand over the information about my choices when someone looks at me like I'm a crazy person!

So I'm kind of turning into a health nut but from what I see many people feel better by making the changes suggested in these books and it appears to be rather permanent changes.   How much of this is just telling a one sided story?  I don't know yet.  My next step is to read a little of the other side of the story to get a full picture before I make any major changes.  I'm not sure what the other side is but I know someone will have a complaint for what these individuals have researched, there always is. 

That said I do feel good about what I'm reading and learning.  Its nothing major, pretty much to eat a well rounded diet, except for things such as sugar and processed foods which I already knew were on the don't eat very often list - if at all.  Its mostly eat foods in their purest forms.  Yes cooking is foods is fine but but raw is important too.  I'm also learning how adversely the wrongs foods, or I should say processed foods, can affect us.  That's what stunned me and I don't mean just adverse weight gain. We're talking major stuff like bone development, arthritis, heart disease, insulin problems, reproductive problems, immune system problems and so on and so on.  The list keeps growing and growing the more I read. 

The funniest thing about all this is I just can't get away from wanting my own small farm.  Living in a small town has intrigued me since at least my teens.  As I've gotten older I've thought about having a farm and realized much of what I needed was really just sunlight.  I needed to be outside.  Being outside helped keep me exercised and provided sunlight which both helped to keep postpartum depression at bay.  Those days are past and I don't deal with the depression much, just normal does of bad days here and there like everybody else but reading these books has me wanting my own farm again. I can't get away from thinking what my children will learn from the work and experiences of farm life and how we will benefit nutritionally.  I don't know anything about about farming, just bits from books and blogs. Right now it seems too tall an order but I think we'll baby step there if Chris supports the idea - at least a garden if nothing else.

I know I've said nothing about the family today but I don't think I've been able to have a conversation this week without something about this topic in it.  Its kind of consuming my mind at the moment. If its all a bit jumbled that's because its that way in my head.  I think I've gotten so much information so fast I'm having a hard time fully sorting it in my mind.  Its like my eyes have been opened.  This information has been here for years I just was unaware of so much of it or it just wasn't the right time for me to address it.  Who would have thought I'd ever be so interested in understanding things like grass fed beef vs grain fed beef , raw milk vs pastuerized milk, mass production vs. small farms? Not me, I figured there might be some quality differences but didn't know those differences could actually be affecting my health.  More to read, more to learn.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Here we go again!

Ok so I kind of disappeared from the blogging world there for a while but life is good and I'm hoping to get back up to blogging speed, once a week for now. 

As you know I've been quilting the past few years and even purchased a long arm quilting machine.  Well after Christmas I went and got a business license.  I don't have my official certificate but I do have the go ahead to do business.  The official certificate should be arriving at any point.  I'm in the process of putting up a website and blog/gallery for the site.  All I can say is its fun!!!  I don't plan to make this a full time job.  I'm figure I might as well offer my skills to others and if possible get paid a little to do it too! My business is called The Winding Bobbin.  More to come on this as it develops.

Family is good.  I keep seeing how big Spencer is and realizing I'm out of the baby stage.  I don't know if I'll be back there again or not but I do miss some of it.  Though I think I'm going to miss the toddler age more.  Its so funny to hear what Spencer has to say and how he plays.  The other day he was saying the word stupid at the lunch table which is not allowed in this house.  I scolded him and he stopped.  A few moments later he told me his stomach said a bad word.  I asked him if his tummy needed to go into time out. He said yes, grabbed at his stomach and pretended to throw it away from him.  What was really odd was watching him watch it float away up to the ceiling.  Next he started to whimper, almost in tears, that it wasn't coming back!  So I said to call it back and pretended to watch the invisible stomach float back toward him.  When it got close he grabbed it and you could see the look of relief on his face. 

We've had a nice change in Chris's work.  He has been absolutely hating his job for the past few months.  It was just getting worse and worse.  They were even threatening his job if he couldn't get his crew to turn out the appropriate numbers.  That's understandable but Chris just couldn't stand the way they were so demeaning to him and his employees -actually the whole department.  For example Chris was told a couple of times he'd have to threaten the jobs of his best employees, just because they had one or two bad days and we're not talking major problems.  His best employees were getting fed up and wanting to quit.  Chris knew there was a better way but just couldn't get the support from management above him.  So they just kept going in circles.  Eventually some changes were made and Chris was kind of a floating supervisor helping where needed. He would come home telling me about how the other side of the building doing the same kind of work but a different department treats their employees better and are still able to keep the work standards high.  Well he lucked out.  A manager from that side of the building saw that Chris was just kind of a floater and picked him up to be a supervisor on his shift.  Chris is still doing the same work but feels good about what he's doing.  They have a much more positive and logical way of managing their crews. He may still have to threaten employee's jobs but it is when there is a real problem.  Its interesting how a different perspective can make such a difference in the same work.  I really like how pleasant he comes home from work.  I hope it continues.  He's still looking for full time work but now it feels like we can hold out until he can find it.  The last few months were spent trying to handle one week of UPS at a time, doing his best not to quit since he had a family to support.   What a blessing!  I still feel sorry for all those people under the other management.

And Oliver has been our photographer lately!