People ask me quite often how long have I been eating healthy and organic. I tell them it’s been a 20 year journey. Honestly, it began just after my husband and I were married. I read a book that helped me to see beyond what I thought I knew about food. To add to that book, my cousins soon to be husband had a heart transplant and his doctor told him to only eat real butter, real sausage, real foods. If you cannot pronounce it, stay away from it. I remember thinking how different that was from what I was buying and from what I had known about food. I mean, isn’t low fat supposed to be good for you? Shouldn’t vegetable oils be good for cooking? What do you mean real sausage and real meats? What about all the fat?
When we were starting our family, I read about MSG not being good for you so I checked every label and avoided it when I was pregnant. I learned about High Fructose Corn Syrup when our son was very young, so we avoided it and only let him have soda on special occasion (although now, it’s completely avoided). By the time our daughter was born, I was learning about organic foods and was already buying it when I could. When our son was 5 he was tested for allergies and we found out he was allergic to tomatoes, wheat and dairy. So, once again I read all I could and changed what the pantry held. When we moved to our current home, in a completely new state, I learned about raw foods, Kombucha, beet kvass, fermenting, soaked and dried nuts, and my all time favorite book Nourishing Traditions and the Weston Price Foundation.
More recently, with my Lymes diagnosis, 3 of the 4 of us testing positive for Celiac, and food intolerance testing, 3 of us needed to again rethink how our bodies handled the food choices we made. We now eat nearly 100% organic and most of our meals are cooked in our kitchen. We belong to several food co-ops for discounts and eat raw as much as possible. This summer we had two gardens and also our CSA vegetable share.
I have learned over the past 3 years that from August through early October life will be spent canning all that the harvest produced. Canning Chili sauces, Salsa Verde, Pasta Sauce, Victory Sauce, beans, Ketchup, jams & jellies, fruits, and fermenting pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, carrots, corn relish and oh so much more. Another great process to keep some of the fruits is to dehydrate them. Great snacks for the family on road trips or when your walking through Disney. 🙂
There is nothing like opening the cupboard or fridge and seeing it filled with the harvest that you spent the summer caring for with tenderness and eagerness. This year, my mom, my daughter and one of my dear friends were a tremendous help since I was getting sick half way through the summer. Canning and preparing the harvest for winter is not easy. It’s literally a labour of love.
The journey has been long, yet well worth it. People ask me why we eat the way we do when we still get sick or in my case, I still have Lymes. I tell them that I feel this journey has been a blessing. It’s been one that has taught our children more than a conventional health class, and is continuing to teach skills that will carry them through adulthood for the benefit of their own families one day. By growing your own vegetables, canning your own harvest, and preparing and utilizing what you have for future meals saves money as well. We don’t spend as much over the winter months when we have all we need in the cupboards.
Along with my blogging of Why? I look forward to sharing some of our favorite menus, recipes, and healthy household alternatives that have been learned through many years of studying and research. I tell everyone that it’s not something you can just do in a day, it’s a process. Just like a new Christian and his/her sanctification, it will not happen over night.
When you think about it, what could be better than God’s naturally grown foods!