Saturday, February 21, 2015

Diets, Nutrition, and Gardeing

For a while now, I have been thinking and rethinking my passions, thinking about this blog and why I started it. I honestly am passionate about living a handmade and natural life, but also a balanced life. If I remember correctly, I started this blog about 5 1/2 years ago when the kids were just babies and we started going to farmer's markets with them. I thought back then, at probably 36 years old, that I was going through a midlife crisis. I think I have slowly been going through one, because now at almost 42, I am still questioning my life and what I want out of it, and how to go about getting it. I know I do want to change the focus of my social work career. I would love to do something with food and food related issues. I, almost constantly think about food, diet, and nutrition and how it relates in my life as well as others lives. I think about what is the best diet to follow for me and my family. As much as I hate to admit it, I sometimes even think about what fad diet, low calorie diet I can eat to just lose weight. I then come back and remind myself, I don't need a crazy fad diet, I need a lifestyle change. With that thought that I need a lifestyle change, I think more about what type of foods I should be eating and how best to afford those foods. When I think about how best to afford them and how best to be able to prepare them, I think about how difficult it must be for some people to be able to afford to actually purchase healthy foods as well as have the time to prepare them. I am lucky enough that I have the time to plan, buy, and cook healthy foods. I also have the money to buy decent quality food, but I wish I could afford to buy better quality foods. I also have space and time to have an actual backyard garden. When I think about what type of lifestyle diet change, I have thought about becoming vegan, going completely gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, eating a Palo diet, eating a clean food diet, and I'm sure there are many other diets that I have looked at. As I think about it, I think the best think to do is to eat a clean diet. I am almost sure that the lifestyle diet I plan to follow for myself is to eat clean. I don't think that meat is evil, but I do think that there is easily too much meat in most people's every day diet. I don't think that legumes are evil like some proponents of the Palo diet promote. I do think that gluten, some dairy and most sugar are not a good thing for most people. I think that t eh best thing people can do it to eat the least processed natural foods that one can find. One of the best things I have heard, is to eat foods that your grandparents would know or eat only foods that you are able to pronounce. I want to continue to work on making my garden the best it can be. I want to be able to walk out into my back yard and pick my produce. I would love to be able to walk into my backyard and get eggs from my own backyard chickens. I want to be able to have my children pick berries from pants in our backyard instead of having to but berries packed in plastic bins from the grocery store. I want to be able to go to my herb garden and flavor my food. I want to go to my flower garden and pick flowers for my house. I want to eat foods that are not processed at all prior to me cooking them. My ultimate goal is to eat mostly green veggies, limit my intake of starchy carbs, get rid of gluten, eat good healthy dairy, limit my meat intake so that I can afford to by good quality grass fed meat. I think that legumes are a good thing for our bodies, at least for me. I want to also look at eating foods in it's natural state, meaning eating some raw foods, but I don't think that a raw diet is the only way to eat, but it is important to have raw foods in our diet. I want to learn about the different types of diets out there so that I can make good choices, so that maybe I can educate others on how to be healthy. As I have thought about this, I have also thought about how to reach people who have limited access to good healthy food. I have thought about people who have limited access to education about healthy foods. I have thought how people don't have the time or the knowledge how to create tasty healthy food. I want to reach these people, especially kids and help them with how to do this. To do this, I need to make changes in my own life. I need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. I want to find a way to use my social work degree to reach these people. I want to try to make change. I want to work directly 1:1 with people, but I also want to make more systemic changes. I don't know that I can do this on my own, but I know I can do it with support from other like minded people. I want to work with other like minded people, but I'm not sure where to turn. My first goal is to start eating clean foods 99% of the time. I don't want to be a crazy obsessive person who can't allow myself or my family a treat once in a while. I want to start my garden, even though it is still winter here in MA and we still have feet of snow in our yards. I am going to start plants in my basement under grow lights. I am not going to buy breads and sugars because my family and I can't seem to stop eating it when it's around. I am going to buy the healthy foods and start looking at things in a more positive light, not in a way that is negative or punitive. I am going to look at the different foods I can have and how I can really make them enjoyable. I need to take time and really enjoy my food, not just stuff food down my throat to take care of the hunger in my stomach. I am going to learn to listen to my body and eat what it truly needs, not the junk that I think it is telling me it needs. Today was a good start, but a not so good middle, and an ok ending. I have a green smoothie for breakfast, but then went to a family party and ate junk. I never sat down with a plate of food and took time to enjoy what I was eating. I stood up and picked at different foods the whole time I was there. I then went home and didn't give in to the crappy cravings that I was having. I didn't continue to eating junk and crap and say I'll start tomorrow, which never come. I am restarting my healthy eating now, not tomorrow, not Monday after the weekend is over. Happy eating and living the handmade and natural life, Amy Fratto, LICSW

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