Thursday, February 05, 2009


Nearly a year ago I read a book. It changed my life, my family's life. I wrote this. The birth of a new lifestyle, a new blog, and new perspective on food.

Today I dedicated myself to reading the book again. A refresher is in order. While the family and I have stayed true to our new understanding of food there is a certain drooping in enthusiasm. So, look again.

In the spirit of assessment I am reviewing all that has occurred this past almost-year.

First, we have not darkened the door or drive-up window of a fast food establishment since the book arrived in our mailbox. No kidding. The important thing to note is that none of us want to. (Now wait a minute, I think Tom said one day he forgot to take his lunch and accepted an offer from a co-worker to have 2 fast food tacos bought for him. He said they were disgusting and he couldn't finish them, things he had until last February eaten regularly. Good test.)

Second, we've drastically reduced our consumption of processed foods and have begun buying ingredients at the store instead of mixes, pre-made soups or frozen entrees, even potato chips, crackers, cookies, and bakery items. While I'd like to say we've eliminated them I still like the convenience of Prego spaghetti sauce when I'm in a hurry, fresh and dried pasta, canned tomato paste and sauce, and organic boxed stocks when I don't have time to thaw my own. Stuff like that. Oh, and Breyers ice cream now and then, gotta have it.

Third, we consume only hormone-free whole dairy products, no low-fat or no-fat. And we eat organic, grass-fed meat.

While there are many more changes those three are the most dramatic for us. All voluntary, these changes were welcomed at the time and are still so. We plan to live this way until we die, God willing.

Results include the loss of weight, some of us twenty pounds, without really trying. We have more energy to move which helped with the weight loss, I'm sure, not to mention the change to whole foods which taste good and quickly fill us up.

Tom's doctor had been after him for years to take drugs for his cholesterol. I, being nervous about the side-effects of such drugs, had urged Tom to resist by showing him studies and reports about the drugs and about better eating habits. All it took was our corporate understanding and the choosing of delicious, whole, natural food for Tom to find satisfaction in meals and thus forget about the edible food-like substances he'd graze on in-between. His cholesterol is now 'normal', no drugs.

Energy is higher all around, moods are more stable, skin is clearer, enthusiasm abounds, self-confidence replaces introversion, and less time is spent on the computer or playing video games.

Yada, yada, yada.

It's been an interesting year.

I'm going to put all the books that I've been reading lately on the bottom shelf of my night-stand. Michael Pollan's book will be the sole top-of-the-table book until I finish it again.

I've been taking good things for granted.

Need some reminding.

Spring is on the way. And I intend to meet it, greet it, hug it, follow it, and let it work for me even as I enjoy all the burstings of life it shares.


Wandering Coyote said...

Good for you guys! I love it when a book changes a life. I have to get that book myself.

Cherie said...

The power of words and well thought-out concepts. A great good! I think you'll like the book, WC. Very freeing.

tshsmom said...

I love your enthusiasm!
We have 2 grocery stores in town and neither of them sells organic meat. We used to eat a lot of game, but we can't afford to go hunting anymore. :(

Only one of our stores sells organic, hormone-free milk, and organic veggies. The fresh? veggie selection is limp, shriveled, and twice the price of their non-organic options. We really need to get our garden moved and start growing our own veggies again.

Z was having swollen breast issues until I started buying organic milk a year ago. The problem disappeared as soon as we switched milk!

I agree with you on the canned tomato sauces and paste. We don't have room to store a year's worth of home-canned tomato products, so we buy those products too. We have to freeze our garden produce. I really miss my home-dehydrated tomatoes though.

Cherie said...

Tshs: I know how small town grocery stores can be. I think you are right that a good alternative for you is home garden - if you have the time.

We bought half a grass-fed, locally raised, organic beef last fall. A big expense upfront but a savings in the end as per pound it's cheaper than our butcher shops organic, free-range meat.

Hard decisions and one can't always get the ideal but the payoff is in the doing of one's best, I think. And you are certainly doing that. Good job!

Gardenia said...

I'm going to get that book, although we have moved very close to the type of eating you mentioned. Luckily we have year around farmer's market with local output downtown, although even for Florida, winter time limits.

We've started using an organic hormone free milk, especially for the grandson when he's here. I'm convinced our normal grocery store fare is poisoning American people.

My husband has FINALLY agreed to cooperate with allowing me to water garden, and planting more than a rudimentary set of plants in my flower bed after the information meeting I posted about on my blog. I am going to try to re-institute canning into our lives this fall - one hurricane can take out our whole freezer contents. The initial outlay will be expensive, but so are medical bills from preservative, hormonal imbalanced induced diseases.

We have also purchased a water filtering machine that cleanses the water AND alkalyzes it.

Yep - restaurants, the majority of them make me shudder - and certainly do fast food places. Don't you think a lot of us are making the move back to home cooking to protect ourselves and families? Although in my immediate circles, I am considered a bit of an odd one - -

Cherie said...

I hope you do get the book, Gardenia, it's that good. You are my role model when it comes to coping without food and proceeding away from old habits into a healthier lifestyle. (I managed to NOT go to the ice cream that day, though, but settled for hot cocoa made with milk. Maybe it was a better choice. I think so.)

I agree that many people are heading to their own kitchens for meals these days to protect themselves, and on the other hand I think many people eat most meals out. There seems to be a division, split in two.

We buy water from artisian wells up in the mountains nearby so we know the source, know the family who bottles it, know the test results, know what we're drinking. We can hardly stand tap water for drinking anymore. Tastes like pool water to us. Good for you for getting a filter. Do you notice the difference in taste?

Yay on the garden! Doesn't take much land or work to make a BIG difference. Hurricanes and freezers - not a good pair, eh.

Thanks for the encouraging comment, Gardenia.