So today was the first day of the year, and also the first day that Jay went back to work after having him home for over a week for the holidays. We had such a blast with Olivia’s first Christmas. I have been crazy busy for the last month or so and not posted anything. We moved to a new apartment, had a birthday, separate Christmas parties with both families, Christmas shopping… you know how it goes. I wanted to purposefully put blogging on hold till things calmed down and give my family 100%. I thought the new year would be a perfect time to jump back in!
So, this Saturday Jay and I both got nasty colds that we have been getting over, so when he went back to work today I was dreading it. I knew I still needed rest badly and would have to be on my own with the baby with breaks only during nap time, which I took full advantage of. I still felt like I was pretty productive today. I went out shopping for groceries in the morning and for the first time bought raw milk from Sprouts Farmer’s Market. Man, I love that place. Its the only place I have been able to find raw milk. I feel so much better about us drinking milk that is unprocessed, and without hormones, steroids, or antibiotics, and without the ultra-pasturization process that basically kills all the amazing nutrients raw milk has.
I am trying to implement a lot of the principles in the Nourishing Traditions book. I have been gradually eliminating processed foods, and am trying to keep them to a minimum. I don’t intend to go extreme and never have them, but I want to make it a point to keep them as a special treat and try to make eating healthy, nutritious foods a priority. It is not going to be easy, and in some ways not always more affordable. I will need to spend a bit more time than I had in the past to make meals myself, but I am looking forward to learning to cook more, and challenging myself in the kitchen. I especially love the idea of knowing what I am putting in my baby’s mouth!!
Anyway, back to our day… I was still feeling pretty crummy and wanted to nap when Olivia took her first nap, but I was hungry and needed to fix some breakfast. I decided to make mamaliga, which is Romanian for cornmeal mush (you can find directions on any cornmeal package). I think some people call this porridge. I fix mine with cottage cheese and sour cream. I usually buy Daisy brand because it is all natural. Sometimes it is nice to add ricotta cheese and sausage. YUM!! I like cornmeal for breakfast because it is so filling and is a nice alternative to wheat-based cereals and things. Oatmeal is another great breakfast item, as well as eggs. They are considered super-foods by health experts and are great options for losing weight. By the time I finished making and consuming my delicious mamaliga and I crashed on my bed, I only laid there maybe half an hour when Olivia woke up. I can’t complain too much, 1/2 an hour is better than nothing, but I still felt pretty wiped out and she normally naps longer these days. 11/2 to 2 hours, typically. I was a little bummed, but went to get her out of her crib.
When I saw her little face I forgot how tired I was, and we enjoyed some snuggle time on the couch, with her wrapped up in her soft blankie. I love it when she is in a cuddly mood.
Later on, after nap number two, we headed to Walmart Neighborhood Market right behind our apartment, to pickup all of our non-dairy, non-meat, and non-produce items. I refuse to buy those items from any Walmart any more unless its my only option. I have been burned enough times with their produce, their meat isn’t fantastic, and I can get better organic and wholesome options for dairy at my new favorite store, Sprout’s. I tried to keep my items to a minimum, only buying the staples. My hope was I would leave enough of my food budget left over to fix a few good nutrient-rich meals this pay period.
My approach and recommendation to beginning the nourishing foods lifestyle is you don’t have to jump in and go 100% right off the bat if you want to eat healthier. I have started with a few things to change, and gradually expanded to more and more substitutions for the better options out there. I also don’t think a person needs to fix unprocessed meals 100% of the week. I am starting with 1 or 2 meals that last a few days, and try to have other healthy foods in the house. And within a meal, not every item needs to be unprocessed right off the bat.
My friend Elise is one of my mommy friends who really inspired me to look into the nourishing foods lifestyle. When I first got the Nourshing Traditions book, I was a little intimdated. I asked her advice on what a good place to start. She told me “I can completely relate 🙂 I started by finding pastured meat and poultry sources. Then I started with chicken bone broth. Switching your sweeteners and oils is a pretty easy but important first step:) baby steps!” She started a group on facebook called Nourished by Grace for people to exchange support, recipes, and resources for nourishing foods (Check it out!!). She shares, “Finding real and traditional food along with natural and holistic living came as a literal answer to prayer and transformed my health and life. Relearning basic food prep that our great grandmothers knew and finding a way to get our families’ standard American diet pallets used to real food and flavors is challenging to say the least. Only by giving and receiving grace will we be able to create a new nourishing normal. This group will focus on nutrient dense foods and tradition preparation, based largely on the principles of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the book Nourishing Traditions. Locally grown produce, pastured meats, healthy fats, properly treated grains and raw dairy are important in this food philosophy but take changes one step at a time! Grace, always grace.” Pretty cool, right?
Also check out her awesome sister, and my dear friend Jillian Pye and her adorable lifestyle blog “A Little Slice of Pye.” She blogs about fashion, family, as well as her journey making nourishing foods for her family. She is always posting awesome recipes on there.
I am ok with my health journey being a more gradual thing. As I try new things and learn a new skill, or break a bad habit… I want to make sure I have it down before I start adding the next thing. I feel like approaching these life changes this way makes them more sustainable in the long run. It all goes back to the goals concept, making them small, measurable, and attainable. And what perfect timing. It is January 1st 2014, the perfect time for new goals and refocusing. Happy New Year, and may it be a blessed and nourishing one!