2.22.2011

finding our way.

its everywhere you go. often the subject of many conversations. what you eat, how you eat, where you buy your food, etc. this has been a post that has been on my mind for awhile and I've put off saying anything about the topic at all, because really, although this is a way we choose to live our lives, I don't want it to be something that defines us first and foremost. several people in the past few months have had questions about how we do food and other things in our home and I hope this post can serve as an answer to some of those questions.

and, its been a journey. and its still going. our household made a dramatic change in 2008. and I've been learning every since. that change set into motion a greater desire to know about the food I am putting into my body and how it effects me and the rest of our family. It made me realize that I want to read every label and understand what ingredients are. since 2008 we have not only eliminated gluten, we have also said goodbye to preservatives, corn syrup, MSG, modified food starch, and the list could really keep going on. we strive to eat fresh, local food (whenever possible) and limit our trips to the grocery store.

having done all this, I haven't arrived and don't consider myself in anyway better than anyone else who doesn't eat the way we do, nor do I feel it is in my place to encourage people to make a change to their dietary choices. I have tried to keep our blog free from starting controversy over hot button topics, but have wanted to maintain an attitude that encourages anyone who is interested to come talk to me.

and like I mentioned before, the reality is, I'm still learning. in a year from now I am sure I will look back on even more changes and modifications that we've made.

we choose to eat grass fed beef and free range chickens from a local farm. if you want any recccommendations, I have a side bar topic for eating local.

we get our milk, egg, butter and veggies delivered from a local farm as well (more on that on the side bar). 

we buy our olive oil from a family owned farm in CA and it has been amazing. the price on this fluctuates, and what it is priced at right now is a lot higher than what we paid for it when we pre-ordered in december. I am hoping the price will come down when we order again. 

just this year, we eliminated all refined, bleached sugar and have chosen to use palm sugar, honey, coconut oil, coconut flour, almond flour, and other ingredients to bake from scratch.

audrey wears pampers. and I'm ok with that for now. when she was born, learning about diapering wasn't a top priority for me. now that she is more than a year, we have started to talk about other options and decided that cloth diapering is not for us and will probably go towards chlorine free now that I've done some research on it.

I don't make my own laundry detergent, dish detergents or soaps, but I am looking into more natural cost effective options that I can buy. and who knows, maybe a year from now I will be making my own.

here's the reality, we all go at our own pace and do whats best for our families at that given time. for some seasons, we can't spend the money on things because our budget doesn't allow. and to be totally honest, we don't always eat healthy, but we do most of the time.

I am grateful for the changes we've made and I do feel that it has helped us to feel better, to be more healthy, and to be more educated on what we consume.

my friend, Sarah, posted a link to a wonderful resource entitled, healthy 4 life, which I found extremely helpful. saving naturally and the nourishing gourmet have also been wonderful resources as well.

if you have any questions, email me (janetremsnyder [at] gmail.com), I would love to chat more.

4 comments:

Caitlin said...

Janet,
We eat exactly the same way, except we do eat gluten, but stick to sprouted grains. I am still learning a lot too. I appreciate your humble attitude. It's been interesting walking through these changes with the girls. What a blessing you can start off this way with Audrey while she's so young!

Casey said...

i agree, Jan - way to present it humbly. i'm so grateful for the encouragement you (and Becca) have given me over the past year as i've had to modify what we eat, too.

and i love that you're open to the fact that parts of it could be seasonal, depending on what your needs/budget are. my Mom was/is the same way... she'd go through years of making her own bread/granola/tomato sauce, etc. and then stop, in order to care for her changing family. it's clear that you want to serve your family... and if that means through an altered diet, great... if it means through something else, just as great.

soo thanks :D

Bethany said...

Janet, thanks for the post! It's interesting to hear how someone else is navigating food and other cultural things. As you know, we've been on a similar path. At times, it's super exciting--trying new recipes, seeing the results of eating fresh fruits and veggies, etc. And at times, I find it so frustrating. There's a lot of conflicting info out there right now (e.g., what kind of natural sweeteners to use, raw milk vs. no milk). And then, there's also just a dearth of research, like about how much even the "alternative" sweeteners are processed. And then there's just the money issue. It stands in the way of grain-fed beef for us, but is one of the main reasons I use only vinegar and baking soda to clean the house, and we switched to cloth diapers.
Why do you think buying "local" is important? Is it because of the freshness factor? Do you use expeller-pressed oil? Again, that's another issue that I find pretty frustrating because I haven't found a full exposition of why expeller-pressed is healthier and it is SO expensive. I could go on and on. Come see me next time your in AZ!

Seth and Janet said...

thanks girls for your feedback and comments!

@bethany, it is def frustrating with all the changing information on various "healthy" products, so that has lead me to just do what we have with what we have now and as I learn more, we make changes and move forward. if that makes sense?

in terms of eating local...I like doing it because we can support local farmers, but I also like knowing where my food comes from, who is growing/caring for it, and can ask questions. I personally emphasis local over organic, because I think that times many products can have an organic label, but because it often comes from foreign countries, I have often questioned the "purity" of it. have you ever read the animal vegetable miracle by barbara kingsolver? that really helped me understand the debate for eating local.

in terms of oils, I honestly havent done enough research on the topic to say, but the olive oil we get is def unfiltered and the taste difference was dramatic. I dont know if we will ever be able to go back to store bought.

and...I hope we can make it out your way sometime soon. catching up with you is always such a treat!

 
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