I wrote this blog post on a blog I never shared in 2013. I wanted to share where we began on this whole food journey. Tomorrow I’ll update where we are now!
(originally written Nov 2013)
For years Chris and I have talked about changing the way we feed our family. We have made small changes but, on the whole, our family doesn’t eat well. As parents we make an effort to serve veggies at every meal, we try to limit how many sugary snacks we allow the littles to eat, and we talk ALOT about change. Changing where our food comes from, changing where we choose to spend our money. But the reality is our life is crazy, our best days are still filled with temper tantrums, sibling rivalry, lists of errands, and mountains of laundry and poopy diapers. In the midst of raising four kids under 7, convenience is key. Convenience wins out every time. Convenience is a McDonald’s drive through or grocery store rotisserie chicken. But every time there was a stirring within me to change. Change where the “grocery” line fits in our budget. Change what we feed ourselves and the souls we have been charged to raise. A stirring to let go of the convenience and trade it in for wholesome, humanely raised, nutritious food. Food that was close to what our Creator intended food to be.
For about two years now we have taken tiny infant baby steps towards changing our family’s diet. I have spent countless hours reading internet forums, blog posts and articles about free range meat and organically grown vegetables. We made the decision to buy most of our fruits and vegetables thorough Green Bean Delivery. A small but tangible step that has brought new things like butternut squash and Brussels sprouts to our doorstep. But we still buy an incredible amount of mass produced meat and preservative laden convenience foods. And then recently, I read an article describing the first studies to prove a link between salt and autoimmune disease. While from the outside Chris looks like a strapping young buck (hee hee), he has an autoimmune disorder and has been taking immunosuppressants for almost 5 years now. No doctor has ever been able to tell us what happened five years ago to trigger this exaggerated autoimmune response in him. And that scares me to this day…I don’t do well with uncertainty. There is one thing I know for sure, my husband loves his salt. He comes from a long line of Lee men who have the handy salt shaker nearby during meal times. I figure you can’t fight genetics but we can cut down on the amount of sodium found in the foods we eat. So I came up with a plan. Eat better, eat cleaner, less processed foods. For all of us…not just me. For all these little mouths who are forming their palates now. For my husband and his T cells. I need to all I can to ensure that my co pilot is around for the long haul.
Ultimately, all of those hours of thinking, contemplating, reading, browsing, led me to the middle of “nowhereville” Indiana….
The kids asleep in their car seats, Grammy deciphering the navigation app, and me thinking that this money had better be well spent. Finally we pulled up to this little building in Colfax, IN and we had arrived. After hours of researching places to buy wholesome, free range, organic, “happy” meat, I found This Old Farm (www.thisoldfarminc.com). A organization that seemed to be a great place to buy a bunch of meat. Meat that came from animals who were raised humanely, fed diets that come from God’s green earth, and slaughtered in the same humane fashion. I had talked with several friends who had purchased smaller orders of meat through This Old Farm and only praises were sung. So we bit the bullet. Spent the big bucks on half a hog, 25 pounds of grass fed beef, and 5 whole chickens. My hope is this meat lasts us for most of this coming year. Last winter we purchased half a hog and it lasted us about 9 months. But we still continued to buy meat at the grocery store every week. I know we will need to buy more meat for the year but here was great place to start. The woman working at This Old Farm was so helpful and excited to share with us all sorts of information. From how to boil the chicken carcasses to make stock, to what organic beef jerky tastes like, to the benefits unpasteurized cheese. We even peeked through the viewing window onto the butchers at work. Noah was amazed, Ava thought the whole place stunk, and Vivian was just happy to be out of the van!
My plan is to go on a journey towards healthy whole eating for our family. And it starts with having a deep freeze full of healthy nutritious meat and organic fruits and vegetables delivered to our door step. Remember, in our lives convenience is key. But I also wanted a place to record what I’m learning, how it’s working for our family, what types of new foods I can make my kids fall in love with. So I decided to start a blog. Not for anyone else but me. I wasn’t even sure I was going to share it with anyone. Heck as I’m writing this I’m still not sure! But I knew I wanted to keep a journal of sorts. I have no expectations to be perfect. In an effort of full disclosure, we stopped at Dairy Queen and ate hamburgers and chicken nuggets on our way home from the farm! But it’s all about change. And sometimes changes takes time.