Nourishing Food and Mindful Eating

One of the biggest opportunities at being able to be home more this summer is going to be having the time to cook even more homemade food and rely less on store-made fare.  Even items that are organic or “natural” often carry questionable ingredients, including chemical cocktails under the label “Natural Flavors”.  Also, many products are swapping ingredients out, which I find frustrating.  For example, I adore making homemade tomato sauce but don’t always have time, and when we run out of our frozen stock, we rely on jarred sauces and spice them up.  Well, my favorite cheap store-brand sauce recently switched from olive oil to soybean oil.  So frustrating.

But… I’ve been doing research into our new city!  And the big outdoor market is open Thursdays and Saturdays, so I can take advantage of being home and go to the market on Thursday.  I’ve found an organic and pastured meat vendor there online (we do NOT make do with less than quality meat for regular eating, therefore we eat much smaller portions than most Americans).  And I’m trying to find a local dairy to patronize as well.  I’ve also found recipes for homemade sour cream and cream cheese, and I can’t wait to try them out.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this from reading my blog, but I’m a rather nurturing person by nature (could you tell by my “rah rah let’s all create!” personality?) and this most comes out in the foods I make.  The level of excitement that I have in moving more towards a Weston Price-ish kind of eating is ridiculous.  I’m also looking forward to having my toddler “help” me more in the kitchen and hopefully begin to broaden his picky-toddler palette a bit.

Anyway, the phrase “mindful eating” gets bandied about a lot these days, and I feel like as long as you look at what it really means (beyond the buzz phrase), it is a good mantra to keep.  Before you stick anything in your mouth, you should consider “Is this fueling my body?  Helping me?  Or is it just filling my belly?  Or is it actually going to hurt me?”  It won’t stop you from eating from the fast food drive thru all the time (or maybe it will!), but it might stop you from having breakfast from the drive thru and then a bag of chips for lunch and then ice cream for dinner because you’ll think “hmmm… I’m going to pay for this tomorrow.  I’m going to feel hungover without actually getting drunk.  Maybe I’ll skip the ice cream and make a salad or cook some eggs instead.”

And really, we should be LIVING mindful lives, especially if we’re trying to create.  We can’t deny the truth of what we do to ourselves because then our art won’t be true.  Which is a crime.

5 thoughts on “Nourishing Food and Mindful Eating

  1. Excellent post and definitely ‘food’ for thought. One of the issues that we have is that the really good quality food is expensive, particularly meat, and sometimes it’s hard to justify the cost. I love the fact that you make all of those things – I make the odd cake but am really not big on cooking. You’ve made me hungry and it sounds delicious and I shall try to form those questions that we must ask ourselves before eating, into some kind of mantra! 🙂

    • The thing with the meat though is that you really feel full after a much smaller portion because of better quality fat and more nutrients. Plus we’ve made an effort to serve more sides. For example, we’ll make a pound-ish of pastured ground beef into 2 small patties (for the toddler) and 4 medium patties and that will feed the three of us twice as the meat portion, along with a couple of veggies and rice or potato. We bought a tri-tip roast for $25 at our farmer’s market that we had sliced the first two meals, then froze the rest and are stretching it by making fajitas for two nights, and we still have four more 1″ slices to go for another 2-4 meals. It might seem crazy to buy a chicken for $16-$20 but we eat it carved twice, then I peel off the leftover meat for a casserole or something for another 2-3 nights, and then I make a stock out of the bones which feeds us another 2-3 nights in soup or a couple of weeks of lunch for me. I know once my son is older or we start to have more children, we’ll have to get even more creative to keep eating this level of quality food.

      Of course, too, there are the days where everything goes to pot, or our weekends are too full for me to cook, or something we bought from the store goes bad before we can cook it, and we say “let’s just get pizza or Chinese!” 😉

      • I think we all have those nights! But I love your creativity and the way you have worked out how to eat the best food and make it last. I confess I don’t have the patience for what you do, although I do try to make meat stretch as it is so expensive. Maybe you should write a tips/ideas cookbook?? 🙂

  2. I’m embarrassed to admit how much we eat out! I used to cook 5-6 days per week (with leftovers on “off” days), but other pursuits have replaced that hobby/chore, and I cook only 2-3 times a week, sometimes less. I feel bad about it because I would like to give my kids better food. So, thanks for the nudge!

    • Now is a great time of year to get started because of all the fresh local produce starting to hit the markets. The important thing is to keep it as simple (or complex) as you can handle. Cooking healthily at home doesn’t have to mean going crazy learning new techniques. 🙂

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