Since the origin of this blog, I have gotten questions from several readers asking me what I value most (about natural living) and what I’d suggest as a jumping off place to someone who wants to make some changes but feels overwhelmed with where to start.
First, let me emphasize that my motivation for natural living came from our struggle with infertility. It was the driving force for MANY changes, but most importantly diet.
The definition of food to me five years ago was VERY different than my definition of food today. Five years ago, I loved anything processed (pasta, pizza, cereal, etc) and lots of dairy. Today, I only eat whole foods (and sadly, no dairy). I choose not to buy anything processed. REAL food is medicine. Man made food/factory produced food is the opposite.
Let me back up by saying that I am a Christian. I believe God called us to care for the land and the people around us. What you buy is voting for the farmer or factory who produced the food. Do you want to support the farmer who cares lovingly for his animals, allowing them to roam free on pasture and see the sun, or the farmer who is looking at the bottom dollar. Do you want to eat the chicken who roams free and sees sun or the chicken who is being squashed into a building too many other chickens, never seeing the light of day? I choose to support local farmers who treat the land and animals with love. The result of such passion and old fashion agricultural practices is food that is way more nourishing than the other. The taste is better too. Same goes for produce. Do you want to eat an apple covered in pesticide over one that’s used natural farming practices to deter pests? I prefer the clean apple and supporting that orchard that has produced the organic apple. Our air and bodies can thank these farmers for not polluting our air, our soil, or our bodies with these known poisons.
There are a lot of ways to look at the food you are buying.
As for produce, I try to buy organic whenever possible. If it’s an item not on the dirty dozen list or a high pesticide crop; its ok to skip the organic BUT make sure it’s not GMO (the produce code starts with an 8 for GMO produce).
I buy grassfed beef and pastured poultry from local farmers. You can buy 1/4 of a cow for a great price in this area (Lancaster County, PA).
I buy eggs from local farms that have not been pasteurized. I look for soy free and organic. During the summer I pay $2.75/dozen. Lately I pay $5/dozen for eggs that have bright orange yolks. To me, it’s worth it. Some people buy starbucks coffee; I buy eggs. It comes back to what you value. The nutrients in the egg yolks far outweigh the coffee in my opinion. (I like coffee)
If you eat grains or nuts, look into how to properly prepare them on the Weston A Price website or the Nourishing Traditions book.
As for fish: my verdict is still out due to all the recent ocean disasters.
As for water, I feel it’s important to invest in a good water filter. Choose one that filters out fluoride, lead, chlorine, etc. (Options: Berkey, Crystal Quest )
My journey into whole foods has been gradual. It can be overwhelming to think about all the changes that need to be made. Each of us is on a journey. REAL food is a good place to start pursuing all things natural. It’s still a journey I’m pursuing and growing in. Being on the GAPS diet, I make everything. It’s exhausting, but it’s worth it.