A tide has shifted. The topics I have been interested in for a while are now taking off in a big way in my community of mom-friends. It is exciting to me that truly healthy food is an idea that more and more people are getting motivated to take action on. Now everyone wants to talk about the things going on in my head all the time.
The fever to grow has got me in its grasp and I am planning and planting (which it really is too early for, but I might just pull off some very early greens if I channel Eliott Coleman in just the right way). I am also putting as much nutrition into my family’s mouths as possible. Our Saturday lunch of shrimp and veggie spring rolls was enjoyed by all (most noticeably by “Mr. give me a big plate of meat” Paco). He said he thought it was delicious and filling.
My late fall rush to buy and dehydrate tons of kale before the market closed has paid off big time. Dehydrated kale goes into our meals 3-4 times a week. I am buying some fresh kale and chard too as well as cabbage to get fresh greens in our diet too. I am truly torn between buying local produce only (which there is none of basically) or upping the nutrition level with some fresh produce. We are eating lots of dehydrated summer squashes, beets, etc. We still have winter squashes that were purchased last fall at market which have hung in surprisingly well and should last us until we start getting some asparagus and greens off of our own farm. Despite my stores, the pull of some fresh produce is strong and justified.
So, this evening, as I feel I am getting Lily’s case of bronchitis, I am fortifying the soup with dried kale and the tomato sauce with fresh chard. I think one of the greatest disservices we can do our children is to not feed them well and teach them how to cook, grow, and appreciate truly good food. I have often said that Lily’s food sensitivities (and mine) are a blessing in disguise. When a family has to avoid gluten, dairy, processed sugar, and soy (among other things!), there is no way you can eat processed food. At first those restrictions seemed so limiting, but now I see them as freeing. We can eat real food, great food, and healthy food and we make it ourselves. Just like the often heard Pollan quote: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”
It is not lost on my me that the things Lily and I can’t tolerate are many of the main building blocks of the industrial food complex’s greatest achievement–processed “non” food. When it comes down to it, standard American fare is repeated helpings of wheat, dairy, soy, sugar, and corn accompanied by lots of meat (fed the by-products of the industrial production). No wonder we can’t tolerate it, it has been so overused in this society for so long that our bodies are rebelling. Corn is the only thing on that list that we don’t come up sensitive too, but we work hard to avoid it also in it’s GMO form.
So, in the last few years our diet has grown increasingly better and bigger. My latest thinking is to do our best to avoid processsed food everywhere, not just at home. The more we take out of the “usual suspects” the more choice there seems to be. New avenues of taste are everywhere. Many traditional diets have wonderful things to offer us. For instance, last night we had purple rice with our broccoli and bell pepper stir fry. We have been feasting on sushi and veggie spring rolls too. I am about to go make myself a breakfast smoothie with kefir and our own frozen raspberries. I will throw in a little kale too.
The kale and lettuces planted several weeks ago now are doing well and I will have some micro-greens ready to go in a few weeks more. The magic of taking a tiny seed and fostering its development into a plateful of food never gets old with me. I know planting is what I was meant to do.