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The Beginning

Posted Sep 12 2010 12:00am
My name is Lisa Chalfant and I have been interested in nutrition for many years. Unfortunately, in the past I have followed the advice of doctors, women's magazines, and the FDA pyramid guidelines. I was overweight and tired and frustrated. A couple of years ago I got into body building mostly because I was unhappy with my weight. I thought "what the heck!" body builders have awesome bodies so they've got to be doing something right. I got on the forums and found out what they ate and how they worked out. I developed my own diet and exercise program and the weight dropped off. I had a nice toned body that I was proud of! What seemed to work best for me, in combination with working out smarter, was "clean eating." So, I stopped eating processed foods and voila! I found I could eat more calories of the right foods and look better than I had since I'd graduated from high school.

Since I got pregnant with the twins I have let my family slide back into boxed and canned foods. One day I woke up and decided we were going to eat healthier. I got on my handy dandy laptop and did a search for healthy snacks for kids. Again and again I read about the Weston A. Price Foundation and Sally Fallon. The more I read, the more it made sense. I poured over mom's blogs that have tons of great recipes and tips. I ordered a couple of books they suggested and here I am.

I am starting this blog to record our family's journey to healthier living. The principles for nutrition I am implementing come from Sally Fallon and the Weston A. Price Foundation. What is suggested takes clean eating to a whole new level. My goals are to virtually eliminate processed foods and serve my family real, whole foods that will help them stay healthy and happy. We are on a tight budget and there will be some compromises. For example, I have food sitting in the pantry that is not so healthy. Instead of throwing it all out, I am going to use it to slowly faze out all the junk. I am hoping that maybe my kids (and husband) will be less likely to revolt.

This week I have started to make bread again. I have a wheat grinder and a bread maker. I have used it regularly in the past but after i got pregnant with the twins I put it away. This go around I am doing one thing different. I am soaking the flour overnight in the liquids listed in the recipe plus a tablespoon of yogurt. You can also use lemon juice, vinegar, or kefir. I thought about going into why I am soaking my flour but I am going to save it for another post. I am also looking into sourdough bread. I found a site where I can get free starter by sending in a self addressed stamped envelope!

I am on a hunt for cheap but healthy natural sweeteners. I need to do more research but I think sorghum syrup or rice syrup may be the way to go. Some of the sweeteners that are listed on blogs and books are maple syrup, honey, molasses, and turbinado. These are way out of our price range.

In Nourishing Traditions Sally Fallon explains why raw organic whole milk products are best. Again, as much as I would like to give my family the best, we can't afford it. I have found organic milk for the same price as nonorganic! So we are now drinking whole organic milk and I have made a couple of batches of yogurt. Right now a batch is hanging from a door knob in my laundary room to make whey and yogurt cheese. I am also in the process of making kefir which is a little like yogurt. Last weekend the boys and I made berry ice cream from an ice cream maker I got on craigslist. That was a big success!

My next task is to learn more about fermented foods. Fermented beverages, veggies, fruits and condiments have lots of health benefits. I have a recipe printed out and ready to go for fermented ketchup that will be perfect for the sweet potato fries I am making next week. My kombucha tea is brewing right now and I'd like to try my hand at fermented fruit sodas. How much fun will it be to say "yes" when the kids ask for a soda?! Fermented vegetable dishes will be a challenge for me. My kids aren't keen on veggies to begin with. I will eat more different types but I'm still picky. I have never been a fan of sauerkraut (which is fermented) but I've seen recipes for fermented pickles. Pickles I could do. I am trying to work with foods we are more familiar with and then add in something different here and there.

Fats seem to be the easiest and simplest change I can make: coconut oil and butter and a little olive oil. I found a website that has coconut oil on sale for a huge bucket and is a deep discount even with shipping. It doesn't go rancid easily so buying a big tub won't be a problem. The best option for butter is organic and raw. I have a few boxes of Costco butter that I'm going to use up and hopefully from then on I'll make it with organic milk. (The kids will get a kick out of watching/helping the first time I make it).

Now that I have some of the basics down, I plan this week to try some recipes and hopefully my family will too. Making most everything by hand takes a lot of time and commitment but I think it will be worth it. Right now it is all a little overwhelming and I'm trying not to take on too many new things at once. I feel a little like I have kitchen ADD. But I am excited about all the nutrition information I've read and like I said it just makes sense to me. Time to put knowledge into practice!
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