05 May 2006

Learning to cook all over again

I have just purchased the book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I got the recommendation from the Christian homeschooling moms' blogs that I check out daily now. ( The body of Christ has lots of diversity, thanks be to God!)

Anyway, Nourishing Traditions is a huge repository of information and research on how the body processes food and how societies have considered or not considered the body's ability to digest foods. Turns out that a lot of the recommendations that we receive from the FDA, AHA, etc. are pretty incomplete.

For example -- whole grains are really good for us, but humans can have a hard time digesting whole grains. Our ancestors took care of this by soaking their grains in a substance that had lactic acid -- yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, milk/vinegar -- something that slightly fermented the grains and released the difficult acids within.

Another example -- a lot of fats on the market today aren't great for us. Canola, safflower, and even some olive oils are extruded under a lot of heat, thus killing their natural goodness. And coconut oil, which was demonized in the 80's can actually be very good for us. Olive oil is a good choice most of the time, but if it's heated beyond about medium heat, it releases free radicals which is not good.

Animal fats are not as bad for us as the food pyramid makes out, but the animal fats need to be from organic sources from animals that are treated well and feeding on their natural diets. Meat from such sources has balanced cholesterol and excellent nutrients. The fats are not evil either, if they are from clean sources.

And soy -- not so good for you, unless it's treated as a whole grain would be and fermented. Soy mimics estrogen and can create big difficulties for humans, especially little humans. And since I realized that government subsidies create a heck of a lot excess soybeans in our country, I'm highly suspicious of the recent health campaigns touting the excellence of soy in our diets.

ANYWAY -- the point of all of this -- I am having to re-learn how to cook. I can't just knock off a plate of whole wheat pancakes for Annalivia the morning those pancakes need to be eaten. I have to plan to figure out how to get the wheat soaking for 12 hours before. Same goes for oatmeal. Or pizza crust. Or anything with whole grains which is now everything that we eat!

And trying to figure out how to eat a lot more veggies because we don't have access to organic meats is pretty difficult, too. They have to be very palatable and mostly laced with cheese or Dennis won't love them. So far the big successes have been veggie pizzas, black bean tortillas and zucchini/squash spaghetti sauce and whole wheat penne. But, again, none of those were made with soaked grains.

Which makes me wonder -- what goal should I shoot for? For the most part, I'm an all or nothing person. It would be better if I was less a perfectionist and more willing to accept a 75/25 % ratio at the start. Shoot for whole foods properly prepared for 75% of the time. The other 25% of the time, if I can't get to the home-prepared stuff, let it go already, April!

Well, I'm off to soak wheat for pizza tonight.

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