Monday, July 14, 2014

Food Stuff





There are changes happening in my kitchen. 

I've always loved food and I've always eaten well, often too well. Without wanting to dig too deeply into the psychology and conditioning behind how I eat and why I eat, I'm aware that in recent months I've gotten very lazy about feeding myself. I've reached far too often for packaged convenience and, while eternally trying to shovel wholesome goodness into my children's mouths, far too often I've settled for peanut butter toast late at night for my own dinner. Old habits die hard.

But at the start of this year, I promised myself I'd address the old energy issue. I'm tired of dragging myself out of bed in the morning, counting down the minutes till the first coffee, scraping my way through the afternoon, and then hitting my stride sometime mid-evening and thus ending up in bed far too late, only to wake up and do it all over again. I'm tired of being tired.

And I'm better at making massive changes than gradual ones, so I decided I needed a big jolt, a big wake-up, something to strip me back to basics. So I've just come off a three-week elimination diet. It was fairly extreme - no sugar, wheat (or grains of any kind), fat or dairy for three weeks. No alcohol. No bread. None. At. All. I got through it, much lighter and clearer as a result.

It wasn't necessarily difficult, but it was boring. I was on a culinary desert island where I found myself fantasising long and hard about food. I rediscovered my cookbooks (and added to my collection as well.) I found myself drawn to blogs about real food and whole food. I toyed with previously unconsidered notions such as gluten-free and sugar-free. I lay in bed at night creating incredible meals in my head.

And now I've begun the part where I introduce foods back in. There's still no sugar and wheat, for the time being. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping this process doesn't reveal any sort of gluten intolerance. I know I have to cut back on the bread and the baked goods, but I can't stomach the thought of never enjoying them again.

But what I'm really excited about is something that's becoming clearer every day in my mind - an approach to food and eating, a philosophy, if you will, that I want to apply to how I feed myself and my girls. I hope to share more here in the coming weeks.

This past Saturday I travelled an hour up the highway to buy an organic chicken straight from the woman who raised it. Yesterday, the girls and I enjoyed it with roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips and beetroot. I made a delicious side of sautéed black cabbage and kale (bought direct from a woman who described herself as a kale specialist). The girls wouldn't touch that, so the leftovers went into a frittata for my lunch today. This afternoon I picked the chicken carcass clean then boiled up the bones for stock. I used a little of it to make a sauce with carrots, peas, a little creme fraiche and the leftover meat, which Pearl and I wrapped in pastry and called a pie. The girls devoured it, Lola declared it the best dinner ever, and then they insisted I pack the leftovers in their lunch boxes for tomorrow.

Winner, winner, organic chicken dinner.

11 comments:

  1. Wow! What a glorious feast.

    Those first couple of paragraphs could easily have been describing me, I too am tired of being tired. Maybe I need a jolt to the system too ... but goodness it sounds hard. Well done Greer.

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  2. Excellent work, I'm just about to do something similar, just at the research stage at the moment but it needs to be done. August is the month.

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  3. Isn't it funny how we're quite prepared to shovel pre-packaged/prepared goods into our bodies yet make sure our children are getting wholesome foods... Why do we do that? I'm with you on this one. Tired of being tired but I'm also thinking that our kids will learn best by example. If we're preaching it we better be practicing it too!

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  4. I totally get this! I too feel the same and was embarking on changing our whole way of eating at the start of the year, then February came around and we found out that I was pregnant with our much longed for 4th child and the start of 4 and a half months of morning sickness was upon me. Needless to say convience foods became the kids and hubbies diet as I just couldn't stomach being in the kitchen. I lived on rice paper rolls with chicken and salad for that time though, so my diet wasn't that bad, they just refused to eat the rice paper rolls all the time...

    Since morning sickness has subsided I have brought back the small changes I made in the past and look forward to adding more as the year goes on.

    I look forward to following you on this journey

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  5. Another one who hears you too. I injured a ligament in groin some time ago and movement and standing has been difficult and painful. Steps have been almost impossible without a rail to hold. Sitting has been fine so that's what I have been doing. Add in recent cold weather and I feel like a slug. I usually cook but have chickened out as son who lives with me has been away, so why make the effort.

    Carbs are so easy, even if there is good food in pantry. I have pulled myself together. Breakfast is usually healthy, not so much other meals by myself. Lunch today was a start. One piece of sourdough bread with fresh tomato and a free range, organic egg. A small apple, a couple of mandarine sand a glass of water. The bread comes in my Box Freshdelivery of fruit and veg and is from Bourke st bakery Bread and Butter project. They teach refugees to become bakers so it's a feel good project as well as really great bread. Coeliac granddaughter eats it with no problem. Loads of variety too

    Your chicken sounds wonderful. I buy organic and free range wherever possible including milk. Apart from any other benefits, I think it all just tastes better.

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  6. I forgot to say that this is fairly healthy. Lunch yesterday was half a packet of commercial savoury biscuits I found in the pantry!

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  7. I've been thinking about trying this too. I have recently cut way back on sugar in my diet and I do feel better, but I need to work on the carbs like bread and crackers too. I feel much better when I'm eating lots of protein and vegetables, along with things like nuts and olives. I'm glad you're feeling better.

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  8. I could have written that whole post..........and I too am a chocolate lover (addict). That's what I need to get through a nightmare marriage, divorce, single parenting for more than 6 years and also mainly because I just love chocolate. I did the 21 day elimination diet and found it easier than I thought and given I couldn't even think of giving up one slice of bread today I have no idea how I got through it. After the 21 days I did not continue on re-introducing the foods as I think it was school holidays and it was just too hard and I hit the ground running with bread, chocolate and what ever I could get my hands on. It's funny how you can go from nothing extra and cope to tear your hair out you gotta have it. I know I could be doing more with my kids foods (today I have made some home made yoghurt that they love) but on the other hand we will have a sausage roll after football because we have run out of time to get a roll and ham and go home and eat it. As long as we are trying I think and doing the best we can on the day that's all you can ask. Some days will be better than others but my kids both know how much better home made stuff tastes and my cooking too. Keep us posted on your quest. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane ...hope that lemon tree is giving you lots of lemons and you are making delicious recipes.

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  9. My grandfather was a vegetable farmer and so I grew up with organic and home-grown vegetables. I really miss that nowadays, but still try to eat as healthy and season-related as possible! I always notice the change in energy that goes together with the change of what I eat. Love your post, love your idea! Keep going!

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  10. Hi there! I'm new to your blog, but I am loving it. Your photography is lovely... all the captured moments of a day are so beautiful. I'm excited to follow along with your journey :)

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  11. I'm on a similar journey myself just now ... I know how tough it can be, but I'm positive that the results will really be worth the effort :)

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