Thursday, January 31, 2013

Healthy eating is confusing

About 10 years ago, I had a total cholesterol reading of 309. Every since I have made it my goal to try to eat healthier.  I checked out a ton of books at the library about cholesterol and heart health and learned all I could. Yep, I am one of those annoying mothers in the aisle at the grocery store with three small kids running around while I TRY to read labels. Who can blame them, it takes so long to read those labels and I always feel like the labels are trying to trick me, and WHO knows what some of those ingredients really are? A kid can behave properly for only so long!

This is part of what got me started gardening. I wanted to grow my own, much cheaper, organic, healthy and sometimes unique and fun food. I would have a whole farm if I could but my energy level and my husband say "NO!" I'm pretty sure my kids would be all for it!

For the past 10 years I have tried to follow whatever  health advice that sounded reasonable and had good studies behind them. I got rid of all the fatty oils, sodas, chips, candy, I stopped frying with the new fryer I got for a wedding present. I switched to "whole" grain (or so I thought sometimes, those tricky labels!) I'm not completely perfect but that is a lot of junk to cut out. I lost about 50 lbs. I used the idea that if it wasn't in the house I wouldn't eat it. That didn't help much when going out to eat!

All these years later, I still have a just few pounds to shed and no energy, and even though my husband has followed almost the same diet, sadly he has gained all the baby weight with no success losing it. So, where are we going wrong? I have started reading a lot of Real food or traditional food diet information and I am beginning to feel maybe I (what I have read) have been wrong about some things, and fooled by food companies and FDA guidelines. Some things I read make me down right angry. I think I have made the step in the right direction. But now I am thinking I need to more. My family is going to ATTEMPT to ditch processed foods. Boy is that going to be HARD!  We are going to try to make some more simple switches to slowly get to an more real, whole food diet.  This includes milk, eggs, butter.

When I say I feel fooled by food companies, let me give you at least one example. Pictured above. The top spoon is holding the typical  honey you get at the grocery store. I always bought which ever one was cheap, which is all you can do sometimes. The lower spoon has RAW pure honey. Looks like butter, doesn't it? Whenever you hear about honey's healing power, it isn't from the top one. All the good stuff is processed out of it just like many other things we buy regularly.  
Another thing that makes me angry is food isn't food anymore, it is all engineered to be something RESEMBLING what they think you want. And in the process becomes even more unhealthy. I want HEALTHY, real healthy! Not manufactured to look like it might be healthy.

If you are interested in finding good recipes for eating real whole food, or more information about 'eating real', these have had a lot of good stuff for me. As fellow gardeners I am sure you already get plenty of Real Food! But if you're like me, check 'em out!
These are some of the substitutions we will be slowly making in our home:
Simple Real Food Substitution Chart from Keeper of the Home.

I don't know how any of this will go but it is worth a try. I will share our journey with you and let you know how it works out for us. Much of it seems to go totally against the grain of everything we have ever been taught, but upon reading, much of what they are asserting seems to make sense to me. So this week, we are throwing out the Earth Balance!
note: I've noticed this appears to be a controversial subject for some. Any nasty comments will be removed. Let's all play nice please.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Very interesting article every gardener should read

I learned about this company through a fellow gardening friend. I had no idea about this big company and it's practices. Our local seed company here in Louisville is on the list of companies owned by this giant. If you have any interest in keeping GMO's out of your garden and staying away from companies trying to take over the entire seed business, you'll want to read this too.

Article below:

I am happy to say that most of my seeds come from Seed Companies on the list of companies not owned by Monsanto, as I am sure most of yours are too, since I get most of my ideas from my fellow garden bloggers.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A winter Harvest Monday

Well, this Harvest Monday is almost over, but what the heck, I'll get in on this Harvest Monday. 
Not harvesting much at all, a little cilantro for a meal and some spinach a couple of times.
I got a new pizza stone that I have been putting to use. This is a chard and feta whole grain crust pizza. It was very good! Love my new pizza stone. Gives us nice crispy crusts! I used chard from my frozen harvest.
One of my little spinach harvests.

And I made this little skirt today for my little flower. They are celebrating 100 days of school soon and I am going to use the same material to make a longer granny style skirt to look like they are 100 years old. How fun. We never did stuff like that when we were younger!
 Head on over to Daphne's Dandelions for some other winter harvests.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Preparing for the 2013 Garden

I am pretty sure we have a blue/purple/red theme going on in this years garden here in KY. Blue Hopi corn, Blue peas, Purple Sun carrots, Royalty purple pod beans, Velour beans, Purple Peacock Broccoli, Blue and purple potatoes, purple snap peas, red Chinese noodle beans, and who knows what else will end up in the garden! Whatever adds interest and nutrients is good for me, and my family loves it too.
Just a few of the new seeds ordered this year!

I am preparing seed starting containers as we put boxes in the recycling container. These are cereal and cracker boxes cut, folded,  and glued with washable non toxic glue. And then of course toilet paper or paper towel rolls too.
 Other stuff I have been saving from the recycling box is clear plastic containers for homemade cloches! And clear togo trays to start a few greens in.  Whatever I can do to get my stuff going earlier! Milk cartons work great and my warm season veggies seem to grow like crazy in those things when they are getting going! Helps to protect them from critters too!

I have also been preparing seed mats for carrots. I might do onions too. I picked up this cool tip from my garden blogging friend at Annie's Kitchen Garden a couple of years ago. Works nicely.

 Working on planning out the garden. And where, oh where, will I put everything? Think I need new beds! ;) I spent hours on this the other day! And it still is not ready.
Yes, that is the plan. More new beds. I told my poor husband I just want to turn the whole back yard into a garden. Oh, he enjoys eating my wonderful harvests, but he still thinks I am a little nuts and in over my head!

As for starting seeds this month, there really isn't a lot to get started in Kentucky's Zone 6a according to the University of Kentucky's Home Vegetable Gardening guide. Onions, that's it. But next month the list will be growing! Brassicas, green leafy vegetables, peas, oh my! February is only a few short weeks away. Last years garden season just flew by, so I will try not to let anything pass me by this year as I did last year!

New seeds and plants for this year
Soleil and Velour beans
Purple Peacock Broccoli
Purple Sun carrot
Hopi Blue corn
Hookers Sweet indian corn
Red Baron Scallion
Ruby Ring onion
Blauschokker Blue pod peas
Golden Star Pepper
White Currant Tomato
Japanese Trifele Black Tomato
Dukat Dill
Marktmore 76 Cucumber
Chinese Red noodle bean
White Bush Scallop Squash
Musquee de Provence Squash
Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash (upon suggestion from Dave at Our Happy Acres)
Purple podded pole beans
American Melon Ananas D'Amerique Chair Verte (free sample)
Lungo Bianco Zucchini
Sweet Chocolate Pepper
Blue and purple potatoes
Purple Haze Asparagus (arriving in spring)

Didn't I tell ya there was a lot of purple, blue and red in this years selection!?