Growing my own vegetables.
Buy all-organic everything.
Eliminate white flour and refined sugar.
Eat more beans.
Buy and eat locally-raised, grass-fed beef.
Eat as much local produce possible.
Eliminate all convenience foods.
Eliminate HFCS and artificial sweeteners.
Cook from scratch.
Avoid empty calories whenever possible.
Bake my own bread, make my own granola, and learn to make crackers.
Buy and use a grain mill, so I can make my own flour.
Eat slow food when we go out.
Eat less meat, to save money.
These, off the top of my head, are things that are a priority to me, when it comes to the food I feed my family. We have made great strides in several of them, while others are still waiting patiently in the back of my mind. Some are more important to me than others – the list only reflects the order in which they came to mind as I began writing, and don’t really reflect their actual order.
I don’t feel badly that we still have such a long way to go. I know that we are doing the best we can with what we have, and I always will. I am trying to slowly, one-by-one, check them off the list as I go. In the meantime, I give myself so much grace, because I have my whole life to learn!
Welcoming Sabrina and her family into our home again has been so refreshing, and she has already gotten me motivated to try some new things, and to eat a little better. She and her family are essentially, mostly vegan now, and are really happy with it. I have already tried several recipes, read a book she gave me, and have been prompted to think about how to incorporate a little of that into our lives. No, I don’t plan on going vegan, or even fully vegetarian. I don’t feel comfortable with that restrictive of a diet (for my own reasons), but I like a lot of the principles behind that lifestyle.
For awhile now, as I try to stretch my grocery dollars a little bit farther every month, minimizing the meat on our menu has become an appealing option. I already try to cook meatless meals 3-4 days out of every week, simply to save money. The vegan and vegetarian options Sabrina has exposed me to have given me more confidence, as she has shown me that there is more to it than simply leaving the meat out of spaghetti or stir-fry.
Did you know there are a bajillion tasty vegan/vegetarian meals that have tons of protein, fiber, and flavor?! I didn’t. It’s more than brown rice and whole wheat pasta. It’s quinoa, couscous, beans of every variety, and tons of new combinations of spices, herbs, and vegetables.
Needless to say, I’m really excited! Food excites me more now, than it ever has.
I know I have another friend or two who have very similar goals, and I can’t help but wonder where this first attempt at community cooking will go. I know we won’t get it quite right on the first try, but we have lots of time to work out kinks. I can’t help but think that this is the way I was designed to function best: in community.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not good at doing it all. In fact, I don’t do it all. On a good day, I’m about half-and-half. If I want to do more, I have to ask for help – and not feel guilty about it. That’s a big hurdle for someone as proud as I can be at times, but I’ve taken the leap a few times. It’s not so bad. In fact, it’s downright pleasant to share some chores with willing friends.
And that long list at the top of this post? Yeah. It’s not going to happen for me unless I do at least some of them in community with other, like-minded women.
Just like I did as a kid. I have amazing memories of picking, canning, and freezing every vegetable and fruit we could get our hands on with my grandmother, my mother, aunts, and cousins every spring, summer, and fall. Everything from salsa to applesauce.
It’s what I want for my kids, and for our family as a whole.
Whole, simple, delicious food, made with many loving hands, and enjoyed by everyone who crosses my threshold.
Doesn’t that just sound lovely?
I think it does. Sure, looking at that list can be intimidating, so I don’t really look at it in its entirety, ever. I’m probably never going to do all of it, and I’m okay with that. I’ll just keep doing the best I can, day by day, and choose to take joy in every bite.
Grace & Peace,