Inspired by the Aums “stream-of-consciousness Sundays” here is what I wrote in a spare 15 minutes:
Chicken McNuggets in their “natural” state
(ETA: pre-2003 when McD’s started using all white meat chicken)
I grew up eating pretty SAD. This is the acronym for “Standard American Diet” and it does make me sad. It makes me sad that it is based on industrial and completely unsustainable (and unethical) practices. It makes my body feel sad because it doesn’t provide what it needs to work optimally and make feel good.
Before I was pregnant, I had briefly been on a “healthy-carb” diet prescribed by my holistic doctor due to PCOS. It was hard not to eat so much of what I was used to eating – chips, snacks, pasta. I felt extremely limited in what I could eat and I felt sick all the time. (This is when I found out that it was really morning sickness, since I was pregnant!)
While researching gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, I heard about the Brewster diet, which basically stated if you eat a diet very high in protein (-100 grams a day), you will not get pre-eclampsia. (They also have lacto-ovo and vegan diets!) It worked for me; it was honestly the healthiest I had ever felt in my life! I ate so much food – raw milks and cheeses and yogurts (totally legal in PA), free-range eggs and grass-fed meats and butters from the local farmers’ markets and lots of beans. I squeezed in some veggies and fruit and a bit of bread and oatmeal and I was full! It was a joy to eat so many healthy fats that I had always heard were so “forbidden”.
After I gave birth, I continued my education and learned about traditional foods through the Weston A. Price Foundation and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. They recommended lots of good oils (fish, coconut, ghee) which we started incorporating into our diets more regularly, as well as the eating of fermented foods (pickles, sauerkraut and kefir are all favorites around here). We tried to start cooking with more traditional recipes and experimented with eating soaked grains/beans and sourdough/sprouted breads replaced our old favorite, generic whole-wheat. When Beanie started baby-led weaning, we let him try (almost) everything! We held off on grains until he was about 15 months, since babies take longer to create the digestive enzymes for grains. At 27 months, he still nurses many times a day (and night!), but his meals still center around healthy fats, protein, veggies and fruit. He is an adventurous eater!
I have recently embarked on what I hope will be our final journey to health and healing for our whole family: the GAPS diet (related to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the Body Ecology Diet). It seems daunting, but I am hoping it will heal my many gut issues (mainly eczema and allergies) and help my husband and son as well. I look forward to sharing our journey and resources with you as we move forward.