Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Nourishing Foods, Limited Options
On one hand I feel like a very beginner to the notion of nutrient-dense cooking a la Nourishing Traditions. On the other, I've been doing this to some degree all my life.
I grew up on a large hobby farm. My parents loved the country life and they felt it was a good way to raise kids. It was! Many nights we sat down to meals where we'd grown/cooked/preserved almost everything ourselves...Raw milk, fresh raw butter, homemade yogurt, garden veggies, grass fed beef, free range chicken and eggs, wild fruit at times. Once we even grew our own wheat for fresh homemade bread. We were amazingly healthy. I didn't go to the doctor from the time I was four till the time I had my first baby at age 22 (with the exception of a tetanus shot at age 12).
Now I live a different life. I live in a neighborhood outside town. Although I want to garden this year, I'm limited in how much food I can grow myself, and I live in an area that's a virtual wasteland for natural living. The only cow share farm in the state was shut down, I understand. I don't know of any CSA's and it's over and hour to the nearest health food store. (Is it coincidence that we also have one of the lowest breastfeeding rates and one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation?)
So at this point in my life, feeding my family healthfully is a challenge. Even if you have very limited options, I'd like to encourage you to make healthy steps too.
One thing almost anyone can do is make slow-cooked bone broth. I can't get organic chicken right now, so I use what I can with the goal of doing better as I'm able. I use it to cook rice and beans and make chicken soup. My kids beg me for this soup when they are sick. I crave it myself. It truly is healing!
My parents raise a grass fed beef for us yearly. We arrange slaughter so we can pick it up when we are home for the holidays. Do you have a friend, neighbor, or family member who might allow you to pasture a beef on his property for a reasonable fee? If they are local, perhaps you could have a part in taking care of the animal if necessary. Think outside the box.
A rural neighbor has been furnishing me (off and on) with bright-yolked brown eggs. I hear a rooster crowing early in the morning from another direction, so I know other neighbors have chickens too! Drive around in the country. Go slowly...You just might spot a "fresh eggs" sign or a chicken tractor in someone's yard. You might find someone who's willing to sell you fresh eggs.
Square foot garden in your flower bed or grow something in pots. You can grow a lot of lettuce in a big flower pot!
Don't be discouraged by lack of opportunity. Do the best you can with what you have, and don't allow debilitating worry to take over when you can't do as well as you'd like! Remember, "A joyful heart is good medicine!"~Proverbs 17:22
Check out more awesome tips at Real Food Wednesdays, hosted this week by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.