This past Saturday one of the girls from our church held a food class that we attended. Let me first off say that I was skeptical about going because I felt like we eat healthy and that I am pretty knowledgeable about food. I decided to go because I thought, well OK, maybe I can learn a thing or two. Mainly, though, I went to support her. Not that she needed our support, there were about 30 others there lol! Me and Sean learned so much! We learned how ignorant we are about what we put in our mouths and what we are feeding to our kids. We have always made fun of organic and thought it to be a little too tree hugging-hippie for us, I hate to admit. We should have never thought that way on something we knew nothing about. I have also always felt that what we are given in America is safe and good for us for the most part. We don't live in a 3rd world country or anything like that so I trusted our government I suppose. However, I have been very much misguided.
Our friend who held the class basically had the same views as us until her dad got extremely sick and doctors could not figure out what was wrong with him. Kim started to do a lot of research and found out a lot about the food that we eat. Long story short, they radically changed his diet and he is doing great now. Kim also changed her diet and her family's diet. She has been amazed at the improvements. I talked with another family from our church who also started this new way of living and has been amazed at the differences, as well. Illnesses for them are few and far between and when someone does get sick, it is not for very long at all. Also, they all say they just feel better in general energy wise. I certainly could use some more energy! And our family has suffered for almost a year with sicknesses. :(
Now, this was a one day, 8 hour class taught by someone who is so knowledgeable about it all so I am not even going to try to explain everything. I have a lot more research to do on my own and plan to check out some books from the library to learn more. However, I will briefly mention a few things.
We learned about factory farming and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)......things I had never even really heard of. We also learned how to read labels better and some of the things to definitely avoid like high fructose corn syrup and soy. Kim talked about homogenized dairy and pasteurization. She also talked about vaccines, herbs, and supplements. The vaccination issue is something that Sean and I have prayed about in the past, but have never felt God leading us in the direction of NOT vaccinating our children. I have decided to read more on the subject, but as of now that is something that we still choose to do.
She also prepared a lot of food for us to sample and everything was so delicious. It just felt better to eat!
Sean and I are now taking our family on a new journey after we prayed about it and felt God telling us to make some changes from the things that we learned from this class. Unfortunately, our kitchen is FULL of things that I thought were pretty good for us, but are completely not. However, we cannot afford to throw everything away nor would we waste like that. So, we have decided to replace the bad with good after things run out. It will take a while, but we are anticipating great results. We have also decided to start shopping at a co-op in Knoxville called 3 Rivers Market (http://www.threeriversmarket.coop/) weekly instead of our Wal-Mart Supercenter. They are 100% organic and free of GMOs. Their produce is fresh, organic, and local. Their meat and poultry is pastured and free range and humane. All of the animals are raised on 100% vegetarian diets and are not given antibiotics or hormones nor are they cloned. Hens are raised cage free and are pasture fed. This is just to name a few things that this store offers that regular supermarkets rarely have (they have things that contain the opposite, which is quite scary). Look up pictures of factory raised animals. It is so gross!!!
We are still going to go to Sam's for toilet paper and paper towels and things of that nature because I don't think we need those in organic lol.
Also, we have decided to try raw milk, which we will be getting straight from a farm (https://www.localharvest.org/cruze-dairy-farm-M16649). We will have to pick it up weekly. I have never tried raw milk before so this is going to be brand new for our family. In order to get 3 gallons a week, there is a one time fee of $135, which includes our own share in a cow lol and then it is $75 a month, which is basically what we pay for milk any way. The only difference is picking up the milk is not as convenient as going to our Wal-Mart right up the road.
We are researching herbs and supplements and will probably be posting more about that later. However, Mr. Ryan was throwing up over the weekend and Kim gave us some silver hydrosaul that we have been giving to Ryan and Hunter to boost their immune system. We did read up on it first before giving them any.
Our biggest prayer on our new journey is that God gives us direction and that he also gives us the ability to afford it because obviously it is going to be much more expensive.
I will try to update on our progress and what we learn along the way! We are excited to see where God is going to take us with this!
Oh and P.S. - two things that Wal-Mart does carry that are pretty OK for snack foods are Annie's crackers (my MIL likes these!) and Chip Ins, which are quite tasty I think. :)
And P.S.S. here are a few things I wrote down that may help you and your family:
1. Avoid nitrates and nitrites. HOT DOGS!
2. Soy is not a health food.
3. Don't use soy sauce; use tamari instead.
4. Don't eat vegetable or cottonseed oil. Coconut oil is very good!
6. Eat proteins, fats, and carbs together.
7. Saturated fats are good!
8. Almond butter is a good spread to use.
9. Hydrogenated fats should be at the top of the list of foods to take out of your diet.
10. Jason's Deli and Chipotle have become more conscious of the things I talked about above and are good places to eat out.
11. Avoid white bread, rice, crackers, baked goods, and sugars. :(
12. Don't eat gala apples (my favorite). They have absolutely no nutritional value to them! Eat Red Delicious and Golden Delicious instead.
13. Do frozen veggies over canned, but fresh is best of course.
14. Cherry tomatoes (another fave for me and Ryan) have the least nutrition of all the tomatoes.
15. White potatoes = bad. Purple, red, and Yukon Gold = good! :)
16. Pineapple helps with digestion.
17. Steaming veggies is the best cooking option and retains the most amount of nutrients.
18. Arrowroot powder is a better substitute for cornstarch or white flour.
19. Avoid pasteurized milk, cream, and milk products (do raw instead). I will let ya know how that goes! :)
20. Table salt is not good. Instead, use Celtic sea salt or pink salts liberally (Himalayan or Hawaiian).
21. Consider iodine supplements. Need to research this.
22. Artificial sweeteners are bad (aspartame) - Diet soda. Consider using Stevia, succinate, cane juice, molasses, honey, or maple syrup instead.
23. Minimize fruit juice. Good drinks include spring water, well water that has been tested, filtered water, teas.
24. Get plenty of sunshine! :)
25. Eat oatmeal instead of cereal.
26. Good supplements for kids are cod liver oil and butter oil. We still have to research this!
27. Kim also said her whole family takes kelp and probiotics. She bought a capsule machine and makes them herself to save money. These are also things Sean and I will have to look into first.
Well, that was way more than a few tips!!!!!!