Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Life changing? Perhaps.

So over at our household there have been a lot of changes- some gradual, some abrupt, definitely a lot still-in-process. And some changes are just plain ol' being resisted (who, MY husband? Nahhh.) I can recall this journey really getting into the swing of things about a month or so after Selah had been born. I pinpoint this time in particular because right when Selah was 2 months old I spent about 3 days in the hospital with her, in isolation since she had some sort of bronchiolitis, most likely RSV. During this time I did little other than care for her, catnap in the highly-uncomfortable-but-who-cares-at-this-point-I-just-need-sleep chair and read an 800+ page tome of frugality titled The Complete Tightwad Gazette. It's a collection of newsletters that had previously been published over several years and then finally all included in this one book. It has some great ideas, resources and food for thought. One part in it that changed my life? Washing Ziploc bags. Oh yeah. See, growing up I was under the impression that you only reuse such things if you can't afford to just throw them away. Then I kinda realized that is a ridiculously indulgent, wasteful attitude- not just for myself or regarding finances but also resources, the earth- all that green stuff. I know I'm called to be a good steward of what I have been given and not just a massive consumer. So I lathered up and started washing Ziploc bags. And washed. And washed. (I throw ones that have had meat in them out). And now it's kind of a game to see how long one bag will last. I loved how the author/editor wrote that even the richest millionaire/billionaire should wash his Ziplocs (or at least hire someone to do it) because to do otherwise would be wasteful. And I think we have enough of that in our world.

So having just finished that ode to frugality (which aside from Ziploc washing included ideas such as buying in bulk, cooking from scratch- you show me your coupon bargains and I will show you how to make it cheaper by scratch- and various others attitudes for frugal living), Mike and I spent an evening watching the documentary Food, Inc. As a result we were faced with the question: Where does our food really come from? We swore off fast food and felt healthier immediately. :)

As I was mulling over the question of the origin of our food I was pointed in the direction of the book to end all books (insert drum roll, please): Nourishing Traditions. To the enlightened ones this is no great surprise, this being the foundational go-to book for those on their quest towards true health. But to the masses still unaware of the revelations in this book I say: Check it out! You have nothing to lose! (Especially if you just borrow it from the library). :) If I could be so bold as to try to whittle it down to a nutshell of information, NT is basically a cookbook whose premise is that the Western diet as we know it (heavy on refined grains, high sugar/corn syrup, low-fat eating) is what is making us more and more unhealthy, diseased, fat and unhappy. Instead we should imitate the practices of traditional societies and soak our grains (to break down phytic acid that binds up all the healthy enzymes/nutrients in the grains), eat fat (butter, whole milk) and basically try to eat things the way God made them. Not processed. Not into a big cookbook? Pick up the easy read "In Defense of Food, An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan or his other book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma". I was more than surprised- dare I say shocked?- at some of the things in America's food industry. I will end this part by saying Read It. Any one of them. It just might change your Life.(style). :)

5 comments:

KT Barnes said...

Okay Jenae. I hate to cook, mostly because I just don't have time (and it's just Spence and I with these two jankity schedules) BUT I put a hold on this book in my neighborhood library! I'll let you know when I read it (:

Jenae said...

KT- that thrills me to the core!! :)You'll have to let me know what you think!

Neil, Kelsey, Elliott, and Ezra said...

Okay, I have heard WAY too much about this book. I guess I will have to track it down and read. Seems like it's right up my alley. And I love your talk about the ziploc bags. I grew up having upside down, inside out plastic bags hanging on the drying rack. I always thought it was weird until now. :)

Love, Burkhart & Tschiegg said...

I got the book from Mindi on Monday. I'm gonna start reading it! I'm excited.

Mindi said...

WONderful. WONDERful! Great post. Love it.