Thursday, February 16, 2012

Food Update

I figured it was past time to give an update on the food situation around here.  We've come a long way since I started this blog.  Some things haven't changed, I've tightened up my attitude on some things, and I've loosened up a bit on other things.  For those of you who might be confused by the gluten-free/vegan page (which I'll be changing soon to better reflect our current state of affairs) combined with the occasional mention of bacon (a.k.a. the gateway meat) or Super Bowl beer (and not the sorghum variety), let me clear up a few things.  Here's an updated rundown of what we eat and what we don't eat around here:

  • Gluten-Free - Thankfully, things are much better here.  The little one seems to be all healed up, and she's practically nonreactive on the rare occasion when she gets the stuff.  I know how I feel (cruddy, to say the least) after I eat it and I can only imagine what her little body goes through, so we're gluten-free at home; however, I've relaxed a little when it comes to the kids having a bite or two at family gatherings, birthday parties, or the rare dinner out.  We load up with probiotics and enzymes and keep an eye on things.  This seems to work for us.
  • Vegan(ish) - While I've been a vegetarian on and off throughout my adult life, I've never been opposed to good dairy (my grandparents had a small dairy farm, and we know lots of people around here with very happy cows) or eggs (we hope to have chickens here soon).  And we're coastal folks . . . seafood is gold.  But I do love the benefits of vegan baking, and I use vegan recipes quite often.  My kids and I have a little trouble with dairy, so we stick to almond or coconut milk.  I've also cut way back on our cheese consumption, but it's always been a weakness of mine.
  • Grains - I mentioned gluten-free, but I know a lot of people are also grain-free now.  I'm slowly using more almond flour in our baking.  Plus, I always soaked my beans, and now I'm soaking them even longer, draining and rinsing them a couple of times during their soak time.  Other than that, my little one loves oatmeal.  She even asked for it for her birthday dinner.  And . . . well . . . let's just say one does not give up rice so easily in South Louisiana.  Rice is epic in these parts.
Basically, we eat mostly unprocessed foods (pasta is still on the weekly menu, and it would be great if I could break my Nerds addiction), mostly plants, with a weekly fish dinner.  I try to incorporate something raw every day to get those beloved enzymes, and I am super grateful that my kids love vegetables as much as I do.  We try to eat seasonally as much as possible, and eat local and/or organic when we can.  In some ways, this has made our eating easier.  Limiting our choices streamlines the whole process.  It's about the quality, not the quantity of choices.

Now, when I figure out the whole gluten-free, vegan breakfast and lunch menu planning thing I'll be a much happier person.  And travel.  I still struggle with food on the go.  But that's a post for another day.    One that will involve a lot of whining and requests for help.  Boatloads of help.

3 comments:

  1. We eat somewhat seasonally too, in that there's produce I will only buy when it's in season, not when it's traveled all the way from Mexico. I like how that becomes another reason to look forward to different seasons, too.

    Food on the go. I've gotten good at that, I guess, since it's harder to stop along the way. Traveling--not as good with that. Part of me wants to be able to loosen up a bit with eating out, but the risk of getting sick is so scary. So many restaurants offer gluten free, but I think it's often trendy and opportunistic; I don't think many of them understand the difference of degree out there and a little bit of knowledge on their part is almost more dangerous than none at all.

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  2. I wonder if you might talk about the reasoning about soaking grains before you use them? I have read about this before, but am still unclear on why people do that. I can't figure out how people soak wheat, for example, and then grind it to make bread. Isn't it all soggy?

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  3. The grains have something (phytic acid, I think) that can block the absorption of minerals and nutrients from them and other foods, and soaking can neutralize that and make it more easily digestible. This is a much better explanation than I can give:
    http://nourishedkitchen.com/soaking-grains-nuts-legumes/
    I don't know about soaking the wheat first (although I have heard of that, but you can soak the flour in just a bit of yogurt or buttermilk before using it in a recipe. I haven't experimented much with soaking flours yet (I haven't been baking much lately), just whole grains and beans.

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