big changes over the last year.

last september, i decided to start moving our family in the direction of a more traditional diet.  in december, i went off grains and when i reintroduced them in april, i discovered i had sensitivities to wheat/gluten and corn.  so we've made a lot of changes over the last year, and i'm excited to see how far we've come!

in my cooking i now:

- use no vegetable oils or margarine.  i cook mainly with coconut oil, butter, olive oil and lard.
- incorporate more sprouted, soaked, or soured grains (although not 100%)
- make my own mayonnaise and gluten-free salad dressing
- make my own kefir, yogurt and sourdough starter
- go through TONS of farm eggs (currently 7 dozen a month, but i would totally use more if i could afford it)
- have switched from teflon pots and pans to stainless steel and cast iron (although i do still have a teflon griddle i use), and i've switched to all stainless and wood cooking utensils (no plastic).
- know how to grow some basics in my garden and use/can them myself (an accomplishment for me!)
- make all my own chicken stock
- have tried things like coconut water and traditional sauerkraut ('sick' and 'not bad,' respectively)
- soak and dehydrate our almonds, and have made almond butter
- switched to less refined flours and sugars
- have tried lots of alternative baking products such as gluten free mixes; rye flour (for the kids' bread); coconut, almond and rice flours; and arrowroot powder
- switched to full-fat dairy, including milk
- avoid soy if we can at all help it (except traditionally fermented soy sauce). not always possible, that stuff is in everything.
- eat more fruit (small step, but significant for me.)

that being said, there's a lot we don't do.  we haven't gotten rid of a lot of our standard, go-to snacks like crackers for the kids and oreos for todd.  i still eat too much chocolate and ben and jerry's coffee-heath bar crunch.  we still occasionally drink soda (although, we've never really purchased it, simply for budget reasons).  we enjoy eating at mcdonald's.  i don't spend money on organic or grassfed items unless they're cheaper than conventional items (unusual but not impossible to find) or they taste significantly better (eggs have been the only thing i've noticed).  we don't do raw dairy (even if we could afford it, it's currently illegal).  while i would love to change a lot of these things, we're not at a point where it's realistic, moneywise or otherwise.  and that's fine.

because i think the thing that has struck me most about all this is - none of it really matters!  yes, i think i'm called to steward my kids' health and to make healthy decisions for myself, but i don't have to do it all rightnow and i don't have to think that the way i'm doing it is the only way for someone else to do it.  there are a lot of things i'd like to still grow in and add to/take away from the way we eat for the sake of health and environmental stewardship, but i don't feel a compulsion to do it out of fear or 'what if's.  

and there is so much grace from god in this!  i don't think he wants us to be bound by fear, and i know he doesn't want us to think that we're capable of completely preventing the effects of sin (sickness and death) by our own efforts.  i'm going to screw up my kids' health by what i feed them sometimes, but i fully trust god to do what he does best: redeem the mistakes that i'm destined - bound, determined - to make.

and that's the gospel, really.  god is trustworthy, in christ we are not slaves to our mistakes, we don't need to feel condemned by our failures but encouraged by what god has in store for our futures, we don't need to judge others who don't do secondary things the same way we do.  it seems silly that sourdough starter makes me think about these things, but it really does.  i have learned to trust god much more deeply with my life and the lives of my family over the last year.  and that has been the best part of this whole process.

for the kingdom of god is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the holy spirit, because anyone who serves christ in this way is pleasing to god and approved by men.
romans 14:17-18


todd said...

I am proud of you my wife. Neither are easy realizations to know and believe: that our actions mean something, and our actions mean nothing: at the same time, but not in the same way.

todd said...

Oswald Chambers in "My Utmost For His Highest" had something to say this morning that is in line with this blog of yours:

"The Unrivaled Power of Prayer"

We do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered —Romans 8:26

...Have we come to realize that our “body is the temple of the Holy Spirit”? If so, we must be careful to keep it undefiled for Him. We have to remember that our conscious life, even though only a small part of our total person, is to be regarded by us as a “temple of the Holy Spirit.” He will be responsible for the unconscious part which we don’t know, but we must pay careful attention to and guard the conscious part for which we are responsible.

Tori said...

Hey Paige,
I love this blog because it shows how much you have grown in the last year--not only in eating wholesomely, but really in trusting God--like you said--with the big picture. I also love that you don't feel like you have to do it all RIGHT NOW--because when we first starting meeting last year, that was kind of a struggle for you. I'm so proud of the maturity I see in this post. Way to Go, girlfriend!