Thinking About Family Nourishment

Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the best way of feeding my family. As some of you many know, Gman (my eldest son) has a dx of Asperger’s Syndrome, an autistic spectrum disorder. Since his diagnosis over three years’ ago, he has been following a gluten free casein free diet (and as we all eat all our meals together, the whole family has too, more or less). Without a doubt, Gman’s symptoms have improved on this diet. However, I am concerned that gfcf may not tell the whole story, and that we still have a lot to learn about what constitutes a healthy diet. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking of a food item “it’s gluten and dairy free so it must be ok” no matter what it is. At the end of the day, highly processed crap is highly processed crap whether or not it’s gluten and dairy free. How much processing does an essentially indigestable bean have to go through to make it look like something resembling cheese spread? How many items on this ingredient list do you stock in your pantry?

Water, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, isolated soy protein, corn sweeteners, tofu, non dairy lactic acid, sugar, stabiliser (carob bean, guar and carrageenan gums), spices, garlic, parsley, salt, vegetable mono and diglycerides, preservative (potassium sorbate).

Not too many,huh?

This is not real food and to me, that’s a problem. As Michael Pollan puts it “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”.

A combination of reading “Wild Fermentation” and stumbling upon fabulous sites such as Food Renegades, Real Food Forager and Our Nourishing Roots, I have discovered a whole host of reasons to make eating real food a top priority.

As a family, we already eat a wide range of foods including fruit, veg, meat and eggs, but I realise that we have a long way to go in eliminating processed rubbish. So, here’s where I am going to start:

1. Cut down on, and eventually eliminate altogether, soya products (read this article for compelling reasons why)
2. Start eating lacto-fermented vegetables (starting with sour beets – blogged about here)
3. Reduce the number of processed gfcf foods we buy and eat

I think this whole philosophy can be nicely summed up by Michael Pollan (again), with this rule from his book “Food Rules”:

“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”

I am linking this post up with Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday – check it out!

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7 thoughts on “Thinking About Family Nourishment

  1. Julie says:

    I like where you are going with this. I think we need to do this too.
    Thanks for the site links. I have been reading this site http://perfecthealthdiet.com/ and this one http://worldshealthiestfoods.org/ – And I have a lovely cookbook called Nourishing Traditions if you would like to take a look at it.

  2. Angela says:

    Hi Viv, Thanks for this post and the links which I’ve save for further perusal later. We haven’t entered the route of diagnosis yet and still pondering on should we or not. L has a good appetite and a varied diet but maybe we should be looking more closely at patterns of difficult times that could coincide with L’s eating habits. Thanks again!

  3. I’ve been living on fresh ripe raw fruit and veg for many years now and I’m feelin’ good! Unprocessed plant food is the way to go, in my humble opinion.

    Big love to you xxx

  4. Janet says:

    I fully believe that our processed foods are making us sick, fat, and extremely unhealthy. I’m about 99% vegetarian and try to watch carefully what I eat. I’m a label-reader and pay attention to sodium content and high fructose corn syrup. I don’t want any of it in my foods. Thanks for the links. I’ll check them out.

  5. I’m in agreement that we need to look to what Grandma would recognize as food. The best guide to what is a healthy diet is looking to the past to find what has made up a healthy diet for humans for most of history. It’s when we lose track of that we have trouble.

I will reply to comments here on the blog, so please check back if you are looking for a response! I love hearing from you x

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