Here are some ideas.
1) Listen to your body
Pay attention to the way your body reacts to different foods. How do you feel after you eat them?
Plus, local food is fresh and it tastes so delicious! Not all food is created equal. Pale, watery celery from the store (although, still a blessing) is not even in the same realm as the deep green, richly-flavored homegrown variety. Grass-fed beef from healthy, happy cows eating what they were meant to eat is a completely different food than chlorine-treated factory farm beef from sick, depressed animals. Knowing where your food comes from makes you more aware of what you are eating so you can be empowered to make healthy choices.
It’s good to shop for food in places that stimulate your appetite. For me, going to the farmer’s market makes my hunger come alive. All of the colors, scents, and vibrancy of fresh produce make me want to eat!
I have to admit, living in the country can make it a lot easier to eat home-cooked meals, since we are at home most of the time. Whenever Jeff and I go to town we are surrounded by temptations to eat-out and to eat things we know won’t make us feel good afterward. When we are at home, we are surrounded by nourishing food that makes us thrive, which makes it a lot easier to eat healthy.
Do you feel busy and wonder how you’ll have time to make more of your meals? It’s all a matter of priorities and creating new habits. If eating healthy and making home-cooked meals is a priority, then you’ll get creative in how to make it happen. Turn it into a fun way to wind down and relax, rather than a stressful addition to a long to-do list. Meals can be simple (don’t always need to be extravagant) and extremely delightful. You can do some planning ahead. You can make extras and freeze the leftovers for future meals. You can throw ingredients in the crock pot and come home to something to eat that’s warm and ready. What other creative ways can you make home-cooked meals easier? Remember, the more you cook, the easier it gets!
Don’t you just love the feeling of family time and togetherness, all centered in the the soul nurturing warmth of the kitchen? Kitchens can be a place of healing on many levels. Bless your home with this feeling and let the kitchen conversations and laughter fill every corner. Your body won’t be the only thing thanking you- your heart will too!
Peas. Black Beans. Radishes. Lamb. Plums. Butternut Squash. Chicken. Olive Oil. Green Beans. Lard. Sweet Potatoes. Lettuce. Grapes. Coconut Oil. Black Eyed Peas. Collards. Broccoli. Eggs. Cabbage.
Food with life force, packed with nutrients, and bursting with nourishment. Food that our bodies were made to eat. I mean a food that has a name, rather than a box with a long list of ingredients (the less ingredients the better.) When I say real food I mean food from real farms (not overcrowded cages full of animals.) I mean colorful vegetables, grass-fed and pastured meats, pastured eggs with deep orange yolks and vine-ripened fruit.
Food is a sensory delight.
Eating reminds you to be in the moment.
Something that adds to the sacredness of mealtime is praying and giving thanks before eating. Even though I express gratitude for the food we eat every day, I would like to remember to do this before eating each meal. (Plus gratitude and prayer is good for the health of your body, just like mealtime is.)
Food gives us life! That is a daily miracle. It keeps our bodies running. Cherish this.
When you close your eyes and savor each and every bite with reverence, you might find yourself falling in love with food. And by all means, feel free to fall in love with a beet!
6) Be Creative
Be adventurous and courageous and try new things! Been curious about a food? Try it. Wonder what it would be like to prepare something in a new way? Go for it! Try new colors, textures, tastes. Variety in the diet is good. Variety in life is good.
Some people ask- “but how can I afford to eat a healthy diet?” My answer to this is to be creative! (Seems to be my answer to a lot of things, huh?) There are always solutions.
Dry beans in the bulk section of your local grocery store are healthy and affordable. They take a little more time to soak and then cook, but they are much less expensive than canned beans and a lot easier to digest when you take the time to prepare them. One of our favorites are lentils. What about trades? We’ve traded with friends at the farmer’s market for vegetables and grass-fed and pastured meats. We’ve traded neighbors for milk (when our goats dried up) with some of our chicken’s eggs. We’ve gone to local farms and picked for them to have berries to sell at market and they let us keep half of what we picked for free. We’ve gone wild-harvesting for chantrelles, huckleberries, and blackberries. We’ve found abandoned fruit trees and grown a garden. We have a friend I like to call “Queen Glean” because she finds all the places around town where you can harvest for free. Some local farms we know have end of the season sales and you can stock up on things for super cheap and put them away for the winter. Maybe you could help out at a local farm in exchange for food? The possibilities are endless. At the local butcher, we have found some great deals. Most of the local meats are out of our price range so we stock up on soup bones and liver from grass-fed cows. Packed with nutrition, yet affordable. If you are willing to do some work and get creative, you can save money.
Yes, local real food can seem more expensive at first, but is it really?
You need less of it because it nourishes, whereas you can eat box after box of (over-priced) processed stuff from the store and never be fully satisfied. An egg for breakfast will carry you farther than any boxed food will. And in the long run, if you eat well, you will save immensely in health care costs. Why not spend less money in other areas of your life and more on food? You are worth it.