Back to Basics

How to get the GOOD food home

Think about how food was consumed 100 years ago.  You might imagine a cute little lady in a bonnet and long dress picking vegetables from her garden, milking her cows, and baking fresh bread.  Her husband would be out in the fields plowing, and taking care of the livestock. When the work was done, they would eat around a big table and share the harvest with their fellows.

Today, things are very different.  People are busy, so we eat what’s fast and convenient.    With all the obligations you have, I am sure it’s hard to make time for shopping, sourcing, and cooking meals.  However, making this shift in your home could allow for major improvements.   Not only can this benefit health, it can also aid in your relationships because it creates time for connection.  

Here are a few tips to help get you back in your kitchen, and on your way to preparing whole foods for yourself, and your significant others:

  1. Shop at the farmer's market.  Find one closest to you, and shop there once a week.  Try and get your meat, dairy, and vegetables (no spray/pesticides) from reliable vendors.  Ask questions if you don’t know what something is, or how to cook it.  Farm folk are usually very friendly and happy to help.  
  2. CSA's are another amazing source of fruits and vegetables, check online to see if there is a CSA near you.  You can pick up once a week and have enough to feed your whole family.  For those of you with less mouths to feed, you can do a partial share.
  3. If you don’t have a farmer's market close by, shop at a trustworthy grocery, or health food store.  Look for ORGANIC, SUSTAINABLE, LOCAL, and SEASONAL items.  Seek NON GMO whenever available.  Yes, shopping this way is more expensive, but you are saving money in the long run (less doctor’s visits, gym memberships, RX, diet fads).
  4. If you are really on a tight schedule you can get things delivered to your door. Save time by eliminating shopping and cooking as many meals at home as you can squeeze in. Fresh Direct is a good source for this.
  5. Buy your legumes, whole grains, and spices in bulk.  You can look online, or at a shop like Whole Foods.  Keep your pantry stocked, so you’re never running out of the staples.
  6. Plan in advance and cook in batches.  When you are tired of one recipe, look for something new or change up the spices.

The idea behind eating wholesome foods is to try and keep the ingredients as pure as possible.  Methods like steaming, sautéing, and eating raw will maximize the health benefits of most vegetables.  Stews and soups are great for people who digest cooked veggies better.  You will know how your system reacts by experimentation.  Everyone is different!  

Try to only use whole grain products (i.e. brown rice, barley, quinoa, millet, amaranth) and get your legumes dried (lentils, pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas).  I know it’s hard to remember to soak them, but you should always try and keep them in water overnight (you can add seaweed to extract the acid that can make beans hard to digest). Below is the MY PLATE diagram from the Integrated Institute of Nutrition.  Note that fruits and veggies are the bulk of the meal, and water is the beverage.  

This might not be EXACTLY how Great Grandma did it, but it is a great place to start for a modern day individual, or family.

Chase ElderComment