I can’t believe we are already in week 7 of the whole food kitchen workshop. It seems like it has passed pretty quickly, although everything seems fast these days. I guess that is what happens when you have kids and you get older, time no longer stands still like when I was in college waiting for spring break 🙂
The past several weeks have been on what I would consider the fundamentals of a whole food kitchen, each grouping of foods – fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, meat, and dairy. The information that has been provided has been extremely well rounded I believe. Especially the information about meat and dairy.
If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know that we rarely eat meat, and more recently I have decided to go dairy free. Honestly, I am not completely dairy free. I still have cream in my coffee; although I haven’t been drinking coffee lately. Instead I have been having tea in the morning. It took a bit for my body to get used to the lack of caffeine, but overall I feel better, my head is clearer, and I am sleeping better at night. And I do have parmesan cheese on my popcorn when I have that for a snack in the afternoon. But all that Mexican food that I eat…no cheese. I have found that my body doesn’t actually crave it the same way, and when I have had cheese a couple times since I gave it up, it wasn’t really that satisfying, and I felt like garbage afterwards. That is saying something. I was a cheese-aholic. Now pizza is made with no cheese for me, instead lots of veggies and red pepper flakes. My Mexican is eaten with lots of salsa, beans, and veggies, but no cheese. And my soups are made with coconut milk instead of real milk – which I actually like better 🙂
I watched Forks Over Knives again this weekend. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. It is on netflix instant view. It isn’t a gross movie, like Food, Inc. was; it is mainly information, and personal stories. It reiterated my desire to not have dairy in our lives. The amount of disease that animal products seem to be linked to, well it is overwhelming. A lot of people talk about changing your diet as being an extreme choice, but when the alternative is taking multiple medications in order to combat high blood pressure or cholesterol, or a host of other problems, it seems like a no-brainer to me.
This lifestyle obviously isn’t for everyone. My husband constantly resists it. He thinks he feels better when eating meat and drinking as much milk as a baby cow can, and maybe he does, but at this point, I feel better about eliminating these two food groups. My kids really don’t know any different, they have grown up eating beans and grains, fruits and veggies, and if they don’t want it, they don’t eat. Perhaps a hard line, but it is the path that I have needed to travel more recently.
It has been wonderful to be in this class because it has given me an entirely new flavor base. One that I hadn’t thought of creating before. I have always loved Thai curry, but never made it myself. Now, it is in my regular menu rotation. I cook a lot of beans, but mainly put them in Mexican dishes. Now, I pair white beans with lemon and pasta, make hummus, put black beans in my salad. I think that my family is very appreciative of all these new flavors. My next step is to try out tofu. I won’t have it regularly, I am still concerned about the estrogen effects of non-fermented soy. But, I think once in a while as a side is fine. Definitely it won’t be the center of our meal. And even when I cook meat for my husband, it is now such a small portion compared to the veggies we have on the plate. Regardless of my feelings on meat and health, I think that having a smaller portion is more environmentally friendly. There is no need to eat a 16 oz t-bone steak for dinner…for one person! (we have never done this, but I am just saying :-))
Have you been searching for a more whole food based diet? Have you eliminated anything that you really love? Would love to hear your stories!