The story of what and how I eat must begin with my childhood. I’ve always been somewhat of a forager. I’d spend hours outside, alone, pretending to live in the wild. I’d snack on honey-suckle, tea-berries, and little heart-shaped clover leaves. I’d learned at a young age, presumably from my parents, what (New England) plants I could and couldn’t eat. My father just knows nature. I swear he’s psychic when surrounded by trees. I have my moments too, and believe he’s rubbed off on me in this respect. I remember following him, in silence, through the forest. . . . I’d remember everything he’d say. I learned nature, or perhaps just fell in love with it.
Now, as a youngish adult, I’m a simple eater. I still prefer to consume what’s closest to nature–what I could find on my own, or make myself completely from scratch. I abide by what’s called a “real food” diet, which just sounds hilarious to me, because of course I’d only eat real food. But it’s amazing what some (most) companies put in their food these days. Even items from the so-called natural section are filled with chemicals, colorings, flavorings, rancid oils, and toxins of all sorts. So when I say that I eat a real food diet, I really just mean that I eat food that’s close to nature–correction, is nature. I’ve learned to check all labels and good thing; I’ve found that most ground beef contains trans fat, butter often has added natural flavorings (which aren’t actually natural), and so much more.
I’ve recently begun cooking and baking again. Since becoming a mom (about 18 months now) I’ve stuck to pretty basic meals. Life was just too crazy for me to be focused upon anything beside parenting. But now, at last, I’m finding time to not only keep the apartment clean, but to cook . . .
Which is just so enjoyable for me. I really just like making things–whatever the things may be. And I like to be thorough, understand what I’m doing, and continue to challenge myself and learn.
I’m reading a new book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, and it’s completely brilliant. Now, in addition to my yogurt-making, I’m learning how to make other cultured dairy products; and I’m discovering the many uses for all of the whey that’s been sitting in my fridge. Also, I can now lead people to a book when I feel I need to back myself up when discussing the benefits–and importance–of eating fat, and lots of it. I’m not in the least bit overweight, but the amount of fat I eat would possibly startle people. It’s not that I eat any more of it than people the world over eat, and have traditionally eaten; it’s just that, compared to the low-fat, pseudo heart-healthy diet of the USA, my fat intake is quite high.
For as long as I can recall I’ve been fascinated by the subject of health and nutrition, and now that I have more time in the kitchen–perhaps Fae is off chasing the cat or amusing herself with arranging objects–I can add cooking to my (ever-multiplying) hobbies. So we’ll still be eating simply, but we’ll be having more and more interesting and beneficial foods. I feel that I’m really beginning to figure things out, nutrition-wise, and I’m overjoyed that I’ve been learning all of this just in time for my first child. Maybe she’ll be a forager, too.
Fae is bathing and telling me little stories as she plays with the water.