When the ladies behind the genius Modern Alternative Mama posted a notice they wanted to explore a day-in-the-life of some of the contributing writers, I didn’t rush out and volunteer immediately. Not that my life isn’t an open book. I mean, I’m a blogger, for goodness sake. But I thought, maybe I’m not “good” enough. I mean: Sometimes we Order Chinese Food.
And then I thought: “Well, yeah, sometimes we do.” So we’re not perfect. We’re real real foodies, doing the best we can in the real world.
MAM: How “into” real food are you? (i.e. how long have you been doing it, how many different foods do you make from scratch, etc.)
Jeanne: I’ve been on this real food journey for about 14 years now. And I think I do more right than wrong. But that means something totally different today than it did in the late 90s.
I used to drink low fat milk (before I learned that pasteurized low and nonfat milk might be one of the reasons for cellulite, and a culprit behind our inability to digest milk and lactose intolerance in the first place).
I used to think the occasional diet coke wasn’t horrible.
I even thought soy protein wasn’t a terrible option (before I realized it’s an endocrine disruptor).
I even used to think canola oil was an okay choice. (It’s not. According to Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, it is a rancid oil that inhibits our ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat.)
I experimented with vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. Added and subtracted supplements. I’ve done candida cleanses and spent weeks juicing everything. Reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon changed things pretty dramatically. And then I read Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. Finding www.MarksDailyApple.com brought great insight into my understanding of a paleo diet. Meeting the leaders of our local Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter brought the real food movement to life. And getting to know some of our local ranchers and farmers and backyard gardeners/chicken lovers gave me a new appreciation for our food supply and how important it is that we care for the world we live in.
And what I’ve figured out along the way is what works for me and my family is that if my great grandmother might recognize what we’re eating as food I’m happy to serve it to my family. Or, at least, someone’s great-grandmother needs to recognize it as food because my own G.G., a poor Irish immigrant, ate a pretty limited diet (potatoes and soda bread anyone?). I doubt she’d have known that chia seeds are a superfood. 🙂
MAM: What is one area/food that you refuse to compromise on? (i.e. what is one thing you will not feed your family)
Jeanne: We road-trip a lot. And while I make sourdough crackers and fresh popcorn for the road, our car-snack of choice is potato chips. And it’s not easy to find organic chips at the random truck stop. So I’ve been known to let this slide on occasion. We don’t do Doritos or Corn Chips or Cheetohs or movie theater popcorn. GMOs. Pesticide risen crops. Chemicals I can’t pronounce. Additives. Preservatives. Food coloring. I just can’t do it.
MAM: What foods (if any) do you make from scratch?
Jeanne: I ferment veggies. Make our own kombucha. Use bones for homemade broth. We keep a sourdough starter and use it to bake bread and make pancakes. We soak our oats and sprout our grains. I even make our own almond milk.
MAM: Name on thing you wish you made from scratch that you don’t.
MAM: Do you have a cheat food/meal? Describe it!
Jeanne: I’m sort of a cereal-aholic. And while I’ve made my own granola, I find that without a dehydrator (it’s on my list for 2014) it’s a little too time consuming and labor intensive and takes up the oven-space for just too long to keep us stocked up. So I buy organic locally made granola and musli from the bulk aisle and occasionally (as a favorite treat for the littles) a box of EnviroKids Panda Puffs.
MAM: What is one tip you have for those starting out on a real food journey?
Jeanne: Start with ONE thing. Pick one thing you don’t want to compromise. Maybe it’s starting with whole organic raw milk. Or soaking your oats (that’s an easy one … but remember to RINSE them before cooking).
A typical day (a Thursday. We ski on Thursdays because our 4 year old is in the Skiwees program at a local ski hill):
5:30 am: Wake up. Bleary-eyed but cheerful because I’m one of those obnoxious morning people. Which means avoid me at night because a night-owl I am not. Unless I’m watching a Downton Abbey marathon. Then I can stay up all night.
The day starts with daily chores: Boil a gallon of water for tea for kombucha. Fold laundry. Do a few dishes that were left in the sink last night. Make hot cocoa for skiing. Pack lunch and snacks for the dayo n the mountain. (Lunch = yogurt, bone broth, apples, cheese and a green smoothie)
Rinse the oats that were soaking last night in prep for breakfast this am.
6:15 am: shower, get dressed and load the car for ski-day.
7:02 am: kids’ alarm goes off and I nudge them from bed, get ’em dressed and shuffled into the kitchen for breakfast.
7:45 am: drive to the ski hill
9 am: ski
12:15 pm: lunch
2:30 pm: head home (kids generally fall asleep in the car. I want to, but don’t)
eat a snack (apples and cheese)
4:30 pm: pick up our milk from our herd share
5 pm: pick up eggs
5:30 pm: home for dinner (but on this day, I picked up take-out from our favorite Japanese restaurant: udon noodles and tempura vegetables with ponzu)
8:30 pm: collapse with kids for the night.
PS – notice that my husband, The Cowboy, isn’t mentioned? Yeah … he’s working out of town on a job in Vancouver, BC for the next few months. So during every moment of downtime in the day, just fill it in with missing and loving and calling and texting and sending photos and adoring my beautiful husband from afar.
How do you eat when you are traveling? What is your favorite on the go snack?
Family Supplement Plan!
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