The waters are deep when trying to maneuver a new health regime. We do not always know which path to take. As we move forward with our homestead, we are working on being more conscientious of that, figuring out a new map with what we grow for food, what we raise, and our daily habits.
I LOVE Good Food
Admittedly, I am in unknown territory, though wrought with oddly familiar surroundings. I have always chased good health, even if my habits waned from time to time (helloooo triple scoop of ice cream during that 7th month of pregnancy). But as many of you know, I am trying to manage some symptoms I have been battling, as I wait for testing for some autoimmune diseases. In the meantime, I am ‘testing’ a Paleo diet and connect the dots to better health!
A love of healthy food is not new to me. I spent thirteen years as a vegetarian, and two of them as a vegan. What spawned my interest in vegetarianism though, was a disgust of all things edible that once breathed. But, I was a terribly inconsistent health nut. I would gorge on sugary breakfast cereal and French baguettes smothered in butter, then turn around and spend $18 on a salad at whole foods. Some days I would preach almond milk and dairy free solutions, and others I would be first in line at the local ice creamery. I was never ‘struggling’ with a food, because my goals were to live a ‘balanced’ life. Weight Loss was not a driver, as I just wanted to be ‘healthy’ and well-rounded. And, I did not adhere to ‘self-deprivation’ or ‘dieting’. I just embraced food.
However, for all my inconsistency with nutrition, I was very consistent with exercise. Four to six days a week (with the exclusion of some nauseous months of pregnancy), I was lifting, running, swimming, or moving my body towards health, in some way. My focus was to be more mobile, and to enjoy the process. My body always found it’s healthy happy place in my fitness routine, and I accepted it in every season.
But fitness is also a major factor that helped me physically battle through hardships in life. When I was a clinically depressed teen, I chose running in place of anti-depressants. I overcame and moved away from the ‘norm’ of many of my peers because of the impact exercise had in my life. Even today, heart pumping movement is what keeps the stress down, the joy up and the body capable. And with seven kids and a growing homestead, I need to be limber!
More than ever, I am clinging to the importance of physical exertion. Studies show that exercise drastically improves quality of life in patients of autoimmune diseases. (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, Jelinek, MD). And as Edward Stanley wisely stated in 1873:
“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
Figuring Out a New Routine
Right now, I am going to focus on my exercise regime, Getting more fresh air, while I fumble through a few diet adjustments. I will be trying out some ‘alternatives’ to CREAM in my coffee and will leave product reviews for those interested.
I will also share what has been my LIFE SAVER exercise regime for the last ten years. It has also helped me lose a total of 315 pounds spread over seven pregnancies (no, the weight does not melt away naturally). I have to put the work into exercise like 99% of every other human bodies, if I want results. And by “results” I mean a strong, healthy body that can chase after my kids. I will share in detail in a future post.
As well, I will give my honest review of some recipes I am trying. I am out of my comfort zone, in the total avoidance of gluten and dairy particularly. I have cut out refined sugar completely but I am still allowing some natural sugar (pure maple syrup) in great limitation. But I am already feeling a little better! SO onward we go!
What We Are Raising
Honestly, with all the hullabaloo of figuring out a new diet I would prefer to just go back to being Vegan. I UNDERSTAND being vegan. BUT, that proves a bit more difficult if you are avoiding grains, AND legumes and raising a large family. So, for the time being, we will be raising some lean meats for ME and likely other fleshy meats full of saturated fat for my growing family. I know. Hypocritical.
I would love to move towards our whole family being on the same eating plan. But at the moment, I am not dragging my kiddos through the pain of configuring foods that work for ME.
They are growing. They are hungry every five minutes. I will feed them beef burgers and a side of whatever healthier recipe I am having. And I will give them the ice cream I cannot have, living vicariously through their stomachs. Judge away, but it’s littered with humour.
SO for now, We are raising Rabbits, Ducks, Chickens for Eggs, and our Meat Calf Angus, who will be slaughtered in the Fall. Gruesome I know. But it seems less cruel than buying it at the store from a meat factory.
We are researching Goats (because I LOVE cute Goats), and some other animals, but for now we will build slowly.
We will grow all we can, eat what we grow and strive to thrive ! Stay tuned for some recipes and product reviews later this week. Thank you for being a part of our journey as a family, towards a little more sustainable living, and better health! Oh, and don’t forget the cute duckies.