Ever since I decided to do this experiment my head has been reeling! I have so many thoughts and ideas, some have been given to me by you lovely people reading; Thank YOU! I feel so fortunate to have a community of people that care about deep nutrition and health. I also feel incredibly fortunate that Johnny and I are able to afford the way we eat. I have been set up for success in my life and I really want to pass that on to others. I know people don't have a lot of time in their lives to figure this stuff out so I will take the time to do it, because I have the time! This is my life vision; my life calling. That said, I wanted to start this project off with some initial thoughts and tips as I go into this experiment.
The first: Eating with intention
Your body has two modes: Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. When your body is in Sympathetic mode all your body's energy moves away from digestion and out to your limbs and brain, this is fight or flight mode. When your body is in Parasympathetic mode your energy is focused on your inner organs and more specifically your digestive system. We live in a day and age where eating on the go is normal, or eating in front of the TV is normal. A lot of people don't even gather with their families in the evening for a sit down dinner together. Our bodies are in Sympathetic mode a lot of the time, and we are paying the price for it. Not only is our digestion turned off while we are in this mode, but because of that we aren't getting the nutrients we need and therefore we are wasting money on our food and will probably end up eating more than we would have if we were sitting down and chewing every bite with intention.
To create a Parasympathetic mode you must start by sitting down, wherever you are, just sit down. It can be on the floor, it can be on a retaining wall, whatever you can sit on, sit on it. Take a deep breath and smell your food. Digestion starts in the brain. Prepare yourself for your meal. Then, chew!!!! Chew that food hardcore. It's recommended that you chew each bite 30x. The larger the chunks you swallow the harder it is for your body to break them down in the time it takes for it to move through the digestive system. Now, that advice is for those of you who are at work or school a lot when eating. If you are at home, this is easier and you can do more with it. Make your meals special, even if its just you; light a candle, put flowers on your table, breath and smell your food, take a bite and put your fork down so you can really focus on chewing. When you do this, you are way less likely to overeat AND you are getting more nutrition.
Parasympathetic eating can really save you money, and bring health into your life.
The second: Eat foods that satisfy deeply
When you consume a lot of carbs, overly processed foods and sugar you are not deeply supporting your body nor are you getting the energy you need for the day. If you start off like this you will usually be hungry again in an hour or 2. This causes excess eating because you aren't satisfied. Spend a little more money on high quality fats and protein and you'll eat less of them; it tends to balance out in the end. Carbs are quick burning energy, so for athletes, this can be helpful around a workout. But the majority of people are eating like marathon runners when they aren't running marathons. A good rule of thumb for most people is 40% Carbohydrates (veggies/fruits are best) 30% Fat and 30% Protein. I see a lot of people in the 60%-80% range for carbs and their sources tend to be refined and processed grains/sugar. That said, it's the quality fats that I really wanted to focus on for this section. Fats give you slow burning energy that lasts, it takes more to break them down and therefore gives a slow release of energy into the system. When I'm speaking of fats I'm talking about using good fats/oils to cook with: Lard & Coconut Oil being some of my favorites. Eating Pasture Raised meats, butter and dairy. Nuts can be good as well, as long as you soak them before hand for ease of digestion. (although nuts are spendy!) Some nuts you can harvest yourself if you know where a good tree is. Incorporating these foods into your diet will give you more hours of satisfying energy than a full carb meal would. Here are a few ideas to start off with:
-Pre-soaked Oatmeal: Add butter or coconut oil into your morning bowl for that fat source. (soak overnight)
-Eggs/Avocado: This is a very satisfying breakfast that will give you long burning energy.
-Meat and Veggies cooked in Lard: Some people are allergic to eggs so why not have some breakfast sausage with some stir fried veggies in Lard.
-Bone Broth Soup with an Egg: Sometimes I make my bone broth into a breakfast meal by poaching an egg in it.
(Like I said, it's ideal to have pasture raised meats, eggs and dairy with all these)
Another thing I like to mention is some people have poor fat digestion. This can be due to long standing digestive dysfunction and poor diet. Bile is our main fat digesting mechanism in our body and some people don't produce enough. Beets are excellent for bile production so add those into your diet as well as herbs like Dandelion Root. Any questions you have about this I am happy to answer.
Well that's all for now, I'll be adding more tips as I go. Thanks for reading and I hope this is helpful for people. Bye for now! -Bailey
Food is life. It's everything. Our bodies start as simple cells and multiply into organs, arms, legs, face and body; all from the food our mothers ate. This food started the same way, it was fed by the nutrients in soil. The health of the soil determines the health of the food and the health of the food determines the health of the individual. Something terrible has happened though. We've neglected not only the soil, but in turn, our food and our bodies. We've lost this connection to our food, the building blocks of our well being. We don't associate our woes, our pain, our disease, our depression with what we are eating. Instead, we spend our money on things and products we don't need at the expense of healthy food, it's no longer a priority for a lot of people. And then there are those who want it to be a priority but can't afford the cost of good food. It makes things even more complicated to know that our government subsidizes poorly grown crops like corn and soy. They have artificially made food seem cheap. All our processed foods contain these ingredients, all our sweeteners and colorings, our fruits and veggies are sprayed with it and our animals, instead of being fed what they were intended to eat, are fed corn and soy. We are corn and soy. This is what has built our bodies for years.
The good news is, we can do things differently. Every 7 years our bodies have fully regenerated, this means we have switched out all of our cells for new ones. If we start eating a whole foods, nutrient dense diet now, there is hope for health in the future. This has been my own journey for the last 5 years. I've gone through lots of different diets trying to find what was ideal for me as well as what was going to be best for the environment as a whole. I found that this was not a cheap way to eat. For the sake of full transparency as I begin this 30 day experiment, we have been spending over $700 a month for 2 people. For a lot of people this can seem insane. But food is the most important thing to me and I forgo a lot of other things to have it this way. Another interesting thing to mention is the food spending habits of other countries compared to us. According to this graph, Americans spend on average 6% of their income on food...this is utterly insane to me!
So, is it possible to eat a whole foods, nutrient dense, organic, local diet on a budget!?! I don't know. But I wanted to find out. So, starting May 1st Johnny and I will be embarking upon a 30 day experiment where we will only spend what someone could get on food stamps as a couple, $200 a person. This will be cutting our monthly food budget almost in half! I will be blogging once a week about the experiment, what I'm eating, how much things cost, how long my prep time is for meals, how to cut costs, etc. I will also choose a food product to highlight and talk about pros and cons. Here is a list of what we will be eating as well as what we will not be eating:
Thing's I've cut out of my life to have more money for food:
-Smart Phone: I've got a flip phone and I'm on a family plan.
-Internet/Cable: We do pick up Wifi at our house, but for some people they are close enough to a coffee shop to forgo wifi, unless their job depends on having it at home.
-Eating out: We eat out maybe once or twice a month, if that. Restaurant food is more expensive and usually prepared with rancid vegetable oils. (which are disease/cancer causing) We also don't drink but for those who do, drinking out is obviously the most expensive way to do it. Having some drinks at home with a friend is more cost effective.
-Clothing: Most people have enough clothes, so excess spending in this regard can definitely be cut out.
-Gas: If you have access to a bike or are walking distance from places you are going try and save on gas with these alternative modes of transportation, you'll also get a workout. Bonus.
-Sugary/Processed Packaged Foods: These are lose lose. You are destroying your body and spending money on it. So later on in life you may also have pay a large hospital bill for the damage of these foods.
-Household/Body Products: When you're eating better, your skin will follow suite. Cutting back on excess hair products, body products, makeup and household products is an option. Besides, a lot of these things have gnarly chemicals in them. Instead, switch to simpler homemade things or take note of what is necessary and what is not.
(I will be adding more tips for saving money as I go)
So, there you have it. I'm really excited to share this experiment with you all and I hope it will be successful! One of my main goals with nutrition is to make it accessible to everyone. It may take a little extra effort on your part, but the life/health benefits are worth it. Thank you all for following my journey and supporting these endeavors. I will be starting this experiment on May 1st. Check back in next week for my first blog post on the experience!
To health and vitality!
Easy Sourdough Rye PancakesRead Now
It's a rare that I eat grains. But every once in a while, I want a damn pancake! Okay.
Since I don't eat grains a lot, it's hard for me to digest them, it's hard for a lot of people.
This is why I go the sourdough route.
Sourdough is fermented by wild yeast which pre-digest the grains for you.
And they taste amazing.
For this recipe I used Rye flour. Rye is a lot less bred than regular Wheat flour. If you need to make a starter here is a semi-easy way to do that: Sourdough Starter. Or if you live in Portland you can come on by and get some of my starter! (it's a lot easier if you know someone with a starter already) After you have a successful starter going you can make the easiest pancakes ever!
Recipe: This is it!
2 cups Sourdough Rye Starter
Mix together, and make pancakes! Done. Top with lots of grass fed butter and local raw honey. Yum!
Chocolate Avocado MousseRead Now
If you don't like avocado, I would go ahead and skip this one! A lot of it's flavor is covered up, but not entirely. For those of you who do like avocado you're going to love this. As I've mentioned before, consuming sugar of any kind along side fat is the best way to go. Fat slows the absorption of the sugar into the blood stream and prevents blood sugar spikes. This recipe is packed full of awesome fats! Try it with some strawberries, I promise it will satisfy.
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons grass fed butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon Maca Root Powder (optional)
2 ripe Avocados
Melt chocolate chips, honey/maple syrup, butter/coconut oil over low eat string frequently (you can do a double broiler method for this) After melted add in the cocoa powder and Maca. Combine with avocados in a food processor and process until smooth and combined. Put in the refrigerator for a while, then enjoy! You can replace the butter entirely for coconut oil if dairy is an issue.
Because this is chocked full of good fats you won't need to eat as much to be satiated!
Overcoming AllergiesRead Now
For the first 3 years of my marriage to Johnny we opened our space to over a hundred people: travelers, homeless and friends. It was a time full of unique energy and non-stop interactions. For a while, I thrived. I met so many amazing people and it felt good to provide a safe space. We shared conversations on the porch, big pots of oatmeal in the morning when a lot of people were there (by the way, we were mid-remodel and had no kitchen so all our meals were made over fire), and worked on projects. I did an okay job at self care while this was all happening, but stress ended up getting the best of me. How would you feel having 25 different roommates in 5 years, 100+ house guests all living in a half remodeled house? Not to mention the other stressors that came my way, 2 years in I had a miscarriage and had to go through the whole ordeal surrounded by people, unable to escape and deal with what had happened, soon after that we decided to take a trip to South Africa for 2 months to work on farms and travel, it was an amazing experience but while I was gone my grandmother passed away and I wasn't home to say goodbye. When I arrived back home our hospitality house continued but I felt I had lost a lot of my drive to go on living that way. Too many stressors were piling on top of our living situation. Soon after we returned home my kitty was hit by a car and died. The combination of roommates, guests, the miscarriage, traveling, and death finally caught up to me. I remember the day, almost 2 years ago, I was deep cleaning the house when I started having sneezing fits, a runny nose and itching eyes. Little did I know that this reaction would continue on, 24/7, for the next year.
I was miserable. I couldn't enjoy anything like I used to. Being a florist, herbalist and wild forager didn't really work with being allergic to plants. And not just plants, but dust too. So whether indoors or outdoors I was reacting to something. It clouded my head and made me want to just lay on the couch a lot of days. I never understood how awful allergies really were for people. When you're body is having a whole body inflammatory response it takes a lot out of you. I went to the doctor to find out exactly what I was allergic to and was given anti-histamines…which made me feel even more tired. (I only tried them once for relief and got a "hangover" from them) The other recommendations I found online were: keep your house clean, have bed and pillow covers for dust allergies, don't have pets, don't go outside during certain seasons, etc. etc. With these options it was clear to me that I had to do something way more intense, I wasn't just going to live life like that. So a few months in I made it my goal to heal myself. And while I still have a little bit to go I thought I'd share with you all how I've healed. It's an insane protocol but if you suffer as much as I was you may just want to try it!
Now, in this post, I'm specifically talking about environmental allergies, but it can also apply to food allergies in a way. The interesting thing is, environmental allergies are usually caused by an underlying food allergy, so you end up healing your food allergy and environmental allergies at the same time. Basically, if the body is overwhelmed by an allergy to a food, stress, overwork and not enough self care, an allergy to other things can form. So the goal in healing is to de-stress, implement self care, eat clean and take immediate measures to relieve symptoms. This is not a short process by any means, it's taken me a whole year to get where I am now. Patience is key!
-Drink LOTS of water. I cannot stress this enough, dehydration can cause more histamine response.
-Supplements: (all the titles are links to where you can buy)
-Bone Broth: This is by far one of the best things you can do for yourself. Go purchase local/grass fed animal bones from your butcher (beef, chicken or whatever you like). This title will link you to a friends nutrition blog where she shows you how to make it. Once you make the base you can make whatever soup you like with it. I would consume this daily if possible. It is packed full of minerals, vitamins and gut healing nutrients. It has helped me immensely.
-Cut down Sugar and Alcohol: I had to do this hardcore. I took my sugar consumption down to only a fruit or 2 a day and a little bit of honey sometimes. I also fully cut out Alcohol after having allergic reactions to it about 5 months ago. These two things have been an amazing addition to my protocol and I know it's hard to do…but so worth it.
-Self Care: This one is way more important than people realize. Stress contributes to allergies. So try and make a routine for your days where you have time to take care of yourself. If possible, don't overwork, say no when you need to and pamper yourself.
-Get Good Sleep: The benefits of good sleep are endless. Make it a goal to go to sleep by 10pm and get a good 8 hours if you can!
Nut-Seed "granola" BarsRead Now
There's nothing like the convenience of a granola bar. You grab it and you go. For a long time these have been considered "health food" by most and a staple for the american kids lunch box. But these are far from health food, Nature's Valley, for example has an ingredient list worth looking at:
Now, if you're unfamiliar with reading labels I will point out a few things to note here. The second highest ingredients are a high sugar corn syrup and sugar. A few ingredients down you'll see fructose, another sugar. Another notable ingredient: Partially Defatted Peanut flour. Why are we defatting peanuts, that's what makes them good! Besides that there are rancid oils, soy lecithin, nonfat milk and preservatives. These aren't looking like a health food to me.
My "granola" bars are grain free, dairy free and full of good quality fats in the form of peanut butter, coconut oil, coconut shavings and nuts/seeds. And they only take about 10-15 mins to make. I always soak my nuts overnight, this makes them way more digestible. In the morning I rinse them and bake them till crunchy. In this recipe I used Almonds and Sunflower seeds because it's what I had on hand, you can replace these with whatever nuts and seeds you like. The same goes for the peanut butter, use whatever nut butter you like!
2 cups of soaked Almonds
1/4 Sunflower Seeds
1 cup Coconut Shavings
1 tbsp Maca Root Powder (optional)
1/2 Peanut Butter
1/2 Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 Dark Chocolate Chips
After soaking and baking the almonds use a food processor to break into smaller chunks. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. (for my first recipe I put the chocolate chips in with the dry ingredients, I think it would be better to melt them with the wet ingredients to help the bars hold together more) Combine all the wet ingredients in a saucepan and melt on low. Once well combined mix with the dry ingredients and make sure there is full coverage. Pour your mixture in a 9x13 dish and press with the back of the spoon until flat. Place in the refrigerator to harden. Cut into rectangles.
(Store in refrigerator)
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David