This morning I got a facebook message from my old friend, Deena. She had stumbled onto this blog (probably through a FB post, I am sure) and asked me:
Lauren, I happened on your blog today and am very interested in what you are doing to get and keep your family healthy and happy. Can you share more with me about your daily menus and meals? How do you balance life with the extra time and effort it takes to eat this way? Hope you are all doing well....Love Deena
So, I have to say that this question from someone I care about is EXACTLY why I created this blog. I had to drop everything and answer her questions.
She wonders about how I balance my life with all the extra time and effort Real Food requires…and I think she has touched on the most amazing and magical part of my kitchen revolution. A year ago I was exhausted and spent by 3pm. I struggled to cook for my family and often lost the fight, falling back on frozen pizza and boxed mac and cheese just because it was easy. These days I spend hours in the kitchen, making everything from scratch, culturing dairy and veggies, brewing kombucha, making butter…plus every week I travel around to source all my local ingredients from several farms as well as visiting 4 different stores. There is no “one stop shop” for me. How did it happen that I now have the energy and desire to go to such lengths to feed my family in the most labor intensive way possible? And why would I want to?
First of all, I have to say that as I have changed my diet, my vitality and energy has increased. I saw a jump in my energy and a decrease in brain fog and fatigue when I cut out processed carbs and especially wheat (and I lost weight, which made me feel better, too). When I started eating large amounts of saturated fat (coconut oil, butter, cream, lard) I felt an amazing lift in my mood and energy. All of a sudden the negative cloud I had lived under for many years lifted. Life became easier and more joyful. When I read Eat Fat Lose Fat by Fallon and Enig, I started eating a tablespoon of coconut oil every morning (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it) and I almost immediately felt better. I think the addition of saturated fat made such a difference to my vitality and brain function. I learned first hand how important natural saturated fat is to our bodies, especially our brains.
Here is what our family typically eats:
For breakfast, Latas drinks coffee with grass fed cream and I have tea (I cut out coffee when I realized that it could be contributing to my low thyroid and adrenal function). I cook 2 or 3 sausages or a pound of bacon (both pastured, of course) that I get from Burns Best Farm. I usually cook them in my cast iron skillet under the broiler and if I am making bacon, I am sure to save the grease in a mason jar (strain it through a cheese cloth) so I can cook with it another time. The kids drink raw milk from Carlton Farms and for a treat I might whisk two raw egg yolks (also from Burns) into the milk, add a splash of cream and maple syrup (Grade B from whole foods), vanilla and cinnamon. Another option might be to give them half organic orange juice (from Trader Joes) and half grass fed cream (from Johnston Dairy). Here’s a little secret: I always splash a little whey into whatever they are drinking to give them a little probiotic kick. Don’t tell them, please! I drain the whey off the yogurt I make. Anna also eats fruit and sometimes raw cheddar (From Carlton Farms) in the morning. I eat the homemade yogurt that I make from Johnston milk. Latas takes two hardboiled eggs with him in the car when he leaves for work.
For lunch I pack Anna slices of ham or an uncured hot dog (from Trader Joes) and homemade, fermented ketchup. Sometimes she gets some chicken if I have just made bone broth with a whole bird rather than a carcass. She also gets fruit and/or carrots in her lunch box and a chunk of raw cheddar. Isaac is homeschooled, so we usually eat leftovers from the night before for lunch. I also like to make a big salad for each of us with the greens we get from our CSA with Lee and Gordon Greens. I generally put a hardboiled egg and raw cheddar in it along with whatever veggies I have. I always throw in a tablespoon of fermented carrots. I make a basic olive oil and balsamic dressing that is super easy and yummy. Isaac drinks raw milk and I drink water.