Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let’s Talk About Food

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This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their struggles and successes with healthy eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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This month’s natural parenting carnival is about my second most favorite thing to talk about: food. As most of my readers know I am a vegetarian and I am raising my children vegetarian. I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 19 years. I’ve experimented with veganism, and while I admire other’s servitude to the cause I never felt I could call myself a vegan because I wasn’t able to do it 100%. And I am kind of a perfectionist when it comes to things I highly value. For instance, I breastfed 100%. However, I could not avoid animal products 100%.Vegan? Fail. Vegetarianism, however, with its looser definition, I can do brilliantly. Vegetarian? A+

I always knew I was a good vegetarian.

I never solely relied upon soy meats and cheese for my protein. I’ve never tried to exist on Kraft Dinner, veggie dogs and carrot sticks. I love things like lentils, quinoa and leafy green vegetables and make use of them and their sources of protein, calcium, and iron and almost daily. I had the pleasure of living with some gifted roommates when I was a student who taught me the art of spice blending and introduced me to Indian, Thai and Japanese foods. Cooking was respite from the books for me. It was a social event, and contrary to my romantic relationships at the time, it always had a happy ending.

When I started blogging I knew I couldn’t just blog about breastfeeding and natural parenting. I needed an outlet for my love of food too. So I started posting a vegetarian recipe once a week and that evolved into my Vegetarian Foodie Fridays. Eventually, I decided to reach out beyond the natural parenting community that I am so familiar with and found a new community: the real food community… What a strange place to feel so excited about being a part of. Why? Because all of them, except one, who I have come across, eat meat. Now I don’t mind if other people eat meat. It isn’t going to affect my friendship with you whatsoever. But for me, to want to be a part of a community that bonds over eating meat is weird. However, it is the sort of thing I do. I mean I married my husband and he eats meat and smokes! That is so not me, but you fall in love with who you fall in love with right?

Let me tell you why I fell in love with the real food community.

They eat traditional whole foods. They’re smart and passionate. They know nutrition from its very roots and bones. They challenge me – my beliefs about food and my adventures in the kitchen. They may eat meat, and I may choose to disagree with them about the ethics of that decision, but so far I haven’t really been able to argue any of their personal reasons behind it. I mean it’s traditional food they’re talking about. I value birthing and mothering my children in a traditional manner (home birthing, midwives, co-sleeping, breastfeeding) so why would I eat differently?

Yes, if you want to eat meat you should eat grass fed meat. Yes, it should be ethically raised, on a small and local farm if possible. Yes, you should eat the organs. They are full of nutrition and throwing away parts of an animal you killed to eat anyway, is wasteful and disrespectful towards the animal. Yes, raw dairy should be made legal where it isn’t. Raw dairy should be an option for any family who chooses to drink unpasteurized milk. The health benefits of raw dairy are outstanding! Currently, I am in the process of trying to find a farm in my new city that does cow-sharing so I can get in on the raw dairy thing, since it is otherwise sadly illegal in my province. Here’s list of places you can find raw milk in the United States. Read this link if you want to examine your milk source. I already eat unpasteurized eggs. I get them fresh from the chicken’s bum from a farm down the road. I grew up on pastured eggs and they are the best eggs in the world when they are from grass fed, free range chickens. Those yellow yolks in your fridge and on your plate at Denny’s? They’re supposed to be orange! Of course the real food community also eats vegetables. They aren’t Atkins dieters these folks, no siree. They love their organic, garden fresh, farmer’s market veggies. The more colourful the better. And they merrily love their all natural, non-hydrongenated healthy fats and oils, like butter, olive oil and coconut oil. I’ve just tried coconut oil for the first time and I have to say I’m in love. (I’m even hosting a giveaway for some if you’re interested).

What do I feed my family?

Ninety percent of the time we eat whole vegetarian foods. Lots of vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes, whole grains and a bit of dairy on the side. I’m not even close to giving up grains, although I do find the reasons to go grain free fascinating and influential. Here’s an example of a weekly vegetarian family menu at my house.

What don’t we eat anymore since I started reading real food blogs?

1) Margarine. I only bought it rarely, now I never buy it. 2) Soy. Tofu was a staple in my house. Soy meats were bought to keep in the freezer for the days I was too tired to cook. Since reading Dangers of Soy, now I only use soy milk in my tea, because I don’t like cow (unless it’s raw), goat, rice, almond or oat milk; and tamari, and miso, fermented soy products which are the healthiest ways to eat soy. 3) Unsoaked grains: As much as I can remember I soak my breakfast and dinner grains now from at least an hour to overnight before I cook them. Read this post if you are wondering why. 4) Vegetable oils. Bye bye canola and safflower oil, even if you are organic.

What I would like to start eating more of because of real food blogs:

1) Fermented vegetables. 2)Fermented dairy like kefir, 3) Coconut flour, coconut cream. Hello my new friend Tropical Traditions.

How would I grade myself in real foods?

I’d give myself a B. I’m never going to fully embrace Weston A. Price‘s way of eating as long as it includes meat, but I have to say these real food bloggers do really know a thing or two about nutrition. I thought I knew a lot about food and nutrition because I soak my own kidney beans, make my own desserts, eat seaweed, eggplant and okra and know the difference between chard and kale and collards, but these real foodies could likely argue me under the table on a few things if they wanted to. Not that I want to pick a fight. (I hate arguing about food.) However, I am happy to be the one student in the virtual real food class who refuses to budge when it comes to eating meat. At the end of the day my values are my values. And while I respect others, I have to live with mine. So for that I will happily take my B, all the while maintaining my own personal sense of perfectionism.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated July 13 with all the carnival links.)

Also linked up to Fight Back FridaysReal Food Wednesdays and Two for Tuesday Blog Hop.

Related Posts with Thumbnails


67 Responses to “Why I Love The Real Food Community”

  1. #2 There’s No Food Like Home’s « Navelgazing Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 3:03 am
  2. #3 alex@a moderate life Says:
    July 13, 2010 at 3:03 am
  3. #4 Food for Little People — Good Goog Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 4:15 am
  4. #5 Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 4:25 am
  5. #6 Karen Says:
    July 13, 2010 at 5:27 am
  6. #7 Lauren @ Hobo Mama Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 6:43 am
  7. #8 Starting Solids at 6 Months | Little Snowflakes Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 8:17 am
  8. #9 Food, Not Fight | Finding Summer Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 8:35 am
  9. #10 Eat Your Food or Else | LittleStomaks Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 8:46 am
  10. #11 Dionna @ Code Name: Mama Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 9:47 am
  11. #12 Shannon Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 9:52 am
  12. #13 Summer Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 10:17 am
  13. #14 No Gluten- No Cry | Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 10:42 am
  14. #15 born.in.japan » Food Mindfulness Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 11:42 am
  15. #16 Tiffany @ The Coconut Mama Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm
  16. #17 girlichef Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm
  17. #18 Judy @MommyNews Blog Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm
  18. #19 Kim Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm
  19. #20 Growth-Spurt Soup (AKA “Beannut Stew”) « BeanMa Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm
  20. #21 Shana Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm
  21. #22 Food: Parenting or Homemaking? Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 4:40 pm
  22. #23 Elita @ Blacktating Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm
  23. #26 Christy Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm
  24. #27 Earth Mama Says:

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  27. #30 Sheryl @ Little Snowflakes Says:

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    July 13, 2010 at 11:48 pm
  29. #32 The Iowa Farmer's Wife Says:

    July 13, 2010 at 11:48 pm
  30. #33 Christina @ Spoonfed Says:

    July 14, 2010 at 4:32 am
  31. #34 Food, Glorious Food! : Diary of a First Child Says:

    July 14, 2010 at 11:10 am
  32. #35 Food — Science@home Says:

    July 14, 2010 at 7:56 pm
  33. #36 Zoey @ Good Goog Says:

    July 14, 2010 at 8:18 pm
  34. #37 Mrs Green @ littlegreenblog.com Says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm
  35. #38 Erica Says:
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  36. #39 Beanma Says:

    July 16, 2010 at 1:25 am
  37. #40 Kate Wicker @ Momopoly Says:

    July 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm
  38. #42 rosina Says:

    July 18, 2010 at 12:53 am
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  41. #45 Mama Em Says:

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