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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

N is for Nutrition

Jenny Matlock

Nutrition is one of those topics that to me seems like everyone and no one is an expert. I am certainly not an expert. But it is my hobby. I read about it, blog about it and attempt to feed my family nutritiously.

The problem lies in the fact that no one seems to agree on what is healthy and nutritious. Is fat good or evil? Should we be eating nutrasweet? (NO!)  Agave? White sugar? Butter or margarine? Vegan? Vegetarian? Omnivore? What is the deal with saturated fats? Food pyramid? Low Carb? No Carb? Should we supplement with vitamins? Organic, what's the deal about organic? What is Real Food anyhow? Have you ever heard of a locavore? Should I be one?

And so you see my dilemma, as I peruse the internet, read books and talk to friends I get many many different takes.

I have done a lot of thinking and praying on what is right and good to feed myself and my family. I decided to go with the Real Food path. I just have to believe, and there is plenty of scientific proof to back this up, that as long as most of the food I put in my mouth is as close to nature as possible that it is the way I should eat.

I have come up with a couple rules, or rather guidelines that I am attempting  to follow most of the time. I copied them from Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat.

Rule Number 1: Eat only the natural, whole, and unmodified foods humankind has been eating for thousands of years.
Rule Number 2: Eat only those natural, whole, and unmodified foods which have been raised, processed, and prepared by the methods humankind has used for thousands of years.

Practically what does that mean?  Michael Pollan, author of several books including In Defense of Food, an Eater's Manifesto puts it this way:  Eat real food, not too much of it, and more plants than meat. Or, put another way, get off the modern western diet, with its abundance of processed food, refined grains and sugars, and its sore lack of vegetables, whole grains and fruit. 

How this plays out in our family is that I get up almost every morning and feed my kids eggs and bacon or homemade pancakes or waffles or french toast or an egg bake. I use coconut oil and bacon grease to fry those yummy treats.  I buy organic milk (would love to get raw but not possible, it's illegal in my state) and get our eggs from a man I know who raises chickens. (My coop is almost finished and our chicks come Saturday!!) I buy my beef from a friend who raises the cows in his back yard. I have learned to make dinner rolls and tortillas and homemade taco seasoning.  I make rice pudding and top my cakes with a homemade ganache and real whipping cream. The chicken I cook came from my friend, and my pork from a local farmer. I buy way more fresh fruits and vegetables and have cut way back on my canned food. My childrens' after school treats are usually an apple or orange or celery with pb or something healthy.

Some things I no longer buy include Diet Coke (my addiction for so many years), store cookies, margarine, vegetable oil, soy anything. But I do still buy frozen pizza and chicken nuggets and mac n' cheese among other convenient and familiar foods. My kids were older when I started down this path and so we are slowly trading the familiar with homemade. It is a battle. A path. We are baby stepping.

I truly believe that I never had a weight problem - I weighed 102lbs when I got married - until I started eating diet food. Diet drinks, low fat, Lean Cuisines, fake butter, chemical laden candy, it all helped to dig me into the hole I am in today. I don't know that I will ever be thin again but I truly believe that this is the way I am supposed to eat. Not afraid of REAL FOOD, food that humans have been eating for thousands of years. It is what works for our family. I am the only one with a weight problem. My children and husband are all very thin and very healthy.

If you are interested in learning more there are some great blogs and sites out there in cyberspace. I am linking you to Real Food Wednesday hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop, this is a great place to start.

I have loved this adventure, learning to cook from scratch and how to eek every bit of nutrition out of the foods I prepare. I know that it takes more time. I am blessed to be a stay at home mom - and cooking for my family is one of my responsibilities. Luckily I can call it my hobby also and this adds an element of joy to my cooking.

Please know that this is what we do as a family and I know that it is NOT the path for everyone. Just wanted to give you all perhaps some New information on Nutrition.

Dear Mrs. Matlock I hope you like my paper. All the other kids papers can be found here at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

I am also linking to Ann Kroekers Food on Fridays  and Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.You can check out these memes for even more info.


  1. This is a neat post! Very informative! I never drank diet drinks, I worked in the Medical School at the University of Colorado Health Sciences! I saw what it did to lab rats! Yikes! Also the chemicals that they put in diet soda is often misleading and can link to neurological diseases with a false positive reading showing symptoms of MS and MD! Healthy eating is so much better for us. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I know more and more people are going the way you are. So far for me - not so much. I do believe there's got to be something in all the food that's processed and things they feed animals why people are developing all kinds of illnesses especially allergies.

  3. HI!!!
    This was very informative!!!I love food, but would say I am NOT a very good cook or a very creative cook.
    I can cook about 15 things pretty good,or as my ubby would say the best lasagna ever!!!But he is just so nice thatif it were bad he would say other wise!!!!
    Neat -O
    for your family!!!!
    I enjoyed my looking around!!!
    wow what a Blessed LAP you have!!!!

  4. Good for you! This post is something that might speak to many people. I have a group of clients taking a nutrition course and I think I'll print this off for them to read, if it's alright with you - just let me know, please. Thank you!

  5. Pondside - thank you for your lovely comment. You are certainly welcome to print out my post and share.

  6. Jamie,
    You are so right I do have a Blessed Lap! My dad says that if you can cook 12 things well you don't need to cook anything else - so you are ahead of the game!
    thank you for stopping by!

  7. Sounds to me like you have got your family's best interests at heart! They will thank you for it in future years when their arteries aren't hardened from all those nasty processed foods!

    What a good mother!

    Best wishes,

  8. I think you are on the right path ... it's the foods that we have been eating for 100s of years that is probably the best for us ... you sound like you have a wonderful food supply source ... I am not only trying to eat right by buy ethically ... hard to do in the city.

  9. I wish more people can read your post,Christy.
    It is SO TRUE to always go natural.
    I do not take anything with the word DIET or SUGARLESS on it.
    Take care now.

  10. A lot of healthy truth today! Whole foods are absolutely the best for you.

  11. You are doing it so right. I am not there yet.

  12. Very informative post! I only cook with fresh ingredients as much as I can. No diet soda or fake sugar in our house!

  13. Very interesting and informative. My pet peeve is all the salt in foods. I don't care for salt, so I already avoid some of the processed foods. When I go out to eat everything tastes salty to me.

  14. We certainly are what we eat....
    Great post!

  15. Good post. I like how you are getting to know where your food comes from and being more self-sufficient. I need to work on these things. Joni

  16. Ok i should have read this as soon as i got home instead of after I had consumed after work munchies that had no nutritional value at all thank you will read again

  17. Amen, sister. We try to do the same kind of stuff here. I've had people scoff at my jars of bacon grease that I keep to cook with, yet compliment me on my delicious dishes. Go figure! We do a huge garden each year (see yesterday's post if you like) so we have a lot of our own stuff to use. And when the turkeys go on sale at Christmas and Thanksgiving, we buy our limit and can the meat and make stock, enough to last us all year so I don't need to buy store canned. It's also good for the budget to cook from scratch and not buy the prepackaged items. Great post!

  18. This is Neat. Nutrition is the word for me.

  19. Christy. I loved this post.

    The last rehab we had our youngest daughter in was a holistic rehab in Minneapolis with a strong basis in diet.

    The diet was not really a diet as we know it but something quite like what you are embracing.

    Although they limited almost all dairy except for raw goat milk...not always easy to find.

    No glutens, no processed sugars, not artificial anything in flavor or color.

    As part of this six week program I attended many, many lectures on this subject.

    And I've even noticed that the naturopath and doc I go to now review how much preservatives I am consuming in my food...and they absolutely, totally and complete forbid arificial sweetners of any kind.

    Gosh, sorry, I've hi-jacked this post.

    I am super passionated on the subject of food and I think it links to so many problems that are becoming epidemic beyond obesity.

    I really appreciate this post.

    Any education in this area is wonderful.

    Although most peole are unwilling to eliminate the foods that are hurting them.

    More stories on this but now now.

    Thanks for this thoughtful stop on my journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter "N"!


  20. A very thoughtful, informative post! TFS! And thanks too for stopping by ~ look forward to *seeing* you again next Thursday for 'O'?!


  21. This is a really interesting post. I try very hard to eat as little processed food as possible. We are blessed to have a fantastic farmer's market in our town that runs from April until October, and they have wonderful fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, and organic beef, pork and chicken. We also have a friend who lives south of us who owns a really good butcher shop - very fresh, although not always organic meat. But I can't seem to give up the diet Coke :) Kathy

  22. you're about diet food, it really doesn't help, it just makes you want to eat more

    thanks for your visit

  23. All sound advice, I think. I have moved to meat-stretching meals, where the beef or chicken gets shredded up, and we have lots of fresh veggies in there.
    I'm trying to give up regular Coke. It's hard!

  24. This was a very informative post. I am so glad you chose this topic for alphabet Thursday!!! It certainly gave me some things to think about. Stop by to read mine if you get a chance.

  25. Thank you so much for all your valuable information. I too believe that we should only eat those theings that come for the earth in the naturla state and we tey to eat hormone-free meat. My rule is I eat nothing I cannot say!

  26. Thank you for the nudge in the right direction as far as nutrition goes. Great and informative post.

  27. Hi Christy,

    That is a great post on Nutrition! I am trying as hard as I can to get back to the basics too!! I tried to purchase "raw" milk when we first moved to the farm and I almost got laughed out of the county. It seems all the dairy farmers have contracts and it is against Health laws to sell to individuals--oh well, city gals have lots to learn!!

    Thanks for sharing with us and thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit. We love having company!

    Have a great weekend.

  28. great post...i admit, after reading it i was a bit having all those resources right in your back yard! sounds blissful

  29. Very informative - thanks for sharing this!!!

  30. Good, informative post. Sometimes it's so confusing, and the "experts" are always changing their minds about nutrition, too. I remember, as a young mom, the experts were saying margarine was healthier than butter, and shortening was healthier than lard! Of course, my mother-in-law was told by her doctors that formula was better than breast milk! Funny, I actually heard some young educated women saying the same thing the other day (and now formula comes in chocolate)! Crazy world.

  31. Good grief - I didn't know formula came in chocolate. That is just nuts.

  32. I just recently heard something that makes sense: when you go to the grocery store, stay on the peripheral (sp) - fruits, vegs, meat, dairy, breads. Avoid the inner parts of the store where all the additives are.

    BTW, I wanted to be Gwamma dEE but I got labeled differently. Someone will choose for you. Watch and listen.

    Happy Cooking!

  33. I applaud you, it is a hard change to make....I eat a lot of fruit and veggies but I have the dreaded diet coke addiction......I know, I know.......

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