Sunday, March 03, 2013

Figuring out food...

Food is a bit of a thing around our place at the moment. I wish I could say it's been in a good way (full of exciting cooking adventures and inspirational meals) but instead it's been in a tricky, restrictive, difficult-to-manage kind of way.

Both Dave and I have recently made some pretty big changes to our diets for various health reasons (more on that later!). Dairy is out. Gluten is out. Along with caffeine, alcohol, red meat… I'll spare you the extended list of all the things Dave can't eat right now, but suffice to say it's been tough.

Every now and then I slip up (cheese is very hard to resist, and gluten is a challenge when all sorts of delicious baked goods pass through our studio doors) but more often than not I really feel it - and regret it - when I do. It's amazing how once you take a bunch of stuff out of your diet you become so much more aware of the discomfort caused by those certain foods. Was that always the case? Did I just not notice? Was I attributing those symptoms to something else?

I also find it interesting how, once you have eliminated some of those big items from your diet (dairy, gluten, red meat) it becomes a lot easier to start thinking about eating ethically. It's not a far stretch to go from where we are now to eating only ethically farmed and/or organic produce.

On the home garden front, things seem to be progressing, although I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing:

Broccoli sprouts - possibly a failed attempt

I sprouted some broccoli seeds in punnets as they said to do, but realised maybe a bit too late that I should have thinned out the sprouts early on so there was just one in each compartment. Now they're long and spindly and looking more like microgreens than something that will actually grow into a plant. I'm going to wait and see, but in the meantime start a new punnet with fresh seeds and see what happens.

In other developments, my new worm farm arrived!

Worm farm from Ecoflo

I'm really excited to have a worm farm again, and this time I'm trying a different style. This one doesn't have the same sort of rotating trays structure of most worm farms, you just feed from the top and take from the bottom via the hatch or tap. Worm farms don't smell, so I've got this one sitting in a corner of our kitchen within easy reach.

Some interesting reading...

Urban Orchard - I love this concept! Grow something? Got too much of it? Take it to the Urban Orchard table at Ceres and swap it for something else. I cheated and took some of the back-laneway-figs, and picked up a Zucchini (of course) in return.

Wheat Belly - Some veeeery interesting insights into modern wheat and why it's making us feel crap (scroll down to the bit titled "WHEAT: UNhealthy Whole Grain")

Supermarket Bullying & Duopoly Power - if you're still shopping at Coles and Woolies, read this!

Who Gives A Crap - ethical toilet paper by some awesome Melbourne guys! Pre-order now :)

xx Lara.


Vanessa B said...

Welcome to gluten-free happiness! :) I know *exactly* what you mean about wondering how you ignored the discomfort before.

If you're in for an occasional bready treat, I can pick you up *the best* gluten-free bread I've ever had if you like!

Vanessa B said...

PS: I'm very proud of my debut lemons (if they ever ripen) and lettuce on the balcony! Hooray for food-growing! :)

rabbit and the duck said...

Hi Lara, we have almost the same diet I think : ) I have found a few great vegan/gluten free recipe sites you can check for inspiration, one of my favourites is Gluten Free Goddess. I've found that my eating has become simpler, but I'm feeling much healthier and eat less than I used to. And I'm finding it much easier to eat ethically now that I'm mostly eating whole foods and fresh fruit and veggies. This is an exciting journey you are on : ) PS. My friend made me an amazing gluten free, vegan pizza recently with cashew nut 'cheese' on top, it was so easy to make and tasted great : )

katiecrackernuts said...

I am making the move back to cutting out gluten and yes, it's hard. I have done it before and was seriously amazing how much better I felt. Good luck with it.

Jesse said...

Thought you might be interested in this post that popped up in my feed recently:

There are some good links to recipe resources.

Very interesting link about how wheat has changed - thanks!

alpenhimmel said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for including the link to Wheat Belly! I truly believe that if enough exposure is given to the ill-effects of genetically altered food that it will be the beginning of the reversal of this trend in agriculture. As for your own efforts, thanks for sharing what it's like to begin to grow your own food.

Kristine said...

Hi Lara,
I hear you. I have been wheat free for about 18 months and totally dairy free for about 12 months and feel so much better. I also don't tolerate sugar or alcohol either so my diet is restricted but I'm quite happy with that these days.
Lately we've been trying to eat mostly paleo. Gone are the corn flakes from our pantry. We now have grain free waffles for breakfast every morning and the kids love it. I haven't made a sandwich for their school lunches all year.
There are some wonderful online resources and some of my favourite blogs are Against All Grain, Chris Kresser, and Canelle et Vanille.
Good luck with your healthy eating journey. It's a good one to be on, and when you start talking about it you realise how many others around you are on the same path. Drop me a line if you want to share tips, resources, etc.

G said...

Bet that Jarlsberg is calling your name Lara!

Gem :)

Alicia said...

Thanks for the links Lara, the wheat belly one is especially interesting to me. I'm sure I do much better without wheat, gotta get back on the bandwagon. I'm aiming to cut sugar too, and just eat simple natural foods. I could really use the energy, walking 40 minutes 3 times a day back and forth between kinder and school! I'm reading a book called "Nourishing Traditions" after many recommendations, it's a fantastic book. Here's to feeling better.

rubyru_rubyru said...

Hi, just wanted to let you know the wheat free diet does get easier, I have been wheat free for 6 months because of IBS. I no longer crave cakes, biscuits, bread, junk food, but would love some good recipes. I cook a lot from scratch and it is no longer as hard as it was at the beginning, I have lost weight without having to try and do feel a lot better. Wishing you better days x

Juicy Roo said...

Coffee AND alcohol? I have done that in the past and after 2 weeks of hell I felt great. So great I started drinking both again!