In the past few months I've been taking a few steps to change the way we eat. Necessary steps for health and well being.
When Daniel and I first moved out together we lived in a tiny fibro beach shack. The kitchen was small but sweet - glass jars held lentils, nuts and rice, the fruit bowl was always full, we lit a candle in lieu of the fluorescent light above. I would spend most nights at the yoga studio so I cooked our evening meal in the afternoon - dhal, vegetarian curries, pesto pasta.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about the way we ate back then. I prepared food in a considered and calm way; because I had time. Now time is minimal and the fussiness of a five-year-old has significant affect on what I cook and how I cook it. The 'easy' meal has become the 'regular' meal and whilst we always eat well, we can eat better.
In the past few months I've been collecting a few books and seeking inspiration within - Super Natural Cooking, Feeding The Whole Family and Wholefood for Children. I've learnt a lot from these passionate authors who, in their own way, are encouraging a whole approach to shopping, cooking and eating with awareness. But my greatest inspiration has come from Heather's online workshop The Whole Food Kitchen - a gift from the lovely Steph. Over the past eight weeks I have received an abundance of what I would call 'gentle kitchen guidance'. There are stories, advice, a whole food checklist and a plethora of recipes that never, ever daunt me. I feel like it's been the perfect foundation for my own whole food kitchen and I highly recommend it if you're attempting to wander down a whole food path.
So what does our new kitchen look like? Well, there's only wholegrains, there's still meat and dairy (organic) and there's a little sweetness too (moderation is such a good thing). The biggest change has been the exploration of new recipes and new ways of incorporating plants into each meal; we're all for a plant-rich diet - good for the body, the wallet and the planet. Perhaps the most surprising revelation in regards to Che's palette has been the power of texture - often it's not the taste of vegies that disgust the child but the texture of them. Che will eat raw carrot but the moment I blanch, cook or roast it he turns up his nose. Hence we always have some fresh greens and raw vegies on the table and I make fresh juice most days.
Of course, there is an ongoing food debate no matter what your diet involves. Raw is good, raw is bad, meat is good, meat is bad, sugar is poison and dairy will make you fat. Sheesh! Factor in a picky child, a baby, perhaps an intolerance or two and you have a full-time kitchen dilemma. Finding enjoyment in that scenario can be challenging. My advice? Take it slowly, be open to suggestion, buy wholegrain over white (bread, flour, rice) and remember that baked beans on rye toast is a very, very good meal (so is boiled eggs, pikelets and a "taster plate" - perhaps some cherry toms, cheese, crackers, celery, carrot sticks, raisins).
Do you have a whole food kitchen? If so, what's your advice for those wanting to change the way they eat?
If you're seeking wholefood inspiration I suggest you visit Nikki, Meagan and Natalie. For a poetic take on food, visit G. And if you really like the look of that wood fire oven above, consult popa, via me!