Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Healthy Perspective

Most of you know that I've been experimenting with some less-than-usual, natural-ish changes in diet and lifestyle.  It's been fun and interesting, but lest anyone get the idea that I've completely converted to being a "crunchy mama" (a term I only recently learned and one on which I shall refrain from sharing my thoughts), I do still eat McDonald's occasionally; I would never refuse the offer of a grilled, stuffed burrito from Taco Bell; and all Pepsico ethics concerns aside, I have been known to blissfully indulge in a fountain soda from time to time.

With all of that said, you might see why this soft-taco-loving-and-Pepsi-drinking girl has had a pretty rough go of finding helpful, healthful information.  After lots of time scouring the web, contacting friends who are of the unprocessed-foods mindset, and taking a tour of a local health(ier) grocer, I've finally compiled my go-to list for acquiring the information I seek.

Below are links to my most frequented blogs, with a half-hearted attempt to place them in order of preference and to include a brief description.  Here goes:

GNOWFGLINS - this fermented, whole-foods blog with an unpronounceable name adheres pretty strictly to the science of traditional food preservation.  I rather love this blog.  Some day I'll learn to fluently say "guh-NOWF-glins."

Kitchen Stewardship - this blog covers topics from grinding your own flour to cloth diapering.  The posts are fairly lengthy, but she does a great job of testing and sharing in-depth conclusions.

Whole New Mom - if you want to learn about dehydrating foods, trying alternative medicine, or working with severe allergy issues, this blog has you covered.  She occasionally goes off the beaten path and welcomes a bit of bantering and constructive criticism in her comments sections.  She'll also answer each and every question posted.  Love that part.

Chocolate Covered Katie - not sure how I feel about the title of this blog, but this unusual "healthy, delicious desserts" blog has some amazingly creative recipes on it.  And, no, I'm not vegan, even though she is.

Heavenly Homemakers - this blog balances healthy eating with biblical motherhood.

Passionate Homemaking - another blog that combines biblical living with healthy eating.

Keeper of the Home - this blog is one of the most gung-ho blogs on whole foods, ridding your bodies and homes of toxins, and living as naturally as possible.  It's a bit overkill for me, but I've gleaned some insightful tips here and there.

At this point, some of you are probably wondering how I can possibly follow all of those blogs without letting my children sit glued to the TV for hours on end, so let me assure you:  I don't read every post that each blog offers.  If time permits, I'll quickly zoom over an interesting post or two that catches my eye IF I have time to even visit one of the sites to look.

Nearly all of these sites (as well as other resources - I'll post more at the bottom of this post*) adhere to the popular book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.  I own a copy, and it's fascinating.  For me, though, it is not Gospel, and I've found that some of these ladies seem to think that what Ms. Fallon has written should be set in stone.  Personally, I'm not comfortable with consuming raw dairy products or uncooked meats, and I'm discovering that as healthy as fermented foods might be, I just don't like most of them.

With that in mind, I thought I'd share the very best post on all things whole foods that a friend shared on Face Book just this morning.  The timing could not have been better.

Stacy Makes Cents:  Food Is Not Your God

I'm enjoying this new learning curve, but I'm not consumed by it.  I plan to incorporate more whole-foods choices in our menus, and I want to try my hand at making home-made cleaners and a few other health-conscious changes, but I won't kill myself if I feel that a tablespoon of bleach will do a better job than a tablespoon of vinegar.

And I have not the least doubt that I've yet to completely rid myself of that once-in-a-while fountain soda.  :)

Additional resources:

Online whole-foods distributors - VitaCost, AzureStandard, TropicalTraditions

Farmer's Markets in the Bay Area - Mountain View, Sunnyvale

Free-range, ideally-priced whole chickens in the Bay Area - Sigona's

*If you have any favorite blogs, tips, or stores you frequent for healthier alternatives, please share in the comments section!