When I made this transition nearly 6 years ago, one of the first things that transformed was my kitchen, the next were my cooking habits. Neither of which were what you’d call smooth, I swore…a lot. You have to let go of some foods you probably love, I used to brag that I could make a meal out of wine, cheese and good French Bread, so yeah, that part was hard. It’s like going through the 12 stages of grief…shock, denial…anger and bargaining. I was good at bargaining, and rationalizing.
Until one day it became not so hard, easy almost…almost. I had found a rhythm and a system that worked for me. I connected with two local farmers to source our grass fed beef and pork. I bought a large standup freezer to store all that meat because a half a cow and a whole hog take up a lot of space. I began growing my own herbs and learned how to preserve them for the long Northern Michigan winters. I bought organically based on the dirty dozen list, those fruits and vegetables that weren’t organic I soaked in a saltwater solution. Economically, this has turned out to be the best option for us, because a big part of the difficulty with a whole foods transition is the sticker shock. It makes sense that foods closest to nature should be the most affordable..no mad scientist to pay right? Sadly that’s not the case and most people learn where they can cut corners to feed their family nutrient dense foods. Sourcing locally and owning a large freezer has saved my family money over the years.
The next obstacle to overcome was time spent in the kitchen, when all your meals are made from scratch a large chunk of your life is given over to the food god. Food prep became part of my everyday rhythm, eventually I began to enjoy it… it became my space, where I could experiment and be creative. It’s a peaceful and yet humming with activity room, it’s the heart of our home. And although I’ve learned to love this aspect of my life, I don’t have unlimited time, a full time job and two teenage boys sees to that. To save time I’ve learned some tricks. I mix large quantities of dry goods and store them in mason jars so they’re ready for use and it’s not a big deal when I need an all purpose flour or a curry mix. I prep vegetables ahead of time and store them between layers of paper towels in pyrex containers. I premix sauces and mayonnaise so they’re on hand and ready to dress up whatever protein and vegetables I manage to get on the table. And I batch cook, I always double a recipe and use the leftovers in a remix, or freeze to have on hand when I’m really short on time. Sundays are usually spent, at least partially this way.
Finally, this has become a way of life, one that I love…because preparing nutrient dense meals is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself and your family.