For those of you who signed up for the 28 day Nourishing Traditions Challenge, I wanted to let you know where I am at with it. I said in the post “It will be interesting where this challenge takes us, and if there will be a point I draw a line and say, “nope, not ready for that.”” Well, that point hit at day 3! LOL.
I’ve read much on this movement and really do believe that it is important to try and eat foods in the most minimally processed state–but–I am only willing to go so far and spend so much of my life’s time doing it. Day 3 talked about soaking grains–have not done it and not sure if I ever will, and I am willing to read on and continue to learn, but I know for me and my family, this level is just a bit too much. There are others that have been on this Real Foods journey much longer, so maybe for them that next step is not overwhelming.
I am all about baby steps, so the emails I am receiving from the challenge are throwing me. The same email they tell you to change white grains to brown grains, they tell you that is not enough and that you need to start soaking your grains and making everything from scratch. Sorry, but THAT overwhelms me! It is a huge step for some people to just go from white bread to 100% wheat, or to change white pasta to whole grain pasta, so to expect people to be ok with “trade the white to wheat, grind your own wheat, soak your grains, make your bread homemade”…that is enough to make anyone give up and go buy a box of Twinkies, in my opinion!!
I guess what I am trying to say is if you signed up and are reading the emails, don’t freak out and give up on the idea of eating real foods. It can look many different ways for many different people. There are lots of people out there like me, who have made small steps to becoming more healthful and have had great success, without taking it to a level many of us won’t ever be.
I, personally, read the challenge and appreciate learning what others are doing and why, but I am careful. I do not want to become consumed with feeling like I have to do everything they say in order to measure up and make a difference for my family. I refuse to become a perfectionist about it all, and I rest in knowing that small changes here and there are enough. If I allowed myself to become consumed, it could do my family more harm than good, by taking away from other, just as important, areas of nourishment for them–like emotional nourishment, for one.
Anyway, I had to communicate with you, my readers. So many of you have sent such wonderful emails communicating your desire to eat healthier foods. You have expressed excitement as you have tried new things, and you have expressed frustration when it seems overwhelming. I hate to think that a link I shared would add to that frustration, especially when it seems to be going against what I am always saying…”one step at a time!”:) So, if one of those steps involve removing yourself from the Nourishing Traditions Challenge email list, so you won’t get overwhelmed, by all means do what you need to do!! If instead, it is intriguing to learn what the process is for some people, stay signed up and read on!
AmyFebruary 10, 2010 at 5:43 am
Thank you for all the encouraging and kind comments.
It is comments like these that have been my most pleasant surprise when it comes to blogging! I love them..keep ’em coming!
T's Daily TreasuresFebruary 7, 2010 at 5:01 am
I changed my eating habits 5 years ago when I started exercising 5 years ago, lost 30 lbs and have kept it off. This past June, I became vegetarian. It is quite easy to do for myself and I truly believe your tastebuds change when you make a change for healthy eating. There are things I used to eat before that if I taste now, I can’t believe I ever thought it was good. I read labels for everything now. My kids aren’t so impressed — but one day, they will thank me! And I must say, thank God, we never get sick. You just have to make the changes that are right for you. Sounds like you are definitely on the right path. Have a blessed Sunday! 🙂 Tammy
PeggyFebruary 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm
I can understand your trepidition. In fact a few years ago I was exactly where you are now. My biggest challenge was planning… Once I got over that hurdle and actually planned a meal out more than 30 minutes in advance I was completely amazed. No we don’t soak our grains because I never remember. But we do grind our own grains (corn and wheat) and do most of our own baking. Yogurt, baked goods, jams/jellies, and entrees are virtually all homemade. But remember it is a process which takes time. I’ve been working on these skills for almost 20 years starting with jam. We have active teenage boys so you can imagine the food consumption. Once again please do not be discouraged! Do what is right for your family, taking it one step at a time!! In fact at this very moment we are not eating any homemade foods as we just moved. Think no furniture aside from table, a plate per person, no serving dishes (bad planning on my part… duh!)and minimal cooking supplies. My theory is do what you can! Good luck!!
JanetFebruary 6, 2010 at 3:45 pm
Sounds to me like you have a really healthy attitude about it all. I can easily get overwhelmed also when thinking about what I really “should” be eating. I’m going for baby steps myself.
It’s hard also since I live in a small town in the midwest and don’t have easy access to a lot of the foods these plans call for. It’s hard enough to find the limited organic produce, let alone grain I can soak and cook myself!
JaneFebruary 6, 2010 at 7:43 am
What you say about one step at a time is very true. I think it’s best not to say “never”, but to accept the little steps forward each time. Your system gets used to eating properly and little by little, you come to really enjoy what your eating and your curiosity gets sparked and you move forward. Here in France we spend WAY more time preparing our food. So, it is also cultural. As a Canadian/American myself, I see the difference in eating habits between N. America and here. It’s easier for us (French) to start making our own bread, yogurt, snacks and desserts because we already cook so much more. We don’t have as much processed and junk food as you. I just read Pollan’s book and it was very simplistic. But it’s a start. So maybe, just maybe, in the next few months you’ll find it FUN and even necessary to start making your own bread, yogurt, etc. Go check out The Fresh Loaf.
But definitely have fun during the process!
JenniFebruary 6, 2010 at 1:05 am
Good words. I’m pretty sure I will never soak my own grain, nor do I care to even think about it at this season of life. Thanks for being practical and realistic and not psycho! 😉
For the Love of Naps - SarahFebruary 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm
Sounds good to me! I am taking all the information in but am focusing on baby steps…for me I am the mom who is going from white pasta to whole grain – and that is a huge step for me. I have been baking my own bread but it has all been with white bread flour so my next step is to try some whole grain. Steps. baby. steps. I enjoy your blog!