Three Reasons I Do it All

Sometimes I just want to join a hippie commune, grow my own veggies, grind my own grain, and make my own yogurt…oh, wait I do that…minus the commune.  Lol!  I don’t share this to pat myself on the back or to make you feel guilty or inferior – you shouldn’t feel that way.  I share this because I also want to share WHY I make nutritious food a priority in my life and the life of my family in the hopes that it might inspire you to incorporate some of the strategies I use into your own life. I really do believe that investing time now in healthy meals will pay big dividends later.

Here are the three reasons I “do it all”:

  1. Health – The most important reason I grow my own veggies, grind my own flour, make my own yogurt, and
    April2015-2

    With two small raised beds, I grow tomatoes, cucumbers, Japanese eggplants, basil, yellow squash, strawberries, and peppers!

    cook so much of what we eat from scratch is because it’s one of the best things I can do to support the health of my family.  The fresh fruit and vegetables I grow help supplement the healthy foods I buy at the store and are much fresher and more nutritious since I eat them within hours or days, instead of weeks or even months, of picking.  While I can’t grow it all, I can grow some – just because I can’t grow it all doesn’t mean I shouldn’t grow what I can.  Grinding my own flour means that many vitamins and healthy oils that would otherwise be lost to oxidation are intact and the main ingredient in my baked goods is super fresh.  Making my own yogurt ensures that I can use the freshest milk and cultures and that I can control the sugar (zero) and additive (zero) content.

    But you don’t have to do all of this to be healthy! Simply choosing to cook from scratch most of the time will make a huge difference in your health and the health of your family.  {Plus there are numbers 2 and 3 to motivate you!}

  2. Money – I save a ton of money doing all of this scratch cooking, prepping my own condiments (like pickles and salad dressings), buying grain in bulk to grind flour, and making yogurt from scratch.  For instance, my yogurt costs about 50% less per serving than prepared yogurt.  We eat a lot of yogurt around here and it really adds up.  I don’t, yet, make my own Greek yogurt, but I bet that would also be a great savings!  My whole wheat flour, which I turn into super fresh and nutrient-rich bread, croutons, and breadcrumbs, costs pennies per serving (compared to the $4/loaf I usually pay).  You can make a full nutritious meal, and have leftovers for the next day, for less than you might pay for a large pizza and drinks.  I made almost all of G’s baby food and saved hundreds of dollars his first year, plus got to control the nutritional aspects of his first foods.

    FullSizeRender_1

    Homemade baby food is super easy and saves a TON of money!

  3. Joy – Probably the most important reason I “do it all” is because it brings me great joy.  I love to serve my family this way.  Seriously, it’s a southern thing, or a woman thing, or a southern woman thing…I just love to love others with food.  I love to bless others with the edible art I create.  Gardening, peeling, chopping, and stirring veggies, and even whisking eggs can become a sort of meditation, a prayer, and an offering when you take the time to be present in the process.  The joy I feel in knowing I’ve provided nourishing food, stewarded my family’s resources well, and cultivated my own inner health is immeasurably satisfying.
BabyKisses

These sweet baby kisses inspire me to do everything I can to take care of myself and my family.

Many people say, I don’t have time, but they spend hours in front of a screen in their non-work hours each day or week.  Some say, I don’t know how, but there are tutorials, simple cookbooks (borrow from the library), and various cooking shows to teach – and you don’t need to be a chef!  Others say, I can’t afford to eat well…we already debunked that one above.  The fact is that you don’t have to grind your own flour, make yogurt, or grow veggies to be healthy – although you can and we can talk about it ;).  But if you spend as much (or for some just 1/2) time on planning, preparing, and serving nutritious meals to yourself and your family, as you do in front of a screen, you will move a long way toward better health in your household.

Disclaimer: I also get the luxury of working only part time, which does leave more more time to focus on these things that many people have.  BUT don’t use that as an excuse!  Just look at your time and begin the process of intentionally carving out time to plan and prepare healthy foods for yourself and your family.  Do what you can.  It all matters.

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