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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Real Food Journey: Goals, part 2: Dietary Dangers

As I stated in my previous post, there are two lists that I am using to base most of our dietary changes on at the Weston A. Price Foundation Website. I covered the first list, Dietary Guidelines, in my last post so in this post I will share how we are doing on the second list, Dietary Dangers.

1. Don't eat commercially processed foods such as cookies, cakes, crackers, TV dinners, soft drinks, packaged sauce mixes, etc.
     *We are doing well on this one with the exception of the occasional pack of cookies. I think we've purchased store bought cookies twice since we started this journey last summer. I'm not counting times when the kids are out at a church event, or at friends or family since it is quite difficult to enforce our dietary standards on others. I make sure that the kids are eating well at home so that these occasional deviations surrounded by whole foods. I'm doing pretty well with my soda addiction as well. I haven't completely given it up but I no longer drink it at home, only when we happen to be out.
2. Avoid all refined sweeteners such as sugar, dextrose, glucose and high fructose corn syrup.
     *We are doing quite well with this one as well. I use organic granulated sugar for my fermented beverages, but since the sugar is consumed by the fermentation process, we aren't consuming them. When we need something sweetened, we use maple syrup, honey or stevia or a combination. 

3. Avoid white flour, white flour products and white rice.
     *We are doing well with this. We do occasionally buy white bread when I have planned poorly and don't have bread ready, but it isn't often since we don't eat bread very often anymore. I have been using wheat flour or a variety of gluten free flours (such as coconut, almond or rice) when I bake.

4. Avoid all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and oils.
     *We have completely eliminated these oils.

5. Avoid all vegetable oils made from soy, corn, safflower, canola or cottonseed.
     *We have eliminated all of these oils.

6. Do not use polyunsaturated oils for cooking, sauteing or baking.
     *We do not use any of these types of oils. We only use coconut oil, olive oil, lard, tallow or bacon fat for cooking, sauteing and baking.

7. Avoid fried foods.
     *We still occasionally have fried foods, but they are not commercially fried foods - I only fry fresh foods at home with one of the oils I listed above.

8. Do not practice veganism; animal products provide vital nutrients not found in plant foods.
     *We could never practice veganism because we love meat, cheese, butter, milk, eggs, etc.

9. Avoid products containing protein powders.
     *Since we rarely buy anything processed or with more than 5 ingredients, this is not a concern.

10. Avoid pasteurized milk; do not consume lowfat milk, skim milk, powdered milk or imitation milk products.
     *Since last summer, we have only consumed raw, whole fat milk & dairy products.
11. Avoid battery-produced eggs and factory-farmed meats.
     *We buy our eggs from a local farm which allows their chickens to roam freely. We have stopped buying meat from the grocery store because it all comes from factory farms and now only purchase locally raised meats.
12. Avoid highly processed luncheon meats and sausage containing MSG and other additives.
     *We no longer purchase lunch meats or store bought sausages.

13. Avoid rancid and improperly prepared seeds, nuts and grains found in granolas, quick rise breads and extruded breakfast cereals, as they block mineral absorption and cause intestinal distress.
     *We are doing well with this one since we no longer buy processed foods. We do occasionally buy unsweetened, cold cereal - I think we've probably used 2 boxes in the past 3 months. Steve doesn't cook so when he is in charge of breakfast, he usually goes for a box of cereal. 
14. Avoid canned, sprayed, waxed, bioengineered or irradiated fruits and vegetables.
     *We buy organic, unwaxed produce when possible, especially items on the dirty dozen list.
15. Avoid artificial food additives, especially MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and aspartame, which are neurotoxins. Most soups, sauce and broth mixes and commercial condiments contain MSG, even if not so labeled.
     *I am very vigilant about keeping these neurotoxins out of our home. When we are out at family, friends or church, products containing MSG, aspartame or hvp are not allowed at all.
16. Avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea and soft drinks. Avoid chocolate.
     *I fail at this one. Completely. I love chocolate and I do drink tea with caffeine. I have drastically reduced soft drinks but still have an occasional soda.
17. Avoid aluminum-containing foods such as commercial salt, baking powder and antacids. Do not use aluminum cookware or aluminum-containing deodorants.
     *We are doing well on some of these and not so well on others. I have stopped using aluminum containing foods with the exception of the rest of a can of baking powder with aluminum in it. I have also stopped using my aluminum cookware and have been using a lovely set of stainless steel cookware I was able to snag for an amazing deal a day or two after Christmas. We have not been able to stop using aluminum containing deodorants yet. I hope to find something soon that will take the place of deodorant but for now, I really don't like to go out of my house smelling like BO.
18. Do not drink fluoridated water.
     *Our town water supply is not fluoridated. Once we have a little extra money, we plan to purchase a Berkey filter to eliminate anything else that may be lurking on our water. 

19. Avoid synthetic vitamins and foods containing them.
     *We are doing well with this since most of these would be found in processed foods which we seldom use. We are in the process of switching our supplements over to real, non-synthetic versions but since the cost is much higher for the real thing, this has to be a process since we can't afford to do it all at once.
20. Do not drink distilled liquors.
     *Not an issue since we don't drink alcohol.
21. Do not use a microwave oven.
     *We got rid of our microwave on January 7th this year. It's been nearly a month without and I haven't missed it much at all. 

So those are our major goals as we make our way on this journey. In some areas, we are already where we want to be and in other areas, we have a long way to go. I am just going to continue with my baby steps and we will get there. I do have a bunch of sub-goals that fall under the heading of one of the goals on this or the other list, like obtaining kefir grains and adding that to our diet or eating a fermented food at every meal or getting my children to eat a fermented food at every meal. I am hoping that by the end of this year, we will have met all the goals I have listed. I think my next step is going to be to prioritize the things we haven't yet accomplished and then perhaps set a date to each one to give myself a deadline for making the change. Some parts of this journey are not going to be easy (like giving up chocolate) but with God's help & the reminder that God's food is real food and we glorify Him by eating the food He created for us, we will get there!


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