From “Health Food” to Whole Food

14 Nov

Pheasant

My name is Meredith and I am a health, traditional food and fitness junkie. I am a stay at home mom of two boys ages five and almost two. My husband works for the National Park Service so we’ve moved quite a bit and have had the opportunity to live in some pretty amazing places, but I am originally from Rhode Island.

I landed on Paleo way of eating after a long and exhausting battle with my body and food. I was an overweight child. I lost all the weight in a very unhealthy way and became quite thin. But when I went to college I was so stressed from counting every calorie eaten and burned that I again over-corrected. I ballooned hugely. I stopped weighing myself at some point but I guess that I was at least 70 pounds overweight. But, young and dumb, I just starved the weight off — again.  There may have been Slimfast involved.

To maintain this weight loss I decided that I needed to be hyper-vigilant.  I bought lots and lots of “health food.” It was really all just packaged crap from the hippie store in town. But, I truly thought I was making the best choices.  I counted, weighed, adjusted macros, ran for miles and miles and miles and miles.  But even though I was obsessing about my body I pretty much always felt detached from it – never mind feeling any connection with the quality of my food. As long as it fit some magical macro-nutrient breakdown, I couldn’t care less about what I was eating.

Backyard Chickens

Around 2005 I found the the book the Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain in a podunk little library (yes, I was scouring the “diet” section). It was great timing because I was pretty goddamn tired of dieting. It seemed like a reasonable way to live, and simple, which I liked very much. Of course, I got hooked on Mark Sisson’s site  when it came out and have listened to Robb Wolf weekly. I’ve pretty much stuck to the Paleo way of eating ever since. For me it’s about a simple, whole foods approach to health.

Let me be clear though – my struggles with my body are still somewhat with me. They are probably the same struggles that every woman socialized in America grapples. What’s the perfect weight, pant size, waist circumference, blah, blah, blah.

Fresh Eggs

I am at a point now where I am trying to marry my beliefs about life with nutrition, community, exercise etc.  I strive to provide my family food that is as close to its original source as possible. So now instead of buying packaged “health food”, I am attempting to grow our food, raise laying hens, hunt, fish and butcher my own meats (I do not live on a farm by the way – I have a very small plot of land so interesting challenges abound!). It’s been quite a learning process! You won’t find any boneless chicken breasts in my house, but my freezer is full of whole birds, legs of lamb and roughly 40 pounds of chicken feet (which I confess is really TOO MUCH chicken feet).

My son just started Kindergarten this year, so my current journey also involves learning how to pack lunches that are as close to Paleo as possible and having him actually eat them! My hope is to teach my kids about where whole food comes from. Together we have plucked game birds, dug potatoes from our small garden and collected fresh eggs from our chickens.

Backyard Bounty

I am super excited about this collaborative weblog! It will be fueled by individual posts  from a group of people who I’ve come to adore!  They have taught me so much about food, health and most of all community. It is my hope that this will be fun and enriching not just for us, but also for others seeking answers.

7 Responses to “From “Health Food” to Whole Food”

  1. R. Sapolsky November 14, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    I like you.

    • Meredith November 15, 2011 at 2:34 am #

      ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ Sapolsky. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

      Please respond to my emails. ❤

  2. Nutritionator November 14, 2011 at 1:41 am #

    Future post from Meredith: How to raise backyard chickens!!!

    • A Slim Winter November 14, 2011 at 2:25 am #

      i know! i want to learn that too. particularly how to do it with meddling kids and humpy dogs.

      • Meredith November 14, 2011 at 2:58 am #

        The chickens made their way up to my second story back porch today! That’s where we keep the dog bowl. Not as dumb as they look.

  3. estrellabelle November 14, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    Upcoming project for me: Rebuilding my backyard coop to make it more functional (right now it has a plywood floor, which makes it hard to clean. I’ll be doing this in all the free time I have as a result of my internet fasting. (Yes, I’m hanging out it the comments of your blog post because I’ve blocked Facebook as an experiment to see how much I can accomplish on an unplugged Sunday. Nice.)

    Thank you for sharing your journey, Mer. ❤

    • Meredith November 14, 2011 at 5:41 am #

      ❤ cleaning the coop is a challenge for me too. We've fashioned this slide out tray that catches all the "gold" for the compost. It's not perfect, bit it's better than scraping the floor. We only have 5 chickens though. Can't wait to see yours!

      Supporting you in your facebook fast. <3.

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