Sunday, 23 January 2011

Country file

So I have been feeling like a one trick pony for quite a while now, blabbing on and on to patients and friends alike about how grain free is the way to go.
I'm feeling SO relived that one of the reasons I give, was given main-steam viewing on country file tonight and it helps to make me feel a little less black sheepy and trust the inner voice that is screaming at me to "stop eating so much grain based carbohydrate and start eating more self sufficiently veg and healthy naturally reared or wild meat and fish"
Not just for financial reasons (£150 minimum for a family of four weekly shop) but for health reasons too(too much carb=too much blood glucose=increased fat storage plus a whole cascade of metabolic adaptations/inflammations that cause an ever increasingly realised range of modern health problems)

My weekly shop at the farmers market costs me about £30 for 2 of us at the moment. I probably spend about another £20 in the coop on coffee, oddments and regretably pet food although I'm working on that one.(and I don't mean I'm going to eat my dog or my cat. The ducks however are another matter)

It makes so much sense to me to grow as much veg and fruit as you can squeeze into any patch for growing that you have access to. It makes you really consider the meals that you cook each day using what you have grown yourself and you waste no food at all. I quite often make 3 different types of vegetables and then have a small amount of protein to go with them. They will usually be cooked in butter or pork lard/bacon fat so the energy supply is good as fat burns for a long time. If you are keeping your blood sugars low by limiting your carbohydrate intake to vegetable and fruit sources to about 150g(max) a day then your body will burn fat first for energy. You will loose weight.

I am lucky that I was reared in a thrifty family. My parents were vegetarian, so even though I eat meat now, I am quite happy with an offensively large pile of vegetables as a meal.
My favourite stall in the farmers market these days is the non certified organic but more importantly, free range, wild diet, reared meat stall. They have such a huge range of meat for sale from the choicest cuts to the oddments that are really affordably priced - like a huge Ox heart for £1.50 or ribs/shin for £2.50. Then there's the box full of bones for stewing - a regular purchase for me is 2 duck carcasses for the princely sum of £1. I take these home and simmer them in the pressure cooker, just covered with water, on a low heat for 12+ hours with a little home made cider apple vinegar, bay leaves and rosemary. First thing the next day I strain the liquid through a sieve and pick the fat (for the dog) and meat(for breakfast fried with onions, garlic and fried duck eggs for us)off. The stock goes into the fridge in a large bowl until the fat sets on the top and can be skimmed off and put aside for cooking and the lovely jelly, vitamin and mineral rich liquid gets used for cooking every meal for the remainder of the week: soups, stews, steaming stock for  stir fries, vegetable cooking liquid and so on. Here is a wonderful piece about the benefits of bone broths from Weston Price:

What you find when your body stops being used to depending on grain carbs for energy and starts getting use to a status quo of lower blood sugars is that your energy is sustained for much longer, moods are more stable, appetite is level and many general health nags gradually fade.

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