This year I have been rethinking food, and through some research and conversations (in particular, with my sisters), I have decided I wanted to up my intake of nourishing food. As a person who loves coffee and chocolate (both together and separately), this was a bit of challenge to take but I think it is paying off. My stomach seems happier, and hopefully, healthier.
There are lots of people out there who take “nourishing food” to a much deeper level than I have currently committed to, but for now, the little steps are big enough for me. Essentially, I have focused on more whole foods (not low fat or nonfat)–like butter, yogurt, eggs, and all kinds of nuts. I’ve been eating less grains and more veggies and fruit (berries, especially), and no caffeine or processed sugar.
Last night, I took my next step in this journey and began the process of making my own chicken bone broth (chicken stock). After making a whole chicken a couple of days ago, I saved the bones and now they are simmering in my crockpot with some celery, onions, bay leaves, and apple cider vinegar. The apartment smells like a cozy cottage. Later, I will break the bones, strain the broth, freeze some and use some for cooking. Since I don’t eat meat typically, I am convinced this is a great way for me to get some of those nutrients in. I hear it makes everything tastier too! Look out, Thursday night soup group, we’ve got even better soup coming!
I must admit it is still hard to not have my morning coffee (herbal tea has replaced it for now) and I do miss chocolate after a meal (at this point I still anticipate adding it back on occasion), but as I change my habits I think about it less. It is a good time of year to start as the growing season in Texas is just around the corner. The variety in the grocery store and this new approach has caused me to experiment with things like eggplant pizzas, green chile stew, baked oatmeal, and even things I didn’t think I would like–roasted cabbage and chicken cacciatore, for example. We joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture–a group that gives each member a portion of each week’s harvest from the local farm), so come April, we’ll be getting homegrown veggies and fruit too!
I think it is good to give our systems a break from the usual and treat our body to a different set of nutrients, especially basic ones from nature. I also think it returns to a simpler way of life that is attractive to me. As my older sister said, it isn’t like these things demand hours of attention, they are just slow processes that take some time. So, despite a busy semester, these are things that are helping me. I hope they will inspire you to nourish your body too.
(For more information, go to http://wellnessmama.com and http://nourishedkitchen.com)