i mentioned in a comment waaaaay back in a previous post about our diet. we have been trying to eat locally-, and seasonally-available food for several years. and not for any other reason than that we think it is a healthy way to eat. we have made sure for the past few years that all of our locally-, and seasonally-grown food is organic. if it is not "certified" organic (which is very expensive for a small, family-operated farm to obtain), then we do our research, ask friends and ask the farmers what their practices are. we were very lucky to have a farmer's market only 2kms away from our house back in the city - and the majority of those were certified. but when you stop at a stall and ask a few pertinent questions to a very tired-looking farmer's wife (she's been up since 4am) - and she can look you in the eye and answer your questions - i trust that. so on top of the food that we grew ourselves in the city - we had access to some beautiful, organically-grown food.
now that we are here on the island - it gets even better. the most miles that the majority of our seasonal food travels here is less than 80kms (50ish miles) - if you can believe that! notice that i mentioned the word "seasonal". we don't wish to eat tomatoes in january - unless of course they come from one of the farms around here and are green-house grown. we are working on a green-house of our own so that we can eat OUR own tomatoes in january. but we are extremely fortunate to be in this situation and i realize that not everyone is.
anyway - just wanted you all to know that for the past several years we have become very conscious about where our food comes from. which lead us to gardening. which lead us to canning. which lead us to dehydrating and smoking.
and has made for a rather interesting dietary mix. i have researched all of trendy diets like carb-free, protein-free, atkins, vegan; as well as the "victim" diets like gluten-free and dairy-free and nut-free. please don't get me wrong when i say "victim" diet. what i mean is that there are victims out there who suffer from certain kinds of food and cannot eat it. which must be sheer hell on them. but again, we are very fortunate. we love our red meat, we love any kind of fish or seafood, we love our dairy, we love our veggies, fruits, nuts and grains.
i have also researched the Blood Type Diet. and this has made the most sense to both of us as we are both O negatives. we both digest pure protein much easier than grains - too much grain or carbohydrate and we bloat. so we keep our carbs and grain intake down. but both of us could eat half a steer and ride the rest home to snack on later. we both love our fruit and veg - jambaloney prefers fruit while i prefer veg, but according to the Blood Type Diet that is normal as he is a male and i am...well...you guessed it...a female.
i have also researched Ayurvedic medicinal eating and Qi Gong (Chi Gong). and we have taken those practices into consideration as well.
lastly, my Korean teacher's sister was a certified homeopath/naturopath back in Korea. and the first thing she did when she tested people for certain food allergies or whatnot is kind of crazy but really works. if you are bored one day this winter - give it a try. take a small piece of food, say a piece of apple. hold out your dominant arm perpendicular to the floor. have someone hold you at the wrist and be ready to apply a pull-up pressure. place the piece of apple on your tongue - don't chew or suck - just place it there. and try to push your arm down while the other person tries to pull it up. if you can't push your arm down - that food is no good for your body. and it doesn't matter if that is your favourite food in the world - it is no good! place a tiny piece of steak on your tongue - try again. if you can't move your arm at least a little bit down - the food is not good for you.
now keep in mind that you have to do this with someone who is roughly your size and weight - otherwise it won't work. jamie and i have done this with a bunch of different food - he has learned how much pressure to apply on me and as i am pretty strong for a girl - we can tell when we are both struggling when we practiced this on him. and that let us know what isn't so good for him.
both of us are powerhorses with any kind of meat on our tongues - any kind. he gets a little weak with milk. only milk. not ice-cream or yoghurt or cheese. so he doesn't consume a lot of milk. jamie is strong with just about all fruits and weak with some vegetables. i am the opposite - i am strong with any kind of vegetable (even the ones i hate), but i am weak with citrus-based fruits. both of us are powerhorses with ginger, garlic and honey. as well as cider vinegars WITH the Mother in it. and when we did our ayurvedic tests on-line - it was quite amazing how much our ayurvedic results matched up with the tests we did with the food on our tongues. and both matched up with our blood type diet tests.
so naturally, armed with all of this information and diet information that i knew from gymnastics (11yr. trained competitive gymnast) - we have created the Framboise Manor Diet. which i will be copyrighting soon. and if someone has already copyrighted this - i will be sueing!
the Framboise Manor Diet consists of this: (i will put it in quotes as i am sure to have a book deal soon - bahahahahah!)
"screw the food pyramid. and screw religiously following any "organized" diet. find out what works for you. and read up on the Blood Type Diet. you might just be amazed about what you find our about your blood type. and be sure to check out any other diet that interests you. do your research! however:
#1. make sure to include fresh garlic, fresh ginger, vinegar WITH the mother in it, and un-pasteurized honey in your diet every day - have those things in an infusion (tea) or put those things into at least one meal a day. it's better if you can get those things into 2-3 meals a day - when combined, they are natural antibiotics. you can hide those 4 things into just about any meal that you make.
#2. eat at least 1-2 servings of nuts a day. if you are allergic to nuts...well...i am not a doctor, nor do i play one on tv...so i do not have any advice. but if you aren't allergic to nuts - eating a small handful of almonds or peanuts or sunflower seeds a day will help your cholesterol and aid in digestion.
#3. eat 2-3 servings of raw, un-cooked food a day. there is a reason that they say that an apple a day will keep the doctor away. an apple, an orange, a handful of berries, some raw carrots, a piece of raw turnip, some raw spinach - whatever is in season and local - eat some every day.
#4. eat 2-3 servings of fermented food a day. fermented food, you ask? yes - fermented food. it is the way our ancestors preserved food for millions of years and fermenting some types of food actually makes it better for us! think pro-biotics! the latest trend? i think not. sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yoghurt and a bunch of other foods are loaded with vitamin K and pro-biotics. and don't forget about pickled food - which is just another way of saying fermented. enjoy a couple of pickled beets on the side of that steak. or add them to your salad. or just eat them out of a jar. olives and cheese anyone? and if you make these fermented foods yourself - then all of the better!
#5. eat 2-3 servings of steamed/cooked food. STOP BOILING FOOD! you are draining all of the nutrients and unless you are going to drink the boiling water you are wasting those nutrients. steam, roast, grill, fry or bake. NO BOILING. i mean it! and look into cooking using the papillote method, which is a french method of cooking food in parchment paper.
#6. instead of 3-square a day, try to eat smaller portions several times a day. instead of having 2 big scoops of potatoes with your 8 lambchops at 5pm - eat one small scoop of potatoes with 2 lambchops AND a spoonfull of sauerkraut AND some fresh fruit. it's ok - you can go back for another small plate in an hour and a half!
#7. and try to eat as seasonally, and locally, as possible. if you can get some local swiss chard and are able to dehydrate it for use in soups and stews later, or if you are able to can it - then buy a ton of it. when food is in season it is much cheaper than when it is not. and always try to get as local as you can. there is another diet that i researched called the "100 miles" diet. and it recommends that you get your food as locally as possible - but that if you have to - don't go further than 100 miles.
i hope this post has not come across as too preachy - but it is a very important topic to me and i think it is very important to "prep" for our diets. as an example, i believe that jambaloney is healing up the way he is - and he really should be a lot worse - is because of our diet. he was super-healthy and super-strong BEFORE he got sucker-punched. and that, i believe, is because of his diet.
the most important thing to me, personally, is to learn to grow as much of your own food as possible. if this is not possible, find someone who can grow a lot of your food for you. start up a community plot if you don't have land. find a CSA farmer and meet him, really meet him and his family. volunteer at his farm. if SHTF - you already have a source of food - and maybe a place to go and stay!
and once you learn to grow your own food, or have someone else do it for you - learn to can, smoke, dehydrate or freeze (if possible). there is a real sense of peace of mind that comes with knowing you are not only stock-piling YOUR own food, but that you are able to replenish it.
again - not trying to preach but i want all of you to be as healthy as possible in the event of SHTF. and i think that being able to control your diet, and know what is best for you to store, is of utmost importance.
*stepping off of the shoebox now*