Sunday, January 20, 2013

The year Mami became (more) weird...

As I mentioned in a previous post, I didn't make New Year's Resolutions.  Instead I came up with a phrase for the year (a variation on the idea of 'One Word').  My phrase was borrowed from a book I was reading at the time am still reading - "Seven" by Jen Hatmaker.  I'll have an official post about the book and my thoughts to come, but it is fair to say that it has rocked my views on things quite a bit.

Oh, and if you don't recall, my phrase for the new year is 'mutiny against excess'.  There is a lot of excess in this life of mine and 2013 will be a year where I aim to do away with much of that excess.

So I've been reading a lot and trying some new things and developing some plans for the year.  Here is a big one - getting rid of excess in the kitchen.

I'm learning more and more about how harmful much of what I've ate in the past has really been to my body - and as I learn, I'm becoming less and less okay with consuming whatever is quick and easy.  Especially so with regards to what my kiddos consume...I realize I've allowed them to be sugar junkies.  But excess sugar is on it's way out.  Here's some things I'm implementing already:

As processed and junk food that we already have in the cabinets run out, I replace it (if it even needs to be replaced) with clean eating versions.  So this last week I made this homemade sandwich bread and made clean eating BBQ sauce (review coming soon!).  I have plans to create clean eating versions of pancake mix and taco seasoning, and clean eating chocolate syrup this next week.  I've also explored a couple of the handful of health food stores on the island, bought natural PB (which I'm currently mixing with what I have left of the Skippy PB in my cupboard to help my kids me get used to the less sweet, but more natural version of PB).  I was elated to find true maple syrup in the health food store too, though if we begin using it as a sweetener we'll have to find a more economical source for it.  We also found a dinky jar of coconut oil that cost about the same as the giant tub of coconut oil we ordered online (should arrive next week!).  I made these energy bites that are reminiscent of my favorite butter and sugar laden no bake cookies and everyone in the family loved them.  Like loved them so much I'll have to hide the jar of them so that they don't disappear too quickly!

photo credit: gimme some oven
This week our nice soft spreadable margarine (which I learned is just one molecular variation away from the same structure as PLASTIC) will be running out and I've already stocked up on bars of real butter, which will be taking "nearly plastic" spread's place indefinitely.

In fact, when I walk through the grocery store now, I realize that 90% of what is in there is actually poisoning us.


We have some new friends we've made recently.  One family moved to Puerto Rico from Washington State to live in a beautiful dream home that they purchased for a crazy low price.  They came from a hobby farm where they raised chickens and goats and they have all sorts of wisdom about being self sustaining.  We visited them at their new property, overlooking the mountains of PR with a distant view of the ocean.  Gorgeous.  Peaceful.

They had just purchased a goat and our kids got to experience milking time!  We learned from our new friends that goat milk doesn't have to be 'goat-y' tasting.  Somehow I was able to be talked into trying some of the goats milk.  Mind you - not only is it goat's milk, but it is RAW goat's milk.  And beyond that, anyone who knows me knows that I don't even like drinking pasteurized cow's milk (because of the taste).  But guess what y'all?  I tried it and it was good!  Not like "I'm never drinking anything but goat's milk ever again" good, but it tasted exactly like cow's milk to me!  Nothing like the pungent goaty taste I was expecting.

While at their house they served us an amazing chicken lasagna made with ricotta cheese that they made themselves from their raw goat's milk.  And it was SO GOOD!  And they served fresh homemade bread topped with passion fruit jam that they made themselves from the passion fruit that grows on the trees in their yards.  Ridiculous.  Delicious.  I can't even tell you about dessert...description escapes me - it was that amazing.

And it was natural and nearly entirely homemade from fresh unprocessed resources.

How did we (and by we, I mean the American society) get so far away from this way of naturally fueling our bodies?  It wasn't really that long ago that people were canning fruit and veggies from their own gardens, making their own bread daily, drinking milk from their own cows or goats, eating eggs from their own chickens.  We exchanged this art for convenience and speed, but in return all we've gotten is rotten health.

I'm not willing to continue making that exchange.  So I'll put 4 hours into making fresh bread each week.  And probably several more hours into making other 'made from scratch' goods for my family to consume.  I'll use the fruit that grows on the trees in my yard instead of letting it go to waste.  I'll dry out the almond pods that fall off the almond tree so that we can eat beautiful homegrown organic walnuts.  I'll say no to my kids when they beg for highly processed and highly sugared foods - and instead teach them how wonderfully God has provided for us what we need in food in it's natural state.

Our chicken catalog came in the mail yesterday.  Not sure when it will happen exactly, but I believe we'll add chickens to our crazy crew in the not-too-distant future.  Hubs has even wondered aloud how much a goat might cost.  Haha - I'm not quite ready for the goat yet.

But I am ready to get rid of the excess in my kitchen (with the hopeful side effect that the excess on my hips and thighs will disappear as well!).

And just so you have something to look forward to, here are some other changes percolating in my heart that I'll be experimenting with soon...

**going 'no-poo'
**skirt wearing
**minimalist living
**natural cleaners

SO...2013 just may be the year that my children remember as the year Mami became a little bit more weird...

**all photos free stock images from unless otherwise noted
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