More thoughts on eating   Leave a comment

The kids and I have discussed what it means to us to eat healthy. A big part of this, as discussed in the last write up, is gathering what wild edibles we can, growing what we can, and buying local for the rest. We are blessed to live in a community where so many of the necessary things are available. For many years I have been going berry picking, wild gathering herbs for both medicines and food, growing what I could, and trading for other things. Now we want to step it up. We are going to try to see how much of our food we can get from these methods.

Local that I know of- chicken, pork, beef, geese, moose, deer, rabbit, eggs, corn, raspberries, apples, crabapples, flour, cheeses, honey,  peppermint, raspberry leaf, asparagus, rhubarb, green beans, squash, carrots, garlic, lemon balm, catnip, nettles, blueberries, elderberries, blackberries, spinach, kale, collard greens, beets, onions, maple syrup, apple cider, chanterelles, Chaga, Masataki, Shitake, pine needles and cedar for tea, cranberries, strawberries, chives, water, fresh milk,  Jerusalem artichokes/sun chokes, tomatoes, potatoes,

Things we can make ourselves from locally obtained ingredients- pasta, desserts, jams and jellies, syrups, breads, vinegar, sauerkraut, teas, medicines, butter, yogurt, salad dressings, mayonnaise, ice cream,

What we have available at our place now- rhubarb, blueberries, elderberries, nettle, peppermint, sun chokes, asparagus, raspberries, comfrey, wild carrot, dandelion, milkweed, pine, cedar, maple and birch trees,  blackberries, catnip, primrose, apples, chives,

 

Not obtainable locally, that I know of- salt, olive oil, raisins, grapes, oranges, bananas, quinoah, oatmeal, nuts, sugar (though we don’t use it),  almond milk, peanut butter, coconut oil, sweet potatoes (can we grow them locally?), yeast,

 

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Posted December 7, 2015 by oldwaywmn in Uncategorized

Eating Meat   Leave a comment

I was told recently that hunters should only kill animals if there were no more grocery stores to go to. Understandably, this came from someone who loves animals… although also a meat eater.

I wasn’t sure how to reply. I mean, I’ve NEVER hunted, I AM a meat eater and I DO shop at grocery stores or butchers for my meat. But I knew there was more to this statement. More that I needed to consider…

After some thought, this is what I came up with… For those who choose to eat meat, a decision must be made. Where do we go to get the meat we use to nourish ourselves and our loved ones?!

First, the animals that are mass-raised are most often treated horribly. They are kept in small pens, fed whatever makes them plump up as fast as can be, and often violently handled. So if I love animals, how can I in good consciousness buy into a system that devalues the LIVES of the animals in deference to only doing what they have to do in order to sell more meat faster?

Then there’s the growth hormones, fillers, chemicals, etc. By the time these commercially “raised” animals make it to the local grocery store, the meat has been treated so much, that its likely that my body wouldn’t recognize it as food anyway.

So, If not that, then what?

The conclusions leave us with several options for those of us that still choose to be carnivores. First, we could raise our own animals. This would be the most intimate, hands on way to do it. To take care of them on a daily basis, love them, honor their lives, and be part of their gift from beginning to end.

For those who choose not to or cannot raise their own, they can buy from local farmers who they know raises their animals in a humane, healthy way. Supporting these people helps our own communities and its people to thrive as well as giving us the healthy food we need.

Third, we could hunt. These animals live in the wild, their natural home. They live free, eat and drink what nature intended, and give of their lives for us. When I said I’ve never done this, its only because I never had the opportunity and the proper understanding of it. I have, in fact, already talked to a friend about her and her husband teaching me to hunt next year.

We as a society and world (too much of it anyway), are so removed from what our food truly is, where it comes from, or how it effects our bodies. Most people just go to the store to get what they need, never giving a thought to the farmers, laborers, plants, and animals that it took to bring it into our hands. We don’t stop to thank them, nor to consider what it is our bodies need and in what amounts. We have no idea what the “additives, fillers, or preservatives” are or how they affect our bodies. Therefore, we have left our health in the hands of others. Also our responsibility. I feel so strongly that if I am going to eat meat, then I need to be a part of the process. I need and want to be responsible to the animals and people that bring nutrition to my family.

GROW WHAT YOU CAN.

GATHER WHAT YOU CAN.

I was told recently that hunters should only kill animals if there were no more grocery stores to go to. Understandably, this came from someone who loves animals… although also a meat eater.

I wasn’t sure how to reply. I mean, I’ve NEVER hunted, I AM a meat eater and I DO shop at grocery stores or butchers for my meat. But I knew there was more to this statement. More that I needed to consider…

After some thought, this is what I came up with… For those who choose to eat meat, a decision must be made. Where do we go to get the meat we use to nourish ourselves and our loved ones?!

First, the animals that are mass-raised are most often treated horribly. They are kept in small pens, fed whatever makes them plump up as fast as can be, and often violently handled. So if I love animals, how can I in good consciousness buy into a system that devalues the LIVES of the animals in deference to only doing what they have to do in order to sell more meat faster?

Then there’s the growth hormones, fillers, chemicals, etc. By the time these commercially “raised” animals make it to the local grocery store, the meat has been treated so much, that its likely that my body wouldn’t recognize it as food anyway.

So, If not that, then what?

The conclusions leave us with several options for those of us that still choose to be carnivores. First, we could raise our own animals. This would be the most intimate, hands on way to do it. To take care of them on a daily basis, love them, honor their lives, and be part of their gift from beginning to end.

For those who choose not to or cannot raise their own, they can buy from local farmers who they know raises their animals in a humane, healthy way. Supporting these people helps our own communities and its people to thrive as well as giving us the healthy food we need.

Third, we could hunt. These animals live in the wild, their natural home. They live free, eat and drink what nature intended, and give of their lives for us. When I said I’ve never done this, its only because I never had the opportunity and the proper understanding of it. I have, in fact, already talked to a friend about her and her husband teaching me to hunt next year.

We as a society and world (too much of it anyway), are so removed from what our food truly is, where it comes from, or how it effects our bodies. Most people just go to the store to get what they need, never giving a thought to the farmers, laborers, plants, and animals that it took to bring it into our hands. We don’t stop to thank them, nor to consider what it is our bodies need and in what amounts. We have no idea what the “additives, fillers, or preservatives” are or how they affect our bodies. Therefore, we have left our health in the hands of others. Also our responsibility. I feel so strongly that if I am going to eat meat, then I need to be a part of the process. I need and want to be responsible to the animals and people that bring nutrition to my family.

GROW WHAT YOU CAN.

GATHER WHAT YOU CAN.

HUNT WHAT YOU CAN.

For the rest, buy local.

Show gratitude to all.

Eat only what we need.

Eat slowly and with awareness.

Be in a state of thankfulness while eating.

Make eating the sacred thing it is meant to be.

HONOR AND GRATITUDE!

Posted December 2, 2015 by oldwaywmn in Uncategorized

From eating to nurturing through ingestion pt. 2   2 comments

So what prompts a person to really start making changes in their life instead of just talking about it?  For me it’s middle age…..Like most people, I heard the warnings of older folks ” Enjoy it now because once you hit your forties, it’ll all change. ”  Also like most people, I didn’t really think it would happen to me… Until it did.

Shortly after I turned forty-two, I started noticing that my “love handles” we’re beginning to look more like love handfuls. My mother laughed at me one day when I complained about my increasing weight gain. ” That’s your spare tire dear.” And she gave me one of those knowing looks the older generation gives to those foolish younger ones. The look that says ” I told you so…” Without actually saying so.

Another factor that has snuck up on me ( ok came at me while I held my hands in front of my eyes in denial), was menopause. While I still only have my foot in the door of this blessed change, I am getting to know it and the ways in which it is affecting me.

So now I am 45, 40 pounds heavier than I should be, often tired, achy, lack energy and stamina, irritable…well, you get the picture. Most people would sum it up with ” typical middle age issues.”  Let’s think about that for a minute… Why are those symptoms synonymous with middle age? Why is it considered normal to feel run down and out of shape when we are supposedly ” in our prime” ?

The obvious answers would be that most people suffer from lack of good nutrition, excercise, and mental attitude, right?

stay tuned for what I’ve learned…

 

Posted February 6, 2015 by oldwaywmn in Uncategorized

From eating to nurturing through ingestion…   Leave a comment

We all know what eating is…the consuming of food for the purpose of getting needed nutrients, right? Unfortunately, that isn’t why or how most people eat. Most of us eat the foods that taste good to us, in the quantity we want, whenever the desire strikes us. Very few of us actually think about what is in what we eat, where it came from, and what effect if will have on our bodies. I was very guilty of this. I was a lover of the S.A.D. Diet ( Standard American Diet).  Growing up we had pasta every Sunday, beans and hot dogs once a week, fried balogna, cheap, processed foods galore. Fresh fruits and veges were an expensive rarity. I even used to walk around the block collecting bottles and cans to get money to buy candy n soda… All of these things were and still are considered perfectly normal and acceptable by most people’s standards.

Blessedly, over the years, I have learned just how wrong I was by watching how many friends and acquaintances lived there lives. Ever so slowly I have seen where I needed to make changes. And even more slowly, I’ve been making them… White bread turned into wheat, fruit substituted junk food for snacks, yogurt took the place of cereal for breakfast…etc. I started canning, buying in bulk, and cooking more from scratch. I found people to barter with for the fruits and veges I didn’t have time to grow myself. I started reading labels ( scary stuff) and educating myself on the meaning of those long twenty letter words in the ingredients. The more I read, the more I began to understand.

Unfortunately, it came too easy to not take this knowledge any further. A life filled with work, children, spouse etc. kept me busy enough to take my mind off the needed important health changes. Simply put, the same factors that should have been the impetus for change, became instead an excuse for stagnation.

To be continued…

Posted February 5, 2015 by oldwaywmn in Uncategorized

Saturday Ramblings   Leave a comment

As I sit here at my computer, my mind drifts to a dream of mine to do my best to live as self-sustainably as possible. Anyone who has known me for any time can tell you that though I talk a lot about this and have done much research, I have failed to really live it. i want this to change. So I sit here asking myself how exactly to do that. How does one begin to live closer to the Earth, in a way that is gentler and more conscious of their impact? How do I, without running off to the woods, start to make the changes necessary to move closer to this goal? I guess the first step would be to determine just what it means to me to live in this way.

The first thing that comes to mind is to eat a diet that is more natural, less processed. (Thank-you Bossy Duscharme for your influence.)

Another piece of this for me is in unclogging. First off I will need to continue to declog my life of physical stuff I have accumulated. I have been working on this for some time, but the more I look at it, the more I realize that there is more ways in which I can downsize. One key to this is in getting a few things that I feel are very necessary instead of a bunch of things that aren’t. After this, comes unclogging my mind. As someone who no doubt has many ADHD type tendencies, it is tough for me to quiet my self and let my spirit work its magic instead. Writings like this are a big step in doing that. Another part of cleaning out the mind chatter, is the same as going through boxes of gathered items. I have to look within and find those ideas, thoughts, emotions that are not in any way helping me. Separate the garbage from the treasures. Then release whatever isn’t serving my goals.

Make my house a home. This is a huge one for me. If I do not feel at home within the space that I live, then I will find myself making many useless trips elsewhere. I will leave to try to find the comfort that I seek instead of creating it within my personal living space. For me, having a natural home is about using materials that come from nature and creating an atmosphere that is both relaxing and creative. All of this needs to be done without creating lots of waste or pollution.

This leads me to the next piece of living closer to the Earth, creating less waste. How do we do this when everything in the store comes packaged in styrophome, and wrapped all over in plastic? One way in which I have begun to make change is by bringing reusable bags to the store. Another is to bring back my plastic containers and refill them. The health food stores usually have bulk containers from which I can refill my smaller ones. I also buy in bulk when I can which saves both money and garbage. Even so, I live in a small town with no room to compost or burn anything, so I have what I consider to be way too much garbage. This needs to change. Maybe I can look into a composter that is suitable for use in a back yard that is closely surrounded by neighbors. (out of site and odorless would be absolutely needed).

Make your own…Whenever possible, I need to make things from scratch, whether that be cooking, clothes, drinks, whatever. I have some wonderful friends who do just that. These great people inspire me in the way they grow their own gardens, tap the trees and boil down the sap for maple syrup, grind apples into cider, cook everything from scratch, learn to do their own repairs on house and car whenever possible, make or buy used clothing to prevent so much waste. When they cannot do things themselves, they barter their skills with others who have what they do not. I have been drying, canning, and freezing foods in an effort to prepare for winter and reduce my need to run out to the stores to get what my family needs.

After years of talking about it, I have begun to make my own laundry soap and use shampoo, soap and dish soap that a close friend makes.

All of this is taking me small steps closer to where I want to be, but I still feel that I have a long way to go. I have come to realize that the biggest hindrance to walking a more natural Path is myself. I have found it much easier to talk about, read about, and plan out changes that I wish to make, than to actually make them. So this year, my 42nd year, I am going to make a promise to my self that I will stop talking and start doing. I will give my life the attention it needs, and push my self out of my comfort zones.When I do not feel comfortable trying something new on my own, I will find someone who already does what I wish to incorporate and reach out to them for help. I will admit my faults, my areas of weaknesses and strive to see my self in a genuine way. I will become the Natural person that I believe I came here to be. I will walk the Path that Creator intends for me. I will stop trying to make others happy and instead focus on what I need in order to make me happy. (No I am not a selfish person, but like many women, have spent the whole of my adult life trying to do what I believe others want me to do, often sacrificing my own dreams and visions.)

From this day onward, I will let my heart’s voice guide my Path. I will ask for help when I need it and will learn to say no when asked to do something that is not in line with my intended path. I will do my best every day to be genuine and use only truthspeaking.

Thank-you creator for all that you have done and continue to do for me. Please help me to be the daughter you need me to be. Help me to walk the Path that I am intended to walk. Aho.

Posted September 3, 2011 by oldwaywmn in Uncategorized

Getting back to Center.   Leave a comment

For some time now I have let events that happened in my life effect me in ways that seemed to throw me totally of my Path. Ok, to be honest, I wasn’t TOTALLY off course, just I was sent reeling and fell on my face before realizing that in the dirt beneath me, was the answers I needed. As usual, what was called for was for me to stop looking so closely at the ‘chaos’ around my life and instead see and acknowledge the amazing gifts that still existed around and within my life Path. I had focused for too long on what I perceived as happening “to” me instead of seeing what these events had to teach me.

Now what? As with any time of falling on our face and then picking ourselves back up, it left me with more questions than answers. After all, like Tamarack said to me “When you speak, you repeat what you already know. When you listen, you learn.” If I went forth feeling that I had all the answers, I would not be in a place of openness to learn. By realizing that each time I hit the dirt, it leaves me open and cleansed of all the weight (useless weight often) I can move forward with an empty cup ready to receive that which Spirit has in store for me.

Posted August 27, 2011 by oldwaywmn in Uncategorized

Recommended reading list for mamas and doulas   Leave a comment

Recommended Books

Connection Parenting-

Attachment Parenting- Allen Gronja and Betsy Kennedy

The Baby Book- Sears

Our Babies, Ourselves-

Becoming Attached-

Science of Parenting-

Advantages of Tandem Nursing-

How Weaning Happens-

Mothering Your Nursing Toddler-

My Child Wont Eat-

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers-

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding-

Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids-

Baby Wearing-

Bonding-

A Secure Base-

Tummy 2 Tummy-(DVD)

The Vital Touch-

Goodnights-

Nighttime Parenting- Sears

Sleeping with your Baby-

Sweat Dreams-

How to Talk so your Kids will Listen and Listen so your Kids will Talk-

Playful Parenting-

Unconditional Parenting-

Nonviolent Communication-

People Skills-

Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing-

Taking Charge of Your Fertility-

The Art of Natural Family Planning-

Attachment Parenting-Sears

The Family Bed-

Immaculate Deception-

Spiritual Midwifery- Ina May Glaston

Holding Time-

Continuum Concept-

The Diaper Free Book-

The Mind of Your Newborn-

Book List for Doulas

The Doula Book-Klaus

The Birth Partner- Penny Simkin

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to A Better Birth-Henri Goer

Nurturing the Family-Guide for Postpartum Doulas-Jacqueline Kelleher

After the Baby’s Birth-Robin Lim

Mothering the New Mother-Sally Placksin

Natural Health After Birth-Aviva Jill Romm

The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth-Shiela Kitzinger

Your Amazing Newborn-Klaus

Active Birth-Janet Balaskas

Easier Childbirth-Gayle Peterson

Ended Beginnings-Claudia Panethas

Ina May’s Guide to Motherhood-

Journey Into Motherhood-Sherri Menelli

Natural Pregnancy Book-Aviva Jill Romm

Nutrition for a Healthy Childbirth-Elizabeth Somer

When Survivors Give Birth-Penny Simkin and Phyllis Klaus

Hearts and Hands-Midwives Guide-Elizabeth Davis

Pocket Guide to Midwifery-Aviva Jill Romm

Paths to Becoming a Midwife-Midwifery Today Book

Posted June 19, 2011 by oldwaywmn in Uncategorized