Archive for the ‘GAPS intro diet’ Tag

What is Cooking For?   1 comment

I’ve been forced to examine this question over the past months as I have been doing the GAPS introduction diet.  The diet’s aim is to heal the digestive tract and it requires you to prepare basic foods from scratch, including yogurt, clarified butter, salted and toasted nuts, and many others.

At the same time, while my family has been doing most of their own cooking, since they are not following the GAPS intro diet, I have been managing the schedule of what they are eating as well, shopping for their food in addition to mine, and supervising the cooking and preparation to some extent.

And of course, all four of us have been dealing with the mounds of dirty dishes that are created by cooking meat stock and making three meals a day (times two!) from scratch.

I have realized that I have internalized the advertising and ideas in our culture, even though in general I fight to resist that.

I personally think that cooking should be pleasant and enjoyable.  Food should be nutritious and appetizing.  But honestly, looking at flyers from the grocery,  TV commercials, and product packaging, it’s not hard to conclude that really, the main thing you need to know about food preparation is that it should be convenient.

Recently, I got an email from Kroger advertising their Clicklist service, which is apparently now improved so that you can place your order online and then pick it up within hours, instead of having to wait until the next day.  The email conveys the view that not only should you not have to cook, you shouldn’t even have to shop.  All you have to do is place your order online, and then relax while store employees get it ready.  You drive up to Kroger and they load it straight into your car!  All this is normal, right?  This is what you deserve.  This is how things should be.

Procuring food and preparing it should be convenient–because you can’t afford to waste your valuable time actually cooking real food.

That seems to be the message.  But I wonder if this view is not realistic.  Or perhaps it’s one of those ideas which allow you to get the consequences of your choices.  I doubt that any advertising is going to tell you what those might be.

What is it that we are doing that is so important that we can’t raise, purchase or prepare nutritious fresh vegetables and fruits, locally raised meats, eggs, bread?  So pressing that we can’t cook these foods ourselves, but we must outsource almost all of the preparation of what we intake to sustain our bodies and our lives to large companies who don’t even know us?

I’m not saying that you are a moral failure if you don’t cook every meal from scratch.   I believe in outsourcing any food preparation that doesn’t drive my cost too high and that doesn’t require me to feed myself or my family ingredients that will cause us mental or physical health problems (substances marketed as “food” that do cause mental and physical health problems abound, but that is another blog post).  Also I like to cook and many other people don’t.  So if you don’t like to cook, that’s fine.

What I object to is our culture’s view that cooking is a waste of time.

When did other responsibilities become more important that sustaining and nourishing our bodies?

What is so important about our activity that we cannot utilize real foods to heal our illnesses?

When did our lives become so full that there is no time to prepare a meal and eat it together?

Why is convenience more important than just about every other quality of food that you could mention?

Cooking is not an obstacle keeping you from a better life.

Posted January 21, 2017 by swanatbagend in diet, food

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What I Didn’t Expect   Leave a comment

There’s always something I didn’t expect that throws me off balance, but this time is worse than usual.

I started the GAPS introduction diet November 12th and have now been on it for almost 6 weeks.  It took a few months for the pieces to come together in my mind to convince me I needed to do this diet, and then it took me another several months to get all my menu plans in order and my basic items purchased and prepared.

So I knew just based on how long it took me to get ready that it was a complicated diet, and in fact, I should probably call it a lifestyle change.  It’s not like reading about it over and over left me in the dark as to all the things I would be preparing.

But it’s one thing to carefully plan for a big change, another to live it.

And as often happens, when I set out to do a good thing, I always underestimate how much time it is going to take to accomplish the work.  It reminds me of when I joined the ICAN board in 2003.  Somehow I thought that I would magically be able to do a job the previous volunteer said took twenty hours a week in less time than that.

Nope, not going to happen.

And it didn’t this time either.

So, when I cook meat and vegetable meals from scratch, and make broth every other day, and make my own yogurt, sour cream, whey and ghee…that’s going to take time.  I haven’t even done my own fermented vegetables yet, been buying those.  Then, I’m still managing the food and shopping for everyone.  The rest of the family, mainly the kids, are preparing their own main dish, vegetable and salad many nights, and nobody has said one complaining word about the amount of dishes that this plan has created.  And it has created a veritable mountain of dirty dishes.  So it is wonderful they are just doing them.

But, the reality is, I’m still the mastermind behind what is to be served and what their options are to choose from.  I’m still the one figuring this out, stocking the fridge and the pantry, and being on hand to give advice if needed.

Some nights I combine us all, if we are just having meat, and vegetables as sides, and that helps.  But more nights than not, five or six items get prepared, creating all the dishes.

And while I estimated in a previous blog that cooking, shopping and food prep took me about twenty hours a week, my current total is 27 to 30 hours a week.  So I’ve added seven more hours, about an hour per day, to planning and cooking, in a schedule that already felt tight.  I was definitely not expecting that to happen, as I already cooked mostly from scratch and did not think this would be that much different.

It’s odd.  I’m feeling some guilt and shame for not being able to manage this better.  I’m asking myself where I could cut unnecessary activities or events, or if I could do some component of my day faster, or if I could delegate more to the rest of the family.  They already do most of the cleaning, laundry, dishes, and now a lot of the cooking.  I’m moving as fast as someone with chronic problems can move.  I can’t think of anything.  This diet protocol just takes time.

So I find myself wishing that somehow amidst all the reading I did, that someone had warned me how stressed I would get doing this diet.  I don’t think I saw that anywhere.  I am stressed right now, and I know that is not supposed to be the outcome of a truly healthy diet, that comes with detox baths every night.  The outcome is supposed to be improvement.

I’m not there yet.

 

Posted December 23, 2016 by swanatbagend in diet

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