Thursday, June 26, 2008

Food Daze

Making major dietary changes is such a huge challenge. Jacob and I have, historically, preferred to make such changes slowly, and so far we've had a fair bit of luck with that. I no longer object to whole wheat sandwich bread, for example, and we now drink copious amounts of water. We go through eggs a lot faster than we used to, but still not as fast as we'd like to given their sheer excellence as a food and our plans to have chickens. I now make and use bone broth at least occasionally, and it's starting to seem pretty easy and straightforward. And eating a lot of local and seasonal food--though we are certainly not as rigorous about this as we would ultimately like to be--is becoming more and more automatic for us.

So much for credit where credit is due. Sometimes, though, a body gets to feeling guilty for taking the slow and lazy way, or starts to wonder how much better it'd feel with a truly good diet (as opposed to a better-than-average diet, which, given the benchmark, might still be quite bad). Or, of course, there's always good old-fashioned mother guilt OhgodwhatifI'mstuntingmybabyforlife. Goldfish, while convenient, probably do not qualify as the height of infant nutrition.

The guilt, for me, mostly originates with the fact that I am more or less completely in control of what we eat in this family. Jacob is quite happy to just be fed, with fairly minimal input in exactly what he's eating, and he would have no problem eating any of the things I would consider trying to feed us. Evelyn, so far, is similarly obliging, and generally gums down whatever she's given, the only significant exception so far being potatoes. And for me, the limiting factors are, quite simply, time and ingenuity. Mostly time, although even for me ingenuity is not at its high point at 9 pm, which is often when we get around to dinner these days.

Well, and even that's not honest...I stay at home. I have all the time in the world. It's the freedom to do something constructive with said time that I lack. In one word, Evelyn. Things are getting better, though. She's more prone to getting busy playing with things for long stretches now. It's still risky, because you never know when she's going to be done playing and want Mama NOW, but it's an improvement.

But I've spent the bulk of the last two days brushing up on my nutrition, and I've got a couple of books I want to order, and I want to dig in. What's called for more than anything else is time management and good planning. For example, that broth has to be started hours or even days in advance, and the same goes for beans. Vegetables must be harvested/bought and then used in a timely fashion. You need to keep track of what you have and what you need, and make the best use of it you can, while keeping things tasty and varied. It'd be unfair to beat myself up about this too's difficult stuff when it's still all new to you. And inserting something into your schedule where it didn't used to be (like the few minutes to make yogurt, and then the few to maintain it) is tricky, especially when, well, you haven't GOT a schedule.

Okay, this is not a useful post. It's only a disorganized purging of my many feelings about improving our household diet, which I'm excited about. Wish me luck!

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