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We are what we eat!

It's taken me a long time to learn how to garden effectively. Over time I found that one of my greatest stumbling blocks is that I wasn't growing the things we liked to eat. Usually the easiest to grow vegies are the ones we liked the least, and thus they either stayed on the plant and went to seed, or found their way into the guinea pig or poultry yards.

Meanwhile continuing health problems prompted me to consider diet a major factor in chronic illness. I was slow to digest the information I researched and reluctant to give up the foods that created ill health in my body. My vegie garden and orchard didn't obtain the attention they deserved and my interest in gardening waxed and waned. My belief in permaculture as a 'cure all' kept me coming back to the small patch of earth that sometimes resembled a vegie garden, but more often than not was a thriving patch of juicy weeds for my feathered and furry friends.

Eventually I came to fully understand the catch cry "we are what we eat", but even then it was hard to change my eating habits. I knew that the only way to change my diet was to focus more on gardening, and decided to grow only those things that I knew we'd eat. This meant that a good portion of our fresh food was coming from the garden, rather than the supermarket. Most of the vegies in the supermarket didn't have the strong taste of home grown vegies. It took a couple of years to not only get used to this. Salads have been transformed from a few pieces of tomato, iceberg lettuce, and cucumber to a plate full of mixed mesculin lettuce, herbs, silverbeet, rocket, grated carrot and beetroot, sugarsnap peas and whatever else looks appetising in the garden!

Two years ago, after suffering from weight problems forever, with a liberal dose of heartburn and indigestion experienced daily, I gave up bread as a staple in my diet. The results were stunning. I suddenly had stamina, my brain seemed to function better, I lost the 'sleepy' feeling after eating, and I wasn't continually hungry. It took me a year to convince the rest of the family to give up bread and we're still working on reducing wheat and other grains to just one meal a day. I realised that most people eat wheat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and many snacks in between. That can't be healthy, especially since humans only began doing this in the last ten or so thousand years - compared with a million years or so of evolution.
Changing dietary habits is one of the hardest things we've had to do. It's a continual challenge. I've made a poster and stuck it on the kitchen wall, to remind us what to eat and when, though we don't adhere to it strictly. Basically we eat a selection of dried fruit, seeds and nuts for breakfast (a pseudo muesli - tastes similar, but without the mixed grain); salad or soup for lunch; and stir fried or steamed vegetable for dinner. We're a meat eating family, though we balance meals throughout the week with vegetarian meals. We keep dairy foods to a minimum.

Watch this space ~ coming soon:
List of Ingredients, tasty Recipes, Allergy Links, information on Samters Syndrome, and my favourite Diet and Health links.




photos of the ever changing view of the coast from our living room window
Our ever-changing view!
Moonset ~ Roll Cloud ~ Sunset

permaculture ethics
care for earth,
care for people,
return surplus,
reduce consumption

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Copyright © Beverley Paine 2002-14. Article from this website may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this entire notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained from the author in order to reprint this article in a published work or to offer it for sale in any form. Please visit Bungala Ridge Permaculture Gardens for more original content by Beverley Paine.