Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Something struck me today. I was thinking about my visit the day before to a dear friend's house where three of us mamas sat and drank tea together while the children played around us. The other mamas, wise beautiful women, were talking very knowledgeably about superfoods and how they process them themselves at home and what they do to the body and what properties they have and so on. And I suddenly felt a little overwhelmed by my own ignorance in this matter.I felt a little embarrassed and annoyed with myself for feeding my family ever increasing amounts of crap easy food.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean I have sunk so low to be feeding the kids pot-noodles, chicken nuggets and coco pops from dawn-till-dusk - we generally eat a fair bit of organic and Fairtrade food, eat our 5-a-day, but an increasing amount of processed food has crept in more and more in the last year if I'm truly honest with myself and especially more so just lately since hubby is working 18 hour days and I'm too damn tired/ lazy to cook every single meal from scratch. I cook at least one hot meal a day, and sometimes two, but it's seriously time consuming and makes a massive mess which needs to be cleared up.

But anyway, as I was munching on a dandelion from a delicious hedgerow salad one of my friends had put together, I vowed to stop feeling so overwhelmed by the whole food issue. Having eaten a MacDonalds (evil, evil, I know) on Friday afternoon, and being at my parents all weekend where they act pretty much like sweet dispensers - whilst I bit my tongue just enough of the time to keep things sweet because I didn't want any rows or horridness - I realise just how unhealthy our diet has become this last year. Crisps, biscuits and cakes have crept in to become more than treats aarts stead seem to have become part of our staple diet and are being eaten almost daily. Alf is a little fruit bat, munching his way through an orchard worth of apples a week, and whilst we're very far from being a turkey-twizzler type family, I still feel that we are out of balance a little.

I think I really need to shift the pattern of how we eat a little and start planning what and when we eat better. We've been doing a lot of supermarket shopping for easy practicality, but I feel really guilty about this. We do also do a fair bit of farm shop shopping but this can get seriously pricey for a family of six, as it tends to be a little gourmet. Ditto the health food shop although I just love buying from there and the ladies are so friendly and nice. But buying everything from there would be insane for us, so coming up with ethical alternatives that manage to tick all the boxes is hard. Who really wants to hand over their money to money-grabbing Tescos? The others are really not much better even if we think they're more cuddly brands. They're still money- grabbing supermarkets pushing smaller businesses out, whichever colour they market themselves. But instead of despairing about it I'm going to make tweaky tweaks... one-step-at-a-time!

Online bulk ordering of healthy staples would simplify our shopping habits, which are all over the place recently. Happily, we are growing our veg plot again this year, which brought so much satisfaction last year, and I am going to extend the amount we grow by introducing more pots and tubs to the garden. Tending and harvesting your own food is one of life's greatest pleasures. I've also decided that instead of feeling overwhelmed by my ignorance about some of the more unusual herbs and plants and their uses, and how to prepare them etc..I'm simply going to learn about them one at a time. No big deal. No pressure.

Following a one-step-at-a-time approach is sitting really nicely with me at the moment. Instead of trying to learn everything at once, I'm just focusing on one thing at a time. Instead of panicking about the whole picture, I'm going to pick up the brush and do little brush-strokes to change the scene!

What's intimidating you right now? Maybe you can take the one-step-at-a-time approach too? Let me know how you get on !

Xx MF xX


  1. food is such a difficult issue and unfortunately, because we can't live without it, it is an issue we need to conquer. i love the idea of a one step at a time approach though, particularly with regards to the kids and their attitudes towards food and their understanding of what is healthy. learning, preparing and cooking together is the key for my family.

  2. It's a massive issue what with obesity and diabetes and other diseases some of which they say are lifestyle but I also wonder how much is gene related (given some of the documentaries I have watched) and how much is triggered by refined, processed and heavily loaded sugary foods? Also exercise, not gym stuff but naturally being more active which people were prior to technology. I think about that photo of veggie poo explorer Gillian McKeith who is thin but very wrinkly compared to the freshly faced healthy looking Nigella Lawson. I think of my nan died 99 and the diet she would have eaten all of her life given two world wars and rationing etc yet she was a healthy individual. I think maybe being as close to the diet that has been in our evolutionary history for the longest is maybe the way to go but then life is different now. Small steps and balance is a good start me thinks x

  3. Well as you both know, my waistline has expanded somewhat in the last year, as has Herbs - whatever it is that tells your body 'i'm full' doesn't seem to be working too well!! You can't cry over spillt milk but start with where you are and work from there...

  4. My own constraints/excuses as to shifting the extra weight and the twin tyre are time and money constraints but more than that they are emotional and psychological constraints. I think I would like a fancy gym or a swimming pool and lots of music and some company because I can't get over the fact that I could just use what I have here in my garden to use my body and get fit but I don't enjoy it that way so therefore I am emotionally constrained. I think I don't have time due to home-educating four children and everything else about being a mother but the fact is I am here sitting on my fat arse in front of a screen when I could be running around the garden or bouncing with the kids. If I could just get over those constraints....yeap little by little I say then you don't feel so damn defeated by it all. Good luck with your small steps x

  5. Wow you can eat dandelions??.....I have a lot to learn!!!