Welcome to Tips & Tricks #2
HOW TO FEED YOUR HUSBAND
I used to do a lot of cooking, and not just cooking, fancy cooking! That was before we were married, and since we’ve been married, my meal ideas and effort has waned. When we had our daughter, it had gotten even worse. At one point, we were spending $500 on eating out every month simply because I couldn’t find the time to make us food! I’m writing to share with you what we do on a daily basis and why they’ve worked for us: Paleo and Freezer Cooking.
Whenever my husband and I are traveling and staying in other people’s homes, my husband almost always comments on how good the cooking is. Sometimes, he even turns to me and tells me, “you should get some tips from so-and-so,” or “this must be the kind of home cooking people raved about in college!” I just continue eating and pay no mind.
I remain silent because I know he’s just complimenting the cook. You see, at home we eat a diet called “Paleo.” Though it is based upon the idea of the evolutionary development of homo sapiens, Paleo eating is still applicable to Christians. Humans have spent many more years (thousands compared to a couple hundred) eating real and unprocessed foods rather than the processed, GMO, and grain-based foods we eat today of the industrial revolution. (See The Paleo Mama for an article on how being Paleo can be consistent with being Christian).
The Paleo diet as a general rule means that you eat only real foods (not processed). Avoid buying anything inside a box or bag (no more Snapea Crisps, baked chips, or kosher crackers) and generally avoid sugar and carbohydrates. We buy fresh organic veggies, grass-fed organic meats, free-range organic chicken and eggs, grass-fed organic cow milk (raw is even better than homogenized), organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, real butter (not margarine) and organic ghee (clarified butter); however, some strict Paleo eaters avoid milk and just do coconut milk or almond milk. Our bodies were made to glean the most nutrients from meat and veggies, and our bodies were made to run on fat and protein (not processed sugars and carbs). There are many delicious paleo recipes out there, check them out here.
This might sound very scary, but I assure you that it is not only completely doable, it is HEALTHY and DELICIOUS. Since we are called to treat our body as the temple of the Lord, we should be good stewards of the body God gave us and eat right (and did I mention, it’s delicious?). Check out Mark Sisson’s blog (marksdailyapple.com) for more information about the Paleo Diet. Note that he is not Christian and does not approach the Paleo diet from this perspective, but remember that the Paleo diet is a way of eating, not a way of faith. One of my favorite rules of his is the 80-20 rule: eat Paleo 80% of the time, the other 20% of the time eat what you want! This really takes the pressure off for us when we’re being treated out to food or when we are traveling at the mercy of others’ generosity. This also means you don’t have to throw out grandma’s recipes or ever taste an apple pie again. My other favorite insight of his is that fat is not bad for you! He encourages eating nice fatty steaks and adding butter to things, mm-mm delicious.
“But why eat a Paleo diet?” 1) It makes home cooking healthy and delicious, and 2) To treat your body as the temple of God and eat clean and healthy. I echo what The Paleo Mama says,
I believe my body is a temple so I treat it well. I am attracted to eating Paleo because it is a very clean way of eating. Eliminating processed foods, growing and harvesting your own food, eating foods that are good for your body…all fall under the eating Paleo. (The Paleo Mama)
“But doesn’t the Bible say we should eat grains (bread)?” Yes, however the grains from the Bible were very different from what we eat today and were also prepared differently. Because of the decline in the nutritional value of grains available today, I choose to cut out grains. The Wellness Mama gives a good breakdown of this topic here.
In Jesus’ time, there were only three major types of wheat in existence: Einkorn, Emmer, and later Triticum aestivum along with simple, non-hybrid varieties of other grains like barley, millet, and rye. These grains had (and still have) a higher protein content and lower anti-nutrient content than grains of today.
In Biblical times, grains were often prepared by soaking, fermenting, or sprouting before being consumed. Often, this wasn’t intentional, but a result of methods of storage which left the grains exposed to warm, moist conditions that encouraged sprouting and fermentation. (Wellness Mama)
What does this have to do with making an Anglican home? As we Anglicans worship on Sunday with the Book of Common Prayer and worship at home with the Daily Office, so we should prepare food and eat in an orderly fashion. This is also a tool to help you eat healthy every day (similar to How to Pray Every Day). If your life is hectic and not orderly, it does not reflect the order of God. Of course there are extremely orderly families that don’t eat Paleo, and that’s better than a hectic life; but I challenge you to look into the effects of eating processed food on your health. I found myself trying to cook excellent meals, but failing at having enough time to prepare them. The easy way out was ordering food, picking up fast food, or eating out; all of which were unhealthy, expensive and truthfully, not as tasty as home cooking.
Keeping an orderly and productive home the easy and healthy way is extremely difficult. Imagine waking up early before the baby wakes to pray, shower, use the restroom and get dressed. If the baby’s still asleep, go and make some breakfast. By that time, the baby is awake and needs tending to. Our baby isn’t walking yet, so holding her (even in a baby carrier) is an impediment to doing things quickly and efficiently. By the time I get the baby changed, dressed and fed, I only have about one or two hours to do the laundry, and wash the dishes before I have to start making lunch. Before partaking in lunch, I pray from the Daily Office (which adds ten minutes to meal time). Then after lunch, I have to make sure the baby is changed, fed and played with. Then I like to spend time working on editing photos, writing blog posts, and etc. In the mean time, the floor needs sweeping, the carpet needs vacuuming, the laundry needs folding, groceries need to be bought, not to mention the bathroom needs a cleaning! I’m lucky if I can fit in ONE of these activities before dinner needs to be started.
Something needed to change in order for life to be less hectic and challenging. This is where Once a Month Meals (onceamonthmeals.com) came in. Once a Month Meals is a program that teaches and supports freezer cooking. No, it’s not cooking with a freezer, but rather cooking meals with the oven, stovetop, or slow cooker and then freezing them in meal-sized bags! We’ve been freezer cooking since April 2013 and it’s been a great way for family bonding time as well as increasing the amount of time I have to do things other than cooking. We usually set aside ONE day a month to cook together as a family, and then we have meals for the rest of the month that are easy to heat up within 30 minutes (usually 15 minutes of prep and sometimes as little as 4 minutes)! (There is also one other day added to do shopping and chopping the ingredients). Once a Month Meals is a subscription to menus (including a Paleo Menu) that come out every month. You also have access to a complete database of all their recipes. You can pick and choose your favorite recipes, put it into a menu for the month, and it gives you the complete shopping list and step-by-step instructions for cooking day! This alleviates the problem with figuring out all the ingredients needed for 16 different recipes!
So what should I feed my husband? Try your best to cook real foods with a main meat dish and one to two sides of vegetables. If you can afford it, buy only organic meats and vegetables. If you cannot, at least buy these following foods organic since they are considered the “Dirty Dozen;” these are the most contaminated foods by pesticides:
- Blueberries (domestic)
- Sweet bell peppers
- Kale/ collard greens
- Grapes (imported)
Erlich, Katherine; Genzlinger, Kelly (2012-03-01). Super Nutrition for Babies: The Right Way to Feed Your Baby for Optimal Health (Kindle Locations 1647-1650). Creative Publishing International. Kindle Edition.
The list above was taken from an excellent book on nutrition for babies. Trying to figure out what is best for our bodies has been such a mystery. Not only has the Paleo diet made a lot of sense to me, this book has agreed with the same principles as the Paleo diet AND been tailored for babies’ nutrition.
Besides feeding your husband a Paleo diet and utilizing the freezer cooking method, I encourage you to feed him simple meals. If he was to eat like a king each day, he wouldn’t appreciate the festive meals and holidays from the church calendar where the meals should be like feasts! I also encourage you to feed him a larger meal for lunch and a lighter meal for dinner. Having a lighter meal for dinner aids in digestion overnight. (Imagine you live in Italy where the larger meal is lunch, but don’t go overboard and indulge like they do in Italy).
To summarize, eating Paleo is healthy and delicious. Using freezer cooking simplifies and organizes your life. Happy cooking and happy eating!
I hope this post was helpful! Stay tuned for my next “Tips & Tricks” post posted weekly on Fridays.
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