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  • Writer's picturestirringthesoul

The Nostalgia Diet

Maybe it's the time of pandemic, maybe it's age, but I find myself longing for a simpler things. Getting up early, doing chores, preparing hearty meals, watching the sun go down from a rocking chair on the porch... I find myself recently thinking a lot about how they took care of themselves. My great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents would have gone about their days simply doing what had to be done; not worried about getting an hour of cardio in. Not concerned about too much butter or not enough fiber. They ate fresh foods and scratch-made dishes. They canned the extra vegetables and fruits from their gardens and raised their own meat, dairy, and eggs. A part of me would love to move to a farm and live like this.

Reality is, that's not happening right now for us. Hubby and I are working and enjoy being close to town. Our son goes to a good school not too far away. We are pretty content where we are currently. However, we can certainly adopt some of these principles in our everyday life.

First, we try to scratch make as many things as we can. Sure, it's pretty easy to open a jar of spaghetti sauce when you are in a hurry. However, we strive to make our food from scratch as often as possible. This not only is enjoyable - you read this blog, you know I like to cook! - but is generally healthier and helps our young son understand better where food comes from. Speaking of "where food comes from," we also try to grow vegetables and fruits. Some of our efforts have gone well, some have not, but we are learning and enjoying the fruits of our labor. We ate fresh from the garden broccoli tonight. It was delicious! We cannot certainly grow everything we consume on our little plot of land. However, we can support local farms by purchasing our food at local markets as often as possible. The farmers' market is a great place to start finding the local farms. The local cooperative extension office can also help out with this. Third, while I recognize that my job is more of a desk job and less of an active occupation, I try to get my exercise out of doors, like walking, hiking, and gardening. While I don't mind a good, sweaty weight session in the gym, there is something so wholesome and lovely about breathing fresh air and seeing the beauty of nature that makes exercise that much more pleasant.

There are greater benefits than just to us. When we make our foods from scratch, we adjust our carbon footprint through less packaging and processing. When we purchase food from local farms and vendors, we spend our money where it makes a direct impact. When we exercise in our community, we get to know our neighbors and neighborhoods. This allows us to be present and supportive of our neighbors and in neighborhood improvements.

There are always drawbacks. It is not always practical, from a time or cost standpoint, to make food from scratch. In order to consume local foods, you often have to eat seasonally. It also can be more costly than other options. Some neighborhoods are not safe. Apartment dwellers may be more limited in exercise options that are not in a gym. And we sometimes have to pick the cheaper or easier option. Sometimes we cannot get outside or to the local farmers market. The goal here is to make little changes than can add up to major dividends in our physical and mental health and in our community.

So join me on this journey, friend! Let's reclaim the good of yesteryear and enjoy a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle!

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