Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Find other Food Sources


How are you doing with your new Paleo habits? Are you steadily eating away at that elephant? Remember you need to keep reminding yourself until it becomes automatic.

Here's you're next habit. When you feel comfortable, then it's time to work on the next step. But not before. Don't rush this. Remember Kaizen is about changing your life one tiny step at a time.

Check the list below. If you are still working on some of these habits then keep doing that until you no longer need to think about them.  Only then are you ready to move on.  Nobody is rushing you and nobody is keeping track.  This is YOUR plan and you decide when you're ready.

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step"

. .... then another, and another.... Take your time, do it right, and you'll build a solid base for a lifetime of easy and healthy Paleo eating.

  1. I have bags in my freezer with bones and leftovers for stock, and I plan to make it regularly on my basics day.
  2. I have a large salad for lunch most days, and I plan to make eggs, chicken etc. for my lunches on my basics day.
  3. My freezers are organized and inventoried, and I make at least two extra meals a week for my freezer.
  4. I have a regular weekly shopping day, and I never shop without a list.
  5. I plan my menus and schedule cooking time each week, and I keep notes for future use.
  6. I have set up and organized a storage pantry, and I put aside some money every week to stock up on specials. 


Habit # 7 - Finding alternative food sources

This is a big topic because even though most people only think of supermarkets, there are actually a lot of other different sources where you can get food.  I don't have room here to go into them all in detail, but what I want to do is give you a bit of an overview so you can be aware of some of what is out there.

Your new habit will be to spend some time looking up sources in your area, and then to choose one or two to try.

First, believe it or not there are some free food choices.  This isn't for everyone, but if you are interested it can end up being a little money saver.

My mother used to pick mushrooms every year and we had many wonderful meals made out of them.  People have done this for centuries in Europe, and even today if you live near the countryside these are still available if you know what to look for.

There is one major warning I have to give you and that is some mushrooms are poisonous so you HAVE to know what you're doing before you start eating any of them.  The best thing is to go out with someone who has done this before and there are mushroom lovers societies and other information available.

Here are a few articles from different places around the world that can get you started : http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/sep/16/wild-mushroom-picking http://www.wildmushroomsonline.co.uk/How-to-Pick-Wild-Mushrooms/index.php

A lot of people also pick wild plants for salads and to add to main dishes.

In my area there are baby ferns that you can pick in the spring. (also known as fiddleheads.) and watercress that grows wild.

Again, there are groups who love to go out on outings and you will probably be able to find one in your area.

Then there are more conventional sources like farmer's markets.

Now these are springing up all over the place and if you check your town or state government websites you will easily find some in your area.

When shopping these markets the main thing to look for is the freshness of the vegetables and fruit.

Most small farmers can't afford to get organic certification, so you're not likely to find much that is labeled as such, but that doesn't mean that it isn't grown organically.

 When you find a farmer who has great looking produce, ask about the methods used in growing.  Chances are you will find a few who grow organically and don't use chemicals.

And don't just think of fruits and vegetables. There are lots of local honey producers

In many areas you can also get local maple syrup.

And lastly there are also farmers who will sell you beef, chicken, pork, lamb and eggs fresh from their farms, and many have wonderful grass-fed and pastured products available.

Again, it will take a bit of research to find them in your area, but now with the Internet it is so much easier.  Just google your city or town and organic farming or grass fed beef and you will find some links.

And don't forget local cheese and other dairy products.  If you're lucky enough to have non pasteurized products in your area then by all means try them, but even if you don't, many small farmers make and sell their own and these are usually much tastier than what you will buy from a supermarket.

Give these people a call and see what you can set up to try their products.  May will encourage you to take a trip to come see their farms and this can make for a terrific family outing.

You might also find that you can buy smaller amounts as samplers to try before you commit to buying half a cow or something similar.  This is becoming common practice now in my area which is great to see.

Finally, I can't write a post on alternative food options without mentioning a new site that is doing phenomenal work in helping with food awareness.  Unfortunately only in the US at this point, I can see this spreading because it's such a great idea.

At http://www.realtimefarms.com/  they believe "whether you are looking to eat out or eat in (you have a right) to see your food, learn how it was grown and visualize the journey it took to reach your table."

It only covers a few areas right now and is not aimed just at Paleo eaters, but since the whole idea is to give you the ability to find the grass-fed producers and the organic vegetable producers and even the restaurants that use these ingredients so you can choose exactly what you want to eat, it's a perfect resource for us.

Cara Rosaen from RealtimeFarms gave a terrific TED talk in Manhatten on why food transparncy matters which you can watch here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XZUidbcwuc


Out of all these options I've laid out for you, I am sure that you can find something that you are comfortable trying.  The main idea here is to get away from buying all your food in sterile supermarkets and try getting some of it directly from the producer.

Supporting your local farmers in this way will go a great way to making healthy organic grass-fed local food available in more and more localities. The more of us make an effort to support alternative food producers with our wallets, the bigger a difference it will make.  

Being part of this change for the better is certainly a good reason to say ....

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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