Photo by the lovely Kerry Sierveld of Images of Essence
I grew up eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) and never gave it much thought - that is just what we ate. As my son started eating solids, I remember trying to do better about making sure he got plenty of fruits and vegetables, but by the time he was a toddler, I was feeding him a steady diet of Pop-Tarts, Lucky Charms cereal, pudding cups, Kraft Mac and Cheese, Goldfish crackers and flavored yogurt. And I wondered why he was such a difficult child, throwing temper tantrums all the time. Duh. I'm not claiming that ALL behavioral issues can be cured with changes in diet, but I certainly was not helping my son by pumping him full of artificial colors, preservatives and sugar.
I'm not sure exactly what brought about the change, but soon after my daughter was born, I started really paying attention to WHAT we were eating and HOW it made us feel. My husband and I watched "Food Inc" and read books like "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. What I discovered was life changing for me, even though it seems so simple now. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. If we put junk in our bodies, we can expect junk in return (illness, mental problems, disease, behavioral issues, etc.). And so began our quest for healthier living in 2009.
After reading mountains of books about diet, health and nutrition, we have fallen firmly into the "Real Food" camp. We eat foods that our great-grandmothers would be able to recognize as food . We only eat foods with ingredients we can pronounce. We make most meals from scratch. We eat lots of delicious foods, like whole milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat, bacon, beans, homemade whole grain breads and tortillas, homemade granola, whole grain pasta, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. We may have a small food budget, but with careful planning, we eat like kings. And the best part? We feel great - my emotional/mental health has probably improved the most. Somehow along the way, I also lost 10 pounds without even trying - and I will remind you that we eat lots and lots of fat!
In 2011, we moved into our "new" home in the country on 3 acres (the house and barn are over 130 years old). As much as we loved our house in the city, we felt called by God to start a small farm so that we could grow as much as our own food as possible. We are faced with an overwhelming amount of work to get this old farm back into running order, but it has been such an amazing adventure. Each day, we learn new skills and put them into practice. We are regaining the wisdom and skills that were lost when our great-grandparents passed away. While we know we can never be truly "self-sufficient", we are working as hard we can to be a home of "production" instead of a home of "consumption". My husband continues to work a full time job, but it is our hope that I can become a farmer, in addition to my other duties, so that I can help contribute income. We have a long road ahead of us and I'm sure we'll have plenty of misadventures, but experience is the best teacher. Thanks for joining us on our journey!
To find out more about how Third Day Farms came to be, click here. You can also click here to discover why we are called Third Day Farms.