Thursday, May 21, 2015

[Opinion Piece] "Just wait until..."

All you prospective mommies out there (and I know quite a few of you). You're going to hear a lot of "just wait until..." from the moment you enter preggo-hood. Most people are trying to be helpful and don't realize what doomsayers they are being. You really don't want to hear that. You don't want to imagine that things can get "worse" then they are at the moment. Sometimes you wonder what good there is in the whole process of creating and bringing a child into this world.

I was shocked when I heard these words almost directly after birth! From my midwife no less, within like twenty minutes! Wasn't labor it? That was the hardest thing I had ever experienced and you're telling me there is more? Yes, there is more. There are more challenges to face. There are some scary things you have to get through and most of them hurt a lot. And while all of this is true there is really no reason why you need to hear it. You'll get through it whether or not someone is there telling you to "just wait for it".  I'm just going to tell you real fast that you can get through them and relatively quickly. But in addition to a bolster of "buck up, it'll all be over soon" I want to list a few "just wait until"s of my own.

Just wait until you feel that little heartbeat against your skin for the first time.
Just wait until you smell her little head.
Just wait until she opens her eyes and looks up at her new mommy.
Just wait until your husband gently kisses you and tells you how proud he is of you.
Just wait until she's home with you and you all of the sudden have someone wholly and wonderfully in love and dependent on you.
Just wait until she gives you that first smile (I know that its just gas but I couldn't help but squeal anyway).
Just wait until she finally "gets" breastfeeding.
Just wait until you actually get excited about the shear scale of poopy diapers she's dishing out for you (who knew the color of poop could be so comforting).
Just wait until grandma starts singing the lullabies that she sang to you to your little angel when she's weepy.
Just wait until she's sleeping in your arms.
Just wait until she lifts her little head to look around at the world.
Just wait until she starts mimicking your face (and making the strangest faces of her own).
Just wait until you comprehend how strong you were (it takes a couple days).
Just wait until your husband tells you that you're even more beautiful now than you were before.
Just wait until all three (or more) of you are curled up in bed together just smiling at each-other.

All that and more and that was just the first four days...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

[My Little Homestead] Getting started with our health...

It has long been my goal to be a modern day Homesteader. Thankfully I married a wonderful man who supports this goal as much as I do! With perhaps the exception of ever owning a goat (don't worry, I'm working on him). However my lofty goals of buying land, building a mortgage free dream home paycheck to paycheck, producing almost all of our food and energy within the boundaries of our land, and having a quiver full of children to help me out are all pretty heavily future tense. 

Right now I'm twenty-two, 40 1/2 weeks pregnant with my first (a little girl), and living in what might be the smallest apartment available in our college town. Right now that future (though apparently in a five year window) seems decades away from being realized or even started.

So rather than play that age-old waiting game (I thought that was over when I found my husband but it just gets worse!) I have decided to start my homestead now. In four little jars. I have decided to start sprouting all of our bread!

The whole point of Homesteading is to return to the land and become self-sufficient, or as self-sufficient as your situation allows. It is also a health movement. Return to eating traditional and traditionally prepared food. This means properly preparing your grains to allow them to be as nutritious as possible for you. You can do this through fermentation or souring (sourdough breads) or through sprouting (essene/raw breads). So I'm starting small.  

I am doing what I can to get my family and myself on a traditional foods diet based somewhat on that of Weston A. Price's research and my own (this in a nutshell). This is a process and awesomely requires that I take on a bit of the inconvenience of producing my own food! So essentially, in the smallest of ways, I am homesteading in my tiny apartment! 

So lets talk some numbers real quick if you're curious. We already know that it's going to take more time, that's a given when you're starting from scratch. I have decided that my family's health and our self-sufficiency is worth my time so I'm calling my labor free. The ingredients to the sprouted bread I am producing are what you see in the above picture. You blend the sprouts, form a loaf, bake the bread and that's it. So it all comes down to the cost of my Red Wheat Berries. 

We purchased 26 lbs of Berries for around $16.00. I plan on making one loaf out of all of these sprouted berries above (1 1/2 C dry). That means each loaf I make costs me around $0.37 and since we probably will eat around one and a half to two a week I suspect we'll spend about $35.00 to $40.00 on bread each year. 

The so called "whole-grain" bread on the shelves is actually pretty much heavily processed flour, ground to the point that it acts like sugar, with a make-over so it's not white. They usually add molasses to get that "whole-wheat color". Each loaf of that ranges from $2.50 to $3.00 (because you try and buy the healthier options right?). That adds up to $260.00 to $312.00 each year if you go through two loaves like Justin and I do. 

The sprouted bread is far more nutritionally sound and much easier on your system than the processed stuff on the shelves. So for far superior nutrition and much heartier real food I'm spending $220 to $272 less each year. Yes, I'm putting in more time. Yes, the transition takes some getting used to before you're regularly producing your demand. But I'm a homesteader! Time to get used to the work!   

Once I have this on a regular schedule I'm going to have a go at lacto-fermented water! Known as Kefir [Kuh-fear] Water.