I am passionate (my husband Joe calls it obsessed) about feeding my family a diet filled with whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods. Even though passionate, our diet still has a lot room for improvement. I use the word diet but the way we eat isn’t a diet in the sense that most people think of the word. We choose to eat this way in a continuous manner. Not a diet that one might go on for a short time to reach their goals and then toss it out the window after that point. This is what I consider a life style as far as the way we eat is concerned.
We started this way of eating in January of 2009 after I read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell and Mary Enig. Our progress started very slow with adding one or two things at a time, feeling comfortable with that and then adding more. This has worked well for our family. It helps our budget adjust to purchasing higher quality ingredients which can be more expensive, it helps our older children adjust their tastes and it helps keep me from becoming totally overwhelmed and having my head spin off. Again, we made a choice to eat this way. If we were dealing with allergies or illness then we may have chosen to do things differently.
We strive to follow the Dietary Guidelines published by the Weston A. Price Foundation 85% of the time. Weston A. Price was a dentist who discovered the correlation between dental, physical, mental and emotional health and food. He determined (in a nutshell) that eating foods as close to their natural state was the key to good health. I highly recommend his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. One thing that really struck me in this book is that there is no ‘perfect diet’ but there are many similarities between the diets of the native people he studied. The Weston A. Price Foundation was founded in 1999 to share Dr. Price’s work.
We are currently a family of five living at home. Mom (that’s me- Millie), Dad (Joe), 19 year old girl (KiKi) college girl, 17 year old girl(Lulu) and our little boy (age 5). I have two older children no longer living at home. 25 year old (Sierra) lives in Oregon and second 24 year old Angel lives in a town nearby. We live around 10 miles from town on 2 acres of prairie (officially called High Plains) where the wind blows often (our house is located between two wind farms) in Wyoming. We raise chickens and ducks for meat and eggs plus goats for milk and (maybe someday) meat. We also have a turkey on occasion. We attempt to garden each year but have yet to have much success. We moved here in May of 2009 and love it!
I work from home part time as a bookkeeper with most of my ‘work time’ being early mornings, evenings or weekends and maybe a few hours a week during ‘business hours’ totaling about 15 hours a week. I also run a separate business as a virtual assistant from home which rounds out my work week giving me a good 35+ hour work week and I add in a few hours a week with as a distributor with It Works (I love That Crazy Wrap Thing!) to have full time employment.
This schedule is full but it does give me some flexibility to be able to prepare our meals and work on my kitchen experiments, garden, and tend to our poultry and goats. Joe works full time from 10:30AM to 7PM during the school year and 8 to 4:30 during the summer and has recently started his own business. KiKi is in college and Lulu attends public school. I try to do daily Tot School with Christopher. Things get a little busy/crazy here sometimes! I rely on menu planning and you’ll see that is a big focus for me.
When I started this blog my main goal was to share how eating nutrient dense and whole foods does not necessary have to cost more than eating a Standard American Diet. Over time our lifestyle has changed considerably. My focus is no longer just on food/recipes but more on our new lifestyle. This blog was originally titled Real Food for Less Money. In April of 2014 I felt that name no longer fit. Homespun Oasis is a more fitting name for this stage of our journey. I still share recipes, menus and other food related things but homesteading type things also. We’re building a new off-grid cabin based on permaculture principles which will be a heavy focus. We’re planning to move to our new place in July of 2015.
Why do we choose to eat real food? We started this way of eating because it made sense to us. Eating a diet as close to the way God intended food to be seemed logical. As a bonus we found that a few physical ailments we were experiencing were eliminated.
Joe and I both had a history of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and my little Lulu also had symptoms that suggested she would/could also be suffering from IBS. This fits since I started having trouble with my stomach around the age of 8. Over the years I had many tests, tried many medications and had several procedures. None of it was very fun! I never found anything more than short term relief until we changed our diet. I know, you would have thought that someone along the way would have suggested that my diet could be causing me stomach issues, but no one ever did.
As we started eliminating processed foods and cut down on dining out we all noticed our symptoms diminish. We do still dine out and eat non real food items on occasion which may result in an IBS flare-up.
I have discovered that I am more sensitive than I knew to certain foods and once menopause started for me (boo) many of my tummy issues returned. I continue to determine exactly what my ‘issues’ are and how I can be in my best health so my diet has changes to accommodate for this.
For the most part we try to follow the suggestion of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome (affilate link)
(1)“If you have decided to go straight into the Full GAPS diet, keep in mind that about 85% of everything your patient eats daily should consist of meats, fish, eggs, fermented dairy and vegetable (some well cooked, some fermented and some raw). Baking and fruit should be kept out of the diet for a few weeks, and then be limited to snacks between meals and should not replace the main meals. Homemade meat stock, soups, stews and natural fats are not optional- they should be your patients staples.”
While we are not grain-free (as a family) and on GAPS, keeping this focus in mind helps considerably.
Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor or medical professional. Information found on this site is for educational and informational purposes only. You should do your own research and come to your own conclusions for your health care and nutrition along with consulting a qualified health care provider. Any results that I post are from our experience only, your results may vary.
A note about photos: So here is the thing, I am most certainly not a photographer. I love to try to make a picture look nice to share with you. But most of the time, I’ve created the dish for our meal and 4 people are hanging off my leg saying “is dinner ready yet” (okay, probably only one of them is hanging off my leg) and it is very dark outside so I have to use the flash. The combination of those things provides me with an end result picture that is just so-so. Sometimes, I don’t even get a picture taken before my family has scarfed the meal down! In those cases, I use Flickr Creative Commons photos so you have something nice to look at on the page. It is my intention to always credit Flickr photos (plus it is the rules and I like to follow rules). If you ever see a photo that is of particularly good quality and you don’t see a link at the bottom to take you to the credit page, ask me about it. It probably should have one and I forgot to save the link or something like that.
Below are links to a few posts that will give you more information on how and what we eat and hopefully some tips to help you save money in your real food journey.
Visit my Recipe Page
Check out my eBook page
I have found some great articles by Real Food Bloggers on saving money while eating well. I’ve linked a few of them below. Some of the really good tips are in the comments. Do you have a favorite money saving real food article? Let me know so I can share the link.
The Nourishing Gourmet: Q & A Nourishing Foods for a Single Gal on a Budget (great info even if you are not a single gal)
Cooking Traditional Foods (I’ll just link to the entire blog since so much of it applies)
Frugally Sustainable: 50 Tips for Saving on Groceries
Keeper of the Home offers a $250 a month shopping list and menu plan
This Chick Cooks 5 Tips for Whole Foods on a Budget Wonderfully simple tips that anyone can implement.
100 Days of Real Food has Real Food Tips: 12 Ways to Keep it Cheap.
If you read something you like, don’t like or have questions about please leave me a comment or you can email me at realfoodforlessmoney at gmail dot com. I’m always open to suggestions and tips that work for you.
(1) Gut and Psychology Syndrome page 144