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revisiting the way we eat

Food is something I think about often. Despite the many different aspects and avenues throughout that topic that my thoughts travel down from day to day, there’s been one particular topic that I seem to be tangoing with lately. That thought is how we eat and more specifically what we eat and when. Last spring I rambled on about how we made the switch to eating grass fed meat and drastically reducing our grain consumption, and life seems to be continuing to push us down that path.

About two months before Sorrel was born we were busy…I was tired…and some “easy” foods started sneaking their way onto our table. It appeared in limited quantities, but it was there none the less. A few boxed nut milks, a box of “healthy” cereal, a couple loaves of gluten free breads, some gluten free pasta, and {dun, dun, dun{ grains were back in just like that. AND we all felt starving and hungry five seconds after eating. AND everyone’s teeth started getting major teeth decay. Sigh.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the past couple of weeks, brainstorming, and planning ways to get us all back on track. I won’t claim to be eating the Paleo Diet 100%, or perfectly following Weston Price or any labeled way, but those two modalities seem to be the best way to describe the path we are on.

My Goals:
~eat what we can grow
~eat as much as we can from other local farmers
~eat humanely raised grass fed meat and pastured chicken from local farmers
~eat nutrient dense meals rather than empty carb high glycemic foods

My quest began with an email to a friend. she gave me some helpful hints and things to think about since her family has been eating this way for years…never getting one cavity! Lucky them! Then I got started list making. I am a list maker. I make lists all the time.

Things to Drink
herbal teas
bone broth
beet kvass

Things to Cook With
bacon fat
coconut oil
olive oil
celtic sea salt

Things to Do
take cod liver/butter oil capsules
make lard
make bone broth
incorporate more fermented foods (kim chi, sauerkraut, pickles etc.)

Most of the above we have and incorporate into our diets anyways, but every time those grains sneak in it just seems to throw something out of proportion for us.

Second I make a list of seven different meats for a weekly meal cycle. That right there makes it so much easier for me to create a weekly meal plan. My plan is to have four different meal plans to cycle throughout the month. Each week’s dinner will be based off of one of the seven meats, but will vary in actual meal/recipe. I also wanted at least two of the meals to be crock pot meals.

Seven Meal Bases
stew beef (crock pot)
roasted whole chicken (crock pot)
ground beef
chicken tenders/breats
ground turkey/pork

Third, I wrote out meal plan #1. Then I got to thinking how nice it would be to have it organized on here to find when I need it…and that maybe someone out there might find it useful too…and that’s how this blog post came to be.

Meal Plan #1

Day 1
Breakfast: breakfast sausage patties with apple slices
Lunch: meatballs with sauce and a large salad
Dinner: beef and mushroom stew (in crock pot)

Day 2
Breakfast: paleo pancakes with apple butter
Lunch: hot dogs and saeurkraut
Dinner: pan fried steaks, roasted delicata squash and sauteed garlic spinach

Day 3
Breakfast: sausage, pepper, onions, garlic breakfast scramble
Lunch: veggie one pot stew
Dinner: roasted chicken (crock pot) acorn squash and sauteed swiss chard

Day 4
Breakfast: Banana Maple Nut Muffins and bacon
Lunch: leftover chicken salad salad
Dinner: Pumpkin Chilli with Avocado cream and salad

Day 5
Breakfast: Canadian bacon, egg and goat cheese muffins
Lunch: hot dogs and sauerkraut
Dinner: salmon with sundried tomato pesto, roasted potatoes, and garlic sauteed kale

Day 6
Breakfast: sausage veggie scramble/eggs
Lunch: tuna salad salad
Dinner: chicken pot pie

Day 7
Breakfast: paleo pancakes with apple butter
Lunch: veggie one pot stew
Dinner: meatloaf with veggies

I am totally not affiliated with Health Bent at all, but love love LOVE every single thing we have made thus far off their website. Thanks to Ginny I found Molly’s grain free granola that I am going to have to include in my next meal plan. After the major craving for sugar passed by I felt great. I don’t have the fermented cod liver/butter oil capsules yet, but I still had the fermented cod liver oil on hand and have been taking them. There was lots of snacking on green smoothies, apples, bananas, chocolate chocolate chip cookies, meat sticks and carrots and nut butter in between meals, but over all I feel like week one of meal planning was very successful for us. The complaints from the kids of feeling they are starving have waned thank goodness. On top of everything it helped us to stay organized and not wonder what we were going to eat for dinner at 6 o’clock!


  1. Hello,

    I love reading your blog. I too have five kids. Hoping for a sixth. I am vegetarian. I try to do mostly vegan but I do use some eggs, raw milk, and greek yogurt. I am wondering what made you change your mind about eating vegan/vegetarian? After reading The China Study and Whole, Forks over Knives, Eating Animals etc. I feel that eating this way is the best way for health. I have been a vegetarian/vegan off and on my whole life. The only thing I noticed about eating meat was that when I was working out at the gym, eating a high protein diet and veggies helped me take off body fat more than a vegan/vegetarian diet that is high in carbs. I have cut back on grains because of Celiacs. And I am losing weight. I use a lot of Paleo recipes that don’t include meat. When I was eating a lot of protein though I was having kidney issues for excess protein consumption. How did your pregnancies go when you were a vegan? I had a homebirth for my fifth and if I am blessed with a 6th, I will do the same. I never went through a pregnancy totally without meat….. I dislike the taste of meat to begin with and have had issues with eating it ever since I found out what meat was when I was a young girl. Never the less, I have eaten it at times for many reasons. Nice to see others working so hard with their family like you are. Its not always easy to feed them healthy foods instead of convenience foods and homeschooling etc. I also homeschool. Again, I am enjoying your blog.

  2. It’s so weird to see you write about meat! lol

    I have been trying not to make as many carbs with our meals, too. Mainly at dinner, I just don’t feel like I HAVE to have a carb with each meal. A nice piece of meat for everyone and healthy, flavrful veggies on the side, accompanied by a crunchy salad…it’s very satisfying.

    Thank you for sharing some good recipes!

  3. Its so strange when you follow someones blog and as of course you are quite similar to our family .. But I really had no idea we were this similar. This is exactly the same diet as we follow too :))) Thank you so much for putting this together it saves me doing one for a while.

    When you make the cookies from Health Bent, what sort of cocoa powder do you use?

    I think the unsweetned would be the better one to use, but is it too bitter?
    Thanks Sue (UK)

    • I love how that happens! Yes, I do use unsweetened cocoa powder and the cookies do not turn out even the slightest bit bitter!


  4. Lisa, you’ve just laid out exactly what’s been on my mind too. I’m going to use your outline as a spring board for inspiration, thanks so much for taking the time to post it!

    Sending farmy hugs your way xxx

  5. Hi Lisa,
    Food is really important in our home too. We eat a diet that is very much like a hunter-gatherer diet. We don’t eat grains, sugar, or beans. We eat nutrient dense meals. We love beet kvass and bone broth and take cod liver oil every day.
    It’s been a long process, but we are feeling better and better all the time.

    Love reading about what you’re making.

    Love, Taryn

    • I think the hunter/gatherer mentality is a great way to put it Taryn. An oh so important for the future and health of our planet!


  6. Annielaurie says:

    Have you tried this:

    My kids LOVE it. I love that I can change the seeds and nuts. I’m nota stevia kinda gal, so maple goes into ours.

    Love the sweater Lisa. Power to the mamas of lots o kids ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Oh thank you for the link!! I will have to check that out and include it in one of my next meal plans! I also found a fun raw fruit bowl for a good breakfast idea/alternative.


  7. you just saved my behind. i do sooo much of this anyway but like you, let little “healthy” prepared food items sneak in and well, we all know how easy it is and how it can overtake your best efforts. bookmarking your meal plan. thank you!

    • Part of me thinks that there just has to be some major organization going on with a large family! It helps in so many ways…and food/meals is a great place to start.


  8. thanks for the links lisa! so glad you like the recipes. your page is beautiful, jealous of the farm!

  9. Moriah Guild says:

    Wow, what a great post Lisa:) we’ve been incorporating fermented foods into our diet more and more as i found that noah is sensitive to dairy. and the probiotics i started giving him and the kambucha we make cleared up his symptoms! and i’m so excited you’ve shared your recipe for kimchi…that was next on “my list”. and i’ve been seeing the same grain slump with our boys…seems like right after they eat, they’re hungry again in oh, a half hour or so. and me too. we’re definately meat eaters, but i can totally see we’ve got to cut back on grains…and like you said eat more dense/nutrient rich foods. thanks so much…your blog is always so helpful and uplifting:) and your food pictures so beautiful…beautiful family too:)

    • We were making our own kombucha for awhile too. Jason loved it. Then we did some kefir. I really should add that back on my list. Thanks for the reminder!


  10. Don’t forget me!!!

    • That was in response to Marie’s message and your response. :)

      So, the capsules – are you guys to grossed out by the liquid FCLO & BO? They’re sooooo much more economical than the capsules.

      Another money saving tip: get your hunting licenses! You can’t be more connected to your food than to have hunted it yourself. :)

      • No, you are completely right Erin. The liquid would be much more cost effective overall. Thanks for the reminder! Would you suggest to just take it straight or put it in something?


        • Definitely take it straight because it’ll just ruin whatever you mix it with. :) I haven’t given it straight to Sebastian yet but I mix it into just a dab of yogurt or applesauce or even mashed up banana because I mix in his butter oil, D drops and chlorella as well – and can you believe he asks for MORE?? But the rest of the kids and I have always taken it straight. Cinnamon has been our longtime favorite; much less gross than other flavors, we think. :) And the raspberry butter oil is way better than the plain – I never thought butter oil would be gross, but it is. Whatever you do, DON’T get the unflavored FCLO – it’s beyond disgusting.

  11. Wow! You are so organized. I have been meaning to write up a menu plan. You have inspired me to get it done. We also try to eat paleo-ish. I have a difficult time finding recipes since we have sensitivities to eggs and dairy as well as grain. Please let me know if you come across any resourses for egg, dairy and grain free cooking. Thanks! I love reading your blog!

    • We don’t really do dairy. If there’s a recipe that calls for it we use coconut milk or a home made nut/seed milk. I alternate and vary the nuts and seeds that I use to vary the nutrients…sesame, sunflower, almond, cashew, etc. Egg is a tough one. I cannot eat eggs alone, but luckily I can handle them if they are cooked in something. Do you know if it is egg whites or egg yolks that bother you? Here’s a good article:

      Also, just keep it basic. Meat and veggies for all three meals. Fruits an seeds/nuts for snacks. It will just be basic basic, which is good!


  12. Dear Lisa, You know I have always respected your food choices and awareness. Wow, you just zoomed right past us in the meat eating area! I feel like I really need to get better at this. I know there aren’t a lot of people around saying “we really need to eat more meat”, but for us it’s definitely true. It’s great that you have so many humane and sustainable food options available to you. It is pretty good for us here too, but as far as meat the variety is somewhat limited. And as you know, just because we are not vegan anymore doesn’t mean we are any less particular about our food choices, it seems actually that we are more particular than ever. Oh, and a few packaged foods have come into our home during this pregnancy too, some sprouted grain granola (my breakfast or snack with raw milk) and some seedy crackers, they are the compromise for now. The only cooking fats/oils that we have used in the past few years are organic cultured butter and occasionally coconut oil (mostly for baking) and rarely olive oil. I have thought of making ghee.
    Well I have been meaning to write to you these past days so I will save the rest of my rambling till then. Just so happens I was going to be chatting about food anyhow, and also I have something kinda special I wanted to tell you, so I will try to be in touch soon. (Oh, and I am going to make meatloaf tonight!)
    Hope you are all very well, thinking of you often… Love, Renee XO

    • Oh the suspense! I can’t wait to hear from you! I’ve been thinking and wondering about you ever since we left off our convo about you heading off for an appointment with your midwife!


  13. OMG! Are we on the same page or what???? Those pesky grains started coming in our house too and I went to the dentist with a couple of cavities! WTF! Never had them before in my life! Also started looking into cod liver oil and butter oil. How funny is it that we are miles and miles away and having very similar stuff going on! Love you!!!!!! P.S. Saw Mary yesterday at Wegmans- she looks amazing!!!!

  14. Wow! You’re super organized Lisa! I do a list once a week and post it on the fridge (on an erase board) and each night we choose what we’d like to make. We eat mostly like you guys but we do eat rice and quinoa. Is quinoa considered paleo? I’ve never made lard either. Do you ever make your own paleo bread or is there such a thing? Anyway, thanks for the link to HealthBent. I’m always looking for great recipes! Oh, those paleo pancakes sound a lot like the sweet potato falafels I’ve made which are super yummy!

    • We do eat quinoa occasionally. It is considered more a berry than a grain, so I guess that makes it paleo. I make brownies, banana bread, and muffins paleo, but never thought about a regular bread bread. I did see one packaged advertised somewhere though.


  15. Hi Lisa,
    I love this post. I’m also rethinking the way we’ve been eating. We are very far from the way that I’d like to be doing things. Time and energy are always in short supply, so researching can be difficult. Your post was helpful in that it helped me to refocus, and you have some good strategies that feel comfortable to me. I’m a huge list maker too! I’d love to come in the spring as well. Maybe we can all come up together, and help you guys out some. I’m sure it would be educational for us! We’ll see what works, but in the meantime, love from all of us to all of you:-)

    • I hear you. There are some days where I wonder what one does with their day who doesn’t spend the bulk of it in the kitchen!


  16. Hello dear Lisa,
    You are not far from my thoughts these days. I love the way you are focusing your family, and I am in the same process — refining my goals of always having bone broth and soup going, substituting bone broth for morning coffee. Cooking mostly what I can glean from local farms and from my own garden, and making more of leftovers. I’ve also been supplementing with magnesium, since most everyone (no matter how we eat) is deficient and it is so critical. Sadie gives her love to Bella, and Chris and I give our love to you all. I’d love to come up in the spring and meet Sorrel.

    • Yes! Magnesium…something I should definitely think about! Why don’t you come up in the spring and we’ll go have a pow wow over at Shannon’s farm?! I’m waiting for you to do that you know!


    • Hi Marie (and Lisa)
      Could you talk more about bone broth and how you make it, use it, etc. Keep hearing about the health benefits, but not sure how to put it into practice yet.


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