What’s wrong with making things from scratch? We make our own butter, vegetable stock, muesli (CADA), fishing bait (my partner is into making his own boilies), and cleaning products.
At 31 years of age apparently this is something that reminds them of their grandmothers, I also like to sew, including patchwork and crochet. But, there’s something to be said for getting back to basics, in a world where we’re surrounded by chemicals, intolerances and short cuts maybe we were already onto something. I remember my mum making pastry, making cakes from scratch and not out of a box. I remember growing up with my grandparents later on and my grandfather did all the cooking, he made our dinners from scratch, never used a can of tomatoes, always fresh ones, always cooked dinner and even grew veggies in our backyard. When I moved out of home an elderly lady I’d known since I was a kid gave me some recipes for cleaning products I could cheaply make at home, and although at the time I thought I wouldn’t go to the effort and it was easier for me to buy them, but they are so much more expensive, and they do the same job as household items we all have laying around.
I admit I don’t make all the things I could, I don’t always cook things from scratch and these days it’s hard when we’re all so busy, convenience often wins over. I think the trick is to just get started. Take a day aside and plan to get started, make an all purpose cleaner, a stove top cleaner, an oven cleaner, make some butter, veggie stock… Whatever you like, getting it all together is the main issue, then replenishing only needs to occur as you run out.
I think it’s interesting when you look at the past and the present, the elderly are living longer, they managed through the depression, they cooked from scratch, they had no preservatives, they planted their own veggies, made their own cleaners and never had the intolerances that we have.
I used to be the complete opposite to how I am now. I gained a lot of weight after school, after living with my grandparents and watching my friends have fast food, and junk while we had home cooked food all the time I thought our lifestyle was boring in comparison. Since moving out on my own and deciding I would live how I wanted to, I wanted to have all the things I though we had because we couldn’t afford it, I wanted to ensure I didn’t do without like I thought I had all those years. Now since eating what I wanted, and not walking the long distances I had to school and to bus stops etc, I have lost most of that weight, regained my health and I want to do more. I did so much research about foods, what we should and shouldn’t eat, since becoming a nurse I guess I’ve learned a lot about the body too, and what effect poor nutrition can have on us. People just don’t realise we can so easily make irreparable damage, even though technology and health advancements have come a long way there is still so much we just cannot fix or treat. Your health is all you have at the end of the day. You are your health, you are a representation of how you live, what you put into your body and how well you are. Being over weight isn’t always our fault, we can have hormone imbalances, and metabolic issues, but your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels can all be affected in a positive way if we make extra steps to look after ourselves.
When I was losing weight I started to look at what was in food, I worked with children at the time, and as result I was exposed to the issues parents have with their children being intolerant to foods and preservatives. It made me think about how we never had any of those issues when I was a kid, or I didn’t know anyone who did. In my family people have foods they don’t like, or they might have fussy tastes, but my father is the only person in my family I know of with an actual allergy, he has many allergies and I don’t know how my brother and I never ended up with a single allergy. So, as I was learning about what was in food and I started to eat better, I started reading about the effects some foods can have on our bodies, and how we react to exercise, what it can really do for us and seeing my changes. To begin with I only made changes to my diet, I lowered my serving sizes and tried to avoid certain foods, fast food, and heavy amounts of carbohydrates, and tried to totally remove sugary foods and drinks. My metabolism changed, it slowed and my appetite became smaller, as I lost more weight I started to exercise as it wasn’t the huge effort it had been. I started listening to my body, I only ate when I was hungry, and I paid attention to how I felt after exercise and used that to motivate my next session. Those are just things I could feel, however I went from being prediabetic to having normal blood sugars in addition to lowering my resting heart rate from over 90 to now it sis between 55 and 65. It’s amazing what small changes we can make to improve our health and wellbeing.
I honestly believe we need to leave some technology and advancements behind and get back to basics. We have had so much change over the years, but we never knew what the consequences were going to be. There’s something satisfying about old fashioned work, about enjoying the moment, making a healthy dinner for your family to enjoy, spending time with your family instead of working extra hours, enjoying each others’ company, and sharing a meal at the dining table as a family. I might sound old fashioned but I think we had better relationships with each other and with ourselves, when we weren’t face down in technology and eating out of a packet we bought through the window of our cars. Read a book instead of perusing facebook. Go for a walk instead of watching another tv show on netflix. Get out into the sunshine, enjoy the weather, the feeling of the warm sun, the smell of the pollens and the feeling of the footpath beneath your feet. I’m getting my bicycle out this week, getting some air in my tyres and riding down the road with the wind in my hair. The way we did when we were kids, and carefree! Who said you can’t enjoy yourself when you’re over 30.