Eating Healthy Foods for Homesteading Success
(Part 4 in So You Want to be a Homesteader Series)
Taking care of a dream takes energy. It takes stamina, long hours, and strength. How do you maintain a body ready for the challenges presented by homesteading?
Eating healthy is the number one way to be a successful homesteader. You will need to fuel your body properly to tackle the jobs ahead. Entering the world of homesteading and becoming more self sufficient from a more sedentary, urban lifestyle may require some muscle building. Muscles require lean protein and calories from good food sources. If you rely on take out food on a daily basis, there is no better time to quit. Go to the grocery store and begin shopping for ingredients and not prepackaged, assembled meals.
Set aside time each day to prepare meals
Crock pot cooking makes your life easier.
Start by defrosting the meat the day before, placing it in the refrigerator. Assemble all ingredients and have them on your kitchen counter the night before. As you are leaving for work or chores in the morning, throw everything into the crock pot, turn the heat to low/ 8 to 10 hours, and come home to the delicious aroma of a healthy dinner.
Make a shopping list.
Check for food that has more than five ingredients in it. Eliminate these foods. You can learn to make these items using healthy ingredients. Planning your weekly food needs will help you stay on course to eat nutritious foods.
Many times, people confuse eating healthy with eating organic. Now, I do believe that there is a definite benefit to eating organic food, but, it is not the only way to consume healthy food. Buying local produce in season is one way to eat good food. Farmer’s Markets and seasonal farm stands are a great place to buy fresh seasonal produce. Some markets also have vendors that sell meats and cheeses.
Another tactic would be to shop the outer regions of the traditional grocery store. The outer most isles are where the fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy, and fresh meat are usually located.
Freeze or Can Extra Produce
When the growing season is going strong, freezing and canning the extra for winter can ensure that you are eating local healthy food during the off season.
Try to eliminate as much packaged food as possible. Hey, we all have our favorite foods from these isles in the grocery store. Look at them more as a treat, rather than an everyday answer to preparing meals. Try preparing your meals from whole foods and ingredients for a month. See how you feel. I am almost willing to bet that you will feel more energetic and healthy. Consuming a lot of processed sugars and preservatives eventually drags our bodies down. After a time period of being more aware of what was in the food we were eating, I actually now have a hard time eating something with a long list of ingredients on the box.
In order to take care of others you will need to take care of yourself. Whether you are taking care of children or livestock or both, if you are not taking care of yourself, you cannot be counted on to take care of others. Remember, bringing home livestock is a 365 day a year commitment. Fuel your body with the nutrition it needs and set the stage for success in your homestead plan.
You may also be interested in this post from Homestead Chronicles – Sweet Corn in the Dead of Winter.
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