So about a month or two ago, I wrote an introductory article about Fluffy Butt Farms BC, and then promptly ran out of things to say. Figures. I've been feeling very guilty about it, but I don't want to write, just to write, I want to be sure I'm telling a story, or teaching you what I've learned. My writing is only somewhat entertaining when I believe in what I'm saying. So, I took some time to find the inspiration for a second article. And today I found it.
I'm currently on a plane leaving Mexico, and I'm also currently on my second round of Whole30. I'm a pretty good meal packer when I'm flying, but this time I made a meal that turned my stomach and I ended up tossing it all away. So I've been searching for two days to find compliant food. (For those who don't know what Whole30 is, you can visit www.whole30.com to learn more, or buy the book here, but it's basically a potential allergen elimination diet). My struggle to find food has been difficult, the airports are the WORST, since they cater to the fast food eating public. I like to tell people I stopped eating fast food the minute I got my driver's license. While that's not technically true, my consumption of it became very occasional. Then when I started to fly for a living, my consumption went back up, and so many of my old health problems came back as well.
In 2008 there was a proposition in CA to “Require that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely”, (https://ballotpedia.org). Before this proposition, these animals COULDN’T SIT DOWN, or lay down. (I had actually heard, this meant all chickens in California would be cage free, which wasn’t true until a recent 2018 vote that banned egg laying hens in cages by 2022. Go California!) I, along with many others, voted yes. I didn't actually know what it meant to be cage free until the vote appeared on the ballot. I did my research and discovered how these chickens were treated in cages, and really, even out of cages. It's terrible! So I started only purchasing free range eggs, or cage free if the latter wasn't available. This discovery opened up a whole world of, "what the heck am I eating"?! I started to learn more about the difference between "regular" produce and organic, and "regular" meat and grass fed, or pasture raised. I stopped buying canned and frozen foods, and only purchased fresh produce, and basically almost became a vegetarian.
Most of my problems went away, and I'm now off of all the medications I was on in my 20's. It's sad that I was on medication for health problems at such a young age. But, I've learned and I'm continuing to learn. Once I hit my 30's I realized how bad my sugar addiction was, right around the time I started following Sara Wilson with I Quit Sugar on Instagram. Her food looked so delicious, I was always drawn to the creations she came up with, and ALL sugar free! As it turned out, she had a whole company dedicated to helping people quit their sugar addiction. So I signed up! I followed her eight week detox program via her book, and she taught me so much, like frozen produce is actually good, it's picked at its peak and then frozen, so it's actually a wonderful option. And meat, when raised humanely, should be enjoyed in as many of your dishes as possible, and you really should eat the fat, it helps sustain you much longer. But more specifically, how to read the labels on the food I was buying. Did you know there's sugar in salad dressing? Why? WHY?! Chicken broth, mayonnaise, and so many other "savory" items. The program taught me how to recognize fake sugar and how to look for added sugar. By the time the program ended I was down 16 pounds, and ALL my ailments were gone. I had never felt so good in my entire life. I have since fallen off the sugar free wagon a few times, I love pastries, and it literally saddens me that they're off limits. I cannot just have one.
So, like I said I learned a lot from her and her company, but my personal struggles are still very real. So my mom suggested Whole30, while I don't agree with some of the things they allow you to eat, (dried fruit, processed foods), I do understand it. What I really like is how they have continued to expand my knowledge of the food I'm eating. What's even better, the meals I've made that are compliant have been so delicious, even the kids love them! With W30 I discovered even more hidden sugars, like in bacon and in many cured meats. There are some companies out there that don't cure with sugar, so I know it was a possibility. They go on to teach you about preservatives and how there are more natural ways to preserve food. I'm not yet done with my second round, but I can easily say that I do not look at the food I eat the same way. Not. At. All.
When Chris and I started dating, post IQS and pre W30, I was off the wagon, and struggling to get back on. What was worse, his eating habits. Diet soda, Mountain Dew, Sugar Free Monster, fast food, the guy was a walking billboard for all things that make us sick long term. In 2019, at the peak of my wagon struggles, we went to Italy and had a lovely dinner with my family from Italy. We marveled at the food, and how can they eat so much and be so skinny? One of my cousins said, "we cook, we don't eat frozen food", meaning they don't eat pre-made frozen food from the store. I said "in America, it's more about convenience", she said, "no, not what America does, what do YOU eat in your home". Wow, yeah, what am I eating? It's MY fault I feel like crap, it's MY fault that I'm ignoring the lessons that I've learned, and it's definitely MY fault I'm not making time to cook. It's not America's fault, so what if people make terrible decisions with THEIR food, it doesn't mean I have to mimic them.
Our dinner in Italy with my family, I believe we were done eating, but this could easily be between courses.
That conversation stuck with me, and I decided to make 2020 my year of feeling good, mind, body, and soul. But of course the pandemic hit and I lost control of everything. All of the sudden I was forced to eat cereal, and a whole bunch of processed foods that I hadn't eaten in years! From there, I ate more sugar foods, more processed foods, and drank more alcohol than the production companies could keep up with. My mental health took a major hit, and I contemplated getting back on antidepressants, I was annoyed by everything, exhausted, and cried all the time. We had spent most of the pandemic building our farm to help sustain us, and I wasn't reaping the benefits of the fresh food we had grown, or the animals we had raised. I loved the idea of it, but I just wasn't seeing the opportunity at my fingers. Then one day I stepped on the scale, I already knew how bad I was feeling, and my clothes weren't fitting, but I didn't really want to know the number associated with all of my problems. It was a slap in the face, I mean, I had done so much to educate myself on the food I eat, and I truly believe food, good and bad, is the reason why we are healthy, or sick. My experience in 2020 is proof. Proof it's our responsibility to make the right food choices.
When Chris and I started Fluffy Butt Farms BC in June 2020, it was because of me. The realization that I was relying on the grocery stores to feed me, and they had failed, it really scared me. Eggs were gone, chicken, beef, pork, all gone. So we went out and bought seeds, fruit trees, Chickens, meat rabbits and dual purpose goats. But still, we had to wait for all of our work to start producing food for us. By the end of Summer/early Fall, our chickens started laying, and our meat chickens were fully grown. The rabbits were coming of age and the goats were ready to be bred. So things would be changing, and soon.
We're now a couple months into 2021, and I'm back to making the right food choices for myself. In addition, while I was meal prepping dinners for the family, I got to use some of the food we had raised/grown. While I know it wasn't organic, and honestly, Fluffy Butt Farms BC will probably never be organic, I was confident in using it because I know how it was grown. I know that I desperately want to be an organic farm, but the hoops we have to jump through to become organic, are just not something we really want to do. But I can tell you, I love my chickens, and my rabbits and my goats. I want all of them to have the best life possible, I want them to have a natural life, more realistic to what they would be living in the wild. I also love to pick fresh produce and eat it without washing it, so it cannot be covered in chemicals, plus any chemicals we would have to spray, the chickens would end up consuming, since they love to eat bugs, and I like it said, I love my chickens. So maybe we won't ever be organic, but we will always do the best we can to grow and raise quality, good for you food. Because I truly believe that good, quality, real food, makes us feel good, and keeps us healthy and happy. I think my personal story is proof of that.
Until next time,