Real Food Journey
We embrace real food as a place for nourishment and joy, not for fear.
We take a look at popular diet myths and contradictions, and instead tell you how to love you food again.
The money is being used to help us take time out of the kitchen and in front of the computer.
All chapters have been outlined and many are in the process of being edited.
If you would like to see a small portion of the introduction (a rough, rough draft), it is below for you! Thank you again for your support.
Real Food Journey by Virginia Marum of Vert Foods
My real food journey
"This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a foot-print. It leaves a legacy."
-- Joel Salatin
Standing in a 1920’s wedding dress, contemplating purchasing a more opaque veil, even though it didn’t fit the design, or maybe even a costume wig to cover the copious amounts of my thinning hair. Simultaneously as I fretted, I adjusted the absorbable pads in the fabric lining used to prevent the mass amounts of sweat coming off my body from staining the dress. These were fashion arrangements that I had grown accustomed because I had gone almost four years of dealing with “issues,” issues that befuddled medical doctors.
Why was it when I drank wine my chest erupted with red splotches, eventually turning into burst blood vessels; why did my hair continue to fall out, sometimes in clumps? Or why was it that my neck would hurt so bad I would involuntarily shake my head side to side with muscle spasms eventually leading to a spinal tap and numerous blood draws with still inconclusive results?
Sixteen years later that wedding dress was never worn, and my personal relationships would also change, because much in my life was going to change, and finally begin to heal. This is my journey and how it all began and in the most unusual of places - my relationship with food . . .
My journey into real food was a long one creating by illness that for most medical professionals seemed possible to maintain but not to heal. As my symptoms got worse, and I tried to sift through all the information and advice, I realized there were more myths than facts, more misunderstandings than truths, and a lot of advice, but many of it was harming me more than helping me. Dissecting and understanding what exactly the words "EAT REAL FOOD" meant was a daunting journey especially for such a simple statement. How had it become this difficult to understand what food was, and where would I start in my own personal healing.
Almost twenty years later I am seeing that these myths have not only maintained but new ones have erupted. Why is it that food, food that grows freely and easily on the earth, food that has been consumed for thousands of years have become such a point of distraught for our digestion and our health? The answer is because we are still not eating real food!
As I uncover the myths and breakdown the advice and the fantasies, you will see that even that package of "artichoke hearts" is anything but "artichoke hearts," and eating real food means simply buying an artichoke, cooking it, peeling it and enjoying it. Eating real food means the beauty of the whole choke cooking in your house will bring beauty and numerous amounts of health, including the phytonutrients, that are lost in the packaged chokes, have now returned, and the toxins from the preservatives and the plastic bag has disappeared. And I hope to teach you how to add a nutrient dense hollandaise sauce to that choke to create even more delightful, joy filled nourishment!
In this book even though I discuss animal proteins and animal by products, in no means does this mean my vegan and vegetarian readers should feel they cannot take the real food journey with me. I spent the majority of my years dealing with my toxicity as a proud vegetarian. I made a shift to embracing real food animal products about six years into my journey, specifically due to the need to heal my gut (more of which we talk in detail in Chapter 6) and much of my research while focused on the importance of animal products in ancient cultures, my own journey focused more on my own rediscovering not of meat, but of plants.
This book is for all eaters, especially those that want to embrace plant life,and specifically in the world of vegetarians and vegans where I see many nourishment issues due to food choices, this journey is essential. Because while many plant only eaters feel as if they have made steps to be more connected to the earth, their food choices are often food product choices with very little connections to plants. And the dangers of being a vegetarian and not eating real food links to the gut distress and digestive issues that even meat eaters have, who decide their Juice Plus cereal bar qualifies as their daily vegetable and fruit intake, as opposed to eating actual spinach. Part of our journey is about embracing plants and their flavors as well as their nourishment. If you don’t like how broccoli taste, it’s because you have been cooking it wrong. And if cabbage makes your stomach hurt, it’s not the cabbage’s fault but how you’ve been taught to prepare and process it.
"Food is a strange breed- many don't have enough, lots don't appreciate it, and quite a few fear it. Food should bring you nourishment and joy!" – Virginia Marum, Vert Foods
I began this chapter in the middle of a huge storm on the Central Coast. This kind of weather, rain, is something new for us as we have been in a long and looming drought in California. While we wished for rain, the start of “El Nino” has begun with scary booms, crashes, hail, strong winds and torrential down pours. The awe mighty power of nature expresses itself as I begin my chapter on our disconnection from it all – our disconnection from nourishment and ultimately nature.
Humans have an amazing ability to believe that we are stronger, more capable, or better than nature’s abilities. So here I sit to write this chapter, strongly reminded that we are just a part, a small part, of this powerful system of providing, yet we have been a huge part in destroying it. I have spent a large majority of my researching and observations recognizing that the destruction of nature dwells in our relationship to food. We are not in need of healing ourselves into wellness but healing our relationship with food to provide wellness.
Next to air, food is the start of life. When our children are born, we look for them to have a suck reflex and their ability to latch on. Next to them taking in oxygen, this is the primary focus of a newborn’s life. We gauge their ability to thrive on how the child is eating, how much, and their weight gain. In other words, we recognize that the essential function of food is to nourish us, to help us thrive. Food is a primary source of our success on this planet; however, we have managed to disconnect from food, and make ourselves really sick . . . deprived. We have managed to forget every aspect of food’s grace on our ability to thrive in life, how it connects us to Earth and nature.
I spend a bit of timing dealing with caregivers and family helping them find connections to real food and finding a way to heal and be nourished. The same infants that care givers fretted over, now at age 2 are now eating toxic and processed food products, eating in the car while rushing to and from, or taking supplements to offset the lack of nourishment they are getting daily. In addition, in the short time (under a decade) of being involved in real food nourishment, I have seen huge trends in food intolerance testing as well as food related behavior disorders – parents are constantly telling me of the struggle they have with their children to be healthy, to even want to eat, or to enjoy food, and this is not limited to the children. . .this trend carries to growing teenagers and the care giving adults.
Trends include systems of deprivation, elimination diets, diet cults, MLM product based supplements, “quick cure all” pills, cleanses, juicing and shake diets, different types of fasting, all leading to a state of deprivation and lack of wellness in our culture, and somehow food became the center of the issues, or more so food products and food culture. So why are we so disconnected from food? Why is it that we have stopped coming around the table for communication, community, and nourishment? Are all of our wellness issues ONLY in the food we eat?
This chapter will explore 6 key elements to healing that relationship.
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