Balance

Values

We have spent space in several newsletters discussing the value added in the nutrients of grass-based meats and eggs. But the story is bigger than that. What we do at JVF is cleaning the environment and as these methods spread, they will have a significant effect across our American landscape. How’s that? It’s best explained through my grandfather’s story. He homesteaded with my grandmother outside of Lake Charles and established a dairy and vegetable farm known as “Fair View” (if you translate that into French, it is “Jolie Vue”, so now you know the genesis of our farm’s name). Fair View was an integrated farm, rotating the land between vegetable plots and grazing Jersey cows. Paw Paw brooked no middle men, milking his cows and delivering their milk, cream and butter directly to his customers in Lake Charles. Vegetables were sold to the local grocers. Chickens, ducks and pigs knew nothing about cages or pens. Dogs kept the predator population in check and cats did the same with mice and snakes. Nary a man-made chemical or artificial entered the farm’s gate. It was a healthy, self-sustaining environment that contributed to the good health of the larger environment in which it operated. We have modeled ourselves after Fair View in every way possible.

The Right Mix

If you are following the diet studies, a far more sophisticated lot than we have had in times past, you see that the big picture is this: get a healthy balance of grass-fed proteins, fats and complex carbs. Avoid processed and manufactured foods and simple carbs. Eat fruit in limited quantities (to avoid getting over your sugar limit) and as fresh as possible.

The protein and fat part is easy — you’re eating the right ones from JVF. Eat that until you are satisfied — calorie-counting is not necessary because these foods are self-regulating. When you have filled your body’s needs, it tells you to stop. Sugars have the opposite effect — when you have too much, the body calls for even more.

Add in some seafood and the right oils. Olive does it for me, but there are others. Seafood comes in as our weekly eating-out meal. The more complicated issue for most of us is the question of vegetables and fruits.

The right vegetables: vegetables that are high in fiber and phytonutrients are where you want to be. Here are some favored examples:

  • The lettuces and spinach, kale, parsley and arugula
  • Cabbage (my favorite)
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Mustard greens
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • String beans
  • Tomato
  • Snow peas

Fruits: limit these because of their high sugar content but include them because of their complex fiber and nutritional value.

  • All berries
  • ApplesCherries
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Oranges

The list of good fruits and vegetables is longer and can be found on the internet. The ones listed here are the most popular.

Take the sensible path to eating. Eat like Thomas Jefferson.

Julia Child

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
— Julia Child

Child is one of my favorite characters. She had such a zest for life in general, and cooking and dining with family and friends in particular. You see it in her cooking shows and feel it in her writing. Life was a party in Julia’s world. We could all benefit from her example.

So what did she mean when she said to take even moderation in moderation - a great line if ever there was one. Of course, she meant just blow it out every once in a while. Put your self-discipline aside momentarily. Our psyches need a little indulgence every once in a while. We are not made for a perpetually rigid lifestyle in my opinion. Discipline can only be maintained for so long before we crack. So plan for a little immoderation or you may end up with a lot of it.

In your dietary life, that means eating the abandoned things every once in a while because it’s something you grew up with and its taste triggers special memories. For me, that could be a Mrs. Baird’s fried apple pie with a heavy sugar glaze and a pint of whole milk, preferably from Oak Farms Dairy, followed by cheap convenience store coffee. My childhood home was in the yeasty jetstream of Mrs. Baird bakery on Holcombe and Oak Farms was still an urban dairy around Chimney Rock Road. So I get this instant burst of memorable pleasure, soon followed by regret over what I have done. The regret refreshes my commitment to eat well and for good health and happiness. Can six fired pies a year hurt me if balanced with good habits the rest of the time? I don’t think so. Try a little immoderation occasionally. We as humans relieve tension, routine and drudgery with celebration that sometimes goes too far. It’s a good thing - if done in moderation.