In Disney’s movie Frozen, Elsa famously asked Anna, ‘Do you wanna build a snowman?’ For me, better lyrics would be ‘Do you wanna build a farm?’ and my answer would be a resounding ‘YES!’ Ever since I read Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, I’ve longed to build my own ‘Polyface’ farm. I dream of happy chickens laying eggs and pecking about their mobile pens, fat pigs (Mangalitsas, of course) foraging for acorns in the oak woods, sleek cows grazing in lush pastures, orchards and vines hanging with fruit, and colorful veggies and herbs in neat, tended rows in the garden. To me, it would be Eden itself, but it isn’t where my life is right now or may ever be.
That dream was rekindled with the arrival the other day of a review copy of The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Healthy Food by Diana Rodgers with Andrew Rodgers. This beautiful book is misnamed as a cookbook, although it is certainly that, with over 100 delicious gluten-free, farm-to-table recipes, arranged seasonally as the crops come in. The second title tells the bigger story — it is a complete guide to how to care for and manage livestock, keep bees, build coops and hutches, and grow your own paleo foods, whether you have a patio container garden or some land. She gives sustainable farm layouts suitable for as little as 1/8 acre or 1/4 acre, or 1/2 acre or a full acre. I have a full acre, actually a bit more, and don’t think it hasn’t got me to thinking about what I could do in my backyard!
The paleo recipes, alone, are worth the price of the book even if you have no ‘Green-Acres-is-the-place-to-be; farm-livin’-is-the-life-for-me!’ aspirations. But if, like me, you do have a just a touch of a ‘keep-Manhattan-just-give-me-that-countryside’ streak in you, you must get this book!
I have been chronically obese all of my adult life except during the times when I was competing in cycling, wrestling, judo and fencing. The big breakthrough came when I tried the Atkins diet but found it difficult to maintain. The bouncing back and forth between “diets” was taking a toll on my mental and physical health until I started using my research skills as a medical anthropologist to find the “truth” about obesity and weight loss. I went through the UC Davis Medical Center Nutrition program and met Stephen Phinney, MD and got a much better idea about the physiology of metabolism and fat cell retention. Reading through the diverse literature, I’m amazed at the number of charlatans and the gross ignorance of so many nutritionists and clinicians on managing one’s obesity. But, I did find several who knew what they were talking about and had effective plans.
To end this long diatribe, I wish to applaud Dr. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, Dr. Barry Sears, Dr. Stephen Phinney and the several others who have contributed to giving me hope and success in dealing with my obesity and type 2 diabetes. There’s no golden bullet for killing obesity but the research and programs these clinicians and scientists have contributed can help. The Protein Power program has worked the best for me. When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I wrote to Dr. Mary Dan Eades whose short response pulled me out of a sense of hopelessness. I’m sure she won’t remember it but I damn sure will–for the rest of my life. I’m turning 82 in a week and still armed with hope and controlling my carbs. Thanks.
Thank you for the kind words. We are delighted to know you are still living the healthy low-carb lifestyle and want to wish you a very, very happy 82nd birthday!