the slow food paradox

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Food is a huge part of life, and when you enjoy the process of making your own food it completely enhances the whole eating experience. For me, food is at the core of slow living. You are not only nourishing your body, but also your mind and your soul. However, the reality of cooking from scratch day in and day out, can be really hard work and the enjoyment can occasionally become buried under a mountain of pressure.

Last year as I slowly changed all of our pantry and fridge items from conventional to organic and from processed to raw, I realised that one of my biggest challenges was going to be breakfast. As I dropped an enormous box of  weetbix into the bin, it began to sink in. I had 2 weetbix kids. They loved the stuff. So I set to work researching, and I came up with what I thought were some amazing breakfast ideas. Over the following weeks I made loads of different types of granola. There was the sprouted buckwheat and pecan granola which took days to produce, a nut and dried fruit one which again took ages to make and cost a fortune, an almond meal version, a coconut based cereal substitute you bake in the oven… Then there were the nut based pancakes (which I thought were amazing – Apple Latkes), the coconut flour pancakes (awful), the egg and banana pancakes (not too bad) and so the list went on. I made cooked breakfasts with eggs done every which way, bacon, sausages etc…until the day my eldest son announced that he no longer liked eggs…I nearly cried.

With every breakfast offering I created, there was either immediate rejection, or complaints after a few meals. It was exhausting. Eventually I came up with a version of bircher muesli  (which they love – now) where the wheat free oats (specially sourced) are soaked overnight in raw milk (specially sourced) and kefir (which I make), nuts and seeds are added the next morning (all of which have been activated and dried), a biodynamic cultured yogurt is added with organic strawberries and blueberries (again specially sourced) stirred through. It sounds complicated, and it was – which is my point –  but it’s now become easy, and part of our normal.

The slow path is not necessarily an easy path, and this is where the paradox of slow living becomes evident. The choice to feed yourself well, means that much more effort is required to produce food, and this can become an enormous burden. For me the concept of slow living means stripping back the unnecessary pressures of life, drawing on my past and present life to understand what simplicity looks like, and then using that knowledge to create a joyful and peaceful way of being for me and for those close to me.

I love to cook, and the satisfaction of creating good food far outweighs the occasional  feeling that I have made a rod for my own back by choosing this food path. On the whole I am just genuinely thankful that food IS often a dilemma in my day – in a good way! Not everyone’s lives are this simple.

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