And I’m talking about me…not the children. 😉

One of the most important reasons I wish to homeschool my children:
Learning is fun, learning is enjoyable, learning should be voluntary.

I’m 20 years removed from college. And I’m having much more fun learning now than I ever did.

I remember being in school, especially elementary school, and thinking, ‘this stuff is so dumb.’ Grown-ups would tell me that it was; a) for my own good; b) gonna be useful later on; c) the price of admission (or some such wordage) for being successful in life.

Mostly, it wasn’t. Mostly it was a re-routing of a child’s natural curiosity into definable and testable curricular nuggets.

Now, I’m having fun. Learning new things should come out of interest, curiosity or necessity — or, best case scenario — all three.

I’ve just finished reading the book Real Food, by Nina Planck. I’ve heard about this book for a while now, but it wasn’t what I expected. I expected it to be more theoretical and less ‘substance.’ It was, instead, very heavy on (easily-readable) substance. And I found myself enjoying the whole thing.

I think I expected this book, like some others I’ve attempted to read, to either be a work of a ‘food purist,’ or a work that is so theoretical that it’s almost impossible to implement.

It was neither. Sure, Ms. Planck has a specific preference for ‘traditional foods’ which she would roughly define as something that we would have eaten before food became industrialized. But that doesn’t mean she’s a food snob. She likes food, all of it, to be as fresh and unmolested as possible. Along the way, she makes good, practical, points about caring about where the food comes from. And her observations about the environmental impact of industrial farms vs. small (traditional) farms makes a valid environmental argument.

I discovered, much to my pleasant surprise, that we are further, as a family, down the road of eating Real Foods, than I anticipated.

We already switched to:

– raw milk
– pastured eggs
– no hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats)
– no high fructose corn syrup
– very little sugar
– organic/natural produce or local produce, depending on season

What the author argues that is the most revolutionary for my brain — is the idea that saturated fats are not bad for us.

I expected her to say, ‘all things in moderation’ which she does. But she also says (and references many studies that seem to support her claim) that saturated fats are actually good for us and that to avoid them is perilous.

So, I still have much to process about the chemistry behind nutrition and digestion. I still need to learn more about the oxidation process — both that which happens in labs and in our bodies. And I still need to figure out what all this means to me.

But, that is the point. I didn’t read this book so that I could supplant my own ideas with the authors’. I read it so that I could bring new, and perhaps revolutionary ideas into my mind. I did it so that I could challenge what I thought and believed.

I read this book, like so many others, not to shore-up my beliefs — but to test them.

I got more than I bargained for, and am glad of it.

thoughtfully,
Mary

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