Energy Diet

The Picture of a Sustainable Diet

As I’ve mentioned, my family has some very good sources of sustainable food where we live: a milk machine on the nearby farm, Slovenian regions for olive oil and potatoes where we can stock up on a year’s worth of basics, and a food garden tended by my husband’s parents — apples and grapes are among the produce.

Going through my photo archive, I was amazed to find even more things connected to sustainable eating that we’ve done for many years. I’m so used to it that I don’t even remember them when the subject comes up.

For many years, we’ve spent a lot of our free days at our weekend house in neighboring Croatia, where every year during the end of April and the first part of May, it is traditional to pick up asparagus and eat it while it is still fresh.

Usually we prepare it with eggs…

In the garden near our weekend house we have a fig tree and in late summer we pick figs. Some of them we eat fresh, and some of them are cooked and prepared as marmalade.

In Slovenia, a lot of people also pick mushrooms, and so do we. Different sorts of them: porcini mushrooms are the most usual ones, and chanterelles are very often on our menu, but for me, the tastiest ones are morels.

Every year in autumn, we harvest chestnuts and roast them in an open fire. It’s a kind of social event in our family — we all gather together, peel chestnuts and talk and laugh a lot. On short, late-autumn days, it’s good evening entertainment.

My husband’s parents also have a home furnace on which they dry nuts from their orchard in Dolenjska region.

In my younger years, I didn’t know how to cook or bake, because I had a granny at home who took care of the food, but when I got married, and especially when I had sons, I was forced to learn cooking and baking. So now I bake different kind of sweets at home instead of buying them; for example cakes, croissants, muffins, etc.

When we were still children, it was not always possible to eat meat, because those were different times. And when we grew up, times changed and the problem with the lack of meat disappeared. So, in those days, some decades ago, we ate too much meat, without the awareness what it means for our health as well as for the environment, because of livestock farming.

Nowadays, our awareness rises every day, and so the eating habits change on daily basis. In last few years, we reduced the quantity of meat that we eat weekly and we increased seafood and vegetables, which are both usually on our table. Before the birth of my first son, I was vegetarian for some years and I must admit I didn’t miss meat at all. But when I got pregnant, some people said that not eating meat could harm the baby. So I started eat meat again, but every year less of it.

The trend in the last few decades is to reduce eating meat to a minimum, and I think that I myself could become vegetarian again without any problems. It’s just about changing the way of thinking and choosing food, and most of all, usually it’s just about the habit.

For any changes in our life we just have to decide in our mind to do it, and then it’s not difficult. Everything begins in the state of mind, and after that — everything is possible.

Comments

  1. Virginia Korleski
    United State of America
    March 7, 2011, 10:48 pm

    How true, out side of two or three things that my body can’t handle, mushrooms, are main two shellfish, and asparagus well, my father use to find along the road and he still grows some, we also had a large garden, so did our grandparents, I recall picking and selling berries, and I recall, my mother picking and sold a large batch of rhubarb, to a local business, and bought me a box of paper back books, second hand.

  2. barbara Paton
    victoria, BC, Canada
    March 8, 2011, 1:51 am

    Loved the photos of your family and the story! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Julian
    Sydney
    March 8, 2011, 4:45 am

    How brilliant; I grew up just outside of Trieste, on the Slovenian border, and that reminds me so much of my childhood. I can still taste those asparagus/eggs, only the two of us have any idea of just how delicious they taste 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mateja
    March 8, 2011, 11:34 am

    I’m glad you like it 🙂

  5. Terry
    Minnesota, USA
    March 9, 2011, 12:25 am

    Thanks for sharing!
    I will try the asparagus with eggs-my husband has a garden with asparagus growing in it every spring. He eats them boiled with butter, but I might even like them this way!
    Your life is interesting!

  6. julija
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    March 9, 2011, 3:54 am

    Mateja,

    slikce so čudovite, sam še ti manjkaš na njih :))))))
    mmmmmm kakšne dobroteeeeeeeee 😀

    Pozdravčekkkkkkk
    Julija

  7. bunnee
    calgary, alberta, canada
    March 9, 2011, 5:22 am

    verrrrrry cool post — you are so blessed. so descriptive & such an inspiration — i would love to visit!

  8. clipton
    March 9, 2011, 12:09 pm

    Great post! Your efforts at being vegetarian show an interesting path. Although cutting out meat and animal products is good for conserving energy and water, there are compelling health reasons as well. Here is a great movie that talks about such aspects. Unfortunately, I’m not sure when this will be available on dvd: http://www.forksoverknives.com/

  9. Mateja
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    March 9, 2011, 3:03 pm

    @Julija Jaz sem na drugi strani fotoaparata 😉

    @Clipton Very educational short movie. I agree with its aspects. I love animals and I believe that it was not meant for people to eat meat. I also believe that youngsters feel it much more that the old ones, because in their minds the change has already begun.

  10. Anna
    New York, NY
    March 10, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Seems like an idyllic sort of way to live! Thank you for sharing.

  11. Leon Toille
    Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    March 10, 2011, 5:37 pm

    I was raised on a farm and when we were young, potatoes were put in the house cellar in large wooden bins every winter, and they lasted all winter long until Spring…the local farms kept apples cool and dark and they lasted all winter too…these are whole foods and so much healthier…plus my suggestion is to avoid flouride or chlorine in your local water supply…(filtering will get rid of them)…too many problems, just start reading!!

  12. Areya
    Sacramento CA
    March 11, 2011, 12:10 am

    Simple, healthy, makes a family strong. Thanks for sharing.

  13. homeeeeeeee
    california
    March 11, 2011, 3:52 pm

    Cool ,
    Nasty food by the way i hate all three 🙁

  14. Paul
    Japan
    March 12, 2011, 2:53 am

    Nice life…

  15. Sherrie
    Richmond, VA
    March 12, 2011, 9:58 pm

    Beautiful – with lots of ideas! Thank you.

  16. Amy
    San Francisco, CA
    March 12, 2011, 10:34 pm

    Mateja,

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos! I aspire to entirely avoiding the supermarket myself. I feel that I will be able to accomplish that within a year or two. I don’t grow much of my own stuff yet, but I live in a very abundant area.

    BTW, you might like to consider reevaluating your stance on meat-eating and vegetarianism a bit. Some books that can help you understand the more updated information about health and these subjects are “Good Calories, Bad Calories” or “Why We get Fat” by Gary Taubes, “Real Food” by Nina Planck, and “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith.

    Thanks again!

  17. Natasa Markovic
    March 13, 2011, 5:52 am

    Lepo i za videti i procitati.

  18. Freddy Panes
    Philadelphia, U.S.
    March 14, 2011, 3:49 am

    Thank you for sharing your site. It is really good to know what is healthy and what we are eating. The U.S. food delivery system centers on supermarkets like the rest of the modern world but there are still farmer markets around and local growers and now that summer is coming this is going to be a great time. Thanks also for sharing photos of your family!

  19. Mateja
    Ljubljana
    March 14, 2011, 8:52 am

    Thank you all for your words of support.

    @ Amy Thx for book titles 🙂

  20. Christine
    UK
    March 14, 2011, 8:56 am

    My son & one of my daughters became vegetarian but now my son is vegan. He loves to cook and I must admit his meals are delicious. I could live without meat but I do enjoy fish.Farmed animals have to be fed.The land used to grow their food and for them to graze on could be used to grow food for humans.I have only a small garden,like many people in the UK but I grow what fruit and vegetables I can.