Going Back to the Roots

Updated: Mar 26, 2019


Do you ever feel disconnected from your roots? or Are you not sure where your roots come from? I have to tell you, I was beginning to feel disconnected from my roots. However, I didn't even realize it was happening. Today, I'm going to talk about what is helping to bring me back to my roots. Thus, creating a healthy lifestyle.


Welcome back y'all. For those who don't know me. My name is Sarah Swan. I first want to apologize to those who do know me, for not being as active as I would like the last couple of years. One, learning how to do this blogging thing hasn't been easy. However, I spent the last couple years basically collecting content, learning along the way, while living a good life. For example, I grew a container garden from seed and I taught myself how to bake. Gardening and baking, two of my major highlights of the last few years, that is helping me back to my roots.


Back to my roots. "What do you mean by that?" You're are probably thinking. You see, I'm talking pretty literal here, about where I come from. My roots, which span from the Indigenous Americas/Canada and the Island of Ireland. My Mother's people are farmers and survived the potato famine. I blame this for my ability to hold onto fat. My Father's people are from the Yakama, Chippewa, and Cree Nations. You probably learned in Social Studies as hunter/ gatherer peoples. Which is legit for my peoples. However, not all tribes are as such. Many tribes were farmers, herders, and among other things. Why is this important? It is important because it where I come from. It is why my DNA is built the way it is. I feel, there is definitely a connection to this, why I hold onto fat.


With that being said, I have been overweight my entire life. I was 9 lbs 8 oz at birth. So, when I say my entire life. I'm serious. My entire life. Well, for the last eight years. Pretty much right after I delivered my last baby which was 8 years ago, I have been on a weight loss journey. I have pretty much done every diet, including weight loss surgery (has since been reversed) to "cure" my obesity. I still haven't found the cure. Yes, pretty convinced there isn't one. However, I have found several so called "diets" that do work and have substantial health benefits.



Keto Zuppa Tuscana Soup and Ceasar Salad

The Keto Diet


I was very successful with the Keto diet. I will share several Keto recipes as this blog grows. I loved this diet. However, my only downfall with the Keto diet was, you can't cheat. It is very restrictive. If you do cheat you will gain 5-10lbs. Although, I followed this diet strict for over one year and lost 40+ lbs. I pretty much have fallen off now. I haven't gained all the weight back. Actually, my jeans still fit (the deciding factor if its about to get serious or not).


Although, I have not been eating well these past few months. But, I haven't been eating bad either. Which, I feel this Keto diet has in some way manipulated my metabolism because I have maintained my weight...bonus.


One other downfall I'd like to mention, I have found with the Keto diet is you can't Keto when you're sick. Meaning you can't maintain ketosis when your sick. This brought me back to the drawing table to find a diet that works for my life. I did a bunch of research. I found that any diet that is low carb and processed free is beneficial. Paleo, Clean Eating, Gluten free, Whole30 are all great diets. Its just about finding the one that works for you. Are you on one of the above diets? Do you have a recipe of any of the above diets you would like me to try? Shoot me an email. I will definitely try it.


Also, if your interested in the Keto diet. Check out the Ruled Me blog. Totally breaks it down and its free to join.



Paleo Samosas

Clean Eating Diet


So, What diet did I choose? First, I chose a diet that I can eat all the "First Foods" from our feasts. Meaning all of the roots, berries, venison, and salmon that is Indigenous to the Yakama People since Time immemorial. These contain all the nutrients our bodies need and will thrive off of. So, pretty much Clean Eating, Paleo, keto, etc all fit. Our Indigenous diet basically consisted of low carb roots and berries, good protein, and good fats (nothing refined or processed).


Also, I'd like you to check out my friend Emily Washines' blog: Return of the Wapato. This is a great read and talks about the return of one of our "First Foods" and the importance of Indigenous food sustainability, ecology, and culture. I was searching for a blog to link about our "First foods". I could of swore Jon David aka Nativeanthro had one, not finding it though. Maybe I dreamt it, haha. I'm not clairvoyant or anything but, I have a feeling if its not already written. It is either on his or Emily's do list to write.

In addition, to making my choice. I have truly decided that although, I'm still considered overweight. Actually, obese to put it in medical terms. I have maintained my weight, essentially. My vital signs and lab work are pristine. Ultimately, I'm more then OK with the size I am now. I actually love my body (Curves are where its at)! Mind you, my goal here is not get a chronic disease process like diabetes or heart disease. Plus, I want to instill healthy eating habits with my children. So, I chosen to follow a clean eating diet. So to speak. Clean eating, Paleo, and Keto authors will write about using organic, grass-fed bla bla bla. I just eat whole foods. Nothing processed or refined, for the most part. Aside from an occasional cookie every now and then. Furthermore, somethings I consume may be organic and when in season, mostly comes from my garden. At this time, I don't limit myself to purchasing just organic and grass-fed items though. I just can't. To be honest, its too expensive (Capitalism is killing our health). However, I do believe there is great benefits to eating and living organic. I feel as a people, we need to understand the importance. Last year my garden was essentially organic, if you were to put a label on it. The plan is this to grow more food this year then flowers. My hope is to not only grow and eat this food. I also, want to preserve this food for the winter (Awe snap bout to get serious). I will affordably be able to add organic foods into my life. Additionally, maybe most important. When the Zombie Apocalypse or the Russians come. I'll be ready!



Patio Garden 2018

Patio/Container Garden


Speaking of gardens. I learned so much from my garden the last few years and my children did as well. I also learned that all life's problems can be solved in a garden. Ultimately, you have to grow a garden first to understand.


Additionally, I grew up on a small farm. My grandpa Newt mainly grew alfalfa. He had us in his field changing sprinkler lines. He also had a garden that was a good half acre, maybe I'm exaggerating. But, it was a big garden. He grew everything. Anything he planted...grew. His flowers were especially magnificent. He'd have us out there planting, weeding, and harvesting. I hated it or at least I thought I hated it. He was determined to make farmers out of us. I was determined that would never happen.



Patio Garden 2017

Things changed a few years back. I grew my first garden three years ago. It was quaint and sweet. I just used starter plants that I had bought on sale at the local Shopko. Which is now being closed down. So, sad. Anyways, I put them in pots with some potting soil. Watered, talked, and sang to them daily. You know what...they didn't die. Oh snap, Grandpa Newt was probably smiling down from Heaven. He grew him a farmer!


Well, last year I decided to grow my garden from seed. I started several plants indoors. Then, then rest I just planted outside once the frost was gone. I found the only plants that are beneficial in planting indoors early are petunias. Everything else can just be planted about the first week in May outdoors. Again, last year my garden...didn't die. Maybe Grandpa Newt did grow him a farmer.


This year, I'm only going to start my petunias inside early. I'm actually going to do that later on today. I'll be writing a blog about that here, so be on the look out. I'm also going to attempt more vertical gardening to grow more food because it uses less square footage...win! I live in a duplex with not a lot of space. However, I make use of every inch. I had like 7 tomato plants that grew over 6 feet tall in a container on the the little slab of concrete I have in my backyard. It was quite rewarding in many ways. Nothing is truly better then eating a tomato you have grown yourself. I became true blue urban farmer! Yes, it is a thing. Be on the look out for future gardening posts.



Baking


I know, its kind of ironic when I just jumped off the Keto bandwagon and have jumped back on the Clean Eating bandwagon and that somewhere in between, I became a baker. Well, I have to tell you. When I was no longer able to pittle in my garden. I almost entered this dark place this winter. A place nobody wants to be. However, making cookies became therapy during this time. Yes, it is a thing.


It all started during the holidays. I was making Christmas cookies with the kids. A little off subject but, I would like to bring up, I'm the big sister of Lynn Swan. The Master and the current "Indigenous Martha Stewart". My grandma Charlotte Fiander Swan was the first to hold that title. Well, as luck may have it. I inherited most of her cookbooks, Lynn Swan's that is. Good ones too, like Martha Stewart and Julia Child. Well, I love Martha Stewart. She's one down lady! Anyways, it is her sugar cookie recipe with some modifications that has been a great success for me, for a chilled dough recipe. I also came across a no chill sugar cookie recipe that is fabulous. Do you have a sugar cookie recipe you would like me to try? Email it me, I'll definitely test it.


Cookies got me out of that dark place. I was able to get my creative juices flowing. While make a delicious cookie. Truly can't get any better then that. I know, contributing to the delinquency of unhealthy eating.


This is why I make fancy cookies. Fancy cookies equals expensive. Expensive means you probably can have just one. Just one wont hurt you (As long as its just one). Makes sense to me. Anyways, I'm going to try to master gluten-free and sugar free versions of these cookie as well. Do you have a gluten-free or sugar free version you would like me to try? Email it to me.


Also, If you your looking to order custom cookies for your next party or event...sign up for a free consultation here. I'll give you the low on prices and time for orders. I'm only allotting myself 3 dozen cookies a week. So, order in advance, my allowances fill up fast. Will ship throughout the US and will deliver locally.





Conclusion


In conclusion, now that I'm getting back into this blogging thing. I'm writing, that this isn't a weight-loss blog. Although, I may loose some weight along the way. I tend to do that. Ultimately, I'm going to focus on getting back to my roots through cooking, baking, gardening, exercise, and various forms of art. Thus, becoming healthier. I will share various recipes, diy, and gardening tips. If you got a recipe you would like to try email it to me. I'll definitely try it.


Furthermore, this may not be a weight-loss blog. However, I am promoting a healthy lifestyle. I feel our lives have to be whole (mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically) to really be healthy. I also feel going back to our roots (wherever they maybe) is essential. The future is Indigenous!


Furthermore, I feel, is where the challenge lies. How are we able to be balanced, centered, and Indigenous in today's society? How do you achieve balance in your life? How do you Indigenize your life? Are you Centered? How are you going back to your roots? Please leave a comment. I want to hear from you. I hope you all enjoy, subscribe, share and conclusively may you all walk in beauty!



Love, Peace and Frybread Grease!


~Nurse Sarah

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