Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Farming and Calories

When you are farming you can throw all those calorie recommendations out the window. Farming/Homesteading drastically changes your need for food and the kinds of food that you need. When I started to try to find out why I was so tired all the time, I began to realize that my lifestyle had changed and so had my need for dense calories. I work hard and in turn burn a lot of calories. In fact I found a great little calorie calculator online here. I like this one because it has activities that I actually do like farming/feeding livestock. Yes that is listed. So I put in the things that I normally do in a day or similar activities with similar motions and here is what it looked like for me: Activity Calories burned Showering 89 Walk / run play with kids 166 Raking lawn 166 Walking 3 mph 183 Mopping 189 Washing dishes 189 Standing 200 Cooking 222 Housework 244 Soccer casual 294 Construction/Remodeling 488 Sleeping 544 Farming/Feeding livestock 599 Garden 683 Total Calories Burned 4,256 So on an average day without any extra this or that I burn around 4000 or so calories a day. Well, when I ate a piece of toast for breakfast, a big meal for dinner and typically just some leftover vegetables for supper you can see that I really didn't consume many calories. Certainly not enough to maintain a normal day, much less a really busy hard labor day. At the time the average calorie intake for me was something like: Bread, white, toasting 180 Milk, goat 336 Rabbit, domestic, roasted 335 Beans, green gram, mature, cooked/boiled w/salt 212 Mashed Potatoes, prep f/recipe w/whole milk & butter 237 Eggs, hard bld, lrg 155 Banana, fresh, extra lrg, 9" or longer 135 Cheese, goat, soft 80 Tea, iced, sweet, w/o lemon, ready to drink, bottle 400 Coffee, French, w/sug, inst pwd 188 Rough estimate on calorie intake- 2258 So as you can see that was a full 2000 calories less than what I was burning. Not only that but if you notice a large portion, 588 calories were in my tea and coffee. Hmmm, no wonder I never had much energy and was burned up by noon. I made some changes and I have more energy and feel like doing the work I have to do. Without going through the whole list my current avg. calorie intake is roughly 2756 calories. However, the majority of my calories come from healthy animal fats and protein along with nut fats like coconut oil (I take 1 teaspoon per day) or peanuts/pistachios or pecans. I eat very few carbs, typically only one piece of bread a day and limit my fruit intake as well. I feel better and I have more energy to get through the day. Some days I do crash after lunch and I attribute this to my ongoing thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue. However, it doesn't happen every day and typically only happens when I have had a very busy active week. So, I know you are thinking...what about all that fat. I don't do anything lowfat. First, I need the calories from the fat and I need the lasting energy from the fat. Second, since I gave up lowfat and vegetable oils my LDL cholesterol went down along with my triglycerides. My husband's did also and was actually told at his last checkup that his was borderline too low. I don't think there is such a thing, but that is what the doctor said. So our bodies are healthier because we are eating healthier fats and I have more energy because I am putting in more fuel of the right kind to sustain my work level. Another benefit to all of this is that I no longer have nearly as many migraines as I used to when my calorie intake was too low. I know that is what it was because the result was immediate with no other changes. So my whole point in all of this rambling is, if you are having a hard time keeping up with the work load and seem extremely fatigued from the homesteading/farming life then maybe you really need to take a hard look at your diet. You simply may no be getting enough calories and especially the right kind to sustain the level of activity that you do each day. This life is much different than sitting at a desk and you need to eat to work. Blessings, Kat

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