A personal story: From Bread-is-bad ➡ Bread-Lover
Hello there, I'm Celeste! You've maybe seen me around before on our Instagram stories, or if you've come to the kitchen for pickup. If not, it's a pleasure to "meet" you here, and I hope we get to chat in the kitchen or at a market someday soon!
I wanted to share my story of being converted from a "bread-hater" to a "bread-lover" over the last couple of years. You might be thinking, "well you're married to a baker!" While this is now true, the man I met was a wine-shop-owning, come tech start-up CEO, and now turned sourdough baker.
For the last 10 years, I spent my career traveling Asia & Australia engulfed in the world of health, wellness, and personal growth. I had the privilege to work for some incredible brands and people in alternative health and personal growth space. I've learned from them, been inspired by them, and inevitably been influenced by them.
Some of the material that I was exposed to lead me to make a conclusion that "bread is bad"... full stop. No exceptions.
My personal journey:
For nearly 5 years, I eliminated a majority of the processed sugar and grains from my diet. I felt amazing, and of course, I was convinced that it was all to do with bread and sugar... those little evil things! 😉I had lost weight and was feeling great. Here's my "before" and "after".
"After" in 2015 (left), "Before" in 2011 (right).
What I haven't mentioned yet, is that coupled with the removal of grains and sugar, I was also doing an immense amount of green juice drinking, hours of exercise, and lots of deep personal work and lifestyle change.
I wanted to become very connected to the food I was eating. I wanted to know where it came from, the type of care that went into growing the vegetables, and how the animals were being treated.
So what is really to credit here? Was it only the grains and sugar? Hindsight has now given me the perspective to see there were many things in play that was impacting how good I was feeling.
After a couple of years living in Hong Kong, where it was very difficult to know much at all about the food we were eating, we moved to Australia. We were blessed to live in an area that had an incredible farmers market every Sunday. It's where we went to fill our spiritual cup; to get connected and to feel nourished. We had long chats with the farmers and they became some of our closest friends we had while living in Australia.
The shift in my bread beliefs:
My belief around "bread is bad" was strongly challenged when Ben and I watched the docu-series on Netflix called "Cooked" with Michael Pollan. In the third episode "Air", they talked a lot about bread & grains. They talked about sourdough and fermentation. It challenged my perspective on grains and gluten. I had strong opinions about gluten...
(I have a distinct memory of telling my brother, "Gluten is like glue in your gut. You shouldn't be eating it." Oh, how life is humbling.)
Inspired by Episode 3 titled "Air" of Michael Pollan's series "COOKED" on Netflix.
I dug deeper into the content I had access to through my work and found more "experts" that were supporting the perspective that the problem with bread isn't the grains. Including the documentary called "The Trouble with Bread" on Food Matters TV.
The problem with modern day bread is the synthetic fertilizers, GMO grains, and long lists of preservatives, emulsifiers, and enzymes to keep bread shelf stable. The problem with bread is everything that became popular after sliced "Wonder" bread.
From my studies, here's what the experts had to say that was in common:
- Eat bread the way it was done centuries ago, with the simple ingredients it was founded upon; Water, Flour, Salt.
- Eat fermented bread because as the grains are transformed through fermentation, the nutrients become more bio-available and easier to digest.
- Eat a balanced diet that is vegetable-focused, complimented with nourishing grains and sustainable sources of meat.
My personal conclusion:
Although I'm not one for labels and the dogma of the health industry, I like to consider myself a "qualitarian". I focus on eating high-quality ingredients and do my best to know where things come from. I've worked hard to remove the "good / bad" mentality around food, and to eat things that nourish my mind, body, and soul.
Gathering around a table with friends, family, and beautiful food is nourishing to my senses. My sight, my taste, my smell, and my mood. And sometimes the answer is chocolate because it is completely nourishing to my new-mom soul.
I never would've been on board with becoming a bakers wife and starting this business if I didn't fully believe in the product we're selling. After all, my entire career has been focused on helping people find their health. This is still a very strong passion of mine, and believe we are doing that here at Voyageurs.
It's been an honor and pleasure to share part of my story with you, and I appreciate the time you took out of your day to read this. I look forward to connecting with you more. It is the highlight of my week to talk to those of you who buy our bread. From the deepest place in my heart, thank you for supporting our dream and vision!