Last week, our panelist shared how they became interested in healthy and nourishing food. Many of you also shared your inspiring stories as well in the comment section. Thank you all so much! It was so interesting and helpful to hear the background stories of so many of you.
Now we come to the next question. “How did you make the transition to eating nourishing food? What challenges did you face, and how did you succeed?”
I hope that their stories encourage you that change can happen and it is possible. Once again, I would love to have you all join in on answering this question as well!
Nourishing Food Panel
We will start with Stephanie from Keeper of the Home
Slowly! Though I was eager to make the transition, I realized that realistically, it couldn’t happen all at once. There were too many changes to make, budget constraints to consider, learning curves to maneuver and new skills to develop. It was just too much, and so I chose a few things and started there.
The first area that we really committed to making a change in was switching over to entirely grass-fed meats, poultry and eggs. This was a tough one, as we were on a very tight budget at the time. What it meant was that we ate a bit less animal protein, but of a much higher quality, and supplemented it with lots of good quality plant proteins (beans, legumes, seeds, whole grains, etc.). The next area that I really wanted to make a change in was our dairy. Unfortunately for us, raw, grass-fed milk was simply not an available option for us. So, we opted out of drinking and using milk. Instead, we stuck with yogurt (organic when possible, and I eventually learned to make my own to reduce the cost). I watered the yogurt down when I needed to use it in a recipe in place of milk or buttermilk, and this worked just fine. We compromised by continuing to eat cheese, and eventually found a good source of raw, natural cheese that we now buy in bulk once a month.
The rest of it came more slowly. It took me over a year before I really began to experiment with soaking my grains. I hated to learn to bake all over again, and struggled to get consistent, pleasing results in the beginning (a baker I am not!). Blogs like this one have helped me to add a lot of new recipes to my repertoire, as has Sue Gregg’s Whole Grains book (the recipes in Nourishing Traditions just haven’t always worked for me). In the couple of years, I have added kombucha, kefir and many new fermented foods to our diet, as well as moving to 100% natural sweeteners and good fats and oils. I have also added many new things, such as the raw milk we eventually found locally, found some more affordable organic and grass-fed butters (and yes, there is a difference between the two), cod liver oil, organic veggies that I began growing in my own garden and a plethora of other nourishing foods.
We are not completely there yet, but over the past 4 years, we have moved forwards in leaps and bounds! It in incredible what can happen over time, if you persist in your efforts and continue to add new elements of nourishing foods little by little!
Amy (my “real life” friend)
My transition to eating nourishing food has been slow and steady! I have two small children and am pregnant with my third, so I have to pace myself and keep my priorities in line. While I do believe feeding my family nourishing food and improving my health are very important, it’s not worth becoming a stressed out mom over it, by trying to tackle too much. I attempt to make one small change at a time, then give myself time to incorporate it into my life.
I have also discovered that sometimes I procrastinate in trying something new, as I feel overwhelmed at the enormity of the task. However, once I actually do it, I realize the task was far easier than I imagined! I just recently tried sprouting, and it sure was easy! But- once again, each little thing added to daily life can add up, so take it slow, plan ahead and use routines to manage all the little tasks.
I also have been challenged by attempting to feed my husband healthy food and to please him at the same time! The two often conflict! There is an abundance of variety with nourishing food, so I make it my “job” and challenge to find those ways of healthy cooking that he will like. Then some things he just ends up tolerating, and I compromise on a few things as well. I must confess that I still buy him “bad treats” from time to time!
Kimberly from Hartke is Online
As part of our health “kick”, we also moved to buying organic produce at the grocery and low mercury fish through mail order. We began using vitamins and supplements, also. One day, my brother in-law, who is an environmentalist, told us that grass-fed meats were the best. We found a buffalo farm about an hour away, and began buying grass-fed buffalo meat. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the Weston A. Price Foundation, and got plugged into the local chapter, that I found out that there were sources of grass fed beef and pasture raised chicken and chicken eggs.
The Nourishing Traditions cookbook was intimidating at first, so many of the concepts were unfamiliar to me, such as culturing, fermenting, soaking, bone broth. I took some classes through the local chapter, did a lot of Internet research and also tackled one thing at a time. It took me about a year to gain confidence with these traditional preparation methods. I found the yahoo groups such as Discussing NT, and Raw Dairy very helpful.
And Sono, my sweet mother-in-law
As in all positive dietary changes that one hopes to make permanent, there are certain aspects that are small adjustments and others that require more effort. After being convinced of the basic premises in the Nourishing Traditions philosophy of food, I started implementing changes one at a time.
The Lord made it very easy for me because one of my dearest friends, who introduced me to NT, also began developing a food service business based on Weston-Price. The hardest obstacle, finding a source for raw milk, was overcome immediately.
Having a high quality raw milk source from grass-fed cows, I started to learn the ropes of skimming cream and culturing. The results were delicious, so it was easy to develop the rhythm of making our own kefir, cream cheese, crème fraiche, and butter right away.
Though for a few periods in our family life we had local, organic, free-range meat and poultry, these often disappeared as an older couple retired or a young man went off to college. My friend’s efforts, once again helped develop local, stable sources for beef and poultry. In fact, the beef farmer we are blessed to buy from has the 2nd highest CLA count in the nation.
Having been in an organic produce club for over 15 years at that time, I had an excellent source of produce including a weekly farmers’ market as well as connections with other people who cared about healthy foods. Eggs from a local farmer, whose chickens lived entirely naturally, were already part of our diet.
Making nutrient-dense, beef and chicken stock was a very important addition to our diet. Though I had made my own broth occasionally, I had never simmered it as long and never understood the incredible benefits and taste of this version. Once you make the NT stocks, you will be pleasantly hooked to one of the best foods in the world. Though this was an addition to the way I had been cooking (I had normally resorted to purchased, organic broths) and could seem like a lot of work (compared to opening a can or box), it has been easy to make stock preparation a normal part of my cooking rhythm.
I always order soup/stock bones with my beef orders. And I use my chickens in such a way to regularly have lots of necks, backs, feet, etc. for stock preparation. Besides making huge batches of beef & chicken stock, I also make an extra quart of chicken stock weekly whenever we roast chicken with the leftover carcass and meat juices. This quart has an incredibly rich and unique flavor and I can freeze it for later, use it in my cooking that week or feed it to an invalid.
With everything I need in stock (no pun intended) I normally have quarts and quarts of beef or chicken stock in my freezer! They are always ready to make soups, simmer stew meats, cook legumes in, and simply enjoy!
Some of the other new things for me that required transition were: soaking nuts, soaking grains, and fermenting vegetables & fruits. I usually tackled one new thing a week and then figured out if and how we could manage it.
We always ate nuts and seeds but had not soaked them in salt water to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors. Though this was different, it was a virtually painless new habit. For my first try, I followed Sally Fallon’s recipe for our favorite nut, the almond. Soak, drain, dry, and store. Not bad at all and everyone liked the results. I added a gallon jar of crispy nuts to our pantry shelves one at a time over a period of months.
Then I developed a rhythm for nuts as I had with stock. I purchase 10-25 pound bags of organic nuts and store them in my freezer. When the jar of crispy nuts gets low, I take 12-16 cups out and soak, drain, dry, and store them. In this way I always have the healthy nuts I need for snacking and recipes that call for them ready and waiting.
Soaking grains was painless for the cereals and rice. One of the more challenging adjustments was anything with flour in it. Pancakes and waffles soaked in my kefir were easy and popular. Coming up with recipes for cakes and pies was not. The soaked flours did not have the desired textures. The bulghur flour often altered the flavor of our recipes. Since we never ate many of these desserts traditionally, we simply changed our special occasion treats to homemade ice creams, eggnog, and kefir smoothies.
Having baked our own breads off and on for over 25 years, I was interested to try a sourdough bread. A friend had a good sourdough starter to share so I did not have to start from scratch. I found my sourdough bread to have a more consistent outcome than my yeast breads.
I discovered that I had actually eaten homemade fermented vegetables as a child. Our German neighbor had taught my mother how to make sauerkraut in the old-fashioned crock way and my Japanese mother had made kimchi for years, too.
Naturally those were the recipes I tried first, along with the dill pickles. I had a wonderful network of like-minded cooks so there were many helpful tips shared: use plenty of garlic in your dill pickles for better flavor, add a slice of horseradish to keep the cucumbers from breaking down & softening, caraway seeds in the kraut offset the variance in flavor from the whey, cut back on the pepper in the kimchi recipe, etc.
Two things that were challenging at the beginning were: new recipes and new flavors. I tried many of the Nourishing Traditions recipes and they often were not as well received as my own. I found I could stick to our old favorite recipes most of the times and just make the nourishing adjustments.
Some things, we simply dropped from our diet (as I mentioned earlier with the infrequently baked cakes and bar cookies). But there were other things that we ate often in the past that did not make the NT transition. E.g. my family always loved the homemade granola I made in the past. Though I tried to make soaked versions, it never had the same texture and they did not like any of them. So we have lived without it since then.
New flavors can also be hard on our families so I learned that I needed to make some changes gradually so they would not notice. An example of this was the use of coconut oil in sauteing vegetables. Several of my children could barely eat it because the flavor and smell was too different or strong for them. So I went back to olive oil with a smidgin of coconut oil and slowly over a few months changed the proportions until it was all coconut oil. Now the children are fine with it in anything
Now it’s your turn! What steps did you first take? How did you make the transition?
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My transition to nourishing foods has also been slow and steady, but the changes have been drastic when compared to how I ate 2 years before. I went from regular store-bought milk to “organic” store-bought milk to grass-fed organic store-bought milk (and then finally!) to fresh organic grass-fed non-homogenized farmer’s milk. I also get my yogurt, cheese, and butter (and ice-cream occasionally) from this source. Since it’s illegal to sell raw milk here in NY, it’s almost impossible for me to find a nearby source.
I also went from eating store-bought beef to “organic” store-bought beef, and then finally to organic grass-fed beef that I purchase in bulk from a local farmer. I’ve discovered that this was MUCH cheaper than buying the beef at the local farmer’s market. For chicken, we can’t really afford to buy it from the farmer’s market as it is very expensive (14 dollars for a small chicken). So we usually buy it at the supermarket, organic of course.
For eggs, I’ve gone from eating regular store-bought eggs, to organic store-bought eggs, and now to farm-fresh organic eggs. I can definitely taste the difference! The yolks are much redder and richer in flavor. I also have started to cook my eggs the healthier way– sunny-side (meaning cooked egg whites with a raw egg yolk) as opposed to scrambled. I’ve read that raw egg yolks are very healthy for you.
I’ve also finally got myself off processed cereal! I’ve been hooked on it ever since I was a child. My parents always fed it to me for breakfast. It was also one of my favorite foods, so giving it up has taken me quite a while. I’ve went from the bad cereals (such as Special K) to better ones (such as Kashi), and then to Nature’s Path. Then I recently discovered Ezekiel sprouted cereal and immediately switched to it. It’s not as tasty but much healthier! I also make oatmeal and multi-grain hot cereals in the morning as a substitute for processed cereal.
For sweeteners, I mostly used to use plain white sugar. Now I use raw local honey and local maple syrup exclusively. I use them minimally, usually to add a touch of sweetness to my morning oatmeal.
For produce, I now buy most of it at a local farmer’s market. But since it’s winter now, I can’t find lettuce, tomatoes, and other warm-weather produce. So I just buy what’s available, and get the rest from the supermarket. I usually try to get them organic or local. I don’t buy all of my produce organic though. Things like bananas, mangoes, avocados, broccoli, etc. are okay if they aren’t organic, because they have a low pesticide load.
I haven’t tried sprouting my grains and legumes yet, but it sounds pretty easy so I am going to try it next time I make bean soup! I also haven’t tried soaking my nuts, so that’s another thing I have to incorporate. I’m really excited to try it out!
I also want to try to incorporate coconut into my diet, because I just love the flavor and believe in the health benefits. I would love to add freshly grated coconut to my morning oatmeal! And coconut milk sounds so yummy. The only intimidating part is cracking the coconut. I will need some help with that. =)
Well that was my story….Hope you enjoyed it. =)
I am a perfectionist, which means that I tend to get discouraged and overwhelmed after reading such excellent books like NT. I want to do it all right away, but can’t. I have three children (7, 3 1/2, and 1 yr.) and am homeschooling so, like everyone else, I don’t have unlimited time in the kitchen. It also takes time and research to find sources for all these good things like raw milk and grass fed meats. Hence, I live by the following motto: Something is better than nothing; always aim for more. Just because I can’t do it all perfectly doesn’t mean I should just give up. I have to do what I can right now and make changes as I am able. Like others have mentioned, I have had to make changes slowly.
I have always been interested in nutrition and tried to feed my family healthy foods but am relatively new to NT methods and concepts. What a revelation! All the missing pieces fell into place. I would say the very first baby step that I made in feeding my family more healthy foods was simply eliminating partially prepared foods, that is, not buying anything that had more than one ingredient, even from the health food store. For instance, I stopped buying cans of “cream of ___ soup” (even organic) for sauces and started making my own sauces. I stopped buying cold cereal about a year ago because it got so expensive and the dentist saw marked improvement in my son’s teeth 6 months later, even though I had been buying organic “healthy” cereal. My kids are now thrilled with oatmeal (which I soak overnight) with plenty of butter and a little raw honey or palm sugar, which I add in the pot before I dish it out in their bowls so they don’t have the freedom to sweeten as much as they want. I’m trying to make their sweetness taste buds more sensitive. My next goal is to try new grains for our breakfast porridge.
About ten months ago I completely eliminated sugar from my diet, and cut most of the refined sugar out of the children’s diets (they only have it when others give it to them away from home. It’s been impossible for me to completely prevent that.) My husband is his own man and I can’t control him, but since I don’t feed him sugar at home he’s cut way back as well. It’s been amazing to see the changes. I can now get up in the morning and function during the day better than I have ever been able to. I’ve also easily lost 36 pounds and completely lost my appetite for sugar. It’s really hard to explain to people that I am happy with my sugar-free diet and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself at all. They just don’t understand!
I recently learned how to make crusty artisan bread and adapted the soaking concepts from NT, which has produced beautiful round crusty loaves that my family can’t get enough of. My mom has a grain grinder so I am able to get freshly ground grain from her. I’ve learned that bread baking doesn’t take lots of time, it’s just little steps here and there with lots of time inbetween. In other words, the more I plan ahead the more successful I am. I also stopped buying canned beans for soup and started soaking and cooking dried beans. Again, something very simple to do that requires planning ahead.
I just found a source of raw milk, which is very exciting. I can’t wait to get Kefir grains and start culturing. My oldest son used to get terrible flatulance from dairy products but doesn’t have any trouble digesting raw milk. I’m sure that cultured milk will be all the better! I’ve explained to the children how much better our milk and eggs are when we get them from the farm instead of the store and they are very excited to eat “fresh milk and eggs” as they call them.
I’m still looking for a source for better meat, poultry and vegetables but I’m determined not to get discouraged and give up. We simply can’t go back to the old ways now that I know better! It really helps to have connections to others who are eating this way as I am alone here in my opinions. I just can’t believe what all my friends are feeding their families. Sometimes I feel very alone so it helps to visit the Nourishing Gourmet or the Cheeseslave. Thank you!
Suzy and Kaylin,
Thank you so much for sharing your stories! It sounds like you both are doing some great things! (Kaylin, I would love to get some of your bread recipes. 😉 ) Thanks so much!
First, I’m so glad this blog is here. It keeps me thinking about how to eat in the NT way. I feel like I’ve fallen a bit off, I had a source for raw milk and fresh eggs, but just haven’t been making the extra effort to acquire them (order 2 weeks in advance, out-of-the-way pick up location). However, I have to remind myself that I am currently soaking redbeans for chili and I did soak my almonds overnight. They’re drying out in the oven now.
It’s hard to keep the kids away from all the sugar sweets – Valentine’s parties etc. Does anyone have a great cookie recipe – soaked flour, natural sweetner?
Well compared to most people here, I still have a long way to go!
The little changes I have made include eating old-fashioned oats in the morning. I don’t buy boxed cereal anymore (crazy expensive anyway) because it now tastes too sugary and “off”. I make my own breads, but many of them half 1/2 whole grain or whole wheat and then other half is bread flour. So that needs to change, I know. I don’t think I will ever like brown rice. It’s so hard for me to eat it. I need to work on that–but I’ve been including barley for a grain, which I love.
I stopped drinking supermarket milk and I also eat less meat than before. I will include milk again when I can start buying organic. I really don’t miss it that much, and I eat organic yogurt. I also eat a lot of beans and vegetables. I’m trying to find new vegetables to eat and cook, in a way that makes them tasty. I eat a lot of soups as a result. I eat organic mushrooms which I love! The baby bella mushrooms are often on sale here, so I try eat those in my barley/veggie mix. I shudder to think that I used to eat Lean Cuisines.
The absolute hardest thing for me is baking. I’m a home baker, and love to bake and try new desserts. This often includes white flour and sugar. I’m slowly using new ingredients in those, such as honey and molasses and whole grain flour. But I love baking (it’s truly an addiction–no amount of pineapple and yogurt can really satisfy that sugar craving). I cut back on the sugar in all of my recipes, but I know that’s not enough. I limit myself in baking now.
For me the transition was slow, and 4 years into it I still feel like I have more distance to travel.
It’s a journey.
I began with milk. First to organic, then grass-fed organic, then grass-fed raw organic. Somewhere in there I joined a CSA and started getting organic, fresh veggies and eggs from pastured hens. After that, I got a freezer and tackled meats and began ordering grass-fed meats in bulk from local ranchers.
Then I found Nourishing Traditions. That led me to cut out all the refined vegetable oils from my diet, and I started trying to incorporate more raw & fermented foods. The final piece came together last year when I got a grain grinder so I could sprout my grains and mill my own flour.
But I still feel like I have a ways to go.
Here is my bread recipe, which I adapted from a recipe on Mother Earth News found here:
The article has some interesting information about how bread is made crusty. (These are the loaves for which the bakery charges $4 each!) Evidently it is steam that creates the crust, so you can either buy a $10,000 bakery oven or you can simply bake the bread in a Dutch oven with the lid on part of the time, and then take the lid off to let the crust brown. I usually use a Pyrex glass casserole dish and an iron kettle I inherited from my great aunt (both have lids). The iron kettle makes the bottom crust a bit dark so I might need to try reducing the temp just a tad when I use it. Below is the recipe with my adaptations. I haven’t tried making it with sourdough, but I’m excited to try it. Usually I start the loaf at night before I go to bed and then bake it the next afternoon. I have had good results replacing up to a half a cup of flour with oats. I plan to try some other grains too. It’s nice to have variety. I usually double the batch to make 2 loaves at a time.
No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread
(With adaptations using fermentation recommended in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon) Adapted by Kaylin Brinckley.
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 3/8 cups warm water + 2 Tbsp whey (equaling 1 ½ cups of liquid)
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. (I use all or almost all whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting
1. Put 2 Tbsp. whey in a liquid measuring cup and add warm water to equal 1 ½ cups. (I am not able to get enough raw milk to make yogurt, so I buy good quality yogurt and strain it to get whey)
2. Dissolve yeast in water/whey mixture. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt, stirring until blended. Be sure the flour isn’t packed down too much in the cup. It should be loose. If my flour is more packed than I prefer, I measure scant cups. Less flour is better than too much. Combine liquid and dry ingredients and stir until blended. Half a cup of the flour can be replaced with rolled oats with good results. The dough will be spongy and sticky and quite moist. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 18-24 hours, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. (You can put the dough in the oven with the light on if desired. Just don’t forget it’s in there and turn on the oven :-).
3. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and turn the bowl over on it. It should look like a very large sponge. Sprinkle it with a little more flour, press lightly to flatten, and fold it over on itself once or twice. Be careful not to work too much flour into the dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
4. Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. Be careful not to let it rise too long. It is better to bake it a little too early than too late. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
5. At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot or casserole dish (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.
6. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. If you are using a Pampered Chef covered stone the bread may be done and browned after 30 minutes and may not require the extra 15 to 20 minutes without the lid. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.
Yield: One 1 1/2-pound loaf.
That’s it – feel free to change it or adapt it and post it if you’d like. Thanks for all your work, Kimi!
Thanks! Sounds like a great method! I used to be such a bread snob and did all sorts of things to make good bread, but that was before being a mommy. We are off of bread/yeast for a little while because of some minor digestive issues my daughter is having, but I will be sure to try this with sourdough when we go back on bread! Thank you. 🙂
We have just begun… We are roughly 2 weeks into it. My husband is an avid calorie counter and we’ve been using splenda and stevia for years now. So the biggest obstacle, besides cost, is the increase in calories these changes will make to our foods. Did anyone have trouble with this? Any ex-dieters? Also, I’m a visual learner and wondered if anyone had pictures on there sites of what soaking flour looks like? I think dripping wet when I think soaked… my first attempt was so wet I think I had to add as much in un-soaked, un-sprouted flour… oops.
Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?
I stopped eating dairy for 2 weeks. On the 15th day I ate a ton of dairy, all my intestinal difficulties returned, and I learned my first major lesson. After that I cut sugar and turned to whole grains. Seaweed came in after that…ha! It’s been quite a journey full of learning!
We all fall off the wagon at times, so keep reminding yourself of the great things you are doing! As far as recipes for cookies, hmmmm, you could check out ElenasPantry.com. She has recipes that uses almond flour and agave. I no longer use agave, but you could substitute maple syrup or honey. 101cookbooks.com has recipes using whole wheat flour (unsoaked) and natural sweeteners. I personally like to use either sprouted flours, and if I don’t have that, for very special occasions I will use white flour with natural sweeteners.
I understand, baking was a huge love of mine. It’s still a love, but I’ve had to concentrate on other, more healing foods for my family. It’s hard to give up any love though, isn’t it! I can say though, that I have learned to enjoy making other food almost as much (especially once I dealt with sugar cravings!).
I think most of our transitions has been slow! I know that mine was. I still feel that there is much to learn and improve. But it can be exciting to know that you still have things to learn how to do!
I have just begun my journey with NT, but we have been transitioning for a few years now to more whole foods. We are in our third year with a CSA and have been getting eggs and beef and this year chickens from them. Last year I nearly eliminated refined sugar from our diets. I have been baking our bread with whole grain flours for over a year and will soon (maybe tomorrow) try a soaked version. I just recently eliminated vegetable oil from our house, but we always used lots of olive oil and the best butter we can afford. Raw milk will be hard for us here in CO. It’s rally expensive for a family our size, but I have been culturing our whole milk into yogurt and recently kefir, too.
I am loving the transition. My family is happy so far, too.
Pre NT, we soaked out beans, sprouted it often… used 1-2 types of sprouted flours (not wheat) occasionally, bought organic milk, all natural milk, cheese to escape RBSts, eggs, some veggies and fruits which have high pesticide levels, were bought organic.. no sugar crusted cereals at home, used wholewheat flour everywhere. lots of Extra virgin olive oil too.. But we used white rice like it was going out of business, being a true blood south Indian!
Then I read the book Nourishing Traditions. I just browsed through it and even that was overwhelming. Never thought I could do it and forgot about it. 4 yrs later, I discovered I had diabetes and was very sensitive to all white flours, white rice, all sweeteners, banana, potatoes, all melon fruits.. I thought my diet till then was decent. but the diabetes and candida in the gut shook me up. Went through a lot of changes – mentally and dietwise. Giving up carbs and having carbs only for breakfast for 3 months helped me understand the strain carbs was
putting on my system.
Started looking into how to use the wholegrains more effectively… started reading the Traditional Foods section in a very popular natural mothering board. It took time to assimilate all that information but this time it wasnt from an author – but from normal people like me who have tried it in baby steps and are enjoying the benefits of it. That made a difference. I found your blog from there and read about soaking… like somebody held my hands and walked me through the process with simple, easy to understand, not scary words…This sounds easy – not more work at all, just remembering to do it the previous night.. I can do it. I thought… And started trying it.
I now soak all our roti doughs for 8 hrs atleast. The rotis turn out better and tastier than pre soaking. I also soak different wholegrain flours overnight with some plain yogurt to make dosas/crepes (mostly crepes, sometimes pancakes) for breakfast. First thing that I saw improvement was digestion was easier. and I wasn’t hungry after a meal even if I ate lesser than before.
I had found a way to bake brown rice in the oven which resulted in tasty brown rice! Alton brown’s method. But soaking the rice for 8 hrs before baking gave even better results.
I also started using coconut oil for baking and it came out real good. I also made Mary Enig’s oil blend and it is great as well. Went looking for cultured butter and found it.. Today I’ll be picking up my first kombucha baby!!! 🙂 I’m very excited about it already.. I started baking Wholewheat breads last year … when a friend gave me her bread machine. after eating homemade bread twice and an accidentally brought WW bread, we never went back to store bought bread again. But now that I know about soaking, I was looking for a recipe which soaked all the flour used in the bread. (SG’s soaks only part of the flour).. Then found that the 5 min bread does the soaking.. I was thinking of it giving it a try when I found this post and Kaylin’s recipe 🙂 Which she has adapted to NT Techniques. so that’s what I’ll be trying.
I also want to get into sourdough baking someday.. It sounds scary. But for a few days, I’ve been having an idea..to jus make the sourdough starter and use it for soaking the WG flours overnight and make dosas/crepes and pancakes in the morning.. Once I get some practice with making the starter and get used to using it in crepes, then maybe I’ll get the courage to make sourdough breads as well.
This year, I wanted to learn and implement 5 new NT methods.. Soaking is done already… found a source for cultured all natural butter… kombucha, kefir and sourdough ‘starter’ are on my list.
You’ve been a huge inspiration. Thank you, Kimi! And thanks Kaylin for sharing your recipe!
oh my goodness! my post is so long. 🙁 Didnt realize it. sorry about that.
Over the last year I have made MAJOR transition with my food. I had slowly transitioned to organic several years prior and felt quite proud of that fact, assuming that meant that my family was eating healthy. Then, on a road trip across Iowa last fall, I came across a small road sign that read “LT Organic Restaurant”. It was a welcome sign after seeing nothing but truck stops and fast food restaurants for 600 miles, so we pulled off to stretch our legs.
Inside the quaint little place was a man confined to a wheelchair. LT as he is known, began telling us that he was a cardiologist who killed 30,000 of his patients in a previous life. We looked at him confused and he confessed that he had put them on low-fat diets, reduced their salt intake and given them lots of pharmaceutical drugs. He then discovered a different approach and started an organic farm with his family. He now teaches classes (I can’t wait to see his schedule this year) and encourages everyone to eat lots of fat, sea salt and organic everything. I was dumbfounded. My whole life (I’m 41) I have struggled with my weight and tried to eat low-fat. I felt guilty when I slathered a tiny bit of butter on toast or put whipped cream on berries. Every bagel I’ve ever eaten has had only a smidgen of cream cheese on it!
For the rest of the trip I found myself tripping up at Starbucks because I was so used to ordering skinny cappuccinos. It took me almost a week to change just that little thing but I began to feel enlightened and started to really enjoy what I was doing.
My best friend has always eaten this way and she amusedly watched as I began to use butter on my toast without guilt. I had always watched her in horror as she smothered her bagels with cream cheese or slathered butter on baked potatoes.
When I returned from the trip, I began researching raw milk and discovered the Weston Price Organization. I now take turns driving 30 miles each way to get raw milk for my homemade yogurt. My friend and I have both devoured the Nourishing Traditions book and completely changed our lifestyles. (me more than her!) I haven’t taken things slowly, but rather jumped in with both feet.
Within just a couple of days after reading NT, every processed item in my kitchen was at a food bank and I replaced it with glass jars filled with dried beans, whole grains and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I purchased a 1/4 of a grass-fed cow and my husband brought home a 6 month supply of wild-caught salmon from Alaska. I’m planning a huge garden this summer and have been researching which things will keep in a root cellar better than others. Instead of fake butter I now have pastured butter and coconut oil around and I use the coconut oil for everything including moisturizer and body lotion.
My husband jokes that he is now living with a hippy but he admits that he is feeling much better than ever. Everyone around me caught the flu this year including a co-worker that is in close proximity to me daily. I didn’t even have a sniffle. This is incredibly rare as I have asthma and have always caught everything that anyone sneezes on me. The most incredible thing is that my weight is stable, even with all this “evil” fat. I’m hoping that in the Spring when I can begin walking again, it will began to fall off.
This is almost like being “born again” because I am now ALLOWED to eat things that taste good. It’s interesting how I don’t seem to eat as much though, as I now actually feel full after a meal. The sugar cravings are gone and my favorite beverage is now mineral water.
I love this blog because it helps provide me with new inspiration to try other things and keeps my quest current. I’ve always been the type to gather as much info as possible and I truly feel like I have so much more to learn. I’ve basically had to learn to cook all over again! Thanks so much for providing us such a great service!
I’m still a newbie as I just discovered all of this in Oct of last year. I was actually looking for ways to prepare for conceiving (which is now on hold indefinitely *sad*) and i bumped into the Weston A. Price website.
It all made COMPLETE sense to me.
I kinda went fast, but on other stuff Im still going slow. I switched over to grassfed meats and raw and organic dairy within days thanks to a local grassfed group. Switching from white flour and sugar took a little longer, but now i only use maple syrup and sucanet, sparingly and am about to explore sprouted flour. I also used to love boxed cereals (hubby still does lol), but now i cook up only old fashioned oatmeal and grits (for me, im southern lol).
Still havent delved into the fermented things, but i suspect I will start that in the next few months.
I switched to organic produce quickly as well, i purchased from my local HFS or Whole Foods (at first, now with Trader Joe’s, but i dont like their produce very much), but I am now waiting with baited breath for my local farmer’s markets to reopen so that I can purchase produce from them.
So right now, Im just trying to learn as much more as I can, incorporate more recipes and spread the information as I go.
I found that when I don’t have time to sprout my own grains, I buy the most amazing sprouted 100% whole spelt or sprouted whole wheat flour from Shiloh Farms. It is on the Weston A. Price Shopping List. It digests as a vegetable and can be substituted one for one in place of all-purpose flours. And it tastes amazing. Thought you’d like to know. Also check out Essential Eating’s web site for more information.
Regarding what makes the crusty bread crusty, it is the steam but you don’t need a $10,000 oven! All you do is heat up a pan in your oven while you’re heating your stone, then put a cup or so of hot water into it when you put the bread it. Instant steam and crusty bread. A lot less hassle than using a dutch oven but the same concept.
I learned this in a great book called Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. It’s true you can have great crusty bread with minimal effort.
I’m new to NT so haven’t adapted this to sprouted grains, so I don’t really have any clue what that is all about but thought I’d add the info about getting crusts.
Devon Trevarrow Flaherty
It’s funny; most of the people who have left comments to this posting have said that they were “slow” in transitioning to natural foods, and then made some comment about the last two or four years. Me? I’m pushing ten, and still transitioning.
It all started with a paper. My senior thesis as a philosophy major at Taylor University was “The Obligation of Affluence.” By the end of the 60-page paper I had come to the conclusion that there were indeed obligations of affluence, including eating in responsible ways. Thus, the first change I made to my VERY terrible diet was to go vegetarian so as to avoid any meat that I knew (which was all low-quality and mis-used). At the same time, I happened to be randomly taking a class on Environmental Science, so it all fit together. My soon-to-be-husband was hip to the idea, but I distinctly remember a semester of standing wide-eyed in line at the Dining Commons, wondering if staring hard enough would tell me the ingredients of each sauce-covered, steaming mass of food. I ate a lot of salad bar with chickpeas.
After graduating, it was a relief to settle into a rhythm outside of the Dining Commons, with a newly minted vegetarian tome gracing my apartment counter and many grocery store options that simply hadn’t presented themselves in rural Indiana. In the Detroit suburbs, I quickly discovered that I had a passion for cooking and that there were better tasting things than Rice-A-Roni and a Bacon Arch Deluxe. There were culinary failures, but my eyes were opened wide over pots of color-changing red lentils and platters of neatly-wrapped, herby spring rolls. We widened our restaurant and shopping venues out of need; more “natural” foods followed our vegetarianism like a lost pup.
A year later, we moved to North Carolina. We made friends right away and I had NEVER had friends this granola. They immediately pointed me to the nearest Whole Foods and farmers markets and toasted me over a glass of homemade kombucha. Many people assumed that I knew what I was doing, but that was still a long way from the truth. I gleaned information from my new friends and kept reading, which I was (and still am) always doing.
The following seven years just flowed out into a routine of coming across a book or cookbook, reading it, taking the information that was valuable to me and our growing family, and tweaking our diet over and over again. We transitioned to cage-free eggs, to milk without hormones or antibiotics, started making some of our cheeses and cultured milks, started making our own bread, cut way back on processed foods, started visiting mostly “locavore” restaurants, reintroduced grass-fed meat and meat products, then eliminated refined sugar (almost completely) and refined flours and grains, started soaking things overnight, re-thought breakfast (several times), added more supplements, did away with some. Just this week I started sprouting. The march continued as I read through Nourishing Traditions and The Ultramind Diet, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Things about our diet changed with pregnancies, with nursing, and with my husband’s diagnosis of bi-polar and my continuing life-long battle with severe chronic migraine. (He is highly sensitive to sugar and refined flours. Me? Additives.)
I have noticed that much of the change that has come to our diet is a direct result of the places that we procure our food. When I discovered localharvest.com, we suddenly had Thanksgiving turkeys again and a new flow of organic produce. The farmers market brought local produce galore, including wonderful eggs, all year round. This year, I have found an organic grain mill close to home and also a health foods supplier that delivers to the area once every few months. (Still looking for raw milk, but since it’s illegal here…) So I look forward to discovering new things, to widening my passions in the kitchen, to SLOWLY transitioning without overwhelming my life with crazy expectations, and to sharing health and happiness with others in life and on my blog (www.whateconomy.blogspot.com).
Thanks for hearing my story.