Photo Credit: Olivina
Making any big change in how we do things can be challenging, and it can certainly be daunting to us as we make steps towards feeding our family better food.
But I have often felt that we only need a little encouragement to get started. Once we have gotten started, though there may be mishaps and such, the positive outcome of our work can keep up motivated to keep learning new things. For many of us, that encouragement has come from friends or family with similar goals, but not all of us have “real life” people to turn to for encouragement.
I hope that this blog has been a small encouragement to some of you as you aim at feeding nourishing food to yourself and friends and family. But I wanted to offer not just my own perspective here at The Nourishing Gourmet, but also the encouragement and stories of others. For that reason I have asked four people to share their stories and thoughts with you as a panel.
All of these ladies have sought to excel at knowing how to nourish and nurture themselves and those around them with good food. They will be answering one question once a week for five weeks (to be posted on Thursdays). I hope this panel encourages, motivates, and inspires you to keep going!
But I would also love to hear from you. Where did your interest in healthy food start? What’s your story? I would love to hear your thoughts and your stories, so please leave a comment and share your knowledge too!
Today, I asked the panelists the question ” How did you become interested in nourishing/healthy food, and why do you think it’s important?“
Amy is a good friend of mine that I have known since High School. She was the one who shared the wonderful recipe for mayonnaise that so many of you liked. It’s always been fun to be able to share new thoughts and research with each other as we learn more and more about better nurturing our families. She answers:
“My mom is a health nut, but I never really listened to her until I experienced poor health myself! Now I think l am even more of a heath nut than she is! 🙂 Antibiotics have their place, but, without realizing their negative effects, I used them excessively, and ended up with very poor digestion and a weak immune system. I have also experienced increased food sensitivities. My poor health drove me to figure out how to heal myself, and I then stumbled upon Nourishing Traditions. I discovered that NT practices addressed my health concerns perfectly; Nourishing Traditions works to prepare foods in ways that are easier to digest, and to prepare foods that are loaded with good bacteria, enzymes and many friendly micro-organisms, all of which I am lacking in my digestive system.
I also think feeding the rest my family Nourishing Traditions/healthy style is so important for a few reasons:
– Nourishing Traditions focuses on good quality proteins and plenty of good fats, which are so important for my hard working husband and growing little ones
– The more I stay away from toxins/chemicals and who-knows-what-that-ingredient-is, and stick to cooking whole foods from scratch, the less prone they will be to have health problems later on
– Preparing foods in ways that are easier to digest will cause them to be able to assimilate all those vitamins, minerals, etc. from their food.
– Their health will be enhanced by all the good yeasts and bacteria that come from the fermentation process included in much of Nourishing Traditions”
Kimberly Hartke blogs over at Hartke is Online and is a new “blogging friend” of mine. She is a volunteer chapter leader in Virginia, and the Weston A Price Foundation Publicist. She has graciously agreed to share her story with us. Thanks Kimberly!
In 2002, my husband and I were each diagnosed with medical conditions, high blood pressure in his case, chondro malacia patella or runners knee in mine. My knee pain was pretty severe, and I was begging my husband to move to a one level home (our home is 4 stories). He said, “You are NOT going to be in a wheel chair, we are going to fight this thing!” We decided to lose weight by following The South Beach Diet, by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a heart doctor. We also joined a gym and started exercising regularly.
Sono Harris, my sweet mother-in-law, was the one who gave me the book Nourishing Traditions. Who could have foreseen what impact that gift was going to have one my life! I am sure that neither of us imagined that I would be blogging about it a few years later. She shares:
In the late 1960s I was pursuing a dance career and wanted to give my body every possible benefit and advantage so it would perform at its greatest capacity. In the Midwest at that time, there were no health food stores. An Adventist food shop was the beginning of my introduction to alternatives to the typical American diet. They carried wholegrain breads, yogurt and kefir, raw nuts and seeds.
My family had a predominately Asian diet which included sea vegetables, seafood and lightly steamed or sauteed vegetables (compared to my Caucasian friends whose vegetables were canned and cooked to death). My parents planted a garden annually so we enjoyed our own fresh grown vegetables in the summer and early fall. With my interest in healthier foods, we made the switch from white to brown rice and started baking our own wholegrain breads.
These practices carried over into my family when I got married. When other couples entertained with soda pop and chips, we offered sunflower seeds and raisins! I baked all our bread, used whole grains, and used no sugar.
Moving to the Northwest in 1983, opened up many more options for healthy foods in a culture and time when more people were interested in health foods. I became a member of an organic, health food co-op and discovered friends and health care providers who believed in the importance of nutrition. Health issues of family and friends kept me motivated to keep learning.
As the years have unfolded, both research and interest have given us more reliable information about the foods that are truly good for us. For me this culminated in early 2003 when I was introduced to Dr. Weston Price’s research and Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions cookbook.
The main ideas in Fallon’s book cleared the air and made sense of all the conflicting information I had been sifting through for years. (E.g. the hard hit that dairy, beef, and wheat had been taking by health food proponents- what if the problems were actually pasteurization, grain feeding and phytic acids?)
The world we live in challenges our physical well-being on many levels. There are many factors that we cannot control but we can make wise food choices and contribute as much nutrient dense material for our well-designed but battered bodies!
Finally, Stephanie, who blogs over at Keeper of the Home, shares her story. Stephanie and I have never (yet) met in real life, but we have been blogging friends for quite a while now. I always appreciate her perspective, including her thoughts on healthy food. Thanks Stephanie!
My initial journey into healthier eating and living began after my diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, when I was in my last year of university. Although I hadn’t become aware of traditional diets yet, I began to have the realization that what I ate truly made a difference in how I felt, how my body functioned, and whether I would be more prone to disease or to good health. I dove in headfirst, making small changes each time I visited the grocery store, learning new cooking skills in the kitchen, and over the next couple of years, began to devour any health and nutrition related books I could find.
Ultimately, my research led me to the Maker’s Diet, where I first came across the concept that our bodies actually need traditional foods and the crucial nutrients they contain- saturated fats such as butter, eggs, high-quality full-fat dairy, grass-fed meats, poultry and wild seafood, fermented and cultured foods, soaked or sprouted whole grains and organic vegtables and fruits. I was confused, as I had read so much suggesting that we should avoid these fats and dairy, and minimize our intake of meat, especially red meat. Yet, something stirred within me and seemed right to me somehow. The author referred to the book Nourishing Traditions, which I promptly borrowed and everything began to fall into place. At last- dietary suggestions that were not only backed by scientific evidence, but that further supported the notion that we have a God who is supremely interested in all the details of life. A God who intricately designed plants and animals to have the perfect foods to sustain our bodies, and could be easily used in common sense preparation methods which have been available to people throughout the history of time, promoting the most robust health possible!
Ultimately, for me, it comes down to the fact that I see good nutrition as a stewardship issue. Just as I want to be careful about how I use my time, manage my finances, maintain my relationships, etc. it matters to me whether I am also being purposeful with the body and health that I have been blessed with. A healthy, well-nourished body gives me the energy and ability I need to fulfill what is most important in my life- namely serving God, and serving and loving others.
Next Thursday the panelists will be answering the question, “How did you make the transition to eating nourishing food? What challenges did you face, and how did you succeed?” So stay tuned!
Now it’s your turn! Where did your journey towards real, nourishing food start?