I signed on to the 28 Day Real Food Challenge from Nourished Kitchen blog. Every day in February, she'll be sending out emails with "an assignment that will help you learn about the principles of a nourishing diet including the importance of grass-finished and pastured meats, wholesome fats, sprouted and soured grains and probiotic foods."
Traditional Nutrition is explained best in the cookbook called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. I own a copy. I have poured over it. I first heard about this way of eating from Dr. Mercola's newsletters. He has been writing about it for years. I always thought it was too hard to get the foods. Last May, Robin Migalla was a speaker at our Wisdom Rising event. She mentioned that she attends a local Weston A. Price club* in Elgin once a month. She has sources for pastured meats and raw dairy. It always helps me to be part of a community that is on the same wavelength of whatever I am into at the time. This club has paved the way for me by finding the farmers that grow these healthy foods.
I went to the first meeting in October. There were Amish farmers selling saw dairy. I bought milk, yogurt, cream and dry curd cottage cheese. Amazing! I attended one day of the Weston A. Price conference in Schaumburg, IL in November. There were Pennsylvania Amish there with many coolers filled with frozen pastured meats. I bought cheese, beef tallow, lard, beef heart, and the coolest things: chicken feet and heads for making broth.
The first email from the Real Food Challenge was about cleaning out my cupboards. I had a bit of resistance to this task.
Here's the list:
Vegetable Oils: Soybean, Cottonseed, Canola, Corn
Sugar: White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Turbinado, Agave Nectar (including "raw"), Sugar in the raw
Stevia: white stevia powder, stevia liquid
Shortening (excluding palm shortening)
White flour: all-purpose flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, white rice flour,
Soy foods: soy sauce, soy flour, soy milk, soy lecithin, isoflavone-enriched foods and supplements
Refined Sea Salt
Meat & Dairy Replacements: TVP, veggie burgers, vegan cheeses, sour creams, rice and nut milks, vegan sausages
Skim and Low-fat Dairy: cheese, milk, yogurts etc.
Boxed cereals, crackers and cookies
Oh, boy... This is hard. My family is not quite on board yet. Converting people to new foods is a process.
Oils, margarine & shortening: nothing to throw out. I'm good.
Soy foods: all I have is tamari. Not sure why I have to get rid of it.
Meat & Dairy Replacements: never had any of this stuff
Salt: Iodized Salt, Refined Sea Salt
Processed cheeses: like what? we don't eat velveeta or american cheese
Skim and Low-fat Dairy: I switched to whole milk a while ago. Did you ever notice that you can NOT buy whole milk yogurt?
Boxed cereals, crackers and cookies: This is the crap I want my husband to stop buying. I don't eat it. I can't really throw it out because it's a negotiation.
I didn't throw this stuff out: Dried Pastas and Noodles, salts, flours and sugars.
Day #2 was about replacing everything I threw out.
Here's the list:
Natural Sweeteners such as honey, blackstrap molasses, whole unrefined cane sugar (e.g. Rapadura / Sucanat), sorghum syrup, maple syrup.
Wholesome fats such as unrefined olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, tallow, butter, ghee
Whole meal flours such as grain flour, sprouted grain flour, coconut and blanched nut flours
Unrefined Sea Salt such as real salt and celtic sea salt
Meat (preferably grass-fed or pasture-raised) such as beef, lamb, chicken, pork, bison, elk etc.
Fresh vegetables and fruit (preferably organic in season and local)
Full fat dairy (preferably raw) such as whole milk, butter, cream, cheese
Naturally fermented foods and beverages such as kombucha, yogurt, kefir
I wasn't exactly going shopping last Tuesday. I think I am already on track with this stuff. Most of the meat in my freezer is pastured. We already have organic fats. I still have to buy the salt. I am getting some kefir grains this Saturday.
My Progressive Parenting Book Club is reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Because I live in Illinois, all our fresh produce is trucked in from somewhere else during winter. I am kind of in a quandry because I don't want to add to my carbon footprint or eat out of season. Yet, I eat low carb and 2/3 of my diet needs to consist of non-starchy vegetables. Even frozen produce is not local. I'm still working on this.
The next emails for this week were all about grains. I completely ignored these emails because I do not eat grains. I am following a low carb diet. When I add carbs to my diet I will start with starchier vegetables like peas, sweet potatoes and then see how I handle legumes. Even Sally Fallon has to watch her carbs. The rest of my family eats grains. I know I should feed them healthier food. If I start baking, I will eat the bread. I just can't go there. I could replace my flours with sprouted flours, for when I make pancakes for the kids. I could replace all our sugar with healthier versions. We rarely add sugar to things. It's only used when I bake. The only sweetener I use is xylitol in my black tea (about 3 tsps/day). It's a process.
So that's my report for week #1. Next time I'll tell you about my recent dairy source.
* Our club in Elgin used to be a Weston A. Price chapter. It no longer is a member of that organization. (long story)