I want to welcome all the recent readers from CNN’s story: An Inconvenient Challenge as well as the Globe & Mail’s story: Ditching Processed Foods which covered Nourished Kitchen and the recent 28-day Real Food Challenge. If you’re new why not subscribe or get involved? You can also learn more about me and how to use Nourished Kitchen here. At the same time, I’d like to encourage established readers of Nourished Kitchen to take a look at their own food philosophies, and share them here. How do you eat? What do you value, and why?
- Stay Natural & Unrefined. Eat only natural, whole foods in their unrefined state.
- Avoid Modern, Processed Foods. Avoid processed, packaged, refined foods even those sold as “natural” foods. If you’re great-great-great-great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it.
- Eat your veggies. Eat your veggies, loads of fresh greens, fresh fruit, root vegetables, brassicas. Enjoy them all – they offer vital nutrients and antioxidants (check out some recipes).
- Sour, sprout or soak. If you eat grain, beans, legumes, nuts or seeds, make sure that you properly prepare them to maximize your body’s ability to assimilate their nutrients (read about sprouted grain).
- Love healthy fats. Enjoy wholesome, healthy, unrefined natural fats liberally – and especially on your vegetables. (Read about fats to eat cooked and fats to eat raw.)
- Brew mineral-rich stock. Make homemade, mineral-rich broth and stock weekly, and consume it daily (Read about the benefits of broth and a recipe for broth.)
- Eat grass-fed, pasture-raised and wild-caught. Eat meat, including offal, and make sure it’s from a trusted source that relies on traditional methods of raising their animals: on fresh pasture.
- Keep dairy raw and fresh. If you eat dairy, keep it raw or, at the very least, make sure it comes from grass-fed animals and is not subject to ultra-high-temperature pasteurization. (Read about my love of fresh cream and how to choose a raw milk dairy).
- Get Your Good Bacteria. Consume naturally fermented, probiotic foods and beverages daily (see recipes for fermented foods and benefits of lactic acid fermentation).
- Get involved. Grow your foodshed and give back to the community. Fight for farmers and consumers rights and against the industrialization of our food supply.
- Maximize nutrient density of your foods by preparing and consuming them with time-honored tradition.
Sustainable agriculture is my passion. I believe that farmers should be fairly compensated for their work. When I spend my money locally, and purchase farm-direct, I ensure that my the agricultural roots of my community are well-fed and that the farmers, themselves, not giants of the agricultural industry or middlemen, profit from their hard work – tilling the fields, harvesting crops and raising animals properly. By connecting directly with food producers, I can ensure that the food with which I nourish my family is not only safe, but grown and raised under as close to optimal standards as possible. Sustainably produced food – grass-finished and pasture-raised meats nourish the earth by sequestering carbon in the soil and improving the variety of native flora. Moreover, foods grown locally, sustainably and picked fresh offer their peak nutrition to the consumer. Better nutrient density, better for the environment and better for the farmers. Read more about what sustainable farming terms mean: Real Food Glossary.
I believe in balance, and while, for me, that excludes the use of processed foods – doing so does not equate to denial. Real foods, traditionally prepared offer myriad flavors, textures and nuances. Wholesome, pasture-raised meats offer concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and wholesome, healthy fats. Vegetables, fruits and plant foods offer antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Grains, while not well-suited to every person, can offer micronutrients when properly prepared to mitigate the effects of phytic acid and other antinutrients. Whole, raw, fresh milk provides conjugated linoleic acid, vitamins and minerals – all nutrients that have a powerful, positive effect in supporting health and wellness. Eat your meat – just make sure it’s pasture-raised or grass-fed. Eat your grain – just make sure it’s soured, sprouted or soaked. Enjoy plenty of vegetables for all their nuances of flavor and subtle, unique beauty. Eat raw food, eat cooked food, eat fermented food – just eat whole foods.
I believe in unprocessed, unrefined, whole foods. The industrial processing strips foods of their inherent, natural nutrients and value, and by consuming foods in an unprocessed state. By consuming whole, unrefined foods, you consume their naturally present nutrients – reducing reliance on fortification, white flours, white sugars and refined vegetable oils. Check out nourishing, wholesome recipes featuring natural, unrefined foods like sprouted grain flours, unrefined olive oil, grass-finished and pasture-raised meats as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables. Even those on a budget can enjoy natural, whole foods on a budget (see nutritional powerhouses that won’t break the bank or 10 Healthy Meals under $10.)
I believe in raising, growing and preparing our foods through traditional methods – as they would have been raised, grown and prepared prior to the industrialization of agriculture. By following the methods that nourished our evolution, we optimize the nutrients they contain. Souring grain, as in the case of traditional sourdough, increases the availability of minerals. The habit of fermenting vegetables, as in sauerkraut and kimchi, was born of practicality – a way to preserve the harvest well into winter but serves the dual purpose of increasing beneficial bacteria, food enzymes and B vitamins. By preparing foods traditionally, we maximize their nutrient density. Learn more about traditional foods in a nutshell.
I believe in community involvement. The only way to improve the state of our own health and that of our community is to take an active role in advocating for sustainable agriculture and real food. Plant a community garden. Volunteer at your farmers market. Organize a CSA. Hold a community supper featuring wholesome, local foods. Celebrate the beauty of your foodshed, and support local farmers practicing sustainable agriculture. Support nutritional advocacy groups like the Weston A Price Foundation as well as the work of farmer and consumer rights organizations like the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.
Nurture Your Children.
Give your children the right start, and teach them to value nutrient-dense, unrefined whole foods from the very beginning. Nourish yourself well both pre-conception and during pregnancy. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, read more about the role of nutrition in unexplained infertility. Nourish yourself well and breastfeed your babies until they reach at least two years of age, or give them the right start by practicing baby-led weaning. Don’t stress about food, but encourage your children to enjoy fruits and vegetables and give up the kid’s menus! Or read about how I nourished my child.
Photo by Dusty Demerson.