At the beginning of the summer, I mentioned that I wanted to check out a book called Nourishing Traditions. Well, I did check out the book and liked it so much that I bought it. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, the gist is that preparing foods in traditional ways (soaking grains overnight, for instance) makes foods easier to digest and is healthier than many of the fad diet foods out there.
Sally Fallon, the author of the book, is also very much against processed foods and white sugar. In theory, I agree with her. In practice, I’ve found it hard to give up processed foods and sugar. So the question became…could I do it?
The answer is not yet, though I’m making a lot of progress.
The way this book is written makes a lot of sense to me, so I’m sold on the concept of eating unprocessed foods for the first time. I ran out of sugar a couple of weeks ago, and I haven’t bought any more. And I ran out of cold cereal yesterday. My plan is to not buy anymore. So that’s progress!
I’ve also tried a couple of recipes from Nourishing Traditions. So far I’ve made pancakes from whole wheat soaked overnight in water and apple cider vinegar. I’m a picky eater, so I was skeptical as to how they’d turn out, but they were a hit with the entire family! Honestly, they were the best whole wheat pancakes I’d ever made. Most of the time my whole wheat pancakes have a heavy texture, but these were light and fluffy. Soaking the grain must be the solution.
I also found an ice cream maker on clearance at Walmart, and I used the Nourishing Traditions recipe for vanilla ice cream. Again, I was skeptical. How could ice cream possibly taste good without sugar?
Nevertheless, I made the ice cream and even cut the amount of maple syrup (used to sweeten the ice cream) in half, because I’m not fond of maple syrup. And again I was surprised. The entire family agreed that the ice cream was delicious! It tasted better than the vanilla ice cream you buy at the store, and it had no white sugar, no preservatives, and no ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce!
I still trying to buy more food locally. I found a local supplier of eggs. My next door neighbor! How convenient is that? My neighbors on both sides of us have also shared home grown squash and cucumbers with us, too, which is great, since my garden hasn’t done so well this year. The tomatoes look good, but everything else flopped.
One of the biggest bonuses of buying less processed foods and buying more local foods is that my grocery shopping is greatly simplified. I barely hit the inside aisles of the grocery store anymore! Produce, meat, grains, and dairy is pretty much all I’ve been buying. And soda. I still haven’t been able to kick the soda habit.
Despite my successes, I’m still struggling with eating out. I’ve been plagued with headaches this summer, probably due to weather changes, and there are some nights when I feel I can’t face my kitchen. But I’m pleased with my progress overall. It’s all about baby steps, right?
Have you ever made a radical change to your diet? Do you have any tips for me in my transition?
Photo by Zoonie.
Soda’s are not a biggie for me. Once I found out all the yucky chemicals they put in them, I was done. I buy the plain seltzer water and organic 100% juice and we make our own. Ice, juice and seltzer. My family loves it. Each can make their own to taste.
I am working on reducing our sugar intake. This week I made fruit compote instead of jelly, which uses 2T of sugar per pound of fruits instead of the cups that jelly has. (Actually I probably should have used honey, but I didn’t think of it. Still working on changing habits!)
If it is helpful to anyone, these books are on Ebay.
The libraries in my area are horrible (and you have to pay to use inter-library loan to borrow for another library) so I just bought a used copy.
For those wondering, Yes – we have our own home library because of our local library system.
Sparkling water for that Italian soda, I mean. Sparkling! At Kroger it’s something like eighty cents for a two-liter, give or take. Very cheap, and nothing but fizzy water.
I made myself kick my soda habit, but I still get sparkling water and make Italian sodas at home–two tablespoons of cream and two tablespoons of flavor syrup (I use sugar-free) with eight ounces of water. Use a big cup or it’ll foam over.
Fairly soon I intend to attempt making my own kombucha mushroom and, if successful, will then make my own kombucha. I’ve tried it, unsweetened mind you, and it tasted fine and was fizzy enough to make a good soda substitute. And it works to provide probiotics if you’re dairy-sensitive.
Now you can start a food blog and show us all the yummy things you come up with. After all, this is how we foodbloggers cook, for the most part. Little, if any, processed stuff. I never buy breakfast cereal–my husband grabs one or two hard boiled eggs on the way out the door to nosh at his desk, and I like to keep homemade granola on-hand (sweetened with agave nectar for me, but honey & maple syrup also work).
I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t really know how to make a meal with processed food products. Other than boxed mac & cheese, what is there?