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.