When you jump down the rabbit hole of natural living and whole foods, it can be difficult to explain it all. Everything is interconnected, and can seem sort of crazy if you don’t understand the reason behind it. To prevent confusion, misunderstanding, and repetition throughout the site, I have compiled a thorough description of what my family considers healthy, how we eat it, and the explanations to back it all up.
I have included lots of links to other websites in this post. There are so many amazing resources out there on these topics, I figured it makes more sense to share my favorites than to re-write it all.
First and foremost, we eat whole unprocessed foods, made from scratch at home.
Our main philosophy follows Weston A. Price.
The foundation of our diet relies upon animal fats and protein, from happy creatures living as nature intended- on grass, in the sun, with minimal human interference. Grass-fed beef, pastured pork and chicken, raw milk and cheese, fresh eggs, and butter/lard. This is not to say our plates our 75% meat and 25% everything else. But we pay the closest attention to this category, sourcing only the highest quality and making it a priority in our daily diet.
- Why Grass-Fed Trumps Grain-Fed
- The Benefits of Raising Animals on Pasture
- 5 Reasons to Switch to Pastured Pork
- FAQs About Raw Milk
- Chickens are Not Vegetarians
Though we focus primarily on fats from animal sources, we are equally passionate about fats in general, especially the saturated kind. Coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil/shortening, and avocado oil are all fantastic choices that we always keep on hand.
- New Study Puts Final Nail in “Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease” Coffin
- 6 Facts About Saturated Fat That Will Astound You- Time.com
- Benefits of Coconut Oil
Next up are whole grains and pulses (edible dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas). These are prepared the same way they were just a few generations ago – soaked in an acidic medium to mimic the environment in nature that allows the seed to sprout, or germinate. This ensures all the vitamins and minerals (all the nutrients that allow that tiny seed to grow into a big plant) which are locked up within its outer hull are released and available for our digestion.Before the introduction of supermarkets and microwave dinners, there was no such thing as quick breads, active dry yeast, or instant rice. Grains took time to coax into edible creations, and the end result was far tastier and bursting with nutrition.
(It’s worth noting that while soaked and sprouted grains are a fairly large part of our diet, unsoaked grains are full of chemicals that not only prevent the absorption of the nutrients, but actually adhere to nutrients in accompanying foods and prevent their absorption as well. Therefore, these unprepared grains are strictly avoided.)
- Why Just Soaking Grains Isn’t Good Enough
- Culturing Grains for Optimal Nutrition
- Why Sourdough Bread is More Digestible than Commercial Bread
Though not typically considered its own category, another super important aspect of our diet is fermented foods. This is HUGE for us. Sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, kefir, pickles, and vinegars. All raw, usually homemade, and teeming with beneficial bacteria that keep our guts healthy and robust.
- How to ‘Culture’ Your Way to Optimal Health
- Fermented Foods Bubble with Healthful Benefits
- Fermented Foods, Microbiota, and Mental Health: A Study
- How Gut Bacteria Help Make Us Fat and Thin
Last, but not least, is fresh, organic, locally sourced (when possible) fruits and vegetables, in abundance! Most are best when served with a generous amount of animal fats to aid nutrient absorption- think sweet potatoes and butter, broccoli topped with a creamy cheese sauce, or spinach sautéed with bacon.
I shall sum it all up with what have become profitable buzzwords and catch phrases, but are inextricably linked to our daily lives:
- Always fresh, natural ingredients. It shouldn’t say natural on the label- there shouldn’t even be a label to begin with.
- Always read the label, if there is one.
- We shop the perimeter of the supermarket, opt for the farmer’s market, or grow our own.
- Animals provide the most nutrient dense foods available, and as such should be treated with the utmost care and respect.
- Many people follow the 80/20 rule, but we try to stick to 90/10. And the 10% is not Doritos and Coca Cola. The 10% is still as natural as possible. It usually consists of cheese sticks for the children while I shop, or organic macaroni and cheese for lunch on a busy day once in a while. No one is perfect. 🙂
- We believe that knowledge is more important than cost. We are willing to sacrifice in other areas in order to afford that which gives us life. We buy used, reuse, or make do so that we can afford organic foods with honest origins.
Those who eat the SAD (Standard American Diet) may think we are crazy. At first glance, it all seems like a lot of work, a lot of information, and way too expensive. I want to show those people that they are wrong! Anyone can, and should, care this much about what they eat. Food is more than just calories, more than flavor, even more than nutrition. To me, what we eat and the way we eat it is what makes us undeniably human. Food is what sustains us, both physically and emotionally. Cultivating it, preparing it, serving it to our families- these seemingly mundane tasks should serve as the basis of our existence. We must care about what we eat just as we care about having a roof over our heads and water to quench our thirst. Convenience and cost have surpassed quality in today’s society, and we are now suffering the consequences.
Take an afternoon to read through the above posts, and you will quickly see how health and nutrition are two halves of a whole. Then take it back to the main concept and you are on your way: eat whole unprocessed foods, made from scratch at home. Make it a priority, allow your children to thrive on nutrient-dense foods, and take immense comfort knowing exactly where it all comes from.