Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nourishing Traditions

In my opinion, this book is definitely one of the most important to read if you’re serious about restoring your digestive health and enjoying optimal nutrition. For me, it’s been a long road to complete health and wellness and I'm eternally grateful to Sally Fallon for publishing this book. The premise of the book is that modern food choices and preparation techniques constitute a radical shift from the way our ancestors nourished themselves years ago and represent a trend that has severely compromised our health and vitality. The research findings of Dr. Weston Price are included; Dr. Price was a scientifically curious man. He discovered that the innovative food manufacturing companies of the early 20th century and their way of streamlining the production process of canned and frozen foods, sugar-coated cereal, assorted candies and pasties were wreaking havoc on our health. Dr. Price traveled all around the world to observe population groups that lived entirely on local foods. While many of the particulars of these diets varied, there were several common threads. Almost without exception, they ate liberal amounts of seafood (or other animal proteins and fats including raw milk), along with fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole unrefined grains.

The book is chock full of delicious recipes and I’ve had the pleasure of trying quite a few of them! There is also some fun food trivia included: “Know your Ingredients” quizzes demonstrate that certain ingredients recur in processed foods. A few of them almost made me laugh…until I realized it wasn’t a joke! See if you can guess this one (no cheating, don’t scroll down until you’ve given it some thought.)

Know Your Ingredients: Name This Product #15

Salt, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, sugar, monosodium glutamate, dehydrated onion, maltodextrin, dextrin (with beef extract and partially hydrogenated soybean oil), caramel color, autolyzed yeast, corn oil, dry malt syrup, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, natural flavoring, not more than 2% silicon dioxide added as an anti-caking agent.

One word (yuk!)

Okay are you ready?

And the winner is, Weight Watchers Beef Broth Mix!

If you’re serious about taking charge of your health, this book is a must read. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about Dr. Weston Price, visit The Weston A. Price Foundation was founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price. Dr. Price’s Research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.

As always, bon appétit!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eat the Right Fats!

This is a great article! The total amount of fat you eat, whether high or low, isn't really the problem; what really matters is the type of fat you eat. There is a difference between "bad" fats (saturated and trans-fats) and "good" fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) We actually need fat in our diets, in fact, we can't live without them. Fats are an important part of a healthy diet and they provide essential fatty acids, keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energizing fuel. However, I do understand that it's easy to get confused about good fats vs. bad fats. I hope this article will help shed some light; Eat The Right Fats!

As always, bon appétit!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Think Local

South of the James Market, Forest Hill Park
Richmond, VA

After a long and cold winter, spring is finally here and I couldn't be happier! Spring is one of my very favorite seasons and I’m so excited for all of the lovely things this season brings. I adore the return of birds and their serenades, the smell of fresh cut grass, longer days, and best of all, locally grown salad greens, asparagus, strawberries, and itty bitty potatoes!

Why local? Unlike corporate agriculture, family farms are run by people who live on the land and care deeply for it. They understand the importance of protecting the soil, and growing food for flavor (not shelf life.) The food is almost always weeks fresher than anything trucked in across state or national borders. Family farms help preserve cultural and family values with respect for hard work and a deep appreciation for the land. Local farmers who sell directly to consumers are able to cut out the middlemen. This allows them to make enough money to support their families and stay on the farm, doing the work they love. By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow, and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful and abundant food.

Best of all, local produce tastes better and is better for you. Why? Fresh produce loses nutrients quickly. In a weeklong (or more) delay from harvest to dinner table, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality. Produce may have traveled surprisingly far to get to your grocery store, whereas food grown in your own community was probably picked within the past day or two. Buy Local and taste the difference!

I feel very lucky to live in a city that is large enough to offer an abundance of farmers markets, in addition to grocery stores that support local. Elwood Thompson's is a grocery store in Richmond that is committed to supporting local farmers. Not surprisingly, it's one of my favorite places to shop! Some grocers define local as 250 miles, but Ellwood is focused on offering products that are within 100 miles of their store. Better yet, every department in the store has local offerings. If you’re lucky enough to have a grocery store in your community that supports local, please support them!

As always, bon appétit!