Natural foods and how best to prepare them have been an interest of mine for many years.
Part of it is because of where I grew up - right in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley in California. It's a beautiful part of our country and I've always been proud to have grown up in a family that farmed...but I also grew up knowing that there were days we couldn't play outside because they were spraying the fields around our house (and our house was surrounded by fields on all four sides). I knew that every fall, I'd be sick when the defoliated the cotton. I was more annoyed by the crop dusters spraying at four in the morning than I was by what they were spraying.
As a child, it didn't strike me as that odd.
As an adult, I worry about what all of those chemicals did to me. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in her early 40's. My grandmother had a childhood form of leukemia in her 70's. My husband is sometimes blown away by the number of cancer patients I've known.
And you will never convince me that it doesn't have something to do with all of those chemicals.
When Hanna was little, I began shopping at farmer's markets and buying organic. When Caleb came along, I really began reading and researching. Since then, I've read and read and read and have made the food changes our budget allows, seeking to use our grocery dollars to support responsible agriculture. We've started gardening. We compost. We recycle. We capture the water it takes to get from cold to warm in our shower and use it in the garden. We get most of our produce through a local organic co-op. And I'm still reading and learning.
Two years ago, I read Nourishing Traditions on our cross country trip. It was a fascinating read and made so much sense to me on an intellectual level. The human body has been conditioned over thousands of years to need certain foods prepared certain ways. Over the last hundred years or so, the way we eat has changed radically and our bodies simply aren't keeping up. Much of what is foundational in Nourishing Traditions is contrary to what conventional nutritional wisdom tells us, and yet I find that conventional nutritional wisdom changes all too often. We throw away tradition for the sake of science that contradicts itself every decade and our bodies and families are paying for it.
What do we do?
We reclaim those traditions. We eat real foods - to borrow a few ideas from Michael Pollan, we eat foods our great-grandmothers would recognize and with ingredients we can actually pronounce. We buy more foods that don't have ingredient labels and we learn to make more from scratch.
It hasn't been easy to take that intellectual knowledge and turn it into daily practice, even for someone who is commited to living a more natural lifestyle. I've been slowly implementing some of the suggestions found in Nourishing Traditions, but have been a little baffled by exactly how to make others work...which is why I am so excited about the solution that this class is for me:
Someone to walk me through baby steps to healthier eating and food preparation...exactly what I've been hoping and praying for. 16 weeks, 14 classes, less than $10 a class, with video and printables, and a member's forum to get to know others who are seeking to live and eat the same way...I can't wait for it to begin!
As I mentioned a day or two ago, I was so excited by the opportunities for learning and health offered by this class that I signed up to be an affiliate. If you click on any of the banners on my blog for it, I will receive monetary compensation.