Since I have been learning so many new things this past year while studying Nutritional Therapy, I decided that I needed a venue for sharing some of this new-found information. I originally planned on using my old blog (magnoliablooming.blogspot.com), but I heard that people were having trouble posting comments, so I decided to change blog hosts….and here we are!
I have to preface this post by saying that I have been interested in health and nutrition for YEARS. I have tried to learn whatever I can whenever I can about it. I was self-educated in conventional “nutrition”: I subscribed to Cooking Light magazine for years. I made lots of low-fat, whole-wheat recipes, substituting apple sauce for oil, used splenda, drank skim milk, bought extra lean boneless-skinless chicken breasts, rarely ate red meat, etc. all in the name of health. Eventually I embraced the idea of “clean eating”, which I do think was a step in the right direction, but I still was unaware of the value of traditionally-prepared foods, and my need for more fats and other major nutrients, until reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (HIGHLY recommended!) last summer. That book had a very powerful impact on me, opening my eyes to a whole new (and yet ancient) understanding of food and nourishment, and my body’s needs. I can’t tell you everything (you have to read the book for yourself!), but some of the major things that I have learned in the past year that have drastically changed the way I take care of myself are:
- the very important roles of fats and fat-soluble vitamins, including saturated fats and cholesterol
- the importance of including animal fats and proteins in your diet (and the differences in bio-availability between different protein sources)
- the fact that I was not eating enough fats and proteins
- the whole idea of eating cultured/fermented foods (Kefir, sourdough, kombucha, kraut…etc.)
- raw dairy & grass-fed meats vs. the commercialized alternatives
- “anti-nutrients” phytic acid & oxalic acid, and the need to soak nuts, seeds, grains, & legumes
- adrenal fatigue and what to do about it
- the many negative effects of a high-carbohydrate diet
- the lack of nutrients in packaged cereals (even organic ones!)
- soy (not just genetically modified soy either) is really not great, for a number of reasons
I had been really limiting animal products, assuming that a plant-based, mostly-raw diet was the best way to go. I even played around with the idea of “raw-vegan” or at least vegetarian. I made green smoothies for breakfast almost every day. Now I have eggs with veggies nearly every morning, add cultured foods into nearly every meal, make sourdough, kraut, kombucha, and bone broth, and make an effort to get at least 30% of my energy each day from fats. I have nearly eliminated drinking coffee and alcohol, and I very rarely have chocolate (carob instead). I buy cheese & beef from grass-fed cows, and have mostly swapped even healthy desserts (like frozen banana “ice cream”) with higher fat, lower sugar options (like full-fat coconut “ice cream” instead). I try not to eat grains/legumes/nuts that have not been soaked, sprouted, or fermented first (that rules out pretty much all cereals, granola, & store-bought bread). It has been (and will continue to be) quite a journey, but i think it’s a worthwhile journey.
I do have list of potential post ideas that I want to get around to writing, but I thought that I would see if any of you had particular preferences first.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- Nutrient ratios vs. calorie counting
- Nutrient-dense foods: what are they, how do I choose them?
- Properly-prepared foods: soaking/sprouting/dehydrating grains, nuts, seeds, & legumes
- cultured vegetables (why, how, etc.)
- Sourdough (why, how, etc.)
- What are healthy proteins?
- Why are fats healthy?
- What are healthy fats?
- Which vegetables are “low-glycemic”, and why should I care?
- Food-combining: what is it, and why does it matter?
- Chewing. Do it. (why chewing your food is really important)
- Why is stomach acid good for you (and how to support healthy digestion)
- What are the effects of sugar, alcohol, and caffeine on my system?
- Why the right bacteria in your gut is critical, and how to best support it
- Why grass-fed, “pastured” meat?
- What’s wrong with farm-raised fish?
- What are the health implications of “raw”, “cultured”, and “grass-fed” dairy, and what should I look for? (and on the flip-side, what are the health implications of pasteurized, grain-fed dairy?)
- What are the differences between all the different egg options?
- Soda & high-fructose corn syrup
- What is Nutritional Therapy, and what does a Nutritional Therapist do?
I’m sure there are many more topics that I should have included on this list, but that’s a start at least! 🙂
Let me know what you would like to hear about! Thanks for reading!