A Fresh Start

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!

~Rachel

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12 thoughts on “A Fresh Start

  1. I’d like to learn more about cultured foods. What are the nutritional benefits and how do you prepare them?

  2. This is awesome. I’m inspired to pick up the book! I’d like to learn about “Why is stomach acid good for you (and how to support healthy digestion)!”
    Thanks lady!

  3. I think the benefits to eating grass-fed meat, where to find it, how to cook it and how to afford it would be awesome!! =) Nicely done and I’m looking forward to keeping in touch on these topics during the school year next year.

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