On any given day you are most likely to find us communing with the gnomes and the fairies Under The Old Oak Tree

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nourishing Traditions (or an explanation for my absence)

I'm still here though things have been pretty quiet here on the blog over the past couple weeks.  I mentioned in my last post that I have been reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon recently.   This book has inspired such a huge change in our house.  I skeptically got this book from the library after listening to friends rave about it and traditional foods in general for the past couple of years.  They had some influence on our family for sure.  I've been cooking with coconut oil for a couple years now, I occasionally soaked my grains, was known to make bone broth a couple times a year and I had developed a healthy (if expensive) kombucha habit.  We ate whole grains almost exclusively at home and ate some produce from local farmers' markets, but we weren't really eating a real/traditional foods diet on a daily basis. W and I would grab fast-food lunches often if we were out and about (way more often than I ever care to admit) and I drank diet soda like it was going out of style. It only took me a few days reading and cooking from the book to realize how much this is revolutionizing the way our family eats.

At first my plan was to implement a couple things here and there, but the more I started preparing and eating these real foods, the more I craved them and the better I started to feel. It was like a fog was lifted.  Then, one day W and I were out and hungry and decided to stop to get some fast food.  BIG mistake.  I felt sick and sluggish for three days afterwards.  It's not an experience I care to repeat anytime soon.

I also started reading Real Food by Nina Planck and found it to be a wonderful companion to NT.  Honestly it has had a bigger impact on the types and sources of the foods we are now eating than NT has I think.  I've been getting more of our food from the local farmers markets and much less from the grocery store.  I found a local milk source at one of the markets.  It's not raw, but it is grass-fed, local, whole and unhomogenized (and since we always make the majority of our milk into yogurt or kefir, I'm okay with it for the moment).  I feel like it's the best I can do while I seek out a source of raw milk.  I've also found a wonderful meat and egg vendor that we are also frequenting along with all of our favorite produce vendors.

Okay, so on to the fun stuff going on in my kitchen now!  Just look at what I have going on above my kitchen cabinets!

One of my first projects was starting my own kombucha scoby.  It seemed to take forever, growing that first scoby from a bottle of GT Dave's, but,  I now have three jars of kombucha going and multiple bottles in a second ferment stage. (In the picture above the jars covered with clothes are my first fermentation stage jars and the bottles next to  them are the second fermentation stage). This makes me very happy and I can honestly say I don't even want to think about diet soda anymore.  For me, I think the kombucha made this such an easy and much needed transition.

I also have jars of cortido, pickles, ginger carrots, beet kvass, bean paste, and peach/tomato salsa fermenting up there.  The two jars on the right contain my sourdough starter.

I realized this past week that we are buying far fewer processed items and that I am now really making almost everything from scratch including most of our breads, tortillas and pastas.  What all of this has meant is that I spend way more time in the kitchen than I did previously and that I have to be way more organized about our meal planning and food preparation than ever before.  This is especially true for any foods containing grains or beans that need to be soaked or sprouted or meats that have to be thawed.  It has also meant that much of the computer time I do have gets devoted to researching information, recipes and tips than ever before (so less time for blogging).

The challenge now, seems to be getting the rhythm of all of this worked out so that I can do small amounts of food prep a few times a day to maintain it all and do the other things that I want or need to do done.  I hope within a week or two I will have that part sorted out a bit better.  In the mean time, I am enjoying the creativity and health of this new way of cooking and eating.


  1. Sounds really interesting, really hope it continues to improve things for you. May have to go and check out those books myself :)

  2. Thank you for the recomendation, I will definitely check these books out!

  3. That's awesome! I've been wanting to bake sourdough bread. Did you purchase your starter or make it?

  4. I made my own starter as per these directions, except, obviously, I keep mine in a jar since I don't have a bowl to spare. For the first week and a half I did obsessively wipe down the inside of the jar after each feeding to control mold though. I've made pancakes with it so far which were wonderful and I'm making pizza dough with it for dinner tonight.

  5. Wow! That's a long & detailed description. I really want to do this, though. I'll keep you posted. I've always loved Sally Fallon's book!


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