Welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by!
So you always knew your grandmother was a smart lady. She’s lived a long, hard life and can survive just about any curve ball thrown her way.
Have you sat down with her lately and asked about her life before boxed dinners? Before microwaves? Before indoor plumbing? Before cars? Before the Great Depression?
My goal is to challenge you to look at the ways your mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother kept a home before and during those challenging times. After asking or imagining what their cooking, cleaning and laundering chores were like, stop and thank the Lord for modern conveniences like electricity and plumbing!
Now that your thanksgivings are made, examine what rich traditions may have been lost in the past century or so: family traditions, community traditions, food traditions, farming traditions and especially traditions that affect our physical and mental health. All these have been altered leaving us wandering aimlessly and paranoid at who and what we can trust.
I trust tradition.
I have learned a lot from my mother and grandmothers but there is one fellow who’s discoveries have helped answer the “Why?” behind many of the traditions I’m familiar with. Thanks to his dedication to truth I am able to enjoy and write about nutrient dense foods. Foods that help my body, not hinder it.
Who was Weston A. Price?
Weston A. Price was a dentist who practiced during the early 1900s in Cleveland, Ohio. He began seeing an increase in dental cavities in children. This greatly concerned Dr. Price so he became a full-fledged student of nutrition in hopes of finding the answer to this epidemic.
He and his wife packed their bags and headed off on on a world-wide study of populations untouched by western diet. Their travels took them to many people groups including Australian Aborigines, Eskimos, South American Indians and many more. Fourteen countries in total.
The Prices came home with diaries and thousands of photographs documenting each traditional tribe they visited and also the westernized equivalent of that tribe.
Among the isolated tribes Dr. Price found wide dental arches and wide nasal cavities. This was in contrast to the juvenile patients he worked on who could only breathe through their mouths due to underdeveloped nasal structure. Straight white teeth graced tribal peoples’ faces in spite of never having heard of a tooth brush.
Price wrote the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration compiling many of his discoveries. Long and in depth, this book is more like an encyclopedia with its numerous photos and maps.
Based off of the nutritional findings of Dr. Weston Price, the Weston A Price Foundation was founded in 1999. Here is a statement from their website of what they stand for:
“The Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.”
If you would like to learn more details of the 11 dietary characteristics from Dr. Price’s findings among unmodernized people groups, read more here.
Taking from Dr. Price’s nutritional discoveries, Sally Fallon and the Weston A. Price Foundation have put together dietary guidelines to nourish those of us who are far removed from our healthier traditions.
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods.
- Eat beef, lamb, game, organ meats, poultry and eggs from pasture-fed animals.
- Eat wild fish (not farm-raised), fish eggs and shellfish from unpolluted waters.
- Eat full-fat milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as raw milk, whole yogurt, kefir, cultured butter, full-fat raw cheeses and fresh and sour cream.
- Use animal fats, such as lard, tallow, egg yolks, cream and butter liberally.
- Use only traditional vegetable oils—extra virgin olive oil, expeller-expressed sesame oil, small amounts of expeller-expressed flax oil, and the tropical oils—coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.
- Take cod liver oil regularly to provide at least 10,000 IU vitamin A and 1,000 IU vitamin D per day.
- Eat fresh vegetables, preferably organic. Use vegetables in salads and soups, or lightly steamed with butter.
- Use whole grains, legumes and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors and other anti-nutrients.
- Include enzyme-rich lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
- Prepare homemade stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb and fish and use liberally in soups, stews, gravies and sauces.
- Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.
- Use unrefined salt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.
- Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and a small amount of expeller-expressed flax oil.
- Use traditional sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, maple sugar, date sugar, dehydrated cane sugar juice (sold as Rapadura) and stevia powder.
- Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals.
- Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel.
- Use only natural, food-based supplements.
- Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light.
- Think positive thoughts and practice forgiveness.
I am by no means perfect at following these guidelines but this is what I’ve based my nutritional decisions off of for the past 17 years. [Of course dorm rooms and cafeteria food don’t allow for much flexibility! I carried my own butter in my backpack, got raw milk from a local farm and made kombucha while attending college.] Sally Fallon has written several books on this topic. Two of my favorites and regular references are Nourishing Traditions (an in-depth cook book) and The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Childcare.
These are the guidelines I write articles for you from. To me, this just makes sense. I look at Americans and it saddens my heart that living dutifully by the ever-changing government food guide pyramid has gotten us this (un)healthy. Something must be wrong!
I trust tradition. I look to foods that have not changed or been created in the past century. I choose foods I can make at home. I choose foods that originated from a plant and weren’t made in a plant. I choose to ignore the fads and look at what really works for my health and my family. I also choose to splurge now and then and enjoy a social life.
And so I write with the last words of Dr. Weston Price on June 23, 1948 running through my mind:
“You teach, you teach, you teach.”