We were discussing Weston A. Price foundation came up over at HMS blog, and that inspired me to write a post about how our family jumped off the low-fat/low-saturated-fat wagon, at least for me and the children. Mark is sticking with low-saturated-fat, fairly-low-calorie stuff for now, because it seems to work pretty well for him --- fully-grown, non-lactating person that he is.
We made and are still making changes incrementally, starting with the changes that are easiest and most bang-for-the-buck. I forget where I heard this excellent rule of thumb: If budget forces you to improve only part of your diet for now, start improving at the top of the food chain: dairy, eggs, and animal fats first; then pork, beef, chicken in that order; then fish; last, produce. The best new book on this is maybe Nina Planck's very readable and appetizing Real Food, though Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions is also full of good advice (even if studded with some perplexing, unsupported assertions in the sidebars and with seriously flawed advice about bottle-feeding) and the "great book with the dumb name" Eat Fat, Lose Fat has helped me a lot. (My friends and I agree that it should be called The Coconut Book.)
What changes have we made and what haven't we made (yet?)
- Decreased sugar and cut out nearly all trans fats - how we did that is worth a whole 'nother post!
- Switched to 100% whole wheat bread and whole grains, and traded cold cereal for old-fashioned oatmeal.
- I started seriously eating low-carb and started using as much eggs, meat, butter, and cold-press olive oil as I wanted.
- Stopped regularly serving starchy food at dinner, instead doing double vegetables
- This Yankee learned to cook collards, turnip greens, and mustard greens, because I don't like broccoli
- Switched from skim milk to whole milk and started eating even more eggs
- Started buying milk, eggs, and some cheese directly from a local farm that pastures hormone-free, antibiotic-free cattle and raises free-range chickens, and my butter via the co-op from another local grass-feeding dairy
- Started making homemade broth, keeping canned around for "emergencies"
- Started presoaking most grains I do cook
- Developed weekly breakfast schedule: Mon oatmeal, Tues eggs, Wed whole grain pancakes, Thurs eggs, Friday oatmeal -- though I eat eggs every day!
- Started supplementing with cod liver oil and flax oil
- Replaced some of the olive oil with high-quality butter, unrefined coconut oil, and un-toasted sesame oil
- JUST LAST WEEK I put in my very first order for a locally-grass-fed, locally-butchered, hormone-free, antibiotic-free quarter-beef.
What don't I do (yet)? I don't eschew cold cereal completely anymore, now that there's more whole-grain, low-sugar choices out there (We still limit it and I don't touch it myself). The yogurt I buy isn't from grass-fed cows, 'cause I like the flavor of a particular store-brand. I don't bake my own bread, except pizza dough. I don't grind my own flour for my pancakes, waffles, and pizza. I usually forget to soak and dehydrate nuts, but try to when I remember 'cause they're so tasty that way. I don't presoak oatmeal in acidulated water because dh hates the way it tastes. We plan to start buying high-quality pork and chicken this year, but haven't yet. I don't bother with "organic unrefined evaporated cane juice" -- we just try to add less sugar to our food. And most of the vegetables and fruit I buy aren't organic, unless I'm attracted to the organic stuff by its freshness and beauty. I would like to do many of these things, but haven't gotten around to making the changes yet.