I’ve been taking a little bit of a blogging break for the last couple of weeks. Life has been truly wonderful; I love my job and I love what I’m learning in school, and I’ve LOVED that I’ve been able to spend time with friends and family so much recently! The honest truth though is that all my brain power is being used for school! Which I’m completely okay with right now. But I DO want to provide value for those who do read my blog!
I decided to use some of my schoolwork as content as I go, since honestly it all is related 🙂
Many of my assignments are book reviews, and one of them was on the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Many of you may have read it, and if you have CONGRATS because there is so much valuable information in that book! Not to mention recipes GALORE! I decided to share a little bit of what I learned from Nourishing Traditions. And if at the end you feel the intense desire to read it yourself (which you should :), I have included a link to purchase it on Amazon for a screaming deal.
Nourishing Traditions was based on the idea that our modern day diet has drastically strayed from the nourishing ways and habits of our ancestors. The current lifestyle and poor food choices of today’s society are leading many of us to disease and other afflictions. The “Diet Dictocrats,” as Sally Fallon lovingly refers to them (USDA, FDA, AHA, ACS, and other researchers and various government agencies) are simply wrong. They don’t have, or are neglecting to provide, the whole story. Many of these research facilities and programs are in fact funded by the huge, extremely profitable food processing industry, forcing these agencies to give the information that will ultimately make the industry the most money. Instead, in Nourishing Traditions, Fallon encourages individuals to eat a diet based on real, whole foods, unprocessed and unrefined; foods that are valued in traditional societies; based on the studies of Dr. Weston A. Price.
I personally learned so much from this book that I am already applying in my own life and that I look forward to educating others with. Specifically, I appreciated the breakdown of vitamins and minerals and the detail that was given about the roles they play in our bodies. I now know that we primarily get our Vitamin A from animal sources, and provitamin A and carotene can be converted to Vitamin A in the body. Unfortunately though, many individuals, including infants, children, diabetics, and those with thyroid issues, are unable to make this conversion. In addition, this conversion cannot take place without sufficient fat in the diet. (Healthy fats are SO important! Blog post coming about that soon!)
A note about cholesterol that I found fascinating! We are taught to believe that cholesterol = bad; but truly cholesterol is just an indicator of something else. The body floods the blood with cholesterol as an adaptive and protective mechanism. When we have high cholesterol, instead of asking “how can we lower this,” we need to be asking, “what is the real problem?”
One more thing that I was stoked to learn about was that salt in our diet not only provides sodium, but also chloride which we need for the production of hydrochloric acid, as well as proper function of our brain and nervous system (yay for seasoning our food!). Unfortunately, the “salt” that we all know and love is highly refined, much like today’s sugar and flour. According to Sally Fallon, this process removes all the valuable magnesium and trace minerals, and has additives such as aluminum compounds, potassium iodide (which are toxic to our bodies), and finally it’s bleached to look pure and white. (To learn what salt you should be consuming, I found this to be a great article.)
One of my main takeaways from my reading of Nourishing Traditions was to remain educated and on top of research from sources that we can trust. Unfortunately, we can’t trust the agencies and groups who we are taught to, such as the USDA and FDA. The recommendations that are given by them are not in our best interest, but are there to make them the best profit. I also really appreciated the advice that Sally Fallon gives to follow the dietary footsteps of our ancestors, but also “not to extrapolate from the habits of carnivorous primitive peoples. There is a great deal to be learned from their dietary habits, but the fact is that we are not fundamentally cavemen but beings with divine component to our being.” I believe in eating real, whole foods based off our ancestors, but ultimately doing what works best for our own bodies.
If you now feel the need to learn more about what Sally Fallon has to say about how we can and should be nourishing our bodies, buy the book on Amazon!
Have you read the book? I’d love for you to leave your thoughts below!