Why am I such an advocate for traditional cooking? Because, as you'll read here, I tried other approaches in my life. I found them difficult to stay with, lacking in satisfying real food flavor, and costly because of the many synthetic supplements I was encouraged, by mountains of ads to take in order to get what I was not getting naturally from these special diets. Let me explain.
I was born in the early 1940s, and recall my Mother using lard, fresh butter, milk (not raw, unfortunately, because milk was pasteurized by then), lots of fresh home-grown vegetables, whole grains, and drug-free meats.
In the mid 1950s, Mother unfortunately fell prey to the advertising of ease and slowly migrated to cooking with store bought vegetable oils, frozen foods, white flour, refined sugar, and other packaged goods.
In the early 1960s, when I was In my mid 20s, I nursed my Mother through an operation to remove a good portion of her stomach and gall bladder due to acid reflux disease! This gross, unnecessary, and invasive procedure brought her to death's door...and made a deep and lasting impression on me.
I then began to do some serious nutritional study. Unfortunately, the diet I embraced was strictly vegan and it conditioned me to think that animals were not for human consumption, that saturated fat was the main cause of heart disease, and numerous other such warnings, I now know to be myths. This diet permitted no milk/dairy, butter, meat, or fish. It did allow so-called "soy milk" and, for the most part, I ate vegetables and fruits raw or juiced. Improperly prepared whole grains and olive oil made up the remainder of this great Vegan feast (NOT). In retrospect I now realize that very, very few of us truly know nutrition well enough to stay healthy on a vegetarian diet.
When I reached my mid 50s, I began feeling more tired every year. Creaking, stiff mornings were becoming the norm and I began to understand what a good friend had once said to me,"Gettin old ain't for sissies"! Yes, I was withering on my vine!
By the late 1990s countless new diets came on the scene, and, along with them, a huge selection of new wave "cure-all" vitamin supplements. It was extremely difficult to make an informed choice among the many and varied plans available. I was caught up in the supplement craze thinking that somehow they would supply what my body needed! Never once did it occur to me that hormone and anti-biotic free meats, unpasturized milk, raw butter and many other nutrient rich foods would solve these problems. Sadly, some of you are still doing that, right?
Despite everything I tried and a serious fall in which I broke my shoulder in four places, left me in a progressivey worsened state of aching stiff muscles & body pains, frequent colds, digestive problems and I developed a serious Asthma condition. Needless to say, I felt fatigued and since I'd always been such a health advocate, I was even ashamed to fully share those very difficult times with my friends or family. Although I was able to continue working and rarely missed any days, my intuitive sense continued to point out to me, that something was terribly wrong with this picture and led me continue to search for a solution.
Then something truly remarkable happened. I received an invitation to a Sally Fallon seminar. What a wondrous day that was! Finally, the whole food puzzle fell in place for me. For the first time in my life, I was able to indulge my life-long passion for cooking, and eat to my heart's content ALL the foods I had for many years forsaken in the name of "good health". How grand it was to cook and savor the aroma of a good beef or chicken soup, and other tasty foods I had eaten as a very young child. No more special diets for me!
Just a few months after beginning to cook from Sally Fallon's book, "Nourishing Traditions", my energy level skyrocketed, my low spirits slowly disappeared, my anxieties lessened, and the stiffness and pain I felt in the morning dramatically improved. I have also learned of the dangers in taking synthetic supplements and now stay with the time tested whole food supplements made by ©Standard Process. Looking back, I believe I was literally starving to death and simply did not recognize the symptoms! Yes starving! Please take the time to go on-line and look up the symptoms of starvation and you'll be amazed how closely they sound like our modern day health problems.
The indoctrination that my mother fell prey too, and that many of us grew up with caused us to seek other diets which in my case proved to be near deadly. These diets are still unfortunately being promoted as good healthy options, but our natural, intuitive inclination to eat animal fat, full-fat farm fresh milk, and meals that are comprised from all the food groups, keep us endlessly going from one low fat, low carb guilt trip to the next and all the while get sicker and more tired! What are we thinking?
I simply did not know, as many people still don't know, that traditional food--the kind my Mother made in her earlier years and the wonderful fermented veggies, beverages, bone broth and numerous other delicious foods recommended in "Nourishing Traditions", are far better for our bodies and our emotional well-being than the in-complete vegetarian and or "modern" highly processed foods that make up so much of our diets today. Based on my experience, I lovingly ask that you also consider "tradition" to be the beacon of truth.