TF questions (science, Sally Fallon, time and $ constraints...) - Mothering Forums
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Traditional Foods > TF questions (science, Sally Fallon, time and $ constraints...)
Astrea's Avatar Astrea 01:08 AM 07-30-2010
I've been interested in TF for a while. I checked out Nourishing Traditions a couple of years back, though, and it completely turned me off. Sally Fallon's research and conclusions struck me as unscientific (I'm a big science fan!) and a bit offensive (I really disliked her constant and unproblematized references to "traditional" foods and "tradional" people, as if they were some kind of monolithic magical thing--it brought up a lot of issues for me, and basically made me write her off completely ). I also don't have much faith in Weston Price or the other TF sources I've come across. Too many things scream "bad science" to me and that's a deal-breaker in our family.

That said, I've been convinced--mostly by non-TF sources!--of the value and importance of many TF style things, like raw dairy, raw coconut oil, soaking nuts and grains, grass-fed meat, etc. I've flirted with raw and vegetarian/vegan eating for a long time but for a lot of hard-to-pinpoint reasons, I don't feel it's working that well for us. I'm getting interested in giving the TF thing a shot.

I guess my question is whether there are any good sources of solid, science based information on TF, or if there are things I should read other than NT that might not turn me off so much. I don't mean to insult or talk down to anyone who loves NT, Weston Price, etc; they just don't mesh well with how our family thinks, and I'm wondering if there are TF alternatives I should know about. It's especially vital for me to find some solid, reputable sources of information that are more suited to our family's point of view if I want my husband to get on board AT ALL (he's very skeptical, criticial and scientific and is getting sick of being pulled around from diet perspective to diet perspective by me).

Finally, is it possible to cook TF style with limited time (I'll be caring for 3 kids under 3 starting next month, and I'm also a writer so that takes up some time each week)? If so, how? Things like sourdough bread, bone broths, fermenting etc. seem to require a ton of time and attention. And can it be done without spending gazillions of dollars? What's your average monthly food budget? Where I live, raw milk costs $16 for one gallon, raw cheese is $40 for 1kg, raw grass fed butter costs the same as a brick of gold etc.

TIA!

tanyalynn's Avatar tanyalynn 01:31 AM 07-30-2010
Have you run across wholehealthsource.blogspot.com? He cites sources, both current studies and older ones, I think it will start to meet your needs.

re: making stock, using a slow cooker overnight is a lifesaver. Making kimchi takes time (we're dairy free) but I make a couple gallons at once and it lasts a while. We don't eat a lot of grains, but once you get into a routine of, say, soaking lentils or whatever, it's not a huge amount of time. Now, I _do_ struggle with organization, but I figure it's easier to improve my organization than it is to create time.
Astrea's Avatar Astrea 01:48 AM 07-30-2010
Thank you for that blog link! I also just put a hold request in for Nina Planck's book at the library.

So you can make bone broth in a slow cooker, eh? Too bad I got rid of mine a couple of years ago Maybe I will consider re-investing.
Smokering's Avatar Smokering 07:44 AM 07-30-2010
What precisely do you find wrong with her science? I'm not a scientist by any stretch, but she cited a bunch of credible-sounding studies in a way that allows for easy referencing. I was personally put off by a few slightly "woo-woo" statements she made about the Divine and forgiveness, not to mention her endorsement of homeopathy, but that doesn't mean the well-designed, peer-reviewed studies she cited are suspect. Do you feel she cherry-picked the studies, or...?

As for the "traditional" thing, the term is used to refer specifically to the societies Weston A Price studied - isolated, pre-industrial societies. I guess she could have used the term "isolated pre-industrial societies", but as a useful shorthand it didn't bug me unduly. Some of WAP's views on race come across as rather paternalistic and dated (he talks about "racial stock", for instance), but by the standards of the 1940s he had a pretty positive attitude. After all, the rest of the scientific community was decrying "primitive" things like breastfeeding and cosleeping at the time...

ETA: Forgot to say, bone broths and fermenting don't really take a ton of time. Sure, sauerkraut might take weeks or months to mature, but it takes ten minutes to mix and the rest is just waiting.
mbravebird's Avatar mbravebird 11:06 AM 07-30-2010
Don't have time to write now, but I can tell you that Nina Planck's "Real Food: What to Eat and Why" will give you what you want, research-wise. She does use some WAPF sources, but she uses lots of others too. She's a former journalist, and does her research well, and writes about it in a compelling way. Enjoy it! I loved that book. I woke up each morning wondering what she was going to say next.

TF stuff has a learning curve, and will get easier as you go along. So as long as you set moderate goals for yourself, you'll be fine. It does take more time, but I find it takes more organization and thinking ahead than anything else. Broth, for example, takes about 20 minutes of hands-on time over about 12-24 hours -- you've just got to acclimate yourself to doing it, and do it until it "feels" easy to work it in.
crunchy_mama's Avatar crunchy_mama 12:07 PM 07-30-2010
I don't like SF either and have a hard time giving her much credence. I much more preferred going straight to Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Price. Also, all the online resources others have sighted. There is plenty of info out there even on vegan sites about the goodness of sprouting and soaking. I don't like how SF makes it out to be an all or nothing thing either, do what you can as you can. Get the best quality you can afford. Add things in one at a time. A lot of it is not so time intensive once you know what you are doing but more intensive as far as planning goes.
kallyn's Avatar kallyn 12:08 PM 07-30-2010
I second http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/. His articles are always science-based, clear, concise, well-thought-out, and well-referenced. It's well worth reading back through his archives.

It might also be worth it to go back to Sally Fallon's source material, the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price. If you don't want to buy the book I think you can find most of it online (don't have the link on me right now, but maybe someone else does).

In regards to cost, you can do TF as expensively or as cheaply as you want to. Raw dairy is not a "must," so if it's cost prohibitive leave it out! Many of the cultures Weston Price studied were extraordinarily healthy with no dairy in their diet at all. If you do want to include dairy, but not $$$ raw dairy, you can make compromises such as trying to find non-homogenized milk and culturing it. It's really not an all-or-nothing thing.

As far as time investment, if you already do most of your own cooking you won't be adding that much time to it. Things like fermented veggies, bone broth, soaking grains, etc, just require forethought, not active time investment. So if you want oatmeal in the morning, you just have to remember to set it soaking the night before. The oatmeal itself won't take any longer to cook.

HTH!
Sayward's Avatar Sayward 01:51 PM 07-30-2010
Just wanted to add my 2 cents. I am a scientist, and I couldn't agree more! Every time I've followed the trail, I've been appalled/disappointed by the way science is misrepresented by Sally Fallon and the WAPF. It's unfortunate because there *is* a lot of good information in there. But stuff like "OMG SOY WILL SHRIVEL YOUR SONS TESTICLES AND GIVE HIM TEH GEIGH" just destroys all their credibility for me. It's at the point now where if I hear something coming from the WAPF, I am *automatically* skeptical.

That said! As others have noted there is a lot of data to back up many of these practices (like soaking grains/legumes or eating fermented foods), so it's definitely worth investigating.

And for what it's worth I agree with your discomfort with the way 'traditional' is used and viewed. Seems to me like more of white people exotifying, idealizing, and lumping together the 'other'.

Like I said, just my 2 cents.
chaoticzenmom's Avatar chaoticzenmom 02:29 PM 07-30-2010
I loved the book, but agree that some of it was a little over-the-top. I love the "guess these ingredients" sections and all of the side-notes and bits of information. I tried a few of the recipes and the ones I tried were ok.

I really enjoyed "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and his book "Food Rules." Really, that's all you need to know to eat traditionally. I'd love to read Nina Plank's book...must go look it up.

It's taken years to get to the point where we are. Finances have pushed us back (no raw milk for us) but I still look at everything I need at the grocery store and decide if it's better made at home. Mayo, ketchup, bread, rolls, broth, yogurt, kimchi, soda..those things are just better made at home. You have to be on it though to really get all of those things..the fermenting, soaking, cultures, sodas. They all take time and space, but not really much money. No knead bread can be made very cheaply. We buy flour and yeast in bulk, fill our freezer with 1/2 a grass-fed cow, including heart, liver and bones. I collect jars and bottles for cultures.

The beef, for us is the most expensive "investment." We have to plan way ahead and pay for it with tax returns and budgeting. We get vegetables from a local farmer who delivers. We have backyard chickens for eggs (also fairly expensive, but so fun). We order bulk groceries from a Azure Standard. If we really wanted, we could skip the grocery store all-together. All that stuff takes planning and work to get it to be consumable. The work becomes habit though.

This thread has inspired me to make some blueberry soda.
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 02:39 PM 07-30-2010
Well I'm a skeptic anyway after having been burned by agenda based diets and health claims in the past. I personally find her off putting. Some of the stuff is just flat out rediculous, like her claims that heart disease was unknown prior to the 1900s of whatever it was, I don't have the quote in front of me. Although I do find value with many of the things she espouses.


Maybe I should have just posted a to saywards post LOL
Astrea's Avatar Astrea 04:01 PM 07-30-2010
Thanks, everyone. I feel a lot better having read all your posts. I had no idea Pollan's books were part of the TF lexicon. I haven't read either of his books, but I know the basics of what he writes about (I've read about diet and nutrition as a hobby of sorts for years, so the whole "eat food, not too much, mostly plants" and "eat grass-fed, clean animal products from traceable sources in moderation" stuff isn't news to me). I think I'll check them out and see if I feel there's enough new info in there for me to investthe time in reading them thoroughly.

It's been a couple of years since I read NT and checked out the WAPF stuff, so I can't describe in detail what my issues are but it sounds like some of you with similar perspectives have reacted in the same way. To me, good science requires, at minimum, repeatable, randomized double-blind studies with placebo and control groups, and publication in respsected, peer-reviewed journals. I don't recall seeing much of that in NT or WAPF. I noticed a lot of self-referencing, single-source data. I do understand that there is a dearth of solid scientific inquiry into issues of diet and nutrition, but I'm still very skeptical when faced with a lack of scientific information as described above. Maybe if I read some other sources that click more for me, I'll be able to go back to NT and WAPF and cherry-pick the useful bits without getting worked up into a frothing rage of scientific righteousness (J/K--sort of!).

Cost is the main reason we've been mostly veg and sometimes vegan--it's really tough to afford clean, grass-fed, humanely raised and slaughtered animal products in our area (second highest cost of living in North America, and we're urban, without a car, so farmgate salesare not an option for us --and they don't tend to me cheaper here anyway. Farmer's markets are also extremely expensive). I'm mostly veg for reasons of environment and health--if I could afford humane, clean, sustainable meat we'd definitely eat more of it (although not at every meal!). I don't think there's anything ethically wrong with consuming animals and their products if they're raised right.

I think I'm actually pretty TF at heart but restricted a lot by time and budget. The huge emphasis on consuming tons of saturated fats is probably the one thing I'm not sold on; to be honest, it kind of scares me. I've read so much convincing material in favour of low-fat/"healthy" (avocado, salmon, etc.) fat diets! Is there anyone other than Fallon/Enig who write about that issue in an indepth manner?

I already bake bread from scratch a lot using the Artisan Bread in 5 method. The dough sits overnight or longer before being baked. Is that equivalent to soaking? And I just read a webpage about bone broths--sounds like what I already make with organic chicken carcasses (although I add veg scraps as well as bones--is that OK?).

Finally, is all this soaked and fermented stuff really truly tasty? I'm a huge foodie. I've tried making kombucha and water kefir before and to my tastes that stuff is truly nasty. I have a hard time imagining putting tons of time and effort into preparing food that I have to force myself to choke down, yk?
tanyalynn's Avatar tanyalynn 04:13 PM 07-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrea View Post
I think I'm actually pretty TF at heart but restricted a lot by time and budget. The huge emphasis on consuming tons of saturated fats is probably the one thing I'm not sold on; to be honest, it kind of scares me. I've read so much convincing material in favour of low-fat/"healthy" (avocado, salmon, etc.) fat diets! Is there anyone other than Fallon/Enig who write about that issue in an indepth manner?
Check out Stephan's discussion of fat on the blog I mentioned before, he includes references.

re: amount of fat, I don't think this forum is representative of what TF/NT has to be, and I don't remember if SF addresses amount of fat, or just types. Some of us got here due to fairly serious health problems and it's not universal, but many of that group seem to do best on quite high-fat diets--and we're disproportionately chatty. As I've gotten healthier, I've seen the amount of fat I need to feel good decrease quite a bit, so this seems an area where individual needs would be important to consider.
Astrea's Avatar Astrea 04:26 PM 07-30-2010
Wow, that's interesting. What sorts of health problems responded to high-sat-fat diets?
Magelet's Avatar Magelet 04:30 PM 07-30-2010
In terms of evidence on fats, I don't know. I read NT, and decided to give it a try, because it was what my body was already craving. At this point, the radical turn around in my and my DP's health is all the evidence I need on that point. We've both lost weight to a healthy weight from being overweight (him very very much so) we both have more strength, stamina, etc. My cholesterol dropped back down to normal levels. Our mental health issues are almost non existant now. It's very very obvious (even to others) that we absolutely thrive on this diet, and that's all the evidence I need for myself (along with historical evidence that people used to eat lots of saturated fat, and yet heart disease has soared since people slowed down their fat consumption. If it caused heart disease, it likely would have dropped over the past half century or century.

I don't know that the artisan bread in 5 minutes a day is completely as good as sourdough, but I know people make sourdough versions (IIRC), and it's still pretty good even if you don't.

In terms of bone broth, probably. You might get an even more nutritious stock if you cook it 12+ hours rather than 4-5 (which is common for chicken stock) and by adding a little dash of apple cider vinegar or other acid. (minerals leach out better into an acidic medium.)

In terms of taste, honestly, it's better. If the kombucha you made was nasty, try buying some first. most people I know like it, but not everyone. if you like the commercial stuff then you can figure out what happened to yours to make it nasty. sourkraut is amazing tasting, as are most other fermented veggies (though again, some people don't like it. taste isn't universal. most people do like it though). yogurt, sourdough bread, kimchee, sourkraut, cheese, so many fermented things are foods which have been loved for a long time and still are (though they aren't ALWAYS made in the same health giving way anymore).

In terms of cost, for two of us, we spend $400 dollars a month on food in a high COL area (admitedly with good access to food). We're both young though and eat a ton, I would say that us 5 years from now with a 4 year old probably would eat about the same amount. That said, we don't have the up front money to do things that would save us a ton of money, such as buying meat in bulk (nor do we have the freezer space). We buy a whole chicken or about 2 pounds of ground meat (pastured) a week, and stretch it. 1 whole chicken is protein for 4 meals plus several meals of stock. Our biggest expense is ALWAYS fat. pastured butter, olive oil, and coconut oil. We saved a ton of money this month by buying a 3 litre thing of olive oil for 15 dollars instead of one litre for 8. That said, we eat 1 lb of butter, 1/4 of a pint of coconut oil and half a litre of olive oil per week.f

We also make big use of protein sparing things: making sure to serve a little animal protein (dairy or meat or fish) with all veggie meals to better digest the plant protein, making use of stock whose geletin is protein sparing, using meals with meat and veggies combined rather than a hunk of meat.

I definitely agree with pp's that a lot of the "time consuming-ness" of TF cooking isn't time you are actively cooking. Stock takes 30 minutes (5 to put it on, 12-18 hours later, 15 to strain it and fridge it, then 10 to freeze it when it's cool, the next tday.) kraut takes 20 min maybe, but I usually multi-task it, cutting and pounding the cabbage while reading or watching a movie or reading MDC. the rest of the time it sits in a jar on the counter, til it's ready to pop in the fridge. bread takes a long time but no more active time than regular bread. soaking grains depending on what they are, takes 2 extra minutes. (like oatmeal, I just pop the oats in a bowl, cover with water and stir in a bit of yogurt before bed, in the morning I cook them like usual. I soak in bulk so that gets done only 1x a week anyways. I soak a bunch, elave it at room temp 4 days then fridge it.)
kl5's Avatar kl5 04:52 PM 07-30-2010
Hyperlipid is another fantastic blog that is absolutely research-based. He knows the studies better than just about anyone I have read on the subject and bases all of his writings on analysis of same. It's often over my head, but there is a lot of valuable information there and potentially a good place to start, especially on the fats issue.

SF is a controversial character, for reasons both earned and unearned. Enig as well, mostly by association. But I think they, especially SF, get credited with a lot of ideas that they don't actually represent and have never espoused. A lot of which get repeated here without links or backup and become the truth after a few repetitions. NT is an imperfect book, for sure. But a lot of the greater body of WAPF writings, many of which are available on the website, are better supported with links and cites. Whether those cites actually support the point being made, that's another issue. But that *is* the process of science too. Examining, often many years after the fact, whether the studies cited to support a "fact" actually do so in light of new information. Much of the new spin on fats involve just that, revisiting the old studies and finding that they never supported the low fat gospel in the first place.
chaoticzenmom's Avatar chaoticzenmom 05:19 PM 07-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrea View Post
Thanks, everyone. I feel a lot better having read all your posts. I had no idea Pollan's books were part of the TF lexicon. I haven't read either of his books, but I know the basics of what he writes about (I've read about diet and nutrition as a hobby of sorts for years, so the whole "eat food, not too much, mostly plants" and "eat grass-fed, clean animal products from traceable sources in moderation" stuff isn't news to me). I think I'll check them out and see if I feel there's enough new info in there for me to investthe time in reading them thoroughly.

It's been a couple of years since I read NT and checked out the WAPF stuff, so I can't describe in detail what my issues are but it sounds like some of you with similar perspectives have reacted in the same way. To me, good science requires, at minimum, repeatable, randomized double-blind studies with placebo and control groups, and publication in respsected, peer-reviewed journals. I don't recall seeing much of that in NT or WAPF. I noticed a lot of self-referencing, single-source data. I do understand that there is a dearth of solid scientific inquiry into issues of diet and nutrition, but I'm still very skeptical when faced with a lack of scientific information as described above. Maybe if I read some other sources that click more for me, I'll be able to go back to NT and WAPF and cherry-pick the useful bits without getting worked up into a frothing rage of scientific righteousness (J/K--sort of!).

Cost is the main reason we've been mostly veg and sometimes vegan--it's really tough to afford clean, grass-fed, humanely raised and slaughtered animal products in our area (second highest cost of living in North America, and we're urban, without a car, so farmgate salesare not an option for us --and they don't tend to me cheaper here anyway. Farmer's markets are also extremely expensive). I'm mostly veg for reasons of environment and health--if I could afford humane, clean, sustainable meat we'd definitely eat more of it (although not at every meal!). I don't think there's anything ethically wrong with consuming animals and their products if they're raised right.

I think I'm actually pretty TF at heart but restricted a lot by time and budget. The huge emphasis on consuming tons of saturated fats is probably the one thing I'm not sold on; to be honest, it kind of scares me. I've read so much convincing material in favour of low-fat/"healthy" (avocado, salmon, etc.) fat diets! Is there anyone other than Fallon/Enig who write about that issue in an indepth manner?

I already bake bread from scratch a lot using the Artisan Bread in 5 method. The dough sits overnight or longer before being baked. Is that equivalent to soaking? And I just read a webpage about bone broths--sounds like what I already make with organic chicken carcasses (although I add veg scraps as well as bones--is that OK?).

Finally, is all this soaked and fermented stuff really truly tasty? I'm a huge foodie. I've tried making kombucha and water kefir before and to my tastes that stuff is truly nasty. I have a hard time imagining putting tons of time and effort into preparing food that I have to force myself to choke down, yk?
I make horrible kombucha. I've made it and bottled it with various fruits, time-frames, etc. Only once did I make delicious, fruity, bubble kombucha (peach/ginger). I stick to the grocery store stuff now.

I've worked hard to get the right grains and make soaked bread. It's hit or miss. Pancakes are awesome but my kids won't touch the fermented bread The artisan bread is as good as it gets for my kids as far as soaked goes.

You don't need to get water kefir grains. You can make a "ginger bug" and make your own cultured sodas that are really good and filled with good bacteria. Look up blueberry soda on youtube and you'll find a great video from Herb something or 'nother. I have one that uses kefir on my blog, but I don't have the ginger bug one up yet. Soon....

For meats, you may just do a once a week meal and spend some money on it. Get one large roast and really stretch it.

Time...like i said, you'll start to make it a habit.. You wake up and do a few things to your cultures, or start something new. You stir this or that before bed. Start a soda one day, bottle it a few days later. Start your kimchi, then let it sit. These things take days/weeks, months....

I had some luck putting a huge thing of bread dough in the fridge. I used a big lidded plastic box that took up a whole shelf. Then, I just pulled some out in the morning and let it rise.

Fats- I don't go out of my way to add fats to my diet. I just make sure I'm using the right kinds of fats...no margarine, etc. I cook with coconut oil, butter, olive oil and grapeseed oil. Expeller-pressed when I can find it on sale.

If you work, it may take a little more effort to get stuff timed right.

Take it one recipe at a time.
mbravebird's Avatar mbravebird 05:37 PM 07-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrea View Post
The huge emphasis on consuming tons of saturated fats is probably the one thing I'm not sold on; to be honest, it kind of scares me. I've read so much convincing material in favour of low-fat/"healthy" (avocado, salmon, etc.) fat diets! Is there anyone other than Fallon/Enig who write about that issue in an indepth manner?
Whole Health Source is written by a Ph.D in neurobiology who says that "Professionally, I study the neurobiology of body fat regulation." Here's a link to all the posts he's made about fat on his blog:
http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/search/label/fats

They're organized by most recent, so you may have to wade through to find stuff you're interested in, but he uses the type of science you're looking for to discuss fats. Good reading! That's a great blog.
Smokering's Avatar Smokering 08:05 PM 07-30-2010
Quote:
To me, good science requires, at minimum, repeatable, randomized double-blind studies with placebo and control groups, and publication in respsected, peer-reviewed journals.
So you don't consider epidemiological studies good science? That's odd, because... well, mainstream scientists do. And depending on the study, placebo isn't always possible (if exercise is involved, for instance, or consuming a food). Nevertheless, I believe many of the studies SF cites in NT adhere to your criteria.

The other issue I have with this statement is that, from what I know, the mainstream diet view hasn't adhered to these restrictions. Fallon points out flaws with studies all through NT - for instance, studies which condemn high-fat diets when the evidence showed that hydrogenated fats were the cause of the ills. Isn't that bad science? Assuming Fallon isn't outright lying, there are a disturbing number of studies in which the data were ignored in favour of a conclusion that "seemed" healthier. That's bad science. Plus, a lot of the studies were epidemiological, just like many TF-supporting studies.

Eating things like raw milk, cream cheese, butter, cheese and eggs is definitely yummy. Liver... eh, depends who you are. I hate it. My sauerkraut is certainly edible with sausage and cheese on homemade sourdough bread, but I wouldn't rave about it. Kefir, if you leave it for one day instead of two and mix it with maple syrup, is really quite yummy. I'm a foodie too, and there are certain things I can't bring myself to make (soaked-flour baked goods, for instance, other than sourdough); but TF has, on the whole, improved the quality of food we eat. Using homemade chicken stock to cook rice, beans, lentils etc - SO good!
FairyRae's Avatar FairyRae 09:25 PM 07-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
The other issue I have with this statement is that, from what I know, the mainstream diet view hasn't adhered to these restrictions.
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, while not totally TF, does dismantle a lot of the 'mainstream' diet info (esp low fat/high carb being best) utilizing actual scientific research. Definitely for the science minded, and definitely pro GOOD fats.

I agree w/ pp's that you'll find Nina Planck's Real Food a welcome, scientifically backed read. Very down to earth and fun as well. I prefer her tone to SF's/WAPF's personally.

Another resource I like, again not exactly TF, but more on a paleo/primal slant (which is honestly, IMO, the *first* 'traditional diet' ) is The Primal Blueprint. Tons of science in there and VERY reader friendly, discussing the benefits of good quality meat, fats, etc... His site http://marksdailyapple.com is a fabulous resource as well, and worth looking at.

And here is Price's Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, full text, online!

Good luck in your search for info!
velcromom's Avatar velcromom 10:59 PM 07-30-2010
Honestly I think NT is a terrible way to start TF for a lot of people. If they aren't put off by the tone, they are completely grossed out by the recipes. SF doesn't make it easy. There are more efficient ways, sometimes, to get a TF result and she doesn't tell you that. Like, for "soaked" baked goods, you can use sprouted flour and forget all that overnight soaking stuff.

The above blogs are great resources. I like to pass on this very thorough article about the benefits of bone broth: Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease
JElaineB's Avatar JElaineB 01:12 PM 07-31-2010
I'm a scientist by training and I had a hard time with NT...never made it all the way through it becuase some of the stuff seemed so off scientifically. But I do think traditional foods are really the best way to eat, though "TF" is still very broad. I trust Mary Enig much more than Sally Fallon. She's a scientist and her voice seemed to be much more prevalent in Eat Fat, Lose Fat, which I liked a lot more than NT. She has another book about fats as well that I haven't read.

Another good paleo/primal book, besides The Primal Blueprint, is Primal Body, Primal Mind. The author does reference Sally Fallon and WAPF a lot, though, so that may turn you off, but she has other sources as well.

A newer voice on the scene is Dr. Terry Wahls. She is a medical doctor who has seemingly cured her multiple sclerosis by using traditional foods (though she doesn't really call it that) and electrical stimulation of her muscles. She does reference Weston Price's original work. She has a website and gives talks in her local area but I would expect to see a book or something from her in the future.
Ammaarah's Avatar Ammaarah 01:23 PM 07-31-2010
Most of the recipes in NT are awful!
tanyalynn's Avatar tanyalynn 01:30 PM 07-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrea View Post
Wow, that's interesting. What sorts of health problems responded to high-sat-fat diets?
There seem to be a lot of different paths to poor health though the common themes seem to be slow downhill slides over the course of many years, often acutely exacerbated by pregnancy and nursing leaving a very fatigued, nutritionally-depleted mom. I don't know everyone else's backstories, mine's related to my family's poor ability to deal with the mercury in our amalgam fillings. Definitely not an issue for everyone though.

I haven't specifically tried a high monounsaturated or high polyunsaturated fat diet--it's possible they would've helped in a similar way. And that's partly because, especially a couple years ago, I also felt best eating beef every day; chicken and pork, let alone other protein sources, just weren't the same. And I have no idea why beef was helpful when other meats weren't as much--I've always been omni, always eaten at least occasional beef, but my ups and downs repeated enough times that I started to pay attention. So it made sense to eat more saturated fat along with that. Though as a practical matter, I did find that lots of olive oil helped fill some of my high fat need at least occasionally.

So sometimes, when people are sharing ideas, the slant may be towards people who have more specific needs due to their health problems. I've run across enough other people who really do well on very high fat diets as they try to recover from various chronic health issues to recognize a common pattern, but the specifics are much less applicable to people who are fundamentally healthy.
tanyalynn's Avatar tanyalynn 01:37 PM 07-31-2010
Oh, and the other group that comes to mind as often (but not always) doing well on a high fat diet is people following the GAPS diet, it's a variation on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Both are meant to help with digestive problems, so a variety of adults and quite a few autistic/spectrum kids have had good results with it. Some people have problems with it, nothing's good for everyone, but it's quite often helpful and although you could try to make either moderate or low fat, it's easier and more common for them to be fairly high fat diets.
Astrea's Avatar Astrea 09:33 PM 07-31-2010
Wow, I'm so thrilled with all the great info and the resources you've all pointed me towards. Thanks! Now I'm afraid I'm going to spend the next year of my life reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magelet View Post

We also make big use of protein sparing things: making sure to serve a little animal protein (dairy or meat or fish) with all veggie meals to better digest the plant protein, making use of stock whose geletin is protein sparing, using meals with meat and veggies combined rather than a hunk of meat.
What does "protein sparing" mean? Also, would you mind walking me through exactly how you do your oatmeal? What type of oats do you use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
So you don't consider epidemiological studies good science? That's odd, because... well, mainstream scientists do. And depending on the study, placebo isn't always possible (if exercise is involved, for instance, or consuming a food). Nevertheless, I believe many of the studies SF cites in NT adhere to your criteria.

The other issue I have with this statement is that, from what I know, the mainstream diet view hasn't adhered to these restrictions. Fallon points out flaws with studies all through NT - for instance, studies which condemn high-fat diets when the evidence showed that hydrogenated fats were the cause of the ills. Isn't that bad science? Assuming Fallon isn't outright lying, there are a disturbing number of studies in which the data were ignored in favour of a conclusion that "seemed" healthier. That's bad science. Plus, a lot of the studies were epidemiological, just like many TF-supporting studies.

Eating things like raw milk, cream cheese, butter, cheese and eggs is definitely yummy. Liver... eh, depends who you are. I hate it. My sauerkraut is certainly edible with sausage and cheese on homemade sourdough bread, but I wouldn't rave about it. Kefir, if you leave it for one day instead of two and mix it with maple syrup, is really quite yummy. I'm a foodie too, and there are certain things I can't bring myself to make (soaked-flour baked goods, for instance, other than sourdough); but TF has, on the whole, improved the quality of food we eat. Using homemade chicken stock to cook rice, beans, lentils etc - SO good!
I actually don't know much about epidemiological studies :embarrassed but yeah, I'm sure those are totally valid as well. In the end, it always depends on how stringently and ethically the study was conducted and interpreted.

I need to try making kefir again. How exactly do you make yours? I love store-bought kefir but I haven't had great success with homemade yet, except using store-bought kefir powder starter, not grains.

I have some Oregon Trail (Friends of Carl) dry sourdough start. It failed on me the first time I tried it but I want to give it another go because I love, love, love sourdough bread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom View Post
Honestly I think NT is a terrible way to start TF for a lot of people. If they aren't put off by the tone, they are completely grossed out by the recipes. SF doesn't make it easy. There are more efficient ways, sometimes, to get a TF result and she doesn't tell you that. Like, for "soaked" baked goods, you can use sprouted flour and forget all that overnight soaking stuff.

The above blogs are great resources. I like to pass on this very thorough article about the benefits of bone broth: Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease
What is sprouted flour and where do you get it? Do store-bought sprouted grain and sprouted corn tortillas count? Sprouted bread?

I confess was totally grossed out by most of the recipes in NT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyalynn View Post
There seem to be a lot of different paths to poor health though the common themes seem to be slow downhill slides over the course of many years, often acutely exacerbated by pregnancy and nursing leaving a very fatigued, nutritionally-depleted mom. I don't know everyone else's backstories, mine's related to my family's poor ability to deal with the mercury in our amalgam fillings. Definitely not an issue for everyone though.

I haven't specifically tried a high monounsaturated or high polyunsaturated fat diet--it's possible they would've helped in a similar way. And that's partly because, especially a couple years ago, I also felt best eating beef every day; chicken and pork, let alone other protein sources, just weren't the same. And I have no idea why beef was helpful when other meats weren't as much--I've always been omni, always eaten at least occasional beef, but my ups and downs repeated enough times that I started to pay attention. So it made sense to eat more saturated fat along with that. Though as a practical matter, I did find that lots of olive oil helped fill some of my high fat need at least occasionally.

So sometimes, when people are sharing ideas, the slant may be towards people who have more specific needs due to their health problems. I've run across enough other people who really do well on very high fat diets as they try to recover from various chronic health issues to recognize a common pattern, but the specifics are much less applicable to people who are fundamentally healthy.
I wonder if/how TF would help my health issues. DH and I both need to lose 20-30 lbs, and I have fairly serious depression and anxiety (currently managed by meds) and low energy.
JoyMC's Avatar JoyMC 06:34 PM 08-01-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrea View Post
Also, would you mind walking me through exactly how you do your oatmeal? What type of oats do you use?
...

I need to try making kefir again. How exactly do you make yours? I love store-bought kefir but I haven't had great success with homemade yet, except using store-bought kefir powder starter, not grains.

...

What is sprouted flour and where do you get it? Do store-bought sprouted grain and sprouted corn tortillas count? Sprouted bread?

I confess was totally grossed out by most of the recipes in NT!
i can answer a couple of these.

OATS: i use steel cut oats, but i have used rolled as well. i put my oats, plus water (4:1 water to steelcut oats or 2:1 water to rolled oats) in a mini crockpot w/a good tbsp of kefir. you could also use yogurt, buttermilk, or probably ACV. you could leave it to soak just like that - oats have some of the highest phytate levels, so the closer to 24 hours you can soak your oats, the better. but even 8-10 hours is better than nothing. anyway, i add everything else i want in my oatmeal at that time - a pinch of salt, some cinnamon, some raisins, a tbsp of coconut oil or butter. then, in the morning mine turns on via an electric light timer about 4 hours before i will want to eat it. that way it's TOTALLY DONE in the morning. i don't like to work for breakfast.

KEFIR: homemade kefir from grains has a lot more probiotic content than storebought kefir or powdered kefir grains. there's not a lot of how-to - i dump the grains in milk and leave it out, covered with a cloth (though some people cover it w/an airtight lid - that's personal preference). depending on the time of year (temperature), it's ready w/in 24-48 hours. i usually put it in a smoothie w/a bunch of other things. i would never be able to drink kefir straight. i also use it for soaking grains.

SPROUTED FLOUR: i have only found sprouted flour online. it is grains that have been sprouted, then deyhdrated and ground into flour. yes, sprouted tortillas and breads "count" - as in, are TF friendly. we like the Ezequiel brand.

NT RECIPES: yeah ... they're not awesome. but if you're a good cook, you can take a lot from NT and add to it what you know about making food delicious.
LauraLoo's Avatar LauraLoo 09:19 PM 08-01-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrea View Post
I wonder if/how TF would help my health issues. DH and I both need to lose 20-30 lbs, and I have fairly serious depression and anxiety (currently managed by meds) and low energy.
You may want to take a look at "The Mood Cure," by Julia Ross.
http://www.amazon.com/Mood-Cure-Reba.../dp/0670030694

I had been doing TF for over a year, had done a GAP style gut healing, but still had some "mood" issues and couldn't quit caffeine. I was healthy, but kind of cranky I took the quiz, read parts of the book that applied to me, purchased the necessary aminos, and I quit my beloved morning coffee *in one day* with no withdrawal symptoms - not even a headache. And the best part is that you only need to take the aminos until your body catches up. It's not a life long commitment to a Rx med. Ross advocates a TF style diet, though it's not coined as such - healthy fats, fish oil, plenty of protein, lots of fresh veggies, eliminating processed foods and sugar, etc., and supplementing with the right amino acids. You aren't going to find anything about soaking grains or fermentation in her book or anything about probiotics. It is, however, a very helpful book IMO to understand the role of nutrition and mental health.

If you go to this site, you can take a "mood quiz" --
http://www.moodcure.com/Questionnaire.html

I also have to say that NT really didn't do it for me and thankfully I didn't start with it. I preferred "Eat Fat, Loose Fat" for recipes as well as recipes from the many TF & Real Food/Slow Food blogs that I subscribe to. "Real Food" by Planck was a much better read as well as Pollan's books.
alireb's Avatar alireb 09:48 PM 08-01-2010
I definitely ditto the recommendations about Gary Taubes - Good Calories, Bad Calories, and also Mark Sisson's website - marksdailyapple.com. His book is the Primal Blueprint but a ton of info is on his blog - just click on Primal 101.

I swing more in the primal camp than the TF camp but that's because I don't do well on grains and dairy.
mbravebird's Avatar mbravebird 12:53 AM 08-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrea View Post
What does "protein sparing" mean?
"Protein sparing" means that the gelatin aids with the body's digestion of the protein, and makes the protein in meals more available to the body, even in cases where it might not have been normally. So eating broth with a beans-and-rice meal is a good way to get a lot more nutrition from the meal. And stews, even if they have little meat, are a highly absorbable form of protein if they're made with homemade broth.
Koalamom's Avatar Koalamom 01:10 AM 08-02-2010
I say to take it slow and easy as I tend to go crazy when getting into something new. I followed NT like gospel and we suffered many health issues from it. We ate all things that ended up being huge allergens for us. I sometime wish I could turn back time and not eat TF and perhaps we would be better off?

Now we are semi TF and allergy free and alot healthier. Still I feel that the furure hold many new discoveries in health and it is not bad to embrace new health ideas (some, not all). For example, TF people didn't juice, but I am a big fan of juicing. I used to say that I would do whatever is traditional, but now I say that we are able to do better.
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