I'm interested to hear what people feel are the priorities when making a shift into a TF way of eating. The Nourishing Traditions book is no light reader and so chalked full of information that I have trouble knowing where to start! Since I can't tackle everything at once, what do more experienced folks here think are priorities of incorporating into your diet? I'm thinking things like broth, fermented veggies, fermeneted dairy, organ meats, soaked grains, etc.
Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids , living the dream on our urban farm
Priorities for us in transitioning were:
Cut out all sugars
Cut out all processed food (food with enhancers & additives)
Cut out nearly all grains
Cut back carbs to less than 100g per day
Then experiment with which food you prefer and make an easily accessible balanced diet for you. There are foods we would eat if they were available but they aren't, so we eat other equivalent things.
I also felt really overwhelmed at the beginning (and still do sometimes!). For our family, here is how we decided to do it:
1) Grass-fed meat and poultry and pastured eggs. And then broth from that in as many ways as I could! (To cook rice, make soup, sauces, gravies, etc.)
2) Switching to all healthful fats: butter, coconut oil, lard, bacon fat, tallow, olive oil.
2) First we switched to a local dairy's low-temp pasteurized milk, eventually we joined a raw milk co-op. Over time I started making our own yogurt.
3) Making simple ferments like kombucha and sauerkraut. I still haven't gotten too far into this.
4) We are still working into getting all of our grains and beans to be soaked. I make bread conventionally, but try to soak all beans, rice, make soaked dough crackers, etc.
5) Using local, organic vegetables when I can. But not getting too stressed about using the grocery store for veggies and fruit.
IMO the animal foods are more important than the vegetable ones in term of careful sourcing. They are much more concentrated sources of health and/or un-health, KWIM?
Simultaneously, we cut out soda (we only have coffee, tea, milk, water, kombucha, and any sodas I ferment from our ginger bug to drink). I don't buy any processed crackers, chips, snacky things like that anymore.
Does that help?
Liberal Christian pastor, wife, mother to daughter Vicki, and mother to baby coming 5/13.
First birth: hospital with midwife. Hoping for homebirth with #2! Bradley Method, Brewer Diet.
Brewer Diet recipes: http://pastorandbartender.blogspot.com/p/recipes.html
The first thing I did with NT, was to book mark the short bit on busy families (I think it's one of the appendices). That gave me encouragement to keep making small changes & served as a reminder that this isn't "easy" or "convenient" in the ways we are used to in mainstream culture.
I experiment with new techniques when I have the time, but I don't kill myself. Over the summer, when we were starting on this adventure, I tried to tackle too much & DH reminded me that I can't spend every hour of every weekend in the kitchen (I work outside the home during the week).
OP, even your short list proved too much for me. I eventually dropped my kombucha & temporarily gave up on organ meats. I focused on soaking grains, kraut, & broth. I'm still working on all those things! Now I'm researching & sourcing healthy fats. Trying to make a budget to really be sure we're spending our food dollars wisely. Getting my family on board (DH & DS still rely on some processed snacks) is a challenge. DH happily is really starting to get into it & he does a lot of our cooking. But he definitely resisted at first. Now he's always grabbing for my broth if he's cooking grains or poaching meat & taking care of the broth if I leave the house.
I think my biggest priority right now though is retraining DS's palette. He is getting so much better! Loves kale & plain yogurt with dates is a yummy desert. But the boy still asks for Mac & cheese constantly & resists most meat.
Ok now I'm rambling. But OP, I agree it's all about prioritizing & my experience has been that picking out one or two "new" skills or foods each month is more than enough to keep me busy.
Mama to my little busy bee.
I've just gotten started with Nourishing Traditions too. Here's my to do list, which is in a mixed order of what's easiest for us and what's most important... we're practicing #1-5 now. The biggest challenges for me are how to meal plan and organize so the prep work will get done, the money to make some of these switches and buy quality ingredients, and lack of access to raw milk and quality meats.
1. Soak beans ... we'd already been soaking them, but not for as long as NT recommends
2. Soak grains ... we usually do grits, pancakes/waffles, brown rice, quinoa once a week so I just need to soak them
3. Begin eating fish once a week (canned wild alaskan pink salmon) ... we're ovo-lacto vegetarian, so this is a big deal for us
4. Make fermented veggies/fruits/drinks ... I'd like to make one new thing a week
5. Replace aluminum pots/pans with stainless, cast iron, and stoneware ... our calphalon is worn out anyway
6. Make sourdough and/or sprouted bread
7. Soak nuts and seeds
8. Buy more organic/farmer's market produce and expand garden
9. Phase out breakfast cereal for porridge, mueslix, soaked pancakes, eggs, etc
10. Move our chickens to pasture ... we have chickens but they don't have much grass access right now
11. Get a grain mill
12. Phase out refined sugar for honey, maple sugar, etc.
13. Bye bye microwave ... oh I'm going hate this one
14. Phase out soy/faux meats and convenience foods (i.e. my morningstar farms and frozen pizza habit)
15. Find raw milk and make cultured milk stuff ... this would be top priority, but the best thing I've found here is organic ultra-pasteurized :(
16. Meat, bone broth, raw meat, organ meats ... probably important, but this is just going to take a while for us
Phew... I'm worn out now!
We've been moving into traditional foods over the past year. It's been slow and gradual partly b/c I have two small kids and can only take on so much at once and partly b/c we are also moving out of a vegetarian diet so it's a big transition for us. We approached it like this (although it has been a bit of two steps forward and one back):
--Cutting out white sugar (replaced with raw, local honey and maple syrup) and (most) processed foods
--pastured eggs (I was using organic before, but not local and pastured)
--Bone broth (I couldn't handle actual meat at first, but broth I could do)
--Soaking/sprouting all grains, nuts, seeds
--and I just started making my own yogurt and kefir (we were already eating a good amount of saurkraut and real pickles)
We were already doing lots of organic, local fruits and veg.
And I guess on the to-do list is to reduce grains more, grow some of our food, can and pickle my own food, and get rid of the microwave (which I have been using less and less).
Me= crunchy mama to one rambunctious toddler, born on October 1, 2009. And one sweet little baby born January 19, 2012.