The idea of switching to a traditional foods diet is one I've been flirting with for a year now. It started when I first picked up a copy of Nourishing Traditions, but I felt daunted by the book and put it down. For various reasons, though,I think I would like to try and make a start.
What brought you to this diet and lifestyle? Did you see the changes you hoped for in yourself, your health? What was easiest about the transition? Hardest? I'd love to hear your experiences!
I think the Nourishing Traditions book is overwhelming too. I've looked at it several times, but not bought it because it just freaks me out. I really like this book:
I was having a variety of health problems and seemed to have developed 2 autoimmune diseases in a little over a year. I took gluten out first and had remarkable results. In seeking ways to keep gluten out and not feel deprived, and also to take out any other foods that were causing problems (I didn't get 100% recovery by removing gluten) I found paleo.
The hardest part of the transition was the idea of it. It just seemed so radical and confusing. The easiest part was that the further I go down this path, the better I feel, so the more energy I have to continue down the path and the more desire to do so. It's really an upward spiral for me.
The second hardest part was coming up with enough ideas for foods and meals to avoid just eating the same things over and over. I knew I had to get past my comfort zone. The book I linked above was a lifesaver in this respect and we currently working through it as a family.
The rest of my family felt fine before, and while I'm not forcing anyone else to restrict their diet this way, since I prepare most of the food here and cook paleo, they are eating mostly paleo. One of my DD's was a little chubby and she is thinning out, which she is very happy about. My other DD had some mild acne, which is clearing up. My DH is losing weight, which is a good thing, and he says he just feels better, feels like he has a bounce in his step. Overall, everyone is less hungry. We've stopped munching all evening because our dinner now fills us up and keeps us full. An odd side effect is that it is easier to keep the kitchen clean because we all eat less often!
(BTW, we were eating pretty healthy before -- healthier than most people. We had what is considered a balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, lots of fresh fruit, and low fat. We were eating how the food pyramid and American Heart Association say to eat).
I don't know that without the serious health problems I was having that I would have made the effort to do this, but I am glad that I was forced into it.
I'm currently trying to let go of my anger that the dietary advice that is handed out over and over in this country doesn't reflect the science or what is actually healthy. It's a recipe to get fat, have heart problems and diabetes, makes menopause more difficult, and gives us acne! I'm really pissed off that I, and everyone, get lied to over and over about how to stay healthy.
I'm also annoyed that everyone and their dog thinks it OK to tell me that the way I eat know will cause heart problems. My cholesterol is the best it has EVER been, I feel great, my weight is steadily dropping, and I'm healthy enough to exercise for the first time in 18 months! They should have been worried about my heart before! Not now!
It was amazing to me how crappy I could feel and be told that it was normal for a woman my age (48), but that taking action that makes me feel great is seen as dangerous.
but everything has pros and cons
Thank you for your reply and for the book recommendation, too!
I'm with you on feeling angry over the official health advice given out. I often don't know who to trust. Certainly not the government recommendations or even nutritionists. And for every alternative diet out there, there are so many people who claim it is THE way to go. I really believe it is about finding what works best for our lifestyles and our bodies.
So glad to hear you and your family are experiencing so many positive changes!
I have Nourishing Traditions... and yes it's daunting. I started with just a few simple recipes... I made Kimchi... then Kombucha... and as i got more experience and confidence.. i just kept going.
I did skip over the infant feeding section though... i just do not think their take on breastfeeding all that great... but everythihg in life has it's flaws right!?