” ……the only genuinely safe amount of trans-fats in anyone’s diet is
ZERO. A single serving of trans-fat in French fries or chips may take up to two
years for one’s body to fully eliminate, and its biological effects on your
system in the meantime are chaotic and anyone’s guess as to how deleterious they
are likely to be. Is “occasional” Russian roulette an “OK” thing? MSG is an
excitotoxin and always does some degree of neurological damage. Is neurological
damage “in moderation” OK? Furthermore, sugar consumption in any quantity is
damaging and dysregulating to the system. Some of the effects are reversible and
some not. Ultimately, it is the cumulative effect associated with glycation and
insulin production that determine our health and life span. We live in a world
where we can ill-afford any compromise to our health or well-being. Every meal
matters. Is “a little hormonal chaos” or “just a tad” of systemic damage
Mayo is just one example of a simple food you can make at home for much cheaper than the price of an equal-quality item at the Health Food Store. Yogurt is another delicious traditional food and can be made simply and cheaply at home, and the result will be a much more nutritious yogurt for the money!
The amount of transition will ultimately depend upon your dependence upon processed foods. Remember, most processed foods either didn’t exist or were made from scratch by our great-grandmothers and grandmothers.
We’ve allowed big business to rob us women of the joys of baking homemade breads, and other healthy baked goods! The store-bought alternatives are some of the most unhealthy foods that exist (white-flour, hydrogenated oil-laded crackers, pastries and breads: these are the nutrient-robbing foods!)
Nutrient-robbing foods are foods that actually take nutrients out of your body in order to help digest the foods. Improperly prepared grains are a great example. Since they contain high amounts of phytic acid, which inhibits mineral absorption, your body is actually loosing nutrients in order to balance the acid load processed grain foods leave on your system. For more info on the damaging affect of processed grains, check out this awesome post by Cheeseslave: “Do Bread and Cereal Cause Cavities?”
The kitchen is a place of healing and a place of power. When we as cooks reclaim that authority from the profit-seeking businesses that seek to rob us of our health and our children’s health, we begin to feel the grace of empowerment to nourish our families.
The motivation to do all the “work” of traditional food preparation must always be rooted in love. For our families, for our Creator, for the generations to come. The love becomes most important ingredient in all of our cooking, and the true medicine of healing!
This love must begin in us as we recognize and accept our roles to be nourishers and healers for our families. So before we pantry purge, meal plan, or start shopping for all the new “stuff” we need for traditional foods, we need to stop.
We need to understand why we are making the transition and let the health of our families be the motivation to go against the (unprocessed) grain, and to think outside the (mac and cheese) box.
Homework for Baby Step #2:
1) Declutter your kitchen. Find those items which you don’t use anymore and put them away in a box. If you find yourself needing the item, then it can make its way back into your kitchen. One big item you may not need anymore is your microwave. I got rid of mine for health reasons and to make more space for cooking nourishing foods! Here’s how I get by without it.
2) Consider purchasing some child-sized cooking utensils, aprons, and stools so that you can involve your children in cooking. The time you invest in teaching these habits to your children will pay off in the long run!
3) Make a list of the processed foods you have at home. Don’t be judgemental about it; just notice what you have. We’ll use this list in a future baby step!
Two important maxims to ponder when making the transition to real foods:
1) “If I want to eat it, then I better figure out how to make it!”
2) “The only processed food we’re going to eat is that which is processed by me in my kitchen!”
I also offer the following from Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, who says the following in her “Top 10 Nutritional Mistakes“:
[from #8 Believing that Junk food in Moderation is OK]