The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook was critical to my family’s launch into improving our health. You will see on the Kids Living Longer YouTube channel that we cook out of it regularly. We learned how to:
- Make bone broth (see The NUMBER ONE FOOD We Added to Our Diet) and use it in as many dishes as we can
- Ferment food (I haven’t blogged recently about it, but here is a 2012 post that is still very relevant: Fermenting, Probiotics, Gut, Brain and GABA)
- Make a meatloaf that is actually delicious and Laura enjoys eating (Laura hated meatloaf until that point).
The Nourishing Traditions approach improved our health, but it was only a start. As discussed in our eLearning presentation, Small and Powerful Steps to Wellness, Colson had a serious health challenge that caused us to remove most inflammatory foods (grain, most dairy, sugar, except raw honey, but looking back we should have removed that too). We all experienced improved health and reduced inflammation. Most importantly, our bodies could talk to us and tell us what they needed for nutrition and what foods we needed to avoid.
We discovered that Ryan and Colson had multiple food sensitivities (wheat/gluten, corn, rice, lentils, dairy), and I seemed to have none. We think that before removing inflammatory foods Ryan’s and Colson’s bodies were so overwhelmed trying to deal with the daily damage that these foods caused that they couldn’t mount a recognizable alarm related to each food. The general alarm was ADD for Ryan and severe environmental allergies for Colson. Couple their food intolerances with the autoimmune diseases and cancer that run in Ryan’s family (very often caused by or enhanced by these foods) and the need to avoid them is magnified.
Once the guys healed, it became clear that the Nourishing Traditions approach is the first significant step to healing for most people. Unfortunately, most people are too sick to achieve vibrant health with only this approach because it promotes too many inflammatory foods.
Here are my top three criticisms of Nourishing Traditions:
- Modern food and environmental toxins have caused such a level of inflammation and disease that a low inflammatory diet is critical to health. A Nourishing Traditions diet is not a low inflammatory diet.
- Nourishing Traditions promotes inflammatory foods like grain without telling a person how to figure out if they can in fact tolerate these foods.
- Nourishing Traditions and its author are weak when it comes to sugar, believing that we need to let kids have it, and that without it they will rebel and overindulge. This is dangerous thinking, as sugar is the root of most illness. My family has broken the grip of sugar on our psyches and our bodies. You can too. Be sure to read this blog post about sugar. Hopefully it gives you the courage to break free: Sugar Season is Upon Us! Top 6 Ways You Can Help Your Kids Avoid Sugar.
What should you do? Each person is different and if you are concerned about a health issue you should discuss it with your doctor. Unfortunately, I have found few doctors who have significant knowledge of the food and health connection, which when properly addressed can result in substantial healing. I do know that if our family were to do it over, we would do the following:
- Try a Nourishing Traditions diet to see if we healed.
- If we didn’t heal, we would remove the inflammatory foods, heal and then figure out if we could tolerate them when we became well. There are a number of great paradigms for this, such as:
- The Gaps Diet (our family’s first effort at removing inflammatory foods and ultimately curing Ryan’s ADD and reducing Colson’s environmental allergies)
- The Paleo/Primal/Ancestral Health approach (our family’s next step and it is great)
- The Ketogenic approach (Laura is thriving on this approach and goes on and off as her body dictates. It has largely eliminated menopausal symptoms and her sleep has improved)
- Keep on tinkering. Life is not stagnant, our bodies are not stagnant, and when they are given the chance they will guide us toward vibrant health.
What one step are you willing to take today? Join us!