Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Traditional Food Prep: An Answer to Many Health Problems

Have you noticed the increasing amount of cancer diagnoses, blood issues, heart problems, digestion problems, mood and mental disorders, tooth problems, skin problems, etc.? My Man and I feel like it started pretty much with the baby boomers generation. Way to go guys! Just kidding (sort of...). Along with the mass procreation frenzy of babies during that time, food began to be mass produced. Canned goods were introduced, extremely soft smooth white bread, low-fat and fat-free food options, reduced sugar and sugar free foods, microwave meals, pre-packaged processed foods, year round fruits and vegetables (tons of them!), fast food chains. The food industry went crazy, and society went crazy for it. It sounded so amazing, though! Fast, easy, "healthy" is what they told everyone through the t.v. screen. House-wives could now actually maybe do something other than clean and do laundry and soak grains and make bread and kill chickens like their parents and grandparents before them! Because why would anyone want to do that, when the world had so much more to offer a person(valid question)? Men that didn't like to cook (because let's face it, their mom always did growing up) now could stand on their own. "Why hello there. Welcome to my bachelor pad. Schwan's has prepared us a delicious, lovely roast." I have talked to so many people that say, "I don't know why, but I feel like all these health problems have to do with how we are eating." YES, yes it does. And, even with a new look at diet and new attempts at saving our bodies, we are nutritionally starving them.

Do you know anyone who is gluten-free? Dairy free? Paleo? Clean eating? Doing Whole-30? Vegetarian? Vegan? All of these diet-types were created because there was first a problem with health (well, kind of except for vegetarian and vegan whose problem was largely based on treatment of animals), and ALL of them are proof that the mass production of food has indeed impacted our society, and in a not so pleasant way. Now, just like everything else there is a good side and a bad side. The increased production of these foods has helped out certain aspects of our lives (like easily obtaining a food storage), but right now, we are focusing more on what was lost through this food boom: our health.

Traditional food preparation is such a hopeful lifestyle change. It is hard to get into it, because it requires that little bit of extra time that we all have our fists clenched around.

I should mop the floor tonight.
Your eyes begin to widen, the tiny vessels begin to pop turning red. You notice that your finger nails are digging into your palm. Your shoulders and neck begin to cramp. Your heart beat kicks it up a notch. The upper left-hand corner of your lip begins to twitch sporadically.
But I need to do two rounds of scrolling through Facebook and then I WAS GOING TO WATCH THE SANDLOT TONIGHT ON NETFLIX, BECAUSE IT JUST GOT ADDED!!!
You notice the small growl coming from your throat.

Breathe. Breathe. It's okay. Most normal people have experienced this before....

Moving on.

The extra time you take to traditionally prep your food will bless your family generations down that big old tree. I promise.

So then, what the heck is it? I first heard about it through my older sister who came upon it after years of looking for answers because of debilitating health problems. She told me first about the book Eating on the Wild Side which is amazing and has a lot of info to offer on how farming has changed through the years, and in turn, ruined the crops :) Ha ha! Sad but true, and why? Because we (society) ask them to. And we continue to do so everyday. It also talks about how to get the healthiest options with what we have in grocery store. Really great info! I recommend it. The next book she found and actually bought me was Nourishing Traditions which is AMAZING. Did I emphasize it enough? You need to buy it. It is huge. It is extremely informational AND has so many recipes on how to prepare food that will give you a good gut, good immune system, cancer fighting blood and organs, healthy marrow, etc.

So, traditional preparation is preparing food in ways that it has been done traditionally, for thousands of years. I.E. sourdough bread. This basically used to be the only type of leavened bread there was (OH YEAH, watch "Cooked" on Netflix. It is an amazing food documentary(it is in episodes) that talks about traditional preparation). Our ancestors didn't have little packets of yeast to throw into their Bosch and let it do its work, and my guess is, they wouldn't have wanted our yeast anyways. Why? Because the only thing it does is make the bread puff up. Their yeast, wild yeasts, break down the nutrients and the gluten and the sugars in the bread and either change them or make them absorbent for our bodies. Another example, beans. Soaking them. Did you know soaking them gets rid of something called phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient and makes it extremely hard for our body to get any of the nutrients those beans have to offer? If those beans were grown in your own yard, cool. With good soil, maybe you'd still end up getting something if you hadn't soaked them. But, canned beans? They are already nutrient depleted, and therefor don't have much to offer even if we had soaked them. Buying dry beans, soaking them and then cooking them gives your body the best of the nutrients the beans have to offer. Another example. Fermented and canned vegetables like saurkraut, salsa, beets, etc. These are all loaded with pro-biotics which are strains of healthy bacteria that our gut needs in order to give us a healthy immune system and fight cancer. Do you or anyone you know have joint or tendon/ligament problems? Do you just get told to take glucosamine? Did you know that the best way to help your body actually rebuild cartilage and tendons and ligaments is through bone broths? Bone broths were what people used to make soups before Swanson's started canning their own "broth". Bone broth uses the bones of animals and it melts down the cartilage and the tendons and ligaments and even the marrow and puts it all in a delicious broth, and guess what? When you drink it, YOUR body takes it and uses it to rebuild itself. What about dairy? Did you know dairy can have a much more vital place in your life when you traditionally prep it instead of just eating cheese and drinking milk? You can make pro-biotic rich cheese yourself. Cream cheese. Crumbled cheese. Butter. Kefir. Yogurt. All of these things are rich in the things your gut is begging you for AND they help you body digest that hard-to-digest lactose.

Friends, there is SO much more out there. I have found traditionally prep food blogs all over the place! There is so so much I still don't know, but I have found a passion for it and it is not something that will die out because it has so many answers to so many of our problems. No, it is not going to make us all cancer and disease free, but it will make things much better than they are right now. That is for sure.So, if you are interested in what traditionally prepped food has to offer you, check back under my "traditional food" label every now and then for recipes that I have tried, that have turned out, and that can help change your body and the health of the next generations :)

Disclaimer: Ummmmm, I still use canned goods, like all the time. I have a whole pantry full of them. And, we buy pizza sometimes. And I love huge bags of store bought cheese. The point is this, this isn't an all-at-once change. It is a lifestyle change. It takes time, and patience. So, give yourself that.