Cooking. It's not a loved practice in our culture. We appreciate the look of food. We love to eat food. We may even admire chefs and see food as art, buuut when it comes to doing it ourselves... real, thoughtful, multiple-step cooking is not a favorite pastime or even a priority. Add in the obsession with retaining extremely busy and fast-paced schedules and you have the perfect recipe for a life filled with chemically-processed, pre-made, and health-damaging food. Obviously, the current and upcoming generations are already experiencing the consequences of this lifestyle, whether they realize it or not, so what can we do about it?
I'm not here to say that I'm any better. In fact, if I'm honest. I can think of a long list of things I'd rather do than cook. I do enjoy the atmosphere of the kitchen and the finished product of a carefully created meal. I even love reading cookbooks and learning about produce and meats and preparation methods, but somehow the whole "doing it" part escapes me. I tend to avoid it! Why is this?
Over the last few generations, a major shift has taken place. We can blame technology or big company greed or politics or really any go-to's of extremists, but I tend to think it's just a natural progression of humanity. We're moving forward and—just like with anything new in our parents and grandparents' early lives—we experience the pros and the cons of these changes.
A con of this shift is that priorities have transitioned around wellness and health. Natural, tried-and-true traditional methods were pushed to the back to make way for new-fangled fast options, like man-made altered food and supplements. As a result, most people are living with multiple chronic health issues, ranging in extremes from allergies and digestive issues to diabetes and cancer. You've heard all this, I'm sure.
A pro is that we can now easily discover individuals, small farms, and even companies that are crafting their food (and other products) with care and concern and awareness! Producers that were once unable to get the word out because they didn't have the marketing budget, can easily hop online and be found. Social media has allowed customers and supporters to spread the word without any cost to the producer. I love this!
I could continue with these, but you get the point. Pros and cons, folks. It's not all bad. Learn what to keep and what to release. If you choose to remain in a busy lifestyle, you can still find ways to improve your food prep and intake. If you have the opportunity to slow down, your ability to build a life full of nourishing and healing foods skyrockets. I'm a believer in the benefits of living a slower life, but that's my personal perspective. Your's can be different.
Back to cooking... making the time to prep food properly is tough, but so so so worth it! (Preaching at myself here too!) The amount of cookbooks and diets and opinions can be very overwhelming. I know! I've spent the last decade of my life weeding through all of them. If you've been following along, you're aware that I prefer the traditional approach, what can be called "properly-prepared food". For my new friends, my brief definition: food that is prepared in a way that makes it digestible, absorbable, and nourishing to the ingestor (that's you).
Since most of us were not trained how to cook, bake, or eat properly, we turn to the internet, trendy cookbooks, health "gurus", or even the government. Sadly, 99% of these sources are sorely lacking information deriving from centuries of experience and knowledge of the human body. I humbly ask you to reject their solutions and instead return to your roots, your ancestors' roots.
Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions is your ticket to the past. A guide, a dictionary, and a cookbook, it provides you with all you could ever want in the way of training, information, and practical steps to eat yourself and your family well again. The introduction is a little mini book in itself, providing education that will blow your mind if this is all new to you. I enjoy rereading it now and then, because something new always sticks out to me.
I cannot encourage you enough to read through it's entirety. Highlight the informative introduction, mark up the side notes, bookmark the recipes, and experiment with them as often as you can. Just like I shared in this post about bio-individuality, you are unique and not everything may work for you, but it may for someone else in your family or a friend. It's all at least good to know. Discover what harmonizes with your needs and nourishes your body. Make it a regular part of your life and experience whole healthy living.
Truth. I struggle to make the time to cook out of this book on a consistent basis. Mainly because I am not a recipe follower—I love to just cook with what's in my kitchen at the time—but I intend to start making some of these recipes and share my experience on Merfleur. I want to encourage you to give it a try too! I've learned over the last few years that the hardest part about cooking is getting started. Let's build the habit of making time to prep and cook food together with Nourishing Traditions' help! Are you in?
À votre santé!