Dear Nourishing Our Children,
After reading the last Portrait of a Nourished Family, I thought about sharing ours to encourage others that maybe are unsure about this way of life in today‘s society …
Christmas 2004, my husband had lost his job that week and much of our church family was stricken with some awful flu. We now had no health insurance, so I turned to the healing power of herbs — something I previously knew very little about. Our family did not get sick that winter. By late spring, I had been introduced to Nourishing Traditions from a list of books at an online site of where I bought some of our herbs. I ordered it and devoured the book from cover to cover. Everything made sense. The margin studies and stories fit into what I had come to believe (and observe) as our family moved closer to a healthy and proactive life-style. Sometime that summer I sat my family down, educated them a bit, and informed them that we were diving into this “NT life”. We went cold turkey — making lots of recipes in the book, adapting family favorite recipes to fit NT principles, and avoiding the Standard American Diet (SAD).
Fast forward to Jan. 2012. Below are some highlights of how we live the Nourishing Traditions way:
- We eat out only about 3-4 times a year
- We have a small garden for fresh produce and a couple of grape vines and raspberry bushes
- We visit a produce auction throughout the summer in order to can (either by water bath or fermentation) or dry additional produce
- We visit a local farm once a week for raw milk, free-range eggs, free-range chicken that I stock pile in the freezer, and occasional bacon
- We are blessed enough to have a cattle farmer near who raises only Grass-Fed (not finished) Kobe beef. We buy mostly burger and meat bones (for soups)
- I make a 4-loaf batch of soaked bread once a week
- We drink kefir every morning and Kombucha at lunch (our big meal)
- I sprout, dehydrate, and grind wheat berries for our “quick flour” used for sweets, quick breads, thickenings
- I soak, sprout, or toast all grains and nuts/seeds
- Our new “packaged foods” are the 25lb. bags of organic beans, or the 1lb. bag of carob that we get from the bulk-food purchase I do monthly (through a local health food store)
- We use only evaporated cane juice (like Rapadura), stevia, molasses, or local honey for sweetener
- Our 2 dogs eat a nourishing homemade diet too (I make weekly)
- My general motto is “If I can’t make it, we don’t eat it”. BBQ sauce, dressings, dill and sweet pickles, mustard, syrups, nut butters and desserts included
- Our 3 children are healthy and have not been to the doctor for illness in years
- Unfortunately, our two oldest children were subjected to the “no/low-fat lie” and have poor teeth alignment. Our youngest, however, was raised on “full-fat” and has perfect teeth. | See related article: The Teeth Tell The Tale
- We are not overweight — even while eating plenty of healthy fats, and having dessert daily (we do exercise too).
- We do all of this and more for about $900 a month for a family of five! I figured it up a few months ago and it turned out to be $6-$7 per person per meal. Not bad!
- We live in a small Mid-Missouri community, home school, and run a home-business (johnsjava.net). I did much asking around and research to find the awesome suppliers that we have, but it’s been so worth it. The NT life can be done!
Kudos to Nourishing Traditions and the Weston A. Price Foundation. Keep On! — Heather Wormsley
30 Responses to “If I can’t make it, we don’t eat it”
“If I can’t make it, we don’t eat it” love that!!!
Very cool! We eat a NT diet too, but I can’t eat grains or beans, so it’s mostly meat, veges, and fruit. Our grocery bill is way higher than that for two people, though, but maybe because we eat a lot of beef and I can’t find any cheap around here! Oh well.
My husband and I spend about that for two people as well here in San Francisco — likely even more!
Yes, it really depends on where you live. The price of good quality food really varies by region. I am sure I spend double that amount for 4 people in the San Francisco Bay Area. But I think it is money well spent and that is where I choose to focus our budget rather than on other things like electronics.
We live in Missouri too, Republic. I love your motto…I am just starting this new adventure, I get a little overwhelemed sometimes. What was the name of the book that helped you learn and understand everything?
The title of the book is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Another excellent resource is Eat Fat Lose Fat by Sally Fallon & Mary Enig.
This may be of value as an overview: http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Guide.html and http://www.westonaprice.org/images/pdfs/healthy4life2011.pdf
Hi Sandrine ,
Can you suggest what are the farms you buy your meat from? And also where you buy raw milk / raw cheese / butter and pastured eggs from. I have started the WAPF lifestyle but feel a little overwhelmed at times. So far I have been buying meat from Whole Foods, but they say the last month the animal is grain finished. I am not sure what that means and how it will affect the nutrient content. I would also like to know a good source for bones for making stock as well. Since I also live in the Bay Area your suggestions would be helpful and I would also have mental peace that I am not wasting money on meat which is not of good standard.
Thanks for your time.
[Susana, I edited your question simply for spelling, spacing, capitalization, etc — Sandrine]
I highly recommend you connect with our local chapter: http://westonapricesanfrancisco.org/ and join the yahoo discussion group: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/WAPF-SF/
Another shopping resources is: http://www.wisefoodways.com/bay/ and Three Stone Hearth http://www.threestonehearth.com/our-foods/
You can definitely buy 100% grass fed meat at Whole Foods. You need to ask them which meats are 100% grass fed.
I like Stemple Creek Ranch http://stemplecreek.com/, Marin Sun Farms http://www.marinsunfarms.com/, Tara Firma Farms http://tarafirmafarms.com/ for 100% grass fed beef, amongst others. I purchase pastured chickens from Real Food Bay Area: http://www.realfoodbayarea.com/ however, they will be out for the next two months. That is the soy free, corn free pasture raised source I recommend for chickens. Marin Sun Farms, Soul Food Farm, Tara Firma Farms and others have pastured chickens but they are not soy free and that is something I seek.
I also purchase soy free, pastured eggs from http://backyardcsa.com/ because a friend of mine in Marin brings them to San Francisco for me. Real Food Bay Area also offers soy free, corn free pastured eggs.
I would recommend you shop at Bi-Rite for your meat and ask for 100% grass fed … they offer many local suppliers.
I purchase Claravale raw milk and St. Benoit Yogurt there and also at Rainbow Grocery Coop. Rainbow Grocery has the largest selection of raw cheeses I’ve found.
Again, I recommend that you join the local chapter’s yahoo group and request a mentor. That will really serve to offer the support and guidance you seek!
San Francisco Chapter: Vicki Page (415) 587-2821, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.westonapricesanfrancisco.org/index.htm, email@example.com
Alicia– I know the feeling of being ovewhelmed! Let me share a couple of tips to help right away…. Refuse to buy fake food (choose real cheese over Velveeta, stop purchasing boxed cereal, etc). Get in the habit of looking at the ingredient list. If you can’t pronounce ingredients, don’t buy it. Don’t buy anything with high fructose corn syrup or propelyne glycol. If you have specific questions, feel free to email me. I will try my best to help. A personal mentor is one thing I would have really loved: firstname.lastname@example.org. Above all, do not give up. The benefits are huge (the money we save on doctors/scripts alone is phenomenol).
I live in Texas but visiting Columbia MO this week. are you close to this area? I am a beginner at NT and have not looked into raw dairy due to possibly moving here. It would be great to have a resourse in the area after we move.
We live close to Columbia. Keep my email: email@example.com, and if you do move up this way I will try to help. My sources would be about 1.5 hour drive for you.
I am in missouri. I have been lucky to have had a local dairy for my raw milk. But recently she has not been able to provide us with any. It seems that there are large deserts where you can’t find any where in this beautiful state there should be plenty with as many farms that their are. But sadly not. The local harvest dot com and real milk have listings but still not alot and usually far away. I am currently in the Franklin county area. Goats milk is easy if you can pallet it but if you find local cow milk, please reply. ;) watch out for auto spell I’m on my phone.
I completely understand. Been there. My sources are in Cole and Osage counties. If that’s no too far– let me know and I will give you their names. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
congratulations you are are wonderful role model for your kids to ensure they raise their kids to be healthy and strong. I would love to know more about the dog food you make to last the week
The dog food comes from “Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats”. A VERY cool book if you’re wanting your pets to be raised in accordence to your beliefs. There are not only great recipes, but every other type of pet info. Just as NT by Fallon was our family’s backbone, this book has been the backbone for raising healthy dogs.
What a great post! I have an industrial meat grinder that I’d intended to use for cat food but I just have not committed just yet. Like so many other things I’m sure it becomes second nature. People ask me all the time how I do so much and I can not help but to chuckle because, honestly I am a busy wreck. So many of the real food recipes don’t actually take that much time though! If anything simple food is drastically less time consuming and insanely less complicated.
My family has transitioned fairly well to a primarily homemade lifestyle. I use the word “balance” an awful lot. The truth is that a $300 trip to the store lasts us a few weeks. An order from our raw milk and farm resource usually runs about half of that but lasts only half as long. I’m still transitioning to ordering different things in bulk online, and eliminating less and less from the store. Half of my grocery total is milk and produce.
Financially speaking, I have no choice but to balance good, better and best. (as I say in my home) In time we’ll do a little better, and maybe one day we’ll hit a point where we can rely primarily on the best!
A “busy wreck”. That’s hilarious! I can so relate. I have yet to meet anyone near to me (in proximity) that is on the same nutritional page. BUT once I got into the swing of things (like thinking about what I would need to start doing today to prep for a meal in 3 days), it became easier. You are so right in speaking of a balance. That’s what it is.
We are a family of three, here in NYC. We also started cold turkey in February 2010. We have only two part-time incomes, so we are TIGHT! Everything can be very expensive, but we’ve made it work. Our WAP Chapter leaders have done an amazing job in getting us access to great NT foods, raw dairy and pastured meats, directly from farmers, priced unbelievable low in comparison to what we see in the internet, local health stores and farmers’ markets. We spend about $500 a month. Some times less. We don’t prepare much grains and beans, though, except for sourdough rye bread. We do eat plenty sautéed greens and mushrooms, and other veggies; plus my family back in my country ate plenty of root vegetables (I do not know what they are called in English), so we’ve sort of gone back to that once we found a couple of varieties wild-crafted. We eat lots of liver (it’s cheap!!). Nothing goes to waist, from the chicken we buy, we render the fat to cook with it. We use the gelled-up chicken juices (the drippings from cooked chicken, it’s like concentrated broth) to season our sautéed veggies, rice, etc. Bones for broth. You get the idea. We’re not much into desserts, though… I cook for our dogs daily, but they eat their pastured meats raw.
This year, I plan to learn on how to make cheddar cheese from raw milk! Very excited about that! Great post! Very motivating :)
I have to say that I envy your WAP connection, and what they’ve been able to do for you. I often feel like it’s all up to me. I would LOVE to do more sourdough, but have not had much success with keeping a good starter.
I have realized as my knowledge increases just how hard it is to buy decent quality products. Even in the local fancy organic grocer there was not a single box of crackers that didn’t contain either soy, or vegetable oil, or some other nasty. So my decision was to not buy any and go home and make some myself. Our family do eat out often but we choose quality restaurants, small French or Italian intro type places that make their own stocks, pâtés and serve up local organic produce.
We have started small and are going big! At first, we added coconut oil. Back before anyone really had heard of it (at least in our circles). We used it for EVERYTHING from diet to hygiene to first aid. Next came cutting out heavily processed foods (to me that meant ingredients I couldn’t easily lay my hands on and recognize). Now, we’re pretty much all in.
And the difference is awesome. All my kids are awesome, but I feel like I enjoy them more now than I ever have because I’ve equipped them for success. A previously emotional 7 year old who spent more time crying than enjoying life is now a satisfied, joyful 8 year old. A 4 year old who was antsy and lacked focus is now a 5 year old doing 1st grade school work. And their mom who needed to nap each afternoon? She sleeps well, wakes early, and only naps for a luxurious treat as a reward for having everything else done.
Food really does make a huge difference!
This has become our families motto as well. It is such a huge jump from the grocery shopping we used to do to this. The biggest challenges have been with our older kids. They don’t want to give up some of the foods they grew up on, but since we don’t buy it any more, the are out of luck! I keep homemade healthier alternatives around for them and they are slowly coming around to enjoy them! I need to track down Sally Fallon’s books and get some more ideas!
I have a special needs child. Any suggestion on what to use to
thicken food? Right now I am using rice cereal.
I don’t know how others feel about this, but I would try either arrowroot powder (if heating) or guar gum (in the supplements section, to be used when no heating). That’s just what I would do as a mom.
Hi, do you eat grains like barley, or brown rice, farro? and whats your take on them
I am very pro traditional grains; however the grain we primarily eat is organic wheat berries that I either sprout, dry, and grind OR grind and soak. That being said, I do only use brown rice when recipes call for rice, and quinoa as the grain component in salads and such. I also use regular organic oats, that I also soak as phylates are very high in oats. I’ve only used barley a few times (in a beef and barley stew), and never have used farro. I do feel that whichever traditional grain you choose, an organic/non-GMO grain is a must. I firmly believe that we are just beginning to see the health havoc that we have sown in messing with the natural product. Hope this helps. :)
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