When my husband and I first started our real food journey, all I had was a copy of Nourishing Traditions and A LOT of questions. I had the basics down: eat lots of veggies, fruits, whole foods, and avoid refined-sugar, preservatives, and chemically garbage.
I’ve learned that the above is just the first step. It’s a very important and HUGE first step for everyone. But we can’t stop there.
I was eager to keep learning about fermenting, culturing, and using natural means to preserve the foods I ate regularly.
Side note: when you hear the words “fermenting, culturing, and sourdough” do you automatically think “where am I going to get the time?!” Trust me, it can be simple! Your health depends on it. Here’s why:
I knew the key to good health was a healthy gut. We’ve all heard about probiotics and the absolute need for probiotics in our diets. But I wasn’t too good about getting them into my diet on a regular basis. My husband ate plain yogurt daily…but I? I am not a big fan. I even resorted to buying probiotic supplements.
Traditional food preserving techniques such as culturing/fermenting, sourdough, and kombucha are just a few ways to introduce more probiotics into your diet. Probiotics are VITAL for a healthy gut and a HUGE part of the real, wholesome food diet/lifestyle.
Before we started our real food journey I didn’t know too much about cooking with sourdough starters, gelatin, and kombucha. Those were foods that seemed really difficult and time-consuming.
In this post my aim is to provide you with JUST THE BASICS or “starter kit” for your real food journey. I know how overwhelming (and expensive!) it can be to get started. That’s why we’re going to KEEP IT SIMPLE. And that’s why I’ve put together a real food start-up kit!
1. Oils and Fats
In a subsequent post I will go into details of what oils to cook with and why. Here I just want to share with you two principles:
High-heat oil: oil that you fry or bake with at high-heat.
|DO use organic butter and ghee from grass-fed cows.DO use coconut oil*Based on their composition, these fasts and oils are the safest at high temperatures.||Do NOT use olive oil, canola oil and other vegetable oils (ever!), flax oil and many others for cooking at high temperatures.*These oils are NOT SAFE to cook with at high temperatures.|
Olive oil, cold-pressed sunflower seed oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado seed oil are safe at low temperatures. Again, NEVER use vegetable oils (canola, corn, soy, safflower) or margarine. Source.
Sugar is a generic term. There are many sources of sugar out there. Again, I will go over the science and the whys of using specific sugars in a subsequent post. For now, here is the principle to adhere to when it comes to sugar:
Everything in moderation
Not all sugar is created equal
|DO use organic sugar sources such as raw sugar, honey, maple syrup, stevia and fruits.||DON’T use refined sugarDON’T use or eat high fructose corn syrupDON’T use agave nectar|
3. Cultures and fermenting
Truth: Making sauerkraut at home is easy.
False: Sauerkraut is gross.
Ok, if you don’t like the taste of sauerkraut or fermented foods, this step is going to be difficult for you. But good news! Fermented foods like sauerkraut isn’t the only way to add probiotic foods to your diet. Check out an INCREDIBLY helpful website for culturing, fermentation, and all things related to good-gut-bacteria at Cultures for Health.
That’s all for the real food starter kit. It can be simple!
Have you tried any of the above principles?
Here are just a couple more tips to keep motivated and keep going!
Keep it simple!
Start small, then progress to something more. For example, start reading the ingredients lists and DON’T BUY OR EAT any preservatives, coloring/dyes, fake flavors, etc.