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Politically Incorrect Nutrition: Meats, Fats and Raw Foods

Posted Jan 14 2010 10:00pm

This week, I’d like to introduce two of my favorite cookbooks that are always within arm’s reach. These books support the diet piece to my 7 Core Principles to Lasting Health, my natural  “healthstyle” that supports optimal wellness. The diet includes foods that are right for your individual body, which may include local meats, good fats and plenty of fresh, organic vegetables.

The books I’m presenting here have opposite approaches to diet, and both are deemed somewhat “politically incorrect”, at least according to the USDA Food Pyramid and standard western nutrition. You can see why: one promotes a diet rich in animal proteins and saturated fats, and the other relies specifically on vegetarian foods that are left in their natural state… uncooked. Contrary are their approaches, but an intermingling of these two eating styles is the diet I prefer to follow day-to-day.

Nourishing Traditions – The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
by Sally Fallon

Not just a cookbook, this handy resource guide sites information on the myths of fat (especially saturated fat) and its falsely accused ill effects on cholesterol and heart disease. It provides data on refined carbohydrates and their relationship to modern disease, research on animal protein as a principal element of human nutrition, fermented milk products, food allergies, and a whole lot more. Fallon also delves into food selection and the importance of local eating, pastured animals, raw dairy and unrefined foods.

As far as cooking and recipes, readers get all the basics: a slough of fermented dairy recipes like homemade yoghurt, kefir and crème fraiche, how to sprout grains and nuts, stock-making from animal bones and vegetables, and healthy salad dressings and sauces. The bulk of the recipes are based on hearty meats, vegetables, whole grains, and all-natural not-too-sweet baked desserts.

Rawsome! Maximizing Health, Energy and Culinary Delight with the Raw Foods Diet
by Brigitte Mars

Another fantastic book that’s way more than a cookbook (well… in this case, a “no cook” book) nearly half of the book is a reference and resource manual for you to get familiar with the raw foods diet. Brigitte is an internationally known herbalist and nutritionist, and she has included a raw foods encyclopedia to give you all the basics on staple raw foods, their uses and their health benefits. She goes over the many reasons to “go raw” including an FAQ section and information on protein and enzymes.

Brigitte’s recipes are simple, easy and delightful. Ingredients lists are generally short and sweet, as she promotes a raw diet that is practical, yet abundant in alive, colorful foods to get you healthy. Recipe sections include breakfast ideas (who couldn’t use more of those?) alternatives to cheese, milk and yogurt, raw soups and sauces, and some easy entrées like Rawvioli, Pizza and Mushroom Loaf. Her bright and colorful raw desserts, she says, “are healthier than what most people eat for an entrée.” Indeed!

Everyone’s body is different, and requires varying qualities and quantities of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Some people do well with only vegetable proteins like beans, grains, nuts and seeds; others need heavier proteins and fats, specifically from animal sources.

In my experience, I’ve seen that most human beings need to stick with an omnivore’s diet that includes all of the above – protein and fats from many sources (animal and plant-based) and plenty of green, red, yellow and all brightly colored vegetables and fruits.

From a Metabolic Typing® perspective, some people need lighter proteins like white meat, fish and dairy over heavier proteins like red meat. Some have a higher tolerance for starchier vegetables and grains; others don’t.

What I like to emphasize is the individuality of each person, and that no ONE diet will fit all. Within any diet system, it is ultimately each individual’s responsibility to adjust, modulate and fine-tune the diet until she gets it right… for her. Use these cookbooks and nutrition ideas as a guideline so that you, too, can create the perfect diet that works optimally for you and your own unique body.

1. Fallon, Sally with Enig, Mary, PhD. Nourishing Traditions. Washington DC: New Trends Publishing Inc. 2001.

2. Mars, Brigitte. Rawsome! Laguna Beach: Basic Health Publications Inc. 2004.

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