It's been almost ten years since I began on this crazy real food journey. (Read about my “food conversion”.) The other day when I was asked the following questions, it got me thinking about what I'd say if I had the chance to give myself advice all those years ago…
1) You offer amazing advice on your website so you've obviously been leading a lifestyle of traditional and nourishing foods for a while now. But can you look back and remember a time when you really struggled to make progress with making the changes you desired? What were some of the barriers you had to overcome?
Oh I've had MANY bumps along the way! Every time I'd make something new and the kids hated it, every time I'd spend too much on a recipe that flopped, every time I'd finally figure out how to make something *healthier* and then realize that one more ingredient I'd been using wasn't good for us after all, I'd feel very discouraged. It can be overwhelming in the beginning! Just know that it's normal to feel this way and hang in there.
2) Can you think of a breakthrough moment that really gave you the momentum you needed to get over any of those barriers?
Not one specific breakthrough moment, but for every ‘down', I've had many more ‘ups'. And those ‘ups' are really sweet when they happen (like success with my homemade mayo!) — such as when I adapt another recipe over to real food and everyone loves it! Because I know this journey is SO *worth it* – we are rarely sick, we have no more behavior or learning issues, and who knows what other health problems we're avoiding?
Whenever I feel stuck, now I know that the answers are out there. Traditional cultures have been cooking with Real Food a LOT longer than we've all gotten accustomed to cooking with the fake stuff, so it's just a matter of time and patience in order to get a handle on all of it. And Real Food tastes better anyway, so we've always got that going for us!
A lot of trial and error was necessary, and thankfully my family hung in there. My many friends (my real life AND many of YOU, my reader friends) have helped me a ton. I'm constantly asking my readers questions either on my blog or on my Facebook page and I learn a lot that way. It's not that I never have flops anymore, I always will because I love playing around in the kitchen, but now they don't bother me quite as much because I know that's how I learn. Unless I spent a lot of money on a flop, now that still drives me crazy. (See some of my Friday Food Flops…)
3) For someone who is just getting started (or thinking about getting started) with integrating traditional foods into their diet, what would you recommend as a small and easy action they can take today that will likely have big impact long term?
- Get a copy of my book, Real Food for Rookies to save you a lot of guesswork! Or sign up for the online Real Food for Rookies class for a crash course.
- Sarah Pope had some great advice in her talk at the conference last weekend: Always start with the fats, because when you do that you'll feel better almost immediately, and this will give you the energy and motivation to keep making more changes! Have you seen her new book: Get Your Fats Straight? (No Kindle? Get a free reader for your phone, tablet or computer by clicking here.)
- Also, connect with others who have been on this journey for a while and don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions! No need to reinvent the wheel when your friends probably have a lot already figured out.
- Don't forget to get the “real food bible” by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon: Nourishing Traditions.
- Search for what you are wondering about here on the site like this: In your online search, type in “Kitchen Kop SUBJECT GOES HERE” and see what comes up. Also, subscribe to my blog so you get new posts as often as you want them (I'd love to help you!) or other traditional food blogs so you can keep learning that way. When I first started my blog almost 6 years ago it was months before I even found any other real foodie bloggers, now there are so many!
- Attend your local WAPF meetings, that's a great way to connect with other real foodies!
Thanks Regis @ Sacred Eats for asking these questions!