This is part one of a guest post from Laurie of Common Sense Homesteading.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of real food and seen its positive effects, how do you introduce friends and family (and anyone else who is willing to listen?) to dietary concepts that fly in face of mainstream nutrition? I’ve chosen to adopt a two prong approach – formal and informal – through classes and my blog, and by example.
Teaching a Real Food Class
This past summer, after many inquiries from homeschooling friends, I decided to teach a formal real food and nutrition class. The class was for teens and parents, and I used the text “Real Food Health & Nutrition” by Kristen Michaelis of Food Renegade as the primary text for the course. Kristen also offers an e-course to go along with her book, but I felt pretty comfortable “winging it”, using the book as a jumping off point.
We covered two to three chapters per class, pulling in extra books as needed. Other texts included Nourishing Traditions, Deep Nutrition, Wild Fermentation, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and a few others. (Can you talk about real food and nutrition without mentioning Weston Price? I think not.)
During each class, we reviewed the text, and I raided my cupboards, fridge and freezer for relevant food samples for the participants to see, smell and taste. During each class we also did an activity related to the subject material.
For the first class, we discussed Chapters 1-3 – “Food, Not nutrients”, “What Traditional Food Cultures Can Teach Us” and “Healthy Fats & Oils”. Our activity was making coconut oil fudge – easy and delicious. We compared tallow, lard, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, flaxseed oil, organic and regular butter, and poultry fat.
Class two covered “Healthy Meat, Seafood and Dairy” and “Healthy Vegetables and Fruits”. Our activity was making beef jerky, and we sampled an assortment of raw cheese, pickled fish, canned seafood (packed in olive oil and water).
Class three featured “Living Foods and Superfoods” and “Grains and Legumes”. We mixed up a batch of kombucha, and sampled an assortment of live culture foods such as milk kefir, water kefir, lacto-fermented asparagus, and vinegar pickled cucumbers. There were baked beans and Essene bread, and sourdough bread, crackers and cookies.
Class four was the most feared class – “Bone Broths” and “Sweeteners”. For some reason, most of my friends were intimidated by the chicken feet. DON’T FEAR THE FEET! We made up a batch of bone broth (that’s me in the top photo, stirring the broth with a frozen turkey foot).
To help make up for the Fear Factor of the feet, there was more coconut oil fudge, along with a comparison of white sugar, evaporated cane sugar, rapadura, honey, barley syrup, brown rice syrup, maple syrup and corn syrup.
Since the classes wrapped up, I’ve been working with attendees to help implement the ideas in their daily lives. My friend, Tami, said:
“That food class changed my life! I think of everything differently. If I had to sum it all up I would say that the food class taught me to look at food in a whole new way. When I would go to the grocery store before, my main focus was on what “tasted good”. Now I look at food kind of as medicine. It is all going to do SOMETHING to my body good or bad. I choose “good” now most of time. I just never used to think of food in terms of what it was doing for my health.”
My blog allows me to reach out to a wider audience. I try to get on the Common Sense Homesteading Facebook page daily, too, so I can share relevant posts on the internet, as well as day to day updates from the homestead.
I work with topics ranging from GMOs to home food preservation, natural immune boosters to wildcrafting. My goal is to share my own experiences and make greater self-reliance an attainable goal for everyone.
Watch for part two of Laurie’s teachable moments next week when she leads the way to real food by example. If the top photo made you laugh, you’ll love the shirt she’s wearing in next week’s post!
Laurie is a homeschooling mom with a background in engineering and a passion for natural healing, homesteading and gardening.
She blogs at Common Sense Homesteading.