posted in: Blog, Health | 0
So, you’ve adopted agrarian ideals. You now want to grow your own food. You may even want to have a farm someday. You want to raise your kids traditionally and do away with unnecessary technology. You want a slower way of life. You also want to get away from processed foods and adopt the nutritional principles of our ancestors.

This is all fine and dandy, but how in the world do you do all of that???

I’ve written a post in the past with 5 steps to living a more rustic life, but what about step 5 — return to a traditional diet? How in the world do I possibly get started??

It sounds easy enough to change your way of eating until you look into what a traditional diet actually entails. You read things like this in your cookbook and think, “Heck no, I don’t have time for that!!” –
  • simmer meat stock for 6-24 hours
  • sprout/soak/ferment grains before cooking
  • ferment vegetables for lacto-fermented condiments (i.e. sauerkraut)
  • eat organ meats at least once a week
  • buy grassfed-organic meat
  • make raw milk dairy products (yogurt, cheese, etc)
  • soak nuts and then dehydrate for 24 hours
  • and the list goes on……….and on………..and on………
Nobody expects you to be able to switch over to this way of cooking all in one day. Not even in one month. To be honest, I would say that the transition took me about two years. Yes, my friends, TWO YEARS.


But, for the first time ever, I have now been successfully eating a traditional diet for almost 3 months without cheating and buying something prepackaged from the store or going out to eat or cheating on holiday food. That may not sound like an accomplishment to some of you, but if you know what this type of diet entails, you know that this is an accomplishment.

So what’s the first step then? Well, let me share…

3 Steps to Returning to a Traditional Diet

Step 1: Switch to Buying Organic

That’s it. Just switch to organic. This is not a big first step work-wise, but it is dollar-wise. Keep cooking the things you normally make but switch to buying the organic meats, eggs, dairy, veggies, and fruit, instead of the conventional ones. You might be shocked how expensive it is, but that’s why we’re taking baby steps.
So, once you’re in the routine of buying organic and have gotten over the change in your grocery bill…

Step 2: Switch to Buying Local

Now it’s time to start buying locally. Where are all the local farms you ask? I had no idea when I first started. I wish I had known it was a lot easier than driving around looking for farms. Yes, my friends, I did that. But it’s so much easier than I made it to be.

Thanks to the internet, you can find what’s in your area by simply doing a quick internet search! These are great websites to check out:

Local Harvest

Farm Fresh (just for southern New England)

Real Milk (click ‘Real Milk Finder’ to type in your city and State)

I’m sure that there are many more but these should at least get your started. Buying your food from local farms is a BIG change. It’s not as convenient as going to the grocery store where you can pick up anything at anytime. This takes planning.

A really neat thing about a lot of farms now is that they offer something called a CSA (community supported agriculture). How it works is that you pay the farmer at the beginning of the season for a promised amount of food each week. You go to the farm once a week to pick up a giant box of food (vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, whatever that particular farm offers) and your food is guaranteed for the duration of the season. It makes it so much easier so that you’re not always going back and forth to farms.

Step 3: Switch to Cooking from Scratch

This step, my friends, is by far the hardest. You might think that buying food from local farms was a big change, but that step didn’t take nearly as much of your time as this one will.

Cooking is NOT drudgery as our culture tries to shove down our throats. It’s relaxing, it’s interesting (especially when you learn a new skill), and it’s rewarding. There is no more accomplished feeling than looking in your refrigerator knowing that you made every single thing in there, including the condiments on the door!

But even this step has smaller steps..

The easiest way to switch to cooking from scratch is to try out ONE new skill every couple of weeks. For instance, let’s say you’ve never sprouted or fermented your own grains. Try it out this week and keep practicing that skill over the next couple of weeks. Once you feel like you don’t have to think about it anymore then move onto a new skill, such as making raw milk yogurt or homemade chicken stock.

Just keep at this process. It might take a little while. You might not be making all of your own food for a long time. But someday, SOMEDAY, you will serve a meal to your family knowing where every single ingredient came from and how everything on the table was made. And it was YOU who made it.

You will be healthier, your family will be healthier, your local economy will be stronger, and you will feel more accomplished. Who knew returning to a traditional diet would bring all of these great advantages?!