Blog: Chef Jemichel ~ The Chef-Doctor
by chef jem

Small Steps - "The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With a Single Step" Lao Tzu

An introduction to Chef Jem's journey of "a thousand miles" from processed to whole foods.

Date:   10/24/2009 3:17:01 AM   ( 12 y ) ... viewed 3132 times

Lifestyle transitions can be daunting! Especially when it's your lifestyle! And all the more daunting when it involves the foods you have been familiar with your whole life! For some of us those familiar foods can be like best friends! We may have grown up depending on them to always "be there" for us! Making the transition from a predominantly processed food lifestyle to one of properly prepared whole foods can be asking a lot of many Americans. However, I sincerely believe that it doesn't have to happen all at once. When I look at my own journey of what I now may liken unto one of at least "a thousand miles" I see that I have made many small steps over time.

Nourishing Traditions (NT) by Sally Fallon is my favorite nutrition-based cookbook. I received that in 1999 during the earliest days of the founding of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). That book was a perfect match for me! Up to the moment that I received my copy I had been avoiding commercial animal products. That book instantly became my road map into the promised land of wholesome nourishing foods! My "rockets of desire" for real foods, including wholesome animal products were suddenly launched and over the years since then these foods have returned into my life and subsequently have blessed me big time!

NT covers all foods. One of the food categories is fermented foods. I had already taking steps to making fermented foods twenty years prior in 1979. Dairy and especially raw dairy is another food category. I was first introduced to raw kefir in 1978. I absolutely loved it! With the book I was naturally eager to begin making my own kefir. Organic and Biodynamic produce is highly advised in NT. I was first introduced to organic foods in 1977. It was a great joy for me to come to California from Chicago especially when in '78 there were only a couple local organic foods available in just a few city markets in contrast with the greater organic movement I saw rising up on the West Coast! Then in '87 I was introduced to Biodynamics. NT and WAPF brought all of this and more together in one new movement that has been multiplying ever since! My journey to fully identifying with that movement was one I can easily compare to "a thousand miles" that began with single steps years earlier.

You too can take small steps! You can learn to make your favorite foods in a new way. You can bring back foods that you may have omitted from your diet (because of a number of reasons) when you learn what your options are. I grew up enjoying all kinds of food however when I read about certain health ideas in the early 70's I began excluding more and more animal products to the point where I was as close to a vegan diet as I could go. I didn't know there were animal food products that were raised in healthy ways. Not in Chicago! NT changed all of that. Being a WAPF chapter leader was perfect for me as I was most eager to know all the local sources of real food! There was and may still be a saying about the three most important things in the real-estate market: "location, location location". A lot of that saying can be translated to the real-food realm. We say know your source, your farmer, your grower. WAPF encourages that! That alone could very well be the most supportive step you could take on your transitional journey! Take steps to know your food sources and those people will encourage your transition from a lifestyle that relies on processed foods to one of whole foods from local natural sources. And some of them will give free preparation advice as well! Then again I do recommend Nourishing Traditions!

Also see "Get to Know a Family Farmer" at Farm Aid:

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