Thursday, December 30, 2010

Real Food Basics (giveaway!) - UPDATED

When I first got interested in nutrition, I started reading a lot. I read lots of books and I read lots of blogs, and the first thing I learned was this:

nutrition bloggers tended to go seriously overboard.

Their passion is commendable, and I'm grateful that they're willing to take the time to share their experience and ideas. But when someone says that there is just nothing better than "eggnog" made with water, cashews, and sea moss instead of milk, eggs, and sugar...well, that's a little much for me to swallow! :) There is an "all or nothing" mentality in the world of nutrition bloggers that can be pretty overwhelming, especially initially.

But maybe you're interested in healthier eating, like I was. And maybe you'd like to find a way to improve your family's diet without your family rebelling and refusing to eat anything you cook! Maybe you'd like to find one or two information sources that condense a myriad of nutrition websites into one easy-to-read format.

If so, you'll want to keep reading, because I get to give away a copy of an e-book that does just that!

I've been reading Kate's blog, Modern Alternative Mama, for some time now. I like her style and I like the topics she writes about - everything from nutrition to healthy pregnancies to "hot topics" like TSA body scanners. I don't always agree with her, but that keeps things interesting! :)

Kate sent me a complimentary copy of her new e-book, In The Kitchen: Real Food Basics, and asked me to review it. Since this is the first time I've ever been asked to review anything at all, and she's one of my favorite bloggers, and reviewing things makes me a for real blogger (right?) I was more than happy to oblige. Actually maybe I danced around my living room a little bit.

In The Kitchen: Real Food Basics, is aptly named. Kate's goal is to give you a basic understanding of real food nutrition, without overwhelming you with all the details. If you've been studying nutrition for a year or two, as I have, you might find it somewhat lacking in specifics, studies, and footnoted research. But those just starting out will appreciate the conversational style and simple "let's get you started" ideas.

Your family will appreciate Kate's recipes. No sea moss to be found here! Rather, Kate gives you adapted versions of classic, yummy staples: chicken soup, meatballs, biscuits and gravy, pizza, chocolate chip cookies. ("What?" you say, "I thought this was supposed to be about healthy eating!?") And it is! Really! You'll just have to read the book! ;)

To be honest, I don't agree 100% with everything in it. Kate is heavily influenced by Weston A. Price, which I am not. She believes in sprouting all grains and using them less frequently than I do. And I have to admit that I'm not brave enough to try kombucha yet, although she swears by it! But overall this is a fine introduction to whole, real foods.

And one lucky reader gets to win their very own copy! I'm making entering easy, because I hate complicated giveaways. So all you have to do is leave a comment here, telling me one thing you've changed recently in pursuit of better nutrition.

Good luck!

UPDATED to add: the giveaway will run through January 2nd, and I'll choose a (random) winner sometime on Monday the 3rd.


Diana J. said...

Oh boy, a give-away!

Things I've changed recently:

- Going to all-natural organic cream soup for recipes instead of the ones from the market (Campbell's)

- Attempting to put more greens in our diet, especially leafy greens

- Going to all-natural jello

- Working toward a "clean" diet

- Eating homemade yogurt every day

And more that I'm forgetting! :)

Katie Jones said...

This sounds good Emily-

I have

-tried to buy organic on some fruits and have begun washing my non-organic fruits with Environme to try and reduce tha amount of pesticides we eat

-tried to cook more from scratch, less convenience foods

-switched to tea from diet coke (with an exception once in a very great while)


Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) said...

Don't knock the holiday nog until you try it. ;) And it's true- I do live to an extreme but am well aware that most of my readers are not there. I also teach very middle of the line- easy to adapt cooking classes and 90% of my recipes are highly manageable.

As a nutrition educator and teacher, and given my own experience with health issues, I often question why a mother, or anyone for that matter, believes that their family members wouldn't eat something, or would prefer to give a child food when it has known negative effects on short term behaviour and long term health patterns.

Obviously, I would expect everyone (or anyone) ot have sea moss kicking around in their pantry- but it is really a way to get people thinking and exploring new foods and to understand that healthy and delicious can go together and for it work- these two have to.

And truth be told- if you think it's gross, there's not a chance anyone in your family would be willing to try something either.

Mircat said...

Hi Emily! What a cool giveaway! I've recently begun drinking Green Smoothies and am cooking about 90% vegan for myself and for as many of my family members who will go along with it. :) I've also begun using nutritional yeast and raw cashews to make (delicious!) creamy sauces instead of relying on dairy products for them.

hope w said...

Great blog with interesting and informative topics. I'm hope to imporve our health and well-being in 2011. So far we have changed by

*buying only organic fruit
*canning some pears given to us this fall (first time canning ever and it wasn't that hard)
*use baking soda deo.
*vinegar to clean the counters and toilets

Thanks for doing an honest, heartfelt review of the book and for doing a give-away!

Christopher said...

Hey sister!

I haven't changed much recently but I am currently attending a college that has no idea about proper nutrition and thus I would really like to learn about it!

Does that count? :)

Oh hey, and congrats on being a 'for real' blogger! Although I think you've been doing that for a long time now! :)

Love you!

Jennifer Himes said...

How fun that you get to review something! I am making baby food again. Just tried Greek yogurt and am playing with some of the recipes from the sneaky chef cookbook I got for Christmas, which has been fun but also encouraging because my son is a pretty good eater already.

Mom0fTwins said...

One thing that I have changed most recently is going to real/cultured butter. Kerrygold, until I can find a raw source.

TZel said...

One thing that I have implemented recently is the incorporation of more vegetarian meals to our menu. Thanks!
bridgestranslation at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I have started to make green drinks - made from vegetables, which I eat instead of regular snack items.

ooshela said...

How fun that you get to have a giveaway! I would love to win and get back on the wagon. Since we moved I have been very inconsistent with my healthy living/eating goals. I have been known to make green smoothies, avoid processed foods as much as possible, enjoy real butter, sprout grains among other things.

Anonymous said...

We joined (and I now work for) a local produce coop where we get all organic (and mainly local) produce and we also eat locally pastured grass-fed beef and chicken. Along with our raw milk, our new diet provided a wonderful and healthy pregnancy and an illness-free 2010.

Anonymous said...

I've started making snacks from scratch for my kids.
My e-mail address is:

Lisa K. said...

I've started making my own bread with sprouted wheat flour and drinking raw milk.

Katie said...

ooo ooo - a contest. :) Let's see... I made several changes a while ago, that I have continued in (no sweets, drink more water, no dairy, make my own baby food, use nutritional yeast) but I need new ideas, which is why I need this book! ;)

Oh! I tried organic ground beef recently, thinking about hormones and junk possibly fed to cows...

So many thoughts... said...

Hi Emily,

I don't know if you remember me, but I am one of Josh and Katie Kenfield's friends. I too have been on a health journey concerning my food. It has been a few years in the making with me. I actually started for health reasons, but continued on this path for moral reasons. Anyway, I was wondering what your viewpoints on Weston A Price? You mentioned the foundation in your post. I rely allot on their positions concerning dairy, and meat consumption.

Just curios,

So many thoughts... said...

Thanks for the response :) Looks like we are on the same page, though I haven't really researched grains and oats myself, so I don't even know what to think there. But yeah, it is neat to find someone who shares in this journey. THe gluten-free is done out of an attempt to naturally deal with my allergies (along with dairy and citrus) instead of relying on multiple medicines. Maybe we can share some recipes and shopping ideas and tips sometime :)

So many thoughts... said...

Great info! I have been looking for a good bulk provider. And the CSA sounds great, the only thing is financially I can't make that kind of commitment. I sort of play it week by week to see how much money I have. But once things settle down I will look into it.

I actually get my produce and free range eggs and chicken from the farmer's market on Wednesdays in fullerton. I love this farmer's market. It is just plain old produce, no clothes, or knick knacks, jut food. There is one vendor there that is going to be starting a CSA, so I was thinking when she gets that up an running I might support her.

I get my raw dairy mostly from Mothers Market, thought recently Henry's has started to sell raw whole milk. It is expensive though, so it is more of a treat. BUT, I hear that the Torrence farmer's market has a vendor who sells raw milk on Saturdays! I really want to go check that out! Also the at the Long Beach Farmer's market there is a vendor who every other week sells free range buffalo meat.

As far as gluten free, my favorite kind of flour to use is sweet rice flour and almond flour. I get that from honeyville, which I understand also sells bulk items.

Do you have any gardening hints/tips? I am looking for info on how to best plant crops in CA, and how to plant seasonally? I seem to have a brown thumb :( but am determined to figure this out.