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10 Ways to Kiss Processed Foods Goodbye and Get More Nutrition in Your Diet



We all need more nutrition in our diets – especially if you eat a lot of processed foods.

Processed foods are full of chemicals, preservatives, dyes, fake fats, and other harmful ingredients. And, packaged foods tend to have less nutrients due to the way they are produced, leaving you feeling hungry and unsatisfied soon afterward. You might even feel stomach cramping, have gas or diarrhea, and just feel rotten.

And guess what? Those are NOT normal!!!

Due to chemicals and engineering, processed foods can also alter your body’s tastes and desires, and make you crave more of what’s bad for you.

So you get stuck in a loop of eating processed foods. You are unmotivated, feel as though you don’t have enough time to cook. Maybe preparing real food from scratch seems too difficult and cost prohibitive.  And yet, the more you eat those foods, the worse you feel and the less energy you have.

Something’s gotta give.

Enter real, nutrient-dense foods

When food is grown in nutrient-rich soil and without chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs, which do have a negative impact on our health. Nutrient-content is always higher, and nutrients support health.

The result? You have more energy, less health issues, and you just feel better.
Here are 10 books that can help you improve the quality of your diet, with information about how to find, prepare, and entice you to improve the way you eat, achieve your goal of getting more nutrition out of your meals – and fit within your budget.
These authors have done the research and homework so you don’t have to…it’s easier than you think!
All these great books and 40+ others are included in the Extreme Health Library bundle being offered at a great price through MARCH 7th.

Thrifty Food Plan Experience / Millie Copper

Good health and good-eating can feel expensive but in Thrifty Food Plan Experience Millie Copper provides in-depth support in feeding a family of five on $172 per week, from a Weston A. Price Foundation dietary perspective. She provides 67 pages of thoughts, tips, and ideas plus a 2 week menu plan, over 40 recipes (and links to many more) to help you succeed.
(67 pages; PDF format; $8.95)

Off The Shelf / Kris Bordessa

Off The Shelf by Kris Bordessa gives you the tools to replace store-bought condiments, toppings, and snacks with healthier homemade alternatives. Complementing our products on giving up processed foods, these simple and beautiful recipes will allow you to say goodbye to food additives forever.
(43 pages; PDF format; $7)

100 Days of Real Food Challenge / Lisa Leake

A family with 2 young children in Charlotte, NC took a 100 Days of Real Food pledge. They didn’t eat a single ounce of processed food or refined ingredients for 100 days in the hopes that they would inspire people to follow suit. If you are new to a diet of unprocessed food, prepare to be inspired. Lisa Leake and the team at 100 Days of Real Food offer you meal plans, recipes, and tips to help you in your journey. They provide a quick guide to real food shopping as a bonus in this offer and have extensive free resources on their website for you to explore.
(73 pages PDF format; Bonus)


The Savvy Shopper’s Guide to Sustainable Food / Raine Saunders

Learn how to source health foods from sustainable sources, whether it is from local farms and farmer’s markets in your area, online merchants, delivery services, local grocery, or health food stores.
Learn to read labels, what to look for, what to avoid, and how to select and buy the best foods available for better health. Learn more about why supporting the sustainable food system is so important – and how it really can keep you healthy and feed the world.
(139 pages; PDF format; $24)


Nourishing Our Children

If you’ve heard of the dietary perspective of the Weston Price Foundation and wondered what it is all about, Nourishing Our Children: Timeless Principles For Supporting Learning, Behavior, and Health Through Optimal Nutrition from the San Francisco chapter spells out its philosophy in a beautiful and easy-to-read format.

The e-book provides dietary principles for parents to follow before and after conception, as well as recommendations on how to nourish rather than merely feed their children. It also covers the problems associated with modern processed foods and vital information about water and fluoride, traditional fats and oils, milk, soy, vital nutrients, and healthy meal preparation.


(97 pages; PDF format; $20)

Broth: Elixir Of Life / Patricia Lacoss-Arnold.

Our ancestors made use of every part of the animal to nourish them, including the bones. Bones are rich in calcium and other minerals; bones contain collagen which brings elasticity to the skin; bones are rich in gelatin which aids in digestion. Using bones to make broth is a key strategy to extract bone nutrients and add them to your diet.

Patricia Lacoss-Arnold in Broth: Elixir of Life will describe how to make and use broth in your every day cooking. If you have ever wonder how to make broth from beef, chicken, fish or even rabbit bones, you will soon learn about the flavors of these different options.
(59 pages; PDF format; $8.99)

Eat More Leafy Greens / Cynthia Lair.

How do you choose, chop, and cook your greens? What greens are best in a raw salad? If you are new to greens, Cynthia Lair in Eat More Leafy Greens provides you with an excellent orientation for getting started.
How do you know if a particular green is best eat cooked or raw? Check the list of greens in this 20-page guide or use one simple tip that Cynthia will teach you.
(20 pages; PDF format; $6.99)

Rebuild from Depression: A Nutrient Guide / Amanda Rose, Ph.D. and Annell Mavrantonis, M.D.

Rebuild from Depression: A Nutrient Guide, Including Depression in Pregnancy and Postpartum identifies seven nutrients most commonly associated with depression in the medical literature, including Omega 3 in fish oil, B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, and zinc. They provide readers with tools to: (1) Identify a nutrient deficiency, (2) Locate the best supplements / vitamins for depression, and (3) Select and prepare foods to maximize those nutrients in their diets.
The ebook opens with Rose’s biography of depression and psychosis. She makes a compelling claim: My grandmother died at the age of sixty-one from complications of postpartum depression. Rose argues that her grandmother showed signs of nutrient deficiencies in her twenties, did not correct them, and suffered a life of depression, diabetes, and heart disease, all of which share a common nutrient deficiency: Omega 3 fatty acids.
(200 pages; PDF format; $19.97)

Divine Dinners: Gluten-Free, Nourishing, Family-Friendly Meals / Lydia Joy Shatney

Lydia Joy Shatney offers Divine Dinners: Gluten-Free, Nourishing, Family-Friendly Meals complete with 75 recipes to help you create menus full of wonderful, gluten-free dinners. With meat-based entrees and a collection of side dishes, soups, sauces, dips, and spreads, you will spend weeks cooking through this cookbook.
(104 pages; PDF format; $14.95)

The Five Flavors of Food /Lisa Mase

Lisa Mase of Harmonized Cookery shares “The Five Flavors of Food: Combining Ingredients Into Harmonious Meals.” To satisfy the whole being, Traditional Chinese Medicine encourages including five flavors in each meal: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter. The five flavors correspond to the five elements: Earth, Wood, Water, Metal and Fire. Planning menus that incorporate these elements and flavors, we can start to recognize which foods help us harmonize with our environment and the seasons.
(4 pages; PDF format; Bonus)

To buy these and all the other great health titles in this bundle, click here to visit the Extreme Health Library page for more information.

Ends Thursday March 7th at midnight, PST.

Healthy Living Real Food

Why My Family Loves Lard

Today I’m rendering lard in my kitchen.

Wait, did I just say a dirty word? You’d certainly think so. When I say the word “lard” to some people, they do a double-take, as though I’ve just uttered some foul language and should go wash my mouth out with soap.

The picture shows two young adults who appear to be happy and healthy because they are imbibing. All joking aside, their vibrant health was not from the alcohol they drank nor their sparkling personalities. Lard is certainly not new to the human diet, but over the last 100 or so years, it’s been increasingly absent from our tables and kitchens.

Why is lard such a misunderstood food?

I’ve got one word: Marketing. Fats have been wrongly villanized in medical and health communities for many decades.  This translated over to the food industry very well, and just as lard was once marketed as a health food, unhealthy, artificial fats started being marketed to the public just after the turn of the 20th century when hydrogenated vegetable oils were created. It was more cost-effective to produce these products because the meat industry had a monopoly on lard and tallow used for soaps, candles, and cooking.

Proctor & Gamble hired a chemist to create a product that resembled lard so they could produce soap and other products for less money. It looked so much like lard, “Crisco” was born. It was at this time that saturated fat and cholesterol in particular, became “unhealthy” to consume.  No longer were people encouraged to eat real animal fats, but instead, fake, modern fats. Despite the fact that lard is comprised of 40% monounsaturated fat, as a culture, we’ve continued to bestow a most unfair criticism of it. All because, dare I say it…it’s an animal fat!

Deaths from heart disease were rare prior to 1920s in the U.S. Prior to that, tallow (beef fat) and lard were the most widely used for cooking. Around the turn of the 20th century, shortening (think Crisco) started becoming a more commonly used “fat” in people’s kitchens. Read this history of cottonseed oil and how it took the place of lard and tallow in American kitchens due to the discovery of hydrogenation.

Perhaps lately you may have seen some of the various articles circulating around proclaiming lard’s true health benefits. Here, or perhaps here. Of course, these articles are heralding the benefits of real, unhydrogenated lard which is very important. Most of what you’ll find on the consumer or commercial markets is hydrogenated lard, if you can find it at all. The other point they make which I don’t agree with is that because it has less saturated fat (about 40%, as compared to other animal fats like dairy and red meat), it’s better for us.  This couldn’t be more false.

Lard is really a health food!

Actually, we need many different kinds of fats in our diets to be healthy. That includes saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and even a little polyunsaturated fats – but from real foods that are unadulterated. The source is of key importance. For thousands of years, people have eaten real fats, and this practice has ensured the survival of humankind. Dr. Weston A. Price discovered in his travels that there were no successful plant-based societies, and that those who were eating animal fats in their diets were healthiest.

A recent article on the Weston A. Price Foundation site by Dr. Kaayla Daniel reveals just how detrimental plant-based diets can be, that they are actually responsible for depleting our bodies of critical nutrients such as B12, and lead to high mortality rates caused by heart disease.

The way food is produced now has contributed greatly to metabolic disorder of which heart disease, obesity, food allergies, auto-immune disorders, hormonal problems, diabetes and blood sugar problems, and other problems like cavities and osteoporosis are all a part. But conventional medical and health professionals seldom mention this fact. They just say fats and meats and cholesterol are bad for us to eat.

If you do consume lard, you’ll want to render it yourself from the fat of hogs on pasture. Local farmers who are mindful of sustainable practices can provide this healthy fat for very little cost or sometimes free. Last year I wrote a post about the Forgotten Craft of Rendering Lard. For recipes on how to render your own and where to get the best lard, a bit about the history of lard, and more about why it’s such a wrongly feared, but beneficial health food, please read it and pass it along to those you know who could benefit from reading it.

Benefits of lard from pastured hogs

  • Excellent source of Vitamin D, of which most people are deficient
  • Boosts the immune and digestive system (which are intertwined)
  • Supports cardiovascular and arterial health
  • Provides lasting energy for the body, and keeps blood sugar and metabolism even
  • Enhances bone, cartilidge, teeth, and muscle health
  • Benefits the liver and pancreas by
  • Can be used for higher heat cooking since it contains saturated fats, which are stable in heat – up to 375 degrees
  • Is generally odorless and does not impart the “pork” taste to other foods, so is versatile in many types of cooking

How do I love lard? Let me count the ways!

We use lard for so many things we do in our kitchen. Here’s just a few uses:

  • home-made refried beans
  • desserts and pies
  • frying vegetables
  • braising meats
  • cooking potatoes (and especially, home-made french fries!)
  • popcorn
  • fried plantains or apples
  • stir-fry
  • cooking eggs, pancakes, crepes, and other breakfast foods
  • cracklings (which I have yet to try, but if you asked the Ingalls family whether they are good, you’d get a resounding YES!)

So, if you’re thinking about using lard for cooking, you should know it has amazing health benefits as well as versatility in many things you can prepare…but most of all, that it’s definitely not the enemy it’s been made out to be by conventional health sources.

Like many things, scientists have at one time condemned it and are now starting to come around again. Remember the scare we had for many years about how eggs were bad for our health? Now eggs are considered healthy to eat again. But eggs aren’t healthy to eat because they don’t have as much cholesterol as we once thought. It’s because eggs have nutrients we need for health – CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), Omega 3 essential fatty acids, cholesterol, Vitamins A, D, E, K, minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium, folate, B6, B12, and choline, . Just like lard from hogs on pasture, eggs from hens on pasture are much higher in these essential nutrients.

The problem has been that because our food system has changed so many traditional foods from what they used to be – life-giving, nutrient-dense components of health – we are now seeing the results on our well-being, which is a decline in health due to the consumption of foods that are barely recognizable from what they once were – processed, irradiated, pasteurized, full of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides/herbicides, residue from chemical fertilizers, GMOs, and other harmful substances.

More information:
The forgotten craft of rendering lard
The importance of dietary fats
Looking for lard in your area? Check out:
Lard Lover’s network

This post is part of Sarah The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania Carnival and

Mind, Body, and Sole’s Wildcrafting Wednesdays Blog Hop.