One of my goals for this year is to revisit each of the 12 steps to whole foods and increase my participation in each of them. I’m thrilled that the Sacramento Food Co-op has dedicated this month to fermented foods. This is an area that is very new to me. The US is about the only country that doesn’t have a traditional fermented or raw pickled food as part of its culture. I took a class on pickling vegetables last night and was amazed at how easy it is to do. Our culture creates fear of raw foods, they pass laws to make it a criminal act to sell unpasteurized dairy, they raid farm to fork dinners and food co-ops etc.
Fermented foods and other raw foods are important to keep our guts healthy. When we eat all cooked and processed foods we don’t get the right balance in our gut and it causes a variety of GI issues. Have you seen how much shelf space is dedicated to digestive aids? Our guts are often referred to as our 2nd brain, healthy gut flora is important to our mental health and to balancing our hormones.
You don’t need a lot of fermented or cultured foods to get a huge benefit, but you should be adding them to a few meals each day. I will be experimenting with my fermenting now that I feel confident that I know what I’m doing and hope to be offering a class later this year.
Some of the things I know I’ll be keeping in my routine is, minimal sugar, no caffeine, lots of smoothies and more new grains. I know that my body is happy without all the sugar I used to eat and I also know that it wouldn’t take much to get me craving it again, so I will stay away as much as possible. I’ve been off of caffeine for almost a year and don’t miss it at all. I was pretty good at drinking my smoothies most days for almost a year, so that is an easy habit to keep. I will continue to experiment with various grains, I liked most of them on this plan, other than millet, so I will be seeing how I can add them to my cooking.
About the only habit I know I will break is salt and pepper. My tastes are used to a lot less salt, so I don’t want to change that, but I think my body is happier with more salt, and I love pepper and plan on dusting it on everything starting on Friday.