Tricked by Diet: Returning to nutrient dense foods - Radiant Life

Tricked by Diet: Returning to nutrient dense foods

by Kayla Grossmann

There’s no denying that food these days is confusing. With over 40,000 items lining grocery store shelves and countless divergent “diet” theories, food choices can start to seem endless, scary, and frustrating. Sifting through the clutter of contradictory nutrition articles on the internet or standing paralyzed comparing the minuscule nutrient profiles on food labels, sometimes it seems easier just to throw the reusable grocery bags in the air and eat a candy bar. Yet, nourishing your body and mind doesn’t have to be this mystifying and frightening. In fact savoring the wholesome foods of nature’s design is one of the most intuitive, beautiful and simple things you can do to return to the vibrant health that is your very essence- and to contribute to a safe world for generations to come. If you or someone you know is making the transition to a nutrient dense diet, or considering it, this basic outline may make those pesky food choices seem a bit less daunting....

Peppers and eggplant

Embracing A Nutrient Dense Diet

It is obvious by now that for so long we have been entranced by a nutrition paradigm that methodically tallies away at calories, sodium, price and fat content as the total value of our food. We have been taught that "healthy" inherently means deprivation and control. We have been told that fat is to be feared and that "diets" are essential. Blinded by these theories, our food supply has turned into a chemical soup of wildly manufactured pseudo-foods that barely contain any real nutrients! With over 2,000 known chemicals added into our foods, did you know that the average American eats 9 lbs of chemical preservatives a year, many of which are known carcinogens and neurotoxins? In all of our intricate dietary calculations, we seem to have completely forgotten about the micronutrient value in our foods; the micronutrients that are essential to biochemical function, physiological rhythms, strength and energy levels; the micronutrients that are the building blocks of our bodies and minds. In a vulnerable society that is riddled with chronic stress and disease, reconnecting with the delicious traditional foods that our bodies were designed to enjoy is the pathway to health and vitality. For a surprising glimpse of just how far we have veered from this path, check out this photo essay by Peter Menzel depicting what families around the world are currently eating.

"Begin Anywhere"- John Cage

Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care

One of the most difficult parts of adopting a nutrient dense diet is beginning. It takes courage to contradict years of droning, monotonous teachings about the alleged benefits of "low-fat, low-cal" and embrace the foods that truly fuel you. There are countless trepidations that can leave you entangled in a web of doubt: Is this nutrient dense thing really right for me? Can I handle this? I don't have the time or money. This is way too much information. In some ways it is much easier to turn away from it all, and continue to plod down the middle aisles of the grocery store, throwing familiar items into the cart. Yet with the pesticides, hormones and GMO's being pumped into our fractured food system, and your health and happiness at stake, this simply isn't an option anymore! Eating a nutrient dense diet is certainly possible and the transition does not have to happen overnight- in fact it may take your body some time to adjust as you begin to incorporate new, rich foods. Start to make a few changes that you find feasible and let your body be your guide. A real food diet isn't about deprivation or extremism either, it's about making informed choices to nourish your body and mind. This is empowering stuff! This list, adapted from Sally Fallon Morrell's new book authored with Dr. Thomas S. Cowan, is a solid foundation off of which to embark on or enhance a traditional foods diet. Although The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care centers on parenting, it is a valuable resource for individuals of all ages wishing to experience optimal health and sustainable living for their family. For the parents and grandparents of the present and future, the journey to health and happiness starts now!

Instead of...

Consume with Confidence

Vegetable oils, Cooking Sprays

Cook in grass-fed ghee or butter, unrefined coconut oil, red palm oil, 100% extra virgin olive oil

Margarines and Spreads

Pastured butter or grass-fed ghee

Egg substitutes, Egg Whites

Real eggs from pastured hens

Pasteurized, homogenized, reduced fat commercial dairy products

Organic whole raw milk, cheese from pasture-fed cows. Find local sources at or contact your local Weston A. Price Chapter Leader.

Reduced fat, fruited, commercial yogurt

Plain whole-fat yogurt and kefir, preferably homemade. Add your own berries, nuts or raw honey for flavor

Lean commercial meats

Grass-fed meats consumed with the fats. Include red meats and organ meats liberally or supplement accordingly

Farmed fish, skinless fish fillets, tuna in BPA-lined cans

Wild-caught seafood including fresh fish with skin, shellfish, fish eggs and properly preserved fish.

Conventional Produce

Purchase organic whenever possible, prioritize with Clean 15, Dirty Dozen. Visit local farmer’s markets or purchase a farm share. Visit to find farms near you.

Refined Table Salt

Enjoy genuine unrefined salt. Try celtic sea salt or himalayan salt

Commercial salad dressings, jarred sauces, bottled condiments, artificial flavors, MSG

Make your own! Use dried herbs, unfiltered olive oil, cold-pressed sunflower oil, EPA oil blend, balsamic vinegar, lemon, stocks and other whole food ingredients. Visit our blog or find a good cookbook for recipes.

Commercial/Packaged Desserts and Snacks

Enjoy natural sweeteners, crispy nuts, coconut in homemade goodies. Try yogurt with maple syrup, homemade ice cream, coconut macaroons, simple fudge, coconut spread, trail mix with goji berries or homemade energy bars.

Store Bought Bread

Try alternative carbohydrates like soaked grains, legumes or tubers. Find or make genuine sourdough bread. If you decide to go grain-free, try coconut flour bread.

Synthetic Store Bought Vitamins

Superfood supplements derived from whole foods, free of additives. Swap commercial “fish oils” for high quality cod liver oil, skate liver oil or krill oil

Bottled water, Tap water

Find the quality water purifier or filter that best suites your needs. Consider also getting a chlorine filter for the shower, bath or garden.

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