Food: a basic introduction via my favorite sources

As promised, I wanted to pass along to you some of my favorite sources when it comes to food education. I also want to hear your favorites, too! This list is a very short list in the grand scheme of things, but in my opinion, it is a good place to start if you want a very basic introduction into the food we put into our bodies. You may know you already have an interest in this topic, but if you are unsure, here is a quick test to see whether you are or not:

1) Do you suffer from any of the following:

unexplained fatigue
acne, or imperfect skin
food cravings of any kind
indigestion
lack of energy

2) Do you often feel that the food you eat makes you feel worse, when you have an underlying suspicion that perhaps food should make you feel better?

3) Does food/being healthy intimidate you?

4) Do you want to feel good, and pass down good eating habits to posterity?

5) Do you maybe have a few doubts about the motives of the FDA?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then so sorry, but there is not turning back. Now, put on your thinking caps, know that you are smarter than you think, and fully capable of understanding the basics of healthy eating. 

Let me reiterate that I am not an expert in these matters, but rather, a very curious person with a desire to know and learn as much as I can about a vastly important topic. And I would love it if you joined me on my educational journey. That being on the table…

Books:

First (this is starting at the very, very beginning) I think it is important to not be afraid of food. I do think that for many Americans “healthy eating” simply means a non-fun way of living. However, it is my opinion that rich, good-fat filled foods are much more enjoyable than food you buy in the frozen section–and lots of studies show that they are much better for you. I am of the opinion that a good understanding of food as something that is not scary is the very first step one must take in the journey of good health. The French would agree with that, I think, which is why my first book recommendation is of the most basic sort, French Women Don’t Get Fat, by Mireille Guiliano.

This book is highly enjoyable to read, and while it may not be considered a book about health necessarily, it is definitely good for mental health, when it comes to how we should think about food–namely, that it is to be enjoyed. It also includes some delightfully simple recipes.

Another favorite book of mine (I have talked about it on my blog before) is Supper of the Lamb, by Robert Capon. 

While certainly not a book about health (indeed, he is not entirely against the Twinkie), it is another one that is simply a beautiful introduction in taking control over food, and all that it means in the way of pleasure and hospitality. It is also a delightful read.

This book may be a bit of a stretch, but again, it is a great book for a general interest in food, and a good introduction to cultivating a healthy respect for thinking about food: Julia Child’s My Life in France


And for those who are ready to dig a little bit deeper, here are some books that go beyond enjoying food, and actually include a little bit of the science behind it all. As a person who never really enjoyed science growing up (read: despised the very word), I am here to say that perhaps science and I were the victims of a terrible misunderstanding all those years. It would seem that it does indeed serve a purpose in this world, and might possibly play an interesting part in our daily lives. Who knew? (besides scientists, obviously).

Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient (Besides being a very informative book, I would recommend displaying this book in plain view somewhere in your home, as it can be a wonderfully effective ice-breaker when company is over)

Good Calories, Bad Calories (For people like me, who often ask themselves, “what the heck is a calorie, does it exist, and should I even care?”)

Nourishing Traditions (read the comments and get excited!)

Know Your Fats (if that title doesn’t suck you in, I don’t know what will…)

Documentaries:

Food, Inc.

King Corn

Ingredients (possibly my personal favorite)

Super Size Me (but we have all seen that, right?)

Food Matters

The Gerson Miracle (this deals more with the affects of good nutrients on Cancer, but the ideas are fascinating and important when learning about food, nonetheless)

I believe all of these are streaming on Netflix.

Blogs and Websites: 

Favorite blogs about food, and healthy living:

Roost (a beautiful display of food that will have you salivating and cursing McDonalds simultaneously)

Laurel of Leaves (this blog, mainly for the wonderful presentation of information rather than the recipes)

Favorite websites for educating yourself:

Healing Naturally (possibly too overwhelming for the beginner, and certainly not for the faint of heart–but a wonderful resource nonetheless)

Earth Clinic (a great place to find home remedies, and also learn about the amazing benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar)

Weston A. Price (oh, the wealth of information!)

Next up, some of my favorite home “remedies” I have recently incorporated into my life…

As always, please feel free to share any comments or thoughts you may have! I love a good discussion (and heck: a good argument if the occasion presents itself).

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