Book Review: Nourishing Traditions




Fallon, Sally & Enig, Mary, Nourishing Traditions, 2001.

Why Do I like this book?

Firstly, it’s a cookbook and I would tend to like it for that alone. However, it doesn’t have glossy pictures, so it had to work much harder to catch my attention.

Walking through the first section of the book makes you take a close look at the food choices you are making for you & your family. The nutritional information just rings true – it is good common sense.

Warning: The findings and recommendations defy the studies that are being given to the general public today.

A few ‘facts’ that most Americans believe today are unfounded such as:

  • Grains are at the bottom of our food pyramid and should be the basis of our diet.
  • Fats are the evil incarnate of all foods & a low-fat diet is the healthiest one.
  • Fats, carbohydrates and proteins have equal nutritional properties.

When reading the information, the facts are laid out in such a logical manner, the argument for following the guidelines set out in the book are compelling.

The authors take us through all of the current findings and historical studies to make a case for a wholesome, ‘fresh off the farm’ way of eating.

At first glance, it looks like a Paleo diet, but it is not. There is an argument for including whole grains for the fiber, eating desserts to satisfy our sweet tooth, and allowing snack foods as a way to handle how we live today.

The overall tenet is that our natural state is one of balance, wholeness and vitality. We should be living free of allergies, illness and disease and by changing how we approach our food choices and its preparation, we will free our bodies to live healthier lives.

What to Expect from this book?

The introduction explains the nutritive benefits for every food category such as: fats, carbohydrates and proteins, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Each section is filled with research and explanations as well as bulleted lists of important food facts.

This introductory section also contains information about kitchen equipment and tips and tricks.

There is a basic section that explains the less-common approach to cooking some foods such as: cultured dairy products, fermented fruits and vegetables and stocks, dressings and sauces.

The remainder of the book is filled with recipes.   There are tons of recipes along the categories of appetizers, main courses and desserts, however there are also sections for lunches, grains & legumes, snacks and finger foods.

Overall Recommendation:

When reading this book, employ a few recommendations at a time to incorporate into your daily and weekly routines. Then once you are acclimated to these, incorporate a few more.

Admittedly, we are not following these guidelines 100%. I have to admit that I am not making my own bread or fermenting fruits and vegetables. However, we are eating raw dairy, grass-fed meats, lots of fish, butter, eggs and tons of fruits and vegetables. We have started cooking with meat on the bone to make our own stocks and are increasingly making our own dresses and sauces.

I always go for the 80-20 rule.

So, check out the book, change some things that feel right to change and know you moving closer to a wholesome diet.