On our table: has wholefood and real food totally confused you?

Many people seem to be looking to eat foods that provide optimal health for a long and happy life….. 

There is just so much information out there on what we should be eating and what we shouldn’t. So many rules and it seems to change every month or so! Everyone has an opinion and attests to wondrous health from their chosen ‘diet’. 

After trying so many of them, I am finally in a place of beautiful existence with no label. I eat food that makes me feel good and that nourishes me on a cellular level, not because it is the new superfood or certainly not because it is green! I use white sugar with respect,  I delight in iced coffees with cream, I squeeze my daily orange juice by hand, I treat nuts as a treat and I devour (real homemade) ice-cream. (if this resonates with you, so will this here)

I don’t think we can say there is one diet that those who live long lives adhere to. Instead as a general rule I would say those that live well into old age have low stress levels (or know how to manage such levels), minimal inflammation and have a high metabolism.

The food that I cook and believe that we should eat focuses on these three things: minimising stress levels and inflammation and supporting the metabolism.

For our family, this means the following foods find their way on our table:
:: refined coconut oil, butter, ghee, extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed)
:: freshly squeezed orange juice
:: whole (raw) cows milk and cream
:: cheeses such as ricotta, fresh goats cheese, parmesan
:: white fish such as flat head, snapper and barramundi
:: wild prawns
:: a little grass fed meat (always consumed either on the bone or with bone broth & gelatin)
:: raw carrots, cucumber, capsicums and tomatoes
:: potatoes, sweet potatoe, pumpkin, parsnips and beets
:: digestible fruits with little cellulose – watermelon, pineapple, plums, cherries, grapes & peaches
:: stewed apples and pears
:: white rice (brown rice has all the bran and husk in tact and can be very troublesome to a compromised digestive tract/ metabolism)
:: beef bone broth galore with a squeeze of lemon
:: pastured organic eggs
:: raw honey 
:: real sourdough bread

Good food is a true pleasure of life, so even I will indulge in something that I don’t believe to be an optimal food, every once in a while. Far better to actually eat food, than restricting your calories because you can’t find organic this or sugar free that! 

Don’t forget the importance of good sleep, spending time in nature and being in the sunshine. To relax I enjoy an epsom salt bath most nights* (benefits of epsom salts here – great for allergies and so much more)

Do you have an optimally functioning metabolism/ thyroid?
Take your temperature, it is an amazing indicator of what is going on inside your body. Read here for a little more information. You are aiming for a basal temperature (temp upon waking) of 36.6 degrees C and ideally 37 degrees C during the day.  Go on, give it a go!

Symptoms of a broken metabolism/ low thyroid function   

:: low energy
:: low body temperature with cold hands and feet
:: an inability to lose fat (although hypothyroidism also commonly occurs in those with low body weight)
:: low stomach acid and enzyme secretion (therefore poor nutrient absorption)
:: leg cramps
:: insomnia
:: disturbed sleep
:: depression
:: bacterial overgrowth
:: leaky gut
:: food sensitivities
:: salt cravings
:: sluggish bowels and constipation
:: muscle twitching
:: cramps
:: thinning hair and eyebrows (at outer edges).

more food for thought
:: I didn’t quit sugar ebook here
:: What is your thyroid and how to increase metabolic health – article here
:: Did you know that lactose intolerance can actually be a sign of hormal imbalance and a broken metabolism. Read Danny Roddy’s article Lactose Intolerance: Milk Isn’t the Problem, You’re the Problem here.
:: If you are pregnant or thinking about conceiving, you may like to read this

* I have a bath with my girls each night. It makes that (usually exhausting) time of the night, so much more relaxing.
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  1. Jodi on April 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Fascinating, Natalie. And look at you – you're glowing! I'd love to have a real chat with you one day, in person x

  2. dear molly on April 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Such a fantastic post! I dipped my toes in the waters of various styles of eating a few years ago and felt completely overwhelmed at all the conflicting information out there. Through trial and error I am learning what my body needs for optimal health but I feel like I am still at the start of a very long journey.

  3. arianne on April 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Just found your blog and have loved browsing around. You love everything I love. And you have such an eye for beauty. Wish you lived next door, LOL. Keep up the good work!

  4. Mindy on April 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I just had to leave a comment today to tell you how much I love your blog! We are a real food eating (raw milk, pastured meats, organic veggies kind of stuff), waldorf homeschooling family and I find your blog so fascinating, and so full of great info. I've been following you for a while, so i will try to comment more often! Keep it up!


  5. The Wholefood Mama on April 28, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Fantastic post Natalie. What I, and I think many others love about what your write here is that you are informed but not fanatical, nothing you write about is over hyped – even sugar! I subscribe to this philosophy too, I think there are so many conflicting pieces of information circulating and one that need to be promoted more is that we all must listen to our own bodies and eat intuitively what is right for one person is not right for another even if it is real or wholefood. You mention you enjoy iced coffee with cream but I am interested to know do you drink coffee or tea daily? Despite knowing the down side of soy milk I indulge in one soy milk coffee from a cafe daily. I have had times where I give up coffee or only have one every few days but I am always interested to hear others thoughts about coffee. Thanks for a great post and links x

  6. Kristin on August 31, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I'm really looking forward to the cookbook! Can I ask why refined coconut oil rather than virgin/unrefined?

  7. Natalie @ the little gnomes home on September 1, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Hi Kristin, of course – coconut oil is very stable, so refining it doesn't damage the fatty acids and only removes things such as residual sugars/ fibres…leaving just the fat. This makes it even more stable to heat. I also use the extra virgin when I am after the coconut taste – such as in some baking. Try to ensure that hexane is never used to extract the coconut oil – this is something I am researching at the moment and hope to share some more information soon. Hope this helps. Natalie

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Hi I’m Natalie,

I teach mothers to hand-sew treasures for a magical childhood while delighting their own creative spirit!

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