"Eat as our grandparents did." Might sound crazy, but we think this is some great advice.
Now we aren't nutritionists, nor do we have any certifications to back the statements we're going to make in today's email, but hear us out! ;) It seems that our health and quality of life could be improved by simply looking at the way our elders (specifically the oldest generation still living, born about 90 years to a century ago) ate and lived. We can find a lot of inspiration about how we can incorporate their wisdom into our modern-day lives.
1. Eat what's fresh and in season.
It's a wonderful time of year to take this advice to heart. Our hardworking farmers are reaping the rewards of their crops and bringing it to farmers markets where we can "vote with our dollars" and support local farming and agriculture. This also boosts our quality of life by going out and participating in community events.
2. Live off the land.
Older generations grew a lot of foods in their own backyard gardens to feed their families. They raised their own animals to use them as food. The result was ethically sourced fresh food, free of processing, additives, and chemicals. Even having a small herb plant or two in your house is one step towards growing your own food. Kevin comes from many generations of McGillivray farmers—spending time on the family farm growing up was a natural way to see what living off the land looks like, and to grow to appreciate the work of a farmer.
3. Eat real & whole foods.
This is all there was. There weren't foods made in a laboratory and made to last for months on store shelves. They were made by nature. It comes back to the idea of eating foods with little to no processing. Our tip is to look for minimal ingredients and be able to pronounce them all on the label
4. Be creative & minimal waste-minded.
In the 1900s to 1920s, if a family cooked a bird, they used it all; the organs and the bones for bone broth, too. It was a well-rounded way to eat, not to mention waste-reducing. We practice zero waste in our bakery by doing "bake-to-order" with our online ordering. This allows us to produce exactly the amount needed, and never throwing away any loaves. We also practice this by using the very last bit of the loaf for breadcrumbs. It's the perfect topping for the incredible asparagus that is in season right now!
5. Don’t fear good fat.
Unfortunately, with the fad diets that have made their way to the top news headlines, fat has become something we removed from our diets. Non-fat, low-fat... none of this existed in the early 1900s. Today's non-fat and low-fat foods are often supplemented with extra sugar to make it palatable. We'll continue eating full-fat butter and yogurt with our toast, please. You be the judge on this one!
6. Gather around the table to eat.
This is near and dear to our hearts. There weren't fast food options in our elder's day. They made food from scratch, in the home, and ate together around the table. This is real "slow" food.
7. No dieting.
Dieting wasn't a thing. Although there wasn't an abundance of food at the time, and food-insecurity was a reality, they ate what was available. There is something we can take away from this too. Just eat real food.
8. Move all day.
A sedentary lifestyle wasn’t a problem for our great-grandparents or great-great-grandparents because most of them woke up at the crack of dawn and were active right off the bat. They moved more and lounged less. More of their jobs and chores required manual labor, away from TVs, computers, and smartphones which today distract us and keep flicking one thumb at a time. We aren't saying all this is all bad. If it weren't for the internet you couldn't be reading this blog post. But perhaps there is a balance that we can find in making sure we get up and move around every day.
9. Preserve with fermentation.
We love this one. Ben's father-in-law, Richard, says weekly, "I love your bread because it reminds me of the taste of my Grandmother's bread." Our grandparents and their grandparents spent their summer preparing for bad winters. Preserving with salt and cold storage creates fermentation, which not only preserves the food for long periods of time but also enhances the nutrients. This is exactly what we do with our bread. It has an impressive counter-top life thanks to to the salt and long fermentation. It's also easier to digest and is high in nutrients.