I was recently chatting with my mum and she was reflecting on her youth and how her life was when she was younger, growing up in a country house as a child. Now my mum is a very healthy and active 80 year old and I put a lot of it down to her dietary grounding as a youngster. As she remembered some of the crazy things they used to do I thought I would question her a little more about what they ate and drank back in those days. Not surprisingly some, in fact most, of the foods that they consumed then were, and still are, very healthy and nourishing. Our current generation should take a leaf from their book in terms of what we are putting in our mouths nowadays.
So continuing in the theme of ‘Old School Training and Nutrition’ I thought it might be a good idea to give a little insight into some of the good habits our older generation had and perhaps we should look to inherit.
So here’s how the conversation went…
Me – “So what was your typical breakfast?”
Mum – “Every day we would have either fresh eggs that had been gathered that morning or a large slice of streaky bacon from the side of the pig hanging beside the fire. If we were lucky we had both! We would have this with fresh cows or goats milk”.
Me – “Lunch?”
Mum – “Homemade brown bread with homemade butter (homemade Jam on a Friday), maybe another slice of bacon and an apple from the orchard”
Mum “Chicken, beef or pork (we had no lambs), cabbage or cauliflower and potatoes. If one of the lads had been fishing we would get whatever had been caught that day.”
Me – “Did you have dessert?”
Mum – “If we were lucky we had homemade apple pie”
Me – “What about for tea?”
Mum – “Ha ha we never had tea we had supper. That was homemade brown bread fried on the pan!”
Me – “What? You ate fried bread?? What did you fry it in?”
Mum – “Lard or dripping. Whatever was left on the pan from dinner. Another glass of milk and then 6 of us were off to share a room/bed and look forward to the next day.”
Me – “Did you drink anything else?”
Mum – “Yes, water from the well and the men drank bottles of stout!”
Me – “On a side note what did you do for exercise?
Mum – “Exercise? We ran, walked or cycled everywhere. There was no other option.”
It was great fun talking to her and it really brought home to me the lessons to be taken from the conversation. So many people today are talking about how they have found the new nutritional plan with grass fed beef, organic vegetables etc., as if it’s a completely new find but we had been eating this way for generations. The problem is we moved away from it. Well it’s time to start moving back. So here’s the summary of what we need to do to get back to Old School Eating:
1. Eat whole natural foods where possible – grass fed beef, pork, chicken, wild fish, green cruciferous vegetables.
2. Drink fresh untreated water. If you cannot get that drink water that has been filtered. There are far too many chemicals in our tap water these days.
3. Eat fresh fruits that have no chemicals. We call this “organic” now but back then it was straight from the branch.
4. Cook with saturated fats like lard, dripping, coconut oils. These are heat stable oils that will not cause inflammation.
5. Eat real butter not margarine.
6. Eat fresh eggs. They truly are one of the most wholesome foods you can consume. (I go through at least 20 per week).
I have my thoughts on fresh cows and goats milk but I will hold on these for the minute but feel free to PM me and we can discuss.
to read Article 1 in this series, Old School Warm Up.