Nourishing Traditions followup

30 October 2008
I want to thank everyone who contributed to yesterday's comments on Nourishing Traditions. I always enjoy reading your thoughts but I want to take this opportunity to explain something about myself that a few of you don't understand.

I firmly believe that everyone has the right to a different view to my own, and to express that view in a thoughtful and respectful way. Difference helps makes us what we are as a group of people - it makes us more interesting, it gives me reason to think about the comments left and, over time, it helps shape me and possibly others who read here. Difference allows us to see other possibilities.

When I recommended this book to you yesterday it was not so you could do what I'm doing. I don't want anyone to be an imitation of me. I made that recommendation so you could read that book and get from it whatever your stage of life, knowledge and past experience will allow you to get from it. I am 60 years old and I have enough life experience to know that many of the things that were good for me when I was 30 do not work well for me now. Needs modify throughout life, nothing is stagnant, change is necessary.

So the recommendation was not to drink raw milk or to eat meat or anything else. The recommendation was simply to read the book - and to see if it made enough sense to you to make some changes. I found the information on cholesterol and heart disease to be very interesting. I often wondered why deaths from heart disease continued to increase when the consumption of low fat foods increased. But everyone will get something different from this book and that is a good thing.

I want to remind you that my blog is not a prescription for anyone to follow. It is simply an account of how I live. If what I write gives you ideas or motivation, that's wonderful, but always remember that your life is about YOU, not me. I hope you will always be open to change, but only ever make changes after you've thought about them carefully and in the context of your own life.

Kim NZ made a good point on the cost of meat. Kim, I expect that our costs will be minimal but I will monitor it. We won't eat meat every day. Our diet will continue along the same lines - eating from the garden and backyard for the most part - we will replace a fish meal with a meat meal maybe once a week. So far I have bought 2 kg of shin beef, with the bone in, that cost $9.90 a kilo. A kilo (with bone) will make us four meals so it's affordable at the moment.

To all those people who are waiting for a reply to an email, I'm slowly getting through them and hope to contact you soon. As always, I enjoy your input here and I love that we are such a diverse group of people. I hope to be back later with the pattern for the ascot scarf.


  1. Well done Rhonda Jean. I love your blog and have made quite a few changes in my life thanks to you. I am only 31 and still have lots of learning to do. Thanks again for your wonderful blog.
    Take care

  2. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you so much.

  3. Hello Rhonda, I have been following your blog for sometime now. I have been thinking about doing many of the things you talk about. Your blog provides alot of guidance and and encouragment. I also enjoy the Simple Green Frugal Co-op. I find all of this information very valuable. Being more conscious of everything we do is key to living a well balanced life. Again, thank you for your blog I look forward to reading your post every day. Donna J.

  4. Rhonda Jean I met you just over 2 years ago on "the site". You have been an inspiration to me from day dot.
    May I also add a wonderful support through a time when there was a crisis in my life.
    You are an inpiration to me and mine.
    I check in to your blog every day and go back and reread a lot of your ideas/information and as you know have lovingly named our homemade dog food after you.
    You are a very loved person around this place.
    That's all I wanted to say.
    HUGS to you and Hanno
    The Other Rhonda

  5. Well said Rhonda.

    I love reading all the differing opinions - it is thought provoking to hear how passiobnate some people are about their diet choices. We eat the way we eat because for us it makes sense and health wise it works.


  6. While I agree with you on many points, Rhonda Jean, I choose not to eat meat or dairy. Isn't that a wonderful thing? That we can agree to disagree?
    I've felt too good since giving them up over 7 years ago now. My cholesterol has dropped to almost unheard of levels in America, I'm not anemic, and my congestion and sinus problems went away when I quit eating milk and cheese.

    Now, it may take you a few weeks to grow the different bacteria in your intestines that you will need to help you digest your new diet items, and a probiotic may be a help there. Not necessary, but a help.

    Thanks for sharing so much of your life with the world. Best of luck to you.

  7. I, too, enjoyed reading all the comments. Seeing what other people think really showed me a few things that I'd been missing until now concerning the milk ingestion debate.

    It also really show just how complicated a matter our diet is: economic, ethical, ecological and health implications all play a part.

  8. I didn't comment on yesterdays post but I will comment on this one. I believe diet is a personal thing. I have been a vegetarian for over 11 years but have recently added fish back to our meals about once a month. I would never tell anyone how they eat is wrong. I have never been healthier since giving up meat but...this may not be true for everyone. I respect your decision to eat as you feel is best for you and never once thought you were telling us that we had to eat as you. I love your blog and have learned so much from you. Thank you!

  9. always, what works for one may or may not work for another! I could not agree with your thoughts on this post anymore.

  10. Well said Rhonda. I enjoy reading your blog and thinking about what we do here. You have been not only practical but also down to earth as far as I am concerned. You are right people take or leave what they want you are certainly not preaching a way of life - just offering food for thought (literally LOL)

  11. A very honest sentiment. I say again that I applaud you being willing to change toward a better lifestyle, whatever that may mean.

  12. Thats what nice about the blog world... so many ideas, and inspirations. I like what you said about not being a carbon copy or imitation of anyone, the simple life or any life for that matter is an individual thing and we all strive to achieve it at our pace and levels! thats what makes it so interesting! Love reading here every day - your posts are very peaceful! and I;ve mentioned you as blog of the week so hopefully some more people will visit here and be inspired too.

  13. I haven't read the book (but I intend to) and want to point out that many people do not have elevated cholesterol levels just because of what they eat - their liver also makes cholesterol & some people are more genetically inclined to this (I'm a nurse, so I have some idea of what I'm talking about). Also, many people cannot get their cholesterol down just by diet - they have to be on lipid lowering medication to do this. I guess what I am sayiong is that whoever it was that pointed out that our ancestors died when they were young because of their diet is really not correct. There were many other things that were the cause of the younger age of mortality such as infection and lack of adequate antibiotics to treat it. Historically (going way back) man was a plant eater and supplemented the diet with the occasional animal kill. I suppose what I am saying is that moderation is a good thing and as Rhonda points out - not everyone can be the same. God help me if I had to give up chocolate! Keep up the blog Rhonda - It's taught me to rethink the way I live.

  14. LOL Rhonda, I had to go back and read the comments from yesterday's blog to understand what was going on...totally missed it yesterday, I just read your wonderful blog and enjoyed it. As usual, I thought it was inspiring, informing and agree with Krissie,peaceful.

  15. I am so far behind in my e-mails that I'm thinking people have given up.

    It's just that this time of year has a lot for us to do.

    I've been curious about that book because I see many people I respect learning a lot from it.

  16. Hi Rhonda - I personally felt there's no need to explain you don't expect anyone to reach the same conclusions as you, from reading the book... but I guess an explanation was needed after all. I saw that some people really took it as a personal take on their vegetarian diets, and someone even said something about not knowing how omnivores can live with themselves... (hmph!). Well I think learning is one of the best things to keep us young in spirit (and body!). Keep up the good work, and I'll be looking forward to reading how your new diet works out for you.

    On another note, I don't think it's at all surprising that heart disease, diabetes etc didn't go down when the low-fat foods conquered our market. The label of "low-fat" can't solve an unbalanced diet and lack of exercise and sleep. I have a degree in nutrition, and after years of learning I reached a very simple conclusion: don't tamper too much with food. Eat balanced. Eat natural. Eat a variety. Eat, preferably, local and seasonal foods. Yet people are still looking for the Magical Food that will solve all their problems in a snap.

  17. I enjoy your blog so much and this your articles are always so down to earth. I have always believed in the concept of everything in moderation. Not to do in excess anything. It works for me but may not work for the next person. But that is what it is all about, being different and learning from one another.
    Thanks for a great article and I am going to be looking for that book.

  18. Hi Rhonda, I would like to let you know, that both my parents, did everything very precise in their eating, very small amount of meat, loads of vegetables out of our home grown garden, dad would do all the hard part and mum would do all the sauces and pickling , freezing, you name it. And the my mum died when she was 50 from a massive heart attack. Just before this dad was diagnosed with diabetes. This blew our family away, nothing had changed, they did everything right.

    So when your time is up it's up. Yes look after yourselves, exercise, intake all that yummy good food, and enjoy life, its sometimes short.

    Please do the right thing by Rhonda. She puts so much hard work in bringing all this information to us, she is not there twisting your arm telling you what to do, at the end of the day you are your own person. Leave a name or email, so she can talk to you if you don't agree with what she says.

  19. I smiled when I read your original post since my Daddy is a cattle farmer. We eat his beef and he has several fields that he alternates them in to feed. They are considered free range beef. The one thing that I have often wondered is why people can't read something (book, blog, etc.) and take it as something to think about and ponder and use if it makes sense, not to copy it verbatum. We seem to have a society that needs a pattern set for us to follow and we have lost the art of thinking for ourselves. I love your blog. It often opens up new ideas and thoughts I haven't heard of. It gives me information that I can look into further. It would be silly of me to try to copy your life, pinapples will just not grow in the mountains of Virginia when temperatures dip into the teens in the winter! :)

  20. Well said. I really liked what you wrote about the book and your follow up to the "controversy" that your comments sparked. It's a GREAT book and I think it's wonderful that you are so willing to share your journey with us. We are all great fans of you, your lifestyle, and your blog. You are quite a role model!

    As you know, you are my blogging hero. It was you that inspired me to write about our quiet and simple life with our homemade detergents and cleaners. Prior to finding your site, we'd created a how-to site but I had not blogged about anything. It was just step-by-step tutorials of how to make yogurt, cheese, animal housing, etc. As soon as I began to blog about our life, I felt so cleansed and happy. It was very fulfilling.

    Your kindness during the adoption process and your soothing blog has been such a comfort.

    Blessings to you,

  21. Rhonda,

    You have so many wonderful ideas and I'm glad you are constantly learning and sharing your knowledge with us. It is a pleasure to read your blog. =)


  22. Rhonda, I think you are beautiful and awesome and i love your blog! The first thing I do in the morning is grab my coffee, check my email and head on over to your blog! I'm not a huge internet person but I love reading about your life-the sister I wish I could have had!!! have a beautiful day! Hugs from California!!!!!!

  23. Thanks for reminding us of this. I know it deep down but sometimes forget that my way is the right way for me. I had a similiar epiphany when reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barabra Kingsolver. Definitely a book I would recommend.

  24. I do find it disheartening when people who believe passionately in one way of eating aren't prepared to extend the courtesy to others of believing that they feel just as passionately about their own choices. Self righteousness is not an attractive trait, and it is unlikely to convince anyone to change their opinion.

    I've been vegetarian and vegan for nearly half of my life but have settled (for now, at age 34) on a mostly vegetarian diet with a little bit of fish and meat. I found that despite eating a very well-balanced vegetarian diet, my body simply does not process non-haem iron efficiently enough. I try to remain ethical in my choices now I'm eating meat again.

    I think what's important is not what conclusions people come to about their diet, but that we are having this conversation in the first place rather than simply eating as food manufacturers and advertisers are trying to program us all to eat. Thanks for providing us with the opportunity, Rhonda Jean :)

  25. I love this book! Have used it time and time again and her logic sounds so right to me. Just pulled it out today for the pineapple vineager recipe along with ginger beer.

    mary :)

  26. Once a week seems like the sort of compromise I am thinking about. My motive is to truly live off my land as other peoples do. It seems the best way to live. But still I find it hard. Thank you for writing about this! (I wrote about it on my own blog only yesterday!). x



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