Below is an email interview I did with Wardeh Harmon of Gnowfglins.
Wardeh is a “traditional food-ie”, mom of 3 and blogger. She offers a unique e-course that teaches people the basics of traditional food preparation. You can enroll at any time and have instant access to the lessons (no waiting). The plans start as low as $8/ month and include access to 2 other classes, with one more on the way. (Sourdough, Cultured Dairy & Basic Cheese, and soon Lacto-Fermentation)
You can assess her Fundamentals e-course here.
1) Please tell my readers a little more about yourself, your family and blog.
My husband (Jeff) and I live in Oregon with our three children — Haniya, Naomi and Mikah. We’ve got a little place on about 5-1/2 acres which is definitely a work in progress. We raise Nubian goats and Muscovy ducks (so far). We’re thinking about getting a Jersey cow, but waiting to see if God brings the right one along. Our goal is to have a productive homestead… someday!
2) When I found your site, I noticed a couple of similarities between us. First that you also came to your current eating philosophy after experimenting (and being somewhat unhappy with) a vegan diet. Secondly, that your family had issues with gluten sensitivity. You mentioned that you had been able to overcome the gluten issues with traditional food preparation. Would you elaborate on that?
We were vegan for quite some years. My son had horrible eczema as a baby, and we were led to believe that he could be allergic to all animal foods. So we became vegan. His eczema disappeared completely. But our vegan change also coincided with a change to eating whole foods instead of processed foods, so we were never sure what really reduced the eczema. And, in the end, it turned out that he was allergic to eggs only.
I’m just sharing our experience here, not arguing for or against veganism. While on a vegan diet, even though my son didn’t have eczema, other members of the family did not feel well, experiencing muscle weakness and overall fatigue. When we re-introduced naturally grown animal foods into our diet, everyone felt better. We were happy with that arrangement, but then we found out about my daughter’s gluten sensitivity.
So for a few years, we avoided gluten completely, for her sake. And remember, we still weren’t eating eggs for the sake of my son. But then I was re-inspired to look into traditional food preparation methods. Previously, I had discarded the ideas because I wasn’t ready for it. I told myself none of it was necessary, and sounded like too much work.
But the thought that my daughter might be able to eat bread again made me take a second look. The idea is if you prepare grains properly (soaking, sprouting or souring) a certain pre-digestion takes place, putting less strain on the body to do all the work of digestion. So we tried it. I tried sprouting, then I tried soaking, and then I tried sourdough. Every single technique resulted in my daughter being able to eat the gluten grains without symptoms!
We also followed the other ideals of the traditional diet, including: switching to the traditional fats, and consuming raw dairy and cultured foods for probiotic benefits. My son was eating eggs again, and even though we’re not sure why, we think it is due to an increase in gut health.
So I guess you could say we were sold on traditional foods because of the results! Allergies and food intolerances carry more severe symptoms, but we saw other changes as well that confirm that we’re on the right track.
I’m excited that all we’re doing and learning lines up with God’s design. Old food, traditional food, nourishes us and helps us to look, feel and do our best.
Thank you for this info Wardeh! I enjoy your blog and hope that my readers will take a look at the traditional foods cooking ecourse you offer.