One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!


This newsletter is about ancestral healing. While their unresolved conflicts are in our DNA, their diet—the ancestral diet—can teach us a thing or two about healing as well. The author of the recipes I post here, my friend Christine, has always said that most box mixes could easily be reproduced at home from scratch in the same amount of time with more nutrition content to boot. It would do us some good to go back the diet our ancestors followed and abandon so-called “convenience foods” that provide little more nutrition than the box they come in.

Ancestral diets can reverse heart disease according to Psychology Today’s article. “When you compare our modern diet with what we were eating in the 1950’s, there are some significant differences.  The ANCESTRAL diet:

  1. was lower in sugar and processed foods
  2. rarely contained soft drinks / sodas
  3. was lower in overall calories
  4. less reliant on animal sources of protein
  5. involved 3 meals and not much between meal snacking
  6. food was eaten seasonally

In a study of children’s lunches in the 1950’s compared to today in the UK, it was found that despite post-war shortages, lunch box meals for children in the 1950’s had:

  1. more bread and milk –> more fiber and calcium
  2. fewer soft drinks therefore less sugar
  3. had more vegetables
  4. had more red meat giving them more iron
  5. had more fat in their diet

Although the fat and caloric intake was higher in the 1950’s, children were generally more active at that time and so there was less obesity.

While I can’t assert that the 1950’s diet or lifestyle was perfect or that there were no obese people then, either, I do feel that we should consider returning to some of the basic principles that kept us healthy then.  I’m proposing that the ANCESTRAL way of eating would include:

  • a ban on soft drinks which have become a major causative factor in the current obesity epidemic
  • eating more plants – vegetables especially as Michael Pollan has suggested
  • eat fewer animal sources of protein and more plant sources such as lentils, beans, peas, tofu, tempeh
  • markedly reduce the use of processed, convenience or prepared foods
  • increase the variety of whole grains eaten – add barley to soups, eat quinoa, millet, brown or colored rices.
  • eat meals rather than grazing throughout the day
  • decrease portion sizes
  • go back to having a treat be a treat defined as: “an item that is out of the ordinary and gives pleasure.”  This includes desserts, candy, chips and other non-nutritive foods that we eat just because we like them.  It’s not a treat if you eat it every day!
  • Increase physical activity.”

In honor of eating seasonally, as well as indulging in an item out of the ordinary that gives pleasure, I bring back Christine’s recipe from last year—Caramelized apples! I swear just the thought of “caramelized apples” carries the magic of the fall season on its coattails. Can you see the fairy dust sparkles sprinkle out the package of caramel you just unwrapped? No? Then you aren’t looking hard enough, or you just need to remember how to channel your inner child. Enjoy! ….and remember, “It’s not a treat if you eat it every day!” Thanks, Christine, for this perennial favorite:

Fall is a great time of the year to enjoy the bounty of nature. One of nature’s best gifts this season is apples. If you can, try to get to an apple orchard and pick your own apples. Or you can always buy local apples in the grocery store. Here in Minnesota my favorite this time of year is our own Honey Crisp apples.

This recipe is very versatile. You can serve as a side dish with pork or chicken, you can serve as a dessert over ice cream or use in the morning mixed with yogurt or oatmeal.

Caramelized Apples

Caramelized Apples

4 apples
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp lemon zest

Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/2 inch slices.
Melt butter in sauté pan. Sprinkle sugar on top. Let Caramelize for 1 minute.
Add apple slices, cinnamon and lemon zest. Stir in pan.
Let apples cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently until they start to soften but are still a bit crisp. Remove from heat.