Real Food, Better Health: Once Upon a Cook- Food Wisdom, Better Living

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Once Upon a Cook - Food Wisdom, Better Living... I don't think I've read such a thorough book on health and nutrition. It really does cover every aspect of food: from soil health, busting myths about meat, fats, salt and dairy, microbes of the gut, pesticides and organic farming, traditional foods and many recipes...and so much more.

The genius of her writing style is that is it so clear and concise, it's a quick easy reference dictionary about all things food and health.
Izabella's approach is gentle yet totally persuasive and you cannot come away from this book without making hugely positive changes to your lifestyle."

5* Amazon Review: Afsha Malik, Founder- Bloom in Health (Pharmacist & Holistic Health, Wellbeing and Movement Specialist)

A heartfelt "thank you SO much" to Afsha and all of you who've already bought Once Upon a Cook.  It's beyond encouraging that so many of you have engaged with the important messages and very serious food-and-health issues I address throughout the book and are inspired to create much better health!

If like Afsha, what you've read has resonated with you, I’d be hugely grateful if you might take a moment to head to Amazon and leave a review of the book to help it climb the rankings, raise awareness and encourage others to engage with creating much better health. Thanks in advance!

If you've not yet taken the plunge, let me outline what I’ve written about in Once Upon a Cook, why it’s so important to take action to reclaim your kitchen and take back your health and why I need your help...

Accessible, evidence-based gold

We know that our food systems are pretty broken. We know that our health systems are struggling to cope with chronic, lifestyle-driven diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, degenerative, digestive and autoimmune disorders. Health practitioners like myself understand the science that is clearly showing us that food IS medicine and that changing what we eat is one of the quickest ways to reduce our risk of chronic, lifestyle-driven illnesses... and of even reversing them.

The truths in Once Upon a Cook will make you want to change the way you eat and create much better health. When you discover and experience these truths... you'll want to encourage other to do the same.

Once Upon a Cook comprises 14 chapters of very accessible, intensively researched, evidence-based gold examining and explaining why much of the food we're putting on our tables and into our bodies isn't the deliciously wholesome, healthy food that our grandparents (and theirs) enjoyed; and why the conveniently prepared and processed food we’ve come to rely upon is making and keeping us sick.

I cover everything from why it is so important to understand what’s in - or indeed isn’t! - in our soil (the very foundation of human health) .... to the importance of sourcing organic meat, fish, dairy, fruit, vegetables and grain products … to the deep nutrition in herbs, spices, cultured and fermented foods. I also tackle the controversial issues surrounding fats, sugar and salt - why they're not the 'demons' they're made out to be.

In turning the pages of this book, you’ll discover why 'Granny knew best' about the foods that really do make and keep us healthy and how her traditional food wisdom is (and always has been) supported by sound science; some of the science is new and emerging - but some important science has existed for many decades but has been lost, ignored... or even 'buried'.

You’ll be introduced to Granny's forgotten culinary skills and enjoy delicious, nutritious modern recipes for better energy, vitality and much better health.  Each chapter contains a number of recipes, many of which bring a contemporary twist to the traditional foods our grannies (and theirs) enjoyed.

Everything in the book is well-researched, evidence-based and supported by hundreds of references (also linked via my website) to reliable information that I've curated from a wide variety of trusted sources, so to help you understand why the food we're eating isn't what it once was... and what you can do about it.

On your behalf, I’ve cut through the fog of confusion, misinformation, media hype and vested interests to provide you with a clear summary and analysis of all the contemporary food issues,  to help you to make more informed and better food choices, for much better health for yourself and your family.


I’m so excited about the feedback that I’ve received already for Once Upon a Cook….

It looks really good to me, and terribly useful in giving a clear summary/analysis of all the contemporary food dilemmas.”

- A prominent UK Investigative Food Journalist, writer and commentator on the British food chain

“Looking forward to reading the rest of the book – thanks for the draft!”

- UK Organic Egg Farmer

“This is great, well done! Your writing is clear and inspirational.”

- A medical doctor, Master of Medical Sciences in Neurology and Nutrition

 “Nice work! I don’t have any suggestions….”

- A Cardiovascular Research Scientist & editorial advisory board member for medical journals

“A clearly well researched and painstakingly written book that looks deeply into how food is produced, as well as the nourishing effect it has on our bodies, with some fantastic recipes to boot. Not a quick fix diet book by any stretch of the imagination - many of those sorts of books miss half the point anyway - but a worthy tome suitable for anyone who would like a solid education in why modern foods are rubbish and how traditional food practice was right all along. Recommended!!”

- Alvin - Amazon purchase & review

“This is a brilliant, well-written book... EVERY HOME should have one...

This book is REAL easy to understand and will change the way you SHOP and eat... This is NOT a diet book but it enables you to understand what you should be eating and WHY.”

- Teresa - Amazon purchase & review

I can’t tell you how encouraged I am with comments like these. In the coming months, I'll be on an active mission to gather feedback and more valuable inputs from livestock farmers, fruit and vegetable growers, nutritionists, traditional bakers, and a wide range of opinion leaders from the real, organic and sustainable food movements.

And, not least, from YOU!

Sneak peek of what you'll find inside...

In the Introduction to Once Upon a Cook, I set the scene for the book - how many of us face a constant battle with fatigue, overwhelm, ill health and chronic health conditions; how and why our modern food and toxic lifestyle choices are making (and keeping) us sick; and how far we have become disconnected from traditional foods, food producers and cooking methods.

Chapter 1 - Nourishing deeply for better energy, vitality and health: I explain how the myriad (and all-too-often conflicting) advice on health, lifestyle, food and nutrition is frequently founded in poor research, at best inconclusive, and at worst plain wrong and highly damaging to our bodies.

Chapter 2 - It all begins (and ends) in the soil: a key chapter in the book, where I explain how generations of damage to our soils are causing many of the health (and environmental) issues that we face today. I look at how microbes from the soil impact our health and immune systems and our own gut microbiome.

In Chapter 4 - Meat is a treat (and offal isn’t awful): I defend meat by looking at how and why different red meats (e.g. beef, pork, chicken) and the value of offal’s pre-eminence in a nutrient-dense diet.

Chapter 6 - Give us back our daily bread: here I focus on how the mass-produced, shop-bought bread-imposters are a world away from the real bread our grandparents enjoyed. I explain about the nature of the wheat we now consume and how hybridised wheat, the impact of GM farming practices and mass production has rendered much of what we call ‘bread’ nutritionally bankrupt… and for many of us, a potential health risk.

Chapter 9 - Fat: friend or foe? This chapter considers the demonization of traditional (saturated) fats and the craze toward no-fat eating, or low fat/high carb diets. I discuss why and which fats are vital to our diet and the different types of fats best for cooking.

Chapter 11 - Cultured and fermented foods: I dive into cultured and fermented foods, and their role in promoting a healthy gut microbiome. I discuss the role they have played throughout history in many different societies and cultures, with a close look at pre- and pro-biotic foods, cultured dairy (such as yoghurt and labneh) and cultured vs wild ferments.

Chapter 13 - Sugar: Sugar has become Public Enemy No.1 lately, with misplaced reason. I consider how and why our body’s natural craving for sweeteners has been high-jacked by modern food technologies and led us away from natural and minimally processed sugars, to the use of ultra-processed and highly refined and manufactured sweeteners in food production.

Chapter 14 - Herbs & Spices: indispensable in the kitchen (and medicine cabinet), I look at the role of herbs and spices in our diets, in terms of nutrition and flavouring, drawing together the key ones and simple methods for growing, buying and storing herbs and spices.

Each chapter concludes with delicious recipes that showcase traditional foods with a contemporary twist and offers links to a wide range of useful resources.

Who is this book for?

  • for parents and for grandparents
  • for anyone struggling with health issues
  • anyone worried about the nutritional quality of our food and how it’s produced, how animals are farmed and our fruit and vegetables grown
  • anyone who is keen to enjoy traditional foods in a contemporary context
  • anyone with concerns about the impact of intensive farming, genetic modification, agricultural chemicals, chemical food additives, on their health and on our environment.

This book is for you.

Try before you buy...

If you'd like to understand more, then please visit the website and take the opportunity to download FREE chapters to ‘try before you buy’.

I’d LOVE to get your feedback on them - drop me a line at

A limited offer to help you to reclaim your kitchen and take back your health...

I have a limited number of pre-publication review copies available at a 50% discount so I can send out a signed copy to you for only £10 (inc. UK P&P).

These are ‘pre-final proofing’ printed copies (meaning they contain a small number of minor proofing errors) which I had printed to send out for expert and readership review in advance of the book launch and main publication run.

So that I can get Once Upon a Cook to as many people as possible to help them to make more informed food choices, I’ve decided to offer these copies at a substantial discount. Click the button below to securely complete your purchase via the Paypal website:


Once Upon a Cook is your call to take action: Make more informed and better choices of what to eat, where to shop and create much better health.

I think you're worth it.

Izabella Natrins

After 30 years in the health space, I'm here to share and use my expertise and experience to help women to create the true health they deserve. My Femergy@40 Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Coaching and Resilient Weight-Loss programmes empower, support and inspire women who are fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight gain, sleep, energy and niggling or multiple diagnosed health issues, to find hope and optimism, regain confidence and create much better health. My book 'The Real Food Solution' 2020 (updated from Once Upon a Cook 2019) is an evidence-based treasury of real food wisdom and a call to action to change the way you eat, create more energy, vitality and better health and support a sustainable planet ... with traditional foods. I'm a qualified real food nutrition and lifestyle health expert, holistic health coach, nutritional chef and a writer, a speaker and a partner, mum & grand-mum.

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