Real Foods: Why We Need Them Back on the Table!

The Real Food Solution front cover

Real foods and why we need them back on the table is very much the subject of the new The Real Food Solution which began its life as Once Upon a Cook, Food Wisdom, Better Living and was originally published last year under that title.

Now retitled as The Real Food Solution, this book has been revised and fully updated to reflect the ever-changing debate on food, farming and emerging science, food trends, regenerative agriculture, sustainability and so much more!

I’ve cut through the fog of confusion, misinformation, media hype and vested interests on your behalf and have provided a clear summary and analysis of all the contemporary food issues.

Everything you’ll read is supported by fully referenced, evidence-based science, so you can make more informed, considered and better food choices for yourself, your family and this planet.

The Real Food Solution is 14 chapters of highly accessible, intensively researched gold, on why many of the foods we’re putting on our tables and into our bodies aren’t the deliciously wholesome, healthy traditional foods 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.

Real foods

Discover the deep nutrition of meat, eggs, butter, cheese and milk from grass-fed animals; bone and mineral broths; organic fruit and vegetables; wild-caught seafood; cultured and fermented foods; herbs and spices; and why sugar and salt are not the demons they are made out to be.

These traditional foods kept generations of our ancestors free from the chronic diseases which plague us today and helped me to reverse a progressive autoimmune disorder. They can do the same for you.

In turning the pages of this book, you’ll discover why ‘Granny knew best’ about the real, traditional foods that really do make and keep us healthy and how her food wisdom is (and always has been) supported by sound science.

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 and supported by hundreds of references (linked via this website) to reliable information curated from a wide variety of sources so that you can understand why the food we’re eating isn’t what it once was and what you can do about it.

Some cracking feedback!

I’m so excited about the feedback that I’ve received already….

“This book is an absolute must for anyone that cares about their health. Izabella eloquently explains that food isn’t just fuel for the body – food carries its own information that that can be read by our cells giving the capacity to influence our microbiome, immunity, digestive systems, hormones, gut flora, inflammation i.e. our overall health.

It reveals the truth regarding foods we’ve dubiously been led to believe are healthy/unhealthy so we can make more discerning choices in favour of our health.

Absolutely packed with information, it felt as though it represented a lifetime’s work on behalf of the author. Exceptional – highly recommended.”

– Liz Keaney, Author and Transformational Coach

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

– Joanna Blythman, prominent UK investigative food journalist & Winner of the Food Writers’ Guild Award 2018

“The book I have been waiting to read – pore over EVERY word! An important contribution at a critical time in our history.”

– Darina Allen, leading chef and food activist & founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School

“I don’t think I’ve read such a thorough book on health and nutrition. It really does cover every aspect of food – 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!

You cannot come away from this book without making hugely positive changes to your lifestyle.”

– Afsha Malik, Pharmacist & Holistic Health and Movement Coach

“As a single 60-something woman, this book has really opened my eyes and made me completely rethink my diet. Since reading this book I have switched [from ready meals] to high-quality meat, organic produce and now read all labels. I have found local farm shops and butchers and have a new awareness about the most basic things we eat like bread, milk and eggs.

This book is a must for anyone who wants to become a more informed consumer and who wants to make better choices. The results can be life-changing.”

– Anne Thorn

I can’t begin to describe how much these comments mean to me (and at least, I can now actually breathe!) and I’m really looking forward to more feedback and valuable input from readership, which includes livestock farmers, fruit and vegetable growers, traditional bakers, nutritionists and a range of opinion leaders from the real, organic and sustainable food movements.

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Sneak Peek

I have been really keen to get this updated book published, printed and onto bookshelves everywhere to inspire people to transition to traditional foods and create a diet that will bring much better health. I’m so excited to have finished updating it and I want to share a sneak-peek with you here…

The Welcome sets 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: is a key chapter in the book, where I delved deeply into the soil to understand and 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.

Chapter 4 – Meat is a treat (and offal isn’t awful): I defend meat by looking at how and why meats (e.g. beef, pork, chicken) have become ‘demonised’ and put the case for the value of offal’s pre-eminence in a nutrient-dense diet.

Chapter 6 – Give us back our daily bread: I focus on how the mass-produced, shop-bought bread-imposters are a world away from the real, nutrient-dense 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.

Each chapter concludes with delicious recipes that showcase traditional foods with a contemporary twist (here’s a recipe for you) and I offer links to a wide range of useful resources.

Who is this book for?

The Real Food Solution is 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 are 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!

The Real Food Solution is your call-to-action if you’re confused, anxious, suspicious, at a loss as to what to eat, worried about how your food is produced and how this impacts you, your family and the planet. It’s a call to care where your food comes from, to become a more conscious consumer and to make real food choices. This is your opportunity to reclaim your kitchen, take back your health and support your planet.


** IF YOU HAVE ALREADY PURCHASED ONCE UPON A COOK, FOOD WISDOM, BETTER LIVING THERE IS NO NEED TO PURCHASE THIS – MUCH OF THE CONTENT IS UNCHANGED BUT SECTIONS HAVE BEEN REVISED AND UPDATED WITH THE LATEST ISSUES, DISCUSSIONS AND EMERGING SCIENCE **


In the meantime, here are some other posts where the wisdom in traditional foods is the key to MUCH better health…

How I’m Beating Arthritis with Food-as-Medicine (2): What I would have said to my younger self!

Detox? Or Not-To-Tox? Part 3: Nourish Deeply!

Real Orange Juice is a Powerful Friend, Not a Sugary Foe!

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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3 Responses

  1. January 19, 2020

    […] Ultra-processed and convenience foods are full of excessive and carefully hidden amounts of sugars – far, far more than we would ever use in our own kitchen. Because we rely so heavily on these convenience products, we drastically over-consume sugars, for energy and displace other important nutrients from our diet. […]

  2. January 29, 2020

    […] Real Foods: Why We Need Them Back on the Table! […]

  3. February 11, 2020

    […] Real Foods: Why We Need Them Back on the Table! […]

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