Five Tips for a Nutrient-Dense Lifestyle

Slowly, over the course of the past 6 years, my diet has done a complete 180˚. Completely instinctual changes have lead my plate away from vegetarianism into a carnivorous nutrient-dense diet. Foods that would have never – ever – ever touched my hands, my plate and certainly not my mouth are making me feel better and stronger with each passing day. I’ve crossed thresholds, as seemingly simple as eating a bird to more complex, like cooking liver and using chicken feet to increase the gelatin content of my broth. Looking back, I’ve learned a few tricks, and I’d like to share them with you.

1. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon – Many of you who read this blog may already have this book in your repertoire, but some may not. And for those of you who don’t, this book is the bible for learning how to eat traditional foods. I encourage you to make the investment. You may not understand all the vast knowledge contained within, but over time, you will. Nourishing Traditions is the grounded center from which a traditional foods cook can grow. Mom and I are currently finishing our own book that will hopefully serve as a bridge for the beginner to successfully launch into Nourishing Traditions with ease.

2. Baby Steps – Just like anything, set a goal for yourself. It might be to visit a local farmers market once this season, or maybe you’re ready to seek out a source for raw milk. Break it down even smaller: try cooking mussels or eat one less processed item a month. Make a list. Put small goals on your calendar. When you cross something off, celebrate with a big wa-hoo and a pat on the back. This “Try Caviar” sign above sat stuck to the edge of my computer for 6 months before I finally figured out how to source wild salmon roe and mustered up the courage to try it on seed crackers with a little pat of butter (delish!) Over the course of a year, small changes add up to big results.

3. Wear Gloves – I do! The first time I mustered up the courage to purchase a grass-fed beef liver, I nearly had a panic attack thinking about opening up the vacuum-sealed bag. And when I finally opened it up, the smell nearly aborted the mission. If I hadn’t allowed myself to wear plastic gloves, the liver would have never made it to my plate. But, it did. And after breading it, pan-frying it in lard and serving it to myself with tons of sauteed onions and mustard, I ate it. The next time, I still used gloves. But the time after that, I didn’t. And today, I love the feel of it, and I don’t mind the smell. The taste still needs a bit of onion and mustard, but the point is… baby steps, remember? I also wear gloves when adding chicken feet to my stocks, but I’m starting to get more comfortable with those, too. They say a child needs to be introduced to something new 10 times before accepting it as normal. I would challenge whoever “they” are that the same rule applies to adults! At least this adult!

4. Be Brave – As a counterpart to #3, also be brave. Wear the gloves, but TRY. Dive in. Make a mess. Feel a bit nauseous from a meal that wasn’t necessarily successful. Or, revel in the fact that you may like something new! Learn. Experiment. Get dirty, and plug in, just a little, to the dirt & grind of life.

5. Join a Local Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter – Finding like-minded souls is important for any uphill challenge, isn’t it? Once I got hooked into the LA Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation, I became convinced that I might not be crazy. Somehow, a whole lot of people have come to the same basic conclusion about what foods make their bodies tick. I attend meetings, and I’ve made nice friends. I’ve also signed-up for my local chapter’s email group, which keeps me in touch on a regular basis. I find comfort in the similarities of other member’s stories. I feel comfort knowing that all those struggling years there were people running parallel to me without my knowledge. I would like you to feel that comfort, too.

It’s so fun to share this with you. Know that I am here running parallel. Wearing my gloves, but being brave, taking baby steps each day towards my own intuitive wisdom, shared by generations who came before.

xo – Organic Spark


  • Chandelle

    I wish I'd read this BEFORE last night, when I had to dismantle my first-ever whole dead chicken. I bought five of them from a farmer friend, but I had NO idea what I was doing as I tried to extract the backbone and break it down into manageable parts. I was a vegetarian just a few weeks ago and suddenly I had my hands coated in dead animal slime up to the wrists. Gloves would have helped for sure. Next time. :)

    December 6, 2010
  • Molly

    Chandelle – You go girl! I'm proud of you! And you jumped in with FIVE. You are definitely brave. And if you want a great set of gloves for next time, check out the brand Casa Bella. They are my favorite. Happy Holidays! Molly

    December 6, 2010
  • Jenny @ Nourished Kitchen

    I love your work, Molly! This is wonderfully good stuff. Wish I'd done a lot of this when I transition from veg*n to TF.

    December 6, 2010
  • Anonymous

    I am sooo thankful for my hunting husband! He just called from a hunting trip to tell me they've got 14 deer (we live in Alaska). They'll be split between 5 families. He told me he's getting all the livers. He also saws-up all the bones to make wonderfully healthy broth. I was able to get him to read "Real Food Nutrition & Health" by Kristen Michaelis. My husband is a God-sent blessing!

    December 6, 2010
  • Sandra

    Even if I didn't already believe in all this WPF philosophy,your blog would win me over. It's so encouraging and realistic. There is so much room to allow personal growth at one's own pace. Can't wait for that cookbook of yours! Thanks, Molly for giving your heart and soul to the rest of us.

    December 6, 2010
  • Molly Chester

    Jenny – That means so much coming from you! Thank you! I am a huge fan of your work.

    Anonymous – Wow! You do having a blessing there. And he is lucky that you are aware of it.

    Sandra – Thank you! Thank you!

    December 6, 2010
  • Keith Johnson

    Just wanted to say thanks for a great blog. I found it via a post to FB. I've now added a link to you at my blog, Permaculture and Regenerative Design News
    WAPF has been a real lifesaver for me after being a vegetarian for 25 years (and the only reason I made it that long was because I ate cheese and eggs).

    December 6, 2010
  • Molly Chester

    Thanks for stopping by Keith! Yes, WAPF has been a lifesaver. Thanks so much for the link and kind words. I look forward to checking out your blog! Warmly, Molly

    December 6, 2010
  • Anonymous

    Have you seen this:
    My friend wrote a book on transitioning the family to nourishing traditions type foods
    (Fun blog post!!I've been WAPF for 5 years and I jumped in without even looking back :) yay!
    Jennifer G

    December 6, 2010
  • Molly Chester

    Jennifer G – Thanks for passing that along! I will definitely check it out more. And, I love how she is breaking it down so thoroughly for a newcomer. It helps. Nice to virtually meet you! Molly

    December 6, 2010
  • Annabett

    Thanks for this. I can't wait to see the book so I can give to my newbie foodie friends.

    December 6, 2010
  • Molly Chester

    Thanks Annabett! I can't wait for you to see it either! :)

    December 6, 2010
  • Mary

    I've been wondering about eating liver. If the liver is the filter of the body do we/should we worry about eating the bad stuff that gets filtered out and settles in the liver? Can you explain? Thanks!

    December 7, 2010
  • Molly Chester

    Hi Mary:
    My understanding is that the liver cleanses toxins, but it does not store toxins. It is, however, a powerhouse of stored vitamins.

    Here is a link that thoroughly addresses eating liver from a source that I trust:

    Hope that helps!

    December 7, 2010
  • Kathy Garolsky

    I love your post.great tips and points. keep it up..

    December 10, 2010
  • Bradley @

    Very practical helpful advice. Great article. Will begin to put to use.
    Thanks and Happy Holidays, Bradley

    December 11, 2010
  • […] to teach proper pig butchering. To be frank, I was a little apprehensive. I’ve been known to pink glove my way back into full-on meat eating, and each bold new step makes me pause and re-accept my […]

    February 25, 2011
  • Brian

    Great tips, you gotta an awesome blog. I’m not a cook genius, but I try. Btw, are these the Casabella gloves?
    My girlfriend and I wear them to do the dishes…hehe

    October 6, 2012

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