Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ditching the Drive-Thru by J. Natalie Winch (Review and Giveaway)

Ditching the Drive-Thru: How to Pass Up Processed Foods, Buy Farm Fresh, and Transform Your Family's Eating Habits on a Modern Mom's Schedule by J. Natalie Winch
Spikehorn Press
ISBN 978-1-943015-06-1
Published Sept 2015
Trade Paperback , 192 pages

Book Description:

After an exhausting day at work, hitting the drive-thru or nuking a pre-fab meal is all too often the go-to decision for feeding a family. Cooking a meal from scratch using fresh ingredients can seem beyond the average person’s time, energy, or financial means. But with mounting evidence pointing to processed food and our industrial food system as the culprits behind many of our nation’s health problems—including obesity, diabetes, and cancer—it’s now more important than ever to be fully informed about what goes on your family’s dinner plates.

If you’re ready to take control of your food choices but don’t know the difference between grass-fed versus grain-fed, pastured versus free-range, or organic versus sustainable, read this book to discover:

• How to create your own thirty-month plan to convert your family from junk food to real food, without a revolt!

• Recipes and advice on planning and prepping meals so you can make homecooked a habit for your family

• Instructions for getting the most out of produce using techniques such as lacto-fermentation, dehydrating, and canning

• introduction to the world of farm-direct sales, including tips on locating local farms, seeing through marketing buzzwords, and shopping with CSAs Ditching the Drive-Thru exposes the insidious hold the commercial food industry has taken over the fast-paced lives of the average American and the danger these processed foods and diet plans pose to our health, environment, and emotional wellbeing.

Learn how to break free from the grind and return to a simpler relationship with food from farmers, not factories, and home-cooked meals that are created in your kitchen, not on a conveyor belt.

My Review:
Reviewed by Maria Fragapane, Kinesiologist 

After I read the last page of Ditching the Drive-Thru by J Natalie Winch, I got up off my couch, walked over to my kitchen whiteboard and wrote," Have you eaten your daily vegetables and fruit?" . (This is an ongoing battle with my kids!) 

Winch's simple and logical approach is exactly what most of us need. "When we commit things to writing, we make the ideas part of our concrete world because we can see them. Even if your goal is something as simple and succinct as.... You need to write it down so you are forced to keep looking at it." Small and manageable steps is the theme throughout this book. The author does a great job of educating the reader about diet myths, produce and pesticides, the rearing of livestock in "factories", processed foods and the food industry's bottom line. 

The fact that the author is not a doctor or a biochemist is not a disadvantage. She is a mother who cares about the health of her family and did some digging to understand how to accomplish that. It's not rocket science, but unfortunately the food industry has made it so confusing for the public at large that most people believe that as long as it goes into your mouth and down into your intestinal tract, it's food. 

Winch shows that this is simply not the case. She advocates buying from farmers, cooking your own meals with real ingredients and even provides a step by step food plan for an easy, seamless transition towards health. Her use of humour and literary characters to drive home the point (she's an English teacher) make this book an easy, worthy read.

Note: This book is rated G.

To read more reviews, please visit J. Natalie Winch's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the book:


Excerpt from Ditching the Drive-Thru:

Grass-Fed, Free-Range and Pastured ─ Understanding the Difference
by J. Natalie Winch

The living conditions of confined, factory-farm (CAFO) cattle starkly contrast those of pastured animals, and these differences affect taste and nutritional value. Cows are herbivores, plain and simple. Allowing cows to eat grass rather than chicken manure is just common sense. Grass-fed beef has been fed grass most of its life. If the steer was grass-finished, it was not fed corn at the end. If you are looking to be sure that no corn or soy were given to your meat, you need to eat fully pastured meat. Pastured animals spend their lives out in the pasture, the way animals were raised for centuries. What I find most compelling about this is that pastured beef is so much better for you than feedlot beef. Our modern production method for beef creates a food product that is detrimental to our health. One might assume that we have made advances that would produce healthier food, but the truth is that what is being produced is profits for the owners of the large meat processing companies and a lack of regard for the quality of the product. That seems to be a recurring theme, doesn’t it?

Marketers want you to believe that “free-range” and “pastured” are synonyms. I love that term, free-range. The term itself conjures up an idea of a chicken running across a beautiful meadow, crowing, “Home, home on the range. . . .” However, the “range” for free-range chickens is in reality a fairly crowded barn, with access to three feet outside the barn. They are still fed corn. If they are pecking on the ground looking for bugs, they are eating their own feces, due to crowding. Free-range is certainly better than conventional production practices, but the point I am trying to make is that Jane Q. Public is given the idea that conditions are better than what they really are. Pastured chickens (or any other food animal, for that matter) run around in a field. A pastured chicken is provided a shelter, access to water, a nice green pasture in which to forage, and plenty of sunshine, an element absent from most commercial chicken production.

It really is worth it to seek out a family farm which truly puts their animals out on pasture. The resulting meat, milk, cheese or eggs are without compare.

About the author: 

J. Natalie Winch lives in southern New Jersey, not far from where she grew up, with her husband, two children, and dogs. When she isn’t mothering, teaching, grading, or making lesson plans, Natalie runs the Hebrew School at her synagogue, coaches soccer, teaches lacto-fermentation classes, writes the occasional entry for her blog Food Empowerment (, and fights the dust bunnies that threaten to take over her family room.

Connect with the author: Website

Enter the Giveaway!

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Disclosure by Maria Fragapane: Thanks to the publisher for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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