Meet Monica Ford, of Real Food Devotee, a regular contributor on Holistic Squid. She is one of my favorite friends and quite possibly the coolest real food rock star I know. I first met Monica as she passed me a cooler of kombucha, kraut, and other mysterious ferments out of the trunk of her very yellow car.
So here's a brief interview with none other than, THE Monica Ford, owner of Real Food Devotee – a nutrient-dense food delivery service in Los Angeles, CA.
Hi Monica! Tell us how and when you came to love Real Food?
I come from a family whose culture is woven around food. My mother grew up on a dairy, and our family owned restaurants where I and my siblings were raised with a real love and respect for food. My grandmother on my dad's side is from Egypt and was always pickling veggies, fermenting cheese or curing meat. Although I always considered myself a pretty healthy eater, I didn't understand the great value of my family's traditional foodways until I REALLY woke up to just how processed and empty most foods in our supermarkets are…
My friend introduced me to raw milk. I could drink it without becoming sick. This was amazing for me since I had been allergic to dairy since I was a child. Consider growing up with access to a deli case full of wonderful cheeses and getting sick should I dare partake of any. Torture. So, I was blissfully elated when lo and behold I could drink raw cream to my hearts content. This was my gateway to Real Foods.
I immersed and devoted myself to learning. I devoured information. I experimented in the kitchen and was awe-struck with gratitude as my health improved so that I feel energetic and vibrant.
Tell us a bit about Real Food Devotee – how you got into it and what you do?
Friends were the spark for Real Food Devotee. I'd have dinner parties, and someone would say “I love that kombucha or kvass or kraut etc. would you make a little extra for me?” This just continued to grow, and I got to see many of my friends' health improve. A true joy. So, Real Food Devotee grew out of love.
Our modern lifestyle makes buying our food directly from farmers with sustainable healthy practices very challenging and thus good health has become a challenge for many. Here at Real Food Devotee we send out a weekly menu from which you can choose Nutrient Dense, Sustainably and Humanely Raised foods that will be delivered right to your door. (See a sample of our Weekly Menu here). This is meant to supplement our clients home cooking.
We also provide full catering, classes in Traditional Food Preparation and even complete meals. Our Real Meals are delivered straight to your fridge. We take care to tailor your meal plan to yours and your family's health and life-style needs, your goals and food loves. ‘
You can read about our food philosophy here.
If you had to choose just one, what is your favorite fermented food?
If I had to choose just one, my favorite fermented food would be kraut. I might not have said that when I first dabbled in Real Food but as my palate has developed and my health becomes more vibrant, it's undeniable. There are so many different varieties of kraut that it goes well with any meal. I never get bored with it, and if I ever want to settle my stomach, kraut works every time! To a great extent, I credit my lack of annoying colds and allergies to the immune system bolstering beneficial bacteria provided to me by krauts. Love it!
What's your favorite no-fuss dinner when your having a relaxing night at home?
My favorite no-fuss dinner at home is always changing depending on what is around the house. Right now it's a little pate spread on sliced pecorino, arugula with olive oil yogurt dressing and pork chops. I make a big batch chops and bone broth reduction sauce. I just warm the chops for 5-8 minutes in a little sauce and the rest is served as it comes out of the ice box. Easy peasy nourish me!
If you were stranded on a desert island but could have 3 Real Food items (food or tool) what would they be?
Jeez! That's a pickle! I'm pretty darn in love with my kitchen. I'll take a herd of goats, a HUGE stock pot and a carbon steel knife. I'm just assuming I get the bonus of coconuts and cactus on this desert island. Coconuts are one of natures most nourishing foods and cactus makes a lovely kraut! Finally, I'll get a tan!
(lol! Goats, huh? Do you already know how to milk them or will you learn on the fly?)
What's your best advice to a Real Food newbie?
My best advice to a Real Food newbie is: take baby steps. We have incrementally become disconnected from our food, nature, our bodies, ourselves. There is a lot to learn. Don't try to do it all at once. Take baby steps and reach out to your community.
There are like minded people out here – Real Food Devotees who want to support you, teach you, learn with you and share with you. People who know that when we invite the genius of mother nature into our kitchens, our homes and our lives, we thrive.
HolisticSquid.com is a wonderful resource for Real Food knowledge! Add it to your favorites. Good start!