The List of Life Giving Foods

The List of Life Giving Foods

Part II: Unpacking the Kitchen Magnet

Let’s talk a little more in-depth about the Kitchen Magnet.

(Never heard of the Kitchen Magnet? Click here for The Magnet Mindset.)

The beauty of the Kitchen Magnet is its simplicity: only eight lines. But the Kitchen Magnet is also infinitely flexible and accommodates every kitchen with ease.

Jamie and I have identical magnets on our fridge, but our kitchens are very different. Our families have different culinary tastes, we have different cooking techniques, and we each favor certain magnet categories over others (Jamie’s a dairy gal, while my family adores hamburgers).

But that’s okay. The magnet can handle that.

In this video, Jamie and I talk about the flexibility of the magnet and take you through each category so that you can get an idea of just what we are talking about when we say “life giving foods.”

(We also have a moment of silence for butter. You’ve been warned in advance!)

Now that you’ve seen the video, we’re going to unpack the magnet a little. Find your magnet or take a minute to read through this list here. Some terms you might know, others you may not. That’s okay. We’re going to go through them together briefly.

Remember that our comments contain just a few of the foods and uses in each magnet category. The point is to find your own favorite foods in each magnet category. We’re just getting you started.


Broth is an age-old method of transferring nutrients and minerals of meat, bones, and/or veggies into water via a slow, simmering boil. It’s excellent on its own, as a cooking liquid for rice and other grains, or as a base for delicious soups.

Raw Milk & Cultured Dairy

Milks, yogurts, kefir, creams and sour creams, etc. These are easily-digestible form of protein with a high content of minerals, probiotics, and enzymes. They’re good on their own, as well as in soups, puddings, ice creams, desserts, and gravies.

Good Fats

Good fats are natural fats that provide energy and satiation to the diet. These include butter, lard, animal fats, coconut, and olive oils. Bottled, grocery store oils are made in factories, and compromise human health. Good fats can be eaten directly (bread and butter, anyone?), used to cook other foods (cooking eggs in lard), or added to dishes to increase satiation (sour cream topping on homemade chili).

Fermented Vegetables

Vegetables preserved in a historically proven process using water, salt, and/or whey. Sauerkraut is a common example. They are high in probiotics and enzymes to support healthy gut bacteria. (I also ferment carrots, corn, and other garden vegetables.) “Fizzy foods” (our word for ferments) are often viewed as intimidating, but they are probably one of the easiest foods to make at home! (link — one of our fizzy food articles)

Soaked Grains, Nuts, & Legumes

Oats, wheat, beans, almonds, etc.! Unless each of these foods are first soaked in water in their preparation, they are difficult to digest, stress the system, and block absorption of precious minerals. But once you soak them: the sky’s the limit! We love our oatmeal, our soaked-grain tortillas, our hummus, our granola.

Sourdough Bread

This, of course, is actually a form of soaked grain. But we love good bread so much — and use it so much — that it gets its own magnet category. In my kitchen, you’ll find sourdough bread, rolls, muffins and one of our favorites: cinnamon rolls.

Organic Meats and Eggs

There’s the old adage of “you are what you eat.” But we emphasize that, “you are what-you-eat!” We therefore encourage you to find pasture-grazed animals raised with exercise and sunshine to supply your meat and eggs. Here, we love hamburgers, meat soups, quiches, fried eggs, tacos, stir-fries… but the varieties and cultures of the world are open to you.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Find the best fruits and veggies you can: fresh, ripe in-season, sourced from organic, nutrient-dense soils. Sourcing locally is best, if possible. But remember to accommodate your family’s tastes (“local oranges” are an impossibility here) and have fun! Veggies are wonderful fresh, as well as in salads and sandwiches. Nothing’s better than a bite of fresh peach, but, when frozen, they make excellent sorbet! Use your imagination and enjoy.

So, that’s the magnet, unpacked. Not too difficult, is it?

You can do this.

Ready to take action?

Click to learn about building meals from the magnet.

Challenge to Success: We encourage you to take a minute and look at each category. For each magnet item, jot down a few foods or meals that your family already enjoys that contain that item. No need to get fancy. Just a few time-honored favorites, either from your kitchen or from the grocery store.

Then, choose one or two foods from that list. Foods that you can easily prepare or learn to prepare that are family approved.

Purpose to put those foods on your table — with the best ingredients you have access to — within 7 days. It doesn’t matter when in the day. It doesn’t matter which meal. Just get them on the table within a week.