I’ve written a few posts about some traditional recipes and nourishing foods. Many of which contain butter, whole milk, grass fed beef etc. According to the USDA, though, the a fore mentioned foods are the cause of heart disease, cancer, obesity etc. So why are liver, red meat, and butter being touted as super foods in traditional food circles? This isn’t my opinion. No, I’m not trying to convince myself I’m eating healthy so I can feel good about eating these things. Though that would be oddly hilarious. Our bodies need these healing foods. I’ve personally felt the affects of eating a traditional foods diet, especially with having three children. And now that I have been on a mostly traditional diet for about 4 years, I can personally attest to the affects it has had for me. For one I’ve always had a bad cough, my whole life, as well as asthma. During high school my cough and breathing was so bad I was consciously aware of my breathing at sleep overs as it was something that has been pointed out to me several times before. When I was 19 a doctor told me I needed to start taking it seriously and take my inhaler regularly. I scoffed at her. I know, I was a bit arrogant. But I scoffed because I believed in the power of food and traditional remedies. I thought to myself, “I wasn’t going to become dependent on an inhaler”! Truthfully though, I actually hadn’t even thought of my cough and asthma until a few years ago and realized that it hasn’t been around lately. At the time I had no idea about “traditional food” and truly nourishing diets. I thought I was being healthy by making egg white omelettes, eating whole wheat bread, and lean meat and all my veggies.
Then I got pregnant. Anyone who knows me knows I dig deep. My motto has always been give it your all or don’t waste your time. I’m a bit perfectionist type-a, obsessed with finding the truth in everything kind of gal. So when I became pregnant, I felt lost. So I started reading. And reading. And reading. I don’t remember the exact trail, but I know the book that opened a whole new can of worms for me. Beautiful Babies, by Kristen Michaelis. I pre ordered it actually. An easy, yet essential read for just about everyone, but especially mothers. (My opinion.)
And now, almost 5 years later, here I am. The truths I’ve discovered I am so passionate about sharing because I have personally lived and believe they truly affect every aspect of your life. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost. We should respect and care for our bodies to the best of our abilities. That includes how you feed it. Food affects, mood, health, strength, and happiness and it can even affects the future health of your children and if they’ll have diseases and teeth problems! As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup. As a mother, this is even more important. We have the single most important jobs. And one chance. God gave us the children he had planned for us. Their unique, impressionable souls will be formed based on how they were parented. And how we parent is too often based on how we feel, we’re only human after all. Are we fulfilling His will for us by not giving ourselves and our family good nourishment? I love my children with all that I am. I absolutely rely on God’s grace to teach me how to be the mother he intended me to be. But God helps those who help themselves also. If I eat poorly I will in accordance act poorly, think poorly, and give back to my children poorly. I don’t want to be grumpy, tired, moody or sick for all of their lives. I want the best for them and I want to give the best of me to them, so they can give the best of themselves back to God, for the betterment of the world and of course, always for God’s glory. Full circle.
That being said, I believe that each of us, in doing the best that we can, God will fill in the gaps. I would probably be crazy if it wasn’t for our faith. There is so much out of my control, environmental toxins, foods we eat when we’re away from home, while on vacation, or not even being able to have the best at home, depleted soils, polluted water. I could go on. It seems hopeless. Why even try? The truth is I know God will take care of us. We still need to take care of ourselves, and there is an effort that goes with that. For me that looks like going down the road for eggs instead of picking them up at the store, ordering food online, taking time to prepare foods ahead of time, not to mention the learning curve. One step at a time. I control what I can, and let God handle all the rest. Having a good attitude and work ethic is important, stressing and worrying would negate the benefits though. I only expound upon this, because there was a time where I started to make a “god” out of food and treat my diet like a dogma. I started to get too freaked out about everything wrong and everything I can’t control. Now, I can eat a piece of white bread without fretting I’m going to die, I even enjoy it for nostalgia’s sake. Just not often. My point, learn about a traditional diet, feel great for yourself, so you can give back to God, your family,and community all that you were called to! But don’t stress what is out of your control.
Traditional Food and Dr. Price’s Studies’
For my visual friends I wanted to show you a comparison. The following two pictures are 2 food pyramids. The USDA food pyramid. And the Weston Price based food pyramid.
I don’t plan on going into the differences as that is pretty obvious.
I do want to share a little about Dr. Weston Price and give him some credibility for anyone who doesn’t know him. He was a dentist from the early 20th century. After an influx of patients, mostly children, coming in with rotten teeth and dental cavities, and seeing that these were first generation problems as the parents to these children were perfectly healthy with great teeth: He left his practice to travel the world with his wife. The following is an excerpt from the introduction to his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. (It’s worthy to note that he wrote this book to be understood by the public and medical field alike. If you’re feeling up to a life changing read, don’t think you won’t be able to understand it and go for it!)
This text provides a new approach to some modern problems of modern degeneration. Instead of the customary procedure of analyzing the expressions of degeneration, a search has been made for groups to be used as controls who are largely free from these affections.
After spending several years approaching this problem by both clinical and laboratory research methods, I interpreted the accumulating evidence as strongly indicating the absence of some essential factors from our modern program, rather than the presence of injurious factors. This immediately indicated the need for obtaining controls. To accomplish this it became necessary to locate immune groups which were found readily as isolated remnants of primitive racial stocks in different parts of the world. A critical examination of these groups revealed a high immunity to many of our serious affections so long as they were isolated from our modern civilization and living in accordance with the nutritional programs which were directed by the accumulated wisdom of the group. In every instance where individuals of the same racial stocks who had lost this isolation and who had adopted the foods and food habits of our modern civilization were examined, there was an early loss of the high immunity characteristics of the isolated group. …
These investigations have been made among the following primitive racial stocks including both isolated and modernized groups: the Swiss of Switzerland, the Gaelic’s in the Outer and Inner Hebrides, the Eskimos of Alaska, the Indians in the far North, West, and Central Canada, Western United States and Florida, the Melanesians and Polynesians on eight archipelagos of the Southern Pacific, tribes in eastern and central Africa, the Aborigines of Australia, Malay tribes on Islands north of Australia, the Maori of New Zealand and the ancient civilizations and their descendants in Peru both along the coast and in the Sierras, also in the Amazon Basin.
I want to point out that Weston Price, accompanied by his wife, Florence, traveled to all of these remote locations, on their own dime, recorded his findings, by journal and photograph to distinguish the immediate affects the modern diets had. Take a look at all the places they traveled. This was not easy going. The studies he performed are one of a kind and should be taught in the greatest medical schools the world over! You can’t monopolize on “accumulated wisdom” passed down from generation to generation though. I digress. My only point is, he should be a hero in the medical field. He did this because he wanted to solve a problem, not because he wanted to get rich.
While the primary quest was to find the cause of tooth decay which was established quite readily as being controlled directly by nutrition, it rapidly became apparent that a chain of disturbances developed in these various primitive racial stocks starting even in the first generation after the adoption of the modernized diet and rapidly increased in severity with expressions quite constantly like the characteristic degenerative processes of our modern civilization of America and Europe.
You guys, that’s HUGE! Can you imagine what these isolated groups, what our ancestors must have felt like! Disease, poor mental health, even colicy babies and common colds did not exist. “..after the adoption of the modernized diet and rapidly increased in severity with expressions quite constantly like the characteristic degenerative processes of our modern civilization of America ..” Increased in severity? Imagine how far much more severe it’s gotten? We are now to the point where poor health is expected and normal. Do we even know what an epitome of health might look like? I wonder sometimes.
While tooth decay has proved to be almost entirely a matter of the nutrition of the individual at the time prior to the activity of that disease, a group of affections have expressed themselves in physical form. These have included facial and dental arch changes.
No era in the long journey of mankind reveals in the skeletal remains such a terrible degeneration of teeth and bones as this brief modern period records.
As Joel Salatin so beautifully says, folks, this ain’t normal. <—-(side note, another great book!)
In his studies of all the isolated primitives, he found they shared a certain similarity. That was the presence of what he labeled as activator-x. Today, we now know that what he found that each race had, was vitamin k2. For some great ways to get more K2 in your diet pronto check out the following list. It’s worth your while to spend a little more energy and possibly moolah to get high quality of the following items. Grass-fed/pastured/farm fresh etc.
Foods high in vitamin k2
grass fed butter, especially the butter from cows eating rapidly growing green grass(think Spring time).
dark chicken meat
grass fed cheese
grass fed milk
fish eggs (fish roe, caviar)
Foods rich in vitamin K2 play a big and healthful part of the traditional diet, and increasing the above mentioned foods and also trying to get the best possible sources of those foods would be a great move in the name of health! A traditional diet is other wise very similar to a whole foods diet, except that you would prepare by soaking, sprouting, fermenting grains, nuts, and legumes. And adding a daily dose of fermented vegetables with at least one meal. Think a tablespoon of homemade sauerkraut or a fermented pickle (be on the lookout as I add my favorite fermented veggie recipes that are even kid approved!)
For some inspiration and to hopefully display that it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive I wanted to show a typical day in the way of meals. I wanted to include the less expensive recipes that are still very nutritious.
Soaked bread with grass-fed butter and honey or jam and a “dippy egg” as my kids call them, aka eggs over easy.
Soaked pancakes/waffles or coconut flour pancakes/waffles with gf butter and maple syrup.
Soaked oatmeal, our favorite toppings are butter, maple syrup cut up apples or apple sauce and cinnamon.
Homemade breakfast sausage with eggs/pancakes/ kale. (my kids actually love kale, you may be surprised how great it is if you’ve never tried it and it’s also a great source for vitamin K1)
(Our lunches tend to be more light, as we have our larger meal at night, since that is when the husband gets home, not totally ideal, but this is what works for us.)
Braunsweiger or Chicken liver pate with cheese and bread (delicious and easy recipes will be coming for these)
Salmon patties(I use my bread crumbs as the breading in these) with vegetables
Broth, sometimes we’ll just drink it for lunch, and sometimes ill throw in vegetabess/leftover meat and make a quick soup.
Roasted Chicken with potatoes and vegetables
Casserole (Usually made with leftover meat, rice/caulifower rice/sprouted quinoa, veggies, and sometimes cheese)
Curries, a great way to cook thighs and legs and introduce a different flavor! (Recipe coming.)
Sushi bowls, soaked black beans, all the fresh veggies you could ask for, organic jasmine rice, avocados, sour cream.
So there you have it, I hope this was informative and inspiring and will help you take that next step on your real food journey, where ever that may be!
Have any feed back/ questions or a great meal idea to share? I’m always on the lookout for those too, and I’d love to hear from you!
Some additional reading: