Tuesday, November 30, 2010

China Study Discussions

Since someone asked about this, I thought I should share this link about the flaws being discovered in the China Study. The China Study promotes lots of soy and low fat... but it does include fish, fruit and vegetables which is all good stuff.

Now, I'm of the belief that one should not believe everything one reads. But I also believe that if you do enough research for yourself (including reading other people's research), you can at least attempt to come to an educated decision.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Differing tastes

My husband is a purist.

He likes his eggs fried, over easy. A little salt, a little pepper and maybe a piece of toast to sop up the yolk.

I made some mint chutney the other day from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook and when it was ready for refrigeration, I tasted a little. It was very, very salty. It was salty enough I thought for a moment that it was inedible. But under the salt was a lovely mint and nut flavor coming through so I kept it.

This morning I decided I wanted an extra boost of protein for my breakfast and scrambled a couple of organic eggs in lard (how daring for me!) and dressed the plate by topping the eggs with a teaspoon of the mint chutney and a tiny dab of butter. I put a small square of raw cheese on the side and cut up an apple to go with it. It was yummy, just yummy.

I made the same thing for Ken when he got up. He was not impressed. He ate it all, but insisted he likes his eggs plain.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Busy morning

I woke up this a.m. at 5. This is my normal waking time.

I got up and had a cup of coffee with stevia. I'm avoiding the artificial sweeteners as much as I can. I grew stevia about two years ago in the herb garden, harvested the leaves, dried them and was overwhelmed with the sweetness. I kept a jar of whole leaves thinking that I hated to waste them, but did not touch them again. Now, I know to grind the leaves with a mortar and pestle and use just a half a pinch to sweeten coffee and tea.

I looked over the list of things recommended at the workshop we attended at Wise Traditions on Monday. I made a batch of Crispy Pecans already this week by soaking raw pecans in salt water overnight. I put them in the food dryer on Friday morning before I left for work and when I got home I had two cups of wonderful snacking nuts. So, this morning I put on two cups of raw almonds and two cups of raw sunflower seeds on to soak this morning with salted water. Tonight, before I go to bed, I'll put them in the food dryer.

I also started a batch of fermented catsup this morning as I already had the ingredients.

Then I took out two eggs to go room temperature for mayonnaise. While I had the eggs out, I put three in water to bring to a boil for coddled eggs for my breakfast. Then I warmed up some raw milk to try my hand at yoghurt again. Ken picked up some yoghurt starter for me in Kilmarnock yesterday at Higher Health Foods. So while the milk was coming up to 110 degrees, I pulled out the oats and put them on to soak for my oatmeal breakfast over the coming week. I make one big batch and reheat what I need each day.

So, I got the yoghurt going and decided to see about dinner. I found some pork ribs in the freezer. Not organic or even pasture fed, but meat. I put that into the crockpot with an onion, some blackberry vinegar (from some blackberry mead that went a bit too long), sea salt, a glob of my catsup (not fermented yet, but would not fit in the jar set to ferment), and some water. I put the crockpot on the lowest, longest setting and anticipate it coming out in shreds at dinner time.

While I was in the freezer, I also found some organic whole wheat flour and smelt flour. I pulled those out and discovered a gallon bag of frozen blackberries. So I got out about 2 cups of blackberries and plan to make something wonderful with yoghurt cream cheese (from the first store bought batch that I made Tuesday evening).

I also started a batch of sourdough bread from the sour dough starter I made before leaving for the conference last week.

So here it is, 8:30 a.m. and I have eaten my breakfast, cleaned up my kitchen, am drinking my second cup of coffee and waiting for the bread to rise. I go the the Tavern for the Spinners and Weavers Guild today from 10 until 4. When I get home, supper will almost be ready. I will likely stop at the store and pick up some organic salad greens.

I have some sweet potatoes that will be lovely for a side dish. The bread will be ready for the oven and all will be right with the world.

I am off to make my mayonnaise now. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finding food for healing

I am feeling much better.

I was formally introduced to the Weston A Price Foundation last weekend when my friend, Angel, took me (and a couple of others) to the W.A.P.F. Conference in Philadelphia.

I ate like I was starved all weekend. The first night before the conference we all ate out at a really nice place near the conference center. The price tag was a bit insane but the food was very refined, delicious and beautifully presented. Little did I know at that time, we would be eating like Kings and Queens at the groaning board all weekend long.

The theme was "The Politics of Food" and I felt oddly proud to be a Virginian as we were well represented.

The first day I felt like I was cheating. Everything I heard the first day seemed completely counter to everything I'd ever learned or lived. I could hear my mother's voice saying that I would get fat if I ate fat; and here were all these people telling me that I NEED to eat fat in order to be healthy. I had always been taught that the healthiest diet was low fat and might be vegetarian.

When I attended an all-day series of sessions in which the speaker, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, reviewed study after study done in Europe that de-bunks the whole low fat, high carb U.S.D.A. food recommendations, my ears really pricked up. She talked about bowel problems and memory problems and circulation problems and autism and learning issues, hyperactivity and attention deficit and epilepsy and a host of other health problems including cancer. She talked about leaky gut syndrome and she made a very solid case against low fat/high carb diets. She also pointed out that in addition to low fat/high carb diets, we are also dying from poisons like plastic, GMO foods and over medicated meat animals.

Two things stood out: The French eat very well and are some of the healthiest and long lived people in the world. The same can be said of primitive peoples. Both of these groups eat high fat, high meat and low carbs. Both groups also eat fruits and vegetables but limit their grain intake. Both groups also eat fermented and pickled foods. Soy is avoided unless well fermented and aged. All refined sugars are avoided. Plastic is avoided or is unheard of.

I already knew that over pasteurizing ourselves lowers our immune systems. We have become so bacteria phobic we can no longer fight off even basic germs and more and more micro-organisms are mutating and becoming immune themselves to anti-bacterial soaps and antibiotics.

I also already knew that there were serious side effects from antibiotics including allergic reactions, rampant yeast infections and other problems including disruption of digestion and elimination. I have never trusted our government's assurances that vaccinations were safe.
I know that almost all pharmaceuticals have side effects and can point to both my parents who suffered from damages caused by long-term use. Plastics I know can leach out of wrappings and into our foods and fill us with toxins.

Dr. Campbell McBride recommended the GAPS Diet to help heal the gut. Most remarkable about this diet was the central position of RAW milk.

In all of my 51 years I have never had the opportunity to drink raw milk. It's delicious!

I was skeptical until the end of the weekend after eating all their foods (prepared in abundance and served buffet style to the 2000+ people in attendance at the conference.) . As the days past, my ever present hunger decreased. By Monday I was surprised when they let us go for lunch. I was not feeling sluggish, grumpy or desperate for food even though I had eaten a very light and early breakfast and we did not go to lunch until 12:30 p.m. Driving home that night I did not get hungry again until nearly 8 p.m. and then I was fully content with a piece of cheese and an organic apple and some vinegar water with a little raw honey.

But let me back up a day or two... I was also introduced to raw cheese, fermented vegetables, raw butter and caster oil! After the second day I noticed that my digestion was smoother with minimal farting, smooth defecation-- unusual when I'm traveling as I have always been a sufferer of hemorrhoids and constipation despite lots of water, high fiber and an otherwise "healthy" diet. My doctor's solution after examining my diet and declaring it perfect, was to give me stool softeners. They helped, but who wants to do that? Now, for two days I had eaten a LOT of cheese and milk and fat. Yes, there were nuts, fruits and veggies as well, but very little fiber in the form of cereals and breads. I expected to be bloated, plugged and miserable. And there was none of that.

I began to look around and realized that most of the conference attendees were of two groups... new to this program and seeking a solution to their health problems or folks who had been following this way of life with raw milk, slow foods and organic sources for nutrient dense meals. Everyone I saw there who had been on this path for any length of time was calm, moved gracefully and was alert, intelligent and their weight was perfect for their height. Their children were well behaved, calm and beautiful.

I came home enthused, excited and ready to help my family move away from the poisons we had been eating and incorporating into our lives real food.

When I returned to work on Tuesday EVERYONE in my office wanted to know what had happened to me. I was calm, I was focused. I could remember things! Let me tell you, this is really remarkable.

I also lost 2 pounds from the previous week.

By Wednesday I could go up the stairs without my knees screaming at me. By Thursday the swelling in my sinuses had reduced around my nose.

By Friday morning I'd lost another pound.

I'm eating real butter, whole raw milk, meat fat, ghee, coconut oil, whole sour cream, whole cream cheese, cod liver oil, sauerkraut, meat, fresh fruit, raw honey, and eggs. All of it is organic. What I am not eating is cereal and only one or so slice of bread a day. I have eliminated soy altogether.

I do not crave sugar at all. I don't want cookies, cake or chocolate. I am satisfied when I eat my food.

Seems utterly crazy... but what if it works? I'm going to find out.