Last weekend I went to a conference. This one. It was fabulous. Spending those days with like-minded sisters is a fabulous way to re-center, feed my beliefs and learn awesome new things from amazing women who are passionate and who know their stuff.
All through the conference I was on the lookout for information to help my daughter and my husband feel better. Me, too, but them most of all. One is a 23 year old narcoleptic, super emotional, love of a human with chronic troubles with her innards. The other is a digestive nightmare from beginning to end and a nicotine and sugar addict. I love them both more that life itself. I want them to get better.
There were ‘aha! moments’ and moments of clarity all weekend but the amazing ones regarding health came in the classes and intensive offered by Monica Corrado. These moments of clarity got me thinking about the people I know and how they eat and further, how healthy they seem to be. Let me be clear, I’m a PPO (Purveyor of Personal Opinion), not a doctor or system-educated health care professional. My passion is food as it effects our health and how to treat illness with nutrition from food and herbs. I am also an energy healer. So yes, very alternative. Maybe you like that. Maybe you think it’s all hookum. Whatever. Just letting you know.
I have friends who are vegan; vegetarian; raw food eaters; many, many eaters of SAD (the Standard American Diet); Weston A Price; Paleo; and also know folks who are on or have been on almost every fad diet there is: Atkins; South Beach; low calorie; low carb; high protein; no fat; etc. The question that kept bugging me was this: How healthy are these people? By ‘healthy’, I mean, how often do they acknowledge illness, chronic or acute; how many episodes of organ failure do they experience and what is their reaction to it (removal? healing?); how do they look and by this I mean, how is their hair, skin and weight, do they have good color; what is their energy level; and also, to the small extent that they discuss this, what is their digestive function like?
So, after about a week of pondering this, I came to the conclusion that the two healthiest groups I know, based on the information I have, are the Weston A Price/Nourishing Traditions and the Paleo eaters (see links at bottom of page). Far and away, these friends are the ones who are vibrant, lively, sharp and *well*. They have loads of energy, sparkling eyes, sharp wit and *sharp tongues*! Haha.
Sure, I know this is going to cause quotations from scientific studies to pop up in the brains of many of you who read this and that’s cool. That’s what you believe to be the best place to find your answers. For me, for what I recommend for my family, experience and observation are where I find my answers and what I find is that eating clean, naturally raised animal products in addition to a great volume of clean, naturally raised vegetable and fruits with the addition of clean, naturally raised dairy and fermented foods is probably the best way to feel healthy and good. Low or no grain. No added sugar. It seems intuitively right to eat the way our ancestors must have eaten, doesn’t it? And yes, intuition is one of my guides. Take it or leave it.
So, listening to Monica Corrado speak was extremely validating, awakening, motivating and exciting. It was like she gave me a basket filled with gifts that I had wanted all my life and had not received. A basket filled with permission and instructions for how to do some of the things I was having a hard time figuring out (making raw milk yogurt, for example!); guidelines for making healing foods; a sassy comeback for those who think it’s too hard (how can it be too hard to heal yourself?); and hope. Hope was a biggie, right after how to make that damned yogurt.
I am backing into this eating lifestyle by cutting this and that, here and there and do you know what? Already I’m feeling better. Lucky me! It’s hunting season, so venison bones are on the way for the broths. A friend says she owes us a pig. A free-range, root rooting, pig with clean, delicious pork inside of it. Yum. We have a local family we can buy pastured poultry from and a river in our back yard filled with migratory fish. Oh, and the chickens in our back yard who are now laying beautiful eggs while the rooster crows and crows.
The down side is that all of this involves killing animals. Yes, I know that it’s true. For the most part, though, we do the killing and butchering and the animals we consume have had good, albeit terminated lives. Ethically it does bother me to eat the flesh of animals. Processing is one of my least favorite activities and the skill set I am least likely to brag about. However, if we are going to eat meat, and we are, we are doing in the kindest and most ethical fashion possible.
My husband is ready to give this a try, or so he says. I am committed to the process of changing, even though it means no potatoes. Here we go!