Sunday, May 30, 2010

Making the Difference

When I read Dr. Weston Price's book entitled "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration",  I learned about how processed food, once introduced into a cultures "Native Diet" caused nutritional and physical degeneration.  The pictures were very clear between those individuals who ate a "Traditional Native Diet" in contrast with the children and grandchildren that were introduced "Processed Food".  The teeth of the succeeding generations became more crowded...no longer room for wisdom teeth etc.  The nasal passage became smaller, jaw structure, the mental capacity, resistance to illness etc. all declined with the introduction of "Processed Foods".  The pictures were shocking to me to see.

What I've been thinking a LOT about lately is what Dr. Weston Price considered processed food.  It was refined sugar, refined flour, and canned food that caused the problem in the cultures studied all around the world in the time of Dr. Weston Price (Early 1900's).  What I keep thinking about is how our culture somehow believes that food made from refined flour, cane sugar, and canned soups, canned veggies, and canned fruits etc. are healthy.  As long as we make it from "scratch" it's healthy.  Isn't that what Mom's think as they make pastas, breads, cakes, desserts, puddings etc. from "scratch"?

I'm about to have a baby any day now.  Shane decided to make a trip to our "junk food store" (Good Earth).  He brought back some gluten-free quinoa pasta, organic spaghetti sauce, some canned dolmas,  some canned soups,  bragg's vinegar drinks, organic chips, etc.  (He buys what's on sale)
I joked with him that he must be gearing up for when I have the baby and he has to cook for the kids.  They will be having spaghetti every day for a week! Poor kids!

The thoughts of the kids eating the pasta each day made me feel very anxious.  I realized last night as I looked over the food that Shane had bought, that this is what others may consider to be really healthy. But to me, healthy means as close to the earth as possible... raw vegetables, organic fruits, raw seeds, nuts, nut butters, fermented vegetables, raw milk (from pasture fed animals - goats or cows), organic meats (from pasture fed animals), free-range eggs...

Every time my husband buys the kids stuff at Good Earth I feel anxious, yet I'm glad that even while shopping at a supposive "Health Foods Store", he still avoids the gluten-free cookie, cake, bread, etc. sections.  What is it that will keep our kids from experiencing the effects of "Physical Degeneration" that I read about in Dr. Weston Price's book?  How much "processed food" did the natives in the 1900's have to eat before the changes occured?  Was it from what the Mom's ate while they were pregnant that caused the problems?  Did it take several years of eating the sugar and flour with their native dishes that caused the issues?  Was the degeneration because people started to eat their fruits and veggies from their canned food storage, along with all the other dishes prepared with four and sugar? How much refined flour, sugar and canned foods did it take to cause the degeneration?

In the 1900's, we are not talking about food that was made to last for eternity on the shelves.  We aren't talking about food that is made by big companies who have a marketing and advertising budget- who do tests and give out questionaires to people making their food more and more enticing by adding neuro-toxins to the food - making us CRAVE them...and NEED more of them.

We are not talking about food companies that want to make a bigger and better profit, thereby substituting expensive "real ingredients" with stuff like "fillers, binders, artificial colors and flavorings". 

When I walk through the big grocery stores (not starting with the produce section), I feel lonely.  I remember one time (10 years ago when I was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease) I walked through the isles of the store very slowly - a lump swelling up in my throat.  I was terrified of buying something that was going to make me sick.  I walked down the chip isle.  I knew almost everything was on the NO list. I had been taught that even if the ingredients on the package looked ok, it was possible that the company floured the conveyor belt, or floured the inside of the container (to help the product come out better), or the wrapping on the product contained gluten.  Sadly, I moved on to a different isle.  It was the meat section.  I picked up package after package and saw the same thing over and over again... Monosodium Glutimate (Bad), MSG, Food Starch - Modified (Bad), Carmel Coloring... etc. etc.  The same thing happened with cheese...MSG, Modified Food Starch, Annato.... it was in the sour cream, the yogurt, pickles?  Oh my heck!!!!  I can't have any brand of pickle - unless I look in the refrigerated section and find Bubbies brand... the soy milk had it, jerky is a no, mayo, mustard, ketchup for crying outloud!  Gluten was in everything!  The cakes, the candies, even in popcorn!  The companies added the fillers and binders to save cost.  And we the consumer pay for it with our health!

My husband is a business owner.  It takes a lot of integrity to buy high quality fittings, cable, etc. when his installers are out there doing their job.  I remember stopping one time, in one of his mall locations, and looking around at the customers in the store.  I thought about how they had no idea that we used the switches, diplexers, fittings etc. that we did.  They would have NO idea when the installer came out to deliver their product that it was higher quality than our competitors, that it cost more to buy, and that we made that choice to deliver a higher quality product - knowing that it would serve the consumer in the long run, and not the short-term.  The product they stared at in their living room wasn't any different from the competitiors, but it was the route from the dish to the receiver that made the biggest difference and it was in the investment in our very expensive meters that made the biggest difference from an acceptable signal to a excellent one - that would give them the most clarity.

I had the opportunity to work with the accountant while she set up our income profitability tracking.  One of the ways we wanted to track income was seeing how much income was from customer service calls.  I asked her to create a category for "Non-Existing Customers" and "Existing Customers".  So, the years went on and as we pulled the reports it was incredible for me to see that the number of service calls from "OUR Customers" was astronomically lower than "NON-Existing Customers".  Almost all of our income from service calls were from other peoples customers.  This was amazing to me!  Especially since we had the highest sales numbers in our region.

Another amazing thing was that we were surprised to be awarded an "all expense trip" paid for by one of our business associates to Hawaii because we had one of the "Highest Customer Retention Rates" for their product that was sold in the US.  Interesting...

So, we (as a business) and our customer's were being rewarded for choices that we were making - without them knowing about how they were being benefited by those "unseen choices" we were making that effected them. 

Another personal example and then I'll get to how the above example and following example have anything to do with food...

So, the next example is from a conversation I had with my new husband.  (This was about ten years ago).  We were sitting in the airport, waiting impatiently for the plane to arrive, and my husband goes off on a rampage about "they" (the ones that were purposely making decisions that were delaying the plane so that "they" again could profit from our misery.)  I looked at him, as sometimes people do when they've been married for about a year and begin to notice the flaws in their significant other, and I felt like I was in the twilight zone talking to an absolute idiot!  I like a good debate and so I remember taking the side of the "they" (whoever in the heck they were) and debated with my husband and his crazy hypothesis about the "they" who was making our life miserable.

I had grown up in the country.  I had been surrounded by honest, kind, hard-working people, and so I viewed everyone else around me the same way.  The people were telling me the truth, they had my best interest at heart, and everyone (I believed) had the same desire to work as hard as I did.  It took years of being a business owner that my eyes started to be dimmed from seeing everyone like I did to looking at the world, customer's, businesses and people in a more untrusting way.  Especially as I began to be more educated about food and the "business" in marketing, advertising, displaying and selling food.  I was horrified by what I found. 

Shane and I still have arguments about the "they's" or "them's" that make our life miserable, but I'm a little more understanding of him since I've met some of the they's or them's he had the luck of associating with throughout his life.

With regards to the food industry, I've given Good Earth a hard time for the products they carry.  But I want you to know that I'm really grateful to the men and women who have made products gluten-free, who grow organic fruits and veggies, who use quality ingredients in their soups, their desserts etc. and for people who own health food stores.  When we travel and do not have access to the food sold at Real Foods Market, I'm relieved when I can find a health food store to buy food.

When a package says "organic" do you really know if it truly is?  When a product says "100% juice" do you really know that it is or if it's "freshly squeezed", or "not from concentrate"? 

Just like it took a lot of integrity coming from the top of my husband's organization to use high quality componenets that effected the long term life of our product that was sold to the public, so too does it require a lot of integrity "from the top" of an organization to give the consumers a product that requires more money to make, more difficult to package, requires special cooling while shipping, and then has a shorter shelf life.  Who in this world, to save a million dollars on their bottom line wouldn't want to kill the product as much as possible, put artificial vitamins, minerals etc. into their product and then be rest assured that it will remain on the shelf until the expiration date - years down the road?  If it meant saving a million dollars wouldn't you do it?  Picture yourself around the board room with all of the other executives.  You are talking about profit and loss, you are talking about the share holders and their irritation with the un-successful products you've launched...the marketing campaign...the research showing that adding neuro-toxins to the food you sell will make people CRAVE it... they'll want MORE of it.... your figures will go up!!!  You'll stay in the "black".  What decision would you make?

Now think about you sitting around the table with your family eating... what types of product do you see being served to your children?  Did you make a decision to cut cost, to save time in preparation, to go with what the kids "CRAVED"!!!  How much nutritional content does the food really have that you are putting in front of your dear little children?  It takes a lot of tough love and integrity to buy the foods that are better for your own family.  It takes sacrifice as well.  Sacrifice of YOUR hard earned MONEY and hard earned TIME to feed your family as God intended them to be fed. 

I pray that you will buy a copy of "Nutritional and Physical Degeneration" by Dr. Weston A. Price.  I pray that you will flip through the pages and look at the pictures of generation after generation after generation.  See the beautiful pictures of those who ate as God intended.  They didn't have diabetes.  They didn't have Multiple Sclerosis.  They didn't have Cancer.  They didn't have arthritis.

Now I'm going to share a personal story about a man and woman that live close to me and I pray that if they read this they will not be offended, but I will speak bluntly for the sake of other little children...

This couple had a diet that they acknowledge to me was very "un-healthy".  Chips, soda, twinkies, candies, breads, pastas desserts etc...it's common to find in their shopping carts if you happen to run into them at the store.  The woman has extreme health problems...

The woman came to my home and was talking about how hard it was to eat healthy and the cost etc. etc.  I looked at her and my thoughts went to her children... I wondered how they would be effected by the decisions their parents were making.  I felt a shutter run through my body - seriously, as I listened to her health problems, the doctor visits, the attempts at healing etc.  It almost made me sick thinking about the baby that she was carrying inside her and the nourishment it probably was not getting, along with all the chemicals that were getting into the poor one while the Mom fought to be able to take the pain that she was experiencing with the various health issues. 

Someone who eats like I do...the experiences that I've had, the books I've read, the lectures, the seminars etc... how could I possibly give this family several years of truths that I'd gained that had helped me in a couple of short sentences?  They knew about how I ate.  I know they believed me...they just didn't have the strength to make the decision on their own.  I worried about what health issues their kids would have that would "make them" be able to have the strength they needed to make the change...then the scary question would be if they would have the strength to change their diet even AFTER one of their kids came up with a scary diagnosis...

The day of reckoning...

So the day came when their little daughter was diagnosed with a terrible case of arthritis, so severe that it was painful walk on her feet and she would drop to the floor suddenly and then cry out in agonizing pain.  It was a case that very few that young ever experience.  I felt absolutely sick to my stomache when the father of this child spent time in my kitchen telling me about it.  I felt sick because of the statistics of the kids that had the disease...of the difficulty that lay ahead and because the father said this... "the doctors have never ever seen this type of arthritis in a child who's only four years old".  A lump came up into my throat... I couldn't share what I thought about food and water etc. because I knew it wouldn't be accepted or appreciated.  I just listened with tears welling up in my eyes.  Yes I was touched by the sad story, in a very sad way.  Not because I was sad about the "trial God had given them" as the man thinked I was thinking... but because of the choice that the parents made that gave that little girl her terrible trial.  It was the evil of the parents that I felt was upon that little girl and as God has said, sometimes the choices that parents make effect their children even to the 3rd and 4th generation. 

I pray for this little girl.  I pray for other children throughout the world.  I pray for the parents, the teachers, the educators.  There are so many wonderful Doctors, Nurses, Health Practitioners, Chiropractors, Neurologists, Biologists, Scientists, Researchers, Health Advocates etc. preaching the word of "Good Health" - preaching the good word of "Health Salvation".  The key is whether or not you as a parent turn your head in shame and try not to listen, making excuses why not...or do you open your ears and "Hear the Good word of the Lord".  I believe God talks to us through inspired leaders.  Their are inspired health leaders all around us, and their answers will bring healing and happiness!

My question to you is "Why NOT"?  If you make the decision to save your family from the evils of this food world - of the corruption and sin that lies at the head of the food industry government...and from the evils that will come upon you and your family...praised be your name!  (I say the above not to be disrespectful in any way to religious individuals, but to make a point... the same way we rationalize sin, is the same way we rationalize eating un-healthy.)  Don't sin to appease your worldly contaminated taste buds...Don't sin because it's the social thing to do...Don't sin because everyone else is doing it...and Don't sin because you are thinking of yourself and your own desires, time etc. and think nothing of the time, talents, or future of your children.

Please, please, please, please.  If you are "addicted" to worldly food...pray for the strength, the love, the time, the patience, to be able to give your children, and your children's children the health that God intends for them to have.  Give them the mental and physical capacity to use the gifts the Lord has given them.  Please be an instrument in the Lords hand to bring about a mighty "work and wonder".  Do not take the side of Satan who seeks misery and unhappiness, sickness and death for anyone who opposes him. 

Start viewing your food as if the "evil they" were sitting around a smokey cauldron...brewing up death to serve to you.  Start searching for food that was grown and served to you by a servant of the Lord.

With much love,

Steffanie

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Angry Thoughts and Words

I recently learned that negative words spoken to a person can cause that person to turn into an "acidic state", just like eating crappy foods does.

I thought about all those happy, loving Mom's out there who are making casseroles, pasta's, cakes, cookies etc. for their kids and wondered if their happy loving words, and peaceful homes help the kids to make up for the food they eat???  Something to think about anyway.

So, what I walked away with learning from the above hypothesis - or who knows maybe it is validated scientifically, is that in addition to feeding my family pure food and water, I need to work on cleaning up my language and giving them "alkaline" words and phrases.  I always thought I was an extremely patient person.  That was until I got married and then had kids.  I now realize that I am NOT naturally patient, and NOT naturally sweet dispositioned.  It takes work and a LOT of self-control that I only seem to have as long as gluten is very far from me.

So, make sure the words you are saying to your spouse, your children, to others and to yourself are positive words.  This will help create greater health in your family and marriage.  I don't have to research this to know that it is true.  I can feel that this is true- so I will be working on implementing it.
-Steffanie

Contributing Writers

If you are interested in adding to these posts, please let me know.  I have many friends who eat like I do - or eat better than I do, and would love for them and anyone else to contribute information to the site.  Post a comment and I'll be happy to post it for you.

As I create a post it's in anticipation for a book I will eventually write.  I'm starting to see that I need a book that walks people through each of the truths that I learned on my path to healing.  It doesn't suffice to just give everyone a list of 30 books to read and then tell them to read the books to learn what I did.

I know there are many seminars and discussions with people that also helped my understanding of what I read.

Dr. Mercola has a fabulous site where he is constantly updating everyone on medical testing, health findings etc.  I've learned that I, without being a Dr. or Master Naturopath, could never compare to the information that is already out there.  Whenever I make a post that strays from talking to the reader as if they were a friend sitting in the living room with me, I feel I loose my influence as a healer, and a teacher.

Where my story is unique... I'm still trying to find that out.  If anyone has any ideas for what I should write about, please let me know.  Feedback, Feedback... good or bad, I'm grateful for anything anyone has to say.

Hope you have a fabulous day!

-Steffanie

Progress

I realized last week, while traveling with my family, that my taste buds HAVE CHANGED! It was a surprise to me that potatoe chips no longer taste good to me.  I tried some that my husband had bought and although they were a healthier type of chip, the taste was not pleasant and so I didn't eat more than one or two as I thought about how amazing it was that they didn't taste good to me any longer. 

Another fun finding is that candy bars no longer taste good to me.  Several years ago my big addiction was recess peanut butter cups.  I walked through the gas station candy area and had absolutely no desire to buy anything.  When there is pop around (not in our house) but at parties, I take a little sip and can picture the faces of the degeneration from Dr. Weston Price's book and the pop is no longer appealing to me.  I know that Sprite and Bargg's Rootbeer is gluten-free, but a simple sip is all that it takes to appease my curiosity or thirst and then I'm fine with my kombucha or water.

The thing I'm working on now is trying to eat more vegetables as opposed to too much fruit.  I love fruit!  I love maple syrup and molasses in raw milk...I love the maple sugar granuals and raw honeycomb as a snack, but I know I need to balance it out more with more veggies.  It's been fun to load my refrigerator with 80% veggies.  We eat and cook what's in the refrigerator.  I keep all my organic meat and frozen fruit (most of it) out in the freezer in the garage.  I keep the seeds, nuts, spices, fermented veggies, veggies, and fruits closest to me in the fridge/freezer and in the pantry in my kitchen. You eat what you have infront of you.

It helps to plan out meals in advance.  Juliano's the "Un-cook Cookbook" has many recipes that have ingredients that should have been made and fermented several days prior.  So by planning out the meals, I can make sure to have an abundance of the "good food" infront of our faces and the bad food is not a temptation.  I think like an alcoholic (a recovered alcoholic), but in my case it would be called something like a glutenholic or recovering gluten addict.  When the bad foods sit in your cupboards, in the fridge etc. how does anyone have the self control to avoid a loaf of french bread, pizza or pasta???  I sure don't have the control.  The control starts with the thoughts...while at the store buying the food, and where I choose to place the food in my kitchen.

Last night Shane brought home a Gluten-Free Cheese Cake for HIS birthday cake.  It was so cute that he wanted me to feel included.  The cheesecake tasted good, because Shane bought it thinking of me and made the purchase out of love.  Honestly though, I had insomnia most of the night and heart burn.  It didn't set well with me and didn't digest well.  I would have been just as happy with a bowl full of fruit, with a side of Brown Cow Yogurt. 

A friend of mine, who is a Health Coach, Iridologist and owner of a health foods store, talks about how she feeds her family.  She follows very closely to the philosophy of eating foods that are un-processed, but throws in every once in awhile an item that helps her kids feel like they are getting a real treat.  Treats for us are things like bacon - organic - every once in awhile, gluten-free cakes at birthday time, and a couple treats during the holidays.  As we eat more and more un-processed foods, myself and my kids desire less and less the un-healthy treats.  Perhaps someday we will be a completely raw family - eating only seeds, nuts, raw milk, veggies, fruits etc.  But I don't think so.  We will eat organic pasture fed meat every once in awhile, and will probably never give up our consumption of organic free-range eggs.  I've found that if I try to feed my family a raw food diet, the closer I come to feeding them the ideal foods.  We have the right amount of veggies, of fruits, and our lack of total obedience to raw food allows us to cook yummy soups and meat dishes sparingly.  I don't see how I can ever give up soups like Chicken and Rice... kids absolutely loved the last one we made.

Happy Cooking!

-Steffanie