Sunday, June 27, 2010

Taught the "Word of Wisdom" by David Christopher

For those herbalists out there, the name Dr. Christopher or the name of his son David Christopher are well known.  Dr. Christopher established the School of Natural Healing and his son David, who is a Master Herbalist, continues to run the school since the passing away of his father.

Both Dr. Christopher and David Christopher have taught me, from their lectures, books, cd's etc. so much about how to heal and how to care for the body.  This last saturday my husband and I attended the LDS Wholistic Living Conference in West Jordan, UT.  There were many amazing speakers there, but I focused my time on attending two of the classes given by D. Christopher.  One of the classes was on Cancer and the other I attended was on the Word of Wisdom.

I need to post the information gained from the Cancer class.  Apricot seeds - a natural pain reliever (and a lot of other really informative information), but that will be for a later date.

My focus of this particular blog entry is on the Word of Wisdom class that D. Christopher taught.  The part that stuck out to me the most, and the part I felt like I needed to hear was about flesh consumption.  I realized that saying that meat was to be eaten "sparingly" and ONLY in "times of winter, or famine" meant just what it said.  Mr. Christopher explained that his son served a mission in Russia and before going over to Russia, he (the father) had a talk with his son (the future missionary) about how he should eat.  Coming from a family that did not consume milk or meat, the young man was hesitant about eating meat on his mission.  His father (D. Christopher) counseled him to "Eat like a Russian!"  The young man didn't follow his father's counsel and tried to survive the 40 degrees below zero weather knocking on doors, rarely being let into the homes, and staying outside in that cold of weather day in and day out.  Needless to say the missionary got sick and weak and was going to have to come back home until the father (D. Christopher) was able to convince his son that he NEEDED to eat meat products.  The boy reluctantly consented, began eating "Like a Russian", and gained back his strength and was able to finish his proscelyting mission in Russia.

So, with that being said, there IS a time for eating meat.  Eskimos survive on meat - raw meat.

However, when it is warm out and it is spring time and summer time.  It is important to eat only fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains "in it's season".  I could spend a lot of time talking about this, but I'll skip ahead and say this...

I am NOT going to eat Meat "Flesh" or "Milk" for 90 days.  I'm going to take a "before" and "after" picture.  I started today and already I accidentally ate a salad my husband prepared for me that had organic chicken meat in it.  Then without thinking I made some homemade corn tortillas and dipped the corner of the tortilla in butter. So much for going "Milk and Flesh Free" today.  It was surprising to me how many times I wanted to take a bite of Greek Yogurt, or slice off a piece of Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese. 

I talked to Fawn after the class was given.  Fawn is D. Christophers wife and co-star in the saturday radio health broadcast "A Healthier You" on am 1400.  Fawn told me to think of milk as a condiment and not as a drink.  My kids have snotty noses right now - even though the milk is raw milk that we consume.  This rarely happens, but I know they have been drinking milk like it's the only beverage we have.  The times I go without buying milk, I know that my kids noses become decongested.  If I buy milk these next 90 days, I will only use milk for the family like I would use a condiment.

So, here I go.  I haven't told anyone other than my husband, but somehow, posting it on this blog, I feel a sense of duty to finish what I say I'm going to do. 

I feel like I need a support group around me.  I need to find others willing to make the same committment and help each other through it.  Wish me luck...this will be intense, but I need to do it.

Lots of love !

-Steff E

For my Posterity

It runs in the family... (Either on the maternal or paternal side of my husband and I's families)

1. Dementia

2. Bi-Polar Depression

3. Alcohol Addiction

4. Down Syndrome

5. Drug Addiction

6. Breast Cancer

7. Diabetes

8. Paranoia and Anxiety Disorders

9. Celiac Disease

10. Schizophrenia



I eat the way I do to save my children from the above list. I read "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Dr. Weston Price and became converted...it is our food that is causing problems and it is food that can cure us.

In healthy cultures studied by Dr. Weston Price, in many different parts of the world, the people had several things in common. They ate food that WAS NOT altered, or modified. They didn't can their food and did not add sugar. The type of food varied for each culture. Those close to the sea ate lots of shell fish, sea weed etc. Those in Alaska ate a lot of meat; those in European countries ate meat, milk products (made from raw milk) and various vegetables, fruits, etc. Listed below are the things that I learned from the studies of Dr. Price...

When you eat food as God intended...

1. You have room for ALL of your teeth - even wisdom teeth...no need to brush...no cavities. Catacombs of the dead were also analyzed and all of the skeletons had ALL of their teeth clear up to over 100 years old - they had all of their teeth and they were free of cavities.

2. The people had beautiful facial and body structures without deformity. There was plenty of room in their faces for ALL of their teeth - including their wisdom teeth. They had an amazing ability to sing. With each generation introduced to processed food - in every civilization he studied, each generation became more degenerate. Their nasal cavity became narrower and their teeth became crowded - leaving no room for wisdom teeth. The teeth became rampant with cavities. They became susceptible to disease and deformities at birth. To reverse cancers or any diseases in people living in places where processed food was available, doctors recommended that the patient return to his native town and native ways of eating...there the disease and degeneration stopped.

3. People on un-processed foods had an amazing ability to withstand cold, to be free of illness and to perform incredible acts of strength. Dr. Price tells of an Eskimo Father who went out in a terrible storm in the ocean to find food for his family. The Eskimo would turn his canoe over into the water...holding his breath in the freezing cold as the enormous waves beat down on him, and then he would turn the canoe over and continue his search for food for hours and hours until he would return with a seal or other form of food for his family. There are many other examples from various cultures in his book.

What I want for MY family...

1. I want their physical structures to be as beautiful and perfect as God intended them to be.

2. I want my children to be as smart and talented as God intended them to be.

3. I want my children to be free of all of the terrifying degenerative illnesses listed above that are in my family or my husband's family.

4. I want my children to think clearly and have strong moral courage and strength.

5. I want my children to be able to withstand disease and plagues.

6. I want my grand-children to be even more intelligent and beautiful than their parents as my children eat the way God intended them to eat.

My new thoughts about God...

As I served my mission for the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile, I was saddened by the appearance of so many people who were deformed or had terrible tooth decay. I remember thinking to myself how unfair it was that these people suffered so much because of a lack of knowledge about dental hygiene, or modern medicine. I wondered why God would do this. The older I get the more I see Satan in the picture causing all the pain and suffering. I do believe God wants us to be healthy and to experience joy. I believe there really are evil men who are in the food industry who sell degenerative food to us in pretty packages that cause death and misery.

About Celiac Disease...

I am Grateful! My body won't let me eat the bad stuff; the fillers, the binders, the additives etc. A salmon can detect a spoonful of its water from its birth place in 10 Olympic sized pools. It has been amazing to me how my body will get weak if an ingredient was contaminated in a warehouse with gluten, if it was harvested by gluten in a field, or if gluten was used in any of the packaging or glue.

A Word of Caution! Eating Gluten-free DOES NOT mean that you are eating healthy…

Going gluten-free is a start, but it is not the end.

When you have completed 95 percent of your journey, you are only halfway there. ~ Japanese Proverb

With love,

Steffanie


Friday, June 11, 2010

Is my husband SPOILED or DEPRIVED???

The Seaweed Sandwich Lineup

Seaweed Sheets, Sliced Avacado, sliced Turkey meat, SuperFood Microgreens from Lea's Micro Market (Broccoli, Red Cabbage, Kale, Amaranth and Beet Sprouts), Chopped Cilantro (my latest yummy addiction), Organic Spinache leaves (torn by hand into smaller pieces), Gingered Carrots (I make from Sally Fallon's recipe), and Bubbies brand Saurkraut.

I sprinkled Pine Nuts on Shane's plate.

So now the question...

Is my husband SPOILED or is he DEPRIVED???

The kids ate it, I ate it, my husband ate it.  The only additional request was from my 3 year old who asked "make it widdle Mommy".  I tore her seaweed sandwich in half and served it to her as she clapped her hands with excitement.  I love it!

Dessert: Black Cherries with shredded coconut and pecans. YUMMY!



Scriptures and Yeast



This morning, the kids and I were listening to the Living Scriptures dramatization of the Old Testament.  This is a daily ritual that we do following breakfast. Yesterday, we listened to the part in the bible where it talked about how the Jews were taken captive to Babylon and how Daniel, Shadrack, Mishack and Abednigo were chosen, because of their health and strength were chosen to be prepared to be the kings advisors. We listened to the dramatization of these amazing Jews as they bravely stood up to the kings men and issued a challenge.  Instead of eating meat, and wine (and all the other food the King wanted them to eat), they said they would eat only fruit, vegetables and grains, and pure clean water.  They would not eat the meat because it hadn't been prepared properly.  The 10 day challenge was accepted by the Kings men and at the end of the 10 days they were able to convince the men in charge of them to continue feeding them the way they believed in.  So the story goes on and three years later they are able to come before the king and find favor with him - due to their mental and physical strength, from eating they way they had those past years.  In the dramatization, the actors who were Shadrack, Meshack and Abednigo used the word "soft" to describe the men/boys that were on the "kings diet".  They used the word "strong" to describe themselves and the poor in the country who ate the way they did.

So, today we were listening to how Daniel is sent away and it is left up to the three Jews, Shadrack, Meshack and Abendigo to stand before the king, refusing to worship the golden image.  The men are thrown into the fire and are saved by the Lord.

So, now how did the conversation turn from talking about the scriptures, to a discussion on yeast....

Hummmm....I'm drawing a blank as I try to re-create the conversation and learning experience for you.

Let me think out loud as I type...

The question about Jewish food...
I started out trying to explain that Jews didn't eat meat from animals that did not have cloven feet, but then I became confused when I thought about pigs - knowing they are considered "unclean" animals and a definite no, but they have cloven feet...I couldn't remember why pigs were unclean...

So, two of my greatest pals (as of lately) "Google" and "Wikipedia" came to the rescue...

I printed off the 13 pages of "Kashrut" - The set of Jewish dietary Laws that is termed "Kosher" in English.

I was absolutely FASCINATED with what I learned.... and amazed at how similar our diet is to that of a Jew.

So the kids and I now know about why the Jewish men, mentioned above, could not eat the meat prepared for them.  It not only had to be from an animal that had cloven feet, but the animal also needed to be in the "chewing their cud" class of animals.  Then the precise way that it was killed, with a "non-serrated" knife, the blood draining process, and even the soaking in water or salt water to rid the animal of the blood, and then the inspection of the meat to make sure the animal was not sick.  As I explained it to the kids, I used the example of heart worms.  I told them to imagine if the animal was opened up and there were worms in it's organs.  I told them about how machines do most of the processing of the meat that's sold in the stores, but shared how beneficial it is to get meat that a good man (or woman - as in the case of where we get our meat) is able to inspect the meat and assure that the animal was healthy, before cutting it up, and preparing it for us, and that the animal is prepared properly and in a very sanitary manner.

I also talked to my kids about how some business owners soak the chicken meat in acid to turn it from yellow to white - making it more appealing to the masses that they sell the meat too.  I even shared how that in college, I preferred buying this type of meat because it did "appear" to be more palatable....and oh how little did I know...

The kids had fun writing down animals that were considered "kosher".  We taked about Giraffes - yes, but they are endangered and hard to kill etc. etc. and so that's a no...etc. etc.  Very Fun to research :)

The topic moved on to birds...

Back to "Google" for answers.  I had to look up what a bird "crop" was and what a "gizzard" was.  Basically it's the part of the bird's throat that has the ability to store food and then grind it up in order to be digested.  I also had to google "peelable lumen", but impatiently abandoned that search when the answer became more detective work than anything.

The bird meat that was most acceptable was the turkey meat.  I smiled when I heard this because I personally have found that my body digests turkey much better than chiken and so I've been buying organic turkey meat more often than the chicken meat.

We talked about Fish...

Fish with scales and fins is the jewish requirement.  Shellfish and other non-fish water fauna are not kosher.  My thoughts drifted back to the days when I was struggling to find answers to my health and when I had read two of the eleven books I had read in my "book reading marathon" when I was trying to overcome being paralyzed suddenly, losing my vision, and loss of strength etc. etc.  One of the books read was entitled "The Makers Diet" and another "Patient Heal Thyself".  In the books, the author (now the owner of Garden of Eden products), had traveled the world in search of answers to his declining health and chron's disease.  His before and after pictures are astonishing.  At the pinnacle of his sickness he looked like a concentration camp survivor...such a scary sight.  Then after studying the diet and spiritual principles taught in the Bible, after only a few months he was back to normal.  His story is truly remarkable and one that convinced me to not eat scavenger meat, to grow as much food myself personally as possible, and he taught me about the importance of the minerals in the soil where the food is grown.

Back to Jewish Food law, or "Kashrut" (Kosher).  When we read about the fruits and vegetables and grains, being prepared by certain trusted people, I thought about how contaminated produce is now days and how much I too rely on good people, farmers and markets, and family, to provide the most pure, most organic, most nutrient rich produce out there.  Jews are remarkable!  (Or should I say, the law, and the giver of the law is remarkable!!!)

Anyway, back to health and yeast....

While we were talking about bread, the kids didn't understand what "unleavened" bread was.  I explained about how the Jews had to leave quickly from Egypt and didn't have time to bake bread, giving it time to rise (the yeast swelling inside the dough), and so during Passover (the time the Jews remember the liberation from captivity), the Jews will make unleavened bread.

Then, the idea came to me to give the kids a physical example of what yeast does to bread and the effects sugar has on it.  We got a small cup, put some yeast in it, some water and then added sugar.  The yeast wasn't rising because I had used cool water. With the suggestion from one of the kids, we used our scentsy candle to warm the solution and our desired "rising of the yeast" occured.  We talked about how our bodies are "warm" and not "cold"...and how when we eat sugar we feed the yeast inside our bodies and it begins to grow and ferment.  It was fun watching as the yeast continued to rise.  I'll include a picture for you to see.

My thoughts go back to the time when I was "sick"...struggling to find answers.  That scentsy jar, all full of foaming, bubbly yeast growth reminded me of a picture of myself when I was part of a dance company and was struggling to have enough energy to even make it through the warm up.  The pictures of me with everyone are so ugly.  My face is red, and puffy.  The later part of my mission you can see the difference in my face vs. how I looked at the beginning of my mission.  I was sick, I felt sick, and it showed in my face.  I looked like there was a big piece of dough that was rising throughout my body, causing foam, fermentation, gases to be released (into my brain), face, body etc.

A couple months ago I was able to get together with one of my roommates from college.  She made the comment over and over about how good my face looks.  She said "I don't want to sound rude, but in college, you were always very skinny - being a dancer, but your face was always a little puffy".  She kept looking at me, almost in awe, as she kept saying how good "toned" my face looked.  I knew exactly what she meant.  I even hate my wedding pictures, because I looked sick - and had a puffy face.  I sometimes daydream about getting my wedding pictures retaken - of course with my same husband, and my kids. Generations from now, I want to be remembered as healthy and beautiful- not cute, but with a puffy face.

The visual of the scentsy yeast jar was good for my kids to see.  When we eat natural fruits it's more difficult for the yeast to get the sugars out of those types of food.  But when we eat highly processed sugars and flours and canned goods etc. it becomes flame for the fire and the yeast grows quickly - and it demonstrates it in our "soft bodies" and "puffy faces".

Since I've been using digestive enzymes, essential oils and probiotics to slowly decrease the amount of inflammation in my body, I have MIRACULOUSLY been able to eat wheat without much after problems.  I'll go into that in another blog and explain why.

Another little side note is that I read how the Jews do not eat, or prepare kosher meat with dairy products.  Some have seperate kitchens for the storage of the cheeses etc. with that of the meats.  They wait 1-6 hours after eating a milk product before eating a meat product.  This fascinated me.  I'll have to research that more.

A possible book title..."I may be Mormon, but I eat like a Jew".

Lots of love to you!

-Steffanie

Thursday, June 3, 2010

An Unexpected Dance Lesson

It was nearly 12 years ago...

The setting is in a condominium just south a couple blocks of the Brigham Young University campus...

My room is large, the room decor is light, fresh, and inviting.  There is plenty of natural sunlight streaming through the window... it is morning...

Outside it is springtime.  The grass, trees and shrubs are the deepest green of the season, the tulips and daffodils are in gorgeous array of colors, birds are singing happily, people are outside walking, laughing and taking... there is the smell of freshly cut grass...

My friends have all left to go down south for a hiking, camping, repelling adventure...

Recently, my favorite dance teacher from the University had invited me over to her home.  She had informed me that she was starting a performing dance company and asked that I be a part of it. 

I had always dreamed of someday being a part of a dance company that this particular professor would form, but thought that it would be after many more years of dancing, and after getting my Masters degree in dance performance, that I'd be good enough to dance along side her.  I was only in my Junior year of college - studying to become a dance major.

I had gone to the first rehearsal, but if you look back at the roll, my name does not have an x by it the rest of the week, nor the rest of that month, or the next, or the next, unlike the others on the company with x's... my name has one x and then a big line through all the weeks... the weeks that I spent going from Dr. to Dr. to figure out what it was my body was struggling against.

The weeks and months passed, and the test results came back... first it was depression, then it was fibromyalgia, then a Neurologist diagnosed me with Epstein Barr, another said it was chronic fatigue, on and on I went searching for answers until finally my father had to come and get me from college - carry me out to the car and pack my things up.

So back to the dance lesson...

My very best friend in the world, who was also a member of the newly formed dance company, came to visit me where I was living.  She had a surprise for me.  It was a CD of the songs that the company was learning choreography to.  I eagerly reached out to take the CD from my friend but was stopped by a stabbing feeling in my gut.  I quickly retracted my hand, placing both hands over my abdomen and held my breath against the pain until it subsided just long enough for me to take another breath.  After several attempts at fighting against the pain, I finally gave in to the emotion that was welling up inside me.  I cried as I folded in half and prayed for the pain to go away.  My friend, also crying, wrapped her arms around me and held me as I cried for a long time.

When would the pain go away?  When would I be able to dance again?

There was a guy that had been a great support to me during this particular time.  I remember the conversation well that we had had one night....

Through my tears, I explained to my friend that in order to have enough strength to work, and support myself, I would need to stop dancing.  I couldn't be a part of the dance company that I had dreamed about for so long.  The friend, in an effort to comfort me, came across to where I was sitting and just held me as I cried.  He kissed the top of my head and just held me.  We were never in a relationship, but it was nice to have such a great guy taking care of me.  I was surrounded by a couple of guys like him and some amazing roommates and my friend from the dance group who would take me to rehearsals on the days I felt well enough to go.  I was too weak to walk at times and was being shuttled around because I was too weak to drive.

The friend that brought me the CD knew of the deep love that I had for dance.  She was so much more talented than me as a dancer, but I was grateful to even be asked to participate with such incredibly talented people and so grateful for her love and support as she would pick me up on the days I had enough strength - even if I only did the warm-up, and then the time it took to shuttle me back home.

The pain in my stomach eventually subsided, and I had a nice conversation with my friend, thanking her for the CD, and then she left.

I put the music CD into the stereo beside my bed and I laid back and closed my eyes - dreaming of myself dancing.  As my mind became lost in the music, I found myself beginning to become alive with the various sounds the instruments made or the rise and fall of the voices that I heard.  I began choreographing or dancing along with one instrument and then would jump to the next instrument as I was able to create an ongoing synthesis of people and movement on the great stage of my imagination.

It was very therapeutic to become lost in the dancing that I'd dream about.  The time passed, the song changed, and I opened my eyes.  It was time to let go of something...I was ready to dance about it.

As I opened my eyes, I envisioned a rose on my bed.  As I picked up the imaginary rose I began the first dance I had ever truly danced in my life.  Every little movement was generated by some memory or emotion.  Nothing I did was for show or to impress.  The movement was in no way sappy.  It was directly from a place that I held in the deepest most profound space in my body. It was a dance about letting go...

At the end of my dance my arms cradled the rose and I looked at it almost like I would lovingly towards an infant child that I was holding in my arms.  I rocked the imaginary rose back and forth, back and forth as the child, or rose that I held died in my arms.  I relived the pain, the memories, the heartache as I slowly rocked the imaginary infant in my arms...

The music was fading, and my heart had finished letting go of the pain.  I slowly let go of the "flower infant" and placed it on my bed.  I looked at it and then closed my eyes as the music and dance ended.

As I sat there contemplating on the sacredness and beauty of the dance I had just done, an overwhelming feeling of peace ran through my body.  It had been the first and only time in my life that I had truly danced.  It was a life changing experience - one that I will never forget and one that I'll be able to share with my students over and over again.

In life, just as is the case in dance, we seek to kick the highest, have the most flexibility, work the hardest and be the most talented.  Sometimes everything in our lives need to be taken away from us, everything we love, in order to truly "dance" in this life.

I'm so incredibly grateful for the experience, I feel, was a "Dance Class from God".  He taught me what I needed to do to dance.  It was removing any concern, or worry "of the world" with an absolutely pure desire to move in a way that is truly "intrinsic" to the core.  I'm at a loss to explain it in a way that the reader would understand.

No more tryout mentality, no more worries about the other dancers around me, no more fears of what my movement looks like to others and what they think about it.  No more pride.  No more selfishness, no more judgment, no more anxiety.... just peace.  Peace for being where I am at, when I am at this place, and why...the movement you make may barely be noticed by others.  It may be a dance performed so slowly that none but yourself and God can see the beauty.  Dance none the less and be true to your story.

With love,

Steffanie :)