Thursday, August 21, 2008

Books and Blogs that I have learned from

Books:


Nourishing Traditions









Eat Fat, Lose Fat









Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck
Real Food: What to Eat and Why


Virgin Coconut Oil

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
**The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan



In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
**In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

**I do not agree with Pollan's views on evolution. I believe the world was created by an Almighty God in 6 days as the Bible describes. However, Pollan's views on many other issues are eye opening and thought-provoking. His books ARE steeped in evolution however-just a warning.



Websites:

NT Yahoo Discussion Group

Eat Fat, Lose Fat-website


WAPF-website


Nourished Magazine-website

Kelly the Kitchen Kop-blog

Cheese Slave-blog

NY Times article on Raw Milk

Washington Post article on Nourishing Traditions eating

So many contradictions...

I posted on what I believe to be healthy and it made it seem like I read a book and that was that. But it was truly not that easy or simple. It took a lot of research and reading and praying and thinking before I decided what I believed to be the truth. And God has brought so many things along the way to confirm it all. He is so good like that!

I have always been interested in what I was told was healthy. When I was in college, I tried the vegetarian thing for awhile. I've never been a big meat eater so it wasn't difficult. But it was too much work and I saw no results. I switched to skim milk and learned to prefer it. I used margarine instead of butter. I started eating whole wheat things when they came on the scene. But I always felt like I was swinging from one fad to the next-and I knew that couldn't be good.

A study would show something to be healthy, and the next year another study would show it was harmful. I just got more and more confused with every study I read. I read all kinds of studies about how certain vitamins or antioxidants, or omega-3s are really good for a person. So they isolate those particular nutrients and put them in a pill. But wouldn't it be better to eat the actual food instead of a pill? Doesn't it make sense that God put a bunch of nutrients that work together to benefit one another as they are digested? Food science is just so confusing and contradictory!

Two of my sisters kids have major allergies. And when Myia was born, she had acid reflux and colic and was just a mess. Samuel was not much better. I was convinced early on that it was food related. But I wasn't sure how to find out. I tried no dairy, tomatoes, etc. All of the regular allergy prone foods, but nothing seemed to help. I became convinced it was because we were not eating the right foods-and we were eating the wrong ones. But, I still was completely in the dark as to what we should be eating.

Over the last 5 years I have gained considerable weight and just can not get it under control. Low fat only made me binge at night after the kids were in bed. I finally realized that cutting calories-but making those calories nutrition-less food was not healthy. I know too many people who can not get their weight under control-after trying for many years. I decided if I could eat what was truly nourishing and good for my body-then I would not worry about what I weighed. Health has always been my main goal-a nice body a side benefit. :) And I decided my body probably knew what was best for it. My craving for foods most likely meant I was deficient in something.

If people have been eating butter and drinking milk for thousands of years (unpasteurized and whole), then why is it those things are suddenly bad for us? Again-things just did not add up!

I started studying the 'Raw Foods' Diet. Fascinating. They are big on enzymes and how our bodies are deficient in them. What few we have are overworked by all the processed foods they are trying to break down in our bodies. Raw Foodies are a step beyond vegan. They eat no animal products whatsoever, and none of their food is heated about 118 degrees. That way the enzymes are still in tact. Most are big on unprocessed foods since you don't know for sure if they heated the food or not. But, again, it just did not add up for me. God gave us animal and animal products to eat. I really believe that (I'm currently reading-very slowly-through the Bible and marking references to food to try to understand it better from a Biblical perspective). And I know the body can not make B12-which only comes from animals that eat grass and digest it properly. It just did not add up. Raw foodist seemed to have a lot of energy. But it did not seem like a long term solution. Simply trying to make sure you had enough protein in your diet was an all day affair! And milk and meat are complete proteins and perfect for the human body. Why ignore such a perfect food?

And what about all of those crazy diets?
ATKINS-low carb, lots of meat-but no fruit!
SOUTH BEACH-no milk or fruit.
WEIGHT WATCHERS-let me just vent here. I was reading the ingredients list on a Weight Watchers muffin-do you know what the first ingredient is????? SUGAR! The first ingredient in a 'diet' muffin is SUGAR! I was so disgusted! And the next 5 ingredients were not much better-not to mention the following 20!
MAKER'S DIET/RAVEN DIET-When I read those I almost cried. They made sense to me! Of course, they are Biblically based, but they just made sense! I have not studied either extensively-but what I have read I agree with.
The ZONE: I enjoyed reading some of their recipes and I loved the concept-although it's insanely expensive. And even they don't have any backbone. They offer low carb diets, low calorie diets, low fat diets-which ever diet you want. Can they all be right and good? Maybe I guess. But their food seems mostly freshly prepared and varied.

This is by no means an extensive breakdown of what lead me to where I am now. It just gives you some idea of the thoughts that were going on in my head that lead me on my search for what was truly healthy for a body to consume. I felt like I was hitting a brick wall everywhere I turned. I wanted answers-truths that were not going to be 'proven' wrong later on.

AND I FOUND THEM!! WOO HOO!!!!

Did I mention that God is good? 'Cause He really is!

Raw MIlk



I am so excited! I had decided in the spring to switch to raw milk and products made from raw milk. But it's expensive! It's $7 for a gallon of milk, $10.50 for a quart of cream and for a pound of butter. And $6.50 for a pound of cheese!

Well, I was praying that God would send me to a place that I could buy milk cheaper-by going to the farm to pick up. And He did! I now pay $4 a gallon-and I get to use glass jars that I reuse every time!

We went last week for the first time-the kids and I. We had so much fun! The couple is a Christian couple who wants to serve the Lord through their farm. They are not organic, but mostly. The kids and I got to actually milk the cows-and then drink that milk. I love going into the refrigerator every time I get it and knowing that we actually helped to milk the cows!




And, I started making my own butter from the milk. I scoop out the cream from the tops once they have settled and use that to make butter and ice cream.

I am also in the process of learning how to make cheeses and all the good products from milk that I can find. It's so great to have found a resource that I can use to experiment!

Some day I'd love to have a small acreage with a large vegetable garden, lots of berry patches and fruit trees, and a Jersey cow of our own. :) Now that I'm learning what to do with the milk-that dream doesn't seem so far off. We will go where the Lord leads of course-and I'll be content wherever we go. But I would love to be mostly self sufficient.

Lots has been said on the subject of raw milk. These are two of the best websites for learning about raw milk:

www.raw-milk-facts.com

www.realmilk.com





The story behind milk as I have learned it:

Milk has been drunk raw since Bible times with little or no problems. However, in the late 1800s, when America was becoming Industrialized, the milk started causing problems. Some dairy farms were located next to distilleries, which deposited 'swill' that was left over from making the 'spirits'. The cows began drinking this, and along with the pollution from the new gasoline cars and factories and more confined spaces, lack of hygiene and refrigeration made for some pretty dangerous milk.

There are live organisms in milk-good and bad. If properly handled, the good will win over the bad. And what little bad germs there are in the milk-our bodies should be able to easily enough defend itself (and develop antibodies in the process-a really good thing!). Our world is full of bacteria-good and bad. And we need them for survival. God designed the world in the most amazing ways with checks and balances.

However, with all of the death from the filthy milk, Louis Pasture's ideas of pasteurization was applied to the milk and less people were dying from it. Dairy farmers were given strict hygiene standards to use in the milking and delivering process and until the 1940s, both raw and pasteurized milk was available to the general public. Although certified raw milk was considerably more expensive.

For some reason, in 1944, the government decided it was easiest to regulate dairy farms by insisting on pasteurization across the board.

In recent years, raw milk has made a comeback and consumers in most states are fighting their own battles to make it legal to sell from certified dairies.

The most important thing to consider when finding a source for raw milk is if they care for the cows properly and are clean and hygenic in the milking and bottling process. State licensed is nice, but not always possible. If they drink their own milk-it's a good sign! :)

I thought this was interesting:
About 73,000 people are infected and 61 people die from E.
coli each year and, last year alone, over 22 million pounds
of beef and vegetables were recalled due to E. coli
outbreaks.'


We are much more likely to get sick from hamburger or spinach then from raw milk.

-Well, those are my 2 cents worth..


CHEERS!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh the Places we Go...

It's kind of funny to read my blog. I have not posted on it for awhile. And for good reason. Every time I thought I found some 'nutritional truth', I'd realize it didn't make sense.

I got fed up with 'fads' and just wanted to know what was the truth regarding health and nutrition-if there was such a thing.

Vegetarian...vegan...raw...whole foods...organic...sustainable...localvore...macrobiotics...Weight Watchers...Atkins...low carb...low fat. Oiy! How is one to know what truly nourishes one's body?

I was constantly trying to make 'healthier' versions of things, but we didn't like them much-and I wasn't even convinced it was healthy! So why force us to eat things that weren't really nourishing our bodies anyway? I got tired of hearing what was not good for us-I wanted to know what we should eat.

I've taken to this way of life-I try to figure out what is 'perfect' and try to work my way to that-knowing I will never actually attain it until we get to Heaven. But it's fun to have a goal to work towards! :) I'm a very driven person-so this works for me.

So, I decided to search and research and pray and read until I was confident in what I found to be truly nourishing foods. I wanted to know what we should be eating-how it should be prepared, etc. And then teach us to actually like that food. Quite daunting for sure. I'm a lousy cook and the kids are lousy eaters-so I figured if we were going to learn-we might as well learn it all right from the beginning.

In one of my previous posts-I listed 7 goals I had...
1. Sprouts
2. Kefir
3. Less processed foods
4. Monthly meal plan
5. Veggies, veggies, veggies
6. Raw milk
7. Organic/sustainable

Well, I'd say I'm happy with my overall progress. :) I have learned a lot since then though!

I wrote that post after reading 'The Omnivore's Dilema' and reading through the website for the Weston A Price Foundation. From the WAPF website, I found the book I was so desperately looking for. I had decided what I really needed to figure out was how people ate before all the new technology and 'food science' came along. And I wasn't sure where to start. But this book told just that. It's by Sally Fallon and it's called Nourishing Traditions.









Oh man, what a great book! It explains why we have the health issues we do-and how people ate and still do eat-before all of the current industrialization. It's based mostly on the works of a dentist in the early 1900's. He wanted to know why so many of his American patients had cavities and narrow mouths. He became convinced it was due to their diet, so he traveled to various uncivilized cultures and was surprised to find them with very few cavities and near perfect mouths and teeth (and few or none of the civilized diseases that are prevalent in the US). So he studied their diets and wrote all that he learned in a book. I have not read his book, but I probably will in the near future.

Obviously one has to make one's own decisions on what is healthy and who and what to believe when it comes to research. But all that I've learned so far just makes sense. So I'm sticking to it! :)

Based on that book, a number of other books, blogs, people and chat groups, I will try to summarize what I have decided is the truth about nutrition, and what I have decided is 'perfect'. Now I'm on the long road of trying to 'get there'. But at least I know where I'm going finally! And apparently I'm not the only one-it seems to be going more main stream of late.

1. Vegetable oil is evil
2. Saturated Fats are NOT evil-our bodies desperately need them (butter, lard, tallow, egg yolks, cream/whole milk, coconut oil)
3. Grains need to be soaked or sprouted to be digested properly (hence all the gluten/wheat intolerances)
4. Cod Liver Oil is much better then vitamin tablets...Rrrrum punch-delicious! *hiccup*
5. Homemade stocks (broths) are powerhouses of nutrition-and easy to make once you get the hang of it. I do it once a week now. And truly inexpensive and easy to add to most meals.
6. Fermented vegetables and drinks are very healthy and easy to make. I have yet to make anything we like-but I'll keep trying! They should be eaten/drunk with every meal.
7. Enzymes are sadly missing from our diets and desperately necessary for proper assimilation of our foods
8. Raw Milk is God's gracious provision to mankind to truly, wholly nourish us. Pasteurization disturbs it's natural nourishing properties.
9. Fish is fantastic for the body and truly nourishes every part of it-esp (but not nearly limited to) the brain. It should be consumed weekly at least.
10. Eggs-worth their weight in gold-nutritionally speaking.
11. Liver should be eaten once a week (not even remotely there yet unfortunately)
12. Microwaves are just NOT a good way to heat up food.


After all my research, I was quite depressed and overwhelmed. It was the opposite of what we were eating-or even liked for that matter. But, again, I wanted to figure out what was 'perfect' for us to eat.

I knew a lot of changes had to take place. We need to actually sit down to meals-which we don't do! And I needed to change my attitude toward spending time finding and preparing meals. It can not be a chore-but a blessing and a service done to my Lord who graciously has chosen to give me life and a family to provide for. And I hope that attitude towards food and health gets passed on to my kids.

In all my research, I also have come to have a more appreciation for the earth and how God made it to provide our foods. And I appreciate the bio-dynamic farming, buying local/direct from the farmer, and 'green'/ecologically friendly living. They all seem to go hand in hand. I'll try to write more about all of that later.

WHAT'S FOR DINNER?

My goal is for us to:

1. Eat a 'meat' every day. I try to buy local and sustainable when possible.

2. Lots of veggies-raw and cooked and smothered in butter.

3. Fermented Veggies and drinks with every meal.

4. 3 meals a day-breakfast and supper sitting down at home when possible.

5. Lots of homemade broth-in soups and sauces

6. Eggs, eggs, eggs

7. Take Cod Liver Oil daily

8. Drink raw milk and raw milk products (which I'm working on making my own-but that is a whole post in itself).

9. Consume few grains-and those we do eat should be organically grown and not genetically modified-preferably the more ancient grains-like amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa.
Brown rice is also a safe grain

10. Cut out sugar and try to switch to honey and maple syrup.

10. Most importantly-I'm trying to find local, responsibly raised foods. Again-another post in itself.


I am far from where I want to be, but I do like knowing where I'm going. It helps me to make little choices every day that lead in that direction. And it helps when I get frustrated or overwhelmed-to keep on chugging.

This is ridiculous long, but I wanted to share what I've learned in the last 6 months. Hopefully I'll post more as I learn more. :)