There is nothing more frightening than to begin experiencing unfamiliar disease symptoms that your conventional doctor is having a hard time understanding, and is therefore unable to give you a proper diagnosis for. Especially when these symptoms are a combination of neurological and physical issues. Autoimmune diseases have become so prevalent and are some of the hardest to pinpoint because the symptom checklist is so long and varies from person to person. They are also some of the most fear-inducing as they can creep along for years with few symptoms while wrecking complete havoc within our bodies, only to leave us in a state of emergency when symptoms begin to spontaneously appear and our health begins to decline at an alarmingly fast rate. My monthly migraines also bring me a certain amount of fear. What caused me to start getting migraines 7 years ago? Why do I get them twice a month, on the dot? Migraines are another illness that are so poorly understood, and as a result, have no “cure”. The migraine sufferers I know, tend to simply pop pills, and ingest high amounts of caffeine in a desperate attempt to make the pain go away, but usually with little success.
So what are we to do? Sit back and wait for our doctors to solve our problems for us? Allow them to pump our bodies with toxic chemicals hoping that these chemicals will get rid of said disease?
With all the frightening statistics presently coming out about how ineffective the medical industry is at healing our sick, it may be time for us to make a big shift with regards to how we view our health. Perhaps it is time we empower ourselves by taking our health and wellness into our own hands. You may be wondering how? How could we possibly be able to take better care of ourselves and better heal ourselves than doctors with medical degrees? Therein lies the faulty thinking.
One of the reasons we have become such a sick society, rampant with disease is that we have lost touch with our bodies. Not only do we not afford our bodies the nutrients it requires to keep us healthy, but we have also stopped listening to its innate wisdom. When we find ourselves gassy and bloated after dinner, we don’t stop and ask ourselves why? Was there something in that meal that doesn’t agree with me, and why? Instead, we reach for the tums and go on with our evening, only to then continue to include the offender in our next meal.
Gas, bloating, skin rashes, acne, under eye circles, cavities, headaches, migraines, itchy skin, dandruff, cellulite, back pain, arthritis – these are just a few of our bodies’ alarm signals that something is wrong – signals that are trying tell us that our bodies have lost their internal balance, and it is time to start paying attention to what we are feeding ourselves, and what toxins we are exposing ourselves to. Why wait until the cancer diagnosis? We have become so accustomed to pressing the “snooze” button on our internal wellness alarm and reaching for the first pill that will get rid of the symptoms, that we have forgotten that while our bodies are incredibly complex, with the right resources – they are quite easy to understand.
The good news is that our bodies have an incredible ability to heal themselves and below, I will provide you with a few guidelines you can use if you choose to begin your healing journey with a nourishing diet.
My interest in these topics started three years ago when I was told by my dentist that I had 5 cavities. I went home that day completely confused about how I could be following what is considered these days to be an incredibly healthy diet, only to still find out I had cavities, and that many! They were my very first cavities.
Upon doing a lot of research, I finally discovered Weston Price, and his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. He was the second person, after Hippocrates, to make the connection between diet and health. I truly recommend you buying the book and reading it as it is completely eye opening, and the facts are undeniable. It is the result of 10 years of traveling around the world, taking detailed notes and investigating an incredibly diverse sample of populations.
After reading this book, I gave up my vegetarian diet in favor of pasture raised meats, and within weeks my teeth had started healing naturally. I didn’t have the money to afford the fillings at the time, and after doing all my research, and reading Ramiel Nagel’s book Cure Tooth Decay (silly title but the best book on the subject), I was convinced that the best thing I could do for myself was to try and remineralize my teeth myself. Two years later, I am ecstatic to share: no more cavities!
While I started feeling better than I had in years after re-introducing healthy protein into my diet, cutting out all soy, cutting out processed foods, cutting out sugar, and introducing fermented foods into my diet, many of my health issues persisted. I still have two migraines a month, I still have really painful monthly cramps, and I still have cellulite, which is trapped toxins your body packs away because it is unable to deal with it due to an immense toxic load.
Upon doing even more research, I came upon Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book, GAPS: Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Reading her explanation of the connection between poor health and gut bacteria made so much sense I haven’t looked back. I finally understood why despite having changed my diet so dramatically, I was still not seeing the results I was hoping to see. You see, the average human body has been so assaulted by antibiotics, toxins, and processed foods, that it suffers from leaky gut, which means that our guts are so devoid of healthy gut bacteria, it has zero capabilities to absorb any of the nutrients from our diets. I also learned that 90% of our immune system resides in our gut, which really sheds light on why an unhealthy gut precedes all illness.
Millions of people have been healed from all sorts of diseases by following Natasha’s GAPS protocol, which is very similar to the paleo diet, but puts a much larger emphasis on meat broths, as our ultimate weapon in regaining our health. All disease originates with poor nutrition. Genetic predispositions do exist, but they are simply a result of multiple generations of poor diet. Unhealthy guts are passed on from mother to child.
I’m not going to comment on vegetarian versus non- vegetarian diet only because it is a very personal choice. In her book, Natasha does a great job of explaining the effect of both diets on healing. That said, only you can know what is right for you.
What I will say is this: when I recommend, in any of my posts, using meat and animal products to heal oneself, please understand that I NEVER in any way support the purchase of conventional feed-lot tortured meat, milk, butter etc. Not only are these animals fed a toxic diet of gmo grain and antibiotics, but I strongly believe that to ingest tortured meat is to ingest violence, and I will take no part in this. The only animal products I ever advocate eating are ones that come from small organic local farms whose farmers you know, and hopefully whose animals you have met, and whose animals are pastured and treated with the respect and care they deserve. When I eat out, unless I know and approve of the farm the meat is coming from, I eat vegetarian. If I didn’t have access to the amazing pastured meats I eat from the incredible farm down the road from me, I would be vegetarian. So please, don’t ever use my words and recommendations as justification for buying tortured animal products – not only is there zero health benefit, but you are also continuing to perpetrate one of the most violent industries alive today.
For those of you living in the triangle area of North Carolina, here is the farm I get my animal products from: New Pasture Farm. I highly recommend them. It took me a long time to find a farm I could truly stand behind and I can say in pure conscience that these people cut absolutely no corners and are not in it for the money. Their commitment really comes through in the quality of their products and their affordable prices. What a blessing that farmers like these exist!
Below you will find a list of both healing foods to include in your diet, and of toxic foods to avoid at all costs. This list was created from three years of research and personal testing on my own body. That said, never follow anything I or anyone else says blindly. Read about it, then try it and see if it works for you.
If you were to only incorporate one of these healing foods into your diet, let it be bone broths. Bone broths are quite possibly the most healing food that exist. Filled with nutrients, minerals, bone broth will heal your gut, heal your joints, give you more energy, heal your cavities, make your skin and hair glow, thicken your hair, and boost your immune system like nothing else. It is the stuff that dreams are made of. Dreams of health and vigor that is. Please note that bone broths are only a superfood if they are homemade with pastured grass fed organic happy bones. It is important to remember that store bought broths are filled with MSG (hiding under the names: chicken/beef flavor, yeast, yeast extract, natural flavors) and therefore do not have any of the above health benefits. Thankfully, bone broths are incredibly easy to make, and while they do need to be left to simmer for many hours, the preparation only takes a mere 5-15 minutes. One big batch can easily last a week and can be used as the base for a myriad of meals.
How to Make Bone Broth
Bone Broth for Health Building
Supplements are a tricky issue. The mere fact that supplements exist nowadays is a clear sign of how poor our diets have become. Humans like all other beings were meant to derive all their bodies’ needs from their food. But because of the influx of all the fake and processed foods now so readily available, nutrient dense foods have become a rarity, forcing us to need supplements to ensure our bodies are getting their required nutrients. What no one is telling you thou, is that most supplements are made of a synthetic version of the real thing, instead of being derived from a real food source. Because of this, our bodies are unable to identify said synthetic supplement and instead of using it, our bodies end up peeing it out. A good example of this is Vitamin C which I explain in detail below. The best way to ensure your body is getting the minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients it needs, is by eating whole nutrient dense foods. That said, our bodies have become so starved of essential nutrients for so many years that as you begin your healing journey, supplements may be necessary to help kickstart the process while you get your nourishing diet together. If this is the case then I recommend Radiant Life as all of their vitamins and supplements are derived from organic whole foods rather than being synthetic substitutes our bodies do not recognize.
Toxins Hidden in Vitamin Supplements
Energy Bars and Protein Shakes
As someone who loves to eat good food, I’ve never understood the appeal of energy bars and protein shakes. They have always tasted strangely chemically to me, and have always left me dissatisfied. That said, in today’s world, the Meal Replacer industry has become a multi-million dollar machine, and I believe that this too is evidence of how far we have separated ourselves from nature, and our roots.
The Problem with Protein Powders
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another one of nature’s wonder foods. But there is a catch – it has to be raw, unpasteurized, with the “mother” intact. We use Braggs’ ACV because it is of such high quality and available at our local coop. A lot of people incorporate it into their diet by adding to a hot cup of water with a little honey, and drinking it as tea. Others take a shot of it followed by a chaser of some sort. Just remember to only ingest ACV on a full stomach or else you might be in for an unpleasant surprise. Below you will find a couple articles listing all the health benefits of ACV.
Eggs are a miracle food. Safe within the confines of its tough exterior lies nature’s perfect food. Just like our society’s aversion to fat, people have become terrified of cholesterol, and I still see so many people avoid egg yolks at all cost. The sad truth is that when people deprive themselves of the yolk, they are depriving themselves of the majority of the egg’s nutritional content, of its healing powers. Egg yolks are filled with powerful enzymes, essential amino acids, fatty acids and minerals. P.S. if you are paying less than 5 dollars for a dozen eggs then you can be assured that those eggs did not come from happy chickens. The only exception is if they were from a friend who cut you a deal from the goodness of his/her heart.
How to Buy Eggs
Not all sugar is created equal, which is the most important fact to remember about sugar. Since their introduction in 2008, Monsanto’s GMO beets now make up almost 95% of the beet sugar market. I quote Sarah Pope from her blog, The Healthy Home Economist: “The bottom line is that any product you buy that says “sugar” or “sucrose” is almost certainly at least partially if not completely GMO beet sugar unless it is certified organic or labeled as 100% cane sugar.”
So why is this a big deal? Why care if our sugar is GMO or not? Let me quote Sarah Pope again:
“Besides the completely unknown effects of consuming GMOs which have never been adequately tested, the activist organization Citizens for Health reports that GMO sugar beets in the food supply are of particular concern because the sugar is extracted from the beet’s root rather than the part of the plant growing above the ground with the result being more glyphosate pesticide residues in the sugar.
Another problem is that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to increase the allowable levels of glyphosate on sugar beet roots, seemingly ad infinitum as superweed resistance continues to grow.
Inexplicably, the EPA continues to allow ever higher levels of glyphosate on GMO crops despite the release of a study showing that glyphosate inhibits the growth of beneficial gut bacteria in humans and leads to the overgrowth of pathogenic intestinal bacteria resulting in a slow, insidious increase in systemic inflammation over months and years.”
Ok, so now you know to be incredibly careful of your sugar source. But since this blog is all about healing, I am going to have to mention that even wholesome real organic pure sugar sources, such as raw local honey and maple syrup, are not going to be particularly helpful to you if you are trying to heal your gut.
To a healthy balanced body, these sugars, are fantastically nutrient dense foods. That said, what presently makes sugar so toxic is the state of our health. Find me a person with an undamaged healthy balanced body who was reared by a mother with a pristine gut and immune system, and who has been fed only nutrient dense foods his/her whole life. It simply doesn’t exist anymore, safe for those still living outside the confines of modernization, which we have equated with civilization. When our bodies are sickly, sugar is in fact the enemy and the easiest way to explain this is using the example of cancer. Numerous studies have come out on the effect of sugar on tumors, namely that sugar feeds tumors. Holistic doctors are quick to recommend their cancer patients avoid sugar at all costs, including “innocent” sugars from fruit. In a sickly body, sugar produces inflammation, feeds tumors, feeds candida, and degenerates ones health rapidly. As news of the toxicity of sugar has spread, sugar substitutes have popped up, the most recent one being xylitol. If naturally derived sugars like maple syrup and honey have adverse effects on our sickly bodies, then how on earth can one expect artificially derived sugars to be good for us? This train of thought always stumps me leaving me completely bewildered. If you are looking for a sweetener to use in moderation, then pick between raw unfiltered local honey, organic all-natural maple syrup (the real stuff that costs a lot), blackstrap molasses, or stevia (but only the fresh or dried herb, not the processed varieties found in most stores). Lastly, a note on honey: news has recently spread of the big honey deceit. Apparently the majority of jars labeled “honey” being sold in grocery stores contain a bare minimum of real honey, and are pumped with high fructose syrup as “filler”. Shocking? Absolutely. But knowing what our food industry has become, not really. See article below to learn more about the big honey deceit. Not even honey labeled as organic is immune to this phenomenon.
Natural Sodas Made with GMO Sugars Scams Consumers
Understanding the World of Sweets
Cutting through the Hype and Deception of Sugar
Fat Fat Fat
Whoever started perpetuating the myth that fat is evil and needs to be avoided at all costs was either senile, had an unkind ulterior motive, or was plain ignorant. Either way, one of the greatest nutritional tragedies of our time is how afraid we have all become of fat. So afraid that we stuff our grocery carts, fridges and cabinets with low-fat and fat-free items that ultimately end up contributing to our continued ill health and/or weight gain. The truth is that our cell membranes, cell organelles, and hormones are all made of fat. When you dramatically reduce your fat intake, you are asking for health problems because you are depriving your body of the very building blocks it needs to heal itself. Unfortunately fat is one of the most poorly reported on subjects, so when reading up about fat, it is important to trust your source. Below you will find articles on fat that explain in detail, exactly why fat is so vital to our health, and why the best thing you can do if you are trying to lose weight is incorporate fat into your diet – not reduce it. There is one catch though. The fat has to be a “good” fat. To understand the difference between good and bad fats, see the section below.
Know Your Fats
The Skinny on Fats
Wen we buy our meat, we tend to associate quality of meat with the image we have of the store we are buying it from. We think, I am buying my meat from Whole Foods, so it must be organic and ethical meat. Think again. While these meats tend to be labeled organic and/or grass-fed, they are incredibly deceiving with regards to what they don’t mention. There are just so many ways for farmers to cut corners, but by smart labeling, and using key words, such as “grass-fed” they are easily able to con you into thinking that their meat is in fact, pure.
For those of you who do include animal products in their diet, I am sharing with you a couple emails I recently received from Niti Bali, owner of Farm to Fork Meat, written in conjunction with Cindy Rover, owner of New Pasture Farm. If you eat meat, these are must-reads. Moreover if you are interested in reading about a woman and organization really making a difference, please click on her site:
Farm to Fork Meat
The following is credited to Niti Bali of Farm to Fork Meat:
“ALL GRASS FED BEEF IS NOT EQUAL.
KNOW YOUR FACTS.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR GRASS FED BEEF FARMER.
Is it 100% grass fed?
Is it 100% grass finished?
Is it 100% grain free?
Is it 100% pharmaceutical free? (antibiotics, growth hormones, dewormers)
Ask about their deworming protocol.
Ask about parasite management.
Ask about the LIVE grass ~ did you know that grass can be GMO?
What species of grass make up their pastures (salad bar)? Are they getting nutrition? To what standard?
How healthy is the grass?
How do they feed the grass?
Ask about soil health. Did you know that the soil delivers the nutrition?
Are there live microbes and bugs under the soil or has it been sterilized by petrochemical fertilizers?
If the soil has been sterilized there is minimal nutrition in the grass therefore starving your beeves of nutrition, and therefore starving YOU of nutrient dense beef.
What are they putting on the grass?
Fertilizers using chicken feces from factory farm houses include high concentrations of arsenic & antibiotics from the chicken feed which is fed to the grass, which feed the beeves, which FEED YOU.
Pharmaceutical fertilizers kill the microbes in the soil which means EVERYTHING in the soil is dead including worms and other bugs which feed the grass, which feed the beeves, which FEED YOU.
Did you know that the production of fertilizer for feed crops can emit 41 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year?
Are their pastures sprayed with government subsidized sludge fertilizer which is distributed for free and applied to the pasture for the farmer for FREE by the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality and permitted by NC State law following EPA guidelines?
*Farmers are not told of the myriad toxic substances and pathogens found in sewage sludge (such as chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, meth amphetamines and other street drugs, viruses, bacteria, etc.) and your beef is eating it and so are you!
Ask about the supplemental, stored grass (hay). Did you know that alfalfa grass is GMO?
Did they buy the hay or grow the hay?
If they bought the hay, please return to the top of the board and ask those questions again about the hay.
*Did you know that alfalfa is the main species of grass made into hay that is fed to milk cows which is transferred into the milk which means you are drinking round up? This occurs in most cases where the farmer states the milk cows are 100% grass fed.
Why do you think ORGANIC CHICKEN is SAFE and sustainable?
Organic chicken is neither safe nor sustainable.
In fact it is as toxic as its conventional counterpart.
· Did you know that organic chicken is still raised in a CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation)?
· Did you know that organic chicken is raised in houses and never sees the light of day?
· Did you know that organic chicken is riddled with disease from the stress of never getting sunshine or clean air?
· Did you know that when you put animals in houses you are also putting their feces and urine in that house?
· Do you know what it feels like to breathe in a house filled with ammonia from 20 thousand birds?
· Did you know that although the organic chicken may NOT have been given antibiotics or artificial growth hormones the stress hormones their bodies are filled with are enough to make their meat toxic for human consumption?
· Did you know that organic chickens are fed arsenic?
· Did you know that arsenic is a heavy metal that will help you SLOWLY get sick and die?
· Did you know that chickens, just like human beings, are NOT VEGETARIANS?
· Did you know that when an omnivore is forced to be a vegetarian that their health is compromised as well as their fertility?
· Did you know that when organic chickens go to the slaughter house they are in kidney, liver and renal failure?
· Did you know that conventional chicken is given antibiotics, artificial growth stimulants and GMO feed so that when you eat out anywhere the chicken is the worst quality meat you can offer your children?
· Did you know that organic chickens are also eating SOY feed?
· Did you know that SOY is a hormone disruptor and a tumor grower?
· Did you know that organic does not mean SOY FREE?
· Did you know when you eat animals that eat GMO feed that the Round Up in that feed ends up in the meat tissues and is passed on to you and your children’s tissue?
· Did you know that turkeys are also raised in the same way as chicken in houses?
· Did you know that raising turkeys in houses is even worse on those animals since they are BIGGER and more fragile?
· Did you know that turkey bacon, ground turkey, turkey burgers, turkey dogs, turkey ANYTHING from CAFOs are absolutely one of the most unsustainable non-nutritive protein choices you can make?
· WHO CARES about nitrates when the animal is so toxic already? Just eat high foraged poultry!
· WHO CARES how the animal is killed or butchered or how many times it was dipped in bleach or irradiated to kill bacteria when its entire life was so toxic? Eat high foraged soy & GMO free poultry.
· WHO CARES about the ingredients in turkey dogs or chicken sausages when they are raised in houses and never see the light of day so they are depleted of all nourishment and so toxic from the stress of their pathetic lives trapped in houses? Eat GMO & soy free high foraged hogs or mob grazed beef!
· Eat healthy, happy, thriving birds that forage on bugs and other non-vegetarian fare while they bask in sunshine with clean water and air with GMO FREE feed in their feed troughs. Take responsibility for providing high quality, nutrient dense food which is medicine for your family.”
The salt you use is vitally important. Salt is incredibly nourishing if it still contains all its minerals. The best on the market right now is Celtic Sea Salt.
Choosing Healthy Salt
Low Salt Diets are Deadly
Unless your spices and herbs are organic, they have been irradiated, which not only strips them of their nutrients, but also makes them carcinogenic.
If you are going to drink fruit juices, make sure they are fresh squeezed at home because almost all store bought juices have been pasteurized which destroys all the nutrients, and they ate not required by the FDA to disclose any added sugar. They can still label their product 100% natural and no sugar added, as long as the sugar they are adding is fructose, which people think is ok because it is derived from fruit.
A Better Way to Drink your OJ
Fruit Juice Sugars
Vegetarian Meat Substitutes
Stay away from all vegetarian meat substitutes as they all contain a ridiculous amount of MSG. Just read the label to see for yourself. Meat substitutes are a very processed food. If you are craving a veggie burger, make a homemade one with real food ingredients!
Veggie Burgers and MSG
Think Twice Before Buying this Type of Burger
MSG is being printed under a variety of misleading labels these days: yeast, yeast extract, autolized yeast extract and natural flavors are all an indication that MSG is present. Always check labels before buying anything. Better yet, don’t buy or eat foods that are so processed they require labels. The following foods tend to always have hidden MSG: bouillon cubes, store-bought broth or stock, all meat-substitutes, frozen pizzas, frozen dinners and flavored chips and crackers.
Sneaky names for MSG
Hidden sources of MSG
One of the most useful supplements you can take to strengthen your immune system is Vitamin C, but be careful, most Vitamin C supplements are made of ascorbic acid, which is a synthetic Vitamin C that our bodies don’t recognize. The best source for any supplement is one that uses real foods to create it, and the only company I know that does this is Radiant Life, an incredibly company worth supporting. We use their Vitamin C.
Radiant Life Catalog
Is your vitamin C the real deal?
Fermented drinks are an easy way to give your body a healthy dose of probiotics. Choose from a long list of options, such as Kombucha, beet kvass, milk kefir, and water kefir. In our home, we start our day off with a homemade raw milk kefir smoothie that includes coconut oil, bananas, berries, diatomaceous earth, and vitamin C (from Radiant Life).
Extra virgin olive oil is incredibly nutritious but it is an unstable oil, so never heat it, or cook with it. See articles on healthy fats below.
Know your fats, as they will become your bestest friend on your journey toward wellness. Good fats: pastured butter, ghee, lard, tallow, extra virgin coconut oil, sesame oil, extra virgin olive oil.
Why I eat plenty of butter
For the most comprehensive resource on fats, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this short book – it is an absolute goldmine: Get your fats straight
Stay away from all store-bought cereals, even the all natural ones. Store-bought cereals are incredibly processed, and the majority are made from GMO grain.
Boxed breakfast cereal is toxic
Ever wonder why dairy allergies have grown rampant? We were never meant to ingest pasteurized dairy products. Stay away from all pasteurized dairy unless it is fermented, like yogurt or sour cream. Dairy is incredibly nourishing, but only organic raw pastured dairy. When people/websites/USDA try and convince you that raw milk is dangerous, please remember that pasteurization is a multi-billion dollar industry so it is in the government’s interest to push the benefits of pasteurization.
Powerpoint presentation on real milk
Fresh unprocessed real whole milk
Key documents on raw milk
Stay away from TVP. It is not only the most processed food ever made, but it is also filled with ridiculous amounts of heavy metals, even if organic, and has absolutely zero nutrients.
All about TVP
What to know before you eat TVP
A word about cost – if you do decide to go the real food route, you will find that this food comes at a higher cost. You may think you cannot afford it, and the reality is, you may not be able to. But it is important to remember that this kind of food is so healing that when you look at the costs, you must take into account all the money you regularly put towards health insurance, doctor visits, rounds of antibiotics, over the counter cough syrup, ibuprofen, vitamins, emergen-C, anti-histamines, etc. What is the monthly cost of your sickly health? When you buy real food, you are not only buying food, you are buying medicine. You are also paying higher prices for products from happy respected and loved animals, so you are buying with a clean conscience, which I personally find priceless.
One of the best parts about eating a real foods diet, is that you indirectly end up supporting the right people – the farmers working hard to protect our planet and food system, the farmers treating their animals with love, instead of the corporations wreaking havoc on our lives and bodies. By choosing to eat a nutrient dense diet, you are indirectly voting for just healthy world with your hard-earned dollars.
I tend to spend a large amount of my paycheck on my food, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not only do I see it as a long-term investment in my health, I also see it as an act of self-love which is very empowering. It doesn’t hurt that I am a huge gourmet and cook, and love to regale myself with delicious meals made from scratch in my own kitchen. I suppose that might be the French in me coming out…or even perhaps my Indian roots. Either way, one thing I am sure of is that I love good food, and there is no more delectable food than Real food.
I think that’s a good place to end this ridiculously long post!
Much love to all of you.