I have been a follower of Kelly's blog for several months now. So when she asked me to do a guest post on the topic of how I came to embrace traditional nutrition, I was happy to oblige.
You could say I was always a “health nut”.
My mom was into nutrition and health and always fed me a good diet. I believe I was 12 years old before I had a soft drink. I internalized that junk food and sugar was “bad”. I quickly made the connection between eating junk and feeling bad, because when I spent the night at a friend's house and ate candy, microwave sausage biscuits, and drank soda, I felt tired, moody and generally horrible.
In my late teens I experimented with vegetarianism.
I thought it was the “healthy” choice, like so many others do. I was only halfway informed. I was also convinced that dairy products were bad for everyone – due in part to the fact that milk gave me stomachaches. After a year as a vegetarian, I felt horrible. I developed a thyroid condition and food allergies. I did begin taking thyroid medication and resumed eating meat – both of which made me feel a lot better, but I was still plagued with chronic stomach issues.
It wasn't until years later when I was pregnant with my 3rd child that I read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
Even though I had always been a voracious reader on health, wellness, and natural medicine, this book made more sense to me – and aligned nicely with what I had noticed about my own body and health. One of the reasons I was so drawn to Dr. Weston A. Price's philosophy was because I was devastated that my second child had a mouth riddled with cavities. It made no sense to me. He had the same mother, the same diet, the same lifestyle as my first child, yet had to undergo oral surgery when just a toddler. It was very traumatic for me (though he seemed to do fine!). As I tried to figure out why, I came across the research of Dr. Price. I believe that my second child's extensive tooth decay came about as a result of my second stint with vegetarianism right around the time of his infancy. We were all eating soy products and lots of carbs – they were the so called “healthy” carbs that you find in health food stores – such as rice cakes, fruit juices, etc. My children are healthy and none of them have chronic health issues, but I think they were able to skate by because I breastfed them all for years.
By the time I was pregnant with my 3rd child I was drinking raw milk, several glasses a day, with no symptoms.
I loved it and so did my kids. My daughter was born at home weighing 10 pounds. I had no problems and no tearing. I believe this is due to the high quality fats I was consuming on a daily basis. Even though I get very ill during my pregnancies and stay nauseated the entire time, I was able to get enough fat and protein and it helped me feel better. I also had no issues with stretch marks during that or my next pregnancy, which I also believe is due to the nourishing qualities of high quality fats.
While I have had periods when I didn't “do” all of the principles of native nutrition fully, I now stick to the basics all of the time.
The soaking of grains has also been helpful to me. I'm allergic to wheat (which makes the diet a little easier since I can't eat it anyway) and somewhat sensitive to all grains. But when I soak my oats for example, I find that I digest them more easily and I can “go” all morning with a bowl of them and not get hungry. Unsoaked grains make me hypoglycemic.
I also love meat and am happy that I don't have to be apologetic about it. A day without bacon (or something cooked in bacon grease!) is like a day without sunshine!
My kids love raw cheese, beef jerky, sardines, sauerkraut – they eat all sorts of “weird” food. And you should see them devour a whole salmon! I'm fortunate to live in a large metropolitan area where I can get almost anything I want food wise without too much trouble.
Another benefit I notice of a native diet is that my children behave better and are calmer.
When they are eating lots of high quality protein, getting their daily dose of CLO and coconut oil and other fats, they seem more centered. They have more energy, better color in their faces, they get along (a little!) better and they sleep more soundly. The proof is in the raw milk pudding!