EAT REAL FOOD

Enlighten Your Body, Mind, and Soul


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Grounding Earth

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How is possible that two cold bodies become warm when embraced?  Why is it we are drawn to touching massive, old growth trees?  How come it feels so invigorating to take our shoes off and connect with the Earth?  Why does wading in the ocean’s saline waters rejuvenate our souls?

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We are all electricity.  Every breathing human, animal, and plant.  Every rock, element, particle.  We are All connected in this way.  Even when our bodies die, the energy is transferred to something or someone else.

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A Friend of mine inspired me with his knowledge of flora, admiration of trees, and love of Sea Life and ice plants.  During our walks, he would regularly stop to study large fallen Maple leaves, palm the thick bark of a majestic ancient pine, or gently whisp the delicate leaves of a beautiful rainbow maple tree.  I remember how he slowed me down to appreciate the magic of simplicity.  He also spoke of grounding, letting the sun hit his face, and connecting spiritually.  I recall feeling recharged during these times.

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I recently checked out the book “Earthing” and read it during an excursion to the Oregon coast.  The book explains how becoming balanced with earth’s electrical field by touching ground heals disease, improves mood, and increases overall health.  As the book suggested, I spent the majority of my time barefoot with my feet in the sand, which is what I have always naturally been inclined to do at the beach. 
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During this time of grounding, there was no stress or pain.  The children lost track of time and dug through the sand, waded in the healing waters, while the sun warmed our bodies.

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I take with me some vivid memories, and intent to ground with earth everyday regardless of time, duties, or excuses.

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Namaste………………………….

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Make Your Own Backyard Bitters

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In my previous post about Bitters , I mentioned all the benefits of these wonderful medicines. If you have your own herbs and “weeds”, you can brew up your own magical elixirs.

Yesterday, I scavenged the forest and the winter Herb Garden to Wildcraft some homemade Bitters. Following Rosemary Gladstone’s recipe, I gathered the following bitter food ingredients: Unfiltered Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, dried Licorice root, Golden and Italian Oregano, Cayenne Pepper, Thyme, Sage, fragrant Rosemary, Lemon Balm, cleaned Dandelion roots, fresh Peppermint, scraped and washed Oregon Grape roots, Orange peel, Lemon peel, and Grapefruit Peel. I finely minced the ingredients and submerged them under 2 inches of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar to start the anaerobic tincture process.

The sealed, clear glass jar will sit on the window sill for 4-6 weeks, while I shake it daily to help the enzymes extract the properties from the plants. Afterwards, I will strain the liquid into dark glass bottles, to prevent oxidation for up to 1 year. These Bitters can be taken daily, with each meal for optimum digestion, nutrition, and overall health.


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Recipe for Healing Within

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Sometimes skies are grey, life seems dull,  and we feel lost.  We cannot always control external factors, so we must look within.  We can focus on nourishing our bodies, to support our minds, heal our hearts, and lift our souls.

Realize the majority of your body is inhabited by non human cells including bacteria and yeast. Stress,  sugar,  processed foods,  and other unhealthy lifestyle choices disrupt healthy flora equilibrium.  When this happens, opportunistic candida colonizes sending signals to all parts of your body in forms of unhealthy cravings and negative thoughts, leading to fatigue and depression.

Drinking more water,  resting,  yoga, positive meditation,  nature and good company are great ways to combat these invaders.  When that’s not enough, send in the troops by with one of the most probiotic rich medicines ever known…. Sauerkraut! . Here’s a basic recipe from Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions”,  one of my favorite cookbooks.

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Organic cabbage is local to the Pacific Northwest in winter,  so load up!

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I skip the whey (I am lactose intolerant) so I make up with mineral rich sea salts.

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Sampling to ensure it tastes perfect before smashing in a gallon jar.

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The salt releases the enzymes and lactobacillus proliferates in the firmly packed,  dark anaerobic environment for a week or longer before consumption and refrigeration.

A fork full a day keeps the bad bugs away!  Namaste


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Be Thankful and Share the Wealth

Did you have a beautiful bumper crop this year?

My Raised Beds

After the months of planning, tilling, sowing, watering, and weeding your body deserves to be nourished!

Artichoke

Freezing, drying, and canning are great ways to eat your home grown bounty all year round.

Dinosaur Kale

The truth is, some foods are even more nutritious when canned or cooked.

Devils Blood Beets

Devils Blood Beets

The book “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson explains how.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

This book is part of my library, and discusses what type to grow or buy, when to harvest, and how to prepare fruits and vegetables.

Pumpkins in the Carrot Bed

Pumpkins in the Carrot Bed

Another idea is to share the fruits of my labor with friends, family, or people who care for you (like your wonderful Yoga instructors!).

Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers

You can also have your family over and have grain free garden spaghetti with tomatoes, garlic, onions, kale, oregano, and squash from your garden.

Purple Sage

Purple Sage

At the end of summer, give thanks and be thankful and enjoy your wonderful bounty.

Rainbow Chard

Rainbow Chard

Just like savasana, rest, breathe, and appreciate all the hard work you have put into your garden.

Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne Peppers

After relaxing, gather your seeds, mulch, and plant your winter crop.  The journey continues……………….


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Going Against the Grain

Have you ever notice that almost every food that comes in a package includes some grain?  Who would expect tea, lunchmeat, mustard, baking powder, dog food, or even envelopes to contain grain?  Ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, hydrolyzed wheat protein, modified food starch, MSG, vegetable gum, maltose, artificial or natural flavors, etc… the list goes on and on.  Wheat is more addictive than sugar, and processed food manufacturers know it.  Modified grain crops are bred to be resistant to pests and sprays, more compact to produce more kernels, and require little space to grow.  So, it’s a profitable industry.

Humans have been primarily hunters and gatherers for the majority of their couple hundred thousand years existence.  Wild grains were not abundant until the agricultural era.  Even then, the tall wheat and small corn cobs produced were incomparable to today’s genetically modified super grains.  Wheat stalks are half the height, to produce more grain and less stem.  The couple rows of kernels on corn cobs that Native Americans grew are multiplied several times, with large, sugary kernels.  These changes produce more calories to feed the human masses, our vehicles, and even livestock – why aren’t we feeding them grass?.

In a time of growing Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Neurological, and Behavioral issues, it’s obvious there’s something very wrong with what’s going in.  Children with Autism and other behavioral issues show significant improvement with removing grain-given gluten from their diets.  People with diabetes are discouraged from eating glucose-spiking breads and pastas.  There is a link between obesity and the modern diseases that have come about in the last century (Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Autism, Diabetes, Heart Disease, etc.) Weston A. Price offers a valuable insight to the demise of American health after the reign of grains in The Oiling of America.  Not only have grains become a staple of the American diet, but the  transition from an unprocessed animal and plant-based diet to a genetically modified, highly processed diet has happened within a very short period of time in human evolution.  Humans have not had time to adapt to the pesticide laden, genetically modified Standard American Diet.

Most bodies do not respond well to the inflammatory doses of gliadin / gluten.  If you are suffering from conditions such as Psoriasis, Excema, Acne, Acid Reflux, Bloating, Colitis, Diverticulitis, Anxiety, Depression, Allergies, or Fatigue, consider taking a break from grain for a couple weeks.  Start a food journal and note physical and mental changes.  Make sure to include other fibers such as dark, leafy greens and low sugar foods.  To satiate your appetite, include healthy fats such as coconut, olive, and/or avocado oils.  Grass fed animal products will provide muscle-building proteins and healthy Omega 3’s.  As always, eat a colorful, fresh, unprocessed diet. You may notice a die-off of all the sugary starch dependant yeasts.  Your Bristol Stool Form Scale may become more shapely and more frequent.  After a few weeks, you should feel more energized and light and be more beautiful.

For more information, you can read the following books: Against All Grains, Grain Brain, Practical Paleo, and Wheat Belly.

Every Body is different, and it is everyone’s responsibility to listen to their own signals.  Part of the healing process includes some discomfort.  Any time you make a dietary change, it is advisable to consult a Professional.


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Eat Right For Your BioIndividual Type

Eat Right For Your Type

Eat Right For Your Type

Perhaps you have heard of the popular Dr. D’Adamo’s Eat Right For Your Type book?  The diet plan is based on one of four blood types O, A, B, or AB, differentiating how particular foods will either act as medicine, nourishment, or poison.  It details how different blood types benefit from a variety of exercises.  The author explains that blood type determines personality traits, a largely followed belief in Japan.  Additionally, the book lays out which diseases each blood type is more predisposed to.

The book details how humans have unique chemical markers called antigens that can identify foreign substances that enter the body. One of the most powerful antigens in the body is the one that determines blood type O, A, B, AB.  The different blood type antigens are so sensitive, that they are the immune systems’ best defense.  Because the blood types are made up specific sugars, they have antibodies to foreign sugars. This is where diet comes into play. A chemical reaction occurs between the blood and the foods consumed. This is due to a factor called lectins. Lectins are abundant and diverse proteins found in the foods we eat. These lectins have agglutinative properties that affect the blood. The basis of the blood type diet is that when you eat foods containing protein lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen, the lectins will target an organ or bodily system and begin to agglutinate cells in that area. For example, milk has B-like qualities. So, if a person with Type A blood drinks milk, his/her system will immediately begin the agglutination process in order to reject it. Lectins that are incompatible with the person’s blood type act as a glue, drawing in all cells in the region. These cells work actively to destroy the protein, but the results of this agglutination can include irritable bowel syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney problems, digestive problems, a slowing of the rate of food metabolism, allergies, depression, fatigue, and along with several other etc.

In modern society, most “foods” are processed and lumped together into a convenient, age-proof package.  One packaged item might contain 30 or more ingredients.  Rarely do we take the time to smell, taste, and decide if a food is safe or healthy to eat.  And, it is difficult to do so unless foods are in their basic, simple form.  So, this program works best with raw or lightly prepared whole foods.  When following the dietary guidelines in the program, it is important to really listen to your body, paying particular attention to the beneficial and avoid foods.  Allergic symptoms such as itching, tiredness, bloating, and bowel dysfunction should be documented when eating foods you should avoid.  Feelings of energy, improved mood, skin quality, and overall health should also be recorded when eating beneficial foods.

Here’s my personal perspective on D’Adamo’s Blood Type Diet:

As a former vegetarian, I realized that my mental clarity was suffering quite a bit.  My skin was inflamed, and my energy was low.  After reading this book, I found that as a blood type O, I was made to eat meat.  The heavy influence of wheat, soy, corn, and dairy in my meatless diet had been causing inflammation, slowly draining my vitality.  I also realized why I was am so unhappy sitting at work.  The constant need for movement and exertion makes sense for my active type.  While I truly love the meditative qualities of yoga, I gravitate more towards intense Hot Bikram style.  And while I enjoy a brisk walk through the woods, I now understand why I often have the urge to take off and run.  My tendencies to lead, rather than follow, and to do things on my own rather than a community aligns with the nature of my blood type.  I accept and am proud to be an O type.

I always wondered why my children gravitated towards cheese over meat.  Why couldn’t I get them to eat baked chicken?  They are AB types, and while dairy products are very beneficial to them, chicken is toxic.  It was a struggle to make meals in a diverse blood household at first, but I have found we can all eat Mozzarella, turkey, kale, apples, lemons, Ezekiel bread, pineapples, almond butter, quinoa, and much more.  I realize now that we should not force our children to eat foods they do not like.  They may actually still be in tune with their bodies!

On the other hand, one of my siblings is also an O type, and suffers allergic reactions to oranges and guacamole.  I don’t have the same reaction.  After reading Dr. D’Adamo’s other books, it is possible these “O avoid” foods are acceptable for me.  Not all O’s are the same.  Dr. D’Adamo’s additional books like “Live Right For Your Type”, broadens the diet based on secretor status, and “Change Your Genetic Destiny” which further broadens the diet based on GenoTypes (genetic survival strategies that predate ethnicity and race and correspond to such external traits as body type, jaw shape and teeth patterns).  The first book “Eat Right For Your Type”  errs on the side of caution by limiting any foods that could be negative for any particular blood type, but still provides a plethora of dietary choices.  Both of the supplemental readings require a nominal cost for testing supplies, but can be considered money well spent as preventative health.  They also provide greater flexibility in the diet.  The local library or Amazon.com should have this literature available for little or no cost.

There may be disaster/survival situations or times one might find themselves at a family dinner or a restaurant where only processed avoid foods are available.  The fact is, if you eat the right foods 99% of the time, your body should have the ability to cope with these rare occasions.  When I eat wheat, I am very aware of psoriasis itching on the nape of my neck.  When I consume condensed milk, I feel the tingling on my tongue.  When I eat corn, I feels the over-acidity in my stomach.  When I consume sugar, I feel lethargic.  However; after 20 years of barring red meat from my diet, I am now enjoying the organic grass-fed beef that fuels my body with energy.  The leafy greens fill me with vigor.  My body is strong, my hair is long, and my skin is clean.  I personally have found this diet to be very informing, helping me to be more mindful and aware of what I am putting in my body.   And for that, I am thankful.

This blood type diet should really be a guideline, not a bible.  It does not suggest that there are 4 types of people.  We are all bio-individuals.  Every individual should be very cognitive of the beneficial and avoid foods, and see how their body reacts.  Mindfulness is the key!


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Stomach Acid Is Good For You

Do you feel bloated, fatigued, or irritable?  Do you suffer from gas, heartburn, diarrhea, arthritis or constipation?  Do you have acne, allergies, weak fingernails, or dry skin?  If so, you may not be producing enough stomach acid.  The majority of Americans do not take the time to sit down long enough to chew their food thoroughly.

Stomach acid breaks food proteins into essential acids and nutrients.  It stimulates your pancreas to produce bile to emulsify your fats.  It prevents disease and illness by killing pathogenic bacteria before it enters the rest of your intestinal tract.  Stomach acid is absolutely necessary for optimal health, yet the multi-billion dollar antacid industry continues to devastate the health of the American population.

When you do not produce enough stomach acid, proteins are not digested, raising cortisol and blood sugar levels.  Over time, high cortisol levels can exhaust your adrenals (fight or flight organs), causing fatigue.  Undigested proteins can leak out of the intestines and are attacked by the body’s immune system, leading to auto-immune responses like arthritis, food allergies, and skin conditions.  When there is not enough stomach acid to digest food, it will not be released into the small intestine in a timely manner.  Instead, proteins putrefy in the stomach, causing gas, leading to reflux, and GI damage.  When we cannot properly absorb the vitamins and minerals our bodies crave and need, we have to eat more food causing weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

Any amount of acid going back up the esophagus is painful.  So when people experience heartburn, and indigestion, they often take antacids, suppressing the very stomach acid they need to properly digest their food.  Antacids are temporary relief, but over time, they worsen the cause of reflux, and cause all the problems mentioned in this article.  If you cannot digest your food, you will become sick and malnourished!

There are several easy ways to improve your digestion.  Taking the time to dine in a calm atmosphere will allow you to properly start the digestive process by salivating, and breaking down your carbohydrates.  Chew each mouthful 30 times, or until it becomes liquid.  Remember – Your stomach does not have teeth!   Drinking water with a lemon or non-filtered apple cider vinegar ½ hour before each meal helps promote stomach acid production.  Help build good gut-flora by eating whole plain yogurt or cultured vegetables like fermented sauerkraut and pickles.  Reduce or eliminate sugar, as it depletes mineral stores and causes immune-suppressing yeast overgrowth.  Avoid antacids and soft drinks that inhibit stomach acid production.  Eliminate processed foods, and eat whole, nutritious, foods the human body has evolved to eat.  If you are still seeing undigested food in your stool, you can purchase supplemental hydrochloric acid from your local nutrition center.

For more information, I recommend reading “Why Stomach Acid is Good For You” by Jonathan Wright.

Be well ☮