Humble Foodist

This is to be my 100th post in over a year of blogging here. That’s not a lot. I don’t have a lot of time to blog, so I try to make each and every post count. Blogging more regularly would mean more followers, more comments, more “attention.” But I’m not here for that. I’m here to share my experiences and what I learn with other people, with the hope it keeps me moving forward and that perhaps I can help someone else. That’s it.

I don’t pretend that I know everything about food, nutrition and health. There comes a point when you’ve read enough books, articles and personal stories, that you realize just how complex nutrition and health can be–and how very easily people are led astray.

I remember when I became suspicious of cow milk several years ago. I had read an article that suggested cow’s milk was only ever intended for baby cows. To support this idea is the fact that so many people struggle with digesting cow milk, and others suffer mental affects from the milk protein casein getting into the brain. After weaning or after a certain age in childhood, most people stop producing lactase, the enzyme needed to break down the sugar lactose that is found in milk. As if to confirm this idea, when I got pregnant, my stomach bloated very painfully every time I drank milk. Even later I noticed I got brain fog when I had a lot of dairy.

But no, I wasn’t convinced. Every time I heard someone insist that cow milk was only for baby cows, it just didn’t seem right to me. Maybe it was because I believed that before people started getting all “scientific” about food, when people used to eat food in a more natural state, when people had to use their wits and surroundings to even survive, that God was providing them with good food to eat–natural food–and that included milk.

Then I learned how terrible conventional dairy is and that there is a huge difference from it and raw, grassfed dairy from the right kind of cow. I also learned that gut health problems so common in today’s people makes digesting milk much more difficult than it would be in a healthy gut. I started to learn some of the history of milk, and rather than being a health problem, it actually saved entire civilizations! Throughout history, raw pastured milk from “old-fashioned” cows kept people alive and well. On top of that, my own health saw improvement after I added raw dairy into my diet. And yet, I’m not entirely sure it’s the best thing for my body. If there is anything I’ve learned, it’s to keep an open mind.

Last year, I happily made my little boy soaked porridge just the way it’s described in Nourishing Traditions, only to find out later that oats are super high in phytates and very low in phytase, meaning soaking did little to remove the phytates that block mineral absorption. Humbled by this lesson? Absolutely.

I put a lot of stock in traditional food wisdom (such as described by the Weston A Price Foundation) because to me, it makes more sense than anything else. Rather than contradicting, it seems to support my religion’s health code. It’s incredibly fascinating to read of how people learned to be healthy in ways we modern people would never think of. For example, one traditional group who lived too far from the sea to get enough iodine in their diet, learned to burn grass (a source of iodine) and add the ashes to their food. Another group, who had little to no access to carbohydrate foods, ate the thyroid of animals to support their own thyroid. Another group, who had few sources of vitamin C in the wintertime, learned that eating the adrenal glands of animals would prevent scurvy. All of these groups learned to eat extra “sacred” foods like seafood and organ meats when desiring to have children–foods that we now know are rich in nutrients like folic acid and selenium, which are very important in pregnancy. To me, thousands of years of accumulative traditional wisdom trumps any modern ideas we have about food.

But that doesn’t mean I think I can just eat a traditional diet and be perfectly healthy. There’s just too much that goes into our individual health.

Even if I may disagree with some diet philosophies, I really try to remain respectful of other types of diets. I’m not going to disagree that these diets work for other people. A recent visitor to my blog insisted that the only diet we should eat is a 100% raw diet, and I disagreed, pointing out Weston Price’s studies and the incredible wisdom of traditional peoples that I look to, and how I’ve been healing very well in the last year and a half. He told me that anyone would get better after ditching a “McDonald’s diet.” Which, of course, I was not eating before I started on traditional foods (I was eating as naturally as I knew how). I conceded that he may, in fact, be right about 100% raw food being the best way, but that I hadn’t yet been convinced. Hoping I had found someone who could help me learn more about eating raw meat, I quickly learned that he did not, in fact, eat raw meat because he was too paranoid. He couldn’t give me any resources for it, either. The only thing he managed to do was insult me and condemn traditional food wisdom, which he clearly knew nothing about. He had made up his mind about what diet was best, and that was that, no one else could possibly be right.

I don’t want to be like that guy. I don’t want to get so fixated on one idea that I cannot recognize truth when it is presented to me, or that I think everyone else around me is wrong. I’m really not so high and mighty as to think I know everything there is to know about eating right. I certainly do not want to be the kind of person that insults others for what they believe about food (they might know more than I do, for all I know!). And I do not want to be a hypocrite, preaching one thing yet doing another.

I might not promote traditional foods to the ends of my days, but for now, that’s what makes sense to me. Special healing diets like GAPS (the one I’m on) work for some, and not for others. Sometimes I find I do need to keep my enthusiasm in check, reminding myself I am here to share my journey and what I’ve learned, not to convert everyone to the same diet. My own diet is ever-evolving as it is.

I believe in trusting that God has provided what His children need, and that it can be found in nature. But I also believe that we need to use wisdom in our food choices, rather than just randomly eating natural foods and calling it good. I believe in respecting God’s creations by keeping the earth healthy and treating animals with kindness. I believe in showing gratitude for our food, and acknowledging that lives are taken when we eat meat–but also acknowledging that we may need to take these lives in order to be healthy. We are part of this world God created, not above it.

I believe that by being humble, we learn better. By being humble, we can find the abundance in our lives. Through humility, we will find the least resistance to finding good health and enjoying our lives to the fullest.

I hope what I share here benefits more than just me. Thinking I might help someone else is what keeps me blogging.

I can’t promise that I’ll always be right. But I do promise to be honest. And I’ll try, try, try to be humble about what I learn.

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6 thoughts on “Humble Foodist

  1. When everything gets too confusing and one gets overwhelmed by all of the literature on what and how to eat…. just look to the other species. They will be your best guide. There are millions of other species, from animals to plants to microbial beings that know just how to live proper on this third rock from the sun.
    They know how to eat, what to eat, when to eat, where to eat and even suprisingly, how much to eat (no other species is obese – not including pets who are forced into human habits). At the end of the day you will come to find that all the other species eat only raw, and drink water (after they get off the teet if they’re mammalian). All the other species are healthy as well – they all live to their ‘natural ends”. This again is with the exception of pets and the collateral damage man does to many other species by way of contaminating the soils, the water and the air with pollutants.
    For the other species, there is no back and forth as to what to eat. Each species figured that out at the outset of their species coming into being – and they never forgot. We humans forgot. We forgot what to eat, how to eat, how much to eat. We forgot how to give birth without having a team of twenty and thousands of dollars; we forgot how to breastfeed and for how long and now we need the WHO to tell us… Cash is now king and profit has skewed all sense memory of what humans should be doing proper.
    It’s not hypocritical to to make the case for raw food while speaking against farm animals for the source of raw meat. Farm animals are diseased – period end of story. It doesn’t matter that some are well bred and grass fed etc. Even the best farm conditions are not natural. All animals are naturally wild and should exist as wild. Wild kill is healthier than any farm product.
    When one speaks of “traditions” one should remember that the oldest tradition, that was abandoned by many, was eating food fresh and raw – that was the first way we ate, and the way we ate for the longest – as in 7 million years (creationism not withstanding).
    Oliver

    1. Regarding birth and breastfeeding. I used think that if we could overcome our psychological issues with these, then we should be able to all give birth and breastfeed somewhat easily. But these are two more examples of how something that made sense to me based on the information I was given, no longer held so much water once I gained more information.

      For example, I read lots of natural birthing books, including Childbirth Without Fear, and I thought I would have a relatively easy birth because of how well-prepared I was. Unfortunately, I was labeled high risk and had interventions practically forced on me, and I had a very difficult time–excruciating pelvic pain and almost couldn’t push my baby out. I blamed the medical system. Then I learned that as a result of nutritional deficiencies, many people these days have narrow faces, narrow palates, and guess what else? Narrow hips. In fact, if a woman has had to have braces due to crowded teeth, she almost certainly would have an oval-shaped–rather than circular–birthing canal. I had 8 teeth removed from my mouth because they didn’t fit. I have a long, narrow face. Maybe I can’t totally blame the interventions, after all. Kind of puts those cesarean rates into perspective.

      Regarding breastfeeding, while I certainly believe it is a social behavior that is learned, there is so much more that goes into breastfeeding success than the social factor. Lactivists like to say that only a very small percentage of women in the world are truly incapable of breastfeeding. But what they don’t tell you is that by eating the wrong diet you could reduce the quantity and quality of your milk to the point of being unable to feed your child sufficiently. They don’t tell you that babies who are born to mothers with insufficient diets can be born with problems that make breastfeeding more difficult for them. Perhaps the mother herself did not receive adequate nutrition when her mammary glands were developing. Who knows? The body is a complex thing.

  2. Wow I can’t believe it’s been 100 posts!!
    I think I argued a lot about milk with you. This is my position now. No one NEEDS milk. By that I mean people could live with out it. But if you can tolorate it, it’s such a great benefit!! I mean, I think we could go with out, but why? It’s really healthful and it can certainly aide to your health!
    I think to each his own about diet. The point is to eat real food… what ever that means for you. Everyone is different so everyone needs different things to have great health.
    Congrats to 100 posts. I’m your best follower 😀

    1. LOL, yes you are my best follower!!

      I agree about milk (I forgot we even argued about it, lol). For me personally, it tastes great and it’s my preferred calcium food. Lots of other benefits. I seem to tolerate it okay. For now, that works for me 🙂

  3. Congrats on #100! I love this blog and enjoy reading about your nutritional journey. I can’t help but see the wisdom in traditional foods, as well – and the diversity. Just as you mentioned, there are so many ways to eat that are healthful and that work for some people – and similarly, there were different ways for different people to eat in the past, as well. That’s what I love about you – you are open about what you do and why you do it and still open-minded enough to recognize the spectrum of healthful eating. ❤

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