Nutritional Journey

I was raised in the era of the cholesterol scare. Naturally I was taught that nonfat, low-cholesteral foods were best. I was promised I would stay thin if I ate this prescribed way and exercised regularly, and I would be much less likely to have heart disease. The foods I chose to purchase after I was married included skim milk, low-fat margarine spread, very lean meat, “whole wheat” low-fat crackers, and a variety of processed foods all marked LOW-FAT or LITE.

After I had my first child, I noticed that my mind always seemed to be in a fog and I was very lethargic. I fought this for several years. Adding to this perpetual fog was the irritability, inability to communicate, and the general feeling of my body shutting down. This typically happened mid-afternoon or if I did not eat regularly. It was debilitating.

After several different doctors and blood tests with no answers, I mentioned to my ob/gyn the symptoms. Her response was a simple, “You’re hypoglycemic.” The symptoms matched perfectly. I then armed myself with knowledge, began eating more proteins and really monitored how frequently I ate. The more small snacks I had throughout the day, the better I felt.

I continued to build up the knowledge as to what foods would help deter the symptoms of hypoglycemia. The foods that I was continually lead to consume were high-fat. This terribly frightened me. How could I eat foods with a high fat content when I had worked so hard my whole life to eat right? But, these foods always made me feel better than the low-fat alternative.

This venture in food did bring me to preparing whole foods. And eventually I was introduced to Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions. Below are Sally Fallon’s ideas of
Dietary Guidelines

  1. Eat whole, natural foods.
  2. Eat only foods that will spoil, but eat them before they do.
  3. Eat naturally-raised meat including fish, seafood, poultry, beef, lamb, game, organ meats and eggs.
  4. Eat whole, naturally-produced milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as whole yogurt, cultured butter, whole cheeses and fresh and sour cream.
  5. Use only traditional fats and oils including butter and other animal fats, extra virgin olive oil, expeller expressed sesame and flax oil and the tropical oils—coconut and palm.
  6. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, in salads and soups, or lightly steamed.
  7. Use whole grains and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid and other anti-nutrients.
  8. Include enzyme-enhanced lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
  9. Prepare homemade meat stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish and use liberally in soups and sauces.
  10. Use herb teas and coffee substitutes in moderation.
  11. Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.
  12. Use unrefined Celtic seasalt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.
  13. Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and expeller expressed flax oil.
  14. Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice and stevia powder.
  15. Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals.
  16. Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel.
  17. Use only natural supplements.
  18. Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light.
  19. Think positive thoughts and minimize stress.
  20. Practice forgiveness.

You will often hear me spouting the benefits of high cholesterol or the benefits of raw milk. This is a radical change from my low-fat fare that I believed was so right. How can I embrace this new way of thinking so whole-heartedly? Easy, I feel good.

I feel so good. I very seldom have hypoglycemic symptoms. (This now usually occurs when I have been traveling and have not been eating good foods.) I eat whole raw milk, use butter, eat cheese as I please, love that beef, and say yes to real cream. I don’t have to continually snack to keep from crashing. My mind is no longer in a fog. Another benefit from eating these foods is that my hair no longer “sheds.” 

For those of you still skeptical about eating all the saturated fats, I have had my cholesterol checked since changing my eating habits. It’s very normal. I have not gained tons of weight. Still wear the same size. And I feel good.

Here is what makes sense about this change in our diet. We are eating foods in a state that is closer to how God created them. Does it not make sense that God created these foods for our benefit, and that they would not have to be altered to be “good for us?” The milk is not homogenized or pasteurized. The fruits and veggies are as local and as organic as possible. The beans are dry, not canned. Unprocessed or cold-processed, unpasteurized and as close to the earth as possible, that’s my choice. Naturally fermented is delicious and unleashes flavors unknown to “canning.” As a general rule, if the food has been altered to be mass marketed, it has probably been changed for the worse.

Now, mind you, I am not legalistic about eating. If you invite me to your home and serve me Doritos, I will eat them and enjoy them. If you serve me store-bought potato salad at the picnic, I will happily take a helping. And if I am overwhelmed, I will even purchase processed foods. But on a normal day in our home, we be eatin’ butter.

Another radical change we’ve made with food preparation, we gave away our microwave, but that story is for another day. 

amanda ∞

5 thoughts on “Nutritional Journey

  1. Amber says:

    I love this post. After we had our third we started moving to a much more natural lifestyle. I did make beaked ziti last night but I had to feed 35 people and it was the most cost efficient. You’ve reinspired me to keep it up. A few extra dollars a month in groceries for whole organic foods is worth the pinch!

    Whenever I think I could be saving money by eating the old way, I remember the hidden cost of eating foods that have the nutritional value stripped. Then I buy the better quality product. The only time I choose differently is if our budget does not allow it. I also take advantage of sales for items with a shelf life, like dry beans, grains, tuna, etc.
    Glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. mom2chris says:

    Ok, I have to know more. Unpasteurized milk or raw milk – is this safe? I mean, I thought that Louis Pasteur was onto something… 🙂

    Check out this ABC New Story from 4/27/07. It addresses many of the concerns about the safety of raw milk.
    Pasteurization actually has made it possible to mass market and ship milk. Pasteurized milk does have a longer shelf life.
    Good to hear from you!

  3. Anna says:

    We love butter, coconut oil and heat things up in our toaster oven or a pan!!! Nourishing Traditions is a great resource!

    (However, I’m with you on the eating with a grateful heart when at someone else’s house!)

    I love coconut oil in pancakes. Makes ’em taste so good!

  4. nikalas says:

    Still reading…wow. Our lives are showing parallels I don’t share with many of my friends. We’ve been microwave free for almost 2 years and don’t miss it. I’ve been on a journey towards me and my family eating whole foods and I hardly cook with boxes and packages anymore. Our friends think we’re nuts, but I’ve lost over 25 pounds the last few months and we all feel much better. I think we’re on to something here.

  5. Rachel Bowman says:

    I casually glanced at this post a while back, but now I fully read what you wrote about hypoglycemia. I was almost diagnosed with that in college. To say I had bad eating habits back then is an incredible understatement. We eat very healthy in our home, but I know I can do better. I’m going to look up Nourishing Traditions at the library.

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