Countless diets and fads hit the shelves each and every day it seems. This one promises the body of your dreams; that one promises more energy than you’ve ever had. This one limits your choices, and that one lets you eat whatever you want–as long as it has their brand name on it. With so many options and choices, which do you choose? Which should you choose?
I admit I bounced around quite a bit, letting the diet “dictocrats” define what was healthy for me and what was not. I ate the lowfat diet, drank pasteurized skim milk, and sweetened things up with Splenda, also listed as sucralose. It took me years of illness to finally look up and ask myself, “How’s that working for you?”
Thankfully, that was about the time I discovered raw milk for my daughter’s homemade infant formula and came across traditional foods. The more I read, the more it just made sense. And so, I chose the diet that had, at one point in history, truly healthy people to show for it all around the world.
The Weston A. Price Diet
I chose the Weston A. Price diet. In this post, I talked a little bit about who Weston A. Price was. To recap, he was a dentist who traveled around the world in the early 1930s, studying the healthiest civilizations in the remotest of places. What he discovered in his research was a consistent diet of local, wholesome foods prepared with traditional practices.
The people in each of his findings were robust, had wide palates, and no dental deformities (crooked teeth), or cavities. They had strong healthy bodies and immune systems that warded off disease naturally. Imagine a society so free of illness that even a doctor was not necessary! This is what he found in many of these civilizations.
But these peoples he researched soon began to look like our modern-day societies as roads and foods of commerce were introduced into their lands. Within one generation, their facial features became more narrow, their teeth became crooked (because of their smaller palates), and they developed caries and a susceptibility to illness. He called this physical degeneration and recorded his findings in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
What he concluded after studying each of these civilizations was that we all have the “blueprint” for health, vitality, and wellness. (Of course, we have been wonderfully made!) It is nutrition that ultimately determines how close we get to reaching our full potential.
The Gut-Brain Connection
These findings fully illustrate the impact of diet on a person’s overall well-being and are consistent with many modern researchers, such as Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, Jordan Rubin, and even this mother who treated her autistic daughter with diet.
Even Hippocrates knew this thousands of years ago, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” The gut and brain are connected, and a compromised gut can lead to mental disorders, a weakened immune system, and chronic conditions. A nutrient-dense diet is what is needed for health and wellness.
For some, the simple act of cutting out sodas or refined sugars can make a significant difference in well-being; for others, who have lived a lifetime on processed and synthetic foods, much more is required. What is for certain is that every body will end up in disease if the daily nutritional choices made include artificial and highly-processed “foods”. Sadly, it’s only a matter of time.
What is frustrating is that the standard of care by allopathic doctors minimizes the importance of diet. They say that diet doesn’t matter or do little to educate their patients on the hazards of a poor diet. Maybe they don’t know. Maybe they, too, believe the hype propagated by our mainstream media and organizations, serving the interests of their biggest sponsors: the food and pharmaceutical industry.
The USDA Food Pyramid
A quick look at the USDA’s food pyramid blatantly shows who profits most from these recommendations. When you sparingly use healthy fats, which give you more energy per ounce than carbs, you become hungrier, taking in more carbohydrates. A low-fat diet also causes issues with hormones and can oftentimes lead to infertility, low immunity, disrupted brain function and development, among other degenerative diseases.
The documentary The Oiling of America is well worth the time to see how the food pyramid came to be in order to serve the interests of the food industry, not the people. It also provides the evidence disproving the research study that demonized cholesterol and healthy fats, such as butter and lard in exchange for the artificial foods of commerce, vegetable oils.
We can all see the effects that this pyramid has had on our society since it’s implementation in 1992. The modern-day Food Plate, is not much better as they have taken out healthy fats altogether. Unfortunately, until people educate themselves and research the truth, they will be at the hands of the Food and Drug Administration: eating artificial foods that lead to disease and requiring artificial medications to function.
The Problem with Processed Foods
What I’ve come to find is that just because it “looks” like food and tastes like food, doesn’t mean it is. When I walk into a convenience store or grocery store, all I see now is an illusion. There’s an illusion of heart-healthy, low cholesterol, low fat, and good-for-you concoctions that are anything but food. (Prior to 1973, much of what we eat today would have been labeled as an imitation food. The labels were removed after much lobbying by the industry.)
Real food is life giving. It doesn’t sit dead on a shelf . . . for years. Dead imitation foods lead to diseased bodies that can only survive on imitation substances to function–medicine. It is time we see things for what they are. It is time we lift the blinders and get back to the wisdom of our forefathers and traditional cultures. It’s time we take back control of our nourishment for our families’ well-being and the future of our children and grandchildren.
Eating for Better Health
If we want better health, we must get back to eating the way the healthiest civilizations did. Dr. Weston A. Price found that they ate purely. Their diets fit into God’s perfect design for nourishment, employing the natural foods found in their environment. The Weston A. Price dietary guidelines captures this wisdom as noted below. Click here for the original source.
- Eat whole, natural foods, and avoid processed foods.
- Eat only foods that will spoil, but eat them before they do.
- Eat naturally-raised meat including fish, seafood, pastured poultry, grass-fed beef, lamb, game, organ meats and eggs.
- 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.
- 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. Avoid vegetable oils in both cooking and in processed foods.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, in salads and soups, or lightly steamed.
- Use whole grains and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid and other anti-nutrients.
- Include enzyme-enhanced lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
- Prepare homemade meat stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish and use liberally in soups and sauces.
- Use herb teas and coffee substitutes in moderation.
- Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.
- Use unrefined Celtic sea salt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.
- Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and expeller expressed flax oil.
- Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice and stevia powder.
- Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals.
- Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel.
- Use only natural supplements, such as fermented cod liver oil.
- Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light.
- Think positive thoughts and minimize stress.
- Practice forgiveness.
If you want to read more about the Weston A. Price Dietary Guidelines, here are some resources you might find helpful.
- Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price (his studies and discoveries along with plenty of pictures)
- The Weston A. Price Guidelines (an online overview of Dr. WAP, his research, and conclusions.)
- Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell (a thorough overview of the WAP diet along with plenty of recipes)
- Secret Spoonfuls by Joette Calabrese (a helpful audio recording full of recipes for integrating WAP principles in your everyday diet)
- Nourishing Traditional Diets by Sally Fallon Morell (a conference presentation with more information about the WAP diet and what constitutes a healthy diet, including pictures and research)
Other special diets and research that employs the wisdom of the Weston A. Price diet for pregnancy, infants, and children.
- The Makers Diet by Jordan Rubin (J. Rubin was healed from Crohn’s and other debilitating diseases after returning to nourishing foods and traditional preparations. His book includes many of the recipes from Nourishing Traditions, but excludes pork, shellfish, fish without scales and fins, among other foods. The Makers Diet is based on the godly wisdom given to the Israelites in the Biblical book of Leviticus.)
- Baby Grande by Joette Calabrese (A wonderful audio and ebook for expectant mothers in preparation for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.)
- Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell (Although I personally don’t agree with all of the information in this book, it is definitely a helpful resource with WAP guidelines for a healthy pregnancy and infant, including information on vaccinations, the immune system, and natural remedies for common childhood illnesses)
- Nourishing Our Children (This website has plenty of information regarding the WAP principles for children. It also discusses the unfortunate ramifications of our modern diet on children.)
- Gluten free/Casein free/Soy Free diet (Eliminating gluten, dairy, and soy from the diet is recommended for anyone with an autoimmune condition, such as fibromyalgia, lupus, multiple sclerosis, etc. and any neurological conditions, such as ADD, ADHD, migraines, autism, and so forth. The proteins in these foods are highly inflammatory and cause flare-ups and an increase in symptoms.)
- GAPS by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (a diet that employs traditional practices, but excludes many foods at first in order to help the gut heal naturally for the recovery of ADD/ADHD, autism, dyslexia, depression, etc.)
I have personally used each of these resources as I have studied and implemented a healthier diet for my family. I can personally attest to a greater ability to fight disease and illness and an overall sense of well being. As a believer, I truly believe that I have the responsibility to eat as purely as is possible in order to be as healthy as possible in order to fulfill His purposes for my life. Four years ago, I had a choice to make: change my diet or live as I had always lived. Had I chosen the latter, my doctor predicted that I would have fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis by now. Instead, “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” -Robert Frost
The Weston A. Price guidelines, should serve as guidelines as each family makes the necessary adjustments that best suit it. The traditional civilizations he studied had varied diets that were mainly composed of the game and foods available in their regions. Allergies and food intolerances must be taken into consideration and should be restricted even within these guidelines. Of course, budget may also have to be considered as nutrition takes on a greater priority. (I share 16 tips for eating real food on a budget in this post.) The important thing is to make every meal as nutrient dense as possible. Make every bite count! (I read in one of the resources above that among impoverished nations, even one nutrient-dense meal a day had the ability to nullify the negative effects of an otherwise poor diet.)
Pick one book or resource and begin implementation slowly. I tried to include a variety of sources, some free and some videos, to make it easier to access this vital information. It begins with one food at a time, one item, one swap. Celtic or Himalayan sea salt for refined white salt; Rapadura or coconut palm sugar for refined white sugar, and so on. It’s a process, and it’s sometimes a slow one, as you challenge all that you’ve been taught and replace it with a new understanding.
Pray for guidance. Trust in Him to lead you every step of the way. The wellness of your family and children is in your hands, and the decisions you make each and every day will impact the generations to come. Where will you start?
Linking Up at: Juggling Real Food and Real Life