Undercover Health and Wellness

I grew up eating green peas from a can and rice cake snacks, both of which were said to be healthy foods.

And both of which tasted terrible but also fell nicely inside the food pyramid guidelines.

Nestled inside my young mind, I embraced this notion that health foods were needed if I wanted to be thin while wishing they could just be completely avoided. 

I struggled long and hard, waging battles against obesity and overeating and sugar cravings, all while dabbling in low-fat diets, low-calorie diets, no-meat diets, the food-pyramid diet, the hummus-and-banana-and-chai-tea only diets, running-until-you-can't-feel-your-toes-anymore diets.

And worst of all, perhaps, the standard American diet. 

But no matter the diet, little changed weight wise or health wise or ice-cream-consumption wise until I began eating for two and learned what that phrase really meant eating a real whole food diet.

A homebirth, natural-delivery doctor gave me an ultimatum at 24 weeks pregnant: if I wanted to be his patient, I had to eat exactly what He told me or I could return to the OB practice I was trying to leave. 

It was his way or the highway. 

So almost six years ago, I chose his way, and we have been discovering health along this unbeaten path.

Our family's way is counter-cultural but simple: simply eat real food. 

Real food is healthy food. 

Real food is delicious food. 

Real food is healthy AND delicious, and in that there's no compromise!

Since adhering to a real-food diet, especially during the last year, my family's health has improved and my ailing body, the one that had suffered the most abuse, has begun healing in extraordinary ways! Thank you, God! God has given our bodies the awesome ability to heal, and He's given us so much of what the body needs to heal in our food.

Over the past year especially, our family's real food philosophy has emerged from our personal experience, second-hand experiences {I work with quite a few people on lifestyle and nutrition changes} and a whole lot of reading and research.

However, it's not been an easy quest -- nothing counter-cultural ever is!

I've truly felt like an undercover journalist trying to wade through the popular information and supposedly trustworthy information from places like the U.S.D.A and its terrible food pyramid that has only served to breed unhealthiness and dis-ease.

I hope much of my wading and digging and researching for countless hours makes your health journey easier and less confusing.

Here are some questions people frequently ask us:

You said reading and research. Who do you trust, and what do you read?
Well, overall, I agree strongly with much {not everything!} from the following books and sites:

Weston A. Price Foundation
Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shanahan
The Nourished Kitchen
Cultures for Health
Polyface Farm

Food is so confusing. How do you determine what's healthy?

First, ask if it's real! 
If it comes in a box with a long list of ingredients on the side, that should send up a red flag!

Next, ask if it comes from the ground or the land!
Things we can pull from the ground and eat with little preparation are regarded as whole foods -- think fruits, veggies, pastured eggs, pastured meats, raw dairy, nuts, seeds.

Wait. You didn't mention grains or legumes. Those are from the land! What about my grains?! Are you one of those low-carb freaks?
Technically yes and technically no.

I love grains! But they don't always love me. In fact, they don't always love most of us. Here's the part of the real-food philosophy we really have to take to heart if we're interested in be our healthiest: can you eat it with little preparation?

Well, you could, but eating grains the way we eat them now is not how we've traditionally consumed grains, and it's damaging our guts and thus our bodies!

Grains are great when they are prepared right -- at least soaked, at best, soaked and sprouted - and eaten in moderation.

Do you eat fat?
Totally. With every meal and a good amount of it! But we stick to the highly beneficial kinds.

What are the good kinds of fat?
-Olive Oil
-Coconut Oil
-Butters from pastured animals
-Fats from pastured animals
-Fish from the ocean
-Eggs from pastured chickens

What's the big deal about pasture-raised animals and animal products?
It's all about food chain, loves. Really.

When we eat food that has eaten the food it was intended to eat, we only reap the benefits of their diets.

Pasture raised meats, dairy and eggs maintain delicate fat ratio balances, are free of antibiotic-laced feeds as well as foods they cannot digest and often aren't subjected to antibiotic medicines because they simply don't need it. And why wouldn't they? Because they are free to roam and eat what they were intended to eat instead of being fed food they cannot digest while living in overcrowded and filthy spaces.

Sick animals have sick meat, sick eggs and sick milk.

Healthy animals have healthy meat, healthy eggs and healthy milk.

It's the most basic principle of food chain -- you are made up of what you eat!

How much do you spend on groceries?

Roughly $600 per month for a family our family of four. If we are tight one month, we try to keep it to $450 with just basics, meaning the kids don't get any goodies at the store and neither do mom or dad!

How can you afford to spend so much on groceries?
First and foremost, God has provided John with a really good job.

Second, we don't have many other "extra" expenses. There is no section for entertainment. We don't often dine out. We don't have anything more than basic cable and Internet. John drives the same car he drove in college. Our furniture is all second hand. The boys clothes through 5T were pretty much gifted to us by my cousin or relatives. We rarely swing through Starbucks. We rarely buy new. The list goes on and on.

Third, we can't afford not to eat real food! My body was on the brink of developing an autoimmune disease earlier in 2012 with high levels of inflammation raging inside. Had we not by the grace of God learned about so-called "healthy" foods that are actually extremely inflammatory and found a practitioner who could help bridge some of the communication challenges between the systems in my body, we're positive we would be spending tons of money on medication for the autoimmune disease brewing.

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