Sunday, September 6, 2009

Juicing for Health

Juicing (of raw fruits and veggies through a mechanical juicer) is a great way to get important nutrients and minerals.

My favorite juice has:

Tastes good and always makes me feel great. It can be a good way to keep the GI tract healthy, and be free of constipation.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Story of Traditional Foods and Healing

Why I have this website:
I prayed to God for the information that would help me, and promised to share it with others while picturing myself doing so via the internet.

Who am I:
I'm a woman who has struggled with my own chronic health issues, and sought treatment from conventional medicine. It didn't work for me. In fact, small issues became bigger. I tried all kinds of things, from the latest diet craze, to reading about personal growth.

My hormonal health issue:
Starting at a young age, I had hormonal problems. I got my period very young (at an age that might be common now, but not then). I had hirsuitism and acne. It seemed I could never put on weight. I was tested for PCOS and hypothyroid, but I did not have either one. My diet was low-fat, high-carb, largely vegetarian, and included a lot of processed foods.

Medications I have taken over the years:
-antibiotics (starting as a toddler for ear aches, and later for acne and sinus infections)
-Rx acne medicines (Retin-A, Differin, various topical antibiotics. Accutane.)
-GERD medicines, for stomach acid (Prilosec, Nexium, Zantac)
-Rx Hormone stuff (Spironolactone, Birth Control Pills)

When I needed help in a big way:
-It was during and after taking Accutane that I was very ill, with body aches, and even worse GERD issues. Although it cleared my acne, after taking it my skin was back to square one.
-But the GERD and GI pains became so bad that I sometimes couldn't leave home. My diet was very restricted, because everything upset my stomach. I had IBS symptoms, but taking Rx medicines seemed to be a poor long term strategy because by decreasing stomach acid, I felt I wasn't getting proper nourishment.

Solution, at long last:
Traditional Foods!


Now, to define "Traditional Foods":
Okay, there are probably many possible definitions. But the one that has worked for me is the following..."what your great-grandmother would recognize as food." Clearly, not processed foods. Please consult the recommended books below for more information on what to eat and why.

Books with Nutritional Wisdom:
-"Nourishing Traditions" (by Sally Fallon, with Mary G Enig, Ph.D.); NewTrends Publishing
-"Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" (by Weston A. Price, DDS); Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation

Foods I Now Incorporate into my diet for Healing and Quality Nutrition:
-butter (from grass-fed cows), ghee, coconut oil, soaked grains (see "Nourishing Traditions" for details), grass-fed beef with the fat, chicken with the skin, eggs, kefir (store-bought), whole-milk yogurt and cheese, bone broth, sourdough bread, kimchi, sauerkraut, fish (on occasion), shrimp, Celtic sea salt, dulse, beets (and beet kvass), onions, garlic, herbs (parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, dill)

-Cod Liver Oil

Things I would like to incorporate in the future:
-kombucha, liver, oysters, raw milk, sardines, anchovies
-I would like to try the GAPS diet for a period of time in the future

Sweeteners I rely on in place of white sugar:
-honey, maple syrup
-Sucanat (I'm not a big fan, because for me it has a strong flavor that I'm not used to yet)

For gut health:
-Consider fermented foods that do not have vinegar (like lacto-fermented sauerkraut and kimchi), kefir, and yogurt.
-Probiotic Supplement (one brand is called PB-8)

-Homemade Applesauce can be very soothing for the GI tract
-For occasional constipation, I drink Mint Tea at night, and/or Prune Juice with hot water in the morning.
-Bone Broth has helped me tremendously in healing my stomach and colon issues!

Bone Broth:
-Bone Broth is the base for traditional chicken soup, and it is generally made with chicken parts. Chicken backs, necks, and even feet are ideal, but I just use chicken wings because those are readily available for me, and they work for making a broth that "gels" (turns to a gelatin when cold).
- check out "Nourishing Traditions" or search online for specific recipes/method
-I make mine simply with chicken wings, 1 onion, 1 bay leaf, water to cover, and a teaspoon of turmeric. I wait to add in sea salt when I use it. I make mine on the stovetop (although I hear that it can be done in a crockpot...but I read that it is important to initially bring it to a boil so that the scum can be scooped off and I'm not sure how/if the crockpot method would do this) and simmer for 4-5 hours. Then I just refrigerate in portions and it lasts 1 week in the fridge. I don't skim off the fat. To get more minerals out of the chicken parts, I add in a spoon of apple cider vinegar to the cooking water before turning on the heat and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before I cook it.

Foods I avoid:
-white flour, white sugar
-Soy (this can be tricky, as it is an additive in many foods that I would never have thought of it in, like commercial bread).

My Results:
-My GERD and other GI symptoms are practically gone, my skin is clear, and my hormonal issues are smoothing out.
-Each change in my nutrition has helped so much, but I believe that the broth has healed my gut issues, and that saturated fats (especially coconut oil) have improved my skin.

Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory:
-Turmeric is a spice related to ginger. In its whole form, it looks like ginger, except that it is orange under the skin. It can be found as an orange powder (that turns foods yellow). It is anti-inflammatory, and is commonly added to foods like prepared mustard for its natural color. I add it to my broth, and some meat dishes. Careful not to get it on your clothes because it stains!

A note on Spearmint Tea:
-I haven't tried this yet.
-I've recently read research that it is supposed to help with hirsuitism (apparently by reducing the amount of androgens). It has been recommended to me to take it during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle (days 1-14, where day 1 is the first day of your period). I was drinking peppermint tea previously (for GI issues), but I would like to try spearmint tea soon.

I do my best:
-I try to avoid processed foods, white flour, and white sugar. Sometimes I end up eating them, though. Then I re-commit to doing my best, and remind myself how far I've come already.
-I like chocolate, and eat it (or drink hot cocoa) once in a while.

My Message to the World:
Consider incorporating Traditional Foods for Quality Nutrition and Good Health!

This is not medical advice. Please consult a qualified health care practitioner before making any changes.