Much of the natural and holistic health field focuses on food as medicine, and while it is important to learn about how food impacts us on all levels of our being, the journey towards whole health doesn’t end with nutrition. Eating healthy is not all there is to radiant health, the curing of disease, and the evolution of the soul and spirit. However, to provide proper nourishment and sustenance to fuel the processes of clear mentation, sensation, and creative action, we must have a firmly grounded base, in our physical bodies. While the intake of healthy foods doesn’t cure disease, it does support our body’s natural healing capacity (sustentive), so that the body has the proper resources to heal and repair itself, after the curing of disease (with medicine) has taken place. Eating clean foods that resonate with us begins to align us with the principles of nature, which allows us to thrive physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. When our bodies have to work hard to combat and process toxic foods and substances, we have less leftover for healthy functioning, healing, and repairing. We aren’t just material beings, but keeping our physical vessels well nourished is important. When we eat resonantly, in line with natural law principles, it is a dynamic and spiritual act, joining our individual physical bodies with the universal wisdom inherent in nature. Mention love/truth/resonance here
For various reasons, many people have the desire to eat better and are waking up to the horrors of the Standard American Diet, which, like its acronym “SAD”, truly is sad. Food that is void of nutrition and vitality leaves us empty, longing for something better, almost as if our bodies are grieving from deprivation. From diets that are adequate or high in calories but low in nutritional content, our bodies begin to yearn for more and scream at us: “I’m starving!”, which can lead us to wonder why we don’t feel full or energized, despite being “well fed.”
An initial spark of will and good intention is often the first step on embarking on the task of eating better, but with the always changing “scientific” information out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. When trying to make decisions about what foods to eat, someone’s internal dialogue can sound something like this: “Are eggs bad for me? Are they good for me? I thought the food pyramid said I should be eating mostly grains? But now some experts say I should avoid them… Is meat healthy? How much meat? The USDA said cholesterol was bad, and now they say that may not be the case, where’s the truth? Who’s behind all these scientific studies anyway? I give up.” Or worse, something like this: “I really want to eat better. If the FDA, USDA, and RDA say something’s healthy, it must be. I trust the government, and it has my best interest at heart. So, hand me the conventional, pasteurized, homogenized, fat-free dairy, please–it’s a lean protein!” Or insert any politically correct nutrition sound-bite you like…
Over time, that initial spark of will can begin to burn out as one feels that their tiny flame is not enough to illuminate what seems like a vast, never-ending forest of confusing information about nutrition. The truth is that we have increasingly become disconnected from the inherent wisdom that used to reside in our bodies, as instinct. We can actually feel that we are lost in the woods, without direction. It is now our individual task to bring this latent instinctual wisdom up into our conscious awareness. We can no longer rely on being directly, and unconsciously, fed with the truths and guiding wisdom of our mother nature. We can no longer operate on this function from the past, which held us close to her breast, nourishing us directly with exactly what we needed. We must now seek it on our own, with the principle of resonance as our guide. To find what is healthy for us, we cannot be tempted by the false light of attraction, authority, morality, or abstraction. What is resonant for one person (that which works dynamically, achieving harmony and growth), may not be resonant for someone else. And what is resonant for someone at a given time, may no longer be resonant in the future as they grow, evolve and heal.
The task of finding that which is resonant can be hard, but it is fruitful. It requires us to allow ourselves to to take small steps while we may not have a whole map. It requires us to be willing to let go of beliefs and step into a state of willful ignorance, so that we can draw our own maps, through relationships based on resonance. This includes our relationship with our diet. Our relationship to food needs to be one that leaves us nourished and whole, providing us the energy to propel us forward in life. So, where can we begin? How can we consciously re-discover the instinctual wisdom that we used to have, and that we still see operating in animals? What steps, if any, have been laid out for us already? What do we eat?!
While we eventually need to be our own authorities and find our own unique, resonant diet, a good place to begin is to re-discover the natural wisdom to which our ancestors were more closely tied, by studying what they ate. This helps us to tap back into the wisdom from the group soul of traditional cultures. We can then take in this information, digest it, and apply it to our modern lives. I think its important to study the ways of people who had this inherent wisdom, because it can help to ground us to natural law principles, as opposed to ever-changing “scientific” findings that are often skewed by the lenses of belief. Science is the conscious discovery of truth, of the knowledge and principles of nature. Dogma, morality, false authority, and false belief block us from a truly scientific process. The field of nutrition is rife with authoritative morality (cholesterol is GOOD! no, it’s BAD!), and ever-changing advice that can leave an inquiring, critically thinking mind (or one’s gut instinct) to become skeptical of how much truth has actually been discovered. We are eventually left feeling un-fulfilled, that there must be more to the picture, and we instinctively begin to take a step back. Conversely, When we study our ancestors, a fire is lit within, which moves our being, leaving us warm and grounded, as we consciously realize the inherent logic and reason of their ways. We become freshly illuminated, though it feels like we have discovered truths we somehow already knew, saying, “Why yes, of course!”
In the 1930’s, A dentist, Dr. Weston Price, started to become disillusioned with conventional dentistry approaches (like root canals), as he felt he couldn’t keep up with trying to correct the rapid decay and deformity that he witnessed in his patient’s teeth and jaws. He knew there must be some reason why this was happening at an increasing rate, and he had a hunch that diet played a large role. He was the first to conduct modern research on the eating habits of isolated traditional societies, and his findings were illuminating indeed. He travelled the globe to observe these tribes who still lived the way their ancestors had lived for generations, subsisting entirely on diets of local and natural foods. He found that in each instance, almost the entire tribe was radiantly healthy. He did not find any chronic disease, dental decay, mental illness, or deformity. Because they were still in close union with the wisdom of nature, they easily followed her ways, and were not faced with the struggle of choice that we now face in our modern society, at our current level of consciousness.
Dr. Price’s work, and the work of those who have followed it, expanding upon his research, are valuable resources for building the foundation of a principled, resonant diet. We can take this solidly grounded wisdom from our ancestors, and then build upon it, incorporating modern research on individual nutritional typology to tailor a diet plan that helps us to achieve maximum vitality at all levels of our being. Using Dr. Price’s research, Sally Fallon and Mary Enig wrote a cookbook called Nourishing Traditions–The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. This was one of the first books that I read on my journey to better health, and it was truly a paradigm shift for me. There are certain things we learn in our lives that once we learn them, we can’t go back. It’s like taking off a jacket you’ve outgrown, and you simply can’t put it back on. This work on ancestral and traditional nutrition is one of those golden nuggets of paradigm-shifting information, grounded in truths that stand the test of time.
The main aim of Nourishing Traditions is to educate people about the fallacies of Politically Correct Nutrition, and to provide sound nutritional advice and hundreds of pages of recipes, rooted in the wisdom of ancestral diets combined with modern research that is free from the beliefs and special interests of governments and corporations. With the rise of technology and the chemical industries, we have become so far removed from having abundant access to real food, and un-biased information about it, that most of us may not even realize it. Sally writes, “Technology can be a kind father but only in partnership with his mothering, feminine partner–the nourishing traditions of our ancestors. These traditions require us to apply more wisdom to the way we produce and process our food and, yes, more time in the kitchen, but they give highly satisfying results—delicious meals, increased vitality, [and] robust children…”
In the book, Sally explains that our knowledge about food has been hijacked by what she calls the “Diet Dictocrats”, who unfortunately provide most of the industry’s research and advice on nutrition, which is one-sided information that has been divorced from it’s better half. She points out that they are “not 100 percent wrong. There is a certain amount of truth in their pronouncements, enough to give them credibility, but not enough to save us from the sufferings of chronic disease.” On our quest for re-discovering nature’s wisdom and functioning principles, it is important to use discernment and critical thinking when trying to find our way through the maze of information out there. These Diet Dictocrats include:
“Doctors, researchers, and spokesmen for various government and quasi-government agencies, such as:
-The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
-The American Medical Association (AMA)
-The American Dietetic Association (ADA)
-Prestigious hospitals and research centers, such as Sloan-Kettering, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
-University medical schools and nutrition departments
-The National Academy of Science (NAS)
-Large so-called philanthropic organizations like the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Heart Association (AHA)”
While the research and guidelines put out by these organizations can be well meaning and even beneficial at times, it is important to realize that we need to stop regarding institutions as authority figures. Blindly following the advice of others, without grounding it firmly into the principles of nature, can lead us very much astray. It also robs us of re-claiming and fully grounding into our bodies our creative, generative power and becoming conscious of wisdom and truth for ourselves. If we blindly follow the advice of large institutions, like the one’s listed above, we run the risk of falling prey to the sclerosis of political correctness. We enter an arena of morality where only certain things are deemed acceptable and worthy of discussion, while others are ignored or abolished outright:
“The Diet Dictocrats are strangely silent about the ever increasing trend towards food processing and the devitalization of America’s rich agricultural bounty. Food processing is the largest manufacturing industry in the country and hence the most powerful. This industry naturally uses its financial clout to influence the slant of university research and the dictates that come from government agencies.”
Since the publication of Nourishing Traditions in 1999, there has been a grass-roots movement of people who have become increasingly disillusioned with the empty science churned out by this industry, and I’m glad to see it! At the end of the day, we cannot wait for systems and industries to change. We must be the one’s to inform ourselves and opt out systems when they are not effective at producing the results we need. So, as a first step in opting out, I highly recommend reading at least the introduction of this book and having it on hand as a solid nutritional reference manual and cookbook of over 600 pages that covers just about every genre, teaching its reader how to prepare almost every food out there in it’s traditional way: the way it was grown, prepared, cooked, and preserved before the onset of the industrial revolution. As a basic guide, the list of nourishing traditional foods found in the introduction of the book is as follows:
“Proteins: Fresh, pasture-raised meat including beef, lamb, game, chicken, turkey, duck and other fowl; organ meats from pastured animals; seafood of all types from deep sea waters; fresh shellfish in season; fish eggs; fresh eggs from pastured poultry; organic fermented soy products in small amounts.
Fats: Fresh butter and cream from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and cultured, lard and beef, lamb, goose and duck fat from pastured animals; extra virgin olive oil; unrefined flax seed oil in small amounts; coconut oil and palm oil.
Dairy: Raw, whole milk and cultured dairy products, such as yoghurt, piima milk, kefir and raw cheese, from traditional breeds of pasture-fed cows and goats.
Carbohydrates: Organic whole grain products properly treated for the removal of phytates, such as sourdough and sprouted grain bread and soaked or sprouted cereal grains; soaked and fermented legumes including lentils, beans, and chickpeas; sprouted or soaked seeds and nuts; fresh fruits and vegetables, both raw and cooked; fermented vegetables.
Beverages: Filtered, high-mineral water; lacto-fermented drinks made from grain or fruit; meat stocks and vegetable broths.
Condiments: Unrefined sea salt; raw vinegar; spices in moderation; fresh herbs; naturally fermented soy sauce and fish sauce”
By in large, these are the foods that Dr. Weston Price found that the people of traditional and primitive tribes ate in abundance. His work, and that of the Weston Price Foundation, should serve as a primer, a starting point, so that we can begin to understand and discern what real food is. We are literally bombarded with food-like items that are not actually food. This book is a way to learn the ways of our ancestors so we can then apply them to how we eat today. One does not need to follow the book to a perfect T, nor should one stop here and look no further. There are other ancestral diets such as the Paleo diet that also draw upon traditional food preparation methods. The main goal is to understand that our ancestors had access to wisdom, through instinct, that we no longer easily have access to. We can look back, but we can’t GO back, so it is now our job to take almost everything with a big grain of unrefined sea-salt and not adhere too rigidly to any one piece of external advice or protocol. Our answers truly do lie within, and not solely from someone else’s journey or advice.
So where do we go next? Once we have a solid foundation and understanding of what real food is (and what it isn’t) and how it is naturally prepared and preserved, how do we find which foods are best for us, and which ones may be harder for our bodies to assimilate? Again, it is important to stress that we can easily fall prey to false belief, rigidly adhering to specific eating plans based upon morality, authority, and/or what has worked well for someone else. There will always be cherry-picked scientific data to fit the claims of a specific dietary protocol. It’s all too easy to say “Vegetarianism IS the way; veganism IS the way; people NEED to eat meat; wheat and other grains are ALWAYS bad; sugar and carbohydrates are BAD…and here’s the proof!”
Stress and guilt are just as harmful to the body as a bad diet. Cortisol and other stress hormones disrupt proper hormone function, metabolism, digestion, and heart health. Connection with others is important! If you’re going to a dinner with loved ones, setting aside your strict diet in order to partake in the values of community and connection is highly beneficial.
As Sally Fallon writes, “The challenge to every individual is to determine the diet that is right for him and to implement that diet in a way that does not divorce him from the company of fellow human beings at mealtimes. Each person’s ideal diet is usually discovered through a combination of study, observation, and intuition, a process designed to replace that mysterious infallible instinct that guided primitive man to the foods he needed to keep him healthy and strong.”
Amongst all the conflicting information out there, a simple, but very important question to ask when trying to eat in line with nature, is: what is food? A good place to start is to realize that we as humans don’t make food. That’s right, we don’t make food, except for human breast milk. If something is a real food, we didn’t make it. We can process food, do things with it, make it all fancy and yummy, but real ingredients, from nature, are not man-made. If all else seems confusing, a good place to start is to keep this in mind, and use the acronym “J.E.R.F.” when trying to make a decision about food. JERF stands for “Just Eat Real Food.” It can take a little bit of time and practice to understand how to apply this, but once you get it, it will become like a reflex. Your senses and discernment will be easily raised. This principle can go a long way in helping to make dietary choices really simple and easy. When faced with trying to determine if a food follows this principle, ask yourself these questions:
Does this food exist like this in nature?
What was done to this food on its journey from its natural form to my plate?
Wild foraged foods, eat as much as you can. They’re amazing. They’re completely in season and high in nutritional content. If a food made it and thrived in completely wild conditions, it has superior nutritional content and is a prize for your body.
JERF- who made these ingredients? Did they come directly from nature? How many steps were taken between nature and me consuming this food product? How would this be eating “in the wild?”
We can get bogged down in all the minuta of micro-nutrients and
Eat for your typology-biochemical individuality
Principles to eat by:
-Eat real food (JERF- eat real food, how do I know what real food is? What isn’t food?)
-Eat for your individuality (how do I know what my individual needs are? Typing. Discerning a real need from an addictive craving, learning to listen to your body)
-Learn who’s boss. What authority do I pay respect to? Natural laws govern nature (both you and the food you eat), not the morality of politically correct nutrition.
-Follow the rhythms of nature (eating seasonally and locally)
-Why food is NOT medicine (principles of allopathy- suppressive palliative, vs. natural law principles). Food is healative, supports healing aspect of life power. Understanding nutritions proper role, and how it can help you to listen to your body and discern causality of symptoms. Understanding jurisdiction brings clarity. Jurisidictions of causality follow nature’s laws of causation. Food belongs to the jurisdiction of Regimen (imbalances, sustentive)
-Authority: Understanding food marketing, certifications. What is natural? What is organic? Again, who is boss? How to see through marketing and political bull-shit and hear nature’s whisper. forming a direct connection with nature’s laws. Take back your power. You already hold the keys to unlocking nature’s wisdom, in your body. Be your own scientist.