I Heart Meat Loaf!

Tonight I have to share with you a recipe that may give you the willies at first but believe me now and hear me later: this recipe is good!  And it is incredibly good for you!

The recipe is Spicy Meat Loaf from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, page 356.   What makes this recipe so scary?  It includes a half pound of ground beef heart.  Here is where you must trust me: you cannot taste it at all, nor can you tell a texture difference.

If you can’t taste it or feel it, then why eat it?  So many reasons!

Organ meats, which include beef heart but also include liver, kidney, sweetbreads (thymus gland), and brains, are absolutely loaded with nutrition.  Primitive traditional cultures found to be in near perfect health treasured organ meat because they knew it would make them strong.  In fact, they would eat these parts of the animal first and often throw out the parts modern people prefer today!   Science has proven that organ meats are rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D, essential fatty acids, and much more.   Fat-soluble vitamins are critical because without them our bodies cannot use the other minerals we eat, even if we are eating them in abundance.  Vitamins A and D are a requirement for good health, and modern scientific studies are proving that we are not getting enough of either. Another important vitamin found in all animal products, but especially in heart meat, is Coenzyme Q10 (also known as CoQ10).  Every cell in the body requires CoQ10 in order to produce energy.

A hundred years ago recipes including organ meats were plentiful in cookbooks across the globe.  Today, modern dietary advice and scare tactics have caused these nutritious foods to be nearly eliminated from our diets.  This is to our great disadvantage, as, contrary to popular belief, these are real foods and they are good for us.  Has anyone noticed lately how sick so many people are?  And thought about how our diets today come primarily from boxes as opposed to the land?  I am convinced that those two thoughts are very closely related.

But I confess: I really don’t relish the idea of eating organ meats.  I’m guessing you don’t either.  We were not raised eating them – we were raised on fast food and mono-textured foods.  Therefore organ meats smell, look, taste, and feel disgusting to our modernized palates.  But there is good news!  Grinding these foods and adding them to other things makes consuming them possible for people like us!  And that is why I want to tell you about this wonderful meat loaf that I fed my family for dinner tonight.  And they had no clue they were eating beef heart.

The recipe (which I’ve included in full at the end) calls for 2 pounds ground beef and one half pound ground heart.  Helpful hint: thaw the ground beef yet keep the heart mostly frozen and grind or shred it in your food processor (or meat grinder attachment to a mixer).  If you let the heart thaw it will be much harder to grind or chop.  A side note: if you don’t have heart, you can also use liver.  I personally can taste the liver in the meatloaf, but the kids had no idea.  Also, I’m sure you could purchase heart at the butcher, but I bought a whole beef from a local farm and requested the heart and liver with my order.  The processor cut them each into half pound sizes for me per my special request.

This recipe also includes carrot, celery, and onion all finely chopped.  My family prefers their meat loaf without chunks, so I chopped all the veggies in the food processor as well.  Perfect texture.  Also, the recipe calls for bread crumbs.  Instead of buying bread crumbs that are loaded with preservatives, I freeze old heels, burnt rolls, etc. then just run them through the food processor – bread crumbs!  While you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients, mix the bread crumbs with a cup of cream (raw is best, but never use ultra-pasteurized cream) and let them soak while you sauté the veggies and spices in real butter.

Once you’ve got everything prepped, just mix it together in one big bowl.  You’ll add one whole egg to this.  Here is a picture of everything dumped into the bowl…it doesn’t look appetizing at all, does it?

You can see the bread crumbs and cream on the bottom, the really red meat on the other side is the heart, the ground beef is piled in the middle, and it’s all topped with the sautéed veggies.  Using your hands, just mix this all together really well, then shape it into a loaf in a 9×13 pyrex baking dish.

The one thing I do not like about this recipe is the sauce.  4 tablespoons of tomato paste or ketchup just doesn’t work for me.  It’s not enough, and it isn’t near sweet enough.  This is where I alter the recipe to suit my tastes.  I mix up the sauce for my mother’s meat loaf, which I grew up eating, and pour this over the top.  There is plenty to cover the meat loaf and the sides of the pan, so that when it’s cooked you can soak the sauce into each yummy slice.  The recipe is simple: 8 oz. tomato sauce, ¼ c sucanat, ¼ c honey, and 1 t mustard.

It will take 90 minutes for this to bake, so make it first and then clean up and prepare the sides.  The smell will draw the entire family to the kitchen, begging for dinner!  My sides were the veggies I picked up at a local produce stand this morning:  purple hull peas (boiled in water with bacon grease and onion slices), squash, and red potatoes (which I boiled, drained, and fork-mashed with plenty of cream and butter).

This meal was loaded with lots of those animal foods that carry fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and CoQ10.  Even the veggies had their share of animal fats added (cream and butter).  Because of this, everyone was very satisfied, their bodies are not using up all their energy digesting the meal (because it was easily digested), and our bodies are making excellent use of all that important nutrition.  This is really good news for me, because a precious baby is being knit inside me right now.  These foods will make my pregnancy safer for me at 42, and will also help my baby be healthier in the womb and beyond.

So back to the family.  They had no idea they were eating organ meat, but my son got a little suspicious when I kept asking if he liked it.

My four year old loved it.

She had seconds, then thirds.  And cleaned her plate!

My 12 year old loved it – this is plateful #2.

And even the one who doesn’t like meat loaf at all saved it for last then cleaned her plate and confessed that it wasn’t so bad after all.

When I returned to the dish and saw the meager leftovers, I couldn’t believe it.  After all, 2 ½ pounds of meat plus all those veggies should go pretty far!  Well, see for yourself – this won’t make another meal for our family.

It will have to go for some really tasty meat loaf sandwiches this week instead.  I’d say this was a success, wouldn’t you?

Now that you know how healthy and yummy organ meats can be, YOU can try this recipe.  Maybe YOU will “heart” meat loaf too!

Spicy Meat Loaf from Nourishing Traditions page 356

2 lb ground beef or other red meat

½ lb ground heart

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

4 Tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon dried chile flakes (adjust to taste – omit for no spice)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cracked pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 ½ cups whole grain bread crumbs

1 cup cream

1 egg

1 Tablespoon fish sauce (optional – I omitted this)

1 Tablespoons tomato paste or naturally sweetened ketchup (I omit this and use my own sauce)

Saute’ onions, carrots, and celery in butter until soft.  Add chile flakes, thyme, pepper and salt and stir around.  Meanwhile, soak bread crumbs in cream.

Using your hands, mix meat with sautéed vegetables, soaked bread, egg and optional fish sauce.  Form into a loaf and set in 9×13 pyrex pan.  Ice with ketchup or tomato paste (or sauce).  Add 1 cup water to pan (no water is needed if you use my sauce recipe).  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 ½ hours.

I hope that you love this recipe so much that you will buy this wonderful cookbook.  You can buy a copy from Amazon via the Well Fed Family’s web store at www.wellfedfamily.net.  While you’re there, browse the site for more fabulous nutrition articles.  This month’s topic is feeding babies – in the womb and beyond.

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Just Checking In

It’s been a long time since I have posted. Since then, HomesteadBlogger has changed all their software and my family has left the city and now lives in a rural Tennessee town. Not only that, but I am expecting baby #4. So you can see why I haven’t posted in a while. And this post is really just a test to make sure the blog is still working. There is so much I would like to do with the blog to make it more user friendly and to look better. Bear with me for now as I can only handle one change at a time. And did I mention that we’ll likely be moving again within 6 months? We’re in a rental house, searching for our future forever homestead. Until then…. The Grain Girl

EGGS

I’ve got a great visual for you today.  Get ready, for you are about to see with your very eyes the difference between something raised the way God designed vs. something raised the way man finds convenient.   You are about to see actual nutrition, and a lack of it.

Here you see eggs from the grocery store. These eggs are expensive, “all-natural” eggs from the health food store and, according to the label, actually came from a local farm (although I have never heard of this farm, as it does not show up on local farm searches nor does the farmer attend local farmer’s markets).

These eggs are a typical light yellow color.  Notice that as they were cracked into the bowl, they fell out all in a jumble.

Now check out eggs purchased direct from a farmer I know.

 

Notice the deep orange yolks.  You can also see the uniformity with which they landed in the bowl when they were cracked open.  This is because the whites are thicker around the yolks, keeping the eggs spaced apart.  If you look closely at the yolk on the top right, you can see the outline of the thicker egg white.

Need another comparison?  Look at this next picture.  Here you see the two types of eggs next to each other.  Can you guess which is which?

Yes, the three pale eggs came from the natural foods store (and these were actually from a nationally known company, and were certified organic) while the one deep orange egg came from another local farmer I know.  You might be interested to know that the local egg was actually about 3 weeks old – not super fresh.  Again, notice the difference in the texture of the whites – you can see the thick egg white from the local egg, while the whites of the store eggs are almost not visible.

So what’s the point of all this?  The point is that the deeper, richer, and more vibrant color of the egg yolk, the more nutrient dense and healthy it is for you to eat.  And how do you get eggs such a deep orange color with firmer whites?  You let the hens roam freely on pasture, in the sunlight, eating the bugs and greens they choose.

I’m sure you have had sticker shock over the prices of organic free-range eggs from the grocery store.  The local eggs from the store in the first picture cost me $3.69 a dozen!  I bought them because they were local – the stamp on the carton said so – but I definitely did NOT get my money’s worth.  Basically I got a dozen eggs from hens that were most likely confined to the indoors, eating an all vegetarian diet of various grains.  And who knows what was really in that mix.  I know this simply by looking at the pale yellow yolks and runny whites.  There is no difference in the store eggs in the first picture and the organic store eggs in the last picture, except the organic eggs cost even more and had all kinds of great wording on the label.  In the end, both store eggs were over-priced and low-quality.

I’m also sure that if you have tried to purchase pastured eggs direct from a local farmer that you’ve had sticker shock there as well.  I know that I have paid up to $4.50 a dozen for local, pastured eggs.  But go back up and look at the pictures again and you will see that while both are expensive, one is a much better deal than the other.  The pastured eggs are far superior in every way.

While the local pastured eggs are definitely more visually appealing, that is the tell-tale sign that these are healthier, more nutritious eggs.  It is this intense orange color that is proof of more carotenes and higher levels of fat soluble vitamins.  Fat soluble nutrients do all kinds of good things for you, including lowering your risk of cancer, protecting your skin, and supporting your eyesight.  Eggs from hens allowed to forage for bugs and greens on pasture in the sunlight actually have more nutrients than those from hens raised indoors on all vegetarian feeds.  This includes more Omega 3 Fatty Acids (in fact, pastured eggs have a near perfect ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, and Vitamin B12.

Another very important nutrient in pastured eggs is Choline.  This is a substance found in every living cell in your body, and is a major component of your brain.  But your body cannot make enough Choline on its own, therefore we need to get it from animal foods such as pastured eggs.  A Choline deficiency leads to a folic acid deficiency.  This is why pregnant and nursing women should be eating at least two eggs every day, and why cooked egg yolks are the perfect first food for baby.  Additionally, Choline can help prevent heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s because it is an anti-inflammatory and actually helps prevent fat and cholesterol from sticking to arteries.  So eggs are an important source of nutrition from pre-birth throughout life.

Now that you know how nutrient dense pastured eggs really are, you might not be so upset about their high price.  Even at $4 a dozen, eggs are a really inexpensive source of valuable nutrients.  But if it’s still tough on your budget, then you might consider raising your own backyard flock.  Unless you live in a highly restricted neighborhood, most cities and towns allow residents to own a few hens.  Roosters are another story.  But hens don’t need roosters to lay eggs!  Supposedly, keeping a few hens in your backyard is not just easy but fun as well.  And from what I hear there is nothing quite like having your own supply of fresh, pastured eggs just outside your back door.

For more information, including a book list for keeping backyard flocks as well as recipes for your own chicken feed supplement, check out “Eat Your Eggs And Have Your Chickens Too” by Jen Albritton at www.westonaprice.org.   There is also a wealth of information about the health benefits of eggs at www.whfoods.org.   For lots of great egg recipes, info on feeding eggs to babies, and even more egg nutrition information, read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig.

So all this business about eggs clogging your arteries and causing heart disease is just not true.  You no longer need to avoid egg yolks or that delicious fried egg breakfast.  It is the egg substitutes and powdered eggs and imitation junk that is truly dangerous to your health.  In fact, salmonella isn’t even a concern with pastured eggs, since a healthy hen does not lay contaminated eggs.  As always, God’s foods reign superior, especially when they were raised the way He designed.

 

LITTLE HEATHENS: A Book Report

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I just finished reading the most delightful book; a New York Times Best Book of the Year that my mother just happened to suggest in passing.  It wasn’t anything I was set on reading, but it was what was available when I had the time and I’m so glad it was.

The book is titled, Little Heathens:  Hard Times And High Spirits On An Iowa Farm During The Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish.  Kalish, who grew up on an Iowa farm during the Depression, simply writes about her childhood.  The book is reminiscent of the Little House books in that Kalish records exactly how things were done during a significant time in the history of our country.  Except this book is non-fiction, written in a friendly narrative manner.  The first sentence reads, “This is the story of a time, and a place, and a family.”  Kalish begins by telling us about her great, great grandparents who were among the first pioneers to settle in Iowa.  The family maintained a legacy in Iowa for several generations, operating several family farms where they lived, ate, and worked together. From there Kalish describes the many ways the children built character through chores, home medicine, farm food, and living without modern conveniences like electricity and running water.  Then she covers each season of the year and the distinct events that stand out in her mind; from nut gathering at the family cemetery to box socials at the local schoolhouse.  The book is full of details of rural life during the Depression, from chores to cooking to home remedies.  There are many recipes for farm foods, natural cures, and natural cleaning.  The phrase, “Little Heathens,” was what her grandmother called the children when they got into trouble on the farm (and there are many fun tales of such trouble in this book!).  Kalish has a gift for describing a way of life that totally absorbs the reader into the nostalgia of the time, back when America was still much more rural than urban, and the family was a bigger influence on the children than entertainment.  One word of caution:  when Kalish says she is going to describe the way of life on a farm during the Depression, she describes everything, including “coming of age”, language, and other sensitive issues.  Nothing is left out!

 

I always love reading about how people lived in earlier times.  I know I probably way over-romanticize it, because back then it was truly tough and scary living.  On the other hand, there’s so much to be said for that way of life before people totally left the land, and eventually their families, to live in sterile homes and work in closed up offices behind computers, only to return home to the tv and a lack of reality.  I really think that in so many ways we’ve lost our way.  And this book helps remind us of what is really important.  As she discusses how intensely difficult life was for her family, and how very strict her grandparents were on the children, she is sure to point out, “…I have come to view that time as a gift.  Austere and challenging as it was, it built character, fed the intellect, and stirred the imagination.”  Imagine that – living in near poverty, without modern conveniences, without special after-school programs, and even without yearly well-checkups, these children managed to grow up with strong character, intellect, and imagination!  They were full of life, well-adjusted, and healthy.

 

So why am I giving a book report about this book?  Because this book is all about the simple living and unadulterated food that I am so passionate about.  First, there is an entire chapter devoted to “thrift.”  Kalish begins by quoting the old sayings, “ Use it up; wear it out; make it do; do without” and “ “Willful waste makes woeful want.”  This family didn’t have curbside garbage service; they didn’t need it because they literally used everything until it was just no more.   This thriftiness pervaded their entire beings.  The outcome was a very earth-friendly family before, of course, it was cool to be green.

 

I once knew a girl who thriftily bought a whole chicken because it was cheaper than buying the boneless breasts.  She cooked the entire thing, cut off the breast meat, and threw out the rest of the chicken!  Think of the animal whose sole created purpose was to feed her family; discarded and thrown away simply out of sheer ignorance.  Chapter 28 is devoted to the animals on Kalish’s family farm.  She describes how the family lived in “intimate contact” with a wide variety of farm animals, how they loved each one, and delighted in them.  She says, “The domestic animals were almost like people to us, and we treated them with respect.  Their welfare was always our prime concern.”  This is drastically different from today.  We are raised to think nothing of these animals who give their lives to our service.  To us, they have become nothing more than a cut of meat wrapped in plastic on a styrofoam tray.  All we care about is which cut is cheaper.  But this is a new phenomenon.  Since the beginning of time, man has lived closely with the animals that nourish and serve him.  This relationship develops a healthy respect and conscientiousness that quickly goes missing when we leave the farm.  I remember volunteering at the farmer’s market where a customer was irritated by the high cost of a package of chicken livers.  When he complained to the farmer, she responded by pointing out, “Each one of those livers represents one whole chicken, and a huge investment!”  I wonder what Kalish’s grandparents would think of today’s confinement operations and feedlots where animals are treated without any care?

 

Farm living during the Depression was hard living of course.  Kalish makes this very clear as she details the amount of work that was required by every soul, from the youngest to the oldest.  Everyone had a job and was expected to participate.  The result was a sense of pride and ownership in every last detail of life.  Through the hard work, the family spent their days interacting with each other, teaching and learning while helping and serving.  This was true whether they worked in the barn, the garden, or the fields. And in the end, everything and everyone wound up in the kitchen.  Kalish says, “It should be obvious by now that the center of all activity in those days was the kitchen.  It was where we gathered for companionship and for a variety of work and leisure-time pursuits, where we ate all our meals, and where people entered the house most of the time.”  She goes on to describe their farmhouse kitchen in detail, pointing out that the kitchen “took up half of the first floor of the house.”  The kitchen description takes several pages!  She ends her description with this:  “There were many good reasons for being in the kitchen – light, warmth, food, drink….All in all, the kitchen had just about everything to make one comfortable.”

 

I love how she describes her memories of the farmhouse kitchen.  It is the smell of food that swallows her up and takes her back to her childhood.  Not pre-packaged microwaved fake food, but real food loaded with real animal fats and fresh goodies from the garden:

 

The smell of bacon is what brings back a flood of memories to me…I conjure up the taste of a sandwich made of homemade bread spread with smoked bacon drippings, topped with the thinnest slices of crisp red radishes freshly harvested from the garden, and sprinkled over with coarse salt.

 

Consider the modern family of today.  We have so many extra-curricular activities that we are strung out from one end of town to the other.  Instead of working together toward a common goal (the welfare of the family), most American children spend their free time playing the Wii, texting friends, or hanging out at the mall.  Family Night usually centers around “Dancing With The Stars” or “American Idol” and a delivery pizza.  When our children grow up, their nostalgic scents will revolve more around the smell of microwave popcorn or the rancid oils and fake fats from delivery pizza.  Hmmm.  It seems to be lacking something, doesn’t it?

 

One of the things I loved about this book was the continuing theme of family working together.  But there was another, even stronger theme woven throughout this book:  how loving and working the land leads one to an intimate relationship with the land, that then brings about valuable knowledge and skills, which bring health, life, and vitality to each person.  When you know valuable skills, you then have a confidence in your ability to cope with life.  You have become empowered, no longer helpless and dependent.

 

Here’s a great quote that gives some insight into why Kalish wrote this book.  She wants her family to know what it took to survive during difficult times so different from those we live in now, but, she says, “…most of all I want them to enjoy the kinship of souls that is created when everyone gathers in the kitchen to prepare a meal together.  Although cooking today is vastly easier, there is still nothing like putting a good meal on the table to make people feel they have done something meaningful.”  I totally agree.

 

There is so much more about this fun book than what I have shared here.  Check it out, and consider how you can take your family “back to the land.”  You will never regret it.

An Issue of TRUST

 

 

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.

Psalm 20: 7-9

 

What do Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny have in common? They are both fictional characters created by man. Intentionally or not, they each take our eyes off the real purpose of the religious holiday: the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. It has become increasingly evident to me that in every aspect of life there is something out there trying to take our eyes off Jesus, and divert our attention away from God.

 

Take food, for example. Have you considered how today’s modern foods have caused us to lose touch with our God and Creator? We have not only lost touch with God, but we have lost our trust in Him as well. Yes, yes we trust God in many ways. Namely we trust God for our salvation — and this is of absolute, utmost importance. Praise God for our savior, Jesus Christ, His son! But there is one significant way in which we have strayed far, far away from God: FOOD.

 

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him…

Colossians 2:8-10

 

Since the beginning of time, God has provided food for His people. And through his design, food is our source of physical nourishment. It is also the means by which we celebrate, mourn, and nurture. When we are happy, we feast. When we are sad, we come together and eat. When we are sick, we offer food to each other. Throughout the Bible we see examples of people coming together to feast for all occasions. One incredible, important use for food, seen over and again in the Bible, is that good food prepares the body to hear the word of God. Consider the Last Supper, where Jesus and his disciples were eating together. Food brings people together, and brings them closer to God. God created it that way.

 

The Bible is filled with comparisons between food and spiritual truths.  Just as food is our source for physical nourishment, Jesus is our source for spiritual nourishment. God uses food and farming repeatedly as examples to help people understand His words. But if we don’t understand the basics about food, how it is grown, and where it comes from, then we are at a distinct disadvantage in truly understanding God’s words.

 

Let me take that a step farther. We not only don’t understand where our food comes from, but we don’t even believe that it’s good for us, good to eat, or safe to eat. We have lost our trust in God’s ability to provide nourishing, safe food.

 

God tells us in Genesis 1:31, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” At what point did God’s creation stop being good? When Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden? Nonsense!

 

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

 

Tell me this: for those of you who trust God with the salvation of your soul, how does it make sense to deny the goodness of the food that God created just for you?

 

I know that doctors, scientists, and nutritionists are all telling us one thing. They are united in telling us that the food God created is dangerous and will kill you. They have a massive campaign and have developed all manner of specialized foods to advance their agenda. This is a multi-million dollar industry. There are special diets, there are rules, and everyone is telling you something different. But in the end, the result is the same: it takes us farther and farther away from God’s creation, and instead, glorifies the things that man has done. We fall for this hook, line, and sinker because these people are specialists in their field. They are scientists therefore they must know what they’re talking about.

 

Now tell me this: how is this different than a genius scientist telling us that there is no God, or that man evolved from apes? Or an archeologist telling us that the Bible is a fraud? As Christians we know that isn’t true because we have faith in our God, that what He says is true. Why is it that we trust one scientist but not the other? I’m telling you it is the same principle. We trust God with our salvation yet don’t trust him to give us safe, nourishing food. Instead, we put our trust in scientists, companies, and even physicians and nutritionists, who tell us that God’s foods aren’t safe. So while we go around telling the world that we trust God for our salvation, we look the other way when it comes to eating the foods he created for us to eat. How does this make sense?

 

Which brings me back to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny – creations of man that ultimately take our eyes off Jesus. You see, there is a lot of information out there. For every issue, there are volumes of dissenting information and opinions. When it comes to issues that might turn our hearts toward God, the information battle grows that much fiercer in attempts to keep us from looking toward him, the author and finisher of our faith. And in the case of food, man — intentionally or not — has deceived us into believing that God’s creation is not only dangerous, but also bothersome, smelly, dirty, disgusting, and not good enough for the educated people that we think we are.

 

Please go back and think about that for a moment.

 

There are many valid reasons for the gradual decline of our society, but I truly believe that one of them is that we have grown too far away from the source of our food. The Bible frequently refers to seasons, gardening, animals, and food as it teaches us about God. When we don’t understand those basic aspects of life – when we actually think those things are disgusting — how can we understand the word of God? As we have allowed scientists and companies to draw us away from the farm, we have gradually lost our trust in God’s ability to create safe, nourishing food. We trust Him for our salvation, but not for nourishing food. Instead of God, we have put our trust in diet plans, surgeries, prescriptions, supplements, modern processing, modern farming, and even science – all of which take our eyes off Jesus and instead profit and glorify man while harming God’s creation.

 

Man’s ways are burdensome, yet Jesus promises in Matthew 11, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  When we simply eat food that God created, the way He created it, we won’t need the rules, restrictions, confusing diet plans and conflicting information coming at us from all sides.  We are free!

 

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying.  Science is good. Many scientists have found that their work actually leads them to a stronger faith in God. Doctors are good people – I married one. Businessmen, nutritionists, and even lawmakers are good people as well. The scientists who are busily re-engineering our food truly don’t have evil intent. But as Christians we must always be discerning because there are wolves out there in sheep’s clothing. I’m not talking about evil people. I am talking about allowing these aspects of our modern society, as harmless as they may appear, to subtly take our eyes and eventually our trust away from God. This can be in any number of ways, including food.

 

What is in your pantry? What are you feeding your children? Are these foods that man created, or God? Are you teaching your children to honor their Creator and trust Him by the way they eat? Are you laughing and saying, “It’s just food! Come on!” Do you love your processed foods? Do they bring you comfort? Do you really think that’s good?

 

These things are of great concern to me. I believe they should concern you too. It isn’t just food. It is more than a choice.  It is an entire way of looking at life, at God, and his incredibly deep love for you.

 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity…

Jeremiah 9: 11-14

 

God sent his one and only son to this earth as a sacrifice and atonement for your sins. How could he love you so much to do this, yet not feed you safe and healthy food as well?

 

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations….

Let the people praise thee, o God; let all the people praise thee.

Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.

God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

Psalm 67:1-2, 5-7

Bad Sweets, Better Sweets

Sweets.  Dessert.  Ice cream.  Cake.  Cookies.  Pie.  Chocolate.  YUM.   I looove sweets.  I have a real sweet tooth. Do you love sweets too?  I think mankind in general has a love affair going with sugar.   In the United States each person consumes something like 200+ pounds of sugar EACH YEAR.  Who knew that “just one cookie” translated into more than 200 pounds?  That’s because it’s never just one.  Think about how much sugar your child gets in one week:

            *”just one” piece of candy after ballet

            *”just one” piece of candy after piano

            *”just one” sweet snack after ball practice

            *”just one” sweet snack after the game (that doesn’t include the sno-cone, bubblegum, and sweetened sports drink during the game)

            *”just one” piece of candy after mid-week Bible class

            *”just one” piece of candy during Bible class for knowing a correct answer

            *”just one” piece of candy from a well-meaning older person

            *”just one” piece of candy from the drive-thru bank teller

And this list doesn’t include the so-called “fruit snacks” that are marketed as healthy juice snacks but are really loaded with high fructose corn syrup, nor does this list include the other snacks your child eats through the week that also include corn syrup, and also don’t forget the “occasional” soft drink and fast food meal – both of which are heavily laden with sugar in many processed forms.  And don’t forget birthday parties and class parties where treats are a pre-requisite to having fun.  Also consider how many nights per week you feed your children dessert.  Or allow a sweet after-school snack.  Then on top of all of that, remember Halloween where children are allowed to have at it under the false assumption that “we don’t eat much sugar at our house so this one time a year is ok.”  And just a few weeks later the Thanksgiving and Christmas parties begin where we sweetly smile and say, “It’s just once a year.”  But right after that comes Valentines’ Day and more parties.  All of this in addition to the regular daily and weekly “just one time” treats.

  

OK so you are getting the picture – each one of us is easily consuming more than 200 pounds of sugar every year.   And yes this includes your family – the family that claims “we really don’t eat much sugar.”  Yes, you really do eat much more sugar than you realize.  It is time to put the brakes on the sugar consumption.  The future of your family is at stake.

 

ALL BAD

 

Sugar is just plain bad for you.  We all know that eating a lot of sugar can lead to diabetes and obesity but did you also know that sugar gives your immune system a big punch in the gut?  Yes – for a full 24 hours after consuming sugar, your immune system is not functioning at its peak level.  This is really bad news because for most of us our immune system is already in a weakened state so sugar gives it an even bigger blow.  Ever since I learned that sugar weakens immunities, I have paid close attention and mulled it over quite a bit.  Think about this:  when is the biggest cold and flu season in our country?  It starts somewhere in October and typically slows way down in January.  Right smack during three of our most major holidays:  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Sugar consumption is at an all-time high.  And so is the flu season.  How many families do you know who were hit hard with a stomach bug over Christmas?  It seemed to me that there were more this year than ever, but I was paying close attention.  Then there are all those who have been hit repeatedly with nasty colds that won’t go away.  My opinion is that there is a direct correlation between the holiday indulgence in sweets and holiday-time sickness.

 

DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS

 

Additionally, sugar harms your liver.  I am no scientist so I will do my best to explain it in laymen’s terms.  White sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, etc., have zero nutritional value.  Therefore instead of being digested/synthesized through your digestive system, it goes straight to your liver and is synthesized there.  Because it is not a natural food (sugar cane is natural, sugar is not), it is very hard on your liver.  It strains your liver.   A lifetime of eating sugar may not make everyone’s liver quit functioning, but it will keep the liver from functioning as it should.  You will experience the results one way or another, whether it is in the form of high blood sugar, high triglycerides, depression, or some other new-fangled vague disease like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue.  Or, eventually, liver failure.

 

UMMM…HELLO!?

 

So basically, grown-ups give kids sugary treats thinking they are being sweet or offering a reward but in reality they are making that child more susceptible to diseases of all kinds, liver failure, diabetes, cancer, and setting them up for a lifetime of sugar addiction – physically and psychologically.  We are raising our kids to expect sugary rewards whenever something good happens.  We are raising our kids to expect sugary treats whenever two or more are gathered.  How does this make sense?  How is this good?

 

IT’S NOT A FOOD GROUP

 

We all have a natural affinity for something sweet.  God created us that way.  But interestingly he didn’t create us so that our bodies require sugar; he just created us to like it.  And then he placed several wonderful, sweet foods amongst his creation for us to enjoy.  On occasion.  And, interestingly, unlike sugar, which has NO nutritional value, every sweet thing God created is nutritious.  That means that the type of sugar in fruit, maple syrup, or honey is good for you (in moderation).  Not only this, but it is NOT addictive.  Man-made, or processed, sugars ARE addictive.  Unlike natural sugars, processed sugars inhibit the body’s ability to say, “I’m full.”  Instead, they actually turn on a craving for more.   This is addiction, and addiction is sinful.  You may not believe that you are addicted to sugar but consider giving up processed sugar for forever and see what kind of emotions that brings.  Just try giving it up for a short time.  It will not take long to realize that, yes, you are probably addicted to sugar.  Remember that God would not create a food that caused you to sin.  God’s foods do not create addiction.  In fact, if you eat too much honey you will get sick.

 

NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL DEGENERATION

 

There are so many problems with processed sugars that I couldn’t begin to list them all.  But there is one other obvious issue that needs to be mentioned:  teeth.  Sugar is so bad for your teeth.  For one thing it just rots them straight out.  But something else you may not have considered is that your overall physical health is reflected in the health of your teeth.   If your body isn’t tip-top, your teeth will show it.  So poor dental health, reflected not only in tooth decay but also facial structure and jaw structure, is a direct reflection on your personal health deep down inside.  This has actually been proven through the studies of Weston A. Price, a dentist/physician in the early 1900s who searched the world over for cultures who were free from disease and tooth decay.  He found isolated groups of people in every area of the world who were in prime health, free from disease, living long lives, and totally free from tooth decay.   Yet they never brushed or flossed their teeth, and they sure weren’t having regular fluoride treatments (and it wasn’t in their water).  These people were isolated from modern foods – processed foods such as sugar – and ate only traditional foods.  When one person would leave their traditional foods and traditional food preparation for westernized food, that person would soon begin to experience disease and the very next generation of their children was born with facial abnormalities, dental malformation, and other problems.  Today modern medicine and modern dentistry make this a non-issue for many people so we are not experiencing the terrible pain these problems wrought.  It’s a good thing, yet it just makes us that more removed from the source of our health problems:  modern processed foods like sugar.  Dr. Price’s work is documented in his extensive book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and continues to be promoted today through non-profit groups such as the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Price-Pottenger Foundation.  But amidst all that bad news, there is some good news:  it only takes one generation to correct the problems.  That means that if you teach your children to abstain from sugar (and other processed foods) now, their children will be better for it.

 

JUST SAY NO

 

That was a very lengthy way of saying, “quit eating sugar.”  But I hope you see now why sugar is so bad.   And now you are faced with the problem of what to do about it.  Sweets and other sugary treats are just a way of life for our culture, especially children.  I want to help you learn to live in this culture without making your children feel deprived but without continuing to wreak havoc on their health as well.

 

First, if your children are very young, my best advice for you is “DON’T START.”  If they have not tasted candy and other sugary treats, they will not care about them.  When they do taste them, they may not like them and it will be easier to keep them from indulging too much.  Meanwhile you can start teaching them as a way of life that these foods are bad.  If your children are older and sweets are already a big part of their lives, you have your work cut out for you but it can be done.  Start today by teaching them the ugly truth about sugar.  Give them incentives to decline the sweets at birthdays and other parties such as a quarter, or a promise of something else yummy to eat that is healthy, etc.  Then whenever it is within your power, such as in your house where YOU buy the groceries, stop buying these “foods.”  If the children do choose to partake of the goodies at parties, don’t make them feel guilty or even make a stink about it.  Simply be that much more determined to make home a haven that is free of the junk.  As they grow, you can continue to talk to them about why this food is bad, and encourage them to have just one (as opposed to many).  Sometimes the kids just need permission to not get seconds or not finish their treat and to just throw it away when they have had enough.  My jaw hit the floor the time I realized my kid was hanging onto a ring-pop just because they didn’t know they could throw it away!  Now I remind them all to never feel obligated to accept or finish sweets!  You don’t want to create eating disorders.  You want to educate and make them wise.  So never make it an emotional or discipline issue.  Always let it be their choice. 

 

It has been my experience that the longer you go without processed sugar, the less desirable it becomes when you do have it.  First, you can taste the fake flavors.  Second, you notice how it makes you feel.  This is true for adults and children both.  I have used the above approach(es) with my children.  At first it felt like a losing battle but as they have grown they have begun to choose NOT to indulge on their own.  They don’t enjoy the taste as much, they don’t feel good after they eat it, and they also know why it is bad.

 

Additionally, I make sure we always have special treats at home.  My kids get birthday cakes, we make Christmas cookies, and enjoy sweet desserts during holidays.  They are soooo not deprived!  But I control the ingredients in all of these things.  And this is the next point I want to make.

 

Remember my recent post, “Nutrient Dense?”  Everything you eat should have some nutritional value.  Some real nutritional value.  Go back and read that post through, then come back here and finish reading this one.

 

All sweets, even the so-called healthy ones, should be a very minimal part of your diet.  In other words, you do not need sweets every day or week.  Maybe a couple times each month is good.  Never is best.

 

Discover the sweets that God has already put into his creation before you make your own new ones.  For example, a bowl full of fresh berries with fresh raw cream drizzled all over.  This was never something that made me too excited until I had the real stuff a few years ago.  Raw cream drizzled over fresh berries is AMAZING!  And the cool thing about it is that it is SATISFYING.  You have some and your sweet tooth is satisfied.  And what about watermelon?  There is nothing quite like a big slice of cold, juicy, sweet watermelon on a hot July night.  It’s thirst-quenching, and it’s satisfying.

 

Have you tried fresh dates?  A good friend recently introduced me to Medjool Dates.

 

 

These are not the dried up things from a grocery store.  These are fresh dates with the pits still in them.  Fresh, sticky, chewy, and so incredibly sweet … we eat them like candy.  Except that after two or three, our sweet tooth is satisfied.  They don’t call our name whenever we walk by, and we are not tempted to have several throughout the day, unlike candy.

 

Of course there are plenty of ways to combine fresh, whole foods and natural, un-processed sweeteners to make delectable treats that won’t contribute to a decline in your health.   Get adventurous and try something new, such as these fabulous chocolate balls:

 

 

These are made with coconut oil, honey, ground almonds, cocoa, and shredded coconut.  They are so simple and basic, yet they are actually bursting with nutrition.  Coconut oil supports your thyroid and all endocrine functions while raw honey is actually an anti-bacterial and anti-viral food.  I found the recipe on the web.  Again, after just a couple, our sweet tooth is satisfied.  We don’t crave more.

 

You can modify existing recipes by using fresher, whole ingredients and changing the type of sugar and flour used.   A great resource is the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook.

 

 

I tried these date squares over the holidays and was pleasantly surprised.

 

 

I used my fresh Medjool dates (which were easy to pit and chop up), freshly ground whole wheat flour, freshly rolled oats, butter, and unrefined sugar to make these.  Their rich, sweet, ooey-gooey buttery flavor was just right.

 

People often ask me what I do about birthdays.  The answer is simple:  I make cake and ice cream.

 

You’d never know this cake was 100% whole wheat.  The icing does have powdered white sugar, but it is combined with raw cream and raw butter.  There are actually nutritional qualities to this cake.  And the ice cream, well, it’s totally awesome made with my fresh raw cream and eggs, and organic maple syrup instead of sugar.

 

REAL SWEETENERS

 

I wrote about real sweeteners last year in my post, “Sweet To The Soul.”  In it I discussed using honey, maple syrup, and molasses to sweeten foods instead of sugar and corn syrup.  Several people have asked me about Agave nectar.  I really don’t know why we need a new sweetener in addition to the ones God has already provided.  Some of you might argue that Agave is not new and that it is all natural (that’s what the producers claim) but the reality is that Agave is a fairly new sweetener, and it is very highly processed.  Check out this excellent article from the Food Renegade, or this one from the Weston A. Price Foundation.  Other people have asked me about Stevia.  Personally I have never used Stevia because I just don’t need to – I have  honey and maple syrup.  But Stevia is an acceptable choice – it is simply an herb that has a sweet taste. 

 

By using less processed, more nutritious ingredients wherever I can, and by limiting sweets to only true special occasions, I am drastically cutting back on sugar intake for my entire family.   And we are healthier for it.

 

It’s time for you to re-think your family’s sugar consumption.  Make 2010 the year that you and your family resolve to kiss your sugar habit goodbye.

 

 

 

GUEST BLOGGER: A TESTIMONY OF FAITH, HEALING, AND HEALTH

 

Note from The Grain Girl:  Today’s post is written by my dear friend Cindy, who has poured out her heart and soul to share the story of her and her sons’ journey toward health – and healing – by simply eating “God’s food.”  Cindy’s testimony is powerful and I pray that everyone who reads it will be encouraged and motivated. I tell everyone who feels they don’t have time, money, or motivation to change their lifestyle that if my friend Cindy can do it, anyone can.  She has endured  an intensely difficult struggle, and won.  Praise God for her courage and faith in him!

Be sure to read through to the end so you don’t miss a word of her amazing journey.


Thank you, Cindy, for sharing your story, and for being an example, so that others may also find health and healing through God’s perfect provision.


A TESTIMONY OF FAITH, HEALING, AND HEALTH

Last night I had the opportunity to help a lady whom I had never met, but had spoken to on the phone, to try and show her some ways she could make a difference in her family by changing how they eat.  It made me think back to my journey in this area over the past 3 years.

During 2006, I was trying to figure out how to help my son who was having trouble at school.  I knew he had behavior issues before he started Kindergarten, but it eventually came to a head in 3rd grade.  Teachers would say things like, “He has a wonderful heart but he has sudden outbursts that go against his normal personality.”  These outbursts would sometimes involve pushing other kids.  They would just happen.  I had tried multiple different things trying to help him.  The school system even had him tested/evaluated for various things and were recommending I put him on prescription medications even though he was not diagnosed with anything –for this particular teacher her only solution was to give him a pill and it would make her life easier here at school.

November of 2006 was when I went to my knees in prayer (yet again) and cried out to the Lord to please help me know what to do for this precious boy.

I distinctly remember what I can only say was the Holy Spirit saying it’s the food.  I “Googled” diet and behavior and was amazed that one of the leading hits was a website that specialized in helping people take the “bad” stuff out of their food to positively impact children with ADHD and ADD (neither of which my son has by the way).  I learned that research has shown that the shift in America to processed food tracks consistently with lots of health problems, but very clearly tracks with the sky rocketing of behavior based health issues – ADD and ADHD to name a couple.

 

A few days ago when I mentioned to my son that I had been asked by a teacher at school to help a mom with a son having behavior problems similar to what my son used to have my son said, “Well you are the one to do that.”  The next day he asked if he could share his story with this mom when she came by.  He has never spoken to others about this journey we have been on; he likes to just say, “Mom has gone organic.” My son is now 11 years old and a 6th grader at our local public middle school.  He shared with this mom the following thoughts:

·      How he was in the principal’s office 3 times in the first half of 3rd grade year when all he was trying to do was get along with everyone

·      He felt yucky inside all the time

·      Nobody wanted to play with him

·      He would get angry and frustrated very easy

·      He never felt like doing anything but video games (which I had been limiting trying to help him)

He then proceeded to say that his mom, “decided to take out artificial stuff, ingredients we cannot pronounce, and things other people make in factories.”  He shared how it took about a year but then he had lots of people who would play with him at recess, he never went back to the principal’s office (except to give hugs), now feels good, ran on the middle school cross country team and, his quote “it’s all because we eat what God made.”

My precious son has Sensory Integration Disorder – basically his nervous system would not process input from the 5 senses at the same rate most others do.  This input would build up in his body and he was continually in a constant state of “on edge” – like you feel when you are under tremendous stress and it doesn’t take much to push you over the edge – which would happen routinely at school.  We hope and pray that this disorder is something he will out grow but it has been obvious it has not.  When I say obvious what I mean is I can tell he still has it when the following situation occurs:  well meaning people give him a bag of M&M’s as a treat, if he doesn’t have the willpower and decides to eat them then he has significant physical/emotional symptoms that are from the Sensory Integration Disorder.  Every time this happens, it reaffirms that what I am doing with our diet is critical to his health and wellbeing.

So my journey started November of 2006 by taking out all preservatives, artificial colors/flavorings and even some natural foods that could cause this behavior.  We had 6 weeks of “detoxification” while all of our bodies rid itself of these bad things.  After the 6 weeks, I could add back in things like apples/strawberries one at time and see if anything happened with him.  Today he (and we) eats anything made by God as close to that natural state that I can realistically make it.

Just so you know, I am a single working mom of 2 boys – age 11 and 8 — and yes, I make everything we eat. This is just how our family eats – not because of my son’s behavior but because I have been convinced that God knows our bodies best and we should eat what God provides.

“How do I do it” is a question I frequently get.  You know when something is a priority its amazing how you can find time to fit in the activity – that is how I look at feeding my family naturally without processed food.  It’s just how we have to eat.

One of my goals was to not have my children feel “deprived” so I promised them and myself I would learn how to make all their favorite things with “good” ingredients.  My children do not miss out – instead of those yuckily processed Cosmic Brownies that they used to eat, I make brownies from scratch.  By making everything I can control the ingredients.   Every once in a while the boys will say something like I wish I could have “x” and I will say okay let’s find a recipe and make it and we do.

My key kitchen tools are:  bread machine, grain mill, deep freezer, crock pot and my Kitchen Aid mixer. I make all of our bread (using a mill to grind wheat – it’s as easy as pour in the grain, turn on the mill and get freshly ground flour -MAGIC).   I love to make bread with my mixer and hand knead it but reality due to time constraints is that usually I rely on my bread machine – I can put in all the ingredients, press start and in 3 hours 45 minutes we have freshly made bread or I can set the timer and its ready for breakfast.

My crock-pot is a great friend so that the meat portion of dinner is ready – I have meat ready, bread ready and then all I have to do each night is come up with the healthy side dishes.  We eat rice a couple of times a week, fresh veggies, sautéed veggies and salads.  I also participate in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) which is a program with a local farmer where I receive a box of locally grown vegetables every other week which keeps me well stocked with fresh veggies, helps us try new things and adds a ton of nutrition into our regular meals.  I minimize the use of veggies from a can since so much nutrition is lost in the processing process – trust me I know, my work takes me inside of manufacturing plants!

I make waffles, pancakes, tortillas, bread, and rolls; every time I make some I bag a few for the freezer.  That allows me to have some in the moments when I fail to plan for a meal.    I don’t write out a plan for the week but I have a general plan in my mind and I always know what tomorrow’s menu will be so I can plan ahead.  Not planning is the one thing that could cause me to feel like we have to go out to eat or drive thru somewhere.  I even take coolers of food to their soccer/flag football games so that we are not tempted to buy snacks there – I think every time I can provide healthy alternatives to nachos and hot dogs we are better off.

A few tips that work for me are:

·      Each Sunday the boys and I create a veggie tray that stays in the fridge all week

·      I keep apples, pears and strawberries in the fridge at all times

·      I make granola bars, cut them and put them in lunch baggies for those quick need to grab something as your go out the door

·      I make muffins once or twice a week for after school snacks and freeze the leftovers

·      I buy fresh lettuce from the local farmers market and keep it in the fridge in a large plastic bowl (lined with paper towels to minimize spoilage) for a quick salad

·      I have taught my boys if you cannot pronounce an ingredient we cannot eat it – they also know of a few other things we don’t ever eat even if they can pronounce it!

·      I keep the healthiest tortilla chips I can find so that they can take “chips” in their lunch for school (once again so they don’t feel deprived)

·      Each week I cook at least one new and different food to keep them trying new things – our latest favorite that yes 2 boys asked for as part of Christmas dinner is drum roll please brussel sprouts (I didn’t think I even liked them but we do)

·      I make bulk chicken stock and freeze it both in quart freezer bags and ice trays so that I can pop a cube of chicken stock into rice and other things to intensify the nutritional impact

Another question I get frequently is “Why don’t you just do this for your older son and let your younger son eat whatever he wants” – well the answer to that is my conviction that God designed us and designed our food and no matter what our physical make-up says what God made is what is best for us all.  But my younger son has experienced benefits too.  He used to require daily breathing treatments, but hasn’t had one in two years!  My younger son loves to eat – 5-6 times a day he is asking for fresh fruit, raw veggies, and healthy snacks like that as well as eating large servings at each meal.  His body craves the nutritional impact from our food and it shows in his growth, health and energy level.


It’s been a 3-year process but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  For those of you who do not know me, I did not grow up eating this way.  We ate lots of  “easy cooking” and comfort foods so this has been a big change for me as well.  It has been amazing how much better I feel physically and I really do not feel deprived myself.  I’ve just found ways to have these things in a more natural God provided way.   Those times when I find myself eating some of the “old” foods I can always tell the difference later that day and the next day how I feel.  What we feed ourselves truly impacts our physical bodies.

My older son had been encouraging me for a long time to break one bad habit I had – my diet cokes.  I had changed everything in how we ate except I didn’t think I could give up my addiction to diet coke – I was drinking 6-8 cans a day.  This past summer I quit buying and drinking these (the local Sonic happy hour is wondering where I am!)  It was amazing in hindsight that an 11 year old could so clearly see the importance of this one item and not give up until he convinced me to quit.

As you can tell I am passionate about this lifestyle because I have seen so much good come from switching my family to a God-planned, nutritionally dense diet lifestyle.   My children have not been on antibiotics in 2 ½ years and my 8 year old 2nd grader hasn’t missed a day of school since starting at elementary school (2 ½ years now).   My 6th grader did miss the day after Thanksgiving break with a fever that lasted six hours, but I truly think it was because we were out of town for a week eating things we do not normally eat.

It’s interesting, but as Amy and I discussed this article, I realized how much I had forgotten about the difficulty I had those years before our lifestyle diet change.  The Sensory Integration symptoms began showing when my older son had just turned 2; it took two years after that to get a diagnosis and then the trial of  a variety of methods to help him – reflux medication since he gagged and threw up regularly (which he actually started taking at age 2 ½ before the diagnosis),  occupation therapy to calm his nervous system, physical exercise programs (because this also manifests itself with loss of gross muscle control/lack of coordination), behavior modification programs to just name a few things – all of this took place for 6 long and arduous years in one form or another before I changed what we put in our bodies.  By the way, the divorce occurred about 3 years into this 6 years of sensory integration running rampant with him – I think that is important to know since it wasn’t just the emotional impact of divorce manifesting itself thru these symptoms, it was much bigger than that.  I also thought you might like to know he now runs cross country for his school and plays flag football and basketball – all are things that come much easier to him these days without a drop of prescription medication. At the same time all of these issues were occurring with my older son, my younger son was dealing with constant asthmatic and upper respiratory attacks which, as I mentioned earlier, required daily breathing treatments.  My life was consumed with doctor appointments, meetings, tests, medications, and stress.  Today, my life is consumed with simply loving on and enjoying my healthy, joyful boys.

 

Another benefit that has occurred is that I also am off of a long term medication that my insurance did not cover.  I had been on anti-depressants since my younger son was born – between postpartum depression and the intense emotional situation of a divorce I thought prescription medication was the only way to manage life.  About a year into this way of eating, God put on my heart to trust him and trust the food I was putting in my body and quit taking the medication.  I quit and have been off of it for 2 years now. God’s way really worked for me.

All of these health improvements are an important benefit, but the biggest benefit is seeing the 180 degree change in my son and to hear him say “Just do everything my mom says about food and life becomes great.”

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!  therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.  They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house…

Psalm 36:7,8