Archive for ‘Weston A. Price’

November 17, 2011

WAP FTW

Weston A. Price. Weston A. Price. You’re probably wondering if I ever stop talking about Weston A. Price.

Look. I have three readers. One is my grandmother. (Hi Gammy!) The other two are spam-bots who leave me awesome comments:

What I’m saying is, I can write about whatever I want. And we may be purchasing a new mattress.

Sos’ you three readers can be sure you know what I’m talking about, here are a few of my word vomits posts on Weston A. Price:

From this blog:

Paleo/Primal + Weston A. PriceWAP Me Pretty.Paleo + Weston A. Price: Dietary Domination

From my professional website:

Fermented Beverages: A New Post-Workout Strategy?Nutrition for Athletes, Part 1 and Part 2Super Saturated Fats

From another professional website, Steve’s Original, where I serve as Nutrition Advisor: (at this point, you can surmise that I either spend more time typing than I do being a normal human being; or I simply plagiarize. A lot.)

Farms, Activism, and CrossFit (caution: sound), Paleo Plus: All About Dairy, Part 1Paleo Plus: All About Dairy, Part 2Paleo Plus: Broth

So yeah. I love Weston A. Price. But I don’t love it alone. There are four of us in this Ancestral Health bed: Myself, Weston, and the 2 “P’s” – Paleo and Primal. (So I guess there are, like, several million people in my bed. I may need a shower.)

We’re all targeting our own health and the health of the planet from an ancestral perspective, and together there’s a synergy that’s unfathomable. Collecting the best from each camp is like having a dinner of grass-fed steak wrapped in bacon, topped with crabmeat and a pat of raw butter. YEOWZA!

So I attended the 2012 WAP conference in Dallas last weekend (appropriately entitled “Mythbusters!” and I did a recap today for Steve’s Original – find it here.

A few of the more important tidbits I gleaned from a weekend filled with Science, Braunschweiger and Hero worship:

Science. Braunschweiger. Hero Worship. #Nerdgasm.

1) Vitamin D3 supplementation may be counter-active. I’ll follow the work of MIT researcher Stephanie Seneff, PhD for more on this topic; until then, I may save up for a light box. Also, thanks to Stephanie, I more fully understand the action of sulfur within the body.

Her last lecture, “How Statins Really Work Explains Why They Don’t Really Work,” truly incensed me – to think how many fathers, grandfathers and loved ones are literally dying or losing all quality of life because of Statins absolutely kills me. As Stephanie said (paraphrased), “I would never encourage someone to lower their cholesterol. Cholesterol is doing what it’s doing for a reason.” 

This post from Butter Believer articulates my rage.

2) Arachidonic Acid isn’t the “bad guy” that Barry Sears makes it out to be. Yes, we want to avoid excess Omega 6 from “industrial oils” and processed foods (See Paleo 2.0, scroll to “Excess Linoleic Acid”) but, according to Chris Masterjohn, Arachidonic Acid actually has some really important functions in the body. So enjoy those damn egg yolks and chicken skins, or you’ll answer to my limp fish iron fist.

3) My heroes are actually regular people. I had the privilege of hanging briefly with Chris Masterjohn (most of that time was spent apologizing for a grossly inappropriate Tweet – #Headsmack), eating dinner with a table of Movers & Shakers including Paul Jaminet (to whom I said the word “Awesomest” – #DoubleHeadsmack) and Denise Minger (who, if she noticed my totally awkward, Tourette’s-like “fangirl” behavior, treated me totally normally) and talking the future of the ancestral movement with Kimberly Hartke. It was like introducing Tween Liz to Devon Sawa, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and the BackStreet Boys all at once. I may have lost control of all bodily functions.

4) New friends are awesome. Laura of AncestralizeMe, a future RD and Paleo-oriented WAP VIP, is definitely too smart and pretty to be hangin’ out with a Hippie Blogger like myself. Despite the disparity in coolness, we became attached at the hip and terrorized that conference quite handily. There are some MAJOR Ancestral Health projects in the works, including a call for Weston Price-oriented athletes! Nicole of Sweet Mesquite Acres and Hannah of Kombucha Kamp were so nice and a pleasure to chat with and learn from. Kombucha project forthcoming!

I’m still getting through all the reviews from the weekend, but I’d love to hear from anyone else who was there! What were your favorite tidbits? Do you see the Weston Price, Paleo and Primal movements merging?

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June 10, 2011

Farms, Activism and CrossFit.

I wrote for Steve’s Original about the potential for CrossFit to change the world’s view of nutrition and food production, an exciting thought that’s at the front of my mind with the release of Farmageddon this month. Navigate over to Steve’s original for the full post, or simply have a look at the Farmageddon trailer (which, obnoxiously obnoxious, may have started playing the second you clicked).

Please support this film in any way you can!

May 23, 2011

Workshops and a Request.

I got so ridiculously much (yes, that’s a Lit-major-approved phrase. “Ridiculously much.”) awesome feedback on my Oysters/Oy Vey post that I’m tempted to leave it up as my latest post forever. I love every single suggestion! Also was glad to find out that mermaids wear scallop shells. This just opened up the entire Little Mermaid series for me. Anyhow – thanks, everybody!

I would appreciate it if everyone put some good thoughts into the atmosphere for the folks and friends in Joplin, MO. The city (close to my hometown) got hit with a devastating tornado on Sunday and needs as much support as possible. Thanks in advance.

This weekend was pretty durn busy. I took my show on the road and got to chat with some really awesome people at CrossFit Lancaster about food, Paleo/Weston A. Price, and some Nutritional Therapy points.

I even got confused with Sir Robb Wolf’s spouse, which led to my new brainchild, a workshop called “Paleo & Polygamy” that will tour starting after the second Rapture but before the Mayan End of Days.

(For the record, Robb Wolf is married to Nicki Violetti. I am married to Cave Husband. When we married, I gave CH a “hippie choose-one:” I’ll either keep my Birkenstocks that I’ve had since college, or I’ll throw them out and keep my last name.)

I got to keep the last name. Everybody wins! (Yes, the Birks were THAT disgusting.) Add hash tags: #modernfeminism #awesomehusband #whydontmorepeopledothis #forgivemyfootwear.

I know I’ve been asking for your feedback a lot lately, but I learned an extraordinary amount from everyone this weekend, and I’m becoming more clued-in about what people want to address and explore. (It basically coincides with the many things I want to address and explore!) I’ve been promising a publicly-available (read: FREE) packet since my CrossFit Tribe workshop, combining the Paleo, Weston A. Price, Innate Intelligence, Body Care, and Nutritional Therapy points that have enriched my life so profoundly. I fully intend to release said packet – I just want it to be perfect. I don’t want to make a “this is how to diet” packet. And that’s not easy. Because the typical packet – the typical “Comprehensive PDF Download!” leans far closer to a one-size-fits-all approach.

So can you help? What were the foundations you needed as a Paleo/Primal Newbie? What do you wish someone had told you? How would you summarize your philosophy now?

If you’re game, I’d love to hear – and possibly add your wisdom to this packet. Let me know any thoughts you’ve got. Where do you differ from by-the-books Paleo, Primal, or Price? How do you handle the emotional aspects of changing your nutritional paradigm? What do you hope to see as this movement progresses?

April 27, 2011

WAP me Pretty.

SUPER IMPORTANT: If you’re not familiar with the principles of Paleo/Primal/Real Food Nutrition, you must understand that they are the foundation of any body care routine. My recommendations are meant to build upon the foundations of healthy eating as defined on my “What is Primal/Paleo?” page. No amount of oil cleansing can fix a nutritional deficiency, and nutritional deficiencies set the stage for acne, skin problems, hormonal imbalances, and – yes – stinky pits and bad hair. The quality and sources of our food – the only fuel we have – determines how well every single bodily process works.

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Note: I’m using a fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil blend from GreenPasture.org (the ONLY Cod Liver Oil I recommend. I can honestly say every other brand is inferior, because every other brand is heat-processed rather than fermented. I’m not responsible for your results using any other brand); Brewer’s Yeast from Lewis Labs; and when I can’t find Picklelicious Kraut, I use Bubbie’s.

**Warning: Do NOT read this post with 3D glasses on. You don’t want the goblin in the photos below to jump out at you.**

**Double Warning: Be nice to me, or else. I don’t like putting my pictures on the blog (shy Cave Girl)**

My skin cleared up a few years back on a Paleo diet with a little patience and the Oil Cleansing Method. I finally ditched all the dermatological acne medicines I’d been on – there were at least four, including one oral antibiotic I took long-term and another topical antibiotic (sorry, gut flora). There was also a sulfur med, topical benzoyl peroxide, and a cast of others over the last decade. (And yes, I tried Proactiv.) At the time, out of sheer vanity, I held on to my topical retinoid. (Wrinkles? Ew!)

image from AllTheCreatures dot org.

I’ve been basically acne-free for awhile now due to good nutrition and a great cleansing routine. But about 3 months ago a few blemishes started to creep in near my neck. A few weeks later, a few more. And 2 months ago something went completely awry. My jawline acne flared up again, and with a vengeance. The rest of my face remained pristine, but I looked like I was harboring a fleet of angry ticks ready to pop on my jaw. I couldn’t shake it – it wouldn’t go away. Shamefully, I even tried using those antibiotics again. No luck.

So I started researching. I wanted to maintain my “crap-free body care” commitment and keep it natural. I was, as always, led to the wisdom of the Weston A. Price foundation. Strikingly, I saw that many of the meds and products I’d used in my quest for non-grossness – like Sulphur, antibiotics, and vitamin A – were substances naturally present in ancestrally valued, nutrient-dense food! Sauerkraut is full of sulphur and was valued as a complexion beautifier by traditional Irish cultures. Coconut oil is a natural, powerful anti-microbial; as is Vitamin D – adequate serum D is like a natural, internal antibiotic. Fermented Cod Liver Oil is rich in real Vitamin A. Brewer’s Yeast – harvested from sugar beets, not from the beer brewing process – is rich in chromium, B-vitamins, and utilization co-factors, which are also thought to improve the complexion.

I realized it was time to ditch that last synthetic skin potion – the retinoid – for good; to throw away the antibiotics I’d been saving “just in case” – permanently; and to start a targeted skin care routine using only food-based products. I ordered Brewer’s Yeast from Lewis Labs and drank 1 Tbs with water in the morning. In addition to my Oil Cleansing Method, I began massaging coconut oil into my skin whenever I could – in the shower, pre-makeup, and after cleansing. I began eating sauerkraut every day.

These three are serious.

Most importantly, I decided to trust the WAP recommendation for a serving of high-quality Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil every day. This supplies fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2, and is purported to have wound-healing properties. Unlike fish oil, CLO is less supplement and more traditional food – one that fell out of favor due to fear of organ meats (liver = Vitamin A) and bad science. (Any worry about Vitamin A and pregnancy are effectively cleared up in this article. Not that this concern applies to me. No Cave Babies on the horizon..But you might want to look at CLO for your CBs.)

From my research, I believe you absolutely cannot skimp on your CLO brand. You need the fermented kind (most CLOs are heat-processed). Fermentation maintains the Vitamin D/Vitamin A proportion natural to CLO, while heat processing destroys it. (More on that at Steve’s Original.) At one time I heard a member of the “Paleo” camp comment that the Vitamin D in CLO competitively inhibits the uptake of the Vitamin A. Not true – actually, the vitamin D content raises the toxicity ceiling on Vitamin A. Vitamins A and D are beautifully synergistic. (Never mock synergy.)

So here are the results…BOOM (be nice). Can YOU tell which is before and which is after? (I hate these sad-skin-face mug shots.)

I had everything from large lesions (yes, I picked) to small, hard bumps and the Queen Mother of zits – underground mines. Three weeks later, nothing but a few pink remnants from healed blemishes. Astonishingly, during this time I seemed to overcome the pitfalls of being “loose Paleo” due to weddings and family gatherings, as well as the stress of lots of air travel, all of which hold the promise of a few new blemishes.

Usually I can’t tell a difference when I take “food extras.” Green drinks never did the trick, and I’ve never taken to swigs of olive oil or shots of apple cider vinegar. But this has been a transformative experience. I will forever sing the praises of the fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil Blend from the top of my giant pile of money and rainbows (because that’s where I live). You can believe I’ll keep kraut in the rotation – because it’s delicious AND pro-biotic. My skin is soft and glowy from the coconut oil, so that’s a definite keeper. I’ll stick with the Brewer’s Yeast because I kinda like it. And all this after just three weeks. Cross my heart.

February 1, 2011

Know Thyself, Heal the World, Sing Songs, Smoke Pot.

The best side-benefit of the Paleo/Primal lifestyle is the constant, gentle, inevitable nudging toward a life of greater thoughtfulness. The SAD pushers, the low-fat freaks, the whole-grain garbagemen – the Miss Trunchbulls of the School of Fake Food –  set the stage for years of disconnection from my food, my nourishment, and my place in this world; and living TTP (Thoughtfully Through Primalocity) changed that for me.

Yes, Miss Trunchbull!

I didn’t even know there was a such thing as a “Grass-Fed Cow” until around the time I began working out with Coach Rut. Primal? Paleo? Ass? Elbow?

The great thing is, you can’t un-know something like that. Once you’re introduced to a way of eating that’s more than a Diet, and the furthest thing from a skewed morality play (Veganism), you free up that brain-space for actual, obsession-free, gratitude-filled, thoughtful living.

My breakthrough was realizing that I’m part of a perfectly orchestrated Plan. Humans deviate wildly and unknowingly from this central harmony, but it’s there, and bringing myself into alignment with it by nourishing myself properly bonded me to it. Call it Mother Nature, call it God, call it The Force, call it whatever you want. I call it appreciative living. It’s everything that unites us and I’m convinced “it” exists.

Just a quick side note: I own a few pieces of fine leather. I do not smell like marijuana or patchouli. I have several pairs of “skinny jeans” which I tuck into knee-high boots and I enjoy things like makeup, dresses, and being really, really, ridiculously good looking (that’s a movie quote, not narcissism). So no, I’m not a hippie – but yes, I believe there’s a beautiful and systematic interactivity in Nature that we’re well-served by tuning in to.

That's right. I live there.

So I’ve continued to learn and explore. I’ve learned so much from the ideas presented by the Paleo Science folks, the Primal types (this one too), and the Weston A. Price camp (I’m a member). I don’t agree with everything these people say, and I’m prepared to defend that. A few points I believe in that may not be at the top of the Paleo, Primal, or WAP lists:

1) I think food quality is critical to success. Nothing from a grocery store is going to nourish like something from a fully sustainable local farming operation. Sometimes it’s impossible to eat local/pastured and I respect that; but most of us can make the effort to seek out those resources. I’m encouraged to see the Paleo camp leaning purposefully in that direction. (More proof that Paleo + Weston A. Price = Power Rangers of the FoodPocalypse.)

Jennings Farm in Medford, NJ

2) I don’t think fish oil supplementation is a good strategy (I used to, but I don’t anymore) and short-term supplementation is only useful if you’ve got a plan in place for correcting your 3:6 situation through Real Food. I think many folks are too quick to prescribe too much Fish Oil.

3) I think raw milk products like ghee and yogurt are absolutely worth testing and incorporating into the modern diet. Yes, we are “human animals” and we can eat like we’re just hunting and gathering and fighting for life in the wild; but we’ve also honed the ability to think, love, appreciate and create. So nourishing, non-ancestral foods like raw full-fat dairy (if it’s legal in your state, try finding it here) are absolutely useful in a nourishing diet. The work of Weston A. Price convinced me of this. Many traditional, non-westernized cultures thrived because of the nutrients (namely, vitamin K2) they obtained from their animals. Once you’re sure you’re not sensitive to it (and you’re probably not), you should try it out.  You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to use it, but do NOT swear it off without giving it a try.

4) I don’t believe grains have any place in the modern diet, whether sprouted or not. There are no strains of grain left that aren’t hybridized, so there’s no way to replicate the grains of traditional diets with the options available today.

5) I think digestive aids (gut flora) are best obtained and maintained using real, fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and raw milk yogurt.

6) I think knowing where your ancestors “came from” is an invaluable way to tackle proper nutrition for you as an individual. There is no one-size-fits-all (Kitavans vs. Aborigines) but there is a framework (traditional/evolutionary) that’s appropriate for everyone.

7) There are a few tweaks you can make to your food plan depending on your goals – whether they be weight loss/gain, athletic performance, or treatment of psychological syndromes. All of these can be accomplished with a nourishing, quality-conscious, traditional-foods type diet.

I use the word “nourishing” a lot. Because without an eye for what’s making us more fulfilled, more grateful, more connected to our world and our bodies, we’re just dieting. We’ve got to build our intuition, our self-respect, and our connection to ourselves and the world – starting with our food.

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