Gina’s Story

I came to know about Weston A Price/ancestral diet when I became a new mom and stumbled upon “why not to feed your baby Cheerios”. Uh oh! That’s my go-to snack!! So then I got Nourishing Traditions book of baby care from the library and never turned to Gina CoddlingCheerios again. I started my son on pastured egg yolk and liver, plenty of butter, and we switched to pink salt.

We are low income so the changes have been slow over the last 2.5 years, but now I make all our bread by long fermentation, homemade sauerkraut, bone broth, soak all grains, no soy, no sugar, drink low pasteurized non/homogenized milk, LOTS of grass fed butter, pastured meats including liver, and mostly organic produce. My cycles regulated, I had 2 wonderful natural pregnancies and births and easily breastfed. My sons never get sick, have happy dispositions, no problems teething, and meet or surpass all milestones. We also don’t vaccinate. They have wide faces and palates and strong, well-formed teeth.

Most amazingly, my husband is no longer lactose intolerant!! At 4 months of age he was started on formula for lactose intolerant babies and has been very sensitive to milk his whole life. Now at 24, he enjoys a glass of milk almost every day. He also stopped getting sinus infections multiple times a year, or any illness really. His digestion is slowly improving as is his skin which is very sensitive and always bumpy and red.

Jenna’s Story

As a dietitian and nutritionist, I believed I was a health-conscious eater for many years. I ate whole grain bread products, Kashi cereal, and lots of granola/protein bars. I drank skim milk (which eventually transitioned to lactaid and eventually almond milk when I became lactose intolerant). I ate lots of salads. I followed the food pyramid pretty faithfully and I exercised a lot, so I was always able to maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness throughout college and my early 20s.

However, something was still not right. Towards the end of college, I developed lactose intolerance, gas and heartburn. Lactaid pills, Gas-Ex and prilosec did little to help me – in fact, it seemed that the more I took all those pills, the worse my symptoms became if I missed a day. Although I had seasonal allergies (pollen, cats, dust mites) most of my life, suddenly new foods were making my mouth and throat itchy and painful… raw carrots, raw apples, raw celery, certain types of nuts… and even dogs started giving me hives after I pet them. In the next few years, I became allergic to even more foods such as soy, peanuts and others, all of which were confirmed through skin testing and bloodwork. Collectively these allergy symptoms are known as Oral Allergy Syndrome and it’s a debilitating form of low-grade chronic illness that affects lots of people. I was told by my allergist that the only treatment was to avoid foods that made my throat itchy. Being the dietitian and foodie that I am, this was devastating news.

I did lots of research and concluded that I must have “Leaky Gut Syndrome”, which is a condition in which the gut lining has been damaged. I asked several specialists about this and they told me “Leaky Gut” is no more than a theory and that there’s not enough evidence to prove it is true.

Years later, I was introduced to Holistic Nutrition Consultant Gena Mavuli and my world was turned upside down. She introduced me to the Gut & Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet and the world of Weston Price. I learned how processed foods and refined grains can negatively impact the bacteria in our gut, which directly affects our immune system because 70% of immune cells are located in the gut. I have been able to integrate new functional foods such as fermented veggies and bone broth… I’ve switched to raw dairy (because it still has all the beneficial enzymes and live bacteria intact). I have always had a sweet tooth, so I make all my own desserts from real food ingredients with natural sweeteners such as dates, raw honey or real maple syrup… they are delicious!

I have been following the principles of the GAPS diet and Weston Price lifestyle collectively for almost two years, and in that time I have successfully all heartburn symptoms, 80% of my IBS and gas symptoms, and at least 15 out of 30-something allergies. My vitality, energy levels and overall sense of well being have skyrocketed and I have even found my own personal empowerment along the way. I’m so grateful for meeting and working with Gena, and for my health journey!

Jocelyn’s Story

Jocelyn BurgenI am fairly new to exploring the traditional diet, but at my current age of 23 I am confident that it is something that I want to be part of who I am for the rest of my life. When I think about food and nutrition, eating traditionally is something that makes sense and feels right. When I consume pure, whole, good foods I find that I am more optimistic, I have more energy, my mind is calm and I am productive.

When I was in high school, my mom provided a wonderful background for healthy eating, but I didn’t understand what the point of focusing on nutrition was. It wasn’t until after I graduated college, had gained a decent amount of weight and started to face the “real world” that I found value in what I put into my body. It almost feels like a right of passage to discover what kind of food and lifestyle works best for me and I have realized that what works for someone else might not work for me. Luckily, I live in an area where local food is abundant and treasured by the community, which is how and why I started my exploration into a traditional diet.

In my opinion, it is really important (if not the most important thing) to have a strong support system when it comes to molding a new lifestyle. I have found my close relationships to be extremely supportive whenever I get excited about introducing a new traditional food into my diet. My most recent exploration is making bone broth. Sean, my boyfriend, was a little skeptical that it could really be so good for you. Despite that, he enthusiastically drank a mug when I poured him one. He was pleasantly surprised by the rich, delicious flavor and after reading about what it can provide him with, he is on board. Trying new foods is something that we have always done together. There is something to be said about cooking wonderful foods with other people, and I would say that cooking together is a core component of our relationship.

I am excited to see where this journey takes me, as it really is just the beginning. I already see the immense value that an ancestral diet has to offer and I plan on continually adding more traditional foods to my diet as time goes on.