My road to health was gradual. I first started using raw goat dairy for the family when my youngest was about 4, as she can’t tolerate cows’ milk. (I can’t tolerate any dairy w-casein). Both she and her brother never needed braces, even though their prenatal nutrition was bad. The older kids did. I started with WAPF diet, but moved to GAPS due to issues with grains. I consider GAPS a subset of WAPF diet.
Between following GAPS, homeopathy, and supplements, I now no longer have constipation, which I was “born with”. My allergies & asthma are almost non-existent, and I used to have to wear a HEPA mask to work in my garden! Migraines stopped as soon as I stopped grains and sugar, as did brain fog. Even though I have MTHFR, I’m able to detox sufficiently now. I know this isn’t strictly a “WAPF” story, but as I said, I believe GAPS “counts”.
Regarding obstacles, I did not have it as hard as many Americans, in that for the first 15 years of married life, I lived in the UK, which at that time, had almost NO convenience foods. You bought meat, vegetables, etc, and you cooked them; no taco kits, open-and-serve, etc. So I was used to cooking. I also had always liked liver, so I was already eating that on a regular basis.
The biggest challenge is realizing that family members (my youngest is now 20) have to find their own ways, which sadly involves their bad choices. When they get sick enough, they may be motivated to change. Until then, I keep cooking good stuff, and keep my mouth shut. Nobody is convinced by being nagged.
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 Cheerios 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.
In 2012 I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis. This happens when your immune system turns against you and starts attacking healthy cells and in this case it picked my thyroid. Having an extensive background and education of over 20 years in health I was surprised that something like this could happen since I felt I did all the right things. I ate very healthy, exercised daily, practiced meditation and yoga, etc., however, I was suffering from overwhelming fatigue and body aches.
At the time I was diagnosed I had been a vegetarian for about 3 years and vegan for another year. As I started diving into research about autoimmune and thyroid disease I came across blogs and chat discussions with people sharing how they developed thyroid disease and autoimmune thyroid disease after a period of time on a vegetarian or vegan diet. I decided to contact more than a few naturopathic doctors and holistic health practitioners to see if this was their experience as well. Many confirmed this was not uncommon. While there isn’t any scientific proof to substantiate this there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence. In addition I had started my Ayurveda practitioner training. Ayurveda is the Indian system of medicine and sister science to yoga and by definition means, “science of life.” It states that each person is an individual and must eat according to their own individual constitution that is in alignment with nature and the five elements (air, fire, water, space, ether).
Through this process I realized that my body type needed more in the way of nutrient dense foods than I was eating. I decided to start eating small amounts of meat and dairy from a local farm as well as bone broth. With all the dangerous chemicals including herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones added to our food supply I have always been conscious about buying as much organic food as possible. As time went on and I started eating grass-fed beef, good quality diary and bone broth my health started to change. I went from fatigued to energized and now I feel terrific. I became a Weston Price chapter leader so I could educate my clients and help them locate reputable farms and good quality food. There isn’t one size that fits all so it’s important to find out what works for you. Remember “you are what you eat” and “food is medicine” but it has to be pure food that is not made in a laboratory or processed.
I have always been interested in nutrition as my mother came down with environmental illness when I was a little girl. I saw her fight for her own health and dig for answers to the real problem teaching the many doctors she saw. I had bought into the view of low fat, non fat and vegetable oils as the way to health. Then, a gal I knew from my bible study asked me if I would be interested in a nutrition conference and I went with her to see Dr. Tom Cowan present the Nourishing Traditions philosophy and I was hooked. It just made so much sense! I bought the Nourishing Traditions Book and a DVD of Sally Fallon’s conference talks and learned all I could about this new way of looking at food.
I joined a WAP chapter and started learning and gleaning all that I could to get my family on a healthier track. Since 2008, I have been eating mostly organic fruits and vegetables, pastured meats and eggs, drinking raw milk and making raw milk products, making and consuming bone broths, added fermented cod liver oil to my daily diet. I have noticed that as I have spent more time carefully preparing and eating traditional foods, my energy level has increased, I don’t get the normal ailments ie colds and flu, and my immune system overall seems to be improved.
I have looked at other claims to a healthier lifestyle, the most recent “Trim Healthy Mama” but didn’t find that the diet was easy nor did it make sense to separate the foods that God put together ie yolk and egg white as one example. Bottom line, WAP makes sense to me from the way food is grown to the way it is prepared and I have great respect for the amount of scientific evidence they present to back up this way of eating. Many do not follow WAP because it does take time to get the quality food and prepare it properly, but I have found that the health benefits and the joy in getting and preparing good food is more than worth it.
What’s important to me about the Weston Price Foundation is the quality of the food. I was in a macrobiotic, near-vegan cooking school in NYC when I met Sally Fallon. I was in my mid-30’s. Somehow the school had invited her to speak on “Why Butter is Better” (!!!). Her message resonated with me so much.
I immediately laid aside my vegetarian strivings and began to eat in the way she described traditional diets. The main thing for me was taste. It made alot of sense to me that food that tasted good was going to good for me.
Through my love of butter, I began to want to be a dairy farmer. I left NYC to start a farming internship in New Jersey. All along the way I adhered more and more to a Weston Price diet. I became a mother at the age of 43, giving birth to an extremely healthy baby at home.
When my son was two, I started a Weston Price chapter in our area (I had since moved to the midwest) — it turned out to be a wonderful boon for me because the people who attend the meetings are really in the know about where to find good locally grown food.
My son and I are still healthy. We never go to the doctor and rarely get sick. My son has never had a vaccination or a cavity (several of his classmates have diabetes and are on the autism spectrum). I raise virtually all of our own meat, and raw dairy is locally sourced. I prepare farm-raised meals for large gatherings, and I see how satisfied people are after a meal that includes lots of healthy fat.
Before I was even an adult, I read Adelle Davis’ book, “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit.” Her premise in this book was, if you want to be healthy, you have to pay attention to what you eat. Wow! That made so much sense to me, I became an organic consumer immediately. As I perused further, I discovered that growing my own vegetables could be even better. So I learned how.
I discovered the Weston A. Price Foundation soon after Sally Fallon Morell’s book, “Nourishing Traditions” came out. I was already buying all of my meat (including chicken feet for my bone broth soup) from local farmers but this book taught me the importance of fermented foods in the diet as well as many other things. My husband, Bob, and I are not young, but we enjoy great health. We do take supplements, but we are on no medications, have no aches or pains, live strenuous lives and enjoy great food.
One story that is worth sharing: Over a year ago, Bob sleep-walked off of our loft. He woke up on the way down so he knew that he was falling. He basically fell an entire story at the age of 68. Yet, he broke NOTHING. I think that is a testament to the strength of his bones. We eat lots of butter, cream, coconut oil, our own pastured eggs, veggies from the garden all year long and my own version of kimchee. I also drink a splash of fruit kvass in every glass of water that I drink all day long. I firmly believe that eating a traditional diet is the best way to maintain great health.
My story begins with me looking into fluoride in our drinking water. It didn’t make sense that it’s dangerous if my kids shallow some while brushing their teeth but it was safe in our drinking water. A few years and lots of research later, and I’m a believer fluoride does not belong in our bodies, at all! But the problem was more then how do I give my children good clean water but also how do I give them clean food. Fluoride, is in all their favorite snacks and juices, it’s in everything. I decided to start to make everything that I can from scratch and only buy organic whole foods, and on my journey of learning “how” to do that I also learned how much better natural food is for you! When my daughter was 6 she was showing signs of dental fluorosis, she is now 10 and her teeth look perfectly amazing.
Also cutting all the artificial flavors/ preservatives/ colors out of my children’s diet has made them behave so much better. It seemed they could never pay attention before, or they were always “looking for a fight” they just seemed very aggressive or to the other extreme they would seem completely lethargic and overall unhappy most of the time. Now that we are eating whole foods we are all happy and healthy and when the kids get exposed to that kind of food I know just by the way they are behaving! Like the neighbor girl would give them snack crackers when they went over to her house to play or grandma who just has to give them candy when I’m not around, I can always tell a few hours later.
I have just had another baby, he turned 1 a few months ago. He is without a doubt the healthiest baby I have ever seen, he runs around the house like he is Hercules, he is so strong and so smart and his doc even said ” he’s doing things a 2yr old. can’t do yet” and I believe it’s because we have been living such a clean healthy life style. I’m so glad we figured out how to take control of our lives. We are what we eat!