Susan’s Story

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!

Elaine’s Story

Elaine MichaelsEven as a youngster, I was interested in food and nutrition. My live-in grandmother grew a garden and served balanced meals. When I married and had kids, it was important to me to feed them in a healthy way. However, this was the beginning of the low-fat dogma. I knew something was wrong with that way but I also believed “the so-called-experts” must know. What saved us, I feel, was the fact that we moved out of a big city into a smaller community in the Midwest and soon bought a 11-acre acreage where we raised our own meat and vegetables. We even had our own milk cow and I found the joy of discovering just how many delicious products could come from that dairy cow!

With five children, we had a lot of help and even though we ran a construction business, the kids helped and made it possible to live a healthy lifestyle. After they grew up and married we moved closer to town and continued having a garden but no animals. The low-fat mantra was in full force by now. I began buying low-fat products and 1% store milk but realized 90% of the milk was still in the carton at the end of the week. The taste was not like the farm milk. Internally I didn’t believe in this nutritional philosophy but again, “I thought they must know – who was I to disbelieve.” I will never distrust myself again in this way. During this time I looked into becoming a Dietician but was disenchanted with their beliefs and their type of sponsors.

Fast forward years later with another move, even closer into town. I continued to research “my” way of believing and thinking and accidentally ran into the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website. I was thrilled and felt like “I had finally come home!” I contacted one of the chapter leaders and found a raw milk source. About a year after getting back to drinking raw milk, I had a doctor’s visit to re-test my bone density. The year before, I was told I had “osteopenia” (the precursor to osteoporosis). I was shocked because my previous tests for years had all been good. However, I soon forgot about the results because I didn’t know what to do to change them. At my re-test my doctor informed me: “your osteopenia has been reversed–I have never seen this before. What are you doing?” I thought for a moment and then it dawned on me. When I told her I was drinking raw milk, she asked me if I wasn’t scared I’d get sick but I replied that pasteurized milk was more of a risk. Her eyes glazed over but she said, “well keep doing what you’re doing I guess.” How funny.

All of this brought back my excitement for nutrition and real food so I ventured back to school and became a Nutritional Therapist and a GAPS Practitioner. I am overall very healthy but am fighting arthritic nodes on my fingers and am hoping the GAPS diet will help. I am also a WAP chapter leader. I learned a lot in school but I also learned that our “old ways of eating real food” is the “only” way to be really healthy. I love being around like-minded people and I love helping others! I wish I could say my family was on board completely but they’re not. We all have to find “our own way in our own time.” However, I do have a daughter-in-law that has embraced the healthy foods as much as time permits for her. She has seen herself and her kids become healthier. My son (her husband), recently died so she has her hands full with four children. I love watching her expand her knowledge and of course, what grandma doesn’t want to see her grandchildren “thrive!” I am also a great-grandma and it excites me to watch each generation getting healthier!

Nadine’s Story

I grew up with no regard or knowledge of what “whole foods” are, even though I lived on the country side of Germany and saw grazing dairy cows daily during summer.

My journey into better food began with my concern over animal cruelty in factory farming, especially here in the USA. The more I learned I certainly never touched this kind of food again (I also make no exceptions when eating in restaurants). So I had to look into alternatives to find clean meat. These researches on the internet also had me learn about the advantages of clean animal products, not just where I could find them.

And the deeper you delve into the world of clean foods, there is no way the teachings of Weston Price don’t eventually come your way. Even though at times confusing and never easy, I learned that there are no shortcuts when it comes to ones diet. Shortcuts – the body pays for it. Foods have to be carefully chosen and prepared.

Our bank-account hurts, since it is expensive to eat like everyone should be able to, but I have two healthy kids with no allergies or other issues. We never needed medicine since I changed our diet (*I now use homeopathics and they do the trick.)

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.

Eileen’s Story

My real food journey began several years ago when I was first introduced to the idea via an online radio program. Along with a few other changes, I learned for the first time what it meant to truly eat healthfully. After eating the WAP way for abMoses Lanatiout three years and now free of Lyme disease, my husband and I decided that it was time to start a family. We included many of the recommended preconception dietary recommendations including salmon roe, raw milk, bone broth, liver and also a high quality royal jelly by Premier Research Labs. Two months later we were stunned to find out that we were already pregnant.

Though I was under a great deal of stress throughout most of my pregnancy while my husband was dealing with a severe reaction to a new tick bite, the traditional diet combined with high-quality supplements by PRL and the grace of God, I went into labor at exactly 42 weeks. Our plans for a home birth with our midwives went out the window when I was diagnosed as being preeclamptic that same day. Twenty-four hours later our healthy baby boy was born via cesarean section weighing in at 6lb. 14oz. We were so thankful that he was allowed the two extra weeks gestation that would have never been permitted by a medical doctor because of my condition.

Moses Gabriel immediately started gaining weight and has never lost an ounce since his birth due to his robust health and his ability to latch right away. He went from being in the 50th percentile at birth to the 90th percentile for height and 95th for weight by eight weeks and has remained there. He is now a delightful, curious and engaging fiften-months-old who enjoys life to the fullest. Along with my breast milk, some of his favorite real foods include salmon roe, Kerrygold Butter, raw milk and cheese, pastured eggs, bone broth, a variety game meats and fish, dried sardines, nori, stewed fruits and fruit smoothies with greens.

Gabrielle’s Story

I used to think I had a good diet and was in fine health. Unexplained stomGabrielle Kleinach pains led me to try out a gluten-free diet, and I realized how dependent my diet was on wheat. In the process of looking for more information online, I discovered the Weston A. Price Foundation.

The idea that the rapid changes in the way we feed ourselves since the Industrial Revolution are affecting our health in unforeseen ways made perfect sense to me. Since then, the way I nourish my family has been in a constant state of experimentation and improvement.

I came to realize that my health was actually suffering, but I had simply stopped paying attention to it. I now feel stronger, happier, more in touch with myself, and more alive than at any other point in my adult life. I don’t suffer the embarrassment of frequent acne, diarrhea, and incontinence. I don’t crash at 8PM. I am more patient with my family, more content, and I accomplish more.

I now feel like I have tools that really work to support my family’s health and well-being. Best of all, these tools are sustainable: for my health, for my finances, and for the health of my planet. I love the skills and the knowledge that I’ve acquired: I’m no longer dependent on food and medical industries that I can’t trust. I’m in control of my health.