wise traditions

When it comes to health, go with your gut!

When it comes to health, go with your gut!

These random symptoms—rashes, hives, reactions, pain—are the body’s way of waving a red flag at us. “Something’s wrong! Pay attention! HELP!”

Peru...at present

Peru...at present

In Quechua, there is no past. There is no future either. This concept took a while to sink in for me, but once it did, it gave me a better idea of how we should live...today.

What's cooking in Zimbabwe?

I just returned from two wild and wonderful weeks in Zimbabwe. I was able to connect with wildlife, work out with friends, and get a glimpse of life on the amazing continent of Africa. Part of the trip was “business” (this is in quotes because Body & Soul fitness is my passion and leading exercise routines and speaking can hardly be considered work); the other part was pleasure—visiting game parks and animal sanctuaries.

As a health coach and Wise Traditions podcaster, I was naturally very curious about the dietary habits of the people of Zimbabwe. My time was spent primarily in Harare and its immediate environs, so I wasn’t able to look into all of the local diets and customs. However, I can tell you what I noticed while staying with friends and sharing meals together. They showed me, more than told me, about their food habits and what I witnessed warmed my heart.

-       Vegetable gardens

-       Backdoor chickens (yes, they call them “backdoor” not “backyard” chickens)

-       Eggs from said chickens for breakfast (w/ bacon as a side) or hard-boiled eggs for lunch

-       Hearty soups made with chicken stock and vegetables for dinner

-       Plentiful vegetables (from their own gardens) such as zucchini, squash, spinach

-       Home-brewed kombucha and fermented drinks (like kefir) available at farmers markets

-       Said-same farmers markets selling fresh organic (or at least local) foods several days a week all around Harare

It was clear that many Zimbabweans were intimately linked to the land. I asked my friends about it and they explained that in 2008 the country hit a devastating low point. The economy tanked. It was at that time that people of every socio-economic class began turning to their own devices for sustenance. They could not rely on produce being kept in stock at their local shops, since imports were down and farms were being overtaken by the government. They had to rely on themselves. This was the year many middle-class and upper middle-class families began planting vegetable gardens and keeping backdoor chickens.

Today, Zimbabwe is still struggling, going through yet another economic crisis. Their currency had devalued so much, every purchase required millions of Zim dollars. The government has issued bond notes recently to stabilize the situation, but cash of any kind is still in short supply. People must wait in long lines in the hopes of getting bond notes or American currency.

Despite the chaos, or maybe because of it, I saw wise traditions at play at virtually every turn. From the most modest residents selling produce by the side of the road, to the more privileged buying it or simply growing their own, it is clear that real food plays an important role in Zimbabwe. “Homemade” and “farm-fresh” are not buzzwords but more of a way of life here.

This is not to say that there are no big food corporations promoting their own products, threatening the real food movement. Fizzy drinks (sodas) are promoted all over the landscape. Billboards tout margarine and vegetable oils as “heart healthy.” Fast food restaurants are marketed as modern and hip.

And yet, the sight of those backdoor chickens, clucking and pecking in every home I visited, gave me hope that wise traditions may still win the day in Zim. Because real food is what's cooking in Zim today!

***

Hilda Labrada Gore is the producer and host of the Wise Traditions podcast found on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, tunein, YouTube and at westonaprice.org. She is the DC metro regional director for Body & Soul Fitness and a certified integrative nutrition health coach. She lives in DC with her husband and children, their cat, Mia, and their dog, Summer.

 

 

 

A dentist who is carrying on the work of Dr. Price into the 21st century

I took a road trip with a friend recently when she confessed to me a secret fear. It’s very common but it’s not a fear of spiders or heights or flying. It’s a fear of dental visits. She has had way too much work done over the years and it has been painful both physically and financially. I understand where she’s coming from. I have seen many dentists over the years—the over-eager tooth-cleaner, the judge of flossing, the laid-back “you’re-doing-everything-right” friendly guy next door, the you-need-the-most-expensive-treatment-ever fellow.

Thankfully, my current dentist is none of the above (and, naturally, he is my favorite). He stands out because he emulates one of my heroes: Dr. Weston A. Price. Dr. Price was a dentist and researcher in the 1930s. He traveled the world to observe and document the effect of diet on oral health, and overall health and vitality. He noticed a link between what people ate and the structure of the face. His observations are recorded in his book “Nutrition and physical degeneration.” The photographs in the book are fascinating and convincing proof of his conclusions—that what we eat indeed has an impact on our overall health and dental health.

In the healthiest peoples, Dr. Price observed, there was plenty of room in the mouth for all 32 teeth. And said teeth were intact and free of caries. The face was broad, as was the jaw structure and nasal passages. There was facial radiance and physical vitality and fertility. Optimism and good humor abounded. What did such people eat? The specific diet varied—from fish, seal oil and whale blubber in Alaska to goat meat, blood, and raw milk in Kenya. What they had in common was that they all ate the traditional diet of their ancestors.

When the diet changed, and became “modernized” (with refined flour, sugars, and the like being consumed in place of traditional foods), the health of the people and their progeny became compromised. The most obvious changes occurred in the jaw and facial structure. The face became narrow, with crowded/misaligned teeth. There was gum disease and caries. Overall vitality and fertility were diminished; posture, eyesight, and hearing were less keen.

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After his travels, Dr. Price took what he learned and applied it back home in the states. He saw health and behavioral improvements when he began advocating dietary shifts and a return to nourishing, natural food. The dentist I see today is Dr. Felix Liao—a biological, holistic dentist and the President of the Biological Dentists Association. He is convinced that Dr. Price was on the right track. For this reason, he is carrying forward the work of Dr. Price into the twenty-first century. He sees the link between solid nutrition and dental health. As such, he addresses and treats the whole patient, not just the mouth. He has seen numerous patients over the years who have benefited from his “whole body” approach.

I reached out to him initially because of a cosmetic concern—my teeth had shifted over the years and needed straightening. I expected him to propose braces or invisalign. Instead, he assessed my posture and overall health. He asked about aches and pains, my sleep patterns, and more. He documented what was going on with the whole of me. The treatment has included broadening my palate to make space for my teeth, reversing the narrowness of my jaw and airway.

Patients come to Dr. Liao’s office with all kinds of concerns—teeth grinding or clenching, back pain, shoulder issues, sleep apnea, snoring, dental problems. He can address many of them, not by simply filling cavities or giving them a mouth guard or a CPAP machine, but by addressing the root problem caused by poor nutrition.

Listen to my interview with Dr. Liao on Wise Traditions podcast #25 “Open wide.” You may discover that the root cause of some of your own health concerns has more to do with your mouth (and what goes into it) than you initially thought. You will also gain insight on what the work of Dr. Price looks like in the 21st century.

***

Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music, tunein, and at westonaprice.org.

That moment when you invite yourself over to your farmer's for dinner....

So, yeah, I did that. I’ve been the customer of a farmer in Pennsylvania for over 10 years and it suddenly struck me that it was high time we met. Well, that’s only part of the truth. I have indeed been ordering food from his farm—amazing meat, the best eggs with the most orange yolks, cheeses that are textured and tasty, and MUCH more—for a long while, but what motivated me was that I got wind of the fact that a fellow customer had dined at Peter’s house and I was just plain jealous. On our private Facebook group, she talked about how they ate a lovely meal and sang songs afterwards and I was as green as moss. I wanted to do that, too! I was encouraged by our farm liaison to reach out to Peter to arrange for a visit, so I did. I called him and asked if my husband and I could join them for dinner. Then the game of phone tag began. My farmer, Peter, is Amish and the Amish live simple lives, eschewing technology for the most part, so the telephone at their place is off in a separate building. So I called and left a message, making my request. And then he called me back and left me a message. Then I called back and left his adult son, Samuel, a message and then Samuel called me back and left me a message. And so on.

Eventually we connected “live” and it was a study of the different cultures we live in, though we are only a few hours apart. I would make a comment like “We can’t wait to meet you!” and then…pause….pause…pause….pause “It will be fun,” one would reply. I was rushed and citified. They were calm and country. I knew the visit would rock my world.

When the day came, as we pulled up, we saw two little boys hand-cranking ice cream. Peter greeted us and explained that the boys were his grandsons and that they were making it special for us and that it takes 1000 cranks till it’s done. We were humbled and touched immediately.

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They took us to meet their cattle up on a nearby hill. Most of them were lying down. Samuel explained that when cows are content, they lie down. These certainly seemed to be at peace. We went to see the chickens. They were beautiful, clucking happily, pecking away at bugs and microbes and what not.

After the brief tour, they ushered us into their home. There, we were blown away. Peter’s wife, Sarah, presented us with a spread fit for royalty. Let me back up here and explain that earlier, in one of our phone tag messages, Peter said that Sarah wanted to know what we would like to eat. She could serve chicken, pork, beef, or fish. In reply, I left a message saying something like “We like everything!” Imagine my shock and surprise, then, when they set before us literally EVERYTHING! The meal included: peaches with cottage cheese, pork chops and sauerkraut, beef and potatoes, gravy, chicken and honey mustard sauce, peas and carrots, salad, pickles and cheese! And kombucha to drink. Oh, and rolls and butter. And, of course, the ice cream and apple pudding for dessert.

I couldn’t help but wonder if something was lost in the translation between my saying we liked everything and their thinking we wanted everything. I came to find out later, to my relief, that they often treat guests to multiple course meals like that. Regardless, we were moved by their gracious hospitality. Samuel had to leave the table (before dessert) to feed the animals. When he came back, he and his parents let me interview them (though they are generally private people--which is one reason I am not using their real names). So I pulled out my recording equipment and we got started. It was a halting interview, to be honest, since they were unaccustomed both with microphones and answering questions on the spot. But it still offered small glimpses of how they shifted to organic farming (the first in their community to do so), and the health and business struggles they’d faced over the years.

Afterwards, we did indeed end our evening with a song. I was so grateful for the life-giving service they do all of us with their work on the farm. It was wonderful to raise our voices as one. Food brought us together; sharing a meal and singing together solidified the bond. As we prepared to leave, they said, with concern in their voice, “You’ll be getting home around 9 p.m.!” We understood why they were worried when we found out that their day begins at 4:15 a.m. Our 9 p.m. was equivalent to their midnight!

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All told, we were on the farm for some 4-5 hours but that brief time gave me invaluable insight on the important work of the farmer, the timeless (and often thankless) work of managing the land and animals to provide for the life and health of countless others. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever met your farmer and what your experience was like. And also let me know if you’d like me to post the interview as a podcast sometime. It wasn’t a perfect recording, but it was a perfectly amazing evening.

***

Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.

Surprises at the Wise Traditions conference (a/k/a you won't believe what happens next!)

I couldn’t resist using this clichéd click-bait subtitle because my experience at the conference was indeed just. like. that. It was one unexpected moment after another. You can watch an online health summit, the next wellness webinar or cooking tutorial on YouTube, but none of it compares to the actual experience of connecting LIVE with health experts and fellow foodies. The speakers get you thinking as you attend their presentations, and then you turn around and they join you for lunch! Between sessions, a fellow attendee points out a website that helps you find the dehydrator you were looking for. Your roommate tells you about her latest health hack. Each day you are empowered, encouraged, and energized. I hail from Washington, DC, a town better known for its political leanings than its alternative health tendencies. I was like a plant thirsty for some rain. I didn’t have to wait long before I was soaking it all in. Shortly after I arrived, I ran into speaker and gardener Celeste Longacre. (Don’t you just love her name?!) She invited me to her hotel room to demonstrate how to make beet kvaas. I drink it regularly but had never made it before. We hardly entered the room before she had started chopping up that beet like a Samurai swordsman! It was something to behold. My mind was blown. And then my heart was touched when she gave me garlic that she had grown from her very own garden. The conference was just kicking off and I’d already gotten a private kvaas demo and some swag!

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On day two, I connected with Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mama. She told me that earlier that morning, she had gone for a walk down by the river. From a distance, she spotted some random guy who was barefoot and bare-chested (a rare sight in the month of November); he was walking along playing some flute-like instrument. Curious, she walked closer…and then it dawned on her. This was not just some random guy. It was fitness guru Ben Greenfield, a fellow speaker at the Wise Traditions conference!

We laughed, partially because it was so unexpected for her to encounter Ben like that, but also because the conference was just overflowing with these kinds of surprising moments. The Weston A. Price Foundation brings together all sorts of creative, intelligent, interesting people—each committed to finding good health through natural and alternative means. There was genuine connection and joy at every turn. And there was also as much to be gleaned from the one-on-one connections as there was from the seminars.

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Hollywood producer Del Bigtree, of the movie “Vaxxed,” screened his movie at the conference and gave a post-screening presentation. He talked about how he got involved in the project and had been moved by the importance of the subject (the CDC's manipulation of study results) and its implications for our health and the health of our children. He had hitherto not quite realized the influence of the pharmaceutical companies on the media and consequently the public's access to critical health information. He is passionate about getting the movie wider distribution, not because he is particularly “anti-vax” but because he believes the public has the right to make informed decisions when it comes to vaccinations. Though he had been traveling around the country, he had never been among a group quite like ours. We were receptive, curious, and supportive. And we also challenged him to think about the role good nutrition could play in preserving our health.

That’s another thing I love about “Wise Traditions foodies” (as I like to call the WAPF-ers). They don’t just take in information—they process it; they ask tough questions. Many have taken their health into their own hands and are naturally skeptical of any medical theory. They take everything with a grain of (sea) salt.

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So, to me, this is what the Wise Traditions conference is about: learning, growing, laughter, food, questioning, and, yes, surprises. Count me in for next year. Actually, scratch that. Count me in for the rest of my life!

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.

How to identify mercury toxicity and detox safely

Do you have brain fog? Are you so forgetful that you’re afraid you’re accidentally going to set your house on fire? Have you been diagnosed with a degenerative disease such as MS or Alzheimers? Do you have anxiety, depression, or panic attacks? What about fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, gastritis, attention deficit disorder, or obsessive compulsive disorder? These are just a few of a long list of symptoms that plague many of us today. And all of the above are symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning. Dr. Andy Cutler is convinced that many doctors are overlooking the most obvious answer as to why so many of us are so sick: mercury.

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Andy has a PhD in Chemistry from Princeton and a BS in Physics from the University of California. When he struggled with symptoms that no doctor could explain, he dug deep to find the source of his issues. He never expected to find that the problem stemmed from the amalgam fillings in his own mouth!

If you are skeptical, welcome to the club. Dr. Cutler welcomes skeptics. He himself has a healthy dose of it, which is why he doesn’t buy the American Dental Association’s reassurances that “Dental amalgam is…a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.” His own experience and those of countless others has led him to conclude otherwise.

Andy’s health crisis led him to became a pioneer of a form of chelation/detoxing for metal toxicity that is unique in its approach, science-based, pragmatic, safe and successful. He went from a confused, sick state to living a full, normal life today. Of course, he is not the only one who has improved using his protocol. Thousands have regained their lives and health, regardless of how they came to be exposed to mercury (the "trace" mercury in vaccinations has also poisoned many). Listen to our discussion on Wise Traditions episode #48 “Detox mercury safely” to hear more about Cutler's story and his unique approach to the subject.

In a nutshell, the key to his particular mercury detox protocol is taking chelators according to their half-life in the body. Thus, DMPS (Dimercapto-propane sulfonate) must be taken every 6-8 hours, DMSA (Dimercaptosuccinic acid) every 4 hours, and ALA (Alpha-lipoic acid) every 3 hours. This must be done throughout the day and night: 3 days on, 4 days off.  (ALA is actually the most important chelator as it is the only one that removes mercury from the brain.) Along with the chelators, Andy recommends what he calls “the essential 4:” Vitamin C, Vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. These must be taken to support the body as well as to counteract the oxidative damage that mercury causes as it is mobilized and removed. Most everyone will need adrenal and liver support as well. And other supporting supplements are taken depending on individual symptoms.

Please note that it is NEVER recommended to chelate if you still have amalgam "silver" fillings in your mouth. This is not safe. If you suspect you are mercury toxic, please take the test Andy recommends in this podcast episode or visit his website: noamalgam.com for more guidance. Dr. Cutler also offers consultations via phone to many people and he has Facebook and Yahoo groups where mutual support can be found.

If you're still unsure about how to approach detoxing, dig deep as Andy did. Do your own research and make sure to look beyond those who have the hype or slick websites promising cures. Look for real results and proven track records. My hope is that you recover your health completely, as you safely detox!

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and  is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.

How to get radical with your health (and where to begin)

med body
med body

Have you seen photographs of dentists in the olden days pulling teeth? They approached their patients with tools that looked like they belonged in a car mechanic’s toolbox rather than in a dental office. As if that weren’t frightening enough, if you were the patient, you were likely to have many teeth extracted in your lifetime. Pulling teeth was a common practice to deal with infections and other health ailments, back in the 1800s.

And why? Were the dentists and doctors simply misguided? No, according to Dr. Louisa Williams, the author of “Radical Medicine.” Quite the contrary, in fact. While extraction is certainly not the answer to all of our health woes, dentists and doctors of the past had a solid understanding of the link between oral health and overall health. Benjamin Rush, for example, the doctor to George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, had studied the relationship between chronic silent infections in the body (often in the head/mouth) and mental, physical, and emotional issues. He was very well aware of the dangers of dental focal infections.

Dentists and doctors of that time were focused on the teeth because they were trying to get at the root cause of illness in the person. They understood that if someone was suffering with a problem with their knee, for example, that the issue could stem from a silent infection in the mouth. Happily, Dr. Williams is not suggesting that we need to go back to the time of numerous teeth extractions, but, rather, that there are lessons to be learned from that earlier approach to combatting infections and fighting serious health conditions. We need to rediscover the tie between our oral health and our overall health.

We have a tendency in modern medicine to adopt a reductionist approach. Hip pain? Treat the hip? Malaise? Address the stomach. Dr. Williams suggests taking a more holistic wholistic approach to wellness, which begins with examining your oral health. Hear her ideas in the interview entitled “Radical medicine” (episode #39 of the Wise Traditions podcast).

Highlights include:

  • the definition of radical medicine: how it’s about getting to the root or cause of the health condition
  • what diagnosis is and what it should be (not just be about addressing a symptom but to determine why the body is susceptible to a particular sickness)
  • how current-day holistic medicine may still not getting to the root cause of an illness
  • how dentists and doctors approached health in the 1800s
  • the understanding today of the relationship between dental and physical and mental and emotional health
  • how the development of antibiotics and root canals in the twentieth centure were game-changers in terms of our medical approach to health
  • the studies Dr. Weston A. Price conducted on the effects of an infected teeth
  • the work of Dr. Edward Rose, related to the bacteria in damaged teeth
  • how to approach root canals (when it is okay to keep teeth and when we should not)
  • the dangers of simply extracting an infected tooth
  • how xrays of the root of teeth can reveal focal infection damage
  • the red flags to watch for with your current dentist
  • the issue of mercury fillings
  • troubles that can arise from root canals, dental galvanism, porcelain crowns
  • how treating the symptoms can provide temporary relief but which can lead to greater problems down the line
  • how “opportunistic infections” (like Lyme) can arise from undetected dental issues
  • how allopathic medicine (like antibiotics or pharmaceutical drugs) can actually truncate the body’s healing process

As a member and chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and a fan of wise traditions (both the concept and the podcast), I believe we have much to learn from those who have walked this earth before us. My conversation with Dr. Williams served to remind me of the value of the health practices of yesteryear and the need to continue learning from (and applying them) for "wholistic" health today.

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and the host of the Wise Traditions podcast (found on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and at westonaprice.org). She is also the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation. Get to know Hilda and her approach to health by visiting her website chispainc.com.

Can a former vegetarian still embrace vegetarian ethics?

Right off the bat, I need to tell you: I am not the former vegetarian mentioned in the title of this post. I am a meat eater, full-fledged, all in. My parents are from Mexico and Cuba, raised eating lechon asado (roast pig) and cabrito (goat). And this apple did not fall far from that tree. But I recently interviewed a former vegetarian, and when she began extolling vegetarian ethics and explaining that she still embraced them, I had an a-ha moment. I could embraced them, too! As she spoke of their convictions regarding justice, compassion, and sustainability, I was nodding my head. It was beautiful to realize that we cared deeply about the same issues.

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Here are a few specifics that I think both meat-eaters and vegetarians can rally around:

  • Factory farming is cruel and immoral. Pigs are raised in cages so small they can hardly turn around. They are often raised in windowless sheds, without fresh air, sunlight, or access to the outdoors. Chickens are raised in such crowded conditions that they begin nervously plucking their feathers out. (Rather than changing their deplorable living conditions, factory farmers simply clip their beaks!) Cows are subject to just as many indignities, including being forced to eat and sleep in their own excrement. All of the animals listed above are given hormones and antibiotics to promote growth and to help prevent sickness. Sentient beings should not suffer such inhumane confinement and mistreatment.
  • The deterioration of the planet is alarming. Large patches of our planet are become desert wastelands. Fertility and life are being snuffed out, replaced by exhausted land and animal extinction. Climate change is a huge problem. We must protect our natural resources and cultivate and nurture life on this earth on every level. Something has to change (and it should probably be us)!
  • No one should go hungry. Good food for all can even the playing field. Children learn better when well nourished. Behavior problems, sickness, disease and crime all decrease when there is less food insecurity. We must look for solutions so that all people, all around the globe, can obtain access to clean water and good food.

So, meat eaters, where do you stand? Can you agree with these simple, straightforward values? I certainly can. And so can Lierre Keith, the former vegetarian. Interestingly, she makes the case that one does not have to abstain from meat to address all of the above. As a matter of fact, she is convinced that a vegetarian diet jeopardizes our own health and the health of the planet.

Listen to our conversation Vegetarianism reconsidered and let me know what you conclude. Even if you disagree with Lierre's point of view, I hope you can take pleasure in the fact that, in a world that is increasingly divisive, vegetarians and meat eaters can still find some common ground.

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation. She is also the host of the Wise Traditions podcast, found on iTunes, Stitcher, and at westonaprice.org.

 

Nutrient density: the best way to fuel your body

I was once one of those people who needed to eat every few hours. If I didn't, I would feel suddenly weak and dizzy, as if I were an iphone whose battery precipitously dropped from 83% to 2%. Mid-workout, I would grab an energy bar to power up again. In my worst moments, I would become shaky and sweaty, like someone detoxing from alcohol. It wasn't a pretty picture. I eventually stumbled upon the term “hypoglycemia” and determined that I simply needed to eat more frequently. It never occurred to me to look closely at what exactly I was eating. What was the composition of my diet exactly and could it have been a factor in my condition? In the 1930s, Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist and a researcher, became curious about what contributed to good health. Thankfully, he did carefully examine and compare various diets to determine the factors at play in the best diets. He looked at the nutritional content of traditional foods and compared it with the so-called modern foods of his time (those sold at shops and comprised of refined flours, sugars, etc.) He found that traditional diets had 4x the minerals and water-soluble vitamins and 10x the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K. The bottom line? Modern diets often were (and still are) woefully inadequate in critical nutrients.

Whether we currently have any health concerns or not, it’s clearly time to ask ourselves some important questions, starting with: what the heck are we eating?! Are we simply satisfying our hunger with whatever happens to be close to our “pie hole,” or are we looking to build our bodies in better ways? I don’t mean “build” in a muscle-building fat-burning machine way, although some may have that goal. I mean, are we giving our bodies the fuel they need to thrive? Better nutrition translates into more energy, less fatigue. There’s easier brain function/more brain power, greater ease of movement/strength to take on physical tasks. Do you want this for yourself, for your family? Who doesn't, right?!

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Sally Fallon Morell takes Dr. Price’s findings and helps us figure out how to apply them in the day-to-day. She seriously sheds light on how to get the biggest bang for your buck out of every bite. (I may be mixing metaphors here, but you get what I'm saying!) Click here to listen to episode #30 entitled “Nutrient density.” In it, Sally touches on:

- how even those who think they’re eating “healthy” may still not be getting all of the vitamins and minerals they need - the foods that offer the fat-soluble vitamins that are critical for our brain and body function (in organ meats, fish eggs, egg yolks, cheese, for example) - the symptoms of fat-soluble vitamin-deficiency (including depression and anxiety) - the dangers of a diet high in lean proteins (without sufficient fat) - the fats that are implicated in heart disease (hint: not the saturated fats) - how vitamins A, D, and K are a triumvirate: how they work together and should be in balance - why she questions the USDA’s definition of “nutrient density” (Hint: they call vegetables nutrient dense, but they count it per calorie, and many vegetables are low in calories. This means that you’d have to eat copious amounts of broccoli, for example, to get the same amount of vitamins or minerals you’d get from a spoonful of liver.) - how Dr. Price, through improved nutrition, improved the health and behavior of  some orphans - how to tweak your diet to improve not only your physical health but your mental health; how to increase optimism - the one simple thing you can do to make a noticeable difference in your health, even if you do nothing else

I'm convinced that nutrient density (principle #3) is key to wellness. (For the entire list of "characteristics of traditional diets" click here.) I've been tweaking my diet over the years to align with the Wise Traditions diet and guess what?! All symptoms of hypoglycemia have resolved. Better still, I have no serious health concerns. I have sustained energy for the physical and mental tasks I want to complete. My body and mind feel strong and good.

What about you? Are you willing to try some of the foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins? What can you add to your diet to help your body thrive? Please comment below if you take even one small step in the nutrient-dense direction. I'm eager to hear what difference it makes for you!

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and the host of the Wise Traditions podcast (found on iTunes, Stitcher and at westonaprice.org). She is also the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation.

A Maasai promise: a u-turn toward traditional foods

"I know and I promise that there will be a very huge U-turn for my community. We will be turning to where we came from."  Dickson Gisa, a leader in his Maasai village, spoke these words to me in a conversation in his home just a few days ago. Dickson is the one who took the initiative to contact the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) a year or two ago. He had come across the WAPF wise traditions principles and they resonated with him to such a degree that he asked WAPF to send someone to his community because "we are all getting sick."  So WAPF honored his request and sent me and Mary Gerke, a nurse and WAPF leader from the midwest, to his remote village in Matapato, Kenya, not far from the Tanzania border. This May, I returned to Dickson's community to follow up. What a joy it was to reconnect! I had the privilege of speaking once again about the importance traditional diets, while immersed in the gracious, welcoming Maasai culture. Along the way, I even got to enjoy some of the very traditional foods they have always embraced! But, best of all, I was able to see the changes the community had already implemented, as a result of last year's visit.

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Nowhere was this more evident than in Dickson's own home. His wife, Joseline, gave up her job as a preschool teacher last year to develop a garden on their land. She grows traditional greens, kale, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, bananas, cassava, and more! Her harvest is so abundant that she has enough for her own family and then some. Members of her community come buy food to sell at market. Dickson told me that Joseline made this choice very deliberately so that their family could avoid purchasing food from the shops/grocery stores.

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At every turn, their were positive signs. The youth group, comprised of 18-30 year olds, affirmed that they wanted to continue the traditional foods "campaign." And after my presentation to the community members, the pastor stood up and suggested that all women present begin cooking traditional foods again "starting now." (Dickson told me later that when they learn of something that is good, they try to apply it to their lives right away.) On Sunday morning, the pastor spoke of incorporating wise tradition principles into their church programs, and a church elder testified, "Just like we need to change our attitude toward God, we need to change our attitude toward feeding and health."

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Apparently, Dickson is not the only one who is convinced that the wise traditions that have been handed down for generations are a God-given gift that offer life and health and promise for the future.

I can't wait for you to hear my conversation with Dickson, which I recorded with my podcast gear. I hope to publish it sometime this summer on the Wise Traditions podcast. You can listen to all episodes by simply going to the westonaprice.org website and clicking on the podcast link on the right-hand side bar. Or, better, yet,  subscribe to the Wise Traditions podcast via iTunes, Stitcher (if you have an android phone) or the RSS feed (also on the westonaprice.org site's podcast page). You will certainly be encouraged, as I have been, and you will learn a thing or two about health and wise traditions around the world!

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Hilda Labrada Gore is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). She is also the host of the WAPF-sponsored Wise Traditions podcast. She is traveling in Zimbabwe and Kenya as part of the WAPF international project initiative.