Low on energy? Here's how to recharge!

It’s mid-afternoon and you’re grabbing your third cup of joe. Sometimes it seems like you are running on fumes. Is it insufficient sleep that is making you so fatigued? Stress from an overwhelming amount of work in the office or at home? Tension with a family member that's worrying you? Maybe it’s all of the above! How can you replenish your energy naturally? I met a scientist who contends that water has everything to do with our energy levels and our overall health and vitality, but, he is decidedly not referring simply to our hydration level, nor is he advocating the old eight-glasses-a-day guideline. Dr. Gerald Pollack, a leading scientist and researcher from the University of Washington, believes our health is linked to the water in our bodies and he believes that this water is actually present in our bodies in a fourth phase, known as EZ or exclusion zone water. In contrast with regular water, H2O, which is electrically neutral, EZ water, H3O2, holds a negative charge. It is a sort of internal battery that must continually be recharged/built up to keep us running efficiently.

According to Jerry, we need to look for ways to get more negative charges from the world around us to create positive energy in our bodies! The goal is to continually build the EZ water up and maintain ample stores for optimal health. Jerry has several specific recommendations for doing this:

  • Soak up the sun! Sit in an infrared sauna! Infrared energy is all around us. Capitalize on it! Our muscles are soothed and we feel energized from infrared energy. It penetrates our bodies and builds the EZ water which helps our bodies function properly. The negative charge is replenished by infrared light.
  • Grounding” or “earthing” allows the negative charge from the earth to transfer to our bodies. This practice involves taking your shoes off and allowing your bare feet to connect with the ground. Sit in the park with your bare feet on the grass. Walk on a beach barefoot. Get your feet dirty in your garden soil. This, too, builds our EZ water stores.
 Sand and surf is good for the soul!

Sand and surf is good for the soul!

  • Oxygenate! As its EZ water's H3O2 chemical formula indicates, it has more oxygen. Try hyperbaric oxygen therapy! It was first used by the military to treat wounds that wouldn’t heal. Jerry has conducted lab experiments that indicate that changing barometric pressure through adding pressure and oxygen builds EZ water, improving the function of every organ in thebody and promoting healing.
  • Aspirin is not just for headaches. Since aspirin effectively treats many kinds of pain relief affecting a number of the body’s organs, the hypothesis was that aspirin builds EZ water throughout the body.  Jerry said that laboratory tests have confirmed this hypothesis. Aspirin apparently helps the body maintain its negative charge. (For those wary of aspirin, Jerry reminds us that the chemical that aspirin’s roots trace back to willow bark.)
  • Drink more water. If negative charge comes from the water in our body, and if the cells in an individual’s body lack sufficient negative charge, that body must have insufficient water. This is why drinking water is important as a tool to replenish our stores. However, the water that comes out of our taps doesn’t have a lot of negative charge. You can get more negatively-charged water from spring water or through water that has been through a reverse osmosis process.
  • Eat more blueberries! Blueberries, kombucha, and artichokes are good sources of anti-oxidants. How are anti-oxidants helpful? Oxidants remove negative charge. So, anti-oxidants are good for us because they prevent the loss of that negative charge.

I’m just scratching the surface of all Jerry shared with me. If you want to learn more, listen to the interview here, on Wise Traditions podcast #67 “Negative charge creates positive energy.” The bottom line is that our bodies are negatively charged, and they require the negative charge that comes from this EZ water for good health. We must build up and maintain sufficient stores to enjoy vitality and well-being. To get that positive energy, look for ways to replenish that negative charge. It is critical for life.

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Hilda Labrada Gore, a long-time DC resident, is an Integrative Nutrition health coach and fitness professional. She is the host and producer of the Wise Traditions podcast. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, Apple podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Overcast, Google Play Music, tunein, and at westonaprice.org. Basically, you can find it wherever you get your podcasts!

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.

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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.

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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.

Finally...New Year's resolutions that will AMP you up!

We are only about two weeks into the new year and yet a bunch of us have already broken some of our new year’s resolutions and determinations. Yup, me included. One of my resolutions this year was identical to last year: get to bed before midnight. (I am a health coach, but like everyone else, I have my stumbling blocks.) It's always been a struggle for me, as I'm a night owl by disposition and I end up suddenly inspired at 11:00 p.m. and so I get on the computer and one thing leads to another and I'm hitting the hay well after the clock strikes twelve! So, yeah, I’m pretty sure I broke this resolution on night two. I know I'm not alone. Our resolutions, and subsequent struggles to keep them, can humble and discourage us. If you’re in this boat, then, like me, you are tired of the cycle and ready to bust out of it.

That’s why I’m excited to give you some ideas of things we can to do to improve our health that are much easier to keep. Most resolutions have to do with diet and exercise--these do not! As a matter of fact, these are not just ideas or fads that are here today and gone tomorrow. These are principles to live by. I've already been slowly but surely adopting them into my lifestyle and I am the better for it. I bet you'll be able to do the same with very little striving and strain!

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There’s no denying I’m amped about these simple concepts. Ben Greenfield is the former bodybuilder who pumped me up about them! He is strong, passionate, and enthusiastic---a triathlete, and a health coach for elite athletes. I expected our conversation to focus on how to improve our diet and sculpt our bodies for their maximum potential. Instead, he surprised me by wanting to talk about “the invisible variables that affect our health.”  (To hear the entire conversation, check out “Beyond food” Episode 57 of the Wise Traditions podcast!)

Here are the four simple areas we discussed that have been transformative and encouraging to me. On each point, I share action steps for incorporating these into my life.

Air – Obvi. Air is critical to life! How can we improve the quality of the air we breathe in? We need to go where it is! Indoor air is often stale, recirculated, and sometimes toxic (from furniture off-gassing, cleaning products, etc.). We've got to take time and make time to get outside to breathe in the good stuff! Most outside air is an improvement on indoor air. If the schedule doesn't permit getting out, we need to buy some detoxing plants or a HEPA filter to improve the atmosphere indoors. Action: I get outside daily (walking from my house to the car or from my car to the office doesn't count). I have bought plants to improve my indoor air quality.

Music – Ben played the ocarina when we were together, since he was traveling and space in his luggage would not accommodate his ukulele. Why did he bother? He’d never even played the ocarina before! He recognizes the power of music. Science is confirming what humans have intuitively known for millennia: music soothes the savage breast. Something is stirred within our spirits when we experience music. It relieves stress and even brings healing! Action: I play the guitar a couple of times a week. I sing in church.

Posture – We can eat a super clean diet, but still be stressing our body by the way we carry ourselves. Just like a car’s tires need to be aligned and balanced, our body does, as well. For organs and cells to work properly, let’s avoid unnecessarily “squishing” them, as if they were a wool coat stuffed into the drawer of a nightstand. Action: I sit up straight in the pew in church or in meetings. I take regular breaks when working (anything to avoid the constant 90° sitting position)!

Sunshine – Where to begin, in my ode to the sun? At the top of the list is the natural vitamin D that it gives us! Scientists point to vitamin D deficiency as a possible cause of the many diseases plaguing us today! Sunshine helps our circadian rhythms stay in sync, which improves the quality of our sleep. It boosts the immune system and our mood! Action: When I go out daily (see action step for "Air"), I get the added benefit of soaking in 15-20 minutes of sunshine! (And I'm not letting the cold weather stop me--the little shock is good for my lymphatic system! And at least my face and hands are exposed to the sun's healing effects!)

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That’s it! Talk about an easy-peasy list, right? Consider these resolutions a way of life. I know I do. I consider them a way to AMP up my health this 2017! Hope you get AMPed too! Let me know how it goes and which of the above is your favorite!

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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.

If your mainstream doctor doesn't have answers...

look elsewhere. These were the simple, gentle words uttered by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride during an interview on the Wise Traditions podcast.

“If your mainstream doctor doesn’t have answers, look elsewhere.”

She reiterated that we should be polite, say “thank you very much” and then walk out the door. Once there, the work begins. It’s time to buckle down and begin investigating on our own.

This advice is something that Natasha has lived out. She is now known as the brilliant author of “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”—a book that has helped millions. But what got her there was a tragic turning point. She was thrown for a loop when her son was diagnosed with autism around the age of three. She was a neurologist but she knew nothing about what could possibly be the root of his condition. What she did know is that she could not/would not accept that diagnosis as the final word.

She began digging around and found that there was a connection between gut health and how the brain functions. Years earlier, she had noticed that many of her neurology patients had gastro-intestinal issues as well, but she would simply refer them to the GI specialist. Now she was beginning to see how these issues were interrelated. Her investigations led her to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet created by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas. From that diet, she derived the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet which helped her son recover completely and put her on the path to help countless others with chronic conditions, including epilepsy, ADHD, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, and schizophrenia.

Natasha’s story ended up in the “Best of 2016” episode of the Wise Traditions podcast, where it is paired with the story of holistic doctor Dr. Tom Cowan and dairy farmer Charlotte Smith. Each of them, in their own way, basically gives the same message that Natasha gives: “If your mainstream doctor doesn’t have answers, look elsewhere.”

As a young man, Dr. Tom Cowan was not satisfied with the simplistic answers he heard doctors giving their patients. He recounts witnessing the following encounter. A doctor told his patient that the poor air quality in Detroit was the cause of her persistent cough. She then asked him, “Then why aren’t you coughing, doc?” Tom laughed (and was not allowed to stick around after that).

He came to the realization that most doctors were treating symptoms but not the root cause of many conditions. Even holistic doctors have this tendency, he readily admits. This is why he recommends taking your health into your own hands

Charlotte Smith’s children struggled with intense eczema. The itchy red rash was even on her daughter’s eyelids! The backs of her son’s hands were constantly scabby and red. She tried everything under the sun that doctors, fellow moms, and friends said might work. When she got to raw milk, her expectations were low, but after having her family drink some daily for just two weeks, her son showed her the back of his hands and they were perfectly smooth. He recovered completely in a matter of two months! (Her daughter, whose case was more serious, recovered in about six months.)

Food could be medicine, Charlotte realized! It was a HUGE a-ha moment. She would not have stumbled upon it had she not persevered in finding something beyond conventional treatment (steroids) to bring her children relief. Now her whole family is enjoying the benefits of raw milk. They haven’t been sick for years! Charlotte's own seasonal allergies have cleared up. Antibiotics for infections are a thing of the past. And now Charlotte even runs a micro dairy, Champoeg Creamery, in Oregon!

These three distinct stories have one cohesive message. Do not passively accept what anyone tells you. When it comes to your health, be skeptical, like “doubting Thomas” (as Dr. Cowan dubs himself). Dig deeper. Ask questions. Educate yourself. Listen to the episode here that highlights these three individuals who did just that. And then continue on your journey to improved health.

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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.

THE "super" raw food: lacto-ferments

Ferments are everywhere these days! Go to any farmers market  and you will see booths selling everything from pickles to kimchi. People are starting to brew their own kombucha and pickle their carrots, turnips, and beets. Why are these foods suddenly trendy, when they have been a part of traditional diets around the globe for hundreds and thousands of years? Once again, science is backing up the wisdom of the past. There has been a shift in understanding about our bodies. Where once it was thought that the gut was sterile, science now points to it being a veritable wonderland of microbes and bacteria. Our health depends on maintaining a proper balance of intestinal flora. And lacto-fermented foods are a wonderful source of enzymes and good bacteria! This knowledge has sent people rushing back to eating fermented foods, since fermentation not only preserves the food, but also improves its nutritional content and the bio-availability of its nutrients.

Take cabbage, for example. It is a source of vitamin C. When it is fermented and turned into sauerkraut, the level of vitamin C is tenfold higher. It's been found that just 2 ounces of home-fermented sauerkraut has more probiotics than a bottle of 100-count probiotic capsules!

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This is why Sally Fallon Morell, the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, calls lacto-ferments the SUPER raw food! Across the board, fermentation enhances the very life of the food. It pre-digests the food, in a manner of speaking, and increases vitamin levels. Anti-nutrients are neutralized or partially neutralized. Minerals are released. Ferments boost the immune system, protect against disease, and aid digestion. In sum, it is a beautiful, marvelous process that works with nature to preserve not only the food, but also our health!

For all of these reasons, including lacto-fermented foods is principle #5 of the Wise Traditions diet. Listen to Sally expound on the benefits of (and the traditions behind) these foods here, in the episode Principle #5 Lacto-fermented Foods.

Highlights include:

–    how lacto-fermented foods are nearly universal in traditional diets –    the two types of fermentation –    how sauerkraut is made –    the role of salt in the fermentation process –    how fermentation may have come about –    the wisdom of traditional cultures and the scientific reasons behind fermentation –    what specific fermented foods are enjoyed in various parts of the world –    just why Sally considers ferments “super” raw foods –    the story of one woman with IBS and how fermented food helped her –    how to tell the difference between fermented foods and those simply steeped in vinegar –    how fermentation can boost levels of vitamin C, minerals, B vitamins –    how lacto-fermented drinks are also a good source of enzymes and bacteria (and serves as an alternative to soft drinks and alcoholic beverages) –    how these foods inoculate the gut, in essence, with good bacteria needed to resist disease –    how these foods are protective against cancer –    how the fermented foods shore up the “biofilm” that lines the intestinal tract –    how to eat the right balance of fermented food –    how these foods replace enzymes lost during cooking and help with the digestion of fat

You will certainly want to begin including some of these foods in your diet, once you understand how beneficial (and delicious) they are! You may even be inspired to try your own hand at preparing them--becoming an alchemist in your own kitchen! Whatever you do, here's to relishing this SUPER raw food!

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and the host of the Wise Traditions podcast (found on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google play, 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.

Turn children's health around with real food

Did you know that children's taste buds can turn around in two weeks--from craving junk food to craving real food? Just two weeks! Did you know that in two months children can experience some real progress in resolving health issues? Mandy Blume has stumbled upon these health recovery secrets for children and now she is sharing them with the world! She has written a book entitled "Real food recovery" and she has launched a nonprofit by the same name--all because of the health improvements she's seen through simple dietary changes.

In a recent interview, she laid it out plain and simple. Kids need real food. And even if they don't like it at first, if you keep offering it, they will get hungry and succumb to real food's allure. Mandy has used what she calls the "Mandy protocol" with her own children and with countless foster children (in her own home and foster homes) and she can testify to its positive effects. Is she some kind of "child whisperer?" How has she been so successful at transforming kids' diets and their health? And how can we follow her example?

It started when Mandy and her husband had their first child, who was born with health concerns that conventional medicine could not address. They soon took matters into their own hands. They overhauled their lifestyle and diet and began to see improvements (not just for the child, but for their entire family, as well)! Through this experience, Mandy realized the power of real food. She studied at California Polytechnic State University, where she received her degrees, along with cooking and nutrition credentials. But her real education came as she applied all that she learned, not only on her own family, but also on the foster children her family took in. Quickly her vision expanded to reach out to children in foster homes. Her goal? To  see real food recovery occur for the greatest number of children possible!

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boys-and-j

It's a big task for a needy generation. One in 88 children in the U.S. has autism. One in 10 children has asthma. Eight to ten percent of children in the U.S. have learning disabilities. Foster children are particularly vulnerable to physical, emotional, and mental health concerns. Can real food address these real issues? Mandy’s answer is a resounding YES! Listen to "Real food changes lives" and be inspired by her vision and her practical tips on dietary changes.

The half-hour interview highlights:

  • how Mandy used real food to flip her families’ and foster kids’ health
  • how Mandy and her husband began taking in foster kids
  • just how many children are currently in the U.S. foster care system
  • how little time it takes to change taste buds to crave real food
  • the power of perseverance
  • Mandy’s tips for helping children approach food differently
  • the health and trust issues of foster children
  • what happens when foster kids “age out” of the system
  • how their first foster child battled cancer
  • the catalyst for her nonprofit, her new book, and more

At the very least, Mandy's story will make you want to get real with your own diet, replacing “faux foods” with the real deal. And at best, she will motivate you to take steps to help the vulnerable children in your own town, who are also hungry for real food and real love.

*** 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.

What the heck is ghee? (And why you should try it.)

A friend of mine eats ghee with every meal. I used to feel sorry for her, considering ghee to be nothing more than a poor substitute for butter. I knew next to nothing about it, truth be told, but was somehow under the impression that she had been simply swept up in some new foodie trend. Little did I know that ghee is simply the fat part of butter (i.e., clarified butter) and that it has been made and consumed for thousands of years, particularly in India and Asia! Its health benefits are well-documented in ancient Sanskrit textbooks, and more and more people are rediscovering its benefits today. It is replete with vitamin A which benefits, among other things, our eyesight, and it has other properties that are rejuvenating, increase our longevity, and strength and immunity. Not only is it beneficial but it also is a vehicle, helping other nutrients get assimilated more easily into our body.

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Sandeep Agarwal is from India, where ghee is used liberally. He is an expert on the subject. His great-great-grandfather even started a ghee business in 1889. But living in the U.S., he had bought into the U.S. public health recommendations that saturated fat was to be avoided, so he shunned ghee and other fatty foods. But when his young son began to struggle with a health crisis, Sandeep began searching for an answer to resolve his health. This is when he came upon the Weston A. Price Foundation. And when he began applying the Wise Traditions principles to his family’s diet, he saw his son’s health improve and that’s when he began to realize that he needed to get back to his own roots.

Today he embraces ghee…and fat…and raw milk, along with other organic, natural foods and spices. He is a graduate of David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies’ two-year herbalist training program and one-year graduate program. He has spoken at Ayurvedic conferences in the USA and India. He is passionate about helping everyone to learn about the benefits of eating organic, healing, natural, traditional foods.

Listen to our conversation “On fat, raw milk, & ghee,” and you will learn:

  • the changes he made to his family’s diet that improved his son’s health
  • the process for making ghee
  • the benefits of ghee
  • the chemical composition of butter and of ghee, and how they compare
  • why ghee is a good choice for people with dairy sensitivities and for those on the GAPS diet
  • what the ancient texts say about raw milk and other healing practices
  • about Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing science which is 5000 years old and about its textbooks (written in Sanskrit)
  • the concept of ojaf (immunity) in ayurvedic tradition
  • how and why he and his wife started their PureIndianFoods business
  • how ghee is a top food recommended for immunity-boosting
  • why he believes ghee is growing in popularity as a “fat of choice”

If none of this convinces you to try ghee, you just need to give your tastebuds the treat! I’ve bought this huge tub and started cooking with it like there’s no tomorrow. (But, of course, there will be a tomorrow, thanks to ghee’s longevity-enhancing properties.)

*** 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.

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.

Who has your farmer's back...and your own?

The first time I heard the words “defending food freedom,” I had no idea what they were referring to. I pictured a group of peas standing in a picket line and defending their rights with posters and signs that said “Give peas a chance!” and “Envision whirled peas.” Pete Kennedy helped school me. Pete is an attorney on the board of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF). As such, he goes to bat for farmers facing legal action. In a nutshell, FTCLDF has the farmer’s back. And when they look out for the farmer, they are looking out for all of us who want to consume delicious, nutritious, natural foods from local producers.

You may be scratching your head like I was. Why do farmers and consumers need someone to look out for them, in the first place? How/why is our food freedom jeopardized? Can’t we consumers just buy what we want, when we want it? Don’t farmers have the right to grow or sell what they like?

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IMG_9317

Here are the factors at play:

Competition: Basically, those who buy and enjoy whole, real foods from the small farmer are challenging the status quo. Established companies who control most of the meat and dairy industry in the U.S. especially love the status quo. They’ve got a corner on the market and anything that poses a threat to their market share needs to be eliminated. They influence regulators to establish regulations that favor them and then complain or threaten legal action to sideline the little guy.

Control: On another front, the government is ostensibly concerned with food safety. In an effort to protect John Q. Public, regulations are put in place and then enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Food and Drug Administration---all with the end goal of making sure the food available for purchase is untainted. While it might sound benign, these regulations often place an undue burden on small farmers. Many “catch 22” scenarios crop up. For example, a few years ago, legal action was brought against Vernon Hershberger, a dairy farmer in Wisconsin, for operating without a milk producer license. But a milk producer license is only available to those who sell milk produced for pasteurization. And Vernon wanted to produce raw milk, not for pasteurization, so he did not qualify for a milk producer’s license. And yet he had to face criminal charges for not having the license! Here’s how Pete put it, “Here’s the thing: you can have the best soil, the healthiest animals, the best marketing plan, but if you don’t have a favorable regulatory climate, favorable laws enabling you to run a successful farm, the rest of it doesn’t matter.”

Cash: Small businesses and farmers don’t have the resources to defend themselves. This is why they don’t stand a chance when legal action is taken against them. They put most everything they have into running their farm. Farmers who are members of FTCLDF pay only $125 annually to ensure top-notch representation on a variety of levels to surmount legal hurdles.

Consumers: We want to buy and consume raw milk legally. We want meat that is high-quality, pastured, raised humanely, antibiotic-free and hormone-free. As adults, shouldn’t we have the freedom to purchase and ingest whatever we like? But the factors mentioned above are limiting us. Pete says “Everyone should have the fundamental right to obtain the food of their choice from the source of their choice.”

This is why Pete is committed to FTCLDF. They are out to level the playing field. Their mission is 1) to defend farmers so that they can get back to what they do best: producing high quality food products for the consumers who are demanding them; and 2) to ensure that consumers can attain those products, as part of their food freedom.

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Clearly FTCLDF has the farmers’ back and our own. To learn more about their work and begin to get involved, listen to my conversation with Pete Kennedy on Wise Traditions episode #36 “Protecting food freedom.” Or simply go to FTCLDF’s website: farmtoconsumer.org. Preserving our food freedom is truly the only way to give peas a chance!

*** 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.

Does the body know how to heal itself?

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IMG_9036

The body has amazing curative powers. How many times did you get a cut or scrape as a kid and then watch in amazement as over time the skin began to come together to heal? You might have used a bandaid to temporarily hold the skin together, but it was the body itself that did the healing work.

That innate curative power is what homeopathy taps into. Homeopathy is a medical approach and practice that is based on this reality: that the body knows how to heal itself. Oh, yes, there are times when we need immediate intervention—if there is an accident or a health emergency. But homeopathy is about prevention, when possible, by tapping into the body’s restorative ability. The goal of homeopathy is to educate the immune system and to help the body rediscover how to heal itself. Homeopathy has been known to help patients combat chronic health issues including recurring ear infections, asthma, coughs, and more. And homeoprophylaxis (HP), a practical application of homeopathy, offers natural protection against serious diseases—a kind of “green vaccine,” if you will.

I knew very little about homeopathy and HP, truth be told, until I interviewed Cilla Whatcott, the Director of Worldwide Choice. Homeopathy wasn’t originally on her radar either, but when her one year-old daughter had a health crisis, Cilla began exploring alternative options to healing. Now, Cilla has a PhD in homeopathy and she is the author of several books on the subject.

Want to learn more yourself? Listen to Wise Traditions episode #35 “The green vaccine?” You’ll hear:

  • stories of how homeopathy combats chronic issues (like asthma, coughs, recurring ear infections, etc.)
  • how parents are pushing for HP as they seek alternative therapies to preserve their children’s health
  • the definition of homeopathy
  • the FDA’s stance on homeopathy
  • the many places in the world HP is being used successfully to protect against disease
  • how HP differs from vaccines
  • studies are being conducted which indicate the efficacy of HP
  • the difference between HP and essential oils
  • how Worldwide Choice sponsors conference to familiarize medical professionals (and all of us) with the research, theory, and results of HP

Is your curiosity piqued about homeopathy and HP? Visit Cilla's website, worldwidechoice.org. Or check out her books (which can both be found on her site, as well): “There Is a Choice: Homeoprophylaxis” and “The Solution – Homeoprophylaxis.” They explore the many ways the body truly can heal itself--bandaid or no bandaid!

*** 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.

From bone-tired to robust

Razi Berry was extremely fatigued in her twenties. I don't mean she was just run-down or exhausted from stress or work. (We all get there sometimes.) Razi was tired at the cellular level, or what some of us call "bone-tired." In her own words, she says she was like “a wind-up doll that constantly needed winding.” She was struggling with fatigue, pain, hair loss, infertility, and more. At one point the doctors diagnosed her with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and they suggested she go on disability. At age 25, this was akin to a "life sentence" which Razi simply could not accept. She decided, instead, to became her own “health detective” and look for solutions to restore her health. This is when she took two steps that made all the difference.

  1. She made lifestyle changes that drastically improved her health. These included eating more animal products (including organ meats), breathing more deeply, and getting sufficient sleep.
  2. She found naturopathic medicine that turned her health trajectory around. The naturopathic approach deals with the whole person (not just certain ailments or body parts). There is a focus on the healing power of nature and finding and treating the cause of sickness, not the symptoms.

Listen to her full story on #34 "Tired of being tired" and you'll hear:

  • just how sick Razi was
  • the improvements she saw with these two steps
  • the principles of naturopathic medicine
  • specific naturopathic therapies, including hot/cold showers, and wet socks
  • the myth of “side” effects
  • how the skin is a mirror of your health
  • how Razi continues to maintain her health today
  • her most important advice on how to approach your own wellness
Razi and girls
Razi and girls

Today, Razi is the publisher of "Naturopathic Doctor News & Review" and she maintains the Naturopathic health site, while also homeschooling her daughters. She obviously has energy and health to spare. Razi will inspire you to take your own steps to move from bone-tired to robust, and brimming with health! The first step for you may just be listening to this episode!

*** 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.

The key to survival for "team humanity"

Allan Savory is a brilliant research biologist. When the Weston A. Price Foundation told me that I could travel to see him and his work at the Africa Centre for Holistic Management in Zimbabwe, I nearly keeled over in shock. I am a big admirer of Allan for various reasons: 1) he has some effective (and radical) ideas about reversing the earth's degradation, 2) he has withstood his share of controversy because of them, 3) and he has had the courage to acknowledge (and learn from) some serious mistakes he made as a young environmentalist. DSC_0532

But what endears me to him most of all is his use of the words "team humanity." This is Allan's clarion call. It is his effort to remind us that we are one race on this terrestrial ball: the human race. And we all must pull together if we want to keep the land inhabitable and fertile.

Motivated by this vision, Allan has dedicated his life to finding a solution to our earth's growing desertification. At one time, he was convinced that animals were overgrazing, ruining the land. (Many scientists still hold that opinion to date.) But after the "tragic error" of culling elephants, Allan now sees animals as key partners in our survival. He even goes so far as to say livestock are "our only hope" for greening the world's deserts and reversing climate change. They are the key to survival for "team humanity."

Now you can see why I called his ideas "radical" earlier! What a wild thought, no? How can animals help us? For starters, they disturb the soil just enough to stimulate new growth and then they fertilize it with their waste. It's nigh miraculous and nothing we humans do to the earth can compare! In Zimbabwe, I saw with my own two eyes what the livestock had done. Properly managed, they had indeed helped the land heal. There were streams of water, where before there had been none. Grass was growing waist-high (and higher), where before there had been only arid, dry land. It was something to behold. My husband put together a 2 1/2-minute video scrapbook of the visit, so you can see it, too. Click on the link below and you'll see some of the thriving eco-systems grasslands I described, community leaders learning at the centre, the majesty of Victoria Falls, and more.

WISE TRADITIONS IN ZIMBABWE

Intrigued? Learn more about holistic management (the big picture approach to addressing the earth's degradation), by listening to this 30-minute interview: Allan Savory (Part 1) Holistic Management. Curious about the specific role of livestock in that important work (why they are a better "tool" than technology, fire, resting the land or planting crops or trees)? Click here for the follow-up interview: Allan Savory (Part 2) Livestock only hope.

Do you want to delve deeper still? Check out the resources below. On behalf of "team humanity,"I  thank you!

Savory Institute website: savory.global TED talk: “How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change” “Holistic management: a new framework for decision making”

*** 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.

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.

Learning from the traditional Maasai

In the 1930s, researcher and dentist Dr. Weston A. Price traveled around the world to find the healthiest people with the best teeth. He had seen images of such people in “National Geographic” magazine but he wondered if they actually existed. So he took a voyage, determined to find out for himself. Everywhere he went, Dr. Price noticed that those who ate their traditional diets (cheese and milk in Switzerland, seal oil in Alaska, and so on) were healthy, fertile and vibrant. And, yes, they resembled those traditional people groups featured in “National Geographic!” They had beautiful straight teeth, with very little incidence of decay. But he also found that those who had access to so-called “modern” western foods (including refined flours and sugars) suffered tooth decay and health issues. There was a clear pattern that tied wellness to diet. When Dr. Price came to Kenya, he noted that it was no exception. He met tribal people who were extremely healthy and who had broad faces with straight teeth with little evidence of cavities or infections. But among those whose diets had changed, he saw compromised health and teeth that were cavity-filled.

Dickson in Oiti

When I traveled to Kenya last year (and just last month), I wondered myself what I would find. I’m not a dentist or a researcher, but I had the next best thing going for me. I connected with Maasai community leader Dickson Ole Gisa and got to speak with him first-hand. I wondered what changes he had noted over the years and if Dr. Price's findings were playing out in his community. Indeed, Dickson had witnessed some of the very things Dr. Price recorded so many years ago. I take it back. He had not only witnessed the dietary changes and the corresponding health repercussions for his people, he had actually lived through them!

Dickson lives in Oiti, a Maasai village in Kenya, near the border of Tanzania. It is rather remote and yet he admits “The diet is changing tremendously.” When he first heard of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) and its Wise Traditions principles based on Dr. Price’s findings, it made perfect sense to him. He immediately contacted WAPF, saying, “Please send someone over. We are all getting sick. I have diabetes. My wife has asthma….” So this is how I came to connect with him, as an envoy of WAPF, as a friend, and as the Wise Traditions podcast host. In this capacity, I am now able to share with you one conversation with Dickson from my visit this past month. You will certainly be fascinated by Dickson’s stories, as I was.

In “A Maasai story,” you will learn:

  • what Dickson ate as a child (including the game his father hunted to feed his family)
  • the Maasai traditional diet
  • the allure of “foreign foods” like soda, juice, oils
  • how the changing diet is impacting the Maasai’s health
  • how pregnant women are “selective” in terms of the food they eat
  • traditions related to childbirth
  • about a special book written by the first Maasai scholar which records all of the cultural traditions of the people
  • how “civilization” and “education” are shaping Maasai dietary choices
  • the very changes Dickson's own family have made to return to traditional foods
  • how Dickson is spreading the news of Wise Traditions
  • the community’s response to WAPF principles and ideas

I have learned from Dickson, among other things, that one person can make a difference in their community. It starts in our own backyards. I want to continue to take steps to "practically apply" (as Dickson says) what I believe---in terms of food, faith, and life. If I do this, or rather, if we do this, we will certainly impact our villages, communities, and the whole world for the better! Don't you agree?

P.S. If you enjoy this episode, please share it with others. And if you want to support Dickson’s outreach and efforts to help his people regain their health through a return to nourishing traditional foods, go to westonaprice.org and click on “Get involved.” Then click on the “donate” button and give the amount of your choice to the “overseas outreach” initiative.

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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.

Chewing the fat with Chris Masterjohn

In the movie, "Little Miss Sunshine" Steve Carrell's character, Frank, pointedly yells at his niece, "Fat makes you fat." He was trying to shame the young girl into changing her order at a diner. For decades, the U.S. government was sending Americans the same message--warning us to steer clear of fat, and practically shaming us for craving it. They said it was linked to heart disease. So the public heeded the warning, but health issues--obesity, chronic conditions, and, yes, heart disease--continued to rise despite compliance with the recommendations. In recent years, the government and even the conventional medical community has begun to pivot, actually recommending that we eat fats for our well-being. But which are the best fats? And how much should we be eating?

Enter Chris Masterjohn, assistant professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences at Brooklyn College in New York. Chris has a  PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a brilliant person to discuss such a topic. And so we did, on the Wise Traditions podcast. Yes, we chewed the fat...about fat! Give a listen to episode #28: Fat does a body good.

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Here are some of the things you'll learn.

  • how fat helps your body run
  • moving from fear of fat toward freedom
  • how to eat to fuel your body's needs
  • how to figure out what diet (and percentage of fat) will work best for your particular body
  • what sources of fats have been eaten over the course of human history
  • how our diet has shifted away from animal fats to oils like soybean, canola, sunflower, safflower, corn, and cottonseed
  • how this shift may be the cause of many of modern diseases
  • the difference between saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats
  • the definition of essential fatty acids
  • the role of cholesterol (and what numbers could be a red flag)
  • a recommendation for a certain type of health care practitioner

Chris concluded our conversation with a surprising suggestion for what to do to achieve optimal health. (To learn more from Chris, check out "The Daily Lipid"  or follow him on social media @chrismasterjohn.)

As we wrapped up our talk, I walked away with some new insights and with a conviction that was stronger than ever:  fat does many things for us, but it most certainly does NOT make us fat, no matter what the movies (or other media) may tell us!

*** 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.

The biggest health blindspot

An unexpected benefit from my recent trip to Africa was the jet lag I experienced once I got home. Jet lag, a benefit? Yup. Here's how I see it. I usually go to bed between midnight and one a.m. But, suddenly, post-trip, I found myself crawling into bed, completely wiped around 10:00 or 10:30 p.m. I was glad because I found myself in a new rhythm, a la Benjamin "early-to-bed-early-to-rise" Franklin. It felt good. I was also pleased because I had been reminded that sleep-deprivation can be the biggest health mistake many of us make. It's detrimental to our well-being to get insufficient sleep, but even the most avowed foodies and health conscious people often don't take sleep very seriously. Most of us think nothing of burning the midnight oil. On the contrary, we see overwork and little rest as a badge of productivity and efficiency, a point of pride. We couldn't be more mistaken. Overlooking the importance of sleep is a huge health blindspot.

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A recent interview with Sandra Van Gilder, a physical therapist and trainer from California, woke me up (so to speak) to the importance of sleep. As a young woman, Sandra had suffered with back pain, sciatica, swollen knees, and more. As a busy young mom, she struggled with vestibular migraines. These conditions gave her a fresh perspective on how to approach wellness and inform her work today. She talked at length with me about sleep and movement.

Sleep

  • how modifying your lifestyle can help you avoid sickness (e.g. more hydration, less caffeine, improved nutrition, more sleep)
  • how lifestyle changes can also help you manage stress and avoid migraines
  • how morning grogginess and brain fog can be evidence that you are not getting enough sleep
  • how to prepare for a good night's sleep (including gentle stretching, epsom salt baths, reducing artificial light before bed and more)
  • the benefits of melatonin: a major antioxidant that protects against cancer
  • why you crave carbohydrates when you're sleep-deprived
  • how sufficient sleep helps with portion control
  • how to avoid having to refuel yourself every hour, when you're exhausted
  • how getting outside helps your body get in touch with your circadian rhythm
  • the role of healthy fats in relation to your overall health (and sleep patterns)

Movement

  • why the usual recommendations of rest following an injury can lead to aggravation (emotional and physical)
  • why variety of movement is critical
  • the importance of knowing your physical goals
  • how a whole body approach helps your body function properly
  • novel ways to treat low back pain

I'm feeling more refreshed and rested these days. I like it! I hope the jet lag pattern sticks. For Sandra's part, since she has changed her sleep patterns, her migraines disappeared. And though she once had joint pain and back issues that made it difficult to even run around the track a single time, she is now in terrific shape and has even run a half marathon, pain-free!

Sandra is as busy as you and I are, and yet she has made some amazing strides, not only in her own health, but for others' health, as well. Listen to our episode #26 of Wise Traditions here: The myths and truths of sleep and exercise. Or visit her Move Method website (where she offers a free video series).