Your best self is happy, healthy, brimming with good will and energy. I want to help you get there.
Children ask questions about everything under the sun. Reporters ask questions to get their story. Scientists ask questions to understand a matter. I am a normal person who is kicking off this post with a couple of questions. Why is there a taboo around questioning vaccines? Why can’t normal people question them without being labeled “wackos” or “anti-vaxxers?” I suggest that all of us should feel free to question vaccines, and here’s why.
- If we care about the food we ingest, we should care about everything we put into our bodies.
- If we want to know the list of ingredients in the food we are eating, we should want to know what ingredients are in a vaccination.
- If we are skeptical of conventional health care, we should question the motives of pharmaceutical companies that are lobbying for mandatory vaccinations for children and adults, nationwide.
- If we believe in food freedom (that we should be allowed to eat what we want to eat), we should also embrace health freedom (that we have the right to accept or reject any medical procedure).
As a young mom, I remember wondering if I should follow the vaccine schedule for my children. I had no logical reason to question vaccinations at all, really, because I didn’t know much about vaccine side effects or ingredients or anything. There was just a little question in the back of my mind, a kind of check in my gut about them. I suppose I was hesitant about them because of the fact that I had always been a girl with a natural bent. I figured my body could handle itself, without too much interference. I preferred to let a fever run its course. I would avoid over-the-counter remedies for a mild cold or aches and pains. I chose completely natural childbirth for each of my babies (no pain-killing drugs, no medical interventions).
So while I wasn’t super informed about vaccinations, I wondered about the benefit/risk ratio. But I didn’t wonder for long. I went ahead and had my children all vaccinated on time because I knew that in Washington DC, in order to attend public school, they had to have all of the vaccinations, according to the CDC schedule.
I didn’t think much more about it for some time. My inclination to keep things natural, health-wise, eventually led me to become a member, and then a chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). I liked their natural bent! They espouse Hippocrates' motto "Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food."
However, when I came across something in the WAPF literature about vaccinations, I scratched my head about it, because I thought that WAPF was a nutrition group, focused on food, farming, and the healing arts. A stance on vaccinations (and an individual’s right to reject them) seemed an unnecessarily polarizing position to take. Why would WAPF go out on a limb when they could safely advocate for wholesome food and sustainable farming practices, without rocking the status quo?
Over time, the answer started to dawn on me. WAPF is a group that’s willing to ask questions about conventional health protocol. Of course their willingness to ask about food sources, food quality, and the like would translate to other things we put into our bodies. It struck me that it is normal, and even healthy, to ask questions to safeguard my health and the health of my family. So I began to dig around and ask a few questions, myself.
- Why are premature babies given the same dose of vaccines as full-term babies? (Shouldn’t the dosage be adjusted for weight?)
- What ingredients are in the vaccines and are any toxic or apt to cause adverse reactions?
- Why do babies get a hepB vaccine the day they are born (when it is a vaccine intended to prevent a disease that is sexually communicated)?
- Is there room for a conversation about spacing out the heavy vaccination schedule that requires up to 24 doses before a child reaches 5 years of age?
- Why is it so difficult to get a medical or religious exemption in most states?
- Why are children denied a public education when unvaccinated, if education is a constitutional right?
- If vaccines are safe and effective, why was the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act established in 1986, setting up a vaccine injury compensation program (that to date has doled out over 3..8 billion dollars to families of vaccine-injured children and adults)?
- Why has the CDC not done a controlled study, comparing the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children?
- Why was the CDC accused of covering up study results that indicated a link between vaccinations and autism among African-American boys?
- If vaccines do not cause autism, as the CDC claims, where are the studies that disprove the link?
- And a related question: if vaccines don’t cause autism, why do so many parents of autistic children insist that they do?
- What does the evidence around us suggest?
- What links are there between vaccinations and other injuries and illnesses?
- Why are vaccines pushed at every turn (in grocery stores, corner drug stores, etc.)? And who stands to gain from this push?
Do you have questions of your own? Great! That means you're normal. Keep digging until you find answers that satisfy your curiosity. And check out these podcast episodes to learn something beyond what the mainstream media reports:
#16 Vaccines: what’s all the fuss about? (part 1) - w/ producer Leslie Manookian of “The Greater Good”
#54 Vaxxed: Producer's commentary - w/ Del Bigtree of “Vaxxed,” the movie that focuses on the CDC whistleblower
#64 The vaccine industry & your rights - w/ attorney Alan Phillips
#72 Fighting for health freedom – a group of people in West Virginia are fighting for the right to vaccine exemptions
*** 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 lives in DC with her husband and children, their cat, Mia, and their dog, Summer.
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!
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.
– 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.
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.
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.
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.
These were the words of an 86 year-old Maasai woman I met this summer. When I went on my Weston A. Price-funded trip to Kenya this past August, my objective was to teach the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) principles everywhere I went. But before I even landed in Nairobi, my Maasai friend, Dickson told me by phone,"You teach...and you learn." And so it came to be.
One of the people I learned from was Meyanik Ene Ringaq, the 86 year-old above. On a Sunday morning, she dropped by the home of our Maasai host, Dickson. Dickson served as our interpreter as we conversed. I've highlighted key bits of the conversation. Here are Meyanik's unvarnished thoughts:
- on what she ate as a child
When we were young, we just fed on the milk from the cow.
- on pneumonia
Right now, if it rains, every woman just gets to put on her children, heavy clothes, rain clothes, and sweater to try to prevent pneumonia. They say if they are exposed to the cold, they will get pneumonia, but before there was no pneumonia. There was nothing like pneumonia. If it rained the kids would just go outside and play with the rain water and not get sick. And if they have rain on them, they just get the milk from the cow, when it is warm, they just take it and they don’t get sick.
- on pregnancy and infants
Expectant mothers, pregnant women, they didn’t go to the hospital. When they delivered, the first thing they were given is the blood, because they figured the blood they lost during delivery can be replaced from the blood from the cow.
So the child, small baby, is raised by milk and the cream. That is the only food; that and breastfeeding.
- a personal story: her daughter's pregnancy and labor
I have a daughter who is married and just had a baby about a month ago. I went there to stay with [them] before she delivered. But when my daughter and her husband went to the hospital for a check up, they were told that she needed to deliver in the hospital because her hemoglobin was low, so there was danger if she delivered at home. But when they came home, I advised my daughter that there is no need to go to the hospital, that she should deliver at home. There are traditional medicines (herbs and roots) that are used for pregnant women. So I just went to the forest and gave her herbs and bark from the tree, and every time I gave the herbs boiled and mixed with blood...to my pregnant daughter. When the delivery time had come, she just delivered at home. There was no problem.
It’s better to stay with the traditional ways, than just getting all the shots, all the medicine because it’s just like we are taking poison in our bodies.
- on the differences between the old and new generation
When we were children, when we were youth, we just used simple traditional diets, we wouldn’t have to go to shop and buy things. Compare C. (Dickson's youngest child, a 7 year-old) with the children from before. She’s a bit fat and having a big body. But the older child, the traditional, who used to eat traditional food, they are more stronger than these children. Because they got the fat from the milk.
People are getting sick because they are ignoring their God-given traditional ways which are very, very, very important.
- on why traditional diets are losing ground
The culture of traditional diets is changing because of education. Before, we did not have any thoughts from the outside. But now...there is a lot of interaction.
If we get people...to help us direct our community back to the old traditional ways, like having seminars for them, we can help them talk and try to get our children back to the old ways. So at least, so that they can have education, but education doesn’t change their cultural or their traditional diets. Let the education change their mind, like knowledge, but not change their diets, their traditional diets, which I believe is like an everlasting life for the community.
I’m very grateful that you have this idea of coming to tell people to go back to their old ways, their original culture, because that is where we come from.