As symptoms of chronic diseases are gradually becoming daily small talk, right after the weather of course, we should pause for a moment and consider why. Is the quality of food declining? Is it more stress at work? Too much medication? Or all of these and more that are costing us our health and our joy of life?
I developed hay fever in my early teens for which I took allergy medication of a few different brands, switching when one ceased working. Then sinus problems developed which also required medication (all medications I stopped taking about nine years ago) and by the time I graduated high school I was a hefty 180 pounds.
By the end of my first year in college I didn’t gain the typical 15, I managed to melt away 50 pounds! Not by dieting, but by simply changing what I ate (going from a SAD diet to a more diverse cafeteria one with meat a vegetables at every meal) and walking more. It isn’t so much about how little or how much you eat, it is about what you eat that makes all the difference in the world. For more than fifteen years now I have managed to keep my ideal weight with a few ups and downs, I rarely get sick, but only for the last three months have I really started to feel healthy for the first time in my adult life.
In October of 2011 my husband, our toddler and I started walking barefoot, pretty much full time, we wear shoes only when going to the village or city and of course when there is too much snow on the ground. Inside though our feet remain naked day and night. Since we started earthing, grounding ourselves, Roland and I have found ourselves feeling worse rather than better.
We knew it probably had to be something that we came in contact with everyday. With the first step we gave up refined sugar, not that we ate much of it anyway, so it was easy to do without. Then we gave up store bought milk in favor of raw, creamy goodness. We tried going gluten-free for two weeks (which we enjoyed, but thought we couldn’t afford it as a lifestyle change). My tummy had been in knots most nights since we began walking barefoot and my eczema flared up for seemingly no apparent reason. Then I got a pounding migraine and a throbbing toothache all at once and I sat on the floor and cried.
The girl who takes the pain was worn down.
Worse yet, one dentist refused to look at my tooth and the next said nothing was wrong. When you hear that from a medical professional you have no choice but to find the truth for yourself. With a few searches on tooth pain I came across an article on oil-pulling, we found organic coconut oil in Szeged and the next morning we were swishing. It took just two days for my teeth to become “clean” enough to see that on the surface of my elusive molar there was a hairline fracture that the dentist could not see, nor could an x-ray.
Somehow I came across Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition, 2nd Edition and right then and there something clicked.
- that I had to get rid of wheat for good,
- that I needed to start taking cod liver oil asap,
- that I must eat organ meats,
- that bone broth would be on the menu at least once a week,
- and from here on out our dinner table would never be the same again.
After a full month of being gluten free the nightly twisting sensation in my intestines went away, bowel movements became less acidic and the fog of the last decade all but disappeared. My tooth is on the mend as well, no dentist required.
So, how does this all relate to discovering a traditional diet?
Somehow from walking barefoot and getting closer to nature, to discussions with friends of friends about ancestral diets and a social media mention here and there I came to the conclusion that wheat is not my friend. Being the curious people that we are, my husband and I thought many days and nights on why this may be so.
My family originates from Sweden, Scotland, Germany and some places inbetween, yet one thing they have in common is that they don’t eat a lot of grains. When those cultures ate oats or barley, they were either soaked or fermented – a tradition that has fallen by the wayside in favor of fast rising breads made standard by modern conveniences.
The Good Scots Diet consists of seafood, oat porridge, cultured milk, boiled eggs, butter, cream, innards, blood sausages, nettles and very few vegetables and fruits. It is likely that these foods will agree with me more than starchy rice, potatoes, gluten, tropical fruits and sugar cane. Swedes eat a similar diet rich in milk and meat with nuts and berries…
Agriculture is changing faster than our stomachs can evolve, one only needs to look at GMO crops and artificial sweeteners to identify that.
Let’s get back to our roots, literally and figuratively so that we can find our health in the future.
Think about where your family came from, perhaps the more diverse the better?!, and try to find recipes from a hundred, two hundred years ago.
Let me know in the comments what you found!
Additional reading for healthy minds: