We just finished binge watching an older Canadian documentary called “Pioneer Quest.” If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. It is about 9 episodes and follows 2 couples that sign up for a year of pioneering like they were back in the 1870’s. There is another PBS show from a few years ago called “Frontier House” that is also very good. This one showcases several families and they are only there for a few months but, it is still interesting.
So, what does this have to do with nutrition? Not much, however, it does have a lot to do with lifestyle choices and since I am a holistic nutritionist, I am going to cover lifestyle occasionally since it has just as much importance as what we put in our mouths.
These shows fascinate me because of the change in all these people doing the experiment. They start out as normal, 21st century, everyday work-a-day people and transform and adapt to this new and extreme life. They have no power, running water, guaranteed food sources, modern houses, phones or anything even remotely convenient and they thrive without it all. What interests me the most is their attitude over the long haul. Most start off excited, some a bit disgruntled, others are only there because they are supporting their spouse. They go through a lot of horrible experiences that you would have thought they would’ve thrown in the towel and walked away but, instead they figured out how to survive through them and are happier. Their relationships with their spouses, children and even the other families blossom and grow. They learn to live without the conveniences and are much happier and less stressed.
Many of us crave these kinds of relationships and a simpler existence, but we are so distracted, entertained, overworked and stressed out to nurture this kind of lifestyle. The stress that we are constantly exposed to is exceptionally hard on our adrenals and leaves us feeling tired, stressed and irritable. We need to slow down and take time to live this life without trying to race our way to the end of it.
Perhaps we can start by putting our phones down, turning the TV off and paying attention to our families and nurturing more loving, closer relationships with them. Maybe learn some skills that take us back to the old ways of living like making soap or milking a cow so we feel the fulfillment of doing things ourselves. Go outside more often and just listen to the sounds of the wind and birds if you can, or drive somewhere where you can hear more nature and less traffic.
There is a fascination with the old pioneer ways that I believe is inside all or most of us seeking a simpler existence. Away from the hustle and bustle of our constant distractions, demands and stresses that command our attention and fuel our poor health. I encourage you to do one thing this week to ease the stress load from your life, maybe take a walk with a loved one and look at the leaves just starting to change or simply stay away from all screens for a period of time and have a conversation with someone you’ve been meaning to talk to and have been putting off.
I hope you have a great and less stressed week! Happy Autumn!
First Nutrition Article
For years I have been writing blogs on napkins, scratch paper, notebooks that get lost, and in my head. I actually tried to be a blogger at one point, posted one blog and quit. I read a lot of blogs online, mostly food and nutrition, and am always in awe of people being able to convey their thoughts in print and confident enough to share with the whole world online. So here I am, going to share my knowledge and thoughts and hope they get read! I want this first blog to tell about what I am and why I do what I do for a living.
For those who don’t know me or care to read the about me page, my name is Cheryl and I am a holistic nutrition consultant. I have a certificate as a nutrition consultant through Hawthorn University and I work with people who want to achieve health and wellness through healthy lifestyle and nutrition. My specialty is blood sugar imbalances however I have worked with everything from hormonal issues to digestive problems. Okay, now that I have my resume out of the way, I’d like to tell you why I started doing this.
As a kid, I ate a fairly healthy diet. My mom tried to get us to eat vegetables but, I turned my nose up at most everything green for many years. I grew up in Northern California around a lot of fruit orchards so fruit was abundant and I would eat that. As I got older both of my parents went back to school, so we started eating a lot of cheap, easy foods. We also got a lot of free food from different organizations that helped poorer families eat. I am very thankful to them and I am not complaining about the generosity of others at all, however, the food we received was very unhealthy. Top Ramen, Ritz peanut butter crackers, American cheese and cream of unidentifiable food bits in soup were now staples for us. I learned to bake with Betty Crocker cake mix and vegetable oil. My first dinner that I cooked by myself was spaghetti with white pasta, jarred spaghetti sauce and toasted garlic bread using white bread. I think I microwaved some peas for a “healthy” side vegetable.
When I first got married all I knew to cook was boxed foods. I microwaved frozen veggies and called it a meal. My first husband was happy with this since that was how he grew up. My mom bought me a Betty Crocker cook book as a wedding present and I set about teaching myself how to use it. I ended up being a cream of mushroom soup master! I threw it in everything! However, I thought because I made meals from cans and boxes at home that I was cooking from scratch. We still drank soda, ate candy, Cheetos, Doritos, basically anything orange. It still makes me cringe to think about.
Then my husband got sick. Cancer sick. We found out he had cancer March of 2007. The same day my oldest son had his appendix out. My husband passed away May 25, 2008. He was only 37 years old.
I didn’t put it together that his and my health were connected to what we put into our bodies and now I had 4 kids that I was still feeding the same way. Then I met my current husband. He had lived quite a bit differently. He didn’t like boxed foods and told me he couldn’t keep eating like that for his health but, we were building a house, running 2 offices, and combining a large family so we didn’t have time to eat decently. We drank soda and sugared coffees to stay awake and ate out often.
Then he got sick, too. Diabetic sick and the sugar had to stop. I started to research and he started seeing a Naturopath who led us to low carb eating for diabetes. I stumbled upon the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and became very interested in Weston Price and the information he had uncovered back at the turn of the last century. We changed all of our dietary habits from sugar and boxes to fresh and fermented. We lost weight and both of us felt much better. I didn’t even realize how tired I was all the time until I started giving my body real nutrients. My husbands blood sugar dropped and stabilized. It still wasn’t ideal but, we were getting some where finally. We changed the whole family’s diet, too, with much protest from the children. Despite how much they hated the fresh, healthy food, they ate it and even they started noticing the benefits. All acne disappeared from every teenage face. My youngest child's eczema vanished. Digestive issues went away and the boys didn’t smell near as bad as they did before. Anyone with teenage boys knows the smell I’m talking about!
I knew that God had led me to this knowledge that what we put in our bodies does make a huge difference in our health, that we could let our bodies heal with the help of the foods that God created. I decided to go back to school and become a nutritionist then. Since then I have been very blessed to help my family and others take control of their health.
Now, I know this has been a little wordy and believe me, it could’ve been longer. I am just so amazed even after all this time of how much difference there is in our family’s health since we turned our way of eating around.
I highly recommend that if you have a health issue and allopathic medicine hasn’t worked for your needs, pray about it and look into alternative medicine and nutrition.
Recently, my husband’s blood sugar went up again and we have discovered fasting and keto diet to lower it to NORMAL!! That, however, is for another blog.