The Ancient Paths Family Farm

Getting Back to Basics in Health and Nutrition

Archive for August, 2007

America: Manlourished?

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on August 26, 2007

Do you remember seeing photos of “those starving children in Africa” years ago? Do you remember the distended bellies of those poor and sickly children, the sunken eyes with dark circles, the lethargy and lack of general health?

malnourished african child Remember these images? malnourished community

Do you notice the same general appearance of much of North America today?

thin woman   skinny model

I remember hearing a news story a while ago about how North Americans are certainly not starving yet somehow they are showing signs of malnutrition, even though a significant portion of our society is overweight. Diseases and illnesses that stem from improper nutrition are on the rise. How can this be?

pilot fast food Family kids at McD’s

Check out these two articles:

Obesity and Malnutrition exist side-by-side

Obesity and Malnutrition in the United States This is a great PDF!


If we look at what we are eating today we will notice that our diet consists of high fat and sugary processed foods that are full of fillers and lacking in nutritional value. Most of our food contains unnatural chemicals and preservatives that are simply not the best option for our bodies. Even when we do try to eat healthy our food is harvested often times before it is fully ripe and then processed with a lot of chemicals. Not only that but our foods are cooked at high temps and/or treated with chemicals to “kill the organisms”. But before even all of that, the soil that much of our food is grown in is depleting in it’s vital nutrients, nutrients that fertilizers alone cannot replace. We, as a society, are filling ourselves with a lot of stuff but little of it is nutritionally adequate to meet our needs. This says nothing about our physical activity or the volume of foods we consume on a daily basis.

It seems so grim, doesn’t it?

Today we are far removed from our food sources. We shop at a grocery store and do not know where our food came from or where it has been since it left the farm. We don’t know what processes were used to grow our food or what has been done to it since it’s been harvested. Many of us simply shrug our shoulders and say, “What can I do about that? I just do the best I can.” That is a very true statement!

When we are a very prosperous society with MUCH food available to us, what then can we do?

First, we need to drink more water. It is known that often times we mistake our body’s thirst for hunger so instead of drinking water, we eat. And eating requires our bodies to use water to process the food we consume. Water is the primary nutrient for all people and animals. Next time you are hungry, try a good large glass of water first and see if that helps. It is also known that headaches, for the most part, ‘restless leg syndrome’ and fatigue are caused by the dehydration of our bodies. There are many more “syndromes” and ills that are caused by dehydration but these are the ones that you tend to see commercials for as you watch your evening television program. Simply put, water makes you feel better because it’s a basic nutrient.

Second, I suggest that we shop locally for locally grown produce and other products. Not only will this ensure that your food products were harvested much closer to ripeness, if not at their peak ripeness, but it will put your hard earned dollars back into your own community (your neighbors and co-worker’s neighbors). You have a better chance of finding out what processes were used to prepare your food before you purchased it if you buy local.

Third, I suggest that we consume more whole foods and less processed foods. Whole fruit, vegetables and grains in place of ready-made meals. Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed/refined as little as possible before being consumed. If we can trade one meal out a week for one meal with higher quality foods, we will only benefit. It might cost a little more to prepare something at home with higher quality products than it would if you used ready-made products, but it surely won’t cost more than eating out. In fact, it will probably cost much less. If this seems impossible to do or you want to supplement your diet with more whole foods, I recommend the information at my Back to Basics site. I would be happy to connect you with “real live nutrition the way nature actually intended”.

Fourth, should we opt to use dietary supplements, be sure to choose naturally occurring products rather than synthetic products. Vitamins and minerals that are naturally occurring will be utilized by the body better than products that are created in a laboratory. If you are interested in learning about the nutritional products we sell, please view Back to Basics.

These are four very simple steps each of us can take in order to improve our health and the health of our families. Remember, our health in 20 years will be our report card for how we are living today.

Do you have any suggestions for simple steps to better health to share? Please feel free to leave a comment.


Posted in Health, Nutrition | 3 Comments »

Did you know?

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on August 25, 2007

Did you know that in the 1980’s researchers said that they expected 1 in every 2 people in North America would be diagnosed with some form of cancer? WOW! Half of the total population. Think of your family and friends – half of you.

But do you know what they say today? Today many researchers say that 1 in every 1 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime. That means you and me, your spouse and mine, your children and mine. Everyone is expected to be diagnosed with some form of cancer at some point in their lifetime by these researchers. How many of these cancers will be the ugly and fatal ones? How many will be the “scare your pants off” but treatable ones? Do we really want either one of these?

Wow. Something has got to change. As a wife and a mother, I surely do not want my family to be affected with cancer if I can help it.

World Health Organization: Global cancer rates could increase by 50% to 15 million by 2020

I heard the other day that it is agreed that all cancers are caused by our environment. We already know this if we really stop and think about it. We know that cigarette smoking causes cancer whether you are the smoker or if you breathe the second hand smoke. We also have heard the studies that tell us things like anti-oxidants can help prevent cancer if we ingest enough of them often enough. We’ve heard of things like juice diets, raw food diets, vegetarian/vegan diets, etc. But those seem too troublesome for most people to pursue for any length of time.

I read recently that the chlorine in our drinking water is suspected to be one of the primary roots of all cancers. This makes sense to me because they tell us that they put this stuff in our water to “kill the organisms”. How many of us stop to realize that WE are also organisms?

So what can we do? We need to take control of our environment. I’m not saying that we need to become crazy environmentalists. But we need to put out some effort to ensure that what we put into our bodies are pure and natural, for starters. We need to also quit any of those habits that are damaging to our health – smoking, drinking alcohol, overeating, undereating, etc. Next we need to ensure that we have active lifestyles. Too many of us are pent up in an office all day and unable to get our bodies moving much and then we come home mentally exhausted and too tired for physical activity – such as riding a bike or taking a walk.

We really can reduce our chances of getting cancer if we want to. It will take some effort and some thought, but we can do it. There may be discouraging news but if we take time to listen to the whole story we will be encouraged as we learn what we can do for ourselves to ensure a healthier lifestyle for ourselves and our families. I know I don’t want to suffer with cancer and I don’t want my family to either. So I’m opting to do whatever I can to give my family the best anti-cancer chances I can. How about you?

Posted in Health | 3 Comments »

Shalom and Coconut Oil

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on August 3, 2007

Shalom is getting close to turning 12. As a newborn he was diagnosed with GERD because he would have projectile spit-up, and always in large quantities, all the time. I was concerned that he was not getting much to eat so I addressed it with the family doctor. She put him on Tagamet – at 6 weeks old! But it worked, so we kept doing it. After a time we stopped, he must have been on solid foods by then (I don’t remember).

Shalom has had some very frustrating habits over his lifetime and it seems that a few of them have derived themselves from the GERD. He would constantly clear his throat in a few specific ways (ugh) and talk about his heartburn. We had tried everything from the apple cider vinegar treatments to Tums and milk of magnesia, and back to prescription meds. In recent years nothing has helped – no medicine and no natural remedy has seemed to completely alleviate his troubles. We’ve tried to modify his diet, but were left perplexed when he would come in from the garden eating a tomato and have no ill effects yet processed or store-bought tomatoes would cause him such agony. But it wasn’t just tomatoes, there are many things that were taboo foods for him. Because we’ve tried so many different things and have always preferred a “natural” remedy, Shalom has developed a strong interest in nutrition and natural remedies. He’s our little nutritionist and naturopath. 🙂

I have been plagued with concerns for his health and the damage that is likely being done to his stomach and his esophagus from the acid. He has always had bad breath and that, too, has helped to constantly remind me of his stomach troubles. Last week we had friends over and they were sharing their newfound “wonder miracle cure” of coconut oil. They had read The Maker’s Diet and (if I remember right) it mentioned not only eating according to Biblical standards/guidelines but it also mentioned coconut oil. I asked if they thought it would be helpful with indigestion and they assured me that it should.

So on Monday we went to town and bought a jar of coconut oil. Shalom put it in his oatmeal on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Monday afternoon I asked him how his stomach was feeling (trying not to discuss it much with him but always having it on my mind) and he replied, “It feels soft”. 😆 Wednesday night we had spaghetti. I’ve tried not to serve him meals that send his stomach over the edge, but there are also 6 other people in the family and sometimes the budget warrants a meal such as spaghetti. Our usual routine in the past with meals like this was to give him something to soothe his stomach before we ate and keep the milk of magnesia close at hand after dinner. This time we totally forgot our before-meal routine. Part way through dinner I gasped when I remembered. How would his stomach handle this meal?

Everyone was watching Shalom closely. We had noticed that he hadn’t been clearing his throat in his usual annoying way all day, and maybe all day the previous day too. Everyone kept asking, “How’s your stomach?” after dinner. You know what? His stomach was fine! He did not need anything to soothe his stomach after dinner or at bedtime!!

We are completely amazed that after three days of putting one teaspoon of oil in his morning oatmeal that he could eat a meal that usually sent him (and us) over the edge, and have no trouble at all. I do believe that we will be buying quite a bit of this oil over the next few years. 🙂 We are very pleased and I am hopeful that this will help his stomach to heal from the almost 12 years of torture it’s undergone.

I still hear his response ringing in my ears, “It feels soft”. LOL When I asked him what he meant by that he couldn’t explain it in any other way, “My stomach just feels … soft. It’s good.” 🙂 What a blessing!!

Posted in Natural Remedies | 8 Comments »

Lisa’s Bread Recipe

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on August 2, 2007

This is a bread recipe that I have put together after much trial-and-error. My family loves the bread and I make several loaves a week. However, I do not measure much as I tend to “eye” the amounts of ingredients I put in. That makes each loaf a little different than the last and it can make it difficult to get a written recipe. 🙂 But I’ll give it a shot.

I use organic ingredients, when available. I figure that even with the added cost of the organic ingredients the loaves of bread probably cost as much (maybe even less still) than a store bought bread.

Lisa’a Bread

1 3/4+ Cup Warm Water (a bit more than 1 3/4 cup but not quite 2 cups)
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Honey
1 1/2 Cups Stone Ground White Flour
1 1/2 Cups Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Barley Flour
1/2 Cup Dark Rye Flour
1/2 Cup Flax Seed Meal
1/3 Cup Wheat Bran
1/3 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
1 Tbsp Course Kosher Salt
2 Tsp Yeast

Put ingredients in bread machine pan in order given. Select 2 pound loaf size and medium crust. I have discovered that loaves of bread fit best in zip-loc bags when only the dough cycle is used in the bread machine, hand kneeded or punched, then split in half and baked in two loaf pans in the oven. I put the dough in the two loaf pans in the cold oven and let it rise while it is pre-heating to 350*. Once pre-heated I set the timer for 35 minutes.

My machine has a timer that sounds at a set time into the process that alerts you to add ingredients. I like to add two large handfuls of dried cranberries.

If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out. I know that I have had several friends ask for the recipe and they have seemed to like it. 🙂


* recipe modified again in January, 2008

Posted in Nutrition | 2 Comments »