The Ancient Paths Family Farm

Getting Back to Basics in Health and Nutrition

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Saving Money At The Grocery Store

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on May 1, 2008

Several years ago our family began scouring through our lives and our lifestyle to cut costs wherever we could. We had some tough seasons, financially speaking, and it was critical that we cut back wherever we could. I thought I’d share some of the things we’ve done that have been helpful. Maybe someone else can benefit from our experiences. Not only have we cut costs but we’ve found that we’re healthier from this process as well.

Saving Money At The Grocery Store

One of the biggest ways we have saved money at the grocery store was to stop buying pre-prepared and processed foods. While it may be “cheaper” to buy a box of something to mix together on the stove and feed your hungry family, it will not yield long term benefits. Pre-prepared foods are most often full of fillers which have no nutritional benefit. The example has often been used of snacking on potato chips or cookies vs and apple. In the early afternoon when we tend to look for a small snack, many people tend to grab a handfull of chips or cookies or something similar. What we notice is that later on, we’re hungry for another snack. The snack we had first may satisfy our taste buds but our bodies are still crying out for some sort of nourishment. An apple, for example, as a snack may not be what your taste buds are wanting but it will surely ward off those recurring snack-attacks and give your body the nutrients it’s needing. Fillers don’t benefit the the body at all and leave us as hungry, if not moreso, later on.

Not buying pre-prepared foods means that we eat all homemade meals. It may take a little longer but it’s worth it – both in the satisfaction that you get from creating a tasty meal and in the nutritional benefits your family finds. Homemade meals don’t have all of the fillers, additives and preservatives that pre-prepared foods have. Let’s use bread as our example of homemade vs store bought. Rather than a loaf of bread full high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, chemical additives and highly processed flours, your homemade breads are so much more delicious and nutritious. Again, it may take a little more time to bake the bread than it would to go buy it at the store but your family will only benefit from it. And like the other foods, a sandwich made with homemade bread is so much more satisfying and filling than one with store bought bread. You can ensure that the flours used are more nutritious and even add things like sunflower seeds, raisins, or whatever suits your fancy.

It’s much cheaper to buy all the ingredients for making bread separately, than buying them already made into bread. You can easily save $30 or $40 a month by baking your own bread.

This is especially true if you buy as many of your bread ingredients as you can, in the bulk department of a supermarket.

An entire bag of whole wheat flour (enough to make 4 to 6 loaves) could cost $4.00 or less. This is just one example of how cheap baking your own bread is.

source: Should You Bake Your Own Bread?

Change some of your meal routines. For breakfast, have oatmeal or toast with homemade bread rather than a boxed cereal. Our children used to have 3 or even 4 large bowls of cereal for breakfast and not bat an eyelash at the amount. Some boxes of cereal don’t hold much more than 5 large bowls of cereal to begin with. When we switched everyone to oatmeal or toast and jam for breakfast, the volume of food they consumed changed drastically. One bowl of oatmeal was much more filling and satisfying than 4 bowl of cereal. Not only that, but they could hold out till lunch time without being hit by a severe snack attack. Read the rest of this entry »


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Tips To Start Eating Organically

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on April 23, 2008

Eating organically is something that many of us are interested in doing but when we look at the prices of organic produce or organically produced foods, we sometimes opt for non-organic. Then there are those times when we take the plunge and buy some fresh, preferably local, organic produce but don’t get it eaten before it begins to spoil. Oh how we hate to throw away spoiled produce, especially if it cost us more than other produce!

So here’s a tip for those of us who want to begin eating organically but don’t know where to start.

Start with what habits you already have and incorporate organic products into your already established habits. For example; if you normally eat an apple every morning with your breakfast, make your morning apple an organic one. Or if you normally have a cup of coffee or tea during the day, purchase organically grown coffee or tea.

This way you won’t be creating two new habits at once, but you will simply continue your good habits with products you feel better about.

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Real Nutrition News

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on April 22, 2008

I have this impressive catalog/magazine here on my table and I just found it online so now I can share it with my online friends. 🙂

Real Nutrition News

It has some very interesting information in it related to nutrition and health that I’ve been reading elsewhere: in books, news articles, other magazines, etc. Because of this, I consider the information in it valid.

Remember, we were created to eat food – not to take vitamins. Eating whole foods and ensuring that we get our daily 5 to 9 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables is important. Vitamins just aren’t being absorbed by our bodies and we’d be better off to flush our money down the toilet than to buy synthetic vitamins. G-d created us to eat food, real food.

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Eating Fresh Local Produce

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on April 6, 2008

In an effort to eat fresh whole foods, we often wonder how we’re supposed to get fresh local produce all year long.  We don’t always know what is fresh in our local area, but we do know that strawberries aren’t fresh and local products in January.  The National Resource Defense Council has a helpful site where we can find out what products are available in our area by season.  For example, here in Washington State

What’s Fresh

Washington: Early April

  • Apples*
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic*
  • Green Onions
  • Herbs
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Winter Pears

* Indicates availability from local hothouse or storage

Now, contrast that with this little blurb from the NRDC site:

Here’s a hotlist of commonly air-freighted foods and their country of origin. Try to get these at a local farmer’s market when they’re in season. (They’ll taste a lot better, too).

  • Asparagus (Peru)
  • Bell peppers (Netherlands)
  • Tomatoes (Netherlands)
  • Blackberries (Chile)
  • Blueberries (Argentina)
  • Cherries (Chile)
  • Raspberries (Chile)
  • Peaches (Chile)
  • Nectarines (Chile)
  • Papayas (Brazil)

** In our county, Raspberries are distinguished as being produced in larger quantities here than anywhere else in the US.  We are privileged to have “fresh frozen” raspberries and strawberries in some of our local markets all year long.

Fresh and local produce not only tastes better but they are better for you.  They have not been transported over long distances which means that they have been allowed to ripen on the vine/bush/plant long enough to contain the vitamins and minerals that we expect them to have.  Produce that is shipped over long distances aren’t allowed to ripen before being harvested (think of green bananas in the grocery store).  But another big benefit is that your hard earned money stays in your local community – your neighbors benefit from your purchase.  And if you’d like, I’m sure that local farmers wouldn’t mind your stopping by their farm to see how your food is grown.  And in the summer months, go as a family to pick berries for yourselves.  Make it a science or social studies lesson for the kids, or for yourself.  Know where your food comes from, how it was grown – be an educated consumer.

It’s time for local farmers markets to start up again and I’d like to encourage my readers to frequent them, if they are able.  Not only will you benefit, but your community members will too.  In our area, the local farmers markets are open on Saturday’s, making it unavailable for those of us who keep Shabbat.  But they do have a Wednesday market as well.  Take a few minutes to look into what is available in your local area and feed your family more fresh, local whole foods.  It really is the way we were intended to live.

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G-d Intends For Us To Eat Food

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on March 10, 2008

Science cannot fix everything. When we have spent decades filling our bodies with various scientific chemicals in hopes of finding a cure, only to find ourselves back at the Doctor’s office asking for another medicine to “fix it”. One thing to remember is that Doctors are specialists in disease – the diagnosis and treatment of disease. It is not healthy people do not need to visit the Doctor, but the sick. And how do we keep ourselves healthy? What we fill ourselves with is a vital key!

Every day many of us take a multi-vitamin or a series of some sort of vitamins. Why do we do this? Often we are hoping to give ourselves the nutrients we need to strengthen ourselves against disease or to lessen the effects of a condition we already have. Sometimes we feel that since we take vitamins we can eat less than healthy foods. But if G-d had intended for us to sustain ourselves with vitamins, He’d have made them. But G-d intends for us to consume food. What He made He called “good” and was pleased with it. If He is the Author of creation then what He intended for us from the beginning should be enough. Right?

Vitamins are not bad, but they aren’t producing the results that we had expected when science first revealed this new wonder product. We’ve missed out on something important by consuming isolated nutrients, many of them synthetic nutrients to boot.

Of course, our farming practices have left much to be desired at various stages of human history and there have been times where we’ve taken more than we’ve given back, or we’ve poured poisons into our soils in hopes that they would make our plants grow better. Our soils aren’t as healthy as they once were which works heavily into the equation when we are counting the overall health of our foods.

Besides, we tend to eat our foods in parts. We skin the potatoes, apples and carrots before we eat them and we only eat some foods when they are cooked at high temperatures or are highly processed. When we do this we cut out or destroy much of the nutritional value of the food we’re eating.

So what are we to do? If our soils are deficient and producing deficient produce, and if we only eat some foods after they’ve been processed – what hope is there?

I propose that we consume more whole foods – the whole apple, the whole carrot, etc. (of course, don’t eat the apple seeds) Even though these products may not contain as much of the nutrients that we hope they would, they still contain more than if we didn’t eat them at all or if we only ate processed foods (like sweetened apple sauce). And if you are interested, you can supplement your diet with whole food supplements that mix easily into your favorite drinks (and taste good, too!).

It may take a little effort to begin to create new habits of consuming fresh whole foods at least once a day, but it’s worth the effort. And if you’re wanting to give yourself an added boost you can consume whole foods that have been juiced and dried at a low temperature to preserve the nutrient value. What an easy way to incorporate fresh whole foods into your routine!

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Interactive Nutritional Resources

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on February 5, 2008

I have just added a new category of links today – Interactive Nutritional Resources. The first link is for My Pyramid, which is sponsored by the USDA and based on the food guide pyramid. At that site you can enter your age, sex, weight, height and activity level and after clicking “submit” you will be given your own “Pyramid Plan” that details how much of each kind of food you should consume. For example, I am told I should have 6 ounces of grains, 2.5 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruit, 3 cups of milk and 5.5 ounces of meat/beans from a 2,000 calorie per day diet. The page is full of tips and suggestions for how to accomplish this.

My Pyramid

The second link is based on the same information, it is called My Pyramid Tracker . I have used this site several times over several years and I have enjoyed it. The site helps track your food intake and physical activity and will show when you have met your nutritional goals, based on the information provided (similar to the information provided for the My Pyramid site). This site is much like a diet and activity journal. To use the site, you will register and then enter the specific information (age, weight, height, activity level, etc) and then enter how much of what kinds of food you consumed that day as well as your activity level. The results will show what areas you are lacking in, nutritionally, as well as what areas you are exceeding the suggested limits in. It is quite helpful. If done regularly it will show a graph of your results so you can see how you’re doing over a period of time.

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Whole Foods Vs Modern Chemistry

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on December 23, 2007

Not too many decades ago we found the miracle of chemistry. We found, and believed, that we could attain better nutrition through modern chemistry with synthetic nutrients. We also found the wonder of prepared foods in the form of canned goods and prepared boxed meals (“just add water”). We began to “enhance” our foods with the miracle products from the chemistry labs and we expected to see positive results in our health. We expected modern chemistry to revolutionize our health and nutrition industry.

What we found was that our bodies were not responding the way we expected. Our bodies just didn’t quite know what to do with these materials. Some of them were processed by our bodies well and others, not so well. We expected to see a healthier society and to experience a surge of energy and stronger immune systems, as well as clearer skin and less disease. But cancer rates, diabetes, heart related disease, kidney disease and a wide assortment of chronic pathologies have been on the increase throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. We may be living longer than in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s but we were not necessarily much healthier. The medical industry was designed to treat disease and there have been some incredible advances, but their client base is not shrinking. We are not getting healthier. So what’s the deal?

At some point we, as a society, decided that processed and packaged foods that are enhanced with synthetic vitamins and minerals were better for us than natural food with natural vitamins and minerals. They say that it takes roughly 20 years before we see the effects of our health-related choices. That means that it would take 20 years to see the effects of our fast-food diets enhanced with processed meals laden with the results of the latest chemistry project. We have seen disease rates increase steadily and we have been left scratching our heads in wonder. Really, we need to look back farther than we tend to. It takes a while before disease tends to develop and sometimes disease is found too late to prevent long term damage.


I am sure that you have heard about “whole foods”. If you’re like me at all, you’ve wondered what these whole foods are. Basically, whole foods are just as simple as it sounds. Think of a “whole apple” or a “whole carrot”. If you’ve eaten a whole apple or a whole carrot, you’ve eaten whole food. The concept behind whole foods is that when we consume natural foods, and a variety of them, that we will naturally fill ourselves with the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients that we need. But the concept of whole foods is more than just an apple or carrot. It’s about the things we eat not being refined. When we cook our carrots we destroy many of the nutrients that are in them. When apples are processed in a plant to make applesauce or apple juice, much of the nutrients are destroyed. Here are some quotes about whole foods:

Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains; organically garden-grown fruits and vegetables; unprocessed meat, poultry, and fish; and non-homogenized milk. For some it is preferable to eat whole foods raw to obtain the maximum nutritional benefit.

Whole foods are “real” foods, complete with all the nutrients, enzymes and probiotics nature intended, that have not been highly processed, synthesized, or irradiated. Whole foods are foods in their most complete, balanced state and do not contain harmful chemicals and additives. Additionally, whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined; or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. Whole foods are also remarkable for what they don’t have, including added sugar, salt, fat, or chemicals.

Now we don’t always eat our “5 a day” of fruits and vegetables as well as the grains that we’re told that we need. Really, how many of us eat according to the food guide pyramid? This is where the idea of supplements comes in. Supplements are intended to supplement our diet. We cannot hope to eat garbage all the time and then take “magic pills” expecting not to experience the negative effects of our poor health choices. But if we live and eat well, working to put wholesome food on our plates, and use good supplements, then we can expect to notice a difference in how we feel. In 20 years we just might find that our bodies have been healthier than others and hopefully we will experience less disease than our peers. So what about whole food supplements?

By definition, whole food supplements are foods that have been compressed into tablet form, poured into capsules or powdered. The word “whole” indicates that the end product — a supplement — does not contain parts of foods, or synthetic or isolated vitamins. Ideally, the foods comprising these supplements have not been subjected to irradiation, contain no pesticide or herbacide residues, contain no GMO (genetically modified organisms), have not been sterilized, and do not contain animal products that have been subjected to steroids, antibiotics or other drugs. The belief being, the closer to nature, the more benefit foods provide the consumer.

Whole food supplements should not contain isolated minerals, amino acids, carotenes or any other substance that is not native to, and still intact within, the original food. Thus, a supplement that contains foods plus a mixture of isolated (also called “fractionated”) vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other substances, does not constitute a whole food supplement. Examples of whole food supplement ingredients may include carrots, broccoli, kale, alfalfa, wheat grass, acerola cherry, cauliflower, kelp, wild pansy, spirulina, bovine liver, bovine kidney, radishes and quinoa.

Our family uses whole food supplements on a regular basis, and we feel better. Not only do we feel better but we have experienced some exciting things related to our health. The nasty virus mono ran through our house this fall. Half of our family came down with it – verified by lab tests. I was preparing the family for a few rough weeks waiting for a full recovery. But within 7 days, the sick ones were back to normal. Can you believe it? I still can’t! Within 10 days they were running at full steam and nobody could believe that these healthy people had recently been diagnosed with mono. No work was missed, no school was missed. Amazing. And what do I contribute that too? Being healthy. We eat as healthy as we can, we drink a lot of water and we do take whole food supplements. Our bodies have been given what they need in order to do what they were created to do – rest and restore.

What supplements do we use? You can find them here here.

Doing what we can to ensure that our families stay healthy is probably the best thing we can do impact our society – less medical needs and expenses, fewer sick days from work, stronger children and more.


Whole Foods at Wikipedia

Whole Food Supplements at Wikipedia

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What is ORAC Value?

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on November 21, 2007

You may have noticed a little phrase on your supplement container that says something about ORAC value. Do you know what that is? I didn’t, so I looked it up. Here’s some of what I found:

What is ORAC – Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity ?

There are several methods which have been developed to measure the total antioxidant capacity of biological samples. But the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) method is unique, acording to developer Guohua Cao.

ORAC measures the degree to which a sample inhibits the action of an oxidizing agent and also how long it takes to do so.
Then it integrates the two measurements into a single unit.
This provides an accurate and reproducible measurement for the different types of antioxidants having different strengths.

ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. This is it’s capacity for fighting free radicals which are the cause of cancers, reduced immune system capabilities and other diseases.

One of the best ways to fight free radicals is by choosing the right foods.
This is where ORAC is important. ORAC is a way to measure how many free radicals a specific food can absorb. The more free radicals a food can absorb, the higher its ORAC score. The higher its ORAC score, the better it is at helping our bodies fight diseases like cancer and heart disease and other diseases.


So the higher the ORAC value the more antioxidants our bodies are able to use to help our bodies do what they were created to do. This makes sense. The better we eat (among other things) the better our bodies can fight what needs to be fought and restore what needs to be restored.

(per 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces)

ORAC values refer to the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity of a food, as determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. By testing the ability of foods and other compounds to subdue oxygen free radicals, the DOA was able to determine each compound’s antioxidant capability. The ORAC values in the following chart reflect these findings.





Raisins 2,830 Spinach, raw 1,260
Blackberries 2,036 Alfalfa sprouts 930
Strawberries 1,540 Broccoli florets 890
Raspberries 1,220 Red bell pepper 713
Oranges 750 Corn 400
Cherries 670 Cauliflower 377

Source: Agriculture Research, February 1999

So how many of us are actually able to consume a good volume of these foods? And do those of us who do consume these foods compromise in other areas – such as fiber, protein, etc? How realistic is it for us to consume a good ORAC value in our daily diets with our fast paced and instant lifestyles?

Not all of us make our own breads or raise our own animals for meat and other products. Not all of us grow our own fruits and vegetables and amend our soils to ensure that our produce is able to grow in the richest of soils. So what do we do?

The Feast

Our family has been using a product that we really like. The product is called The Feast. What makes this product unique is it’s processing and it’s contents. This is a whole food product which is grown, mostly organic, in rich soil and juiced within hours of harvesting. The drying process is done at a low temperature so the vital nutrients in the foods are not destroyed. Then the powder of over 176 natural ingredients is mixed together into one product that you can add to your glass of juice as often as you like. Just two scoops of The Feast yield an ORAC value of 3,980. We think it tastes great in orange juice.

What have we noticed since we’ve been using The Feast on a regular basis? We have noticed a more regulated and balanced level of energy throughout the day. Where we used to have peaks and valleys of energy throughout the day we now notice that our energy levels are consistent through the day. We also have just come through the first bout of seasonal viruses. The mono virus was running through our home. YUCK! But this dreaded virus that often can take anywhere from a week to several months to kick and sometimes lands people in the hospital lasted only a week for each individual in our home who contracted this nasty virus. A week from start to finish. Amazing. Is this due to The Feast? I cannot say. But I can say that having a healthy lifestyle and eating healthy foods was very likely a major cause for this virus running so quickly through our family. Everyone is back to normal with no remnant effects of this nasty bug. We do honestly believe that with The Feast as part of our daily routine we were better able to fight off this nasty invader and return to normal health much quicker and without any lagging effects.

Another product with a high ORAC value is Beyond Berries . With an ORAC value of 4,410 according to the suggested use and being made of fruits and berries, it tastes great!

Beyond Berries

The Feast or Beyond Berries, along with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, is a good way to ensure that you are getting a good amount of antioxidants in your diet. And after learning a bit about the benefits of Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) and it’s potential health benefits we are pleased that these products are part of our daily diet. I’m all for increasing my physical capacity for fighting free radicals which are the cause of cancers, reduced immune system capabilities and other diseases.

Feast - 5 to 9?

Now you can order your Special Introductory “Starter Pack” and enjoy, Special savings, FREE gifts, and an iron-clad no-risk guarantee.

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The Effects of Nutrition on Our Health

Posted by theancientpathsfamilyfarm on October 10, 2007

A lack of proper nutrition is a serious issue that in recent years has become more and more of a household conversation topic. Every parent wants to provide adequately nutritious meals for their children. And as individuals there is a growing trend for several decades now toward healthier lifestyles and a more complete diet.

drawing - mom & child drawing - dad & child

Most of us are sure that we are getting what we need in our diets and that we are healthy but the truth is that most of us are lacking in some vital nutrients. We assume that because we eat three square meals a day that we’re getting what we need. However today we live a fast paced lifestyle and the quality of our foods are not quite what we expect them to be. I think that very few of us would consider ourselves unhealthy and yet not make any changes to better our health. I read the two articles linked below about malnutrition and found them interesting. I thought I’d share bits of them here:

Nutrition for Health and Development from the World Health Organization

Nutrition is an input to and foundation for health and development. Interaction of infection and malnutrition is well-documented. Better nutrition means stronger immune systems, less illness and better health. Healthy children learn better. Healthy people are stronger, are more productive and more able to create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of both poverty and hunger in a sustainable way. Better nutrition is a prime entry point to ending poverty and a milestone to achieving better quality of life.

Nutrition affects our lives in many areas. It also affects our society as the WHO points to a relation between poor nutrition and poverty. This makes sense. If we feel well we will be able to work and/or work better. Granted, if there is no work to be done then our health can not be a factor. But for us in North America we can relate to feeling better and preforming better at work. We know that when we feel better we are happier and able to do the things we enjoy as well as the things we’re obligated to do.

Malnutrition Information

Malnutrition can occur because of the lack of a single vitamin in the diet, or it can be because a person isn’t getting enough food. Starvation is a form of malnutrition. Malnutrition also occurs when adequate nutrients are consumed in the diet, but one or more nutrients are not digested or absorbed properly.

Malnutrition may be mild enough to show no symptoms. However, in some cases it may be so severe that the damage done is irreversible, even though the individual survives.

Worldwide, malnutrition continues to be a significant problem, especially among children who cannot fend adequately for themselves. Poverty, natural disasters, political problems, and war all contribute to conditions — even epidemics — of malnutrition and starvation, and not just in developing countries.

I found it interesting that a lack of a single nutrient is cause to be classified as malnutrition. It makes sense! If our bodies are lacking in what we need then we would be under nourished, hence malnourished.

So what are the signs of malnutrition? I found this article and thought it was interesting enough to pass along:
Do You Have A Nutritional Deficiency? How To Identify The Signs.

In this article there is a chart of symptoms and potential causes of those symptoms. For example:


Dry skin

Deficiencies in EFA, vitamin A or vitamin E.

Small red bumps on

back of arms.

Deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc or EFA. Malabsorption of nutrients may be the cause.

Slow wound healing

Deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc or EFA. Diabetes may also be the cause.

Easy bruising

Deficiencies in vitamin K, C, E, or bioflavonoids.

When life gets rough someone usually pipes up with the old saying, “Well, at least you have your health”. Our health is important because it affects everything we do and even how we behave. It is no wonder health and nutrition has become such a major concern in recent decades. Another old saying, “You never know you have till it’s gone” is one that I hope we won’t have to relate to our health. Those who have lost their robust health will agree with me, I am sure.

To your health…

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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.

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