The Ancient Paths Family Farm

Getting Back to Basics in Health and Nutrition

Posts Tagged ‘whole food’

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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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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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.

cornocopia

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.


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Whole Foods at Wikipedia

Whole Food Supplements at Wikipedia

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