My Story

I've always had this annoying, somewhat bulldog-like tendency to attack a task or interest with serious intensity. I have a voracious appetite for knowledge, and when presented with a topic of interest, I will google 'til my fingers ache and storm Amazon with book orders! My "food journey" has been no different. This little corner of mine on the web is born from a combination of my need to pour out some of this obscure knowledge I have aquired over the years and my desire to educate others on the truths I've uncovered on this sometimes-bizzare quest. Unless you've already had your own "awakening" to truly whole food, read my pages with a warning: your comfort zone will be breeched. I may share recipes that sound horribly fattening, and you will think: "What? How can that be good for you?" I may show wanton disregard for "food safety" as defined by the FDA. I may seem to disrespect the medical profession, with all their technical "advances" that have reduced our population to a drug-dependent, subsisting culture of "sickies." I may (though a card-carrying conservative) occasionally show disdain for certain long-held tenets of republicanism and capitalism. And I may, from time-to-time, overuse quotation marks and make up words. Now that we've established all that, lets get on with the storytelling...

I think my journey really began with my first colonoscopy. Yep, it's embarrassing, but true. At the tender age of 23-ish, I began experiencing some pretty scary symptoms and subsequently discovered I had a very large polyp. The doctor said he hadn't seen one that large in someone my age, or gender, ever. It was more typical of a male in his fifties! Yikes. In the years following, I struggled with numerous symptoms related to colon health, and was later diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The doctor prescribed a drug that was supposed to keep me symptom-free, but I would have to take it forever. That's right: it wasn't a cure, just a treatment. Something within me balked at the concept. "There's got to be a better way," I thought. Surely there was another answer, and I needed to find it.

To be completely honest, I'm not sure how I arrived at my next conclusion. Perhaps I did a little research, but internet availability was still a bit in its infancy back then (I old am I?), and I'm not sure I knew how to find what I was looking for. Somehow I arrived at a theory that if I ate more fruits and vegetables and started exercising my colon would be healed. There is some truth to that (although it falls short as a complete answer), so I did find some success. I also lost weight, and plenty of it. I like to call it my "Deluded Gym Rat" phase of life. I bought into every factoid the "healthy" version of the Standard American Diet (SAD) had to offer. I found immense joy in taking my favorite foods from my old life as a sedentary fatty and re-inventing them with store-bought, low-fat, no-fat, sugar-free, whole wheat alternatives. I stayed trim and absolutely relished fitting into my size 0 jeans. But there was a problem. Even though I worked out incessantly and had gone full-on bulldog to find out the right way to work out and the right amount to work out, I was still not building much muscle. And even though I was absolutely militant about what I put into my body, I was still unhealthy. ???

By this time, I was a pretty decent googler, so I set out on a new mission: I'm going to add "toned" and "healthy" to my list of things I needed to be...I had forgotten my original quest to find a way to be prescription-free, and gotten lost in a body-image maze of muscle confusion and cardio addiction. It was time to re-direct and become the goddess of health and vitality I knew I could be! How I stumbled on that raw food website, I cannot remember. But that kick-started my "Starving Raw Vegan" phase of life. The contributors to the raw food community web site boasted of glowing skin, perfect health, and no need for deodorant. Wow! Sounded like my kind of results. So I attempted to eat at least 80% raw 100% of the time, flooding my body with all the enzymes, vitamins and minerals that cooking vegetables and fruits apparently destroys. I learned about new sweeteners, new substitutes for milk, and a kajillion-zillion recipes for raw versions of my favorite dishes (i.e., raw tomato sauce over julienned zucchini was supposed to resemble spaghetti). I did notice some health improvements, but I was STARVING all the time. A raw diet tends to be very low-calorie, low-protein and low-fat. I began to get tired easily, and soon my hope of "vibrant health" turned to feelings of utter guilt and failure for not being able to follow the extreme diet that was supposed to be the answer for all my ailments.

That pretty much ushered in the "I Don't Care, and Colon-Be-Darned" phase of life. I was back to eating whatever, whenever, no matter the consequences. I packed on all the weight I had lost, and I was back to living with my roller-coaster bowels. Joy! Hey, I was married by then, so it didn't seem to matter as much how I looked (shame-shame). And as for my health, I had just given up looking for an answer. Then one day, I saw it. "It" being the two-minute segment on Good Morning America featuring Jordan Rubin, author of The Maker's Diet. Oh. Yes. All along my twisted journey, something had been nagging at me. A blossoming (however slowly) theory that God's take on nutrition might just be the real answer. I had actually considered studying the dietary laws in the Old Testament to see what wisdom they might offer. I figured if God told his people to eat or not eat something, it must be best for our bodies. This epiphony-in-the-making had even prompted me to give up artificial sweeteners and margarine already. And I went back to consuming cow's milk, vs. soy milk, because I knew God had promised the Isrealites a land "flowing with milk and honey." However, I had not spent much real energy on this thesis. But was a guy who had gone and done it! I sat in awe as he shared his story and his philosophy (well, as much as one can share in two minutes). The second they cut to commercial I raced to the computer to order his book.

And that singular experience launched the current phase of life in which I am a student of true nourishment, an excited pupil of the ancient wisdom that our forefathers took for granted. I have learned that butterfat is not only not bad for you, it is truly nourishing and life-giving. But the butter available in the U.S. via our good ol' friend, the modern grocery store, is a far cry from the nourishing kind and pasteurization destroys and denatures our milk. I learned that whole grains, nuts and legumes should be soaked or sprouted before they can be optimally digested, and Mrs. Bairds is most definitely not adding that step to their manufacturing process. I also learned that modern farming not only loads our vegetables and meats with unhealthy chemicals, it robs our food of micro-organisms that our guts need to stay healthy and support our immune systems. I learned the the age-old practice of consuming fermented foods should never have fallen victim to refrigeration, since fermented foods and beverages populate our guts with beneficial bacteria they need to stay in balance. I could go on forever with the things I have learned, but then, that is what this blog is for: educating as many people as I can about truly nourishing food, and doing my utmost to share the resources I have found along my journey. You can change your lifestyle, and you can do it on a budget!