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Friday, February 25, 2011

My Life Pretty Much Revolves Around Books

Well, actually, my life pretty much revolves around my boys, but long before I had them, long before I was married even, my first love was books. I love to read them, I love to write them, I love to discuss the books I read with others. At length. In fact, I'm usually still discussing the books I love long after my discussion partner wants me to stop.

When my discussion partner happens to be Hubby, he fully admits that he tunes me out, but that's OK because I do the same to him. It works for us, lol! Somehow, despite frequently tuning each other out, we still manage to learn new things from one another.

Anyway, back to books. My apartment perpetually looks like a tornado blew through it. Two actually. Their names are Hurricane Gryffin and Hurricane Phoenix, because yes, a hurricane is just a tornado that started over the ocean and got a serious power boost. I have joked, "My apartment looks like it is inhabited by 2 tornadoes, a packrat, and a sloth!" I would be the sloth. Scattered about in this debris is a whole ton of books. About 100 belong to the boys, Hubby owns his fair share, and I own the rest. I honestly couldn't tell you who owns more books, hubby or me.

My book collection has an interesting evolution to it. It started when I was 12, buying all the smut books(AKA historical romance novels) I could get my hands on. Then, around 18, I grew very interested in Wicca. I think this was started when I watched "The Craft" and "Practical Magic" and realized that other people felt the same as I did. My book collection started to look like a pagan's dream library, and my mom bought me my first Tarot deck for Christmas. Ironic, I know, but at least I had her full support.

Then, in short succession, I found out I was diabetic, and went to massage school, so my library expanded to include alternative health books and herbals. One day, I found out I was 8 months pregnant, and the next month I was a mama, so I didn't have much time to add pregnancy and child rearing books. As a result, I have a couple, but not many. These books served me well through pregnancy #2, and are NOT the typical "What to Expect When You're Expecting" books. Rather they are books like, "Natural Pregnancy" by Aviva Jill Romm, and "Magical Child" by Joseph Chilton Pierce.

Finally, after Hurricane Phoenix was born, my passion turned to nutrition and farming. By this time, the budget was tiny, and the public library was free, so my collection did not explode, but over the years, I have bought those books that are important to me. Such as "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon.

All of the previous rambling occurred so that I could talk about "Nourishing Traditions." THIS IS THE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE! Don't get me wrong, I took a bit of advice from "Back to Eden" by Jethro Kloss and "Patient, Heal Thyself" by Jordin Rubin, namely that food is typically the cause of all illnesses, and that food is also the way to heal most illnesses. AKA we literally are what we eat. If we eat junk food, our bodies turn to junk, but if we eat health food, we enjoy good health.

The problem is that most people have no idea what health food is! They think health food is soy, which is in fact toxic ("The Whole Soy Story" by Kaayla T. Daniel), and that full fat milk is bad for you, which it's not ("The Untold Story of Milk" by Ron Schmid). "Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats" takes the reader, chapter by chapter, through real nutrition. This is the kind of nutrition that allowed our grandparents, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say their parents and grandparents to live long and healthy lives. The kind of nutrition that could not rely on the food industry to make food "safe" for us to eat, because there was no food industry yet.

Above, I mentioned that I was diagnosed with diabetes, and since my mom had previously been Dx as borderline diabetic, I knew that it was definitely in our genes. Like 80% of the women in our family are, or have been at one point, overweight, and shaped like an hourglass that mated with a pear. You know, top heavy, bottom heavy, and just plain fat in the middle. With this in mind, I made it my goal to do whatever it takes to get my boys to the age of 18-21 without being diagnosed with diabetes, borderline diabetes, or, as it turns out, cancer or heart disease.

That's a tall order, don'tcha think? It's actually really easy to do, if you become a Nazi about food and nutrition, but doing that is not so easy, especially when all of one's family and friends have the attitude that "Food is just food, it doesn't make a difference what you eat." Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "What are you talking about? This food IS healthy!" Simply choosing to eat as organically and sugar free as possible meant that my boys and I no longer ate practically anything that my family eats.

Isolation, sigh...

I must confess that I would have probably given up long before now if I hadn't read "Pottenger's Cats" by Dr. Francis M. Pottenger. Dr. Pottenger conducted a 10+ year study on several generations of cats divided into 3 catagories, and I realized that his conclusion has SCARY parallels with my very own family. One group of cats was taken off of a cat's natural diet (which in the wild is whatever they can hunt, hence RAW meat). The 1st generation placed on a different diet (a diet that was deemed healthy for Dr. Pottenger's human patients at the clinic he ran. Noticing that a few of the cats running around his clinic started to present the same diseases as his patients prompted the Dr. to conduct the study.) enjoyed perfect health until their old age when disease set in. The 2nd generation had health problems in their young adulthood, including difficulty in conceiving and birthing children. The 3rd generation was sickly from the start, and any of them that managed to conceive all had miscarriages and still births.

In my family (in humans in general), I think it is more accurate to describe it in 4 generations. My grandparents (on my mother's side) are the 1st generation cats. They left the farm (their natural way of eating) and enjoyed more or less perfect health until their old age. Grandpa then died of various cancers. My mom and her sisters are the 2nd generation of cats, that were more or less healthy until middle age, when they had things like obesity, heart disease, and cancer. I'm a 3rd generation cat. I was Dx with obesity in my teens and with diabetes at 21. I already went low carb to treat my diabetes, which cured my infertility, and is what I give credit to for the fact that my boys are as healthy as they are.

My boys... they are the fourth generation... I added a generation, so they would correlate to the 3rd generation in the study. The one that has nothing but problems from birth, and cannot conceive or give birth to a new generation. This breaks my heart to think about; but for my careful, strict, and constant attention to nutrition, my boys could be Dx'd with all of the now common childhood disorders that never even existed when my grandparents first left the farm.

Being a food Nazi has been hard, BUT it's been worth it so far, my boys are wonderfully healthy, and I have absolute faith that I will accomplish my goal. It's a long road, but it's the right one...

4 comments:

  1. I love books! I also went through that phase of historical romantic fiction.

    My husband and I actually just had a conversation about being tuned out. I said I just asked you a question. He replied " yea I know I just decided not to answer". Needless to say this made me very upset. I really wonder if this tuning each other out is really health?

    No comments on the health/nutrition info. tonight.

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  2. No, I don't think that tuning out is healthy... however in the case I mentioned, he tunes out the story I am writing and have droned on for hours, and I tune out the technical details of making chainmail and fixing cars. I think we can each be excused for that, lol!
    When it is really important, we make sure to say, "Hey this is really important, will you please listen?" and then we do. :-)

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  3. I wish I'd known all this stuff before I started having kids. I have two boys with Asperger's Syndrome, and I'm totally convinced that could've been avoided if I knew then what I know now.

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  4. I know, it's sad to think that if we as parents only knew, our kids could be vibrantly healthy, but I also have to think of it like this, we do the best we can with what we know. When we know better, we can do better. I totally admit I'm still learning, and I am not doing everything I could do becuase I just can't afford to. One day, I'll be able to afford meat that comes from a farm rather than a factory!

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