Rambling Thoughts on the Standard American Diet (SAD).
“Clearly something is very wrong, even though many Americans have been conscientious about following orthodox dietary advice. They take exercise seriously, many have stopped smoking, consumption of fresh vegetable has increased, many have reduced their intake of salt, and a good portion of America has cut back on red meats and animal fats. But none of these measures has made a dent in the ever-increasing toll of degenerative disease. We buy foods labeled low-fat, no cholesterol, reduced sodium, thinking they are good for us. Why, then, are we so sick?” – Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
I have a zillion blog post ideas I’ve been wanting to write. I sat down today to do one, but could not focus on which direction to go. So all I want to share today is that paragraph from the food bible that changed my life, Nourishing Traditions (buy it here). I strongly recommend this for anyone ready to get away from the Standard American Diet (SAD) and open their eyes to real, efficient, “basic” nutrition from our ancestors. It’s not super readable as a book, per se, but it is an excellent resource full of recipes of wise food choices and proper preparation.
Americans are often obese, yet are nutritionally starving. I urge you to reconsider everything you know. Don’t merely accept what we’re taught about the food pyramid. Challenge what our government agencies and departments tell you to accept as fact. I wish I was better at explaining what I’ve learned about nutrition, because it has not been easy to find and experience. Avoid the fads of food and get to know the basics of what our bodies need to survive and actually flourish. We were designed as an unbelievably complex, yet simple, number of systems that can maintain and heal themselves when given the proper “fuel”. Anytime I bring up nutrition to others or on Facebook, I often get the sense that others simply think “weight-loss” and that is ABSOLUTELY NOT what I’ve ever concerned myself with, just to be clear. To me, nutrition is a balancing, healing of the body through diet. Remember, the definition and connotation of the word “diet” has been skewed by decades of hot, new crazes created to make money. Let your diet be your medicine.
One great place to start is buying from your local farmer (sometimes it is too difficult/pricey/regulated for them to get an “organic” certification, so ask questions about their seed and practices. We love our farmers at Full Cellar Farm in Maryland, whom state this perfectly on their website:
“Are you organic?”
That’s a question we get a lot. The short answer is “no,” but that doesn’t tell you the whole story. We are not certified organic by the USDA, but we follow many farming practices that are considered organic. Principally, we use no “cides” (herbicides, pesticides or fungicides) to grow any of our food. Instead of using synthetic, salt-based fertilizer we feed our plants with animal manures, green manures and trace minerals as needed. We keep our animals on grass as soon as they are old enough which provides them with a cleaner environment and exposes them to a wide diet instead of only grain. The list goes on… Ultimately we don’t go through the USDA certification process due to the expense of enrolling in the program, time involved in keeping records and we find that most customers would prefer to hear a story about our farming practices rather than just the “O” word.
Go for pastured eggs, poultry and pork, grass-fed beef, raw dairy when possible, make bone broths, ferment foods. These are ways to get the most nutrients out of your food. When your food eats good food, they get all of THEIR nutrients, so when you eat them you are maximizing yours! For example, most Americans lack Vitamin K. Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that is crucial to many bodily processes working efficiently, often in accompaniment with Vitamin D. K is sometimes known as the “forgotten vitamin”, but much research has shown that being deficient in Vitamin K2 may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers, osteoporosis, and heart disease….oh you know, only the things plaguing Americans the most (source). Cows get vitamin K from the grass, so if you’re not eating grass-fed beef and butters, you’re likely missing out on this nutrient, too. So say no to margarine and vegetable oils. Focusing on an increased intake of the “right” stuff, will allow your body to maximize absorption of the vital key nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, etc from your other foods. You will get the most bang for your buck!
The key to good health is REAL FOOD. Simple (yet difficult) as that.
Similarly, there is an upcoming event you may be interested in. On May 24, 2014 there are many March Against Monsanto demonstrations occurring over six continents, 52 countries, over 400 cities, and in 47 U.S. states. Find one near you at www.march-against-monsanto.com/
What are your thoughts on the Standard American Diet? Sustainability? Nourished, traditional diets? I’d love to hear from you, so please comment below!This is my necessary disclaimer that this blog is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure. I am only a mom with an education background. I must let you know that any essential oils statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I simply approve for myself and family of such things that I deem safe, effective, and positively life-transformative. I encourage you all to be informed and empowered with your health. Also, some of my posts may contain affiliate links. When you click them, you help me to cover a small portion of the cost of this blog. I appreciate your support so that I can continue to do what I love. Please note that I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with Odds & Evans’ ideals, my personal use, and those I believe would be of value to my readers.