Who is this Weston Price People Are Talking About?

Very simply he was a modern day hero whose work is only now getting the exposure it (and the world) deserves.

Dr. Weston A Price was a dentist who practiced in Cleveland, Ohio beginning in the 1920’s.  He was well known and respected in his day and was widely published in journals reviewed by his peers.   He served as the head of research for the National Dental Association and authored a textbook on dentistry that was used by the United States Navy.

After years of treating rampant tooth decay in his patients, Dr. Price set out to understand why cavities and poor health were so common in his patients.   More and more young people were coming into his office with narrow jaws and  palates so they did not enough room for their teeth.  He saw crowding, overbites, and underbites and these young people often had other health problems.  Dr. Price concluded that the teeth were a visual indicator of the health of the rest of the body.

In order to find the answer as to why this was happening, Price knew he had to do what no one had done before; he chose to travel the world to find people who had little or no tooth decay (a “control group” for scientific inquiry). In his travels during the 1930’s he found 14 isolated civilizations with perfect dental arches (no crooked teeth) and bone structure, excellent health, positive mental outlooks and high immunity to diseases like tuberculosis. His findings were in sharp contrast to Americans back home who had crooked teeth, cavities, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, mental illness and other health problems.  No doubt he would be shocked at the poor health our culture has today.

Dr. Price, being a highly respected researcher, meticulously documented what happened to these civilizations when they were introduced to our modern convenience foods – white flour and sugar, refined vegetable oils, pasteurized milk and canned goods. Due to the advent of the camera, he was able to take pictures to show visually the immediate damaging effects when these peoples gave up their indigenous foods and preparation methods.


Superb dental formation and nearly complete immunity to cavities was observed in Native Americans (left) who lived on the traditional foods of their culture. Those who ate processed foods (right) experienced crowded teeth and rampant decay.

For years Dr. Price completed detailed analysis of traditional and modern diets. He was able to identify the important nutrients lacking in the “civilized” American diet. In his foundational book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Price shared what he found. He offered detailed evidence of the principles of healthy living. He predicted the continued demise of civilized populations if a return to traditional eating did not occur.

Which brings us to today. Our population in this country is getting sicker and sicker, despite advice from all the “health” related organizations. Fortunately, Dr. Price’s principles are gaining exposure through the work of the PRICE POTTENGER FOUNDATION© and the WESTON A PRICE FOUNDATION© which now has nearly 600 local chapters around the world. Nutrient dense recipes are everywhere, thanks to the foundational cookbook Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon-Morell.  We have Sally to thank for starting the Weston A Price Foundation, also.  And the results are incredibly encouraging. Diseases are being healed naturally and children are again being born with excellent health and bone structure. To see where your closest chapter is located click here.

Both of the above mentioned foundations are funded without money from outside interests, therefore the information they provide is without bias or profit motive. I encourage you to consider membership in one or both of these fine organizations.

I am proud to be a founding co-leader of Nourishing the Lakeshore of West Michigan, the shoreline chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

The fact that the populations Dr. Price found had no vaccines and were in perfect health, is most certainly noteworthy.





Why GAPS?

Because we can heal.  Because medications squelch symptoms which are warning signs that something isn’t working right.  Because we don’t have to live with IBS, colitis and Crohns, ulcers and digestive problems, joint pain and skin problems, depression and anxiety, constipation and diarrhea.  We can heal and seal our guts, rebalance our microbiome, and live the healthy, pain free lives we were designed to live.

Is it easy? Well, it takes planning, preparation and commitment.  Is it worth it? To answer that, you must ask yourself what price you would pay to have your body feel good.  The testimonials around the world of people who have successfully healed from all the issues mentioned above tell me that it IS worth it. The fact that I personally no longer have any joint pain, which my family saw as hereditary, makes it worth it for me.

So, what is GAPS?  The letters stand for Gut and Psychology Syndrome.  The acronym and diet were created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride in 2004.  Dr. Natasha has helped patients around the world heal from psychological issues such as autism, ADHD, depression and anxiety, as well as from physiological (body related) problems like autoimmune conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, arthritis, headaches, PMS and all digestive disorders.  Therefore, GAPS also stands for Gut and Physiology Syndrome.

gaps book image

The body gets nutrition to build and rebuild itself through the digestive system.  Unfortunately, in the world today and especially in the United States, the standard American diet (SAD) not only cannot sustain the body, but it leads to the deterioration of it.  Our lifeless processed food does not give our body what it needs to build new tissue.   One of the first places to be damaged is our intestines which become permeable or otherwise known as “leaky gut”.   In addition, our overabundance of sugar caramelizes in our blood vessels wreaking havoc on our brains, eyes and nerves (and elsewhere).

When we have a leaky gut, things that aren’t supposed to get into our blood stream do and these can cause issues all over the body.   A major contributing factor to this is an unhealthy microbiome.  I strongly encourage you to read this article to understand why our microbiomes are  imperative to our health.

What do we do in GAPS?  We heal and seal that leaky gut with a healthy diet including lots of meat stock, grass fed/wild meat and animal fats and probiotic rich fermented foods. As we’re healing and sealing, we’re working toward reducing the toxic load on the body. This second part is so important because, unfortunately, we live with an overabundance of chemicals that our bodies can no longer handle.

What is the end result of GAPS? A digestive system that takes in what it needs to build healthy tissue while preventing the bad stuff from leaking through and causing dis-ease.  We fix what’s broken and the body works like it’s supposed to.

Real food ~ it’s the new medicine.




Kvass - Super Easy Wellness Tonic

Beet kvass is an amazing liquid for digestion (and so much more). And beet kvass can literally be made in less than 10 minutes, minus the time it sits on your counter fermenting. From Nourishing Traditions we learn: “One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.” And unlike medicine from the store – absolutely no harmful side effects.

An Internet search of the benefits of beets will keep you reading for days. A search in PubMed points out the benefits of lowering blood pressure (among other things) as well as increasing exercise performance.

So we have this wondrous root vegetable which we then take and lacto-ferment. The Weston A Price Foundation is a wonderful source for information on lacto-fermented foods like beet kvass.

Every group of people Dr. Price studied consumed some fermented food in their diet. Through the ages they had paid attention to what happened to their foods when trying to store them. They learned to harness the power of nature to preserve food naturally and in the process that food became more nutrient dense with enzymes and healthy bacteria.

Before the days of refrigeration and canning, food was preserved through a process called lacto-fermentation. Lactic acid is nature’s best preservative – it inhibits putrefying bacteria. Starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid by lactic-acid producing bacteria that are present on the surface of all plants and animals.

These bacteria synthesize nutrients that are essential to us, enable us to digest nutrients that we otherwise would not be able to digest, make nutrients bio-available to us, and work with our immune systems to protect us.

The nutritive elements in our food do us no good if our bodies cannot assimilate them. Food preparation and processing should make our foods easier to digest. Unfortunately, most food processing techniques, such as canning, preserving in sugar and chemicals, pasteurizing and irradiation, all make food much more difficult to digest. When we consistently eat foods that are difficult to digest, we compromise our vitality because the body is forced to use a great deal of energy breaking the food down. People who do take the care needed to prepare food in such a way to make it easier to digest report increased energy since the body does not have to work so hard at digestion. Fermenting makes enzymes – enzymes break down our food.

More and more we see probiotics (good bacteria) and enzymes in stores and on commercials. When we ferment, we get these substances naturally.

What do you need to make kvass?
2 large or 3 medium peeled raw organic beets – chopped in chunks about 1/2 to 1″ (if you cut them smaller, you’ll have too much liquid)
1 tablespoon of sea salt
1/4 cup whey – must not be powdered
A 2 quart canning jar
Clean filtered water

Here is all you do: Put the beets, whey and salt in the jar and fill it to about an inch from the top with filtered water. Stir well and cover with a cloth and rubber band (to keep out fruit flies). That was easy. Now leave the jar at room temperature for 48-96 hours then put it in the frig. You’re done.

I have found that I personally like to do about 3 days when my house is around 70 degrees.  In Nourishing Traditions, Sally says that once you’ve consumed most of your first batch, you can refill the container with filtered water, set it back on the counter for 2 days and have another slightly less strong batch. After that, your beets are pretty well spent, so just throw them in the compost pile and start over again.

Over the years, I’ve learned to add water to the jar each time (or every other time) to refill it, put it back in the frig and just keep doing that until it tastes weaker than you like.  I’ve found I get a lot more use out of my beets when I do that.

I like to keep at least 2 batches “brewing” in the frig.  Just like kombucha, the kvass continues to ferment at cool temperatures, but much more slowly than on the counter.  I think it tastes bests when it’s been in the refrigerator for 3+ weeks.

To me, beet kvass is the simplest way to add the benefits of lacto-fermentation to our daily routine. Sauerkraut is also incredibly easy, it just takes a bit more time to prepare the cabbage.

Hopefully this will motivate you to give kvass a try. One more way for you to have real food for real health so you can be real happy.  Remember that real food is the new medicine (actually, it’s always been).




Why are we fat?

This post is dedicated to that amazing group from Unity of Muskegon who meet for Let’s Talk Wellness and are making positive changes toward better health every day. I am SO proud of you all!

Last year as I ended our second year of monthly meetings at Unity on wellness, I asked what people wanted to discuss in the 2014. The topic of interest most requested was the title of this article. Yes, we already understand that being as active as possible reduces our fat reserves, so I didn’t focus on exercise. Everyone knows…get up and move! But if we don’t address the misinformation out there, we don’t stand a chance at weight loss and management.

Since I do not teach about short term fixes at the expense of the body’s health, we must address lifestyle changes, dispelling the myths we’ve been told the last 3 decades, to build vital cells, tissues and bodies. The focus must be on sharing the truth about the need for healthy fats and nutrient dense foods and how the low-fat/high whole grain/”sugarfree” additive recommendations have led us to the obesity fiasco we are in now.

Below is my evidence based summary of why we are larger (and much less healthy) than we should be:

• Eating BAD fats (polyunsaturated, liquid vegetable oils, margarine, oils from GMO crops {soy, cottonseed, canola, corn}, fatty meat/poultry from conventionally raised animals {complete with antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO fed, pesticide residue, no to very little sunlight}).

My family's favorite fat

My family’s favorite fat

• Not eating enough good fats (coconut, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed meat and poultry, wild caught fish, avocado, cod liver oil). Low-fat foods lead to obesity because we substitute with….

• Sugar and empty carb consumption (anything made with a fine powder like flour, like baked goods, candy, chips, pastas). These carbs are digested quickly and stimulate the hormone insulin, which, among other things stores fat in fat cells. High fructose corn syrup. Diet sodas.

• Eating processed and non-organic foods (and using chemicals on our bodies, in our homes and on our yards). These foods often have pesticide residues which keep our body from taking in the minerals we need to make our metabolism work correctly. Our bodies need nutrients to function and be the “right” weight for our structure. These empty foods lead to…

• Overeating – which we do WHEN WE ARE NOT EATING NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS! Our body keeps saying, “where are the nutrients?” and then “eat more and you might find some.” We can also get into the habit of over eating because of emotional issues, but again, it is often, if not always, nutrient deprived foods. We seldom eat too much when the food is REAL and nutrient rich.

• An unhealthy microbiome. Our balance of good micro-organisms in our body plays a significant role in our health and weight.

• When we have an underactive thyroid, we have a very difficult time trying to shed pounds. Be aware that water with chlorine and fluoride is thyroid disruptive. Drinking the cleanest water possible is a must. Also, good quality coconut oil supports the thyroid and is energy boosting.

What to do? The same thing I teach for other physical/emotional issues…

• Eat good fats at every meal
• Eat protein from clean (organic, grass fed, preferably local) sources at every meal – we need protein to make the happy chemicals in our brain
• Eat plenty of colorful, local (for more vitamin content), organic (for more mineral content) vegetables WITH LOTSA BUTTER (or ghee)!
• Take good quality coconut oil – even at every meal.
• Take a high quality probiotic and/or fermented foods and drink.
• Eat organic fruits as desserts (“cave people” ate them in the fall to fatten up for the winter)
• If you feel the need for baked goods, make them out of nut flour (organic preferably).
• Don’t starve yourself. This will mess up your hormones. EAT! Just eat the real foods described above.

Until next time…wishing you real food for real health so you can be real happy.




My hometown is waking up...to the microbiome

This post is dedicated to the new fermenters along the lakeshore of beautiful West Michigan. Great job to the students from my White Lake Area Community Education classes, Nourishing the Lakeshore, Fermenting the Lakeshore held at Unity of Muskegon and health conscious shoppers at Sweetwater Local Organic Foods Market.

cindy feister peer

What is the microbiome? Very simply, it refers to the fact that 99% of the DNA in our bodies is not our own; it belongs to micro-organisms. And if you’re eating nutrient dense foods, little to no sugar and fermented foods everyday, you’ll have “good” microbes that will treat you, their host, to health and wellness. Fast foods, lots of sugar and processed carbs feed pathogenic “bad” microbes and WILL lead to illness as well as extra pounds.

A little history…In the 1990’s, the Human Genome Project, the biggest project ever undertaken in biology, focused on decoding human genetic information (Holt, 2008). There was hope to find the genetic cause and cure for every disease that affects humanity. What was discovered by 2003 was that every animal species shares the majority of genes, but that the expression of the genes can come in a multitude of ways depending on something called the epigenome. The epigenome in influenced by what we are exposed to in our lifestyle. While the genome can be likened to the hardware in a computer, the epigenome is similar to the software, which tells the hardware what to do. But there turned out to be another missing link.

Ultimately, by 2008, the Human Microbiome Project began where we realized that part of the reason a stalk of corn has more genes (32,000) than a human (25-30,000) is the fact that we are hosts to an estimated 100 trillion bacteria. These bacteria work in concert with our genes to run our bodies.

NPR has an animated yet thorough introduction to this new knowledge. It is about 5 minutes long and I strongly encourage you watch it:

This research is in its very early stages. Yet if we look at the research of civilizations that did not live like we do, traditional peoples (like those found by Dr. Weston A Price), we see EVERY one of these healthy groups ate fermented foods. And they ate no processed foods whatsoever. When we learn to ferment and return to traditional eating, we, too, can experience the radiant health that is our birthright.

Today, our microbiomes are compromised all sorts of ways. Besides the losses during infancy addressed in the video above, our balance of good to “pathogenic” bacteria shifts with antibiotic use, toxins in our air, water and food, long term use of prescriptions and birth control pills as well as radiation. Without these beneficial “little critters” as I like to call them, we can’t digest and absorb nutrients to build healthy cells and this leads to nutritional deficiencies.

When we have an abundance of bad bacteria from eating processed food and drinking sodas, the “food” we eat gets broken down into toxic compounds which get absorbed into the bloodstream. From there they go to wherever we have a vulnerable area like our joints (i.e. arthritis), brain (i.e. fog, ADHD), skin (i.e. eczema, rash, acne) and our vital organs like our heart. These same bad little guys can damage the lining of our intestine and cause it to become inflamed and permeable (leaky gut), which leads to food intolerances and allergies. When this happens, we no longer are getting nutrients to build us up but instead get toxins that make us sick. And because 85% of our immune system is in our gut microbiome, if we don’t have good gut flora, our immune system goes haywire. No wonder so many people are unwell and overweight.

When people return to traditional ways, including fermenting, eating organic produce, consuming grass fed and wild animals and cutting out processed “foods”, their microbiomes can heal and do the work necessary to help return to wellness. For many, supplementing with probiotics is a sensible choice while they transition to more traditional ways. If this is something you choose to do, please make sure the product you use has integrity.

Lexi Larabee Photography

Lexi Larabee Photography

Wishing you real food for real health so you can be real happy.




My hometown is waking up...are You?

Muskegon pic little louRegaining Our Health part 1

This journey helping others regain wellness is an exciting one. From the “Natural Mommy”s building their childrens’ innate immune systems, to the monthly Nourishing the Lakeshore (Century Club) and Let’s Talk Wellness meetings (Unity of Muskegon) to the clients eager to reduce their medications due to side effects, to those who just want to eat better shopping at Sweetwater, we are waking up. People in and around Muskegon are learning that what they put in their mouth and on their body affects how they feel. And then there are the fermenting classes and Fermenting the Lakeshore group, but we’ll talk about that next time.

New people approach me every week asking what they can do. Everyone knows someone, often themselves, with aches and pains or a diagnosis of an auto immune disorder. So many have GERD or other digestive problems, achy joints (aka digestive problems), hair loss, mood issues and weight gain (especially around the middle). How about you?

The imperative here is self-EDUCATION.

The answer to these issues is complicated and yet very simple. Healing boils down to reducing our toxic exposure and increasing our intake of nutrients to build strong bodies/immune systems. However, with so much profit driven mis-information out there, figuring out what to do is confusing.

Let’s look at our food. Our supply has gone toxic – from GMO seeds (i.e. corn, soy, sugar beets, canola, zucchini) to pesticides used on those seeds, to the harmful processing of our milk and animal products, to the over-hybridized wheat which is making everyone gluten sensitive. And don’t even get me started on excitotoxins like MSG, aspartame, and splenda that give people the impression diet sodas help them lose weight (when the reverse is true).

Personal care products
are filled with carcinogens and toxins. We can’t quantify yet how much they contribute to obesity and illness. Then add chemical cleaning products and air fresheners and our personal toxic load goes over the edge into illness.
Fire at Pere Marquette

What’s the answer? Clean up – your personal care regimen, your cleaning supply cabinet (vinegar is great), and any other product you use at home, work or in your car.

Another step, of course, is getting safe, clean, nutrient dense foods to build your body. Yes, you are what you eat, and this is serious. Your source for dietary information must be objective and without a motive for profit (the USDA has a goal to sell agricultural goods – remember this). I have helpful articles and recipes on my site that I use to educate people back to the radiant health that is their birthright. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to work your way through the articles on my START HERE page with links to other researched pages I trust.

We will talk soon about the gut microbiome – part 2 of Regaining Our Health

Wishing you real food for real health so you can be real happy.




The Keys to Traditional Eating

We are in the midst of an informational paradigm shift. Thanks to the Internet and politically incorrect non-profits like the Weston A Price Foundation© and the Price-Pottenger Foundation©, and movies like Food, Inc. and Fresh, a revolution in how we choose, prepare and consume food is on. Across the world, people are switching to organically grown and raised local produce, eggs, milk, chicken and meat. When they do, they see dramatic positive changes in their health, mood and energy levels.

Many argue it is too expensive to go this route, but when we look at the cost of “health” care for chronic disease, which is at an all time high, can we afford NOT to make these changes?

The founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Sally Fallon Morell lays the foundation for REAL healthy eating.