Monday, September 3, 2007

Do you have a health philosophy?

When you enter the world of natural health, you can be overwhelmed by the claims and studies and people selling wonder products. So, I've realized I need a way to filter what to believe--my health philosophy. Some people's philosophy is to accept whatever is "standard" (do you really want the health of the average American?) or whatever is the lastest, greatest, and best marketed. But if you think about it, you probably want to take more ownership of your health than that. I'll share my philosophy, so whether you agree with it or not, it may help you determine your own. And it will help you decide whether you agree with the advice I offer or not.

I believe that we started out in the world with everything we needed to be healthy and that God-made food is incredible and the more man tampers with it, the worse it is. I also think that eating healthy should not be complex. It should be something that would have been possible before the advent of modern nutritional studies.

So, I'm never surprised by the lastest studies on how wonderful some new fruit is, nor am I surprised to hear that some juices made from the wonder fruits are not as helpful as the fruit itself. When I hear that coconut oil is incredible (anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and on and on) but that corn and soy oil are not at all healthy because it takes so much processing to make them--I can easily accept that. When I read about how natives foods also included raw animal products like raw milk, butter, or sometimes eggs or meat (yuck!) I agree we probably need raw animal products today (milk or butter please!) But not milk from a typical dairy, from cows or goats that are raised the old fashion way on pastures and hand milked, so it problems with the milk are immediately observed.

But sometimes I hear that we need to do food combining or need to eat for our metabolic type or cut out meat or cut out carbs or fats or whatever. But I don't think these things are truly necessary b/c they are too complex or unnatural. These are things usually based on science not readily apparent to the average native person. (By native I mean, not a part of our modern culture.) But eating more raw food IS a good thing and eating vegetarian can be good as a type of fasting to cleanse the body.

Let me give you an example of how easy God made things. Tomatoes are good for your heart (and what do they look like?) Carrots are good for your eyes (and when you cut them, what does the shape remind you of?) And a good way to get calcium is making a chicken broth out of chicken bones (though to get maximum benefit add raw Apple Cider Vinegar). So much of health is actually intuitive.

As a Christian, I also look at the Bible. During the Black Plague, the Jews had a relatively low death rate, and where persecuted as having purposely spread the disease. I think this is due to following a God-given health plan. (Jews and early Christians did not separate out the religious from health, psychology, education, etc as we do today.) The Bible adds lots of important ideas to my health philosophy such as hand-washing and sanitary practices and a list of unclean foods. These include things like pork, shellfish, and catfish. It makes sense b/c both catfish or raw shrimp actually look digustingly dirty. Hmmm... And what do you buy to clean your fish tank? A little catfish. Just b/c you can eat the food and "still go to heaven" doesn't mean it was created to be eaten, ya know.

Well, enough philosophizing for today. Take some time and figure out how you are filtering all the lastest health info coming your way. It's worth the time b/c it keeps your from getting overwhelmed and giving up. Hang in there! Your health is worth it.


Sarah said...

I found your blog from Sonlight...I think you are very smart and have figured out that a lot of the health info out there are just fads.

I'm curious though...what is it about a diet of raw fruits and veggies makes you think that it is too complicated or unnatural?

I eat fruit and veggies - usually very simple meals - like 1/2 watermelon for breakfast, 8 bananas for lunch...lettuce and tomato for seems a lot more natural and less complicated to me than how I used to eat (cooked whole foods, mostly vegetarian and later vegan). Little prep involved, no messing with what God made, no heating of the food, etc.

At any rate, it seems a lot less complicated to me than killing, skinning, carving and preparing animals for food... or even grinding wheat, mixing it w/ other ingredients, kneading it, waiting on it to rise, and baking it at unnaturally high heats to become bread.

Just a thought. :) I do completely agree with you on how God-made food is incredible and the more we tamper with it, the worse it is!

Lymeade Lady said...

Thanks for the comment! I've never actually heard of someone eating fruits and veggies only the way you mentioned. That's definitely not complicated. And would love to get to the point of eating about 50% raw.

For me, I associate raw with being unnatural because no native groups eat purely vegetarian. Some eat close, but include insects (not likely to become a fad). It's even been shown that health of vegetarians moving from India to England declines. The reason? The vegetables are too clean and have an insect or insect eggs, so they don't get the protein.

From a Bible perspective, I see meat as part of the sacrifice in the temples (they ate it in some ceremonies), so I can't accept that God did not mean for us to eat meat. It's just that our farm raised beef and chicken and our poorly prepared (unsprouted/soaked) bread are so bad for us that it's hard for Americans to see them as healthy.

If you're curious about any of these ideas, it was the Maker's Diet and that taught me a lot about the need and natural-ness of eating animal products (at least raw milk and eggs.)

I have some experience with the Hallelujah Diet (my husband tried it for a while and I ate alot of the same foods.) And it was definitely more complicated, especially the raw soups and seed loaf I tried--and not yummy!

But I'll take "raw" out of the list: If someone can eat raw veggies, raw fruit, and raw milk and make it work, then more power to you!

Sarah said...


I don't drink raw milk (or eat any raw animal products).

I agree with you that the current mainstream idea of raw is a fad. All that gourmet "raw" pizza, candy, cookies, etc - if that stuff is unhealthy for you, then why make imitation versions of it? Raw gourmet food is high fat and I think it is unhealthful.

As far as meat and such...I am familiar with The Maker's Diet and Weston Price's work. I think that kind of diet is WAY better than the SAD diet.

That said, I have read too much research and evidence, that proves to me personally that 1) animal products are not *necessary* for good health and 2) animal products actually take away from your health - organic or not. (This is just my personal opinion, I know you differ).

As far as Biblical diets... well, it appears that God only told man it was okay to eat animals AFTER the flood, or maybe after the fall. Before that, it seems that man was to eat plant food.

I do not think it is wrong at all to eat meat. I'd never say that to someone. But I also don't think it is wrong to abstain from it. I think it was part of the biblical culture to eat meat and I don't think God is as concerned with our food quality and physical health, than He is concerned with our spiritual health and eternal life. This is why I don't think God set out to give us lessons on nutrition in the Bible.

I think, like you, that He gave us all we needed to have good health on earth. Although, the earth IS fallen and man has really messed it up.

I did try a whole foods diet, btw. I kept moving on to vegan and then gourmet (faddish) raw and then now, simple, low fat raw, because I did not get the results I expected to get, on all the other diets. The diet I'm currently on has made the biggest impact on my health so far.
I'm not the only one doing this... there is a small movement going on of people who are trying to live according to the laws of nature... :)

Thank you for the discussion! I like your blog. It is rare to find someone that is open minded and can see through all the holes in the fads.

Lymeade Lady said...

Thanks Sarah! I appreciate the encouragement. I personally am turned off of most of the health websites I look at. I've read about people starting health movements and then realizing they were off-base, but not really able to say anything and then dying or getting sick before they should have. So, I'm not wanting to hold anything too tightly. And I'm always up for a good discussion. It's challenged me to go for my 50% raw goal! I'm not there yet. Hope you'll drop in again sometime.

Sarah said...

I really do understand the thing about health websites. When I first started researching raw, it became very obvious to me that most of these people were very short term raw fooders and had no idea what they were talking about. It was like the blind leading the blind. Of course you could say the same thing of any number of other diets - Atkins, or metabolic typing, for example.

For me, I look for people who are honest and ethical, who I would trust with my health. I'm a very suspicious person by nature. :) I tend to look for people who have what I want and I look at what they're doing and evaluate it.

The two people whose research I currently follow with interest are T. Colin Campbell who wrote The China Study, (not a raw book, but very thoroughly researched) and Dr. Doug Graham of, who is an almost 30 year raw fooder and natural hygienist who just speaks common sense to me. No special supplements, stimulants or recipes. Just plain nutritional and health science. :)

Dr. Graham is actually against people who make a living out of selling superfoods and supplements...and he's said before that if he found something that contradicted what he's been teaching for years, that he would have no problems changing his mind and telling the world about it. I remember that making a big impact on me as I was trying to figure this whole thing out. :)

I bookmarked your blog and will be interested to follow your health journey. :) If you want to read my blog, it is

Blessings to you and yours!