More times than we can count, we have customers arrive at our farm in search of healthy food because of a recent diagnosis. We've met cancer survivors, diabetes patients, those dealing with unknown or known neurological issues. It is heartbreaking to hear the stories, but satisfying when we can provide them with healthy food.
They arrive here usually having done an abundance of research only to learn that so many of the challenges they face can be managed or even cured by proper nutrition. Our prayer is that more and more people will not wait for the diagnosis to come before they start making changes in their eating and overall living habits. We can say this, because we were once in this same place! We thought we were eating healthy, staying away from fried foods and keeping our weight in check. Exercising daily. Doing all the things we thought were healthy. But until our daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease called "Sunflower Syndrome," We really didn't know much about nutrition. Following the typical Food Pyramid is simply not going to cut it!
After many years of research, we learned a new way of growing and preparing foods in our home.
This process, although not always easy, has been very rewarding. Not just in our health improvements, but in our way of life.
The world talks about being "liberated" and shares that word regularly in many forms. But we have found that there are few things more liberating than being able to raise, preserve and prepare our own food. A feeling of empowerment comes just from learning a few basic skills in this area. Being able to make an herbal remedy rather than purchase an over-the-counter drug, or being able to raise a chicken and process that chicken to put a nutrient-dense meal on the table. This is a form of true liberty!
Now more than ever, we see people looking for ways to build up their immune systems. This is a good thing to do all the time, not just in times of stress or during flu season! Perhaps this new threat of a more serious flu can act as a reminder to us all the need to keep our immune systems functioning well. Let us not get weary and end up at the local drive through for a quick meal! Or end up taking drugs that "prop us up" temporarily rather than help us heal from the inside out.
Here are just a few of the many things (in random order) you can do right now to make positive changes:
Eat citrus fruits
The vitamin C in these foods helps increase the production of white blood cells. Hence why Vitamin C is considered a great booster when you are sick. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips, keep fruits available for a quick bite.
Eat broth from pasture-raised poultry
Chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food. It helps improve symptoms because it is high in Vitamin B-6 and is vital to the formation of healthy red blood cells. Stock or broth made at home (rather than the store bought types) contains gelatin, chondroitin and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity. Many countries have the daily tradition of drinking a bit of broth before every meal. We think this is a great habit to have.
Exercise is key to keeping a body strong and healthy! Daily exercise, in particular when done outside in the sunshine, is one of the best ways to build your immune system.
Start your own garden now!
It is spring time here in MO, now is a great time to start some of your own seeds. Even if you have only a small space or just a few large pots, get some of your own food growing as soon as you are able. There are endless helps online to get you started if you are new to growing.
If you live in an area that allows laying hens, get some! Just a few hens can supply your family with fresh eggs for most of the year. And during times of high production, there are many ways to preserve your eggs so you'll have some year-round. Now is the time you'll find hens easy to come by as the local feed stores seem to have chicks arriving every week.
Grow Elderberries (or buy them)
Grow your own elderberries. We have doubled our production of elderberries each year. They grow wonderfully in Missouri, nearly as good as the weeds! If you don't live in an area where you are able to grow them, you can order dried berries online and make your own syrup. There are plenty of recipes just waiting for you with a quick google search. Read more about the benefits of elderberries and how they help our immunity here.
Prepare probiotic foods
Have you ever made kefir or kombucha? It's not hard at all to do and they are excellent ways to boost your immunity. How about pickles made with whey or other preserved foods that have natural probiotic strains in them? You can purchase these at the store but you can also make them in your home. Once you have your first success in doing so, you'll wonder why you waited so long to help.
Resist the urge to drive through a fast - place
The preservatives and added ingredients in fast food are slow killers. All things in moderation of course but the more you can avoid fast food, the more your immune system will thank you. Stay home and cook meals, you'll increase your health just by cooking at home. Find some great, basic recipes to get you started here.
DeClutter your Shopping Cart
Next time you go shopping, read all the labels. When you read sugar, corn syrup, red color (and all the other colors which are cancer forming), and all words that are too difficult to pronounce, put it back on the shelf! These foods are not worth eating and are not going to nourish you or your children’s bodies.
Put back on the shelf all packaged products as much as possible. Keep yourself in the produce aisle and the basic whole ingredients. Leave the cereal there and instead cook up some rolled oats for a quick breakfast. Add apples, cinnamon and even a touch of stevia, a much better choice for you and your family.
Join a food co-op like Azure Standard
You can order grains and other items in bulk and save money on organic items this way. Store up these grains in a cool basement and you'll have rice, wheat and many other items you need for several months. Planning ahead for meals makes creating them much easier. Having all the ingredients at your fingertips means you are more likely to make the effort to get back into the kitchen and out of the restaurants. Consider adding one new meal recipe each month to your list so you'll grow your options over time.
Once you have all of these natural ingredients, look up some ways to make your own bread instead of purchasing bread from the store (they are loaded with preservatives). There are more recipes out there than we can count! Choose one and feel empowered, and enjoy the taste of fresh baked bread. It is worth the effort.
These are just a few ideas to consider. Making even small changes can make a difference and eventually, can lead to a whole new way of living. And the more you learn, the more liberated you will be. Pass these skills on to your children and they can continue the process of a health-building, liberating lifestyle!