AUTISM SERVICE DOG
I am grateful for the education I have gotten from the Weston A. Price Foundation. I highly value information that helps us be healthier and more connected to our food and our bodies. My family lives in central Virginia with our two young children, ages four and eight. Our eight-year-old is on the autism spectrum and has suffered from many digestive issues. Just two years ago, our child could not eat eggs, nuts, seeds or many fruits. We made drastic changes to her diet with the help of information from WAPF and are very happy to announce that our eight-year-old now is eating all of those foods and more. I attribute much of our success to bone broth alone—we started almost every meal with it and always gave it to her before reintroducing foods. Now that her gut is on its way to recovery, we have a new goal: to bring home a service dog to help ease our child’s severe social anxiety, increase her confidence and reduce overall stress. ECAD, the non-profit organization that is training a service dog for our child, asks that each family raise twenty-five thousand dollars to cover the cost of breeding and training. Our fundraising is underway, and we would be so grateful to have support from Weston A. Price Foundation members. Here is a link to our donation page if anyone is able to help out: ecad1.org/mudge_wasser. Thank you so much for everything you are doing to bring healthy foods into our lives and the lives of so many.
Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water! Kim Schuette’s article “Recovery from Bioidentical Hormones” (Winter 2017) has some important information in it. However, it also has some misinformation that the readers deserve to have corrected. After twenty years of working with women and men using bioidentical hormones, I have learned a lot about what is helpful and healthful and what is not.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause has gotten a bad reputation. Much of the blame can be laid on the doctors who prescribed HRT for years without ever checking a woman’s hormone levels―either before or during treatment. This cavalier attitude is appalling and dangerous. It also doesn’t follow good medical protocols. No doctor would think of prescribing thyroid hormone, for example, without checking hormone levels both before prescribing and while the patient was taking the hormone.
In my experience, most women, probably 80 percent or more, can sail through “the change” (that is, the seven years of perimenopause and after) with only minor discomfort. They may have the occasional broken sleep or hot flash but their life is able to stay on course. For some women, herbs provide adequate help and support for the perimenopausal period.
However, there are some women whose perimenopausal symptoms are life-disrupting. Their problems aren’t resolved with good diet, adequate fats, homeopathy or herbs. For these women, bioidentical hormones can be helpful.
Schuette’s statement: “A hormone packaged at a compounding pharmacy is in reality no different than those formulas obtained from a mainstream pharmacy” fails to make the key distinction between compounded bioidentical hormones and pharmaceuticals. Bioidentical hormones contain only the estrogens (estradiol, estrone, estriol) and progesterone that women make themselves. They are synthesized, yes, but they are identical molecularly—just as Synthroid and Levoxyl are synthesized identical molecules of thyroxine (T4), the thyroid hormone our thyroid makes.
The real bad actor in the Women’s Health Initiative study was the combination of Premarin (a hormone composed from pregnant mare’s urine containing at least seventeen different estrogens) and Provera (a synthetic progestin). Progestins are not bioidentical molecules to the progesterone women make when they ovulate. Those in the study taking Prempro (Premarin and Provera combined) experienced increased strokes, heart attacks, breast cancer and other problems. However, neither group in the study using estrogen alone, nor the many studies on bioidentical hormones have found any increased health risks for women.
The key to safe and sane use of bioidentical hormones is to check levels before and during their use in order to keep them in a safe physiological range. Is there a need for “Recovery from Bioidentical Hormones”? Not in my experience. My patients tend to discontinue BHRT as soon as they no longer need it. They simply stop taking them without any problems.
Marianne Rothschild, MD
Mount Airy, Maryland
Response from Kim Schuette: Thank you for your input. We certainly respect your training, observations and experience as a medical physician. As you rightly assert, many women are not properly monitored when placed on bioidentical and/or synthetic hormones, including thyroid hormones. It is the experience of many practitioners that this occurs far too often. It is those women, especially, who need recovery options.
My husband Dragoș and I own two and one-half acres in Wilders, North Carolina, where we raise as much of our own food as possible. We have several small gardens, and we raise turkeys, ducks, chickens and guineas for meat and eggs, hogs for pork, and goats for raw milk. We process all of our meat animals by ourselves on our property
I didn’t sleep well last night. In comparison, my husband fell asleep early and stayed asleep until morning. We all deal with things differently―he needed rest to recover, and I needed to organize my thoughts to recover.
We took eight lives yesterday: five guineas and three turkeys. Our birds, our beloved birds. Four of those guineas showed up at our place last week and decided to stick around. We had grown to love them even in that short time. We enjoyed watching them carve out a place for themselves among our flock. Those four were easier, but taking a life is never easy.
The fifth guinea and the three turkeys, though―those were our babies. That was tough. They have been here on the homestead since they were little peeping fluff balls. We have taught them to eat and drink. We have protected them from predators. We have provided them shelter and provided them freedom. We have watched them learn and grow. Their plumage has changed from soft fuzz to mature, beautifully colored feathers. We have learned each of their personalities and fed them from our own hands.
Killing them is not something that we wanted to do. It is what we feel we have to do. The longer we live this lifestyle―homesteading or traditional living or farming or whatever you want to call it—the more difficult we find it to eat meat from the store. Those animals are tortured—packed into small houses with no grass and no sunlight. They live in filth and eat who knows what—definitely not grass and seeds and bugs like ours eat.
I can’t imagine letting any of my animals live like that. That is no life at all. Ours live the good life, the best life we know how to provide for them. And in return for their good life, they provide us with nourishment for us and for our family.
No, I don’t enjoy killing animals. I’d rather watch them dig for worms and jump up in the branches of trees and chase squirrels. But they have a purpose to serve. And I have a purpose, too. I have to feed my family, and I feel called to do it in the most connected way possible. I also feel a strong calling to share what that means with as many people as I can reach.
Raising and processing animals for food is not normal these days, but it used to be. It used to be necessary. It used to be that people could rely on themselves and the folks in their community. Nowadays, most everyone is out of touch. We don’t know where our food comes from. We don’t know whose hands have touched it, what conditions it lived in, what it ate, or how it died. It’s just a slab of pink or red stuff in a package at the store, or more often, some brown stuff on a plate (or in a Styrofoam take-out box).
But I’ll tell you what. I know where my food comes from, and that’s what keeps me up at night. No, not the nightmare of the animal’s circumstance, but the beauty of it all. I sit up remembering all the happy moments my animals have spent while under my care. And I sit up wondering how I can make it even better for the animals that join my homestead in the future.
So now I ask you—what will you do to grow the connection between yourself and your food? What goals do you have for this year or this decade? What will you do to ensure your food is well taken care of before and after it leaves your care? I’ll give you a hint—it never gets easier. You just have to work harder. Do the best you can, to do the best you can. Make a difference.
Emily Popa, Wilders Homestead
Wilders, North Carolina
WISDOM FROM OLD MOVIES
Last night I watched a movie Five Little Peppers from around 1938. I thought it was interesting when an older man was on bed rest recovering from a heart problem, his caregiver gave him water every morning—alternating one day water with lemon, and the next water with sauerkraut juice!
Also, in the 1939 film Wuthering Heights staring Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier, the doctor prescribed “plenty of butter” for Cathy when she is recovering from illness. Old movies and novels are a good way to glean some of the wisdom of our ancestors!
And for wisdom from the more ancient past, I attended an exhibit of items related to Sir Thomas More, from the 1500s. One beautiful illuminated book from that time was a “conversation” between a man named Henry and his “spiritual doctors”—who were Jesus and Mary. The large book happened to be open to a page where he asked his “doctors” what to do about depression, and Mary advised him to consume bone broth! What a surprising resource for nutrition and health!
Cottage City, Maryland
SOUR MILK FOR ANIMALS
I am not related to this site or product, epicorimmune.com/what-is-epicor/the-epicor-story, but the paragraph on fermented foods and health reminded me of WAPF and I thought you might find it of interest. “In the late 1800s C.W. Bloomhall, a young boy who lived on a family farm, noticed that animals fed table scraps fermented with sour milk seemed to be healthier than animals fed simple grains alone.” So fermented foods are good for animals as well as for humans!
WORK SO DIFFERENT
My work is so different now as I reflect back to the 1990s when I taught WAPF to all my patients. It took hours per person. Now, most patients have already heard of WAPF and many are already eating as recommended. For others, I just send them to the website and then offer a bit of guidance. This is really an enormous change, at least in my smaller circle of homeopathic patients. I am thankful every day for your tireless work.
Now I am awaiting the restoration of our farms to pasturing!
Two Rivers, WI
I write from a farming region in Bolivia with Samaipata the nearest town. For three years, I have been reveling in waterfalls, condors swooping down to greet me and monkeys cavorting in this sanctuary—plus parrots, toucans and many varieties of bees.
Bill Mollinson (co-founder of permaculture) says cows and poultry are forest animals. I see this every day with cows chomping tree leaves, bushes, some ground stuff and then to the trees again in this semitropical forest. The hens and chicks forage all day until it is time to roost. The result is the most delicious eggs, farm cheese, yogurt and meat I have ever tasted. All this happens under chemtrail- and emf-free skies, pure air, mountain spring water and richly mulched earth.
To loosely quote Mr. Mollinson again, I stick the seeds, plants, trees in the ground and “stand back.” Everything flourishes in this “abonoso” soil and microclimate.
Ecological farming is protected by the Bolivian constitution, and I enjoy sharing seeds with my eco-neighbors. Most families have been here for generations, and I appreciate being invited to their festive lunches with game or domesticated meat processed there with their own homegrown vegetables and chicha, a fermented corn elixir made with cinnamon and cloves. I have taught them the WAPF kefir and yogurt recipes and plan to become a Bolivian chapter leader once my permanent residency status is granted.
My kind neighbors give me weekly fresh milk, eggs and artisan bread made in huge wood fired ovens. Plus, I can buy the vegetables I do not grow, like corn and yucca. I grow on thirty-three hectares of fabulous land—sweet limes, mandarins, loads of greens and herbs. Yacon and medicinal plants are here in abundance. I must step on medicinal plants in order to walk, there are that many medicinal plants here. I am happy to give more information by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org and will respond in a timely fashion. Remember to actualize your dreams. All is possible!
BONES AND MARROW
You probably already know this, but I was just chatting with a Ghanaian co-worker about his white teeth, and he says that he eats not only the fat, but also the bones of the meat. He is teaching his children to do the same. He tells them it is to strengthen the teeth. He said when he first arrived in London, people would stare at him because of his white teeth. He also said licorice root was used to clean the teeth.
I should also add that last evening I was reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari, PhD, and the book states that the first tools used by Homo sapiens were for the purpose of cutting animal bones to retrieve the marrow.
COFFEE’S DARK SIDE
After seeing thousands of coffee addicts come through my clinic, I have some concerns about this beverage. Most of our clients come to us for help with sugar cravings and are appalled at our suggestion that they let us relieve them of cravings for coffee as well. As described in my new book, The Craving Cure, there are good reasons why we so often suggest that our clients eliminate coffee altogether.
Coffee temporarily ruins our appetite for real food, leaving our natural feeding instincts in the dark. Not eating real food makes us prey to cravings and fatigue. When the caffeine wears off, our blood sugar has typically plunged and we tend to grab the first Techno-Karb that comes along—along with more coffee.
Skipping breakfast is a particular problem as it robs us of our morning intake of naturally energizing amino acid-rich foods. Because of that we need more caffeine throughout the day to keep going. This can add up to over three cups a day. Consuming more than three cups a day on a regular basis increases our risk of premature death by 50 percent.
Cad Lavie, MD, in The Obesity Paradox, describes the research that went into this study of coffee’s lethal potential. The caffeine in coffee, like all stimulant drugs, is addictive. It’s often combined with sugar or chocolate, thus becoming a double or triple addictor and adding damaging calories. Caffeine suppresses our calming neurotransmitters—serotonin, GABA and adenosine—by overstimulating adrenaline. Too much adrenaline compromises cardiovascular and adrenal functions, increases stress and anxiety, and diminishes our overall sense of wellbeing. It consequently interferes with sleep, which weakens health generally and contributes to unneeded weight gain.
Furthermore, caffeine reduces the levels of our naturally energizing amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine as well as our naturally energizing, calorie-burning thyroid hormones. By suppressing the insulin response, caffeine can accelerate our progression toward diabetes.
See chapter 10 and page 397 in The Craving Cure for more (including references). Perhaps most important, chapter 10 includes what my clinic has learned about how we can raise energy naturally and withdraw comfortably from coffee (or from colas, diet sodas, or energy drinks).
Julia Ross, author
The Craving Cure
We adopted our daughter at birth. She was born at thirty-six weeks, underweight at five pounds nine ounces. With the homemade formula alone, including fermented cod liver oil, she was into normal percentiles by four or five months later, then had (seemingly) very early onset verbal ability. Since then she has been absolutely flourishing. It is amazing to see her verbal development and thought process—I absolutely think that fermented cod liver oil provided the essential nutrients.
BEST LOOKING WEBSITE!
The new WAPF website is the best looking website I have ever seen! Beautiful both artistically and in the nutrient-dense content. Great job on the WAPF site (WOW), and now I will go back to explore it more.
David M. Augenstein, MSc, PE
Have a look at our new landing page at westonaprice.org/health-topics/yes-you-can/!🖨️ Print post
Chef-doctor Jemichel says
Thank you all for making these letters available online! The letters are the second thing I read in each issue of the Wise Traditions Journal. Having them online is double joy!