Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good reads while on vacation

I am actually not here, virtually... I made a promise to myself to be disconnected... but then someone told me they have a mobile connection at the summer cabin and I just had to write down a few lines. But hey, at least I down graded my cell phone to a model anno 2006 - even textmessaging is a challenge on that one. I am completely cured from my constant web-surfing on the phone...

So, what I wanted to tell you is that I am reading two interesting books: one in Swedish, which made its appearance as my mom open up a box of books from her childhood home. Its called "Tell me what you eat- and I will tell you who you are" (Säg mig vad du äter- och jag skall berätta vem du är) by Inger Waerland. The first edition was published in 1941 (!), and the one I have here is from 1953, already several editions down the line... The book is actually VERY modern. It talks about the healing forces of green plants, about avoiding non-organically grown foods (didn't know pesticides were an issue in 1940s), and how to eat "local" (note: the book was written in Sweden just as the second world war was starting, although Sweden was not officially involved in the war, they did have trouble getting exports from the outer world, including foods). It is really interesting how she talks about the benefits of leafy greens, all the vitamines in green plants and how we can use all kinds of wild plants from the nature (nettles, birch, raspeberry leaves, pine tree flowers, dandelion etc). It has a complete section on the theurapeutical aspects of herbs and vegetables. I particularly enjoyed the explanation on raw onions, how it can cure almost anything. Haha, we used the onion trick just a few days back when Kidone was complaining of ear pain - she got half an onion tucked into a nylon sock next to her ear for an hour (later also both paracetamol and ibuprofen - I am after all surrounded by medical doctors here...). The next day the ear pain had gone away - victory - no need for antibiotics!

Well the books seems to be a classic in raw food diet. It is absolutely against all animal based foods and talks about the healing forces of plants (including grains... which is where I detect th time gap of 60 years to this date ). It also talks about the benefits of cultured (raw) milk. I was really excited to see a section on the benefits of the kefir cultured milk. Incredible - this book explain the benefits of Kefir, already 60 years ago. It also includes how to prepare the milk and how to get grains at that time (from the authors clinic in Stockholm).

I also learned that you should not combine eating fruits with drinking cold water. It will slow down digestion and possibly transform the sugar from the fruit to harmful substances in your gut (interesting... would the same have to be said about sweets in general?). Fruits are best to be enjoyed in the afternoon, alone, or together with a glass of cultured milk (kefir/piimä).

The other book is of much more recent decent. Its the book "Cure Tooth Decay" by Ramiel Nagel. This book is about how you should eat to actually cure any desease affecting your teeth. You could say it is quite the opposite to the first book, it is focusing on the Weston A. Price findings from aboriginal communities, where meat and fish were important ingredients in the traditional food diets. The book claims that by restoring homestasis (mineral balances) in your body you can actually reverse cavities. To do this you have to follow a strict diet based on nutrient dense and high fat food sources. Staples are: bone broth (love it!), fermented veggies, cultured milk, lard/tallow, some important (cooked) vegetables such as carrots, coliflor, broccoli. The author does in detail also list harmful substances (sugar and fruits are obviously first in line), particularly foods containing phytic acid, which have a profound (bad) impact on how the gut can absorbe minerals from our food. Phytic acid is abundantly present in legumes (chickpeas, beans, lenses), grains, and normal potatoes. These must be prepared in a certain way to avoid the harms from phytic acid (the book is all against normal bread but all for well prepared sour dough bread from unbleeched wheat.. I am intrigued...). Cheese is mentioned as a good source of calcium/phosphorus (these have to be ingested simoultaneously for the body to make use of calcium). Normal milk is considered almost worthless as a source of calcium, while raw milk is an excellent choice, particularly when the Kefir grains have had the opportunity to their job in it first.

It is quite astonishing that these two books that are worlds apart in their substance message (vegetable based versus animal based) still have many common features. The most striking is this thing about cultured foods. I think I will give the kefir grains another chance still this summer... if they are still alive that is. I have now asked my local contacts to find a raw milk dealer for me on this island....Shouldn't be impossible, after all, this is one of the forerrunning regions regarding locally grown organic foods.

Finally, I want to end admitting that right now I myself am my worst enemy. At night I read these inspiring books on how to restore health and how to deal with peer pressure regarding special diets in the family ("Eat like a Dinosaur" is also here with me). Then during the day I hand out bread with butter and cheese and normal natural yogurt to both Kidone and Kidtwo - knowing that this is not the way I want to go....But they do - and when the bread is there, the yogurt is there, there is really now way to say no to a nagging child, unless you want to ruin your vacation. So far though it seems like their bodies can handle it, so why am I stressed out?!? It's vacation time and I will allow myself to relaaax....Tomorrow I am preparing chicken stew, on bone broth! Hah! :-) But I will also endulge in a pocket book, best seller novel. Just to forget everything else...


  1. I sooo enjoy reading you blog. I can relate in so many ways, devouring health food litterature while feeding the kids foods I don't really want them to eat... I don't want to have constant conflicts at the dinnertable either...
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks Cecilia, it really makes my day that somebody is benefitting from reading my reflections! Being informed about what foods are beneficials and what to avoid does not at all make life easier on the practical level... but still I think it is all worth it.

    Here another recap of the book I read on how to cure tooth decay: