I’m moving! Please come with me!

This blog site has been awesome and I’ve so enjoyed sharing my health journey, tips, discoveries, and travels with you. More good stuff is coming down the pike, I promise!

But to find it, you need to join me at my new site: holistichilda.com. Yup! A friend recently dubbed me “Holistic Hilda” and it stuck! I bought the domain name, set up a website, and the rest is history.

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Enjoying the chickens at Whiffletree Farm (photo cred: Lise Metzger @groundedwomen)

As an integrative nutrition health coach, fitness professional, podcaster, and music leader, I want to encourage you in all aspects of wellness. That’s why the word “holistic” fits me so well. As you follow me, you will hear stories that touch on all aspects of well-being—from nutrition, to connections, to movement, and more!

Please subscribe to the new site! You will continue to receive my blog posts straight to your inbox, along with bi-weekly emails where I’ll share concrete health tips and encouragement for your wellness journey!

Thanks and see you there!

Holistic Hilda

P.S. You can also find me at @holistichilda on Twitter and @holistic_hilda on Instagram.

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Hilda Labrada Gore is the producer and host of the Wise Traditions podcast found on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, tunein, YouTube and at westonaprice.org. She is the DC metro regional director for Body & Soul and an integrative nutrition health coach. She lives in DC with her husband and children, their cat, Mia, and their dog, Summer.

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Why do normal people question vaccines?

Children ask questions about everything under the sun. Reporters ask questions to get their story. Scientists ask questions to understand a matter. I am a normal person who is  kicking off this post with a couple of questions. Why is there a taboo around questioning vaccines? Why can’t normal people question them without being labeled “wackos” or “anti-vaxxers?” I suggest that all of us should feel free to question vaccines, and here’s why.

  • If we care about the food we ingest, we should care about everything we put into our bodies.
  • If we want to know the list of ingredients in the food we are eating, we should want to know what ingredients are in a vaccination.
  • If we are skeptical of conventional health care, we should question the motives of pharmaceutical companies that are lobbying for mandatory vaccinations for children and adults, nationwide.
  • If we believe in food freedom (that we should be allowed to eat what we want to eat), we should also embrace health freedom (that we have the right to accept or reject any medical procedure).

As a young mom, I remember wondering if I should follow the vaccine schedule for my children. I had no logical reason to question vaccinations at all, really, because I didn’t know much about vaccine side effects or ingredients or anything. There was just a little question in the back of my mind, a kind of check in my gut about them. I suppose I was hesitant about them because of the fact that I had always been a girl with a natural bent. I figured my body could handle itself, without too much interference. I preferred to let a fever run its course. I would avoid over-the-counter remedies for a mild cold or aches and pains. I chose completely natural childbirth for each of my babies (no pain-killing drugs, no medical interventions).

So while I wasn’t super informed about vaccinations, I wondered about the benefit/risk ratio. But I didn’t wonder for long. I went ahead and had my children all vaccinated on time because I knew that in Washington DC, in order to attend public school, they had to have all of the vaccinations, according to the CDC schedule.

I didn’t think much more about it for some time. My inclination to keep things natural, health-wise, eventually led me to become a member, and then a chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). I liked their natural bent! They espouse Hippocrates’ motto “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.”

However, when I came across something in the WAPF literature about vaccinations, I scratched my head about it, because I thought that WAPF was a nutrition group, focused on food, farming, and the healing arts. A stance on vaccinations (and an individual’s right to reject them) seemed an unnecessarily polarizing position to take. Why would WAPF go out on a limb when they could safely advocate for wholesome food and sustainable farming practices, without rocking the status quo?

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If we want to know what’s in our food, why wouldn’t we want to know what’s in vaccines?

Over time, the answer started to dawn on me. WAPF is a group that’s willing to ask questions about conventional health protocol. Of course their willingness to ask about food sources, food quality, and the like would translate to other things we put into our bodies. It struck me that it is normal, and even healthy, to ask questions to safeguard my health and the health of my family. So I began to dig around and ask a few questions, myself.

  • Why are premature babies given the same dose of vaccines as full-term babies? (Shouldn’t the dosage be adjusted for weight?)
  • What ingredients are in the vaccines and are any toxic or apt to cause adverse reactions?
  • Why do babies get a hepB vaccine the day they are born (when it is a vaccine intended to prevent a disease that is sexually communicated)?
  • Is there room for a conversation about spacing out the heavy vaccination schedule that requires up to 24 doses before a child reaches 5 years of age?
  • Why is it so difficult to get a medical or religious exemption in most states?
  • Why are children denied a public education when unvaccinated, if education is a constitutional right?
  • If vaccines are safe and effective, why was the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act established in 1986, setting up a vaccine injury compensation program (that to date has doled out over 3..8 billion dollars to families of vaccine-injured children and adults)?
  • Why has the CDC not done a controlled study, comparing the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children?
  • Why was the CDC accused of covering up study results that indicated a link between vaccinations and autism among African-American boys?
  • If vaccines do not cause autism, as the CDC claims, where are the studies that disprove the link?
  • And a related question: if vaccines don’t cause autism, why do so many parents of autistic children insist that they do?
  • What does the evidence around us suggest?
  • What links are there between vaccinations and other injuries and illnesses?
  • Why are vaccines pushed at every turn (in grocery stores, corner drug stores, etc.)? And who stands to gain from this push?

Do you have questions of your own? Great! That means you’re normal. Keep digging until you find answers that satisfy your curiosity. And check out these podcast episodes to learn something beyond what the mainstream media reports:

#16 Vaccines: what’s all the fuss about? (part 1) –  w/ producer Leslie Manookian of “The Greater Good”

#17 Vaccines: what’s all the fuss about? (part 2) 

#54 Vaxxed: Producer’s commentary – w/ Del Bigtree of “Vaxxed,” the movie that focuses on the CDC whistleblower

#64 The vaccine industry & your rights – w/ attorney Alan Phillips

#72 Fighting for health freedom – a group of people in West Virginia are fighting for the right to vaccine exemptions

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me-and-apple-2Hilda Labrada Gore is the producer and host of the Wise Traditions podcast found on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, tunein, YouTube and at westonaprice.org. She lives in DC with her husband and children, their cat, Mia, and their dog, Summer.

Low on energy? Here’s how to recharge!

It’s mid-afternoon and you’re grabbing your third cup of joe. Sometimes it seems like you are running on fumes. Is it insufficient sleep that is making you so fatigued? Stress from an overwhelming amount of work in the office or at home? Tension with a family member that’s worrying you? Maybe it’s all of the above! How can you replenish your energy naturally?

I met a scientist who contends that water has everything to do with our energy levels and our overall health and vitality, but, he is decidedly not referring simply to our hydration level, nor is he advocating the old eight-glasses-a-day guideline. Dr. Gerald Pollack, a leading scientist and researcher from the University of Washington, believes our health is linked to the water in our bodies and he believes that this water is actually present in our bodies in a fourth phase, known as EZ or exclusion zone water. In contrast with regular water, H2O, which is electrically neutral, EZ water, H3O2, holds a negative charge. It is a sort of internal battery that must continually be recharged/built up to keep us running efficiently.

According to Jerry, we need to look for ways to get more negative charges from the world around us to create positive energy in our bodies! The goal is to continually build the EZ water up and maintain ample stores for optimal health. Jerry has several specific recommendations for doing this:

  • Soak up the sun! Sit in an infrared sauna! Infrared energy is all around us. Capitalize on it! Our muscles are soothed and we feel energized from infrared energy. It penetrates our bodies and builds the EZ water which helps our bodies function properly. The negative charge is replenished by infrared light.
  • Grounding” or “earthing” allows the negative charge from the earth to transfer to our bodies. This practice involves taking your shoes off and allowing your bare feet to connect with the ground. Sit in the park with your bare feet on the grass. Walk on a beach barefoot. Get your feet dirty in your garden soil. This, too, builds our EZ water stores.

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  • Oxygenate! As its EZ water’s H3O2 chemical formula indicates, it has more oxygen. Try hyperbaric oxygen therapy! It was first used by the military to treat wounds that wouldn’t heal. Jerry has conducted lab experiments that indicate that changing barometric pressure through adding pressure and oxygen builds EZ water, improving the function of every organ in the  body and promoting healing.
  • Aspirin is not just for headaches. Since aspirin effectively treats many kinds of pain relief affecting a number of the body’s organs, the hypothesis was that aspirin builds EZ water throughout the body.  Jerry said that laboratory tests have confirmed this hypothesis. Aspirin apparently helps the body maintain its negative charge. (For those wary of aspirin, Jerry reminds us that the chemical that aspirin’s roots trace back to willow bark.)
  • Drink more water. If negative charge comes from the water in our body, and if the cells in an individual’s body lack sufficient negative charge, that body must have insufficient water. This is why drinking water is important as a tool to replenish our stores. However, the water that comes out of our taps doesn’t have a lot of negative charge. You can get more negatively-charged water from spring water or through water that has been through a reverse osmosis process.
  • Eat more blueberries! Blueberries, kombucha, and artichokes are good sources of anti-oxidants. How are anti-oxidants helpful? Oxidants remove negative charge. So, anti-oxidants are good for us because they prevent the loss of that negative charge.

I’m just scratching the surface of all Jerry shared with me. If you want to learn more, listen to the interview here, on Wise Traditions podcast #67 “Negative charge creates positive energy.” The bottom line is that our bodies are negatively charged, and they require the negative charge that comes from this EZ water for good health. We must build up and maintain sufficient stores to enjoy vitality and well-being. To get that positive energy, look for ways to replenish that negative charge. It is critical for life.

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Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music, tunein, and at westonaprice.org.

 

 

 

 

A dentist who is carrying on the work of Dr. Price into the 21st century

I took a road trip with a friend recently when she confessed to me a secret fear. It’s very common but it’s not a fear of spiders or heights or flying. It’s a fear of dental visits. She has had way too much work done over the years and it has been painful both physically and financially.

I understand where she’s coming from. I have seen many dentists over the years—the over-eager tooth-cleaner, the judge of flossing, the laid-back “you’re-doing-everything-right” friendly guy next door, the you-need-the-most-expensive-treatment-ever fellow.

Thankfully, my current dentist is none of the above (and, naturally, he is my favorite). He stands out because he emulates one of my heroes: Dr. Weston A. Price. Dr. Price was a dentist and researcher in the 1930s. He traveled the world to observe and document the effect of diet on oral health, and overall health and vitality. He noticed a link between what people ate and the structure of the face. His observations are recorded in his book “Nutrition and physical degeneration.” The photographs in the book are fascinating and convincing proof of his conclusions—that what we eat indeed has an impact on our overall health and dental health.

In the healthiest peoples, Dr. Price observed, there was plenty of room in the mouth for all 32 teeth. And said teeth were intact and free of caries. The face was broad, as was the jaw structure and nasal passages. There was facial radiance and physical vitality and fertility. Optimism and good humor abounded. What did such people eat? The specific diet varied—from fish, seal oil and whale blubber in Alaska to goat meat, blood, and raw milk in Kenya. What they had in common was that they all ate the traditional diet of their ancestors.

When the diet changed, and became “modernized” (with refined flour, sugars, and the like being consumed in place of traditional foods), the health of the people and their progeny became compromised. The most obvious changes occurred in the jaw and facial structure. The face became narrow, with crowded/misaligned teeth. There was gum disease and caries. Overall vitality and fertility were diminished; posture, eyesight, and hearing were less keen.

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See the difference? The boy on the left has a narrow face caused by dietary changes. The boy on the right has a broad face–the result of embracing traditional foods.

After his travels, Dr. Price took what he learned and applied it back home in the states. He saw health and behavioral improvements when he began advocating dietary shifts and a return to nourishing, natural food. The dentist I see today is Dr. Felix Liao—a biological, holistic dentist and the President of the Biological Dentists Association. He is convinced that Dr. Price was on the right track. For this reason, he is carrying forward the work of Dr. Price into the twenty-first century. He sees the link between solid nutrition and dental health. As such, he addresses and treats the whole patient, not just the mouth. He has seen numerous patients over the years who have benefited from his “whole body” approach.

I reached out to him initially because of a cosmetic concern—my teeth had shifted over the years and needed straightening. I expected him to propose braces or invisalign. Instead, he assessed my posture and overall health. He asked about aches and pains, my sleep patterns, and more. He documented what was going on with the whole of me. The treatment has included broadening my palate to make space for my teeth, reversing the narrowness of my jaw and airway.

Patients come to Dr. Liao’s office with all kinds of concerns—teeth grinding or clenching, back pain, shoulder issues, sleep apnea, snoring, dental problems. He can address many of them, not by simply filling cavities or giving them a mouth guard or a CPAP machine, but by addressing the root problem caused by poor nutrition.

Listen to my interview with Dr. Liao on Wise Traditions podcast #25 “Open wide.” You may discover that the root cause of some of your own health concerns has more to do with your mouth (and what goes into it) than you initially thought. You will also gain insight on what the work of Dr. Price looks like in the 21st century.

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Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music, tunein, and at westonaprice.org.

That moment when you invite yourself over to your farmer’s for dinner….

So, yeah, I did that. I’ve been the customer of a farmer in Pennsylvania for over 10 years and it suddenly struck me that it was high time we met. Well, that’s only part of the truth. I have indeed been ordering food from his farm—amazing meat, the best eggs with the most orange yolks, cheeses that are textured and tasty, and MUCH more—for a long while, but what motivated me was that I got wind of the fact that a fellow customer had dined at Peter’s house and I was just plain jealous. On our private Facebook group, she talked about how they ate a lovely meal and sang songs afterwards and I was as green as moss. I wanted to do that, too!

I was encouraged by our farm liaison to reach out to Peter to arrange for a visit, so I did. I called him and asked if my husband and I could join them for dinner. Then the game of phone tag began. My farmer, Peter, is Amish and the Amish live simple lives, eschewing technology for the most part, so the telephone at their place is off in a separate building. So I called and left a message, making my request. And then he called me back and left me a message. Then I called back and left his adult son, Samuel, a message and then Samuel called me back and left me a message. And so on.

Eventually we connected “live” and it was a study of the different cultures we live in, though we are only a few hours apart. I would make a comment like “We can’t wait to meet you!” and then…pause….pause…pause….pause “It will be fun,” one would reply. I was rushed and citified. They were calm and country. I knew the visit would rock my world.

When the day came, as we pulled up, we saw two little boys hand-cranking ice cream. Peter greeted us and explained that the boys were his grandsons and that they were making it special for us and that it takes 1000 cranks till it’s done. We were humbled and touched immediately.

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They took us to meet their cattle up on a nearby hill. Most of them were lying down. Samuel explained that when cows are content, they lie down. These certainly seemed to be at peace. We went to see the chickens. They were beautiful, clucking happily, pecking away at bugs and microbes and what not.

After the brief tour, they ushered us into their home. There, we were blown away. Peter’s wife, Sarah, presented us with a spread fit for royalty. Let me back up here and explain that earlier, in one of our phone tag messages, Peter said that Sarah wanted to know what we would like to eat. She could serve chicken, pork, beef, or fish. In reply, I left a message saying something like “We like everything!” Imagine my shock and surprise, then, when they set before us literally EVERYTHING! The meal included: peaches with cottage cheese, pork chops and sauerkraut, beef and potatoes, gravy, chicken and honey mustard sauce, peas and carrots, salad, pickles and cheese! And kombucha to drink. Oh, and rolls and butter. And, of course, the ice cream and apple pudding for dessert.

I couldn’t help but wonder if something was lost in the translation between my saying we liked everything and their thinking we wanted everything. I came to find out later, to my relief, that they often treat guests to multiple course meals like that. Regardless, we were moved by their gracious hospitality. Samuel had to leave the table (before dessert) to feed the animals. When he came back, he and his parents let me interview them (though they are generally private people–which is one reason I am not using their real names). So I pulled out my recording equipment and we got started. It was a halting interview, to be honest, since they were unaccustomed both with microphones and answering questions on the spot. But it still offered small glimpses of how they shifted to organic farming (the first in their community to do so), and the health and business struggles they’d faced over the years.

Afterwards, we did indeed end our evening with a song. I was so grateful for the life-giving service they do all of us with their work on the farm. It was wonderful to raise our voices as one. Food brought us together; sharing a meal and singing together solidified the bond. As we prepared to leave, they said, with concern in their voice, “You’ll be getting home around 9 p.m.!” We understood why they were worried when we found out that their day begins at 4:15 a.m. Our 9 p.m. was equivalent to their midnight!

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All told, we were on the farm for some 4-5 hours but that brief time gave me invaluable insight on the important work of the farmer, the timeless (and often thankless) work of managing the land and animals to provide for the life and health of countless others. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever met your farmer and what your experience was like. And also let me know if you’d like me to post the interview as a podcast sometime. It wasn’t a perfect recording, but it was a perfectly amazing evening.

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Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.

Finally…New Year’s resolutions that will AMP you up!

We are only about two weeks into the new year and yet a bunch of us have already broken some of our new year’s resolutions and determinations. Yup, me included. One of my resolutions this year was identical to last year: get to bed before midnight. (I am a health coach, but like everyone else, I have my stumbling blocks.) It’s always been a struggle for me, as I’m a night owl by disposition and I end up suddenly inspired at 11:00 p.m. and so I get on the computer and one thing leads to another and I’m hitting the hay well after the clock strikes twelve! So, yeah, I’m pretty sure I broke this resolution on night two.

I know I’m not alone. Our resolutions, and subsequent struggles to keep them, can humble and discourage us. If you’re in this boat, then, like me, you are tired of the cycle and ready to bust out of it.

That’s why I’m excited to give you some ideas of things we can to do to improve our health that are much easier to keep. Most resolutions have to do with diet and exercise–these do not! As a matter of fact, these are not just ideas or fads that are here today and gone tomorrow. These are principles to live by. I’ve already been slowly but surely adopting them into my lifestyle and I am the better for it. I bet you’ll be able to do the same with very little striving and strain!

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Ben showing off his ocarina

There’s no denying I’m amped about these simple concepts. Ben Greenfield is the former bodybuilder who pumped me up about them! He is strong, passionate, and enthusiastic—a triathlete, and a health coach for elite athletes. I expected our conversation to focus on how to improve our diet and sculpt our bodies for their maximum potential. Instead, he surprised me by wanting to talk about “the invisible variables that affect our health.”  (To hear the entire conversation, check out “Beyond food” Episode 57 of the Wise Traditions podcast!)

Here are the four simple areas we discussed that have been transformative and encouraging to me. On each point, I share action steps for incorporating these into my life.

Air – Obvi. Air is critical to life! How can we improve the quality of the air we breathe in? We need to go where it is! Indoor air is often stale, recirculated, and sometimes toxic (from furniture off-gassing, cleaning products, etc.). We’ve got to take time and make time to get outside to breathe in the good stuff! Most outside air is an improvement on indoor air. If the schedule doesn’t permit getting out, we need to buy some detoxing plants or a HEPA filter to improve the atmosphere indoors. Action: I get outside daily (walking from my house to the car or from my car to the office doesn’t count). I have bought plants to improve my indoor air quality.

Music – Ben played the ocarina when we were together, since he was traveling and space in his luggage would not accommodate his ukulele. Why did he bother? He’d never even played the ocarina before! He recognizes the power of music. Science is confirming what humans have intuitively known for millennia: music soothes the savage breast. Something is stirred within our spirits when we experience music. It relieves stress and even brings healing! Action: I play the guitar a couple of times a week. I sing in church.

Posture – We can eat a super clean diet, but still be stressing our body by the way we carry ourselves. Just like a car’s tires need to be aligned and balanced, our body does, as well. For organs and cells to work properly, let’s avoid unnecessarily “squishing” them, as if they were a wool coat stuffed into the drawer of a nightstand. Action: I sit up straight in the pew in church or in meetings. I take regular breaks when working (anything to avoid the constant 90° sitting position)!

Sunshine – Where to begin, in my ode to the sun? At the top of the list is the natural vitamin D that it gives us! Scientists point to vitamin D deficiency as a possible cause of the many diseases plaguing us today! Sunshine helps our circadian rhythms stay in sync, which improves the quality of our sleep. It boosts the immune system and our mood! Action: When I go out daily (see action step for “Air”), I get the added benefit of soaking in 15-20 minutes of sunshine! (And I’m not letting the cold weather stop me–the little shock is good for my lymphatic system! And at least my face and hands are exposed to the sun’s healing effects!)

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Me trying out the “air” and “sunshine” thing (after a fitness class two days ago)

That’s it! Talk about an easy-peasy list, right? Consider these resolutions a way of life. I know I do. I consider them a way to AMP up my health this 2017! Hope you get AMPed too! Let me know how it goes and which of the above is your favorite!

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Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.

If your mainstream doctor doesn’t have answers…

look elsewhere. These were the simple, gentle words uttered by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride during an interview on the Wise Traditions podcast.

“If your mainstream doctor doesn’t have answers, look elsewhere.”

She reiterated that we should be polite, say “thank you very much” and then walk out the door. Once there, the work begins. It’s time to buckle down and begin investigating on our own.

This advice is something that Natasha has lived out. She is now known as the brilliant author of “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”—a book that has helped millions. But what got her there was a tragic turning point. She was thrown for a loop when her son was diagnosed with autism around the age of three. She was a neurologist but she knew nothing about what could possibly be the root of his condition. What she did know is that she could not/would not accept that diagnosis as the final word.

She began digging around and found that there was a connection between gut health and how the brain functions. Years earlier, she had noticed that many of her neurology patients had gastro-intestinal issues as well, but she would simply refer them to the GI specialist. Now she was beginning to see how these issues were interrelated. Her investigations led her to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet created by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas. From that diet, she derived the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet which helped her son recover completely and put her on the path to help countless others with chronic conditions, including epilepsy, ADHD, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, and schizophrenia.

Natasha’s story ended up in the “Best of 2016” episode of the Wise Traditions podcast, where it is paired with the story of holistic doctor Dr. Tom Cowan and dairy farmer Charlotte Smith. Each of them, in their own way, basically gives the same message that Natasha gives: “If your mainstream doctor doesn’t have answers, look elsewhere.”

As a young man, Dr. Tom Cowan was not satisfied with the simplistic answers he heard doctors giving their patients. He recounts witnessing the following encounter. A doctor told his patient that the poor air quality in Detroit was the cause of her persistent cough. She then asked him, “Then why aren’t you coughing, doc?” Tom laughed (and was not allowed to stick around after that).

He came to the realization that most doctors were treating symptoms but not the root cause of many conditions. Even holistic doctors have this tendency, he readily admits. This is why he recommends taking your health into your own hands

Charlotte Smith’s children struggled with intense eczema. The itchy red rash was even on her daughter’s eyelids! The backs of her son’s hands were constantly scabby and red. She tried everything under the sun that doctors, fellow moms, and friends said might work. When she got to raw milk, her expectations were low, but after having her family drink some daily for just two weeks, her son showed her the back of his hands and they were perfectly smooth. He recovered completely in a matter of two months! (Her daughter, whose case was more serious, recovered in about six months.)

Food could be medicine, Charlotte realized! It was a HUGE a-ha moment. She would not have stumbled upon it had she not persevered in finding something beyond conventional treatment (steroids) to bring her children relief. Now her whole family is enjoying the benefits of raw milk. They haven’t been sick for years! Charlotte’s own seasonal allergies have cleared up. Antibiotics for infections are a thing of the past. And now Charlotte even runs a micro dairy, Champoeg Creamery, in Oregon!

These three distinct stories have one cohesive message. Do not passively accept what anyone tells you. When it comes to your health, be skeptical, like “doubting Thomas” (as Dr. Cowan dubs himself). Dig deeper. Ask questions. Educate yourself. Listen to the episode here that highlights these three individuals who did just that. And then continue on your journey to improved health.

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Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.

 

 

Surprises at the Wise Traditions conference (a/k/a you won’t believe what happens next!)

I couldn’t resist using this clichéd click-bait subtitle because my experience at the conference was indeed just. like. that. It was one unexpected moment after another. You can watch an online health summit, the next wellness webinar or cooking tutorial on YouTube, but none of it compares to the actual experience of connecting LIVE with health experts and fellow foodies. The speakers get you thinking as you attend their presentations, and then you turn around and they join you for lunch! Between sessions, a fellow attendee points out a website that helps you find the dehydrator you were looking for. Your roommate tells you about her latest health hack. Each day you are empowered, encouraged, and energized.

I hail from Washington, DC, a town better known for its political leanings than its alternative health tendencies. I was like a plant thirsty for some rain. I didn’t have to wait long before I was soaking it all in. Shortly after I arrived, I ran into speaker and gardener Celeste Longacre. (Don’t you just love her name?!) She invited me to her hotel room to demonstrate how to make beet kvaas. I drink it regularly but had never made it before. We hardly entered the room before she had started chopping up that beet like a Samurai swordsman! It was something to behold. My mind was blown. And then my heart was touched when she gave me garlic that she had grown from her very own garden. The conference was just kicking off and I’d already gotten a private kvaas demo and some swag!

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The kvass, mid-chop (I got Celeste to pause for a second!)

On day two, I connected with Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mama. She told me that earlier that morning, she had gone for a walk down by the river. From a distance, she spotted some random guy who was barefoot and bare-chested (a rare sight in the month of November); he was walking along playing some flute-like instrument. Curious, she walked closer…and then it dawned on her. This was not just some random guy. It was fitness guru Ben Greenfield, a fellow speaker at the Wise Traditions conference!

We laughed, partially because it was so unexpected for her to encounter Ben like that, but also because the conference was just overflowing with these kinds of surprising moments. The Weston A. Price Foundation brings together all sorts of creative, intelligent, interesting people—each committed to finding good health through natural and alternative means. There was genuine connection and joy at every turn. And there was also as much to be gleaned from the one-on-one connections as there was from the seminars.

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A little bit of one-on-one connecting

Hollywood producer Del Bigtree, of the movie “Vaxxed,” screened his movie at the conference and gave a post-screening presentation. He talked about how he got involved in the project and had been moved by the importance of the subject (the CDC’s manipulation of study results) and its implications for our health and the health of our children. He had hitherto not quite realized the influence of the pharmaceutical companies on the media and consequently the public’s access to critical health information. He is passionate about getting the movie wider distribution, not because he is particularly “anti-vax” but because he believes the public has the right to make informed decisions when it comes to vaccinations. Though he had been traveling around the country, he had never been among a group quite like ours. We were receptive, curious, and supportive. And we also challenged him to think about the role good nutrition could play in preserving our health.

That’s another thing I love about “Wise Traditions foodies” (as I like to call the WAPF-ers). They don’t just take in information—they process it; they ask tough questions. Many have taken their health into their own hands and are naturally skeptical of any medical theory. They take everything with a grain of (sea) salt.

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Speaking of sea salt…that reminds me. Food is another of the pleasant surprises. It was locally-sourced, organic, well-prepared, and simply delectable!

So, to me, this is what the Wise Traditions conference is about: learning, growing, laughter, food, questioning, and, yes, surprises. Count me in for next year. Actually, scratch that. Count me in for the rest of my life!

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Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.

How to identify mercury toxicity and detox safely

Do you have brain fog? Are you so forgetful that you’re afraid you’re accidentally going to set your house on fire? Have you been diagnosed with a degenerative disease such as MS or Alzheimers? Do you have anxiety, depression, or panic attacks? What about fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, gastritis, attention deficit disorder, or obsessive compulsive disorder?

These are just a few of a long list of symptoms that plague many of us today. And all of the above are symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning. Dr. Andy Cutler is convinced that many doctors are overlooking the most obvious answer as to why so many of us are so sick: mercury.

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Living with mercury toxicity can feel like this: confusing, opaque, and discouraging

Andy has a PhD in Chemistry from Princeton and a BS in Physics from the University of California. When he struggled with symptoms that no doctor could explain, he dug deep to find the source of his issues. He never expected to find that the problem stemmed from the amalgam fillings in his own mouth!

If you are skeptical, welcome to the club. Dr. Cutler welcomes skeptics. He himself has a healthy dose of it, which is why he doesn’t buy the American Dental Association’s reassurances that “Dental amalgam is…a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.” His own experience and those of countless others has led him to conclude otherwise.

Andy’s health crisis led him to became a pioneer of a form of chelation/detoxing for metal toxicity that is unique in its approach, science-based, pragmatic, safe and successful. He went from a confused, sick state to living a full, normal life today. Of course, he is not the only one who has improved using his protocol. Thousands have regained their lives and health, regardless of how they came to be exposed to mercury (the “trace” mercury in vaccinations has also poisoned many). Listen to our discussion on Wise Traditions episode #48 “Detox mercury safely” to hear more about Cutler’s story and his unique approach to the subject.

In a nutshell, the key to his particular mercury detox protocol is taking chelators according to their half-life in the body. Thus, DMPS (Dimercapto-propane sulfonate) must be taken every 6-8 hours, DMSA (Dimercaptosuccinic acid) every 4 hours, and ALA (Alpha-lipoic acid) every 3 hours. This must be done throughout the day and night: 3 days on, 4 days off.  (ALA is actually the most important chelator as it is the only one that removes mercury from the brain.) Along with the chelators, Andy recommends what he calls “the essential 4:” Vitamin C, Vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. These must be taken to support the body as well as to counteract the oxidative damage that mercury causes as it is mobilized and removed. Most everyone will need adrenal and liver support as well. And other supporting supplements are taken depending on individual symptoms.

Please note that it is NEVER recommended to chelate if you still have amalgam “silver” fillings in your mouth. This is not safe. If you suspect you are mercury toxic, please take the test Andy recommends in this podcast episode or visit his website: noamalgam.com for more guidance. Dr. Cutler also offers consultations via phone to many people and he has Facebook and Yahoo groups where mutual support can be found.

If you’re still unsure about how to approach detoxing, dig deep as Andy did. Do your own research and make sure to look beyond those who have the hype or slick websites promising cures. Look for real results and proven track records. My hope is that you recover your health completely, as you safely detox!

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Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and  is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.

THE “super” raw food: lacto-ferments

Ferments are everywhere these days! Go to any farmers market  and you will see booths selling everything from pickles to kimchi. People are starting to brew their own kombucha and pickle their carrots, turnips, and beets. Why are these foods suddenly trendy, when they have been a part of traditional diets around the globe for hundreds and thousands of years?

Once again, science is backing up the wisdom of the past. There has been a shift in understanding about our bodies. Where once it was thought that the gut was sterile, science now points to it being a veritable wonderland of microbes and bacteria. Our health depends on maintaining a proper balance of intestinal flora. And lacto-fermented foods are a wonderful source of enzymes and good bacteria! This knowledge has sent people rushing back to eating fermented foods, since fermentation not only preserves the food, but also improves its nutritional content and the bio-availability of its nutrients.

Take cabbage, for example. It is a source of vitamin C. When it is fermented and turned into sauerkraut, the level of vitamin C is tenfold higher. It’s been found that just 2 ounces of home-fermented sauerkraut has more probiotics than a bottle of 100-count probiotic capsules!

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Kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut–wonderfully nutritious!

This is why Sally Fallon Morell, the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, calls lacto-ferments the SUPER raw food! Across the board, fermentation enhances the very life of the food. It pre-digests the food, in a manner of speaking, and increases vitamin levels. Anti-nutrients are neutralized or partially neutralized. Minerals are released. Ferments boost the immune system, protect against disease, and aid digestion. In sum, it is a beautiful, marvelous process that works with nature to preserve not only the food, but also our health!

For all of these reasons, including lacto-fermented foods is principle #5 of the Wise Traditions diet. Listen to Sally expound on the benefits of (and the traditions behind) these foods here, in the episode Principle #5 Lacto-fermented Foods.

Highlights include:

–    how lacto-fermented foods are nearly universal in traditional diets
–    the two types of fermentation
–    how sauerkraut is made
–    the role of salt in the fermentation process
–    how fermentation may have come about
–    the wisdom of traditional cultures and the scientific reasons behind fermentation
–    what specific fermented foods are enjoyed in various parts of the world
–    just why Sally considers ferments “super” raw foods
–    the story of one woman with IBS and how fermented food helped her
–    how to tell the difference between fermented foods and those simply steeped in vinegar
–    how fermentation can boost levels of vitamin C, minerals, B vitamins
–    how lacto-fermented drinks are also a good source of enzymes and bacteria (and serves as an alternative to soft drinks and alcoholic beverages)
–    how these foods inoculate the gut, in essence, with good bacteria needed to resist disease
–    how these foods are protective against cancer
–    how the fermented foods shore up the “biofilm” that lines the intestinal tract
–    how to eat the right balance of fermented food
–    how these foods replace enzymes lost during cooking and help with the digestion of fat

You will certainly want to begin including some of these foods in your diet, once you understand how beneficial (and delicious) they are! You may even be inspired to try your own hand at preparing them–becoming an alchemist in your own kitchen! Whatever you do, here’s to relishing this SUPER raw food!

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Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and the host of the Wise Traditions podcast (found on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google play, and at westonaprice.org). She is also the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation. Get to know Hilda and her approach to health by visiting her website chispainc.com.