Monday, May 19, 2008

Nutrition Guru of all Time

Addelle Davis, Pioneer in Nutrition.

Candy had a wonderful post on May 18 about crappy food in restaurants and healthy eating. I related to it as I am picky about food too. Have been ever since my hippie days. I was a big fan of Adelle Davis and my kids were raised on her recipes and theories. She was considered kind of crazy by the medical establishment of the day, but from that era resulted a huge industry of preventative health and healing through nutrition.

In Wyoming trying to find decent food, especially in a restaurant was difficult. The only place was at a grocery store in a town 125 miles away which had organic produce and other organic foods. Going to restaurants was a practice in choosing which hamburger one wanted, chicken fried chicken, or chicken fried steak. A nice piece of broiled fish? Well, if one were really lucky - it would be trout, but with some kind of oil on it.

I remember in Costa Rica how delicious the food tasted, from the markets and from the restaurants as well - the same foods supposedly that I was eating in the states - but not. These foods were bought in by locals who raised the foods. What were the fruits and vegetables fertilized with? I decided not to ask - I didn't care if it was organic and washed well. Exquisite eggs, mangos, everything edible. This experience made me realize that what we eat in the U.S. from the grocery stores closely resembled cardboard and plastic.

Being so nutrition concious has been a pain at times, because if I get ill, I often think it had something to do with what I was eating, and that I can cure it myself by correcting that eating.

This is not always so - a person from church contacted me as they had heard I was "healed" of Crohns disease. I don't know if I was healed or what, I still take my mesalamine to prevent relapse, but I haven't suffered for years badly with it. My major progress occurred when my almost son-in-law took me to an iridologist and the lady "read my book," physically and mentally, and put me on a regime of supplements and changed my eating patterns. A miracle occurred. The woman from church wanted to hear that I healed myself by eating "the right things," but I had to tell her it was a puzzle of many things coming together that bought me out of a dark siege of horrible illness. Prayer, diet adjustment, medication, supplements, unfortunately I could never rest, and just sheer grit believing I would get well. She didn't want to hear that.

I know what made me ill, besides a genetic quirk lurking and waiting - a lifetime of stress, and never resting or taking care of myself. I ate well, but rest was not a luxury I would allow myself, nor would "H." I laid myself down for a long nap today, and caught myself feeling guilty, thinking that when "H" came home, I needed to be up and working so I would get "the lecture." No. I rested. I sensed God smiling, and saying "she's getting it."

Eating well is a foundation - the rest of our life is the house. When the foundation fails, so will our bodies. I still take medicine, but I also back it up with everything I can nutritionally.

I get offended when I go to a restaurant that has a $15.00 plate (and that is not as much as many restaurants charge) and it is badly prepared. Sometimes I send it back, other times, stir it with a fork and pay for it and leave and never go back. Do not give me canned string beans that have been cooking for three hours, no way. There are plenty of good places to eat without putting up with sloppy food. I'm with Candy, my idea of a gourmet meal is not noodles with an oily sauce and rubbery shrimp. I can get that at home in a Michelini's $.98 box from the freezer.

Staying with my grandma spoiled me. I would wake up to the smell of cooking bacon, toast and eggs and homemade waffles. She would be in the kitchen washing clothes in her wringer machine and the house smelled so fresh and clean. For lunch, we would have leaf lettuce from the garden, cucumbers, yellow squash, fresh corn, and tomatoes and whatever ever other produce might be in the garden and maybe lamb chops. The table would have a vase of luxurious sweet peas draped onto the table. We might then walk two or three miles to town to shop or see a movie. Grandma lived very simply, and if we shopped, it was something she really needed and couldn't be recycled from something she found somewhere. I like my food fresh, not genetically engineered, sprayed with poison, cloned, or otherwise altered.

Adelle and grandma live on in me.


Red said...

Amen to all that you're saying.

Regarding restaurant food, you may remember that a few months ago I had made a vow that I would not sit and eat bad food in restaurants and pay for the "privilege". I complained about food twice within a few short weeks, then the occasion didn't rise again. Not so much because food in restaurants improved dramatically, more because we don't eat out as much anymore!

We are even cutting out our weekly takeaway, since we both came to the conclusion that the food we cook is better, cheaper, more nutritious... I could go on!

It's funny, when we go and do our shop, the cashiers often tell us things like, "Making something nice?"... like it's unusual for them to see people buying raw ingredients. We never ever buy ready meals, and we always cook from scratch.

Which reminds me: if you ever need/want it, I'd be glad want to give you a recipe for risotto (it's really easy to make, too, though it requires constant attention).

Captain Karen said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing with us Gardenia. I often think that many of our health problems could be "fixed" if we all went back to eating the way our grandparents/parents did. They didn't grow up on boxes of mac and "cheese", stuff that only required you to "just add water" and instant anything. It would explain (partially) why we're all getting fatter and our life expectancy is going down. My goal for this summer is to move away from the processed foods (yes, unfortunately I still eat some) and try to make the majority of my diet "fresh". Again, thanks for sharing!

Captain Karen said...

Oh, and I'd LOVE to see Red's risotto recipe!

Gardenia said...

Yes, Red - please pass on the risotto recipe - and the secret of the special touch to keep it from getting gummy!

The Manic Street Preacher said...

Chicken vindaloo and vodka. Can't get more nutritional than that ;-)

Wandering Coyote said...

Hi Gardenia,

Did you get an email from me the other day? Just wondering if I have your current email, if not. Can you Facebook it to me? Thanks!!

Cherie said...

I'm printing this up. You're speaking my language here - and better than I do it.

I smiled a this: "No. I rested. I sensed God smiling, and saying "she's getting it."'

Most excellent, Gardenia. Most excellent.