It was inevitable that moving to the city would introduce me to some new urban lingo. I recently came across the term "Crunchy Mama" and I find it kind of amusing. For those new to the term, Crunchy is used as a adjective for someone who has adjusted their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Former labels include tree-huggers or neo-hippies. Think "Crunchy Granola Eater".
From the urban dictionary, a "Crunchy Mama" is described as one who supports homebirth, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, cloth-diapering, co-sleeping, peaceful parenting, etc. These ideas can also extend into food as some Crunchy people adjust their diet to match their philosophical ideas.
I guess you could call me a "Crunchy Doc" then. I too question the established medical authority. I support the natural methods that have sustained human beings for thousands of years. I raise my own children this way. We chose to call our shop Elder & Sage because we believe these methods are old (elder) and wise (sage). We seek to preserve that wisdom to pass down to future generations because it works.
Parents who want the best for their children will follow their own instincts or educate themselves when instinct is lacking. Perhaps that means they will go against the status quo or what the established authorities tell them is best. I do not see that as neglect. I see that as very dedicated and loving parents that are willing to make themselves all kinds of uncomfortable in this world for the sake of their children.
I go against the status quo all the time. In fact, I highly encourage my clients to do the same. After all, how can we ever hope to change what is regarded as the status quo?
So, if you:
Had a homebirth
Avoid processed foods
Eat real food
Drink raw milk
Prefer Natural Remedies
or are generally interested in any other Crunchy thing...
Come on in and make yourself at home.
- Dr. Kathryn
Disclaimer Time: I am not a licensed medical doctor. I am a classically trained Naturopath from a small local Naturopathic school who uses natural remedies along with lifestyle and dietary recommendations. Any suggestions I make are entirely up to the individual to either follow or not to follow. If you have a medical condition, seek a qualified medical professional. I don't diagnose or prescribe. So if you like that sort of thing... don't come see me.
I have mixed feelings about juicing. I normally try to promote dietary habits that would have been possible over 200 years ago because I figure the human race did pretty well for hundreds of generations before juicers, refrigerators, and microwaves were invented. Juices were certainly made over 200 years ago but without refrigeration the only way to consume juices on a regular basis were in fermented form. During apple or grape harvest I imagine they would allow the kids to get a sugar rush on some fresh cider or grape juice but the rest would be fermented into hard cider or wine to warm the adults on winter nights. We need to remember that juicing is not a normal way of consuming foods.
That being said, I still do recommend juicing not in spite of our modern eating habits but because of them. I'm sure it is no surprise to anyone reading this blog that the average American does not eat very healthy. The Standard American Diet is horrendous when it comes to actual nutrition. And people are just plain sick from these diets and the stress of modern society. Juicing is a great way to get a concentrated amount of vitamins and minerals into a very malnourished and depleted body. It helps the body to cleanse and detoxify itself and is a great cure for many modern diseases (*gasp!* Did I say cure? Don't tell the FDA!).
One of the main benefits of juicing is that you don't have to chew. The blender or juicer breaks down the tough cellulose wall of the plant and releases all of those nutrients. So instead of just one salad, you get the nutritional equivalent of sixty! But don't discard that pulp, it can be used in meatloaf, sauces or other dishes for added fiber. Vegetable and fruit fiber are much easier on the digestive tract than grain fiber, which can actually contribute to intestinal problems.
I do recommend getting a good juicer but it doesn't have to be expensive. There are many out there and a lot of people will tell you to be sure you don't get this or that kind because it heats up the juice and you lose some nutrients. I wouldn't worry about that too much. The benefits of even a poorly prepared juice far outweigh the minor loss of enzymes. You will want to get one that is easy to clean though. Unless you plan on juicing things like wheatgrass the average juicer will be fine for your daily needs. If you insist on getting the best then I would recommend a Champion or Jack LaLanne Juicer. I'm sure there are others but if you feel like arguing with me you're missing my point. Feel free to do some research on your own.
I also recommend balancing out the nutrients in your juice with protein and fats by adding a couple of raw pastured eggs and some homemade sour cream or coconut oil. This is what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride calls a GAPS milkshake and it is excellent for healing the gut lining and detoxifying the liver. The fat soluble vitamins included help you to absorb the minerals in the juice better. Plus it is really tasty! For best results use 50% vegetable for therapeutic benefits and 50% fruit for taste. Or you can try one vegetable and two fruits like my Live Food instructor taught me. She makes a beautiful apple, pear,
Ingredients to be cautious with are raw spinach, kale, beet greens, swiss chard, or other leafy greens high in oxalic acid. It's fine to use these occasionally but vary your greens. I've seen too many clients rave about their spinach salads while complaining of bone loss and kidney stones! Beets are an excellent blood cleanser but use a small amount at first if you are not used to them. It can cause a very strong cleansing reaction if you do too much too fast. Herbs are the same way, be careful adding parsley, cilantro or other herbs. Many herbs have strong cleansing actions and some can even be dangerous in large amounts. I once did a green drink almost entirely composed of cilantro for its "heavy metal pulling" action. To this day I cannot stand the smell or taste of cilantro. Let's just say I got very sick. =)
Vary your fruits and vegetables. All fruit juices have a high concentration of sugar and acids that can irritate your digestive system. If you frequently have loose stools or diarrhea I would recommend waiting until the stools firm up before drinking fresh juices.
The best time to consume your juice would be first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. For serious health issues start with just a small amount, maybe even a teaspoonful, and work up slowly. Remember that these are concentrated foods, more like a medicine than just a drink.
To Your Health!
I love the idea of bartering! I wish the phone company would barter, or maybe my mortgage lender. =)
Alas, money is still required in this world but since we are just a small local business, there are still opportunities for a mutually beneficial bartering relationship. So if you have a skill you would like to share in exchange for a consultation with me, here's what we'd like to have.
Painters and Artists - When we opened, the playroom was my office. It was small and dark. When we stopped offering massage I switched offices but the playroom is still small and dark. We haven't been able to find time to repaint the walls a lighter color so we would love to barter that service. Or better yet, are you an artist? I'd like to see a nice kid friendly mural in there.
Graphic Designers - Our business cards need a makeover. We also do advertising in Natural Awakenings magazine and I haven't had time to produce a new ad for them. Are you willing? See below for our terms.
Health Services - Did you ever hear the one about how a doctor is her own worst patient? Yeah, I get that. My parents and I could really use a chiropractor and my husband needs a dentist. These are all things we will pay for ourselves if it gets too bad but it would be nice to barter the maintenance cost right?
Accounting - We have a CPA and they are really good. But like any good CPA, it gets expensive too. So if there are any accountants out there with poor health, I'm your gal.
General Maintenance - Our nice yellow awning gets awfully dirty from all the street traffic on Fulton. If power-washing happens to be your personal skill, I'm all for it. We would also like to eventually refinish our hardwood floors here in the shop.
Family Life - My husband stays at home with our two kids but he also needs time for teaching his internet classes. I think it would be great to have someone do the dishes or general housecleaning for him so he can do some other creative projects around the house. We could also use a regular babysitter, maybe just once a week or even just occasionally. We don't get out much and our kids are homeschooled. I think every parent could use a break once in a while. Ideally I'd like to have someone watch/play with the kids at our house once a week.
Suggestions? Do you have a skill that you think we could benefit from? All you have to do is ask.
Now for the sticky part, what is all of this worth? My consultation rates are $75 for an hour and $45 for a half hour. If you are bartering something that benefits the shop I am willing to barter the entire cost of a consultation. If it something for just me and my family then I will only be able to barter for 60% of the cost (the shop still has to get paid something). So, that would make a one-hour consultation cost $30 and a half-hour cost $18 and the rest would be bartered. The rate of barter depends on what you are willing to agree to.
If you would like to barter your services in exchange for natural health consultations with me (Dr. Kathryn) then you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been very pleased and excited about the results my clients are seeing on the GAPS Nutritional Protocol! In December I decided to go on the diet myself to see what benefits I might achieve. It has been fascinating watching my body cleanse and heal itself of long standing symptoms. After all these years of good eating and using herbs to cleanse my body I was surprised to see how much more needed to be done. The rest of my family has since gone on the diet and we are seeing good results all around. While my three-year-old and six-year-old have had some difficulty giving up some favorite foods their behavior and health has improved significantly!
Here are just a few more examples of what people are saying about the GAPS Nutritional Protocol:
"Week 5 already. wow, what seemed like an insurmountable task has become a part of my life. Thanks so much Dr. Kathryn for having the GAPS training. I feel so much better already. "
"Very excited--one month on the full diet, and I am doing a lot better than my first visit!! My body seems to be responding very well. Thank you Dr. Kathryn!! So happy that you put me on this. It's simply wonderful :)"
"Normally dinner time is a struggle no matter what we serve but the girls are branching out and starting to like other things. They didn't even complain about the onions and carrots in the chili!"
"I can't believe this is my 11th week on the GAPS Diet!!! How far I have come in feeling better!"
"I am not 100 percent healed yet but I am not using the prescription drugs that I was for the discomfort of acid reflux anymore. My stomach is healing."
"I wanted to share that since being on the GAPS Diet, I have lost 10 lbs, have more energy, am happier, have learned so much/still learning and love that!"
In just a few months so many people are finding relief from food sensitivities, digestive issues, eczema, anxiety, depression and more. While it may take more time for some, the signs of improvement are there. Many of you have experienced having a Compass Assessment from me (the hand thing) and in just a few months on the GAPS Nutritional Protocol every client has seen their bio-markers go down without even taking the recommended supplements from the report. This is true healing!
I hope that I have been able to express just a little bit of my excitement and gratitude for being able to share this important work from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
To Your Health!
I've never been a big fan of ham. I'll take sausage and bacon over ham any day. But I never really thought about pork much at all until I went through my naturopathic training. Then I learned that pork is considered separate from all the other meats because it can contribute to disease. After many years of avoiding pork altogether I started to wonder what it was about pork that was so bad. Here's what I've learned:
Now for the good news. If you really happen to like eating bacon or sausage, or yes even ham, it turns out you still can. If you are careful.
Kathryn Doran-Fisher is a Traditional Naturopath, Certified GAPS Practitioner and owner of Elder & Sage.