Tag Archives: environment

Holistic Nutrition, Holistic Agriculture, Holistic Living!

I’m thrilled to be sharing this guest post today. Brenda Baran is a nutritional therapy practitioner and a fellow blogger at Nourished Living Network. She and her partner Levi are also revitalizing a farm and working to raise funds to do so. Today she talks about the relationship between the health of the person and the health of the land.

The human body is very complex and our environments are also very complex. This is why one answer does not fit all when it comes to diet and health. There is no one perfect diet for everyone. The perfect diet for someone depends on so many variables including their ancestry, how active their lifestyle is, how old they are, how toxic their environment is, etc. This is why when one truly practices holistic medicine, focusing on bio-individuality is essential.

Not only is considering bio-individuality essential, but also discovering the underlying cause of whatever issue or issues a person may be dealing with. For example, instead of giving someone a topical cream for a skin condition, like eczema or acne, we find out what is leading to the skin issue. Is it a nutrient deficiency? Deficiencies in vitamin A, D, and imbalances in fatty acids can lead to skin issues. Is it a toxicity issue? Sometimes we detox through the skin more when our other detox pathways are struggling. Is it an immune issue? Parasites can lead to skin issues. Is digestion working properly? Leaky gut can lead to skin issues. So on and so forth. 

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The “Foundations of Health” according to Nutritional Therapy Practitioners include:

  • Digestion
  • Blood Sugar Balance
  • Mineral Balance
  • Fatty Acid Balance
  • Hydration
  • Properly Prepared Nutrient Dense Diet.

What this means is that it is very important to assure that these foundations are all working properly in the body before moving on to more complex detailed things like hormone imbalances or mood issues for example. If someone is not able to digest their foods then they are not able to make hormones or neurotransmitters efficiently which could be an underlying cause to hormone imbalances or mood issues as we literally are what we absorb and digest. Another example would be migraines. Instead of giving someone pain killers you would first make sure to rule out food sensitivities (digestion), hypoglycemia (blood sugar balance), magnesium deficiency (mineral balance), an imbalance of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (fatty acid balance), water intake (hydration), processed, toxin rich foods (properly prepared nutrient dense diet) which are all known to contribute to migraines. 

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The human body is not the only complex system on this planet. There are endless systems that are complex, work with, and depend on one another. It seems like most of us are starting to realize that maybe the standard American diet (SAD) is not the best way. Many of us are even starting to get that conventional medicine might not always be the best answer to certain things and that conventional farming might not be in our best interests. The hard part is knowing how to change, knowing where to start, how to transition. 

My partner Levi Meeuwenberg and I, Brenda Baran, at Realeyes Homestead have a vision to not only try to live holistically but also help others to do the same. My passion is holistic nutrition and Levi’s passion is permaculture, a type of holistic agriculture. We are working on building Realeyes Homestead by combining both passions! We would like to make Realeyes Homestead a working model and demonstration site not only for our local community but also for our online community. 

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Learn more about what we are doing on our website RealeyesHomestead.com and check out our Permaculture Farm Design Plan

If you are interested in and believe in what we are doing please help support this vision by contributing to, or sharing our campaign at RealeyesHomestead.com/Indiegogo 

Thank you!

Brenda & Levi at Realeyes Homestead

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Banish plastics from your kitchen!

What do you usually use to store your leftovers? Glass? Or do you still use plastic containers? Or have you not really thought about it in some time and just throw your food in whatever you can find that’s reasonably clean? If you’re still using plastic, perhaps it’s time to rethink that decision.

Why should you banish the plastics?

1. Plastics are made from petroleum. Oil. A finite resource. A pollutant. A substance which has fueled (literally and figuratively) wars. A substance which leaked into the Gulf of Mexico for months after last April’s explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig. By cutting down on the amount of plastic you consume, you cut down on the demand for oil. This does not simply apply to plastic food containers, but also plastic packaging around food, plastic water bottles, plastic around consumer goods… I am sure you get the idea. Plus, plastic is not always recyclable throughout the country.

2. Soft plastics, such as plastic wrap, PVC, and bottle cap liners, include substances called phthalates. Phthalates act as endocrine disruptors, which means that it’s causing shifts in your hormone levels. It is also possible that phthalates can cause weight gain. Another chemical in this type of plastic is DEHA, which can get into your food if it comes in direct contact, especially if it’s a fatty food. DEHA is listed as a possible carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, but somehow a substance which can cause cancer is allowed in material which touches food.

3. Hard plastics, such a plastic food containers and water bottles, contain Bisphenol A, also known as BPA. This chemical has been getting some bad press in recent years, and with good reason. For some time it has been known that BPA mimics estrogen, which, again, will disrupt the balance of hormones in the body. This can lead to cancer and birth defects. BPA is also in a lot more substances than bottles; metal cans are often lined with BPA. When this plastic is heated, it will leak into any food it comes into contact with.

I’ve started making the switch from plastic food storage to glass. Right now I favor Pyrex storage (and I do not get paid to say that), because it is glass, very durable (it’s used in chemistry labs), and while the lids for its storage containers are plastic, they are a durable BPA-free plastic. I also will not put them through the dishwasher even though they claim to be dishwasher-safe, because I do not want to risk the heat releasing some unknown chemicals which might get into my food.

Do you want to make the switch over to glass storage containers? If you’re reading this before January 26, 2011, you’re in luck! I am offering a a set of three Pyrex storage containers to one lucky winner. See this entry to find out how to qualify.

Information from this post primarily came from the book Politically Incorrect Nutrition by Michael Barbee.

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This post is a part of Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday.