Category Archives: inspirational

Let Us Not Grow Weary

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, which is weird since that’s what most bloggers do all the time….   I had planned to sit down and finish a blog on SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), but I’m feeling prompted to just share with you what’s on my heart.  It has been a very draining couple of weeks. And it all seems to relate back to the fact that no matter how much I talk, no matter how much I tell people, however many blogs I write or classes I teach – I just can’t change anyone’s mind unless they are ready to be changed. It just isn’t in my power.

I would love to know how to inspire change in people who desperately need it. I’m so tired of seeing friends suffering with super heavy duty illnesses. I’m tired of seeing children suffering when they don’t have to. I’m weary of the news reports of all the anger and abuse, aching to see friends and children of friends burdened with depression.  One person I’ve been trying to talk to for three years, trying to share how they could change their diet and feel so much better, has now been diagnosed with cancer. Of course the children are devastated. So am I.

I want to help. I want to give people the tools to begin building a better life, better health, better mindset…. But I can’t do it by myself.

The contractor who redid our kitchen is back. He’s working on the kids’ bathroom now  (my daughter is so thankful, she can’t wait to have drawers that work again so she doesn’t have to share the only drawer with her brother).   So my contractor is wonderful, and he’s also a pastor at a little independent church a few miles away. He’s listening to me talk to him about one friend who has been sick for ever so long, who just can’t seem to catch a break, and he tells me that part of it is she hasn’t been set free spiritually. Her mind is still in chains so her body can’t heal. Ok, so my contractor isn’t a medical doctor, but he’s right.  And it explains a lot of why I can’t help some of these people, why I can’t do this by myself….

To put it another way “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” Proverbs 23:7a. 

Whether or not someone attends one of my classes, or reads a blog, or says to me “I need to get healthy,” doesn’t matter. What does matter is what is in their heart, what is their desire, what is truly important to them.  No one is going to take this health journey and succeed unless they truly believe it. They must believe they can be healthier. They must believe they are worth the effort it will take. They must be strong enough to persevere when friends or family question them.  And it isn’t ever easy.

My friend, Brenda, was remarking to me today how it always seems that when someone decides to become a Christian, makes the commitment to a new life and a journey of spiritual healing, that obstacles seem to spring up out of nowhere to sidetrack them, bog them down, take away their enthusiasm.  The same can be said for someone beginning a physical healing journey as well.  And the solution for each is the same – it cannot be done with sheer willpower, it can only be done when you realize you cannot do it alone. Reaching out in prayer, diving into God’s word, fellowship with others on the same journey, meditating on the motivation and reasons you are making this effort to bring change to your life.

let us not grow wearyDo you ever grow weary? Do you ever feel like no one is listening? Is there someone in your life your would like to motivate, but can’t seem to get them to hear you? How have you handled this situation? How do you help people start a journey to better health? Share your comments and leave a reply.

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Follow Recipes or Cook Without Them?

*Amy shares her thoughts on the idea of cooking without recipes. 

Lamb burgers may be a new Well Fed Family Cousins Camp tradition.  I say “may” because this is only our second year to have them.  But I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope we have them next year!  Judging by the way the kids gobbled them up, arguing over the last few on the platter, I’m pretty sure they would agree.  These burgers were tender, juicy, and full of flavors that made us feel like we were eating somewhere in the Mediterranean.  Right here at the lakehouse in Alabama.

The side dishes were well planned, keeping with the flavor of the burgers:  yogurt-cucumber sauce (Tzatziki), raw vegetables with hummus (homemade of course!), roasted asparagus, Well Fed Family Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad, and roasted potatoes that were specially seasoned with rosemary, parsley, and garlic.  I love it when all the items on a menu go together.  It makes the meal feel complete.  Sometimes it’s difficult coming up with sides, but that’s the beauty of starting with plain vegetables and adding your own herbs and spices:  you can create any dish you want, any time you want.  You might call it customizing your meal.

I’d love to share the recipe for the lamb burgers, but there isn’t one.  Lee is one of those kinds of people who love to cook without recipes.  She chose a few fresh herbs based on the flavor she was aiming for, finely chopped them with garlic, added salt, and mixed it all into the ground lamb.  Lee customizes most of her meals.  When she wants to cook something new, she may start with a recipe the first time and use it as  a jumping point for future attempts as she tweaks it here and there, adjusting it to her family’s tastes.  This involves a lot of trial and error, and may result in a few disappointing dishes sometimes, but it also brings about a knowledge and skill of cooking that only comes with experience.  Food Freedom is a very pleasant result.

If you are a recipe-follower like me, don’t despair.  Time in the kitchen nurtures a familiarity and skill that will lay the foundation for confident cooking and ultimately your own Food Freedom.  If you are just starting your exodus from the Standard American Diet, don’t let these non-recipe free spirits intimidate you!  I am sure that there will still be recipes in the Promised Land of Food Freedom.  Meanwhile, I’ll keep working on Lee to write down the recipe for the lamb burgers.

lamb burger plate

lamb burger with tzatziki sauce, fresh vegetables, rosemary oven fries, roasted asparagus, and Moroccan Quinoa Chickpea salad

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It Wouldn’t Be Honest If I Said I Really Liked Fish…

*Amy shares her thoughts on having to eat fish and not complain in order to be a good example to her kids at the dinner table. :D 

It wouldn’t be honest if I said I really liked fish.  In fact, in all honesty, fish is probably one of my least favorite foods, and I don’t really like seafood either (although there are a few things I can choke down if necessary). This character flaw, as my sister so sweetly describes it, has caused trouble all of my life.  In general most people like fish.  Most of society loves fish – I can say that because, trust me, fish is always on a menu and sometimes seafood is the only thing on a menu.

Truly, I wish that I liked fish (and seafood).  Tonight’s dinner would have been amazing if I did!  Lee and Mom prepared another Well Fed Family feast:  slow-cooked collard greens, fresh sweet corn on the cob, purple-cabbage vegetable slaw, cornbread …. and yes, you know where this is going … fried catfish.  After going on last night about how wonderful the green beans smelled, I was a little nervous about tonight’s meal.  I really didn’t want to smell the catfish frying; I don’t have any happy childhood memories tied into the smell of fish, trust me on this.  Thankfully, the catfish did not smell fishy!  In fact, it had a nice country-fried smell because Lee dredged it in Cajun seasoned sprouted corn flour and fried it in bacon grease. The catfish fillets looked beautiful, sizzling on the griddle all golden brown.  And the cousins were salivating over them – they couldn’t wait to “have at ‘em!”

fried catfish

Cajun fried catfish fillets

We didn’t really have what one might call a “kid friendly meal,” yet our six children ate with gusto tonight.  Some kids were not crazy about the collards or slaw. Some kids had never had catfish.  Some kids discovered they liked a new food.  Some kids confirmed they still didn’t like collards. Everybody tried everything, though, and everybody ate well.  Including me.  Since I’m being honest tonight, I need to say that things were not always this way for Well Fed Family and children.  Years ago I had a child who lived almost exclusively on grilled cheese sandwiches, Nutri-Grain bars, fruit, canned green beans, American cheese slices, and bread.  Yet tonight he ate eagerly.  And I must confess that not too long ago I would have turned up my nose at the catfish and collards myself.

What happened that caused a picky eater to become adventurous and eager, and a life-long confirmed fish-hater (I’m not using that word lightly) to actually look optimistically at a catfish dinner?  And actually eat it without choking?  I believe the answer is Real Food.  Real Food is what happened.  Over a period of 11 years, we phased out the processed foods engineered to always look/taste/smell the same regardless of the season, location, and shelf-life.  We gradually replaced that food with the real stuff that’s always different depending on the season and location, and never has a shelf-life.  Over time, we re-trained our taste buds to enjoy new textures, colors, and flavors; I will take it a step further to say that our taste buds now expect to experience variation with every meal.  It wasn’t something we intended to do, and there were battles along the way, but it is a very pleasant result that has even been good for me.

Tonight was memorable.  Six children, some of whom used to be picky, ate adventurously and asked for more!  And, yes, so did I.  That’s just one of the things Real Food will do for ya.

catfish plate

Cajun catfish, sprouted cornbread with raw butter, sweet corn, collards, vegetable slaw

Note from Lee: the catfish fillets came from the Fish Market connected to the Auburn University School of Fisheries & Aquaculture. The market also sells tilapia and shrimp raised locally.

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Precious Memories

*Enjoy another blog from Amy as she shares memories from our childhood dinners.

There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh green beans cooking, especially in the summer when they are in season.  Aromas can dig deep into the mind revealing long buried memories making them just as fresh as if they were yesterday. And that is what happened as the savory scent of green beans cooking with onions and bacon filled the house tonight as Well Fed Family prepared dinner on the official Day 1 of Cousins Camp.  It’s a comforting, homey aroma that takes me back to the days when I was a little girl and my grandmother snapped beans on her back porch in West Virginia, and then cooked them for a family feast that night.

pork chop dinner cousins camp

family dinner

 

Grammy’s house had a back porch that wrapped around two sides and the back corner of the house with a portion enclosed for a laundry room and storage area.  The enclosed area was just off the kitchen, and always smelled like fresh produce.  I remember playing on her outside back porch with Lee and smelling the fresh, raw beans as our Grammy snapped and strung them.  Later the wonderful smell of the beans cooking permeated the downstairs.  We would come in for the family meal, then return to the yard where Lee and I ran around catching fireflies.  I remember how the grass felt as I ran barefoot through her yard, running back to the porch to show everyone the firefly I had just caught.  And now our children are growing up with their own special memories tied to the wonderful smell of fresh green beans simmering on the stove in summer.

 

We had a full day today that began with worship, followed by wave jumping in the boat and swimming off the dock.  As dinner cooked, the house was filled with the aroma of simmering green beans and the noise of bustling cousins horsing around.  When the meal was prepared and on the table, we sang the Doxology together before digging in.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly host

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

pork chop plate cousins camp

pork chops, green salad, sweet and white oven fries, and slow cooked green beans

Tonight’s menu included grilled pork chops and those fresh green beans from Randle Farms, homemade oven fries, and a fresh salad (the lettuce was from Malco’s, a Tennessee farm produce stand) with homemade vinaigrette (using fresh herbs from the backyard).  The chops were tender and savory, full of flavor.  As my 8 year old daughter hungrily ate all the crispy fat from the edge of her chop, we remembered the Mother Goose rhyme about Jack Sprat:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat

His wife could eat no lean;

And so betwixt the two of them

They licked the platter clean.

 We talked about how modern illustrations of that rhyme show Jack Sprat as skinny and his wife as plump, when the reality should be the opposite because we know that it’s too much lean protein that adds weight, not fat.  Eating fat doesn’t make you fat.  Interestingly, the name “Jack Sprat” may have been used to describe people of smaller stature several hundred years ago; not far off base since robust health is tied to the important fat-soluble vitamins that aren’t well metabolized when you eat only lean.

storm cousins camp

storm rolling in over Lake Martin 

Just as dinner was winding down, the weather radio alerted us to a severe thunderstorm headed our way.  Everyone jumped up to check their weather apps, grab the swimsuits drying on the deck, and make sure everything on the dock was tied down tight.  Then we stood on the porch and watched the sky turn from the beginnings of a beautiful sunset to dark, angry clouds pulsating with lightning.  Once the wind picked up and the lightning intensified, we came inside for dessert: homemade ice cream, Nourishing Traditions-style.  While we ate we planned out our activities for the week and had fun taking silly panorama pictures with our phones.  The evening wound down with a game of Clue (the very one that Lee and I played when we were girls) while Lee and I worked on Well Fed Family stuff.

clue cousins camp

Professor Plum in the conservatory with the rope?

 

Fresh green beans with sliced onion, salt and pepper, and a dollop of bacon grease – set for a slow, lengthy simmer.  There’s a lot tied in to a pot of beans. It’s real food for a real family that creates real memories for all generations.

 

For we are the aroma of Christ to God

among those who are being saved

 and among those who are perishing.

2 Corinthians 2:15

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Meaningful Meals

*Welcome Amy as she contributes her blog post today!

Well Fed Family is together this week for our annual Cousins Camp on Lake Martin in Alabama.  While the emphasis for the week is reuniting with family, food plays a big part.  We spent time together planning the menu and purchasing food. Together we will prepare it and, most importantly, eat it.  All of this is done in fellowship together.  As we nurture our relationships and build each other up, we are also nurturing our bodies and making them stronger.  Healthy food, joyful fellowship, and thankful hearts contribute to good digestion, which creates healthy bodies.  One might say it’s a beautiful cycle, as a healthy body is better able to participate in joyful fellowship, have a thankful heart, and digest food well.  While we don’t have ultimate or complete control over our health, we are certainly having a good time doing what we can!

grilled chicken platter

Rora Valley Farms grilled chicken

Lee and I thought it would be fun to blog this week about our meals, and maybe share a recipe or two.  We will definitely have photos!  We based much of the menu on what our mother will be receiving in her CSA box this week, other seasonal foods, and special dietary needs  (some folks are currently gluten free).  We are looking forward to catfish, grilled pork chops, lamb burgers, grilled chicken, and everyone’s favorite grilled hamburgers.  Some of our sides will include corn on the cob, collard greens, potato salad, green beans, quinoa, asparagus, Nourishing Traditions baked beans, and roasted potatoes.

grilled chicken dinner from cousins camp

grilled chicken, sprouted brown rice, sauteed squash and leeks

Our first night’s feast was simple: grilled chicken, sprouted brown rice, and squash.  In fact, it sounds kind of boring.  But this was the meal that gave us the idea for this series.  When we thanked the Lord for those who prepared our food, it suddenly dawned on us that we could associate a name and face with each and every dish on our table.   Noah Sanders, of Rora Valley Farm, raised and processed our chicken.  He has a wife and baby; his family is just beginning.  Our mother has supported his farm and family for at least three years now.  The sprouted brown rice came from To Your Health Sprouted Flours, a flourishing company from right here in Alabama owned by Peggy Sutton.  We have been purchasing from Peggy since maybe 2007, back when she was still selling baked goods.  And finally, our squash and leeks came fresh from last week’s Randle Farms CSA box.  This well established family farm provides this community with pastured meats, lots of delicious vegetables, and amazing strawberries and blueberries. (I would also like to mention the farmer who provided our delicious raw milk, but …)  Now mindful of these connections, dinner was even tastier.

 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is

 than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

Proverbs 15:17

What is it that makes a meal delicious?  This week Well Fed Family is reminded that there are several components of a meal that work together to make it delicious, memorable, and nourishing.  Of course the food itself should be fresh and nutritious.  But there is much more.  Enjoying a meal with loved ones is very important; it’s always better to eat with someone than all alone.  Preparing the meal in joyful fellowship with one another also matters.  An atmosphere of joyfulness and thankfulness sets the stage for good health.   But let’s not forget where it begins: on the farm, with those families who intentionally raise or grow your food in a spirit of joyfulness and thankfulness, allowing the animals and crops to flourish in a way that glorifies the Lord.

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Mom’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Amy and I both owe a big heartfelt thanks to our mom for teaching us to cook. Some of my earliest memories are in the kitchens of all the different places we lived.  Playing under the table while mom cooked dinner, licking beaters from the mixer after she made a cake, helping roll the Snickerdoodles in the sugar or press the crisscross marks into peanut butter cookies.  As we grew older she encouraged us to find recipes we wanted to try on our own. She even  encouraged us to enter the Girl Scout Bake Off. I remember when I was in 6th grade she bought ingredients for three or four pound cakes and let me practice before the big event. I actually won a prize!  In high school she occasionally assigned us times to plan and make dinner, which is when I think I first tried making lasagne and french bread.

By the time I went to college I was a confident enough cook that I wasn’t forced to rely on frozen dinners or the campus cafeteria. My roommate and I actually used the kitchen in our college apartment and had friends over for homecooked meals.  Cooking and eating at home saved us a lot of money when my husband and I first married and had to live on graduate student salaries. Now our kids are becoming skilled cooks in their own right. What a wonderful legacy!

Kristy Gilliland, Jane, LeeOf course there were cakes every year – homemade ones which have spoiled me for any other kind of cake. I remember a big Pink Lemonade Cake with marshmallow flowers, and a Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake on my 16th birthday. One family favorite I want to share with you in honor of Mother’s Day is our Mom’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake. I can remember eating this cake as a very young girl. It is one of our Dad’s favorites, too. It goes well with a cup of coffee, or a big glass of milk. If no one is looking you can even lick the cinnamon sugar crumbs off the plate when you are done.

Mom's Sour Cream Coffee Cake
 
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
 
This moist spicy cake has been a family favorite since we were little girls.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups plus 2 Tblsp cane sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (non aluminum)
  • ½ tsp baking soda (non aluminum)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Mix 2 Tblsp of sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Butter a 9" bundt pan or angel cake pan.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. In a mixer, cream together the butter and remaining 1½ cups sugar.
  5. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla to the butter mixture, mixing well.
  6. Blend in the flour, baking powder and baking soda, mixing until smooth.
  7. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.
  8. Sprinkle half of the nuts and half of the cinnamon sugar evenly onto the batter. Spoon in the remaining batter.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and cinnamon sugar on the top.
  10. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Cool the cake for 20 minutes in the pan before removing from the pan.

 

We’d love to hear your memories of mom, share your favorite recipe, or tell us how you first learned to cook.  Leave us a comment in the comment box, or click on the “leave a reply” link at the top near the title of this article. Tell us how you are leaving a legacy of cooking for your kids.

Sierra Exif JPEG

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Secrets to Controlling your Genes

Ben Lynch

Dr. Ben Lynch

Dr. Ben Lynch runs the website MTHFR.net where he posts his latest findings and research dealing with the MTHFR genetic mutations that so many people around the world have.  In spite of the health challenges faced by people with these genetic mutations (including the doctor, his wife and three children) Dr. Lynch still says we are not our diagnosis, we are still in control of so much simply because we can control our environments.

He gives as an example the fact that nearly 50% of people of Mexican heritage, and a large percentage of Caucasian and black Americans all have some kind of MTHFR mutation that results in neural tube defects, but people of Italian descent living in Southern Italy who have these same mutations do not have the problems with neural tube defects simply because their lifestyle and environment make up for their genes.

In reality everyone can have an impact for good by what we do to manage our environment. Dr. Lynch says one of his mentors was Dr. Lipton who taught at Lynch’s medical school, as well as produced a DVD about the impact of lifestyle. Lipton taught that everything we do in our life has an impact on what goes on with our bodies.

  1. We can be proactive and seek out dietary changes to bring about healing such as the GAPS diet, the Paleo Diet, or other clean-eating, nutrient-dense, probiotic rich food tradition.
  2. We can avoid using toxic pesticides inside our house and on our lawns, avoid harsh chemical cleaners and detergents, and make our homes as non-toxic as possible. Just like agricultural insecticides are killing off the bees, so are the toxic chemicals in our home environments causing injury to ourselves and our families.
  3. Even our state of mind can bring health or sickness. When we wake up grumpy, irritable and pessimistic this turns on our sympathetic nervous system and floods our body with negative hormones and neurotransmitters. Instead of allowing our body to work at fighting the toxins outside in our environment, instead it now has to work overtime just to detoxify those negative stress hormones, causing us to be more susceptible to sickness.
  4. Keeping our digestive tract populated with healthy, strong gut bacteria is important. Overgrowths of bad bacteria such as Candida will produce acetylaldehydes which have to be detoxified and cleared away. Beneficial bacteria actually absorb toxins for you, and even make certain vitamins for you thereby taking a load off your methylation pathways.
  5. Methylation is a critical function your body needs in order to keep your DNA regulated. If your DNA isn’t regulated then everything else can spiral out of control and you get cancer and many other conditions.
  6. Dr. Lynch reminds us that we are not born with things like bipolar, cancer or autism, but rather these kinds of conditions are environmentally triggered. If we life a life that is focused on eating well, sleeping well, exercising, living well and eliminating the toxins from our environment then we are on the right path. We need to be motivated and take the time and effort to understand and educate ourselves and others on important things like eliminating GMOs from our diet, focusing on organics and growing our own food and finding grassfed beef and eggs.
  7. Lastly we need to seek out integrative forms of healthcare, because the more advanced we get the more we realize that we need to return to our roots and live more simple lives. Follow the example of the backyard squirrel – he runs around outside all day, doesn’t eat anything processed, and then goes home and sleeps with his family and doesn’t worry about GMO pine nuts.

Be like the squirrel, find a good backyard and eat natural foods. That will control your environment in a positive way and help to keep the negative genes from getting activated and turned on. squirrel from Marie

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Sacred Fat

This blog post is a product of a lot of studying and thinking for a long period of time. Amy and I have talked extensively about it, she’s texted, emailed and phoned me back with random thoughts, Bible verses and other ideas as they’ve occurred. I’d like to write something more detailed eventually, but I think it’s important to write something now.

caravaggio sacrifice of Isaac

Caravaggio Sacrifice of Isaac

Ok, it started with the word Sacrifice.  Defined as the act of offering to God something precious; or the item itself that is being offered; it is also the surrender of something for the sake of something else – something given up or lost.  So something is only a sacrifice when it is meaningful, when there is hardship involved, and when we do it for a greater purpose.  It is important to get that definition of sacrifice in your head, let it sink in.  It’s not really a sacrifice unless what is being given up is something precious.

It is this misunderstanding of sacrifice that I did not fully comprehend and therefore I was able to have this disconnected view of scripture vs. what I personally was doing and what I believed.  Growing up in the 70s and 80s I remember the legendary Time Magazine cover with the eggs-and-bacon frowning face, I memorized the food pyramid with the “fats and oils sparingly” near the top. I bought things because they were fat-free, I tried to drink skim milk (and decided that no milk was better than skim milk – gag!).

Not fully getting the depth of what a sacrifice actually is made it so hard for me when I would read from Exodus or Leviticus about all of the sacrifices required from the Israelites.  Like this one from Exodus 29 “take from this ram the fat, the fat tail, the fat on the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, both kidneys with the fat on them, and the right thigh…it is the ram for the ordination…burn it up…it must not be eaten, it is sacred.”  Or this one from Leviticus 3 “from the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the Lord: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys.”

I mean really, why is there such detail? And why specifically those parts? I remember reading those passages years ago and thinking God wanted all the gross stuff and he left all the normal bits for the Israelites, He’s such a benevolent Lord letting them keep the steaks and the chops while he took the fat and the liver.  But if that were true, it wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice now would it?

butter and sliceIt took me a long time to get it, and it wasn’t until I read about Dr. Price’s villagers in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, and about how many of those cultures had sacred foods, that these thoughts began to take shape.  I read about the Swiss villagers in the Loetschental Valley who filled a bowl with the deep orange-yellow butter made from the cream of the cows eating the fresh, green grass of spring. They would place a candle wick in this bowl of vitamin-rich butter, light the wick and place it in a sanctuary specially built just to honor God for giving them this precious food that gave life and health to their village. Native American Indians in northern British Columbia would hunt moose, and after killing one the very first thing they would do would be to open it up, and in the back of the moose just above the kidney would be two balls surrounded by fat. They would remove these and cut them up into as many pieces as there were people in their family and each person, child and adult, would eat his piece. These two fatty bits were the adrenal glands of the moose which we now know are the richest source of vitamin C in all animal or plant tissues.  Natives living on islands near the Great Barrier Reef would purposefully attract sharks and then dive in after them armed with pointed sticks, to slip coconut fiber ropes over the sharks’ heads and pull them to shore because sharks livers were a vital part of the foods they needed to stay healthy.

Learning about all of these people all around the world who put forth so much effort just to have certain foods I began to understand something. All of these highly-valued foods were similar to the very items called for in the sacrifices of the Israelites that I was having such a hard time understanding.

Unger’s Bible Dictionary tells of a breed of sheep raised during Bible times in the Middle East bred to have a particularly luscious and fatty tail. This tail and its rich fat were forbidden to be eaten if the animal was part of a sacrifice offered to God. Also forbidden to be eaten was the fat from around the stomach, entrails and kidneys – all of the richest parts from which we would use nowadays to make high quality tallow. Unger’s goes on to explain that the fat was the richest part of the animal and stood for healthfulness and vigor.

In my past readings of scriptures about sacrificial laws I was approaching it with a modern worldview brainwashed by the government agencies dictating diet advice that condemned fat as bad, said organ meats were dangerous, and told us to eat lean meats instead.  I should have trusted God instead of buying those lies. Isaiah 55 says “Listen, listen to me and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare….For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Because of Dr. Price’s writings, and because of the work of Sally Fallon Morell in Nourishing Traditions, I understand that organ meats are superfoods full of vitamins crucial to health; I know that the fats from grazing free-range animals are rich in vitamins that work as activators for the minerals and other nutrients we eat. I’ve learned these fat-soluble activators are essential to maintaining fertility, growth and health in all humans. And now I understand that God was truly asking for a sacrifice, something that would have been a real hardship to nomadic people whose very life depended on the animals they herded. God commanded them to give to Him the most valuable parts of the very best animals they owned.  The Bible, especially the Old Testament, is filled with expressions using fat to represent something wonderful – “the fat of the earth”, “the fat of the wheat, of the oil, and the wine,” even “the fat of the mighty”.

burnt-offeringNot only were the Israelites called to sacrifice these choicest of parts, but then they would burn the fat on the altar with fire.  Just imagine the aromas that would release – the Bible calls it a “sweet savor unto the Lord”, but anyone who has smelled grilling hamburgers, steaks, or even better, pit barbecue, can attest to the mouthwatering scents that fill the air around those events.  The sacrifices of precious fat and organ meats given over to God on the fire of the altar were the way man could show his complete surrender to God, to show his heart was pure and ready to be obedient. And when a different animal was slaughtered destined to become food rather than sacrificed, the fat, organ meats and choicest bits would be even more appreciated knowing that they were good enough to be given to the Lord.

There’s so much more to say, more directions to go with these thoughts – how did we end up on the road to thinking fat was bad? Why did we think we could improve on fat by making trans fats, fake fats and industrial fats? When we are poor stewards of God’s creatures feeding them foods they were not created to eat, making them live in ways they were not meant to live why are we shocked to learn their fat (and meat) no longer provides what we need?  But I need to stop now. I’m very interested to hear your thoughts, to find out if this has sparked an “aha!” moment for you, too, like it did for me. Please leave a comment by clicking on the “leave a reply” link next to this article!

I’m linking this up with the Easter Sunday Social.

Sunday Social Blog Hop

Sunday Social Blog Hop

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Sunday Social Blog Hop for Easter Sunday April 20, 2014

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Welcome!

What Is The Sunday Social Blog Hop?

A virtual “Sunday Social”, where we all gather together and share good food recipes and be an encouragement to one another with articles of spiritual and inspirational nature. Come join us, submit YOUR articles, browse around and visit a site or two and learn some new recipes and be encouraged!

This Blog Hop is being hosted by:

Simply Natural Network

Kat @ Simply Living Simply

Marci @ Amazing Graze Farm

Lee @ Well Fed Family

Sara @ The Granola Mommy

Tessa @ Homestead Lady

Pam @ Thankful Expressions

Priscilla @ salam mama

Angela @ Grassfed Mama

What Can I Post?

All of your wonderful tried-and-true family favorite food recipes AND Inspirational/Spiritual/Religious encouragement type posts!

*Make sure and include either a text link or the blog hop button below (copy/save) in your linked post.

We would be pleased as punch if you wanted to put this button in your sidebar:

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How Can I Be A Featured Blogger?

By linking up! Our featured blogger is chosen each week at random by our Co-hosts…and we hope to have YOU as our next featured blogger!

If you are selected as “Featured”, make sure and grab your button (just copy/paste):

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**Please note: By linking to this Blog Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include 1 photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way. So you don’t miss a single Blog Hop, we will also add you to our e-mail reminder list. For a little extra exposure/marketing BONUS, we will also “PIN” your submissions on our PINTEREST Board-HOP on over and check that out….HERE! Just a quick reminder: All posts are welcome, however let’s keep them uplifting, encouraging, respectful and kind…otherwise they may be removed**

Congratulations to our Featured Bloggers:

Inspirational/Spiritual:

Faithful Feat

What

I’m a WHAT? help meet

Recipes:

Taylor Made Ranch

Thousand-Island-Dressing-TaylorMadeRanch

MYO Thousand Island Dressing In Minutes

Let the blogging begin…

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