Category Archives: Real Food Testimonies

Heidi's Story

Real Food Testimonies: Heidi’s story

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Today I am welcoming Heidi from The Blessed Nest as she shares her “Real Food Testimony”…

Growing up, I ate mostly down home good Midwestern foods. Meat and and potatoes, lasagnas, and casseroles, etc., but we always had a fruit or veggie with every meal. They were all cooked from scratch with love. We weren’t allowed too much sugar or pop and had more non-processed foods than not…so my eating habits were pretty good but not perfect.

 

When I got to college, I tried to apply what I thought were healthy eating choices when perusing the cafeteria. That ended up meaning lots of salads loaded with creamy dressings followed by frozen yogurt with multiple cereal toppings. (Who wouldn’t have frozen yogurt every night if you had a machine in your house?) Well, I gained more than the Freshman 15, but never worried about it.

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The summers of my Freshman and Sophomore years of college, I worked at a camp where I continued to play hard outside but also load up on the dorm-like food, often including 2 or 3 pieces of fresh baked bread after each meal. My weight topped out at about 30 pounds higher than it is now.

My junior year of college, I started running serious distances and trained for a marathon. I lost some weight, but the hunger that running fuels, plus knowing I was burning so many calories, led me to keep eating more than I needed and whatever was convenient to eat quickly.

 

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After college, I moved to Colorado (a state which boasts one of the leanest and healthiest populations in the country), and joined a gym. I started reading more about nutrition and added weights to my exercise routine. I cut down on the massive amounts of carbs I had been consuming and started to find more creative and healthy ways of eating. I had more energy than I had in a long time and eventually lost more weight, which brought me down to my set adult weight, a full 30 lbs less than the most I weighed in college.

I fell in love, got married and luckily my new husband had some better food habits than me. He incorporated a lot of lean meats, veggies (which I had mostly hated growing up) and less processed foods. Over time, we decided that low-fat wasn’t as important as eating real food, stopped buying anything with aspartame or food dyes and looked for products with less ingredients and ones we could read. We shopped more locally (at farmer’s markets) and started to incorporate the concept of viewing food as fuel for health instead of just as something to eat because we “like it” or not eating so “we don’t gain weight.”

We’re still on our journey, but I think we’ll always be fairly moderate when it comes to our choices. I’m not opposed to some processed foods here and there but I want to train my kids to see food as fuel as well as continue to change more and more over to that mindset for myself. Exercise continues to be very important to me, but I know that health is a combination of the food you eat and the work-outs you do, not just one or the other (let alone all the other factors like toxin exposure, stress reduction, etc).

I think it’s important to do an occasional detox/fast/whole foods cleanse when I’m seeing my eating patterns getting worse. I’m about to deliver our fourth baby, but a few weeks after delivery I’m planning a 3 week whole foods cleanse (similar to Whole30 but with a few more allowances).

Food is something that is tied to many important things in life and I always want to enjoy it, but do so responsibly, knowing my body will exhibit the choices I make. My son recently said, “I don’t think I’ll like heaven if there’s not food there.”

I feel you, buddy…but the good news is there probably is, and all our options will be good ones.

Heidi

Heidi is an Adult Nurse Practitioner that works part time improving outcomes for hospitalized adult patients. There’s nothing she loves more than Jesus, her husband, and four kids (5, 4, 2, and newborn). Her hobbies are staying fit, being creative, and blogging at The Blessed Nest with a chai tea latte in hand.

 

 

 

 

Real Food Testimonies – Tina’s Story

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Today I’m welcoming Tina who is sharing her story in my “Real Food Testimonies” series!

 

Tina’s Story

Due to some medical changes in my family I started questioning what was in the food that I was putting in my family’s bodies. I started researching ingredients, additives, chemicals, nutrients, vitamins and anything else that I thought would help. The information that I started uncovering made me a bit nauseous. At that point I decided that some serious changes needed to be made in our home. From the food we ate, to the way we cleaned, to what we used on our bodies.

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How She Makes it Work

With having a family of seven (my husband, myself and our five daughters) making changes to the diet is met with some resistance. There are certain foods that they still do not want to give up regardless of how bad they are for them (ahm…..Doritos – gross!) I have come to the conclusion that I am never going to get them to eat exactly how I want them to therefore I need to stress less and make the most of what I can. With the changes to our diet I focus on their three main meals a day. This way if they ‘cheat’ and eat something for a snack that I’d prefer they didn’t it’s not such a big deal to me.

I have found that the easiest way to get them to eat what/how I want them to is by having that food readily available. I try to take the time to have fruits and veggies washed, cut and easily accessible. This keeps them from grabbing chips/crackers or some other quick item. I have also eliminated buying the things that I want to deter them from the most like chips and/or pop.

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Moving Forward

The road has been bumpy and met with some resistance, but I find it’s worth pursuing. While in the process of doing all the research and trying new things my girls have also found an appreciation for trying to remedy things naturally. They will reach for a bottle of peppermint oil for a headache rather than the Advil. They are more likely to gargle salt water, or drink tea and honey, for a sore throat rather than grab a medicine. It’s nice to know that I am making a difference even on the days I feel like everything I say is falling on deaf ears. With all the new knowledge I have now decided that I would like to go back to school for Nutritional Therapy. Nothing is better than having a child tell you “You can do it Mom, you already have us doing things right!”.

 

Tina

I’m Tina Johnston and I live in northern Ohio. I am wife to Chuck and Mom to my five beautiful daughters Mikayla, Rachel, Emily, Caitlin and Lauren. We also have our miniature dachshund, Bella, three crazy cats Gypsy, Mindy and Baby as well as a rabbit named Rocko and a gerbil. I like to spend my time reading, listening to music, rooting my girls on at soccer and swim, attending our church and just spending time with my family.

This post is shared at: Real Food Wednesday

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Real Food Testimonies: Meet Nourishing Mama!

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My journey started when I became pregnant for the first time. It was a surprise and I was ecstatic. Having been a physical education major and with my masters degree in exercise science I thought I was healthy. We are taught in school the basics of nutrition, but that would be government based nutrition (at that time was the food pyramid). So my first 3 months was a typical pregnancy. I was sick daily and I didn’t like to cook for the smells, so we ate out a lot! I basically stopped at the “M” every day on my way to work because I craved it, and I didn’t throw it up. As a side note, I have horrible mother guilt knowing what I know now and that I could have harmed my child.

Anyway, after the morning sickness was over, pregnancy was breeze…I ate the SAD (Standard American Diet) giving in to all cravings up until about the 22nd week. My OBGYN noticed that my baby was not growing properly, so I was sent to a high risk specialist. They determined that she was IUGR and my placenta was not working correctly, so they put me on aspirin and hoped for the best. Every other week I had ultrasounds to check her growth and my amniotic fluid levels. At my 39th week u/s, they determined that I did not have enough amniotic fluid to sustain her and I needed to be induced that night! I went to the hospital to start this process. I told them no medicine as I wanted to do this natural…At least one thing held-I was able to give birth naturally to my baby girl, she only weighed 5 lb 6 oz and was perfectly healthy (or so I thought…) I knew that the best option for her to be healthy was to breast feed, and I had a very supportive family and my mother did the same with her children. So she latched well and breast fed until 17 months.

I could venture to say that we all might think we are healthy. We drank skim milk, ate margarine, and whole wheat bread. I cooked with chicken breast only and ate the ‘SAD’. I thought nothing of it until something started changing, and even then I was unsure. I started having stomach cramps after eating certain foods, specifically red meat. So I avoided it and started doing a little research, but not much. I found a local farmer that raised buffalo and sold bison meat, so I decided to give it a try. To my elation, I had no stomach problems, and the taste was amazing.

The next change while my daughter was very young, was becoming a member of the local food co-op. I knew that I wanted to make her food, and the book I was reading said only buy organic produce. At that time, this was the only option for organic foods. Not much thought was given to food at that time. When she started eating solids, around 7 months or so, I had purchased some ‘puffs’, those dissolve in your mouth cereal things. They did not make ‘organic’ at the time but everyone said that she would love them. So I caved and she gobbled up 1/2 the can and with in 30 minutes had a head to toe hives rash. Can you say first time mother freak out?

Even though I knew little about nutrition, I flipped over the canister and read the ingredients-all were familiar except Red dye #40. I called the company and complained and their response was ‘well that has never happened before, so we will send you some coupons for some free cans.That day changed our lives forever. My daughter was my world and I wanted to get to the bottom of this. That just opened the ‘rabbit hole’ and remains the main reason why I do what I do. Knowledge is power.

I started buying all organic ‘processed’ foods i.e. processed frozen dinners, cereal, pizza, burritos etc. At that time I didn’t cook a lot and we went out to eat often. No thought was taken into that food at all. I started to remember recipes from my mother and grandmothers and started to re-teach myself how to cook. It was mostly chicken breast and bison to start, but at least it was a start. I was still making sandwiches for lunch and occasionally eating dinner out, but I was becoming better in the kitchen. It was a step closer, but not where I wanted to be.

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My research taught me the connection between food dye and her hives reactions. Little did I know that it would open a world of lies, corruption, misinformation, and eventually lead me to REAL FOOD. I found a nutrition seminar that was semi close to where I lived and decided I needed more info about nutrition. Being a personal trainer I knew it would not only benefit me, but my clients as well. After that class, I felt like I had more info to share but it still wasn’t enough for my family. Something was still missing.

I had continued for about 1 1/2 years to get local bison until one day, they sold the herd! What? No more bison? I love red meat! What am I going to do?

By this time we had a very small farmers market open every Saturday with fresh eggs and vegetables. I frequented the market eating and cooking as local as possible. I had become friends with one of the chicken farmers there and loved talking to them about REAL food.

I had heard of people buying 1/4 of a cow in bulk for a year or so and how tasty it was. I needed to do this. So I asked one of my farmer friends, and he said that his neighbor had an extra 1/4 steer that they were not going to use this year and needed to sell. He gave me her number and I called. I asked all the questions I knew at the time, grass fed, hormone free, antibiotic free, etc. What was the price and how much of this meat am I getting? The price was fair and it was many bags of frozen cuts of beef. From steaks and ground beef to filets and ribs. There was one problem – I didn’t have a deep freezer or a place to store it! Gasp! What can I do? I told her that I was interested but needed to find a deep freezer first and would be in touch.

As luck would have it my grandfather had an old (30 plus years) deep freezer in his shed that he was not using anymore. The freezer worked, I just needed a place for it. So I had my brother, an electrician by trade, wire an outlet and we put it outside under the carport. Not ideal but it worked. So I got my first 1/4 of beef. That was the first major food purchase that turned the Real Food eating into a REAL food Adventure! That beef was amazing, and we loved every bite!

Now that I could find beef and veggies, I was doing well. My daughter was still having issues even though we were mostly organic. I continued to dig deeper into the nutrition research.

I made the horrible mistake of switching my daughter to soy milk because she was having issues with dairy…..(again horrible mother guilt) I took her off soon after and switched to organic milk for 3 years. During that time, I had sourced raw goats milk from a local family and she enjoyed drinking that when we could get it. She again started having issues with her stomach on and off, and that is when it got serious. I had a newborn at the time and I was much healthier and knew more about nutrition. (He was breastfed for 32 months!)

It seemed like every time one of them had an issue, the doctors didn’t know what to do. They were not ‘normal‘ issues. I took her to a GI doctor and he said take her off dairy, she is lactose intolerant….UGH.

I was continuing to do research and watch our food. I had signed up for a free podcast on the internet based on REAL FOOD. I learned through one of the speakers about RAW milk and pasteurization. The expert spoke about how the lactose enzyme is actually killed in the process of pasteurization and your gut does not know how to digest it. Making most people become gassy, bloated and displaying general symptoms of ‘lactose intolerance’. I decided to find some raw milk and give it a go. At the time, I could only find raw goats milk and she was able to tolerate it well, but didn’t care for the taste. Our local co-op began to sell raw cows milk as pet food (but I later found out that they were grain fed cows). Not long after that a local farmer started selling raw cows milk at our local farmers market and we tried it! Can you say WOW? I can remember that huge taste difference. It was amazing and she had no stomach issues either! (Read more about raw milk here)

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During this time, I had been working on my culinary skills, gardening skills and managing work with 2 kids. Most peoples biggest complaint is not having time to cook meals, it takes to long, or they are just to tired to cook when they get home. I knew that giving my family wholesome, REAL food was very important and that using every resource I could think of to do that would help me. So, I did a few things to maximize my time. I utilized my crockpot 3-4 days of the week and used the ‘cook once, eat twice (or 3 times)’ method. Using a whole organic chicken for 3 meals and then saving the bones for broth is much cheaper that buying organic chicken breast and boxed chicken stock. (Make Homemade Chicken Broth)

I was so lucky to inherit both of my grandmothers’ and my mothers’ cooking skills. I don’t ever remember my grandmothers using a recipe, just a pinch of this and a pinch of that is how they cooked. As I honed my skills, it became apparent to me that this is how I will cook too. I rarely used recipes, just going off of intuition and memory.

I became very fond of my crock pot for frozen hunks of meat turned into moist and tender dinner when we were away. The next night turning that left over roast into BBQ or a stir fry with completely different flavors. Knowing how to do this saves time and money in the kitchen, and allows you to buy and EAT REAL food.

Cooking REAL food to me has become an adventure and so many people think that it has to be expensive or time consuming to be good. That’s why I like teaching cooking classes and educating people about REAL food. It can be as easy as throwing together some stuff in a crockpot in the morning for a nourishing dinner. How hard is that? It’s all about the preparation. I started trying to promote nutrition and holding cooking classes but people were just not interested. It is sad that they would rather pay $50 for a family meal at a restaurant then learn how to cook 5 meals with that same amount of money.

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When my son was born, during his first years….I was healthier, but nowhere close to how I am today. I discovered Weston A. Price during that time and started eating and cooking with a lot more traditional fats. We purchased 1/2 hogs and rendered the fat for lard, 1/4 sides of beef, whole chickens and turkeys as well as lamb. I keep all the meat bones for broth and make tallow from lamb and beef fat. Our local farmers market carries raw whole milk, cream, and kefir, which I now purchase weekly and make fresh raw butter and other tasty treats. The farmers market now have fresh chickens, all cuts of meat, bones and fat for you to purchase and even some traditionally prepared breads.

I now have a entirely new approach to food. Food is supposed to Nourish your body and keep you healthy. We supplement with Fermented Cod Liver Oil, elderberry juice, and kombucha, and have butter with every meal. I have figured out how to use all parts of the animal so we don’t waste. We add sea salt to our water, which is filtered because our water is the the worst in the country, yes country! I have a cabinet full of essential oils and natural remedies. I have a yard full of fruit trees and a large vegetable garden. We have a flock of chickens for eggs as well as a few ducks. I’d like to get a mini goat one day, but that might be pushing it!

Teaching people and educating them on what REAL food is, how to find it and how cook it has become my passion! My goal is to educate as many people as possible and plant the seed so they can do their own research and discover what I have come to love. I recently became a CHEK holistic lifestyle practitioner which encompasses everything that I have taught myself and learned. The CHEK course fueled my fire to do even more.

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My journey began 8 years ago this September. I never would have thought that becoming a mother would have led me down this path, after all, it is just ‘food’, right?

I have changed my views of what is ‘healthy’…..Real food heals and restores.

REAL FOOD, REAL LIFE, REAL SIMPLE – If you’re interested in buying real, whole foods, and live in the West Michigan area, click here for info on joining my buyer’s club!

Nourishing Mama

NM family chicken I’m Emily at Nourishing Mama, a personal trainer, CHEK holistic lifestyle coach, nutrition specialist & nutrition educator.  Currently, I am a personal trainer incorporating holistic lifestyle & nutrition into my client’s lives. I also teach nutrition at a local college & am a full-time mother.  I have a daughter who will be 8 in Sept. (the reason I am on this journey) & my son is 3 1/2.  We have a small farm of 8 chickens, 2 ducks, 2 rabbits, 3 cats, & 2 dogs that are all non-gmo/no soy fed.  We live in Pensacola, Florida.

Real Food Testimonies: Meet Beth!

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IMG_3642 Hello.  My name is Beth Lombardi.  I am a mother of two phenomenal children, a wife to an incredibly supportive husband, a certified nutrition and wellness counselor with a passion for making my home and my family as healthy as possible… and I have no stinking idea what I’m doing.  But, I’m not giving up.

Here is a bit of my journey.  My senior year in high school I started to have some pretty weird stomach issues.  My doctor took me off of red meat, soda and chocolate.  I complied, kicking and screaming.  Things got a bit better, so naturally I reintroduced soda and chocolate because red meat is known to be hard on the digestion.  Yes, you read that correctly and no it doesn’t make any sense.  

twinkie My sophomore year in college, I got food poisoning.  Some of my previous symptoms returned and I assumed they would go away when the poison was out of my body.  Months later, things hadn’t gotten better.  I went to a doctor near my school and he put me on an oral medication, I don’t recall, and nothing changed.  I don’t think I ever even did a follow-up appointment.   While home on Christmas break I saw my mother’s doctor.  He did some highly invasive tests and said that he thought I had ulcerative colitisThis started a several year long process of seeing doctors who put me on steroid treatments and sent me to specialists who would say there was nothing wrong moon face, steroid psychosis, and the doses kept getting higher.  The only other thing I was told, by my doctor, that might help was The Twinkie Diet.  No, I’m not kidding.  It was suggested that I remove all fiber from my diet so that my colon might have a chance to heal itself.  Fiber is known to be difficult to digest…unlike twinkies.  

For years, I went to gastroenterologists who would either tell me I had been misdiagnosed because of the absence of symptoms or re-diagnose me.  They would prescribe a medicine but wouldn’t go anywhere near diet.  This made no sense to me.  However, I was leaving the responsibility solely to them.  If they didn’t treat me with diet changes, I wasn’t going to make any.  I realize now, that they were being responsible.  Ideally, a doctor who works with the digestive tract would be heavily trained in healing foods and (anti)inflammatory foods, etc. That simply isn’t the case.  These doctors weren’t trained in nutrition, they were taught it wasn’t their focus, so good for them for not pretending.  

pills Here I am about ten years later, still on the rollercoaster of getting a flare-up,  trying a new medicine, finding temporary relief…only now, I’m pregnant.  With my first child I had a flare-up that lasted two thirds of the pregnancy.  The medicine I had the most success with before the pregnancy was useless.  I went through three rounds of the medicine with no change in symptoms.  Finally, my doctors (OB and GI) agreed that I should ride it out with the symptoms until after delivery.  I was terrified for my baby.  I wasn’t sure which was worse for her, the flare-up or the medicine, but I wasn’t comfortable with either of them.  

Finally, I birthed a beautiful, healthy baby girl.  I held her and nursed her and knew that I wanted to protect her from everything.  When it came time to feed her solids I postponed as long as possible.  No one could tell me the nutritional benefit of rice cereal, but everyone was sure it was the correct first food.  Here is where my whole food journey really begins.  

I FINALLY took responsibility for the information.  I met with a holistic nutritionist and began my own certification process.  It has been a bumpy road and much slower process than I envisioned, but my family of four is better for being on it.  About five months ago, I had a son and had no flare-up during that pregnancy.  My husband and I are so much more aware of the highs and lows we get when we eat processed foods, we crave and enjoy much healthier foods.  My now two-year-old daughter can recognize and ask for all kinds of fruits and vegetables.  I have removed my desire for perfect health and now am so grateful that we are all making consistent progress.  

To anyone who might be frustrated on their food journey I recommend two things:  first, listen to your body and respond.  Doctors are wonderful and necessary to our society, but no one knows your body like you do.  Secondly, perfection is an unattainable goal (trap).  Make improvements, celebrate them and let that inspire you to move further in your journey.      

If you’re interested in eating more real foods and are local to the West Michigan area, click here to join our buyer’s club!

 

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Beth is a certified nutrition and wellness consultant, married to her best friend and partner in parenting their two incredible children. She lives in a suburb of Chicago. Her days are spent celebrating the imperfection of life through God’s unwavering grace. She has just begun writing about her journey at www.freefromperfection.com

 

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Real Food Testimonies: “Fast Mixes to Real Food”

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I’m excited to have a guest post from my friend Audrey. She shares about her family’s transition towards Real Food:

We have REALLY switched the way we eat over here!

Looking back at how I started, one of the first things we tried to do was to stop buying mixes for things. We would regularly buy pancake mix, pizza dough mix, Jiffy muffin mixes, taco seasoning packets, chili seasoning packets, etc. They all seemed like a quick, easy way to eat our favorite family friendly meals. Mixes like these were always in my pantry. 

I knew if I just put the effort into it that it had to be pretty easy to just measure out my own ingredients and mix them together. I started with pizza crust, and moved on to all the others. If I can make cookies, shouldn’t I be able to make the rest? Speaking of cookies… 

Another change is that I don’t buy cookies or baked goods. We have all the ingredients on hand pretty much at all times to make brownies, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, pie, or any other normal dessert or treat that we’d want. This is a win in a few different ways. 1) I know all the ingredients, and I know that I purchased my eggs from the farm, organic butter, good flour, etc. so these will be some of the most healthy or real food cookies I could get. 2) If I don’t put forth the effort in the kitchen, we don’t eat these sugary treats. 3) I actually love to bake, so I have a lot of fun perfecting recipes and showing love to my family {and friends} by baking them goodies, like these delicious strawberry streusel muffins. Best. Muffins. Ever.

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A third way we’ve changed the way we eat/cook is by either making our own sauces or trying to find organic sauces. We at least try to find ones that have better ingredients than what we were using. For example, our most recent thing is that we love barbecue sauce and haven’t wanted to try making my own yet. Even after so many other real food changes, I kept buying our good old Sweet Baby Ray’s. I found their ingredient label on google images. 

See #1? High Fructose Corn Syrup. That’s one of the first ingredients I learned to stay away from.

So…  this time when I went shopping {at Costco- Love!} I found Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Sauce.  Here is a picture of a few of my shopping finds, including the Stubb’s. 

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It probably isn’t the BEST, but it’s a step closer to making my own at home. I’m sure I’ll make my own at home at some point, but until then, the first 5 ingredients are water, tomato paste, sugar, molasses, & distilled vinegar- all things I’d have no problem with using to make my own BBQ sauce at home. 

We also try to buy most things organic or local when possible. We even get whole grain, organic tortilla chips. What’s better than tortilla chips without guilt?! :) 

I love searching for new recipes all the time now and I seem to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but with some good music and my family all around, I love it that way. 

All this being said, this picture cracks me up every time. 

Thanks for letting me share about my journey. We continue to make changes all the time and I’m working hard to take good care of my family by feeding them well. 

If you’re interested in eating more real food and are local to the West Michigan area, click here to join our buyer’s club!

Audrey is happily married and has three kids- ages 9, 8, & 6. She is a director of an elementary school mentoring program through Kids Hope USA. She co-runs a local buyers club, and loves to cook and bake. She recently started a blog about her experiences with cooking and baking, and she loves to write, sew, read, sing, and create things. 

Why We Take Cod Liver Oil (and how to get your kids to swallow it!)

By | Health & Wellness, Real Food Testimonies | 24 Comments

When most people find out that we take cod liver oil at our house, the look on their face says it all.

Gross.

And you know what? Their assumptions are right. It tastes nasty (especially the fermented type). Over time, I think I’ve just gotten used to it and can swallow it without too much problem.

But my kids? That’s another story. Up until recently I would try to figure out every possible way to get them to take it – bribery, chasing it down with chocolate chips and even PAYING them to take it…all were unsuccessful.

I since have found THE BEST solution that has proven effective in getting my kids to swallow it without running away or gagging – all 4 of them have taken it all week with NO problems. I’ll share my fool-proof tip down at the bottom. But first, you’ll need to know why you’d even want to go through the trouble of taking this awesome supplement. (And I use the word “supplement” here very loosely – it’s actually FOOD!)

What is Cod Liver Oil?

Cod liver oil is a dietary supplement which provides great nutritional benefits – especially Vitamin A and Vitamin D. This oil has been consumed for centuries, especially by those living near large bodies of water and in traditional European villages. In fact, it is rumored that the Vikings would have a perpetual barrel drum of fermenting cod livers outside their doors.

We use it for it’s myriad of health benefits – and we especially try to take it every day during the dreary and often sunless winters here in Michigan. Vitamin D is such an important thing and is one that most of us do not get enough of. We’ve noticed less sickness, better moods, shorter duration of sicknesses when we DO get a bug, and for me (sorry if TMI) I’ve noticed an absence of those nasty pre-period headaches and cramps. BONUS!

*Please note: taking cod liver oil is NOT the same as taking fish oil capsules: 1/2 Tbsp of cod liver oil has the same amount of elongated omega 3 fatty acids as does TWELVE  1,000mg fish oil capsules.

What are the Health Benefits?

Here are list of only SOME of the many things cod liver oil has been found to possibly help with:

- provides fat soluble vitamins A and D (Vitamin D is needed to help our bodies absorb calcium, is useful in preventing depression and for the treatment of osteoporosis)

- provides elongated Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA (EPA is needed for nerve transmission and retina formation, DHA can help treat/prevent depression)

- helps promote the absorption of calcium and magnesium (which in turn can help lower blood pressure)

- can increase bone mineral density

- reduces pain and damage in inflamed joints due to arthritis

- beneficial for helping to treat colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease

- when taken orally, helps maintain soft skin and minimize wrinkles

- a study in China found that cod liver oil protects against childhood leukemia

- provides accelerated wound healing  – Source

– results in decreased incidences of Type 1 Diabetes in babies of women who ingested cod liver oil during pregnancy  – Source

“A Norwegian study of more than 68,000 women reported that female cancer patients who took daily cod-liver oil supplements had significantly reduced mortality (25% for all cancers, 45% for lung cancer) compared to women who did not take such supplements.”Source 1 and Source 2

may be a great complimentary treatment for MS (multiple schlerosis) – Source

effective in decreasing morning muscle stiffness, swollen/painful joints and overall pain intensity in those with Rheumatoid Arthritis  – Source

I also found these fascinating bits of info in an article about the manufacturing of cod liver oil – and how it was used in history as a superfood:

Cod Liver Oil in Britain

“The British desperately needed not only food but cod-liver oil. They had a history of being great cod-liver oil enthusiasts. For centuries before it was refined for ingestion, a blackish residue from livers left in barrels was used as a balm, as it still is in West Africa. In the 1780’s British medicine decided that cod-liver oil was a remedy for rheumatism, then a catchall diagnosis for aches and pains.

“During the nineteenth century, it was used to treat tuberculosis, malnutrition, and other poverty-related diseases. Between the wars, cod-liver oil became a major business in Hull and was used both for livestock and humans. During World War II, the British Ministry of Food, concerned about the effect of a tightened food supply on health, provided free cod-liver oil for pregnant and breast-feeding women, children under five, and adults over forty.

“School nurses forcefully administered spoonfuls of the vile-tasting liquid, while adults were often given it with orange juice. All this oil came from Iceland, where it contributed to a secondary Icelandic trade that remained and prospered after the war.

“The British government, believing that the oil had produced the healthiest children England had ever seen, despite bombings and rationing, continued the program until 1971. It was finally discontinued because people refused to take the oil. Icelanders, however, still take it, as do many Americans.”

Source: Mark Kurlansky, Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, pages 154-155.  -Source

What are the Best Brands to take?

Our family has only used the high-vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil from Green Pastures. Fermented is certainly tougher to get down, but because it is fermented, the nutrients are more concentrated and so you have to take less! The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends the following brands in the U.S (taken from Cod Liver Oil Basics and Recommendations).

In the United States

BEST (Available Online/Mail Order):

  • Green Pasture Products: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil
  • Dr. Ron’s Ultra-Pure: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil
  • Radiant Life: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil
  • Natural Health Advocates: Blue Ice High-Vitamin Fermented Cod Liver Oil

GOOD (and available in Stores):

  • Carlson soft gel Cod Liver Oil Super 1,000 mg capsules
  • Nature’s Answer liquid cod liver oil
  • NOW double strength Cod Liver Oil capsules
  • Sonne’s Cod Liver Oil
  • Swanson double strength Cod Liver Oil capsules
  • Twin Labs non-emulsified liquid Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver OIl shots

Here’s the trick I’ve been using to get it down!

This is the BEST trick I have come up with…during the winter months especially, I give all of us a Tablespoon of Homemade Elderberry Syrup to help prevent/treat the colds and flu. I have found that mixing the Elderberry Syrup with the squirt of fermented cod liver oil in a shot glass helps the kids get it down without any trouble! It actually tastes good! All 4 of my kids (plus my hubby) have remarked that they can take it this way.

Now, we use the liquid form and currently are using the Oslo Orange flavor. If you just cannot find a way to get that stuff down, they also offer capsules (more expensive) and even a gel form. I also know that some brands have several “kid-approved” flavors of emulsified cod liver oil. I have not tried that yet, but I know others who have had good luck with them.

Give it a try – tell me what you think. In the meantime, cheers to good health…and bottoms up!

If you’re interested in eating more real, wholes food and are local to West Michigan, click here to join my food buyer’s club!

We also use ground up fruit/veggies in a capsule and gummy form to help stay healthy. Learn more about that HERE.

 

Sources:

Cod Liver Oil: The Number One Super Food – Weston A. Price Foundation website

The Advantages of Cod Liver Oil – Livestrong.com

Update on Cod Liver Oil Manufacture – Weston A. Price Foundation website

 

Disclosures: This blog post contains some affiliate links which can earn me a small commission if clicked or a purchase is made. Thanks! Also, I am not a physician, so please do not take my suggestions as medical advice. Please seek the advice of a qualified health practitioner.

 

This was shared at: Party Wave Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Real Food Wednesdays, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Simple Lives Thursday, Wellness Wednesdays