I was a sickly child and hated it. I was healthy for the first year of my life when we lived on a farm in New York, but from the time we moved to L.A. when I was 13 months old, I was sick with debilitating asthma and allergies.
I started to pay close attention to my health in my early 20s. Now, at 75 and extremely healthy, I can look back and see what really changed things around for me.
In the last 13 years, I've moved from Los Angeles to Santa Fe, New Mexico, then to Durango, Colorado, and now I live in Berthoud, Colorado. Every time I moved, I suffered from some asthma and allergies — after being very healthy for so many years.
Even though I've been eating only fresh organic, clean foods — locally grown when possible — for 53 years, I still experienced these problems upon moving.
Here are some of the surprising things I've discovered.
1. Make friends with raw, organic, local honey.
Raw, organic, local honey — honey that has been produced by beehives that are within 25 miles of where you live — works like a homeopathic remedy. As the bees go from plant to plant, they pick up pollen, which shows up in the honey. Last year, right after we moved to Berthoud, I was extremely allergic, and this year I have no allergies at all.
I found a wonderful beekeeper around the corner from us and I've been eating one teaspoon of her delicious raw organic honey daily, all year. I did the same thing in Durango, with the same results! But I suffered a lot in Santa Fe because I didn't know about the importance of honey.
2. Pay attention to your food and climate.
From the time I moved to Santa Fe, I started to get a lump of mucus in my throat that just wouldn't go away. Over time, it got worse and worse and when we moved to Berthoud, I finally saw a wonderful naturopathic doctor who diagnosed the problem (traditional doctors were no help at all).
"When you moved out of California, you needed to change your diet. You can't eat the same when you live in a climate that gets cold in the winter. Cold foods in the winter affect the spleen, so now your spleen is not doing its job and this is causing the mucus problem. You can't eat cold foods until the nights are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This means no salads or cold smoothies in winter. All your food needs to be heated."
I was shocked! No salads! No smoothies! These had been a daily part of my diet for years. But I followed her recommendations and stopped eating all cold foods until summer arrived. And it worked!
3. Hydrate frequently.
The dryness of New Mexico and Colorado, compared to L.A., also exacerbated the problems. The asthma vanished as soon as I started to drink more water and humidified our home.
4. Eat plenty of fermented foods.
As great as my health was for many years, I knew it could be better, but I wasn’t sure what else to do. As far as I knew from my research, I was eating very well. What was missing?
When I discovered that 80% of our immune system is in our gut and that our modern lifestyle often decimates our beneficial gut flora, I added many fermented foods to my diet. In fact, I've become proficient at making my own fermented foods — something I've come to greatly enjoy.
Even though I've stayed away from antibiotics for many years, I learned that there are many other ways our gut flora can become unbalanced. Since adding many fermented foods to my diet, my energy has skyrocketed!
5. Figure out good fats!
As many of you know, for many years we were sold a bill of goods about fats. Now we know that the natural fats are very important for health — and for curbing the appetite. I've added many good fats to my diet and I find that they not only enhance my energy, they keep me feeling satisfied much longer.
Whether your eating choice is vegan, vegetarian, Paleo or modified Paleo, following these five choices will enhance your health!