I used to really think I had this real food and natural health thing figured out. I spent years researching the topics simply because I had been ill for so long and I didn’t want the same for my children.

So up until we made our move off-grid I was quite happy with our family’s fairly low track record of illness. I think I spent two years without so much as a sniffle once I really jumped on board with this traditional food stuff. I did everything they said (or tried to) with great results.

And boy was I full of myself. 

Our Two Weeks of Illness

For the past few weeks we have, one or all, been ill.

It started about two weeks ago with a nauseous three day flu for me. Our three year-old quickly jumped on the band wagon and right around the time I was feeling better the Papa fell hard to it for about five days.

Right around the five day mark our five year old started sniffling… and then coughing… and then sounding like he spent the past 20 years smoking. And then my midwive’s urine test found leukocytes confirming I wasn’t dreaming up that weird thing in the back of my throat. But then a couple days later it went away… right about the time our three year old got the hacking cough.

And just when I thought I had finally missed a round of illness I went to bed last night with a sore throat and woke up with a spasming cough. Just in time to join our still hacking sons and the Papa who just doesn’t feel so great himself.

Oh, and the concerned looks my husband gives me as I uncontrollably cough subtly let me know: I’m due to push a human being the size of a Thanksgiving turkey out of my body within the month.

Health Is Not A Formula

There is no formula for good health, though there are ways to be obedient in taking care of our bodies. God is the author of health – good and bad – and I am finding that in our physical weakness He is glorified and my wrong thinking shines through.

I have learned two things from this experience:

  1. I need humbling in this area and should be thankful that though I physically feel unwell He is using these trials to spiritually mold me.
  2. Many of the things I was doing to get and stay healthy actually were working, as evidenced by their absence and our subsequent illnesses.

Five Habits We Need To Get Back To

Since we’ve been here food, like everything else, has been at survival levels. Most meals have been simply about eating on the cheap, as well as we can, but with an emphasis on calories rather than nutrient density.

There are reasons for this, which I hope to get into in another post, but for now lets just say doing the best you can with what you have isn’t ideal. But there are five things we have definitely not done right.

  1. TOO MUCH SUGAR. Boy howdy have I let this slide and absolutely positively can not be so non-chalant about this anymore.
  2. Not taking our cod liver oil daily. This is one of the only supplements we have regularly taken over the past few years and since we’ve been (almost 3 months) I have not been diligent about it. (Find our favorite CLO here.)
  3. Eating too many grains that have not been prepared properly. As we get used to living without temperature controls, an exponential increase in manual labor, and the generally more difficult life that agrarianism can be, we are eating a lot more grains. I am just starting to get back into the swing of making them easier to digest via fermentation or soaking and need to do this with all of them. (Find sprouted grains here.)
  4. Not eating enough fermented foods. This might be at the top of the list, folks. I’ve just started getting back into this, but still it is a struggle due to our living situation. I don’t think one can emphasize these foods enough for immune and gut health. (Find sources of fermented foods and fermented food starters.)
  5. Not emphasizing pastured meats & vegetables. Lets be frank, I don’t have the storage capacity or money for more than a couple of days of meals emphasizing these foods.

So, what do you think… What else should we be considering?