On Sunday, September 19th, I attended the Healthy Traditions Network's annual Growing Connections conference in Birmingham. Healthy Traditions Network is the local Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) chapter for the metro Detroit area. It was a great experience for me - getting to meet lots of awesome people with amazing stories, hearing so much great information, and, of course, the fabulous and huge REAL food farmers' market!
I took a lot of notes during the conference and I wanted to share some of it here on my blog. I have so many notes that I'm going to do it in pieces, though. I want to first point out, that you'll see mention below of different products that were recommended by the speaker. I debated about including them, but figured since I thought it was helpful to have an idea of a good product on the market to help achieve certain health goals, maybe others would, too. So I included the speaker's recommendations. Just keep in mind that he started the company that manufactures those products and was clearly endorsing them. So you should do your own research into any supplement you may purchase for your own health. But I do think these products sound like pretty great items, myself... and I did pick a couple things up at the farmers' market afterwards. :)
The conference kicked off with Jordan Rubin as the key note speaker. He gave his 6 Keys to Extraordinary Health lecture... although we didn't get through all six due to time constraints. His story is just amazing and he is such an inspirational speaker with some wonderful information to share! I can't wait to read some of his books - I've had several of them on my list to read for quite some time, but haven't gotten to them yet. I'm moving his most popular book, The Maker's Diet, up to the top of my list now. While I'm not sure I'll learn a lot of new information, as it sounds very similar to the WAPF principles, it'll still be a great book to read.
During Jordan's lecture, he emphasized the importance of gut health and how your gut is considered your second brain by many. He stressed four steps to achieving a healthy gut - cleansing, boosting probiotics, preserving the enzyme bank account, and capturing the power of the sun.
Cleansing is important because it gives your body a fresh start. Jordan suggested that everyone should cleanse for one week every three months or so. For those 7 days, you should eat raw foods almost exclusively. That doesn't sound so bad - not like the crazy cleanses you read about on the internet, at least! Of course, he also recommends using his company's products - Garden of Life. He recommended Raw Cleanse during his lecture.
Boosting probiotics is important because it infuses your body with "good germs." Did you know that if you have one sip of conventional milk, or one bite of conventional beef, poultry, eggs, etc. you are ingesting more than 80 different antibiotics? That number surprised me - I knew it was bad, but didn't realize it was quite that bad. Of course, you should be eating plenty of probiotic foods, but the foods just don't quite cut it. You need to boost your probiotics by taking a probiotic from your local health food store. Jordan recommended Primal Defense Ultra in his lecture.
Preserving your enzyme bank account preserves your life. This entails eating only when you are hungry. Our bodies are programmed to let us know when they are ready to digest food. If you eat only when you are hungry, your body utilizes the food better and your digestive system functions at his highest point. This also entails chewing your food thoroughly. Undigested carbohydrates are one of the leading causes of digestive upset. Since digestion begins in your mouth with your saliva, it is very important to chew thoroughly. Jordan mentioned some crazy high number that I didn't write down... crazy high like 100 times or something. I'd have one sore jaw for a while if I chewed that many times... but it does really make sense so I think I will actually try increasing the number of times I chew my food from now on. You should also eat more raw foods and take a digestive enzyme supplement. Jordan recommended Omega Enzyme Ultra in his lecture.
Capturing the power of the sun entails eating a lot of leafy greens and green vegetables. Jordan suggested everyone should get 3-5 daily servings of leafy greens. This includes eating salads and drinking green juice everyday. Jordan recommended Perfect Food during his lecture.
Jordan lectured on other elements of good health, but I thought the gut health was the most important aspect. Even though he endorses his own products over and over... and that normally really annoys me... I was really inspired by him. He is a wonderful speaker and if you ever have the chance to hear him speak or meet him - take it! You will not regret it!