Thursday, January 21, 2010

Eating Local

I'm on what I call the "mermaid diet." This is a diet that is a combination of blood type diet and paying attention to my ancestry. The ONLY way I was able to overcome many of my food-related health issues was to do some serious research along these lines. I cannot do the "normal" raw diet.

Susun Weed brings up a valid issue in her debate with Brigitte Mars. Although I know Brigitte and know that she eats locally and grows her own food, she does eat quite a bit of tropical food, food that is shipped in from far away. It is difficult to understand the food politics, but it is harmful to many countries even to buy fair trade food. My problems are a little more involved in that I cannot eat many tropical foods like citrus and coconut which are mainstays of a raw diet. I also have trouble with most nuts because they are acidic.

Because of my ancestry, I have a very acidic system. Not my blood, which is normal, but my stomach. There are two kinds of acid reflux; over seventy percent of cases involve, not too much stomach acid, but too little. As enzyme activity dies out in the middle years, most people have trouble digesting their food. My problems were with always with high stomach acid--runs in the family. Eating many fruits and grains and nuts and legumes just make my stomach go into overload, not while I'm eating but after my stomach empties.

But I have rare respiratory allergies to coconut and to citrus, both of which give me eye infections, asthma and sinus congestion.

I have found that eating foods native to the British Isles and Northern Europe helps me quite a bit with allergies. I can eat some American foods, but not many. Tomatoes and beans and corn are all no-nos with me.

I love being on the West Coast. I can eat food that's pretty much local to the NW and to California. It isn't trucked in very far and much of it agrees with me. However, even when I was in Colorado, I was able to get good salads out of my garden in January. In the West, we have enough sunlight to grow all year--there is no excuse at all for not having good food from your own yard all the time if you live in the West. Even when I lived at 9000 feet, the solar power was so great that I had to vent my grow boxes.

But most of the gardeners I know do not grow in the winter. I think it's too depressing. But I always get a rush about August and into September when I know it's time to plant for winter. I abhor the thought of the old-fashioned NE winter diet where one eats old cabbages, and root-cellared carrots and sprouted potatoes! It's just not necessary. Even NE gardeners can grow all year around--Anna Edey proved this in her book Solviva.

But there is one thing that is very hard to get in winter--fresh fruit. My raw diet does not revolve around fruit--it can't, I have blood sugar issues that limit my fruit and carb intake. I believe that, in addition to eating raw, it's possible to widen one's perspective about eating fruit or eating from the store, period. Even though it's hard to want to eat a salad when it's pouring out, the greens are very warming and I always feel warmer after eating a salad. Eating dense foods like winter squash and roots like beets and rutabagas and carrots are good for winter. I also step up my intake of nuts and oils in the fall, before the Solstice. After the solstice, no matter if it's 50 below outside, I try to eat more cleansing food like salads to get ready for the brightening days.

Although dried fruit is hard to eat if you have blood sugar issues, I can get away with a small amount of it. The key is to eat three dates, not ten. I cannot eat raisins, apples or pineapple and mango (way too much sugar) dates, figs, apricots, plums, berries of all kinds, are okay in SMALL amounts. They are very warming as a small snack, especially followed by nuts.

Don't take eating raw for granted. At first it's easy to eat all those strange fruits. I encourage people to explore. Don't think about what you can't eat, but explore new foods. But once you get going, try to pay attention to what you eat and be open to strange things like having asthma from coconut. Try eating what your ancestors ate, or combining diets like the blood type diet with your raw diet.

Happy eating!


  1. Oh, cool. Just now found your new blog. What fun!

  2. Hi girl,

    Too fun to see you here, too!

    hugs and hugs again,