Real Food Heals—How I Used Real Food to Restore My Health
By Stanley A. Fishman, Author of Tender Grassfed Meat
I was about to see “The Doctor” after surviving an asthma attack that almost killed me. The news was grim. The Doctor spoke with total confidence and authority as he pronounced my death sentence. I had severe COPD and emphysema. My lungs had suffered severe damage—damage so severe that they would never get better. In fact, they would get worse. I could slow the deterioration somewhat by taking heavy doses of steroids, which would have “side effects.” But this would only slow down the inevitable. Maybe I could get a lung transplant, but the waiting list was long. The anti-rejection drugs I would have to take would lower my immunity, and I was already having trouble fighting off frequent respiratory infections, even with antibiotics.
Eleven years later, I am healthier than I have ever been in my life. Asthma is no longer a problem. Actually, nothing is a problem. I have not taken any medication (prescription, or over-the-counter), for over five years. The lungs that would never heal—work fine.
After The Doctor pronounced sentence, I walked to my car. The short walk left me exhausted. I sat and thought. After much life experience, I had come to realize that we are often invited to participate in certain “dramas” that are common to our society. I had also learned that we often have the power to refuse to take part in the “drama,” and take another path. The Doctor had invited me to participate in an emphysema “drama.” The script was clear. I would get sicker and weaker, as the drugs that gave me temporary relief destroyed my body. I would suffer for a few years, turn into a complete invalid, and then die in some crummy hospital, struggling to breathe as the medication no longer worked. My family would suffer emotionally. It would be so sad, so tragic. I decided right there and then that I would have no part of that “drama.” I would reject it completely, and take another path.
But how? I had been brought up to believe in The Doctor. The Doctor was never wrong. The Doctor knew everything there was to know about health and sickness, life and death. The Doctor was to be obeyed completely, because he or she was The Doctor. But I had learned something about doctors in my years as an attorney. Many of them did great harm to their patients, through ignorance, harmful medical practices, carelessness, greed, exhaustion, or all of the above. Very often they did not know what to do.
I Had to Find Another Way
My great strength as an attorney was research. I decided I would use that ability to find another way. I had a client who had been trying for years to get me interested in alternative medicine. I would start there.
It was hard at first. For a while, I had to stop working. I had to sleep in a chair. (Luckily it was a very comfortable, huge, overstuffed armchair.) I could not climb stairs, or blow out a candle. It was a struggle to get out of bed. Every time I caught a cold or flu, it turned into bronchitis or pneumonia. I had various skin, digestive, and sinus problems. But things got better. I took as little medication as I could, despite the orders of The Doctor to take medication every day. I refused to take steroids. I tried a number of alternative remedies. Some helped, many were useless, and a few made things worse. I stuck with what worked and discarded the rest.
Several years later, my health had improved and stabilized. I could work, though not as much as I wanted. The asthma was not very active, unless I caught a cold. I could live a somewhat normal life. I had learned how to control asthma attacks without medication. But I still got bronchitis or pneumonia every time I got a cold or flu. Several times a year I had to resort to antibiotics, which dealt with the infection, but did great damage to my digestive system. I could not exercise. I could not climb stairs. I could not blow out a candle. I was exhausted most of the time. I still had various skin and digestive problems. I still had sinus problems. I would get depressed about my health. My hearing and eyesight had deteriorated, and I had almost no sense of smell. And I was not getting better.
My client got me to subscribe to an alternative doctor’s newsletter. One of his newsletters had a short summary of the research of Dr. Weston A. Price. And it had a reference to the Weston A. Price Foundation. I felt a thrill, as if I somehow knew that this was the answer. And it was.
Dr. Price Taught the Benefit of Real Food
I consider Dr. Price’s research to be the single most important scientific discovery ever made. Some of his most important findings were:
People who only eat traditional foods that have been valued and used for thousands of years do not have chronic disease. They do not have cancer, heart disease, asthma, tooth decay, diabetes, or any of the other diseases that plague modern life. They have no crime. They are calm and cheerful. They are fertile, and free of birth defects. People who eat modern processed, adulterated and chemicalized foods are vulnerable to every one of these chronic diseases, are often depressed or violent, and suffer from even more illnesses.
I spent many hours on the website of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I bought Nourishing Traditions and read it cover to cover. I learned the wisdom of Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig, and others. I learned what to eat and what not to eat. I learned how to avoid toxic foods, oils, and cooking utensils. I learned of the blessings of lacto-fermented foods, and how to make some of them.
How I Changed My Diet
I stopped eating processed foods, unless they were organic. I stopped eating fast food. I gave up all soft drinks, including the cokes I used to drink every day. I stopped using polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and switched to traditional saturated fats. I avoided all unfermented soy. I gave up desserts and reduced my consumption of sweeteners to almost nothing. I started to eat pastured butter, pure organic milk, yogurt, and cheese, organic vegetables, lacto-fermented vegetables such as real sauerkraut, homemade bone broths, and hormone-free meats, including hormone-free liver, and other organ meats. I got a reverse osmosis system to purify our water. I avoided chemical toxins as much as I could. And my body slowly started to heal.
Then I got a cold and developed bronchitis. But I felt a strength and confidence in my body that I just did not have before. I drank a lot of homemade bone broth and got well. No antibiotics! Since that day, I have never taken any kind of medication. To paraphrase Hippocrates of Cos, the greatest of ancient physicians—my medicine was my food and my food was my medicine.
The final step was when I switched to grassfed meat and fat. Unfortunately, I ruined the first grassfed meat I cooked. It was tough and terrible. I put my research skills to work once again. I learned how traditional peoples cooked grassfed meat, and through trial and error, adapted their methods to the modern kitchen. This research became the basis of my cookbook, Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat. Once I got grassfed meat to taste great, we switched completely to grassfed and grass finished meat. Every part of my body began to regenerate. I could feel it.
After years of eating only real food, every chronic illness I had is gone. I have no symptoms of anything. I sleep well, and wake up full of energy every morning, eager for the joys of the day. I am cheerful and optimistic. My eyesight and hearing have improved greatly, and my sense of smell has returned. I can easily climb stairs, blow out candles, leap out of bed, and do everything I could before I got sick. I have a powerful immune system that fights off everything.
Real food restored my health. Real food maintains my health.
I am not a doctor, and the above is not intended to be medical advice. The above is a description of how I improved my health with real food.
Thank you Stan for another wonderful post. You can buy Stan’s cookbook at Amazon, link below. It’s one of my most used cookbooks – Mom