Elaine’s Story

Elaine MichaelsEven as a youngster, I was interested in food and nutrition. My live-in grandmother grew a garden and served balanced meals. When I married and had kids, it was important to me to feed them in a healthy way. However, this was the beginning of the low-fat dogma. I knew something was wrong with that way but I also believed “the so-called-experts” must know. What saved us, I feel, was the fact that we moved out of a big city into a smaller community in the Midwest and soon bought a 11-acre acreage where we raised our own meat and vegetables. We even had our own milk cow and I found the joy of discovering just how many delicious products could come from that dairy cow!

With five children, we had a lot of help and even though we ran a construction business, the kids helped and made it possible to live a healthy lifestyle. After they grew up and married we moved closer to town and continued having a garden but no animals. The low-fat mantra was in full force by now. I began buying low-fat products and 1% store milk but realized 90% of the milk was still in the carton at the end of the week. The taste was not like the farm milk. Internally I didn’t believe in this nutritional philosophy but again, “I thought they must know – who was I to disbelieve.” I will never distrust myself again in this way. During this time I looked into becoming a Dietician but was disenchanted with their beliefs and their type of sponsors.

Fast forward years later with another move, even closer into town. I continued to research “my” way of believing and thinking and accidentally ran into the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website. I was thrilled and felt like “I had finally come home!” I contacted one of the chapter leaders and found a raw milk source. About a year after getting back to drinking raw milk, I had a doctor’s visit to re-test my bone density. The year before, I was told I had “osteopenia” (the precursor to osteoporosis). I was shocked because my previous tests for years had all been good. However, I soon forgot about the results because I didn’t know what to do to change them. At my re-test my doctor informed me: “your osteopenia has been reversed–I have never seen this before. What are you doing?” I thought for a moment and then it dawned on me. When I told her I was drinking raw milk, she asked me if I wasn’t scared I’d get sick but I replied that pasteurized milk was more of a risk. Her eyes glazed over but she said, “well keep doing what you’re doing I guess.” How funny.

All of this brought back my excitement for nutrition and real food so I ventured back to school and became a Nutritional Therapist and a GAPS Practitioner. I am overall very healthy but am fighting arthritic nodes on my fingers and am hoping the GAPS diet will help. I am also a WAP chapter leader. I learned a lot in school but I also learned that our “old ways of eating real food” is the “only” way to be really healthy. I love being around like-minded people and I love helping others! I wish I could say my family was on board completely but they’re not. We all have to find “our own way in our own time.” However, I do have a daughter-in-law that has embraced the healthy foods as much as time permits for her. She has seen herself and her kids become healthier. My son (her husband), recently died so she has her hands full with four children. I love watching her expand her knowledge and of course, what grandma doesn’t want to see her grandchildren “thrive!” I am also a great-grandma and it excites me to watch each generation getting healthier!