Ancestral Orthodontics

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One of the topics that always comes up what discussing traditional cultures and ancestral diets is orthodontics.  You’ve seen the pictures that Weston A Price made famous of the beautiful traditional faces verses the faces of those that had begun eating the “displacing foods of modern commerce.”  While there are still people who have beautiful facial structure with functional wisdom teeth and space to spare, it’s undeniable that in general, modern facial structure has changed dramatically and facial “deformities” are much more prevalent today.  In fact malocclusions are now considered the norm and most of us expect that our children will need braces.  The exact causes are somewhat debated but the fact is that our faces are growing vertically rather than horizontally.  While the overall length of the mandible hasn’t changed, the arch length differs by 14mm causing crowded front teeth and impacted molars.

Dr. Mike Mew just gave a great lecture here at the Ancestral Health Symposium in which he discussed our “modern melting faces.”  While he acknowledges the important work of Dr. Price, Dr. Mew feels that Price may have had a few things wrong and Mew believes that modern facial deformities are not so much a result of nutritional deficiencies (as Price theorized), but are instead caused by changes in muscle usage, tongue posture and swallowing patterns.

Live From the Ancestral Health Symposium

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I have definitely been a negligent blogger this summer spending every possible moment enjoying my little ones before school starts up next month.  I’ve also officially begun taking nutrition classes so a lot of my blogging time is spent studying these days (and nights).  This weekend I’m taking some time for myself (OK it’s nutrition related…but that’s what I love) and I hope to be able to share it with you as I blog and tweet live from the Ancestral Health Symposium here in beautiful Cambridge, MA.

So here I am, part of a community of scientists, health professionals and celebrity bloggers all on the same real food mission.  It’s inspirational, motivating and at times comical.  Like this morning at the coffee shop when the barista said, “A lot of folks have been ordering their sandwiches without bread…is there a convention or something?”.  It’s not just a convention honey…it’s a movement and our motto is “Bacon is rad, gluten is bad.”

More to come…
Eat Well, Be Well,

Sweet Sunday: Cocoa-Coconut Cookies

I had a very proud moment not long ago when my almost four year old asked me, “Mama, what’s an Oreo?”  Of course that was followed by, “Can I have one?”  I have to say that my little ones are amazingly understanding when I explain that a certain food isn’t healthy or isn’t something we eat.  Either they really trust me or they know on some level that those foods make them feel bad.  Maybe a combination of the two.  I keep wondering when they are going to start to fight me on it though.  As I’ve mentioned before I do make exceptions for very special occasions, but I also realize that this can be a slippery slope and I have to draw the line somewhere.  A play date or a visit with a relative (while special) is not a special occasion that deserves cake and cookies every time.  There’s definitely a cultural perception that sugary treats are a right of passage for kids and it’s not always easy to “shelter” them from the constant offering of non-nutritive (a.k.a. junk) food or the marketing that perpetuates the idea that it’s “normal.”  One thing that helps is keeping homemade, sweet treats on hand on a pretty regular basis.  Consequently I’ve come up with an arsenal of semi-healthy recipes that I can pull out when I’m starting to feel like the Big Mean Mommy Who Always Says No. Continue reading

Fringe Fitness Friday: Just Breathe

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Have you ever had a friend say to you (with frustration), “I eat well, I exercise, I get good sleep, but I still don’t feel well?”  Maybe you’ve even said it yourself.  These are all important pieces of the wellness puzzle and they are all great.  Sometimes you stumble about the perfect combination and any dis-ease you are feeling disappears.  Some of us have to uncover those missing pieces.  Those hidden, internal stressors that may create symptoms or even sabotage our other efforts. Breath is one of these things.  We all know that we need air to live, but most of us leave it at that.  Breath is like food, however…the source and the quality  mean everything!

Continue reading

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Teriyaki Bird Food

I have to admit, when snacking off the grid I sometimes feel like I eat a lot of bird food…so sometimes I have to get creative.  Nuts and seeds, when properly prepared are wonderful sources of healthy fats, complementary proteins and a host of micronutrients.

Sunflower seeds provide significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.  These nutrients are known to calm and detoxify the entire body, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and help prevent heart both heart disease and cancer (source).

Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are another super seed which are known for promoting prostate health, increasing bone density and reducing inflammation better than pharaceuticals!

“The healing properties of pumpkin seeds have also been recently investigated with respect to arthritis. In animal studies, the addition of pumpkin seeds to the diet has compared favorably with use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in reducing inflammatory symptoms. Importantly, though, pumpkin seeds did not have one extremely unwanted effect of indomethacin: unlike the drug, pumpkin seeds do not increase the level of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in the linings of the joints, a side-effect that actually contributes to the progression of arthritis.” (source)

Birds must be amazing healthy little critters, but I bet they are jealous that they don’t have these tasty seeds!


  • filtered water
  • 1 – 2 TBS Celtic sea salt
  • 1 lb raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 lb raw pumpkin seeds
  • 15 – 20 dates, soaked and drained
  • 1 TBS ginger
  • 2 TBS crushed garlic
  • 2 TBS soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten free version)


  1. Place seeds in a large bowl and cover with filtered water.  Add 1 – 2 TBS of Celtic sea salt and soak 8 hours or overnight.  Drain.  Should be about 8 C soaked seeds.
  2. About an hour before seeds are done soaking bring a pot of filtered water to a boil and then remove from heat, add dates and cover.  Allow dates to soak for 1 hour.  Drain.
  3. In a food processor, process soaked dates until a smooth paste forms.
  4. Add ginger, garlic and soy sauce and continue to process.
  5. Scrape paste into bowl with soaked and drained seeds and mix well to coat.
  6. Place on non-stick dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for about 20 hours at 115° degrees. Or use the oven method (below)*.
  7. Store in air tight glass jars.

Eat Well, Be Well (Tweet, Tweet),

Spread items to be dehydrated out onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and place in the oven.  If you have a convection setting use it, if not, prop the door open using a small metal object such as a measuring cup to allow air to circulate.  Dehydrate at 150° (or your oven’s lowest possible temperature) for 8 – 12 hours or until crispy.  You will lose some of the enzymes with this method, but will still have a yummy treat!

This post was shared on Read Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Mama…Can We Erf?

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It’s 100° in the shade in my neck of the woods.  Just thinking about going outside makes me sweat.  Yet my kids don’t seem at all fazed by the heat and they want to be out running in the grass every waking hour…sans shoes of course.  I have to remind myself that they are intuitive little beings and they know on an unexplainable level that absorbing direct sunlight, breathing fresh air and making contact with the earth are essential to our well-being.  They are unaffected by socials mores, weather and even safety.  It feels good, so they want to do it.

Earthing (or erf-ing to those 4 and under) is simply making contact to the earth with your skin.  A relatively new word, but certainly not a new concept.  Our primal ancestors wore no shoes and they slept on the ground.  They made contact with the earth 24/7.  Now, we live in insulated homes, wear insulated shoes, drive insulated cars, and work in insulated offices.  If we’re lucky we get a week at the beach to get grounded each summer.

Earthing & Health:
When we touch the earth we absorb trillions of negatively charged ions into our body and research has shown many benefits of Earthing including
  • Powerful antioxidant effects
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Shifts autonomic nervous system to parasympathetic “mode” ( this is the calming, “rest & digest” part)
  • Reduces stress
  • Thins blood by reducing blood viscosity
  • Normalizes cortisol rhythm and melatonin secretion (improves sleep)
  • Speeds healing time

Dr. Daniel Chong reports that his patients have less pain, increased healing and better sleep when they Earth regularly.

Earthing & EMFs:  some evidence suggests that Earthing may reduce negative effects of low-frequency EMFs (this is the kind that comes from devices in the home.)  Because we are 70% water, body voltage changes as you get closer or farther from an electrical source.  The voltage of the earth is 0 and when we make contact we return to 0 voltage as well…we literally ground ourselves.
Some recommend digging a hole in the ground or sand and lying in it…below the surface earth’s you escape the EMFs and can really experience the grounding benefits of the earth.  Now there’s something to add to the honey-do list!

So next time your little one asks to take off her shoes and run in the grass keep in mind the importance of touching the earth and how much we have to learn from those little cavemen that run around our house.

Eat Well, Be Well,

This post was shared on Monday Mania with The Healthy Home Economist

For more information go to and read Earthing by Clint Ober.

The Cabbage Song

Pound the cabbage.
Pound the cabbage.
Add the whey
and caraway.
Then you add the salt.
Tell me what you get.
Sauerkraut, Sauerkraut.
To the tune of Frere Jacques

Yep, we’re the freaks that make up songs about stuff like sauerkraut.  Actually the first time we sang it my now 3 year old sang “sauer-crap” which I thought was hysterical!  She didn’t get it at the time, but I couldn’t help myself…I had to record it!  We’ve been making it for years and the kids have been helping since they were old enough to “pound the cabbage.”  And what little kid doesn’t love to pound stuff right? Put that energy to work! Continue reading

To B or Not to B: Micronutrient Deficiencies and Supplementation

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I was so caught up in the Real Food Summit last week that I hardly had time to post about it.  If you didn’t get a chance to check it out, you can purchase all 27 lectures plus a boatload of bonus materials for what I think is a steal considering the wealth of information that was covered over those nine days.  Anyway, one of the most interesting presentations, in my opinion, was given by Mira & Jayson Calton and was about micronutrient deficiency.  This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately as I’ve had some personal experience with deficiencies despite my real food diet.  It happens…to most of us in fact.  And whether we realize it or not our cells pay the price.  Never forget, we live and die at the cellular level.

Eating with the Season: Zucchini Pancakes

Got summer squash coming out of your ears?  Here’s a wonderful recipe (adapted from allrecipes) for zucchini pancakes that’s great for breakfast lunch or dinner!  Substitute any type of cheese you like.  Top with fresh sliced tomatoes, a fried egg or both…you can’t go wrong! 





  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sprouted flour
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil (enough to generously cover the bottom of the pan)


  1. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and then add the zucchini, onion, flour, cheese, and salt. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping spoonful, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden. Add more oil as needed.


Eat Well, Be Well,

Wednesdays Without Barcodes: Creamy Dill Sauce

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If you’ve been as inspired as I have by the Real Food Summit and you are trying to incorporate more fish into your diet, here’s a quick and easy sauce that goes great with almost any fish and includes dill, which is a great herb on so many levels…and it’s in season!

“Dill’s unique health benefits come from two types of healing components: monoterpenes, including carvone, limonene, and anethofuran; and flavonoids, including kaempferol and vicenin. 

The monoterpene components of dill have been shown to activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the anti-oxidant molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that would otherwise do damage in the body. The activity of dill’s volatile oils qualify it as a “chemoprotective” food (much like parsley) that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens, such as the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators.” (source)

1 C full fat sour cream
3 – 4 TBS chopped dill
1 TBS prepared horseradish
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients and taste test.  Adjust dill and horseradish as needed.  That’s it…easy peasy!  Serve with fish or veggies.

Eat Well, Be Well,

This post was shared on Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop