Note: Heidi Bright is an extended member of my family who is a survivor of end-stage uterine sarcoma. She credits diet for much of her ability to knock her cancer back.
Yesterday I wrote about eating a plant-based diet for chronic illness. That seems to work for *me*, but your mileage may vary. Some people feel better when a little meat is added to their diets – no judgement from me, do what makes you feel better. If you do decide to eat meat, here are some good guidelines on how best to include it in your diet.
Meat is a bit controversial among health food proponents. Some people urge vegetarian, vegan, or raw diets. Certainly adding a great deal of produce to the diet is important. However, meat is important as well for many people. Humans have jaws designed to eat both plant and animal matter. Some people, such as the Inuit, developed digestive systems that require meat. Many Asian Indians are healthy vegetarians all their lives. Your body has its own unique needs. I believe it is more important to pay attention to your body’s true instincts regarding food rather than to follow a moral or health dictate regarding diet.
I found that I did well if I followed what my body wanted. After I started making green smoothies, I noticed a total lack of interest in eating any more meat, except possibly for fish, for a few months.
On the other hand, a long-time vegetarian in treatment for breast cancer developed a craving for chicken broth. She told me she started drinking chicken broth during each chemotherapy cycle to satisfy her new desire.
Even those with digestive issues around meat have a healthy option. Edgar Cayce, a medical intuitive, provided a recipe for beef juice (not broth) that can nourish without putting meat into the stomach. A small amount of the juice is swished in the mouth for a few minutes before being swallowed.
If you purchase meat, try selecting organic, pasture-raised, grass-finished, and/or flax-seed-fed products. These animals will likely have more of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids in their meat and should be relatively free of hormones and pesticides.
I found nearly a year after declining all meat that I developed a craving for beef. I really wanted a juicy hamburger dripping with ketchup, tomato, mustard, and fresh onion. Alas, I had to avoid the fixings to try to limit the mouth sores I had developed during my chemotherapy treatments.
A week later I took my meat craving to a new level when I slowly cherished each bite of two bratwurst. YUM. The craving disappeared and my energy levels rose almost back to normal. Perhaps this was as much a craving for fat and protein as it was for meat.
A couple months later I craved beef bone broth. I found a grocery store with soup bones from free-range cattle. I had to call ahead to find out when the bones arrived. Properly prepared broths will have pulled calcium, magnesium, and potassium out of the bones, cartilage, and marrow.
During the summer months, a local 4-H participant raises and sells free-range chickens. I asked him for the chicken feet, and each fall I have had bags of chicken feet with which to make gelatin. Gelatin is a great aid to the digestion of cooked foods. Just as gelatin attracts water to make desserts, like Jell-O, gelatin also attracts digestive juices to the surfaces of cooked food particles in the stomach to aid digestion. It enables the body to better use the proteins consumed in other foods.
To make a nourishing chicken bone broth, I follow instructions from Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions. I place cold, filtered water in a pot and add a tablespoon of white wine or raw vinegar for every two quarts of water. I prefer to use a crock pot. Add parts from free-range birds, because they produce gelatin, especially the feet. Let stand for thirty to sixty minutes. This process enables the fibers in the animal parts to open slowly, releasing more nutrients into the water. Then turn the heat on high until the mix is boiling. Scoop off the scum that rises to the surface. Turn the control to low and let the broth simmer for six to twenty-four hours. Filter, cool, and refrigerate. I then divide up the broth into pint-sized canning jars to freeze for later use.
What are your thoughts about eating meat?
About the author: Heidi Bright, M.Div., is a 7.5-year survivor of end-stage uterine sarcoma. Her traditionally published book, Thriver Soup: A Feast for Living Consciously During the Cancer Journey (http://thriversoup.com/book/), is endorsed by a surgeon and contains more than 250 practical tips for regaining health. Visit her weekly blog at http://thriversoup.com/blog/ .
www.cayce.com/beefjce.htm. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
Fallon, Sally. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. Washington, DC: NewTrends Publishing, Inc. 2001:124.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.
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