Integrative Health Blog

How Whole Food Can Help Us Heal

Posted by on Mon, May 18, 2015

Guest Blogger Allan Balliett, Founder of Fresh and Local CSA

Spring is the Time to Join a CSA

It's that time of the year when you have an opportunity to make a commitment to your wellness!  Assure your access to affordable, nutrient dense foods by joining a local CSA, Community Supported Agriculture. Dr. Mark McClure, founder of National Integrated Health Associates, explains the value of CSA food very well in this blog post, My Top Holistic Nutrition Tip.

My Passion for Whole Foods

I'm the founder and farmer of Fresh and Local CSA, located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I am a passionate advocate for properly grown, fresh, local produce. Over 20 years ago, after many conventional doctors had failed to help me, I healed myself of what can only be called a "wasting disease" by changing my diet from processed foods to a healthy diet of organic, whole foods. You can read about more my experiences in this article. Once I became well, I devoted my life to learning all I can about what makes whole foods nutritious, and how to grow foods for my neighbors that promote healing with every mouthful.

Food as Medicine

A host of health promoting substances has been discovered in vegetables and fruits and plant metabolites in the last few years. It's reasonable to believe that we will discover many more health promoting substances in the future. It's also important to realize that these substances occur synergistically in living plants, in ratios and quantities that are supporting life and growth. This is why our bodies may heal from living real food while it may be unable to assimilate the content of a pill. It's important to be aware that most of the produce in grocery stores may be weeks old before it comes to the floor! In those weeks, the plant itself has been metabolizing the nutrients it contains, eating them up to stay alive until you end up buying low mineral content produce that is less nutritious because it's been out of the Earth for so long.

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Tags: CSA, holistic nutrition

My Top Holistic Nutrition Tip: Find a Local CSA

Posted by on Mon, Mar 31, 2014

Mark McClure DDS

How good is your food?

Are you consuming real, nutritious food?

How convenient is it for you to find good, wholesome food?

How much importance do you place on quality food in your overall health?

How much are you willing to spend on quality food?

Well, high quality food is available, and you may even save some money too!

Why We Need To Question Food Quality

The American (and world) food supply has worsened drastically over the last 100 years. The USDA estimates that the mineral content of our foods is only 10% of what it was only a century ago. That is, we have lost 90% of the minerals that we get from food – no wonder that so many of us are mineral deficient. Modern agriculture, where foods are grown on soils that are depleted and then fertilized with only nutrients that make the fruit or vegetable grow big (nitrogen- phosphorous- potassium) but not nutritious -(with vitamins and minerals) is the primary culprit. But, we need nutrient dense, high quality food filled with minerals and enzymes to maintain our health.

Local CSA's Provide Quality

CSA’s, or Community Supported Agriculture, are one of the best methods I have found to start eating quality foods and Farmer Allan's farm  Fresh and Local CSA is not only organic but biodynamic. I have been an organic gardener since 1973. It has been a source of fun, relaxation and health for me and my family. The most important thing to me for healthy living is to eat the highest quality food and growing it is the reward. Even though I now live on a farm and am developing my soil and garden,  I am a proud member of Farmer Allan’s CSA. The food is just that delicious and I cannot grow enough myself to support my family’s needs.

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Tags: CSA, holistic nutrition

"Let food be thy medicine" ~ Hippocrates

Posted by on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

By Guest Blogger Farmer Allan Balliett, Owner, Fresh and Local CSA

I suffered from the effects of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities(MCS) for over 10 years. My healing didn't begin until I  abandoned AMA doctors and found a Naturopath. He got me off from cigarettes and tranquilizers and onto organic food. (With MCS I was painfully reactive to food additives, trace amounts of pesticides, tobacco smoke and 'fragrances' and was horribly fatigued all the time.) Because fresh organic produce was rare in the early 80's, I adopted a macrobiotic diet which was based around organically grown staples like grains and beans and wild crafted foods like seaweeds. Once I was "minimizing toxins and maximizing nutrition," my healing began almost immediately and in 3 weeks I had made more progress towards “Wellness” than I had in the previous 10 years. In 3 months, I was a new person, with a clear head with literally boundless energy.

Every once in a while after I was well I'd bite into a piece of 'fresh' organic food, like an apple, and have an MCS reaction. When I brought this up to my macrobiotic counselor he said,   "Not all organic food is toxin free. Some of it is fake and some of it gets contaminated in the distribution process. If you want  food that's chemically free, you'll need to go out to West Virginia and grow it yourself with the other people who are healing."

Having grown up on a conventional farm under the influence of a grandmother who had studied herbalism with a Native American medicine man, I took up the challenge and moved to West Virginia, using my new energy to commute from West Virginia to my job in DC while searching for an appropriate non-toxic way to grow food.

My Journey to Biodynamic Farming

After reading every book I could find on farming without chemicals, I found my first  book on biodynamic farming. Biodynamics was the only holistic method of farming I'd run across and, unlike Rodale organics, it's goal was ‘to produce foods appropriate for human development’ rather than produce foods that could be sold profitably by weight or count using the least inputs possible. The goal was quality, not increased profits. There's a huge difference in these approaches to producing food. I think my mentor, Alan Chadwick, www.alanchadwick.net said it best  about the effect of commercialization on food quality: "When a man goes into a field to produce good food, that food is completely different from the food he will grow if he goes into that same field to produce $10,000.00."

While reading about food-as-medicine ("healthy soil=healthy plants=healthy people") I read Dr. Carey Ream's statement that “All disease is the result of mineral deficiencies", and soil scientist William Albrecht saying that physicals for the draft for WWI proved that the least healthy young men came from the areas of the country with naturally mineral deficient soils. It was also clear that there is a strong relationship between the minerals in our food and ultimate health and clear indications that we absorb minerals from living organisms more readily than we do from pills.

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Tags: holistic nutrition, integrative nutrition, CSA