Our first big nutrition ah-ha was a seminar on Natural Health and Nutrition that Gary and I attended when I was newly pregnant with our first child.  What we took away from that day:  dairy typically leaches calcium from your bones, instead of supporting bone growth and most people don't have the enzymes in their system they need to digest their food.  If dairy prevented osteoperosis, I know a bunch of women who shouldn't be having an issue, but do.  They've consumed massive amounts of milk and cheese over the years...but are currently on serious, heavy duty calcium supplements.  Some folks are now saying it's the pasteurization process that is killing the live enzymes in cow's milk, which would help us to digest it, and possibly get some of the nutrients from it.  Well, either way, there's one fact some people are not aware causes more mucous production.  Next time you have a cold, do yourself a favor and avoid dairy and sugar.  We've experienced that it shortens the length of a cold by days.

The enzyme thing has been an interesting adventure.  Do you know what makes that apple turn brown, after you take a bite and put it on your desk for a bit?  Enzymes.  Live foods, especially organic ones, since food s that aren't organic may have other 'stuff' bred into their line, will break themselves down.  This assists digestion.  Non-live foods don't break themselves down.  For years I was just thinking that I needed more enzymes, to assist with digestion.  I'm discovering now, what I probably needed was to just eat more live food.

We've juiced, done a year or so vegetarian (pesco-ovo...we still ate eggs and fish), did the 'Paleo' thing for a bit and focused on eating salads every day.

We learned a lot about nutrition during the low glycemic diet we went on to help with my daughter's ear infections.  More when we read books about the Omega3's and 6's that would help reduce inflammation.  Even more when we read about the production of food in our country...oh, and watched a couple of movies.  I hope you have seen Super-Size Me, Food Inc. and King Chicken.  They are all truly educational about the way the body functions.  Eating McDonald's for a month will disrupt your body function, wack out your liver and affect your GI, although we aren't exclusively eating that crap, maybe we are eating some harmful components more often than we should.  We cut out trans fats a while ago, when our friend educated us on that, after he found a Naturopathic Doctor to help him with a serious, chronic illness.  He also shared information on grass fed beef and more.  Since we have been dealing with food allergies in our family, we have eliminated ALL MSG and high fructose corn syrup as well.  Oh, I hear you groaning poor yummy candy.  OK...I guilted myself into buying a bit of candy for Halloween.  I guarantee that they get love, attention and healthy habits to make up for missing out on never having set foot in a McDonald's.  No, never.  We also eliminated soy, gluten, dairy and a number of other foods, due to sensitivities in our family, and we are all feeling better for it.  Eating strictly 'Paleo' or 'Primal' helped.  If you haven't heard of those eating plans, they are meat and fish protiens, veggies, fish, nuts and seeds.  No grains, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, or beans.  It eliminated all processed food for a while...we have incorporated some back in, but we dumped our cabinets of the really harmful stuff then.

Now when people say, "Oh, I can't live without dairy."  I can tell them that it's really not that bad...there are SO many substitutes, if that's what you want to do...although, I STILL can't find a good substitute for coffee creamer that isn't dairy or soy. 

Now, we keep working to incorporate more raw foods, that have those important keep our bodies more balanced and help in decreasing inflammation and healing.  It just seems that the further we get away from the Standard American Diet with everything cooked and processed the better we feel...we'll see where the next step takes us...