by Guest Blogger, Caitlin Weeks, Grassfedgirl.com
As a teenager, my brother was plagued by asthma and allergies. He found his way out by changing his diet and lifestyle. This is the story of how returning to a traditional diet restored his health.
Karsten is a 19 year old honor student who always excelled in his studies. He has always been tall and lanky and was able to eat whatever he wanted. But, while growing up he was plagued with allergies, asthma, congestion and sore throats. He ran track for two years in high school but was miserable because of shortness of breath and shooting pains in his side. He had to have his asthma inhaler on hand for when he felt like he could not get a full breath. He had many colds, flu’s and bugs growing up and took multiple antibiotics. He also had occasional acne breakouts. He just thought that all of these symptoms were normal and learned to live with it. Growing up in the south, Karsten ate the standard American diet including lots of pizza, cereal, and sandwiches mixed in with home cooked meals.
Book Explains How to Conquer Asthma, Allergies
After his high school graduation, I gave him a book called “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy” by Paul Chek which includes many of the dietary principles of the Weston A. Price Foundation. The book is also a guide for how to exercise efficiently and manage stress. Most kids would just stack the book on the shelf and forget about it but not Karsten. He read that book cover to cover and started to implement the teachings into his life. In the fall of 2010 he started college at a large university as an engineering major. He was very disappointed with the choices in the cafeteria. One of the first changes he made to his diet was drinking fresh milk from local farmer. He tried to avoid using his meal plan by shopping at the health food store and cooking his own food. He hiked down the stairs several floors to the community kitchen with his own pots and organic food. He did not want to eat the feedlot meat and rancid oils in the dining hall, so he found a weekly farmers market where he could buy local grass fed meat and local veggies.
His interest in health and diet continued to grow, and in his second year at college he was able to get an apartment with it’s own kitchen. He was so happy to be able to cook whenever he wanted. He has taught himself how to make simple dishes using seasonal veggies, pastured poultry and wild fish. Also he taught himself how to make probiotic Kombucha and now he has a batch going in his room all the time. He also makes homemade pastured beef jerky in his dehydrator.
Karsten’s lifestyle also mimics traditional cultures that were healthier and stronger than people today. He focuses on doing deep breathing daily to deal with stress. He feels it is important to sleep 8 hours a night and get to bed early to have good health. Karsten decompresses by getting in touch with nature through walking on grass and climbing on rocks. His workouts are short and efficient by using big muscle groups to do functional movements like push-ups, pull-ups, lunges and squats. He also became extremely interested in holistic dentistry and got all his mercury fillings removed.
Karsten advises teenagers with asthma, allergies, not to worry about what other kids are thinking and just do what is right for you.
When Karsten started consuming a diet closer to what his ancestors would have eaten he noticed that his skin cleared up, he started sleeping better, and had more energy. He was able to throw away his inhaler and no longer had colds or congestion. He even started gaining muscle weight without trying, something that had never happened before.
I asked him if he had advice for other kids his age that may want to get rid of acne, sinus congestion, asthma and allergies, and have more energy. He said there is no excuse not to take charge of your diet. He said he had to overcome challenges like being without a kitchen during his freshman year and dealing with flack from other students, but that it was worth it. He encouraged teenagers to try this lifestyle prescribed by Weston A. Price to see how good they can feel. He said to embrace a mindset of taking care of yourself so you can have health long term. Karsten advises teenagers not to worry about what other kids are thinking and just do what is right for you.
If you are a young adult plagued with all the “normal” maladies associated with puberty try a traditional foods way of eating to see your symptoms quickly fade. I hope this story will inspire you to look at the diets of past for how to feel your best today.
Caitlin Weeks blogs at Grassfedgirl.com. She follows Weston A. Price principles and her lifestyle influenced others in her family, especially her younger brother, Karsten, about whom this blog post was written. Caitlin said, “I continue to be very impressed with how he adopted this lifestyle even when it is not convenient.”
Caitlin Weeks, BA, is a NASM Certified Trainer, Bauman Certified Nutrition Educator, C.H.E.K. Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Holistic Nutritionist and Wellness Coach in San Francisco serving the Bay Area and beyond via phone and Skype consultations.
This post is part of the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival on Kelly the Kitchen Kop. Visit her blog for lots of real food recipes!