Now that I’ve shared some of my current and past medical history, it’s time to share the other piece that led me down this path.
At the age of 19, I discovered another way of existing in this world that resonated with me deeply. I started hanging out with a bunch of hippies. I had my punk rock friends too, but for some reason, through “health food”, homeopathy, homeschooling, Dead shows, and the like, I felt like I had found my tribe. I was convinced and it was further enforced for the next thirty years that being a vegetarian was the righteous path. I ate tofu, beans, and rice religiously, drank rice milk, learned to make my own bread, and seitan. Of course I eschewed junk food and loaded up on veggies and inferior proteins for years. I wasn’t a strict vegetarian, because I still craved meat like crazy. I ate it on rare occasions and felt riddled with guilt every time. All the while, I was continuing to have health issues: migraine headaches, allergies, TMJ pain, sleep apnea, etc. and I just kept working at making my diet better. I was convinced I wasn’t doing something right. I eliminated dairy, ate a raw diet, juiced, did cleanses, and “detoxed”, all without any measurable relief from symptoms. I just figured this was as good as my health could get.
Dr. Weston A. Price
I first heard of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) in 2007. I was instantly intrigued and began scouring the Internet to learn as much as I could. Indigenous cultures eating traditional foods with well formed dental arches and no caries – tell me more. Those same people when exposed to a Western diet suffer malocclusion, cavities, and all the other accompanying Western diseases. Fascinating! Enter fermenting. I added fermenting to my arsenal of foodie options on the quest for optimal health. Continuing in this vain, it wasn’t long before I was introduced to the idea that perhaps vegetarianism wasn’t the optimal diet for me.
The Vegetarian Myth
I know, I know…Lierre Keith. The vegetarians and vegans are rolling their eyes. Whether or not you agree with her assessment or not, there seems to be no finality on the issue of what’s the best diet for man, only, what’s the best diet for me at this moment in time to create optimal health. Then there is knowing or thinking we know and the feeling. For me, it was a huge leap from vegetarian to a primal/ ancestral based diet. I believed with pure conviction that a vegetarian diet was better for the environment and better for all human’s health. Period. End of story. To show my support in such matters, I was willing to beat myself up every time a piece of meat crossed my lips.
What convinced me to give eating primally a go? You know the saying, insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It was time to try something different. Within three months of ditching grains, legumes, and all sugar (even honey, agave, and stevia) and adding grass fed/ pastured meat and increasing saturated fats in my diet, I lost 20 lbs. No more hypoglycemia, I was sleeping well, no more aches and pains, migraines became just annoying headaches, and my energy level skyrocketed. Oh, and my skin cleared up and acid reflux disappeared. Since continuing, my migraines have nearly subsided.
Connecting the Dots
I still have obstructive sleep apnea (OSP), but I’m convinced the reason the dentist was shocked at the severity of the diagnosis was because I was able to bring my health to as optimal a state as possible through diet, therefore averting some of the accompanying conditions. Sometime during this meandering journey, I came across this site: Health Matters to Me: Adult Palate Expansion. This was probably the first time I had heard about palate expansion, and just like the writer, I was already questioning my childhood diet of soy formula, Cheerios, and all things processed as the root cause of my underdeveloped jaw. From this point, I found the book _Cure Tooth Decay: Heal & Prevent Cavities With Nutrition_ by Ramiel Nagel. Having neglected my teeth for years, I knew that I wanted to see a holistic dentist and preferably one who had some knowledge of Dr. Weston A. Price and this thing called non-invasive palate expansion. This began the search for an epigenetic orthodontist.