Ten Nourishing Tips – WAPF 2010

Mom and I just got back from the Weston A. Price Foundation yearly conference. Here we are, front row, first arrivals to one of our favorite lectures. In the words of my husband, N-E-R-D-S!

Last year, I described how the conference made me want to run around and shove the whole experience in my purse. That feeling must only be experienced by first-timers, right? Nope. This year, I got so excited that I lost all personal belongings. Literally, I would leave my phone at the sign in booth, and before sprinting back downstairs to snag it, I’d set my camera down on the water-fountain. Press repeat.

The conference was in Philly, intentionally butted up next to Amish Country. On Saturday, the vendor section of the conference, which never disappoints, extended to include a farmers market. Think rows upon rows of grass-fed meats, cheeses, beet kvass, sauerkraut and much, much more. I wandered the aisles with what could only be described as a giddy grin.

The lunches and dinners, provided by the conference, featured all of this local food. Mom and I ate like it was Thanksgiving dinner, twice-a-day for 3 straight days. If new to my perspective on food, let’s just say that I am not afraid of butter. I don’t feel unrefined fats make us fat, in fact, I think they make us healthy. Well, I happened to share these Thanksgiving meals with about 1,500 other people who feel the exact same way. Now, I’d never judge another person’s grass-fed butter, but I did find myself gawking with appreciation at the amount of butter piled on one neighbor’s slice of sourdough bread (think inches).

Once home, I threw a wrap party for my husband’s Lost in Woonsocket tour, and I served farmer’s market sourdough bread with the chili. I put out three sticks of grass-fed butter on a platter for a party of 16. With my skewed perspective, I actually pondered 4! Later that evening, I put 2 1/2 sticks back in the fridge, and I realized, Weston Price people are a unique breed.

Last week, I promised to share the Top Ten Nourishing Tips I learned at the conference. However, I’ve dropped the Top in the title. There were simply too many speakers I didn’t get to see. Too much information that I couldn’t even absorb to think that I could narrow that down to the TOP ten. So, let’s just talk about ten really cool things I learned. Also, please keep in mind that I am a cook, not a scientist. I tried to relay my version of the information as accurately as possible, but please use this as a spark for your own research.

Ten Nourishing Tips
from The Weston Price Foundation’s 2010 Conference

1. I suggest finding a way to hear Dr. Thomas Cowan speak someday, somewhere. He is amazing. I knew that I was in for something good, because I had listened to an mp3 of his 2009 WAPF talk on cancer. But to put it in perspective, I have a hard time sitting still during talks. The speaker must be very interesting, and I must not be hungry, thirsty, tired or full of urine. It’s a delicate balance. I don’t think I moved once during the 3 hours Dr. Cowan taught me about Heart Disease. (He was speaking directly to me, right?) I learned he will be teaching an on-line course beginning on February 9th. I’m in.

2. Eating more unrefined saturated fats increases circulation. Dr. Cowan used his speech to explain why “the heart is not a pump.” Though I wouldn’t attempt to explain this complex concept in a blurb, Dr. Cowan did a pretty good job convincing my unscientific mind that the metabolism of fats into water serves to “pump” our blood through the body, not the heart. To understand what the heart actually does do, I would suggest ordering the 2010 Conference recordings. I don’t think you will be disappointed!

3. Vegetables provide vitamins and minerals that assist in cleansing. Animal products build the body. I think I’ve been aware of this for a while now, but I found it interesting to hear Dr. Cowan summarize it for me. I learned that he will prescribe a vegetable-based diet for maybe 2 weeks, to help a person detoxify, which is the reason people who switch to a vegan diet feel so good off the bat. But, he will then return them to a diet rich in quality animal products, because vegetable-based diets don’t build the body. A long-term plant based diet weakens the system. I found this to be true for my own body.

4. For those dealing with autism, anorexia, dyslexia, ADD, IBS or really any digestive disturbances, I highly recommend Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride’s book Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Dr. McBride was the other speaker who captivated me for hours on end. Her knowledge has deep roots grounded in experience. I gained so much from reading the book before the conference and even more from seeing her speak. I think she is my mom’s personal she-ro, and I understand why. During the Q&A, we heard story after story of folks who used Dr. McBride’s gut-healing diet to heal themselves, their children and their family. Dr. Cowan also prescribes this diet for many of his patients.

5. Lyme disease will not attack a healthy immune system. I have always been a bit leery of this disease. I don’t like ticks. I don’t like to think about ticks. I don’t like sharing my blood with anything, including ticks. And, I want to live on a farm. So, I feel pressure to come to peace with them, but up until now, I wasn’t sure where to start. I didn’t hear a talk on this complex subject. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride simply made this statement in response to a Q&A, and it stuck with me. I feel empowered to think that I don’t have to live inside and avoid nature, but instead, I have to consistently work towards building the immune system of myself and my family with quality food. Consider this more of a “tip of the iceberg” than a tip. Something to get us thinking.

6. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride stated “I have no doubt that Alzheimer’s is caused by years and years of sugar.” Wow. She also went on to explain that 1 molecule of sugar needs 56 molecules of Magnesium to break it down. And, 90% of high blood pressure is magnesium deficiency.

7. Warm Baths Detoxify – Many of the speakers, including Dr. McBride, suggested warm baths with the addition of either epsom salt, sea salt, apple cider vinegar or baking soda for healing a variety of ailments by encouraging detoxification. Dr. McBride recommended a 1/2 cup quantity of any of the above, but I have also heard speakers suggest more. I typically bathe with 2 cups epsom salt, 1/2 cup of baking soda and 10 drops of lavender essential oil, a bath recommended by a Dr. Mark Hyman. Sometimes, when baking soda is not available, I splash in a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar instead. Dr. Kaayla Daniels, who spoke on heavy metal detoxification, recommended 1 lb sea salt and 1 lb baking soda added to a warm water bath for re-balancing the system after a plane flight. Sounded amazing, but slightly expensive due to the sea salt. However, baking soda is only $.89/lb.

8. For My Ladies! Probiotics assist to re-balance yeast infections. This may be rather graffic – sorry guys. But, it is important enough that I am plowing through. If any of my ladies experience discharge or yeast infections, try inserting a capsule or two of high-quality probiotics, like a tampon, into the vagina after urinating at night. Dr. McBride offered this suggestion during a Q&A where a mom asked if her daughter should have any discharge at all. The answer was no, and Dr. McBride’s suggestion to re-balance the flora (beneficial bacteria) of the groin area was to insert 2 quality probiotic pills into the v-v at night. She also suggested rubbing the groin with kefir after bathing. The probiotics sound less messy, but whatever works. I like that the kefir suggestion sounds so inexpensive and accessible.

9. The United States could feed the entire country on the land we use to feed recreational horses. Did I hear this wrong? I must have. But, I don’t think so. Joel Salatin, an amazing grass-fed farmer, gave a keynote speech that dissected the myths people harbor against grass-based farming at the Saturday night banquet. He was funny, engaging and inspiring. He also noted that bird-lovers should “throw out the nasty noise-making parakeets and put in a few chickens!” Got to love that. No offense if you own a parakeet. I don’t take it literally. I simply like how he makes having chickens seem so normal.

10. “Death is necessary for life.” – Joel Salatin Coming from the mouth of a man who spends his days compassionately raising animals, I felt my truth when he spoke his.

I feel like I barely scratched the surface, but I hope these stoke your inner fire for learning. The conference certainly did that for me.

Have a wonderful week!

xo Organic Spark


  • lydia

    Awesome notes!! You reminded me of so many great quotes that Joel stated during his speech – it would be so great if that was on YouTube in it's entirety!!
    I love the quote from DR. NCMB about 1 molecule of sugar takes 56 molecules of magnesium to break it down! More reason to keep taking my magnesium (though I do not eat much sugar) and spread the word about this important mineral, along with the detrimental affects of sugar (are there even really any benefits? ;) )

    November 21, 2010
  • Amanda

    I read every single point and love them all. We are avid probiotic users and believe in meat in our diets (although, I have to admit, for me that is a Biblical perspective more then any other, I believe God put animals on earth for sustenance) and everything you write about it just fantastic!!

    Be blessed-

    November 21, 2010
  • Molly Chester

    Lydia – Thanks so much! The magnesium comment really hit home to me as well…

    Amanda – I'm so glad you enjoyed them! And thanks for sharing your perspective…

    xo Molly

    November 21, 2010
  • Maria

    Thanks for sharing!

    November 22, 2010
  • diane

    I loved the entire weekend too! My sister and I went for the first time and were often found slack jawed. Simply an amazing time. I also had a hard time blogging about the Top Ten things I learned. Instead, I did a summary and even that felt incomplete!

    November 22, 2010
  • Keri Kemble

    Thanks so much for this! The magnesium point captured my attention, especially with sugar consumption so widespread. I MUST hear Dr. Cowan's session…and this is yet another reason for our household to more fully embrace GAPS. Great blog.

    November 22, 2010
  • olga sofia


    Thank you so much for sharing so many amazing knowledge, I hope to fullfill my wish of going to this conference next time.


    November 22, 2010
  • Kristin Konvolinka

    Thanks for summing it up so eloquently! Love it! Your post is particularly great for those of us who couldn't make it to the conference.

    November 22, 2010
  • Kim

    Thank you for sharing. I am a newbie here.

    November 22, 2010
  • Molly Chester

    maria: ur welcome! Thanks for reading!

    diane: what's your website? I want to read yours too!

    olga: xoxo! great to see your name on here. It always brings a smile to my face! Hope you are well.

    kristin: ur so welcome! And thanks for the kind words!

    kim: thanks for coming by! Welcome!

    November 22, 2010
  • Kathleen

    Hi there! We met at the conference. I sat with you and your mom at lunch and we talked about Rawsome. Just happened on your wesite. Thanks for the great notes! Regular life just doesn't measure up to all those amazing lectures and all that great food. Sigh.

    November 23, 2010
  • the REAL girl

    I love the ten tips–great notes- sugar is such a 'big deal' around the holidays but it's good to remember to still keep it to a minimum- it has no healthy benefits!

    December 6, 2010
  • Molly Chester

    Thanks REAL girl! I agree, the holidays are FILLLLED with sugar! I try to take it one good decision at a time. Happy Holidays!

    December 6, 2010
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