The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Natural or Not?

When I posted about Mr. Incredible's back problems, I was glad to see the comments elicited by the post. I like to hear what other people think and to get different perspectives on a situation. In the comments, I stated that I lean more and more toward natural remedies. My experiences with doctors have eroded and continue to erode the degree of confidence I have in them, and we've never had a doctor I would call "bad."

I grew up in a home where the menu was quite a bit more "natural" than that to which my friends were accustomed. (In fact, after coming to our house, they would often remark on the food and drinks they received; some remarks were positive, and others were negative.) Because of Dad's being border-line sugar diabetic and Mom's earlier health problems, she opted to feed her family fewer refined and processed foods.

We were not allowed to have anything made with refined sugar. Soft drinks were not often seen in our house, and the few times we did get them, they were of the sugar-free or all-natural variety. Snacks were either fruit, homemade cookies and bars, or sugar-free store-bought treats. Honey was the sweetener of choice for everything from tea to cakes and cookies. Only unbleached flour was used, and Mom made much of our bread herself, without the aid of a bread machine. (Sometimes she tried adding wheat germ to her baking, but we could always taste it and revolted.) Chocolate was not used in our house; carob powder was its substitute.

Mom made most meals from scratch; in fact, instant potatoes were such a rarity in our house that they were actually viewed as a treat. Nearly every morning, Mom got up early and had a hot meal ready for us when we got up. A typical breakfast would include hash browns (made from real potatoes Mom had peeled and grated herself), scrambled eggs or an omelet, and made-from-scratch (not using self-rising flour) biscuits with honey and butter. Other oft-seen breakfast dishes included made-from-scratch pancakes and/or French toast and hot breakfast cereals. Non-instant oatmeal, bear mush, and Cream of Wheat are the three cereals I remember - I didn't like any of them; oatmeal even made me throw up. Crepes were a rare treat, and I loved them stuffed with bananas or strawberries and drizzled with honey.

Mom gave us multi-vitamins on a regular basis, and we loved when she would buy the chewable cherry-flavored Vitamin C tablets from GNC. We would eat them like candy; it's a wonder we didn't break out in hives from eating so many. But we rarely had to go to the doctor.

I'm not "natural" to the same extremes as what I was accustomed to when growing up, but I do avoid convenience foods for the most part and make many of our meals from scratch. Rather than rush to the doctor for every little sniffle and ailment, I prefer to give the body time to heal itself, helping it along with natural or over-the-counter remedies as appropriate. I am not yet ready to go hard-core natural (no colon cleanser for me, thank you very much!), but as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I continue to discover that natural is often better or best for you. It just goes to show that God knew what He was doing when He created us and our world.

How about you? Do you think natural remedies and health foods would or do benefit you and your family, or do you think these things are made and promoted by quacks who delight in stealing your hard-earned money? Perhaps you, like me, fall somewhere in between.


Shoshannah said...

Revka, you're making me cringe thinking of some of those natural things we had. I can't stand honey, and the worst was those nasty whole wheat tortillas with the flour still pouring off of them after they had been cooked and all the kids in the lunch room saying, "EEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWW, what is that?" I still get offended when people look at my food and ask me what I'm eating.

Revka said...

I had forgotten about the veery floury flour tortillas. LOL! I still like honey; of course, I was the one who would drink it straight from the honey bear ...

Anonymous said...

I was raised on bacon (save the grease for frying later), fried brains, YES. BRAINS. One day I realized that we were eating something that had ideas and thoughts, and after I told mom, we stopped having fried brains.

Her fried potatoes were dripping with lard, or bacon grease. Believe it or not, but our favorite treat was vanilla ice cream with MAYONAISE bread. Honest!

Now I have diabetes, crohns disease, and a host of auto-immune system problems that have seriously shortened my life.

Wish I could have been raised with you Revka.

Shoshannah said...

The biscuits, omelets, and hashbrowns were great though.

Revka said...

Wow, Dana! That is a lot of grease! Country cooks around here are nearly that bad. I can't take a whole lot of grease; it makes my stomach queasy.

I'm sorry you have all those health problems. I'm sure that my mom's restrictions have been good for our health.