Tag Archives: Fourfold Healing

Why I Love Tom Cowan and the Fourfold Healing Conference

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend this year’s Fourfold Path to Healing conference in Baltimore this past weekend. It was my second year; last year I flew to San Francisco to attend and exhibit. This year, I was asked to teach a day of pre-conference cooking classes and make pate’ for 200 or so people for the opening reception Friday night. I also exhibited and helped to be sure the food functions went smoothly, that is, WAPF style.

Here and there I was able to catch bits of Dr. Tom Cowan’s lectures, 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, and those bits made the conference worth it for me. Here’s why, and why I love this conference.

The Fourfold conference is based on the book of the same title, which Dr Cowan is the primary author. The other two authors are Sally Fallon (now Morell) and Jaimen McMillan. The book talks about just what the title says: what Dr Cowan believes are the four paths to healing-nutrition, therapeutics, movement and meditation, and the conference is built on the same. Participants have the opportunity to go deep in three of the paths with one of the authors…you guessed it: Sally talks about nutrition, Jaimen does Spatial Dynamics, and Tom therapeutics. To me, meditation, aka spirituality infuses the whole thing. That’s the point here, folks. The one that just thrills me to my core… Here is a medical doctor, looking at and talking about health, healing, wellness and dis-ease in the body through the lens of spirit. The lens he uses is called “anthroposophy“, which was brought forward by Rudolf Steiner in the early 1900s.

How cool is it that a MD is looking at the human body and what goes wrong with it and what goes right with it through the lens of spirit? Very cool. The only thing that is cooler is that 200 or so people came to hear him. And I was one of them.

Dr Cowan looks at patterns as he endeavors to discern what is going on with each patient. He encourages us to use “macroscopes”, not microscopes. He has no use for minutiae. Dr Cowan knows that the clues and the answers will be found in the big picture. This is why he asks his patients to tell him their story. In the story lies the clues to why particular symptoms are showing up in the body. When was the last time your MD asked you to tell your story?!

The lens or metaphor that Dr Cowan used was the Threefold plant. He likened the human to a plant, divided onto 3 sections-head or flowers, middle or stem and bottom or roots. (Here’s where I encourage you to read the book and get more information for yourself; remember, I was running in and out and coordinating food and caught bits and pieces. May this interpretation pique your interest and lead you to seek more. I do not claim that I “got it all” folks. This is my best rendering. :)) By looking at the characteristics of the symptoms and where they showed up, one could determine which plant remedies (often homeopathics) would help guide the person through the symptoms to relief. One thing that struck a truth chord for me was Dr Cowan’s statement that if acute symptoms are allowed to run their course, they will not turn into chronic symptoms. When was the last time you let a fever or pneumonia (the body’s cure for asthma) run its course?

Dr Cowan also talked about the Fourfold human. Unfortunately for me, I missed the beginning of the session but what I did hear was fascinating, and made so much sense. I am eager to learn more. I look forward to finding my Fourfold book and reading it cover to cover. If you are looking for a new (though based on an old-anthroposophy) way of looking at the human body, the human being, and well-being, I encourage you get a copy and do the same!

 

FYI, Dr Cowan is available for phone consultations if you are not in the San Francisco area. He also offers his own Community Supported Healthcare program. Check it out!!

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Healing Soups series…let’s step back to Stock.

Can’t believe I started a Healing Soups series without first writing about Stock…aka, meat stock…bone broth. Maybe it’s because I am immersed in stock right now, (not literally, don’t worry!) I am making stock like crazy for a little boy who has had the flu, and for the rest of us who want to stay well…I am teaching a Making Stock GAPS ™ Style tomorrow morning in Westminster, CO, and I am readying for my stock class which I will be teaching at the Fourfold Path to Healing Conference in Baltimore one week from today. So…….I thought I’d share with you an article I wrote for Edible Chesapeake Magazine, which was published in November 2009. It appeared under the Cooking Fresh heading. Unfortunately for those in the Chesapeake Bay watershed area, Edible Chesapeake folded a few months later.  Here’s the article. I hope you enjoy it!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Healing Soup. hmmmm…..wonder what it will be?! 😉

Nutrient-Dense Stock…the Foundation of all Great Soup

By Monica Corrado

Mmm…mmm, there is nothing like a bowl of homemade soup when the weather starts to chill, and there is nothing better than soup made with homemade stock. Stock made well is a nutrient-dense elixir that gives a great bang for your nutritional buck: It is high in calcium and other minerals your body needs that are easily absorbed, it can reduce the amount of protein you eat, and the gelatin has been known to help heal many digestive and other disorders, including anemia, diabetes, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and even cancer1. Gelatinous stock is liquid nutrition for lactating mothers, menopausal women and children, whose bones are growing. It is also a perfect first food for infants.

As in all things, the quality of in the raw ingredients determines the quality of the final product. Bones from a grass-fed producer is the key to a rich, gelatinous stock. Bones from cows raised on feed-lots and chickens raised in cages just do not gel. You will need two types of bones for your stock: what I like to call “boney” bones, like marrow and knuckle bones; and “meaty bones,” such as chuck ribs or neck bones. Boney bones yield gelatin and minerals, while meaty bones will ensure rich color and flavor.

Next, the vegetables. Again, source counts. In these days of depleted soil, even organic vegetables can be low in minerals. Look for vegetables from farmers who add vital nutrients back into the soil, such as biodynamic farmers. If you can’t get biodynamic, grow your own, or go to a farmers market for fresh, local produce. Check with the farmer to find out what he or she is doing to help heal the earth.

1  For more information about the use of gelatin to heal the digestive tract and other disorders, see Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Depression and Schizophrenia, by Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD; “Why Broth is Beautiful,” in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, Spring 2003, by Kaayla T. Daniel, MS CCN; Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine, by N.R. Gotthoffer; Hydrophilic Colloid Diet, by F.M. Pottenger, MD; Restoring Your Digestive Health: How the Guts and Glory Program Can Transform Your Life, by Jordan Rubin, NMD and Joseph Brasco; and the Weston A. Price Foundation at www.westonaprice.org.


 

the pot ready to roll

A pot of beef stock, ready to "roll"!

Beef Stock

about 4 pounds boney bones, marrow or knuckle bones

about 3 pounds meaty bones, chuck ribs or neck bones

4 quarts pure water

3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped

3 carrots, coarsely chopped

3 onions, coarsely chopped

¼ cup raw vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar

Roast meaty bones in the oven at 350 degrees until browned, about an hour or so. Meanwhile, place boney bones in a large, heavy stock pot with the vinegar and water and let soak for 1 hour. The vinegar will act on the bones and help to draw out the calcium and the gelatin for a rich stock. When the meaty bones are browned, add to the pot, along with any accumulated juices and the vegetables.

Bring the pot to a boil; skim the scum, and lower to a simmer. Do not cover the pot. The stock should be fairly still on the surface with movement underneath. (I call this “rolling”.) Roll the stock for a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 72 hours, and then strain. The longer you roll the stock, the more concentrated it will become. (Be sure to keep the bones covered with water throughout, unless you want a demi glace.) Pour into a low pan to bring to room temperature quickly (within 4 hours), and then cool in the refrigerator. Remove fat from the top of the stock and save to cook with later. As a saturated fat, beef tallow is one of the healthiest fats to cook foods at high temperatures. Under the fat you will find thick, rich gelatin. If the stock has not gelled, you may wish to add a good-quality gelatin to the stock when you use it in recipes. (Bernard Jensen produces a high-quality gelatin; see http://www.radiantlifecatalog.com.)

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a 99 cent sausage is not a sausage

It is quite interesting these days, folks, food is not food. I continue to be amazed at how easily we are allowing ourselves to have the proverbial wool pulled over our eyes multiple times a day…almost everywhere we look.

Today we drove by a 7 Eleven, which boasted “sausage biscuit 99 cents” on a very large sign. Oy. Looks like a great deal, a sausage biscuit for less than a dollar. What do you think is in that sausage? Hmmmmmm. And what do you think is in that biscuit? Used to be that a sausage biscuit could be a health-full breakfast option. 7 Eleven is banking on your remembering it fondly. I can almost smell the sage sausage cooking and see the flaky biscuit it sits on. (You can bet this bargain biscuit was not made with good for you lard, like your grandma used to make!)

“Sausage healthy?!” you ask. “She surely is mistaken.” But alas, I am not. A sausage is not a sausage, and a 99 cent sausage from 7 Eleven is surely not healthy. First of all, as cheap as it is, I would bet the sausage is made of pork parts you would rather not be eating, if you knew which part of the pig from which they came. Next, this 99 cent sausage has to be from a pig that was raised in a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation)–otherwise known as CAGES where pigs are concerned. (I know I cannot feel good about eating any animal that has been raised in a cage, a crate, on concrete, or in any other way that is contrary to their specific “animal-ness”. For more information about an animal expressing their animal-ness, see Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm who talks about it all the time.) Don’t want to even guess what was in that pig’s fed. And hmmm, I would also bet that a good bit of that thing they are calling “sausage” is made up of soy protein…GMO soy protein, to boot. How about the preservatives and nitrates and nitrites? So there are quite a few problems with that “sausage”. I would venture to say it is not a sausage at all. A FAR CRY from sausage that is a) all pork, and b) raised on on pasture (or woods, really. Pigs like that best.) A 99 cent sausage is not sausage. Neither is al lot of other sausage out there. Know your sources, folks. You get my point.

And let’s talk a bit about that FAT issue that is going through your mind–I can see it now. Fat from pigs raised sustainably is good fat. It is health-full fat, and it is good for you. The “diet dictocrats” as Sally Fallon Morell would call them want you to think that saturated fat and eggs are bad for your health. It couldn’t be further from the truth! Your brain and your heart are saturated fat dependent organs, (according to Tom Cowan, M.D. at the Fourfold Path to Healing Conference, 2011) and every cell in your body is made up of saturated fat. It is necessary for all sorts of functions in the body, from cell membranes to lung surfectant, to kidneys and  your brain. Saturated fat makes up the largest percentage of breast milk, our first food. “Human physiology does not change as our bodies grow”, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. And our nutrient needs do not change as we grow older. So eat that nitrate-free, sustainably raised sausage. And bacon, too. Liberally. And with relish, so to speak. 🙂

Let’s look into a few more foods which are not what they seem to be.

On the right, a Polyface egg...

Eat pastured eggs! You can tell by the dark orange yolk that the egg on the right is nutrient-dense! It's from POLYFACE Farm.

An egg is not an egg. Whether teaching my Cooking for Well-Being cooking classes or giving a talk at a school PTA meeting on foods for healthy children, I find myself needing to illuminate again the understanding that “an egg is not an egg”. Eggs have been demonized throughout American culture for decades now, and I must say that I am disappointed that we continue to lump all eggs into one basket, so to speak. They are just not the same. One cannot compare the nutrient value of an egg produced by a hen expressing her “chicken-ness” as Joel Salatin would say, to those in an egg from a chicken who is prohibited to do so. Eggs from chickens living in battery cages stacked on top of one another and eating fortified grain (and grain filled with GMO soy and a host of other unsavory, not good for you things, I might add) , and prohibited from eating bugs, produce a very different nutrient profile. What goes IN determines what comes OUT .  The nutrient profile and nutrient density of eggs produced in these two dramatically different environs simply cannot be the same. An egg IS NOT an egg. But those who tell you not to eat eggs do not mention this and don’t want you to think about it. They would prefer that you not see, not look, not compare…so you may continue to be “hoodwinked” and believe that “all eggs are not good for you”. Couldn’t be farther from the truth, folks.

Let’s look together at milk. All milk IS NOT created equal. This comes up a lot when people come to me to talk about children with food allergies and seasonal allergies, and lots of colds and sinus infections. They have had their children tested and their children are “allergic to dairy”. And for years I have been asking them-“which dairy”? Cow dairy? Goat dairy? or sheep dairy? and most cannot tell me, because their doctor or allergist did not tell them. They don’t even know which dairy their children were tested for. But then “the kicker”–they are lumping pasteurized milk in with raw milk. Milk is not milk, folks. What  is currently being sold as milk is not milk at all. Different nutrient profile. Different nutrient density. No lactase to digest the lactose. Denatured protein. From cows fed GRAIN (unless you check for grass-fed) and let’s not even talk about the hormones! So simply said, organic or not, grass-fed or not, pasteurized milk is not the same as raw milk. It is not the same as milk the way nature intended it to be. It is not the same as it was designed to be as it is produced by cows.  But the dairy industry and the FDA want you to believe it is. Because if you knew, if you REALLY knew what is in that pasteurized milk, and what has happened to the proteins in the milk as a result of pasteurization, you would not drink that milk. And you certainly would not serve it to your children.

Certified raw milk is full of live enzymes, lactase to break down lactose (which is why “lactose-intolerant” folks can often drink raw milk with ease of digestion) and healthy bacteria, which is REQUIRED for good health. Heck, raw milk will even heal wounds. When raw milk goes sour, you can continue to use it, continue to drink it, as it has healthfully soured. (Contrast with soured pasteurized milk which can make you very sick. Pasteurization not only kills enzymes and denatures proteins in milk, it also kills both good and bad bacteria. And the “bad bacteria” is left in the milk for you to drink. Dead bad bacteria in every gulp. Yuck.)

While we are at it, let’s take a look at salt. Yep, you guessed it. Salt is not salt. All salt is not created equal. Everyone tells you, cut down on salt. Especially those with high blood pressure. Well…yes. Cut down on sodium chloride, good ole NaCl. The salt with the girl with the umbrella on the container. Kosher salt. Heck, any salt that is not full of trace minerals IS suspect. We NEED THOSE TRACE MINERALS. So be sure to use a sea salt, ancient sea bed salt, or celtic salt that is chock full of minerals. Every cell needs them. Every day. So don’t be fooled again…use that celtic salt. AND be sure to use it when cooking for your children. They need minerals too!

MC eating butter

Ahhh, just enough pastured butter. Delish!

Let’s not forget BUTTER. Mmmm mmm yum. Everyone I remind about the health benefits of pastured butter thanks me profusely. People LOVE butter. And for good reason: grass-fed butter is just plain good for you. And I am not talking about L___ O’ Lakes. I am not even talking organic butter. Because one more time with feeling… all butter IS NOT alike. Butter from pastured cows has a perfect fatty acid profile. That means if you eat enough of it, you may be able to stop popping those fish oil capsules. Can you believe it? And good butter, grass-fed butter, is a wonderful fat to cook with, add to those SOAKED grains you serve, and slather on sourdough bread. It even helps to neutralize the phytates left in the bread after a good soak or ferment. So serve that butter! and enjoy!

I am asking you folks to pull the wool off your eyes and start using that discriminating brain you’ve got when it comes to food. Don’t be hoodwinked! Don’t be fooled! Use that brain to discriminate between “REAL Food” and the “food products” out there that are masquerading as food. I’ve unmasked some of the key impostors here for you, and hopefully given you more than “food for thought”. The rest is up to you. Be well. Eat well. Eat REAL food. 🙂

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I’m in the desert. The “food desert*”.

I am currently in the desert, or one of them. Stranded in Phoenix, AZ on the way to San Francisco. (Okay, “stranded” is a bit severe, but you get my point.) On my way to the 2011 Fourfold Healing Conference that starts today. One of the planes I was to be on had some mechanical issues, so there was a new plane, and yes, delays. And I landed here. In Phoenix, on the way to San Francisco. I have no problem with Phoenix, or with deserts, per se. I do have a problem with what I have been experiencing, however. A food desert. I’ll tell you more.

I woke up today in my airline voucher room feeling stranded. Stranded between two islands…or oases. I became aware of my thought that I was between two points…two places or “oases” (yes, get the visual here)…and I am. I am between my home and my destination point. I am between my home and a conference. But it is more than that. I am lost in a desert, a food desert, between my home, where I create, serve, and eat nourishing, REAL food, and a conference where they will serve and I will eat nourishing food. (Yes, locally sourced, organic, nutrient-dense, prepared traditionally so the nutrients are available to the body. At a conference!) In between, there is not much REAL food to eat! Oh, a banana or an apple or two at the airport…I even found an organic yogurt (albeit the second ingredient was organically milled cane sugar). But that was it folks. It is a FOOD DESERT OUT HERE between these two points. And I’m in it. (Temporarily, thank God.) The scary thing is, this is “what is” for the average American, and certainly the average American traveler. Heck, even those in business class are out here with me. No REAL food to be found. Or very little. NONE on the plane and the food from the restaurant at the airport in DC gave me a racing heart, dry mouth, deep thirst,  and smelly flatulence! BTW, flatulence means that your body is having difficulty digesting the food you have eaten. The smell reflects the amount of toxins your body is having to process. So if you’re smelly often, you may want to review what you are eating and how your body is digesting or failing to digest your food. :))

As I said previously, I have no problem with the city I’m in. (In fact, if I had a longer layover, I’d get to see a dear cousin who lives here.) The hotel is nice, and they will do their best to serve a lovely, typical American breakfast…continental or “full”. The folks with whom I am traveling, all seventeen of us sharing this unplanned stopover–will probably say it is wonderful, bountiful and delicious. But I am blessed and cursed with “eyes that see”…or just with “knowing” what REAL food is, and what our bodies need to thrive. I am HOPING for REAL BUTTER…but I have a feeling that even if I find it, all that I will be able to spread it on will be refined wheat products…no sourdough, no sprouted grains, no soaked oatmeal.  I am HOPING for REAL CREAM…but that is hard to find in these days of full fat fear…if I am able to find even “half and half”, bet your bottom dollar it won’t be organic, it won’t be from grass-fed cows, and it will be UHT (ultra-high temperature pasteurized). I KNOW I won’t find any ferments…I may be able to find some plain yogurt. But again, it will be from cows raised on grain, not organic, certainly low-fat or no-fat…Perhaps I’ll find some bacon or sausage–but locally sourced and nitrate free? Think again. So…what to do? Not eat? Not an option today, folks. I am living on 4 plus hours of sleep after a very choppy day of travel, with a full day and weekend ahead of me. So I have to eat something. At this point it’s just “fuel for the body” to get to my final destination point…where I KNOW the food will be nourishing, whole, REAL, and truly satisfying. Until then, I’ll do my best to pick and choose the best of what I am presented with. Until I am out of the desert.

The bigger question of course remains…how to populate the food desert between the two points with REAL food. With the ability to discern what is nourishing and nurturing food that will help the body thrive. And that, as you know my dear readers, is the point of all I do. On to the conference and back into my life to “teach, teach, teach!” and do my best to make the desert fertile with REAL food. For all of us.

*Note:  I am borrowing a term that is usually used these days to describe urban areas where there is no fresh food to be found for sometimes miles. Yes, miles. Those “food deserts” must also be addressed, and some of the efforts of “urban agriculture” are doing so. For examples, see the city of Baltimore and San Francisco. Future Harvest offered good information about urban ag at their conference this past January.

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