Hilda Gore – Wise Traditions and Weston A. Price Foundation Introduction
I’ve often referenced the work of Dr Weston A. Price. Many of you will have heard of him. Some of you may not, but I believe he did some of the most important pieces of research that have ever been done in human health. A big statement I know, but I’m putting it out there. It’s research that was done in the first half of the 20th century and covered many areas in the world, but it’s just as relevant, if not more relevant, to us today than ever.
Now, the repository of this work is the Weston A. Price Foundation. My guest, today, is the host of the Wise Tradition Podcast, which is part of that foundation. My guest is Hilda Gore. Hilda gives the history of Dr Price’s work and outlines 11 guiding principles. I love them. I hope you do too. I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Hilda Gore.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Hello and welcome to Unstress. I’m Dr Ron Ehrlich. I’ve often referenced the work of Dr Weston A. Price. Many of you will have heard of him. Some of you may not, but I believe he did some of the most important pieces of research that have ever been done in human health. A big statement I know, but I’m putting it out there. It’s research that was done in the first half of the 20th century and covered many areas in the world, but it’s just as relevant, if not more relevant, to us today than ever.
Now, the repository of this work is the Weston A. Price Foundation. My guest, today, is the host of the Wise Tradition Podcast, which is part of that foundation. My guest is Hilda Gore. Hilda gives the history of Dr Price’s work and outlines 11 guiding principles. I love them. I hope you do too. I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Hilda Gore. Welcome to the show, Hilda.
Hilda Gore: Thank you for having me, Ron.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Hilda, you’re a podcaster as well and we’re going to talk about your connection with the Weston A. Price Foundation, but I always like to hear about your own journey, professionally on your … and your own health journey and how they relate. I wonder if you might share that with our listener.
Hilda Gore: Absolutely. So my story actually begins before I was born. No kidding.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: No, no. That’s a good place to start.
Hilda Gore: So when my mother was pregnant with me, she got exposed to the German measles and the doctors told her that her child was going to be born with a serious birth defect. And of course, my parents were alarmed and concerned and I was born with a birth defect. It was a hole between the lower two ventricles of my heart. So I had a hole in my heart. The blood was flowing in a direction it’s not supposed to flow and the doctor said, “Gosh, if we don’t perform surgery, this is not going to correct itself and your daughter will not live very long.” So I had open heart surgery, Ron, when I was nine years old. Can you imagine?
So they performed the surgery and after that, they said, “You can do whatever you want.” So what did I want to do? I wanted to take good care of my body and I think it also shaped the direction of my life. I wanted to help other people do the same. So I kind of had a shaky start. I couldn’t be super active when I was little because they didn’t know if the hole would get larger or whatever. They were always monitoring me at the National Institute for Health. And then after the surgery, they said, “You can do whatever you want.” And so then, I took off in the direction of health and wellness as a field and a career.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Well, that’s … I mean, I know the work. Weston A. Price, who talks a lot about preconception health and the whole journey from that point on. But nine years is actually quite a long time. I mean, in my own book, I quote a friend of our family’s who had a similar experience, mind you, only a few years ago, and had open heart surgery at two weeks old. So nine years was a long time to wait to correct this issue. It must have really affected you.
Hilda Gore: I think it did. I think it really did on some levels. I felt kind of fragile. I remember going to amusement parks and the sign on some of the rides would say, “Do not ride if you have heart trouble or if you’re pregnant.” And I thought, “Oh, I guess that’s me.” And I would ex myself out. I didn’t really know what I could do or couldn’t do. And now, I feel like I can do anything. So just to tell you the in-between part, so I had the surgery. I wanted to help people and help myself, so I became a fitness professional at first. I’m a group fitness professional. I’m certified by the American Council on Exercise. I was all about movement.
I didn’t understand the food piece until my dearest friend became sick with chronic fatigue, and of course, conventional doctors had no answers for her. And she tried everything. She started playing around with her diet and she met the head of the Weston Price Foundation. She met Sally Fallon Morell at a health fair and Sally was glowing with health. And my friend thought, “Okay, I want what you have.” So my friend started eating the Wise Traditions way and then it was like she put a little bug in my ear. She started saying, “Maybe you should think about this.” And I thought, “Well, maybe it does matter how we fill our bodies.”
So little by little, I got hooked in and wow. Once you go down that path of eating real, nutrient-dense, nourishing food, you just can’t go back. So I feel better than ever and I’m a health coach now, certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I’m just so excited to be a voice for healthy living.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: It’s a big issue. And I mean, I was going to, before we lob into that, a bit more about the Weston A. Price Foundation, I wondered if you might just … you’re there, in the USA, and I’d just be interested to get sort of a picture, a snapshot, if you like, of how healthy are you guys over there.
Hilda Gore: Honestly, we are sicker than ever. We are sicker than ever and you would think modern medicine could lend a hand, but people are popping pills all over the place. I was talking to a woman, literally on a park bench in my neighbourhood the other day, and she said, “The kids in my classroom are on all kinds of meds, and I’m not just talking ADD meds.” She said, “It’s antidepressants. It’s for kids with serious psychological issues.” And she teaches second grade. So I was alarmed, but she was saying the main problem … she wasn’t even saying the main problem was that they were popping the meds. The main problem is that parents can’t keep them on the meds. And I was like, “Oh my goodness.”
So we’re not getting at the root of the issue. We are very sick, but we still think by taking pharmaceutical drugs we can turn things around. And of course, you and I both know, it’s going to take more than that. So it’s quite alarming. Obesity is at an all-time high. Diabetes is on the rise. Everything from arthritis to autoimmune conditions. It’s quite alarming and that’s one reason I’m so committed to what I’m doing. And yes, my ties with the Weston Price Foundation are a big part of what I do.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yes. I know a friend of ours, who’s a primary school teacher of 30 years experience, said when she started her career, special needs kids in a class of 30, might’ve been one on an asthma medication, and now, a third of the class at least are on some form of medication or they have allergies or behavioural issues. I mean, in America, I know that the consumption of the pharmaceuticals is huge.
Hilda Gore: It is. It really is and it’s … some people say, “You got to follow where the money is.” In other words, what’s the money trail here? Why are they pushing … also flu vaccines at every turn. You go to a grocery store and outside it says, “Get five dollars off your order for a flu shot.” And I’m thinking, “Why are they trying to get me to get the flu shot?” And then, in other places, they’re starting to say the flu season extends from April through February or something. And I’m like, “This can’t be so.”
Common sense tells you something’s wrong here, but again, these companies are bent, not on our health, but on making money. And so I’m hoping that the public is waking up to this truth. I’m not quite sure what it’s going to take to make that happen, but we’re on the same team, you and I and many others. I’m grateful for those voices.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yeah. Well, it’s a story. I mean, and it also affects busy health practitioners, busy medical practitioners. It’s a story … the influence of the food and pharmaceutical industry on all levels of healthcare is something we explore on this podcast, but it’s a story that’s very easy to miss, but once you hear it, it’s very difficult to ignore. But listen, you are perfectly …
Now, Weston A. Price has been a bit of a hero to me, of course, for most of my professional career, being a dentist, and he too. And you are perfectly placed to give us a historical perspective on Weston A. Price, his findings, the relevance to us today. I wonder what is … tell us a bit about him and the organization, the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Hilda Gore: Weston A. Price is a very unique man. As you said, he was a dentist, but he was so much more. He was a researcher. He was an investigator. He had a curious mind, and he documented what he found. This is the story. So he was actually from Canada originally. Then, he moved to the United States and was in Ohio. And he would treat kids in his clinic, and he kept scratching his head because the kids who came into his clinic suffered from cavities and crowding of the teeth in the mouth, and they just weren’t well.
They had behavioural issues. And at the same time as he’s treating all these kids, he’s getting National Geographic magazine, and he sees these amazing specimens of human beings with these beautiful, broad smiles, the broad faces, the good posture, the healthy vitality, that he was not seeing in the kids in his clinic in Ohio.
And so he thought to himself, “Number one, do these people really exist? And number two, if they do, what are they eating?” So he took it upon himself to do a 10 year world tour with his wife, and he took all of the equipment he could to, not only write down on pieces of paper what he found, but he documented with photographs, and he sent samples of the food of indigenous peoples around the world back to his lab in Ohio for further analysis. And what he found was this, Ron: all over the world, people were eating varied diets, as you can imagine, local to their part of the world.
Hilda Gore: So the people in Alaska were eating whale blubber and seal oil and lots of seafood. The people in Kenya were, the indigenous peoples that he found that were not touched by western culture, they were eating the meat from the cow, and they were drinking the milk, the raw milk, and they were drinking the blood, and maybe some raw honey and fruits. But everyone had very different diets.
In Switzerland, as you can imagine, it was cheese and butter and all the good dairy stuff. So very different. And yet, the people were all so, so well. So he started to write down and keep track of kind of the commonalities of these varied groups around the world. Well, what he found was what we based the Weston Price Foundation on, are these principles that they all had in common.
Hilda Gore: And then, what we want to do … the purpose of the foundation is to help people rediscover these traditional ways of living and eating because therein lies the secret to our good health. Our ancestors didn’t have cancer, poor posture, endometrioses. And you might say, “Well, they couldn’t diagnose it back then.” By all accounts, if people died, it was because they were attacked by a grizzly or maybe some disease did run through and kill certain parts of the population, but generally, the ones that survived were hale and hearty in a way that we don’t even understand today.
We’re just beginning to understand. So I have joined hands with the foundation because I also … over time, by my friend’s convincing and just by my own study, came to realize this is life-giving information, and the best part: it does not belong to any one nation of the world. There are wise traditions all around the world.
And when I travel … and I’ve had the opportunity to go to Peru and to Kenya. And as you know, I’m coming to Australia in September. When I travel, I say, “Don’t eat the way we eat in the United States, please. We’ve gone off the cliff in a bad way. You need to eat the way your ancestors ate.” So it’s an idea of collaborating and rediscovering the traditional ways for good health today.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Now you mentioned common principles that were … because it was such a variety of places with such a variety of foods. It incorporated, as you say, some dairy, and it incorporated a lot of fat, and it incorporated some grains, and some fruit, and all this. But there were some common principles. What were those common principles?
Hilda Gore: Well, there are actually 11 and it might take a lot of time to get into all of that, but I will tell you my favourites maybe. I don’t … yeah, I guess we do have time.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: We do have time. Don’t worry. We’re not on a time clock here. Just keep talking.
Hilda Gore: That’s the spirit. Well, the first thing he noticed was that they had no refined or denatured foods. In other words, they were eating the whole, real foods available to them where they were. No processed flours, white flour, or white sugar, or oils that are not naturally found and overly extruded. So that was one commonality everywhere he went, even though, as we said, the diets were varied.
Another was a big surprise for Dr Price, was that he thought he would find vegetarian peoples, and he did not. So all the people included animal products in some way, shape, or form in their diets. So there were all kinds of bone broths and fish and even insects that would bring the protein and the fats. But it wasn’t just plant-based foods. And those people that he did find that had a predominantly plant-based diet with just a sprinkling, let’s say, a smidge of animal foods, were not the healthiest specimens he found.
Hilda Gore: And again, he was able to … I didn’t say this part yet, but for those who want to geek out a little bit, I can tell you: he was able to compare the indigenous peoples who were eating these real, traditional foods with the control group of those who had had some western influence in their diet. And what he found was startling. Not only was the health compromised of those who had access to these sweet foods, the foods you call the displacing foods of modern commerce, things that wouldn’t naturally be in their area, but that they got ahold of. And they had the same things he was seeing back in the United States: the teeth issues, the behavioural issues, the posture, more disease was rampant. And more importantly, the next generation was often born compromised from the start, so that the kids had more issues.
And he also noticed in particular, as a dentist would, the shape of the face and the crowding of the teeth, kind of a narrowing of the face. And this is one of those things like you were mentioning, Ron, that can’t be unseen once you’ve seen it. If I can digress for a moment, I want to tell you a story of when I was in Peru. So I had the privilege to go … I felt like Dr Price because I went to this high mountain area in the Andes to this town in Ihah.
And I met these indigenous people who spoke, yes, I’m Spanish, but also their traditional Quechua and they ate a lot of their traditional foods. As a matter of fact, in their lunchroom at the school I visited, they had chicken feet there, which was so surreal to see. They would just suck all the collagen and everything they could get out of these little chicken feet. It was like a little snack for them. I was so pleased.
Hilda Gore: And they also had this fermented potato soup that they served us, and I could see that they were still doing a lot of things grounded by their roots, and it was beautiful. And they had, many of them, not all of them, had the very round faces of the indigenous people of that region, and it was a beautiful thing. Then later in the week, I was down in Lima and I went to a university, and I got to speak to university students. And I literally saw what Dr Price had talked about.
I saw the kids that looked more pale with the narrower faces, and the crowded teeth, and they just did not look as well. You and I both know, it’s not just the food, although that is a big factor, it’s also the lifestyle. These kids are on their computers and inside studying under fluorescent lights. They’re not touching the ground. They’re not getting that sunshine. They’re not in the community as much. It was startling to see that difference in that country. Once you see this, you can’t unsee it. You’ll find it all over the world.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: What he describes in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, people don’t often associate their crowded teeth, or the fact that they needed to have their wisdom teeth out, or other teeth out, or the teeth are all crowded, that is actually a physical degeneration. But go on. You were talking … and actually, we’re only at principle two, but it does … no, but this is good.
I mean, it’s terrific, but this whole issue of vegetarian and vegan and I’m particularly intrigued by the vegan movement because it’s becoming very, very powerful and very vocal. And I totally understand their reasons for doing it because it’s usually to … it’s ethical. They don’t want to harm an animal. And it’s health. They feel they’re healthier for it. And I think both need to be challenged. And unless I’m mistaken, Hilda, and I often ask this question. Perhaps you can answer it. Is there a culture in human history that has thrived generation after generation on a vegan diet?
Hilda Gore: No. Oh, no, not that I know of. And I-
Dr Ron Ehrlich: And that’s a … yeah. Go on.
Hilda Gore: No, no. I’ve studied with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and I’ve looked at hundreds of diets all around the planet. And I do believe this. I will tell you this and this is probably important for people to know: when people decide to go vegetarian or even vegan, I do believe in a sense they are detoxing the body. And Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride says the same in her book, Vegetarianism Explained.
So there is a sense where they’re giving their body a little break, the digestive system a little break, but what they can’t do without animal foods is they can’t build it back up. So do we want to clear our body out? Will people feel better, especially initially, when they cast animal products aside from their diet? Maybe so, but in the long term, it can’t sustain their health and that’s where the danger lies.
And I agree with the passion behind the movement to care for the planet and care for the animals. And the funny thing is, I agree with both of those points, but my approach is different. I think animals are very needed for regenerating the soil and Allan Savory, who I’ve had on my show, talks about that quite a bit, and so does Joel Salatin. So animals are actually a tool we can use to improve the planet’s health and they do not need to be avoided because once they’ve given their part, we can eat them gratefully in thanksgiving.
And then, in terms of our own ethical choices, well, the animals can also be treated well and that gives them their dignity and they live a good life. And as Sally Fallon Morell has told me, when you raise an animal right, it only has one bad day. And of course, that’s the day that it has to be processed.
We do not want to see animals all piled up on top of each other, chickens so stressed out because of their conditions, that they’re picking each other and pecking their feathers out. I mean, that’s just horrific. No matter who you are, nobody wants to see that, but nor do I want to see people’s health decline because they think they’re making a choice that’s better for themselves and the planet when it is neither.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yeah. Well, throughout our entire human history, we’ve had a very intimate relationship with animals and I believe we need to treat them as sacred and honour them. And I know in your show, you’ve spoken about the fact that we only use a very small proportion of the animal and yet, most of the goodness is in what we don’t use, which adds to the irony of how we treat animals.
Hilda Gore: Yes. In some cultures, they would actually set the muscle meat aside and really go for the organs. Animals in the wild, this is what they do. If a lion kills its prey, it’s going to go after the liver and the juicy bits that we sometimes turn our nose up at. But yes, those are very nutrient-dense and I want to elaborate on that because that’s actually a buzz word that we use a lot in the foundation. When Dr Price sent the traditional foods back to his lab for analysis and he looked at them very carefully, he noticed that traditional diets, wherever they were from, whatever part of the world, had at least four times the amount of water-soluble vitamins and minerals and 10 times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins than the American diet of his time.
So this is wild to think about because the American diet has only gradually gone more and more downhill. And so we need that nutrient density back and the organ meats are probably a part of the equation that we’re missing. For a while, we just bought hook, line, and sinker what the government told us, which is to eat more grains, and the egg has cholesterol in it, so that’s bad for you.
And all this misinformation has led to our decline in health. I think that’s one of the reasons. So we are about trying to get people back to get to that nutrient density. Vegetables and fruits are fine, but they’re not as rich in the nutrients that we need for proper brain function, for proper bone health, as the nutrient-dense organ meats and the foods that have more heft to them, if you know what I mean.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: I do. I do indeed. And I think it’s worth reminding our listener that Weston A. Price was around in the early part of the 20th century. So he did his work from … what? Around 1910-30? What was the timeframe?
Hilda Gore: 1930 to 1940.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: 1930 to 1940. Okay. So that’s when he did his 10-year tour. When we’re talking about soils, when we’re talking about diets, a lot of that has degenerated even since then. So yeah. Go on. So this was principle number two: animal products in all. Give us number three.
Hilda Gore: Well, three is actually about the nutrient density, which is fascinating. And then number four is that all traditional cultures cooked some of their food, but they also consumed a portion of their animal food raw. So that’s interesting and that doesn’t mean you need to eat raw meat or raw liver, although, of course, you can and probably should. But even dairy products: raw cheeses, raw milk, those are easily consumed by those who may be squeamish about organ meats, for example. But that’s super fascinating to me.
There’s something alive in those foods that we can’t get from them when they’re pasteurized or packaged. And that’s another issue that I think we’re struggling within the US, there are a lot of allergies here, and a lot of people are … I guess they would say they’re lactose intolerant, or they can’t handle dairy products, when in fact they’re pasteurization intolerant, in other words, if they had the real raw deal, raw yogurt, or kefir, or milk, they might be surprised by what their body can handle.
Because that comes with all the active enzymes and beneficial bacteria, compared to some of these pasteurized products where they heat treat it and do different things so that it’s, none of that alive stuff is there. It’s like a dead product on the shelf, and your body can’t handle it ’cause your body is like what is this. So, this is a fascinating conversation.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yes, well I know the milk, and the raw milk movement is something that the Weston A. Price is championing, and I know that the alternate view with that is are you crazy, we’ve got to have pasteurized to keep it clean. What do you say to people like that?
Hilda Gore: Well it’s interesting, it’s like … I’m trying to think of a good illustration, but, it’s kind of not treating the root of the problem. It’s like if I go to you with a broken bone, and you put a bandaid on it, and it’s like well no wait the bone is broken, but you’re like this will help. So, in other words, when we go to pasteurize, we are cleaning up, or supposedly getting rid of pathogens, but what we really should have done is something a few steps back, which was clean up the conditions that the cattle find themselves in.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yes.
Hilda Gore: So, in other words, we’re treating it after the fact instead of preventing the, so maybe the broken bone wasn’t a great illustration.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: That’s okay.
Hilda Gore: Make sure I’m safer on a swing set before I fall off, as opposed to treating me afterwards. So that’s the idea. So, that’s one thing I would say, the other thing is, milk naturally has some pathogen-fighting bacteria which get killed off when you pasteurize. So, yes you killed bad guys if they’re any in there, but you also kill off the good guys. And so what you wanna do is keep all of them in there and trust, especially if the animal is from a good healthy, sustainable, Ag kind of situation, that the milk it’s gonna have more of the good guys in it than the bad guys if that makes sense.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: I did read one of the books that Weston A. Price has and talked about, the historical perspective of this pasteurizing issue, because at one point I think there were breweries on every corner, in every city, and the slops that came from the production of those beers, were fed … they used to have cows in the back shed which they’d just feed the slops to, and a cow might live for two or three years, whereas a normal out on the range cow could live for much longer, I think 20 years wouldn’t be unusual.
And, the quality of the milk that was being produced in those urban environments was so poor that it really was a health danger, and so when pasteurization came around it was a major breakthrough. But of course, as you say, if we raised our cows, our dairy cows, in a healthy way then there are many benefits within that natural product called milk.
Hilda Gore: Absolutely. And, I have to tell you, I’ve interviewed people on my show, I think of Charlotte Smith, who has a creamery out west in the United States, and she healed her son’s eczema with it, people have found a lot of healing. So, it’s not just, okay this milk is satisfying and nourishing, but they found healing from various ailments and conditions, including some skin issues, drinking raw milk. So it has those beneficial properties that I’m afraid we miss when we decide not to have it all together.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: And of course, the raw food movement is a huge movement, along with the vegan, and what a combo, vegan and raw food. But, I think there was a pretty big breakthrough in our own revolutionary journey when we discovered fire and cooking. Tell us, that was pretty important, wasn’t it?
Hilda Gore: It was, it was. I interviewed doctor Bill Schindler, who actually is an amazing professor at the Eastern Shore Food Lab in Maryland, and he walked me through the different seasons or eras of mankind, and I actually never realized, until I talked to him, how important fire was. You’re right, it gave us an ability to enjoy foods, we thereto for had not, and to also get the most out of them. So that’s why that combination is important. All raw sounds wonderful, like oh how healthy can you get? But some foods you’re better off cooking.
For example, I can think of an egg, the egg yolk itself is a powerhouse of nutrients, the egg white a little less so, as a matter of fact I know Sally Fallon Morell would say “Okay, if you wanna put an egg in a smoothie or something, don’t put the white in.” And so that’s interesting, right? But if you cook it, it loses some of its anti-nutrients I guess. But even so, some people avoid it altogether, the white I mean. So, there’s a lot to be seen there, but you’re right, fire introduced a new ability for us to enjoy our food and to get more out of it. So, definitely, again, there was that balance, some foods were raw, and some were cooked.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yup. Okay, so, we’re up to number four, go on, give us number five.
Hilda Gore: Okay. Actually, this one is really exciting because I just love kombucha so much, but it’s that all traditional peoples had some kind of fermented food in their diet. And I mentioned kombucha ’cause it’s all the rage here in the US, I don’t know how it’s doing in Australia-
Dr Ron Ehrlich: You see it a lot here.
Hilda Gore: But that is that fermented tea that has that kind of bubbly effervescence, and just makes it so easy to consume, and it is a drink that is just full of all kinds of beneficial enzymes and bacteria and can bring some stability, and repopulate the gut with some probiotics, which is fantastic. But it’s not just kombucha, of course there are all kinds of traditional foods like sauerkraut in Germany, and kimchi in Korea, and I think even the Alaskans, the Inuit people, Doctor Price saw them fermenting fish, they would just take fish and toss it in a pile, bury it for three days, and then eat it later.
Because at first, they noticed that their sled dogs were getting more energy when they ate that quote on quote what seemed like spoiled fish, was actually improved fish by natural bacteria. And when the sled dogs would eat it they had more energy and power and strength to pull the sleds, so they started consuming it themselves. So, this is a fascinating, fascinating commonality that Doctor Price found, and that the foundation has promoted as well because we have built on his initial finding. So I’m not sure if he even mentions fermented food so much in his books, but we’ve continued and built on his studies, and that may be one of the principles that we’ve added in.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yeah, and it’s certainly one. I mean, exploring that in your own dyad is really … I love it. That’s something we do a lot of, I make my own sauerkraut and it’s a work in progress, literally and metaphorically, ’cause I’m always refining it, and you can always change it. Anyway. So, yeah let’s move on, this is terrific Hilda, we’re getting the overview, the big overview of this. Go for number six.
Hilda Gore: I will. Well, this one’s interesting, because of a lot of people, and I would say even those who have decided to issue meat in their diet, so they just want plants, and they’ll have seeds and nuts, and that’s great. But, traditional peoples would soak, ferment, and sprout their seeds grains and nuts to maximize the accessibility of the nutrients in those foods.
In other words, if you just prepare, let’s say, a peanut butter with peanuts that you’ve kind of cooking, but you haven’t soaked or spouted, then it’s gonna have anti-nutrients in it that actually fight your body’s digestive process, and make it hard for your body to access what it needs. Not to mention, it can poke holes in your gut. So, again, I was talking about intolerances earlier, when people say they’re gluten intolerant, they actually may be simply ingesting grains that haven’t been properly prepared.
So, we are big fans, when people are gonna have grains here in the US, especially breads, we suggest sourdough, because the real sourdough is fermented. It starts with a mother just like kombucha does, and that makes it easier for the body to access all of the nutrients available from that grain. But you can also soak your rice, and soak your nuts, and do things to get rid of the anti-nutrients to better enjoy the nutrients that are available to you.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yeah. ‘Cause, of course, these seeds and nuts have got some protective coatings around them, and the idea in nature is for them to be eaten by an animal, and then taken away through the digestive tract, and deposited somewhere else.
Hilda Gore: Ah-ha.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: I wonder whether that’s part of the thing. Seeds wanted to be protected, but if we’re gonna eat them without that animal in between, maybe we need to … that’s what that soaking is really all about, isn’t it? What about number seven?
Hilda Gore: Number seven, actually, is a great topic for today because a lot of people are concerned or wondering how much fat should we have in our diets. It’s a big question, keto is also on the rise here, that ketogenic diet, which is a high fat, low carb kind of diet. And Doctor Price found that the fat content varied, really from people group to people group, and so this is where people really need to analyze their own bodies and how their functioning, both how their feeling and maybe do some blood tests to see what’s gonna work best for me.
So, we can’t really give a particular recommendation on this, but fat definitely needs to be a high percentage of calories and probably higher than most people realize. I will tell you my Ellen story, so, as I told you, I was a fitness professional, I still teach classes regularly. But I remember, I would go to teach an exercise class, and half an hour within the class I would literally feel my blood sugar dip, I would start to get shaky, I would have to grab a power bar or something to kind of boost my blood sugar. I didn’t know what was going on, I just thought well I’m one of those people who just need to graze a lot, this is just me. I guess I’m borderline hypoglycemic or something, I don’t really know what’s happening.
And when I switched my diet to higher fat and higher protein that never happened again. I didn’t realize my breakfast back in the day, Ron, literally was, it’s a typical American breakfast, a little cereal with a splash of milk and a few berries on it, and somehow I expected that to sustain me for the morning and it could not do so. On the other hand, some nice eggs with bacon, and butter, and on maybe sourdough toast or whatever, I can sail for hours on that, it is amazing to me. I also used to get shaky when I tried to fast, I would literally start sweating and my hands would start shaking, and I was like oh I guess I just can’t fast.
And now, I can intermittent fast as I care to because my body has enough fuel to run on. So fat is just incredibly important in the diet, and more importantly, I would even venture to say, than protein or carbs. So, but people need to pay attention to their own bodies for what percentage they should have. But it’s an important element to our diets. And low fat was, unfortunately, the way our country was steered years ago, and some people are still into that, and I’m afraid that that’s damaged their health as well.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Now Hilda, I know as we go through these principles I can imagine how enthusiastic and excited we are both getting, so just hold your microphone very still ’cause I’m hearing some movement as you’re kind of, I’m sure, getting excited about it. But this fat business here is a really major one, and this idea of fasting too, because I’m not sure, is fasting one of these? Are we gonna talk about this in these eleven principles? Because this is a good spot to stop at I think, and just reflect on that because I think one of the things that …
I’ve been following the Weston A Price for 20, 30 years, and this nutrient-dense idea. But, one of the things about our ancestral past is this concept of scarcity, we never had access to three meals a day, and two snacks in between. Yeah, is fasting emerging as a twelfth principle? Or is it in there in the eleven principles?
Hilda Gore: Well I can’t say because I’m not a member of the board. But I can tell you this, Sally, the head of the foundation FAS, I’ve interviewed Doctor Tom Karen on the subject, and you are exactly right Ron, that people did not have the access to food that we do today. It is probably one of the reasons we are struggling with obesity, and weight gain, and discomfort because we are overfed and undernourished.
So the idea is to turn that around, and surprisingly, as I said if people nourish themselves well with nutrient-dense, whole, real foods, they may be surprised at what their body can do. And I understand there’s an element of detoxification that comes with fasting, an element of digestive rest that we’re missing when we’re constantly filling our pie whole so to speak.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yeah, absolutely. Now, let’s move on to number eight.
Hilda Gore: Okay. Well, I have to tell you straight up this is my weakest one, so I’m not great on this one, but I can mention it and then you can just take off on that.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Okay, okay.
Hilda Gore: Okay. So the next principle has to do with the right balance of omega 6 and omega 3 essential fatty acids. And so I think we get concerned sometimes about if we’re getting too much of one or the other, but I think a nutrient-dense diet will balance this out. Do you know anything about this Ron?
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yeah, yeah, I do a little bit. We do need this, one is promoting inflammation which on a small scale is not a bad thing, and the other is anti-inflammatory and in nature, I think they’re generally reasonably well balanced. But I think you eluded to in principle number one, avoiding processed foods in particularly also including seed oil. So, I think this contributes to the imbalance, I think that’s kind of what the issue is here, is it not?
Hilda Gore: Yes, and it’s also what Sally discusses a lot, is The Oiling of America is what she calls it, in other words-
Dr Ron Ehrlich: I know, I’ve heard that. It’s terrific.
Hilda Gore: Yeah, it’s a wonderful term, and the idea is we’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes that when we take these oils in for cooking that are not traditional oils, like lard, okay let me back up. The traditional oils are lard, coconut oil, palm oil, real nice saturated fats, butter and the like. And the non-traditional oils that the sell as heart healthy in the stores is the canola oil, the vegetable oil, which to me I used to be like oh vegetable oil, that must be healthy, I guess I’ll but that this week, I had no clue.
But these are highly processed with this kind of extrusion process that is not natural, not found in nature, and that produces an oil that’s actually rancid, that they later go on to deodorize and colour so that it looks healthy and will not taste rancid on the tongue. So we incorporate these oils and it disrupts the natural balance that we do want of omega 6 and omega 3 essential fatty acids. So, we really have to be careful to cook with the oils that our ancestors cooked with, and I think that will help get us back to where we wanna be.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: And I think animals, industrial production of animals, throws another imbalance in there. Because if an animal is a pasture fed and finished, importantly, pasture fed and finished, then that balance is more in keeping with nature. Whereas if it’s in a feedlot being fed grains that change the fat content of the animal significantly too. Yes, okay, number nine.
Hilda Gore: Number nine makes some people kind of salty, but it’s that all traditional diets contained some salt. And it’s funny, because we’ve become salt-phobic in the US, doctors will say well watch your sodium, but the salt that we add to our food is a natural preservative, and it enhances taste and flavour, and we don’t need to fear it, especially if it is kind of an ancestral salt I would say, like a Himalayan sea salt, or a salt, Celtic salt, salts that come with those natural minerals and provides more than just a taste factor.
So, it really enhances brain function, it has all these characteristics that we kind of miss, when we have the blinders on we think processed is good and we just grab something off the shelf, we might be missing something. So, yes, all traditional cultures used salt, and we need to make sure that we are reaching back to the kind of salt that they used.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yup, music to my ears Hilda, music to my ears. Number ten.
Hilda Gore: Well, this is a beautiful thing and goes to what we were saying earlier Ron, it is about making use of the whole animal and the animal bones. So, traditional cultures didn’t waste parts of the animal, I said they cast aside the muscle meat, they probably just fed it to their dogs or something, they didn’t waste it. They would use from nose to tail every bit of the animal because there are minerals, and there are elements to the bones that they were able to extract through broths and stocks.
So, when we eat the animal, we just buy chicken breast, let’s say, at the store, we’re kind of missing part of the picture. So, what we need to do is get the most out of that. You know they sell now, I don’t know if they sell this in Australia, but they sell collagen powder which is well and good, but what they’re trying to do is replace what’s missing in our diets, but why don’t we just go ahead and buy the whole animal, get a whole chicken from a farmer, make soup from the bones and get the benefits of the whole animal as our ancestors did.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yeah exactly. I couldn’t agree more. And number eleven.
Hilda Gore: Well number eleven is a beautiful thing, and very near and dear to my own heart, is that traditional cultures made provision for those in the childbearing years, in other words, they were looking out for the next generation. They would go far to provide to both the man and the woman in their preconception state, they would provide them with varied nutrient-rich foods, almost sacred foods to make sure that they would be as fertile as possible to ensure that the next generation would have a healthy start.
So, what does this mean? This mean for example, in Peru, and Doctor Price documented this with pictures, they would go down to the ocean to get fish eggs or salmon roe and the like, and they would lay them out to dry, and then they would take them up to the mountains to give to those nursing moms, or moms who wanted to be pregnant, or to the young children. So they would make provision for this next generation.
And this is something, at least in our country right now, that we hardly do, if a woman is expecting they’ll toss some prenatal vitamins her way, kind of hoping that that will suffice, and it certainly won’t. So, we need to be helping our bodies prepare for conception, both the men and the women, and they’re many ways to do this and I would just encourage your listeners to check out the westonaprice.org website for more resources on this, because it’s supercritical if we want life on this planet earth to continue.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Yes, well look we will, of course, have links to the Weston A Price foundation website. And I agree, I think it’s just all fabulous resources. Look, here’s a plug, I don’t do many plugs, but ads that are in Australia we call it, just a $50 membership and you get this quarterly magazine which is so full of information, I know there’s some great stuff. Now listen, that brings me to you are coming to Australia in September, and what are we gonna do? We’re gonna do something together, but what’s the idea of your travel? You were giving me a bit of hint of it before we came onto the show.
Hilda Gore: Yes, well I am so excited to be coming to Australia. What happened was, the foundation sent me to Kenya to go there and give some talks and presentation, actually to a Masai tribe in Oiti in this town on the border between Kenya and Tanzania. And they reach out to us Ron, they said please send someone over we are all getting sick. And this Masai tribesman said I have diabetes, my wife has asthma.
And he had come across some of our information, and he said please come. So there I went, and it was fascinating and beautiful to go to this village, and not to say you must follow our example, but please return to your traditional ways. A year later I went back, and they had, the whole community had turned back because they were getting influenced by Western culture, and sodas, and teas, and chai tea, and all these things that weren’t normally a part of their diet.
I interviewed a man when I was there, Ron, who was so old he didn’t know how old he was, and he told me, he said: “In my time we didn’t really get sick.” He said, “You know, if it was gonna rain we would just go out and play, and now they tell me my children or grandchildren have to put on a sweater, but in my day we didn’t do that.” And he said, “We would just drink milk from the cow if we felt a chill.” It was fascinating. And he said, “We didn’t get shots, now they say get shots a disease is coming, but we didn’t get shots.” And it was just … it blew my mind.
So when I was talking to him, and I actually, also when I got on the radio in Kenya, I thought wow we need to get the word out, so that was the seed of the podcast idea. But then I also had the opportunity to go to Peru because someone there sought our help as well. And I thought well now I’ve been to two places where Doctor Price has gone, I wanna go to Australia because Doctor Price said that the Australian indigenous people that he found were like a living museum preserved from the dawn of animal life on earth, this is what he said.
Hilda Gore: Some of this language is antiquated, but what basically what he was saying was he found the aboriginal peoples or the original peoples as a friend of mine likes to say, an example of moral and physical perfection, he was enthralled. And so, I thought well I want to go, I want to see what the scene is there, I wanna encourage people in ancestral health ways, and if possible I’m trying to partner with some groups right now to talk to some of the elders from these indigenous tribes to find out what traditions are they keeping? And which have nearly been lost? Because my goal as a holistic Hilda is to be a voice for healthy living and to help us rediscover.
I partner with a foundation, I work for them and produce the show, but I’m really on my own as well in some capacity. So, I wanna do both things, I wanna do some live shows with you, I wanna talk about the work of Doctor Price. I will bring slides so people can see the things he documented when he was in Australia so many years ago. But, I also will do some things as holistic Hilda, I’m gonna do some filming, and I’m just trying to get the word out any way I can. So, that is what the trip is about, I’m very excited.
I will be in Sydney and Melbourne, I will be in the Northern territories, I hope to go to Arnhem Land and Victoria. So, stay tuned as the itinerary is still taking shape, but I’m hopeful that folks will come out and be excited and encouraged, and that will ask good questions, and that together we can build the health of everybody on this planet, that is my objective.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Well, I share that objective with you and I think it’s brilliant. And Weston A Price, I have often said, I think it is one of the most, he, conducted one of the most important bits of research in human history, and that’s a big statement, but I believe it’s true. And our own health at the moment, in our Western society, is a reflection of exactly what he’s talking about. Okay, we’re really looking forward to you coming down, and we’re gonna be very much part of … I wanna share that experience with you.
But, let’s just take a step back ’cause we’ve covered some great territory here today Hilda, we really appreciate you talking to us, but I wanted you to take a step back from your role as holistic Hilda, and the host of the Wise Traditions podcast, and I wanna ask this question ’cause we’re all on a health journey through our lives, what you do you think the biggest challenge is for people on their health journey through life, in our modern world?
The Biggest Health Challenge
Hilda Gore: Well I would say it is … we are too addicted to our technology. You used the word modern world, and that’s what made me think about it, we are kind of turning into little zombies with our cell phones, and our laptops, and at every turn these devices are drawing our attention away from real life, and you know full well because of the emphasis of your podcast Unstress, this is not a de-stressor, it’s a stressor to have that blue light emitted from our screens interfering with our circadian rhythm.
It’s a stressor because we get depressed when we see how happy everyone else seems on social media when actually that’s only their highlight reel. And there’s a lot of virtual living that’s happening, and I think that’s detracting from our real living, and I think it’s detracting from our health as well. So, if I really step aside from all those rules you told me, and if I take off all those hats, I have to say that is one matter of big concern to me. I think we need to unplug from our devices as much as possible and get back to living real life.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Hilda, what a great note to finish on. Ironically here we are on our devices, but nevermind, I think you are absolutely right. I’m so looking forward to you coming down, thank you so much for joining us today.
Hilda Gore: Oh Ron it’s been a great pleasure, thank you for having me.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: Now the overriding theme of this podcast is to explore what stress and holistic actually means in our modern world. And I think we all acknowledge that nutritional stress is an important part of that picture. The idea that we are overfed and undernourished, the fact that we have had the food pyramid, or my plate, and more recently healthy eating guidelines. We’ve also been advised to eat three meals a day and two snacks to keep our blood sugar even throughout the day, because as we know, on a low-fat diet you get spikes and troughs of blood sugar, and above all, you get hungry throughout the day.
If ever you had to define nutritional stress, I think that would be it, and it’s still the pervasive public health message today. I love the 11 principles that Hilda spoke of, and importantly, this idea that fasting or time-restricted eating is a way to detox. The weak cells die off first, it’s called autophagy, it also is a great way of just evening out, particularly if you are on a low carb and healthy fat diet, it’s a great way to go.
Now we’ll have links to the Weston A Price foundation for just $50 overseas membership, you get three or four terrific newsletters a year and access to some great resources online. Now don’t forget to unload, download, unload. Don’t forget to download the Unstress app, apart from all the offerings there’s also a drop-down menu where you can do your own health assessment tool and even some breathing exercises, yes, we all know it’s important to breathe, but breathing well is even better. So, until next time, this is Doctor Ron Ehrlich, be well.
This podcast provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for care by a qualified medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions.