MYPlate is not USDA Approved.

My diet these days looks a lot like the Paleo diet, the hunter-gatherer just without all the traveling. Whereas my diet for the 30 years before that looked like the supermodel diet: all lowfat, no-fat foods. Butter was a sin, avocados were drooled over, then set aside, nobody drank milk at all (except for fat-free half & half — what do you suppose is in that crap?), and only heathens and body builders ate red meat. Ok, I ate it, secretly. I didn’t want anyone to know.

For the first 10 years, I looked great (read: “was skinny”). Then, one day, out of the blue, I started packing it on. No matter what I did, even eating fat-free ice cream (???), I could not lose weight. My metabolism was toast. Do I know what caused that? Not for sure, but from what I know now, I suspect ten years of no fats! Menopause was certainly an ingredient. Mine started at 38… I’ve read that a supermodel diet messes with your hormones and encourages early menopause. Great.

I’m still investigating, but I’m pretty sure the supermodel low-fat diet is not the way to vibrant health. When I suggested to a friend that, in fact, the way to obesity is the USDA way (based on the fact that the same food model is how farmers make cows fat), he sent me packing to the…

USDA’s MyPlate!

When you look at the MyPlate graphic (left), it appears to suggest one might eat from all the groups fairly evenly, rather than from the, ahem, weighty and now discarded MyPyramid (below right).

But, actually, once you fill in your height and current weight details for your very own personal USDA daily food plan, it’s the same old story: heavy on grains, fruits and veggies (aka carbs), light on fats and protein.

This has been the USDA’s food prescription since 1992, just under 20 years. Just long enough to be considered “conventional wisdom,” making it heresy to suggest any other eating plan. Sad. Because here’s where the USDA’s eating prescription has gotten us:

Adele Hite offers an excellent breakdown of the Get Fat the USDA Way Pyramid. Ms. Hite is a PhD candidate in Nutrition Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina. She doesn’t miss a trick.

So, what would a healthy Food Pyramid look like?

Food Pyramid by Sandrine Hahn on behalf of Nourishing Our Children. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.

It looks like the WAPF one, the one I follow. I’m aiming for 70% good fats in all its glorious forms: butter, coconut oil, pastured steak and eggs. Throw in a little pastured chicken fried in coconut oil — girlfriend, we have a winner!

Fat and protein bottom-load MY pyramid, followed by raw dairy, then organic veggies, then Non-GMO grains (I eat little wheat and aim for sprouted as much as possible). Topping my pyramid is organic fruit. The fact is sugar and I don’t do well no matter what the form.

Oils

The WAPF pyramid doesn’t include oils because, if you are eating high fat foods, you don’t need to add oils. Besides, most oils sold today have zero nutritional value because the time period between the picking and the squeezing is so long, all the good is gone. Add to that the fact that most oils are GM oils — corn, soybean, vegetable (which will include corn), cottonseed, canola — and you have double yer trouble.

Which brings me to the question: how does one get oil from corn? It doesn’t seem like a particularly oily vegetable to me. So I looked it up. I wish I hadn’t: they extract the oil from the corn chemically. Yuck. GM and chemical residue. No thank you.

Sugar Blues

Speakering of sugar, I’ve given it up totally. It’s not that hard when eating lots of fats, lol. I don’t miss it at all. The only sweet I have is honey in my ONE cup of coffee in the morning. In which I also put a Tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil and raw cream. Oh my, that is good stuff!!!

Caffeine

I’ve given up giving up coffee. Maybe if I discovered that it’s the one thing between me and getting my voice back, I would do it. Or between me and a slow painful death… maybe that would do it. Otherwise, I’m having my morning cuppa C8H10N4O2. It makes me deliriously happy. (Yeah, I know: it’s the caffeine/honey high. I’m an addict. I can live with MYself… for now.)

Hey! I gave up sugar — that should impress everyone. It’s a big deal for me. What’s amazing is that I don’t miss it! Sweet.

Why All the Food Fuss?

Because I still have a nasty cough from the Pneumonia Period and I still sound like Phyllis Diller… sucks for me, that. My musical comedy career is on indefinite hold and, darn it, I miss that! I believe the cough is caused by acid reflux, which I had before the pneumonia. In fact, looking back, my voice was oddly unstable before the P.P. so I’m thinking that damage was in the middle of being done.

Add three weeks of strong antibiotics and unbelievably awful hospital food* to the 10 days of intubation and we’ve greatly exacerbated an already bad situation. My goal this year is to cure the cough which means curing the acid reflux first. I’m in it to win it, lol. Because, well, you guys want to hear me sing again, right?

*So bad. Like, my papaya was washed in clorox just before I got it. Some days, we only had sweet packaged crackers and hot tea for breakfast. Suffice it to say, this was not food to make a person whole. Just to keep ‘em alive.

Sally Oh

Sally Oh lives in the Bluegrass area of Kentucky with her husband of 21 years and two gigantic sons. She is a Weston A. Price chapter leader and blogs to meet like-minded farm food freedom advocates. She's hoping you join us in the real food rEVOLution!

If you are here in KY and want to join our in-person fun, sign up on Meetup or like us on Facebook.
  • Ginnee

    The acid reflux can be cured by balancing your pH. Meat is acidic…not alkaline. Take one big teaspoon of baking soda, stirred well in a glass of water in the morning and before bed. This will stop the acid reflux. It would be advisable to add more greens such as broccoli, spinach, kale, beet greens, carrot greens, string beans, collards… as greens are alkaline. You need to balance out the acidity of the meat and other foods. By the way, lemons and limes are alkaline, not acidic.. as you digest them.. So enjoy…

  • robin

    Yeppers what she said up there. ^
    I was trying my mom {who has reflux along with the laundry list of probs} a few tablespoons of ACV {or however much you can easily stand}, a little raw honey, and a coffee mug of warm water – that is supposed to help. She didn’t try it long enough for a real test but…

    And I totally agree with your “plate” – with the exclusion of the red meat and chicken for us of course. :)

  • http://www.fiftytolife.com Sally

    Yes, ma’ams!!! I am dutifully drinking 2T ACV with 1/4 t baking soda every morning and every night. I drink a little baking soda in water during the day if I feel the burn in my throat. The difference is noticeable and it’s only been a few days.

    I also got some organic peppermint oil and put a drop on my tongue now and then — supposed to be good for a cough.

    You all get a free copy of my first CD when I’m all bettah!

  • http://junekeith.com June Keith

    Hi Sugar! OOPS! The book Good Calories. Bad Calories by Gary Taubes is a real eye opener. He challenges the conventional wisdom on diet, weight control and disease. Since re-garining my youthful figure thanks to chemotherapy (not a route I would recommend to anyone, although it does work wonders on your figure) I have been seeking ways to stay thin. I quit candy. Cold. Not that I ate a lot of it, but a chocolate here, an Altoids there, and you’re eating lots of sugar. I’m hoping to go on from there to quitting sugar totally. However, I am eating chicken, turkey, fish and some red meat. My favorite is pork. It was amazing to me that after chemo and radiation, when my taste buds first began to tentatively return, what my mouth craved was meat, preferably bacon. Sugar was awful. So I think maybe stripped to our basic instinctive selves we may crave fatty meat!! I did. It was the very first thing I could eat.

    Love the tip about acid reflux. It’s a new problem for me, too. As is care and feeding for a touchy colon. Again, results of cancer treatment and many months literally without solid food or regular digestion. I’ll spare you the details. But acid reflux is a bitch. Wearing a bra definitely influences it for me. When I work, I have to wear a bra. So 3 nights a week, after my days at work, I have reflux. Think about it. We shouldn’t be constricted.

    So check out the book. I loved it because it made me to understand that we are meat eaters, contrary to what many schools of thought would teach us. We eat meats and greens. We are lucky, much evolved animals.

    It’s good to see your fresh blog. What were you, on vacation? Bloggers don’t take vacations. See you. Love, J + M Keith

  • http://www.fiftytolife.com Sally

    Hey June! Yep, a hospital can wreck you while it’s saving yer life… funny that. Hospitals serve the LEAST HEALTHFUL food of any place on the planet. And they pump you full of sugar water — cancer loves sugar (another reason for those of us of a certain age to give it up) — for “nutrition”. I’m not understanding the logic here. Can’t you have a talk with those guys?

    Your book is on my list, thank you. From the blurb, it sounds like I am on the same path — my current nutrition heroes are Sally Fallon, Weston A Price and their regular contributors. I read a lot of real food blogs, too.

    What a relief to eat fat, lol!!! I’m so happy. Tom Murtha has a shirt that says “We’re a happy family because we eat lard.” That always made me laugh… but now I know it’s true!

  • Kevin Huey

    Beautiful post. Coffee is so tricky, looks like anything over 2 cups for women can have adverse effects. I kinda think that enough green tea may counteract those effects, though. But never put milk in tea, as it binds up the goodies.

    • http://www.fiftytolife.com Sally

      To make up for only one cup of coffee, I’m drinking a couple of cups of green/dandelion root tea (dandelion for liver) with coconut oil and a touch of honey. Don’t need nearly so much honey in tea and never milk in tea for me! Surely I will live forever now…

  • cheri royal

    Sally~I am enjoying your blog. Rooster and I are both working to keep and boost our health here in Costa Rica. We miss you, however we are very happy for you on your new life adventures.

    • http://www.fiftytolife.com Sally

      Thank you, Cheri! We so miss Costa Rica :(. The plan is to be back…

  • robin

    June, I can’t help but wonder if something else is going on on the days you work and have acid reflux… stress? Do you eat differently those days?

    Sally, when my mom was here recently she had coffee in the mornings per her usual. But she usually uses a powdered creamer that I hesitate to even look at the ingredients in. ick. I had her try to skim some cream off the top of the raw milk I gave her but she didn’t like it b/c it turned her coffee grey??? Does this happen to yours? I don’t know what difference grey coffee makes really and she liked the raw milk but… that was a problem for her apparently. lol.

    • http://www.fiftytolife.com Sally

      I’m looking at my coffee and it’s not gray. It’s beautiful!!! My experience with people who are, shall we say, resistant to the new way of eating (I have my own…) is that any reason will do not to eat it/try it/etc. Ya know what I’m sayin’?

      • robin

        Uh-huh I totally get what you are saying! ;)
        She liked the raw milk, some pastured meat I found from KS, and the raw honey {not nec a good thing being diabetic but…} so baby steps. lol

        Where are you getting your dandelion root tea? Brianna is still working on her case of candida and was asking me about dandelions the other day {none currently in my yard}. The un-meds she had from Voodoo Charlie were working great but when she goes off them the symptoms come back and she can’t afford to keep taking them forever, altho’ I know it can take a year or more to get rid of Candida {which she is also allergic to}. She’s going to a raw diet for now and taking a probiotic that is sup to help, and adding other things.

        • http://www.fiftytolife.com Sally

          I get all that stuff at Mountain Rose Herbs. (If you use this link, I do get a few pennies…)

          Look for dandelion root — it comes all ground up and I just put 1tsp root plus 1tsp gunpowder green tea in a big pot, steep in not-quite-boiling water for five minutes and drink when I want. With a little coconut oil (also from MRH) and honey (local). I reuse the leaves again the next day, btw. I’m big into waste not these days.

          EarthClinic.com, my new obsession, says drinking 2T ACV or fresh lime/lemon plus 1/4-1/2t baking soda 2-3x per day kills candida over time. You mix the two, wait till the fizzing stops (the chemical process is explained here: http://earthclinic.com/Remedies/acv_baking_soda_cures.html), then add 1/2 cup of water.

          There are more candida cures here: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/candida.html. Love this site!

          • robin

            Thanks! I had a feeling you were going to say MRH. lol. I hear tons of good things about them. :)

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