There are people who will tell you that some singular thing will cure it all. I am not one of those people. Unless, perhaps, self education is that one thing. I have changed everything, and nothing. It is hard to explain. The western scientific world had given me quite the list of things to avoid and I have disproven nearly every one for my own physiology over time by coming to understand why that thing was malfunctioning instead of how to avoid the potential of a malfunction. Most of the suggestions were half truths based on treating the prevention of symptoms instead of educating me about why I might get that symptom based on some other behavior or dietary lack or what have you. So in that sense, I have stopped a lot of arbitrary change that wasn't working. but I have changed a hundred million things that were much more subtle than the average suggestions from the Western medicine that were killing me. Instead of avoiding high fat which consistently added weight slowly over many years of doctors telling me to try harder, I am finally losing weight without trying by eating much more fat, but understanding the complex details of how to choose what my body is signalling a need for and how to ensure that what it gets is really what it thinks it was asking for. I understand why that hundred doctors told me to avoid saturated fats. It was the 3 minute answer. The quick fix they could convey in the time the insurance companies would pay for, and they hoped it would be enough to bring things back into balance. Only it wasn't working. It wasn't that they meant me harm, but they weren't going to take the time to teach me what, if they were lucky enough to learn it at all, took them as much time to learn as it would most people to aquire a master's thesis. They couldn't even if they'd wanted to. The answers aren't simplistic and there is no "get out of consequences free card" but you can pick your consequences and learn your own signaling system and find your own path. Not only can you, but I have come to believe it is the only way to enjoy a healthy lifestyle in the US if you are in any of the high risk, highly suseptible categories of people, here. So long as we take for granted that which we believe we know, we cannot know more. To borrow a line, "Yesterday you knew you were alone on this planet. Just think what you'll know tomorrow". You cannot find that which you do not want, in every fiber of your being, to see.
I cannot possibly relay here, all the 6 months of study of scientists and doctors all over the world, farm science, soil and air quality monitoring bodies, anthropology, psychology, physiology, water analysis, Oriental medicine, nutritional study, etc that I have waded through. Many will say the jury is still out on the reasons I am doing what I am doing. But it is my opinion that the jury has been in a long time, but we alternate between being too busy to notice, being too distracted to care, being too miserable to look into it, too skeptical to believe, too impatient to research it all far enough, too willing to believe there isn't yet enough evidence to deal with the hassle of change, too willing to accept any single "expert" or "proof" or "disproof" or single nation's perspective, and many other similar problems. We suck at science in this country. We suck in part because we are so very sloppy with language and the media is so sensational and ratings driven. But the information is out there if you can question the legitimacy of every single thing you read that claims it knows instead of claiming it has found evidence that seems to point to x. The information is out there if we are willing to act on hunches, experiment on ourselves the way we have been experimented on for years by the media and medical and drug industries looking for fast answers they could feed us for profit. Most of the data is out there for those who choose to do the research and are creative enough to pull it together and capable of both fantastic projective hypothesis and absolute skepticism of anything claiming that either it has the one true answer, or that the answer isn't available, the jury is still out no matter the evidence you have found and how well what you seem to need seems to be working for you, etc. Both are extremes of human emotional interaction with their words and concepts and self worth. They are justifications for inaction, stagnation and acceptance of whatever burdens them now. But most people choose to spend less than 1/100th of the time on research that I have spent, and even those trying to find it, are often looking in vastly too narrow and limited a direction. Most people are not generalists and do not pull together the descriptions of African wild animal preserves and their observations, with the findings of nasa, the US government, Hitler's torture research, Chinese nutrition studies, farming history and technology, evolution in isolation and with exposure to US medicine, and the physiological processes of fat creation, transfer and utilization, among the many many sources. That is their choice and one I can even understand. But it is a choice. And it is not my choice.
There are costs and benefits to all ways of life, and every day we choose which costs we accept. Most of the time that means choosing the costs we know and disbeleiving in sufficient evidence to try what we know not of. That is a choice we all have, but one I personally was tired of being limited by. And I believe, for whatever reason(s), that I am one of the cannaries in the mine, and I am tired of it, and leaving the mine while I still can for different consequences I am more okay with than being sacrificed to the alter of willful ignorance and a lack of interest in change that I too used to suffer.
With that, on with the story:
We decided that since we didn't know what to get Deb's parents for Christmas, since they might be leaving the country for Costa Rica to get away from the insanity that is the US and retire, that we would give them a gift of time and service. Since they were getting back the 23rd, it was going to be interesting to accomplish a Christmas Eve dinner they were hosting at their house, so I decided to make a whole lot of interesting new things for them as experiments. I'm not even going to try to list it all at once, right now, but will add them here over the next couple of days, with opinions of my own about how they worked out. I shall invent names of the recipes as strikes my whim.
(all nuts and produce were raw and organic)
About 2C Brazil nuts
About 1C dried figs
About 1C cinnamon mead soaked (overnight) pecans
About 1C unsoaked pecans
About 5 Organic, no sugar added Dates
About 1/2 a handful of chai soaked (overnight) rasins
About 2C unsoaked rasins
About 10 cinnamon mead soaked (overnight) dates
About 3C chai soaked rasins
the juice of one lemon
about a quarter lemon worth of zest
the fruit of one mango and one banana
About 10 Sherry soaked dried figs
To make, Add all bottom layer ingredients (or as many as will fit in a couple rounds if necessary and then mix by hand in a bowl) to the food processor and process until extremely sticky paste is formed with none of the nut bits being larger than a grain of uncooked rice. The goal is for this layer to be easily scooped out, extremely stiff stuff that is sort of like a chewey granola bar in texture. Add more unsoaked nuts to dry out mix, or more unsoaked dried fig to sweeten or increase adhesion of ingredients for this layer, as needed.
For the topping, blend all ingredients in a food processor and let run until smooth. End result should be the texture of a very thick and sticky applesauce like substance or the fruit you would use to spread out and make fruit leather in a dehydrator. It should be spreadable, but not thin. Add more dried and unsoaked fruit to stiffen, or more soaked fruit or lemon to thin as needed.
In a pan, spread the first layer and then chill for 20 minutes in a fridge. Then spread topping across it, return to fridge until ready to serve. Because of the use of dried fruits and nuts and lemon and alcohol, this dish can last a very long time in the fridge, relatively.
I was making a whole lot of food, so you may want to adjust to smaller portions. But the end result was very much like a less candied fig newton in flavor and was extremely tasty and comparatively low sugar since all ingredients lacked any added sugars and none was included in the recipe. It is a sweet dish because drying fruit brings out the sugars in the fruits, but not nearly so sweet as fig newtons or other such experiences with overly candied dried fruits.