Farming, Food, and Fasting

To me, the connection to all women, and farming is pretty clear. What could be more important than what we eat?

One day here you will learn how we raise meat birds and the next you will hear all about the trials and tribulations of menopause. It’s a wild ride with me 🤣

I am prone to stress, kidney issues run in the family and twenty years of off and on diet pop use has definitely not helped my poor adrenal system . Even though we were super active, and ate a lot of whole foods we grew , diet pop was my dirty little habit. I have been completely pop free for 4 years.

I have always been a natural faster as I do not eat usually at night, following the rule no food three hours before bedtime.

But as we age, even though we change really nothing else, our bodies do what they need to do to get through. I developed an anaphylactic soy allergy and my body was trying to tell me something.

My hormones were out of wack as soy is a hormone disruptor. My body was rejecting any more. I especially had to be careful with animal products fed soy based feed. Particular offenders were restaurants were steaks, and pork was from places like OH Armstrong and SYSCO. I had to become that person who asked a lot of questions of the server.

I stick to salads and fish usually when we eat out.

For me, perimenopause (which can happen for up to ten years before actual menopause) that meant my adrenal system, the triangular shaped glands located on my kidneys that help regulate hormones, metabolism, immune system, and blood pressure had to work harder and become more stressed.

I read a research article about the benefits on fasting in the Westin A Price journal. Then I read a book and listened to podcasts by Dr Mark Hyman. Also, I spoke to my naturopath Dr Ashley Margeson about adrenal fatigue. I tried some supplements for adrenal support which helped in the early stages but I moved through stages they didn’t seem to help anymore.

Bloodwork showed healthy levels of everything. But I felt “vertically ill” some days.

I needed to understand what was happening to my body better.

So for me, intermittent fasting became about allowing my system to process and clear out what was already in my system before I overloaded it again.

I intermittent fast for 6 days a week usually. It has been the single most important thing I have done during menopause to reduce symptoms like hot flashes, foot and heel pain, bloating, brain fog, fatigue and high blood pressure.

I don’t eat after 6pm and one day day I fast from 6pm-8am and the next day I fast from 6pm-10am.

I only have a black tea or mint tea during that time. I’m flexible though. If something is going on or I’m really hungry, I will eat. I listen to my body. But fasting allows my body to naturally regulate its self.

During the hours I’m not fasting I stick to real, whole, food. I find I’m never really hungry when I’m fasting because of this. I’m satisfied.

Although I definitely had to tighten up what I was eating, I have found the single best thing I did was intermittent fasting. I feel my best when I do it. I didn’t need anyone’s permission, prescription or opinion on it. It cost me no money. I just started doing it and paid attention to how I felt. I know that’s counter cultural but I was on now medications, am generally healthy. Menopause is not a condition but a natural part of aging in all women. We need to learn how to manage it individually and not with blanket treatments.

I also wonder how our next generation of women will make out with menopause. They have been subjected to more processed food than any other generation, and the hormone disruption connection cannot be ignored.

Perhaps though because we live in such an Information Age, they will manage better than us. We need to have more honest and frank conversations about this normal part of aging though. It is simply a part of life as a woman, and if we can help the next generation by talking about symptoms and relief, it’s important.

I believe women can offer so much positive change over our food systems, much more than we think .

Now what does menopause and intermittent fasting have to do with having a farm?

Well, who do you think does all this work ??

I need to be at my best for myself, my people and my farm. So I need to look after myself. And food IS medicine.

Love Jenn xx

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