Lifestyle

WHOLE HEALTH: Whidbey Island nutritional consultant dissents from mainstream ideas about health

Lynn Parr displays her supply of raw milk, a product she refers to as “liquid gold.”  - Photo courtesy of Lynn Parr
Lynn Parr displays her supply of raw milk, a product she refers to as “liquid gold.”
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Lynn Parr

A South Whidbey woman is spreading the word that not many have heard about proper nutrition.

Nutritional consultant Lynn Parr is telling people it’s OK to eat fat, that raw milk is good for the health and that soy products can be detrimental.

Parr said her traditional food principals, based on the Weston A. Price Foundation, can improve and maintain the health of just about anyone.

The nutritional consultant said that although her nutritional principles are widely unheard of among the masses, many people on Whidbey are already following them.

Parr helped formulate and establish a local group called “Whole Health Whidbey,” a growing group of people committed to nourishing themselves and their families in traditional ways. They support sustainable local agriculture, teach each other about foods to choose, and learn how to properly prepare and eat them.

“I feel very lucky to have moved here just three months ago and be able to just jump into the flow of what’s already happening here on Whidbey Island, with regards to how many people and their families already embrace and implement these foundational principles of food and eating, and seeing firsthand how alive and vital they are,” Parr said.

The Whole Health group supports eating traditional foods such as butter cream, full-fat dairy products, pasture-fed beef, lamb, poultry and eggs, as well as organic vegetables and fruit, lacto-fermented foods and prepared whole grains.

They are also committed to purchasing these foods locally.

“When you buy foods locally, there is a responsibility and integrity that inspires the farmer to truly raise a healthy product,” Parr said.

A somewhat controversial eating principal Parr supports is the consumption of raw milk.

Although there have been questions about the safety of raw milk in the past, Parr said that when done right, raw milk is actually a lot safer than pasteurized milk.

“Some of us consider it ‘liquid gold.’ It’s an entirely different product than pasteurized milk,” Parr said.

The avid raw-milk drinker said that many people who start drinking raw milk will never go back to drinking pasteurized.

“People really get passionate about it,” Parr said. “Your body says to you, ‘This is so good.’”

And, in turn, Parr said there is an increasing demand for raw milk.

“I’m so excited that the demographic is high enough that a few dairies have jumped through the hoops and gotten licensed to sell raw milk,” Parr said.

The nutritional consultant said that although there are raw-milk certified dairies in Western Washington, there aren’t any on Whidbey yet.

“Whidbey Island, as of yet, does not have a certified, licensed, Grade A dairy, so we’re traveling off Island to purchase this superbly healing food for now,” Parr said.

A national advisory committee is currently working on new size-appropriate and cost-appropriate licensing requirements that would, if adopted, make it more feasible for micro dairies to become licensed.

“This would greatly increase the supply of certified raw milk in Washington to meet the growing consumer demand,” Parr said.

The consumption of safely-handled raw milk goes along with Parr and the Whole Health group’s nutritional principals, largely based on the Price Foundation.

Weston A. Price has been called the “Charles Darwin of Nutrition.” Price traveled the world in the 1930s studying healthy primitive populations and their diets.

“He went to see what people were eating to be healthy,” Parr said.

Photographs contained in Price’s book document the facial structures and physiques of isolated groups consuming only whole, natural foods, and compared those to populations who had been exposed to Western foods.

Price noted that people with optimum facial structure and physiques all had diets con--uming a source of good quality animal fat. Price said these diets provided the factors necessary for the full expression of genetic potential and optimum health.

“He found that vegetarianism didn’t sustain health over time,” Parr said. “And fats helped the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body.”

Parr said that proper nutrition began its decline in America around the 1920s, when monocropping started.

She said many of the research studies about nutrition during this time were really “facts” to support economic growth in agriculture.

“And we all believed. Our parents got that message, and we believed we were doing a much healthier thing,” Parr said.

At the same time, Parr said the population started seeing an increase in degenerative diseases, diabetes and arthritis.

“We are the only country that is really experiencing this,” she said. “It doesn’t take a scientific research study to see what we are experiencing in this country.”

Parr has a passion to help people learn how to follow the Weston A. Price principals.

“They can experience significant healing and much improved health in their own lives,” she said. “I’m excited to be sharing, and also learning a lot from others here.”

Parr said she has support from many Whidbey Islanders, including local naturopathic physicians, on using the Weston A. Price nutrition principals.

Jennifer Rabinovich, a naturopathic physician in Freeland, said she talks about diet with every single patient that comes in.

“I think that diet is the most important aspect of one’s health,” Rabinovich said.

One health aspect she works on is the intake of fat.

“In my opinion fat is very, very important, depending on the source from which it comes,” she said. “Eating good fat nourishes various hormone pathways. It’s actually very important to eat fat so the various hormonal systems in the body can function well.”

Dr. Ken Carlin, an naturopathic doctor who practices in Langley, also believes that the intake of healthy animal and plant products is essential to health.

“The quality of the vital/life force in plants and animals will determine the quality of nourishment we receive from them,” he said. “Local, nutrient dense foods assures of the building blocks to repair, replenish and maintain our vital reserves to live a healthy productive life.”

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