JONATHAN: Hey everybody, Jonathan Bailor back – with another bonus, Smarter Science of Slim Show and I am delighted to bring today’s guest to you. She and I share quite a bit in common, she is a trained economist and that’s actually what I have my degree in as well. She also has some cool distinctions she got from the University, which I got as well, and I won’t bore you with those, but most importantly she is an amazing self-taught luminary that is dedicating what little time she has because she’s also a mom to helping people live healthy, happy lives and how can we do anything other than celebrate that? She is known as the healthy home economist, please welcome Sarah Pope to the show. Sarah, how are you doing today?
SARAH: Hi Jonathan, it’s great to be here.
JONATHAN: Sarah, I wanted to have you on the show because you are not just another blogger out there, you have a very interesting story and take. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to the blogging and health arena?
SARAH: Well, it’s a very roundabout path indeed. My husband and I have been married for 22 years and when we first got married, we decided in the early 90s that we wanted to live healthy and we wanted to kind of live differently than we saw a lot of people living at the time. My father is a doctor, and I grew up very much observing the medical community up close and I was extremely concerned with what I saw as traditional medicine and really being lost in an era of dependence on pharmaceuticals to cover up symptoms rather than seeking of health. I was very concerned about it even back in the early 90s. I just saw people’s health declining and I was extremely concerned about it.
We wanted to live differently like I said we bought our house out in the country with a well and so we wouldn’t have fluoridated water. We made sure we bought an old house so all of the toxic outgassingfrom the building materials was gone. We bought a property that had never had a pesticide sprayed on it in over 20 years. We really tried to start our married life on a very healthy foot and we started eatingorganically is something I had never done before, but my husband’s mother was actually one of the pioneers of the organic movement. My husband was actually born in Africa in Uganda and his mother organized organic veggie co-ops in Uganda in the 1970s if you can believe that.
So, that’s where we came from and we ate that way for a number of years, but I have to say that I never felt like I had vibrant health, despite eliminating all the toxins I could possibly eliminate from my home environment and eating organically, I didn’t really experience what I would define as vibrant health and that concerned me because my husband and I wanted to start a family and I thought to myself, well, if I want healthy kids, this kind of common sense I need to be healthy myself and I didn’t really feel like I was as healthy as I should be even though I was eating so well, what I thought was well and really avoiding toxins as well as I could.
So, I started to research, Jonathan, I really started to dig in and look outside the conventional nutrition paradigm for answers, because I figured that if the conventional nutrition paradigm was actually correct, then I would be healthy and I wasn’t as healthy as I should be, so I started to look actually to the past for answers. I started to look to history and to traditional cultures that did not experience much of the degenerative disease that we have today and I discovered Dr. Westin Price, Nutrition Physical Degeneration. His amazing book, which I recommend everyone who is interested in nutrition absolutely have to read — absolutely without question have to read this book. I got into traditional cooking and started teaching classes and from that it just snowballed, 10 or 15 years later, into doing videos and blogging.
JONATHAN: Sarah, what was most shocking to you when you started to make these changes, both in terms of the changes themself that you were just like oh, my gosh, I cannot do this, but I’m going to try this and then after doing that, what were the most shocking changes you saw in your life and the life of your family?
SARAH: Well, I tell you the biggest change that I made that had the most impact almost immediately was really overnight for me was getting the fats in my diet correct. I mentioned that I ate organically for a number of years and that included clean meats, steroid free antibiotic free meats, organic produce, I was eating very, very well, low toxin, but I wasn’t eating butter, I wasn’t eating some of these traditional fats, which our modern dietary dogma tells us we shouldn’t eat because they’re dangerous. They’ll give us cardiovascular disease and all of these other degenerative conditions, but when I looked at history to traditional cultures, they embraced these types of fat and were healthy and did not suffer from degenerative disease, certainly not heart disease, which actually really became widespread after World War II.
So I decided to eat butter. I decided to eat animal fats. I decided to do what my grandfather did when he was a butcher, he ate the fat around his steak and everyone always called him crazy, but you know what, he lived to be 97 and died in his sleep so that’s sounded pretty good to me, so I started to eat the fat around my steak and I started to do stuff like that and you know what, what a huge unbelievable shocking difference in how I felt everyday. It stabilized my blood sugar, my sugar cravings nearly completely vanished almost overnight and I started to experience the vibrant health that I knew that was what I was looking for and it happened to my husband, same thing — we have three beautiful children now, my oldest is in high school and I can tell you having raised a child on traditional diet from right on through into high school what an amazing health you can bequeath to your children if you follow traditional dietary principles and that is really what the biggest change I experienced was.
JONATHAN: Sarah, in the title of your website, thehealthyhomeeconomist.com, and the story you just told us obviously the family is a big part of this and we as individuals can do whatever we want with our diet, but we are not our own. We are often members of groups and it’s important that those groups and healthy and well in addition to ourselves and I often get feedback that folks get this, they understand and it makes sense to them, but they’re like, oh, man, what about my kids and what about my family? What do you say to those individuals?
SARAH: Well, you know it all starts with you. You can’t force anyone to do anything, so I was fortunate in that I made these changes before I had children for the most part and I tweaked it once when I really into traditional cooking when my first son was about a year or two old, but if your children are older, or if you’ve got a spouse or significant other that is digging in his or her heels, the best thing you can do is just do it for yourself and be an amazing example of health to them. Don’t nag them about it, don’t bug them about it, just be happy and healthy and that is the best commercial that you can do for your family is to just be happy and healthy and don’t worry about it. Your kids will come around. Your kids aren’t stupid. Your kids will come around. It may take some time, but I’ve seen — as I’ve coached many people through the years transitioned into traditional diet, even older kids will eventually come around. Sometimes it takes a few years, it’s not an immediate thing, but when they’re healthy, inevitably starts to give them trouble, cause you can’t eat junk food, you can’t eat the conventional American diet for too long before experiencing health challenges. Most people when they start to experience health challenges they start to look for answers and if you’re standing right there and you’re in the family with them and you’re feeling great and you’re doing well on your traditional diet, they’re going to gravitate towards that for their answers.
JONATHAN: Sarah, one of the things I enjoy most about your work is you can just tell that not only are you a very caring and compassionate individual, but you’re also just flat out smart, which is great. We need more smart people out there. So, I want to tap into this smart, not that you haven’t been smart (Inaudible 00:10:09) but, I just want to focus on your brain here for a second because one thing that I always scratch my head about is the giant disconnect there is and let’s call it what the Internet Nutrition Community around fats because there are individuals who are just — saturated fats are harmless, in fact they can be therapeutic, and then someone who has the same level of qualification, will say if you eat saturated fat you are going to die of heart disease. It seems like one of them is wrong. How is there is such a big disconnect?
SARAH: Well, here’s the thing, Jonathan, before I became a mother, I worked in the brokerage industry. You mentioned you have an Economics Degree as I do and when I came out of graduate school I went to work in the Financial Industry and as a manager I ran a sizeable department in a very large brokerage firm. That was the last corporate job I had before I left and became a mother.
What I would do – and this was required by the corporation was you had to give people a test — an IQ test to see and I ran a financial systems department so we had to figure out if people were actually going to be smart enough for the job that we were going to hire them for. We gave them a series of tests, okay? And the first test we gave them was a flat out IQ test. Okay, you passed, you’re smart enough. Now the next group of tests we would give them was a (Inaudible 00:11:44) test, a critical thinking test, a lot of different types of tests, we would test their personality, how well they would work in a team, critical thinking skills, all of that type of thing and you know what amazed me because I administered so many of these tests when I was hiring over the years and let me tell you Jonathan, smart does not mean critical thinking. Just because someone has a very high IQ and a PHD and this or that or the other and is very, very book smart does not mean if they are able to look at a problem and solve it with critical thinking, outside the box, outside of a conventional paradigm. So that I think is the answer to your question about why do we have these people that are so smart, and they’re telling us no, eat butter and you’re going to die and then you’ve got these other people with just as much as qualifications that are saying, no, no, no, wait a minute – there’s nothing wrong with saturated fat – look at the data, it’s fine. And that is really the difference. The difference between those two people is that one has great critical thinking skills and the other one does not.
JONATHAN: I love it Sarah, well, it makes so much sense and what is one thing you’ve seen happen over the past five years in your experience with all things, food, and nutrition and family wellness that makes you the most excited about the future?
SARAH: You know what’s exciting to me is that moms are making it happen. Mothers have gotten to the point now, this is kind of a two edge sword. We’ve got such a crisis in this country with the health of our children, Jonathan. It is really, really bad out there. And do you have children, Jonathan?
JONATHAN: I don’t, but absolutely love where we’re going with this, so let’s keep rocking.
SARAH: Yeah, okay, I just wonder, because I’m (Inaudible 00:13:41) with kids all the time and let me tell you just in the 15, 16 years since I became a mother, the health of our children in this country is plummeting quickly. And it’s really reached what I call an emergency level and we now have situations where one in every two of our children are either overweight or have chronic disease in this country. One in every two. That is just unacceptable, but you know what the positive for that is, the positive is that mothers are ignoring conventional nutritional dogma, increasingly, mothers are saying, to heck with what you say, I’m going to do it, I’m going to do what works and I don’t care if you tell me this is wrong or not. I know someone who’s doing this, feeding their children butter, giving them fermented cod liver oil, doing all of these wonderful traditional things and they’ve got healthy kids, you know what, I’m doing what she’s doing, I’m not doing what my pediatrician says because it’s not producing the results that I want and that’s the most exciting thing is that Moms are fed up and they are taking matters into their own hands and that is what is really going to turn things around in this country.
JONATHAN: Sarah, I love that so much – it gave me the idea in my mind of nutritional adrenalin because you (Inaudible 00:15:06) stories of a mother lifting the car up to save her child and to your point, we’re getting to a point in this country where it’s, this is literally it’s not about weight or vanity – this is about our kids not having a shorter life expectancy than we do and when it becomes that critical we’re going to start lifting nutritional cars which is exactly what you’re talking about. This dogma has weighed us down for 40 years. We now have that moral motivation to overcome it and I love the way that you stated that. It’s definitely exciting, so thank you.
SARAH: Yeah. It’s very exciting to me too.
JONATHAN: So, Sarah, what’s next for you and thehealthyhomeeconomist?
SARAH: Well, I enjoy blogging most days of the week you’ll find fresh content on my blog, thehealthyhomeeconomist.com. I also do videos. If you want to check out the thehealthyhomeeconomist.com YouTube channel I have nearly 100 videos now of all various traditional cooking techniques if this is something that you would like to start incorporating into your home and I would also say that if you are new to traditional cooking and traditional diet is something, whoa, I’ve never heard of this before, I need to learn more, I would say that if just save yourself a lot of time and effort, get your facts straight first, which is as I mentioned earlier in this interview was the step that had the most dramatic quick change in health for me and I have a very easy to understand book called “Get Your Facts Straight,” which you’re welcome to check out if you go to my blog I have a little graphic of it and the top right corner you can check that out, read some of the reviews of the book and see if that’s right for you. There’s also a special going on right now for the holidays on Amazon where if you buy the print book, you can get the Kindle version for only $1.99, so if you want to buy the book, give the print book to somebody as a gift and keep the Kindle version for yourself that’s a really good deal.
JONATHAN: Sarah, it is absolutely great deal and I want us to celebrate one more thing and I don’t want to (Inaudible 00:17:23) up too much here, but I so admire what you’re doing because you are just a great example of how we can all leave such a dramatic change in the world, I just want to give our listeners one example that makes me smile and you should be very proud of, so I’m at your Facebook page, Sarah, which is the thehealthyhomeeconomist.com and folks there are – let me give you the data on the counter part here, so if you go to Dr. Pepper, a national brand with millions of dollars of marketing budget, but if you go to their Facebook page, you’ll see that there’s 58,151 people talking about Dr. Pepper on Facebook now. Sarah’s Facebook page has nearly 3 times as many people talking about it with 132,914, so if Sarah can have 3 times the conversations started on Facebook then Dr. Pepper just imagine what we can all do so Sarah, thank you so much for this amazing example and information. I so appreciate it.
SARAH: Jonathan, it was a real pleasure to talk to you. I feel – it’s really exciting to talk to people like you and it’s very motivating for me, it keeps me going doing what I’m doing every day.
JONATHAN: Well, I love it. Thank you again and listeners, our guest today is the wonderful Healthy Home Economist, Sarah Pope. Check her out at the thehealthyhomeeconomist.com and remember this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter, and live better.
This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Sarah Pope. In her own words:
“I am a 40-something, Wife and Mother of three. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Economics (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Furman University and a Master of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution.
After earning my post graduate degree, I worked for over 10 years in the field of Information Technology designing Financial Systems first with the global consultancy Accenture and then as an Assistant Vice President with the brokerage firm Raymond James Financial.
In 1997, I left my blossoming and fast track career to become a Mom. Yes, a MOM – the most important title I will ever hold.
In order to be the BEST Mom I could be (never perfect), I delved deeply into all aspects of nutrition in order to birth and raise healthy children with no learning disabilities, allergies or other issues that are so prevalent in our young ones today.
As a result, since 2002, I’ve found myself in the role as a Nutrition Educator and Chapter Leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to getting the truth about nutrition out to the masses. In the summer of 2011, I also joined the Weston A. Price Foundation as a Board Member.
Understanding basic nutritional principles as practiced by Traditional Societies that have stood the test of time is incredibly important today as our modern lives are filled with half truths about wellness. With all the knowledge I’ve accumulated regarding children’s health and wellness, I’ve become known locally as a kind of “Wellness Maven”. This was right up my alley, having come from a medical family where both my Father and brother are MDs. Through this blog, I am taking my lay role as health maven international!”