Kelly Pomeroy, M.H.

World renowned scientist and astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors.”  I would like to voyage through time to share an experience found in the Old Testament of the Bible. For those not of a Christian faith, I ask for your indulgence to view this historical book as a valuable source of information regarding people’s history.

Daniel was a young Hebrew that was taken to live with and be trained in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court along with many other young men.  Among those were his friends Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meschach), and Azariah (Abednego). Daily provisions of the king’s meat and wine were to be given for three years in hopes of nourishing these boys that they might grow healthy, strong, and wise and prove to be great subjects to the king. Daniel felt in his heart not to take the meat and wine but proposed to the man in charge of them to allow Daniel and his friends to eat pulse (meaning grains) and water and prove themselves. The man was concerned that they would not appear healthy before the king when it was time, but gave them 10 days to prove its effectiveness. It says, “And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.” After the three years had passed for preparation, they were presented before the king.  “And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they stood before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”

We live in a time of high protein diets and meat consumption. If we reflect on the “American diet” we find that most meals, if not all, have some form of animal product in them. We know from many researchers, including T. Campbell and T. M. Campbell in The China Study, and Joel Fuhrman, in Eat to Live, that high amounts of meat are actually detrimental to our health and should be eaten sparingly or not at all. Daniel and his friends also left us with great research and its remarkable evidence. We would be wise to follow their examples.

Grains are wonderful sources of both carbohydrates, protein and fats that provide nourishment, energy, and strength to our bodies. Oats, rye, wheat, barley, rice, and many more grains have a long history of supplying and supporting our ancestors with great strength. Today people pack their back pack as they prepare for a hike with granola bars, loaded with grains, nuts and seeds, to provide energy and strength. Let’s never forget the great benefit of grains to sustain and strengthen us.

Writing this, I know that there are many who are gluten intolerant or have other grain problems. It is important to live as we feel is best for ourselves. However, understanding grains can help us know how to prepare them better. Grain has phytic acid that surrounds and protects it from going rancid which in turn, allows it to be stored for long periods of time. If we do not soak our grains, that acid stays on the grain. This acid inhibits the body from absorbing as much nutritional value as possible. The acid also acts as an irritant to the intestinal tract. Farmers used to soak their grains for their animals. My recommendation is to soak and sprout your grains. This may seem exhausting at first, but if you get in a habit of keeping a bowl of grains soaked, you will get the hang of it and it will pay off. Here is an article written by a Master Herbalist on sprouting. Herbal Legacy, Sprouting.

Grains can be used in place of meats. There are so many wonderful ways to use our grains and receive greater health. For great recipes and cookbooks that support grains, nuts, and seeds in our diet, visit here at Herbal Legacy Recipes or Christopher Publications Cookbooks. Here’s to a healthier year and a healthier you!

Kelly Pomeroy is a Master Herbalist and Student Adviser for the School of Natural Healing. She has four wonderful children and is currently pursuing a Biology degree.