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The Skills of Freedom

For our nation to remain free, we must continually search for, discover, practice, learn, and teach the skills of freedom.  In short, without the experience of freedom one cannot know freedom.  Because it forms strong patterns, repeated multiple times a day, our eating habits provide and excellent starting point to develop patterns of freedom within us.

In his great book, “Land of the Spotted Eagle”, Luther Standing Bear detailed his people’s life of intense freedom before their interaction with white man’s western culture.  He described in detail the food sources of his free Lakota predecessors, methods of hunting and gathering and notably mentions several times how their diet kept their people free from disease, weakness, and ill health.

Here is a sample passage:

“The Lakotas were blessed with good health, but this was natural, observing as they did all the rules that pertain to health.  And as far as I can remember there was no such thing as a contagious disease.  But when our mode of life changed and we began to eat ‘spotted buffalo’ and learned to eat bread, sugar candy and canned goods, we then realized the meaning of disease, particularly so when students returning from school came weakened and undermined in health, many of them to die young in manhood and womanhood.  I can remember Grandfather, old when I was just a child, deploring the situation, saying there was a time in his memory when people did not speak of disease. “ [1]

As I read his book, I thought it flew in the face of my ‘up bringing’.  I remember sitting in my public provided education, middle school health class and learning about the food pyramid.  To be healthy, avoid obesity, and other food related diseases, we were to eat a diet that was predominantly carbohydrates-based foods with lots of bread, grains, rice, milk.

Having tried several diets before over a period of many years and without much success, my wife and I decided to shift our eating habits to a diet which contained no gluten and very low carbohydrates.  We decided to experience for ourselves eating patterns that more closely aligned to that of the Lakota and amounted to the opposite of the food pyramid we had been taught.

Within only a few weeks, we had each experienced a loss of 10 pounds which was great.  But there was more, we also experienced increased mental clarity, reduced aches and pains in our bodies, improved skin tones, and better energy levels.  Of particular note is how we initially experienced cravings for grain-based foods, and then later, with time and discipline, we experienced freedom from those cravings.

Since this article only details the experiences of Luther Standing Bear, my wife and I, perhaps this article does not provide conclusive evidence that the food pyramid is wrong.  That is not the point, however.  The point is that each of us has the responsibility to seek and experience patterns of freedom on our own path, not the one dictated to us.  Ronald Reagan described it this way,

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” [2]

I hope you will commit to a discipline that will help you discover the skills of freedom.

In this way we can each do our part to contribute to an enduring freedom for our nation and future generations.


[1] Bear, Luther Standing. (1978). Land of the Spotted Eagle. Location: University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, page 60.
[2] Reagan, Ronald. “Ronald Reagan Quotes.” BrainyQuote,  https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ronald_reagan_183965, Accessed 28/06/2019.

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