The EarthStar Primal Diet

By Donna E. Philippe & L. Kevin Johnson 

Several years ago, before building our B.E.L.L. (Biogenic-Ecodesic-Living- Lighthouse) home, Kevin and I discovered a “primal diet” which requires very little cooking or the use of recipes.  As we worked on our ability to successfully live in a small shelter such as the B.E.L.L., we discovered that a predominately cooked food diet was too complicated for the easy, relaxed kind of lifestyle we wanted.  So we began experimenting with our diet until we came up with one that is nutritious, eliminates the need for a large, traditional kitchen, and provides better health.

            After being on this diet for only six weeks, my body completely healed itself of an illness called Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction, which I had for a period of twenty miserable years.  I spent most of my days laid out on the couch, accomplishing very little.  I had symptoms of severe fatigue, headaches, fevers, body aches and depression.  Through the years, I tried every kind of treatment I could afford, seeking the help of the mainstream medical establishment and many different alternative therapies.  Nothing worked, until I tried this diet.  It was a 100% raw food diet of sprouts, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that gave me back my health.  I have since been able to re-introduce about 25% cooked foods without any further symptoms of the illness.

            The most important aspect of our diet is our ability to grow almost 50% of our food on the windowsills of our amazing little B.E.L.L. shelter.  We grow sprouts in jars, the best tasting “buckwheat lettuce”, sunflower greens and wheat grass in pots or small trays of potting soil, and have come up with recipes for a “living cereal” and a “living bread” mix.  We buy the seeds in bulk for our indoor gardening from an organic source and keep a steady supply of these life-generating, nutritious foods growing throughout the year, regardless of what is going on in the outdoor garden.  This way we have a steady, reliable supply of fresh, organic produce on hand at all times.  These indoor greens and living foods are the foundation of our diet. Following are the instructions on how we grow and prepare these simple, nutritious, foods.

Purchasing small amounts of these seeds and grains listed will get you started and allow you to experiment with including them in your diet. We have worked with these combinations and find them the most satisfying, tasty, as well as easy to grow in our kitchen.  Following is the Bulk Food Storage List, based on one year’s supply. 

Bulk Storage List 

Buckwheat, unhulled, for greens

·        12 lbs. per year for two people

·        1 lb. = 32 Tbsp.

·        1 Tbsp. of seed per 4” pot

·        12 lbs. per year to grow one 4” pot of greens per day, which is enough for two people. 

Morning Mix  (Living Cereal)

·        50 lbs. per year for 1 person

·        1 lb. = 32 Tbsp.

·        4 Tbsp. per day for 1 person

·        mix together: 15 lbs. raw buckwheat groats, 15 lbs. raw oat groats, 15 lbs. hulled, raw sunflower seeds and 10 lbs. whole flaxseeds. 

Grain Mix (Living Bread)

·        30 lbs. per year for one person

·        1 lb. = 24 Tbsp.

·        2 Tbsp. per day per person

·        mix together: 20 lbs. of soft wheat berries and 10 lbs. of unhulled, raw sesame seeds. 

Salad Sprouting Mix (alfalfa, fenugreek, radish, clover)

·        15 lbs. per year for two people

·        1 lb. = 24 Tbsp.

·        1 heaping Tbsp. per day for two people

·        starting 1 Tbsp. per day of sprouting mix seeds in a quart jar will provide 2 cups of sprouts per day, enough for 1 cup per day for two people.

·        mix together: 5 lbs. alfalfa seeds, 5 lbs. clover seeds, 2 ½ lbs. fenugreek seeds, and 2-½  lbs. of radish seeds.  “NOW” brand, found at health food stores, carries these seeds already mixed in 1-lb. bags. It is called “Zesty Sprouting Mix”. Alfalfa seed sprouted alone is also excellent. 

Beans  (red kidney, navy, and pinto)

·        15 lbs. of beans per year per person

·        cook ¼ cup per person for one serving

·        15 lbs. is enough for one serving of beans twice a week for one person 

Rice (basmati brown)

·        26 lbs. per year for one person

·        cook ¼ cup of rice for one serving

·        26 lbs. of rice will provide 4 servings a week for one person. 

This list will provide a steady supply of life generating, enzyme-rich foods on a daily basis.  They are our staple items and the foundation of our diet. We order the grains, seeds, beans, etc. in bulk and make our own seed and grain mixes. They are inexpensive, easy to store and provide excellent nutrition since they can be brought to life and their yield increased by soaking and sprouting.

These items can be ordered through mail order companies or may be found at your local health food store or food co-op.  You will also need several widemouth, quart jars and one or two sets of sprouting lids to grow the salad sprouts and the “living bread”.  We found our quart jars, the kind used as tea glasses, at our local dollar store. We highly recommend the Sprout Ease sprouting lids which allow for better rinsing of the hulls in the sprouting process.  Sprout Ease, P.O. Box 1876, Kerrville, TX 78028

We experimented with dehydrated foods for a period of one year, after which we felt sick, tired and fat! On these living sprouted foods, we stay slim, energetic and have the strength and stamina to do the work on our primal homestead. With this diet, we have eliminated the need for a large kitchen and have liberated ourselves from the burden of cooking the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet).
We have discovered an alternative way to live based on this diet, which has eliminated the need for the long hours of hard work demanded by the “old time” way of homesteading. We now have extra time to devote to taking care of our land, our relationships and doing other things we value more than spending hours in the kitchen. (As an added bonus, Kevin and I both lost a total of 80 pounds!  Also, we rarely get sick anymore. We are breezing through life with hardly any trace of colds, flu, viruses, sinus trouble, etc.) 

Sprouting Instructions 

Salad Sprouting Mix Instructions: 

·        Measure 1 heaping tablespoon of sprouting mix seeds into a quart jar.

·        Add about 3 inches of fresh water (try to avoid using chlorinated water if possible.  Chlorine has been shown to kill alfalfa seeds).  Use either bottled water, fresh rainwater or well water.

·        Put the yellow (Sprout Ease) lid on the jar.

·        Let the seed soak overnight (about 8 hours)

·        Drain and rinse twice daily for 4-5 days.

·        Place the jar at a 45-degree angle, mouth down, in a place where it can drain freely.  Do not allow the seeds to block the circulation of air.

·        About the third day, change to the green lid and on the 4th or 5th day change to the red lid.  This will allow the hulls to rinse out thoroughly.

·        For the first 3-4 days, keep the jars in a cool, shady place, not in direct sunlight.

·        On the 4th day, place the jar on a windowsill to help the sprouts develop chlorophyll. Sprouts will be matured on about the fifth or sixth day and ready to eat. They can be stored in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days in the jar or in plastic bags. 

This basic mix is very tasty and can be added to a regular cooked meal or eaten as a salad.  Add a little olive oil, lemon juice and kelp for taste.  The more you add sprouts to your diet, the more your tastes will change in favor of these living foods.  Sprouts are loaded with living digestive enzymes and because they are a predigested food, are very easy on the digestive system.  The body needs only small amounts of this living food, so about 1/3 of a jar is plenty for any meal.

Remember to allow your body time to adjust to this miraculous food.  If you try to eat too much, too soon, the body will rebel or might have difficulty adjusting.  When we first started adding sprouts to our diet, we carried them around with us in plastic bags and added them to a sandwich, salad, soup or snack. 

EarthStar Morning Mix (living cereal) Instructions: 

·        Measure 4 or 5 level tablespoons of Morning Mix (buckwheat groats, oat groats, sunflower seed (hulled) and whole flaxseed to a quart jar.  Add about ¾ cup of warm water, (about 100 degrees, which is as hot as your finger can stand). Warm water is needed to activate the digestive process in the seeds. 

·        Soak the mixture overnight.

·        Next morning drain the soak water and dump the soaked mixture into a blender. Add one pint of clear water. (The flaxseed, when soaked, produces a clear, jelly-like substance that coats the damp mixture of seeds and gives it a sort of slimy appearance.)

·        For a sweeter taste, add either one banana or dates, figs, or raisins (soaked overnight) and a little raw honey.

·        Blend well into a smoothie. 

This drink makes a great, nutritious, living, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast that will hold you up until lunchtime. We usually drink this every morning, but it can also be used for any other meal of the day. For a living cereal, use a smaller amount of heated water and blend into a creamy warm cereal and add a little organic butter and Celtic salt.  This is an especially good live food meal for children. 

Sprouting instructions for wheat berries and Grain Mix (living bread): 

·        Measure several tablespoons of wheat berries or Grain Mix into a quart jar.

·        Fill the jar about ½ full with clean water.

·        Soak overnight

·        Drain in the morning. Place the jar at a 45-degree angle, mouth down, in a place where it can drain freely.  Do not allow the seeds to block the circulation of air.

·        Rinse twice a day for 2 days.

·        These sprouted grains will store well in the refrigerator for 4-6 days. 

Wheat is a basic staple grain all over the world.  Originally, wheat was soaked in water and allowed to sprout before being pounded into dough for bread.  This early bread was formed into thin wafers and dried in the sun to make a very sweet, hearty foodstuff.  Later, the technique developed to grind the dry wheat berries into flour, which produces a hard-to-digest, mucous forming substance we know as wheat flour, which is then made into many types of breads and pastries.

Wheat berries, when soaked and sprouted for 1-2 days are very tasty and mildly sweet.  You can either eat them as a sprouted berry or grow them on soil into wheat grass, chewing the grass for the rich chlorophyll and spiting out the pulp or using a wheat grass juicer to make the juice.

The Grain Mix is an excellent “living bread”, a substitute for bread cravings, and provides an excellent source of complex carbohydrates in a very concentrated form.  Sprouted grains supply all eight essential amino acids and the proteins in sprouted grains are predigested and easy on the digestive system.  They will help when that “heavy” feeling in the stomach is desired.  Our favorite way to eat the sprouted grain mix is to add olive oil, Celtic salt and freshly ground black pepper.  This gives it a sort of Italian bread taste. We add it to sandwiches made on sprouted Essene bread and sprinkle it on salads. Another way is to grate a carrot, or chop a red bell pepper, add 3 or 4 tablespoons of the mix and eat it as a taboule. 

Growing Wheat Grass, Sunflower and Buckwheat greens: 

·        Fill any size pot with soil that has been mixed with peat moss.  This will assure good ventilation and drainage for developing roots. You may fertilize the soil with one tbsp. of kelp per pot (optional).

·        Soak the wheat berries, sunflower seed or buckwheat seed overnight.  For best germination results, allow seed to drain 8 hours before planting.

·        Wet the soil in the pot thoroughly.

·        Spread a layer of seed over the soil.  Each seed should touch another on all sides, but should not have any others on top of it.  In other word, all the seeds should have access to the soil, and form a thick carpet covering the soil. 

·        Cover this layer of seed with 4-8 pieces of soaking wet newspaper.  Finally, place a piece of plastic over that to prevent the newspapers from drying out.  Allow plastic edges to drape over the pot, do not tuck underneath, as the seeds need air to grow.

·        On the fourth day, remove the covering and water the greens (this will be their first drink).

·        Place the pots in indirect sunlight, either inside on a windowsill or outside in a shady spot. Water the greens daily, once a day. On the seventh day, the greens will be at their peak.  The buckwheat and sunflower greens will be from 5-7 inches tall, the wheatgrass, about 7 or 8 inches tall.

·        Cut all greens as close to the base as possible.  This is where the majority of vitamins are stored.

·        Compost the used soil and reuse when it has decomposed. 

It is simple and economical to grow salad greens and wheatgrass in our homes.  The cost of homegrown organic salad greens may be one-tenth of what we pay for commercial salad greens, which have little nutritional value. The growing of indoor greens takes little space and only 15 minutes or so of daily care.

The wheat grass can be snipped very fine and sprinkled on salads, sandwiches, soups, or it may be added to cooked foods.  Wheat grass is a complete food; it is high in chlorophyll, which is a protective food, especially for city living.  Studies have shown that chlorophyll in living food can greatly increase the survival of people who have been exposed to lethal radiation.  (People living in cities are exposed daily to radiation from x-rays, fluorescent lights, iodine B1 and radioactive pollutants.)  Chlorophyll has been shown to regenerate the bloodstream, in fact, in the human body, chlorophyll is structurally similar to hemoglobin. It is also a powerful blood cleanser.  Pots of wheatgrass growing on windowsills will help to purify the air in the home.

Buckwheat greens are an excellent, mild-tasting lettuce.  They are fresh because they go from the soil right into your plate and are loaded with live enzymes, which are needed by every process in the body. These greens are a rich source of rutin, which is a blood builder and lecithin, which helps eliminate excess cholesterol. Lecithin is also a brain food. Buckwheat greens are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, with good amount of B-vitamins such as riboflavin.

Sunflower greens are vitamin-rich meat substitutes at one-quarter the price of meat and actually supply more protein than the body can use.  They can be used in salads, sandwiches, and soups or added to any food. These greens are a good source of vitamin D and B complex, and minerals, especially potassium, calcium and iron, and of course, a rich source of chlorophyll. 

Live Foods Are the Best:

 Sprouted seeds and grains are inexpensive and easy to grow and afford one of the most concentrated but truly natural sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids (protein) known.  They are also biogenic…life generating…and capable of transferring their life energy to your body. (Biogenic foods provide the body with a form of living energy.)

A diet of predominately cooked food destroys most of the valuable live enzymes, vitamins and usable protein.  As much as 85% of the original nutrients may be lost in the cooking process. When we consider the problems of over-population, starvation and the wasteful use of water needed to produce meat, it becomes obvious that cooked foods, especially meat consumption, is a wasteful and inefficient use of valuable resources.  Changing to a predominately raw-food, plant-based diet would significantly reduce much of the suffering of humanity and the destruction of our magnificent planet.

The older we get, the more severe is our craving for cooked food.  A diet of primarily cooked, dead food reduces the bodys’enzyme supply by 30-50%.  Even though ones’diet may be considered nutritious, it will not be digested properly without a sufficient concentration of enzymes in the body. Eating sprouted grains, grasses and seeds will significantly rebuild the enzyme level in human cells.

One must begin a gradual transition from a diet of meat, processed foods, sugar, white flour, dairy products, carbonated drinks, inorganic salt, snack foods, canned and processed foods, strong condiments, coffee, ice cream, alcohol and cigarettes, to a total living food diet of vegetables, fruits, sprouted grains, grasses and seeds.

Begin by reducing the size of meals and learn about proper food combining for better digestion.  Eliminate, or reduce meat consumption to fewer days a week and replace it with sprouts, cooked oats or millet, whole grains and more vegetables.  Move toward regular fasting by skipping breakfast maybe 1-2 times a week.  After a few weeks of improved diet you can fast for 24 hours once or twice a month.  Fast on lemon water or fruit.  The more you eliminate the bad foods and increase the live foods, the easier it is to develop the habit of natural nutrition. 

Choosing Foods for Transitioning:

Avoid pesticides and herbicide poisons by growing your own garden or purchasing food locally from someone who farms organically, if at all possible.  More and more health food and grocery stores are offering organic produce.  Take advantage of it!  Certain weeds from an unsprayed area are very valuable nutritionally.  Purslane, lambs quarters, dandelion greens, thistle, chickweed, violet and red clover can usually be found growing in unmowed areas.

It is wise to purchase food in bulk.  Seeds, grains, dried legumes, olive oil and dried fruit (fig, plum, pineapple, raisins) store well in poly buckets with lids.  Should you ever experience natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, or social or economic upheaval, you would have the advantage of always being prepared.  Also purchasing food in bulk saves transportation costs and cuts down on the need for large refrigerators.  We have gone for months at a time without the need of a refrigerator.  And when we do use one in the summer, it is a small, under-the-cabinet type.  This, too, minimizes our expenses, saves space and helps save the earth’s resources.

Fruit is very valuable during a transition diet.  Purchase fruit only in season and try to limit it to locally grown, if possible.  Fruit is best when tree ripened.  Fruit and sprouts are cleansing foods, high in pre-digested enzymes and are very gentle on the body’s digestive processes. The composition of most sprouts is almost identical to fruit.

Learn to use only cold-pressed oils, produced from organically grown produce.  Use Celtic salt or granulated kelp and season with freshly grown herbs. (A small herb garden is very easy to grow and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.) Good foods for a transition diet are the sprouted grasses, seeds and grains, fruit, steamed (non-starchy) vegetables, yard eggs and cooked whole grains such as brown basmati rice, millet or sourdough whole wheat or spelt breads.  This is a very balanced diet and contains all the nutrition the body needs to stay healthy, vibrant and energetic.   

One should advance on a transitional diet at a natural pace that feels comfortable.  The ideal live food, raw diet can be helpful in maintaining health and longevity.  It can be very therapeutic and cleansing, ridding the body of accumulated waste materials which lead to ill-health and disease, so be sure to go slow and easy.  A lifetime of poorly chosen, cooked foods is a habit that takes time to change.      

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