The following story was written by Denise Arceneaux with Incredible Health Farms, a vendor at the West Homewood Farmer's Market. The views and opinions expressed in this story do not necessarily reflect the position of the West Homewood Company or Market.
I looked at my husband nervously, “you know once we see this we can’t unsee it. Do we really want to do this?” It was a Sunday night in 2012 and we were holding the “Forks Over Knives” DVD that my parents brought over. They had been researching how to reverse their heart disease. Both of them had had heart attacks and were getting stents put in regularly. Their research led them to this DVD. It explains everything you need to know about how chronic disease came about and what you can do to prevent or reverse – depending on your condition. My husband and I, from the time we were married, had tried most every diet out there. We grew up struggling with weight and, as a result, were avid researchers of nutrition in attempt to avoid eating disorders and food addictions. My parents knew this and they wanted our opinions. At the time, we were on the verge of trying paleo. Thank goodness my parents got there in time!
We watched the DVD with skeptical reactions, as some people do. The science made sense but why wasn’t this information out there if animal protein was so bad for you? Later, we watched “What the Health” and that answered the questions. Follow the money. Watching Forks over Knives was a turning point for us. We tried cold turkey for 4 pathetic months but our hearts were not in it. However, we kept doing the research. The science didn’t lie. The studies were sound but were never brought to the media’s attention because there isn’t a Fruit and Veggie Industry to make the money. There are only Meat, Dairy, and Egg industries pushing information out there in ways that keep the public confused to the point where most people just throw up their hands and decide “I’ll just eat the way I want and die when God calls me.” That mentality leads to a lifestyle that packs on the pounds so in attempt to lose weight they go to the low carb, no carb diets because they promise rapid weight loss… at a price. The pounds come down but depending on the percentage that these calories come from animal protein and fats, the risk of cancer increases and the cholesterol and diabetes make their appearance. Diabetes? But that comes from eating too much sugar and carbs right? Nope. It’s from eating too much saturated fats, which come from animals. When we went all in on our plant based lifestyle and we started opening up to new foods, our lives changed forever. We eat foods we love, all day. We feel great, all day. Our blood work is near perfect, every time. Now it was time to share this with the world.
Not long after we watched the DVD, Dad started researching how to grow his own garden on a small piece of land. He stumbled across aquaponics, where you raise tilapia, filter the waste water through a system that separates the solids, and feeds plants through hydroponic means in a greenhouse. At the time, President Clinton had just reversed his heart disease and plant based diets were getting attention. He noticed that this trend was the biggest thing to hit the market in his life time. And thus, Incredible Health Farms, LLC was born. He had helped all of his kids create their own businesses, and this one was for me. My love for nutrition and plants made this the perfect fit for me. We are desperate not to go into too much debt starting our business so we have started small. We are growing microgreens and wheatgrass in a grow room under grow lights using organic seeds and soil. We are finding our clientele by growing the most nutrient dense of foods.
What are microgreens and what is the big deal? When you grow a plant, you start
with a sprout. Next is the microgreen stage, which takes 7-14 days. Here you have a stem, packed with nutrients from these plants and when you cut them at this stage you can take a handful and throw it on anything – soups, sandwiches, veggie burgers, pizza, wraps, tacos, burritos, anything you want to add a punch of flavor. But wait.. there’s more! You are also adding 4-40 times more nutrients to that meal because you are consuming it at the microgreens stage! Take broccoli, for instance. It is strong in sulforaphane, which has been shown to kill cancer cells. This is stronger in the sprout and microgreen stage than it is in mature broccoli! We need those strong warriors in our body because we are faced with cancer causing carcinogens daily.
Now, can we take a minute to talk about wheatgrass? No, it’s not the grass from your yard. The wheatgrass we grow is from Red Hard Winter wheat berries. We soak and germinate until the seeds sprout then we plant in organic soil. Six days later you have a tray of what could look like the grass from your yard but the health benefits are enormous. Don’t let the name fool you, just because it is a wheat berry, it does not contain gluten. You can go to pubmed.gov and see the many studies on wheatgrass and how it has been used for medicinal purposes in aiding health concerns from weight loss to immune health during chemotherapy. Just one ounce of wheatgrass juice packs every nutrient you could need: most vitamins, minerals, amino acids and macronutrients, along with chlorophyll which absorbs toxins and helps promote the production of red blood cells to name a few.
Our microgreens can be found at The West Homewood Farmer's Market this summer so be on the lookout! And if you are in need of changing your lifestyle to one that is incredible, meaning beyond belief, we are here to help! We are more than a farm…we are a way of life!