Lisa, founder of Lisa’s Counter Culture, is passionate about “real food” and loves being able to share her recipes and techniques for creating nourishing and traditional food. She is especially interested and skilled in fermentation and can go on for hours on all the crazy and fun things you can do with ferments while supporting your health and wellness.
Through continued study and nutrition research since 2001, she has found her home in the Paleo/Primal world. Her main tenet is “be mindful and eat real food”.
Lisa is a Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN) Practitioner and certified in Applied Clinical Nutrition. As a functional nutrition lifestyle coach, she uses non-invasive functional laboratory tests along with a comprehensive intake and your personal health story to educate you on how to take charge of your health using natural solutions to heal the underlying malfunctions and underlying conditions at the root of most common health complaints. You can reach Lisa through Email.
My journey has been an interestingly crazy and challenging exploration—one that continues to unfold.
First, let me address an important point. I am not a doctor, and I don’t give medical advice. So who am I?
I am a concerned mother, wife and fellow human being who cares deeply about nutrition and our environment. I want real food that is nourishing for me, my family and the world overall. I want to feel confident that I am contributing to life-friendly practices that impact our ecosystems, like animal husbandry. I have spent the last 14+ years consumed with researching and experimenting with traditional food preparation. In particular, I have made many discoveries as I have delved deeper into the biochemistry of fermentation. As a result, I have made adjustments to some of my recipes, techniques and recommendations.
I’ve also realized that health is not just about food. It is also about functional wellness with important foundations in lifestyle, genetics, everyday choices/reactions and joy. Everyone is so different and our needs continue to change and evolve. I find this fascinating and relish helping people figure out what works best for them.
I love to coach individuals to find answers to pesky chronic health problems that much of Western medicine is not adept at managing or resolving. I find deep satisfaction in connecting people to improved nutrition and lifestyle changes, as well as community resources and healers to aid in their relief of such ailments. This has become my main drive, to help myself and you get well and stay well.
The Expanded Version (in case you are still reading)
I was fortunate to be exposed to many real foods as a child. Then our culture began to change when “experts” started claiming that nonfat and seed oil products were best and that raw milk was certainly dangerous. My family, like many others, believed these experts and made changes at home. The change in our milk selection was one of the more dramatic changes that I remember. Another sudden change was the general idea that fats were bad. Skinless chicken breasts started to appear at the dinner table, as did diet soda (not for us kids, but for the adults).
The Darker Side
As a teenager, I drank a lot of diet soda in order to be “thin.” I became a vegetarian, to boot. My saving grace was that I continued to eat fish on occassion, eggs and cheese. But still, my health suffered. Mood swings and energy dips were common likely due to drops in my sugar levels after eating carbohydrate-heavy meals. My health got worse as a young adult when I started to cook for myself. I regularly ate low-calorie microwave “meals.” And cooking from cans and packages seemed efficient and economical. (Have you ever noticed the abundance of coupons for processed foods but not many for good, nutritional foods?). I was constantly fighting my hunger, overdoing endless boring cardio and often depressed or upset.
Fast forward to my married life. I now had another person to consider when cooking meals. So I started to question the health benefits of these easy-to-cook, pre-packaged foods. Then, when I was pregnant with my first child, I became quite nervous and concerned about the little spirit relying on me for nourishment.
I consulted with a nutritionist who set me straight on what a nutrient dense balanced diet with whole foods and fats (like real organic butter and avocados) looks like. This made a lot of sense to me. But during my two pregnancies, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to use a blood sugar monitor to watch my sugar levels. I was determined to use diet and exercise to protect my unborn children rather than resorting to medications as a preventive measure. This plan of action worked for me. I have family history of diabetes, heart disease, thyroid imbalances and mood disorders. So being proactive on avoiding these conditions became vital for me and for my family. I continue to monitor my blood sugar and other relevant biomarkers to make sure I’m optimizing my health.
I learned firsthand a lot about how certain foods are digested and how they affect blood sugar levels. I became “Paleo” and to some degree “Ketogenic” without even knowing these terms. I was mostly eating protein, fat and non-starchy vegetables, with just teeny bits of rice or potatoes. I switched from nonfat milk to whole milk and then to raw whole milk. Raw whole milk had the least adverse effect on my blood sugar and caused no “crashing” later, either. And amazingly enough, I had a hard time gaining weight, even though I ate fat and protein all the time. Ha! That was a new concept for me. High quality fats did not make me fat. Today I feel happy, energetic and healthy.
My definition of Paleo or Primal is a bit more flexible than some others. I believe in eating whole, unprocessed foods with appropriate amounts of dairy or starchs, as tolerated by the individual. I don’t find one prescribed diet to be the perfect diet for everyone. Food plans have to be flexible to suit each person individually, and it may need adjustment over time as your body’s nutrient requirements shift. If you are happy and healthy with your diet, then I am fully supportive of what is working for you.
Rediscovering what past generations have taken for granted has been a blessing and revelation. And having a family and making nutritional decisions about nourishment is a responsibility that I have taken to heart. I continue to fine-tune my processes as I learn and discover more about food and how it’s grown, raised and prepared for consumption. I hope you are inspired to try some of the ideas and techniques covered on my site in your own home.