Thursday, April 2, 2009

Real Food for Mother and Baby

Go here to enter to win a free copy of Real Food for Mother and Baby.

Coming from a whole/nourishing-foods mindset, Nina Planck has written a book full of information about healthy diets for women trying to conceive, nourishing foods to keep momma and baby healthy during pregnancy, and what/how/when to introduce nourishing food to your babies and toddlers.

Thank you Nourishing Days for the giveaway!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fuzzy little puffballs

Last week I went to Del's to buy some chicks. On the way there I stopped by the bank to cash a check, and chatted with the teller for a few minutes. She asked what I was doing that day, so I told her I was on my way to the feed store to pick up some chicks. She was excited and told me that people occasionally bring their pets into the bank and one day someone had brought in some baby chicks and she got to hold one.

So I went on my merry way, and as I was coming home I thought "well, I'm driving right past the bank, I might as well stop by and show Lynnette the chicks!" The chicks were chirping loudly as I walked in the door, so everyone turned to look. There was a youngish man (25 or 30) doing a transaction with Lynnette, and when he saw me with a box of chicks he quickly swept his money aside and told me to put it down right there on the counter. I did, and then opened the box and took a chick out for Lynnette to hold.

The guy stood there with eyes as wide as saucers, gawking at the chicks like he'd never seen a chick in his life. He probably hadn't. I asked him if he wanted to hold one, and he carefully reached out one little finger and gently touched one. I repeated that I could hold one if he wanted, and then picked one up and held it out to him.

He took it, and stared at it for the longest time. Then he brought it up close to his face and stroked it with his fingers, cooing and talking to it. "Hi there, little chickie... how are ya?.... you're so soft.... you're a cute little thing...." Eventually he put it back in the box, and he shifted his wide eyes from the chick to me, and said with the deepest sincerity, from the depths of his soul, "Thank you for letting me hold the chick. That was amazing". And then as I picked up my things and walked to the door, he must have thanked me at least three or four more times.

As I drove home I figured I must have been just as elated as they were - only for a different reason! They were excited to have experienced new life, and the simple joys of simple living with a rural lifestyle. For me, I was blessed to have given them the opportunity to experience these joys. It was a simple little thing, just took maybe five minutes out of my time, but it brightened their day considerably. (especially that man's day - I still smile when I remember the expression of awe and gratefulness on his face! He was obviously a city-slicker who had never seen a chick in real life!)

And thus ends the tale of our little fuzzy chicks.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More Coming Soon!

I'm home from the conference. It was an awesome weekend, filled with great sessions and good conversation. There's just something about being in a room with over 200 other people that share a similar outlook on health and nutrition.

It was well worth it, but now I am thoroughly exhausted (which is not good for my adrenals, nor is the coffee that I drank in order to stay awake while driving home!). I'll try to fill you in sometime this week on more details. It might not be tomorrow, because I might be sleeping all day! ;-)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Traditional Diets....

"Traditional diets maximized nutrients, while modern diets minimize nutrients".

- Sally Fallon Morell


There were hundreds of boats on the water this morning. It looked like they were having a convention of some sort, but I think it was just people out for pleasure rides.

Friday, March 20, 2009

NTA Conference Notes Day 1

I'm here! After driving around lost in the big city for quite awhile, I finally found my way to the Red Lion Hotel in Vancouver, WA.

I had a short while to say hello to my NTP teacher Cathy Eason, and see classmates from school last year. It was great seeing everyone and catching up on the past year! Now we're beginning our first session, by Sally Fallon Morel. She's introducing us now to the dentist Dr. Weston Price, and then will be talking about "Nourishing Traditional Diets: The Key to Vibrant Health". We'll be hearing from her until 6:30 tonight.

Dr. Price wrote the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, which is an incredible documentary of his findings as he traveled the world seeking to find healthy cultures who subsisted on nourishing diets. If you haven't read the book, try to get your hands on it and look through it!

His first stop was in some small villages in Switzerland. The only way you could access the village was with a cart, so obvious that all the food they ate was grown in their village.

He lined up the people and began opening their mouth, taking pictures and writing notes about what he found. He saw less than 1 percent tooth decay in these people. No crowded or crooked teeth. Broad faces with high cheek bones. They also didn't brush their teeth and some of their mouths had teeth covered with green slime -- but there was no tooth decay.

The #1 source calories in their diet was raw milk. (accused of causing tuberculosis)
rye - dense sourdough rye bread.

typical school lunch for the children - slice of bread, thick slice of cheese.

diet based on dairy and grains. (few veggies in summer months)

Every village sacred foods. Important for men and women before conceiving, women during pregnancy, children while growing.

Sacred Food For Switzerland: Butter that came from cows when first went to pasture in the spring. Deep yellow/orange butter. Esp prized for growing children and pregnant women.

Genetically have a narrower face, but still no crowding.

lived on windswept island that had no animal life, and no trees or vegetables. What did they eat?

Diet based largely on seafood. Ate the whole fish -- heads, liver, etc. They did eat 1 vegetable - seaweed.

They could grow oats.

Favorite breakfast for children so they would grow strong and healthy: Fisheads stuffed with oats and chopped cod liver. :-) yum! ;-)

They used smoke-blackened thatch on their fields, and that's the only way their oats would grow.

They lived in these smoke filled cabins for most of the year, and never got lung cancer.


contrast with villiages that have contact with the outside world:
 - rampant tooth decay. They had received the foods of the outside world, but not the dentists yet
 - narrower faces with not enough room for the teeth to come in straight.
 - Dr. Romeg (been in AK 30 yrs) had never seen a traditional Eskimo heart disease, tuberculosis, etc. Women always had healthy babies.

 very few plant foods
 animal fat (seal oil)
 80% of diet fat (cooking, dipping food in, etc.)

They ate their fish fermented. Dug a hole in the ground, put the fish in, let it stay there until it got mushy, so they could eat all of it including the bones.

They knew that if they gave dogs fresh fish they couldn't pull the sleds all day, but eating fermented fish they could.

They never ate lean meat. When they had lean meat they would cut it into strips and dry it. Then spread the dried meat with fat before they ate it.

sacred food:
fish eggs

So you say "that's only their teeth.... we can just eat sugar and go to the dentist. But the teeth is only the part that we see. It is telling of the rest of the body. If there is plenty of room for the teeth, that implies that there is room for the head organs.

Straight teeth ......... Crooked, crowded teeth
plenty of room in head for pituitary, pineal, hypothalamus......compromised space for master gland in the head

Good skeletal development, good muscles...... poor development, poor posture, easily injured

keen eyesight and hearing... poor

optimal function of all organs.... compromised

opitomistic outlook, learns easily...... depression, behaviour problems, learning problems,

round pelvic opening, easy childirth .... squished pelvic opening and difficult chilbirth.

Tropical Islands
pig (fav. food

All children in tuberculosis ward had dental deformities. Not cause of tuberculosis, but it shows there were connected underlying nutritional problems.

Now she is showing us pictures of people in the USA. Contrasting faces of improperly nourished people to those of well-nourished people. The session is about over, and my laptop battery is about to die. So I guess that's all for now folks. ;-)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Coconut Oil Freezer Fudge

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup coconut oil (not rock hard)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa powder, very heaping (might as well make it 2/3 cup!)
1/2 tsp vanilla
two shakes of salt

Place all ingredients in food processor. Blend until smooth. Spread into a dish lined with foil that is oiled with coconut oil. (I used an 8x6 Pyrex dish, but you could also use a loaf pan, or whatever else you can find).

Put in freezer and let harden. Once it's firm, peel off foil and cut fudge into squares.

Go ahead and play around with the measurements on this. I often use equal amounts of coconut oil and butter, but it seems a little too oily to me that way. When I use less coconut oil, I taste the butter - which isn't necessarily desirable in fudge! Maybe unsalted butter would work better. I also didn't have any vanilla last time, and it still tasted great.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chocolate Giveaway

Who can resist a bite of rich, dark chocolate - especially when it can even be called healthy?

Go to here to enter your name in a giveaway of some Askinosie chocolate! The giveaway includes a 77% Davao Bar, Natural Cocoa Powder, and a 70% Del Tambo Dark Chocolate Bar.

MMM.... all this talk of chocolate has made me decide I want to go in the kitchen and make some healthy coconut oil fudge. (I'll share the recipe with you soon.) Then I'll clean up the kitchen and start a batch of cheese.

God's Mysterious Ways

Last week I received an amazing blessing from the Lord.

And yes, it's related to nutrition! ;-) After all, this IS a health blog!

In the spring of 2008, I completed a Nutritional Therapist training program, making me a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. In order to keep my certification up to date, however, I need to have "X" number of hours of continuing education each year. I've let the year slip by, I not given much thought to how I was going to get these credits.

There is a Nutritional Therapy Conference being held in Vancouver, WA later this month, and it would provide the credits that I need, but I didn't think it would be a wise use of my money right now and so I brushed that thought aside.

Last week my dad told me I needed to get on top of this... the next morning I was to get online and research how I can get those credits I needed. Well, the next morning came and what do you know but that I forgot! When I went to check my email though, I found a message from one of the ladies organizing the conference. She asked if I would be interested in volunteering for the conference and getting in at half-price. I was about to reply with a "yes", when Mom saw the email and said "Dad and I will cover half of that".

So peoples, for 4-hours of volunteering, I get to go to a three-day nutrition conference. And pay only 1/4th the cost of general admittance.

As I watched this all unfold, I realized this is a complete "God-thing". He had a plan and laid it all out before me so beautifully. And I am so thrilled to be able to go to this conference! Sally Fallon Morrell (Nourishing Traditions) and Natasha Campbell-McBride (GAPS diet) will be speaking, among others. I'm particularly interested in hearing Sally Fallon.

I'll try to remember to give you all a report when it's over! :-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The link between Autism and Vaccinations

Take a few minutes of your time to watch this very informative, yet very disturbing, video exposing the link between autism and vaccinations - particularly the mercury used as a preservative in the serum.

It's frightening. And I believe it completely. I have heard enough evidence to prove it in my mind, and I even know a woman personally who watched her eight-year-old son become autistic before her eyes after receiving some immunizations.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Introducing the newest member of our farm!

Belle had a calf last night! It's a sweet little heifer. (That means a girl calf for you city-slickers!)

I'm back to twice a day milking now.... I kinda missed it! ;-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Transitioning to a Healthier Lifestyle

I've been asked numerous times by people "where do I start?" When we're caught up in the normal SAD (Standard American Diet) way of eating, it can be overwhelming to think of changing our eating habits. Obviously it would be nearly impossible to make the switch overnight.

So my suggestion is to make a transition. Start with maybe only one or two things that you can do, and purpose to follow your plan for a set amount of time before moving on to the next step. You might be ready to move on after a week or two, or maybe it will take a month - or even six months, before you're established in the first changes and ready to add more.

If you're starting at ground zero, let me suggest to you that the two most important ingredients I think you should try to eliminate first are High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Hydrogenated Oils. Be sure to check the ingredient labels of all the prepackaged food you purchase, to make sure it's clear of these items. Some unsuspecting things you might find these ingredients in are Non-Dairy Creamer and Cool Whip -- they both contain HFCS and Hydrogenated Oils. Margarine and Crisco are both purely Hydrogenated oils, so those go out the window never to return. Real butter and oils are much healthier for you, and taste better anyways.

Of course our ultimate goal is to severely limit our consumption of prepackaged foods, but during this transition process you can allow yourself some of them - just make sure it's clear of the aforementioned ingredients. Often looking at other, more natural brands, will be your solution.

For example most commercial flavored yogurts are very high in Corn Syrup, HFCS, Sugar, and Glucose Syrup. Talk about a sugar load! ;-) But the Brown Cow yogurt company sweetens their flavored yogurts with Honey and Pure Maple Syrup. Yes it costs more, but if you can find it on sale or use coupons, you can still have an occasional treat of yogurt without defiling your conscience because you've eaten things that were your contraband list. :-)

Take it easy.... one step at a time. Make a plan that is doable, then stick to your plan. Find a friend to keep you accountable! Tell each other that for the rest of the month you're going to avoid HFCS, and then follow up with each other. You'd be amazed at how easy it is to say "Oh, it's just one little bit... it doesn't really matter just this once!". But it's not easy to make excuses like that when you're accountable to someone. Try it! ;-)

For more information on HFCS, check out this link , or search or

For more information on Hydrogenated Oils, see pages 14 & 15 of Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon; search; or

Help Petition the FDA

 The American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) is leading a campaign to reform the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We ask you to join with us in signing the Reform FDA Petition presented below. This petition will be delivered to Congress.

Late last year, the US government released a 60 page report entitled: FDA Science and Mission at Risk. A more honest title would have been: FDA Science and Mission in Shambles.

Apart from its title, however, the report was forthright. Here are a few direct quotes from the table of contents:

  • Major Finding: "The FDA cannot fulfill its mission because its scientific base... is weak...."
  • Major Finding: "The FDA cannot fulfill its mission because its scientific workforce does not have sufficient capacity and capability."
  • Finding: "FDA does not have the capacity to ensure the safety of food for the nation."
  • Finding: "The development of medical products based on 'new science' cannot adequately be regulated by the FDA."

These failures affect the health of all Americans. Good drugs are not approved or approved after interminable delays. Even after new drugs are shown to be safe, doctors cannot use them with terminally ill patients whose cases are otherwise hopeless.  Bad drugs are approved -- often on the basis of a recommendation by panels whose members include drug company consultants.

The record with the food supply is almost as bad as with drugs. When fresh food turns out to be contaminated, the only solution the Agency can come up with is to "nuke" it with radiation. What does this do to food? The FDA certainly does not know. If irradiated salad is not unappetizing enough, how about cloned meat, also recently approved.

A veritable revolution is taking place in the science of food, food extracts, and food supplements. Food producers would like to tell the American public about it. Millions of lives could be saved as a result. But the FDA will not permit it. The Agency ignores first amendment protections and censors the communication of valid scientific information.

To persuade Congress to address the comprehensive failure of the FDA, a Petition to Reform the FDA has been drafted. Your signature is vital. We must collect such a large number of names on the Petition that it compels Congressional Action. We will hand deliver the petition to Congressional leaders and urge them to enact comprehensive FDA reform. Congress already knows that the FDA represents a serious problem. This petition will help move them to take the urgent action required.

Go HERE to sign the petition.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lack of Posts

Sorry for the lack of posts, people. Between a bad cold, a broken memory card reader, and complete lack of inspiration, I haven't been blogging.

The weather around here is still a little too dreary and muddy to take many pictures of the livestock for our "Homestead Tour", but the sun looks like it's going to shine today so if I can find some green grass somewhere I might take a few pictures.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tour of the Homestead, part 1

Meet Belle.
Resident Bovine, Chief Milk Producer, Ever-loving and Ever-forgiving Companion to the Milkmaid. Pet. Currently dried up to prepare for calving in a few weeks.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Recipe: Brownies

These brownies are moist, chewy, and decadent - just like brownies are supposed to be! The flour is not sprouted or soaked, but oh well. We can break the rules now and then. My brothers are roofing a church building this weekend so I sent a plate of these brownies with them for the hungry workers to eat!

3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/4 olive oil (extra virgin, cold pressed, preferred)
1 1/2 cups granulated coconut palm sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups freshly ground wheat flour (any flour should work)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt.

Mix all together well. Spread batter in greased 8x8 inch pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool mostly before slicing into small squares.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins and Waffles (optional gluten free)

Here's a yummy dual-purpose batter!

Pumpkin Muffins and Waffles:

Combine in large mixing bowl, and beat well:
(You can divide your sweeteners differently if you like, and even add in some molasses if desired. This is just what I had, in these amounts. Next time I will try omitting the honey, and using 2/3 c Palm Sugar and 1/2 cup of molasses.)

Add and mix well:
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin or squash
  • 1 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted.
In the same bowl, on top of the wet ingredients, lightly mix together the dry ingredients. Then combine wet and dry together just until mixed.
  • 3 c. flour (gluten free flour mix, if you want it GF)
  • 4 tsp baking powder (make sure to use a GF brand if you're going for GF)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Now pour some of the batter into greased muffin tins, enough to make 12 muffins. Bake at 400*F for 20 minutes.

With your remaining batter, add:
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 1 cup milk, or as much as is needed to make a good waffle batter consistency.
Bake waffles according to your waffle iron instructions.

This recipe yielded me a dozen each of muffins and waffles.

Note: I ran out of xanthum gum to put in my GF flour mix, but the baked goods held together well. I'm assuming that it's because this was quick-rising dough, not yeasted. Is there anyone with more experience that can tell me if my assumption is correct, or why xanthum gum is sometimes needed and sometimes not? Thanks! ;-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Updated bread tutuorial

As per Lindsay's comment, I updated my bread recipe to include a souring agent to enhance the soaking process. Check it out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Traditional Foods Primer

If you're new to nutritious kitchen ingredients and methods, The Nourished Kitchen is beginning a series called the Traditional Foods Primer. Every Monday she will dive into an aspect of nourishing traditional food preparation, such as Wholesome Fats; Sprouting, Soaking, and Souring Grains; Lactic-Acid Fermentation; Raw Dairy; Grass-finished, Wild , and Pastured Meats; and Natural Sweeteners.

I'm excited ~ I've gained insight on most of this through various books, blogs, and seminars, but it will be cool to have it all together in one place.

Check out her first installment in the Natural Sweeteners category, called "Modern Sweeteners: What They Are and What They Do".

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Coconut Chai Tea

Okay, so I know black tea isn't very good for you (anyone know if you can get Chai teabags in a base other than black tea?), but I just concocted this beverage last night and it is SO GOOD!!!!

Brew in mug (a great big one....):
1 Chai Spice teabag
Hot water

After the tea has steeped for a few minutes, add:
a generous portion of Coconut Milk
and a teaspoon (or two... yum!) of Coconut Sugar

And, wala, you have a Coconut Chai Tea Latte'. HEAVENLY!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gluten Free Flour Mix

6 cups rice flour
2 cups corn starch
1 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon of Xantham gum

This is by far the best gluten free flour mix I've tasted yet. A family came over for dinner the other day and brought a GF gingerbread made with this flour mix. It was so yummy, and you would never have known it was GF.

Even if your body does not react negatively to gluten, I'd suggest you try using this flour mix in a few recipes now and then. As a general rule, our society way overdoes wheat in our diet. Our bodies weren't meant to be eating the same thing every day of our lives ~ we will do our digestive system a great favor by rotating grains occasionally. Try to "Go Gluten-Free" for a few days, even a week or month if you're really serious about it, and give your digestive system a break!

Thanks Chehalis Hills for the recipe!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Revision: Soaked Bread Tutorial

Alright, I made soaked bread again yesterday/today and I took pictures. So here's a more detailed explanation and a bit of a revision of my previous post about soaked bread.

Soaked Wheat Bread

Step One:
Mix all together:
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 c. kefir (or buttermilk, thinned yogurt, milk with 2 tblsp vinegar or lemon juice, or other acidic agent)
  • 3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 c. honey
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 14 c. freshly milled whole wheat flour ~ This batch has 1 1/2 cups of Rye flour as well, left over in the grain mill from what Mom had baked earlier .

Knead for a couple of minutes, then cover and let dough sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

I put mine it in the "warming cupboard" of our old wood cookstove.

Step Two:
Once your dough has set for 12-24 hours, "proof" your yeast:
  • scant 3 Tblsp active dry yeast
  • a tablespoon or so of honey
  • 1/2 c. or so of very warm water (but not hot)
  • 1/4 c. unbleached white flour
Once it begins to bubble up, pour into dough and mix together well. This is easiest if you have a powerful mixer that can knead bread, but you can do it in a large bowl with your hands as well.

Your dough will probably be pretty sticky at this point, so add a cup or two of unbleached flour until it is a good consistency.

Knead for 5 minutes in mixer, or 10 minutes by hand.

Put your dough aside and let it rise until doubled. Because your dough isn't warm, it will take several hours. To speed up the process you can put it in a warm room, near the fireplace or a heater, etc.Again, I put it in the wood cookstove. This time I needed it to be warm, so I put it in the oven part. Just make sure the fire isn't blazing too hot or your bread will bake!

Once the dough has risen, shape it into loaves or rolls, let rise again and then bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes (rolls) or 30-40 minutes (loaves). Yields 4 loaves.

A note on flours: I like Prairie Gold Hard White, sometimes adding in some Hard Red as well. Hard Red Wheat is strongly flavored and dense, which adds a nice nutty touch to the bread but you don't want to use it exclusively. It should be mixed half-and-half with Hard White Wheat.
pardon the spilled wheat berries all over the floor... ;-)

We have used several grain mills throughout the years, currently we use a Kitchen-Tech:

I hope this has been helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. I'd be happy to help or receive critique! ;-)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Homemade Liquid Handsoap

This looks fun!

I'm going to try to make it with natural goat-milk soap tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes!