Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Real Food 101 E-Book

 Kendahl, from Our Nourishing Roots, recently made available a must-have recipe book for those wanting to learn the basics of working with real food.  The REAL FOOD 101 E-book contains step by step tutorials of traditional foods, traditionally prepared, in full color pictures to teach you how to implement real food into your kitchen. 

Want to learn how to make your own ketchup, salad dressings or yogurt?  It's in there...  How about a step-by-step tutorial on what to do with nuts, beans & seeds to get the greatest nutritional value?  It's in there...  

See what Kendahl has to say about her book:

What will the ebook help with?
  1. The basics of real food:  From soaking and sprouting, to lacto-fermenting and working with raw dairy, you will see how to use real food in your kitchen, step by step.
  2. Colorful photos, for visual learners:  If you are visual like me, then you may be in love with real food, but you need to see what water kefir is supposed to look like!  My ebook makes sure to document every step, so that you don’t get lost.
  3. On GAPS?  All but one recipe in the ebook is GAPS-legal.  So you can learn real food without worrying about grains.
  4. Looking at food from a holistic perspective: For example, when you make butter you are also making buttermilk.  Learn to streamline the rhythm of your food production by understanding where your food comes from, and where it can go.
  5. You can print out the ebook: Keep a copy of this printed ebook in your kitchen, for easy reference.  Just print and bind, or hole punch and put into a binder.
What is in the ebook?
  1. Grains, Nuts, Beans, & Seeds: Sprouted Flour, Soaking and Dehydrating Nuts, Beans, and Seeds.
  2. Working with Raw Dairy: Butter, Buttermilk, Yogurt three ways, Whey, and Cream Cheese.
  3. Salad Dressings: Basic Vinaigrette, Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette, Ranch Dressing
  4. Traditional Bone Broths & Stocks: Beef Stock, Chicken Stock, and Shellfish Stock.
  5. Lacto-fermented Condiments: Ketchup, Hand-Beaten Mayonnaise, and Traditional Sauerkraut.
  6. Probiotic Drinks: Beet Kvass and Water Kefir.
Click Here to Get the E-Book

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries!

Cherries, deliciously healthy!  A growing body of science reveals tart cherries, enjoyed as either dried, frozen cherries or concentrated cherry juice, have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits. They also contain other important nutrients such as beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries) vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate.  From reducing insomnia and inflammation to relieving pain from muscle soreness to arthritis, this little fruit is worth looking into.

In a pilot study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester and the V.A. Center of Canandaigua tested the effects of tart cherry juice on the sleep habits of 15 older adults.  During the weeks the study participants drank the cherry juice, there were significant reductions in reported insomnia and drinking the tart cherry juice appeared to help people sleep through the night better, without waking up.  The researchers noted that tart cherries' natural sleep-enhancing benefits could be the result of their relatively high content of melatonin -- a natural antioxidant that has been shown in previous research to help induce sleepiness at night and wakefulness during the day.

Weight, Diabetes & Heart Disease:
University of Michigan research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, suggests tart cherries may help to control weight and to prevent metabolic syndrome, the cluster of symptoms including high blood pressure and high cholesterol that ups the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  The researchers report that animals that received powdered tart cherries in their diet had lower total cholesterol, lower blood sugar, less fat storage in the liver, lower oxidative stress and increased production of a molecule that helps the body handle fat and sugar, compared with rats that didn’t receive cherries as part of an otherwise similar diet.

Pain Relief:
Oregon Health and Science University's Department of Medicine researchers have also found that drinking tart cherry juice for 7 days before and during a strenuous running event minimizes post-run muscle pain. Their study was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Michigan State University study found that 20 tart cherries were at least as effective as other painkilling remedies, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 

Arthritis & Gout:
Cherries' anthocyanidins have been shown to inhibit the activity of xanthine oxidase, the enzyme involved in the production of uric acid. Clinical studies have shown that consuming fresh cherries is very effective in lowering uric acid levels and preventing attacks of gout.
The Encyclopedia of Healing Foodsby Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D

Cherries are a well-known remedy for gout, arthritis, and rheumatism. They also help overcome numbness in the limbs and paralysis as a result of rheumatism. Part of their action in rheumatic disorders occurs from their ability to eliminate excess body acids. Cherries are most beneficial for treating disorders accompanied by coldness, such as when the person feels perennially cold. Richly supplied in iron, cherries are often used to improve the blood and treat anemia.
Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutritionby Paul Pitchford

My mother gets relief from her arthritis pain by drinking concentrated tart cherry juice.  My family simply enjoys flavoring carbonated water, almond milk or teas with concentrated cherry juice just because it's yummy!  We also drink it to reduce inflammation from occasional illnesses/fevers.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bold Mom or Crazy Mom?

Choosing alternative therapies & medicines for my daughter was not an easy road to travel.  It was scary leaving main stream medical & jumping into homeopathic and chiropractic care with little to no support.  However, the road we were on not only wasn't helping my sick little girl, I felt it was making her worse.  There had to be another way and I learned there were several ways.

My daughter was born healthy and exclusively breastfed until 8 months when we incorporated solids along with nursing.  Her first year of life was incredibly healthy, aside from RSV at 6 months she never contracted anything, not even a cold.  She was fully vaccinated at all the regular times and reacted harshly although I was told it was "normal".  Well, projectile vomiting, fevers and arched back screaming inconsolably for hours until passing out is not normal- wish I had known then...  Her 1st birthday marked the end of her healthy life as we knew it.  She contracted Roseola and suffered a febrile seizure.  It was downhill from there. 

I went back to work & enrolled my daughter in daycare where they gave her processed foods and cows milk.  Again, we continued with vaccinations, not knowing the part they played.  She began getting colds which then turned into upper respiratory infections which came with fevers and more febrile seizures.  Seizures would last 5-8 minutes, the 8 minutes ones being the scariest watching her turn blue.  The upper respiratory infections began to turn into pneumonia's and at one time she was hospitalized with pneumonia and influenza.  We thanked God if she went 2 weeks without some kind of illness.  Eventually the wheezing and allergies to cats & dust began and with it the eczema.  She was diagnosed with asthma at 18 months and put on daily meds.  The neurologist suggested we put her on a daily anti seizure medication to boot due to having approx 2 seizures per month for 9 months, even some without fevers.  By this time I'm a zombie, staying up nights making sure she's breathing, dreading any illness that would cause a seizure, scared to take her into public.  I hated how shaky and irritable the asthma meds made her.  I read the side effects on the anti seizure medication and that was the last straw or turning point, however you want to look at it.  The alternative journey began and we never looked back.

Feb 2008, 18mo
I began researching root causes for seizures and asthma as well as alternative therapies.  I eliminated certain foods and products known to worsen asthma and/or seizures and added organic whole foods, superfoods, herbs, essential oils & supplements.  I took her to a Cranial Sacral Therapist, a Homeopath and a Chiropractor.  I researched vaccines and adverse reactions & ultimately stopped vaccinating altogether.  I stopped giving her Tylenol/Motrin for fevers and used homeopathy instead...to this day, more than 2 years later I still get friction from family & friends on this even though homeopathy has more than proven to work better!  In all, within 2 weeks of alternative methods I was able to remove asthma meds forever.  In the 2-1/2 yrs since beginning alternative methods, she has had two short less than 2 minute seizures, and maybe 3-4 small colds.  Now that's nothing to sneeze at!  The knowledge I have gained on this journey not only helped my daughter immensely, but saved our pets too.  That's another blog down the road...

So, bold or crazy or both?  I've been called reckless, crazy, dangerous, but also determined, courageous, caring and super-mom.  Did you know that a pulmonologist can call CPS on you if they find out you stopped giving your child asthma meds?  I did what I needed to for my daughter, that's what moms do.  But what do I know?  I'm just a mom, not a doctor.  The proof is in the pudding, I have an incredibly healthy girl; asthma, allergies,eczema, illnesses, seizures are long gone.  She's my inspiration for this holistic blog :)
Christmas 2010, 4yrs old

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Favorite Super-Seed: Quinoa

I have had several people ask me about quinoa (keen-wa) in the last week so I decided to blog about one of my favorite foods J
I was introduced to this superfood when my family went gluten free.  I missed couscous and a close friend suggested quinoa.  It’s just as easy to cook as rice, and in my opinion tastes better!

Many mistake quinoa for a grain but the yellowish pods are actually the seed of a plant called chenopodium quinoa, native to Peru and related to beets, chard and spinach. The plant resembles spinach, but with 3- to 9-foot stalks that take on a magenta hue. The large seed heads make up nearly half the plant and vary in color: red, purple, pink and yellow.

In the Andes Mountains, where they have been growing for more than 5,000 years, quinoa plants have overcome the challenges of high altitude, intense heat, freezing temperatures and little annual rainfall. Peru and Bolivia maintain seed banks with 1,800 types of quinoa. It has only been grown in the U.S. since the 1980s.
The Incas considered quinoa sacred, and held it in such high regard that they referred to it as chisaya mama, or mother of all grains, because of its nutritional properties and ability to survive the harsh environment found at high altitudes.

Quinoa has been classified as a "super crop" by the United Nations because of its high protein content. It is a complete protein, which means it has all nine essential amino acids. It also contains the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous. The fact that it has magnesium, copper and phosphorous means that quinoa is especially good for those that have migraine headaches, atherosclerosis and diabetes. 

The coating, which protects growing seeds from birds and the intense rays of the high-altitude sun, can make your quinoa taste bitter.  Place the quinoa in a strainer & rinse with cold water to get rid of the bitter coating. Then add one part quinoa to two parts liquid in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. In a mere 15 minutes, the seeds will be plump, fluffy and ready to eat.

One cup of cooked quinoa has just 220 calories.  Quinoa is a great source of healthy carbohydrates, and also provides 5 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein per serving.  It’s available in most grocery stores now and always in health food stores.  It's delicious served cold as or on a salad as well as hot.  Try ground quinoa in place of an oatmeal breakfast, a little honey & some fruit - oh so yummy! I put quinoa in almost everything! 

Here is an excellent write-up on quinoa with healthy facts and here are some yummy recipes.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Power Packed Algae: Chlorella

I added this superfood almost 3 years ago to my daughters diet to detox the heavy metals in her body from vaccinations and such.  Chlorella is perfect for body detoxification. It binds with heavy metals and pesticides that accumulate in the body and eliminates them. It's high content of chlorophyll cleanses the blood stream and the elimination channels, insuring that metabolic wastes are carried away from the tissues. Side effects are fresh breath and reduced body odor :-)
Besides natural detoxification, Chlorella also provides inflammation control, cholesterol regulation, immune system strength, estrogen balance, blood sugar stabilization, and digestive bliss. It is loaded with antioxidants to keep you looking and feeling young, and even reduces the percentage of body fat. It has shown to be effective at reversing degenerative diseases such as all types of cancers, diabetes, liver disorders, high blood pressure, and obesity.  Chlorella accelerates healing, protects against radiation, helps in the treatment of Candida albicans and relieves arthritis pain.

Chlorella is an alkaline food, which promotes increased bone mass since the body is not sacrificing minerals from the bones to create proper acid/alkaline balance.  The consumption of alkaline foods also improves immune function, kidney function and energy levels.

Truly a power packed amazing algae, this is one superfood I make sure we have on hand!  It's available in both tablets and powder.  We mix the powder into almond milk, smoothies or shake it on to our meals. 

Places to get Chlorella: Natural News.com Store or local health food stores.  A favorite Chlorella containing raw superfood mix is Juvo, available from LuckyVitamin.com or Vitacost.com.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Relax, detox & beautify!

Tired, stressed?  When is the last time you pampered yourself with a nice warm, relaxing bath?  Have you ever added Dead Sea salts to your bath?  How about some essential oils of lavender?

Dead Sea salts are full of minerals and the benefits of bathing in them are amazing!  Here's a list of therapeutic benefits:

  • Allergies: the bromide & magnesium in Dead Sea salts help relieve allergies by cleansing & detoxifying
  • Aging: promotes cell regeneration & studies have shown a 40% reduction in the depth of wrinkling
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriac Arthritis & Osteoarthritis: minerals are absorbed while soaking, stimulating blood circulation thereby minimizing inflammatory response & reducing soreness & stiffness
  • Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema & Dandruff: all are relieved with regular soaking, it's believed the high concentration of magnesium improves skin hydration and reduces inflammation
  • Stress: soaking in these salts causes a drop in blood pressure & muscle relaxation
Dead Sea salts contain magnesium, calcium, potassium, bromides & sodium.  Magnesium combats stress & fluid retention, slowing skin aging & calming the nervous system.  The calcium is effective at preventing water retention, increasing circulation & strengthening bones & nails.  Potassium energizes the body, helps to balance moisture & is a crucial mineral to replenish after exercise.  Bromides ease muscle stiffness & relax muscles.  Sodium is important for lymphatic fluid balance & immune system function.

So you can see why bathing in these salts are so incredibly beneficial.  I started bathing my daughter in these salts when she was 18 months to aid in detoxing her from all the chemicals that had invaded her body in her short little life (see my Body Burden Blog).  At that time I was unaware of all the uses these salts had.  Take some time to pamper yourself, add a few tablespoons of Dead Sea salt to your bath & a few drops of your favorite essential oil & relax!  Pooh bear toys are optional :) 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mullein: Magical Medicine!

Mullein is a genus of the figwort family Scrophulariaceae.  Native to Europe and Asia, mulleins are now found in many parts of the world. It can easily adapt to various environments and grows on barren lands or waste grounds, more likely on gravel and sand.  Mullein is a tremendously valuable herb for treating an assortment of ailments.

Uses for Mullein include, but not limited to:
  • Treats disorders of the respiratory tract such as bronchitis and tracheitis.

  • Used for centuries to treat coughs and congestions.  Used as an expectorant for promoting the discharge of mucus and as demulcent to sooth the irritated mucus membranes.

  • Anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing inflammation and stimulating fluid production in the mucus cells. It serves as a perfect remedy for dry coughs in conditions like asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough and tuberculosis.

  • Used to treat several urinary tract and bladder irritations and infections.  

  • Mullein tea made from the flowers and leaf extract is a strong ans soothing sedative and is effective against several conditions such as migraines, sore throat, chest pain, colds, coughs and kidney infections.

  • Consuming fresh mullein leaves boiled in milk, works great for tuberculosis. This mixture of mullein leaves and milk can also be applied as a poultice to cure boils, hemorrhoids, carbuncles, chilblains and skin ulcers.

  • Helps in treating painful urination and constipation.

  • The oil obtained from mullein is very effective against several harmful infections and diseases.

  • An infusion of mullein flowers in olive oil is used to treat earaches, gum and mouth ulcers, piles and other mucus membrane inflammations, because of it's anti-bacterial properties.

  • A decoction made from the roots of mullein is used to alleviate toothaches and also to relieve cramps and convulsions.

  • Taken internally, helps in the treatment of chest pains, diarrhea and bleeding of the lungs and bowels.

  • A poultice made from mullein leaves is used for treating minor burns, rashes, swellings and sunburns

  • We keep dried mullein leaf on hand year round, this is why:  A few summers ago my daughter was stung by something, it began to swell immedately into a raised circular bump...but it didn't stop there.  The swelling went into her hand & fingers and then climbed up her arm, in a panic I gave her Benadryl.  This brought the swelling down a bit for a couple hours but overall it was not helpfull.  Because we didn't know what stung her, choosing a homeopathic remedy was difficult and our homeopath was busy with another patient.  I contacted an herbalist friend who suggested I make a poultice out of mullein and aloe.  I placed the poultice on my daughter and literally watched the swelling disapear completely in less than 5 minutes and never came back...  WOW!  As I learned more about this valuable herb, we began to use it in tea with a little local raw honey during the occational colds for coughs and stuffy heads.  It truly works as an expectorant and calms the cough. 

    Learn more about this magical herb here: