Archive for the 'Family Health' Category

Garlic PopCorn… Keep the “ill’n” away

the best garlic popcorn ever

So this is the season of the “ill’n”  A time when the kids seem to be physically and emotionally spent .  Actually I think we all are… and that is why we are all susceptible to illness at this time.  We all need to be supported nutritionally at this time so that we don’t get sick.  I don’t like taking a lot of supplements because it gets pricey and do you really know what is in your supplement?  I  believe that my kids have been relatively most healthy since I drastically changed my eating habits and subsequently theirs, two years ago.  It is about changing eating habits slowly, and substituting real food for fake food.  Remember, even stuff from Whole Foods is fake.

even the "meat eaters" get real food

So this winter I have been making a few yummy nutrient dense snack food to support everyone nutritionally.  But the kids do go to school, Brent does work in a bank, and we do have a 2 year old who puts most things in her mouth; WE DO GET SICK.  And when we do I make sure that we stay away from dairy, sugar, bready carbs, and artificial ingredients.  What’s left?  Well we  make eggs and smoothies for breakfast, soups for lunch, and soups or meat for dinner.  Our snack food consists of kale chips, beef jerky,  granola, garlic popcorn, blueberries, oranges, and apples.  So these are the things that we have been eating, even in illness… ( FYI- the discomfort period is shorter when we have eliminated sugar, artificial ingredients, and heavy carbs from diet.)

I think right now my most favorite is the garlic pop corn.

I make my popcorn on the stove top now in a cast iron pot.

I use coconut oil and make sure the entire bottom is generously covered and then add 1/2 cup of refrigerated corn*.

Cover and Keep Shaking….shake… shake…. check!!  watch out!  Shake!

In the meantime, melt pasture butter with lots and lots of garlic. I use almost a whole head sometimes.  Add to popcorn, once popped and mix well so it doesn’t clump.  Add a wee bit of sea salt…  soooo good!

*Why refrigerated?  Well I never used to do it until I read this book, about popcorn. It is really a delightful book full of  the history of corn and how you can get more use out of all the kernals.  Ahem that is where the refrigeration comes in… with more moisture- easier pop… I will leave the rest for interested readers.

The Sugar Fairie

Last weekend was Halloween:

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"historical figure halloween"--- Ancient Egypt

And this week is the week after Halloween, which if often filled  with candy stories and  sometimes sick kids. Iwas hoping to avoid the latter, so I tried something new this year.

 

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The Sugar Fairie

 

 

The Sugar Fairie stopped by… She took all my kids’ candy during the middle of the night, because rumor has it that she melts the candy and paints beautiful fairie scene pictures, similar to those of Robert  BelAirs.    She also left them 86 cents, 3 pieces of candy, and a book.  They loved it!!!  And so did I.”

fyi- she offers three packages, A, B, and C

A- $$$

B- gift

c= surprise, but it could be nothing

My kids chose the surprise package… and they recived two great books.   I ordered these here, which is my most favorite kids’ book catalog.

I will be calling her next year…

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    "pretty in pink"

REAL Breast Milk… and the next best thing.

This post is dedicated to breast milk and mamas because it truly is a real food, and mamas are the only ones that can make it.   The research has been done and most people know that indeed, “breast is best.” But what if you can’t breastfeed? Before my third baby and the complications post partum I never had to think about not being able to nourish my babies, for I had easily nursed my two older children past two years old.  So as I am sitting in the emergency room with  an i.v. shooting serious pain killers in my arm, I knew I had to come up with something. I had to give in, or so I thought.  You see I am a bit compulsive when it comes to real food and what I put in my body.  I had all three of my children (two at home) drug free, and I’m proud of that.  I never gave them formula…but what else was I going to do?  Within a period of 6 hours I could not walk, the pain was debilitating.  I remember my husband coming home and I was on the phone on all fours talking to  my midwife, trying to figure out what was going on in my body. Earlier in the morning I was enjoying tea showing off my 5 week old baby, having no idea of the storm that was taking place in my uterus, and now here I was struggling to figure out what to feed my baby. I knew I would have to give her formula because I had not pumped yet.  (I wasn’t planning on going anywhere without her) I looked at the Similac label and cringed but yet knew it had to be done and I would be home tomorrow to resume our routine…or so I thought.  

I was diagnosed with a serious staph infection in my uterus.  I stayed in the hospital for five days, and although I was on antibiotics I still nursed my baby. I had too, even though I knew it wasn’t the best, it was better than the alternative. There are many websites and books to choose from that explains what is ok to take while you are nursing. I researched here and here and cross referenced with my doctor, and found that many of the antibiotics were rated from ok to good.  I took over 5 different antibiotics,  and because of that I came down with a serious intestinal infection, c. diff,  contracted in the hospital.  Because I had so many antibiotics in my body,  my good flora  was wiped out and made me susceptible to get new germs.  I lost 9 pounds in 6 days, and had to be put on a very strong antibiotic… one that was o.k.from my  doc’s perspective, but there was contrary evidence online… I  realized that I couldn’t do this to my baby if I was still nursing.  I had to do something else!!

And so I did.  I put the word out. Why did it take me so long? Within days I had moms donating breast milk to my baby. A new dad drove 15 miles to give me milk and moms met me at the farmers’ market to give me their milk…   Oh, how blessed I felt during this difficult time.  Our families had stepped up and now our community helped as well. But the supplemented breast milk was not enough, and another friend stepped in.  

In the chaos that followed  a friend stepped up and told me about the Weston A Price formula recipe and how it was most like human breast milk.  I remember looking at it and being intimidated by the long list of instructions…

She was insistent and went out and bought most of the ingredients, and made the first batch. Our daughter loved it and it felt so good to give it to her than regular formula. I knew exactly what real food was going in there and I made it in small batches.  I knew that she was going to be fine; looking at all the ingredients and being amazed at the superfood I was making was somewhat inferior to what I produce naturally.  WHOA!!!  

So this is my shout out for Nourishing Traditions Baby Formula. If you know a mama who is unable to nurse,  help her with this recipe. Go and buy some of the ingredients and make the first batch.  After the first batch it is easy, well relatively speaking of course,  and so much better for baby.

Posted as part of REAL FOOD Wednesdays with Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Cheeseslave.

Groovy Green Elimination Training…

My friend Jacque is awesome, she is such a momspiration.  I don’t know if there is such a word, but I made it up last year when thinking of a word to describe my daughter’s preschool teacher. A MOMSPIRATION is a mom who truly inspires you to be a better mom.  Well, my friend Jacque is one of those who is always positive and always up for  a good adventure. She is the one who motivates me to go to the annual Northern Calififornia Herbal Symposiums (will write more on that one later), and she is also the one who currently is motivating me to do elimination training.  What is elimination training?  ET is simply  potty training at an early age. She believes in it so much that she and her husband, Steve,  actually made an instructional DVD showing how to do it.  So, I watched the DVD and decided to give it a try… and you know what?  It actually is easier than you would think. Our 7 month old daughter has pooped every time in her baby toilet for the past week.  Every pee has not  been caught, but the poop, we are hitting 100%.  Now because she can’t walk to the toilet, it is up to us to figure out her body language, and when we do, we give her a noise sound on the toilet…and she goes.  The DVD teaches you Pavlov’s “Conditioning ReFlex” theory, which works perfectly for potty training.  Yes, it does take a little more work but I just keep thinking of all the diapers I am not using or washing; the epitome of truly Groovy and Green. Check out the DVD at Babies on Potties.

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Our Polenta Placenta

Our baby is now five months old.  It goes by so fast…

… Because now our baby is six and a half months.  I have to write about my polenta, oh I mean, my placenta.  When we first tried to prepare our older children for our homebirth of our third child we read books, had discussion and watched some videos, and often the “birth” of the placenta is left out.    We knew the placenta is a bit scary looking for many adults and could only imagine what a child would think, but we wanted to prepare them. 4664_028_

They were too young, and I not so brave as to cook my placenta, but with their placentas, we planted fruit trees.  My daughter has a plentiful peach tree and my son an almost abundant apple tree.  I have talked to  many mamas who still have their placentas in their freezer.  I know because it took us about five years to plant both of our trees.  But if you are going to cook  your placenta I would recommend doing it soon after birth.  It was something I had heard about, and wanted to do but was a bit nervous  about it.  But I am so glad that my accupuncturist recommended I do it because I think it has really strengthed my  blood when I really needed it post partum.

So getting back to the polenta…  our 5 year old daughter couldn’t remember (or didn’t want to) the word,  placenta and always referred to it as polenta.  We now refer to it as the polenta placenta.

My husband, (who wants it be known that he has garnered high warlock status,) prepared most of it, and  I took some pictures…   It should be prepared with love and respect because it is not an easy thing to do.  The day after our daughter was born at home,  we decided to go for it… and you should too!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 PLACENTA- NO DRUGS

1 PEEL OF GRAPEFRUIT OR ORANGE OR LEMON

2 1 ” PIECE OF GINGER

1 FRESH JALAPENO PEPPER

Center yourself and recognize and be grateful for this process.  The placenta can be very healing and strengthening for the post partum mama.  Rinse the placenta and remove any clots or loose blood.  Prepare the other ingredients and put it all in a stainless steel pot with just enough filtered water where everything is covered.  Simmer until completely cooked.  It should feel tender, not tough- this takes about an hour and a half.

Remove placenta from water and cool to room temp. Using a sharp knife, slice very thinly in long strips and lay strips on cookie sheets or oven racks.  I actually used my dehydrator which worked perfectly, but the oven does it well too on the lowest setting.  It is ready when it snaps.  It looks like beef jerky, but doesn’t taste as good!!

 

almost like beef jerky

almost like beef jerky

Leave in an uncovered jar for one day and then cover for storage. When you are ready to use it, use your coffee grinder and put in gel caps. Only grind what you are going to use.  And it is suggested that you take one to two with a little  hot water.  If you are feeling weak, take up to two in the morning and then two at night.  This recipe was taken from my acupuncturist and there is more information available online.  NEVER TAKE WHEN FEVER IS PRESENT.

I still use my placenta, and I truly believe in the healing and strengthening qualities of it.  I will be sad when it is no longer available…

I got my ferment on… finally

After my first batch of sauerkraut molded I was a bit intimidated…but I tried again and DELISH!!!!!  Happy Intestinal Juices for me!!

The ingredients are red and green cabbage, beets, garlic, and onion.  I fermented it for about three weeks.  I am going to try more spices next time, for a little more flavor…

c.diff mama

I am a mom of three and I have c.diff.   The more I hear about this and the more I learn, the more convinced I am that people need to start taking care of their health though their own nutrition.  There are plenty of websites out there that will tell  you all about c.diff  in scientific jargon, as well as from the majority of people afflicted with this dis- ease taking antibiotics to cure this.  There are scores of stories from people who have had more than one course of action on antibiotics, as well as people who have  been told to use the tapering method,  in addition those brave souls who have gotten the fecal transplants. What is the correct thing to do?  Honestly, I am not a dr.  nor claim to know the answer, but I strongly believe that nutrition plays a much bigger role than the drs. give credit.  It is obvious that hospitals and drs. are unaware of the nutrition aspect when one has a hospital stay and they see the food they serve to SICK patients.  Most of it has corn starch, corn syrup,  and preservatives. I spent five days in the hospital (which cost my insurance $ 30,000), and have first hand knowledge of the crap they serve from their outsourced hospital food company.  Everything arrives in a box, and they then put in together as quickly as possible for the greatest profit margin.  I really can’t understand that considering I live in a very organic farm friendly part of CA.  Also interesting is the teachings of Weston Price and how his philosophy goes against popular dictcrats.  That is the diet I want to see in the hospital.  It is what I am using along with GAPS.