Saturday, December 26, 2009

Countdown of Changes

1) Soaking grains - whole grains contain phytic acid which combines with iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc in the intestinal tract, blocking their absorption, as well as enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion. Soaking neutralizes this affect, making nutrients available and more digestible. 12/15/09

2) Drinking coconut milk - contains calcium, potassium, chloride, vitamin A and E; helps to reduce blood pressure, blood sugar, and improve bone and dental health; contains lauric acid that has anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. 12/16/09

3) Organic eggs, free-range if possible - source of protein and healthy fat, vitamins A, D, B12, B2, Niacin, Choline, Folic Acid, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are yellow or orange carotenoids that reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. 12/28/09
Changed to Eggs from grass-fed Chickens most of the time 9/2/11

4) Sea salt - less refined so it still contains traces of other minerals, including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and iodine. 12/28/09

5) Raw Milk - from the dairy to my home; contains the full spectrum of amino acids and is a complete protein. It is packed with folic acid, B vitamins, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that are mostly or completely destroyed in pasteurization. It offers a perfect balance of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Raw milk also contains live enzymes necessary for digesting food and enjoying good health. 1/6/10

6) No Non-dairy Creamers - this is the first No for me. It's been one of those sweet indulgences I have clung to, no matter what. That was, until I added fresh, raw milk to my coffee (yes, I'm holding onto coffee). So then I checked into what bad, but hitherto unknown, things were in my creamer: partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, which are the deadly trans-fats so much in the news these days. Now that I know, it makes it a little easier to let go. I ran out of it on Tuesday, gave it a once-over in the refrigerator section at the grocery store, and walked on by. So long Creme Brulee creamer!

7) Coconut Oil - contains antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. I have begun cooking with it regularly and add it to a cup of tea, usually once a day. At first I wasn't too keen on that, but then I tried putting it in a cup of Chai tea with a little milk - it blends perfectly with the milk and spices, yummy! 1/11/10

8) Cod liver oil - DHA (a fatty acid that is essential to the health of your nervous system and eyes), EPA (a fatty acid that promotes a healthy cardiovascular system and decreases inflammation throughout your body), Vitamins A and D. I chose to go with Carlson's Lemon Flavored Cod Liver Oil and am taking a tsp. every other day. I heat up about 1/4 cup of water, mix the oil and a little maple syrup and drink it down. I had fears of "Bluck!" in my mind, but it's actually pretty good. Had the girls try it as well the other morning - A wasn't sold, but L was finished when I turned around and declared it delicious! 1/16/10

9) Limit Desserts - I have always been one who has thought I could manage my eating habits on my own, and that if I say "no" to myself in this area I would create a whiplash effect of self-sabotaging rebellion. Well, in the first regard - who was I kidding? I need some accountability! And in regards to the second fear - I'm afraid I have just been using this excuse as a crutch to (once again) avoid accountability. So, as I am also a realist - my limit will begin at four sweet indulgences per week. Oh, I'm a meanie! 3/15/10

10) Crispy Nuts - for much the same reason as I soak my grains. Evidently grains, flours, beans, and nuts all benefit from soaking. When it comes to nuts, I soak to break down enzyme inhibitors and encourage the production of beneficial enzymes. Plus, we absolutely love eating them this way - they are delicious! 4/6/10

11) Bone Broth - rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, glucosamine, chondroitin, glycine, and trace minerals which are easily absorbed by our bodies. Mitigates the crippling effects of arthritis and joint pain; also rich in gelatin which is an inexpensive source of protein and shows promise in the fight against degenerative joint disease. I made broth from leftover shrimp shells last weekend and have two pots of chicken bone broth cooling in my fridge right now. Beef bone broth is next! 4/6/10

12) Kefir - you can find a huge list of kefir's benefits at this source. My primary reasons are that I have heard this has a tremendous probiotic power. Also, I am hoping that it may help my dh's cholesterol levels - wouldn't that be nice? I made my first kefir smoothie today - blended in strawberries, mango, pineapple, flax seeds, and banana. Umm-umm-good! 4/30/10

13) Support my local Farmers - I've been ordering local beef and pork, and purchasing local pasture fed chicken eggs for at least a year.  Now I'm adding buying produce from our local farmer's market. 6/4/11

Kelly the Kitchen Kop's School

I was chatting with my Mom yesterday, pleading with her to become my "follower" on this blog - thanks Tan! You're #1 in more ways than one! ;D Help Mom get on board too, would you? My son urged me to try another blogging resource, but I feel it is just too busy and confusing to navigate there - besides, I don't want the pressure of a pack of followers (thinking ahead ;D); I just want a few followers to support me at this point. Mainly this is born of 1)a need to control things and 2) don't push me... and, well 3) what if I don't succeed? There's all my confessions of fear of failure in a box. It's my third post, and I'm already making public confessions!

So, if you stumble upon my site, anyone beyond my sister Tania, I invite you to be my "follower" as well. (This is just so public for me!)

Ok, enough about me. I wanted to talk about Kelly the Kitchen Kop. As I was saying, I was chatting with my Mom about the various changes I want to make in my eating habits and I mentioned raw milk. "Well, it will be pasteurized, won't it?" she asked.
"Well, you're going to boil it first, aren't you?"
No, I don't think that's what I'm supposed to do - that's pasteurization, I believe.
"Well, I don't know that I'd feel very comfortable with that," she said with doubt.

Honestly, these are all things that I am looking into as well, so I told her that I couldn't tell her right now WHY it's supposed to be better for you, but I would find out and give her the highlights. I began looking around a bit for those answers. In the course of my pursuits, I went reading through Kelly's site.

Kelly the Kitchen Kop has a plethora of material. She is a veritable encyclopedia of information on healthy natural eating, sources for organic and raw foods, delicious no-fuss recipes, the latest political issues to preserve natural farming, and bless her heart! even a section for people like me - Rookie Tips. ;P Her first words in bold are YOU CAN DO IT! I intend to carve out time over the next few days ingesting and savoring, and hopefully retaining, the education she has worked so hard to provide for the rest of us. I have said before, I am a homeschooling Mom with a mind like a seive. But I also have grown accustomed to repeating my work or readings in order to do a better job and/or achieve a greater degree of retention. I recently read Malcolm Gladwell (I envy people who are born to such encouraging last names) has researched and determined it takes the average person 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. I'm the kind of person who finds such a statistic encouraging. After all, I've only invested about 5 hours in this so far, and via the benevolence of strangers such as Kelly, I have some excellent teachers out there.

So, join me in raising a glass of organic coconut milk to my fledgling education!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I have been musing over Christmas these past few days, knowing I wanted to post something today, not sure what to say, wondering what has not been said already? But I have no original thoughts, just reflections and memories like all other mere mortals.

In our home, I find myself often of two minds, trying my best to meld them together. One is focusing on our Savior and what his birth meant to the world and to us personally, and the other is the "normal" stuff of disobedient children, and sibling squabbles, watching movies together, missing Quentin, and making dinner while adding extra chores to our days. We look back over the past year, over our life thus far, over the absence of loved ones, over our blessings. And for me, I respond once again with a grateful heart to the Lord who has walked with me through it all, providing me with His sustaining grace, His nourishing strength.

May His peace and joy be with you through it all, and may your Christmas be simply, wonderfully, humanly, supernaturally perfect - because that is what it was meant to be.

I leave you with these dear words from The Christmas Carol, one of our family traditions to watch together (we missed you Q):
"But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!'"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Where do I start?

Well, I have probably read through this book at least 2.5 times. I really expected this to be some modern-day snake-charmer shtick, but it seems there are real people out there who eat this way and swear by it's benefits. I wish I lived on a farm right now, or better yet had a sibling I could mooch off of for organic meats, eggs, milk and such.

I have had a rough idea in my mind of beginning once we start back to school, more or less, which would be somewhere around the 2nd week in January. What have I done in preparation? Well, I have purchased coconut oil and milk, and some cod liver oil, although I didn't check to see if this brand was on the list or not. I intend to pick up some dolomite and dessicated liver at my local Vitamin World.

Friends of mine purchase raw milk, so I'm hoping to get in our their alternating runs to South Carolina for it. I've looked online for local sources of beef, chicken, lamb, and even lard! Yes, I found lard not too far from me! I'm not sure how this is going to go financially, so that will be a major determinant in the size of my baby steps.

Oh! And I found both Kombuchu and coconut milk at my local Bloom - I like them ok. Kombuchu smells and tastes kind of like sparkling vinegar apple juice. I'm glad I was able to taste it before going to the trouble of making it myself. I think I'll stick with an occasional Bloom purchase at this point - but it could grow on me. Coconut milk is rather light in flavor, but it has a solid white color which is very milk convincing. That one is going to be an easy change.

I have also been soaking my oatmeal on a regular basis, which substantially reduces cooking time in the morning as well as feels good to be doing something that improves the benefits of oatmeal - already high on my good-for-you list! ;D

There are a number of places I drive by on a regular basis where goats are raised. One in particular, I go by all the time. The other day it suddenly occurred to me that they might be a good source of locating whey for fermenting sauerkraut and kimchee. Most things I've read seem to assume it is cow whey we are talking about, but upon looking into it it appears that goats will do.

Do I have the nerve to jump into what looks like real weirdness to me? I know, there are a lot of people out there to whom this is normal. And I have to say my hopeful feeling has less to do with weight loss and more to do with health. This is all making real "gut sense" to me, if you know what I mean....

Anyone else out there want to baby step this with me? It's the New Year and I love the possibilities that that always brings with it!