Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Year of Arnica"

Arnica is one of my most needed remedies in the house.  I have very active little boys.  My 2 year old is more of a dare devil than my 4 year old.  Either way, we have accidents happening all the time.  Sometimes I am even at the painful end of the accident.  I have become somewhat of a body wrestler lately.  I can quickly dodge a punch or body slam from my oversized toddler.  This year has been my "Year of Arnica".  Not a bad thing, but hoping for less bruises and sprains in 2012!
Kaley- rib fracture (from Garrett)
Garrett- sprained ankle, fractured foot
Grant- just some bruises and bumps
If you have an active or strong toddler please invest in Arnica 30C at your nearest health food store.
 Arnica is used topically for a wide range of conditions, including bruises, sprains, muscle aches, wound healing, superficial phlebitis, joint pain, inflammation from insect bites, and swelling from broken bones.
  • Homeopathic preparations are also used to treat sore muscles, bruises, and other conditions caused by overexertion or injury.
  • Happy New Year!!!

  • Friday, December 30, 2011

    Amasai Smoothie

    I made the best Amasai smoothie today and wanted to share the recipe.  I basically just added things I already had in the kitchen.  It turned out really good.  I love unplanned kitchen successes.

    1/2 bottle Raspberry Amasai
    1 cup frozen organic Mango
    5 pieces of Ice
    2 small organic bananas
    1 teaspoon coconut oil

    Throw it all in a blender and press go! It was delicious! I will be making these a lot more often even though it is winter.  The mango really gave it a great flavor.  You may be surprised at how creative you can be with smoothies.  Experiment a little!

    Click here to check out the amazing Amasai that has 30 cultured probiotics (5 times what you can find in a regular or even organic yogurt)

    Cooking is my therapy

    I tell people all the time that cooking is my form of therapy.  People think that I am kidding, but really I am not! After a few hectic days at my parents house for the holidays I was in need of some major cooking "therapy".  Since coming home this week I have gone on a cooking extravaganza.  It seems like each day I am making new and healthy dishes.  Through this process I am starting to feel better again.  When I cook I express my own creativity (which by the way is not very much :).  Cooking also helps me "vent" out my frustrations with life.  I don't always like complaining about my problems to others, but I definitely like complaining to my kitchen.  It sure did take a beating this week.  In the end, I am just glad that I have found a way to turn my negative energy into positive energy.  Isn't that what life is all about?  Thank goodness the walls of my kitchen can't talk.
    Are you using your kitchen enough?

    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Hummus Recipe- NT

    Hummus Recipe from Nourishing Traditions (Makes 2 cups)

    2 cups basic chickpeas cooked
    3 cloves garlic mashed
    1 Tablespoon expeller-expressed flax oil
    1/2 fresh lemon juice
    salt to taste
    pinch of cayenne pepper
    (I add 1/2 cup of raw yogurt)

    Place cooked chickpeas in food processor (least amount of liquid as possible).  Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.  The hummus should be creamy and not too thick.  Add some cooking liquid if needs  thinning.  Serve with Pita Chips.

    This is a favorite in our house.  My husband was raised on hummus and pita chips.  For him it is comfort food.  I am just glad that he enjoys healthy comfort food :)

    Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    Why Raw milk?

    People are often shocked when I tell them our family drinks raw milk.  There is a negative stigma associated with raw milk consumption.  I remember feeling apprehensive when I first discovered grass-fed raw milk and dairy products 4 years ago.  I was very nervous and unsure about the whole thing.  I had a lot of fears.  When I became educated on raw milk consumption, my fears went away.  Most people that learn the truth about raw milk "convert" and never look back.  Raw milk is worth the extra drive and the higher price.  You get what you pay for... a high quality nutrient dense food.  To this day I still have some immediate family members that make fun of me for my seemingly "strange" choices.  I just smile and keep on making the best educated choices for my family's health.  One of my favorite phrases when I was a teenager was "ignorance is bliss".  As adults, ignorance is not bliss.  We have no time to be ignorant and uneducated.  We must know the facts and make the right choices about food consumption for our families.  Here are some straightforward facts about raw milk.

    Real Raw Milk: (it is important to get your raw milk from a licensed raw milk supplier/ or a dairy that employs safety and quality practices)
    1. Is usually tolerated by those who are sickened by processed, store bought milk
    2. Contains valuable natural enzymes, beneficial bacteria, amino acids, and antibodies
    3. Contains natural butterfat so the body can utilize vitamins and minerals.  Full- fat milk reduces hunger.
    4. Contains conjugated linoleic acid CLA which reduces body fat and fights disease.  High Omega 3's and low Omega 6's are the correct balance for these essential fats.
    5. Sours instead of putrifying and can be lacto-fermented to make nutrient dense probiotics like yogurt, kefir, sour cream, and buttermilk
    6. Extremely Safe if properly prepared.  Zero deaths reported in 14 years.

    Check out for more information!

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    Pregnancy and diet

    I love having pregnant friends.  I love babies and the beautiful process of pregnancy and birth.  It seems like many of my friends are pregnant right now, so this is a little reminder about what they should try to include in their diet- if at all possible :) Diet is important before conception, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding.  It is necessary for the mother to eat healthy for her own body and the tiny little person that is developing inside her belly.  Here is an article from The Weston A Price Foundation that helps to define what someone should and should not be eating during pregnancy and while nursing.  It can be found here.
    Cod Liver Oil to supply 20,000 IU vitamin A and 2000 IU vitamin D per day
    1 quart (or 32 ounces) whole milk daily, preferably raw and from pasture-fed cows (learn more about raw milk on our website, A Campaign for Real Milk,
    4 tablespoons butter daily, preferably from pasture-fed cows
    2 or more eggs daily, preferably from pastured chickens
    Additional egg yolks daily, added to smoothies, salad dressings, scrambled eggs, etc.
    3-4 ounces fresh liver, once or twice per week (If you have been told to avoid liver for fear of getting "too much Vitamin A," be sure to read Vitamin A Saga)
    Fresh seafood, 2-4 times per week, particularly wild salmon, shellfish and fish eggs
    Fresh beef or lamb daily, always consumed with the fat
    Oily fish or lard daily, for vitamin D
    2 tablespoons coconut oil daily, used in cooking or smoothies, etc.
    Lacto-fermented condiments and beverages
    Bone broths used in soups, stews and sauces
    Fresh vegetables and fruits
      Trans fatty acids (e.g., hydrogenated oils)
      Junk foods
      Commercial fried foods
      White flour
      Drugs (even prescription drugs)

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Lunchables- #7 Worst Supermarket Food

    I found this interesting article on yahoo health today.  The Top 10 Worst Supermarket Foods.  You can read the article here.  As I was scrolling through the list I was not that surprised with what was ranked.  Then # 7 popped up and my stomach started to churn.  Children's health and nutrition is one of my greatest concerns.  From what we feed them at birth all the way up through school and even into adulthood.  Nutrition is especially important when our kids are in school because they need whole real foods that are nourishing and healthy.  Parents need to be educated enough on diet and nutrition to know that a lunchable is not an ideal meal.  Here is what the writer has to say about this boxed food, "For all the heat school lunch programs have been taking lately, it's hard to imagine cafeteria slop being any worse than what's inside this box. The ingredient list reads like a college organic chemistry final, littered as it is with bizarre preservatives, fillers, sweeteners, and partially hydrogenated oil. The hardest part is deciding which part of the Lunchable is the worst: the sugary Capri Sun, the Nestle Crunch bar, or the neon-orange cheese goo. Isn't it worth an extra few minutes to make sure your children go off to school with the best possible food in their bags?"

    Please pass by this food in the grocery store and take a few minutes to prepare a healthy snack/ lunch.  It could be as simple as a slice of cheese on whole bread.  My son will eat it up.  Over time, the less junk you feed your kids the healthier they will want to eat.  It does get easier, even for the picky eater.  I have one of each...1 picky eater/ 1 non-picky eater.  There is a difference.

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Baked Chicken Recipe

    This is my baked chicken recipe.  I have found that the type of oil you use on the chicken does make a big difference.  Olive Oil just doesn't do the trick.  It is great with Grape seed Oil.

    1 organic/pastured chicken
    1/2 cup grape seed oil
    Pepper, Sea salt, garlic powder

    Turn oven to 350 degrees.  Hold chicken and rinse in the sink.  Pull out any organs that may still be inside.   Put chicken in baking pan.  Add 1-2 cups water to baking pan.  Pour grape seed oil over chicken.  Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to your liking.  Pop in the oven for 1 hour.  I start checking at one hour- but it usually takes about an hour and a half.  Use a meat thermometer and when it reaches 165 degrees it is finished.  Take out and transfer to a plate.  Use the leftover liquid for a marinade or cooking.  So good!!! I am off to the kitchen :)

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    Importance of Protein

    I love Jordan Rubin's new book "Live Beyond Organic".  It is both inspiring and informative.  When I became a mission marketer I received amazing books and magazines written by him.  I keep them right by my nightstand and read a little before I go to bed each night.  He gets the big picture about diet and health.  I feel like I am his biggest fan, but I am sure that every other member of this team feels exactly the same way.

    He talks about the importance of protein in Chapter 4 titled Primary Protein.  He states,"Protein ranks as the most important nutrient that your body needs- even more important than carbohydrates and fats.  If you don't consume enough protein your body will wither and become very weak- so feeble that you wouldn't have the energy to even hold this book to read.  Protein means "of primary importance" or "that which comes first".  They are the essential building blocks of the body, the foundation that the body relies upon to transport oxygen, contract muscles, transport electrons, and replace tissues.  Most muscles, organs, and hormones are comprised of protein.  Since the human body does not store proteins for later use, as it does with carbs and fats, you have to continually replenish the body's stores by consuming various protein- containing foods."
    What are the best, most effective sources of protein???
    -Organically raised, pasture-fed cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, and venison
    -Pastured poultry and eggs
    -Cultured dairy products derived from cow's milk, goat's milk, and sheep's milk 
    - Wild caught fish

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Real Food for Breakfast

    I grew up eating cereal.  The boxed kind from the grocery store.  My favorites were Honey Smacks, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Fruity Pebbles.  My mother didn't buy us the organic cereal obviously, and maybe if she tried we were already addicted to the other kinds anyway.  I remember her going through healthy phases and she would buy plain cheerios.  Then we would just take about a 1/2 cup of white sugar and dump it is hard for me to even remember how unhealthy I was for so many years.  On top of the sugary cereal I would not ever drink whole milk.  I would only drink skim milk- yuck and gag! Now it is hard for me to even pass it in the grocery store and no feel queasy.  This is because I am educated on how unhealthy these things are.  I remember being so tired in high school.  I could barely ever focus or stay awake in class.  It is no wonder- my blood sugar was constantly crashing from all the sugar from breakfast coupled with eating no healthy fats and protein.  I will not even talk about the lunches at school- even worse than breakfast.  I do not blame the kids now a days for being diagnosed with ADD or chronic fatigue.  I fit that category 15 years ago.  Our diets have continued to deteriorate and it is no surprise that the youth as a whole have also.  My biggest problem with public schools and many private schools for that matter are the foods and drinks they serve in the school.  I know that I do not want my son attending a school that has access to soda machines around the clock.  Take out the processed foods and the sugars from the schools and our kids will become smarter and brighter.  That is a great promise and some amazing schools around the country are implementing this healthy feeding strategy.
    I do not blame my mother for feeding us poorly.  She was not educated.  She did not have access to the resources and information we do now.  She was following the ads on TV and what her doctor told her- If it is in the grocery store it is ok.
    My challenge for everyone for 2012: Do Not Eat Breakfast from a Box. 
    Granola Bars
    Sugary Cereal
    Pop Tarts

    We all should treat our bodies the way we expect them to perform.  If you want to have a good day- you need to start the day by eating right.  Eat Oatmeal, Yogurt, Whole Milk, Raw Cheese, Eggs, Fruits, or organic toast w/ butter.  Sometimes we will just reheat our leftovers (in the stove) and eat them for breakfast.  Who says it has to be Cereal related at all?  Now homemade granola is another story- that stuff is good and hearty :)

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Illness comes from Within

    "There is often the tendency to look for exterior infectious agents as the cause of illness.  We forget that the intestine that is functioning poorly leads to serious consequences for the whole body.  This is why, since most ancient times, lactic acid was used to clean the intestine.  Different types of lacto-fermented juices were used as preferred remedies against typhus and other illnesses of this type.  Recent research has shown that lactic-acid-producing bacteria can prevent growth of coliform bacteria and agents of cholera from establishing themselves in the intestine.  Even certain carcinogenic substances are inhibited and inactivated...The state of our intestinal flora contributes not only to the absorption of nutrients and the functioning of the intestine but also to our ability to resist infections." Annelies Schoneck Des Crudites Toute L'Annee (Nourishing Traditions 102).

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    Kids Broccoli recipe

    Not sure what to really call this recipe because I make it a little different each time.  It is super healthy and yummy!  There is never any leftover in our house which is amazing because we have a 4 year old and a 2 year old.  Enjoy.

    Broccoli Dish

    4 heads of organic/local broccoli
    1 cup water
    1/4 cup  homemade chicken broth
    1/4 cup raw/organic butter
    1 cup raw cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup raw milk/cream
    Garlic powder
    sea salt

    My biggest rule when it comes to cooking...improvise.  When you don't have all the ingredients- leave a few things out or change it up a little.  This may work easily for cooking, but not always baking! Be creative :)

    Pour water in pan and begin to warm it up- around med/high heat.  Add salt and broccoli when water begins to boil.  Cover and steam for 5 minutes.  Turn down stove to medium heat.  Add butter and chicken broth and steam for another 5 minutes.  Turn down stove to low medium heat.  Add garlic powder and milk.  When the broccoli is tender turn the stove all the way off and grate your cheddar cheese all over the broccoli.  Always sample it first and then let it cool a little before giving it to the kiddos.  Sometimes you may need a little more butter or little less salt.  Each family has their own preferences.  But it is Very Yummy!  This dish is great with steamed rice and grilled steak.  All the flavors mixed together are fantastic!  Enjoy.

    High carb or high fat diet for athletes?

    Many athletes believe that a diet high in carbohydrates is the key to success when exercising and competing in sports.  I remember as a cross country runner our coach would tell us to load up on pancakes and syrup before a race.  We were taught that high carbs before a race would help our bodies be stronger and increase our endurance.  This may not be the case after all.  A study out of State University of New York raises serious questions about the appropriateness of of high-carb, low fat diets for those who engage in strenuous physical exercise.  "Subjects ate diets of 15%, 30%, and 45% fat respectively.  Those on the high fat diets had greater endurance- up to an 11% increase.  NO adverse changes in blood chemistry were observed in the subjects on the high fat diet, and they did not gain weight.  The authors conclude: The results suggest that a low fat diet may be detrimental to performance and that a higher fat diet may result in more energy substrate availability with a lower lactate to pyruvate ratio" (Nourishing Traditions p178-179).
    Obviously, if you increase your fat intake without decreasing your carb intake, the results may not be the same.  This may not result in better endurance and this may result in extra weight gain.  If you are already eating a high carb diet, you must cut back on the carbs as you replace the carbs with high quality fats.  That is how you achieve the positive results talked about in the study.
    "The primary nutrient in animal fat is Vitamin A, needed for a host of biological processes including the assimilation of protein and minerals.  Strenuous physical exercise depletes vitamin A.  Does the current practice of high-carb, low-fat diets explain the prevalence of injury and burnout in modern athletes?" (Nourishing Traditions p 179).  I wish I knew then what I know now!

    Examples of good fats:
    1. Grass-fed, raw/organic butter
    2. Grass-fed Meat
    3. Pastured Eggs
    4. Grass-fed, Organic dairy products: cheese, yogurt, kefir
    5. Raw/organic whole milk
    6. Coconut Oil
    You can buy high quality, grass-fed, organic cheese, dairy products, and meat here

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    Cultured Whey

    I have been using cultured whey as an ingredient in our food and beverages for the last few years.  I learned about its importance in diet and maintaining a healthy gut flora through the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook and other books similar to traditional cooking.  Other cultures around the world use this same ingredient in the foods they make everyday.  Throughout time it has played a critical role in the health and happiness of all societies, especially with the old and the very young.  I know the American diet is the most deficient in this important lacto-fermented liquid.  Here are a few reminders about whey.
    ~"Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey"
    ~In Switzerland it is called "the old man's drink"- it is believed to make old men feel young again
    ~Whey is loaded with B vitamins- most Americans are severely deficient

    "You take care of your gut, and your gut will take care of you."  Micheal Greshon, M.D.  author of The Second Brain

    Did you drink your whey for today? My favorite whey beverage right now
    Here is what plain liquid whey looks like: the liquid part from yogurt, kefir, raw cheese

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    Alternative remedy for strep throat

    I know there are tons of natural remedies for strep throat.  Just google it and you will find many herbs and other holistic alternatives.  My mother raised me sipping on a mixture of vinegar, water, and honey at the first sign of sore throat.  She still to this day uses this mixture to get rid of many random ailments and sicknesses.  Does it work? Yes, I have experienced relief first hand, not needing an antibiotic.  Sometimes these natural remedies do not work, just like antibiotics.  Everyone's immune system is different and some of us are more chronically ill than others.  It seems like every generation is getting a little sicker than the last.  I think it is important to have natural remedies on hand for the first sign of illness.  Then, when things don't get better or even if they get worse, there are always antibiotics that are accessible as a last resort.
    One of my favorite homeopathic remedies for strep or staph is called: 
    Staph and Strep Combo 200C: here
    "Staph and Strep Combo helps with stubborn infections. Staph and Strep Combo is potency of Staphylococcinum and Streptococcinum. Staph and Strep Combo is useful for a myriad of problems that follow infections, such as ringing in ears following an ear infection.
    Use Staph and Strep Combo for sore throat symptoms. Use Staph and Strep Combo at early stages of a sore throat as a preventative against strep throat. Use Staph and Strep Combo for lingering illness and low grade infections."
    We have great success with it around our house.  I am someone that catches strep throat -3 times a year.  Now I nip it in the bud right in the beginning.  With this remedy and others I have been antibiotic free for over 4 years.  Pretty amazing I think :) 

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Is your chocolate GMO?

    This article is very disturbing : 70 % of Chocolate becoming GMO chocolate - here

    "The Mars chocolate company has funded research aiming to genetically modify as much as 70 percent of the global cocoa supply, according to the Cacao Genome Database website.

    In partnership with the USDA and IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, scientists at the Agriculture Research Service division of the USDA are working on gene sequencing the cocoa tree, which Mars claims will benefit the confectionery industry and the world’s cocoa growers, most of which are in West Africa.
    According to the Cacao Genome Database, “Historically, cocoa production has been plagued by serious losses due to pests and diseases. The release of the cacao genome sequence will provide researchers with access to the latest genomic tools, enabling more efficient research and accelerating the breeding process, thereby expediting the release of superior cacao cultivars.”
    Sequencing the cacao bean is roughly 92 percent complete, and according to the Cacao Genome Database, the project will continue to “refine the assembly and annotation, working toward a complete finished sequence.”
    Chocolate is mostly consumed by the developed world despite being grown in developing countries. The U.S., France and Germany consume more than half of the world’s cocoa supply. Mars is the 5th largest privately held company in the U.S. with more than $30 billion in annual revenues. They are the second largest chocolate manufacturer in the U.S. behind Kraft.
    Genetically modified crops already make up approximately 80 percent of processed foods in the U.S., and many commercial chocolate products contain GMO ingredients including high fructose corn syrup, soybean and canola oil."
    As a big chocolate fan, this is very upsetting.  I guess I expect fast food, chips, and candy to come from GMO's, but not chocolate! It just seems so wrong.  Looks like we need to start buying organic chocolate to play it safe.  Which I already do of course, 80 % of the time.  You can find organic chocolate at the health food store or you can buy it from Beyond Organics.
    Beyond Organic chocolate is GMO free, 100% organic, and is crafted by 5th generation chocolatiers.  It is  enhanced with vital nutrients, yielding a chocolate that is rich, indulgent and nutritious! 

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Sipping on Bone Broth

    This morning was especially chilly for Florida.  I was prepared though.  Last night I made 2 gallons of bone broth just for this occasion.  Thanks to the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook I can make nourishing and delicious bone broths.  I couldn't live without this amazing resource!  Here is a what the book has to say about stocks:
    "Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate.  Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth....Modern research has confirmed that broth helps prevent and mitigate infectious diseases" (Nourishing Traditions p. 117).

    Chicken Stock
    1 whole free-range chicken ( for local sources)
    4 quarts filtered cold water
    2 tablespoons vinegar
    1 large onion chopped
    2 carrots chopped
    3 celery sticks chopped
    1 bunch of parsley

    Place chicken or chicken pieces in large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley.  Let stand 30 min to 1 hour.  Bring to a boil, remove scum that rises to the top.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours.  The longer you cook it the richer and more flavorful it will be.  About 10 minutes before finishing the stock add parsley.  This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.

    Let cool down.  Remove meat for use in other dishes.  I always strain it all into a big bowl and then pour the clear broth into my mason jars.  Through refrigeration, the fat will conceal and rise to the top.  Skim this off before use.

    A few variations: I also like to add thyme and bay leafs.  I also add salt and garlic to add more flavor.  I do not always have carrots or celery, so I leave those out when making the stock sometimes.   You can keep 1 chicken going in the crock pot for a week.  Just keep replacing the broth and making more.  A very practical way to stock your kitchen with healthy bone broth!

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Aspartame is bad news

    I am not a big soda drinker because of it's highly addictive properties (sugar and caffeine).   When I do splurge on an occasional soda I make sure it is not diet.  Aspartame is bad news.  It is bad for your health. It is bad for your hormones.  It can cause major headaches.  It increases your appetite for sweets.  It can cause attention disorders.  It can cause "fuzzy thinking".  The list goes on and on.  I would rather take the extra calories in sugar over the myriad of health issues that the "fake" sugars can lead to.  These fake sugars don't even help you lose weight.  These artificial sweeteners should be considered criminal.  Here is an article that my friend Nancy posted on her health blog about the toxic effects of aspartame.  She is a natural doctor.

    "According to research, aspartame actually contributes to weight gain as opposed to weight loss. The assumption is that because aspartame doesn’t contain the calories sugar does, you lose weight, but the exact opposite appears to be true in the case of aspartame. Studies have found people actually gain more weight consuming aspartame than people consuming regular sugar!  Most likely, this is because weight is regulated by insulin and leptin, and aspartame negatively affects both of these hormones."

    It can be found here.

    Throw out your diet soda.  If you are going to drink soda, you should not cut any corners on your health.  Face the sugar head on!

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Breakfast on the go...

    Are you in a hurry in the mornings?  I sure am.  My son just started preschool every Tuesday/Thursday.  Boy have my mornings changed.  No more lounging around and making a nice hot breakfast for everyone.  It is all about speed now.  Thank goodness I have an amazing product to grab as I am walking out the door.  My boys love it and my husband will grab one for breakfast and sometimes even lunch.  This is our families version of fast food.  This product will get your day started off on the right foot.  Immediate energy, protein, and great taste!  This strong probiotic beverage is the best way to face a day full of germs, stress, and work!  This is my all round favorite Beyond Organics product.  We go through a case a week.  My favorite flavors...raspberry and milk & honey.
    Order some today 

    Vitamin B12 deficiency

    Vitamin B12 is a very important nutrient.  As we all eat food that is more processed, we lose valuable vitamins and nutrients in the "process".  I had no idea until after I delivered my first son that I was severely deficient in Vit B12.  That was also after I had nursed him for 10 months.  I wish I had known this information before conception, during pregnancy, and of course while breastfeeding; so that I could properly nourish my own body and help nourish his.  I was also diagnosed with anemia and postpartum depression....two things that diet could have helped me resolve and prevent.  It is sad that we are not even aware of things are own bodies greatly need.  Deficiencies can manifest themselves in many forms, "the living hell of depression, multiple sclerosis, dementia and psychiatric disorders, such as obsessive compulsive behaviors and manic- depression, not to mention life threatening anemia, cancer and heart disease.  Many cases diagnosed as Alzheimer's are actually the result of inadequate B12."  (Nourishing Traditions 227)

    I know that we inherent our parents deficiencies, especially our mothers.  My mother probably had no idea that she was deficient too.  A simple blood test can tell you if you are deficient.  Well worth the $100 dollars especially if you have reason to believe you are.  "Early signs of deficiency include fatigue, tingling in the hands and feet, sleep disorders and a tendency to irrational anger."  (Nourishing Traditions 227).  I actually think that my father's side of the family is all deficient.  My paternal grandfather and grandmother both died very young with many of these symptoms present- cancer, fatigue, anemia, Alzheimer's, and tingling in hands and feet.

    What can you eat to help with this issue? "Usable Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products.  It is absorbed though a complex process involving an "intrinsic factor", secreted by parietal cells in the stomach.  B12 is rendered unusable by pasteurization." (Nourishing Traditions 227).  The last part about pasteurization is not very comforting because most dairy products are pasteurized in the United States.

    Red Meat, Eggs, Raw Yogurt, Raw Kefir, Raw Milk, Oysters, Raw Cheese, etc  

    And of course here.

    Arsenic in Juice

    You must go read this article, if you haven't already.  It is important to be educated consumers, especially when it comes to the food and drinks we consume.  It is important to buy local or from a company similar to Beyond Organics.  Either way, make sure your is trustworthy and worthy of your hard earned $$$.  Here are a few excerpts from the report that should make us all weary of ever buying any processed juice again.  Instead of juice your kids might like kombucha or SeuroViv, both very healthy alternatives.  

    "Of almost 3,000 study participants those reporting apple-juice consumption had on average 19 percent greater levels of total urinary arsenic than those subjects who did not, and those who reported drinking grape juice had 20 percent higher levels. The results might understate the correlation between juice consumption and urinary arsenic levels because NHANES urinary data exclude children younger than 6, who tend to be big juice drinkers."

    This part is very disturbing: "Over the years, a shift has occurred in how juice sold in America is produced. To make apple juice, manufacturers often blend water with apple-juice concentrate from multiple sources. For the past decade, most concentrate has come from China. Concerns have been raised about the possible continuing use of arsenical pesticides there, and several Chinese provinces that are primary apple-growing regions are known to have high arsenic concentrations in groundwater.
    A much bigger test than ours would be needed to establish any correlation between elevated arsenic or lead levels and the juice concentrate’s country of origin. Samples we tested included some made from concentrate from multiple countries including Argentina, China, New Zealand, South Africa, and Turkey; others came from a single country. A few samples solely from the United States had elevated levels of lead or arsenic, and others did not. The same was true for samples containing only Chinese concentrate."

    If the concentrate is coming from China, I think the juice manufacturers should be required to label it "Made in China".  I wonder how many people would actually buy it.  Do your own research.  You are the only one responsible for protecting your own health and the health of your children, not corporate America.  

    Nourishing Hot chocolate

    Is there such a thing?  Well, around my home we drink hot chocolate often.  If I am not drinking my new favorite drink Choffy , I am making homemade hot chocolate.  Here is my recipe.  It is perfect for the cool crisp Florida mornings.

    Nourishing Hot Chocolate:
    1 C Raw milk
    1 tsp coconut oil/ 1 tsp vanilla
    1 tbl organic cocoa powder
    2 tsp organic sugar - your preference

    Warm up the raw milk gently on the stove.  I keep it at 3-4 until it warms up slowly.  I do not want to pasteurize the milk by heating it up too hot.  Add the tablespoon of cocoa powder right away and whisk vigorously with a fork until all the powder is blended nicely.  Add the coconut oil bc it needs to melt in most cases.  Then add the sugar and vanilla at the very end.  Keep whisking the milk because it is important to make sure everything mixes properly.  That is the key to yummy homemade hot chocolate.  If the flavor is still off, just add more sugar.  We are so used to a lot of sugar in processed foods.  It may take u a little while to get used to adding less. Be careful though.  Once you make it homemade, you may never be able to go back to drinking it from the packets again!

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    3 Croup remedies

    Croup can be stressful for parent and child.  The cough is loud and the breathing is hard.  My oldest son woke up in the middle of the night a few months back with the typical "croup" cough.  It was midnight when he awoke from his sleep and I immediately administered these 3 remedies.  Within an hour he was settled back down and back to sleep.  No more "barking" cough.  The next morning he was 100% better.  I always start with aconite and luckily I had the other 2 remedies on hand.  The key is to catch it fast....the sooner the better!   
    Homeopaths have three croup remedies that have relieved this 
condition for more than 150 years--Aconite, Spongia tosta and Hepar 

    Dr. Boenninghausen, a renowned German physician born in 1843, treated 
croup exclusively with this trio of remedies. 'Hardly one in a hundred 
children received all three remedies,' his biographer writes, and the 
doctor successfully treated over 400 cases.

    First, give Aconite at the onset of croup.
    Here the cough is dry, loud and barking and the child is exceedingly 
restless and anxious. If, after 
an hour, symptoms persist, give a second dose of Aconite. This is 
usually all that is needed.

    "If, however, after another hour, your child's breathing is harsh and 
hard and the barking, ringing cough continues and breathing is still not 
smooth and easy, give *Hepar sulphuris*.
    Here the cough is loose and rattling and deeper toned.

  Rarely do we need more than Aconite in treating croup.  

    These 3 remedies can be picked up at any health food store like Nutrition Smart or Whole Foods.  Look for the homeopathy section.  These 3 remedies could save you many hours in an urgent care in the middle of the night, along with a few hundred bucks :)

    A healthy alternative to Gatorade

    Do you drink sports drinks very often?  Once a week, twice a week, or everyday?  How healthy are sports drinks after all?
    Good question.  Gatorade was my"healthy drink" of choice in high school and college.  I remember thinking that I was "healthy" when downing 16 ounces of gatorade after a long run or hard workout.  I thought I was helping my body be a better athlete- like all the commercials seemed to portray.  I was ignorant then, but I am not now.  Gatorade is packed with sugar- which in my day was high fructose corn syrup (most likely from genetically modified corn), artificial ingredients, and food dye (which is disturbingly toxic).  I cringe when I remember drinking tons of gatorade during my first pregnancy.  Is gatorade even a better alternative to soda?  That is a post for another day.  Today I am talking about SueroViv from Beyond Organics.  This is my healthy gatorade.   Of course, I haven't had gatorade on a regular basis for years, and so that is why I am so excited.  If you love sport drinks, you will love this drink.  My favorite is Raspberry Lemonade and it tastes very good.  My body feels replenished after a bottle of SueroViv.  What is SueroViv exactly?

    "SeuroViv is a whole food, living cultured beverage that literally means whey of life.  We start with cultured whey and combine it with mountain sprain water, organic juices, organic honey, and organic essential oils for a healthy and delicious beverage that is abundant in electrolyte minerals and B vitamins.  SueroViv is a cultured beverage that contains probiotics, antioxidants and enzymes, along with important nutrients such as Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium."

    If only all athletes, young children, and pregnant mothers were drinking healthy and nourishing beverages.  How much better would we all feel by properly consuming beverages that rejuvenate, rehydrate, and replenish our bodies and minds.

    If interested in learning more or purchasing check it out here.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    No more canned soups please!

    Make yourself a new nutrition goal today.  One that is simple, but has long term health benefits: No more canned soups.  I guess if you eat them often, cutting back on your consumption by 50 percent would be a great start.  Don't even buy them, because their convenience may be too tempting.  They are loaded with BPA.  In this recent study (here) - BPA spikes 1,200 percent after eating canned soup.  Remember the health problems associated with BPA exposure:
    • -behavioral problems in infants and older children
      -prostate problems in men, problems with mammary glands, and early puberty in young girls 
      -birth defects or reduced birth weight 
      -may also cause the pregnant mother to miscarry. 
      -health problems such as cancer, infertility and breast cancer
      -can provoke chronic toxicity in the human body
      - hormonal disruption
      Better yet- make your own soup.  It is much less expensive and just as quick as grabbing a can- if you make it ahead of time.   Do not reheat the soup in plastic ever.  Make sure you are reheating in glass if you are not able to reheat on a stove.   A little food planning and preparation can go a long way for your health and your wallet :)

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    Nourishing Soups

    "To me, true health is...achieved by following the laws of nature; when you break them, illness results.  Health is not something bestowed on you by beneficient nature at birth; it is achieved and maintained only by active participation in well-defined rules of healthful living... rules which you may be disregarding every day. " Henry Bieler, MD Food is Your Best Medicine (Nourishing Traditions p. 200)

    Soups are a great way to nourish the body.  I love adding nutrient dense stock, healthy beef/chicken, and hearty vegetables/grains.  They are perfect for winter time.  It takes Florida a little bit longer to cool off, but when it does I start making soups weekly.  This week I made Potato Leek Soup.  I had a few variations from the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook, but will give you the general guidelines.

    Potato Leek Soup
    3 leeks, peeled, cleaned and chopped
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
    6 cups homemade chicken stock
    1 cup pima cream or raw cream/ raw whole milk
    finely chopped chives for garnish

    Saute leeks until soft in butter and olive oil.  Add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil and skim.  Add thyme and simmer until all vegetables are soft.  Let cool.  Puree soup with a handheld blender.  Chill well.  Process in food processor in batched with pima cream until frothy.  Season to taste.  Serve in chilled soup bowls.

    My variations:
    I added leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving.  I have a Blendtec and I blended the mashed potatoes and cooked leeks (along with half a cooked onion) with 2 cups of fresh raw milk.    I had the chicken stock already warm on the stove and I added the cool elements to the warmed stock.  Then I left it on low for a few minutes and it was perfect.  I like my soup warm and tasty.  I added some grated raw cheese to the top of it with some ground pepper.

    This soup is also very economical.  The leftovers will feed my family for the next 1-2 days.  Depending on how much I eat :)  We added steamed broccoli to the boys dish and it gave it a little more texture- which they love.  Enjoy!

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Infusion Process

    When I first heard that Beyond Organics was selling water infused with fruit and veggies I didn't really understand what that meant.  Now that I have tasted the water drinks I was even more interested.  What is this infusion process?  Here is a great explanation from one of my team members Wendimere Reilly.  I hope this helps others understand it better!

    It is vegetable infusion - it is a technology that concentrates down fruits and veggies at a 500:1 ratio, meaning 500 pounds of beet juice to yield 1 pound of beet juice. That super concentrated liquid is then filtered through extremely tight filters leaving behind "low-molecular weight" compounds from the beet - the antioxidant essence we discuss on the label.

    This powder is highly concentrated and low molecular weight and EXTREMELY SOLUBLE, which provided much of the benefit associated with the vegetable itself, but without any calories or sugar.

    This is essentially the "infusion" process.

    There is actually a noticeable color difference in Infusions, if someone pours into a clear glass and then compares it with Reign Supreme in the same kind of glass for comparison.

    Any more questions??? Just leave me a comment and I will answer it :)

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Organic Medicine

    I am a concerned health consumer. I am careful about the quality and source of food that comes into my home. I am also concerned about what medicine my family consumes, particularly my boys. We use organic and raw medicine, just like food. Which translates to medicine in its whole and natural state, produced by nature not man, and minimally processed. We use foods and herbs in our family for healing. Some examples are : garlic (antibacterial, anti-viral), ginger (nausea), cayenne pepper (flu), onion (strong immune supporter), oils (olive, tea tree, oregano, jojoba, fermented fish oil), kombucha and kefir (strong immune supporters). We use fresh and dried herbs. We also use homeopathic remedies in our family for healing-for acute and chronic illnesses. We have had outstanding success with certain remedies. One remedy I want to spot light is:
    Notatum (Penicillium notatum) - for relief of Cold Symptoms, Earaches, Bacterial Infections and Respiratory Infections.

    Notatum is effective for treating all types of bacterial infections and inflammations, especially those caused by staphylococci and streptococci. It also helps resolve urological infections, herpes zoster, otitis, tonsillitis, respiratory infections and acne. This remedy can be prescribed in high doses to eliminate acute infections. In addition, Notatum does not contain Penicillic acid and is safe for patients who are allergic to Penicillin.

    You can learn more about the remedy at

    This remedy is a great substitute when an antibiotic is needed. I keep it on hand for the first sign of cold or congestion. Also, I use it to prevent a secondary infection from occurring when a virus starts to linger a little longer in myself or my boys. My 4 yr old and 2 yr old have never had an antibiotic thanks to Notatum. I have had a few close calls, but notatum has been a miracle worker in my family. Safe for kids, babies, and pregnant momma's :) Check it out.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    The Gut- Brain Connection

    I am always talking about the Gut- Brain connection when it comes to health and nutrition.  80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut.  Some nutritional doctors even call your gut your "second brain".  There is a very strong connection between the two.  I think that many doctors will diagnose someone's health condition based one a single area or organ of the body.  But when it comes to true healing, you must look at the body as a whole.  For example, when my computer gets 1 virus, it doesn't take long for the whole system to shut down.  Now if I catch it early enough, little to no damage is done. How many of us go on for years with little annoying "red flags" about our own health that something may be malfunctioning or not quite right?  How long do we ignore these messages?  Are we waiting for our own health crash?  How is your own gut doing... diarrhea, constipation, sick often, sluggish? What about your brain....mood swings, depression, anxiety?  Take a close look at your diet.  You may be surprised.  Poor Diet = Poor Gut = Poor Brain.  Not a good scenario.  Here is an excerpt from an article about the Gut-Brain relationship.

    The Gut-Brain Connection : "Most people fail to realize that your gut is quite literally your second brain, and actually has the ability to significantly influence your: 

    • Mind
    • Mood
    • Behavior
    But damage to your gut can also, by virtue of the gut-brain connection, alter your mind, mood and behavior all by itself... Anxiety and depression are actually part of the signs and symptoms of celiac disease, for example.
    The gut-brain connection is well-recognized as a basic tenet of physiology and medicine, so this isn't all that surprising, even though it's often overlooked. There's also a wealth of evidence showing gastrointestinal involvement in a variety of neurological diseases. With this in mind, it should also be crystal clear that nourishing your gut flora is extremely important, from cradle to grave, because in a very real sense you have two brains, one inside your skull and one in your gut, and each needs its own vital nourishment.
    Your gut and your brain are actually created out of the same type of tissue. During fetal development, one part turns into your central nervous system while the other develops into your enteric nervous system. These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen. This is what connects your two brains together, and explains such phenomena as getting butterflies in your stomach when you're nervous, for example.
    Your gut and brain work in tandem, each influencing the other. This is why your intestinal health can have such a profound influence on your mental health, and vice versa. As a result, it should be obvious that your diet is closely linked to your mental health. Furthermore, it's requires almost no stretch of the imagination to see how improper nutrition can have an adverse effect on your mood and subsequently your behavior."
    Dr. Mercola