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Wednesday
May142014

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMS!!!

I just went to my front door this morning to find 2 pleasant surprises!  A box fillied with fruits and veggies from Natures Garden Delivered and one filled with additional goodies of the same nature from the Backyard Farmer.  I opened the boxes to find fresh, local produce that was crisp and beautiful!  It would have taken me trips to several different stores to find the quality and array of produce that I just had hand delievered to my front doorstep!  The prices are reasonable and I have never felt that I have over paid.  A few months back I even purchased a 1/2 bushel of organic apples that were nicked and bruised from the Backyard Farmer for a steal and my mom made applesauce with them while she was here visiting.  It was fresh and delicious and I still have several bags in the freezer to enjoy for the months to come! 

This service is really a no-brainer for me...and here's why I think you should try it!

1) The quality is unbeatable.

2) You are supporting local farmers and helping the local economy.

3) You are getting fresh, clean, organic produce.

4) You are saving the environment (well, at least a little- by cutting down on the transporation it would take for you to find all of these goodies for this price/ quality.

5) You are saving time!!!  Time is precious and you can't beat having it all delivered to you!

6) I plan my meals for the week based on what local produce is fresh and available. Makes meal planning much easier!

 

Give it a try!!!  You'll thank me for it!  If you don't live in Arizona (I'm sorry!) you can always check online for similar services offered in your area!  Here is a good source to try!

Tuesday
Apr292014

EASY BONE BROTH SOUP- Heal the belly!!!

Being in a family that has several of us with sensitive belly's has been a challenge.  Many years ago I took on the task to help heal us naturally. I have loaded our diets with clean nutrition, probiotics and gut healing supplements that have made a dramatic difference in our health and wellness.  Several months ago I began adding in gelatin and bone broths after reading how great they are at aiding in healing. One recipe I may almost weekly is a chicken bone broth soup...we end up getting several meals out of it- so it is actually a very high quality, low cost way to feed your family! It still amazes me that people will easily drive through a fast food place and pay $20-$30 to feed their family 1 low-quality meal...when it takes such little effort to put together an organic, healing meal for the same cost (or less). Try this out with your family...your body will thank you for it!!!! This is especiallly good for speeding healing and recooperating from any illness (cold/flu)- remember the "chicken soup" when sick? Well, this is IT!!! The REAL version! Don't eat it out of a can!

Here are some of the benefits you will incur...helps heal and seal your gut (big part of the GAPS diet), promotes healthy digestion, inhibits infection, reduces/fights inflammation, promotes strong, healthy bones, hair and nail growth. Now on to the recipe!

1 2-3 lb organic chicken (add the jiblets from the bag as well)

4-5 organic carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large onion chopped

1-2 bulbs of garlic (garlic is SOOO good for fighting infection! Heat the bulb in the micro for 10-15 sec to make it eaier to pop out the cloves!)

4-5 organic celery stalks chopped

4 quarts filtered water

1 bunch organic herbs ( I use parsely, oregano, rosemary-any you like)

apple cider vinegar (with the Mother)

 

Place chicken in crockpot, salt and pepper it well, I also add 1/8-1/4 cup organic no-salt seasoning from Costco to give it more flavor.  Add in the water and veggies and turn on high.  I do this early in the morning and let it cook for a few hrs then begin to cut it up breaking the bones to release the healthy minerals. I end up cooking the chicken for a total of 8-10 hours then cut up the chicken (it will bascially shred by then).  I add 1/8 cup of raw apple cider vinegar about an hour before finishing. The acid helps to draw out the minerals, ect from the bones. I then let it sit cooling for an hour, remove remaining bones and serve.  You may also cook this on low overnight and throughout the next day- the longer and slower you cook it, the better. You can add fresh herbs at the end before serving- my littles like to add a bit extra salt and vinegar to theirs as well.  

After we eat our meal, I jar up the remaining soup into pint jars and the kids bring it to school to reheat for lunch the next day. So if I spend a total of $25.00 making this soup (I usually spend less) we can get at least 10 meals out of it which results in $2.50 per serving.  Can't beat that!!!! ENJOY!!!!

 

Tuesday
Apr292014

Kombucha anyone?!

I'd like you to meet "SCOBY"- your new best friend. Don't judge her by her looks...she is actually a beautiful thing! Last summer I was graced with meeting my first SCOBY.  SCOBY, which is an acronym for "Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast"  may also be called a "mushroom" as it forms in layers at the top of fermenting Kombucha tea. My sister in law carried her into my house in a big glass jar wrapped in a towel like a baby.  I uncovered her to find my gag reflex is still working as well as ever. Although not pretty to look at, she carries with her the potential to make one of my all-time favorite drinks, Kombucha tea.

Kombucha tea is a fermented beverage made usually from black or green tea and with the help of a SCOBY. Kombucha is an ancient drink originating in China during the Tsin dynasty, used for centuries for its health benefits.  Kombucha's reported benefits include boosting the imune system (loaded with beneficial bacteria), detoxifier (supports liver function), rich in vitamins and enzymes (high in B vitamins), boosts energy, increases metabolism, PMS relief, and it may help with arthritis and joint pain.  What's NOT to love???  Toss out the soda and make your own healthy carbonated drink for pennies!!!! This stuff sells for over $3.00 a bottle at health food stores!!!

To make your own Kombucha you need to find a friend with a SCOBY!  You may also order one online and then pass your SCOBY "babies" on to your friends! Next you need to have a gallon jar to house your concoction...I bought a nice large Ball jar at Walmart to start mine.  The recipe is simple and may be doubled if you wish to split your SCOBY for a larger production (I keep 2 jars going at our house). 

12 cups water

6 tea bags (green or black, I use organic)

1 cup sugar (bacteria/ yeast feed on it)

Boil water, add tea bags and sugar, stir...allow tea to steep to desired strength.

Remove bags and allow to cool completely before pouring into your jar with SCOBY.

Cover your jar with a breathable lid (I use a coffee filter then jar ring over it)

Place in a location that is not exposed to direct sunlight (I keep mine on kitchen counter in the corner           with a towel wrapped over side)

Allow it to sit for 4-7 days then begin to taste until desired carbonation is reached.

Kombucha may then be jarred in quart jars and flavored with pure juice,ect. Make sure to leave 1 cup     of the brew in the jar with the SCOBY to start the next batch. Place the jars in fridge to stop the fermenting and ENJOY your creation!!!!

Each batch of tea you brew you wil grow a new "baby" on top that may be shared, just peel it off and place it in a jar with a cup of the tea to pass it on.

Tuesday
Sep112012

Clean Eating

About 5 years back I radically changed the way my family ate. My health and my daughter, Abby's health, demanded it.  I had suffered with IBS/digestive probs my whole life and it was getting worse. I had my gallbladder removed which didn't remedy my painful symptoms and even a pancreatic duct surgery.  My gut was chronically inflamed and I was fading fast.  My Abby had "colic" since 1 month old, failure to thrive, reflux, eosinophilic esophagitis, gut spasms, you name it.  You can read more about her story in "Healthy Kids"-under "My Abby." It was time to put our diet to work for us.  The next year for her and I involved "gut healing" and weaning from meds, again detailed in her story.  We both went gluten free/casein free, and it made a tremendous difference for us both.  I also started "cooking."  Yep, you heard me right!  Cooking healthy, clean meals from scratch with very little ingredients.  No more packages and chemicals!  It was time to do it right! It was time to learn how to use food for it's intended purpose- to nourish and heal our bodies and souls, not just fill our belly's on the run.

I want to encourage all of you to do the same!  Look at your food differently!  For those of you who have health issues, there are things you can do NOW to help those conditions!!! For those of you who want to avoid having health issues in the future, same message- there are things you can do NOW to avoid future problems!  Those of us who are parents have a huge responsibility to teach this to our children.  Many people care more about what gas they put into their car than the food they put into their kids.  Ouch.  I am not judging anyone here, I was guilty of choosing the "easy" way too.  I was forced to have to re-examine what I was doing for our family.  It has been life-changing our family and it can be for your family too!

Monday
May142012

Can't pronounce it? DON'T EAT IT!!!

Go ahead, grab a package out of your pantry and find the ingredients list.  Read through it. Can you? Unfortunately it is rare to be able to read through the list, much less know what it is you are reading!!! If you haven't noticed, there is thankfully a huge shift starting in our country educating people on the dangers of processed foods.  As our country has grown fatter and more unhealthy over the last few decades the pockets of packaged food manufacters have grown fatter as well. It is due time we learn how to cook again.  How to prepare healthy foods from scratch and teach our kids to do likewise. Nutritionally speaking, how many of us out there get our 5-7 fruit and veggie servings a day?  That takes effort!  You can't get those health benefits from a "package!"

If you recall, a few months back the "pink slime" discovery hit the airwaves, appalling people of what ingredients are actually in their food.  Food experts have said that if we thought that story was bad, just wait.  Want to read more, gulp, click here.

In the meantime, if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it!  If you wouldn't make the same item at home with the same ingredients found on the label, don't buy it!  It is time to take back our health, support our local organic farmers, and learn how to cook and eat healthy again!

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