Salad Saturday!

April 26, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Each Saturday I’ll post a free salad recipe from my new salad cookbook. It hafree salad recipess over 365 recipes, so you can either buy it now or just hang around here for the next 6 years. LOL!

Bean and Tuna Salad

3 cups Water
2 cans Cannellini beans
1/3 cup Olive oil
3 teaspoons Red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
Fresh pepper to taste
1 medium Red onion
12 ounces Tuna — drained

Directions: Mix together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over beans and onion in a shallow bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Transfer bean mixture to serving platter with slotted spoon. Break tuna into chunks and arrange on bean mixture.

Salad Saturday!

April 12, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Each Saturday I’ll post a free salad recipe from my new salad cookbook. It hafree salad recipess over 365 recipes, so you can either buy it now or just hang around here for the next 6 years. LOL!

BAJA CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

3/4 pound Chicken Breast
6 ounces Dried Mixed Fruit
1 cup Ring Macaroni or Orzo — Raw
1 cup Jicama — Cubed
2 Green Onions/Tops — Sliced
1/2 cup Mayonnaise Or Salad Dressing
2 tablespoons Sour Cream Or Plain Yogurt
1 teaspoon Red Chiles — Ground
1/4 teaspoon Salt

* The chicken breast should be boneless, skinless and weigh about 3/4 pounds
** You should use 1 6-oz package of diced mixed fruit.

Heat enough salted water to cover the chicken breast (1/4 tsp salt to 1 cup of water) to boiling in a 4 quart Dutch oven. Add the chicken breast. Cover and heat to boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is done, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon.

Heat the water to boiling and add the fruit and ring macaroni or orzo gradually so that the water continues to boil. Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, just until the ring macaroni is tender, about 6 to 8 minutes or 10 minutes for the orzo, then drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again. Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces and mix with the fruit, macaroni, jicama and onions. Mix the remaining ingredients and toss with the chicken mixture. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

Review: Weston A. Price Foundation Membership

April 9, 2008 | 5 Comments

Well. I just spent 45 minutes writing this review, then hit “save and continue editing” and the article disappeared. Of course, I should have hit “save and continue editing” before I had been writing for 45 minutes.

Nutrition and Physical DegenerationSo you had better read this post and appreciate it dadgummit!

I read  Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price 3 years ago and was blown away. You know my overall philosophy of nutrition is a bit jaded, right?

But reading this book changed me a lot. It also made more sense than anything I had ever read before about nutrition.

Dr. Weston A. Price was a Dentist. He started to notice that his patients who were experiencing tooth decay and other dental problems often had chronic debilitating illness. So, in a quest to find out the secret to health, he set out to travel the world.

Dr. Price traversed the globe - he studied isolated peoples from the Swiss to the Gaelic islanders, from Inuit peoples in Greenland to Polynesians in the South Seas. He became fascinated by the fact that these folks - as long as they were eating their native diets - had no dental caries nor did they suffer orthodontia ills. They lived healthy lives into old age with no chronic illness, and the elderly stayed sharp in mind too. He also noticed that the women had a much easier time of labor and delivery.

Despite the fact that these folks had no toothbrushes or floss and had certainly never seen a Dentist before, they had broad, beautiful smiles with almost perfect teeth! While I wouldn’t necessarily vouch for their morning breath, the fact remains that they seemed immune to dental issues that plagued even “healthy” people in industrialized nations - Dr. Price’s contemporaries.

Dr. Price was determined to find out why this was so. So he began to study their diets. What he found was that as long as these isolated people kept eating the traditional foods, the effect remained. When they strayed (often as a result of “white man” diets thanks to the missionaries - white flour, white sugar, jams, candies, canned fruits and smiles.jpgveggies) they suffered quickly. The next generation would be born with crowded teeth, small jaws, maloclussions and they even became less physically attractive (how’s that for motivation to eat better? Prettier kids!).

While the diets of these people were extremely varied, they had several things in common. Some of these commonalities were:

  • An emphasis on animal foods. There were no vegetarians anywere to be found. All the cultures placed a very high value on animal protein - fish, meats, organs, eggs, dairy products. They went to especially great lengths to be sure that children and women in their reproductive years had these foods.
  • Lots and lots of fat. Whether is was coconut oil and palm oil or raw, nonhomogenized butter and milk, these peoples ate a large percentage of their calories as fat.
  • Specially prepared sprouted grains, naturally fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut, kim chi and the like, and cultured dairy in the form of kefir, buttermilk, cultured butter.

There were a few other similarities but these were the most important. Here is a quote from the website that puts it succintly:

When Dr. Price analyzed the foods used by isolated peoples he found that, in comparison to the American diet of his day, they provided at least four times the water-soluble vitamins, calcium and other minerals, and at least TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins, from animal foods such as butter, fish eggs, shellfish, organ meats, eggs and animal fats–the very cholesterol-rich foods now shunned by the American public as 902652_cows_in_field.jpgunhealthful.

These healthy traditional peoples knew instinctively what scientists of Dr. Price’s day had recently discovered–that these fat-soluble vitamins, vitamins A and D, were vital to health because they acted as catalysts to mineral absorption and protein utilization. Without them, we cannot absorb minerals, no matter how abundant they may be in our food.”

 That last sentence was a bit chilling. To think that as a mom I could take great care to feed my kids well - but missing one important element, they would not get the benefit!

Shortly after, I purchased Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, still one of my favorite cookbooks. The rebel in you just has to love the title! It’s far more than a cookbook though. It’s a research guide, home arts reference, nutrition book and more. It’s also kind of the official cookbook of the Weston A Price Foundation - its author, Sally Fallon, is the founder of WaPF.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the ideas of the late Dr. Price. (They’re also the folks behind RealMilk.org) I joined two months ago and am enjoying the quarterly journal, Wise Traditions, immensely. It’s far more than a magazine - this is a publication you STUDY, not read. I’m still working through my first two issues. I “read” them with pen in hand so that I can make notes to help me remember things I’m learning and can refer to in the future. And I enjoy the letters from readers all over the world immensely - they’re full of great tips and inspiring stories of people who have enjoyed tremendous health changes as a result of changing their diet to a more traditional one. I’m also very impressed with the depth of research that obviously goes into the articles. They delve deep and take a bit of work to get through.

When you join WaPF as a member, you also get a handy-dandy Shopping Guide to keep in your purse when you go to the store. It helps you make better food choices and recommends specific name brands.

Another neat thing about the magazine are the resources and advertisers in the back - they’re carefully screen to be “WaPF” friendly. They don’t just accept any advertiser willynilly. So you can feel good about supporting these small, local farmers who use sustainable methods to produce organic products.

It’s scary what’s happening to our food supply in this country - the megamonopolistic food conglomerates who control (according to industry experts) 98% of the food industry are making our food cheaper, faster and cardboard-er every day. They don’t care about your health or your family’s health. Eating their food is making us fat yet simultaneously malnourished. We’re slaves to our cravings and to the hundreds of additives (some of which are put in there just to trick our brains and taste buds into craving more) that are surreptitiously put into these fake foods.

It’s enough to make a mother mad. ;)

There is a lot more I could say about Weston A Price, and I am planning a series of articles to publish on this blog on the topics of raw milk, cod liver oil and grass fed meat. But for now I’ll just share two things about the WaP style of eating that have been pretty huge for me.

  1. For one, I’ve had stomach problems all my life. While a lot of this is due to stress (I put all my stress into my stomach!), I also have had issues with dairy products. Drinking one glass of milk would have me hurting.

    Not so with raw milk. I can drink it all day long and never have the first stomach pain. It makes so much sense to me. Just as human breastmilk has enzymes to help baby digest it easily, raw milk contains the enzymes that make IT easy to digest. I love it and have been drinking it for several years now. Raw milk also works wonders on my cravings for sweets (probably because of the fat content).

  2. Secondly - soaked grains. I’ve had issues with low blood sugar and hypoglycemia since I was a kid. I don’t do well with wheat at all, but I can eat oats… but they would trigger episodes of low blood sugar. I could eat a bowl of oatmeal in the morning and be shaky and weak 30 minutes later.

    However, when I soak my oats overnight (with an acid medium - such as a tablespoon of whey or sour milk in the soaking water), I can go all morning without getting hungry or feeling ill. I’m convinced that the reason for this is because since soaked grains are far easier to digest - and the body can get the full benefit of the minerals and vitamins due to a long soaking process that disables the phytates (enzyme inhibitors), I’m simply getting more nutrition from the same bowl of oatmeal!

coconut and coconut oil benefitsI have already sung the wonders of coconut oil… for one, it keeps me regular. And that is a huge blessing. ;) It also seems to help with my joint and muscle aches. My mother has fibromyalgia, and I’ve suffered with aches and pains since I was in my early 20’s, but the coconut oil seems to keep me lubricated… probably due to the antioxidants and healthy fats.

Check back later on this week for more about other tenets of the Weston A Price style of eating. And I encourage you to look into making a tax deductible contribution and joining WaPF.

 

New Podcast - Cure Your Cravings

April 8, 2008 | 2 Comments

Diana Walker of The Cravings Coach has decided to launch a podcast!

She will be sharing tips and advice to help moms live healthier lives and overcome their cravings for salt, sugar, carbs, caffeine… you name it.

Go have a listen and check out her Cravings Secrets ebook too while you’re at it. :-)

 

Free Report on Going Organic

April 7, 2008 | 1 Comment

applesThe ladies over at Menu Planning Central have put together an informative free report on going organic. They are letting me share it with you all. The report covers:

  • What the organic label really means
  • Cleaning with organic cleaners - and how to make your own
  • Recommendations for organic products all around the house

To download it, just right click on this link to save to your desktop.

Salad Saturday!

April 5, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Each Saturday I’ll post a free salad recipe from my new salad cookbook. It hafree salad recipess over 365 recipes, so you can either buy it now or just hang around here for the next 6 years. LOL!

Avocado with Peanut Dressing

2 avocados — ripe
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons peanuts — shelled
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
cayenne — to taste
sea salt — to taste
fresh chives — to garnish

Peel the avocados; cut out the stone and cut into cubes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside. Grind the peanuts roughly with a rolling pin or in a grinder for a few seconds. Mix the peanuts and spices well. Sprinkle over the avocados with finely chopped chives.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Attachment Parenting International Announces New Parenting Education Program

April 2, 2008 | 1 Comment

attachment parenting internationalLast year on the show, I was honored to interview Lysa Parker, cofounder of Attachment Parenting International.

Attachment parenting was a word I heard a Mom say over 9 years ago at a meeting for parents who had taken Bradley Method childbirth classes. I thought it sounded so strange, but then I realized it embodied what I believed and what I had been doing with my young baby: cosleeping, nursing on cue, responding to baby’s needs, wearing him in a soft cloth carrier, etc. 

API has some exciting stuff going on right now to help parents learn and keep the principles of attachment parenting and I’m happy to help them spread the word.

What Is Attachment Parenting International?

API is a non-profit organization that promotes parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents. Some of the changes they would like to announce include:

  • A newly redesigned web site and new logo at Attachment Parenting.org;
  • Attachment parenting worldwide support forums;
  • Parent Education Program - a comprehensive series of classes for every stage and age of child development from infancy through adulthood;
  • A new book based on API’s Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting by API co-founders Lysa Parker and Barbara Nicholson which is expected to be available this summer;
  • A series of podcasts, webinars, chats, and forums with API Advisory Board members and other supporters of AP. Future events are scheduled with Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. James McKenna, and Kathleen Kendall Tacket. Check out the events page for more information.

These are just a few of many exciting things going on at API. I hope you’ll stop by and check it out for yourself.

Salad Saturday!

March 29, 2008 | 2 Comments

Each Saturday I’ll post a free salad recipe from my new salad cookbook. It hafree salad recipess over 365 recipes, so you can either buy it now or just hang around here for the next 6 years. LOL!

Autumn Fruit Salad

2 red delicious apples
1 sliced banana
1 Granny Smith apple
2 Bartlett pears
1/2 pound red grapes
1/2 cup almond slivers — toasted
1 cup organic vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon apple cider cider

Wash and core apples and pears, peeling if desired. Cut into one inch chunks. Slice bananas 1/2″ thick. Wash grapes and cut in half. Combine fruits and almonds in salad bowl. Mix yogurt with spices and cider. Pour over fruit salad and stir to coat fruits evenly. Chill.

Are You Reading These Reviews?

March 28, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Do you ever read the reviews on the Natural Mom Product Reviews site?

We’ve gotten some really great reviews lately. Thanks to those of you who submitted well written reviews! (And the Paypal cash was nice, no?) ;)

It helps to get someone else’s opinion before you spend your hard earned money on stuff. Go read some of these:

If you’re a mom in business you can send your products to me and I will review them personally. Contact me at carrie at naturalmomstalkradio dot com if you’re interested.

Why Aren’t You Eating More Coconut Oil?

March 26, 2008 | 7 Comments

coconut and coconut oil benefitsI love coconut oil. I love the flavor. I love the smell. I love the versatility. I love how it is solid in cooler temperatures and liquid at warmer ones. I love the health benefits.

Maybe that’s where I lost you.

Coconut oil has gotten a really bad reputation, and I’m convinced it’s a bunch of hooey. Coconut is a natural food. And you know how I feel about natural food!

Coconut oil fell out of favor (remember when we were warned about the dangers of theatre popcorn because it was popped in coconut oil? Those were the good old days!) because it is a saturated fat and the diet dictocrats said saturated fats cause heart disease. (They don’t, but “they” have been trying to convince us otherwise for decades now.) The truth is, however, that coconut oil is at worst, neutral in terms of its effect on heart disease, and at best, quite beneficial for good health. 

Coconut oil, along with palm and palm kernel oil, work a little differently than animal fats. Coconut oil is composed primarily of medium and short chain fatty acid molecules. Many other fats and oils, in contrast, are composed of long chain fatty acids. This means that the fatty acids in coconut oil are easier for the body to break down, and as a result, the body tends to break them down more quickly for energy. So in that sense, coconut oil functions more like a carbohydrate.

Because coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is very stable, meaning it doesn’t rot easily. Food prepared with coconut oil will be preserved longer than food prepared with vegetable oil. The oil itself isn’t subject to the rancidity problems of vegetable oils and so it won’t form damaging free radicals in the body. For these reasons, it is a good idea to use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil for food preparation. In fact, most vegetable oil isn’t good for you at all, especially corn and canola oils.

There are three main medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which make up coconut oil. They are caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid. These have been used in hospitals to treat and nourish critically ill patients and premature babies, as well as to help athletes with weight control and enhanced performance. Lauric acid is used in soaps and lotions to promote soft skin. It has also been shown to improve digestion, soothe bladder and skin diseases, and provide protection against insect stings.

MCFAs are known to have antimicrobial properties. They work effectively against viruses and bacteria that have a lipid coating. When you consume coconut oil, or even rub it on your skins, enzymes in your saliva and on your skin break up the fat molecules into their individual fatty acids. MCFAs can then go to work on germs in or on your body. They incorporate themselves into the germ’s lipid membrane and weaken it because they are smaller than the fatty acids that normally make up the membrane. When enough MCFAs have incorporated themselves into the lipid membrane, the cell bursts. The MCFAs in coconut oil work against the bacteria causing strep throat in this way. It is believed that MCFAs are some of the primary ingredients in breast milk which provides protection against diseases to the nursing infant. Mothers who consume coconut oil have more MCFAs in their milk, which is a great thing for baby.

To sum up, coconut oil is great for your immune system. Anyone who has a chronic illness or autoimmune disease should eat lots of coconut oil every single day. Weston A. Price, author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, named it one of those special foods that certain native peoples (obviously those who lived in tropical areas) ate that contributed to their overall excellent health.

The easiest way to eat coconut oil is to use it in cooking. Coconut oil can be used for light frying and sauteeing on the stove. It makes for the best popcorn ever (I’ll share my popcorn recipe later). It can be used as an ingredient in baking instead of butter or vegetable oil. You can also take it as a supplement, either straight or in a drink. I like to add it to smoothies. If I haven’t used it much in cooking, I’ll take a spoon and drink it straight. It’s got a very mild and pleasant flavor.

And remember what Tom Hanks’ character in Castaway said? “Coconut is a natural laxative“. Which for me is a very good thing. LOL!

Bococonut oil miracleoks About Coconut Oil:

The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife

Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats by Sally Fallon (also the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats)

buy coconut oil online

You can buy coconut oil and other coconut products at Wilderness Family Naturals.

EDITED TO ADD:

Amazon.com is having some bargains and natural and organic food right now, including Vita Coco Coconut Water

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