Archive for February, 2012


Re-posting from a lovely lady who not only reads my blog, but I read hers too. 🙂  She did a book review, I have not heard of the book before hand, but have had my fair share of the myths (aka LIES) that we are being told.  In fact one of my biggest irks is that The Biggest Loser promotes egg whites only as well as not eating “fat.”  Truly nutrition is the goal.  I loved this blog and wanted to share.

Have you read this book?  It’s definitely on my amazon wishlist now.


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I ended up with the stomach flu a few weeks ago, Hubby drove me into work and I asked him to run up to Whole Foods (AKA Whole Paycheck) and grab me some ginger ale.  He returned with a six pack of Zevia ginger ale.  I opened a can and sipped the soda, it was sweet and ginger like.  Honestly it was fantastic!  See I grew up with soda and have always been a fan, that was until I started learning about aspartame and high fructose corn syrup.  So I quit drinking soda, I have learned how to make lacto-fermented sodas and they are great but there is still something about a can of soda, call it ingrained or comfort but it is what it is.

I found myself at Whole Foods again last week.  I grabbed a six pack of Zevia Ginger Root Beer.  I’m a HUGE root beer fan, in fact I really want to make some.  I took it home and Hubby and I both tried it.  This stuff is the real deal!  There is no off taste or anything.  So I guess I’m getting ahead of myself, what exactly is Zevia?  It is a all natural soda with zero calories and zero sugar, in fact the only things listed on the label of this can of root beer I have next to me is 20mg of sodium, 7g of carbs and 7 grams of erythritol.  The soda is actually sweetened with erythritol and stevia.  What is erythritol?  This comes from Zevia’s website: Erythritol is one of those ingredients that we love but shouldn’t judge by its overly scientific sounding name. Erythritol is a natural component of fruits and vegetables. It is called a sugar alcohol, even though it is neither sugar nor alcohol. It is removed from fruits and vegetables through a natural fermentation process, much like that of yogurt. It has absolutely no calories and no effect on blood sugar. Super safe? You betcha! In fact, unlike its sugar alcohol cousins, Xylitol and Sorbitol, Erythritol is not known to cause digestive issues.

This is not sold in every supermarket though, I found it at Whole Foods and a 6 pack is close to $6, but a $1 a can… that’s not too bad.  I have also found it at Fred Meyer (Kroger for the rest of you) but they have less variety.  Whole Foods has probably 3 shelves full of different flavors, Fred Meyer had 4 different flavors.  So far we’ve tried Ginger Root Beer, Ginger Ale, and Black Cherry, Hubby is a fan of Cream Soda so I want to try that next.  This is a great alternative for diabetics, people with insulin resistance, and children.  If you go to the Zevia website http://www.zevia.com/index you can also print off (or have them mail you) a $2 off coupon when you buy two 6 packs.  I don’t think you’ll be sorry, this stuff really tastes like soda but without all the garbage.  If you have neither Kroger or Whole Foods near you, check out the website, you can enter your zip code and find a store near you.  It’s a great “treat” after dinner, I don’t feel guilty about having sugar late and it still curbs that sweet desire I have.  LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff!  Check it out yourself and tell me what you think.

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Sounds appealing huh?  Well actually they were really delicious!  Here’s the deal, I have horrible teeth.  I haven’t had dental insurance in a long time and when I finally buckled down and went I found out that all those years of not going and not properly taking care of my teeth has resulted in a lot of money spent sitting in a dentist chair.  I do go to the dental school, but still it’s expensive.  I started to do some research on alternative dental care.  I had already learned about the horrible dangers of fluoride.   The dental school still tries to push that one me, my student dentist does know my preferences and although the instructors try to say it, I let it go in one ear and out the other.  Fluoride is a horrible toxin, it shouldn’t be anywhere near our bodies.  Feel free to search it on naturalnews.com and learn more about why fluoride is so bad for us there.

So in my quest to find a more natural approach to dental health, I found a book called Cure Tooth Decay With Nutrition by Ramiel Nagel.  I highly recommend this book!  Rami really puts the research of Weston A Price into a neat and easy to read and understand book.  Dr Price wrote a book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, where he basically goes around to different cultures around the world.  He goes to “indigenous” people who live off the land, they eat the entire animal when it’s killed, they don’t eat processed foods or sugars, they eat raw milk (by the way check out this article about a Harvard study that shows that Pasteurized milk is linked to cancer http://www.naturalnews.com/035081_pasteurized_milk_cancer_dairy.html).  Then he goes to their opposite, the “industrialized” (aka what we live in) people.  These people are in many minds, better off than the indigenous people, they have processed foods and sugars, they buy the prime cuts of meat at the store and rarely eat the entire animal.  What his studies found was that the people who ate from the land, ate raw milk and all the animal they kill had better teeth than those who live in the industrialized culture.  He has photos to prove it.  I haven’t bought Dr Price’s book, although I want it very badly.  I have seen photos from the book (in Rami Nagel’s book as well as online) and I’ve done research on this subject myself.  So the thought process is that we are living in an industrialized society where we don’t eat the organ meats anymore, honestly most people (myself included) think they are pretty gross.  But what came out of this research is that tooth decay is not from sugars and such on our teeth that cause the decay but that we are not getting the right nutrition in our diet, and then our body must take nutrients from our teeth in order to let other more important organs survive.

When Hubby and I were invited to a chicken slaughter we went and helped.  In return we got chicken and I asked for a ton of organ meat.  Honestly, it’s been sitting in my freezer for months!  I just don’t know how to prepare it!  Finally last week Hubby took it out and basically forced my hand to get that into our bodies.  I did some youtube research and watched people make things out of the organs.  Apparently, most of the world still eats these and it’s just us who don’t.  In many ways it’s pretty disrespectful to NOT eat the entire animal, if you kill it, it should all be used.  There were a lot of Caribbean dishes made from liver, gizzards and hearts.  The first night I made some, it was ok, basically a saute of onions and garlic and veggies and liver over rice with braggs amino acids.  The second night was better, I followed a recipe I found on youtube http://caribbeanpot.com/simple-chicken-liver-and-gizzard/  here is the link to the website for the recipe.  I did goof it though, the “green seasoning” that it calls for I sort of winged.  I didn’t want left over so I just put some into my magic bullet (yes, I have one and love it) then ended up dumping it all in before realizing that it only called for 1/2 tsp, but I have to say it turned out really good.  Again we had this over rice.  There were tons of left overs from those two days.  So Friday I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and I picked up a tortilla press ($20 and totally worth it).  Hubby bought a huge bag of Masa (corn flour) and I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making homemade tortillas.  We had a blast trying to figure it out.  It was a comedy of errors but we did get to eat.  🙂  I think making tortillas takes time to figure out.  You have to get the dough just right and the pan has to be really hot with not too much oil.  We topped them with some of the left over organ meat and rice, plus added fresh veggies, cheese and sour cream.  They tasted AMAZING!  We did decide that anything would taste pretty good if you put cheese, sour cream and hot sauce on it though. haha.  Then we had two days of nachos, with the meat and rice over chips with cheese and heated in the oven.  Again, you really didn’t know you were eating organ meat.

So over all it went well.  I think we still have to try new recipes, if you have one please feel free to share!  The whole fried liver and onions thing though… yeah it still tastes like liver.  It’s too bad we didn’t grow up eating these more, I think it would not be so difficult to figure out now, but it’s still a fun challenge.  Oh! And I saw a lady (on youtube) who put chicken hearts on a skewer and put them on the BBQ.  So Hubby has some more organ meat marinating in some Jerk Seasoning he made, which he learned to make from a Jamaican friend in Florida.  I’ll let you know how they turn out.  Now let’s just pray this pays off in future dental visits.

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Think Twice, Speak Once



I have to share this blog I read that really touched my heart.  It is so important in this quick come back type of world we live in that we take the time to really THINK before we let something come out of our mouth.  The Bible tells us that our tongue is a two-edged sword, it can be used to build up or to break down.  If we use our mouth too carelessly then we are bound to hurt people.  I know I am one that doesn’t think too much before I let something come out of my mouth.  I need to be more open to God‘s ways rather than my own.  I would rather my mouth be one of giving joy and love than demeaning and hurtful.  Think twice, speak once… so simple yet, all too often, not done.


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Yesterday was a particularly hard day, it seems after I wrote my blog yesterday I was wearing a bull’s eye on my back, prime target for the enemy to prove just how human I really am.  I am sorry to say, it worked… I failed.  In my pain after the failure I opened my Bible.  Often times God does reveal to me a verse that speaks to me.  I wasn’t really prepared for what I read though.  2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Thud.  That was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor.  I mean I was in the perfect place to receive this verse.  Broken hearted from failing to listen, AGAIN, and yet God was telling me that His strength was made perfect in my weakness.

I don’t claim to have all the answers.  I am a sinful human just like everyone else.  I make mistakes and boy do they hurt sometimes.  But hearing God tell me that His strength is there for me when I am weak, it was all I needed to hear.  Did it solve my problems? No.  Was the issue over and forgotten? No.  What did happen was that peace that passes ALL understanding came to me and I felt “better” not perfect but better.  He removed the unbearable weight I felt, He wiped my tears.  Does He ever do that for you?  I’m a pretty emotional girl and tears sometimes come a bit more freely than I wish them to, but when I open God’s word and read it and ask Him to help me in a situation, I find that I can’t cry anymore.  He actually takes the tears from me.

The issues I caused are not resolved and done, I caused damage that only God can heal.  I have asked Him to heal those things and I feel like He said he would.  He has done some amazing healing in my life, I can’t deny God is there.  Today I brought two books with me to work, my Bible and a book called The Excellent Wife.  I pray they both encourage me and help me become better at what I fail at so much.


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I came across an article on one of my favorite websites, naturalnews.com.  I get daily emails from them with new articles and if you’ve never checked them out, I do recommend the site.  I’ve learned so much about natural medicine, vaccinations (hot topic!), cancer treatments etc from this website.

Today as I’m reading through titles one struck me “When the change you need to make is obvious to everyone but you,” this has actually been something I struggle with.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t like to listen to others opinions of me, especially when negative.  I mean, come on, I just walked on water yesterday!  Hubby struggles with this.  God bless that man!  He has worked and fought with me for 6 years trying to get me to see my faults.  Why is it so easy to point out the issues with others but when they point out ours we get defensive?  Honestly, I’m sick of it.  I’m tired of being that person that no one wants to tell their attitude sucks, or their response to something is rude.  It really goes against what I believe.  God said in his word “Who so loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish (showing little intelligence or sensibility)” (Proverbs 12:1), “A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke” (Proverbs 13:1) and even “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured” (Proverbs 13:18).  So to deny reproof (or criticism for a fault per Websters) is to deny what God is telling us to do.  He says that a good person, a just person, a REAL person of God will gladly accept correction for errors rather that get defensive.  So when I read this article on naturalnews, it really struck me.  It’s not a Christian writing this, but I struggle with this same thing.  Here’s the article… pray for me in this, so that I can be pleasing not only to my husband but also to my Savior.


My favorite line: “I pay attention to feedback with the awareness that I may have a blind spot and that others certainly have a perception of me that I don’t see.”  We all have blind spots, isn’t that why God gave us family, friends and spouses to help us see where we are not “perfect” and where we can use a change?  The only perfect person who walked this earth was killed and hung on a cross, it is time I wake up to that fact and know that I am faulty just like the next guy.  I will have flaws and I will make mistakes, I will get angry and say the wrong thing, I need to be humble enough to accept the reproof and turn from those mistakes.  Luckily I am a work in progress, and I’m grateful that God works in me.  It is time we all allow that to happen.

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I don’t wear traditional deodorant anymore, nor does Hubby.  No, I’m not a stinky hippie.  In fact I work in a doctor’s office and have to be professional here.  Yes, there are a lot of stinky hippies in Portland, I am just not one of them.  Somewhere in the pages of Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About, he talks about the dangers of traditional deodorants.  From aluminum, to putting dangerous chemicals right on top of two major lymph glands (Remember your lymph system doesn’t move on its own, you have to do it…so many people are putting this stuff on, it’s getting into their body and then remaining stagnant because they aren’t moving their lymph system).  A simple google of “dangers of deodorants” or even on naturalnews.com and you will have tons of reading.

There is such a taboo to deodorant.  We are taught that we MUST have this product, because then the boys or girls won’t like you if you smell.  I remember being SO embarrassed if I forgot my deodorant one day.  Gasp! In fact I have quite active sweat glands under my arm pits.  When I was growing up I was embarrassed about that as well.  No one told me it was normal for my body and that I should just embrace it, so I bought the high-powered deodorant and I can’t help think what I am paying for now, because I used that then….

So what do I use?  Well it’s changed over time.  At first I bought the “natural” deodorants from health food stores.  Which is fine, but it is another product that you HAVE to buy and still there are things in there that I still can’t pronounce.  I mean really if I can’t pronounce an ingredient then I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t come near my body, but that’s just me.  Then I started trying a spray.  I bought some essential oils and combined them with water for a morning spray.  This was also fine, but it doesn’t last all day and it doesn’t seem to help with odor, it just masks it for a while.  Then I read that people were using plain old baking soda with their essential oil spray.  You spray on the essential oil mix, then add baking soda to the top (making it stick).  This too was ok.  If you are focused on smelling good this is a good alternative.  But I took it one step further, I dropped the spray.  I only use baking soda.  Like I said I have active sweat glands, so I don’t usually have problems with having something for the baking soda to stick to.  What I do is carry a tin of baking soda in my purse, usually when I get to work I will apply it sitting at my desk.  I wipe my arm pit, dip my finger into the soda and then apply.  Generally I put a few wipes on, and yes I often times have to reapply at some point of the day.  But baking soda is an odor eater, don’t you put it in your fridge for that same purpose?  Once applied I do not smell.  Even if I have odor before applying the baking soda takes care of that, right away.  It is simple, it works and all I have to remember to do is grab my purse, and refill it when I’ve used it all.

I’m not embarrassed anymore.  If I sweat more than the next girl, so what…God made me that way.  I don’t smell anymore and I’m healthy and I save a TON of money every year not buying the prepackaged stuff from the store.  What does a box of baking soda cost?  Cheap, very cheap 🙂 Yay for saving money and not stinking! LOL

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In 2006 Hubby and I had just returned from a very failed move to Florida.  I guess I’m just a Oregon girl through and through.  I had to restart at my job and didn’t have insurance when I got two very nasty spider bites.  We assumed they were brown recluse but couldn’t be 100% sure.  They started out like small pimples on my hips and quickly went down hill from there.  With no insurance I wasn’t going to go to the doctor, and I was still very new to the herbal healing.  We tried all types of goofy things, including strapping cut potatoes to my hips in attempt to draw out the poison, man did that hurt!  Very long story short, eventually they healed.  During that process we learned a lot about spider bites and how to treat them.  Since that time I’ve been PLAGUED with spider bites.  Apparently I taste very good to spiders, lucky me.  So here are a few tips that helped me.

Magnesium: This is your #1 best treatment for spider bites!  This might be why potatoes were suggested, but don’t do the potatoes unless that is all you have.  We keep a bottle of magnesium pills around the house at all times.  When I get a bite, we grind up a pill or two and add just enough water to create a paste.  Put that paste on your bite and cover with a band-aid.  Once the magnesium dries it will harden, often times I will peel it off in order to have it pull out the puss/core.  This usually needs to be repeated a few times, but if this is all you have, you will heal your spider bite!  I learned this tip after my horrible bite, but I’ve never forgot it.

Well-Horse:  This stuff is made from the Amazon, it’s some kind of resin.  When I had my last bite, I went to our feed and seed (which we are VERY close with the staff) and was talking to a friend that works there.  He gave the store bottle of Well-Horse to try.  I took it home and Hubby applied it every time I got out of the shower (the bite was on the back of my leg, that’s what I get for gathering wood in a skirt).  This stuff is amazing!  Not only does it work super well on spider bites but it works on cuts and scrapes, and of course as the name suggests… you can use this on your animals.  The reason I love it the best is that it actually forces your body to scab.  Of course you will want to make sure whatever you are putting it on is thoroughly cleaned before applying.  My dog recently sliced his pad open, there was blood all over the floor when he came in from playing and he was licking like crazy.  I ended up putting a bit of Well-Horse on it and I never noticed it bothering him again.  The stuff is expensive (certainly compared to a bottle of magnesium), but a bottles seems like it will last forever.  Check your local feed and seed for it or you can go to Well-Horse’s website here http://www.well-horse.com/

Generally though my first line of defense is a homemade herbal healing salve.  If you have never made a salve this healing salve would be the place to start.  It is where I started. 🙂  I still make it and honestly I get requests for it ALL the time, especially from my Mom friends who use it on their babies bums for diaper rash and irritation.  They tell me it is the only thing they use and it works, so far I’ve had two different friends ask for more (we gave out tins of it for our wedding to the guests).  Salves are easy, I never measure anymore everything I do is generally by sight and experience.  So a salve is basically herbs that are soaked in some kind of oil and beeswax, that’s it.  For containers I look on craigslist for boxes of baby food jars and I ask my family and friends to save me their bottles, or used Altoid cans.  Also check out thrift stores for tins/jars.  A general salve ratio is 1 part beeswax to 3 parts oil.  So if you use 3 oz of oil you would use 1 oz of beeswax.  A scale really helps when you are starting.  If you want to be a bit “free” like me you can just add how much bees wax you think is enough and then dip a spoon in it and put it in the freezer to see how hard it becomes.  Ok I’m getting ahead of myself.  Lets just make the salve already!

Herbs you need are Calendula, Plaintain (the herb/weed not the “banana”), St John’s Wart, and Comfrey (which I talked about yesterday).  We grow our own Calendula, Plantain pretty much grows in everyone’s yard (and is perfect if you get stung by a bee! This stuff pulls out toxins.  Just chew up a leaf then put that mash on your sting and presto! Gone), St John’s Wart I bought at first but have found it grows up where Hubby’s Grandma lives so we harvested a bunch last year, and then Comfrey.

Oils: I usually use what I have on hand.  Olive oil works, I’ve used Grapeseed oil, Sunflower oil, Safflower oil… but almost always now I put some coconut oil in.  Coconut oil is solid below 75 F and helps add to the solidity of the salve, plus it’s super good for your skin.

Method: Get a pot out, measure (or eyeball) your oil then put your burner on low.  You want equal parts of your herbs.  So if you pick 1 oz then you use 1 oz of each herb.  I generally grab them and throw them in, but in the beginning I measured so carefully.  You add your herbs to your oil and let it sit (generally I cover it) for at least an hour on low.  Our new house has gas and this doesn’t work for me anymore, the oil starts to boil.  So I would turn it on low, don’t cover it and stir constantly.  Once the oil gets to the point it’s about to boil, turn off the gas for a while.  Then go back and do that again.  There is no special time here, an hour is a general time, I’ve done it longer and shorter and had wonderful products after.  Check on it from time to time, stir it, make sure it’s not boiling… After it’s sat in the oil then you take a cheese cloth (or an old T-shirt) and line a mesh strainer, pour the oil and herbs into another container and strain off the plant material.  Put your pot back on the stove on low, then you add your beeswax until melted, once it’s melted pour back your oil into the pan.  Warning: your oil will be cooler than the beeswax and it will harden a bit, this is normal and will melt again once everything gets up to temperature again.  Once everything is melted you’re ready to pour.  I forgot to mention that you should have your containers already washed and ready to go by this point.  Add about 5 drops of lavender essential oil to each container (or more if you love lavender… you can also put flowers in with your other herbs during the heating process).  I usually pour my liquid salve into a measuring cup with a pour spout on it.  It makes filling up the containers a lot easier.  Fill and let them sit until hard.  Label them with what you used and as “healing salve.”  I always make large batches so we have several jars of it on hand.  I give them away as the need comes, I use it on burns, cuts, scrapes… on the dogs (it’s ok if they lick it off it won’t harm them), on kids… the sky is the limit.  You’ll need to reapply it to whatever you are putting it on, probably a couple times a day and at the least once a day.  I love this stuff!  We have it around for all our neosporin needs 🙂  Cheap, easy and YOU made it.


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I am blessed to work for an Orthopedic Surgeon, so when I have small issues I can ask the MA (medical assistant)  to take an X-ray (although I’m not a fan of radiation, I do take daily iodine to help protect my thyroid from radiation) and I can go to my doctor with questions and I don’t have to pay those pesky specialist copays, in fact it’s all free, but trust me I work for it. 🙂  Anyway, several weeks ago I was having all sorts of pain when I woke up in the morning, the first steps were so painful I would limp.  Getting out of the car once I got to work, again painful enough to make me limp.  I’m not a rush to a doctor kind of person, so I just dealt with it and went on.  Soon I wasn’t even noticing it, but Sunday Hubby gave me a foot massage and all of a sudden that pain was back, yikes it hurt!  So Monday I asked the MA to take an X-ray, she didn’t see any breaks but would have the doc look at it.  We talked a bit yesterday, he didn’t see any fracture but said when I had pain in the morning to come talk to him.  This morning Hubby woke me up early to work out and train with him.  He is training for a MMA fight and I am helping him, holding the mitts and such.  It’s good for us both, we both could stand to lose some weight.  After our morning workout my foot was really aching.  I came in to work and went back and asked the doctor to talk more about it.  When I described my pain (both on the bottom and on top, with pain shooting up my leg) he basically said that it’s probably a stress fracture that he can’t see on the X-ray and that I have to stay off it.  How am I gonna lose weight that way doc?  He suggested a stationary bike, which we don’t have, my trampoline is my workout of choice.  So I’m going to have to get creative, which is fine.  I am overweight and that has to change, although I’ve lost 5lb I do still have a ways to go and we are just getting going, I can’t stop now.  I talked to Hubby who said we’d modify the workouts so I don’t put pressure on that foot, but I do want to do more, so I’m gonna share my plan of action.

First off did you know there is an herb called “knitbone”?  Honestly this is one of my all time favorite herbs ever, Comfrey.  There is a bit of controversy with ingesting the herb, some say it shouldn’t be taken internally when you have liver issues, I don’t have liver issues and I have drank comfrey in many teas for many different healing needs, for many years.  I love the stuff, Hubby drinks it too.  We don’t drink it daily but when your body needs healing I think it’s a great herb.  However, it can also be used externally.  I think fresh works best external but we’re in the middle of winter, so I will use what we have dried.  Comfrey is used to heal bones (among other things).  The first time I heard of it was through an herbal website I belonged to (pay every month kind of thing) the owners son had broken his arm, above the cast the would put daily comfrey poultices on his shoulder to help heal the bone.  We are lucky to have found a huge comfrey patch behind a friend’s house and harvested a lot of this precious herb.  I think this should be growing in everyone’s garden.  So I will add water to my dried comfrey then I will blend it and put that mash on my foot and let it sit, I’ll probably do as long as I can, hopefully an hour a day, while I knit.  Here is a picture of comfrey:

Secondly I just read on Livestrong.com that arnica is a good herb for stress fractures as well.  Arnica is STRICTLY for external use, do not ingest it for whatever reason, it is POISONOUS!  Ok that out-of-the-way, it is used topically all the time for bruises and non open injuries (ie the skin is not broken, again you don’t want this inside your body for any reason).  I have an arnica gel that I purchased and used it on sore muscles, bumps, bruises etc.  But I have dried arnica as well and I will probably include some of that to my comfrey poultice.

Lastly I am going to make sure I take some supplements that strengthen bones.  I already take these things but I think I will ramp them up for a few weeks.  I take coral calcium daily, but I will increase my daily intake.  I also take food grade diatomaceous earth, which contains silica which is a big component to building strong bones.  I won’t spend a lot of time on the DE but I did do a blog post on this already (https://virtuousgracious.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/food-grade-diatomaceous-earth/) so read that if you want more information on diatomaceous earth.  Lastly I am going to also start drinking more raw milk and eat more raw butter.  We get our milk from a local lady, have also had raw goat milk.  Technically our raw milk is for “animal” consumption because Oregon has a silly law that raw cows milk can’t be sold for human consumption, but… raw goats milk can?  I know, I don’t get it either.

I will keep you updated on the healing process, the hard part is because no break is showing up on the X-ray I will only be able to tell it’s better by how it feels.  I am praying for a speedy recovery, I have wanted to get into jogging and this is putting a wrench in that plan.  God gave us all we need for healing, I am convinced of it every time I look to herbs for a remedy.

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One of my go to snack foods has always been crackers, but if you look at the ingredients of any of the boxes you find a lot of not so great for you things.  Hydrogenated oils (read more about these toxic oils here http://www.naturalnews.com/024694_oil_food_oils.html ) sugar, preservatives… you name it.  Most of the ingredients are not whole food ingredients, and if they don’t come from God why are we putting it into our temples?  Since I’ve been doing sourdough however,  I have found a lovely alternative.  Sourdough crackers are crispy, crunchy and delicious!

You add your sourdough starter to your flour and let it sour over night, I’ve actually got busy after I started these and let them sit on my counter for a couple of days and they still turn out amazing.  Mostly I’ve used raw butter but you can also use coconut oil.  The souring process breaks down the phytic acid and makes the grains much more easily digested, it doesn’t have to take the  minerals and vitamins from your body to break it down, thus giving you a much healthier option.  Plus the only limits you have in variety is the limits in your imagination.  After you sour your dough, you roll it out pretty thin, cook them in a hot oven until golden brown and let sit until cool (if you can wait).   Then you can either top them with some cheese or just eat them plain.  Then do not last in my house!  Last time I made a double batch and still they didn’t last.

For flavor options you can always steal ideas you see in stores, sun dried tomato and garlic, cheese, thyme and rosemary… Once I have my dough soured I add my additions before rolling it out.  They say you aren’t suppose to “play” with your dough too much because it won’t be as crispy and crunchy but so far I haven’t had this issue.  I’ve made cheese, where I grate cheese (I used Tillamook Pepperjack) then I took a handful put it on top of my dough and then kneaded it in, took more once that was incorporated and kneaded that in, until I had what I thought was enough.  The cheese blended in, so it was a guessing game as to how much, but once they cooked… oh my! They had the most amazing cheese flavor and it was natural not some chemical cheese flavoring.   Hubby wanted a type of graham cracker, so I made plain crackers and wiped the top with coconut oil.  I used my fingers (since my body temp heated up the coconut oil) but you can melt some and use a brush to brush the top.  Then I added a cinnamon/sugar mix we have (that we put on toast from time to time) and baked them.  It was a sweet treat and I got to control the amount put on top so you know how much sugar you are using, rather than getting what you get from a pre-packaged box.

Two years ago we had a crazy summer, most people here in Oregon didn’t get red tomatoes, people still call it “the year of green tomatoes.”  Thankfully we were not those people and actually ended up with so many tomatoes we didn’t know what to do with them.  So we dehydrated them and I’ve been putting them in soups and spaghetti and on homemade pizza with great success.  I cut them up and throw them in the dough and they taste like sun-dried tomatoes.  We also went mushroom hunting and have dehydrated chanterelle’s that I have added to soups and such, I bet these would make a fun addition to some crackers.

I believe that the more we make ourselves the healthier we will be.  We control what goes into the food, there are no secrets, no mystery chemicals, no cancer causing materials, just whole fresh food that is made with love.  I guarantee that if you give some homemade sourdough crackers a try, they won’t last in your house either.   Make some farmers cheese or some yogurt cheese (like cream cheese with a bit of a bite) and put that on top for some homemade probiotic cheesy goodness.

Make what you and your family like to eat.  I guarantee they will be gone before you know it and you’ll be setting more dough out to sour.  I can’t believe how easy these are and how cheaply the can be made!  There really is no reason to buy crackers at the store anymore.  Sourdough does take some planning ahead so you can soak the phytic acid out, but there is joy in planning nutritious food for you and your family.

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