Lots of good reading on the web over the past month! I’d like to share a few of the things that caught my eye in January. I love to read and am keeping tabs on an ever expanding group of writers. People that write about food certainly, but many who write on other topics of interest to myself, and hopefully as modern-day Granny gonna-be’s, they’ll be interesting to you too :-).
On Food and Taking Care of Yourself
Vegetarianism – It’s really easy to understand why the idea of going vegetarian is so appealing to so many. I was attracted to this diet myself as a young woman. There are many reasons why this is a bad idea though. If you or anyone you’re close to has considered becoming a vegetarian give Craig Fear’s article a good read before making a decision. Craig was a vegetarian for many years and speaks from personal experience. He feels that while it’s possible to eat a healthy vegetarian diet it is quite difficult so he does not recommend it. I agree that ovo-lacto vegetarianism could work well for some, if they have access to plenty of raw milk, cheeses and good pastured eggs. But in most industrialized countries that is a very big if.
Sleep – Who here always gets a good night’s sleep? Okay, I see one or two hands raised ;-). Some fresh ideas on how to improve your sleep in this post. I found the suggestion on fermented food particularly intriguing in light of my new years resolution to bump up the quantity of fermented foods I’m eating this year. Hope it makes for a good nights rest!
Gallbladder – Anyone with gallbladder issues should really consider giving a gallbladder cleanse a try before resorting to surgery. It’s cheap and easy to do and from what I’ve read around the web has resolved many peoples gallbladder troubles. Lot of individuals reporting success with it, and Dina-Marie at Cultured Palate is one of them.
Stress – This is my absolute favorite de-stressor at the end of long day. Well, ok maybe wine is first but this is a clear second! An epsom salt bath relaxes every muscle in your body. So maybe an epsom salt bath with wine? Hmmmmm ….
Asthma – If you or anyone you know has asthma you simply must read this post on how Danelle at Weed ‘Em and Reap reversed her child’s asthma! I too have asthma and feel so badly for all the little ones struggling with this disease. Danelle credits raw goats milk with much of her son’s recovery. I’ve experienced much of the same kinds of improvements on raw cow’s milk and cannot recommend it highly enough for asthma sufferers. My asthma is far more entrenched than a child’s of course, but I did see a very marked improvement when I began drinking large quantities of raw milk. But that story is long enough to need it’s own post :-).
Coffee – Coffee, oh coffee, how I love thee! But I am still on the fence as to whether or not I should continue to drink it. As someone with many symptoms of inflammation I’ve been self-medicating with coffee for years. Many studies are coming out that show coffee has anti-inflammatory properties and I believe I can vouch for that! But I fear that temporary reduction may come at the cost of triggering a rebound cycle by being rough on the adrenals, affecting cortisone, and triggering further inflammation. So I’m not sure … but I do love my coffee! Elizabeth at Living the Nourished Life writes about the health benefits of coffee and why she’s drinking coffee everyday. One thing’s for sure, coffee is traditional in the sense that many generations have drank coffee with regularity while living to a ripe old age.
Broth – Broth can be taken very very simply in just a cup with a little salt. Or you can do it up quickly with a few spices and make something really special! Homemade Mommy’s No Flu Tea will help keep you healthy and flu free this winter.
Recipes and Ingredients
Fermented Foods – This past month fermented recipes like this beet and carrot-ginger kvass have really been catching my eye. Now that I’ve made up my mind about what fermenting containers will work well for me I’m really working on building good fermentation habits. I haven’t jumped on the kombucha bandwagon as of yet but this recipe for basic kombucha really makes me consider it! Fermented drinks were a big hit here last summer and when the warm weather begins here in Texas in about a month I might just add it to the rotation. These preserved lemons made me dream of fermented lemonade and these crunchy lacto-fermented pickles are so very easy to make.
Deserts – Baked apple slices are a quick and easy desert for those on the GAPS diet as well as those who aren’t. I know I love ‘em. My favorite little treat for the winter is a lovely warming hot chocolate made with real raw milk.
Main Dishes and Sides – I like to keep up my liver intake so a variation on beef liver soup is always most welcome. And another variation I will just have to try is this chicken nuggets with curry. I hadn’t thought to try curry in my nuggets but curry is a great favorite with my husband and sons so I bet it will be a hit! I’d love to try a variation of this Finnish dish Real Food Suomi shared for reindeer or beef stew. This is so simple but quite different from most stew recipes.
Ingredients – Always looking for new ways to add more coconut oil into my families diet, so of course 10 uses for coconut oil that you haven’t tried got my attention right away. Lots of non-food ideas here too. Wondering about stevia? I haven’t looked into it much since I greatly prefer more traditional sweeteners and haven’t any reason to switch. But for those with diabetes or who for other reasons need a substitute Holistic Squid found that stevia can be a healthy sweetener when you use care in choosing your source or make an extract yourself.
The Word ‘Natural’ and all that it implies – I love words and dissecting the meaning of words. And the word ‘Natural’ is definitely a loaded one in modern culture. What exactly do we mean when we use it? Food companies use our assumptions about what this word means against us in the marketing of processed foods. Always remember the word ‘Natural’ has no legal meaning on a food label. It doesn’t mean organic, or wholesome, or real or any of the other things we tend to assume it means about the food product we’re looking at. Food marketers can use ‘Natural’ freely putting it on most anything they like!
Easy-Living Granny Style
Homemade Cleaning – Robin at Thank Your Body shares my extreme dislike of chemical air fresheners and has written a recipe for homemade fabreeze to share with us. I have wood floors and slipcovers so I can launder away most any fabric smell problem we may acquire, but there are still a few things around the house that just won’t fit in the washer! I’ll have to try it out. I still use bleach from time to time though it is a decided irritant. I plan to try out this homemade bleach soon.
Frugality – I’ll bet your Granny wasn’t a fashion plate … mine sure wasn’t! Sure she enjoyed a little something fashionable from time to time but it wasn’t the center of her universe. Good food and her family were the axis around which her world spun. Courtney at The Polivka Family is keeping with that tradition. So rock on Courtney! Keep on being a fashion rebel! And to the rest of us, myself included, remember fashion costs money, lots of money. I don’t have that kind of money and I’ll bet you don’t either ;-)!
Simple solutions are usually the most frugal way to handle things. Small Footprint Family starts off this post on radical simplicity with an Einstein quote that is helpful to keep in mind while choosing amongst options. That quote is ““Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.” Amen to that!
Habits – To move our diets closer to a 100% real food diet we all have to develop good habits. Trouble is we all want to dive in and change too much all at once. Baby stepping our way to real food is the way to make permanent changes.
Parenting – As a former picky eater myself I enjoyed this post on how to survive as the parent of a picky eater. I know my pickiness caused my parents much worry and concern and probably embarrassment. I loved the firmness of the advice in this post while keeping positive. I’d also add having a warm empathetic talk about the exact sensations the child is experiencing. Too many adults dismissed my refusal to eat more than a few bites as willful disobedience. Thankfully my family understood though. I do think that my sensory issues were often triggered by chemical smells and tastes that my siblings just didn’t pick up on.
So many more I could tell you about but I think I’ll have to stop here or I’ll have a mile long post ;-). So you can take over now … what did you find that you loved in January?
This post is shared at Homestead Barnhop, , Fat Tuesday and Show Me What Ya Got, Works For Me Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday,Simple Lives Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions and Fight Back Friday.