I had a very proud moment not long ago when my almost four year old asked me, “Mama, what’s an Oreo?” Of course that was followed by, “Can I have one?” I have to say that my little ones are amazingly understanding when I explain that a certain food isn’t healthy or isn’t something we eat. Either they really trust me or they know on some level that those foods make them feel bad. Maybe a combination of the two. I keep wondering when they are going to start to fight me on it though. As I’ve mentioned before I do make exceptions for very special occasions, but I also realize that this can be a slippery slope and I have to draw the line somewhere. A play date or a visit with a relative (while special) is not a special occasion that deserves cake and cookies every time. There’s definitely a cultural perception that sugary treats are a right of passage for kids and it’s not always easy to “shelter” them from the constant offering of non-nutritive (a.k.a. junk) food or the marketing that perpetuates the idea that it’s “normal.” One thing that helps is keeping homemade, sweet treats on hand on a pretty regular basis. Consequently I’ve come up with an arsenal of semi-healthy recipes that I can pull out when I’m starting to feel like the Big Mean Mommy Who Always Says No. Continue reading
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Have you ever had a friend say to you (with frustration), “I eat well, I exercise, I get good sleep, but I still don’t feel well?” Maybe you’ve even said it yourself. These are all important pieces of the wellness puzzle and they are all great. Sometimes you stumble about the perfect combination and any dis-ease you are feeling disappears. Some of us have to uncover those missing pieces. Those hidden, internal stressors that may create symptoms or even sabotage our other efforts. Breath is one of these things. We all know that we need air to live, but most of us leave it at that. Breath is like food, however…the source and the quality mean everything!
I have to admit, when snacking off the grid I sometimes feel like I eat a lot of bird food…so sometimes I have to get creative. Nuts and seeds, when properly prepared are wonderful sources of healthy fats, complementary proteins and a host of micronutrients.
Sunflower seeds provide significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium. These nutrients are known to calm and detoxify the entire body, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and help prevent heart both heart disease and cancer (source).
Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are another super seed which are known for promoting prostate health, increasing bone density and reducing inflammation better than pharaceuticals!
“The healing properties of pumpkin seeds have also been recently investigated with respect to arthritis. In animal studies, the addition of pumpkin seeds to the diet has compared favorably with use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in reducing inflammatory symptoms. Importantly, though, pumpkin seeds did not have one extremely unwanted effect of indomethacin: unlike the drug, pumpkin seeds do not increase the level of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in the linings of the joints, a side-effect that actually contributes to the progression of arthritis.” (source)
Birds must be amazing healthy little critters, but I bet they are jealous that they don’t have these tasty seeds!
TERIYAKI BIRD FOOD
- filtered water
- 1 – 2 TBS Celtic sea salt
- 1 lb raw sunflower seeds
- 1 lb raw pumpkin seeds
- 15 – 20 dates, soaked and drained
- 1 TBS ginger
- 2 TBS crushed garlic
- 2 TBS soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten free version)
- Place seeds in a large bowl and cover with filtered water. Add 1 – 2 TBS of Celtic sea salt and soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain. Should be about 8 C soaked seeds.
- About an hour before seeds are done soaking bring a pot of filtered water to a boil and then remove from heat, add dates and cover. Allow dates to soak for 1 hour. Drain.
- In a food processor, process soaked dates until a smooth paste forms.
- Add ginger, garlic and soy sauce and continue to process.
- Scrape paste into bowl with soaked and drained seeds and mix well to coat.
- Place on non-stick dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for about 20 hours at 115° degrees. Or use the oven method (below)*.
- Store in air tight glass jars.
Eat Well, Be Well (Tweet, Tweet),
*OVEN DEHYDRATING METHOD
Spread items to be dehydrated out onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and place in the oven. If you have a convection setting use it, if not, prop the door open using a small metal object such as a measuring cup to allow air to circulate. Dehydrate at 150° (or your oven’s lowest possible temperature) for 8 – 12 hours or until crispy. You will lose some of the enzymes with this method, but will still have a yummy treat!
This post was shared on Read Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop.
|© Theodor38 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos|
It’s 100° in the shade in my neck of the woods. Just thinking about going outside makes me sweat. Yet my kids don’t seem at all fazed by the heat and they want to be out running in the grass every waking hour…sans shoes of course. I have to remind myself that they are intuitive little beings and they know on an unexplainable level that absorbing direct sunlight, breathing fresh air and making contact with the earth are essential to our well-being. They are unaffected by socials mores, weather and even safety. It feels good, so they want to do it.
Earthing (or erf-ing to those 4 and under) is simply making contact to the earth with your skin. A relatively new word, but certainly not a new concept. Our primal ancestors wore no shoes and they slept on the ground. They made contact with the earth 24/7. Now, we live in insulated homes, wear insulated shoes, drive insulated cars, and work in insulated offices. If we’re lucky we get a week at the beach to get grounded each summer.
When we touch the earth we absorb trillions of negatively charged ions into our body and research has shown many benefits of Earthing including
- Powerful antioxidant effects
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Shifts autonomic nervous system to parasympathetic “mode” ( this is the calming, “rest & digest” part)
- Reduces stress
- Thins blood by reducing blood viscosity
- Normalizes cortisol rhythm and melatonin secretion (improves sleep)
- Speeds healing time
Dr. Daniel Chong reports that his patients have less pain, increased healing and better sleep when they Earth regularly.
So next time your little one asks to take off her shoes and run in the grass keep in mind the importance of touching the earth and how much we have to learn from those little cavemen that run around our house.
Pound the cabbage.
Pound the cabbage.
Add the whey
Then you add the salt.
Tell me what you get.
To the tune of Frere Jacques
Yep, we’re the freaks that make up songs about stuff like sauerkraut. Actually the first time we sang it my now 3 year old sang “sauer-crap” which I thought was hysterical! She didn’t get it at the time, but I couldn’t help myself…I had to record it! We’ve been making it for years and the kids have been helping since they were old enough to “pound the cabbage.” And what little kid doesn’t love to pound stuff right? Put that energy to work! Continue reading
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Got summer squash coming out of your ears? Here’s a wonderful recipe (adapted from allrecipes) for zucchini pancakes that’s great for breakfast lunch or dinner! Substitute any type of cheese you like. Top with fresh sliced tomatoes, a fried egg or both…you can’t go wrong!
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and then add the zucchini, onion, flour, cheese, and salt. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping spoonful, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden. Add more oil as needed.
|© Tanyae | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos|
If you’ve been as inspired as I have by the Real Food Summit and you are trying to incorporate more fish into your diet, here’s a quick and easy sauce that goes great with almost any fish and includes dill, which is a great herb on so many levels…and it’s in season!
“Dill’s unique health benefits come from two types of healing components: monoterpenes, including carvone, limonene, and anethofuran; and flavonoids, including kaempferol and vicenin.
The monoterpene components of dill have been shown to activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the anti-oxidant molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that would otherwise do damage in the body. The activity of dill’s volatile oils qualify it as a “chemoprotective” food (much like parsley) that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens, such as the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators.” (source)
1 C full fat sour cream
3 – 4 TBS chopped dill
1 TBS prepared horseradish
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients and taste test. Adjust dill and horseradish as needed. That’s it…easy peasy! Serve with fish or veggies.
Eat Well, Be Well,
This post was shared on Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop
|© Softdreams | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos|
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation. (source)
“The increase in world linoleic acid consumption—that’s omega-6—over the past century may be considered a very large uncontrolled experiment that may have contributed to increased societal burdens of aggression, depression and cardiovascular mortality.” –Dr. Joseph Hibbelen, NIH
- Iodine: supports thyroid function, metabolism, gut function & immune health
- Selenium: important antioxidant enzyme which regulates thyroid and increases immunity. FYI Brazil nuts are the highest source of this nutrient! Because selenium binds with mercury, mercury containing fish are not a good source, but the flip side of this is that the selenium protects us from the oxidative brain damage associated with mercury ingestion.
- Vitamin D: strengthens bones, balances the immune system and lowers disease risk. We can get this from the sun but conversion is not the same for everyone. Inflammation and obesity can prevent proper conversion.