August 23, 2012

Doomed to a Life of Dentist Bills...

I was peeled over in pain exams week of my Sophomore year in college. My teeth were killing me. I could barely eat, let alone focus on studying the pain was so severe. Having no money to see anyone I had my roommate call her dad so that he could prescribe me an antibiotic to kill the infection in my tooth. My parents paid for a root canal as soon as I got home. But this was only the beginning.

Four years and one baby later the dentist told me I had eleven cavities and needed another root canal. The only reason I went into the dentist was because my teeth were hurting so bad I couldn't take it anymore. This was while eating a low fat and highly refined sugar and grain diet. I had lost weight on Weight Watchers prior to getting married and followed the same principles after getting married and having a baby. We owed thousands to the dentist that year.

I figured it was the pregnancy, right? People were telling me that being pregnant is a strain on your body and your teeth might suffer. I was told that if you don't have enough nutrients for the baby, they will be taken from your teeth. Also, my family has bad teeth. I figured that I didn't have a choice, I was going to have bad teeth. My pregnancy confirmed it. I was doomed to a life of dentist bills. 

Enter Weston A. Price. A dentist who changed my life. 

When my daughter was eight months old I started reading the work of the Weston Price Foundation. I couldn't stop reading. It hit me - the research, the wisdom, all of it - I couldn't ignore it or stop reading!

Weston Price was dentist who, in the 1920's traveled the world studying people's teeth. Not just anyone's teeth, though! He studied certain indigenous cultures on what they ate and what their teeth looked like. He found that some people did not suffer tooth decay and yet others suffered terribly. What he discovered was amazing. The research is now continued through the Weston Price Foundation.

What the foundation had to say was mind blowing. Butter, lard and saturated fats are good for you? What's cod liver oil? Babies should eat raw egg yolks? Organ meats are nutritional powerhouses? We need to prepare our grains? Raw milk, whaaaaat?

I couldn't stop researching and researching. It changed my life forever. Finally some information about health and nutrition that made sense. It was not a fad diet, a trick to get you to buy something or one doctor's opinion. The Weston Price Foundation is a non-profit research institute. What they are saying is truly amazing and counter cultural.

When my daughter was 13 months old we conceived again. Needless to say, I was concerned about my teeth at this point. I was ready for more cavities, more dentist bills.

Throughout the pregnancy I ate plenty of raw milk, pastured meats with all the fat, tons of butter, some cod liver oil, soaked grains, eggs and veggies. I still had my fair share of sweets. Try keeping those away from a pregnant lady!

After my son was born I went back to the dentist for our usual check up. Not one cavity from the entire pregnancy. I was ecstatic! I could also tell my teeth were stronger and less sensitive to hot and cold.  My teeth have been feeling great ever since we changed our diet - something I never thought could happen!

At times when I start to eat a little more sugar than usual I can feel my teeth starting to hurt. I know it's a sign to back off a little. I take some cod liver oil and pour me a glass of raw milk. It usually stops hurting within 20 minutes.

Thank you to my favorite dentist, Weston Price! You rock!

Linking up at Fat Tuesday, Pennywise Platter and Fill Those Jars Friday 

August 17, 2012

The Easiest Way To Sprout Beans

Having grown up in mini Mexico, beans are a comfort food. I could eat them every day, they taste so good! On another hand they take a little effort and time to traditionally prepare them. And lets face it, who wants to spend more time in the kitchen? Let's figure out this traditional cooking the lazy easy way!

I can got into many reasons why it's best to sprout or soak your beans before you eat them, but others have done the research for me! I know they are easier to digest,  have more nutrients and don't cause gas when they're sprouted or soaked. Now we're talking.

Did I mention it's so easy to sprout your beans? It takes some planning, but well worth the effort to get the most out of this nutrient dense and frugal food. 

To make it frugal and easy, we:

  1. Buy beans in bulk. If you have access to Azure Standard or another food co-op it's a great way to save on beans. You may also be able to find them in the bulk section of your store. 

     2. Spout in bulk. I make sure to spout, cook and freeze enough beans for a few meals. It cuts down
         on the kitchen time. 

The Laziest Easiest Way to Spout Beans:

1. Grab your gallon jar or large bowl and fill half with beans.

2. Cover the beans with water and add an acid medium such as: apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, whey, kefir or yogurt. 1-2 tablespoons should be enough.  This is an important step.

3. Soak the beans overnight. Drain and let the beans sit in a colander near or in the kitchen sink.

4. A few times a day rinse and mix the beans.

5. Watch them sprout! Depending on the bean it may take 1 to 4 days to start showing little sprouts. Once the sprouts are about 1/4 - 1/2 inch you can cook them. Enjoy!

Linking up at Fight Back Friday, Fill Those Jars Friday, Pennywise Platter and Simple Lives Thursday

August 9, 2012

Martha and Mary: The Dignity and Drudgery of Housework

This is a guest post written by one of the lovely mothers who writes for the Soul Gardening Journal, a ministry for mothers. If you like what you read, please sign up to receive a journal and make a donation if you can, it's a wonderful cause!

When we think about the big picture, it’s easy to see how motherhood is a wonderful and worthy vocation: tending beautiful fresh souls, forming responsible citizens, partaking in God’s creativity through the conception of children. But it’s so easy to get mired in the details. How is it that dishes breed and multiply when your back is turned? And then there’s my white plastic kitchen floor that has to be wiped and re-wiped all day. (Why would anyone put white plastic flooring in a kitchen? Don’t they know what people do in kitchens?) These chores make me resentful, because they don’t have a permanent result. They don’t serve any purpose except perhaps to spare the world from dreadful new diseases that might be breeding in my kitchen.

These are the chores that we mothers repeat over and over, never completing, never perfecting, that like the poor are always with us: the endless rounds of dishes, the endless sweeping and wiping of floors. If I am not careful, they can embitter my heart, till I am grumbling like Martha in the Gospel, “It’s just not fair! Why should I spend my precious hours and waste my expensive education standing in front of a sink, folding laundry, peeling vegetables.

It is a petty problem, I admit, especially in light of the more heroic and difficult things mothers do—beside childbirth, for instance. But so many hours of our day go into these brainless tasks. We need to know that our hours are not being wasted, that we are making a difference in the world. The solution, of course, is very simple. It lies in converting our heart so that we can be both Martha and Mary, sitting at the Master’s feet AND getting supper on. Serving, but serving with love. Tying the toddler’s shoelaces with sweet patience, rather than “AAAAAACK (shriek) PUSH your foot in! PUSH it!”

When I was 16, I stayed at Madonna House, a community of lay people who live and work together and serve the poor. Madonna House has built a whole spirituality around work, teaching that the “duty of the moment” is God’s very will for you, and that work is a holy thing, even if it’s not personally fulfilling. I remember a lovely woman named Kathleen pinning back her long dark hair and rolling up her sleeves, to work. “You know,” she said, smiling, “I love cleaning. When we clean we are helping to restore the world. We are transforming it in Christ.” She began to wipe down the industrial kitchen so gracefully, so peacefully.

“Any work you do for a selfless purpose, without thought of profit, is actually a form of prayer… Do we not hallow places by our very commitment to them?” These words are from a secular vegetarian cookbook (Laurel’s Kitchen) When I read them they sent a shiver down my back as they resonated with the Catholic fibres of my soul. To “hallow a place,” to make it holy. Surely we can make our homes holy by the attitude we bring to them, turning the sink and floors into an altar, the food and laundry into sacraments? This is the permanent gift we desire so much to give. Long after our children have forgotten whether or not the laundry got put away, or whether supper was peanut-butter sandwiches, they will remember their mother. Was she always fretting and anxious, grumpy and irritable? Or was she peaceful and kind because she knew that love was more important than laundry?

 —Mary, the Canadian.

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August 6, 2012

Chewy Brownies that You Won't Want to Share!

It is very important to me that my brownies are chewy. Very chewy. We takes our sweets seriously around here and this is our favorite, chewy brownie recipe! In fact, we've never had better! It reminds me of back in the day when I used to buy Ghirardelli's brownie mix because it was the only chewy brownie out there. Homemade brownies would never cut it, but not anymore!  I mean, how can you go wrong when you mix chocolate chips with peanut and almond butter? You won't be able to stop eating these!

Chewy Almond Butter Brownies

1/2 c. Almond Butter
1/2 c.Natural Peanut Butter
1 egg
1/2 c. Honey
 1/4 c. Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 - 1 c. Chocolate Chips (depending on your sweet tooth!)

The way in which these are baked is very important. I have made these over and over to perfect the chewy aspect of brownies. So follow carefully!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all ingredients in a mixer. Grease 8 x 8 glass baking dish with coconut oil or butter. Make sure to grease well. (I am not sure how an aluminum or stainless pan will turn out.)  

Now this is important: After spooning batter into pan, scrape most of the batter to the middle to make it look like a hill. Most of the batter need to be in the middle of the glass dish. If you do not do this, the batter will rise up the side and it will be uneven and dry. (who knows why it does this, but I have had success with the hilltop brownies!) They come out very even and chewy.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool and enjoy with a glass of raw milk!

"The cross is the greatest gift God could bestow on His Elect on earth.  There is nothing so necessary, so beneficial, so sweet, or so glorious as to suffer something for Jesus. If you suffer as you ought, the cross will become a precious yoke that Jesus will carry with you."
        -  St. Louis de Montfort

Linking up at Fill Those Jars Friday Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday and  Real Food Wednesday.

August 1, 2012

Go Ahead, Have a Little Muffin with your Butter

I dare you. It's so good you can't just eat one. 

 These are my go-to, memorized, crowd pleasing muffins. They are just sweet enough to eat as a breakfast muffin, and perfect for a birthday party cupcake topped with icing. They will please the people who never want to touch a gluten free bake good or healthy desert! They won't even know they have been duped! 

We eat ours with butter. Lots of butter. If you have 30 minutes to spare then you can make these all-star muffins!



Vanilla Bomb Cakes {GAPS, Paleo}

6 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter
1/2 cup sifted coconut flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt coconut oil. Combine eggs, vanilla, sea salt, baking soda and honey in mixer or bowl. Blend well. Add sifted coconut flour. Mix together and slowly add melted coconut oil. I often have to "whip" mine to smooth out the lumps and incorporate all the coconut flour. It will be the consistency of cake batter. Keep mixing if your batter is lumpy or separated. Bake for 15 minutes. Makes 10 - 12 cupcakes. 


Linking up at Pennywise Platter

"Joy must be one of the pivots of our life. It is the token of a generous personality. Sometimes it is also a mantle that clothes a life of sacrifice and self-giving. A person who has this gift often reaches high summits. He or she is like a sun in a community. Let those who suffer find in us comforting angels." - Blessed Mother Teresa
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