Friday, April 6, 2012

Vita-Mix Review-4 Years Later

Well, it's been more then 4 years since I bought my Vita-Mix. And I don't think more then a few days have gone by at a time, where I didn't use it and think how grateful I am for it. 

That thing is literally a work-horse in my kitchen!  I am not a big fan of gadgets and would prefer to use less of them in my life, esp ones that use electricity.  But, I don't know what I would do without this one.  Actually, I did survive for 3 weeks without it while we were in Iowa for 3 weeks last fall.  But it was not easy, and I missed it very day.  Partly because I have chosen to prepare foods that use the Vita-Mix, as a matter of simplicity.

The machine works as well today as it did when I first brought it home 4 years ago.  I did buy 2 extra containers, each costing $100, which is why I paid $650 total.  We have not been eating wheat for 2 years, but I loved the dry container for that purpose when I needed it.  I have used it for grinding rice into flour a few times and it works great for that.  It saved me from having to buy a grain grinder, which are huge and expensive.  Since I only did small batches of wheat, it wasn't a problem at all for me.  I also love having the extra smaller wet container. Because I use it so many different things, I often have both containers in use.  But I could survive on only the one container if I needed to. :)


After 4 years, here are the pros and cons of the machine:

PROS:
~Easy to use
~Heavy-Duty
~Easy to Clean up (like, super, duper easy to clean up)
~Does not take up a lot of space
~Very good at blending fully-no little pieces (my SIL loves my mango smoothies and can't get it with her blender because it leaves little pieces still)
~Takes the place of many other appliances

Here are some kitchen appliances it can take the place of:
~Blender
~Ice Cream Maker
~Chopper/Food Processor
~Grain grinder
~Mixer


CONS:
~Loud
~Hard to get thick batter out thoroughly
~Expensive

Some of the things I use my Vita-Mix for:

~Smoothies
~Chopping veggies
~Chopping and grinding nuts/seeds/coconut flakes for granola, etc.
~Grinding crispy almonds to make almond flour
~Grinding rapadura
~White Sauce
~Mayonnaise
~Making frosting
~Ice Cream
-Tomato/Veggie Sauces
~Pestos
-Blended Soups
-Nut butter
~Applesauce (with peels)
~Fruit leathers
~Pate
~Pudding
~White Bean Vanilla Cake
~Chocolate Coconut Cake
~Pancakes
~Soothers/Hot Chocolate


Now, the real question on everyone's mind is-can you buy a cheaper blender and still do what you do with the Vita-Mix.  I am guessing that you could do most of the things with a cheaper blender, but I the motor would burn out much faster, and, it would not do as good of a job. If you put frozen fruit in a regular blender, there will be chunks.  Raspberry seeds, not a big fan.  But with the Vita-Mix, they are pulverized completely.  And you could not do nut butters in a regular blender, or chop the seeds/nuts.  You would need a food chopper/processor for that.

I do wish I could make juice without the fiber.  So I have a juicer still.  And I do still use my Kitchen Aid for things like fish cakes and mashed squash and fat cookies .

So, that is the low-down of my Vita-Mix, after 4 years of constant use.  Definitely 2 thumbs up and worth every penny!

I posted this in Real Food Wednesday.

GAPS Beet Sausage Soup Recipe

This has been one of our favorite soups this winter.  We love beets and we love sausage.  Perfect!

It's simple, as are most soups.

The sausage does have some sugar in it, but according to NCM, a little bit is fine.  She suggests once a week for foods like this.  Someday I'll make my own sausage...

Ingredients:

2 Medium Beets, chopped
1 Onion chopped
1 Carrot, shredded
6 Mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 Links of Sausage (we like sweet Italian, Drew likes the spicy), chopped
1 Quart of homemade bone broth
1 Tbls dried basil
2 tsp dried dill
2 tsp dried onion
2 tsp dried garlic
1 tsp celtic sea salt

Directions:

Put all ingredients into a pan and bring to a boil.  Boil for 30 minutes and then turn on low and cover.  Cook for 2-6 hours. 

Yum!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Giving our Children Answers Before they Know they have Questions

When I agreed to take control of my kids' education (i.e. to homeschool them), I started to really read and research, and to think and question.  And I came up with lots of questions about the current state of education in America. 

I looked more closely at how Drew and I were educated, and the pluses and minuses that showed in our lives because of them.  Drew's mom homeschooled them using Abeka.  And I grew up using the ACE curriculum in a small Christian school.  Our education taught us, in theory, to question and think, although in reality something was missing still.  It used a lot of the ideas that I have come to love and believe in, but yet Drew and I were not the people I thought such training should produce.

After a lot of thinking, I decided that one thing that was missing in both of our lives was a lack of passion for learning new information.  We grasped how to learn new things, but we didn't have the drive to actually do it.

After watching my own kids learn.  And after 6 years of intense learning on my part, one conclusion I have come to is that giving people answers when they don't have questions is a sure-fire way of killing their passion for learning. 

And what is the conveyor belt method of schooling in America today, but giving kids answers to questions they haven't even thought to ask yet.  We shove answers down their throats and expect them to ace tests that show they remember all of this information.  But yet, there are no 'pegs' on which to hang this information.  There is no passion to ignite further research on these subjects.  Therefore, only the kids with amazing memories do well in today's schools.  (That would not be me, fyi, or my bubby-we have terrible memories, but great passion for things we care about) 

If you happen to see a child excelling at something, or even an adult in reality, you realize it's because it's something they have a passion for, a subject they love and crave more information on.

People remember things when they have some connection to their own, personal lives.  They have drive and enthusiasm to pursue more knowledge, when they really care about a subject.

I read 'The School and Society' and 'The Child and the Curriculum' by John Dewey last year.  They were 2 essays collected in a small book that I found at the thrift store.  And since it's a passion I have, I read it quickly.  Granted, it was dry and infuriating.  But I'm glad I read it, as it gave me a bigger picture of America's public school system today. 

He had some pretty psycho ideas, and I can see how the family  has been degraded in school based on his recommendations and socialistic thinking.  But, I read this little gem and loved it: 'The need that the more ordinary, direct, and personal experience of the child shall furnish problems, motives, and interests that necessitate recourse to books for their solution, satisfaction, and pursuit.  Otherwise, the child approaches the book without intellectual hunger, without alertness, without a questioning attitude, and the result is the one so deplorably common: such abject dependence upon books as weakens and cripples vigor of thought and inquiry, combined with reading for mere random stimulation of fancy, emotional indulgence, and flight from the world of reality into a make-believe land.'  This was at a time when the education of children in America was being taken away from the family, and therefore, out of a context that gave them plenty of mentors and motivation to learn and grow.  And Dewey and others involved in the mandatory education policies coming into vogue at that time, realized that many kids were losing their motivation to learn or do anything worthwhile. 

Doesn't that beautifully explain the vast amount of reading material available today, that is strictly fantasy and of no moral or educational value?  And the dizzying amount of people who are addicted to them, as a way to pass the time?  The art of reading for learning has been mostly lost.  People only know how to read for entertainment or 'emotional indulgence' these days.  Not that I'm opposed to that some, but how many people know how to read a book for actual learning and self-betterment?  Not many!  And I think a lot of that is because from a young age, children have been given answers to 'important' questions, and then given books simply as entertainment.

When a person sees a problem, and decides it is worth pursuing an answer, they can't be stopped.  If they have been equipped with the tools to research and learn, they can and will carry on until they have thought and struggled with the ideas on that subject, until they have some definitely answers in their heads.

But, if they are taught that the important things in life are easy answers to given questions, they start to believe that life is easy, and they don't learn to think and question.  True learning is exhausting, mentally and emotionally.  It takes time and thought, questions and frustrations.  It is far from easy.  But it is worth every ounce of effort.  And the person who has learned something 'the hard way'-figuring out an answer after realizing there is a question worth the effort, knows how true that is.  Imagine an America filled with people with such drive!

I like how John Gatto put it:
' Life according to school is dull and stupid, only consumption promises relief: Coke, Big Macs, fashion jeans, that's where real meaning is found, that is the classroom's lesson, however indirectly delivered.
The decisive dynamics which make forced schooling poisonous to healthy human development aren't hard to spot.  Work in classrooms isn't significant work; it fails to satisfy real needs pressing on the individual; it doesn't answer real questions experience raises in the young mind; it doesn't contribute to solving any problem encountered in actual life.  The  net effect of making all schoolwork external to individual longings, experiences, questions, and problems is to render the victim listless.  Growth and mastery come only to those who vigorously self-direct.  Initiating, creating, doing, reflecting, freely associating, enjoying privacy-these are precisely what the structures of schooling are set up to prevent, on one pretext or another.'

My own experience meshes with this perfectly.  If I'm given a book on a subject I don't currently have a passion for, I can often read it, but I will remember very little, and it will affect my life even less. But, give me a book on a subject that affects my life, and is dear to my heart (i.e. nutrition, Scripture, marriage, parenting, education), and no matter how difficult it is, I will read it with great enthusiasm and turn around in a few months and realize how much it has changed my thinking and my life.  The difference is amazing!

I can see it in my kids' lives as well.  When I just give them random information on any subject, sometimes they remember it, sometimes they don't.  But, if they ask me a question based on something they have seen, heard or experienced that affected them in some way, they remember the answers, ask more questions and get really excited about the subject.  I've tried to talk to them about something I thought they should know, randomly, and it just never seems to stick.

As I educate and mentor my children, I am trying to create 'needs' for information, before providing the answers.  If I find they are lacking in information in a certain area, I am trying to learn to create the desire for that information, before giving them the actual info.  Sometimes that is as simple as asking a question at the right time.  Sometimes it means putting them in some awkward situations where they realize they really need some information they don't have.  But I think, mostly, it means just exposing them to lots of things in everyday life, and then watching for their interest to be piqued.  And then, following up on that with some books and discussion on the subject.

I do find that 'homeschooling' more naturally allows for this type of learning.  The amount of questions that come up in any given day is dizzying!  All of life is explored together in deep and meaningful ways, and so the questions tend to come up naturally, and we are in a position where we can naturally explore the questions and answers together.  

I believe it is this kind of passion and drive for thinking and learning, that will keep America free.  It's too important to let go! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Grain-Free Granola Recipes

I remade my granola recipe to be GAPS-friendly/grain-free.  It's not as sweet, and it's insanely expensive, but also filling.  So we don't need as much to make us full. 

We also don't digest seeds or nuts well, so we only have this a few times a week as a treat.  But it sure is nice to have an easy meal, with so few dishes to wash.

1.  GAPS Honey Granola Recipe

3 cups of crispy almonds
3 cups of crispy sunflower seeds
3 cups of coconut chips
1 Cup of coconut oil, melted
1/2 Cup honey (you can use maple syrup or rapadura if you're not on gaps)
2 Tbls cinnamon
1/2 Tbls vanilla
1/4 tsp celtic sea salt

Grind up the almonds to almost flour-like consistency.  I do it in batches in my vita-mix, by pulsing it.  I love my Vita-Mix!  

Mix the first 3 items in a large container.  Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over nut mixture.  Mix well.  Bake at 30 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir and cook another 10 minutes.  Cool and store in freezer for long-term storage, or in an air-tight container in the cupboard.  

For banana, you just add 4 very ripe bananas.  I want to try this with pumpkin and apples also.   We love the banana taste in it, plus I like that it has less honey.  Yum! 

2.  Banana Honey GAPS Granola

3 cups of crispy almonds
3 cups of crispy sunflower seeds
3 cups of coconut chips
1 Cup of coconut oil, melted
4 very ripe bananas, blended
1/2 Cup honey
2 Tbls cinnamon
1/2 Tbls vanilla
1/4 tsp celtic sea salt

Grind up the almonds to almost flour-like consistency.  Mix the first 3 items in a large container.  Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over nut mixture.  Mix well.  Bake at 30 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir and cook another 10 minutes.  Cool and store in freezer for long-term storage, or in an air-tight container in the cupboard.

Serve with some raisins and raw milk or yogurt.  Yummo!!!  

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Meaning of Marriage, by Timothy and Kathy Keller

I have read all of the previous books written by Timothy Keller and really enjoyed each of them.  I have some objections to certain points of his theology, and to how he sees them played out.  But, overall, he is a great author, loves the Lord passionately and is very easy to read.  I have been convicted by many of his books.  The Lord used them each in turn to help me see the amazingness of His grace in sinful humans' lives.

In November, he and his wife published a book on marriage entitled The Meaning of Marriage.  My local library had it available so I dug right in.  Ignoring a number of other books I was supposed to be reading.  But, it was a quick and easy read.

The Lord has slowly taken me on a journey of coming to see how my role as a wife and mother fits into His overall plan for the world.  But lately I'd found myself struggling with it again.  And God graciously brought this book into my life to remind me of His overall design and plan through marriage.

The main point of the book is that marriage is a system from God that was designed to reflect to the world the Gospel message, and specifically to help the couple become more Christ-like.  It also has societal and moral roles to play in any and all cultures.  'So, what do you need to make marriage work?  You need to know the secret, the gospel, and how it gives you both the power and pattern for your marriage.  On the one hand, the experience of marriage will unveil the beauty and depths of the gospel to you.  it will drive you further into reliance on it. On the other hand, a greater understanding of the gospel will help you experience deeper and deeper union with each other as the years go on.  There, then, is the message of this book-that through marriage, 'the mystery of the gospel is unveiled.'  Marriage is a major vehicle for the gospel's remaking of your heart from the inside out and your life from the ground up.'

THAT is the message of this book, and they expound on the topic in more detail, giving a lot of historical background information as well as a lot of personal experiences and information.

The chapters are:
1. The Secret of Marriage
2. The Power of Marriage
3. The Essence of Marriage
4. The Mission of Marriage
5. Loving the Stranger
6. Embracing the Other
7. Singleness and Marriage
8. Sex and Marriage

And here are some quotes that struck me as worth chewing over some more.  

 'After trying all kinds of other things, Christians have learned that the worship of God with the whole heart in the assurance of his love through the work of Jesus Christ is the thing their souls were meant to 'run on.'  This is what gets all the heart's cylinders to fire. If this is not understood, then we will not have the resources to be good spouses.  If we look to our spouses to fill up our tanks in a way that only God can do, we are demanding an impossibility.'   'Without the help of the Spirit, without a continual refilling of your soul's tank with the glory and love of the Lord, such submission to the interests of the other is virtually impossible to accomplish for any length of time without becoming resentful.  I call this 'love economics'.  You can only afford to be generous if you actually have some money in the bank to give.  In the same way, if your only source of love and meaning is your spouse, then anytime he or she fails you, it will not just cause grief but a psychological cataclysm.  If, however, you know something of the work of the Spirit in your life, you have enough love 'in the bank' to be generous to your spouse even when you are not getting much affection or kindness at the moment.'  I struggled with this so much the first 5 or so years of our marriage.  It wasn't until I finally came to see who I was in Christ, that I was able to get 'filled up' with Him, so I could stop needing that from my marriage. Phew, what a relief for poor Drew! 

'If 2 spouses are spending a day together, the question of who gets each's pleasure and who gives in can present itself every few minutes.  And when it does, there are 3 possibilities: You can offer to serve the other with joy, you can make the offer with coldness or resentment, or you can selfishly insist on your own way. Only when both partners are regularly responding to one another in the first way can the marriage thrive. But how hard that is!'   I definitely tend toward #2 on that list.  But, he addressed that in more depth with: 'I wanted to serve, yes, because that made me feel in control. Then I would always have the high moral ground.  But that kind of 'service' isn't service at all, only manipulation.  But by not giving Kathy an opportunity to serve me, I had failed to serve her.  And the reason underneath it all was my pride.'  Ouch, that is me for sure.

'When dating or living together, you have to prove your value daily by impressing and enticing. You have to show that the chemistry is there and the relationship is fun and fulfilling or it will be over. We are still basically in a consumer relationship, and that means constant promotion and marketing.  The legal bond of marriage, however, creates a space of security where we can open up and reveal our true selves.  We can be vulnerable, no longer having to keep up facades.  We don't have to keep selling ourselves. We can lay the last layer of our defenses down and be completely naked, both physically and in every other way.' 

He talks about how people who live together before they are married have a much higher rate of divorce.  But, I found this statement heartening, and true for us: 'Studies reveal that two-thirds of unhappy marriages will become happy within five years if people stay married and do not get divorced.  What keeps people together during the rough patches?  The vows.'

'When you first fall in love, you think you love the person, but you don't really.  You can't know who the person is right away.  That takes years.  You actually love your IDEA of the person-and that is always, at first, one-dimensional and somewhat mistaken.'  How well put!  It's true. The beauty of marriage is that a person truly knows you AND loves you. Just like God truly knows us, but still loved us enough to send his Son to die for us.  How freeing and amazing.  And scary and disturbing.  Being on both ends of that is tough!  'To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear.  But to be fully known and truly loves is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.'

'Only if you maintain your love for someone when it is not thrilling can you be said to be actually loving a person.  The aesthete does not really love the person; he or she loves the feelings, thrills, ego rush, and experiences that the other person bring.'  When the honeymoon is over, the real work, and love, begins.

'When people are looking for a spouse, they are looking for a finished statue when they should be looking for a wonderful block of marble.  Not so you can create the kind of person you want, but rather because you see what kind of person Jesus is making.... each must be able to look inside the other and see what God is doing and be excited about being part of the process of liberating the emerging 'new you' I see all your flaws, imperfections, weaknesses, dependencies.  But underneath them all I see growing the person God wants you to be.''

They describe how you will have a friend of the opposite sex, with whom you will share anything and get good advice, etc. But yet, when looking for a mate, you dismiss that person because you don't feel an 'attraction' to them.  And how that does not lead to the kind of marriage a Christian wants.  I can identify.  I was blessed though, to actually marry my best friend after realizing the folly of my mind-set.

'If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won't matter.  You will be able to move out into the world in strength. However, if your marriage is weak, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are marked by success and strength, it won't matter.  You will move out into the world in weakness.'

'When you see the problems in each other, do you just want to run away, or do you find a desire to work on them together?'  Umm... Yeah, well, after 10+ years of marriage, I still tend to want to run away.  I hope to outgrow that someday!

'Give each other the right to hold one another accountable.  Hebrews 3:13.' 

'Because marriage merges two lives and brings you into the closest possible contact, a positive assessment by your spouse has ultimate credibility. If, over the years, you have grown to love and admire your spouse more and more, then his or her praise will get more and more strengthening and healing.  To be highly esteemed by someone you highly esteem is the greatest thing in the world.
This principle explains why, ultimately, to know that the Lord of the universe loves you is the strongest foundation that any human being can have.  A growing awareness of God's love in Christ is the greatest reward.'

'And there's the Great Problem of marriage.  The one person in the whole world who holds your heart in her hand, whose approval and affirmation you most long for and need, is the one who is hurt more deeply by your sins than anyone else on the planet.  When we are first sinned against by our spouses in a serious way, we use the power of truth.  We tell our spouses what fools, what messes, what selfish pigs they are. The first few times we do it, however, we may learn to our surprise how shattering our criticism can be. Sometimes we let fly some real harsh, insulting remarks, and the next thing we know there's nothing left of our spouse but a pair of sneakers with smoke coming out of them.  What happened? Because of our spousal power of love and affirmation, when that love is withheld, the statement of the truth doesn't help-it destroys.  When we see how devastating truth-telling in marriage can be, it can push us into the opposite error. We may then decide that our job is to just affirm. We avoid telling our spouses how disappointed we are.  We shut up.  We stuff and hide what we really think and feel.  We exercise the power of love, but not the power of truth.  But then marriage's enormous potential for spiritual growth is lost.  The point is this-truth and love need to be kept together.'  I feel this is where God is working on me right now.  I have let Drew 'have it', shaking my finger and yelling in his face-and he ran away, although generally only mentally and emotionally.  But I'm learning, slowly. 

He talks about the necessity of forgiving our spouse before confronting them, in love, with their sin.  'One of the most basic skills in marriage is the ability to tell the straight, unvarnished truth about what your spouse has done-and then, completely, un-self-righteously, and joyously express forgiveness without a shred of superiority, without making the other person feel small.
As long as you feel superior to someone, feel like you are a much better kind of person, you will find it very hard if not impossible to forgive.  If you stay superior and disdainful of the person, truth will eat up love.'  Again, speaking directly to me!  I am a 'good girl' and do what I think is best, after lots of study.  So then I tend to get prideful and self righteous.  But that is just as bad as any sin I may confront in Drew.  I am so thankful that God has allowed us to stay together while our sharp edges are slowly being whittled down.  Ok, mostly I have the sharp edges in the marriage... 

Kathy, naturally, was the one to write the chapter on submission: 'I discovered here that my submission in marriage was a gift I offered, not a duty coerced from me.'  That sort of takes the sting out of submission, eh?  :)  It was definitely something that helped me to embrace my role as submissive wife.  We are all equal in God's eyes, but His will is for the wives to submit to their husbands (and only their husbands-not men in general).

This is pretty random, I realize.  But some really good bites of wisdom to chew on.  And hopefully it will lead others to pick up the book from themselves and get the 'big picture'.  I hope and pray that the Lord uses this book to help young people who are struggling with marriage (and singleness), to accept their roles as blessings to and from the Lord. 


Monday, March 19, 2012

Innis Life Principles

It's fun to look back and see major growth in my life.  And often, when that happens, I can trace the thread back to certain books that really impacted me in those areas. 

I thought it would be fun to recap some of the major ones.  The ones that have really helped me establish basic life principles in the various areas of my life.  So here are the books that fit that category, and the life principles I have taken from them, and applied to our family. 

For education, it would definitely be Thomas Jefferson Education.  I had already started to realize the current system of education had some major flaws.  And I was starting to nit pick and figure out what they were.  But when a friend lent TJE to me, I was so excited, because it brought together all of my frustrations and concerns, and had an answer for me, to overcome those!  I felt like I had found a kindred spirit.  I have read many books with a similar philosophy since.  And they all have given me encouragement and more ideas to implement.  But TJE is my 'classic' to which I turn to, when I find myself getting discouraged or when I just need some motivation. 

It's not TJE that I love of course.  But the principles he lays forth, in a simple to read and understand format.  It's the principles of joy in learning by trial and error and practice, by allowing one's self to fail and think and try something different.  By learning to really think and understand truth and reality.  By using classics and mentors to learn rather then the conveyor belt style of teacher and textbook.  By learning about history in-depth and coming to our own conclusions that will help us 'not repeat history' ourselves.   Basically, by understanding ourselves and how God made us, so we can best utilize our bodies and brains for His glory.  And I am starting to really see these principles work in our lives and it's so exciting! 


Spiritually, the overall principle that I have come to really appreciate is that it's not about me, but about God.  And that we need to have joy in our service to Him.  For that, I go back to Desiring God by John Piper, every few years.  A must-read for every Christian in my opinion.  Again, it's the principles behind it.  I've read numerous other books that teach the same principles.  But Desiring God is what God really used to solidify the truths he was teaching me. 

The principles I took from that book are that a person who is truly filled with the Spirit will find joy in God being glorified..  They won't look for joy elsewhere.  All joy is from God and for God.  And if we are not filled with that joy, then we need to seek God's face and question our salvation.  The fruits of the spirit ARE joy, peace, love...  They don't just happen to show up if you try real hard.  They are the fruits that come from a branch that is connected to the vine. No fruit=no salvation.  Of course, fruit shows up differently in each person and we can't judge others, since often the fruit shows only in the person's heart.  I can verify that one!  I have changed so dramatically over the last 10 years, but yet no one sees it because I was always such a 'good girl'. *sighs*  At least I know!  And Drew and the kids see it too.  The other principle that I learned was that God is sovereign and He has called some people to repentance and not others.  Boy howdy, did I fight that one!  But, after studying Scripture looking for answers, and after realizing that all fruit is from the Holy Spirit's working in my life, it was no longer possible to deny the doctrine of election.  I hated it with all my being, but I am a sucker for truth, and I could not avoid that truth any longer. And looking back, I can see how my whole life has been shaped by those two truths-true joy in the Lord and election. 

For food, my Eureka moment came when reading Nourishing Traditions.  And I still love that book!  I also learned a ton from Weston Price's Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.  And I actually refer back to NT for recipes ALL the time.  And I refer back to NPD for confirming what society rejects in regards to food.  I know it, but then I start to question it, and I go back to NPD for encouragement.  :)

But, my mentor/classic for bodily healing is my favorite book/author Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) by Natasha Campbell-McBride.  I believe NT is a great way to eat for life, but for healing principles, I have come to appreciate the GAPS principles.  Like education and spiritual learning, I have read these principles in many other books, but GAPS, to me, just brings it altogether nicely.  And the healing we have seen in this family, by following those principles has rocked my world lately!  Hallelujah!! 


The principles I learned from NT and GAPS is that the body has needs that must be met, or disease happens.  And the best way to get those needs met (the only in my opinion) is through nutrient dense foods.  But, the gut must be able to break those foods down into their various nutrients to be used.  So NT addresses the nutrient dense foods, and GAPS addresses healing the gut so those foods can be utilized. 

For marriage, God has used so many books, the Scriptures and people to change my attitude.  But, the one that I would call my classic is Created to be His Helpmeet.  Much like the doctrines of election, I did NOT want to believe the message in Created. I avoided that book for years.  I knew I'd hate it with every bone in me.  And I did.  But I was also tired of being miserable and having a lousy marriage, and I knew, after all the spiritual changes I'd seen, that doing things God's way is always best, even if painful at first.  That whole 'truth' thing-gets me every time.  The Holy Spirit knew I was finally ready to read it last year, so he allowed me to borrow it from a good friend.  Somehow that softened the blow.  :)  I have since had the opportunity to discuss it with Drew and other wives in similar positions as myself. And looking back, I can see a huge change in my heart and actions, after reading that book.  All of the changes had been slowly happening underground for a few years, but this book finally brought them out of hiding.  I still refer back to it often. 

The principle is simple really.  Following the Bible's plan for families and society, I needed to respect and submit to my husband. I needed to stop trying to usurp his role and do his job, and simple perform in the role the Lord has called me to do.  Ouch. That really, really hurt.  It still stings a little to be honest.  I know it's ridiculous, I have seen such huge changes in our family since I started to submit to and respect Drew.  The peace, the growth.  It's like there were spiritual chains that were cut, we were set free.  The bondage I allowed myself to be placed into was nothing compared to the bondage we were set free from!

And I think that would apply to all the areas I have mentioned.  I was set free from the stress and depression of trying to force my children to learn in ways that are harmful ultimately.  But it placed me under a new stress-I had to find joy in learning myself.  I had to lead rather then push them.  That's a lot of work!  For spiritual growth, I was set free from guilt and a need to control everything in my life, but I put myself under the bondage of daily feeding on the Word and fighting to keep God's glory first in importance-above ALL else.  I was set free from the stress of disease and allergies and exhaustion and insurance, but I had to agree to the bondage of not eating foods I wanted, and spending hours in the kitchen every day, preparing and cleaning up after the meals that I knew would heal us. 

I gave up the big, scary battles, and traded them in for daily, sometimes monotonous ones.  But, there is something freeing in knowing that the war has already been one, I am just fighting in some skirmishes in the meantime.  The victory is mine!!!  But, vanity, vanity, all is vanity. 

So, these are 4 books that have rocked my little world, and all for the good.  I have read, probably literally, hundreds of others. Some just as good as these.  But, these happen to be the ones that God really used in my life. 

And, let me end that, while reading all of these books, I was in the Word regularly, seeking God's face, begging for Him to show me truth in all areas of my life.  I do not agree with any of those books 100%.  I never read something and assume it's true.  I think about it all, compare it to my own experiences, test it and pray for wisdom. The one book that has fundamentally changed my life, in every area and aspect, and the only one that is 100% true, is the Bible.  While I can interpret it wrong, I still can rest assured that is is TRUTH, and I can trust it to lead me in all areas of my life.  The others just help.  :)  And I thank the Lord for all of them. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Electrolyte/Mineral Drink Recipe

I find myself often going against main-stream thinking.  Not because I want to be different, but because after careful consideration, I find the main-stream to be faulty.

One of those areas is the consumption of water.  I believe the main-stream thinking is approximately 8 cups a day. I used to try and follow that, but seldom was I successful.

But lately, after more research, I have come to the conclusion that drinking 8 cups a day of filtered water is ultimately harmful to the body, esp to the endocrine system.  Drinking water without the God-given minerals in the water, tax an already exhausted adrenal gland.  But it's hard to find natural, clean water with minerals intact. I'd say impossible, except in rare situations.  Because of the toxins in our environment, we need to filter our water, but when we filter out the bad, we also filter out the good.

We do drink filtered water here.  I used my Zero water filter and keep a glass in the fridge at all times for us to drink.  And I do not put any limit on how much we consume.  We drink when thirsty.  But I do try to ensure that we consume lots of minerals throughout the day.   We drink kombucha and raw milk.  We consume bone broth and lots of celtic sea salt

So I feel we do, in general, get enough minerals in our diet to make up for our mineral-less water.  But, there are times when I crave salt and know my body is in desperate need of minerals.  So, after searching the web, cookbooks, etc. I came up with my own electrolyte/mineral drink recipe about a year ago.  I don't keep it on hand all the time, only when I feel my body needs it.  Mainly, when I am craving salt.

Also, my family does not like it.  If I use less salt and keep out the bitters, they do like it.  And I make that when I feel they are drinking too much water due to heat.   

It beats the nasty powders and Gatorade-type drinks with all kinds of chemicals and fillers in them.  

Electrolyte/Mineral Drink Recipe

Take one quart glass Ball jar and add approx:

2 Tbls whey from my homemade yogurt
Juice from one lemon
2 tsp celtic sea salt
2 Tbls raw honey
1 Tbls blackstrap molasses (I can't stand the taste and Myia reacts, so I haven't used it in awhile, but it's very mineral rich)
Fill the rest of the way up with water

Still well.

It lasts about 2 days in the fridge and then starts to taste off.  But I generally try and consume one quart a day when I feel I need it.  Usually when I am PMSing, my body craves the minerals, or if I sweat a lot or am in the hot sun a lot.