Monday, February 22, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast and supper options

Lunch, served with kombucha for all:

Monday: Fish Tacos and onion salsa
Wednesday: Chicken Soup and Toast
Thursday:  Liver and Onions
Friday: Fish Cakes
Saturday: Roast Chicken
Sunday: Beef Stew

Friday, February 19, 2010

Favorite Links Friday

*big sighs*  I ruined my year old, beautiful sourdough starter.  I wanted to cry when I realized what I did!  I had gotten it out to make bread and waffles.  I went to get a jar for putting away some back into the fridge like I always do.  But I must have gotten distracted and never actually got to putting it in the fridge.  I used up all the starter for waffles, assuming I had already put some away.  This morning I realized what I did and nearly cried.  My SIL has a starter, and she is going to send me a few tablespoons of hers from Iowa.  Hopefully that will make it easier then starting all over again.  *big sighs*  My starter was my friend.  We were buddies.  We worked together to make our grains more digestable and to raise without yeast.  And now... it's gone!  Ok, done ranting now.

I did order my heirloom seeds from  Seed Saver Exchange in Iowa.  I'm excited to try my hand at gardening again. We are determined to get it right this year!  :)  Click here to see my posts from last year's 'try' at Square Foot Gardening.  We are NOT giving up, we'll get it!!!  

Some favorite links from the last two weeks:

1.  I can't help it: my beautiful niece and nephew (sorta) in Minnesota. 

2.  I FINALLY made my own deodorant, using this recipe.  I've been meaning to for 2 years now and only finally got to it. So far it's working fine.  The real test will be when it's hot.  I put it in a small glass container and I just scoop some out with my fingers and rub it on my armpits.  It melts with the body heat. 

3.  Here is some fabulous personal experience regarding teeth issues and a WAP diet.  And a quote from Cure Tooth Decay.  Great info! 

4.  If you think you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, I would highly recommend you read this 'series': Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3.  I was able to get the book she suggested from my library.  I can't wait to read it!  I know we have adrenal/thyroid issues here. 

4..  If you are interested in learning to cook in a traditional, nourishing way, but are overwhelmed, check this class out. 

5.  Here are some great tips for menu planning/grocery budgets, etc.  Be sure to check out the comments, I learned a lot there also. 

6.  Here are some great tips for health, not JUST eating the right foods. 

7.  Here is a recipe for flourless chocolate cake.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'd like to...

8.  Elizabeth at 'The Nourished Life' is going to try a two week long raw milk diet.  Follow it here if you are interested. 

9.  I finally bought soap nuts after reading this.  My detergent is almost out, and it costs $20 for the stuff from WFM.  So I wanted to try the soap nuts this time.  I haven't used them yet, but I'm excited to.  I hope I like them! 

10.  Katie at Kitchen Stewardship asked a bunch of 'real food bloggers' questions and compared them side by side. It was a great idea and fun read.  Click here for the list and you can click on any of the links to see the various 'face-offs'.  It's a fun read!

11. I'm glad I'm not the only one who had no idea flour came from grains (another person who had no idea).  :)

Phew!  I had a lot of favorites the last two weeks.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast and supper options

Lunch, served with kombucha for all:

Monday: Tacos
Tuesday: Chicken Tacos
Wednesday:  Liver and Onions
Thursday:  Roast Chicken
Friday: Canned Salmon and Fried Cabbage
Saturday: Baked Cod and Rice
Sunday: Meatball Soup

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell

I finished reading 'The China Study' by T. Colin Campbell today.  It was one of those 'love/hate' books for me.  :)  I kind of knew that going in, and I'm really glad I read it. Ok, to be honest, I scanned some of it, but I did read most of it anyway.  Chris Masterjohn gave a negative review/rebuttal on the Weston Price website-definitely worth reading, if you are interested in that kind of thing.

Also, this is a great rebuttal as to why his study was not scientific or thorough.  

I first heard of the book when I found in the spring of 2008.  I started making the green smoothies with my Vita-Mix.  It was actually a big reason why I purchased it, although I knew I wanted it for other things as well. 

I was still really searching and confused as to what was really, truly healthy for a body.  I knew there was a lot of stuff a body shouldn't consume, but I still had no idea what it should consume!  I had read a lot from the raw community, and even bought a cookbook.  But it didn't ring right with me.  Maybe a funny, intuition thing.  Who knows.  But, I found through the raw community, and started reading her website/blog and drinking the smoothies.  The kids and I actually started liking them, but only with a lot of fruit added.  I had read in a number of places that spinach should be cooked before being consumed in large quantities, and that pineapple inhibited the nutrients of spinach from being used by the body properly.  Guess what-the only way we could manage the smoothies was with plenty of pineapple/pineapple juice.  Not only was I depressed, but I was overwhelmed to realize that the whole 'nourishing' thing was a lot more confusing then I ever imagined!  Preparation and food combination was important?  Spinach wasn't spinach, wheat wasn't wheat and a vitamin wasn't simply a vitamin?  Ahhhh!!!

I still remember finding that out and wanting to pull my hair out.  WHAT WAS TRUTH?!?!

Anyway, this is about The China Study, not me.  :)  Sorry about the rabbit trail, it was somewhat relavant anyway.

 So for almost 2 years now, I've wanted to read The China Study, but I've found a lot of other books that interested me more.  I was at the library the other day and happened to see the book and decided it was time to read it.

I felt a bit like a traitor when I took it home and opened it up.  I knew it was very non-NT/WAP.  But I am interested in finding truth, not being a groupy, so I wanted to read it.

Campbell grew up a farmer and went to school to become a doctor.  He ended up working on the scientific end of health.  After growing up on raw milk, fresh veggies and meat, he became a vegetarian/vegan after his years of research and work and teaching.  I was impressed with how much he believed what he wrote, and how he practiced it as well.

Here is a quote that sums up the whole book quite nicely:

"There is nothing better the government could do that would prevent more pain and suffering in this country than telling Americans unequivocally to eat less animal products, less highly-refined plant products and more whole, plant-based foods.  It is a message soundly based on the breadth and depth of scientific evidence..."  p.305

I agree 100% with his premise that all current degenerative diseases start and end with nutrition.  He said that separate diseases do not call for separate diets or treatments.  If you eat properly, you'll heal yourself of cancer and heart disease and diabetes and any other degenerative disease.

Now, I do think it's a bit more complicated then diet.  Esp since we are so far removed from our ancestral, truly nourishing diets.  Some of us are not into the 3rd and 4th generation of people who have had very little in the way of nutrition, so our needs are pretty intense.  And on top of that, we have had little or no wisdom about such things passed down, so we have a pretty steep learning curve to deal with, on top of severe nutritional needs.

But, there is hope, and I think it's less complicated rather then more complicated.  *big sigh of relief*

Campbell believed that animal products in the diet, and fat of pretty much any kind except vegetable, are evil and cause diseases.  He felt the best way to eat is lots and lots of plants-veggies, fruit and grains mostly.  He even thought eggs were evil.  Hello!?!  The incredible, edible egg?


I really don't have the time or talent to go into the science of it.  If you are interested in that, please read the review from WAPF here.  

Campbell makes a very convincing case against protein.  But, there were holes in the theory.  And I just don't believe it's true!  We not only need to stop eating processed, carcinogenic junk, but we are in desperate need of nourishment.  Our disease of 'affluence' are really just mal-nutrition in disguise.  People in Africa are dying of starvation and you can see their rib cages. People in Europe and America (and all over really) are dying of starvation at a cellular level, but they can barely see their toes!  But it amounts to the same thing-a desperate lack of nutrition.  And the most nutrient-dense, bio-available foods to mankind are the ones God gave us to eat through animals.  

Each body is different. We have different history, ancestries, needs, limitations, etc.  I really don't believe in a 'one diet fits all' approach.  You do need to listen to your body.  But we are so confused and misguided today that it's hard to hear our bodies above the screaming studies, reports, scientists and doctors.   But we need to, desperately.  

I think 'The China Study' is a good wake-up call to people, to realize that what we put into our bodies affects us in a million ways (literally).  That we do not need to be dependent on the government, healthcare, doctors and drugs.  We can take our health into our own hands.  We MUST do so in fact.  However, I hope once a person has this information and courage, they would continue on their quest for understanding, while listening to their bodies and seeking for ways to take care of it the way God intended.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast and supper options

Lunch, served with kombucha for all:

Monday: Chicken Soup
Tuesday: Roast Chicken
Wednesday:  Baked Fish and Rice
Thursday:  Liver and Onions
Friday: Fish Cakes
Saturday: Nacho Spuds
Sunday: Chicken Tacos

Friday, February 5, 2010

Favorite Links Friday

I think I missed a week or 2 of posting links.  And there have been a LOT of amazing reads lately. I'll try to keep them to a minimum.

1.  This was an amazing run down of Weston Price and Rami Nagel's ideas on tooth health. Animal products are necessary for good teeth health.  And, an important note, teeth health is an important indicator of overall health.  It is not indicative of the mouth only. 

2.  Here are some ideas for Superbowl Sunday treats.  And some more

3. Here is a post on how to obtain a free sourdough starter powder. 

4.  A new kind of 'gatorade'? 

5.  If you are interested in natural weight loss, here is a good run-down on how to use coconut oil.

6.  I love my celtic sea salt.  Here is another run-down on the differences of processed table salt and unrefined sea salt. 

7.  Here is a run-down of the medicinal value of garlic.  We love garlic! 

Monday, February 1, 2010

'Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal' by Joel Salatin

What a great read!  Entertaining and enlightening. I posted some comments here


Salatin is a self proclaimed evangelical, gun-toting farmer.  That is the short version. :)  He bought the farm from his parents and has worked there ever since.  Him and his wife Teresa have 2 kids whom they have homeschooled.  And now his son, daughter-in-law and 3 grandsons live and work on the farm also.  

When Michael Pollan was writing Omnivore's Dilemma, he spoke with Joel about food sources, government, organics, etc. When he asked Joel to send him some grass fed beef to him in CA, he refused.  Pollan was amazed and simply had to come meet this man in person.  Joel believes very strongly in a local food system.  Check out the link I posted above for his 'ideal neighborhood' local food system. It's great!  While Salatin had already made a name for himself, Omnivore's Dilemma brought him even more into the lime-light.  And he's still humble! :)  

He wrote the book to 'preserve the stories, preserve the struggle, preserve the history...  I want them to know what was and what could be.  I want them to catch a vision of a righteous food system, a healing agrarianism, a local farm food ministry.  May it never vanish from the earth.'

The book chronicles his struggle to provide his customers with locally grown, sustainably grown foods.  The book is packed full of stories from his own farming experience-good and bad, mostly in regards to the governemt's trying to shut him down at every turn. 

He breaks the book down into 3 parts:

1.  The Past-where our current agri-business food system started and the health issues it has created

2.  The Present-how it currently affects us, including government grants and controls

3.  The Future-he addresses avian influenza, bioterrorism, national animal identification system, mad cow, animal welfare.

Salatin makes sustainable farming seem not only do-able, but much better and easier in the long-term.  He makes some really good arguments for less government interference. 

After pointing out the problems, these are some of his suggestions near the end:

1. Eliminate ALL agricultural production subsidies.  Farming should stand on its own; as soon as it must, only the type that can, will. 

2.  Eliminate all grants and tax concessions to any private business for anything.

3.  Eliminate funding to land grant collegs and universities.  

4.  Allow any citizen to waive their right to government-sanctioned food.  A universal opt-out mechanism to self-protect and self-inspect. 

5.  Anyone may grow, process, and deliver any food directly to the end user (restaurants, institutions and individual customers-including dairy, meat and poultry).

6.  Institute complaint-driven inspection with unannounced sampling from the retail package.  As long as the food is clean, it's clean.  Doesn't matter how it got that way. 

Fabulous read.  I hope to see his dreams implemented in the future.  As more people become aware of the issues with the current food systems (movies like Food, Inc, and Fresh and Fast Food Nation have helped reach the general public), and demand safe and nourishing food, I think it will at least go the direction of local food systems. 

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast and supper options

Lunch, served with kombucha for all:

Monday:Leftover Chicken Soup
Tuesday: Liver and Onions
Wednesday:  Baked Fish and Rice
Thursday:  Roast Chicken
Friday: Canned Salmon with curry sauce over rice
Saturday: Deviled Eggs and Toast
Sunday: Fried Potatoes and Hamburger