Easy Chicken/Bone Stock and or Broth

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Well, I realize it has been a mighty long time since I have posted. We started the GAPS diet about 6 weeks ago and life has been a little chaotic. I am finally settling in to the routine, and this past week, it seems like I am back to my "old kitchen routine!" Hooray. As with many things in life, the adaptation is the hard part, and this Therapeutic diet is proving to be no different.

GAPS calls for lots and lots of meat and bone broths as they foster to heal a weak gut. The gelatin contained in a homemade stock also helps to seal off the gut to prevent "leaking" problems. All of this helps digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Plus, with flu season in full swing, homemade soup and stock is one of the best things to feed your family!

With that said, I have had lots of questions in my personal email lately about "how to make stock." Instead of typing it out in many emails, I am going to post my easy "crock pot" recipe, without meat (meaning you are cooking chicken meat by some other means) and with meat, since that seems to be the method of choosing for me right now!



Cooking Chicken by Roasting, grilling etc.
All of our chickens come whole! So, when we want something other than roasted chicken, I have to cut it off the bone. I take my chicken and quarter it. I remove the legs with the thighs and debone the breast meat. I am than left with the carcass, wings, and back meat. I remove the wings and cut up the carcass, or break it with my hands into 4 pieces.

I place the wings, and the broken carcass right into the crock-pot along with the neck (cut into small pieces, maybe 5 or so) liver, and heart. I fill my 6 quart crock-pot just about full, maybe 5 quarts of water.

Here is where you have creative freedom. You are welcome to place an onion coarsely chopped, celery, carrots, garlic clove, etc. etc.

I personally add:
1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar (which helps leach the minerals from the bones of the chicken)
2 TBsp Salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
some chicken feet
see below "Proceeding with stock"


With the Meat:
I start in the morning, and cut my chicken and place it in the crock pot. For a 4-5lb bird, I place the quarters on the bottom of the pot with the organ meat etc, and fill with water, add salt, pepper, garlic (and anything else you want to eat with the chicken) and turn it on low for 4-6 hours depending on the bird. When time is up, I remove the meat from the chicken and about 1/2 of the stock. I put the bones back in the stock, add some chicken feet and more water and proceed with the directions below.


Proceeding with bone/meat stock:
I put the crock pot on high, and add the rest of the bones left-over from dinner when we are done. Before bed I turn my crock-pot to low and let it simmer for 24 to 36 hours. This will allow for all the minerals to be absorbed from the bones into the stock. When done, I simply pour through a mesh strainer into a large bowl and cool. We leave our fat in the stock b/c of GAPS, but you could easily chill it and skim the fat off, and store it in the fridge for a week or freezer for several months. (I like to ice cube tray it for ease of future use if in the freezer.)

All the extra parts that are left in the meat strainer I than place in my food processor (yes, bones, extra meat, organ meat etc) and puree until smooth. Yeah, for Pate! You could also place through a juicer. I find this is a messier option, and if you well cook your bones, they are soft enough to smash between your fingers... They will need to be juiced twice! :)

If you are daring you could add onions, garlic etc to it and use it as a dip. I tend to hide this paste back into my stocks and soups as the weeks goes on.

If you aren't feeling so daring, you can separate out what you will eat (meat, organs, etc) and toss the bones to your pet or the trash.

Bone pate was a new discovery for us with GAPS, but as least we are now able to use all the chicken, and have an awesome source of minerals!

That's it!
Please let me know any tips tricks you all might have to make the process go smoother. I have found for me personally this is the easiest method for me to make sure I am using my whole bird each time. I used to store up bones and than do a huge 10 quart plus batch of stock, but this became to daunting of a task for me. So, yes, I do always have a crock pot plugged in, but it works for us! :)

Pesto Pizza, Glorious Pizza (GF, GAPS friendly) and kitchen adventures

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We have been quite busy these past couple of weeks. I finished up the Candida diet and we have all been getting ready to start the 2 year journey of the GAPS diet. We are on a full scale GAPS diet, and are planning on going back and starting the intro diet in September. It is all a little overwhelming! In general we are really excited to see the results...even the results we have seen with Noah removing all grains has been encouraging. He is eating like a champ with no eczema, or other skin issues, and after the intro of lacto-fermented foods and pro-biotics his stools are all back to normal, and frequent! Not that I am excited about changing more diapers, but it is so encouraging to see how fast his little body adapts to a huge dietary change, and with such positive results!

Much of the past couple weeks since returning home from vacation have been about Lacto-fermenting. I have very much enjoyed the book "wild fermentation!' I find the whole process quite exilerating, and the geeky science side of me has been loving the process of "playing" with recipes! I currently have a fridge full of bok choi and I can't wait to start the kim Chi making this week! Overall, Saurkraut, ginger carrots, and pickles have been taking up much counter space and now fridge space! We have been enjoying them at almost every meal, and have found that Saurkraut goes particuarly well with eggs. We have even had adventerous guests who have enjoyed these pleasantly sour and salty creations....alright enough about my science projects..onto the pizza!

Who doesn't like pizza? We are pretty fanatical about it in our house. N and J love it, and I have to say it is one of the things we miss most being grain free! While our pizza was starch free, you could easily used a soaked or a sproated grain dough recipe as well! The nut crust was a nice mild flavor that added to the pesto, pepper and tomato top! We even enjoyed this cold the second day! If you aren't able to have dairy, this recipe works well without the cheese too!

Recipe:

Crust:
2 1/2 cups of Walnuts or Almonds (I used walnuts, almonds are a little pricey for us)
3 pasture eggs
2 Tbsp Ghee, Butter, coconut oil, goose fat, etc.
1-3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp minced onion or 1 Tbsp organic Onion powder
2 Tsp salt

Take the 2 1/2 cups of walnuts and place in a food processor until they are tiny crumbles and starting to stick together. Add the 3 eggs and the butter and process until pastey and well combined. Spread about 1 inch thick on a lined cookie sheet (I use a sil-pat, or you would need to use a well greased pan) and place in a 300 degree oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until firm and lightly browned. While the crust is cooking...

Topping:
Pesto 1 cup basil tightly packed 2-5 cloves garlic 1/2 cup romano cheese (or parm.) salt to taste 1/4-1 cup cold pressed organic olive oil

3-4 large tomatoes thinly sliced (varying colors add a nice touch)
1-2 purple peppers thinly sliced (you could also use green or red, but the purple was a nice color)

When the crust is done baking, remove from the oven and spread the basil all over the top of the crust. Than top the basil with thinly sliced peppers (or any other veggie of your choosing) and thinly sliced tomatoes. Ontop of the veggies place desired about of romano cheese or cheese of choosing, and place back in the oven for 5 minutes to slightly melt the cheese and soften the veggies ever so slightly. The veggies will be mostly raw...

Enjoy! Let me know what you think, and share your adaptations! :) Do you have any foods you just can't live without?

Spoon Fed Deception

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Have you ever wondered why Coke, Pepsi, McDonald's etc always have the most wonderfully entertaining ads? I remember growing up and watching the super bowl strictly for the advertisements. That was when the large corporations always rolled out their new ad campaigns. Pepsi always had some wonderful up and coming star selling their product, as did coke. The images of cultural beauty, and “coolness” were strung all over the screen for a visual feast. I was left sitting there thinking...hum...maybe I'll go drink a “coke.”

Truth in Advertising; now that is an interesting thought. How can there truly be truth in advertising, especially when it comes to food? Advertising happens on manufactured products. Products that people, industry, professions, or government are making money. Products that are viewed as more essential to life, rarely contain advertising. Why? The profit margin on vegetables, fruits, real meats, and cheeses are minimal in comparison...when is the last time you saw an ad during the super bowl for “grass-fed beef?” No “real food” company could ever afford multi-billion dollar ad campaigns...they simply aren't making enough money on their products.

When we start to see products become crazily advertised, as a consumer, we should start to think why? Paul Hawken, Author of “The Magic of Findhorn,” simply puts it:
A product like Coca-Cola which contains known poisons and destroys teeth and stomach has one of the most stunning ad campaigns in the history of the Western World.
It is really fantastic: This unreal amount of money creating an illusion-the illusion that “coke is the real thing.” ...Yep, Coke is the real thing and this is drilled into the minds of 97 percent of all young people between the age of six and nineteen until their teeth are rotting (out of their heads) just like their parents' did.
There is nothing truthful about advertising. Imagine a young pimply faced kid in front of a camera telling folks how clear his complexion was before he started drinking Coke; and even
though he knows it's bumming his social life, he just can't seem to get off the stuff. That would be truth in advertising. Or how about a young girl holding up a can of orange drink made in New Jersey saying the reason it's is orange is because of the food coloring. The reason it is bad is because we use coal-tar artificial flavoring, and the reason we would like you to try it is because we want to make money. Truth in advertising would be the end of three major networks, 500 magazines, several thousand newspapers, and tens of thousands of businesses. So, there will never be truth in advertising.

How do we cope with the massive bombardment of lies we are spoon fed everyday? We need to become educated consumers. The reason fancy ads campaign sell products is our lack of knowledge and our over abundance of trust of the corporation. If we knew that coke was rotting our bodies from the inside out, and causes mountains of long term damaging effects, chronic illness, disease, etc... we would reconsider our beverage selection at the family picnic...but even if we “know” Coke isn't great (as most of us do) but don't truly understand enough about the body to recognize it as a poison (which is truly what it is) we are liable to just “save” it for special occasions, as a treat of some sort. Let me ask you, when is the last time you considered arsenic for a beverage on special occasions? We don't and no one would ever knowingly “treat” your child to a glass of it...


Poison: Any substance applied to the body, ingested, or developed within the body, which causes or may cause disease, injury, illness, or death.

Think about that definition next time you are shopping. Start to analyze your food. Are you ingesting poison on a daily basis? Learn about what sugar does to the body, learn where your “food colorings” come from, learn about the big food industry and their tactics. The only way to ensure you aren't taken advantage of is to be wise to their deceptive tactics in marketing. In short, if you see advertising for a product...you may want to think twice about buying it...

Book Suggestions: Sugar Blues by William Duffy

Nut Crackers (GAPS, SF, GF, Candida)

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These little delicious bits have been heavenly to enjoy! We have used them in our salads like croutons, soups as crackers, and just to enjoy as a snack! N can't seem to get enough of them! He just keeps asking for more "cwarcker cwumbs" for his soups! These came to life after reading the GAPS book. She had ideas for crackers, but I took her starting spot and ran with it...

These tasty little bits are quite versatile, even in the ingredient list, so they are flexible with adjustments based on what is "crispy" in your pantry. We have been enjoying them with walnuts...since walnuts seem to be considerably less expensive per pound! They work really well with Almonds and pecans too. I haven't given hazelnuts a go yet, but I would think they would work out.

The biggest adjustment in this recipe is the fat content depending upon the type of nut used. Pecans and walnuts are more oily than almonds, so you will need to adjust the fat to fit the nut! When I do the walnut/almond combination I only need to use 1 Tbsp.

Here goes!

2 1/2 cups "crispy" nut of choice or a combination (I like 1/2 walnuts, 1/2 almonds)
2 tsp-2tbsp butter (coconut oil, ghee, lard, goosefat etc.)
1 large pasture egg
1 medium sized clove garlic
1 1/2 tsp real salt

In a food processor combine the nuts dry measured whole. Process until the nuts are in tiny crumbles or meal like with just a minimal amount of pasting at the bottom. Add the egg, garlic clove (whole) and the salt, and process a minute, than add the fat. The mixture should be sticky, but not excessively oily. The mixture should form a ball in the processor.

When the ball has formed, remove from processor and press out into a flat sheet on a sil-pat or rolling surface. Since there is no flour, you do need a slightly oily "dough." I really like the sil-pat for the pressing, personally, but feel free to use whatever you normally roll out on. Press the nut mixture until very thin (cracker thickness) but still sticking together. If you press too thin, the mixture will just crack and form wholes...you will know when this has happened...then just press it back together. I have sprinkled fresh "crispy" sesame seeds on top or poppies... Get creative!

Cut the crackers into small squares and transfer to a baking sheet or sil-pat. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and place the crackers in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Oil will leach from the crackers as they are cooking, but it will be reabsorbed during the cooling process. If you think there is excessive oil feel free to remove it with a paper towel when done!

There you go! A delicious addition to your diet that is packed with protein and good fats! I am going to work on a "sweet" version too! Let me know your adaptations! :)

Happy munching.

Heavenly Pecan Pancakes (SF, GF, and GAPS approved)

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I know a little while back I posted the Starch free, Gluten Free, Candida approved and GAPS approved Almond Pancakes, they were a hit for awhile. N and J were way crazy about them, and I thought they passed as a substitute, but they were definitely a substitute.

After my experiments with Almond/pecan bread I decided to give the pecans a chance as pancakes. I noticed that the pecan bread had a much smoother texture, it wasn't nearly as mealy as the almond counterpart, and since I wasn't a fan of the mealiness of the almond pancakes, I was thinking this might be my solution!

So, I made a batch of these yesterday for lunch, and I have to say, I think I could never eat a flour pancake again and be satisfied! They are completely fluffy, and not mealy at all! Their flavor can't be beat, and when topped with coconut honey, I think I could eat the whole batch myself!

Besides being tasty, they get many awesome substances into your diet! Pecans are known for their oleic acid content, also found in the olive, and this acid has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, and in combination with their other fats help lower "bad" cholesterol levels. Now, we know sugars and starches are what cause high cholesterol to begin with, but why not toss in some nuts to help your body rid itself of the LDL's floating around! They are also touted as an awesome source of rich anti-oxidents as well! Don't forget you are getting all your protein in as well. So, you are doing your body a favor by eating up these amazing little pancakes! Leave the caking to your intestine starches out, and give these babies a try!

They are rather filling, so the recipe below will probably accommodate up to 3 or 4 people. You know your appetites better than I do. In our house, we could have had another person eat, as we had 3 leftover...and 3 or 4 is probably all one person could handle as they are pretty rich.

Recipe:
2 cups Crispy Pecans (measured out dry and whole!)
1/4 cup coconut milk (almond milk, cream, yoghurt, kefir)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey (if allowed you are allowed)
4 eggs
1 1/2- 3 tsp cinnamon (depending on preference, we like alot!)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract (omit if not allowed)
Fresh or frozen berries or fruit of choice!


So, this is pretty similar to the almond recipe...take the 2 cups of pecans and place them in your food processor. process until all the pecans are tiny crumbles, and starting to collect as paste along the bottom of the processor. Don't process all into a paste. I find this makes a denser cake. Once processed, add the eggs and continue to process until bulk has increased and the pecans seem to be pulverized. Add the "milk" of choice and honey while the processor is going...also add the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Once all ingredients are combined well. Shut off the processor. The batter should be pourable..so if a little more "milk" is necessary go for it... (I have needed to add 1 more tbsp from time to time. It seems if my pecans still have a little retained moisture from the drying process they don't need it, and if they are completely crispity, crunchity they do)

If adding in fruit, transfer batter to a bowl and fold in the fruit of choice. If you are adding bananas, you can process those into the batter, or add as chunks. Heat a cast iron griddle or skillet and do a "oil" cleaning* to the skillet prior to your first cake with coconut oil. Once the skillet is hot, but not smoking, add the batter in 3 inch or 4 inch rounds. We tend to like big pancakes here, so I make 6-8 in rounds...but whatever floats your boat! These hold together much better than the almond ones so, you can make larger cakes if you so desire! When bubbly and partially dry on the edges flip and finish them off.

Enjoy these guys with plenty of fresh maple or berry syrup, or honey coconut spread! We can't have syrup so I mixed up the honey coconut spread and it was divine!


Honey coconut spread:

4 Tbsp coconut Oil
2 Tbsp honey

mix until well combined and spread on or pour on depending on the temperature of the coconut oil! This is also amazing in the freezer with cinnamon on top for a cool after dinner treat in the summer...plus it is a great way to get more coconut into your diet!


*
Oil cleaning consists of heating the skillet until a moderate heat, and than taking a TBSP of coconut, lard, or butter and rubbing the skillet until it appears a nice coating has been achieved. I do this prior to all pancake making...it also allowing for a more even browning on delicate items such as these. I find "frying" pancakes less desirable...but if you are into the fry cake flavor go for it! I prefer to pour on the fat after they have an even browning! :)

Give them a go! Let me know your modifications!

Homemade Raw Yogurt

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There are so many recipes online for making yogurt, and I think I have tried most all of them! Some with better success than others. In an attempt to save you all some time and pain in making yogurt, I thought I would list my success with raw milk making without the addition of powdered milk or other thickeners such as pectin etc.

Now, I will mention that you are more than welcome to purchase a starter culture! In the long run they are more economical...but I haven't done that yet. You will just want to find a starter that doesn't contain excessive additives geared at thickener your milk. Yogurt isn't supposed to be super thick! It is more meant to be a pourable consistency. Americans seem to have an obsession with it being an
extremely thick gelatinous consistency. Get your family used to the way yogurt is naturally made. It is just another way to cut out the additives!

So, you will notice that this is a recipe for Raw yogurt. There is much debate that goes on in the cultured dairy world about weather to bring the milk up to 180, like you do for pasteurized milk, or not. The proponents of heating talk about killing off the competitive bacteria so your culture will take. My issue with this is that you are than consuming a large amount of dead pathogens that your body doesn't have a "Que card" for in how to handle them. (See the Raw milk post.)
So, if you have it raw, why create this process intentionally! If the cow you got it from is healthy there should be a nice balance of good and bad bacteria, and the culture will just enrich your bacteria counts! If you start with pasteurized milk, than you must bring the milk to 180. This is because pasteurized milk provides the perfect breading ground for bad bacteria to multiple! So, you need to re pasteurize it, or your culture WON'T TAKE! and you just wasted milk! :)

Most sites also talk about needing a yogurt maker for incubation, and than there are the thousands of homemade ways to incubate. I have, again, tried almost all of them! I will tell you that without a doubt I get the best results with the water bathing method! I will explain more in the technique section.

Pretty much I feel like I have run a test kitchen in order to figure out the best way to make home-made yogurt, simply because my son loves it, it is a fabulous pro-biotic food that is great for the gut flora when consumed after every meal or with every meal along with kefir, but that is for another post!


Okay here we go with the recipe:

Start with 1 quart minus 3/4 cup of raw milk preferably milk that is at least 3-4 days old (I don't have a great scientific reason for this, but I find my milk sets the best when it is this old)

1 room temperature 6 oz container of Brown Cow yogurt or another Organic non growth hormone yogurt with live cultures and no fillers. (brown cow just started to add pectin to their yogurt! Bo ho. 60z is 3/4 of a cup just so you all know. If you are starting from a large container of Hawthorne of seven springs go with 3/4 cup! Stay away from yogurt with inulin for culturing! )


Candy Thermometer

small or large Cooler (or in our case a heater)

Clean (or sterilized) 1 quart wide mouth mason jar

small whisk



Technique:
In a stainless steal pot bring 1 quart of raw milk to 110 degrees over medium heat. Keep a careful watch on the milk as the temperature will rise quicker than you think. Stir the milk occasionally to prevent cooking on the bottom. You can also use a double boiler if you are more comfortable.

While the milk is heating set your culture in a water bath of water
aprox. 115 degrees. Stir your starter to bring it up to 100-105 degrees. This won't kill your bacteria, but it will allow for better assimilation with your milk.

When the milk and the starter are both temped, remove the milk from the heat, and whisk the starter into the pot with the milk. Whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture into your wide mouthed mason jar, leaving a 1/2 inch to 1 inch from the top to give the bacteria some space to ferment. Place the lid on your jar tightly.

Fill a Cooler with water 120 degrees. It is very important that the water is not above 120 degrees! It can be as low as 110. Our tap water when put to "hot" produces water that is aprox 130 degrees, just to give you a feel. So, this water shouldn't require stove top heating. Use your candy thermometer to make sure that your water temperature is right. Place the jar submerged in the cooler for 12-24 hours.

Why so long? This allows for the bacteria to successfully eat away all the lactose and makes the end product extremely digestible! After all you are making it homemade, you mind as well make it optimal in nutrition! :)

I check the temperature of the water bath after 8-10 hours and add some more hot water as necessary try to keep the temperature around 100-105 degrees. If you don't it is okay! Your yogurt will still come out, I think it just improves the flavor and consistency. If you have a yogurt maker, obviously, instead of water bathing you would just place in a the maker!

As you can see from the picture, when the yogurt is done, you will see a yellowish layer of whey at the top. You are welcome to strain this off for soaking your grains, and for a thicken more protein dense yogurt. You can also than immediately strain all the whey out if you are making homemade cream cheese or cottage cheese. Nourishing traditions cookbook has the instructions for both of these things!

A note about using probiotic capsules. I have done this several times when I was too lazy to go out a get a starter. It does culture the milk, and it does taste sour like yogurt, but my experience has been the yogurt is runnier than using an actual starter. I have read that it is due to too many "bacteria" in the probiotic capsule. N, J and I eat it anyway, and it is perfect for smoothies or drinking. So, in a pinch I find it to be an acceptable substitute, but you will have to be the judge of that for your own family! :)

Happy yogurt making and please let me know how it goes for you! If you come up with any great additions post them! :)

Again this is only for raw milk. Pasteurized milk is a different entity, and the incubating temperatures are different.

Please check out The Nourishing Gourmet for more frugal nourishing ideas at the Pennywise Platter Carnival every Thursday!

And also see Real Food Wednesday on Cheeseslave

Bathroom Distress?

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So, I know that talking about bowel movements is a somewhat personal topic, but let's face it, we all do it, and some of us do it more frequently or less frequently than others. The truth of the matter is, Bowel movements are an essential part of life, and they tell us a great deal about our over all digestive health.

Did you know that 2-3 bowel movements each day used to be classified as the "normal" cycle. With some room for play, seeing how men tend to produce bowel movements quicker and more frequently than woman. Now it is considered "normal" as long as an individual produces 3 bowel movements a week!


Think about that, 2 times at least per day transitioning to 3 times a week. That is a big difference in speed of digestion, and stomach discomfort. Think about the sheer poundage of food consumed on a daily basis, and than think about the stools that you are producing...are they equal? Bowl movements should be easy to pass, and quite large...not small tiny circles, or circles clumped together...

Gastrointestinal issues are rapidly increasing. The longer one is "constipated" not going at least 1 time a day, the more gastrointestinal issues
and overall physiological and psychological problems they are open to. Why? When the fecal matter isn't passing out of the body, it is caking on the intestinal walls. This produces a perfect breading ground for unhealthy bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. to bread, multiply, and wreak havoc on our digestive tracks. It also hinders the proper absorption of nutrients, seeing how you are hosting a whole bunch of unwanted critters in your bowels, they are consuming your food, before your healthy bacteria do. The "bad" guys are now getting first dibs on vitamins, minerals, etc. and your "good" guys get the left overs.

Compare your stools with the stool health chart! How do you fair?


Constipation in a nut shell, is a serious health problem, and overtime will leave the person with varying health issues, all stemming from the lack of proper absorption, and the hosting of "bad" guys leaching poisons into our systems. Once chronic constipation begins, it is very difficult to get rid of.

The best way to avoid this issue is to eat a well balanced diet. Don't eat processed carbs, starches, fibers, as these will only continually feed the "bad" gut environment. Switch to a "native" or nourishing diet. Digesting plenty of probiotics free of starch, will help improve the gut environment as well.

The dietary changes required are too lengthy to go into in this post, but I will give you some helpful suggestions for relieving occasional constipation...

Stay away from Laxatives. They produce harsh bowel contractions leaving your bowels natural muscles suffering. Instead grab a stool softener, non stimulant. This might come in the form of Milk of Magnesia, or my favorite and extremely natural, molasses. (for Molasses, take 1 Tbsp every 4 hours until issues subside) all other stool softeners follow manufacturers instructions.

These products specialize in pulling water back into the stool allowing it to be softer to pass. When stool sits in the bowels for longer than it should the bowels start to "drink" the water back out of the stools, which is why they are hard and very difficult to pass. You want to try to reverse the effects of this process!

Take a Probiotic! Since the root of all constipation is from unhealthy gut bacteria counts the best thing you can do is to add more of the good guys to fight off the "bad" bacteria! I personally really like bio-kult probiotic for the price and bacteria it can't be beat! There are various others available at health food stores, etc. Just be sure the bacteria are live, they don't contain fillers, and that the company can guarantee the counts! There is a lot of money thrown away every year to "pro-biotics" that are little more than starch capsules! Be careful!


Don't underestimate the power of a warm bath with 1 cup of cider vinegar, Epsom salt or sea salt added to it! This helps relieve the body of toxins. After the bath rub Castor oil, olive oil, hemp oil, or safflower oil (all natural, cold pressed, dark bottles!) on the stomach and allow it to soak in. These oils will help lubricate the stool as well. (think about the absorption power of our skin...!)

The use of a natural enema is also highly recommended. Notice I say Natural, not the saline enemas (2 liters is more than enough! and you don't need all the herbal stuff they try to sell with them. You will need peroxide to clean the bag and tubes after usage)you can purchase at pharmacy. You would be looking for an enema kit. With a large bag and tub attached to it. You will bring water to a boil and than allow it to cool to 100 degrees. Place it in your enema bag and add a probiotic capsule to it, make sure there are not starches or FOS's in your probiotic...this will cause excessive gas, you can also use homemade yogurt. Than proceed with the flushing as you would any enema. There are various website dedicated to the procedure of a natural enema, so I am not going to list them all here. The GAPS book has detailed instructions on pg. 226.

Get regular! You will be amazed at what it can do for your body, mind, and mood! Take constipation seriously, it is a health problem! Happy Pooping!


Avocado Mayo! (leftover Chicken ideas)

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In the past the yeast diet has been really hard...mostly b/c we ate roasted chicken and veggies every night...and much more of the same for lunch with occasional veggie sticks with nut butters. Needless to say after six weeks we were all ready for a change. This time around, have found some new additions that have made food exciting, interesting, and us not really missing all the stuff we can't have. The latest addition is avocado mayo! With the flat bread, and this, you can eat chicken salad to your hearts content...with all the toppings! Ahh, sandwiches, does life get any better than this?

This recipe also provides another creative way to use all those leftover stock chicken bits. I know I start to run out of creative ideas for the chicken. We eat this salad either on lettuce leaves like a "roll-up" or on the flat bread like a wrap. If you can have grains, than have at it!


We really enjoy chopped tomatoes and onions, and occasionally cucumbers mixed in the with avocado mayo and chicken, but feel free to add whatever you think sounds good...and let us know of you new concoctions!

So, this glorious mixture, can be changed up depending on your mood, but I am going to post our favorite concoction to-date!

Recipe:
1 ripe Avocado (if it is still a little firm, that is fine, it will just need to process longer
15-20 basil leaves (washed and dried)
2 Tbsp Onion
1 clove (or more) garlic
1/2 tsp real salt
splash of lime (squeeze about the size of a lime wedge that you would add to water)

Combine all of the above ingredients in a food processor. Turn it on and process until a smooth "mayo" is formed. Use a spatula to remove mayo from processor and toss with your meat of choice (we life to use leftover stock chicken) or 2-4 whole chicken breasts. Add chopped tomatoes, more onions, cucumbers...or whatever else your heart desires. :)

This makes quite a bit of mayo...Chicken salad for 3 to 4 people eating

Glorious Tacos! (starch free)

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I have to say, I am quite excited about Meals these past 2 weeks. I have felt extra creative with our extra limited diet! The Grass fed beef was up on the menu again tonight, and I find we all like it better mixed with some other flavor. Whether it be onions or garlic in burgers...or tonight as Tacos, we find we appreciate our cow way more when not consumed plain! :)

I have had many goes at homemade tacos, but most just leave us wanting the store bought mix...especially after we found this delicious organic one, but none of them are allowed on the yeast diet, and most of them are so expensive for what you are actually getting. After some reading about how to make delicious tacos at home, I have to say these got rave reviews! J even said he would give me a gold star if he had one!

The secret to the recipe is the time they take to simmer in the delicious spices. Simmer time for this recipe is about 1-1 1/2 hours, with "mashing" required only 2-3 times. They are "low Maintenance" and an easy way to kick a processed food option out of your pantry!

Recipe:
2 lbs grass fed beef ground
2 Tsp real salt
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp paprika
1-3 garlic cloves minced, pressed, or finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 whole onion chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped (optional)
2-4 Egg Yolks (1-2 Tbsp arrowroot)

In a large pan with a lid that fits it, place the beef and all the seasonings in it, except the onion and the pepper. Mash the meat with a Masher until broken up a bit, and fill with water to the level of the beef. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Leave it to simmer for about an hour. If you are in a rush, 30-45 minutes is sufficient, but the full hour really does make a difference. Make sure you are checking that the mixture still has water and to break up any meat chunks that might be forming. The softness of the meat is dependent upon the mashing during the cooking. Check ever 20-25 minutes for water and mashing.

After an hour add the onions and let simmer for another 15-20 minutes than, remove the "broth" and place in a separate sauce pan let cool a minute (below 140 degrees), and whisk with 2-4 egg yolks. Gently bring the mixture to 140-150 degrees. Be careful not to raise it above this or the egg yolks will separate. Whisk the mixture the whole time, than remove from the heat and set aside. This is my thickening agent, if you want more information about yolk thickening agents please read my previous post. If you aren't on a starch free diet feel free to use 1-2 Tbsp Arrowroot until mixed with a little cold water and than added to the "broth" until desired thickness is achieved. The whole thickening process is optional! Feel free to just leave the broth as is and serve with desired toppings and shells.

We used the "flat bread/tortillas" for the tacos and they tasted like a burrito! Extra delicious topped with tomatoes, lettuce, onion, avocado, and cheese (if you are allowed dairy!)

Enjoy and please let me know what you think!


Chicken "Tots" (Candida Friendly/starch free)

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I call these tots because the original recipe, from Pecan bread, that these were adapted from referred to them as tots. If you prefer call them patties, but whatever you call them, call them good! I love how these "hide" veggies in with the patties, and have an excellent flavor. We enjoyed them on the "flat bread" (the picture is of the flat bread before cut) folded over and ate them with traditional burger toppings, tomatoes, avocado, onions, lettuce, and a grilled 1/4 of savoy cabbage. They were quite satisfying!

We all loved the Tots, and N enjoyed his tot sandwich with lots of homemade ketchup (recipe from NT cookbook)

The Egg Yolks are added, since I make this with the flat bread, and the flat bread recipe has 2 egg yolks leftover. I didn't want to just discard these delicious and nutritious yolks, so I added them to help bind the mixture when "fried."


I could imagine this being awesome with some basil or cilantro as well, but I had two hungry men, and not enough time to go pick some herbs:) Feel free to spice it up a bit, and I would love to know what you all try!

Recipe:
1 cup cooked, cut, tightly packed green beans or broccoli (or any other veggies you want to try)
1 cup shredded, tightly packed chicken (left over from making stock, or just boiled)

1/4 of a white cooking onion
3 cloves garlic
1 Tsp Fish sauce
2 Egg Yolks (optional)

2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
Salt and pepper as needed

Other spices if you wish

Place the veggie, onion, garlic, and fish sauce in the food processor, and process until it is liquid or
pasty. Gently pulse in the chicken until the mixture resembles that of Tuna salad. It will be wet and slightly sticky. Take a small handful of the mixture and press in between your palm to form a "patty."

Have your skillet nice and hot, but not scalding or the outsides will burn. Combine both the butter and coconut oil together in a dish, and apply liberally to the skillet. Place the patties on the skillet and cook until browned on eat side. If you try to flip the patties too soon, they will break apart. Once "cooked" on the one side they will stay together very
nicely!

These are an excellent change of pace for all that left over chicken, and the mixture of veggies helps the meat go a long way.

This recipe was enough to feed our very hungry family of 3. (both J and I eat more than "normal" people...especially on the yeast diet!)

Check Out the Nourishing Gourmet for more Frugal Ideas.

The Raw Milk Debate...and how to select a farm

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Many of you have heard me mention raw milk on several occasions. So, I thought it would be helpful to you all to share why our family chooses to drink raw milk, and how you can find and determine a good raw milk supply for your own family.

Why Raw Milk?

Milk is a food that is alive. There is considerable science literature that shows that Raw milk is superior in nutrition to its pasteurized counterpart. Raw milk contains higher levels of natural vitamin C, and has been know to reduce allergies, asthma, eczema, and digestive issues. Reasons for these reductions have been linked to the high number of digestive adding enzymes and bacteria that actually allow for the assimilation of other vitamins and nutrients in the diet. In general most Americans eat diets that are low in digestive enzymes and healthful bacteria, given our obsession with pasteurization, irradiation etc. Pasteurization kills not only the “bad” bacteria but also the good. Leaving your milk filled with dead pathogens. Your body doesn't know what to do with “dead” bacteria...so it starts to fight them, than realizes it doesn't..and than gives up. This typically results in mucus production and immune system tiring.

Pretty much, in any study comparing the two, Raw milk is always shown as a superior food!

That is why we drink it, but there is much that needs to go into questioning and decisions prior to bringing this product into your home.

With the modernization of the food supply and the “factory farm” diaries, finding raw milk can be challenging. You DON'T buy raw milk from a “factory dairy.” These cows are fed a diet specifically for the increased production of milk. There diets aren't based on having low bacteria counts simply b/c they know their milk will be pasteurized. They are fed mostly corn, which I know I was surprised to find out cows digestive tracks actually aren't designed to eat corn at all. They aren't omnivores. They are grass-a-vores. Cows have essentially two stomaches. One to digest the grass the first time they eat it, and the second for the “cud” after it has been chewed. Yummy thought huh? When a cow is fed corn, it by-passes the second stomach and heads right for the digestive track...essentially recking havoc on the cows intestines. This typically is why dairy farms smell so bad, all the cows have the runs from an in-proper diet. Their e.coli counts in their milk also shot way up from the corn actually causing a condition know as leaky gut.

Conditions for selecting a raw milk farm:

-cows shouldn't be fed corn. (even most the certified raw dairies are corn fed to some degree, and I know of 2 within the past year that were shut down for E. Coli counts being too high)

-cows should be pastured

-there bowl movements shouldn't be liquid, they should be solids

-Milking equipment should be sanitized after each milking, and milk from separate milkings never combined due to fluctuations in temperatures leading to bacteria growth.

-Farm should be small, no more than 50 cows, but preferably 5 or less. To ensure adequate knowledge and awareness of each cow, there are always exceptions to the size of farms with cows. One of the best dairies in the whole state has more than 50 cows...

-sick cows are never milked or given antibiotics.

-Cows have been tested for TB, and come back negative

-farmer drinks their own milk.

-bacteria counts are checked and monitored.

-ideally they have a raw milk permit...but it is okay if they don't and they meet all the above.

So, that is it in a nut shell. If you are looking for raw milk farms in Rochester please join the Rochester farm connection list serve via Yahoo. If you need one in Buffalo, you may email me directly for help in finding one. If you aren't near Rochester or buffalo...ask around at your local health food store, you might be surprised at the information you find. Just please remember to ask the above questions. Raw milk is great if the cows are healthy and happy, but it can be dangerous if the cows diets are poor or the milking standards aren't up to “raw” standards.

Please visit the Real Milk website for tons more information about all the benefits to raw milk and the legislation surrounding it.


For more information about Raw Milk, health of Cows and the milk you drink, and how pasteurization/homogenization came to be please view the view below


An Awesome read for more information:

The Untold Story of Milk Politics and the Science of Nature's Perfect food

Happy milk hunting.


Nut Free/Dairy free Flat Bread or tortillas!

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So, I stumbled upon this recipe at Pecan Bread. I have to say, we had the flat bread tonight with our hamburgers and both J and I were amazed at how good is actually did taste. N liked that he could "roll" it up and hid beans in it! I am shocked at when you eat this with meat or some other filling how the brain really processes it like bread!

These would make great "roll up" finger sandwiches, tortilla shells, or "crepes" for sandwich fillings.


Overall, they don't take too long to prepare, probably an hour start to finish...which when you consider the time it takes to make bread...this is nothing!

The trick is to make sure your egg whites are beaten until very stiff and the pureed veggies have all excess water removed. I simply boiled some carrots and beans together until soft, drained all the water, pureed them with my hand-held blender. The result was very thick! Perfect for this recipe.


Recipe:

1/3 cup pureed veggies (a combination of carrots, green beans, cauliflower, or squash, or just pick one of them)

6 Egg Whites
4 Egg Yolk
2 Tsp salt or seasoned salt. ( I like the "sugar free" season salt...I will post a recipe.)

If you don't have left over cooked veggies, than peel and cut some carrots and add green beans to the boiling water. Drain water and puree with a hand-held blender. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high with the salt until stiff peaks form.
Blend the egg yolks and veggies together until liquid.

Carefully fold in the veggie mixture with the egg whites until blended.

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.


Put batter on a sil-pat on a cookie sheet either spread through the whole thing or drop and slightly flatten in circles if using for buns or tortilla substitute. I would suggest potentially spreading the batter between 2 sheets if doing just the flat bread. The recipe makes
aprox. 22 "bun" sized rounds. (I recently tried this on parchment paper and not the sil-pat and it was a disaster...so I recommend the silpat. I am going to try it on a well greased sheet next, I will let you know how it turns out!)

Place in the oven for 30 minutes until lightly browned. If stacking pans, rotate mid-way through cooking.


We are really excited about these! Give them a try! Let me know what you think... It can't get any better, eggs and hidden veggies:)

Coconut Squash Muffins (Gluten Free/grain free)

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A new variation, I like the consistency of these way better than the Nutty Squash ones, but the flavors are equal!

N and J both enjoyed them greatly...and if you aren't on a Candida or another special diet, I would add 2-4 Tbsp succant, honey, or maple syrup! I also dry roasted the squash this time and I found the muffins were way less wet! So, to dry roast your squash, cut the bulb off of a butter nut squash or use an acorn squash. Cut them in half and remove the seeds. Place in an oven-proof dish and set the oven to 250-300 degrees. Roast
flesh side up for 30 minutes than turn the oven off. Remove from oven when flesh is soft. This stops the squash from getting excessively moist!

1 Cup dry roasted butter nut squash
1 cup finely shredded coconut flakes (unsweeted, un-sulphured.)
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
4 Eggs
2 TBSP freshly ground flax seeds (optional)
2 Tbsp or more of cinnamon
1-2 Tbsp of homemade vanilla extract
(2-4 TBSP of a sweetener if allowed)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or Oil an 8x8 pan or muffin tins. (I personally hate muffin tins...I just find them a pain, so my family has gotten used to "cut" muffins from a cake pan!) Combine the squash and coconut shreds in the food processor or blender, blend until combined. Add the oil, flax, cinnamon, vanilla and eggs. Process again until well blended. Place batter in the buttered pan or tins. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned ontop and a toothpick comes out clean. If you remove from the oven to soon, the muffins will shrink and get compacted. When they are cooked all the way through they will retain their shape!

Happy eating!

Squashy Nutty Muffins/bread

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These are a nice substitute when you are avoiding grains or if you are trying to get more protein and veggies into your or your kids diet. They aren't the best things on the face of the planet, but they are a good supplement. I would highly recommend adding some honey or maple syrup...maybe 2 TBSP if you aren't avoiding Sugar than I think these would be awesome! They taste like a pumpkin pie bar minus the sweetness!

2 Cups cooked and cooled squash (aprox: 1 acorn, or 1/2 butternut)
1/2 cup crispy pecans
1/2 cup crispy almonds
4 eggs
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ginger
1/8 Tsp Ground Cloves
2-4 TBSP maple syrup/succant/honey (optional)

Place the Almonds and Pecans in a food processor or blender and process until it is a fine meal. Add the squash oil and spices. Process until blended. Add the eggs last and blend until combined.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place batter either in mini muffin pans, muffin pans or a square cake pan. Oil the pan first! Bake for 30-40 minutes until the muffins pull away from the side of the tins or the pan. A toothpick inserted into the muffins should come out clean when inserted. The top should also brown a bit.

N really enjoyed them and did J. We all agreed they could use some honey...but they were a nice addition to our chicken soup dinner!

let me know what you think! Sorry no photo now, I will take one next time we make them. They were gone to quick to grab a photo!

How is Your Gut Today?

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The candida diet is going well. I am still in the "die-off" phase of existence meaning things typically get worse for up to 10 days prior to getting better!), but J is already on the up swing. I can't help but get frustrated with how much quicker men's bodies in general respond to "new treatments."

Rebuilding the gut to an optimal state of existence is a process! It isn't just a 4-6 week run, it takes months to repair the gut environment, after all, many of us have been assaulting it for years and years. I know J is looking forward to learning more about what his body responds well to, and doesn't like, and I am looking forward to a reduction of a whole slew of unwanted medical/fertility issues. It is next to impossible to predict how much "better" you will be when your gut is healed...but I know I experienced amazing relief from a Central Nervous System disorder (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) chronic pain, migraines, chronic constipation, sinus infections, and seasonal allergies. N got rid of his eczema, started eating better, and we were able to remove him from his seizure medication with success! I know I sound like an infomercial and this point, but I am just excited to share with you all how impacting a crazy "food turn-around" can be for you!


Changing the way we view our food is key. Food is the Nourishment our provider has created to provide his "temple" life. When we eat food from the earth full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, we are "feeding the temple." When we eat foods that have been sacrificed to the idols of Money and Corporations we are draining our systems and in turn our lives of their full potential.

A sick gut causes our minds to become clouded and our decisions poor. Think about when you have been really stressed out, or if you are a woman struggling with PMS. It is like we can't control our cravings or desires for "food" that really isn't "food." Chips, chocolates, candies, fast food is the first thing on most peoples minds when their gut is sick and being stressed to it's limits. This is no surprise. We are all addicts. Food Addicts that is. Each has their own specific addiction, but the point is we have sought after food for it's pleasure, convenience, and taste value, not the nourishing value...and your sick gut is fueling your addiction, one cheeto at a time.

A sick gut can manifest symptoms in a variety of different ways, and can't be limited to a simple 1 page list of things to look for! Do you suffer from a constant stuffy or runny nose, ear infections, puffy eyes, bags under the eyes, food cravings, arthritis, hypoglycemia, infertility, hormone imbalances, low glandular production, a wide variety of psychiatric problems including depression and social anxiety disorder, Irritable Bowel syndrome, endomietriosis, constant infections of colds or flus, eczema, acne, migraines, bad breath, itchy bum (I know no one wants to talk about this) and on and on. It doesn't just mean that you have a stomach ache or stomach problems (although that can be a symptom as well!)

A sick gut can come about via many different paths. Some we can thank our parents for, literally. Some of us are born with a weak gut and poor ratios of good and bad bacteria, a weak immune system ect. The genes we inherit are the genes we have been given. You can't get them any better than where you start, but you can for sure make them worse depending on how you treat the ones you are given!

Frequent or overuse of antibiotics also produce a bad gut. Anti-biotics are just that: bacteria killing agents. They don't discriminate good and bad bacteria, they just kill everything in sight. Broad Spectrum anti-biotics do the worst damage to a gut. Don't be fooled into thinking that antibiotics for infection are the only ones you consume. If you eat conventional eggs, meat, or milk than you are getting more than your daily dose of antibiotics. If you are a tap water drinker, than you are exposed to them in the water supply along with chlorine and fluoride other killers of bacteria.

Needless to say, as an average American you are at war with your environment everyday! To make matters worse we have mounds of conflicting information about what "healthy foods" truly are as well!

A simple way to start the healing process:

Consider a GAPS diet. (link in the side bar)
Consider a Candida Diet
Talk to a holistic health care practitioner
Keep reading my blog :)

But just don't do nothing!

Take back your clarity, sight, and mind. Get your gut healthy! Yes, this will probably take drastic lifestyle changes, but it is worth it in the end!

The Doctor is IN....Bronner that is.

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It has been awhile since I shared about what is in our home...

It always amazes me how we are so careless with what we put on our skin. I know I never thought of skin as an organ that is drinking everything that gets placed on it, and assimilating it into our bodies/blood etc. Now that I am older, and like to think wiser, I am shocked, appalled and in general disbelief when I walk down the self care isles of the stores.


My general opinion on the matter, if you can't or won't drink it, than you shouldn't be using it on your skin! I know that sounds intense, but it is true!

Soaps are a tough one. Finding one that lathers, doesn't dry your skin out, and doesn't have toxic chemicals, plus is affordable can be tough.

I can say we have had an obsession with Dr. Bronners Castile Soaps for quite some time. N, J and I all use them for soap, facewash, and shampoo. They some in so many different essential oil
blends that the variety is almost endless.

So, for a facial pack or for the morning when you just can't seem to get your eyes to open, or you have sinus congestion. Place a squirt of the peppermint or eucalyptus soap in a sink of hot water. Soak a wash cloth and place it on your face. Inhale the oils...and wait for the amazing tingle. I am officially obsessed with this! I joke with J that this is my morning therapy after a rough night of little sleep!

For shampoo : Mix the rose and citrus oils together in a separate bottle. The rose will help build volume and the citrus helps remove excess oils and dirt. The peppermint is a nice clarifier ever once in a while....but will leave your hair straw-like if used on a regular basis.

For bodywash: I like the citrus, or rose. J likes the Eucalyptus or peppermint. I find the "spicy" oils can be a bit much on the sensitive areas of the body, but hey, give it a whirl...

You can also use it as a mouthwash. I don't particularly care for the after taste, but to each his own I suppose.

I have also used it as a dish soap with great success!

Needless to say, a bottle of Dr. Bronners goes a long way in your home! The bottle is a bit scary, they definitely are working from an interesting belief system, but the soap is great! They even have a Non essential oil soap...


Coconutty Fish Soup...Mmm Mmm Good

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After making your lovely fish stock it is time to bring the house down with some amazingly awesome soup! I don't know about you all, but we are obsessed with coconut milk. It is within the last year or so that it has become a staple in our household, and now I am thinking how did I ever live without this amazingly rich, creamy, and Delicious goodness! I know I sound a little obsessive, but it is true, I love my coconut, and N and J are also completely enthused about it.

It I am ever in doubt over weather they will like a recipe, I add coconut milk to it, and it is a hit. I don't think either of them have ever rejected it's goodness!


Okay, okay, I'm moving onto the recipe...:)

With summer veggies in swing here, we found ourselves with some super fresh spinach to use! yum.

Coconut fish soup:

1 1/2 quarts fish stock
1-2 cans of coconut milk, depending on the thickness and flavor desired
1 tsp dried ginger
Bunch spinach washed
4 carrots (shredded or chopped. I prefer shredded, J likes them chopped)
2 Daikon Radishes shredded (you can omit these, they really don't add that much flavor, just nutrients)
1 onion diced or shredded
2 celery stalks finely chopped
3 tomatoes chopped
10 basil leaves (added at the end or garnished)
small bunch cilantro (added at the end or garnished)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

This is a pretty self explanatory recipe. Add all the veggies with coconut oil for sauteing to the pot and saute until just soft. Add the stock and coconut milk. Simmer for 10 minutes to give the flavors time to meld. Add the basil and cilantro at the very end, or place it in the serving bowls at the bottom and pour soup over top. (always add fresh herbs at the end of cooking and dried herbs at the beginning)

J, N, and I all loved this soup. It reminded us of a soup we used to get out at a local Asian restaurant. J added cayenne pepper to his, b/c he loves to "feel the burn." N and I enjoyed it with salt and pepper. We all had pecan bread with it! Yummy!

Of course you could add cooked brown rice to this recipe. N just can't eat that! Mix it up, it is soup after all, how wrong could you go?

Sorry about the fish photo, I need to get better at taking photos of our food! :)

Enjoy and please let me know what you think! Have any great fish soup recipes yourself?

Here Fishy Fishy.....stock!

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We have been intending for awhile to use the fish heads/parts etc that we had collected from the Nice Wegman's Fish Man. Nothing like paying a dollar a pound for excellent wild caught low mercury halibut...

Fish is one of those food items that we would all love to eat more regularly, but the cost is just a problem for our tight budget. Especially when you consider the 2.30/lb we pay for free range organic chickens and the 3.40/lb we pay for our grass fed beef with a
ll the bones! I love to try to get fish and all of it's goodness into our life, but I have found I need to be creative. (yes, it does help that my husband works for Wegmans, and we know when they have extra "parts" laying around for real cheap)

What comes home from the grocery store takes all that is in me not to hurl, (I'm still working on that) but the end product is quite delicious, nutritious, and typically gets us 3 meals!

How do we feed our whole family fish for 3 nights for just 3-4 dollars? Go to the fish man and ask him for all the filleted parts, the stuff they usually just chuck, and ask to have it/ or pay for it. Yes, you will get heads, tails, and various other things, but when made into stock, it will taste just like fish...I promise! Plus there are always "flakes" of meat left after you make the stock to thicken up your soups a bit.

Fish stock:
3 or 4 fish carcasses (non oily fish are best like, sole, turbot, rockfish, or snapper.)
1-2 onions
1-2 garlic bulbs or 5 garlic scapes or both if you like garlic:)
2 carrots chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4-5 quarts water


The following add after the boil and skim:
6-7 basil leaves
parsley
dash of oregano
2-4 Tbsp cilantro

I added all the top ingredients and brought the water to a boil, and than skimmed it. I covered the pot and let it simmer for about 4-24 hours. When it is done, remove the carcasses and all the added veggies and herbs. If there is excess meat I save this for soup that day! Be sure to remove the excess fat that congeals on the top for long term freezer storage.

Place in the freezer in 2-4 cups storage pouches for later use.

What do you use fish stock for? Delicious soup!

Please check out the Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday for more frugal recipes/tips, and tricks in your kitchen.

picture taken from Battle Creek Watershed Conservatory.

Candida Diet...Not So Bad

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For those of you who don't know, I have struggled with Candida systemic yeast infections on and off for about the last 6 years. I always dread finding out that yeast is yet again what is causing my symptoms. I reluctantly buy all the supplements and get mentally prepared to do the "diet."

This reluctance really does show the human nature. I always feel so much better when all is said and done, but parting with some of my favorite foods is just so hard. I guess you can say, I like instant "food" gratification:)


This time around, as I started the candida diet today, I am determined to make it different. I am actually excited about this adventure. I hope to post many candida friendly recipes for you all to try-out or use if you are on the "diet."

I started some serious research tonight on pecan/almond/hazelnut flours and am looking forward to baking successes. After all, there shouldn't be a reason why one can't enjoy bread, pancakes, and french toast while starving off the yeast, right?

For those of you not familiar with what Candida is, in short, it is a massive yeast overgrowth that is affects you systemically. So, not just feminine areas. It is guesstimated that approx. 90% of woman struggle with some form of candida. Chalk it up to hormones, or just a lack of luck, but women seem to have more problems with this pesky yeast than man.

It starts in the gut, as most health problems do, and actually eats it way through your intestinal lining and starts to cause a whole mess of unwanted symptoms. The true irony here though, is that most Americans just roll with it. They wake up feeling awful, tired, moody, headachey, in need of caffeine and just think that that is a normal way to feel. Well it isn't! You should be able to go to the bathroom at least 2 times a day, and not get "tired" at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.


The true kicker is that until you have done a yeast free diet, and know what it feels like to feel good, you truly have no idea how awful you feel everyday. Don't be fooled into thinking that yeast just give you moody, bowel issues. Yeast infections can be the underlying cause of various other health problems!

Obviously, I am not a doctor, but I can speak from experience! If you aren't going to the bathroom at least 2 times a day, suffer from bloating, headaches, sleeplessness, and sleepiness, and your a women...you probably have one...

Break Free! I hope I spiked your curiosity...stay tuned for more :)

Bread Glorious Bread...

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I recently came to the conclusion just a week of 2 ago, that N will quickly be 2 and 1/2 and he has never tasted the goodness of a sandwich! I have tried so hard to find a way to adapt a recipe to a "starchless" "glutenless" bread, but really haven't had much success...until now.

I got a call from J saying we were going to have a family outing...which we all love, but my first
thought was "uh oh-what am I going to bring for Noah?" I didn't have any "travel" food ready. I did a quick search online, and quickly found one of my new favorite blogs, cheeseslave (She is on the blog roll list and the picture is hers.) She has an amazing recipe for Almond bread.

I am constantly amazed at how one can use almonds to replace starch. I have had lots of success with Almonds in place of wheat flour...pancakes is one.

We gave it a go, and I love it, J loves it, and most importantly N loves it! And I am happy to say the little man got his first taste of a sandwich, a grilled cheese one at that! I feel as though I have had a great kitchen success this week!

I know you are all probably dying for the recipe so....

2 1/2 cup whole crispy almonds (or crispy pecans) (recipe in Nourishing traditions CB)
1/4 cup butter (coconut oil, or lard,
homemade yogurt or creme fraiche)
3 eggs
1 Tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Measure nuts whole and place in a food processor or blender (I like the blender better for getting more of a fine meal) When almonds are pretty much pulverized remove from chopper of choice and place in a bowl. Add the eggs, and fat of choice and mix until well blended. Put "dough" (it will look much more like "sweet bread" recipes in consistency) in a small bread pan and bake for 40-60 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean.

You can also buy almond meal at the store. You still use 2 1/2 cups, and soak this overnight in yogurt/buttermilk/kefir covered to remove the phytic acid and than proceed with recipe as noted above.
Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before using a butter knife to remove it from the pan.

We have used this for traditional sandwiches and also some french toast today. I wish I had taken pictures.

This recipe excits me for so many reasons, it is GAPS friendly, and yeast friendly, starchless, and full of protein. All and all, I am yet to find downers. :)

I will warn it sticks together really well, but the texture is not exactly like bread...it is a little more dense...kind of like a sweet bread. :) Enjoy!

Side note: just did this with pecans and added cinnamon, it is denser, but good. If you are looking for sandwich bread...definitely go with the almond!

A Must See Movie

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So, I know some of you much prefer to watch movies instead of reading lots of information. I know I like a good documentary every once in a while.

So, one I watched this week on Hulu, was the Future of food. If you are curious to understand more about the debate that goes on between the GMO world of farming and the non-gmo world of farming and how all of this plays into what you buy at the grocery store, this is a wonderful video. You get to see first hand what the farmers are up against. It is relatively short and worth your time.

While I considered myself "knowledgeable" on the topic this documentary really did blow me away, and it should cause you to really think about what "Nourishing Food" advocates are up against!

Sugary and Not So Sugary Problems

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Pop quiz: What is the largest source of calories in the Average American's diet?

If you answered soda you would be correct!

This is truly a sad reality. Consumption of sugar, in general, causes insulin spikes and dips, but in the larger quantities like we see in pop (or soda) it has the potential to devastate this balance leading to type 2 diabetes, potassium depletion (leading to muscle weakness, constipation, and neuromuscular disorders), osteoporosis, attention deficit disorder, insomnia, kidney stones, and tooth decay, and obesity...just to name a few. Not to mention as well, that it is taking precious stomach room away from nutrient rich foods in children and adults alike.

As American's we tend to look at the potential side effects of life, drugs, etc, and take them in stride, with the ignorance of thinking these things will never happen to me...or my children. But everyday Average American's, and most likely the same that are the average consumers of pop, are diagnosed with those conditions...

Soda consumption is a simple if/than analogy. If you consume soda on a regular basis than your risks of contracting all the of above conditions increases drastically, and if you continue to consume soda than your risks just get higher. For every can (I mean a can, not a bottle) of pop you drink a day you increase your risk of obesity by 60%! Yup, that's right, 60%! So, if you are a two canner a day, you are 120% likely to become obese. If you are sipping a soda and reading this...you can put the can down now.

Some of you woman might be thinking now, “well that is why I drink diet soda silly!” While you may think you are avoiding all of the above by drinking your diet variety, you are falsely lead as well.

Since most woman are obsessive compulsive calorie and fat label checkers, the soda companies, and all the other manufacturers for that matter wised up to our weakness and created something just for you...with no fat and calories...

Now, do you ever stop to wonder how you could be consuming such a “sugary” beverage with almost no or no calories and no sugar? We can all thank the company Monsanto for such a discovery...or curse. Aspartame itself doesn’t have any calories, but basically, one of its ingredients, the amino acid phenylalanine, blocks production of serotonin, a nerve chemical that, among other activities, controls food cravings. As you might well imagine, a shortage of serotonin will make your brain and body scream for the foods that create more of this brain chemical—and those are the high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich snacks that can sabotage a dieter. Obviously, the more aspartame one ingests, the more heightened the effects. Simply put, aspartame appears to muddle the brain chemistry.

A great example of this is when one consumes aspartame (equal, sweet n low, spoonful), it appears that it still causes an insulin spike, but with no true “sugar” to counter-act this process, cravings for food that will counteract the insulin..ie: sugar or simple carbs (junk food) happen, and the body will not quit until the insulin level is returned to normal.

For those of you who knew Aspartame wasn't a good option, and chose the safe alternative “splenda” or sucralose, I have some bad news for you too. Splenda actually has never undergone long term human study. So, the only research I can offer is from rats, mice, and rabbits. This research showed that sucralose consumption can cause shrinking of the thymus gland (up to 40 percent shrinkage), enlargement of the liver and kidneys, atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus, increased cecal weight, reduced bodily growth rate, decreased red blood cell count, hyperplasia of the pelvis, extension of gestational periods in pregnancy, decreased fetal body weights and placental weights, and diarrhea.

Long story made short. You are best to stay with what is natural. Natural meaning how you would find it in nature. Nature doesn't produce High Fructose Corn Syrup...a manufacturer has to change the molecular make up of corn to do it. Nature doesn't make fat free milk...it gives us cows that have varying fat contents throughout the year and different vitamins and minerals in the grass. Nature does give us a wide variety of delicious fruits and veggies that are wonderful freshly juiced or squeezed!

If you would like more information about any other sweetener alternative here is a large database.

sources not linkable: The Lancet 2001;357:505-508


About Me

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I am a geek. I love to research. I love to see how our bodies interact with our surrounding and food. I love to learn more about how our bodies metabolize different foods and "non" foods. I love to bust open myths that we all believe as Americans...and I love the quest for learning...

All of our Bodies truly are fearfully and wonderfully made! Not a single one of us is the same. If there is one thing I have learned after 10 years of research it is this! There are so many things that make our bodies tick, not a single 40 food diet is the answer for everyone. My quest here is to introduce to you all what I have come to believe is healthy, and for you to figure out which of those foods actually work well with your system...


For example: while we use dairy in our recipes, you might find dairy doesn't sit well with you. It isn't that dairy is bad for you...it is just that your body doesn't process dairy well...so it is a food you should avoid...but everyone doesn't need to avoid it.

Muddling through the nonsense we have all come to believe about "health" is an uphill battle. The Gods of Money and Corporations are powerful, and learning "truth" in the midst of lies is tough.

I have been on my fair share of "low fat" fad diets and almost any other "diet" that was trendy while I was in College, and all produced no results...and left me feeling worse. I was only 16 when I was diagnosed with a disease called Reflex sympathetic Dystrophy, a disease in your central nervous system, that left me unable to walk. After 2 plus years in the "traditional" realm of medicine I found myself 3 surgeries, and lots of prescription pills, and I was still in pain.

I was first introduced to "alternative" medicine via an Applied Kineseologist and chiropractor who immediately diagnosed me with a systemic yeast infection...and put me on the candida diet for 6 weeks. It was the worst thing I had ever endured...removing all my sugar laden foods from my diet was hard...especially in college, but it was well worth the effort. This is what started my journey into "health." When I was done with the diet...I was done with prescription drugs for the RSD and Pain killers, constipation, sinus infections, and weight I just couldn't lose.

I instantly became a "believer" in the healing power of food the way the Lord gives it. The journey has been long...but the benefits worth it! Understanding more about our bodies and food, has brought me to a greater understanding of who the God of the Universe is!

I am now a wife, to Jonathan, and mother to a fabulous eclectic dude Noah with lots of special food needs, and a heart melting Isaac. I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen cooking for my family and I have found I have come to view it as an art form! It isn't about how long something takes to prepare, but rather how nourishing the end product is.

On a side note: I hate doing laundry and scrap-booking...and I still love a great cup of coffee with cream!



Buckwheat Noodles Baby! (GF and Overnight Soak)

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So, first let me say sorry it has been so long between posts. Our family has been quite busy...between surgeries and a seizure, I haven't had a tremendous amount of time to update my recipes. But with no further ado I bring you the best addition, to date, to our families menu planning....Buckwheat Soba Noodles.

Pop Quiz: Is buckwheat a grain?
If you answered yes, you are in the same boat I was a week ago, after all buckwheat does have the "wheat" name in it. But the answer is actually no! Buckwheat isn't a grain at all, and it doesn't contain gluten despite what one might conclude. It is actually in the same family as Rhubarb So, it is a "safe" alternative for allergy ridden families!

After the discovery that buckwheat wasn't a grain and in the same family as quinoa, which N can eat, I got so excited and just had to try a recipe with it.

While I was contemplating a recipe one of my favorite blogs, The Nourishing Gourmet posted a Buckwheat noodle recipe, perfect timing. I took this as a sign from above that Soba noodles should be one our menu this week!

One thing worth noting is that Buckwheat is considered a complete protein, so no "meat" is required when using these noodles. Which I really appreciate with the budget being tighter these days.

Here is the recipe:
2 cups freshly ground buckwheat groats (hulled buckwheat is light in color and can be found at Wegmans, Lori's Natural foods and or Feel Rite in Buffalo)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

The above made enough for N,J, and Me with enough for 2 lunches, and we ate it as a Main meal, not a side dish. I would double if you are feeding more than 4 adults as and using this as a main dish.


The night before you want to eat your noodles, measure out 2 cups of freshly ground
buckwheat groats and place it in a large glass or non-reactive bowl. Slowly stir together 1/2 cup water and vinegar and add, mixing with a non reactive spoon, to the flour. The mixture will be dry and clumpy.

Start to hand knead the flour and water together. (side note: this is an extremely sticky and messy process. You might think you have done something wrong because the flour is just stuck to your hands, but you haven't! Just keep going, it will get better.) When you have most of the flour in a ball, feel free to knead on a clean surface a few times till a stiff, but not too dry ball is formed.

Clean the bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Place a wet, but not dripping, towel over the bowl and let sit for 12-24 hours.


Now, normally I hate rolling dough out, but I have to say these were easy and quick to roll out. I managed to complete rolling and cutting all the pasta within 20 minutes!

Cut the dough into 3 or four sections and heavily flour the surface of a large wooden cutting board or counter top if you don't have one. Make sure you have ample flour, if the dough is
sticking at all, add more flour to the surface of the dough. Roll out one section of the dough until about 1/8 inch thick. You may roll thinner or thicker depending on the thickness of pasta you like. The thinner you roll it, the easier it breaks into pieces post cooking when trying to toss with sauces etc.

When you have reached a desired thickness cut noodles in desired width. I cut mine the thickness of fettuccine, but have fun with this. The kids could even help. To make it slightly easier to cut. I folded my dough into thirds so it was less cutting, again important to make sure they are well floured and not sticky! When noodles are cut, hang over the edge of the bowl. Repeat process with the remaining dough. LET THE DOUGH REST FOR 10-20 MINUTES.

Bring a pot of water with ample salt to a rapid boil and boil your noodles for about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, and toss with desired sauce immediately. They will get sticky quickly, so have your sauces ready! Enjoy with finely sliced carrots, cabbage or broccoli.

N and J both really liked them, and we were all glad to have some sort of pasta back in our diets! :)

I wanted to let you all know we did this recipe with traditional tomato sauce and it was amazing! So, for those of you who wonder does buckwheat work well with italian dishes? Yes, is the answer!