Monday, May 30, 2011

oatmeal raisin cookies

My oldest, Ashley, has a cookbook.  It is Kit's Cooking Studio.  Kit is an American Girl doll and Ashley loves all American Girl dolls.  She pulled out this book the other day and has been itching to make something from it.  We decided to make the oatmeal raisin cookies.  Of course, we changed it to fit our new whole foods lifestyle.  We used freshly ground whole spelt flour and sucanat in place of both brown and granulated sugar.  We also made half of them with chocolate chips instead of raisins because she doesn't like raisins.  The cookies are flat, as all my spelt cookies tend to be, but they kids are sure enjoying them!  They aren't quite as sweet as most cookies, but I think the less sugary food we eat the more we will appreciate that.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

snacks for my one year old

My son is 18 months old.  He is a growing boy with a huge appetite.  Having three skinny little girls who eat like birds, I was not prepared for this.  He is CONSTANTLY hungry.  With my girls, I would have given them store bought graham crackers, Goldfish, or Cheerios.  Since I am trying to eat only whole foods, these just won't do.  So what do I feed this little guy?  Sure, I cut up apples or feed him applesauce, but fruit just isn't filling enough for this little boy.  So today I made some graham crackers at home.  I used this recipe found at  I used whole spelt flour instead of whole wheat, using about a 1/4 cup extra flour.  It was a huge hit.  The boy had one in hand almost constantly for the rest of the day!  The girls loved them as well.  We had one little cracker left when they went to bed.  One of these days I will post a picture, but for now just head over to and make up a batch of these tasty snacks!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I survived!

Okay, so maybe that sounds a bit dramatic.  I did survive my two days though.  I ate lots of green beans with onions.  Cooked in butter.  I had a baked potato for dinner on Monday night.  With butter and salt- no sour cream, which I love.  I was still starving though, so I bought some peanut butter.  The ingredients in the peanut butter were butter and salt.  I ate that whole jar of peanut butter in just 24 hours.  I didn't really want to eat just a handful of nuts, so peanut butter was nice.  I could dip veggies (just celery really) in it, or eat it with a spoon strait out of the jar.  I did want some Oreos on Monday, but I just told myself it was only two days and pressed on.  Tuesday I was just fine.  I didn't have any sugar cravings at all.  Normally, I can't go even a day without massive sugar cravings.  This is how I knew the Pau d'Arco was working.

So today starts my whole foods journey.  I have been eating plenty of whole foods my whole life.  The difference now is that I will be eating ONLY whole foods for at least a month.  After the month of detox (as I like to call it) I won't be serving any processed foods, but if I am at someone's house and they serve me something I will eat it.  I talked with the kids about it yesterday.  We talked about what a whole food is versus processed food.  They were very upset that I won't be buy Oreos anymore.  Alona asked in a very sad voice, "what will we have for desserts, then?"  I assured her that we could have ice cream made from raw milk and cream using honey, cookies using sucanat or rapadura, cake, brownies, etc. but that it would all be made from scratch at home using real ingredients.  I then told them that when they are at someone else' house they can eat whatever they are serving.  If they are given Oreos, they can eat them!  They felt much better after I told them this.  I figure if I am feeding them good, nourishing food at home every day then occasional not so good food won't be so bad. Right?

Hamburgers are on the menu tonight, so I ground some spelt flour in my wheat grinder for buns and pulled some grass fed beef out of the freezer.  Now I just have to figure out how to make healthier ketchup.  You know, without corn syrup.  Hmm...

Monday, May 23, 2011

it starts today

As part of my "get healthy" program that started today, I am following part of the protocol at Herbal Legacy for systemic yeast overgrowth.  I am taking two days to kill of the yeast and then I will start on my new whole foods diet.  The two days are the first procedure listed in the protocol.  It calls for a decoction made of Pau d'Arco and black walnut hulls simmered in water, drinking a quart per day, while eating only vegetables, nuts and sprouted legumes.  I attempted to do to the entire protocol about a month ago, but I couldn't handle going that long with only vegetables.  So I have devised a program that I think I can live with and will still benefit my health.  After these first two days, I will be eating a strictly whole foods diet while taking herb formulas I found at  I plan to incorporate most of the formulas on her website along with probiotics and a glass of kefir every morning. 

Now I'm off to go eat more veggies.  They only seem to keep me full for about an hour!  Its a good thing it is only for 2 days!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


A friend gave me some kefir grains a week or so ago.  I had never tried kefir (pronounced keh-fear) before.  Jeff had tried some of the store bought flavored stuff and liked it.  So I read up on how to make kefir with the grains I had, how to store it, and its health benefits.  I decided it was time to see how it worked.  So I puts a couple tablespoons of kefir grains in a quart mason jar, covered it with 2 cups of raw milk, stirred, and let it sit.  24 hours later I strained the grains out and had fresh kefir.  We decided to refrigerate it and try it chilled.  Jeff and I had a glass at dinner.  All but one of the kids had a sip.  It was too tart for their tastes.  While Jeff and I don't love the taste, it isn't so horrible that we can't drink it.  I'm hoping it is an acquired taste!

I already knew that cultured foods are really good for our bodies.  Most people have heard about the good bacteria (or cultures) in yogurt.  Some have even heard of these bacteria being referred to as probiotics.  If you are unfamiliar with beneficial bacteria or probiotics, I recommend learning about them.  Our bodies have bacteria and yeasts in them and they should be balanced.  The good bacteria and yeasts (not the kind you use to make bread) keep the bad ones in check.  Sometimes the bad ones take over and we have an imbalance.  Kefir and other cultured products can help to restore that balance.  You can also buy expensive probiotics in the store.  The benefit of kefir versus yogurt is that kefir has move variety of bacteria as well as healthy yeasts whereas yogurt has only a very few bacteria and no yeast. An overgrowth of bad yeast (candida) can cause thrush in babies and nursing moms, yeast infections, and is the cause of many of the illnesses that we suffer today- food allergies being one of them.  Most people may not believe that a systemic yeast infection can cause food allergies, but I will tell you why it does.  When yeast takes over in your gut it grows "roots" that create holes.  Undigested proteins go through these holes and into the bloodstream.  Your body attacks these proteins because they are foreign.  This is an allergic reaction.  Now, this isn't to say that there are no other possible causes of food allergies.

There are many reasons that yeast has the ability to take over in our systems.  We drink water with chlorine.  Chlorine kills beneficial bacteria in our system.  We eat so much refined sugar in our diet.  Yeast feeds on sugar.  In fact, it feeds on any kind of sugar - fruit, lactose in milk, sugars in grains.  So kefir and other cultured foods are a must in this day and age if we want to keep our systems in balance.

Over the Christmas holiday in 2009, our family got hit with a horrible stomach flu.  We refer to it as the Great Plague of 2009.  It was probably a form of salmonella or e-coli picked up by my then 3 year old Natalie while we were traveling.  As much as we washed our hands, it didn't seem to matter.  Drew was 4 weeks old.  The plague left us with thrush.  Natalie and I were sick for a few weeks.  It seemed to come and go.  It was THE WORST illness I have ever experienced.  No one else got it as bad as the two of us.  I honestly believe that our systems have not been in balance since that time.

I am now on a mission to fix this.  We are changing our eating habits.  I plan to introduce more cultured foods into our diets.  I plan to try lacto fermented vegetables, which include sauerkraut.  I'm hoping that fresh, homemade sauerkraut is better than the canned stuff you can buy at the store.  We are also going to eliminate the use of refined sugars.  I will be using sucanat, honey, and maple syrup.  I already grind my own whole grain flour, but I intend to make sourdough breads or soak our grains to aid in digestion.  I have attempted to make a sourdough starter several times, but it just hasn't worked out.  5th time is the charm, right?  I'm going to get it one of these days! 

All of these new ways of preparing food require more time and effort.  Most of the time involved doesn't actually require me to be standing there doing actual work, so maybe it is more planning that is really required.  I have learned what to do, and now I have to learn to DO IT.  That is the hard part- at least for me.  So here we go.  Kefir was the first step.  I am now drinking 8 ounces each day.  My next step is to eliminate white sugar and stick to only whole grains.  I have been about half and half on the whole grains and it is time to step it up!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


My mother got sick.  She had breast cancer.  In researching her options, she decided that traditional treatments- chemotherapy and radiation- were not for her.  She had watched friends struggle through those treatments.  She watched them die.  With a two year old daughter, she wanted to live a normal life.  So she read books.  She studied and prayed.  She felt strongly that she should try alternative methods to rid herself of her cancer.  She tried to change her eating habits.  I think she struggled with that.  In the end, she lost the battle.   Along the way, she shared the knowledge she had learned with her family. 

After her funeral, my father talked to the family about his beliefs.  He felt that the foods we eat truly are important.  He urged us to heed his advice.  Since then I have been trying to learn more about diet, nutrition and health.  Diet isn't something we do, it is what we eat.  Over the last year I have learned even more.  As I study and seek guidance from the Lord, I feel that I know what I should do to help my family become and stay healthy.   I am grateful that I have been given so many resources to help in our journey.

I want to live a long, healthy life.  I want to be here for my children and grandchildren.  I want my children to be healthy.  These are my reasons for this journey.