Friday, September 30, 2011


This week I have done something I never thought I would do.  I stopped eating grains.  Now don't get all excited.  It is only temporary.  I will tell you why.
Jeff has been sick.  It was bad.  For a week.  I finally started him on heavy doses of probiotics.  He is down to a normal dose now.  He has been dealing with digestive issues for quite some time.  I think it has to do with food poisoning while he was in the Army.  Switching to raw dairy has helped, but with this last illness sticking around for so long I decided we should spend some time trying to help him heal.  Now, if you've read much around here you know I'm not into eating tons of meat.  So this isn't a carb-free, all protein thing.  We are amping up our vegetable intake and limiting sugar. (I made some raw fudge with honey because I need SOMETHING to satisfy my sweet tooth once in a while.  It is ridiculously sweet and a tiny piece is all you need.)  We are increasing our meat consumption simply because we need a little extra protein to make up for the protein in the grains we would normally eat.  I have no idea how long we will stick with this, and I am not making my kids cut out grains. 
So what have we been eating?  Well, let's see.  The other night we had baked potatoes.  The kids had that as well.  Last night we ate green beans with (almost) caramelized onions (because I'm not patient enough to cook them that long), roasted beats, and salad.  I've been eating eggs, fruit, and cheese during the day.  Tonight we are having some steaks that have been in the freezer for the longest time.  I'm kind of excited- it has been a long time since I last had steak.  I haven't decided what we will eat with it.  Veggies, of course.  Maybe broccoli and spinach?  Saturday night we will be having a pot roast with carrots, green beans, and onions cooked with it and mashed potatoes with gravy- one of my favorites.  We had that growing up almost every Sunday.  Of course we had jello and cinnamon rolls with it, but we won't be having those tomorrow.  I might make bread or rolls for the kids and the friends we are having over that evening. 
I have been surprised at how well I have been able to stick to this.  Usually it is very difficult for me to give up certain foods (sweets).  I think all the vegetables are really helping.  I'll be sure to post how we feel as time goes on and how it goes when we add grains back into our diet.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


One of the herb formulas I found at is Essiac Tea.  If you know nothing about Essiac and you are into herbs, definitely look into it.  It is touted for healing cancer.  It is the primary formula in her health protocol and is the first one listed- and the last one I tried!  I FINALLY made some.  It was a little daunting to me because it takes over 12 hours to make (12 hours of that is just letting it sit in the pot, covered).  I was also waiting till I had an amber gallon jug in which to make it.  I halved the recipe so it would fit in that jug, ending up with about 3/4 of a gallon.  I have been taking it twice a day and feel that it is making a difference already.  I don't necessarily feel any different, but I can tell it is working.  I can't really explain how I can tell, maybe it is that I have a little more energy and motivation.  That may sound strange, but after battling with depression for most of my life, even in the good times I lack motivation to do anything.  Doing the dishes spontaneously yesterday was very out of the norm for me. I usually avoid it like the plague until I have to do it because we have no dishes left. 
I intend to add more her formulas back into my routine, adding one new one a week.  I was taking several of them before, but I stopped after a while.  I think they will make more of an impact when combined with the Essiac Tea.
I plan to start my kids on it as well, but that means I have to give it to them 15 minutes before they eat breakfast.  That requires me getting up before they start eating.  My kids wake up earlier than Jeff and I, so they usually go and get their own breakfast.  I'm thinking this means I am going to have to start getting up earlier!  Going to bed earlier, as well as rising earlier would probably be better for us anyway.

new recipe

I had the great pleasure of guest posting at No Thugs just recently.  I posted my recipe for Hearty Greek Pasta.  Feel free to go over there and check it out.  Scott's blog isn't a total health food blog, but he has recipes for foods that are definitely healthier than most and could easily be adapted if you felt so inclined.  There are a few plan to try myself, and I look forward to more recipes from him in the future.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I found myself wandering around the kitchen the other day, looking for something to eat.  It occurred to me that I wasn't really hungry.  I was bored.  I don't want to eat just because I am bored!  So I posted signs on the cabinets and refrigerator to remind myself not to eat emotionally.  Instead, I can get a large glass of water.  If I am still hungry in 15 minutes then I am probably am actually hungry.  If not, I should be fine.  That is what the signs on the cabinets tell me to do.  So far it is helping (so far is two days).  I didn't realize just how much I was actually eating out of boredom.  I am finding that I don't need a snack because I am not really hungry between meals- I was eating because I was used to eating at that time of day.  It is helping me to listen to my body instead of my head when it comes to food, and that is how it should be!

Try it.  If you are feeling hungry, take a large drink of water and wait 15 minutes.  See how it works for you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

about spelt

Spelt is not the past tense of spell.  Nope.  It is a grain.  It is actually a variety of wheat.  Hybridization of grains led to the wheat we have today.  There are many different varieties of wheat; hard red, soft white, and the crossbreed of those is hard white. Soft white wheat is good for pastries, so that is what pastry flour really is.  Spelt is further back in the hybridization.  Most bread was made from spelt during the Middle Ages over in Europe, as well as the early 1900s in the United States.  It has more protein than wheat.  It is also tends to be more easily digested.  It has less fiber and calories than wheat. It does contain gluten.  Spelt also has a stronger nutty flavor (which I love).  It can be substituted for wheat flour in most recipes- in fact, I haven't found one that hasn't worked for me yet.
I discovered spelt four years ago.  I was suffering from postpartum depression and wanted to treat it naturally (after a year of medication that only minimally helped).  The naturopathic doctor I went to suggested following the blood type diet.  In the blood type diet, it is suggest that type B (that is me- and my husband, therefore our kids are either B or O, so it works well for all of us) should not eat wheat but rather spelt.  So I switched.  For a long time I still used some white flour (you know the wheat flour that is stripped of all nutrients and then fortified with fake nutrients).  I only use it now on special occasions (birthday cakes).  I found that switching to whole spelt in my baking made a huge difference for me.  It doesn't make nice big, fluffy loaves of bread like wheat.  It makes for more crumbly baked goods.  I have learned that, really, those things aren't important.  My biscuits may crumble on us, but the kids just use a fork to eat it- and they eat it up! 

So now you know why I am always mentioning that I replaced the wheat with spelt in my recipes.  Try it out, you may never settle for the bland taste of wheat again!

snack time

The kids are back in school.  We are finally returning to a schedule.  Things are finally settling down- August is a crazy month for us normally due to several birthdays, school starting, and then end of summer fun we must do.  This August was even more crazy, with two weddings to attend on top of all that.  So I am grateful for the way things have settled down this month.  My two oldest have the late lunch this year, which means a snack is a must for them.  My little (or not so little anymore) kindergartener has snacks provided, but I can send her with a snack instead if I would prefer.  So  I scoured the internet looking for healthy snack ideas.  Nothing all that new and innovative stuck out.  So I asked the kids what they like.  So far, carrot sticks is a favorite.  Now we haven't been eating a lot of carrots at our house in general.  I don't buy baby carrots anymore because of how they are processed.  I don't think they taste as good either.  So I tried buying whole carrots and then peeling and cutting for the kids to eat as snacks.  I was too lazy and never did it.  Because my 5th grader insisted that she wanted carrots this year, I went ahead and bought several pounds of whole carrots.  My husband peels them in the morning and then breaks them in half.  Sometimes I will peel and then cut into smaller sticks, but my kids don't seem to mind the way Jeff makes them.  (Yes, my husband makes the lunches and snacks most mornings- I'm so lucky!) 
My 3rd grader  really likes "ant on a log."  Of course, we don't know where our raisins went, so she's just been getting logs.  Peanut butter and celery.  Ah, the simplicity of it. 
Another thing I have made is popcorn.  I can pop it in my hot air popper the night before.  I have tossed it with some melted almond bark for a real treat (but I try to do a very light coating as it really isn't that healthy).  It can be served plain, with some salt, butter, or other seasonings (crumbled kale chips is supposed to be good, shaved dark chocolate is another). 
Apples are another great snack.  Cut them up and then put a rubber band around the whole thing (including the core) to keep it together and avoid oxidation.  You can add a little peanut butter mixed with honey for dipping (or without the honey if you prefer). 
I will probably be making some home made graham crackers to send as a snack eventually as well.  I have made them a few times, an they are loved!  (I use freshly ground whole spelt instead of wheat, as with all my recipes.)
Nuts are another great snack.  I'm thinking a trail mix would be a great way for them to eat these.  I'm thinking I will take the kids with me to pick out the ingredients and have them help make it.  They seem to eat things more readily when they are involved in picking it out.
I bought some ice packs for their lunches, so this year I might be able to send yogurt as a snack as well.  I would love to get a yogurt maker.  I know you can make it without, but I like the ease of it.  I NEED more appliances in my kitchen! hahaha

What kind of healthy snacks do your kids like?

Friday, September 2, 2011