What to do with all those summer veggies - STIR FRY

Summer Stir Fry

Do you have a CSA share (community supported agriculture)? Are you growing your own veggies and want to use as much as you can while they’re fresh? I’m doing both so it’s the season to get creative.

For those of us with CSAs, you probably know what it’s like to get a vegetable you’ve never seen before. And since you’ve never seen it before, what do you do with it? STIR FRY. No matter what veggie it is, you can make it tasty in a stir fry.
Here’s one I just created. It took me 20 minutes total (besides marinating and having the rice already cooked from the day before).

To make it you’ll need:

1-2 large boneless/skinless chicken breast(s) (marinated all day in the frig with aminos {coconut or Braggs})
2 small or 1 large onion sliced thinly (unless you’d prefer more crunchy)
1 large carrot sliced 1/4″ thick
2 small summer squash sliced 1/4″ thick
2 bok choy, chopped
4-6 leaves kale, chopped
1/4 cup bacon grease (grass-fed only)
1 T sesame oil
1 T coconut oil
1 tsp organic garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 T sunflower seeds (soaked and dehydrated preferred)
Optional – 3-4 cups of cooked rice (best if it’s been soaked before cooking)

Melt bacon grease in medium heat large skillet and once melted, put in the chicken breast to sear on both sides (about 3-5 minutes each side). It’s a good idea to have a screen handy to keep the splatter to a minimum. While it’s cooking, that’s when I do the chopping, but you can have it all chopped in advance if you like.
Remove breast from pan to a plate or cutting board and throw the onions and carrots in the skillet – cover with screen. Slice up the chicken breast in about 1/2″ slices and throw in with the onions and carrots. Turn the heat down to low/medium. Stir every few minutes.

Once the chicken is back in the pan, in another skillet melt the coconut oil over medium heat then add the squash. Cook about 5 minutes then add the greens and garlic powder. Cover with a lid and let simmer over low/medium heat for about 5 minutes.

You’ll know the chicken/onion/carrot mixture is done (about 10 minutes) when you take a piece of the chicken out and cut it on a plate and it’s nice and tender. Now, put the rice and sesame oil in the big skillet and mix together. The other skillet should be about done so mix those veggies in, too. Add salt to taste and top with sunflower seeds on individual servings.

If you wonder about the rice preparation, see my Yummy Good for You Casserole.

Don’t have the veggies listed? Substitute WHATEVER veggies you have.

Don’t have the bacon grease? Substitute grass fed lard or ghee or butter. Remember, you NEED THE FAT! All healthy traditional diets had an abundance of fats.

Don’t have the sunflower seeds? Substitute almonds, sesame seeds, cashews…anything with a crunch. Watch the preparation methods, though, for maximum nutrition.

Don’t have the aminos on hand? Add a little extra salt at the end and you’ll be fine.

Want it to have a little more kick? Sprinkle in a bit of organic cayenne.

Just STIR FRY!

Wishing you a summer full of real food for real health so you can be real happy.




The Ultimate Make-at-Home Medicine


This post is dedicated to the outstanding group of health conscious individuals who attend meetings of the newly formed Nourishing the Lakeshore of West Michigan chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Sally Fallon Morell, the author of Nourishing Traditions and co-founder of the Weston A Price Foundation shares some thoughts about bone broth here.

The reason to use bone broth is 2 fold. One – it is key to good health and two, having it on hand makes preparing delicious meals in the kitchen so much easier.

Bone broth provides electrolyte minerals from bone, marrow, and cartilage (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and sulphur). Since minerals are extracted from natural living tissues, they are in the ideal balance and form to be easily taken in and used by the body. You could call broth the ultimate mineral supplement. It works to accelerate overall healing and supports our bones, joints, teeth, digestion and immunity. It is an ideal “prescription” for any disease and a wonderful preventative of future illness. As a mental health professional, I am excited about the prospects of better mental/emotional health due to improved digestion and assimilation.

Ramiel Nagel in his book Cure Tooth Decay says broth is one of the most potent medicines for reversing and preventing tooth decay. He recommends 1 -2 cups per day either drank by itself or used in soups, stews or sauces.

Bone broths also provide gelatin which attracts digestive juices to itself and thus helps us utilize proteins and other nutrients more completely. This is helpful for those on a tight budget (who can’t afford to buy a lot of meat)…since it allows the body to make better use of proteins.

Gelatin also prevents bad bacteria from attacking the gut wall neutralizing them so they don’t cause problems for us. There is a significant amount of research proving that gelatin can heal chronic digestive disorders (by balancing stomach acid to normal levels), Crohns Disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome – all of which are on the rise, especially in teens and young adults.

Who’s heard of glucosamine and chondroitin? These supplements for joint health have been proven to reduce arthritic pain and swelling…and they’re in bone broth – again in the natural form your body recognizes.

One important note: use bones with integrity, that is from animals who have grazed out in the sun eating grass and non-gmo feeds. The bones from these animals will have more minerals and little or no toxins (like arsenic) than those conventionally raised. The ideal is to know your farmer.

Chicken Stock – any birds – turkey, duck, goose:
Can be made from raw chicken, either whole or cut up into parts, or you can use the bones from a prepared chicken meal. Skin adds flavor and additional nutrients.
Recipe
In a large stockpot place:
1 whole chicken or 2-3 pounds of bones…including neck, back, wings (can be browned for flavor),
About 2T of vinegar – to about 3-4 quarts filtered water,
1 large onion, 2 carrots and 3 celery stalks (with leaves) and/or any other vegetables you have on hand – all coursely chopped,
and let sit for 30-60 minutes – this starts the process of drawing out the minerals. Bring pot to a boil and remove the “floaties” that rise to the top – don’t worry if you don’t do this. Cover and simmer 6-48 hours. 10 minutes before removing from heat, add a bunch of parsley for added minerals. Then remove the bones; you can use the meat in recipes. Throw the veggies in your compost pile.

Strain into glass bowl or jars. Put in the frig until the fat solidifies on top…scrape it off and you can save it for sautéing vegetables. Store 5 days worth of broth in the frig and the rest in pint and quart jars in the freezer. LABEL with date and type. If you want to store in plastic…make sure the broth is cool and the plastic safe. Broth keeps several months in the freezer…you’ll use it up way before that.

Beef recipe is similar…
Beef Stock – same for deer, bison and lamb
Best bones are knuckle, marrow, meaty rib, neck and tail. Again…local and grass fed is best.
Recipe
For those who are just beginning or get overwhelmed with too many details, brown some bones in a 350 degree oven for about half hour, put them in a kettle with good clean water, a chopped up onion, chopped carrots and celery and a tablespoon or 2 of raw apple cidar vinegar and let stand for an hour or two, bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 6 – 72 hours.  If you have reason to believe your gut is leaky, stick with 6 hours or less.  Glutamate is created after a lengthy simmer, so using the broth after 6 hours may be more safe for those with intestinal permeability. 

Just DO it. You can master the details later.

Here’s Sally Fallon’s recipe:
In a big pot place about 4 pounds of marrow and knuckle bones and 1-2 T Vinegar for every quart of filtered water – let this stand about an hour.
In the meantime, brown about 3 pounds of meaty rib and neck bones (in a shallow casserole pan) in the oven at 350 about 20 minutes per side. Then put them in the water . You can pour out the fat, add water to the pan and scrape it to get those yummy drippings unstuck and then pour that into the stockpot. Add your choice of veggies if you like.
Bring to a boil. Skim off floaties – this is more important with beef than chicken. Turn heat down and simmer for at least 12 and up to 72 hours. The longer it cooks, the richer the flavor. Again, the last 10 minutes, you can add parsley for extra minerals.

Remove bones, strain into glass bowl or jars, cool, remove fat. There are times when I know I’m going to use the stock for a casserole so I just leave the fat in it…as we’ve learned these are healthy for us. It all depends on your taste. Pour into storage containers and LABEL.

How can you use your broth? Anytime you are making soup, sauce or a casserole, it is a delicious healthy addition. You can also start your day with a warm cup of broth, a touch of sea salt, and that wondrous coconut oil we’ve talked about recently.

“Add”itional thoughts.
***For those who don’t want the stove on all night:
– You may use a crockpot (please be sure it is made of safe material)
– Make fish stock
***For added nutrients:
– Add egg shells, chicken feet, or heads (yes, chicken/turkey heads add healing nutrients)
– Add extra gelatin to the finished broth
***For added flavor:
– Add basil or thyme the last hour
– Add garlic
– Add miso
***For economy – re-use your bones, adding new bones with cartilege each time.

It is not advisable to buy most canned and boxed soups and broths as well as boullion cubes and powders even if they are labeled organic – they have all sorts of unwanted substances like MSG, artificial flavors and trace amounts of the material in the container in which they are packaged.

Wishing you REAL food, for REAL health so you can be REAL happy.

More reading from Sally Fallon Morrell – Broth is Beautiful.  And the book Nourishing Broth, by Sally and Kaayla Daniel, Ph.D.

 




Why are we fat?

This post is dedicated to that amazing group from Unity of Muskegon who meet for Let’s Talk Wellness and are making positive changes toward better health every day. I am SO proud of you all!

Last year as I ended our second year of monthly meetings at Unity on wellness, I asked what people wanted to discuss in the 2014. The topic of interest most requested was the title of this article. Yes, we already understand that being as active as possible reduces our fat reserves, so I didn’t focus on exercise. Everyone knows…get up and move! But if we don’t address the misinformation out there, we don’t stand a chance at weight loss and management.

Since I do not teach about short term fixes at the expense of the body’s health, we must address lifestyle changes, dispelling the myths we’ve been told the last 3 decades, to build vital cells, tissues and bodies. The focus must be on sharing the truth about the need for healthy fats and nutrient dense foods and how the low-fat/high whole grain/”sugarfree” additive recommendations have led us to the obesity fiasco we are in now.

Below is my evidence based summary of why we are larger (and much less healthy) than we should be:

• Eating BAD fats (polyunsaturated, liquid vegetable oils, margarine, oils from GMO crops {soy, cottonseed, canola, corn}, fatty meat/poultry from conventionally raised animals {complete with antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO fed, pesticide residue, no to very little sunlight}).

My family's favorite fat

My family’s favorite fat

• Not eating enough good fats (coconut, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed meat and poultry, wild caught fish, avocado, cod liver oil). Low-fat foods lead to obesity because we substitute with….

• Sugar and empty carb consumption (anything made with a fine powder like flour, like baked goods, candy, chips, pastas). These carbs are digested quickly and stimulate the hormone insulin, which, among other things stores fat in fat cells. High fructose corn syrup. Diet sodas.

• Eating processed and non-organic foods (and using chemicals on our bodies, in our homes and on our yards). These foods often have pesticide residues which keep our body from taking in the minerals we need to make our metabolism work correctly. Our bodies need nutrients to function and be the “right” weight for our structure. These empty foods lead to…

• Overeating – which we do WHEN WE ARE NOT EATING NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS! Our body keeps saying, “where are the nutrients?” and then “eat more and you might find some.” We can also get into the habit of over eating because of emotional issues, but again, it is often, if not always, nutrient deprived foods. We seldom eat too much when the food is REAL and nutrient rich.

• An unhealthy microbiome. Our balance of good micro-organisms in our body plays a significant role in our health and weight.

• When we have an underactive thyroid, we have a very difficult time trying to shed pounds. Be aware that water with chlorine and fluoride is thyroid disruptive. Drinking the cleanest water possible is a must. Also, good quality coconut oil supports the thyroid and is energy boosting.

What to do? The same thing I teach for other physical/emotional issues…

• Eat good fats at every meal
• Eat protein from clean (organic, grass fed, preferably local) sources at every meal – we need protein to make the happy chemicals in our brain
• Eat plenty of colorful, local (for more vitamin content), organic (for more mineral content) vegetables WITH LOTSA BUTTER (or ghee)!
• Take good quality coconut oil – even at every meal.
• Take a high quality probiotic and/or fermented foods and drink.
• Eat organic fruits as desserts (“cave people” ate them in the fall to fatten up for the winter)
• If you feel the need for baked goods, make them out of nut flour (organic preferably).
• Don’t starve yourself. This will mess up your hormones. EAT! Just eat the real foods described above.

Until next time…wishing you real food for real health so you can be real happy.




Tips for Fabulous Ferments

This post is dedicated to my local fermenting buds – Fermenting the Lakeshore

With the recent evidence from the Human Micobiome Project proving we are more bacterial than human, fermenting is coming back with a bang. When we home ferment, we add flavorful drinks and condiments to our meals and improve our digestion and subsequently our health (both mental and physical). A proper balance of good bacteria is imperative to weight loss and management. We can do it all for a mere fraction of what probiotics and enzymes cost in the store.

For those of you just joining the wave as well as more conditioned ferment peeps, here are a few helpful pointers for the best fermented creations…

Produce
Raw, fresh picked, local and organic are the best bet for superb fermentation. Organic from the grocery store is my second choice. Remember that pesticide residues can inhibit the bacterial growth that is necessary for successful preservation.

Salt
Please always use high-quality salts. The cheap white salt at the store has gone through processing using unhealthy means and is drained of its life giving minerals.

I recommend that newbies follow a recipe the first time as far as the amount of salt to use. After that, adjust down or up a slight amount to taste. The amount you use will affect not only taste but texture.

Sugar
Recipes (i.e. kombucha) generally call for just “sugar”. Because of our compromised food supply with regard to GMO’s and pesticide use, I prefer to stay vigilant and use organic cane sugar. Regular white sugar is from genetically modified sugar beets – bad news.

H2O
Non-chlorinated water MUST be used; filtered water is a good choice. Remember that chlorine kills micro-organisms and thus can keep your food from fermenting. Try to wash in non-chlorinated water even if you have to run a sink full and let it sit for half an hour before rinsing your produce. I encourage people to get the water out of the reverse osmosis machines at the local co-op or grocery store. Or invest in an under the sink RO of your own.chop any way you like

Cutting/Chopping

The “cook” can choose to chop, slice, grate, use a food processor or mandolin for taking the original produce and making into the size for fermenting. One exception is beet kvass, where you don’t want the chunks too small.

Exposure to Air
Keep fermenting fruits and veggies submerged under the liquid in the jar to prevent mold. If growth appears, scrape it off. When I have a fermenting creation with floaties (like cardamom pods in kvass), I gently shake or stir them to discourage mold from growing.

Time
At room temperature (70-75), ferments without whey need about one week to develop the acidity required for preservation. When whey is used, preservation takes about 2-4 days. Even after being put in the refrigerator, your creation can improve with time.

Temperature
During the first phase of fermenting, it’s best to keep your ferments at room temperature. This phase may be a couple days if you’re using whey or another starter or a week or longer for wild ferments. I check the creation to see if it tastes good, then when it does,I put it in on the top (ferments only) shelf in my refrigerator. If I had a cold cellar, I would use that. Vegetables can be stored for many months this way.

Tagging
I strongly encourage people to place a tag on each creation when it’s made stating what it is (for the family member that finds it in a couple months and thinks its gone bad) and the date of creation. This just takes the guess work out of the process. Also, because of the profound impact our intentions have on water, I like to place a note that says “Love and Gratitude” on all my creations.

Placement
If you are making more than one type of ferment (i.e. like kombucha and kefir, or kefir and sauerkraut), place them in different parts of the kitchen/house so as to prevent cross contamination. I usually keep mine 10+ feet apart.

How much should I eat
If you are new to fermenting and haven’t been taking probiotics, please start out small. This means a single tablespoon of kraut or maybe a few ounces of kombucha* once or twice a day for a couple days. Let your body adjust. Ultimately you can work up to a couple tablespoons at each meal and/or 4 ounces of a fermented drink like kvass or kefir. Remember, fermented foods are meant to be condiments, not side dishes. Pay attention to how your body is responding.

And finally, a word about pH
Fermented creations have an acidic pH. Nature does that. Unless you are 1. going to go commercial or 2. just curious, you can trust Nature to be the pH it’s supposed to be. There is no need to test your creation. The great thing about ferments is that they ultimately have an alkalizing effect on the body because they make minerals more accessible to our tissues. However, they go through the mouth in their acidic form, so after you consume them, rinse out your mouth with clean water or brush your teeth (sea salt and baking soda are effective, safe and inexpensive).

Best Fermenting Book EVER

Looking for a book about this return to culture? My very favorite one on the subject is The Art of Fermentation, by Sandor (Kraut) Katz.

Happy Fermenting! Wishing you real food for real health so you can be real happy!




Does it bug you that you're eating Roundup? It should.

I watched this video last week and felt so sad knowing many of my loved ones are seeking help for illness from the medical field while they’re eating foods that not only can’t sustain them, but are literally harming them. In this interview, the actual mechanisms of harm are identified. I just had to share.

Many thanks to Jeffrey Smith and Dr. Stephanie Seneff for describing in detail what happens to the body as a result of exposure to Round-up. These destructive actions are contributing to most, if not all, of the diseases of our time. If you or anyone you know has one of the concerns listed directly below the video, I urge you to take an hour and watch. For those who can’t, I’ve summarized key points below, along with the time reading from the interview so you can go directly to that topic if you like. This IS effecting you. It IS harming you.

Jeffrey Smith interviews Dr. Stephanie Seneff about Glyphosate from Kristin Canty on Vimeo.

Problems influenced by glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup: anxiety, aggression, autism, ADHD, Alzheimers, cancer, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal problems, heart disease, infertility, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinsons. If you have any of these issues and your health care professional has not advised you to stop eating conventionally raised food, you have not been given the whole truth. That professional has likely not been made aware of the danger, but it is real.

The interview begins by explaining that crops are now “Roundup Ready”, meaning the plants actually drink up the pesticide which leaves more in the food end product. Smith points out that the allowable residues have gone up since the plants were made Roundup Ready. Initially we were told Roundup would make it so less pesticides would have to be used, but the pests became resistant, and now its use has more than doubled. In the first 16 years, 527 million pounds of Roundup has been used. Current studies show, in the Midwest {7:20}, 60% to 100% of ALL samples of air, water and rain contain glyphosate. This is call for alarm. It is even found in the blood of newborn babies.

In a recent post on my site, I talk about how disease is caused by exposure to toxins and not having enough nutrients to protect ourselves. These are exactly the concerns Dr. Seneff cites {2:45} that Roundup is responsible for. She relates that glyphosate depletes calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, cobalt and other minerals causing nutritional deficiencies AND leaves toxins in the body.

Dr. Seneff points out that Monsanto was able to say that the active ingredient in Roundup didn’t effect human cells because it works on a metabolic pathway called the shikimate pathway, which humans don’t have. However, as I pointed out in last week’s post on the Microbiome, we have 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells, and those bacteria ARE negatively effected by glyphosate, causing inflammation and other harmful responses.

What does glyphosate do in the body?

1. Harms our good bacteria and then bad (pathogenic) bacteria can take over (autism {5:oo}) and produce toxins (i.e. ammonia and formaldehyde) that can lead to encephalopathy (Alzheimers {20:00}) and DNA damage {13:00} (cancer {34:30}). Dr. Seneff stressed the #1 action to take for Alzheimers is to remove all sources of glyphosate (it is in processed food and used often in lawn/yard care).

2. Blocks the CYP 450 enzyme pathway {17:00} which harms the liver, ezymes that help us detoxify, hormones and our ability to make vitamin D.

3. Destroys amino acids in food as well as interrupting the body’s ability to make aromatic essential amino acids {25:03} like tryptophan and tyrosine. We need these aminos to make serotonin (lack = depression, aggression, obesity) and dopamine (Parkinson’s {32:00} and fibromyalgia).

4. Contributes to multiple sclerosis {41:00} both by destoying the myelin sheath and by causing leaky gut which leads to the body attacking itself (autoimmune disorders – of which we are seeing a dramatic increase). Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, also leads to bowel inflammatory disorders {45:30} like Crohn’s disease, colitis and IBS.

5. Since minerals like zinc, cobalt and manganese are no longer available in our foods and our body requires these to function, we keep eating more and more in our body’s desperate attempt to get what it needs (Obesity {59:00}.

6. Disrupts our cells’ ability to store sugar (Diabetes {59:00}).

What about safety studies? {36:20} Monsanto did do short term (90 day) studies for safety. However, when independent studies were done, in the fourth month of research, the female test animals (80%) developed mammary tumors (breast cancer) and the males developed tumors in their kidneys and liver problems. Much more on Monsanto’s pseudo-science is available from the Institute for Responsible Technology.

GMO crops in this country include alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beets and squash (zucchini and yellow summer squash). And it’s not just GMOs anymore, Folks. Smith points out {60:00} that glyphosate is now being sprayed on non GMO crops such as barley, rice, wheat and rye immediately before harvest.

Bottom line…the mechanisms showing glyphosate/Roundup cause disease are now known and while you and I may not understand them in the detail Dr. Seneff does, we can take action to minimize their damaging effects on us. Eat NO GMOs. Eat organic. Do NOT spray your lawn and yard with Roundup or other toxic chemicals (that get on your shoes, your pets’ feet, young children playing outside).

If you haven’t already, I urge you to watch the film Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of Our Lives.

As always, wishing you REAL food, for REAL health so you can be REAL happy.




My hometown is waking up...to the microbiome

This post is dedicated to the new fermenters along the lakeshore of beautiful West Michigan. Great job to the students from my White Lake Area Community Education classes, Nourishing the Lakeshore, Fermenting the Lakeshore held at Unity of Muskegon and health conscious shoppers at Sweetwater Local Organic Foods Market.

cindy feister peer

What is the microbiome? Very simply, it refers to the fact that 99% of the DNA in our bodies is not our own; it belongs to micro-organisms. And if you’re eating nutrient dense foods, little to no sugar and fermented foods everyday, you’ll have “good” microbes that will treat you, their host, to health and wellness. Fast foods, lots of sugar and processed carbs feed pathogenic “bad” microbes and WILL lead to illness as well as extra pounds.

A little history…In the 1990’s, the Human Genome Project, the biggest project ever undertaken in biology, focused on decoding human genetic information (Holt, 2008). There was hope to find the genetic cause and cure for every disease that affects humanity. What was discovered by 2003 was that every animal species shares the majority of genes, but that the expression of the genes can come in a multitude of ways depending on something called the epigenome. The epigenome in influenced by what we are exposed to in our lifestyle. While the genome can be likened to the hardware in a computer, the epigenome is similar to the software, which tells the hardware what to do. But there turned out to be another missing link.

Ultimately, by 2008, the Human Microbiome Project began where we realized that part of the reason a stalk of corn has more genes (32,000) than a human (25-30,000) is the fact that we are hosts to an estimated 100 trillion bacteria. These bacteria work in concert with our genes to run our bodies.

NPR has an animated yet thorough introduction to this new knowledge. It is about 5 minutes long and I strongly encourage you watch it:

This research is in its very early stages. Yet if we look at the research of civilizations that did not live like we do, traditional peoples (like those found by Dr. Weston A Price), we see EVERY one of these healthy groups ate fermented foods. And they ate no processed foods whatsoever. When we learn to ferment and return to traditional eating, we, too, can experience the radiant health that is our birthright.

Today, our microbiomes are compromised all sorts of ways. Besides the losses during infancy addressed in the video above, our balance of good to “pathogenic” bacteria shifts with antibiotic use, toxins in our air, water and food, long term use of prescriptions and birth control pills as well as radiation. Without these beneficial “little critters” as I like to call them, we can’t digest and absorb nutrients to build healthy cells and this leads to nutritional deficiencies.

When we have an abundance of bad bacteria from eating processed food and drinking sodas, the “food” we eat gets broken down into toxic compounds which get absorbed into the bloodstream. From there they go to wherever we have a vulnerable area like our joints (i.e. arthritis), brain (i.e. fog, ADHD), skin (i.e. eczema, rash, acne) and our vital organs like our heart. These same bad little guys can damage the lining of our intestine and cause it to become inflamed and permeable (leaky gut), which leads to food intolerances and allergies. When this happens, we no longer are getting nutrients to build us up but instead get toxins that make us sick. And because 85% of our immune system is in our gut microbiome, if we don’t have good gut flora, our immune system goes haywire. No wonder so many people are unwell and overweight.

When people return to traditional ways, including fermenting, eating organic produce, consuming grass fed and wild animals and cutting out processed “foods”, their microbiomes can heal and do the work necessary to help return to wellness. For many, supplementing with probiotics is a sensible choice while they transition to more traditional ways. If this is something you choose to do, please make sure the product you use has integrity.

Lexi Larabee Photography

Lexi Larabee Photography

Wishing you real food for real health so you can be real happy.




Let's Debate Raw Milk

Do you seek the real truth? Not information crafted to sell products to the masses?

You be the judge who won…just watch the debate. Kudos to Harvard for hosting on this controversial (because of the dairy lobby) topic. The first 20 minutes are amazing – in case you don’t have time to watch the whole video. Did the attorney say anything that wasn’t from the government or based on cases from which he stands to gain financially? I get the impression that the veterinarian was dozing during the Sally’s presentation.




My hometown is waking up...are You?

Muskegon pic little louRegaining Our Health part 1

This journey helping others regain wellness is an exciting one. From the “Natural Mommy”s building their childrens’ innate immune systems, to the monthly Nourishing the Lakeshore (Century Club) and Let’s Talk Wellness meetings (Unity of Muskegon) to the clients eager to reduce their medications due to side effects, to those who just want to eat better shopping at Sweetwater, we are waking up. People in and around Muskegon are learning that what they put in their mouth and on their body affects how they feel. And then there are the fermenting classes and Fermenting the Lakeshore group, but we’ll talk about that next time.

New people approach me every week asking what they can do. Everyone knows someone, often themselves, with aches and pains or a diagnosis of an auto immune disorder. So many have GERD or other digestive problems, achy joints (aka digestive problems), hair loss, mood issues and weight gain (especially around the middle). How about you?

The imperative here is self-EDUCATION.

The answer to these issues is complicated and yet very simple. Healing boils down to reducing our toxic exposure and increasing our intake of nutrients to build strong bodies/immune systems. However, with so much profit driven mis-information out there, figuring out what to do is confusing.

Let’s look at our food. Our supply has gone toxic – from GMO seeds (i.e. corn, soy, sugar beets, canola, zucchini) to pesticides used on those seeds, to the harmful processing of our milk and animal products, to the over-hybridized wheat which is making everyone gluten sensitive. And don’t even get me started on excitotoxins like MSG, aspartame, and splenda that give people the impression diet sodas help them lose weight (when the reverse is true).

Personal care products
are filled with carcinogens and toxins. We can’t quantify yet how much they contribute to obesity and illness. Then add chemical cleaning products and air fresheners and our personal toxic load goes over the edge into illness.
Fire at Pere Marquette

What’s the answer? Clean up – your personal care regimen,  your cleaning supply closet(vinegar is great), and any other product you use at home, work or in your car.

Another step, of course, is getting safe, clean, nutrient dense foods to build your body. Yes, you are what you eat, and this is serious. Your source for dietary information must be objective and without a motive for profit (the USDA has a goal to sell agricultural goods – remember this). I have helpful articles and recipes on my site that I use to educate people back to the radiant health that is their birthright. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to work your way through the articles on my START HERE page with links to other researched pages I trust.

We will talk soon about the gut microbiome – part 2 of Regaining Our Health

Wishing you real food for real health so you can be real happy.




Yummy Good for You Casserole

DSCF1810Over time I created this recipe as a teaching tool because each of the ingredients is chosen very deliberately for it’s health benefits (ok, the seasoned salt is just for simplicity).

1 pound grass-fed ground beef or breakfast sausage (sausage will make it have more “wow”)

1 organic medium size onion – chopped to your liking

1 – 2 cloves organic garlic (crush and let sit 10 minutes before cooking to maximize the nutrient content)

1+ tsp sea salt

2+ dashes of turmeric (helps prevent cancer)

1+ tsp seasoned salt (I use Simply Organic All-seasons salt) or any herbs and spices that you like

1 big bunch kale or ½ small head of cabbage (or any mixture there-of and the more the better for you) – to clean kale, let soak in tepid water and 1T vinegar for 15-30 minutes then rinse each leaf

1+ T – Bacon grease (from grass fed bacon) or organic butter

2 cups organic rice (soak at room temperature 7 hours or overnight in enough water to cover it with 2 T apple cidar vinegar or whey – drain before cooking)

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Start cooking the rice according to the instructions minus about 1/3 of the water requirement (since the rice is soaked). Bone broth is a flavorful healthy liquid to cook your rice in. You could add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the water to keep it from sticking and add some luscious medium chain fatty acids.

Brown meat with onions in a stainless or cast iron skillet for which you have a lid. Don’t drain the fat. Add garlic. Finely chop (or use kitchen scissors) the greens and put on top of the meat mixture. Sprinkle salt, turmeric and seasoned salt on greens. Put bacon grease or butter on top. Cover and simmer while the rice continues to cook. The greens need a good ½ hour or more.

If you have room, stir the rice together with the meat/green mixture and let simmer another 15 minutes. If you don’t have room in the skillet pan, put all the ingredients in a casserole and bake covered for another 15-30 minutes at about 300.

Sample taste…you might want more salt or seasoning, or bacon grease. Be daring!

Would you like it to be even more of a superfood casserole?…add grass fed liver pieces. (I haven’t been ready to do this just yet.)

Don’t want to use rice? Finely chop potatoes (you can do this in the blender) and put them in the same time you add the greens. Want color? Add a finely chopped carrot when the meat is about halfway cooked. Mix and match! When you cook with bacon grease, butter and seasoneing, it always comes out tasty!
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To get the full benefits of all the nutrients, consume a couple tablespoons of raw, fermented sauerkraut with the casserole.
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Special thanks to Nicole and Sarah – 2 of the world’s most awesome Moms.

Until next time…wishing your real food, for real health so you can be real happy.




AMAZING Meatballs!

A little diversion from my usual educational posts. Thanks for the requests on Facebook, Ladies.

So, I’ve been hearing a lot recently about how nourishing lamb is and as usual, I just HAVE to consume nutrient dense foods as I hear of them. But, why lamb? They are cute and fuzzy, and they taste different than other domestic critters. With that last point in mind, I set out to create what I hoped to be a palatable dish I could use as a springboard into the regular consumption of this healthly meat. As I get used to it, I will change the proportions of meat, or not. We’ll see.

Here’s what I came up with:

AWESOME Meatballs (Makes about 18)
1/3 pound ground lamb
1/3 pound ground beef
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
1 cup pumpkin seed flour (more on this in a few minutes) or cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1 nice-sized carrot, chopped finely
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. powdered tumeric
1/4 cup applesauce (more on this, too)
Spices, I used Simply Organic Seasoned Salt and Onion Powder, and Carl’s All Purpose Seasoning
1 T Coconut oil
1 T Gelatin (optional)

Put all the ingredients except the spices in a large bowl. Now shake the spices across the bowl, maybe 4 passes with each. Mix all the ingredients well. You can use a spoon, but it won’t be as easy as washing your hands and getting in there. This will probably take a couple minutes.

Once well mixed, form into 1 1/2 – 2 inch meatballs and place in a low to medium heated skillet which has about 1 T of coconut oil melted in it. You can turn the heat up a little, but you don’t want to scorch your meat. Lightly brown a side, then turn the meatballs a bit every few minutes. Once you have them cooked so they stay together (10-15 minutes), cover them and reduce the heat to low for about 1/2 hour. When I removed the lid, I had an interesting liquid that I knew was loaded with good fats, so I moved the meatballs to a plate, stirred in about a tablespoon of gelatin (sprinkle and stir rather quickly), then put the meatballs back in. This “sauce”, while not exactly pretty, was delicious!

About the “flour”. We have learned, like so many, that wheat products and other grains don’t fare well in our bodies (I experience bloating, for one). I thought about coconut flour, but honestly am tired of using it for everything. I thought I could make nut powder out of something else, then I remembered how my dehydrated pumpkin seeds turned out a little on the chewy side, so I decided to try to grind them up in my Vitamix. Perfect. And high in zinc. I’m on to something now. You, too, can dehydrate pumpkin seeds (after soaking them overnight) and then grind them up in your blender, or you can use bread crumbs, or cracker crumbs. Experiment. It’s fun.

As far as the applesauce is concerned, you can make it yourself if you like, for added nutrition. We use 3 organic apples (washed, ends cut off, then quartered) to 1 small/medium peeled beet – pureed in the blender. No cooking – it’s still raw. Add a touch of organic cinnamon for flavor. Walla!

My recipe does not say that the meat should be grass-fed, but if you can do this, the final entree will be tastier and better for you than using conventionally raised. For this recipe, we used all meat from Crane Dance Farm in Middleville. Creswick Farms also has a terrific bulk sausage.

I hope you will try this recipe, especially if you have reservations about eating lamb. I’d love to hear your comments about how it goes.

As always, I wish you real food, for real health, so you can be real happy.