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Just a quick note to apologize for the lack of posts over the past few days.  We’ve been fighting off sinus infections/colds in our house; we tend to take turns getting sick so it drags out over a few days.  We’ve recovered surprisingly quickly…much faster than we did before switching to whole foods!  Usually my kids would take one to two weeks to get rid of a hacking cough: we did it this time in two days!  Here’s how:

  • Breakfast: Banana (minerals, energy), Homemade Yogurt (probiotics, protein) flavored with Cranberry Jam (anti-infection), Honey-Juice (anti-infection, vitamins, comfort)
  • Morning Snack: Hard-boiled eggs, 2 each for children, 4 each for teens and adults (vitamins), Sliced & Cored Organic Apples (fiber & vitamins), Honey-Juice (anti-infection, vitamins, comfort)
  • Lunch: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with extra fresh, grated Garlic (minerals, vitamins, gelatin, natural antibiotic), Honey-Juice (anti-infection, vitamins, comfort)
  • Afternoon Snack: Grapes and Chips (Granny came to visit so chips became whole foods temporarily 😉 ) Honey-Juice (anti-infection, vitamins, comfort)
  • Dinner: Whole Grain Rotini Pasta (fiber) in Organic Spaghetti Sauce (vitamins) with Ground Turkey (protein) and Steamed Broccoli (vitamins & minerals), Grapefruit Juice (ran out of Honey-Juice!)

So what is this Honey-Juice, you may ask?

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Honey-Juice | A Helping of Hope

Honey-Juice helps to soothe sore throats and fight off colds!  Give 4 oz. (1/2 cup) to children over one year old every one to two hours.  Grapefruit Juice provides vitamin C and has an amazing ability to strip infection and film off the throat.  Honey soothes sore throats and has natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (it also kills infectious amoebas, viruses, and reduces fever).  The added salt makes the liquid electrolytic, so it is more easily absorbed and better hydrates.

    • 1 cup Grapefruit Juice
    • 1 cup Filtered water
    • 1/4 cup Honey
    • 1/4 tsp Real Salt

Mix ingredients in a small pan (avoid nonstick) on medium heat until warm to the touch (do not over heat or allow to boil: high temperatures will kill off enzymes in the honey).  Sip before giving to children to ensure a safe drinking temperature.

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Did we use OTC drugs? Yes, somewhat.  Since I do not have a stocked apothecary (!) I still use Tylenol and Ibuprofen to help reduce fevers and Children’s Mucinex at night to help suppress the coughing (here is a better, all-natural option I need to try).  As a rule of thumb, I avoid drugs unless the fever approaches 102F and/or at night; a good night’s sleep is essential to getting better.  One day I hope to have natural remedies that are as effective as OTC drugs, yet without the artificial sweeteners and synthetic, side-effect inducing ingredients.  Until then, I use them sparingly and prayerfully, relying as much as possible on nutrition and physical rest.

Helping of Hope.  Right Choice: rely on good nutrition and rest to get well.  Medicines deal with symptoms, they do not typically give your body what it needs to function properly.  Supplements are not as well absorbed as vitamins and minerals in food and can be very expensive.  Antibiotics kill your body’s natural ability to fight infection and shut down your digestive system so you can’t get nutrients from your food.  Do as much as you can (with food and rest) as soon as you can to avoid having to take medicines, supplements, and antibiotics or it may take you several weeks to get back to normal.  Bright future: FASTER recovery time, less money spent on OTC remedies, no antibiotic-resistant illnesses, healthier immune system!

I hope this Christmas finds everyone well and not sick. If you find yourself ill, try the Honey-Juice!  It works wonders…

If you liked this…natural remedy? post (!), please share with a sick friend using one of the many options below.  Thanks!

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What do these have in common? They are natural METAL BUSTERS! Make sure to include them in your diet every day to offset past and present accumulation of heavy metals.

As I wrote yesterday, cosmetics and personal care products are replete with toxic minerals that mimic estrogen and increase our risk of cancers.  Vaccines, the “sacred ground” of the medical community, contain amounts of aluminum that are deemed “safe”, but have not been thoroughly tested and have resulted in increased cases of pediatric lupus and neurological disorders.  Cookware, even ingredients like baking soda, add to our aluminum load.  We can switch to healthier products, space out immunizations (or deny giving them to our children), and use traditional cooking methods.  But what do you do if your body already has toxic loads of metals such as mercury or aluminum?  What hope is there for those of us who have old fillings, had all our shots close together, ate dinner cooked in aluminum every day growing up, and have used regular cosmetics and deodorants for most of our adult lives?

Homemade chicken noodle soup, made from chicken stock and leftover roasted chicken is a natural METAL-BUSTER. You can also add fresh garlic and onion for extra sulfur-power! Garlic is also a natural antibiotic and great at preventing colds and the flu.

The answer stinks.  Literally!  The key is SULFUR.  According to Dr. Mercola, Sulfur is necessary for glutathione, a natural detoxifier in the body.  Sulfur also protects your skin, helps you to process glucose better, and protects brain cells from damage.  It can be taken in supplemental form as “MSM”, but is better absorbed in your diet.  Today I’m going to talk about foods you can make sure to eat in your diet to keep your levels of Sulfur up and your toxic levels of metals down.

If you have been following along with my Transformation Tuesdays posts, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out that many of the dietary transformations I’ve been recommending naturally increase your sulfur levels:

Garlic and Onions are natural herb/vegetable sources of sulfur.  Garlic can be used to remove toxic levels of mercury and aluminum. I include lots of garlic and onion in many recipes on this site (fresh is better, but even powdered has sulfur in it):

Here are (ideal) foods that will increase your sulfur levels (please keep in mind that sulfur-content of fruits and vegetables is soil dependent):

Animal products:

  • (Free-range) chicken
  • (Free-range) eggs
  • (Grass-fed) red meat
  • (Organic) organ “meat”
  • (Organic) pork
  • (Raw) Cheese (esp. Roquefort, Parmesan)
  • (Raw) Cream cheese/creme fraiche/sour cream
  • (Raw) Milk
  • (Raw) Whey protein
  • (Raw) Yogurt
  • (Wild-caught) fish/seafood

Vegetarian (check here to see pesticide ranking):

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Banana
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chives
  • Chocolate
  • Coconut
  • Coffee
  • Collard greens
  • Durian fruit
  • Grains (whole)
  • Green beans
  • Horseradish
  • Jicama (Mexican yam or turnip)
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Legumes
  • Mustard
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Pineapple
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Tahini (from Sesame seeds)
  • Tea
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Watercress
  • Watermelon

In my research, I came across some handy information for people with an “allergic” response to sulfur (caused by mercury toxicity, which is ironic since sulfur is needed to help remove it; it is thought that “Sulfur food intolerance in mercury toxic people has more to do with the mobilization of mercury caused by raised cysteine levels and excess thiols, rather than a direct allergy/intolerance to sulfur foods per se“).  If you find that after a couple hours of eating these foods you feel sluggish or depressed, and the feeling takes a few days to go away, it may be that you are mercury toxic AND sulfur-intolerant, in which case you may need to avoid specific sulfur-containing foods (but not all).  Click here for a list of sulfur-containing foods that are low in thiols.  You still may need to take thiols to go through chelation therapy, but these can be administered in low doses by your health care professional.

Sulfur isn’t the only weapon in your detoxification-arsenal: Vitamin D is also useful for removing toxins.  In addition to eating the foods above, make sure to get 30 minutes of sun exposure every day and come off statin (cholesterol-reducing) drugs as soon as possible: cholesterol is necessary in your body’s Vitamin D production.

Helping of Hope.  Right choice: TRANSFORM your diet to include lots of sulfur-rich foods and reduce exposure to toxic metals in immunizations, fillings, cosmetics, personal care products and cookware.  Bright future: clear thinking, better feeling, reduced risk of cancers and degenerative disease, better immune system response when it really counts!

If you enjoyed this Transformation Tuesdays post, please share (or like) using the features below.  Thanks!

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Let these guys make your life a lot sweeter…and digestion much easier!

I’m back to my old habits again, posting late on a Tuesday night (this is quickly becoming a Transformation WEDNESDAY post)!  This weeks Transformation Tuesdays post is a follow-up to the very first, STEP ONE: Avoid Corn Syrup and Artificial Sweeteners.  If you have already followed the advice therein, by now you should have swapped most of your foods containing toxic sweeteners for sugar-sweetened ones, with a few corn syrup-laden favorites “on notice”.  Perhaps you took the plunge to make some of those favorites from scratch! (Please let me know how that process is going in the comments section below –A.M.)

Today I’m going to discuss two natural sweeteners that have some health benefits and are significantly less damaging to the body than refined sugar (which is pure sucrose, a non-nutritive chemical that can create dependency).

The first of these is my favorite, RAW HONEY.  It is available at many Farmer’s Markets and health food stores; you can also call a local apiary to find out if their honey is processed raw and if so, where it is sold.  “Raw” means the honey hasn’t been heat-treated, a process that destroys one of honey’s most valuable assets: ENZYMES (particularly amylase, from pollen).  Enzymes provide energy and overall good health by making the nutrition in food more readily available.  That’s why raw honey on whole wheat toast, in moderation, is actually good for you.  In fact, because of its amylase content,  raw honey it is the perfect sweetener for grain-based carbohydrates because it helps the body to better digest them.

If you are going to use raw honey, make sure you do not heat it above 117 deg-F (just above “lukewarm”), or the enzymes will be destroyed.  Add it to oatmeal that has already cooled slightly and try to incorporate it into desserts (like homemade ice cream) without heating.  It may also be used in warm coffee or tea instead of sugar to sweeten; if you need a “hot cuppa”, you may still use honey but you’ll lose the enzymes.

If you can find it, UNFILTERED RAW HONEY is best; it’s the one with the little specks in it and the tiny bits of beeswax that have worked their way to the top.  Those “specks” are bee pollen.  According to Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions (2001):

Bee pollen contains 22 amino acids including the eight essential ones, 27 minerals and the full gamut of vitamins, hormones, and fatty acids.  Most importantly, bee pollen contains more than 5,000 enzymes and coenzymes. (p. 617)

The benefits of bee pollen have been linked to incredible longevity; bee pollen is a potent detoxifier (and can trigger allergic reactions if too much is consumed too quickly) and a natural remedy for all sorts of ailments.  While bee pollen can be consumed as a supplement, which is probably very useful for treating certain conditions, I’d rather take it “as God intended” by consuming unfiltered raw honey every day, especially on my steel-cut oats and whole wheat sourdough bread.  Unfiltered raw honey has a slightly different taste than filtered raw honey (I can taste mild hints of wax and pollen, but those “flavors” are not very noticeable; it gives the honey an overall more “earthy” note); on toast or in oatmeal, it is barely noticeable (and pretty good even on its own).

Even if honey is heated, it is still easier on the Endocrine system than refined sugar, resulting in a lower “sugar-spike”.  The difficulty comes in incorporating it in recipes that call for over-processed and refined ingredients.  Here are some guidelines for switching from refined sugar to honey (it will not produce the same results, but the recipe should still “work”…sort of):

  1. Reduce the liquid in the recipe (if possible) by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used (honey is 17% water)
  2. Use 1 cup of honey to replace 1 cup of sugar; the taste will be slightly sweeter.
  3. Recipes calling for creaming butter with sugar will not adapt well to honey; the “crumb” will be more dense.
  4. Honey absorbs water over time; this keeps baked goods moist.  Some suggest this reduces the shelf life; I think it depends on the baked good.

If your recipe really doesn’t work with honey, try to use Rapadura (dehydrated cane sugar juice that is the least processed and the most nutritious out of ALL “natural” sugar-cane based sweeteners, explained here). One of my favorite honey recipes is for HEALTHIER MARSHMALLOWS (try finding THOSE without corn syrup at the grocery store!)

Of course, every honey post has to point out that infants’ stomachs cannot kill bacteria spores that may naturally occur in honey; please do not give honey (raw or otherwise) to any child under 12 months old.

Another beneficial sweetener is a Michigan-favorite,  PURE MAPLE SYRUP.  It contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals (including manganese and zinc) that maple trees extract from the ground through their roots.  Two notes of caution: avoid pancake syrups and buy organic.  Most “Maple Syrups” are corn syrup with maple flavoring; there should only be one ingredient listed (e.g. Grade A or B Amber Pure Maple Syrup).  Non-organic maple syrup is more likely to contain formaldehyde.  While using formaldehyde to keep tap holes from closing is illegal in the U.S. and Canada, there is little to no guarantee that this practice has entirely ceased.  USDA-certified organic maple syrups have to go through rigorous screening that would hopefully catch any clandestine formaldehyde use.  To convert to baking, follow the honey guidelines above but reduce the liquid by 1/3 to 1/2 cup per cup of maple syrup used.  Of course, the nice thing about maple syrup is that it can be converted to maple sugar!  Maple sugar can be substituted for refined sugar 3:4. Maple syrup doesn’t come with the same warning as honey: recommendations for its usage vary.  It is produced by boiling; this supposedly kills off mold and bacteria, but does not address possible contaminants in the packaging process.  If you are concerned, contact your child’s pediatrician.  I have read that 9 months may be a safe age to introduce maple syrup (read my disclaimer –>).

I love the taste of Maple Syrup, but it is significantly more expensive than honey, especially for baking.  It’s primary nutritive component is manganese.  For most of my needs, honey is my sweetener of choice and unfiltered raw honey is the most nutritive.  Except for the organic white sugar I bought to start my Kombucha Tea culture, I haven’t bought regular sugar in almost a year and I am not missing it at all!

Helping of Hope!  Right Choice: as you are able, gradually give up all the products containing refined sugar (the ones you recently switched to from corn-syrup laden alternatives) by replacing them with products sweetened only with organic honey, maple syrup/sugar, sorghum syrup, and rapadura.  This may require making many of your favorites by scratch (I hope to provide some recipes on this site that will help). Bright future: reduced risk of sugar addiction and insulin resistance; increased vitamin, mineral, and enzyme content of diet leading to better overall health.

I hope you enjoyed this Transformation Tuesdays post! If so, please share using one of the many features below.  Have a sugar question or suggestion?  Ask/comment below.  Thanks!

 

 

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We eat a lot of eggs! Make sure to read why…

With all the negative press on cholesterol, few of us realize that we have been slowly moving away from one of the most nutritious contributions to our diets: eggs.

 

Eggs are not bad.

 

Cholesterol is not bad.

 

(Did you know your brain is 25% cholesterol?)

 

Guess what happens when you go on cholesterol-reducing drugs (An A-Z based on Dr. Mercola’s article):

  • Acidosis
  • Anemia
  • Cataracts
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Cognitive and Memory Loss
  • Depleted CoQ10 Levels
  • Fetal Malformations (in pregnant women)
  • Immune depression
  • Impaired Vitamin D creation
  • Increased risk of Cancer
  • Increased risk of Diabetes: Blood Glucose Elevations, Hyperglycemia, Insulin Resistance, Misdiagnosed Diabetes 2
  • Increased risk of Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Muscle and Tendon Problems
  • Pancreas dysfunction
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Sexual dysfunction

For a scientific discussion on exactly why cholesterol is needed and how it us used, read this Health Impact News Article.  Even if you aren’t on Statins, it is easy to see from the list above how dependent many major body systems are on adequate cholesterol.  Mother’s milk contains a lot of cholesterol because it is essential to neurological and physical growth. Even as adults, we still need cholesterol!

So what are the benefits of eggs specifically?  According to Marillyn Beard, author of Just Making: Ice Cream, these are the nutritive benefits of consuming egg yolks:

  • 100% RDV carotenoids,
  • 100% RDV fatty acids,
  • 100% RDV vitamins A, E, D, and K.
  • 90% RDV calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate,
    B12,
  • 89% RDV panthothenic acid,
  • 81% RDV folic acid,
  • 45% RDV protein,
  • 23% RDV potassium, choline, lecithin, phospholipids, arachidonic acid and DHA
  • 50% — 80% of the copper, manganese, and selenium

She suggests (and I also recommend) throwing out the multivitamins and eating FREE-RANGE ORGANIC EGGS.  How many egg yolks it takes depends on the egg: free-range organic eggs have a higher nutritive content so you can eat fewer of them.  To calculate your needs, you can use the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference(change the number of eggs in the “Large” column).

Inferiority Complex! Commercial Egg Yolk (left) inches away from the Mega-Yolk of the Free Range Egg. What this picture doesn’t show you is how TALL the free-range yolks are: they really “stand proud”!

We eat 4 Free-Range eggs a day for adults, 3/day for our teen and FXS child, and 2/day for our preschooler.  Right now we hard-boil them to pack with lunches, but I think it’s worth soft-boiling them to get the most nutrition.  Even with hard-boiled eggs, we are certainly not dragging our feet as we used to when we missed our daily vitamins.  It is important to keep in mind that the vitamins in eggs are in a bio-digestible (easily absorbed) form rather than the chemical approximations that are used in pills.

Here are my calculations as to which is cheaper: Commercial eggs or multivitamins? Turns out that EGGS are cheaper than those artificially sweetened, chewable pills. (Free-range eggs are nominally more expensive) Also notice my handy note-paper. Tea bag packets come in handy when you can’t find your posts-it-notes!

According to Dr. Mercola, the best way to eat an egg is to have cooked whites and raw yolks“Sunny side up” certainly is an appropriate description for a right way to cook your eggs for a bright future! (And you don’t have to worry about salmonella: free-range organic eggs are far less likely–down to five times less likely–to get the bacterial infection than commercial eggs.)  Raw yolks are the best; foods like homemade mayonnaise and homemade custard ice cream are nutritious and healthy ways to consume them.

Who would have guessed that yolk-rich homemade mayonnaise and homemade vanilla ice cream would be so NATURALLY “fortified”?!

Where can you get free-range organic eggs?  The best place is your local FARMER’S MARKET: do a Google search and make sure to find one closest to you.  If you live in a city, it would be worth the trip to a more rural area (it makes for a nice family outing too!) to get the eggs.  Some health food stores carry free-range eggs too.  Cost?  A dozen commercial eggs from the grocery store here costs $1.35.  Free range eggs cost anywhere from $2/dozen (I know a new egg-seller) to $3/dozen (health food store) with the average being $2.50 at the Farmer’s Market.  I buy 8 dozen eggs a week to cover our vitamin and baking needs.  That’s a lot of eggs and big business at the Farmer’s Market 🙂  I also buy Raw Honey and local veggies there, but that discussion is for another post!

I hope I’ve encouraged you to eat more eggs in your diet.  They are an inexpensive and effective way of instantly increasing the nutrition in your diet and helping you to function as God intended!

I hope you enjoyed this Transformation Tuesdays post.  Please share with a friend using one of the many options below.  Thanks!

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It’s been a while since I posted my first Transformation Tuesday’s post, so I wanted to get you caught up just in case you’ve missed the series so far (I’ve even gone back and added in “STEP [Number]” to each post which I apparently abandoned after step two!)

You can sprout grains and legumes for an increase in nutrition no pill can give you 🙂

Today we are going to add another transformational, hope-filled step to a brighter, more nutritious future: SPROUTING.

Helping of hope: you can maximize the nutrition of your legumes and grains with nothing more than water, drainage, and time!

Here are the nutritional benefits to sprouting according to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon:

  • Reduced risk of allergic reaction, particularly to grains
  • In beans, a break down of complex sugars, easing digestion
  • In grains, conversion of starches to sugars (gives a sweeter taste)
  • Increased vitamin C
  • Increased B2, B5, and B6
  • Up to 8x increase in carotene
  • In grains, reduction of phytic acid which prevents the absorption of minerals
  • In grains, inactivated aflatoxins (carcinogens)
  • Up to 6x increase in enzymes (aids digestion)

To aid digestion, sprouted grains should be cooked lightly before consuming.  Sprouted beans should be cooked thoroughly.

CAUTION: Avoid sprouting alfalfa seeds and kidney beans; alfalfa sprouts are incredibly toxic and may damage the immune system; kidney bean sprouts can cause acute digestion pain even if consumed in small amounts (rigorous boiling for 15 minutes neutralizes this problem, but keep all raw kidney beans and sprouts out of the reach of children and pets to avoid an emergency trip to the hospital). 

Are you ready to maximize your nutrition so you stay fuller longer, need fewer (if any) supplements, and have fun in the process?  Check out my Sprouting Grains & Legumes page for detailed instructions and recipe links for sprouting your very first grains and beans!  So for I’ve sprouted wheat berries, rice, lentils, and pinto beans… next on my list: black beans!

If you enjoyed this Transformation Tuesdays post, please share it using one of the many options below!  Thanks!

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Avoid the harmful ingredients in store-bought bread; make your own TRULY all-natural bread cheaply and with more nutrients!

This is going to be a speedy set of links…

If you want to see a little of my bread-making journey, go to my new Sourdough Help page which includes reasons for using natural leavening (Sourdough).

Helping of Hope: I have THREE recipes for Sourdough Bread on that page.  I’m sure you’ll find one that is right for you 🙂

If you missed my recommendation for Sourdough starter, it is in my latest SHOP-TIL-YOU-DROP SATURDAYS post.

Bon Apetit.  Please share using one of the many features below.  Thanks!

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Easily make your own all-natural Medium-High Heat Ghee in 20 minutes!

Today’s Transformation Tuesdays post is all about using a healthy fat to cook with.  Contrary to the push for low-fat foods in the past few decades, such anti-nutritive diets have done nothing to improve our overall health.  The main culprit of poor health, of course, is sugar which is often added in excess to low-fat foods just to make them palatable (see my faith article, The Most Dangerous Toxin).  As it turns out, healthy fats don’t make you fat, even if you eat them liberally.  In fact, healthy fats will help you to shed the fat accumulated by excess sugar consumption.  If you want to lose inches, start including healthy fats into your diet.

The number one consideration when choosing a fat to cook with is “HOW HIGH?”  At what temperature do you plan to do your cooking?  If you are pan frying, you’ll need a fat that works for extremely high heat.  The factor involved is called the “smokepoint”, the point at which the fat starts to smoke because it is undergoing a chemical reaction caused by heat that makes the oil rancid and carcinogenic.  You don’t want the fat to get to that point!  Spectrum Organics is a company that produces many cooking oils from non-animal sources; they have a smoke-point guide that will help you to find the right oil for your application.  However, I want to show you an easy way to make your own MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT (smoke point around 400F) oil that is much cheaper than buying expellar-pressed organic vegetable oils.  All you need is butter.  Click here for the easy how-to recipe for making Homemade Ghee.

UPDATE: if you are lactose or casein intolerant, this oil solution may work for you because these ingredients are removed through the clarifying process.

If you enjoyed this Transformation Tuesdays post, please share it with your friends (see options below).  Thanks!

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