Friday, June 11, 2010

Scriptures and Yeast



This morning, the kids and I were listening to the Living Scriptures dramatization of the Old Testament.  This is a daily ritual that we do following breakfast. Yesterday, we listened to the part in the bible where it talked about how the Jews were taken captive to Babylon and how Daniel, Shadrack, Mishack and Abednigo were chosen, because of their health and strength were chosen to be prepared to be the kings advisors. We listened to the dramatization of these amazing Jews as they bravely stood up to the kings men and issued a challenge.  Instead of eating meat, and wine (and all the other food the King wanted them to eat), they said they would eat only fruit, vegetables and grains, and pure clean water.  They would not eat the meat because it hadn't been prepared properly.  The 10 day challenge was accepted by the Kings men and at the end of the 10 days they were able to convince the men in charge of them to continue feeding them the way they believed in.  So the story goes on and three years later they are able to come before the king and find favor with him - due to their mental and physical strength, from eating they way they had those past years.  In the dramatization, the actors who were Shadrack, Meshack and Abednigo used the word "soft" to describe the men/boys that were on the "kings diet".  They used the word "strong" to describe themselves and the poor in the country who ate the way they did.

So, today we were listening to how Daniel is sent away and it is left up to the three Jews, Shadrack, Meshack and Abendigo to stand before the king, refusing to worship the golden image.  The men are thrown into the fire and are saved by the Lord.

So, now how did the conversation turn from talking about the scriptures, to a discussion on yeast....

Hummmm....I'm drawing a blank as I try to re-create the conversation and learning experience for you.

Let me think out loud as I type...

The question about Jewish food...
I started out trying to explain that Jews didn't eat meat from animals that did not have cloven feet, but then I became confused when I thought about pigs - knowing they are considered "unclean" animals and a definite no, but they have cloven feet...I couldn't remember why pigs were unclean...

So, two of my greatest pals (as of lately) "Google" and "Wikipedia" came to the rescue...

I printed off the 13 pages of "Kashrut" - The set of Jewish dietary Laws that is termed "Kosher" in English.

I was absolutely FASCINATED with what I learned.... and amazed at how similar our diet is to that of a Jew.

So the kids and I now know about why the Jewish men, mentioned above, could not eat the meat prepared for them.  It not only had to be from an animal that had cloven feet, but the animal also needed to be in the "chewing their cud" class of animals.  Then the precise way that it was killed, with a "non-serrated" knife, the blood draining process, and even the soaking in water or salt water to rid the animal of the blood, and then the inspection of the meat to make sure the animal was not sick.  As I explained it to the kids, I used the example of heart worms.  I told them to imagine if the animal was opened up and there were worms in it's organs.  I told them about how machines do most of the processing of the meat that's sold in the stores, but shared how beneficial it is to get meat that a good man (or woman - as in the case of where we get our meat) is able to inspect the meat and assure that the animal was healthy, before cutting it up, and preparing it for us, and that the animal is prepared properly and in a very sanitary manner.

I also talked to my kids about how some business owners soak the chicken meat in acid to turn it from yellow to white - making it more appealing to the masses that they sell the meat too.  I even shared how that in college, I preferred buying this type of meat because it did "appear" to be more palatable....and oh how little did I know...

The kids had fun writing down animals that were considered "kosher".  We taked about Giraffes - yes, but they are endangered and hard to kill etc. etc. and so that's a no...etc. etc.  Very Fun to research :)

The topic moved on to birds...

Back to "Google" for answers.  I had to look up what a bird "crop" was and what a "gizzard" was.  Basically it's the part of the bird's throat that has the ability to store food and then grind it up in order to be digested.  I also had to google "peelable lumen", but impatiently abandoned that search when the answer became more detective work than anything.

The bird meat that was most acceptable was the turkey meat.  I smiled when I heard this because I personally have found that my body digests turkey much better than chiken and so I've been buying organic turkey meat more often than the chicken meat.

We talked about Fish...

Fish with scales and fins is the jewish requirement.  Shellfish and other non-fish water fauna are not kosher.  My thoughts drifted back to the days when I was struggling to find answers to my health and when I had read two of the eleven books I had read in my "book reading marathon" when I was trying to overcome being paralyzed suddenly, losing my vision, and loss of strength etc. etc.  One of the books read was entitled "The Makers Diet" and another "Patient Heal Thyself".  In the books, the author (now the owner of Garden of Eden products), had traveled the world in search of answers to his declining health and chron's disease.  His before and after pictures are astonishing.  At the pinnacle of his sickness he looked like a concentration camp survivor...such a scary sight.  Then after studying the diet and spiritual principles taught in the Bible, after only a few months he was back to normal.  His story is truly remarkable and one that convinced me to not eat scavenger meat, to grow as much food myself personally as possible, and he taught me about the importance of the minerals in the soil where the food is grown.

Back to Jewish Food law, or "Kashrut" (Kosher).  When we read about the fruits and vegetables and grains, being prepared by certain trusted people, I thought about how contaminated produce is now days and how much I too rely on good people, farmers and markets, and family, to provide the most pure, most organic, most nutrient rich produce out there.  Jews are remarkable!  (Or should I say, the law, and the giver of the law is remarkable!!!)

Anyway, back to health and yeast....

While we were talking about bread, the kids didn't understand what "unleavened" bread was.  I explained about how the Jews had to leave quickly from Egypt and didn't have time to bake bread, giving it time to rise (the yeast swelling inside the dough), and so during Passover (the time the Jews remember the liberation from captivity), the Jews will make unleavened bread.

Then, the idea came to me to give the kids a physical example of what yeast does to bread and the effects sugar has on it.  We got a small cup, put some yeast in it, some water and then added sugar.  The yeast wasn't rising because I had used cool water. With the suggestion from one of the kids, we used our scentsy candle to warm the solution and our desired "rising of the yeast" occured.  We talked about how our bodies are "warm" and not "cold"...and how when we eat sugar we feed the yeast inside our bodies and it begins to grow and ferment.  It was fun watching as the yeast continued to rise.  I'll include a picture for you to see.

My thoughts go back to the time when I was "sick"...struggling to find answers.  That scentsy jar, all full of foaming, bubbly yeast growth reminded me of a picture of myself when I was part of a dance company and was struggling to have enough energy to even make it through the warm up.  The pictures of me with everyone are so ugly.  My face is red, and puffy.  The later part of my mission you can see the difference in my face vs. how I looked at the beginning of my mission.  I was sick, I felt sick, and it showed in my face.  I looked like there was a big piece of dough that was rising throughout my body, causing foam, fermentation, gases to be released (into my brain), face, body etc.

A couple months ago I was able to get together with one of my roommates from college.  She made the comment over and over about how good my face looks.  She said "I don't want to sound rude, but in college, you were always very skinny - being a dancer, but your face was always a little puffy".  She kept looking at me, almost in awe, as she kept saying how good "toned" my face looked.  I knew exactly what she meant.  I even hate my wedding pictures, because I looked sick - and had a puffy face.  I sometimes daydream about getting my wedding pictures retaken - of course with my same husband, and my kids. Generations from now, I want to be remembered as healthy and beautiful- not cute, but with a puffy face.

The visual of the scentsy yeast jar was good for my kids to see.  When we eat natural fruits it's more difficult for the yeast to get the sugars out of those types of food.  But when we eat highly processed sugars and flours and canned goods etc. it becomes flame for the fire and the yeast grows quickly - and it demonstrates it in our "soft bodies" and "puffy faces".

Since I've been using digestive enzymes, essential oils and probiotics to slowly decrease the amount of inflammation in my body, I have MIRACULOUSLY been able to eat wheat without much after problems.  I'll go into that in another blog and explain why.

Another little side note is that I read how the Jews do not eat, or prepare kosher meat with dairy products.  Some have seperate kitchens for the storage of the cheeses etc. with that of the meats.  They wait 1-6 hours after eating a milk product before eating a meat product.  This fascinated me.  I'll have to research that more.

A possible book title..."I may be Mormon, but I eat like a Jew".

Lots of love to you!

-Steffanie

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