Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Farmed Salmon Exposed" - Intro/Excerpt



It took traveling to Australia and New Zealand for me to realize what was happening in the fishing industry. Did you know tuna is becoming an endangered species? Listen to this video about how the Chilean fishing industry has been destroyed because of the Norwegian salmon farms. I have many friends in Chile. The more I learn, the more passionate I become about educating fellow Americans and concerned citizens throughout the world. Do everything in YOUR power to stop BIG businesses that care nothing for how their choices affect the rest of the world. I personally choose NO to farm raised fish.

For those who believe eating farm raised fish is saving the wild caught population...think again. This video talks about how these Norwegian companies compete with the local fisheries.  They compete to catch the wild caught fish, grind it up (add soy, corn, sterhoids to it etc.) and feed it to the farm raised fish.

So I don't understand the mentality.  Catch wild fish, grind it up, feed it to farm raised fish...then sell it to the public.

Please watch the video...very informative!

Farmed Fish - NOT a Healthy Alternative

Before knowing what I now know (after years of research), I use to buy farmed fish.  I had heard about the dangers of water contamination and so I sought out the packages of fish that said "farm raised".  In my mind I pictured nice clear water, fish being raised naturally in nice clean water.  The truth is that the fish are crowded, are given steroids to grow quickly, some are genetically modified to be what people have called "Franken Fish".  The antibiotics used to control the disease in these disgusting environments have floated into the waters affecting fish in their natural habitats.  Please read this very informative article from Dr. Mercola.  When you buy fish choose wild caught options.  Although expensive, I am buying my fish from Vital Choice as Dr. Mercola recommends.  To save money you can setup a wholesale account and can buy the fish with the skin still on.  You will save a lot of money that way.

Here is the article...

Fish farms are killing off wild salmon. Norwegian policies are making farmed seafood unsustainable and unhealthy. Open cage salmon farms, used to raise what is perhaps the most popular type of farmed fish, pose numerous problems for the environment and public health.

Many environmental experts have warned about the unsustainability of fish farms for close to a decade now, but nothing has been done to improve the system. As usual, government agencies and environmental organizations around the world turned a blind eye to what was predicted to become an absolute disaster, and now the ramifications can be seen across the globe.
Fish Farms – One of the Most Unsustainable Food Production Strategies Ever Implemented

Farmed fish is now so common, if you bought fish in the supermarket recently or ordered one in a restaurant, chances are it was farm raised. (About the only places you can find wild-caught fish these days are specialty fine-dining seafood restaurants.)

These oceanic feedlots, consisting of acres of net-covered pens tethered offshore were once considered a wonderful solution to over-fishing, but the reality is far from it.

As mentioned in the video above, it can take up to 5 kilos of wild fish and Antarctic krill to produce just one kilo of farmed salmon!

Rather than solving the problem of over-fishing, fish farms are literally competing with human consumption for what little wild fish there are left...

Open cage salmon farms are also decimating natural salmon stocks, and destroy the livelihoods of fisheries across the world.
Fish Farms Breed Disease that Decimate Wild Fish around the World

Conditions at fish farms are like conditions at factory farms everywhere: overcrowded, sickly, infected animals are fed whatever it takes to grow them as large as possible in as short a time as possible. But these techniques create disease, and the techniques employed cause otherwise near-non-existent disease to spread past the pens into the wild.

The "answer" is to add antibiotics to the fish feed – the identical "safety" measure employed by cattle- and poultry farms, for example. As a result of the excessive use of antibiotics, resistant strains of disease have emerged that now infect both wild and domesticated fish.

Sea lice, a type of crustacean that is easily incubated by captive fish on farms, have also become a significant problem.

To deal with it, chemicals that have not been tested for safety on other species are now being routinely used in salmon farms – even though no one actually knows what these untested chemicals will do to other crustaceans, such as shrimp, crab and lobster. After all, these pens are in open water and there's no way to control the spread of these chemicals.

The inevitable result of these modern fish farming practices is an evil circle of disease, antibiotic use, followed by the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains.

According to the video above, diseases created by salmon farms have now destroyed the Chilean fishing industry, and affect wild salmon in Canada, as well as sea trout in Ireland and Scotland.

The wild salmon fisheries in the US have also gone bust.

Two years ago, US federal authorities declared that the West Coast ocean salmon had reached a tipping point, and that the fisheries in California, Washington and Oregon had failed due to a sudden collapse of salmon. As a result, both commercial and recreational fishing for salmon was banned for the first time in 160 years.
Farmed Fish Also Pose Additional Human Health Hazards

In addition to being an unsustainable practice and an economic disaster, farm raised fish can also spell disaster for your health.

It's important to understand that ALL farm-raised fish – not just salmon -- are fed a concoction of vitamins, antibiotics, and depending on the fish, synthetic pigments, to make up for the lack of natural flesh coloration due to the altered diet. Without it, the flesh of caged salmon, for example, would be an unappetizing, pale gray.

The fish are also fed pesticides, along with compounds such as toxic copper sulfate, which is frequently used to keep nets free of algae.

Not only do you ingest these drugs and chemicals when you eat the fish, but these toxins also build up in sea-floor sediments. In this way, industrial fish farming raises many of the same environmental concerns about chemicals and pollutants that are associated with feedlot cattle and factory chicken farms.

In addition, fish waste and uneaten feed further litter the sea floor beneath these farms, generating bacteria that consume oxygen vital to shellfish and other bottom-dwelling sea creatures.

Studies have also consistently found levels of PCBs, dioxins, toxaphene and dieldrin, as well as mercury, to be higher in farm-raised fish than wild fish.

This fact alone would be cause to reconsider consuming farmed fish!

Wild caught fish have already reached such toxic levels, it's impossible to recommend eating them with a clear conscience anymore. For example, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey study, mercury contamination was detected in EVERY fish sampled in nearly 300 streams across the United States!

More than a quarter of these fish contained mercury at levels exceeding the EPA criterion for the protection of human health. Another study on fish from US lakes and reservoirs found that more than half contained excessive levels of mercury -- so much so they were deemed unsafe for children and pregnant women to eat.

So, when you consider the fact that factory farmed fish typically are even MORE toxic than wild caught fish and also contain an assortment of antibiotics and pesticides, avoiding them becomes a no-brainer – at least if you're concerned about your health.
Could Moving Fish Farms Onto Land Solve the Problem?

Some, such as Orri Vigfusson, chairman of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund, believe that the answer to the current problems is to relocate the fish farms from the open ocean onto land, where it can be better controlled.

But even though that might help protect the oceans to some degree, it still not solve the problem of exacerbating over-fishing to create fish feed. It also wouldn't solve the problem of the excessive use of antibiotics and other chemicals, which are an integral part of any factory farm setup, whether it's in the ocean or on land.

Besides that, where would the toxic waste get hauled off to? The environmental devastation would still be significant.
What are Your Options?

Sadly, contamination of our oceans and waterways is so great that I don't advise eating ANY fish, whether farm-raised or wild-caught, unless you can verify its purity.

What options do you have, then, to get the health benefits of the omega-3 fats in fish, without exposing yourself to pollutants and excessive amounts of antibiotics, and contributing to the decline of the fish population and destruction of the environment?

These days I recommend you get your omega-3 fat from an alternative source like krill oil. Not only are krill (small, shrimp-like creatures) a superior source of omega-3, but they are one of the most easily renewable food resources available, making them an excellent nutritional source from an environmental perspective.

Though I know many of you enjoy fish for the flavor and the health benefits, if you can't confirm that it's from a clean, sustainable source, I believe the risks from eating it -- both to your health and the environment -- vastly outweigh the benefits. The only source of wild salmon I can personally recommend is from Vital Choice.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pasture Raised Food Club - I will be joining!

Here is an email that I received from Ramiel (author of How to Cure Tooth Decay).  The book was fascinating!  I absolutely loved reading it.  I will write another post talking about Ramiel and his book, but for now I wanted to share with you the email. I personally, will be joining the club - becoming part owner.  Here is the information from the email...

Hello Steffanie,

Sean, a primal eater and friend of the Amish in Pennsylvania has a
special one time offer for all of my U.S. e-mail subscribers (and
your friends). A free 1/2 gallon of grass fed raw milk with your
when you sign up and place an order with Sean's Pasture Raised Food
Buyer's Club. Pasture Raised allows anybody within the U.S.
(including Alaska and Hawaii) to have access to raw pasture raised
milk, raw butter, raw cream and a whole lot more.

Sean's Pasture Raised Food Club:
I met Sean last year at the Wise Traditions Conference of the
Weston Price Foundation in Chicago (by the way, this years conference
went really well, and my talk on healing cavities was well received).
Sean enjoys excellent quality food and raw milk from Amish farm's in
Pennsylvania. He is excited to offer all of you a very unique opportunity
to get access to these raw, pasture raised foods in the U.S. without
ever leaving your home.

Amish Food:
Pasture Raised Food Club gets all of its food from Amish farms in
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Amish farmer's produce some of the
best, satisfying and affordable food in our country. They use slow
technology. The cows graze on pasture's most of the year. The milk
is rich, and creamy, sort of like drinking ice cream. You can also
get access to very high quality pasture raised, beef, pork, turkey,
duck, chicken and lamb. Other menu items at the Pasture Raised Food
Club are delicious fermented condiments, amazing bacon, raw milk
ice cream (so you know what heaven is like), fermented dairy,
excellent rich cheeses, colostrum, cream fraiche, eggs with orange
colored yolks that taste great, and even potato chips fried in
lard. I am a club member, and I regularly buy Amish food for my
family, because it makes everyone happy (it just tastes sooo good).

Shipped To Your Door to Any State:
Sean can LEGALLY ship you raw milk, raw cheese, some of the best
raw butter in the United States to any state. Yes, even in Hawaii
you can enjoy amazing raw milk. Literally you can get almost
everything you need to have a healthy diet, except for fresh
vegetables from Sean. The food is delivered with FedEx at a
wholesale shipping rate, they have a variety of shipping speeds
depending upon where you live.

Why This IS Legal:
Raw milk is illegal or hard to find in many states. But becoming a
member of Pasture Raised makes it legal for you to get raw milk in
any state. Before ordering food from Sean, you sign a legal lease
agreement and go through an application process. This makes you an
owner of the farms participating in the food club. Once you become
an owner, (this is not a cowshare) then you are no longer legally
engaged in commerce. As a private enterprise between consenting
adults, you acknowledge the claimed "risks" for consuming this
amazing vital food. And the government can no longer regulate. This
lease share has withstood several court hearings without any
problems. It requires your signature and small yearly fee to be a
member.

What About Local and Sustainable?
A few of you may be very concerned about shipping food, rather than
buying it local. I would love to have an Amish farm next door like
Sean does in Pennsylvania. If we all had access to this food, then
of course it would not need to be shipped. But this ideal food
supply chain no longer exists. In California, where I live, most of
the food (except vegetables and some types of beef) are
substandard. The chickens are fed soy (which they cannot eat
naturally so it is processed with chemicals so the chickens will
tolerate it), and the chickens do not get to graze or eat many bugs.
My children will not even eat eggs any more because they do not like
the taste of the most expensive local eggs I can buy. Raw cream is
rarely on the shelf and also very expensive. I want the best food for
my family. Just like I know you all want the best food for yourself and your
family.

I the Buyer's Club service because I believe supporting high
quality farms, who care for their animals and raise them humanely
is worth the small imbalance of shipping the food. Many local farms
in California do not have these extremely high standards, like the
Amish farms Sean gets the food from. Shipping food is not an ideal
long term solution to healthy food in the U.S. But for now, as a
compromise, it feels really good to eat this food, and you will
feel nourished and supported by eating food from farmer's who care
about what they do. You also will be supporting farmers who make
great food. This will encourage more farmers to participate, and
the real food movement will grow, and access to these foods will
become easier for more and more people.

How To Get Free Raw Milk:
When you sign up with Pasture Raised Food Buying Club, you will get
a free half gallon of some of the best raw milk you have ever tasted.
Because of shipping (cost varies by location) and packaging fee's
(about $12 for the box, ice packs and insulation), you'll want to
order some more yummy food to make the free milk worth while. Even
though there is an extra price to pay for shipping and handling,
the food prices are very reasonable. For example raw milk is $8 per
gallon. The shipping cost is also at a huge wholesale discount,
to make it as easy as possible for you to get real food delivered to your door.

*How to sign up:
1. Please go to http://www.pastureraised.net/
2. Read through the top of the website.
3. Follow the website instructions: you will e-mail Sean your name,
location and phone number and so forth.
4. When you send in your name and information, say, "I learned
about you from Ramiel Nagel," so Sean will know to give you a free
half gallon of raw milk with your order.

If you have further questions about this program, e-mail Sean at,
info@pastureraised.net or call him at 717-884-8RAW

Yours in good health,

Ramiel

http://www.curetoothdecay.com/
PO BOX AG, Los Gatos, CA 95031, USA

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Forgive

My mind is whirling with all of the attacks.  Disappointment, criticism, anger, apathy, grief - I can see it in your expressions.  There are so many of you.

It would be better if I just get off at the next stop.  I'm not capable of being on the same team.  I lack the drive to finish.  I lack the strength to even stand.  When I am still, I can feel my body trembling.

The struggle inside, no one knows.

The mental battle that is going on, it cannot be seen.

The pain in my heart from years of disappointment.  The heaviness is unnoticed to the passerby.

Shutting out the world numbs the pain for a moment, but the pain and reminders from the past bury the pain deeper still.

Such a failure as a human being.  Such a failure in so many ways I cannot begin to make a list...

Crawling at times to get my family to church.  We are late.  I see the looks of judgement.  My husband kisses me on my temple and whispers to me "I'm proud of you!  You are here". 

As I sit in the chair I can feel my body trembling.  I'm struggling to hold my body upright in the chair.  The weight of my 5 month old is too heavy for me to carry.  I pass her off to my husband to hold. 

The tears continue to fall until the end of the class.

My husband walks me to the next class.  He stays with me in the hallway and helps me to stand as we wait to enter the room.

A good friend gave me a hug and the tears fell freely.

It would have been easier to stay home.  It would have been easier to not have to work through the pain.  It would have been less noticed, my pain, if I could have just stayed home.

Just like having a good workout physically, I returned home from church exhausted mentally and emotionally.

It was a good workout.  Those spiritual muscles burned.

Good job.  My husband and God, and a dear friend were the only ones who knew the struggle.

My war is a silent one.

It feels like I am swimming upstream in a strong current.  I may only be staying in place as I struggle against the current, but at least I am not being taken downstream and into the sea.

I will continue to swim - despite the pain.

I choose to live.

I choose to forgive.

I choose to laugh.

And I choose to love.

Gratitude.

-Steffanie

Thank Goodness!

When my husband is out of town for work, the days and nights, he is away, pass by very slowly at times.  The hustle and bustle of taking care of kids, cleaning the house, preparing meals etc. seem to make the time pass by quickly during the day, but as the evening approaches, so does a sense of melancholy.

Some of the things that help...

1- Positive, uplifting music
2- Grateful thoughts.  I cannot tell you how much the song "Count Your Many Blessings" helps me as I try to focus on what I am grateful for vs. the hardships that I may be experiencing.

My step-dad called me the other day and mentioned that sometimes it's easier to be thankful for what "I don't have" vs. "what I have".  I'll explain...

I'm grateful that my husband isn't lazy...
I'm grateful that my husband isn't abusive...
I'm grateful that my husband isn't unfaithful...

I struggle with the fact my husband is a business owner and has the weight of the company, the employees, the vendors, the customer's etc. on his shoulders day in and day out.  It has been this way ever since we were married.  It was my husband's first employee (one of my very best friends from college) that actually introduced the two of us.  With being married to a CEO, comes the reality that sometimes employees and customers come first before family.  Perhaps your spouse's schooling or church callings is taking away from the time that he or she can spend time with you.

3- Find a hobby that you enjoy

One spring/summer was especially difficult for me as my husband was gone nearly every single week working out of town on large commercial projects that required his expertise and supervision.  On occasion we would be able to join him, but for the most part we had to stay behind.  I felt like I was going border-line crazy one day and prayed for help.  The answer... I enrolled myself in guitar lessons.  The nights became less lonely when I focused on practicing the guitar and singing.

4- Never bring junk food home with you. 

My husband isn't here right now and evening is upon us.  Without recognizing how sad and lonely I was, I begin to "emotionally eat".  I wasn't hungry, but here are some things I was grabbing for. 

a. I ate 2 grapefruit
b. I had a spouted grained muffin with raw butter and raw New Zealand Honey on it.  (Bad for a Celiac!)
c. 1 tsp of Molasses
d. A fig
e. 1/2 tsp of Agave
f. A couple bites of leftover thanksgiving gravy and potatoes
g. A couple swigs of organic milk. (We prefer raw milk, but Shane had purchased this when he went to the health foods store to buy the ingredients for the Thanksgiving meal)
After I drank the milk, I took a minute to step away from my pantry and observed logically what was happening.  I was definitely emotionally eating. Thank Goodness that I didn't have junk food around me.  If there had been chips, Twinkies, candies, cakes, pizza, breads etc. around, I would have been eating those things.

My son asked me the other day what my favorite junk food was.  I thought for a minute and was able to tell him that something called a "Zinger" was probably my favorite junk food.  I had remembered back to my college days (as a dance major).  I'd cut calories to lose weight and then when I couldn't take it any more I'd head for the store to eat some zinger's.  I'd eat an entire package of them.  When I explained to my son what zingers were I explained they were basically a pink, coconut covered twinkie.  My son then politely asked "what is a twinkie?" 

I had to laugh at this cute little question.  We laughed about how there were many junk food items that my kids had never tasted.  They know how much I've struggled with my health issues because of how I had eaten in High School and in College.  They know that in order to be everything God intended them to be - with all of the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual beauty that they were destined to have, requires eating and living in the way our Father in Heaven (God) intended.

A little advice about shopping...

The best time to go shopping is when you are NOT hungry.  If you can make a shopping list before going to the store, that helps as well.  Decide what meals you are going to make for the week.  Make a list of the ingredients needed and then stick to that list.

When I go to the store with the kids I catch myself giving the following advice to my oldest daughter a lot.  The advice is "don't look at the bad".  I then tell her to "look for the healthy options".  She has learned to look for where the fruit trays are.  When they are on clearance I love buying the fruit trays for the kids.  It's a wonderful healthy "treat".  My son likes to choose a favorite fruit to eat.  I let them help me bag the produce. 

By planning your meals out in advance, you won't have the food go to waste.  If you are new to cooking with fruits and vegetables, take it a step at a time.  Try a new recipe a couple times a week.

I didn't like all of the raw food recipes that required a ton of preparation and a lot of flavors mixed together.  For me, the simpler the better!  I love plain cucumbers with apple cider vinegar, sea salt and cracked pepper.  I like plain tomatoes with cracked pepper and sea salt.  I love steamed carrots and green beans with raw butter.  I love freshly made salsa, and I love the combination of cabbage with lime juice, sea salt and avocado.

Find what works for you.  One step at a time.

Please remember to...

Get out those happy CD's that you love.  Turn the music up and dance!  I remember when I was little (still small enough that my mother could pick me up and dance with me) she would turn the records on, spin me around and dance.  I can still picture my younger siblings from below grasping onto my mother's legs as they looked up at her laughing trying to be a part of what was happening. 

Life is difficult at times, but thank the dear Lord for good food, good music, and good friends. 

Turn the music up, pack the fridge with healthy emotional eating choices :), tell yourself how beautiful you are, breathe in and out gratitude, and let the crap you are currently dealing with come out as waste.

I love YOU.  As I've been writing this, I've felt a great swelling in my chest as my heart reaches out to the one who is reading this.

I am sending a big hug your way.

If you happen to be struggling with bulimia or anorexia I have a friend that has gone from near death to complete recovery.  Her name is Haley Hatch Freeman.  The book she wrote is called "A Future for Tomorrow".  You can go to her blog http://www.afuturefortomorrow.com/ for more information.

If you find it hard to eat the way that I suggest, because of a history of bulimia or anorexia, please go to Haley's website.

Lots of love!

-Steffanie

The School of Natural Healing

I highly recommend taking the Family Herbalist course from The School of Natural Healing.  There are so many things that I learned from taking this course that I cannot begin to number them.  Dr. Christopher's teachings completely changed the way I viewed the human body and it's relationship to food.  It is incredible what the body can do when given the proper tools.  "Cleanse and Nourish"  My life will forever be blessed because of the knowledge gained at The School of Natural Healing.

For more information, please click on the link listed below.

http://www.snh.cc/jamaffiliates/jrox.php?id=1373

Lots of love to you!

-Steffanie

Friday, November 26, 2010

Corn, Soy and Wheat - Stop the over-consumption!

So-Called "Healthy" Foods that You Should STOP Eating (if you want a lean healthy body)

by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author of the best-seller: The Truth About Six Pack Abs


I was reading a statistic in a nutrition book recently, and this is going to shock you...

Now before I tell you the statistic, let's keep an important fact in mind... according to well renowned nutrition author Michael Pollan, and his amazing book called In Defense of Food, humankind has historically consumed approximately 80,000 different species of edible plants, animals, and fungi, and approximately 3,000 of those have been widespread foods of the human diet.

Now get ready for a shocking and appalling statistic...

Currently, the average adult in the US consumes approximately 67% of their total caloric intake from only 3 foods -- CORN, SOY, AND WHEAT (and their derivatives).

What would be considered a reasonably healthy amount of corn, soy, and wheat in the human diet? Based on 10's of thousands of years of human history, and what the natural diet of our ancestors was (indicating what our digestive systems are still programmed to process), this would probably be in the range of about 1% to 5% MAX of our total calories from corn, soy, and wheat.

Considering that modern humans are eating 67% of their total calories from corn, soy, wheat... you can see why we have massive problems in our health, and our weight!

It's not a surprise that we have so many intolerances and allergies, specifically to soy and wheat (and gluten intolerance)... the human digestive system was simply never meant to consume these substances in such MASSIVE quantities.

Keep in mind that these massively high levels of corn, soy, and wheat in our modern human diet is a relatively new phenomenon that originated from the economics of the multi-billion dollar corn, soy, and wheat industries. It really HAS been all about the money... NOT about our health!

By "derivatives" of corn, soy, and wheat, this means the food additives such as:
high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
corn oil
soybean oil (hydrogenated or plain refined)
soy protein
refined wheat flour
hundreds of other food additives such as maltodextrin, corn or wheat starch, soy lecithin, mono and diglycerides, etc, etc

This doesn't surprise me... consider how much soda or other sweetened drinks (with loads of HFCS) that the average person drinks daily... this is a LOT of calories from just 1 sole corn derivative. Even marinades, salad dressings, ketchup, breads, and 100's of other foods contain loads of HFCS!

Also think about how many processed foods we have that are either fried in soybean or corn oil... and even if the foods are not fried in these oils, these oils are additives to almost every processed food... chips, candies, cakes, salad dressings, tomato sauces, burrito wraps, corn chips, breaded chicken, etc, etc. This is a LOT of calories from these 2 other corn and soy derivatives... both of them EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY!

On top of that, think about how much breads, cereals, pastas, muffins, and other highly processed wheat products that most people consume each day. Again, this is LOADS of unhealthy, blood-sugar spiking, nutrient-poor calories, that more than half of the population has some degree of intolerance to anyway.

It gets even worse!

Not only are we eating 67% of our total calories from corn, soy, and wheat... but because of the economics involved (specifically with cheap corn and soy) we are also feeding most of our farm animals corn and soy now too... again amplifying the amount of corn and soy that ends up in our bodies.

Probably the 2 worst examples of this blatant mismanagement of our food supply is how our factory farmed chickens and cows are fed.

Cows are fed mostly corn in factory feedlot farms, even though their digestive systems are only meant to eat grass and other forage. This makes the cows sick (hmm... E-coli anyone?), alters the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of the fats to unhealthy levels, and also diminishes the healthy CLA fats that would occur naturally in grass-fed beef. All of these problems go away if our cows are fed what they were made to eat naturally - grass!

Our chickens are also fed a diet of mostly corn and soy and crowded in tight pens in horrendous conditions... when the fact is that a chicken was meant to roam around the outdoors eating a mixture of greens, insects, worms, seeds, etc. When chickens are kept inside in tight quarters and fed only grains, it leads to an unhealthy meat for you to eat, and less healthy eggs compared to free-roaming chickens allowed to eat an outdoors diet.

Our food supply has gotten so screwed up that we're even feeding our salmon and other farmed fish corn and soy...again because of the economics involved. How ludicrous is this, considering that fish are meant to eat a diverse diet of smaller fish, worms, bugs, etc. Again this makes farm raised fish unhealthy in terms of nutrition compared to the wild counterparts. If you want to see something even scarier about farm raised fish, watch this quick video about the toxic fish you might be buying.

So even when you're eating chicken, beef, and fish, you're still essentially getting even MORE corn and soy into your body...considering that the cows, chickens, and farmed fish ate mostly soy and corn.

So it's actually WORSE than just 67% isn't it!

Why is it so unhealthy to consume 2/3rds of our calories from corn, soy, and wheat?

Well, this section could encompass an entire book, so to keep this short, I'll just throw out a few random reasons...
Skews the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in our diet to as high as 30:1, when a ratio of 1:1 to 2:1 is considered healthy.
Problems with gluten intolerance (related to heavy wheat consumption)
Problems with weight gain, blood-sugar swings, and reduced insulin sensitivity (and progression of diabetes) due to excessive refined corn and wheat flours, as well as HFCS in our diet
Soy and corn are the most genetically modified crops (which also allows more pesticides and herbicides to be used, which are usually "xenoestrogens")
Many of the pesticide and herbicide residues in these crops are xenoestrogens, which can increase "stubborn" belly fat
Soy products and derivatives contain a double-whammy of xenoestrogens as well as phytoestrogens... again creating an environment in your body for fat storage, carcinogenic effects, and even "man boobs" for some men in very severe cases
The feeding of corn and soy to animals reduces the health and nutritional benefits of those animal products
and the list could go on and on and on...

So how do you avoid all of this overwhelming amount of corn, soy, and wheat in our food supply, and finally take control of your weight and your health?

1. Don't purchase processed foods! It all starts with your grocery cart discipline... choose only 1-ingredient foods such as fruits, veggies, beans, eggs (free roaming), nuts, seeds, and meats from grass-fed or free roaming animals that are raised correctly. Only resort to junk foods or processed foods on a 1-day per week "cheat day" but ONLY when dining out... that way, the processed foods aren't in your house to tempt you.

2. Get most of your carbs from fruits and veggies instead of grains.

3. Avoid store bought salad dressings as they almost always contain soybean oil and HFCS (instead, try my homemade healthy salad dressing)

4. Make sure that your tomato sauces don't have HFCS and soybean oils... look for sauces made with olive oil instead. Remember to avoid unhealthy canola oils too!

5. Try veggie sticks with guacamole instead of corn chips

6. Try veggies sticks with hummus instead of pita chips or other bread

7. Reduce your cereal, bread, and pasta intake by having these foods only on "cheat days" and stick to more of the 1-ingredient foods I mentioned in #1 above. Try some of these healthy snacks as good alternatives (yes, I know that one of the 13 snacks on there has sprouted grain, which is fine on occasion).

I could go on with more examples, but I think that's good for now.

So with all of this said... Is my diet perfect? Well, no of course not! Nobody is perfect, and I can give in to temptation on occasion just like anybody else.

However, I'd estimate that my corn/soy/wheat consumption is only about 2-4% of my total caloric intake compared to 67% for the average person. The way that I achieve this is to simply not bring any corn, soy, or wheat products into my house, so I'm never tempted by it. Therefore, at least 6 days/week, I eat virtually no corn/soy/wheat, except for the occasional piece of sprouted grain toast a couple times a week (which is a better option than typical "whole grain" bread).

I do, however, give in and sometimes eat breads, pasta, and even corn chips, etc. when I'm dining out. I see these as my cheat meals and try to do this no more than once per week. I still completely eliminate sodas and deep fried foods though...they are just TOO evil!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Salad Dressing Mix



I love the salads that are sold at Real Foods Market.  The salad dressing they use is very simple to make.  It consists of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Black Pepper.

I mix the above listed ingredients in a little cup and pour it on my salads or veggies.  If I have fresh basil from the garden and fresh tomatoes, I'll add the salad dressing to this as well.  The basil, tomatoes, raw goat feta with the salad dressing tastes incredible over cooked eggplant.

Pictured below, is the salad and cucumber dish my husband and I shared tonight.  The kids were too full from eating some bread that my oldest son had made and so I made a quick salad for the two of us.  I'll post a picture of the bread as well.

Here is our salad consisting of organic lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, raw goat feta, and the salad dressing listed above.  I'm out of red onions.  I LOVE red onions in my salads and so I was really disappointed to discover we are completely out of them.  


The salad dressing tasted so good to me that I made a second batch of it, cut up some cucumbers and enjoyed eating them with my son.  Poor Shane didn't get any...


Below is a picture of the bread that my son made.  He was the one who grounded up the wheat and then made his own recipe. He added warm water, honey, yeast, and sea salt to the mixture.  Since we were out of eggs, we used ground up flax seed and aluminum free baking powder and water in place of an egg.

The bread may look like a brick, but all of the kids loved it! 

Note:  If we had prepared the bread in a more "Traditional Way", we would have put water and whey to the ground up flour and would have let it soak and then ferment naturally causing the bread to rise without the use of yeast.

Here is the honey wheat bread that he made...



This was pretty impressive for a 9 year old who didn't use a recipe.  Despite looking like a brick, it was very moist and was an immediate hit with the other kids.  I commented to my son that he was now the family "bread making expert" and Sage was the "soup making expert".  His reply was "uh ugh (No way) I am a soup expert also!"

I absolutely LOVE my kids!  They make me laugh all the time.

Love,

Steffanie

Secret Recipe CODE

My oldest daughter, who is seven, has become an amazing little chef.  She tells us that she "listens to what comes into her mind" when choosing what ingredients to use in her meals.

Sage's specialty is soups.  I handed her some meat and potatoes, the other day, thinking she would make some type of fried meal but the first thing she did was get out the big soup pot to fill it full of water. She then took the hamburger (exotic animal meat) that I had given her and plopped it into the water.  There it sat floating on the water in a big lump.  I seriously doubted her culinary abilities at this point.  She started chopping up the organic potatoes, and added a bag of frozen onions, some frozen corn, and at my suggestion (when I started realizing this could turn into something similar to what Grandma made) she added bottled tomatoes.

One of the favorite ingredients she uses when making soups is something called "GHEE".  It is a product from India.  I have about every flavor there is of it and so there is no way these soups she creates can be duplicated without a carefully written recipe to follow.

Here is the soup Sage made.  We had a little "Soup Picnic" outside one afternoon on the day that she made this.  We later shared the soup with a neighbor who couldn't believe how delicious it was - and that Sage had made this herself from scratch!

Here is a picture of the soup...



Sage has written down her recipes in a cute little code format.  Here is a picture...


Yesterday my Son was begging his sister (our little chef) to make some of her "delicious soup".  Sage told him to follow her recipe and make it himself.  She handed him the paper (picture of the paper is listed above) and told him to follow her recipe.

My son literally jumped up and down with frustration.  He cried out "I can't read your recipes!"  Sage had a smirk on her face like a little Mona Lisa.  She was trying to hide her satisfaction.  She calmly said "oh, that's too bad".

My son then yelled out "Mom!" It was his last effort to try to enlist my help to FORCE his sister to make soup for all of us.

I had a good laugh thinking about Sage's CODE Recipe book.  I wondered why she hadn't spelled out the words, but now I know why!  Oh, my kids are so hilarious.  They are WORTH every single moment of chaos.  Life would be so very dull without their cute little unique personalities.

Perhaps we can get Sage to make us another very yummy soup today for lunch.

Lots of love,

Steffanie

Gluten-Free Bread Mommy!


Last night my husband stopped by Good Earth to pickup some food.  Before arriving there, my husband called me to get the shopping list. 

My husband is a salesman.  He loves getting a good deal.  I joked with him about not buying junk even if it was "on sale". 

So, my husband arrives home with the groceries.  I was busy responding to business emails.  We have a computer in the kitchen and so I was there focusing on work while Shane and the kids brought in the food.  I was completely focused on what I was doing and didn't hear my husband giving instructions to the kids to "put the bread by the door - I'll take it to work with me tomorrow".  Nor did I hear the conversation he had with the kids that he'd "gotten FREE bread from the store".

So, Shane goes upstairs and my little girl came and told me the good news - she was SO excited!  "Mommy" she said, "Daddy bought YOU gluten-free bread!" 

I wasn't too excited because gluten free products (that are not naturally gluten-free) usually means it tastes terrible.  Not to ruin the excitement of my daughter I told her to go get a piece for me and I'd try it.

My son interrupts us telling us "Dad said not to eat it because he wanted to take it to work with him".

"That's SILLY" I thought.  "It's MY gluten-free bread." So I assured my son that it was OK.  I graciously shared my wonderfully delicious gluten-free bread with the kids and had a couple slices myself.

Now, because gluten affects the mind, I'm sitting here in a stupor.  I can't remember how I found out it was not gluten-free.  Oh yes, I had asked my daughter to get me the package so I could see what brand it was and what it was made of - the taste was so much like real bread, it was incredible!

Truth be known...

The bread, yes indeed, had the first ingredient "enriched wheat bread".  Oh wonderful! Enriched...twice the gluten content right?

I laughed and told the kids that it was definitely not gluten-free.  After completing my work, I took time to make sure that everything was really clean downstairs.  I wanted to make sure to use every last bit of energy I had before facing the next day with extreme fatigue.

Amazingly enough, I am up early today (a day after the gluten-filled bread eating feast) and I'm functioning pretty normally.  I didn't have the strength to take my morning hike on my treadmill, but none the less I AM walking.

Shane saw that I was tired this morning and so he had rubbed some essential oils on my feet while I was still sleeping.  He chose oils that help address irritability and mood problems.  Shane has been under a TON of stress at work, being a business owner, and so he applied the oils to his own feet as well.  These oils help him to maintain a calming, balancing feeling internally as he deals with the chaos in the world that surrounds him.

After he applied the oils to my feet I worried about telling him about the bread.  I knew that he needed a lot of help with work and I was planning on going into the office.  After eating gluten, I wasn't sure how I would be able to function once my feet hit the floor.

So, we chatted about my experience last night.  Shane laughed and said "I told the kids to put the bread by the door and that I would be taking it to work with me." I told him about how our oldest son had tried telling me this, but I had assured him that it was OK.  My cute little daughter had misunderstood.  Shane had purchased $100 in groceries and had been given a "FREE loaf of Bread".  When Shane told this to the kids, my cute little 7 year old interpreted it as "Gluten-Free loaf of Bread."

We laughed at the situation.  Looking back on what happened, I realize that I should have followed my instincts and definitely should have paid more attention to my son who was adamant about me not eating the bread that Dad said he was going to take to the office.

We don't buy white bread or even wheat bread from the regular food stores.  I snapped a picture of the bread that we do buy along side the 1/2 eaten bag of Gluten-Filled bread.  We buy sprouted breads, cereals and corn tortillas that are the Ezekiel brand.  The grains are soaked, sprouted and then cooked on low heat so as to preserve the most nutrition and natural enzymes as possible.

As I've incorporated more and more fermented foods into my diet and more foods rich with natural enzymes, my sensitivities to gluten have not been as severe as they have in the past.  I hope that some day I will be able to eat the gluten-filled grains as long as I prepare them by soaking and sprouting, or fermenting them first.

Lots of love!

-Steffanie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Healing Soups for the Sick

A friend of mine was involved in a car accident last week.  We brought her to our home to recover for several days.  Friends of hers brought her over some soup.  In the soup there was brown rice, garbanzo beans, zucchini, carrots, celery, and corn tortilla strips and various herbs.  It looked so delicious that I tried making my own version of that soup that Cochita made for my friend Miyosy.  The result was incredible!  We had just harvested our herbs from my garden.  We had fresh sage, thyme, oregano and parsley.  My daughter helped me make the soup with various vegetables that were left over in the fridge.  With adding so many fresh herbs to the pot I worried that we would over do it, but according to my kids, they said "it was the best soup they had EVER tasted!"

When I have been called to care for people who are sick, it surprises me how people do not understand how important of a role food plays in the recovery.  One friend was feeding her extremely sick relative pudding, a woman at church was feeding her snotty nosed children candies.  A mother who has a child with behavioral disorders told me about how the child loved to have his chocolate cereal and milk for breakfast, chocolate milk for lunch, chocolate this or that for dinner.  I'm sure my mouth was open in awe as I listened to this mother explain that she knew it wasn't healthy, but it was what her child wanted.  Yikes!  I don't buy the bad food, so my children have positive choices in front of them and they have grown to love the wonderful healthy choices that surround them.

Think of sugar and processed food as gasoline on a fire.  It is food for illness and disease.

To regain health quickly, feed your body as much live, raw food as possible.  I do believe in the benefits of wonderful soup broths to assist in healing.  Raw, wonderful juices from greens, fruits or veggies. Soups made in the Vitamix (if you have one), or in a pot on the stove if you are unable to make the soups raw.

In Dr. Christopher's incurables program he uses only apple juice for one week, grape juice for one week and carrot juice for one week.  Do not try that alone.  There is a complete program that involves taking prune juice in the am, drinking (chewing) plenty of water and taking oil to help lubricate the organs while on the juice fast etc.  There is more to it than this, but I have seen amazing healing occur when individuals feed themselves or their loved ones in a way that frees the body from spending so much time on providing enzymes that the body needs to digest the food and is able to focus those enzymes in the areas most needed to help healing.

Lots of love,

Steffanie

Beet Kvass vs Borscht - I love Fermenting Foods!

It's 12:36am right now... my body still thinks it's on Australian or New Zealand time...

I wanted to post one more entry before heading to bed.  I know it's not healthy for my adrenal and thyroid glands to be up this late - especially when I have to face the day tomorrow with 5 kids to take care of.

Fermenting Foods is a topic I need to talk a lot more about.  It was a crucial process in food preparation in the 1900's that contributed significantly to the overall health of the cultures studied by Dr. Weston Price.

Beet Kvass is an incredible blood purifier. The first picture is of fermented beets.  However, I have a hard time just eating it straight.  The book listed above has become one of my favorite recipe books.  I've tried using the fermented beets in a raw food recipe for Borscht.  I wasn't able to enjoy the raw soup very much.  But the recipe for Borscht in the Fermented Foods book turned out really well.  The recipe says to boil the soup (with the fermented beets) for 1/2 hour, but I didn't want to kill any of the wonderful enzymes, probiotics etc. and so I prepared the soup according to the directions and then turned off the heat and added the fermented vegetables.  For my taste, I add a ton of fresh pepper and a little bit of sea salt.  YUMMY!!!  I had Borscht for lunch and dinner for several days thereafter and loved it!

I'm learning to buy up those forgotten vegetables from the store like turnips etc. that will go bad unless somebody who understands the importance of fermentation, buys up the neglected, under appreciated vegetables and turns them into a powerhouse of enzymes, vitamins, probiotics and nutrition.  After the beets were fermented, I followed the recipe to make a soup using potatoes, onions, spices and the shredded fermented beets.  Yummmmmy!  It felt incredible clear down to the cellular level.  What an amazing blood purifier beets are.

Here are some pictures of the process...


Oh so good for you!!!

Super Hero Powers with Green Drinks!

I have two very good helpers whenever I get out the juicer.  The deal is, if the kids help me, I juice the kale, celery, and dandelion greens first - then we add a couple of apples.  All of my kids finish the entire drink, even with the glass being full of green foam.  I loved that my daughter was wearing her brother's spider man costume.  When I saw their green mustaches I couldn't resist getting out the camera.
They are such wonderful super hero helpers when it comes to juicing fruits, veggies and greens.

Can I add Vegetables to This?


Here is a picture of our lunch one day.  The plates are for the kids, the bowl is for me.  After preparing the plates and then asking the kids to sit down at the table, my oldest son says to me (and I quote him exactly) "Mom, can I add some vegetables to this?"  I answered him sarcastically informing him that the plate was full of vegetables.  He then said "No! Vegetables like Cauliflower and Cucumbers!"  Oh my, I forgot to add veggies.  My bad!  Happily he chopped up his "vegetables" and then we all devoured the yummy, mouth watering salads. 

The salad dressings are delicious.  Raw Melissa brand salad dressing is made from vegenaise, dill weed, paprika, and garlic salt.  I have yet to make the dressing as yummy as she makes it.  Tonight I attempted making it, but in the end I diluted my dip mix (that was being used as a dip for a veggie tray) with the Raw Melissa dressing.  I'm not sure how she does it, but the dressing tastes incredible. 

My oldest son attends scouts once a week.  Each time I pick him up he tells me about the pizza, or the cake, or the cookies that he didn't eat.  He tells me that he just quietly avoids going to the table to get anything.  He doesn't explain why he chooses NOT to eat that food.  He just quietly doesn't eat it.  Today we were asked to bring the treat.  My son decided to make a veggie tray.  So, he cut up carrots, cucumbers and cauliflower and then put them all nicely on a white platter and then he chose to put the veggie dip on the tray as well.  Honestly, I was worried none of the other little boy scouts would want to eat it.  Surprisingly, when I picked up my son from scouts, there was a very happy boy that ran out to the car to greet me.  The plate was empty and the scout leader followed him to the car and asked for the dip recipe.  They said everyone LOVED it. 

Yeah!!!  I'm so happy when people are grateful for wonderful, healthy food that surprisingly tastes delicious.

Lots of love,

Steffanie

Drunk with Alcohol - Or Could it be Gluten?!


This is how I feel trying to talk to people after I've eaten Gluten!!!  Perhaps she is a Celiac? :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Raw for 30 Days - You are what you EAT


This video made me cry. I absolutely LOVE this profession I am in of healing, of teaching and leading people to discover health and vitality as God intended. Pray for the strength to do the necessary.

Diabetes CAN be Cured

Click on this link to find out how you can even cure Type 1 Diabetes. 

http://www.rawfor30days.com/cmd.php?af=1265379

It is incredible what people can do, even on the verge of death, when they began to eat foods that have life in them. 

I personally own the raw foods DVD's that are offered on this website.

Please know that even the Doctor's that are promoting the raw foods diet still eat cooked food (like Dr. Fuhrman), and Dr. Mercola eats raw dairy and organic meat, free range chicken eggs etc. (like what I teach) in addition to eating a primarily raw food diet. 

I've found that most of those who I thought ate a 100% raw diet actually only eat between 50-80% of their food "raw" - meaning that nothing has been heated over 118 degrees (to keep all the life inside the food).  This surprised me, since I had always assumed they ate ALL their food raw.  I know this is true for some, but it was also very suprising for me to see "Raw Melissa" selling her wraps in rice paper and her raw sandwiches using wheat bread.  Find a solution that works best for you. 

Raw food and fermented food has the digestive enzymes needed to help with food absorption, breakdown and assimilation.  If you have difficulty eating meat, try using fermented foods like kimchi, beet kvas, saurkraut or another fermented vegetable when you eat meat products. 

When my husband and I were in Hawaii I was able to taste kimchi with eggs.  It was absolutely delicious.  The store bought versions I tried, of kimchi, didn't taste anything like what I had eaten in Hawaii.  When I made my own recipe (following Sally Fallon's recipe for Kimchi in her book "Nourishing Traditions"), I was able to duplicate what I had tasted in Maui.  If you don't like a particular food, don't give up on it.  There are 26 letters in the alphabet.  There are hundreds of fruits and vegetable options.  If you don't like the way a particular raw food product tastes, don't throw out the letters (produce) all together.  Mix and match the words (fruits and veggies, raw seeds, nuts etc) in a different way and try again.

Lots of love,

Steffanie

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Morning Green Drink Ideas

I've love one of these drinks to start my day.

Chlorophyll / Wheat Grass Juice / Lemon-Lime Drink
8 ounces of water
1 tbsp of chlorophyll
2 frozen wheat juice cubes (from Evergreen)
Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
Agave or Maple Syrup to taste

Ultimate Green / Lemon-Lime Drink
1 scoop of Nature's Sunshine Ultimate Greens
8 ounces of water
Juice from 1 or 2 freshly squeezed lemons or limes

Apple Juice / Kale/ Celery/ Dandelion Drink
Juice 2 or 3 apples
Juice together the following greens...
Kale
Celery
Spinach
Dandelion Leaves

Variations:  Add a couple of carrots, more apples, lemons or limes or ginger root to taste.

My youngest children can drink the green drink with juice from only 2 apples.  My oldest daughter prefers about 4 apples juiced.  My oldest son loves the carrot juice with the greens instead of using apples.

I personally like the apple/carrot mix with the greens and a little ginger, but I know too many carrots and apples and it will be too sweet for my taste.

The dandelion drink is what I drink on the days when I'm recovering from getting gluten or I feel like I need a little bit of support emotionally to handle the stresses of the times.

Happy Juicing,

-Steffanie

Disease Prevention from Within

One of the most important things I think I've learned regarding disease prevention is how to prevent disease by creating a healthy body.

In our society we are really concerned about spraying to kill pests on plants, germs in the house, sanitizing toys, toothbrushes, doorhandles, floors where baby's crawl etc. etc.

The thing that surprised me was learning how organic farmers are able to prevent disease and pests from destroying their plants without the use of pesticides. I saw pictures of plants that were planted in various soil. Each soil was missing a certain mineral and each plants growth and height as well as health was dependent upon rich soil with all the so called "vitamins and minerals" necessary to keep it healthy, grow to its full potential and ward off disease.  When the plants had everything they needed nutritionally to grow, they were able to ward off disease without the use of chemicals etc.

When raising our children, many people focus all of their prevention efforts on keeping all "the bad" away from their children.  What I've learned, because of my studies at the School of Natural Healing, is that the best prevention is cleaning up the environment WITHIN our bodies.  Germs and bacteria feed off of the waste material and mucus in our bodies.  If we feed our bodies food that is quickly utilized, processed and we have a efficient eliminating system, our cells are healthy and strong.  Disease cannot penetrate the cell wall.  Our immune system is healthy and isn't over-burdened with constantly cleaning up the environment that they can quickly and effectively deal with any 'enemy intruders'. Feed our bodies all of the minerals, nutrients, trace minerals, etc. that it needs to properly ward off the enemy.

As I focus on keeping my kids healthy from within, they are extremely resilient from any diseases that have come into our neighborhood. 

I cannot remember the last time that my kids had colds.  It saddens me to hear about all the Mom's in my neighborhood that have to deal with colds, sinus infections, flu etc. on a regular basis. 

The same goes for us and our children with regards to staying healthy. Disease feeds on waste and dead or mucus material in our bodies. The less mucus, waste and toxins we have in our bodies the better we are warding off disease.

Food and water does make a HUGE difference in preventing disease

-Steffanie


 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Naturally Gluten Free Foods

All the food items on this list are gluten free in their natural state. Any food can become "glutenized" if it is cooked with gluten. The safest way to eat on a gluten free diet is to eat unprocessed food. Prepackaged and commercially prepared foods often contain hidden sources of gluten. The easiest way to be sure your food is gluten free is to buy fresh, whole foods and prepare them yourself.

Vegetables

If you love vegetables, you're in luck. Vegetables are naturally free of gluten. The key word here is naturally. Although veggies are gluten free, cooking methods can add gluten. Veggies should not be fried in wheat or other gluten containing flours. Vegetables prepared in sauces must be scrutinized, too, as many sauces include wheat or barley as a thickener or filler. If you eat vegetables away from home, ask questions to determine whether wheat, rye, barley, oats or any of their derivatives have been used. At home, veggies may be boiled, sauteed, steamed, stir fried, or even fried as long as gluten free flour is used. In their natural state, the following vegetables are gluten free:
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Watercress

Fruit

Like veggies, fruits are naturally gluten free. Once again, it is cooking and preserving methods that add gluten, so you must be cautious with cooked fruits. Raw fruits are safe, including:
  • Acai
  • Apples
  • Apricot
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carobs
  • Cherry
  • Cranberries
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Guavas
  • Honeydew melons
  • Kiwis
  • Kumquat
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mandarin
  • Mangoes
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Passion fruits
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Plantains
  • Plums
  • Persimmons
  • Quince
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tamarind
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelons

Meat and Poultry

Meat and poultry are also naturally gluten free. Avoid breaded or fried meat, unless you know gluten free flour was used. Even with grilled or broiled meat or poultry, you must be sure it wasn't cooked on the same surface or in the same oil use to cook breaded items. Most commercially prepared gravy contains gluten. At home, you may grill, broil, stir fry, or roast your meat. If you make your own batter or gravy, use gluten free flour. As long as cooking methods or accompanying ingredients do not contain gluten, the following are safe:

WARNING: I have gotten sick on SO many types of meat.  Make sure it is 100% natural.  I make sure my red meat (that is eaten very sparingly) is from pasture fed cows.  The poultry I make sure is from free-range chickens (with more than just a little porch to roam around on - that is NOT organic), and Pork we eat maybe once or twice a year from an organic source.  We eat scavenger meat as a delicacy usually for Christmas, New Years or special occasions.
  • Beef
  • Buffalo
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Goat
  • Goose
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Turkey
  • Quail
  • Veal
  • Venison

Dairy and Eggs

Eggs are gluten free, as are most dairy products. When following a gluten-free diet, you can safely consume:

Warning:  We eat raw dairy from a trusted dairy that is very clean and the pasture fed cows have very minimal chance of having contaminated milk.  Cows fed grain have an acidic environment in their system.  We use dairy sparingly, but when it is consumed we make sure it is organic.  For my baby, we supplement my milk with raw goats milk from Drake Family Farms.  Raw milk has not been pasteurized and so all of the wonderful nutrition has not been killed in processing.  Be careful with cheese.  I stick to mozzarella, provolone etc. that isn't colored in any way.  Also be very careful of yogurt as well. 
  • Butter (check for gluten containing additives)
  • Cheese (except for blue cheese)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt (plain, unflavored)

Grains and Flours

When it comes to gluten, grains are the tricky part. You already know that bread, flour, tortillas, pasta, and other products made from wheat, barley, rye, and oats are off limits. You can, however, eat starchy goodies made from the following grains and flours:

Note:  We buy our grains in their whole state and then grind them and let them sprout or ferment (like sour dough bread) before consuming.  Sprouting or fermenting food allows the food to be broken down so that the body is able to assimilate it better and the nutritional content of the food increases along with the health benefits when it is soaked or sprouted.
  • Almond flour
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Bean flour
  • Besan
  • Brown rice
  • Brown rice flour
  • Buckwheat
  • Cassava
  • Corn flour
  • Corn meal
  • Corn starch
  • Cottonseed
  • Dal
  • Flaxseed
  • Job's tears
  • Manioc
  • Millet
  • Milo
  • Pea flour
  • Polenta
  • Potato flour
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Rice flour
  • Sago
  • Soy flour
  • Tapioca flour
  • Taro flour
  • Teff
  • Yucca

Gluten Free Prepared Foods and Mixes

Just because you have to avoid gluten doesn't mean you can't have the occasional prepared or processed food. You can even eat bread, crackers, and pasta! As awareness about celiac disease and gluten issues grows, more and more companies are creating specialty gluten-free items. Here is a list of companies offering gluten free foods:
  • 1-2-3 Gluten-Free
  • Authentic Foods
  • Barkat
  • Cause You're Special
  • Chebe
  • Cravings Place
  • Deboles
  • Don Pancho
  • Dr. Schar
  • Ener-G
  • Glutano
  • Gluten-Free Pantry
  • Glutino
  • La Tortilla Factory
  • Pamela's
  • Perky's Natural Foods
  • Rustic Crust
  • Yummy Earth
Please note that some companies manufacture both gluten free and "regular" food items, so you still need to check labels, visit the company's website, or call the company. Some mainstream companies, such as Hormel and Kroger, also publish lists of their products that are gluten free.

Note:  I have become sick more often off of products labeled as "gluten-free".  I personally avoid the above list and only buy every once in awhile for birthdays or if I have to make something for a social etc.  If you do buy something that says gluten-free, make sure it is Certified Gluten Free.

Use products that have only one or two ingredients.  The closer to how it came from the earth the better.

Some surprises for me was learning sometimes frozen fruit juice cans are coated with flour so they can come out easier, conveyor belts are floured, and even rice mixes could be contaminated if the company makes any other product with a gluten containing item.

Use PDA software, or an updated gluten-free shopping guide book if you venture out into the processed foods world.

Lots of love,

Steffanie

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Zymurgy - What?

It had been a very hard day today full of cooking for the family, cleaning, laundry, getting kids all they needed etc.  I thought about everything that I "wasn't".  I thought about my talent for dance and how I really needed to be teaching, but didn't feel like I could commit to it.  I thought about how much I knew about herbs and essential oils and how I haven't been able to hold classes etc.  It was incredible how gloomy my world became as I focused on the negative.  Then to cheer me up, that wonderful Heavenly Father of ours, lead me to a website where I was able to see "a shout out to Steffanie England for giving such an interesting class" at the bottom of the article.  Thank you Kellene.  I needed to read this today.  Thank you for writing such a beautiful article and thank you for the shout out". 

Here is the wonderful article Kellene wrote...

Zymurgy - What?

By Kellene Bishop
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Recently a reader made a comment on this blog mentioning that she ferments some of her food and is quite healthy and fit. Ironically, it was just a few days prior to that comment that I was first exposed to food fermentation for nutritional purposes. Having heard of this process from a scientist/doctor that I highly respect, I knew I had to do more research on the topic.  After all, I’m all about being as medically independent as possible. If there’s one more arrow in my quiver in favor of health that doesn’t rely on pills and surgery, I’m all for it.  I enjoyed what I’ve learned and thought it merited sharing with all of you.

Up until about a week ago, the only “food” that I knew of being fermented was beer.  Boy, were my eyes opened; never considering beer as a health food, it wasn’t exactly on my radar.
So…zymurgy is your new vocabulary word for the day folks. It’s what the science of fermenting foods is called. Now say it three times with me. “Zim-er-gee” Now don’t you feel all smart? Well, you might actually if you partook of this interesting nutrition angle. When proper foods are fermented and consumed, one of the effects is a sharpening of the senses—even to the point of rectifying dulled senses. Yeah—sorry—I can’t exactly say that applies if you’re drinking beer, ok? So don’t use the is article as an excuse for your purchase more stock in Budweiser or for you to go out and max out your credit cards in an attempt to have a year’s supply of beer. She’ll call me and complain about that one and you know it!

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For starters, beans and grains are the most touted fermented foods—at least for nutritious purposes. For purposes of creating embarrassing photos for you later in life, stick with the barley angle which you may already know about. *grin* As it turns out, ancient civilizations have survived dire nutritional conditions as a result of food fermentation. In a nut shell, by consuming fermented foods we are actually replenishing our body with the good kinds of bacteria. In a world rife with anti-bacterial this and that, I’d say that’s a good thing. Is it just me or does anyone else think it’s ironic that letting something ferment actually provides good bacteria?  Who knew? Turns out, the good bacteria isn’t just about keeping our immune system in check. It’s also critical in our bodies so that we can actually ABSORB the nutrients which we eat.  Considering how vacant our food is nowadays due to soil depletion, GMO infiltration, and environmental pollutants, I’d say getting all the nutrition we can from our foods is something that I sure need to pay attention to.

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While the fermentation of beverages made it’s way first on the food chain scene, it wasn’t because of the caveman frat parties. It was actually so that the food that was available, although it might be scarce, would actually be magnified nutritionally. Fermented grains, fruits, and vegetables are conducive to the fermenting process and readily available to consume without the labor of fires, cooking, or hunting. Fermented drinks also led to fermented bread. In fact the Maori tribes and the Aborigines are some of the originators of fermented bread.

Ok. I don’t mean to leave you hanging here, but my investigation of this topic led me into an amazing study by a by Dr. Weston Price in the early 1900’s, who lived among these and other tribes all over the world.  I simply can’t talk about fermented foods without establishing the foundation for the difference it made on entire civilizations. So, tune in tomorrow for some of the “how” but for the rest of today, we’re going to talk about Dr. Price’s study which shows a very compelling “why.”

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In Dr. Price’s book, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” there are some invaluable bits of information for any preparedness minded person.  Dr. Price proved nutrition not only affected life span, but every aspect of the body—from how wide the maxiofacial bones were, how straight the teeth grew, the height and strength of the person,  even their posture. Yeah, who knew? Good posture had nothing to do with nuns whacking a kid with a ruler.

The tribes which practiced using fermented foods as a regular part of their diet had some stark differences to their less healthy counterparts.  In the healthy tribes, where processed or denatured foods were unheard of, tribe members regularly lived to centenarian age. Dr. Price also discovered that the nutrition practiced while the mother was pregnant had determined everything to do with the persons skeletal and muscle composition. Healthy persons had nice and round faces with plenty of room for all of their teeth—including their wisdom teeth. Not a single set of bad teeth among the tribes who practiced food fermentation.  Pretty impressive when you consider Oral-B wasn’t available yet. The healthy females had round pelvic openings which made childbirth much easier.  Organ functions were ideal and even the disposition of these tribes were positive, with people happily and eagerly engaged in their labors. Here’s another interesting bit of information. The state of their health had nothing to do with whether or not they were vegetarians. The fermentation of their food was key.  Those who ate primarily fruits, grains and vegetables did so primarily in their fermented state.  Those who ate animals—get this—primarily ate the ORGANS—where the food ingested by the animal would already be fermented—along with the fat. They would discard the lean meat—because it wasn’t full of the nutrients.  Think about this for a minute folks. These folks didn’t have a newspaper or prime time broadcast to tell them that their instincts were wrong.  This was determined by their innate wisdom of nutrition. In fact, they were even conscientious to leave plenty of fruit on the trees for the birds and other animals to eat so that they would get nice and fat and provide quality nutrition for them when consumed.

One more thing I want to share that I found amazing.  In many cases, when families lived in covered homes, they didn’t have chimneys. This meant that the soot from their cooking accumulated on the ceiling of their homes.  Almost reverently and with great care the people would scrape the soot off of their ceilings and use it for fertilization in their gardens. How’s that to contrary to how we’ve been programmed, huh?  They had no lung cancer, no heart disease, and no mood disorders.

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Ok. Now let’s look at the contrasting tribes. Chimneys on every house.  Processed foods such as bleached flour. A lack of industriousness. Crooked and/or crowded teeth. Additional ear lobes. Narrow faces—which our society deems to be beautiful in today’s world. Learning disabilities which were clearly manifested in the lack of innovation in accomplishing required labors. Depression. Oval shaped pelvises which obviously meant hard labor, resulting in a significant increase in infant and mother fatalities. Poor eyesight and hearing. In other words, pretty much like what we’ve got today.  There was also the presence of tuberculosis found in the unhealthy tribes. This contrast was consistent everywhere Dr. Price went—Africa, Hawaii, Indian tribes, and even the Swiss.

Here’s something else I found fascinating.  Dr. Price discovered that in the healthy tribes there were very distinct body structures between men and women. In fact, there are some startling pictures in Dr. Weston’s studies which show an amazing contrast in the physique between the tribes which focused on nutrition and those who didn’t.  The malnourished tribes had false gender behaviors and the sex of a person was not easily determined by a side or back view.  He concluded that improper nutrition directly influences the presence of  a homosexual nature. It’s amazing to see these pictures of his studies and see that there was not an effeminate looking male among them and not a single woman lacking in the telltale feminine curvatures—regardless of which angle you looked at them.

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The contrast between healthy tribes and not so healthy all boiled down to the nutrition provide by the culture of food fermentation according to Dr. Weston. In the communities in which processed foods had been introduced, diseases of all kinds readily set upon the people, estrogen and testosterone were bent out of whack, growth and development of muscles were stunted and birth defects were common. Even more amazing to me, given the history of anxiety and severe depression in my previous family members, was the disposition of the well nourished folks.  The fermented food tribes had an abundance of smiles, well-behaved children, intelligent and gregarious people. Whereas the communities where processed foods had been introduced demonstrated events of suicide, schizophrenia, and other serious emotional disorders.  And yet not a ONE of these cases was to be found in the fermented food communities.

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B-12 deficiencies were one of the most significant nutritional factors according to Dr. Price. He connected this deficiency to the existence of fatigue, depression, OCD behavior, sleep disorders, irrational anger, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, anemia, dementia and Alzheimer’s. I mention this because B-12 is found primarily in animal products and it is destroyed by the pasteurization process which is so pervasive in our food production today. When the fermented food was ingested, not only did it provide good bacteria, but it was vital to the availability of key digestive enzymes. Dr. Price concluded that the enzymes in our body are vital to the proper metabolic process. And you know what that means, right?  Yup. There was NO obesity in the food fermentation groups.

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OK. So, either you’ve fallen asleep by now or your interest in fermented foods is perked.  So next time I’ll write more specifically about this process. If you just have to find out more right now do some research specifically on fermented grains and vegetables.  I’d also recommend reading about the “Pottenger Cat Study” There’s also another great book by Sally Fallon called “Nourishing Traditions”. And there’s an abundance of information at a foundation based upon Dr. Price’s work here: http://www.westonaprice.org/ Hey, you can even subscribe to a magazine called “Zymurgy.” (And now you actually know what the heck it is!)  I also enjoyed searching food fermentation and zymurgy on YouTube. So you’ll have plenty to do until our next article. And in the meantime perhaps you can mentally prepare yourself for a gradual change?  I know I sure have. Gotta love enlightenment, eh?

(Oh, and a special shout out to Steffanie England for teaching such an interesting class)