Friday, August 1, 2008

Labor Prep Herbs

A friend of mine sent me this link to a page discussing three different labor prep herbs. The information is very interesting and helpful.

My friend took 5W with her first pregnancy and had a fairly easy labor of only 8 hours.

This same friend just delivered her second child and used Gentle Birth this time. Her actual labor only lasted mere moments, and with three pushes the baby was delivered. Only 6 hours elapsed from her first contraction to the actual birth. She attributes it to the herbs in Gentle Birth.

Read all the way to the bottom of the page on the link above for all the great info!

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Natural Remedy for UTIs

Are you prone to UTIs and bladder infections?
Are you sick of taking antibiotics for them?

Listen up!

This is what I do to get rid of UTIs and bladder infections and it works every time.

1. Increase your water intake abundantly. Drink plenty of water and tea constantly!

2. Urinate every hour. If you're drinking enough water, you should easily be able to do this.

3. Take Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra 1 pill 3x daily (1 before each meal)
If you are not currently taking this supplement, add it in slowly. Start with 1 daily for a couple days, then 2 daily for a couple days, and eventually 3 daily if you are fighting a UTI. (This supplement it available online and through Vitamin Shoppe, among other stores.)

4. Take Carlson's Super Cod Liver Oil (1000 mg) 1 pill 3x daily.
This is a powerful anti-inflammatory. I purchase mine at Vitamin Shoppe. I take one pill daily on a regular basis, and up it to 3 if I sense a UTI coming on.

5. Take UriSense with Cran-Rich & Probiotic BB536 1 pill 2-3x daily.
Where I live, this supplement is not available in stores. It can be ordered online, though. My advice: stock up on it so you have it when you need it.

Now that I'm pregnant, I'm even more prone to UTIs that I used to be. I am currently taking all of these supplements on a daily basis (1 pill of each, once a day) in order to prevent UTIs.

Early in my pregnancy, I could tell I had a UTI, so I called my nutritional coach and the above is what she told me to do in order to avoid having to take antibiotics. I followed her advice, and after only 3 days, the pain from the UTI was gone. I followed the above regimen for a week just be sure, then took a urine test at my next doctor's appointment, and sure enough there was no UTI.

I hope this natural remedy is helpful to you all!

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Kombucha - aka Orange Crush!

I've been making standard kombucha the past couple of months using black Chai tea--following Sally Fallon's recipe which calls for black tea. A friend of mine, however, recommended that once I've been brewing kombucha with black tea for a while to try using Alvita's Chinese Green Tea (Tangerine) or (Orange). She swears these teas taste like orange crush once kombucha-ed! Her daughters now call dibs on the "orange tea," necessitating my friend's constant production of it on a routinely bi-weekly basis!

So for anyone brave enough to try it, give it a shot, and let me know what you think. I'm brewing a batch myself this week, and it should be ready in a couple days. I can't wait to try it!

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Monday, June 9, 2008

I Finally Made Kombucha

I've posted information about kombucha before, and even links on where to order a kombucha mushroom and starter culture along with recipes. However, up until last week, I had never attempted making kombucha myself.

Last week a friend of mine gave me a mushroom and some kombucha from her previous batch. I followed Sally Fallon's recipe in "Nourishing Traditions," and my kombucha was ready in 8 days.

I admit, i was a little frightened to taste it at first. It smelled quite sour and a little foreboding. However, once I tasted it I realized my first impression was completely wrong. Homemade kombucha is delicious. It is slightly sour and yet sweet. I made mine with organic black spiced chai tea. I'm sure that using chai tea made all the difference. The flavor turned out quite good. It's kind of like drinking iced tea that has a tang to it. It's very refreshing and invigorating. A perfect substitute for juice and soda.

Now each week that I make kombucha, my batch develops a second mushroom that i can give to a friend. It's a great way to encourage others to try something new and improve their health.

According to Sally Fallon:
"It seems surprising, even ironic, to conclude a health food cookbook, in which we have warned against sugar, yeasted foods and tea, with a tonic made from sugar, yeast and tea! But the kombucha 'mushroom' (which is actually a symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria) acts on sugar and tea to produce not only acetic and lactic acid but also small amounts of a potent detoxifying substance, glucuronic acid. Normally this organic acid is produced by the liver in sufficient quantities to neutralize toxins in the body--whether these are naturally produced toxins or poisons ingested in food and water. However, when liver function becomes overloaded, and when the body must deal with a superabundance of toxins from the environment--certainly the case with most of us today--additional glucuronic acid taken in the form of kombucha is said to be a powerful aid to the body's natural cleansing process, a boost to the immune system and a prove prophylactic against cancer and other degenerative diseases.

More importantly, kombucha is the cure for a hot day--it tastes delicious and refreshing. A fizzy, dark colored, energizing beverage, at the same time acidic and slightly sweet, this gift to the world from the Ural mountain region of Russia qualifies as the soft drink of the twenty-first century, the answer to the scourge of cola drinks that now wreaks havoc with the health of Western populations."

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Returning from a Blog Break

You may have noticed the 3-month gap in between my postings recently: March 5-June 5. The reason for this is nothing but good news. After trying for a year, my husband and I are finally expecting. Over the last few months I have been plagued with constant "morning" sickness, although I still don't know who came up with that phrase because mine has truly 24/7 sickness, and I'm still not completely out of the woods yet.

In any event, I am finally back online and ready to post more info. Due to my condition, I will also begin posting health information with regards to pregnancy, such as vitamins, supplements, natural remedies for UTIs, natural vs medicated birth, herbal blends promoting better labor, and healthy food choices.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Head of CDC Admits on CNN that Vaccines Can Trigger Autism

An interesting clip has been posted on YouTube. While head of the CDC Julie Gerberding admits vaccines can trigger autism, she contradicts herself at the same time. Another example of the two-faced governmental facade going on with regards to the truth about vaccines (and the preservatives used in them).


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More on Water Issues

A friend sent me a very interesting online article the other day addressing a variety of issues about water--how much water is really necessary (6-8 glasses?), what kind of water is best (distilled water vs. spring water or water treated with reverse osmosis), and lastly the issue of bottled water (with regards to plastics and toxins).

Some of the information and research I was already aware of, but some of it was new to me.

Check it out.

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New Food Ingredient Will Genetically Modify Your Tongue!

Unfortunately, these are sad times. A new, "secretive" chemical is being added to processed foods under the label "artificial flavors" that will genentically modify the tongue...all in the name of "good health."

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola: "Processed foods, by their very nature, do not taste good unless they have loads of artificial colors and flavoring agents, salt, sugar and often MSG added to doctor up the flavors.

"In fact, most processed foods would taste incredibly bitter if they weren't doctored up because of things like their extremely hot cooking processes and added caffeine (in soft drinks). So what do food companies like Nestle, Kraft, Cadbury Schweppes, Campbell Soup, and Coca-Cola do?

"They partner with and hire Senomyx, a biotech company that can skillfully manipulate your taste buds with synthetic chemicals. The company has already developed several chemicals that, although they contain no flavor of their own, activate or block receptors in your mouth that control taste. The chemicals can mimic or enhance savory, sweet and salty tastes, and are intended to reduce the use of sugar, salt and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in processed foods."

Read this article.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Pay Less for Garden of Life Products and Other Supplements

If you regularly purchase or are considering purchasing any of Garden of Life's products (i.e. Primal Defense Ultra, Goatein, Super Seed, Living Multi, etc.), I strongly recommend you check out or its subsidiary site for some of the least expensive prices around. On these sites, many of the items consistently cost 40% less than what you'd pay in-store. The subsidiary site also offers products by New Chapter Organics (living vitamins) and even organic health and body care products.

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Approved Maker's Diet Food List

For your reference, here is the total list of approved foods from Jordan Rubin's The Maker's Diet. These are the eating guidelines that I follow.

Notice that there are 3 phases. Phase 1 is very restricted in order to cleanse the body of toxins. Phase 2 is still fairly restricted, but some new food items are added in. Phase 3 consists of how to eat for the rest of your life in order to maintain optimal health.

Phase I: Foods to Enjoy (2 weeks)

Meat (grass-fed/organic is best)
Meat bone stock/soup
Liver and heart (must be organic)
Beef or buffalo sausage or hot dogs (no pork casing—organic and nitrite/nitrate free is best) (Use sparingly in phase 1.)

Fish (Wild freshwater/ocean-caught fish is best; make sure it has fins and scales!)
Halibut cod
Mahi mahi
Orange roughy
Sea bass
Fish bone soup/stock
Salmon (canned in spring water)
Tuna (canned in spring water)
Sardines (canned in water or olive oil only)

Poultry (pastured/organic is best)
Cornish game hen
Guinea fowl
Poultry bone soup/stock
Chicken or turkey bacon (no pork casing—organic and nitrite/nitrate free is best) (Use sparingly in phase 1.)
Liver and heart (must be organic)

Eggs (high omega-3/DHA is best)
Chicken eggs (whole with yolk)
Duck eggs (whole with yolk)

Goat’s milk yogurt (plain)
Homemade kefir from goat’s milk
Soft goat’s milk cheese
Goat’s milk hard cheese
Sheep’s milk hard cheeses

Fats and oils (organic is best)
Goat’s milk butter
Cow’s milk, butter, organic
Extra-virgin coconut oil (best for cooking)
Extra-virgin olive oil (not for cooking)
Flaxseed oil (not for cooking)
Hempseed oil (not for cooking)
Goat’s milk butter (not for cooking)
Raw cow’s milk butter, grass fed (not best for cooking)
Expeller-pressed sesame oil
Coconut milk/cream (canned)

Vegetables (organic fresh or frozen is best)
Squash (winter or summer)
Brussels sprouts
String beans
Artichoke (French, not Jerusalem)
Leafy greens (kale, collard, broccoli, rabe, mustard greens, etc.)
Raw leafy greens (endive, escarole, radicchio, arugula, frisse, etc.)
Sprouts (broccoli, sunflower, pea shoots, radish, etc.)
Sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, nori, kombu, hijiki)
Raw, fermented vegetables (lacto-fermented only, no vinegar)

Beans and legumes (soaked or fermented is best)
Small amounts of fermented soybean paste (miso) as a broth

Nuts and seeds (organic, raw, soaked is best)
Almonds (raw)
Hempseed (raw)
Pumpkinseeds (raw)
Flaxseeds (raw and ground)
Sunflower seeds (raw)
Hempseed butter (raw)
Almond butter (raw)
Sunflower butter (raw)
Pumpkinseed butter (raw)
Tahini, sesame butter (raw)

Condiments, spices, seasonings (organic is best)
Salsa (fresh or canned)
Tomato sauce (no added sugar)
Guacamole (fresh)
Apple cider vinegar
Celtic sea salt (or Real Sea Salt by Redmond)
Herbamare seasoning
Omega-3 mayonaise (Spectrum)
Umeboshi paste
Soy sauce (wheat-free), tamari
Raw salad dressings and marinade (recipes in book)
Herbs and spices (no stabilizers)
Pickled ginger (preservative and color free)
Wasabe (preservative and color free)
Organic flavoring extracts (alcohol based, no sugar added), i.e. vanilla, almond, etc.

Fruits (organi fresh or frozen is best)

Purified, nonchlorinated water
Natural spring water, no carbonation added (i.e. Perrier)
Herbal teas (preferably organic)—unsweetened or with a small amount of raw honey or
Raw vegetable juice (beet or carrot juice—maximum 25 percent of total)
Lacto-fermented beverages (recipes in book)
Certified organic coffee—buy whole beans, freeze them, and grind yourself when
desired; flavor only the organic cream and a small amount of honey.

Unheated, raw honey in very small amounts (1 Tbsp. per day maximum)

Goat’s milk protein powder (Goatein by Garden of Life)

Phase II: Foods to Enjoy (2 weeks)

All meats listed in phase one

All fish listed in phase one

All poultry listed in phase one

Fish roe or caviar (fresh, no preserved)

Luncheon meat (organic and nitrite/nitrate free is best)
Turkey, sliced (free range, preservative free)
Roast beef, sliced (free range, preservative free)

Dairy (organic, grass-fed is best)
Homemade kefir from raw or nonhomogenized cow’s milk
Kefir from pasteurized, nonhomogenized cow’s milk
Raw cow’s milk hard cheeses
Cow’s milk cottage cheeses
Cow’s milk ricotta cheese
Cow’s milk plain whole-milk yogurt
Cow’s milk plain kefir
Cow’s milk plain sour cream
Raw goat’s milk

Fats and oils (organic is best)
Expeller-pressed peanut oil

Vegetables (organic fresh or frozen is best)
Sweet potatoes

Beans and legumes (soaked or fermented is best)
White beans
Black beans
Kidney beans
Navy beans
Tempeh (fermented soybean)

Nuts and seeds (organic, raw, soaked is best)
Walnuts (raw)
Macadamia nuts (raw)
Hazelnuts (raw)
Brazil nuts (raw)
Pecans (raw or soaked and low-temperature dehydrated)

Condiments, spices, seasonings (organic is best)
Ketchup (no sugar) [I get Westbrae brand, fruit-juice sweetened]
All-natural salad dressings (no sugar/corn syrup, no preservatives)
All-natural marinades (no sugar/corn syrup, no preservatives)

Fruits (organic fresh or frozen is best)
Passion fruit

Raw vegetable juice (beet or carrot—maximum 50 percent of total)
Coconut water

Unheated raw honey (up to 3 Tbsp. per day)

Phase III: Foods to Enjoy (2 weeks and/or indefinitely)

All Meat, Fish, Poultry, Eggs, Luncheon Meat, Dairy, Fats and Oils, Vegetables listed in Phases I and II.

Beans and legumes (soaked or fermented is best)
Add these along with what is listed in phases 1 and 2:
Pinto beans
Split peas
Red beans
Garbanzo beans
Broad beans
Lima beans
Black-eyed peas
Edamame (boiled soybeans) – in small amounts

Nuts and seeds (organic, raw, soaked is best)
Add these along with what is listed in phases 1 and 2:
Almonds (dry roasted)
Almond butter (roasted)
Walnuts (dry roasted)
Tahini (roasted)
Pecans (dry roasted)
Macadamia nuts (dry roasted)
Sunflower seeds (dry roasted)
Pumpkinseeds (dry roasted)
Pumpkinseed butter (roasted)
Sunflower butter (roasted)
Peanuts, dry roasted (must be organic) (in small quantities)
Peanut butter, roasted (must be organic) (in small quantities)
Cashews, raw or dry roasted in (small quantities)
Cashew butter, raw or roasted (in small quantities)

Condiments, spices, seasonings (organic is best) – all those listed in phases 1 and 2.

Fruits (organic fresh or frozen is best)
Along with fruits listed in phases 1 and 2, add:
Canned fruit (in its own juices)
Dried fruit (no sugar or sulfites): raisins, figs, dates, prunes, pineapple, papaya, peaches,
and apples

Along with beverages listed in phases 1 and 2, add:
Raw, unpasteurized vegetable juice
Raw, unpasteurized fruit juice
Organic wine and beer (in very small amounts)

Grains and starchy carbohydrates (whole-grain, organic, soaked or sprouted is best)
Sprouted Ezekiel-type bread
Sprouted Essene bread
Fermented whole-grain sourdough bread
Kamut (in small quantities)
Sprouted cereal
Oats (in small quantities)
Brown rice (in small quantities; pre-soak in water and an acidic medium for 7-12 hrs. before cooking)
Spelt (in small quantities)
Barley (in small quantities)
Whole-grain kamut or spelt pasta (in small quantities)

Along with sweeteners listed in phases 1 and 2, add:
Pure maple syrup

Read More......

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sourdough At Last

Two weeks ago I began my first at-home sourdough starter... using freshly ground rye flour (from rye berries ground in my small coffee bean mill) and filtered water. I put both in a mason jar, following Sue Gregg's recipe. I also referred to Sally Fallon's recipe in Nourishing Traditions. Both are similar. I let my starter ferment in a mason jar on the counter (feeding it daily as instructed) for 9 days. In total, it was a 10 day process. When done, I covered it tightly in a glass container and put it in the fridge.

I pulled my sourdough starter out last weekend to use in my first from-scratch batch of sourdough bread. As instructed, I took it from the fridge 12 hours before use. I then put one cup of starter in a glass bowl, added the called-for amount of flour (spelt in this case) and covered it for with a warm damp towel for 12 hours.

The next morning, i added all other ingredients. I used sprouted spelt flour for the additional called-for flour in the recipe.

It took a long time to rise because I did not use any yeast. Nothing to make it rise but the natural wild yeast starter itself.

After letting it rise a couple of times (it only rose about 1/4 of its mass instead of double)--and the second rise I did in the oven at 170 degrees to help it along a little--I divided the dough into two loaves, let them rise in the oven on low, and then baked them.

The bread turned out absolutely scrumptious. However, the next time I make sourdough bread, I won't divide the dough into two loaves so that I will end up with one regular-sized loaf. When not using traditional yeast, the dough just doesn't rise that much, so my loaves turned out rather small. They are wonderful dipped in soup, though, or with butter on them.

I've never liked sourdough bread. But the only kind I had ever tried was store-bought and probably not made from a starter. This homemade version of sourdough bread is wonderful and moist.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Microwave Oven = DANGER!

You've probably heard it before, right? And it's hard to change old habits, I know. But, honestly, using the microwave is no laughing matter.

Read the research. And consider ditching your microwave oven and replacing it with a countertop convection oven, like the one by Hamilton Beach.

Here is a snapshot of some of the Swiss research that's been discovered concerning microwaved food and your health.

Eating microwaved food:
Increases cholesterol
Increases white blood cell numbers
Decreases red blood cell numbers
Causes production of radiolytic compounds (compounds unknown in nature)

The following discoveries were made by Russian researchers at the Instituteof Radio Technology at Klinsk, Byelorussia, and relayed to US researcher William Kopp:

1. Heating prepared meats in a microwave sufficiently for human consumption created:
* d-Nitrosodiethanolamine (a well-known cancer-causing agent)
* Destabilization of active protein biomolecular compounds
* Creation of a binding effect to radioactivity in the atmosphere
* Creation of cancer-causing agents within protein-hydrosylate compounds in milk and cereal grains

2. Microwave emissions also caused alteration in the catabolic (breakdown) behavior of glucoside - and galactoside - elements within frozen fruits when thawed in this way

3. Microwaves altered catabolic behavior of plant-alkaloids when raw, cooked or frozen vegetables were exposed for even very short periods

4. Cancer-causing free radicals were formed within certain trace-mineral molecular formations in plant substances, especially in raw root vegetables

5. Ingestion of micro-waved foods caused a higher percentage of cancerous cells in blood

6. Due to chemical alterations within food substances, malfunctions occurred in the lymphatic system, causing degeneration of the immune system=s capacity to protect itself against cancerous growth

7. The unstable catabolism of micro-waved foods altered their elemental food substances, leading to disorders in the digestive system

8. Those ingesting micro-waved foods showed a statistically higher incidence of stomach and intestinal cancers, plus a general degeneration of peripheral cellular tissues with a gradual breakdown of digestive and excretory system function

9. Microwave exposure caused significant decreases in the nutritional value of all foods studied, particularly:
* A decrease in the bioavailability of B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential minerals and lipotrophics
* Destruction of the nutritional value of nucleoproteins in meats
* Lowering of the metabolic activity of alkaloids, glucosides, galactosides and nitrilosides (all basic plant substances in fruits and vegetables)
* Marked acceleration of structural disintegration in all foods.

As a result of these findings, microwave ovens were banned in Russia in 1976; the ban was lifted after Perestroika.


Standing in front of the microwave is harmful to your body's cell activity.


Ten Reasons to Throw out your Microwave Oven:

From the conclusions of the Swiss, Russian and German scientific clinical studies, we can no longer ignore the microwave oven sitting in our kitchens. Based on this research, we will conclude this article with the following:

1. Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven causes long term - permanent - brain damage by "shorting out" electrical impulses in the brain [de-polarizing or de-magnetizing the brain tissue].

2. The human body cannot metabolize [break down] the unknown by-products created in microwaved food.

3. Male and female hormone production is shut down and/or altered by continually eating microwaved foods.

4. The effects of microwaved food by-products are residual [long term, permanent] within the human body.

5. Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all microwaved food is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, or the human body absorbs altered compounds that cannot be broken down.

6. The minerals in vegetables are altered into cancerous free radicals when cooked in microwave ovens.

7. Microwaved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancerous growths [tumors]. This may explain the rapidly increased rate of colon cancer in America.

8. The prolonged eating of microwaved foods causes cancerous cells to increase in human blood.

9. Continual ingestion of microwaved food causes immune system deficiencies through lymph gland and blood serum alterations.

10. Eating microwaved food causes loss of memory, concentration, emotional instability, and a decrease of intelligence.

Have you tossed out your microwave oven yet?

Find out more about the harmful effects of eating microwaved food in the following resources:

Read More......

Friday, February 8, 2008

Eat Fresh Whole Grains—No Grain Mill Necessary

You don't have to have a grain mill to eat fresh whole grains. If you have whole grains on hand, you can use them in simple blender batter recipes, as described on Sue Gregg's website. I have made a number of her blender batter recipes with success every time: pancakes, banana muffins, cornbread, almond coffee cake, etc.

All you need is a good quality blender, which most people have, and some whole grains and cultured dairy (either yogurt, kefir or raw milk). It's easy, healthy and inexpensive! Check out Sue Gregg's sample recipes.

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I Bought a Cow Share!

I finally did it folks, as of two days ago, I bought my very own cow share through Full Quiver Farm in Suffolk, Va. Now I have delicious raw milk every week.

All my life I've had a milk allergy, resulting in severe bloating, abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea. Since drinking raw milk, I have experienced none of these. If you suffer from milk allergies as well, I urge you to consider raw milk. It's been a miracle for me.

Read the latest documented research, including amazing health benefits, on RAW MILK. You'll be blown away.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Homemade Sprouted-Grain Bread

Since the New Year, I have been making homemade bread every other week with flour made from grain that I have sprouted, dried, and ground at home. I can’t even begin to describe how easy it is, how delicious it is, and how much money I’m saving!

My routine is this: I bake a double batch of bread every two weeks. One batch equals two loaves. I make two loaves of sandwich bread with hard red wheat (sprouted), and two loaves of cinnamon (honey) raisin bread with hard white wheat (sprouted). For my husband and me, this lasts about 14 days. I’ve also made cinnamon rolls and pizza crust, and those are delicious as well.

You may ask, “Why are you troubling yourself with sprouting the grain before grinding it, and, in fact, why bother with grinding your own grain at all?”

Good question.

It was only two months ago that I discovered how easy sprouting grain can be—and how much healthier it is to sprout grain BEFORE consuming it! When grain is sprouted, it turns from a starch into a vegetable-like compound. So, when you eat bread made from sprouted grain—your body digests it like a vegetable! How cool is that. Whole grain is often difficult to digest, so sprouting it first neutralizes both the phytates (difficult-to-digest proteins) and the protective casing of the grain.

Flour ground from sprouted grain doesn’t taste any different that normal whole grain flour—it simply digests differently. People have been known to lose weight when switching from regular whole grain or white flour to sprouted whole grain flour because their bodies are not clinging to the starch during digestion.

Interested in making your own bread from sprouted flour?

Follow these steps:

1. Start Buying Whole Grain
Co-ops are a good place to start. Buy the grain in bulk to get the best price: hard red wheat, white wheat, spelt, kamut, etc. Store it properly—either in the fridge or in a cool, dry place, placing a bay leaf in with the grain to keep the critters away. Buying whole grain for flour is far less expensive than buying prepackaged whole grain flour from the store. On average 1 cup of grain = 1.5 cups of flour.

I purchase organic grain from Quail Cove Farms. They sell organic hard red wheat for .56 per pound at 25 lbs, and .52 per pound at 50 lbs! You can sprout grain, or grind it into flour first (using a coffee bean mill or grain mill) and then soak it in cultured milk as part of a recipe (read more below). Soaking also neutralizes the phytates.

2. Review Sue Gregg’s Website and/or Buy Her Whole Grain Baking Cookbook
Sue Gregg has already done all the experimenting for you, so all you have to do is follow her instructions and recipes! Here are two pamphlets available online as PDFs showing Sue Gregg’s most basic sprouted/soaked bread recipes: Sprouted Bread, Soaking Process.

3. Purchase a Food Dehydrator (or Use Your Oven)
Once you have sprouted the grain, it must be completely dried before grinding it into flour.

The food dehydrator I own is the Nesco American Harvest Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator and Jerky Maker. I bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond using one of their in-the-mail 20% off coupons. With the coupon, it only cost $48. It takes about 12 hours for sprouted grain to dry using the Nesco dehydrator. No supervision is needed. I find this the most convenient method for my busy lifestyle.

The other option is to dry grain using your oven. The ideal temperature for drying sprouted grain is 150 degrees. However, most modern ovens don’t go below 170. A friend of mind dries her sprouted grain in the oven at170 degrees for about 9 hours. During this time, she periodically opens the oven to release some of the heat so as not to over dry or burn the sprouts. This method, though, demands that you be at home.

4. Purchase Tulle (Netting) from the Fabric Store
You will need about one yard. It will cost you about $1 at most fabric stores. Choose a light color other than white so you can see the netting once you cut it to fit your dehydrator shelves. The netting is what your grain will rest on while drying, otherwise the grain is so small it will fall through the cracks of your dehydrator shelves.

5. Use 3-4 Quart-Sized Mason Jars
These will be used for the actual sprouting process. Follow Sue Gregg’s instructions available in the links above.

6. Purchase a Coffee Bean Mill or Grain Mill
If you already have a coffee bean mill, it will do nicely for making small recipes calling for no more than 3 cups of flour. You will grind 1/3 cup of sprouted grain at a time in your bean mill. This will equal about 1/2 a cup of flour. Coffee bean mills can be purchased for $15-$20.

>If you wish to purchase a grain mill, there are many varieties available. I own the grain mill attachment for the KitchenAid Mixer. This costs approximately $130-$150, depending on where you purchase it.

The simplest choice is to start with a coffee bean mill, especially if you already own one, and then consider getting a grain mill once you get the hang of sprouting and using sprouted grain on a regular basis.

Sprouting and grinding your own grain is much less expensive than purchasing sprouted grain available online. And, sprouted grain, once ground, should be used as soon as possible so that it maintains all its nutrients.

Read More......

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Organic Milk on Trial

The Organic Consumers Organization reported on an article published in The Denver Post a few days ago concerning the treatment of cows that produce certified organic milk.

The issue is this: just because a cow is not treated with chemicals (via feed and shots), should that justify the "organic" label? Many farmers whose cows produce certified organic milk are being called to account for the treatment of their cows in other ways (e.g. grazing time and transition).

Of course, the simple solution to this issue is simply to get raw milk instead of organic milk. Find out more about the newest research on RAW MILK.

Read More......

Bananas Going Extinct

Sounds crazy right? The delicious, crescent-shaped, inexpensive fruit that so plentifully lines grocery store produce shelves may not last another 10 years some scientists say. Here's another article on the topic.

Read More......

Unsafe Plastics

Many plastic containers and water bottles are made of unsafe and carcinogen (cancer-causing) compounds. Specifically, plastic products labeled with a number 7 are particularly dangerous. Read more about this.

For more infomation, take a look at the list of safe vs. unsafe plastics.

Stainless steel water bottles are a safe option, as opposed to plastic.

Read More......

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sprouted Grain Digests Like a Vegetable--and is Available Online

Sprouted grain flour IS available for purchase online!

The scientific findings concerning sprouted grains will blow you away. Check out this site and discover how sprouting grains turns it from a starch into a vegetable!--AND why most gluten-senitive people are actually starch sensitive--making sprouted grain flour a healthy option for celiacs.

Here's another site that sells sprouted grain flour as well.

You'll notice that the sprouted flour on these sites is pricey. However, if you sprout grain yourself, you'll save quite a bit of money. Most organic hard red wheat sells for around .56-.68 per pound. There are nine cups of wheat in a pound, and 1 cup of grain equals 1.5 cups of flour! Think of how much money you'll save sprouting grain at home, drying it and then grinding it into flour for recipes. You can even use your coffee bean mill when grinding flour for small-to-medium recipes!

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Cloned Meat and Milk on the Market

The FDA recently approved the commercial sale of unlabeled cloned meat and milk. That means the next time you go to the store and buy a pound of ground beef or a gallon of milk, you don't know if it's coming from the offspring of a cloned cow or not!

Government scientist do not feel comfortable with the FDA's decision, claiming it unsafe.

The only way to be safe is to exclusively buy organic and/or trusted-label free-range beef and milk products. There are also ways to make your voice heard on this issue.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Heritage Health Food, Virginia Beach

Heritage Health Food is the largest health food store in the Hampton Roads region. I have hesitated to review it on this site up until now. However, after a recent visit, I have decided to note the wonderful variety and somewhat competitive prices.

Heritage offers large bins of loose bulk items including grains, legumes, dried fruit, trail mixes, etc. The grain and legumes are very competitively priced, and cost about the same amount as similar items in other health food stores in the region, including in-store items at Organic Food Depot.

A number of items at Heritage are too highly priced, in my opinion, when compared to online shopping at Organic Food Depot or Quail Cove Farms co-ops. However, Heritage's in-stock selection is enormous. I found things like fruit-sweetened syrups, organic makeup lines, a large variety of nut butters, frozen items, spices and other goods, many of which one can only get through Organic Food Depot or Quail Cove Farms if it is ordered in bulk. Case in point: I'd rather not buy a 12-bottle case of blackberry fruit-sweetened syrup if I know I can purchase 1 bottle of it at Heritage, albeit at 1-2 dollars more per bottle.

So, Heritage Health Food is worth looking at if you time to shop and you can price compare.

They also offer an organic deli counter at Heritage--a nice lunch spot.

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More Thoughts on Trader Joe's

Many of you may have read my previous posting on Trader Joe's. I've recently come across more and more Maker's-Diet friendly options that they offer. And their prices are amazing.

Many of their products are fruit-sweetened instead of sugar- and corn-syrup sweetened. And their organic options are wide. They also carry organic cultured sour cream and organic cultured butter, as well as organic yogurt, etc.

Their free-range meat/fowl selection is large.

They also carry all-natural corn tortilla shells made of simply ground corn (no flour or corn meal used), water and lime. The lime is the key ingredient here. By using lime, this indicates that the corn has gone through a soaking process (an age-old tradition) in order to break down the phytates in corn, making it easier to digest. I buy these corn tortillas, cut them into fours, brush organic olive oil (or sometimes organic safflower oil--not a Maker's Diet approved oil) on them and cook them for 8-10 minutes at 450 degrees. When they're done, just add sea salt. They make delicious homemade tortilla chips!

Please add your thoughts about Trader Joe's and their selection by posting a comment!

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