Monday, May 31, 2010
When we first started the Maker's Diet, we not only changed the way we ate, but we also changed the way we cleaned, groomed, and bathed. It can be overwhelming, but an easy way to begin your change to a chemical free home is with your dishwashing soap. This is probably the most used of all household cleaning products! And there's no need for chemicals on your dishes, or being absorbed into your body through your hands. (Even if you use gloves, you're still going to inhale chemicals as they mix with water, especially hot water!)
I have used all the natural brands- Seventh Generation, Ecover, Earth Friendly, even soap nuts solution. (Which I really didn't like.) I like all of them, especially the Ecover brand, but I have just discovered a new brand that I absolutely adore! The reason I adore it is because I am especially partial to dishwashing soaps with lovely fragrances. If you wash as many dishes as I do, you have to make it as enjoyable as possible!
I am particularly fond of citrus fragrances. The new brand I love is called Citra Solv. Their products are 100% natural, and the best part: they use real essential oils to scent them and to provide hard core cleaning power. I am particularly in love with their Mango Tangerine and Valencia Orange flavors- they smell divine! Seriously, you just have to buy them and use them for yourself! It's like smelling the aroma of 10 freshly peeled oranges or tangerines whenever you squirt the soap!
They also clean amazingly well too, better than any other brand I've used. Last week I had a roasting pan that had lots of baked on grease- I gave it a good soak with the soap, then used some elbow grease, and it came out sparkling clean! I've had especial success when soaking extremely dirty items overnight. I am going to give their other products a try too. I'll keep you posted on how they work! I would assume they'd be amazing. Check out their website for more info and a zip code tool to find their products at stores near you!
Happy toxin-free dishwashing!
Friday, May 28, 2010
|Speaking of pesticides… |
In 1998, Chensheng Lu, a researcher at the Department of Health at the University of Washington, began testing children in the Seattle area to try to detect pesticide residues in their urine.” Lu was looking for organophosphates, the family of pesticides spawned by the creation of nerve gas agents in World War II. Organophosphates can create mild anxiety, respiratory paralysis, neurobehavioral damage, cancer and reproductive disorders.
The 110 two-to-five-year-olds Lu studied had higher levels of pesticide metabolites (the markers produced when the body metabolizes the chemicals), but one child had no signs of any pesticide metabolites. The difference? That child’s family ate mostly organic. Fascinating, huh? Lu thought so, too, and received funding from the EPA to conduct more research. Here's what they found.
When Lu's research team substituted organic foods for a conventional diet in children for five days, they could find no evidence of pesticide metabolites in the children's urine. When Lu's team reintroduced conventional foods to the kids, however, the metabolites returned.
"The transformation is extremely rapid. Within eight to 36 hours of the children switching to organic food, the pesticides were no longer detected," Lu said. He added, “The level returns immediately when you go back to the conventional diets."
Now that’s pretty convincing evidence.
To read the original article, click here.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I've also found that this delightful drink (which tastes surprisingly like apple cider) works wonders for impending, or already established, colds and sinus problems. It also calms coughs and soothes sore throats. If you give it a try, let me know how it works for your family!
Clear Skin Cider
8 oz. filtered or spring water
1/8 teaspoon organic cinnamon
1 teaspoon organic, unfiltered & unheated honey (Like Really Raw Honey)
1 teaspoon organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Like Bragg's) (Note: you can increase this amount up to 1 tbsp, but it tastes best with a teaspoon or two! If you're fighting an infection, like a cold or sinus infection, more is definitely better, I've noticed)
Bring 8 oz.water to a boil. While the water is heating up, measure out the honey, cinnamon, and cider vinegar into a cup. Pour freshly boiled water into cup, and stir well. You can drink this multiple times a day if you want. Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I wasn't surprised because I, too, love apple cider vinegar as skin care! (My husband despises the smell on my face, I don't blame him!) I actually found out about using it from my sister, who said she and her friend swore by it for those deep, long lasting pimples that seem like small welts on your face. You know those? Those are the worst!
After I talked with my sister, the next time I noticed a pimple starting to emerge, I quickly doused a cotton ball in some Bragg's raw organic apple cider vinegar (available at any health food store/Whole Foods) and covered the "problem" area of my skin before I went to sleep.
I was truly amazed by the results! No more deep, long lasting zits, and if I catch them early enough, no more small ones either! Fortunately, since I've started the Maker's Diet, my skin has become pretty close to a non-issue for me. I might have an outbreak here or there if I'm pregnant, or if I need to wash my pillow sheets! But overall, it's really not a problem. But I'd still get those occasional deep (and distressing) zits. But no more, thanks to the apple cider vinegar!
I loved the cashier's idea of using it every day as a toner. If anyone tries this, be sure to let me know the results! It makes sense that the vinegar would kill bacteria effectively, thus ridding your face of the outbreak. (I've also tried raw honey before, this works well too, but the cider vinegar is less sticky!)
Enjoy your toxin-free, and clear, skin!
Friday, May 21, 2010
"What dietary changes have caused Americans to suffer more cancer and heart disease since the turn of the century? It is true that we consume more beef- 79 pounds per person versus 54 in 1909, a 46 percent increase- but poultry consumption has increased a whopping 280 percent, from 18 pounds per person per year to 70. Consumption of vegetable oils, including those that have been hydrogenated, has increased 437 percent, from 11 pounds per person per year to 59; while consumption of butter...has plummeted from 30 pounds per person per year to just under 10.
Whole milk consumption has declined by almost 50 percent, while lowfat milk consumption has doubled. Consumption of eggs, fresh fruits (excluding citrus), fresh vegetables, fresh potatoes and grain products has declined; but consumption of sugar and other sweeteners has almost doubled.
Why, then, do today's politically correct dietary gurus continue to blame beef consumption for our ills? Is it because they are the one wholesome food that has shown an increase over the past ninety years?"
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Note: I have totally given up on buying the prepackaged taco seasonings, even the organic ones. I found out that many "natural" ones and even "organic" taco seasonings contain MSG. Basically, if the label says anything about "yeast" it's actually MSG. And even if it doesn't have MSG, most of them have ridiculous amounts of salt, it's really just unnecessary! I started making my own and we honestly like them even better.
Easy Beef Tacos (Double this recipe for dinner for 2-3 nights, depending on family size)
1.5 lbs organic, grass fed ground beef
Salt, I use Himalayan salt, or Celtic Sea Salt (
Organic black pepper
Organic chili powder, salt-free
Organic ground cumin
Organic garlic powder
Organic cayenne powder (optional)
Organic mild/medium salsa )
Brown the ground beef in a pan on medium heat. Add salt to taste. (My rule of thumb is generally 1/2 tsp. per lb.) In a Pyrex measuring cup, pour in about 1/4 of a 2 oz. bottle of organic chili powder. Mix in about 1/4 cup water and stir around. Add this to the meat and mix thoroughly. Then, add some generous shakes of the black pepper, and then the cumin and garlic. I always do this to taste, but I'd say it's about 2 teaspoons of cumin, and about 1 tspn. of the garlic. But just test it out! If you want the heat a little higher, add a few shakes of the cayenne. Then add about 1/2 cup of the salsa. Stir everything together well.
Bring almost to a boil and then lower the heat, and simmer until you're ready to serve. Serve with organic diced onions, organic raw cheese, organic sour cream, organic diced tomatoes, and organic avocados are yummy too! We love putting the beef and all these toppings in Food For Life's sprouted corn tortillas- warm them over a medium pan in some organic butter until pliable and soft, and you're set! You can also do them a little longer for "crispy" tacos, or set them on a paper bag after warming them in the pan to make them a little crunchy, but still soft.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Here's what Jordan Rubin has to say about red meat in the Maker's Diet:
Superfood/Healing Food #7: Wild Animal Foods (from p. 152 of the Maker's Diet, by Jordan Rubin)
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I use the oven, but I'm sure you could do it in a slow cooker too. I've just never tried it!
1 organic, 100% grass fed organic chuck or arm roast (2-3 lbs)
Organic butter, I like Organic Valley's unsalted version, for when it will be heated in cooking. I like raw butter for unheated things, like steamed veggies or spread on toast.
Salt: I use Mercola's Himalayan salt or Celtic Sea salt, more info on these to come!
Organic Pepper: My favorite brand is Frontier Organic.
1 whole organic onion
This is so simple. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Set the roast into a pan with a lid (I use a Corningware pan with a lid). Rub the roast all over with Himalayan/Celtic sea salt and pepper.) Cut about 3-4 slices of the butter off of the stick. (Lengthwise, so they are long, not like pats of butter) Lay them on top of the roast. Then, cut the onion into quarters, and separate the individual pieces (they are crescent shaped now) all over the roast and in the pan.
Then cover it, put it in the oven and cook for about 3-4 hrs, (I find it's more on the 4 hr side) or until it is incredibly tender, meaning, it practically falls apart when you put a fork into it. It will taste the best this way.
That is it! How easy is that? And it tastes great! All that butter and the natural juices combine and just make it super flavorful and yummy. I am sure you could make a great gravy, too, but I haven't tried yet, since I'm always making these when I want an easy meal.
You can even throw some potatoes in at some point during those 4 hours and have baked potatoes. Steam some veggies and dinner's ready! This is such a great meal for when you don't want to stand over a stove! And the leftovers are great too. Oh, and it tastes delicious with some slices of raw Monterey jack cheese, I am not sure why!
Friday, May 14, 2010
"Most people do not seem to have a large variance of vitamins and minerals over the years. However, as the enzyme levels drop significantly and the enzymes get fewer, old age symptoms manifest. At the world famous Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, researchers found that old people have only one-thirtieth as much enzymes in the saliva as young folks.
Also people with high enzyme diets have extensive longevity patterns. For example, people like Georgians, Equadorans, and Hunzas have a diet rich in enzymes and have a high concentration of centenarians. They make extensive use of fermentation- soy, dairy, vegetables and fruits.
Also, they utilize sprouting as well as soaking of seeds, which increases the enzyme level up to twenty times, and raw or undercooked food. They also fast seasonally during periods of food scarcity...during fasting there is a halt in digestive enzyme production. The enzymes are used to digest the partially digested stored food of fatty tissue, scars, arthritis, tumors, hardening of the arteries, etc. Thus, the enforced fast is another health and longevity promoting benefit."
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Eggs are a truly amazing food. Here's how Jordan Rubin describes this true superfood in the Maker's Diet:
Superfood/Healing Food #6: Omega-3 Eggs (from p. 153 of the Maker's Diet, by Jordan Rubin)
"High omega-3 eggs are nature's nearly perfect food. Eggs contain all known nutrients except for vitamin C! They are good sources of fat- soluble vitamins A and D as well as certain carotenoids that guard against free - radical damage to the body. They also contain lutein, which has been shown to prevent age-related macular degeneration.
When possible, buy eggs directly from farms where the chickens are allowed to roam free and eat their natural diet, or purchase eggs marked DHA or high omega-3 eggs (they contain a healthy balance of omega-3 to omega-6). Despite the unfounded cholesterol scare of the last fifteen years, eggs can be a healthy addition to anyone's diet; they can actually help reduce the risk of both heart disease and cancer."
Well, there you have it! Can you think of any good reason not to eat eggs after hearing all those amazing benefits? Not to mention that eggs are an easy snack (hard boiled) and pack amazing amounts of protein in a small package. I know it sounds crazy, but when I'm pregnant or nursing, I eat about 5-6 eggs per day. You already know about the incredible benefits we've seen in our son Micah since I've done this, because of the choline in the eggs. In our house we eat eggs for breakfast basically every day. I'll make oatmeal here or there, and smoothies too, but I just feel the best when I start my day with eggs!
If you feel you cannot stand eggs, try them in different ways: scrambled, over easy, with salsa or sour cream, hard boiled with fermented vegetables (so good, randomly!) or hard boiled alone, devilled, raw in smoothies. (Then you can't even taste them!) Another great way to eat eggs is in yummy custards.
By the way, you will not get salmonella from using raw eggs/egg yolks in smoothies. In fact, Dr. Mercola says that your chances of getting salmonella poisoning from chicken or eggs from organic, free range chickens is lower than your chance of winning the lottery!
Eggs are also an amazing superfood for the quickly developing brains of your little ones. The cholesterol in the eggs is needed for optimal development of the brain and nervous systems. Nathaniel eats eggs almost every day, and has ever since he started on solid food. He loves his scrambled eggs in the morning. Of course, it's always best to mix your food options up, but organic, omega- 3 eggs should definitely be a mainstay in your diet!
Go enjoy some incredible, edible eggs today- your health will thank you!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
While we're on the topic of chicken stock, I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite uses for my homemade stock- tortilla soup.
Tortilla soup is the ultimate comfort food to me. Serve it with some warm quesadillas, dripping in melted cheese, and you have my version of culinary bliss. But I also love Mexican food with all my heart. If you love Mexican food, then you'll love this super easy recipe! I got it from my mother in law, who is one of the best cooks I know!
Whip this up when you want some food bliss:
2 cloves organic garlic, minced
2 tablespoons organic butter
2 teaspoons organic ground cumin
28 oz. organic, homemade chicken stock
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) organic diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup organic salsa
1/2 cup coarsely chopped organiccilantro (I leave this out when pressed for time!)
8 oz. organic, raw monterey jack or cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
4 organic corn tortillas, cut into strips (I use Food for Life's Ezekiel sprouted corn tortillas- AMAZING!)
Cook garlic in butter in large saucepan or Dutch oven two minutes. Add cumin; cook and stir 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes and salsa; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro. Place 1/4 cup of the cheese in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle soup over cheese, top with tortilla strips. Serve.
How easy is that? It also freezes great, tastes better the next day, and pleases everyone! I always make a double batch and serve it the next day. Oh! and I also always add chicken, too, for a complete meal. I'll roast an organic chicken and shred it into the soup. Whip up a double batch of the soup and you've got dinner for 2 nights and lunch on the 3rd day. I also make quesadillas with the same Ezekiel corn tortillas and serve those along side the soup. (Heat the tortillas in a pan on medium heat with some butter until they're pliable, shred a ton of cheese into them, fold them closed, and keep turning until the cheese is 100& melted- so yummy!)
Garnish the soup with some organic, full fat sour cream, and some organic avacado slices along with the tortilla strips, and you will be in heaven!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
"Indeed, stock is everything in cooking...without it nothing can be done."
Have you ever had real stock? And when I say real, I mean the real, homemade stuff, which is as different from the store-bought version as night is from day. Even the organic store bought version pales in comparison to the nutrient-rich, soothing and powerful stock simmering on your home stove.
In fact, I have some organic chicken stock simmering on my stove right now. This time tomorrow it will be ready, and the lovely aroma will fill the house in the meantime!
I would have never thought twice about making chicken stock before I started the Maker's Diet, but it turns out it's one of the Maker's superfoods! Here's what Jordan Rubin has to say about stocks/soups on page 150 of The Maker's Diet:
Superfood/Healing Food #5: Soups/Stocks
"Soups and stocks appear in biblical diets, as we see in Judges 6:19, and meat and fish stocks are virtually universal fixtures in traditional cuisine in France, Italy, China, Japan, Africa, South America, Russia, and the Middle East. Chicken soup, widely considered a cure all, is sometimes called Jewish penicillin. Fish soup enjoys the same reputation in the Orient and South America.
Properly prepared meat stocks are extremely nutritious and contain minerals, cartilage, collagen, and electrolytes all in an easily absorbable form. Also, meat, fish and chicken stocks contain generous amounts of natural gelatin, which aids digestion and helps heal many intestinal disorders, including heartburn, IBS, Crohn's disease, and anemia. Science has confirmed that broth helps prevent and mitigate infectious diseases."
I can attest to the amazing benefits of stock. I remember one time, when I was pregnant with Nathaniel, I felt worn down and like I was getting the flu. I made some chicken stock, had a large bowlful and went to bed early. I woke up feeling completely fine! Another time I took some chicken soup to a friend who was extremely sick with the flu. She said that she felt better immediately after eating the soup! And there was nothing more soothing or easily digested than chicken broth/soup whenever I had problems with my stomach.
Stock is so easy to make and to use. I make chicken stock, although beef stock is excellent as well. I usually roast a chicken for dinner one night, then I'll use the bones after we've finished the meat. Once you've got your stock made, you can use it for drinking, for chicken soup, for other soups like tortilla soup, for sauces, and for any recipe at all that calls for stock. You can also freeze it easily. I always simmer mine for at least 24 hours. The darker the stock, the better it tastes, and the more nutrients!
Here's a great recipe from Sally Fallon, of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and author of Nourishing Traditions:
Cure- All Chicken Stock
1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
gizzards from one chicken (optional)
2-4 chicken feet (optional)
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley
*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.
If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. (If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.) Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.
Check out this link for the original article containing this recipe, as well as more info about stock:
Side note: I have absolutely used the chicken feet, and there is no comparison with the taste. It seems gross but I'd encourage you to give it a try! I also add about 2-3 tablespoons of Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt to my stock, as well as 4-5 tablespoons of organic extra virgin coconut oil.
Monday, May 10, 2010
I love, love, love, my strawberry smoothies. Here's my super easy recipe for a filling, nutritious snack that's high in antioxidants, healthy fats, and energy!
Easy Dreamy Strawberry Smoothie:
1- 1.5 cups organic raw milk
1/2 cup organic strawberries
1 organic banana
Organic, raw honey to taste (About half a spoonful)
One spoonful organic, extra virgin coconut oil
One egg yolk (Raw egg whites can be difficult to digest, some people have no problem with them, but I do)
Blend well and enjoy! I love this is a late afternoon snack to keep my energy levels up and tide me over food-wise until after the kids get to bed!
Friday, May 7, 2010
In case you were tempted to think that all this "Maker's Diet stuff" is just a fringe movement, motivated by someone who just wants to make money by selling supplements, or otherwise not applicable to you because you and your family are currently "healthy," check out this article. It turns out that even the highest law of the land, the Federal Government, now disagrees with you, and are getting so concerned that they might actually do something about it.
Of course, this is what health experts like Dr. Mercola, Jordan Rubin, and Sally Fallon (of the Weston A. Price foundation) have been saying for years. (And of course, what God has said for thousands of years!) Maybe now, more Americans will start to listen.
I was especially shocked by this quotation from the article:
"In 2009 about 1.5 million American men, women and children had cancer diagnosed, and 562,000 people died from the disease."
What a staggering number!
Here's the article:
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Superfood/Healing Food #4: Pomegranate
(from p. 152 of the Maker's Diet, by Jordan Rubin)
"Pomegranate is called the fruit of royalty in the Bible and is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. Pomegranates contain high amounts of ellagic acid, an antioxidant with proven anticancer properties and excellent benefits for female health."
Well, that was a short but sweet description! Dr. Mercola says that pomegranates can fight heart disease as well. And just as a sidenote, the reason that antioxidants are important for your health is because they help to prevent degenerative diseases. Degenerative diseases are those such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes, arthritis, among others.
So go get some organic pomegranates from your local health food store. With the Maker's fruits, you can have your health and eat some sweets too!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Superfood/Healing Food #3: Small fruit (figs, grapes, and berries)
(from p. 149 of the Maker's Diet, by Jordan Rubin)
Figs are mentioned more than fifty times in the Bible and are the first fruit specifically named in Scripture. (Gen. 3:7) Whether fresh or dried, figs have been prized since ancient times for their sweetness and nutritional value.
Grapes were the first crop Noah planted after the flood. (Gen.9:20) They were made into wine and vinegar or eaten fresh or dried. We know now that grapes fight tooth decay, stop viruses in their tracks, and are rich in other ingredients that many researchers believe may lower risk of cancer.
Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, while not mentioned explicitly in the Bible, are super foods containing some of the highest levels of antioxidants known to man. Blueberries contain antioxidant compounds that show promise in reversing some of the effects of aging, especially cognitive function. Raspberries contain notable anticarcinogenic compounds, are low in calories, and are high in fiber. They make a great addition to the diet."
I have to add, however, that you will not be treating your family to health unless you buy these foods certified organic. That's because berries are some of the most heavily sprayed foods in conventional produce. (With pesticides.) Strawberries, especially, are doused repeatedly with these toxic chemicals. You won't fight cancer when you're eating chemicals that cause cancer! In addition, try to buy them locally and organically grown. Many berries are imported from far away places. Search out your local farmer's markets, or at least buy ones that are organically grown in the U.S.
Or, better yet, grow your own! Here's a fun family project: start a strawberry patch in your own backyard. It doesn't take much, and they're so pretty. They even do great in containers. We have two blueberry bushes, 6 strawberry plants, a grape plant, and a raspberry plant in our backyard. Now that sounds like a good fruit salad! Add some raw milk whipped cream, and you've got a disease- fighting, tasty, true summer treat! Sound too good to be true? It's not, it's just another example of some of the Maker's superfoods!
Monday, May 3, 2010
I interrupt our lovely series on the Maker's superfoods, as described in the Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin, to bring you an important announcement.
In honor of my five-year anniversary of starting the Maker's Diet, and to re-focus on the basics, I am going through the 40 days of the Maker's Diet again. Albeit, alone. My husband said, "Have fun!"
I started day one today. The first two weeks are the hardest. No bread or sugar. It gets a little better after the first two weeks, and after the first 28 days you're permanently smooth sailing.
Who's up for the challenge?!