Friday, July 30, 2010
We'll be delving deeper into this topic in the weeks to come, but for now, check out this great quotation from H. Leon Abrams, discussing briefly how it's not fat that makes you fat- it's excess carbs. Abrams is the author of Your Body is Your Best Doctor.
(Taken from p. 358 of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)
"Most people are prone to think that eating fat makes fat; however, fat does not make fat in the body.
A healthy body must have fat to carry on its vital processes. Carbohydrates- the grains, bread, starches and sugar- are the foods that make fat- and it is these foods that must be curtailed for the person who has great difficulty with obesity.
People who wish to lose weight should give up grains, sugar and starches until their desired weight is attained, then they should eat grains and starches only moderately."
Thursday, July 29, 2010
And I'm happy to report that I've found a beloved, highly effective, clean smelling favorite. I wrote about it on my post about cloth diapers, because that's how I discovered it. The brand is Biokleen, and I use their laundry liquid in Citrus.I also use, and love, their Oxygen Bleach. (This is the truly natural version of Oxi-Clean, which is not environmentally friendly OR toxin free) One time Nathaniel took his pastel blue blanket outside in the backyard, covered it with dirt, then stuck it in his water table. It was utterly filthy! Once I discovered this sad state of blanket affairs, I snatched it away and tossed it immediately in the wash- with a TON of Oxygen Bleach and the detergent. One super wash later, you couldn't tell that it had just saved a narrow escape of becoming a permanently brown blanket. I was very impressed!
You can buy it on Amazon, at Whole Foods, or check out their site for a store locator near you.
Happy natural laundering!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
With this in mind, it's not a very difficult decision to switch to glass for baby's bottles. And the good news is, it's not very hard, either! I love Evenflo's Classic Glass Bottles, and have used them with both Nathaniel and Micah. They're super durable, fit perfectly with my Medela electric pump, and you can buy them anywhere- Walmart, Amazon, etc... They come in 4 oz. or 8 oz. bottles, and are absolutely adorable! They feel like bottles for dolls, they are so sparkly and small. Plastic bottles just don't sparkle.
For other children's feeding products that are BPA and phthalate free, I'd recommend this awesome online store, which is actually owned by my neighbor's sister! It is called The Soft Landing.
For more on the issue of BPA and plastic safety, see this Dr. Mercola article.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Anyway, back to the exciting news! Our lucky winner for this giveaway is: Allison, mother to Lillykate, Ellie, and Lanee, contest entrant #28!!!
Allison will be receiving a free bottle of Kid's Primal Defense and kid's cod liver oil, Oceans Kids from Garden of Life
Congratulations , and many blessings to you as you continue your journey on optimal health!!!!
Thanks again to everyone who participated!
Allison, please email me so we can arrange for you to get your free prizes! As stated on the original giveaway post, the winner has three days to contact me via email:
Monday, July 26, 2010
On another note, I thought I'd share what we had today for lunch. Last night for dinner we had our usual Sunday dinner, a lovely grass fed beef roast with sweet potatoes. (Cooked in the slow cooker, and extremely easy!)
So today, here's how we incorporated our leftovers into lunch:
I had leftover sliced roast (warmed up in the oven) along with some Organic Valley Raw mild cheddar cheese. I also had some of the leftover sweet potatoes, along with my usual raw milk!
Nathaniel had several spoonfuls of leftover taco meat (from Saturday's dinner), sliced raw cheese, and slices of organic Pink Lady apples. (His favorite variety!) He also had his spring water and raw milk.
Micah had his Momma milk as usual, and then he had about 2 tablespoons pureed chicken (made with the same principles as my baby meat recipe, but starting with a chicken I cooked in the slow cooker.) He also had several spoonfuls of Nutiva's organic extra virgin coconut oil, and a few spoonfuls of pureed organic peas.
Mark was able to come home for lunch today, and he had his favorite: organic, grass fed beef hot dogs. He ate them on sprouted sourdough bread along with slices of raw cheese, organic mustard, mayo, and ketchup. He also had apple slices.
Tonight for dinner we will be having turkey burgers, (as a change from beef burgers, which we have often!) summer squash from the garden, as well as green beans from the garden.
Hope this gives you some ideas of what to feed your own family, as you journey on the Maker's Diet!
Friday, July 23, 2010
When we got started 5 years ago, we thought we were doing it for ourselves. Little did we know what an impact our choices would have on our future children!
Our little guys are incredibly healthy- our 2.5 year old has never been sick, has incredible energy, and everywhere we go people remark on how healthy he looks. He also has an incredible appetite- for organic grass fed burgers, raw organic milk & cheese, and organic free range eggs!
Along with Garden of Life, I want to see your kids have the same optimal health that our boys do! That's why I'm hosting a giveaway, sponsored by Garden of Life, for two truly awesome, optimal health-promoting products- Garden of Life's children's probiotic, Primal Defense Kids, and their children's cod liver oil, Oceans 3 Kid's. (My kids take their probiotic and cod liver oil every day!)
To enter the contest, just leave a comment below by Monday, July 26th at midnight CST, telling me your name, your little one's name(s), and what your ultimate vision of health for your kids is.
The winner will be selected randomly, and will be announced on Tuesday's post!
Please feel free to enter even if you are a grandparent, or work closely with little ones!
Again, answer the following questions to enter:
2)Your little one's name(s)
3)What your ultimate vision of health is for your kids.
Note: The lucky winner will have three days to contact me. Duplicate entries will be deleted.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
When you run your dishwasher, they happily leave their residues on your dishes, and enter the air in your home as your dishes dry.
Is it worth exposing yourself and your children to these toxic chemicals just to get your dishes sparkly clean? I think not.
Fortunately, there is an awesome alternative to conventional dishwashing detergent. I have used just about every natural brand out there, including Seventh Generation. While I felt they worked pretty well, I am absolutely in love with my new favorite:
My new favorite dishwashing detergent (gel) is Citra Solv's CitraDish Automatic Dishwashing Gel.
In lovely grapefruit fragrance, no less.
Let me just say that your dishes come out sparkly clean, and I do mean sparkly, and they smell amazing! In addition, your entire kitchen will be filled with the heavenly grapefruit aroma, particularly when the dishes are drying!
You can't get much better than that: toxin free, effective, and just yummy! (You'll be tempted to, but don't eat your dishes.)
Enjoy your toxin free dishes with Citra Solv's awesome gel!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I saw this article from the Weston A. Price Foundation, and I just had to pass it along to you. It really proves the point that the foods we feed our kids today will affect their tomorrow- possibly even into their old age! That's a big responsibility, but so is being a parent!
If you needed any more proof that it is extremely important to feed your children organic food, here it is:
(Written by Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, and Mary Enig, PhD.) To see the original article click here.
PESTICIDES AND THE BRAIN
"Repeated exposure to pesticides is associated with an increase in the risk for Alzheimer’s disease in late life, according to an observational study published in Neurology (May, 2010 Vol 74, pp 1524-1530).
According to the study authors, commonly used organophosphate and organochlorine pesticides inhibit acetylcholinesterase—needed for learning, memory and concentration—at synapses in the somatic, autonomic and central nervous systems and therefore may have lasting effects on the nervous system."
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Fortunately for my garden-loving self, there's Burt's Bees Bug Bite Relief.This stuff has literally saved my life. Although I perpetually get bites on my feet, I persist in wearing my flip flops in the backyard when I garden. The bites (I'm pretty sure they're from mosquitoes) are big, itchy, and 10x worse at night. They often wake me up! Fortunately for me, using the Bug Bite relief takes away the irritation in about 5 minutes, and helps the bites to heal exponentially faster. And it's all natural, sans chemicals- parabens, phalates, etc.
To complete your bug-repelling kit, I recommend Dr. Mercola's "Bug Off" spray- it is super effective! I recently started using it, and I highly recommend this product as an alternative to chemical-laden, DEET filled conventional bug repellants. It works really, really well, it smells nice, and contains absolutely no chemicals! It's even safe to use around children and pets.
Armed with these wonderful products, you can get out and enjoy the great outdoors- without being eaten alive! Enjoy!
Monday, July 19, 2010
It's such an easy dinner, and tasty, too! It would also be a great meal for the days when you just don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
We have my super easy roast recipe, baked sweet potatoes, and sliced raw cheese. It's very simple, but filling, and easy!
Sunday Dinner: (Serves 4)
1 Organic, Grass Fed Chuck, Arm, Pike's Peak, or Rolled Rump Roast
2 Large Organic Sweet Potatoes/Yams
Slices of organic, raw cheese (Organic Valley is my favorite brand!)
For the sweet potatoes, poke holes all around their skins, and cook in the oven at 300 degrees until very soft, and able to be pierced through easily with a fork or knife. Mash with 3-4 tablespoons organic butter, 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon, and unrefined sea salt to taste.
Slice the cheese, serve, and enjoy it all!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Egg Yolk (4 months +)
Boil an egg for three to four minutes (longer at higher altitudes), peel away the shell, discard the white and mash up yolk with a little unrefined sea salt. (The yolk should be soft and warm, not runny.) Small amounts of grated, raw organic liver (which has been frozen 14 days) may be added to the egg yolk after 6 months. Some mothers report their babies actually prefer the yolk with the liver. From Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
(Note: I've never been brave enough to use liver, but I ought to try!)
Pureed Meats (6 months +)
Cook meat gently in filtered water or homemade stock until completely tender, or use meat from stews, etc., that you have made for your family. Make sure the cooked meat is cold and is in no bigger than 1-2 inch chunks when you puree. Grind up the meat first until it's almost like a clumpy powder. Then add water, formula or breast milk, or the natural cooking juices as the liquid.
Vegetable Puree (6 months +)
Use squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas, carrots or beets. Cut vegetables in half, scoop out seeds from squash and bake in a 400 degree oven for about an hour, or steam them (in the case of carrots and beets) for 20 to 25 minutes. Mix in butter when puréeing. You can cook these vegetables for your own dinner and purée a small portion in a blender or food mill for your baby. From Natural Baby Care by Mindy Pennybacker.
Fruit Sauce (6 months +)
Use fresh or frozen peaches, nectarines, apples, blueberries, cherries, pears, berries or a combination. Note: Whenever possible, use organic fruit, and peel the fruit if it is not organic. Cut fruit and put in a saucepan with 1 cup filtered water for every 1/2 cup of fruit. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer about 15 minutes or until the fruit is cooked. Purée the mixture in a blender or food mill and strain if necessary. Don't add sugar or spices but you can stir in a little butter or cream. From Natural Baby Care by Mindy Pennybacker.
See the original article here, and enjoy feeding your precious little ones optimally!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
But today, due to our food choices, the average girl starts puberty at age 9 years, 10 months! Isn't that crazy?!
I know we've been discussing feeding babies, so I thought I'd share this article I read about this topic of early puberty, and its causes, from Dr. Mercola. I hope it helps motivate you to feed your little ones well. What you feed their bodies today has incredible ramifications on their tomorrow!
Check out the article, "Girls Now Begin Puberty at 9" by Dr. Mercola at:
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
We've already discussed why cereals are best avoided before the age of 1 year, (and preferably until the age of 2, or whenever the final molars arrive) but are there any other foods best left untouched by baby?
Here's a summation of foods to avoid, written by Jen Allbritton of the Weston A. Price Foundation, which has really helped me figure out what to feed my little ones!
Foods to avoid
Up to 6 months: Certain foods, such as spinach, celery, lettuce, radishes, beets, turnips and collard greens, may contain excessive nitrate, which can be converted into nitrite (an undesirable substance) in the stomach. Leafy green vegetables are best avoided until 1 year. When cooking vegetables that may contain these substances, do not use the water they were cooked in to purée.
Up to 9 months: Citrus and tomato, which are common allergens.
Up to 1 year: Because infants do not produce strong enough stomach acid to deactivate potential spores, infants should refrain from eating honey.1 Use blackstrap molasses, which is high in iron and calcium. Egg whites should also be avoided up to one year due to their high allergenic potential.
ALWAYS: Commercial dairy products (especially ultra-pasteurized), modern soy foods, margarines and shortening, fruit juices, reduced-fat or low-fat foods, extruded grains and all processed foods.
I also wanted to add that this article also discusses how fresh fruits with high pectin contents like berries, apples and peaches, should always be cooked before feeding baby, since the pectin can be very irritating to their digestive systems.
See the original article for a great recipe for baby's first fruit sauce!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I thought I'd share with you what our boys had for breakfast this morning. It was a pretty typical breakfast menu, and as always, they just looked so adorable! (In my humble mommy opinion.)
Here's Nathaniel, who ate:
2 over easy organic, free range eggs cooked in organic butter
and his favorite...
He also had his normal glass of organic, raw milk and spring water.
After finishing his breakfast, he began to ponder the mysteries of the universe, and how the empty pepper shaker in his right hand could solve them.
Meanwhile, our little Micah (7.5 months) had his solids after nursing. This morning, he had 1 tablespoon pureed grass fed beef, 1 tablespoon mashed organic avacado, and 1 tablespoon mashed organic banana.
Are you sure I'm going to like this, Mom?
You were right, I do like it!
Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of our family's breakfast! I'll post some more baby/kid friendly recipes this week as we continue our series.
Monday, July 12, 2010
When it comes to feeding babies, it can be overwhelming at times! If you venture to the store, you'll find all sorts of small jars with mushy food inside, labeled by stages. But how do you know what's actually best for baby, and what will promote optimal health?
I wondered these same questions when Nathaniel was just starting solids. (2 yrs ago already!) After reading about the Weston A. Price foundation in the Maker's Diet, I decided to look at their info on feeding little ones. It has proven so helpful to me, that I wanted to share it with you! Here are their recommendations for what foods to feed baby, and when:
(See the original article here)
Foods By Age
Minimal solid foods as tolerated by baby
Egg yolk--if tolerated, preferably from pastured chickens, lightly boiled and salted
Banana--mashed, for babies who are very mature and seem hungry
Cod liver oil-- 1/4 teaspoon high vitamin or 1/2 teaspoon regular, given with an eye dropper
Organic liver--grated frozen and added to egg yolk
Pureed meats--lamb, turkey, beef, chicken, liver and fish
Soup broth--(chicken, beef, lamb, fish) added to pureed meats and vegetables, or offered as a drink
Fermented foods--small amounts of yoghurt, kefir, sweet potato, taro, if desired
Raw mashed fruits--banana, melon, mangoes, papaya, avocado
Cooked, pureed fruits--organic apricot, peaches, pears, apples, cherries, berries
Cooked vegetables--zucchini, squash, sweet potato, carrots, beets, with butter or coconut oil
Continue to add variety and increase thickness and lumpiness of the foods already given from 4-8 months
Creamed vegetable soups
Homemade stews--all ingredinets cut small or mashed
Dairy--cottage cheese, mild harder raw cheese, cream, custards
Finger foods--when baby can grab and adequately chew, such as lightly steamed veggie sticks, mild cheese, avocado chunks, pieces of banana
Cod liver oil--increase to 1/2 teaspoon high vitamin or 1 teaspooon regular dose
Over 1 Year
Grains and legumes--properly soaked and cooked
Crispy nut butters--see recipes in Nourishing Traditions
Leafy green vegetables--cooked, with butter
Raw salad vegetables--cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.
Citrus fruit--fresh, organic
Friday, July 9, 2010
He is 7 months and 1 week, and his interest in nursing is currently about a zero. He wants to move, army crawl, and see the wide wide world. If I couldn't offer him bottles of expressed mama milk, I would have to wean him. He is so active. Seriously, even when I feed him with a bottle, he tries to roll over, reach out for nearby toys, and kicks the entire time he's downing 7 oz.
All this movement means he gets hungry! I thought I'd share with you my favorite true first baby food: pureed meats. Organic and grass fed, of course.
Meats provide protein, zinc, iron, and B-vitamins in abundance, are easy to digest, and the iron is in a form (called heme) that is better absorbed than other forms- i.e. cereals. The protein in meats also helps baby absorb even more iron from other foods. Studies have shown that babies fed meats as a primary weaning food, as opposed to cereals, grow at a slightly faster rate. And all that without potentially setting the stage for food allergies. Good deal, huh?
So get yourself the following: (Makes 1 cup)
1/2 lb organic, grass fed chuck roast
a couple sprinkles of Celtic or Himalayan, or other high quality sea salt
and an adorable baby!
Then, cut the beef into two inch pieces, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, sprinkle with a little salt, and simmer until the meat is fork tender. (Usually 2-3 hrs)
Put the meat and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid into a blender or food processor.
(I use my beloved Vita Mix- making baby food has never been easier! Not to mention no clean up!)
You want it to be a smooth, fine puree.
Then find your precious little one and serve! Enjoy!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
When it comes to feeding babies, there is one important principle to keep in mind: fats, fats, fats! Babies need lots of fat to grow optimally. As a great article about feeding babies by the Weston A. Price Foundation explains, "Milk and animal fats give energy and also help children build muscle and bone, and the animal fats provide vitamins A and D necessary for protein and mineral assimilation, normal growth and hormone production."
Of course, other nutrients are necessary too, but your emphasis should always be on fats. This is true from the beginning, designed by God, as mother's milk contains over 50% of its calories as fat, most of it saturated fat.
So, how do you start all of this? I follow this article's recommendations, which are in accordance guidelines of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
To begin, I start with an egg yolk at 4 months of age. The egg yolk supplies cholesterol, needed for brain development, and important amino acids. I usually test it out to see how baby will do with it. Nathaniel took it great, but Micah threw it up multiple times, so I'm going to try again at about 9 months. :)
At six months or so, (depending on the baby's need), I like to start with basic solid foods. Here are a sampling of my favorite beginnings, in addition to the egg yolks: mashed, organic avocado with a little salt, raw organic yogurt, organic sweet potatoes, other organic veggies like carrots/peas, etc, organic mashed banana with coconut oil, and pureed organic meats. Currently, Micah is loving everything mentioned above except he's not too into the avacado yet. :) He also loves raw sauerkraut, made by Rejuvenative Foods.
So where does the fat come into all this food? Well, I always add a generous amount of coconut oil or butter to all my "mashing"- be it bananas, or veggies, and there's plenty of good animal fats in foods like beef and dark meat and chicken. In addition, Micah is still nursing, so he's getting lots of fats from mother's milk.
Tomorrow I will post more with recipes and more info on what foods to feed and when. Also, check out the article I mentioned above, and enjoy feeding your precious little ones!
Friday, July 2, 2010
Growing healthy babies begins not at 4 months, or 6 months, or 1 year, but at conception! Did you know that a mother's "body burden" (the toxic load we all carry, due to our exposure & ingestion of chemicals, some worse than others) is bequeathed to her innocent new little one?
That alone should be motivation enough for us women to follow God's ways of eating and living! Our choices, particularly as wives and mothers, affect so many people, particularly in this area.
But I digress. From conception, a mother's nutrition and body burden affects their babies. Pregnancy and nursing are no time to be counting calories and not eating well! Adequate intake of fats, (which control the all important hormones estrogen and progesterone) ensure the pregnancy continues healthily and reaches full term.
Animal fats are the most important in this area- fats like whole, raw milk, butter, cream, coconut oil, and chicken with the skin! As a side note, did you know that in animal testings, fat free diets are referred to as "sterility diets" because of the incredible lack of fertility in animals fed this way? That is something to think about.
Another important nutrient needed in pregnancy is folic acid- shown to prevent birth defects and neural tube defects like spina bifida. In addition, DHA from sources like cod liver oil have been proven to provide optimal brain and eye development, in addition to higher I.Q.'s! For a further read of the wide spectrum of essential nutrients needed in pregnancy, I recommend reading this article from the Weston A. Price Foundation: http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/1380-vitamins-for-fetal-development-conception-to-birth.html
Once the little one has arrived, these principles continue into breastfeeding and nursing as well. When it comes to feeding babies, a mother's breastmilk is truly only as good as the quality of her diet. There is a large campaign these days for breastmilk, which is needed, and which is very beneficial.
However, what is often overlooked is that the quality of most women's diets are lacking in so many nutrients and filled with so many harmful additives like sugar, caffeine, trans fats and other chemicals, that what should be the most nourishing substance they can offer their little ones is still ok, but falls far short of the best. A woman's breast milk is truly only as good as the quality of her diet.
Once a baby is ready to begin "solids"- usually around 6 months or so, there are a few principles I've found to ensure optimal health for your children. I'll be sharing those next week, from first bite through 2.5 years! (Some of the most crucial years for children's health development!)
Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
(Nathaniel chugs his umpteenth glass of raw milk while Micah looks on)
I hope you got inspired yesterday to feed your little ones optimally! Let me explain why I have chosen to hold off on grain products for Nathaniel, who is 2.5.
The reason Nathaniel has not yet had grains isn't because they are bad, but because his body is not ready to properly digest them. Until children get their 2 year molar teeth fully in, (he has one left to go!) their bodies do not produce the enzyme amylase, which is necessary for the digestion of grains. Their bodies do, however, produce enzymes necessary for the digestion of proteins and fats. Until those molars come in, the only enzyme they are given to break down carbohydrates is lactase, necessary for the digestion of lactose. (Raw milk also contains lactase).
With the incredible rise in food allergies that we see today, it seems likely that part of the cause is the widespread feeding of grains early on. The reason for this is because babies have immature digestive systems, and they will essentially "absorb" whatever you give them. However, their bodies will create antibodies to something that is not right for them to handle, which will give problems later on. Because of this, I feel it is far better to wait until their bodies are naturally equipped to properly digest the foods that are given.
Why should we be in such a hurry to give grains, if they are only going to tax their bodies, thereby stealing time and energy away from proper growth and development? Not to mention that undigested foods ferment in your colon. Life and death begins in the colon, so let's set our kids up for lifetime health and success in this area!
In the next few posts, I'll be discussing exactly what foods I introduce and when, along with recipes and sample menus. Again, happy baby feeding! :)