Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 18 (4/30/13)

Be still and listen, listen carefully.


This is actually the hardest challenge yet, so please take it very seriously.  Walking alone along a beach reminds me of this challenge, thus the photo taken on a beach in Florida.  Hearing the waves crash on shore and the seagulls calling and the wind whistling awakens my senses and I listen, listen carefully.  Do the same this week with your body.  So much is going on inside you and so many clues are being given to you, but you must learn to listen to them.  How is your body functioning?  Do you have any aches and pains?  When?  Where? How often?

Not all aches and pains are related to diet, of course.  But even those that come from other sources can be relieved or exacerbated by the foods we eat. 

Listen this week very carefully to your body.  At first, this may seem impossible to you, but as you still your thoughts and scan your body - taking in all the clues being given to you, you will soon be in tune and able to respond to your body's nutritional needs.

There are many nuances to this challenge - let me describe a few.

1.  Be quiet and still and notice how you feel.  God gave us a wonderful system of nerves to tell us when we are out of balance or when something is wrong.  You must stop and listen and use these clues to help you heal.

2.  Be aware of how you feel throughout the day.  Be especially aware of how you feel before and after meals.  Learn to key into the clues your body is giving you about the foods that you are eating.  Just as Renee has seen that she gets headaches now from sugar, and Jennifer knows she gets a migraine if she eats something with hidden MSG, you too pay attention.  You may not have this level of sensitivity yet, but try to notice how you feel after eating a meal of 100% good quality foods and then after eating a meal of man-made foods, either at home or out.  Keep in mind that some effects are immediate, such as a stomachache, and some may not hit you for a day or two, such as an infection.

3.  Don't be quick to take something to appease an ache or pain.  In today's world, we have learned to go for quick fixes and to ignore what our body is telling us.  If you are really tired, then rest.  Don't grab some food containing caffeine or sugar.  If you have a headache, don't take an aspirin type medication, drink water and try to determine why you have the headache.  If you have a stomachache, don't grab an antacid or other remedy.  See if you can link what you are eating with when you experience discomfort or pain.  See if you can start to notice the negative effects of man-made foods in your diet on how you feel.  This is so important for you to begin to know how to heal yourself with your food.  If you live with the ache or pain, and then try to decide what sounds good to eat, your body will begin to tell you.  If you have a stomachache, pizza is probably not going to sound very good to you.  If you have a migraine headache, eating out is probably not going to sound very good to you.  If you are having allergy problems, a heavy meal of meat and potatoes is probably not going to sound very good.   

4.  If you are addicted to some food(s), this is a good time to identify your addictions: sugar, caffeine, junk food of some sort which contains addictive substances perhaps.  It is extremely hard to know what good nutrients your body is craving if you are addicted to foods/additives that control you.  If you cannot give up something easily for a week without severe cravings and withdrawal symptoms, then you are addicted.  Be still and identify what foods are controlling you - this is the first step to mastering and overcoming them.

5.  Most importantly, don't get discouraged.  The first step is listening.  It can take a long, long time to establish the cause and effect relationships since the effects of your diet can be immediate but usually are not.  We will continue to discuss over time how to better understand what your body is telling you that you need, but for this week, start with the first baby step of listening and awareness.

6.  Listen and be aware, but don't dwell on your aches and pains.  This is not helpful for healing.  Once you have become still and evaluated how you feel, get moving and active doing something again.  Let this awareness help you change what you are eating, not make you grumble or sink into depression.  If you are trapped in that scenario, give it to God.  Ask Him in prayer to take that attitude from you and to help you make the necessary diet changes that you need. 1Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on Him (God) because He cares for you. 

Advanced challenge for those who have already learned to pay attention to the signals their bodies are giving them:

This can become SO fun.  When cooking or preparing food, don't blindly follow recipes.  Stock up your pantry with spices and herbs and adjust your usage based on how you feel.  Learn to listen to your insight.  Use your sense of smell to help you determine what spices to add and how much of each. 

Also adjust your meals based on how you or someone in your family feels.  For example, when you feeling like you are coming down with a cold, dairy products typically don't sound good - probably because dairy causes more mucus.  However, healing chicken soup is soothing and satisfying.  If you are feeling bloated from hormones, light cool foods like fresh fruits and salads may sound good. 

You may desire a lot of fruit one day, and something with a lot of basil and garlic another day.  Do you crave a banana or an apple?  Perhaps a bowl of rice and beans, or a hamburger, or an omelette sounds good.  Listen and adjust.  Then pay attention to how you feel after eating your selection.  The more you practice, the more aware you will become of what your body needs to stay healthy, and the more fun you will have cooking and preparing your meals.

"Be still and know that I am God.."  Psalm 46:10

Monday, April 29, 2013

Blackberry Bars



Blackberry Bars are one of our favorite spring breakfasts.  The first year we moved to the 'country', we harvested 5 gallons of wild blackberries from our lower field so I had lots to experiment with and, I love to create healthy breakfast pastries. (I think this is my German heritage in my blood - my ancestors came to America and opened a bakery!) 

After our unusual year being blessed with wild blackberries, we then found 5 pound bags of organic blackberries in the freezer section at Costco.  I wish they would get them in again.  I am always on the look out for organic blackberries to be on sale.

This recipe takes a little more effort to make, but it is incredibly good.  A food processor is required to make this. 

Ingredients (I use all organic):

Crust
1/2 cup dates with oat flour or pitted date chunks
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 Tbl sunflower seeds
1 cup whole grain pastry flour(s)
   (I use 1/2 cup Prairie Gold whole wheat berries and 1/4 cup spelt berries, ground fine)
pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup cold butter

Filling
1/2 cup sour cream (I use homemade yogurt sour cream)
1 range-free egg, fork beaten
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbl maple syrup
1 heaping cup organic blackberries (or 1 10-oz bag)

Place dates and walnuts in food processor and process until coarse meal.  Place sesame seeds (white and black) and sunflower seeds in a small coffee grinder (I have one dedicated to grinding seeds) and grind to powder.  Place ground seeds, flour and nutmeg into date/walnut mix.  Cut up cold butter and place chunks in food processor and process until coarse meal. 

Grease with butter an 8" square glass pan.  Remove about a cup of the crust mixture to reserve for topping.  Press the remainder into the bottom of the greased pan.  Scrape out food processor bowl well, but you don't need to clean it yet.


Preheat oven to 350 °F.  Place blackberries into food processor and process briefly.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining filling ingredients.  Stir in the blackberries and then pour mixture over the crust.  Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture on top.  Bake at 350 °F for 35 minutes or until set. 



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Renee's Healing with God's Food


Thank you, Renee, for sharing your story with us.  As I said in yesterday's post, "What Supplements do I take?", the best supplements for true healing are real foods.  This is not just my perception; I have seen it for so many people.  Please read about Renee's wonderful experiences over the past couple months.  (Please note, though expensive, I do recommend a good quality Probiotic for everyone until you have mastered a diet of eating 100% real foods which includes your own raw kefir and yogurt.)

This has been a new happy road to travel on.  I have really enjoyed learning Foods by God with Mary, because it has been fun and easy, tasteful, and enjoyable for my family.  Whew!  You know that is the hard part, getting the kids and husband on the same eating plan as you are.  My kids are teenagers and young twenties, so no starting out with new baby taste buds, I had to deal with old bad habits that I taught them.
 
When I turned 40 years old, I did not feel good.  I was tired; my digestive tract was not working and in considerable pain. I had joint pain and stiffness. Also, I had acid reflux which later turned into Esophageal muscle spasms. So I went to a gastroenterologist and he told me I had IBS and also needed a colonoscopy. He put me on Prilosec and told me I would have to be on it for life. I did that for a while and not much changed; then I decided that my God has a better solution and I’m going to ask Him about it.
 
I loved to drink coke and I felt that the Lord was saying to get off of it so I prayed and asked for his help and eventually with trial and error I finally stopped drinking coke. But, I still needed to get my sugar cravings under control.
 
Well it turned out that my sister was using a natural dietitian, so I started with her and she put me on vitamins: like Pro-dophilus,  Flora-guard, fiber, green food powders, and many other vitamins.  She started to teach me how to eat healthier foods.  It was like learning to cook all over again.  I did start to feel better, but the vitamins were expensive. Furthermore we were not eating organic foods. I was still having problems, because I was addicted to sugar. By the time I turned 50 I was feeling somewhat better. But if a holiday came around or I had a sugar binge, I was right back to feeling bad again.
 
Then this class came. I felt like this is what I needed to learn to get me over the hump of the back and forth yo yo effect I was on. Before I started the Foods by God class I once again had spots of pain in my intestines and I really didn’t want to go get another colonoscopy. We have been doing this class now for about three months. I noticed the other week that those pains are gone and my joint pain is gone.  The acid reflux has completely cleared up.  It is so nice to not feel that pain, worry about it, or think I need to go get a colonoscopy. Also, I have stopped taking most of the vitamins. Now the only vitamins I take are Probiotics; because they are very good for our digestive systems. 
 
 I do get to enjoy my sweet treats, but made with honey, and or maple syrup. The fresh fruit is also a great treat. I don’t miss sugar because I notice now that I get a headache and feel terrible when I eat it, so it is not even worth it for me. I’m very glad and relieved to start my 50s feeling much better, I was concerned in my 40s that if I felt this bad, how would I feel in my 60s.  It is so worth it to make the changes.
 
Thanks, Mary, for your generosity and giving spirit.
 
Shalom,

Renee

 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What supplements do I take?


A lot of people ask me this question, so I thought I would post my answer for everyone.  My answer, none.


 
Organic fresh fruits and vegetables (the ones shown in the photo above are from my garden last year), raw organic nuts and seeds, organic whole grains, raw dairy, 100% grass-fed beef, range-free soy-free chicken products are some of my 'supplements' now.  I don't take any man-made supplements on a regular basis.  This has not always been the case.  After realizing that man-made drugs did nothing for me but cause bad side-effects and did not cure anything, I next tried supplements when I had a problem, whether it was an achy muscle, tiredness, or a cold.  I still have a drawer full of various things.  I should toss them all because they are probably long pass their expiration dates.  Five years ago, when I was teaching 'Eating God's Food' classes, I had stopped taking everything but a daily Probiotic.  I have even stopped that since I regularly include raw milk kefir and yogurt in my diet.
 
I came to realize that taking supplements is usually just another type of 'Band-Aid', and typically not the answer.
 
The answer to health and vitality (which I have finally come to fully see) is eating 100% God's foods.  I do not know why that simple answer does not satisfy, and instead we say, "But isn't there something I need to take for this health problem or concern that I have?".  Eating 100% God's foods requires a few changes in lifestyle, such as not eating out often; and doing some basic things, such as getting a bit of sunshine daily and not eating after dinner.
 
God has created our bodies with AMAZING healing abilities if we just give them the proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that they need.  What is even more fascinating than that, is that God gives us the proper concentration of these 'supplements' that our bodies need for healing and health in His foods He created for us.  When we try to take our own supplements, we typically throw our bodies off balance and instead of 'healing' we can cause more problems. 
 
An excellent example is taking calcium for osteoporosis.  It was discovered after people's osteoporosis was getting worse on calcium supplements, that calcium and magnesium were needed together.  Now, it is being realized that Vitamin D is very important also (and many people take a supplement for this too).  But supplements do not heal and reverse the damage, only a changed diet can do that.  And osteoporosis occurs in the first place because our bodies need to take calcium from our bones to neutralize and clear the man-made foods and sodas we put into them.
 
The answer to health and vitality is eating a balanced diet of God-made foods, 100 % God-made food - good quality foods that have not been altered or modified by man to make them toxic.  There is no man-made short cut that will work.  This is the answer because this is how God created us.  But man with his worldly wisdom is always trying to be 'smarter' than God.  However, man's wisdom is foolishness to God, and will not help you.  Don't get trapped in this deception.
 
So many people begin taking a lot of supplements to solve their health issues (as an alternative to man-made drugs when/if they realize the damage to their bodies that these are doing).  Often the next step is to begin cutting foods out of their diets, until they are on very restrictive diets.
 
A much better approach is to buy excellent quality real foods (local are best, ones that you have investigated to know how they are grown or raised), and cut all man-made foods from your diet.  The severity of your health issues determines if and how much you can cheat. 
 
You will be astonished to see how amazingly well our bodies can heal on their own.  I certainly have been and continue to be amazed (see my story).  May God bless your efforts and direct your path.
 
"Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.   For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, 'He catches the wise in their own craftiness';  and again, 'The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile'."  1 Corinthians 3:19 - 20


Friday, April 26, 2013

Multi-grain Pancakes


 
We love pancakes for breakfast and these have great flavor.  Don't forget to use a honey bear for your maple syrup.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oat groats or 2/3 cup oat flour
1/2 cup soft white wheat berries or 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup buckwheat groats or 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
2 Tbl organic yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tps baking soda
1/2 tps sea salt
pinch cloves
pinch nutmeg
1 - 1 1/2 cups homemade kefir or buttermilk
2 eggs, fork beaten
1 Tbl pure maple syrup
2 Tbl melted butter

Grind groats and berries to a fine grind like pastry flour if you are grinding your own flours.  In a large bowl, mix together flours and other dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix eggs, honey, and kefir together.  (Adjust the amount of kefir or buttermilk to give you the correct pancake batter consistency.)  While stirring, add the melted butter.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients.  Slowly stir in the dry ingredients into the liquid to minimize flour clumps.  Stir until all flour is incorporated with the liquid.   Do not over stir.
 
Cook pancakes and serve warm with pure maple syrup or a fruit topping, such as Jon's pancake topping.

Try not to use a skillet or griddle that has a nonstick coating - purchase cast iron, the original nonstick cookware.  I cook my pancakes on an antique Griswold griddle that I found on Ebay.  I love actually using my antique kitchen items that I find!


 



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Karen's Chocolate Pudding and Chocolate Milk



Karen, who went 100 % a month ago and shared her successes with us, came up with this recipe.  Jon, my youngest, who loves to make things in our Vitamix blender, has been making it almost daily!  The texture is just like pudding.  I changed Karen's recipe just a bit to include coconut oil.  This raw food pudding is an excellent way to pack in LOTS of great nutrition.  So good in fact, that my son had a small bowl of leftover pudding the other day with his breakfast!  Thanks, Karen for your great ideas and enthusiasm.

Ingredients:

1 banana
1 avocado
2 Tbl good quality cocoa (unsweetened)
2 Tbl raw honey
1 Tbl maple syrup
1 Tbl coconut oil (gently heated to melt if solid)
 
Place all ingredients in blender except coconut oil and process until smooth.  Slowly pour in coconut oil while processing.  Dish and enjoy!
 
Since I hate to waste anything, I had to find a way to use all of that delicious chocolate pudding left in the bottom of the blender that you can't get out.  So Jon and I worked on making chocolate milk with it!  We never have chocolate milk because all of the syrups, even the organic ones, contain sugar.  What a special treat this has been.


Chocolate Milk:

Place in the blender that contains the remainder of the chocolate pudding (shown above):
 
2 cups of milk (we use fresh milk)
1 Tbl raw honey
1 cup ice
 
Process until frothy and enjoy immediately.
 

 




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Treating Fire Ant Bites with Raw Honey

 
This is a very important post for those who live in the southern part of the United States, where fire ants are prevalent and menacing.  Put a dab of raw, unfiltered honey on the bite(s).  Last Monday, I was bit by several fire ants on my right hand.  Not only do I always get a red dot where bit, but when I get multiple bites on a hand, my whole hand will be swollen from the poison injected for several days.  I immediately ran into the house and slathered raw honey all over the top of my hand because I knew I had our FoodsbyGod cooking class the next evening.  I did not want my hand swollen and red with white pussy dots all over!  The next day at class, I barely had one small red spot to show.  Truly amazing.


 
Yesterday while working in the garden, I got bit by fire ants in several spots on the back of my leg.  After 5 - 10 minutes, a red bump appears at each bite.  I waited until the red bumps appeared to put on the raw honey so I could get a photo for you.  It is best to apply the honey as soon as possible and not wait.  The honey will neutralize the poison from the bite.  It provides immediate relief from pain and itching and will keep the bite from developing into a white pus spot and itching like crazy. 

 

Treating fire ant bites with honey is also an excellent way to test your honey (though don't get bit on purpose!).  Only raw honey that still has active enzymes will work.  Not only does raw honey draw out poison from bites, is helps heal infections and wounds too.  Of course, it also has numerous benefits with eaten from helping with allergies (if using local raw honey) to aiding in calcium absorption (I always add raw honey to my yogurt).  Raw, unfiltered honey is an essential food to have in every kitchen.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 17 (4/23/13)

Eat your fruit first.

 
This is a very simple challenge; just a matter of retraining.  I grew up eating my fruit at the end of my meal.  It was considered the 'dessert', though we always had some sugary sweet with each meal too.  This is not a good practice.

Fruit is a great dessert option, but eat it first before other food or separate as a snack during the day.  I usually eat several servings of fresh fruit throughout the day.  I eat fresh fruit first thing in the morning to break my overnight fast, and then typically more fresh fruit later with my breakfast.  I usually have fruit with lunch or as an afternoon snack.  When you are shopping, remember to chose fruits that are in season and know which to buy that has been grown organically.  Organic strawberries have just come in season and we have been enjoying them immensely.

The reason you should eat fruit first before other foods is because it takes very little time or effort to digest fruit compared to proteins and carbohydrates.  If you eat fruit after a meal, it sits on top of the other foods you have eaten and can start to ferment causing indigestion and gas.  If you eat your fruit first, you maximum the absorption of nutrients from the fruit as it is digested first and it is much gentler on your digestive system.
 
If you are eating a dish that includes fruit, such as the Puffed Pancake, don't mix a lot of other things with it.  For example, don't eat scrambled eggs and sausage with your puffed pancake.  Keep the meal simple so it is easier to digest.

This very simple, easy challenge for the week can make a huge difference in your health, especially if you have problems with an unhealthy gut environment.  And isn't it fun to be able to eat your dessert first!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Homemade Sour Cream (and Sour Cream with Herbs Topping)



This basic yogurt sour cream topping is very delicious and is great on so many different dishes such as Chili, Dudley's Calabaza Stew, or Jennie's Southwestern Fried Eggs (as shown in the photo).  Homemade 'sour cream' made from yogurt contains all the good bacteria, which is so lacking in our foods today, and is thus a great digestive aid.  Customize yours with the addition of different fresh herbs and spices.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup drained plain whole milk yogurt (I make my own)
1 - 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp dry parsley (or 1 Tbl fresh parsley, minced)
1/4 tsp freshly ground sea salt
fresh ground pepper


Strain yogurt (I drain a one pint container which makes about 1 cup of sour cream) for one hour or more to drain off whey.  (Be sure to save and use the whey in a smoothie or when soaking grains.)  Place 1/2 cup of this drained yogurt 'sour cream' in a bowl.  Add the other ingredients listed above and stir well.  Store extra sour cream and whey in refrigerator until ready to use.
 
There are many ways to strain yogurt, so I will give you one method that I like to use.  I place an unbleached natural coffee filter into a small colander, which fits nicely over a glass container.  I then empty a jar of homemade yogurt onto the filter and let it drain for an hour or two.  The whey drains to the bottom, leaving the yogurt 'sour cream' on the filter.  I use this homemade yogurt 'sour cream' which contains lots of good bacteria in place of store bought sour cream in all recipes.  It is cheaper and healthier and tastier.  If you drain the yogurt longer, you will obtain a soft cheese, like ricotta.






 




Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jennie's Southwestern Fried Eggs

 
My friend, Jennie, told me about this dish which her family loves.  Tonight I tried it with fried eggs over easy (if you have good quality eggs, cook the whites and leave the yolks runny for optimal nutrition).  Last night we had our eggs scrambled with French toast on the side - both ways were delicious.  Extremely simple to make and great flavor. 
 
 
 
You can make your own green chili sauce or here is a good option that is sold at Costco.  This 505 brand of green chiles contains Hatch green chiles, a specialty of New Mexico.  My husband grew up in New Mexico and introduced me to Hatch green chiles when we first met; be sure to try flat green chili enchiladas with an egg of top if you ever visit New Mexico.



Jennie puts a dollop of sour cream on top.  I made some homemade yogurt 'sour cream' for our topping.  (Another great recipe from my friend, Lynn, which I will post tomorrow.)


Ingredients (serves 4 adults):

8 - 12 range-free good quality eggs
1 tsp kelp granules, to salt eggs with
1 - 2 Tbl milk (if making scrambled eggs)
a little butter or coconut oil to grease skillet

Green chili sauce
Sour cream or homemade yogurt 'sour cream' topping

Scramble eggs  or fry over easy in a skillet (that does not contain a nonstick coating).  Place on a plate and add a scoop of green chili sauce and a dollop of sour cream on top. 










 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Chicken Sausage Gumbo Update

 
Oops - I left off a couple very important ingredients (celery and green onions) in the ingredient list of the original post for chicken sausage gumbo.  I have corrected it.  So, if you printed it out before, reprint it.  I realized the missing ingredients when I went to the blog to follow the recipe this time I made it.  Sorry.


I also had sausage to put in it this time.  My mouth is watering for some more of this gumbo just writing up this post, it was so incredibly good.  I have never used this sausage before (which I found at Natural Grocer), and I did not buy it for this purpose but rather for breakfast burritos for class.  But when I started cutting it, I realized it was not the crumbly type sausage which I needed for the breakfast burritos (I had bought two packages to try it before class).  Thus, I made this gumbo with it instead.  I also had no chicken, so I used shredded turkey.  Hope you have fun experimenting like this and that you are blessed with delicious results too!


The type sausage that you want to use for this recipe must not crumble like ground meat when you cut it, thus you don't want to use the same type sausage as that called for in the roasted potato and sausage quick meal.  As you can see in the photo, the sausage stays intact when cut.  Most of the sausages made in-store by Whole Foods are the 'crumbly' type as I showed in class on Tuesday night.  It is hard to find a good quality sausage for gumbo so I am very pleased having found this one!  Enjoy. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Strawberry Lemonade

 
Simple, refreshing, delicious!  Nothing else needs to be said.

Ingredients (using organic fruit is a must):

2 - 2 1/2 cups fresh organic strawberries
1 organic lemon, zested and juiced*
2 Tbl - 1/3 cup raw, unfiltered honey (use the best)**
1 1/2 cups filtered water
2 - 3 cups ice
 
Wash and de-stem strawberries.  Wash lemon and with a zester remove the peel.  Chop out zest finely with knife.  Squeeze out all juice from lemon.  Place strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and 1/2 cup filtered water into blender.  Blend on high until smooth.  Add the remaining water and 1 cup of ice.  Blend until smooth.  Add rest of ice and blend until frothy.  Enjoy immediately.

* instead of juicing, after zesting, peel off the skin as you do on an orange, then pull apart the sections and add those directly to the blender.

** use the minimum amount of honey required for this drink to taste good to you.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Karen's Story of Success

Wow - I love hearing from each of you about the blessings you are receiving from your efforts and how God is opening your eyes to the truth about foods.  I hope you are as encouraged and inspired as I am reading Karen's story!

 
When Mary asked me to share my story,  I honestly did not know where to begin but I knew I wanted to share.  So, I am starting our story from the beginning.  I say our story because this involves my son, Josh.   Josh is 23 years old and is down syndrome.  He has had problems with eczema ever since he was a child.  Over the past several years he has developed boils on his body.  I  took him to our family Dr.  He prescribed 'Clindamycin'.  Once Josh took all the medication the boils would return.  So I then took him to two different dermatologists who prescribed the same medication.
 
After realizing the Dr.'s solution is a medication that keeps my son's stomach upset all the time,  I asked everyone at church  to pray for him  during our Wednesday night prayer service.  The very next day all the boils were gone.  Josh went about a year without any boils.  In the  past three months the boils had returned.  I asked God , "Why is this happening?"  God told me it was what we were eating.
 
So I started doing some research and read that boils are caused by a lack of zinc in your body.  So, I started doing more research and found foods that contain zinc.  About this same time, Jennifer invited me to attend a 'Foods by God' class.  I was  amazed at what Mary was telling us.  This was exactly the information I needed.  I immediately started my family on eating Foods by God.  I cleaned the pantry and took the processed foods and donated them to Anna's House.  It  has been four weeks since we began our journey only eating Foods by God.  I am happy to say Josh is boil free.  He came to me the other day and said,  "Mom, look.  I am myself again."
 
I let Josh make as many of the foods himself that he can.  If he makes it, he will eat it.  He made the brownie recipe the other day and they were delicious.  He also made chocolate chip cookies.  All of the ingredients were organic and the cookies were sweetened with honey.  However, his favorite food is the baked chicken.  I cooked and shredded the chicken and put it in the refrigerator.  I was going to make chicken enchilada's the next day but I came home to find he had eaten the chicken.  Every last bite of it.  He told me it was the best chicken ever.
 
Foods by God are just that 'foods made by God'.  Over the past four weeks,  God has taught me so much about the foods he has given us.  I've been married for 27 years.  Last week, my husband said, "I did not know you could cook like this."  I did not know I could cook like this either.  I use fresh herbs and organic foods.
 
My favorite bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 , "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy path."  God directed our path to Foods by God.
 
Sincerely, 
 
Karen

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 16 (4/16/13)

Drink half your weight (in ounces) of water each day.


This challenge is a good habit to do year round, but especially in the spring when your body is naturally cleansing. 

A few things to think about for this challenge: 

1.  To calculate your water quantity, use your ideal weight.  For example, if you weigh 150 pounds (or this would be your ideal weight), then drink 75 ounces of water each day.

2.  Measure out your water in the morning.  So many people THINK they drink a lot of water during the day, but when they actually measure it out, they find they are not drinking anywhere near the correct amount.  If you fill up a pitcher in the morning, you can see at the end of the day how much you have consumed.  Another great suggestion someone told me is to use magnets on the refrigerator.  Measure how much your glass holds, for example, 12 ounces.  If you are drinking 75 ounces each day, then put 6 magnets on the refrigerator.  Move to a 'finished' spot to record your water each time you fill up your glass.

3.  You want to store your water in glass and drink out of glass, not plasticJoanna found this great glass pitcher with a white stopper top at Walmart (shown on left in above photo).  It is inexpensive and glass.  Of course, I had to get one too!   Be sure to follow all of the same rules that were discussed in the Week 1 challenge (room temperature, good quality filtered water). 

4.  Drink your water between meals (wait 30 to 60 minutes after eating), not with your meals.  Try to drink no more than 2 - 4 ounces of liquid with your meal.

5.  If you have not been drinking this much, expect to initially get up during the night once or twice to go to the bathroom.  This should subside in a few days (if you don't try to drink all your water in the evening). 
 
6.  Keep a glass or bottle (not plastic) of water with you throughout the day and sip on it frequently.

7.  If you are working out in the heat or exercising, it is fine to drink more than this if you are thirsty. 

With so many toxins in our world all around us, it is so important to drink plenty of clean water throughout the day.  Keep in mind also that we often overeat because we are dehydrated, so drinking more water can also help you eat less if you are trying to lose weight.  If you don't like water, especially room temperature water, just do this anyway.  You will adjust - I know, I have been there.  I remember when the only thing that tasted good to me was a Dr. Pepper soda in a glass filled to the brim with ice!  But now I love water and the thought of the soda gags me.  Give it a try, it is so important for healing and health.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Quinoa with Cilantro and Lime



Do you feel it?  The seasons are changing and so are my food desires.  Winter foods are heavy - meals like stews with a lot of meat, potatoes, and thick sauce.  But spring is here which brings the desire for lighter, refreshing, cleansing foods.  Be aware; learn to listen and adjust with the seasons.  Take clues from the fresh herbs and fresh produce that are available.  Shift to lighter proteins like eggs and to cool snacks such as fruit and veggie smoothies.
 
Last night, I created a 'spring-version' of quinoa, a great side-dish choice to have while spring cleaning or detoxing your body.
 
Ingredients:
 
1 1/2 cups filtered water
3/4 cups quinoa
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 avocado
1/4 fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbl raw almonds, chopped
1/2 fresh organic lime (plus a few slices)
 
Place water, sea salt, and turmeric in a heavy pot with a tight lid on medium heat on the stove.  Add the quinoa and bring to a boil stirring occasionally.  Boil for a minute or two, then turn off heat but leave on hot burner with lid on tightly.  Let rest for about 15 minutes.
 
Meanwhile, cut up avocado and chop cilantro and almonds.  After 15 minutes, take a fork and fluff the quinoa.  Squeeze the lime into quinoa and add in the avocado, cilantro and almonds.  Stir to mix.  Serve with a couple slices of lime on top.
 
 
 
 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thank You



I am reading a book called, One Thousand Gifts, and last night while making dinner, I realized how blessed I am by this blog.  So I wanted to say 'Thank you' today.
 
Thank you for your encouragement and support.  Thank you for all the money we have saved this year not eating out. Thank you for helping me to see that the quality of the foods available and the taste is so inferior that I have lost the desire to eat out.  Thank you for all the new recipe ideas, like the refreshing strawberry lemonade and chocolate pudding (both which we will be sampling at class Tuesday night).  Thank you for my improved diet this year as I do the weekly challenges too.  Thank you for my motivation to go out almost daily to snip some fresh herbs for a meal.  Thank you for sharing your stories of success, for letting me know how you are seeing improvements in chronic health issues and how you feel.  One thousand gifts... as I see them all I am having fun and I am filled with joy!
 
I hope you are having fun too!!!  My prayer for you today is that you will not see changing your diet from man-made foods to God-made foods as a negative endeavor is which you have to give up everything you love but as a positive experience in which you get to enjoy so many excellent, delicious foods.  I hope you can give thanks and gain the joy too.  And I hope with the joy that you will have more strength and conviction to avoid the man-made foods that are so prevalent, especially the sugar, cheap fats, and cheap salt.
 
"And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold." Nehemiah 8:10
 
In the book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp talks about finding joy and see God's glory because we have all received one grace after another.  Recognize the grace upon grace, the gift heaped upon gift that you are receiving, and grab the joy.  Thank you for the gifts you have given me, and the joy I have received from them.
 
"For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift."  John 1:16 AMP
 
My prayer is that you may see the grace upon grace, gift upon gift God is offering to you.
 
Many blessings,
 
Mary

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Scottish Oat Muffins



Muffins with some fruit and a glass of fresh milk is one of my favorite breakfasts.  I buy antique cookware and actually use it.  I make my muffins in cast iron muffin tins which I have picked up at antique shops.  This is a double recipe; I put the extras in the freezer for a quick breakfast later.

Ingredients:

2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
2 cup homemade kefir (or buttermilk)
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 free range eggs, fork beaten
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 3/4 cups wheat berries (I use a mix of prairie gold and soft white wheat berries)
  or 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 °F.  Soak oats in kefir (buttermilk) for 15 minutes.  Melt coconut oil and stir into oat mixture.  (Be sure you follow the order of the instructions or the coconut oil will harden and not be dispersed evenly.)  Stir in eggs and maple syrup.  Mix together the dry ingredients.  Stir dry ingredients in wet ingredients.  Don't over mix batter.


Place muffin tins in heated oven for a minute or two, remove and grease with butter.  Fill muffin cups about 2/3's full.  Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until firm and golden.

Friday, April 12, 2013

April Class - Quick Meals and Cookware

 
For those who live in the North Dallas area, I hope you can come to the next class, Tuesday, April 16.  It helps so much to have the support and encouragement of new friends.  We had so much fun this past Tuesday night, preparing and planning for the next class and trying some new things!  Hope you can join us, but if not follow along with our classes on-line.


At our April class we will be discussing 'cleansing' and 'cookware'.  Plus we will be sampling some yummy, easy dishes (and the drink shown in the photo above).  I will also demonstrate some simple, gentle detox stretches and we will have a kitchen item exchange activity for those who wish to participate.
 
Please be sure to share what you are doing with others.  Connecting with others in this area is so important.  The support and encouragement of family and/or friends will help you succeed.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Thursday, April 11, 2013

March 2013 Class - Healing Soup and Planning Meals

The information covered in this class is probably some of the most important that we will discuss.  Please read over everything carefully.  Keys to your success in gaining and maintaining vitality and good health are regularly making your own homemade bone broths from good quality bones and planning your meals.

While fixing the soup, we talked about a few good things to put into practice while fixing dinner.  This is typically when your family members (and you) are hungry, so take advantage of this time.  When your spouse comes home from work, greet him/her with your jar of raw pumpkin seeds in hand, and give them a handful while you ask about his/her day.  When you kids come running through the kitchen, hand them carrot and celery swords.  If you are not married and have no children, treat yourself to some raw nuts and nibble on some carrots while you prepare your dinner. 

Healing Soup:



We went through all the steps of making healing soup, starting with where to buy a good quality chicken to adding fresh herbs right before serving.

The main steps include -

1.  Purchasing and baking a whole chicken.



2.  Slow simmering of the carcass in a pot of water (don't forget to add something acidic).


3.  Making the healing soup and adding fresh herbs at the end.




Planning Meals:


During our discussion time, each person was given a blank meal planner and a copy of the 'foods to avoid' list.  When beginning to convert your diet to 100% God's foods, it is very important to sit down with a meal planner each week and plan your meals.  Planning is essential if you want to stop the cycle of poor health and cravings that man-processed food promotes.  Be creative and have fun.  Plan (and convert) meals which you know your family and you  enjoy and be sure to use the produce and foods that are in season.  Eating foods that are in season not only is healthy but will save you a lot of money.  Also, be sure to share what you are doing with others and have at least one person that you have connected with on this journey.  Bounce ideas off each other when making your meal planner.  We had a chance to fill in the meal planner at class - each week as you do this you will find that it gets easier and easier!