Friday, May 31, 2013

Breakfast Ideas

To help you with meal planning, I thought it might be nice to have one list of all the dishes I make for each meal under a tab at the top of the page.  So I will start with breakfast, since this is such an important meal to get your system started after you break your fast.  Learn to enjoy your breakfast and plan ahead so that your breakfast can be a calm, peaceful meal.  How you start your day is so crucial to how your day will go.  I like to start my day with quiet time with God and then a home-cooked breakfast with my family.  It is a wonderful way to begin the day.
I often combine things for breakfast, such as a few breakfast sausages (nitrate free good quality ones) with some muffins, or a few nuts with some waffles, or a smoothie with pancakes.  If you are hungry long before lunch, eat a bigger breakfast.
'Beneficial' Breakfasts:  any breakfast that contains fresh yogurt will have beneficial bacteria (if you buy a good quality plain one - such as Stonyfield Farm or Nancy's or White Mountain).  It is easy to make your own too - I will do a post on how this summer.  Having your gut properly balanced with the good bacteria is very important for good digestion and overall health.
Quick Breakfasts:  a quick to fix breakfast is very important for days you need to get out of the house early.  Plan ahead so that you don't have to skip breakfast or stop and get fast food.
Soothing Breakfasts:  warm cereals and porridges are wonderful, especially in the colder months.  These typically settle well in every one's stomach and are filling.
Healthy Sweet or 'Bready' Breakfasts:  don't go for the sugar-filled pastries loaded with artificial ingredients from the store, but make your own.  This is my specialty and I have created or modified lots of recipes.  Think about investing in a grain-mill if you make a lot of 'bready' breakfasts so that you can use better grains freshly ground.
Raw, Cool Breakfasts:  often quick breakfasts and definitely spring and summer breakfasts when you are shedding winter weight and stored toxins.  Very refreshing when it is hot outside.
Here is a general list of breakfast recipes to help you fill out your meal planner:

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
Banana Bread
Blackberry Bars
Breakfast Burritos
Cold Cereal
Coffee Cake 
Chocolate Milk
Dutch Apple Pancake
Jon's Pancake Topping
French Toast
Fruit Smoothie
Fruited Yogurt
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Light and Fluffy Waffles
Mango Lassi
Multi-Grain Pancakes
Peach Crumble
Puffed Pancake
Pumpkin Bars
Pumpkin Waffles
Rose Biscuits
Scottish Oat Muffins
Sweet Potato Biscuits

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Strawberry Lemonade Update

We have been enjoying Strawberry Lemonade multiple times per week this spring while organic strawberries are in season and available at a reasonable price.  It is a wonderful, refreshing drink, especially when taking a break after working outside.  Jon is our beverage-maker (find your beverage-maker in your house).

We have modified the original recipe a bit.  My friend, Gwen, made this suggestion when sampling the strawberry lemonade while visiting us from Seattle.  She suggested instead of juicing the lemon, after zesting, to peel it (like peeling an orange), pull apart the sections, and add those directly into the blender.  Much easier than juicing and then the pulp is not lost.  Great idea (thanks, Gwen)!

The first time we made it, we cut the lemon up and put the whole thing into the blender but that turned out rather bitter.  By zesting and then peeling, the bitter white pith is not added. 

We have also cut down on the honey quantity.  As your taste buds adjust to a 100% God-made diet, you might find that things start to taste too sweet to you.  As this happens, cut down on the quantity of natural sweetener that you are using.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Zesting and Juicing Lemon (or Orange)

The first requirement for me when zesting is to use an organically grown lemon or orange.  Do not zest a conventional piece of fruit, whose peel contains man-made chemicals and pesticides.

A zesting tool is an inexpensive tool worth having in your kitchen.  I like this OXO zester.  It is very easy to use and very easy to clean.  Hold the lemon or orange and scrape the zester along the surface shaving off curls of peel.  Don't zest into the white pith which is bitter.

After you have zested the surface (I zest around discolored spots on the peel), gather the zest into a pile, and chop finely with a knife.  If I need lemon juice for a recipe without the zest, or I'm eating an orange, I often zest it first anyway.  The zest can always be used in another recipe.  Adding lemon and orange zest to recipes adds a great flavor dimension.  For example, I added orange zest to our French toast batter last week - it was really good.  If not don't use the zest immediately, place the zest in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to use it.

I have an inexpensive juicer that I use as shown in the photo below.  Cut the zested lemon or orange in half for juicing.  You can also use a spoon or just squeeze the fruit filtering the juice through your fingers to juice, but it is harder to keep the seeds out of the juice. 

When I zest and juice lemons or oranges for recipes, I do not measure out the quantities carefully.  To not be wasteful, I use all the zest or juice that I get from the piece of fruit, whether it is a little less or a little more than called for in the recipe.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 22 (5/28/2013)

Involve those you live with or see frequently with meal preparation.

I was looking for some old photos of Tom for a graduation celebration (he graduates from high school this month) and what great memories I had looking back through the photos.  I was very blessed while my boys were growing up since they had good health and were seldom sick.  We had lots of fun with no time wasted with doctor visits.  I am still blessed with good health and a healthy family.  Throughout the years, I have had many people tell me how lucky I am.  It is not luck; it is a choice.  Eating 100% God-made foods is the reason we are healthy.
I found this photo and it is no wonder both of my boys help in the kitchen now and are interested in having me document my recipes for them.  When they were little, on Saturday mornings, Fred would make whole grain pancakes with the boys help.  (Please use caution and be very careful with toddlers but let them help with cracking eggs, measuring out quantities, and stirring up mixtures.)  It was a special bonding time for my guys, and what a great example Fred was setting for his sons to pitch in and give Mom a break - besides teaching them invaluable kitchen skills. 
A friend made a very wise comment to me about five years ago.  I had told her that I was confident that my sons would continue to eat well (100% God-made meals) when they went off to college.  She asked why I thought they would do that if they weren't cooking at home while in high school.  So since we were homeschooling, we included cooking/nutrition in our Health class that year.  Both boys regularly cook or help cook meals now and thus Tom is equipped to continue a healthy diet when he leaves for college in August.  Even if you don't homeschool, summer is a great time to involve your kids in the kitchen.  Also, take them with you to the grocery store and let them help plan your meals.
Besides including your children in meal preparation, encourage your husband (or wife if you are a stay at home Dad) to help.  Start with a favorite meal/dish that is your spouse's specialty.  Fred's was flat green chili enchiladas.  He then began to make my chili recipe, and this past year since I have been doing this blog he has really gotten into making up delicious dinner recipes such as our Baked Spaghetti (with Spaghetti Squash) and Dudley's Calabaza Stew.  Everyone has a special area of interest - help your family members find theirs.  Fred's is dinner, Tom's is quesadillas (for any meal!), Jon's is healthy desserts, and mine is definitely breakfasts.
Lastly, be sure to include and encourage any elderly persons living with you or near you in meal preparations.  It is so important that elderly people eat the best quality 100% God-made foods to maintain their health (or regain their health).  Gently guide and teach them how foods have changed since they were young and the importance of finding and buying excellent quality real foods.  Best of all, you can learn so many wonderful things from them if you spend time together cooking and baking.  The wisdom and understanding that comes with age is so often overlooked and under-appreciated in today's world.
Is not wisdom found among the aged?  Does not long life bring understanding?  Job 12:12

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cole Slaw

A staple for us that we eat with good quality hotdogs and Oven Roasted Potatoes.  The hotdog, shown in this photo, is a Shelton's Smoked Turkey Frank, which I thought was discontinued but recently found again through Azure Standard's coop.


1/4 head of green cabbage, sliced thinly
1 carrot, shredded
2 Tbl raw sunflower seeds


2 - 3 Tbl mayonnaise (I use Hain's Safflower Mayonnaise)
3 tsp sweet pickle juice (get a good quality pickle or make your own)
1/2 Tbl Gomasio
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Mix sliced cabbage, shredded carrot and sunflower seeds together.  Prepare dressing by mixing together the ingredients in a separate bowl.  Pour dressing over cabbage mix and stir until well-mixed. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fruit Smoothie

If you have a blender, there are endless possibilities for smoothies that you can make.  Summertime, when it is hot outside, is an excellent time to make smoothies.  Smoothies are quick and easy to whip up, and they do not use the oven or stove so extra heat is not generated in the house.
I am giving you our basic recipe, but this is something that is never made the same in our house.  It all depends upon the fruit we have on hand.  Our fruit smoothies are yogurt-based so that we benefit from the good bacteria (Probiotics) that is contained in yogurt.  I make our yogurt, but if you are buying yours, make sure you get one that contains no added sugar and that is not made from low fat or homogenized milk.  You can also use freshly made kefir instead of yogurt in your smoothie.
Ingredients (I use all organic):

Fresh or frozen fruit (about 2 cups), such as banana, strawberries, blueberries, other berries, peaches, cherries, cantaloupe, pineapple, etc.

1 pint homemade or plain yogurt such as Stonyfield's (or homemade kefir)
1 Tbl freshly ground flax seed
1 - 2 Tbl pure raw honey (use local if you have allergy problems)

Place fruit in blender and process until smooth.  If buying fresh fruit, buy what is in season and get organic if one of the 'dirty dozen'.  If most of your fruit is frozen, you may need some liquid at this point.  Jon (who is our smoothie maker) adds a little of our raw milk if a liquid is needed.
Next add the flax, yogurt and honey.  Process gently on low until well mixed.  Pour into glasses and serve anytime of the day.  In the summer, we often have a smoothie for breakfast with homemade muffins as shown in the top photo.


Saturday, May 25, 2013


A friend from England told me about this dish and my family loves it (besides loving the name!).  This is my Americanized version and it is incredibly easy to make.  For the photo above, I grilled the sausage, then cut it into chunks.  For the photo below, I broiled the sausage as whole links in the pan in the oven.

Both were delicious.  Be sure to find a good quality sausage to use that is not filled with nitrates or nitrites or MSG.  This dish requires a solid sausage that does not crumble and a thin sausage is recommended.  I use a savory sausage like the one used for chicken sausage gumbo.   The one I used for today's Toad-in-a-Hole was Pederson's Chicken Sausage, Garlic Basil with Sun-dried Tomatoes.  Natural Grocer has a good selection of sausages that work well for this dish.  The English also make an onion beef gravy to serve with the dish.  I have been too lazy to try that yet though it sounds delicious.  Be sure to make gravy with real beef drippings if you try it since bouillon cubes are loaded with MSG. 


 3 – 6 thin link sausages (use good quality)
1 cup range-free eggs (4 or 5 depending upon size)
1 cup milk

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or ¾ cup soft white wheat berries ground fine)

¼ tsp sea salt
butter (or grease from sausage if you broil it in pan in oven)
Grill the sausages.  Heat glass baking dish (7" x 11") in oven.  Place remaining ingredients (except the butter) into blender and process until mixed.  Butter hot baking dish well (~ 1 Tbl per pan).  Place grilled sausages in hot pan and pour batter in immediately.  Bake at 425 °F for 20 minutes.
Here is a photo of my friend's 'real' English version!

Friday, May 24, 2013


Oatmeal is a simple, easy breakfast to make.  It is especially good in the winter because it warms you on a cool morning but we eat it year-round since I make my own butter.  We drink fresh raw milk, thus the cream comes to the top and then I skim it off.  I make butter when I get enough cream to make about a pound of butter, which is about once a week or cream from about two gallons of milk.  When I make sweet cream butter, I use the liquid that is left to make my oatmeal. I place the liquid from making butter in my measuring cup and then add filtered water for the rest of the liquid needed (the ratio is about 1/3 milk to 2/3 water). 

I cook my oatmeal slowly.  Since I get up early, I start it cooking an hour or two before my family is ready for breakfast.  This allows me to stir it infrequently without it burning on the bottom of the pot.  I can then do other things away from the kitchen while it cooks .  

Ingredients (quantity I make for my family of 4):

2.5 cups rolled oats (not quick)
7 cups filtered water/milk mixture
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbl coconut oil
~ 1 Tbl maple syrup (optional)
~ 1 Tbl freshly ground flax seed
ground walnuts
organic raisins
organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

Place oats, water and sea salt into a heavy pot (don't use aluminum or one with a non-stick coating) and turn on lowest heat setting.  Stir infrequently (the more you stir, the quicker it will be done).  Some days I am working in the kitchen or getting it started late, so I stir every 5 minutes or so; other days I stir every 30 minutes or so.  Oatmeal is very forgiving when cooked on a low heat setting.

When a thick consistency, turn off heat and add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and ground flax seed.  Stir well and dish into bowls.  We garnish our bowls of oatmeal with ground walnuts, raisins, and/or blueberries. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Baked Spaghetti (Spaghetti Squash)

We harvested lots of spaghetti squash from our garden last year, and we stored it in a cardboard box in our utility room over the winter.  Spaghetti squash is called a 'winter' squash because though it grows in the summer, and is harvested at the end of summer, it nicely stores over the winter in a dark, cool, dry place.  Spaghetti squash grows well in the Dallas area and is a great addition to your garden if you have the space to grow it.
This is a great spaghetti recipe because it is not loaded with flour noodles, thus it is filled with lots of nutrients.  The key to making a delicious baked spaghetti with spaghetti squash noodles is baking it uncovered long enough so it is not watery.  My husband has perfected this recipe (since we had two big boxes of spaghetti squash, we had lots to experiment with over the winter) and it is delicious. 

This recipe makes two large 9" x 13" glass rectangular pans.  It is so nice to have a second large pan to eat for dinner a few days later.  Be sure to place the cold second pan that has been stored in the refrigerator into a cold oven when you reheat it.  It reheats well, taking about 45 minutes at 350 °F.  Heat for first 35 minutes covered, then uncover for the last 10 minutes.


1 large spaghetti squash, or 3 small, baked
1 lb ground beef, browned

1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 jalapeno peppers, diced finely
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large Portobello mushroom, diced
1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes (Bionaturae or Muir Glen)
1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes with green chili (Muir Glen)
~ 2 cups strained tomatoes (Bionaturae)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp pure honey

1 - 2 cups shredded Mozzarella or Jack cheese, shredded

Rinse spaghetti squash, poke holes in it, and bake in a glass baking dish at 425 °F for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until soft.  Let cool (I usually bake it in the morning and let it cool for an hour or two so I don't burn my fingers when getting out the 'spaghetti' noodles).  Once cool, cut in half, through the stem.  Take a spoon and clean out the seeds and inner strings.  Then take a fork and scrape out the 'noodles' into a bowl.  Reserve until ready to use (place covered in refrigerator if not using right away - stores well for a few days).

Brown the meat, and then sauté all the vegetables, except the mushrooms, in a bit of olive oil in large glass pot.  Next add the remaining ingredients, except the cheese and spaghetti squash, and simmer the spaghetti sauce for at least 20 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 °F and add spaghetti squash noodles to the spaghetti sauce.  Gently stir to coat all noodles with sauce.  Grease two large baking dishes with olive oil, and divide the spaghetti between the two pans.  Place in 350 °F oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle on cheese.  Return to oven and bake for another 20 minutes.  Each pan serves 4 to 6 adults.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 21 (5/21/13)

Eat breakfast - a 100% God-made food breakfast.

There are two important aspects to this challenge. 
First, don't skip breakfast.  Even if you don't like to eat breakfast, it is important that you eat something.  Persons who tend to skip breakfast are often persons trying to lose weight.  Skipping breakfast is the worst thing you can do.  If you eat a 100% God-made food breakfast, you will jump start your metabolism, and you will not be so hungry later that you are tempted to overeat.  So start your day with the 'break fast' routine, and then eat breakfast - something more than just fruit which does not require much digestion.  If you eat just fruit you will be hungry long before lunchtime.   I always eat a large breakfast, such as the one shown in the photo.
Second, eat a breakfast of 100% God's foods, the best quality you can find.  Don't eat a breakfast which contains sugar or white flour or any of the other man-processed ingredients on the 'to avoid' list.  Skip the sugary cereals, donuts, pastries.  I have posted lots of recipes for breakfast dishes, or if you don't have much time or are not very hungry, you can eat something very simple such as a bowl of yogurt, a piece of whole grain toast with butter, or a range-free egg.  Or you could have some fresh caught fish and bread cooked over a campfire! 

"When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.  Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord."  John 21: 9, 12

Monday, May 20, 2013

Peach Crumble

Another breakfast favorite in my house.  Unbelievably delicious when made with local, homegrown peaches, but be sure to find organic.  When peaches are in season in the summer, I always put some in the freezer.  Cleaning out my deep freeze, I found a bag left over from our peach trees last summer.  What a treasure that find was!


1 bag of frozen peaches (or 2 - 3 cups fresh, diced)
1/4 cup pastry flour
   (or 2 Tbl soft white wheat berries, ground fine)
2 Tbl pure honey
1 Tbl maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

2/3 cup whole grain pastry flour (or 1/2 cup spelt berries)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick)
1/3 cup coconut oil (liquefied)
1 Tbl maple syrup

If using frozen peaches, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Dice peaches in a bowl - I use my antique chopper which I found at a garage sale.  (If you use your antique kitchen tools, be sure to dry them immediately after cleaning or they will rust.)

Drizzle the 2 Tbl of honey and 1 Tbl of maple syrup over peaches, and stir well to mix.  In a separate dish, mix together the filling flour and spices, then add to peach mixture and stir well.  Grease an 8" square glass baking dish with butter, and pour in peach mixture.

In a separate bowl, mix the topping flour and spices.  Stir well. Add the rolled oats, and stir again.  In a separate dish, mix the coconut oil and maple syrup (if the maple syrup in cold, it will solidify the coconut oil so I gently heat the mix on the stove until liquefied again).  While stirring, pour the liquid mix onto the dry mix.  Place the resulting crumbly mixture over the peaches.  Bake at 325 °F for 40 minutes.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pumpkin Bars

I love to grow pie pumpkins in my garden.  After harvesting, I bake them, scoop out the pulp and freeze it in two cup increments.  I wrap the refrigerator cooled pulp in a square of plastic wrap and then place these in large Ziploc bags.  Of course, pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving is our favorite, but we enjoy other dishes such as this year round.

1/2 cup walnuts pieces
1/2 cup dates with oat flour or pitted date pieces
1 1/4 cup whole grain flour(s)  or 1 cup berries, ground to pastry 
 (I use 1/3 spelt, 1/3 buckwheat, 1/3  whole wheat)
1 Tbl sunflower seeds, ground in flax grinder
1 tsp yellow sesame seeds, ground in flax grinder
1 tsp black sesame seeds, ground in flax grinder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch nutmeg
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cups pumpkin pulp, pureed or 1 can pumpkin
2/3 cup cream
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 range free egg, fork beaten
Preheat oven to 375 °F.  Place date pieces and walnuts in food processor and process until chopped and mixed.  Next, place sunflower seeds, and both sesame seeds in your 'flax' coffee grinder and process.  Add ground nuts to food processor mix.  Add the flour, sea salt, and baking soda to mix also.  Process until mixed together.  Then cut butter into chunks and add to the food processor.  Process until mixture is crumbly.  Add the rolled oats and process briefly until mixed in.  Reserve about a cup for the  crumb topping.
Grease a large 9 x 13" glass baking pan with butter. Gently press the remainder of the crumbly mix into the pan and bake for 10 minutes at 375 °F.  Don't clean the food processor yet, you will use it again.
While crust is baking, prepare filling.  Place spices and sea salt into clean bowl, mix together.  Place the pumpkin pulp into the food processor and process briefly until smooth.  (I have found it is much better to process right before using, rather than before freezing.  If you process before freezing, the processed pumpkin becomes a watery mess when you thaw it.)
Add pumpkin puree to spices and stir well into evenly mixed.  Measure out cream and maple syrup and add to pumpkin mix.  Fork beat an egg and add it also.  With a spatula, mix all wet ingredients together until smooth.
Pour wet ingredients onto crust, and then sprinkle the crumb mixture on top.  Return to oven and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until pumpkin layer is set.  Cool and enjoy.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Queen's Pose for Female Problems

Today's post is geared toward women, but anyone with lower abdominal stagnation or upper respiratory issues can benefit from this restorative pose.  For those with severe monthly female cramps or other female problems, this pose is extremely beneficial.  It allows your upper chest to open and clear, and for your lower abdominal area to open and drain.  How often you do this relaxing exercise is dependent upon your health needs.

I will share one success story with you as an example of how affective this exercise can be.  I recommended doing this exercise daily to a young girl in her early twenties years ago.  She had already changed her diet and was eating well, yet she was incapacitated, unable to get out of bed, one or two days a month at the start of her cycle.  This had been going on since her early teens. 

After doing this pose faithfully for 10 - 15 minutes a day for a month, she had NO cramps or problems at all.  She continued for 4 or 5 months, symptom free.  No more drugs to alleviate symptoms or wasted time in pain!  Cures can really be this simple, but it requires diligence and commitment.  As we all tend to do, after feeling good for several months, she slacked off and stopped.  Within the month, her being incapacitated for a full day or two in bed was back. 

Whether or not you have female monthly symptoms, this is a great exercise for all women, no matter what your age.  For general health purposes, try to do it once or twice a week for 10 to 15 minutes.  It is very good for the spine and for reducing stress.  This is supposed to feel good, so get more blankets for support if you need them.  Also, set up in a peaceful, quiet space.  Turn off the radio and TV.

I have a yoga bolster which I use - this is essential for this exercise because I think is it hard to duplicate with something you have around the house.  I also have a yoga block and blankets, but you could easily substitute a hard block of wood and towels that you have on hand for these.

Set up your props as shown in the photo.  It is important to have a strong enough block to hold the bolster up when you are leaning back against it.  The aqua green block in the background in the above photo is too small and topples when I lean back.  The thicker purple block shown works great for me.  A bolster is needed because it is firm enough that it does not collapse when you lie back on it.  The round cylindrical shape is important so that your spine is supported but your shoulders can round back over it.  You need to be on a nonslip surface, such as a yoga mat so the bolster does not slip out from under you.  Towels or blankets provide support under your legs so you can rest in the position.  You will want two additional blankets to support your arms if your elbows do not reach the floor.
After you have set up your props, sit on the floor with your buttocks back against the bolster.  Gently lie back and bring the soles of your feet up together with your legs spread apart to the sides as shown.  Place the blankets under your legs for support.  Let your shoulders open back against the bolster and your arms lie on the ground, palms up, as shown.  Place towels or blankets under your arms also, if they need support.  This should be a calming, restful position.  Hold for 5 to 15 minutes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

You are one meal away from being on track!

I just wanted to encourage those of you who feel like you've gone so far off track from eating Foods By God, you are only your next meal or snack choice away from being right back on track! "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
Jennifer posted this yesterday on the Facebook page that she is managing about FoodsbyGod.  Thank you, Jenn.
Does this describe you?  Have you fallen so far off track from eating Foods By God, that you feel hopeless and frustrated. Don't remain paralyzed in this pit!  You are just one meal choice away from being back on track!  I love the Isaiah verse that Jenn quoted.  God will help you and be with you if you take your fear, your frustration, your dismay humbly to Him.  Ask Him to lift you up and He will.
I will add a few verses from James that I love:  "Come near to God and He will come near to you.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."  James 4: 8, 10. 

If you are struggling, take it to God - you are just one meal choice away from being on track with your foods.  May God lift you up and strengthen you!  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Weekly Challenge - Week 20 (5/14/13)

Thaw foods in advance in the refrigerator.
This takes just a little planning but is very doable, especially if you have prepared your meal plan for the week.  Do not thaw foods in your microwave.  Instead take out the meat or other frozen ingredient from the freezer one to three days in advance and let it thaw (on a plate or in a dish) in the refrigerator.

When we remodeled our kitchen, I got rid of our microwave.  Microwaves heat the water molecules inside foods, so the heating occurs at the molecular level from the inside out.  This causes superheating of the molecules.  This 'superheating' method of defrosting and heating of foods destroys much of the nutritional content of the food.  I buy top quality foods/ingredients and I want to retain this nutritional value for my meals when cooking them.

I know many people feel that the claims that microwaves destroy the nutritional value of food are bogus, but you should investigate this yourself if you do not believe me.  Many studies have been done concerning the superheating of water molecules in food in microwave ovens.  Studies show that water heated in the microwave is heated beyond its typical boiling point (thus superheated). This method of heating  causes eruptions of steam and hot pockets, damaging your food at a molecular level when these explosions occur. 
Before I took my microwave out of my kitchen, I used it to store my clean yogurt jars or as a bread box.  Using your microwave as a storage container is a much healthier practice!  I reheat my foods on the stove top or in my smaller oven (I was blessed with double ovens when moving to our house in the country).  If you rely on your microwave to reheat foods, and don't want to heat your large oven, then buy a toaster oven to use instead. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Twists and Detoxing

Gentle twisting exercises are great to release toxins when detoxing.  During the April Class, I demonstrated a very simple twisting stretch that most everyone should be able to do.  Give it a try.  When the class participants tried this, they were all amazed how good it felt.

When doing twisting exercises, be sure to drink lots of water to flush the toxins that are released out of your body.

To do this twisting stretch, sit sideways on a straight-back hard chair.  Bring your arm closest to the back of the chair, up over your head and grasp the furthest edge of the chair with that hand.  With your other hand grasp the other side of the chair back.  Gentle twist at the waist, looking in the direction you are twisting.  Hold for 30 seconds to a couple minutes. 

Switch to the other side of the chair, and repeat in the other direction.  Try to keep your knees together (the top photo shows the correct knee position, and this lower photo the incorrect knee position).  This ensures that you are twisting at the waist and not the hips.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Eating Well on a Trip

With a little planning, you can continue to eat well even when traveling.  We have been doing this for so long (eating well while on trips for about 18 years now) that it is second nature for me.  It was quite easy to eat well during our five years of homeschool trips traveling around the country in our little RV.  We had a refrigerator and kitchen in our little RV, but there are still lots of things I do even when flying or driving in a car somewhere. 

Traveling Tips:

1.  Google for a Whole Foods store, natural grocery store, or natural foods coop store before you leave for your trip, and go there the first day upon arriving for food supplies.  Even if staying in a hotel there is usually a little refrigerator in your room.  I buy things like good yogurt (without sugar), cheese, raw nuts, organic produce, whole grain bread, sulfite-free lunch meat, etc. to bring to the room. 
2.   I always eat breakfast that I have made in the hotel room (even when they have free breakfast buffets), and at least part of my lunch as snacks I bring in my purseWhen possible we get a suite room that has a small kitchen.  The difference in cost is easily covered by the savings from not eating out every meal.  When our whole family went to Washington DC in 2011 for 10 days, we had a room with a small kitchen and we ate only one lunch out the whole trip.  We ate all of our breakfasts in our room, packed our lunches and snacks with us, and came back to cook dinner.  We did not have a car so we got a hotel close to Trader's Joes and bought ingredients for meals every day or so.  You can at least limit your eating out to dinners with a little pre-trip planning. 
3.  When looking for a restaurant to eat at in a new city, I always ask around for which restaurants cook from scratch or use local produce.  You can usually google restaurants in the city you are going to and find the best ones available.  Also, we always received lots of great tips from local people (we homeschooled and spent 5 years on and off traveling through the 48 contiguous states).  I often asked at the local natural foods grocery stores for restaurant tips.
4.  Don’t ever eat soups out and stay away from sauces – they always contain MSG even when it says they are ‘made-from scratch’.  As we saw in the January class, even broth from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods contain hidden MSG (yeast extract). 
5.  If you know you will get a migraine from MSG, or a stomachache from preservatives, or fatigue from artificial ingredients, eat plain and ask the restaurant not to put the ‘spices’ on the chicken or fish or whatever you have ordered.  Try to eat at a restaurant where you can get a plain baked potato, or a plain piece of meat, etc.  
6.  Buy a good salad dressing (like Annies brand) at the grocery store and take some with you to the restaurant.  Bring a small Tupperware container with a lid, fill it up, and put it in your purse when you go out or a cooler bag if out for the day.  Usually the dressings are the worst culprits at salad bars.  If you have to use the restaurant's dressing use the plain oil and vinegar.  Croutons are also always bad.
7.  There are often great deli's at the natural food or co-op grocery stores, so if nearby, they are a great place to catch a meal.  And many cities have great restaurants where you can eat almost anything.  Though typically a bit pricey, feeling good for the trip is key when we travel, so we carefully pick the restaurants we choose to eat at.
8.  Take a backpack and a small cooler bag with you on your trip so you can bring lunch and snacks with you while out during the day sightseeing.
9.   When flying, I always pack up our lunches and take snacks on the plane.  Then you only have to depend upon getting water, and if you have a delay, you have good foods to eat.  But don't bring anything that is liquid; it will be confiscated, even honey (which I learned on my trip to DC).
10.  Have fun eating and enjoying the specialties of the area and what is in season, those dishes made from local foods.
We have traveled like this since the boys were born.  I must share a story with you from Jon's third birthday.  Our tradition was to have a 'friends' birthday party on even birthdays, and a 'family trip' birthday celebration on odd birthdays.  So for Jon's third birthday, we went to Galveston Beach and then on to Sea World in San Antonio.  We were gone for 5 days and were traveling in our van.  We again ate out only once, a dinner in Galveston.  What was amazing was our one day at Sea World, the last day of our trip. 

We had gotten a hotel room with a small kitchenette right down the road from Sea World and so I was able to bring our lunch, dinner and snacks.  We arrived at Sea World when they opened at 10:00 a.m. and brought in a backpack with snacks and waters.  We then went out to the van to eat our lunch and dinner.  (We always traveled with a large cooler in our vehicle).
We went non-stop the whole day (Tom was 5 and Jon just turned 3).  We got on the last ride at 9:00 p.m., and then as their 'treat' we said they could get an ice cream at the ice cream parlor at the entrance that was still open on our way out.
Going for that ice cream was the eye-opening experience for me.  The people in the ice cream parlor (adults and kids) looked terrible - fatigued and ready to pass out.  My family looked fine, fresh and full of energy still. 
What you eat, especially while on a trip, is SO important to how you are going to feel and if you are going to get sick or be exhausted while on your trip or upon returning.  Have fun eating God's foods and finding great sources for top quality foods while traveling.  We were constantly amazed during our homeschool travels of the vast resources of outstanding quality local foods in just about every city in every state.  It was so much fun finding all of these wonderful gems!