Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rereading an Old Friend

We took a trip this weekend to visit family.  I was able to take the opportunity to begin rereading Sally Fallon's wonderful, life-changing book, Nourishing Traditions.  I am reminded all over again how much impact this book had on my life.  I have not even gotten through the beginning of the book and already I am making notes, remembering ideas and working out a few recipes I had forgotten about.  I plan to reread Dr. Price's Nutrition and Degenerative Disease again when I finish this book.  Apryle is reading Sally Fallon's book Healing our Children.  I am looking forward to reading that when she finishes.

I was also able to go to an amazing Farmer's Market.  There was a representative from Organic Pastures there and it was so early in the morning we were able to have a visit and he gave me some raw milk to put into my coffee.  My brother and sister in law tried some, bought some and hopefully will make a permanent switch.  They read the page on raw milk out of Nourishing Traditions.

This is one of two companies in California that provide raw milk, cream and butter.  The guy selling it was so knowledgable about the entire process.  He talked about the cows being grass-fed and how that keeps their guts at a neutral pH.  This way bacteria, virus and other yuckky stuff does not thrive.  It works the same way in humans.  I was able to buy a small carton of Kefir - although they spell it Quofer and it is made from colostrom.  The texture was weird, but it tasted OK.  I plan to just remember why I want to drink the stuff in the first place :)  It is full of live cultures - different than the other ones in my life.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.  I am grateful to God every day for his opportunities.


How to Use This Site

How to use this site

This site is designed to be used like a ladder or a staircase.  Begin with the Introduction.  If this is something you would like to try, move on and read Phase 1.  At the bottom of each page I will add a "Path to Progress"  with a link to the next thing.  Within Phase 1 there are five suggestions and two tips with a little detail.  The Extra Step - Phase 1 goes along with this. 

The idea is for you to go to The Extra Step and spend some time on one of the suggestions in Phase 1.  For each suggestion, I have listed out my opinion and then linked to some resources.  Read some, think some, try some new (or old) things, accept or reject this for you and your family… then move to the next suggestion in a couple of days.

The Bullet Points are for a quick reference.  When you feel you have made all the changes you want for Phase 1, move into Phase 2 and begin again.  It is the same setup - five suggestions and two tips.  Read it, move on to The Extra Step and continue your personal journey to health.  Take your time and absorb and “own” your health.  No one should make changes in their lifestyle unless they are convinced it is a reasonable choice.

I have numbered things to keep them orderly.  If this moves too slowly for you, just acquire a copy of Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions” or “Healing Our Children”  or you can go to the Weston A. Price Foundation site.  Most, but not all, of the ideas in this blog come from these outstanding resources.

This is simply my way to organize a lifestyle change.  It might not be your way.  It is just how some of us have changed…. And we wanted to share it.  If you wish to join us, just be welcome as a part of our community.  This is a continual work in progress.  We welcome comments, suggestions, ideas, recipes and resources.  I will list a "Path to Progress" on the bottom of each page.  It should take you to the next step.... if all goes well :)

Rambling in the Woods is my personal journey.  It may or may not be of interest to you.  It will be what is currently compelling to me.

The House around the Corner have links to different friends blogs.  Many of them are on the same journey and we don't all have to invent the same thing!  I will put links where it is practical.

No one is making any decisions for you or your family.  We are just trying to break some big ideas down into manageable steps.

When you are ready to start, please read the disclaimer here.
Path to Progress..... Go Here to the Introduction

Best of Health to you

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Disclaimer: Please Read

I am not developing the information found here. The blog is my personal opinion. Information found on the "A Step of Health" site is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment. Individual articles and information on other websites are based upon the opinions of the respective authors, who retain copyright as marked.

This blog is dedicated to attempting to implement the principles found in Dr. Weston A. Prices's book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" and Sally Fallon's book "Nourishing Traditions".

Here is a link which is a book review by Sally Fallon of Dr. Prices's book.  It explains a lot.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cultured Mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup

Making a switch to organic, healthy, slow foods might seem expensive at first. One way you can bring down your grocery bill is to make some of your own condiments. Mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup are just some of the foods which can be made quickly and easily. You are also adding really wonderful fats, enzymes and cultures to your diet - and taking out another processed (and ridiculously expensive) food. It is a win/win.

One of the links has a wonderful recipe for both mayonnaise and a ranch salad dressing. There is probably a ketchup recipe there as well if you just ramble around the site. If you try one, could you share what works for you. This is something I have been neglecting in our house. I just finished off the mayo, read the ingredients, and decided I would make my own.  Here is a recipe that Lynette made:

Cultured Mayonnaise

3 egg yolks
2 tsp palm sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp lime juice
3/4 to 1 cup grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp Whey

Put egg yolks in food processor, pulse 5 times, add sugar, salt, vinegar and lime juice, and whey then mix for 10 seconds. Leaving food processor running pour oil in a slow steady stream no more than 1/4 inch wide. It should take about 2 or 3 minutes to pour in all the oil. Optional- add 1 Tbsp boiling water at the end (this makes it fluffier).

Leave this on the counter for about 7 hours to culture.  It should last at least a month in the fridge.

Important tip:

Use room temperature egg yolks and oil and don't forget to label your container :)

I have never made the ketchup myself, but I have tomato paste which I cultured last summer. It is still fresh and beautiful in the fridge. I also did cultured salsa last summer.

Here is a recipe someone could try for mustard.

Edible Aria

Remember to not get overwhelmed, just try one new thing at a time, and keep studying and trying. I always tell myself "different is NOT bad, it is just different"

Best of health

The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

I am listing an article for Coconut Oil here. I have it in this Phase 1 because it feeds the good bacteria in your gut, and Phase One is gut health. However, it has so many other good properties. If you can, take a couple of minutes and read some of the benefits. I would say more, but the article pretty much covers it. Why gild the lily?

Organic Facts

Path to Progress:  Continue learning about Gut Health

Phase One Bullet Points

Here are the bullet points for Phase One.  If you want it in one sentence... Neutralize your gut, begin a high quality liquid or powder vitamin, add coconut oil to your body, begin making and eating lacto fermented (cultured) foods, eat a salad with olive oil and vinegar on it every day and work out for 20 minutes!

Remember that none of this is fast, this phase is not about weight loss and I am really concerned about GMO's on your gut health. If what I see is right, you can work and work on building your gut health and then eat a genetically modified thing and have the possibility of it working as an herbicide on all of your hard won microflora.

Don't get overwhelmed. Do one thing at a time. There is no time schedule and no failure. When you are ready, begin Phase Two.


* Neutralize the pH in your gut using baking soda and fresh lemon or lime (you can do up to 7 doses in 4 days, then lay off for a couple of days).

* Begin taking a good powder or liquid multi vitamin. (We use All One Senior Formula - there are other good ones)

* Add coconut oil daily internally and externally - minimum of 1 tbsp. per day. DO NOT EVEN LOOK AT THE CALORIE COUNT! You need it.

* Begin drinking ginger ale daily - at least 1/3 of a cup for healing of your gut and for the good bacteria.

* Begin adding sauerkraut - at least 1/3 of a cup daily.

* Begin adding daily yogurt - full fat, organic with live cultures daily.

* EXTRA TIP - Add a green salad to your life daily at this time. As you weaken the "bad" bacteria, virus, and other wretched stuff in your gut, allow the green salad to scrub it out.

* Grocery Store Tip - If it says High Fructose Corn Syrup - don't buy it.

* Lifetime Fitness Tip - Find a way to exercise for 20 minutes - TODAY!

Thanks all for joining us on A Step of Health.

Baking Soda Information

I have finally written something on pH, baking soda and general health.  Can you please just go to that page and read it.  Thanks  Cindy

Path to Progress:  Go here for a recipe for Whey and Ginger Ale Recipes

Whey and Ginger Ale Recipes

Whey: Purchase one container of vanilla, organic, whole milk, live culture yogurt. Put a glass bowl on the counter. Put a mesh strainer in it. I then line it with cheesecloth, or you can use coffee filters. dump the yogurt into the strainer and it will separate the whey into the bowl. If you can tie the cheesecloth to a wooden spoon and hang over the bowl, you continue to gather whey and end up with the best cream cheese you have ever tasted. Spread on toast and enjoy :)

Another way to make whey from a friend's blog:

Whey is the liquid that drains out of yogurt when you strain it. I used some of my old snack bags that aren't so pretty anymore.  I retired them from snacks and reused them as strainers. I make sure I wash the bag really well and then place it over a glass.  I then used  the velcro to tighten and secure it in place.  Many recipes call for cheese cloth or other fabric to strain things out.   I have been really impressed with the 100% Unbleached Osnaburg Fabric that these bags are made out of. My plain pack of snack bags would work really well also.
Nourishing Traditions Ginger Ale: 3/4 cup ginger (peeled, chopped or grated), 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/4 to 1/2 cup Rapadura or Palm Sugar (an unrefined sugar, usually brown and crumbly, dry, not like brown sugar) , 2 teaspoons sea salt, 1/4 cup whey, 2 quarts water. Place all ingredients in a glass jar, stir well and cover tightly. Let sit for 2-3 days.

This recipe is for 2 quarts. However, I make it in a gallon jar and then I have room to grow.

Remember that cultured foods have a tendency to have a "bloom" on the top.  Just use a wooden spoon to "scum" it off.  It is not harmful, just tastes disgusting.  Any cultured food will have a tendency to develop this.

Usually I make this up about once per week and just leave it culturing on my counter. I keep "building" on my old stuff, and once in a while I have to either split the jar or give a bunch of the ginger to the chickens. I do NOT peel the ginger because I like the oils in the skin.  This does make it have more scum on the top.

After culturing, I strain, then I mix one part ginger ale, one part water to two parts juice. I make fresh juice or buy Odwalla juice. The Odwalla pomegranate lime is really good.  My personal favorite is either Odwalla Lime or to make orange juice from blood oranges.  Both taste so good to me.

I then "reculture" this mixture for NO MORE than 6-8 hours, then refrigerate. As long as you keep it TIGHTLY capped it will be fizzy and really good. You just need about 1/3 of a cup with each meal. It keeps about a week and has different healing properties than the sauerkraut, which is probably one of the most healing foods on the plane.


Path to Progress:   Study a bit about vitamins

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Assorted GMO Information and links

Some links for genetically modified foods

I spent some time looking into the GM stuff. The first link is pretty amazing.... just scroll down and look at the titles of the links there. It appears to be a clearinghouse of stuff....... just read the links listed.

Seeds of Deception

The second one I am reposting from Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola

This third one is pretty in-depth. Not for the faint of heart, but I would like to pull a paragraph from it......

exerpt: When mouse embryos were exposed to glufosinate, it resulted in growth retardation, increased death rates, incomplete development of the forebrain and cleft lips, as well as cell death in part of the brain. After pregnant rats were injected with glufosinate, the number of glutamate receptors in the brains of the offspring appeared to be reduced. When infant rats were exposed to low doses of glufosinate, some of their brain receptors appeared to change as well.

Glufosinate herbicide might also influence behavior. According to Kuroda, "female rats born from mothers that were given high doses of glufosinate became aggressive and started to bite each other-in some cases until one died." He added, "That report sent a chill through me."

Disturbing gut bacteria

If the herbicide is regenerated inside our gut,it will likely kill gut bacteria. Gut microorganisms are crucial for health. They not only provide essential metabolites like certain vitamins and short fatty acids, but also help the break down and absorption of food and protect against pathogens. Disrupting the balance of gut bacteria can cause a wide range of problems. According to molecular geneticist Ricarda Steinbrecher, "the data obtained strongly suggest that the balance of gut bacteria will be affected" by the conversion of NAG to glufosinate. end of exerpt.....

Organic Consumers

And on that cheerful note.... :)

Path to Progress:  For information on Baking Soda
PHASE ONE - Full Plan:

Step One - Try this baking soda flu remedy to neutralize the pH in your gut. It will begin the process of allowing the good bacteria to get a good start.

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 FRESH squeezed lemon or lime
1/2 glass of water

Day 1 - Use FOUR times
Day 2 - Use TWO times
Day 3 - Use ONCE

If you get flu-like symptoms or diarrhea, then add-on another day or two.

You may want to test your (morning) urine pH for a few days afterwards—and if it is still acidic, continue doing this drink once a day, for just awhile longer.

Possible side effects: a really bad headache that comes and goes and being really thirsty. It burns up some vitamins in your body, so begin Step Two ASAP.

IT IS BAD! You can do both, but take them 30 minutes apart. They do not get along.

Step Two - Begin taking a high quality multi-vitamin. A liquid or powder is much preferred to a compressed tablet (look out for hidden sweeteners and flavorings). We use AllOne-Senior Formula.

Step Three - Begin putting at least 1 Tbsp/per day of Coconut Oil into your system. You might also consider putting it onto your skin to get even more of it absorbed. Rubbing it onto your face, neck, hands and feet at night, works well. Note that coconut oil is a good anti-fungal, so if you have a reaction to it in any way, back off and build up more slowly.

Step Four - Cultured Foods (Gingerale, Sauerkraut, Yogurt). Acquire the stuff to make gingerale and sauerkraut. It will take time to get to full strength, so don't rush it. Find somewhere to purchase these live foods, if necessary.

As soon as is practical, begin getting each of these live cultured foods (and possibly others) into your system on a daily basis. As a suggestion, we have yogurt and granola for breakfast. Eggs fried in coconut oil and sourdough toast for lunch with some ginger ale to drink and then some sauerkraut with dinner. It is not bad on salad or meat. Try to find some consistent thing that works for you. These three entities will give you completely different bacteria and you want them to thrive! Feed them, nurture them and allow them to help bring you good health.

Step 5 - Add a raw, large salad with a high quality olive oil/vinegar dressing daily at this time. Discover new and wonderful whole, live foods. As you weaken the "bad" stuff in your gut, your daily salad will work as a "scrubber" to help clean it out.

Grocery Store Tip - Read the labels! If it says High Fructose Corn Syrup, DON'T BUY IT!

Lifetime Fitness Tip - Make an appointment with yourself or someone else and exercise for 20 minutes - TODAY AND EVERY DAY!

Remember that none of this process is fast and this first phase is not about losing weight. Also, I am really concerned about GMOs effect on your gut health. If what I see out there is correct, you can work and work on building your gut health, only to eat a ‘genetically modified’ food product and have the possibility of it acting as an herbicide on all of your hard-won micro flora.

Don't get overwhelmed. Do one thing at a time. There is no time schedule and no failure. I have at least one article for each step on "Phase 1 - The Extra Step" label. Try to read one of those every couple of days. Just think about one thing, when you understand it, read and study the next thing.

When you feel you have established good habits from Phase 1, begin Phase 2.

Path to Progress:  Go here to read about GMO's

Introductory Letter

A Step of Health

To my family and friends, who are willing to journey with us on our continued quest for a healthy lifestyle… this note, to state in writing what my goals are for this experiment.

At Apryle's suggestion (my daughter-in-law), I have been mulling for months, about writing up a "baby steps" approach to health. After completing the Dave Ramsey course and learning how to break down big financial problems into a series of manageable baby steps, it made sense to apply those same principles to health. Most of the time when we hit some milestone, ie: a disease crops up or progresses, a new year begins, a large change happens in our life or we anticipate a major change coming down the pike, we buy some book on “how to” be healthy or live a sustainable life. These are almost all "immersion" type programs that require a bunch of change at one time or, a commitment to give up our favorite habits and addictions. We give it the ‘old college try’ for a couple of weeks, then fail in some key area and give up. After that we beat ourselves up and go back to the old lifestyle or take the path of least resistance and then WHAM, something else happens. So, we read another great book or something else comes along to inspire us once again and the cycle repeats…

Instead of this immersion system, I am trying to come up with a good, useful, baby-steps type of program. It needs to be affordable, food based and sensible. So, we begin with Phase I. It has already been changed quite a few times and it might be changed again. I have a framework of 10-12 phases laid out. I am going to meet with some of you (and others who have a good, deep knowledge of health) and we will pull this framework apart and rebuild it... as many times as necessary, until we have a useful tool that should work for most people, diseases and lifestyles.

The idea of this plan is to focus on one phase of health at a time and established some good, new habits. And having begun to make these better heath decisions, to then move on—no failure, no beating yourself up, no time pressure. These are just suggestions and you should ideally take the time while you are in each phase, to learn more about that particular health idea, absorb it, own it and make some great new choices for yourself and your family.

Phase One is gut health. I choose this subject to begin with, because I feel that you cannot have good overall health without good intestinal health. It is where our immune system springs from and where nutrients are dealt with—to be either absorbed or passed on, and it is also where much of our healing takes place. If your gut is healthy and you tend to it, you will have a lot more room for error during the rest of your life. The choices I made for the five steps are what I consider the most important. However, there are many other cultured food choices out there and perhaps some of those are the way your family will want to go. So, read a couple of articles on how the gut works and what keeps it nourished. And do a little research, to figure out which habits your family wants to acquire. Then, when ready, move on to Phase Two.

I am adding a "Path to Progress" at the bottom of each page to help you navigate the site.  Look for the link.

Good health to you,

Disclaimer: What you will find here is my opinion based on what I know to be true. Please use wisdom in making decisions for your own family. Information found on the "A Step of Health" site is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment. Individual articles and information on other websites are based upon the opinions of the respective authors, who retain copyright as marked.

Path to Progress:  Phase One Basic Program