Category Archives: Health/ Nutrition

Cookies. Ahhh. And Ice Cream.

There is nothing better than a cookie.  With a crunch.  And a side bar of ice cream.  I am forever in the experimenting mode to make a good cookie that is gluten-free, and low sugar without using substitute sugar.  Like aspartame or something alien like that.    I made a cookie this weekend that my husband LOVED.  And  like always, I tried getting away with using a lot less sweetener than it called for.   Pops is  just like the next guy who is very leery about trying things that are not  “normal”.

This recipe was a regular recipe  that I tweaked quite a bit adding things it didn’t call for and removing things it did call for.  The only thing that is the same as the original recipe is the yogurt.    On top of that  I made a huge mistake in putting three times the baking soda it called for.   I thought they were going to be tossed from the oven to the trash.  But no.  They were practically perfect in every way.    I made all the written changes to the recipe including the baking soda mistake and filed it in my favorite cookie recipes.  Love when things work like that.

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CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.

This recipe is my amended recipe which uses healthier ingredients for your healthy bodyyyyy.

2/3 c. coconut palm unrefined sugar.  (Find at Whole Foods or online or check your neighborhood grocer.)

1/2 c. organic real butter

1/2 c.  organic full fat plain yogurt

2 t.  vanilla

1 1/2 c. gluten-free flour (1/3 rice flour, 1/3 sweet sorghum flour, 1/3 tapioca flour)

1 1/2 t. xanthum gum

a little over 1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

1/2 c. organic rolled oats

1/2 c. chopped nuts

1/2 c. cacao nibs (unprocessed cocoa bits.   Very bitter on their own. but awesome when added to recipes.)

Mix first 4 ingredients.  Mix last 7 ingredients separately.   Add together.  Mix well.  Bake at 350 until done.

Delicimo!

ICE CREAM

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Since I can’t eat dairy ice cream.  I indulge in coconut milk Vanilla ice cream.  It has a hint of coconut flavor but mostly vanilla flavor.   Very satisfying and after several years of eating it, my taste buds prefer it to  the “real deal”.

It is important to know what you are getting when purchasing commercial ice cream.  Very quickly,  I want to point out common ingredients in your friendly freezer section ice cream.

FACTOIDS ON ICE CREAM

DIETHYGLYCOL – Chemical used as emulsifier instead of eggs.  Same chemical is used in antifreeze and paint remover.

POPERONAL – Used in place of vanilla.  Chemical used to kill lice.

ALDEHYDE C-17- Used to flavor cherry ice cream.  Used in dyes, plastic, and rubber.

ETHYL- ACETATE-   Give pineapple flavor.  cleaner for leather.  Vapors known to cause chronic lung, liver and heart damage.

BUTYRALDEHYDE –  Used in nut flavored ice cream.  An ingredient in rubber cement.

AMYLACETATE – Banana flavor.  Used in oil paint solvent.

BENZYL ACETATE- Strawberry flavor.  It is a nitrate solvent.

(Nourishing Traditions. Sally Fallon)

This is just a sampling of what lurks beneath the Bing cherry sittin’ o atop your sundae.

Good stuff, eh?   It is no wonder we are all sick and  diseased.  Holy Toledo.

There is wonderful ice cream out there.  It is probably in your own best interest to know from who and what you are buying.  If I was  an ice cream lover and ate it often,  I would call the company to make sure it is clean, wholesome, and good for me.  I would then stick to that brand.

I hope you are enjoying a Spring day.

God bless,

Karen

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Where’s The Beef?

The Shieling has hijacked the beef.

When Pops came home with the hijacked beef,  the scene became something out of an I Love Lucy episode.   Lucy was making a special dish and ordered a side of beef thinking  a small package was going to be delivered to her door.  She freaked when the side of beef was a mere more than a pound of hamburger.   She knew Ricky (is that is his name?) would have a fit so she stuffed it in the incinerator in the basement to hide the evidence for a while.  Hours later, they all wondered who was grilling out.   If I had had an incinerator, I may have resorted to the same thing.  There was SO much meat coming into our house, I wanted to stuff it in closets, under couches, in pillow cases.  Instead, I was on the phone with Lowes at 9:00pm ordering yet another freezer.  I  kept searching online for someone to tell me a whole cow could fit into 15 cubic ft. freezer.  As you know, if you search  hard enough,  you will find the answer you want to hear.   Bad answer.  We have an upright large freezer, and TWO chest freezers full of cow.   By the way, on the phone with Lowes at 9 pm, delivered to my barn by 9:00am the following morn.  I love my Lowes.   I love beef too.

We ordered our cow  not to be trimmed of the fat.  Oh my goodness, is it good.  Maybe that is why our freezers are busting.  Did you know beef fat is very good for you?  It’s not what we hear from all the people “in the know” but…….my sources say right farmer + raised with care  = good fat.   I am well into middle age, eat tons  of good fat, not overweight,  my cholesterol and triglycerides are better than better.  I’m going to believe my sources.  Weston Price Foundation.  Their word makes sense to me.  We keep blaming healthy food on our bad health.  Sugar?  Processed foods?  Fake food?  Over eating or drinking?  I can’t go there today.  It is a day of celebration.

We had them package the hamburger into 1 lb. packages.  We have 230 of them.  This is insane.  Do you know how big a cow liver is?

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But glory be, we have succeeded in something here.  It tastes as good as the best beef I have tasted.  We kept one whole cow at the insistence of my “shady”( but really.. sunny)  friend.  And we sold one cow to four friends.  It is wonderful (and a relief) to hear our good friend,  Dan, who is ALL about food, call every time he puts it to his lips, to express his love.  Come to think of it, he has been eatin’ some beef lately. We have been hearing from him quite often.  Oh well.  We love him.

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It still blows my mind that Pops and I have raised a cow.

We have had lots of goofs and blunders and what-have-yous since this glorious journey began.  But I can already look back upon the blood, sweat, tears, but mostly laughter,  at the going ons around here,  with so much fondness, love and gratefulness.

I am really good at run on sentences, aren’t I?   My English teachers would cringe if they knew I actually wrote something that others read.  I use commas like they are dust particles.  They must be free.

Come on down for some beef sometime.  We would love to have you join us around our table.  Bring a beef recipe when you come.  And if you can’t come, send us a recipe anyway,  please.  Have any favorites you would like to share?

God bless,

Karen

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Dessert Always Before Your Veggies

You knew it was coming, right?   I couldn’t  make pure maple syrup and not share a scrumptuous syrup dessert, could I?

A sumptuous Maple  Walnut Cake.  And that it was.   If you can manage it, it is better to bake with pure maple syrup or honey than refined cane sugar.  Also UNrefined Coconut palm sugar is tons better for you than cane sugar.  Again, anything processed is going to be a foreign object entering your body.  Your body cannot use it’s nutrients as there are none.  I search the internet for desserts that are sweetened with better healthy options.  And I usually reduce the sweetener by sometimes half.

Maple Walnut Cake

Maple Walnut Cake

MAPLE WALNUT CAKE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour  (I used Gluten free flour mixture of 1/3 rice flour, 1/3 tapioca flour, and 1/3 Sweet sorghum flour and 1 3/4 of xanthum gum)
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (I tried to knock it back by 1/4 cup. It was very good)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil  extra virgin
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the glaze

  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup gently packed confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons water, if needed (you be the judge based on how thick/thin you want the glaze)

Method

  1. First, preheat oven to 325°F. Then prepare your 10-inch springform pan by coating with cooking spray.
  2. Now place dates in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over them to soak. Let cool to room temperature. Set aside.
  3. Put whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup walnuts, baking soda and salt in a food processor (or blender) until the walnuts are completely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl, making a well in the center.
  4. Now puree the dates and soaking water in the food processor or blender until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add egg, 3/4 cup syrup, oil, butter, 2 teaspoons vinegar and vanilla and blend/process until smooth. With a spatula, scrape the date mixture into the well in the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake the cake until a toothpick comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from the pan. Then run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake and remove the sides of the pan.
  6. Now you are ready to glaze – BEST PART! Carefully lift the cake from the pan bottom and place on a cake stand or serving plate and set aside. Meanwhile, whisk maple syrup, vinegar and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary to make a spreadable consistency. (Licking fingers is encouraged). Spread the glaze evenly over the top of the cake, then decorate with remaining 1/3 cup walnuts.

THIS CAKE WAS FABULOUS

While I am at it.  I put together some vegetables that I had on hand for roasting the other night and it turned out to be a super combination.

ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH PESTO SAUCE

-Chopped little bite size potatoes about 8 new potatoes.  I used a mixture of lots of different ones.  Very colorful.  Dark purple included.

-broccolini 1 bunch

-cauliflower 1/2 head

-onions about 1/2 large

-10 sundried tomatoes

-about 1/2 cup of pesto sauce.

Sitr all together and drizzle olive oil over top.  Roast in oven 350 degrees for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

The sundried tomatoes and pesto sauce really throw this side into  the “excellent” category.

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Have yerself a super week.

God bless,

Karen

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Pagans. Water. Sacrifice.

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The original meaning of “pagan”  is country dweller.  When city folk made their way into the country with their Christian views, some country dwellers didn’t take too readily.  The definition evolved into:  country dwellers who were not Christians.  Today, I dont hear “country dwellers” when referring to pagans.

We traveled to Cleveland last week to see my son in a performance.  It was about a beautiful lake that had dried up.  Scientists were trying figure out how to make water to fill it back up.  Meanwhile, the “water spirits” were devastated that the water was gone as were the lake visitors.  It was a beautiful collaboration of artists of all mediums from my son’s college.  Dancers, musicians, visual artists, technical artists, etc.

Just love this graphic.

Just love this graphic.

When it was over, I heard the people  behind us talking about pagans and then Pops mentioned that they used pagan rituals in the performance.  It went totally over my head.  I am very ignorant when it comes to paganism.  I wouldn’t see it if it came up and kissed me on my cheek.  Mainly cause I don’t know what they are.  And it seems to me not appropriate to call someone a name that is not a Christian.  For me, they are simply people who do not share Christian beliefs.  The word “pagan” sounds derogatory to me.

What I took away from the play is how important our water is to us.  It is a necessity.  It feeds us.  It cleanses us.  It is a thing of beauty.  It heals us.  It entertains us.  It feels good against our bodies.  It is powerful.   It touches each of our senses.  Gosh.  Really something, isn’t?  It is the essential element for life.  Thank you, God, for giving us a beautiful gift.

In the play, they  sacrificed a couple of  people (I think.  Like I said, it went totally over my head.  This is what I was told. I was busy gathering my own interpretation that had nothing to do with human sacrificing) to bring the water back.

There was a quote  that I was struck by.  “Nothing can be gained from a solitary sacrifice from one who always cared.”

 (A great exception to that is  the solitary sacrifice of Jesus Christ dying on the cross to save us from our wretched sins.  Much has been gained from that.) 

I interpreted the quote to mean:  That if I care about something very much, it will not be a sacrifice for me to  continue to care.   If I have not cared too deeply for something then, to begin caring, it will be a sacrifice.  A simple “water” example for this is that if I have always cared about the conservation of water,  to use less water in showering, brushing my teeth, washing dishes and watering the lawn will not be a great deal.  But if I haven’t cared, then making those changes would be a sacrifice.

AND  in this case,  we must collectively sacrifice to make a difference.

Aside from the fact we all need water, we all love water, don’t we?   I know I love to see water running through our creeks and rivers.  Big waves crashing on our beaches.  In order to preserve what we love,  don’t we collectively have to make sacrifices for that precious element?

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It is a critical issue.  Are we  taking measures to protect our water for our children and their children.  Sacrifice IS the answer.

God bless, you people.  I love you.

Karen

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Granola. Friend or Foe?

5 Degrees?  BRRRRRR.  Our little hens are cozy under their heat lamp.

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Precious they are.  Just love them.

Granola. is. awesome.  It is nearly impossible for me to keep my paw paws out of it.  And I think it can be very confusing because while it all looks the same, sadly, it is not.

The differences are in the type of fats used.  The quality of ingredients.  The amount and type of sweetener.   And whether the seeds and nuts are prepared properly for the best digestion.  It can be trash.

The following recipe  is wonderful.  I sprouted the seeds which will aid in digestion.  You don’t have to.   The original recipe called for 1/2 of Brown sugar and 3/4 cup of Pure Maple Syrup.  I used much less and it tastes great.

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KAREN’S GRANOLA

Ha.  A recipe named after moi?  I’m the boss, so yeah.  A recipe named after me.

Preheat oven 300 degrees

3 cups of Old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup sprouted sunflower seeds

1 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup coconut unsweetened

1 cup soaked and dried cashews

1/2 cup soaked and dried walnuts

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup  (Don’t know if I have to capitalize this but it deserves it.) Add more if you must but you really don’t need it.

1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt (or more)

You can add anything else you may like, but do me a favor, and make sure it is organic and unrefined.  Thant means NO SUGAR!

Mix all the ingredients.  Spread out on 2 cookie sheets with sides.  Cook for about 50 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.  There is  outstanding granola out  in that there world.  I figured it was high time I figured it out.

Stay warm.

God bless,

Karen

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Are We Feeding Our Chronic Ailment?

Just a  quick note on flu shots before I step into my post today.  What do you actually know about the flu shot?   I encourage you to learn what a flu shot is and does/doesn’t do  so  you can make an informed decision.   I have attached a short article about flu shots for you enjoyment.  At the very least just scan the 11 reasons.  In all matters concerning your health, be informed.

http://goodworkswellness.com/why-i-refuse-to-get-a-flu-shot/

Ok.. Hello.  About 7 years ago I realized that my chronic sinus headaches were a result of me eating wheat.  Who woulda thunk?  I think that we associate food sensitivities to gastric/digestion problems.

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Removing wheat from my diet made huge improvements in my overall well-being for a time.  The following year, I discovered that my respiratory infection symptoms were a direct result of ingesting dairy.

milk

 I LOVE milk and bread.

There lies the problem. 

Fast forward 7 years.  I have been sailing along pretty well and very healthy.   When I eat those two things, I am ok if I just dabble one time but if I dabble over and over in the course of  a couple of days,  the symptoms return.

This past year I have gotten on a nut butter kick.  Every morning I whip up nut butter in our coffee grinder.  I even upgraded our grinder to a sorta commercial model. I was ALL ABOUT THE NUT BUTTER.   I have been buying large quantities of raw organic nuts.  I soak them for 24 hours and then dry them in the oven for a few days.  Man, they taste 100 times better than what you get at the store.  By soaking them, you release enzyme inhibitors that otherwise would inhibit digestion and the flavor is greatly enhanced.

  I grind pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.  and spread it everyday on an apple.  DELICIOUS.  I cannot even tell you.  It made me jump out of bed in the morning.  Christmas morning, every morning.

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About 6 months ago I started having excruciating pain in my neck, lower back, hips and knees.  If I had been sitting for any length of time it was unbearable standing up.  It was hard to turn over in bed at night.  I am positive that 90 year olds were more mobile than me.    My body had seized up.

 I recently went to the doctor to find out  how I could go from absolutely normal to almost crippled in 6 months.  It felt as if a virus or a bacteria (are those one in the same?? I have no idea) had settled into my bones and joints.

We did some blood tests.  I left the doctor’s office and when I got in my car it occurred to me that maybe it was the nuts I was eating.  So I took time off from my Christmas mornings.  Guess what?  Within 3 days, I had no symptoms.  That was a month ago and I am completely normal for an aging old hag.

A couple of things……

I read that if we find we are sensitive to a food, it is common to become sensitive to more foods as time goes.  ugh.

I am learning  that we can avoid becoming sensitive to foods if we aren’t pounding them every chance we get.  Like I do.   I think the reason so many people become sensitive to wheat/gluten is that they are eating it at every meal.  You could probably say that about dairy too.

There is something to say about the old-time people who ate what was in season, and did not, when it was not, therefore,  they were never eating any one food more than a season in the course of a year.   Huh.  Suppose that makes sense?

If you are suffering from a chronic something or other, it is very possible it is food.  Each food that I have grown sensitive to has its own cute little symptom to go with it.  And all of the symptoms would appear to have nothing to do with food.

The key is to incorporate  a large variety  of food into our  diet.  If I enjoy nut butter, enjoy it once a week not everyday.   I read that it is best to not eat any one kind of food more often than every 3 or 4 days.   ok.  I think I got it.

Please, investigate this if you are experiencing chronic symptoms.  It could be a simple answer using no chemical medicines.

Have a good Thursday.

God bless,

Karen

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Sleepy Time

Isn’t it funny how we spend the first 12 years of our life fighting the urge to sleep or fighting the someone who is trying to make us sleep?  Oh my goodness,  don’t make me go to sleep, I may missssssssssss something.    Ages 13-25, love to sleep ONLY if it is on their terms and it usually doesn’t fall in line with normal working, living hours.   Then we get to ages 25-50 when we are SOOOOO tired but the 1-12’s and the 13-25’s wont let us sleep.    When we reach 50, there aint nothing stoppin’ us.  We get to sleep.  Sleep.   Sleep.  Unless your hormones are so outrageously out of whack that you lie awake all night as if you’ve  sucked down 4 cups of coffee for your nightcap.

IMG_3571 The way I see it, we were designed for sleep and it is a very important element to our well-being.  It is supposed to take up a third of our life.  It only makes sense that we should take it seriously.  We take eating seriously and it only takes up 1/8 of our time. (Supposedly.  Some take liberties there). We take work seriously.   A third of our time.

Where have we gotten the idea that sleep is a side bar in the grand scheme of things.  Whimpy people go to bed at a decent hour.   We apologize around here if we’re tired.   ????    “I’m sorry I’m so tired.  I shouldn’t be.    I have only fed every animal in the county, built a barn, and  shoveled pea gravel so far today, I don’t know why I should be so tired.  Please forgive me.”   Pops apologizes when he takes a nap once in a blue moon.  “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”  Does this make any sense to you?  We are nuts.

People, sleep is necessary.  It is imperative for good health.  And boy, I am finding out the hard way.  I lie awake all night and can hardly keep my eyes open during the day.

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I don’t feel like going through all the medical trauma sleep deprivation puts on our bodies, minds and souls. We have all been exhausted.  We know what it feels like.  I believe it has long-term effects.  Same as putting any other stress on our bodies.

In order for us to feel rested we are supposed to go through different cycles of sleep.  I never get to the second, third or however many there are.  Whatever cycle dreaming falls under, that is not happening.  I have read that calcium/magnesium taken at bedtime helps get a restful night sleep.  I take that and have for several years.  Ain’t workin’.  UNTIL last night I kicked it up two notches.  Guess what?  I didn’t wake up ALL NIGHT.  And you know what?  I had a super long dream taboot.  It was a nightmare, but, hey,  I’ll take what I can get.  No one got killed.  I cant wait to try it again tonight.  My bed is calling me as we speak.

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I love sleep.  I hope I can really sleep again someday.  It does wreak havoc on our lives and I don’t think we have a healthy respect for it.  Did you know that getting rest is one of the Ten Commandments?  For goodness sakes.  I think He is really serious about this rest thing.  I think I wanna do my part.   If I can.

Rest is spoken of many times in the Bible but the following verse is one of my all time favorite verses.  It makes me want to collapse and breath a huge sigh and smile in delight that we were designed to and for rest.  Amen,  sista.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Do you just love it?  LOVE IT.

I’ve even gone as far as embroidering “sleep” verses on blankets.

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I will pray for sleep for you, if you pray for sleep for me.  Deal?

God bless,

Karen

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