HealingForReal

Category Archives: Fermented Foods

GIVEAWAY! Reluctant Healthwife is Now ‘Healing For Real’

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The Reluctant Healthwife Blog was started shortly after I committed to replacing my SAD diet and long list of medications with real food nutrition and natural supplements. It was a way to document my progress and – I admit it – convince myself that it would really work. That I would really feel better and get my life without pain and sickness back. My husband has been convinced for over 10 years.

I was skeptical and unwilling to give up my vices, namely processed foods and prescriptions to treat my symptoms. I dragged my feet until I couldn’t handle taking a fistful of immune suppressants and pain medications every day and giving myself a shot every week. I got tired of getting every cold that my little guy brought home and I got tired of being tired. I would sleep half the day away and still want to sleep more. And the worst thing was that even with all the meds, I was still in pain.

Pain is a great motivator. So, I committed. I stopped the fast food, cheap processed snacks, factory farmed meats and dairy and started eating nutrient dense food including FATS and SUGARS. Just way better versions of them. I also STOPPED the meds! (I went to an integrated medicine doctor to slowly transition off of medications and on to natural supplements. PLEASE do not discontinue any medication without checking with your doctor first!)

Six months later, I can say that this is working. It’s working well. I am not ‘healed’ by any means, but I am in the process. I rarely need a nap these days. Instead of my joint stiffness staying with me for half an hour in the morning, it subsides in about 5 minutes with a little movement. I get fewer migraine headaches. I am losing weight (albeit, slowly). My digestion has never been better. I am convinced. So, I’m going to keep at it. My plan instead of just treating symptoms is…HEALING FOR REAL and sharing it with you.

As an introduction to my new not-so-reluctant ways, I am giving away a little package of my favorite real food essentials.

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REAL FOOD by Nina Planck.
A great book on the basics of eliminating processed foods and eating real foods.

Redmond Real Salt.
Natural sea salt with more than 60 naturally occurring trace minerals.

Cultures for Health San Francisco Sourdough Starter.
An easy way to introduce some fermented foods into your diet.

AND a cute little reminder on a MUG (designed by ME!).


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Enter to win and come back and visit often!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh, Sweet Ricotta! This Was Supposed to Be Yogurt.

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This is the story of a failure that turned around. This blog is not about how much I know about real food or how great I am at making all of it. It’s about MY personal experiences and some of those will definitely be experiences at FAILING. I am sharing my failures so that you can laugh with me and learn with me. I am SO not an expert at this stuff. The only way I will become one is by DOING IT, whether I fail or succeed. So…here’s my semi-fail for the week:

This week, my first attempt at yogurt FAILED. I tried this recipe and it didn’t thicken at all. I figured maybe it needed more time but I could see little curds in there and knew it was past the point of yogurt consistency. Still, I am so in love with raw milk, it’s not even funny. Not only because it tastes great and has a bunch of nutrients I NEED, but because it is so forgiving. If I mess up a recipe, the mess still has uses! As an example, my first attempt at fresh mozzarella was somewhat of a failure, but guess what… It still tasted awesome on a pizza.

When I saw that my yogurt hadn’t thickened at all, I looked up how to attempt to save it. I tried heating it again, but it just ended up all curdled. I thought it was a lost cause. Not a lost cause. Turns out it made a nice sweet (yeah, I used a flavored yogurt for the starter) ricotta. The kind that goes in a breakfast danish – only better! This morning’s breakfast…sweet ricotta on einkorn sourdough toast. Just checked on my second try at yogurt using live cultures instead and it has succeeded! I made sure the temp stayed up by putting some jars of hot water in with the jars of yogurt and it has firmed up nicely! It will go in the fridge to cool and by afternoon, the kids will have a great after school snack. I’ll have to add some honey because this batch was earmarked for savory ricotta if it failed. Nothing wrong with having a plan B.

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Sourdough Part Deux

super-easy-sourdoughxSadly, my old neglected sourdough starter just wasn’t coming back to life. I am assuming the wrong kind of bacteria (protein-eating) took over the starch-eating bacteria. I went ahead and tossed it and started anew. The Fresh Loaf had a starter I was particularly interested in because it used a bit of juice to get the bubbling going. I used fresh squeezed orange juice and tended to it a few times a day. After about 4 days…lots of bubbly goodness. I made my first loaves at the 7 day mark using a recipe from weed’em and reap (recipe close to the bottom of the post). Total fermenting and rising time was about 7 hours for today so it doesn’t have a super strong flavor. Just enough. No commercial yeast. Just fermented flour, water and juice.

For these loaves I ground half spelt berries and half Einkorn berries. Einkorn is a non-hybridized ancient wheat variety that my husband has been wanting to try out. It is imported from Italy by Jovial Foods. (See the video at the end of this post for more info on Einkorn.) The flavor is so great and I can’t tell if it’s the Einkorn or the fresh starter or both. Einkorn is a bit more expensive than organic spelt or wheat. We don’t eat a lot of bread, so cost won’t be much of a problem. Although…with it being this good, you never know. My husband likes that this recipe has no sugar. It doesn’t need it at all! The kids scarfed it down a little too fast and I enjoyed it with butter dripping down my fingers. I will definitely be making this again.

This post is also shared at: RealFoodForager, Nourishing Joy, nourishingtreasures, skiptomylou, The Prairie Homestead, Holistic Squid, Thank Your Body

How Real Foods Made My Plantar Fasciitis Worse

plantarThose darn real foods! Raw milk, bone broths and sprouted grains have taken a toll on my poor feet. How is this even possible, you ask? It’s been about 4 weeks since I committed to eating at least 80% real food instead of my usual of less than 50% (depending on the day and my cravings for processed treats and sweets). The first noticeable change – increased energy. I sit down to rest between tasks as I have for the past few years dealing with autoimmune issues and the side effects of the drugs that come along with them, but I don’t stay there to recover for an hour or so anymore. Within a few minutes I think of something else that needs to be done, most likely cutting grids into my settling cheese or feeding the sourdough starter, and I pop up and go do it. My poor feet aren’t used to all the standing and running around completing long-neglected tasks. They scream at me when I head up the…STAIRS! By the end of the night, they kind of hate real food. I, however, will not back down.

After just a short time eating mostly real foods and NOT eating processed foods, I have successfully replaced a couple of my pharmaceuticals with natural supplements(NP doctor approved). My joint pain is no worse, and if I think about how I felt a month ago, I’d even say it’s a little better. I am optimistic for the first time in years. My energy level is almost incomparable. My husband says he’s surprised at all of the things I’m getting done lately. I am surprised. My feet are surprised.

What have I changed? A lot.

  • I am eating a lot of raw whole milk products I make myself. Kefir, sour cream, mozzarella cheese, ice cream, whey.
  • I am eating organic local pastured meats and eggs, making broth from the bones and using it in my cooking.
  • I am eating fresh (or lacto fermented) whole organic fruits and vegetables, especially fatty ones like olives and avocados (and no – I’m not gaining weight from eating more fat, I’ve lost 5 lbs, although that’s not my main focus right now).
  • I am drinking lots of filtered water and using lots of good quality sea salt.
  • If I have sugar it is in the form of raw local honey, succanat or grade b maple syrup.
  • If I have grains, they are whole, organic and usually sprouted or soaked.
  • I am taking fermented cod liver oil (seriously!) and a couple other supplements to help me digest and heal quicker.
  • I am replacing chemical versions of my household cleaners and beauty products with natural non-toxic formulas.
  • I am expending energy in enjoyable and stress-free ways.
  • I am attempting to get more sleep.
  • I am FEEDING my body the nutrients it needs to heal instead of putting emphasis on restricting entire food groups.

I expect to progress more and more as I heal and change my lifestyle, but if the changes I’ve seen so far were the only ones to ever happen, I would still be thrilled. I’ll take sore feet over days in bed anytime. Besides, thanks to my awesome friend Catherine, and her recommendation of the book Every Woman’s Guide to Healing Foot Pain, I can work with sore feet as I keep on changing for the better.

This post is also shared on Holistic Squid, My Cultured Palate, Thank Your Body, Food Renegade, Our Heritage of Health, Mamaandbabylove,Butter Believer

Lacto Fermented Pickles

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Laco-fermented Pickles

In our efforts to transition to a well-rounded diet of real foods, I’ve been looking at ways to get the right kinds of bacteria without trying to get my kids to love something like kombucha right off the bat. They have been enjoying raw milk Kefir smoothies and that’s a good step. I wanted to do more, so I thought…pickles! They love dill pickles but I’ve never made my own until today. I read several methods on different sites and decided on one that was simple and didn’t have many ingredients from this site

I made a small batch of just one jar of whole pickles and one of sliced.  The real test will be if the kids like them.  Wild Fermentation is in my cart at amazon.com, thanks to a suggestion from Molly Newman. I *really, really* hope these turn out to be just the beginning of a bunch of batches of fermented real food for us because those little lactobacillus bugs help with digestion and have anti-inflammatory properties that I could sure use.  Not to mention the yum factor.  Check back in 4-5 days for the verdict.

 Update: Day 3 – bubbles!! I couldn’t resist taking the lid off and trying one of the slices. Pretty darn tasty already! Salty and a touch spicy. The husband is not a cucumber fan, but he likes pickles for some reason. I’m hoping that the longer they are in the brine, the less cucumber taste there is so that he’ll enjoy them.  If not, there will be more for me!

 

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