HealingForReal

Can Cleft Lip and Palate Be Prevented?

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cleftwebDecember 18th 2005, I sat holding 5 (yes, FIVE) pregnancy tests, amazed that they were all positive. We had been trying for another baby for 5 years and I thought it might never happen. The poor OB didn’t know what to do with me when he confirmed the pregnancy and I burst into tears. They were good tears! Everything looked great and the pregnancy progressed as expected. Then, during the routine 18 week ultrasound came the unexpected. The tech was great and said “You know how some babies are born with a lot of hair and others are totally bald and some are long and some are not? Well, this baby will be born with a cleft lip and possibly a cleft palate.”

My initial thoughts were not really complete thoughts. A what? I *think* I know what that means. Do I know what that means? What does that mean??

The tech said he’d pass the information on to my doctor and he’d be in touch. When the doctor called, though, I asked what this all meant and what I needed to do. He told me there was nothing to do until the baby was born and not to worry about it. WHAT? NOTHING to do? For 22 more weeks? I don’t think so!

What I did was allow myself a few minutes to grieve the idea of the perfect baby and then I got to work being the most informed and prepared expectant mom of a baby with a cleft I could be. I read everything, looked at every image online (and freaked myself out a little), visited with the cleft/craniofacial clinic coordinator at Primary Children’s Hospital, insisted on a genetics specialist visit to determine if there were any other syndromes suspected along with cleft lip and palate. I was on it! I learned as much about cleft lip and palate as my brain could handle. Feeding, surgeries, speech, cosmetics, etc.

But, what I learned about the cause of cleft lip and palate was that there weren’t many answers. What they knew was that 1 in about 700 babies in the US are born with clefts. In Utah, that number goes up to 1 in about 470. The suspected cause as explained to me by the specialist at the time was a combination of genetic and environmental factors. But, really, there wasn’t a lot to explain because even scientists still didn’t completely understand.

Our son Joshua was born in August of 2006. He had a unilateral incomplete cleft lip (the cleft was on only one side, some tissue connecting the lip at the nose) and a unilateral cleft palate. He was beautiful to me no matter what and after 5 years of trying, it didn’t matter that he had something different about him. After a couple of days the whole family kind of ‘forgot’ and would wonder what people were looking at when we were out. It was just our life. Joshua would eventually have surgery at 3 months to correct his lip and soft palate. Later, at about 18 months, his hard palate was corrected and he will have one more surgery at age 8 or so to fill a gap in his gum line. He’s a spunky, BUSY boy who loves school and will talk your ear off if you let him. It’s been fun being his mom and the cleft is just part of his great big personality. josh6

A couple of months after Joshua’s birth, we received a letter in the mail giving us the opportunity to participate in a study to see if they could zero in on why clefts occur more frequently in Utah and what could be done to prevent them, if anything. We were very willing and received a kit in the mail soon after. We swabbed our cheeks and answered a few questions and sent the materials back to the university doing the study. Using our DNA and the information provided by lots of cleft families and families of typically developed children, the researchers are finding answers.

 

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So far they’ve learned:

Mothers’ healthy dietary patterns may be important in cleft prevention.

Maintaining a healthy body weight and control of high blood pressure and diabetes are important.

Mothers of a child with a cleft may have a higher risk of diabetes and other medical problems later in life.

Mothers’ exposure to tobacco smoke is associated with an increased risk of having a child with a cleft lip or cleft palate.
(source)

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Those details were HUGE to someone who, just 5 years ago still hadn’t found much information on what could be done to prevent cleft lip and palate.

One of the thesis papers from the study found something VERY interesting to me:

[stextbox id=”bl”]“We found that a lower whole grain intake of mothers was associated with a higher isolated OFC [cleft] risk in their children. The strongest finding was that increased intake of whole grains were associated with a reduced risk of isolated OFCs in a strong dose response manner. Furthermore, higher intakes of sweets were weakly associated and more statistically significant among case mothers than that of control mothers… These findings indicate that increased intake of whole grains along with decreased consumption of sweets during pregnancy may reduce the risk of OFCs in the offspring.”[/stextbox]

 

But, what about Paleo and GAPS and Grain-Free everything? What about Gluten intolerance and Celiac and Crohn’s Disease? Unfortunately, all this study does is show that whole grains are important to a healthy pregnancy. It doesn’t tell us WHAT grains made a difference or how they were prepared. In her book Beautiful Babies, Kristen Michaelis of Food Renegade explains the perils of refined grains and details the proper preparation (soaking, sprouting, souring etc.) of whole grains as they were traditionally eaten. This is a great resource for those who are looking for the best way to incorporate grains into their pre-conception and pregnancy diets.

In the 5 years that I was trying to conceive, I had been on a few different ‘anti-carbohydrate’ VERY low grain diets. I was advised that the over-production of insulin as a result of eating too many carbs was a factor in my secondary infertility. While that has been found to be a valid medical argument, it may also be argued that the lack of whole grains in my diet contributed to the maldevelopment of my son’s lip and palate. The contradictory advice is confusing and could make the nutritional decisions of those trying to conceive even more difficult. If I were trying to conceive now and wanted to lower my risk of having another baby with a cleft lip and palate, I would lean toward a balanced diet of plenty of good fats and proteins from grass-fed pastured animals (meat, eggs, raw milk, butter and cream, etc.), local organic fruits and vegetables and PROPERLY prepared whole grains as suggested in Beautiful Babies,

The findings of this study do support the thesis that proper nutrition can contribute to the prevention of clefts. There is no question that not enough is understood about the causes of birth defects like cleft lip and palate. Likewise, not enough is known about why mothers of cleft babies are at a higher risk for diabetes and other health problems later in life.

When another letter came in the mail last week asking if I would further participate in the study I filled out the form and checked the YES box and stuck it back in the mail in the hopes that someday the samples and information I provide might help in finding the answers to how cleft lip and palate can be prevented. Until then, I will kiss and hug on my cute cleft boy until he won’t let me any more.

This post is shared at Frugal By ChoiceReal Food ForagerHealthy Roots Happy Soul

Father’s Day Gifts for the Real Food Dad

rfdadweb2Father’s Day is June 16th! I actually ordered Father’s Day gifts more than 2 days in advance this year. Yay for me! Way less stress.

My husband has typically been hard to shop for because he’s picky about what he wears, eats, does, uses, etc. It’s always been hard to step out of my ‘normal’ eating, wearing, doing, using life to imagine what he could possibly want. This year, choosing his gifts was SO much easier! I FINALLY understand and live the Real Food lifestyle, so I think I know what he wants. We’ll see if his reaction is any different this year. (Photos and update to come!)

For a couple years I’ve just had him choose his own gifts. Last year, we got him a Fiskars 9210 Long-Handled Swivel Grass Shears and The Fiskars 6201 18-Inch Staysharp Max Push Reel Lawn Mower. He loves that he can go out and mow the lawn early and enjoy the quiet at the same time. And it doesn’t use any fuel except the energy of the pusher. He picked it out himself though, and that’s not much fun.

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Here are some of the ideas I had for gifts for the Real Foodie Dad: This year there were a bunch of things I thought he’d like. I settled on a couple, but I won’t say which ones. (Shhh!! It’s a secret!)

We make real ice cream from raw cream a couple of times a week, but he would like it to be MORE. Making a big batch in our regular ice cream maker takes a lot of cream. Plus, he doesn’t like chocolate so the rest of us ‘SUFFER’ with fruit flavors! 🙂 The Hamilton Beach Half Pint Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker would let him make his own when he wanted. It comes with two bowls. The blue version is only $14.99!!
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Something else I know he would want is a food dehydrator. We have an old ‘infomercial’ dehydrator that works OK but it is huge and bulky. He’s been wanting one that’s easier to dry nuts and seeds on. And maybe some homemade jerky.
The EXCALIBUR 3900 would do the trick.

excalibur-2900-food-dehydrator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve been talking about Earthing lately, so I think he’d appreciate some kind of device. Shoes, sheets, straps…there are all kinds of fun things to ground you to the Earth when you’re not running around barefoot. I loved these Pluggz flip-flops and kind of want them for myself.  If I were buying something for ME, though, I’d get the sheets. 8 hours of uninterrupted grounded-ness!

pluggz Earthing-Sheet

 

 

He takes his water to work every day in an Aquasana glass bottle. Sometimes it gets banged around a bit. This water bottle holder doesn’t curve up at the top like a lot of them do, so it would fit perfectly on his glass bottle to give it a little protection and keep it from sweating on his desk.

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Sometimes Real Foodie dads are Real Foodies because of Real Foodie moms. He may eat the good food willingly but not necessarily know why his wife is filling him full of yummy grass-fed beef steaks and butter and ice cream. In our case, I was the last to know, but if the Real Food dad in your life needs some good reading for the summer, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price is the perfect gift.
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Whatever Father’s Day gift you decide to get your Real Foodie dad, you’d better get it soon! It’s just around the corner!

The Month in Review – Link Love

May has been a crazy month! I taught a class at my kid’s school this term, so my house suffered miserably. This last week of May I finally got things under control again and I have a bunch of good stuff going on in the kitchen.

I have milk souring on my counter for THIS cottage cheese recipe from Homemade Mommy. (Update…I finished the process and this cottage cheese is amazing. I’ve done other methods and this is BY FAR the easiest and tastiest version!!)

I also have a sourdough starter getting all bubbly using THIS method from Cheeseslave.

I made THESE fruit snacks, from Butter Believer, which my kids LOVED!!

The kids and made up our own recipe for THESE easy popsicles

I became a huge Gouda Cheese fan because of THIS post on the amazing benefits of Gouda by Real Food RN.

And…I’m almost to the end of The Nourished Metabolism by Elizabeth Walling of Living the Nourished Life. SO informative! My goal for June is to get my temp up!!

JUNE!! It’s here! Time to reevaluate goals and update the calendar. The kids’ CHORE calendar, that is. 😉 I think *I* will read a book!

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GIVEAWAY!! WIN A $15 Amazon.com Gift Card!

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I am super excited to do my first ever giveaway on this site!

I met a couple of goals I had for this blog and that means fun for YOU!!

I asked what you wanted to see offered:

THIS

THIS or

THIS

The winner was the AMAZON GIFT CARD! That works because if you wanted either of the other two, you can just buy them with your gift card, right??

Enter to win below! The only requirement for entry is liking my page on facebook, so like away! Earn more entries with each activity below. Good luck! The contest ends June 15th and the winner will be announced Monday June 17th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Variation on a Popsicle

popIt’s getting HOT in Utah. Well, it gets up to 90 one day and goes back to 60 the next. I can’t figure out what to wear in the morning. I’ve ended up in a jacket in 90 degree hot sun and then shorts in a 40 degree hail storm THIS WEEK. But having lived here for 8 years now, I know that in another 10 days or so, the only temps under 70 will be around 3 am. Our mornings will be spent at the local water park and our afternoons recovering inside in the cool a/c.   We’ll eat dinner around 5 and then peek our heads out every once in a while to see if it’s cool un-hot enough to go out and enjoy a few minutes in the shade. It’s usually still hot and the kids forget they ate dinner at all, so the inevitable request for a cool treat occurs.  The freezer used to be stocked with cheap Otter Pops and I’d toss a few at them and let them enjoy. I had never looked at the ingredients.  Since my ‘real food’ lifestyle change, I look at everything.

 

[stextbox id=”alert”]Otter Pops Ingredients…WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, FRUIT JUICE (CONTAINS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: APPLE, GRAPE OR PEAR JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF THE FOLLOWING: CITRIC AND/OR FUMARIC ACID, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SODIUM BENZOATE AND POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVES), RED 40, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, BLUE 1 Protein:0g PHE: FREE[/stextbox]

Yeah, NO THANKS!  I think I’ll make my own.

I’ve found several awesome recipes from fellow real food bloggers, like THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, and THIS! I totally plan on making the homemade versions of these, but this time I opted for quick and painless.  I wanted to use my own kefir (you can get cultures here), but I had already used all of my homemade stuff for breakfast. And I didn’t want to cook and strain my fruit. And I got impatient. {Totally normal for me.} I bought the next best thing – whole milk organic kefir from Lifeway. I love this stuff and I could easily drink a bottle a day. It’s pasteurized, though so I try to make my own. For the fruit part, I decided on Bolthouse Farms Strawberry Banana juice and Green Machine from Naked. Not organic, but all juice plus a few surprises (like broccoli and wheat grass) for the kids. They’ll never know.

There are NO measurements for this recipe. I’ll make it look all pretty though.

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Fill Popsicle molds halfway with juice.
Add Kefir up to the fill line.
Cover with stick lids.
Freeze until solid.
Loosen Popsicles by dipping molds in warm water. [/stextbox]

There you have it. Easy (i.e. cheater!) recipe for a creamy fruity summer treat.

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Shared at Butter Believer

Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts

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I love a nice, long, relaxing bath. I’ve been taking more baths lately with epsom salts to get a little bit more magnesium and to soak away some stress. Recently, I reordered the chlorine filter for our shower head and realized that the water in my baths was NOT being filtered. I was soaking for half an hour or more in chlorinated water when we had been trying to avoid it as much as possible by filtering our shower and our drinking water.

WHY? Chlorine is a chemical that kills living organisms. Unfortunately, it is not selective, so along with killing pathogens in our water, it kills beneficial bacteria and cells and tissues within the body. Inhaling chlorine byproducts in the steam from chlorinated showers and absorbing chlorine through the skin can trigger the body to produce free radicals, which cause damage to cells. Chlorine byproducts have also been shown to cause cancer and are a factor in heart disease .

[stextbox id=”info”]”Breast cancer, which now affects one in every eight women in North America, has recently been linked to the accumulation of chlorine compounds in the breast tissue.” (source).[/stextbox]

My plan to eliminate as many toxins as possible, definitely includes chlorine. For a more detailed article on the adverse effects of chlorine, click here.

I thought about how I might filter my bath water and found a few commercial products and contraptions that would do the trick.  When I looked into how they worked and what was used to filter the chlorine, I was surprised to find it was mostly ascorbic acid. What is ascorbic acid? Nothing more than VITAMIN C.

[AdsWithin]

Vitamin C as ascorbic acid has long been known to neutralize chloramine and chlorine in water. The reaction is quick and just one gram of ascorbic acid will neutralize 100 gallons of tap water(source).

OK, GREAT! Vitamin C. I had some in my cupboard and wondered if I should just crush a tablet or dissolve it in the water or what? I guess I could have done that, but a quick search lead me to find PURE VITAMIN C POWDER, ready to neutralize! The cost per bath is about SIX CENTS! I added it to the rest of the fun stuff I put in my bath and had myself a nice de-chlorinated soak in the tub. The difference in the smell of the bathwater was distinctly noticeable! It had a slightly sweet, metallic smell. Not at all unpleasant, just different. Different is GOOD in this case. No more chlorine smell! No more yuck.

So, here’s my ‘recipe’ for Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts!

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Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts

Relaxation Version (enough for 1 bath)

1/2 cup Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp VITAMIN C POWDER
3 drops Lavender (or other favorite) Essential Oil

Detox Version (enough for 1 bath)

2 cups Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp VITAMIN C POWDER
1/2 cup Bentonite Clay
1/2 cup Sea Salt
1/2 cup Baking Soda
3 drops Peppermint (or other detoxing) essential oil
3 drops Rosemary (or other detoxing) essential oil
(Other oils good for detox might be grapefruit, lime, lemon, rose, cypress, etc.)

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If you already have a favorite recipe, just add about 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin c powder (or 1 gram if you want to get technical and weigh it) for EACH ‘serving’ of bath salt. (Example – If you use 1 cup of your bath salt recipe per bath and you make a 4 cup batch, you would add 1/2 tsp per cup which would be 2 tsp. total – MIX WELL!).

If you’re NOT filtering your drinking water and shower water, read the articles linked above and below and maybe reconsider and get a good filter! We use THIS ONE and LOVE it. And it’s not ugly, so it sits nicely on the counter.

“…Chlorine represents a very real and serious threat to our health and should be removed in our homes, at the point of use, both from the water we drink and the water we shower in.”
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

Note: I’ve had a few skeptics wonder if this can really be true. For more information and and some chemistry lessons, here are a few links!
http://h2oblogged.wordpress.com/water-treatment-systems/chloramine-removal/vitamin-c-for-chlorine-removal/

http://www.inspiredliving.com/chloramine-filters/vitamin-c-removes-chloramines.htm

SFPUC determined
that 1000 mg of Vitamin C (tablets purchased in a grocery store, crushed and mixed in with the
bath water) remove chloramine completely in a medium size bathtub without significantly
depressing pH.

You can google more or buy a test kit like this one and try it out yourself.

This post is shared at, Butter BelieverHomegrown & Healthy Food ForagerThank Your BodyIntoxicatedonLifeSmall Footprint FamilyGnowfglinsHolistic SquidMy Cultured Palate

Natural Alternatives for Molluscum Contagiosum

molluscumgraphic

Molluscum Contagiosum is a virus that causes a pox-like skin disease. According to the CDC it affects the outer layers of the skin but doesn’t spread through the body. It can be spread to other people by sharing towels or clothes or by touching the infected area.

I had never heard of Molluscum until about a year ago when my 5 year old son erupted in raised wart-looking spots on his shoulders and back. I asked his doctor, a friend who lives across the street, to take a look. She checked out the spots and asked if there was one spot or a few that had come before the others. There were, in fact, a couple on his hip that had been there for a while that I thought were bites of some kind. She confirmed that it was Mulloscum Contagiosum and said that it was common and required no treatment and would go way on its own within 6-18 MONTHS!! That seemed like a long time for my little guy to itch and scratch. In that time, he could also spread it to other people and to other areas on his own body.

While it REQUIRED no treatment, I wasn’t satisfied with waiting so I turned to natural websites to find another option. I found several sites with forums that had some personal experiences. Some people had used Tea Tree oil, some used Clove and others used Oil of Oregano all with varied success. I decided to blend them all. (Please note that I am not a doctor and am not giving medical advice. I am sharing a home remedy that worked for me. Please use caution with essential oils and always use a carrier oil to dilute them for topical use.)

This is what I used:
Essential Oil Blend for Molluscum
10 drops of Oil of Oregano
10 drops of Clove Bud oil
5 drops of Tea Tree oil
5 drops of Lemongrass oil
1/4 cup of Coconut oil

It had a strong smell – kind of like a pizza – so I also added a little peppermint oil to cover it but it is not necessary. My son was happy to have this oil blend massaged into his skin a couple of times a day. Within a week, the cores were visibly dying. Another 10 days and all the spots on his back were gone. The larger original spots on his hip took another 2 weeks to fade and go away completely. He had scratched the largest so much that he still has a small scar from that one. You can see the progression in these photos (click to enlarge image). (I took them just to watch the progress myself so they are not “pro” shots, by any means, but you can see the difference in each shot.)

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molluscumprogresshipwm

If you are not familiar with blending essential oils or would rather not do it yourself, there are other natural options for treatment. I suggested the oil mixture to one mom who ultimately decided to use a product called Zymaderm which has Tea tree oil, Lemon Myrtle oil, and Iodine as its main ingredients. She reported that Zymaderm worked very well to clear up the Molluscum spots on her daughters.

I have had other parents tell me they had their child’s Molluscum spots burned or frozen off by a doctor. While this might be considered a non pharmaceutical option, it may leave scars and can be painful. It has not been found to be effective in treating the skin condition.

Although Molluscum Contagiosum will typically resolve itself, it’s great to know that you don’t have to wait months or years for the bumps to go away and you don’t have to subject yourself or your child to painful procedures or pharmaceuticals. I gave some of the same mixture to a friend whose daughter had several Molluscum spots on her neck and they also faded in a couple of weeks. Massage at home with a slightly smelly oil beats having bumps burned or frozen off at the doctor’s office. I keep a small jar of the oil blend handy just in case, although, I usually end up passing it on to other moms.

This post also shared at HOLISTIC SQUID, Thank Your Body

Brownies. Bad Food? Not so fast!

brownies

I’m learning valuable lessons in this whole Real Food way eating. It’s more a way of living. It’s freeing and takes so much of the stress out of eating for me. This week I NEED chocolate. Most likely I really need magnesium, but chocolate is what I WANT. Brownies, cake, mousse, chocolate milk…whatever. I could resist the ‘temptation’ and eat a carrot. I could indulge in processed, chemical-filled, hydrogenated oil brownies and feel like crud tomorrow. OR…I could adapt what some would call ‘bad food’ and make it good. What? Good brownies? Do those even exist? YES! They do. Weed ‘Em and Reap proves it with this awesome recipe! I happened to have everything in my kitchen today to make them real and good and nourishing AND tasty! I am surprised they made it into the oven because the batter was like a smooth and creamy mousse. It was hard to wait for them to cook.

What makes these ‘good’? Well…REAL FOOD. Breaking down the ingredients might give you a better idea of how brownies can be real food.

Pastured eggs
Eggs from chickens who are raised outside and eat lots of grubs and bugs and get lots of sun are more nutrient dense than commercial, store bought eggs (organic or not)!

From CheeseSlave
Compared to supermarket eggs (from factory farms), real pastured eggs have:

5 times more vitamin D
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more beta carotene

READ THE FULL ARTICLE WITH SOURCES FROM CHEESESLAVE HERE


Grass Fed Butter

Butter is GOOD? YES! Butter from grass-fed cows has numerous benefits, especially over hydrogenated and denatured fats.

Check out what Food Renegade has to say about butter:

Butter is More “Heart-Healthy”
Butter Contains Cancer-Fighting Fats
Butter Protects Against Degenerative Arthritis
Butter Promotes A Healthy Brain & Nervous System
Butter Protects The Gut
In Short, Butter Is Awesome

READ THE FULL ARTICLE WITH SOURCES FROM FOOD RENEGADE HERE

 

Succanat
Whole natural sugar cane has some valuable nutrients that are lost when processed into simple white sugar. Keep it close to its natural form and it’s got some good stuff in it! It’s still a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of natural sugars you eat, but having a dish sweetened with natural sugar on occasion is a nice treat.

From Weed ’em and Reap:

The sugar that I recommend, that is truly the LEAST processed is called Sucanat. Sucanat stands for “Sugar Cane Natural”. Sucanat is simply dehydrated, freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. It is also a good source of iron, calcium, potassium, B vitamins and chromium. I choose Organic Sucanat because then I know for sure it is NOT genetically modified. READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE ON SWITCHING TO GOOD SUGARS AT WEED ‘EM AND REAP HERE

 

CHOCOLATE
Chocolate gets a bad rap. It’s not the chocolate part of chocolate that is concerning. It’s the processed, hydrogenated fats and empty sugars that usually come WITH the chocolate that cause the problems.

According to one study:
Cacao(or cocoa) has more antioxidants than teas and red wine
Cacao has more phytochemicals and flavanoids than teas and red wine

*There is some controversy over one compound in chocolate ‘theobromine’ but the more I read about it, the more I believe that, while it is similar to caffeine, it is NOT caffeine and does not effect the central nervous system.
(source)

 

Salt (where to buy)
Regular table salt has been chemically bleached and stripped of a lot of natural minerals. Those minerals are then sold back to you in your supplements! Just use real sea salt and you won’t have to add your minerals back in other ways.

From Thank Your Body’s great article on salt:
Real salt should have all its minerals in tact. This means that real salt rarely resembles the white and perfectly uniform crystals you see at your local diner. My favorite salt has a spectrum of colors from pink to gray. It’s full of mineral goodness, and I have noticed a tremendous benefit to my health by getting more salt into my diet. It’s “made” just the way nature intended it because it’s made by nature… not man. (And did I mention how good it tastes?)
READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE ON SALT FROM THANK YOUR BODY HERE

 

You don’t have to give up your favorite recipes to eat real foods. Just use real ingredients and make the recipe fit the way your body WANTS to be nourished. The stack of brownies in the photo above barely made it through the photo session. The kids were finishing lunch as I was shooting and asked several times “Can we have a brownie now?” “What about now?” And when I gave up on getting the perfect shot, they disappeared. Not once did I hear “We want brownies like we used to have.” I didn’t hear anything. Their mouths were full of deliciousness and I was happy I could satisfy their sweetest desires(OK…and mine!) with a bit of goodness.

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Thsi post is also shared at Butter Believer

Battered Cod – Real Food Version

batteredcod

I picked up some wild caught fresh cod the other day and didn’t really know what I was going to do with it, but I thought I’d try adapting a recipe to use all real foods. I read over the breaded whitefish recipe in Nourishing Traditions, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I’m not that experienced with fish dishes, but I know I’ve previously liked recipes with a batter. I found a traditional Scottish fish and chips recipe but there were no measurements!! Oh, yeah. Just my kind of recipe! I guessed my way through it and had a little fun along the way. It turned out great! I ate it, my husband ate a LOT of it and our youngest said of the brown rice, cauliflower and fish on his plate, the fish was his favorite.

So here’s how I adapted it to include real food ingredients and techniques.

I used about a cup of spelt flour, about 1 tsp Real Salt and a dash of pepper. I ‘sifted’ those together with a fork until mixed well and added enough water to make a thick pancake type batter. I let this sit while I prepared the rest of dinner so the flour would soak for a while. You could do this in the morning and leave it all day to soak. When I was ready to cook the fish, I added 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar that is supposed to make it crispier and stirred it all up. Instead of the deep fryer method I went back to the breaded recipe in Nourishing Traditions and heated up a griddle over two gas burners to about medium and melted 2 tbsp of cultured butter and 2 tbsp of coconut oil until hot (batter will sizzle). Then I dipped 2″ x 4″ strips of cod into the batter and placed them on the griddle, turning once at about 4 minutes and leaving them for another 4 or 5 until done.

Crispy and tender battered cod with not a lot of fuss or ingredients! I actually enjoyed fish! YAY for real nutrition that tastes great!

Must Have Pretty Bottles

I decided to try the baking soda ‘anti-shampoo’ (No ‘Poo) and apple cider vinegar rinse that I’ve seen so many times lately and it worked great the first day. By afternoon, my hair was a little heavier than I’m used to, but I know there’s said to be a transition period. The recipe that I decided to go with is at 1greengeneration. It’s the basic baking soda recipe, but mixed with water and put in a shower friendly bottle. The apple cider vinegar rinse is also listed and she adds vanilla and essential oils to it. I’m adding wild rosemary oil to mine.

The problem I have with some of these DIY projects is…I like pretty things. Sleekly shaped shampoo bottles with nice feminine designs on them make me happy. Good thing I am somewhat of a digital design geek. I can’t do just any bottle. My husband has his baking soda in an old supplement container in the shower. Not pretty. I CAN’T HANDLE THAT!! It has to be pretty!

I hunted for some functional AND pretty bottles today at TJMaxx and didn’t find anything in the kitchen or bath sections. But then, at the register (with my college student son – who bought a peacock painting??) there were some pretty bottles of Hawaiian spring water with pull top lids! $2.60 later, I had my bottles. I stripped the labels and designed my own for my mixed potions. I taped over the labels (albeit, not very neatly) to make sure they stand up in the shower for a while. Pretty No ‘Poo bottles! All is right and good in the DIY world tonight.

cleanserinse2

This post is also shared at Real Food Forager, Holistic Squid,