I first learned about Nutritional Balancing almost two years ago when Pam Killeen came to one of my WAPF chapter meetings to give a talk. It peaked my curiosity immediately. I had been dealing with minor health issues my whole life (which only seemed to be getting worse) and when I discovered Dr. Price’s work through the Weston A. Price Foundation, I thought I had finally figured out the missing piece. Going back to traditional foods would be all I would need to solve these problems and experience radiant health. Or was it?
A couple of years ago, one of my most very favorite bloggers, Ann Marie of Cheeseslave started a weekly menu plan by email. I was so excited and was probably one of the first ones to sign up. Ann Marie has been posting her tried and true recipes on her blog for several years and it is no secret to her readers that she is an experienced and well travelled cook and taster! She ran her menu mailer for close to a year when it first launched and I looked forward to that menu reaching my inbox each week! Her recipes were always delicious and nourishing, with many familiar and simple to do, and some more unique, challenging your cooking skills.
The GAPS diet is nothing without fermented foods and probiotics (alongside bone broth, of course). The fact of the matter is that our digestive tracts should contain about 2 to 5 pounds (yup, pounds!) of live bacteria living inside, so these guys do some important work! We all know that without these bacteria we would die, but tell that to makers of all of the anti-biotic products that bombard our every move! Personally, I have made it my goal to expose myself to as much and as many different types of good bacteria I possibly can (this also includes yeast and viruses — the good kind). Since starting the GAPS diet several months ago, I have really increased the amount of probiotic foods I eat and the amount of probiotic supplements I take. I make it a point to eat something fermented at least once per day (if not at every meal) and I now take 6 capsules of Bio-Kult per day. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has indicated that the goal in ultimate healing for adults is 8-10 capsules of supplemental probiotics (preferably Bio-Kult or another good, therapeutic strength brand) per day, and for children, like my 5 year old daughter, she recommends 4-6 per day. Jasmine is now taking 4 per day. Keep in mind that this is a goal, and you must go slowly, because for some, die-off (detox) can be intense. For us, I am no longer noticing die-off, other than through the skin on our face. I started breaking out with a small, itchy rash on my lower right chin, and under both of my eyes. Jasmine has developed a rash (not bad) on her chin as well. It is lingering (a couple months now), but I think that is good. It is a sign that toxins and heavy metals are coming out, and this is the result of the probiotics doing their job in the gut.
Photo credit: By snowpea&bokchoi on Flickr
Bones. I love them. Years ago, I used to throw them out. For shame! I didn’t know any better. But now I save every last one. I even buy them on their own, big bags of them. Soup bones, oxtail, and marrow bones. So full of goodness. Before I adopted a real foods diet, I used powdered broth and those MSG-laden boullion cubes. I cringe just thinking about it. It was the easy and naive way out. I thought, who has time to make broth from scratch? Little did I know the immense health benefits, the flavour difference (there is simply NO comparison) and just how little work making bone broth from scratch really was.
I first heard about the GAPS diet over 2 years ago. Ever since then, I have been thinking on it. Pondering, reading, understanding, and psyching myself out to do it, one day. The GAPS diet, or Gut and Psychology Syndrome, was designed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, from the UK. In craze like fashion, it appears that everywhere I turn, someone is on this diet. But why? What makes this diet so intriguing? Well, if you have not heard of it before, be rest assured that this is not a weight loss “diet”. Though, some people do lose weight on it because this diet gets rid of the junk and removes difficult to digest foods. The purpose of this diet is to heal the body by ‘healing and sealing’ the gut lining. Not many people make the connection between our gut and the rest of the body, but think of your gut as your second brain. It makes perfect sense to me. We digest our food and absorb (or not) vitamins and minerals through the gut in order for our body to function properly. If our digestive system is not working properly, or has been damaged in some way, how can our body function properly? It hasn’t received and absorbed adequate nutrition in order to do so!
The holidays are quickly approaching, and I am excited! I love Christmas but let’s face it, it can be stressful and a lot of work! What if you could remove some of that stress for yourself and provide a healthy holiday season to your loved ones? It is especially important for us to nourish ourselves well during this time. I realized the date and in a panic I said to my husband, “Oh my gosh, it’s almost time to put up the Christmas tree!”. We just finally got all of the Halloween decorations put away. I know, it’s shameful! I am not one to start decorating for Christmas until it is officially December. I just can’t do it. There isn’t even snow on the ground yet! In fact, I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet. What can I say? Sometimes I procrastinate. Not because I’m lazy and don’t want to do it. It’s just that I’ve got so much else going on. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Tomorrow, my family and I will be traveling to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. What for you ask? My most favorite event of the year - Wise Traditions, The Weston A. Price Foundations 11th Annual Conference. I am beyond excited! In fact, excited is an UNDERSTATEMENT! So, with passports in hand, we are packing up the kids and driving 9 (or so) hours. God bless my patient family for tolerating my desires. I was lucky enough to attend the event when it was held in San Francisco (Burlingame), California, 2 years ago. It was my first time attending a conference. I had to miss the conference last year in Chicago because the little one, was just too little to be without me all day for 4 days straight. I was so disappointed to miss it. But, what’s a mother to do? I had a much more important job that year. But, this year, that little one is old enough to have 4 fun-filled days with her dad, brother and sister while I am in seminars, eating the most fabulous food on earth, and mingling with the best real foodies! What are they going to do for 4 days in PA without me in November?
Photo courtesy of Girl Interrupted Eating on Flickr.
Mmmmm, liver! Not quite what most people call delicious. Just the look of it makes people quiver in disgust. Organ meats, or offal, is what peasants would eat because they couldn’t afford the more expensive cuts of muscle meats. Little did they know how lucky they were. I bet their children had beautifully straight teeth! Liver, and other organ meats are tremendously high in nutrients, especially if it comes from grass-fed or pastured animals. It is a super food. Did you know that a lion, when it kills its prey, will eat the liver first? Organ meats were highly prized by traditional peoples all over the world. Dr. Price noted that among African tribes, “The liver is so sacred that it may not be touched by human hands.” Many native cultures feed liver to their babies as a first food. Wise, very wise indeed.
Well, it’s that time of year again! The time when giant monster zucchini’s and summer squash are overflowing out of the garden. I don’t know about you, but I love zucchini. Luckily, there a ton of recipes for this beloved summer vegetable. Both savory and sweet. My children don’t love zucchini as much as I do, but put into a yummy chocolate zucchini cake like this one that I made a couple weeks ago, or in this sprouted cookie recipe, and they magically eat their zucchini!
My kids love pumpkin muffins, well, any muffin really. I make them often because of all the frozen pumpkin and squash that I have in my freezer from the fall. I receive such a great assortment of pumpkins and squashes from my CSA share and I guess I just don’t know what else to do with it all other than to roast, puree, and freeze it for muffins and pie!
Since I started preparing all my grains the “Nourishing Traditions” way, I have had to experiment a little with soaking recipes for muffins and such. There are several recipes floating about, but with a few adjustments, I think I have devised a pretty good soaked muffin recipe.