NEWSFLASH! Antibiotics Lose Efficacy: Essential Oils to the Rescue!

So, this is the reality: antibiotics can only do so much, and their ability to work is waning because of some inherent design flaws. On top of that, as with ALL pharmaceuticals, they have side affects ranging from mildly destructive (to our gut flora) to life threatening (especially in the cases of allergy.)

Medical Drugs for Pharmacy Health Shop of Medicine
epSos.de / Foter.com / CC BY

Since their discovery and inclusion into our society as the great hope of mankind in the fight against death and disease, antibiotics have gone from a useful, seldom prescribed tool to a throw-everything-at-em-with-both-barrels deluge of overuse.  Over a hundred years of using mass produced pharmaceuticals that, by the very nature of their industry must be exactly the same from batch to batch, has allowed the living organisms they are meant to fight to adapt and grow and overcome.  And that is just bacteria. They have never worked against viruses, and so far, the pharmaceutical industry has not patented any remedy or cure for viruses (or cancer for that matter!)

Reconstructed Spanish Flu Virus
Photo Credit: Cynthia Goldsmith Content Providers(s): CDC/ Dr. Terrence Tumpey/ Cynthia Goldsmith / Foter.com / Public domain

 

Besides the rigid incapability of antibiotics to change and adapt on their own is the slew of side effects that they trigger in our systems.  One round of antibiotics can wipe out a lifetime of gut flora, some of which cannot come back from the charge.  Even the best probiotics on the market don’t contain all of the beneficial bacteria and yeasts our digestive system is supposed to be home to.

These vitally important organisms are passed to us through the birth process and while nursing. If we were born via c-section, or were formula fed as infants, we miss out on receiving that inoculation of the very critters that are supposed to help us digest our food, maintain balance in our bodies, and support our immune system.  Add antibiotics to the mix, and it is no wonder that digestive issues and autoimmune disorders are so rampant!

 

Tummy Ache
HckySo / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Most of us don’t receive ONE round of abx in our lifetime though– if you are anything like me, then you probably received at least FOUR rounds each and every YEAR in an effort to stem the tide of recurring sinus infections, which led to chronic bronchitis and or strep, which would lead to pneumonia.

But let me tell you something: antibiotics were never the answer anyway! God has GIVEN us plants that have been used for thousands of years to promote wellness! Properly cultivated and distilled essential oils, which are carefully monitored for the highest constituents (which in pharmaceuticals have been isolated or synthesized in order to patent mass produce) which can do all the good of the best of antibiotics (and THEN some!) WITHOUT all the BAD! And the secret is in the fact that they are quite literally LIVING energy.

The same reasons that antibiotics are able to be patented (and also the inherent reason behind their decline in efficacy) is the VERY quality that makes essential oils so dynamic and effective against dis-ease. Essential oils change and vary with the seasons, the climate, and the soil in which they are grown.

When cultivated from the strongest seeds/seedlings in the richest organic soil, grown outdoors in their optimum environment to be strengthened by the elements and weather, harvested at the peak of potency according to the time of day, color of leaves or bloom, the SMELL, (some plants, like melissa, are so sensitive that you have to speak kindly to them at harvest time!)

In the following video, Gary Young explains how Ylang Ylang flowers are harvested at the peak of potency, and what times, smells and colors the harvesters look for to ensure all the necessary constituents are present for therapeutic uses.

The varying ranges and ratios of constituents in an essential oil is quite wide, while still allowing it to be, for instance, peppermint, and yet remain potent and effective in our bodies.  Every single batch of oils will smell differently, and may vary in appearance. Harvests and distillations are like fine wine, where we can look back and say a particular batch was a prized vintage based on the levels of certain constituents or the aroma.

This changeability is what makes oils the champion in promoting wellness. Germs do not stand a chance against an enemy that shifts and changes and parries and thrusts.  You can either have a stationary fighter that stands there swinging its sword in the same up and down fashion every time, OR you can have a gladiator who can duck and dodge, jump and roll, and use a full arsenal of weaponry: your choice!

Jump!
hans s / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

You can read more about Genuine Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, which are being used in hospitals and by health professionals around the globe.  Also learn more about Young Living’s Seed to Seal® process,and why their oils stand out in the industry!

To purchase your own Start Living Kit and begin experiencing essential oils for yourself and your family, click the button below!

Start Living Button

Lilla Rose Party and Giveaway!!

Lilla Rose Sale

I have recently discovered the world of Lilla Rose Flexi-Clips.  I know have two, and wear them DAILY! It’s the fastest, prettiest way to keep my hair up off my neck, without having to find a hair elastic or claw (which my children invariably have broken.)

The silver is a medium flexi, and the gold and green is a small.

The silver is a medium flexi, and the gold and green is a small.

I found for my fine hair that a medium works, but the small works better.  I could only use the medium in a bun, but with the small, I am able to pull my hair into a simple ponytail, or try other styles that don’t require too much hair.  I can’t wait to try out some minis to see what kind of versatility I get out of those! I have seen them in baby fine hair, so if they can handle THAT, they can handle my hair as well. ;-)

Because I love these hair accessories so much, I have decided to share the love with everyone, and through my friend, Katrina Burbank, offer some special giveaways through an online party!  Make sure to join our party on Facebook, and send folks along to check in. The person with the most referrals will win a beautiful set of bobby pins!

Also, there is a special sale going on from Oct 17-20 fro 10% off all items, and up to 15% off special items!

Lilla Rose Sale 2

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Why is Healthcare So Expensive in the USA?

I love the Vlogbrothers’ Youtube Channel.  I may not always agree with Hank and John Green’s conclusion on things, but they are DARN smart guys, very entertaining, and often insightful.

Case in point, here is John’s fact-dense treatment of the healthcare crisis in America.

 

Indeed, it IS a big hairy Gordian Knot and not one to be taken lightly, or trivially. There is not one simple cause of the problem, and therefore there isn’t a simple solution.

To me, the crux of the problem is that our entire society and culture needs a complete paradigm shift. If you are new to my blog, or haven’t figured it out already, I’ll tell you right now, I am not a fan of Western Medicine, or MUCH of the way things are done in contemporary Western Society.

For that reason, my family and I are moving slowly yet inexorably towards completely opting out of The System, and the Way Things Are Done.

We have removed processed foods from our diet, and seek to eat as clean as our budget and current capacity allow, and have turned to natural remedies for almost all of our health care needs.  The last lone hold out is my husband’s seizure disorder. But we are working on that.

Eventually, we hope to live as far off-grid as we can get. Note: off-grid does not equate with “alone.”  We are all about community! So picture this: an Off-Grid COMMUNITY. Utopia? Pipe Dream? VISION OF MY FUTURE, I say!

Anyway, my point is this: We do not have to accept the status quo as the only way things can be.  There are alternatives, and sometimes, the only way to solve the Gordian Knot is to whip out our sword and cut right through it.  And that is how I view my role and purpose. To cut through the manufactured problems and issues by opting out and seeking an entirely different paradigm.

Who wants to join me?

Traditional Tuesdays Nutritious and Delicious Blog Carnival

Traditional Tuesday’s Nutritious and Delicious Blog Carnival is for anything involving traditional foods. Recipes, techniques, tips, discussions on the hows and whys we do what we do, kitchen organization, appliances used, fitting traditional foods into your life and schedule, anything under the banner of traditional foods is wonderful. Posts, Facebook pages or websites on the politics of real foods and action alerts for individual states or topics are also welcome.

This blog carnival is hosted by:

KerryAnn and Jeff @ Cooking Traditional Foods
Melanie @ Pickle Me Too 
Jessica @ Delicious Obsessions
And me, Dawn @ Cultured Mama

Rules:

- If you are linking to a recipe, it must be traditional foods. No white flour, white sugar, yeast, packaged or processed products and the like.

- Please link to your article only and not directly to your blog front page.

- Please place a link back to this post. Place the URL of the carnival post, copied from your browser address bar, at the bottom of your post. A badge is below, if you wish to use that instead. To link back, just edit your post and put a link to this blog post at the very bottom of your post. It’s good etiquette and it helps both of us.

- Please only link posts that fit the carnival description. Old and archived posts are most welcome as long as you post a link back as described above.

- Links that do not follow these rules will be deleted.

- Linky will stay open from 12:01AM Tuesday to 11:59PM Friday EST.



Pampered Chef Party and Stoneware GIVEAWAY!

I HEART Pampered Chef.  Especially the Stoneware!  So when I saw that the September Guest Special was 20% off ALL Stoneware, and that the September Host Special was 60% off the stoneware as well, wellll… let’s just say I was all. over. that.

Sept specials

Immediately, I got in touch with my friend CarrieAnne Beatty, my near and dear Pampered Chef rep, and asked her to set us up with an Online Extravaganza, and EVERYONE’S INVITED!

To make things even more fun, make sure to join us on at our Facebook Online Show to keep up with kitchen tips and recipes, as well as entering to win this gorgeous Cranberry Pie Plate!

Deep Dish Pie Plate

Check out the online catalog and place your orders here.

Enter now to WIN!

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September Giveaway

Rotating Stores and Pantry Preserves

Pantry

This week, in an effort to re-vamp our food budget, we are trying a Grand Experiment: Besides our CSA, and a few basics (milk, eggs, cheese), we aren’t doing any food shopping this week. Instead, we will be eating from our pantry stores.

If you are a prepper or a Real Foods foodie, you probably have a pantry much like ours, stocked with large gallon and half-gallon sized glass jars full of dried beans, lentils, grains, nuts, and other preserved foods.  These stores are very important supplies in the case of an emergency or hard times, but they do need to be rotated from time to time.

bulk jars
This is not my pantry. But it’s close.knitting iris / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

So this week, we are taking the opportunity while we are budgeting ourselves anew to use what we have and eat from that.  We are also trying to eat up a lot of frozen leftovers, and start preserving items that have been on hold for a while.

For instance, I have been saving all of the cores and peels of apples that I have been slicing in a baggie in the freezer. This week, I will finish peeling and coring all of the apples I have left so that I can dry some on the dehydrator, and make applesauce/butter with the rest. The peels and cores I have been saving will be made into delicious apple core jelly! (The cores and peels contain a lot of flavor and pectin, perfect for jelly making!)

Peeling in Action
LollyKnit / Foter / CC BY-NC

My sourdough starter went dormant while I cut back on gluten for a while there, but now I am ready to re-introduce sourdough again. So now I am also re-starting that. It won’t be long before I have a happy bubbling starter, and can make fresh breads, pie crusts and other wonderful sourdough-based foods.  We have a few gallons worth of wheat berries in our stores, and that is a great food source, if prepared properly.  I always grind mine fresh, and then make sure to sour it for at least a few hours before baking with it, which unlocks the nutrients, and makes it more easily digestible.

Fall is the perfect time for rotating your stores and taking stock of what you have in the pantry.  It gives you a chance to take inventory, and make sure that nothing has gone bad or become infested.  Since a lot of prep work for the winter is taking place with preserving, canning, and so forth (which for many has been going on throughout the summer already), it also gives you a chance to move things around and make sure you have space for the incoming harvest.

I’m pretty excited for the prep work ahead of me.  Do you have special chores you do to prep for winter?

Tips for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers (or those Who WANT to be!)

Infertility and pregnancy loss is at an all time high in our country right now.  I know more women who have LOST babies than I do women who have carried all of their children to term.  I count myself in that number! I have experienced FOUR losses, and the two children I kiss and hold tight to every day where hard won. It took major changes in diet and supplementation and some interventions in order to birth them!  But nothing is too much to ask to not have one’s children die in one’s womb.

The Weston A Price Foundation has a list of nutritional recommendations for pregnant and nursing mothers in order to give our bodies the best chance to safely carry and nourish our children. It’s a really great list, actually. I know a lot of folks who look at it and become overwhelmed, asking how they can EAT all of that in ONE DAY, but the truth is, a lot of the suggestions are based on a WEEKLY diet, not an every day thing.

Eating Seasonally

#15 : tomato salad
Kristen Bonardi Rapp / Foter / CC BY-ND

We get our nutrients over the course of an entire year. If you think about it, if we are eating locally and seasonally, there will simply be some foods that are more available at some times than they are at others. And our bodies are ok with that.  That’s why, like with most warm blooded creatures, we tend to put on weight before the cold seasons, and the types of foods available in each season correspond to something our bodies need.

Consider grassfed butter.  Many cultures prize the butter that is produced in the early spring from the cows eating the fast growing grass. It tends to be a deeper richer golden yellow, and it has higher amounts of vitamins A, D, and K2.  Think about the fact that we are coming out of the long, dark winter, with shorter days, and more time spent indoors. That Spring butter is JUST the extra boost of D that we need to get moving again!

Or think about the foods that come into season in the Fall; all warm, filling foods, designed to put on layers. ;-)

Sacred Fats

During the period of a woman’s (and MAN’S!) fertility, there are foods that are great for boosting our body’s ability to create a nurturing, nourishing environment to promote hormonal balance, conception, fertilization, and gestation.  Most traditional cultures had “sacred foods” that were reserved for men and women who were ready to conceive.  This nutritional supplementation with nutrient dense foods helped to stave off infertility, made for easier pregnancies and births, and ensured strong healthy babies.

Such sacred foods, like that delicious spring butter, fermented cod liver oil, organ meats and fish eggs, are packed with protein, FATS and lots of fat soluble nutrients.  The key to fertility is fat, it seems.  After all, hormones are BUILT from fat, as are BRAINS.  Our brain is made up completely of cholesterol, and if you are going to grow a big brained baby, you need the fats in your system to build it!  Many of the vitamins that we get from vegetable and fruits are ALSO fat soluble. And since most fruits and veggies are really LOW in fat, we need the animal fats to help us unlock and assimilate them.

Butter!
cheeseslave / Foter / CC BY

Women are designed differently from men, even in the way we carry our fat. Our fat is mostly stored subcutaneously (under the skin) and we tend to pack it on our hips, buttocks and breasts: areas that speak to our fertility and ability to bear children. Men’s fat stores begin internally, around their organs with very little (compared to women) between the skin and muscles (of course, weight gain is a different thing. We’re just talking about where it’s SUPPOSED to be. ;-) )

But regardless of where our fat is stored in our body, we BOTH  need it when it comes to making babies! Healthy sperm production requires just as much of a nutrient dense diet as a woman carrying a baby for nine months, so let’s make sure our men eat well too!

And don’t get me STARTED on sexual health! It’s all one, and all interconnected, but the purview of THIS post is to discuss what a woman of childbearing age and intent should be eating to help ensure a healthy pregnancy, easy birth, and strong baby.

Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

The Weston A Price foundation suggests:

  • Cod Liver Oil to supply 20,000 IU vitamin A and 2000 IU vitamin D per day.  Of course, fermented cod liver oil is a highly prized food, but only one company even makes it these days, and it can be pricey.  There’s also debate over cod liver oil versus straight fish oil, as well as how it is sourced, processed etc. My favorite fish oil supplement is OmegaGize³™ from Young Living. The benefit of this oil is that is formulated with essential oils plus it combines the power of three core daily supplements: omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D-3, and CoQ10 (ubiquinone).

    According to Young Living: “Used daily these ingredients work synergistically to support normal brain, heart, eye, and joint health.”*  This is important, not only for a woman carrying a baby, but also for the baby itself!  Also, to those for whom this is important, I don’t notice smelly fish burps so much when taking OmegaGize³™. Just FYI.

  • 1 quart (or 32 ounces) whole milk daily, preferably raw and from pasture-fed cows goats or sheep (learn more about raw milk at A Campaign for Real Milk, www.realmilk.com.)  I have been exclusively drinking raw milk from local certified raw dairies for almost ten years now. I will NEVER go back!  Whether from grassfed cows, goats, or sheep, unpasteurized, unhomogenized, rich creamy milk, fresh (sweet) or cultured is packed with nutrition and healthful benefits!
  • 4 tablespoons butter daily, preferably from pasture-fed cows, goats, or sheep. When not making my own butter from the rich cream off my raw milk, I prefer to purchase Kerrygold butter. It is from grass fed cows in Ireland and simply the best butter (in my opinion) on the market!  I usually find it at Costco for really reasonable prices!
  • 2 or more eggs daily, preferably from pastured chickens (or ducks).  If you don’t have your own backyard chickens, your next best bet is to find someone who HAS, or a local farmer who lets their chickens roam wild and free, eating all the bugs and fresh greens their little chicken hearts desire. You can tell the difference between a pastured egg and a grocery store “battery” egg much the same way you can tell grass fed butter form conventional: the deep golden yellow yolk of a pastured chicken is a typical tell tale sign of chickens who are getting allt he sunshine and nutrients they should be!Also, avoid “vegetarian fed only” eggs.  Chickens are omnivores, not vegetarians. And most “vegetarian” feed is code for soy and corn: which means GMO’s.  Make sure your eggs are GMO free, by making sure they are SOY free!  Ask your farmer what kind of feed he or she uses to supplement their free-ranging birds. It’s an important question to ask!
  • Additional egg yolks daily, added to smoothies, salad dressings, scrambled eggs, etc.  Same rules apply to the yolks!  I love adding egg yolks to everything. And don’t forget to make your lacto-fermented mayonnaise, and delicious custards, and rich puddings… Mmmmm… eggg yolks….

    Want a nutrient dense smoothie? Look no further...

    Want a nutrient dense smoothie? Look no further…

  • 3-4 ounces fresh liver, once or twice per week. This goes for all organ meats. Learning to eat organ meats in Western culture can be a bit of a … curve. But it SHOULD be done! It MUST be done! Do it for your health! Do it for the CHILDREN! Do it because pate is YUMMY! And so is steak and kidney pie! and HAGGIS!  DO IT FOR THE HAGGIS!!
  • Fresh seafood, 2-4 times per week, particularly wild salmon, shellfish and fish eggs.  Wild caught is SO important here. It is best to avoid farmed fish for a whole bunch of reasons, not only to avoid GMO’s but also just because farmed fish, like other CAFO’s, typically are not fed a species appropriate diet (big surprise!)  But you also want to be very careful about WHERE your wild caught fish are coming from. Over fishing, mercury contamination, oil spills, and nuclear radiation from Fukushima are really limiting safe seafood, so be very careful about this one!  In some ways, sticking with fresh water fish from sources you know and trust is best– as with everything else.
  • Fresh beef or lamb daily, always consumed with the fat.  That’s a biggie.  Don’t fear the fat people. Really. In pastured animals who have lived their lives happy on organic, growing greens, you don’t need to worry about the toxins, hormones, and other nasty stuff that gets stored in the fat. Eat clean, live clean.  The nice thing about lamb especially is that it is almost exclusively raised on grass it’s entire life, so it is one of the safest meats to eat out there. But as always: Know Your Source.
    Meatfoodgroup
  • Oily fish or lard daily, for vitamin D. As mentioned before with the fish, be careful of your source.  Same with lard. Pastured animals and wild caught fish are best. If you avoid pork, and have limited supplies to oily fish, just stick with the OmegaGize. For serious, it will give you the necessary D3. Oh, and get some sun! At least 20 minutes a day with at least 40% of your skin exposed. Sun that BABY BELLY!!
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil daily, used in cooking or smoothies, etc.  I <3 Coconut oil. It has a really high smoke point, so you can fry anything with it, or you can eat it straight off the spoon cold! Virgin Coconut oil tastes mildly coconutty, so if you object to the flavor, you can always get expeller pressed, which is slightly more processed/refined, but STILL manages to be healthy! You can get really good stuff online, or do what I do and pick it up at Costco.  The savings get passed along to you, and it’s really just as good if you cannot afford the pricier stuff.
  • Lacto-fermented condiments and beverages. I’m the Cultured Mama. Lacto-fermented is what I DO! Kefir, Kombucha, mayo, ketchup, sauerkraut, beet kvass… Add these incredible foods to your diet STAT! It will help you have the necessary gut flora to pass on to your baby; because whatever the state of YOUR gut is the state you pass on to the sterile intestines of your baby when they pass through the birth canal, and as they nurse from your breast. If your gut health is not in balance (and let’s face it, if you were formula fed, born via c-section, or EVER had antibiotics, then it’s NOT!) the best way to re-colonize your gut with healthy bacteria and yeasts is by EATING them!  And the best sources for healthy bacteria and yeasts are the probiotic rich living foods known as lacto-ferments!Start off slowly though. Too much if you are not used to it can cause your body to go into detox as it attempts to dump all the toxins at once! Slowly slowly, especially if you are pregnant or nursing…  Despite what you may have read or heard, Kombucha and other fermented foods and beverages are SAFE during pregnancy. You just might make yourself uncomfortable if you introduce them too quickly.

    Beet Kvass is delicious and NUTRITIOUS!

    Beet Kvass is delicious and NUTRITIOUS!

  • Bone broths used in soups, stews and sauces.  The great thing about bone broths is that you can sip on them when you can’t keep down much of anything else. Seriously, is there anything in the world more comforting than a warm cup of chicken broth? SERIOUSLY? They are RIDICULOUSLY healthy for you. Made from the bones and connective tissues of pastured animals, they are extremely high in minerals, and the BEST source for the protein, gelatin, which is very important for our OWN bone, joint, and connective tissue health! In fact, gelatin is so important that I like to add Great Lakes grass fed gelatin to things myself, like smoothies, puddings, sauces, etc.  You can find it on Amazon!
  • Soaked whole grains.  Another Cultured Mama favorite, I prefer sourdough to conventional yeast bread far and away!  It is best to soak your grains, seeds, legumes and nuts in order to eliminate the anti-nutrients that are inherent in all seed like structures. In nature, those enzymes are useful to keep the seed from being digested in the tough stomachs of birds, for instance, so they can be spread far and wide, or they act as pesticides to keep the seeds safe until time for planting and germination.  But in our tummies, they act up, and keep us from being able to absorb the nutrients locked inside!  So we soak them, sprout them, sour them or otherwise make them nutritionally available!  (NOTE: if you suffer from multiple miscarriages, or pregnancy losses, this may be an indication of a food intolerance such as Gluten Intolerance. Please see your physician for testing to see if you have the markers for it, and try eliminating gluten– even soaked, soured, or sprouted wheat– for a while to see if other issues perhaps clear up.)
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits.  This really should go without saying. After all, haven’t we been told all our lives how healthy fresh fruits and veggies are? Most of the healthy carbs we eat come from fruits and veggies, and they are packed with vitamins and minerals.  And yet, even so, there is a caveat.Make sure when you source your veggies, you are getting the cleanest ones possible. Avoid GMO’s at all costs, and if you cannot afford ALL organic ALL the time, use the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen shopping lists to help you choose wisely. Of course, your best bet is to shop locally, in season, and know your farmer. It cannot be said enough.
  • In all things, whether meats, grains, dairy, or produce, seek out artisan, heirloom varieties and farmers who like to produce SLOW FOOD.  Good food, with lots of nutrients takes TIME. Just like building babies.  Don’t rush your labor and delivery, and don’t rush your food!

Things to AVOID:

  • Trans fatty acids (e.g., hydrogenated oils)
  • Junk foods
  • Commercial fried foods
  • Sugar
  • White flour
  • Soft drinks
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Drugs (even prescription drugs)
  • GMO’s

IMPORTANT WARNING from WAPF: “Cod liver oil contains substantial levels of omega-3 EPA, which can cause numerous health problems, such as hemorrhaging during the birth process, if not balanced by arachidonic acid (ARA), an omega-6 fatty acid found in liver, egg yolks and meat fats.  Please do not add cod liver oil to a diet that is deficient in these important animal foods. It is important to follow our diet for pregnant mothers in its entirety, not just selected parts of it.”

Essential Oils and Supplements During Pregnancy and Nursing

If you have not yet gotten a copy of Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth and Infant Care* by Debra Raybern; GET IT. Right now. It’s available on Amazon. I’ll wait…

Seriously, I <3 this book so much I GIVE it away for FREE with the purchase of a Premium Starter Kit.  (If you have purchased a Premium Starter Kit through me, and would like a copy of this book, please contact me!)

This book is a treasure trove of wisdom for folks who are interested in natural health solutions to the common discomforts of pregnancy and childbirth. It has a reference guide to common ailments and lists essential oils and supplements that are useful in addressing them.  It also lists options for your birth kit, and oils  and supplements that support an easy labor and delivery.

While we would like to believe that by simply eating a nutrient dense, nutritionally balance diet, we are feeding ourselves and our babies everything that we need to survive and thrive, we know that today, we simply cannot. Most of us are coming to the table at a health deficit, and as mentioned earlier, if you have ever had a round of antibiotics, your gut health has been greatly impacted! Add to that vaccines, junk food, and all of the hormones and toxins in our diets and environment, and really, it’s hard to find an individual in Western society who does not have some element of dysfunction going on. At the very least, our foods are not as nutritionally replete as they once were, and our bodies are not as efficient at processing them as they should be.

Enter supplements and essential oils.  I have already written about how supplements from the grocery store really aren’t very helpful, and the benefits of those formulated with Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, so I will let you read all about that here.

Young Living has a lot of supplements that are useful for  women of childbearing years, and helpful for all states of health. Of course, it is my belief that EVERYONE can benefit from 4-6 oz of NingXia Red every day, but there are many other options as well, such as the Core Supplements discussed in the link above, or the Master Hers formula of vitamins specifically for women (there is also a Master His).

NXR OmegaGize

Hormonal Support

There are also oils and supplements that are valuable for those TTC, or for individuals like myself who tend to have low progesterone early in pregnancy. Progessence Plus is excellent for helping in that department, and there are other oils and supplements as well that can be helpful before, during, and after conception.

WombCycle 1

Bottom Line

Infertility and pregnancy loss is at an all time high in this country. I and many of my friends have been impacted in some way by this epidemic. But it is not a lost cause! Nutrition, supplementation, avoiding toxins in our environment as much as possible and living a clean, holistic lifestyle, built on faith, hope, and love, will go a long way toward reversing a lot of our problems.  I hope I have given you a glimmer of that hope today!

Disclaimer: The FDA pretty much resents and refutes everything I share with you through this medium and would rather I not say any of it, but in an effort to appease them, requires that I state that nothing I say here is examined or approved by them, and does not act in the place of licensed medical advice.  Furthermore, the FDA wishes me to assert and reinforce that this blog and the contents therein does not constitute “legitimate” medical advice, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, diagnose or cure any ailment or infirmity.  If of your own volition you choose to imitate some of the information presented here and you experience healing, it is NOT my fault, and the FDA wants that to be abundantly clear. Conversely, if you do not seek the advice of your medical professional and attempt to enact any of the anecdotal or even scientifically backed information herein and experience adverse conditions, understand that it is STILL not my fault, though the FDA will probably be smug about it and snarkily blame me in their heart of hearts.

In related news, the FTC would like for me to inform you that many of the links in my blog may lead you to other portions of the web where you may choose to make a purchase of some good or service. They want you to know that I may benefit from some of these transactions and therefore, with that knowledge, you must carefully weigh whether or not you can in good conscience support the efforts of a wife and mother of small children, who is merely trying to make an honest living the only way she knows how.

Thank you for visiting my blog! I hope it has been entertaining, helpful, and informative, if not too much so, because otherwise, certain entities might not fully approve.

Solid Gold Training Call: Mary and Gary Young

Monday night I called in on a conference call conducted by Jen Springer in which she was to interview Mary Young. I was excited to hear what the wife of Young Living’s founder might have to say. She is a dynamic individual, and successful business person in her own right, and I couldn’t wait to hear her thoughts.

The call was supposed to last only 30-45 minutes, but then there was a surprise guest when Gary walked in, and jumped on the call, bumping the whole thing over to a full 1:45!  It was PACKED with info and gems of wisdom from the Youngs, and I felt so blessed by the end to be working with such a fabulous company.

The first forty or so minutes, Mary talks about eating healthy while traveling with two young boys, as well as beauty tips for young and vibrant skin.  Gary joins in at about the 45 minute mark, and the next hour is spent talking about everything from upcoming events and products from Young Living, how to build your business with the products, and a rather amusing and informative discussion on hormonal support through essential oils!

From the discussion, we hear from Gary, “Put your men on Blue Spruce and EndoGize and you’ll see a stud horse come out of the corral!”

Idaho Blue Spruce

EndoGize

Gary and Mary truly are experts in their field, and inspirational.

Click here and listen to the call for 8/12/13!

 

Find Jen on Facebook, too!

Paleo Egg Custard Coffee

Egg Coffee

The last two weeks have been spent drinking protein shakes for breakfast and dinner. This morning, I realized that my tummy was noticeably smaller. YAY Diamond Fitness Training!  I’ve been doing my PACE workouts, visualizations, and walking, so I’m excited about where my body is headed. :-D

BUT, the shake for breakfast AND dinner was really… beat. I felt I needed to “shake it up” so to speak (see what I did there?)

And THAT’S when I stumbled across someone mentioning that they put eggs in their coffee.  EGGS. IN their COFFEE.

I really had to let that sink in for a minute. I mean.. would that scramble their eggs?  Don’t get me wrong, I put raw eggs in just about every smoothie or beverage that graces my Vitamix, so the raw egg part wasn’t what made me balk; it was the coffee part.  What in the world would that even BE like?

Well, y’all know me, and even if you don’t I’m sure you can pretty much guess that I have little fear of culinary experimentation.  So I decided to try it.

And it is SHEER. BRILLIANCE.

Not only was it smooth and rich and frothy; it gave me a nice energy boost, and I was pretty well content, hunger-wise for a while afterwards!

I had wondered if the hot coffee would cook the egg, but it didn’t seem to be an issue.  Just in case, I poured it through a strainer, but it seemed unnecessary.  Also, in case you are wondering about the salt, you should know that SALT helps cut the rase of BITTER so that our tastebuds can discern SWEET.

In fact, you can brew your coffee with  the salt already in it, but, most people don’t do that, so just put some in your mixture and be done with it.

Here’s my food science hero, Alton Brown on brewing the perfect cup of coffee. As a professionally trained barista, former coffeehouse owner, and lover of hot beverages of all sorts, this video is 100% Cultured Mama approved.

Dairy free, gluten free… This early morning pick-me-up is da BOMB. The next time we open a coffeehouse, this little baby is SO going on the menu…

Paleo Egg Custard Mocha

Ingredients
1 cup freshly brewed coffee
2 raw, pastured eggs
1 tsp honey (opt)
5-10 drops Vanilla Flavored Stevia (to taste)
1 T raw cocoa
Generous pinch of salt

Directions
Put everything except the coffee in the blender and start on low.  Pour in the coffee as the blender is going, and crank up to high for a few seconds. Pour into favorite mug or chalice and ENJOY!

Update!

In my experimentation, I have discovered that adding freshly ground spices like nutmeg, clove, ginger, black pepper, and cinnamon makes the BEST Chai Latte EVER. Of course, there’s no milk in it, so it makes an incredible dairy-free option for folks who love their chai, but for whom the latte’s share no love. ;-)

And if you want something REALLY special, a little bit of jalapeño goes a long way to making this breakfast beverage a delicious, kicky concoction that will surprise everyone!  It brings heat to the party, but without overpowering the flavor. INCREDIBLE!

Eeyore didn't look to keen on the jalapeño, but I thought it was DELICIOUS!

Eeyore didn’t look to keen on the jalapeño, but I thought it was DELICIOUS!

Question about Beet Kvass

I had a question on my facebook page about fermenting Beet Kvass.

Beet Kvass

Hello Cultured Mama!
I was watching a video about making beet kvass! It called for raw whey to ferment the beverage and I don’t have that! I was wondering if there’s an alternative to the whey used to culture/ferment the drink? 

My Answer

It is possible to make beet kvass without whey (and that’s how I do it myself!)

The way I do it is to cut up 3-4 med size cleaned/scrubbed (but not peeled) beets into quarters and dump them into a gallon size glass jar (I use a Fido.) Pour in about 1-2 tablespoons of sea salt (I use Redmond’s Real Salt) and then pour filtered water over top of that to fill up the jar. Seal the top and let it go!

I let that sit for about a week (3-5 days at least!), and then either transfer the whole thing to the fridge, OR strain out the beets, bottle the kvass, and start another batch using the same beets. You can usually get at least two batches of kvass out of one set of beets if you don’t cut them up too small!. Keep in the fridge and enjoy!

The Milieu is Everything

The whole point of a ferment, culture, or pickling situation is to create the proper environment for the right bacteria and yeasts to grow and transform your ho-hum veggies or beverages into something that RAWKS.  YOu have several enemies you are competing against, namely oxygen and bad bacteria and other foreign critters.

Salt is important to any ferment because it will help slow down the fermentation and keep any nasty beasties at bay. The Pickl-It blog has a whole article on the science of salt and salinity, if you want to learn more about proportions and how to make the perfect brine. Using an airtight container that allows gas to escape like a Fido or Pickl-It works best, because you don’t want oxygen getting in there and throwing off the balance of bacteria and yeasts that you are trying to grow.

You can use a mason jar, but you do not want to put the lid on too tight, or the build up of gasses could cause an explosion…

A Word About Whey

The reason many fermentation recipes calls for whey is that it is *already* a bath of laco-fermentaton goodness. You don’t have to wait as long for the yeast and bacteria to grow. It’s like inoculating your ferment to give it a boost.

Even though it is so widely recommended and used in the fermentation world, I am really beginning to move away from using whey to boost my ferments because 1.) some folks can’t have dairy, and that can be awkward when you offer them sauerkraut. 2.) Every food God has placed on this green earth has bacteria and yeasts that are specific to it and will ferment it perfectly without adding extra stuff. 3.) You really don’t need it! I think whey is by and large unnecessary for fermenting most things.

But, if you do want to use whey, it is easy enough to gather yourself: Get a quart of quality plain yogurt and dump the whole thing into a strainer with cheese cloth. Hang over a bowl, and let sit for several hours, on the counter or in the fridge. A quart of yogurt can produce about a pint of whey!

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