Saturday, March 20, 2010

Clarified Butter

We've all been craving carbs lately. Holly said it's because we're not eating enough good fat (butter, coconut oil, etc...). Not everything goes well with coconut oil and olive oil loses a lot of it's nutrition when heated at high temperatures but Melaina, Elijah, and Gideon can't have butter. I've heard of clarified butter (also known as ghee) before but wasn't sure how to make it. I guess by cooking it down you can take the lactose and things out of the butter and only leave the oil which is the nutritious part. I found a recipe and with Holly's help, I tried it. It worked great! Melaina didn't throw up or even get a stomach ache. She can have butter!!! We made nut pancakes this morning loaded with butter. She was pretty excited.

No, it will not make you fat. It's good fat your body actually needs and knows what to do with. I was just reading that back in the day mothers would sell their cream from their farms to make extra cash because it was high in demand but their children were malnourished. I don't want my children to be malnourished so I'm going to feed my children lots of real butter and other things with good fat. Not margarine that the cockroaches and ants won't even eat.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Weekly Menu 1

I've had some comments asking to share recipes I'm using as I learn knew things about Health. I used to pride myself on making the yummiest food possible without any thought to the nutritional value of the food I was placing before my family. I love to hear "This is really good Mommy. Can we have this again sometime?" (My wonderful husband thankfully eats whatever I make which I really appreciate but since I like him so much I'd like to keep him healthy too.) Melaina's allergies eliminated most of our recipes. No more cream of whatever soups or seasoning packets. Cheese seemed to make everything better but she couldn't have that either.

I've posted a little already about some of the things we're discovering she can have. They're all called living foods because they have live microorganisms (good bacteria) that is nourishing and healing to our bodies. However, they don't all taste as good as they are. So, as part of my quest for better health for my family, I've started a new recipe binder with my oldest daughter. She received this really neat scrapbook style cookbook for Christmas and as we find nourishing recipes that actually taste good we add them to the binder. I'm so new to this but I'll share what I have so far.

I've decided to make the same meals every week until we get this new style of cooking down. Properly preparing foods that our bodies can digest takes a little more planning and preparing so I'm going to stick with this plan until we get it down and then maybe we'll try adding a little more variety.

Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal sweetened with agave nectar and dried fruit)
Lunch: Loaded Baked Potatoes
Dinner: Taco Salad or Black Bean Chicken Burritos with Soaked whole wheat tortillas (cut extra lettuce for Tuesday)

Breakfast: Kefir smoothies and nuts?
Lunch: Leftover taco salad
Dinner: Rosemary Chicken (Make bone stock (super healing to the body)out of the carcasses and cutting veggies for the soup or soaking beans for chili Wednesday) with smashed potatoes, gravy and Salad (cut the night before)(Also soak oatmeal for Wednesday)

Breakfast: Soaked Oatmeal Bake
Lunch and Dinner: Soup or Chicken Chili made out of the left over chicken and stock) with bread (soak rice in rice cooker for Thursday making sure there’s extra for fried rice on Friday)

Breakfast: Kefir smoothies and peanut butter toast?
Lunch: Left over soup or Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches
Dinner: Stir Fry (alternating chicken and beef) (Also cutting veggies for egg bake and pizza Friday)

Breakfast: Veggie egg bake (prepared the night before) and fruit
Lunch: Fried Rice
Dinner: Homemade Pizza

Breakfast: Big breakfast (making leftovers for Sunday)
Lunch: Leftover pizza and salad with lots of raw veggies
Dinner: Variety day (trying new recipes or Daddy cooks)

Breakfast: Left over breakfast from Saturday or peanut butter toast
Lunch: Kefir smoothie and salad
Dinner: Steak, potatoes, and salad
(Soak beans, rice, and oatmeal for Monday)

Snacks: kefir smoothie; fruit; raw veggies; cheese

I purchase one box of organic grass fed beef a month, and hormone and antibiotic free whole chickens. Free range would be better but I haven't worked it into the budget yet. I buy organic, omega 3 eggs, or farm fresh when I can. I buy mostly organic produce because I don't like genetically modified food or pesticides going into my children's fragile little bodies. I make all of my sauces including my own taco seasoning from scratch because everything at the store seems to have preservatives that are hard for our bodies to digest. Properly preparing our food and only putting in nourishing food allows our bodies to do what God intended them to do, use what it needs, and discharge the rest building our immune systems at the same time. I know I could use a few less fat storage's on my body and some more energy. How about you?

I will be posting recipes separately if you let me know which ones you want. To learn how to properly soak your grains I like Nourishing Gourmet and Kelly the kitchen Kop.

After reading over this I know it seems like a lot of extra work but it's really not. As I make adjustments here and there it's ended up being about the same on the food budget because I make everything from scratch and I always have the kids helping me in the kitchen. They've learned so much that they can prepare a meal themselves if I need them to. The best part is I have so much peace and joy as I serve these things to my family.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Growing Weary and Pressing On

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, that, just as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Oh, does this encourage me today. I've been feeling very defeated these past couple of days. Ever since I started this blog and a bible study at my house it seems as if everything else is falling apart around me. It's been a good reminder to me of how often I struggle with my flesh still. I'm going on ten years since I gave my life to Christ and there's still so much house cleaning to do. Let's just get it out in the open right now. Just because I have seven children does not mean I have it all together. On the contrary. I am daily overwhelmed and blown away by how much God has chosen to bless me but this verse sums it up. He's chosen me, as weak, foolish, and unwise as I am.

Lately I've been falling in love my bible more and more. I'm realizing how much I need to be filling up with spiritual food so that my flesh doesn't take over.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16

Another thing I'm learning to do is take it to Jesus.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light"
Matthew 11:28-30

Praise the Lord I don't have to do these things on my own. I sure have been feeling weary lately and it's because I can't do it all on my own. When I try, I burn out. I appreciate the encouraging comments and am blessed to know that others are being blessed. So, I'm going to press on with this journey to love my family more and more, and hopefully point to Christ in the process.

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cloth Wipes

I realized since I was using cloth diapers it would be easier and cheaper to use cloth wipes too. I cut old flannel receiving blankets and microfiber terry cloth towels into 6" squares. I took one of each and sewed right sides together. Turned them right side out and sewed a top stitch to close the seam. (This was the perfect project to teach Anina-6 how to use the sewing machine too. Doubled up quality time, life skills, and money saving all in one.) (This is my justification for skipping school today) They're so soft on their little bottoms and now I don't have to make the extra trip to garbage to throw away the wipes. They're great for wiping messy faces and hands too. I stack them in my wipe container and pour on my wipe solution:

2 c. water
1 T. baby soap
1 t. olive oil
1/8 t. tea tree oil

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cloth Diapers

I've always kind of wanted to use cloth diapers but didn't think I had it in me. Then Gideon started getting all these diaper rashes. I thought I had tried everything except cloth. I've heard of babies having allergies to the chemicals in disposables. I knew that had to be it. So I switched. I realized it wasn't that hard at all so I started putting Elijah in them during the day also to save money. Then I found a washable overnight diaper for my bed wetter that works great too! Between the three of them I'm saving almost $60.00 a month. That's $720.00 a year!

There are three ways to cloth diaper. The first is the traditional prefold with a cover. This is the cheapest way to go but not always the easiest. I purchased most of mine at the natural baby products store in Corvallis. I only did this because I needed them "Now". I've since learned that you can get better quality for cheaper if you search around online or make your own. But, the ladies at Weebunz were very informative and I was alot more educated on the subject when I left there. The best prefolds to buy are the diaper service quality chinese prefolds. These are supposed to be the most absorbent prefolds out there. I guess most people do not use pins anymore. They have these nifty little things called a snappi. It snaps on to your prefold and holds them on. Then you need covers. These provide the the waterproof layer and they come in a variety of styles and colors. My favorites are the "Thirsties" with leg gussets found at Cottonbabies I like these because they don't leak and they fit a variety of sizes. My other favorite is the "envibums". The envibums are very unique compared to anything I've seen so far and for every one you purchase, she donates one to a mom in need. I thought that was pretty neat. They also are wipable and reusable. If it gets anything on it, you just take a wipe to it. It's handy when you're out.

The second option is the next cheapest. They're called "Pocket diapers". You can also purchase these at Wee Bunz or online. You simply stuff the prefold in the pocket for the absorbency and then put it on like a regular diaper. The advantage to this is they dry faster then an "All in one" because they come apart before you wash them. The disadvantage is you have to pull the soaked prefold out before washing.

The third is called in "All in one". Online they always abbreviate (AIO). I share this because it took me forever to figure out what they were talking about. Maybe I'm just slow. Anyway, these have the soaking and waterproof all in one and you just put it on like a diaper and wash when you're done. The disadvantage to these is that they're expensive and I've heard they take forever to dry. Like 2 dry cycles.

After purchasing my prefolds and covers, I learned that I could make my own diapers. I decided to go with the pocket diapers.

I used PUL fabric on the outside and fleece on the inside. I purchased my PUL, velcro, and elastic online. There are tons of free printable patterns depending on what you're trying to make. These are my absolute favorites and I use them for night time. The fleece provides a stay dry layer because it is non-absorbent.

OK, what everyone wants to know. Washing them. I have two buckets in the garage. One for poopy, one for wet. I take whatever solids will dump out and dump them in the toilet. Then I throw the diaper in the poopy bucket. The wet ones go in other bucket. Every other day I wash the poopy diapers first with my homemade diaper detergent in cold water so as to not set in the stains. When the cycle completes I add the pee diapers and more detergent in a hot cycle with a 1/2 c. of vinegar to the rinse cycle. They come out clean and fresh!

Oh, and yes I realized that Gideon was in desperate need of a haircut. My husband has been trying to convince me for months. So, here it is! My baby's first haircut. Sniff, sniff.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


This is definitely the hardest thing to give up for me. But how can I learn these things and not consider it. Not only does it feed the bad bacteria in our guts as I posted earlier but it's causing major health issues such as diabetes and many others.

According to "The Makers Diet" one in every three Americans are at risk for diabetes? One in every two for Hispanic children. The average Americans diet is one-fourth sugar. That's like eating nothing but sugar every forth meal. Sugar is in everything. That's 170 lbs of sugar a year. That is just gross! But, most of us are doing it! And if that is "Average" then I was eating even more than that!!! I couldn't live without dessert. It was my treat to myself after a long day with the kids. What a treat huh? The bad bacteria in my gut was having a party right along with me. But, the more I don't eat it the easier it is to resist. I think my body was physically addicted. America is so much into indulging themselves with their sugar that when The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization released results of a study on how the amount of sugar in our food was causing an epidemic of obesity and diabetes, the media shot them down. There are studies to prove that the things in our food our bad for our health but the food industry cares more about production and cost then our health. It's up to me to do the research and provide nourishing meals for my family.

(I have a little girl that likes to hide in the bottom of the pantry cabinet next to the sugar tub and dip her fingers in it. And if you know my Hannah, that's the last thing she needs. The tub is gone now...)

This is all new to me and I don't want to sound like I know it all but I have read recently that there are two types of sugar. Disaccharides (table sugar; milk sugar). These are found in grains, potatoes, corn, and non cultured dairy products. These sugars are hard to digest. The second type is monosaccharides (single sugars) found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fermented or sprouted grains, and dairy products. These are supposed to be easier to digest. Properly soaking, sprouting, or fermenting whole-grain products is supposed to turn these disaccharides into monosaccharides so we can more easily digest them. Okay, I can't even pronounce these words but I'm accepting it as gold because my little girl who cannot eat dairy or gluten without major stomach issues can have homemade bread made with properly soaked wheat and keifer made from goat milk. Now she is receiving pure nutrients from these things and nothing else added or taken away. They are the way God created them to be.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Beautiful Daughter and the Beginning of My Health Journey

My daughter Melaina is 9 years old. She's the main reason I started this journey. At 5 she started showing signs of puberty. The problem with that is if she completes it her bones finish off and stop growing. We took her to the doctor... Doctor sent us up to Portland to a specialist called an Endocrinologist.

Doctor: Yup, she's started puberty. Me: So, what do we do about it? Doctor: We'll just monitor her once a year and hope she doesn't start her period. Me: That's it. What causes it? Doctor: We're not sure. Could be an overproduction of insulin her body. Me: Why would that be happening? Doctor: Usually happens when a child is overweight. Me: Is my daughter overweight? Doctor: No, she's just chubby. The charts say she's on the high end of average. Me: Could it be the excessive amount of hormones in our food? Doctor: No, it's definitely not that.

So, I left feeling very frustrated and helpless as to what to do for her. As we were driving home we stopped to pick up some lunch to go have with Daddy and tell him about the appointment. My five year old ordered a salad. On the way home from our visit with Daddy she turned to me and said, "Mom, am I chubby? Do I need to eat less?". I wanted to cry. The only thing our trip to Portland accomplished was an insecurity in my beautiful five year old regarding the way she looked. If you know my daughter, she is and always has been beautiful. Beautiful in God's eyes I mean. She's kind, patient, loving, respectful, and a sheer joy to be around. I was angry at this doctor. (For the record, I called the doctor and spoke to her about it and she was very sorry. She apologized to my daughter and said she would choose her words more wisely with patients in the future. Another well meaning doctor, but she didn't have a way to help.)

So, I was on my own. I started doing some research. I cut out meat and dairy with hormones and started her on cod liver oil supplements. We definitely slowed the process. She is 9 years old and has yet to start her period.

However, less than a year ago she started having chronic stomach aches after meals. We could see that it was directly related to certain types of food so we began an elimination diet. After some time we narrowed it down to gluten, dairy, and eggs. Again, we went to the doctor. She suggested we go to a Gastrointestinal Specialist. I was really hoping for a referral to an allergist to find out how bad these allergies were and if there were any others we hadn't discovered. The doctor agreed and I waited for the call to never come. I called about a week later and they said your insurance denied the claim for the allergist because the doctor's notes state it's not necessary. Are you kidding? Why not necessary. It's more necessary to put her to sleep, stick things down her throat, cut things out and test them, only to find out nothing, is absolutely necessary first. Again, I was frustrated. Feeling helpless. I began to pray. I should have sought my Heavenly Father from the beginning. I might have saved myself and her some anxiety.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Fast forward to now. We've spent the last year trying to figure out how to make food without gluten, dairy, or eggs. You can't buy it in the packaged foods. That leaves the meat and produce section which isn't all the great either (For another post). The alternative food from the health food store is extremely expensive and doesn't even taste good. So here I am. On a venture to better health, especially for her, and learning so much. We've recently discovered she can eat eggs as long as they are farm fresh without the help of hormones, antibiotics and who knows what else. She can have wheat, it just has to be sprouted first (Also another post in the making). And she can have goat's milk keifer. The most exciting one of all! The good bacteria in the keifer eliminates the milk sugars and her body doesn't react and make her vomit! I have seen tears in her eyes 3 times now as we make these discoveries. And anyone who is a mother can probably imagine what goes on in my heart when I see that. She is learning so much about God's perfect diet and I know He has great plans for her someday.

And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Learning About True Health

What do you think of when you hear the word "Healthy"? Is it a person who does not have any "Serious" illnesses. Someone who only gets "Common" illnesses? Is it vegetarians or "Health Freaks"? Someone who exercises frequently and drinks protein shakes.

Upper respiratory problems, including sinus problems, account for eight of every ten visits to doctors' offices. The average adult battles four colds per year (six colds annually for children), and nearly one person in three has allergies. Does this sound like your home? There are nine people in my home. That's means 3 of us will end up with allergies and we'll have 50 colds to deal with in one year. And that doesn't count minor emergencies or the stomach flu!

I think my view of "Healthy" has been different things over my lifespan. My biological father died at a very young age of a heart attack when I was 10. I was told he put things in his body that were bad for him and it killed him. Things like drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. I guess most people would agree that those things are bad for you and could potentially kill you right? He would be considered "Unhealthy" by most peoples standards I guess.

I gave up those things when I accepted Jesus as the Lord of my life so am I healthy now? I've started reading a book called "The Makers Diet" by Jordan S. Rubin. I've learned so much in such a short time. God is choosing to reveal these things to me for whatever reason and has been for the past couple of years. I've fought it long and hard. It's just food right? As long as my family has food to eat we're good right? I mean we really don't have to follow God's standards in the Old Testament now do we? So I began to search.

Does God have a standard for this temple He's provided for me? Does He require certain things when it comes to caring for ourselves? These were the questions I was asking when my very loving friend began telling me the things she was learning about "Health".

Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry, and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; and he beheld the sky opened up, and a certain object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, "Arise, Peter, kill and eat!" But Peter said, "By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean." And again a voice came to him a second time, "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy." Acts 10:9-15

So, this was my justification. It is not immoral to eat things the Old Testament says not to eat. (OK, for the record, I do realize that later in the text Peter discovers that God was showing him through this vision that he should not consider a "Non-Jew" unholy or unclean however, God put it in His word so I think it applies here too. But, it's not the point so let's move on.)

Why then did God put standards for food in His word if it didn't apply to our lives. He's got all kinds of standards for eating. Why did he require these things in such detail for His people?

If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God...I will put none of these diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. I am the Lord who heals you. Exodus 15:26

I'm sure there are MANY reasons. Most of which I'll probably never know until I get to heaven but for now, I've had this huge revelation. If God created our bodies then He must know what's good to eat right?

Digestive complaints result in more time lost at work, school, and play than any other health-related problem. And this just started happening within the last century. What's happened? I'm learning it's because they at REAL food back then! I'm also learning that if you eat the wrong foods they don't digest properly which results in clogs in our gut that become a perfect breeding ground for dangerous forms of bacteria and other microorganisms that result in a poor immune system and sickness. So, we go to the doctor and get an antibiotic right? WRONG! I've also learned that antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria but also the good. Even if you don't take antibiotics you receive your dosages daily in your food. Pharmaceutical firms produce more than 35 million pounds of antibiotics each year and most of them go to the animals that are feeding you and your family. Your good bacteria should outnumber your bad bacteria 100/1. The good bacteria produces interferon, a powerful immunity-boosting chemical. Jordan Rubin calls them "Your best friends". Antibiotics wipe them all out. Good and bad. Then the battle begins to see which one can reproduce more first. The bad ones feed on sugar and carbohydrates which most of us live on so there you have it. Sick, sick, sick and more sick.

Why am I so concerned with all of this? My family has had 3 stomach viruses and 6 colds this winter alone. I won't go into serious details for you but one or more of us are currently dealing with colds, sudden and major food allergies, very early signs of puberty, headaches, sleeplessness, hyperactivity, chronic diarrhea, chronic yeast, chronic stomach pain after eating, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). I am sick of being sick. How can we possibly serve the Lord stuck home and sick! So what do we do? Go to the doctor? Tried that, and tried that, and tried that. (For the record, my doctor is wonderful and means well but just doesn't know what to do sometimes and is not too prideful to say that). So, I reached a point of total desperation. I mean I had a complete breakdown after changing the 10th runny diaper for the day and now my baby had a fever AGAIN! This poor little guy has been sick most of his 10 months of life! I've put everything on this rash that the doctor told me to and it keeps coming back! So I broke down and called a lady from church who spoke on nutrition at bible study last year. I didn't listen at the time. I thought, "I do not have time for that nonsense." Here I was in tears and she graciously said, "I'll be over tonight with some stuff I think will help". And she came. She brought kefir in a jar and said make a smoothie with some of this in it everyday. It's time to put the good bacteria back in your bodies. Also, here's some microorganisms found in dirt that will also put good stuff back in. (Sound weird? Where do you think they get your antibiotics from?)Try these things and stay away from bread! Unless it's sprouted your body can't digest it properly. OK, I'm desperate. I'll try it because nothing else has worked. What do I have to lose? Plus, making a smoothie and mixing this stuff in some juice for them 3 times a day seems a whole lot easier then getting them all ready and going to the doctor, and then the pharmacy, and then remembering to administer properly only to have it not work and cause more problems anyway right?

So here we are. Twenty four hours into it and the rash is gone! I already knew yeast was a lack of good bacteria in your body so your body is trying to compensate. I can not tell you what a relief that is. We've been battling these open sores on his poor raw little bottom for weeks now! I'll keep you posted on the rest. If that's all that happens, it's worth it but I have a feeling we're in for some more great things! I doubt the Lord's been working on me this long only to cure a rash.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Why I Created a Blog

If you know me I know you're thinking, "How in the world does she have time for a blog"? I've thought about this myself. I don't even have time to read blogs unless I'm really searching for something but God is doing some awesome things in my life and my family and I need to get it out of my system. Sharing everything that excites me would be too much for one person and I want to capture the things that God is doing so we'll never forget and maybe will bless others in the process.

I chose this name because 1. The obvious one, my name is Season. 2. "For everything there is a season and a time for every activity under heaven", Ecclesiates 3:1.

It's been on my heart to do this for awhile but never felt I had anything to share that would be any benefit to anyone. There is nothing good in me or about me except the Lord in me but I'm learning the more I surrender myself to Him the more He can shine in me.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;" Psalm 111:10

If I get nothing across except that, that's good enough. I hoping that you'll see Him and want more of Him. Period.

I have no idea what I'm doing so if anyone wants to give me some "Blogging for dummies" tips I would love it!