WBGW: Yogurt Mask

phonto
Here’s me kissing my yogurt container with yogurt all over my face.

You know the rule of thumb that says “If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!” Well, I think this really lives up to that standard.

I have been finding it hard to ferment my own dairy products lately. Between blogging, working, wife-ing, cleaning, cooking, life-ing, schooling (just one class with hubby–we’re learning Finnish!) I find that I can’t always fit it in. But don’t worry your little heart because Strauss family creamery makes amazing yogurt. If you are going to use store bought I recommend using Strauss only. Other yogurts have weird additives that I would not recommend for your complexion–namely sugar, thickening agents, and preservatives. Also, make sure you use whole milk yogurt. The fat is where it’s at! Strauss cultures the milk AFTER pasteurization to ensure the highest amount of beneficial bacteria possible. It is cultured for over ten hours. Oh yeah!

I’ve struggled with skin issues for a long time now. Oddly enough they didn’t start until I was about 20. Maybe I am a late bloomer, but my hormones seem to be going wild still, four years later. I’m hoping to transition out of puberty soon…ha! Skin issues suck, but I feel that some of the simple lifestyle changes I’ve made are the source of vast improvements. Cultured yogurt face masks–AKA the po’ woman’s face mask–really tickle my fancy because it covers all the bases. It’s cheap, easy, hydrating, balancing, cleansing, and will leave your skin glowing. Yogurt masks are known to even out skin tones, heal blemishes, balance pH, and hydrate. The beneficial bacteria in yogurt is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, perfect for beating blemishes.
How to do it:
1. Put about 2 tablespoons in a small bowl
2. Apply the yogurt with your finger all over your face–use a little more in your problem areas.
3. Let sit on skin for about ten or fifteen minutes. The yogurt will become transluscent.
4. Wash off with warm water.
5. Moisturize (with coconut oil!)

While I am a huge advocate of diet being the most important factor for skin health I still feel like a girl needs to exfoliate once in a while.
Yogurt it is!

This post is linked to Gnowfglins’ Simple Life Thursdays and Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday
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10 things you should know.

Rock On!!!
I’m pulling my hair out…er…up….

I hate to say it but people really have been rubbing me the wrong way lately. I can’t take all the ignorance, close-mindedness, and arrogance without saying something. I just have to set a few things straight, because I don’t think people in cyberworld or real world understand me and my mission. I am not your average health blogger. My “About Me” page has received the most views so far which is somewhat flattering, but also disheartening because I think people were only looking at pictures and not reading content.  So, read on. You can either take it or leave it.  That is up to you.

1. I believe strongly that veganism is a crime to your body.

2. I believe in dairy. I think raw dairy is best. Cultured, raw dairy even better.

3. Food intolerances are not normal. They can be healed and they are not genetic. They are a sign of a weak or leaky gut.

4. I am Christian but if you are not I respect your beliefs, I just ask that you respect mine also. It really irks me when people get their panties in a wad about “organized religion” but then find it appropriate to lecture me about how their beliefs (or lack of)are so much better any and all the time. Hypocrisy anyone?

5. Eating healthy and politics go hand in hand. If you disagree with freedom and liberty supporting candidates you probably won’t like my blog.

6. I think vegetarians who claim eating meat and dairy products is not natural are ignornant to the ways of mother nature. Please watch “Fresh” or read some Joel Salitin books. I was once vegetarian and ignorant so I understand it is just a rough patch but please be open minded. How do you think our primal ancestors would have survived without meat and hunting? You probably wouldnt be here.

7. I am not gluten free. Gluten free foods are more junkier than your more simple glutenous containing food. To make them consumable and not totally horrific to your palate they have to add a bunch of crap.

8. The raw food movement is weird to me. We are given food, fire, water, earth…you do the math.

9. I am in disbelief how many people buy into the soy craze. How can someone in their right mind claim that some processed food containing a million different ingredients such as soy “cheese” is healthier than real cheese with just one or two ingredients?

10. I blog because I want to. Not because you want me to. I blog to say what I think. Not to say what you think.

Kapeesh?
flickr photo credit: photo by daveyvanlienden titled Rock On

WBGW: Chicken Feet

chicken foot
RAWR! This photo is linked to traditional-foods.com Friday Food Flicks! Photo by hubby, Jeremiah Scott

Now, this is a weird one!

Gut and Psychology Syndrome, commonly known as GAPS, is a healing regimen and diet plan that focuses on high quality animal fats and is designed to heal your gut. As Hippocrates wisely stated, “All disease begins in the gut.” 1550 years later, this proclamation has become more relevant than ever. GAPS can heal a multitude of illnesses such as autism, depression, anxiety, learning disorders, schizophrenia, IBS, digestive disorders, leaky gut, food intolerances, and even hormone imbalances. You name it, GAPS can help it. GAPS was developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride who healed her own son of learning disabilities with a GAPS protocol.

So why chicken feet? Besides the obvious thrill of behaving like a witch, I add chicken feet to my stock for their gelatinous properties. The feet really up the gelatin content in your broth. Using a whole chicken (cut up so as to expose the insides and marrow) and adding a couple feet will get you the most gelatinous broth.

The most essential part of GAPS (aside from probiotic foods) is the frequent consumption of bone broth. Chicken broth is the most healing as it contains the highest gelatin profile. Gelatin is very important for gut lining health. A compromised gut lining can be inflamed and punctured. The gelatin in the broth is ideal for sealing the lining. Not only is gelatinous chicken broth good for sealing the gut, but it can also prevent and reverse wrinkles and cellulite. Seriously. Bone broth contains collagen and when you ingest it your skin is nourished so as not to lose it’s bounce and resilience. Chicken stock contains cartillage-building proteins. It will fill in cottage cheese lumpiness and keep your face springy and young! Making a pot of stock is much easier than botox or collagen injections, ladies. I don’t care what the vegans tell you, sexy women drink bone broth.

Stock has abundant amino acids, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, silicon, sulphur, and trace minerals that are readily and easily absorbed by your body. Back in the day, homemade chicken stock was referred to as Jewish Penicillin for it’s noted healing properties. When you have an upset stomach, drink it. When you have a cold, drink it. In fact, you should always drink it.  And when making it, don’t forget the feet!

For a great instructional post on making a nutritous chicken stock visit CHEESESLAVE: How To Make Homemade Chicken Stock

❤ Olivia

Does anyone care?

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” 

– Howard Thurman, Author and Philosopher

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Photo by Jeremiah Scott


I read this quote a while back and loved it. I forgot about it until now, but I have to say–as I consider it once more–this is one of my all-time favorite quotes. It inspires me, justifies me, assures me, comforts me, and liberates me.

Sometimes it weighs on me wondering if I am the only one who cares. Don’t people care about the truth? Don’t people care about the abundance of false information that is detrimental to our health? Don’t people care to live a more authentic lifestyle? Don’t people care that the majority of produce in the grocery store was shipped from out of the country or out of state? Don’t people care about the overreaching regulations of the government?

While I know that there are millions of people out there who do care deeply about the same issues that I care about, I seem to forget when I find myself suddenly in a situation with someone who can’t be bothered about compost or whether or not their diet drink contains a powerful neurotoxin. The FDA deems it “safe,” after all, so why get up in arms about it? I don’t understand why that doesn’t get people riled up. Even supposedly “health-conscious” shoppers seem oblivious to the dangers of soymilk, rapid tofu consumption, and non-fat milk buying. But if you bring it up, they don’t want to hear it. That’s fine. Everyone is on their own journey. Change is hard. I get that. But it really gets to me sometimes.

There are always people who will make your passion fade into the dust and turn your inspiration into anger. It’s no use.

Anything worthwhile will usually be controversial and sometimes fall upon deaf ears. This goes for any passion. A person who chooses to pursue their passion will struggle with this. But I would rather struggle with it than live unpassionately and unaccording to my heart. This is what Howard Thurman was talking about. If the world was full of people pursuing their life’s passions the world would be a far grander place.

We tend to dismiss anything that isn’t common, mainstream, or already widely accepted. Maybe I’ve thought about these things once or twice but they are all distractions from keeping up with the fast pace of life. I care about things such as homeschooling, third party candidates, pro-saturated fat (animal fat), organic food, homesteading, raw milk, homebirths and water births, holistic medicine, anti-flouride, etc. My passion is not so much a new message, but one of return to what is tried and true–a call to enjoy life like a fine meal, in smaller bites.

I strive to deliver my message with love. I try to be understanding of the unique challenges that individuals face, and of how hard it is to change. But the same challenges can open the minds of people who need to hear what you have to say. If I hadn’t had serious health issues that drove me to make changes I might not carry the message that I do. Your message is for people who need to hear it. If some don’t respond to your ideas that must not keep you from fighting the good fight. Be strong, and someday the scoffers will take notice.

People laugh at me for caring about such things so deeply. But I love what I love, and I enjoy the things I enjoy. I will live life passionately and pursue what I love. I will write about these things, share my ideas, thoughts and opinions. People can take what I have to say or leave it, it won’t stop me from boldy proclaiming it. What the rest of the world does and believes will not shake my foundation of truth.

❤ Olivia

This post is linked to Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday!

WBGW: Ladies Only.

A Day on the Countryside
“Oh yes, Ethel, I love my cloth pads.”

Ok, now that I have lured all the men in with that title, I will warn all of you that there is nothing titillating about what follows. It’s about something you’d rather not hear. So don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Each month (a hint for you guys to stop reading NOW!), when the dreadful crimson tide comes rolling through, I find that I dread the idea of using feminine hygiene products. They are the bane of my existence. I hate them. I hate changing them. I hate buying them. I hate what’s in them. (Unless of course they are organic cotton, in which case I hate how expensive they are.)

Tampons are made from cotton. Cotton farmers use one quarter of the world’s supply of pesticides, and five out of nine of the most commonly used pesticides are recognized to be carcinogenic.  You wouldn’t squirt bug spray up there, would you? So why use a toxic tampon?

If you are still using conventional tampons I encourage you to stop. The pesticides, toxic dyes, chlorine, dioxin, rayon, and perfumes in them are so readily absorbed by your insides it’s not even funny. Vaginal mucous is exceptionally absorbent.

The first step up from conventional pads/tampons is organic cotton pads/tampons. But I dare you to take it a step further and venture into the world of cloth pads. Yes, you heard me. Re-usable cloth pads. They are pretty and comfortable. And you only have to buy them once. What’s not to love? Also, if you are having bad cramps during your period it is better to use pads. Tampons can increase crampage by limiting flow.

The company Glad Rags (founded in Portland!) began their cloth pad business in 1993 in order to decrease the amount of energy used, pesticides sprayed, and waste made by disposable pads/tampons. Not only are cloth pads healthier for your body, but they are also more sustainable (the average woman will use 15,000 tampons in her lifetime).

I recently started using cloth pads and they work better than any disposable pad I have ever used–even the big diaper-like nighttime ones.

You can order Glad Rags online at www.gladrags.com or from Amazon.

There are still times and places for tampons of course, so keep a handy dandy supply of organic tampons around so you don’t have to use a nasty poisonous one during an emergency. You can find organic tampons at your local co-op or health food store and at Whole Foods. You can also buy them online. I like Emerita brand. 🙂

This post is linked to Butter Believer’s Sunday School Blog Carnival and Gnowfglins Simple Lives Thursday 🙂
Stash Pics

Creamed and Curried Eggplant

Aubergine (Brinjal) in the home terrace garden
Did I mention I LOVE Indian food?

Here is a delicious recipe that is the perfect pair to rice (don’t forget to sprout it!), Naan (indian flat bread), or just in a bowl all by itself!

There is something about the creaminess and depth of Indian spices that is so addicting. I can’t really describe the flavor because it is so well rounded and full. You have to see for yourself!

Here’s what you will need:

3 medium size Eggplants

1 large yellow onion

1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds

1 1/2 tsp garam masala (spice)

1 T sea salt

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cayenne powder

1 T cumin

Approx 3 T Ghee or butter

1/2 cup of cream preferably raw or atleast not ultra-pasteurized

1/4 cup chopped tomatoes

I didn’t measure as I was going, so these are guestimate measurements. I think they are pretty accurate but you can do what you think looks right/yummy.

Directions:

1. Cut eggplants in half and broil at 500 degrees for approximately ten minutes on each  side or until the skin starts to wrinkle and detach. The outside should look slightly scorched.

2. While the eggplant is cooling fry the onion in ghee/butter with spices. Let the onions become soft then add the chopped tomatoes.

3. Fry this mixture until it is thick and there is not much liquid left. Set aside.

4. Scrape eggplant flesh out of skin.

5. In food processor or with electric mixer, process with about 1/2 cup cream (more if you like) I also used some creme fraiche I had in my fridge. The texture will ideally be not runny but thick and creamy. Add sea salt to your liking.

6.Mix the processed eggplant with the onion/tomatoes and add more sea salt to taste.

Enjoy!

Eggplant Bharta

photo credit: from flickr Aubergine (Brinjal) in the home terrace garden by Raman_Rambo

photo credit: from flickr Eggplant Bharta by Monica.Shaw

WBGW: Cod Liver Oil…Fermented!

fermentedcodliveroil

We have all been hearing a ton about the vast health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. But I’m not just talking about any old cod liver or fish oil. I’m talking about FERMENTED cod liver oil. Uncapsulated, liquid, fermentey-goodness. The stuff Roman warriors downed before battle. Fermenting cod liver oil increases the nutritional content immensely.
Paris: Pont d'Iéna - Roman Warrior
According to Ann Marie at Cheeseslave,

cod liver oil was traditionally processed via fermentation, and not processed with heat. She said that the fishermen would throw the livers into a barrel, add a little sea water, and then leave it to ferment.”

Natural fermentation, lacto-fermentation, and raw are all the recent rage when it comes to food–for good reason. Why not treat your cod liver oil with the same respect? Most fish oil found on the shelf at the store is highly processed at high temperatures. We all know that heating things (pasteurization) kills beneficial nutrients and bacteria, and denatures enzymes.

Fermenting cod liver oil takes about 6 months to a year. So you can see why suppliers decided to ditch that route. Unless you are up to the task of fermenting it yourself, there is only one fermented cod liver oil on the market and it is made by Green Pastures.

In my readings from Nourishing Traditions I learned that one teaspoon of regular cod liver oil contains 5,000 IU Vitamin D but with only a half teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil you also get 5,000 IU. That is 2x the amount of Vitamin D!

According to Nourishing Traditions,

“Vitamin D is needed for calcium and phosphorous absorption…The body manufactures vitamin D3 out of cholesterol in the presence of sunlight. Although some claim that we can obtain all the Vitamin D we need by spending a short amount of time each day in the sun, Price found that healthy primitive diets were rich in Vitamin D–containing foods like butterfat, eggs, liver, organ meats, marine oils and seafood, particularly shrimp and crab.”

Interestingly enough, Weston A. Price found that the diet of primitive people contained Vitamin D amounts ten times higher than the standard American diet.

Enough about Vitamin D. Fermented Cod Liver Oil also contains twice the amount of Vitamin A. From Weston A. Price’s studies, it has been discovered that without Vitamin A from an animal source your body cannot utilize protein, mineral, or water-soluble vitamins. That should shock you! This means that carrots will NOT do the trick for you. You need to be getting a very high amount of animal fat in your diet to utilize all of the vitamins from vegetables. Sorry Vegans, you’re SOL!

Besides the Vitamin A and D factor, fermented cod liver oil is a very effective anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agent, reduces the risk of heart disease and learning disorders, effectively treats eczema and acne, and is a “superfood” for brain function.

Green Pastures sells fermented cod liver oil in a myriad of different flavors to mask the unpleasant taste and smell. Actually, the word unpleasant is an understatement. NASTY is more like it. Don’t let this deter you from downing this superfood. I can proudly say that I’ve progressed from putting it into capsules myself to successfully shooting it down by the spoonful usually with a raw milk chaser.

For more interesting articles regarding Fermented Cod Liver Oil check out:

Holistic Kid: Benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Cheeseslave: Why Fermented Cod Liver Oil?

Also, check out Twenty-Two Reasons Not To Go Vegetarian

Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus)

Rustic Sprouted Tikka Masala Pizza

tikkapizza (2)

If there are two cuisines I love most in this world, they are Indian and Italian. Maybe Mexican and German, too. And French, definitely French cuisine. Ok, I love them all…but this recipe features the South Asian tikka masala curry and the traditional Italian pizza. One of the reasons I love pizza SO very much is because of it’s versatility. I can be a carrier for virtually any food you desire. I like to make my pizza’s square in honor of my Sicilian roots and also because I only have a square baking pan.

Please excuse the terrible food photography… 😛

This recipe was loosely adapted from Look Who’s Cooking Too‘s Chicken Tikka Pizza recipe. The crust is from To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co’s Pizza Crust Recipe.

For the crust you will need:

3 cups of sprouted whole wheat or spelt flour

1 1/8 cups water

3 T Olive Oil

1 1/2 t sea salt

1 1/2 t honey (preferably raw, organic)

1 packet dry active yeast

2 T dried herbs of choice

dough (2)
dough2 (2)

For the Tikka Masala Chicken and marinade you will need:

2 Chicken thighs, preferably pasture-raised, non-gmo fed, organic.

2 t Ginger Powder
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 T full-fat plain yogurt
1 t chili powder (less if you are partial to spicy)
1 t Garam masala (i think I used a little more of this because I love the flavor)
 1/2 T olive oil
sea salt to taste…about a 1/2 t

tikkaspices (2)
tikkamarinade (2)

Other ingredients:
Preferably Homemade tomato sauce (store-bought will work too) I had some leftover in my fridge and added about 1 1/2 T of Garam masala to it.
2 tomatoes
1 bunch of spinach
mozzarella ~ two or three cups, grated
Directions:
First make the pizza crust:
Place all ingredients in a large bowl or food processor and mix well.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it into a ball on a lightly floured surface.
Coat the bowl with olive oil; place dough back in bowl and turn it once to coat with oil.
Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let stand for 30 mins, or until the dough doubles in size.
Place it on a greased baking pan and spread it across pan with fingers.
While your dough is rising make your Tikka Masala chicken:
I used 2 thighs. Clean them and dry them.
Cover them with marinade and fry in butter on each side until done (about 10 mins each side. It varies)
Spread tomato sauce across pizza dough
add mozzarella
add tikka masala pieces
add pan drippings
add tomatoes
add spinach leaves
Bake in the oven for 8-12 mins at 500 degrees.
Enjoy!
❤ Olivia

Tikka Masala