Blueberry Einkorn Muffins

I’ve ventured a tiny bit away from 100% gluten free…into the land of ancient grains. Einkorn is perhaps the most ancient form of wheat, with a different kind of gluten, far less gluten (1.2% vs. 9.9%) and chromosomes (14 vs. 42), and far more nutritional punch (2.5x protein, 3x antioxidants). 

These muffins are light yet hearty, with just a touch of sweetness. A perfect breakfast muffin. 

Blueberry Einkorn Muffins


Blend until “milk:”

  • 1.5 cups pure water
  • 3 TB hemp seeds

Add to large mixing bowl with:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Whisk, then add:

  • 2 cups Einkorn Flour (Young Living)
  • 1 cup Namaste GF flour (Costco)
  • 1 cup GF flour (Trader Joes)
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 4 tsp aluminum-free baking soda (Trader Joes)
  • 1 tsp Celtic sea salt (Amazon)

Stir until just combined, then add:

  • 2 cups fresh or thawed blueberries

Spoon into paper lined muffin tins. Bake 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. I baked at 375 on convection for 20 minutes. Serve warm with quality butter. 

Why Fermented Foods for Wellness

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Finished raw milk kefir, ready for the fridge.

You may or may not have heard all the fuss about fermented foods. And you may or may not have starting fermenting at your house. But either way, it’s something which you may want to follow.

Why? Because unlike many of the health fads, fermenting is…well, not a fad. It’s been around from the beginning of time, not just to break down waste into compost, but to break down FOOD into more absorbable, nutritious, and tasty eats. In every culture, you have mums intentionally fermenting foods and feeding it to young and old alike. Some may not call it fermenting, or may not know a thing about lactic acid or good bacteria, but they are doing it none-the-less: kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, salami, pickles, kombucha, yogurt, cheese, wine, tamari, miso, tempeh, natto, sourdough.

So you probably HAVE heard of probiotics. Good bacteria, normally found in the gut of every living mammal, which keep the immune system healthy but not over-reacting, stabilize mood, keep us regular, create vitamins like folate and B12, speak to the brain in many chemical ways to keep us thinking clearly, and detoxify a lot of nasty stuff, including some of the pesticides and chemicals and heavy metals we eat (oops). This is not an exhaustive list. There’s a TON of research done on these good little microbes. Like, upwards of 29,000 studies come up on PubMed just by searching “lactobacillus.”

We know that:

You can buy probiotics in many different combinations of strains, quantities, and delivery methods. Which I have done regularly for over a decade, and I’m grateful for the availability of these specific strains (because sometimes, it’s good to troubleshoot with specifics). But, I’ve found the most help over the years by the foods that are packed with good bacteria, so I’m cranking up my ferments. Raw milk kefir is an every-week staple here, but this week I’m excited to try a watermelon juice, a Daikon radish ferment, and a Jun variety of kombucha.

I’m following a fermenting expert I’m lucky enough to know as a friend: Jane Casey of Jane Casey’s Kitchen. She’s amazing, fun, and has an amazing true story of twin sons who were profoundly autistic, but now aren’t. At all. Because of ferments.

I’m learning a ton (like: using ingestable essential oils to promote fermentation…wha??). Best tip of the week: use folded fresh grape leaves to keep the veggies all submerged (this is like the main rule of fermenting veggies: keep them under the brine so they don’t mold). I will keep you posted, because we have a special project coming for these classes, live and local.

Do you ferment? What’s on your counter now?

And for those who want to geek out with me, here are a few interesting studies on the benefits of probiotics which I stumbled across on PubMed. Not that the other 29,000 aren’t interesting too…

This study links good gut bacteria (L. Reuteri in this case), with immune regulation and folate metabolism. So all you MTHFR people (I’m one too) can go crazy about that. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27353144

This study notes the protective effect of friendly bacteria against bladder infections in pre-and-post-menopausal women (different strains are more effective for pre- or post- menopausal). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27092529

Probiotics in critically ill children: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27081478

This study showed that stressed mice had changes to their gut microflora, specifically reduced L. Reuteri. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25028050

 

Healthy Habit #1

Good news! The best and most important thing you can do for your health is what you are doing right now: reading.

Of course, don’t limit yourself to my blog. Read health articles online and in magazines, read headlines and bylines, read cookbooks and warning labels. There are lots of opinions out there, so of course you won’t agree with everybody. But you will begin to formulate a philosophy of healthy living. Most of all, read the fine print on everything that you buy. Check out my post on How to Read an Ingredient Label.

Reading the list of ingredients is important even for things you never thought about having ingredients, like baby wipes. You definitely want to know what going into and onto you and your loved ones. Since our skin is our largest organ…and since it is an absorbing organ, what is ON us, is IN us. So choose carefully what you expose yourself to.

And keep on reading. It’s good for you.

Good news for the eco-conscious: more consumer demand = more choices

It seems that everywhere you look these days natural and organic products are cropping up. Coupons, promos, and advertisements -from such traditionally non-natural companies like Clorox- inform us that not only is there a demand for these types of products, but everyone wants part of the market share.

Green is now far more than a color. Organic is the new little black dress.

Of course, with so many newcomers to the game, the rules can get a little fuzzy. A lotion promising “95% organic ingredients” may still have paraben preservatives, and an all-purpose cleanser labeled “earth friendly” may mean little more than that it was produced in a plant that had low energy bulbs hanging overhead.

Now, more than ever before, consumers must be savvy.

But the good news is that there are now so many options for healthier products in so many consumer lines, whether body care, food, cleansers, food and water containers, toys and baby products, even home furnishings. And more options mean a competitive market that responds to consumer demand.

So do your research. And enjoy your growing choices.

EWG Resources

Here’s a site you’ll want to be familiar with: ewg.org. That stands for Environmental Working Group, which is a consumer education and advocacy organization. And importantly, they have invested heavily to create databases for checking on toxicity.

ewg

Those databases include:

I’m particularly excited about the guide to household cleaners because…well, I’m not a scientist. I had no previous way of knowing whether my goods were what they claimed. And guess what? Some of my “green” labeled products came up with FAILING ratings. What? Yeah. Charlie’s Soap products, which were sitting in my cabinet when I found the database and began searching.

Charlies

Not all the databases are perfect (being updated often, but not perfect), and of course some of the opinions are subject to your health philosophy (like saturated fat in raw organic cheese being flagged as unhealthful; you probably know I’m a butter-fat advocate, in moderation).

But if you’ve been frustrated by the lack of ingredients on your cleaning products, or the lack of your own knowledge on how to interpret the ingredients which are listed on your personal care products, these sites are for you!

Oh, there are some Apps too…check your app store for EWG. The privately created ThinkDirty app is nifty too…barcode scans your personal care items!

Have you used any of these databases? Have you had ingredient revelations?

Starting Again

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I’m starting again. Blogging, that is. Yes, I’ve been living the clean/green life…even MORE so with each year, and this last year has been busy with local classes and teaching trips, doing one-on-ones and FBGroup admin comments. Learning more, sharing more, living more.

But not blogging so much.

Although, I have more to share with you than ever. Like, what I’m using to wash my clothes, my toilets, my face. Hacks in the kitchen, for kids, for shopping. And BATHs…wow, what a game changer. Brilliant people you should be following on FB. Great books you’ll want to check out. And fun home-y stuff like the new lights in my dining room, old fashioned roses in my front yard, and yummy limeade. Oh, and I’m working on a definitive guide on buying and selling through craigslist.

I’ve also been working on a project to launch a new site with info specific to Essential Oils (my new health LOVE). Because surely, if I am not keeping up with ONE blog, not keeping up with TWO blogs will make me happier? Haha…seriously, it’s because there’s just so. much. to. tell.

Have you started something new? Need to start again something old?

 

Buying an Essential Oils Starter Kit (Yes! You want one!)

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Young Living Premium Starter Kit; it’s one of the best health purchases I’ve ever made.

Yep, these oils are ah-MAZE-ing, and I’m betting you’ll love them just like we do. So here’s the run down on getting started.

Young Living has put together a great starter kit, with 11 essential oils which are super versatile, so you’re getting just about all your needs covered in this one kit. Here’s what you get:

5ml Copaiba
5ml DiGize
5ml Frankincense
5ml Lavender
5ml Lemon
5ml PanAway
5ml Peppermint
5ml Purification
5ml RC
5ml Thieves
5ml Stress Away
Cold Steam Diffuser, your choice of design: Home, Dewdrop, Bamboo
1 Rollerball Fitment
Sharing mini bottles with cards
EO sample packets
2 packets of Ningxia Red (each 2oz)
Presentation box, instructional materials

If you’d like me (or anyone on my team) to sponsor you, you also have access to the support I offer.

Perks for joining with me/my team:
Secret Facebook Group for oils questions/support called The Daily Drop
Secret Facebook Group for adrenal/thyroid energy support
Secret Facebook Group for mentoring in business skills
Monthly challenges, information, stories, classes (online or local)

I highly recommend you obtain a reference guide for using the essential oils you purchase. My favorite is published by Life Science Publishing, or you can look on Amazon.com.

I’d love to get to know you better in a mentoring relationship through oils! If you would like to begin your essential oils journey with me, please use my Sponsor/Enroller number of 1526703 to order on youngliving.com, or follow this link. In this way you also help support my blog. Thank you!

Skillet Italian Chicken

Here’s a yummy, fast dinner, if you have the ingredients on hand.

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Skillet Italian Chicken

Over medium heat, fry 7-8 chicken breast tenders in 1 Tb. butter, liberally seasoned with Italian Seasoning (herbs and garlic from Frontier herbs) and celtic sea salt (my favorite yummy salt). I cooked the tenders from frozen, and it took only about 10 minutes. I kept a lid on my skillet the entire time to preserve the juices and keep the tenders moist, then I chopped them into chunks with the cooking spatula and transferred them into a lidded casserole to keep warm.

Next, I added to the skillet/juices: 1/2 lb of cherry tomatoes, cut in half, and 1 lb. red and yellow peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped. I left the lid off the skillet and turned the heat up to nearly high, to get some blackening on the edges of the veggies, about 7 minutes. I then transferred them to the casserole.

Next, I added more butter to the skillet, more salt, and 1.5 lbs crimini mushrooms (most of a large box from Costco), washed and halved. (I know you’re supposed to “wipe” mushrooms with a dry cloth to preserve their full flavor. But really? They’re grown in manure! I wash them.) Again I left the lid off and sauteed them on med. high until they produced a nice jus.

The mushrooms are then added to the casserole, blended together, and sprinkled with 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I love the raw one which Trader Joe’s sells in a convenient bag). Serve hot next to a salad of baby greens. Bon appetit!

Container Veggie Gardens

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I recently stopped to smell the roses, and went on a walk with my littles in NW Portland.

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What inventive container gardening we found. Metal farm troughs used as vegetable beds beside a steep driveway:

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Of course the neighbor gets in on the act:

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Glazed tall containers mixed into established plantings:

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And old-school wooden raised beds, not hidden behind garden gates but on display in the grass strip:

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Lots of roses:

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And textural ground covers mimicking roses:

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Mini farm rows by the sidewalk:

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Charming steps:

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And a Portland blue sky.

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If you would like to tour this neighborhood and more on June 28, 2014, visit sustainableoverlook.org for details.

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