Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Healthy Diet Invitation

We are at it again.
For the month of August,
we are eating our healthy diet.
We don't venture too far from it for the rest of the year,
we just aren't as adamant.
We are doing this in great part due to a neighbor who wants to
but needs support and encouragement.
There might be several of us all doing it
so thought it might be fun if we invited you too.
We have among us borderline diabetics and gluten intolerant.
I need to make some calls tomorrow and find out who is in.
We begin Friday the first of August.
So here we go...

These are things we eat and things we avoid.  Last year, we did no grains, processed sugars, or chemicals.  Eliminating chemicals was the most difficult part.  Since then, hubby has continued to eat no wheat.  His joints are greatly improved by that.  We have continued to minimize grains in our diet.  One thing that made a lot of sense to me is that your body recognizes three things: sugars, fats, and proteins.  Grains are sugars.  Fats are good.  Proteins are best.

1st.  ~  No grains nor processed sugars.  We do eat fruit since they are natural sugars, and we don't typically O/D on them.  Once you eliminate grains and sugars, you can really taste their sweetness.  Honey or real maple syrup are okay, but we found that we didn't have anything to use them on.
2nd.  ~  Fats and oils: We use avocado or olive oil which are both stone fruits as well as butter or lard.  We do not use vegetable oil, shortening, or margarine.
3rd.  ~  Dairy: Eat as much as you like.  Eggs, milk, and cheese are good.  If we could get milk straight from the cow, that would be best.  The least processed the better (ie. no skimmed or ultra-pasteurized.)  Cheese without a ton of chemicals is difficult to find if you are avoiding chemicals.
4th.  ~  Nuts and seeds:  Eat all you want - just watch as they tend to add 'mystery' ingredients and cook in canola oil.*
5th.  ~  Meat: as much as you like.  Try to opt for 'natural' - not by government standards, but by real standards.  We still buy chicken and pork since we do not have a local source - yet.  We get grass fed/fattened beef, wild game, and fish. 
6th.  ~  Veggies and Fruits: Any and all.  The darker the better & lots of greens.  Herbs are really just greens with lots of flavor.
7th.  ~  Sauces and dressings: Beware!  Most are a mixture of oils, chemicals, sugars, and grains.  There is wheat in soy sauce, some ketchup, salad dressings, licorice, ... the list goes on and on.
8th.  ~  It will be difficult to eat out.  Most restaurants add starch &/or sugar even to their veggies.

There is no limit to the amount of food you eat as long as it is within the parameters above.
I lost 8 lbs. & hubby about 15 lbs. in one month changing nothing but our diet.  Hubby didn't move like an 80 year old man any more and was no longer in pain.

Wheat is a natural inflammatory & appetite stimulant.  I will just encourage you to do your own research before taking the government (FDA) word for what is safe and good for you.  
Example: Several of the approved food colorants are proven carcinogens.
There is a new book out "The Big Fat Surprise" which hubby and I would both recommend.
The Weston A Price site is good as well.
*Canola - click here

Before the Egyptians began cultivating crops to feed cities through the winter, the 'natural' human diet was very close to what we have listed above.  This makes a ton of sense to me and was the reason I gave it a whirl in the first place.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, licensed nutritionist, or medically certified in any way.  We do continually do our own research in regards to nutrition.  We are in no way responsible for your health.  We do believe in being responsible for our own health & nutrition.  If we can in some way help others we would love to do so.  Again, we would encourage you to do your own research.

You might be thinking this is expensive,
but it is amazing how much all the grains and sugars cost.
Our grocery spending didn't really change when we changed 
from eating those things to what we do on the diet.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

It was Sap/Pitch for Salve

If you happened to wonder by
a week or so ago,
I posted this picture to see if you could tell what it was.
The prior weekend, we went and got a load of firewood.
We found a red fir which burns well.
The kicker was that it was full of pitch.
I saved it and later heated it.
As it heats, it becomes more liquid.
And more transparent.
It will be infused into olive oil for salves and balms.
Pine (& fir, tamarack etc.) pitch has natural antiseptic properties.
So after 3-6 weeks,
I will pour the oil off and use it.
The ratio is 1 part pitch to 2-3 parts olive oil. 
The pitch pretty much ruins whatever you put it in
so I bought a very cheap pan from the thrift shop, a clean stick
for stirring, and am using jars that I had for recycle.
Also, when I was working with it and had it heating,
I had a brown bag on the counter.
I still managed to drip a few drops on the stove
then the olive oil ran down the side of the container.
The pitch need to harden to remove it more efficiently,
and the oil cleans up with warm water,
so it was one or the other.
This is a first attempt for me.
I am thinking as the pitch cools, it will solidify
and settle to the bottom.
I will have to keep you posted.
The other perk is that heating it indoors made the house
smell absolutely wonderful:)

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mountain Man Granola

It is a bit of an oxymoron,
but my mountain man (Mr. LB) loves this.
When he's riding or fishing etc.
and needs to pack food along,
this is packed with both protein and energy to keep him going.
I'm sure if I could work bacon or steak into the mixture,
he would like it even more:)
Group One
5 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup almonds (or any nuts)
1 cup pecans (or any other nuts)
1 cup pumpkin seeds 
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups dried fruit 
(I used dried apricots [chopped,] craisins, and dried blueberries)
Group Two
1/8 cup honey
2/3 cup real maple syrup
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Sea salt

In a large bowl, mix up the ingredients in group one.
Place on baking sheet(s) and toast in a 350 degree oven
for 5 minutes.  Stir and toast another 5-6 minutes.

Transfer back into the large bowl and mix in group two ingredients.
Place back on sheets, sprinkle with sea salt,
 and repeat toasting process.
Don't be surprised if little noses followed by little fingers
make their way into the kitchen.
It smells so good.
When you remove it from the oven,
pour it back into the bowl to cool.
If you let it cool on the sheet,
you will have to pick it off as it will stick.
Once cool, I like seal-a-meal bags
to keep it fresh and on hand for outings.
It makes about 10 cups of granola.
That is of course depending upon how much
disappears before you get it into the bags.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Saturday, July 19, 2014

*~*Homemade Deodorant*~*

For some reason this seems to be a touchy subject
with some folks.
There are lots different recipes, and I was skeptical,
but thought, "It doesn't hurt to try."

The cost to make a stick of deodorant?
Maybe 25 cents - ish.
(It's so little, I didn't take the time to do the actual figuring.)

One thing that was advised
was that you try it on a weekend when you plan to be home
so you aren't in public sniffing your underarm
every 5-10 minutes:)

I went ahead and took that advise.
I didn't have any sniffing problems; 
however, after a short time I noticed little white things
all over my floor.
One more word of advise:
it doesn't take as much as store bought deodorant.
1-2 swipes does the job.

What I really like (in addition to the lack of mystery chemicals)
is that there is no odd purfumey smell
if you do perspire.
You simply don't smell anything.
Also, it washes away better.

Most of the recipes I found call for tea-tree oil as it is an antiseptic.
Being sensitive to tea-tree, I used lavender.
Men could use pine or cedar, etc.

So here is what I used: 
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup corn starch
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
15 drops essential oil
Mix it well and press into deodorant container.
Let set 2-3 days before using.

I can honestly say,
I don't see myself ever buying store-bought deodorant again.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches