Sunday, January 30, 2011


     Another one down. Miss 1180. This time I had a husband next to me and several family members. It was a different race than last year for me although the same venue. Last year I was running for myself. I was there to prove that I could do it. This year, I knew I could do it. This year I was running for the cause. This was a run for a cure for cancer. I thought about some very dear people as I ran.

     I ran for my friend who was burying her daughter that very day. I was running for little Abigail who is in the hospital fighting for her life. I was running for my husbands co-worker who died the day before. I was there running with cousins who's father died in 2009 from brain cancer. I was running for little London, whom the race is named after; a family friend's daughter who died from leukemia. Cancer plagued them all. 

     I thought about them all as I ran and what they all had to go through. I thought about the families who struggled along with them. I thought about how our world is so contaminated and how so many aren't doing anything about it. But, I was running with lots of people who were doing something about it and I get to blog to many moms who are fighting their own wars against it. The run was for Hope. I Hope that we can stop cancer. I Hope we can find a way to make our world a little cleaner and that we can take control of our little worlds, our homes. 

     I am glad I did it. I can still walk today although the stairs are a bit challenging. I still don't like running and will never call myself a runner but I did something. I got out there. One more down. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Read if you are a SOY believer

I know way too much about soy to allow it in my home but many of you may still be led to believe it is a health product. Many of you use soy protein powders or cook with tofu. Please take a moment to read this from Mercola. I have read many, many articles like this and don't touch the stuff. Too bad. It once was a super food.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A rant of sorts.


     Believe it or not, I am not a preacher. I want to preach. I want to scream at people who feed their children blue yogurt. I want to grab every expectant mother and tell them to not give her newborn child a vaccine in the hospital. I want to tell every mom to stop giving their child pasteurized milk to drink. But...... I don't. Mostly. If you ask, I will tell you. If you don't, you can either read my blog where I get to let it all out or live in your world of ignorant bliss.

    Today, I have about had it. I have had a week of story after story of health issues. Serious health issues. Health issues that could have been changed. I have had some great talks with women who have changed their lives in very hard ways to overcome health problems. But what makes me crazy tonight is that for the most part, moms aren't getting it. If you stop by this blog and many other great nutrition blogs out there, hopefully you are getting it or at least are working on getting it. My rant tonight goes out to those who don't want to get it because it is just easier to not get it. Unfortunately, they aren't reading this.

     The problem is that ignorance is the disease. I talked with my SIL today who is not taking her disease at face value. She is doing all possible to change the outcome. We talked about how this world we live in now is so totally different than anything we have or anyone ever to be born has lived in. It is full of toxins, pesticides, dead food, diseased animals, seeds that are sown with pesticides, tap water full of heavy metals, toys full of mercury, vaccine overload, antibiotic overuse, etc., etc.  The world has never seen this. There is almost nothing that is untouched. 

     I look at this picture I took of my precious children as we hiked this past week. How are they ever going to make it in this world we live in? It is scary. One thing I know, I will do all in my power to give them every benefit they can to make it. They need some sort of chance and it is my responsibility. I have to teach them. I need to be the role model.

     I talked to a good friend this week who's body has shut down on her at a very young age. She is very active, very adorable. She decided to take control of her life and try to win it back. She is learning what really is in food and what she did to her body with protein drinks and Diet soda's. She is angry that she did it to herself. She is also upset that her mother never gave her any tools to teach her the importance of food. She never had veggies. She lived on fast food. She wonders what it would have been like if she had had a head start. She is determined now that her children will learn from her the value of food. I am so very proud of her.

     I can't imagine what world our children are going to face. I am not even talking crimes here. I am strictly talking about the one thing we all must have; food and water and the basic needs in life. Politics are against us. Our crops have been taken over by big business that have sown round up into our seeds. The FDA wants to stop us from getting supplements. Our water has fluoride in it which is banned in most other countries. The list goes on. We went from 1 in 10,000 with autism just decades ago and now it is at least 1 in 90. 1 in 60 in boys. Will anyone be safe in the next decades? Scary thought. 

    It is time to take it seriously. You need to take care of yourselves so your children don't have to take care of you and have the stress of an ailing parent. You need to take care of your children so that their mind can work properly and their bodies can enjoy life. They need the tools for their futures and it is no ones responsibility buy yours. No ones. 

     Watch Food Inc. Read books. Buy organic food. Buy real food. Stop buying fast food. Cook dinner. Stop buying sugar cereal. Pack your kids lunch. Make them eat their veggies. Be the mean mom. Mean moms rule.

    There's my rant. I have to get it out so I won't yell at that mom at Walmart with the blue yogurt. I will just pass her and give her a little smile. She won't know it is a smile of sympathy....sympathy for her kids. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fresh finds....Mamapedia for Abe's Market

I was so excited to see today's Mampedia deal for Abe's Market. My friend had told me about this company for good beauty/cleaning products without the junk. You can get 1 gallon of body wash/shampoo that smells great for about $15. Now with this Mamapedia deal, you spend $20 and get $40 in products! Shipping is a flat $3.99 and free if you spend $79. This is a good stock up deal. 

Click here:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Kefir Pop

     I have to admit I am a bit addicted to my Kefir pop. I am limiting myself a bit but I love to try out new flavors as I am still fairly new to the game. I think I am getting it now. Practice makes perfect.

    Here are some of my favorite brews so far:

    Orange Creme Soda

    After the first ferment with grains, I strain the grains then add in one orange, washed and sliced; peel still on. I then add a little vanilla.
Set back out on counter with a loose lid for another 24 hours or as desired.

     Cranberry Lemonade

     Again, after the 1st ferment, add fresh cranberries in blender along with the juice of one or two lemons. Add some additional raw sugar as desired. Puree until smooth and add to the strained kefir. Stir in. Sample taste for sweetness and allow to ferment another 24 hours or as desired. It will loose sweetness as it ferments

                              Ginger Brew

     Add in a little fresh ginger and a little vanilla to the second ferment. Let sit out until desired.

  Strawberry Lemonade

     Pretty much the same as with the cranberry but with strawberries. I usually add about 8 frozen or fresh strawberries and juice of two regular lemons. I add a little more water if too strong but not too much. I usually don't need extra sweetener with the strawberry.

 Grape (not shown) 

     Just add organic, pure grape juice to the second ferment. My favorite flavor of all but expensive!

I have done fresh squeezed orange juice and it wasn't too great. I did like the fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

With kefir, it is an individual thing. You have to play around with it and figure out how you like it to taste. I like mine fizzy, like soda and a little tart. I find that using my half gallon jars, 24 hours is plenty of time for my first ferment then after I strain it and add juice, usually 24 hours again for the second ferment is enough. I know it is done by how fizzy it is. It will also get a little fizzier after you cap it and put it in the fridge. I find that about a ratio of 6-7 cups kefir and about 1-2 cups juice works great. I like to use the plastic mason jar lids you can find at stores like walmart. I just set them on top, not screw them on until they go in the fridge. They hold the fizz fine in the fridge. I haven't needed to buy the cork tops. 

I find I can add these to smoothies or I can also just use the plain kefir before I flavor and fizz it up. Once you start, it really is easy as pie. It is just getting in the rhythm of things. I am glad to be getting extra probiotics in around here. They are the keys to the universe. Maybe I will call this my universe juice? 

Can't find the half gallon jars or lids? Get them here:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waste Not...leftover hamburger buns.

I hate to waste food. Really hate it. To me, not only is it a waste of my money, it is showing ingratitude for the food I was blessed with. I try hard to use the "scraps" in other creations when at all possible. Saturday we had some friends over for a BBQ and you are always left with the hamburger buns that you over bought. Now, there is no way I am going to use them for any other dish since they were store bought, tasteless buns except for.....

Croutons. Croutons are a great way to use up the leftover buns and french bread. It is so easy and they store great. If you have lots, you can put them in mason jars and use a food saver vacuum lid if you have one. 

To make your own, simply cut the bread into squares or be real cute and make shapes. 

Then, drizzle with olive oil or spray with an oil sprayer. Sprinkle with herbs of choice, garlic powder and sea salt. I love the Herbs de Provence myself. 

Bake in the oven on 300 , tossing now and then until they are crisp. You don't want them brown, just dried out. 

Now, if you need something to serve along side your salad topped with homemade croutons, you can try these cute little pinwheels out.....

Also super easy but oh so appetizing. It is a great way to use the leftovers in the fridge.

To make these, make your favorite pizza dough or you can borrow my recipe here:

Pizza Dough

4 cups all purpose flour, or half whole grain

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 tsp yeast in 1/4 cup warm water

1 T. Olive oil

Mix yeast in measuring cup with 1/4 cups warm water. Let yeast get foamy. Put 3 cups of flour in bowl with salt. Mix and stir in 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil and yeast mixture. Mix with spoon until sticky. Add more flour until the dough is only slightly sticky. Let rest for 8 minutes. Knead again until dough is smooth and elastic. Let rise for 4 hours. 

 I let the dough rise for about an hour for this recipe. I used half whole grain, half white flour. All whole grain would be a little heavy. 

Roll out dough to about 1/3 inch thick. Sprinkle with about 2 cups mozzarella or more if desired. Top with whatever you desire. I used thin prosciutto, chopped onions, chopped spinach and a little crumbled bacon. The total amount of meat I used was 4 oz. and this fed 6 hungry people for dinner and two of us for lunch.

After the toppings are on, roll up the dough like a cinnamon roll, long side first. Pinch seams and edges. Place seam side down on a jelly roll pan. I put mine on parchment and had to put the roll up diagonally on the pan to make it fit.

Brush the entire top with olive oil and bake at 425 for 25 minutes or until golden. The top will be crispy.

Let cool a few minutes and serve alongside some marinara sauce for dipping. Yummy. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fresh Finds......

I am working on my great big Costco list for you but here are a few great deals for this week. Sprouts begins tomorrow and remember that if you go on Wednesday, you get last week deals as well!


                Organic, grass-fed ground beef $3.97 lb! Stock up!!!          
                5lb bag of organic russet potatoes, 2 for $5
                1 lb  bag of organic kiwi, $1.99
                3 lb bag of organic yellow onions, $1.99


               5 lb bag of organic fuji apples: $3 ($.60 per lb!)                     
               ***$3 off coupon in today's mailer as well

               Other things I love at Fresh and Easy is the organic
               heavy cream, organic applesauce, Naan bread, 
               and the natural, organic peanut name a 

Monday, January 17, 2011


One of the blessings from writing this blog is that I have met many women who have become my friends and who have inspired me in many ways. There are so many amazing ladies out there trying there hardest to be mothers and wives. Women who don't take the easy roads and strive daily to be better. I love the emails, I love the stories. I started this blog merely as a way to share what I learn about homemaking but never expected what I would get in return. I am blessed for it. 

Tonight I am feeling especially blessed as I talked with a very sweet friend I gained from my blogging life.
I met sweet Annabeth at the beginning of my blogging career. I instantly felt she was a kindred spirit with me. She is a lady of pure quality and leads a life of beauty and dedication. She is an amazing mother and wife who is completely dedicated in all she does. Tonight, my heart aches for her.

When I returned home from a day out in the mountains with my kids, I decided to get any messages of my cell phone since I had it off since Saturday. The message I received from Annabeth immediately made the tears flow and my heart break.

I had been at Annabeth's house on Friday. Her sweet little Abigail, her little baby girl, had RSV and had been sick for almost two weeks. Annabeth, although she had slept very little in those weeks, wore a smile and had the usual spunk I have always seen her with. She never complains but she was concerned for this little one. 

Her message to me came as a shock. The next morning after I saw her, she noticed a lump on her little ones neck. She went to the ER and was sent to a special children's hospital. The news came; Abigail has stage 4 cancer filling her little body. She asked for prayers.

How could this be? Why? All those questions filled my head and the tears flowed. I called her home and then called the hospital in hopes of giving her any comfort I could.

The amazing part was that after I finished my phone call with her, she was the one who comforted me. I hung up feeling peaceful and thankful. THANKFUL. How can you feel thankful when you receive news that a child, so tiny, is suffering such a terrible disease.

Thankful is what Annabeth was. She told me that sure, she cried her eyes out and prayed out her soul but the peace came to her and she started to think of all the blessings she has had in her life and in Abigails behalf. She feels amazing peace and she gave that to me.

I have been thinking about Annabeth since and her sweet Abigail. How can Annabeth be so at peace? She knows what lies ahead and the extreme trials she and her family will be going through. However, she has lived her life in a way that she has the strength she needs and has trust in the Lord that He will carry her when she can't go any further. 

She is a testimony to me that we must be at a place in our lives where we will be prepared for the trials that will come. There is no doubt that they will. Guaranteed. We need to be able to not only get through them but to rise to the challenge and triumph.  

In addition, we need angel women around us to be there when we need to be picked up and carried. My goal this year has been to reach beyond and see beyond myself. I am trying so hard to be thinking of others and to really know there needs. The ironic thing about this goal is that by thinking of others and trying to serve them, I am the one who is being lifted up. 

I am thankful for women. I am thankful for their strength. There are so many powerful examples in my life and I am thankful for you all.

Please, my sisters, pray for sweet Abigail and Annabeth. Pray for their continued peace. My very first thought when I heard her message was, if anyone can handle this, Annabeth can. I want to be like her. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wanted: Date Night

My husband is working Friday nights now. Sure, we have Saturday through Monday's  together but somehow having a Friday taken away from adult company makes it feel like a very long weekend. I love game nights with kids, meeting their every need, driving them to here and there... no doubt about that. But....I miss my hot date. Even if we don't get to go anywhere on a Friday, he is there and I like that. I am sure you all know what I mean. 

I didn't take date nights for quite a stretch of time when kids were real little and attached to my body or I worked a bit during the week and didn't want to leave them. Then, I had kids old enough to babysit which seemed golden until they had a "life" and wanted to go out also. When you finally secure the sitter to stay home, you have  a teenager who brought all his friends home and you certainly don't want to leave 8 teenage boys home alone while you are out. If you do get to go out, sometimes after you have worked all day, fed the kids, got everyone to where they want to be, all you want to do is sit on the couch. But, I know that each couple needs that alone time. Marriages can go sour if you don't invest the time. Summary: dating takes effort.

I am trying really hard to make Saturday nights time for us. It may mean just a quick trip to get food. But, we get to sit and talk without interruption. Of course, we usually talk about the kids but at least we get to talk. It gives you time to remember why you love that guy so much. It gives you time to feel like a girlfriend and not a maid and a cook. It gives you time to reboot and WANT to be a mom again.

It is Saturday and I am longing for a date night. After I feed the missionaries and the neighbors, get the kids delivered , picked up, washed and settled; I am going out. I have no idea where but I really don't care. I am secretly dreaming of eating this at Kona grill:

Divine. It is a grilled veggie pizza on flatbread with a Balsamic/fig reduction glaze. I took out my camera to capture this beauty when I ate there last and they asked me if I was a food critic. Hmmmm. Should I have said yes and maybe had gotten a free meal? It would have been a fun game. How does one get that job anyways because I think I would be good at it. Doesn't it look mouth watering? Every bit. Maybe next week. 

Hope you are all getting a date night tonight. You deserve it. What have you done for a fun date night lately? I am taking suggestions. I need to think outside the box and date like a teenager. Well, like teenagers used to date. Now, they just "hang out". Whatever that is all about???!!!

Oh, and if you want to try a new restaurant for your date night, there is a great Groupon today for a hip pizza place in Tempe. It won best of Phoenix and serves pizza made with homemade cheese and toppings cooked up in their brick oven. Groupons are the best way to try out something new.

Try this one out. Maybe you will see me there: The Enlightened Homemaker food critic!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fresh Finds...Redmond Real Salt and a trip to the bread store.

I was out in Mesa today so I just had to check out the bread deals at Alpine Valley Bread Co. So what if I made bread last night, who can't beat $.50 per loaf for back-up? I updated my previous post but FYI, they have this deal every day, not just on Friday's anymore. They have all sorts of bread products for $.50, like hoagie rolls, hamburger buns, focaccia, sourdough, etc. They also have some breads for $1. Some of the sell by dates were for tomorrow but many were for 5 days out. Incredible deal. They use real ingredients, no preservatives and many times organic. 

Also, I made a stop by my friends at Preparing Wisely and they have the Redmond Real Salt on Sale right now. The 26 oz bag is $6. They have other sizes as well. It will be on sale for the rest of the month. You can even visit them online. Just check out their link on my sidebar. If you missed my post on salt, you can read it here. Celtic is my very favorite but not a huge difference than the Redmond's Real Salt. 

Thanks to all those who keep me posted on the Fresh Finds around town. Now, none of us are going to have the excuse that we can't afford to eat right. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Healthified Cinnamon Rolls and Fresh Finds on bread.

I just ate two of these, hot from the oven. Sorry I didn't save you any. I didn't even feel that guilty for eating them since I made them in the best healthy style I knew how. Sure, it is still an indulgence since healthy doesn't mean calorie free but we are not talking Cinnabon calories here. This is the real deal cinnamon roll sans the frosting. 

I used my favorite bread recipe with sprouted kamut flour. Find the recipe here. I also made 3 loaves out of the dough in addition to a jelly roll pan of cinnamon rolls.

For the filling, I used coconut sugar and Saigon Cinnamon along with softened butter. It worked perfectly. I wasn't sure how the melt temperature of the coconut sugar would work but it worked great. It was a little crisper than brown sugar but I think that made it all the better. I didn't use very much so the kids thought I could add a little more next time but I don't like the over sweet. Did I tell you how much I love coconut sugar? Just wish it didn't cost so darn much. Watch for February, I think I will be doing a group order to get coconut sugar in a bulk price. Can't wait.

Now for the Fresh Find of the day, thanks to Annabeth, a fellow EH: Many of you know this little deal but just in case.... Alpine Valley Bread Co. on Southern and west of Country Club has bread for $.50 per loaf and some for $1. They have different loaves, rolls, focaccia, etc. and sometimes even organic loaves.  They usually have a sell by date for the next day but you freeze them and they do great. Who can't beat $.50 per loaf? Too bad they just can't go and sprout those grains for me too but these are great loaves with great ingredients. It is best to get there pretty early if you want to stock up. They open at 8:00. 

Thanks, Annabeth!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kefir Facts

When beginning to "kefir", it may seem a bit confusing. I found a great website that has about all the questions and answers that I could think of. I wanted to pass that along to you all. Just visit their site and click on the "learn" button.

For those of you who have just started with water kefir, I wanted to make sure that you learn about types of water so you don't end up killing your grains. Thanks to a reader, she prompted me to let you know about water issues. Grains need minerals and water that has been stripped, like RO water or tap water with chlorine, will throw off the balance. You can use RO water but you should add in some calcium with either some Dolomite powder, lemon peel or part of a washed , pastured egg shell. I have heard of some conflicting things about Dolomite powder so I am using the lemon peel/egg shell method. So far, my RO water has been just fine. Anyone else have any input? I LOOOOVVVE my kefir. It really is so easy once you learn the tricks. I am still learning and still experimenting. They are still multiplying like the cats in my backyard so I think we are A OK for now.

Thanks for the tips ladies!

Want grains? I've got'em.

Fresh Finds....

Wednesday is double ad days at Sprouts so you get last weeks super deals and this weeks! If you missed the info on last weeks great deals, look here.

This weeks great deals are:

All Gluten Free products are 25% off.

Sprouts organic bread is 2/$5

Organic Romaine hearts are $2.50 for a 3 pack

Organic broccoli is $.99/lb

Thanks to a prompt from a fellow EH, I am going to scour the Costco store this next week to give you a huge list of all the deals at Costco to keep you and your pocket book healthy. Costco is super dedicated to bringing quality organic products to the consumers. Support them in their efforts. Look for that list next week!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Coconut Sugar

I talk about coconut sugar often in my recipes but I am getting emails like......What is coconut sugar and why do you want to use it?

First off, it is a very low glycemic sugar which is very important. It won't cause those sugar highs and lows like regular sugar. 

Second, it isn't bleached and refined like white sugar. It is the sap of the coconut tree or flower that is then boiled and dehydrated. They don't ruin it with bleach and other chemicals. The body will know what to do with this sugar.

Third, it tastes great and can be used like sugar. 

Stevia is probably the best out there but to be honest, I don't like the taste. I use the coconut sugar when possible although it is a bit costly. I don't trust agave one bit so I stay away from that. Honey is my second choice.

I have been testing out my recipes with coconut sugar and they have been wonderful. It has a more Caramel flavor to it as natural sugars usually do. It has a low melt and burn temperature so you don't need to wait for it to boil down for long. 

This week, I healthified the ever popular Buttermilk Syrup recipe. It made it taste like I was putting caramel on my waffles, just a whole lot less guilt. 

Kefir-milk Syrup

1 stick butter
3/4 cup coconut sugar crystals
1/2 cup kefir

Melt together over medium high heat , stirring often. Careful not to burn.

As soon as it start to barely boil, remove from heat.

Add in:

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Stir and serve hot.

I also put some coconut sugar with cinnamon on good Sprouted, homemade bread . I put some butter on, sprinkled the coconut mixture and broiled it until it was bubbly. It was super yummy cinnamon toast. Still a treat but much better than the other options. 

I order my coconut sugar from Azure Standard but you can find it on the web as well. If you have found it in a store, let me know. If it is light in color, it is usually not pure or is refined. You want the real stuff. It is used in many eastern countries so I am going to try an Asian market to see if I can find it locally. It may be more expensive than white sugar but you can solve that by not using as much sugar. I find that I can use almost half as much sugar in many recipes and be just fine. We are all better for that!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fresh Finds...

Without any inspiration on what to call my deal finder section on my blog, I am simply naming it my "Fresh Finds". So, if you see that as the post header, you can bet you are going to find some sweet deals.

I get lots of emails from women who say that they can't afford to feed their family healthy. Well, I am going to help you with that. I even have been hitting the Walmart to check out fresh deals for you. I am even now on Facebook so you can get my updates that way as well. If you want to be my friend, I will be happy to oblige.

Today's Fresh Deals from Walmart:

Organic Sour Cream, Shamrock: $2:12 ( non organic is $1.98, not a big difference for better health!)

1 lb bag of organic carrots, $.99 

1 lb box of organic, on the vine, local, pesticide free tomatoes: $1. Cheaper than the pesticide containing tomatoes.

None of these are a special sale. Walmart is getting more and more organic items. They even had organic apples as well. Even if you don't see a sign that says organic, check the packages. If you see the produce sticker that shows the item number, anything that starts with a "9" is organic. If it says pesticide free, it is also organic. It just means that the company doesn't want to go through all the red tape to become organic certified. 

Eating healthy doesn't have to require you to take out a second mortgage. You just have to find the deals, eat what is in season and plan your meals around them both. 

Always email me if you find deals so we can pass it along. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Living without a Microwave...The follow up.

It was right before Thanksgiving when I had the little talk with my children. I told them that we were no longer, at all, going to use the microwave. Even though it wasn't used to cook at all, it was used to melt butter, reheat and boil water. They looked at me with puzzlement and wonder as to how in the world they would be able to reheat a slice of pizza again. Well, somehow, we have all survived. In fact, I don't think they even notice the microwave anymore. The only thing we use it for is for the timer. I thought I would report to you our "no microwave" follow up, just in case you too wonder how you would survive. 

You definitely need to make best friends with a good convection toaster oven and I love mine to pieces. It amazes me that it only takes a very tiny bit longer than a microwave to defrost a waffle. is crispy! Water boils just about as fast on the stove as it does in the microwave. Veggies get steamed in just a couple minutes longer than in the microwave. Butter can stay perfectly soft and spreadable if you get one of these:

Just leave it on the counter in the cute little croc. It has a bit of water in the bottom so when you turn it over, the water creates a bacteria shield. Awesome idea. Spreadable butter without falling for that butter spread trap. Love it. Want one, check out the link to the right.

 I really am surprised that not using a microwave at all hasn't really affected us. I knew it would be no biggie for me but the kids didn't have an adjustment period at all. They can work the toaster oven like they invented it.

I love the fact that we are radiation free in my kitchen. I love that my foods get to keep the nutrients they came in. I am sad to think that people live on processed, pesticide and chemical filled foods that are then nuked until they are totally toxic. Why is it such a shock that we are all so sick? It only takes a few adjustments in our life to change that.

Kill the microwave. Save yourself. It is self defense.