Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer Sides....Jicama

Now that it is getting warmer, my mouth craves anything with lime, cilantro and fruit. It is cool and refreshing...exactly what you need to live in the AZ summer. Tonight, I tried out a new creation with a veggie I have never even bought before; jicama. I am not sure why I haven't bought it except for the fact that I remember eating it once as a child and not liking it. Desiring something new on my dinner plate, I bought the weird looking veggie and brought it home for a little dressing up. Tonight's side was a perfect accompaniment to our corn enchiladas.

It is sort of a citrus jicama slaw. It was a good combo of sour and sweet. It was cool and crisp and even went well as a taco topping.

Jicama is loaded with potassium and fiber among other things. It is also super low cal at only 20 calories for a 1/2 cup. It is filling and soaks up whatever you put with it.

My creation tonight was simple with very basic ingredients:

One medium Jicama
lime juice
red onion
sea salt

I julienned the jicama and put it in a bowl. I cut up two oranges into very small pieces, about 1/2 inch wedges. I roughly chopped about 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro and juiced enough limes to make about 1/4 cup of juice. I used a little too much onion but would recommend about 2 T. of chopped red onion. I tossed the ingredients with a little sprinkle of sea salt and a little juice of half of a fresh orange. I chilled it for 30 minutes but it would be great even longer. Serve cold. 


Friday, May 20, 2011


I woke up sad today. Yep. It's because of that guy up there. Now and then I feel the weight of it all on my shoulder's and I have a little melt down. He has been a little nuts the last couple days, which happens now and then, and I get frustrated. Not with him so much but with myself. I don't know what else to do. For 4 1/2 years I have studied, prayed, spent lots of money on all sorts of doctors and treatments and fought for where we are now. All my focus was on getting him fixed. Now, I am at the point where we have done most of the things I know to do and he is not totally fixed. All of this is on my shoulders. I am Mom. Mom's carry the brunt. 

Getting him out the door to school today was like pushing a hippo through a doggy door. He wanted to watch Dora. I sorta decided I was done. After dealing with insurance this week, medical bills, etc., I just wanted to be done. The tears came, I told this little boy who was caught in my firm grasp that I just wanted him to be fixed. I wanted him to be normal. He saw the tears and patted my back. He got up and somehow we managed to get on the bus. 

The house was quiet and my thoughts continued to consume me. What was I to do for him? I am stuck. I cried more. On my knees. I prayed, I begged for guidance of how to fix him. 

I had planned on going to our temple today for some quiet reflection (LDS temple). I was hoping I would get some insight into what I needed to do for him through inspiration. I really wanted a loud voice to tell me exactly what treatment I needed to pursue. That would be the easy route. Instead, the inspiration came to me quickly and clearly, "You are not here to fix him, he is here to fix you."

Of course, I needed to help him. All we have done for his 6 1/2 years of life has been to help him; to get him  to where we are now. It was all important. I knew he was sent here for me, to make me a better person. I get that. But, I now understand a little better how he is to make me a better person.

Tate has been a case study in nutrition for me that has helped me to be able to share with many others. I thought perhaps this was one reason Tate was here for me. He has helped our family become healthier and more compassionate. I am so thankful for that. But, as the words kept replaying in my head that he was here to fix me, I kept thinking of how I still needed to be fixed. I feel pretty fixed right now and would rather he just be fixed at this point. 

I left the temple and went to visit sweet Annabeth. Annabeth is going through her own personal "fixing" with her little Abigail. (And, I must share that this little miracle child who was filled with stage 4 cancer in January is cancer free at this moment!) As always, my conversations with Annabeth are uplifting and inspiring. She was just what I needed today. We talked about our little ones and our struggles as mothers. She was telling me that as she was praying the other night, trying to understand why so many of these little ones are suffering, words came to her as well. It is all about faith. They are here to teach us about faith. They are here to make us put all our faith in the Lord. Deep and unrelenting faith. 

I drove home and started to really think about that. I know about nutrition. I know about Doctors and therapies. I have learned patience and compassion and perseverance. What I needed to learn more than ever before is to have faith. I have faith but I need to have faith to know that the Lord knows what is best for me and Tate. I need the faith to know the He is answering my prayers. He has not left me alone or put the burden upon my shoulders only to bear. He is there beside me and has my very best interest in mind. I didn't need to worry about Tate. I could keep doing my best and He would direct our paths. The thought was basic but it gave me such peace. I came home with a calm assurance that I needed to just relax, not worry and just love and enjoy this child. 

He came off the bus a happy child. We went in the back to eat a Popsicle and watch the chickens. I held his hand and talked about his day and realized that everything is going to be OK. I didn't need to worry about fixing him. He is fixed. He is perfect. He will one day have all the blessings that I desire of him. I know that. I just don't know the timetable but I don't need to know it. The Lord does and I have faith in Him.

Thanks, Annabeth. You are my sister. My friend. BFF's.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hoping to Adopt.....

Merrill and Mary

Just in case you know of anyone or hear of someone who knows someone....this beautiful family would like to add another bundle of joy to their home. I can highly recommend them. I would join their family.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Day

I can judge how my day is going to be by the first 15 minutes of the morning.....

First, woke up to this: (Oh, yea, and woke up 1 hour late!) 

Somehow I went to bed completely forgetting that I didn't finish the dishes. I went to take a quick shower and never made it back downstairs. Totally disappointing when I came down for breakfast first thing. This is an automatic 1/2 hour set back this morning. Totally can't afford that one.

Next, chickens were left unattended this morning and finished off the kale in the garden: garden fence going up this weekend. 

Then, the bus for Tate came 15 minutes early. He was still in PJ's. Why do they know when you are behind? EVERYTIME!!

I promised my highschoolers that I would bring them lunch today. Lunch is at 10:30. They each want different things. That leaves about 1 hour to get my hair colored (the gray hairs are out of control), clean the house, water the garden, finish emails and pick up two different lunches to be dropped off. The list after the 10:30 drop off is even more impressive. I totally shouldn't be on the computer right now but when the day already seems shot, who really cares that I am going to be even more behind?

But....somehow, at the end of the day, it will all be under control. I just know it. Ball games, speech therapy, visiting grandparents for lunch, the gym, dinner preparation, preschool prep, a hair cut....It is all going to happen in 12 hours or less. It is truly amazing what you can do when you put on your running shoes.

Have a great day. Hope the dishes fairy hit your house. I am not leaving a tip for mine. Totally skipped me over last night!

Monday, May 16, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Leaky Gut...Fascinating.

A fellow E.H. and facebook friend posted an article about 5 reasons why high fructose corn syrup could kill you.  Since I am pretty well versed in why HFC is so horrible for us, I didn't pay much attention until today. I took a moment to read it and read something that I haven't read before. It shocked me that I hadn't actually heard of this before but then again, the corn growers like to keep this under wraps. It answered a few questions for me that have been going on in my head.

The question: "Why does it seem like everyone is developing a leaky gut giving way to gluten and casein intolerance's?" 

Leaky gut leads to all sorts of problems in the body. Most autistic children have leaky gut. Probably most kids on the ADD/ADHD spectrum as well. Look at many other autoimmune diseases and you will likely see the same pattern. Why has this skyrocketed in the last few decades? 

I want you to take the time to read the whole article here but take a quick read at the paragraphs below about HFC and a leaky gut, taking special notes at the section highlighted in red. This is an article by Dr. Mark Hyman. Read the whole article here.

HFCS and cane sugar are NOT biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body.
High fructose corn syrup is an industrial food product and far from “natural” or a naturally occurring substance. It is extracted from corn stalks through a process so secret that Archer Daniels Midland and Carghill would not allow the investigative journalist, Michael Pollan to observe it for his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The sugars are extracted through a chemical enzymatic process resulting in a chemically and biologically novel compound called HFCS.
Some basic biochemistry will help you understand this. Regular cane sugar (sucrose) is made of two-sugar molecules bound tightly together – glucose and fructose in equal amounts. The enzymes in your digestive tract must break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose, which are then absorbed into the body.
HFCS also consists of glucose and fructose, not in a 50-50 ratio, but a 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio in an unbound form. Fructose is sweeter than glucose. And HCFS is cheaper than sugar because of the government farm bill corn subsidies. Products with HFCS are sweeter and cheaper than products made with cane sugar. This allowed for the average soda size to balloon from 8 ounces to 20 ounces with little financial costs to manufacturers but great human costs of increased obesity, diabetes and chronic disease.
Now back to biochemistry. Since there is there is no chemical bond between them, no digestion is required so they are more rapidly absorbed into your blood stream. Fructose goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol) this is why it is the major cause of liver damage in this country and causes a condition called “fatty liver” which affects 70 million people. The rapidly absorbed glucose triggers big spikes in insulin – our body’s major fat storage hormone. Both these features of HFCS lead to increased metabolic disturbances that drive increases in appetite, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and more.
But there was one more thing I learned during lunch with Dr. Bruce Ames. Research done by his group at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found that free fructose from HFCS requires more energy to be absorbed by the gut and soaks up two phosphorous molecules from ATP (our body’s energy source). This depletes the energy fuel source or ATP in our gut required to maintain the integrity of our intestinal lining. Little “tight junctions” cement each intestinal cell together preventing food and bacteria from “leaking” across the intestinal membrane and triggering an immune reaction and body wide inflammation.
High doses of free fructose have been proven to literally punch holes in the intestinal lining allowing nasty byproducts of toxic gut bacteria and partially digested food proteins to enter your blood stream and trigger the inflammation that we know is at the root of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia and accelerated aging. Naturally occurring fructose in fruit is part of a complex of nutrients and fiber that doesn’t exhibit the same biological effects as the free high fructose doses found in “corn sugar”.
The takeaway: Cane sugar and the industrially produced, euphemistically named “corn sugar” are not biochemically or physiologically the same.
3. HFCS contains contaminants including mercury that are not regulated or measured by the FDA
An FDA researcher asked corn producers to ship a barrel of high fructose corn syrup in order to test for contaminants. Her repeated requests were refused until she claimed she represented a newly created soft drink company. She was then promptly shipped a big vat of HFCS that was used as part of the study that showed that HFCS often contains toxic levels of mercury because of chlor-alkali products used in its manufacturing.(i) Poisoned sugar is certainly not “natural”.
When HFCS is run through a chemical analyzer or a chromatograph, strange chemical peaks show up that are not glucose or fructose. What are they? Who knows? This certainly calls into question the purity of this processed form of super sugar. The exact nature, effects and toxicity of these funny compounds have not been fully explained, but shouldn’t we be protected from the presence of untested chemical compounds in our food supply, especially when the contaminated food product comprises up to 15-20 percent of the average American’s daily calorie intake?

It is interesting to me that since children with Autism usually have leaky gut and mercury, why in the world aren't we talking about HFC

Get it out of your house! Stop drinking soda. Stop it! (Are you listening, Dan?) Look at labels and control your health. At least do it for your little ones. Please?

If you analyze health problems today and why they are out of control, it is my strong belief that a leaky gut is at the center of it all. Why? Well, the stomach was engineered amazingly to filter out the garbage that our world gives us. It has a protective lining that would protect us from heavy metals, toxins, etc. Now, take that away with the way we eat and add in the punched holes in the stomach and you have a gateway for disaster. Now, vaccines that contain harmful ingredients can be absorbed instead of filtered. Top that off with the overuse of antibiotics that further destroy the lining and we don't stand a chance. My emails are overloaded with women telling me about the health problems they and their children have mostly regarding the gut and the allergies related. It breaks my heart. Really. It is so out of control. Since so many other countries ban HFC in their country, or at least don't use it widely, the disease rate and Autism rate is minuscule compared to here. Our options?

Stop buying it so they will stop using it in our foods. Cook it yourself so you know what is in your food.  Educate yourself. 

My bandwagon for the day.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Forks Over Knives.

My friend April keeps me informed on lots of great things. She sent me this link for a new documentary called, "Forks Over Knives". I cannot even wait to see the whole thing. The trailer is wonderful. You can watch and see for yourselves. It is about food and disease and what the American diet does to us. We are so messed up here in this country. Seriously messed up. We are killing ourselves. 

I am going to rant just a little right now since I don't yell at people directly. I have to get it out. Eating crappy is selfish. It isn't just about you. What you are doing to yourself will impact your family. You may think that starting and ending your day with a soft drink is normal and fine. However, add that with whatever else you are feeding yourself and you are creating disease. Disease that your children will pay for one way or the other; taking care of you, burying you or picking up your bad habits. You cannot go on eating garbage and not reaping the results. It doesn't work that way. If you read my blog, you are probably one who already knows this. I sure wish everyone would get on the bandwagon. Our kids don't stand a chance. We start them off with formula containing 40% corn syrup. Really? How do they even survive. 

Watch the trailer here and then watch the whole movie when it is released. 

Meet the chicks.

I feel complete. It was the missing link in my family preparedness plan. It will save me from spending $4 per dozen on farm fresh eggs. The perfect addition to my backyard farm.....Meet the new ladies:

We have Jenny, Zoe, LaFonda and the triplet sisters. They are loved. Maybe a little too much. They have a house guest:

Unless she can start laying eggs, she needs to find a new house. She became very fond of this nesting box while we were making final preparations for the chickens. I woke the first morning to this scene. She had found a way in and didn't mind one bit that this wasn't her place in the world. She didn't get the memo that cats and chickens don't mix. She tried to give one a bath. Didn't go over so well. She'll soon figure it out.

I wasted lots of time the last few days just watching them. Silly little creatures. A couple more months and they will give me eggs. The least they could do for the amounts of chicken poop I have had to clean up. The boys will be taking that job over tomorrow. Another good reason to have pets....job creation. Kids need responsibilities and ownership. The youngest three are delighted. Hopefully it will last as they have to free range them a couple times a day and watch them so they don't devour my garden. It looks pretty funny to see a little boy out there with a stick shepherding them around. Cute as pie. 

A special thanks to my husband for making all my dreams come true. He did a fine job on the coup. I think he likes them a bit too. I saw him staring at them as well for a good period of time when he should have been getting to work. Mesmerizing. 

I have high hopes that the scorpions will find their fate. With 4 cats in the backyard and 6 chickens, you would think that the numbers will diminish. Here's hoping!

Monday, May 9, 2011


     I am back....but regrettably so. We left our heart on the beach. It was beautiful and refreshing. The best Mother's Day week ever as I didn't cook, nor clean for 5 days straight. However, I realized that I am good for about 2 days of eating out only.Then, my body begs for my home cooked meals. My body knows the difference between white, processed flours and sprouted whole grains. It knows what real farm eggs are and what egg beaters are not. I loved the break but was so thankful to be able to cook the breakfast my body needed this morning. How can people live on fast food and eating out? Probably because they don't know the difference.

     Most people go on living in a sort of mediocre zone. They don't feel great but they don't know how good they can feel. They feed themselves sub par. They feed for convenience and for sustenance not for health and vitality. If you don't let your body know what real food is, you are missing out on how you can feel and perform. Many people spend more time picking out their pet's food than their own. 

     I ate at the hotel for breakfast every morning. I ate white flour pancakes and cinnamon rolls. Eggs that were from a container not a shell. I had some fresh fruit but mostly my breakfast ended up as paste in my belly. Try mixing white flour with water....paste. That is what is in your intestines. I couldn't do my normal morning "business" and thus, my gut wasn't too pleased with me. I needed whole grains. Today, I made some Tropical Peach Muffins with my sprouted wheat flour and fresh peaches from my tree. We threw it down with a great smoothie packed with spinach and cabbage and blackberries. My body rejoiced. I feel wonderful. Sure, it is a little work but so very worth it. 

    Take time to "feed" your body in every sense. Listen to what it is telling you. Is your stomach happy after you eat? Do you take care of business after you eat on a regular basis? Is your hair and nails healthy? Do you have a sugar drop in the afternoon? Evaluate your health and indulge yourself by feeding your system what it is screaming for you to give it. If it is screaming for donuts and chocolate, your body is telling you it is time for a cleansing. You crave sugar when yeast is overtaking your system. Clean the yeast and the cravings will go down. Do a sugar elimination diet for a little while also and you will be surprised what that does for your sweet tooth. Clean your liver. Drink smoothies. Do a little spring cleaning of sorts.

     I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. I wish I could have taken you all with me to the sunny beach. You all deserve it! Take a little time out for yourselves and treat your body right. 

***All coconut oil is in so email me for pick up. Supplement orders will also be put in later this week. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Produce something.

Few things give me greater joy than seeing the fruit of my labors. I took a walk around my plantation, all 1/4 acre of it the other day and was elated with the beauty of my crops. Apples, peaches, oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, etc. They are a beautiful creation and I am so thankful to have them at my disposal.

If you have been paying attention lately at the grocery store, prices are out of control. Few things are left untouched by soaring prices. There is also talk of fungus and disease in many crops this year for produce as well. We need to produce something on our own. If you don't already have something going in your yard, no matter what the size, it is a great weekend to play farmer. Plant something, anything. It will give you great satisfaction. We need to work towards self-reliance. Just start somewhere. It is a great time of year to plant. I added three new trees this year and two more are coming next week along with my much anticipated chickens. My garden is full and my new boysenberry bush has beautiful berries popping up. I can hardly wait! I had my first peach of the year yesterday and my mouth jumped for joy! I am sort of sick of apples and oranges. I am very ready for the summer season....peach cobbler, fresh garden salsa and pasta sauce, omelets with fresh peppers and onions, zucchini frittatas and chocolate zucchini cake. Delightful. 

What's in your yard? 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Meat Glue

Meat glue? Yep, it's true. If you want to solidify the fact that you need to choose grass-fed , organic beef or go vegetarian completely, read this article today from Mercola. If you dare.

Click here.