Monday, February 2, 2015

Radically Natural Retirement: Final Words and Thanks

It's time to say good-bye.

Ironically, I spent hours over the last week writing this final post, in which I attempted to cover all the important ground I have yet to cover, to finish all the half-written articles in my draft box.  It was my final attempt to make a positive impact on the health and lives of anyone willing to read my words.  Alas, the Internet ate my post...all that work just disappeared.  I kind of want to cry a little, I definitely want to throw something.  My husband asked, "You didn't write and save it in a Pages doc first?"  Ah, that would have been far too sensible.  Why not trust the blogger edit window and it's little "save" button?  I mean, this is the golden age of technology.  What could go wrong?!  Haha...  So I'm taking this loss as a sign from God that I am not meant to say all the things I wrote.  And I suppose that's a fitting end to this experiment of mine, my relationship with the blogging world and with trying to convince people of health reality as I see it.

It may come as no surprise that I am retiring Radically Natural Living.  My presence here has been spotty at best in the last year.  I started this blog at the encouragement of a friend, with the goal of sharing my experience and background in the healing arts...and I enjoyed attempting to share and work in this medium.  I have learned much, and I hope I have taught something of value.  But in all honesty, the fast-paced modern Internet world of blogging and social media just isn't for me.  I remember and prefer the web world before the blogging boom, when sites were slow-paced research-oriented encyclopedias.  Attempting to create, design and understand the technical aspects of the blogging platform takes its toll on an old-school gal like myself.  While I must admit to myself that I stole time from more needful responsibilities to create RNL, I do not regret all the hours spent in planning and writing articles, if I was able to minister to peoples' wellness.  But I cannot continue to burn my candle at both ends.    

I leave the world of Real food, Real health and Real birth blogging to more capable hands and voices, and I look forward to enjoying their continued works.  While I will not be maintaining this blog any further, it will still exist in this space, so I hope my past offerings might continue to be used as a resource.  I will be canceling the custom URL, so this blog may be found in future at  I might publish a finalized RNL index sometime following this post.

Time permitting, I will continue to work (slo--w--ly) on my EveryWiseWoman Herbals site, which already contains many articles and white papers I have written, as well as my storefront for HerbalAide Super Salve, Labor Oil, and whatever remedies time allows me to offer in future.

Some of you I know, most of you I do not.  I want to thank you all, truly, for your support in the short life of this blog.  I did not accomplish all I set out to do, but that is part of the learning experience.  At times, I tried too hard to be clever, or I neglected to restrain my frustrations with the "state of things" (I was far too snarky as I raged against the machine).  I experienced valuable illuminations during this process, and I have been forced to examine my priorities and goals.  But this has been an enlightening and challenging experience for me, and I appreciate your participation as readers!  There are so many things I wanted to teach, to share, to reveal, but I leave that to others, including all of you.  For you are your own best teacher, when you truly desire to learn and to pursue truth and personal responsibility for your wellness.  It isn't anyone else's job to figure things out and apply the's your job.

For my final act, I will condense some of my favorite ideas and health advice that I desire to leave with willing readers.  (I will not be supplying info links, as my final challenge is that you do the study.)  I am attempting to be quick, not curt, and I share because I care...not just to hear the sound of my own typing.  :)  These are the topics I hope people will study with fervor, applying the accumulated healing knowledge to their lives.

  • Health begins in the gut.  If yours is leaky or riddled with malevolent pathogens, you are not healthy...your immunity, your brain function, your hormones, your ability to absorb nutrients, your EVERYthing depends on your gut health.  Your children's gut health began with your gut health.  If you have eaten modern food or used pharmaceuticals (including but not limited to antibiotics, vaccines, NSAIDs, birth control pills) in your lifetime, you have a leaky and/or pathogenic-overrun gut.  In other words, we all have some level of gut dysbiosis.  Fix it.  Learn how.  (GAPS is an excellent answer, likely the best answer, but not the only answer.)  
  • After you have healed your gut, live on a Nourishing Traditions diet and shun industrial food.
  • Brain chemistry disorders (depression, autism spectrum disorders, anxiety, ADHD, brain fog, OCD, etc.) are not all in your head (and they are never "just because")...they often stem from issues in the "second brain," i.e., your gut, and/or substances you put into your body (which can cause gut dysbiosis), and/or nutrient deficiencies (which can stem from gut dysbiosis).  See point one.  Also, suspect and correct vitamin D deficiency (if using food sources, see point one).  
  • If you choose to do the GAPS healing protocol, please, first read the book!  Study die off and withdrawal.  Understand that a healing crisis will occur (in which you will feel worse before you get better).  Expect die off symptoms (a flare up of any previous allergy or GI symptoms, lethargy, crankiness, sleep disturbances, headaches, nausea, vomiting, etc.), and initial lethargy and hunger from ketogenesis (your body switching from burning carbs to burning fat).  You must do GAPS Intro and then stick with Full GAPS for at least 6 months (two years is optimum) to see real results.  You cannot cheat and expect it to work.  Anything worth doing is difficult...real healing takes time, and being truly well demands real effort.  
  • Doing GAPS Intro for a couple weeks once a year is a wonderful way to detox and rebalance your gut flora and strengthen the integrity of the gut walls.  Doing GAPS Intro during or after a significant illness is very healing.
  • When doing GAPS, understand histamine sensitivity and how it might impact your healing process.  Allergic people are prone to histamine sensitivities, and fermented foods and other foods can increase histamine levels in the body, exacerbating symptoms like eczema.  Work on resealing the gut before introducing fermented foods.  Proceed with ferments slowly and do not be discouraged.  Healing takes time.
  • Healing takes time.  It's worth restating; it's a principle never to be overlooked.  Healing is a process.  Anything worth doing takes hard work and commitment, and healing is no different.  Taking drugs that suppress symptoms is never healing.  If you want to heal for real, you need to accept the time and effort involved.  You need to accept the healing crisis, in which you can feel worse before you feel better.
  • Coffee is a drug.  Of primary concern is coffee's damage to the adrenal glands.  The alert "high" you feel when ingesting coffee comes at a cost, overstimulating adrenal response, eventually leading to adrenal is an addictive substance that does not add energy, it creates fatigue.  Coffee also contributes to brain fog, cross-reacts with gluten antibodies (leading to gluten sensitivity symptoms), constricts blood vessels, creates acidity, imbalances blood sugar, and produces gut inflammation.  Coffee consumption will catch up with you someday.  If you use coffee to "wake up" or stay alert, if you are saying, "I love coffee.  There's nothing wrong with coffee.  I drink it everyday and I'm not going to stop..." or, "I might be willing to try other things to get healthy, but I won't give up my coffee..." or you're just plugging your ears, squeezing your eyes shut and saying, "Nah, nah, nah, coffee good, coffee good," or if you feel fatigued or headachy or cranky when you don't get your coffee, you need to consider the reality that you are an addict.  You can get flavanoids and natural stimulation from good foods and herbs that do not contain dangerous addictive substances (try cayenne, maca, and coconut oil...not necessarily mixed together, hahaha).  So do yourself a favor and kick the coffee habit.  Detox baths and extra hydration can help with the withdrawal symptoms.  
  • Sugar can be a nutrient-sucking substance that depresses immune function (by damaging nuetrophil responsiveness), feeds malevolent flora, and makes us fat.  Some forms of sugar are bad, others are worse, some are OK.  (Hint: agave is not OK, neither is dehydrated cane juice, which is just a fancy name for a type of refined sugar.)  Study mono vs. poly saccharides and how they affect gut flora, understand blood sugar reactions, study the glycemic index, study fructose and your liver, study insulin resistance, understand how sugar feeds cancer, study various sugar forms' processing procedures and nutrient profiles.  Consider that raw, unprocessed honey (a monosaccharide) is the only natural sweetener that requires no processing whatsoever before consumption, and contains antimicrobial and probiotic benefits.
  • Real fat is a lifesaver.  Eat more.  Your brain, your hormones, your heart, your joints, your tissues, every cell in your body will thank you.  Good fats nourish and satiate us, and never make us fat.  If you love your kids, feed them real fat...and lots of it.  Fat-free or low-fat diets and fake fats (trans fats, vegetable fats) are making us stupid and killing us.  Study why. 
  • Modern grains are inflammatory and can "rip up" your gut.  Going gluten free won't fix the root cause of your gluten problem.  Modern wheat, hybridized for production, grown in synthetic monoculture environments, manipulated for higher gluten content, is a substance no longer recognized by the human body as a healthy, digestible food.  Study the impact of wheat protein, study the ancient alternatives, understand the conventional wheat harvesting process (Roundup, roundup, everywhere), and know that you must remedy your gut health (see point one).
  • Milk can be deadly poison.  Adulterated commercial industrial milk is not contributes to serious health problems, including autoimmune disorders.  If you are not drinking whole, raw, grassfed milk from cows that spend time outside in healthy pastures, don't drink milk at all.  Understand that if you have leaky gut, you likely cannot tolerate even Real Milk.  Heal your gut first, then try Real Milk.  Goats' milk is naturally more digestible for humans than is cows' milk (it's just a molecular reality).  Study the issue of A1/A2 milk and understand heritage breeds vs. frankencows.  Consider the old adage:  Goat milk for drinking, cow milk for butter, sheep milk for cheese.
  • Toxins are everywhere and we need to be aware, practice avoidance, and build and cleanse our bodies through detoxification and nourishment.  Study EMF pollution, industrial food (especially chemically based agriculture and CAFOs) and the pollution that system causes, air and water pollution sources, sick building syndrome, toxic toiletries, cleaning products, baby and feminine products...understand sources of chemicals in your everyday life...synthetic foods and supplements, wireless devices, VOCs, off-gassing formaldehyde, PDBEs, dioxins, drugs, etc.  Learn how to make or find alternatives, and change your lifestyle to reduce toxic load.
  • The FDA is not your friend.  Read all about it.  Dare I say more?  This unelected, corrupt, collusive, bullying, deceptive, profit-mongering (for its buddies) agency calls evil good and good evil.  While its "approved" drugs harm (and even kill) people, the FDA spreads fear and lies about botanical medicine...the (non-patentable, ergo "non-profitable") plants that actually can and do cure illness and disease (competition for the medical industry's drug system).  The FDA has a history of threatening and persecuting out-of-the box doctors, healers and providers who promote and use such remedies.  I recently parted ways with an essential oil company I previously promoted, after said company scoured my blog and informed me that I was out of "compliance" with its FDA-obeisance policies.  I will not comply with the FDA, and I will not do business with natural medicine suppliers who do not believe in the medicine they sell...who encourage their distributors to remain silent about the curative powers of those botanicals.  Apparently I have strong feelings about this.  I need to take a therapeutic magnesium salt and lavender bath.  
  • Vaccines are dangerous.  It's true.  Google it.  OK, kidding this prominent and essential issue (books, articles and videos abound on the topic) warned, it's not pretty.
  • Herbs are not drugs...they are Real Medicine, safe and effective.  Study and understand the whole herb methodology (it's the antithesis to the pharmaceutically influenced "slice/splice/isolate/synthesize" methodology).  Learn how to use botanical medicine properly and consistently.
  • Pregnancy is not an illness and birth is not an emergency.  (Exception: women in the small minority of high risk the statistics.)  Midwives are pregnancy and birth experts; understand midwifery education and training.  Technological interventions do not make birth safer; homebirth is the safest place for normal birth (hospitals are for acute emergent traumas).  Understand the cascade of interventions and study the midwife model of care.  Don't dose your baby with cocaine during the birth process, don't traumatize yourself and your baby with a damage-causing, synthetic hormone to unnaturally force the process.  Don't become an industrial birth c-section statistic.  Learn how to birth and choose a midwife who will help you do so successfully.  Learn about VBACs.  Free yourself from birth fear!  
  • Healthy children begin with healthy mamas!  Learn the importance of natural child spacing both for mama's and future children's health.  Understand "second child syndrome"  and how to avoid it.  Embrace traditional wisdom...practice biological breastfeeding, co-sleeping and babywearing. 
  • The pregnant body exhibits wisdom (and heightened protective powers...remember "radar nose?").  Cravings for "pickles and ice cream" may be a long-held cultural joke, but is actually body knowledge brilliance.  Traditionally fermented pickles, a probiotic food, feed our body's beneficial flora, boosting immunity and promoting good flora to pass on to baby...not to mention keeping digestion working well throughout pregnancy.  Natural, old-fashioned, high-fat ice cream made with raw grass-fed whole milk and cream (and preferably honey over refined sugars) is a baby-building superfood, full of necessary fats and minerals.  Such dietary components keep pregnant mamas healthy and comfortable, help to build a healthy baby (bones, brain and gut), and prepare mama for nursing success.  
  • Our hormones are out of whack.  Thyroid and adrenal problems are the "new normal."  Irregular menstrual cycles and infertility are modern dilemmas.  Learn about your endocrine system.  Do a liver cleanse (the liver is an important part of the endocrine system).  Heal your gut.  Dump the drug habits and eat real food, particularly good fats and cholesterol (a "mother" hormone and a basic building block of every cell in your body).  Get more vitamin D (a steroid hormone precursor).  Learn about toxins, how to remove them from your body, and how to avoid them (including electronic pollution and EMF radiation).  During all your childbearing years, eat a nourishing fertility diet (look up the WAPF pregnancy/nursing/fertility diet), including fertility-boosting herbs like red clover.  Study lunaception.  Get more sleep. 
  • Your bowels tell you more about your health than most practitioners can.  Study the Bristol stool chart.  You should be passing a healthy bowel movement daily.  Nausea can be an indication of your need to empty your bowels.  Understand that sluggish and abnormal bowels (stinky, scanty, hard, etc.) contribute to toxicity, inflammation, systemic malfunctions and illness.  Become acquainted with the benefits of water enemas.  Coffee enemas can be used therapeutically; coffee acts differently in the body when used in an enema.  (Please study this use very small amounts of low-roasted coffee for enemas, and sensitive people may not do well with coffee enemas are serious detox therapy.)  Enemas are a wonderful way to detox.  Don't be squeamish, be a grown up and take care of your health.  Let's raise our kids with comfort and knowledge of natural bodily functions.
  • Body odor and skin condition reveal the status of your body's ecological health...this is gut dysbiosis in play again.  Strong and unpleasant body odor indicates flora imbalances.  Natural hygiene begins with systemic detoxification and gut health.  Skin eruptions (rashes, acne, etc) are also a sign of what is happening in your sensitivities and gut dysbiosis are the culprits.  Your outside reveals your inside, and the odors emanating from you, as well as the "stuff" erupting on your skin, reveal internal health.  (Bad breath can be microbial overgrowth, but can be exacerbated by dehydration.)
  • Dehydration is deceptively common.  Every cell in your body needs water to survive, let alone thrive.  Your brain will divert water from your other organs to ensure its survival.  The average adult body uses about 64 ounces of water daily just for survival processes.  We must replenish this and more daily.  Constipation, headaches, lethargy, loss of suppleness, blood viscosity, systemic toxic buildups...these and more are common side effects of dehydration.  Read Dr. Batmanghelidj's books and learn about your body's needs and cries for water.  (Always remember to replenish electrolytes, by eating more mineral rich salt.) 
  • Real salt is good for you.  Your body needs mineral-rich real salt.  Study why, and don't deprive yourself!
  • Magnesium is the unsung hero of the mineral world.  Study the effects of magnesium deficiency, and how essential magnesium is to muscles and nerves in your body.
  • Vitamin D!  Sun...pastured lard...oysters...nontoxic cod liver oil.  Vitamin D good, sunscreen bad.  Vitamin D good, synthetic versions bad.  Irradiated sheep lanolin?  Skip it!  Eat D rich foods and bathe in the sun (if you can get any).  Your skin synthesizes vitamin D from sun exposure, which is the best way to get D.  Alas, most of us never get enough D-rich sun.  So be sure to eat good D sources for at least 9 months of the year.
  • Real food matters.  Modern, industrial, chemically produced, synthetic, processed, denatured, neutered frankenfood is destroying our health.  Take responsibility for what you put in your mouth and feed your children.  Cutting corners and cheating will catch up with us.  Pay now or pay later.  Garbage in, garbage out!  
  • Laughter heals!  Among other benefits, laughter releases endorphins, which alleviate pain and speed healing.  (Laboring women should have their husbands tell them jokes...or turn on a Tim Hawkins DVD...especially during transition!)  Studies have shown that a positive outlook has a beneficial impact on illness recovery.  The Bible says that a cheerful heart brings health to the bones!  We all need to lighten up, reduce stress, sleep more, and laugh often (especially at ourselves)!
  • Are we slaves to our genetics?  Are genes immutable?  Seems not...  Study epigenetics and read Pottenger, Price, et al.  Learn how to feed your genes and flip your switches.  Take your future grandchildren's health into your hands now.  We are what we eat.
  • Ailments are never arbitrary.  Everything has a root cause.  Nothing just "happens" for no reason.  Anyone who says otherwise is either uneducated, brainwashed, or lying.  

Well that was a mouthful!  And there is yet so much more I wish I could share...that I wish I had shared.  But I suppose this isn't a bad start for a "consideration and research" list to throw in someone's lap.  For anyone who is still left, I will close with a parting plea...

Bless yourself and your families by taking time everyday to turn off your cell phone (if I could un-invent them, I would), turn off the wifi, walk away from your computer, and pick up a real book (the kind made of paper).  Read, absorb, learn, apply, grow, the hard work to nourish yourselves: mind, body, soul.  There are no shortcuts.  All choices have consequences: good, bad or ugly.  But we all have much to learn; the process is never-ending, utterly essential, and wonderfully rewarding.  Study to show yourself approved; research until your eyeballs go numb.  Make a difference in your own life, and your children's lives.

Enjoy good health, eat Real Food, use Real Medicine and pursue Real Birth, and may you be blessed by accepting our Creator's blueprint for life.

Thank you for reading!  God bless you!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Radically Natural Recipe: Winter Spice Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies (plus Soaked Steel Cut Oats)

We usually end up with leftover cooked oats on the mornings we eat breakfast porridge.  This recipe (borrowed and tweaked from combines leftover cooked oats with gluten free flours and warm wintery spices.  We eat them for breakfast, smeared in butter, but you can eat them as cookies anytime.  They are soft and filling.  Enjoy!

[Fun fact...when made with sunflower butter, your cookies will turn green.  This has happened to me, and I just learned that the odd hue is caused by the sunflowers' chlorophyll reacting with the baking soda.  Check this out.]

Winter Spice Breakfast Cookies

1 cup coconut oil OR 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/2 cut butter OR 1 cup nut butter
3/4 cup raw coconut sugar OR 1/2 cup raw honey
2 eggs
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups gluten free flour mix (check out the video below)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tb cinnamon
1/2 tsp. each ginger, nutmeg, cloves (more to taste as desired)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
2 cups cooked soaked oatmeal (recipe below)
4 Tb raw milk OR yogurt

Combine the wet ingredients (not the oats or milk yet) and mix well.  Incorporate the dry ingredients (minus raisins and nibs), then add the milk and the cooked oatmeal.  Finally add the raisins and the cacao nibs.  Mix until well combined.  Spoon onto greased or lined (silpat, parchment) cookie sheets.  Bake at 375º for 12 to 15 minutes.  The cookies will not spread and they will be golden and soft when finished (though thoroughly cooked inside...should not be gummy).

Here is a helpful video tutorial on making your own gluten free flour mix (thanks for the link, Amy!).

Soaked Steel Cut Oats (with cooking shortcut)

I have seen varying NT-style methods for preparing oats.  Here is my method.  If you don't already know why you should soak your oats and other grains (in an acidic medium) before consumption, please read Nourishing Traditions and/or the many available articles on the topic (I'll post a few links below).

Because oats are nearly devoid of phytase, the enzyme activated by soaking that helps to break down phytic acid, it is important to add a small amount of a grain that does contain phytase during your oat soak.  I use buckwheat because it is a gluten-free grain (as are oats when not contaminated).  The ratio is 1 Tb. buckwheat groats to 1 cup oats.  I usually cook steel cut oats for improved nutrient and taste profile.

My current method of "quicker" steel cut oats for breakfast is as follows.  On any given morning, I begin the soaking process by putting my oats and buckwheat into my pot with a small amount (about 1/4 cup) of kefir or a few generous dashes of ACV.  I then fill the pot with nontoxic water, basically in a 2-1 water to grain ratio.  (The oats will expand.)  I allow the oats to soak all day (minimum 12 hours).  Before bed, I rinse the oats with fresh water (some people do, some people don't...), then return them to the pot and cover the oats with water to about one inch above the oats' level.  I turn on the stovetop to medium and bring the oats to a gentle boil.  At that point, I turn off the heat, cover the pot with its lid, and go to bed.  In the morning, the oats will be cooked, having slowly absorbed the liquid overnight, and will only need to be heated before consumption.  I serve with generous amounts of butter, cinnamon, some raisins and raw milk.  Leftover oats are baked into breakfast cookies.

[Some suggest that oats should be soaked for 24 hours.  This is not bad advice.  The longer the soak, the more nutrients become available.  To soak for 24 hours with my method, just start the soaking on Evening A, and rinse and "cook" on Evening B.]

The "Why" of Soaking Grains

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Radically Natural Recipe: Potato Chips

Don't eat junk?  Check.  Don't buy processed food?  Double check.  Curious to try a fun, healthy, salty starch snacks post GAPS?  Sure!  Let's make potato chips!

The primary health snafu with commercial potato chips (even those sold at "health" food stores) is the frying fat used.  We know that fake fats and "veggie" oils just aren't good for us.  But they certainly are cheap for commercial production.  If you want to fry foods and avoid deleterious health affects, make your own using real stable fats...saturated fats.  The best choices for potato chips are lard or coconut oil.

It's time-consuming to make your own snacks, but the value of Real Food is undeniable.  And it's fun to get your kids involved...they are learning and they love the eating!  Be particularly attentive, though, when frying with children, as we want to avoid splatter burns.

Tips for Making Potato Chips

Choose the correct potato and slice it thinly.  A floury variety is best for chips, as they have a lower water and sugar content, allowing them to crisp more easily.  Basically, you want a Russett variety.

Use a wok or heavy-bottomed pot for the frying, and have a candy thermometer that can go to 350º F.

Perform a water rinse and vinegar soak on your potato slices, then dry them.  This removes starch and increases crispness in your chips, as well as reducing frying time.

Potato Chips:  The Steps

1.  Slice potatoes thinly, about 1/8" (either a mandoline or food processor work nicely)
2.  Rinse the slices in cold water, filling bowl with water and swishing about the potato slices, then draining water.  Do this multiple times until the water remains clear.  This is helping to remove excess starch for the frying process.
3.  Soak the slices in a vinegar water bath (1/2 cup vinegar to 4 cups water) for up to 2 hours.  This helps to increase crispness during the frying process.
4.  Allow the slices to air dry.  This reduces water content and shortens frying time, encouraging crispness.
5.  Heat about 4 cups of a healthy saturated oil (coconut or lard) in a wok or large, heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches 300º.  Monitor temperature with a candy thermometer.  The temperature will fluctuate as you add and remove the potatoes, so adjust the heat accordingly.  You don't want the oil so hot that the chips easily burn...I find that temps between 300º and 350º work well.
6.  Using a slotted spoon or Chinese bamboo strainer or other such device, add a group of slices into the pan so that all slices will submerge into the oil.  They will pop upon entry as water leaves the potatoes.
7.  Fry until the chips are done...they will be golden brown and the sizzling/popping noise will cease, indicating the absence of water in the chips.  About 5-6 minutes a batch.
8.  Remove slices (using strainer) to a paper towel-covered plate and season to your desired taste...lots of real salt, surely, and perhaps pepper or a homemade herb or spice blend.
9.  Allow to cool and dry completely before storing in a bag or container to ensure continued crispness.
10.  Save some for the kids!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Radically Natural POV: Beware Flu Shot Pushers!

A few weeks ago, during a drive home from a visit to the coast, we stopped at a Rite Aid so my kids could use the bathroom (yes, I weary of roadtrip gas station bathroom stops).  The available facilities in this store were the employee bathrooms in the back stocking know, behind the double doors ominously marked "Employees ONLY."  As we passed through the doors and walked toward the bathroom hallway, I noticed the following sign:

Ah, the winter "flu shot" vaccine push begins.  And apparently, pharmacies have a quota to fill.  The vaccine industry is a money-making machine, and the Wall Street Journal claims that "pharmacies could use a sales boost," explaining why the stores are rolling out the shots earlier this year.

Traditionally, influenza-vaccination season started in October. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the timing be moved up by a month. Now, the shots are available before Labor Day, mixing it up with suntan lotion and back-to-school supplies. ... The hope is that customers will stop in for a flu shot and pick up shampoo or a gallon of milk.

Certainly by now you have heard and read about the dangers of the non-evidence-based flu shot: its lack of efficacy (ie the "one shot protects from a cornucopia of viral strains" fallacy, and the immunity conferring fallacy), and its damaging effect upon your natural immune system.  Your best bet during flu season is to stay well nourished with Real Food (particularly traditional healing foods like broths and probiotic foods, as well as foods rich in vitamin D and A, like cod liver oil), and to use real botanical medicine (both prophylactically, like elder and echinacea, as well as a variety of illness remedies).

Or, you could trust the illustrious CDC.  Yes, a new chapter of the vaccine controversy became prominent in late August after CDC scientist William Thompson came forward, admitting that the CDC has suppressed data showing a link between autism and vaccines.  The CDC is one of the medical industry's loudest voices in the virulent decrying of doctors and scientists who have for many years questioned vaccine safety and efficacy.

But you can climb that mountain of research.  The question we all should be asking is why these shots are being pushed so aggressively.

To learn more, check out the links below.  

Why We Refuse Vaccination (My research paper)

Protecting Our Children from Fear-Based Medicine

A Shot Never Worth Taking (Kelly Brogan, MD)

10 Reasons Flu Shots Are Dangerous
Drug Stores Get an Early Start Pushing Flu Shots (WSJ)
Autism Vaccine CoverUp Snowballs (Updates of recent CDC Whistleblower Scandal)
CDC Whistleblower Calls on Congress to Intervene ("I have a boss who is asking me to lie!")
Vaccine-Autism Fraud Revealed

Radically Natural Remedies for Winter Ick

EWW Ailment Treatments List

Monday, September 8, 2014

What? No Bread with That Butter?

People who know me well know me as a butter pusher.  Fat (wonderful fat, nourishing fat, necessary fat, delicious fat, good fat) is the most essential human nutrient, and my favorite fat is pastured butter...homemade from raw grass-fed milk preferably, but hey, that's hard to keep up with 365 days a year...I buy butter, too!  Good butter is so beloved in my household that my younger son likes to give pounds of butter away to special people as know he really thinks highly of you when he wants to send you home with some butter.

As my husband and I share with people how important good butter is in the diet and how essential it is to eat lots of it daily, we inevitably hear this question:  How do you eat butter when you don't eat bread?  Granted, we are beginning to eat some homemade sourdough breads of late, but it isn't a regular occurrence; and we were grain-free for two years on the GAPS healing regimen.  So the question do you eat lots of butter when you don't eat lots of grain-based foods?

I thought I'd enlist my kids to help spread the butter love and share how we eat our butter, hopefully inspiring others to eat more butter without thinking it has to be on bread.  The response I got was oldest son looked at me, head cocked, eyebrows raised and asked, "What do you mean, people don't know how to eat butter?  You just put it on everything."  I love it!  He is properly butter indoctrinated.

Basically, we just put butter on all our food.  Whatever the meal is that I've prepared, we just top it with butter.  Eggs for breakfast?  Butter them...and the pastured bacon that goes with them.  Steak?  Finish it with a pat of butter.  The accompanying roasted root veggies get buttered, too.  Salmon with carmelized onions and asparagus?  Butter, please!  Roast duck with butternut squash and pureed cauliflower?  How could you not drench with butter?!  We even put butter in our melts, and it's delicious.

We all know it's important to eat healthy vegetables with our main meals, so if you aren't doing a raw salad, try veggie sautes.  It's a regular standby here, and so easy, nutritious and delicious...just saute onions, garlic, carrots, fennel, summer or winter squash, kale or chard, whatever you have on hand!  When you plate the meal, just add butter!  Steamed veggies?  Of course they love butter.  Oh, how scrumptious veggies are with butter!  If you are eating any form of cooked vegetables, you have a butter vehicle just waiting to be adorned.

I make a lot of one-pot meals with meats (lamb, pork, beef) and veggies...I like fewer pots to clean.  So whether it's Shepherd's Pie or No-Noodle Lasagna or just plain old beef and veggie stir fry, top it off with a spoonful of butter!  Many cultures drizzle all their dishes with olive oil.  We do that, too.  And we also dollop with butter...same concept.

Baked winter squash, baked sweet potatoes, baked all-other-kind-of potatoes, absolutely beg for butter.  And pureed cauliflower spiked with lots of butter (aka GAPS mashed potatoes) is a surefire crowd pleaser.

My kids butter their cheese sometimes.  And when I bake cookies (gluten free at this point), we butter those, too.  My husband likes to eat pick-me-up spoonfuls of butter drizzled with raw honey.  The kids love "chocolate treats," basically butter/cacao mousse.

If you eat grains, all the better to add more butter...rice, quinoa, millet, morning oats...whether plain or pilaf, accompanying grains are always better topped with butter.  Tortillas?  Top with butter, cheese, avocado, salsa, what have you.  Crackers?  Butter them.  Organic popcorn?  Come on, that's an easy one!

So, how do we eat our butter?  Well, I think the better question is how do we not?  (We have yet to dip cold raw veggies in plain butter...though celery sticks with butter and raisins are good.)  The key in my mind is that we are creating meals with Real Food from scratch...and good food begs to be accompanied by good butter.  And olive oil, too...I certainly don't mean to discriminate.  My passion for butter doesn't blind me to the other good fats, we use them all...coconut, lard, duck fat...they all have their place in the kitchen, some for prep, some for finishing.  

But around here, butter reigns supreme.  So grab some grass-fed butter and drip, dollop, scoop,'ll wonder how your meals ever made it to your stomach without butter.

Recipe: GAPS Mashed Potatoes...Pureed Cauliflower

(Super easy, super delicious.  After 6 months on the GAPS protocol, you can barely tell the difference in flavor between this and mashed potatoes...well, we couldn't.  And we took this recipe with us after GAPS, along with many others, because it is just so delicious and nutritious!  It's not really a "GAPS" recipe as much as it's just another way to eat great food.) 

Steam a head or two (depending on size) of cauliflower in water.  When fork tender, put the cauliflower and 1/2 cup of the cooking water into your blender.  Add 1/2 cup butter and some real salt to taste.  Blend until smooth.  You can adjust the amount of liquid to suit the consistency to your taste.

For post-GAPS folks, blend the cauliflower with raw grass-fed milk rather than the cooking liquid, and don't forget lots of butter!...this version is even creamier.  Yum!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Radically Natural Giveaway: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

To celebrate the successful completion of my first academic round of midwifery studies, I am giving away a copy of homebirth guru and midwife extraordinaire Ina May Garten's book, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

This book is fun, educational, inspirational, and necessary for all pregnant and hope-to-be-pregnant ladies.  I can attribute my least painful and easiest birth to a bit of wisdom I garnered from reading it.  (I'll give you a hint...OPEN...visualize it, say it, be it...)

To enter, just sign in to the Rafflecopter entry below and answer the question...tell me one reason to plan a homebirth.  Thanks for participating and enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 8, 2014

Radically Natural POV: Avoiding GMOs Isn't Enough

I've noticed a little trend of late, at our local farmer's market and natural food store.  I'm hearing inklings of a new twist on the search for clean food.  "As long as it's non-GMO, you're OK...just avoid the GMOs."  I have been told that customers are less willing to pay for organic...they only care that the choices are non-GMO...a less expensive option.  It seems like in the careful consumer's search for "affordable" food, GMO avoidance has taken the spotlight and the chemical soup that we have been so ardent to avoid for so long has begun to fade from our fears.

Image from Wikipedia...Gives new meaning to "food safety," eh?
The GMO scare has become such a prominent focus in the Real Food realm that I wonder if we have lost sight of the bigger picture.  Of course we should avoid GMOs, of course they are not safe, of course they are not Real Food.  But the dangers of GMOs are only one part of the picture.  We can't let the GMO spectre overshadow the reality of toxic chemicals in our soil and our food supply.  The use of pesticides (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) and synthetic fertilizers is the cornerstone of industrial farming.  These are the dangerous chemicals that health advocates warned us about so fervently in the past decades (how can we forget Silent Spring?), and we should not lessen our resolve to avoid them now.  Research continues to show that exposure to these chemicals can have serious and lasting health consequences for generations (with an emphasis on negative endocrine infertility).

We used to have chickens and ducks.  We currently have goats and pigs.  We know firsthand the costs of organic inputs.  My husband's recent search to find local, less expensive, clean grains to feed the animals we raise for our food has been disheartening.  Most of the growers in our area are using the toxic Agent Orange component, 2,4-D, a carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting herbicide.  One farmer my husband spoke with was quick to claim that his grains were non-GMO, but he admitted he did use 2,4-D...the dangers of which he side-stepped with a bit of spin that sounded like a page out of the county extension agent's handbook.

The move to 2,4-D does not bode well for the future of food.  That herbicide is gaining popularity because it works when Roundup does not.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  We know how toxic Roundup is...but 2,4-D is apparently worse.  (And sold for "home" use as well...let us not forget the toxic lawns that American children play on regularly...2,4-D is one of the most popular lawn herbicides used.)  In fact, Dow and Monsanto have already been seeking governmental approval for their next wave of chemical brews to combat the ever-growing "weed" and pest resistance.  As they all do, this widely used herbicide will contribute to the proliferation of "super weeds," which will herald Big Ag's cry for even stronger poisons.  Where does it end?!

Image from food prep.
Perhaps I have an overactive imagination, but I can't help feeling that while the heretofore chemically cautious consumers are being distracted by the evil that is GMOs, the chemical companies are laughing all the way to the bank (as they continue to spread their ever-worsening poisons across America).  Of course, big chem and big biotech go hand in hand, as the increasing use of stronger chemicals is being touted by said industries as necessary for their GM crops.

We need to be wary of losing our original zeal for clean, organic, Real Food.  And because commercial (certified) Organic growers are allowed to use some pesticides (yes, even the synthetic kind), we need to be avid about finding clean food sources or growing our own.  If we become lulled into a false sense of security by focusing solely on GMOs, we will return ourselves to the days of eating poison and paying the piper with our physical demise and our children's compromised health future.  The costs of complacency are too high.  

Yes, truly organic food is more expensive, but what is your health worth?  Your children's health...their brain function, immune function, future fertility?  Why are we fooling ourselves into accepting the industry's chemical brews?  Perhaps we need a reminding nudge about what we are turning a blind eye to...maybe a "light read" of the many legal chemical pesticides available to food producers.  (Lists are published state by state...check out this one for New York).  We need to remind our friends, our families, our neighbors, ourselves that the chemical toxins in the food supply have serious and lasting deleterious health affects.  

Nontoxic food costs more to produce; it costs more to purchase.  But...Pay now or pay later.  Such is the reality of dealing with poisons in our food.

Revival of Highly Toxic Herbicide
Pesticide Action Network: Pesticides on Food
2,4-D Fact Sheet
Farmer Speaks Out Against 2,4-D
Big Ag Doesn't Want You to Care about Pesticides
Pesticide Exposure Linked to Adverse Affects Three Generations Later
Beyond Pesticides (Consumer Safety Organization)