Tag Archives: kefir

Cold and Flu “Season”

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I say, “Season” because I don’t really believe it’s a season. Yes, many people get sick this time of year. Yes, there is a ready and willing nurse on every corner ready to give you the magic flu shot. Yes, your local drugstore will sell enough nightime-sniffling-sneezing-coughing-aching-stuffy nose-fever so you can rest medicine to choke a million horses over the next few months.

Ask your doctor if people can get the flu during other times of the year. The answer? Yes. That’s because “the flu” is always out there.  Furthermore, many people who get sick during “cold and flu season” do not have the actual flu. They likely have a cold, which is not protected by the flu shot in the first place. This graphic sums up my flu “season” theory:

fluseason

It’s cold. We don’t go outside as often.

It’s the holiday season. We eat like crap.

It’s the holiday season. We are stressed.

It’s the holiday season. We don’t rest.

It’s the holiday season. We drive-thru instead of eating REAL FOOD.

So what do we do? We inject ourselves with a vaccine that isn’t really as effective as we like to think it is and cross our fingers that we don’t get sick in other ways. Keep in mind the flu vaccine does NOT protect against colds and stomach viruses.

You’re probably not sick because it’s cold and flu season. You’re probably sick because you aren’t taking time to care for yourself properly.

My point? You still have to do work, people.

A health immune system will do its job. A healthy immune system doesn’t just happen.  You have to help it along.

So, with that, I will give you my favorite suggestions to support your immune system this time of year:

1. TUMERIC!

Indian Turmeric Abstract

It’s amazing stuff. Here’s an awesome blog post on it.

Not only is is amazing for your immune system, but if you DO get sick, its an awesome coughing therapy when mixed with warm honey and hot water.

2.) CUT THE SUGAR.

Sugar is the enemy of your immune system. 100 grams of sugar can suppress your immune system for 6-7 hours. One pumpkin spice latte has 49g. How many of you have the lemon pound cake too?  Add another 46g. Think about that for a second. You have just tanked your immune system for the next several hours of your day. Surrounded by people in a busy mall, perhaps. You know, where viruses live.

Keep in mind this does not apply to natural sweeteners like honey.

Also keep in mind I am NOT saying to use artificial sugar. That shiz will kill you. Really.

3.) EAT REAL FOOD

If your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, don’t eat it.

Quality protein. Green vegetables (fresh, not canned!), yummy fruits. Probiotic rich foods like raw milk or kefir, fermented foods, and apple cider vinegar.

Yes, it’s a busy time of year, which means you are more likely to drive through for something unhealthy. That said, it’s a busy time of year, which means you really don’t have time to be sick. Take the time to invest in your food.

I also want to say that it’s the holiday season and there should be some indulging going on. Have the latte. Have the poundcake, just not every day. Christmas is not complete without my mom’s hearty country breakfast. I’m not turning that down, but I’m also saving my cheat for that day and drinking kefir smoothies in the meantime.

4.) R & R

Rest and relaxation. They seem to be impossible this time of year. Make time for it.  Get plenty of sleep. Relax at the end of a long day. Make 20 minutes for some yoga or deep breathing. Read a book. Listen to music. Curl up on the couch with your blankie and sip hot tea. Figure out what calms you down, and pursue it.

5.) LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

You will be in contact with all kinds of fun bugs and viruses all winter. This means your body will be fighting them quite frequently. Feeling run down? Need a nap? Craving oranges? You might be pregnant. But you also might be fighting something and your body is asking for help. Listen and do as you’re told. Take the nap. Eat the oranges. Go to bed earlier. Your body is speaking to you and it’s your job to listen.

Look, I’m not a doctor, clearly. I may follow my own rules and still get sick. I’d rather err on the side of healthy though. Last year was the first year I was sick during the holidays in four or five years. I was eating horribly, stressing over a million things and not paying attention to how poorly I was treating myself. The result? The entire fam staying home on Christmas with a stomach virus. I’m determined to have a positive do-over this year. The thing is, I knew better. I KNOW better. This year I will do better.

Because I deserve better. You do too.

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Ch-ch-ch-Chia!

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I have mentioned chia seeds more than once, I am sure, but today I am going to again.

I LOVE CHIA SEEDS.

Every day (usually for lunch) I have a smoothie. It is almost always the same.

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup raw milk kefir

1-2 tbsp coconut cream (excellent lymphatic system cleanser!)

A bit of coconut water, milk, or unsweetened almond milk to thin it out

2 TBSP melted coconut oil

1 TBSP of chia seeds.

I am super funny about textures, and even I can handle the chia in the smoothie. Reminds me of berry seeds so I am able to rationalize their presence.  😉

There are so many reasons to eat chia. Here are just a few:

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Chia. Not just for crappy Christmas presents anymore.

Drink up!

Fruity Friday

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So I ended Thursday with a brownie. They were homemade, with quality ingredients, but really, its still a brownie.

I woke up feeling like I needed to make it right with my body. I tend to avoid sugar these days and its amazing how it effects me now!

I started my Friday with a smoothie/juicing combo.

I juiced a few carrots and an apple then blended it in the food processor with frozen strawberries, blueberries, and raw kefir.

It is like yogurt...with super powers.

It is like yogurt…with super powers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a liquid apology to my cake.

 

Apology accepted.

Healthy Cake 2/24/13

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My kitchen tends to be a bit of a science lab sometimes. Between brewing Kombucha, fermenting milk into all kinds of things like yogurt, buttermilk, and kefir, and growing teeny tiny gardens on my kitchen counter, I keep myself busy with food experiements.

I recently scored a sprouting tray from a friend of mine. This allows me to grow tiny, edible plants that nourish the cake in so many amazing ways.

For those that are unfamiliar with sprouting, think alfalfa sprouts…you’ve seen or eaten those before I am sure. Sprouts just like those can very easily be grown in your own kitchen.

Although I don’t eat alfalfa sprouts due to some studies that show they can diminish your immune system, I do eat other seeds (and sometimes nuts) that have been sprouted. Sprouted nuts and seeds can provide your diet with some of those most amazing nutritional benefits, and are often very mild in flavor which makes them easy for even the pickiest of eaters to stick them into just about anything without noticing much of a taste.

Today, I am sprouting Chia Seeds.

Remember chia pets? Ch-ch-ch-chia! Yeah, you can EAT THOSE. There are a million reasons you should eat chia seeds and/or sprouts. Go here for just a few reasons, including cardiovascular health and assistance with weight management. The seeds themselves are mucilaginous, which translates to “they get really slimy and gooey when you add liquid to them” (Yes, that’s the scientific definition.) I, personally have A MAJORLY HARD TIME eating them once they are wet. They are kind of like tapioca, and I do not do tapioca. You can eat them dry, (sprinkled on whole wheat toast maybe?) or wet if you dont mind the goo. My favorite way, however, is to SPROUT THEM.

Essentially, yes, I am growing a chia pet without the terracotta Obama head. Oh, and my seeds are organic. So its an organic non-terracotta Obama head. In my kitchen. Totally sounds normal, right?

Chia sprouts are easily added to salads, smoothies, sandwiches, etc. If you go to the happy raw kitchen blog, you get an idea of how you can grow them without any special equipment.  There is also a link to the “Sprout People” site that is kind of the go-to for all things sprouty and wonderful. This particular link takes to you the chia directions they provide. I really enjoyed this article too.

There are tons of seeds that can (and should be) sprouted. Chia might be among the best though when it comes to health benefits. Chia is gaining popularity, so the seeds are not hard to find for most people. I buy mine at Whole Foods, but they can be found in most large grocery stores and in most every health food store across the country. If you have a Winco near you, they are in the bulk section. 🙂

Better get this cake back into the kitchen…time to get my lab coat on. 😉

Healthy Cake 2/21/13

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Cake Myth #234,898:  Big girls eat crap food.

Ok, sometimes.

But so do thin girls. Sometimes.

Everyone is guilty of eating things they shouldn’t.

There seems to be two common problems when it comes to us cakey girls. One of two things tends to happen:

1.) We under-eat, restrict ourselves to the point of utter starvation and/or complete caloric deprevation.

or

2.) We figure that we are big girls, always will be, and choose to eat whatever we choose without any hope that it will ever change.

There is a healthy point in the middle though, ladies. It is possible to have your cake and eat well too.

You nourish the cake. Maybe you already do, and that’s great. Maybe you find yourself in the above two descriptions..and that’s where the following comes in…

My personal philsophy falls under the Traditional Foods movement I suppose. I buy local, organic produce, and I eat LOTS of it. I drink raw milk, eat grass fed meat (sparingly) and make sure that everything that goes into my body is something my Great-Grandmother would have recognized as food. If it comes from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, DON’T. That kind of thing. I am into funny things like kefir, kombucha, wheatgrass and coconut oil. My overall philosophy is this: If I am eating whole foods in their semi-natural state, I don’t need to follow any rules or guidelines. I don’t count calories, I listen to my body, and I eat what’s in season. Have I lost weight doing this? Sure. Was that my intention? Nope. My intention is to live a long, healthy, happy life. In the process, my skin looks great, my body is happy, and yeah, I have shed a few pounds. I do not subscribe to the low-fat, nonfat, calorie counting, pre-packaged meal plan garbage being literally and figuratively fed to us. It is all poison in my opinion and experience and I cannot express enough how dangerous I feel it all is. Food should be about nourishment. Food should be about instincts and common sense. Sometimes food is for celebration and fellowship, but ultimately, if you just listen to your body and eat things that please it, your cake will thank you.

I plan to share with you how I nourish my cake in the hopes that you will find something you enjoy and that makes you feel amazing.

Like eggs. Eggs make me happy in the morning. I made two fried eggs this morning, fried in a good quality butter (which is NOT BAD FOR YOU like you are led to believe…read on here.) I served them with two small slices of cracked wheat sourdough. I sipped my coffee and organic creamer (which is actually NOT expensive believe it or not..$1.29 at Whole Foods!) and enjoyed my quiet time before the kiddos woke up.

About 10am, I had the world’s best yogurt, ever. Typically, I make my own yogurt (more on that later) but the hubs knows how much I love this stuff and brought me my fave flavor: cream top vanilla. It’s the best. Contrary to popular belief, full-fat dairy isnt bad for you…but that skim stuff just might be.

Lunch came around and I ate a couple slices of raw milk (grass fed) cheddar cheese. It only take a couple slices to feel satisfied. I am sitting here typing instead of finishing my lunch prep, which will probably be a smoothie made from frozen strawberries & blueberries, homemade yogurt, half an orange, a bit of *real* maple syrup and half an avocado. Yes. Avocado. Its SO yummy in smoothies. I may heat up a corn tortilla and slice the other half of avocado for an avocado taco of sorts. A little sea salt and YUM.

Dinner has to be a crowd pleaser. I have three kids and a hubby that is remarkably adventurous when it comes to my menu planning, so its always a fun experience to put dinner on the table. Dinner tonight will be a mish-mash of what I have lying around: Broccoli, roasted with a bit of garlic butter on top, fresh fruit (in this case, apples and oranges), and grilled cheese made from raw cheddar on cracked wheat sourdough.

I dont weigh my food. I dont count the calories or carbs. I eat good food, I eat it slowly. I stop when I am full. It is really just basic common sense, and doesn’t require a weekly public weigh-in. Imagine that.