diet

GAPS Friendly Waffle Recipe

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Recently the idea struck me to try to make a GAPS waffle. I had made many GAPS pancakes, so I thought maybe it could be done. And it turns out... it can! It was not a simple task, however. The ratios are fairly different than a GAPS pancake... for one thing, putting in too many eggs caused it to overflow and made quite a mess. But after some trial and error I found a recipe that is delicious, and delivered consistent results (which is a big deal when cooking without flour). I was also excited to make this a dairy-free recipe (except for the whey). Unfortunately, I can't make it nut free, the almond butter is essential! I hope you enjoy them! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

GAPS Friendly Waffles

(makes about 8 waffle squares or 2 full-size waffles)

Batter Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked butternut squash

  • 4 TBS fermented almond butter (see note)

  • 1 TBS melted lard

  • 2 eggs

  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Additional Ingredients

  • About ¼ cup melted lard or butter to grease the waffle iron

Tools

  • Food processor or high-powered blender

  • Waffle iron

  • Chopsticks (this is very helpful to get the waffles off in one piece)

Directions

This recipe is quick to put together if you do a little prep work first!Prep the Fermented Almond Butter: At least 24 hours in advance, ferment the almond butter. Add 2 TBS whey to 1 cup almond butter. Stir. Leave at room temperature for 24 hours. This will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.Prep the Butternut Squash: Cut the butternut squash in half and place face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 min until soft. Remove the squash flesh and place in a bowl. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] For the GAPS Waffles: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until very smooth and mixed. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IMG_1242.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] I recommend pouring the mixture into a bag and using it like a pastry bag. The more quickly you can get the waffle batter on the iron and close the lid, the better it turns out! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IMG_1256.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] When everything is ready, and the waffle iron is hot, use the pastry brush to spread fat on the upper and lower waffle irons. Do this as quickly as possible.Add batter to the waffle iron, then close the lid. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/waffle-batter.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] There is a lot of moisture in this recipe, so expect a lot of steam!Wait for the green light to go on, and then another 30 seconds or soSlowly open the waffle iron. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/cooked-waffles.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Remove the waffles from the iron, using the chopstick in the groves in any areas it is sticking.Top with fried eggs, honey, date syrup, berries, homemade whipped cream, or anything you want to! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IMG_1275.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Enjoy! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider _builder_version="3.14" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"]

GAPS Friendly Waffles

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For Waffle Batter

  • 1 cup Cooked Butternut Squash

  • 4 tbsp Fermented Almond Butter ((see note))

  • 1 tbsp Melted Lard

  • 2 Eggs

  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Additional Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Melted Lard or Butter (To Grease The Waffle Iron)

  • Food Processor

  • Waffle Iron

  • Chopsticks (Helpful in Getting the Waffles Off in One Piece)

Prep the Fermented Almond Butter

  1. At least 24 hours in advance, ferment the almond butter.

  2. Add 2 TBS whey to 1 cup almond butter. Stir.

  3. Leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

  4. This will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.

Prep the Butternut Squash

  1. Cut the butternut squash in half and place face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 min until soft.

  3. Remove the squash flesh and place in a bowl.

For the Waffles

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until very smooth and mixed.

  2. I recommend pouring the mixture into a bag and using it like a pastry bag. The more quickly you can get the waffle batter on the iron and close the lid, the better it turns out!

  3. When everything is ready, and the waffle iron is hot, use the pastry brush to spread fat on the upper and lower waffle irons. Do this as quickly as possible.

  4. Add batter to the waffle iron, then close the lid.

  5. Wait for the green light to go on, and then another 30 seconds or so

  6. Slowly open the waffle iron.

  7. Remove the waffles from the iron, using the chopstick in the groves in any areas it is sticking.

  8. Top with fried eggs, honey, date syrup, berries, homemade whipped cream, or anything you want to!

There is a lot of moisture in this recipe, so expect a lot of steam!

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GAPS Friendly Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Strawberry rhubarb pie has always been one of my favorites! In the past I have modified recipes to make a strawberry rhubarb dessert, but this year I decided I wanted to use my growing knowledge and skill in the kitchen and make a delicious GAPS-legal pie. My added challenges? I wanted to make it with a fermented almond crust, and use a different sweetener than honey. Finally, I wanted to have a modification that made not only GAPS legal, but dairy-free, nut-free and egg-free. Overall, I would call the experiment a success. But to get that success I had to make more multiples of this recipe than I ever have for any previous recipe I've posted. Because of the crust. Not that my "tester" friends and family complained. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/gapslegalstrawberryrhubarbpie_0019.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Turns out almond flour crust doesn't play nice with a wetter pie filling. Actually, the problem is that it plays too nice! It wants to combine with the filling; get up close and personal. Not what a pie crust is supposed to do. I did not fully overcome the pie-crust conundrum, but every recipe I made turned out delicious. So instead of chocking it up as a "failed recipe," I decided to share with you what I made... a good pie that happens to have a crust with boundary issues! And, of course, I will share the modified recipe for egg-free, nut-free, dairy-free strawberry rhubarb dessert. Keep reading! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Ingredients

For the Pie Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour

  • 1/4 cup whey (enough to moisten)

  • 1/2 cup room-temperature butter (or lard)

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the Filling:

  • 3 1/2 cups rhubarb pieces

  • 2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup date syrup (I use this one)

  • 2 TBS gelatin dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water

  • Optional: zest from 1/2 lemon

Directions

Mix almond flour and whey together. Cover and leave on the counter for 24 hours to ferment. After 24 hours, this mixture keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/gapslegalstrawberryrhubarbpie_0011.jpg" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] To the fermented flour mixture, add butter or lard and sea salt. Mix well, getting all clumps out. Then butter a pie pan well. Press the crust mixture into the pan and form a crust using your fingers. Bake at 400° for 5-8 minutes until a little dry and just turning brown.   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/gapslegalstrawberryrhubarbpie_0012.jpg" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Combine all ingredients for the filling. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until the juices increase. Add the filling to your pre-baked crust. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes until light brown. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/gapslegalstrawberryrhubarbpie_0013.jpg" custom_padding="||50px|" custom_padding_last_edited="on|tablet" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert

A delicious nut free alternative served hot or at room temperature! Mix the filling the same, except add 2 additional TBS of gelatin and dissolve in 1/2 cup of hot water. Let the filling sit for 5-10 minutes to let the flavors mix. Line muffin tins. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes until the tops are just browning. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/gapslegalstrawberryrhubarbpie_0017.jpg" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Serve warm or room temperature. These gooey treats are a bit messy, so eat with a spoon. They are delicious!  

Enjoy!

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GAPS Friendly Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

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For the Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cup Almond Flour

  • 1/4 cup Whey ((Enough to Moisten))

  • 1/2 cup Butter or Lard, Room Temperature

  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

For the Filling

  • 3 1/2 cup Rhubarb Pieces

  • 2 1/2 cup Strawberries, Sliced

  • 1/4 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 cup Date Syrup

  • 2 tbsp Gelatin dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water

  • Zest from 1/2 Lemon ((Optional))

  1. Mix almond flour and whey together. Cover and leave on the counter for 24 hours to ferment. After 24 hours, this mixture keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week.

  2. To the fermented flour mixture, add butter or lard and sea salt.

  3. Mix well, getting all clumps out. Then butter a pie pan well. Press the crust mixture into the pan and form a crust using your fingers.

  4. Bake at 400° for 5-8 minutes until a little dry and just turning brown.

  5. Combine all ingredients for the filling. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until the juices increase.

  6. Add the filling to your pre-baked crust.

  7. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes until light brown.

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Nut Free GAPS Legal Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert

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  • 3 1/2 cup Rhubarb Pieces

  • 2 1/2 cup Sliced Strawberries

  • 1/4 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 cup Date Syrup

  • 4 tbsp Gelatin dissolved in 1/2 Cup Hot Water

  • Zest from 1/2 Lemon (Optional)

  1. Combine all ingredients for the filling. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until the juices increase.

  2. Line Muffins Tins

  3. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes until the tops are just browning.

  4. Serve warm or room temperature. These gooey treats are a bit messy, so eat with a spoon. They are delicious!

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Is Fat a Better Prescription for Mental Illness?

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Shootings, bombings and gun control are often in the news these days. There are many different opinions and views on this, but one thing that I do not think is getting enough attention is the mental stability of the perpetrator. It makes sense that mental illness is involved, but many people have a diagnosis of mental illness and don't carry out violent crimes. What's the difference? I think we need to look closer to try to find out what causes a person to carry out a violent crime?  

Here is my hypothesis for testing:

What connection do diet and the use of anti-psychotic drugs have to do with these unprovoked acts of violence?

  Could it be that we are prescribing the wrong treatment for mental illness?   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

What diet has to do with the brain:

  The gray matter of the brain is made up of an estimated 50% fatty acids. Our hormones and neurotransmitters are partially composed of lipids, and lipids are needed for several different cellular functions, including neuron growth and signaling, cell movement, and lymphocyte activation (2). If lipids and cholesterol are involved in so many aspects of brain function, doesn’t it make sense that a low-fat diet would cause brain function problems? If it is fat deficiency that is causing the disease, then we would expect the results of a treatment that addresses down-line symptom (chemical imbalance) rather than the root cause (fat deficiency) would have limited effectiveness.

Isn’t that what we are observing?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Only a percentage of people who take medications for anxiety or depression see improvement. When Consumer Reports asked 1,386 people who took medications for anxiety, depression, or both (SSRIs, SNRIs, Bupropion), they found that 48-53% people said it helped a lot, and 35-38% said it helped somewhat, and in each grouping 13-15% of people said it helped less than somewhat (or none) (1).

If depression and anxiety were caused by a simple chemical imbalance, shouldn’t we see a much higher response rate to treatment?

Not only are these medications largely ineffective, but they also come with a high risk of side effects. When the same group (above) were surveyed, 12-31% of those people experienced one or more side effect: loss of sexual interest or ability, weight gain, dry mouth, or sleep problems (1). That means up to 1/3 of the people on these medications experience side effects! And they may not even see any benefit from them! Other side effects listed for these medications are nervousness, agitation or restlessness, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, dry mouth, digestive system problems (4, 5). Bupropion is listed to have the additional potential side effects include: trouble concentrating, hyperventilation, irregular heartbeats, irritability, paranoia, hallucinations, seizures, fainting, anger, assaulting others, being aggressive or impulsive, actions that are out of control, inability to sit still, or talking, feeling or acting with excitement (3). That’s a scary list! And don’t some of them sound familiar in light of the shootings? [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Avoiding the side effects:

  Finally, talk alone may be as (if not more) effective than medications. A survey of 1,544 people showed that talk therapy alone was as much, if not more successful than a medication treatment (1). So... maybe medications aren’t the answer? Then what is? What if we correct the underlying imbalance? What if we prescribe a diet high in the building blocks needed for the brain? This includes omega-3 and -6, but also cholesterol and saturated fats from animals, which are necessary for our cell membranes and other parts of our brain and nervous system.

Put simply, we need fat because fat:
  • Balances hormones
  • Helps make “happy” neurotransmitters
  • Is necessary for mentation (thinking)
  • Is a needed part of the myelin sheath (fast nerve impulses)
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Help in brain damage repair
  • Detoxifies the body and brain
  • Feeds and supports the immune system
  • Is used in every cell of the body
  • And more!

  When we look at a tragedy like a shooting, there are many factors at play. But how many of those factors are related to the balance and health of the shooter’s body? If, as an old advertisement stated “They’re happy because they eat butter!” then perhaps a lack of saturated fat in the diet is a large contributor to the unimaginable mental state of people who treat human life so carelessly. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Eat more fat!

This is why the first and most important thing I recommend is to eat more fat! Animal fat, specifically. If you have prescribed to the low-fat diet for a while, or had your gallbladder removed, you need to increase your fat consumption gradually, and perhaps look at supplementing with something like ox bile during your transition. Work up until you are eating at least ½ cup of added animal fat a day. This includes children—they have fast-growing bodies and brains!

Common sources of animal fat are:
  • Butter and ghee
  • Sour cream (crème fraische)
  • Lard (rendered pig fat)
  • Tallow (rendered beef, buffalo, elk, deer fat)
  • Chicken, duck, goose, etc fat
  • Bacon (not turkey bacon!)

  You can eat much more than ½ cup a day! Just listen to what your body is asking for. And to learn more about why we should eat fat alongside every food group, check my The One About Fat post.

What do you think?

  References:

  1. Consumer Reports. (July 2010). Best Antidepressant for Anxiety According to Our Readers: Readers Revealed the Therapists and Drugs that Helped. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/01/depression-and-anxiety/index.htm
  2. Ding, Z. and Zajac, J.-M.. (2016). Cholesterol-rich lipid rafts are involved in neuropeptide FF anti-nociceptin/orphanin FQ effect. J. Neurochem., 136:778-790. Doi:10.1111/jnc.13450

  Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your trust is important to me. I only recommend products I trust. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

New Year's Resolutions: Six Habits I Recommend on a Regular Basis

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Happy New Year everyone!

In the last post, I shared about mindsets to have (or not) that will help with successful habit change. This week I want to share about some of the habits I think are most important to consider integrating into your family. This is not an exhaustive list! These habits are simple and sound. They are not flashy or trendy (necessarily), and they have stood the test of time. And remember, I am not suggesting you start ALL of these habits at once, or that these are the highest priority for your family. I am merely suggesting ones I think are important. For your consideration. Here they are:  

Six Habits I Recommend on a Regular Basis:

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Eat More Animal Fat

This is my number one recommendation, and it is something you can incorporate into your food right now! Everyone should be eating more animal fat! Here's a post about why you should add more animal fat to your diet. Animal fats are butter, lard, tallow, ghee, chicken, duck and goose fat, bacon, and sour cream. This is where the money is! But what about avocados, coconut oil, and all the "healthy fats"? Those fats are fine and healthy (if they are good quality), but they cannot replace the amazing benefits that animal fats bring to your body. Those fats are fine to eat, but focus on increasing the animal fats. I recommend people work up to eating a minimum of 1/2 cup added animal fat per person per day. This includes children (they need fat for their developing brain!) This can be accomplished by adding fat to everything! Fry everything in butter, lard or bacon grease. Butter your steak! Eat butter cubes and dried fruit for a snack. Eat a tub of sour cream with a spoon! These are just some ideas to get you started. And if you are worried about fat and heart disease or obesity, I recommend you check out the book by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride called Put Your Heart in Your Mouth, which explains the real reason for these epidemic diseases.

Drink Meat Stock Daily

Meat stock (not necessarily bone broth) is a liquid gold that I think every person can benefit from. To learn how to make it, view my post about it. I recommend that every person (children included) consume at least 1 mug of meat stock every day. With every meal is even better. This doesn't have to be in the form of soup—it can be a mug of the strained stock. And this is great place to add in extra fat (see previous point). And yes, there is a difference between store-bought and homemade—you can make something of infinitely higher quality than anything you can buy. And please, even if you use a microwave for other things, warm up your meat stock on the stove!

Eat a Fermented Food

Until the age of refrigeration, we naturally had some time of fermented food at least once a day. Either foods were fermented on purpose to preserve them longer (like sauerkraut), or during the course of a few days stored at room temperature, they grew some amount of mold, yeast, or bacteria on them. Today, food in this state goes instantly into the trash (often container included), but for most of history food was rarely wasted due to a little mold! Now, I am not saying you should eat food that is molded or rotten, but our bodies function in a more healthy state if we regularly eat microbes. After all, a large part of our bodies are microbes! Here is a fun little video about how microbes work in your body. To help your body get or stay healthy, it's good to get these healthy microbes in us! You can do this by taking a probiotic, or eating fermented foods. There are different reasons why one is better than the other, and sometimes both are needed, but eating a ferment (or fermented food) is a great way to start out! You can buy your ferment (like live, refrigerated sauerkraut), or make it yourself. In addition to sauerkraut, beet kvass and vegetable medley are two of my favorites. When you start with any probiotic or fermented food, go slowly! Too much too fast can cause what's known as a die-off or Herx reaction. This is not fun, but can be avoided by increasing the amount you eat slowly! Start with one bite of sauerkraut, or 1 ounce of beet kvass. See how you feel for the next 24 hours, then use that as a guide to let you know how fast you can increase (or if you need to decrease).   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="detox changes" _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] The last three habits are related to detoxing and cleansing your body.

Filter Your Water

This is a fairly simple change to make, yet it can reap large benefits. City water, most bottled water, and some well water contains chlorine in one or more forms. It is put there to keep species of bacteria, fungus and other microbes from multiplying to unhealthy levels. However, when we drink this same water the chlorine negatively affects the flora living inside us as well. And when we bathe and shower in it, not only do the chemicals dry out our skin and the fumes irritate our lungs, the protective barrier of our skin (maintained by skin flora) is damaged. You can largely prevent all of these things by filtering the chlorine (and some other things) out of your water. There are many levels of filters, and depending on how sick you are and what's in your water supply, a stronger filter may be necessary. But most people see benefit with simple filters for their drinking, cooking and bathing water. I use this filter or this filter for my drinking and cooking water, this filter for my baths, and this filter for my shower. You could get them all, or start with one and build from there.

Take a Detox Bath

A detox bath is an excellent way to help your body get rid of toxins that have accumulated there. There are three factors in a detox bath: water temperature, time, and amount of detox material. You can adjust all three of these to find your perfect bath! Common detoxing materials are Epsom salt, baking soda, and raw apple cider vinegar with the mother. And as we just discussed, dechlorinated water is preferred. The goal of a detox bath is to make you feel lighter, clearer and better. If you go too high on any of the three detox bath factors, you may get nauseated, a headache, increased heart rate, brain fog, muscle cramps, irritability or other like symptoms. If this happens during your bath, no worries! Just get out of the bath right away, drink plenty of water, and your symptoms will usually disappear in a few minutes. If they don't, lie down for a little while to let your body rest and recover.

  • Water temperature: you want a warm bath, but if it gets really hot, your body can jump to that other level of detoxing that will give you all the undesirable symptoms. This temperature will be determined by you, and may vary slightly day by day.
  • Time in the bath: to detox, most people need to stay in the bath about 20 minutes. You can stay in longer. But sometimes staying in more time can cause you to start having symptoms. If that happens, bath time is over! It's time to get out! Shorten your bath time by a few minutes the next time.
  • Amount of detoxing materials: for each bath, you want to use one of the detox materials listed above. Amounts vary between 1/4-1 cup. Test and see what works for you. It's good to rotate the material, using all three at different times, for a more comprehensive detoxing.

Enjoy your bath!

Walk Outside in the Sun

This is actually a two-for-one! Sunbathing (with nothing on your skin) is a great way to detox AND increase your levels of vitamin D. Of course, different seasons will have a different influence on vitamin D levels, but talking a walk in the sunshine has undeniable benefits (and probably ones we don't even understand yet!) The full light spectrum can help fight daytime fatigue, which in turn helps our hormones to balance. And you are getting gentle movement exercise on top of it! This will stimulate blood flow and increase your body's ability to remove toxins, as well as stimulate lymph movement, which does the same. It's important to expose your skin to the sun without any barrier, including light barriers such as coconut oil. Commercial sunscreens should be avoided altogether as they contain many known carcinogens. If your skin is not ready for the amount of sun exposure it's going to get, it's best to cover up with clothing, and/or gradually work up the time in the sun. As a side benefit, the more animal fat you eat the less likely you are to sunburn! So use this winter wisely! By the time spring and summer come, you should be able to increase your sun time gradually without problems! And yes, this includes you blondes, redheads, and fair-skinned people! So there you have it! The top six changes I recommend on a regular basis. Let me know which one you tried out first, and how it went!

Onward!

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Buckeye Cookies {GAPS Legal}

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Another one of my favorite Christmas cookies are Buckeyes. These delicious cookies are traditionally peanut butter and powder sugar balls dipped in chocolate, made to look like the buckeye nut. The buckeye nut is commonly found back East, like Ohio and Michigan, where my family is originally from. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]   The roots for this recipe go deep in our family. Much like the Force.   Ok, maybe not the Force (although I am excited for the new Star Wars movie that comes out this week!)   [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/buckeye-nuts.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] But we do make Buckeye cookies a lot.   Since powdered sugar is hardly GAPS legal, I haven't had these cookies for a while either. But all that is about the change!   Introducing GAPS legal Buckeye cookies!   These no-bake cookies are egg free, and casein and lactose free (contains whey and butter). They are also coconut free!  

Please note that while cassava flour is not technically on the GAPS-illegal list, it is still quite starchy. These cookies should be a special treat, and consumed infrequently and in small amounts. Same with cocoa powder. And, as always, observe if YOUR body is okay with this particular food at this time. Just because something is "GAPS legal" does not give you a free pass to eat it! Pay attention to what your body is telling you. But if it's telling you that these cookies are okay for you, then by all means ENJOY THEM!!!

   

GAPS Legal Buckeye Cookies

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Buckeye-cookies-long.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Makes about 48 cookies

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups cassava flour
  • 8 TBS whey
  • 1/2-1 cup honey
  • 8 oz butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla

 

Coating:

  • 1 1/2 cup cocoa butter chips
  • 1/8 cup raw honey
  • 1 TBS cocoa powder

  [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Directions:

Prep time: Need to start this recipe 24 hours in advance, 5 minutes prep time. Then it takes about 30-45 minutes to finish on the following day.  

Filling:

Twenty-four hours in advance: mix 1/2 cup peanut butter, 4 TBS whey, and 1 cup cassava flour together until everything is moist and crumbly. Try to eliminate as many clumps as possible. Leave on the countertop in a glass container with a lid. This is to give the legumes and cassava flour a chance to lacto-ferment. This makes them more digestible and increase the nutritional value. For more on why we should only eat nuts and seeds that have been properly prepared, watch my video on this. After 24 hours, the mixture should look something like this...just a little more moist than what you started with the day before. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Fermented-Nut-butter.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Add to this the vanilla extract, honey and 8 oz of softened butter (it's not the end of the world if you melt it, but try not to).

I used 1 cup of honey for this recipe, and to my non-sugar eating palate they are very sweet (which is the point, I suppose)! I plan to reduce the honey by about half the next time I make this. The mixture just needs to be formed into balls.

  [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Add-butter.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Mix well, and smooth out as many clumps as possible. You should be able to easily for this mixture into little balls. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Buckeye-dough.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Form the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Buckeye-balls.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Place the balls in the freezer to chill (about 10-15 minutes)   Next, make the coating   The most important part of making the coating is to heat things just hot enough to melt. Nothing should be cooked here! You are gently heating them up to mix. Then gradually cooling them back down again.   Using a double boiler (or as I just discovered, my glass 2 cup measuring container fits perfectly into a medium saucepan) On low heat, melt the cacao butter chips. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Melting-Cacao-chips.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] When they are fully melted, turn off the heat and add the honey   Next, stir in the cocoa powder (I recommend using a whisk to mix well)   [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Buckeye-Coating.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Finally, remove the mixture in the top half of the double boiler to the coating is allowed to start cooling   Continue whisking the coating mixture occasionally. The honey cools faster than the cocoa butter, and you need to keep them mixed.   When the mixture is cool enough, remove the dough balls from the freezer. Stick a toothpick (or broken-off bamboo skewer in our case) into a ball and dip it into the coating. Depending on the temperature of the coating, you may need to dip more than once to achieve a satisfactory coating. After allowing the extra coating to drip off for a few moments, return the ball to the parchment paper. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Dipping-Buckeyes.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Maintain the coating within a narow temperature margin. Keep the water from the lower part of your double-boiler ready. If your coating begins to cool too much, slip the top of the double-boiler back on top of the hot water for a minute or so to warm it back up (you probably don't need to turn on the heat). Do not let it cool too much or reheat it too quickly or too much—these can cause the chocolate to clump (this happened), and there's not going back from this. You would just need to start over making the coating.  

Traditionally the coating is darker than this recipe. I originally made a darker coating, but more cocoa powder required more honey, which seemed to throw everything off balance. I think this is part of why it clumped. Once you master the basics of temperature and consistency, you can try increasing the cocoa powder to darken the color. I will be doing that myself. In the meantime, even though this isn't as dark as traditional Buckeye cookies, the coating dries hard at room temperature. I'm calling that a win!

  When they are all dipped to your satisfaction, use a toothpick to roll over the holes, filling them in. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Finishing-Buckeyes.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] There you have it! Rich, delicious Buckeye cookies.

Enjoy!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.11.1" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Buckeye-cookies-cooling.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_divider _builder_version="3.14" /][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.11.1" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/11.png" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"]  

GAPS Legal Buckeye Cookies

Filling

  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 cup Cassava Flour
  • 8 tbsp Whey
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Honey
  • 8 oz Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla

Coating

  • 1 1/2 cup Cocoa Butter Chips
  • 1/8 cup Raw Honey
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder

For the Filling

  1. Twenty-four hours in advance: mix 1/2 cup peanut butter, 4 TBS whey, and 1 cup cassava flour together until everything is moist and crumbly. Try to eliminate as many clumps as possible. Leave on the countertop in a glass container with a lid.

    This is to give the legumes and cassava flour a chance to lacto-ferment. This makes them more digestible and increase the nutritional value. 

  2. Add to this the vanilla extract, honey and 8 oz of softened butter (it’s not the end of the world if you melt it, but try not to).

  3. Mix well, and smooth out as many clumps as possible. You should be able to easily for this mixture into little balls.

  4. Form the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

  5. Place the balls in the freezer to chill (about 10-15 minutes)

For the Coating

  1. The most important part of making the coating is to heat things just hot enough to melt. Nothing should be cooked here! You are gently heating them up to mix. Then gradually cooling them back down again.

  2. Using a double boiler (or as I just discovered, my glass 2 cup measuring container fits perfectly into a medium saucepan) on low heat, melt the cacao butter chips.

  3. When they are fully melted, turn off the heat and add the honey

  4. Next, stir in the cocoa powder (I recommend using a whisk to mix well)

  5. Finally, remove the mixture in the top half of the double boiler to the coating is allowed to start cooling

  6. Continue whisking the coating mixture occasionally. The honey cools faster than the cocoa butter, and you need to keep them mixed

  7. When the mixture is cool enough, remove the dough balls from the freezer.

  8. Stick a toothpick (or broken-off bamboo skewer in our case) into a ball and dip it into the coating. Depending on the temperature of the coating, you may need to dip more than once to achieve a satisfactory coating.

  9. After allowing the extra coating to drip off for a few moments, return the ball to the parchment paper.

  10. Maintain the coating within a narow temperature margin.

    Keep the water from the lower part of your double-boiler ready. If your coating begins to cool too much, slip the top of the double-boiler back on top of the hot water for a minute or so to warm it back up (you probably don’t need to turn on the heat). Do not let it cool too much or reheat it too quickly or too much—these can cause the chocolate to clump (this happened), and there’s not going back from this. You would just need to start over making the coating.

  11. When they are all dipped to your satisfaction, use a toothpick to roll over the holes, filling them in.

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Christmas Wreath Cookies {GAPS Legal}

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] It's the holiday season! More specifically, it's cookie season!   I love making, giving away (and eating) Christmas cookies. But it's been a long time since I have enjoyed many of the cookies I grew up making, so this year I decided I wanted to create real-food versions of some of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes.  

First up, Christmas Wreath cookies!

  This cookie is traditionally a mix of corn flakes, marshmallows, and butter. So let's look at the ingredients...

  • The butter is already a real food!

  • Marshmallows I have made before, modified from Mommypotamus' marshmallow recipe.

  So all I had to do was figure out a substitution for the corn flakes (and see if the marshmallows actually work the same as the commercial variety).   Challenge accepted! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image-single cookie" _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Single-Wreath-Cookie.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Ingredients and directions" _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Christmas Wreath Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies (recipe can be halved)

Ingredients

Marshmallows

  • 2 cups honey

  • 1 cup of filtered water

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 6 TBS grass-fed beef gelatin

  • 1 cup of filtered water

Wreath Cookies

  • Marshmallow paste (above)

  • 8 ounces organic butter

  • 14 cups coconut flakes (approximately 20 ounces)

  • Red hots (my homemade recipe)

  • Natural food coloring, blue and yellow packets (I used this one)

Directions

Place the coconut flakes in the oven at 200° Toast the coconut until they are light brown—this makes the cookies crispier! When done, remove them from the oven Place in a large bowl, set aside [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image-coconut flakes" _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Toasted-Coconut-Flakes.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat When melted, remove from heat and set aside   Next, make the marshmallow paste  

Marshmallows

Soften the gelatin

  • Add gelatin to 1 cup hot water

  • Stir and allow to to sit, keep warm (not on stove)

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image-soften gelatin" _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Softening-Gelatin.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text- Heat honey" _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] While gelatin is softening... Heat honey and water in a medium saucepan (medium to high heat), stirring frequently, until it reaches the soft ball candy stage (about 235°F). If you don't have a thermometer, you can check by dripping the heated honey into a glass of cold water. When the candy forms a ball, it is ready! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Heat honey" _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Boiling-Water-and-Honey.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Soft ball stage" _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] When the honey has reached the soft ball stage, remove from heat Add the heated mixture to the softened gelatin in a large bowl Add vanilla Do these steps quickly, you don't want honey mixture to cool off too much [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Add vanilla" _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Marshmallows-Adding-Vanilla.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Use mixer" _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Whisk the mixture using an electric mixer or stand mixer for about 10 minutes [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Whisk Marshallows" _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Getting-Marshallow.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Getting marshmallow-y [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Marshmallow-y" _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Marshallows.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Marshmallows Done" _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] When the mixture is thick and looks like marshmallow paste, it's done!   If you want marshmallows, you can stop here. Put the marshmallow paste in a greased glass 9x11 dish and allow to cool and dry for a 24-36 hrs. Then cut up and serve.   But we are not stopping here! To make traditional Christmas wreath cookies you melt the marshmallows and turn them back into paste-which is what you just created!   Next, stir the melted butter into the mixture. It will deflate the mixture somewhat, this is normal.   Mix in the blue and yellow food coloring packets. This will turn it green (not neon green—that's an artificial color). But when it's made into wreathes it does look green—although you're going to have to take my word for it! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Add coloring and butter" _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Marshallows-plus-butter-and-coloring.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="add to coconut flakes" _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Pour the marshmallow mixture into the bowl with the toasted coconut flakes. Mix until the flakes are coated. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image-wreath mixture" _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Wreath-Mixture.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Finally, form the warm mixture into wreath-shaped cookies on parchment paper Add decorative red hots as berries (see my homemade recipe) Allow to cool. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Christmas-Wreath-Cookies.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

See, I told you they look green!

  All that's left is to share and enjoy these delicious treats! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Finished-Christmas-Wreath-Cookies.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your trust is important. I only recommend products I trust.  [/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider _builder_version="3.14" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"]

GAPS Legal Christmas Wreath Cookies

Christmas-Wreath-Cookies-Plated-150x150.jpg

Marshmallows

  • 2 cup Honey

  • 1 cup Filtered Water

  • 2 tsp Vanilla

  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

  • 6 tbsp Grass Fed Beef Gelatin

  • 1 cup Filtered Water

Wreath Cookies

  • Marshmallow Past ((See Above))

  • 8 oz Organic Butter

  • 14 cup Coconut Flakes ((Approx. 20 oz))

  • Red Hots ((See Note for my Homemade Recipe))

  • Natural Blue and Yellow Food Coloring

  1. Place the coconut flakes in the oven at 200°

  2. Toast the coconut until they are light brown—this makes the cookies crispier!

  3. When done, remove them from the oven. Place in a large bowl, set aside.

  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. When melted, remove from heat and set aside

Marshmallow Paste

  1. Soften the gelatin by adding gelatin to 1 cup hot water.Stir and allow to to sit, keep warm (not on stove)

  2. Heat honey and water in a medium saucepan (medium to high heat), stirring frequently, until it reaches the soft ball candy stage (about 235°F).If you don’t have a thermometer, you can check by dripping the heated honey into a glass of cold water. When the candy forms a ball, it is ready!

  3. When the honey has reached the soft ball stage, remove from heat.

  4. Add the heated mixture to the softened gelatin in a large bowl and then add vanilla. Do these steps quickly, you don’t want honey mixture to cool off too much.

  5. Whisk the mixture using an electric mixer or stand mixer for about 10 minutes

  6. When the mixture is thick and looks like marshmallow paste, it’s done!

  7. If you want marshmallows, you can stop here. Put the marshmallow paste in a greased glass 9x11 dish and allow to cool and dry for a 24-36 hrs. Then cut up and serve.

For Christmas Wreath Cookies

  1. Mix in the blue and yellow food coloring packets. This will turn it green (not neon green—that’s an artificial color). But when it’s made into wreathes it does look green—although you’re going to have to take my word for it!

  2. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the bowl with the toasted coconut flakes.

  3. Mix until the flakes are coated.

  4. Form the warm mixture into wreath-shaped cookies on parchment paper.

  5. Add decorative red hots as berries.

  6. Allow to cool.

  7. Share and enjoy these delicious treats!

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Homemade Red Hots {GAPS Legal}

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] I have been getting more bold in the kitchen, and this December I decided to create alternative recipes featuring some of my favorite Christmas cookies. To enjoy. I decided on my first cookie to make, Christmas Wreath cookies. And as I was running through my ingredients and working out substitutions I came to the decorative red hots. And I was faced with a dilemma... could I create a red hot, or should I simply bite the bullet and just use traditional red hots. Maybe I could even find a healthy brand... But my all-or-nothing attitude kicked in. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right. And that meant making red hots. From scratch. A quick search revealed that it was possible... in essence red hots are a sugar brittle flavored with spices, like cinnamon. I knew how to make candy out of honey. This could work. It did work. But I'll admit that when I make the Christmas Wreaths in the future I may use boughten red hots... and tell people they are just for decoration and to pick them off.   Because making homemade red hots is a labor of love. There is no other way to put it. But being able to put healthy, three ingredient red hots on your Christmas cookies is amazing! And if you don't care if they are rounded into tiny, holly-berry decorative balls, then this is a really easy candy to make!   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Homemade Red Hots {GAPS Legal}

(Or cinnamon hard candy)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup honey

  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 package natural red coloring (I used this one)

Directions:

Combine the honey and water on the stovetop in a medium saucepan, stirring frequently [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Honey-and-Water-Boiling.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] You want to heat it at a temperature that is not too hot that it burns, but if it's too low it will take forever to get to temperature.

You're going to have to find your heat sweet spot. It should take between 5-10 minutes to get to soft ball stage, if it's taking longer, turn it up!

Soft ball stage occurs around 235°. If you don't have a thermometer available, you can drip some into a clear glass of cold water. It will form into a little ball upon hitting the water. For a little harder candy (I recommend this), let it go a minute or two after you hit the soft-ball stage.   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] After a minute or so on the soft ball stage, remove the saucepan from heat Add the cinnamon and the entire red color packet. The cinnamon has a tendency to clump so, if possible, whisk while adding it. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Adding-Spice-to-Red-Hot.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] After whisking thoroughly, pour the liquid onto some parchment paper to cool When it has cooled enough to touch (doesn't take very long), then use well buttered fingers to form tiny little balls

Not tolerating butter? Any fat will do—the key is to prevent sticking!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Rolling-Red-Hots.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Roll those little suckers quickly... after a while the candy will get too hard to work with. You can reheat it to soften in up, but believe me, you will be ready to stop rolling balls. Better yet, recruit a friend (or two) to roll with you! Set the balls in a cold place (outside works for us right now!) When they are hard, gather them up and store them in a container in the fridge. This prevents the balls from clumping.   This candy could be made into any size (I only chose red hot size because of the Christmas wreath cookies)... or simply cooled and broken into pieces. It is a delicious treat! Enjoy! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Red-Hots-Skinny.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your trust is important. I only recommend products I trust. 

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GAPS Legal Homemade Red Hots Candy

Red-Hots-150x150.jpg
  • 1/2 cup Water

  • 1 cup Honey

  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

  • 1 Package Natural Red Coloring

  1. Combine the honey and water on the stovetop in a medium saucepan, stirring frequently.

  2. You want to heat it at a temperature that is not too hot that it burns, but if it’s too low it will take forever to get to temperature.You’re going to have to find your heat sweet spot. It should take between 5-10 minutes to get to soft ball stage, if it’s taking longer, turn it up!Soft ball stage occurs around 235°. If you don’t have a thermometer available, you can drip some into a clear glass of cold water. It will form into a little ball upon hitting the water. For a little harder candy (I recommend this), let it go a minute or two after you hit the soft-ball stage.

  3. After a minute or so on the soft ball stage, remove the saucepan from heat.

  4. Add the cinnamon and the entire red color packet. The cinnamon has a tendency to clump so, if possible, whisk while adding it.

  5. After whisking thoroughly, pour the liquid onto some parchment paper to cool.

  6. When it has cooled enough to touch (doesn’t take very long), then use well buttered fingers to form tiny little ballsNot tolerating butter? Any fat will do—the key is to prevent sticking!

  7. Roll those little suckers quickly… after a while the candy will get too hard to work with. You can reheat it to soften in up, but believe me, you will be ready to stop rolling balls.Better yet, recruit a friend (or two) to roll with you!

  8. Set the balls in a cold place.

  9. When they are hard, gather them up and store them in a container in the fridge. This prevents the balls from clumpin

This candy could be made into any size (I only chose red hot size because of the Christmas wreath cookies)… or simply cooled and broken into pieces. It is a delicious treat!

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Fruit Chutney for your Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!

One of the best things about November is the focus on being grateful and thankful. Everywhere you look there are posts and tweets showing gratitude. And we sure have a lot to be thankful for! Some things are so obvious we often forget to be thankful for. These are things like safe drinking water, warm houses, smart phones and electricity are so everyday for us that we forget how much we have. Sometime this week, I encourage you to write a list of all the things you have to be thankful for. Don't feel silly including things like water, or your favorite pair of jeans. See how long you can make the list! Even if you don't feel like being thankful, I encourage you to do this exercise—gratitude changes our perception and experience of life, even if nothing is circumstantially different. This is not to say that you don't have hard things in your life, or that you should pretend they aren't difficult. They are. Hard things are part of life and are very, very real. Remembering that there are good things in your life as well will help YOU through difficult situations.   As you know, most of my posts (so far, at least) aren't recipes. But it's Thanksgiving! The start of holidays and delicious, rich, made-with-love food. Well this recipe is definitely delicious, rich and made-with-love! I took the recipe out of Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride. If you are following the GAPS diet this is legal on stage 5 or 6, when you are tolerating dried spices and peppercorns. This recipe is very simple—chop and combine ingredients, simmer for a while, then store in jars. It would be a great recipe to make in a crockpot... you really could fix it and forget it! But simple doesn't mean plain. It's delicious and adds flavor to any meat you are eating. And I'm told, quite excellent with turkey!   *This dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free recipe would be great for gifts as well—ladle into pint jars and add a bow! Merry Christmas! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Fruit Chutney

Makes 3-4 quarts [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Cooked-Chutney.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs dried dates (without stones, cut in half)

  • 2 lbs cooking apples (about 7 cups of pieces)

  • 1 lb plumbs (I used packaged prunes)

  • 3 medium onions (about 3 cups, finely diced)

  • 3 peppers (about 2 cups, finely diced)

  • 2 cups raw apple cider vinegar

  • 1-2 tsp whole peppercorns (freshly crushed)

  • 1-2 tsp aromatic seeds (I used cumin and dill)

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1-2 tsp natural salt

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Directions:

Cut dates in half (and remove stones (seeds) if needed

Slowly boil the dates in about 1 cup of water in a large pot until soft (about 10 minutes)

If you live in Colorado like me, and don't use a lid (also like me), you may need to add extra water during this process.

When the dates are soft, turn off heat and mash them with a potato masher—they don't have to be perfectly smooth, just mashed.   [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Dates.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Softened-Dates.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] While you were softening the dates, I hope you were furiously chopping! I completely underestimated the time it was going to take to chop everything I needed for this recipe. If you want the process to go smoother, I would recommend chopping everything at the beginning. Then as soon as the dates are soft you can add the rest, stir occasionally, and walk away! The directions from Dr. Natasha are:

Add everything else to the dates and simmer 1-1/2 hours on very low heat, stirring occasionally.

  If you are like me and work better with a little note of panic, then by all means, chop furiously and add things as you chop. For all you step-by-steppers like me, below are pictures to show what I added. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Apples.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Chopped-Peppers.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Crushed-Peppercorns.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Apple-Chunks.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Adding-Peppers.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Prunes.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Chopped-Onions.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Sterilize the jars.

Dr. Natasha recommends doing this in an oven. I had never done this but it seemed to work great! Place cold jars in a cold oven. Heat the oven to 250°F, then leave it at that temperature for 40 minutes to sterilize the jars. Pull the jars out of the oven one-by-one as you are ready to fill them so they stay hot. Use oven mits! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Jars-Sterilizing.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Jar-Lids.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Ladle the hot chutney into the jars

A jar funnel is a lifesaver here!

I left just a little room for air, much less than my fermenting self wanted, but no jars exploded so it must be okay!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Fruit-Chutney-ready.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Wipe off any chutney on the rim of the jar. Then immediately seal the jar, tightening the lid.

Again, use an oven mitt—the jars are hot!  

Place the jar on the counter, some distance between them.

It's better to not move the jars until they are cool, so place them where you will not need to move them for many hours, overnight is better.   [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Jared-Chutney.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

When cool, place the jars into the refrigerator.

This is not a fermented food, so it does require refrigeration.  

Serve with meats and fish. Good cold or warm.

It's delicious! I made this for our Thanksgiving feast in a few days, but tried it out with some chicken today. I enjoyed it thoroughly! I hope you enjoy it as well! Onward! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider _builder_version="3.14" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"]

GAPS Legal Fruit Chutney

Fruit-Chutney-150x150.jpg
  • 2 lbs Dried Dates ((without stones, cut in half))

  • 2 lbs Cooking Apples ((about 7 cups of pieces))

  • 1 lb Plums ((I used packaged prunes))

  • 3 Medium Onions ((about 3 cups, finely diced))

  • 3 Peppers ((about 2 cups, finely diced))

  • 2 cups Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1-2 tsp Whole Peppercorns ((freshly crushed))

  • 1-2 tsp Aromatic Seeds ((I used cumin and dill))

  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

  • 1-2 tsp Natural Salt

  1. Cut dates in half and remove stones (seeds) if needed.

  2. Slowly boil the dates in about 1 cup of water in a large pot until soft (about 10 minutes) If you live in Colorado like me, and don’t use a lid (also like me), you may need to add extra water during this process.

  3. When the dates are soft, turn off heat and mash them with a potato masher—they don’t have to be perfectly smooth, just mashed.

  4. Add everything else to the dates and simmer 1-1/2 hours on very low heat, stirring occasionally.

  5. Sterilize the jars. Place cold jars in a cold oven. Heat the oven to 250°F, then leave it at that temperature for 40 minutes to sterilize the jars.

  6. Pull the jars out of the oven one-by-one as you are ready to fill them so they stay hot. Use oven mits!

  7. Ladle the hot chutney into the jarsA jar funnel is a lifesaver here!

  8. Wipe off any chutney on the rim of the jar. Then immediately seal the jar, tightening the lid.Again, use an oven mitt—the jars are hot!

  9. Place the jar on the counter, some distance between them.It’s better to not move the jars until they are cool, so place them where you will not need to move them for many hours, overnight is better.

  10. When cool, place the jars into the refrigerator.

If you want the process to go smoother, I would recommend chopping everything at the beginning. Then as soon as the dates are soft you can add the rest, stir occasionally, and walk away!

This is not a fermented food, so it does require refrigeration.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.11.1" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/19.png" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

The Silver Lining to the Omnivore's Dilemma

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial" _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] In 2006, a book was published that sought to give the reader a better understanding of where their food comes from. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan followed three major tracks, or sourcing, of food. The public reaction to this book was significant and varied, and it evoked discussion from vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. The main premise of the title is discussed in chapter 17 of the book (among other places) and presents the idea that we have a particular dilemma facing us (humans): we have a choice (perhaps even moral and ethical in front of us) because we can eat anything. So what do we choose to eat? I appreciate Michael Pollan’s exposure of the true nature of the environments in which most of the food that we purchase is raised. I also agree with him (and many others) that there is a weightiness to our position as meat-eaters. It is this weight that I want to talk about today.   I believe it’s important to realize the weight of death. I think it helps us.   I don’t think the act of eating meat is immoral or unethical. But I do think that eating without a thought of responsibility is wrong. Except for the last hundred years, humans have been completely connected to the food (animal or plant) that they ate. They either had to raise, hunt, gather or cultivate their food. They took responsibility for caring for the plants and animals that were to become their food because they understood that these things were connected to their own life and health. Now, with mass production and commercialization, we have become removed from this natural responsibility and awareness. That being said, we can still make conscious choices about the food we purchase: we can make sure we know where it comes from and how it was treated. But I think we have the potential to lose something if we are that removed from food. Something big and underlying. When I say “we” I am talking about the collective “we” of our modern culture. And I know there are many discussions we could have in relation to food about toxins, hormones, antibiotics, nutrient density, and animal treatment. And although these are important, that's not what I would like to discuss today. Today I want to discuss what I think are some of the  moral and ethical implications of being removed from raising and killing our own food. As I said earlier, I think that being exposed to and understanding the weight of death is important. I think it strengthens our idea of responsibility, and gives us an attitude of soberness about death, which causes us to put a value on life.  

Let me explain with some examples:

  When I was growing up I learned the responsibility of caring for animals on our “hobby farm.” My parents taught me the importance of putting the needs of the animals in our care before my own. As these animals were domesticated and confined, they were unable to provide for themselves. They depended on us to give them what they needed to live. I understood (and experienced) that a lack of care or attention on my part could lead to an unintended death.

Lesson: Growing up in this environment taught me that it’s my responsibility to care for things that are weaker. When we believe that it is our responsibility to care for those who, in that moment at least, are not able to do what we can, we will not bully and abuse them. This is true not only for how we treat animals, but also for how we treat people.

    As an adult, I have had some opportunity to keep the chickens, ducks, geese, and pigs. The lives of these animals were then fully in my hands, and even unintentional mistakes or omissions could and did have life or death consequences. Awareness of that responsibility would get me out of bed in the middle the night, or cause me to carry water down a steep hill in freezing temperatures so my animals could drink.

Lesson:Increased responsibility taught me that I could be depended on, and that there are consequences for my actions. Learning how to shoulder responsibility, be dependable, and take responsibility for actions are all admirable and desirable character qualities that will help any person succeed in their life.

    When the time came for these animals to be in the freezer, I did not send them to a processing plant, but did the slaughtering and butchering myself. In this way I allowed my animals to die the same way that they lived, happy and without fear. While it cost me emotionally to do the killing myself, it was something I was glad to do. I had accepted responsibility for these animals, and I wanted to fulfill that responsibility to the end of their life.

Lesson: Processing my own animals for meat helped me to put others before myself. When we think of others first, we learn to treat people with kindness, and we can develop good, lasting relationships.

    The last few years I have attempted (with some success) to obtain my meat through hunting—true wild-caught, grass feed meat! In case you've never been hunting before I'll let you in on a little secret... the animals have a HUGE advantage. Their natural instincts give them the ability to hear or smell us and leave the area often without us even being aware of their presence. When I am successful in my hunt (which doesn't happen every year—including this one), I am excited and sobered. Excited at the prospect of good quality, delicious meat (I love elk!). But sobered because there is a weight to death—all death—even that of a wild animal.

Lesson: Soberness is a correct and helpful emotion to have in regard to death. It's an important experience for everyone to have (in one way or another) because it helps us remember the value of life. It's vital to regard life as precious, and something to be guarded and cared for, not thrown away carelessly.

    To summarize, I believe that having a correct understanding of the soberness of death has significant implications. It will cause us to treat all living things with care and love (preventing bullying and animal cruelty). It is a way we can learn and practice responsibility and accept consequences. It teaches us to put others first. It motivates us to spend quality time with those we love (because we remember that they won't be there forever). And it causes us to reflect on our own mortality (which is a good thing to think about sometimes).   Now I’m not saying that you have to live on a farm for you and your kids to learn responsibility and soberness about death! There are multiple ways to teach responsibility and soberness that don't include raising and killing your own animals. You can teach your child the responsibility of care with a pet, or even through simple chores. You can take responsibility in knowing where your food comes from, and invite your children to be part of your decisions. You can tell them that you expect them to treat every living creature with gentleness and care, and give consequences if they don’t obey. You can explain to them your convictions about animal treatment and talk about food quality on a regular basis. There are many opportunities for you to show your child the precious gift that is life, and teach them about responsibility and kindness. My point is that it’s maybe just a little bit harder, and takes a little more effort to pass on these things in our modern world. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing. The good things are always worth fighting for. That’s why I believe that it’s a blessing to be an omnivore. There is a loss of life so we can eat, but that creates opportunities to experience deep life lessons when we face the weightiness of death. So there you have it, the silver lining to being an omnivore!  

Onward!

  This post contains affiliate links. Your trust is important to me, and I only recommend products that I trust. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Living in an Epic

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.77" background_layout="light" border_style="solid"] I love epics! When I read, watch or listen to a story that shows gives me a glimpse or sniff of the epic, there is something inside me that reaches deep, finds courage, or gathers strength to face whatever I am facing in my life. Or reminds me that my life is pretty easy... that happens too.   Is this just me?   Anyone else?   I know that epics help me so much in my everyday life, so I try to put them in my everyday (or at least a few times a week) life.*

*This may be re-reading an number of books (the Lord of the Rings series, Narnia series, The Seeker series, The Space Trilogy, The Inheritance Cycle, various biographies of missionaries or historical figures, or even The Little House on the Prairie series (especially The Long Winter). It may also be from thinking about Epics I have read (at least in part) in the past, like the Odyssey and Illiad. It may also be from watching the movies that go with these books. It is not unusual for me to be reading one or another of the books in this list, along with health or business books I am reading. (Right now I am at chapter seven of LOTR: The Two Towers.)

  Today I want to share some reflections that I have concerning epics. Maybe you've thought about or experienced some of these things before, and maybe you haven't. But I believe that there is something inside each of us that responds to the essence of an epic tale. And I think there is good that can come from that response.  

One of my epics-of-choice is Lord of the Rings. While I do enjoy and watch the movies, the books give a deeper picture, a chance to immerse with the characters and experience what they are experiencing as they journey in the race against evil.

I've lost count of how many times I've re-read this series, but each time I read through it, there is something that soothes my heart, makes me feel understood (or helps me understand something), or gives me a different perspective. (I think this happens because each time I read it I am in a different place—I am experiencing something new or in a different way, or I have learned more.)

  But the personal strengthening I get from reflecting on these epic tales generally falls into one of three categories.     #1 Your story is important!Each of us have a story (or journey). And that story (journey) is important. Frodo may seem to be the star in the Lord of the Rings, but there are multiple stories involving different characters that are interwoven (at times) with each other. And in most cases, if the characters in those other stories did not act courageously, or if they had made a different choice, perhaps the great and evil Sauron would not have been overthrown. Every person is important:

  • Without Sam's support Frodo would have never made it

  • Without Merry and Pippin's appearance Isenguard would still be standing

  • Without Eowyn's care for her people Theoden could not have gone to war

  • Without Bilbo's gift Frodo would have been skewered by a troll in Moria

  And there are so many more examples! While the comparison isn't (of course) exact (as far as I know, there are no trolls), each of us something important that only we can do with our lives. And what we choose to do (and that we don't give up) affects others in ways you may never know. You are important! Your life is significant, no matter how it feels. I mean, most of what Frodo did was walk! But would anyone say his part was insignificant?     [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial" _builder_version="3.0.77" background_layout="light" border_style="solid"]

#2 There is a bigger picture!

So many times I am just putting one foot in front of the other. One more morning that I got out of bed. Several meals cooked and eaten. Another work day finished. A detox bath done. Lights out. I need epics to remind me of the bigger picture! As you read or watch any epic tale in which great deeds are done, I challenge you to pay attention to the timeline.

  • How many miles did that person walk before they found adventure?

  • How many days at sea before they found the next island?

  • How many years of study before they became a Plato?

  • How many failed experiments before they invented the lightbulb?

  I never used to notice the timeline. And I was always frustrated that my big break hadn't come yet, or that I was still in school, or that I wasn't where I wanted to be in any number of areas in my life. Then I started to read phrases like "they traveled 2 weeks" or "he studied that language for 5 years." And I realized I was missing something. I want to achieve the great thing now. I want to be done with the journey now. But that's not how it usually works (really, almost never!). Even "The Greats" did not become great in one night, or many. Years and years of hard work are often represented by a single sentence in their biographies. Because most of life's achievements are accomplished in the mundane. But those steps, mile after mile, are what prepare you for your great moment. And one day each of those steps will be the accomplishment of a journey. And one day you will probably notate all these hard years with a single sentence as well.    

#3 You are not alone!

It is common to feel isolated. Most people do (about 72% of Americans, according to a study done in 2016). We see loneliness in epic tales as well.

  • Frodo felt he had to make the journey to Mordor alone.

  • Aragon felt alone when Gandalf fell in Moria.

  • Merry and Pippin felt alone when they were captured by orcs.

  • Gimli felt alone when he was grieving Balin's death in Moria.

  • Gandalf felt alone when he was betrayed by Saruman the White.

  You may argue. "You don't know my life. I am alone." I believe you! I believe that you feel alone! But that does not mean you are, or that you have to be. Frodo thought he had to go to Mordor alone (and tried to), but it was right and good that Sam went with him. Here are two reasons why you are not alone.

First:

You have people around you who love you. People who care about you and would miss you if you were gone. They may be bad at expressing it, but I KNOW you have at least one person in your life that cares. Because if you truly can't think of anyone else who cares about you, I care about you!

Also, there is another person who cares about you, and He cares way more than I ever can. His name is Jesus, and He died for you. I know He cares about you because He also cares about me. He has helped me and loved me in amazing, real ways! If you want to know more about Him and how He loves you, please reach out to me. (I also share some more about it in this post on hope.) 

 

Second:

You are not alone because your experience of loneliness is something that we all experience. Everyone you know has experienced or is currently experienced loneliness in their lives. And while we may not get to hear the story of those around you (although I encourage you to ask), we can see this common human experience reflected in the epic tales. The reason why epics resound so strongly with our spirits is because we know that we too are part of an epic tale. We alone can feel the true weight of a burden, feel the exhilaration of our victories, or the crushing weight of fear or feeling alone. We are the only ones who can walk each of the steps of our journey.   But we don't have to do it alone! At each step along the way there are companions. They may not be the ones you would choose (Frodo and Sam did not want Gollum to be with them, but they needed him). Some are only for a season (like the Fellowship), and others stay with you until the end (like Sam with Frodo). Look around you. Who do you have next to you? Who may be your companions right now? I know how it is to feel alone. I have felt alone most of my life. I know that it takes tremendous courage to reach out. To get to know the people around you. To risk getting close to them even though you may get hurt. To initiate relationship again and again. But everyone feels alone and scared. Everyone is hoping for a friend to go through life with. But someone has to take the first step. And not everyone you reach out to will be your Sam, but someone may be. And maybe you will be a Sam to them. But you won't know unless you try.   It takes courage to live in an epic. Dangers are near and frequent. Patience and long-suffering are needed. But only in an epic is the victory so notable, and success so sweet, and the ending make you cry with joy. And only when I view my journey as an epic tale can I bring into perspective the hard things in my life. For I know deep down inside that I was created for something great! Something eternal! Something magnificent! Can you feel it too?   Our lives are epics. That means there will be wonderful things and horrible things that happen in them. But isn't it good to know you are in an epic? Then you aren't surprised at what you find around the next bend.   So take courage! And journey,  

Onward!

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Immunity: The Best Defense is a Good Offense {Part Two}

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Last time we talked about the first two ways to support your body's immunesystem. In review, there are four ways or areas we can strengthen our immune system.

  • Eat a diet rich in nourishing foods
  • Support the good microbes in your body and environment
  • Detoxify to give the inflammatory arm of the immune system a break
  • Use essential oils and herbs to support your body's natural defenses

To read about the first two on the above list, check out the previous blog HERE. Today we are going to discuss the other ways you can prepare your body to be ready for environmental attacks. This is a longer post. Hang in there, and bookmark this so you can come back to it for reference.   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"]

Detoxify Your Body

Detoxification may not automatically come to mind when you think about supporting your body's immune system, but a high toxin level in your body can lead to an overwork of your immune system. How? Toxins that are loose in the body cause damage to tissues, interfere with hormones and neurotransmitters, and in other ways increase the overall inflammation in the body. This is not a problem when it is happening on a small scale—in fact, our body was designed to handle this very thing—but when the toxins increase, so does the damage. This means that inflammation (a branch of the immune system) has to become more and more active to address the increase of damage from toxins. The more active it becomes, the more resources it needs. The "resources" of the immune system are nutrients (like cholesterol, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, etc.), energy from metabolic production, and different (specific) immune cells. Many of the same resources are needed both to fight infection and to deal with inflammation. So if toxin damage is high, causing increasing inflammation, then the resources will be directed to the inflammatory branch with the purpose of reducing inflammation. This is good, until a pathogenic microbe decides to invade the body. Then the infection branch of the immune system finds itself understaffed and under-resourced. Without enough resources to fight off the invaders quickly and efficiently, the immune system does the best it can, but it often takes a longer time to restore the body to health and balance. Sometimes the immune system cannot remove the invading threat, and that microbe finds a "corner" to take up residence in. If this happens, these microbes stay in the body and put a constant, low-level drain on the immune system that is constantly fighting to keep them in check. And when the immune system is weakened, these microbes may surface, causing more obvious and acute symptoms.

You can help your immune system out by detoxing.

A simple way to support your immune system is by reducing the amount of toxins, which then reduces the amount of inflammation in the body. There are some simple ways to detoxify your body. Walk in the sunshine!

Sunshine (on unprotected skin) initiates detox through one of your body's normal pathways for detox. Getting enough sun can be challenging in the colder months, but try to expose as much skin as possible, depending on the weather. And you will be able to stay outside longer if you are moving! And movement is not just about staying warm: when your muscles are worked your lymphatic system pumps stronger, as does your heart, which also help your body to remove the toxins.

Drink plenty of water!

I am not a huge fan of the "8 glasses of water every day" rule, because each individual body is going to have different water needs at different times, and this will likely change several times a day. Sometimes 8 glasses are too many, and sometimes it is not enough! Listen to your body to know what "enough water" means. To get you started, enough water means that your urine is pale yellow and does not have an odor, your lips are not dry, and you are not thirsty. When detoxing, it's very important to drink enough water to allow the body to flush the toxins from the body.

Get enough sleep!

Did you know that your body does most of its detoxing and repairing while you are sleeping? And this is not just sleeping whenever... actually your body heals the body more before midnight than after. In the words of Joseph Antell, a Clinical Nutritionalist and a Certified Herbalist, "Every hour [of sleep] before midnight is worth two hours after midnight in terms of healing..." So get to bed! Your body needs to rest. If you have problems sleeping, which is common in many health conditions, doing things like detoxing, eating nutrient-dense foods, turning off WiFi and leaving electronic devices out of the bedroom, and using natural sleep remedies like essential oils, herbs, or even a warm bath or warm milk can help your body get into a pattern of sleeping.

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Support the Body's Natural Defenses

Sometimes our body needs some extra help. Maybe you just started eating nutrient-dense foods. Maybe your body's defenses were weakened by a stressful day, or not enough sleep. Maybe the microbe that is trying to invade is especially strong, or one your body hasn't seen before. Or maybe your body is doing a fine job fighting off the invaders, but it will appreciate any outside help you can give it. When you feel sick, do all the things we have talked about so far. Drink lots of meat stock. Avoid sugar, even from fruit. Double up on your fermented cod liver oil dose. Get lots of sleep and drink plenty of water. You can go out in the sun if it is sunny, not too cold or windy, and you are well wrapped (including your head and neck). In addition to all these, there are things provided in nature that support our bodies through the natural course of being sick. This is a large topic in itself, and today I will just introduce some of these to you.  

Foods:
  • Candied Onion: Cook in lots of butter, ghee or lard, then topped with a fried egg boosts the immune system and soothes a sore throat
  • Fermented Garlic (or raw): Raw or fermented garlic boost the immune system and can kill some pathogenic microbes
  • Honey: Raw, unfiltered honey has immune-supporting properties and is effective as a cough suppressant
  • Unpasteurized milk: Raw milk contains the active form of calcium (calcium lactate), which kills pathogens. Will help reduce a fever

This is not an exhaustive list of food!

Essential Oils:
  • Lavender: This is an antihistamine, so it will help calm inflammation from allergies or invading microbes
  • Oregano: This is a powerful antibacterial. It is a very hot oil, and should always be diluted with a carrier oil if applied to the skin
  • Protective blend: This is a blend of essential oils with antimicrobial properties, like clove, eucalyptus, and rosemary. It also supports the body's natural immune system
  • Respiratory blend: This blend contains things like eucalyptus, peppermint and lemon, which help to open up the airways and sinuses
  • Tea Tree: This has antiviral and anti-fungal properties, and can be helpful to support the body in fighting these types of infections
  • Many other essential oils support the body in a particular circumstances, but they are too specific to write about here

Important Note: I only recommend therapeutic grade essential oils. Essential oils bought at a health food store, or Walmart, and likely synthetic, diluted, and/or manipulated. To find out about the essential oils I recommend, and how to purchase them, click HERE.  

Other Options:
  • Flower essences (work with a practitioner or look in reference books)
  • Food-based supplements (like Acerola Cherry Powder, Indian Gooseberry, Calcium Lactate, etc.)
  • Herbs and tinctures (including Elderberry syrup, Echinacea, etc)
  • Homeopathic remedies (work with a homeopath or look in reference books)

  [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] As you can see, there are many specific ways you can support your body's immune system, both before an infection, and during one. Every body responds a little differently, so try different tools to see what works best for you and the members of your family. But don't forget to start with the basics! If the immune system doesn't have enough resources or immune cells, or if the body is overwhelmed by inflammation, or if you aren't drinking enough water for things to move quickly, additional support can only help you so much in your sickness. And don't get overwhelmed with how much you could do! Just pick one thing and start doing it. Then keep going, and keep learning. You are going to do great! Onward!   This post contains affiliate links. Your trust is important to me, and I only recommend products that I trust. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Immunity: The Best Defense is a Good Offense {Part One}

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial" _builder_version="3.0.50"] Fall is coming! I hope you have been enjoying the cooler nights (and sometimes day) like I have! The onset of cooler weather also means that cold and flu season is coming! Is your immune system ready? We often respond to illnesses defensively... waiting until we catch something before we take care of it. But there is another way... a way to go on the offensive and give your immune system a running start! The food we eat (or don't eat), our obsession with cleanliness, the frequency medications are prescribed, and the environmental toxins we are exposed to can lead to our bodies being run down, and our immune systems functioning below peak performance level. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial" _builder_version="3.0.50"] In fact, it's pretty amazing that we have any immunity left! I'm thankful for the incredibly complex design of our bodies, which allows them to compensate and continue working, even in sub-optimal conditions. Here is a fun video that explains the workings of the immune system. But doesn't it seem like a good idea to support our bodies—and our immune systems—the best that we can? The good news is that there are ways to support our immune systems!  

  • Eat a diet rich in nourishing foods
  • Support the good microbes in your body and environment
  • Detoxify to give the inflammatory arm of the immune system a break
  • Use essential oils and herbs to support your body's natural defenses

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Today let's talk about the first two, and next time we will talk about the other two.  

Nourishing Foods

Eating nourishing foods is a topic I talk about often. If you haven't heard much of what I have to say about this yet, you can check out some other posts like this one and this one. Today I'm going to share with you the nutrient dense foods that your immune system LOVES! Your immune system is a very hungry organ. It is overseeing the entire body, and needs lots of little soldiers to work properly. For a strong, well-staffed immune system, the body needs to be well supplied with cholesterol, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, and more. These nutrients can be found in the same nutrient dense foods that I am always recommending... meat stock, butter, fermented cod liver oil (source), liver (you can get it in a capsule), caviar, egg yolks, full-fat yogurt or kefir, grass-fed beef, and some others. Important minerals can be found in whole salts (sources). When these types of foods are consumed on a regular basis, the immune system will have enough building blocks to make itself strong. While you are increasing the amount of nutrient-dense foods you are eating, it's a good idea to decrease the amount of empty, processed foods you eat. These foods are mostly empty calories, and any food that contains processed sugar depresses the immune systems for hours after it's eaten. As you fill up with real, whole foods, phase any sugar-containing, processed food out of your diet.   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"]

Support Good Microbes

Another reason why our immune systems are struggling is because we have declared a war on microbes. Since the days of Louis Pasteur we have been sterilizing and pasteurizing everything in sight. Even if you don't take antibiotics, you are still getting exposed to them through the food you eat, the water you drink, and often even the soap you wash your hands with. Additionally we obsessively use hand sanitizer, bleach and other cleaners that kill 99.9% of germs. But these sanitizers aren't just killing germs. They are killing the good microbes as well—microbes that keep balance, and even health, to our bodies and the world around us. Another theory emerged around the time of Pasteur, and with our growing knowledge of the human microbiome, it seems to be the more true of the two. Antoine Bechamp created the cellular theory, with the main hypothesis that it is the environment that causes disease, not the germ. A short recap of these two theories can be found here. If Pastuer were right, then our bodies should do better and better as we "cleanse" and reduce the number of bacteria and other microbes. But we have found that the opposite is true. Research has shown that those people with fewer species of microbes in their gut are actually more prone to illness and disease, including chronic disease like obesity, autoimmunity and cancer. So stop killing things! Get rid of your antimicrobial soap and Clorox spray! When you need to clean your hands, wash them instead of sanitizing. And expose yourself to the good and helpful microbes that help keep the bad ones in check. you can do this by eating fermented foods, taking a probiotic, and getting into the dirt sometimes. Eating the nourishing foods we talked about will also support helpful microbes in your body. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] That should get you started, but come back to learn about the other two ways you can support your immune system. Remember, the best defense is a good offense! Onward! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Lovely Lard

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Eating animal fat is important to our body's health. But eating enough fat can be challenging, especially when there is a dairy allergy. Lard is a great alternative to butter, and its taste is more mild than that of tallow. You can buy lard at the store, but it is expensive and may be hydrogenated or of poor quality. Making your own lard is simple and easy, and can be done for a fraction of the price. To make lard, you first start out with pig fat. This can be obtained from a butcher, or even trimmed off of fatty cuts of pork like the Boston butt. The process of turning fat into lard or tallow is called rendering. In this post I describe rendering lard, but the process for rendering tallow (which is fat from beef, bison, deer, lamb, or elk) is the same, although for tallow it may take a few more hours.   There are two kinds of pig fat. Leaf fat is from fat surrounding the internal organs. It is very mild in taste and used to be reserved for making pies and pastries. Body fat is from the layer of fat beneath the skin. This has a slightly stronger pork taste, and is better used in cooking meat and vegetables. Along with a different taste, there is a different look to the two types of fat. Body fat is in large pieces, and appears more dense and flat. Leaf fat is in smaller pieces, has a fluffier texture, and may contain membranes. The fat you get from a butcher may contain both types of fat. If that is the case, I recommend separating out the two types of fat and rendering them separately so you can use them for different purposes. However, there is no problem in mixing them and rendering them together. (The fat I have pictured below is leaf fat.)  

Making Lard:

First, cut up the pig fat into small 1-2 inch sized cubes. If using leaf fat, remove as much membrane as possible. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Pig-Fat.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation_style="none" animation_duration="1000ms" animation_intensity_slide="50%" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Put the fat cubes in a medium saucepan on low heat. You may use a crockpot, but it must have a very low setting or the fat will burn. Stir occasionally and watch closely. Don't let the lard smoke! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Fat-Starting-Out.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation_style="none" animation_duration="1000ms" animation_intensity_slide="50%" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] With time, the solid pieces of fat will get smaller, and the liquid will increase. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Rendering-Fat.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation_style="none" animation_duration="1000ms" animation_intensity_slide="50%" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] After a few hours, when the lard is liquified, set up your strainer and cloth. Below you see pictured a jar, jar funnel, and metal strainer. Metal is best because the lard is hot! To finish it off, place a cloth. You can use an old napkin or other cloth, or several layers of cheesecloth. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Straining-Equipment.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation_style="none" animation_duration="1000ms" animation_intensity_slide="50%" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Straining-Cloth.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation_style="none" animation_duration="1000ms" animation_intensity_slide="50%" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Pour the liquid into the strainer. The liquid will go into the jar and the cracklings will stay in the cloth. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Straining-the-lard.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation_style="none" animation_duration="1000ms" animation_intensity_slide="50%" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Squeeze the rest of the liquid out of the cracklings. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Sqeezing-Fat.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation_style="none" animation_duration="1000ms" animation_intensity_slide="50%" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Cracklings separated from the liquid lard. Salt and fry these. You can eat them like bacon bits, or just plain. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Cracklings.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation_style="none" animation_duration="1000ms" animation_intensity_slide="50%" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Allow the jar of lard to cool on the counter. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Liquid-Lard.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation_style="none" animation_duration="1000ms" animation_intensity_slide="50%" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] When the lard is cool you can move it to the fridge, or leave it on the counter. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Cool-Lard.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" animation_style="none" animation_duration="1000ms" animation_intensity_slide="50%" show_bottom_space="on" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] If you are careful not to contaminate the jar, the lard will last for several months, even left out at room temperature. Use the lard in your cooking— it is a wonderful thing to fry up vegetables or meat and add fat to your diet. Bon appétit! Onward! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider _builder_version="3.14" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"]

Homemade Lard

Lovely-Lard-150x150.jpg
  • Pig Fat

  1. Cut up the pig fat into small 1-2 inch sized cubes. If using leaf fat, remove as much membrane as possible.

  2. Put the fat cubes in a medium saucepan on low heat. You may use a crockpot, but it must have a very low setting or the fat will burn.

  3. Stir occasionally and watch closely. Don’t let the lard smoke!

  4. With time, the solid pieces of fat will get smaller, and the liquid will increase.

  5. After a few hours, when the lard is liquefied, set up your strainer and cloth. A metal strainer is best because the lard is hot! To finish it off, place a cloth. You can use an old napkin or other cloth, or several layers of cheesecloth.

  6. Pour the liquid into the strainer. The liquid will go into the jar and the cracklings will stay in the cloth.

  7. Squeeze the rest of the liquid out of the cracklings.

  8. Salt and fry the cracklings. You can eat them like bacon bits, or just plain.

  9. Allow the jar of lard to cool on the counter. When the lard is cool you can move it to the fridge, or leave it on the counter.

  10. If you are careful not to contaminate the jar, the lard will last for several months, even left out at room temperature.

There are two kinds of pig fat. Leaf fat is from fat surrounding the internal organs. It is very mild in taste and used to be reserved for making pies and pastries. Body fatis from the layer of fat beneath the skin. This has a slightly stronger pork taste, and is better used in cooking meat and vegetables.

Along with a different taste, there is a different look to the two types of fat. Body fat is in large pieces, and appears more dense and flat. Leaf fat is in smaller pieces, has a fluffier texture, and may contain membranes. The fat you get from a butcher may contain both types of fat. If that is the case, I recommend separating out the two types of fat and rendering them separately so you can use them for differentpurposes. However, there is no problem in mixing them and rendering them together.

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The Influence of Diet on Concussions

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Concussions

From 2001 to 2012 the rate of concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children aged 0-19 years (as diagnosed in the emergency room) more than doubled. Males are statically more likely (almost twice) to get concussions as females, and concussions or TBIs in children under 20 years of age make up about 70% of all traumatic head injuries in America (source). I didn't quote these statistics so you will pull your child from sports, or make them wear a helmet every minute of the day, but because there is a reason for this trend, and if it is addressed, this harmful trend could be reversed.   And that reason is... you guessed it... related to diet!   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Here are some factors that play into the increasing risk of concussions and TBIs:  

  • A decrease in the consumption of nutrient-dense foods and saturated animal fats.
  • An increase in consumption of processed foods and trans-fat vegetable oils.
  • A decrease in sun exposure due to a fear of skin cancer and the heavy application of sunscreen.
  • An increase in toxins, including aluminum and glyphosate.

  Let's look at each one in a little more detail... [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"]

Nutrient-dense Foods and Saturated Fat

When we began eating less red meat and animal fat, we started seeing deficiencies in nutrients important for brain health. This includes sulfur, magnesium, zinc, vitamin D, the B vitamins, and omega-3, especially DHA. That is because, in general, these are more nutrients present and/or bio-available in animal foods than in plant foods. Not only do we need all these nutrients to maintain healthy cells, but we need omega-3 fatty acids to buffer the effects of glutamate, a neurotransmitter released in response to inflammation, among other things (source). [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ChickenEggs.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" custom_margin="20px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|phone" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Shopping-Family.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" custom_margin="70px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|tablet" custom_margin_tablet="40px|||" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"]

Processed Foods and Trans-fat Oils

We have replaced many of the animal foods we used to eat with processed products. Not only are these foods low in bio-available nutrients, but they contain chemicals, dyes and preservatives, many of which are known neurotoxins. Around the same time, we also started commercializing real food, and vegetables, grains and animals began to be raised with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and dyes. Additionally, unstable vegetable oils high in trans-fats, free radicals and unstable bonds were sold as "healthier" animal fat replacements. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"]

Sun Exposure

It has only been in recent human history that we have worn sunscreen. For a time we believed it prevented skin cancer (this has been proved untrue). What we do now know is that sun exposure is necessary to build up sufficient levels of sulfate (the oxidized form of sulfur), which helps our brains clean and repair, as well as make hormones like melatonin, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Sun exposure also helps us make some of our daily vitamin D3 (source). [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Sun-Clip.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" custom_margin="50px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|desktop" custom_margin_tablet="30px|||" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/toxic-logo.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" custom_margin="50px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|desktop" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"]

Toxin Exposure

We are exposed to significantly more toxins today then we were 50 or 100 years ago. Two toxins that have a know link to brain damage are aluminum and glyphosate. Exposure comes food, water, cookware vaccines, even the air. Both of these toxins are harmful on their own, but when they are both present there is a synergistic effect, which increases the damage done to the brain (source). [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"]

So what can you do?

You can take steps to protect your child's brain. Eating a diet high in good quality animal fats, meat, and other real food will provide their body with what it needs to keep the brain clean and functioning as designed. Avoiding processed foods, especially those containing dyes, chemicals and pesticides, decreases the brain's exposure to neurotoxins. Spending a lot of time in the sun (without sunscreen) will increase sulfate levels and allow the body to cleanse the brain and produce proper levels of hormones. And exercising caution in vaccine administration and exposure to aluminum foil and weed killers like Round-Up will help keep the levels of these harmful toxins low. Over time, a return to a traditional way of eating will decrease the amount of time your child needs to recover from a concussion or TBI, and it may even prevent them from getting one in the first place. So pass the cod liver oil and butter! Onward! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Butter-Dish.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]