Dreamin' About Meeting

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A friend of mine recently got to meet a famous person that she has wanted to meet for a long time. My conversation with her got me thinking about who I might like to meet, if given a chance. What I quickly realized is that merely meeting someone (famous or otherwise) isn't really a goal of mine. I mean--meet some famous person, shake their hand, and they're gone. What does that do for me?! :) Nothing. I'm a relationship person. I like to get to talk with people, find out what they're into, and see what makes 'em tick. :) Meeting someone quickly wouldn't thrill me, but getting to spend some time with someone interesting would.

So...who would be on my list? Oprah would be interesting to talk to for an extended period of time. Most of the coolest people I know of are real-life people that I am already blessed to get to spend some time with. There are several internet friends that I have not gotten to meet in real life, but would love to.

And that got me thinking of YOU! I love my customers. Honestly, I do! And when I see your name come through again with an order, and I write that little note to you on your packing list, I'm actually thinking of YOU!

Some of you have gone through my class, emailed me with your feedback and questions. Some of you have joined me in the Next Steps group for class graduates, so I've gotten to know you better thanks to the chatter over there. I've even gotten to talk to some of you on the phone, which I've really enjoyed since I get to know you even better!

So, yeah. I think it would be really cool to get to meet you and spend some time with you! What do you think of that?

What I'm dreaming of is a Supermom retreat. It could feature healthy food-making demos and of course tasting, plenty of time for relaxation and chatting with others (so I can get to know you!), and maybe some additional healthy living encouragement from some other wonderful people that share my love for encouraging people toward healthier eating.

What do you think? Would any of you travel to central KY for a retreat? What things would you like to see happen at a gathering like this?

I'd love to hear your ideas.... :)

FREE Gifts with Purchase!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hi everybody!

I just wanted to let you know that tonite I was able to add a new selection of FREE gifts with purchase to the store. You can read all about it here. Enjoy!

When Sickness Comes to The Johns House

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So last weekend it hit. The Crud. Saturday afternoon I started feeling junky, then two kids were sniffling and coughing, and then my husband started feeling junky too. We had been exposed to a sick friend a few days before, and her daughter had gone into the hospital with a combination of ailments, including the flu. Oh boy! Here we go! This is what we do when the Creepin Crud comes around:

1-2 Ultra Immune upon waking, plus 1-2 a couple more times during the day. (should be taken on an empty stomach, so I just pop 'em when I think of it and haven't eaten)

Healthy Lemonade: a sweet drink that doesn't work against my immune system! In fact, it boosts it because of the nice pH balance it gives.

Berry Well: 1 tablespoon mixed into the healthy lemonade several times a day. Tastes great and helps fight The Crud.

NO SUGAR, and very limited products with honey or agave. (And no white flour, either!) The more healthy food, the better. Now is not the time to start eating junk. (It sure helps to have healthy food stocked up and easy recipes to make. I went out to buy groceries the first minute I felt well enough to do it, just to be sure we'd be stocked up in case we really went down hard.)

Odorless Garlic This is a new product for me. Garlic is great for fighting off any bad germs, and not dealing with garlic breath for a week is a huge PLUS! The kids take these just like a jelly bean. No problem!

Oscillococcinum is my favorite homeopathic flu remedy. We have used it for years. I had just ordered some on Friday because we had none on hand, so of course it had not yet arrived when we started feeling bad. I was delighted to find it in the Cold/Flu section of Walmart! It is easy to take, helps reduce the severity of symptoms and duration of the flu. You can easily give it to chidren (reduce the dose, of course) as well.

For the kids they take Super Kids, vitamin C, Berry Well, and Vitamin D3. I also used a cough remedy from Herbs for Kids.

I take all of my regular vitamins, of course. (That includes Super Dad, Bee Strong, Glucosamine MSM, Mineral Blast, Aloe Vera, and Vitamin D3)

Even with good nutrition and supplementation, you cannot always avoid illness. (well, maybe some people can. But nobody living at my house is one of them...) We do the best we can with what we have, and throw everything we can at sickness when it dares sneak in the door.

For this time around, we seem to have done relatively well. My two sniffling coughers stopped coughing within a day or two, and the sniffles are greatly reduced. They never stopped running around and playing full time. My husband and I still have some aches and have taken some naps, but in general have still continued to do the laundry, get the groceries, drive kids where they need to go, cook food, do school, etc. so I think we have done pretty well too. I am still not feeling 100% yet, but I am very thankful that we did not get hit really hard this time around. I think that having a ready arsenal of both healthy habits, as well as helpful supplements/remedies makes a huge difference for us. We rarely ever need to take a child to the doctor, and that has been the case for 16 years. (so far this year none of our children has been to the doctor for anything. This is life as usual for us.) I have invested in reference books (and read them!), and a variety of high quality herbal, vitamin, and homeopathic items that have been useful to us. It is very uncommon that we have an illness here that I am not equipped to handle at home. 9 times out of 10, if we do go to the doctor, I know exactly why we're going, and it's to get help in a way that I don't have the ability to do at home.

Knowledge is power. Preparation is also power. Being ready with what you know and what you have can make getting through common illnesses a lot less miserable than it needs to be. (even if that just means you can stay at home and deal with it, instead of shelepping the kids to the doctor's office....)

Tomato Bisque Soup Recipe

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The amount of healthy that this recipe seems to be will vary, depending on your own definition of healthy. For us, this has become a favorite:

Ingredients and Steps:

Finely chop these up in your food processor:
2-4 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
half a large onion, finely diced
1 finely diced parsnip
24 ounces of diced tomatoes

Toss all of the finely chopped items into a soup pot along with:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1 quart chicken or veggie broth (get a kind without MSG. Imagine is a good brand.)
6-8 ounces tomato paste

While stirring, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and let simmer for an hour. (Leave the pot top on)

In a small sauce pan combine on med-high heat:
3/4 cup melted butter (that's three-quarters)
half cup whole wheat flour

Stir with a whisk and let cook for 1 minute. Then whisk it into the main soup pot.

1 pint whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste

Serve and Enjoy! Sprinkled cheese, chopped parsley, or oyster crackers are nice on top. :)

Ways that I am Dealing with Plastics and BPA

Concerns about the safety of plastics, particularly those made with BPA, are increasing. This article gives some good ideas for limiting our exposure to this dangerous chemical.

As I understand it so far, when plastics, particularly those with BPA, get hot, toxic chemicals are released into the food or beverage inside the container. Not good!

I wanted to share some of the ways that I am being more careful about limiting my family's exposure to BPA. Most of these are pretty simple and doable for the the average family (I think):

-I use glass canning jars for a lot of food storage needs. With wide mouths and regular, there are only 2 size tops to deal with. I have a cabinet with a nice assortment of quarts, pints, and half pint jars. They work great for most leftovers, and can even go into the freezer. (just be sure to leave a half inch or more of space if freezing liquids in glass jars) You can find jars at most grocery stores. They are extremely versatile and last a long, long time.

-I read that Ziploc brand storage bags are BPA-free, so I am now spending a little extra to get that brand instead of others.

-I no longer put any hot foods into any plastic bag or containers. We only use plastic for dry or cold items. (cereal or pretzels for a car ride snack, leftover applesauce if there are no jars available, etc.)

-For times when I have hot foods that need to be stored in plastic, I first use a glass 9 x 13 pan and flash freeze (or cool) the food, then transfer the frozen food to the plastic bag or container that I like to use.

-We NEVER EVER microwave any kind of plastic. This includes "paper" plates that have a plastic coating on them. And that goes double for any kind of convenience foods that are packaged in plastic, with instructions to microwave the stuff inside the packaging. If you buy stuff like that, just take the food out of the plastic, but it on a ceramic or glass plate, and microwave it as usual. (or cook it on the stove top or in the oven, if you like)

-I never did this, but I know people that do: DO NOT cook your frozen veggies inside the plastic bag. I don't care if it says that it's a "steamer" package--it's not good for you, and plenty easy to just put into a glass or ceramic bowl or casserole dish to cook.

-We never serve hot drinks in any plastic cups, or paper cups coated with plastic.

-The paper plates that I do buy are 100% paper. No plastic ingredients.

-We have some plastic "kid plates" in fun colors that I used to serve dinner to my children on sometimes. I no longer serve any kind of hot or warm food on those, or in any plastic bowls. (we have some Tupperware cereal bowls that are only allowed to be used for cold items now)

-We are looking for stainless steel water bottles for the whole family, but are having trouble finding ones that we are sure don't have any BPA parts. In the meantime, when we do use bottled water, we have made some adjustments: We no longer keep a large pack of bottled water in the car. The heat that builds up in the car is enough to make the water hot, which means the plastic container is getting hot too. And we want to avoid that. Although I realize that it is possible that any bottled water could have gotten hot before we even bought it, when we do buy it, I store it in the house, and we take our bottles out of the fridge before we go someplace. And we try not to leave the bottles sitting in the car if it is getting warm out. Now that cooler weather is here, this will not be as much of an issue for a few months.

-Now that I know that the insides of metal cans (for basically every canned food) is likely to have BPA that will have been heated and leached into the food, I am avoiding canned foods as much as possible. I have been choosing more frozen and fresh items in order to avoid the BPA as much as possible.

-I am choosing to purchase more items that are sold in glass jars instead of plastic. (Bonus: If you don't have many glass storage jars, this is a way that you can start a collection for free! Buy your spaghetti sauce in glass jars and then wash and reuse the jars. Easy!)

Future plans for continuing to increase our level of safety in regards to BPA:

-I plan to buy glass pyrex storage containers for the items that do not fit well in a glass jar. So far what I see is that most of the flatter pyrex containers do use plastic tops, but I would consider that an improvement over some of the options I have on hand right now. (and I would still be careful about not letting hot food come into contact with the plastic lids)

-We will eventually find stainless steel (NOT aluminum) water bottles and invest in them for our whole family. Then we won't be buying so much bottled water while out and about.

-I will continue to move more and more toward fresh, unprocessed foods that do not come packaged in plastic or cans coated with BPA.

What are some ways that YOU are avoiding plastics and BPA?

Cabbage Leaves Instead of Tortillas or Buns!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I have read a lot of recipes for raw foods that include cabbage leaves in place of tortillas or buns. Back in the summer I took this quick video and these photos to show you how it worked when we tried it out! This is a fairly normal taco meal for us, just exchanging the cabbage leaves for the tortillas. They were nice and crunchy, held in the salsa better than a tortilla, and had a light enough flavor that we all enjoyed it.

Start with a cabbage leaf:

Add a little cheese (if you're a cheese eater):

Black beans:

Some raw nuts:

Add some raw salsa:

Roll it up and eat! (tasting is believing!)

Adding veggies to a regular dinner

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I wanted to share some photos of how I often "green up" and add raw foods to a regular meal. It's simple!

Start with a bed of organic baby spinach or other salad greens:

Add some raw guacamole! (if you have taken my class or own my Super Salads book you should have the recipe)

After cooking brown rice in organic vegetable broth, I added raw pecans to it:

Add it onto the greens and guac:

Added a baked tilapia fillet and some steamed broccoli:

Adding the greens really bulks up the meal and is an easy way to get some "salad" into your diet even if you don't want a traditional salad. :) You can do this!

Super Fudge

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Although I may have shared this recipe before, today I made it and thought of sharing it with you all. :)

In my food processor I combined:

1 cup raw honey
1 cup natural peanut butter
half cup cocoa powder (or carob powder, or cacao powder)
2 cups assorted raw nuts and seeds (if they can be soaked and dried in advance, all the healthier!)
half cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
half cup dried fruit (dates, raisins, etc.)

Mix it all up really well and spread into a 9x13 pan and keep in the fridge. Cut into squares to eat. Yummy!

You can serve the little squares in tiny muffin cups, or even roll into balls and then coat with coconut, ground nuts, etc. for a fun seasonal treat.

Pear Bread Recipe

Friday, October 16, 2009

Our pear tree had a decent yield this year (unlike our apple trees!) and yesterday was my day to Deal With the Fruit. I had two paper bags full of pears, several of which I am sorry to say had gotten overripe since pears hadn't made it to my top priorities yet. The solution: The nice ones were cored and tossed into the food processor, cores and yukky pears were tossed into glass jars to make vinegar! (I am going to have A LOT of vinegar this year! Did you see the demo videos I posted on how to make your own vinegar? It is super easy!)

One the food processor was full I chopped up the pears, basically making pear sauce. I added some cinnamon and nutmeg and honey to the mix, and froze some of it. The rest was slated for Pear Bread! I made two loaves yesterday (already gone) and two more are in the oven now. I love this recipe since it can be altered to be Banana Bread, Applesauce Bread, Pumpkin Cranberry Bread, or Zucchini Bread! (I'm sure there are other possibilities, too)

Here's the basic recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour
half cup oil--coconut oil, olive oil, or whatever you have (if you use melted coconut oil, add it last)
half cup honey or agave
1.5 (one and a half) cups pear sauce or variation (see end of recipe for more ideas)
half teaspoon baking soda
half teaspoon sea salt
half teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg (vegans can omit the egg and just add an extra tablespoon of liquid)
3 tablespoons of milk or milk alternative (rice milk, nut milk, etc.)

For the pear bread I usually add about a tablespoon of cinnamon, a half teaspoon of nutmeg, and a little sprinkle of ground cloves. This combination also works well with some of the other variations.

Mix well and pour into a well-greased loaf pan. 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or when toothpick comes out clean.

3 bananas
1.5 cups apple sauce
1.5 cups pumpkin + 1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen or dried)
1.5 cups shredded zucchini (or if you are like me and find it not sweet enough, split half and half with bananas or applesauce)

I find that most people really enjoy this bread, healthy eaters and junk food eaters alike. :) Give it a try! It only takes a couple minutes to throw together, makes a nice gift for a special neighbor, helper at church, etc. :)

How to Make Vinegar--Steps 1 and 2

Friday, October 09, 2009

Raw Almonds for Sale!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Almonds are a delicious and nutritious snack, but the ones we get in the grocery store have been pasteurized, so the greatest health benefit has been heated right out of them.

This fall we are trying something new. Get in our our big bulk buy of fresh, unpasteurized almonds from California! At just $6 per pound, you can get these wonderful almonds in increments of 20 pounds.

Since these almonds are fresh, they will stay nice at room temperature for 9-12 months or more. If you store them in the fridge they'll last for years, and in the freezer they'll last for a really, really, really long time. :)

These almonds are not certified organic, but the farm that they come from has not used any pesticides in at least 15 years.

The almonds are shelled and fresh!

This is a pre-order. That means that you will order and pay for your almonds now. I will be placing our large order (many hundreds or even a thousand pounds or more) around October 15-20. Once they arrive here I will be shipping them out to you.

Feel free to go in on this order with a friend if you like. Almonds are great for Christmas gifts too!

This is a one-time opportunity. These almonds are just sold once a year when the fresh harvest comes in. There is a slight possibility that I may be able to take another order in November, but for right now this is the only time I can be sure of that there will be enough supply to fill the orders.

Click here to order.