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Health, Home, and Happiness

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Easy Omega 3s- Fish Jerky

Fish jerky! A slab of wild tuna, marinated with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and dill for 24 hours.  Dried on high 8 hours- fish jerky! Freeze for about an hour before slicing for easy slicing.  I think the drying makes it taste less fishy. I don't mind the taste of fish, but sometimes it's nice to have it toned down a bit.
Marinated in a Ziplock... not the most eco friendly choice, but it's easy.

Beef Jerky!
Dried Pears- yum

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New! Traditional Food and Health Textbook

I was so excited to hear about Kristin's Traditional Food Textbook when it first came out, what a great idea! Well, I've now read it (all 203 pages) and it's fantastic!  I learned tons of new things, especially about enzymes, liver health, and the whole A1 A2 cow's milk issue.

The focus of the book is to show that eating real whole traditionally prepared foods should be our focus, rather than the 'nutritionism' which is popular today.  "Nutritionism" is what we see all over mainstream media- quick little quips like, "Fiber prevents cancer" or "Vitamin D prevents heart attacks".  Fiber isn't a food. Fiber is in food, and is found in foods that have many other healthful properties.  We can't expect to isolate fiber from it's source and have it provide the same benefits as fiber found in conjunction with all the other goodies in fruits, whole grains, veggies, etc.

The individual chapters go into the 'why' this works the way it does, dispelling nutrition myths along the way.

Chapter 1 – Food, Not Nutrients

An introduction to whole foods & nutritionism

Chapter 2 – What Traditional Food Cultures Can Teach Us

An introduction to traditional food cultures and the work of Dr. Weston A. Price

Chapter 3 – Healthy Fats & Oils

Discussing fats, essential fatty acids, saturated fat myths & healthy choices.

Chapter 4 – Healthy Meat, Seafood, & Dairy

Discussing protein, essential amino acids, the effects of industrialized food production on the healthfulness of meats, seafood, & dairy & how to make healthy food choices.

Chapter 5 – Healthy Vegetables & Fruits

Discussing carbohydrates, dietary fiber, what affects the nutrient-density of plants, & how to make healthy choices.

Chapter 6 – Living Foods & Superfoods

Discussing vitamins, minerals, enzymes & health.

Chapter 7 – Grains & Legumes

Discussing whole vs. refined grains, & traditional grain and legume preparation methods.

Chapter8 – Bone Broths

The benefits of bone broths & how to prepare them.

Chapter 9 – Sweeteners

Discussing natural sweeteners.

Chapter 10 – The Keys To Health

Discussing what “health” is, examining key organs to health, including the liver, gut, adrenals, and thyroid.

Chapter 11 – Real Food For Real Life

The virtue of Real Food, how to transition to eating Real Food, eating Real Food on a budget.

A great way to make sure you've covered all the real nutrition basics both for yourself and for your children, homeschooled or not! I know I talk to my kids all the time about food, health, and nutrition, but a good comprehensive book is always welcome to fill in any gaps that I might have missed.  And I love that it's in real book format. Ebooks are fun, but there's just something about holding a real book in your hands to make it feel valuable  You can order online here.

Ordering through me helps support this site! Thanks!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Natural Cosmetics- Why I'm Wearing Makeup Again

This is me with makeup on ~ a rare sight since my first was born nearly 4 years ago.  But now I have natural makeup that I feel good about wearing, and I end up spending the minute and a half it takes to apply most days of the week.

Comparing me with vs without makeup you might not notice much of a difference (below is without- with my cute little guy!) but we do. The day I got my natural makeup in the mail, I tried it on right away and hubby walked in after work saying, "Wooooo, you look good!" - he noticed right away. Pretty impressive for this guy!

I felt like makeup wasn't something I was interested in spending time on for quite a while, and thus didn't wear it other than some mascara and colored lip gloss occasionally.  I knew that I never wanted to have wearing makeup be a requirement for me to be seen in public or photographed- I wanted to make sure I was comfortable with how I looked naturally and didn't want to have makeup be an unhealthy priority for me, displacing what really is important, even just for a few minutes.

As I'm working to trade out conventional items for healthier alternatives, I looked into organic makeup and ended up ordering from Actual Organics.  It isn't cheap, but it's healthy and that makes you feel so much better about wearing it.

It really only does take me a minute and a half to put on, and it makes me feel pretty all day, even if I'm just going to the grocery store or to the park with the kids. I have always known that I wanted to avoid becoming a ragged looking stay-at-home mom who stays in sweats all day (though all bets are off when I have a newborn), and spending a bit of time to put on makeup seems to extend out into how I care for my looks, and other areas as well.  I figure if I spent a minute putting makeup on, I can spend another minute cleaning out the car, making the bed (I'm awful at doing that usually), and setting the shoes all in a row rather than letting them gather in a pile by the front door. I'm not saying that buying this makeup will give you a clean house... I'm just noticing how putting a little effort into my appearance seems to start a good momentum for the day :)

I'm a wannabe minimalist, though I've succeeded in always keeping my makeup confined to this little makeup bag that I bought in high school.  Here's what I have:
From Actual Organics:
Foundation in Honey
Plum lip color with a brush
A cute little sampler of perfume- I don't remember what kind but I love it

Rose of Sharon Acres Lip Balm

And Burt's Bees
Face powder that I don't use because it makes me look silly.  I don't know why I keep it
Colored lip gloss

Do you wear makeup? How often? What kind? 


Friday, June 18, 2010

Croissant Topped with Spinach, Parmesan, and Sundried Tomatoes

Simple summer food.  These are store bought croissants (I have made croissants before though!) but they are made with real butter.  Topped with sundried tomatoes that were packed in olive oil with herbs, spinach, and grated parmesan cheese then baked at 375 for 15 minutes, until the cheese melted and spinach wilted.  A quick dinner for when we'd rather be spending time outside, but it was so pretty that I wanted to take a picture.

And about my blog this summer:
I love to share what's going on in my kitchen, but I think as we're all outside more with the nice weather, family vacations, and summer activities I'm going to do shorter 'this is what we're eating' posts rather than long informational ones (like the ones about babies and childbirth, fluoride, liverroot canals, etc).  A season for everything, right? I'll continue to do giveaways because those are always fun, and over on Facebook (come 'like' my page!) I share articles that I come across that are interesting/important.  But for here, we'll be toning it down this summer, and ready to go a little more in depth learning and cooking in the fall.

Some topics I'm looking forward to covering after summertime:

  • Gut health and the importance of probiotics
  • Acne- is it really just little specks of dust in your pores getting infected?
  • How holistic medicine differs from mainstream medicine (ie it's not just using herbs rather than chemicals to treat problems- it treats the root of the issue)
  • Breastfeeding beyond the 12 month mark- benefits for baby, benefits for mommy
  • Houseplants- benefits and how to keep them alive
  • Cold-start gardening (first I want to make sure our garden works!)
  • Soaked wheat/sprouted flour muffins
  • Using stonewear (I have some coming, I doubt I'll be able to hold off talking about it til fall but we'll see)
  • Making a sourdough sponge

Anything in particular that you'd like to see here? Leave a comment below or email me cara faus at gmail dot com

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Play Kitchen- Just Like Mommy!

Since we're in a bigger place now we finally have enough wall space for a play kitchen area!  The kids receive money for gifts from relatives, but in our last place we had so little room for toys and *stuff* that I saved most of it until they wanted/needed/could use something else. I bought Julianna's Kitchen and wanted to give you a little review. Down To Earth Toys is where I ordered from.  They are an at-home family business that sells wonderful natural toys! The colored rings are from there, the little enamelware cups, and they sell the dolls that I make as well.

About Down To Earth Toys' Julinna's Kitchen
So exciting to get such a big box from UPS!  We were outside when the UPS truck came, what fun.  We brought it inside and all set to work on putting it together. I know it's simpler to wait and do it without 'help' (my kids are 1-1/2 and 3-1/2) but it's so fun for the children to participate in  building, and it makes it even more fun when mom spends an hour 'playing' with their toy with them as it's put together.
The instructions for assembly were easy to follow, I used just a Phillips head screwdriver and a small hammer to get everything nestled in the grooves correctly.  We all took turns trying out the screwdriver ;)

I was a little nervous about the hinges, but it turns out that the hinges are really good quality and look like they will withstand opening and closing hundreds of times every day.  The shelf up top is so fun, it's really neat watching them play with something that was designed for their exact size; so often they're trying to reach up and work with adult-sized equipment.  You can see in the top picture in this post that we rearranged their furniture to have drawer/cabinets and a table top 'counter'.   

Playing with the kitchen just after assembly

The kids love it. I love providing them with a place to imitate what I'm doing.  This is set up right along the wall in our dining room, next to the kitchen.  I love to watch their play change as the seasons go- now they're into chopping fruit and veggies, as I'm cutting up fresh fruit often right now! This past winter they set up a 'stove' out of a box and did a lot of stirring and tasting soup.  

Plans for the play area
I'll be honest, I love playing with their little toys.  For their play area I'm going to attempt lazure painting the wall behind their play area here. We're renting, but I thought doing one wall would be neat, and our land lord is okay with it :) We'll see how it turns out! And I want to get them a rug to 'define' their play area a bit more from the dining room that it's a part of.  I love having them play just off the kitchen; they bring me their cooking to sample as I'm in the kitchen often.

What do your children think of all your kitchen work? 

More from Down To Earth Toys:
A special Made in the USA section
And Organic toys too!

More from me: