Winner!! Essential Oil Giveaway

I am sure that everyone is just dying to know who won the set of essential oils from Plant Therapy! The lucky winner is Ceste in Florida! I would have loved to send a full kit out to everyone who entered, (I spent some time looking at all your websites posted in the comments on my blog, and you are a truly cool and amazing bunch!) but if you didn’t win, don’t fret! We had enough entrants to get a surprise bonus – I was given a coupon code for you all that is good for $10 off a purchase of $10 or more – The discount coupon code is naturalfamily10 and it starts today and expires at 11:59 pm MST on the 26th. To use your coupon, go to www.planttherapy.com!

Chicken Poop and Cookies: Food for Cows?

At one time someone posted a comment on my Raw Milk facebook page explaining how while he was in college (can’t remember which one) he did some kind of animal husbandry internship where it was his job to try to get cows to eat chicken litter. They had to try all kinds of things because the cows were not naturally inclined to eat it. For those of you wondering what chicken litter is, it is basically straw or wood shavings  and chicken poop that is scooped up off the floor of the chicken coop while cleaning it. Yum.

I had some skepticism when I first read that cows were fed old chicken house bedding that contained chicken manure, because it seemed so crazy to me, but after a little research into “feedstuffs” for cattle, there were all kinds of unsavory things that cows are fed. Here is an incomplete list of the things that I discovered on various university extension and cattle industry websites:

Chicken litter (Chicken manure and straw or wood chips)

Shredded newspapers soaked in molasses

Blood meal (dried blood from slaughter house waste)

Animal byproducts: fish meal, meat and bone meal, poultry by-product meal, etc. (slaughter house waste – wait, isn’t this what caused mad cow disease??)

Hydrolyzed Feather Meal (AKA chicken feathers – also slaughterhouse waste – this REALLY eliminates the humor in those chic-fil-a commercials)

Stale candy: gummy bears, gummy worms, m&ms, etc.

Pasta (old surplus pasta)

Surplus french fries and potato chips

Cannery waste (waste from canning factories where canned vegetables etc are processed)

Stale bakery goods: breads, donuts, pastries, etc.

Soy cakes (left over after making soy sauce)

Brewery waste: spent grains from making beer (this is what caused the problems that led lawmakers to decide that milk needed to be pasteurized after milk from cows that were fed brewery waste sickened and killed hundreds of people.)

Rotten potatoes that never made it to grocery store shelves. (This only after potatoes useable for making frozen french fries are separated out. My father used to work at a factory that made frozen french fries, and the place smelled like a sewer. The potatoes used for fries were rotten, but not completely mush yet. They would soak them in a solution to harden them again, then bleach them, then cut them into fries and flash freeze them. The potatoes that couldn’t even survive this process are sold as animal feed.)

Soy hulls (a byproduct from the soybean milling process)

Corn, cottonseed, soy, peanut, and other ‘meals’ (leftover from making oils)

Cotton gin trash (leftover from harvesting and milling cotton)

Peanut shells

Grain middlings (left over from milling flour)

Citrus pulp (leftover after making orange or grapefruit juice)

Cane byproducts (leftover after making sugar)

Beet pulp (from sugar beets in sugar production)

Sweetos a cheaper substitute for molasses. Sweetos guarantees the masking of unpleasant tastes and odor and improves the palatability of feed according to Monsanto spokesperson (so that cows will eat all of the unnatural feedstuffs that they are being given)

(See this list of cattle ‘feedstuffs’ from the University of Wisconsin)

Which of these cattle would you prefer as your food source?

Cattle Feed

If we are what we eat, (and so are our cows) what have you eaten today?

 

 

Essential Oil Giveaway From Plant Therapy

I am very excited to do my first official product giveaway! I admit that I was skeptical when Plant Therapy approached me to do a review of their essential oils – there are so many essential oil companies out there all claiming to have the one and only therapeutic grade oils. So, I said that if they could send me a sample, and if it passed my quality tests, then I would be happy to write a review and then do a giveaway, but I only offer things to my readers if they are something that I would feel good about using myself. So they agreed, and a few days later, a package arrived in the mail. It was beautifully presented gift package containing 14 different 10 ml oils – 7 singles, and 7 blends or synergies – All 100% pure, therapeutic grade oils: Sensual , Energy, Germ Fighter, Relax, Immune-Aid, Tranquil, Invigor-Aid, Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Orange, Lemon & Cinnamon.

The first thing that I did was to do a paper test. A paper test is where you take a drop of essential oil and put it on a piece of paper. If the oil leaves a greasy residue behind after evaporating, then it contains fillers, or is not 100% pure. Here is a photo that I took immediately after putting 6 randomly selected oils on a sheet of copy paper – (3 singles, and 3 of the synergies) And then I took another photo of the paper after several hours. On checking, the paper was completely dry, with no oiliness to the touch. The tranquil synergy left behind a light yellow, but only due to the fact that the oils in that blend have some pigment that stained the paper, but the paper felt completely dry.

The next thing that I did was compare the oils to other therapeutic grade oils that I have in my home. I have oils from a few different companies that I use regularly, including doTERRA, Young Living, Butterfly Express, and Mountain Rose Herbs. I also have some cheaper brand oils that I keep for comparison to show people the differences between quality oils and the better brands.  The first and most telling characteristic is the smell of the oils. Quality oils have a nice clean smell, while the cheaper oils tend to have a bitter ‘after-smell.’ The plant therapy oils all smelled very clean, as you would expect from oils that are steam distilled, rather than chemically extracted. I also read their website, and saw on a very long and impressive list of choices, that all of their oils are either steam distilled or cold pressed, and another bonus: Plant Therapy is not an MLM company, so their prices are also very reasonable! At this point, I felt very comfortable with adding these oils to my set that I use for Foot Zoning, and found that I was regularly choosing one of the Plant Therapy synergies while muscle testing oils for clients.

I think that my favorite is the Tranquil synergy blend, which contains bergamot, patchouli, blood orange, ylang ylang, and grapefruit – probably because it is very citrusy, and I also really like patchouli oil. Another favorite is the Invigor-Aid, a great pick-me-up blend that contains sandalwood, black pepper, and lemon.

So, with no further ado – I would LOVE for all of you dear readers to have the chance to win this great set of oils to use in your own home! For your best chance to win, here is what you need to do:

1. Follow my blog by clicking the “follow this blog” button on the Networked Blogs widget in the right hand sidebar.  Then, leave a comment here, stating why you think that you should win.

2. don’t forget to ‘like’ the Plant Therapy facebook page, and leave a comment on their page telling what product you would like to try. http://www.facebook.com/PlantTherapy

3. Share the link with as many friends as possible!

 4. To improve your chances, you can become a fan of one or both of my facebook pages at http://www.facebook.com/100PercentNaturalFamily, and/or http://www.facebook.com/FindRawMilk 
 
5. Share this link with your friends and leave a comment under the giveaway post on my facebook page – either the Raw Milk page or 100% Natural Family :).
 
If there are more than 750 entries, there will be a special surprise giveaway at the end! I plan to announce a winner on Saturday February 16th, so keep watching and may the best fan win!

Book Review – The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast


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I have recently read the book “The Art of baking with Natural Yeast,” by Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson. 10 years ago, I was asking myself “Why is milk, once one of the main staples of civilization, now condemned as “bad” by many medical professionals, including natural doctors who should know better? What has changed?” The answer to that question came pretty easily, since milk processing is pretty obvious. Milk, once straight from the cow/goat/etc. is now pasteurized, homogenized, and then even ultra pasteurized in some cases. Anyway, those same questions came to my mind about bread. Once considered the staff of life, now even whole wheat bread (which should be more healthy, because it is a whole food) causes a myriad of health issues, (sometimes even more so than white bread because of the use of rancid flour) and it is not so easy to see the answer. It can’t be easily explained by GMO or hybridization, because people with allergies to wheat or with gluten sensitivities often can’t even tolerate heirloom varieties of grains, even if they soak them and/or grind their own flour. So over the last while, I had been asking myself “What has changed?” This book has an answer to this question that actually makes sense.

The Authors assert that in 1984, all of the yeast produced by commercial industry went completely synthetic to accommodate industry and consumers who wanted quick rising yeast, and now many of the problems associated with bread and grains are actually a reaction to the synthetic yeast as well as the lack of soaking or pre-digesting more than it is a reaction to the grains themselves. I knew that un-soaked grains were a problem, but the issue of the synthetic yeast was new information for me. Natural yeast is made up of lactobactili and wild yeasts much like the bacteria found in kefir grains. (This makes it a probiotic strain of bacteria, and so it does not cause the same issues for people with candida and systemic yeast overgrowth.) When the yeast in breads changed, the sensitivities to wheat and gluten skyrocketed. Not to say their were not some problems before that point, but before that, these conditions were rare. Anyway, with natural yeast, the dough must have between 6 and 24 hours to properly rise, and during that time, natural yeast not only breaks down the phytic acid in the flour, but it also pre-digests the gluten without losing the elasticity of the dough. Quick rise synthetic yeast, which can rise in an hour or less does neither of these things. In the book the authors state that “several people with celiac disease have tried bread made with natural yeast and told us that they had no reaction to it.”

Another interesting study referred to in the book cites research done on natural yeast that found that people who ate a piece of bread made with natural yeast had a lower glycemic reaction to the carbohydrates in their food, even hours later. As it says in the book, “one woman in Pleasant Grove, Utah recently told us that her husband, who is severely diabetic, was able to eat bread for the first time in years with no glycemic spike when she began making bread for him with a start of natural yeast we gave her.”  This could explain the sharp increase in obesity and diabetes over the last 3 decades.

Also, bread made with natural yeast is actually a living food! How? Because the heat of baking stimulates the yeast to send out spores right before it dies, which can survive even the most uninhabitable environments. Once the temperature gets back to a safe level, the spores hatch and repopulate the yeast colony inside the bread. (something that I did not know before.) The co-author tells about how she discovered this with a great stoke of humor, and little things like this made the book a lot of fun to read 🙂 at the end of this section, she says, “So next time you take your Frankenbread out of the oven, you can hold it in the air and cackle, “It’s Alive! It’s Alive!” Or you can just eat it, but where’s the excitement in that?”

Another great point that the authors made was that bread was the STAFF of life, and not the CRUTCH of life, meaning that it was never the main part of the meal, and if you can’t have a meal without bread or grains, then you are relying on your staff way too much. Caleb has a yeast starter that comes from a 100+ year old start of pioneer yeast, and he will send a start of this yeast for free to anyone who buys his book – all you have to do is send him a request with a self addressed stamped envelope. The yeast is an actual yeast start, and not a sourdough starter, and so it looks, tastes, and smells like yeast bread.

I hope that you all will find this as useful as I did! Not only was it very useful and enlightening, it was a fun read. 😀

 

 

 

 

Why I Use Toothpowder and not Toothpaste

I am currently doing a group buy on Eco-Dent Original Mint tooth powder. If you are not familiar with it, it is a baking soda based powder that is fluoride and glycerin free. I switched to fluoride free after I learned that fluoride is used as a medication for hyperthyroid. This is important information for anyone who has a slow thyroid like I do – if you are hypothyroid, you don’t want anything to slow it down any more than it already is! It also is a powder and so it doesn’t contain glycerin, which is important because glycerin slows down re-mineralization of teeth. This is huge if you are trying to reverse tooth decay (yes it can be done – I have healed some small cavities myself!)

After I started using Eco-Dent, one of the first things that I noticed was that I no longer had that nasty morning breath. After using it for a while, I saw that I had no bleeding gums – not even a little bit of pink after spitting. (This was something that I had not been able to achieve completely even by making my own baking soda based tooth powder.) My teeth also felt much cleaner and my mouth was fresher than with regular toothpastes which usually contain sweeteners of some kind. A bottle of toothpowder also lasts a lot longer than a tube of toothpaste – this 2oz bottle contains enough powder for about 200 brushings. You can buy Eco-Dent toothpowder at the Whole foods in Sandy, but it is almost $8 a bottle. With shipping, I have found a place where I can get it for $6.50 a bottle if I buy a case of 12. If you are in the Salt Lake City Utah area, please let me know asap if you would like to go in on it with me! Now, I know that some of you are going to say, well you just don’t have the right recipe, and I am sure that you are 100% right! If you would like to share recipe’s in the comment section here, I will certainly welcome them! But for anyone else who for one reason or another doesn’t want to make their own, this is a great second.

Crunchy Mama Talk – Part 2

Mama Natural has done it again! And, she used quite a few of my suggestions for part 2 – watch it now 😀

See the original Mama Natural post here

Valentine Love ‘Potions’

Oh, Valentines day! The day of love! Herbs have been used throughout the centuries to not only attract members of the opposite sex, but also to enhance intimate relationships.  Now, herbals certainly can’t make you fall in love, or even trap someone into loving you, but you can certainly enhance the love relationship that already have with your spouse, and how can that be a bad thing? What better way to attract your valentine than by creating a romantic massage oil or using a blend of oils to help guide cupids arrow? One of our most primal senses is the sense of smell, and aromatic herbs can certainly assist with attraction. Just take a nice carrier oil, like almond oil, grapeseed oil, or apricot kernel oil and add about 15 drops of essential oils for every ounce of carrier oil. You can experiment by combining oils that you and your partner both enjoy. Scents are categorized as base, middle and top notes. For the best results when creating a mixture, you will want to include a top, middle, and base note oil to create harmony, just like in a musical chord. Some romantic essential oils and their properties are listed below:

Top Note Oils

  • Cardamon: Elletaria cardamomum: A warm, spicy oil increases circulation. Aphrodisiac and  stimulant.
  • Black Pepper: Piper nigrum: Promotes circulation, aphrodisiac, stimulant, and promotes stamina.
  • Ginger: Zingiber officinale: A warming oil, and stimulating aphrodisiac. It increases local circulation.

Middle Note Oils

  • Jasmine: Jasminum sambac: Narcotic, floral, and aphrodisiac. Contains a chemical constituent known as indol that has a distinct animal earthiness.
  • Rose: Rosa damascena: The rose has traditionally been associated with love and is an intensely floral aphrodisiac.
  • Neroli: Citrus aurantium: Distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, this oil is calming to the central nervous system and nourishes the heart.
  • Ylang Ylang: Canaga odorata: Highly narcotic and aphrodisiac. In Indonesia ylang ylang flowers are spread on the beds of newly married couples.
  •  Clary Sage: Salvia sclarea: Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, euphoric, and sedative.

Base Note Oils

  • Vetiver: Vetiveria zizanioides: Distilled from the root of a grass this oil is grounding and nourishing. It is a circulatory stimulant yet sedative to the central nervous system.
  • Patchouli: Pogostemon cablin: Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, grounding and balancing.
  • Sandalwood: Santalum album: Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, and sedative. Contains sesquiterpenes, which are known to be calming to the nervous system.

A sample mixture for a romantic massage oil would be something like this:

Cardamon (Top) 7 drops + Ylang Ylang (Middle) 3 drops + Patchouli (Base) 5 drops for a total of 15 drops of essential oil mixed 1 drop at a time into 1 ounce of apricot kernel oil, then tip bottle gently up and down to mix.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different oils until you find a scent that you and your spouse really enjoy!

This post is part of the 26th Edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday at Mind Body and Sole

Vitamins, Minerals, Probiotics, & Enzymes

A healthy diet requires a mixture of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and probiotic bacteria for your body to break down and absorb the nutrients in your food. For these essential elements to be most effective, they should be eaten in their whole natural forms: Whole grains, meat with the fat, whole milk dairy products, etc.

Vitamins:

Any of a group of substances that are essential in small quantities for the normal functioning of metabolism in the body. They cannot usually be created in the body but they occur naturally in certain foods: insufficient supply of any particular vitamin results in a deficiency disease.

 Minerals:

Minerals are chemical elements required by living organisms for normal functioning of metabolism, other than the four elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen which are naturally present in the body. Minerals enter the food chain when they are absorbed by plants, which are then eaten. Plant and animal foods both contain minerals. Bacteria play an essential role in breaking down these minerals to release the nutrients and make minerals available for use at a cellular level in the body.

 Enzymes:

Enzymes are molecules in food that speed up the chemical reactions that break down large molecules of food in the digestive system so that they can be absorbed and used by the body. Enzymes are found in both plant and animal food sources. All enzymes are deactivated at a wet-heat temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and a dry-heat temperature of about 150 degrees, so it is important to eat a good amount of raw foods, and to not cook foods at extremely high temperatures.

 Probiotic Bacteria:

Probiotic bacteria are a group of live microorganisms living in the body which improve the intestinal microbial balance, and inhibiting pathogens and toxin producing bacteria. The most common of these microbes are lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria; but certain yeasts and bacilli, such as those found in yogurt and kefir are also a part of this group. Heating milk over 110° kills any probiotic bacteria that was in the milk and removes any of the benefits that you may have otherwise received.

Politically Correct Nutrition V.S. Traditional Wisdom

Crunchy Talk

It’s funny how when you start getting involved in alternative health, there seems to be a whole new dialect that we learn, even if we are not around a lot of other “crunchy” folks! I laughed when I saw this video, because I think I have said almost all of these things, and more . . . And when we get around each other, I wonder sometimes if regular people even know what we are talking about.

 

If I could have added to this, there would have been a few more things that they could have said:

1. “Can you hold on a second? I need to pee my baby.” (infant potty training/elimination communication)

2. Raw Milk (in the two words part)

3. Cold sheet treatment

4. “Sure you can have a green avocado kefir smoothie”

5. “We chose not to participate in the barf fest this year” (referring to the chronic overdose of sugary treats which tend to induce flu every holiday)

6. “Are you picking up milk this week?”

7. Cod Liver Oil

8. “have you watched _________________ yet?” (fill in your food/childbirth/breastfeeding related documentary)

9. “I was so devastated, he self weaned when he was only 12 months old!”

10. Essential Oils (added to two words)

11. “Honey, can you stop and pick up some vodka from the liquor store? I’m out of __________.” (Fill in your tincture)

12. Weston A. Price

13. Vaccination waivers (two words)

14. soaked grains (two words)

15. “We don’t have an infant carrier”

16. “Just sneak into the barn at night, pick up a couple of gallons and leave your money in the box.”

17. “We don’t eat cold breakfast cereal”

18. “We would like to skip the fluoride treatments.” (To the dental assistant)

19. lacto-fermentation

20. Grass fed (two words)

21. “Have some more pastured bacon!”

22. Farm Raids (two words)

23. “Check the label for GMO’s/HFCS/MSG/Red Dye #40/etc.”

24. Monsanto

25. “Keep the government out of my food!”

26. quoting CDC stats on raw milk/spinach/herbal supplements

27. Pastured eggs (two words)

28. “Please don’t trim the fat, and can you throw in all of the organ meats and soup bones, please?” (to the butcher)

29. Are you going to ride with the raw milk freedom riders?

30. Namaste!

A visual of the mother chewing up something and putting it in baby’s mouth would have been too funny as well. I could go on and on, so feel free to leave your additions in the comments!