Monday, May 30, 2011


My freezer was looking sparse. Usually, it is full of last season's garden bounty, co-op fruit for jams, pies and smoothies, cheese (you can never have too much cheese!), turkey hot dogs for my son's hot dog addiction, and farm raised meats, mainly beef and pork. We used our last bit of beef a couple of months ago. I was able to "borrow" some extra ground beef from my mother in law's freezer but obviously, it was time to replenish our stores. We have been keeping a steer at home with my Dad's herd, and the time had come for us to butcher. Butchering is not a one man job, so we loaded up and drove the six hours back to the ranch to help get the job done.

Rarely do we buy beef from a grocery store. I grew up eating the meat that we raised and slaughtered ourselves. And after watching Food Inc. a few times, store bought hamburger kind of turns my stomach. Our cows are grass fed, free roaming animals. They are not confined. They are not diseased. They are cared for, respected, and humanely raised. I am lucky in that I don't have to pay outrageous prices for organic, grass fed beef. We kill and quarter the animal ourselves and then take the meat into town to be processed and wrapped by a local butcher.  When all is said and done, we will have a freezer full of grass fed beef for less than two dollars a pound. The last time I bought grass fed beef at the grocery store, it cost significantly more than two dollars a pound. Knowing exactly how the cattle are raised, what they are fed, and how they are butchered gives me enormous peace of mind.

Happy Cows on Dobson Farm
Coincidentally, this month's edition of Mother Earth News had an article about the advantages of grass fed beef. Here are five benefits of eating pasture raised cattle:
•Grass-fed beef is one-third to three times leaner than conventional grain-fed beef, and as a consequence has fewer calories, too. Yeah!
•Grass-fed beef has two to four times more essential omega-3 fatty acids than feedlot beef. It also contains more beta carotene, vitamin E and folic acid.
•Researchers have found grass-fed beef contains two newly discovered 'good' fats: conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and trans-vaccenic acid (TVA). CLA shows great promise in lab animal studies of helping fight cancers and cardiovascular disease.
•Grass-fed beef has no extra hormones or traces of antibiotics. The animals also live a low-stress life, grazing outside on pasture, in contrast to the stinking, dusty, shadeless conditions in most commercial feedlots.
•Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or more commonly, mad cow disease), has not been found in grass-finished animals. And grass-finished cattle are also less likely to be contaminated with acid-resistant forms of E. coli, a serious food-borne bacteria.

Environmentally, grass fed beef is also a much better choice than it's conventionally raised counterpart.  The air and water pollution stemming from the mountains of feedlot manure, and the many fertilizers and pesticides used in grain production, exact a heavy toll on the environment and the health of farmers, farm workers, and nearby residents.  Pasture raised cattle are simply a better choice all around.


Thursday, May 26, 2011


 Capable of or adapted for turning easily from one to another of various tasks, fields of endeavor; having or capable of many uses.

I am absolutely honored to have received a versatile blogger award from Raising Green Richmond Kids. What started as a way to fill my need to write, this blog has turned into so much more. I've learned more than I ever dreamed, made friends I never I thought I would, and love posting here, conversing here, and sharing my life with all of you. To be recognized by my peers is very humbling. Thank you!

There are three requirements for accepting this award.

1.Thank the person who gave me the award. Done.

2.Share seven things about myself.
3.Give this award to 10 newly discovered bloggers

Well, we can cross #1 off the list. And number 2....

  • I prefer stale graham crackers to fresh.
  • I am currently working toward becoming a holistic wellness professional.
  • I detest parsnips.
  • I keep no less than three notebooks on my nightstand for list making and idea jotting.
  • I can't drive a car with manual transmission.
  • I like the smell of gasoline.
  • As a child, I used to pretend that my name was Sadie and that I lived next door to Laura Ingalls.
And ten bloggers who I feel deserve recognition (and who you should really check out!):

The Knitty Gritty Homestead
Keeper of the Home
Crunchy Betty
The Green Phone Booth
Small Things
The Non-Consumer Advocate
Getting There
Small Measure
Rurally Screwed


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


If my bobbin doesn't stop tangling and jamming up,there may be a sewing machine shaped hole in my window very soon.

My clothesline fell down. Again. With clothes on it. Again.

The chickens are making a loud cock-a-doodle-doo type noise which is problem because
a) someone might hear them and turn me in and b) they are hens. They aren't supposed to crow.

My tomatoes have blossom end rot. Look it up. It's gross.

My daughter has a weird, dry, rasping cough and sounds like a little gangster when she speaks.

It's hot.

I'm hot.

Thank heavens for good friends with pools....a little escape is just what I needed!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Things of a Practical Nature

When I first started sewing, I was caught up in a flurry of making "pretties," i.e. things that are nice to look at but really don't serve a purpose. My daughter has plenty of clothing but I couldn't help but make one more skirt, or one more frilly little top.  I caroused craft blogs and bookmarked at least a hundred projects, none of which were particularly useful. And though there is absolutely nothing wrong with sewing for pure pleasure, my sewing machine has been whipping out things of a more practical nature...for now anyways!

  • Pajamas, pajamas, and more pajamas. A new set at Target costs $10. I can make them for around $5, less if the fabric is thrifted. And at the rate my kids grow, they need new pajamas every couple of months.

  • A CD holder. My daughter has amassed a small collection of children's music CD's that she listens to on a daily basis. However, those jewel cases they come in are tricky for her little fingers and she ends up scratching them when she tries to put them back. This soft case is just the ticket.

  • Napkins. We are officially a paper towel free family (YEAH!) but this means my initial stash of cloth napkins is nowhere NEAR big enough to accommodate our everyday messes without me having to do a load of kitchen laundry every single day. Scrap fabric and a zigzag stitch. Problem solved.
  • Rice therapy bag. I talked about this in my last post but we've found this practical little project is good not just for women's troubles, but for that groin muscle I pulled whilst trying to keep up with Jillian Michaels. Ouch.
  • A new clothespin bag. This is hardly a "project." It's just an outgrown, button-down shirt with a single seam across the bottom. It took literally thirty seconds. But with my clothespins safely concealed in my new bag, I'm hoping my children are less likely to  a) throw them from the top of the swing set b) throw them at me while I try to hang laundry and c) throw them at each other while they play "monster."


Friday, May 20, 2011

For The Ladies

This post discusses issues strictly relating to the female realm. Though not graphically detailed, the boys may not be super interested in continuing down the page. However, if you happen to be a husband or boyfriend, you will score BIG brownie points for having read this and applying the advice within.

Since I had had my son nearly three years ago, that special time of the month has gotten progressively worse. In the days leading up to the main event I am exhausted, nauseous, headache ridden and am generally not the nicest person to be around. And though this has always been the case since it all started 15 years ago, the birth of my son seemed to be a catalyst of some sort, upping the ante and sending me straight down the path to premenstrual hell.

Last month was the WORST visit from Aunt Flo I have yet to experience. The worst. At one point I actually thought I might have contracted the flu. The pain was unspeakable. I couldn't stand up straight and spent THREE DAYS hunched over, clutching at my aching insides, whimpering and yelling and then ultimately, breaking into tears. I'm not one to pop pills but I kept the ibuprofen coming in a steady stream. I broke out the well loved aromatherapy book and slathered myself in the recommended oils. I took warm baths and drank herbal teas but I could not get rid of the spasms that started in the front of my belly and spread like fire to my lower back. It was like being in early labor!

As I was writhing in pain one night, trying desperately to sleep, my husband suggested I try a heating pad. Genius! Unfortunately, we don't have one. I rifled through our medicine chest looking for something, anything, that might produce heat. I came across an old Thermacare Heat Wrap that my Mom had left on her last visit. I have no idea what makes them heat up or stay hot...probably some weird chemical reaction that does who knows what to us when we wear them. But at that point, I wasn't too concerned with absorption of chemicals or the environmental impact of such an intervention. I strapped that bad boy on backwards across my belly and as it began to radiate gentle heat, I was finally able to drift off, blissfully pain free.

Heat, it seems, is my answer. After last month's experience, I don't want to be caught without something to warm and soothe my angry uterus. I thought about buying a heating pad but I'm not too keen on the idea of having to plug it in. It's a waste of electricity and  I don't want to fall asleep with "live wires" in my bed. I want something safe, that uses minimal wattage to power, and is as natural as possible. I googled those very terms and came up with a variety of solutions, most in the form of "rice bags." Basically, rice (or flax, or buckwheat or whatever) is sewn into a bag, put in the microwave and applied to the affected area. I couldn't believe what some of these people are charging for what is essentially rice in a bag. So I decided to make my own. Here's what I did:

  • First, I scented my rice. This isn't necessary but I figured if I'm in pain, I could use a little relaxing aromatherapy while I wait for the heat to work. According to my trusty aromatherapy book, geranium and lavender are perfect "women's oils". I used 10 drops of each on one huge bowl of basmati rice.
  • I measured from hip bone to hip bone to determine the finished length of the bag and from hip to belly button for the width. For example, my finished bag needed to be 12" x 6". This is by no means a particular measurement.  I just wanted to make sure it covered  my cramp prone area.
  • I  cut two rectangles from my fabric, adding to my measurements for seam allowances. For my bag, I used a fabric remnant I got for a song. Some people like to make an outer case for their bag so that it can be washed but I wasn't feeling that fancy.
  • I sewed around my bag twice to make sure the seam was good and sturdy. I filled 'er up (not too want to be able to mold it around you!) and sewed it closed. That's it! Period pain be gone! Put the bag in the microwave for about three minutes and revel in it's healing warmth.
I told her to give me her best tummy ache face and this is what I got. HILARIOUS!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Graduate

Congratulations to my little preschool graduate. I simply can't believe you start kindergarten in the fall. Where oh where did the time go? We are so very proud of you my love!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Produce. I'm a big fan. A bigger fan of the fruits and veg than I have ever been in my life. It took me a while to figure it out but I have finally began to make the connection between food and well being. I eat well, I feel well. It's that simple. Our garden supplements our kitchen to an extent but we have yet to grow enough to be completely self sustaining. Our tomatoes are better than anything you can buy, I've got squash and greens coming out of my ears, and we grow any herb your heart could ever desire. But what we grow is simply not enough to keep us fed or culinarily interested (I made that term up....go with it.) The grocery store is necessary stop on our path to healthy eating.

A small sampling of tomatoes from our garden.
My local grocery store has a sizable produce department. It is well stocked, has great variety and has a large organic section. But as I'm filling my cart with wholesome food, I find myself pushing right on past the organic. Why? The price. I simply cannot pay five bucks for a teeny package of blueberries when the pint across the aisle rings in at two dollars cheaper. Are organic fruits and vegetables really that much better? Unfortunately for my wallet, the answer to that one is a resounding yes.

Conventionally grown produce is usually picked when unripe and then allowed to ripen en route to the store. This may take several days if not weeks depending upon where it was picked. Say buh-bye to over HALF of the item's nutritional content Half! And, each day the produce is away from the root-system it grew on, it loses precious enzymes, which are need for digestion. Conventionally grown foods are often irradiated to kill pathogens on them which also kills all living plant enzymes and are three times more likely to contain pesticide residues. Radiation and does a body good!

Once again, its pocketbook versus planet. Pro-organic peeps are sympathetic to the cost issue. The Dirty Dozen list specifies the most pesticide laden fruits and vegetables. This way, consumers can go organic for only the pesticide covered apples and peaches, but feel confident in buying conventionally grown eggplants. The list is worth memorizing. It will save you money, ease your mind, and ensure your family is getting the best produce you can afford.

And while I will do my very best to make my produce budget stretch as far as it will go, the best solution for me is to grow it myself. We don't use pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The food travels approximately 30 feet from ground to table, ensuring that all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are supposed to be there are still intact. We may not grow all we need yet but we're getting there. And because really, what's better than a tiny, fuzzy apricot fresh off the tree? Not a whole lot my friends. Not a whole lot.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday Nights

Friday nights sure aren't what they used to be. And by used to be, I mean before my two children came in to the picture. Don't get me wrong; I adore my children and would not change a single thing about my life. Sometimes I'm just amazed at how different my life is now compared to what it was pre-child. A prime example of this is Friday nights.

Friday night used to be a party. My friends and I, and later, my husband and I, would race home from work, shower, primp, and head out for a night on the town. Sometimes that meant a movie or a club but more often than not, it meant dinners at restaraunts without kids menus and lots and lots of alcohol. We'd stay out until the wee hours and then, upon arriving home would pass out and sleep well in to the morning.

Oh how the tables have turned. Friday nights are still exciting, but in a much different way. And yes, every few months we shell out the cash for a sitter and try to recreate those wild and crazy evenings of times past. But sitters are expensive and we don't recover from overindulgence quite like we used to. Friday nights now involve grilling, cheap beer, a rented movie (usually animated) and hose fights in the back yard. We might even break out the board games and partake of a rousing game of Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders. Everyone is in bed by ten and up by six the next morning. It's not the glamorous life of yesterday, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Simple and sweet.

Occasionally though, we are able to get the best of both worlds. We've been lucky enough to find a family very much like our own. D has grown to be one of my very best friends. Our husbands like each other too and our kids, who happen to be the same age, consider each other siblings. It's a pretty good match if you ask me. And just like us, their Friday nights aren't quite what they used be. So instead of finding the cash we don't really have for a sitter, we descend upon each others houses and share food, fun, and yes...drinks.

All the kiddos and a post dinner popsicle.
A few months ago I taught D how to make jam. I spoiled her. Just like me, she simply can't go back to store bought. Who knows what's in that stuff?! She had a freezer full of strawberries and I had a hankering for a good time. The result? Turkey tacos, giant margaritas and Kiwi Strawberry Daquiri jam. A word to the wise: go easy on the tequila when working with hot jam. I burned myself way more than usual!

Kiwi Strawberry Daquiri Jam

1 cup kiwi, peeled and crushed

1 cup strawberries, crushed

2/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

1/3 cup lime juice (real limes, not the icky bottled stuff)

1 (1 3/4 ounce) package fruit pectin

3 cups sugar

1/4 cup rum (We used Parrot Bay Coconut Rum...yummy!)

1 PREPARE boiling water canner. Wash and heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

2 COMBINE kiwifruit, strawberries, pineapple juice and lime juice in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar and return to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Immediately stir in rum. Remove from heat. Skim off foam if necessary.

3 LADLE hot jam (this is where that not being tipsy thing come in to play) into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

4 PROCESS in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

It's fruity, it's tropical, and it might be the best dang jam I've made yet. We doubled the batch and got ten half pint jars. Five jars each of beachy goodness that will be gone in record time.Yummy. Tastes like a beach vacation...

Stealing a sip over crushed strawberries and kiwis.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Work It!

I’m not what you would call a girly girl. Well sure. I like dressing up, and wearing makeup and smelling like flowers. I’m pretty much a natural beauty product addict, and have quite the stash of potions and lotions to fix what ails me, cosmetically speaking. However, I’m not prissy or fussy. I’m not afraid of boogers or bugs. I have shoveled post holes, plunged toilets, castrated pigs ,had my arm shoulder deep in the business end of a heifer, and have been covered in mud, blood and poo more times than I care to remember.

See? I can be girly!
Because I grew up in semi-isolation, it was required that we learn as many “vocational” skills as possible. There were no vets on speed dial to take care of the animals, no lawn and maintenance company to come put in a fence. If it was broken, we fixed it. And if we couldn’t figure it out, we called our neighbors for advice and we learned how to fix it or build it. We worked.

I recently came across the senate testimony of one, Mike Rowe, who hosts a show on the Discovery Channel called Dirty Jobs (thanks Heather!) Back in good ‘ol days when we had cable, we had every episode of his show recorded on the DVR. He testified in front of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation about the growing gap in skilled labor. In an economy where unemployment is skyrocketing, American manufacturing is struggling to fill 200,000 vacant positions. There are 450,000 openings in trades, transportation and utilities. So why is there still a long line at the unemployment office?

Mike Row wrangling chickens....a dirty job!
Well, for one thing, an honest, working, dirty job is treated as more of a consolation prize for those who couldn’t “hack it” in a four year institution. Apparently, the choice to shun a degree and become an HVAC repair man or a mechanic automatically labels you as lazy, ill educated and unmotivated. Mr. Rowe stated that “we've elevated the importance of higher education to such a lofty perch that all other forms of knowledge are now labeled as alternative.” Amen to that. All these "shovel ready" jobs for a society that doesn't encourage people to pick up a shovel…

Once I moved away from the rural area in which I grew up, much of the dirty, shovel bearing work went right out the window. The most digging I do is in the garden, and the only livestock to contend with are the hens and my children, neither of which need castrating. But in the absence of those skill building opportunities, I created new ones. I learned how to sew and how to preserve food. I learned about natural medicine and went so far as to enroll myself in a class so that much of the everyday doctoring can be done at home. I am interested in making my family as self sufficient as we can possibly be. I don’t want to have to rely on, or, like much of today’s population, blame other people when things go wrong. My family’s willingness to work, no matter what kind of work that may be, may save us in the end.

I am completely baffled at our country’s aversion to work and at their defiance toward an invisible authoritative figure that they think owes them the world. Furthermore, I am appalled that our country thinks of tradesmen as “lower” on the societal totem pole. How dare you condemn them when they are the ones bailing you out, solving your daily crisis with a flick of a wrench or a slice of knife. When did we become so disconnected? People are not interested in the invisible souls who grow their food, or make their clothes, or fix the electricity when it’s knocked out by a storm. We have become “less interested in how things get made, and more interested in how things get bought.”As more and more tradesmen retire, the skilled labor gap will widen. What a rude awakening it will be to those who have demanded the world, but have done nothing in return. Do something. Learn something.



Monday, May 9, 2011

Breathe In....But Not Too Deeply!

A recent report released by the American Lung Association declared that air quality in the Phoenix metro area is the second worst in the nation. SECOND WORST. That means that we have so much nastiness floating around in the air that it is a health risk to do the most natural thing in the world: breathe. 

Home smog home....a pic of the Phoenix Valley.
The report focused on two types of air pollution; ozone and particle. According to the ALA (that's American Lung Association...just making sure you're paying attention!) ozone air pollution, is made up of noxious things like tailpipe and smokestack emissions. Particle pollution, meanwhile, is caused by a mix of particles found in the air we breathe. These particles, produced by motor vehicles and burning fossil fuels in factories, can get trapped in the lungs or even pass into the bloodstream.

Neither type of pollution is good for you obviously.

Year-round exposure to high levels of particle pollution has been linked to death from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. Children have experienced slower lung function growth, and children living near roads with heavy traffic have been hospitalized for asthma attacks in increasing number. Breathing ozone pollution shortens lifespans. Studies have linked high ozone level exposure to death from cardiac arrhythmia, heart attacks, and respiratory diseases.

Fun, huh? And I live smack dab in the middle of one of the most polluted areas of the country with my two growing children, one of whom is right on the edge of needing an inhaler.

Mmmmmm......smog! Downtown Phoenix skyline.
 What's a  simple green girl to do?

Well...I could move. And someday we will. And we'll have solar panels, and a milk cow, and my bread will rise every single time, and my kids will go to sleep with lungs full of fresh air and bellies full of simple, sustainably grown food, and I'll hang out my clothes and gather my eggs without fear of HOA fines, and people won't look at me funny because I don't have cable and I like to sew, and I'm kind of waiting for our country to just sort of collapse under it's own stupidity........a girl can dream, right? But I digress...

I can't move right now. Not many of us can. But there are a few things we can do to make it easier to breathe.

  • Pay Attention! Sneaky politicians are always looking to do favors for those that paid, er, paved their way to office. The Clean Air Act is constantly under assault and amendments are often tacked on to other bills and slid right under our noses.

  • Check daily air quality levels and air pollution forecasts in your area and avoid exercise or play outdoors if air quality is lacking. This especially important if your kids already have respiratory problems like asthma.

  • Use less energy in your home. This is a big one. By reducing energy use, you can help improve air quality, curb greenhouse gas emissions, encourage energy independence and save money! Yeah! I like all of those things!

  • Don't be idle. As in, your car. I'm super guilty of this. If you are waiting to pick up your kids from school/stuck in traffic/waiting at a railroad crossing or anything else that has you sitting in your car longer than 30 seconds, turn it off. And if you live in the desert like me, roll down your windows and suck it up. At least in the morning. If it's 112 degrees, I'll forgive you for keeping the car on and the air conditioner up. Just don't be excessive about it, okay?

  • Don't smoke. It's gross. It's unhealthy. It's bad for you and everyone around you. Plus it gives you weird lip wrinkles that no amount of Botox will ever be able to fix. Put it out!!

Here's to deep breaths!!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderfully giving, loving, perfectly imperfect mothers.
 I hope you are having as much fun today as we are!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Leave Your Car at Home

Reason number 267 why you should leave your car at home and walk.....

Because stupidity is costly. Note to self....put the hatch door DOWN before pulling out of the garage or you will jack up the garage door possibly costing yourself several hundred dollars in repairs. Oh. And it's good for the environment too.

Today is NOT my day.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Staying Home

Last Thursday, I noticed a cluster of wart like bumps on my son's knee. They looked a bit like bug bites. I asked him if they itched and he said no, that he had acquired them when we "went to camping" the weekend before. I shrugged it off and promptly forgot about it.

J at the lake when we "went to camping"
That same evening as I was getting him in his pajamas, I noticed the same clustery looking rash on his forearm. I rubbed him down with almond oil mixed with eucalyptus, lavender and chamomile to soothe his obviously stressed skin. I figured he had rubbed against something and was experiencing allergic dermatitis. But on exploded. The entire left side of his torso was covered in little bumps and it spread to his groin and down his leg. They looked like chicken pox but there was no fluid in the bumps, no fever, no malaise, and no itch. Baffled, I sent some pictures to my aunt, who also happens to be nurse. She agreed that they looked like chicken pox but found it odd that he wasn't ill. I rubbed him with the oil I had concocted and sent him to bed.

When we awoke Sunday morning, the rash was better, but not gone. Still no illness. Since he was not showing the typical signs of chicken pox or any other serious malady, I chose not to take him to the doctor. I think it a bit silly to sit in a doctor's office, exposing him to who knows what when other than a strange rash, he is perfectly well. Of course if the rash persists, we'll get him checked out but I just didn't feel a doctor's visit was warranted quite yet.  I think it may be his first true eczema "outbreak." We decided to continue with the essential oil treatment, wash him only with gentle, natural products, and keep him out of the pool and away from other children for a few days to make sure nothing more serious develops.

And that means.....we're stuck at home. Typically, the children and I attend a play date with our playgroup, go to the gym or library, or at the very least walk to the park every day. Keeping J away from other kids is hard not just on him, but on Mommy too. Besides our rainy day standbys like reading, coloring and more reading, we managed to find some simple ways to entertain ourselves...

Water painting on a cinder block wall. Sorry Daddy! We'll get you some new brushes when we go to the feed store for chicken pellets!

Learning to knead...fold and squish, fold and squish!

Puppet making followed by an impromptu show

Maybe staying home isn't so bad after all!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Making Bricks

Once upon a time, early Americans made their houses out of bricks. They mixed mud, grass, and sometimes manure and shaped the mixture into bricks which they dried in the sun. I make bricks a little differently. First, I put some flour in a bowl. Then I add salt, butter, yeast and warm milk, pray that it rises, put in the oven and viola! One browned, crusty brick for your building pleasure!

I am being sarcastic. Obviously.

I tried to make bread again, this time a super simple recipe for sandwhich bread from an issue of Mother Earth News. And yet again, it did not rise. It got bigger, yes. But double in size? No. I gave it three hours for the first rise and three for the second. You would think that brand spanking new packet of yeast could rise to the occasion if given six gloriously uninterrupted hours of time in a nice warm place. Apparently not. I'm thinking there is something in my body chemistry that kills the yeast the moment I touch the packet.

Gee....I wonder why she's so bad at making bread?
People have been making bread for thousands of year. THOUSANDS. Why can't I tackle this one, seemingly simple task of domesticity? I even screw it up when I do it in the bread machine! I get it. I'm on board with whole foods. Cook from scratch. Good for you, good for the planet. I know, I know. Bread is a big part of my family's day and I would LOVE to be able to make it for them. I'm on try 13. THIRTEEN people!! Thirteen loaves of hard, dense, barely edible, I guess you could call it, bread.
Though my chickens are thoroughly relishing in my failures (they get to eat my rejects) I am not amused.The first person to arrive at my house with a mixing bowl and few hours time gets a prize. Help MEEEEEE!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Cleanse Recap

Farmer's Market Cleanse
All fruits and veg, NO caffiene

Day One

The first day was pretty easy. My green breakfast smoothie was delicious and even my kids drank it. Major mothering high for tricking my kids into drinking half a pound of leafy greens! I was expecting major cravings but all I got was a mild headache and a grumbly stomach. I ate SO much produce but was starving. It takes a lot more food to get the calories you need when all you're eating is fruits and vegetables. I had trouble getting to sleep beacuse all I could think about was food!

Day Two
I felt a little sluggish but nothing a brisk walk couldn't fix. I was feeling so proud and so in control. No cheats. I had some major cravings this day though. I thought I would be lusting after chocolate and soda but what I really wanted was bread. A big hunk of hot sourdough with butter to be exact. It didn't help when we had dinner at a local bakery and my yummy vegetarian salad was served with two hunks of just such bread which my husband quickly nabbed from my plate in order to "save me from myself." It was hard to watch my family munching on fresh baked bread but I held firm and when we left I felt so good about myself. Whaddya know? I do have self control!

Day Three
And good times continue. I may have been imaginging things but I swear I looked healthier. My skin looked.....glowy. I was still hungry a lot. I feel like I spent most of the day eating to keep the grumbles away but I look and feel so fabulous I don't care!! And there's something highly satisfying about being able to eat a HUGE plate of food and not feel the least bit guilty about it.  Hubby made Morrocan chicken that looked and smelled divine but I stuck to my guns and ate my baked potato with broccoli and mushrooms.

Today is a transition day in which I slowly transition out of the cleanse by adding things back in to my diet. Today, I'm adding grains so I can finally have that yummy slice of sourdough I've been wanting! Then, in a couple of days, I'll add back dairy and lastly, meat. This cleanse has truly shown me how good nutrition directly influences the way you feel on a day to day basis. Here are few of the new habits that will become permanent parts of my daily life.

  • Green smoothies. Easy, yummy, and so so good for you!
  • Flax oil. I used it to make my salad dressings and put it in my smoothies.
  • No soda. Well, at least less soda. As in once or twice a week instead of once or twice a day.
  • Minimal processed food. I can't believe how different I feel after only three days of wholesome food!
I highy encourage you to try a whole foods cleanse. Really. I look and feel like a million bucks. Do it! You won't be sorry! It's only three days. You can do anything for three days. And if you feel like you just have to have McDonald's when you're done, by all means head for the golden arches. I'm sure I'll venture back there sooner or later. But first, feel what it's like to be full of nothing but goodness. It'll make you think twice before you eat that McNugget...