Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Grain-Free Morning Sickness

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I can't believe I haven't fallen off this GAPS wagon yet!  I'm still super queasy all of the time, and on top of that, the GAPS diet has highlighted some of the digestion problems I have had all my life.  Ones I had been managing with balanced fiber intake.  But, GAPS is a healing diet and I know this is just part of the process to rebuilding my gut flora, so I am thankful I have taken this grain-free journey...well mostly.
This week when I was grocery shopping, I saw this lady with a bunch of ramen noodles in her buggy.  You know, the value pack that you used to keep in your dorm room?  Okay, I must say, that in another life, one I lived mostly eating healthy food.  I still ate my fare share of ramen noodles.  Also, this was one of my favorite morning sickness foods.
So there I am pushing my buggy filled with nuts and salad and juicing fruits and veggies...and there she is with her ramen noodles.  It took everything in me to pass that last aisle and not get some.  Then I spent the next 3 days...YES! THREE DAYS!!!  Thinking about ramen noodles.  I know this is crazy, but if you've ever been pregnant, you've been there, right?
I didn't give in.  I've been strong, so far.  I may have to come up with a healthy alternative, I know it won't be GAPS legal, but maybe just once?  So aside from day-dreaming of msg-laden, hydrogenated, college garbage food, I have found a couple of things that are easing my morning sickness.


1.  Lying down.  This seems to be the best, but it wastes a lot of time and isn't practical.

2.  Drinking very lemony water.

3.  Chewing raw ginger.  This is super nasty, and burns going down, but it works in about 5-10 minutes.  I take a thin slice about the size of a quarter and just chew it up and swallow.  I rinse it down with water.

4.  Sipping on pickle juice.  I'm doing the fermented Bubbies right now.  But I've almost been through a jar in the last 5 days, and at $6/a pop, that isn't something I can keep up.  I have an AH-mazing recipe for fermented pickles, I just have to source some cukes and February isn't really the best time of year to do that...so more on that later.

5.  Broth with a good amount of salt, but no other seasoning.  (I was adding garlic and ginger before, but just plain right now.) This is, of course, a requirement on GAPS.  I don't crave the broth, in fact looking at it in the fridge with the fat on top is kinda gagging me.  And having it simmering all of the time, also not helping with the gag factor.  But when my husband makes me some, (I know I'm spoiled) it always goes down well and makes my tummy calm down.

So that is it for now.  I may try some teas and other things.  According to my calendar, I have 4 more weeks of this...and to that I say...geesh!  The kids are giving me a ton of extra help and the extreme exhaustion seems to be passing...So I guess we are on our way to chubby knees and gurgling-toothless grins!

Thank you to my sweet readers for all of your messages of encouragement!  It means so much!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle

Shared on: Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, The Home Acre Hop, Thrifty Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Hearts 4 Home Thursday, Simple Living Wednesday, Wild Crafting Wednesday, Homemaking Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Tasty Thursdays, Wise Woman Link-Up, Wellness Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Thursday Favorite Things, Works for Me Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Announcements and Apologies

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I wish I had something of more use to you to share today, but I have been at a loss for words or recipes or tips these days.  You see I am 7 weeks pregnant, and for the most part I feel like a train has hit me.  I am dealing with a ton of morning sickness and just plain exhaustion.  It works that lying down makes my stomach stop turning, except I am sleeping away at least an hour a day when I could be writing for you fine people :)!

So I am first honored to say that I get to be a mom again, to a little heaven-sent miracle.  And no, I am not a dreamer, I do have kids already.  I know what I have coming, but for now, I will focus on the beauty of this, (later on the diapers and teething).



If you read my WAPF story, you know that the last two of my children were born under somewhat stressful circumstances for both my husband and I.  So we are most looking forward to receiving this child into clarity and peace...well, as peaceful as 1300 square feet with 6 people can be!  I am considering (with much prayer and research) having a home birth and will be excited to share our decision and journey with you.  (I also have a really exciting guest post coming from LittleOwlCrunchyMomma  on why she chose to have a home birth.)  I am most interested in her story because she chose to do so on her first child, and I know I was a nervous wreck about my first.  I think I was at the hospital before I even had contractions!

On the topic of the GAPS diet, which I have been most recently writing on, my family is still plugging along.  With the queasiness, my husband has been taking care of most of the meals and we have kept things really simple.  Just meat and veggies, lots of broth and pro-biotic foods.  My husband is really feeling great.  His sugar cravings are gone, and those he sort of has he can usually take care of with a apple dipped in peanut butter.  I must admit that I would love nothing more than to have a pack of saltines, but I am being strong...well trying to anyway.

I am also looking forward to sharing a post a friend of mine wrote on how much the GAPS diet helped her son who was diagnosed with Aspbergers, Bi-Polar and a host of other things.  She has been my biggest advocate on this journey.

For now, blessings to you.  I am very thankful for anyone who takes the time to read my words.  I have been picking up some new readers and it never ceases to amaze me that you all are out there.

Love and Butter,

Mishelle


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

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We gathered at the table with plates of sausage and sauteed turnips in golden butter.  The children marveled at their chocolate-strawberry smoothies and asked if this meant we were "cheating" on our "no-sugar contest".  We blessed our food and dug in, and when silence had covered the table, which is a rare and precious thing.  He didn't bring me roses, or candy, but these words, 

" If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.   It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.   For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.   When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.   For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. " 1 Corinthians 13, NIV

These words always cut straight into me.  I have them memorized, I have since I was 16 and was required to for a mission trip.  I have them committed to my heart as the only pure definition of this four-letter word that we throw around.  I know in my house and probably yours, this word  bounces off the walls, spoken in haste, in repetition, in habit.

But is it lived out?

This question burns.  Am I patient?  Am I kind?  During lessons, when my children will not behave?  When my husband is absorbed in work and doesn't notice my emotional state?  When I speak of my Savior and what He has done?  Do I do it with love, that hopes?  That perseveres?  Do I keep a list in my head of the ways my heart has been broken?  Or do I leave these things at my Saviors feet and "go in peace"?

I can't always answer on the yes side of these questions.  But I do know that when I do choose love, hopeful, patient, self-less love....IT NEVER FAILS!!

Happy Valentines Day to you, God Bless.

Love and Butter,

Mishelle



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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Week 2 Grain-Free Menu

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I would love to say we made it all the way 100% on our second week of GAPS, but I have to admit we cheated this week.  Just once...I promise.  And it stood as a confirmation as to why we we are doing this in the first place.
During our post-holiday cleanse, we had identified my husband's eczema was directly related to his wheat consumption.  This was devastating to me, especially since I just figured out how to make the most amazing soaked bread.  But I know, after reading GAPS and hearing an amazing lecture by a GAPS practitioner that if my husband has eczema showing on the outside, he has other stuff going on inside.
On Friday, which is our usually pizza night I planned fully on making a Grain-free Crust.  But then I let my grumpiness get to me (which will have to be explained in a later post), and I settled with my regular Sprouted Pizza Crust Recipe.  My husband's eczema flared in 2.5 hours!  
I retreated like a cat with it's tail tucked in.  I will stay GAPS as best I can, and will channel my grumpiness into searching for new Grain-free recipes.  I need my family to be healed on the inside.  The traditional diet has done so much for us, but I know along the way my husband wasn't 100% on board and his body needs this extra care.  
I also can't complain, the detox we did after Christmas removed my cravings for coffee in the morning. And removing sugar completely with GAPS has done wonders for my skin and mood balance...well once we got past the craving phase.  This week my kids weren't requesting carbs like last week.  So we are settling in nicely.  My littlest monkey had a battle with some diarrea, but that has cleared up.  I think he was just getting too much fat and not enough for it to "stick" to.  My body is having a hard time adjusting to less fiber...hence my grumpiness, and Friday I could tell when I stepped on the scale and then tried to button my jeans.  I am hoping I will be able to find the right balance with GAPS approved beans and lentils to keep my gut moving the way it should....well now that I've said all that, can I really move into what we ate?  

Oh!  I should mention I am trying to empty out my freezer, so excuse the randomness this week.  I found a bunch of packs of sausages I had bought on markdown at the bottom of the freezer...and some steaks.  

Sunday: Grain-Free Chicken Tenders, Veggie Plate w/ Avocado Ranch Dip



Monday: GF Chicken Sausages and Purple Garlic Kraut, Sauted Brocolli

Tuesday: Italian Stuffed Peppers (recipe coming), My Go-To Salad




Wednesday: Steak & Chopped Salad with Ranch

Thursday: GF Chicken Sausages and Purple Garlic Kraut (we also finished off our potatoes, roasted with onions and butter...they will be our last for a while)



Friday:  BIG FAT CHEATER DAY...Pizza (At least it was homemade and sprouted!?!)

Saturday:  Spicy Andouille Lentil Soup (recipe coming too)

I am embarrassed we ate the same thing twice, but Tuesdays and Thursdays are really busy for us.  You know you have weeks like that too!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle


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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Grain-Free Salmon Patties

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These are my hubby's specialty.  He is Southern through and through.  It's one of the things I love most about him.   We love cooking together, but I must admit as our children get older and our schedule fills with activities it is less often we get to share this pleasure.

My love usually takes at least one dinner off my hands and a couple of lunches a week.  I must admit this is the greatest perks of him working at home...well besides stealing kisses whenever I like :)

In the spirit of the South, here's a traditional recipe made to fit into our GAPS lifestyle.  Hope you like it!   We eat these every other week or so, it is a tasty way to get your fish servings in.

These are super filling and they reheat well in the oven (or microwave), you can also freeze them for another night.  For the cause of laziness, whenever I make the mess of frying, I try to make extra if it will freeze well or at least put it in the fridge for lunch the next day.

Here's the recipe:
Makes 10-12 Patties (See below for 1/2 the recipe.)
Ingredients:

4 cans of Alaskan Wild-Caught Salmon (with bones and skin)
4 eggs (preferably from free-range chickens)
1 tsp. of dill
juice of one lime
2 tsp. of Old Bay or your favorite Seafood Seasoning*
6 cloves of garlic minced
1 1/2 cups of Almond flour (preferably from Activated Almonds)
2 chopped green onions or 2 tsp of minced dried onions
1/8 cup or more of frying substance (I used tallow, but lard or palm shortening would work great too.  Butter might be okay, but it would be harder to keep it from burning.)

Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl (very large), except the Almond Flour.  Mix very well.  With a fork if you must, but the best is with your hands.  I'm not going to lie, I am totally grossed out by this, so again I state, this is my husband's specialty!



You have to break up the bones as you go, or you will bite into them, so spend some time mixing this stuff until it almost looks like pate.  Then mix in the Almond Flour and continue mixing until it is fully combined.


Heat fat over medium-med/hi heat.  Form patties and add to hot grease.  Cook each side 3-5 minutes and flip as necessary.  I know a burger you are only supposed to flip once, but this doesn't get drier if you keep flipping it.  Just keep cooking until they are browned on the outside and warm all the way through.  As the eggs cook, the patty will become nice and firm.



When done place on a wire rack and add another round to the pan.  Serve with Southern side dish of your choice and Creamy Dill Sauce.  (recipe follows)



Creamy Dill Sauce
1 tsp. of dill
1/4 cup of kefir or buttermilk
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. of Old Bay
1 tsp. dried minced onions
1/4 cup of mayo (make your own)
1/8 tsp. of garlic powder
a dash of cayenne (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients together.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so.  Serve.




Here's 1/2 the recipe if you don't have an army to feed like I do.
Makes 5-6 patties

2 cans of Alaskan Wild-Caught Salmon (with bones and skin)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp of dill
1 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning or your favorite Seafood Seasoning*
Juice of 1/2 a lime
3 cloves of minced garlic
3/4 cup of almond flour
1 chopped green onion or 1 tsp of dried minced onions
3 tbsp or more of frying substance

*Old Bay Seasoning contains a lot of salt.  If you are using a seafood seasoning that is salt-free, make sure to add sea salt to your mixture as well.

Today, these made the perfect Sunday lunch fare and we had a few leftover for later this week.  I served them with a Grain-free Squash casserole (which needs some perfecting) and Cinnamon Buttered Apples.  Now I'm ready for a Sunday nap!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle

Shared on: Real Food Wednesday, Wheat Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday
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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Purple Garlic Kraut

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Purple Garlic Kraut

Makes 3-4 Quarts

Ingredients:

1 medium head of red cabbage
1/2 medium head of green cabbage (or 1/4 of a ginormous one)
1 large jalapeno pepper or 2 small
8 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp of Real Salt or sea salt
1/8 cup of whey

Shred all of the cabbage.  I like to do this with the slicing attachment of my food processor, because it is so quick.  You could also use a mandolin or even a knife.  You would get a great arm workout too!  I must say that my food processor was an investment, but not one I ever look back on and regret.  (Like when I spent $100 on an automatic sprouter, when I could have used a jar and a $3 lid.)

I wanted to keep the garlic and jalapeno really fine so not to over power the kraut, so I used the shredding attachment on my food processor.  You could also just chop them really finely, just make sure not to touch your eyes until you are done and wash your hands.  My family is so fussy about spicy food, much to my avail.  I didn't want anyone biting into either and complaining that it was "too hot".  If your family can handle spicy stuff, by all means put some more jalapenos in there!


Add all of the ingredients to a large container and use a potato masher or meat tenderizer to start to break down the cabbage.  If it isn't breaking down you can let it sit for 30 minutes and then start to work it.  I think mine would have done better had I done this.  My head of cabbage was very firm and I shredded it into bigger pieces.  When I make my Simple Kraut, I shred the cabbage finer and it breaks down quite quickly.   But I read on Wild Fermentation, that it is okay to walk away for a little bit and let the salt begin to soften the cabbage.


When it has produced some liquid, you can add it to your jars.  Make sure to push the cabbage down under the liquid.  You can also add a small amount of filtered water to the top to cover it.  Put the lid on tight and place in a warm part of your kitchen.  And ferment for 3 days.  This winter, I've been using my Slow Cooker to keep my ferments happy and going.  Plus, I always have broth on hand.  I also made a batch of Kimchi to go along with this.  I love the way the Purple and Orange look next to each other. 

We loved this kraut!  More than I expected.  It wasn't very hot, like a homemade mild/medium salsa.  We ate it on fajitas that I made grain-free tortillas for.  The tortillas were a toss up with my kids, because we are so new to this GAPS/grain-free lifestyle.  But the Kraut was a hit all around.  The color is amazing and red cabbage is much milder than green cabbage in my opinion, you don't get that peppery bite.  


This is definitely one of the brightest meals we've ever had!  We also ate the kraut on some Apple Sausages this week and loved it straight out of the jar!  Well, happy fermenting to you.  Hope you give this one a try, you will not be disappointed!

Love and Butter,

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Grain-Free Chicken Tenders

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So here we are trucking along with the grain-free lifestyle in hopes to relieve some auto-immune issues, allergies, joint pain, and to overall improve out digestion and immune system.  Then comes the Super Bowl.  I must admit, literally, parts of my heart were crying out for 7 layer dip and organic Blue tortilla chips.  But we just got this thing underway and healing could take 6 months-2 years, so how am I going to fall off the wagon right now when I just started.  On the other hand, "football food" is our tradition.  We lay out a picnic blanket and enjoy dippable, scarfable food in front of the TV.

So what am I to do??  In the words of Barney, on How I Met Your Mother (which is my current Netflix addiction) ...CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!  Here's a Grain-free version of Chicken Nuggets/Tenders.  These went over really well with my family.  I also must add, that being covered in nuts and cheese instead of flour, these were crazy-filling!  We had a bunch leftover, which we ate on salads for lunch on Monday.


Grain-Free Chicken Nuggets

I am wishing I could have my Chick-fil-a Knock-off Nuggets, but will have to save that for later.  I am using the same sweet/salty combo, just with honey instead.  Also, instead of pan frying them I will oven bake them.

Chicken (2.5-3.5  lbs) Boneless Skinless breast or tenders, cut into bite size pieces or left as tenders
2 cups Almond Flour (preferably from Activated Almonds)
1 cup of Parmesan Cheese (Any other hard cheese will work too.  I had some Spanish Cheeses on hand and used them, it was still really good.)
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder and black pepper
2 tsp. of Real Salt or sea salt
1 cup (more or less) Tallow, Lard, Palm Shortening, or Butter melted
2 tbsp. honey

Melt Tallow and add in honey, mix well. I did this by putting my tallow in a loaf pan and putting it in the pre-heating oven.





Don't drop your spoon in!!

In another bowl, combine all other ingredients, mix well.  Dice chicken into Bite Size Pieces or Strips.



Dip in Tallow/Honey Mixture and then in Dry Mixture.  (You will have to keep stirring the honey/tallow mixture, because the weight of the honey will cause it to settle.)


Arrange on a Baking pan and bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.  When they look golden brown and meat is firm, they are done!  This time will vary based on if you cut your pieces up or left them in tenders.



These could easily be made in bulk and frozen or kept in the fridge to munch on throughout the week.  They were good cold and good re-heated.


Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce 
If you mix 2 parts Mustard to 1 part honey you can make a  simple honey mustard sauce.  If you want a creamy honey mustard (like Ken's Steakhouse Brand, which by the way is full of HFCS and soybean oil), you could add in 1 part mayo.  This is a great reason to try your hand at making homemade mayo.  After you mix all of the ingredients together, taste it and change it to fit your taste buds.  More honey?  More mayo?  Your call.  But it really is so easy to make, no reason to buy it!



Verdict:  This was super yum!  No one asked for chips.  I served it with a veggie tray and some Avocado Ranch Dip, that I need to tweak a little before posting.  I would say overall, it was a win!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle


Shared on: Simple Lives Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Natural Living, Thank Your Body Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Weekend Whatever Link Up, Wheat Free Wednesday, Mama Moments Monday, Monday's Homestead Barn Hop, Natural Living Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Modesty Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Make It Yourself Monday, Better Moms Monday, Clever Chicks Monday, Make Your Own Monday, Homemade Mondays, Hearth and Soul Tuesday, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2sday, Fat Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Making a Home, Tuesday Greens, Whole Foods Wednesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Encourage One Another, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Living Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, Wise Woman Link Up, Show and Share Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, Little House in the Suburbs

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Week Grain-Free

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I am trying to wrap my mind around the GAPS diet, and my husband has been almost completely off of grains since after Christmas and seeing a ton of results.  We are moving out of the detox phase (or Intro) and into eating real food.  I should note that we did not do the entire Intro as described in the book, but did implement a broth regiment and introduce fresh juice for detoxing.  My husband's eczema has disappeared and only comes back when he has wheat, but even then is gone the next day.  I am so glad to know, that as his healing happens, his liver is starting to do its job!  If you have read my WAPF story, you would understand why I have so much concern for the function of my husband's liver.  After years on way too many pharmaceuticals, it is a beautiful thing to see him begin to live free and clear of even over-the-counter meds.  We are pushing this diet through now in hopes that he can find healing before allergy season starts.
So this week we are grain-free, and I thought I would share my menu for anyone on the same journey.  We weren't bean free or totally GAPS, but pretty close this week.

Sunday: Grain-free Salmon Patties w/ creamy fermented dill sauce (recipe coming)


Monday: Beef and Veggie Soup (I used my Beef and Barley recipe, without the barley)

Tuesday:  Crustless Quiche w/ Pastured Pork Sausage, bell peppers, spinach, olives, and artichokes 

Wednesday: Roasted Turkey and Fauxtatoes ( I'll probably do 1/2 potatoes 1/2 cauliflower, to use them up before we are all-out GAPS), Also some Chia Seed Pudding for dessert (Wednesday is our "nice" dinner night)

Thursday: Chicken Fajitas w/ grain free tortillas and Hot Pink Garlic Kraut (this was a BIG hit in our house!)


Friday: Chili  (I will try to use GAPS approved beans, but I may not make it to the store)

Saturday: Cobb Salads w/ leftover Turkey and Homemade Ranch



For lunches, I will cook 2 chickens on Tuesday and shred the meat for Bombay Chicken Salad, which we will eat on sliced cucumbers or lettuce wraps.  Other than that, we will work through the leftover soups in the fridge.  We usually eat tuna w/ homemade mayo and fermented dill relish once a week anyway, so that will probably be on the menu too.  I serve tuna on cucumber "crackers" or wrapped in lettuce.

I am stocked with lots of Saurkraut and Cortido we will be working out way through.  I will start a batch of Hot Pink Garlic Kraut and Kimchi on Tuesday as well.  We will have kefir, fresh juice, and raw garlic every day and water with ACV in it before meals.

I am trying to source a few more things before I will feel really ready to be 100%.  I also am trying to empty out my freezer before my side of beef is ready in a couple of weeks.  So there may be some things we eat from there with traditionally prepared grains.  (Like some meatballs I made with sourdough bread crumbs or a couple of sauces or soups that may have beans or cornstarch in them.)

All in all, it was a great--and more importantly TASTY week.

Love and Butter,

Mishelle

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