Tag Archives: Nourishing Traditions

Preparing for Pregnancy, Part 1: Laying a Nutritional Foundation

Preparing for Pregnancy: Laying a Nutiritional Foundation

This material originally appeared in a slightly different form in our Fall 2010 catalog

When I married in 2004, I was almost 26, and my husband and I knew we didn’t want to wait long to have children. Although many women have children after thirty, we both wanted a large family and weren’t sure how long our child-bearing years would last. Even so, we were slightly surprised when just six weeks after the wedding we found ourselves expecting our first child! Excitement filled our house, and to add to our own joy, this would be the first grandchild for both his parents and mine.

Preparing for Pregnancy: Laying a Nutiritional FoundationAt the time, I was a practicing registered nurse, and although I did not work in obstetrics, I’d always been fascinated with the subject. Despite the fact that I had scored a perfect 100 ranking among my peers that year in the OB/GYN national competency exams, I gradually found that I actually understood little about the importance of preparing my body to be a mother.

I knew I needed to take a prenatal vitamin once the pink line appeared on the pregnancy test. I knew the importance of Folate to prevent birth defects. I knew I needed to generally take care of myself. But I did nothing to really prepare my body for pregnancy.

My pre-pregnancy diet consisted largely of fast food, meals from a box, and sodas. I had done nothing to eliminate my chronic gut problems, build nutritional storehouses, or make sure my body was in shape for this miraculous event.

Due to long work hours, my entire day’s nutrition consisted of an orange for breakfast, half a sub sandwich for lunch, and half for dinner (and when I say sub, I mean a foot-long white bread sandwich with nothing but processed cold cuts, American cheese and jalapeño peppers). I washed that all down with the largest cherry limeade I could buy, because it had to last my entire shift; it was a healthier choice, I figured, since it did not have caffeine. I often went an entire week without eating unprocessed meat, fresh vegetables, and whole grains.

My bouts with morning sickness (to the point of vomiting) lasted from early in the pregnancy until three days after my baby was born. With my second pregnancy came nine months of migraine headaches, followed by my newborn son’s chronic health issues. I finally decided there had to be a better way to do pregnancy! The challenges I faced have led me to some fascinating factors that make for a healthier momma and, therefore, a healthier baby.

The Two-Way Gift of Health

maryOur health is a gift, not just from the Creator, but also from our parents. The field of genetics is still full of mystery, but we do know that the health of our parents when they brought us into the world plays a large role in determining what our own level of health will be, and your health will play a major role in your children’s health.

People generally assume that most health issues depend simply on the genes we pass on, that they determine what makes us more or less vulnerable to various diseases and health conditions. Many of us don’t make the connection that we directly pass on to our children a reflection of our own state of health, apart from genetic factors.

As a result, our children often suffer from the same digestive, immune, and chronic health issues that we do, not just because of genes but also because of how we care for ourselves. If you’ve had problems with your digestion, it should not come as a surprise that your child is colicky. So before you think about having a baby, first consider how to rebuild and restore your own health. Not only will you be passing on to your future children a head start in health, but the habits you develop will benefit them throughout life.

Getting Your Gift in Shape

The place to start building your health is with your diet and your nutritional lifestyle. Nutrients are the building blocks of cells, and it is vital to take in nutrients that build healthy cells. Diets full of healthy fats, grass-fed and organic proteins, fermented foods, properly prepared grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables are vital. While there are several very good diet suggestions out there, I personally recommend Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers as a good starting place. It’s published by the Weston A. Price Foundation and offers great guidance for nourishing your body and preparing the inner stores of nutrients necessary for pregnancy.

Most people recognize the need for protein, iron, and vitamins from fresh fruit and vegetables, but it is only recently becoming known that healthy fats are needed as well. A British publication noted that for a healthy reproductive system, a woman needs 25 to 30 percent body fat, while the American recommendation for women of child-bearing years is 21 to 33 percent. Healthy fats include coconut oil, whole milk, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, and grass-fed butter and meats (with healthy portions of the fat included). A great primer in the study of fats is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Just as important as what you put in your body is what you don’t put in. Fats to avoid are shortening, margarine, vegetable oils like corn, soybean, and canola oil. Other no-no’s include artificial sweeteners, white sugar, white flour, MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, caffeine, and soft drinks (even cherry limeades!). Not only are they empty calories, they are often toxic to the body.

Another crucial part of your lifestyle evaluation is your level of physical activity. At any time in life, exercise keeps the body feeling well, the joints moving, aches and pains dispelled, and increases overall vitality. To “get in shape” for pregnancy, it’s important to incorporate into daily life activities and exercises that increase stamina, flexibility, and cardio function. If you’re wary of exercise because of pain, I recommend you read Pain Free. I’ve followed its guidelines for almost a year now and have found incredible relief from aches and pains, while increasing my flexibility and balance.

When you exercise while pregnant, it’s important that you not burn too much fat. High impact aerobics and long distance running often burn more than the recommended amount of body fat for a healthy pregnancy. The key here is to research the regimen you will be participating in and maintain a level that’s right for you.

Join us tomorrow for Part 2 when we discuss choosing supplements and avoiding morning sickness. 

Mary Ewing has been with Beeyoutiful for six years (through three pregnancies!). She enjoys exploring life with her husband and five children as they cook, garden, play and dream of homesteading. Her interests include traditional cooking, learning about herbs and essential oils, and traditional art forms such as sewing, crocheting, knitting and smocking.

8 Lifestyle Choices to Support Heart Health

The best thing you can do for your heart is feed your body nutrient-dense foods, and that includes healthy fats, organic and pastured meats, organically-raised produce and properly prepared grains. When there is an adequate range and quality of nutrients being taken in, your heart can maintain good health.8 Lifestyle Choices to Support Heart Health from Beeyoutiful.com

We’ve found Nourishing Traditions to be a fabulous resource as we have made choices with our own families of what foods to use on our tables and how to prepare them. Diet & Heart Disease: It’s NOT What You Think is also packed with specific information about supporting heart health.

Deficiencies in key nutrients can cause significant stress to your heart and its health. 

  • Vitamin C. According to Fallon and Enig in Diet & Heart Disease​ (p4), “Vitamin C deficiency makes for weaker arterial walls, subject to more inflammation and tearing.” Correcting the deficit leads to strong and healthy vessels and heart muscle. Some of the best sources of Vitamin C are raw milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, and herbs.
  • Minerals. Minerals are found in organic butter, organic animal organs, dark leafy vegetables, raw nuts, and sea products, and if your diet is lacking in these, you may also be lacking in minerals. “Heart disease has been correlated with mineral deficiencies. Coronary heart disease rates are lower in regions where drinking water is naturally rich in trace minerals, particularly magnesium, which acts as a natural anti-coagulant and aids potassium absorption, thereby preventing heartbeat irregularities.” (Diet & Heart Disease, p61-62) When supplementing, make sure to consider the fact that your heart needs a variety of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, chromium, selenium, iodine, and other trace minerals.
  • Folate, B6, and B12. These nutrients are primarily found in animal products, but can also be found in dark, leafy vegetables. Sufficient intake of this trio of B Vitamins decreases the likelihood of atherosclerosis, and “these three nutrients also lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can trigger heart disease.” (Diet & Heart Disease, p62)
  • Antioxidants. Free radicals, such as pollution, toxins, unnatural chemicals, tobacco smoke, food additives, and even the byproducts of our own metabolized nutrients can attack and damage the body’s tissues (from DNA to arterial walls) if there are not adequate amounts of antioxidant nutrients in the diet. Increased free radicals without sufficient antioxidants increase stress and damage to the heart and its vessels. Examples of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals include Vitamins A, C, and E, Selenium, CoQ10, Zinc, and Glutathione. Sources of antioxidants are dark green leafy vegetables, organic pastured meats, grassfed butter, all orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, and even some spices such as turmeric. In addition, supporting the liver and its detoxification of free radicals as part of the metabolism process is extremely beneficial.
  • Powerhouses of A, D, and K. Dr. Weston Price was one of the first to notice the link between fat-soluble vitamins and heart health. He observed that during winter months when Vitamin D and A were not as naturally plentiful in the diet and lifestyle, the incident of heart attacks went up. “Vitamin A is required for numerous bodily functions, including protein and mineral utilization and the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. Since poor thyroid function is a cause of heart disease, a deficiency could be an indirect cause of heart disease. Since Vitamin D is needed for calcium utilization, a deficiency may cause increased calcification of the arteries, leading to accelerated atherosclerosis.” (Diet & Disease, p64-65) In addition to A and D, Vitamin K2 is very important. According to the Rotterdam Study in 2004, K2 is the only known nutrient that not only prevents but reverses atherosclerosis (for more information on K2, please see our post here). Sources of A and D are salmon, fish roe, grassfed butter and cod liver oil.

8 Lifestyle Choices to Support Heart Health

  1. Eliminate Processed Foods. Increase nutrient-dense foods in their whole forms.
  2. Avoid refined sugars. Use whole sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, stevia or rapadura.
  3. Avoid all trans fats. ​Exclude vegetable oils, shortening, and margarine. Increase saturated fats such as grassfed butter, unrefined animal fats, and coconut oil.
  4. Throw out the pasteurized and homogenized milk. Replace with fresh raw dairy products (if you tolerate dairy well).
  5. Just say no to low-cholesterol and low-fat foods. These foods are often filled with chemical additives, artificial flavorings, and sugars. Pick healthy whole foods to nourish and provide the needed nutrients.
  6. De-stress your life. Stress increases the presence of free radicals in the body. Increase relaxing activities such as short breaks where you focus on a pleasant hobby.
  7. Functional exercise. Choose a physical activity that allows for an increase of heart rate without putting undue stress on the body.
  8. Dry brushing. Encourage good circulation and detoxification by using a stiff brush to stimulate the skin.

With these nutrients and lifestyle choices, you’ll be giving your body a toolbox full of heart-healthy options.

Rooting Out Dental Problems – Summer 2010 Catalog

Nancy Websternancy_small

Part 1 of this 2-part series (“The Tooth of the Matter”) appeared in the Winter 2010

Beeyoutiful Catalog and emphasized the importance of nutrition in dental health.

“Your old filling cracked, and new decay is under it,” the dentist informed me matter-of-factly. “I have time to fix it right now.”

Five minutes later, with numbing shot in effect, he casually drilled out an aging silver amalgam filling from the back molar which had been bothering me for awhile. Over the sound of the drill, I heard him tell the hygienist, “It’s very close to the pulp. If this doesn’t work, she’ll need a root canal.”

A few weeks later, my tooth still hurt, and it was slowly getting worse. By then, my research gene had kicked into high gear. I knew Weston A. Price, the dentist whose educational foundation teaches the dietary principles of nutrient-dense and properly-prepared foods, had lost a son to a root canal gone bad.

Dr. Price’s information led me to other dental experts who similarly warned about the dangers of root canals. All concluded that the only safe way to handle a dead tooth is removal. Apparently, there is no way to sterilize all side chambers of the three miles of tubules inside a tooth. Antibiotics can’t do it. Bleach can’t do it. Even lasers can’t assure adequate cleansing. In one of Dr. Prices’ experiments, he implanted into 100 rabbits the root canal fragments from a person who had suffered a heart attack, and within a few weeks, every rabbit also experienced cardiac arrest!

Modern DNA research offers additional evidence against this common dental procedure by demonstrating bacterial contamination in 100% of the tested samples of extracted root canals. Bacteria that remain after a root canal mutate once circulation through the tooth (by removal of the pulp) is cut off, and the resulting strain is many times more toxic than otherwise. These bacteria can migrate into gum tissue and from there into the rest of the body, causing autoimmune or life-threatening degenerative diseases, even decades after a root canal is performed.

Pulling for a Better Solution

My smile finally looked decent after two stints with braces, so I was not anxious to introduce a gap by having a tooth pulled. But I didn’t want to have long-term health problems, either.

Hoping for a prettier option, I called several endodontists (root canal specialists) to find out how they sterilized the tooth after removing the dead pulp. They all told me I was misled by an old theory and that thousands of root canals are performed safely every day (60 million per year is the current count). I wanted to believe them, but I didn’t feel peace about it. Meanwhile, my tooth was turning dark.

While many dentists advertise their work as “mercury-free,” their emphasis on dental cosmetics made me worry their worldview was not as radical as mine—especially when a few calls confirmed that they recommend root canals. That’s when I stumbled upon www.drwolfe.com/links.html, a collection of websites for holistic dental associations and member practitioners. On this score, I also wished we lived in California again rather than Tennessee, since the Golden State seems to have holistic dentists in every city. Our closest one, Dr. Ada Frazier, is an hour and half away in Alabama, but my long-term well-being and her services were worth the drive.

Dr. Frazier was trained by Dr. Hal Huggins, a long-time outspoken opponent of mercury amalgams and root canals and author of a newly published article titled “Root Canal Dangers: DNA Studies Confirm Dr. Weston Price’s Century-Old Findings.” You can read it online at www.WestonAPrice.org.

Even though “any dentist” can pull a tooth, by going to Dr. Frazier, I was assured of not only avoiding pressure to have a root canal, but I was also confident the tooth extraction would include an important, if non-traditional, procedure called a cavitation. Cavitation involves grinding off the periodontal ligament which holds the tooth in its socket. Although most dentists and endodontists are taught to leave the ligament in place after an extraction, the remnant tissue provides an incubator for hostile bacteria. This bacteria can produce the same damage to the cardiovascular, endocrine, nervous, and immune systems as those from a root canal. Dr. Huggins compares omitting this procedure to “delivering a baby and leaving the placenta in the uterus.”

After the deed was done, Dr. Frazier instructed me to swish gently with peroxide and saltwater and to supplement with vitamin C to prevent infection. Fortunately, the hole does not show when I smile, but if the gap were obvious, instead of a tooth implant—which also contains harmful metals—I would consider getting a bridge made from biocompatible materials.

The More, the Mercurier

Neither my visits to the holistic dentist nor my education about the benefits of going to one had yet run their course. I had a few other leaky fillings with decay underneath. Although this news worried our bank account, it excited me, because now I had an excuse to switch out a few of those “silver” (mercury-based) fillings.

A wall in Dr. Frazier’s office displays a poster delineating the body-wide negative effects of mercury—the substance delivered to dental offices, packaged as “hazardous material” and then daily put into thousands of trusting patients’ mouths. Filling material is amalgamized (mixed) either in a combination of 50% mercury and 35% silver plus a bit of tin and copper or as a “copper amalgam” of 66% mercury and 33% copper.

Copper amalgams are highly unstable, releasing fifty times more mercury into the body than even the older combination. Hardly a coincidence, when copper amalgams were first introduced in 1975, the incidence of Lou Gehrig’s Disease and multiple sclerosis jumped dramatically the first year and has grown exponentially since.

Friction from chewing and brushing and heat from hot liquids and foods cause these mercury-based fillings to release harmful vapors, which spread throughout the body via the respiratory system, accumulating mostly in the brain, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. There they destroy good bacteria and encourage Candida growth.

The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology provides a disturbing YouTube video showing the vapors emitted by these fillings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ylnQ-T7oiA&feature=related.

Scientists report degenerative changes in the brain within a few days after exposure to mercury vapors. Severe headaches, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, depression, hair loss, memory loss, and even coma can be caused by mercury toxicity. A fascinating bit of history illustrates the point. In the 1800s, hat makers working in poorly ventilated shops breathed in fumes from a mercury solution used to turn fur into felt and became known for their mental and emotional instability. That’s where the saying “mad as a hatter” originated.

Mercury binds to sulfur-containing enzymes, suffocating cells and causing chronic allergic and immune reactions. Kidney and lung damage shows up within months of exposure.

Then there is the phenomenon of “dental galvanism.” When two or more dissimilar metals are used to restore or replace missing teeth, they produce an electric current. This electrification causes the rate of mercury corrosion to increase 10 to 20 times. Many people—including those with metal fillings—worry about the mercury content of nutrient-rich ocean fish, but to put this in perspective: Every day, their fillings give off up to nine times the mercury they might ingest from eating fish!

Detach and De-Tox

Dr. Frazier explained to me the safety protocol for amalgam removal as she and her assistant donned gas masks, protective eyewear, and hair caps. The highest mercury content fillings go first, and when several fillings need to be replaced, removal should take place over several visits so as not to overwhelm the body’s detoxing system.

A special rubber “dam” was placed in my mouth to prevent particles from going down my throat during the procedure. I also wore protective eyewear and was cautioned to breath only through the oxygen mask over my nose. A venting tube much like a clothes dryer hose was drawn close to my mouth while air ionizers whirred nearby. The hygenist maintained a continuous stream of cool water to lessen the vapor-releasing heat of drilling friction, while she held a small vacuum right at the tooth site.

After the procedure, Dr. Frazier encouraged me to drink lots of water, to take extra vitamin C, and to do toxin-removing “oil pulling”—swishing sesame, sunflower, or coconut oil in the mouth for 15 minutes and spitting it out. Dr. Frazier and her assistant, who encounter mercury daily, de-tox themselves routinely, including spending time in a far-infrared sauna. This is a far cry from the casual way the first dentist removed my old filling. No wonder infertility and other health problems are worse for dental hygenists!

If you suspect symptoms of heavy metal toxicity or even after a cleaning or any dental work, you can do a lot of chelation (pronounced “kee-lay-shun”) on your own. Chelation uses natural substances to attract heavy metal particles and pull them out of the body. Beeyoutiful offers an array of excellent supplements that can help:

Pure Chlorella

Odorless Garlic

Selenium Secure

Rosehip C and Gentle Cbone_ami_mineral_magnesium

In the process, be sure to drink lots of pure water and keep your bowels empty, because a majority of the toxins are eliminated in the bathroom.

Following a nutrient-dense, properly prepared diet as described in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook and taking healthy supplements will help prevent problems in the first place, as we discussed in part 1 of this series. If you still have health issues, though,NourishingTrad_1 the idea of removing fillings can be emotionally and financially daunting. To help reduce the financial pain, you might consider saving up to have one filling done at a time (it’s healthier this way, too). And put yourself on a chelation regime.

If you ask most traditional dentists about root canal and mercury concerns, they will scowl and say something about contrarian “quacks.” Taking action, though, is important because the vapor cloud from mercury fillings has no silver lining.

Nancy Webster is a freelance writer and homeschool mother of eight. After enduring multiple tooth extractions, two sets of braces, and a dozen fillings through the years, she is a highly motivated researcher on alternative dental practices. Nancy is also the founder and facilitator of the Southern Middle Tennessee chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Refining My Bread-Baking – Winter 2010 Catalog

Refining My Bread Baking Heritage

By Stephanie Kuvik Tallent

Steph J

I remember one special day when I was eight as if it was yesterday. My siblings and I gathered in the kitchen as Mom taught us about wheat. As homeschoolers, we learned a lot about nutrition and health because Mom routinely researched this passion of hers.

That particular wheat day, Mom explained to us the difference between white and wheat flour, pointed out the sundry parts of the wheat berry, and showed where they’re located. We learned about wheat germ, wheat bran, and how to tell the difference between the two. We examined oils in the berry and saw that once the wheat berry was ground, oil covers each speck of flour and can cause the flour to go rancid if not used soon after grinding (that’s what causes many of us to dislike the flavor of foods made from whole wheat flour bought from the store). Mom taught us about soft wheat and hard winter wheat -why they’re hard or soft and whether to use the flour made from each berry for pastries or bread. She taught us about corn, lentils, beans, rye, and oats, too, but I especially remember what we learned about wheat, probably because bread was such a regular part of life for us.

Mom made bread as often as she could from the best flour she could find, but because of what she knew about flour and wheat, she wasn’t satisfied with that. She knew the best bread would come from freshly ground flour, and she couldn’t wait to get a mill of her own.

Mill Day and Beyond

The Christmas that Dad gave Mom her long-awaited grin mill was one we all remember well. The new mill was the key that would turn her bread from something we didn’t always like inot a delectable art.

Dad grinned his “I can’t wait to give you your gift” grin for weeks before Christmas in anticipation of Mom’s surprise and pleasure. Dad and I reveled in the fun of trying to hide from Mom in her own room while wrapping the mill and a bucket of wheat berries to go with it. And none of us were disappointed by her reaction. The first thing Mom did was to read the manual from the mill from cover to cover to make sure she knew the ins and outs before using it even once. Then we all watched as Mom fired it up for the first grind. Wow! Was it ever loud! But, airplane sound and all, we watched as that wonderful machine took the wheat berry we all knew so much about and ground it into the freshest flour we had ever seen.

After that, Mom made bread just about every day, and we consumed loaf after loaf of her light fluffy specialty. Often it would be warm and fresh just in time for lunch. Oh, those morning school hours at the dining room table were torture smelling that wonderful bread baking. We could eat a whole loaf when it was warm, spread with butter and honey. Yum!

Thankfully, Mom didn’t just make bread, she also taught me how to make it. I learned that, when mixed just right, the dough should feel like a baby’s bottom. I discovered how to troubleshoot a recipe and figure out what changes to make it better the next time. I learned how long to raise it, how long to bake it, and how thick to slice it so that the bread didn’t dry out in Dad’s sandwiches before he got to eat them at lunchtime.

But after a while, we became aware of something strange. Mom and I noticed it was hard to eat a sandwich, not because the bread wasn’t tasty, but because it would sour our stomachs for hours after eating something that should have digested properly and been nourishing! We often chose not to eat our wonderful homemade bread because we knew it would ruin the rest of our day. Wondering what was going on with our bodies that we couldn’t enjoy the bread we knew was so healthy, I began to think we had developed an allergy and went on a search for an answer.

Improving the Legacy

rolls

Mom went to be with Jesus last year after Thanksgiving following a four-year battle with cancer. It has been a bittersweet time since then, filled with a lot of memories, but it has not been a year without its blessings. In particular, I’ve learned something new and exciting about bread. I now have a copy of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (Nourishing Traditions can be found on page 14) and in reading this wonderful informational cookbook, I learned that if you soak flour in an acidic liquid overnight, it starts the process of breaking down proteins in the bread that make it more digestible. This profound, simple key has changed my bread-baking forever. And guess what? I can eat the bread made from flour soaked overnight without getting that familiar sour stomach! What a difference in how I feel!

A few months ago, my sister and I were catching up on our daily lives, and I mentioned that I was soaking the flour for my bread these days, explained what a difference it was making in how I feel, and shared that my sour stomachs were a thing of the past. She paused to think about what I had said and told me how happy she was that I discovered this “new” information and could make bread for my family this way. Then she said something that made me smile: “You know, if Mom had discovered that, she would have been all excited about it and sharing it with us.” My sister was right. Mom would have been excited about her find and would have encouraged us to perfect our bread in this new way.

Two days after that phone conversation with my sister, I was at my Dad’s house helping him go through Mom’s belongings and decide who would like to have what, who has special memories of which items, and who Mom would have liked to continue to enjoy each thing. As Dad and I organized what was on her desk, Dad discovered recipes and handed the book to me. I glanced through Mom’s notebook and was stunned to see that it was full of information and recipes about soaking flour overnight before making bread-and about soaking other grains before eating them!

I stood in shock as the realization hit me that Mom had already discovered my “new” information. She just hadn’t gotten a chance to start making her bread this way and to share it with my sister and me before she got sick. What wonderful confirmation to me that this method of making bread was the right direction!

Mom taught me all about making bread and knew more than she even had a chance to tell me. I took that knowledge into my marriage and began making bread for my own family. Thanks to her, I’ve felt like a successful homemaker doing the things every housewife should do to nourish my family in a healthy way.

Now I think of Mom each time I make bread-and I smile. I remember the hours we spent in the kitchen grinding fresh flour, making bread, and other good things, and I wish I could give her a slice of my fresh, warm, soaked-flour bread. Knowing she was headed toward this new bread-making method drives me harder to perfect each loaf and make it a delicious success for my family. When it comes out right, I smile and say, “Thanks, Mom.”

Yeasted Buttermilk Bread Recipe:

4 cups freshly ground hard winter wheat

1 ½ cups buttermilk, warmed

½ cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted

¼ cup warm water

1 Tablespoon dry instant yeast

2 Tablespoons blackstrap Molasses

1 tsp. Salt

½ tsp. Baking Soda

1 cup unbleached organic white flour

Combine whole wheat flour, buttermilk and coconut oil in mixer. Dough should not be sticky. If needed, add a bit more flour. (A key you have the right mixture is if the sides of the bowl are clean.) Form a ball and place in the bowl, cover with cheesecloth and leave in a warm place overnight. (12-24 hours).

In the morning, combine water, molasses, salt, and baking soda in a measuring cup and mix well. Add instant yeast and cup of white flour directly to the dough and pour wet ingredients over top. Mix until it is smooth and sides of bowl are again clean. Your dough should not be tough, it should feel “soft as a baby’s bottom”, as Mom would say. Form a nice ball and again place your dough back into the bowl and cover with cheesecloth. Allow it to rise for about 2 hours or until it had doubled in size. Punch dough down, knead it for just about a minute, cut it in half and form each half into a log the size of your bread pan. Place in greased bread pan, cover with a cheesecloth and let shaped dough rise in a warm area for another 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Gently cool and be sure to enjoy a warm slice.

*Note: This is Stephanie’s adapted version. For the original recipe see page 493 of Nourishing Traditions

My Bread-Making Steps: (pictures for these steps can be found on page 45 of the catalog or on the following link Winter Catalog 2010)

Step 1: Soak your flour with buttermilk and coconut oil or butter. I warm my buttermilk and melt the coconut oil together on the stove and then dump them into the mixer where I have my flour measured out.

#1

Step 2: Then I mix the buttermilk, coconut oil and flour together.

@2

Step 3: Scraping the bowl to make sure it is all mixed.

#3

Step 4: Getting the unleavened dough out of the bowl to knead it a bit.

#4

Step 5: Hand Kneading

#5

Step 6: Kneading

#6

Step 7: Place the kneaded dough back in the mixing bowl and cover with cheese cloth to culture/soak overnight.

#7

Step 8: In the morning, add the rest of the ingredients and your yeast and mix like you would any other bread recipe.

#8

Step 9: Mix and knead.

#9

Step 10: Starting to look like bread dough.

#10

Step 11: Ball of dough before the first rise.

#11

Step 12: First Rise. NT recipe says to let this take about 2 hours or until it doubles in size.

#12

Step 13: Shaped and in the pans for second rise.

#13

Step 14: Into the dehydrator for second rise. You can also do this at room temperature or a low temp oven, but I have found it goes quicker in a warm space.

#14

Step 15: Second rise complete and into the oven it goes for 30 mins at 350 degrees.

#15

Step 16: 2 beautifully baked loaves.

IMG_3649

Step 17: Inside texture is perfect! Slather with fresh butter and eat warm!!

#17

Stephanie Kuvik Tallent is part of the Beeyoutiful Customer Service team. Her duties include moderating and researching for Beeyoutiful’s health forum, MerryHeartMedicine.com, helping take your phone orders and other projects that need a hand. Stephanie currently lives in Missouri with her husband, Paul Tallent and is Mom to Amanda and Michael. She spends her time in her kitchen experimenting with the recipes of Nourishing Traditions. The Winter months find her snuggling with her family in front of the fire, sipping a cup of tea with her computer close by.

How To Sprout Grains At Home – Winter 2010 Catalog

How to Sprout Grains at Home

By Peggy Sutton

another sprouted wheat

Many folks have been introduced –or I should say re-introduced– to the goodness and digestibility of sprouted grains and sprouted grain flours. Sprouted grains are not a newfangled food trend but a tried and true traditional means of preparing grains, dating as far back as biblical times and as recent as the industrial revolution.

Until modern farm equipment was invented to gather grains out of the field quickly for shipment to cities and large storage facilities, grains were cut and stored in teh fields until time to use or sell them. While the grains awaited use, the dew and rain would naturally sprout the head of grain. The result was an organically more healthful grain product.Today, at-home methods of sprouting grains before baking entails just a few easy steps and not very much time–and the benefits are worth every minute of the process.

Here’s what sprouting accomplishes:

  1. ~ Sprouting neutralizes phytic acid, a substance present in the bran of all grains that inhibits absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc.
  2. ~ Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors present in all seeds.
  3. ~ Sprouting produces enzymes.
  4. ~ Sprouting breaks down the starches in grains into simple sugars so the body can digest them like a vegetable (e.g., a tomato, not a potato).
  5. ~ Sprouting produces vitamin C
  6. ~ Sprouting increases the grains’ carotene and vitamin B content.

So let’s get started!

The equipment for your sprouting operation is not elaborate, but each item is important. This is what you’ll need:

  1. 1. 4 to 8 1-quart mason jars with large-mouth lids;
  2. 2. 1 plastic needlepoint grid, 7-mesh size (available at WalMart or craft store)
  3. 3. 1 or 2 large round bowls, big enough to place 4 of your mason jars in an upright position;
  4. 4. A large colander and small strainer;
  5. 5. 1/4 cup organic cider vinegar;
  6. 6. 6 to 11 cups of; organic grains (For breads, cookies, pastries, try wheat or spelt. For sour dough starter, try rye.)
  7. 7. Filtered water.

Before setting up the actual sprouting, wash and sanitize your grains. Although not absolutely essential, I strongly recommend it. Grit often adheres to your grains, and you never know what kinds of “critters” walked through the field where your grains were harvested.

So here’s the washing process:

  1. 1. Fill your kitchen sink with room-temperature tap water.
  2. 2. Pour your grains into the water, and agitate them thoroughly for a minute or two.
  3. 3. Using a colander, scoop up all the grains you can. Then use the small strainer and your free hand to scoop the remaining grains into the colander. If you have a strainer that fits into your sink drain, it will work great to get the remaining grains and drain the water at the same time. Hold the grain-filled colander under the tap for a quick rinse.
  4. 4. Clean your sink thoroughly of all grit and fill with 2 gallons of tap water. Stir in 1/4 cup of organic cider vinegar.
  5. 5. Dump your washed grains into the vinegar solution and let stand for 7 to 10 minutes.
  6. 6. Repeat Step #3.

Now your grains have been properly washed and sanitized, and it’s time to begin the sprouting process.

  1. 1. Place about 1 1/3 cups of clean grains into each mason jar (if you’re baking only 1 large loaf of bread you will only need 4 jars).
  2. 2. Fill each jar with filtered water (the grains will sit on the bottom of the jar).
  3. 3. Place mesh lids* and screw-tops onto each jar and tighten well. Let jars sit on your counter for 4 hours. The ideal temperature for fast, even sprouting is 69 to 72 degrees F. You may need to place in your pantry or laundry room to maintain an even temperature.
  4. 4. After your grains have soaked for 4 hours (it won’t hurt if they soak for 5 or 6 hours, so don’t worry if you’re busy and can’t get back to them after just 4), hold each jar over your kitchen sink and turn upside down, letting all the water drain out.
  5. 5. Turn each jar right-side up and fill with tap water. Then turn them over again and let all the water drain out of the jar.
  6. 6. Once you’ve completed steps 4 and 5 for each jar of grains, place your jars in a large bowl at a slant with the meshed lids toward the bottom of the bowl. This will allow more water to drain off the grains as they sprout. Place the bowl on your counter and leave overnight.
  7. 7. If you are completing step 6 by early afternoon, then repeat steps 5 and 6 in the evening, and leave jars in the bowl to sprout overnight.
  8. 8. By mid-morning your grains should be sprouted. You are looking for a distinct white tail on the end of the grains. Usually sprouts begin with a 2-pronged antenna protruding from the end of each grain. (NOTE: Do not let your sprouts grow beyond 1/4 inch in length, or your grains will take on a “grassy” taste and will be hard to feed into your mill or grinder once dried.)

You’re almost finished! Now it’s time to dry your sprouts.

sprouted pre-dried

  1. 1. Remove the sprouted grains from each jar and spread onto parchment-lined baking sheets (with sides) or place onto racks in your dehydrator (set at 105 to 110 degrees, and let grains dry thoroughly).
  2. 2. If you’re using your kitchen oven, place pans onto racks and set oven at its lowest temperature. If that temperature is above 110 degrees, prop your oven door open about 1 inch at the top using a wooden spoon or dowel. Let grains dry thoroughly. This will take several hours or overnight. (NOTE: Most new ovens, since about 2000, have built-in dehydrators. Check your owner’s manual to see if you have one–it took me 3 years to discover mine!)

Store your dried grains in an airtight container in the pantry until you are ready to mill.

Sprouting is not limited only to common flour grains. I find that sprouting beans before making soups, chili, and hummus eliminates bloating and gas after eating them. Try sprouting wild rice, and mill it for gluten-free baking. There are lots of foods you can sprout for better digestibility. Be creative and have fun!

And, of course, if you are not inclined to do your own sprouting, please let us do it for you. Check out To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. today at http://www.organicsproutedflour.net. Also, we have lots of recipes on our web site to try with the fresh sprouted flour you made on your own. Happy Baking!

*To make meshed lids for your jars: Remove a solid lid from a jar top. Place the lid on the needlepoint grid and using a pen or Sharpie, trace a circle. Repeat this step for each of the jars you will use. Then cut the mesh lids out using scissors, and place one inside each jar’s screw-top instead of the solid lid.

Peggy Sutton is the owner of To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co., online and wholesale supplier of sprouted flour products. She founded the company in 2006 to produce fine baked goods and now specializes in sprouted flours, including wheat, spelt and rye. Peggy lives with her husband, Jeff, in Alabama.


Baby Steps to Better Eating- Summer 2008 Catalog

By Nancy Webster

We were good Southerners. During my growing-up years my family ate lots of vegetables-boiled or fried near to death-and fruits and nancy_smallberries mostly in the form of pie or cobbler. But as a teenager, I was fascinated by Mrs. Brewer’s very different approach to food.

Long-time family friends, Mrs. Brewer and her husband lived on a small Tennessee farm just outside of Nashville, and every year, Mrs. Brewer grew a magnificent organic garden. She also read Prevention magazine, and-appropriately-took daily brewer’s yeast supplements. Inspired by her fine foods and the many nutritional tips she shared with me, I finally began my own quest for purer eating by asking my parents to take me to a health food store. Shelves of mysterious bottles and austere boxes overwhelmed us, and we emerged with nothing but a package of soy crackers.

Those crackers were the start of a 30-year food journey from college dining hall food and vending machine junk to meatless, soy substitutes, to proper-protein-combining, to fresh-ground, whole wheat bread, to all raw vegetarian fare. Each represented an extreme of sorts, leaving me hungry (so to speak) for a more whole way of eating. If you’re just now at the early stages of a quest for a healthier diet, please allow me to save you years of rabbit trails.

A History of Good Eating

Although it’s easy to let the busy-ness of life push you back to frozen pizza and fish sticks, it’s vital for your health and your family’s to keep taking baby steps towards the healthier way. Every little success makes it easier the next time.

I first recommend bookmarking and reading the articles on the Weston A. Price Foundation website (www.westonaprice.org). Dr. Price, a dentist, toured the world in the 1930’s, visiting people groups which had not yet been introduced to processed foods. They still prepared meals by the techniques of their ancestors. Dr. Price found these people with excellent teeth, and he also noted that they were resistant to illnesses such as tuberculosis, prevalent in that time period. He also took note of other people groups who-in just one generation of eating processed, sugary foods-had developed decayed, crooked teeth and newly succumbed to many diseases. His travels laid the groundwork for the outstanding nutritional research carried on by the foundation that bears his name.

The next thing you need to do is buy Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon. This in-depth volume contains factual information about the value-added benefits of proper food preparation as well as many, many meals’ worth of delectable recipes. Even though the book has more than 600 pages, it’s like the Bible in that you can read a bit here and there and get a lot out of it.NourishingTrad_1

Sally Fallon explains the value of fermenting vegetables instead of pickling them-it’s even better than just eating them raw! Fermenting boosts the enzyme content of vegetables and fills your digestive tract with beneficial bacteria to help your intestines get the most nutrition out of your food. Nourishing Traditions also details how to culture dairy products, a process that predigests lactose (milk sugar, to which many people are allergic) and casein (milk protein, often an allergen). The remarkable healing properties of simple bone broth are highlighted. And, politically incorrect as it may seem, you’ll discover why animal fats are good for you and can even help you lose weight!

The Fantastic Four

To jump-start your venture in traditional cooking, I’ve outlined below a few tips for four of the many important food preparation processes taught in Nourishing Traditions.

(1) Fermented vegetables. You can ferment most vegetables, but start simple, with plain sauerkraut. A spoonful of sauerkraut with your meal helps your body digest food, especially meat and beans, and eating fermented vegetables regularly will lessen sugar cravings. Try this sauerkraut for starters.

Combine:
1 tablespoon sea salt (cheap, regular salt does not contain trace minerals and is chemically processed, so using sea salt is important).
4 tablespoons whey (whey is the liquid you find at the top of an unstirred carton of plain yogurt. You can collect it by draining the yogurt through cheesecloth or a cotton dishtowel. Keep the whey for your recipes, and use the yogurt in place of cream cheese.)

Next:
Chop finely a head of cabbage, organic if possible (a food processor is a big help.)
Mix ingredients in a large bowl and pound them for about 10 minutes to get the juices out of the cabbage. (This is a fun task for small children. My six-year old son loves banging the soup ladle we use for the job.)
Toss in a tablespoon of caraway seeds if you like.
Dump the mixture into a clean 1-quart mason jar, packing it tightly and leaving a 1-inch space at the top.
Tighten the lid, and set it on the counter for three days to ferment. After that, it’s ready to eat, and you can store the leftovers in the fridge for up to two months.

(2) Kefir and cultured dairy products. Kefir is yogurt’s stronger cousin, replete with probiotic good bacteria necessary for optimal health. It’s a cinch to make-much easier than yogurt! The hardest part is finding milk kefir grains to get you started. They’re sold online (google “kefir grains”), or you may even find them free from a local Weston Price Foundation chapter (find one near you at http://www.westonaprice.org). Kefir grains look like little pieces of cauliflower but are living, lactose-loving bacteria.

To make kefir:
Dump the grains into a 1-quart jar, three-fourths full of milk.
Rubber band a paper towel or cotton handkerchief over the top, so it can get air but stay clean.
Place the jar in a kitchen cabinet for 24 to 48 hours.
Once it’s all done, use a stainless steel strainer (not aluminum!) to separate the grains from the liquid. (Dump them into another jar of milk to start your next batch.)
Store the finished product in the refrigerator.
Kefir is sour, like buttermilk, but you can sweeten it with fruit, honey, or stevia. Try it in a smoothie for a fast breakfast or snack!

(3) Bone Broth. Homemade bone broth is the real stuff you’ll want to use in place of those MSG-laden cans of soup broth and bouillon cubes sold at the grocery store. Ask your butcher or a local meat processor to save bones for you. Nourishing Traditions includes several recipes for making broth from different types of bones, and if you follow the recommended steps, you’ll have incredible broth. A great way to get started, though, is simply to cover a bunch of bones with water and simmer them for several hours. Then strain off any gunk that rises to the top. You can freeze the broth in small containers, and use it in place of water in soup or to cook rice and other grains. And with a pinch of sea salt, warm broth makes a soothing, mineral-rich drink alone or with a meal.

(4) Animal fats. You won’t hear this from popular diet articles and books, but it’s true that animal fats (and other cold-pressed, omega-rich plant oils like flax seed, olive, coconut, and palm) can help you lose weight-if you need to. It’s important to replace fake fats like margarine, hydrogenated shortening and vegetable/canola oils with these real fats. Our brains are mostly fat and require it to function optimally. And bodies need healthy fats in order to manufacture hormones which keep us balanced. Belly fat, which tends to accumulate on middle-aged women even when they watch what they eat, is often a sign of hormone imbalance. The book Eat Fat Lose Fat by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon explains this in detail and might help you overcome the brainwashing we’ve all been subjected to regarding low-fat diets.

Once you’re off and running in this new, old way of preparing foods, you’ll build your momentum and keep on learning. It gets to be a lot of fun. I only wish Mrs. Brewer was still around-now I’d have a few tips for her!

Nancy Webster is a freelance writer, homeschool mother of eight, and an avid researcher on health and nutrition. She lives with her family on their “partially working” farm in Tennessee.

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