Primitive Diva

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Three Goats Farm of Montgomery, Texas
Melissa is a former beauty queen, personal trainer and certified holistic health coach. Melissa founded Queen Bee Wellness to specialize her coaching practice towards Women's Wellness and Beauty. She helps women focus on finding their own natural beauty from a integrative approach of balancing Mind, Body and Soul. Melissa believes that what we put in our mind is just as important as the nourishing food we put in our bodies and products on our skin. She strives to coach women to balance a healthier body image, approach to wellness and authentic living. With her passion for a clean lifestyle, Queen Bee Wellness therapeutic skin care products were born- to help women enhance their natural glow, without causing harm to their health from chemical laden toxic products. Melissa's philosophy to real beauty is summarized in "Wellness is Beauty". Melissa resides on a 10 acre farm in Montgomery, Texas with her husband and teen aged children. In her spare time she is chief goat wrangler and milker of her "Queen Bee" herd of dairy goats at Three Goats Farm.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Essential Oils......A Gift from the Earth



Well, we finally have our home in the burbs listed and we are ready for a new family to enjoy the love that we have put into it. The grape arbors and citrus trees are what I will miss most. But no stress....we happily open our new chapter now.

 In the process of the move to the farm, and as I mentioned in my last post, I had been a little relaxed on my food choices and exercise. So, this began a week of Project Fabulous. Getting my Diva self pulled back together.

The first phase involves getting my healthy foundation back by incorporating some wonderful little jewels of the earth known as Essential Oils. These oils can offer many therapeutic benefits. I have been using Basil, Peppermint and Lemon to bring a balance and restoration internally and Lavendar and Bergamot on my feet to calm and help me to focus. I am awaiting a very special oil to arrive in the mail this week~ Frankincense! It is one of the most precious of the ancient oils and is highly sought after for its many uses and healing properties including: relaxation, immune support, anti depressant, anti tumor, anti inflammatory, anticatarrhal, antiviral, sedative, analgesic, expectorant and energy builder. Tonight was a sea salt and Patchouli bath for mood support and healing soft tissue.

So, from this  strengthened foundation of self care and love, I will be starting my Body Ecology program on Monday. I will share all of the details as I cleanse and rebuild. If you want to join me.....just click on the link at the right hand side of the blog page and grab a copy of the book and a few of the supportive supplements and join in. In the meantime, here is a brief description and history of these amazing oils.

Essential Oils throughout History


Essential oils have been used throughout recorded history for a wide variety of wellness applications. The Egyptians were some of the first people to use aromatic essential oils extensively in medical practice, beauty treatment, food preparation, and in religious ceremony. Frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh and cinnamon were considered very valuable cargo along caravan trade routes and were sometimes exchanged for gold.
Borrowing from the Egyptians, the Greeks used essential oils in their practices of therapeutic massage and aromatherapy. The Romans also used aromatic oils to promote health and personal hygiene. Influenced by the Greeks and Romans, as well as Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic use of aromatic herbs, the Persians began to refine distillation methods for extracting essential oils from aromatic plants. Essential oil extracts were used throughout the dark ages in Europe for their anti-bacterial and fragrant properties.
In modern times, the powerful healing properties of essential oils were rediscovered in 1937 by a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who healed a badly burnt hand with pure lavender oil. A French contemporary, Dr. Jean Valnet, used therapeutic-grade essential oils to successfully treat injured soldiers during World War II. Dr. Valnet went on to become a world leader in the development of aromatherapy practices. The modern use of essential oils has continued to grow rapidly as health scientists and medical practitioners continue to research and validate the numerous health and wellness benefits of therapeutic-grade essential oil.

Uses of Essential Oils


Essential oils are used for a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends depending on user experience and desired benefit. Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements.

Aromatic Uses
Our sense of smell influences many physiological pathways including the stimulation of hormones and other metabolic processes. Aromatherapy is founded on the body's predictable response to specific olfactory stimuli. Essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy applications. Certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can be very stimulating while others can be calming and soothing. Beyond emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can purify air of unwanted odors and some airborne pathogens. Low or no-heat essential oil diffusers are recommended as they do not change the chemical structure of the oil being diffused. Essential oils can also be used as cleansing and purifying additives to laundry and surface cleaners throughout the home.

Topical Uses
Due to their natural molecular composition, essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically. Application of essential oils can have immediate, localized benefit to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties and can be used effectively with massage and beauty therapy. They are also natural disinfectants. The chemical structure of essential oils also allows them to be absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin for internal benefit throughout the body.

Internal Uses
Essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. Some essential oils have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support healthy inflammatory response in cells. Many essential oils are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use, but some oils should not be taken internally. Do not use any essential oil product internally that does not have the appropriate dietary supplement facts on its label.
Using essential oils can be both profoundly simple and life changing at the same time. Working with someone who has used essential oils before will help first-time users have a more beneficial and enjoyable experience. A large amount of information is readily available for those desiring to increase their knowledge of essential oil applications.
(Be sure to use only 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oils and follow all label warnings and instructions. Essential oils should not be used in the eyes, inside the ear canal, or in open wounds. If redness or irritation occurs when using essential oils topically, simply apply any vegetable oils such as fractionated coconut oil or olive oil to the affected area. Consult your physician before using essential oils if you are pregnant or under a doctor's care.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Renewal


People,even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, andredeemed
 ~ Audrey Hepburn




That Ms. Hepburnwas such a graceful and wise woman, wasn’t she? A friend shared this quoterecently and it really hit home.  Duringthis move to the farm, I have really lost my routine.  Actually, It seems like I have been on anextended vacation of sorts and we all know what happens on vacation, right?  Yes, lazy days....filled with eating foodsthat are a bit decadent, as you explore the unfamiliar and stay up later.  I have really enjoyedgetting familiar with my new hometown. It’s very quaint, historic and has aslow southern charm. However, I apparently thought I had fallen deep into aBlue Bell Ice cream commercial or at least a few gallons of it.  You fellow southerners know what I am talkingabout.....the serene ads with the "heavenly"cows walking through the texas bluebonnets, on the farm, mom in her apron andeveryone enjoying a bowl of Bluebell at the picnic table, under the big oaktree.  OR maybe it was the purchase of Pioneer Womans new cookbook.....Yes, the Dr.Pepper Pulled Pork was fabulous. And, forget my nature based workouts and barefoot runs.....ummmm, justtaking easy strolls on the land with the goats is not cutting it. I caught aglimpse of myself in the mirror the other day and nearly gasped. Who is that? Andhonestly, I could live with the increase in size my derrier but the fatiguethat has been creeping in....especially after my recent love affair withhomemade sourdough bread. A real yikes,from a girl who is a bit sensitive to the grains.


Well, aswe know out of despair comes motivation. I am revamping my schedule to get mybooty back in top shape. I have a future ahead of me at Three Goats Farm; of farming my goats,growing my food, starting my chickens and leading others to a REAL food lifestyle. That requires someserious energy friends. So, over the next few weeks, I will be sharing somemeal ideas, workout plans and motivation.  Diva’s, I would love some company. Are ya in? Justcomment below IF you want to hop on this ride to Restore, Renew and Reclaim ourhealthy and strong bodies. Off to clean out the pantry of some insidious itemsthat have invaded my healthy world, in the past few months. Sorry, Blue Bell. Ipulled out my five fingers and will hit sole to soil tomorrow.  I will do a mini Reboot over the weekend ofjuicing and the meal plan will be posted on Monday. Have a GREAT weekend Diva’s.




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kickin Kimchi

Its been a rainy week at Three Goats Farm. That means I have been hanging out in the kitchen....making kombucha, kefir, cheese, saur kraut and kimchi (Texas Style). It has become one of my favorite flavors with the extra kick of serrano's added to the blend of cabbages, carrots, ginger and garlic. So, I had a request to share my recipe. Please feel free to share comments and questions below, if you need guidance for your ferments---Just let me know. I would be happy to help.





Three Goats Farm Kickin Kimchi 



For this recipe, I am using a  half gallon size  lidded jar


1 head of Napa Cabbage (roughly chopped)
1 head of Green Cabbage (roughly chopped)
2 cups of  grated Carrot or julienned
4 tbsp chopped Ginger and a 1 inch cube
2 Serrano peppers (sliced)
4 large cloves of Garlic (3 sliced and 1 whole)
6 cups of filtered water
6 tbsp of Sea Salt
2 tbsp of dried Red Chile Peppers


Place the chopped cabbage, julienned carrot's, sliced serrano peppers and chopped ginger into a large glass bowl and toss to blend. In a blender combine salt, water, ginger cube, 1 garlic clove, and dried red chile pepper and blend to create your brine. Now pour the brine over the kimchi, and coat well by tossing and then "pressing" (by hand) the vegetable mixture. Continue to break it down a bit and release water from the plants cell walls (5 minutes at least). Cover loosely and allow vegetables to soak in brine for 1-2 hours. Then transfer to your jar as you pack and press the mixture tightly into the jar. The mixture should be an inch below the threads on the jar neck and completely submerged under brine. Place a whole cabbage leaf over the top of mixture (tucking down onto the inside of jar) and fill to to the rim with any remaining brine. Place jar onto a plate or bowl to catch overflow. Place the lid on loosely and store in a quiet, cool, dark area for 7-10 days (*Longer if you want it to have more KICK)

I will be sharing my favorite sauerkraut recipe next week, with a video of "Dishing with the Diva". Make it a GREAT one ya'll. ~ Off to feed the Goats!





Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Wonderful Health Benefits of Traditionally Lacto-Fermented Foods

Hey friends!   Sorry, I have been a bit out of touch during the move. So many wonderful opportunities have been uncovered and I am in complete bliss with my new home town. I cannot wait to share some stories with you. In the meantime, I wanted to take a break from my some of my current projects, along with our move to the farm, the tedious coordination of my new local NOURISH Coop/Market and the launch of Three Goat Farm Ferments. I was compelled to share a recent article by Dr.Mercola at www.mercola.com. I am also posting a great interview with Carolyn Barringer of Immunitrition. Also, I will be sharing fermentation videos in the next few months. Stay tuned to the PDTV tab above to learn how to get wild with fermentation. Your body will love you for it. Here below is my very first batch of a Spicy Fermented Veggie recipe that I created a few years ago. It was similar to a fully loaded Kim Chi.




Traditionally fermented foods, or “functional foods,” are highly beneficial because they give you natural probiotics, enzymes and acids, now recognized as crucially important for your immune health




  • Probiotic bacteria, either from fermented foods or as a probiotic supplement, have been shown to help with many problematic health conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, atopic dermatitis, diarrhea, allergic rhinitis, and even the common cold




  • Traditionally fermented foods offer enormous benefit for your baby, including lowering her risk for adverse vaccine reactions




  • Many of today’s grocery store varieties of pickles, olives, yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, etc., are acidified and pasteurized for extended shelf life, and as a result, they no longer contain the beneficial bacteria of traditionally fermented foods




  • You can still find some healthful traditionally fermented varieties at the market, particularly at olive bars and delis, and you may enjoy learning how to make your own
  • fermented vegetables


    


    Self-serve olive bars are becoming so popular in many Washington supermarkets that storeowners are now offering expanded "antipasto" bars, heaped high with pickles, pickled peppers, mushrooms, artichokes and other tangy pickled and marinated foods, according to The Seattle Times.
    This growing trend in both health/natural and regular commercial supermarkets across the country is theoretically good news for health-conscious consumers looking to increase their digestive, cardiovascular and immune health, since these traditionally lacto-fermented foods are some of the oldest and healthiest on the planet. Yet, the key phrase you absolutely must watch for if you want to achieve the amazing health benefits is traditionally lacto-fermented, as not all of these tasty condiments are created equal.

    The Wonderful Health Benefits of Traditionally Lacto-Fermented Foods

    Olives, pickles, grass-fed cheese, wine, yogurt, sauerkraut and the seasoned, aged sausages the French call "charcuterie" are some of this category’s most popular delicacies.
    Though the term "fermented" sounds vaguely distasteful, the results of this ancient preparation and preservation technique -- produced through the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins by microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and molds -- are actually delicious. Even more so, they are so beneficial to overall health that some of these "functional foods" are now considered to be "probiotics," increasing your overall nutrition, promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, and aiding digestion and supporting immune function, including an increase in B vitamins (even Vitamin B12), omega-3 fatty acids, digestive enzymes, lactase and lactic acid, and other immune chemicals that fight off harmful bacteria and even cancer cells.

    Beware the BIG Difference Between Healthy Fermented Foods Versus Commercially Processed

    Fermentation is an inconsistent process --almost more of an art than a science -- so commercial food processors developed techniques to help standardize more consistent yields. Technically, anything that is "brined" in a salt stock is fermented, but that’s where the similarity ends, as each type of fermented food has specific, unique requirements and production methods.
    Refrigeration, high-heat pasteurization and vinegar’s acidic pH all slow or halt the fermentation and enzymatic processes. "If you leave a jar of pickles that is still fermenting at room temperature on the kitchen counter, they will continue to ferment and produce CO2, possibly blowing off the lid or exploding the jar," explains Richard Henschel of Pickle Packers International, which is why, of course, all "shelf-stable" pickles are pasteurized.
    It’s probably not surprising that our culture has traded many of the benefits of these healthy foods for the convenience of mass-produced pickles and other cultured foods. Some olives, such as most canned California-style black olives, for instance, are not generally fermented, but are simply treated with lye to remove the bitterness, packed in salt and canned. Olive producers can now hold olives in salt-free brines by using an acidic solution of lactic acid, acetic acid, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, a long way off from the old time natural lactic-acid fermenting method of salt alone.
    Some pickles are simply packed in salt, vinegar and pasteurized. Many yogurts are so laden with sugar that they are little more than puddings. Unfortunately, these modern techniques effectively kill off all the lactic acid producing bacteria and short-circuit their important and traditional contribution to intestinal and overall health.

    How to Make Sure You are Getting the Incredible Health Benefits of Lacto-Fermented Foods

    As fermented foods expert Sally Fallon asks in Nourishing Traditions, with the proliferation of all these new mysterious viruses, intestinal parasites and chronic health problems, despite ubiquitous sanitation, "Could it be that by abandoning the ancient practice of lacto-fermentation, and insisting on a diet in which everything has been pasteurized, we have compromised the health of our intestinal flora and made ourselves vulnerable to legions of pathogenic microorganisims?" Like the $2.97 gallon jars of dill pickles Vlasic sells at a loss at Walmart, are we undermining our health and even economic well-being by our insistence on "more, faster and cheaper?"
    You can still find some healthy traditional varieties. The stronger-flavored, traditional Greek olives you are most likely to find on olive bars are not lye-treated and are still alive with active cultures. So are "overnights," the locally-crocked fresh pickling cukes made in local delis every few days, as well as the pickles, sauerkraut and other fermented foods you make yourself at home. Generally, the more tangy and stronger the flavor (not counting any added jalapeño or other hot pepper flavorings), the more likely that the food will still have active and beneficial lactobacteria.
    So how can you be sure if you are getting the benefits of these active, fermentation cultures? For one thing, you can make your own. Olives, sauerkraut, miso, crèmefraîche -- these are some of the recipes and ingredients I created to be right in line with Dr. Mercola’s dietary program that you will find in his book, "Dr. Mercola’s Total Health Program."
    In addition to being good for individual metabolic types, reducing carbohydrates and cholesterol, strengthening digestion and immune systems, and even proactively helping us fight off and prevent disease, these foods are a lot simpler, easier to prepare and enjoy than you might think.
    So in "Dr. Mercola’s TOTAL HEALTH Program," we’ve demystified the process for you, providing an entire chapter, in fact, devoted to simple, health-enhancing "Raw, Sprouted and Fermented Foods." This means double dividends for you: foods that taste good and are actually incredibly good for you, as well.
    Check out "Dr. Mercola’s TOTAL HEALTH Program," including the Table of Contents and List of Recipes, as it is a sure way to make your New Year a happy and healthy one. Dr. Mercola guarantees the book or your money back for the rest of your life for a reason -- it WILL improve your health while pleasing your taste buds. Now, please pass that relish tray!
    By Dr. Mercola
    The preceding article on the very important topic of the benefits of traditionally fermented foods is by Nancy Lee Bentley. The more I study health, the more I have come to appreciate how crucially important the bacteria in your gut are. The website Green Med Info has assembled an amazing list of more than 200 studies, which together explore more than 170 diseases which can be helped or treated with probiotics. The conditions include:
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Atopic dermatitis
    • Diarrhea
    • Allergic rhinitis
    • And even the common cold!
    Eating sugar nourishes pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungi in your gut. One of the major results of eating a healthy diet, low in sugar, is that you cause your beneficial gut bacteria to flourish, and they secondarily perform the real "magic" of restoring your health. You may have noticed that probiotics are now featured in articles about all sorts of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, depression and heart disease.
    As explained by Russian neurologist Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a woman's gut flora can also influence the health of her child. If your child's gut flora is compromised from birth, he may have an increased risk for adverse vaccine reactions.
    Fortunately, you can easily screen for this imbalance, and if it is found, all immunizations should be avoided until it is corrected with strategies that are comprehensively described in Dr. McBride's book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome. This bookshould be, in my opinion, required reading for ALL parents and parents-to-be. The simple and inexpensive screening she suggests could prevent a lifetime of suffering for you and your child. All in all, the research into probiotics indicates that probiotic supplementation is probably more important than taking a multi-vitamin; in fact, its true importance for your health is likely right up there with vitamin D.
    Fermented foods are the most potent source of beneficial bacteria, and these probiotics are some of the best chelators available, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals. According to Dr. McBride, the GAPS Nutritional Protocol restores your own detoxification system in about 90 percent of people, and the fermented/cultured foods are instrumental in this self-healing process. Making your own fermented vegetables is inexpensive and less complicated than you might think.

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Sourdough Bread

                                                         (Yahoo Image Search Result)

    By now you know that I am a HUGE fan of traditionally Fermented Foods. I preach about their amazing health benefits, including the beneficial bacteria to balance your intestinal flora and easier digestion. Lactic acid and fermentation, not only helps to preserve food but also increases the nutrients available for our bodies.

    For a long time, I have been pretty staunch advocate of the "anti-grain campaign". I still AVOID all processed grain(s). I will only use heirloom, organic and hand milled grains for any recipes that I make just as our primitive ancestors would have done traditionally. Please note, that if you are diagnosed with Celiac, you should consult with a doctor before experimenting with any gluten containing food. When you study historical statistics of the gluten intolerance population explosion,over the past 25-30 years, you will see a correlation to modern grain growers agricultural practices, chemicals used, genetic modifications and poor preparation techniques used to manufacture most grain baking flours and commercial baked goods. I have experimented with true sourdough, in moderation through the years and, I have never experienced any negative side effects---as I did with the modern breads I gave up a gazillion years ago. I enjoy this ancient and primitive food on a regular basis now. I encourage you to get back in the kitchen and bake using the starter culture from Cultures For Health. Your family will LOVE you for it!

    Click here for an instructional video of "How to Make Sourdough Bread"


    We’re told daily via advertisements, media and health professionals of the probiotic health benefits of Yogurt. This fermented dairy product is popular in the United States, while so many other fermented foods just haven’t caught on. Because of that, if you’re a standard American eater, your taste buds may take some time to adjust to the tang of sourdough. It is just that tang, however, that gives sourdough grain preparation all its nutritional might. Sourdough bread preparation improves nutrition by:
    • pre-digesting starches, making the bread more easily digestible
    • lowering insulin response/improving glucose tolerance
    • protecting Vitamin B1 from the damage of the heat of baking
    • breaking down gluten, which may result in a bread that gluten-sensitive people can eat
    • activating phytase to hydrolyze (dissolve) the phytates, thus freeing up minerals and making them more bio available..... such as:
      • zinc
      • iron
      • magnesium
      • copper
      • phosphorus
    Why Sourdough?
    Because sourdough leavening works much slower than commercial yeast, the bread dough ends up sitting around longer. The lactic acid creates an ideal pH for phytase activity, which decreases phytates by 62% (compared to 38% in yeast breads). I am convinced that sourdough is THE most nutritious way to prepare grains.

    Sourdough rye is the most nutritious of them all, because it has more phytase activity and thus even fewer phytates in the finished product to bind to your minerals. I just love that the traditional phrase “sourdough rye” turns out to be scientifically proven as the healthiest bread. Somehow our ancestors figured out all the good stuff without the benefit of labs!

    This week, I am making Kefir Sourdough Buns for Grass Fed Beef Sliders.......I will let you know how it turns out. So, please experiment with the many recipes that are available for sourdough and let us know....share your photo's and experience.

    In Health and Happiness,
    Melissa
    DIVA

    ———————————————
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    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    Fermenting with the DIVA


    I have shared the MANY benefits of Kombucha in the past but had not shared my personal HOMEBREW recipe on the blog. I wanted to make this part of my upcoming video series for PDTV....However, the schedule of my video editing "expert" has shifted a bit in her new professional endeavors and we are putting that project on hold until school is out for SUMMER.....! In the meantime, with special request- I wanted to share my recipe for the magical elixir known as KOMBUCHA!

    10 quarts of filtered water (chlorine will kill the SCOBY)
    12 quart sized black tea bags (I use Red Diamond)
    3 cups white sugar
    *This will make 2 1/2 gallons
    Glass Container or Fermentation Crock
    Muslin Cloth or Thin Towel (Cover)
    Rubber Band (Large) to secure cover
    1 SCOBY w/1-2 cups of starter Kombucha

    Brew tea bags for a minimum of 10 minutes to insure you have released adequate tannins. While tea is hot, dissolve sugar. After brewing and mixing, allow to cool down to 80 degrees farenheit. Transfer to fermentation container and add your SCOBY with starter Kombucha. Gently place SCOBY on top surface. Cover your container with cloth and secure with rubber band. Move to warm spot in kitchen with adequate ventilation but NO direct sunlight. After 7 days, you may ladle a test serving into a glass, it should be slightly fizzy and sweet. If it is too sweet, let it go a few more days. SCOBY should be at least 1/4 inch thick. When it has become tangy and not too sweet (sugars are being consumed), bottle into grolsch style bottles with rubber seal (available online or in home brew stores around the US). Leave the newly bottled tea in a warm area with no direct sunlight for 3-5 days NOTE: This is when you would add special flavors also BUT, I suggest making several batches unflavored until you get the base flavor established. Now you can refrigerate and enjoy. If you are not chilling your bottles, you may need to "burp" them every few days to avoid building up too march carbonation. You now will have the "mother" SCOBY and a baby "SCOBY" for two batches, or to share with a friend or compost.

    If you have any questions....please do not hesitate to ask away (below) I want you all to enjoy this awesome drink as much as I do....NOW for the secret recipe for my famous~ Lavender/Hibiscus Kombucha- well, that one is TOP SECRET, haha! Go on....create your own wild and exciting flavor combinations and share your photo's and ideas with us Diva's. Make it a GREAT one Ya'll!

    * EZ  bottles that are shown above can be purchased from my Amazon Store link.

    *If you do not have any Kombucha brewing friends to share a SCOBY with you. Please visit my Cultures for Health link on the right hand side of the page. They can ship a SCOBY straight to your door.




    Monday, April 30, 2012

    What I am reading tonight....

    Just checking in to share a wonderful book that I am reading tonight ~"The Dirty Life"! I will share a review when I am done. Off to warm up the kettle and curl up with my book and some Vitamin ZZzzzzz... Good Night Ya'll




















    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    NEW Chapters


    I am in an exciting time right now as we begin packing up our home in the burbs, for our new adventure……the move to our farm! Three Goat Farm, that is. Also known, as “3GF”. As we move from winter to spring in Texas, we have been spending  EVERY weekend at the farm. More dreaming than working BUT that is part of the process, right? There will be plenty of work in the future….that I have been guaranteed.It has become more and more difficult to leave each Sunday evening, to make that drive home. I would live in a one room cabin- IF I could just move today!  I lust over the idea of digging in the dirt, sweat on my face, tending to animals, gardens and even bees. I realize that is not everyone’s cup of tea—but it is MY dream come true!

     We have our first two dairy goats,” Bella and Baby”. They are two of the most gorgeous little Nubians you have ever met. A few of you have met Bella, while she was being bottle fed in the burbs with me- and whom, I hushed to sleep every night for 12 weeks (she is quite the DIVA goat). She has a sister now and they live in a temporary goat garage apartment at the farm with my mother in law. Some day they will provide us with some delicious milk for making healthy kefir, yogurt and cheese.  I will have some instensive  goat farming/milking school this summer when my mother in law and I help a local dairy goat farmer by herd sitting for a week (I already see a Lucy and Ethel episode in my head-can’t you?).

    We have begun selection of our fruit trees for the orchard….figs and pomegranates are going in first. Then we have pears, peaches, citrus and I can’t forget ALL the berry bushes. And obviously, with fruit trees, that need pollination, we MUST have BEE’s. Remember, my name(Melissa) means honey bee~ Bee’s were a must!  So, us THREE GOATS (me, hubby and mother in law—all Capricorns!) have taken our first bee keeping workshop intensive with Jennifer Jo Scott, Houston’s very own “BeeWrangler”. It was a great day of hands on with the hives. I harvested some propolis which I have already crafted into a medicinal tincture (took some today for an onset of allergy symptoms).

    The weekends we have spent in the small town, where our little 10 acre homestead sits, have been a little glimpse of our future life. I am giddy by the prospect. The people are so genuine and relaxed. We were invited to another neighbor’s house warming last weekend. While, walking outside to meet their cows, horses, goats and chickens, I started a conversation with a beautiful lady who also has homestead dreams in her heart. She told me stories of building her very own chicken coops(I was inspired), and her dream of goats also. After chatting a few minutes and my mentioning that we had a problem of removing rusted out scrap metal, tanks, large appliances, tires, etc…(“JUNK”) that someone had dumped in a ravine on our property. She said to give her and husband a call- they would head over with their boots and gloves and help us drag it all out and haul it off…..I stood there in disbelief. Who does that? Who offers to help a stranger with that kind of work? I have tears in my eyes thinking of that kind of genuine, authentic kindness. I think I am going to enjoy EVERY moment and EVERY person in my future. This is what community is supposed to be. Not some rat race of keeping up with all the STUFF your fellow neighbor has (cars, houses, clothing, money). Okay, I will not go off on that soapbox …..that one can evoke a lot of emotion from me.

    Yesterday, Hubby drove to the small town of Iola, Texas to attend “Clover Day”. A workshop hosted to educate farmers on how to rotationally pasture raise animals (multi-species) and be as Joel Salatin( Hubby’s HERO) says…”grass farmers”! We are laying the foundation to have our own chickens, cows, pigs and what ever else we have room for, haha!

    I must get back to my goat cheese making project, bottling my kombucha, starting my sourdough for the family. Then on to turning my compost, worm bed and tending to my tomatoes. If I have time left, I may whip up an apron for my Farm Girl Sister Swap in my new Mary Jane’s Farm community. May all of YOUR dreams come true TOO!

    In health, happiness, dirt and sunshine,

    HUGS~M

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Questions.......?


    There are some awesome changes brewing, behind the scenes at Primitive Diva. I will be launching a series of PDTV videos in my new NOURISH your Mind Body and Soul program. Each episode will be filmed around a viewer question, cooking demonstration, workout and a healthy mind body soul lifestyle tip. We have some special guests scheduled and will take the show on the road to visit some of our favorite places, spaces and faces. I need your help.....please email ANY questions that you would like to see covered in our "Dishing with Diva" segments. Please email your questions to theprimitivediva@gmail.com I hope you enjoy the exciting changes.

    In Health and Happiness,
    Melissa

    Monday, April 2, 2012


    Beet Beautiful Salad
    6 organic beets (cut into chunks)

    4 tbsp ginger (freshly grated)

    2 tbsp ghee

    2 tbsp maple syrup

    2 tsp cinnamon

    Handful walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds (pre soaked)

    4-6 oz fresh Chevre Goat Cheese

    Baby Spinach (4-6 cups)



    Preheat oven to 425f.Wrap all ingredients (except for the nuts and maple syrup) in parchment paper and tightly secure into a pouch. Bake for 45 minutes and unwrap and leave under the

    broiler on low (make sure the oven rack is mid way or on the lower part of the oven)for an additional 10 minutes. Serve over Baby Spinach, top with nut mixture and drizzle maple syrup onto each salad (Makes 2 Salads) 

    I have always loved beet and goat cheese salad but I was intrigued to try this eastern inspired recipe. I enjoy exploring how eastern philosophy can translate our nutrients into healing therapies. For example, beets actually increase bile flow, which is needed, since bile helps carry and move toxins out of the body. If they’re not, then we end up feeling toxic and irritable. According to eastern philosophy, beets help increase liver energy.The beets deep red pigment (color) known as beta cyanin is a powerful cancer fighting agent.Beet fiber has a favorable effect on bowel function too. Ginger and Cinnamon have expansive qualities that help move suppressed energy and increase circulation.Ginger and Cinnamon are not only warming and comforting to the soul, but they can boost brain function from an aromatherapy perspective. Whether it’s about their expansive qualities or because they help move blood within the system, it does wonders for creating a super mental strength. So, Diva's--let food be thy medicine and enjoy this powerful nutrient dense recipe


    Monday, March 26, 2012

    Get your Diva Spring GLOW with these seven foods


    The sun is shining, the birds are singing and, at least here in Texas, every color of wild flower is in full bloom. Spring is in full swing! And with summer just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about the beautiful array of fruits and vegetables available to us this time of year. The following is a list of seven summer foods will help you get your skin glowing, strengthen your immunity and help keep you energized for some wonderful barefoot fun in the warmer temps.

    Arugula

    Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable; and like other members of that family it contains anti-cancer compounds called glucosinolates. This powerful leafy green is a natural detoxifier, aiding the body in eliminating harmful substances.
    Like other greens, arugula is rich in many vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Arugula is also a good source of potassium, iron, zinc, riboflavin and copper. It contains phytochemicals like chlorophyll and carotenes, making it an excellent source of antioxidants.

    Avocados

    The heath benefits of avocados are endless. First and foremost, avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats, which the body needs for basic cellular and brain function. In addition, you need (healthy) fat to burn fat, and the monosaturated fat found in avocados make it a great food for weight loss.
    The beta-sitosterol in avocados helps lower cholesterol and the large amount of folate protects the heart and minimizes chance of stroke. Avocados also contain more lutein (a powerful caratenoid) than nearly any other fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.
    Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados can seek out and destroy pre-cancerous and cancerous cells in the oral cavity without harming healthy ones. Additionally, the oleic acid found in avocados has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.
    Avocados are also high in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant responsible for preventing aging, cancer and heart disease. Lastly, avocados are the fruit highest in vitamin E, which protects against many diseases and helps maintain overall health.

    Berries

    All berries are low in calories and pack a mean nutritious punch. Only a small amount of berries contain nearly as much vitamin C as a glass of orange juice (with not nearly the amount of sugar!) Vitamin C is important for immune system function, strong connective tissues and collagen production.
    Berries are high in phytochemicals and flavanoids that can help in the prevention of cancer. Their high antioxidant content makes them a powerhouse against free-radicals and other cancer causing agents in the body. They offer powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory protection as well.
    They literally support the health of the entire body: balancing blood sugar, supporting cardiovascular health, strengthening blood vessels, reducing hypertension, promoting eye health and cognitive support, and protecting against all types of cancers; make sure to include a vast variety of berries into your diet this summer.

    Cucumbers

    Cucumbers don’t seems to receive as much press as some of the other vegetables, but this high phytonutrient food is a valuable antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
    The high water content of cucumbers, as well as their rich supply of vitamins and minerals, make them ideal for weight loss, skin and nail health and in keeping the body hydrated. They are also a natural detoxifier making them ideal for aiding in digestion.
    Cucumbers can help control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and can assist in curing diabetes as they contain a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas to produce insulin.

    Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E as well as beta-carotene and manganese. They are also very high in numerous antioxidants and tout cardiovascular support, bone health and anti-cancer properties among their list of health benefits.
    Tomatoes can help control blood sugar levels, prevent strokes and heart attacks and can help improve your vision. Their high levels of lycopene are great for skin care and the high amounts of vitamin A are great for hair health (as well as eye, skin, teeth and bone health as well.)

    Watermelon

    Watermelons are high in many antioxidants, including lycopene. In fact, watermelons are the highest source of lycopene that you can find. Lycopene is important in reducing the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer, so eat up.
    Watermelons are high in water and electrolytes and low in calories, meaning you can rehydrate and lose weight while enjoying your deliciously sweet summery snack.
    Watermelons are also high in vitamins A and C which means they boost the immune system, slow down the aging process, and help in maintaining cellular health, ocular health and blood vessel health. Watermelons are also natural detoxifiers meaning they help rid the body of harmful free-radicals and other disease causing substances.

    Zucchini (Summer Squash)

    Zucchinis are low in calories, making them a great food for slimming down in the summer. They are also high in vitamin D, making up nearly 60% of your required daily intake. Zucchinis are also rich in vitamin A, C, K and B6, as well as numerous minerals including iron, folate, zinc, calcium, riboflavin and niacin.
    Because of their nutritionally dense profile, zucchinis can help protect against and prevent heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and asthma. They’ve also been shown to assist in ocular health and promote memory.
    They are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and they also provide antimicrobial protection. Additionally they can help balance blood sugar and provide nutritional support for prostate health.

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Breaking the Milk FAST with friendship....A lesson in relaxing food rules sometimes!





    Spent an absolutely BEAUTIFUL Texas spring day at our future farm yesterday. Continued on the nourishing RAW Milk Cure, while enjoying sunshine, nature and solitude. It was great time for our 10 week old goat kid," BELLA"  to begin foraging a bit as we are weaning her off the bottlefeeding. So, on our drive back to the burbs, hubby and I contemplated how long to stay on our MILK only program. We had very positive results and honestly feel that milk can be a sustaining perfect food. Maybe we could do this for 10 days....there was no hunger. So we committed that we would attempt a second week. That morning before heading out to the farm, we had made a promise to my son --- when we returned home we would visit his best friend and family, to wish him happy birthday (turning 10) and celebrate with birthday cake. It was easily determined that based on how late it was that we could visit for a few minutes, forego the cake (I have gluten intolerance) and come home to our evening milk indulgence. You will note that I use very creative words to describe our consumption of the milk exclusively , because...um...well honestly, its BORING!  We were graciously greeted at his best friends home by his mother who directed us to the dining room. She stated that she had kept our food warm for us and was so excited that we could come for dinner---even though we were late???? Ummmm, time stood still, as my husband and I gave each other a look of surprise. The things that were twirling through my head. First, breaking the fast was not really THE issue, as I am trying to give up being so structured and rigid on my type A personality when it comes to food. BUT, breaking a milk only fast should be done as gently as we came into it...a few days of juicing and a day of citrus and water.... My son's best friends family are the most sincere, wonderful and generous people you would ever want to meet. There is however a bit of struggle because his mom is spanish speaking and her english is limited. How could we ever explain our crazy milk fast to her without being incredibly rude to our hostess? So, we sat and before us, she laid out the most tender and beautiful roast that had been slow cooked with potatoes, onions, tomatoes and, peppers along with a serving of homemade spanish rice. There was cake also....... My husband and I smiled at each other knowing clearly that we had to break the fast and quietly.  Friendship and respect is far more imporatnt to both of us than a belly ache. So we both picked up our forks and our fast was broken.

     We had a great evening with laughter and conversation. At times, it was more like charades because my spanish is so terrible. I know, I am a TEXAN....I am supposed to speak spanish, right. My best friend is even spanish speaking....it has NOT rubbed off. This was lesson in an area that has been weighing on my mind lately about our mindset over food rules. Beating ourselves up and having so much stress about food. It was nice to forgive myself last night, indulge and truly enjoy a celebration of our young friends birth----it was a memory made. Guess what? I woke up feeling fabulous this morning- no belly ache....just great energy that I put in to a workout. I even wanted a glass of milk for lunch today....not because I had to....because I could. Gotta love freedom.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Day 1 of the Milkapalooza....!





    So a recent challenge was issued by my fellow Weston A Price chapter leader from Florida, Sarah Pope of The Healthy Home Economist to do a 10 day Milk Cure. I have been very intrigued with fasting on milk , after reading and watching blogs and videos done by the awesome Matt Stone at 180 Degree Health and Anne Marie Michaels at CHEESESLAVE . There are also some great links and articles at my favorite Nourished Magazine .  I know some of you are milk phobic because of your past experience with pasteurized milk. I get it….I also had not consumed mucous producing, hormone and anti-biotic laden commercial pasteurized/homogenized (damaged) milk for 20+ years. But RAW Milk from an organic certified and pastured dairy cow has amazing , healing and therapeutic benefits. And, raw cream and butter is an absolute delight when enjoyed fresh from the farm. I hope you live in a state where you can enjoy it legally. To locate a source near you check out www.realmilk.com

    This series on The Milk Cure has sparked much interest in reviving this age old remedy for improving vitality, bodily cleansing and even reversal of serious illness as practiced in the early 1900′s by the Mayo Foundation, a forerunner of the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.

    So, I am researched and ready to go on my Milk Cure challenge for 10 days. I started the weaning off of coffee 2 weeks ago at 1 cup and to 1/2 cup for the past few days.My hubby is on board with me also- does he love me or what?  I plan to follow the challenge by gradually bringing in bone broth and a few easlily digested fruits/starches (i.e sweet potato, banana's)for a day or two at the end. This is not a diet of deprivation, but more of an over feeding of primitive and nutrient dense food. I would love for a few other DIVA's to join in, if you feel inclined. Please share your comments here and on the FB page if you jump in to the Milkapalooza!

    I will be charting my weight, basal temps and physical experiences, to share. I plan to ease up on my exercise to only include ; yoga, walking, light weights. My body has some healing to do and this is in preparation for some of Matt Stone's famous RARF'ing (MUCH more on that later as I am using this time to read ALL of his books)

    I will also be sharing a beauty tip or two over the next 10 days, using milk in treatments for the skin and hair. Get that glow form the inside out.

    So, without further delay my Primitive Diva's and Dudes. I present.........


    The RAW Milk Cure 101

     
    Raw milk has historically been considered a SUPERFOOD. It has been used both in the daily diet (often fermented) and by special groups with extra nutritional needs, like the elderly, pregnant or nursing women, warriors, and sick people. An ancient Babylon text tells how raw milk was used to drive out the demons of sickness, "Bring milk and laban [curdled milk] that man become as pure as laban; like that milk may he become pure."

    For most of our ancestral history, raw milk was drunk fresh and warm from the cow (or other animal), but a lot of it was fermented, or cultured, into a variety of delicious products - yogurt, kefir, cheeses, lacto-fermented beverages, etc. - due to both the lack of refrigeration and primitive people's knowledge of the health benefits of "probiotics".

    There are documented texts of medical doctors using a diet composed exclusively of raw milk to heal an incredible variety of diseases in the 1800’s - ranging from asthma and diabetes to colitis, obesity and tuberculosis. How does raw milk work to heal such a variety of very different disorders?

    The Milk Cure/Milk Diet has often been referred to as a "healing spa". If the digestive system is the foundation of health in the body, and natural healing heals the entire body holistically, then of course you are going to see positive results in all aspects of your health. All of your organs and systems will heal and balance, over time, given the necessary tools. A therapeutic diet - and raw milk is truly the first, original therapeutic diet, provides the body with the tools to heal holistically.

    In his book, The Untold Story of Milk, naturopathic physician Ron Schmid writes:



    "According to late 19th century proponents, the 'secret' of the milk cure lies in the fact good raw milk is a food the body easily turns into good blood. In illness there is one or both of two conditions in the blood: insufficient quantity, or abnormal quality. The milk diet corrects both and, acting through the blood and the circulation, heals the cells and thus the tissues and organs. The muscles on a milk diet harden, almost like an athlete's, because they are pumped full of blood, as are the organs."



    However, there are some rules that need to be followed. There are some crucial guidelines that need to be implemented to have success with the raw milk cure. Some of the doctors who used the raw milk cure with patients in the 1800's through to the 1930's used raw milk in conjunction with mild, easily digestible foods like fruit. But the vast majority swore by the need to consume only fresh, raw milk, and vast quantities of it.

    One of the most prolific of these doctors, Charles Sanford Porter MD, published a book called, Milk Diet as a Remedy for Chronic Disease in 1905. In the book he relates how at least 18,000 patients had been on the raw milk diet under his care in the last 37 years. This was not some fad diet, or quick-flash trend. This was a solid, scientifically proven method for healing mild to severe disorders. In 1929, one of the founders of the Mayo Foundation (forerunner to the Mayo Clinic), J.E. Crew MD reported that he had been successfully using the raw milk treatment for the last 15 years. He said, "The results obtained in various types of disease have been so uniformly excellent that one's conception of disease and its alleviation is necessarily changed. When sick people are limited to a diet containing an excess of vitamins and all the elements necessary to growth and maintenance, they recover rapidly without the use of drugs and without bringing to bear all the complicated weapons of modern medicine."

    Rules For The Raw Milk Cure

    After perusing the writings of various doctors who worked extensively with raw milk treatments, here are the crucial implementation guidelines if you'd like to give the raw milk diet a try:



    • Use raw, untreated milk from pasture-fed cows only - milk has the highest curative value in spring and early summer when cows are eating new, high vitamin grass. Do not use milk from grain-fed or barn-bound cows.

    • Higher fat milk (from Jersey cows) is ideal. Be sure to use full-fat milk only (not 2% or skim).

    • The average adult must consume at least 3 - 4 quarts of raw milk per day. You can consume up to 10 quarts per day, if you wish (note: 4 cups = 1 quart).

    • Minimum duration of raw milk diet is 4 weeks to see good results. Follow with gradual food introduction of easily digested foods.

    • You must rest during the diet-now is not the time to train for a marathon (Walking, Yoga, Stretching and gentle workouts are suggested)

    • Do not consume any other foods or beverages whilst on the diet, except filtered or spring water.



    The importance of strictly adhering to these guidelines is summed up in the words of Dr. Charles Sanford Porter, MD:


    "It is wrong, if not positively dangerous, to attempt the exclusive milk diet on any amount of milk less than that required to noticeably stimulate the circulation and promote body growth. There is no halfway method of taking the milk diet for people who have much the matter with them. Enough milk must be taken to create new circulation, new cells, and new tissue growth, and cause prompt elimination of the waste and dead matter that may be poisoning the system. With milk alone, digestion and assimilation may go on throughout practically the whole length of the alimentary canal. The addition of even a cracker to the milk seems to cause the stomach to hold all its contents for hours without discharging much into the intestine."



    How Long Do I Stay On The Diet?

    Now you may be wondering how long you can safely stay on a raw milk diet. Amazingly, there is no limit. Raw cow's milk from pasture-fed cows is a complete, perfect food all by itself. In his book, The Untold Story of Milk, Ron Schmid ND, relates numerous stories of people who lived in perfect health for up to 50 years on raw milk alone. Here's just one of many examples; this is a letter from a man in Burlington, Iowa in 1913:


    "I have lived on a strictly milk diet for the past forty-two years, not as a matter of choice, but from the fact that I am unable to take solid food of any kind, even a crumb of bread. At the age of two I took a dose of concentrated lye, which caused a stricture of the food pipe and since then have lived on a milk diet. I believe I have gotten along better than the man who eats. I am five feet, six inches tall, weigh one hundred and forty pounds, and am married and have four strong, healthy children. I take one quart at each mealtime and none between meals. My health is good, in fact I have never been ill in forty-two years."



    Dr. Schmid goes on to give many different examples of people who have had excellent health living on nothing but raw cow's milk for 3 - 50 years. This is very liberating information! Imagine if elderly people in nursing homes were given raw milk instead of Boost, Ensure and processed foods? Imagine if people with obstructions and strictures were given raw milk, rather than surgery, or having their colon removed?

    How To Introduce Raw Milk

    People with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are often very hesitant to try raw milk due to bad experiences with pasteurized milk and sensitivity to milk proteins (keep in mind these proteins have been denatured by the pasteurization process). So what's the best way to start and test whether you can take advantage of this amazing superfood? Here are the guidelines I suggest.



    • Make sure you only use untreated, full-fat, raw milk from pasture-fed cows

    • If you have been highly sensitive to milk in the past, then start by making yoghurt from the raw milk. Raw milk yoghurt is the most highly tolerated of all raw milk products. Eat a small amount of yogurt each day and gradually build up (see Raw Milk Yogurt Recipe below).

    • If you like the yogurt and tolerate it well, then you can make a primitive yogurt drink called a lassi: Add a pinch of cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and your desired sweetener (stevia, maple syrup, honey) and stir to mix. Add some warm filtered water if the texture is too thick.

    • If you want to drink the raw milk straight, it's best if you drink it in isolation from other foods. For example, have it first thing in the morning and don't eat or drink anything else with it - (all by itself, on an empty stomach).

    • Warm the milk slightly to room temperature or lukewarm before drinking (but don't make it hot/boiling or you will kill the good bacteria and enzymes that facilitate digestion). Cold milk can be a shock to the system and harder to digest.


    I drink raw milk straight, eat raw milk cheeses, raw milk yogurt, and make a shake from raw egg yolks, maple syrup and raw milk. If you'd like to source a raw milk supplier in your area go to: www.realmilk.com There are also lots of useful articles on the site if you're worried about safety issues, legalities, etc.

    Further Reading:


    RAW MILK YOGURT RECIPE

    Traditional yoghurt recipes call for the milk to be heated to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, however, this destroys the beneficial enzymes present in raw milk. Therefore, I prefer to not heat the milk beyond 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43°C). However, this usually results in a runny yoghurt (not firm). If you're going to use your yoghurt in shakes, smoothies or lassis, this is fine. However, if you prefer to eat firm yoghurt, you will need to add gelatin to help firm it up. So the recipe here includes gelatin, but if you're okay with runny yoghurt, then follow the recipe as is, minus the gelatin.



    • 4 cups raw whole milk

    • 2 teaspoons of Yogurt Starter

    • 1 glass quart jar with lid, sterilized

    • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin



    1. Pour 4 cups of milk into a saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over surface of milk. Let sit for 5 minutes while gelatin dissolves.



    2. Over low heat, stirring constantly, slowly bring the milk to 110°F (43°C), or until you can keep your finger in the milk while you count to 10.

    3. Put the yogurt starter into the wide-mouth quart-size sterilized glass jar. Pour in about 1/2 cup milk and stir to mix really well with the starter.

    4. Fill the jar with the rest of the milk, stir lightly, and screw on the lid.

    5. Wrap the jar in a towel and let sit in a warm place*, for eight hours.

    6. Unwrap and place in the refrigerator. Allow yoghurt to set in fridge (about four hours). If you want an even firmer yogurt, next time add 1.5 or 2 teaspoons of gelatin.

    *If you don't have a warm place, then put it inside your oven with the oven light on. Do not turn on the oven, just turn on the oven light and close the oven door. If you have a yoghurt-maker, use the recipe here and then follow instructions for your yogurt-maker for incubation - but still best to incubate for 8 hours.



    Friday, February 24, 2012

    RESTORE with Shoots, Roots and Fruits




                                                   Pineapple, Cucumber, Fennel, Ginger Infusion 


    I have been feeling a bit off lately in my digestion, weight and immunity. It could be the extended travel that I did for the month of November. Some of that was incredibly STRESSFUL, like my mother’s hospitalization and some EXCITING, like Italy and the WAPF conference). Of course, there were also a succession of holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Three Goats January birthday celebration(s) all followed up by February’s sweet valentines treats~ YUM, Chocolate!  It is no mystery why I may be feeling a bit “toxic” haha. My body has been sending me a few not so polite messages via my skin, energy and the dreaded dimples on my thighs (gasp, cellulite). So, its time to nurture myself a bit and RESTORE.  I typically juice 2-3 times per week to keep my system infused with nutrients and minerals. Since I am a meat loving omnivore, I also use fresh juices to keep my body alkalized from the intake of my beloved protein. Several times a year, I give my body a gentle restorative cleanse.This type of renewal can last between 3-10 days, determined by what my body is experiencing. I will ease into the jucing today (I will be sharing my regimen and recipes in my next few blogs). I never advocate water fasting as it is too harsh on the body, in my opinion. I must imagine, that from an ancestral perspective to diet and lifestyle, that our primitive sisters would have had the innate and intuitive sense to approach healing their bodies with rest, herbs and nutrients. Although they did not live in such a chemically burdened environment. If you take a few moments to think about the foods you consume on a daily basis, the environment in which you live and work, and even the air that you breathe, it can be a little daunting. No one is perfect, and while our bodies are incredibly resilient, toxicity manifests in a wide array of health conditions, which includes everything from weight gain, fatigue, aches and allergies to chronic diseases.

    Primitive Juicer


    One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that only fast-food junkies are in need of detoxifying their systems. But the truth is, even those of us who keep clean primitive diets, filled with organic whole foods and pastured meats, need to give our digestive system a break from the heavy load of work it does 24 hours a day. Every time you eat, it takes 18 hours before your body eliminates that one meal. Considering most of us consume three meals a day plus snacks, your digestive system is working almost all the time. And even while it eliminates, the more unnatural “foods” we put in our body, the less of each substance your body actually is able to get rid of. That means there is toxic residue inside each of our systems that needs to be cleared out.

    Your immune system and your health depend on healthy elimination of toxins from your body, as you can only contain so many damaging substances before your system slows down and starts to produce symptoms of illness. It is estimated that over 90% of diseases can be attributed directly or indirectly to an unhealthy digestive system. I know you guys get tired of me quoting Hippocrates....but ALL disease begins in the gut!

    Juice cleansing is an optimal way to give our bodies the break they deserve, while also keeping ourselves energized and nutritionally satisfied. Raw vegetable and fruit juice is the most phyto nutrient dense nourishment we can get. Vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phyto-nutrients from the live juice are easily assimilated straight into the bloodstream, simultaneously hydrating our bodies with the pure water that comes straight from the plant. This water contains elements absorbed directly from the earth and sun and energizes our systems in a most unique and important way.

    Essentially, you are freeing up extra energy in your body to focus on deep inner healing and nurturing. I personally believe that there are no limits to what you can achieve on your renewal journey, as long as you have a healthy vehicle that functions at its optimal level. Think of a RESTORE cleanse as the finest tune-up you can get. Expect to complete your cleanse feeling clear, optimistic and rejuvenated on the inside, and radiant and lean on the outside. So, if you are interested in joining me on this restore, dust off your juicers, grab your bounty from the garden and show your body some nourishing LOVE.



    Possible benefits of a RESTORE cleanse will include:

     A regulated, cleansed colon

     Balanced pH and sugar levels

     Diminished aches & pains

     Weight adjustments

     Increased energy and stamina

     Increased mental clarity

     Restored liver function

     Blood, tissue, and organ cleansing

     Strengthened immune system

     Diminished allergies

     Balanced hormones

     Better sleep patterns

     Cleared complexion

     Healthy hair and nails

     Improved self-image

     Feeling of lightness

    Your mind and your body will thank you for delivering pure, living nutrients straight to your bloodstream, energizing and alkalizing your system back into a balanced and RESTORED state.

    There are countless nutritional benefits of juicing, but to give you a better idea of the intense vitamin and mineral content of the fruits and vegetables that i suggest in my recipes(these and more will be in my Primitive Diva book), I am sharing this list of how to use Shoots, Roots and Fruits to Nourish and RESTORE your body.



                                                    GREENS and SHOOTS



    Greens and Shoots (aka Leaves) are the basis of a RESTORE program. Using fresh, organic green vegetables, sending live enzymes, oxygen and phytonutrients directly to your cells. It's the most natural energy source that exists and highly recommended as a part of your daily diet.

    The following vegetables are all included in my Green juice recipes. They contain plenty of water-soluble fiber that supports detoxification and they are all excellent for balancing the system's pH levels.



    Kale:

    Loaded with Calcium, Kale is high in fiber, rich in Lutein, a major anti-cancer phytochemical, and is one of the best sources of beta-carotene, an antioxidant believed to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases. It is also rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

    Mint:

    A wonderful way to soothe the digestive tract, mint also has been known to slow the growth of bacteria in the body and contains many anti-fungal properties.


    Romaine:

    One of the most nutritious salad greens and an excellent source of A, B, and C vitamins, manganese and chromium. As an antioxidant, it battles certain cancers, heart diseases, and cataracts.

    Spinach:

    The benefits of spinach are endless. A dark, leafy green, spinach possesses several important phytochemicals, including Lutein. It also contains lipoic acid, which helps antioxidant vitamins C and E regenerate. Some other highlights include being a great source of vitamin K, magnesium, protein, and iron, as well as a blood sugar regulator.

    Cucumber:

    Cucumber is the best natural diuretic and aids in kidney, liver, and pancreatic detoxification. The potassium content in cucumbers makes it highly beneficial for conditions of high and low blood pressure.

    Celery:

    Celery is highly alkalizing and contains at least 8 families of anti-cancer compounds. It provides inflammation relief and has been known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

    Parsley:

    One of the most potent disease-fighting spices, it aids in blood purification, fatigue, digestive restoration, and is great for clear skin due to high concentrations of beta carotene and chlorophyll.

    Watercress:

    Watercress is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can put in your body and an anti-cancer superfood. Rich in calcium, absorbable iron, potassium and a whole host of other vitamins and minerals, watercress has one of the highest nutritional ratings in the world.

                                                                                 ROOTS

    Packed with minerals and enzymes, our Roots juices are aimed at cleansing the blood and strengthening the body on a deeply cellular level. Carrots and beets contain powerful healing qualities that can combat free radicals, detox the liver, soothe the nervous system, and strengthen bones and teeth.

    Beets:

    Beets are blood-builders. They detoxify the blood and then renew it with minerals. Combined with carrots, consuming beets is a major way to heal the liver and kidneys.

    Carrots:

    An excellent source of antioxidants and beta-carotene, carrots are easily assimilated into our bodies. They play an outstanding role in anti-cancer effects on the body and provide optimal immune support.

    Ginger:

    This super root contains many healing properties. Benefits include aiding in digestion, circulation, and inflammation. It is the ultimate fighting nasty cold and flu symptoms and is considered to have many anti-cancer properties.






                                                                            FRUITS

    When your body gets a load of the ingredients in our signature detox drinks, it will feel renewed and full of life. Fresh servings of lemon, apple, and ginger stimulate the system and alkalize the blood, allowing the body to uncover its innate healing power.

    Apple:

    Apples are filled vitamin C, antioxidants, and soluble fiber. They are also well a great way to lightly sweeten an otherwise tart juice.

    Lemon:

    An incredible fruit. Lemons are a natural antiseptic, clearing bad bacteria out of the system. They have an incredibly alkalizing effect on the body, and as they stimulate the digestive system they purify the liver and clear out toxins. We recommend adding lemon to everything!


    Pineapple:

    Used in our Detox 2, we love pineapple because it is not only delicious, but loaded with anti-oxidants, manganese, and an enzyme called bromelain, which is an anti-inflammatory agent.

    Pear:

    Pears contain an immense array of beneficial vitamins and minerals, including A, B1, B2, C, E, folic acid and niacin. It is rich in copper and potassium and has a high pectin content which lowers cholesterol levels and has a mild laxative effect.


    Grapefruit:

    Grapefruit is a vitamin C powerhouse. With more than a day’s worth of the vitamin, its no wonder grapefruits are a staple in so many healthy diets. The same lycopene that gives tomatoes their red hue helps grapefruits in fighting cell damage in the body. While lycopene and limonoids inhibit many forms of cancer, pectins in the fruit provide soluble fiber to lower cholesterol and prevent kidney stones.

    Blueberry:

    These contain the highest content of antioxidants of any fresh fruit and have also been known to reduce belly fat.


    Strawberry:
    A rich source of the phytonutrient Phenols, strawberries contain antioxidants which have repeatedly been shown to help protect cell structures in the body and prevent oxygen damage in all of the organ systems. They are heart-protective, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory.

    Lime:

    Like all citrus fruits lime is rich in vitamin C, supporting the immune system and fighting inflammation. Limes contain unique flavonoids with an antibiotic and anti-cancer cell effect and help to protect the body from inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.







                                               NOURISHING BOOSTERS

     
    Coconut:

    Coconuts contain Lauric Acid, an essential fatty acid which has been recognized for its properties related to antiviral and antibacterial functions. Coconut helps normalize body lipids, protects against liver damage, and improves the immune system's anti-inflammatory response.

    Young Coconut Water:

    An excellent source of electrolytes, Coconut Water is often thought of as the natural alternative to Gatorade. It contains essential minerals, such as high levels of potassium and calcium. It has an incredibly soothing taste, while it simultaneously provides a natural energy boost to the body.


    Almonds:

    Almonds contain many proteins and vitamins, such as vitamin E, along with minerals that aid in detoxification. They are high in magnesium, iron, and amygdalin, an anti-cancer nutrient. We soak our almonds for maximum nutrient absorption. We add pure vanilla bean and organic date to sweeten our almond milk without raising the sugar content to a high level.

    Chlorophyll:

    Helps in the growth and repair of tissues. Delivers magnesium and stimulates red blood cells to improve oxygen supply. Contains vitamins A, C, and E. Helps neutralize the pollution that we breathe in - a good supplement for smokers. Also an effective deodorizer to reduce bad breath and body odor.

    Aloe vera:

    Helps to detoxify the body and blood stream and cleanse the colon. Helps with intestinal or stomach problems. Improves circulation and acts as a antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent, preventing illness.


    Cinnamon:

    It turns out cinnamon is classically paired with sugar for a reason: cinnamon is a powerful aid in regulating the body’s blood sugar levels! Cinnamon is also rich in trace minerals, iron, calcium, and quality dietary fiber. This spice lessens inflammation and puts and fights microbes in the body.

    Cacao:

    Cacao is chocolate in its purest form. As well as diminishing your appetite and enhancing your mood, cacao has many cardiovascular benefits and is rich in antioxidants.

    Cayenne:

    Cayenne contains high concentrations of capsaicin, widely studied for its cardiovascular benefits and pain-reduction ability. Peppers such as cayenne have also been shown to reduce cholesterol and are an excellent source of vitamin A. The heat you feel in cayenne stimulates the body’s circulation, renews the digestive tract, and effectively relieves congestion.

    I will be sharing my RESTORE journey over the next few days......please let me know if you are interested in joining in.

    Cheers....TO YOUR HEALTH (clink)


    

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    NOURISH your Skin....!



    A friend asked me to share my Primitive Diva "Oatmeal Cookie" body scrub recipe....I apologize that the picture above does not show all of the ingredients--that is the basic "Sugar Cookie" scrub, that I use as my base on the "Cookie" scrubs. Diva's, we live in a day and age of chemical overload in our foods. But did you know that the toxins in your skin care products as just as dangerous. I know I have preached on this before....but read those labels ladies! If you would not eat the ingredients, do NOT put it on your body. Your skin is the largest eliminative organ of the body and should be treated as important as your heart, kidneys, liver, etc... Instead of spending your hard earned dollars on fancy schmancy organic products, make your own! Here is my favorite body nourishing recipe~ ENJOY!

    Oatmeal Cookie Scrub

    1 Cup Coconut Oil
    1 Cup Organic Brown Sugar
    1/2 Cup Epsom Salts
    1/2 Cup Organic Oatmeal
    1 Tsp Cinnamon
    1 Tbsp Vanilla

    Stir together and store in an airtight container, use liberally for nourishing and exfoliating your skin.