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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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 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.


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 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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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.


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 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.


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

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.


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


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 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.


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.


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 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 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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The SCOOP on POOP.....!

Why is it, that one of THE most important indicators of our health and digestive status, is so difficult and embarrassing for adults to talk about?  I mean seriously… have you ever parented a young boy? That’s ALL they want to talk about, well,  that and farts, toots and stink bombs also. They have a lot of silly names for it: BMs, caca, doo-doo,dump, turds, and of course, poop. The fact is, fish do it, frogs do it, cats, dogs and elephants do it, yet poop is one of those subjects we find difficult to talk about with a straight face.Here is a cute little article as to why this topic may become so taboo. In my opinion we SHOULD be talking about what comes out as much as what goes in, right? But theres that inner DIVA in us all, that pretends we don’t do such vile, nasty and smelly things, haha! There are even books titled Girls Don't Poop. But asking some important questions about your bowel movements might give you some insight into your gastrointestinal health. I wanted to raise a stink (pun intended) about the questions that nobody will ask but all want to know. I did some research and found some pretty good information to share. So, here's the scoop on poop.

POOP 101: Bowel movements are the end result of your body taking the nutrients it needs from the food you eat and eliminating what's left. Bowel movements are important for your health because they are the body’s natural way of excreting waste from the body.When it comes to frequency, color, shape, and size, a general rule of thumb is that normal bowel movements are defined as what’s comfortable for you. But being knowledgeable about your digestive process can help you identify when normal goes awry. Its a fact that EVERYONE poops 410lbs a year or so they say.....!

Frequency: There is no normal when it comes to frequency of bowel movements, only averages. It’s average to go once or twice a day. There are some very efficient “poopers” out there that go after every meal and a few that stay pretty scheduled at every other day with no distress symptoms.

Color: Bowel movements are generally brown in color because of bile, which is produced in the liver and important to the digestion process.The food you eat typically takes three days from the time you eat it until it finishes its journey in your toilet. If it takes a shorter time, the result may be greener stool because green is one of the first colors in the rainbow of the digestive process. Remember color can be a red flag when it’s a drastic change. If stool is black, it can mean that you are bleeding internally, possibly as a result of an ulcer or cancer. Stool that is black due to bleeding is also "sticky" (tarry) and smells bad. However, black stools are common when taking a vitamin that contains iron or medications that contain bismuth subsalicylate. Keep a close watch and seek the advice of a physician if you suspect something is off. Likewise, a stool that is light in color -- like grey clay -- can also mean trouble if it’s a change from what you normally see. Although it doesn’t happen often, very light-colored stool can indicate a block in the flow of bile or liver disease/disrupted fat metabolism.

Size and shape: Your poops should fall in balance with the amount of food  you intake. A healthy adult eating plenty of fats, protein and plant matter, should be eliminating a soft formed “snake”- Sorry, thats the way the research chart below describes it ( I am giggling as I type this)---of approximately 10-12 inches.* Not hard/compacted and there should be no straining.

Odor: None if you are DIVA, right?  WRONG!  Bowel movements smell. But is it normal if your trips to the bathroom mean that the rest of the family has to avoid that part of the house for an hour or two?The answer is yes. It’s normal, and probably a good sign that your gut is abundant with bacteria that is working hard to keep you healthy.Your intestines are swarming with trillions upon trillions of bacteria that enhance digestive and metabolic processes. They are also the reason why poop smells -- a direct result of the bacterial activity in your GI tract. So although it's no bed of roses, it is normal for your bowel movements to stink.

Need More Bathroom reading.....?


Poop Problems

So what happens when your poop process gets out of whack? The first sign that your intestines aren’t up to par is a shift from your normal GI routine, and as a result, discomfort below the waist.

Constipation and Diarrhea

Constipation is a concern when you normally have a bowel movement once or twice a day, and that changes -- maybe you haven’t gone in three days, or more. However long it’s been, you now feel gassy, bloated, and generally uncomfortable. When you try to go, you have to push and strain, and what comes out is a whole lot of nothin’.

Constipation can have many causes. It might be that you’ve had a shift in your diet, maybe because you’re not drinking enough water each day, or because your physical activity level has decreased, slowing your metabolic processes down, including digestion. Certain medications (such as narcotic pain medicines and iron supplements) can also cause constipation problems.

Although constipation causes one set of problems, diarrhea can also mean digestive disaster. Whether it’s caused by a meal that just didn’t sit right, or a harmful bacterium or virus, it's categorized by loose stool, and another hallmark of GI trouble -- discomfort. Diarrhea can be caused by any number of factors. But the problem with diarrhea, in addition to the obvious, is that it can cause other health problems, like dehydration, if you’re living with it for more than two or three days. Generally, you recoup from a bout of diarrhea or constipation in a day or two. If not, it’s probably worth a trip to the doctor for further GI troubleshooting.

Blood in the Stool

One of the most significant warning signs when it comes to bowel movements is blood in the stool. Blood in your stool could be a symptom of something as significant as cancer and warrants a call to your doctor right away -- even if you think it could be hemorrhoids, or tiny tears in the anal tissue, as a result of constipation and straining. If you’re over 50, OR if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, a colonoscopy is probably in order.

Your guide to Perfect Poop Health

Tricks to keeping your poop on track are simple ones: a healthy diet of natural whole foods, lots of water, and regular exercise.

1) Eat plenty of coconut oil and other high quality saturated fats: Fats are our bodies natural lubricants. They provide a feeling of satiation so you are less likely to overeat.

2) Eat plenty of veggies, including green and leafies, and moderate amounts of fruit: If you happen to be eating less fruit to avoid the sugars (like I suggest), DO make sure to get plenty of plant material each day. Plants provide a good ratio of fiber to water that is generally easy on the digestive system.Magnesium rich foods can help with peristalsis (YES, Diva's Chocolate/Cacao is loaded with magnesium).

3) Stay hydrated: Water helps keep the cells flushed and will keep the body from experiencing dehydration and constipation. One of the reasons for the common “travelers constipation” is a decrease in fluid intake and limited mobility- Keep fresh plant foods and pure water

4) Eat and drink plenty of probiotic foods and beverages: As our bodies age, we naturally produce less digestive enzymes. Our digestive systems slow down (and sometimes even stop – not good). Live culture foods and drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented salsas and chutneys, kombucha, kefir, and kvass all help “jump start” your digestive system and often contribute to the healing of many digestive ailments. “All diseases begin in the gut.” - Hippocrates, 460-370 BC

5) Avoid highly processed foods: When I was researching the scoop on poop, I came upon a relevant homeschool science experiment. In this experiment, samples of different foods were chosen and subjected to “digestive forces”. They were soaked in vinegar, “smushed” in a plastic bag, and finally forced through on old nylon stocking. The foods examined were; a piece of meat, a piece of apple, some celery, some oatmeal, and saltine crackers. Results: the saltine crackers, basically coated the inside of the stocking like glue. The same thing happens in your guts—Eeeewwww!

6) Keep moving to keep things moving: Exercise helps elimination by decreasing the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, thus limiting the amount of water absorbed from the stool into your body. Hard, dry stools are harder to pass. In addition, aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate. This helps to stimulate the natural contraction of intestinal muscles. Intestinal muscles that contract efficiently help move stools out quickly.

Here is the Bristol Stool Chart. that I discovered on Wikipedia.  Researchers at the Bristol Royal Infirmary—a hospital in Bristol, England—developed a visual guide for stools. It is called the Bristol Stool Form Scale, or BSF scale for short. It helps skittish patients and doctors to distinguish normal stools from abnormal without getting embarrassed over personal details. I have also shared a little explanation of why us Diva’s get more constipated than our male counterparts

You just look at a the above chart, point to what approximates the content of your toilet bowl, and your doctor (or this page) tells you whether the form is right or wrong.

» Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts

Typical for acute disbacteriosis. These stools lack a normal amorphous quality, because bacteria are missing and there is nothing to retain water. The lumps are hard and abrasive, the typical diameter ranges from 1 to 2 cm (0.4–0.8”), and they’re painful to pass, because the lumps are hard and scratchy. There is a high likelihood of anorectal bleeding from mechanical laceration of the anal canal. Typical for post-antibiotic treatments and for people attempting fiber-free (low-carb) diets. Flatulence isn’t likely, because fermentation of fiber isn’t taking place.

» Type 2: Sausage-like but lumpy

Represents a combination of Type 1 stools impacted into a single mass and lumped together by fiber components and some bacteria. Typical for organic constipation. The diameter is 3 to 4 cm (1.2–1.6”). This type is the most destructive by far because its size is near or exceeds the maximum opening of the anal canal’s aperture (3.5 cm). It’s bound to cause extreme straining during elimination, and most likely to cause anal canal laceration, hemorrhoidal prolapse, or diverticulosis. To attain this form, the stools must be in the colon for at least several weeks instead of the normal 72 hours. Anorectal pain, hemorrhoidal disease, anal fissures, withholding or delaying of defecation, and a history of chronic constipation are the most likely causes. Minor flatulence is probable. A person experiencing these stools is most likely to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome because of continuous pressure of large stools on the intestinal walls. The possibility of obstruction of the small intestine is high, because the large intestine is filled to capacity with stools. Adding supplemental fiber to expel these stools is dangerous, because the expanded fiber has no place to go, and may cause hernia, obstruction, or perforation of the small and large intestine alike.

» Type 3: Like a sausage but with cracks in the surface

This form has all of the characteristics of Type 2 stools, but the transit time is faster, between one and two weeks. Typical for latent constipation. The diameter is 2 to 3.5 cm (0.8–1.4”). Irritable bowel syndrome is likely. Flatulence is minor, because of disbacteriosis. The fact that it hasn’t became as enlarged as Type 2 suggests that the defecations are regular. Straining is required. All of the adverse effects typical for Type 2 stools are likely for type 3, especially the rapid deterioration of hemorrhoidal disease.

» Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft

This form is normal for someone defecating once daily. The diameter is 1 to 2 cm (0.4–0.8”). The larger diameter suggests a longer transit time or a large amount of dietary fiber in the diet.

» Type 5: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges

I consider this form ideal. It is typical for a person who has stools twice or three times daily, after major meals. The diameter is 1 to 1.5 cm (0.4–0.6”).

» Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool

This form is close to the margins of comfort in several respects. First, it may be difficult to control the urge, especially when you don’t have immediate access to a bathroom. Second, it is a rather messy affair to manage with toilet paper alone, unless you have access to a flexible shower or bidet. Otherwise, I consider it borderline normal. These kind of stools may suggest a slightly hyperactive colon (fast motility), excess dietary potassium, or sudden dehydration or spike in blood pressure related to stress (both cause the rapid release of water and potassium from blood plasma into the intestinal cavity). It can also indicate a hypersensitive personality prone to stress, too many spices, drinking water with a high mineral content, or the use of osmotic (mineral salts) laxatives.

» Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces

This, of course, is diarrhea, a subject outside the scope of this chapter with just one important and notable exception—so-called paradoxical diarrhea. It’s typical for people (especially young children and infirm or convalescing adults) affected by fecal impaction—a condition that follows or accompanies type 1 stools. During paradoxical diarrhea the liquid contents of the small intestine (up to 1.5–2 liters/quarts daily) have no place to go but down, because the large intestine is stuffed with impacted stools throughout its entire length. Some water gets absorbed, the rest accumulates in the rectum. The reason this type of diarrhea is called paradoxical is not because its nature isn’t known or understood, but because being severely constipated and experiencing diarrhea all at once, is, indeed, a paradoxical situation. Unfortunately, it’s all too common.

So, that was the scoop on poop....


Friday, February 10, 2012

Hey Good Lookin....Whatcha Got Cookin?

Several years ago, when I announced with great disgust of our food supply, that is becoming a global science experiment, that ”I will NOT shop in a grocery store….WE will ONLY eat REAL food- Not FRANKENFOODs”! I developed a kind of meal planning template. Now, mind you, I still have not found a way to completely avoid the “Toxic Box” (aka; corporate grocer), but it is down to a minimum few items that I need on a weekly basis. Yes, there will be, a Primitive Diva documentary someday (AFTER the move to our farm) on how I avoided any/all reliance of the “Toxic Box” for food for at least 30 days. Obviously, I want to stay as Primitive as I can, but let’s face the brutal reality. Especially if you have children, planning and preparing meals can be absolute chaos and stress. Did you know the average household in this country, determines their evening meal TWENTY minutes before eating. I wanted to type a huge shocking—Yikes!….and show a GASP! But, that would make me pretty hypocritical. I am a busy momma trying to nourish 3 busy kids, 3 dogs and a bottle fed goat, run a business, volunteer on several boards and organizations, and LAUNDRY! Sorry, I had to emphasize that last task…as it is my own personal Hell…(haha)SERIOUSLY!

Most of my friends, family, and clients say that they are gaining more knowledge everyday about real food (more than likely, because I do not ever put my soap box away). But, they cannot connect the dots, and they struggle to put it into use. It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks, huh? Or, they feel overwhelmed when staring at recipes that have a long list of ingredients or steps. To use a few quotes here…”STOP the INSANITY” and “KEEP it SIMPLE”. There is a time and place to be creative, entertain and dig into the world of haute cuisine. Not Monday-Friday while trying to NOURISH your family.

The most crucial step to making your meal planning stress free, is sourcing your REAL food. I know it seems like a daunting task to hunt down all the local farms to buy your pastured or grass fed meats, wild caught fish, eggs, raw milk and local/seasonal produce. But seriously….who has not put that much effort into shopping for the “right” pair of shoes? Most of the work has been done for you. There are great resources on websites such as Eat Wild and Sustainable Table and of course The Eat Well Guide. I also suggest you join your local chapter of Weston A Price Foundation. As a chapter leader in Houston, I have done research and personal visits to ALL my local farmers and offer a complete list of resources,demonstration schedules and even facilitate tours of the local farms and markets. And if you can’t visit the farm direct- Then even mail order is an option like Vital Choice Seafood and my favorite US Wellness Meats.

Here are my basic guidelines to prepare for NOURISHING your family:

• Have ample freezer space and a clean pantry/cabinet for buying in bulk and keeping organized.

• Determine family size and quantities that you would need for a month (or longer, once you get in your groove)

• Using a Chalkboard like the one above, Marker Board or Printed Template posted in the kitchen ( Keeps the family involved, too)

• Keep the Dinner plan on a weekly rotation – My personal schedule: Monday (BEEF), Tuesday(CHICKEN), Wednesday (Meatless/Leftovers/Light due to our families particular activity schedule),Thursday(PORK), Friday (FISH) Saturday (FREE Night of trying new recipes, dining out, entertaining), Sunday (Leftovers, Bone Broth/Soups/Stews). To these meals , I simply add a local/seasonable vegetable or two and a soaked grain (Rice, Millet, Amaranth, Quinoa) As a personal choice, I typically avoid most grains. But keep organic/soaked grains on hand for my kiddo’s. Each week I may choose variable varieities of spices/herbs/techniques on my meat/fish/poultry options—I also have an ongoing love affair with my Crockpot for BUSY days and my Cast Iron Dutch Oven for the most AMAZING one pot dishes ( I will have lots of the recipes in the book)

• Join a CSA or local farm delivery to always have a fresh choice that is guaranteed LOCAL.

• Keep a list available on the pantry or fridge door of Breakfast/Lunch items for the family to choose from. Example: BREAKFAST- Eggs, Oatmeal, Sprouted Grain or Gluten Free Toast w/Pastured Butter and Almond Butter, French Toast, Coconut Banana muffins/bread Applegate Sausage, Greek Yogurt w/Berries and Soaked Nuts or a RAW milk/cream/kefir GREEN smoothie. Keep the items REAL and NOURISHING.

• I have a LUNCH basket in the fridge for them to make their lunch daily. This can be filled one time per week with sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups, boiled eggs, individual containers of fermented veggies, raw cheese, fruit leathers(homemade), kombucha sodas and even leftover(s) TIP:It is great to make 2 chickens on Tuesday evenings dinner plan to use leftover for a soup and chicken salad OR make extra  BEEF and PORK  on that particular night to use with Sprouted Grain/Gluten Free Wraps w/Greens/veggies/Raw Cheese that week!

• If you HAVE to shop in the “Toxic Box” make sure to read those labels. No more than 5 ingredients and do you know what those ingredients are? Did they come from a plant/animal?As Michael Pollan asks...would your great grandmother recognize it as food.

• So, keep it SIMPLE……Let your family have input…..and buy in bulk. You will not imagine how easy it is to ALWAYS know whats for dinner. So, Its Friday night- I have known for months that tonight is Fish (Wild Caught Salmon) , an organic local greens salad w/local goat cheese, and sweet potato wedges. In the warmer veggies and fish selection will change SEASONALLY- see how easy.

• Spend more time enjoying family and vibrant health when you are truly nourished. If you need any particular advice---PLEASE comment below and I will help you in anyway possible.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nourish Your Adrenals with Vitamin Zzzzz…

It seems most every female- friend, client, neighbor and family member of mine, suffers from some form of adrenal deficiency. So, is it a current catch all term, that is just, “in fashion” right now? You know….remember how everyone in the early nineties had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it became almost a status label for the “yuppies” (Young Urban Professionals, in case you forgot the acronym) Only to later be discovered, that there was actually a diagnosis from a physiological source. The Epstein Barr Virus was discovered and then forgotten except for those who suffer from the debilitating Fibromyalgia it leaves in its path. Adrenal Fatigue is a sincere burden, that is a result of our crazy, modern, stressed out world. It’s cause? Primarily, diet and lifestyle, more than serious trauma in our lives. One of the most healing modalities for overcoming adrenal exhaustion is… (wait for it, I mean this is a VERY technical and complicated treatment)- SLEEP!

Yes, SLEEP…..The funny thing is, the more stressed your adrenals, the greater chance for sleep disturbance. It’s a vicious cycle. So, without getting into the science of how the adrenals function and how we deplete our Cortisol levels. Lets look at the first step of healing with my precious prescription of Vitamin Zzzzz….! As in sleep, slumber, dozing, snoozing and sawing logs. This is not only the foundation to heal adrenal fatigue, but it is also a MUST for a Diva’s anti-aging arsenal!

The importance of uninterrupted sleep is huge. One reason for night time waking is low blood sugar. If you are waking between 1:00 and 3:00 AM, your liver may be lacking the glycogen reserves needed for conversion by the adrenals to keep the blood glucose levels high enough during the night. Blood sugar is normally low during the early morning hours but, if you are experiencing adrenal fatigue, your blood glucose levels may sometimes fall so low that hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) symptoms wake you during the night. This is often the case if you have panic or anxiety attacks, nightmares, or sleep fitfully between 1:00 and 4:00 AM. Thus, frequent waking will place a demand on the adrenal glands, see the cycle?

So, Diva’s I suggest a little night time elixir- that promotes healing, nourishment, recovery and renewal!

The Diva's DREAM Water Toddy:

1 Cup of freshly brewed Rooibos Tea (Read more benefits of rooibos HERE)

4 Tbsp Fresh Raw Cream or Coconut Milk, if you cannot tolerate dairy(Read more benefits of healthy fats and sleep HERE)

1 Tsp. Butter (Pastured and Grass Fed)

1 Tbsp Raw Honey (Read more benefits HERE of honey and its ancient remedies)

1 Tsp Ashwaganda Root Powder (Read more Adrenal Adaptogenic benefits HERE)

½ Tsp Cinnamon (Read more blood sugar stabilizing information HERE)

a dash of Celtic or Himalayan Salt (*see note below)

I have been enjoying this little elixir each night for a few months and it promotes a deep sound sleep. I am waking early without an alarm and feel some of the ravages of my crazy busy world letting go....….tonight, Brew a cup of Dream Water, Inhale the delightful warming scent, take a warm bath with magnesium rich epsom salts and stress reducing lavendar oil, read a chapter of “Lights Out”,turn on some gentle rain sounds on your iphone(my NEW favorite app) put on your most “Diva-Like” sleep mask and renew your mind, body and soul with 8 or 9 (even better)hours of precious Vitamin Zzzzzz….! Sweet Dreams

Note:*Women with adrenal imbalance often crave salt — and many of my clients are surprised when I tell them to honor this craving. Yes, salt can increase blood pressure, but low blood pressure (hypotension) is a very common sign of adrenal imbalance — at all stages. If you feel lightheaded when getting out of bed in the morning, standing up quickly, or getting up out of a bath or hot tub, you may very well have low adrenal function, and including more salt in your diet could be helpful. But try to make it good-quality sea salt or Himalayan Pink Salt (My FAVE!)

Craving for salt in people with adrenal imbalance is complicated to explain, but in a nutshell, it’s a result of low aldosterone. Aldosterone, a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex, is part of the complex mechanism that regulates blood pressure in the body. Levels of aldosterone go up and down in much the same diurnal pattern as cortisol does, and likewise go up as a normal response to stressful situations. Generally speaking, when cortisol goes up, aldosterone goes down, lowering blood pressure and possibly disturbing electrolyte balance and cell hydration. Increasing your salt intake is one way to help restore these imbalances.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sweet........CoCoNaNa Bread!

Its been awhile since I have posted....actually, its been awhile since I have had a day to sit and be inspired to get into my kitchen,combined with the time to share a recipe with my friends. I was on pinterest this morning getting my drug fix. Okay, seriously, I think there are subliminal messages encrypted into that site, as almost every one I know is addicted. I was looking for a treat to make to enjoy during the game tonight. Already making a great fire side stew with bone broth---But, having a bit of a sweet tooth. So, I stumbled on this delicious recipe from Kitchen Runway-However, it called for wheat flour and sugar (no-no's for me and my family) so, I did some research and found some great adaptations that are grain free from the Tropical Traditions site. I can't wait to let you know how yummy this is. I have some fresh raw milk that I picked up yesterday---ahhhh, sweet cake and cold glass of RAW full fat milk. Life is GOOD!

So whats cookin in your kitchen.....?

Banana Coconut Flour Muffins:

1 cup organic coconut flour

6 eggs
2 ripe bananas (mashed)

2 Tbsp. melted butter

2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil

2 Tbsp. milk

6 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. aluminum free baking powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. Himalayan salt


Pre-heat oven at 350 F degrees.

Mix coconut flour and baking powder (put it in separate bowl.) In a mixing bowl, beat eggs gradually, and then add milk, honey, coconut oil, butter, vanilla and salt. Continue mixing. Then add the coconut flour with baking powder and mashed bananas. Blend well. Grease 12 muffin cups with coconut oil. Fill greased muffin cups with the batter. (this works great as a loaf as pictured above)

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Yield: 12 muffins

*additions: blueberries, cinnamon/apples and chocolate chips.....nuts, etc!