It’s Been Awhile…

It has been almost 2 years since I have posted to this blog. And for that I apologize to anyone who may have been following me. I just found out that I am pregnant with a new jellybean, which has kicked me into gear to get back to eating healthy. So, this blog is going to take a slight turn from its original purpose. It will still contain posts about my traditional foods journey, just with the addition of updates on my journey through this pregnancy towards a freebirth at home. I will be attempting to do weekly posts with my meals and recipes from them, both to help keep me on track and to hopefully help others. Thoughts on food, spirituality, shamanic midwifery, and pregnancy updates will fill in the rest of my posts. Here is a little about me…

Eating & Cooking Habits Based on the Teachings of:

    + Weston A. Price/Nourishing Traditions (“traditional nutrition”), the Paleo diet, and the GAPS Gut Healing Diet.
    = Raw and cultured grassfed dairy products
    = Grassfed/Pastured eggs and meat products, wild-caught seafood
    = Generous amounts of healthy saturated fats (coconut oil, avocado, organic/grassfed animal products)
    = Balanced fruits and veggies, try to eat seasonally
    = Souring, Soaking, Sprouting, & Fermenting grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes whenever possible
    = Avoiding processed/refined grain and sugar products as much as possible
    = Lacto-fermented and Fermented foods and beverages (veggies, condiments, kefir, kombucha, etc.)
    = Lots of Bone Broth
    = Activator X Butter Oil + Fermented Cod Liver Oil supplementing
    = Teeth can be remineralized and cavities can be healed

Birth Philosophy Based on the Teachings of:

    + Whapio Diane Bartlett, Ina May Gaskin, Michel Odent, Jeannine Parvati Baker, Jane Collings, Krista Joy Arias, and my own spiritual practices and “personal gnosis”
    = Keeping birth and the immediate postpartum undisturbed
    = Keeping mom and baby together immediately following birth
    = Mother-directed labor/pushing/breastfeeding
    = Nutrition is KEY to a healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, and a complication-free birth
    = Every woman has the innate ability to be her own midwife
    = We can birth alone, but we don’t need to– but sometimes it is what’s best
    = Women-Centered Care
    = Midwives were the original abortion providers
    = Miscarriage and Abortion are births, and Abortion is a part of Motherhood
    = Pregnancy, Birth, & Motherhood is the Original Hero’s Journey
    = Altered States in Pregnancy, Birth, & Motherhood
    = A Mother Knows
    = Sometimes, technology can be needed
    = We need to take responsibility for our birth outcomes, not blame others for them
    = Death is a part of the cycle of Life

Spiritual Beliefs Based On:

    + Neopaganism, Heathanism, Hellenism, Some Eastern Practices, Shamanism, Traditional Witchcraft, Voodoo, Hoodoo/Rootworking, Historical Studies, and “Personal Gnosis”
    = Loosely follow a kind of Wheel of the Year
    = Polytheism (work with and worship of multiple deities)
    = Animism (everything has Spirit)
    = Energy Flow, Manipulation, and Energetic Bodies (meridians, nadis, chakras, and others)
    = Study of cultures and ancient religious, folk magic practices, and lore from my particular ethnic heritages
    = Spiritworking and Bio-Regional Animism (working with Spirits of Place)
    = Meditation, Journeying, Shapeshifting
    = Ritual & Ceremony
    = Northern Shamanism and Seidr/Volur work
    = Greek and Celtic Recon (some)
    = Head Coverings
    = The Poison Path (flying ointments, witches’ herbs, etc)
    = Folk magic
    = Divination: tarot, runes, ogham staves, oracle cards, pendulum, scrying, dreams, throwing the bones, cowrie shells, omens

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Lazy Lady Living 2013 Permaculture Design Certification Class

Lazy Lady Living Permaculture Design Course

Krista Joy Arias, owner of Tierra Soul and teacher of the MamaMuse (un)Midwifery Mentorship program, has chosen a select few to be Village Builders and help spread the word about her new class, the 2013 Lazy Lady (and Lad) Living Permaculture Design Certification Program. I was one of the selected Village Builders and am posting here because I think some of my readers and followers may be interested. I took the last class and it’s wonderful! Lots of wonderful information and Krista and her husband are great people.

Come join the Lazy Lady Living community and be a part of something different. This course is about sustainable sustainability, and getting the most bang for your lazy buck. Interested in Permaculture, Traditional Nutrition, and Urban Farming? This is the class for you! It’s an 8-week 100% virtual course with the option to complete extra work (additional assignments and a Permaculture Design project) to receive a Permaculture Design Certificate.

The 16 Topics in Lazy-Lady Living:
1. Permaculture Philosophy & Ethics
2. Weston A. Price & Nutrient Density, Value added farming
3. Anthroposophy & Biodynamic Agriculture
4. Trauma, Initiation & Myth Mending
5. Patterns & Design Elements
6. Cultivated Ecology & Wildlife
7. Urban Ambrosia, Backyard Milk, Meat, Eggs and Honey
8. Urban Apothecary, Lazy-lady soap, salve, tincture and tonic
9. Sacred Slaughter & the Vegetarian Myth
10. Soil & Trees
11. Water & Aquaculture, ponds, dams & bridges, Water catchment, Grey water & composting toilets
12. Recycling, waste streams & DIY pitfalls, Diverse climate solutions
13. Earth Rhythms & Seasonal Celebrations, Advanced Simplicity
14. Undisturbed Birth & Home-Funerals, Sacred Union & Family Harmony
15. Ethical Business & Investing, Licensure vs. Free Marketplace, Personal Abundance & Giving Back
16. Energy, Climate & Catastrophe

Enrollment begins on May 15th and runs for 2 weeks only closing on May 31st. As a Village Builder, I get a commission for every person whom I get to enroll in the class.

**What will my commissions be going towards? My self-sustainability fund to get off-grid and have a place for people to come and do “farm stays”, learn about sustainability and permaculture, and also as a place for women and mothers to come experience with-women care and support throughout the childbearing cycles. I am also wanting to have a birthing hut built on the property for families to come have their children if they like, and also a Moon Lodge.

For those who sign up through me I will be helping and mentoring as I can if any questions or needs arise during the class and will be here as a collaboration partner. Follow the link below to sign up with your e-mail to receive information as Krista sends it out. She will also be making some videos that will be sent out to everyone on the mailing list as well between now and the start of class.

The cost of the course is $897 and there is a payment plan of $350/month for 3 months. Krista is also offering scholarships and the application will be announced on the 15th(ish) as well.

Here is my affiliate link so that I get the commission when you sign up, but remember enrollment doesn’t start until May 15! Be sure to sign up soon so that you don’t miss any information::

http://www.lazyladyliving.com/NaturoMomma/1

Haymaker’s Oat Water

I apologize for seemingly having dropped off the face of the planet. I assure you I’m still here, just been rather busy unfortunately. And to be honest, I haven’t been doing much of anything in regards to “good, traditional eating”. And I feel crappy for it. I’ve been eating way more refined grains (mostly cereal), barely any fruit, and almost no vegetables. Trying to turn back around, keep up with my daily fermented cod liver oil and butter oil (which is really hard for some reason to remember to take it), and I need to get exercising again. Oh, and I’ve also been on edge about my gallbladder health, so I may be sharing some information in regards to that as I find it. I also started my first ever batch of kombucha, which I’ll make a post on that when I get a chance.

What I wanted to share with you now is oat water. I soaked about 3 cups of oats last night for breakfast and granola, and had about a cup’s worth of soaking-water left over come today. Well, not liking to waste things that can be used, I wanted to see what I could find to do with it. I thought about an oat-drink of some kind, and checked my Nourishing Traditions book (by Sally Fallon). Sure enough under “Beverages” was a recipe for “Haymaker’s Oat Water”. since I already had my soaking-water (I used whey for the oats), I just kind of eyeballed it ingredients-wise which is what I normally do.

Why oat-water? I’m not positive as I haven’t researched it, but I’m pretty sure that some of the nutrients from the oats (plus some of the whey from soaking, unless you use something else) goes into the “water”, so you’re getting all the nutrients instead of just eating the oats as porridge or granola. Plus you’re not wasting anything 🙂

Haymaker’s Oat Water [Her recipe]
Makes 1 gallon
1 gallon filtered water
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar
1 cup molasses (optional)

~Mix all ingredients and keep at room temperature several hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.
**It doesn’t say to strain out the oats or not, or what to do with it afterwards.

My Version of Haymaker’s Oat Water
3-ish cups rolled oats
3-ish cups of water
4-6 Tbsp of whey (made from raw milk)
3/4 cup molasses

I soaked my oats-water-whey mixture overnight, scooped out a cup of oats for breakfast porridge, and then strained the rest of the oats. The leftover 2-ish cups of oats went into my dehydrator (I’ll be making granola). I had about 1 cup of liquid (a yellowish-grey color) left over. I put it on the stove and added the molasses, heating it just to dissolve the molasses. I noticed some particles had risen to the top so I strained the liquid. At this point it was a brownish-grey color. I then took a 3 qt filtered water jug with a screw-on lid and filled it about half-way with cold water, then poured in the molasses-oat water mix, then added a bit more water and shook it some. It tastes just like molasses, but watered-down. You could drink it like this, but I poured a bit in a jar and then added more water to it and drink it like that. This would make it last a bit longer. If you didn’t add the molasses, it would probably taste pretty bland, like watered down unflavored oatmeal. So it’s up to you on how much sweetener you want to use. You could probably use rapadura, honey, or any other natural sweetener, but I really like the molasses taste.

Happy drinking!

Oatmeal

Oatmeal has become my breakfast staple. I used to really like oatmeal, but then I found out I wasn’t eating it right. “What do you mean, not eating it right?” you might ask. Oats are a grain, and thus need to be prepared as such. Oats are an extremely nutritious food, but only if prepared properly. Well, how does one do that?

1. Soak your flat or steel cut rolled oats in a whey solution overnight (at least 8 hours).

2. Cook your oats with some more added water on the stove.

3. Serve with plenty of grassfed butter.

Why the butter? It was mentioned in my Folklore Foods class (see–> MamaMuse) that the nutrients in oats cannot be absorbed without being eaten with plenty of fat (this goes along with needing fats to break down carbohydrates I believe), even if the oats were pre-soaked before cooking.  

Here’s how I make my oatmeal (based off of the recipe from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions cookbook):

1 cup of oats (regular or rolled)

1 cup of warm water with 2 Tbsp of whey (homemade from raw milk)

Some extra water for stove-top cooking

Butter

Maple syrup, honey, cinnamon to taste

Applesauce or raw milk

— Take the oats and add to a bowl. Add the whey to the water then pour over the oats stirring slightly to mke sure everything gets wet. Leave on the counter covered overnight (or at least 8 hours). Pour bowl contents into a pot, add a bit of water (1/2 C- 1 C), stir. Cook on low-medium heat being careful to keep stirring to prevent oats burning to the bottom. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5-10 minutes depending. Add in butter (a Tbsp or more, be generous!). Add any additional ingredients (maple syrup and/or honey, cinnamon, fruit pieces, applesauce, milk, yogurt, etc.). Enjoy!

This proper preparation of oatmeal makes it very filling!

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-how-to-cook-oatmeal-the-right-way/

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-how-to-quickly-adjust-to-the-taste-of-soaked-grains/

Proper Grain & Legume Preparation

I’ve gotten to the part now in my Folklore Foods salon (see–> MamaMuse) on proper preparation of grains and legumes, and have also seen a few things over at the HealthyHomeEconomist on it.

Grains and legumes (and seeds and nuts) contain anti-nutrients: gluten and phytates are some examples. These anti-nutrients adhere to the intestinal wall and prevent the body from absorbing vital nutrients/vitamins/minerals from food as it passes through the gut and is digested. Also, such as with gluten, these particles actually are absorbed into the body through the intestinal wall and are seen as a foreign object requiring the body’s immune system to fend off. Unfortunately, not only does this cause inflammation (which leads to disease) but it also causes the body to start attacking itself because these foreign particles look similar to the body’s own in certain parts of the body.

This is the part where Paleo Diet followers have it right, but this is where they stop. They claim that our ancestors went millions of years without eating grains and that our bodies are just not adapted yet to properly digesting them since we’ve ben eating them for a shorter time frame than we’ve been not-eating them. However, this view and approach to grains/legumes is arguable.

First argument: evolution/time-frames and digestability. This is both right and wrong. Anthropologists and archeologists are now hypothesizing and discovering that stone age man (prior to the onset of agriculture) utilized wild grains and legumes. So this makes the time frame of when “man ate grains” to longer than previously suspected.

Second Argument: branching from the first, man has been eating refined grains (and sugar) and not properly preparing grains/legumes/seeds/nuts for a much shorter time frame (roughly 200 years give or take) compared to thousands of years of properly preparing these food items, and even millions of years of “supposed” non-consumption of these food items by early man.

From pre-agricultural revolution up until the introduction of refined grains and sugar (over 10,000 years), people were properly preparing their grains and legumes and had no known digestion issues pertaining therein. It was when man began to not prepare their foods properly/traditionally, was when these issues arose (along with an increase in degenerative diseases, cancer, poor dental health, etc.).

Well, then how do you properly prepare them?

1. Soaking

2. Sprouting

3. Fermenting

4. Extended cooking

These pertain to seeds, nuts, legumes, and grains. Some require all three processes, some only require one or two (such as nuts). Some foods require an acidic environment, others require a basic one.

Grains: Over at the HealthyHomeEconomist she has a blog and a few videos on grain and legume preparation. Here is a general overview for grains:

1. Take your whole grain and sprout them in a jar (just until the first white flecks appear).

2. Spread the sprouted whole grains on a cookie sheet and dry in the oven, or use a dehydrator.

3. Run your dried grains through the grinder to make flour. *Immediately store in the freezer if you don’t plan on using it all immediately! This is to retain nutritional content which begins to deteriorate around 2 weeks post-grinding if left to the elements*.

If you don’t make your own flour, you can purchase whole grain flour. Try to find sprouted whole grain if you can. Whether you make your own flour or purchase it, you should soak/culture the flour before cooking. This ferments the flour some and further breaks down the anti-nutrients and releases absorbable nutrients. You can use yogurt, kefir, whey (from raw milk), or soured raw milk *never pasteurized! (Pasteurized milk won’t sour, it will only spoil. Soured raw milk= edible)*.  This process is similar to what happens during traditional sourdough preparation. This can be done for bread, pancakes, cake, crepes, etc.

Legumes: Legumes (ie. beans) need to be pre-soaked then cooked for an extended period of time. They should be soaked in an acidic solution (some require a basic solution) such as water+whey for a minimum of 8 hours. Then they need to be cooked on low for a minimum of 8 hours (give or take on both times), but some cook their beans for as long as 24 hours or as little as 3 hours. The benefits of soaking and cooking don’t really improve after 24 hours.

**I did my first bean preparation the other day, using black beans soaked in a whey solution. I soaked them for a little over 8 hours, then cooked them. I only cooked them for about an hour and a half, however, and found it difficult to keep them cooking and then they began to fall apart. I think I should have cooked them on a lower setting with more water and definitely for longer– I was wanting to take them to work hence the short cook time.**

They can also be soaked and sprouted, instead of cooked.

Seeds & Nuts: seeds really only need to be soaked. Some people may try sprouting them. Soak time depends on each nut or seed as some need longer or shorter soak times. Almonds can be soaked for 4-6 hours, others need 8 or longer, and some like cashews need shorter. Usually they are soaked in a slightly salty water solution then dried in the oven or in a dehydrator.

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-proper-preparation-of-grains-and-legumes/

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/why-you-should-be-eating-grains/

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-grain-grinding-101/

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-thursday-sprouting-flour/

Of Souls & Food

My body starves. My mind is chaotic, my heart is weak. My soul is heavy, malnourished.

So eat!

Eat of that which will nourish your body and your soul, for they are one and the same. They are interconnected and interwoven within each the other. Your soul chose your body as its house in this lifetime. And as such, it creates a temple. Your body becomes a place of worship, a place of honor. It is a place to honor itself as a holy place, and to honor that which is housed within it.

My soul breathes through every pore, and integrates every cell. And so I must eat that which serves the dual purpose of vitalizing my body and my soul.

Light the sacred butter upon the altar. Stare into the flames, and lose yourself in the shadows cast upon the stone walls. Pour the sacred honey upon your brow, the sacred milk upon your breast. Shake the sacred wheat across your loins and dust the flour upon your thighs. Let the calf’s blood trickle in rivulets along your skin, mingling all together. Take the rendered tallow mixed with pigments from the earth, take the henna paste, and mark upon your flesh those symbols of our past, of our lives, of the gods and of ourselves.

Kneel before the altar that is your self. Kneel before the altar that is your lover. Worship there. Bring offerings and give them unto the gods there, unto the soul. Feed and be fed. Drink and share libations. Dance and sing, cry and scream as beasts in heat or in the throes of labor. Nourish and be nourished.

(C) 2013 to Butter on the Altar

Kefir Attempt #1 and #2

So I was informed that Kefir is one of the more simple cultures to work with. However I am finding it to be quite difficult. I was gifted a tiny jar of barely a tablespoon’s worth of kefir grains and set about making my first batch. I think I put it in the fridge too soon (to stop the culturing process). I was afrad of not being able to catch it at the right time. Now that I’ve tasted (plain) kefir from the store I think I may have been close (the taste was coming on but was not yet the right consistency– still too much like milk and not enough like yogurt). A couple days alter I strained out the kefir grains and tried again, this time waiting a bit longer. Again the taste seemd to be coming on, but not the right consistency and the milk was separating on the counter. Then my room mate cleaned kitchen and put the jar in the cupboard, where I forgot about it. So now I need to get another batch of grains and try it again. Has anyone else had luck culturing kefir at home, with raw milk? Ay tips or advice or resources?