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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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?

Fermented Veggies: Pickles & Salsa

I started my first batch of fermented vegetables yesterday. I made one pint of what will hopefully become pickles and two pints of salsa. They sit on my counter fermenting until tomorrow night when I will put them in the fridge (since we don’t have a root cellar).

Pickles

I took one large cucumber and cut it in half, then cut the halves into sections. I stuck them in a pint jar with 2 Tbsp of whey and approximately 1/3-1/2 Tbsp freshly ground sea salt and enough water to just cover the slices. Screwed on the lids, shook it up a bit, and let sit for 2 days before refrigerating.

Salsa

I was roughly going off of the recipe from Nourishing Traditions, but made a smaller batch and forgot a couple ingredients (like dried oregano and juice of two lemons). While chopping of the cilantro the scent nocked me back into a memory from my childhood of my grandmother making fresh salsa.

2 medium-large tomatoes, diced.

1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced.

4-6 garlic cloves, diced finely.

Most of a bushel of cilantro, diced.

One dark red chile(?) pepper, diced finely. [I really have no idea what it was, the recipe called for chile pepper mild or hot. It didn’t have a label at the grocery store.]

Approximately 1/2 Tbsp freshly ground sea salt.

2 Tbsp of whey per pint (so 4 total for a quart of salsa).

Approximately 1/4 C of filtered water per pint (so 1/2 C total for a quart of salsa).

Dice it all, mix it all together in a bowl except for the water and whey, put into the jars, then add the whey and water. Screw on the lid, shake lightly, then let sit on the counter for 2 days before refrigerating.

Happy fermenting 🙂

Where it Began

Why Traditional Foods? Because of Weston A. Price, Sally Fallon, and the like. And because it feels right. I had done a school report on raw milk for college a year or two ago, but other than that hadn’t done anything else learning-wise as far as “traditional foods”. I knew a bit about Weston Price and a little bit about his foundation. I knew raw milk was illegal in a lot of places to sell, and that was about it. Fast forward to fall of last year when I started the MamaMuse (un)Midwifery Mentorship with Krista Arias. She teaches two other programs, Lazy Lady Living and Folklore Foods which we were given access to through the Mentorship program. After the first Folklore Foods class I was hooked. LLL includes some things on WAP and Ms. Fallon but is more focused on permaculture (it’s a Permaculture Design Certification program if anyone is interested) whereas the Folklore Foods class focuses solely on traditional foods and their preparation methods and is based on Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions.

First thing I have to say, is this stuff is amazing. It feels so good to be able to make real, nourishing, traditional foods. And it feels even better to then be able to eat it, and really enjoy how it makes you feel– the feeling of success, of pride, of health, and of feeling connected to a line of people thousands of years in the making.

So what is all this hullabaloo about “traditional foods”? Is this another Paleo diet fad? No. And that’s the awesome part. It’s not about “vegetarian” or “paleo” or “gluten-free, soy-free, additives-free.” It’s not about trying to fit into the latest diet fad. As Sally Fallon puts it, traditional foods go against what the “Diet Dictocrats” would have us do otherwise. They are foods and a way of eating that traditional peoples from all over the world have shared in common for thousands of years that guaranteed their health, fertility, and longevity. This way of eating takes you one step further past “local/free range/organic whole foods” without additives, packaging, etc. Traditional cooking methods enhance the nutrients of the food, and increase the digestability (grains anyone?). I will share more on these in later posts. I would like to recommend looking up some Sally Fallon videos on Youtube, and getting her book Nourishing Traditions. Also checkout MamaMuse 🙂

Of Gods and Food

This blog will be the story of my ongoing journey towards better health, more natural living, and the ever-evolving realm of my magical and spiritual practice. Why have all that together in one place, you may ask. Because to me, food is sacred. My body is a temple. There is no separation between the physical and the spiritual. Isn’t there a saying that food can feed the soul? Certain foods were “nectar of the gods”, or so sacred that they were placed upon the altars even in Christian churches (more on this later). Part of my spirituality is an animistic belief system, and feeling that being on this path that I am means I need to take care of the Earth in any way that I can, to contribute as much to its wellbeing and as little to its downfall as possible. I will share my attempts at learning traditional foods and their preparation methods, traditional women-crafts, spirit work, and more I’m sure. So take up your cup, fill it to the brim, and sit ’round the fire that we may tell tales to feed the Spirits, and eat the foods that feed the Soul.