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I love liver, but my family doesn’t.  I eat it for lunch, and then ensure that my family gets it via a good quality supplement.

 

For years, we’ve been taking fermented cod liver oil.  But lately, I’ve taken an interest in Radiant Life’s desiccated liver because I can add it to soups, stews and tacos without complaints from any of my liver-haters.

 

This week we have a guest post from Kathy LeMoine at Radiant Life Company.  Radiant Life is one of my favorite suppliers of supplements; they do their homework and have products that no one else has.  Check out their website at www.radiantlifecatalog.com to find many nutrient-dense super-foods like fermented cod liver oil and grass-fed ghee.

Beef livers are a virtual treasure trove of nutrients. When sourced from healthy, grass fed cows, liver is loaded with a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fat.  It is particularly rich in the nutrients that help keep our brains healthy including the essential fatty acids needed by humans for proper nutrition and health like EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docasahexaenoic acid), and AA (arachidonic acid) as well as vitamin B12.

 

Most animal foods contain some amount of vitamin B12, but liver is by far the best source of this nutrient.  Because it is so nutritionally valuable, liver should be eaten at least once a week. Many disorders of the nervous system and a myriad of other illnesses and behaviors result from vitamin B12 deficiency.  So if you are experiencing vague symptoms (related to a less than optimal functioning brain and nervous system) such as difficulty in thinking and remembering, panic attacks, weakness, loss of balance, numbness in the hands and feet, or agitated depression, make sure that your source of vitamin B12 is from healthy animal products.  It must be from a premium source of liver.

 

Vitamin B12 is only well absorbed from animal sources. Liver is the highest source of vitamin B12, followed by sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon, lamb, Swiss cheese, eggs, haddock, beef, blue cheese, halibut, scallops, cottage cheese, chicken, and milk.
If you cannot bring yourself to consume liver, then raw desiccated liver from grass-fed cows is a great alternative. Desiccated liver capsules provide the easiest and most convenient option for those who would rather not taste liver. Try adding desiccated liver powder to soups, gravies, stews, smoothies, or broths to introduce this nutritional powerhouse into the diets of those who don’t care for the taste and texture of liver!

 

Quite simply, desiccated liver contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food!

 

I love that.

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Joette Calabrese, HMC,CCH,RSHom is a homeopath and mom who has depended solely on homeopathy and nutrition in raising her family without a single drug….ever! If you find this kind of information valuable, consider joining Joette’s 12 month system, How to Raise a Drug Free Family by visiting www.homeopathyworks.net/offers/drugfree.html, or contact her office at 716.941.1045.  Lots more free tips like these at www.Homeopathyworks.net

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Is there anything more inviting than the smell of baking bread? Freshly-baked bread spread with rich butter seems like one of the most wholesome things we could feed our families until we read about the problems associated with gluten, refined flours, or unsoaked grains. Perhaps, like I was, you’re confused by all the conflicting messages you’ve heard about whole grains. Let me explain to you what I’ve learned from the nutritional research of the Weston A. Price Foundation and Sally Fallon’s marvelous cookbook Nourishing Traditions.

Let’s first tackle the subject of gluten, a protein found in many grains. Wheat, rye, barley, and oats all contain gluten, wild rice, millet, and buckwheat do not. Gluten can be difficult for some people to digest, leading to annoyances like flatulence, bloating, and intestinal discomfort. More seriously, those with Celiac disease have a severe gluten allergy that causes intestinal tract damage and nutritional deficiencies.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I often encourage my clients to go gluten-free for at least a period of time to see whether the absence of this protein in their diets leads to physical improvement. Plus I’ve collected so many yummy gluten-free recipes! However, this doesn’t mean that I believe everyone needs to completely avoid wheat or rye products. In fact, those with gluten sensitivities may actually be able to tolerate some gluten-containing grains with proper preparation. One to try is spelt, an ancient member of the wheat family that may be easier to digest than modern varieties. The great thing about spelt is that it can usually be substituted for whole-wheat flour in recipes with similar results.

Maybe you’ve heard about soaking or sprouting grains before cooking, but are confused about why the process is beneficial. All grains contain some amount of phytic acid, an antinutrient that blocks the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the intestines. Soaking flour or grains for at least seven hours in acidified water or cultured milk products like buttermilk or yogurt allows the enzyme phytase to begin breaking down phytic acid, neutralizing this potentially harmful compound and actually increasing nutrient availability. You can think of soaking as a type of predigestion. In fact, because gluten is partially broken down during soaking, soaked grains are generally more digestible for those with gluten sensitivity. You’ll find lots of great recipes using soaked grains in Nourishing Traditions.

Allow me to share one more delicious tip for making whole grains more digestible: eat your bread with a spread of raw honey. The pollen in raw honey contributes an enzyme called amylase (also found in saliva) that helps break down starch into sugar. In effect, you’re initiating the digestion process before you even start eating. How’s that for an easy –to-follow health suggestion?

Make it your goal to avoid commercial bread products, even those touted as healthy whole-grain options. They contain flours that have been stripped of their naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals then fortified with synthetic versions. If you love white bread, experiment with recipes using soaked whole wheat flour. The soaking process softens the wheat so much that it yields results very similar to refined white flour. If your schedule is such that bread making isn’t possible, look for artisan sourdough bread made with whole-grain flour. Fermenting also allows for the breakdown of phytic acid before consumption.

Then tear a piece of hearty bread and top it with a big chunk of cold raw butter. ‘Nothing like it!

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“Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup.”

Leave it to the great Beethoven to mix morality with soup. (A tall order for his distressed servants, no doubt!)

Allow me to be “pure-hearted” here and share a recipe that represents a key nutritional foundation with a symphony of possibilities. This soup base is the foundation of every well prepared soup imaginable. Plus, it is free of MSG and preservatives that flavor many store-bought broths and soups.

I start with roasted bones and end with a gorgeous stock.  I find that the most delicious and nourishing stocks are those made from a variety of bones, so plan to save your roast chicken, roast beef, pork, lamb, buffalo and rabbit.

Here’s what else you’ll need:

4 lbs (approximately) of bones (carcass, head, feet, cartilage, antlers, etc)

4 or more quarts cold, filtered water

½ cup vinegar, distilled or raw

2 apples, halved

3 onions, halved

3 celery stalks, halved

3 carrots, halved

Several sprigs of fresh thyme

1 tsp dried green peppercorns, crushed (optional)

1 bunch parsley (optional)

Once your roast has been served, add approximately 4 quarts of water to the roasting pan and scrape the bottom to infuse the drippings into the mix. Toss in any additional bones, heads, feet, etc. and add the remaining ingredients. Be sure that the bones are covered. If not, add more water.

I like to include apples and onions because they impart a sweeter aroma to a stock that might smell gamey otherwise. Vinegar is necessary to draw out the calcium, magnesium and zinc from the bones and render the bone stock more nutritious.

Then, set the pot to simmer for 12-72 hours. Skim off the scum and discard. The pot can remain on the flames for an entire 72 hours or turned off nightly, left at room temperature and reignited in the morning. Once strained, the stock can be frozen.

While it’s still on the stove, this stock can be used as a base for a myriad of soups.  You might find that the stock doesn’t have a particularly appealing aroma but it will taste delicious after it’s strained and used to cook with.

With this base, you can offer “medicine in a bowl” in tandem with the other, family-pleasing meals you serve day after day.


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I’ve made a little discovery.  I can make crackers in infinite flavors and with a myriad of ingredients.  They can be high or low carb, gluten free or include lots o’ gluten. They can be savory when I add cheese and olives, or sweet like graham crackers when I use a touch of cinnamon and maple syrup. And since I realized how easy they are to make, I’ve been making crackers nearly every night for the last few weeks.

I think it’s my new hobby.

Now, when someone asks me “So other than being a homeopath, what do you do for fun?  I say “I’m a cracker-head.”

Familiarizing myself with the components of a cracker was the first step.   I learned that crackers are forgiving.  You can add just about any nut, bean or grain flour with some flavoring, add a liquid, roll out and bake and you’ve got something on which to serve cheese or to spread almond butter.   Last week I added Pecorino cheese, cracked pepper and chopped garlic.

They were Italian crackers.

Then one night, I added rosemary from my garden, melted coconut oil as part of the liquid and tons of shredded coconut.

These were herb crackers.

When I included cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and chopped almonds they tasted like Dutch Windmill Cookies (Speculaas).

Heavenly.

‘Don’t have tapioca flour?  No problem, just use more almond flour.  ‘No gelatin?  Don’t worry, skip it.  ‘Don’t like poppy seeds?  It’s ok.  Just add sesame seeds instead.

The only caution I found to be noteworthy, is that you don’t want to use too much liquid or they’ll stick to your rolling pin.   It’s hard to say exactly how much is just the right amount without knowing if you’ll be using coconut, almond flour or such. Each has its own idiosyncrasies and they require adjusting for more liquid or less.  So, I learned to eye ball it.  A mealy type consistency is the best so that the dough can roll out easily.

But again, crackers are forgiving.

So, if you add too much liquid, just toss more dry into the bowl until it feels as though it will roll out nicely.

Yummy Gluten Free, Low-Carb Crackers

Preheat oven to 250°

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup almond flour or meal
  • 1 cup flax meal
  • 2 cups coconut flakes
  • ½ cup poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup gelatin
  • Celtic Salt, to taste
  • About 2 ½ -3 ½ cups liquid ( water, lemon juice or  yogurt whey)

In a mixer, or a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the liquid and mix until mealy.

Roll out the mixture between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Until it’s 1/8” thick or less.

Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and place the batter layer still on the parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.  You want the parchment to be underneath the dough directly on the cookie sheet.  Score the dough into the shape of crackers.

Bake until slightly golden, then flip, allowing the paper to release, so that the crackers are now directly on the cookie sheet.

Bake until crisp. Depending on the amount of liquid and type of flour, it may take up to an hour or so until they’re crunchy.

I keep mine in a glass container with a tight plastic lid in the pantry.  So far they’ve stayed fresh, but I think that’s because my family eats them so quickly that they haven’t a chance to get old.

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What a week at Homeopathy Works! I’m very excited and just as busy preparing for my upcoming webinar system, How to Raise a Drug Free Family.

So, while I’m perfecting this year-long course, I’ll leave you with a brief consideration.

A friend of mine, Liz Pitfield, uses this quote from Wendell Berry on her email stationary.   I like the spirit of it but I can’t help but tinker with it a bit.

This is Wendell Berry’s version:

“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are healed by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.”

This is my version:

“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food and knows little of genuine health.”

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For Valentine’s Day, why not give your loved ones a truly delicious and wholesome candy; one with ingredients that you love and can feel good about? Here’s what I make for my family on Valentine’s Day.

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate  Layer

  • 1 Cup Green Pasture’s coconut oil (One of the best brands)
  • ¼ cup organic raw cocoa powder (Found at health food stores)
  • Big pinch of Celtic salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla (I make my own, but any organic one will do)
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 1 cup organic almond flour

In a food processor, mix all ingredients except peanut butter. Scrape out ½ of it and make a  smooth layer of the mixture  on a cookie sheet lined in parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Put the other half aside  and keep at room temperature. While the first mixture is cooling begin the peanut butter layer.

Peanut Butter Layer

  • 1/2 cup  organic peanut butter
  • ¼ cup truly raw honey (the kind that is cloudy and crystallizes when it’s cold)
  • parchment or waxed paper

Add peanut butter and  honey in a clean food processor. Smear the peanut butter topping in a  uniform layer on top of the refrigerated chocolate.

Refrigerate.  Once cooled, smear the last chocolate mixture on the top of the peanut butter layer.  Place back in the refrigerator.  When cooled, break up into individual bit-sized pieces and place in paper  crinkle cups or fashion on a doily.  They may remain at room temperature but a distance from the fireplace.(Yes, there’s a story behind this caution.) Usually, I keep them in a glass covered container in the fridge.

 Minty Valentine Candy

Using the above recipe, omit the peanut butter layer and instead, add 10 drops of essential oil of mint.  Oh heavenly day!

 Orange Valentine Candy

Using the above recipe, omit the peanut butter layer and instead, add 10 drops of essential oil of orange. A little twist of orange peel on top is a lovely addition and denotes which candy is the orange one, if you decide to make a variety.

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I love good food.  Even my favorite movies attest to this: Big Night, Chocolat, Julie and Julia. And when it comes to foodstuff, I have

a difficult time getting past the low-fat paradigm.

As far as I’m concerned: fat is where it’s at.

Now, not all fats are the same.  Think of the distinction between a Dunkin’ Donut doughnut and my Sunday, homemade, buttermilk pancakes, blissfully fried in cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, and then drenched in raw spring butter and a splash of local maple syrup from my farmer.   If we only examine one aspect, it becomes apparent which is the superior choice.  Look at the oils. The former choice is fried in months-old soybean or canola oil; the latter is in concert with delectable coconut oil, which has the distinct fragrance of fresh coconuts.  Can there be any comparison?

So how do I rationalize the abundance of saturated fats for my family and me?  I did my homework and this is what I learned.

The notion that saturated fats cause heart disease is not only facile but just plain wrong.  Do you remember the Framingham Heart Study?  Well, if not, you ought to know that it’s the mainstay for the low-fat paradigm advocates. Yet, its hypothesis has been turned on its head.

In hindsight, some 40 years after the study became public, the director of the study confessed that “the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol… we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat [and] ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”

Can we deduce that arterial sclerosis has little to do with cholesterol and fat consumption? It certainly appears that we can when we consider those telling words from the director of the lipid theorist’s flagship study.

Interestingly, clogged arteries are not choked with saturated fats, but with calcium deposits akin to lime.  This is not what we have imagined all these years.

Instead, we’ve visualized the fats from a fresh, free range, pastured egg fried in extra virgin coconut oil traveling directly from the mouth into the stomach and then straight for the arteries.  It simply isn’t so and there’s plenty of evidence to substantiate this.

Irrespective of the repetitive conventional medical mantra and unsound pop culture advice, we can reconsider the last 40 years of fat phobia to be a wash.

If butter, organic, extra virgin coconut oil, cod liver oil, whole milk, tropical and other saturated fats don’t cause heart disease, then what does?  We know that deficiencies of vitamins A, E and D are one cause.  Where are these vitamins found?  Why, in butter, lard, tropical oils and animal fats…the very same foods we’re advised to eschew!

B vitamin and mineral deficiencies are also contributors to heart disease.  These occur as a result of eating foods of commerce, such as soda, preservatives, additives and enhancers, instead of whole, homemade fare.  Vitamin B happens to be abundant in red meat and in organ meats.

Butter, lard and tropical fats, such as virgin coconut oil,  thanks to their antioxidants, protect us against free radicals and are therefore, preventative against diseases such as cancer, heart disease, depression, infections and reproductive disorders.

Get happy!  Ward off hot flashes, heart pathology, allergies, fatigue, memory loss and winter respiratory infections.  Eat like a true gourmet; include plentiful amounts of butter, organic virgin coconut oil and fresh milk.  Then go outside and take a walk.  Your brain, heart, lungs and even your arteries will thank you for a radiant life.

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