Monthly Archives: April 2010

Jack's Room

So, I pretty much like to copy whatever Christine does (because she’s brilliant) and so I started working on a design mock-up for Jack’s future room. It’s been so helpful to see how different things will go together (or not go) plus it gives me an excuse to be on Etsy 24/7 (also Christine’s fault). Here’s a quick look at what I have so far: (click on the picture to see it bigger)

Most of the accessories are from Etsy (SO excited about the “You are my sunshine” sign that Gemma (my mom) has already bought for the room).

And how cute is this wooden whale!!!

I’m currently working on the bumper set and sheets for his crib which will consist of these fabrics:

The Bumper:

A couple sheet sets made out of these:

The uber-comfortable recliner comes in a really fun wavy square pattern:

and I am majorly pumped about the adorable shelf that I found at, where else, Etsy:

It’s kind of got a cute monster look to it with the curved parts at the top that look like eyes and the front part looking like a mouth. This will go above the changing table for all the lotions and potions needed for diaper-changing.

I’m also working on a changing table organizer to hang off the side. If anyone’s seen a pattern for something like that, please let me know b/c right now my plan is just to reconfigure a wall-organizer pattern I have from one of my books.

Oh and I finished Jack’s letters. I’m on the lookout for some fun, funky frames and I’m going to spray paint them all the same color then mount a letter in each one to hang over his crib.

That’s about all I have so far but more ideas are brewing!

In other news, Jon and I leave for Florida next week for a baby moon (courtesy of my sweet dad!) so we’re pretty excited about that. Work has been busy but great and we start our birthing classes soon. Next week will be the beginning of the 3rd trimester. Eek!! Can’t believe it’s going so fast! He’ll be here before we know it. I’ve been feeling great and Jon has been wonderful of course and understanding during my mood swings. If you haven’t already, check out his nutrition blog! He’s been working really hard on it and has posted a lot of great recipes and health tips. :) I leave you with the latest “artsy” self-portrait bump pic:

Much love!

J + B

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Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock

(excerpts from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)

Here we’re going to make Chicken Stock, but the recipe is the same for beef, and even simpler for vegetable. (For beef stock, you can braise first, then soak. For vegetable, add way more veggies, and simmer for 4-6 hours)

Why make homemade stock?

There are actually many great reasons to make your own chicken, beef, veggie and fish stock.

First, it will only have what you put in. This means no extra ingredients and chemicals that you are better off not eating.

Second, it’s filled with nutrition that store bought stock can’t even begin to give you. Using pastured meats, hearty bones, vegetables from Urban Acres, and bit of Real Salt, your stock will be rich in vitamins, minerals, and gelatin (which aids in proper digestion.)

Third, it adds amazing flavor and nutrition to your other kitchen creations. Make some Chicken Noodle soup or Chicken Vegetable soup. Whip up some Beef vegetable soup or Chili. A great stock can be added to almost any homemade sauce or soup to make it better and more nutritious.

Recipe

1  Chicken Stock kit or Whole Chicken from Urban Acres (Pastured Chicken)

4  Quarts cold filtered water

2  Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

1  Large Onion, chopped coarsely

2-3  Carrots, chopped coarsely

3  Celery Sticks, chopped coarsely

(other green veg or leafy green that you would like to add) no more than 2 Cups worth

1  Bunch parsley

Directions:

If you are using a whole chicken. Cut off the wings and remove the neck, and other parts from the cavity. Cut the chicken parts in to several pieces.

Otherwise, place water in a large stock pot, and add vinegar.  Then add chicken stock kit into the water, and let sit for 30 minutes.

While chicken is soaking, coarsely cut up all of the vegetables and add them to your pot.

Bring to a boil, and using a strainer or slotted spoon, remove most of the scum that has risen to the top. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. I like to simmer for about 8 hours or overnight.

Chop up the parsley and add to stock and let it cook in for 15 minutes, then turn off heat, and remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Set aside so you can get the meat off them later. Once the stock has cooled a bit, strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in the refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals.  Skim off this fat and pour final stock into containers that will be easy to store in the refrigerator. After a month, it’s best to reboil the stock and re-refrigerate.

Urban Acres carries everything you need to make a great stock.

Here’s a list of items you can find at Urban Acres to use in your stock.

1. Chicken Stock carcass kit. $5 (Windy Meadows Farm)

You can also use a Whole Chicken if you plan to make chicken soup and need all the meat. Or you can add chicken breast that has been baked to your future soup.

2. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar 32oz for $5.79

3. Real Salt (sea salt) 26oz for $5.59

All Stocks have salt, but the store bought stocks use processed salt.  Real Salt is an unrefined sea salt that contains all of the natural minerals that salt is supposed to have, including organicly occuring iodine which helps regulate many bodily systems. Real Salt helps activate enzymes in the intestines as well to help with digestion. Use in moderation.

4.  Vegetables from your bi-weekly veggie share. Depending on what you have and what you want to include you may need to suplement with other veggies. Here’s what we are using today. (Onion, carrots, celery, part of a leek, and green chard).

Full-fat Dairy for Heart Health

One thing I have learned reading Nourishing Traditions and The Untold Story of Milk is that milk is best consumed raw.  This means that I am consuming milk that is between 3.5-4% butterfat.  The trend in America is to drink 2% or 1% or even “not fat”, because we’ve been led to believe that animal fats are bad, and unhealthy.

There is a blog that I follow by Stephan Guyenet. I don’t know him, but I love reading it because he seems to find wonderful and obscure and relevant studies that tell a different story. So for today’s post, I simply want to point you to his latest blog entry, titled “Full-fat Dairy for Cardiovascular Health“.

The more you know about traditional diets, the better you eat, and the healthier you are. Don’t you want to be healthy?  Lipitor is not the answer.  Get some raw milk and start building your future.

Building a Better Immune System

Do you like cheese, yogurts, butter and fresh milk? Most people, all around the globe would say yes to one or more of these foods.  In fact, the more I learn about eating a “traditional” diet, the more I see the immense importance of fresh, raw dairy, and fermented dairy products.  One of today’s nutrition buzz words is “Probiotic”. Finally, we have a modern trend that I can get behind.  The truth is, every culture around the world, up until about 150 years ago, ate and drank probiotics all the time in the form of raw milk, fresh raw cheeses cultured for weeks or months, and a host of soured milk products like Kefir, yogurt, and sour cream.  When these foods are made traditionally from grass fed cows milk, they have an amazing side effect of boosting your immune system and helping you ward off disease. This is by design. And don’t dismiss real butter from the same raw milk. It’s super high in Vitamin A, D, and K.  It will not raise cholesterol. That is a myth.

Here’s a partial list of some of the more biologically active ingredients identified in grass fed cows milk that helps explain why it’s such important tool for getting and maintaining strong immunity:

Immunoglobulins IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE, IgD: Large, complex sugar/protein (glycoprotein) molecules (also known as antibodies) used by the immune system to find and deactivate pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.

Transforming Growth Factor Beta: Stimulates growth and repair of the gastro-intestinal tract.

Epidermal Growth Factor: Biochemically regulates cellular growth, cellular division and cell type. Fosters rapid tissue repair.

Glutathione: Powerful antioxidant that offers protection to cells from free radicals.

Interferons: Specialized proteins that inhibit replication of viruses within cells throughout the body.

Interleukins: A large group of signaling molecules that help regulate the immune system.

Oligosaccharides: Groups of 3-10 sugar molecules that protect against pathogens by competing for binding sites on the intestinal epithelium and provide support to friendly probiotic bacteria.

Proline-rich Polypeptide (PRP) or Colostrinin: Anti-inflammatory hormone that helps regulate immune system activity by stimulating the thymus gland.

Transferrin: Immune system glycoprotein that binds free iron, which, in turn, inhibits bacterial growth.

Are you tired or wary of the useless pasteurized milk products in our stores?  Aside from a few good yogurts, like Brown Cow and Cultural Revolution, and Kefir from Lifeway, there’s not much worth while in the supermarket cooler.  If all you ever do is add yogurt and kefir to your diet, that is awesome and will certainly help.  If you want to go all the way and start drinking “the good stuff”, start searching for a source of grass fed cows milk.

It may not be legal in your state to buy raw milk, even from the farm.  In Texas it is legal to get it from the farm, or via a milk club (buying together as a group). If you are in the Dallas area, ask me about a local milk club.

The first, and probably best place to go for information on obtaining raw milk near where you live is a site run by the Weston A. Price Foundation. Here you’ll find a treasure trove of information pertaining to raw milk and the the political storm swirling around it.
Go here to find a supplier near you (also on the realmilk site, but just to save you a few clicks):
At the end of the day, I’d rather spend a little extra on the best of super foods, then a lot of cash at the Doctor’s office. Isn’t that a better and healthier way to live?