Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Aging, illness and death are treasures for those who understand them. They're Noble Truths, Noble Treasures. If they were people, I'd bow down to their feet every day.
- Ajaan Lee


video

Managing My Ankylosing Spondylitis (pronounced ankle-low-zing spond-ill-eye-tiss)

I was diagnosed (both chronic sacroiliitis and HLA-B27 positive) at the age of 42 in April 2006. Before that, I was in chronic pain for 1 1/2 years. Before that, I suffered a few flares, maybe one every decade of my life, that usually lasted a few weeks, and went away with rest or a visit to a chiropractor. Usually they were caused by running or jogging or some other high impact activity. I had tight hamstrings my entire life, but not any more since I eliminated starch. Tight hamstrings is now one of the first signs that tells me I have ingested some hidden starch in something I ate.

Within 6 months of being diagnosed, I began to figure out how to manage my symptoms (inflamation in sacrum area causing pain in hip, butt, hamstrings, legs, without medication, by eating a No Starch Diet.

Natural Healing with the LONDON AS DIET

***Start a food journal, include everything you eat, your pain levels, your activities, your meds, etc***

AS, Digestion and the HLA-B27 Gene.......

This gene is handed down, primarily from ancestors of the Northern Hemisphere; Australia, England, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Scotland, etc.

AS is a chronic and progressive inflammatory form of arthritis that mainly affects the joints of the spine (vertebrae). Inflammation, swelling and irritation cause back pain and stiffness. Over time, people living with AS tend to stoop forward. This leads to a rounding of the back. In severe cases, vertebrae may fuse together causing the spine to stiffen. This results in a major loss of movement. I don't know of anyone else in my family who has been diagnosed, but I know some who have suffered similiar symptons, unfortunately they are no longer here to be tested.

Molecular Mimicry - AS is an auto-immune disease. My immune system is attacking itself because the HLA-B27 gene is identical to a bacterial called Klebsiella. Klebsiella bacteria feed and multiply on undigested starch, my immune system makes antibodies against these microbe and some of those antibodies will also have activity against the HLA-B27 gene, thereby acting as tissue damaging autoantibodies, causing inflamation and pain throughout my joints - hence the need to abstain from starchy foods.

In the early stages of AS, my immune system had become an expert at responding quickly, killing off my own white blood cells, what it mistakes for this bacteria. If I go one meal without following the Low Starch Diet, my body quickly goes into a flare, causing inflamation and pain. Just a lick or bite of any food containing starch (gravy, chocolate chip cookie) and I am a cripple for about 3 or 4 days (till all the starch is digested).

By following this strick diet, I can prevent the progression of this disease and the pain that comes with it. I can stop my immune system from reacting without the use of biological medications, which would compromise my immune system, and cause me to suffer other diseases. And I can stop the inflamation without the use of NSAID's, which cause stomach upset and bleeding ulcers (and heart attacks!). Although I still have to live with the damage already done to my joints, I can prevent further damage. By doing this without the use of medications, I do not have to deal with the added side effects.

Foods to Avoid

All obvious high starch foods. Breads, cakes, cookies, pasta, rice, potatoes/root vegetables, dried beans, corn, wheat, grains, peanuts, etc. Yes, this means pizza, burritos, sandwiches, chips, etc. All known starches. All my favorite foods.

I felt better after about 4 days after starting this diet, when all starches I ate previously were digested from my body. I believe it was safe then, to stop taking my medication, but I wasn't brave enough for 10 days (I was affraid to stop - affraid the pain would come back).

Foods Proven to Aid Digestion and Help Heal the Gut

Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut adds healthy flora (live cultures) which will help my digestive system work more efficiently. If you prefer to make your own sauerkraut, try this recipe. Take 1 Tablespoon of the sauerkraut with each meal.


Foods to Figure Out


Low or hidden starch foods. Read all labels on processed foods. Watch out for addiditives, modified starches, corn syrup, etc. in processed foods and supplements. Some foods may contain trace amounts of starch, and not be listed on the ingredients, such as shredded or sliced cheeses, so I don't eat any processed foods. Supplements must be starch free.

Use a drop of iodine to test foods, anything with starch in it will turn black.

Most fresh veggies and fruits are safe when raw and picked ripe, but starch is released when cooked. Apples, bananas and imported fruits cause the most problems. Pectin (found in some yogurts) has caused me to become inflamed.

When I have been pain free for a while, I experiment with foods, and see what my body can tolerate. I may suffer 2 to 4 days of inflamation in my sacrum from eating a food my body cannot tolerate, but if I don't go into a flare, I know the food is safe for me to eat. I can't live with the pain, so during these times I rely on Medical Marijuana, available locally at Blue Heaven Coastside, as most pharmaceutical medications contain starch and cannot be tolerated. I use a Vaporizer, which eliminates 95% of carcinogens from smoking, and because edibles are out since I can't tolerate the starch or sugar needed to bake them. One starch free, over the counter pain reliever I can use in a pinch is Aleve Gel Caps. But I use these NSAID's in strict moderation, as I still have not healed from the damage they did to my stomach when I was over-using for the 2 years before I was diagnosed.

Some foods such as cocoa powder, citrus (has starch in the white pith), pectin (used in some yogurts) and almonds with the skin on and root vegetables, I can tolerate occasionally, but if I consume on a daily basis, I will end up in a flare. I eat these foods in moderation only. Spices are starchy and can only been eaten in very small quantities.

After 2 years following this diet healing has taken place. I am now able to tolerate moderate amounts of starch, without going into a major flare. No high starch foods such as wheat or grain, but some starchy vegetables now seem to be OK, such as citrus, potatoes, almonds, more spices, etc. I have discovered I can tolerate long grain brown rice (less starchy then short grain) that has been prepared properly - rinsed till the water runs clear, then soaked all day in chloramine free water, and then cooked slowly, for at least 2 hours in a mineral bone broth. This makes the rice more easily to digest. See the cookbook Nourishinig Traditions by Sally Fallon for more detailed instructions. Unfortunately, consuming rice has caused the fungus overgrowth in my ear to return, and can only be eaten in strict moderation.

STARCH CONTENT OF FOOD this list can be used a guide when choosing safe foods.

Raw vegetables - the starch is locked inside the vegetable cells and passes thru our bodies locked away in the vegetable cells and is removed as waste.

Cook vegetables
, the cells are broken and the starch is released.

I starting off by eating only raw vegetables. After I was pain free for a while, I started to experiment, to see what cooked vegetables my body could tolerate. I have not found any vegetable that I cannot tolerate. Although, some can only be eaten in moderation, such as fava beans, winter squash, potatoes, beets. I try to eat mostly organic, locally grown produce, from a farmers market or health food store.

MOVEMENT

Lifestyle Modification - Be cautious of all physical activities. Rest between activities, applying heat or ice therapy. Learn to say NO. Take care of yourself.........no one else will.

Contact a Physical Therapist for an appointment, while starting these exercises

Bike - as long as I keep my butt on the seat, even when going up hills, my sacrum is not effected as I am using other muscles.

Walk - Focus on core. Keep tummy tight.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

See my list of Helpful Resources to the right, especially listen to this interview with Carol Sinclair, author of the Low-Starch Diet Book.

MIND BODY CONNECTION

There are many well-known pathways within the brain and central nervous system by which higher cognitive and emotional functions can modify the perception of pain and increase healing. The systems perspective on pain opens the door for many different possible ways to use your mind intentionally to influence your experience of pain and increase healing.

My Favorite Resources for Healing

Full Catastrophe Living and the Guided Body Scan are great tools to guide you in using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness.

The Twelve Steps of Compulsive Eaters Anonymous-H.O.W., is specific group of Overeaters Anonymous that abstains from sugar and flour. Meetings can be found all over the world. This has been an amazing resource for help with sticking to my diet to allow for natural healing. For more information read, Twelve Steps for Overeaters, An interpretation of the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Managing My Candida (fungal yeast overgrowth) - Individuals with various immunological dysfunctions have been seen to be more succeptible to candidiasis.

My Candida Symptoms - Chronic fatigue; inability to tolerate alcohol; athletes foot, dry heel cracking; stiffness and pain in upper back, shoulders, ribs, neck; shallow breathing; hair loss; inflamed colon (painful bowel movement followed by constipation); vaginal burning; inflamation of the joints (foot joint pain, leg muscle pain and cramping); cold feet, ear ache, itchy rash, night sweats. MD diagnoses was arthritis and allergy.

Natural Healing with the Candida Diet

Candida is a fungus of the yeast category. In addition to antibiotics, the use of steroids (cortisones), birth control pills, antacid and anti-ulcer medications, are contributing factors since Candida proliferates rapidly in the presence of these substances. They should be avoided if possible. Antifungal and diet therapy can treat and cure. An antifungal, such as Oregano Oil and Healthy Trinity probiotics should be taken. In addition to following the No Starch Diet, sugar, dairy, nuts, alcohol, coffee, vinegar and mushrooms must be avoided. This includes fresh fruit as candida fungus feeds on sugar, and you will NOT kill the fungus until ALL sugar is eliminated. While a significant reduction in symptoms will often be seen in less than a few weeks, it is important to continue therapy until symptoms are eliminated. It may take 1 month of healing for every year you have been sick.

I previously had fungal in my body but was not aware of the significance of the problem until it became major overgrowth, 30 hours after receiving a Cortisone Injection. I had already been fighting a chronic case of Athletes Foot for 7 months that would not go away, even with prescription lotion. Another sign was when my body began rejecting alcohol. For at least the previous year or two, one glass of wine would cause me to become violently ill. (Candida overgrowth is mainly located in the mucus membranes throughout the body, i.e. ears, eyes, nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, intestines, genitals, bladder, etc., but Candida puts out over 79 different kinds of toxins, most of which are alcohol, which cause the many symptons associated with candida. And alcohol itself is toxic and when you have candida, drinking it will add to the amount of alcohol circulating in your system, which creates more symptoms and problems.) My other aches and pains caused by the fungus were diagnosed by my MD as Spinal Arthritis, related to AS (but they are now under control as long as I follow the Candida Diet). About 30 hours after the cortisone injection I started developing extremly uncomfortable symptoms, my already chronic fungus went into major, unbearable, candida overgrowth.

Candida is a precursor to cancer. Everyone with cancer has fungus, but not everyone with fungus has cancer (yet). You want to do everything you can to eliminate fungus overgrowth in your body.

Take this quiz if you think you might have Candida.

I was in severe pain, had loss of appetite, and had severe chronic fatigue for the first 5 weeks of healing. I was barely able to get out of bed. My die off symptoms were so intolerable, I had to stop taking the Organo Oil, which is a very powerful antifungal, and just let the diet itself do the healing, in order to be able to function on a daily basis. I was able to tolerate mild antifungals such as Coconut Oil and Pau D'Arco tea so continued with those treatments daily. Epson salt baths, dry skin brushing, coffee enemas were all also very helpful treatments for making symptoms more bearable.

Following the Candia Diet for 3 months had eliminated all my symptoms. As long as I continue to keep my fungus in check, and not let it overgrow again by following this strict regiment, I feel that these symptoms will no longer be an issue. But it is a constant daily battle, I can never let my guard down. I am always in tune to the slightest fluctuations in my levels of pain, and ready to fight it off upon its return, which is usually caused by having too much sugar (fruit or diary).

After 10 months I was able to tolerate moderate amounts of fruit without return of symptoms. However, due to my weakened immune system, when other infections are invading my body, such as the common cold or flu, I must increase my dosage of antifungals and probiotics, while returning to strict Candida Diet, eliminating ALL sugars including fruit, dairy, alcohol, coffee, vinegar and nuts and mushrooms. While my already weakened immune system is being called to fight off other germs, the fungus jumps at the opportunity to overgrow again.

I seem to be most succeptible to fungus in the ear now, which creates extreme pain. I have found an ear drop solution of 50% hydrogen peroxide and 50% distilled water to be very effective. Just put about 5 drops in each ear 3 times per day. You can also alternate with 5 drops coconut oil and 1 drop oregano oil in each ear as needed. It is also necessary to return to strict Candida Diet, eliminating ALL sugars including fruits, dairy, alcohol, coffee, vinegar and mushrooms for about 10 days, and increasing oral doses of coconut oil and oregano oil.

I also had a problem with an itchy rash on my face and neck. I have had success treating this type of fungal skin infection topically with a skin toner made by combining 50% hydrogen peroxide with 50% distilled water. Apply on skin with cotton ball 3 times per day. After that dries, apply coconut oil combined with 1 drop of oregano oil as often as needed. Periodically squirt the face with a fresh lemon juice spray (combine 1 Tablespoon juice with 1 cup distilled water in a spray bottle). A cold compress (soak a wash cloth in the lemon juice/water solution) will relive intense itchiness during the day time. If your scalp feels itchy as well, it will help to apply the oils and lemon juice. It is also necessary to return to strict Candida Diet, eliminating ALL sugars including fruits, dairy, alcohol, coffee, vinegar and nuts and mushrooms for about 10 days, and increasing oral doses of coconut oil and oregano oil. In order to prevent more damage due to excessive scratching, wear soft gloves at night when sleeping. It will never go away if you keep scratching it and making it worse.

Water - Chlorine kills microorganisms. When we drink it, it kills the beneficial bacteria our bodies need for proper balancing of gut flora. If Chlorine is added to your tap water, you can remove it by filling a large pot with tap water, and letting it sit uncovered for 24 hours.

In 2004 my municipality started adding Chloramine (chlorine and amonia) to our water supply. Chloramine cannot be removed as easily as chlorine. A granular-activated carbon filtration system is your best bet. But that option is very expensive, up to $15,000 for a complete house system, plus $1,200 yearly maintenance. I wasn't aware of any of this till 2008, but I am now getting bottled SPRING water delivered to my home, as the home filtration system is way out of my reach financially.

I believe chloramine is one contributing factor to the downfall of my health, which began in 2004. Since then, my body cannot produce enough beneficial bacteria on its own. I mysteriously developed a auto-immune disease and a chronic battle with fungal infections. And since my immune system is now so busy fighting off the fungus on a daily basis, I have become more susceptible to other infections invading my body. In addition to following a very restricted diet and detox program, I now have to take anti-fungals to kill off the fungus, and probiotics to increase the beneficial bacteria daily.

Chloramine is very drying to my skin. By not drinking it, it has improved, but bathing and washing hands often still causes dry skin. I apply lots of coconut oil as a body oil, and I make a body oil out of extra light olive oil that I infused with dried lavender and calendula flowers, by filling a large mason jar and letting it sit in the sun for 2 weeks, then straining. It also works as a shaving cream, just apply to wet skin while shaving.

EAT FOR NUTRITION Some healthy diet choices are:

Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut adds healthy flora (live cultures) which will help my digestive system work more efficiently. If you prefer to make your own sauerkraut, try this recipe. Take 1 Tablespoon of the sauerkraut with each meal.

Poached eggs on Swiss Chard sauted in coconut oil and garlic.

Veggie Juice

Meatballs (use Blanched Almond Flour as a substitute for Bread Crumbs)

Wild Salmon, grilled with Coconut Oil and Unrefined GREY Sea Salt

Mineral Bone Broth.

Steamed Broccoli, Cauliflower and Zucchini with Butter and grey sea salt.

Asparagus roasted with coconut oil and grey sea salt.


DIETARY DANGERS

Don't use a Microwave

Don't use man made Vegetable Oils

Avoid Caffeine

Eliminate Processed Foods

Avoid Unnecessary Medications

ELIMINATE MOLDS IN YOUR HOME

MOVEMENT

Exercise Daily (Pain Permitting) Any movement is beneficial and relieves stiffness.

Swim - This is the single most effective exercise for decreasing stiffness and pain caused by Candida toxins. Until the benefits of the diet kicked in (about 3 months), swimming was my only relief from pain and stiffness. Before that, I could not get out of bed in the morning without first heating up with a heating pad. Getting started was the hard part, but once I realized the benefits......I wished I was a mermaid and could live underwater.

I hate chlorine, but I've learned to get around that. Before I get in the pool, I cover my body with lotion, to create a barrier. I also put some conditioner in my hair and wear a swim cap. And lets not forget the ear plugs. When I get out of the pool, I shower and I apply coconut oil to my skin. I have no itching since starting this routine.

I was not a swimmer before, so I had to start slow. The first week I did 4 laps in the pool, which equals 100 meters. Each week I increased it by 100 meters (or 4 more laps). After 11 weeks, I finally reached 1000 meters (40 laps!!), and it took me 45 minutes. I now swim for 1 hour at a time. I alternate breast stroke and back stroke every 50 meters.

Finding a pool - I go to my local YMCA, they keep the water relatively warm (85 degrees) for arthritis sufferers and hold aquatic classes all morning long, every day. My local hospital has an even warmer pool, used specifically for physicl therapy.

Bike - with a proper bike that allows you to sit upright, this exercise is much better for my posture then driving in a car, so now I'd rather take my bike to run errands then my car.

Walk - Focus on posture. Keep my shoulders back and tummy tight. I don't want to end up huntch back. It was painful to keep my shoulders back before I started swimming.

MIND BODY CONNECTION

There are many well-known pathways within the brain and central nervous system by which higher cognitive and emotional functions can modify the perception of pain and increase healing. The systems perspective on pain opens the door for many different possible ways to use your mind intentionally to influence your experience of pain and increase healing.

My Favorite Resources for Healing

Full Catastrophe Living and the Guided Body Scan are great tools to guide you in using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness.

The Twelve Steps of Compulsive Eaters Anonymous-H.O.W., is specific group of Overeaters Anonymous that abstains from sugar and flour. Meetings can be found all over the world. This has been an amazing resource for help with sticking to my diet to allow for natural healing. For more information read, Twelve Steps for Overeaters, An interpretation of the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous

DETOXING WITH LYMPHATIC MASSAGE

Lymphatic massage or lymph drainage massage is a technique used to help increase lymph flow. Increased lymph flow removes harmful substances from the tissues and increases immune function. This type of massage therapy is crucial to keep our bodies free of toxins. With our dysfunctional immune systems, we can't do it alone.

In the beginning, you will experience an increase in die off symptoms as the toxins are released. Drink lots of water, and take as many hot baths with 1 cup epson salt and 1 cup baking soda as necessary.

FOOT CARE

Corns - take a piece of pineapple rind with some fruit left on it, and tape it to the corn overnight. Remove pineapple and soak foot in 1 cup epson salt and 1 cup baking soda, then rub it with a pumice stone. Dry feet and apply coconut oil. Repeat as necessary.

Use the pumice stone and coconut oil on dry, cracked heals as well.

CHRONIC FATIGUE

Inflamation takes energy away from us. Eat healthy foods, exercise, get plenty of rest. Be militant about your daily activities, and stay in tune with how your are feeling thorughout the day and adjust your activities accordingly.

HORMONES

The fungus can also overgrow during cyclical change in hormones. It can cause more severe cramping, heavier bleeding, increase in vaginal yeast and burning, mood swings, increase of inflamation throughout entire body. When my fungus under control, I have none of these PMS symptoms.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

FAVORITE STARCH FREE RECIPES
(not all recommended on Candida Diet - avoid those with nuts or sweeteners)


SUMMER SQUASH SPAGHETTI WITH MEAT SAUCE
I can tolerate both zucchini and canned tomatoes (avoid those with Calcium Chloride added), test for yourself.

for this recipe you need a gadgit called a spiral slicer, that slices the squash into spaghetti strands.

I found the round squash works best, but you can use any type, but may have to cut to fit on slicer. It may take a few practice tries, but just use firm pressure while turning the crank to slice. After slicing the squash, I steam for 2 minutes.

For the meat sauce, I saute 1 chopped onion in coconut oil, when its done I add chopped fresh garlic for 2 minutes, then add 1 pound of ground veal or beef and brown. Add 1 large can of blended tomatoes, and season with grey sea salt and liquid stevia. Bring to a boil, then let simmer covered for 30 minutes. Serve over steam squash, and garnish with fresh basil.


CREAMY CAULIFLOWER ROSEMARY BACON SOUP
(I can tolerate cauliflower, but test for yourself)

2 head cauliflower - separate into flowerettes
1 large roughly chopped onion
10 5" springs fresh chopped rosemary
4 glove garlic chopped

2 quart warmed beef broth
1 quart non-chlorinated water
2 t grey sea salt

1 pound cooked and chopped slices of bacon
coconut oil

Toss cauliflower and onion with some coconut oil and grey sea salt, spread out on a large cookie sheet, and roast in 450 degree over for about 15 minutes, then add garlic and rosemary for additional 5 minutes. Cool slightly.

Blend cauliflower mixture, beef broth and salt, in batches, on high till smooth and creamy.

Pour into a pot, add bacon pieces, bring to a boil, stirring and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Add extra coconut oil when serving in bowls if needed.



MEATBALLS WITH TOMATO SAUCE
(I can tolerate canned tomatoes with the seeds removed, but I cannot tolerate raw sliced tomatoes. You have to test for yourself.)

3 Eggs
2 tsp Grey Sea Salt
Freshly ground Pepper
3 Cloves Chopped Garlic
1 1/2 lb Organic Ground Beef
1 1/2 lb Ground Buffalo
1 1/2 cups Almond Flour (or 1/2 cup coconut flour)
1/2 cup Parmegian Cheese

Mix all ingredients together and roll into about 24 balls. Place on a cookie sheet brushed with coconut oil. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over and bake for another 10 minutes at 450 degress.

Saute 1 Chopped Onion in coconut oil in Pressure Cooker, add 1 Clove Chopped Garlic for last 2 minutes.

Blend 2 1/2 large cans Organic Tomatoes with 1 tsp Grey Sea Salt and add to onion in pressure cooker. Add 1/4 cup Aguave Nectar (or 1 dropper liquid Stevia), and a pinch of fresh Oregano and stir. Add browned meatballs.

Cook under Medium Pressure for 10 minutes.

Serve with your favorite Roasted Veggies (brussel sprouts or asparagus), or Steamed Veggies (shredded cabbage, broccoli,cauliflower).

CHICKEN CEASAR SALAD DRESSING

1 egg
2 T mild olive oil
1 T meyer lemon juice
1 clove chopped garlic
grey sea salt and pepper

Shake together in a small mason jar. Add to romaine lettuce, sliced grilled chicken and fresh grated parmegian cheese

GRILLED CHICKEN

Boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin, tossed with meyer lemon juice and liquid/warmed coconut oil and grey sea salt and chopped garlic. Marinated for 20 - 30 minutes. Grill for 5 minutes on each side.

ROASTED CHICKEN

1 chicken cut in half. Place in grill pan. Cover with Liquid coconut oil and meyer lemon juice and grey sea salt. Roast on barbecue on low with lid down for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

CHICKEN SALAD

Use leftover roasted chicken. Chop and mix with chopped red onion, grey sea salt and homemade mayonaise. Serve in lettuce wraps.

MAYONAISE

1 egg
Juice of 1 meyer lemon
1 cup light olive oil (very mild flavor)
1 t grey sea salt

Blend egg, grey sea salt and lemon juice in blender on medium, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Takes less then 1 minute.

MARINATED FLANK STEAK

2 T meyer lemon juice
2 T tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
1 T aguave nectar or honey
4 T mild olive oil
4 cloves chopped garlic

Shake together in a mason jar and pour over flank steak in a zip lock bag, marinated 1 o 2 days. Grill and slice thin. Serve with grilled zucchini and onion, guacamole, salsa.

PORK CARNITAS

1 large pork butt or shoulder, cut into 2 inch cubes
grey sea salt

Toss pork with salt. Place in foil covered roasting pan. Slow roast at 275 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Serve with grilled veggies, guacamole, salsa.

BABY BACK RIBS

Separate/slice rack of ribs into individual ribs. Pile in a roasting pan, toss with grey sea salt, cover with foil and slow roast at 275 degrees for 2 hours. Drain fat. Add starch free barbecue sauce, continue roasting for additional 30 minutes.

BARBECUE SAUCE

1 cup cider
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 1/4 cups catsup
5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 clove garlic - minced
1 cup brown sugar - light
1 lemon - thinly sliced --
seeded
3 tablespoons butter unsalted

Combine the vinegar, grated ginger, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire, garlic, brown sugar, and lemon slices in a stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Add the butter, and simmer 2 minutes longer. Stir in the salt and lemon juice. Set the sauce aside to ripen for several hours or overnight. Then strain, and sore in a cover jar in the refrigerator. This will keep for several weeks, but it doesn't freeze well.


GRILLED VEGGIES

Toss melted coconut oil and grey sea salt over sliced veggies (asparagus, zucchini/onions) and grill or roast for 15 minutes on high heat. I use a vegetable grill pan on the barbecue.




GREEN SMOOTHIES

1/4 fresh pineapple
1+ cup fresh spinach leaves
1 cup green grapes
2-3 spearmint leaves
pinch grey sea salt
ice

Blend all ingredients till smooth.

OR

1/2 large cucumber
1 stalk celery
pinch GREY sea salt
1 large handful frozen red grapes
splash of chilled water

Blend all ingredients till smooth.

OR

2 ripe bosc pears
1 bunch fresh parsley
Pinch GREY sea salt
chilled water and ice

Blend all ingredients till smooth.

POACHED EGGS with SWISS CHARD

Prepare all swiss chard ahead by sauteing with coconut oil and grey sea salt:

3 bunches of triple rinsed and chopped rainbow swiss chard
1/4 - 1/2 cup coconut oil
1 t GREY sea salt

(This makes enough for 5-7 servings of chard. Store the leftover and warm 1 serving each day to save time.)

Drop 2 eggs (not shells) directly into a small pan with 1 serving of the prepared swiss chard, cover, and cook for 2 minutes.



RAW NUTS PREPARATION

1 Pound Raw Nuts
1 Tablespoon Grey Sea Salt

Soak nuts overnight in salted chlorine free water. Dry in 150 degree oven for 10 hours.

PECAN PIE

Medjool Dates
Pecan halves

Slice open a date, remove seed, add 2 or 3 pecan halves. Yum! Travels well too. Great for hikes.



PUMPKIN SEEDS ROASTED with TAMARI

Pumpkin Seeds
Tamari

Heat a small pan, add pumpkin seeds, sprinkle on Tamari, toss in pan for a few minutes till roasted.

I don't usually measure, but try 1 cup pumpkin seeds and 1 Tablespoon Tamari. Just depends on how strong you like the flavor.

COCONUT BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Beat together:

6 eggs
4 T melted butter
4 T coconut water (removed from tai coconut - leftover frozen in ice cube trays)
2 full droppers liquid stevia
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 t pure almond extract

Stir in:

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 t grey sea salt
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t cream of tarter

Add and stir in:

1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Grease 24 mini muffin tin with coconut oil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.


ALMOND JOY CANDY BAR

3/4 cup Almond Butter (I buy raw, unsalted - but then I add my own grey sea salt, 1 T + 1 t to the jar, so its salted)

4 Tablespoons Melted Butter

8 oz bag unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup Aguave Nectar

Mix these ingredients together and press into the bottom of a tin foil pie pan.

Melt together in a double boiler:

6 oz Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate

4 Tablespoons butter

Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the almond/coconut mixture in the pie pan, spread evenely.

Freeze for 30 minutes, then refridgerate.

Cut into pieces.

Labels:

Friday, September 01, 2006

Lacto-fermented Sauerkraut - adds needed enzymes and probiotics to your diet and is very high in Vitamin C.

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

Listen to NPR's, The Gut Is A Real Melting Pot

Ingredients: 1 large head organic green (I like to make a double batch combining 1 red and 1 green) cabbage (the fresher the better, it contains more water naturally), 1 1/2 Tablespoon NON-IODIZED salt per head of cabbage (iodine is antimicrobial and could inhibit fermentation)

Optional Ingredient: Fresh Chopped Dill

Optional - finely chop fresh dill and set aside.


Finely slice Cabbage.


Add salt to cabbage and toss to combine well.
I use unrefined GREY Sea Salt.


Fill a good quality zip lock bag with salted cabbage. Remove air, seal tightly, and pound gently for about 5 minutes. You do not want to break the bag and lose the juice so go very gently.


Empty the bag of pounded cabbage with juices into a glass or ceramic bowl. Repeat till all cabbage has been pounded.

Optional - add fresh chopped dill and combine.


Pack down tightly and cover with a plate.


Weight down the cabbage/plate with a gallon size ziplock bag 2/3 filled with water sealed securely with a rubber band. This weight adds pressure to help force the natural juices out of the cabbage.


Cover with a piece of cheesecloth.


Allow this to ferment on your counter top or cubbard, out of direct sun light for 1 to 3 weeks (in warm weather fermentation will proceed more quickly, in cool weather more slowly).

Check the kraut in 24 hours to be sure it is submerged in brine. If necessary, add 1 cup of CHLORINE FREE water(chlorine kills microorganisms and will inhibit fermentation) mixed with 1 teaspoon of salt. The fresher the cabbage, the more water it will contain naturally, and this step will not be necessary. The volume of the cabbage reduces as the fermentation proceeds. The brine should rise over cabbage so all cabbage is submerged. Check daily. Press down on plate when necessary.

Taste the kraut after 3 days it should start to get tangy, then will get stronger the longer you leave it to ferment. You can remove a portion of the kraut to start enjoying, but be sure to pack the remaining kraut down tightly again to continue fermenting.

Sometimes mold or foam will appear on the surface, just skim it off. Its just a surface phenomenon, a result of contact with the air. The kraut itself is under the anaerobic protection of the brine.

NO unpleasant smell should result from fermentation. Trust your nose to be your guide. If in doubt, compost your kraut and try again.

When done to your satisfaction, store in glass jars in the refrigerator. Eat at least 1 Tablespoon with each meal.

Other ingredients to try adding: garlic, seaweed, greens, herbs.