Monday, April 27, 2015

REAL FOOD MONDAY ~ Family of 4, 3 Meals, 2 Lunches, 1 Organic Chicken

4, 3, 2, 1.......

I want to feed my family real, nourishing food... without breaking the bank or spending hours every day, in the kitchen.  Recently I had to set down and really look at our overall budget. We are now raising 2 grandsons and well, money is tight. I am finding ways to cut our food budget while keeping us eating foods that are good for us. It all goes back to planning and prepping.

Almost every Sunday I make a whole, organic chicken. Sometimes in my slow cooker and sometimes in my oven.  By doing this I end up feeding my family of 4, 3 meals and 2 lunches, with 1 organic chicken.... all for around $20.00 and less than 30 minutes of my time! I can justify a $20.00 organic roaster chicken, if I am getting 3 meals and a couple of lunches out of it.

Meal #1 ~ Roasted Chicken. I love changing it up. Sometimes stuffed with lemons and drizzled with real Extra Virgin Olive Oil or maybe rubbed in butter and seasoned with fresh sage and rosemary or brushed with honey and organic soy sauce. 

Meal #2 ~ Chicken quesadillas with avocado or pinto bean and chicken tacos. Pull some of the chicken off and put aside for this dish.

Meal #3 ~  Make a healthy nutritious bone broth for soup one night. We make dishes like Chicken Pho, Chicken Veggie Soup, Lemon Chicken Soup and more. Simple shred all the chicken off the bones. Place the organic chicken bones in a slow cooker. Cover with water. Add in some sea salt, pepper, sage, nettle and other nutritional herbs. Throw a chopped onion, a few cloves of garlic and a sliced carrot. Next add 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and simmer on low in the slow cooker for a couple of days. Add water as needed. Strain and use for soups. Sip on any extra you may have!


Lunches ~ Chicken sandwiches, add to salads, make Vietnamese Rolls with veggies and chicken.

There you have it ~ Feed a family of 4  3 meals and 2 lunches on 1 organic chicken....4,3,2,1

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Friday, April 17, 2015


Stress. We all know how bad it can be on you both mentally and physically. We know we need to manage the stress in our lives. But that is sometimes easier said than done....

A few months ago we had a extremely stressful family situation hit. We are still dealing with it, and will be on some level, for a while. This stress triggered panic attacks ( which I never had before), major flares of asthma and fibro that had not been this bad in years. What was happening to me?!? I was usually able to deal with stress. This was something different, something more. I discovered is that in most cases I can control most normal daily stressors like work, family issues, or daily demands. Most of us can. If not then we can follow the same advice below...... But hard hitting stress like trauma, deaths, and chronic illness can be a different story. It was for me.  The stress became overwhelming. It made it hard for me to find ways to reduce the stress. Then the stress itself becomes chronic. Which can make everything worse. Especially your health...
Recent studies found that chronic stress changes gene activity of immune cells before they enter the bloodstream so that they're ready to fight infection or trauma -- even when there is no infection or trauma to fight. This then leads to increased inflammation. Increased inflammation is linked to autoimmune conditions and chronic inflammatory conditions. This includes chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. They are also related to anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, fibromyalgia, dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, among others. Psychology is literally effecting our biology.


My stress was through the roof, my health was going downhill fast, and for a brief time it all felt out of control. I knew things had to change. I had to work on reducing this chronic stress. It was taking over my life.
For me I found a few things that are helping. I started with a few small steps and now I am feeling better and stronger than ever.
1. I put stress management in my schedule ~ Just like I schedule everything else I have to remind myself to deal with the stress. I actually schedule in breathing breaks, times for prayers and meditation. Time to stretch, even for just 5 minutes. This helped me develop a habit of addressing the stress and not letting it build up

2. Journal ~ I write down my feelings, my concerns BUT I also focus on GRATITUDE. I have found that by acknowledging my blessings and trying to focus on the good, it helps keep the stress in its place. Yes bad things are happening but in the midst of the storm there is also good.


3. Diet ~ When we are dealing with high stress a healthy diet is not always our focus. But it is really important during this time. I try to keep my kitchen filled with real whole foods. By having lots of fruit, premade salads, nuts and other healthy foods, I am forcing myself to eat right even when it is not a top priority.  Eating real, whole foods helps reduce the physical stress on your body.

4.Mind at Peace Tea and Mind at Peace Tincture - I drink a cup of tea with breakfast EVERY DAY and I carry the tincture with me. Panic attack or high stress just a dropper takes the edge off

5. SLEEP - You must have a good nights sleep. Exhaustion just makes stress worse. For me I drink a cup of Mind at Peace tea with Sweet Sleep extract. I can sleep well. You can use the Rest & Relax Kit

6. Reduce inflammation - I drink Nettle infusions to help reduce inflammation and provide me with the vitamins, minerals and calcium I need. If is miss my nettles for more than a couple of days I can tell the difference.

7. Love yourself ~ Take time to do something you enjoy EVERY, SINGLE, DAY. Sometimes all I can do is turn on some music I like, other days it may be slipping in some time to read or taking a relaxing bath at the end of the day. Maybe it is putting fresh flowers on the table or walking outside. Just make sure to do at least one little thing just for you. It helps lift your spirits and decrease the stress.


Our body is not running inefficiently when it is under chronic stress. This results in energy being diverted towards immediate survival while compromising long-term health. If you are dealing with daily, chronic stress, I encourage you to take the time needed to care for and nurture yourself. Your health and the quality of your life depends on it ~ Blessings.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Make Your Own ~ Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

I use gallons of apple cider vinegar. Raw, organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized, apple cider vinegar has amazing health benefits. It can also be expensive to purchase. But did you know you can make your own apple cider vinegar for just pennies a cup? I keep jars of it going at all times.

One of my favorite uses for ACV is as a natural way to help control seasonal allergies. Studies have shown that asthma and allergy sufferers tend to have low levels of acid in the stomach. Also ACV acts as a natural antihistamine. Take 1 tablespoon 3x a day can help relieve your symptoms.


Making apple cider vinegar is not only cheap but it is easy too. Here is a simple recipe that I use.

  • 6 sweet apples (organic)
  • 2 T. raw apple cider vinegar with the mother
  • 2 T. raw honey
  • chlorine-free water to cover apples
  • 2 qt. wide mouth glass jar
  • cheesecloth
Cut apples into chunks (include, peels, seed and stems), and place them in a 2 quart wide mouth glass jar. Add the raw honey, and the raw apple cider vinegar. I use Bragg, which contains the mother. Cover the apples with chlorine-free water, and cover the jar with cheesecloth. A rubber band will help to hold the cover in place.
Now place this in a warm place for 2 weeks. The top of the refrigerator is a good place since the frig throws heat. After 2 weeks, strain the liquid from the container into a glass canning jar. There should be almost a quart of liquid. Cover the jar again with the cheesecloth, and return to a warm spot. Check the liquid about a couple of weeks by tasting a small amount. You’ll know when it’s vinegar. Mine usually sets for 4 to 8 weeks, A SCOBY may form on the top, which is great. You may use the SCOBY to make a new batch of vinegar. Stop the fermentation by covering your jar with a lid and placing it in the refrigerator.

 That's it. You now have your own homemade Apple Cider Vinegar...