Making yogurt at home is actually quite easy. I use a yogurt maker, but it is not necessary to use one. Why make yogurt at home when you can just as easily buy it at the store? There are several reasons. If you are frugal (like me), you save a lot of money. I can make organic yogurt at home for less than half of what I would pay in the store. Probiotic supplements can also be very expensive. In addition, you are not guaranteed that the bacteria you are getting are live and active cultures. With yogurt, the bacteria are live and active and a fraction of the cost of supplements!
Also, if you are interested in increasing the amount of probiotics you’re taking in then homemade yogurt beats store bought any day. This recipe I’m sharing calls for a 24 hour ferment, so it has a much higher concentration of beneficial bacteria. (more…)
I don’t know many people who don’t like pancakes. If you fall into this category, you might enjoy this tasty recipe. I’ve been trying to vary my grains and try out different combinations to see if they work out. I still eat bread and other foods that contain gluten, but I also make a conscious effort to not have it be a staple food in my diet. I’ve read a lot recently about how gluten can be very hard on digestion so I try now to have less of it. (1) There may be a point in the future that I eliminate it completely for a time period to do some gut healing, but at this point I’m still eating it. (more…)
It was another wonderful summer in St. Anton this year. Oper im Park produced “Cosi fan tutte” and I was cast in the role of Despina, the spunky and mischievous maid.
For those unfamiliar with the story, it is about two sisters who are in love with two young gentlemen. The gentlemen are equally enamored with their lovely ladies. After a recent visit with their girlfriends, they are heard bragging about how faithful their true loves are to them. They declare that nothing could come between them and their relationships. A wily, old man by the name of Don Alfonso overhears this and disagrees with them. He says that he can guarantee that the girls would not only be unfaithful to them, but would do so within a very short amount of time. A wager is made. The young men don disguises and endeavor to tempt their respective girlfriends into infidelity. It eventually works. Despina, the maid, is brought in by Don Alfonso to assure his plan is successful. (more…)
There has been a lot buzz these days in the mainstream news about probiotics, ‘good bugs’, and the benefits of fermented foods. There are so many societal and environmental factors that can have an impact on the diversity of our ‘microbiome.” These factors include antibiotics, pesticides and VOCs, cesarean sections, and much more. (1) According to leading microbiologists, we currently have approximately 100 trillion microbial cells while we consist only approximately 30 trillion human cells. See, we’re more bug than we are human! (more…)
We don’t have a lot of room on our balcony, but I do grow a lot of herbs. We have parsley, mint, cilantro, dill and basil at the moment. I grow those because we eat them the most! I have typically just purchased seeds from the store to replenish my fresh herbs, but have wanted to start saving my seeds so I didn’t have to rely on buying them at the store. This is my first year doing this and frankly, I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner. (more…)
“…Our symptoms are clues to what is happening deeper…”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sara Vance, certified nutritionist from Rebalance Life. I came across her very informative television segments on Fox 5 in San Diego, California and also recently read her book, “The Perfect Metabolism Plan.” I truly appreciate her approach to wellness and I would like to share some of her insights. (more…)
I have made tabbouleh for years. It’s a staple in our home and having made it for a long time, I’ve learned a few things along the way and have refined it so it’s just the way my family likes it. This is a simple recipe that doesn’t require technique. If you have fresh ingredients, they will do the lion’s share of the work of making it taste good.
The dish comes from the Middle East and has variations depending on the country in which it’s made. It’s traditionally made with wheat bulgur or couscous, but lately I’ve been making a gluten-free version using quinoa. If you’re unfamiliar with quinoa, it’s a nutritious grain that’s high in protein and magnesium, and is a great option for those who are trying to avoid gluten for health reasons. (more…)
There’s something about spring that just makes me want to clear out all the cupboards and give them a good cleaning. The kids recently had their spring break and I have to admit that I spent about 1/3 of vacation finishing house projects and cleaning. That doesn’t sound very exciting, but it was necessary. And, it feels so good to have a clean and organized space!
I wrote a post recently about a DIY non-toxic wood cleaner and about how conventional household cleaning products can negatively impact the indoor air quality in one’s home. It prompted me to want to share a recipe for a DIY non-toxic cleaner that I’ve been using for years. Many cleaners, especially glass cleaners, have a natural (but harmful) substance as a common ingredient – ammonia. This is an excerpt from the New York State Department of Health website:(1) (more…)
We have begun a new habit recently in our kitchen – sprouting. I saw some sprouting jars at the organic grocery store and I decided to take the plunge and grabbed a few. I have sprouted before using cheese cloth and a glass jar. Sprouting using that method, of course, is an easy way to do it, but I figured I would be sprouting regularly so I wanted to find jars that were made especially for sprouting and have special lids to make it easy.
I’ve started to sprout alfalfa and lentils and then add the sprouts to our salads. I have sprouted mung beans before and they sprouted, but they did not get as long or look as beautiful as the mung bean sprouts I bought in the grocery store. So, when it comes to mung bean sprouts, I tend to leave it to the professionals. (more…)
I remember over a decade ago after reading Annie B. Bond’s book, “Better Basics,” I decided in one fell swoop to throw out all of my conventional cleaning products. After reading what chemicals many of them contained and their effect on the body, I’d decided they no longer had a place in my home. It never occurred to me until then that I could make simple cleaning products myself that were just as effective, easy on the environment, and non-toxic.
While many are aware of the dangers of indoor air pollution, I’m still surprised to learn that they are not as commonly known as they should be. There was a study released in 2006 by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, where scientists studied such chemicals as indoor cleaning agents and toxic air contaminants and their effects on air quality.(1) They found that many common cleaning agents, among other things, had a significant and detrimental effect on air quality. The US’s EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) even warns that the indoor air quality in many homes rivaled the outdoor air quality in the biggest and most industrialized cities.(2) (more…)