Wise Traditions WAPF Conference 2012 — November 7-11 Santa Clara, CA

WAPF conferenceIf you follow my Facebook page, you may have seen a slew of silly pictures that I took with my phone while I was in California over the weekend.  Most of them were taken at the Hyatt in Santa Clara, just a stone’s throw from where I grew up in Northern California.  Why was I there?  Glad you asked!

I was lucky enough to attend this year’s Wise Traditions Conference, which is every year in a different city in the U.S.  But more imporantly, Wise Traditions is where WAPFers and real foodies gather to eat grass-fed braunschweiger, naturally fermented teas and veggies, to try new flavors of fermented cod liver oil, and to buy books on tooth decay, lacto-fermentation, green living, nutrition, and other hippie dippy topics.  It was a real foodie nerd’s dream come true. [Read more…]

Is Stress Making You Fat?

Can Stress Make You Fat? | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #metabolism #stress #sleep #yoga #meditation

If you think really hard, you might be able to remember back to the first time you heard this phrase in science class: “fight or flight”.  Fight or flight is a catchy way of describing the sympathetic nervous system in short hand, which is one part of the autonomic nervous system in the body.

The body’s autonomic nervous system has three parts: the parasympathetic, sympathetic and enteric systems.  I am going to focus on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) in particular, with regard to how it manages stress and weight.

So why am I getting all Science Nerd on you?  Because understanding the basics of the SNS has changed the way I perceive food, stress, sleep, and well-being.  It’s possible that your health could turn on a dime with this simple understanding of your body, and making the choice to manage your stress differently. [Read more…]

Linky Links June 2012

The month of June was a flurry of travel for me.  Or should I say continuing to travel.  If you recall, in May I was at a women’s retreat in California one weekend, as well as my family reunion in southern Utah with its beautiful red rocks and cousins I hadn’t seen in a few years.

So when June rolled around, I thought I would be home a little more often.  But I forgot that I was also slated to go camping in northern Arizona for one weekend, only to trek back north a few weekends later to my friend’s cabin! (We just got back, and I am quite sunburned.  Thank goodness for extra doses of fermented cod liver oil to combat the burn!) [Read more…]

10 Ways to Reduce Stress Naturally

Have trouble sleeping?  Find yourself stressing out during the day, holding tension in your neck or grinding your teeth?  Do you have belly fat, and feel fatigued?  Stress may be the culprit you need to find and banish.

I have worked to manage stress ever since I was a child.  I think that I knew on a gut level that I had an anxiety disorder, and that living through abuse was triggering me into a “fight or flight” state more often than was healthy. [Read more…]

Ethical Omnivorism: Another Name for Real Foodie

Photo Credit: Buffalo cows on the pasture by CameliaTWU

I never knew that my real foodiness actually had a name, with a Wikipedia page and everything (even though it is admittedly small!).  All that trouble we go through to get local, pastured chickens and beef?  It’s called ethical omnivorism, defined as “a diet that encourages the consumption of meat that can be traced back to a farm that raises grass-fed, free range, and hormone-free livestock.”

Many of us have read Nourishing Traditions, or at least become familiar with the perspective that it offers: soak, sprout, or sour your grains, nuts, and legumes, eat meats from pastured animals, drink and eat raw dairy, eat whole, organic foods, seek out traditional superfoods like fermented cod liver oil, learn how to prepare food traditionally, and become truly nourished!

But did you know that when it comes to meat and animal products in particular, some people will throw us real foodies under the proverbial bus?  There seems to be this animosity between the vegan community and the real food community.   I have a problem with is the militant attitude…on both sides. Where is the common ground we share? [Read more…]

Top Ten Posts on Our Nourishing Roots in 2011

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Butternut Cupcakes with Cardamom Buttercream: My most popular recipe, these delectable morsels embody the taste of autumn. Cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla all balance the butternut squash to create a moment to savor.

Two Holiday Recipes: Chocolate Peppermint and Coconut Citrus Fudge: Dark and light, these two simple fudges are perfect for entertaining and snacking.  Made with clean ingredients: sweet honey, bright coconut, rich cocoa, and clean organic flavors.

White Cheddar and Chive Crackers (Grain-Free): Simple savory crackers, perfect for a quick snack, lunches, or even entertaining.  Cheddar, sesame & sunflower seeds, garlic and chives: Impeccable taste!  Try with my Smoked Salmon & Herb Cheese Pinwheels, or nutrient-dense chicken liver pate. [Read more…]

REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Beet Kvass (and why!)

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(To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.)

Beet kvass may be one of the most beautiful lacto-fermented drinks that I make at home.  Deep purple and slightly effervescent, some claim that beet kvass cleanses the blood, detoxifies the liver, and supports kidney health.  I have even heard that kvass pulls heavy metals from our bodies.  I’m not able to make any of those claims, but I certainly feel pretty good when I am drinking beet kvass regularly.  So I simply trust my own experience.

Beet kvass is also very simple, only made with four ingredients: beets, salt, water, and whey.  And when each ingredient is the best quality, you don’t need complicated recipes.  The simple blending of these four items with a little time on the counter can provide your body with needed electrolytes, vitamins, probiotics, and well-being.

[Read more…]

Butternut Cupcakes with Cardamom Buttercream

Butternut Cupcake with Cardamom Buttercream

Can I call these cupcakes?  They are really very moist, lightly sweetened muffins, topped with a wonderfully spiced buttercream and a sprinkling of chopped almonds.  Enjoy all the flavors as they unfold without feeling overpowered by the sweetness that so many of the “other” cupcakes fall prey to.  These golden cakes are the essence of fall, and will satisfy the young and old.

My six-year-old has a class party tomorrow where they are carving pumpkins and having store-bought treats during lunchtime.  Between being on the full GAPS diet and Halloween coming, we have been talking a lot about what he might like to have in exchange for all those candies and treats.  We have already made deals to trade his candy for quarters, and even a new toy.  But even then, sometimes, your cute, freckly little boy just wants a really tasty treat.  These cupcakes are perfect for the occasion.

[Read more…]