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…]

Healthy Teeth: Vitamin K2, Metabolism, and Homemade Mint Toothpaste

Healthy Teeth: Vitamin K2, Metabolism, and Homemade Mint Toothpaste | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #metabolism #DIY #vitaminK2 #WAPF #realfood

One of the best things about finding real food wasn’t even the food at all.  It was all the information about why real food was so important.  Hand in hand with that knowledge, I came to appreciate how tooth mineralization depends so much on our body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat.

[Rami] points out that bacteria don’t cause tooth decay. S. mutans is the one often fingered for decay, but as it turns out, it performs the useful function of keeping yeast overgrowth in check. Hey, surprise surprise! correlation is not causation. Maybe these bacteria are more prevalent when there’s tooth decay, but they (and their acidic by-products when we eat starches and sugars) are only problematic to weak teeth, and only proliferate when we’re susceptible. If our teeth (and our bodies) are robust and healthy, the bacteria can’t mess with us.  Which is to say, germs don’t cause illness- poor health does. There will always be micro-organisms within and around us. Rather than trying to avoid that (not possible), we do better to focus on getting and staying healthy so that exposure does not lead to getting sick. (source)

In other words, we are missing the big picture here.  Which aspect causes the other?  What exactly is the root of tooth decay? [Read more…]

REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk (no BPA, no white sugar)

This post is part of a series.  To buy Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials, click here: REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared.

Who was the first person who thought of condensing milk to a thicker consistency anyway?  I mean, sweetening it up totally makes sense.  But the combination of the sweetness with the thicker milk…genius!  So smooth and velvety, and so versatile.

Sweetened condensed milk is a staple in many modern recipes, especially certain cookie bars and pies.  In short, I find it incredibly handy to have a jar of this real foodified sweetened condensed milk in my fridge.  Especially because the holidays are just around the corner and (as you may have noticed) I love making all kinds of pies, cookies, and candies. [Read more…]

Bread & Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #naturalsweetener #ferment #realfood #cultured #diy

I have to admit that as a child I loved zesty pickles but really really hated bread & butter pickles.  The cloying sweetness of a commercially-made vinegar-based bread & butter pickle was just so one dimensional.  Like with many things, the real food version is so much better than anything from a national brand.

Enter the lacto-fermented bread & butter pickle.  The flavors are balanced, slightly salty, slightly savory, and slightly sweet.  They are perfect as a probiotic component of any meal, but especially in a chicken salad or on a grass-fed hamburger.

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GIVEAWAY: THREE Starters from Cultures for Health

As I embarked on my real food journey, Cultures for Health quickly became one of my favorite resources.  By now, I have used them for years, and I have steadily recommended them to everyone that I know both in person and online.  I mean, look at that beautiful strawberry water kefir!

I have tried several of their starters over the years, and they never disappoint.  My first starter was a sourdough starter that worked beautifully and helped me gain confidence in the kitchen as I learned about traditional foods.

So that is why I’m so excited to do a giveaway of THREE STARTERS from Cultures for Health!  If you win, you’ll be able to choose three different varieties and start making lacto-ferments at home like a boss.

[Read more…]

REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Preserved Lemons

How to Make Preserved Lemons | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #ferments #lactoferments #probiotics

This post is part of a series.  To buy Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials, click here: REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared.

Preserved lemons are bright, complex, soft, and a perfect addition to a savory meal.  Plus, if you’re like me and you just need to eat the peels of anything citrusy, then these lemons are the end all be all of probiotic sides.

There are many ways to make lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables.  The combinations are virtually limitless.  Adding garlic or spices or herbs can deepen the flavor profile, add color and interest, and help you find culinary expression in your own kitchen.

[Read more…]

Q&A With Matt Stone

I love the picture of these sparkly ladies dancing.  They love their bodies.  And I love them!

Matt Stone wrote one of the most influential books that I have read in my lifetime.  I don’t mean overstate, as if it should also mean that much to you, too.  I simply mean that he speaks the truth.  The book is called Diet Recovery, and it’s not about new food rules or a new diet.  It’s about breaking the rules and focusing on the mechanisms and systems in the body that underlie most of our food obsessions.

Much in the same way that the Health at Every Size movement has really found the vein of truth in their approach to eating, sizism, and exercise, Diet Recovery gets to the heart of the matter.  Love your body the way it is.  Eat food and savor it!  Move around for pleasure!  Not because you “should”, but because you have a body that you appreciate and take care of.

After years of researching, both medical journals and nutrition books, Matt has pieced together the most comprehensive and realistic approach to nutrition that I have found.  You can get a copy of Diet Recovery here, which I have not only read personally, but found great success with.  I’ll be writing about my success so far in a subsequent post. [Read more…]

Vitamin K2: Lost Nutrient, Found

vitamin k2 listFrom On the Trail of the Elusive X-Factor (emphasis mine):

In 1945, Dr. Weston Price described “a new vitamin-like activator” that played an influential role in the utilization of minerals, protection from tooth decay, growth and development, reproduction, protection against heart disease and the function of the brain. Using a chemical test, he determined that this compound—which he called Activator X—occurred in the butterfat, organs and fat of animals consuming rapidly growing green grass, and also in certain sea foods such as fish eggs. Dr. Price died before research by Russian scientists became known in the West. These scientists used the same chemical test to measure a compound similar to vitamin K. Vitamin K2 is produced by animal tissues, including the mammary glands, from vitamin K1, which occurs in rapidly growing green plants.

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Can Sleeping Make You Skinny?

can sleeping make you skinny

I could have easily called this post “Can Orgasms Make You Skinny?”, or “Can Eating Carbs Make You Skinny?”.  You see where I’m going, right?  Hint: it has to do with bodily systems, stress, and feeling better!

Sleeping, having an orgasm, and eating carbs all have a similar effect on the body.  They lower your stress.  I don’t just mean you “feel good” when you do them.  It’s something bigger than that.  What I mean is that you are tapping into the parasympathetic nervous systems’s (PSNS) awesome power to heal you.  And that power can be harnessed to lose weight that you may have gained from years of stress.  Sounds pretty good, huh? [Read more…]

Nourished Baby

Would you like to be able to decode your cravings when you are breastfeeding?  Do you want to learn how to positively affect the quality of your breastmilk?  Did you know that you should skip the rice cereal as baby’s first solid food?  Do you wonder why your child is picky, or how to encourage your little one to be adventurous with food?

Well, it’s Nourished Baby to the rescue!  I love when someone has done the research for me, don’t you? In this case, it’s Heather who you have to thank, from over at Mommypotamus.

You’ll find all the answers to these questions, and more if you grab a copy of Nourished Baby for yourself, a friend, a family member, or anyone you know who loves birth, breastfeeding, childhood nutrition, real food.  This is the ultimate guide to babies!

[Read more…]