Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Healthy Diet Invitation

We are at it again.
For the month of August,
we are eating our healthy diet.
We don't venture too far from it for the rest of the year,
we just aren't as adamant.
We are doing this in great part due to a neighbor who wants to
but needs support and encouragement.
There might be several of us all doing it
so thought it might be fun if we invited you too.
We have among us borderline diabetics and gluten intolerant.
I need to make some calls tomorrow and find out who is in.
We begin Friday the first of August.
So here we go...

These are things we eat and things we avoid.  Last year, we did no grains, processed sugars, or chemicals.  Eliminating chemicals was the most difficult part.  Since then, hubby has continued to eat no wheat.  His joints are greatly improved by that.  We have continued to minimize grains in our diet.  One thing that made a lot of sense to me is that your body recognizes three things: sugars, fats, and proteins.  Grains are sugars.  Fats are good.  Proteins are best.

1st.  ~  No grains nor processed sugars.  We do eat fruit since they are natural sugars, and we don't typically O/D on them.  Once you eliminate grains and sugars, you can really taste their sweetness.  Honey or real maple syrup are okay, but we found that we didn't have anything to use them on.
2nd.  ~  Fats and oils: We use avocado or olive oil which are both stone fruits as well as butter or lard.  We do not use vegetable oil, shortening, or margarine.
3rd.  ~  Dairy: Eat as much as you like.  Eggs, milk, and cheese are good.  If we could get milk straight from the cow, that would be best.  The least processed the better (ie. no skimmed or ultra-pasteurized.)  Cheese without a ton of chemicals is difficult to find if you are avoiding chemicals.
4th.  ~  Nuts and seeds:  Eat all you want - just watch as they tend to add 'mystery' ingredients and cook in canola oil.*
5th.  ~  Meat: as much as you like.  Try to opt for 'natural' - not by government standards, but by real standards.  We still buy chicken and pork since we do not have a local source - yet.  We get grass fed/fattened beef, wild game, and fish. 
6th.  ~  Veggies and Fruits: Any and all.  The darker the better & lots of greens.  Herbs are really just greens with lots of flavor.
7th.  ~  Sauces and dressings: Beware!  Most are a mixture of oils, chemicals, sugars, and grains.  There is wheat in soy sauce, some ketchup, salad dressings, licorice, ... the list goes on and on.
8th.  ~  It will be difficult to eat out.  Most restaurants add starch &/or sugar even to their veggies.

There is no limit to the amount of food you eat as long as it is within the parameters above.
I lost 8 lbs. & hubby about 15 lbs. in one month changing nothing but our diet.  Hubby didn't move like an 80 year old man any more and was no longer in pain.

Wheat is a natural inflammatory & appetite stimulant.  I will just encourage you to do your own research before taking the government (FDA) word for what is safe and good for you.  
Example: Several of the approved food colorants are proven carcinogens.
There is a new book out "The Big Fat Surprise" which hubby and I would both recommend.
The Weston A Price site is good as well.
*Canola - click here

Before the Egyptians began cultivating crops to feed cities through the winter, the 'natural' human diet was very close to what we have listed above.  This makes a ton of sense to me and was the reason I gave it a whirl in the first place.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, licensed nutritionist, or medically certified in any way.  We do continually do our own research in regards to nutrition.  We are in no way responsible for your health.  We do believe in being responsible for our own health & nutrition.  If we can in some way help others we would love to do so.  Again, we would encourage you to do your own research.

You might be thinking this is expensive,
but it is amazing how much all the grains and sugars cost.
Our grocery spending didn't really change when we changed 
from eating those things to what we do on the diet.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

It was Sap/Pitch for Salve

If you happened to wonder by
a week or so ago,
I posted this picture to see if you could tell what it was.
The prior weekend, we went and got a load of firewood.
We found a red fir which burns well.
The kicker was that it was full of pitch.
I saved it and later heated it.
As it heats, it becomes more liquid.
And more transparent.
It will be infused into olive oil for salves and balms.
Pine (& fir, tamarack etc.) pitch has natural antiseptic properties.
So after 3-6 weeks,
I will pour the oil off and use it.
The ratio is 1 part pitch to 2-3 parts olive oil. 
The pitch pretty much ruins whatever you put it in
so I bought a very cheap pan from the thrift shop, a clean stick
for stirring, and am using jars that I had for recycle.
Also, when I was working with it and had it heating,
I had a brown bag on the counter.
I still managed to drip a few drops on the stove
then the olive oil ran down the side of the container.
The pitch need to harden to remove it more efficiently,
and the oil cleans up with warm water,
so it was one or the other.
This is a first attempt for me.
I am thinking as the pitch cools, it will solidify
and settle to the bottom.
I will have to keep you posted.
The other perk is that heating it indoors made the house
smell absolutely wonderful:)

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches



Monday, July 21, 2014

Mountain Man Granola

It is a bit of an oxymoron,
but my mountain man (Mr. LB) loves this.
When he's riding or fishing etc.
and needs to pack food along,
this is packed with both protein and energy to keep him going.
I'm sure if I could work bacon or steak into the mixture,
he would like it even more:)
Ingredients:
Group One
5 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup almonds (or any nuts)
1 cup pecans (or any other nuts)
1 cup pumpkin seeds 
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups dried fruit 
(I used dried apricots [chopped,] craisins, and dried blueberries)
Group Two
1/8 cup honey
2/3 cup real maple syrup
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Sea salt

In a large bowl, mix up the ingredients in group one.
Place on baking sheet(s) and toast in a 350 degree oven
for 5 minutes.  Stir and toast another 5-6 minutes.

Transfer back into the large bowl and mix in group two ingredients.
Place back on sheets, sprinkle with sea salt,
 and repeat toasting process.
Don't be surprised if little noses followed by little fingers
make their way into the kitchen.
It smells so good.
When you remove it from the oven,
pour it back into the bowl to cool.
If you let it cool on the sheet,
you will have to pick it off as it will stick.
Once cool, I like seal-a-meal bags
to keep it fresh and on hand for outings.
It makes about 10 cups of granola.
That is of course depending upon how much
disappears before you get it into the bags.
Enjoy.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Saturday, July 19, 2014

*~*Homemade Deodorant*~*

For some reason this seems to be a touchy subject
with some folks.
There are lots of different recipes, and I was skeptical,
but thought, "It doesn't hurt to try."

The cost to make a stick of deodorant?
Maybe 25 cents - ish.
(It's so little, I didn't take the time to do the actual figuring.)

One thing that was advised
was that you try it on a weekend when you plan to be home
so you aren't in public sniffing your underarm
every 5-10 minutes:)

I went ahead and took that advise.
I didn't have any sniffing problems; 
however, after a short time I noticed little white things
all over my floor.
One more word of advise:
it doesn't take as much as store bought deodorant.
1-2 swipes does the job.

What I really like (in addition to the lack of mystery chemicals)
is that there is no odd purfumey smell
if you do perspire.
You simply don't smell anything.
Also, it washes away better.

Most of the recipes I found call for tea-tree oil as it is an antiseptic.
Being sensitive to tea-tree, I used lavender.
Men could use pine or cedar, etc.

So here is what I used: 
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup corn starch
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
15 drops essential oil
Mix it well and press into deodorant container.
Let set 2-3 days before using.

I can honestly say,
I don't see myself ever buying store-bought deodorant again.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches



Friday, July 18, 2014

Can You Guess What This Is?

It's fun to guess:)
I'll be filling you in before long.
Have a beautiful day.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Drying Apricots & Too Much Eventfulness!

Why we don't go on vacations...
Last weekend being long for the holiday,
we decided to take a little trip.
Not too far, just outta Dodge for 3 days.
I found a great little camp site with 5 sites
each with its own picnic table & shade trees between.
It was at the end of a short street so no traffic etc.
We were camper #7 to pull in.
We were parked on a crusty lawn in the blazing sun,
no table & only some lilacs separating us from the owners house.
"Oh, well, we'll be out and about quite a bit.
It will be okay."
We had been up since 5 AM because that's just what time we wake.
Fireworks didn't start until 10:15 PM.
We didn't stay to watch all of them
as we were falling asleep and didn't want to be
in drunken traffic or teenager traffic or whatever other traffic.
We went back to the camper and were out by the time
our heads hit the pillows.
About 2:30 AM the owners family all came
rolling in with hoopin' and hollerin' & language like I won't repeat, and 
went directly between us and the house.
The next day, the owner apologized then proceeded to inform
me that there would be different music at each bar in town.
Mr. LB & I talked and decided just to come home.
On the way home, we saw Mr. LB's brother fishing
so ended up stopping and fishing a little longer than we should have.
I took over driving when Mr. LB started snoring behind the wheel.
He hadn't slept since 2:30 AM.  I did a little.
We rolled in about 9:30-10 PM.
We slept in until 6-6:30 then decided to go get a load of wood.
They opened the forest since the last rain
and we were home anyways.
It turned into a very long hot (100+) day.
Got a nice load of red fir and returned home about 9 PM.
I was so hot and tired, I didn't care about food.
Mr. LB had to eat or he would have been sick the next day as
he uses up all his spare calories.
I cooked while he showered.  Then he ate while I showered.
Monday we were still zapped.
Tuesday, I picked up some bulk meat to divy up and freeze.
We still hadn't unloaded the wood.
Wed. my M-I-L gave me 2 big boxes of apricots so I got to work on those.
I don't care for them fresh but love them dried.
Five racks on the dryer going constantly since Wed. night.
Still have 4 or 5 cookie sheets (so they are single layer)
in the little room where they will keep better.
This isn't even all of them:)
Thursday, I put some lamb chops in marinate for Sunday's company.
Today (Sat.) was my first day home in a while.
Got the lawn mowed and watered, did 4 or 5 loads of laundry
which I usually do Thursdays, did most of the ironing, made a gallon
of homemade ice cream and was cleaning house since we have
company coming tomorrow, .
If there was a 'weeds in the garden' competition,
I would win - so weeded a ton in the garden.
Bustling and busy and sweaty all day.
About 7:30, went to do up the tail end of some dishes and start dinner.
No Water!
Mr. LB is at Home Depot (over an hour away) with my dad, as I type this,
purchasing a new well pump.
I'm not sure how long it will take to install it, but
I am thankful we live next to a river.
I went down with my towel and soap.
It was rather invigorating to say the least.
Hoping we get it all put together and have water before company.
I'm curious - what does a day off feel like?

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

PS- Mr. LB just called: they are 30-40 min. out, and
they are hoping to get the pump in tonight. It's 9 PM.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Barn Quilt Block

They might be common in the mid-west,
but this is only the second one I've spotted out here.
After I spotted this one,
I kept saying to Mr. LB, "That barn would be good.  Say,
look at that barn.  It has a nice big wall."
We were headed toward the Eagle Caps.
You can get a little better idea of the view in this picture.
The hay meadows looked fabulous.
I am happy for the ranchers.
If it's as dry as predicted, maybe they will have enough
not only for their own stock, but to
sell a little extra.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches