Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sunshine and Traditions

The feel of the wind brush my cheek
The bend of the grass beneath my feet
The flutter of bird wings over my head...
Oh!  The buzz of a honeybee on flowers, red
To be out of doors is to be alive...
To our own backyard we will arrive!

Of the many things I am to do to get well-going outside will be one of the greatest :)  Doctors (homeopaths) orders are for sunshine so I've been trying to think of ways to get outside more.  This morning was a lovely school morning, I got to work right away with Andrew at the high bar that is right beside the sink-and while I did dishes I supervised his reading lesson, math and handwriting!  So that was done before breakfast was eaten!  What a big help that was.  Almost all the school work has been moved back downstairs but we still do some schoolwork in our "school room" in the afternoon and that is where Micah can go to get his work done in quiet, so I don't regret the "move".  

I cleaned out the fridge of all of our little bits of leftover oatmeal and fed the children.  I ate homemade grass fed beef meatballs, 2 small red potatoes (I just added these in to my diet yesterday-and boy are they good!) and steamed green beans.  Then we headed out onto the deck and the lovely cool breeze enticed us to go ahead and do our school reading outside.  The morning couldn't have been more beautiful.  I overheard Micah say, "I love mornings like this".  That made me smile and think we'll have to do it more often.  I sat on the trampoline and read from the biography of George Washington we are reading-about Providence and faith and courage and of course, the Revolutionary War.  It was a generation of faith we have in our history, and by God's grace may we follow in their footsteps.  

With a skip in our step we went back inside and I put on for Benjamin his morning "Thomas".  He watches one "Thomas the Tank Engine" each morning to give me a little time to work with the boys in quiet.  I'm not a big TV fan, and the older boys don't watch it at all unless it is the weekend and their dad turns it on to watch something like "Dirty Jobs" with them.  But I typically use it as a help for my children when they are between 2 and 3 years of age, just during school time.  And I like Thomas because it isn't loud and flashy and fast moving.  It's almost like a picture book being read aloud to him.  

I made a big pot of Taco Soup with grass fed beef, home-made chicken stock, corn, home-cooked black beans and pinto beans, and a mix of spices (no packets and no cans!) on Saturday.  I'm thankful that on day 4 of eating on it, the boys still like it and are happy to finish it up tomorrow!  I hate to give them so much repetition but it has been nice to have some meals already prepared.  

Speaking of food, here are a few of the things that I do in an effort to prepare nourishing food for my family:

This is beet kvass, a probiotic drink I made initially for me, but due to some ingredients in it that I may be sensitive to, Steve is drinking it.   Here is what Sally Falon says about it in her book Nourishing Traditions, “This drink is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are just loaded with nutrients. One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.”  

Here is a link to how to make it:  http://thenourishingcook.com/how-to-make-fermented-beet-kvass/

Chicken stock-so easy.  Here is a link on how to prepare chicken stock, http://thenourishingcook.com/go-primal-stock-up-on-stock/

This is one of the easiest things of all that I do-Here is our oatmeal soaking for breakfast.  It makes breakfast prep easier too!  I measure out the amount of oats for our breakfast, add half the water, and a couple tablespoons of yogurt, kefir or buttermilk.   Give it a stir, put the lid on and it's ready to be cooked quickly and easily in the morning.  Just add the rest of water, bring it to a boil and then stir on low for a few minutes. This makes such a difference.  We used to all have so much gas, but this little step helps tremendously!  You can soak it right after breakfast-anywhere from 12 to 24 hours-the longer the better!  The beneficial bacteria in the yogurt starts working on breaking down the hard to digest particles in the oats for you!  How nice!  Oh and the taste is no different :)

This is bread made from kamut flour using the Nourishing Traditions recipe for buttermilk bread.  It's quite easy once you get the hang of it-and again-so much easier to digest and the vitamins in the whole grain so much more bio-available!

When I make pancakes or muffins for the boys, I almost always soak the flour ahead of time in buttermilk or kefir.  It's so easy to just think ahead the night before what I'll be making the next day and I get one step out of the way by measuring out the flour and the buttermilk in the mixer, cover it with a towel and then it is ready to have the other ingredients mixed in the next day!  These steps seemed overwhelming at first, I remember that, when I originally learned about the health benefits of soaking, sprouting, souring-all that.  But now, it is just easy habit so I encourage you, if you want to increase the digestibility of your food-start with just one little thing, like soaking your oats.  Notice the difference it makes, and then add another new "tradition" to your food preparation!  

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