Examining Fertility

No, no, this article has nothing to do with sex, reproductive issues, and human fertility (well, not human egg and sperm fertility, per se).

Fertile fields at  Birdsfoot Farm , Canton, NY

Fertile fields at Birdsfoot Farm, Canton, NY

What are these two farmers sitting and squatting on?

Come on, guess....

It is soil.  Fertile soil makes the world go round. Dirt is one of the earth's most precious resources, period.

How so you ask?

Read on my friend!

Fertile soil grows food that is intact, whole. I am always talking about how important it is to eat a 100% whole food diet. That whole food diet starts in whole soil; soil that is rich in nutrients and life, loamy, and fertile.

The fertility of the soil is the fertility of your body... and not just your reproductive fertility. Your body cells reproduce every day. Cellular health in reproducing vibrant, new cells is dependent on what feeds the parent cell. Read on for some soil and cell enhancing wisdom.

Soil is one of the foundations of all food, life, on this earth.

Healthy Soil = Healthy Food!

Soil + Sun + Water (and a seed or two!) = Food / Life!

Gratitude to: http://www.lappolis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Sun-Soil-Water.jpg

Gratitude to: http://www.lappolis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Sun-Soil-Water.jpg

 

When we pay attention to soil, maybe that plot of garden where we grow herbs or veggies, we see a microcosm that is teeming with life.  Healthy soil is a living, breathing, dynamic organism: sand, silt, clay, air, water, minerals and organic matter crawling with earthworms, moles, grubs, centipedes, millipedes, snails, slugs, beetles, ants, fungi, insect larvae, bacteria, mushrooms, and many other organisms and micro-organisms. The sum of the whole, all parts working in synergy, is a well-orchestrated symphony. Nature is truly poetry in motion and that very poetry is what contributes to the heath and wholesomeness of the food you eat.

Your food is only as healthy as the soil it grows in. Your animal based foods? Only as healthy as the soil supporting the plants that the animals are free-range grazing on.

Farmers who understand and live / work in harmony with this soil symphony are amazing people contributing to your whole health.

I have always loved dirt: playing in it, smelling it (dirt in your yard smells different than dirt in the woods...), smelling dirt after a warm summer rain. You know... when you go outside and all you smell is that damp, musky, wet dirt smell? That is a smell that always makes me smile.

Learn more about the dirt that grows your food.

Know your soil.

Know your farmer.

How does your farmer(s) interact with the soil they grow food in and on? Do they compost, rotate crops and animal in the fields, use cover crops to feed the soil... what are the soil nourishing habits your farmer uses to grow your food?

Rich soil, teeming with life and inorganic matter, grows food rich in vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, and anti-oxidants. Get into your dirt. Study the dirt that supports your health and life! Find a farmer who makes soil care a top priority. (Consumer demand for good farmers, real farmers, will create better food, better soil, and a better world!) Thank your farmer for caring for the soil.

Please, share your dirt loving stories below!

Looking for some interesting reading on Dirt?  This is one of my favorite books. I read it when it first was published and it is a book I keep in my "loved" book collection.

The below kid's book on dirt was one of my favorites to read to my kids. Not sure they were so enamored with the life in our soil but I was!

 

 

What Does Your Farmer Feed Their Cows, Chickens, Pigs, Goats, Vegetables, Fruits...?

I am certain you have heard this before: You are what you eat!

Let's take a closer look at the meaning of the words.

What we take in for food is what directly feeds our body cells to be healthy or not. Eat real food and you create, regenerate, healthy cells. Eat junk (junk should not be called food) and you create un-healthy cells... degenerative cells.

Animals are the same. If they are being fed the dregs; the left-over, crap food from the cafeteria waste bins that is the fuel their bodies use to create new body cells.

Farmers have been known to gather up waste food from restaurant and cafeteria's left-overs to feed to their chickens and pigs. If there is refined junk "food" in that waste bag, well, guess what is fueling the regeneration of the animal's cells. That's correct, junk!  An animal's meat, eggs, and dairy will only be as healthy as the animal, as healthy as that animal's body cells. Feed the animals junk, you get junk cell regeneration and therefor junk food products from that animal. (This means that the animal's meat, eggs, and dairy products are less than vibrantly healthy. These products will only be as healthy as the animal that makes them.) Eating that meat, eggs, and dairy that is less than healthy? Guess what, it is junk to your body cells. What goes around comes around and you are what you eat! The animals are what they eat as well.

My humble garden spot where things literally grow outside the box!

My humble garden spot where things literally grow outside the box!

Vegetarian or vegan? The plants you are eating are not immune to this equation of:

Whole foods eaten = whole body cells regenerated

VS.

Junk food eaten  = junk body cells degenerated


Do you know what your farmer is feeding the vegetable, fruit, grain, nut, and seed plants you are eating or eating from?

Feed those plants (i.e. this includes feeding the soil around the plants as well) good compost, cover crops, organic fertilizers, etc. and the plant's cells are being fed well. Plant cell regeneration will be healthy. Feed the plants and soil synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc. and your plant cells will suffer, degenerate.

Healthy plant cells feed your body for positive cell regeneration.

Unhealthy plant cells feed your body for degenerative cell replacement.

By the way, your compost pile is also in need of good food. Feed your compost well as it is what will feed your garden. If you do not eat refined, processed food "products," do not dump them into your compost pile. What goes in the compost goes into the garden, goes into your produce, and goes into your body. 

Be conscious of the food you feed yourself. Get to know your farmers and be conscious of the food being fed to your produce, your "eggs," your meat and dairy. It all truly matters!

You are what you eat!



Cooking and Eating at Home IS the Life for ME!!

Try to sing that title to the tune of: "Farm Living is the Life for Me....!"

I confess, I do not like to eat out. The idea of eating out is fabulous: someone else doing the shopping, cooking, and washing the dishes AND I get someone to serve up the food to me!

Who can say no to that?

This writing idea came to me as I was driving my kids to school. It started off as 4 simple reasons to eat at home. And then... my mind wandered...

11 Reasons Why I Prefer to Cook and Eat at Home:

1.  I truly love to cook, to stretch my kitchen artist's muscles and create fun and tasty food with what I have on hand.

Ethiopian carrots and Brussels Sprouts: First cook up a pot of red lentils (keep them firm, not mushy), then saute' up some onions, carrot coins, and Brussels sprouts in butter.  Add in some mild curry powder to the veggies, mix in the cooked lentils, and toss with some cashews. Yummy, easy, seasonal dinner! Serve with a side of whole grain pita bread, warmed and slathered with butter, and a dish of local yogurt.

Ethiopian carrots and Brussels Sprouts: First cook up a pot of red lentils (keep them firm, not mushy), then saute' up some onions, carrot coins, and Brussels sprouts in butter.  Add in some mild curry powder to the veggies, mix in the cooked lentils, and toss with some cashews. Yummy, easy, seasonal dinner! Serve with a side of whole grain pita bread, warmed and slathered with butter, and a dish of local yogurt.

2.  I like knowing my body cells, and my kid's body cells, are being nourished with real food. I like knowing my food is being made with high quality ingredients.

3.  The vegetables and fruits I cook with... I know:

  • who grew them: the Martins, the Kents, Dulli and her crew at Birdsfoot Farm, John Dewar (the local Doc gone veggie farmer)... and so many more chemical free, northern NY growers,
  • where the farmer lives and grows food (no, I do not stalk my famers!) but I like to see the land, know the soil my food was grown in... that kind of picky stuff,
  • how they grow the food (chemical free).

4.  The animal products I use I like to know:

  • see the above farmer information and
  • that the meat, eggs, milk, and dairy products came from animals that are pasture raised... out there eating grass and all the plant life that they like to eat and is their natural diet.
OK, so these goats ARE wandering in the snow... but, they are free wandering, pasture raised goats when the snow melts!

OK, so these goats ARE wandering in the snow... but, they are free wandering, pasture raised goats when the snow melts!

5.  Whole grains: when I cook at home I know the bread, pasta, noodles, pie crust, cake, cookies or any food made out of flour is 100% whole grains. Whole foods nourish our body cells for health and healing. Refined foods deplete our body cells and set our bodies up for chronic, degenerative diseases. I have yet to find a restaurant that serves 100% whole grain foods with pasta dishes, bread for sandwiches, buns for burgers and such, bread that is served at the beginning of a meal, etc.

6.  The minimal amount of sugar being used in my kitchen is not refined, white, cell destroying sugar. I cook with the highest quality of cell nourishing ingredients in all my food prep and cooking.

7. I know my food is not being nuked in a microwave. Microwave cooking is best avoided in a whole health lifestyle. To learn more about microwave's impact on your food and health, click here.

8.  I know my food is seasonal and local allowing my body to follow the natural rhythms of the seasons and nature. My food is living and growing in the same climate I live in and that is just good vibrational energy!

9.  I use oils that contribute to my vibrant health and avoid cheap vegetable oils such as soy and canola. I use high quality olive oil for making salad dressing. Most food establishments do not invest in high quality oils.

10. I do not have to go anywhere. Home is where the heart is and my heart is happy at home!

11.  I can dress up, or down, in any clothes I want. PJs at the dinner table? Sure, why not!  

Reminds me of an early morning breakfast when I was 20 at McDonald's in Canton. (Yes, I had a rocky start to independent, whole food eating lifestyle. My Mom did not bring me up on McDonald's food!)  A high school girl friend and I went to breakfast in our long, flannel night gowns. Made sense to us, it was breakfast and we were in our PJs. Apparently the manager was not on board with our logic!  We were asked to leave and not so politely either!

Love yourself and everyone you feed with real food!

Like my blog posts? Share with like minded family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, people you pass on the streets... The healthier and happier we are, the better world we will have!

My boys baking at home. We prefer home made, whole food birthday cakes over bakery made, refined food cakes!

PS The Radiantly YOU Telesummit has been a hit! Only 2 days left to listen, BUT...To purchase, and listen to these fabulous women healer's recorded words of wisdom,  over and over and forever, for only $9, click on the buy now button below!

Enjoy! You will be eternally grateful for these healing words of wisdom!

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Cook Book...

Cook Book...

To write or not to write,

That IS the ???

So I have hit the 100th person to ask me: Are you going to write a cook book?" or "When are you going to write a cook book?"  I am celebrating this milestone (like celebrating the 100th person to cross the threshold of a new store or business) by chatting about it here.

Cook book or not?

I have to say, "nah, not in my plans."  I thought about it for a bit and here are my issues... issues, we always have issues!

1.  I am a "just throw it in a bowl" kind of gal.  For example, foods like cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, and pancakes all have the same basic ingredients. Some have more liquid, i.e. pancakes, while others have more flour, i.e. cookies. What I throw in the bowl depends on the consistency of the batter or dough I am trying to make.

So, to make a chocolate cake I do something like this (and hope for the best!):

  • 2-3 eggs whipped up and add 1/2 to 3/4 cup melted butter (these two ingredient amounts depend on whether I am making a one or two layer cake)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, unrefined, of course (I may use 3/4 if making 2 layers and it is not for my kids, most people like sweeter cakes.)
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 to 1 cup milk, again depending on the layers
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. baking powder depending on the flour (oat flour and I use less b. powder, if it is millet / quinoa / teff / amaranth flours I use more b. powder)
  • 3-6 tbsp. cocoa powder depending on # of layers and how chocolate flavored I want the cake
  • Enough flour to create a cake batter consistency, which is thicker than pancakes but more liquid than cookies

Set batter aside for 5 - 10 minutes to see how the flour soaks up the liquid.  After 10 minutes, if the consistency is cake like, good to go.  If it is too runny, I add flour a tiny bit at a time.  Too thick?  I thin with a bit of milk.

So, that is how I cook everything.  A little of this and a little of that.  Who wants a cook book written like this? I would get boo-ed and rotten tomatoes thrown at me! Most people want exact measurements.

2. Meal cooking is a process of looking at the local, seasonal produce on hand and having fun with it; playing with the ingredients, herbs, and spices.  When you play with food for long enough, cooking and creating in the kitchen becomes second nature.

I suggest picking up a couple of good vegetarian cook books* (cook books that show case seasonal produce) and then read them like novels.  Next, get cooking. After a bit of practice in the seasonal kitchen, I will say it again, cooking becomes second nature. It is an art work. Relax, breathe deeply, and let your creative nature just flow.

Add your favorite protein sources and whole grains to the yummy seasonal veggies and voila'... you have dinner (suggestion: make enough for lunch leftovers!).

If you have blood sugar control challenges (diabetes) eat whole grains in serious moderation, not at every meal, and up the intake of veggies instead.

3. I visited the SLU book store and checked out the cook book section.  It was scary!  There were 5 shelving sections of cook books with 7 shelves in each section.  35 shelves of cook books and only 2 of the cook books on the shelves had more than one copy.  One was the original MoosewoodCook Book the other was a smoothie "recipe book", I believe.  All of those 35 shelves were loaded with single copies of cook books on every topic and health promoting diet imaginable! That was a huge wow for me!

The 5 rows of cook books at the SLU Book Store:

DSC00926

3.  I am all about making food an art form.  The kitchen is your studio, food is your medium, and the kitchen utensils are your artist's tools!

 

Watch for my follow up post:  How to Cook Like an Artist

Be well, have fun in the kitchen!  Paula

*Cook Books you might find useful: 

  • Home Gardener's Month By Month Cookbook, Marjorie Page Blanchard
  • From Asparagus to Zucchini
  • Recipes from the Root Cellar, Andrea Chesman (She also wrote Serving Up the Harvest)

If the cook book uses refined ingredients (refined, all-purpose flour, bleached or not)... use your whole food kitchen skills and swap out the refined ingredients and add in 100% whole food ingredients. Need help with this? Give me a shout, read that section in my book (Hands On Health: Take Your Vibrant, Whole Health Back Into Your Healing Hands), or zap me an email and I will send you my educational handout.

If you do not like the high fat ingredients in the Home Gardener's Cookbook, swap out for ingredients with fat contents you are comfortable with.  Myself, hey, bring on the butter!   (From Pasture Raised Cows, Please!)

Get cooking like the seasonal kitchen artist you can be!

PS  My second book, a book of inspirational words to help you put the action steps in my first book, well... into action, was picked up by a publisher yesterday!  Stay tuned as I keep you informed of the publishing process!  

I call this book of words my "yoga poses" for the body, mind, and spirit book. No, that is not the book's title... that secret will be released at a later date! 

Today, to celebrate, I am off to climb a high peak in those amazing ADK Mountains!

White Face from last summer's hiking ... today I am going up Dial!

White Face from last summer's hiking ... today I am going up Dial!