Nov 23, 2014

Meet Up at My House This Tuesday

Several friends asked that I share some of what I learned at the Weston A. Price Annual Conference.  And so, I'm inviting you to my house.  :)

This Tuesday, November 25 at 7pm.  I live near Whole Foods just off Rodney Parham.  Email me for the street and house number.  luvmyhub@gmailDOTcom

For the first 30 minutes we'll meet, chat, taste a few ferments.  Then at 7:30 I will share the main take-aways I had from going to the conference.  Some of the things I learned:

-ferments
-gardening, why nutrient dense local foods
-dangers of GMOs, why to eat organic
-tips for detoxing
-dangers of vaccines

I'll kick everyone out at 9pm.

It will be a great time of connecting with other real foodies.  I hope you can come.  We all have so much information we can share with each other.  I realize that it's a terrible time, just a few days before Thanksgiving, but I'm afraid if I don't do it now it won't happen.

-Julie

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Nov 14, 2014

Jennifer's Experience at the Wise Traditions Conference

My best friend from college, Jennifer Shelby, is today's guest writer.  She joined me at the Weston A. Price Annual conference in Indianapolis last weekend.  --Julie
It was so motivating to be a part of the 15th Annual Wise Traditions 2014 Conference, titled Focus on Food last weekend in Indianapolis.  And, I was in good company!  I reunited with longtime friend, Julie, author of the Real Food in Little Rock blog, and her friend Jami of Freckle Face Farm.  We joined more than 1,000 real food enthusiasts, including many names I recognized from the world of traditional food blogs.  Everyone I met was friendly and seemed so happy to be at this conference, surrounded by like-minded foodie folks. Being in this group affirmed that my family’s food and lifestyle choices are indeed worth it!
I enjoyed hearing numerous, very detailed presentations on topics I was familiar with such as the GAPS diet, history of the Weston A. Price Foundation, benefits of and techniques for preparing fermented foods, and more.  Some presentations were quite technical and stretched my brain, necessitating more research at home on topics such as cell wall deficient forms bacteria and their connection to chronic illness.  As a chronic Lyme disease sufferer, I was captivated by the many stories of health recovery told by conferences presenters and attendees.    
This conference literally feeds your body and brain.  We were served delicious, nutrient dense food throughout the conference.  I noticed there was no need for mid-afternoon, sugar-laden snack breaks when lunch consisted of rich cheeses, pastured meats, veggies, ferments, and plentifully buttered bread!  At most conferences I’ve attended, participants are slumped in their seats after lunch waiting for a coffee break and cookie.  Not so here.  You could feel the difference from being nourished with real foods that don’t wreck your blood sugar levels. 
The exhibitor area was amazing.  Throughout the day we had opportunities to meet and chat with vendors passionate about producing and promoting products such as garden kraut, fermented beet kvass, cinnamon tingle fermented cod liver oil, smoked sockeye salmon, fresh cream of coconut, and so much more.  It was great fun sampling all the products and deciding which ones to purchase and take home to my family. 
Overall this was a great experience and I hope to have the opportunity to attend another conference in the future. 
--Jennifer Shelby
Midway, Kentucky

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Nov 13, 2014

Natural Remedy for Teething Babies and Fussy Toddlers

I am not a doctor or a trained medical worker.  However, I AM a mother who spends more time with my children than anyone else.  

Usually my 22-month-old has a sunny, easy-going disposition and sometimes a bit of a comedian.  Last week he was cranky beyond reason.  The usual diversionary tactics were not working (water play, being held, changing scenery, reading books, singing, etc.)  On the second day of irrational irritability, I decided to test a homeopathic remedy, chamomilla.  I bought it at Drug Emporium, in the back of the store where the other remedies are sold (other remedies we have used are rhus toxicodedenron for poison ivy, and arnica for bumps and bruises.)  It cost about $6.50 for the tube of tiny white pellets. 

I gave my toddler 3 tiny pellets after naptime.  Within 30 minutes he was a different child.  Another dose was administered 3 hours later, just before bed.  The next morning when he started into the crying-for-no-good-reason, I gave him another dose.  He seemed to perk up.  

Was it a coincidence? I don't know.  

However, I do know that I wanted to pull out every follicle of my hair the day before from the incessant whining and crying.  The homeopathic remedy seemed to help.  It's inexpensive and non-toxic.  The way I see it, I really don't have anything to loose and everything to gain.

Anyone else tried chamomilla?  Here's a chart of other symptoms it has been known to relieve. Earaches, toothaches and insomnia are on the list.  Also interesting to note that this chart concurs that chamomilla is helpful for the child that is "only quieted when carried and petted constantly."  While there are times when a child needs to be held for comfort, I'm also a busy mother who ain't got time for that!

What other homeopathic remedies are in your first aid kit?

-Julie

PS - all this talk of chamomile makes me want to go read Peter Rabbit! 
"Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some chamomile tea: "One table-spoonful to be taken at bedtime.” 
― Beatrix PotterThe Tale of Peter Rabbit

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Nov 10, 2014

Wise Traditions 2014 Highlights

I'm back to life, back to reality.  The 2014 Wise Traditions Conference was all that I'd hoped it would be --and more.  I had a great time and really wish each person reading this could experience it one day.  As with other conferences of this size, while there you feel like you're being blasted by a firehose of information.  

In this post, I'm sharing some Instagram pics and commentary.  I hope to make time to write more about the conference. 

One of the reasons the conference was so fun this year was because I convinced my BFF from college to join me (she still lives in Kentucky).  We have not really connected in about 10 years.  I also convinced Jami Latture of Freckle Face Farm to come along from central Arkansas.  The three of us laughed and learned all weekend long.
Another major highlight is browsing and learning from the vendors.  Above we are snacking at the VitalChoice booth.  Normally I don't care for fish or anything fishy.  Let me tell you, Bob, VitalChoice wild seafood is a whole 'nuther story.  It is good.  Above I'm eating salmon belly (skin and bones, too) and it wasn't that "fishy."  Below I tasted two different kinds of roe (also known as caviar or salted fish eggs.)  Confession: I stopped and sampled the salmon roe everyday.
The vendors are very generous.  Green Pasture, maker of fermented cod liver oil, gave away 100 jars of FCLO everyday.  You better believe we were there early to snatch our free gift.  Radiant Life gave away jars of palm oil and nice sample spray bottles of magnesium oil (hopefully I can write more on that later.)

I could write for hours on the food at this conference.  Simply delightful.  Nutrient dense.  Very tasty. Wow.  And it seems like a miracle that they were able to feed 1000+ people at every meal.  Below is me with my roommates at the awards banquet.
After the food was eaten and awards given, Denise Minger was the keynote speaker.  Denise is only 27 years old.  Yet found fame about 3 years ago when she went toe-to-toe with The China Study author and vegan, Colin Campell.  She refuted his claims that animal protein causes cancer. (I actually heard her speak on this very topic in Dallas in 2011.  The paper linked above is a great resource for those who are thinking of going vegan.)  Of interesting note, Denise was vegan from 7-17.  She prided herself on a cavity-free mouth until the dentist found at least 13 cavities when she was 17 years old.  That was the wake-up call she needed to re-examine her dietary intake.

Denise talked on the subject of her new book, Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health.  It was very interesting to learn about the genesis of the "food pyramid."  The main point of her talk was keep learning.  Keep your eyes and ears open to learning new information --and then question everything.
Drinks on the table: sour lemon water kefir and root beer flavored kombucha.

Jami caught me in the act of not letting any raw whipped cream go to waste.
You may have noticed the blue ribbon on my name tag that said, "volunteer."  I applied for a financial scholarship, was awarded one and in turn was asked to volunteer 6 hours.  One shift of 2 hours (which really only lasted one hour), I collected lunch tickets at the buffet line.  The second shift of 4 hours, I worked the registration desk.  It was the last day of the conference, so if people weren't in a hurry, I asked them what they learned at the conference and what changes they would make once they were home.
This lady was from my home state and this was her first conference.  She cracked me up when she said, "I'm a registered nurse and feel like a spy at a spy convention.  However, I am encouraged there are other mainstream medical practitioners here."

One young mom I talked with asked how she could learn more about natural living.  I told her, "Keep coming to conferences like this!  You won't hear this information in mainstream outlets."

When I came home last night, I told my husband I was grateful for the opportunity to go.  I feel like the time (and money) spent was a great investment into the health of our family.  I learned about food, medicine, food as medicine!, dentistry, vaccines, gardening, and so many other things.  

I am more resolved to buy local, nutrient dense foods all while staying as far as I can from GMOs.  My soul was refreshed from the break away from the daily grind.

It truly is a great conference.  Next year's conference is in Anaheim, California.  Start saving your pennies now.

-Julie

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Nov 6, 2014

Traditional Foods Conference

In a few hours I'm hopping on a plane for Indianapolis. {EEK! I'm so EXCITED!} This weekend I will be learning tons at the Weston A. Price Foundation's annual conference.

Wanna go with me?

OK, that may not be realistic but you can live stream the conference, in part or the whole thing.

Three years ago, I was able to go when the conference was in Dallas.  Here's my recap of the food and other noteworthy events.  Oh, and the food is beyond excellent.  I really wish some of you could go with me.

I hope to post more pictures later.
Julie

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Nov 4, 2014

Farm Girl Meats Update & Sausage Cooking Tips

I have a special relationship with Katie Short of Farm Girl Meats.  Our friendship started about 5 years ago when I was chatting with her at the Argenta Farmers Market.  She told me she had a copy of Nourishing Traditions.  At that very moment I knew we were kindred spirits.  Fast forward a few years.  Now she comes to my house twice a month to deliver meat and egg shares to 25+ families.  (I'm lucky enough to have a flat driveway in a central location!) Katie is a gifted communicator and I asked her permission to republish this week's shareholder newsletter in this space.  --Julie
This week is all about the hickories. Those lovely trees turning all shades of red are also dropping gold all over our land, and the pigs just can't get enough. Not only are the nuts irresistible to the pigs, high in protein and good fats, and abundant, they will add depth and sweetness to our finishing hogs. I wish I could say we planned our hog harvest to follow the hickory drop, but this year it was just a bit of delicious serendipity. Some of the meat in this week's offerings will be from hickory-fattened hogs, but a better array will be available in early December.
The hens don't seem to care much about the nuts, but they are nearly out of the annual molt and feeling sassy with their fresh new plumage. They compete with each other for the prime roosting spots at night and the roosters vie for their attention during the day- needless to say its always noisy in chicken town these days. As for the meat birds, they are almost ready to harvest! We can expect some chicken in the basket as early as next delivery.

How to Cook a Link Sausage

Do your links ever split while cooking? Are they crumbly when you try to bite or cut them? 

We'll save the meat science behind the challenges for another day and get right to some simple ways to make the most of our lovingly raised, carefully seasoned sausages:

For the grill, parboil first. To do this, put your room temperature sausages in a deep saucepan or soup pot and cover generously with cold water. Now place the pan over medium-low heat and bring it to a simmer. Remove from heat immediately. Now your links are ready to brown up on the grill to your liking, texture preserved! 

Start on the stove, move to the oven. 
Preheat your oven to 375 and lightly oil an oven-safe frying pan, cast iron is ideal. On the stove top over medium heat, brown your sausages on all sides. Now, place the whole skillet in the oven and set the timer for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and the sausages from the pan, giving them 2-3 minutes rest before eating. 

=========
For more details about the Farm Girl Meat/Egg Share, click here.  Farm Girl Meats website is here.  She's also on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (check out the video of the pigs eating hickories).  Email Katie for additional questions: katie AT farmgirlfood.com

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Nov 2, 2014

New Real Food Restaurant Opens in NLR

On Main Street in Argenta is a new real food restaurant for the health conscious.   Good Food by Ferneau (next door to Mugs Cafe) is housed in the space formerly occupied by the Argenta Market --not be confused with what is across the street on Saturdays: the Argenta Farmers Market.  Good Food by Ferneau has remodeled and it looks quite trendy.  

Whew, now that you know where to go, let me tell you what good food you'll find.
Fresh, mostly local and organic offerings are on the menu.  The food is perfect for the person who works downtown and wants a healthy, quick lunch but they are also open late on Friday and Saturday.  Inside the deli case are several pre-packaged, to go options.  Prepackaged but not processed.  Those with gluten sensitivities have plenty of options too.
At the far right of the counter (above) Butcher & Public provides an in-house butcher shop with a passion for local farms and humanely raised meats.  The meat comes from names you'll recognize: Falling Sky Farms, Freckle Face Farm, Farm Girl, among others.  Take home some brats, sausages, cheese, or pate.

The weekday my husband and I stopped for lunch, I ordered a meatball sandwich that had fresh mint sprinkled on top, garnished with house made pickles.  My husband wasn't terribly hungry and had a bowl of butternut squash soup.  Most of the other diners were taking their food to-go.
Please support this local good food restaurant.  Try something new this week.  :)

HOURS -- Good Food by Ferneau 
Mon - Thu10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri10:00 am - 1:00 am
Sat6:00 pm - 12:00 am



521 Main Street, North Little Rock  (501) 725-4219

--Julie

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Oct 19, 2014

Tips for Toddlers and Children to Eat Soup

One day last week my two youngest and I ate soup outside for lunch.  The weather was perfect - a glorious fall day.

After I snapped this picture (and posted it on Instagram as mommamajors), the thought came to me, "I wonder if other moms serve soup for lunch?"

We eat a lot of soup in the fall and winter.  Soup is nourishing, delicious, inexpensive, easy and quite versatile.  Not to mention, the warmth in your mug and belly can knock the chill out of your weary bones.

I've learned over the years of serving soup that it can be messy for those less coordinated (i.e. toddlers).

Tips for Toddlers and Children to Eat Soup

for the very messiest and uncoordinated unpracticed
- Strip 'em naked and let the soup run down their chin, chest, belly and chair.  Do this just before bath time and chalk it up to a learning experience...for both of you!
- Eat outside or in old clothes.

for those wanting to improve
- Serve chunkier soups with little or no broth (or liquid).  This is the soup I made last week (it's a current fav).  My 22 month old son was basically eating ground beef, cooked/mushy veggies, and beans all in one cup.  He loved every chunky morsel then slurped the remaining spoonfuls of broth at the end.  He is gaining control with the spoon and does remarkably well.  I try to set him up to win (removing frustration) by giving him the chunks in soup without the "soup."

- Serve in a cup or small bowl so that the child feels the freedom to drink the soup instead of fight with the spoon.

- Give the child the widest spoon that will fit in their mouth.  They need all the extra surface area they can manage to get food in their mouth.  Sometimes the "baby spoons" are not all that helpful.  We have a couple stainless toddler spoons that are helpful. (I steer away from using plastic when I can.)   If you watch my baby, he looses quite a bit from the bowl to his mouth.  When he is super hungry he sometimes puts down the spoon and eats with his hands for the first few bites.

- If at first you don't succeed, try and try again!  Don't give up!

Julie

PS -- My daughter is almost 4.5.  She can wield a spoon like nobody's business and has been eating soup like a champ for a long time.  I say that to encourage those with preschoolers that soup isn't messy forever.

PSS -- I'd love to know what soups you are making these days.  I am always on the lookout for new recipes.

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Oct 15, 2014

Save Time & Energy with This Tip

The day I realized two whole chickens would fit into my slow cooker --it was a glorious day.
If I'm going to spend the time and energy to debone a chicken, it's not that much more work to debone two.  The crock needs to be cleaned no matter what's inside.

The extra meat can be used for fast week-night meals or frozen for later.

And the additional bones makes it worth my time to make broth.  Win-win.

Julie

PS - Scroll through other cooking tips here.

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Oct 12, 2014

Plantains Are My New BFF

Plantains are my new best friend.  Have you ever tried them?  They're the huge green banana looking things.  When ripe, they are black.  I found some at the Colony West Kroger this weekend.

Last night at a dinner party a friend said, "When we were in Costa Rica, we ate them at every meal."  I've eaten plantains as chips and even fried my own but I didn't know the extent to their versatility.

I am learning they are quite adaptible, especially if you are trying to eat grain-free.

Today I tried a couple new (to me) recipes from The Paleo Mom.  I highly recommend her blog if you haven't checked it out.  She earned a PhD but now stays at home and can explain the science behind food.  She just released a cookbook.  Here's a video where she explains a bit about plantains -- how to choose and cut them, etc.

I made her nut-free, coconut-free paleo (grain-free) muffins.  They were really good and not grainy like some gluten-free recipes.  Many times with gluten-free treats you have to buy lots of random ingredients.  In this recipe, the most random ingredient was a plantain.  And if you can't find plantains, you can use a green banana (or so it says in the comments.)  The recipe recommends 3-5 T of dry sugar.  I used 5 T of sucanat and they were plenty sweet with the additional 2+ cups of blueberries.  Next time I make these muffins I will use even less sugar.

For dinner, we had herbed chicken savory crepes with mushroom "cream" sauce.  Delish.  I used to make crepes frequently but since we are trying to be grain free, I'd written crepes off my menu.  I will say, this meal was perfect for a weekend and would be too much work for a weeknight meal.  My eldest son ate the remaining crepes with butter and maple syrup.  We'd all eaten blueberry muffins before dinner so we weren't that hungry.  With the remaining filling, I added more chicken and broth for a hearty soup for my husband's lunch one day this week.

**Haven't tried it yet but just saw this recipe for Simple Paleo Tortillas...will try soon.

Tonight I also made The Paleo Mom's grain-free Swedish Meatballs.  I used way more fresh herbs because the recipe as written seemed a bit bland.  The meatballs we will eat tomorrow night.

My kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off when I was finished.  The fridge is stocked with good food.

Any new recipes you're making I need to try?
Julie

PS - By way of reminder, I do not make any money from this blog.  I endorse books and blogs just because I think they are helpful.

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