Tag Archives: lacto-fermentation

April 2016 Meal Plan

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This is what our April meal plan looks like – it’s super simple to put together, when I know what goal(s) I have in mind – no extra time planning compared to any other meal plan! I still look online for recipes like anyone else, and like most families who cook from scratch, I take a little more time to ensure more nutritious fare via my researching health regularly (this will be for life, I am a type 4 after all) and cooking time. The planning stage is not more time consuming, though. ūüôā
I already had April 1st in my meal plan for March, so it’s omitted here.

 

Breakfasts

Monday ~ Scrambled Eggs, orange slices, smoothies

Tuesday ~ Lembas Bread with coconut oil, ham, bananas

Wednesday ~ Paleo Sausage Egg McMuffins

Thursday ~ Paleo Raisin Bran

Friday ~ Paleo Breakfast Pizza

Saturday ~ Paleo Chicken Noodle Soup

Sunday ~ Cinnamon Raisin N’oatmeal

 

Lunches

Monday ~ Cabbage Soup with Ham, dab of coconut kefir

Tuesday ~ Almond butter & bananas with raisins, raw veggies

Wednesday ~ Roast Beef, Paleo cheese, raw veggies with ranch

Thursday ~ Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage and Peppers, cultured applesauce

Friday ~ Paleo Swedish Meatballs, mashed potatoes, green beans, smoothies

 

April 4-8

Monday ~ Honey-Mustard Drumsticks, Probiotic Potato Salad, Hot Bacon Spinach Salad

Tuesday ~ Sloppy Joe’s in a Bowl, buns, fermented french fries, cultured broccoli salad

Wednesday ~ Loaded Sweet Potato Soup, dab of coconut kefir in bowls

Thursday ~ Fish sticks, sweet potato dollars, ranch, tartar sauce

Friday ~ Waffles (Banana-Nut Pancakes, cooked in our waffle iron), coconut whipped cream, bacon, fruit salad, scrambled eggs

 

April 11-15

Monday ~ One-Pot Paprika Chicken, cultured apple sauce

Tuesday ~ Creamed Chip Beef over Eggs, green beans, water kefir

Wednesday ~ Deli meat wraps, popcorn/nuts, coconut kefir smoothies

Thursday ~ Open Face Tuna Melts, chips, raw veggies

Friday ~ Margherita Pizza with Paleo pizza crust (linked on Second Breakfast page), salad, kombucha

 

April 18-22

Monday ~ Nourishing Moroccan Chicken, zoodles, water kefir

Tuesday ~ Healthy Hamburger Helper, cultured ginger carrots

Wednesday ~ Chicken, Yam, and Chard soup, kombucha

Thursday ~ Paleo Shrimp Alfredo¬†(possibly adding Paleo “parmesan”), brocolli, kombucha

Friday ~ Cheeseburgers, cultured french fries, ketchup, Nourishing Orange Julius’

 

April 25-29

Monday ~ Perfect Chicken Salad, tater tots, cultured ketchup

Tuesday ~ Stuffed Hot Dogs, baked sweet potatoes with cultured apple sauce

Wednesday ~ Classic French Onion Soup, steak strips, kombucha

Thursday ~ Jambalya, Paleo “cornbread,” cultured chutney

Friday ~ Ground Beef Stir Fry, water kefir

Fibromyalgia (Hypothyroidism), Inflammation, and Lacto-Fermentation

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 by Charrow, creator of beautiful things

Stop the Thyroid Madness has mentioned several times, suspicion that fibromyalgia (and chronic fatigue) is not its own separate illness, but rather a facet of hypothyroidism:

…from Dr. John S. Lowe:¬†in most cases, fibromyalgia is the result of ‚Äúhypometabolism of select tissues‚ÄĚ, i.e. ‚Äúthe clinical manifestation of inadequate thyroid hormones due to thyroid hormone deficiency and/or resistance.‚ÄĚ (page 75, The Metabolic Treatment of Fibromyalgia, 2000)

i.e. in most cases, ‚Äúfibromyalgia‚ÄĚ is simply a symptom of undiagnosed or¬†under-treated¬†hypothyroidism.¬†When Lowe wrote what I quoted above, he referred to it as a hypothesis‚Äďa soft way to propose to his medical colleagues that there may be more to this story. But patient experience has repeatedly found it to be completely true. When patients stop letting the¬†inadequate TSH lab test¬†dictate whether they are ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ or not, and when patients stop treating their hypothyroidism with the¬†inadequate T4-only meds like Synthroid¬†and go with natural desiccated thyroid‚Ķsymptoms of ‚Äúfibromyalgia‚ÄĚ have been completely removed.

So, when I came across an article on¬†Modern Misfits¬†awhile back, I was intrigued. ¬†The article is called¬†Fibromyalgia Mystery Finally Solved!¬†A brief excerpt can show why I was extremely reaffirmed, that lacto-fermentation is a cure to treat all ills… and yet, it’s no medicine. It’s just healthy eating.

Up until recently, many physicians thought that the disease was ‚Äúimaginary‚ÄĚ or psychological, but scientists have now revealed that the main source of pain stems from a most unlikely place- excess blood vessels in the hand.

What I’d like to know is if hypothyroid patients have the same excess of blood vessels in their hands, correlating with STTM’s thoughts on fibromyalgia¬†being¬†undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Only time may tell.

However, this interesting article led to some really great discussion, which I would like to share with you.

Now to wait for a cure!

Actually, with that information (that fibro/chronic fatigue/hypothyroidism is conducive to hand numbness/body pain because of this), there are a lot of natural things that can be done Рno need in waiting for a synthetic drug to cover over symptoms. There are many botanical healers that would cure this root issue!
I would be interested to learn what kind of botanical would be safe to take yet destroy or “shut off” excessive nerve fibers.
This study is AWESOME because it proves that fibromyalgia/hypothyroidism isn’t “just neurological,” it is very clearly an inflammatory issue. If fibro sufferers have “excessive” nerve fibers in their hands (or any part of their body), and there is inflammation in the blood vessels, there is GOING to be pain. Just imagine all those nerve endings being compressed together when the inflammation goes on, whereas someone with fewer nerve endings has a bit more “room” when inflammation hits.
The thinking that nerves must be shut off is headed in a twisted direction, based on a faulted idea of the root cause… it’s rather straight-forward from the knowledge that this is about inflammation in extra nerves/blood vessel. It’s not about¬†shutting off¬†body parts. It’s about¬†decreasing¬†or lessening the inflammation that happens throughout the¬†entire¬†body of nerves… the extra nerves are simply making the inflammation that much more noticeable, more quickly, through pain/extremity numbness/tingling – there’s not as much free space.

What causes inflammation? Poor gut health. Not joking.¬†It’s what I point to for most health issues.

  • Had cancer, went through standard hospital protocol, and then find yourself sick? You just had all your gut flora killed – eat lacto-fermented foods.
  • Have endocrine problems and find your supplements aren’t working effectively? Boost your gut flora with lacto-fermented foods and your gut will start being able to process the nutrients you eat and supplement with.
  • Get sick with colds all the time? Cut out processed foods, GMOs, and eat lacto-fermented foods.
  • Crippling pain in your joints? Reduce the inflammation by creating healthy gut flora – eat lacto-fermented foods.
  • Migraines? It’s inflammation in the brain and blood vessels – guess what you should do.

Really, gut health is vital to whole-body health.
Without a healthy gut –¬†okay, let me be precise here… without eating traditionally, without preparing and eating lacto-fermented foods at every meal, as we had in every society before this, for thousands of years¬†– we have rampant: cancer, mental disorders (I have seen many stories now, of people being cured from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and more with the addition of whole-food real fats, healthy salt, and lacto-fermented foods), chronic pain, diabetes, endocrine disorders, and so much more.
We MUST eat lacto-fermented foods for good whole-body health, or continue to suffer the dramatic consequences for omitting them
.¬†(You may love that link as much as I do – he’s very geek-speak!¬†¬†)

Probiotic pills have nothing on lacto-fermented foods.

So, the prevention and cure for fibromyalgia, from this point forward, should become very straight forward: eliminate inflammation to the point that you no longer have issues.

Since I approach health with a “ladder of care,” I don’t jump to surgery for my first solution to a health crisis (and this is certainly a health crisis). I start simply and work up if needed. It is often that the simplest solutions, life diet, heals many health issues.

Here are five simple things to remove or add to a health life diet, to reduce inflammation for anyone, but this article specifically speaks on fibromyalgia.

I continue to gather information on a variety of topics, including hypothyroidism and lacto-fermentation. Please feel free to send good health information my way.

June Menu Plan 2015

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whole30gratefulness

Go to my¬†Second Breakfast¬†page for info about how my family eats, find our staple recipes (if it doesn’t link here, it’s linked there), and more!

This month is slightly different – I am doing my second Whole30. I ate this way in January and felt amazing, lost a lot of weight, and internally was doing much better. Since, I have added in fermented dairy and natural sweeteners back in (honey, maple syrup, Sucanat), and I need to figure out if either one (or both) are causing sleep disturbances and mood issues.

I am a little more than excited, as Daryl said he wanted to join me on this Whole30, knowing he’d also give up smoking (which I abhor for a dozen or more reasons) along with dairy, legumes, and grains. I think he’s going to tone up and feel great at the end. Melody is also doing it now, as she has started having growing pains, and wants to see if going Paleo will help her. Leela is just kind of along for the ride.

Breakfasts

Mondays ~ Monkey Salad. scrambled eggs (with broth), cultured guacamole
Tuesdays ~ Spinach Sausage Scramble, cultured applesauce
Wednesdays ~ Italian Chicken Casserole, cultured carrots
Thursdays ~ Butternut Squash Breakfast Skillet, kombucha
Fridays ~ Paleo Raisin Bran, Bacon, Eggs

Lunches
Mondays ~ Golden Cauliflower Soup, kombucha
Tuesdays ~ Perfect Chicken Salad, cultured fruit chutney, Toadstool Salad
Wednesdays ~¬†Mason Jar “Instant” Ramen Zoodles, chutney
Thursdays ~ Spatchcock chicken, raw veggies, kombucha
Fridays ~ Italian Wedding Soup, cultured ginger carrots

Dinners

Week 1 (June 1-6)
Monday ~ Slow-Cooker Moroccan Chicken, Hot Bacon Spinach Salad, coconut kefir
Tuesday ~ Hamburgers, Cultured Coleslaw
Wednesday ~ Creamy Sausage Soup with Greens, Italian Salad
Thursday ~ Salmon Cakes (sub bread crumbs with 1/2 cup almond flour), Sweet and Spicy Brussel Sprouts
Friday ~ SB&J burgers, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Cultured Arnold Palmers (1/2 cultured lemonade, 1/2 kombucha)

Week 2 (June 7-13)
Monday ~ Chicken with Rosemary & Roasted Oranges, root veggie hash. kombucha
Tuesday ~ Plantain Beef Pie, Lacto-Fermented Zucchini
Wednesday ~ Big Italian Salad, Water Kefir
Thursday ~ Zucchini Noodles with Scallops and Bacon, cultured carrots
Friday ~ Turkey Avocado Wraps, sweet potato dollars, cultured applesauce

Week 3 (June 14-20)
Monday ~ Spatchcock chicken, Curried Kale & Green beans
Tuesday ~ Paleo Swedish Meatballs, Zoodles, water kefir
Wednesday ~ Pork with Sauerkraut and apples, baked sweet potatoes
Thursday ~ Cod Fish Fry, crunchy cauliflower bites, Italian Salad, water kefir
Friday ~ Salted Mocha Burgers, Cultured Broccoli Salad

Week 4 (June 21-27)
Monday ~ Perfect Chicken Salad, Hot Bacon Spinach Salad, fruit chutney
Tuesday ~ Hunter Stew, cultured apple sauce
Wednesday ~ Sausage, Eggs, Coconut Kefir smoothies
Thursday ~ Salmon Ceviche, raw veggies, coconut kefir cheese
Friday ~ Grilled Chicken (spatchcock marinade), cultured broccoli salad

Week 5 (June 28-30)
Monday ~ Italian Chicken Casserole, kombucha
Tuesday ~ Steaks, crunchy cauliflower bites, green beans, water kefir

Cultured Ranch Dressing

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Ingredients:
1/4 cup mayonnaise, optional
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk, or kefir
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
Blend all together thoroughly. Enjoy!

Note: Personally, everyone in my family but me does not like this with the mayo in it, so I omit it, but I enjoy it with the mayo, so am including it here!

May Meal Plan 2015

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I am eating Paleo (Primal) by necessity, but I try to add in some grains each week for my family (while I omit). I can not handle unfermented animal dairy, even raw, though I can tolerate fermented dairy, so I will sneak some Primal action in. Like Pizza.

Daryl had sworn by his breakfast of oatmeal for a long time, stating it was the only thing that would fill him up. I made a few Paleo breakfasts for him one week and he converted quite easily, even saying that he didn’t realize that oatmeal was actually making him sluggish within an hour and he was hungry much sooner than the Paleo-friendly breakfasts. But, when you are comparing soaked oatmeal to a bowl of cereal and milk, of course you feel better with it!
He recently said something I didn’t think he would ever say, and that was that he was okay with limiting his bread take even more, “why not?”

I cook Monday-Friday and cook enough to have leftovers all weekend. This makes our days with Daryl easier and filled with more time together doing things we enjoy.
Monday-Friday, I also rotate the breakfasts and lunches each week for one month.
For dinners, Monday is some type of chicken dish, Tuesday is beef, Wednesday is a random choice, Thursday is seafood, and Friday is Make-In foods.
We also have a lacto-fermented (cultured) food, beverage, or condiment with every single meal. (Any linked fermented recipes that mention whey, I substitute with water kefir wonderfully.)

Breakfasts

Monday¬†–¬†N’Oatmeal,¬†Cultured Berry Jam
Tuesday¬†–¬†Rustic Paleo Breakfast Pizza,¬†Kombucha
Wednesday¬†–¬†Paleo Egg McMuffins,¬†cultured guacamole¬†(all the ingredients, plus 2 tablespoons water kefir and then allowed to culture for 7 hours)¬†cultured salsa
Thursday¬†–¬†Paleo Lemon Pound Cake, Cultured Berry Jam*
Friday¬†–¬†Paleo Cookie Crisp, coconut milk (I take a can of Thai brand coconut milk, add the same amount of water and 1/4 teaspoon dolomite – I don’t crave milk much anymore, but when I do, I plow through this pretty quickly… so it’s good on our wallet that I don’t crave milk too much) for me and raw cow’s milk for everyone else,¬†cultured applesauce

Lunches

Monday¬†–¬†Almond Butter¬† and banana on¬†Roti, veggies,¬†ranch dip
Tuesday¬†–¬†Tuna Melts¬†on apple slices, water kefir (1 tbsp. grains, 1 tbsp. Sucanat, 1 cup water, 20ish raisins, 1/2 cleaned and dried pastured egg shell; mix up and let culture for 1-2 days)
Wednesday¬†–¬†Spatchcock chicken,¬†Fajita-style Quessadillas¬†(I make mine in Roti*, the family’s in¬†Nourishing Tortillas¬†– reduce to 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and use coconut oil –¬†and we add in some of the spatchcocked chicken), cultured guacamole*
Thursday¬†–¬†Paleo Swedish Meatballs¬†with¬†Zoodles¬†(100% wheat pasta for the family), kombucha
Friday¬†–¬†Golden Cauliflower Soup,¬†cultured ginger carrots

Dinners

Friday (May 1) Р Faux Carb Pizza crust for Supreme Pizza, ranch dip*

Week 1 (May 4-8)

Monday РChicken Bacon Alfredo (I sub with coconut milk Рyep, this is a Primal recipe) with zoodles* (100% wheat pasta for family),cultured fruit chutney
Tuesday –¬†Liver Pate¬†(sometimes we add 8 ounces of cream cheese to it!!),¬†Crackers, veggies, ranch dip*
Wednesday –¬†Chicken, Yam and Chard Soup,¬†LF zuchhini
Thursday –¬†Fish sticks,¬†tater tots,¬†ketchup,¬†tartar sauce
Friday – Hot dogs with ketchup* &¬†mustard,¬†macaroni and cheese¬†(good alternative that doesn’t taste like mac n cheese, but is DEFINITELY a similar comfort food –¬†Paleo Mac ‘n Cheese),¬†Vanilla Bavarian Cream with berry sauce¬†(we love this as leftovers!!)

Week 2 (May 11-15)

Monday –¬†Italian Chicken Casserole, LF carrots*
Tuesday –¬†Pastured Beef Stroganoff¬†with¬†cauli-rice¬†(brown rice¬†for family), water kefir
Wednesday – Sausage (Beeler’s breakfast), eggs (local pastured),¬†root veggie hash¬†(I fry this in butter and coconut oil; oven cooking takes much longer than the recipe conveys for us),¬†cultured apple sauce
Thursday –¬†Coconut Shrimp, salad,¬†apple-kefir dressing¬†(made with¬†coconut kefir),¬†cocktail sauce without horseradish
Friday –¬†Jambalya,¬†frog legs¬†(sub. flour with arrowroot powder),¬†Paleo “corn” bread,¬†red beans and rice¬†(I completely omit for myself), kombucha*

Week 3 (May 18-22)

Monday РSpatchcock chicken*, sweet potato dollars, green beans, ranch dip*
Tuesday –¬†Roast Beef,¬†potato pancakes,¬†Spinach salad, kombucha*
Wednesday –¬†Cocoa Spiced Rubbed Pork with Crimini Berry Sauce,¬†blue cheese potatoes¬†(sub with coconut milk), broccoli, cultured smoothie
Thursday –¬†Fermented Salmon,¬†Sourdough pita bread, LF zucchini*,¬†Kvass,¬†cultured garlic
Friday –¬†Better Than Take-Out General Tso’s, water kefir*

Week 4 (May 25-29)

Monday –¬†One-Pot Paprika Chicken, water kefir*
Tuesday –¬†Butternut Squash Shepherd’s Pie, kombucha*
Wednesday –¬†Salmon Chowder, LF carrots*
Thursday –¬†Paleo Fish Tacos, fruit chutney*
Friday –¬†Chimichangas¬†in Roti* or nourishing tortillas*,¬†cultured salsa, salad

* = repeated recipe

Water Kefir Gummy Candies

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I love making water kefir. In the interim, waiting to make kombucha while kahm yeast died out in my house, water kefir had been a quick little lifesaver!

One amazing thing about bacterial yeast colonies is that the reproduce quickly, and in the case of my water kefir, the grains reproduce quicker than SCOBY mushrooms and milk kefir grains – by about 4 times as fast!

Within four 2 gallon batches of water kefir, I went from 1 cup of grains to almost a gallon. I needed to think of something to do with the grains aside from throwing them out – and while I am kind of a go-to in town for cultures (the local health food store sends people to me for them all. the. time.), I still can’t keep up with them.

Thus I began brainstorming for making gummy candies. I’d read about them a few years ago, but couldn’t find directions anywhere. I am sure that they are out there, but I thought I would share my experiments with you here.

I tried merely letting them set out after I had drained them. I put them on a clean cloth and waited a few days. Exactly as you probably foresaw – nothing special happened to them. Except, they attracted fruit flies!

I gave it another go, but that next time I broke out my food dehydrator, some unbleached parchment paper, and a couple more ingredients to hopefully knock these things out of the park. What resulted is Melody’s new “junk food” – though we all enjoy the slight gummy chew these offer.

I’m going to work on various flavor options as I get more overflow. I may try mint or citrus this next time.

Water Kefir Warming Gummy Candies

3 cups water kefir grains, drained well

1/4 cup Sucanat

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all together. Layer on to parchment paper-lined dehydrator sheets, being careful to create small layers. Test after about 2 hours to see if you enjoy the consistency. The gummies will harden a little bit more than what you test at, but not a lot. May want to dehydrate for up to 3 hours.

This recipe is formatted to be easily entered into a fantastic meal planning app,¬†MealBoard. It’s my most used and very well-loved iPhone app. I make no profit from promoting it – I just love it so much and want to share about the great app!

Cultured Paleo Mayo or Miracle Whip

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I personally have a preference for the mildly sweeter “Miracle Whip” with its depth of flavor, over mayonnaise. I certainly don’t prefer the rancid oils, preservatives and other junk ingredients in the store-bought options, however.
If you prefer mayo over “miracle whip,” just omit the honey and paprika from this recipe.

This is my lacto-fermented spin on my preferred condiment for sandwiches! (Whey can be used in place of the water kefir, but then it’s not Paleo-friendly. I have had this with whey, before I started eating Paleo, and I quite prefer the taste with water kefir!)

Ingredients

3 egg yolks, room temperature

2 teaspoons powdered mustard

2 teaspoons white wine

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon water kefir

3 tablespoons raw honey

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 cup bacon grease

1/2 cup olive oil

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Notes / Directions

In blender, process all but last three ingredients. Process until well blended, about 30 seconds. Add in bacon grease and oil slowly in the middle opening of blender. When mixed, stop blender, taste and check seasoning. May add more salt and/or lemon juice if desired. Let mayonnaise sit at room temperature, well covered, for 7 hours before refrigerating. With water kefir added, mayonnaise will keep several months and will become firmer in time. Without water kefir, mayonnaise will keep for 2 – 3 weeks.

(Makes 1 1/2 cups.)