Thursday, March 26, 2009

What CAN I eat?

I have been posting recently about nutrition and eating habits. A lot of the information I posted came from the Weston A Price foundation, a non-profit organization that has studied traditional cultures and what foods make healthy people. Their information is based on research, and their website is very interesting. Their focus is the importance of eating nutrient dense food. Of course, what they say is not easy to hear. What, you mean eating pre-packaged, pre-prepared stuff is bad for me? Yes. Sometimes what's the best way to do things is not the easiest way.

Some of the stuff they say is new to me, like soaking/sprouting/fermenting nuts and grains. I still need some more info on that, but with a little planning ahead, sounds like it's pretty easy to do. They also suggest raw milk products(unpasteaurized, whole milk). In other words, getting your milk straight from a farmer, who has not heated or treated it. From what I've heard, if they are using proper techniques of hygiene and storage, it should be germ-free and it has enzymes in it to help with digestion. They suggest some simple ways to use it to make yogurt or soft cheeses at home with little effort. They also suggest using different oils than what other organizations in the United States are currently suggesting.

Those things aside, they have a few ideas that we all could start applying in our lives to help ourselves live longer, healthier lives.
*Eat whole, natural foods (organic, non-processed, with skin whenever possible)
*Eat REAL foods - fruits, veggies, eggs, meat, whole grains (unprocessed is best)
*Use bones to make stock because the bones have good stuff inside

I think those ideas are pretty non-disputable. They are not impossible to do either, even for busy people. What we think is normal and healthy right now in this country is totally messed-up. But in my opinion, the only way to make lasting changes in our lives, is to do it little by little and stick with it. Baby steps. We can eat healthier, and our family can be healthier as a result. It is an investment I am willing to make.

Little by little we are eating differently. We rarely eat anything from a can. We don't eat cereal hardly at all anymore. I need to start making homemade cookies and crackers to replace the store bought, and also to start eating more fruit for snacks instead. I am planting a garden this year, so we will have a large supply of organic veggies for cheap. I try to buy and cook a whole chicken when I can, and we have chicken and broth for soup, plus some chicken left over for other stuff. What stuff are you doing to better your diet? What new baby step could you take?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New House: Here We Come!

Just a few pics for curious minds... Backyard
This is where my garden will go.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Garden Hopes

I have so many great plans for my garden this year. I haven't been able to garden other years because I did not have the space for it. This year, however, I will. We will be closing on our new house Monday, and I am anxious to get started. We won't be able to move in right away since it needs some work, but nothing is stopping me from plowing up the earth! What better for my family than fresh, chemical-free veggies straight from our own backyard! Here is a list of what I would like to plant:

I am a little nervous about getting this stuff planted in time, but I'm hoping for the best...
Spring Harvest:
Cabbage, asparagus, plant strawberries(to harvest later), cilantro, carrot, radish, chives, scallions, german chamomile, bok choy, sugar snap peas, shelling peas, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and chard

tomatoes, bell pepper, eggplant, melon, basil, potatoes, mint, lavender, green beans, zuchini, butternut squash, and acorn squash

The plan is for my husband to make me 3 4X8 raised beds, and to have 3 more 4X8 beds on the ground. We will see if things pan out like I hope. Maybe next weekend I can plow up some dirt!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dietary Dangers

Dietary Dangers (from Weston A Price Foundation website)

Don't eat commercially processed foods such as cookies, cakes, crackers, TV dinners, soft drinks, packaged sauce mixes, etc.
Avoid all refined sweeteners such as sugar, dextrose, glucose and high fructose corn syrup.
Avoid white flour, white flour products and white rice.
Avoid all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and oils.
Avoid all vegetable oils made from soy, corn, safflower, canola or cottonseed.
Do not use polyunsaturated oils for cooking, sauteing or baking.
Avoid fried foods.
Do not practice veganism; animal products provide vital nutrients not found in plant foods.
Avoid products containing protein powders.
Avoid pasteurized milk; do not consume lowfat milk, skim milk, powdered milk or imitation milk products.
Avoid battery-produced eggs and factory-farmed meats.
Avoid highly processed luncheon meats and sausage containing MSG and other additives.
Avoid rancid and improperly prepared seeds, nuts and grains found in granolas, quick rise breads and extruded breakfast cereals, as they block mineral absorption and cause intestinal distress.
Avoid canned, sprayed, waxed, bioengineered or irradiated fruits and vegetables.
Avoid artificial food additives, especially MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and aspartame, which are neurotoxins. Most soups, sauce and broth mixes and commercial condiments contain MSG, even if not so labeled.
Avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea and soft drinks. Avoid chocolate.
Avoid aluminum-containing foods such as commercial salt, baking powder and antacids. Do not use aluminum cookware or aluminum-containing deodorants.
Do not drink fluoridated water.
Avoid synthetic vitamins and foods containing them.
Do not drink distilled liquors.
Do not use a microwave oven.

Sigh, I have a long way to go.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No, no, no, no!

A new I not real excited about, but I knew it was coming. NO! Except she doesn't just say it once; she has to say it three or four times. It's really kind of cute, considering. Considering she doesn't want to eat, or let me fix her hair, or wipe boogers off her face, or whatever else she is refusing at the moment. Chili has a will of her own, and she's going to let us know it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Te vas a quebar el coco!

Which translates to "you're gonna hurt your head" although the literal translation is much funnier "you're gonna break your coconut!" In Spanish slang, the cabeza (or head) is sometimes referred to as your coconut. I don't think there is any reason for this other then it's round like a coconut...This phrase was said by Papi to Chili, who in the frustration of being one and a half was hitting her head against something (until she realized it hurt and didn't help her become less frustrated :) Is this common?) I think this is a funny phrase. Also, you can use this phrase figuratively. For example, "No te quebres el coco pensando en eso." Which translates to: don't worry your little head about that, or don't break your head thinking about that. Anyway you use it, it is a fun little phrase, don't you think?

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Yesterday was the closing on our "old house." It was rented(because the market stinks), and the renters bought it. We are so excited to finally be moving forward with plans! Hopefully, we will be closing on our "new house" next week, but we are still waiting for papers to be sent to us, so who knows. We have a lot of work to do before we can move in, but I can't wait to plow up the land for my BIG garden. I want to plant so many things! And I'm sure Chili will love running around the yard. So maybe next week, I'll keep you posted...

Friday, March 13, 2009

You just pointed with your lips!

I just caught my husband pointing with his lips last night. This is a custom in Latin America. I guess I had never noticed it before until I starting reading on other people's blogs about it. So we had a good laugh about it! Have you ever seen anyone point with their lips? Do you have a story to share?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dietary Guidelines

Dietary Guidelines (from Weston A. Price Foundation Website)
Eat whole, natural foods.
Eat only foods that will spoil, but eat them before they do.
Eat naturally-raised meat including fish, seafood, poultry, beef, lamb, game, organ meats and eggs.
Eat whole, naturally-produced milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as whole yogurt, cultured butter, whole cheeses and fresh and sour cream.
Use only traditional fats and oils including butter and other animal fats, extra virgin olive oil, expeller expressed sesame and flax oil and the tropical oils-coconut and palm.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, in salads and soups, or lightly steamed.
Use whole grains and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid and other anti-nutrients.
Include enzyme-enhanced lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
Prepare homemade meat stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish and use liberally in soups and sauces.
Use herb teas and coffee substitutes in moderation.
Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.
Use unrefined Celtic seasalt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.
Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and expeller expressed flax oil.
Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice and stevia powder.
Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals.
Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel.
Use only natural supplements.
Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light.
Think positive thoughts and minimize stress.
Practice forgiveness.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Just after getting back from vacation, my little Chilipuca learned a new word. My brother lent me his DVD player to try to keep Chili occupied on the plane. She watched a few minutes of Dora the Explorer before she started trying to push the buttons and we had to turn it off. The following day at home I needed to get something done, and put Dora on for her. She watched what, a half hour...later on in the day she saw the DVD player and screamed, "DORA!" (Sounded more like Doh-wa) How did she learn that word so quick? (Heck, she doesn't even say Mama yet!) Now that is one of her favorite words. She climbs up to get the remote control to the TV, pushes the buttons and says, "Dora!" Then when it doesn't work, she hands me the control and adamently insists, "Dora!" Actually, she calls any cartoon Dora, but if she sees Dora on a T-shirt or pillow, she can recognize her. I don't know what makes Dora so cool to a 17 month old, but my daughter is definately a fan!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A new way of thinking about nutrition (or should I say an old way)

What's Wrong with "Politically Correct" Nutrition? (from Weston A Price Foundation website)

Avoid saturated fats Saturated fats play many important roles in the body. They provide integrity to the cell membrane, enhance the body's use of essential fatty acids, enhance the immune system, protect the liver and contribute to strong bones. Saturated fats do not cause heart disease. In fact, saturated fats are the preferred food for the heart. Your body makes saturated fats out of carbohydrates.

Limit cholesterol Dietary cholesterol contributes to the strength of the intestinal wall and helps babies and children develop a healthy brain and nervous system. Foods that contain cholesterol also provide many other important nutrients. Only oxidized cholesterol, found in powdered milk and eggs, contributes to heart disease. Powdered milk is added to 1% and 2% milk.

Use more polyunsaturated oils Polyunsaturates in more than small amounts contribute to cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, learning disabilities, intestinal problems and premature aging. Large amounts of polyunsaturated fats are new to the human diet, due to the modern use of commercial liquid vegetable oils.

Avoid red meat Red meat is a rich source of nutrients that protect the heart and nervous system including vitamins B12 and B6, zinc, phosphorus, carnitine and Coenzyme Q10.

Cut back on eggs Eggs are nature's perfect food, providing excellent protein, the gamut of nutrients and important fatty acids that contribute to the health of the brain and nervous system. Americans had less heart disease when they ate more eggs. Egg substitutes cause rapid death in test animals.

Eat lean meat and drink lowfat milk Lean meat and lowfat milk lack fat soluble vitamins needed to assimilate protein and minerals in meat and milk. Consumption of low-fat foods can lead to depletion of vitamin A and D reserves.

Limit fat consumption to 30% of calories 30% calories as fat is too low for most people, leading to low blood sugar and fatigue. Traditional diets contained 40% to 80% of calories as healthy fats, mostly of animal origin.

Eat 6-11 servings of grains per day Most grain products are made from white flour, which is devoid of nutrients. Additives in white flour can cause vitamin deficiencies. Whole grain products can cause mineral deficiencies and intestinal problems unless properly prepared.

Restrict salt Salt is crucial to digestion and assimilation. Salt is also necessary for the development and functioning of the nervous system.

At least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day Fruits and vegetables receive an average of 10 applications of pesticides, from seed to storage. Consumers should seek out organic produce. Quality counts!

Eat more soy foods Modern soy foods block mineral absorption, inhibit protein digestion, depress thyroid function and contain potent carcinogens.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

More on electrolytes

I found some info on this:
Don't you love the internet? The answer to your questions with just a few clicks...basically the unscientific explaination is that electrolytes are minerals. We have certain minerals in our body that need to be maintained (like sodium, calcium, potassium, etc.) and lots of exercise or dehydration can deplete these. There are also recipes on the internet of how to make your own electrolyte drinks, which would of course be less expensive, and avoid all the artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, etc. They all have different ingredients and different amounts so it's hard to say what's best. Wouldn't it just work to drink to drink some lemonade with a pinch of salt (sweetened with a little honey)? I guess it might depend on what your intent was? If you had a 24 hour bug, and needed to stay hyrdrated, you could sip on tea with a little honey and a pinch of salt?

My husband, on the other hand, thinks that if he is sick, he MUST drink Pedialyte. It WILL make him feel better. I actually know quite a few Latinos (here in the States) who say this (not my Colombian friends, but people from Mexico/El Salvador/Honduras) this a cultural thing? I don't think it's the best thing for him, but I can't convince him otherwise. :) I guess there are worse things he could take...

Well, I am glad to have learned something. To my friend H, will you post your LaborAid recipe (it's pretty much the same thing, huh?)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

But it has electrolytes!

I just finished watching the movie Idiocracy on TV. Stupid movie by the way. Two people are put into hibernation, and accidently forgetten until 2500. Evidently, all the smart people have been thinking before having babies(their careers, their finances, etc, until whoops they can't), while the not so smart ones don't, and end up reproducing like crazy....after generations of this, humanity ends up completely idiotic, hence the name of the movie. The only redeeming moment is when the protagonist is trying to convince the people that they should water the plants with water, not a gatorade type substance. Their response is quite ridiculous, which is what makes it funny. "But it has electrolytes!" "What are electrolytes?" he responds. "It's what plants crave."

Who the heck knows what electrolytes are anyway? Just that they are supposed to be good for you. In my opinion, just another marketing ploy to get people to think they need something because it's supposedly good for them. Has anyone else noticed all the advertising lately? It seems like you can sell any piece of crap as healthy if you just add something to it... a vitamin, probiotics, whole grain. No matter that the product is not healthy for you in the first place.

Here's one advertisement that really bugs me, to give an example. Sunny D. It has vitamins. And some other bologna about being a good mother or being with your kids all through the day. Whatever! It's sugar water with artificial colors and flavors and preservatives, and who knows what else. I don't care how many vitamins you put in it, it is NOT healthy. When I was teaching, I had students that seriously thought it was good for them. Let's just say we used that as an opportunity for learning...

Well I am not being duped! I try to stay away from foods in boxes or cans to begin with, buying things in their natural form (or close to it). Fruits, veggies, meat, grains(whole grains most of the time, and unprocessed if I'm being really good). When I do buy stuff from a box or jar (which I do buy some), you better believe I read my labels and try to stick to stuff I can pronounce (organic products do a good job of that, but there are some all natural ones that do a pretty good job too).

I have to say that I am completely astonished at what I see people buy when I go to the regular grocery store (as opposed to the health food store). Sometimes not a single vegetable. Frozen and prepared foods. Soda. Candies. It is no surprise to me that the acronym for the Standard American Diet is SAD!

"But it has electrolytes!" Media sends a lot of messages about what we should be eating. Do your own research. Make your own conclusions. In the end, it's your body and what you put into it will determine what you get out of it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bach Rescue Remedy - Kid's Formula

Bach Rescue Remedy is something that I had heard recommedations for, and had on hand, but had never used. It is a homeopathic remedy that is for stress or trauma. The other day, Chili woke up from her nap crying and nothing I did could calm her. I wasn't sure what was wrong or what to do for her. I remembered I had Bach Rescue Remedy on hand, and figured it was a good moment to try it out. I put four drops on her tongue and within seconds she had stopped crying. She was clingy for a few more minutes but after that she was back to her normal self. Wow! I was really impressed with the results! Yeah, for Bach Rescue Remedy!

You can check this out at:

Monday, March 2, 2009

25 Things About Me

I had already done this on Facebook, and thought I would post it here too.

1- When I was young, I stuck a raisin up my nose. Fortunately, my mom was able to get it out.
2- I am fluent in Spanish, and although my grammar isn't perfect, I have been mistaken for a native speaker.
3- When I was in high school, I wanted to be a career missionary. I argued with my mom because I wanted to go to India instead of college.
4- I worked at a bilingual school in Bogota, Colombia.
5- I would prefer to listen to music in Spanish.
6- I love to dance salsa and merengue, and ironically, my husband, the Latino, has learned what he knows about Latin dancing from me.
7- I had my baby naturally - no pain meds. It was an empowering experience, and I am excited to do it again someday. I actually had my baby 15 minutes after arriving at the hospital. The labor was not short, but I labored at home as long as I could, which made a world of difference.
8- I sound identical to my mom on the phone. My grandma (her mother) has even gotten us confused several times.
9- I have eaten tongue and cheek meat.
10- I used to like to eat "quiet dogs" (hush puppies) when I was little.
11- I am also known as "the pasta queen." I love carbs!
12- I like to knit. I know, sounds like a hobby for grandmas, but it's actually very relaxing, and fun to make stuff.
13- I have lived in 17 houses/apartments in my life. That is a LOT of moving.
14- I have never given a bottle to my daughter or bought her commercial baby food. We were given a couple jars once, and she didn't like them. Ha, ha!
15- I have never been drunk. I don't like the taste of alcohol, with the exception of a few types of wine. I just have never understood the appeal.
16- We co-sleep. There are safe ways to cosleep, unfortunately you only hear about those who are negligent in the news.
17- I like to shop at thrift stores and garage sales. I actually hardly ever buy anything new anymore. I love the feeling of finding something so nice for so cheap.
18- I love "artesanias" - artesan-made stuff and homemade stuff.
19- Once in shop class, my best friend drilled all the way through my finger. It was an accident and yes, we were still best friends after that.
20- My favorite book is Their Eyes Were Watching God.
21- I graduated college Summa Cum Laude.
22- I used to compose songs often. I actually wrote a song for my wedding and pre-recorded it, good thing I did, because as expected I was bawling.
23- Once in elementary school, I peed my pants. It was a cold winter day, and we couldn't get in the house for some reason. I was sooo embarrassed.
24- I had really bad acne in high school and college.
25- I have a blog. If you haven't checked it out yet, it's Leave me a message, so I know you were there. (Obviously you knew this, or you wouldn't be here...hee, hee.)