essential oils revolution sue lawton smaller quote

Finding Virtues and Wellness Wednesday

disclaimerThe Essential Oil Revolution Summit is well underway as I write this. I have learned so much already, and am looking forward to the rest of the sessions. Essential Oils are currently one of the hottest topics in the natural health world, and it’s no wonder after hearing that so many people are finding so many benefits from using them. As more moms look for ways to help their family regain optimal health, essential oils make a great complement to a healthy diet, quality sleep, healthy gut flora and a positive outlook.

Day One included a wonderful session with Dr. Sue Lawton who uses essential oils in her practice for stress management, physical ailments, immune system recovery and immune boosting.  Her talk in the summit was one of empowering us with the right mindset to live compassionate, productive, healthy lives. One quote in particular struck a chord with me and I made this infographic that I wanted to share with you today.

essential oils revolution sue lawton smaller quoteIf you would like to own Dr. Lawton’s talk along with all of the other 31 talks from the Essential Oils Revolution Summit they are available for purchase. If you want to listen for free the remainder of this week (May 11-15) they will be live each day at this link.

EO_BlogBanner_600x150_Order

Now on to Wellness Wednesday! Please leave us a link with your own blog and be sure to read the other great blog links too! Share the love by sharing today’s post on your own Facebook page.

Compound Butter {Butter Gets Dressed Up}

 This blog is part of my contributions at Traditional Cooking School

Compound-Butter-Traditional-Cooking-School-GNOWFGLINSAs a young married couple without kids, we moved to a new city eight hours from home. There, we met Mr. and Mrs. Samuels at church.

We loved getting invitations to eat dinner at their house. Sam, retired from the Navy, had filled their home with beautiful things from around the world. Helen was a pearls-go-with-everything, warm and friendly lady who knew how to make her guests feel welcome.

But what I remember most about the first evening we spent with them was the butter. Read more…

3 Better Ways to Grow Your Own Food

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

3 Better Ways to Grow Your Own Food titles

Here in Florida you need way more than just a green thumb (or two, or green hands and feet) to grow much of anything very successfully. Even the weeds have a hard time in the summer when it’s 95+ degrees, rains absolutely every day, and even when it’s not raining the humidity is still 100%. The average person who wants to subsidize the family groceries with homegrown vegetables, herbs and salads needs a little help to be successful here. If you don’t live in Florida you probably still have your own challenges. That’s why using one or more of these three ideas will most likely give you a much better chance to be able to grow super-fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs for your family.

1. Aeroponics

After 5 years of in-ground gardening Ralph and Gail were tired of battling the sandy soil in their Orlando-area backyard. Frustrated with the minimal results even with maximum effort they decided to look into buying a Tower Garden. Their first one was purchased second-hand from a friend and they decided to do a side-by-side test – Tower Garden vs. Square Foot Garden.  After that growing season they were convinced to buy several more Tower Gardens!  In fact they were so successful they decided to start a small home business growing herbs and leafy greens to sell to one of our local farm food delivery services!

tower garden ralph parlsey and chives titlesRalph does details and so he learned all there is to learn about it. He explained that with 2 to 3 Tower Gardens you could grow enough food for a family of four for a year with about 1-2 hours per week of maintenance. One nice thing about the work with a Tower Garden is it doesn’t include weeding or tilling. Ralph also said that within 15 months of use you can make back your purchase price in the savings you’ll get from not having to buy organic produce at the store.

tower garden ralph titlesTower Garden uses state-of-the-art NASA technology to grow plants without soil. The technique, called aeroponics, is a variation of hydroponics. A 20-gallon reservoir at the bottom of the tower holds water and nutrient solution that is circulated throughout giving the roots of the plants a nutrient-water-oxygen bath. Tower Garden research says the plants grow 30% faster this way so you get bigger plants and a faster harvest. The only thing you can’t grow in a Tower Garden are root vegetables or extremely large plants like trees. Even vining plants can be supported with a trellis that hooks onto the tower.  Total cost for a Tower Garden System is $525 (wheels additional) and the Nutrient Mineral Blend is $40.

2. Vermicomposting

Do you know how to turn 600 lbs of garbage into 120 lbs of rich, fertile soil perfect for any plant? According to Bernie Moro, one of the owners of Our Vital Earth, the answer is vermicomposting! In fact since they’ve started keeping track on their own farm they have kept 776 tons of waste out of the landfills and converted it into useful products that increase soil productivity.

worm cafe titlesVermicomposting uses a special species of earthworm (Eisendia Fetida) to transform vegetable and fruit scraps, newspaper, junk mail and even dryer lint into worm castings which make the perfect growing medium for plants of all kinds. Just one pound of worms can eat five pounds of garbage every week. They increase and multiply allowing you to reduce your household landfill contribution while at the same time increasing the fertility and health of any plant growing in soil. Use the worm castings with potted houseplants, outdoor containers, garden beds, flower beds, and around trees and shrubs. Add a handful to each new planting hole in the garden.  Our Vital Earth also supplements with a volcanic grit (worms need grit for their gizzards just like chickens) that adds 77 trace minerals and elements to the finished soil. But fertile soil isn’t the only by-product of vermicomposting. You can make a liquid fertilizer called “worm tea” by watering your worm beds with non-chlorinated water and collecting the liquid that filters through. This worm tea is way cool because it’s not only full of nutrients for the plants it is also probiotic (not for people, for plants!) so it helps naturally control fungus, insects and plant diseases. It also repopulates soil that has been depleted with over use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

worm cafe chinese cabbage titlesTo vermicompost at home you need worms and a place for them to live. Our Vital Earth sells these all-in-one Worm Cafes that allow you to keep your worms safe and happy, gives them room to grow, and also make it simple to collect the worm tea to use each week when you water your plants. Having composting worms allows you to garden in less-than-ideal soil and still grow healthy food without chemicals, insecticides and fungicides. What a great way to clean up your trash, and build your soil!  Total cost for a Worm Cafe is $130 with a pound of worms an additional $35.

3. Two Techniques in One System

I think this idea is brilliant – the vertical design and small footprint of a tower combined with the composting and fertilizing capabilities of vermicomposting all in one system – that’s what you get with the Garden Tower2 Project. This system allows you to plant up to 50 individual plants (or add two additional layers for 70 plants) including slimmer root vegetables like turnips, carrots and radishes, in just 4 square feet of space. The kitchen scraps go into the central compost tube in the top of the tower. This feeds the worms and then when you water the tower the nutrients from the worms flow into the surrounding soil within the tower. Water collected at the bottom includes the valuable worm tea. When the compost tube gets full you empty the newly produced garden soil from the tube and use it to plant more vegetables into the sides of the tower.

Just like the Tower Garden above, the Garden Tower2 Project is compact in design and can be used in smaller spaces where a traditional garden wouldn’t fit. Garden Tower2 has a built-in ball bearing system that allows you to rotate the planting tower to take advantage of the available sun. It also comes with the ability to add caster wheels or permanently secure the base to a rooftop for added stability. Total cost for a Garden Tower 2 planting tower is $359, but Well Fed Family readers can get $10 off with the coupon code: WFFGT at checkout.

Don’t forget to order your worms to go in the Garden Tower2′s central tube! You can get those from Our Vital Earth shipped priority to your door.

garden tower 2 photo 1 titlesgarden tower 2 photo 2 titlesWhat are your garden plans for this year? Do you want to grow more of your own food? Tell us about it in the comment section or share a picture of your garden with us on our Facebook page!

 

 

Wellness Wednesday April 29

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

EO_SidebarBanner_600x600_AttendI’m looking forward to learning so much from the Essential Oils Revolution Summit! I hope you are planning on listening in too! Here’s some of what will be covered in the week-long event:

    • Understand what essential oils are and why they are popular today
    • Why essential oils are nature’s BEST medicine
    • How to use essential oils safely and effectively
    • Tips for regaining control of your health with essential oils
    • Pain and stress remedies using essential oils
    • Culinary uses for essential oils
    • How to use essential oils for high performance health
    • Essential oils for animal aromatherapy
    • And so much more!

With 25+ additional presenters sharing their expertise about essential oils, this invaluable (and FREE) resource is intended for everyone everywhere!

Better yet, if you register today, you’ll have access to the following FREE GIFTS as soon as you register!

    • EARLY ACCESS to Dr. Axe’s expert talk, Essential Oils for Gut, Thyroid and Adrenals
    • EARLY ACCESS to Dr. Pappas’ expert talk, Essential Oil Adulteration
    • The King’s Medicine Cabinet Essential Oils eGuide by Dr. Josh Axe
    • The Essential Homestead: Using Essential Oils in the Home, Barnyard and Beyond eBook by Jill Winger
    • Using God’s Medicine For The Abundant Life ebook by Dr. Eric L. Zielinski

Register for FREE at this link today!

And now here are this week’s great link ups for Wellness Wednesday!


 

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel Topping

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

blueberry coffee cake titles

Our springtime tradition is to head out to Beck Brothers U-Pick farm with some homeschooling friends and pick buckets full of blueberries. This year we ended up with a little over 15 quarts, most of which are now in the deep freeze. I’ve kept out enough to snack on this week plus make some yummy blueberry treats like this coffee cake which was a big hit with my daughter and my husband. I was surprised because it isn’t very sweet and they both have quite a sweet tooth sometimes.

The cake was good warm from the oven and even better with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top. (Get our ice cream recipe e-book for free when you subscribe to our newsletter – use the link on the right side of this page.) I adapted the recipe from one on the Zenbelly Catering website. I’m impressed with the new Zenbelly cookbook.  Chef Simone’s recipes are well written and come with beautiful illustrations, but the best part is they taste so good while still being mostly Paleo. This means grain free and no refined sugars which makes me feel good. So I can have my cake and eat it, too. Plus waffles, biscuits, and pizza…

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel Topping

topping:

1 1/2 cups pecans (raw or crispy)

1/2 cup blanched almond flour

4 Tablespoons melted butter

2 Tablespoons coconut sugar or sucanat

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

cake:

1/2 cup blanched almond flour

1/4 cup arrowroot starch

2 Tablespoons coconut flour

1/3 cup coconut sugar OR sucanat

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 Tablespoons cold butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup whole milk kefir or buttermilk

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

additional butter or coconut oil for greasing the pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8″ square pan, or a 9″ round pan.

To make the topping chop the pecans in a food processor until they are crumb-sized. Add the almond flour, melted butter, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt and pulse a few more times until everything is well mixed. Place the topping in a bowl and set aside.

To make the cake place the remaining 1/2 cup almond flour, arrowroot, coconut flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in the food processor and pulse several times to mix. Cut the 2 Tablespoons of cold butter into small pieces and add it to the food processor. Pulse several more times to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Mix the eggs, kefir or buttermilk, and vanilla in a small bowl, then add to the food processor and pulse until well mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and then scatter the blueberries evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the blueberries. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Blueberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel Topping
 
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
 
Grain-free cake filled with juicy blueberries and topped with crunchy pecans are featured in this not-too-sweet dessert that can also be breakfast.
Ingredients
  • topping:
  • 1½ cups pecans (raw or crispy)
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar or sucanat
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • cake:
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar or sucanat
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk kefir OR buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • additional butter OR coconut oil for greasing pan
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and butter an 8" square OR a 9" round pan.
  2. To make the topping: Chop the pecans in a food processor until they are crumb-sized. Add the almond flour, melted butter, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt and pulse a few more times until everything is well mixed.
  3. Place the topping in a bowl and set aside.
  4. To make the cake: place the remaining ½ cup almond flour, arrowroot, coconut flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in the food processor and pulse several times to mix.
  5. Cut the 2 Tablespoons of cold butter into small pieces and add it to the food processor.
  6. Pulse several more times to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.
  7. Mix the eggs, kefir or buttermilk, and vanilla in a small bowl, then add to the food processor and pulse until well mixed.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and then scatter the blueberries evenly over the top of the batter.
  9. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the blueberries.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 

This coffee cake isn’t overly sweet, but it’s just right for a cup of tea and you won’t feel horribly guilty actually eating the leftovers for breakfast. Or try it with some homemade ice cream like we did. Tell us about it in the comments, or come share with us on Facebook.

I’m sharing this with Wellness Wednesday. Please stop by and read all the other blogs who have linked up with our blog hop this week!

Mythbusting Ideas About Fat and Cholesterol and Wellness Wednesday

This blog is for informational purposes. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

cholesterol collage titles

I’ve started reading Grain Brain by neurologist David Perlmutter. The focus of the book is brain health. Have you ever heard that there’s a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease? This book shows you that connection as well as many other lifestyle causes of neurological disease and dementia.

Grain Brain also lays out just what lifestyle choices people are making that can lead to developing Alzheimer’s disease. These include living with chronic high blood sugar levels (those in the “high normal” range) even without diabetes, eating too many carbohydrates (especially refined ones), trying to eat a low fat and low cholesterol diet, and having an undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten. Dr. Perlmutter says up to 40% of all people can’t properly process gluten.

Even if you have a family history of brain disease and Alzheimer’s or dementia you can turn the train around. But he says you have to bust a few myths first. The biggest myths you have to wrap your head around? 1- a low-fat/high-carb diet is good and 2- cholesterol is bad. According to the results of the Framingham Heart Study report from 2005 “people who had the highest cholesterol levels scored higher on cognitive tests than those with lower levels. Evidently there is a protective factor when it comes to cholesterol and the brain.” What most people don’t realize is that cholesterol is a building block for cell membranes and a critical brain nutrient necessary to fuel your neurons.

For more great information on cholesterol you can also read Jimmy Moore’s recent book, Cholesterol Clarity. I reviewed that book here.

Do you avoid fat? What have you always heard about cholesterol? How hard is it going to be to change your habits? Leave us a comment with your thoughts, and then check out the other posts here at Wellness Wednesday.

Wellness Wednesday starts here

Slow-cooker Cajun Pot Roast

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases!

cajun pot roast titlesI love slow-cooker recipes! We were gone all day yesterday and it was so nice to come home to the delicious aromas of dinner nearly ready. The prep was simple – I pulled out a grassfed chuck roast from the deep freeze the night before, rolled it in my homemade Cajun Seasoning, stuck it in the crockpot and topped it with chopped onions and diced tomatoes. Eight hours later I made some rice and a salad and there was dinner!

If your Cajun Seasoning doesn’t have salt, you will need to add a teaspoon of sea salt as you rub the seasoning over the beef.

Slow-cooker Cajun Pot Roast
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: cajun
 
Use my homemade Cajun Seasoning to liven up a pot roast in the slow cooker!
Ingredients
  • 3 lb. beef chuck roast (preferably grassfed)
  • 1½ Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning (see link for recipe)
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Instructions
  1. Coat the chuck roast on all sides with the Cajun Seasoning and place in a slow cooker.
  2. Place the chopped onion evenly over the chuck roast.
  3. Mix the diced tomatoes with the Tabasco sauce, and pour it over the onions and beef.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until tender and falling apart.

Serve over hot cooked rice so you can catch all the delicious juices!

What is your favorite slow-cooker recipe? Leave a comment and tell us!

“Twitter” potatoes and Wellness Wednesday

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thanks for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases. 

twitter potatoes titlesThese cute potatoes are simple to make, and probably get you some attention in the form of eye-rolling from your social media-savvy kids – right before they eat them all up!

Start with 6-8 small potatoes, scrub them and cut them in half lengthwise to give you the flattest cut surface area. Use your knife to score the cut side of the potatoes into the hashtag (tic tac toe) sign.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl mix together 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon  smoked paprika  and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Dip the potatoes into the bowl of seasoned olive oil coating all sides but especially the cut side. Place the potatoes cut side up on a baking sheet or baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until tender on the inside and golden brown on the outside.

"Twitter" potatoes
 
Author:
Recipe type: side dish
 
Hashtags on the top of the potatoes give this simple side dish a fun twist.
Ingredients
  • 6-8 small potatoes
  • 2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or you can use melted butter)
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise giving them the flattest cut surface area possible.
  3. Use a knife to make hashtags (tic tac toe sign) in the cut side.
  4. Mix the olive oil, paprika and sea salt in a bowl.
  5. Dip the potatoes into the seasoned oil making sure all surfaces are coated.
  6. Place potatoes cut side up in a baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes.

 

Now it’s time for Wellness Wednesday! Please enjoy the featured posts and all of the new ones for this week. We’d love to have you link up your own blogs using the link below.

Antibacterial Soap America’s April Fools and Wellness Wednesday

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.
antibacterial soap titles
Antibacterial Soaps – you find them everywhere. I’ve seen them in gas station bathrooms, hospitals, schools, friends’ homes, you name it – if there’s a high-traffic bathroom it’s likely to have antibacterial soap being dispensed. Marketed toward moms, especially those with small children, they are hyped as something that will protect us from horrible germs, especially colds and flu, and we will be much safer using them.
The truth is all that hype is just one big joke. Too bad it’s not an April Fool’s joke, unfortunately it’s real. Hand washing is a time-tested, centuries-old method for preventing the spread of disease. However it isn’t the soap that’s the most important part. The main mechanism for getting rid of germs? It’s the action of scrubbing your hands under running water for 20-30 seconds.
Soap helps get rid of actual dirt by mixing with the dirt and lifting it off your skin so it can wash down the drain. But the germs – those nasty viruses and bacteria you pick up from doorknobs, toilets, diapers and your own nose – those need good old fashioned scrubbing to get them off our hands.
Antibacterial soaps are actually harmful for several reasons. 1) They give us a false sense of security. We think that since we (or our kids) are using a medicated soap then we don’t have to worry if our hand washing technique is thorough enough. The truth is that colds and flu are caused by viruses which aren’t harmed at all by antibacterial soaps. 2) They are creating a bigger problem by encouraging antibiotic resistance.  We get in a panic over one case of ebola coming into the country and yet 23,000 people die every year from antibiotic resistant bacteria. The overuse of antibacterial substances is partly responsible for this serious problem.  3) The soap dispensers themselves are passing along more germs than were originally on people’s hands BEFORE they washed them!
Your best bet is to bring along your own clean container of plain soap, and use that with plenty of running water to scrub your hands for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday.
Now that you are well-informed on the subject of hand washing – take a look at all the other great posts on this week’s Wellness Wednesday!


Tips Good Cooks Know and Wellness Wednesday March 25

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.
tips good cooks know title
Everyone who transitions from the Standard American Diet to eating real food discovers there is a lot more happening in the kitchen. It can become overwhelming if you don’t know some of the tips and tricks to help you use your time in the kitchen wisely. These tips came from the Splendid Table podcast and professional chef Lynn Rossetto Kasper.

1. Clean up as you go

Don’t let dirty dishes pile up. Keep a sink full of hot, soapy water. Wash your knife and your bowls as you use them and put them away. This keeps down clutter and keeps your workspace clean.

2. Organize ahead of time

The French term sounds more posh – “mise en place” – which just means everything in its place. Run through the recipe you will be making, get out ingredients and equipment you will need, prep as much as possible including chopping vegetables and measuring spices, and only after this is done do you begin cooking. If you do this prep work you suddenly realize you look like a TV chef!

3. Use the largest cutting board you can find

You can’t have a cutting board that’s too big, only one that’s too small. 24″x30″ will give you plenty of room so your food doesn’t keep falling off.

4. Keep salt handy in an open pot or dish.

When you use your fingers to sprinkle the salt from high above your food it will cascade evenly and season your food thoroughly without too much or too little in one place. Plus this is another chance to let you look totally awesome and professional. :)

5. Keep frequently used items handy

Get a basket or tray and place items on it that you use with every meal. Salt, pepper, olive oil, butter and anything else in constant use. Keep this tray handy when you are cooking so you don’t have to search for anything. I buy multi-gallon tins of olive oil which wouldn’t fit on my counter so I decant some of it into a smaller dark glass bottle with a pour spout that fits nicely next to the salt and pepper.

6. Don’t throw out your scraps

At the risk of sounding like a hoarder, this is actually a secret flavor tip. High-end restaurant kitchens freeze vegetable peels, pan drippings, bones and carcasses and turn them into flavorful stocks and broths which will then become a fabulous sauce or soup. The key here is to remember these bits are in your freezer and make time later to use them.

7. Save great tasting fats

Butter, olive oil and coconut oil are wonderful. But you can also save the bacon grease left after you cook a pan of bacon. Trim extra fat from your grassfed beef, pork or lamb and freeze it in baggies until you have a pot full then render it into amazing lard or tallow. Excess skin and fat from chicken and duck can also be rendered down into great tasting cooking fat. You’ve spent the money to buy quality grassfed, free-range meat so be sure to get your money’s worth by using the high quality fat, too.

What are your best kitchen tips? Share them here in the comments, and be sure to check out the great link ups with today’s Wellness Wednesday.