Chia Breakfast

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A refrigerator stocked with six portions of Chia Breakfast! What a great way to start the day!

We all love fast food.  Many times we NEED fast food.  We have a deadline, a place to be, an important reason to be there, but not enough time for eating our healthy breakfast. Chia is a great plant based source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and is extremely versatile.

img_3350It is time to think differently.  What can I make that is fast, nutritious, good for me, AND will travel well? Chia breakfast to go.  The following is more of a guide than a recipe – personalise this process and make it your own! My quantities are only rough estimates – I very rarely measure anything!

Foundation ingredients:

  • Chia seeds (about 1/2 T per serving)
  • Water to cover
  • Homemade kefir or plain yogurt (±1/3 Cup per serving)
  • Nuts
Chopped fresh ginger, jalapeño pepper, and turmeric

Chopped fresh ginger, jalapeño pepper, and turmeric

  • Goji Berries, Raisins or other dried fruit
  • Seeds, sunflower or pumpkin
  • Honey
  • Fruit, chopped (apple, pear, pineapple)
  • Berries, fresh or frozen (cherries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
  • Veggies, chopped especially celery, cucumber, or kale. Celery is a great to add because it naturally helps pull metals from the body i.e. ‘detox’ and I love the crunch it provides!
  • Ginger, chopped fresh
Fresh Turmeric

Fresh Turmeric

Optional ingredients, adjust to taste:

  • Cinnamon (boosts metabolism)
  • Salt (Himalayan for mineral boost)
  • Turmeric (fresh is available, great anti-inflammatory)
  • Jalapeño pepper, fresh, chopped (anti viral)
  • Coconut, fresh or large flake
  • Coconut oil (A great brain boost, stir in fast after you add the veggies, so it doesn’t clump!)
  • Hemp seeds (also known as Hemp Hearts)
  • 1 Tbl raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbl raw maca powder
  • Flax seeds, ground (not too much)

For those who are more hard-core focus on more veggies (celery, cucumber, kale), more superfoods and less fruit. Adding hemp can be expensive, but it provides a great energy source. We’re all at different stages of our journey, but I think most people will be able to find some way to modify this concept so that they can enjoy it.  If you decide to have eggs for breakfast, or want to do “intermittent fasting”, you could always save your chia breakfast for lunch!

img_3349If it seems like a lot of effort, remember, you are preparing breakfast for several days in advance. I like to organise my breakfast ingredients into three categories: refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. This helps me streamline the preparation process.

I wrote about my previous Chia Breakfast variations here and here and here

Thanksgiving 2015Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counsellor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety.

Plarn – Plastic Yarn

Plarn Bags SACreating something out of a product destined for a landfill can be quite fulfilling! I have made many plarn bags, in a variety of sizes, out of plastic grocery store bags. I find the activity relaxing, and completing a project brings satisfaction. I have gifted many of the bags, sold a few, and have a few for demonstrations. Each bag is a unique, one of a kind example of UpCycling.

Plarn WalletWhen my mother told me she was saving plastic grocery bags for me, I decided to make a video on how to prepare plarn from the plastic bags – with the hope that she might take her support one step further! Preparing plarn is the first step towards making an UpCycled Bag that will make a big impact on your friends!

This is my first video, my mom did say I talked too fast, but I was trying to make a very short video! It turned out to be 3:37! I realize that I might not make the joining of the loops as clear as it could be, so perhaps there will be another video to follow! Please like, share, or comment! Feedback is always appreciated!

3rd Prize Chili

Red potOrganic 3 Bean Chili Con Cashew (Vegetarian)

This is my variation of an original recipe known as Chili Con Cashew by Kathryn J. Canfield, in Whole Foods for the Whole Family, published by La Leche League International. All the ingredients are organic, if they were available. This chili won 3rd place in a local chili cook off.

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. each basil and oregano
  • ±1 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
  • ±1 tsp. curry powder (can’t get enough of those spices!)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder (great anti-inflammatory food; add to everything!)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or less
  • a few dashes of black and cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 42 ounces chopped/crushed tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup dry red wine

Salute garlic and all vegetables (except tomatoes) in the coconut oil in a saucepan for several minutes. Add all the spices (except the bay leaf) and stir.

Stove Top Method: Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and simmer on low, stirring occasionally for ±2 hours.

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Method: Dump the contents of the saucepan and all the remaining ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5+ hours. In order not to waste any of your spicy flavor, add some of the tomato liquid to the saucepan, stir and pour into the crock pot.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, corn bread, or WHATEVER YOU LIKE! It is also great as leftovers and can even be eaten cold!

ENJOY!

Becky Hastings

Adult Disposable Underwear (aka diapers)

disposable diapersJudging from the product space given in supermarkets and the advertisements for these products, it must be a burgeoning industry. When I did a search for incontinence products I was overwhelmed.

WHY?

Why is there so much need for this product today that there wasn’t 10, 15, or 20 years ago?

These questions should be asked by everyone who would never want to wear them and doesn’t really want to change someone they love.

I submit that the toxins assaulting our brains and basic bodily functions are possibly the primary culprits for this trend of incontinence. The worst offenders could be:

  1. VACCINATIONS & MEDICATIONS. We are injecting our children and ourselves with concoctions which contain harmful chemicals and known brain damaging heavy metals. Prescription and over the counter medications have been accepted as a normal part of life. We don’t question our need for pain relievers, asthma medications, antibiotics, etc. etc. etc. The average child now takes how many medications in their lifetime? The average senior citizen is on how many prescriptions?
  2. CHEMICAL ADDITIVES IN OUR FOOD, CLEANING PRODUCTS AND PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS. We are exposed to ±80,000 chemicals on a regular basis and yet no one has ever studied how these chemicals can interact with each other in our body. Educate yourself. Room fresheners pouring out chemicals for you and your loved ones to regularly breathe in are NOT a good idea. Any product you put on your skin is absorbed. Wean yourself off of your favorite products. There are substitutes that are healthier and CHEAPER! There are so many ways you can make your own. We have been the victims of marketing exercises our whole life. We think it would be impossible to get clean clothes without certain well known brand names. We have been indoctrinated to think any product that is promoted to make me look good is good.
  3. ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS are maybe the WORST offender of all. Sweeteners created in laboratories are widely added to all manner of ‘food’ items. Science has shown repeatedly that these chemical concoctions are harmful, yet it has become a political issue to keep them in our supermarkets. When combined, these compounds can boil at 87° F. With our natural body temperature at 98 ° F, these chemicals are hitting our body and having chemical reactions inside of us, destroying bladders and more. They also cross the blood brain barrier and cause brain damage.

If you scoff and think you are not going to give up your artificial sweeteners I have to ask why?

  • The addictive property of these chemicals is extremely high. You are probably addicted if even the thought of discovering the truth makes you want to avoid the effort. You are happily living in the lies of marketing.
  • If you think they help you lose weight or avoid gaining weight, the evidence does not support this. Studies show that people who use artificial sweeteners actually gain weight. If you want to lose weight, detoxing from these products is one of the first and best things you can do for yourself.

I’ve avoided writing about these issues for a long time because they are so entrenched in our society that sometimes when I mention the dangers people think I am the one who is crazy.

However, my ongoing research has convinced me that the science ABSOLUTELY SUPPORTS THE FACT THAT THESE THINGS ARE DANGEROUS AND CAN BE DEADLY. Continue to use them at your own peril. But, please inform yourself. And don’t give them to your children or anyone you love – unless you want to be changing their adult diapers when they become incontinent.

Live long, live well. Seek the truth in all things.

“My purpose is that you may be encouraged in heart and united in love so that you may have the full measure of complete understanding, in order that you may know the mystery of God, namely Jesus Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I tell you this so that no one may deceive you with fine sounding arguments.” Paul, 2000 years ago

 

References:

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon, combines many years of medical practice with study of thousands of research studies to create this monumental book. Author of Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, one of the first books to address the hazards of food additives, he has also written several other medical books and numerous scientific articles.

Dr Janet Hull, unparalleled researcher and authority on Aspartame, author of Sweet Poison: How the World’s Most Popular Artificial Sweetener is Killing Us – My Story.

H. J. Roberts, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.C.C.P, author of Aspartame Disease: An Ignored EpidemicSunshine Sentinel Pr Inc (May 1, 2001) is a Board-certified internist in West Palm Beach, and an internationally respected medical consultant and researcher. He is on the Staff of Good Samaritan Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, Director of the Palm Beach Institute for Medical Research (since l964), and a member of prestigious medical and scientific organizations–including TheEndocrine Society and the American Academy of Neurology.

David L. Lewis PhD, 30 years of experience in the EPA and author of Science for Sale: How the US Government Uses Powerful Corporations and Leading Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top Scientists, Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profits.

 

 

Breakfast to Go

IMG_0928We all love fast food.  Many times we NEED fast food.  We have a deadline, a place to be, an important reason to be there, but not enough time for eating our healthy breakfast.

It is time to think differently.  What can I make that is fast, nutritious, good for me AND will travel well? Chia porridge to go.  I wrote about chia porridge previously, this is an expansion. Choose your favorite flavors and personalize it!  The great thing about Chia porridge is that the chia seeds need about 15 minutes of soaking to expand, so it can travel with you and get better on the way! I made this chia porridge to go for my husband to take with him for his early morning appointment:

  • 1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • water to cover
  • 1/2 Cup or so of homemade kefir
  • 1/4 Cup hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbl raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbl raw maca powder
  • nuts, raisins, seeds
  • 1/2 Tbl honey
  • chopped pear
  • chopped strawberry

For those who are more hard-core you could add a few veggies (celery, cucumber, kale) and omit some fruit.  Others might want to top their chia porridge with homemade granola or add different fruits. The hemp gives you the energy and will sustain you so you don’t feel hungry.  The chia is a great source of omega 3s. The maca powder is optional, but gives a great boost. We’re all at different stages of our journey, but I think most people will be able to find some way to modify this concept in a way they can enjoy it.  If you decide to have eggs for breakfast, you could always have a bowl of chia porridge for lunch!

Other chia ideas here

and here

Healthy Snack

nuts

We all know that Snack Attack feeling!

My friend shared this great idea with me.  Whenever you feel hungry – like you want some sort of a sweet treat, mix together equal parts:

  • goji berries
  • cocoa nibs
  • raisins
  • Brazilian nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds

in a big glass jar, shake and grab a handful – or two (maximum is two!)  And your cravings will be gone!

I’m sure you could try different ingredients, like walnuts (brain food), cashews, almonds, coconut flakes, cranberries, whole cacao beans, etc.  But since my friend is such a great researcher, I think she might have specific reasons for each of her selections!

I like to do a mix something like this for my husband to keep in his briefcase so he’s not tempted to have processed food snacks at the office!  It’s also great to have a mix like this on long road trips. If I’m driving I always like a constant supply of snacks to help me keep awake and paying attention!

 

Basic Granola

IMG_0898Easy, delicious, nutritious, must be more economical than buying the best you can buy in the store, but I confess I have not done a cost analysis!

I have made granola for my family for years.  With five children it was one of the most obvious healthy economical things I could do.  I loved a recipe I got from the Tightwad Gazette.  Also, since I never bought cereal for them because of all the yuck ingredients, I had to have something to give them for breakfast!  (I confess, before my enlightenment, I went through a long phase where I did buy corn flakes, but only corn flakes.  They would have corn flakes with granola on top!)

When my first two boys were small I only purchased fruit flavored yogurts.  I had one friend who had a toddler who happily ate plain yogurt and I thought she was a freak!  Now I only buy plain yogurt – and have been for years and everyone in the family enjoys combining their own breakfasts with plain yogurt, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, seeds and granola. I am now  making my own kefir so soon I can stop buying large factory produced yogurt!

Since entering my current ultra health (aka crazy) phase I have stopped eating wheat and then removed oats and I feel SO MUCH BETTER that I have never wanted to eat them.  My family, however, still enjoys granola so I have been buying the best organic brands I could find and wincing with every expensive purchase!  I have been contemplating making my own and wondering how to incorporate coconut oil, which is also part of my ultra healthy phase.  Recently my friend shared this great simple granola recipe and I admire her a lot, so I was inspired to start making granola again – immediately!!  This is what I did, including some slight modifications, because it is impossible for me to follow a recipe!

In a saucepan melt over very low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon:

  • 1/2 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 Cup honey

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Because I hate wasting ingredients in measuring cups, I just eyeballed the amounts straight into the pan!  I weighed the pan first, then weighed it while adding the ingredients to give me an idea if I had it right!

I just melted it until it was able to mix thoroughly, then I added 1 tsp vanilla.

IMG_0897In a bowl, mix the following dry ingredients:

  • 4 Cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 Cup shredded coconut
  • a few shakes of cinnamon
  • a few turns of Himalayan crystal salt

Pour mixed coconut oil mixture into dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.  I baked it in a roasting pan for 10 minutes on 400 degrees F, then turned the oven off, stirred the granola and put it back into the hot oven for another 10 minutes.   after you have achieved the brown color you are looking for, be sure to stir the granola one last time to prevent it from cooling and sticking to the pan!  Next time I think I will go for a lower slower cooking.  The mixture got a bit too brown, and I remembered it’s always better to cook low and slow!

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There was a delicious smell in the house while it was baking and the test taste was great!

I can tell that I might be experimenting often with this recipe!  You can eat granola plain as a snack, with yogurt, fruit and nuts, or sprinkle on top of your Chia Porridge! The family is sure to love it! And I may even incorporate a bit of oats into my crazy hectic nutritional plan!

This recipe made 32 ounces of wonderful granola.  I’ll try to work out a costing, but I’m pretty sure it is a lot more economical and better than what you can buy!  And it is filled with love for those you love!

Super Breakfast

Chia porridgeI’m not sure if that picture looks really really appetizing, but it is delicious AND amazingly nutritious!  My friend Simela motivated me to experiment even more with

the idea of “Chia Porridge”

I decided to have Chia Porridge for lunch.  It is super easy to make.  But you and the kids might prefer to have it for breakfast! I’m giving you the quantities for one serving, to make more just use a bit more of everything!

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • water to cover the seeds

Allow the chia seeds to sit for 10-15 minutes and they will soak up the water and become gelatinous!  So do that first while you are collecting all the other ingredients and chopping whatever you like.  Or, make yourself a cup of tea!

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cacao powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp lucuma powder (optional)
  • raisins
  • cacao nibs
  • honey
  • yogurt, kefir or nut milk of your choice

I also added cashews, almonds, frozen blueberries, 1 chopped frozen strawberry, 1/2 chopped banana, dried coconut, goji berries, hemp seed and chopped celery (you can never get enough celery and I love crunchy things – and I was having this for lunch, and they do put celery in a Waldorf salad!).

IMG_0900Here is a breakfast version I made for my husband: chia, goji, water, cinnamon, cacao, macs, honey, chopped apple, 2 chopped strawberries, blueberries, coconut, hemp, yogurt, kefir and a tad of homemade granola.

So, get creative and try it!  Stock your kitchen with healthy nutritiously dense items and then dream up new ways of combining them!  Let me know what you discovery in your experimentation!

 

 

 

Rationing Onions

I never thought I would be so careful with my onion usage!

I caught myself thinking, ‘I’ll use ¼ of an onion in hash browns so that I can still have a lot left for another dish.’

onionWhat is happening to me???

Eating organic in the USA is changing the way I prepare food, and the way I think about vegetables!  Since one organic onion costs approximately $1 from my local grocery store, I have learned to use as many layers as possible and think about how to share it among meals!

Another way of stretching organic value is to use every part of every organic vegetable that I purchase.  No throwing away the broccoli stalks anymore! Broccoli stalks and cauliflower stalks can be cut up and lightly sautéed with coconut oil or saved to go in the morning green smoothie!  No peeling ginger, why waste any part?  Cauliflower leaves? Chop em up!  Outside leaves of the organic cabbage that was a cool $4??  Chop it fine, no more waste from this girl!

Brown spot on bananas?  Into the frozen fruit tub for smoothies… Mushy bits of strawberries? The same.  In fact sometimes I even freeze strawberries whole with the green bits still on!

“Don’t throw anything away!”  Is my new battle cry to my family!

I even eat organic apple cores, as long as there is no fungus, and while other members of the family might not take my new ideas this far, when they leave a cut out apple core on the cutting board – it goes into the frozen fruit tub for smoothies!

Don’t tell me you can’t afford organic – think about ways to prioritize organic and don’t waste any!  Reduce expenses in other areas by making your own and by organic so you send a financial message – LOUD AND CLEAR – to retailers and big agro that you won’t buy non-organic! Another reason to choose organic produce is because in nutrient analysis organic fruit and vegetables score significantly higher than their non-organic counterparts.  Buying organic is about what you AREN’T getting – pesticides and herbicides – but it is also about what you ARE getting – more bio available nutrients for you money!  You also have the added satisfaction of supporting a local brave farmer!

If finances are really tight, buy the clean fifteen, but always buy organic of the dirty dozen!  Thanks to the Environment Working Group for keeping on top of this information.

 

Making Kefir

I’m assuming you know all the benefits of adding probiotics to your diet.  You’ve bought your own plain yogurt, bought plain kefir, even bought pro-biotic supplements and now you are looking for a more economical way to keep a regular supply of probiotics in your life.

IMG_0843You are now ready to begin this new adventure of making your own kefir.  The first step you need is to find a friend who is currently making their own kefir and let them know you would love to have some kefir grains whenever they have an abundance.

The word ‘grain’ is a bit of a misnomer because they are not ‘grains’ but more like cottage cheese curds that provide the positive bacteria to turn your milk into kefir.  You might not have to wait too long, so watch this video and prepare yourself.  You will need a couple of glass jars 16 – 32 ounces.

My friend gave me kefir grains in a ziplock bag with water to keep them hydrated. I wasn’t quite ready, so I put them in the refrigerator for a couple of days.  It turns out kefir grains are pretty hearty creatures and didn’t mind my neglectfulness!

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I started by draining the water off of the kefir grains and putting them into a clean jar.  I added about 2 cups of 2% organic milk, covered it with some tissue paper and a rubber band, and left it to sit on the counter for 24 hours.

The first batch took a bit longer than 24 hours (more like 36) and never seemed to get as thick as I thought it should.  The second batch was much better.  I started to get a bit overwhelmed with the amount of kefir I was producing, so for the next batch I only added one cup of milk.

 

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I have used raw milk and organic 2% milk from Kroger.  When I added only 1 cup, the kefir turned out a lot thicker – which I liked.

After sitting on the counter for about 24 hours it is time to strain the kefir, keeping the grains for your next batch.  I used a funnel (left) topped with a plastic strainer (below).  As the video mentions, it is preferable to strain it with plastic, or at least stainless steel.

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Pour the kefir into the strainer, and use a spatula to help push the kefir through.  Take the grains and put them in a clean jar to start all over again!

 

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It wasn’t too long before my grains had multiplied significantly and I had some to share with a friend!

Making kefir is a LOT EASIER than making plain yogurt.  It might not taste exactly the same, but to me, it is delivering all the good pro-biotics with very little effort.  It’s all about just keeping it going every day.

My friend tells me that if you are ever going to be away for a few days and can’t attend to your kefir every day, you can just leave it in the refrigerator and it will be happy until you get home.  You might have to sacrifice that batch of kefir, but they will be ready to do their magic again with fresh milk!

Now my challenge is finding ways to use the kefir and trying to convert my girls from plain yogurt to kefir!  I’ve made kefir ice cubes for my morning smoothie, added as liquid to a smoothie snack and I even drank a whole glass just by itself!

I’d love to hear about your adventures with kefir!