Beautiful Apple Sauce

It is a family tradition to make apple sauce, juice and dried apples every year in the fall.  We pick all the apples and spend the whole day taking turns with the giant press getting the juice out.   At the end of the day every one is sticky and existed.

This year I wanted to experiment a bit.  It was important to  me to make some sauce that did not have any added sugar or sweeteners.  I think I cam up with some good recipes.

All the sauces start out the exact same way.  Just get your favorite kind of apple.  6 to 10 should be plenty.  Cut them into the same size and boil till very tender.  Drain off all the water and then mash with the potato masher or hit a few times with the immersion blender.

I made three different kinds this year and they all turned out pretty and good.  The first batch was apple Mandarin.  I just used the juice from a few cuties and let it reduce a bit with the apples.

The second batch was cranberry apple.  More apple than cranberry so it is sweeter than traditional cranberry sauce.... but just as beautiful.  I used a small bag of cranberries.  I put them in when the apples were almost done and cooked them till they popped.  mmmm

The third batch is my very favorite.  Apple ginger!  It goes with everything from sweets to meats. It is awesome plain or with a dollop of coconut cream.   I just used my garlic press to press some fresh ginger into the apples after they had drained.  ...so good.

See how beautiful?

All of these will seal in a canning jar if you pour them in while they are still hot.  Easy and beautiful.... I think they will make great gifts for the unexpected "pop ins"  this holiday season.


Sweet tooth

I was driving around town two nights ago and I saw this woman running.  I glanced down at the thermometer  in the car and it said it was 22 degrees!  I thought "that was me last year".  Running miles and miles in the freezing cold just so I could eat and not feel guilty.

Not this year I have embraced the primal life and set myself free.  It feels amazing.

I made it through thanksgiving!  I am pretty proud of myself for staying 100% primal.  I left the rolls and the pies alone.  I got on the scale today and it said I had lost 2 more lbs.  whoo hoo!  (It has been over a week since I have checked)

I say it is time for a treat.  This is my favorite thing to do when I get the sweet tooth or a PMS craving.

Take some blue berries, coconut milk, and dark chocolate.  (cinnamon optional)

Put the beautiful blue berries ina bowl

Then smash the heck out of them till they are juicy.

Add the coconut milk and shaved dark chocolate and stir up.  Garnish with berries that have not been smashed and a bit of chocolate.   It feels sinful, but you cam be guilt free knowing that you will only get leaner on this dessert.


No Poo!

I have a confession to make....

I do hair for a living and I haven't used shampoo or conditioner in over 6 months.  Really!

I know what you are thinking.  Ewwww.  To be honest though my hair has never been this healthy or shiny.  It is growing so fast and has lots of body.  I feel like the girl in the pantine commercials.  (and I even bleach some of it)

I started looking into shampoo alternatives for my daughter who is very sensitive to chemicals.  I found that there are lots of different things you can do.  I picked baking soda ans vinegar.

All you have to do is put a big heaping tablespoon of soda in about 8oz of water and use that instead of shampoo.  It will not bubble so you just have to have faith that it is cleaning your hair.  (make sure to rinse)  Then you take 1 or 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon and mix with 8 oz of water and use as the conditioner.  Any acid will work. all you are trying to do is lower the PH of the hair back down to 4 or 5 so the cuticles will close.  So you brunettes can use beer and the red heads can use wine if you want.  Be advised that you will smell like your acid of choice until your hair dries.

If I need a bit more moisture on the ends I just use a dab of coconut oil.

Try it you wont be sorry.

Other no shampoo recipes:
Soapwort Shampoo
Yucca Shampoo
Natural highlights
Natural conditioner


Fat. It does a body good!

I have just lost 20lbs!  Well, not "just".  It took about 8 weeks.  I am not quite at my goal but I am really thrilled with how it is is going.  I feel like I have been set free for the first time in my life.  I don't have to stress out any more. 

About a year and a half ago I had gallstones and let me tell you the pain is out of this wold and kept me from doing anything physical..  I took the natural rout to cure them because I am really scared of surgery.  Really scared!  It turns out that the reason I had so may gallstones was because of my "healthy" fat free diet.  The whole purpose of your gallbladder is to help you digest fat and if you don't eat fat then it just fills up with sledge.  If you get it removed they tell you to never eat fat again.  However, if you keep it then you must use it or loose it.  Well, how do you eat fat and not gain a million pounds?   This is when I found the primal blueprint.  Read all about it here.  Mark Sisson talks about eating and living like our ancestors did.  Some of the major points are to sleep, sprint, lift weight, play, think, and eat real food.  *avoid all grains and most sugars* 

So I got my kit and started doing it step by step.  It was quite a commitment for me as far as price and time.  In the end, fitting back into my size 8 jeans that I wore when I ran a marathon was worth every penny!

One of the coolest pieces of information I ever learned was that I must eat real fats to loose body fat.  It is true... eat bacon and coconut oil and get the flat tummy of your dreams.  Eat fat and feel full all day, feel happy, and have a clear mind.   So I wanted to share a quick run down of the "good" fats the helped me loose weight.
Butter is a perfect food!  It seems the more I eat the more weight I loose.  Everything tastes better with butter. 
Eating lots of butter stabilizes the blood sugar and significantly reduces or even eliminates sugar cravings.   Over consumption of all things sweet and starchy are the real villains for those with ill health, NOT wonderful, healthy fats like butter.

The cell wall of every cell in the human body is supposed to be composed of saturated fat, the wonderful fat that is so abundant in butter.   Replace the real thing with migraines or butter substitutes and the body will incorporate these inferior fats into the cell walls instead.    With the wrong type of fat making up the cell wall, intercellular communication breaks down and the cell itself is weakened.   Skin cells whose cell walls are composed of the fats from polyunsaturated vegetable oils (the main fat in the Western diet) instead of the much stronger saturated fats like in butter are more prone to damage from the sun, and (can anyone say) BROWN SPOTS?   If, for no other reason than vanity, switch to butter and throw out those nasty vegetable oils.   Your brown spot-LESS skin will thank you.

Fish oil

Fish oil contains omega 3, essential fatty acids which most Westerners are severely deficient in.    Deficiency in these delicate omega 3 fats invites inflammation in the body which leads to innumerable conditions and illnesses.   Unlike plain fish oil, cod liver oil also contains vitamins A and D in their natural state.   Vitamins A and D, when taken together in a whole food like cod liver oil, work synergistically to improve the function of every system in the human body!

Olive Oil
As a child I remember my grandmother whipping up the most delicious dressings and marinated vegetables.  She would always let me pour in the oil as she whisked the herbs and vinegar. mmmm....

Without a doubt, extra virgin olive oil is the best oil  to use for salad dressings.    Why don't all salad dressings at the store contain this wonderful Mediterranean oil?   Canola and soybean oil are cheap oils and increase the profit margin for companies that use them instead of extra virgin olive oil.   In case you haven't noticed, extra virgin olive oil is rather expensive in comparison.   You trade a cheaper price on low quality oils with your health, so make sure you buy only extra virgin olive oil and not the cheap, highly processed vegetable oil substitutes like soybean, canola, cottonseed, corn, and safflower

Best to make your own salad dressing at home using olive oil, used traditionally for centuries for just such a purpose!  Oh, and please don't use olive oil for high heat cooking!    Olive oil is a delicate oil and is best used unheated, or at most, in a very low heat saute.    NEVER fry with it.   It's nutritional value is lost this way and the oil becomes damaged and unhealthy to consume
Animal fats such as chicken, goose, duck, tallow, and lard have nourished Traditional Cultures for centuries.

When I make homemade chicken, beef, or duck stock, I freeze in one quart containers and then easily peel off the fat that freezes on top to use for cooking.    Animal fat imparts valuable nutrition and wonderful flavor to roast vegetables.   The reason many kids won't eat veggies is because they are so tasteless!   Roasting organic vegetables in a bit if chicken fat makes them absolutely delicious.   Have you ever wondered why the veggies in restraints are so tasteless and why most adults don't "like" veggies.  No fat that's why.    Now you know the secret that Traditional Cultures always practiced!

Please note that the toxins in the animal are stored in the fat.  If you are going to eat the fat it is healthier to get grass fed animals with out all the vaccines.  If your tallow comes from a feed lot animal it would be better used in candle making.

Coconut Oil
I Love love love coconut oil!  I love it in my food. I love it just by its self on a spoon.  I love using it as a skin moisturizer and a hair conditioner.  I love adding color to it and making cosmetics out of it.  I love that I have not gotten a sun burn since starting to use it. 

Coconut oil is loaded with medium chain saturated fats which are utilized by the body for immediate energy!   Want to feel better and have more energy?   Incorporate this wonderful, healthy fat into your diet in copious amounts.    Coconut oil is a highly stable oil, so much so, that you can keep it unrefrigerated in your pantry for years and it will not go rancid (I have a 5 gallon bucket in my garage .. it stays perfect through the long, hot Moab summers!)   It remains stable even at very high heat, so it is the ideal cooking oil.   I use coconut oil anytime a recipe calls for cooking oil or shortening.   
Coconut oil is now known to be extremely heart healthy .. the Traditional Cultures that consume coconuts and coconut oil have some of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world (not to mention are some of the slimmest people in the world).  

Physiologically, coconut oil stimulates the thyroid gland, so is a fantastic addition to the diet for those that tend toward hypothyroidism (by some estimates, some 80% of Westerners over the age of 25 fall into this category).  

Lauric acid, a very important medium chain saturated fatty acid, is found in abundance in coconut oil.   Lauric acid is highly antiviral, antibacterial, and anti fungal.    And guess what?   The human mammary gland produces lauric acid and it is contained in breast milk!    Anyone with candida issues of any kind should be regularly consuming coconut oil in their diet.   Rubbing coconut oil into the scalp and then shampooing out is a wonderful home remedy for dandruff, a fungal infection of the skin.

Well, there you have it.   The Five Fats that when incorporated into your diet will most certainly improve your health and vitality.  Once you throw out the Factory Fats you are currently using such as butter substitutes and vegetable oils and replace them with the Five Healthy Fats described in this blog, you will very likely begin to feel improved energy right away.   The most striking change that occurred immediately for me when I got my fats right was a rapid reduction in sugar cravings!     Getting the fats right is the only way I have ever found for people to reduce and eventually eliminate their sugar addiction.   Any other approach is temporary at best and relies solely on will power rather than the body being nourished and not needing the sugar (remember that the body converts sugar to saturated fat, so if your diet is low in saturated fat, you will be plagued with sugar cravings that cannot be controlled).     If this is your experience as well, I would love to hear about it as well as any other improvements you've noticed in your health once the fats get fixed.


fried green tomatos disaster (take one)

With the autumn came the frost.  The garden is gone and I find myself with buckets of green tomato's.  If you bring them in soon enough they will get ripe on the counter.

I thought I would "primalize" one of my favorite comfort foods.  Fried green tomatos!  ummm....  at least that is what I wanted to do.  It turned out to be a big flop.  I did get some good ideas and I will be trying it again.  for now I'll just share the disaster with you.

So the way grandma does it is with a corn bead batter... that is not going to work now that I have gone primal.  so I thought to dip them in egg and ground nuts with a little salt and pepper. I used coconut oil to fry them up.

The nuts cooked a bit faster than I thought I would.  So I had to remove the ones in the pan about half way through cooking because I was afraid that every thing would taste "smoky".

I used the nuts I took out to make a quick coconut milk gravy.

I think it was ok.  I could live on it if I had to, but it was far from the comfort food I remember.  I am thinking the next time I try it I'll do a take on a BLT and use bacon.  Maybe make it into a deconstructed kind of salad?


Goblin stoppers!

When I was in kindergarten Ryan Hansen went into the forbidden zone and got toys while the teacher was out of the room.  when she came back he told her that (I) was the one who had misbehaved.  this hurt me deeply.  I was an only child up to that point so I had no concept of lying, cheating, and manipulating to gain attention and approval.

My mind kept spinning on it and I just got madder and madder.

Bless my Grandmother for giving me a goblin stopper.  She explained to me that he wasn't the devil or a big fat lyer pants....  he was just a little boy.  The thoughts I was having of him, however were goblins that would poison my spirit it I didn't give them up.

She gave me a goblin stopper that was basically a bone bead on a red string that was tied around my wrist till it fell off.  Every time I would have that mind spin that would keep me up at night I would feel the stopper and think of the special meditation she taught me and set my soul free.  Thanks Grandma!

This year at my Halloween party I ask my guests to make their own stoppers and start the new year fresh.

This year I planted canna lilies in the back yard and they did great!  So I decided to use the seeds as the beads and not bone.

They come out of these spiky pods and they are just beautiful.

Hubby provided the tools to drill the holes in them. 

It took Way longer than I thought it would.

They turned out good I think.  As you can see...  I have quite a few Goblins that I am dealing with.  My goal this year is to deal with each one.  Wish me luck!


Green Goddess Mask

Ok ladies!  This mask is UGLY.  (and that is why no one would volunteer their mug for a shot)

All you need is some aloe juice and  powdered green algae.  Any kind will be fine.  I used spirulina algae and fresh aloe  for my mask.

All you have to do is cut off one of the aloe fingers and then slice it lengthwise down the middle. Squeeze out the juice and toss out the skin.

The algae will look green when it is dry but will look almost black when mixed up and on the skin.

Combine about 2 T. algae with just enough aloe to make a spreadable paste.  Let it set for a minute or so to thicken.  Then use your fingers to spread on face and neck.  Let the mask dry for 20 to 30 minutes.  Rinse.

This mask is best for oily skin types and skin with red blotches.

the best "trick" ever!

Yesterday I woke up with the worst bite on my arm.  I am not sure if it was a spider or the a mosquito on crack.  It was right in the inside of my elbow so every movement I made bugged it.

Thank goodness that grandma Jean was one of my clients.  She told me to brew up a strong cup of tea and put the tea leaves on the bite over night.  she said it would pull the poison out.

A few years ago I almost lost my leg to a brown recluse bite so I was really freaked out and motivated to try anything that didn't involve cutting my skin off.

So I did just as she instructed.   I put the tea leaves on my all day and over night.  Guess what?  It worked!  Today it is just a small red bump. I am going to keep the tea poultice on it today though.  Whoo hoo! Thanks Jean!


BBQ Pork

I just got a crock pot and I think I am in LOVE.  I had no idea how easy this is. All you have to do is get a roast and plop it in the pot with a cup of water and a splash of olive oil and spices.  Close the lid, turn the pot on low and walk away....

About 7 hours later just drain off the liquid.  The meat will fall off the bone.  add you favorite BBQ sauce and that is it!

Hubby told me I was a better cook than his mom.  We have been married for almost 10 years and this may be the first time I have heard that.


Face lift mask!

This mask will Dramatically tone your skin and visibly shrink your pores!  It is so amazing you'll think you had a mini lift.  ***please note that egg white and cornstarch are Very tightening so I will be very hard to move your mouth while this is on.

Take the whites of 2 eggs and put them in a bowl.  Add 1T. cornstarch and whisk till it is nice and foamy.  Make sure there are no lumps.

Use your fingers or a brush to coat face and neck.  *** you must lie down while this dries so gravity will pull all your wrinkles out.  Let sit for about 20 minutes and then rinse.



So here we are counting down to Halloween.  The kids are all talking about what they are going to dress up as.  My hubby is telling me to make sure and pick up an extra bag of snickers and not to give it out till last.  (so he can have it all) 

This got me thinking about masks we ware.  On any given day I put on my mommy mask, professional mask, lover mask, best friend mask.  When I go to the in-law's house for dinner I put on my polite smiley mask.  all of these are a different facet of who I am. 

So in honor of bringing out the True You I am going to dedicate this week to body beautifying masks.

Here in the desert southwest masks are used in all kinds of rituals.  Usually for some kind of purification or to honor the ancestors. Clay is especially valued for its color and its ability to absorb animal, mineral, and botanical pigments.  This makes it amazing body paint.  Just a short walk from my house you can harvest your own clay right out of the earth.  It comes in 4 colors that have different properties depending on what you want to do with it.  (I'll get into each one of them some time this week)

For cosmetic purposes it is used to deep clean the skin.  Depending on what you add masks can be used to increase circulation, remove toxins, tone and tighten, exfoliate, hydrate, calm inflammation, and soften the skin.

Masks can be made from so many natural ingredients. For today we will be using green/blue clay.

Purifying mask   recipe by Grandma Lou down the street who also showed me ware to get the clay.

2 T. green clay
Pure aloe vera juice
2 drops chamomile essential oil

This mask is best for oily, inflamed, or mature skin.  It is also amazing for a spot treatment for acne.  It removes the excess oil from the skin and as well as the toxins.

Grind your clay into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle. 
Add enough aloe to make a smooth paste, but not too runny.
Add the oil and mix well.

It should look something like this. 

Tie your hair back so you don't get it in the mask.  (the mask is not good for your hair and will dry it out)  Use a make up brush or your fingers to paint it on your face.  Avoid the eye area and lips because you don't want to dry them out.  It will be dark Green as you put it on and will go lighter as it dries.

Wow! I am a looker! 

Put your feet up for about 20-30 minuets or so and let it tighten and dry completely.  Then wash face and follow with a moisturizer.  I love using coconut oil.  Your face should feel squeaky clean and be nice and Rosy when you are done.

Here is to the real you!


"noodles" and Pesto!

This is one of my favorite dishes!  This one is quick, easy, and is primal/vegan (yes they can go together) and GF/CF.  No matter what kind of fanatic you are... this one is a pleaser.

This time of year I really get hungry for something warm, fatty and comforting.  mmmmm  now I am going to have to make this tonight. 

Ingredients: for noodles
Summer squash-  yellow or zucchini
olive oil
onion (optional)

for pesto

1/2 to 1 C. pine nuts
3 large garlic cloves with the skin removed
3/4 C. olive oil
3 C. fresh Basil leaves

Make the pesto first.  this is super easy if you have a blender or food processor.  Put the pine nuts and garlic in the blender and pulse a few times.  Add the basil and pulse a few more times.  Then keep it on low and drizzle the oil in slowly.  You will need to stop and scrape the sides every so often.  Blend till nice and smooth. Add salt to taste.  Set aside.

Hee hee!!!  I know it is hard to tell but this is what it looks like half way through.

You want to slice or use a mandolin to cut the squash in to Noodles.  If using zucchini you need to peel the skin off.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion.  Toss in the squash just for a few minuets and coat with oil.  Add the tomatoes.  Fresh or canned will work.

This is what it looks like when you first start cooking it.  My pan was a bit too small... or I was hungrier than I thought.

I like to plate mine like this because it is pretty.  However, if you have limited pesto (or a greedy crew)  mix it all together in the pan.

Like this!  
My noodles are kind of thick here because I was in a hurry.  You can do them any way you want.  It will taste amazing no matter what you do.


Bacon stir fry!

I'm a busy mom.  I think all moms have a lot on their plate.  This is a quick and easy (primal G/F) meal that really pleases my crew.  Lets face it....  bacon makes every one happy.

summer squash  yellow, green or both
coconut milk
salt and pepper.
nutritional yeast (optional)

First cut the bacon in to 1 1/2 inch pieces and put in hot frying pan.  Stirring as needed.
Cut up the onion and toss it in the pan.
Cut summer squash and put that in.  Stir till squash is tender.
Add herbs of choice
Add a big blob of coconut milk.
I save the tomato for last because I like it just warmed not coked.
salt and pepper to taste.

I put nutritional yeast on mine.  It is a comfort thing....

MMM! You are going to love this one!  Not only is it beautiful and tasty, it is quick and handy.


Cabin trip

On our second date Jim took me to the cabin.  It is a beautiful place by a mountain lake in the LaSals.  We share a deep love of the mountain.  We got married up there and spent the honeymoon there.  He loves it in the winter.  He says there is nothing like being on top of the peak and being surrounded by silence.   I love the mountain in the fall when all the berries are ripe and the animals are out.  I love how deep you sleep up there and that you have to build a fire to snuggle by.

It is nine years later and this is still the place we run away to when we get the chance.  The air is so crisp and the leaves are almost gone on the Aspen trees..... jut perfect.

We took a family hike and K stopped to skip rocks on the lake.... for what seemed like forever.  After a while the bugs got to be too much and we moved on.

I made everyone pose for goofy looking photos. That's what moms do right? One day I would love to have a family picture where everyone is looking at the camera with a smile....  for now I'll just keep dreaming.

We went for a nice hike thought the pine trees and saw more deer than usual.  I have a feeling they know that every ware else on the mountain are hunters just waiting to take them home.

Then we found this!  I don't know if you can tell, but this is a photo of two trees that have turned into one!  I have never seen anything like it.  It looks as if years ago one of the trees got hit by lightning.  I think that may be why it is leaning in to the other one.   The symbolism of this is just beautiful to me.  Isn't that what we all want?  I mean some one to hold you up...some one that will blend with you to the point that you are one.  We named it the kissing tree.  I may make my little family pose under it next time.


Fast food!

I'm not sure what is the customary thing to do... do I introduce my self or just jump in and start writing???

It is more my style to jump in. So, first post here goes!

Coconut shrimp salad

In about the same amount of time that it takes to go through the drive through you can have a lovely, warm, primal meal.  

greens of your choice
frozen shrimp
coconut oil
vinegar of choice
salt and pepper
nuts  (optional)
shredded coconut
Put a good sized blob of coconut oil in a small frying pan and start to heat.  Add in frozen shrimp. (as many as you want on your salad)

While that is heating put greens on plate.  I like to chop mine so they are easier to eat.  Cut up tomato and avocado place on top of greens.  Now this is the part where if you are serving vegan friends you toss a bunch of nuts and coconut on top and let them have it. 

Chop some onion and toss in the shrimp and stir till they are translucent.  Add a bit of salt and pepper. and place the shrimp on top of the salad saving the hot oil in the pan.  Add vinegar to the oil and whisk together till it looks nice and creamy.  Pour over the top. Sprinkle a bit of coconut for a garnish and Enjoy!

See how pretty? and all in about 6 minutes!