Note: I am neither a dietitian nor a doctor. I do not dispense medical advice nor do I offer any information on treatments nor cures for any medical condition. Always consult a physician before proceeding with any treatment. Our full disclaimer is at the bottom of this page.
In June and July on the blog, we’re going to discuss gut health. Gut health is a hot topic in the traditional foods world because so many people are not healing despite a traditional foods diet. I became seriously ill and healed my gut before the currently fashionable diets came out. This is my story.
A very wise man in my life often tells me, “A problem well stated is half solved.” Five years ago, we knew all of the problems, but had none of the answers.
I was born 7 weeks early to an undernourished mother who was 95 pounds when I was conceived. My childhood was rather uneventful health wise, other than huge tonsils and repeat ear infections. I grew normally and had none of the digestive problems associated with celiac disease.
I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2001 and was told I’d never had kids. I changed my diet to traditional foods after seeing my cat, Blue, have an ‘incurable’ and life-shortening health problem healed by a species-appropriate diet. I was told he wouldn’t live long and would require expensive, difficult medication until his death.
It had worked for him why can’t it work for me?
A few days ago, my best friend got that phone call that everyone dreads.
Your daddy has had a heart attack. The doctors don’t think he’ll make it through the night.
GET. HERE. NOW.
She did what everyone would do. She grabbed enough for a road trip, threw it in the car and took off for a long drive. All she could think about was getting there as fast as possible.
On the way there, she called me to let me know what was going on. Trying to stay calm, she recounted the conversation and what details she knew. She told me later that she didn’t even think about food until she hung up the phone with me, about half-way through her drive. She was headed to a large military town, but it only has one grocery store chain and no health food stores. She has multiple food allergies and doesn’t fare well when exposed to an allergen.
Her daddy did make it through the night. She was having to go to her mom’s house do laundry and had to run by the store to buy basic necessities. She was then faced with the dilemma of having to go to the limited-selection grocery store and find safe food, figure out what to fix without having any of her recipes with her, find safe pots and pans to cook it in at her mom’s house, and keep it safe and segregated in the fridge while a trail of friends and family come through the home. It took time away from being at her daddy’s bedside and provided to be a considerable stress.
Of course, if you have a cast iron stomach and can handle fast food, pot-luck, or hospital cafeteria foods for as long as you need, you’re ok in the food department. But what about clothing? Toiletries? In a rush to get out the door, would you forget something? If you have children, would you have to suffer through their boredom and confusion while you’re going through what can arguably be considered one of the most stressful events in your life?
What would you do? You’re lucky if all of your family lives locally, you can just call a friend and have them swing by your house and drop off whatever you might need and you can run home for food and sleep. But if you have any family out of town, how can you prepare so that you don’t have to worry? Is it possible to just grab-and-go, knowing you have what you need?
You need a bug-out bag.
On Surfin’ Saturday, I share links from around the web. It’s not always food related and not always blogs. It’s anything I find inspiring or helpful for any part of life. [Read more…] about Surfin’ Saturday- Feb 26, 2011
I have taken both heaps of praise and heaps of criticism for the coconut milk yogurt recipe since it was published. Praise from those who are dairy-free and looking for ways to expand their probiotic intake or are happy to have a replacement for the expensive coconut yogurt that their kids love. I have received criticism from those who are unhappy I wouldn’t push raw milk consumption over coconut milk, even for those who are dairy allergic, and that the recipe would use canned coconut milk instead of directing people to first make their own.
First, to address those who come here for help and support- I understand that you do not have an unlimited budget and all of the time and resources in the world. You will not receive any condemnation from me for not being able to source and use the best ingredients possible for everything that you do. You do not have to be a food snob to be accepted here and on the CTF forums. We welcome you, as you are, wherever you are on your traditional foods journey.
I posted my curried pumpkin soup a few days ago that I made this past weekend. It was slated to be polished off for today’s lunch, but I didn’t have enough to feed the three of us. I had about 2 servings left in the mason jar and two hungry children plus myself.
This morning I did my Flylady zone work (we’re in the kitchen this week) and found a small amount of green lentil flour I had left over after grinding some for another dish I’ve been working on. A light bulb went off. Lentils work wonderfully to thicken liquids. With a strongly flavored soup like the curried pumpkin, I was pretty sure it would hide any lentil flavor. Whole red lentils have no shell and they dissolve when cooked. Green lentils will hold their shape when cooked. But when ground into flour, it doesn’t matter what type of lentil you’re using, it works beautifully as a thickener. Using cooked red lentils would have worked for me if I had the time to cook them, but it was already lunch time and the kids were asking for something to eat so I went with the flour.
I put a small amount of the soup in the bottom of a saucepan. I whisked in the leftover tablespoon of lentil flour until smooth. Then I whisked in the remaining soup, enough extra stock to make it three servings, and a little coconut milk I had leftover from breakfast. I brought it to a boil, reduced to a simmer and cooked it long enough to make sure the lentil flour was cooked through. It thickened nicely. I did have to adjust the spices since I added stock. The kids didn’t notice any difference and they ate it without a word. SCORE!
Like rice, lentils are low in phytates. I don’t worry about the occasional use of a small amount of unsoaked lentil flour as long as it is well cooked to void any digestive upset uncooked legume products might cause. If you aren’t working on the fly and you can prepare ahead to soak your lentils, I would have whisked the lentil flour with a tiny amount of acidic water (1 cup water to 1 Tbs lemon juice or whey) and allowed it to sit a few hours before cooking lunch.
KerryAnn Foster runs Cooking Traditional Foods, the longest running Traditional Foods Menu Mailer on the internet. KerryAnn has over nine years of traditional foods experience and is a former Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. Founded in 2005, CTF helps you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. Each mailer contains one soup, five dinners, one breakfast, on dessert and extras. You can learn more about our Menu Mailers at the CTF website. For a free sample Menu Mailer, join our mailing list. You can also join our forum to chat with other traditional foodists and learn more.