11/26/13

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

I have a love/hate relationship with cranberries. I love them with sugar. I hate them without. So, I was very excited to find that this cranberry wassail recipe turned out to my liking. I didn't even add any sugar. I shared some wonderful healing benefits of cinnamon last week. I found a bag of cranberries in my freezer and decided to add this superfood to my cinnamon Kool-Aid recipe to give it a greater anti-oxidant boost. 


Sugar Free cranberry-cinnamon wassail

Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Wassail
1 Orange,  sliced
6 oz Fresh Cranberries


Cook the cinnamon tea down twice. Fill the pot again and add oranges and cranberries. Cook down one more time. Strain and serve hot or over ice. Sweeten as desired.

Here is a list of 10 interesting health benefits of cranberries: (Minus the sugar, of course)
  • Decreased Blood Pressure
  • Lower risk of Urinary Tract Infections
  • Improved Immune Function
  • May reduce risk of heart disease
  • Slows tumor progression
  • Powerful against gum disease
  • Natural Anti-inflammatory
  • Thought to keep candida from adhering to the urinary tract.
  • Reduces free radicals
  • Can balance a highly acidic diet as it is high alkaline.

Cranberries and Thanksgiving go hand in hand. Although this recipe does contain sugar, it just wouldn't be turkey without it. So, ditch the can and make this healthier version in ten minutes!


Cranberry Sauce (Kick the Can)
12 oz cranberries
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch sea salt
1/2 cup sugar or honey
1 pinch ground cloves
1 tsp grass fed beef gelatin


Bring to a boil and cook down 10-15 min. Crush the berries with a potato masher. Remove cinnamon stick. Enjoy.



It is sweet at first taste, then suddenly sour.. A wonderful sweet tart- treat to tickle the taste buds.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013. I hope this season your lamp is full of real food, real health, and most importantly is found full of gratitude.

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*Disclaimer: None of these remedies have been endorsed by the FDA. The suggestions are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure. Always use your own best judgment and the advice of a trusted medical advisor.

11/25/13

Pumpkin Muffins


Mmm! Love fall! Love fall colors! Love fall leaves! Love fall muffins, and cider and hot chocolate. And I love pumpkin, so these are a treat~!

www.mylampisfull.blogspot.com

The key to adding less sugar to any muffin recipe is using a super sweet, super ripe banana. These muffins are sweet, but not too much, hearty and delicious. Pair them with a smoothie or hot chocolate and you have the perfect fall breakfast.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 ripe banana
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (any squash will do. I also like acorn squash in this recipe!)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup unrefined sugar or honey
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk

Whip all of these together until smooth and add two eggs.

Finally add:
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 T baking powder
2 cups freshly ground wheat flour (I used a mix of soft and hard white wheat)
Mix until just combined and stir in:
1 cup Chocolate Chips

Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 min.
Makes 18ish muffins.

Wholesome pumpkin muffins
 
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11/21/13

Streak Free Windows and Mirrors

Anyone who has followed my blog for awhile now, knows that I am really interested in toxic free cleaning. One of the reasons I am drawn to essential oils is because I can clean with them and be assured that we are not adding any extra toxins to our home.  We get  xenoestrogen  bombardment  from cleaning products and skin care products everywhere we go. I am working at making my home a safe haven from these terrible hormone disruptors.

 
One of my earliest posts was a great recipe for glass cleaner. It involves vinegar and water and a citrus oil. I used it a few times. The first couple, I really liked it. Then I didn't so much. I wanted it to be better than Windex which I think is worthless, but it just was not. That has been the case with many natural cleaners for me. I have really wanted them to work. But they just don't as well as those cancer causing, eye burning, skin irritating chemicals that just beat grime into oblivion.

I wish  you could have seen my excitement when I attended a vendor fair not too long ago and there was this cute young mom there with these cleaning rags. She claimed you could clean your whole house with just water. Just water! Hey, last time I checked, water is a great non-toxic product. I drink it everyday!  She called them Norwex cloths. It stands for "Norwegian Experience" and after watching them rub butter off a window with only a cloth and water, I decided I needed to bring a bit of Norway home with me! I purchased a basic pack.

How is it that I had never heard of this? How many of you knew about it and snickered at me as I rolled out another post on cleaning this or that? Why didn't anyone tell me about this? Is it too good to be true? A two year warranty was enough to convince me to at least try it out.

Well, my initial findings are that it is everything it was cracked up to be.

Exhibit A:



Mirror before (I was out of town and someone had fun with sticky hands all over my bathroom mirror.)


Mirror After: Nothing but streak free clean.

My amazing recipe:
 

 

Ingredients:
Water
Norwex Window Cloth

Instructions: Spray window or mirror with water. Wipe down with polishing cloth. Watch it dry to a streak free shine.

That is it! You can use a wet Enviro Cloth first to get rid sticky toothpaste and other unmentionables, then simply dry with the polishing cloth. And it is amazing on the stainless steel in my kitchen.

I recently attended a service auction and won a free house cleaning. She told me expressly, however that she will not do windows. And my first thought was, lucky for me, because I know the secret now and washing windows is fun! Even the kids love it.

I am not a Norwex distributor. I paid for this product. I loved it and wanted to share my experience. I will review other products in the coming days. If you are interested in tying it yourself, you can learn more here:

http://angelagiles.norwex.biz/

Any purchases from this link may result in future compensation to me and this blog.

Do you use Norwex? What has your experience been?

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11/19/13

19 Health Benefits of Cinnamon


Studies show that cinnamon has insulin mimicking properties (source).  Great news for those looking for a natural alternative for diabetes. I always love to hear that there are medical folks out there who understand the science behind our wonderful herbs. "Researchers at the US Dept. of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, studied the effect in various food substances including cinnamon on blood sugar. They found that a water-soluble polyphenol compound called MHCP which is abundant in Cinnamon synergistically acted with insulin and helped in the better utilization of insulin; so patients diagnosed with type two diabetes use less insulin.   Insulin properties are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cinnamon.

The health benefits of cinnamon sticks and are numerous. Here are 19 of them!

Promotes healthy cholesterol levels
Friendly to the pancreas (regulates blood sugar as seen in study above)
Inhibits Yeast growth
Antioxidant
Boosts Memory and Cognitive Function
Anti-Parasitic
Pain Relief
Antibacterial
Anti-clotting
Anti-Candida!!!
Natural Food Preservative
Reduces Inflammation
Improves Colon Health
Clears out chest congestion
Anti Diarrhea
Physical Stimulant
Anti-Depressant
Warming
Anti-Gas

Don't eat the stick! Too much of anything is never a good thing. And high doses of cinnamon could be toxic.

**Warning: Ancient Chinese Secret: cinnamon stimulates cramping, so not a great idea for pregnant women until time for labor. 

I had a great visit with a friend of mine recently who is from Venezuela. She grew up using all kinds of home remedies. Eating real food. Living the way our ancestors did. She moved to America in her twenties and adopted an American diet. That has left her discouraged with her health. She is determined to change that however and is migrating back to her roots.

She shared with us yesterday a tea that she uses in hopes of lowering her blood pressure. I was amazed at how simple and delicious it was.

Cinnamon "Kool Aid:"
Water



Take three cinnamon sticks and put them in a pot filled to the top. Turn it on to boil and let it reduce by half. Then fill it to the top again, and allow it to reduce once again. You can stop here for a lighter cinnamon taste. But to make it stronger, boil it down once more. You can drink it hot, or do as she did which was refreshing and lovely. Add a sweetener to taste, pour it over ice and enjoy.  I loved it. My husband loved it. He said that if he could have that everyday, it might help with his Mt. Dew addiction. Amazingly, he got the cinnamon sticks in the water before bed and asked me to turn it on when I woke up. We shall see if cinnamon also helps with caffeine addiction. Why not?

Resources:
EZine article
PMC
Eat This


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*Disclaimer: None of this information has been endorsed by the FDA. The suggestions are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure. Always use your own best judgment and the advice of a trusted medical advisor.


11/18/13

A Lamp Full: Dreams

a lamp full: Dreams

"God is eagerly waiting for the chance to
answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams,
just as he always has. But he can't if you don't pray,
and he can't if you don't dream.
In short, he can't if you don't believe.”
― Jeffrey R. Holland
 
I am participating in a training program called the Share Success Challenge with dōTERRA. This past week, the assignment was to make a vision board. Scarier still, was to share it with others. You know, we are accountable when we make something known to others. My husband and I have loved sharing our dreams with one another. Up until now, some have become reality. We have 4 beautiful children and the blessing of opening our family to a nephew. We have a home that is a haven from the world. We have faith. We have a wonderful marriage. We have good health. These are dreams come true for us. As I look back over my life, all my most important dreams, the ones I wanted most are a reality.

I thought I was content. Actually I was. It is funny though, how when we get too comfortable, life happens. Changes come that cause you to rethink things. Opportunities come that make you grow and stretch. Sometimes, they dash your dreams to pieces. Sometimes they help you dream what is seemingly impossible.

One such change happened to us this year. Unemployment said, "We interrupt your comfy life for an unscheduled life event."  Well great. Whose brilliant idea was that? We were having such a good stretch there for a bit! But with a wonderful partner, and faith in God, we can get through anything.  In past months, I have had a lot of hope that things will be all right, but I forgot to dream. I haven't dared to. This past week caused me to dream again. Or, at least to verbalize and visualize those dreams.  Just as we have the power to change our own health, we also have the power to make our dreams a reality.

We all have limiting beliefs. They keep us from accomplishing what we would if we didn't stop before we did! Our mind tells us we can't. We are not good enough. Mine always tells me, "you have so much, why on earth do you think you need more?"

I am coming to realize that the only thing that stands in my way of accomplishing what I am meant to accomplish is me! If that is true, then I am also the key to succeeding. Dreams change, visions change, our comfy life changes from time to time. But the constant for me is that He who created me to be amazing does not change. My faith in Him does not waver. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phil 4:13).

What are your limiting beliefs? How have you overcome them?

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11/7/13

Food is Nature's Best Medicine


Have you heard that this nation has a "health care crisis?" Well, that is nothing compared to this nation's sick care crisis. I know a lot of people don't want to hear this, but the crap we eat is making us sick.  I know a lot of really sick people. They are suffering and have turned to the only place they know. Modern medicine.

One of my sweet friends has been on a treatment for arthritis for several months now. As a result of that treatment, her arthritis is not much better, but she now has a new problem. She gets to have surgery to repair her esophagus and it has damaged her vocal chords. Plus also, a mass has developed in her breast and a biopsy is required. She traded one problem for a host of others. So, now she will no doubt be put on more medicine and who knows what havoc that will wreak?

I have another friend who just learned that her private insurance premiums have gone up 30% on the new affordable health care plan. Her husband relies on that insurance to help offset the cost of medicine that costs him $3500 per month!
My first question is, why are so many people sick with such debilitating diseases? Especially our children? My second is what are we prepared to do about it?

Francis M. Pottenger published a study on cats that I thought was fascinating. In short, he fed one group of cats raw organ meats, raw milk, and cod liver oil. The other group was fed cooked meats, milk and cod liver oil. The cats in the raw meat group were healthier than those in the cooked group. But what is most interesting is that the second generation of cats in the cooked meat group began to develop degenerative diseases in mid life. The third generation developed these same types of diseases as young kittens. And many of them could not reproduce, so there was no fourth generation.

So, are you a second generation cat? Maybe even a third? Something to think about. The best part of this study is that third generation cats were changed to the raw meat diet and in one generation, they were healed of disease and were able to reproduce healthy kittens! One generation!

Am I saying to go out and eat raw meat? Well, I am not planning to any time soon. But the point is, our diet is hurting or helping depending on what you are eating. So, time to have a talk with the diet. What are we eating, what are we feeding our kids?  Neon Mac and Cheese from a box or dinner every night from the take out window? We can take control of our own health. No medicine is going to make us better. It will cover up symptoms like a band aid. But it will not fix the problem. Only the food put here to save us will do that. When was the last time your doctor asked,

"What are you eating?"
                         "Are you cooking on Teflon?"
                                                            "Do you heat food in plastic?"

Prescriptions ought to be to drink more water, eat organic veggies, cut out sugar and food dyes, especially soda! It should most definitely include explicit instructions to nourish our bodies with vitamins and minerals and avoid processed foods. There are many amazing sources and there are sources that are found lacking. Do your research and find out!


So why don't people like to hear this? Because it is hard work. It is a long journey. It does not leave you with instant results. You have to do it yourself!  You can't blame anyone else but you...ouch! You have to want good health more than you want anything else. You may have to give up foods and beverages that you love and have brought you comfort. It takes time (lots of time) to raise and preserve and source and cook real food. And lastly, foods that are good for us cost money. Lots of money. Many people say they just can't afford it. I ask them why and the number one answer is....Because I am paying medical bills. We have it backwards in this country. We shriek over the cost of  organic produce and grass fed beef, but don't think twice about paying high prices for sick care saying, "that is just the way it is." We pay the pharmaceutical company more than the farmer.

If you are ready to start taking nutrition seriously, here are some places start googling:
Gaps diet
Candida Cleanse
Leaky gut syndrome
Healing Auto-immune disease with food
The Real Farmacy

I am not a doctor, or even a certified nutritionist. Just a gal who is determined to be medically self-sufficient. I absolutely totally believe that today's nutrient poor food is the cause of all that ails us. That being said, it stands to reason that food (real food) is also the only thing to heal us. I know a lot of sick people. As I have been involved now with like minded individuals, I also know there is hope. I also have a friend who made it her mission to help her husband heal from near death. He was so nutrient deficient he couldn't get out of bed. It was not an easy journey for them. It took a very long time. I met him last month. Healthy and vibrant and full of life. No drugs did that for him. Just food. Real food. And a determined wife...we all need one of those (or husband as the case may be). Tune in tomorrow to read their story. It is inspiring and amazing. Here is a sneak peak!

*Disclaimer: None of these remedies have been endorsed by the FDA. The suggestions are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure. Always use your own best judgment and the advice of a trusted medical advisor.

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11/1/13

Chicken Corndon Blue Casserole

My husband gets giddy and will break dance on the table for Chicken Cordon Bleu. But It is a bit of a pain to make. I adapted a recipe for a casserole that I like even better...and it is easy! It is crunchy and creamy and savory.


Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
5 medium potatoes, sliced thin
4 chicken breasts
1/2 lb sliced ham
1/2 lb sliced swiss cheese
Salt, Pepper and pepper to taste
Dried bread crumbs or crackers to top (optional)

Peel and slice 5 medium potatoes. Cut ham into bites sized pieces. Slice raw chicken breasts into thin slices. Then you will layer this like a lasagna. Put 1/2 the potatoes on the bottom of a casserole. Top with half the chicken, then pour half the cream of chicken soup over the top. Next add the half of the  ham and lastly 1/4 pound of the cheese. . Repeat the process one more time.


Top the last layer with toasted bread crumbs or cracker crumbs if desired. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour until the potatoes are soft and the chicken is no longer pink. If you have a topping, take the foil off and keep the casserole under the broiler for 5 min to crisp it up.

It gets rave reviews from my family and my little girl ate every bite and trust me, that is saying a lot! Recipes like this make me glad that my kids head to school each day so I can heat the leftovers for lunch and savor them all to myself! What dinner causes your significant other to break dance on the table?

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