Jun 15, 2016

Awesome Conference in Montgomery, AL

One of the best investments into my health journey has been attending the Wise Traditions Conference, hosted by the Weston A. Price Foundation.  This year it is within driving distance, in Montgomery, Alabama, November 11-14.

I've attended twice before and each time I learn so much!  At the end of the conference, I tell my husband, "this is such an incredible investment into our family's health!"  Unlike other conferences where the food is cheap and often inedible, the food at this conference is AMAZING and traditionally prepared.  Both is offered at most meals, as well as kombucha.  Another favorite part of the conference is all the vendors.  Many, like Green Pasture, offer tastes of their products.

Since this year's conference is within driving distance, I would love to see a giant caravan from Little Rock drive to Montgomery.  To save conference costs, if you want to share a hotel room, email me and I will try to help: luvmyhub@gmail .com

Register by June 30 for early bird discounts.

Financial Assistance Available
In exchange for 6 hours of volunteer service, the foundation offers a scholarship and the July 1 deadline is quickly approaching.  On their website click on financial aid.

Hope you will join me in Montgomery!

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May 13, 2016

Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes are all over the news these days.  Such a tiny creature is causing much distress and panic.  The City of Little Rock has a mosquito-spraying program to address the issue.  We thought our readers might want to know exactly what this service entails.   This post was written by Erin. I'm so thankful for her research and a heart for healthful living.   --Julie

The City’s policy:

  • The entire city of Little Rock is sprayed/fogged during the evenings (after 5 PM) on a schedule from April until the first frost.  Every other street is sprayed.
  • Neighborhoods are not notified of scheduled spraying since there are many factors affecting whether or not they are able to spray.  These factors include wind speeds greater than 10 mph, rain, and the presence of individuals outside their homes.
  • When an individual calls 311 to request mosquito control, the entire neighborhood is subject to spraying.  
  • The City of Little Rock buys its mosquito control products from Clarke.  The two products used are called “Mosquito Master” and “Mosquitomist.”  They are applied alternately on a 3-week rotation from April until the first frost.
  • The labels on these chemicals state they are “extremely toxic to aquatic organisms” and “highly toxic to bees.”  I highly recommend reading the labels for yourself.
  • The mist is “ultra fine,” which means it can cover a very large surface area relative to volume.  The mist has a 350-foot drift.
  • You can opt out of spraying by calling 501-888-2208 or 3-1-1.   They will try to stop spraying 350 feet before and after your house because of the drift.  This does not guarantee your property will not be sprayed.
  • The Solid Waste Division is responsible for spraying.  Warren Atkins is the director.  He can be reached at 501-888-4581.
  • The City also works with UALR to monitor and control mosquito larvae, which is a much more effective method of management.  However, this is only applied to public property, not private. 
Of course, there are many private companies which also offer mosquito-spraying services.  So how can you protect yourself, your children, and your pets from these pesticides?

The following suggestions are taken from BeyondPesticides.org.

How individuals can protect themselves from exposure to dangerous pesticides:

  • Leave the area.*
  • * Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems are the most vulnerable populations and should take extra care to avoid pesticide exposure. People with multiple chemical sensitivities or other pesticide illnesses are also more vulnerable to pesticide exposure.
  • Close the windows.
  • Turn off air intake on window unit air conditioners.
  • Take toys and lawn furniture inside.
  • Remove shoes before entering homes to avoid tracking in residues.
  • Cover swimming pools.
  • Don’t let children play near or behind truck-mounted applicators or enter an area that has just been sprayed.
  • Wipe off paws of pets with a wet cloth before they re-enter your home.

Spraying has been proven to be ineffective for controlling mosquito populations.  Even Zika virus experts interviewed on radio, t.v., and online acknowledge this fact.  Spraying only kills adult mosquitoes that come into contact with the pesticide while it is airborne.  In addition, mosquitoes can easily build up resistance to pesticides over time.  So what can you do about these pests?  We have a few facts to share on the matter.

How to control mosquitoes safely and effectively:

  • Wear repellant.  The safety of DEET is questionable - do your research.  Natural repellants made with essential oils can be made at home or bought at local stores and farmers markets.  Neem oil repellants are also effective.
  • Apply a repellent in your yard.  There are several products on the market to serve this purpose.  Garlic sprays are a popular choice.
  • Buy a device like the Mosquito Magnet to kill adult mosquitoes.
  • Try making your own mosquito larvae trap like this one called the ovillanta. It is being used to fight the Zika virus and is made out of old tires.
  • Attract birds, frogs, bats, and other beneficial creatures to your yard.
  • Have a few backyard chickens.  Mosquitoes=free chicken food!
  • Empty ALL standing water.  This includes places like birdbaths, but it also includes less obvious places like small lids, pet dishes, shovels, gutters, holes in trees, tarps, and pots where water can collect.
  • Use Mosquito Dunks in birdbaths, drainage ditches, rain barrels, gutters, etc.  These dunks use B.t. toxin, which kills mosquito larvae.  This soil-derived toxin will also kill bees, butterflies, caterpillars, and other organisms, so use sparingly.
  • Use plants in your landscaping that naturally deter mosquitoes.  These include garlic, onions, citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, basil, thyme, geranium, and marigold.
  • Keep window and door screens in good working order.

If all else fails, stay indoors during peak hours of mosquito activity (dusk).

An excellent resource for more information on pest control is BeyondPesticides.org.

It would send a clear message to the City of Little Rock if entire neighborhoods opted out of mosquito spraying.  This service is not only financially and environmentally costly, but it is also ineffective.  Kindly share the information you learned from this post with neighbors who might be interested.

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May 11, 2016

Choosing An Orthodontist

In response to the previous post on Orthodontics, Mouth Breathing, Non-Nutritive Sucking, Sleep Apnea a friend emailed this comment:

My TMJ dentist, Dr. Dalton at Central Dental, would very much agree with you.  Jessica, my 22 year old daughter is currently in orthodontics with him for the purpose of resolving TMJ and opening her airway which were the goals of my treatment with him as well.  Unfortunately, both of us had orthodontics previously along with permanent teeth removal from orthodontists who were only concerned with aesthetics and really messed us up.

Be very careful who does orthodontics on your children and never let them remove permanent teeth from a crowded mouth,


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Apr 27, 2016

Orthodontics, Mouth Breathing, Non-Nutritive Sucking, Sleep Apnea

My 11 year old was recommended to see an orthodontist, the 6 year old wakes with a dry mouth and the 3 year old has a fierce finger sucking addiction.  My mother is trying her best to learn to sleep with a sleep apnea machine for her severe apnea.

Could these things be related?

Carol Vander Stoep, RDH, seems to think so.  The above dysfunctions plus allergies, sinus infections, snoring, diabetes, head and neck pain as well as many other ailments could be caused by a crowded airway.
image Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

A friend of mine emailed the following links to help educate myself, knowing that I was already familiar with some of Dr. Weston A. Price's work.  This book of his is a fascinating publication of some of his findings.

My friend sent these links:

Here's a thorough explanation, the same author wrote a book called Mouth Matters: Better Mouth, Better Health - which is available at the library.

Dr. Mahon, who is a myofunctional orthodontist in Rogers, trained with Joy Moeller who is interviewed by Dr. Mercola here.

Here is an article by Mercola explaining Buteyko Breathing.

Buteyko Meets Dr. Mew is a book on the Buteyko Breathing method has a lot of info and is very kid friendly.

Here's for taking health into your own hands!

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Apr 24, 2016

Preserved Lemons

Last week I went to a fermenting class where one of my friends brought her stash of fermented foods for us to try.  Included in her haul was preserved lemons, sometimes called Moroccan lemons.


I wish every single person reading this could taste them.  Very bright and lemony but not overwhelming.  They are very easy to make, so just go ahead and do it.  Thank me later.  They are so good you might find yourself sneaking a bite from the jar, just as a weird snack.  Really, they're that delicious.

How I plan to use them:
- as garnish for fish or roasted chicken (you can eat the rind and pulp)
- as garnish for anything especially Mediterranean dishes like hummus and babaganoush
- add to salads, like tabbouleh, or any salad dressing
- anywhere you want a brighter flavor
- experiment blending (vitamix) a small spoonful into water for an electrolyte drink
- eat right out of the jar

My friend WooPigFoodie  says he uses them with any stew or braised dish from chicken to beef to pork.  It would be delicious on toast with butter and honey.  Plus there's a Chicken Marbela dish from the Silver Palate cookbook that is so good with them.

Don't just take my word for it.  Go make your own!  Here's the recipe from Nourishing Traditions:

7 organic lemons, preferably the thin-skinned variety
3 tablespoons sea salt, without anti-caking agents
3 cinnamon sticks, broken up (optional)
2 tablespoons, whey

Wash lemons well, slice 5 thinly and cut slices in quarters.  Toss in a bowl with salt and cinnamon sticks (if using).  Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth glass jar then press down lightly with a wooden pounder (Fermentables in North Little Rock carries them), meat hammer or wooden spoon.  Juice the two remaining lemons and add to the whey then pour into jar, pressing down so that the liquid completely covers the lemons.  Lemons should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.  Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.  (I left mine on the counter for 3 days, the kitchen was about 75* - taste everyday and observe how the flavor profile changes.  It's crazy, really!  Remember, if your kitchen is cooler than 70* you will need more time.)  To insure kahm yeast does not grow on the surface, twice a day open the jar, stir then press the solid pieces under the liquid.

Where to get whey?
People are sometimes stumped about whey.  It is simply the liquid that pools in yogurt.  To harvest whey, buy full fat, plain yogurt.  Set a strainer over a bowl.  Spoon about 3/4 cup into a coffee filter that is set into the strainer.  Overnight the whey will drip into your bowl.  What's left in the coffee filter is really thick yogurt (think greek yogurt).  The yogurt is still totally edible.  If you make too much whey, it will store for about 6 months in the fridge.

Is organic necessary?
When foods are fermented, they become easier to digest or more bio-available to the body.  In the same way, if conventional foods are used when fermenting the pesticides are also easier to digest.  So, I usually advise people to use organic when fermenting.  Also worth noting: I bought organic lemons at Natural Grocers and they were the same price as conventional lemons at Kroger.

Here's a recipe from Nourished Kitchen, who doesn't use whey.

- Julie

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Feb 26, 2016

Free Fermentation Workshop TODAY

There will be a free veggie fermentation class for beginners today, Saturday, February 27 from 1 -2:30pm at Natural Grocers in Little Rock.

Cat Swenson will be demonstrating easy starter ferments like kraut, but will also show you how to tackle the perennial favorite: dill pickles!  

You will also learn about your amazing personal ecosystem, your "microbiome" and how to take care of it so it takes care of you.

I went to one of Cat's workshops a few weeks ago and highly recommend it. --Julie

Making Your Own Probiotic Pickled Veggies Using Fermentation
Date: Saturday, February 27            
Time:  1pm-2:30pm
Location:  Natural Grocers
9210 N. Rodney Parham Rd, Little Rock, AR
more details here

Cat Swenson
Owner & Fermenter-in-Chief of Great Ferments

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Feb 25, 2016

Foodshed Farms Cooperative CSA

Friday, February 26 is CSA Sign-up Day, a day picked out by Small Farm Central to celebrate and encourage Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  My family has participated in a CSA for several years now and I love it.  Admittedly there is a learning curve to eating in season and thinking through the lens of "use what I have."  There are many benefits of participating in a CSA.  Best of all, it encourages me to get more vegetables on the table.  Hands down, local veggies taste better.

If this is your first time with a CSA, ask a friend or neighbor to join you.  This way you can take turns picking up the food AND practice using half your share.  Some people feel overwhelmed with all the vegetables they receive.  Please note that this CSA is for Little Rock, Conway, Bryant and Ft. Smith!


Foodshed Farms Cooperative CSA 
     --guest post by Liz Wenzel

Foodshed Farms is a farmer-owned cooperative that supports the livelihoods of small-scale Arkansas farmers while increasing access to fresh, local produce. We care about our state and the people in it, so we joined together to grow food that cultivates jobs, community, and wellbeing.

The primary way we do this is through a multi-farm CSA (community-supported agriculture) program, in which shareholders sign up and pay in advance to receive a weekly share of fresh produce throughout the growing season. The CSA model secures a market for our farmers all season long and reduces some of the risk associated with small-scale farming.

Working together as a cooperative has additional benefits for our farmers, allowing them to consolidate marketing, distribution, and technical training so they can turn their energy to growing food that is good for both consumers and the environment.

All of our farmers are Certified Organic or Certified Naturally Grown, demonstrating their deep commitment to sustainability and long-term health.

Sourcing produce from different regions of Arkansas also helps our shareholders by ensuring a dependable product with lots of variety. We embrace the opportunity to provide our shareholders with the best flavors of Arkansas, from new and exotic vegetables, like kohlrabi and fresh ginger, to tried-and-true favorites such as tomatoes, squash, and kale.

Additionally, as a farmer-owned business, we put our farmers first and support their livelihoods in ways that traditional agriculture typically doesn’t. While USDA research shows that farmers nationwide receive an average of only 15 cents for every food dollar spent, we’re able to give 80 cents of every dollar right back to our farmers.

Through the Foodshed Farms Cooperative CSA we hope to expand the local food market in Arkansas and keep our food dollars in Arkansas’ economy, bettering the lives of small-scale farmers and consumers alike.

2016 Season Details
Full Season Share
16 weeks (May-August)
$440 ($27.50 per week) + tax

Half Season Share
8 weeks (May-June or July-August)
$240 ($30 per week) + tax

Each share contains 6-10 pounds of fresh, seasonal produce with an average of 7-9 items. We recommend one share to supplement the diets of 2-3 vegetable eaters or for an individual who wants to share with friends and family.

Share contents depend on what’s in season and harvested each week, but we will provide a tentative list the week of each pick-up. In addition, you’ll receive a weekly newsletter with recipes, storage tips, and information about the farms your produce is coming from.

Meat Share Add-Ons
Shareholders also have the option to add on a share of pasture-raised, non-GMO meat from Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative. Meat shares will be delivered once a month to your regular CSA pick-up location. Choose between the Whole Farm Share (pasture-raised chicken, grass-fed beef, and forested pork) for $100 or the Cackle Pack (pasture-raised chicken) for $90.

Pick-Up Locations
Deliveries begin May 4-6 and go through August 17-19.

Little Rock
Arkansas Children’s Hospital* (Thursday 4-6 p.m.)
Baptist Health* (Thursday 4-6 p.m.)
Baptist Health* NLR Campus (Friday 4-6 p.m.)
Heifer International* (Thursday 4-6 p.m.)
Unitarian Universalist Church (Friday 4-6 p.m.)

Conway – The Locals Food Hub (Wednesday 4-6 p.m.)

Bryant – Natural Things Food Store (Wednesday 4-6 p.m.)

Fort Smith
Mercy Hospital* (Wednesday 11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
ArcBest Corporation (ArcBest employees only)

Payment Methods
E-check (upfront or in installments)
Credit/Debit card (upfront or in installments)
*Payroll deduction for eligible employees at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Baptist Health, Heifer International, and Mercy Hospital (Fort Smith)

Sign up for a Foodshed Farms CSA share at www.foodshedfarms.com

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Jan 29, 2016

Lulu's Latin on Bowman Curve

My husband and I finally made it to Lulu's Latin Rotisserie and Grill a few weeks ago.  It is delicious!  I hope you will make time to support a local restaurant with real food.  

You can eat in or carry out.

We shared a 1/2 a rotisserie chicken that comes with 3 different - wonderful - sauces.  For our sides, we chose sautéed veggies and a small bowl of beans and rice (for $10.50).  My husband got a small side salad that came with feta, avocado, and house made dressing (for $4).  Yes, we ate dinner for under $20!

Check them out!

Lulu's Latin Rotisserie & Grill
315 N. Bowman Rd.
Little Rock, AR 72211
(501) 228-5564

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Jan 25, 2016

Have You Been to Natural Grocers Yet?

Have you been to Natural Grocers yet?  I love the store!

One of the things I love most about the store is their commitment to education.  When you check out, they have a flier of all the class offerings.  Natural Grocers has an incentive program going now that if you go to 4 classes, they will give you a $10 gift card to the store.  WHO does that?!  I think this speaks volumes of the company's philosophy.

I have heard all of the upcoming speakers and will recommend their FREE classes.  They're first come, first served.

Tuesday, Jan. 26 noon-1:30pm Dr. Traci Kieran, DC will dive into the dangers of sugar, GMOs and processed foods.  Our bodies are designed to run and thrive off of whole and nutrient-dense foods.  However, our culture has accepted an "overfed and undernourished" trend that is leading to a drastic increase in metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases and heart disease.

Thursday, Jan. 28 6:30-8pm Julie Majors (yours truly) I'll be talking about the power of probiotics. Did you know that 90% of the cells in your body are bacteria?  Eating fermented, probiotic-rich foods keeps these bacteria & YOU healthy.  Join us as we sample and learn about these living foods.

Saturday, Jan. 30 11am-12:30pm Caroline Cheong Learn easy, sweet and savory grain-free recipes that will allow you to take gluten free to the next level.

Last Saturday I went to a fermentation workshop at Natural Grocers by Cat and John Swenson. Wow.  It was excellent!  She knows so much about the subject, I want her to come back to Little Rock and teach again!  Cat and her husband, John, live in NW Arkansas and are Chapter Leaders for the Weston A. Price Foundation there.
They also are the proprietors of Great Fermentations, an Arkansan company dedicated to filling your gut with beneficial bacteria.  In the picture above, you can see two different flavors of the cultured veggies that are offered at Natural Grocers.

Along the same vein of education, the store provides a Nutritional Health Coach (NHC).  Angeline is the NHC for the Little Rock store.  She will meet with you for 30 or 60 minutes (FREE!) and give you tailored food and supplement information for your lifestyle.  I talked with Angeline on Saturday and she is a fan of Nourishing Traditions, which immediately put her on the top of my list. :)

Another thing I love about the store is their commitment to pastured based (grass-fed) dairy.  You will find non-homogenized milk there, as well as pasteurized cream - not ultra-pasteurized...read about the differences here.  If you are paying more for organic milk, PLEASE check that it is only pasteurized.

If you haven't checked out the store, I hope you will stop in soon.  I would love to see you at the free probiotics workshop THIS Thursday, Jan. 28 6:30-8pm.

- Julie
PS - just a reminder: I do not make money from this blog.  The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.  

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Jan 22, 2016

Reasons Why I Drink Kombucha

Click here to sign up for a kombucha class!

What is kombucha (pronounced: com BOO cha) and why should one drink it?
1.  Kombucha is a probiotic drink made from sweet black tea that has been fermented to proliferate the creation of beneficial bacteria.  These beneficial bacteria fight the bad bugs and can keep you from catching colds, flus and whatever junk is being passed around.

2.  There are enzymes in it that help break down and digest food for optimal nutrition absorption.   With each trip around the sun, our bodies are slowing down.  As we age, the body needs more enzymes for proper digestion.  Enzymes, taken with a meal, prevent gas and bloating (hope that's not too much information for the under 30 crowd!)

3.  It contains glucuronic acid, which is also produced by your liver for neutralizing or binding with toxins so they can be flushed from the body.  Everyday we are bombarded by chemicals.  I don't want those toxins to remain in my body.

4.  Best of all, kombucha tastes delicious and refreshing on a hot day.  Your body absorbs mineral ions (electrolytes) from it faster and retains them longer than plain water.

My favorite story to tell about kombucha is from a sidebar on page 587 in Nourishing Traditions.  Russian scientists, post World War II, were trying to understand why some cities were having large outbreaks of cancer while others did not.  All the cities had this in common: toxin exposure from lead, mercury and asbestos mining, etc.  These scientists were stumped until one hot summer day they knocked on the door of a babushka, an elderly woman.  She invited them in for a drink of kombucha. The scientists enjoyed the drink then asked if everyone in (this cancer free) town made and drank this drink.  Why, yes they did.

People often ask how much our family drinks.  The answer?  It depends on the supply.  They will drink as much as I would allow, especially on hot days.

You don't have to make kombucha to enjoy it.  Many grocery stores including Kroger, sell kombucha in 16oz bottles for about $3.  Like most things, it can be made in your own kitchen for much less!  And, if I could be so brazen to brag -- mine tastes better than store bought.

Want to learn more?  Come to a kombucha class on Thursday, February 4 at 6:30pm.  Details here.


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