Nov 21, 2016

If you're buying sugar, here's a health tip

What's more fitting to follow up the post on nutrient dense breakfast ideas than to give you a tip on sugar? LOL.

It's holiday season and many memories revolve around sugar.  So if you're going to buy sugar here's a tip: look for the words "cane sugar" on the package.

One of my friends who loves baking cakes actually clued me into the fact that not all white sugar is created equal.  If you talk to anyone who is serious about baking, they will probably tell you the same.

What's the difference?
White sugar can be made from sugar cane or sugar beets (not the same as the red beets some people pickle).  Interesting to note, the popularity of sugar beets increased after the civil war because slave labor was used in the production of cane sugar.  Abolitionists helped fund the research to increase the efficiency of sugar beets for white sugar (Wikipedia).

Bakers choose cane sugar because of the chemical properties and its performance.  I choose cane sugar because it is not a genetically modified organism, or GMO.

In 2011, 95% of all beet sugar produced in the US was from GMO sugar beets.  So, if you're buying sugar and you don't see the words cane sugar, you are adding GMOs to your body.

Genetically modified organisms are sprayed with a chemical called glyphosate (or commonly known as Monsanto's Round-up) to control weeds. This glyphosate is toxic and wreaks havoc on the gut and is terrible for your health.

So if you're not in the habit of purchasing organic sugar (which by definition will not be made from GMOs), please look for the words cane sugar.  Your body will thank you.

Cheering you towards baby steps of better health,
Julie

If you're wondering what other GMOs you could be consuming, here's a list of the top 10.

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Nov 16, 2016

Nutrient Dense Breakfast Ideas

No doubt, you've heard that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day."  Breaking the fast in the morning helps to jump start our metabolism.  We can agree that we need to eat something.  But what?
Photo take at the recent Wise Traditions conference by the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Eggs are nutrient dense and an inexpensive source of protein and good fat.  We can enjoy them in many forms and usually without much prep time.  How does your family prefer them? Boiled, scrambled, over-easy, fried, in a quiche (or quiche bites).  Eggs alone are not usually a fav in my house so I try to add diversity the plate: bacon or sausage is always a winner and my people love oven fried potatoes.  They don't take much prep time but you do have to allow for time in the oven.

Here are some ideas that have already been posted on the blog:


Breakfast Cookies (Brookies)
Breakfast Cookies (gluten, dairy, & egg free, no added sugar)
(Christmas) Brunch Casserole
Granola
Granola Bar Cookies
Oatmeal Bake
Whole Wheat Muffins (soaked)

It seems that we make smoothies more in the summer than winter.  I suppose we want to eat something warm in winter.  People often ask what ingredients I use for smoothies.  It depends on what's in my fridge or pantry.  Usually we start with a base of dairy kefir (or yogurt), add frozen fruit (almost always bananas because they're sweet and cheap).  From here, it just depends on the person: nut butter, raw pastured egg yolk, coconut oil or cream, good quality whey protein or sprouted pea protein.  The most important thing with a smoothie is do not skimp on the fat.  Fat will help stabilize your blood sugar and help you feel full longer.

We eat more cheese grits in winter.  Granted the grits are not traditionally prepared, the corn hasn't been soaked or sprouted.  But man, I'm a southerner and love me some cheese grits.  You can even make a casserole so it includes eggs.

Truthfully, breakfast is not my favorite meal.  I'm not usually hungry until about 10am. My preference is to make something in advance so we can eat something nutritious without much fuss.

New ideas that I've been using lately:

Coconut Flour Blueberry Banana Breakfast Bar (GAPS and Paleo) -  It uses 7 eggs! I'd all but given up on liking coconut flour.  This is the first recipe I have tried and liked.  After making it the first time, I am now using chocolate chips (for the kids).   As with any gluten-free recipe, follow the directions exactly for best results. If your bananas are very ripe you do not need any honey.  This recipe is yummy warm or cold.  **I enjoy this blogger - mom of young children, eats GAPS, has classes/videos.  I used her e-book to help with our intro to the GAPS diet.**

Emily's Warm Chia Pudding (can use alternative milks) - I like this recipe for its convenience and speed; easy to eat in a mason jar during your commute.  If you're used to sweet things for breakfast, you'll want to add some sugar.  Bananas and/or dried fruit is enough for me.  Chia seeds are amazing and nutritious seeds.  Wellness Mama has a blended variation and detailed info on chia.  You can even sneak in a raw pastured egg yolk for more nutrition. Sometimes I send blended chia chocolate pudding in lunches.

Dutch Baby - It's basically a giant magical pancake in a cast iron skillet.  You can google for a recipe.  My people like this one with apples on the bottom.  I love that it calls for so many eggs.

I'm always game for new ideas.  What have you been making lately?  What can you add to this list?  Please share!

Julie

PS - Recently I posted a list inside my cabinet door of everything we like to eat:  breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, veggies, etc.  This helps immeasurably with menu planning!



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Sep 11, 2016

Grass Roots Co-Op (Healthy Meat Shipped to Your Door)

Full disclosure -- Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative gave me samples of some of their products and asked that I write about them if I liked them.  Truth be told, I would have written this same post without the yummy meat.  I've participated in FarmShares for several years and wholeheartedly recommend them.  I love the quality of food and supporting the small farmer.

Grass Roots Co-op has a special-deal-membership drive going on now until the end of September.  In addition, members get an additional 20% off a la carte items.

Grass Roots ships everywhere in Arkansas and other states as well.  Tell your good food lovin' people in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, North & South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Let me tell you about the meat they gave me then I'll tell you more about the Co-op.

Ground Beef - Sometimes grass-finished beef can taste "gamey" or like wild game because it doesn't have enough fat to bring the flava. The ground beef was VERY good. I took this to a dinner party in the form of HBs cheese dip and everyone raved.

Deli Ham - Wow.  It is good.  And no nasty preservatives.

Brats - Amazing, especially the lime-mesquite flavored ones.

Ground Turkey - is on the menu this week in the form of lettuce wraps.

From this sampling, I wholeheartedly give my approval of Grass Roots Co-op.

What are the benefits of a co-op?

Farming is hard work.  Non-stop, jack-of-all-trades kind of work.  When farmers band together to form a co-op, they can focus more on growing healthy meat while someone else tends to administrative and marketing details.

For the consumer, when buying from a co-op, we get a stable meat source.  Usually all cuts are available year 'round since there are multiple farmers to fill in the gaps in the event of a problem that would inhibit the farmer from delivering, like predators or herd illness.  And the marketing and accounting are very pretty.  (I've worked with a few farmers over the years who very much stink in the area of accounting and sadly, some are no longer farming.)

In the previous post, I recommended that if you were buying direct from a farmer you should ask questions about their practices.  When I tell some people this advice they totally freeze.  The thought of talking to a stranger at the farmers' market about a subject that is less than familiar totally wigs them out.  When you buy from Grass Roots, they have done your homework!  They have vetted the farmers for you.  Before the formation of Grass Roots, I purchased from at least two of the farmers.  Read here about the husbandry standards of the farmers in the co-op.  Most notably, I'm quite impressed that Grass Roots prohibits GMOs.

The downside of working with a co-op is that you don't always know which farm(er) your meat is coming from.  However, as stated above, the co-op makes sure the farmers are practicing with high standards so the consumer can can feel good about every piece of meat.

One thing I love about Grass Roots is how easy it is to get meat from them.  They ship their products directly to your door.  Shipping is free when you become a member or when you purchase at least $75.  It arrives frozen in a cooler on dry ice, delivered by FedEx, and you don't have to stop what you're doing - or remember - to drive across town to meet someone for your meat.  Because it is frozen you don't have to eat it right away.

What does membership include?

The Whole Farm Membership Monthly Box includes: a whole pasture-raised chicken, 2lbs grass-fed ground beef, a package of brats, & 2 lbs of forest-raised mild ground sausage.

The Chicken and Pork Box includes: a whole pasture-raised chicken, 2 lbs of forest-raised ground sausage & 2 linked sausages.

The Chicken and Beef Box includes: a whole pasture-raised chicken, 4lbs grass-fed ground beef

The Chicken Box includes: a whole pasture-raised chicken, a package of breasts (2pieces), a package of 4-6 drumsticks, a package of 5-6 wings and a package of 4-5 thighs.

If the box isn't enough for your family for the month, or if you have a special event, you can always add pieces a la cart with 20% off the retail prices.

Mouth watering yet?

Go here and sign up.

Julie

Related: The Healthiest Meat
Why is the Farmers' Market More Expensive?
Why Pay More for Grass-Fed Meat?

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Sep 9, 2016

The Healthiest Meat

When it comes to buying meat for your family, there are several options.  Not all meat is created equal.  Once I saw The Dollar Tree boast of a $1 steak.  Ewwww.

People sometimes ask me, "Where should I start on my real food journey?"  Buying healthier meat can be an easy transition to a healthier lifestyle.  Most of your family members won't even know (unless they're used to eating lots of processed meat like hotdogs and bologna).  However, locally grown meat comes at a price just a bit more than $1 steak.  Yesterday Tara explained that you can't really compare the nutrition of grocery store food and that from small farms who are intentional.  Katie has shared before some tips for eating less meat which helps us stay within the budget.

So what's the healthiest meat?

The absolute healthiest meat would be that you have raised yourself on plenty of pasture and know everything about the animal.  Granted 99.9% of us aren't farmers so we look for other sources.

Next healthiest option is to buy directly from a farmer.  Get to know your farmers and ask them questions about their treatment of animals.  Not all farmers are as intentional as our dreams so be sure to ask questions like: What do the animals eat?  (The answer should be mostly grass.)  How much time do they spend on grass?  How large is the farm? How much grain are they given? GMOs?  What about the water source?  Are animals rotated to new pastures?  How many animals does the farmer process annually?
photos used by permission from Bryan Clifton & Grass Roots Co-Op
You can do your own research on why grass-based meat is healthier.  Please don't blindly take my word for it.  If we were to talk across the dinner table, these are some of my reasons for spending more to make grass-based meat a priority in our grocery budget:

Animals raised primarily on grass are healthier to eat because when given too many grains, it changes the omega 3 and omega 6 ratios in the fat.  Translated to humans, too much omega 6 causes inflammation -- which is the root of all disease.

Grass finished animals have more conjugated linoleic  acid (CLA) which is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that some believe fights cancer.  You'll also find high amounts of CLA in grass based milk products as evidenced by very yellow butter.

photos used by permission from Bryan Clifton & Grass Roots Co-Op
Cows that are finished in a feed lot (most grocery store beef) would die within 6 months because they are given exclusively grain.   My dad raised cattle; on pasture cows can live for YEARS if given proper living conditions.  Feed lot animals are finished in deplorable and cramped living conditions.    If you've ever driven past one of these sad feed lots (eastern Colorado, as well as in Texas and Kansas), you will want to plug your nose...for miles. Cows are meant to have plenty of room to roam, eat grass, and not exclusively grain fed.
photos used by permission from Bryan Clifton & Grass Roots Co-Op
Chickens that have access to grass will also be healthier.  The ones that lay eggs will have deeply golden yolks - orange if they're on fast growing green grass.  Chickens are actually omnivores and enjoy eating a variety of high protein bugs and other critters.  Most chicken you buy in the grocery store has never seen the natural light of day and has been given routine antibiotics, whether they need it or not. This translates to antibiotics in your body and can create an antibiotic immunity in humans.  Conventionally raised birds are fed exclusively a "vegetarian diet" aka grain.
photos used by permission from Bryan Clifton & Grass Roots Co-Op
Pigs - oh my pigs.  Admittedly, I'm a food snob.  If you invite me to your house and serve pork from Wal-Mart I will be polite and eat it.  As for feeding my family, I try very hard to only serve them pork from farmers I know and trust.  Pigs that have had exposure to sunlight will have high amounts of vitamin D which helps my body in so many ways.   I know too much about the nastiness of pigs, the conventional growing methods (LOTS of antibiotics) to consistently feed grocery store pork to my family.  If I can't afford pork from a local farmer, we just don't eat it.

Local meat farmers that I've trusted to feed my family include:

 - FarmGirl (whose meat share opens September 15),
 - Way to Grow (budding new family farm, processing chickens this weekend and next)
 - as well as other small farmers that have recently joined a co-op.

My third choice when choosing meat would be from a co-op like Grass Roots Farmers CoOperative.  Monday, I will write more about Grass Roots but I want to encourage you to check out their site now.  They have a special deal until the end of September and they deliver straight to your door, no shipping costs.

Forth choice would be to find a hunter or angler to share their wild bounty with you! Maybe I should move this choice closer to the top of the list.  My parents, whose garden is regularly destroyed by deer, would probably put venison at the top of this list.

Fifth choice would be grocery store meat.  Some grocery stores will carry meat that has been marked "no-antibiotics." Natural Grocers and Whole Foods are safer places to buy meat.  You cannot buy meat from either store that has been fed antibiotics.  Kroger's Simple Truth brand doesn't always have antibiotics (but please always look closely at the packaging...not all Simple Truth is antibiotic-free.)  The down-side of grocery store meat is that you know nothing about the farmer's standards or the animals living conditions.

As far as I know, it is a federal law that animals raised for meat cannot be given growth hormones.  Some dairy cows are given growth hormones to promote lactation.  Unless your dairy is organic or labeled rBST-free, there is a good chance that it is tainted with growth hormones.

When it comes to food, we have many choices.  Educate yourself.  We vote 3 times a day with our fork.

Yours for nutritionally dense food on the table,
Julie

Related: Why pay more for grass based meat?


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Sep 8, 2016

Why Is The Farmers' Market More Expensive?

Tara Stainton of Rattle's Garden copied me when she responded to someone asking about the market value of her FarmShare.  I thought it was worded so well that more people could benefit from reading it.  I've bolded the parts that I wanna AMEN.

I'm going to write you a short answer and then a long answer in case you are still reading.  ;)  Admittedly, I don't buy many vegetables from the grocery store and don't pay much attention to grocery store prices, and I've never shopped at Natural Grocers.  But I would assume that if price is a big concern that you would be happier buying food from the grocery store. That is not meant to be snarky just a really honest answer.  I've found over the years that people who are comparing this program with what they spend in a grocery store don't end up coming back a second season.  I have a hard time comparing the two because you just aren't comparing apples to apples.

That is my short answer.

Now, my long answer, in the event that you don't have a two year old tugging at your pant leg while reading this.  :)

When I say it's not comparing apples to apples, I mean several different things.  Most importantly though, when you go to the grocery store you buy exactly what you want. In the quantity that you want.  In our program you won't know what you are getting until I send out the newsletter at the beginning of the week and you won't know quantities until you get your box because I don't always know the quantity until we harvest the food that morning.  There will be staples you probably will still need to get from the grocery store.  I still buy sweet potatoes.  We eat very seasonally but if you are used to a grocery store you may want tomatoes every week, we won't have them in the fall farmshare.  Right now I would say green beans are going to be a bumper crop this year.  You may get three pounds of green beans one week, like it or not.  You may get five pounds of squash.  (likely)  So, whether this program is of value to you depends on how well your family does at utilizing excess and if you normally would purchase the vegetables listed on the fall plan.

The second thing I mean has to do with organic.  If you are already buying from Natural Grocers I'm going to assume that buying organic is important to you.  Organic is super important to me.  Our farm is certified organic.  With that said, I have learned over the years that our standards are higher than organic.  Many people, mistakenly, assume that organic means pesticide free.  It does not.  Biological pest controls are allowed in organic production as long as they  are derived from a natural source (plants) rather than synthetic.  I feel without a doubt that these pest controls are safer than conventional pesticides but they are still a form of pesticide.  I was really proud this summer of the fact that we did not spray a single pest control on the edible portion of a single vegetable that left the farm.  My children work with me in our fields, we do everything we can to avoid spraying anything.  Organic grocery store vegetables are coming from large organic farms.  Without a doubt, these farms are using every available option in their arsenol to get that crop from their field to the grocery store.  They have to, they are contracted to get that food there.  They cannot afford to lose it.  Our farmshare allows us to connect with customers who appreciate that they can trust how we grow our food.  We are very transparent about our processes.  All of this to me means that our food cannot be easily compared to grocery store food.  They aren't the same product.  

Finally, our Farmshare is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in the truest meaning of the word.  We share the bounty and the loss.  We've been extremely fortunate over four years to have had only minor loss, meaning that while we may lose a few crops every season, we are always able to make it up with crops that flourish.  Of course, this is only of value to you if you have the means to do something with the excess.  The number one reason I hear for people not returning to the Farmshare is that they don't know what to do with all of the food.  Because of this we try to be careful not to overwhelm. I walk a fine line.  This summer we made a change in the pickup in that rather than pre-pack the bags of food, we set everything out in crates with quantities written on the crate and let people pick their food.  Things like cucumbers and squash had "As much as you want" written on them most of the summer.  That way if you had the means to use it you could take it but if you didn't, I wasn't overwhelming you.  Due to the way the pickup works this fall where we have to send bags pre-filled to Julie's house, you will have to take what we send.  I try to find a happy medium for everyone.  When we have excess we'll try to send it.  I can see already that due to the cabbage worms that took our first round of seedlings, the cabbage and broccoli will be late again this year.  Like last year, we'll send it when it's ready.

Ok, so there I go talking someone's ear off again.  I hope this helps.  We'd love to have you if you want to try it out.  I've attached the membership agreement.   Otherwise, maybe we'll see you next spring at the Hillcrest farmers market where we set up every Saturday from March until at least September.  Have a great day. -- Tara

Related: Why pay more for eggs? 

Tara's FarmShare delivery starts Monday in Little Rock, and there are a couple more openings.  Contact Tara ASAP if you want in on her fresh, yummy, nutrient dense veggies.

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Aug 28, 2016

A Tip for Eating More Veggies


Ever wanted your family to eat more vegetables?  Sign up for a fall FarmShare.  Without a doubt, my family eats more veggies when I'm getting weekly veggies from a local farmer.  Rattle's Garden will be starting their FarmShare in a couple weeks.  You can pick up in Vilonia ($150) or Little Rock ($165).

I can't remember when I started getting a FarmShare with Tara, but I've been nothing but pleased for years.  There is a difference between grocery store veggies and fresh from the field veggies.  Most notably you will notice the vibrant colors in local, organic veggies but also they stay fresh longer.

The following is from Rattle's Garden website.
 

What is Farmshare?
Our Farmshare is the foundation of how we sell vegetables from our farm. It is a subscription agreement in which a family buys a share of what our farm produces during the heart of our growing season. Twice a year we open this up to families wishing to join our farm community and enjoy really delicious organic food.

Why a Farmshare?
For us, it truly is about community. While we are grateful to be part of a large local food movement through the Little Rock markets we also want to share our vegetables and flowers with our rural neighbors. The commitment our Farmshare customers make by forming this membership allows us to do this.


For you, we hope it is because you too want to be part of our community. We hope that it is because you want to know where your food is coming from, who is growing it and how it is being grown. We know that it is because you want the freshest, healthiest, tastiest vegetables available to you.

What is our Agreement?
By becoming a member you agree to take the time to stop by our farm or the Little Rock pick-up point at the designated times for six weeks to receive a basket of organic vegetables we have grown and harvested at the peak of maturity to be enjoyed by your family. In return, we agree to work our tails off growing you a variety of organic, fresh vegetables that have been selected based simply on how fantastic they taste.

What scrumptious vegetables are being grown at Rattle’s Garden?
This is the second year we will be offering a fall Farmshare. While we have been selling vegetables at market since 2008, this is our fourth year growing a fall garden. We’ve learned a lot about growing in the fall over the last three seasons and I’m finally confident enough to offer this program but I do want everyone to go into this with their eyes open and know that we are going to do our best to put together great baskets this fall but we are always at the mercy of Mother Nature. Our crop plan for the fall includes four different varieties of summer squash, green beans, purple hull peas, cabbage, broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, radishes, red and yellow beets and carrots as well as the remaining sweet peppers from the summer.

When will this subscription begin?
As with all farming, we are dependent on Mother Nature. We hope to start the Farmshare the third week in September and run for 6 consecutive weeks. If our fall temps are moderate it’s possible we will start a week earlier, it’s more likely though that we would start a week late due to extremely warm temps during August.

What are the pick-up days/times?
The Little Rock pick-up will happen at the home of Julie Majors on Monday afternoons from 4-6 pm. The address is 1600 Tarrytown, Little Rock, 72227.

The farm pick-up will happen on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-6pm and will be held market style as it was most of this summer (you pick your produce from crates). We will offer a Thursday morning pick-up from 9-11 am on the farm for anyone who cannot make Wednesday afternoons but this pick-up will have the produce bagged ahead of time since the logistics of school are a little more difficult for us this year. I would encourage you to pick up on Wednesday afternoons if at all possible.

What if your family needs to miss a pick-up?
During the summer we offer a make-up week at the end of the season for anyone to use in case they need to miss a week. With the fall season lasting only six weeks and because it will be pushing right up into cold weather, we will not have a make-up week for this season. If you have to miss a week, we ask you to make other arrangements to have your food picked up for you. If this isn’t possible, we ask that you give us a head’s up and we can make sure your basket goes to a needy family in the area through the Spirit of Vilonia Ministries.

Do you get to pick what you want in your basket?
Not exactly…we’ll divide each week’s produce up evenly between the baskets to make sure everyone gets variety and the full value of their basket. As members you will also be given the first opportunity to purchase large amounts of successful crops outside of the Farmshare season at wholesale prices for you to freeze or preserve by canning. If freezing or canning is new to you, we can help!

What about all of those chickens in our front yard??
In the summer we have an Eggshare option to the Farmshare program. In the fall however, chickens molt and when chickens molt they stop laying eggs making the number of eggs we have available less consistent. We won’t have an Eggshare option this fall but we should still have plenty of eggs available on request. Our eggs sell for $5 a dozen and they are beautiful and taste fantastic. If you are interested in eggs simply ask when you pick up your food or send me a text to have them included in your basket. If you pick up in LR and know that you want eggs every week, send me an email and we will work something out in advance of the start of the program.

Communication…
One key to the success of our program is always communication! Occasionally I have tech problems with the farm’s Facebook page but I try to keep it up to date! I will send out a short weekly newsletter to your email address letting you know what you can expect in your basket each week. This newsletter will start coming out the first week in September to let you know how the growing season is going and when we plan to start the pick-ups. We also want to hear from you…keep us posted on which veggies you love and let us know if something isn’t working for you. We can be reached by text at 501-941-0331 or by email at rattlesgarden@yahoo.com.

How do I become a Member?
So, you are ready for the yumminess. Good.

Simply email rattlesgarden@yahoo.com for the membership agreement and mail it to us with your full payment of $150 (farm pick-up) or $165 (Little Rock pick-up).

If after August 30, please call (501-941-0331) or email (rattlesgarden@yahoo.com) to check on availability before mailing payment. 

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Aug 5, 2016

Healing the Body Naturally

The following showed up in a private group I follow on Facebook for people who want to heal their bodies naturally.  I asked the author for permission to post here.

+++++
Sometimes nothing is better than something. Did you ever think about that? When we get sick we always want to DO something...and that is a natural response. We are fixers. (Ah, yes, just ask your husband if you are a fixer??!!) 
So yesterday this gal texts me that she is coughing up green stuff. I cheered! This is so great! She said "This is what I used to run to the doctor for." 
I hope her doctor also cheers and says "keep coughing." He may not. Why would you want to stop that from coming out? 
In another instance a woman had a sick baby with a high fever. Should she give tylenol?
She chose to nurture the child, hold her close, keep her hydrated, give baths -- and not medicate. The child came out of the fever and has had a beautiful and amazing growth spurt. What would tylenol have done? It would have short circuited the system and not allowed the body to work out the problem or it could have lengthened the time it took to get the issue resolved. 
People sometimes say, "How long should I cough; how long should I let a fever go; how high should the temp. go?" 
I ask, "How do I know what the body needs to do or high it needs to be to resolve the issue? Are there risks?" Yes, it would be foolish to say there are never risks. Life is about risks. You want to minimize them. There are safe things you can do to assist the body. Learn about them. 
There are baths, cool cloths, herbs, rest, liquids, oils, and all kinds of possibilities. But sometimes there really isn't too much or just a little of something goes a long way. 
And then there is patience....
++++++

Please educate yourself on natural remedies!  Sometimes when I am sick and it is impossible to think about what I should do, I text natural minded friends.  I tell them my symptoms and ask them to help me remember what I should do.  And then there is always Google.
Julie

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Aug 3, 2016

This Post Contains Controversial Information

Besides politics and religion, I can think of few other topics quite as divisive as vaccinations.

When pregnant with my first son, a naturally minded acquaintance implored me not to vaccinate.  This was the time of dial-up internet and I was too lazy to go to the library to search for myself.  In the end, I decided to vaccinate and we have had no ill-effects from the shots.

When my son turned two, we were living in Phoenix, Arizona where many of my friends were naturally minded and I was learning so much about healthy living.  I began to do more research.  The more I researched, the more uneasy I felt about vaccines.  We stopped vaccinating him at 2 years old.

My daughter was born 5 years after my son.  At this point I had read enough to feel strongly against vaccines.  We also have a younger son and have not vaccinated him.   Here are some of my reasons not to vaccinate.

On this journey I have had many controversial conversations.

If you haven't thought the least bit about vaccines, maybe you could start by watching a movie.

There's a new movie that shares the details of how former researcher with Center for Disease Control (CDC) and now whistle-blower, Dr. William Thompson, destroyed and omitted important information regarding autism links and the MMR vaccine.  The movie is called Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe.  Below is the trailer or you can watch it here.



You can see the movie in North Little Rock next Monday at 7:30pm.  Buy tickets on line here.  I dare you to go.  And beg your pediatrician to meet you there.

Consider what you learn then learn some more.

Another movie that exposed life changing damages from vaccines is called The Greater Good.  I saw it a couple years ago at Wise Traditions, the Weston A. Price national conference.  You can't watch the documentary and think the same about vaccines.

Educate before you vaccinate.
Vaccines are not mandatory though you may feel bullied.
Vaccines and the AutismOne Conference

Julie

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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!
Julie

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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
source

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,

Lisa

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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!
Julie

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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.

WOW!

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.

Enjoy!
- 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

 GET PICKLED WITH CAT (LITTLE ROCK!!)
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
cat@greatfermentations.net
479-200-1908



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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!

--Julie
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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)
Check
*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.

Julie

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Jan 17, 2016

What to Expect from Natural Grocers

Here are some of what you can expect from Little Rock's newest health food store when it opens this Tuesday, January 19 at 8am:

Highest quality organic and natural groceries, dietary supplements and body care products
EDAP – Every Day Affordable Price®
Locally sourced products as well as national brands
Free science-based nutrition classes, health coaching, cooking demos
No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and harmful trans-fats
100 percent USDA Certified Organic produce
Strict Meat Standards – raised without antibiotics, growth promoters or feed containing animal by-products
Pasture-Based Dairy Standard – Dairy products that come exclusively from confinement-free dairies
Bag-free checkouts and commitment to sustainability (I love that they use BPA-free cash register tape!)
A Nutritional Health Coach (NHC) in every store
Support for local community organizations

Family-run Natural Grocers was built on the premise that consumers should have access to affordable, high-quality foods and dietary supplements, along with nutrition knowledge to help support their own health. The company operates 107 stores in 18 states.  There's already a store operating in Fayetteville.  Founded in Colorado in 1955, the company celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015.

Be sure to snoop around on their website.  I love that the company desires to educate people about good food.  One of the articles I read that was spot on was this one about choosing the best fats and oils.  This one was about healthy on-the-go snacks, complete with recipe links when needed.  If you have allergies, or are avoiding certain foods, be sure to check out this page with a GREAT list for substitutions.

Remember, if you're one of the first 60 people at the opening, you will receive a gift card for up to $100.

-Julie

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Jan 7, 2016

Culinary Classes on Fermentation at Pulaski Tech



Did you know that Pulaski Tech offers lifelong learning classes?  I have only recently become aware of them and am excited to share them with you!

Just take a look at the many things you can learn.  A friend told me that she took a class on planning for retirement and is sure that she saved their family $50,000!

I will be teaching two classes on fermentation in February.  The first one is on kombucha, the popular probiotic and detoxifying drink.  The second class is on culturing vegetables and we will make sauerkraut in class for you to take home.

For clarification, Pulaski Tech has a few campuses.  The one in North Little Rock hosts many classrooms and administrative offices.  There's another campus near Saline County that sits just off of I-30 which is the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute.
That's the one I want to show you around. It's quite impressive.  The camera phone pictures won't do justice so please sign up for a culinary class and go see for yourself.

Would ya look at that teaching kitchen?! Complete with gas ranges and mega vent hoods!

And here's a peek of the bakery classroom.
I was very impressed with the facilities.  Especially when I saw the placard to this classroom.  
As you can see from the electronic fobs on the wall, the entire facility is state of the art.  Truly a piece of art in itself.  A hidden treasure in the Natural State, I think.

If you haven't already clicked over to look at the offering of culinary classes, I am teaching two classes in February.  The first is on Thursday, February 4 at 6:30pm.  I am teaching a class on kombucha making.  

The second class, the following Thursday, is about cultured vegetables and we will make sauerkraut in class.  Everyone goes home with a jar of 'kraut AND the knowledge + power to make it at home!

Class size is limited for both classes so sign up, today.

Julie

PS - One more little secret: you can go to the PTC Culinary Institute for a fancy lunch or dinner for a suggested donation of only $15.  Reservations are a must.  Details here.

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