Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Here’s What I’m Making Today: Bone Broth, Yogurt, Kefir, and More.

by Kristen Suzanne in fermented, Kristen Suzanne, raspberry leaf, soup
Making bone broth old-school in a stock pot. Smells so good.

Making bone broth old-school in a stock pot. Smells so good.

I am busy in the kitchen and making a number of wonderful things*. Here’s what I’m up to…

1) I made a big batch of homemade chicken bone broth, pictured above.

I made it old-school in a stock pot, but I teach you many ways to make bone broth in this popular post here. Today’s batch had tons of pasture-raised poultry bones, onions, carrots, leeks, star anise, kombu, black peppercorns, and astragalus root. It smells divine, warm, homey, and makes me proud.

2) I made a fresh batch of kefir using Body Ecology kefir starter.

Body Ecology Kefir Starter - It Works!

Body Ecology Kefir Starter – It Works!

Soon I’ll use a kefir culture that starts with traditional milk kefir grains, where I transfer the kefir to a new batch indefinitely and no longer need a starter packet. Here’s information about my kefir making experience.

3) I made yogurt, too!

Making yogurt is one of the best things I started doing. It tastes amazing, it saves money from buying it all the time, and, well, it’s homemade! I showed you a bit about making yogurt here. Check it out and start easily making your own, too. Build up a strong body with probiotic-rich foods like kefir, yogurt, and cultured veggies.

4) I mixed a huge bowl of loose herbs for making tea over the next month.

This time I included organic herbs like: red raspberry leaf (I buy that here), lavender, rose petals (deliciously delicate in a tea blend), oat straw, hops, and peppermint.

5) I’m also trying to grow herbs so I have a ready supply of fresh ones for cooking.

Growing culinary herbs for making the best meals ever.

Growing culinary herbs for making the best meals ever.

I worked on repotting some of those today as I haven’t grown from seed yet so don’t get excited about my mint.

Currently, I have mint, basil, rosemary, and oregano. I have no idea what I’m doing.

But, I do know this… fresh herbs will elevate your cooking like nothing else. In fact, if you’re making foods from packaged and prepared containers, add a handful of fresh herbs to increase the nutrition and flavor.

That’s about it so far.

*Disclaimer: I was able to effortlessly get this all done because my five year old daughter is at my mom’s house.

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Monday, March 28th, 2016

Chop Wood. Carry Water. Make Yogurt. Make Butter.

Beautiful homemade yogurt in this smoothie. #ChopWoodCarryWater

Beautiful homemade yogurt in this smoothie. #ChopWoodCarryWater

You’ve seen that I make my own kefir now.

And, you know that just because I drink kefir doesn’t mean I don’t still eat yogurt. I want them both in my diet because they benefit my body in different ways. Who knew that?

Naturally, I was inspired to make my own yogurt.

It feels good to actually make ingredients. I’m not talking about making recipes… I’m talking about making the ingredients for the recipes.

They’re different.

I think it’s quite beautiful when making my own ingredients whether it’s growing my own herbs or vegetables, harvesting citrus from my mom’s citrus orchard, making my own kefir and yogurt, and even making my own butter.

Making my own grass-fed butter. #BadAss

Making my own grass-fed butter. #BadAss

Yes. I’m even making butter.

Read More »

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Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Using a Timer Changed My Meditation Practice

by Kristen Suzanne in Meditation
A timer for meditation makes a difference.

A timer for meditation makes a difference.

Most of you know that meditation has been a top priority in my life for the past couple of years. Thank goodness I followed my intuition in pursuing it. I wish I’d done that sooner but as with many things, you gotta be open and ready. Yoga was like that for me, too.

Back story: Life was nice and all a few years ago, but I had too many rules in life (probably still do), which created too many stresses. I had too much passion for health related topics, which, too, created too much stress.

Then, after some thought, I figured I could eat a fairly crappy diet, but, if I meditated, then it might even keep me healthier than if I ate a pristine diet and didn’t meditate.

The self-created stresses in my life made my body (and mind) screamed for meditation to calm them down, and that’s why I made meditation a priority. It was so important that for a couple of years it was the only goal for my new year’s resolutions. Fast forward to today, and wow, life is so much better.

But… it’s a practice. I’m still learning and growing my meditation practice, which brings me to my point today.

I started using a timer with my meditation sittings, and it dramatically improved my experience.

Wish I’d done that sooner, too.

Here’s the thing, if I didn’t use a timer then I was too often wondering how much time had elapsed (most often just a few minutes!). The moment I started using a timer, I started with 15 minutes, and I knew it’d let me know when the time was up so I could empty my mind of time. It also helped me meditate longer in a sitting.

Sounds simple and it is.

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Friday, March 18th, 2016

Corn Chips and Salsa? Nope. Try Apple Chips Instead.

by Kristen Suzanne in crackers, gluten free, kamea
Try apple chips with salsa instead of corn chips.

Try apple chips with salsa instead of corn chips.

We don’t keep chips in the house, at least not the common kind. And for crackers, we don’t usually eat those unless they’re flax crackers like these.

But, we love us some salsa.

What could we dip into salsa?

My daughter had a great idea!

Apple chips.

Have a great day :)

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Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Recipe: No-Mayo Deviled Eggs.

by Kristen Suzanne in eggs, gluten free, herbs, omnivore, pastured eggs, recipe
No-Mayo Deviled Eggs. Mmm so good.

No-Mayo Deviled Eggs. Mmm so good.

I love Deviled Eggs, but they weren’t something I was making since my beloved eggs came back into my life … because, well, they’re usually made with mayonnaise.

We don’t eat mayonnaise. Why don’t we eat mayo? Because it usually has vegetable oil in it, which we don’t eat. Ever, if I can help it. (Oh, and it’s not something I want to make myself even if I do use a quality oil.)

But.

One day I had a spoonful of Straus Whole-Fat Greek Yogurt and my life changed. It was thick, creamy, and a bit tangy. It reminded me of eating cream cheese actually and who doesn’t like cream cheese? Anyway, I knew that I had to create a Deviled Egg recipe using this fantastic Greek yogurt in place of the usual mayo.

I haven’t tried other Greek yogurts because I can’t find any that are grass-fed. We do the grass-fed thing in our house. It’s the only kind of animal products I’ll buy.

So, here’s how I make my No-Mayo Deviled Eggs that my family devours in an instant. Sadly, Deviled Eggs are a bit of a pain in the ass to make, eh? Hard boil the eggs, peel ‘em (I actually like that part if there are only about six eggs, because I get zen and mindful while doing it), take out the soft-ish-hard boiled yolks, make the filling, fill the whites. Phew.

All that just to have them devoured in the blink of an eye. Ah well… I’d say they’re worth the trouble, because seeing my family snack on something so healthy makes my heart sing.

Read More »

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Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

I’m Now Making Kefir. Didn’t Expect That.

by Kristen Suzanne in gluten free, kefir, Kristen Suzanne
Grass-fed Kefir, an easy healthy drink to make.

Grass-fed Kefir, an easy healthy drink to make.

Back a few years ago when we left our vegan ways, I started with a paleo approach, and it felt so good. So right for my family.

To everything there is a season, eh?

Slowly, as I learned more, I decided to add some dairy to our lives… IF(!) the dairy was whole-fat, grass-fed, organic (yada yada yada). As a result, we added raw cheese and (non-raw) yogurts. So far so good. Then, we added some grass-fed ice creams… although not often, the treat proved to be fine for us.

Now, for some reason I’m drawn to whole-fat, grass-fed dairy kefir, a probiotic beverage. Perhaps it’s because I want to try have foods as a steady probiotic source instead of taking probiotic capsules where I’m always wondering… “Are these active and helpful?”

Sadly, though, kefir (like I require: whole-fatgrass-fed and plain), is not something easily found in the health food store.

Kefir is similar to yogurt, but in a drinkable form and has some different nutritious elements than yogurt, i.e., kefir’s beneficial probiotics and yeasts. I learned about it here. Interestingly, kefir actually colonizes the intestine, whereas yogurt is transient, passing through to feed the good bacteria. Kefir is even known as milk champagne (um… OK!), which I find appropriate… a milk with a bit of effervescence.

Thus, both yogurt and kefir have a role.

I decided to try my hand at making it since I couldn’t find it.

The results? SUCCESS! It’s creamy, healthy, and delicious. Oh, it’s crazy easy, too.

Read More »

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Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Recipe: A Real-Food Nutritious Breakfast in Our Home: Cabbage n Eggs

Cabbage n Eggs n Black Coffee. Mmm mmm mmm.

Cabbage n Eggs n Black Coffee. Mmm mmm mmm.

I find there are days where it seems the only veggies getting served are at dinner.

That’s not cool.

In my attempt to get more veggies in our bellies, I have started adding them more often in breakfast meals. Today, I hit it out of the park with an easy, nutritious, one-skillet breakfast. My whole family was thrilled. I was thrilled. Everything in the world was good.

And… I decided that it’d make a super easy dinner the next time I need a nutritious meal on the table in under 15 minutes.

You know you want some. Trust me, it's easy n delish.

You know you want some. Trust me, it’s easy n delish.

 

Recipe: Cabbage n Eggs

Yield 2 good-sized servings

  • grass-fed ghee or grass-fed butter
  • less than 1/4 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped
  • sea salt
  • 4 organic, pasture-RAISED eggs
  • Optional toppings: fresh herbs, grass-fed full-fat yogurt, organic salsa
  1. Heat some ghee or butter in a skillet. Add the green cabbage, and season with salt. Stir it a bit while it cooks.
  2. Once the cabbage is cooked to your liking, crack in the eggs.
  3. Stir the mixture to “scramble” the eggs and let it cook until it reaches your desired doneness.
  4. Portion into bowls. Top with fresh herbs, yogurt, and salsa, if desired.
Kamea likes yogurt. :)

Kamea likes yogurt. :)

You could swap out the cabbage with onions, kale, shredded carrots, or Brussels sprouts. Just use whatever you have on hand.

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Monday, February 15th, 2016

Recipe: Matcha Breakfast Coconut Ice Cream (Low-Carb)

Matcha Breakfast Coconut Ice Cream - Start your day with this.

Matcha Breakfast Coconut Ice Cream – Start your day with this and have the best day ever.

It’s no secret that I love matcha green tea powder. I’ve been diving deeply into the green goodness for little while, and I love it.

You can read here on the many ways I use matcha green tea powder as an energy giving beverage that keeps me calm and feeling a-mazing.

UPDATE APRIL 18, 2016 –

I now have a Kindle ebook featuring over 50 matcha recipes, Matcha Hacks…

it’s filled with fun matcha recipes. Get your copy here today!

 

Today, I’m sharing a recipe I whipped up, after being inspired by Dave Asprey’s Get Some” Ice Cream.

My recipe for Matcha Breakfast Coconut Ice Cream is low-carb and great for the brain and body. It has Brain Octane MCT oil in it for energy boosting brain power… plus grass-fed butter for brain, skin, and gut health, and coconut oil which also benefits brain and body in many ways.

And… of course, it has matcha green tea powder in it which is so ridiculously fabulous for our health, too. So good. So good. So good.

Read More »

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Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Recipe: 1-Pot Beef Heart Goulash (Gluten-free). Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Beef Heart Goulash (gluten-free, grass-fed) for Valentine's Day.

Beef Heart Goulash (gluten-free, grass-fed) for Valentine’s Day. I promise it’s delicious.

 

I present the most perfect Valentine’s Dish ever… Goulash made with beef heart.

Good for your heart, beef heart.

Good for your heart, beef heart.

 

What could be better for your sweetheart than to eat some beef heart (grass-fed that is)?

With this recipe, you’ll boost your lover’s heart health with healthy ingredients from the cocoa to the turmeric to the cinnamon to the beef heart and more.

Read More »

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Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

A Day in Our Homeschooling Life

by Kristen Suzanne in home school, kamea
A day with my kiddo. Homeschooling with unschooling.

A day with my kiddo. Homeschooling with unschooling.

My daughter is five years old, and on this day of homeschooling, we did mostly “unschooling” (basically teaching through life experiences instead of having a set curriculum).
Here is a list of things we did in one day:
  • Electric cars – we talked about electric cars as we walked by them at Whole Foods in the parking lot. The discussion was why they can be important, how they work, and benefits to drivers of electric cars.
  • Barrett Jackson Auto Show – this is an annual event in Scottsdale and when it’s here we frequently drive by it, which brought it up for discussion. On this day we discussed what it was, why, and antique cars.
  • Colony Collapse Disorder – After seeing a bumble bee on a  reusable shopping bag we discussed colony collapse disorder which involved what it is, theories about why it’s happening, and what we might do to help.
  • Reading – She read words on signs at Whole Foods.
  • Omega Fatty Acids –  I’ve been diving deep into learning about omega fatty acids. While reading about them, Kamea asked me to tell her about them. So, we talked about the differences in them (n-6 vs n-3), their importance and health implications, and what foods have which.
  • Physical movement – We climbed our stairs for 15 minutes, up and down.
  • Rebounding – (more physical movement) rebounding on the Bellicon rebounder is a daily event when the TV is on. Bellicon is the BEST. (We get a lot of movement daily since we threw our couch away)
  • Reading – She read a beginner book to me and did a math worksheet (we wouldn’t usually use a math worksheet with unschooling, but on occasion I like to check in with what she knows.
  • Games (to learn math) – We played Yahtzee Jr, Monopoly Jr., and Play Nine where she practiced math without realizing it. Now, that’s unschooling.
  • Art – She did a lot of art (that’s daily). She loves painting, drawing, stamps, and this DohVinci is a new fascination.
  • Dolls – She played dolls with Greg, where used the opportunity to teach while playing.
That’s not all we did but that’s off the top of my head.
Oh: Here’s a great buy: I recently bought these refrigerator magnets to make reading and sentence formation way more fun than worksheets.
Refrigerator magnets for homeschooling.

Refrigerator magnets for homeschooling.

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