Living naturally, most of the time.

Winter health tip #1: Homemade broth

Inspired by a friend who has a cold, I thought I’d do a series of winter health tips. My top favorite way to stay healthy in winter is to always have homemade bone broth around. If you can boil water, and if you can roast a chicken – or even if you can buy an organic roasted chicken – you can make broth, a protein-rich and mineral-rich healing liquid that can be drunk on its own as a tonic for upset tummies, as a base for soups, or as an addition to a stir-fry or any kind of cooking of veggies. If you make your own baby food, use broth instead of water to add fat, which will help your child absorb any vitamins & minerals in the veggies (and the stock adds nutrients and protein of its own). If you cook with grains, use broth instead of water. There is a ton of info out there about how and why to make your own broth. Here is my quick approach: It’s best to have two chicken carcasses or one carcass and a bunch of wing bones (or other bones if you can get them from your farmer or butcher). If you have only one carcass, you might cut the recipe in half to avoid a weak broth. It’s fine to store one carcass in the freezer until you have a second ready. Most people say once you are done with bones, toss them. I say if you make a quick batch of broth because you need to use it just 6-8 hours after you started it, then go ahead and soak the bones again for a second round. Maybe add in extra onion and celery for additional flavor. I advise against adding lots of extra carrot while making broth. Save the carrots for making soup with the already-done broth and seasonings.   Starting ingredients: 4 quarts (filtered) water 2 Tablespoons raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (or another kind of vinegar if necessary, the milder the better. Try rice vinegar before grain vinegar) Chicken* bones (two carcasses if available) * Use good quality chickens that have been bred on pasture. Organic or “pastured” from a farmer you trust is best. Be sure at a minimum that they are hormone & antibiotic-free. Organic chickens at the store might be pricey, but you can get them directly from farmers at markets or through co-ops for $3.00/lb. Also look for chicken feet and backs for lots of gelatin at a low price. Step 1:...

What I did today

Today I did write before the kids got up, but nothing personal for here. So behold a partial accounting of my day. Today, I: wrote this play review about Hansel & Gretel put together this quick weekend preview of DC-area wellness events after some research, emails, texts and a phone call added this School Garden Meetup calendar event and wrote a bunch of related emails, started a blog post about winter garden activities and local gardening resources (precipitated by the above calendar post) and wrote a bunch of related emails started a blog post about MOM’s Organic Market Arlington Store Grand Opening saw my therapist and spent an hour in the car, most of it listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (plus some Kojo with Mo Willems) unloaded and loaded the dishwasher picked up my kids at school with snacks in tow and took my daughter to gymnastics swept the floor started a load of laundry got the kids to clean up, at little bit anyway, and succeeded at keeping them from maiming one another cooked! Made breakfast for myself and my kids, the latter of which included potato pancakes with parsley and chive picked moments earlier from the garden; scrounged AIP-compliant lunch and snack for myself; and cooked dinner: a chicken, Japanese sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, butternut squash, baked apples, baked potato, and three recipes from Real Life Paleo: salt & vinegar kale chips, apple butter and gummy candies     And now my husband is about to return from his trip, so there is #NaBloPoMo15 day 10! #NaBloPoMo15 posts Day 1: Writing To-Do List: Making it Public Day 2: Why I Feel Better, Part 1: Diet & Supplementation Day 3: What Life Sounds Like Now Day 4: Big Kids Are Better Than Babies Day 5: The Art and Joy of Saying No Day 6: What Life Smells Like This Fall Day 7: No expiration date on learning or growing Day 8: Channeling the yoga class I didn’t take my kids to Day 9: My Experience Wish-List Bookmark on DeliciousDigg this postRecommend on Facebookshare via RedditShare with StumblersTweet about itSubscribe to the comments on this...

Kids in the kitchen (better late than never!)

I did not get a post written in time to participate in the November Blog Carnival of Natural Parenting in part because I feel like I no longer do such a great job at getting “kids in the kitchen,” this month’s theme. We were great at it when my son was two and three, and now — at age 5.5 and tired after a long day at public kindergarten — he doesn’t feel like helping out as much. It’s all I can do to keep the baby out of harm’s way and get a meal (all from scratch, by necessity!) made before dark. But then the boy decided he wanted to make a concoction in the Vita-Mix the other day. He whipped up kale, red pepper, salt, basil, olive oil and water. I was skeptical but figured we could try this raw “soup.” Color me surprised that it was delicious! We used it like a dip or sauce, and my son happily gobbled up the salmon and veggies he poured it on. He’s never been a fan of pesto (unlike his baby sister), but he loved this, sans garlic. I am still not clear on how much raw kale I should have with my thyroid disorder, but it sure tasted fresh. I added some to my raw juice the next morning and felt the chlorophyll boost! He had a great time while I worked on other dinner prep, we enjoyed something new and healthful, and I got out of my comfort zone. Couldn’t have planned it, can’t count on when it will happen again, but what a delight! Oh, and now I know that sorting lettuce will keep his sister occupied for a good long time. Especially if it goes on the floor and we start the rinse & spin cycle all over. I wasn’t part of the carnival, but here is some link love for the participants! Baking & letting go — Cooking with kids can be a mess. Nadia at Red White & GREEN Mom is learning to relax, be patient, and have fun with the process. Family feeding in Child of Mine — Lauren at Hobo Mama reviews Ellyn Satter’s suggestions for appropriate feeding and points out where her family has problems following through. Children with Knives! (And other Kitchen Tools) — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy teaches her children how to safely use knives. “Mommy, Can I Help?” — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment writes about how she lets her kiddos...

I have my kitchen back!

After weeks of needing to keep a clean house in the hopes that someone would buy it, I’m so excited to finally have my kitchen back! I’ve finally got stock rolling (from bones I’d had to stuff in the freezer), I soaked millet last night in whey and water and made porridge this morning, I’ve been juicing. More on my exploits to come, I hope, but this is what a busy kitchen looks like. Forget those empty counters! Bookmark on DeliciousDigg this postRecommend on Facebookshare via RedditShare with StumblersTweet about itSubscribe to the comments on this...

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