Winter Proof You!

Neti, Coconut oil, Astragalus, Sea Salt and…

NETI. DAILY. I imagine the ocean through my sinuses as I let the water trickle through. Use a ceramic neti pot. Use sterile water! (Boil water for 3 minutes and let cool to room temperature.) Sea Salt, a pinch is plenty for about 1/4 cup of water.

OIL. DAILY. Your favorite healthy oil will work but coconut helps soothe, protect and smells great.(Here’s that beach connection for me again.) Or you can get unscented. Sesame (untoasted) is also a great oil. Dab your little finger into the oil and oil your nostrils. Not only does this help with dryness so common when we turn on the heat but it also deters microbes. Oil everything on your body while you’re at it for super health!

Astragalus Root – just throw a few pieces into everything you cook! It’s a great immunity booster!

EAT. Alliums! Onions, garlic, leeks, ramps, scallions, shallots. Think about making a “fire cider.” RAW apple cider vinegar (Braggs or any unpasteurized organic, unfiltered, unheated 5% acidity type), 1 part each onions, ginger, horseradish, 1/2 part garlic & a dash of cayenne, cover with vinegar in a glass jar. Cover with clean parchment paper and then a lid (not metal) and let age for about 4 weeks. I like to use on my salads. There are a lot of recipes online so find one that gets your cells smiling.

AND EAT. Eat seasonal vegetables and fruits & good fats. This depends on where you live. Here in North Carolina that means cruciferous everything, sweet potatoes, winter squashes and pumpkins, pears, apples, pecans. Good fats (think little fatty fish like sardines and anchovies) avocado and coconut oil for heat cooking and olive oil (not heated).

SLUMBER. Last but MOST – get lots of sleep. There’s a lot more darkness this time of year which is a natural hint to cozy in. The latest in sleep research – at least 7.75 hours a night and be consistent with your bedtime and awakening. You might be able to have a bit less sleep if you are consistent.

Don’t forget all that other great stuff you do — meditating, exercising, loving time with your family & friends, time outdoors.

COZY Health!

Poo Perfect

Start here at your food’s end to improve your health. Everything digested? Is your poo brown or slightly green? Maybe red if you ate a lot of beets. And the winner is Type 4. A smooth snakelike poo reflects foods you easily digest, plenty of fiber, plenty of hydration, plenty of exercise, managed stress.

Two recommendations to add to your daily – 1/2 lemon (1 T) in warm water upon waking. You can add 1 teaspoon each of raw honey and fresh ginger plus a dash of cayenne if you like.

Eat breakfast within an hour after awakening. Think greens! Cooked or slightly wilted with a bit of good fat (ghee, coconut, olive oil, avocado oil). Add an egg or an avocado half and perhaps a bit of nutritional yeast and sesame seeds.

And a bit of my body’s wisdom. Yours may be different. Give up or limit dairy, wheat (gluten) , sugar and nightshades. I have found that when I eat a lot of any of these substances my body has a few nasty reactions – the shits (dairy), nerve and muscle pain (sugar/alcohol/gluten), incontinence (nightshades, especially tomatoes). I can eat any of the above now and then. Pizza is one of my happy foods as well as marinara. And a funny little thing I noticed, if I eat European dairy or wheat — no problems. Seed, peel and cook the nightshades (like I learned in chef school). I know all of the science behind all of this – from my nightly reading and nutrition podcast addiction.

One last comment is about lectins. I think Gundry’s book, THE PLANT PARADOX, is worth reading and it might just be exactly what your body needs. The wonderful thing I got from Gundry’s work is my Insta-pot and the best tasting, most easily digestible beans I’ve ever tasted.

Love your poo. Once or twice a day. Your doctor should ask you what your poo looks like. Tell him about the Bristol Stool Chart and that you’re a perfect Type 4!

EARTH LIFE!

Not just Earth Day! I love the earth and I hate feeling guilty shopping at Trader Joe’s. It’s a conundrum. Here’s a few ideas. Just a teeny bit makes a difference. 

I helped launch the recycling program in Baltimore (decades ago). It was a huge undertaking but folks wanted to do the right thing and they’d drive up on their precious Saturday morning and fill the cargo containers. I am sure folks still want to help the earth BUT I believe the manufacturers really should step up. That means packaging changes. 

So ways you might consider and a bit of inspiration…

COMPOSTNOW https://compostnow.org/compostables/  My garbage goes out once a month now.  AND it doesn’t stink. My garden loves the compost – but you can donate it to a farmer too!

I love straight side ball jars. You can freeze in them! 

And take a real fork/spoon/knife and skip the plastic ones – why not? Straws – yeah that is a real convenience when you are driving.

BUT… maybe paper (compostable) ones or better yet reusable ones.  

Whole Foods has a terra cycling collection for potato chip bags etc etc. https://www.dwellsmart.com/pages/terracycle

Take the time to drop a note to your favorite organic company that packages their product in plastic or has a label that will last a million years.

Support the local farmers. Wrap your produce in a clean dish towel. https://farmtoforknc.comhttps://triangleonthecheap.com/farmers-markets/

Shrink your meat consumption. 

And buy bulk. Take your own container. 

Letter to Trader Joes today…I love them BUT…

Be inspired right here in Raleigh!

P.S. Raleigh …Master Gardeners help relaunch the NCSU composting “farm” Raleigh is a center for folks worldwide to study composting and “worm” composting. https://composting.ces.ncsu.edu/nc-state-compost-learning-lab/

Raleigh …Joann Burkholder https://cals.ncsu.edu/plant-and-microbial-biology/people/jburk/ Animal Waste and Environmental impacts EXPERT   Wikipedia “She was responsible for identifying the cause, a dinoflagellate Pfiesteria piscicida and its toxins, of mass deaths of fish that posed a public health hazard. Her studies also helped in improving legislation to control pollution and eutrophication.”

AND… Just heard a bit about how NSCU has developed a way to use cola ash for concrete, eliminating its toxic impact.

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OH! HO HO HO Clothespin Cookies

Some family traditions are worth the sugar rush.
Clothespin Cookies – Use the old fashioned kind of clothespins.
Easy to make dough. Swirl onto greased pins.
These are ready for a roll in the sugars.

THE RECIPE

COOKIE DOUGH

  • 2 1/2 t dry yeast
  • 1/2 c milk, heat to 115
  • 4 c all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • Decorating sugars 

Dissolve yeast in milk and set aside. Mix sugar and salt into flour. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs. Mix eggs and yeast/milk mixture together. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast/milk/egg mixture. Mix well and knead a few times. Wrap in wax paper and a damp tea towel and refrigerate overnight.

Grease about 50 clothespins with vegetable shortening. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 300º F. 

Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface roll each half into an 8″ wide X 20″ long rectangle. Dough will be about 1/8″ thick. Cut off rough side edges and set aside to roll again later. Cut rectangle in to 3/4″ strips and roll onto clothespin with floured side on the clothespin, overlapping edges. Do not wrap to “shoulder” of the clothespin as removal is difficult. Set rolled curls aside to warm a bit as this helps decorative sugars to adhere a bit better. Prepare all cookies.

Gently roll cookies in sugars. Roll with the swirl so you don’t uncurl the cookie. Place seam side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Double pan and bake 30 minutes until just golden on the bottoms. You can prepare filling while cookies bake.

Cool on wire racks for a few minutes and gently remove each cookie from the clothespin. Eat one. Let the rest cool to room temperature.

FILLING

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salted or unsalted butter divided in two
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (Penzy’s double strength)
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Heat sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan just until butter melts. Place in mixer bowl. Add milk and vanilla. Beat at high speed until mixture combines, about 10 minutes. It will look curdled at first. Add whipping cream and continue to beat at high speed. Add 1/2 cup butter a small piece at a time until the mixture becomes a fluffy frosting. This filling is a bit fussy to make but worth it for the taste. You could opt for your favorite Italian or French buttercream or stabilized whipped cream.

Fill the curls. Immediately eat them. Refrigerate or freeze those that aren’t eaten within an hour of filling. Refrigerate for up to ten days. They freeze for months – which makes the sugar rush last longer.

Merry Christmas and EVERY other holiday that happens this time of year!

Seasonal Seasoning

Tis the season to think SEASONING!

Whether a turkey, dressing or a vegan winter squash this seasoning is worth gobbling. All ingredients are organic & dried. 

Thanks to Alice Waters for the suggestion of a Suribachi Mortar Bowl. Blends without pulverizing the herbs totally. 6 teaspoons sage 4 1/2 teaspoons thyme 1 teaspoon parsley 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper blend 1/4 teaspoon celery salt 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 3 teaspoons marjoram 2 1/4 teaspoons rosemary 3/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated) Dash of allspice (optional)8FANlHP7RP6PvhByJa0EUA