October 3, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is,
Than a fatted calf with hatred.
All through the Bible, a meal of vegetables is meager. Animal products are associated with good eating, with abundance. Canaan was the land flowing with milk and honey.
I heard yesterday of a Christian that has decided to eat Vegan. I don’t know if it is meant to be a long-term diet. I don’t think this person did it for philosophical reasons. I really think they are just doing it for health reasons. This person says they feel great. I don’t doubt that. If you cannot eat any animal products, you automatically cut out a lot of junk. Although, I can think of plenty of junk food that would meet the vegan requirements. The problem, for me, is that so many people are brainwashed into thinking that vegan is healthier–and this is creeping into the church, too.
You may feel fantastic, switching to a vegan diet, but in the long-run, your body will suffer. The most easily absorbed iron is from animal products. The vegetable oils that you will use to substitute for butter and such, are highly processed and damaged. The cholesterol you need (yes, I said need) is only available from animal products. Your adrenal glands, your hormones, your brain, your heart, your immune system, and more, will suffer on a vegan diet. Every cell in your body will suffer if it does not get enough saturated fat–yes! I said saturated fat. You can get saturated fat from coconut oil, so if you are vegan or vegetarian, please get yourself some.
But even better–switch to a whole-food diet. Food, whether animal or vegetable, is best in its unprocessed, whole state.
And did you know that, “Not a single bite of food reaches our mouths that has not involved the killing of animals. By some estimates, at least 300 animals per acre—including mice, rats, moles, groundhogs and birds—are killed for the production of vegetable and grain foods, often in gruesome ways. Only one animal per acre is killed for the production of grass-fed beef and no animal is killed for the production of grass-fed milk until the end of the life of the dairy cow.” This is a quote from Twenty-Two Reasons Not to Go Vegetarian by Sally Fallon Morell. Please click the link to read the whole article and inform yourself.
You will find many more informative articles at The Weston A. Price Foundation web site.
September 9, 2011 § 4 Comments
I was reading Ezekiel this morning, chapter 4. Verse 9 is what the Food For Life company bases their Ezekiel Bread products on. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I am under the understanding that they claim these grains, combined and sprouted, become a complete protein and therefore are extremely healthy. The grains listed in my New King James Version are wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt.
But what I find interesting is that the context of the passage is that Ezekiel is symbolizing siege, judgment, famine, and drought. He was told to build a model of Jerusalem under siege. He was told to lie on his side for 430 days, which must have been torturous. He was told he could only eat bread made from the above listed ingredients, and drink very little water.
How does someone come across this passage and say, “Oh, since this is in the Bible, it must be healthy. Let’s recreate it!”? Only someone that has a preconceived notion that vegetarianism is best.
Food like this in the Bible was considered poor. Meat and fat were for the rich. Ezekiel is telling the people, by eating this food, that there isn’t going to be much to eat, and that came true. People were so bad off, they resorted to cannibalism.
We need to be discerning, in these times, as to what is truly healthy, and as to what the Bible is really saying. Don’t lift one verse out of context. Take in the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), to avoid error. Remember I Timothy 4:1-5, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
January 29, 2011 § 4 Comments
This is an adaptation of an Alton Brown recipe. Mine is different because I just use my ultra-versatile French Bread dough. But I did follow his directions for boiling and baking. You can click the link for directions for the dough. If you are comfortable with yeast dough and just need the ingredients, here is the list:
3 1/2 cups flour – mix in 2 teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cups warm water - dissolve 1 teaspoon yeast in this
I like to use my Cuisinart to mix. For food processors you add the dry ingredients first and then drizzle in the liquid. Pulse for about 30 seconds. If you prefer a Kitchenaid, start with the liquid and then add the dry ingredients. Knead for about 10 minutes.
The last time I made these, I made the dough the evening before. I let it rise for 2 to 3 hours and then refrigerated it overnight. The next morning I set it out to come to room temperature and proceeded to shape and bake.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Begin shaping the pretzels. I think I made 16 last time. Cut the dough into equal chunks. Roll each chunk into a long rope-shaped piece. Bring the ends up in a U shape. Cross the ends twice and then bring them back down. Set aside.
At some point, bring 10 cups of water to boil, with 2/3 cup baking soda added. When it reaches the boiling point, boil each pretzel for 30 seconds, one at a time. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to retrieve them. Place the pretzels on a baking sheet and brush with egg yolk mixture (1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water). Sprinkle with pretzel salt (I used Morton Kosher Salt).
Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown (mine took longer, but I use baking stones).
November 1, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Still gardening here in NE Oklahoma. We had a frost the other night. It got some watermelon vines and some green bean leaves, but overall everything is still doing well. We are still getting tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. It’s been unusually warm this fall.
I have to admit, I lost my garden “ooomph” before the season was over. So much so that I have one box full of grass! I pulled the zucchini out and didn’t put anything else in. The grass took over–it’s relentless. I hope I find my zeal again before spring, I’m sure that I will.
But despite that, I did have a very productive year. Since I posted last, we have harvested a ton of zucchini, yellow squash, and butternut squash. Unfortunately, the pumpkins didn’t produce well. I planted four varieties, but only saw one type. Oh well, we will try that again next year. The watermelon did really well, I just need to learn more about how to tell when they’re ripe. Out of five, we enjoyed two. I have six more on the vine, just waiting to pick them. I planted a fall crop of cucumbers and green beans and have enjoyed a great harvest from those. I blanched and froze eight pounds of green beans in the last couple weeks. I did not plant the fall lettuce and spinach that I had planned.
I tried drying the basil in the oven, as I mentioned in the last post. It didn’t turn out quite as well as I wanted. For now, I will stick to making pesto with fresh basil, and buy my dried basil at the store. Perhaps a dehydrator would do a better job.
I plan to make some changes next year. I will not plant things that didn’t produce much (like broccoli) in favor of planting extras of the items that do produce well. I will plant my tomatoes in containers next year. They produced so well the two years I did that. This year they didn’t produce as well. I think they like the depth. I will grow more peppers next year. This year I planted one bell pepper plant and two pimento plants. Peppers produce so slowly, whenever we pick one, we eat it. I would like to be able to preserve some. I thought I didn’t like the pimentos, but the taste grew on me. I think I have discovered that the first couple peppers you get, on any plant, don’t taste that great. After that, they are sweeter. I will add okra to the garden next year, and plant a full box of spinach, instead of just a row.
I had quite a time with squash bugs. I didn’t know what to watch for. By the time I learned, it was too late. Next year I will be prepared. I tried Neem Oil and it worked really well. I ordered my neem oil from thesage.com. It is a dark brown oil and it smells awful! I filled a spray bottle with water (I think it was about 24oz.), then added 2 teaspoons neem oil and a couple squirts of dish soap, to mix the oil into the water. I then sprayed it all over everything. I heard you should do this every fortnight (I thought this was four nights, but have learned it is really 14 nights). I sprayed it every few days.
Since my butternut did so well, I am using it in place of pumpkin in recipes. I used it in my muffin recipe and it was great. I will try a pumpkin pie next. Did you know that the canned pumpkin you buy in the store isn’t really pumpkin? It is usually Blue Hubbard Squash–according to Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, in The Ultimate Muffin Book.
I am enjoying the castor plants I planted to ward off gophers. If you want an instant tree in your yard, plant castor. They are poisonous, but very beautiful. I hope mine survive the winter. We’ll see. I thought the gophers had moved on, but found they destroyed three green bean plants the other day. I am considering laying down chicken wire underneath my boxes next spring.
How did your garden do this year? What changes will you make for next year? Please share.
August 12, 2010 § 5 Comments
I named this blog All Things Health because I believe that we are spirit beings, we have souls, and we live in bodies. I believe that these three parts of us are intertwined and we cannot focus on just one.
I know this blog focuses more on the body and I will be changing that in the future, but for now, my question to you is, what do you do for the health of your spirit and your soul?
July 12, 2010 § 3 Comments
I love summer! The garden is loving the sunshine and the rain. I am loving all the green.
I have done a lot of experimenting this year, failed a few times, yet learned a lot. Here is a summary.
This year I switched from container gardening to raised beds. I expanded from growing cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, peppers, and dill, to growing more items that I can list here. Scroll down to see a selection. I also tried Square Foot Gardening to plan my spacing.
My broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages were riddled with caterpillars. I heard that neem oil is a natural insecticide. I will be trying it in the near future. I was able to harvest two crowns broccoli, but no cauliflower. I was able to harvest small heads cauliflower, but I don’t know yet if they are good inside. I will try making sauerkraut with them in the next couple days.
The peas looked pretty, but didn’t taste good. I think I left them too long on the vine.
And our carrots were not a success. I’m not sure if I left them in the ground too long, but they were bitter. Plus I realized they didn’t have the depth they needed. You can see in this picture that they grew crooked.
I planted mint, caraway, lavender, parsley, and foxglove twice, each. I’m unsure about the caraway, but all the others failed to sprout. I have to guess they don’t like my sandy soil.
The failures are really minor in comparison to the successes. There is always going to be a learning curve to every new venture. I am so happy with the garden, overall.
I’m growing cantaloupe on accident. It sprung up from last year’s compost.
This is probably the most prolific producer. I have picked at least 20 pounds of cucumbers so far. I am making my second batch of kosher dill pickles right now.Our onions are all done. I thought they would keep growing until fall, but they haven’t. Oh well, they have tasted great.
We harvested lots and lots of lettuce. I will be planting another crop this fall. My favorite was the Tom Thumb variety. I at a good many of these salads for lunch. This is lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and onions, drizzled with olive oil, and vinegar, and seasoned with salt and parmesan cheese. Tastes just like Olive Garden.
1. Plants prefer to grow in rich humus soil, rather than sandy, clay-like soil. Where I live, we have this odd, orange, silty sort of soil. It’s such a fine sand, it’s almost like cornstarch to me. It does drain well, but it is compact and doesn’t allow for pockets of air and such for root growth. I bought mushroom compost for my raised beds, but wanted to save as much money as I could. I didn’t buy soil for the flower bed, or the patio-edge herb beds. Marigolds, sage, sunflowers, and zinnias seem to do very well in that soil, as does basil, mustard, fennel, and hyssop. But everything else grows very slowly in it. I may consider enriching the soil next year.
2. Square Foot Gardening spacing specifications aren’t usually correct. Plants did well at first, but as they grew, they got quite crowded. I will just take notes on how things did this year and come up with my own spacing for next year.
3. Gophers are extremely annoying! The gopher has wreaked havoc in the flower bed. He has not touched the herb beds that border my patio and he had not reached the main vegetable garden beds, that is, until about a week ago. I planted three Zucchini Rampicante plants that trail out of the box, into the yard (like pumpkin or butternut squash). One by one, they have been killed. Hopefully this critter will not find the other boxes. I have tried the castor beans, to no avail. I planted lots of beans and have castor growing up in the flower bed. This critter seems to be leaving it alone, but goes for marigolds, zinnias, and sunflowers. I am going to try burying some pots to grow some zinnia and sunflowers in.
4. I expect a great harvest. It isn’t worth my time to grow a large plant that produces very little fruit. I wasn’t happy with the broccoli and cauliflower for this reason. They were very slow-growing plants and didn’t yield much. Not sure I will plant them again. I prefer things like zucchini, it grows very, very fast, and produces plentifully.
5. I wish I had put cardboard down in my boxes, to kill the grass, before I layered in the grass clippings, leaves, and compost. I am fighting the grass poking up through. It’s not terrible, but had I known, I would have done differently.
6. Take notes! I know all gardeners say to do this and I never did it in the past. I am glad I have this year. I couldn’t possibly remember everything by next year.
In closing, it is all worth the work! Even when you find a big worm munching on your tomato plant.
This guy is my nemesis! He was as fat and long as my middle finger! I really need to buy that neem oil.
Because you get all this beauty, too.
Next time I will let you know if my basil drying is a success. You can see below, it is growing nicely. I still have pesto in the freezer from last year, so I don’t need to make more. I am going to try drying this in the oven.
May 23, 2010 § 1 Comment
April 21 – I set out to sow the rest of the herbs in my patio-side beds, but discovered that I miscalculated. I drew a diagram of my patio and figured 10 spaces on each side of the patio, but really only had nine. So, regretfully, I decided not to plant nasturtiums and borage. Instead, I planted them in pots to sit on the patio. I already had dill, sorrell, and poppies in, and added bee balm, marjoram, hyssop, mint, caraway, feverfew, thyme, fennel (bulb variety), basil, parsley, lavender, mustard, chives, lamb’s ear, and chamomile. Whew! I’m tired just typing all that. :)
April 22 – Found green caterpillars munching on my cabbage!
April 24 – First harvest of spinach–wow! It tastes awesome!
April 28 – First harvest lettuce. Lots of blossoms on the peas.
April 29 – re-sowed echinacea and floxglove in the flower bed, since it doesn’t seem that any have sprouted. High winds tonight, everything faired well.
April 30 – Downpour–the rainy season has begun.
May 4 – I discovered I can get coffee grounds from Starbucks–they bag them up and everything–for free, to add to the compost pile or the garden.
May 5 – my onions are blooming. Apparently (click here), onions should only bloom on the second year, but may get confused by temperature fluctuations. We do have weird weather here. One day it could be 80, the next 32, the day after 75 (that really happened in March). I thought all was lost, but a friend of mine said they eat their onions even when they’ve bloomed. Just goes to show that the best garden information is from friends that have actually done it. :)
March 8 – My spinach has bolted already. I didn’t know the growing season was going to be so short. Perhaps I should have harvested more often. I have a friend that clips hers very often and it hasn’t bolted. I enjoyed four servings of that wonderful spinach, but didn’t have enough to freeze. This fall, I will plant much, much more and clip it more often.
May 11 – I have a bloom on my broccoli! Yeah!
May 12 – I planted four varieties of lettuce–Parris Island Cos Romaine, Little Gem Romaine, May Queen Butterhead, and Tom Thumb. We like Romaine, but this Tom Thumb is amazing! The leaves are nice and crunchy, if you like that sort of thing, we do. I will be planting a lot more Tom Thumb next time. Haven’t tasted the May Queen lettuce yet, but it looks like a very soft leaf variety. We like crunch in our salads, so I probably won’t plant the May Queen again.
May 13 – apparently the tornado sirens went off last night, we slept right through them. The garden appears unharmed. This day marks 70 days for my cabbage, but they look no where near ready to harvest.
May 14 – Waiting for seeds to sprout really tries my patience! I have yet to see the parsley or lavender sprout and I’m not sure about the mint and caraway. Thankfully we have some echinacea growing now, but still no foxglove. I guess it’s not meant to be.
May 19 – More tornado sirens. We only had high winds move through. My blue-podded peas were knocked down. I tied them up so hopefully they won’t get knocked down again. We have lots and lots of peas almost ready to harvest. I ate a few of the Golden Podded Peas, they tasted great. The Golden Podded have edible pods, the Blue Podded don’t.
May 20 – A very weird thing happened today. You can check out the slide show and see the pictures my sunflowers. I had four sunflowers growing nicely in the flower patch. They have probably reached a height of two feet. I glanced out the window Friday evening and only saw three. I had just been out a couple hours before and they were all there, so I know the wind didn’t get them from the storm the other night. I thought maybe my four year old did something with it, but that was highly unlikely. She’s very aware and very good around the garden. I took a closer look, looking for a knocked over flower. I didn’t see anything. This was really odd. Then I looked down and saw some wilted leaved on the ground. As I was looking, these leaves were sucked into the earth! Something had pulled this sunflower straight down into the dirt. Just like on the Bugs Bunny cartoons! I thought I could pull it up and rescue it, but when I pulled it up, it was half eaten. Later I learned that it very likely a groundhog. An hour later, we went out and the whole thing was gone. Not a trace. He must have started at the root and just eaten it whole! Very strange!