Friday, October 31, 2008

Melamine in Our Food Supply

I have learned recently that melamine is now in our food supply. Anything processed with eggs or milk products is suspect until we get documentation from our government that it is safe. This means anything from candy, cookies, cakes, dressings, and mayo to possibly flu vaccines and other medicines that use eggs as an emulsifier could be contaminated.

I watched a video this morning:
I do not know Mike Mozart, the producer of this video in any way. I came across the link in an alternative health forum. But I agree with him that if the FDA does not come forward with documentation that states that the foods have have been tested and are safe, then a great number of children as well as everyone else in our country will be harmed.

What can we do until then? Do not buy prepackaged or processed foods. We do not know if our own food companies purchased ingredients from China, so all packaged foods are questionable. At the very least, look on the back for "made in/produced in China" and ingredients containing milk and/or eggs.

We can also alter our diet back to whole foods. Although it sometimes takes more time to put a meal together from scratch with whole foods, it is more nutritious and healthy. And that's traditional -- taking time to put a meal together. It brings the family together to enjoy the abundance we have.

Have a safe and happy Halloween! And watch what you give out as treats and what your children bring home.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pickled Garlic

c2008 Shanna Ohmes

Today I ventured into making pickled garlic using the lacto-fermentation process. It was so easy! The last time I peeled that much garlic the garlic oil burned the skin on my fingers. This time I learned about heating the garlic in the oven first before peeling. The cloves practically slipped out of their skins and the oil didn't burn my skin this time.

I started with 12 heads of garlic. I put them on a cookie sheet and in a 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes or so. I peeled the skins off and put them in a canning jar. Then I made the brine: 2 tsp. oregano, 2 tsp. sea salt, and 2 tbs. whey. I poured the brine over the garlic, added water to within 1 inch of the top to make room for expansion. This will set on the cabinet for about 3 days to get the fermentation process started. Then I can put it in cold storage (refrigerator) and use.

It should be done by this weekend and I will post my results on here. I can't wait to try it. Especially with the cold and flu season here. Garlic has so many properties to help with infections.

Friday, October 24, 2008


c2008 Shanna Ohmes

My first introduction to sauerkraut when I was growing up was a stinky slimy mess out of a can that messed up a perfectly good hot dog. I vowed I'd never touch that stuff again, but finally decided to give it a try after I learned about all the healthful benefits it has.

Sauerkraut is one of many lacto-fermented foods. These foods restore the healthy bacteria and flora into the intestines so they can do their job to keep us in good health.

Skeptical, I read and re-read the research on all the benefits of this supposedly wonderful food that I hated in my childhood and found a good recipe. It actually took me 2-3 years before I took the plunge and tried it.

I was totally surprised! This actually tasted good. It was nothing like I remembered from so long ago. I put my batch in a tall glass jar and admired the beauty of the fresh green color every time I opened my refrigerator. The taste was refreshing and blended so well with sausages, hot dogs, Reuben sandwiches, soups and salads. A few tablespoons a day will add a good amount of the good bacteria and vitamins into your diet.

The practice of lacto-fermenting vegetables has its roots in Europe, Rome and China going back 6,000 years. Sailors kept sauerkraut on ships to prevent scurvy on their long voyages. The Romans carried sauerkraut with them to protect against intestinal infections. Other vegetables can be lacto-fermented with the cabbage or separately, like turnips, beets and carrots. Some fruits can also be fermented. They are called chutneys.

The nutrients in sauerkraut are calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, vitamins C, K, B6 and folate, as well as plenty of antioxidants. The fermentation process actually increases the value and availability of and digestibility of the vegetables and fruits.

How to make Sauerkraut:

1 cabbage
2 tbs. sea salt
glass quart canning jar

Chop the cabbage in small pieces. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Pound and mash with a meat mallet for about 10 minutes.
You will see that some of the juices are released from the cabbage. Put the cabbage in your jar a little at a time, pressing firmly to keep the juices coming to the top of the cabbage.

Repeat until the cabbage and its juice come within one inch of the top. This gives enough room for expansion. If there is not enough juice, you can add a little bit of water. Cover with a tight fitting lid and leave on your cabinet for 3 days. Then store in your refrigerator or cellar.

You can start eating it immediately and it greatly improves with age. Mine tasted delicious in the beginning and only got better from then on. At 1 year the color started to fade, but the flavor was still excellant.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Healthy Chocolate? Oh Yeah!

c2008 Shanna Ohmes

Recent research has proved what every woman has instinctively known all along, chocolate is good for you! But we're not talking about just any chocolate off the grocery shelf. What research studies have shown is the best chocolate is in its organic raw form. Did you know that in one spoonful of raw chocolate there are 25,200 antioxidants? It is the only food with that high amount. The Aztec, Mayan, and Incan cultures were onto something. In this article I will highlight the processing, nutrients, and health benefits of adding raw chocolate into your daily diet. And you get a recipe as a bonus.

The processing of chocolate is minimal. It goes through a cold-pressing method that keeps the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients intact. Modern methods generally use high heat that destroys some of these nutrients, the use of chemicals and preservatives, and of course refined white sugar and corn syrup.

Raw chocolate has the richest source of magnesium available in a food. It is also high in copper, iron and in lesser amounts of calcium, zinc, vitamin A, niacin, phosphorus, tryptophan and phenylethylamine (PEA).

Research studies have revealed a surprising list of health benefits of raw chocolate. It helps lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the brain. It also improves some blood sugar disorders and lessens chronic inflammation in the body. Raw chocolate is the most easily absorbed and digested chocolate.

So how do you use this #1 Antioxidant Superfood? You can add 1-2 tbs. in smoothies, cookies, and herbal teas. I made up my own Frappe' (a cold version of a cappuccino) and recently revised it using the raw chocolate powder and actually decreased the amount of sugar from my previous recipe. Within a short time I plan to completely eliminate the sugar.


2 Tbs raw chocolate powder (Sunfood Nutrition Cacao powder)
2 Tbs or less organic natural sugar (dehydrated cane sugar)
1 Tbs instant coffee
1/2 c. cream (optional)
1 1/2 c. organic milk (raw goat's milk)
6 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in blender and blend on ice setting for 1 minute. Serve and enjoy guilt free.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Traditional Diets

c2008 Shanna Ohmes

Traditional diets are rarely talked about in the media today. Mainstream media typically depicts diets to mean completely eliminating some foods, or eating only certain other foods to lose weight.

Over the years I have read many books on the subject of diet. I had two criteria in mind with each book I read: 1)Would my ancestors have eaten this? and 2)Would there be a way to gather/grow/trade for this food in my area without a grocery store?

I asked these questions because I believe that with each further step into processing and shipping, we lose more valuable nutrients in our food. Now I still eat bananas even though I don't live in the tropics, but I also know the equivelant of food that has the same type of nutrients that does grow in my area, like watermelon. (Both are high in potassium.)

These are the 3 best books I have enjoyed.

"Nourishing Tradition by Sally Fallon
"Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston A. Price, DDS
"NeanderThin" by Ray Audette

The NeanderThin book helped me get off the processed foods and focus on what I was eating. It was a high protein/low carb diet, which worked very well for awhile. I don't follow it as rigidly now, but the research in it was mostly what my ancestors would have eaten and I could raise or gather most of the food myself.

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration opened my eyes to the physical evidence to many of our health problems today. Dr. Price was a dentist who traveled to study many cultures and took pictures of people that ate only their traditional native diets, and then pictures of the next generations who went to the cities to work and ate more modern food such as white flour and white sugar products. The contrast in the dental pictures within even one generation was amazing.

Nourishing Traditions gave me more research than expanding on Dr. Price's discoveries. It is also a cookbook, and gives the research and evidence of why to use more traditional foods and cooking methods for better health. I rate this the best of the three books, it is by far my favorite.

My conclusion from my research is to eat a large variety of vegetables and fruits prepared by the traditional cooking methods, meats that are raised free range and to include good quaity fats essential to the body. And exercise. But we all knew that didn't we?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


c2008 Shanna Ohmes

I love pineapple. It adds a great tangy flavor on pizza and that Christmas ham. But did you know all the health benefits of this exotic fruit?

Pineapple has sugar, Vitamin C, bromelain, potassium, calcium, manganese, and fiber. Bromelain helps break down protein and also fights infections.

The list of ailments that pineapple can help relieve is varied. I'm sure as more research is done, we'll see this is truly an amazing fruit, as most of nature's plants are.

Pineapple is an anti-inflammatory and can be taken internally or applied topically. All the properties of pineapple aid the digestion, which is the seat (pardon the pun) of our health. Other benefits are:
  • helps relieve angina and clears out plaque and blood clots
  • clears bronchial passages, relieving coughs and loosening mucus
  • symptoms of arthritis are lessened
  • use after surgery and injuries, it repairs connective tissue
  • builds healthy bones- for the young and old alike-good for those with osteoporosis
  • use for colds
  • gum disease, which leads to heart problems
  • prevents and relieves constipation
  • prevents and relieves nausea

The suggested use is 200-250 ml of raw pineapple juice daily (3x day for angina).
Include raw pineapple itself for the fiber to help process the juice.

I can attest to the pain relieving benefit. I injured my elbows while pulling weeds in the garden this summer. I could not pick up a glass of water without almost dropping it. This last week I started drinking a pineapple smoothie everyday, and within a week the pain is almost gone and I can now pick things up.

This is the smoothie I made up:
1 c. pineapple juice
1 c. orange juice
1 c. milk or yogurt (I use whole raw goat's milk when available, or 1/2 c. whipping cream and 1/2 c. milk)
1/2 of a 15.25 oz can of pineapple chunks, or you can use some fresh pineapple
2 bananas
6 ice cubes

Blend on ice crush setting in your blender. This makes 2 servings.

Monday, October 13, 2008


c2008 Shanna Ohmes

Welcome to Healthy Foods !

I have been researching healthy foods for the last several years. I grew up on the "meat and taters" mentality. After several years into my marriage and raising children, I realized I needed to learn more about what I was feeding my family and myself.

My research and self-study has led me on a journey of change. I have
learned about the diets of traditional cultures, the old ways of preparing food, herbs, and the history of foods. I have gardened and raised livestock for our own food.

In a time of economic turmoil, I feel getting back to the basics of
healthy eating will be a benefit to our health and pocketbooks. I look
forward to sharing what I have learned over the years. I hope you enjoy my posts of what I have learned.