These Last Weeks

As we are waiting for our baby’s arrival these next couple of weeks . . .

I will be eating up this book. It was at the top of my “wish list” for Christmas.

unsettle

I will still be sipping on this fermented stuff. You can read more here on why and here on how.

ferment

I will be mulling over more of the sacred/secular dilemma. Many of you have texted or emailed me such kind words regarding the 31 day series (that I didn’t finish). I stopped at day 17 because I too am still digging and learning and soaking up. I bit off more than I could chew context wise and I should have started the writing process much earlier in order to to be sharing with you all at such a fast pace. Lesson learned. I hope to continue this discussion as a series.

bono

I will be contemplating Tsh’s thought provoking, “20 Questions for a New Year” (oh, Tsh, you slay me)

goals

I will be attending a seminar on the gut brain axis held by my favorite herbal supplement company, Nature’s Sunshine, and like many of you, I will be slathering myself with oils . . .

oils

Lavender for weirdo-third-trimester-insomnia

Citrus to brighten my sleepy mood . . . and when did I start waking up with bags under my eyes?

Peppermint for headaches and lingering morning sickness

Panaway for sore hips and achy lower backs

Thieves, melalueca, and lemon to ward off sickness

 

 

Beet Kvass (part 2)

kvass part 2

A few things I learned about beet kvass,

#1 It is the most beautiful color. Once I poured it into bottles to store in the fridge, I started thinking of things I could dye . . . tea towels, napkins, wash cloths. And then reality hit and I realized I needed to just drink the stuff. But really, it is SO beautiful.

#2 It’s an acquired taste. The second day of drinking it was way easier than the first. Listen, I’m an advocate of enjoying your food and life. You shouldn’t hate your diet. If something is gross, don’t eat it. BUT, on the other hand, be willing to try things a few times. If you still hate it, move on. There are plenty of other ways to get nutrients than beet kvass. For me, it wasn’t gross enough to give up. Just different. I could tell my body enjoyed it NOT because I wanted to guzzle it like Sprite (oh, how I do love cold Sprite with crunchy ice) but because the sound of it, sounded good. It was as if my body said, “yes, you need that.” Tune in, your body is always talking to you.

#3 My personal opinion: it’s better with an acid. Now, I like vinegar anyways, you may not and that is totally cool. But I wanted more “bite” so I added fermented apple cider vinegar to my glass (just a splash). Don’t freak out. In fact some people mix ACV into their water on a regular basis. This is super helpful when fighting candida, heart burn (ie low stomach acid), and the like (just keep in mind, the esophagus is not meant for acid. So this is not something you should drink all day, every day). Some people enjoy it as a tonic and some say it helps cleanse the kidneys. I use it for heartburn and Rick uses it to ward of sickness. Either way, I enjoyed the kvass much more when I added a splash of ACV. Totally your call.

If you’re wanting to brave this experiment with me, here are some links! I read a few before diving in and pick and chose what I liked,

The Wellness Mama’s take on Beet Kvass 

The Nourishing Cook 

Homemade Mommy 

The Nourishing Gourmet 

Enjoy!

A Big, Little Christmas Gift

oils intro

We have been using oils for about a year, maybe a year and a half. I’m not sure if anyone else checks out books at the library on “the power of oils” but we sure have and we use them to make our own toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, belly butter (uh, that’s an “I” not a “we”), all purpose cleaner and for everyday medicinal purposes (anxiety, stress, headaches, good sleep etc). I’m even venturing into using them in a homemade hairspray. I know . . . you can laugh.

Santa has gifted us with a whole new set of oils and I couldn’t be more thankful/excited. With a baby on the way, a love for all things “ancient medicinal,” and third trimester sleepless nights . . . let’s just say I evil laughed when our package arrived.

We aren’t new to essential oils (neither is the historic world . . . just us Americans, mind you). But we are new to Young Living Oils and I finally feel like I can recommend a legit brand. I’ll be sharing some of our homemade concoctions and everyday uses in the upcoming weeks.

 

Beet Kvass (part 1)

beet

I took the summer off from “fermenting” and am excited to kick off this season with beet kvass. What is beet kvass? Is it as gross as it sounds? Well, considering I HATE beets, take heart. It’s not as gross as it sounds.

Now, like kombucha, or alkaline water, or bone broth, you can find and read some crazy stories regarding healing and regained health. However none of them are ever going to be approved by the FDA or confirmed by your family doctor. That’s cool. This is totally up to you and your body. Your body will tell you if something is “working” or not and it has been used for centuries given its medicinal purposes. The plus side is that kvass is simply beets, salt, and water. So even if you don’t experience a crazy healing story, at least you got some solid nutrients. In fact, there are a few “at leasts” to consider,

It’s nothing new. Fermentation is a natural cycle of nature that we have simply moved away from with all our “modern progress” . . . however, fermented food (and drink) offer huge health benefits when taken advantage of. Nature knows what she’s doing, we just need to listen.

It’s full of bacteria. The good kind! Our guts need all the help they can get. Chances are you could use some healthy bacteria. Between Z-Pak’s, stress, sugar, our obsession with antibacterial hand gel (this one drives me crazy), and our “never-come-into-contact-with-dirt” mentality, our bodies are starving for some good bacteria. Quite literally.

It’s affordable. Probiotics are not cheap my friends but fermentation is a cheaper and sometimes better alternative. It’s not only a way to add variety into your diet, it’s a way to add in probiotics while saving your wallet. Making a gallon of beet kvass cost me around $3.00, that’s a pretty sweet deal.

It’s local. You can’t get much closer than your own kitchen. When we ferment things like kombucha, kraut, veggies, and kefir, the bacteria is local to your surroundings. It’s tailor made to your specific bacterial needs.

It does stuff. Like I said, there are all sorts of claims out there regarding it’s magic like properties (beets are good for you, fermentation is good for you, so good stuff is bound to happen). Age spots disappearing as a result of a cleansed liver. Bowel regularity increased as a result of improved digestion. A remedy for kidney stones, heart burn, and morning sickness. Now, none of these things are guaranteed. The human body and the bacteria we ingest are alive, they are going to do their own thing in their own time. But I think it’s worth the $3 to at least try.

I will be sharing the results and “recipe” soon!

Advent 2015 (the mess)

bono

Christmas of 2005, I received my very first U2 album. That was almost 10 years ago and single lines from those songs have stayed with me to this day . . . algebra on the other hand, has not.

I have a love/smirk relationship with Bono, quite different from a love/hate relationship, so don’t be confused. U2 has a way of sticking with me and the words below are of no exception. I read this interview 5-ish years ago and somehow my heart recalls it every year around Christmas time, without trying. It’s just stuck within. This is a long quote, but stay with me (or should I say, stay with Bono). It’s worth it.

“I remember coming back from a very long tour…On Christmas Eve I went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral…It had dawned on me before, but it really sank in: the Christmas story. “The idea that God, if there is a force of Logic and Love in the universe, that it would seek to explain itself is amazing enough. That it would seek to explain itself and describe itself by becoming a child born in straw poverty, in shit and straw…a child… I just thought: “Wow!” Just the poetry … Unknowable love, unknowable power, describes itself as the most vulnerable. There it was. I was sitting there, and it’s not that it hadn’t struck me before, but tears came streaming down my face, and I saw the genius of this, utter genius of picking a particular point in time and deciding to turn on this.Because that’s exactly what we were talking about earlier: love needs to find form, intimacy needs to be whispered. To me, it makes sense. It’s actually logical. It’s pure logic. Essence has to manifest itself. It’s inevitable. Love has to become an action or something concrete. It would have to happen. There must be an incarnation. Love must be made flesh. Wasn’t that your point earlier?”

Jesus comes into our mess. There must be an incarnation. He rolls up His sleeves and digs deep into humanity, knowing even better than we do, how sick our hearts are. There must be an incarnation. Knowing we will hurt Him, reject Him, and mock Him . . . describes itself as the most vulnerable. 

My heart has been heavy the past couple of weeks. But I can’t think of a better time to feel this way then when a child born in straw poverty, in shit and straw came to enter into this mess and establish His kingdom. I can’t help thinking that feeling empty and needy and broken is actually grace. . . because without feeling, without pain, I wouldn’t know I was sick. I wouldn’t know I needed a doctor. I wouldn’t be awaiting a Savior. Isn’t that what Advent is all about? Being needy? There must be an incarnation.

 

 

Advent 2015 (GLORIA)

gloria

Maybe you are following a daily or weekly Advent reading or maybe you’re not. This is a rule free zone. Either way, here are some good words. May they stir your heart as they have stirred mine many a times.

GLORIA IN PROFUNDIS

There has fallen on earth for a token
A god too great for the sky.
He has burst out of all things and broken
The bounds of eternity:
Into time and the terminal land
He has strayed like a thief or a lover,
For the wine of the world brims over,
Its splendour is spilt on the sand.

Who is proud when the heavens are humble,
Who mounts if the mountains fall,
If the fixed stars topple and tumble
And a deluge of love drowns all-
Who rears up his head for a crown,
Who holds up his will for a warrant,
Who strives with the starry torrent,
When all that is good goes down?

For in dread of such falling and failing
The fallen angels fell
Inverted in insolence, scaling
The hanging mountain of hell:
But unmeasured of plummet and rod
Too deep for their sight to scan,
Outrushing the fall of man
Is the height of the fall of God.

Glory to God in the Lowest
The spout of the stars in spate-
Where thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late:
As men dive for sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem.

– Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Advent 2015

No, I didn’t finish my 31 days. And I hate bloggers who are flaky. I do that which I hate. But hey, I’m not a blogger. I’m just sharing my thoughts and while I would love to be more consistent, life happens. To be honest, I planned poorly and should have written my posts much earlier, giving myself time to sit, think, read, and listen to others. I shared all my thoughts and needed to sit for more. The world still turns.

Today is the first day of advent!! Are you into advent? As I grow to appreciate liturgy and the magic found within (seemingly) mundane repetition, I’ve looked forward to it with growing appreciation each year. Earlier this afternoon I may have even looked at an ancient church calendar to hang on our wall . . .

Not only have I grown in an appreciation for Advent, I have grown in recognizing a need for it. We’re sick and broken and needy. We aren’t getting better, Jesus is just getting bigger. I’m over trying hard. I’m just ready to admit I can’t. I’m hungry for grace.

I keep thinking of these words,

… the weary world rejoices

Life is heavy. I’m not even 25. I’ve lived a relatively sheltered life. Never missed a meal. Never wondered where I was going to sleep for the night. A beautiful childhood and wonderful people. And yet, even I have felt that the world is weary. I’m weary. Because our souls are hungry.

That’s why Advent is so sweet. I’ll be sharing (or at least trying to) what I’m reading. Happy Advent.