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Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Talk to a Pregnant Woman

I am nine months pregnant (along with my dear sisters, Melissa and Nonie).  Being this pregnant, I get used to all types of comments from friends and strangers, wanting to be nice, or connect, or just think they should make some comment to a pregnant woman.

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was surprised to find that (at least to some people), social and cultural rules I thought were pretty well established somehow didn't apply to pregnant women.  Pregnancy is such an emotional time, but also such a special and wonderful time.  I love being pregnant, and I especially love babies.  I have been surprised at the negativity expressed to and expected from pregnant women.  Words are powerful!  A thoughtless comment from a stranger can make me feel embarrassed or self-conscious, while a kind and generous comment can really make me feel wonderful.

I've created a list of do's and don'ts when talking to a pregnant woman from my personal experience.  I'd love to hear your thoughts as well!
In labor with a 9lb baby (I can see why everyone thought it was twins!)
DON'T

  • Don't ask if she's having twins.  Twins are not that common, and if she is having twins, she'll tell you.
  • Don't try to think of a joke.  There just isn't a good joke to tell a pregnant woman. (e.g. say she's looking "swell," "well round-ed," etc.)
  • Don't be or act surprised when you learn her due date.
  • Don't tell her she has a long time to go until her due date.
  • Don't tell her she looks uncomfortable.
  • Don't tell her she's about to pop.  Avoid the word "pop" generally.
  • Don't tell her there's a doctor on hand when she walks into a public place.
  • Don't be surprised when she says she's feeling well.
  • Don't ever tell anything negative about your birth experience.  If you had a bad experience and you're asked about it, think of something positive to say about it. 
  • Don't tell her anything negative about either gender (which is harder, easier, etc).
  • Don't guess at a due date, gender, or anything else.
  • Don't touch her stomach unless you are so close you would be touching her stomach if she weren't pregnant.
  • After a jab from my dad about my growing tummy, I responded by pulling out the measuring tape. We were both pretty surprised to find out we were about exactly the same size (although he was slightly bigger).
DO
  • Be very excited for her.
  • Tell her she looks beautiful.  Because she does; she's pregnant!
  • Ask her how she's feeling.
  • Express sympathy if she's feeling sick or fatigue.
  • Tell her her due date is soon.  If it's not soon, tell her it will be there before she knows it or it will come up really fast.
  • Be excited to hear if she's having a boy or a girl; both are exciting and wonderful options!
  • Offer to help (babysit, clean house, etc) before or after the baby is born.
  • Give presents :)
  • Be very respectful of any choice about the birth- natural, epidural, hospital, home, etc.
What has your experience been?  What have you learned from talking to or being a pregnant woman?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Word of Wisdom, and the Widtsoes

I just finished reading a really wonderful book.  Pretty much the whole book is my favorite quote.  Of course the reason I like this book is because I agree with almost everything it says.  There's full disclosure.

My ancient copy looks just like this:





The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation, by John A. Widtsoe and Leah D. Widtsoe, a husband-wife couple.  You don't have to read their impressive biographies to know they are intelligent, scientific, and extremely wise people.  You just have to read this book.

Keep in mind it was published in 1938, which makes its insight into our current era of food consumption all the more amazing.  (Even more amazing is that the Word of Wisdom was given in 1833 --- long before the scientific world even knew what a vitamin was.)  The old publication date also means, of course, that some of the research is out of date, at the same time as it might indicate the authors' greater access to traditional food preparation.

Here are some great quotes to get you started:

  • "Faulty nutrition is a contributing factor in many of the diseases that plague civilization."
  • "It is a notable, well-attested observation that primitive peoples are largely freed from the diseases that trouble civilized man most."
  • "As we eat so is the composition of the blood stream, the nature-provided healing agent of the body.
  • "The training of the will is the beginning of personal power; and such training is always initiated by sincere, continuous desire."
  • "Another phase of modern food adulteration is the attempt to make an inferior article so attractive in looks that it may be sold at a first-class price."  (They go on to talk about dying meat redder with sodium sulphite, using food coloring in canned fruits, bleaching wheat flour white, etc.)
  • "A distorted public taste frequently leads to food treatments of possible danger to the consumer."
  • "The public should also be informed concerning cosmetics and toilet articles used so extensively by women."
  • "The best protection against food fraud is to use natural foods and food products, even though the cost may seem higher."
  • "The notation of the adulterant is often printed in very small letters...while the wholesome ingredients are printed in type so large as to shout from the self to the customer."  (This brought to my mind phrases such as "Made with Real Fruit!"  "No Trans Fat!"  "Whole Grains!"  "Natural!"  "Reduced Sugar!")
  • "Another method is to print on the package or loaf --- of a wheat product for example --- that the whole wheat kernel is used, that neither the bran nor the germ have been removed; but it does not state that in the process of preparation the vitamins have been destroyed."
  • "The money spent for education and medical care is small compared with the vast sum spent for advertising unnecessary or harmful commodities on the modern market."
  • "The principles of the Word of Wisdom point securely to the safe and sane way to health through proper nutrition and the use of natural food products, without becoming subject to the attacks of frauds."
  • "The well-nourished body has no unnatural cravings and does not need a 'lift'."
  • "Moral evil is never justified by economic good."
  • "A taste for the right food may be cultivated and maintained as easily as a taste for that which is imperfect or injurious."
  • "It is the duty of everyone to learn the facts concerning human nutrition as known today, to accept confirmed truth and to reject unfounded hypotheses, and to avoid all food fads."
  • "White of egg is the purest form of protein."
  • "Fats are utilized to produce heat and to supply energy for work.  They probably have other, more obscure functions, for if absent from food an intense craving for them ensues."
  • "Some of the fatty acids found in natural fats, as for example in butter, appear to be indispensable to complete health."
  • "Crossness, tiredness, misbehavior and all other symptoms of problem cases, both child and adult, result when the blood has too little calcium."
  • "Parents and teachers should therefore be very sure that they themselves or their so-called 'naughty children' are not innocent victims of mineral shortage and improper nutrition."
  • "When magnesium is omitted from the diet, calcium and phosphorus are drained out of the body so that not enough is left to make an X-Ray picture of the rat's skeleton."
  • "Since the proportions of minerals are not the same in all plants, the use of all edible vegetables is advisable to secure a full mineral ration."
  • "When the food is impoverished in its mineral or vitamin content, miscarriage is apt to result even though the mother may remain in seeming health."
  • "To be unable to take milk is a dietetic tragedy!"
  • "Mineral starvation is felt throughout the entire body and character."
  • "Teeth are an index of correct feeding."
  • "In many cases where people suffer from nettlerash from eating certain fruits, it has been found that these fruits could be eaten more freely if wholemeal bread and flour and other foods which contain more minerals, were substituted for highly refined foods."
  • "One should insist that every vegetable to be found in the market forms some part of a week's food supply."
  • "Much of the mineral content of fruits and some vegetables is found near the skin; for that reason, if possible the skin should be eaten."
  • "Vegetables should not be allowed to soak in water, for their minerals and vitamins are usually soluble."
  • "If kitchen sinks and garbage cans had hearts and lungs they would be the best fed animals in captivity!"
  • "Butter and cream, the yellow fats of meat, with a minimum of salad oil, should form the chief supply of fat in the diet."
  • "Whether vegetarianism is successful depends no doubt upon the intelligent skill with which vegetable food products are selected and combined."
  • "As men found that foods when refined could be stored and transported over long distances without spoiling, certain other diseases have developed."
  • "In communities where good natural food is available, deficiency diseases are rare.  They are often associated with poverty; but unfortunately they are also common today amongst all classes because the food used by many careless or uninformed modern civilized people yields a shortage, in greater or lesser degree, of the different vitamins and minerals.  This is too often due to ignorance of the facts of nutrition, as well as to an unnatural or perverted appetite; or to the desire of unscrupulous persons to profit by sales of devitalized foods."
  • "Since vitamin B is soluble in water it may be stored in the body for a very brief time only and this store is soon exhausted.  Therefore, it should be found plentifully in the daily diet of all ages."
  • "When the gums or any parts of the body bleed easily, it may be taken as a warning that more vitamin C should be taken in the diet." (They note it is found in high quantities in raw summer milk --- if cows are fed in pastures --- and in liver lightly cooked).
  • "Ordinary cow's milk is deficient in vitamin C, except where cows are grass-fed."
  • "Vitamin D stimulates generally the metabolism of the necessary minerals in the cells of the body... there may be ample minerals in the food but without the presence of vitamin D they cannot be used properly."  (They cite a study showing that average duration of labor is much lower in women with sufficient vitamin D levels).
  • "Sunlight is the best physician known to man."
  • "The absence of vitamin E from the diet tends to cause sterility in males and miscarriage in females."
  • "Everyone should eat some raw food, including milk, fruits, and leafy vegetables --- every day if possible."
  • "One must learn to enjoy food prepared by Mother Nature --- she is the best cook.  She knows her job."
  • "A wise daily diet would include two or more cooked vegetables, some raw food in the form of salads, whole grain bread or porridge, an ample supply of milk, eggs and butter, and the use of flesh foods 'sparingly,' which should include occasionally liver, kidneys, brains and sweetbreads."
  • "No artificial product, even though scientifically compounded, can supplant nature's food."
  • "Resistance to infection depends largely upon the food."
  • "It is a dietetic duplication to combine sugar and starchy foods."
  • "Pure sugar is one of the most concentrated foods known, one lump containing an amount equal to that found in about three feet of sugar cane."
  • "The habit of eating rich desserts is an acquired taste." 
  • "Since the substances lost by such milling are valuable human foods, the reasons for producing refined flour, when it would be easier to render the whole kernel into flour, may well be sought."
  • "White flour keeps much better --- weevils and worms do not care for it (they would starve to death on it!)"
  • "Hot breads should be avoided and only a day or two old bread eaten, so that thorough mastication may be encouraged."
  • "One would much rather be healthy though plump than to be thin, if ill-health were the price paid."
  • "It is very likely that diet may be found a valuable ally in the fight against cancer."
  • "Children were meant to be well born; parents must understand what is their share in this grave responsibility." (Referring to offering them proper nutrition).
  • "Whey, which contains the milk sugar and most of the minerals of the milk, is an excellent food... and could, with profit to the health, be more often used in this country."
  • "Carnivorous wild animals are characterized by large livers.  Man has a relatively small liver."
  • "The heavy meat eater does not as a rule eat sufficient amounts of the other necessary foods."
  • "Undoubtedly, if the present amount of meat consumed in America were cut in half, better health, greater resistance to disease, keener zest of life, and truer enjoyment would wait upon the people."
  • "In hot weather the meat intake should be reduced, and vegetable proteins substituted."
  • "The well equipped modern kitchen has a vegetable juice extractor."
  • "There are many possible variations of such delicious health drinks.  Why then tamper with those which are dangerously habit-forming as well as injurious?"
  • "The excessive heat required to brown any food --- even toast --- destroys all vitamins and if it is browned too much it tends to cause a deterioration in the starch and fiber of the grain."
  • "The delicate linings of stomach and alimentary tract are much too precious to be experimented with because questionable artificial flavors are cheaper."
  • "It is wiser to spend a little more money for natural foods than to spend it to cure or alleviate a diseased body." 
  • "Neither man's food nor his drink should be monotonous and of this there is no need, for nature has been lavish in her bestowal of health-giving delights."
  • "If one is cheerful and thankful for all blessings, the food and drink will be greatly enhanced to his good."
  • "Many undernourished children are lacking not good food but proper rest.  The body utilizes its food and restores its energy during rest and sleep."
  • "The mind is connected closely to the body, and is its master.  Love will promote health; hate will undermine it."
  • "Faith, hope and charity, and a constant seeking after the truths of life and the universe, with a determination to accept them when found, form the foundation blocks for good health."
  • "Adherence to the Word of Wisdom reduces the cost of living by the larger use of the less expensive foods."
  • "Humanity has need for the warning and help offered by the Word of Wisdom... There are too many flabby wills; too little self-conquest."
  • "Obedience to the positive factors (of the Word of Wisdom) helps destroy the appetite for the negative factors."

You of course will have to read it to find all the interesting studies cited, and more detailed scientific breakdown of every good nutrient (known in the 1930s).  I so appreciated the wisdom with which the Widtsoes approached the whole topic.  Good, old-fashioned sense.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Grilled Summer Vegetable Sandwich

This recipe is modified from the Grilled Vegetable Panini Recipe from the Food Network.  I changed the name because although it is delicious, it's not a true panini.  And just know, my pictures do not do it justice; it's much better than it looks.  The original recipe has more exact measurements, but made it a little more complicated than I thought it needed to be.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Sandwich

Ingredients:

Any combination of Italian summer vegetables, such as:
Zucchini
Yellow Squash
Eggplant (if you're into it :))
Red onion
*Red bell peppers

Salt/Pepper

Baguettes
Basil Pesto
Water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained and sliced
Sliced tomatoes

Directions:

Heat your grill, grill pan or panini maker over medium heat.  Brush it with olive oil.  Slice all your veggies. Put them in a single layer on the grill and salt and pepper them rather generously.  When they're done, put on the next batch.  You can see how this can take a while.  Cook more vegetables than you think you'll need, because you can really pile them on, and they cook down.
Meanwhile, slice your baguettes into sandwich size, and slice in half. Spread both sides with pesto (fresh is best :)).  Layer with the mozzarella (water packed is really worth the money), fresh tomato, and the grilled vegetables. 
Eat it up, yum!  You can also drizzle with a little bit of balsamic vinegar if you like.

*If you want to have roasted instead of grilled red peppers, slice them lengthwise once, put them face-down on a baking sheet in the oven on broil.  Take them out when the skin is getting a little blackened.  If the skin doesn't come right off, they're not finished.  Pull off the skin, stem and seeds, and you've got lovely roasted red peppers!

I also tried this recipe for Kale Chips.  It was delicious, but Amy was right; don't overcook them!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Post for the Men in Our Lives

I've mentioned before how much I love this Katy lady. She writes a lot of useful things to help women with issues that believe it or not, stem from a misaligned body.

I love her so much I signed up on a mailing list to receive her blog posts in my in-box. That's saying a lot, because I'm a little fanatical about keeping my in-box clean.

Anyway, Katy's posts, as it turns out, are not limited to women and ways to keep our bodies from falling apart! I always knew that they were full of information, which if implemented, would help literally every person who tried. I found this post very interesting because she directly addresses some male issues -- the comment section is interesting as well. I wanted to put a link in this post because I know we all, whether male or female, have men in our lives we love. Perhaps it could help someone. I know Katy has really helped me change some things in my life, (I am 8 1/2 months pregnant, and haven't had incontinence issues in this pregnancy... That's only one of many things that has improved in my recent life) and I am very grateful for the physical changes I've seen and felt as a result of following her advice. She's amazing!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy and Birth

I absorbed most of this information from a childbirth class taught by Sher Anderson during my first pregnancy (same woman who gave me this priceless information). Sher is an RN, former home-birth midwife, and has taught birth classes for 30+ years. Our first 3 1/2 hour class concerned nutrition almost exclusively, more time than any midwife from a clinic spent on the subject during my first two pregnancies combined. I am deeply grateful to Sher for arming me with this information and setting me on a seeking path.

Here is an all-too-brief summary about how to have a strong pregnancy, what to arm yourself with during labor, and what nutrients Sher considers extra important during pregnancy. In my experience, everything she told us in this class has proven true. Any woman would do well to have these things in place even before conception.


GENERAL PREGNANCY STRENGTH

Uterus
Labor pains should be confined to the cervix, so if contractions are hurting in the uterus, mama's low on calcium (also magnesium and vitamin D... more info below). Red raspberry leaf tea is a great long-term tonic for uterine strength (contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins C & E). In fact, pregnant animals eat the leaves of the raspberry bush for the same reason. This tea will also help decrease afterpains (and after baby #2, I couldn't want that more!).

Bag of Waters
Keeping your bag of waters intact will make for a less painful, smoother labor by cushioning cervical dilation. It's also very protective of baby. Prepare and strengthen it with vitamin C, protein, and good fats.

Placenta
For a healthy placenta, get plenty of protein and vitamin C, also wheat germ oil.

Ligaments
If these pull a lot during pregnancy, vitamin C levels are low.

Perineum
Take wheat germ oil in a capsule to prepare vaginal tissue to be strong, soft, and stretchy for birth. This oil will also help a woman avoid cracked nipples in breastfeeding.


NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LABOR

Lots of water
Electrolyte-enhanced beverages are a good idea.

Eat regularly 
Especially protein and carbs. Labor can come to a grinding halt without the energy of food (though contractions will continue...).

Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C
Massive amounts of calcium are being used when we contract over and over. Calcium helps the uterus work more efficiently and less painfully, magnesium helps you relax, and vitamin C prevents bleeding and build-up of lactic acid (a byproduct of muscle contraction). Every 1-2 hours in labor, drink a mixture of:
  • Baywood Cal-Mag Fizz
  • Peter Gillham's Natural Calm magnesium supplement
  • Emergen-C

Vitamin E
Take a capsule at the beginning of labor, then every 4 hours (400 IUs with D-alpha-tocopherol). This will enable the body to utilize oxygen more efficiently. Baby will be more relaxed and pinker. If necessary, rub some on the bottoms of baby's feet to restore oxygen after birth. Vitamin E will also reduce blood loss.

Shock Tea
At the beginning of both 1st and 2nd stages of labor, take this tea to prevent bleeding, give energy, and prevent the shakes after labor. Sip through a straw, as the cayenne will settle.
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • Cayenne powder (start at 1/8 tsp, can go as high as 1 tsp.). The fresher and hotter, the better.


*NUTRIENTS FOR A HEALTHIER PREGNANCY (and life!)

Water
Very important! Take your weight in pounds and divide it in half. The resulting number is the amount of water you need in ounces each day.

Salt
For every quart of water, you need about 1/4 tsp. salt. If you're eating a lot of whole foods, you might not be getting enough salt. Use sea salts, as opposed to refined.

Iodine
A pregnant woman's amniotic fluid contains the same concentration of iodine as the ocean, and there's 4x that much in a developing baby's brain! Iodine tells baby's cells what to turn into and affects brain activity. Selenium must be in place for the body to pick up iodine.

Lack of iodine can cause chilliness, sluggishness, and a foggy brain. Iodine dictates how well the thyroid functions in adults, and thyroid function is known to drop with each additional child (since they rob mama of iodine). If a woman is low enough on iodine: 1) fertility can also drop off, and 2) because sex organs have an affinity for iodine, these parts can develop growths or tumors trying to trap iodine.

Though it's best to get nutrients from whole foods, you can try kelp capsules if you want a supplement. Some Japanese women get roughly 12.5 mg of iodine per day from kelp (our table salt has only .0125). Try adding powdered kelp to soups and stews, etc.

Magnesium and Calcium
Magnesium is crucial for your body to pick up calcium. Commonly, cal/mag supplements have 1000 mg of calcium and 500 mg of magnesium, but in fact, the mg's should be equal (up to 1000 mg each). Try to get them in the latter half of the day, as we don't pick it up as efficiently in the morning.

Low magnesium levels can cause: achy muscles, a more hiccupy baby, preeclampsia/toxemia, colic in newborns, and low milk supply. Remember that magnesium is a natural laxative, so if mama or baby are constipated, upping magnesium will do the trick. And if mag levels are low, calcium will be as well, which can lead to: crabbiness and irritability, more cramps in labor (including charlie horses), and sleeplessness (body needs calcium to get good sleep at night). Calcium is also dependent on protein utilization.

For adequate magnesium, try:
  • Peter Gillham's Natural Calm, an effervescent powder, easily absorbed by the body
  • Lemon juice and Epsom salts
  • Dark leafy greens (steamed)
  • Redmond salt
  • Dark chocolate
  • Almonds and especially walnuts (soaked in salt water and dried)

Vitamin D
The absorption of nearly every nutrient (especially magnesium) is dependent on vitamin D. If baby doesn't have it, neither did mama. Very few people have adequate levels. Low levels can cause rickets and even change the shape of the pelvis later. Good vitamin D levels will greatly aid a baby in both teething and growth.

The body needs vitamin D in a natural form. Milk is not a reliable source. Cod liver oil is a very good source. You can get some from liver, egg yolks, some seafood, and of course, the sun. UVB rays create vitamin D, but only reach us during peak hours, between 10 AM and 2 PM. It can conjugate in 30 minutes.

Fatty Acids
Hormones are made of fatty acids, some of which we don't manufacture ourselves. Whether labor gels right on time depends on the balance of hormone levels. A growing child's brain function is also dependent on good oils. All our fats (butter, olive oil, etc.) are totally different, and our bodies need some of each. Saturated and unsaturated fats produce different functions in the body.

Fats are easily damaged. Processing fats made by corn or soybeans damages the fats. Fats fit carefully into each cell, but a damaged fat will be crooked and bent, and therefore unable to get all the way in (or back out) of the cell. Getting enough good fats can help repair this damage.

Go for fats from nuts and seeds. The oils in nuts are essential for hormonal balance (soaking does not affect this, but roasting can deplete them). These fats are polyunsaturated. Fats in grains survive baking, so you can get some from bread products. Great oils in avocados.

By way of fatty acids, these two received a very special endorsement:
  • Cod Liver Oil. This oil is full of omega 3 fatty acids, which affect the child's brain development. It also contains vitamins D and A, which you need in a natural form (multis don't cut it), as well as vitamin K (good for teeth enamel).
    • Watch out for artificial forms of vitamin A, as high amounts are risky.
    • The brand matters! Get Blue Ice cod liver oil.
  • Coconut Oil. This special saturated fat contains lauric acid, a fatty acid abundant in breast milk. Lauric acid causes babies to be super smart because it helps make glial cells in the brain, which provide an important function in early and continuing brain development (helps babies and mamas both).
    • Find Tropical Traditions Gold Label and use the oil and/or the cream. Use it in smoothies or rub it right into the skin (it absorbs 100%).

Vitamin B12
Aids in brain development and learning capacities. Brain chemistry just can't work without it. The lack of this vitamin can cause ADD, and is the biggest factor in postpartum depression. Incidentally, the use of nitrous oxide (at the dentist) can wipe out B12 levels, which is a big problem.

The #1 source of vitamin B12 is liver, which contains far more than any other food (Sher cited it as containing 53 mg per serving, whereas a hamburger has 2, and half a chicken breast has only .3!). There are no vegetable sources of vitamin B12. Non-liver meats and dairy have some. You can also try dried liver tablets. B12 supplements don't work in everyone. If it's working, you'll have more mental clarity, more energy, allergies will straighten up, and you'll feel happier and more light-hearted.

Iron
Women lose a lot of blood. From making new blood during childhood to menstrual cycles to growing a child to postpartum blood loss, our iron levels get lower and lower if we're not very vigilant. Due to the extra blood volume in pregnancy, and the fact that each new cell requires more iron, it's hard to keep iron levels up and easy to become anemic. Be sure to get enough iron ahead of time! Calcium must be in place to utilize iron well. Healthy iron levels can contribute to stronger contractions and a shorter labor.

Lactoferrin is an iron-based compound abundant in breast milk, in the mouth, and in the intestinal tract. It suppresses the growth of negative organisms, and the lack thereof can cause yeast infections and skin issues like eczema.

When iron levels are low: you're dragging all the time, constipation more common (as iron helps support intestinal wall structure), uterine walls become slack (which may cause hemorrhaging at birth), and varicose veins may appear. Mama's iron levels also affect baby: baby will get diaper rashes and yeast infections more easily, possibly have trouble breastfeeding, and have trouble with reflux.

Get your iron from plant and animal sources:
  • Eat liver (calf or grass-fed beef liver are good choices). Iron from liver is absorbed and used by the body very quickly. Cook it at a low temperature to retain the nutrients. If iron levels are very low, have liver 3 days in a row, then a week later, then at least monthly. This will maintain healthy iron levels.
    • Sher later told me that she credits the incredible intelligence of her children to the iron and B12 in liver, which they ate weekly at home.
  • Kale and steamed spinach are good sources. Because spinach is high in oxalate, the iron from the plant will be bound up in the body unless gently heated.
  • Black strap molasses is also a good source (and yes, molasses is singular... I checked).

Chromium
Low amounts can cause gestational diabetes. Because eyes store a lot of chromium, a lack can also cause near-sightedness. Levels tend to get worse with each generation because baby can only get what mama is getting. Take a supplement to boost levels if necessary.

Selenium
Needed to make glutathione, selenium is the main "mop-up" chemical that clears out heavy metals and toxins from the body, and a main defense against viruses. The body needs selenium to pick up iodine, and can also enhance milk supply.

Selenium has been shown to help reduce rates of cancer, AIDS, Keshan disease, thyroid issues, and other serious diseases. Where the lowest levels of selenium are found, we also find the highest cancer counts. For example, in Senegal, the soil is unusually rich in selenium, calcium, and magnesium. The men in that country often take several wives (many preferring to experiment before taking subsequent wives), but in spite of loose sexuality, there is hardly any AIDS or cancer in that country. U.S. soils are depleted of selenium, so we really need good sources of selenium every day. Enough selenium and amino acids intake can actually reverse the diseases.
  • Eat 6-7 brazil nuts a day for a great source of selenium.
  • Pork
  • Liver
  • Brewer's Yeast and Nutritional Yeast (stir into tomato juice or try on popcorn)
  • Capsule supplement in the form of selenomethionine. Amino acids hep pick up selenium. Recommended daily dose is 200 mg.

EAT A GREAT VARIETY OF FOODS!
Different fruits, grains, nuts, etc. The body can use as many different elements as possible.


*The foods listed as containing these nutrients are not necessarily the only options. Sher was naming them off the top of her head as some of the best sources.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Two Perspectives on Motherhood

I know it's not Mother's Day, but I received these two fabulous Mother's Day church talks after Mother's Day this year, and I couldn't wait a whole year to share them.  Three of us Marshall sisters are due to have a baby within a month, so I figured that was enough excuse to re-visit Mother's Day, since mothering is so much on our minds!

The first is a talk given by my maternal great-grandmother, for whom I am named.  It was probably given when she was in her 70's (when she learned to type).  She was such a lovely, thoughtful and articulate woman.  I hope you enjoy her talk. 

A Mother’s Thoughts on Mother’s Day Morning

By, Beatrice Cannon Evans

Dearest Children,

With what swelling pride we see you sing and speak your parts this sunny Sabbath morning.  Pride, not in our dessert of this, your too generous, unstinted praise, but in your accomplishments.  It is the breath of life you give back to us.

Yes, this is a proud and peaceful moment to pause and glance backward along the gentle slopes of life, to breathe freely and feel deeply of life, to see beyond the surface of our daily tasks, and know if our course has been upward or become wedged in the deepened ruts of the lowland of the valley.  May the moment prove one of peace, each one a higher mile stone through the years!

            Having a part in bringing you into the world has been the greatest achievement and adventure of our lives; and if you continue to progress in intelligence, high accomplishment, and noble living, you will be the glory of our lives forever and forever.
Grandma Bea reading to my beautiful little mother
 And what, dear children, do you really think of us?

Are we merely the policemen of your lives?  Have we forgotten what it means to be young?  Has the fierceness of our young desire grown dim?  The all possessing importance of the moment no longer vivid in our hearts?  God forbid!  Do we touch you only in terms of, “Johnny wash your hands!”  “Do hang up your clothes.”  “Wash the dishes, Mary.”  Did we always so cruelly tuck your childish body in “when grown up people’s feet were marching past you in the street?” *

Do you know about the task of disciplining and training you for success and happiness was born to us with you, and if we do not succeed in this, success in any thing else is poor in deed.  And some day you will speak with pride when you proclaim, “My mother didn’t leave me to spend the evenings in the streets,” or, “My mother had us entertain our friends at home,” etc. etc.

But maybe what you do not know so well is, that bearing, rearing, and living with and for you, is the strongest disciplining force in our own lives.  For you we get up in the morning when we would like to lie in bed; through you we out-grow many an evening dissipation.  For you we have zest in working on when we are weary; your need in us calls forth hidden reserves and brings into play our latent powers.  Because of you our hearts are forward looking even when age is creeping upon us.  Life sparkles with your laughter.  Though we are linked to the song and sorrow of all the world, our hopes shall not be buried with us. 
Grandma Bea, posing with her five boys (my grandpa's bottom-left.  Isn't he cute?).
 And if we profit fully by life’s experience with you, our great love for you shall be but the bud which shall blossom into a greater love.  Daily we are learning more what Jesus said, “A little child shall lead them.” 

And let us Mothers in the flesh remind ourselves lest we in the fullness of our lives forget that we are not the only Mothers in the world.  Great and high tribute should this day be paid to mother hearted women everywhere whose sympathies and helping hands daily touch the lives of our’s and other people’s children.  The pages of history are gloriously maned with the names of childless mothers whose vision, love and untiring energies have broadened and made more straight the way of life for us and our children.

And to three such whose lives have intimately touched mine, I would this day pay silent homage.

My own Mother always said that we owed no debt to her; the joy of our infant smiles had more than compensated her for the cares of young motherhood.  And so truly so with me my babies sunny ways dispelled even memory or thought of sacrifice.

But, dearest children, still you owe a great debt, which must be paid in full to the oncoming generation.  It must be paid with interest and only in the unalterable coin of the realm.  You must weld yourself to the great chain of humanity and pass it on in sound minds, vigorous bodies, and pass an untarnished but added unto, the pure gold of the knowledge and tradition of the implacable treasure, which is trusted to your keeping.
Grandma with her grandchildren, at right holding a baby
But, since I have been a mother, I find Mother’s Day, with all its lovely homage, the most trying day of the year.  All the things a mother should and could be are arrayed as an accusing criterion before me in those piercing words of guileless praise.  My hasty and impatient words sound like thunder in my ears.  And I see my baby’s smile each morning born anew.  Yes my children forgive me always, even “seven times seven.”  I find myself in trial, and I am weighed in the balance and found wanting.

The greatest need of the world today is better mothers.  If such moments will help to make us so, all hail and long life to Mother’s Day!

This next talk was given by my lovely sister, Rachel.  She has always been an amazing fount of wisdom.  I always learn something from her when we have a chance to talk.

Motherhood and the Savior

By Rachel Vella Galli Fleming

Happy Mother’s day! I have the pleasure today of talking about motherhood as it relates to the
Savior, who is our greatest example in all things including maternal love and sacrifice.

Anne Campbell wrote: “You are the trip I did not take; You are the pearls I cannot buy; You
are my blue Italian lake; You are my piece of foreign sky. You are my Honolulu moon, you
are the book I did not write, you are my heart's unuttered tune, you are a candle in my night.”
Without knowing the title of the poem, “To my child,” it is not difficult to guess who the author
is referring to, for whom she sacrifices trips and pearls. These sacrifices are not uncommon
to mothers, although individual sacrifices can vary. Some women give up a career or world
traveling to stay home with their children as my mother did for many years. Certainly, not every
woman is blessed with the time I’ve had to enjoy foreign skies and Italian lakes before becoming
a mother. Other mothers must work to provide for their families, and some are single mothers,
which I imagine to be the most difficult job of all.
Rachel and her sweet baby Aaron

As the oldest child in my family, I have always been cognizant of many of the sacrifices my
mother made for me. I knew that even without studying much for it, she excelled on the LSAT
and could have done well in law school. She is an excellent writer, and as a nearly empty nester,
is finally finding the time to complete Helga’s autobiography. For many years, I was for my
mother “the book she did not write.”

Even though I knew many of the sacrifices my mother made for me, it was only when I became
a mother that I understood more fully. During one challenging period with my baby Aaron, I
recently pondered, “There is nothing he could do to repay me, regardless of anything he may do
for me in the future. The many sleepless nights, the financial sacrifice to stay home and provide
the material things he needs, and the care I give him every hour would forever be beyond his
reach to repay. And yet these are sacrifices that Micah and I are happy to make. What do I hope
for then, as a mother that I will receive in return for all I give to Aaron?” I realized that what I
hope for most in return is his happiness. His happiness is my greatest recompense, and more
rewarding than any pearls I could otherwise buy or return trips to Italian lakes.

These thoughts turned my mind to the Savior’s sacrifice for us. Like our mothers, He gave us
new life, and we could never present Him with the same gift or afford the infinite price tag on
His infinite atonement which made eternal life possible. We cannot imagine His sufferings,
which He tells us were “sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how
hard to bear you know not.” And for His sufferings, the only recompense He hopes for is our
happiness, and His only request is that we repent and remain obedient to the laws of heaven
because that is the only way for us to receive a fullness of joy.


When I view commandments or difficult experiences through the lens of motherhood, I am able
to feel the Savior’s love even through challenging things. Aaron doesn’t always appreciate
elements of the care I give him. When he cries as I change his diaper or take something sharp
away from him, I constantly explain to him, although he won’t fully understand for a long time,
that my love and desire for his happiness are always my only motive. I love him enough to
take away something he wants or subject him to temporary discomfort in order to provide him
with longer term comfort, happiness, and opportunities to learn. As he grows older, I will ask
him to always look both ways before he crosses the street and give other rules for his safety,
development, and happiness that he might not always welcome.

While studying the scriptures last year, I began to notice further parallels between the Savior’s
love and sacrifice for us and motherhood. I recognized that the Lord often uses the sacrifice
unique to mothers, that of carrying a baby to term and giving birth, as a metaphor for the
atonement. Three words in particular: pain, labor, and travail, are sometimes used as a trio
together, or in other places two out of three of the words, to describe birthing pains. They are
used as a metaphor for the Savior laboring for our salvation or for His servants aiding Him in
this effort. Here is one example in 2 Nephi which refers to the Jews bringing salvation to the
Gentiles through the Bible: “Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails,
and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation
unto the Gentiles?”

The word “bear” is also commonly used in the birth metaphor for the labor of salvation. Isaiah
53: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:… He shall see the travail of his
soul and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall
bear their iniquities.”

The book Beloved Bridegroom recently enhanced my understanding of this birth metaphor. It
notes that the Jews believed it would take “Chevlai shel Mashiach” or the “Birth pangs of the
Messiah” to bring to pass redemption. Quote, “Just as birth is preceded and accompanied by
birth pangs, there are likewise “pangs of Messiah” in the generation in which the Son of David
will appear.”

In John 16:21, the Savior gives this metaphor to His disciples: “A awoman when she is in
travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she
remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” Christ is referring
to the sorrow the disciples will feel at the time of His death, which was soon to come, compared
with the joy they will feel when He is reunited with them. He also remarks a few verses later
that the hour had come for His atonement, which harkens back to the hour come for a woman in
labor. And the Savior later confirms that like that woman whose joy was full after a man was
born into the world, His joy was full when His atonement was complete and all men could be
spiritually reborn through Him.

Like a mother’s sacrifice to bear a child through pregnancy and give birth is only the beginning
of the love she will demonstrate to her child throughout her life, so the Savior’s love continues
to bless us throughout eternity. The Lord demonstrates His watchful care through additional
maternal metaphors, such as the comparison of Himself to a mother hen, who desires to gather
her chickens, the House of Israel, under her wings.

Isaiah 46 provides further insight into the enduring maternal like love of the Savior: ¶Hearken
unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the aremnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me
from the belly, which are carried from the womb: 4 And even to your aold age I am he; and even
to bhoar hairs (grey hairs) will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will ccarry, and
will ddeliver you.”

As I know the Lord will always carry me, even as an adult, my own mother continues to
demonstrate this love. I recently unpacked a box of kitchen utensils, and there was a sticky
note inside taped to some wrapped knives that says, “SHARP KNIVES (in caps!). P.s. Hi
from Mom.” I’m sorry to admit that I don’t remember my mother helping me pack my kitchen
utensils when we moved from Indiana two years ago, but her love continues with me, making
sure that I don’t get cut by future knives.

I felt other effects of my mother’s long distance love while on my mission. I credit my lack
of homesickness to my mother’s poetic weekly letters describing the flowers growing in the
garden, what the family enjoyed for Sunday dinner, the activities of my sisters, and thoughts
she was pondering about. Home seemed so close that I never missed it! One area, however,
was particularly challenging for me on my mission. I remember sitting in a sacrament meeting
when I was new in the branch feeling overwhelmed and wondering how I could dredge up the
enthusiasm to get to know the members after church. Suddenly I felt a deep warmth run through
me, bringing renewed hope and the strength to do difficult things. I recognized this as a love
letter relayed through the Spirit from my mother, who had been praying in particular that I might
feel her love. This brought to my mind a prompting my mother had mentioned to me earlier;
when she was feeling sad about my absence: she said excitedly, “The Spirit told me you’re
coming home!” I knew that no matter what challenges I would face on my mission, that I would
be given the strength to overcome them, and yes, one day I would go home.

I imagined that Ammon, the arm slaying son of Mosiah, felt similar comfort as he confronted the
men who had lead away the king’s sheep. The scriptures attribute his success in cutting off arms
not to his immense physical strength or even his righteousness, but to the prayers of his father.
Alma 17 reports that the sheep thieves did not fear Ammon, “for they supposed that one of their
men could slay him according to their pleasure, for they knew not that the Lord had promised
Mosiah that he would adeliver his sons out of their hands.” The love and prayers of Ammon’s
father directed through the spirit made him invincible, as my mother’s love blessed and protected
me.

The Savior’s promise to us is the same. We leave His physical presence for a brief time,
analogous to a mission, during which He grants us grace to overcome any obstacle we face
including death and sin. Then His love brings us home to Him. The Spirit whispers to us here as
it did to my mother, “There is no need to fear. Abide now in my love, and in a short time, you’re
coming home!”

My mother’s love teaches me to rely on the promise “Even to my old age and grey hairs it is the
Savior who carries me; it is He who will deliver me back home with Him.” I’m grateful for my
mother and her love that points me to Christ. I endeavor to be that kind of a mother, and hope
that through my love, Aaron will come to know his Savior and rely on His love until the time he
returns home to be encircled in the Savior’s arms.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Clove a Day

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? I mean, I see the point... eat well to avoid getting sick, right? But it would be more accurate to say:

A freshly crushed clove of raw garlic a day keeps the doctor away!

I know, it doesn't roll off the tongue the same or seem nearly as romantic, but there it is.


My midwife recommends all her mamas eat a clove or two of garlic each day. I started doing it mainly to see if I could kick a persistent yeast infection when nothing else seemed to work. And work, it did. I kept on taking it, mainly to prevent said yeast infection from returning. I was delighted that it also wiped out a crazy underarm rash (likely this) that developed due to shaving with a sharp razor and sweating too much. I was a quick convert to the wonders of garlic.

I got excited reading various abstracts from garlic studies on PubMed. There are thousands, and I only opened a couple dozen (like this and this...), but the descriptive adjectives impressed me:

Antibacterial
Antiviral
Antifungal
Antiparasitic
Antimicrobial
Insecticidal
Anticarcinogenic
Antitumor
Antioxidant 
Cardioprotective

So looks like we can all benefit! Not just another "thank-heavens-I'm-not-pregnant-so-I-don't-have-to-take-that" supplement. I'll tell my husband next time he gives me a pat on the back for dutifully taking my garlic...

FAQs

In what form should I take it?
For optimal results, raw and fresh are crucial. Crushed is best. Whether it makes a little crunch sound is a good freshness indicator (experience speaking).

You mean, I just eat it?
I generally crush a clove onto a spoon and chase it down with something I need to drink (tea, cal-mag, etc.). Some people spread it on toast or drizzle honey atop.

Will it make my breath smell?
Not nearly as much as I anticipated. People still talk to me and Keenan still kisses me.

What's it like?
It burns ever-so-slightly going down, but it's not unpleasant. It doesn't settle well on an empty stomach (again from experience), especially the gigantic ones.

How often should I take it?
Daily is great. If you want to kick something big, eat a clove every two daylight hours for two days (according to Meredith's healthcare professionals).

How can I do this?
Get a garlic press and one of these to make it less daunting, and then be brave, be brave, be brave! As with most things, the first time takes the most courage.


HAS GARLIC HELPED YOU? HOW DO YOU TAKE IT?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Family Day!

Happy Family Day, everyone!  Yesterday we celebrated our 6th Anniversary, and for us that means FAMILY DAY!  It's a party my boys look forward to all year (I love having only to please very young children :)).  A few years ago, Andrew and I realized that although our anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our love and marriage, which is definitely worth celebrating (don't worry, we have a fun date planned for this weekend), the day we were married was also the start of our family, which also merits a party!

Here's how to celebrate Family Day:

1. Look forward to it, and talk it up for a long time (as many months as possible).
2. Listen to party music
3. Eat "party food" for dinner (thanks, TJ's).
4. Over dinner, talk about how you have the best family in the world
5. Open a new board game.
6. Play your new board game!
7. As you accumulate board games and have kids who can stay up, you can play all the games you have, all night long!


One of the reasons I love this tradition is it helps define us as a "board game family" (as opposed to a movie or video game family), and we can build up our collection of games.  We bought Candyland this year.  I know it kind of goes against all my food philosophy, but it's so charming, and I found the same old-school version I grew up with at a local consignment shop.  Last year we got Playground, which we have really loved. It's a get-up-and-move game.  Others I was considering for preschool age were: Hungry Hungry Hippos (but I decided against it because those little balls would get all over my house, although there is a travel version), and Chutes and Ladders.  None of these games require reading.

What are your favorite games for young children?  Anyone tried Hi Ho Cherry-O?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More Brownies? Straight Peanut Butter Time

Source

Sorry, Ma! My family does eat vegetables, I promise. But sometimes you just need a little... something.

A while ago I posted this. Since then, in many efforts to eat less chocolate, I've started making them into straight peanut butter brownies. They are to die for! (Is that conceited of me? They would be just as good with anyone else making them...)

Here's what ya do:

Ingredients: 

1-1 1/2 Cups good quality peanut butter
1 cup butter softened, or half cup softened butter/half cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups rapadura 

3 eggs
3/4 cup sprouted grain flour

2 Tbl. Sp. Arrow root starch (Some grocery stores carry this now, if not try the health food store, or online.) 
 (If you don't have arrow root, you can simply use one cup sprouted flour.)
1-2 tsp. vanilla

Directions: 
Mix butter, and/or butter and coconut oil with peanut butter until it is smooth. Add Rapadura. Add eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Slowly mix arrow root with flour, (arrow root tends to fluff into the air when mixed into batters by itself), and then add that mixture into the batter. Pour batter into greased pan, any size of your choosing, depending on how thick you like them. Cook at 350, for approximately 20 minutes, depending on you oven. Test brownies for doneness using the good old toothpick test.

Note: You can make this recipe gluten free by omitting flour, and simply using a full cup of arrow root starch. Arrow root has a natural vanilla taste to it, so I might recommend reducing the sweetener a little if you choose to go this route.


Note: You can add chocolate, or carob chips to these. It's good.

Bonus: If you go back to the original chocolate brownie recipe and omit the vanilla, you can add mint instead. It's delicious!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Food Preservation

On Friday I attended a wonderful webinar hosted by Wardeh Harmon of the Gnowfglins blog.  It was a very enlightening hour and a half about food preservation!  I wanted to share some of the highlights here, and get your ideas about food preservation.  What methods do you like best and why do they work for you?

  If I ever build a house, it's going to have a root cellar! image source

I recently got a dehydrator, and I love it.  So far I've used it for sprouted wheat, fruit leather, dried mangos, soaked raw almonds and walnuts, soaked raw sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds, homemade crackers and homemade granola.  Looking forward to trying jerky!

But I've never canned or fermented.  I am less scared to try after this informative webinar!

One thing I need to think more about: it is important to have some semblance of organization to your long-term food storage.  First in, first out!  Make sure you are rotating your foods, and labeling them by date as you prepare them.

Reasons to Preserve Food
  • Emergency preparedness.  And not just in case of natural disasters!  One of the guest speakers at the webinar told of how she and her husband felt prompted to start preserving food.  They worked nonstop for 9 months to build up a food supply.  As soon as they had one year's worth of food, her husband lost his job.  They lived off that food supply until he secured another job --- when they only had 2 weeks' worth of food left.  
  • It's frugal!  Buy (or grow) in bulk, and store.
  • You know what's in it, and can ensure that maximum nutrients are present.
  • Great to have on hand for camping or hiking.

Dehydrating Foods

Reasons to dehydrate:
  • Easy!
  • Low temperatures retrain nutrition and don't kill enzymes
  • Dehydrated foods are extremely portable and compact
  • They are shelf-stable at room temp.
  • Dehydrating is excellent for herbs and tinctures and almost all foods
  • You can use previously dehydrated foods in fermented recipes!
Things to keep in mind:
  • Meats should be fat free to prevent spoiling
  • You can vacuum seal or freeze dehydrated foods for longer keeping
  • Rehydrate foods with water (since brown rice is not very stable kept raw at room temperature, you can cook it and dehydrate it for later instant brown rice)
  • Foods must be totally dry and cool before storing
  • You can dehydrate food in the sun if you don't have a dehydrator!  Or in a sun oven.   
  • Although food is still considered raw if dehydrated under a temperature of 155 degrees F, meat must be dehydrated at 155 to kill bacteria
Some resources:
  • "Complete Dehydrator Cookbook" by Mary Bell
  • "Dehydrating Way Beyond Jerky" FB group


Fermenting Foods 

  image source
Reasons to ferment:
  • Increases nutrition of food!
  • Increases digestibility of food
  • Creates new (strong) complex (many say tasty) flavors
  • All foods can be fermented (dairy, grain, meat, veggies and fruits)
  • B vitamins!
Things to keep in mind:
  • You need air-tight containers for best results
  • If a beginner, use only tried-and-true recipes
  • Store fermented foods in cool or cold storage
  • Most ferments are not suited for very long term (a few good months though!)
  • Glass or ceramic containers could break in a natural disaster or in transport
Some resources:
  • "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods" by Wardeh Harmon
  • Online classes and eBooks at Gnowfglins: Fundamentals, Sourdough, Cultured Dairy, and Lacto-Fermentation

Freezing Foods

 

Reasons to freeze:
  • Easiest method
  • Retains nutrition
  • Preserves fresh texture of foods
  • Dry goods won't get bugs if frozen
  • You can use previously frozen foods in fermented recipes
Things to keep in mind:
  • Storing anything more than 3 months risks freezer burn and generally worse taste
  • Vacuum sealing prevents freezer burn!
  • Power loss can result in expensive food loss
  • Food needs time to thaw before use
  • Treat all dry goods before storing by freezing them for 72 hours.  This will ensure that all bugs and bug eggs are killed before long-term storage.  Then use dry ice for vacuum sealing, for long-term freshness!  This is a cool trick. 
  • Note: cool running water through an insulated building can give you cold storage.  Not sure exactly how this works, but it's a cool idea that I want to research.  You know, if I ever own land with running water.
Some resources:
  • "Ball Blue Book --- Complete Guide to Canning, Freezing and Dehydration"
  • "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving"
  • National Center for Home Food Preservation: nchfp.uga.edu

Canning Foods
Reasons to can:
  • You can!
  • Shelf-stable at room temperature
  • Makes ready-to-eat foods (eat straight out of jars in emergency)
  • Doesn't require any fancy dancy tools
  • Food stores well for a long time
Things to keep in mind:
  • Labor intensive!  Hot work in the summer
  • Nutrition is reduced by the high heat and/or pressure
  • Glass jars can break in natural disasters or in transport
  • Make sure your canning lids don't contain BPA
  • Low-acid foods must be pressure canned
  • If canning is not done correctly, botulism is a risk
Some resources:
  • "Ball Blue Book --- Complete Guide to Canning, Freezing and Dehydration"
  • "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving"
  • commonsensehome.com
  • christianhomekeeper.org
  • pickyourown.org

Other Resources
  • blog.realfoodliving.com
  • cookingtf.com
  • backpackingchef.com
  • dehydrate2store.com
  • "Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning" from Chelsea Green Publishing
  • "Root Cellaring" by Mike and Nancy Bubel
  • "Real Food Storage" eBook by KerryAnn Foster at cookingtf.com
  • your great-grandma

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mormonism and Environmentalism

My dad, Craig Galli, was recently interviewed along with George Handley and Rachel Whipple on Mormon Matters on the topic of Mormonism and Environmentalism.  It's a great topic, and all the guests brought a unique perspective and had great insights.  I'd love to read some of your thoughts and responses if you have anything to share!  The links at the bottom are really worthwhile, too.

Listen here.

113: Mormonism and Environmentalism

July 25, 2012
By

How “green” is Mormonism? What is holding the tradition and culture back from becoming more environmentally sensitive—or even overtly activist? What theological and practical resources are there in Mormon thought and practice for fostering an ethic of greater care for the earth and its systems, including all the other forms of life with which we share the planet? How can Latter-day Saints who are environmentally active be effective in moving Mormon culture toward greener awareness and action?
Prompted by the release of the new Sunstone magazine issue with a terrific collection of articles and essays under the heading of “Earth Stewardship,” this episode features Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists George Handley, Rachel Whipple, and Craig Galli in a far-ranging conversation about their shared sense of Mormonism as a religion rich with scriptural and prophetic support, theological sensibilities, and practical wisdom and vehicles for teaching and acting with greater sensitivity toward the environment—and, in so doing, finding our way to a much more connected and fulfilling life. Topics range from sensibilities about Mormonism’s teachings about the intimate connection between spirit and matter, to resources for taking seriously the “intrinsic value” of all forms of life and the systems that sustain them, to the call to be “stewards” of the earth, to consumer/disposable culture, to fighting the sense of hopelessness (often leading in many to apathy) in the face of the difficulty of these issues, to more consciously choosing where to live and various sustainable practices we might adopt in an effort to align our lifestyles more closely with our spiritual values. It also features some great ideas for Primary and other ward leaders about how to more deeply unite their communities in life-enriching ways.
_____
Links
Blogs:
LDS Earth Stewardship
Home Waters (George Handley’s blog at Patheos)
Progressive Pioneer
Please suggest others!
Articles and Essays:
Rachel Whipple, “Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture” (Sunstone, June 2012)
Craig D.  Galli, “Enoch’s Vision and Gaia: An LDS Perspective on Environmental Stewardship” (Dialogue, Summer 2011)
Craig D. Galli, Study Guide: LDS Perspectives on Environmental Stewardship (terrific source for scriptural and prophetic references related to Mormonism and the environment)
George B. Handley, “The Environmental Ethics of Mormon Beliefs” (BYU Studies 40, no. 2, 2001)
Dan Wotherspoon, “Reaching, Calling, Hungry, Thirsty: Imagining Abrahamic Creation” (Irreantum, Summer 2002. An error led to an earlier draft being the one published in the journal: titled there as “Keepers of the Stories”)
Books:
George B. Handley, Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River (University of Utah Press, 2010)
Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, edited by Terry B. Ball, George B. Handley, and Steven L. Peck (Religious Studies Center, BYU, 2006)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

One Thing to Do with Potatoes

Source
I grew up in Idaho. I love potatoes. I think there is correlation there. Although, there is not correlation between being from Idaho, and loving Ligers. (Google it, Idaho and Ligers.)

Anywho, for dinner tonight we had shrimp with alfredo sauce, over baked potatoes. So good!

What you will need:
  • Potatoes (We use pontiacs because they are lower in starch than their browner cousins.)
  • 2 cups good quality cream
  • garlic, I used two cloves
  • 2 or 3 tsp. good quality butter, and 1 tsp. good quality olive oil
  • parsley, as much as you feel good about
  • sage
  • 2 cups, grated Parmesan cheese
  • cracked pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup, or more, shredded fresh spinach
  • shrimp
 What to do with above items:
  1. Throw as many potatoes as you would need to feed your family in the oven at 350. It takes about an hour for a potato to bake. And depending on how many that is, you may need to double this recipe. You are the captain of your kitchen, though, so only you know.
  2. Half an hour into your potato's cooking time, mince your garlic and gently saute in a combination of 1 tsp. butter and 1 tsp. olive oil. When this becomes fragrant add parsley, and let saute for a few seconds to wake up the flavor. Add cream, and bring to a simmer -- let simmer for one minute. Add cheese and stir until thickened. If you choose to add cracked pepper do so now. Turn off heat, but do not remove from burner.
  3. In another pan near by melt the other 1 or 2 tsp. butter, add sage, and let it bubble in the butter for a few seconds to wake up the flavor. Add the shrimp, and let cook until pink half way through. Turn, and let finish cooking on the other side.
  4. When shrimp is done cooking, add shredded spinach to the sauce, and stir till incorporated throughout. The remaining heat in the sauce will be enough to just cook the spinach enough.
  5. By now your taters should be ready. Remove them from the oven, and give them each a good pound or four with your fist. This mashes the insides, and makes dressing them a little easier. Break open your potatoes, and ladle as much sauce on top as you want. This is a very buttery dish, so most people won't want to butter their potato more before adding the sauce. You may either top the potatoes with the shrimp, or serve them on the side.
  6. Eat with gusto!