Baby Steps

So, I’ve been taking baby steps now for about 7 years. I’m definitely moving in the right direction, but I really have not made much progress toward better health.

I know some of you are stepping along with me: drinking more water, taking multivitamins, and trying some nutritious recipes. Those are great steps, and I celebrate the progress- yours and mine! But I still have a long way to go.

This post isn’t leading to a happy ending or to a product recommendation. I’m just letting you know that I’m still baby-stepping my way to better health and I thought a little transparency on my part might help you on your way as well.

It was almost three years ago that the technician who did my bone scan uttered those dreadful words, “Whatever you’ve been doing, it hasn’t been enough.” I blogged then that I realized I hadn’t added much calcium to my diet and I hadn’t learned much at all about the importance of other vitamins and minerals. Well, I’m sorry to say, three years later, I’m only a few steps out from that place of not-enough.

With the help of a few perfectly-worded questions from a holistic health coach recently, I  saw for the first time that I’ve been relying on my supplements to make up for the deficits of my diet.

Nutrition overwhelms me. Food overwhelms me. Even grocery lists overwhelm me! Can anybody else relate or is this my own strange struggle?!

I’ll be meeting with a health coach regularly for the next six months and I’m really excited about learning more about the unique needs of my body and about how to feed it nutritiously. I’ll share my progress in hopes that it might help someone else. And I would love to hear from you, too. I would like to encourage you if you’re just taking your first baby steps. And I would love to learn from you if you’re ahead of me by leaps and bounds!

Speaking of baby steps, here’s my son in his first walkers.

baby steps MK

He’s holding on for support, but he’s taking steps. He’s happy! He’s out of the stroller. He’s walking on his own feet. He isn’t discouraged at all that he can’t run across the room yet. And I’m drawing analogies… Here’s to baby steps!

 

Melissa’s Peach Pie

I promised my husband last year that I would bake a peach pie any time we had access to fresh peaches. We had two pies last year, baked from a recipe my mother-in-law copied from an old edition of Farm Wife News. Farm Wife News was revamped and renamed Country Woman in 1987, so this recipe has been around a long time. Credit for the “Colorado Peach Cream Pie” recipe goes to a Ruth Andrews. If you happen to know her or her descendants, please pass on our thanks!

This year, we’ve had fresh peaches two weeks in a row, thanks to Helena Market Days. I decided to tweak the tried-and-true recipe to produce a gluten-free, sugar-free peach dessert that was still delicious. Last week’s crust held together beautifully; this week’s didn’t and the result was more like a cobbler than a pie. Both, however, tasted delicious, so I’m calling them equally successful.

Here’s my new recipe. The flour ingredient determines the quality of the crust, so feel free to substitute your favorite to produce the crust you desire.

Melissa’s Peach Pie

Crust
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. gluten-free flour*
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Filling
4 cups fresh sliced peaches
1 cup xylitol, divided
2 Tbsp. gluten-free flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Topping
1/3 c. xylitol
1/3 c. gluten-free flour
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

Crust: Cut butter into flour and salt. Press dough into 9-inch pie pan.

Filling: Slice peaches into a bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 c. xylitol. Let stand while preparing rest of filling. Combine 3/4 c. xylitol, flour, egg, salt and vanilla. Fold in sour cream. Stir into peaches. Pour into crust.

Bake 15 minutes at 400°. Reset oven to 350° and bake another 20 minutes.

To prepare the topping, combine all ingredients until crumbly.

Sprinkle the crumbs of the topping evenly over the top of the pie or around the edge. Bake the pie another 10 minutes at 400°.Melissa's Peach Pie.JPG

Serve warm and top with vanilla ice cream if desired.

*Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix produced a firm crust. King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix produced a less firm, more crumbly crust. You know what they say about financial investments? “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” I’m pretty sure that applies here, too!

The Best Squash Casserole

IMG_9458[1]

I’ll admit it. Squash is not my favorite vegetable. Not even close. But my new squash casserole recipe definitely moves it up in the rankings. I’ve been baking squash casserole for years now, and the gluten-free version I whipped up this week is the best squash casserole I’ve ever eaten- far better than the traditional recipe I’ve been preparing. (I’m sure it didn’t hurt that I started with fresh squash from Boozer Farms that I picked up Saturday at Helena Market Days!)

Gluten-Free Squash Casserole

 4 cups summer squash, sliced
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup 4C Gluten Free Plain Bread Crumbs*
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Add sliced squash to small amount of boiling water. Cover. When water returns to boiling, lower heat and cook until tender. Drain thoroughly and mash.

In a medium bowl, mix together all other ingredients. Combine with squash and mix well. Pour into a greased 1-quart casserole. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until casserole is slightly browned.

 *You can use any bread crumbs you have on hand, of course, but this is the ingredient that determines the texture of the casserole. The 4C brand bread crumbs yield a creamy casserole, unlike my usual dressing-like dish baked with regular bread crumbs. Experiment! I hope you enjoy yours as much as we enjoyed ours this week!

Essential Oils To Go!

Take your essential oils with you wherever you go this summer!

This portable Traveler Diffuser works in any standard 12V cigarette lighter socket. Diffuse your favorite oil for up to 24 hours before changing the pad. Three refill pads are included, and 10-packs of refill pads are available for purchase as well.

Click here to order your Travel Essential Oil Diffuser directly from Diffuser World.

Do you like your soap?

SFR website, Summer BOGO

Do you like your soap?

Several years ago, our favorite soap, Pure and Natural, began disappearing from grocery store shelves. We bought up every bar we could find for a while, and then we just couldn’t find any more. We tried countless bars of soap over several months, trying to find a soap that would clean without over-drying our skin or leaving an oily residue behind.

We couldn’t find one. So, we enlisted a nearby soap maker to make one for us!

Pure Olive Oil Soap is an all-natural hand, face and body bar made from pure olive oil and natural glycerin. It’s basically unscented, so it just smells clean, and it leaves skin clean and moisturized without oily residue.

This is now our family’s bath bar, hand soap, and facial bar. I personally like it better than any other soap I’ve ever used, including Pure and Natural. Why not try it for yourself? Purchase one 4-ounce bar for $4 or three bars for $10. To make it even better, this summer we’re throwing in an extra bar for every bar you order.

There’s no better time to try this soap. Buy one, get one free. No catch. No limit. No coupon needed. Stock up for yourself, or get some for friends and share the goodness!

Click here to order yours now!

BOGO offer good through August 15, 2017, while supplies last.

P. S. We’ve had some people with oily skin tell us they’re not interested in a soap made from olive oil. I know it’s hard to believe, but it really isn’t oily! If you have oily skin and you want to try it risk-free, email us. Let us know that you have oily skin and you want to put the Pure Olive Oil Soap to the test.  Place your order. Use the soap daily for 1 week. If you aren’t convinced that the soap cleanses without making your skin more oily, let us know and you’ll receive a full refund. You must email us before placing your order to take advantage of the refund offer. But I’m pretty sure you won’t be asking for a refund!

What I Learned Last Week

This is my cat 48 hours after peppermint oil.img_91121-e1496264279669.jpgI know that essential oils should always be used with care, especially when dealing with children and animals. But in spite of that, I applied a few drops to a tick on his left shoulder and THEN checked my oil books. If I had done my reading FIRST as I should have done, I would have learned that peppermint oil can be toxic to cats and I would have tried a different remedy to get rid of the tick. Thankfully, my kitty was unharmed, but I spent a very uneasy 48 hours, watching for signs of lethargy and loss of appetite. I am happy to report that Mr. Blue is still alive and well! Whew!

And speaking of toxicity, I also learned something interesting about Magic Erasers. I learned that the pad itself is made of melamine, so it is its basic structure that makes it such a great cleaner. It works like a gentle sandpaper on sinks and showers, thoroughly removing soap scum and dirt. There’s no true cleaning agent in the pad, but it does include formaldehyde- an ingredient not noted on the container. The makers of Magic Erasers claim that the small amount of formaldehyde in the pad is not a concern.

Last week, I tried Norwex Micro-Cleaning Hand Pads. The Norwex pads are also made of melamine but have no added formaldehyde. The pad worked the same magic on my bathroom surfaces and even held up better than the Magic Eraser usually does. The Norwex pads are more expensive, but they last longer, so maybe they don’t cost that much more over time. I think I’ll opt for the more expensive pads without toxic residue. By the way, I don’t sell Norwex, and I’m not being paid for this blog post. This is just my unsolicited review of my newest discovery.

So there you have it: two unrelated lessons I learned last week. What are YOU learning?

Medicine Cabinet Challenge

Medicine Cabinet

Choose one product in your medicine cabinet,
preferably something that you take often.

Now for the challenge…

Visit our store and find a comparable product. How do we stack up?
Compare ingredients, quality and cost. Let us know what you find out.

If you don’t see a comparable product,
or if you see one but it doesn’t have a full ingredient list with nutrition facts, email us.

We want to help you stock your medicine cabinet
with reasonably priced quality products
made of safe and effective ingredients.
Challenge us!