Fighting Inflammation

I was so thankful for Bromelain yesterday- still am, actually.  But then I learned that Bromelain and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be discontinued about two weeks before any surgical procedure to reduce the risk of post-operative bleeding.  And since I have surgery in my near future, I have discontinued my Bromelain.  I miss it already!

I quickly consulted my essential oil books and mixed up a blend of inflammation-fighters.  Here’s my recipe…

Anti-Inflammatory Essential Oil BlendOils for Inflammation.jpg

Combine the following oils in an amber glass bottle:

I took my blend to my physical terrorist therapist who used the oils during my session this morning.  (I can’t take the credit for that PT insult.  I overheard it at therapy today!)

While I can’t address inflammation with a supplement, I’m glad to be able to address it with essential oils.  How do YOU fight inflammation?

What’s in a Promise?

ProMiSe!  Hidden in that wonderful word, promise, is that not-so-wonderful problem, PMS (premenstrual syndrome).

Promise BlendHere’s a recipe for relief of PMS symptoms, originally shared by Beeyoutiful’s Stephanie Tallent:

Prepare 1/3 cup of a carrier oil (sweet almond or jojoba–or in a pinch, olive or coconut).  Add the following oils to the carrier oil:

  • geranium oil, 20 drops
  • chamomile oil, 10 drops
  • peppermint oil, 5 drops
  • lemon oil, 5 drops
  • lavender oil, 5 drops

This blend can be applied directly to the abdomen to relieve cramping, or to the wrists or bottoms of feet to address PMS symptoms throughout the body.

Now, with ProMiSe, a ready-to-use blend, the preparation has been done for us!

Beeyoutiful’s ProMiSe Blend is a unique combination of pure essential oils designed specifically to support women when their hormonal health is disrupting their lives.  ProMiSe Blend includes Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Peppermint, Grapefruit, Clary Sage, Chamomile, and Frankincense essential oils.

Click here to learn more about Beeyoutiful essential oils!

Natural Detangler

When I came across a recipe for a natural detangler recently, a certain curly-haired young friend came to mind.  This little guy not only has very curly hair but also has a very tender scalp.  Smoothing out those tangled curls becomes a very unpleasant experience for him.  I wondered if this combination would work for him.

So, I whipped up some detangler and gave it to his mom to try.  Success!

detangler before and after.png

Natural Detangler

Place ingredients in a 4 oz. spray bottle and fill with water.

Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese!

Earlier this year, I shared our recipe for  “Grandma’s Macaroni and Cheese.”  I told you it was a family favorite, but it’s not gluten-free.  Besides the elbow macaroni, there’s also white flour in the cheese sauce.  I asked, “Is there a healthy macaroni and cheese recipe anywhere?”

And, now three months later, I’m here to tell you that it is possible to make delicious macaroni and cheese that is also gluten-free!  I served this recently to my family who LOVES Grandma’s Macaroni and Cheese, and they loved it!  Some of them didn’t even notice any difference.  One that noticed said the cheese sauce was even better than it usually is!  Now, that’s success!

Here’s the recipe:

Gluten-Free Macaroni and CheeseIMG_4918[1]

  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free elbow macaroni (I used Mueller’s Gluten-Free Corn and Rice Pasta Blend Elbows, purchased at Publix)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 4 Tbsp. gluten-free flour (I used LiveGfree Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour, purchased at Aldi)
  • cups milk
  • ½ tsp. salt
  •  ⅛ tsp. pepper
  • cups sharp cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni in boiling, salted water until tender; drain.  Melt butter; blend in flour.  Add milk.  Cook and stir until thick.  Add salt, pepper and 2 cups of cheese; stir until cheese is melted.  Mix sauce with macaroni.  Turn into 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes, until macaroni and cheese is bubbly and browned.

Success!

Last month, I blogged about my biscuit failures which were too awful to be photographed.  I’ve continued to work at my recipe and to experiment with different gluten-free mixes.  I’m pleased to present the edible and photograph-able result of my perseverance!  Success at last!

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Gluten-Free Biscuits

  • 1 1/2 cups of Pamela’s Bread Mix*
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 of a stick of butter)

Sift 1 cup of the bread mix with the baking powder and salt.  Add milk and butter.  Stir until no dry mix remains.  Add bread mix until dough reaches biscuit-dough consistency.  Knead the dough into a ball.  Then pat the dough onto a surface floured with a little bread mix.  Dough should be about 1/2″ thick.  Cut into squares or use a small cup to cut round biscuits.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet (or pizza stone) at 375° for 15 minutes.  Yields 8-10 biscuits.

For flakier biscuits:  Roll the dough out onto a floured surface.  Fold into thirds and then roll out again.  Do this a total of 3 times.  Cut as desired and bake at 375° for 15 minutes.

* Pamela’s Bread Mix
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We want you to have this book!

As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, my thinking about bones and learning to treat my osteopenia led to thinking about food and nutrition.  I’m learning a lot from friends and from my newest favorite book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon

Nourishing Traditions is an amazing handbook of information about food, health and nutrition.  It has 688 pages and 773 recipes!  We want you to have one of these for your kitchen or home library.  For a limited time, when you purchase Nourishing Traditions from Smith Family Resources, we’ll send it to you along with a free (surprise) gift!  Click on any link in this paragraph to shop.  Just add Nourishing Traditions to your cart and the gift will be sent to you automatically.

In case you’ve missed any of the recipes we’ve shared, you can click on the links below…

Onion Compote
Strawberry Smoothie
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
Pizza Omelet
Banana Bread
Honey-Lime Fruit Toss
No-Bake Protein Energy Bites

Do you have a recipe for us to try?  Please share!  Comment below or email it to smithfamresources@att.net.  Thanks!

No-Bake Protein Energy Bites

This delicious treat is packed with a great balance of complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.  Plus, it’s sugar-free and easy to make!

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No-Bake Protein Energy Bites

1 cup oats (use gluten-free oats if desired)
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 Tbsp. protein powder (We used milk & egg protein powder; use vanilla protein powder or whey protein powder if desired)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Mix all ingredients together until evenly distributed in the dough.   Roll the dough into 24 half-inch balls.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Honey-Lime Fruit Toss

This delicious fruit salad provides lots of vitamins and digestive enzymes, and it’s also beautiful, don’t you agree??

Honey-Lime Fruit TossHoney-Lime Fruit Toss

  • 1 1/2 cups (or 20 oz. can) pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup (or 11 oz. can) mandarin oranges
  • 2 small ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 2 kiwi fruits, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 tsp. grated lime peel
  • juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey

Drain pineapple chunks, reserving 1/4 cup pineapple juice for dressing.   Drain mandarin oranges.   Combine fruits (first five ingredients) in mixing bowl; set aside.   Combine last four ingredients and pour over fruit.   Chill and serve. 

Suggestion:  Double the recipe.  Make the yumminess last as long as possible!

Gluten-Free Cooking: Two Failures and One Success!

My experiment with homemade biscuits using the gluten-free all-purpose baking mix didn’t turn out so well.  I’ve tried them twice now.  The first time, I used my tried and true biscuit recipe substituting the mix for the flour.  The biscuits were edible, but they were not pretty and they were very dry and crumbly.  I tried again, adding more butter and flour, with only slightly better results.  In case you’re wondering, the failures were too awful to be photographed!

Now, for the success…

My friend Heidi, who blogs at www.diabetesbroughtustogether.wordpress.com, shared this with me.  This yummy gluten-free dish can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner:

Heidi’s Weirdly Pizza-like Omelet

6 eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
garlic salt
optional toppings:  cheeses, meats, and veggies  (Yesterday, she added chicken sausage and it was delicious!)

Mix above ingredients and pour into a buttered non-stick skillet.  (Adjust number of eggs to fit your pan size.)  
Cook on low temp., covered, until firm (about 10 minutes). 
Flip out on to a baking sheet and top with your favorite cheeses and meats/veggies. 
Broil, just until melted and bubbly.
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What’s for breakfast?

What’s for breakfast?  Cereal?  Toast?  Biscuits?  Muffins?  What do all of these breakfast foods have in common?  They’re all grains that contain gluten.

I can’t say that I have a totally gluten-free diet these days, but I’m definitely cutting back.  I learned from Nourishing Traditions that all grains contain phytic acid.  Phytic acid is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound, and it’s in the outer layer or bran of every grain.  Untreated phytic acid can combine with the minerals in our food–important things like calcium, magnesium and iron–and keep them from being absorbed by our bodies.  This is why a diet that’s high in whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and eventually bone loss.

Bone loss.  I took notice of that and decided it was time to pay attention to food that is actually robbing my bones of the nutrients they need.

So, what’s for breakfast?

Yesterday, my daughter made some delicious blueberry muffins using a gluten-free baking mix.  Here’s the recipe, slightly modified from the recipe on the box:

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

1 3/4 cups of Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 tsp. of vinegar added to an almost-cup of dairy milk (This was a substitute for the cup of buttermilk called for in the recipe)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup xylitol
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350º.  Sift baking mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, and set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, milk/vinegar, sugar, and eggs together.  Add flour blend in three stages and whisk well after each addition.  Fold in blueberries.  Pour batter into lined muffin tins.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

I made a delicious strawberry smoothie to go along with my muffins.  I added Knox Gelatin to my usual smoothie after a friend gave me the idea.  Gelatin is very similar to the collagen in our bodies that makes up the connective tissues, including cartilage. Eating gelatin supplies the body with the materials it needs to produce new cartilage.  That’s good news for arthritis sufferers and for those attempting to have healthy bones.

Here’s my new and improved smoothie recipe:

Strawberry Smoothie

1 cup of unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup of frozen strawberries
1 pack of Knox gelatin
1 Tablespoon of whey protein powder
5-7 spinach leaves

Blend together until smooth and creamy.

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The box says the baking mix can be substituted for flour in any recipe, using a one-to-one replacement.  I think I’ll try homemade biscuits today.  I’ll let you know how they turn out…

What are YOU having for breakfast today?