Friday, April 30, 2010


I did it. It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but I had one of those mental blocks about it. I made beans. Real beans, not from a can.

I think I heard one too many horror stories (or at least complaints) about cooking dry beans. They won't soften, they get too mushy, they take too long, etc. Really, they weren't a big deal to make. They just take some forethought initially, like most whole foods.

Some things I learned along the way:

1. Once you soak the beans, they almost triple in size (at least mine did). Thus, number two.
2. It's helpful to soak in batches of a pound or so, so that you know how much water to use when you cook them (a pound of dry black beans is about two cups).
3. Soak the beans in a bigger bowl than you think. When I saw mine this morning they had soaked in all of the water and I thought I had generously covered them.

I made some of my beans in my pressure cooker and some on the stove in a pot. I actually liked the outcome of the stove beans best. They were firmer and held together better than the other (but I'm pretty sure I was off with the water measurement with the pressure cooker).

A good idea:
Make a bunch at a time and then freeze them in little baggies for use in future recipes. I did about a cup per bag.

Now I feel more self reliant and better about the fact that there won't be BHT in my next casserole. Wahoo!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


In my mind, there are some very good reasons to avoid high fructose corn syrup. I have added to my list of why's.

Mercury? That should NOT be in our food.

It seems hard to avoid the stuff, but in eating a whole foods diet of real food you are pretty well buffered from such toxins.

Hungry mouths do not complian.

I get regular emails (too many, in fact) from the Raw Mom blog author, and here's a little tidbit I got that I thought had some value.

"When it comes to feeding your children well, the truth is that if you just put out a big ol' platter of fresh fruits and vegetables instead of muffins, cupcakes and chocolate covered almonds at snack time, you'll be doing a great thing, Mom.

If they complaining about it, take them for a run around the block for some exercise. (Hungry mouths do not complain!)

I was so inspired when I saw what's happening at this Australian primary school, April:

It reminded me of how easy it is to make a difference and improve the health and lives of others. We don't need to complicate things.

Simply eat more fruits and vegetables and help others to the same. That's a great place to start."

Take simple, easy steps toward better food choices. I especially like the line I put in the subject bar. If they (or we) are truly hungry, we won't complain about eating some fruit and veg.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Health is a Blessing

I have never seen better information compiled about the Word of Wisdom anywhere than in this e-book:

Steven Horne took the Word of Wisdom line by line and expanded upon it with what the modern prophets (like Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, and others) said, and added other very valuable information. This is a comprehensive answer to the "why's," in my opinion.

You may or may not agree with all he says, but it's an easy read and I think he supports his research very well. We read a chapter weekly for FHE until we read completely through and we've tried to implement things as soon as we were ready. It's an easy read. It's free. Go for it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting Started

My friend asked me the other day what a good place to start was. She attended my first ever class on whole foods.
Number one, I told her to cook some grains and keep them ready to use in the fridge. If you don't think ahead that way, it's hard to use whole grains because they take longer to cook. Then, once you have some brown rice and quinoa on hand, you can pull them out, add in some frozen veggies with some butter, salt and pepper, and voila! Lunch in a couple minutes (even faster than Ramen noodles, and infinitely better for you!).
Another of the dishes I make to incorporate grains into foods that boost the nutrition and stretch the grocery bill is this:

Secretly Stretched Tuna

1 can tuna (I prefer solid white albacore in water)
mayo (I linked to a recipe here, but if it stresses you out, just use store mayo until you're ready)
1 rib celery, diced
onion powder, to taste
about 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or white quinoa
salt and pepper to taste

Drain water off of tuna and place in bowl. Mix in mayo to your desired consistency. Mix in celery and then the onion powder (I sprinkle it on until it looks right. Sorry, I get the "cooking by ear" from my mom. It's likely about a teaspoon). Then mix in some cooked grains. Salt and pepper to taste.
A great variation on this is to make tuna melts, and Kara's recipe adds in more veggies and is delicious, or you can just keep it really simple and slap on a slice of cheese and stick your open-faced sandwiches under a high broiler until the cheese is bubbly. My husband likes the sandwiches fried too, like making grilled cheese, but adding in tuna. Experiment and see what works for you.

Congratulations! You just had some fabulous whole grains, and the whole fam downed them without complaint.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Favorite Things

Early on in my search for fresh (excuse the pun) ways to feed my family, my mom sent me a blog link to what is now one of my most favorite resources. The blog is called Taste is Trump, and I've linked to it on the side bar. The author is known by first name in our home. When my husband asks me where I obtained a new recipe, most often all I have to say is "Kara."

As her blog title denotes, her philosophy is: "What good is a healthy dish if nobody eats it?" I most wholeheartedly agree. She is into whole, from-scratch foods, and she is fabulous at what she does. I will likely have her recipes cited here often, because they are staple for us.

One of my favorite things Kara does is her "One Grain at a Time" segment. She shows and teaches about varied grains--probably some that you have not heard of! How does one use spelt, amaranth, or teff? Just ask Kara. She incorporates them into her own recipes and shares them with us. This has changed the way I do things a lot, and we not only love the taste of these recipes, but how we feel when we eat them.

Hopefully, our friend will be a guest-poster for this blog, but make sure to keep up with her blog directly. I can't tell you how highly I recommend it!

Learning: An Absolute Must

When we know why it's important for us to live these laws, living them is not only easier, but desirable! Get going to the library and check out some of these books (if you don't feel like you have time to read, get them on CD and listen to them while you are doing housework, driving or walking):

The China Study by Collin Powell
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (This has some great information and a lot of recipes)

I think these are some fabulous starters to understand our food better. As with any information found in the world, you will have to do some sifting here. I don't agree with everything these authors say, but what they do say that agrees with and supports the Word of Wisdom and the modern prophets is fabulous and motivating.

For instance, Sally Fallon thinks that animal products are really important for our health. Collin Powell's research shows that eating meat sparingly or not at all happens to be really good for our health, even to the reversing of cancer! Which one do I agree with? That's easy. But Sally has a lot to offer as far as the proper use of grains, and how to use time-tested techniques to preserve and sprout foods for our greatest benefit. I really like a lot of the other information she has too. There is a lot of good to be found, and we are blessed with brains, experimentation and discernment to figure them out for ourselves and for our loved ones.

Knowledge is power, as they say. And it's exciting. I never thought I'd enjoy researching something so much.

Dig in and enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Focusing on the Positive

As Latter-Day Saints, we often focus on the food and drink that is proscribed by the Lord rather than the foods He tells us are for our benefit. Let's start looking at the "do's" of the Word of Wisdom and reap the delicious and wonderful benefits!

Why This Blog?

We created this blog to organize, store and share information on how to live the Word of Wisdom more fully. Please share your own wisdom and insights with us so that we can all benefit and live more healthful lives.