Fruit Juice Jello

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My son loves jello. We have recently had a virus go through our house providing the perfect opportunity to make home made jello.  This jello is made with two ingredients: fruit juice and grass fed beef gelatin.  Gelatin is soothing for sore throats and healing for the gut. This takes about 5 minutes to make and a couple of hours in the fridge to set.

My favorite gelatin to use is this gelatin from Aspen Naturals:img_5694

Ingredients:

  • 4tbsp gelatin
  • 4 cups organic juice

Method:

  • Pour 1 cup cold juice in bowl
  • Sprinkle gelatin over cold juice, mix together and let sit to bloom
  • Heat remaining 3 cups of juice until it begins to boil
  • Pour hot juice into bowl with gelatin and stir until gelatin dissolves
  • Pour mixture into one container or several small ones and put into the fridge to set
  • Eat and enjoy

You can also make this with half the amount of juice and use water for the remaining amount of liquid.  You can also add fresh fruit to this jello as well as cream.

 

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What is an herbal electuary?

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My kids had high fevers this week that led to a strep diagnosis for both of them.  While I was researching natural remedies to help bring down their fevers I came across the concept of an herbal electuary.

What is an herbal electuary?  It is a powdered medicinal herb mixed with honey.  The honey makes the herb a bit more palatable. Because honey and dried herbs are shelf stable this concoction lasts for quite some time.  I was looking to make something that would help fight inflammation, bring down fever, and soothe sore throats.  You can use any herb- I chose tumeric for the reasons mentioned above.

The basic recipe is 3 tablespoons herb to 8oz of honey.  You can make it a bit more thick by adding more herbs or keep it more runny.  It really depends on the way you want to use it.  I have been mixing it into warm tea or milk and giving my kids 1/2 to 1 tsp to soothe their throats.

 

****NOTE**** I am NOT a doctor. Herbs used medicinally can be very potent. Consult a doctor before using any herb medicinally to make sure you are using the right dosing and any contraindications that may exsist. This recipe does not take and should not take the place of medical advice or help by a licensed physician. Do NOT give honey to children under the age of 1.

 

Gluten Free Goodness Muffins

This recipe is easy and delicious! If you are just going gluten free these are a must try.

Here are a few variations you could do:

Replace dates with cranberries and add a 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes. Add in a 1/2 cup of fresh berries, they taste amazing against the chocolate. Put in a couple tbs of pureed pumpkin or sweet potato. Blend in the carrots instead of folding them in at the end.  Get creative…The goodness is endless! Enjoy!

This recipe will give you from 12 to 15 muffins.

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine almond flour, soda, salt and cinnamon
  3. In a blender combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar, and oil
  4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and blend until completely combined
  5. fold in carrots and nuts
  6. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Take them out and slather with butter.

Migraines Part 1: The Migraine Diet

A Life with Migraines

One of my first memories is having dye put in my veins for an MRI because I had headaches all. the. time.  I continued having headaches and migraines throughout my childhood and young adult life. As I entered my mid to late 20’s they got worse.  After having my 2nd and youngest baby, the frequency and severity became unbearable.  I was having migraines like clockwork and daily headaches.  I couldn’t function when a migraine hit,  I would literally just have to sleep, sometimes for a couple of days.

Paleo and Migraines

During this time my family and I started a strict paleo diet.  I researched the paleo lifestyle for a while.  I read testimony after testimony of people who had frequent migraines then went paleo and quit having them altogether.  I was eager to begin my headache-free life. Unfortunately for me it was the exact opposite.  I had the worst migraines of my life after going strict paleo.  Something had to change.

Medicated Migraines

May of 2012 my neurologist put me on Maxalt. I had taken a drug like it before that didn’t work so I was very hesitant, not to mention that I hate the way meds make me feel.  I used Maxalt as a way to stop the migraine pain after it started and it worked…I would have to sleep for a little while but at least I was functioning.  Maxalt worked at stopping the migraine once it started but the medicine didn’t prevent or change the frequency of the migraines.

Food is the best Medicine

October 2012 changed my life. I had a 3 week-long span of daily headaches with migraines every 5 days. I was so discouraged and desperate.  I felt low and just sad.  What happened next changed my life.  I went to my neurologist, Dr. P, and said I’m willing to do anything I couldn’t function.  Dr. P left the room and when he came back he said “I don’t normally give this to my clients because its overwhelming but I think you can actually do it.”  With that he handed me a stack of papers.  Enter the Migraine and Headache Diet!

The Migraine and Headache Diet

The migraine diet is laid out into foods that are permissible and foods to avoid. He told me to take the foods in the avoid column and keep them out for a month and then add them in one by one to see if any of them were triggers. Bananas, avocados, olives, eggs, yogurt and so many more.  What the heck?!  I was eating these foods ALL the time.  A good number of the avoid foods were my favorite “paleo” foods and were a daily part of my diet. But again I was desperate.  I took all of the foods in the avoid column out immediately. Dr. P also put me on 400 mg of magnesium a day.

One week later I stopped having daily headaches. 

I have been on the diet over a year and the migraines are getting better.  I still get migraines once a month, but the pain and frequency are changing. Instead of 5 migraines a month with awful daily headaches, I have 1 or 2 at the most and the pain is much less.

Below is a list of foods (potential migraine triggers) that I avoid:

  • more than 2 cups of caffeine per day
  • energy drinks
  • any and all fake sweeteners
  • all processed meat
  • all nut butters
  • soy sauce
  • yeast extracts
  • cultured dairy products (buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt)
  • aged cheeses
  • fresh made bread
  • yeast breads
  • eggs
  • chocolate
  • all beans
  • onions
  • olives
  • pickles
  • bananas
  • figs
  • raisins
  • papaya
  • red plums
  • sauerkraut
  • sunflower and sesame seeds
  • canned and processed foods
  • pizza
  • msg
  • anything that has natural flavorings, msg, or yeast extract in ingredient list
  • Chinese food
  • any fermented or pickled foods
  • seasoned salts
  • most store-bought salad dressings
  • aged meat
  • game meat
  • organ meat
  • fish except salmon and tuna
  • food with nitrites and nitrates
  • alcohol
  • red food coloring

This is a long list and I understand why people would find it overwhelming. For me its been life changing.  When people comment on what I can’t eat and how sad it is, I think of how good I feel compared to how I used to feel. If you have ever suffered from migraines you know how hopeless it can be and most people don’t understand, they’re like, “Take a goody powder.”

Ridiculous.

I do have other migraine triggers like strong smells (perfumes, candles, air fresheners..I mean just open a window, no one needs 35 plug-ins! it’s poison…I could go on and on here but I will stop) and weather- yes weather! It’s a real trigger.

There is no one cure for migraines.  Every migraine is different just like every person is different. This is just what’s helping me.  It was hard at first to wrap my mind around the fact that these healthy foods cause me to have migraines. Then my awesome husband said “Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you.”  That has helped me so much!

For an update check out Migraines part 2