Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September Menu

After a very busy summer spent with my boys I'm back to the structure and discipline that September brings. It's a relief to have the kids back in school and have time for myself and my hobbies. This month I'm not trying any new recipes as I'm just trying to get back into the meal planning routine. Next month I want to break out some new cookbooks and experiment...

Me & my boys taking the canoe out in July

1 Tacos with Ground Beef
2 Takeout Pizza
3 Grilled Drumsticks, steamed broccoli
4 Grilled Salmon (from Make it Paleo), salad, edamame

Crockpot BBQ Beef, steamed green beans
Crockpot Garlic Chicken with carrots & potatoes
7 Salmon Cakes, sweet potato fries

8 Crockpot hickory smoked brisket, steamed green beans
9 Tacos with Ground Beef
10 Sesame Tuna with Avocado, tossed salad
11 BBQ Crockpot Ribs, steamed broccoli
12 Pizza for kids, Strawberry Poppy seed Salad for parents
13 Dinner Out
14 Skillet Pork Chops, steamed green beans, roasted potatoes

15 Baked Tilapia, steamed broccoli
16 Tacos with Ground Beef
17 Takeout Pizza
18 Salmon Cakes, sweet potato fries
19 Grilled BBQ Ribs, steamed green beans
20 Leftovers
21 Crockpot roast, carrots & potatoes

22 Dinner Out
23 Tacos with Ground Beef
24 Cedar Plank Salmon, baked potatoes, steamed green beans
25 Grilled Chicken, roasted sweet potatoes & apples 
28 Takeout Pizza

29 Salmon Cakes, sweet potato fries
30 Crockpot BBQ Beef, steamed broccoli

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Vacation Week & Links I'm Loving

I've been on vacation this week in Wisconsin Dells with my husband's family. We've been enjoying the Waterpark Capital of the World and the amenities of our resort with many water slides to keep us busy. 

I've actually found more time during vacation to leisurely browse the Internet and read some great blogs and news articles and the fascinating book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Also I'm participating in The Natural Mothering eBook sale so I've discovered some new (to me) blogs by some wonderful moms.

Here are the links I'm loving this week:

  • New studies confirm raw milk is a low risk food at Mind, Body and Soul. 
  • Disturbing news came out this week about the effects of Splenda in a recent study reported on MSN.
  • A GMO feeding trial exposes serious effects on US pigs fed GMO corn and soy. 
  • Target joins the list of retailers responding to consumer demand by aiming to eliminate all GMO-based products from their "Simply Balanced" product line by the end of 2014.
  • I've been reading the insightful book Quiet during vacation and I'm coming to better understand my natural introverted personality. I "discovered" I'm a highly sensitive person and found a self test by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D and also a test you can take for your child. I have one highly sensitive boy and Quiet is also helping me understand and parent him better.

My Three Sons by the Wisconsin River

What are you reading this week?

This post was shared at: Small Footprint Fridays

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Part 1 Herbal Recipes: Minty Lemon Verbena Tea

A couple of weeks ago you may have noticed I posted a picture of a plant on Facebook. Something was growing in my patio planter that I was sure wasn't just a weed yet I had no idea what it was. After asking friends online and in person it was finally identified as lemon verbena.
I planted a lot of herbs last year but I don't remember planting this one. I asked around on uses for it and a friend told me her grandmother made mint lemon verbena tea. Well of course I love healing tea and green tea so making a herbal tea sounds like fun to me. To make it even easier I've already got mint growing in my garden.

This year I want to explore uses for the various herbs I'm growing so I'm starting a series of posts about this. This is part one. I don't know what the next herb will be and when the next installment will come...

Lemon Verbena tea is a traditional medicinal or culinary beverage made from the fresh or dried leaves of the lemon verbena plant. I discovered this recipe on This tea is a popular French tisane and is useful to aid in digestion.

Minty Lemon Verbena Tea

3-4 fresh mint leaves (not the stems, they're bitter), rinsed

10-12 fresh lemon verbena leaves, rinsed
2 cups of water

Bring a pot of fresh water almost, but not quite to a boil. Put the mint and verbena leaves in a teapot. Pour the hot water over the leaves. Allow to infuse for 5 minutes and strain into tea cups, serve warm, with honey or sugar to taste. To serve chilled, remove the mint and lemon verbena sprigs and refrigerate before serving with ice cubes and fresh sprigs of lemon verbena and mint. Makes 2 cups.

I found this to be very refreshing and delicious. I added a bit of sugar and stevia to sweeten it up. I tried it hot first and then put the rest in the refrigerator and drank it later over ice. I'll be making this recipe again.

While researching drink recipes I found a couple of other options for using lemon verbena in drinks: 

Honey Lemon Verbena Green Tea – Combine four cups water, a quarter cup honey, three stalks fresh lemon verbena and four green tea bags in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add one tablespoon brandy, transfer to heat-proof mugs and drink immediately. Makes four cups, soothing to sore throat.

Cooling Lemon Verbena Tea – Combine one teaspoon dried lemon verbena leaves and one teaspoon dried sage leaves in a heat-proof mug. Cover with one cup boiling water, steep for five to 10 minutes, and then strain the herbs from the liquid. Sweeten with honey if desired and drink immediately. Makes one cup, good for reducing fevers.

What garden herbs are you experimenting with this season?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Foods For Depression? Eat Well, Eat Wild

Guest post by Amanda Rose, Ph.D.
Research continues to tie the declining health of Americans to our poor diet choices. With too much sugar and too much unhealthy fats, we bulge, our hearts give out, and our brains begin to “go crazy”. Something as simple as a trans-fat-laden French fry may cause depression claims a group of Spanish researchers. Indeed, you are more likely to be depressed if you rely on a regular staple of packaged baked goods and snacks or items such as fast food French fries. When you look at a vending machine with a little packaged cake inside, that is what we are talking about here.

Your first lesson: Step away from that vending machine.

The most increasingly shunned trans fat comes in the form of vegetable shortening, a partially hydrogenated fatty acid that is cheap substitute for butter and lard in baking and for high heat oils in frying. If trans-fat is a cheap substitute for traditional forms of fat, it does beg the question: What fats should we eat to avoid depression? The Spanish study does not leave readers with a lot of wisdom on this key question, but we can look to other studies and to the history of the human diet for advice.

Omega 3 In Fish Does Fight Depression

The traditional human diet has been high in the Omega 3 fatty acid found in fish and seafood. In fact, Weston Price in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, details how traditional peoples traveled great distances to get mollusks like crab and clam, rich in Omega 3 fats and abundant in minerals. These foods have a spectrum of nutrients that can help fill your health needs whether you are a toddler, teenager, pregnant mother, or an aging grandparent.
If your diet is high in vegetable oils, you actually need even more Omega 3s. The Omega 6s in your vegetable oils compete for space in your cells with Omega 3s — the Omega 6 oils win. Your best bet is to cut out sources of corn and other vegetable oils such as store-bought crackers and chips. You have surely already cut out trans fats as well but you should also know that your metabolism of trans fats interferes with your Omega 3 metabolism. If you eat a basket of crispy fish and chips, you need a whole lot of fish to make up for those chips.
Ideally, the fish will be wild — wild salmon for instance. Wild fish and seafood are higher in Omega 3s than their farmed counterparts and they are generally lower in the toxins that now proliferate our waters.
If you already struggle from depression, you may need even more Omega 3 for depression than that crab or salmon fillet can provide. In depression clinical trials, researchers have found high doses of Omega 3 fatty acids effective in lowering depression — on the order of four grams a day.

Omega 9 In Olive Oil May Fight Depression

Olive oil may help fight depression. This is a new area of research but there is a lot of evidence that olive oil is good for us. It is associated with heart health, longevity, and reduced instances of degenerative diseases. It may protect against depression as well.
One of my favorite meals combines Omega 9 and Omega 3 in the form of a healthy salad, with an olive oil-centered dressing, my favorite seasonal lettuce, and topped with salmon or crab. Make a dressing simply by combining olive oil with a bit of balsamic vinegar and chopped garlic. Add a bit of flax seed oil for additional Omega 3 fats.

Grass Fed Meat For Depression?

Wild game and pastured meats may help your struggle as well. In my book Rebuild from Depression: A Nutrient Guide I provide a list of “depression buster foods,” foods high in nutrients associated with depression. Wild fish and wild game top the list because of the fatty acid profiles and the density of vitamins and minerals.
Beef liver is actually a great example. All animal liver is loaded with B vitamins and minerals; it is also very high in fat. Note in the graph at right that the fat is more likely to be of the Omega 3 variety if the animal has been on a diet of grass. I rely on liver when I am under great stress because it helps keep my body replenished of an array of nutrients. You can find it at any health food store and will definitely want to look for the organic label in this case.

Foods For Depression

Food does affect your mood. Your brain needs the right mix of fats, vitamins, and minerals to be healthy. Some foods wreak havoc on that delicate balance and fast foods are a prime example. Other foods will help you fight depression, including fish and seafood abundant in Omega 3 and wild game with a healthy array of vitamins, minerals, and fats.
Incorporate these foods into your own diet and the diet of your family. You may be surprised to find a family a little less grumpy and on-the-edge. Over time, you may even protect your aging brain from decline if you nourish it well.


Support NEARLY NATURAL NICOLE by buying the abridged digital version of the Rebuild Book as part of The Natural Mothering Sale. You can also find the book on Amazon
Amanda Rose, Ph.D., lives on five acres in the Sequoia National Forest with her two sons, the second of whom was born to a depression-free pregnancy. She works with her mother Jeanie on the Traditional Foods website providing nutritious recipes and food science and health tidbits.

Monday, June 10, 2013

eBooks to grow your Natural Mothering


I've been doing my best at this mothering thing for over 11 years but boy is it tough. Have you ever wished motherhood came with a manual? Whether motherhood makes you feel overwhelmed or whether you feel like you've found your stride as a mother, we are here to help you be the best mother to your children that you can be. We can also help you deal with infertility and prepare you for giving birth confidently and joyfully. We've got the resources you need to help your kids be healthier, to raise your children to be polite, caring people, to live more eco-friendly, and to make your home non-toxic. For 1 week only, get a downloadable package of 35+ e-books specifically designed to encourage and equip mothers to nurture their families (and themselves!) naturally for just $29.97. Since these books together are worth more than $525, this is nearly a 95% discount! There are also more than a dozen coupon codes and FREE products worth nearly $200 included to help you on your natural living journey! These e-books reflect the work of 32 well-known Ph.D.'s, fertility specialists, lactation consultants, natural health professionals, authors, and bloggers who are passionate about motherhood and caring for mothers. This is an intelligent, joy-filled collection that will inspire any mother to feed her beautiful babe well, feel confident in making difficult mothering decisions, and celebrate motherhood (even when it seems overwhelming).
 The eBooks  Want to meet the authors? Click here to read each author's bio. 

Natural Fertility and Pregnancy 
Unbound Birth by Jennifer Yarbrough of Unbound Birth ($2.99)
Fearless Birth by Kristen Burgess of Natural Birth and Baby Care ($17)
Nourishing Foods for Labor and Childbirth (article reprint) by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($2.99)
My Pregnancy Journey by Mindy of Simply Designs ($9.99)
Fertilise Yourself by Natalie Kringoudis of Melbourne Natural Fertility ($19.95)
Eat Your Way to Parenthood by Gabriela Rosa, MScM, BHSc, ND of Natural Fertility Breakthrough ($35)
Protecting Your Fertility: The Dangers of Conventional Pest Control and Natural Safe Alternatives by Gabriela Rosa, MScM, BHSc, ND of Natural Fertility Breakthrough ($35)
The Awful Truth About Cleaning Products and Fertility Revealed by Gabriela Rosa, MScM, BHSc, ND of Natural Fertility Breakthrough ($35)

Natural Baby and Toddler Care
Breastfeeding Simply by Pinky McKay, ICBLC of ($25) First Bites by Hilary Bernstein of Accidentally Green ($9.99)
Breast to Bib by Kate Tietje of Modern Alternative Mama ($8.95)
Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert by Erin Odom of The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)
Creative Ways to Calm Your Baby by Justyn Lang of Creative Christian Mama ($6.99)
EC Simplified: Infant Potty Training Made Easy by Andrea Olson, MA of Go Diaper Free ($30)
oh, crap. potty training by Jamie Glowacki of oh crap. potty training ($15)

Natural Health and Healing
Therapeutic Parenting for Children Who Are Healing from Trauma by Tova Krause Grindlay, CPC of Parent and Family Coaching ($4.99)
Herbal Nurturing by Michele Augur of Frugal Granola($8.95)
Herbal Remedies for Children During the Cold and Flu Season by Rosalee de la ForĂȘt of Herbal Remedies Advice ($20)
Mother's Little Herbal Helper and Home Remedies by Natalie Vickery of The Family Herbalist ($12.50)
Questions to Ask Your Dentist by Will and Susan Revak of OraWellness ($29)
Tips and Tricks to Remineralize and Repair Your Teeth by Ramiel Nagel of ($12.95)
The Thinking Parent's Guide to Vaccines by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($2.99)
Finding Balance with Attachment Parenting by Andrea Olson, MA of ($17)
Pain Redeemed by Natasha Metzler of ($4.99)
The Curative Kitchen (updated version) by Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D. of ($19.95)
Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide, The Digital Abridged Version by Amanda Rose, Ph.D. of Traditional Foods ($12.95)

Teaching Our Children
Real Food Kids: In the Kitchen plus 1 month access to select Real Food Kids eCourse videos by Wardeh Harmon of GNOWFGLINS & Jami Delgado of Eat Nourishing ($30)
Kids in Training: Life lessons that will help lead to productive, responsible and grateful kids! by Rebecca Dulgarian of Blue Cricket Designs ($7.95)
Life According to Me by Stephanie Dulgarian of Somewhat Simple ($5.95)
The Family Dinner Project by Rebecca Dulgarian & Stephanie Dulgarian ($9.95) 
Easy Peasy Chores: Homeschool Edition by Alina Joy Dubois of The Good Old Days Farm ($17.99)
Teaching Kids to Clean by Dana White of A Slob Comes Clean ($5)

Help for Busy Moms
Real {Fast} Food by Trina Holden of ($6)
Crock On by Stacy Myers of Stacy Makes Cents ($5)
Creative Ways to Make Family Holiday Memories by Kit Singleton of Raising Small Souls ($25)

Non-Toxic and Natural Living Natural Beauty Recipes by Katie of WellnessMama ($10)
Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie Langford ofKeeper of the Home ($12.95)
Restocking the Pantry by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($9.99)
Accidentally Green by Hilary Bernstein of Accidentally Green ($2.99)
Clean, Naturally! by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($4.99)


The Bonus Resources

Once you have completed payment for the e-book bundle, you will get access not only to the books, but to FREE products and coupon codes for mothering products that will support you in your natural, non-toxic lifestyle. These special bonus offers include:
Lunapads Logo Oval JPEGGet a FREE luxuriously soft pantyliner from Lunapads and a $5 coupon for your next visit. Lunapads are smart, sustainable alternatives to disposable menstrual pads and pantyliners. Join the LunaRevolution and discover why thousands worldwide feel better about their periods! ($17 value. Standard shipping applies. US addresses only.)
granola babies logoGet 10% off any order from Granola Babies, THE go-to shop for everything babywearing and natural-living related. Granola Babies supports mothers around the globe in their mothering journey by providing sustainable hand-selected products, natural and holistic resources, and creating a village of community. (Standard shipping applies.)
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Get 2 FREE sets of Baby's First Year Month-by-Month Printables (1 set with butterflies for girls and 1 set with ties for boys) from The Humbled Homemaker. Each set contains 12 printables to mark each month of Baby's first year. ($16 value.)

A Few FREE eBooks and eCourses - no purchase required!

Because we are SO absolutely passionate about getting excellent natural living resources into the hands of every mother (and want-to-be moms and soon-to-be moms!) we've compiled a number of e-books that are FREE just for signing up for updates.
There is no purchase required - just click here to get your freebies!

The Fine Print

This Bundle contains digital downloads in ZIP and PDF formats, so there is no shipping involved. You will receive your unique download link immediately after download. Please note that this Bundle is provided as is: no refunds, no exchanges, and no late sales will be provided. While you must purchase the Bundle by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 17, you have until June 30, 2013 to download the books and redeem the bonuses. It is your responsibility to download and back-up your purchase by June 30, 2013. After that date, the books will no longer be available for download. With proof of purchase, we can renew download links until June 30. After this date we will no longer have access to the books and will not be able to provide any new links to download.
Please read our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about the file types, deadlines to redeem your bonuses, and reading the books on your eReader device.
Each bonus offer can be redeemed once only per eBook Bundle purchase. You may purchase multiple bundles in order to redeem a bonus offer more than once. For each bonus offer, transaction numbers or proof of purchase may be required at the time of redemption. All bonus offers are the sole responsibility of the bonus sponsors to provide and are subject to availability.
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