Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An Update on our Tooth Decay Journey

It's been awhile since I've updated and there have been many questions I often see repeated on the Natural Alternatives board in regards to curing tooth decay.  I'll share our journey so that you can learn what we do, but it's not a one size fits all plan that will work for everyone.

First of all, get your hands on a copy of the book Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel.  Start implementing the things he talks about in how to properly prepare foods to boost nutrient density and prevent foods from blocking mineral absorption.  This allows the body to maximize remineralizing and healing teeth.  For a quick overview of the diet recommendations, you can also see my previous post where I laid out a brief description of what I'd learned from the book.  See - Curing Tooth Decay ~ Things I've learned that may have contributed to our plight

Our supplements

Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil
Supplements that my 5 year old takes (the one with cavities) are Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil by Green Pasture's Products.

There has been lots and lots of questions as to what flavor is the best or easiest to take.  This is going to be different for everyone, however, here is our personal experience.  The first time we ordered, we got the emulsified, "kid friendly" peppermint flavor fermented cod liver oil and unflavored butter oil.  We ordered separately, not premixed.  My kids DID NOT like this!!!  The emulsified version would separate into an oil on the top part of the jar, and a thick goopy mess at the bottom of the jar.  It was incredibly gross looking and even grosser for the kids to actually have to try to choke it down.  We were grateful when it was gone and we could try something new.

The next time we ordered, I decided to try regular liquid.  The reason I decided to do this was for cost purposes.  With the regular liquid fermented cod liver oil, there are 118 servings for $43.99, in comparison to the emulsified which had only 64 servings for $38.99.  BIG difference in price!  We opted to try the orange flavor, and then we added butter pecan flavor butter oil.  It was a success!

Rather than needing to get into the jars repeatedly, I just pull out equal servings of each fermented cod liver oil and butter oil and store it in a small 1/2 cup container with a lid.  Like these.  The regular liquid fclo came with a syringe, so I pull up 1/2 tsp of the mixed oils and shoot it in her mouth and she chases it with raw milk.  Twice a day is ideal, but sometimes I only remember once a day.

Cell Salts

Next, are cell salts.  They are a homepathic remedy that can provide beneficial minerals to help support bones and tissues in the body.  To learn more about cell salts and what each one specifically is good for, this is a great place to start. ~ Cell Salts PDF  We have chosen to give #1 (Calc Fluor), #2 (Calc Phos), #8 (Mag Phos), #10 (Nat Phos), and #12 (Silica).  We use Hylands brand and I order from Vitacost or Amazon (if you would like to receive a $10 refer a friend from Vitacost, please click on that link and we each get a coupon!)  I give these 2-3 times a day as I can remember.  And I go by the suggested dosage on the side of the bottle per age.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of those things that just about everyone is deficient in.  Kind of like just about everyone is low on magnesium as well.  I also get the Vitamin D from Vitacost.  Now, I'm not really sure that the brand I got (this one)  is any better than the vitacost brand or not, but it was recommended by a friend as the best, so I got it.  In spite of it being twice as expensive.  It only takes 1 drop per day to get 2,000 iu, which is a sufficient amount for a daily dose for my 5 year old.  You could also try this one and only give 1 drop instead of the recommended 2 drops for the same dosage and a cheaper price at Amazon.

Swishing and Toothpastes

I encourage xylitol swish 5-6 times a day (purchased from Vitacost or from the local health food store, this one is gmo corn free).  I do not encourage her to ingest it, but I do encourage her to swish and spit as soon as she wakes up, after breakfast/lunch/dinner, before bed, and any other time I think it fits in there.  Xylitol stops the S. Mutants known to cause tooth decay.  It kills it and prevents it from doing damage.  Fore more information, simply google Xylitol for tooth decay, but here's a link to get ya started.  There are tons of articles out there.   So, we dissolve 2 tablespoons into a full cup of hot water and wait til it cools.  Set it in the bathroom next to the sink and have her rinse and spit.  Even the 2 year old will do this.

I also encourage oil pulling with coconut oil, and alternating with colloidal silver swishing.  I let her choose which she wants to do.

For toothpastes we alternate between using Branam's xylitol toothpaste and homemade toothpaste.  I use Black Walnut tincture, xylitol, coconut oil, bentonite clay, and a small amount of essential oils in the toothpaste.

And of course flossing.  This is essential to get the food off those bad spots so it doesn't sit there and decay up against the teeth.  So I do encourage flossing after every meal.

All in all, our routine is:

Wake up and brush and swish
Eat breakfast
floss, and swish
If I remember, remind her 20 minutes later to brush and/or swish again (because bacteria from food peaks 20 minutes after eating)
somewhere between breakfast and lunch do supplements
Eat lunch
floss and swish
try to remember to have her at LEAST swish again 20 minutes later
supplements again between lunch and dinner
floss and swish
try to remember to tell her again after 20 minutes
maybe one more snack before bed if we had an early dinner
floss, brush, and swish before bed.

Other additions through diet

Other things that we do are to get as much grass fed gelatin and bone broths into our diet as possible.  I make homemade yogurt and add some gelatin to it when the milk is warm before adding the starter so that it's slightly thicker.  I only add 1/4 cup of Great Lakes grass fed gelatin to a gallon of milk.  So it's not a huge amount, but it does change the thickness to be more like store bought yogurt.  If you get too much, you will have yogurt jello squares rather than anything that resembles actual yogurt.  :)  Added to the yogurt is a couple drops of liquid stevia extract and a bit of vanilla extract to taste.

Bone broths are used for soups, gravies, cooking vegetables, potatoes, the not very often (soaked and sprouted) beans or rice, and just about anywhere that water would normally be added in cooking I try to use bone broths instead.

Grains, sugars (even honey and fruits), cereal, oatmeal, etc are not a part of our normal diet any longer and we've learned to live without them.  Now I personally, do not follow the diet recommendations as closely for myself because I don't have cavities, and I'm pregnant as well as nursing and have different dietary needs.  One of my best hold over snacks in the middle of the night when I wake up starving to death is a handful of a few grapes and small square of cheese.  Which brings me to again recommend the Cure Tooth Decay book.  It helps you understand how to properly prepare foods like the beans, rice, etc, but also how to pair foods together to maximize nutrient absorption.  Like adding healthy protein and fat to fruit.  Serving cooked fruits like baked apples is better than raw.  Topping beans with cheese and sour cream for instance.

Our progress

So how is it going and is there actually any progress?  Well, now that the initial brutal diet changes are normal for us, it's going a whole lot better.  Her decay has progressed slightly since first diagnosed 7 months ago, but after the first couple of months, it has not gotten any worse.  I can't say that it has halted, because there are a couple of places that are still small brown spots, BUT, it hasn't gotten any worse!  Which means we are holding steady and hopefully heading in the right direction.  There are 3 spots that I am keeping an eye on regularly and checking to make sure it's not worse.  All of the other places that were original concerns are now white and hardened and no longer active decay at all.  So we've had SOME success, but not complete success....yet.  :)  She is not in any pain, there is no infection, no red gums, or abscesses or anything like that at all so we are comfortable to just watch and see what happens.

*Update as of 2/10/14 - - - Only *1* tooth remains to halt decay completely.  You can SEE that it is on it's way.  The other teeth have completely stopped decaying and hardened!  So close!

HOWEVER!!!  I do have an amazing story to share in regards to my 2 year old!  I have been keeping a VERY close eye on all 4 of my kids teeth since the cavity diagnosis for the (now) 5 year old.  One day, I noticed a spot on an upper molar of my 2 year old.  I nearly cried.  Though we were on the dietary stuff, she was not taking the supplements, and my husband and I were more lenient with her and would often share our own foods with her that our other kids didn't typically eat.  For instance, sometimes I'd wake up on the morning and my husband was eating toast with peanut butter and sharing with her.  He had been warned to not give this to our kids, ESPECIALLY the child with tooth issues.  But when you have a cute 2 year old begging for your food who has no tooth problems, sometimes you give in.

I was so upset seeing this spot on the 2 year old's tooth.  I looked at it several times throughout the day and was just feeling very defeated and devastated.  I immediately started giving her the supplements and had to trick her to get her to take the fermented cod liver oil and butter oil.  I don't give honey to my other kid because of it's affect on blood glucose and us working SO hard to try to get her teeth healed.  We are very strict with the dietary stuff with her.  But with the 2 year old, I really felt it was worth it to at least get the fclo/bo into her.  So, I did half fclo/bo mixture, and an equal amount of honey.  I shook it up on the syringe and then gave her her "honey" which she chased with raw milk.  She loved it!  Begged for more!  So I gave this to her twice a day.

Three days later I took another peek into her mouth to look at her tooth again and was SHOCKED!  I mean, I was absolutely floored by what I saw.  Nothing.  The spot was GONE!

Before starting supplements pic vs. 3 days later after doing supplements.

Of course there is skepticism.  *I* was skeptical!  How could that be?  I KNOW I saw that there!  I took a picture of it so I could monitor it and make sure it didn't get too bad!  Someone else suggested maybe it was food or something, but no it was not!  I brushed her teeth, I looked at it several times that day in near tears.  Yet 3 days later it was GONE!

This is not typical as you can see from my story of my other child.  But really, is there such a thing as a typical result?  I'm not so sure.

The body is constantly working to heal and remineralize bones and teeth and when it's missing something, if that something is then given, it can repair!  This will make total sense to anyone who has ever had a cut or scrape and cared for it, bandaged it up, and then removed the bandage a couple of days later to be amazed at how much it's healed!  Particularly if any herbs like comfrey or plantain or other healing herbs are applied to help accelerate healing.  It makes total sense when you look at it from that perspective.

My take away with this is that I believe we are on the right path for my 5 year old, but her diet deficiencies will take much longer to repair, as she had a much longer amount of time to get to the point she was before we started the healing procedures.  As long as there is progress or stabilization, we will keep on this path.  In fact I've since learned that some countries don't drill and fill baby teeth at all!  See here.  Which is fascinating to me how much different other countries do things.

We are still learning.  We don't have it all figured out, but I do feel as though we are headed in the right direction.  I hope this post is helpful to some of you as you either consider this different approach, are beginning your own journey, or even if you've been on the journey and looking for a cohort in the battle for your child's teeth.  Cause I get it.  I truly understand the feeling of FIGHTING for your child's teeth and health apart from the normal dental recommendations.  I get the anxiety you feel as you wonder....am I doing the right thing?  As other people think you're crazy for not just going to the dentist and doing the normal thing.  The feeling of frustration when trying to figure out what to feed your children that is healthy and good for them that they will actually WANT to eat!  I get it.  I really do.  So I hope this post is helpful to others.

* This post has affiliate links.  If you click on them and order a product, it will not change the price you pay, but will help me out a tiny bit.  I thank you for helping out another momma to get the good stuff for our family!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Grain Free-Sugar Free Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Pancakes

It's been a while since I've posted.  Life has been pretty busy with getting things ready for winter around here.  Lots of harvest to bring in, wood to stack, you know, all those things city folk don't have to worry about.  :)

Anyway, I'm sharing a recipe with you that I made for the kids today.  We haven't had pancakes since May when we started this Cure Tooth Decay diet.  I had seen someone say they made some sweet potato pancakes with basically nothing but sweet potatoes and eggs, but I wanted a little more than that.  So, I searched the web for some other recipes.  Most all of them had things in them that we couldn't have.  Flour, sugar, nuts, nut butters, or something like that.  So I took a few bits and pieces of different recipes and pulled them all together to make this one.

My kids absolutely LOVED it!  My personal opinion is that.....it was ok.  It was not like pancakes to me cause it wasn't sweet.  It was definitely edible to my starving pregnant self and I ate 3 of them!  But my kids loved them in a way that they want a pancake day every week with them.

So here's the recipe.  Obviously you can tweak it to what you like best.  Use all pumpkin, or all sweet potato or mix the amounts differently.  Add a bit of honey if you want, or maybe even a couple drops of stevia or a spoon of xylitol as sweetener.  Use syrup!  Or top it with peanut butter!  The ideas are really endless!  But with our limited availability, we ate them like this.

3 eggs
1 cup of pumpkin puree
3/4 cups of steamed, mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup of milk, or milk substitute of your choice
1 Tablespoon of coconut flour
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Feel free to add a bit more spices to it too if you want!  Cardamom, ground cloves, etc.

Beat all the ingredients in a bowl and let them set while you grease your pan or griddle well with coconut oil.  Be sure to grease again between each batch as well.  Heat your griddle to warm.  Water should sizzle when you flick a couple of drops onto the pan.  Then you  know it's ready.

I used about a 1/2 of a 1/4 cup measuring cup worth of "batter" for each pancake.  Let them cook until they look almost dry through, then flip them.

We then topped ours with some cream cheese.

I'm sure that tomorrow my kids will be begging for these again.  As an adult that loves real pancakes with maple syrup and lots of butter......I may have to sneak some real ones after they go to bed.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cavity Fighting, Remineralizing Toothpaste

And, it's squeezable!  How about that?  :)  I took a recipe from Wellness Mama and mixed it up a bit with some info that I've learned along the way on our Cure Tooth Decay journey.

The first ingredient in the original recipe is Calcium Carbonate Powder.  Or Calcium Magnesium Powder.  These can be purchased at Vitacost for relatively cheap!  (If you've never purchased from them before, may I introduce you to a friendly referral code so we could both get $10 off?  Just click here - Vitacost referral.)

However, what I did was that I used cell salts.  Cell salts are a part of the recommended protocol for healing tooth decay by supplying important minerals that help heal and harden bones.  Is it cost effective for this?  No.  Not really.  But I had then on hand already and I thought they would make a great substitute.  So, using the powder above is a more cost effective route.  I used 1 teaspoon of each of the following cell salts, #1 - Calc Fluor, #2 - Calc Phos, #8 - Mag Phos, #10 Nat. Phos, and #12 Silicea.  To learn more about the importance of cell salts to a healing regimen, check out this link.

Next is xylitol powder.  I use crystals and just ground them up in my food processor along with the cell salt tabs.  While most xylitol is a GMO product because it's made from corn, you'll want to look for a pure birch xylitol. Particularly if you are using it in something that will be ingested.  Vitacost carries both types of products.  The birch xylitol is quite expensive.  So for ME, as long as it's not being ingested, I use the GMO product.  It's usefullness at preventing the bacteria that causes decay is noteworthy.  And as I mentioned, we aren't swallowing or ingesting the toothpaste.  Therefore in this recipe I just used the regular ol' Vitacost brand of xylitol.  For more information on how xylitol is helpful in oral care, this link might help a bit.

Coconut oil is used in this recipe.  I used Vitacost brand of this as well.  Coconut oil helps bring everything together, plus it's just SO good for you!  It has anti bacterial and healing properties all of it's own.

Baking Soda.  Any kind will do.  This is helpful for balancing the pH of the mouth and even to gently polish and whiten the teeth.

Bentonite Clay.  I purchased a 1 pound bag of it from Frontier.  You can also get it at Vitacost as well if you don't have access to a wholesale group to get it a bit cheaper.  This particular ingredient is supposed to help with the remineralization due to the calcium that is in it.  As well as draw out any toxins that may be in the mouth or on the teeth contributing to the loss of minerals.

Distilled Water.  I did not use water.  Instead I opted to use vodka.  As soon as water is introduced to a recipe, you run the risk of growing bacteria, fungus, or molds.  Vodka, is an alcohol (Duh!) and therefore will act as a preservative and prevent bacteria or molds from growing.

Essential oils and trace minerals.  I LOVE (and am an affiliate for) Mountain Rose Herbs certified organic essential oils.  I opted to use a bit of Cinnamon Bark, Clove Oil, and some homemade Black Walnut Hull tincture.  Black Walnut Hull has some amazing healing benefits and is even being researched for use in some cancer treatments!  For this recipe, I'm using it for the purpose of strengthening and restoring tooth enamel.  It also helps destroy germs and bacteria!  Which is a major bonus for any of us doing this journey to heal tooth decay.  Clove oil helps improve blood circulation and also is a powerful pain reliever, as well as being anti bacterial and anti septic and is known to freshen bad breath.  Thankfully, my kids aren't having any tooth aches or pains, but if they were, this would be a great help for that.  And finally Cinnamon Bark.  It is a very strong anti bacterial essential oil.  I would NEVER advise using it 'neat' or undiluted.  In this recipe, I used it very sparingly.  I actually only added it for a hint of cinnamon flavor since it would be used for kids and peppermint is not advised for children's use.

Ok, so here's how the recipe looked in the end after I made a much a smaller amount and switched up some stuff.

5 teaspoons of cell salts (or you can use your calcium powder, etc)
3 teaspoons of xylitol
4 teaspoons of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of bentonite clay
3 teaspoons of vodka
8 drops each of clove oil and cinnamon bark (*optional!  I don't recommend if using for kids!!!)
20 drops of black walnut hull tincture

First, I took all the dry items and crushed them up in my food processor.  The cell salts (or your calcium powder), the baking soda, bentonite clay, and xylitol.

Alternatively, you could use the Birch Xylitol.

This is what it all looks like as a powder before you add in the liquids.

Ok, then dump all of that out into a bowl and add you coconut oil and vodka.

Then add in your essential oils of choice.

Mix it all up together really well.

I picked up a 3 oz squeeze tube at Walmart in the travel container section for 97 cents.  It is NOT BPA free however.  For some, you may want to invest in something other than the walmart one.  That's totally cool!  I get it!  But since BPA is most often the concern for when the plastic is heated and this toothpaste is not warmed for any reason, I am not too overly concerned about chemicals leaching, and I'm trying to work on a tiny budget.  So, this worked for me.

And the final product.

It's a nice consistency and squeezes out really easily.  This recipe only filled the tube about half way so realistically it could probably be doubled for a full container.  It doesn't bubble like store bought toothpaste, but it does a good job of cleaning our teeth.

So there ya go!  A homemade toothpaste recipe.  :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Making Beef Tallow

Beef tallow is one of those things that unless you're a whole foodie like me, that you'd probably never even THINK of using!  I mean, a few years ago the very thought of cooking in animal fat was a huge no no in my mind!  The very idea that people cooked in or consumed any amount of fat was just appalling to me!  Didn't they know that's how you got fat!?

Ha ha ha!  Oh how I've learned differently!  Of course!  I mean, I make my own butter now too and you couldn't pay me to buy margarine.  So, why not find animal fats useful for cooking as well?  Not only is it good for cooking, it's also useful for making soap!  Beautiful, wonderful, lovely soap!

So today, I'm going to show you how incredibly easy it is to take a humongous slab of cow fat and turn it into something useful.

I'll start by saying that if you choose to use your tallow for food consumption, PLEASE be sure that it is from 100% pure grass fed pastured beef.  Know your farmer, know your food.  ;)  However, if you only plan to use your tallow for soap, then you can utilize any beef suet (fat) that you can get a hold of.

I called around to see what I could come up with.  My local farmer that we buy our bulk beef from was willing to sell me some grass fed suet for $1.50 a pound.  When we buy our 1/4 cow, he always throws in the suet as part of the package deal anyway, but if I were to buy it separately, then that was has asking price.  Not a bad deal for high quality suet that I'd feel good about frying up some potatoes in!

A nearby meat locker was willing to sell me their grain fed beef suet for $1.20 a pound.  And better still, the little butcher shop right down the road from me was willing to GIVE it away!  So free, of course, is always better.  :)  I was able to pick up 15 pounds of beef fat for nothing.  Most places simply throw away the fat anyway, so they truly aren't out anything by giving it away.  However, because it is not grass fed, this will only be used for soap. I'm not a big bird person, but of course this could also be used for suet bird feeders as well.

So of course your first step is to obtain some beef fat. AKA suet.

Cut it in some chunks or cubes.  The smaller it is, the faster and more efficiently it will melt down.  Leaving it in large chunks makes for a much longer process.   I did get lazy towards the end and make bigger pieces cause my arm was about to break and I physically could not cut any more.  But smaller is better.

Throw it in a large pot and turn it on Medium - Medium High and just let it melt.  

Let it melt, simmer, cook down until the remaining pieces of fat turn brown and crispy and all of the oil that is usable is out of it.  Then you'll strain it.

I forgot to take a picture of this step.  Sorry!  I used my large mesh over-the-sink strainer with a large piece of an old clean t shirt cut to line it, then sat it over the largest stainless steel bowl I had and just let it strain.

Once that was done, I put it in some baking dishes I'd lined with wax paper.  Previously when I did this I just poured it straight into some glass mason jars, but it was incredibly difficult to get it out once it was hardened. This time around,  I put it in the baking dishes, and let it set on the counter until it had slightly hardened and then put it in the freezer to continue hardening.

When it was fully hardened, I turned it over dumping it out, breaking it into pieces, and then froze it in Ziploc baggies in 1 pound portions.

Now, whenever I'm ready to make some soap, I've got my beef tallow ready too!  :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stuffed Spinach Rolls

This is quickly becoming a new favorite in our home. Stuffed shells have been a favorite of my husband's ever since we first met.  In fact, that was the dinner I had made for him the night he proposed to me!  So giving up grains and pastas have been pretty difficult for us in finding a good use for the dozen or so jars of homemade pasta sauce stored away in the basement.

This is a really simple idea and like most of my recipes, I don't have exact measurements.  I don't really measure stuff unless I have to and I'm a throw it together kind of gal, but I'll do my best here with approximate amounts.

A run down of ingredients:

Mozzarella Cheese
Ricotta or Cottage Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Cheese can be made with raw milk for extra nutritional value.  I recommend Cultures For Health starter cultures, as well as their recipes linked on their website for lots of great homemade cheeses.

Ground Beef
Small Onion
Fresh Spinach Leaves
Spaghetti Sauce

You could also add in some dried basil, or other herbs.  You could mix half sausage and half beef.  There are tons of variations on this.

Brown up a pound of grass fed hamburger along with 1 small diced onion.  While that's cooking, sort your spinach leaves.  Find the biggest and best ones you have that don't have any holes or tears in them.  Preheat the oven for 350.

When your meat is fully cooked, drain, and let slightly cool.  Then add in about a cup of cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese, and about a 1/4-1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Mix thoroughly.

Put a small amount of your sauce on the bottom of  pan to coat.

Take one spinach leaf and place a spoon full of your filling in it.

Wrap your leaf around the filling and then place in your dish seam side down.

Top with sauce and freshly shredded mozzarella cheese.

Place into your preheated 350 degree oven and let bake until the cheese is brown and bubbly.  About 45 minutes.

This recipe actually makes about a 9 x 13 inch pan.  I split it into 2 dishes so I'd have enough for another meal.

I recently took this to a potluck type dinner and to my surprise, it was gobbled right up by others and I got complements on how good it was, so I guess it's a keeper.  :)  We sure like it!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

One Dish Chicken & Vegetable Bake

This is one of our FAVORITE family meals!  It dates way back to our pre children days when we used to cook this up in aluminum foil on the grill.  We never seem to make enough.  Ever.  As I've evolved in my "crunchiness", I no longer use aluminum foil, but instead bake it in glass in the oven.  I can make a lot more at a time this way too.  :)  AND all year round!  Not just when it's nice outside.

Hot and steamy from the oven.

So the first thing I did was to gather all my ingredients.  I'm one of the lucky people that gets to have an amazingly large garden in the summer so this meal was completely home grown, except the chicken.  We did not use our own chickens on this.  :)

This is the really fun part.  You can use whatever you like, or have on hand.  You don't HAVE to use my ingredients at all!  This is just an idea to get you started for a great meal that everyone loves.

What I added in were some red potatoes*, carrots, broccoli, onions, sweet banana peppers*, and a bunch of herbs.  I just went out and pulled whatever was ready.  The herbs I threw in were fennel, basil, oregano, marjoram, sage, and thyme.

*Potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes are part of the night shade family.  According to the Cure Tooth Decay book, it says that if you are having problems getting decay to halt after all other diet eliminations, you may want to consider removing these from the diet as well.  Sweet potatoes are a better alternative to regular potatoes if you have them.

Cut up the chicken and put it in the bottom of your baking dish.

Then layer in the vegetables according to the ones that need to cook longest.  Carrots, then onions, then potatoes, then broccoli.

Top with herbs.  Dried herbs work really great here too.  They don't have to be fresh.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Then drizzle with some coconut oil and a bit of HFCS free Teriyaki Sauce**.

**If you make a homemade Teriyaki, it will have a small amount of honey or other sweetener.  While we want to stay away from sweet stuff when healing decay, the amount in this is minuscule, really.  But use your discretion and you could always simply leave this ingredient out.  :)

Ok, once it's all assembled, cover and put in your preheated oven at 350 for an hour.  Check your carrots after that to see if they are done or if they need a few more minutes.  Then serve!  Delish!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sprouting Beans and a 'Cure Tooth Decay' Approved Meal

I originally encountered the idea of sprouting beans back in 2004 or so when I read The Maker's Diet.  The idea was that it turned a dry dead food into a living food. I had started soaking and sprouting my beans after reading about it, but then I got away from the practice.  Mostly due to time constraints and the convenience of just opening a can of beans rather then properly soaking and sprouting them myself.  I now have renewed vigor in properly preparing my beans since we are working on the healing of cavities and reading about this practice once again in the Cure Tooth Decay book.

Here are some reasons sprouting beans is beneficial:

Beans, Beans, the musical fruit,
The more you eat the more you toot.

Ever heard that saying?  Well....

1) they don't cause gas.  Did you know that?  Properly prepared beans (and seeds) don't cause gas.  Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors present in all beans and seeds.  These inhibitors also inhibit our own enzymes in the digestive tract causing gas or even stomachache.

2) significantly reduces Phytic Acid.  Phytic Acid is that nasty little thing that is known to bind with minerals in the body causing mineral blockers and preventing the body from being able to absorb many of the nutrients that are so beneficial, and necessary.  Especially when trying to heal/remineralize teeth.  Like, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

3) sprouting increases the available vitamins A, B's, and C.

It's really not hard to soak and sprout, it's just time consuming.  It typically takes 2-3 days to have beans ready to prepare.  However, you can easily soak and sprout a large quantity and then can then up in your own jars for future use for that easy open and dump routine that was so alluring for me.  With just a little bit of forethought, I could still have that same convenience of just opening a can and using them.  Plus, the added benefit of them being healthier.

So, the first thing you want to do is to rinse your beans.  Sort them, which just means look for any small pieces of gravel or dirt or anything that looks like it doesn't belong.  Then cover them in water.  Giving an extra couple inches of water for the beans to expand.  Cover them and let them sit for 8-12 hours.  I usually do overnight.

Then, you just dump off the water and rinse them.  There are actually special sprouting gadgets that you can buy, but I'm not that fancy.  I just use a mesh strainer that fits across my sink.  Makes it super convenient to rinse occasionally, which should be done every 8-12 hours until you've got the size of sprout on them that you want.  This part will typically take 1 1/2 - 2 days.

Anyway, once you've rinsed after dumping off the soak water, leave the beans in whatever you plan to use as your sprouter.  It should allow for air circulation, but not so much that it dries them back out.  I put a cloth towel or cloth napkin over the top and just let it set on the counter out of the way.  Rinsing occasionally.

Once you have sprouts, you can then cook them!  I usually wait until I see a good sprout on the majority of my beans.

Add them to your pot, covered in water, and bring to a boil.

Now, I do one extra step that I've never read anywhere, but I do it anyway.  Once my beans start simmering and I get just a bit of foam in the water, I then dump that water, and refill the pot one last time.

I don't KNOW that this is a necessary step.  However, it just feels right to me.  It gets rid of the foam that was forming, and in my mind, I THINK it also helps get rid of just that much more phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.  But I've got nada to back that up.  Just a hunch that it helps?  Not sure.  Though I'd probably do it just to get rid of the foam anyway, even if it proved that nothing else happens.  :)

So then I just boil my beans until they are cooked through and soft.  You can add anything you want to season and flavor them.  Salt, onions, pepper, fresh herbs.  Ham?  Or beef soup bones?  Just add stuff to taste here.  I usually just do a bit of minced garlic, chopped onion, salt and pepper.  Sometimes I also add some chicken bone broth in place of some of the water for added flavor and goodness.

Now if you were going to preserve the beans by canning, you could do that here instead of fully cooking them.  Instead of cooking them first, put the sprouted beans in jars and then cover in boiling water and do a cold pack pressure canning for them.  Which just means, the beans are cold and not yet cooked.  Pack them in jars, wipe the rims, add the lids, and process in the pressure canner for 1 hour 15 minutes for pints, 1 hour and 30 minutes for quarts.  This time should allow for fully cooked beans at the end.  Ready to just pop open a can and use them as conveniently as store bought canned beans.

Now, back to the meal I was making with those beans.  :)  This is as close to a healthy bean and rice meal as I could muster using the ideas from the Cure Tooth Decay book.

I made some white basmati rice cooked in chicken bone broth (that I'd made myself).  First measuring out the rice, rinsing it in water and draining it, then adding bone broth.  If you can't use the amount of bone broth for the full liquid amount, then use as much as you can and supplement with water for the rest.  Then cook the rice like normal.  When it's done, it will be kinda yellow looking from the broth.

Then, I topped it with some homemade grass fed butter.

Added some freshly picked and chopped cilantro.

Next the beans, and then topped it with some raw cheddar cheese.

And served with a glass of fresh raw milk on the side.  :)

It was so super awesome!  Yumm-o!

Now, to add a link to Sprout people so you can search for any kind of bean, nut, or seed you want to see info on how to sprout.  :)

This was a fantastically filling meal, it tasted great, and even better, no toots from the musical fruit!  :)  I guess it's not so musical after all, huh?  :)


Friday, July 5, 2013

Making Butter ~ It's SO Easy!

I have been a HUGE butter fan for many years.  It started out at the realization that margarine was a manufactured chemical, whereas butter was made from milk.  Much more natural!  Then, I started using lots of butter because I loved the taste so much better than margarine.  But, we were still buying it in the store and it was not organic, nor was it from grass fed cows.  It was just, you know, butter.  From a store.  :)

Not long after that, my husband was diagnosed with high cholesterol and we switched back to margarine because of all those commercials telling you that margarine has less saturated fat, blah blah blah.  Or rather, we tried the supposed heart healthy smart balance type butters and margarines.  But, it just didn't fit into my brain quite right that these chemically made products could possibly be better for him (us) than something made naturally.  So, I quickly put a cabosh on that idea and embraced the fact that we were butter eaters and there was no going back.  Incidentally, when his next work up came around a year later, his cholesterol had dropped by more than 50 points!  Now, I doubt that it was ALL because of butter, but my point was that butter was not the culprit of his high cholesterol.

I'm here to tell you, that butter is a health food.  It is not to blame for heart disease, blood pressure, cholesterol, making you fat, and on and on and on.  Butter, is high in vitamins A, D, E, K, and Calcium.  It's rich in anti-oxidants, selenium, lecithin, and lauric acid.  The saturated fats found in butter even have strong anti cancer and anti tumor properties!  And finally, the cholesterol found in butter is exactly what children's brains need to grow healthy. (http://bodyecology.com/articles/benefits_of_real_butter.php#.Udb7a_mgWph)

So today, I'm going to show you just how easy it is to MAKE butter!  I highly, highly, highly, (oh wait, did I say HIGHLY) recommend that you use raw milk from grass fed cows.  Always, really. But especially for your cream in which to make butter.  Raw cream is by far the most superior of all creams, in my opinion.  Not only in taste, but also in nutrition and health benefits.  I will not go down the rabbit trail of preaching to you all the devastation that pasteurization does to our milk.  So, just know, that I HIGHLY encourage you to use raw milk. :)  However, if you are unable to obtain raw milk, please find some Organic, preferably Grass Fed cream to use.  If all that fails, use what you can find.  :)

Now, there are about as many ways to obtain your cream from your milk as there are people on the planet.  So do it however it works for you.  MY system is to pour our milk into one of these bpa free plastic dispensers as soon as I get home from the farm.

On my gift wish list is one of these.  A glass 2 tier dispenser with metal spigots on them.  However, this little plastic one will have to do for now.

It is extremely handy for the kids to get milk as the heavy glass jars we had been using previously made it a hold-my-breath-and-pray-they-don't-drop-it experience several times a day.  So, this is wonderful!  Surprisingly, we actually go through less milk this way!  I'm not sure why exactly, but it's true.

Anyway, the cream rises to the top and as we drink the milk off the bottom, all the cream is saved for last.  In the picture below, you can see the line of cream on top that has separated from the milk.

Then, when we get down to just the cream, I pull it off and put it in a glass jar until I can get around to making butter.  In this time, if there is any milk left, it will separate again and you can see how much cream to milk you have.  As shown in the picture below.

Next, I use my little mini food processor. I pour in my cream up to the 1/4 L line plus 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.  You can salt to taste, there's no magic amount.  :)  There's not even any reason to measure anything if you're making unsalted.  Just put your cream in and let it spin!

I've also used my blender before to make butter, though it didn't work out very well.  As you make butter it goes through different stages of thickness and at one point it gets a whipped butter consistency and my blender couldn't handle it.  It just spun and the butter-in-progress was not moving and clung to the sides.  So I ended up having to move it to my food processor anyway and having more to wash.  :)  So I just go straight to the food processor now.  Another great option is to use a hand held stick blender too.  I've used that several times as well, but it's currently designated for skin care products only and until I get another one, I won't be using it for food stuff.

ANYWAY!  Where were we?

Oh yes, we just poured in the cream.  Ok, so now stand there and hold the button down for about 10 minutes until it gets a good bounce.

As you see at the end of the video there, when it's bouncing, you have now successfully made butter.

Scrape together all your butter pieces and put them in your container you want to use to store it in.

What you have left, is buttermilk!  You can then use that for all kinds of stuff!  It is full of probiotics and SO good for you!  I use it to mix into our eggs, mashed potatoes, you could put some in a smoothie.  Just about anything.  And of course, you could use it for things like biscuits and pancakes too!  (though we do not since we are grain free)

There ya go!  Raw, fresh, grass fed, organic butter.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"B" Balm

I wanted to make a balm that would be perfect for anything my husband and kids would encounter on their exploring expeditions in the ravine as they pretend to "survive".  I should elaborate a bit here.

My kids' favorite show is Dual Survival.  You know, the show where two men from completely different backgrounds get dropped off in different locations and attempt to survive and find rescue.  In fact, last year, I had to MAKE them at least take shoes with us when we left the house in case we went somewhere that didn't allow bare feet.  They loved the show so much that they built a shelter in our yard and foraged our garden for food.  They used the corn stalks as a lean to up against the old smokehouse and made a table to keep their food on.  Under that tuna can.....are grasshoppers.  Apparently they are a great protein source.  *gross*

So anyway, I wanted to make a balm in a small lip balm tube that was easily portable, can stick in a pocket or backpack and that it was powerful enough to handle pretty much anything relatively minor that may come up on their little escapades.

And thus, the birth of "B" Balm.  It's perfect for any sort of "B"ump, "B"ruise, "B"ug "B"ite, "B"lister, "B"lemish, "B"urn, minor "B"leeding, etc.,  AND, it's "B"lack.  :)  I've tried it on mosquito bites and it takes the itch away very well!  I've tried it on scrapes, bruises, and unknown bumps and it really is a neat little balm.  It takes away the pain and helps relieve inflammation.   Better still, I've been battling "dry skin" for over a year.  The dermatologist simply said to wear gloves often, slather in vaseline (Ick!), wash my hands with soap less often, apply a steroid cream, and seal my cracks with super glue.  Seriously!  No joke here!  However, after only two weeks of applying this balm to my hands twice a day, my hands look better than they have in over a year!  For the first time since this condition began, I do not have a single crack in my hands or knuckles!  It is AMAZING!

I think in future batches I might up the beeswax so that it melts less easily.  The only reason this is a problem is because it's summer, we don't have air conditioning, and it is quite soft when I go to use it.  I don't mind, really.  But my youngest got a hold of my balm in the van, it had melted, and she poured it all down the front of her shirt.  :)  And because it is summer, a hardier balm would probably do better, but this would be perfect for winter use as is.  IF you make this and plan to use it for warm weather purposes, just up the beeswax to your liking.  NO need to adjust any other measurement other than the amount of tubes it would fill.

This recipe as is, filled 40 lip balm tubes.  However, you can certainly use something other than lip balm tubes.  You could use any kind of tin or container you want!  You can also make LESS of the recipe by halving it.  Or, maybe cutting it into a third would be doable.  It's pretty easy to find tubes though.  One place I like is - From Nature With Love .  I love ordering special oils and butters from them, as well as containers.  They aren't necessarily the cheapest for this particular product, but, they do have free shipping specials with a $75 order.  Or, at least they did when I ordered.  I also got my Karanja Oil from there that I used in this recipe as well (it also happens to be on sale for 50% off at the moment!).

Another cost savings alternative would be here - Mountain Rose Herbs.  Here, you can get 100 tubes for just $22!  However, you do have to pay shipping.  While you're shopping there, be sure to check out their fabulous selection of Certified Organic Essential Oils!   I used Tea Tree Oil, Lemon, and Lavender in this recipe.  Not to mention the numerous other herbs in this!  At least half of them were from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Ok, so here we go.  At the end, I'll write WHY I chose each specific ingredient.  But, lets get started.  Shall we?  :)

1/2 cup of Safflower Oil
1/2 cup Certified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon dried Plantain leaf
1 Tablespoon dried Lemon Balm
1 Tablespoon Uva Ursi
1 Tablespoon Comfrey
1 Tablespoon Burdock Root
1 Tablespoon Calendula
1 Tablespoon Peppermint
1 Tablespoon Black Walnut Hull
1 Tablespoon Basil
1 Tablespoon Thyme
1 Tablespoon Sage

Infuse those all together on your stove on low for several hours.  Be sure it doesn't get too hot and boil as that can kill some of the good for you properties.  When you're done infusing, strain the oils from the herbs.  Be sure to wring out your cloth REALLY well to get all the concentrated oils from the saturated herbs.

Put this newly infused oil into a double broiler, or similar, then add in your Karanja Oil and Beeswax.  


1 oz. Karanja Oil - I chose this oil for it's medicinal purposes, but didn't want to "waste" it with the infusion process because it's rather expensive.  Therefore I added it AFTER infusing so that I wouldn't loose as much of it in the oils left in the herbs and cloth.

1/4 cup of beeswax - * add more for a firmer balm*  I prefer using the little beeswax pellets cause it's easy peasy, no melting or grating or anything else for measuring, just scoop and use.  Test your firmness by putting a drop on a plate that's been in the freezer for a few minutes.  If it's not firm enough for you, melt in some more beeswax til it's satisfactory. 

Once your beeswax is melted thoroughly, remove from heat.  Let it cool just slightly.  Not enough to start hardening, but just enough that it's safe to add our essential oils, but still be liquid enough to put into your containers.  Add in:

10 drops of Tea Tree Oil
15 drops Lemon essential oil
15 drops of Lavender essential oil

Mix well and put in your tubes, or other containers.

And there you have it!

Now, for the reasoning behind each item.

Plantain - heals wounds, cuts, and scrapes, repairs damaged tissue, and treats bruises.  Also does a good job of easing pain associated with poison ivy.

Lemon Balm - has an anti-histamine effect.  Which basically means it reduces inflammation associated with bites and stings.

Uva Ursi - is anti-inflammatory, anti microbial, and astringent.

Comfrey - in and of itself, it's good for burns, blisters, and bruises!  However, you should NEVER use straight comfrey on an open wound.  It's healing powers are so great that it can cause the top layer of skin to heal up over the wound, trapping the under layers of wounded skin beneath.

Burdock Root - is good for burns and is an anti inflammatory.  Burdock usually grows near Stinging Nettles and is it's remedy.  If you get stung with nettles, grab a leaf of burdock and rub on the affected area.  It neutralizes the sting like nobody's business.  Burdock is also good for other inflammatory purposes like arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, and even acne. 

Calendula - promotes healing of skin wounds and reduces inflammation.  Antibacterial and antiviral.  Used to treat everything from diaper rash to cancer.

Peppermint - Analgesic, antiseptic, antibacterial, great for burns and bites.

Black Walnut Hull - This is an excellent anti fungal.  A common treatment for ringworm. Can be used for many sores, blisters, or bites.

Basil - Basil is from the same family as peppermint and offers many of the same benefits.  Anti inflammatory and anti bacterial.

Thyme - Antiseptic and antifungal.

Sage - Antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory.  Helps the healing process, even for surgical wounds.  Great for bug bites, stings, and allergic responses.

Tea Tree Oil - sometimes known as the cure all.  It's antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial.

Lemon Oil - Good for bug bites and wounds.  Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.

Lavender Oil - Great for bruises, burns, and bug bites due to it's analgesic properties.  Bonus that it's anti inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic.

Coconut Oil - Too numerous for me to count, really.  Just google the benefits of coconut oil if you have any doubt to it's wondrous healing properties.

Safflower Oil - I prefer it over olive oil in most skin care recipes due to it's lighter consistency and fragrance, coupled with it's moisturizing abilities and high vitamin E content.

Karanja Oil - It's full of great benefits as well! It promotes wound healing, is often used for treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.  It's a cousin to Neem oil, but less aromatic.

Is it possible to have created something just as good with fewer ingredients?  mmmaaayyybbbeee  But I wanted a full bodied balm to cover many different aspects and for it to be a one balm cure all for any encounter.  So, I worked to have it full of lots of different herbs and therefore a variety of benefits.  

And there ya go!  :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Herbal Bug Repellent

I made a bug repellent.  Honestly, I'm on the fence about it.  It's an oil, which is not most people's preferred choice of skin additive during the summer.  However, I think it will work GREAT!  And, the oils used would be very good and promote healthy skin.  I think that if it is used very lightly and gently rubbed in, that it would work really well!  And not be TOO terrible of an oily feeling.  I'm considering trying to do a tincture with the catnip as well, but I'm on the fence about that one too.  Seems that it might sting the skin, especially if you are slightly sunburned or it may not be as nourishing for the skin as the oil would be.  But, it's a thought of a possibility at the moment.  :)

There was a study done that shows that Catnip is more effective than DEET at keeping mosquitos away.  For link to more info about that, you can click here.  While effective, it is not as long lasting and will need reapplied more often than conventional bug sprays.

Anyway, here's the info on the bug repellent.

First, I infused equal parts extra virgin organic coconut oil with safflower oil (total 1 cup) to dried catnip (1/2 cup).  Coconut oil has a million and 1 uses and is very very very good for the skin.  It is especially wonderful on sunburns.  Which I have a bit of at the moment from spending every moment possible out weeding the herb garden yesterday.  :)  After a long day in the sun, slathering on some coconut oil can actually heal your skin and prevent blistering and peeling (This has worked for me!  Even from a LOT of too much sun.).  So, that's a bonus of this bug repellent.  :)  IF you were to use it during the day, coconut oil can also work as an effective sunblock to prevent sunburns.  I'm not sure of the SPF value of coconut oil, nor am I sure how long would be safe to be in the sun.  This would differ to where you live.  For instance, my sun here in Wisconsin, is not going to be as strong as Florida, or Texas.  Ya know?  So I can't say.  Use common sense and wear protective clothing rather than relying on just coconut oil if you'll be out for a long time or are in strong sun/UV area.

I used Safflower Oil because it's lighter than Olive oil and is less fragrant.  Plus, it's high in Vitamin E, which is also great for the skin.  But mostly because Coconut Oil alone tends to have this habit of solidifying under 76 degrees.  Which, it often gets in the evenings.  So by mixing the two oils, it gives it a more liquid presence.

I did the ol' herbs in a jar trick and just put the oils and catnip in a Mason jar and sat it on the back of my stove, then shook it up several times a day for 2 weeks.  You can infuse for longer, but I really wanted to get this bug repellent finished.  We've had a lot of rain and the hubby and kids plan to go on a survival expedition this weekend.  I thought this would come in very handy.

Once the oil had a chance to infuse, I then drained it in a mesh strainer over a bowl with an old cut out piece of t shirt.  Be sure to wrap up the herbs in the cloth and wring it out really well!  That's the most concentrated oils!

I picked up the little 2 oz spray bottles at *gasp* Walmart for $.97 each in the trial products section.  If I were to use them often, then I would order from From Nature With Love.  They offer free shipping with any order of $75 or more and I've used them for many of my container orders for supplies.  The free shipping makes them very competitive on prices.

I then poured the catnip infused oil into the little spray bottles until it was ALMOST filled, but not completely.  Then I used 10 drops each of the following essential oils (I prefer Mountain Rose Herbs).


Put the cap on and shake it up.  Done.

My kids were so enthralled.  "Mom!  It smells like REAL bug repellent!"  :)  If you get a chance to try this, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Thanks for checking it out!

Sorry for the crappy phone picture.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Curing Tooth Decay ~ Things I've learned that may have contributed to our plight

As I'm learning, I'm sharing.  For several reasons.  1) I learn best by writing.  If I take notes in class, it's because I will remember it better by writing it down, so this is partly for my own remembrance.  2) I hope that what I'm learning, will be helpful to someone else.  3) So that I can come back and look at it when I need a refresher of why we are or aren't eating a particular food or using a product.

Some things I learned I can honestly say I KNEW that, but had chosen to ignore my instincts.  Other things, were truly revolutionary to me.

Since we are at the stage of attempting to remineralize teeth, we first have to understand what is happening.  Essentially, the teeth are not receiving the minerals they need to stay strong and healthy.  The body is leaching minerals from the bones.  Why?  The simple answer is that their diet is lacking necessary nutrients.  A more complex answer would be that their body is not able to process the nutrients in the foods they are eating.  Even if I gave them all the right foods, they may not be able to properly absorb them due to nutrient blocking foods they are getting in combination with the good foods.  I mentioned in my last post about how it was more important to keep the bad out than getting the good in because of this very concept.  I can give them all the vitamin supplements in the world (which aren't recommended anyway) but if the absorption is being blocked by other high phytic acid foods, then it's not going to work.  Maximizing nutrient absorption is key to remineralizing teeth.

Key nutrients needed for strong healthy bones and teeth are Vitamin A, D, C, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, iodine, as well as a few others.  You can't just take a pill.  It HAS to come from your foods!  Even more important, those nutrients can't be BLOCKED by other foods and the nutrients need to be easily available for your body to absorb.

I know, it almost seems overwhelming, doesn't it?  But what I've learned is that traditional ways of preparing foods, are time consuming, because they work.  Pretty much anything that's quick or easy, is not worth the time or effort.  Let alone the money to buy it.  They are essentially junk foods.

A quick run down of some of our common day, American foods, and the yay or nays of them:

Major factor and Key Player right here - - - - >    Blood sugar stability - When blood sugar fluctuates, the calcium and phosphorus in the blood fluctuate with it.  White sugar can cause a fluctuation that lasts as long as five hours!  *5* hours!  Fruit sugar produces fewer fluctuations, but the blood sugar may still remain unbalanced for the same length of time.  Honey causes even few fluctuations, and will come back into balance in approximately 3 hours.  When the blood sugar becomes unbalanced, so are the blood calcium levels because the body is pulling calcium from your bones (teeth).  Calcium and phosphorus ratios are negatively affected over time by blood sugar fluctuations.  A combination of blood sugar stability and proper calcium/phosphorus rations in the blood result in tooth decay immunity.  The longer your blood sugar is out of balance, the higher the possibility of tooth decay.  It doesn't matter if this imbalance is occurring due to eating cakes, or fruit.  Sugar imbalance is sugar imbalance.  All sweet foods cause fluctuations.  However, the intensity of sweetness will directly affect how much of a fluctuation.  For instance, dried fruit will cause a much greater fluctuation than a non sweet fruit like a raspberry.

Pasteurized milk - In order to absorb the calcium found in milk, you need the phosphatase.  It is naturally found in raw milk, but the pasteurization process destroys it.  As well as Vitamin C.  Most pasteurized milk has Vitamins A & D added to try to make it more nutritious.  However, your body treats synthetic vitamins as a toxin and will not absorb them.

Homogenized milk - The homogenization process forces the milk through extremely small holes at high pressure to break apart the fat molecule.  It leaves the milk, basically, unusable by the body by breaking the milk's cellular structure.  Most store bought ice creams are made with pasteurized and homogenized milk, plus lots of sugar and sometimes even high fructose corn syrup, which means, nada to the bought ice cream.

Raw milk - Yes!  This is a GOOD thing!  Drink away!

Butter - only if it's from raw milk from grass fed, pastured cows.  This butter will have a deep yellow color to it and not the almost off white that is typical of most store bought butters.

Fruit - Many fruits can add to your health. but there is also the possibility of too much of a good thing.  I was allowing my kids to eat lots of fruit.  Often.  I encouraged it!  Thinking it was healthy for them.  Unaware of the blood sugar fluctuations it was causing that was allowing the opportunity to tooth decay.  Fruit is best balanced with a protein rich fat.  For instance, strawberries and cream.  Peaches and cream.  Apples and cheese, etc.  The sugar burst can help calm hunger quickly, while the fats from the healthy proteins will have a longer staying power and energy source for your body.  Avoid sweet fruits when trying to heal cavities.  Particularly oranges, bananas, grapes, peaches, dates, dried fruits.  Having cavities is a sign telling you that your blood sugar is fluctuating TOO much!  Once cavities are healed, some sweet fruits, within reason, is ok.

Sweeteners - Obviously, most sweeteners are no nos.  They raise the blood sugar.  Avoid evaporated cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, agave nector, glycerin, brown rice syrup, fake sweeteners, etc.

Protein - I learned in pregnancy that protein helps balance blood sugar.  Eating a high protein diet with adequate amounts of healthy fats, is very important.  Factory farmed meat, eggs, dairy, and even lunchmeats.  Avoid them!  Always use meats that have lived their life the way God intended them to, eating the foods they were designed to eat.  Only then can they provide us with the fullest of nutrients they were meant to give us.

Protein Powders - Consuming the real thing, is always better.  For instance, if whey protein is being used for health and boosting protein intake, simply use real whey.  Not only is it a safer protein source, but it also has probiotic benefits.  Better protein sources for upping protein consumption are eggs, meat, or fish.  Avoid soy as it block iron absorption.

Vegetables - Raw vegetables are difficult to digest, with the exception of lettuce or cucumbers.  Unless you have digestive super powers, eating raw vegetables should be limited.  Raw vegetables also have plant toxins that prevent the body from being able to properly digest them and extract the nutrients.  Prepare them in a way that is easiest to digest.

Grains/Whole Grains - This one was huge for me.  And one I had been doing all wrong.  I was all about whole grains, whole wheat, wheat germ, everything.  And I stayed far, far away from white flour.  Well, turns out that white, unbleached, unenriched white flour may not be so bad after all, but surely, my relationship with whole wheat has contributed to our current dilemma.  Whole grains - Has the same effect on teeth and the body as consuming large quantities of fructose syrup as they contain grain sugars, as well as phytic acid, which again, binds with other minerals preventing the body from being able to absorb them.  The worst of these are oats, bran, and wheat germ.  Avoid sprouted grain breads.  (oops!)  Avoid gluten free grain products.  Avoid breakfast cereals.  Avoid health food bars.  (sad face)  Limit popcorn.  (We love stove top with lots of butter and salt.)  There IS a safe way of eating breads and grains, but it's more than I can get into here, and unless you grind, sift, and sour your own grain, it's honestly just easiest to avoid it altogether.  It is recommended in the book (on page 79) to allow a 2-3 week grain detoxification to let the body recover and find balance.  This requires removing ALL grains, even quinoa and buckwheat, nuts, seeds, and beans.  (yikes!)

Oats - a big no no.  I'm guilty of encouraging my kids to eat oatmeal.  Thinking it was good for them.  And honestly, because I enjoyed being lazy in the morning and not making breakfast.  I've since learned that oats are high in phytic acid and is a contributor to tooth decay.  There is NO safe way to eat commercial oats.  No amount of soaking or cooking will reduce the phytic acid.  Phytic acid binds with other minerals and prevents the body from absorbing them.  Such as calcium, iron, zinc, manesium, Vitamin A and D, etc.  One study showed the children given 1/2 -1 cup of oatmeal per day had  6 new cavities, per child during the trial. (experiment by Dr. Mellenby noted in the book Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel. Page 66)

White flour - of all the grains, white flour interferes the LEAST with mineral absorption, therefore tooth remineralization.  IF you choose to use white flour, always use unbleached, unenriched, white flour.  And always consume it with a high fat, protein rich side, like raw milk cheese, or butter.  Soaked and soured in a natural sour dough starter is acceptable.

Beans - This one, I honestly already knew.  I really truly did.  But, I got lazy.  Those darned cans of beans in the store were just so much easier than buying dried beans, soaking them and sprouting them myself.  Beans are extremely high in phytic acid, which in turn, binds with minerals preventing our body from being able to absorb them.  Simply cooking beans only removes a very small portion of the phytic acid.  Soaking is better.  Soaking and then sprouting, is excellent!  Not only does it remove some of the phytic acid, it also turns that dried bean into a living food!  Making our bodies much more capable of digesting the nutrients being offered from it.  This is exactly what we're looking for in our foods.  Easy digestibility and highly nutritious.  Something new to me in the book however, was souring them.  Not a clue what that's all about.  Will have to learn more about it.  Ideally, eat beans with cheese, vitamin D rich foods, or vitamin C rich vegetables or berries.

Breakfast cereals and granola - Grains.  Already mentioned above.  Laced with sugar, "enriched" with vitamins that the body can't absorb.  They are a wasteland.  Avoid them.  They raise blood sugar levels, promoting tooth decay.

Nuts and Nut Butters - Iron absorption blockers, contain the same amount of phytic acid as grains.  Unless you can buy raw nuts and soak and sprout them yourself, avoid them.  You can not buy commercially soaked and sprouted nuts or nut butters.  As well as nut flours.  They too have the same amount of phytic acid (mineral binding).  Consuming them regularly can affect calcium/phosphorus absorption, as well as Vitamin A, D, and C.

Potatoes - We love potatoes.  Especially since we grow them ourselves and store them over winter.  I was disappointed to see them on the limited list, but happy to see that sweet potatoes were the best of the potato family.  White potatoes contain a moderate amount of phytic acid.  They CAN be incorporated in a decay healing diet, in small quantities.  Sweet potatoes contain only small amounts of phytic acid and can be balanced with fats and proteins to off set and block the phytic acid mineral binding.

Tomatoes - As well as goji berries, eggplant, and peppers, contain calcitrol, which can leach calcium from your body.  These foods CAN be eaten in small quantities and only if you are making sure to balance them with high calcium foods.  An imbalance can lead to tooth decay.  If you are struggling with getting the decay under control, this might be a missing link to remove from the diet for an added oomph to your program.

Multi vitamins - I am as guilty as they come at pushing this one.  I have, however, encouraged food based vitamins.  And those are the only ones suggested to be used if ANY are used at all.  Synthetic vitamins are seen as toxins in the body and rushed out as fast as possible.  Evidenced by the strange color or odor of urine after taking a multivitamin.  However, if in extreme deficiency, it's better than nothing.

Soy - Most soy is high in phytic acid, stripping away our calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and even zinc.... and should be avoided.  Soy protein powders, soy isolate, soy milk etc.  Small condiment amounts of fermented soy is ok.  For instance, soy sauce, tempeh, or miso.

Rice - This one surprised me.  Even though brown rice contains more nutrients than white rice, your body is not able to actually absorb more nutrients from it, because of the higher phytic acid levels in brown rice.  Therefore, unbleached, white rice like a white basmati or white jasmine are fine in small quantities on rare occasions.  Be sure to rinse before cooking.

Corn - it's a grain.  Lump it up there with not a good one to eat unless it can be properly prepared.  Modern corn tortillas, chips and meals are high in phytic acid.

So, what does that leave?  Well, let's keep in mind that we are focusing solely on HEALING at this point.  Some of these restrictions can be lightened once healing is no longer the goal, and maintaining is the focus.  But for now, we are healing.  Weston A Price's tooth decay prevention protocol has shown a  90% success rate.  But it is work.  And as a mom, it's My JOB to do these things for my children.  I take my job very seriously.  Can't ya tell?  ;)

Direct quotes from Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel are as follows:

Page 92:
  • Tooth decay is caused by environmental forces such as food; you have complete control over your diet.
  • "Dangerous" bacteria are not the cause of cavities and do not randomly attack innocent victims.
  • Our modern diet is deficient in fat-soluble vitamins and minerals needed for healthy teeth and bones.
  • Tooth decay occurs when your body chemistry falls out of balance and your body sends hormonal signals that tell your teeth to stop remineralizing.  The imbalance is caused by blood sugar spikes and a disruption in your calcium and phosphorous metabolism.  Eating plenty of vegetables, limiting your sugar intake, eating enough proteins and a diet that includes plenty of fat soluble vitamins usually resolves this imbalance.
  • Dentists are surgeons who treat the symptoms of dental disease with surgery.  Dental treatments usually provide only short term results.  Dentistry has never promised to remineralize cavities or to prevent future cavities.

Balanced Tooth Decay Remineralizing Program - Food Intake Suggestions

1/2 teaspoon 2-3 x's a day of Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil by Green Pasture's Products
Raw cheese
quality rich bone broths
raw milk, kefir, whey
high quality animal protein
lots of cooked veggies such as broccoli, zucchini, celery, chard, string beans.
healthy fats with each meal in the form of raw milk, butter, cream
liver twice per week (MAYBE once for us)
Shellfish or other organ meats twice per week (um, yeah, probably not)

We've also been having lots of fresh salads.  Lots of eggs and venison for breakfast.

It's only been 2 weeks, but the kids are much more acceptable of the changes at this point.  The 4 year old even reminds be every day that she need to take her fermented cod liver oil/butter oil.  I mix the two in a small syringe and she chases it with a small amount of raw milk.  And of course they line up with hands out to get their hylands cell salts.  They call them "little marshmallow things". :)  They are small white tabs just like the other hylands products.

The biggest challenge is finding enough of the good foods to keep them happy and interested.  But as we are coming into summer, it will get easier with all of our fresh garden goodies soon to grace our table.