We are into about week three of our GAPS diet and things are getting au natural around here. That up there is horse manure. It was taken from a friend's farm, put in our recycling bin (which was emptied out for this occasion) Then the recycling bin was put into our van where some manure escaped. It was then shoveled into our new garden and the rest in our backyard. It smells lovely- not really. Thankfully it is most decomposed and it has the consistency of saw dust. Another fun fact- it's hot (you can see it steaming in the picture). Hot decomposing manure in my van. Thankfully I have not smelled it today so I think it's all gone.
Eric was undeterred by last year's attempt at growing his own vegetables. The three tomato plants he planted in pots last year yielded about three tomatoes- all together. This year, he's reading a couple different books on gardening and decided to try a more serious attempt. He built two 4x4 squares to plant his garden and has started some seeds inside the house already. I love this little hobby of his and I'm so glad he's taking all this on. I cannot even think of adding one more thing to my list of to do's. We are hoping it will help with the grocery bill- at least for the summer months.
Here are some more au natural things I have been learning these past three weeks...
How to make yogurt!
The yogurt making is in full swing and we are now enjoying homemade yogurt twice a day. This yogurt is so easy to make. But my first batch failed miserably. I didn't read carefully on the directions to leave it culture in glass container. Also, I think it was the raw milk that just didn't do well for a pure starter culture.
To make this yogurt (purchased from here) I just take a tablespoon of the culture (previously made yogurt) to one cup milk. Stir, cover, leave for 24 hours in 70-78 degree place. We flavor ours with pureed strawberry, banana, mango, and raw honey. Nothing processed. We might freeze it and have frozen yogurt or put in a smoothie with organic peanut butter, raw honey and banana. Homemade yogurts are best because commercial yogurts are not cultured long enough (an hour or less!) so they do not have all the probiotics that are so important for good health. Also, they contain many unnatural additives and thickeners. More on that here.
Another thing I have been learning about is how to make a good bone broth.We've been drinking this miracle drink twice a day- once plain, and once in a soup. It contains many vital nutrients that are easily absorbed by the body. It is the magical medicine that heals and seals the gut. This broth above is chicken broth that was simmer for 24 hours. The beef broth simmered for three days! There was a little bit of learning curve with the broths as well. My first chicken broth turned sour (I still haven't figured out why) and my first beef broth lacked serious taste. But I am determined to make beautiful broth. I've been singing to "Wanna be broth star" to myself. I can't believe I just admitted that on the Internet. More on making broths here.
A cool thing about drinking this broths is that even though I have stopped taking my vitamins (because they are no longer needed with this diet) I stopped getting leg cramps! I used to have leg cramps all the time, so I would take 2-4 Caltrate vitamins a day- and still get cramps. Now that I am drinking bone broth- which has a ton of calcium and other essential minerals and vitamins in a more absorbable form than pills, I have not gotten any leg cramps. I guess the vitamins I was taking before weren't being absorbed very well.
The only supplement we are taking is fermented cod liver oil with vitamin K butter. Both are "sacred" foods that traditional cultures prized for good health and healthy babies, but it tastes horrible! Dr. Natasha (GAPS author) says it's very important, so I'm trusting the doc on this one. When I took it out and tried it for the first time, I thought there is no way the kids are going to eat this. I was half expecting it to be our right rejected or thrown up! My baby actually likes it. There's a cinnamon flavored one and a chocolate flavored one. I swallow the gel caps- thank you Jesus for those! But I spoon feed the kids' to them. Liam tolerates it but Analee has to be heavily coaxed. I purchased mine here if you are interested.
This is reason for this diet:
Next up- lacto fermented sauerkraut and more fermented foods and a fast from honey and fruit for lent. Need. more. probiotics. Now I need to get back in the kitchen and clean those mounds of dishes!