Navigating Life Sorta Naturally Part 2

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After adding better foods to our diet, the next challenge to tackle was daily vitamins. Now I am sure that many people will tell you that we can get all the needed nutrients and vitamins right from our food, and they would be right…sort of. The problem is that the foods we buy today are shallow copies of nutrient rich foods that once were, so it’s like making a copy of a copy of a copy…you get the picture. I believed that the amount of food my kids would have to consume to get the needed daily vitamins and minerals ONLY from food would be too great for practicality at this point, so I decided a dual approach was necessary. Great foods and daily vitamins. Having specific health needs, we were already deficient in several vitamin areas, and I knew the best way back to health for us was a strong step forward.

Lord, have mercy! Who knew that so many vitamin companies existed and pledged to be everything that you ever needed? We spent almost a solid year just trying out new vitamins each month, trying to discover ones that when combined had most of the vitamins and minerals we needed AND were edible. Some vitamins were absolutely awesome in quality and tasted terrible, like Rainbow Light chewables for children. Awesome vitamin, terrible taste. Whose kid is actually going to eat that!?! (l see now that Rainbow Light has come up with a gummy vitamin instead of the chewable, but any child older than 3 has to take 4 gummies a day for the % daily value, and these vitamins are expensive. I have four kids, so that wasn’t a cost effective option for me!) Some vitamins tasted awesome and were about as nutritious as candy…you mamas know the ones that I am talking about! And on top of all this, it had to be cost effective. The best nutrients for the lowest price…..what to do!?!

In the end, the kids and I decided on these vitamins :

Little Critter’s Gummy Vites -a good array of vitamins, only two gummies needed per day for %daily value(some brands require 4!), cost effective, and a good taste made from natural sources

All Calm Gummies– a good dose of needed magnesium in a well flavored gummy. These have been a Godsend for my teenagers going through those hormonal shifts in life! One month, I forgot to reorder in enough time, and we had a few days the next month with no magnesium gummies…oh my gosh! These gummies really did make a difference because the days without them were emotional train wrecks for 3 out of 4 of my children. Our bodies really, really, really, REALLY need magnesium!

I also have two of my children that struggle with stomach issues and need a little help to keep the lines of intestines from clogging, so two of my children take a probiotic chewable or drink packet once a day. I do feed my children many roughage foods and also homemade yogurt, but it is not enough to keep two of them regular. The product below has 5 billion CFUs and seems to be the right amount to keep my children’s stomachs in check.

Culturelle Probiotic Chewable -It helps so much that it has solved many other body issues resulting from a backed up colon. I am so thankful for this probiotic!

For myself, I take a Rainbow Light high potency multivitamin everyday and St. John’s wart frequently. I have tried many other combinations but for my mental and emotional health, this combination works best.

Rainbow Light Women’s One -This vitamin is very effective for my body and cost effective. A 90 count bottle will cost you $30 and last for three months, excellent value! It is a little horse pill like to swallow, but that doesn’t bother me.

St. John’s Wart– Please do your research on this one before you take it! I struggle with depression and this has helped my body to find an equilibrium, but everyone’s body is different.

The last thing I will share are some great immunity boosters. My daughter had some serious health issues two years ago, and we couldn’t keep her well and breathing without steroids for more than a few days at a time. It was a mama’s nightmare…a child who can’t breathe on her own. I researched, and read, and tried all kind of crazy things, but in the end two things helped my girl the most to breathe regularly and participate in normal kid activities. These two things were…

Ningxia Red from Young Living– very expensive but very effective! This took my daughter from taking daily inhalers, machine operated breathing steroids, and liquid high potency steroids to taking ONLY a daily allergy pill, in only nine months! I gave her only 1 ounce a day to drink as she was young, but over time her immunity grew so strong that we didn’t need to take it anymore. I think it’s a very expensive option but well worth the investment if you have poor immunity.

and

ZHOU-Mune Elderberry Gummies– These gummies are high in elderberry, Vitamin C and Zinc, fairly cost effective, and good tasting. I only gave my children one a day since they were young and already taking a multivitamin. Now we make our own elderberry syrup for immunity, but this was a great option for me when I needed something easy and potent.

If you are going to travel down the vitamin road, I have two suggestions.

1)Use the same vitamin for a month and then switch brands. You really need to see how it effects you over a few weeks when it has built up in your system.

2)Record short notes on how the vitamins make you feel or changes good/bad that you observe in your family. This will help you remember which ones worked best in different areas and may help you find a good combination.

BON VOYAGE! May the vitamins be ever in your flavor!

A Fulltime Woman’s Sorta Natural Cinnamon Roll Recipe

This recipe is a doubled variation of the Six Sister’s Dinner Rolls. https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/30-minute-dinner-rolls-recipe/. It should make 24 large sized cinnamon rolls. You can half it to make one large batch of 12 cinnamon rolls, but I wouldn’t change the filling recipe. Just save the leftover filling in the refrigerator for the next time that you make cinnamon rolls. It takes 45 minutes from beginning to end. Seriously fast, healthyish, and tasty!

Sorta Natural Cinnamon Rolls

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Cinnamon Roll Ingredients:

Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast– 4 tbsp. yeast (yep, you read that right!)

Warm Water- 2 cups and 4 tbsp. water

Carrington Farms Coconut Oil– 1/3 cup oil (You can melt solid coconut oil, and it will work the same. You also can use any light tasting oil to substitute.)

Local Honey- 1/2 cup

(You can purchase local honey at the Greenwood Feed Store http://www.greenwoodfeed.com/ and support two local businesses at the same time!)

Fresh Eggs- 2 eggs slightly beaten together (You can substitute 2 tbsp. flax seed here with 5 tbsp. of warm water set aside for five minutes to gel.)

King Arthur Flour– 7 1/2 cups of flour

Salt- 1 tsp. salt

Spectrum Flax Seed– 2 tbsp. flax seed (If you subbed flax seed for eggs, leave this out of the recipe.)

Unflavored Dental floss– you will use the unflavored dental floss for cutting the cinnamon rolls apart.

Filling Ingredients:

Grandma’s Original Blackstrap Molasses– 2 tsp. molasses

Local Honey- 1/2 cup honey

Watkin’s All Natural Vanilla– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cinnamon- 1 tsp. cinnamon

Pumpkin Pie Spice- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Carrington Farms Coconut Oil– 1 tsp. coconut oil (You can substitute melted butter or margarine here if you have coconut allergies.)

Better Body Foods Chia Seeds– 1 tbsp. chia seeds

Icing Ingredients:

Powdered Sugar- 2 cups of powdered sugar

Watkin’s All Natural Vanilla– 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Watkin’s Pure Almond Extract– 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Dairy Farm Milk- 4 tbsp. milk (You can purchase Morrell Dairy Farm milk, cream, and butter from the Greenwood Feed Store, just call ahead to see what’s in stock! A GREAT way to support two local businesses here in the Shreveport, LA area.) http://www.greenwoodfeed.com/

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dump yeast, warm water, oil, and honey into a large mixing bowl. Give it a stir and allow the yeast mixture to sit and foam for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the filling ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Next, beat two eggs in a small bowl or make the flax seed « egg » substitute.
After the ten minutes have passed for the yeast to grow, add the eggs to the yeast mixture and then dump half the dry ingredients into the mixture, stir, then add the other half of the dry ingredients (only add the flax seed here if you didn’t use the flax seed « egg »). Stir to make the mixture come together as dough . I sometimes add a little more flour here after working with the dough if it’s too sticky. I also use my hands to knead it for 2-3 minutes to make sure it’s rollable but not sticky. It will be thick !

Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough into a very long rectangle. Drop the filling by tablespoons over the dough and spread the filling evenly over the dough. Roll the dough longways to make a long cinnamon roll log. (I just do this by hand but some people have fancier ways.) Take the dental floss and slide it under the end of the log and crisscross over the top of the log to cut through the dough. Set the cut cinnamon rolls inside a nonstick casserole dish or cake pan with their sides touching. Let the rolls sit for ten minutes if you want them to grow larger ( I just skip this step if they look big enough!)


Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes and then check. Bake for 2-3 minutes longer if the rolls are still too doughy.

While the cinnamon rolls are baking, mix together the icing in a pourable liquid measuring cup. Once the rolls are done, set them to cool on the stovetop and pour the icing over them as desired.

And VOILA ! Tasty rolls that you can feel sorta good about feeding your kids.😉

Navigating Life Sorta Naturally Part 1

About two years ago, we made some major life changes in my family. My children were having recurring health issues and needing my presence much more in the day to day, so I finished my job as a teacher at a local school and came home to be a homeschool mom for the second time. (The first time was a disaster…more on that another time!) I researched and compiled lists of foods and cross-referenced necessary nutrients and vitamins like any good enneagram type 1. I was going to make this nutrient thing an efficient science. What were the least amount of foods with the highest amount of needed nutrients and vitamins for my people’s specific needs? I embarked on this quest to solve the problems of our brains and our bodies with good nutrition. I was not confident that I would be great at it, but I was going to make an effort.

There are several great foods to eat, I discovered, but if you can eat any one thing, eat eggs! They are full of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants, and they’re tasty! What’s not to love? BUT adding more than a few new foods to our family diet all at once was going to be a challenge for my kids but MOSTLY a challenge for my husband, who likes the food that he likes and prefers not to try new ones, thank you very much! SO, I also researched and found that there are a lot of ways to just add good nutrients to your main foods WITHOUT your kids and your husband noticing(wink wink).

This page contains affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links. I only link to products that I have used myself and wholeheartedly recommend. Thank you for your support.

Ground flax seed meal is one of my favorite food additives because flax seed adds vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all in one. I use it sprinkled into cinnamon roll dough, added into rolls, breads, and smoothies. It thickens with a liquid and can be used as an egg substitute (if you’re desperate) or added to a sauce. Some people even sprinkle it over cereal or yogurt as a topping. It produces a wonderful nutty flavor and is very slight and inconspicuous. A word of caution though, make sure it is GROUND flax seed or your children (and your husband!) will begin to sit up and take notice. Side Note:

Chia seeds are also a totally awesome additive to just about anything , but they are more noticeable in food due to their color and density.

My second favorite food additive is …

Nutritional yeast. Anything savory, especially something that you want to add a little cheesy flavor for, this works pretty well. I started using it when we became Orthodox and vegan food became a reality in our lives about half of the year. Nutritional yeast adds a ridiculous amount of B VITAMINS and if used sparingly, it can really boost cheesy flavor for normally bland foods like potatoes. You can even use it to make a cheesy vegan sauce that is delicious! ( https://watchlearneat.com/vegan-cheese-sauce/)

My third favorite food added to my nutrient rich life is chocolate! You got it, chocolate…but not just any chocolate, chocolate made from

Cacao powder . This has AMAZING health benefits in the right now and in the future. It is full of amazing antioxidants and can even help reduce the risk of future heart attacks…seriously awesome. It contains iron, protein, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Just substitute cacao powder for your regular cocoa powder in any recipe, it’s that easy! Note of warning: Cacao powder is a little more bitter than cocoa powder due to its retention of healthy nutrients, so make sure that you adjust the sweeteners accordingly for your sweet tooth.

And the fourth favorite additive that I will leave you with, and probably the best by far, is HONEY. You can eat it AND use it as a topical ointment for your skin… how amazing is that? In my house, many times I sub honey for half the sugar in a recipe and NO ONE NOTICES! (Hopefully they will not read this post and see all my secret tricks revealed!) Seriously, no one notices, so sometimes I add ONLY honey for sugar, a 1 to 1 ratio. (Hehehe!) This stuff is amazing, and it definitely helps my kids with allergy problems by getting local honey made from local bees and local pollens! I am not adding a link for honey, because I believe that buying local honey is best. However, if you live near the Shreveport area, I suggest buying honey from Greenwood Feed, Seed, and Hardware http://www.greenwoodfeed.com/ and supporting a local business or searching the internet for honey farms in your area, like Hummer and Sons in Bossier, LA. https://hummerandsonhoney.com/, or BUCKLEY honey farm in Shreveport. https://www.facebook.com/BUCKLEYHONEY. You will be supporting a local business and helping your health all in one, so easy!

Now that I have shared how to add more nutrients to the foods that we are already eating, the next step is to add vitamins…dum da dum dum dah!

Part 2…Coming soon!

Becoming a “fulltime woman”…

Several years ago my husband was teaching an elementary music class and watched “Fiddler On the Roof” with his students. He asked the students to answer several questions after the movie to determine if they had been paying attention. One of the questions was, “Who is your favorite character, and what did they do in the movie?” We had a hilarious time reading the responses to his questions that evening, but by far our favorite was this…

“My favorite character is Golde. She is a fulltime woman.”

I assume that the student meant to say that Golde was a fulltime mom, or housewife, or some such thing, but instead what came out was, “fulltime woman”.

We have been making jokes about my occupation ever since.

By God, if we women can be anything at all, let’s make sure to be a “fulltime woman“!