Monday, February 28, 2011

Crispy Cheesy Baked Chicken

Crispy Cheesy Baked Chicken recipe photo
Crispy Cheesy Baked Chicken
Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 12 minutes
Season chicken with salt, lemon pepper and Italian seasoning. Toss to mix evenly. You can now either proceed with the recipe or refrigerate the chicken for a few hours until needed.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Dip each chicken piece individually into the beaten eggs and roll in bread crumbs to coat. Place in a large glass pan. Repeat with each piece. Dot the chicken pieces with the coconut oil and butter.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or just until chicken is cooked and no longer pink (you can leave it just a little undercooked for the next step).
Top with shredded cheese and return to oven. Turn temperature up to 450 degrees F (don't wait for it to preheat) and bake for 5-10 minutes. Cheese should be browned and bubbly. 


My followers will be able to acquire their own complimentary copy of our Virgin Coconut Oil book by taking part in our Referral Program:, if you choose "referred by a friend" and enter code : 7156110

Link to our customer service page so your followers can email us if they need some help placing their first web order to capture the free book. We have step-by-step instructions we can provide for your site, please just let us know if you’d like to receive a copy.

How to Make Mediterranean Greek Yogurt from SCRATCH

Strained yoghurt, yoghurt cheese, labneh/labaneh, dahi, or Greek yoghurt, is yoghurt which has been strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter, traditionally made of muslin, to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yoghurt and cheese, while preserving yoghurt's distinctive sour taste. Like many yoghurts, strained yoghurt is often made from milk which has been enriched by boiling off some of the water content, or by adding extra butterfat and powdered milk.
Strained yoghurt is a traditional food in the Middle East and South Asia, where it is often used in cooking, as it is high enough in fat not to curdle at higher temperatures. It is used in both cooked and raw, savoury and sweet dishes.
Labneh (also spelled Labaneh, Lebnah, Labne, Labni, Arabic: لبنة) is a white Middle Eastern yoghurt cheese made from cow milk. Labneh, a word derived from the word laban as in the surname Labahn or Laban, means white or milk.

Serves: 8-10
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 2 days

6 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 large towel or small blanket

In a large pot over medium/low heat add the 2 types of milk and stir slowly to make sure the milk does NOT stick to the bottom of the milk.  When small bubbles appear on the top of the milk and you steam coming up from the milk, remove the pot from the heat.  Let the milk cool for about 30 minutes to 110-115 degrees or until you can stick your clean pinky finger in the pot and count maximum to the number 10 and pull it out due to the heat, be careful not to burn your finger. As soon as the milk is at the correct temperature, slowly stir in the 1 cup of yogurt, cover the pot and then set the pot aside on a counter top and cover with a blanket overnight. The next day, place the pot in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, remove and uncover the pot, pour off any excess water and store the yogurt in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Also called  Limonana  
Ingredients for 2 glasses
4 medium sized lemons
A handful of fresh mint leaves
3 spoons of sugar
3 big cups full of ice cubes

How to prepare the lemonade
Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into a blender.
Add the mint leaves to the blender.
Add the ice cubes as well.
Boil ½ cup of water and dissolve the sugar in it. Add to the blender.
Blend the above ingredients for about 1-2 minutes.
Pour into glasses and enjoy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tropical Tradition Coconut Oil Review

I just love Coconut, that is why  I so pleased to review this great product.
Just recently, I discovered how beneficial incorporating coconut oil into my family's diet could be.  Online research suggests that coconut oil is a healthier alternative to butter and other oils because of the lack of hydrogenation and trans-fats, but I wanted to test the effectiveness and quality for myself. We started with just coconut oil and like that , but then heard of Virgin Coconut Oil. The flavor of the Tropical Traditions  is so rich and makes  such a difference the taste of my food. Also since using Tropical Traditions, my family and I seem to have so much more energy.

The benefits of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is primarily derived from the nutrients in the medium chain fatty acids.   Coconut oil is also known for having high antioxidant properties, which by definition blocks the effects of oxidation.  This aids with maintaining good health as well as providing an extended shelf life to the coconut oil.

Everyone knows how unhealthy it is to cook with butter.  Natural oils are the alternative, but did you know not all oils are created equally?  And of those oils, no other has the creamy quality of butter without the saturated fat except coconut oil.  Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil fits the bill for this because it's solid in its natural state but melts as it is heated.  I was amazed at how easy it was to make the transition to coconut oil in my recipes.  I have a few posted and you  can find  many more on this link

“How We Discovered Virgin Coconut Oil - An Interview with Brian Shilhavy, CEO Tropical Traditions 


My followers will be able to acquire their own complimentary copy of our Virgin Coconut Oil book by taking part in our Referral Program:, if you choose "referred by a friend" and enter code : 7156110

Link to our customer service page so your followers can email us if they need some help placing their first web order to capture the free book. We have step-by-step instructions we can provide for your site, please just let us know if you’d like to receive a copy.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.

Olive oil versus canola oil

Olive oil versus canola oil

Do not fall into the hype which is put out by traditional medicine regarding the promotion of canola oil (rapeseed) as superior due to its concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil is far superior and has been around for thousands of years. Canola oil is a relatively recent development and the original crops were unfit for human consumption due to their high content of a dangerous fatty acid called euric acid.
If the taste of olive oil is a problem, or if you are frying or sautéing food, then you should consider coconut oil. Many nutritionally misinformed people would consider this unwise due to coconut oil's nearly exclusive content of saturated fat. However, this is just not the case. Because it has mostly saturated fat, it is much less dangerous to heat. The heat will not tend to cause the oil to transition into dangerous trans fatty acids.

Olive oil comes from olives, peanut oil from peanuts, sunflower oil from sunflowers; but what is a canola? 
Canola is not the name of a natural plant but a made-up word, from the words "Canada" and "oil". Canola is a genetically engineered plant developed in Canada from the Rapeseed Plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants. According to AgriAlternatives, The Online Innovation, and Technology Magazine for Farmers, "By nature, these rapeseed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial purposes, are... toxic to humans and other animals". 
Rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect repellent. I have been using it (in very diluted form, as per instructions) to kill the aphids on my roses for the last two years. It works very well; it suffocates them. Ask for it at your nursery. Rape is an oil that is used as a lubricant, fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base and as a illuminate for color pages in magazines. It is an industrial oil.
It is not a food.
Rape oil is strongly related to symptoms of emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness in animals and humans. Rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe between 1986 and 1991, when it was discontinued. 
A few relevant facts

It is genetically engineered rapeseed.
Canada paid the FDA the sum of $50 million to have rape registered and recognized as "safe". (Source: Young Again and others)
Rapeseed is a lubricating oil used by small industry. It has never been meant for human consumption.
It is derived from the mustard family and is considered a toxic and poisonous weed, which when processed, becomes rancid very quickly.
It has been shown to cause lung cancer (Wall Street Journal: 6/7/95)
It is very inexpensive to grow and harvest. Insects won't eat it.
Some typical and possible side effects include loss of vision, disruption of the central nervous system, respiratory illness, anemia, constipation, increased incidence of heart disease and cancer, low birth weights in infants and irritability.
Generally rapeseed has a cumulative effect, taking almost 10 years before symptoms begin to manifest. It has a tendency to inhibit proper metabolism of foods and prohibits normal enzyme function. Canola  contains  Trans Fatty Acids. Trans fatty acids have been shown to have a direct link to cancer. shown to have a direct link to cancer.
Foods (including oils) are often labeled as containing trans fatty acids. However any  food which says it contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils contains trans fatty acids: Hydrogenation is just the process in which
trans fats are formed (literally hydrogenation means adding hydrogen). These Trans Fatty acids are labeled as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Avoid all of them!

Garden Fresh Coconut Oil Stir Fry

Garden Fresh Coconut Oil Stir Fry
Garden Fresh Coconut Oil Stir Fry recipe photo
Garden Fresh Coconut Oil Stir Fry
Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • coconut oil, as needed
  • 1 pound cooked chopped meat (chicken, steak, etc)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 carrots, sliced bias
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced bias
  • 1 bunch kale sliced in strips
  • 2 bunches collard sliced in strips
  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • organic fermented soy sauce
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
Stir fry the meat until browned (or just until heated through). Add eggs, stir to break up while cooking. Add carrots, fry until very slightly tender. Stir in celery and cook slightly.
Add chopped kale and collards, fry a few minutes before adding rice, frying and stirring for approximately 5 - 8 minutes. Serve with organic fermented soy sauce.

Coconut Tropical Bliss Smoothie

Servings: 2
Preparation Time: 10 - 15 minutes

Almond Milk:

* 1/2 cup raw almonds
* 1 1/2 cups distilled water

Mix ins:

* frozen bananas
* fresh pineapple
* coconut cream concentrate to taste
* 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Blend nut milk in a high-speed blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until thoroughly mixed.

Adjust ingredients to desired taste and thickness.


* Sprinkle with dried coconut or even add a slice of pineapple to the glass! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mediterranean diet introduction

Mediterranean diet means the cuisines and culinary traditions of the peoples that have lived by the Mediterranean Sea for milennia. Unconsciously, the Mediterranean peoples created a diet that today stands for both healthy and delicious eating.

Eating healthy, enjoying food is in

Indeed, the authentic Mediterranean diet benefits have been proven by many generations of Mediterranean peoples. And numerous modern research studies have validated their traditional cooking and eating practices.

Also, it's worth pointing out that there isn't a single uniform Mediterranean diet. In this respect, the name that Dr Ancel Keys coined is a little bit misleading. It makes you think of a totally homogeneous diet. Mediterranean cuisines would've been more accurate, but now it's too late to change it.

Anyway, every Mediterranean region and country has a differentiated cuisine with its own individual characteristics. However, they share fundamental elements. These patterns seem to be responsible for the general good health, absence of obesity, and longer life expectancy of the Mediterranean peoples that cook and eat the traditional way.

The beauty of it is that anyone, anywhere that follows a Mediterranean-style diet can enjoy those benefits just the same.

Why would you want to adopt the traditional Mediterranean diet?

Because it's a sensible and delicious diet with health-enhancing benefits naturally integrated into it.

What are the distinctive traits of the Mediterranean diet?

There are three general aspects that are essential and that will make it well-balanced in a natural way.

1. Variety is very important. You should regularly try to eat foods of different groups: vegetables, poultry, fruits, etc. as I disscuss in the Home Cook Food Pyramid.

2. Eating seasonal foods as much as possible.

3. The amounts of food you put in your plate should be moderate, especially meats. But remember that it's not about sacrifice, but a way of life.

Guidelines regarding Mediterranean food and eating habits

* Eating plenty of local, seasonal, and fresh fruits and vegetables daily

* Consuming fish regularly

* Consuming rice, pasta, bulgur and other grains regularly and in combination with proteins.

* Preferably eating poultry and lean meat as opposed to red meat

* Eating legumes a few times a week

* Eating some bread with meals

* Consuming olive oil in raw form: drizzled on bread, white cheese, in salads, and sauces among others

* Integrating nuts in the cooking recipes. At the same time, consuming small amounts of raw nuts a few times a week

* Drinking water with meals as opposed to sodas or similar

* In the Northern Mediterranean, drinking a moderate amount of wine over meals

Guidelines regarding the cooking practices

* Using olive oil as the main fat for cooking

* Frying food bathed in olive oil

* Cooking every day and eating most meals warm

* In some Eastern Mediterranean regions, using clarified butter for cooking instead of olive oil

* Using ingredients that didn't undergo a deep (industrial) transformation, that is, they are generally minimally processed.

Guidelines regarding the lifestyle

* Taking the time to eat without haste

* Eating in company, whenever possible, and enjoying it

* Eating at least three or four meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner, and possibly tea time

* Sitting at a table to eat your meals

What you don't do when you follow the Mediterranean diet

* Using butter or margarine for frying

* Eating large amounts of red meat regularly

* Eating meat by itself

* Eating processed foods, fast food or any kind of junk food

* Snacking at all times

* Drinking sodas, colas or other processed soft drinks

* Feeling guilty about food

* Counting calories endlessly

The Mediterranean diet and you

The question is: How do you apply it to your particular situation in life?

Maybe at first you think: "Oh, I can never do that". I'm positive you can. You only have to think of the benefits and the peace of mind you'll have once it becomes natural.

If you look at the guidelines and characteristics of the Mediterranean diet closer, you'll realize that everything is very sensible and down-to-earth. Perhaps a little bit unusual for some, but there are no weird ingredients or

Healthy eating tips

The best way to be healthier is to start making healthy choices every day. You can start small by following healthy eating tips and good habits one at a time instead of starting with big changes.

You will feel better both physically and mentally if you follow the following tips for eating healthy that fit perfectly in the Mediterranean diet lifestyle.

* Keep a food journal - You can do this easily by buying a compact notebook that will fit in your purse or pocket and taking it wherever you go. Whenever you eat anything at all, you should write it down in your food journal. You have to be diligent and write even the smallest amounts of food like a few bites of a chocolate bar down.

Everything goes in the food journal. You can review your food journal to see how well you are doing at following healthy eating tips and good habits. You can review what you have eaten and decide what you need to eat more and less of the next week to be healthy and happy.

* You should eat the foods you love - You cannot avoid your favorite foods forever because the cravings will not go away so it is all right to have a little of these foods from time to time, even if they are unhealthy. Eating should be fun, not stressful. The key with eating your favorite foods is to eat them in moderation and to watch your portion sizing.

* Take your time eating at every meal - Do not rush through meals. If you are running late, you are likely to hurry up and eat your meal so you can get going. You should relax and have fun at your meal and taste and enjoy every bite of your food instead of rushing through the meal. Also, always eat a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is a very important meal and skipping it will hurt, not help when it comes to being healthy and even losing weight.

* Do not eat too much at one sitting - You should only put small portions of your foods on your plate so you are not tempted to overeat. You can even eat off a smaller plate to feel like you are getting more. With a small plate, there is only so much room on your plate for food. The food will appear to be in bigger portions than it is with smaller plates. If you eat off a big plate, you may feel like you are eating tiny portions and want to eat more. You will be less hungry and eat better if you eat off a smaller plate.

* Eat a variety of different foods every day - It is important to eat the things you want to eat but also to try new foods. There are so many different kinds of fruits and vegetables you can try. You should eat the recommended amount of each food group including grains, meats and vegetables every day in order to get the nutrition you need. If your plate has a lot of different colored foods, you are probably getting a good amount of nutrition from that meal.

These healthy eating tips and good habits can improve your health and have you feeling better than ever in no time. These are simple, small changes you can make to your eating habits that you will be able to follow easily and still enjoy eating.

Making Ghee

Coconut-Tuna Walnut Salad

Coconut-Tuna Walnut Salad
Coconut-Tuna Walnut Salad recipe photo
Coconut-Tuna Walnut Salad
Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy
Remember a good cook doesn’t always follow a recipe perfectly. Creativity plays a big part. I was using a traditional recipe for years and decided to TRY something different with ingredients I had available. Hope you enjoy this one and I dare you to try a new spice.
  • 1 - 2 (7 oz) cans tuna
  • 1/2 cup roasted walnuts, chopped (Roast for 10 minutes on cookie sheet at 350. Cool, then chop.)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh peppermint – finely chopped
  • 1 apple - peeled and diced small
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise*
Mix all ingredients. Serve immediately or chill, then serve over spring mix, romaine, or in 1/2 avocado. Delicious, fresh, different.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Living Food vs. Dead Food

Living Food vs. Dead Food

by Dr. Don Colbert
All foods are not created equal. In fact, some foods should not be labeled "food" but rather "consumable product" or "edible, but void of nourishment."
Living foods were created for our consumption. They exist in a raw or close-to-raw state. Living foods include fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts. They are beautifully packaged in divinely created wrappers called skins and peels. Living food looks robust, healthy, and alive. No chemicals have been added. It has not been bleached or chemically altered. Living foods are plucked, harvested, and squeezed, not processed, packaged, and put on a shelf. Living foods are recognizable as food.
   Dead foods are the opposite. They are living foods that have fallen into human hands and have been altered in every imaginable way, making them last as long as possible at room temperature and to be as addictive as possible to the consumer. That usually means the manufacturer adds considerable amounts of sugar, which is called "dextrose," "corn syrup", "fructose," "glucose," and generally any other food ending in "ose." It also means they add man-made fats that involve taking various oils and heating them to dangerously High temperatures so that the nutrients die and become reborn as some-thing completely different - a deadly, sludgy substance that is toxic to our bodies. That sludgy substance - which is called "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oil - is a common ingredient in the American diet and is present in most processed foods from crackers and pastries to hamburger buns. Life breeds life. Death breeds death. When you eat living foods, the enzymes in their pristine state interact with your digestive enzymes. The other natural ingredients God put in them - vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and more - flow into your system in their natural state. These living foods were created for our digestive systems, bloodstream, and organs.
 WorstFoods  Dead foods hit our bodies like a foreign intruder. Chemicals, including preservatives, food additives, bleaching agents, and so on, place a strain on the liver. Toxic man-made fats begin to form in our cell membranes and become incorporated in our bodies or stored as fats. They begin to form plaque in our arteries. Fat also contains compounds called leptins. When the small intestine detects leptins, it sends a message to the brain saying, "I'm satisfied, I'm full, stop eating." However, it takes about twenty minutes from the time we start eating for the food to reach our small intestine and leptin is able to signal the brain to stop eating, and most Americans can eat a tremendous amount of food in twenty minutes. Your brain, sending that it still doesn't have the nutrition it needs, sends our hunger signals. You eat again - more of the same dead food. Your body does its best to harvest the tiny traces of good from the food, but in the end you are undernourished, overfed the wrong foods, and overweight. You are, in other words, caught in the trap of the standard American diet, which is a "SAD" and toxic situation.
   If you say, "Everyone around me eats 'bad' food, and they all look fine," consider that maybe everyone around is unhealthy, in the process of becoming overweight, and disease-prone. If you want to be a healthy, vibrant, energetic person rather than someone bouncing between all-you-can-eat buggets and fast-food restraunts, take your diet seriously. Now is the time to build the rest of your life on this wonderful pillar of health - living food.


Chick peas are perhaps better known by their name garbanzo beans. They are a roundish, beige to light green members of the legume family grown primarily in part of West Asia, India, and in the Mediterranean. Most are familiar with chick peas as either used whole in salads, or ground up to make the popular Middle Eastern dish hummus.
Chickpeas are an excellent nutritional choice. A serving of chick peas has about 4 ounces (113.39 g) or half a cup has about 17 grams of dietary fiber and 19 grams of protein. They are also considered more digestible than most other beans making them a better choice for people who suffer from excessive flatulence after consuming beans.
Chickpeas are considered a starchy carbohydrate and are a great staple for people with diabetes They do not produce high glucose in the body when consumed. Thus they rate well on the glycemic index.

4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup Tahini (sesame paste)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas

Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it's minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning sprinkle with Za`ater or Sumac if you have it available and drizzle with a bit of Olive oil and serve chilled or at room temperature with flatbread and or cucumber slices.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Powdered laundry Detergent

1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax

For light load, use 1 tablespoon.
For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons.

Tips.Liquid detergent can also be used as a pretreater for stains.

 Ivory Soap, Deodorant Soap, and Beauty Bars can be substituted for the Fels Naptha Soap.

 Essential Oils can be added to soap for fragrance

Fels-Naptha® Laundry Soap Bar: Made by the Dial Soap Company, so any store that carries Dial should be able to get it for you. If they carry it, it will be found in the bar soap or laundry soap aisle at your regular supermarket. It is usually on the bottom shelf. If you can't find it in your area, try Ivory Soap instead.

Super Washing Soda: Washing Soda can be found on the laundry detergent aisle of your supermarket. It comes in a 55-ounce yellow box. Baking soda SHOULD NOT be used in place of washing soda. They are completely different products, although they are both made by Arm & Hammer.

Borax: One brand name is 20 Mule Team® Borax. It is also found on the laundry detergent aisle.

Natural Glass Cleaners

Citrus Cleaners

Lemons, grapefruit and oranges all have natural cleaning properties. While the juice is known to cut through grease and grime, the rind also contains strong cleaning agents.

 method 1 -Squeeze the juice of one lemon and add it to a spray bottle. Fill the bottle with water, then add two drops of natural liquid dish soap or 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. The soap or the baking soda both act as a water softener to make the solution gentle on the glass. Shake the bottle very well after adding all the ingredients.

Method 2-Adding 2 teaspoons of fresh-squeezed grapefruit or orange juice to a spray bottle filled with water also works as a glass cleaner. Make sure to add 2 drops of natural liquid dish soap or baking soda to soften the water.

Method  3- another way of using citrus in a natural cleaning recipe is to add the rind of one lemon, grapefruit or orange to a bottle of water. Cap the bottle and let it sit for a few days. The rind will start to break down, releasing its cleaning properties into the water. When the water seems to have a nice amount of the citrus essence infused in it, simply strain 1/2 cup of it into a spray bottle and fill the rest with water. Adding dish soap or baking soda may not be necessary.   

Vinegar and water is a natural glass cleaner. Vinegar naturally occurs through fermentation of juices, such as apple cider. Add 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a spray bottle and fill it with water. Shake well and use to clean the glass. You can soften the water with a little baking soda, which will react with the vinegar to make a stronger cleaning solution.

Alcohol and water makes a natural glass cleaner. Alcohol is naturally produced during fermentation as well. Alcohol alone will clean glass, but making a cleaner will make the alcohol last longer. Add 1/4 cup of alcohol to a spray bottle, then fill it with water. Mix well. Spray a generous amount on the glass and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth.  

Water and Soap
you do not have these options available, simply use plain water, or add 2 drops of natural dish soap, such as Castile soap, to a spray bottle filled with water. Shake well and spray a liberal amount onto the glass surface. Wipe the glass clean and dry with a lint-free cloth.

Coconut Pancakes

Coconut Pancakes
Coconut Pancakes made with coconut flour and wheat flour combined.
Recipe prepared by Sarah Shilhavy
Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

In one bowl, combine the flours, shredded coconut, flax, baking powder and salt.
Separate the egg whites and yolks. Combine the egg yolks, milk, honey and coconut oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
Pour batter by ¼ cupful onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes; cook until the second side is golden brown.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mountain Rose Herbs | Bulk organic herbs, spices & essential oils

Mountain Rose Herbs | Bulk organic herbs, spices & essential oils

A luxuriant sea salt extracted and solar dried from the saline and mineral rich marshes of the confined Dead Sea.
Dead sea salt is a nutrient rich, extremely fine, and partially moist salt perfect for bath products and scrubbing blends. Because of its moisture content we have found it easily mixed with other ingredients with little or no separation. This salt is extremely wealthy in numerous key elements and has proven to be one of the best therapeutic salts available.

Oasis Body Scrub

Salt is an excellent body scrub; almonds and honey help to moisturize while smoothing skin.

1⁄2 cup finely ground almonds
1⁄2 cup sea salt
2 tablespoons almond oil
2 tablespoons liquid honey
5 drops frankincense essential oil
5 drops rose essential oil

Mix all ingredients together in a small unbreakable container. Wet your body in a warm shower, and apply the scrub to your legs, arms and torso. Massage into your skin with a circular motion, rinse well and pat your skin dry. The oil in this body scrub makes the tub slippery, so use a rubber tub mat to prevent falls.

Recipe courtesy of Laurel Vukovic
Article reprinted with permission from Herbs for Health magazine, a division of Ogden publications.
To learn more about Herbs for Health magazine please see...

What are Whole Foods?

Fruits and vegetables are great examples of whole foods. They are unprocessed, unrefined, and can be eaten without any additives or modifications. For example, a serving of baked fish would be a whole food, while a fish stick wouldn't be.
Whole foods can include:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes (beans, soybeans, peas, lentils) 
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Milk
  • Whole grains
  • Meats, chicken, and fish
  • Eggs

Whole Foods Diet

Is a whole foods diet right for your kids?
Many parents may initially think that it isn't, but that is probably because of common misconceptions about a whole foods diet that have lead them to quickly dismiss the idea.
You should now know what a whole foods diet is -- eating more unprocessed foods. But what isn't it? It isn't about being a vegitarian or eating organic (unless you want it to be), and it doesn't have to be a diet in the sense of that is all you eat.
Instead, when feeding your kids, think about offering more whole foods instead of processed foods.

Why Butter Is Better

One of the most healthy whole foods you can include in your diet is butter.
"What?!" I can hear many of you saying, "Isn't butter bad for you? I thought margarine and spreads were better because they're low in saturated fat and cholesterol?"
Be not deceived folks!
Butter is truly better than margarine or other vegetable spreads. Despite unjustified warnings about saturated fat from well-meaning, but misinformed, nutritionists, the list of butter's benefits is impressive indeed:

Butter is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A, needed for a wide range of functions in the body, from maintaining good vision, to keeping the endocrine system in top shape. Butter also contains all the other fat-soluble vitamins (E, K, and D).

Butter is rich in trace minerals, especially selenium, a powerful antioxidant. Ounce for ounce, butter has more selenium per gram than either whole wheat or garlic. Butter also supplies iodine, needed by the thyroid gland (as well as vitamin A, also needed by the thyroid gland).
Fatty Acids

Butter has appreciable amounts of butyric acid, used by the colon as an energy source. This fatty acid is also a known anti-carcinogen. Lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid, is a potent antimicrobial and antifungal substance.
Butter also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which gives excellent protection against cancer. Range-fed cows produce especially high levels of CLA as opposed to "stall fed" cattle.
It pays, then, to get your butter from a cow that has been fed properly.
Butter also has small, but equal, amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, the so-called essential fatty acids.

These are a special category of fatty acids that protect against gastrointestinal infections, especially in the very young and the elderly. Children, therefore, should not drink skim or low fat milk. Those that do have higher rates of diarrhea than those that drink whole milk.

Despite all of the misinformation you may have heard, cholesterol is needed to maintain intestinal health, but is also needed for brain and nervous system development in the young. Again, this emphasizes the need for cholesterol-rich foods for children. Human breast milk is extremely high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Standing in direct opposition to all of these healthful qualities stands margarine and assorted "vegetable oil spreads." While these may be cheaper, you'd never eat them again if you knew how they were made.
All margarines are made from assorted vegetable oils that have been heated to extremely high temperatures. This insures that the oils will become rancid. After that, a nickel catalyst is added, along with hydrogen atoms, to solidify it. Nickel is a toxic heavy metal and amounts always remain in the finished product. Finally, deodorants and colorings are added to remove margarine's horrible smell (from the rancid oils) and unappetizing grey color.
And if that is not enough, in the solidification process, harmful trans-fatty acids are created which are carcinogenic and mutagenic. What would you rather have: a real food with an abundance of healthful qualities or a stick of carcinogenic, bleached, and deodorized slop?
Some of you might be watching your weight and be rather hesitant to add butter into your diet. Have no fear. About 15% of the fatty acids in butter are of the short and medium chain variety which are NOT stored as fat in the body, but are used by the vital organs for energy.
When looking for good quality butter, raw and cultured is best. This might be hard to find, however. Organic butter is your next best thing, with store-bought butter being at the bottom. Remember what we've said about commercially-raised cows; its worth a few extra cents to get high quality butter for you and your family. 

Coconut chocolate chip cookies

½ stick melted  unsalted butter

1/2  cup of coconut oil
¾ cup of sugar

¾  cup of brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 12oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips

2 ¼ cups of self rising flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1 ½ cups of shredded coconut

       Preheat oven to 350, melt the butter and coconut oil
  And put in a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugars, eggs and vanilla and salt with the butter and coconut oil until combined, stir in the flour with  a wooden spoon just until combine. Stir in the chocolate chips and coconut. Wet your hands and roll the dough into balls and place on a greased baking sheet, make sure they have room to spread. Bake cookies until just light golden brown on the bottom for a nice soft cookie, or a little longer if you like a more crispy cookie. Transfer cookies to a plate for cooling .


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Secrets of Virgin Coconut Oil

An Interview With Brian Shilhavy
Posted By Dr. Mercola

I've written a lot over the years about the countless advantages of coconut oil. So much so, I even considered writing a book about it. Because I have so many irons in the fire along with maintaining my Optimal Wellness Clinic, Brian and Marianita Shilhavy beat me to it. After reading their book, Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people's lives and how it can change yours!, I'm glad they did!

This exceptional book provides a comprehensive look at the health-promoting properties of coconut oil, one of the most misunderstood and overlooked foods of recent times.

Virgin Coconut Oil is probably the most practical book I've read about the health benefits of coconut oil, supported by scientific research and countless testimonies from people whose lives have been changed merely by using coconut oil.

Probably the most delicious section of the Shilhavy's book is the final third, which is devoted to more than 75 delicious recipes for sauces, soups and main dishes.

Busy promoting the new book, Brian Shilhavy chatted via e-mail with me about the many virtues of coconut oil, how it has changed the lives of many people and of simpler times living in the Philippines.

You feature an extensive list of frequently asked questions in the beginning of your book about the advantages of using virgin coconut oil. What makes virgin coconut oil more effective and advantageous than other oils on the market?

Virgin coconut oil's many health benefits come from the medium-chain length of its fatty acids, or triglycerides (MCTs). Most of the other edible oils on the market today are comprised of long-chain fatty acids. MCTs have many health benefits, including raising the body's metabolism, and fighting off pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, funguses and others.

Coconut oil is nature's richest source of MCTs outside of human breast milk. Virgin coconut oil is very stable oil that does not oxidize and break down quickly like other oils. It also has a shelf life of more than two years.

Typically, when one thinks about cooking oils, weight loss rarely comes to mind. Yet your book includes a number of stories about people who have done just that. What's the connection between virgin coconut oil and losing weight?

Well, the word is finally getting out that low-fat diets don't work. Our bodies need fat and depriving ourselves of it can actually lead to an increase in cravings for other foods, such as refined carbohydrates, that do lead to weight gain. Coconut oil is nature's richest source of MCTs that increase metabolic rates and lead to weight loss. MCTs promote what is called thermogenesis.

Thermogenesis increases the body's metabolism, producing energy. This phenomenon has been shown in many scientific studies. We have also found many people have underlying physical conditions that prevent them from losing weight. One of the most common is a low functioning thyroid. Also, many Americans today suffer from poor digestive health. Coconut oil really shines in these areas, improving thyroid function and digestive health.

Your book does a good job balancing the documented scientific research with lively testimonies that illustrate the benefits of virgin coconut oil. That approach makes for an easier read too. Some writers would've stayed away from using consumer testimonies, but you didn't. Why?

These testimonies are the main reason we wrote the book! It is the story of virgin coconut oil and how it has changed people's lives.

The world needs to hear these people's stories, which we receive on almost a daily basis. It is one thing to quote scientific studies, but quite another to hear the stories of people whose lives have actually been changed by a pure, unrefined coconut oil. This book is as much their story, as it is Marianita's and my story.

According to your book, virgin coconut oil has had its biggest impact on thyroid problems. How can thyroid problems be helped with coconut oil?

Hypothyroidism is truly one of the biggest epidemics of our time, and we have met so many people who have been told that their blood tests are normal, and yet find themselves with symptoms of hypothyroidism. There are very few options today offering any kind of hope of dealing with the underlying cause of this condition.

Probably the most dramatic results we have had reported to us are from those who have thyroid problems and have eliminated polyunsaturated oils from their diet, and started incorporating virgin coconut oil in its place. People's body temperatures increase, they have more energy and some, for the first time, are actually able to start losing weight.

Which skin problems can be helped the best by using virgin coconut oil?

We have had probably more testimonies in the area of skin health than any other one area. This is one benefit of coconut oil that has been well known even in the United States for quite some time.

When we first brought virgin coconut oil to the market to the United States in 2002, there were very few other quality coconut oils available, and the few that did exist were almost exclusively marketed for cosmetic purposes. As we began to publish the research on coconut oil as an edible oil -- that is considered a "functional food" by some like Dr. Mary Enig -- many people began to not only apply it to their skin but also consume it.

The result has been fantastic. We have seen reports of success for almost any kind of skin problem for those who both consume the oil and apply it to their skin. Skin problems related to fungal infections seem to be the most positively affected by the healing properties of Virgin Coconut Oil.

One of the more interesting parts of your book was the extended section on recipes. How did you find all those recipes?

All of the recipes were developed by a professional chef in California. Many of them were prepared in our own kitchen where the chef would come on a regular basis to cook for us. Marianita is a certified nutritionist in the Philippines and, of course, knows how to cook traditional Filipino foods with coconut oil. But we had to learn how to incorporate it into a more eclectic American-type menu once we moved back to the United States.

So we worked with the chef for many months developing the recipes. Unlike other coconut recipes that might simply take traditional recipes and just substitute coconut oil as an ingredient, our recipes were actually developed in the kitchen by our chef.

For those trying to get a certain amount of coconut oil into their diet each day, each recipe lists the amount of coconut oil per serving. So it is perfect for those on the coconut diet.

So many people have enjoyed great success adding coconut oil to the diets of their various pets, but no studies have been done to date. Is coconut oil beneficial to pets in different ways than ones enjoyed by their human caretakers?

We first noticed that many animals enjoyed eating coconut when we lived in the Philippines. Our dogs and cats on the farm would try to get the little bits of coconut out of the shell after they had been grated.

The people who made virgin coconut oil for us would take the coconut pulp after the oil had been extracted and feed it to their livestock. From the reports we have received from people here in the United States, the benefits to pets and animals are much the same as for humans. It increases metabolism, fights off infections and leads to a healthier coat of hair.

We have people giving it to race-track horses and one guy running a study right now is giving it to one of his sled-dog teams. The reports we are getting have been phenomenal!

In what way has virgin coconut oil changed your life the most?

Well, we are certainly grateful to the Lord in that it has kept our family healthy. But probably seeing how virgin coconut oil has changed so many other people's lives has affected me more than anything else. It humbles me to see how a completely natural product like this can give such incredible health to people, without being created in a laboratory or by years of labor and expense.

It is a God-given simple crop given to the people of the tropics and known as the "tree of life."

Part of your book is devoted to a memoir of living in the Philippines. You learned a great deal about living healthfully there. What do you miss most about those times?

I miss the simplicity of the agrarian lifestyle in the rural Philippines, where most people can live off the food they grow themselves. People there are so much more connected to their communities where the food is grown, and the traditional knowledge of the plants and herbs are still commonplace.

I also miss growing our own upland rice, pineapples and other foods free of pesticides or other chemicals, or of picking wild berries and fruit that grew everywhere. We had guava and tiny little hot peppers that were literally weeds and would just pop up everywhere without being planted. The Philippines is seen as a poor country, but they actually have incredible wealth in the land where about 50 percent of the population are still family farmers.