"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Food on Your Face

OK, so Food on your Face it is! What food are we putting on our faces today? Well, we are going to start with your favorite oil. My favorite oil is extra virgin olive, so that's what I use!

The method we're talking about it called the Oil Cleansing Method, OCM for short. The concept here is that like cures like, or like dissolves like in the case of oils. Most of us consider with horror the prospect of slathering our faces with oil. We're told that oil is the enemy. Oil will clog your pores. Oil will make you oily.

Not so. Oil cleanses. Until a few years ago it was technically impossible to make a soap or a lotion without oil. Impossible. Soap requires an oil or fat (like lard). Lotions, too, are an emulsion of oil and water. Only the miracle of modern science- and all the accompanying chemicals- allow folks to make 'cleansers' and 'moisturizers' without oil!

Here's the basic OCM method:
-Mix your oils
-Apply generously to a dry face
-Massage in an upward motion for 2-3 minutes
-Steam the oil off by using as washcloth soaked in VERY warm/ hot water (Lay the washcloth on your face until it cools, then wipe gently. Repeat until ALL the oil is gone.)

Do not scrub your face with the cloth. Dry gently or air dry, again, don't rub your face with the towel. If your skin is dry after this, apply a drop of oil, lavender oil, or natural face lotion (Mountain Rose Herbs makes inexpensive and amazing face lotions).

Here are the oils you can use:
extra virgin olive- some find this oil to thick and sticky. Some claim it clogs their pores. It is best for dry skin.
safflower- good for all skin types, no instances of problems with this oil that I have read of.
grapeseed- best for oily skin, may be too drying for less oily or dry skin.
jojoba- not a true oil, but a liquid wax, good for all skin types (some use this oil alone without castor oil for their OCM).
coconut- some sources clain this oil is comedogenic (pore-clogging) in OCM, but this seems nonsense to me, as MANY face lotions contain it and many people use it straight as a moisturizer- I know I have. Great for dry skin, also has UV protective qualities.
sunflower- similar to safflower.
almond or apricot- all skin types, not very popular for OCM it seems.
avocado- extremely nourishing and moisturizing, dry skin.

One or a mix of these oils is mixed with castor oil. Use 25% or less castor oil in the mix for dry skin, more for oily skin. Castor oil is drawing, drying, and cleansing. Too much will leave your skin TOO DRY so beware! Also, you may want to get your castor oil from a health food store, as Walmart or Walgreens' castor oils are often hexane extracted. Meaning: nasty chemical residues your face might not appreciate!!!

Really, that's all there is to it. Your skin should glow and radiate after this treatment! You do not need to do this every day, let alone 2x a day. You can use plain water to wash in between your OCM days.

If you google OCM, you will find some freaky scary stories about people having serious and awful reactions to OCM. Please do not be driven off! Here are my theories on bad reactions to OCM:

1) I do not want to discount the possibility that some people really just can't do it. Here's what to watch for- excessive redness or itching after troubleshooting your primary oil type, aquiring pure castor oil from a healthfood store, and decreasing your OCM to only every third day, with steamy water washes in between. Watch also for the development of cystic blemishes- these are hard and painful zits, not regular old blemishes. If you feel these developing, discontinue the OCM right away.

2) It's too big a shock! I think your skin needs a detox period if you are using a mainstream skin care regimen like Proactiv or Clinique or something. Here's how I detoxed b4 switching over to the OCM: first, I switched to Aubrey Organics skin care (cleanser and moisturizer). This brand is the purest and most natural ready-made skin care out there, in my opinion. It works, it's not overly expensive, and it's really safe and natural. (Many websites sell a travel set of Aubrey's skincare, which is cheap and lasts for about 2 months.) They're not sneakin' anything in there. (Consequently, if OCM sounds too crazy to you, I really hope you'll try Aubrey's Organics. No, they don't pay me.)

OR, try this: wash your face with a paste of baking soda and water; soften the bs with the water (wait till the grains dissolve a bit, especially for acne-prone skin), and very gently rub on your face- it will exfoliate your skin, but DON'T overdo this. Rinse gently. Moisturize with a dot of natural moisturizer, lavender essential oil, jojoba, or coconot oil.

Do this for several weeks or months. Why? To give your skin a break. Mainstream skincare is made up of synthetic chemicals, leaving your skin in a most UNnatural state. Why switch to OCM from these other natural regimens? Well, OCM is VERY nourishing to your skin; it fills in wrinkles; it super-moisturizes; it makes your skin glow; it reduces scars; it fades acne scars and blotches of unknown origin!

I had no trouble transitioning to OCM after about 3 years of experimenting with other 'natural' and food-based skincare. I have acne scarring- just dark blotches- on my chin and around my mouth- and so far OCM has faded them somewhat. From what I have read, I should see them continue fade with time. Also, my skin is VERY dry in the winter and OCM helps it stay moisturized better than any other skincare regime I've tried. (One winter, in desperation, I didn't touch my skin for 2 weeks. Amazingly, it helped a ton :).) It greatly increases circulation to your face, and this causes the glow. I like the glow. Ed often thinks I'm wearing makeup for hours after I cleanse with the OCM. I never skip adding a dot of lavender essential oil to dry spots and blemishes after cleansing. It really makes things perfect for me. I've been wanting to order some Rose Facial Cream from Mountain Rose Herbs, but they've been out of stock forever.

If you want to, and if you have some serious time on your hands, you can google OCM and read ad nauseum about it and how different people adapt it.

OK, go slather up and tell me how it goes, OK?

"I've never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful."
-Author Unknown

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Strewsday Tuesday

I begin with a grave promise that "Food on Your Face" will return... soon. Hopefully by Friday.

Today, I'm beginning a new tradition at BreadwithHoney called "Strewsday Tuesday." 'Strewing' is a homeschooling term that refers to filling the environment of the child with materials to pique his or her curiosity, inspire his or her interest, and giving them the freedom to pursue these things.

"The thing that works... is to follow delight - and scatter it like a flower girl in front of the bride - not every petal will be crushed to release fragrance - but enough will. ...of course to follow delight, you have to admit to yourself that you feel delight .."
-Nora Cannon...from Sandra Dodd's Strewing their Paths

Strewsday Tuesday is a fun way to take stock of what's been going on in our homeschool during the previous week.

"A few months into our homeschooling adventure my 8 year old daughter spontaneously said "Our house is like a museum with really cool stuff in it!" This was the moment I decided it was going to be alright....."
-Your House as a Museum

Today snow is falling fast and the temperature is dropping every minute. The wind is springing up, expected to gust to 60 miles an hour today. This effectively foils our outdoors plans. (We attempted a walk the last time the wind was doing this and I was rewarded with a face-ful of extreme, itchy, bright red windburn the rest of the day.

Yesterday we watched this

collection of classic Dr. Suess cartoons, given to us some time ago by my grandma. I like these old cartoons as they follow the books very closely. Also, the DVD has a biography of Dr. Suess at the end which is excellent. It was interesting to my 5 and 8 year olds and to me, too. (There's a lot of interesting 20th century history woven in- I think even older kids would like it.)

I was hoping for a pajama day today, but the kids are desperate to get to the library to check out all the Dr. Suess books we haven't read.

"A child educated only at school is an uneducated child."
-George Santayana

We continue to learn about bees,inspired by our 2 year old- John Paul- and his recently developed obsession with bumble bees. He has made a stack of every book in our home involving bees, which he insists on hearing every day, while clutching the stuffed bee his grandma recently gave him. These are his two favorites:

which I find endlessly annoying, but he adores, and

which we all enjoy.

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."
-Albert Einstein

Isaiah has been reading Choose Your Own Adventure books this week. His first was given to him a couple weeks ago by his grandma (Grandma has done a lot of our strewing this week!), and he picked his 2nd out last week during a rare trip to Barnes & Noble in Albuquerque. They are actually somewhat above his reading level, but he is so excited and determined, that I'm sure his reading level will soon match and exceed them.

Rosie has developed her own little obsession with math workbooks... snort... who knows where that came from! She picked one out at Dollar Tree and completed it in 24 hours and is pestering me to take her back. In the meantime, I'm making up some worksheets for her to appease the math monster inside her.

Well, that's about it for our week in review. Over the next week, my aim is to focus on the season of Lent with the kids. We had a bad experience starting our Good Deed Jar on Ash Wednesday... it was put away in the closet by noon. We may go back to our tried and true salt-dough crown of thorns. We'll see!

"Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught."
-Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist," 1890

Friday, February 24, 2012

Food on Your Face; Food in Your Hair

I detest blog posts about what the author is "going to do", or "wants to do." Heck, I could make three posts a day based on everything I'm wanting and planning to do! So I've spared you these posts for over 6 months, while fine-tuning them and, hopefully, making them more than just interesting ideas.

If you've got any degree of crunch in your step, you've most likely heard of "No 'Poo." (As one of my friend's husbands said, reading over her shoulder, 'You know I tried that, but by day three I really had to go....') No, not that kind of poo. 'Poo as in short for shampoo. No shampoo.

Slightly more obscure is the OCM, Oil Cleansing Method, which is a way to wash your face without soap. I'll get to that tomorrow.

First, the No 'Poo. The basic concept is quite simple- use baking soda to 'wash' your hair, and apple cider vinegar to 'condition' it. Sounds really simple, but it's actually very tricky to get right. You could spend a week straight on the net reading about different ways to do it, how long to wait in between washes, how to troubleshoot hair that's too dry or too oily... you get the point.

Betcha can't tell which 2 heads are regualar Poo and which 2 are No 'Poo (sorry for the grainy pic...):

Baking soda is alkaline and vinegar is acidic, and finding the right balance of these 2 gives your hair the proper pH it needs to be beautiful. But there's no formula for getting it right.

I've decided that it works a bit differently for every head of hair and it takes quite a lot of experimenting before you find what's going to work on your own head. But it is so worth it to get rid of the expense and the chemical bath of regular shampoos and conditioners.

(I actually have No 'Poo'd my hair during the first trimester of each of my pregnancies. I get really paranoid about everything synthetic I put on my body and it's unknown effect on the baby's development. So shampoo is the first thing to go, yes, even the fancy and supposedly safe organic ones. But the first three times I never stuck it out past that.)

And it starts with the dreaded 'adjustment period.' This period can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months, but the general consensus is that the longer you can stick it out, the easier your transition will be. During this time, well, you don't wash your hair, at all, with anything. Period.(But you still shower as usual!)

Gross? Sort of, especially if you have naturally oily hair. Though, after a while, you notice that your head is less greasy, because you actually start to reabsorb your own oils.

Modern heads produce oil on overdrive, because every time you wash with a shampoo, you strip your head of its natural oils. Head freaks out and over-produces more oil to compensate for this. Hence, an evil cycle of overewashing and over-producing, courtesy of, and profitable for, all those rich shampoo companies.

One blogger, with way more time on her hands than I have, actually read through archives of ladies' magazines and papers from the 1700s and 1800s and discovered that up untill the 20th century, it was general practice for ladies to wash their hair about every 2 weeks. And you've seen those soft, glossy, thick up-do's all those ladies had! Apparently, shampooing every day is not a biological necessity!

So how do you do it? Well, after your adjustment period, during which pony tails, braids, and do rags are your friends, you start with a baking soda (bs hereafter) wash. I've read people doing everything from dumping the bs on their head and then rubbing it in under the shower head, rubbing a paste of bs and water into the scalp, dipping the whole head in a basin of bs and water. But the general consensus seems to be that the best way to do it is to dissolve 1-2 teaspoons of bs in 2-3 cups warm water and pour it through your hair. Massage your scalp with your fingers and a cool thing will happen. The bs will react with your scalp's natural oil and produce some small, delicate bubbles. You just made a natural soap reaction! After your massage, rinse the hair with warm water.

Rosie's No Poo'd head:

For the first couple of months, I skipped the vinegar altogether. My head was still producing extra oil. However, in the next few months, my head started getting drier and I added it in. Some people need the apple cider vinegar (acv) all over their head, and others only need it on the ends of their hair. You just have to try it out both ways. If your hair generally seems to oily, back off on the acv. If it generally seems dry, step it up.

Again 1-2 teaspoons of acv in 2-3 cups warm water is all you need. You can add an essential oil to the acv mix to match your hair type. Rosemary is great for dark or oily hair; chamomile for blonde or fine hair; tea tree for 'smelly' or oily hair or irritated scalp; lavender for all hair and if your pregnant (it's one of the few GRAS- generally regarded as safe- eo's for pregnancy).

Well, them's the basics. Here are some common issues you may experience:

*Flaky scalp- can be dryness, or too much bs in your wash, or bs build-up, or something else... for the first three problems, you can massage the acv rinse into your scalp which can help. I've seen some recommendations for using a hot oil treatment for the scalp if it is really bad, but since I have no experience in that area, Google is your friend. Clary sage e oil helps combat dandruff; add a couple drops to your acv rinse.

*Can't comb/ brush through hair while it's wet- this seems pretty normal. Don't force it or you risk a lot of split ends and damaged hair. Always brush wet hair as gently as possible and try a different type or style of hairbrush. Detangle hair well before washing. If dry hair is ok to comb through, then don't worry. If dry hair is still extremely difficult to comb through, your pH is off- keep experimenting with your bc to acv amounts.

*My hair is still too oily- go longer between washes. Rinse hair every 2-3 days in the shower, but don't do the bs/ acv more than 1x/ week. 1x/ 2 weeks is about ideal. Less washing will actually slow your scalp's oil production. Also, my beloved Rosemary Gladstar recommends combing a few drops of an oil-absorbing essential oil into the hair between washes. Try lemon, patchouli, rosemary, tea tree, or ylang-ylang.

*My hair is still too dry- see above. Same advice will give your scalp the extra time it needs to produce enough oil. Use eo's for dry hair instead of oily: myrrh or peppermint.

There are lots of variations on this basic technique. Some folks use the bs as the wash, but continue using a chemical-free commercial conditioner (you want something without glycerine or silicone). Others Use coconut oil rubbed through the hair as a conditioner. Some do the adjustment period and then try to figure out how long they can go between regular old shampoo washings- many say 1-2 weeks. Others mix regular shampoos with No 'Poo; that's the only variation that I think is a bad idea, as it will really 'confuse' your head.

Three heads of No 'Poo'd or Never 'Poo'd hair!

*Does your head stink? Um, no. Even during the 2 month adjustment period of only rinsing my head, even my husband (he has a vey sensitive nose...) thought my hair smelled quite normal. Some people might have smelly heads, but remember that BO comes from bacteria, so if you feel like your head smells unpleasant, use tea tree essential oil in your routine somewhere.

*Can kids do this? Of course. But some kids' heads don't need it- or anything excpet water, for that matter. My kids have, well, never or almost never had their hair shampoo'd. Occasionally we use some Dr. Bronner's castile soap on their hair, but usually it's just warm water. Think about it- if a head never gets messed up with commercial cleansers, it never has to be fixed. On youTube, you can find videos from this woman who explains HWW- hot water washing- where, yup, the only thing you ever put on your head is hot water. Which I wouldn't believe, except that my boys have never had their hair touched by anything, and their hair is thick, shiny, and quite pretty, if I do say so myself.

*Can you do this if you swim in chlorinated water? Probably not. It's important to strip that chlorine out of your hair, and bs and acv just don't have the umph to do that. I may be wrong, though, and would love to hear from a regular swimmer who No 'Poo's.

After 6 months, I still have good hair days and bad hair days, I have to admit. But I've tried so many shampoos, from cheapies to very expensive salon stuff, to too many 'organic' or 'all-natural' hair junk to even remember, and the No Poo works just as well or better than anything I've tried before. And it's so nice to know exactly what's going onto and therefore into my head! I also will admmit that the pH of my hair and scalp have changed since becoming pregnant and I'm still troubleshooting a few things, and I was even tempted to give up during the later first trimester, but things, errrr hairs, are in the process of settling down.

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old."
-Franz Kafka

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Let Food Be Your Medicine

"Let food be your medicine, and let medicine be your food."

I should start by saying that I have nothing against vitamins. Too many people have too great of results for me to discount synthetically produced vitamins (your vitamins are synthetically produced unless the bottle specifically says 'whole food' or 'natural extract' or something like that) as a modern evil. I know I feel better when I can take my vitamins.

But I am having a very frustrating and unique problem with this pregnancy. I cannot tolerate pills of any sort. They come back up, along with any food I have laboriously force-fed myself in the last 6 hours.

Defeating the purpose of the extra nourishment they ought to provide.

I've tried whole foods vitamins, vitamin powder, iron-free formulations, and all. Even my probiotic, a very good one, won't stay down. So what's a mom to do?

Eat the vitamins. Drink the vitamins. And avoid like the plague any food that will rob the body of those carefully gotten substances.

After lots and lots of reading, I do agree with the logic that the body needs lower levels of vitamins and minerals when they come from real, whole foods. So while I will never get, say, 5,000 IUs of true Vitamin A AND 5,000 IUs of Beta Carotene in one day, I'm no longer convinced my body needs these levels of Vitamin A to function well. Though, again, nor do I think it hurts the body to have those levels available through a high-quality vitamin supplement.

In any case, it's a moot point for me these days. Here are some of my tricks for getting the vitamins in, without the vitamins.

1 cup of carrot juice, freshly squeezed and not from a can, contains enough Beta Carotene for your body for a whole week. I got a 25 lb bag of organic carrots yesterday. So, juicing once or twice a week, plus eating a raw or cooked carrot or 2 every day seems like a decent plan. Not to mention the other yellow and orange veggies and fruits- peaches, squash, sweet potatoes, cantalope...

Raspberry leaf tea doesn't just tone your uterus. It does that, too, but it provides significant levels of iron in a particularly absorbable and gentle form, not to mention calcium, magnesium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Plus it tastes good.
Red Rooibos (pronounced roy-boss) is an herbal tea from Africa. It brews up a beautiful shade of red and tastes very sweet. It is supposed to help achieve deep sleep. Maybe because it contains high levels of calcium and magnesium? It also contains iron, copper, and zinc. (Copper and zinc balance each other in the body.)
Information on the vitamin and mineral content of herbs is readily available online. You can easily mix herbs that you find tasty and benefit from their nourishment. Traditional Medicinals is a brand of tea bags that I highly recommend for the lazy tea drinkers out there. They have a number of delicious blends that pack in a lot of nutrients.

Carob is a powder with a cocoa-like taste, but without stimulants. It contains appreciable amounts of the B vitamins, plus calcium and numerous trace minerals. Makes a great hot cocoa-like drink. My kids like a peanut-butter-banana-"chocolate" shake made with carob powder.

Sea vegetables:
Kombu, wakame, dulse, nori. These weeds from the sea supply minerals and vitamins in mind-boggling amounts. They can be eaten raw, fried or roasted, or used to make a soup or broth base. I add them to cooking water in beans and soups. They release their magic into the water and whatever food is cooked in the water absorbs their vital nutrients. At the end of cooking, they can be discarded, or chopped and added back into the dish, as you like.

I avoid refined salt like the plague. It is full of chemicals and is an incomplete food. That means your body can't process it properly because it is missing parts... Use a whole sea salt instead. Tip: if it's white, it's not a whole salt. Salt will be grey, pink, or speckled. I alternate between Pink Himalayan salt and the brand Real Salt (mined in Utah). There are other salts- Dead Sea Salt, Celtic Grey Sea Salt, but these are quite expensive.

White sugar is an incomplete food, too. Your body has to use vitamins you ingest to bind to the white sugar molecules in order to process and eliminate them. That means instead of absorbing all the vitamins and minerals you eat, your body uses them just to get rid of the sugar. Thus, sugar can create vitamin deficiencies even when the diet is adequate. The same is true of white flour. Your body robs itself of precious B Vitamins to bind to white flour (thus completing it) in order to digest it. Instead, rely on a chemical-free, pure stevia extract, raw honey, real maple syrup, dates, raisins, brown rice syrup, and such to satisfy your sweet tooth. Even so, fresh fruit should be a pregnant woman's 1st sweet choice. Save the honey and maple syrup for really special occasions. And make ALL your grains whole grains!

If you are lucky enough to tolerate milk products, finding the highest-quality yogurt or kefir these days is easy. I am not lucky! Soy and coconut yogurts are usually high in sugar and i have a hard time making enough to keep up a daily supply. Luckily, a dear friend of mine has made made me fermented lemonade, a type of probiotic drink, and another friend is bringing me some water kefir starter this week. We also keep a supply of Bubbie's pickles on hand. These amazing pickles are fermented and cultured like yogurt, but with a salt process. After the pickles are gone, I drink the good-bacteria-rich salt water. Weird? Yes. Yummy? Totally.

The need for a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day can't be over-emphasized. Whether you take a vitamin or not! It's a lot of work, no kidding. But it's worth it.

"Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary."
~Chinese Proverb

Friday, February 10, 2012

Magical Rice Tea

I originally got this "recipe" from a midwife, during my 2nd pregnancy. I came down with a stomach virus 7 months pregnant and became so dehydrated that contractions began. My midwife told me to drink this tea and if it didn't stop the contractions and rehydrate me in 1 hour, to head to the hospital for an IV.

Thankfully, it worked. And it has worked every time I've tried it since.

(My mother-in-law has confirmed that this same 'tea' is used in Mexico for vomiting, diarhhea, and stomach upset.)

This last week we all had a stomach virus, a 24-hour but very violent one. My husband insisted on 7-Up and Gatorade, but the children would take a sip of 7-Up and their poor little stomachs would just convulse in a big "NO THANK YOU." It was gross.

So, thankfully, I remembered the rice tea, and if I may say, this stuff is as close to magic as I've ever seen. I myself was considering going to the hospital for an IV, but this tea again saved me. Every sip settled my digestive tract a bit further on. It also completely and immediately banished the abdominal bloating that accompanied the bug. My daughter who coudn't keep anything down for 12 hours took 1 sip and proceeded to drink a whole quart.

Rice is one of the few foods recommended for stomach bug recovery- bananas, rice, applesauce, toast- the BRAT diet, if you've ever heard of it.

Rice Tea for Digestive Tract Distress of Any Type
1/2 cup brown rice, well-rinsed
8-10 cups water

Combine in pan and bring to a boil, turn down heat and boil gently for 30-50 minutes, until liquid is semi-opaque. (I am at high altitude and it only takes 15-20 minutes.)

Strain. The rice can be used like porridge. My kids like it with strawberries and nut milk.

To drink, add stevia and vanilla to taste. I also add 4 drops ginger tincture per cup to help with nausea, or you can add a piece of ginger to the pot while cooking, but then your rice porridge will taste like ginger, too. Add a shake of natural sea salt if the drinker has been vomiting, to help with electrolyte balance.

That's it. Seriously. Another embarrassingly simple, but very helpful, recipe from BreadwithHoney.

"The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around.... Throughout history, "tender loving care" has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing."
~Larry Dossey

P.S. I have my computer back, but my camera is lost! Pictures returning soon- I hope.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Vegetable Stock

I've returned to the land of the living.

I have a crockpot full of simmering vegetable broth and a pantry full of soup ingredients. I had a serious craving for red lentils tonight so I dashed out to the co-op. I didn't realize till halfway there that I was going to get caught in that blizzard I'd heard about.

I wouldn't usually risk my life for a pound of red lentils and some odds and ends, but at least now I've got all the ingredients for 4 nights of soup.

(Sorry for the lack of pics, but my computer crashed a few weeks ago and all my pictures and pic editing software won't be returned to me till Tuesday.)

Vegetable stock is so great- a vitamin pill in liquid form. I'd rather give my kids a good vegetable stock a couple times a week than spend money on vitamins! Well, I do that, too, but only as an insurance policy. You know, for months when morning sickness and irrational cravings consume me....

Also, this is much wiser than a method by a certain famous 'cooker' who likes to boil and mash up vegetables and hide them in things. Once you've boiled a veggie, remember that the waste water is more mineral-rich than the veggie. Don't toss the water!

It's also a great way to benefit from veggies your family doesn't love- in my case onions and celery. Sigh.

Quick and Easy Vegetable Stock
(all ingredients are per quart of water)
4" strip of Kombu
1/2 onion
2 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
2t unrefined salt
3 bay leaves
other spices and veggies to taste (skip or go easy on the cabbage family)

Toss in the crock pot and fill with water (filtered is always preferable). Simmer on high for 8-10 hours or low for 12-14 hours. Adjust salt to taste. Strain into a clean jar. Keeps up to a week in the back of the fridge, or else freeze.

Use this in place of water in any recipe you can- rice, sauces, whatever- for an awesome vitamin and mineral boost.

For a quick and nutritious soup, boil a potato and some greens in this broth. Stir 1T Miso into soup after it has been ladled into the bowls. Yum.

"A smile confuses an approaching frown."
~Author Unknown