Woot! Secrets to Cooking for the GAPS diet revealed…!

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I LOVE my work!

I LOVE to teach!

I am so looking forward to sharing my weekend with those who would like to learn the secrets to cooking for the protocol that heals and seals leaky guts. And guess what? almost everyone has one!

Who would benefit from cooking this way?

Everyone, especially those that are between the ages of 0 and 65…especially:

  • Anyone who has been vaccinated
  • Anyone who has taken even one round of antibiotics or had them administered
  • Anyone who has traveled abroad
  • Anyone who has had allergies, including seasonal allergies and food allergies
  • Anyone who has had skin disorders, eczema, rashes, etc
  • Anyone on the Autistic Spectrum, with Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia
  • Anyone with an auto-immune disorder

This weekend, I’ll teach the secrets to the following techniques. The HOW and the WHY. We’ll be making:

  • Bone Broth
  • Coconut Milk
  • Coconut Flour
  • Nut Milk
  • Nut Butters
  • Nut Flour
  • Fermented Beans
  • Culturing Dairy
  • Fermented Nut Flour
  • Baking with Nut Flour

We’ll be cooking at the top of a mountain in Loveland, Colorado…Friday through Sunday. You may find more information here: http://www.cookingforwell-being.com/October-3-2014.html

Or you can stay tuned for my next book on the subject. In process now. :)

 

Check out also: Nourishing Broth, the newest book by Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla Daniels, and The Heal Your Gut Cookbook by Hilary Boynton and Mary Brackett, for which I consulted!

 

Please note this page contains affiliate links.

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“Mom! Is that butter?!”

Was the call from my eight year old son this morning. I had just offered him a graham cracker that was covered with what we call “Nature’s frosting”: butter. Organic butter, that is…a good half inch high. Why did he question whether it was butter, you ask? Ah, the tale I will tell! Can anyone guess?

Organic butter: White :(

Organic butter: White :(

The COLOR. The color of the butter was very light yellow to almost white. The color my son is used to seeing is YELLOW. Is this significant? YES. The color of the butter will let you know that the cows ate GRASS. We KNOW that what cows eat is highly significant: to the cows, the Earth, and our bodies.

What is very interesting to me (and should be to you also) is that the butter was ORGANIC. This is significant also… It tells you that even though butter may be organic, it in no way means it comes from grass-fed or pastured cows. (It does currently guarantee that the grains the cows are fed are organic– which will guard you from the GMO-laden feeds used in conventional dairies. ) Why should you care?

Folks all over the country are starting to wake up to preferring grass-fed or “pastured” dairy products including butter, milk, cream and cheese. Grass-fed or pastured dairy is nutritionally superior to dairy that comes from grain-fed operations. And not only that, but it also comes from cows that are raised on pasture, as Nature intended them to be… Not in the confinement feeding operations (CAFOs, confined animal feeding operations) that became so popular in this country in the eighties.

Beautiful YELLOW grass-fed butter!! Homemade!

Beautiful YELLOW grass-fed butter!! Homemade!

So in this case, “the eyes have it”: rich, yellow butter IS better. And use it liberally, folks. Nature’s frosting.

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Learn to cook for the GAPS Diet! Cooking Immersion Weekend!

 

Gut and Psychology Syndrome CoverOne of the best diets to heal a leaky gut and gut dysbiosis…as well as the myriad of symptoms that result from these conditions…is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (aka “G.A.P.S.”) diet. I have been teaching how to cook for the diet for about 5 years now, having developed one of the first sets of cooking classes for it. I have offered these classes individually over a series of weeks, and also all together over a weekend workshop as far away as California, Massachusetts, and Maryland. This coming weekend, and next month, I am inaugurating a new method which I am calling “Cooking Immersion Weekends”.

The Cooking Immersion Weekend grew out of the desire to provide a way for individuals to experience learning and cooking with all the techniques needed for the diet at one time, with other people, and with a resource right with them to answer any questions. (Me.)

I have broken up the weekends as makes the most sense: one for the “Intro” diet and another for the “Full” Diet, as cooking for them is very different. The Intro Immersion Weekend will take place this weekend, 4pm Friday through 1pm Sunday, September 2-14, 2014,  in a retreat setting at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO. The Full Immersion Weekend will take place same times and place, on October 3-5, 2014.

My desire and intention for those that join me for these Cooking Immersions is that they leave feeling fully confident in their ability to implement the healing protocol when they return home. (You all know how much I love to make things easy for folks and to take the mystery out of seemingly complicated cooking techniques!)

These are very hands-on weekends; we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. :)  And though those of you who have been cooking traditional food for a while will have a broader knowledge base than those who have not, cooking for the GAPS diet is very different than cooking from Nourishing Traditions. So….

You are invited to attend one or both of the weekends!

Still on the fence? Here is what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride wrote about my cooking classes:  ” Dear Monica, I just want to thank you for your wonderful GAPS cooking classes! I am getting excellent reports from the GAPS Practitioners and patients! Everybody who attended your classes leave very inspired and ready to cook good food. Thank you!”

CGPs (Certified GAPS Practitioners) are especially welcome, as knowing how to cook for the diet is critical to its success.

You may register for the September 12-14 Cooking Immersion Weekend here.

You may register for the October 3-5 Cooking Immersion Weekend here.

 

Looking forward to cooking with you!

 

 

Please note: Gut and Psychology Syndrome is the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.

 

 

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Clearly…these are NOT vegetables.

veg photo for blog

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Came across yet another “healthy” snack food at the local natural food market in Ft Collins yesterday. These and all the rest are not healthy and they are not good for you. Highly processed, and what I call “food fractions”… Along with a rancid oil that is HIGHLY inflammatory, due to the high percentage of Omega 6s. Not to mention the “natural flavors” thrown in for good measure (who knows what they are– usually contain MSG and gluten, BTW) and…a lot of starch–beans… Rice…. potato starch-(read SUGAR as your body knows it is and will process it as such). Sounds like a blood sugar spike full of empty calories just waiting to happen!

If you are hungry, snack on real food folks. Grab a bunch of carrots and radishes and cucumber slices and celery sticks… Add anchovy dip or Caesar dip or Roquefort dip and your body is good to go. Carbs (which vegetables are) with fat to modulate the sugar impact AND assist in the absorption of those vitamins and nutrients. Your body AND your brain will thank you.

That’s all for now. Snack tip of the day. Enjoy!
:)

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Easy Peasy Chicken Soup!! These cold winter days…

and nights make one long for a bowl of warm, nourishing, delicious and delightful soup! I know I do!!

soup

’tis the season to make a big pot of soup at least once a week! I thought I’d share one of the easiest ways to make homemade chicken soup when your time is limited. I’d call this one a “shortcut” recipe! Obviously, it would be great if you could do the whole thing from scratch, but let’s face it, folks–sometimes you can’t. This one’s for for you, the Busy, Time-Strapped Person! (and aren’t we all, some days?!!)

So…

Easy Peasy (Shortcut) Chicken Soup!

1 roasted chicken

a bunch of vegetables you love, or ones you happen to have in the refrigerator. The usual suspects: carrots, celery, onion, zucchini, mushrooms…(can also add beet stems and or beet greens or chard, or any other veg you love!) Use what you love; don’t use what you don’t.

2-3 T of a healthy fat you love: ghee, pastured butter, schmaltz, bacon fat, lard, duck fat…coconut oil, etc.

2 quarts chicken or other stock…

good salt and freshly ground pepper

thyme…or oregano or rosemary or basil or a combination…dried or fresh. 1 T dried or 3 T fresh…

tomatoes…diced or ground. (I love the new tomatoes in glass jars…Bionaturae is one brand in glass…no BPA for me!) optional but a delicious addition!!

Making the soup: A basic template

1. Purchase an organic roasted chicken. (Yes, I said “purchase”. Remember, this is a shortcut recipe. Yes, purchase it at your local supermarket..WF carries them…so do other stores. Some offer only “natural” roasted chickens. Neither are the best. The best would be a chicken that you roasted yourself that was raised on pasture eating bugs and supplemented with non-GMO feed. The next best is an “organic” chicken…which means only that the feed was organic–the chicken may never have eaten a bug in its life. Chickens are omnivores… A nutritionally inferior chicken for your soup, but better than a “natural” chicken. One can probably bet that those “natural” chickens were fed GMO feed…and it says nothing about their quality of life. So the choice is yours. Do the best you can and then make peace with your choice.)

2. Place desired fat in a 4-5 quart Dutch Oven, over medium-low heat.

3. Dice (into uniform sizes) about 3-4 carrots, 3-4 celery ribs, one medium onion, 2 medium zucchinis, a handful of mushrooms. (Organic is best…)

4. Add the carrots and celery first, along  with about 1 tsp. Celtic or other high trace mineral content salt; cook over medium-low heat with the lid on for about 5-7 minutes.

5. Add the onion, zucchini and mushrooms. Cook about 4-5 minutes with the lid on.

6. Add 2 quarts of chicken stock you have in the freezer. (I know, I snuck that one in on you. If you don’t have chicken stock in your freezer, very sad. However, since this is a “shortcut” recipe, you could purchase some from the store or from your local farmer! Just be sure to get “pastured” stock–and check the ingredients. Stock should only be bones, vegetables, water and salt or herbs. Some brands are sneaking in cane sugar, soy protein and/or MSG. Read the ingredient labels!! The front of the box does not always tell the full story.)

7. Bring the stock to a boil and skim and discard any scum. Lower the heat to medium.

8. Add the chicken meat, which you diced while everything else was cooking. (About 2 cups) Add the tomatoes if you are going to use them. Add the herbs at this time, additional salt and about 4-5 good grinds of pepper. Heat the soup through for about 10 minutes.

9. Serve with a dollop of cultured cream, yogurt, ghee or pastured butter in each bowl.

Enjoy!!

BTW, you can use this recipe as a template for any other meat you have around…beef, lamb, etc. Just be sure the flavors of the fat, the stock, the meat or poultry, and the herbs/spices all complement each other. :)

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Meat Stock…What it is, and Why I Love it! And you will, too…

I LOVE meat stock. I love meat stock. Meat stock.

I also love bone broth. But meat stock is different than bone broth.

In the world of stock and broth…I am speaking especially to those following the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet…and those who are consuming a lot of stock on a daily basis…to heal their guts, to take in electrolytic minerals, to supply them with easily absorbed nutrients…somehow “meat stock” has been missed. And what a fatal flaw that is, because meat stock makes your life sooooo much easier-both for those on the GAPS diet, and for those of us other folks, who are just trying to eat well to be well.

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Meat stock is a treasure in the world of nutrient-dense foods… for those of us who are “real foodies”, Weston A. Price-ers, “traditional foodies”…and anyone who is wanting to make the most of their food dollar and their health. Most of us, that is.

The clue is in the words…”meat” stock and “bone” broth. They say a lot about the differences between the two. One is made from meat that has some bones; the other is made from bones. One is cooked for a relatively short time; the other for a very long time, sometimes up to 72 hours!

The gift of meat stock is threefold: it gives you a meal to eat and gelatinous broth to drink. Then it gives you bones you may use as boney bones for bone broth! What a deal!!

So here’s how it’s done. Please take care to use the best quality poultry or meat that you can buy. That means pastured poultry or grass-fed meat. It matters…to the Earth, the animals, and to our bodies.

Meat Stock by Monica

Obtain 2-3 pounds of meat with a bone in it. (This can be legs or thighs or quarters of a chicken or turkey or other fowl…it can be a whole or half chicken cut up. Please include the skin. Lamb shanks…beef shanks…ox tails…meaty neck bones…you get the idea.) Place the meaty bones in a 4-6 quart Dutch oven. (You may also use a crock pot if you prefer; this will lengthen the cook time. See below.)

Cover with water. Usually 1.5-2 quarts of pure, cold water

Add herbs that you love. Fresh rosemary or thyme…tied is best, so you may remove them later…and a slight handful of black or green peppercorns, whole.

Add any vegetables that you love…the usual candidates are carrots, celery and onion, but you could add other veggies if you like–mushrooms, zucchini. (Do not use potatoes or sweet potatoes or any starchy vegetables…they will cloud the stock. Stay away from broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage at this stage, they will turn the stock bitter, and you will wind up throwing it out. Boo. :( ) If you use carrots, celery and onion, I would use 3, 3, 1 or 3, 2, 1 or so. Onions can overpower if you add too many.

Bring to a boil over high heat.

Skim and discard any scum that surfaces. 

After you have skimmed most of the scum off of the top of the water, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. (Note: do not spend a lot of time on this. You can lose some of the glorious fat if you do. Hint: wait until there is a good amount of scum on the surface, and then begin to skim. It will look like white foam, and may become quite thick depending on the quality of the bones you used.)

Cook, covered. 

If it is poultry, cook 1.5-2 hours.

If it is lamb, cook 3-4 hours

If it is beef or bison, cook 4-6 hours, or longer (8-10 most)

(If you are using a crock pot, double the hours approximately.)

Serve. 

When you serve, serve the meat and the vegetables and a cup of stock on the side to drink. (Remember to add good quality Celtic sea salt and pastured butter or ghee. The salt will give you trace minerals your body needs, and the healthy fat will help your body to absorb the vitamins from the food.)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm so good and healing and warming on these cold, snowy Winter days.

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Gelatinous meat stock

NEXT

Save the bones for your next round of bone broth. If you don’t have enough to start a batch right away, (approx. 4 pound of chicken bones or 7 pounds of beef or bison bones), you may wish to store them in a freezer bag once they’ve cooled. For more information about making bone broth from those leftover bones, check out my article, Healing Soups series: Let’s Step Back to Stock http://simplybeingwell.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/healing-soups-series-lets-step-back-to-stock/

Enjoy!!

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Cook those bones! Turkey Stock recipe…!

One of my favorite things about the day after Thanksgiving is putting the carcass and all the bones up for turkey stock! For those of you who would like one, here’s a recipe. Enjoy!!

Ummm Ummm…Turkey Stock!

bones and carcass

skin (unless you prefer to make cracklins with yours!)

pure cold water to cover (depending on the size of the bird and the size of your pot, you will need approximately 4-6 quarts of water. Just be sure that all the bones in the pot are covered by about an inch of water.)

1/2 cup mild vinegar (apple cider vinegar works well)

3 carrots, washed and chopped coarsely

3 celery sticks, washed and chopped coarsely

1 large onion, rinsed and quartered (if it is organic, throw the skins in too–they will lend beautiful color to your stock)

slight handful of black peppercorns

  • Place the bones and skin in a heavy gauge, 18/10 stainless steel stock pot. (The best stock pots are tall and narrow, so that there is not a large surface area which will cause you to lose stock as it simmers.)
  • Cover with pure, cold water. (See above about how much. Too much water will keep your stock from becoming gelatinous when it is cooled in the refrigerator later.)
  • Add vinegar and let stand for 30 minutes-1 hour at room temperature. (The vinegar will work to draw the minerals out of the bones into the stock.)
  • Bring the pot to a boil, skim and discard the scum. (You may use a flat spoon, a ladle or a skimmer–love them!–to skim the scum. Skimming is an art. You don’t want to skim off all the fat with the scum, or you will have a very flat-tasting stock. I suggest waiting until you see a lot of little bubbles on the top of the stock, and then skim for a few minutes. If the bones are good, you will not need to skim very long.)
Turkey stock with scum

Turkey stock with scum. I added the vegetables with the bones, so I’ll have fun skimming around the veggies!

  • Add the vegetables. (You may choose to add the vegetables prior to bringing the pot to a boil. Either way is fine–earlier or later in the process. If you place the vegetables in with the bones, you will have the pleasure of skimming around all the veggies. Some people love that…some would rather put them in after skimming the scum, so they don’t have to go around them.)
Skimming the scum off turkey stock

Skimming the scum off the turkey stock. I am using a skimmer, but you could also use a spoon or ladle, which I did for years!

  • Bring the pot to a boil again if you just added vegetables.
  • Lower the heat to a simmer. The temperature that your stock cooks at is important. You will be at a perfect temperature when you see movement under a relatively still top of the stock.
  • Simmer for 25-35 hours or so. (Note: You do not need to leave the pot on continuously if you do not want to. You may use what I call “cumulative time”; that is, adding up the time you simmer it. Each time you turn it off, just remember to bring the pot to a boil upon returning and skim and discard the scum. Then turn the heat back down to a simmer. :) )
  • You will know that the stock is “done” when all of the cartilage has been dissolved and you can crumble the bones in your hands with light pressure.
  • Strain the stock and cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator. Hint: a long and shallow pan will allow the stock to cool more quickly because of the increased surface area.

Here’s what the stock should look like when it is cooled:

cooled turkey stock

Cooled turkey stock! The top layer is fat; very good for cooking!

 

Cooled stock in hand

When the stock is truly gelatinous, you can cut a cube and hold it in your hand!

Enjoy!

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