About Me

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As a daughter, granddaughter (still...at my age!), wife, mom, grammy, lover of God and life, it has become my mission in life to encourage others. The purpose of this blog is to introduce the reader to the sustainable life through organic recipes, gardening tips, cleaning and organizing methods, Spiritual help, and anything else which may encourage you in your journey to wholeness--body, soul, and spirit.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Gleanings from the Harvest...new name, new url, woot woot!

"'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.'" ~Leviticus 23: 22

The tradition of gleaning in ancient times had to do with leaving some of the best of the harvest--not the junk, mind you--for the poor and foreigner residing in the land.  When working out a new name for the blog, I wanted to come up with something which tied the blog to Shepherd's Harvest; yet remained a little bit separate.  All of the same material is remaining from the dozens of blogs written over the past year, the look and feel is a little different but all of the great material is still there (and I am keeping the beautiful picture of my granddaughter, below)!

You will see some improvements coming, and I'll re-run and update, as well as adding new material as the summer unfolds.  Feedback is more than welcome.  If you have questions or would like to see a particular topic, please let me know.  I will research and write!  

Peace and love,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Raw Food Part 1: In Search of the Perfect Green Smoothie

Smoothie before blending: Top to bottom: fresh papaya, raspberries, spinach, ice, orange juice and raw honey....

The GREEN smoothie after!  It tasted great!
In a continuing quest to live a healthy, natural, and pain-free life; I made a decision to eat raw food for two meals per day.  In the research I have conducted (which I will attempt to cite in a later blog), raw food has enzymes, fiber, vitamins, and other benefits that cooked food does not possess.  An additional benefit is that it cuts back on inflammation.

To that end, I needed something EASY for breakfast...smoothies fit the bill.  Groupon had a BIG BOSS promotion so I purchased one and my daily smoothie adventure began!  One thing about drinking smoothies each day that I have noticed is that I feel much, MUCH better when I am drinking them, and not-so-good when I don't.  Let me give you a few guidelines when making smoothies (your ingredients, of course, should be organic when possible):

Use something thick:  Smoothies need body.  1/2 Banana or a few slices of papaya works well.  1 T Peanut butter is nice too.

Use a handful of something green: Spinach is my favorite, you cannot taste it, and it provides iron, fiber, and all kinds of other benefits.  In summer I also use swiss chard, which has a lot of vitamin A.  Kale works, and just about any other green.

Use something wet:  You will not be able to blend it otherwise.  Orange juice is fantastic, because the vitamin C helps the iron in your greens to work.  You can also use green tea, raw cow or goat milk, soy or almond or rice milk, or any other unsweetened juice--cherry is nice.

Use something frozen:  The best option here is frozen berries--blackberries or blueberries are excellent.  You can use strawberries too, it helps to have them chopped.  Super-important that berries are organic, because they are particularly prone to contamination.

Options are good:  Some options--wheatgrass, spirulina, raw local honey, raw apple cider vinegar, vitamin E or D oil, ground flaxseed, cocoa powder, etc.  Only use a small amount of certain additives so as to not alter the taste.  I know from experience that too much spirulina is NOT a good thing taste-wise! (shudder!)

So...here is my go-to morning smoothie recipe:

1/2 c orange juice
1/2 banana
1 c baby spinach
1 c frozen berries
1 T raw apple cider vinegar
1 T raw local honey
1 t wheatgrass
Blend 1 minute.  Drink!
I take it with a ginseng, vitamin D and C in winter, probiotic, and elderberry if I feel as if I am coming down with something.  Keeps me going until lunch!

Do you ever drink smoothies?  If so, what do you drink?  I would love to find out!