07 May 2012

Guest Post : Real Food Forager

This week I have a guest post for you from Jill of Food Forager.  Her blog is a unique take on food foraging in today's modern world, and I am excited to be able to share this post with you.

I am a Real Food Forager. I admit it. Not the kind that that rummages around in the forest. Oh no. You wouldn't catch me getting my hands dirty or, heaven forbid, touch a worm. Yuck! No, I am a modern day, suburban real food forager.

Let me explain. You may think it impossible to forage in a suburban area, but what I mean is, I forage in the stores and markets that sell real food. First and foremost this means that I belong to a buyer's club that has a real farmer deliver real fresh pastured foods like eggs, meat, poultry and dairy products on a weekly basis.
What with all this foraging, I have found that the very best quality foods comes directly from the farmer and that is why I founded The Great South Bay Chapter of the Weston A Price Foundation.

Farm to consumer food is by far a win - win situation for all involved. It allows the farmer to directly sell to consumers and get a higher price for their goods. It allows the consumer to buy the highest quality and freshest possible products at reasonable prices. And equally as important, it cuts down on fossil fuel usage as well as pollution by eliminating shipping across the country.

Real Food Forager features recipes that are gluten- and grain-free, dairy-free, sucrose-, starch-, and soy-free and appropriate for the SCD/GAPS diets as well as ancestral diets like Paleo and Primal diets.
As a Clinical Nutritionist/Chiropractor with a  specialty in SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), I found myself giving Weston Price Foundation, SCD or GAPS style advice again and again.  It became clear to me that I needed a way to get this dietary information to people in a usable, concise, outline without having to repeat myself again and again. I realized that if I used the format of a blog, it could reach a lot of people and also allow us to have a dialog. Importantly, I could refer people to this blog for the details they would need to be successful on these various diets.

My favorite recipes are:
  1. Macaroons
  2. Grain-Free Carrot Cake with Icing
  3. Pecan Crusted Apple Crisp
  4. Grilled Tri Tip Roast
  5. Courgette Al Dente!
Welcome to this blog and find out more information about real food, the dangers in our commercial food supply and the implications to our health, what good nutrition really is, and how to follow these restricted diets and still eat like a king!

06 May 2012

Natural Bug Repellents

As spring time sets in and I go on amazing adventures with my husband in the outdoors I know that soon I will be faced with complaints and a sad face.  We live in the south, and there are bugs.  Bugs love my husband.  We love the outdoors.  All this does not mix well at times.

With a baby on the way hardcore bug spray is out of the question so we decided to come up with some natural, safer alternatives to help us enjoy the outdoors during this long southern buggy season.

DIY Essential Oil Bug Spray

3 tbsp Filtered Water
3 tbsp Rubbing Alcohol 99%
7 Drops Citronella Oil
4 Drops Eucalyptus Oil
4 Drops Lavender Oil
2 Drops Lemongrass Oil

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle, and don't forget to shake before each use!

5 Natural Options for Bug Repellents

  1. Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellent - Burt's Bees is a great source for natural products, and can be found online as well as in many retail locations.  It contains Rosemary, Lemongrass and 10 other essential oils to ward off bugs.
  2. California Baby Citronella Bug Repellent Spray - This spray can be used for newborns and older children, and contains a combination of essential oils gathered from sustainable sources.  Another good feature of this product is that is also soothes existing bites!
  3. All Terrain Kids Herbal Amor Natural Insect Repellent - This combination of essential oils boasts that it lasts up to 4 hours protecting you against pesky bugs.  It is made for outdoor enthusiasts, and reviews state that it works well, but has a strong smell.
  4. Bug Away Disposable Table Cloth with All Natural Insect Repellent - I love this product for picnics.  It is a natural way to ward away bugs that no one even realizes you are using.  A great alternative to candles and sprays.  It is safe for food and includes only ingredients that are FDA approved for food handling.
  5. Green Fire Massage Oil and Insect Repellant Candle - I love massage oil candles, and think this is a wonderful alternative to the chemical laden candles you find in stores.  It is scented with lemon, eucalyptus and lavender for a romantic evening on the porch.  This is a safe, environmentally friendly, clean burning candle.  See also my blog post about candles here.
What solutions do you use for scaring away pesky bugs in the summer months?  Comments are always welcome!

* This post contains affiliate links, but I was not paid by the manufacturer to review this product - I just like it! I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255. Top image copyright Brooke Photo Studio 2012, bottom Images courtesy of Amazon.

27 April 2012

Blog : Sweets by Charity

This weeks guest blog post was written by Charity of Sweets by Charity.  Her blog blossoms with delicious food related articles.  I have a particular soft spot for local food making one of my favorite articles : 5 Star Food From a Filling Station where Charity interviews Chef Point Cafe, Franson Nwaeze.  Her post is below, and make sure to stop by the blog and tell her hello!

Food Blogger Friday
Author : Charity

Many of my favorite memories growing up happened in the kitchen: the first time I made sourdough bread with my grandmother, making Christmas sugar cookies with my cousins, getting busted by my mother in grade school for using the oven to make cupcakes when she wasn’t at home. Years later, I’m the first one to make cupcakes for a birthday, I always come to meetings armed with baked goods, and I truly believe that a great dessert is the easiest way to put a smile on someone’s face. I have always dreamed of opening a bakery one day.  Writing this blog is my way of getting started early on that dream, and combines two of my favorite activities, writing and baking.  I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Florida, pursuing a Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication.  Since starting Grad school last August, I found that it’s a bit more stressful at times I thought it would be. Okay, it’s a lot more stressful than I thought it would be.   For me, baking is the perfect stress therapy and a great way to bring a little calm to the craziness that is my life. 

I have never claimed to be a baking expert, but I do love making simple and fun, but unique and beautiful sweets, and let’s face it... I’m a broke college kid, so I do it all on a budget. Although I’m obviously not a health food blogger,  I do love to show my readers how to satisfy their sweet tooth without sacrificing their diet... everyone should be able to have their cake and still fit into their skinny jeans.  I have so much fun sharing my tips and tricks with readers, and I love seeing how they take my recipes and make them their own!  Right now I’m just having fun with my blog, and sharing my baking adventures with my readers.  Who knows where it will lead in the future?

One thing you should know about me, is that I am 99% indecisive, 100% of the time.  Asking me to pick my favorite food would be like asking me to pick my favorite child... that is, if I had any children, but you get the idea.  Growing  up, I could answer that question with zero hesitation: “rocky road ice cream”.  I was eight, my life revolved around ice cream.  While rocky road still makes the top ten on my list of favorite foods, my palate has slightly matured, but not much.  When narrowing down my favorite food, I can at least get it down to a genre.  Being a native Texas girl, I love a good steak, and I adore great barbeque: ribs, pulled pork, potato salad, cole slaw, and ooooooh the peach cobbler.  Give me a good barbeque dinner, and all is well with the world.

5 Favorite Things: 

I’m new to the blogging world, but a few of the posts I’ve written so far stand out as my favorites.

1. Low Calorie Blackberry Lemon Tart 
Everything tastes better out of a martini glass... that’s the theme behind this delicious, low calorie blackberry lemon tart!

2. Mock Apple Pie Ever had a problem getting in your daily serving of vegetables?  Maybe you have some picky eaters in your household who turn their nose up at anything green? This secret ingredient apple pie is the perfect solution to your problem!

3. Peachberry Dump Cake
Okay so it’s definitely not healthy, but it’s my absolute favorite easy dessert fix.  This five ingredient Peachberry Dump Cake is to die for I love looking around the web at other food blogs to gather ideas and get inspired.

These two sites round out my 5 Favorite Things:

4. One of my favorite baking bloggers is Baker Bettie. She recently made the switch to all-natural baking and offers some great recipes and suggestions for baking and treating your body right. Plus, her photography looks good enough to eat! 

5. I love Hungry Girl!  If you haven’t already been following Hungry Girl (I used to live by the Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 recipe book),  she is the queen of low calorie substitutions for your favorite comfort foods.  Whether she’s using pumpkin in place of the high calorie oil and eggs in her baked goods, or using Fiber One cereal as a faux-fry coating, Lisa Lillien, AKA Hungry Girl, is where I turn to for low calorie baking inspiration. 

Starting my blog has been such a fun and wonderful experience; I’ve been trying new things, meeting new friends, and finding delicious ways to alleviate stress.  I hope that you’ll follow along with me as I continue on my blogging journey, sharing my baking adventures every step of the way.  If you have a recipe request, suggestion, or just want to chat, send me an email at sweetsbycharity@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Twitter - @charityhitt , or on Flickr- sweetsbycharity,  and of course I hope you will check out my blog and follow me at http://sweetsbycharity.com.

Happy Baking!
~Sweet Charity~

* I was not paid by the manufacturer to review this product - I just like it! I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255. Images Courtesy of Sweets by Charity.