Category Archives: Blog

Jen’s Top Six Chocoholic Recipes

Here we go- a bunch of chocolate recipes of one category or another: Either EASY, or HEALTHY, or JUST DELICIOUS, or all three!

We’re all pretty busy, right? I mean, who even has time to read all the messages in our inbox?! Or to research which “Valentine’s Day Recipes” to try, in the many articles all over the web right now, in any cooking section?!

So let’s boil it down. Maybe some of these recipes will make it into your arsenal of “Go-To Chocolate Recipes”.

Chocolate Chips, Butter, Strawberries- Good!1.) Among the easiest of recipes: Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries! You only need to melt a cup of chocolate chips to a quarter cup butter, to make a delicious dip for some beautiful strawberries. If the strawberries are organic, this is practically a super-food, right? These won’t hold up for long (it’s best to make them day-of), but it’s easy to eat quite a few of these!

Candy dish full of Red Palm Oil Fudge Truffles2.) On the healthy side, and also on the easy side, are Easy Chocolate Truffles that are quite simple to make- just some melted coconut oil mixed and a few other simple ingredients, rolled in cocoa powder afterward. (Saves that dipping step). When red palm oil was all the rage, I tried a version of these subbing the palm oil for coconut oil. It was definitely an acquired taste. (The coconut-oil version has proved more popular!)

Grateful-Table-Strawberry-Coconut-Truffles-No-Sugar3.) On the healthy side, but a little more involved to make, are these Chocolate Strawberry Truffles. Frozen strawberries are pureed and mixed with coconut butter and honey. Formed into balls, they get dipped into a bittersweet chocolate mix that’s just cocoa powder, coconut oil, honey, and butter. One can save time by using melted chocolate chips and butter for dipping into, but the non-sugar version is pretty easy! (And healthier, of course.)

Eggs, Butter, Chocolate, Coffee: Easy Chocolate Torte4.) On the easy side- this “Chocolate Truffle Cake” was my Go-To-Cake-Recipe for years, when I was so busy raising kids in the midst of running The New Deli. It was so easy to just microwave a few ingredients, stir in eggs, and put it all into a lined pan. The toasted pecans added before baking helped the dessert to look even better. Nom… I was digging this recipe before gluten-free was even a thing! (Oh, here’s the “Kahlua Chocolate Truffle Cake Version” too- the other one is sans alcohol.)

Quinoa and chocolate cupcakes in polka-dot cupcake liners5.) Now, back to the healthy side. “Quinoa Chocolate Cupcakes” has been a popular choice lately. Even the kids at the last birthday party were chowing down on ‘em, to our surprise! There are a bunch of versions of this recipe- mine’s not much different, except that I usually streamline the methods and simplify ingredients whenever possible. Note to self, and others: Process the quinoa AFTER it cools, or it’ll get too glue-y!

Grateful-Table-Chocolate-Cake-Pistachio-Marzipan6.) This “Chocolate Genoise Cake w/Pistachio Marzipan” is at the bottom of the list, not because it’s not as tasty, but because it’s more complex to make. If you’re up for a challenge, go for it. It looks beautiful and tastes delicious. The beauty of the sponge cake is that the cake itself is light and airy, since it’s lower moisture, but because it’s dry (and light), it takes a nice soaking from a sweet syrup poured on the finished cake.

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Pinterest: A Few of Jen’s Pics, in One Place

I have a few miscellaneous Pinterest ideas that I’ve posted on Pinterest, but the picture might just be for an idea- not that it warrants a whole post devoted to that picture alone.

So I’m going to start an ongoing post, that I’ll add to, that has pics I’ve shared on Pinterest, that don’t really belong anywhere else. “Orphan Pinterest Pics”, I guess you could say!

Carve beets, so slices make hearts“Heart Beet”: Cook beets by wrapping in foil and roasting in oven until tender, or by simmering in water to cover. Then just carve ‘em a bit, so slices make heart shapes. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, right?! Beets are loaded with nutrients, and lots of easily-assimilated iron, so it’s a great way to show someone you care :)



Organic Paprika (Cuz Peppers R Dirty Dozen)Organic Paprika: Peppers are on the “Dirty Dozen” list, since typically, they’ve tested fairly high in pesticides. This is one of those veggies that’s worth getting organic. Paprika, which comes from peppers, can be found in organic form at the health food store (or here on Amazon). I got the one pound size and keep it in the freezer, since that size is a good value. Now the fam can get a lot of the nutrients peppers are so rich in, even when the fridge is bare and my cooking options that day are minimal! (Paprika makes a killer red sauce for enchiladas and such…)


Just soak almonds 24 hrs., pop skins off. Easy "blanching"!“Blanched Almonds”: Maybe I get a bit OCD about organic. I believe there are more nutrients in organic foods, and buying organic supports those farmers. Fast can be nice though, and if you want blanched almonds with NO work, just pick ‘em up at Trader Joe’s. But, if you’d like organic almonds, and don’t want to go to the bother of adding boiling water, in order to pop the skins off, just soak the almonds for 24 hours. The skins will pop off this way too!





“From the Land of Milk & Honey”: My first cookbook’s still on Amazon, but after Winepress Publishing went under, amidst shrieks of fraud, lawsuits, and cult management, I opted to have them ship my cookbooks to me while they still existed. That explains why my book is no longer available through major book suppliers, but it is still available from me!

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A Healthy Gut = Happy Head

I am digging my probiotics. Maybe you’re already a pro at making your own probiotics, in which case- you know what I’m talking about! My friend mentioned how her buddy was drinking kombucha to help with anxiety, so… I knew I needed to post this!

Healthy Gut Equals Happy Head

This article on Mark’s Daily Apple dishes the low-down on probiotics, and what they do for the health of our gut. The new superfoods!  For one, gut bacteria can LEARN. They can learn how to digest certain things. If you eat a lot of a certain food, eventually, the gut bacteria might learn how to break that food down into well-absorbed nutrients. Amazing.

These gut bacteria also produce short-chain fatty acids- an aid to health. They help improve bone mineral density. They can even turn phytic acid into inositol, for our bodies to put to use! Phytic acid is found on the outer parts of many grains, nuts, and seeds, and can interfere with our absorption of nutrients. But healthy gut bacteria can actually break that phytic acid down.

And they can even manufacture Vitamin K and B vitamins out of some of the basic food materials we ingest. Making something out of nothing, practically.

Gut bacterias also form a hardy barrier against bad bugs that pass their way. Whoot!

Also, did you know that gut bacteria create a LOT of our serotonin and dopamine? Our gut is actually communicating with our brain. Ever wonder if those mood swings had something to do with that fast food you just ate? Maybe. Scientists have noted there seems to be a connection between behavior disorders and gastrointestinal problems. Huh.

Maybe this doesn’t inspire many folks to healthier, probiotic eating. For me, I can’t even finish writing about these findings without going to get a slug o’ my kombucha brew. I find this news very exciting.

For newbies, let me say: It is pretty simple to add probiotics to your diet. Here are three simple ways to add probiotic goodness and improve your gut’s health:

1. Dairy Kefir or Yogurt (maybe the most well-known of the probiotics)

2. Kefir (water kefir, that is, which is created when little clumps of gelatinous “kefir grains” turn sugar and molasses water into a probiotic, fizzy, natural “soda” that’s actually good for you)

3. Kombucha (in which a floating, mushroom-ish critter turns a sweet, tea-infused brew into another probiotic, fizzy drink)

4. Fermented Veggies (ya know- like pickles. And like cabbage, which already contains elements just dying to convert into sauerkraut and kim chee-type relishes. A little salt, a little pressing into a jar until covered in its own juice, a little time for the veggies to ferment, and… Whal-lah! Done!)

Probiotics are the ultimate economical foods, since they seem to turn something cheap (sugar, cabbage, etc.) into a finished product worth far more than the initial ingredient. Check it out!

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Portabella Mushroom Burgers- Vegetarian Style

Use the mushrooms in place of hamburger patties, for a “meaty” vegetarian alternative at dinner. Or let the mushrooms cool off a bit, slicing into strips. Toss a simple salad of greens, olive oil, vinegar, and salt (or your favorite dressing), dish up onto salad plates, topping with the mushroom strips. What a salad!

 Vegetarian Main Dish: Portabella!INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Portabella Mushrooms
  • 1/2 c. or so olive oil
  • 1 TBS. chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/2 lb. mozzarella, provolone, or Jack cheese, sliced
  • 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, grated


1. Get enough Portabella mushrooms for the number of people you’re serving. Typically, it’s one burger-sized mushroom per person, or just a half mushroom per person for a salad. Remove stem and drizzle olive oil on the inside; rub more olive oil onto the outside. For four burgers, use: > 4 Portabella Mushrooms > about 1/2 c. or so olive oil

2. Next, spread some chopped garlic around the inside of the mushroom. Use: > 1 TBS. chopped fresh garlic

3. Add: > 1/2 lb. mozzarella, provolone, or Jack cheese, sliced (or grated)

4. Top with: > 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, grated

5. Bake the cheese-mushrooms at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or so, until cheese is lightly golden. Serve on toasted hamburger buns, with all the fixings, if desired, or atop a salad.

6. If you’re short on time, you can speed things along using the microwave. Microwave the cheese-mushrooms (about 1-2 minutes per mushroom), then broil just a few minutes, until cheese is golden and mushrooms are soft.

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Do You Know Where Your Honey Went?!

It might sound like a conspiracy theory, but I don’t trust most brands of honey anymore. I get my honey from Glory Bee Honey now, since they carry honey that’s high in pollen. (I get this particular honey or it’s larger cousin, as it’s organic and seems the best value for the price.) After all, not all “honey” is, well, honey!

Honey Comb- Real Honey!This study found that 100% of all honey tested from drug stores and fast food chains had no trace of pollen in it. And more than 75% of all the honey tested in larger grocery stores (Safeway, Target, Kroger, Costco, etc.) had no trace of pollen in it. Pollen is the one thing in honey that can vouch for its composition. Without the pollen, it can’t be traced. It might be all honey, it might not be! (Should I say, “It might not BEE”?!)

Maybe that’s why the Europeans created standards for levels of bee pollen and propolis. To be called “raw, organic honey”, it has to pass certain testing. The European Union Directive on Honey says, “The removal of pollen will make the determination of botanical and geographic origin of honey impossible and circumvents the ability to trace and identify the actual source of the honey”. Chinese honey contaminated with chloramphenicol and other illegal animal antibiotics is dangerous. Granted, it’s only fatal to a very small percentage of people, but… still!

I know of some dear folks who’ve been fighting allergies for years. I did too, so I know how annoying this is! But perhaps a daily dose of local honey could help address this issue? (REAL honey, that is…) I believe that, for us to benefit from the potential health advantages of honey, we ought to stick to stuff like Glory Bee Honey, Bee Farms Raw Honey, and other such products. Just to be on the safe side!

As I researched various products at Glory Bee Honey, I pondered whether to get bee propolis or bee pollen as well. Such products have been popular for some, as nutritional supplements. But I concluded that the main thing is to just get a quality honey in the first place, as it will naturally contain some pollen and propolis, since it’s unfiltered, natural honey.

A few ideas of ways to use that special honey? I add a bit to smoothies, if I’m not putting something sweet like banana in it. Or it’s good in granola bars or energy bars. Another fave: Rice pudding, made with honey instead of sugar. It turns out real custard-like… delicious! You can even skip the rice if you’re going grain-free. What a treat!

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Giving: Green Christmas Gift Ideas

No weary-shopper eye-roll here- my fingers are doing the walking! It leaves me with a bit more time to make a few homemade gifts too (as featured in my last post of recipes for homemade skin care gifts). Below are some ideas for “Green Gift Giving”, since most of them fall in line with the eco-style trends of the hipster folk!

Green Gift Ideas for the HolidaysGreen Gift Giving- Sheep Drier Balls1. Wool Dryer Balls (Eco-friendly, All-Natural, Fabric Softener)- AKA “Sheep Balls”- These bounce around with your wet clothes in the drier, aerating them and fluffing as they go. They break up clumps. allowing for quicker, more economical drying of clothes. I got some of these earlier this year and absolutely love them!



Natural Beeswax Candles- Green Gifts!2. 100% Beeswax Tapers 10″ (8 Tapers)- Skip the toxic chemicals found in many candles; go au natural with these beeswax candles. Lovely, elegant, clean, green, & totally cool!

3. 100% Beeswax Tea Lights (24 case)- These fit nicely into the candle holders above. Plus they’re non-toxic & chemical-free. A good deal- 24 votives!

Green Gifts- Himalayan Salt Candles- Good Vibes4. Himalayan Crystal Salt Tealight Candle Holder- I love mine. I put the little beeswax tea lights in it (below), and enjoy the mellow mood it sets.







Compost Caddy- Green Christmas Gift5. Vintage-style Compost Container-This looks so cool on my counter. The plastic bucket insert won’t corrode (like my old container did), and a charcoal filter inside the lid keeps all smells fresh!






Hand cranking apple peeler6. Apple & Potato Peeler- This little machine is so cool. Especially if you have an apple tree. We can process a lot of apples quickly, and throw ‘em in the dehydrator. My model isn’t as nice as the vintage, cast-iron one selling on Amazon for around $20. Wish I’d seen it before I bought mine for much more money, from a Pampered Chef consultant!



Rachel Ray Olive OIl Container7. Ceramic Olive Oil Dispensing Bottle- I love my coloring, opague olive oil bottle. Because the light can’t go through it, the oil stays fresher. It can sit out on the counter- very handy.


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Homemade Gifts: Natural Skin Care Goodies

Part of my enthusiasm for making my own skin care products is my love of essential oils, which I use regularly in face creams and bath salts for myself. Certain ones are perfect for skin, for mood; some have hormone-balancing and other benefits. I’ve shared my favorites at “Jen’s Shop“; if you’re interested in aromatherapy, take a look at the oils I suggest there (under the “Health, Beauty, & Lifestyle” section). I mention the qualities each is known for; also, I’ve chosen oils that are more therapeutic. Some “essential oils” may be a blend of an expensive variety (like, of lavender), but mixed with a carrier oil or even a sub-par plant variety. But I’ve picked out the best quality and value for you, at Jen’s Shop!

Oh, for another fun, homemade gift (that you can make with your kids), check out my “Cinnamon Ornament” post!

Homemade Gifts: Natural Skin CareWe had a lot of fun at a recent “Spa-rific” New Deli party, where we made up various creams, balms, and such to give as gifts. We made body butter, bath salts, lip balm… all using natural, top-quality ingredients. We didn’t have to bear with any shopping crowds- got all this stuff online! Below are some favorite recipes.

Homemade Body ButterBODY BUTTER



1. Warm the 1/2 c. coconut oil in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Use a warm oven, or a double-boiler (with a folded towel set in bottom of pot to protect the glass cup).

2. Add cocoa butter pieces to the melted coconut oil, until it measures another half cup (that will be one cup total).

3. Warm this mix some more, until mixture’s melted. Add in the 1/2 c. shea butter using the same “displacement method”.

4. Let warm again, enough to blend the mixture, then mix in about 20-30 drops of favorite essential oils. (Lavender’s a nice one.)

5. Refrigerate the mix enough for it to set some, then whip it, then fill glass jars with it (these 4oz Amber Glass Jars are cute). Label cutely and you’ve got some nice gifts on your hands!

*General Tip: Three or four parts hard butters to one part oils works well. If you have a scale, you can measure equal parts of the four fats and oils, melting them gently in a small saucepan.


Homemade Bath SaltsBATH SALTS

  • 3 c. Epsom Salts
  • 2 c. Baking Soda
  • 1 c. Sea Salt
  • 8 drops or so  Lavender essential oil (or other)
  • 1 TBS. Vitamin C powder

Just mix and store in cute mason jars. My husband says most people aren’t as into Epsom salts as I am, but if you’re concerned about chlorine, this recipe helps address that issue. (Read my article, “Turning Chlorinated Water into Liquid Gold“, for more info on the subject.)



Homemade Face ScrubEASY FACE SCRUB

  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 TBS. fine sea salt
  • 4 or more drops favorite essential oil ( Lavender, lemongrass, linden blossom, etc.)

Mix, then put up in 4oz.-size jars (like these) – a good size for most of us. I don’t recommend white sugar–it doesn’t mix well with the oil, and the granules are larger and harder on the skin, so it’s not really suited for the face. Also, although other oils are an option, I’ve found that olive oil is superior for a scrub. It will moisturize as dead skin cells are exfoliated, but excess oil will wipe off, so your pores can still breath. An alternative could be the pricier jojoba oil, but I figure that I’m rinsing this scrub off afterward, so I don’t really want to waste something like jojoba!


Homemade Lip BalmLIP BALM

Gently melt the first two ingredients, then add your choice of essential oil. “Decant” into little tins (like these little steel ones) or into lip balm stick containers (like these- a pack of 12 for under $1/ea.).


PS I’ve posted this link on the wonderful “Raising Homemakers” site. Find even more cool stuff there!

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Thyro-Green: Natural Hypothyroid Treatment

I believe God gave us the tools to be healthy. I love the verse from Revelation 22:2- describing the wonderful fruit trees lining the river, and how “…the leaves of the tree will heal the nations.” I’m getting healed daily!

Mix of chlorella, ashwagandha & more, for natural thyroid healthYou might want to check out my post, “Jen’s List: 8 Diet Ideas for Thyroid Health“. But below is the main “recipe” I use to treat my hypothyroidism naturally. It’s not for everyone. Most folks would rather get a prescription and take a capsule. My friend can get Armour Thyroid from Kaiser through her insurance, and that’s just great. But, being self-employed, I get a more generic insurance that just covers catastrophic events; I have to pay for office visits and prescriptions. So, when my doctor and pharmacy were both causing me grief, I went this route instead. Five things I love about this little recipe:

  • I can support my thyroid gland with various supplemental food/herb powders that have been found to improve its function
  • I order the ingredients online- super easy!
  • It’s all over-the-counter stuff; the “ThyroGold” is rated a “food” (it’s dessicated thyroid gland from cows), so it doesn’t need a prescription.  Good news for me since I’m practically going off the medical grid- I had such a bad experience with my doctor and pharmacy.
  • I can easily adjust my quantities (even if going down to a quarter pill per serving), because there’s only a half-capsule of ThyroGold in each tablespoon of the powder. To reduce dosage is easy- I just take less than a tablespoon-size serving.
  • If I was to try to wean myself completely off of even natural thyroid, I could do it very gradually with this powdered mix

I originally took 6 capsules of the Thyrogold to get the same effect that I was getting from my 97.5 mg. of prescribed thyroid. I don’t actually know exactly what I was getting from the pharmacy, whether it was comparable to Levothyroxine, Synthroid, or what. They had originally promised they could get me something akin to Armour Thyroid, which was unavailable at the time. After six years, I discovered they’d been giving me synthetic thyroid the whole time. I was pretty disappointed! (Was that why my health and well-being had gradually declined?) I started in on my new, natural approach, and as my thyroid health improved over this past year, I’ve worked down to one capsule of dessicated thyroid per day, split into two doses. I have not felt this good in eight years, since originally getting diagnosed and getting treated by my doctor. The synthetic thyroid had been better for me than nothing at all (I was starting to really fall apart), but it never seemed to improve my health as much as this natural approach has.


This makes about 7 1/2 cups, lasting me just over two months when using 1 TBS. twice a day. It’s got a half capsule of Thyrogold in each serving. And it mixes easily into a small jar of water- just shake it up and drink! (Be sure to add water first, “ThyroGreen” next.)

Mixing the dried ingredients up and putting into jars can be messy, but it’s worth it for me. Let me know if you try it!

Also posted in 1. Healthy Style (Snacks, Meal-Replacements), Recipes | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

How to Seed Pomegranates (Slow Food is ON!)

Slow Food: Pomegranates!I love being able to take my time making food. And I like supporting the local Farmer’s Market, small local businesses (but of course, what with us running The New Deli!), locally-sourced foods, etc. The whole Slow Food Movement thing is awesome. (BTW, it’s not a movement devoted to crock-pot cooking, in case you wondered!)

Today, I worked on seeding some of our many pomegranates. It’s that time of year. And although I enjoy the convenience of store-bought pomegranate juice (even this powder on Amazon), I don’t want to waste what God’s given us. So, having planted so many fruit and nut trees in our yard, I’m doing my best to eat, process, or give away the bounty we have.

So I was seeding pomegranates today. I don’t think there’s any real fast way to get the seeds out. Talk about a slow food movement!

I’ve tried a number of things. Someone said, “Just press and roll the pomegranate around on the counter, then stick a straw in it and suck the juice out. Wow- that sounded like a great idea! Alas, it was too good to be true. It really wasn’t all that effective.

How to Seed PomegranatesFor the last few years, I was still trying to save time, so I tried another approach. I put on the gloves, scored and broke apart all the fruits, added them to a 5 gallon bucket, and mashed ‘em with a sledge hammer. (A large, clean rock would also do.) They juiced up, and I strained the whole thing in a giant colander, into jars for storage. That yielded me a decent amount of juice; a pretty quick method if you’re inundated with pomegranates. You can do a whole lot of fruits, and make pomegranate juice ice cubes, for future smoothies.

This year I used the more traditional bowl o’ water method. Warm water’s a good idea, since fruit-stained hands are less likely in warm warm (cold water sets fruit stains). I rolled ‘em around a bit to loosen the seeds some, and cut the tops and bottoms off the fruits. I scored them into sixths (trying not to cut into the fruit and bruise the seeds). I broke them into sections underwater and broke the seeds apart from the pith. The pith floats and the seeds sink- perfect!

I strained the seeds, then set them on screen-racks to dry. (Paper towels could work too, on cookie sheets.) Once dried, they can be frozen, or stored in the fridge for 5 days or so. Another (healthy) way to “store” them is to turn them into pomegranate kefir, as follows:

Pomegranate Kefir

To blender, add: > approx. 1 quart pomegranate seeds > approx. 1 quart kefir water (strained from grains after a day or two of brewing)

Blend the seeds and kefir, letting seeds settle. Strain off liquid into kefir bottles; let ferment a day or two, until bubbly. Refrigerate when done!

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Jen’s List: 8 Diet Ideas for Thyroid Health

See my post on “Jen’s ThyroGreen“- a mix I made up, to take twice daily- it’s really helped! Below are some more ideas, to tweak your diet on your way to natural health!

In one week, seven folks sought me out for thyroid health info. It’s becoming a hot topic, and no wonder- instead of trying to heal health problems with the foods and herbs God’s given us, we’re more often told how to treat symptoms, usually with drugs. My dentist scoffed at me for months, after finding I’d gone to another (specialized) dentist to remove my amalgam fillings (containing mercury). But I had done enough research to feel that leaving the amalgam fillings in my mouth could be potentially hazardous to my thyroid (and possibly other body parts).

Hypothyroid (Puffy Face Picture)Maybe I’m becoming one of those whacky folks that makes people roll their eyes. Because, in addition to getting those fillings out, I had once again avoided another dental x-ray. My old dentist asked, “Can I ask why?” I had to tell him how I’d been reducing my thyroid meds all year, thanks to changing my diet and lifestyle, and that I was avoiding certain environmental risks.

Traditional medical treatment had failed me. Not that I think doctors are pharmaceutical drug pushers. Drugs have their place, after all. Almost ten years ago, when I was a complete basket case, a prescription for Synthroid got me out of a horrible funk. My health improved radically. I did have to up the dose, and eventually felt like some old symptoms were returning. So when I discovered more natural approaches to thyroid health, I was eager to implement those approaches.

To sum it up, it appears that many health issues (thyroid included) are thought to be caused by inflammatory conditions. With hypothyroidism becoming almost epidemic, perhaps there is something quite inflammatory about our modern diets!

So I’ve decided to include links here, to several of my favorite items (featured at my shop). These are products I feel have helped me in my quest for health. My thyroid’s practically healed, mainly through natural foods and herbs. Great news for me, since, at it’s worst, I was taking three baths a day to keep warm, heating tap water to drink so I wouldn’t get a chill (from room temperature water!). You get the idea. I was in bad shape.

And now I feel great- it’s a miracle! I thank God, who I feel sent me on a long mission to wellness. In Genesis 1:29, God said, “I have given you every plant with seeds on the face of the earth and every tree that has fruit with seeds. This will be your food.” Our culture has strayed from such natural food, creating our own weird “foods”, with the help of machines, pesticides, genetic modification, etc. Maybe it’s time to get back on track!

Note that I’m not advocating that everyone should get off drugs right this second! But, there may be a long, natural journey ahead, for those who choose it. What about you? Have you found some natural food or herb that’s making a positive impact on your health? If so, please do share with us here in the comments section.

And now, the list (some things might seem weight-related, but hypothyroid-sufferers often have weight problems too…)-

Eight Fave Health Products I’m Using

Berkey Water Filter“- I’ll start with my water filter, since that was one of my initial purchases this past year. Much of what I read indicated that fluoride and chlorine potentially disrupted thyroid health, and I wanted a good filtering system that would get rid of those. It’s tricky to find systems that get rid of fluoride, but this one did the trick. In the process, we all discovered how incredible pure water could taste. Yay, Berkey!

Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder“- Nothing was working… I’d gained some weight I couldn’t shake (trying every latest trend in the process). I thought of protein powders, but so many include bogus, cheap ingredients. Sweeteners- even low calorie ones- all keep the sweet-tooth thing going. (We need to re-train our tastebuds!) Other powders may include bean proteins (the cheapest of proteins). I finally tried this whey powder, adding it to morning smoothies. It really seemed to help- I think it stimulated my digestive system, while nourishing me so I didn’t get ravenous. This product is quite pricey when bought in the smaller package but the large package is a great value. I’ve bought 20 lb. of this stuff in the past year! It’s a convenient, quick meal to add this to my morning smoothie, and the weight’s stayed off.

Heather’s Tummy Fiber“- A friend had asked me to research an expensive weightloss product (TR90), so I found an ingredient list and researched each item. It seemed that acacia senegal (which is what “Heather’s Tummy Fiber” is) can lend a feeling of fullness, and soothes the stomach and digestion. A lot of IBS (irritabable bowel syndrome) sufferers resort to this product with much success, but it also seemed like a good ingredient to mix into my morning smoothie. I mix a half cup of it into eight cups of my protein powder, which makes blending my smoothie more of a one-step process.

Organic Tart Cherry Powder“- A lot of supplement/powder mixes contain the cheapest ingredients. TR90 contains non-organic dried fruit powders. But… cherries are on the Dirty Dozen list (most full of pesticides). I really wanted to include tart cherry powder in the protein powder I was mixing myself, since it’s so helpful for inflammatory conditions (low thyroid, etc.). I was still having knee problems too, but apparently, this stuff’s helped. My knees have been great for months now! AND, this cherry powder is organic. It might seem expensive, but… it takes 52 pounds of tart cherries to make one pound of the extract powder. Can you really find organic cherries fresh for less than that anyway? I mix about 1/3 c. of this stuff into my 8 c. mix of protein powder; again, it saves time in the morning when I just need to add one scoop of a mix that contains everything I want to include.

Nopal Powder“- This stuff’s actually prescribed in Mexico to treat diabetes. How exciting! I bought it because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, but found my blood sugar levels leveling out too. A friend suggested that I just buy fresh cactus leaves at hispanic markets, but… I need convenience. Again, I just add some of this into my big mixture o’ protein powder, with the other herbs, dried fruits, and tummy fiber, adding a scoop or two to a smoothie, and I’m good!

Ashwagandha“- Say what? It’s an herb- a root powder. Reminds me a bit of ginseng, but it’s touted as helpful for those with thyroid disorders. It’s an “adoptogen”, which, in my words, means it can fill in the nutritional gaps for whatever we need at the moment. At night, it can promote a good night’s sleep, as it supplies a nutrient for that, but in the morning it can improve focus and increase energy due to some other nutritional factors. Yes, I add it to my protein mix too.

Chlorella Powder“- On my path to thyroid health, I knew I wanted to get rid of the mercury that was potentially disrupting my endocrine system. Mercury can apparently play quite a part (of the bad guy) in the thyroid scenario. Many a dentist will disagree (“what’s wrong with the mercury in your fillings?!”). But a good many folks had written about how removing their amalgam/silver fillings had allowed them to give up their thyroid meds. An ultimate goal! It’s also suggested that, in any case, one can begin with a heavy-metal detox, starting with a cleansing diet. Chlorella (a little seaweed-type powder) can be a part of that cleansing diet, binding with the mercury in our system to aid in its removal. So I started guzzling an 8-ounce container of water with a scoop of this mixed into it every morning, first thing. I say, “guzzle” because I just want to get it over with. I don’t want to mix it into my smoothie. It tastes a tad fishy, I suppose. My husband and daughter-in-law can’t hang with it at all, though our oldest son and I think it’s drinkable (but then, we’re OK with sushi too). The powder mixes up pretty well when I shake it up in the container with water.

Cod Liver Oil“- Helps balance your Omega 3/6 ratio. You can eat weekly rations of wild-caught salmon instead, but… that’s not always convenient. These capsules are handy, although I get the Liquid Fermented CLO from “Renewed health Supply”, since I’m so hardcore and didn’t want capsules or the flavored oils offered on Amazon. These WOULD be a next-best choice for me though. Purported to help improve so many conditions, & promote general health/well-being. Yay!

PS In future articles, I’ll write more on this “Thyroid Manifesto” topic!

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