Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

The Care and Feeding of Your Microbiome

July 31st, 2014 · Food for Thought, Science of Nutrition

Meet the Bacteria in Your Gut LARGE.jpg

When Michael Pollan, Dr. Oz and two real life formerly-fat women schooled me on the relationship between gut bacteria, antibiotics and weight gain all in the same week, I knew I had to dig deeper into the issue.

The number of times I’ve heard the phrase “human microbiome” since then, particularly in relation to it being the next frontier of medical research, is more than considerable. (“Then” was back in February when I did this great interview, read Pollan’s Cooked, and caught a Dr. Oz article in the checkout line at Meijer in a magazine.)

If you haven’t already heard from both mainstream and real food/crunchy-culture media sources, the human body is host to over 3 trillion different bacteria, many of them beneficial to our health. Collectively, they’re termed the human microbiome, and now that gene sequence has been mapped, science is moving on to figuring out the who’s who of the little bugs in our systems.

Many scientists are nearly giddy with anticipation about the next discovery of bacterial importance in this process, fascinated, as am I, by what connections we may be able to pin between our bacteria and specific aspects of our health.

Although there’s plenty to read about the microbiome and we will likely be inundated with more for years to come, I hope to give you a nice foundation of basic information today, something you can refer to as you read about the microbiome in the years to come just to make sure you understand where these bacteria come from, a few examples of the importance they play in our health, how imbalances might occur and what we can do about it, at least with the knowledge we have at this moment.

You know what’s funny? My spellcheck doesn’t even recognize “microbiome” as a word yet. I predict that’s about to change…

This post is sponsored by Well Future, makers of the Well Belly probiotic for kids.

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Recipe Connection: Cancer Fighting Vegetable Soup with an Asian Twist

July 28th, 2014 · Recipes

cancer fighting Asian soup recipe

My dad kicked chemo’s butt.

There’s no denying it, the man weathered chemotherapy (for bladder cancer) with fewer side effects and more energy than anyone I’ve ever heard of.

He had eight sessions of chemo, a six-hour infusion, then a two-hour infusion a week later, then a week off, repeating four times over twelve weeks.

On his last six-hour infusion, when he should have been down and out because chemo builds up in your system and can be worse and worse each time you go, he and my mom visited our family immediately after the appointment and stayed the weekend.

Rather than taking naps, sitting around watching TV and struggling to work up an appetite for meals, he sanded and put two coats of lacquer on our kids’ wooden picnic table, took our 35-pound 2-year-old for at least three walks in the wagon, and ate every meal with us.

It’s honestly more energy than he used to have during a visit to our house!

I wanted to make sure I served really clean, wholesome meals for them during that time to keep up with the great things my mom had been doing at home: reducing grains, including greens and probiotics in smoothies, keeping the fluid intake wayyyyyy up to protect his kidneys, and generally avoiding as many synthetic chemicals as possible in foods and personal products.

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Top 10 Summer Produce Recipes on Pinterest

July 26th, 2014 · Recipes

Top 10 Summer Produce Recipes on Pinterest


Whether you need a recipe for dinner from the garden or ideas for preserving the goodies in your CSA share, you’ll find it here (like the 8 large zucchini I bought yesterday when we’re going on vacation for two weeks tomorrow! What was I thinking?).

These are the top summer produce pins I’ve seen lately and hope some match up with the in-season produce you have at hand. Seasonal cooking is a great way to get a fresh taste and buying in bulk direct from the farmer is my favorite way to ease the food budget all year – but you gotta know how to make it last.

Zucchini-Rice Muffins

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Recipe Connection: Cancer-Fighting Red Cabbage Slaw Salad

July 24th, 2014 · Recipes

Cancer Fighting Easy Red Cabbage Salad (Slaw)

When we got my dad’s cancer diagnosis, I just had to do something.


As I mentioned back when I wrote about how we used food to naturally fight cancer, I traveled to see my parents, stocked their freezer with meals for those long chemo-treatment days, and helped incorporate some new cancer-fighting foods into my dad’s diet.

This easy cabbage dish was one of the recipes I created using the cancer-fighting foods list I compiled for my dad. It’s a spin-off of this cabbage salad but with substitutes that seemed to hold even more power for battling the Big C. Some might call it a slaw, others a salad, but I was just happy to use the organic red (purple) cabbage I had brought, among other powerhouse super foods.

Cancer Fighting Red Cabbage Slaw Salad (22)

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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