I love hearing from my readers!
Just remember that if something isn’t too personal, it might be better asked in a “comment” at the related post so that others can benefit from the answer. (For example, questions about making homemade yogurt, boiling chicken stock, or granola bars should land on those posts…) Questions, requests for a certain topic, and advertising pitches are all welcome.
I honestly can’t promise I’ll answer (unless you have an eBook question or ordering issue – I pride myself on prompt customer service!). My four children, husband, and home have to come before personal email questions. I do, however, answer all questions in the comments section of blog posts (although sometimes it takes a week or so, see above excuse).
I’ve covered a great many topics here at KS, and you can check out my thoughts on them all by using the search bar to the righthand side there up at the top. There’s also an archives page for your convenience and some FAQs below…
If you checked those places and still want to contact me, my inbox awaits, just email me directly at: [email protected]
Or start a conversation with one of my Happiness Coordinators:
Businesses and advertisers, please see my advertising page.
- I am trying to feed my family better, but I’m just so overwhelmed with all this information. I don’t know where to start. Start here.
- How do I get my husband on board with all these changes? (Right here, plus more success here and here and more on our story here)
- I want to eat better, but it’s so expensive! 3 quick tips for you…
- How do I start a grain-free or gluten-free diet? Got you covered with elimination diet recipes…
- I wish I had more family-friendly recipes…our favorites are in my books, which I use constantly!
- I’m wondering if you have reviewed ________? You can see all my review right here and use the search bar too.
- What’s the best deal on coconut oil? See here.
- My homemade yogurt turned out ______. Can you help? Trouble shoot here.
- Where do you live? Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Do you have any good real food sources there? You bet – check this out.
- What can I do for my candida? I really did share everything I know in the post series starting here…
- Do you accept guest posts? Click here to find out…
- Why do you include Catholic stuff on Kitchen Stewardship®? My commitment to being a good steward is part of my call from God, so my faith is an integral part of my work in the kitchen.
- Do you know anything about [list a certain fat here]? See this chart for the scoop on all fats.
- How do I get started with a blog (or increase my readership on my current blog)? I love Amy Lynn Andrews for the basics – check out Blogging with Amy for brilliant step-by-step instructions about starting a blog. As for readership – be unique. Be yourself. Network with other bloggers politely. And work you patooty off. 😉 Get on Twitter and Facebook, even though they’re time sucks. They’re worth it if you want to be serious about blogging. Go to conferences. If you’re in West Michigan, join us for a local West Michigan Blogs meeting.
113 thoughts on “Contact”
Where do you get “food grade” hydrogen peroxide?
I buy mine here: http://www.dfwx.com/h2o2products.html
(I am not affiliated with this company)
There is a great resource page at this site that gives you details on dilution ratios for the various uses of food grade H202. I wash all of my fruits and veggies with it, clean just about every hard surface in my home with it and use it everytime I sprout seeds of any kind. Most usues require a 3% dilution. The site gives details on how to do that. It is usually 1 ounce of peroxide to a gallon of water. I also use it as a mouth wash/teeth whitener. The brown bottle stuff is not safe for your food.
Hope this helps!
Hi Holly. Just saw tour comment to someone else about peroxide. Thanks for the info! I use the brown bottle stuff mixed with baking soda on my teeth. I have lots of dental problems and it seems to deep clean and oxygenate my gums in the process. Should I not be using the brown bottle?
Help! I soaked my navy beans 12 hours and now they smell soured. What did I do wrong?
Right after soaking? Hopefully they still worked out – I’ve had beans start to mold when I’m trying to SPROUT too many in one colander and they can’t breathe, but that’s after 3-4 days of remaining moist. Soured is probably an ok smell; musty, moldy, etc is not. Did you cook them? How did it go?
Good luck! 🙂 Katie
Thanks for the reply to my question. I did cook them but they still smelled terrible so I threw them out. My daughter had made the bean soup and it was wonderful, so I’ll try again.
Thanks again, I love your book,
Yep, you gotta go with your nose! My mom’s adage is still mine: “If in doubt, throw it out.” Still painful, but at least beans are cheap. 😉 Katie
I always add a bit of food-grade hydrogen peroxide to my soaking water and the rinse water. It takes care of undesirable odors/bacteria or mold spores.
Just wanted to say how much I love and use your site, and thank you so much for all the hard work you do with Kitchen Stewardship. I feel like you have both captured my household managment/cooking thinking right now, and are compelling me to explore more in many areas. Loved your easy slow cooker lentil stew the other night! As a new wife, and new mom, trying to use my time, money and look after my family’s health wisely, as well as think about being a steward for God and my community, I read every post with interest. KS= great!
You’ve made my day! I’m so glad I’m reaching you right where you need it – absolutely my intended mission. Thanks for writing! 🙂 Katie
I just wanted to say Thank You! for such a wonderful site. I’m new to this blog thing and am still narrowing down the ones that I find most useful to my family. I must say that I feel great about putting the information you provide to work for us. I’m an old mom trying to learn new tricks in the cooking/food department. 35 years of single living did not equip me well for feeding my young family in a healthy, fun, and “honest” manner. Your site has helped so much…THANK YOU!
I’m so pleased to be on the “helpful” blog list for you! 🙂 Katie
Forgive me if this is somewhere in your site. I read so much from your site-I’m VERY thankful to have found you. Although I can’t eat any grains, my family does and I’m determined to make them healthy. My question is-if a bread uses yeast, flour, water, salt and rises for 20 hours, is that considered “soaked” bread. Or does the bread need something like whey in it? Ideally I’d soak the wheat berries ahead of time but I don’t have a dehydrator yet. Thank you for everything.
That would do a pretty good job with the phytates, although adding just a Tbs of whey or yogurt or lemon juice per cup water (in place of water by volume) should be even better and likely not affect the taste. 🙂 Katie
Thank you so much for all the work you’ve put into this site. You’ve inspired me to sprout my grain before grinding it into flour. I’d like to keep a supply of dehydrated sprouted grain in my kitchen that I can quickly grind into flour when its needed. How long can the dehydrated sprouted grain be stored for? What’s the best way to store it? Thanks.
Well done! I don’t sprout and grind grain very often, but it’s my understanding that the dehydrated whole grains should last a good long time. I actually store mine in old oatmeal containers, the cardboard kind. Kimarie, who sprouts often, explained the process of how to make sprouted flour and in the post stores the grains in 2-gallon plastic bags. She talks about long-term storage in the fridge or freezer. There are some other great ideas and conversation in the comments, like 5-gallon buckets, pillowcases, and more. Worth a read! Hope that helps you out, and enjoy the baking! 🙂 Katie
I noticed that you have the berkey water filter advertised on the site. Have you done any research into the difference between the Berkey and the Berkefied systems. It seems they have some similarities, but its hard to tell which one might work better. The Berkey is made in china and I think the berkefeld is from the UK. The filters seems different. I am having a hard time finding information and am confused on which way to go. The prices seem comparable. I also need a fluoride filter. Any info you have would be great. Love your site.
I have to say, I have no idea what the difference is. You can definitely filter fluoride with a special add-on to the Berkey. Jeff “the Berkey Guy” here: http://www.directive21.com/products.html is really great with customer service and good to talk to on the phone. I’m sure he’ll answer all your questions. Good luck! 🙂 Katie
Have you done any research on oligofructose as a sugar substitute? I am on a diet where I have to cut out all sugars (from real sugar to breads and fruits and stuff) and I find I absolutely hate stevia, and not having much better luck with xylitol… we found some chocolate sweetened with the oligo. stuff, and it was amazing! Can’t really find out if it’s ‘ok’ though….
I can’t say I’ve heard of that one, but it sounds like it’s probably a fruit sugar decapitated from its fruit. ??? Have you tried the liquid stevia? It’s not only more natural, but it doesn’t have that weird bitter aftertaste that powdered stevia has. Good luck! 🙂 Katie
Anne, the oligofructose is certainly OK. It is derived from Jerusalem artichoke and it is a beneficial probiotic.
I would also recommend trying other stevias to see if another brand appeals to you. We had good success w/ NuNaturals and it has a very clean processing method.
Have you tried erythritol? And how about yacon syrup and vegetable glycerine?
I have found that combining the different sugar alternatives really helps in recipes to give them a more sugar-like and pleasing taste.
I agree w/ Katie on the liquid stevia too. It is better.
Hope that helps!
HELP! I am soaking oatmeal per your instructions (added whey and wheat flour). What I don’t understand is after soaking & before cooking, should I drain and rinse the oats or not? How does the phytytes “go away” if they are not rinsed off? Please help. Thank you. Janet
I was at a conference all week and not able to keep up on the comments very well, but the short answer is this:
You do not need to drain the oats. Most of the liquid soaks in anyway.
Long answer: The phytates don’t “go away,” they’re broken apart from the minerals so the minerals are freed up for your system. You can read more on the science behind soaking here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/seriescarnivals/soaking-grains-an-exploration/
Good luck! 🙂 Katie
I’m not sure where the mistake is happening, but this is not a retail site, and I don’t sell Brussels sprouts at all. Sorry – Katie
Hey~ Just wondering when the grain mill giveaway was ending? Thanks! 🙂
It hasn’t even begun yet! It will be later in the fall, at the end of the “Seeking the Perfect Homemade Whole Wheat Bread” series.
I hope this is the right way to leave a comment and have a couple of entries in the grain mill giveaway –
1) We usually eat a variety of bread – but not a lot of it. I buy the cheap wheat bread at Aldi, the expensive Spelt bread at the co-op, the frozen sprouted wheat bread, the not frozen sprouted wheat bread, French Meadow bread (you might enjoy connecting with them on the whole soaking, sour dough topic – they have done research on this and it is the basis for their product line-no yeast – at least I think none – it’s been a couple of years since I talked to a friend who is either related to the person who started the company or has a relative who works closely with the person who started it.) And sometimes I buy plain old white bread – not often but for hamburger and hot dog buns more often.
2) I have been an email subscriber for almost a year???
Delightful to meet you this weekend – we got some Thuro Bread and had a lovely conversation with the owner there. You did the comment right, just in the wrong place. Click here to put it at the grain mill post: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/08/18/bonus-giveaway-entry-nutrimill-grain-mill-and-some-whats-coming-info/
Thanks! 🙂 Katie
I recently discovered your site and have really enjoyed reading through the great info. you have provided. I originally ran across your site while searching for natural sunscreens. Thank you so very much for all your hard work on that topic. I appreciate your down-to-earth, yet educated approach to a more natural way of living, and more importantly your commitment to our God and Father! To Him be the glory!
Do you have an opinion on stainless steel waterless cookware? I recently went to a demo and was very impressed. The cost is out rageous though. I’ve only done a little online research.
A company I just worked with sells that, and although I didn’t get to try it out, it looks truly awesome. Expensive, though, yes. Try Cookwaresplus.com for some pretty good deals. 🙂 Katie
Hi! I’m new to your site, so forgive me if you’ve answered this somewhere else. I’ve recently started baking my own bread, but I don’t know the best way to store it so that it will remain fresh the longest. I know you don’t like to keep things in plastic, so how do you store your fresh homemade bread?
Um. In plastic bags. *sheepish grin*
I’m less careful about dry goods and plastic than liquids. If I could find and afford a lovely stainless steel bread keeper, well…wouldn’t that be ideal? 😉 My mom has always used 2-gallon ziplocs for her bread, and I followed suit!
I hope I haven’t turned you away with my compromise…but you’ll find those a lot in my house. Definitely a reason the blog is focused on baby steps. 😉 Katie
hello Kate, I thought I saw in your “how to tutorials” about sprouting grains?? did it get moved. I am currently sprouting grain for bread making and noticed that once the grain has been dehydrated, you place them directly in the bags and into the freezer. I go ahead and mill them before placing them in the freezer. Does it make a difference? Do you still have the instructions online?
I just made sure you can find “How to Sprout Seeds or Legumes” under “The Lists” and “How-to Tutorials” at the top of the page. There’s also a great post about how to make sprouted flour in bulk now.
I had only dehydrated sprouted grain once when I wrote the original post, but now I know I can store the dehyd. grains at room temp, and the flour would have to be frozen. There are sources that say freezing flour still doesn’t protect it from nutrient loss, so you may want to store the grains whole if it’s not too much trouble to grind them fresh, or at least only grind slightly more than you need for a recipe instead of all of it at once. Does that make sense? Thanks for asking – Katie
Thanks for the offer of the giveaway for the e-course by Kimi. I would like to learn more about how to prepare frugal dishes for a group using pasture raised chicken or other meat. I do not know enough about stretching these foods. I believe they are worth the price but I am not such an expert at cooking with these ingredients.
You’re welcome! If this is supposed to be your entry, though, make sure it gets on that post, or it can’t count. 🙂 Katie
My favorite topic in the Peasant’s Feast course would be the week she discusses fruit based desserts. My youngest daughter (4) and I share a sweet tooth. I have a goal to learn to make desserts that don’t depend primarily on added sugar to make them sweet AND that use locally grown fruits. 🙂 Thanks for offering the giveaway!
Hi Katie, I just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying your blog. Thanks for all of your hard work. I just ordered your snacks e-book. I love it, but I am going to adapt some of the recipes for my dehydrator and may try fermenting some of the power bars as well. I will let you know how it goes! I have had good success fermenting my granola in my Pickl-It and then deyhdrating it at a very low temp.
Wonderful, thank you! Fermenting, like in whey or something after they’re all mixed together? I definitely want to know more about that! I just tried dehyd. the energy/Popeye bars, and they are amazing that way. You can even soak the nuts and not even dry them before adding to the mixture. One less step = happy Katie! 🙂
I am still thinking this through, but I might have to add yogurt or kefir to the bars. I am going to follow the same method of fermenting used for the granola on www.pickl-it.com. I am assuming it would work. I think this would take care of soaking the nuts in one step with everything else as well. I’ll keep you posted. Thank you!
I would be interested in hearing how you fermented and assembled the granola as well! I just googled the Pickl-it and am very intrigued.
Here is the link for the fermented granola: http://www.pickl-it.com/blog/442/turkish-fig-coconut-oatmeal-granola-fermented/
I plan to follow this technique for the bars. I will modify the yummy recipe Katie created by adding some yogurt. The best part is that you don’t have to soak the nuts in advance. The 3 day ferment in the pickl-it jar does the trick. I am going to dehyrdate the bars to preserve more nutrients and enzymes. It’s an experiment, but the granola turns out great, so I can’t see why this won’t work.
thank you so much for your information and your transparency in what you share. i am very encouraged by how full of grace you are with your words. i feel empowered by your website to do the best I can w/ the help God grace, instead of feeling overwhelmed. you are REAL…thank you!
NOW FOR MY QUESTION, “what kind of exercises do your recommend for a healthy body?” I jog mostly, but sometimes i am not sure my body loves this (my hips, ankles, and knees often “pop”). thanks for your time
I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer that one! Mostly I just chase around after little kiddos, myself. I love walking, and I do some P90X with my husband (yoga, kickboxing). I think you have to find something that works for you and that you can handle. If that’s rolling out homemade tortillas and lugging 50 pound bags of wheat berries around, then that’s what you should be doing! 😉
Thank you so much for your kind words…and I’m sorry I wasn’t more help with the exercise question, but I’m definitely “real” in that way, too. 🙂 Katie
I have read/heard that running/jogging is actually NOT a good exercise… too hard on the joints, and it weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Based on the information I have from researching, walking and jumping on a trampoline (full size or the small ones made for in home use) are the best exercises.
Hope that helps!
I’m a new reader, love your blog; I’m learning a ton of great info. I make my own yogurt now 🙂 I need to go back to your yogurt post and double check in case you mentioned it, but has anyone had any luck making yogurt out of coconut milk or another non-dairy (besides soy)? Actually I just thought of that question, my real question was to get your opinion on white whole wheat flour (100% whole wheat flour made from softer white wheat instead of red wheat) I’ve tried it in a few things and have been pretty impressed.
🙂 Katie C
I’ve had the non-dairy question before, but no one has come forward to say they’ve had success. Sorry I’m no help there!
On white whole wheat, I love it! It’s the only way I can make soft tortillas, and I use it in all sorts of things, all the time. It is just as valid for “whole grains” as the traditional red stuff. Good questions! Glad to have you aboard – 🙂 Katie
On the body ecology diet webpage there is a recipe for kefir with young coconuts and then following that a recipe you use with the inside of the coconuts to make a kind of creamy cultured product that is rather yogurt like. It’s pretty delicious.
I found your site from the Grand Rapids press article a few weeks back! I’ve been hooked ever since then. There are so many wonderful ideas, we’re working on implementing the glass storage right now. I may attempt the homemade deodorant next.
I do have a question regarding your opinion on organic vs local home grown. I buy organic as much as possible. My focus on the dirty dozen. When it comes to the farmers market I hear people saying buy from those you know and know their growing practices. What are the growing practices I need to know or avoid?
Keep up the great job, you’re a true blessing.
That’s awesome! I wasn’t sure anyone discovered me after that article. 🙂
Many real food bloggers say choose local over organic, in part b/c you could easily have a local grower using organic practices who is not certified organic – it’s very expensive to do that.
At the Farmer’s Market, I always ask what they use to spray and how they fertilize. If it’s standard NPK fertilizer, thumbs down. Still purchase there sometimes if others are out! The closer to organic materials you can find, the better. The good farmers know what you’re looking for and how to answer your questions, and you’ll get a feel for what to look for, too. I’m just learning myself!
Thanks for the question and the trust!
Somewhere on your site, a reader left a comment on making a quick tomato paste using a sun-dried tomato. I have been searching, but cannot find it again. I wish I had notated it.
I believe it is putting a dried tomato in a blender and using some olive oil and salt?
Can you find this, or tell me the proportions again?
I can’t recall for the life of me exactly this, although I do know how to make tomato paste with dehydrated tomatoes – blend to a powder and reconstitute with a 1:1 ratio with water. I wrote about that in a comment to someone before I tried it, and it doesn’t really work that well, though! Or maybe I didnt’ quite get “powder” but “chunks” and that’s my problem.
There is a method to get tomato sauce to taste like it has sun-dried tomatoes in it here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/01/26/how-to-reverse-engineer-a-recipe-for-real-food-quality/#comment-10709
Sorry I’m no help! Did the search bar on the side result in anything?
I don’t see a link in your side bar to the blog radio show that you were on. I’ve still been thinking about buying his book, but when I checked it out initially, I didn’t see a synopsis about it. Can you provide a short one?
Have you seen Julie and Julia yet? I rented the video and watched it tonight. I couldn’t help think of you every time the scene switched to Julie and her blogging. I think my experience following your blog made the movie even more fun for me.
If you haven’t already seen this site, it’s a great reference for how long things keep in the freezer and how to make the most of them.
I love your site! Exactly what I have been looking for! I have looked over just about everything here and I have a few questions. I love the idea of freezing things for convenience and budget. Can I freeze these things (like if they are going bad and need to be dealt with?): carrots, broccoli stems, mushrooms, bread crumbs (homemade), spinach (whole not pureed). I am on a tight budget and can’t afford to throw things out but sometimes I just can’t use them up fast enough.
Also, I would like to see a post about how you manage to do all this. Like a play by play of your day 🙂 I have two little ones and although I have been surprised how much I can get done in the kitchen, it is nowhere near what you get done (or appear to get done).
Have a Merry Christmas!
I’m so tickled that you found me! What a sweet comment. Here’s my best shot at your items:
carrots – if blanched (blanched = lightly cooked/steamed. You can surely find a chart of how long to blanch each veggie with a quick Google search)
broccoli stems – yes, if blanched (http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/05/06/for-the-love-of-broccoli/)
mushrooms – Only if they’re in something like a casserole. I don’t think they lend themselves well to blanching and freezing.
bread crumbs – absolutely! Mine also stay fine forEVER in the fridge as long as they’re totally dry when I crumb them.
spinach – I think you’d have to blanch them, too, but you wouldn’t have to puree them. If I am losing my spinach, I just toss them in the steamer basket after I steam veggies for dinner, leave them a few minutes until just wilted, and pack the whole leaves into ice cube trays. They are ready for green smoothies after being frozen and dumped out into baggies (http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/05/07/recipe-connection-green-smoothies-with-kale/).
As far as how I manage to do everything, let me assure you that everyone thinks other people are doing more than they are! You can get a little glimpse of a crazy day in my life at this post: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/11/05/baking-day-bedlam-my-day-in-bulleted-lists/ I hope it helps you feel better! 🙂
Merry Christmas to you — Katie 🙂
I just found your blog and am really excited to be able to share faith and nutrition! I have recently read Mastering Leptin by Byron Richards and am tellling everyone about it! It is amazing how God designed us to work…..anyway, amazing things are happening for us healthwise and wanted to share the book with people who are looking to glorify God with their bodies. Have a great night. p.s. we are from MI originally now in TN….always nice to have contact from the home state
Welcome aboard! There’s another food book I haven’t heard of, but I’ll keep an eye out. Glad to have you here – thanks for the tip on the oils. 🙂 Katie
Just want to say that I love your blog. Lots of practical helpful information!!
Try adding some citric acid to your dishwashing machine soap. I use equal amounts of borax, baking soda and citric acid.
Are you still linked to Amazon.com? I’m planning to order at least one book, but I don’t see a link on your most recent posts. Does the item need to be something you’ve mentioned on your posts?
I will be posting a gadget wishlist today or tomorrow, and I think if you follow any link to Amazon and then order something, I’ll get credit. Thank you so much! You can find some sort of link to Amazon in the Gadget Wishlist at the top of the screen.
I have several buttermilk bread dough recipes that you make the whole recipe and then let the dough sit in the fridge for 24-36 hours. Would this have the same effect on the wheat as the soaking process with just the grain?
Very, very close. It would have to be at room temp, though, and the yeast could not be included yet. Could your recipe be adjusted to do that? I know it seems scary to leave a dairy product out of the fridge like that, but b/c it’s cultured, it’s okay.
So how does the yeast inhibit the soaking process or breaking down of the phytic acid?
I don’t think the yeast would inhibit it, but it would be activated and your bread would overrise and then collapse! It’s pretty easy to adapt regular recipes to soaking, once you get the hang of the theory. Let me know if you have any more questions. 🙂 Katie
To the woman who has ADD son…try the Feingold Assn. Keep out all artificial colors and MSG (try that one…..very hard) Be sure to research all the different names MSG is called, just google it. You’ll find them. I know this will help!!
Hi Katie. I couldn’t find the place where you were talking about the frustration of cutting pumpkins for freezing but wanted to give you an easy solution so thought I would write it here. The easiest way to do that is to bake them first. Break off the stem. Take a large tonged fork such as the kind you would use to carve meat and plunge it several times around the top of the pumpkin near the stem making sure to go all the way through the flesh into the cavity. Place the pumpkin(s) on a baking sheet and bake them @ 350 degrees until you can pierce the pumpkin with the fork very easily. Take them out of the oven and cut them in half. They will be so tender that you can just use the fork to cut them. Let them cool completely then remove the seeds and string and then take out the pulp and continue with your recipe for making pumpkin puree. While you are making your puree you can roast the pumpkin seeds for yummy snacks or baking. I hope this will help you to give freezing your own pumpkin puree another chance. Oh, and BTW, this works great for other winter squash too!
Thanks, Cindy! Maybe I WILL give it a try next year! 🙂
I have been reading your posts via email subscription for a month or so now… can’t even remember how I stumbled upon it. I’m just glad I did!
I’ll TRY to keep this as short as possible! I AM SO OVERWHELMED! Between your website, The Finer Things, Kingdom First Mom and Money Saving Mom… oh, and a book on CD that I am currently working my way through (Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau)… my brain is spinning! It is so scary, frustrating, annoying, etc. that we are all so deceived about what is put into our food in this country!! I don’t even want to eat anything that is in my kitchen right now!!
Here’s my dilemma… I am just about convinced that all of the additives/chemicals in our food are causing all of the illness in our family (and everyone else’s too)… ADD, depression, sinus infections, ear infections… just to name the top ones that OUR family is dealing with. My oldest son is about to start medication for ADD and I am SO worried about the side effects, etc. But his teacher and our pediatrician recommend that he “needs” to be on medication.
I thought he did as well, but now I am wondering if that is really the answer. I am researching info. about changing his (and all of our) diet.
But, we are all so “used to” the taste of the garbage we have been raised on… my husband is not too thrilled about the changes I’m trying to make. And it is SO hard to keep kids from eating the things (or at least wanting them) that other kids eat.. and are served at school and church events.
I’m so sorry to be so overwhelming! HELP! I tried to pray about it this morning, and didn’t even know where to begin except to tell God how overwhelmed I am! I know He understands and I need to be patient… but I just feel like I need some guidance in where to go from here and how NOT to freak out! (and drive my hubby nuts in the process 🙂 )
How did you get started when you REALLY changed the way you cook and eat? I know there are some things you have always done b/c your mom taught you that way. Some of us aren’t so blessed!
(BTW, I DO already strive for healthy cooking and eating and I LOVE to cook, so I’m not “afraid of” spending lots of time in the kitchen. I just need a manageable plan to get it all done!
We don’t eat out a lot. The kids don’t get soda and candy (unless it’s from the grandparents!). They (we) are all pretty good eaters as far as vegetables, whole grains, things like that. But I am learning SO much about what all is really bad for our bodies!! The quote I heard in the book on CD I’m listening to was this.. “If man made it, don’t eat it!” WOW, that is SO hard to do!
And one other thing, I am a stay at home Mom of 3 kids (ages 9,5 & 10 months)… so I do have time to prepare “from scratch”, etc. I actually did a baking day earlier this week that was so much fun! (pumpkin puree, WW waffles, muffins and cookie dough)
THANK YOU for what you do! I don’t know HOW you have time to get it all done!!
Looking forward to your reply!
I’m so sorry to hear about your fears for your son and the medication; I would feel absolutely the same way if in your position. Meds are scary!
When I first read some of the traditional food books a year ago, I was totally overwhelmed, too, but to think about where I am now vs. 11 months ago is just amazing.
Here’s what I’m thinking – if you don’t mind, I’d like to write a whole post (or two) on “Where to Start when you feel Overwhelmed”. You are the third person in a few weeks to ask this question, so it’s time to address it (since I like to bill my blog as not overwhelming…ha. ha.). I will send you the text via email as soon as it’s finished so you don’t have to wait (but I’m hoping to fit it in this week).
Here’s a little teensy something for you to start with to address the infections issue: certain foods have natural antibiotic/antiviral properties. You can try to include more of these in your diet and see what happens! Coconut oil, garlic, and homemade stock all come to mind as first steps.
Are you using full-fat dairy and recipes? Those healthy fats are important for immunity as well as how you feel. That’s another switch that doesn’t take any time or effort – you just pick up a different color container next time you shop. 😉
I wish I knew more about natural methods for dealing with ADD. I have seen research on both sides of the sugar issue (saying sugar causes ADD symptoms and sugar has zero impact). If you’re using bleach in your home, switching to vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or tea tree oil would be another simple change (and talk to the teacher about her cleaning supply choices). See this post: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/09/15/natural-kitchen-cleaners-whats-under-my-sink/
Don’t worry about the meds, for now. They will at least show you if there is something treatable going on with your son, and as you change more in the diet, you can request to reduce the meds and see what happens. If the side effects are nasty, I
wouldn’t hesitate to put my foot down, though.
When you’re ready for one more (small) change — I can’t believe I’ve given you three already, Baby Steps Katie! — I would recommend taking note of what processed food (box or bottle) you use most often during the course of one week. That’s where you want to learn the “from-scratch” version, because it will affect your family the most frequently.
I’m excited to write this post now – I just hope I can keep it from being overwhelming in itself!
Thank you so much for the trust you show in sharing this struggle…
Thank you so much for your reply! I was so excited to get it. Most of the time, I feel like I am swimming upstream with this quest to get us healthier by making better food choices. (Most ppl today won’t take the time or make the effort & think I am weird for doing so!) It is SO nice to have someone “partnering with me” to accomplish this goal!
As for your suggestions… I am happy to say that I already cook with tons of fresh garlic. I plan to purchase some coconut oil asap. And I will be making my own stock hopefully this week.
I have not used bleach in my home for probably over a year now. I already clean with vinegar , baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. (One little tip that I learned regarding the bottle… I bought a plain plastic spray bottle and the “sprayer” fits the small brown bottle of peroxide. So you can spray directly from that opaque bottle and not have to worry about it being exposed to light!)
I did switch to full fat dairy after reading about it on your posts. However, I don’t have a source for “raw” milk and I’m not sure I can afford it! 🙂 I’ve read that homogenization and pasteurization are bad for us! 🙁
I also plan to start making my own yogurt as soon as I have some time to read up on it. I didn’t think I would ever try that, but after reading all of the benefits, I KNOW my children will benefit greatly! (Unfortunately, I DO NOT like yogurt!)
I can’t wait to read your posts for us!!
Thank you for all of your help!!
Here’s the top 10 Kitchen Stewardship Habits! http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/11/23/overwhelmed-start-here/
Hope it’s a good place for you to start…
Have a blessed Thanksgiving — Katie
hi tammy, i don’t know if this is too late, but i have found a modified version of the GAPS (gut and psychology syndrome) diet to be helpful with my ADD. (not to overwhelm you but i would recommend, if you can, getting the GAPS book – it explains the diet/brain connection really well). i also read a bunch on “metabolic typing” and based on my research and my knowledge of my family, i think that most ADDers tend to be protein types, rather than carb types – i think we tend to do better on the “paleo” type diets. so basically, i eat a diet that includes meat, organ meats, broth, full-fat dairy – yogurt, cheese, butter, etc., and also a lot of good-for-you veggies – crucifers and leafy greens, mainly; and also fruit. some would avoid the dairy and fruit; i find i do well with them. i also take an omega-3 supplement that has really helped as well. i avoid starch and sugar, and find i do much better as a result. i never really craved sugar as a kid anyway – but in this world it is so hard to avoid it (try being a kid who doesn’t want a huge piece of cake at a birthday party! people think you’re a freak ;-). anyway, i just mention that because i find it interesting that the same diet that is helping w/ my ADD, is what i naturally crave anyway. so i would recommend that for your kid.
about the feingold diet – i have to say, i never felt like additives/chemicals played a role in my ADD. perhaps it does for others, but – not for me. i was raised in a household where we weren’t allowed to eat junk food, food with artificial flavors, colorings, etc – i mean, my parents were SUPER-strict about it, read all the labels, ingredients, my mom cooked traditional indian food for dinner, etc. as i got older, that changed somewhat, but my ADD was definitely always there from a young age. who knows, maybe it’s different for others. i do avoid junk food of that nature anyway, because it’s terrible, but i think that the extra step of eating a more GAPS-esque/protein-type diet might help as well.
Thank you for taking the time to reply regarding the ADD matter. I am always interested in information on how to help my son! I will be researching further and trying more soon! (We are in the middle of a big move, so some of the researching has had to go to the back burner for a short period of time.) I hope to get back to it all soon. I AM doing little things every day… trying to teach my boys better habits, and WHY we are doing it. It will all eventually fall into place… one baby step at a time. Thanks again for your input. I really appreciate it!
There is an incredible website regarding the foods we eat and their link to ADD/ADHD. It has done wonders in my own family, as well as countless others. It is www.feingold.org. It is a great place to start if she’s hesitant about meds.
Thank you so much for sharing this – we are working with them for the “no additives” theme on the current carnival, actually. Great info!
You have hit a raw nerve with ADD and medication. Be VERY careful!!!! I just talked to a friend who was counseled the same and chose to have her son go without sugar and wheat and he changed in two weeks time so that one teacher assumed he was on medication. Try reading “No More Ritalin” or any books by Mel Levine (he is not anti medication, but he explains a lot about how the brain works and why so many kids look like they have ADD and really they just have a way of learning that is not being met). Anyway, I also recently talked to a grad student doing research on ADD medications. He said he began with the thesis that those medications do not lead to future drug use or other side affects and he had to change his thesis because his research was proving something else. I am still waiting for the paper. All I’m saying is that there is a LOT of evidence that our foods cause the symptoms and there are a lot of ways to handle them besides drugs – ok off my soapbox. Pray and God will guide you – a mother’s intuition is usually the thing that is the still quiet voice speaking His wisdom, sometimes in the face of experts who would like to tell us otherwise. Perhaps medication is the true need – there are some who fall into this camp. It’s summer – maybe it’s a good time to try diet things first. My prayers go out to you – blessings,
A mom who’s been there.
just a suggestion: I am by no means an expert, but I have been able to keep my kids off antibiotics for sinus infections, ear infections, and pink eye by putting colloidal silver drops either up their nose, in their ears, or eyes. It stings a little but it works like a charm! I started about a year or so ago when 3 rounds of antibiotics couldn’t get rid of a bout of pink eye. I got out the colloidal silver and it was irradicated from our family of 6 in 3 days. 🙂 just be careful not to let the dropper touch anything!
Stumbled on to your blog this morning. I love that you are Catholic and into nourishing, traditional food. These are traits that I find far and few in between. God bless your blog!
It’s wonderful to discover like-minded people – welcome to KS!
I just found your site and made some of your granola bars. The kids (and I) LOVED them. I’ve enjoyed reading previous posts, but have to admit I’m a little overwhelmed.
We are on a pretty strict budget, and live in an area that has a rather high cost of living. We use white sugar, white flour, bleach and other cleaners, highly processed foods, anti-bacterial soap and a lot of other things that I’m sure we shouldn’t be using. Just begining to be introduced to the idea of “real foods” and avoiding other things. I mean I try to push veggies/fruits and a “well-balanced” diet, but a lot of your site is news to me. I was just wondering where is the best place to start? If you had to start from the beginning, in what order would you take your “baby steps”
I know that, for monetary reasons, I can’t make all the changes you suggest, nor do I have the energy to implement all of them at once. That’s why I need direction….where to go first, second, third, etc. Thanks and God bless!
Someday I hope to be able to offer my posts, one email at a time, starting from the beginning. Try clicking “Missions Checklist” at the top of this screen to see all the Monday Missions, one at a time. Just go in order and pat yourself on the back for each little change. Wheat flour costs more than white flour, but my safe cleaners don’t cost more than bleach, so it can even out. The other way to do it is to choose things that make the most impact: make your own chicken stock, yogurt and cleaning supplies would be my top 3. Thank you for the comment – please stick around! I wish you the very best,
Hey Katie! I love your blog. I know you have a ton of things that you would like to share with us and I was wondering if you are planning on or could share with us storage tips for different foods. This is a post I could really use. I never know which produce goes in the fridge, which stays on the countertop, are there grains that should be stored in the fridge/freezer, where should nuts be stored, etc. I hate wasting food (I know you do also) so I want to make sure food is stored where it should be so a) it isn’t wasted and b) it is healthiest for my family.
Also, would you mind sharing your meatloaf/meatball recipe? I’m looking for a recipe that I can make and freeze. Thanks for all the hard work you do with your blog helping us to be better stewards of the resources God gave us.
Awesome post ideas! If any of the foods you’re wondering about are “super foods”, the storage instructions should be in that Food for Thought. I don’t have anything planned after mid-November, so maybe I can get these in soon! I have photos of making meatloaf/meatballs already, so I’m ready to type that one up! 🙂
Hi Katie! I am wondering if you have written about cleaning mold in the bathtub caulking? I have a problem, and after reading your natural cleaners post and talking about bleach, I REALLY don’t want to use it, especially since I am pregnant and there are no windows in the bathroom. I didn’t think the bleach fumes would be that bad, and then I read your post 😉 If you can help, I’d be eternally grateful!
Arg, I have the same problem. I never found bleach to actually take away the mold completely anyway, but I haven’t found anything else that does the job 100% either. Try straight vinegar and hydrogen peroxide and scrub hard! I am recaulking to get rid of mine, but you may want to delegate that when you’re pregnant w/o ventilation, anyway.
As a preventative measure, wipe down the problem areas with a microfiber cloth after every bath/shower and spray full-strength vinegar on the walls. That has helped my tub stay pretty clean, except for the doggone caulk. I’m afraid it’s a signifier of a greater problem (under the caulk) but I don’t really want to think about that!
I hope this helps – I wish I had the perfect answer for you… Thanks for the good question!
Young Living has essential oils that have been proven to kill the mold! If you google “young living essential oils mold” you should be able to track it down. If not give me an email and I can get the info for you.
Mary – an update! I JUST saw a tweet about using tea tree oil mixed with water to spray down showers as a great mold killer. This may be my solution! It said 2 Tbs oil in a spray bottle of water, but that seems like a LOT for an ingredient that is usually measured in drops…so I’ll look into amounts. I’m def. trying it though.
I tried that the other day. It didn’t work super well, but maybe because I hadn’t tried cleaning the mold in awhile? My hubby wants me to use bleach, but I am not comfortable doing that. And he doesn’t believe that tto can work as well as bleach or that bleach doesn’t actually kill all the mold. 🙂
I did 2TBSP TTO in a half/half vinegar water solution, it was almost two cups. I sprayed it on, let it sit for several hours, then tried scrubbing. It got some off. I think I am going to try the wipe down with a microfiber, then spray the TTO spray.
I have never seen anything make mold/mildew DISappear completely. You have to manually scrape it off, I’m certain of it. If you resort to bleach, at least make hubby do it and stay away for a few hours! It won’t kill ya to use it once…
you need to make sure the essential oil has all of its constituents intact. Young Living is the only company I am aware of that tests every…yes, every batch of oil for all possible constituents to be able to “heal” or kill mold in this case.
I just stumbled over from the Heavenly Homemaker’s Fall Giveaway, and can I just say, I might just be in love. I not so intentionally just spent quite awhile reading through your archives … mostly in a “I’m so stoked to find someone else so similarly minded who has more practical skill that I can learn from” way. You’re a green kitchen blogging rockstar! And, you’re in Michigan (as am I)! And, I think you’re from a part of MI that is geographically near the part I’m from (from your apple orchard pictures) … even better! And, I obviously lose all ability to be grammatically correct when I’m excited … haha.
Anyway, you’re in my reader now for sure. I’m so stoked to have stumbled over here. The internet is so fun sometimes. <3
What fun! Are you saying that you’ve BEEN to the apple orchard we go to? I’m from Grand Rapids, a big enough place that I don’t feel I have to be so careful about it on the ol’ Internet. Sorry I sucked you into the computer…but I’m glad you enjoyed my stuff!!
HI there, I am not sure where to link my blog for the Make it from scratch carnival. Sorry if its obvious and I dont see it.
I love your blog. We share so much of the same passions: God, our family, healthy food and lifestyle, etc. Sorry about putting this in your comment section. I wasn’t sure how to email you directly.
I just came across your website last night and I wanted to thank you for all the information that you take the time to share with everyone.
Last Feburary me and my family made the change to a more natural way of living. I just woke up one day and realized everything we were putting into our bodies and the effects it was having on us. But at times I felt very alone. I think my family thought I was crazy when I would start rambling about MSG’s and High Fructose Corn Syrup.
But I can feel the difference in my body. I have more energy, my mind is clearer and I have even lost some weight. So I know what we have been doing is the right thing.
I spent our first summer shopping at the local Farmers Market and it was awesome. It is so rewarding to buy local and get healthy food at the same time.
I am still learning every day. Learning to cook, about the nutritional values of our food, the list could go on and on.
Thank you again and I look forward to reading more on your site.
That is one awesome story. It’s so encouraging to hear people who really FEEL better after changing the way they eat. I still don’t take care of myself and get enough sleep, so I don’t reap those benefits, unfortunately. 😉
I sure hope the baby steps method at Kitchen Stewardship fits you well! Welcome!
I am loving your blog. It is one of my favorites for sure. I found a recipe that I would like to try today and there is corn syrup in it. I would really like to try it but we are trying to get rid of the really yucky stuff and for me one of those is corn syrup. Here is the recipe-http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cranberry-Fudge/Detail.aspx
Do you have any ideas on how I could modify it and have it still taste that good? Is honey something I can substitute?
I haven’t tried subbing stuff for corn syrup yet, but here’s what I found after a quick Google search:
“Corn syrup is a longer-chain sugar, so it prevents crystalization when you’re melting sugar or making fudge.” That may mean making substitutions will mess up your recipe? My mom makes a good fudge, and she says hers doesn’t have corn syrup, so it’s not necessary for all fudges… If you’re willing to sub something on a new recipe, here are some options for a healthier (?) substitute for corn syrup:
1. honey, 1 for 1 ratio
2. half honey half water (b/c honey is sweeter than corn syrup)
3. 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup liquid,(water)
1 cup honey mix well in sauce pan and heat over low flame until all is mixed well and allow to cool before using.
4. 1 cup corn syrup can be replaced by 1 1/4 granulated sugar (or light brown sugar) plus 1/4 c. of liquid (use water or whatever liquid is specified in the recipe you’re using).
5. Brown rice syrup
6. Glucose syrup
7. Agave nectar
(those last three are supposed to be healthier…?…but I’ve never bought them)
8. A simple syrup recipe:
2 c. white sugar
3/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Dash of salt
Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover on it for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage. Stir often.
Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep for about 2 months. Makes almost 2 cups. from http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1823,147170-227206,00.html
Remember that in cooking your honey, you’ll loose the benefits of “raw” honey, but that’s still better than sugar. White sugar is probably better than corn syrup…but not necessarily, according to many sources. So I wouldn’t do anything heroic to get the corn syrup out of a recipe that still used white sugar.
Was just forwarded your site by my cousin…love it! I haven’t explored it fully yet but I have a suggestion for a Monday Mission…BAN POTATOES! Check them out…not really a veggie (but they are listed as such on the food pyramid) only a major sourse of no-fiber carbohydrate. Research has shown that they do the same thing to your insulin levels as pure sugar!
Thanks for visiting! I happen to LOVE potatoes, so this would be a very sad, sad mission for me. But I know you’re right about the starchiness. Pure sugar? That is a bummer. I’ll certainly put this on my list to research. Thanks for being an active participant! I look forward to hearing more from you…
Hi from Ohio! Nick and I were looking for instructions on freezing Zucchini (we have about 12 GIANT ones from our garden)…after perusing google, I came across your article on the “10 foods” in your freezer…I said to Nick- this is a great article- I’m going to add it to my “favorites”…then as I scrolled down and saw your family picture, I said “Nick- it’s your cousing Katie!” Small world!! Great website- good for you. We’ll look forward to catching up in Roger’s City Next week- and we’ll have our newest addition-8 month old Abraham with us! Take Care!
That’s crazy fun. I can’t believe people can find my stuff on Google. 🙂 See you ALL next week! Congrats!
I have been trying to incorporate all of the things you talk about into a crazy last minute everything lifestyle, and this is exactly what I have been looking for! Thank you so much for your brilliant ideas as well as your approach in making change with baby steps! The one thing I have desperately been trying to work on is meal planning (this is my start for a LOT of changes in the kitchen), but I fail every time. I think it’s because I think to big… I’m going to try working on these baby step approaches. I also love the step by step instructions (like yogurt and beans). I have been doing a lot of Googling, and it is just exhausting and overwhelming to say the least. Your site is so refreshing!
You made my day – thank you!!
Love your site: practical, faithful, healthful. So happy you followed the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and decided to share with others. Our family has had great success living as you do.
This is brilliant!!
I can’t wait to share your site with my mom and sisters and other family members! Leave it to you to do something so awesome.
You have always been such an inspiration to me. You go girl!! I am so excited for you about this endeavor!
I’m one of Bob’s friends (I call him Br Tim!) who he recommended your site to. Nice work! I look forward to reading more…particularly your Catholic stuff! I hope you can check out my site too. Congratulations on the birth of your new little one!
Thanks for stopping by – your site looks like an awesome resource for homeschoolers especially. Great work! Tell Bob I said hi!
I just found your blog! You and your family are so cute and this is such a great idea for a blog. I have been trying to transition to eating and serving more nourishing meals, but have struggled with getting there. I love that you incorporate baby steps – it helps me to get over my “all-or-nothing” attitude. Anyways – just wanted to say hi and express my gratitude for your lovely blog!