Three for Thursday: Featured Posts for 10/4/12

Below you will find three blog posts I’ve read recently that have stood out to me as having excellent information. If you’re a regular reader of our blog you know we have a diverse set of interests. These posts reflect that diversity.

Physical Health

Tips For Burning More Fat With Cold Thermogenesis

You know we’re all about using the cold to improve health. In fact, we just started a log of our cold exposure that we’ll be sharing with you soon. This is an excellent post by Ben Greenfield explaining why using ice for health and weight loss works. He includes a great bibliography in the post as well.

Spiritual Health

The Wife of Influence: 13 Wives in 13 Days….Wives of the Bible Series

 This is a fantastic blog series idea. Jolene, from The Alabaster Jar, is writing a series on 13 wives in the Bible and what we can learn from them. In this first post, Jolene introduces the notorious Eve.

“She frustrates me to no end. I know no one is perfect, but come on now, when was the last time you took counsel from a….. Snake!  Really, a snake? This woman needs no introduction because we all know she is Eve. She’s THE woman who caused the fall of mankind because she was deceived.”

Want to read more? Go check out Jolene’s blog and read the words of challenge and encouragement she gives to wives in this post. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the posts in this series!

Homeschooling & Family

How to Host a Reformation Day Celebration

Gena, from IChooseJoy.org, shares her Reformation Day celebration ideas. I had never even thought of having a Reformation Day party, but what a cool idea! I’m so excited by the idea that I’ve talked with another family from church and they’re willing to not only host but also plan the party! How cool is that? In case you wondered, Reformation Day is October 31st.

We hope you enjoy one or more of these posts as much as we did!

A Recipe for Survival: Gluten-Free Recipe Book (Review and Giveaway)

A Recipe for Survival is much more than just a cookbook. It’s a story. It’s a testimony to faith. It’s a guidebook. If you have by necessity or by choice decided to go gluten-free, then this manual is well worth purchasing.

(Go to the bottom of this post to learn how you can win a copy!)

The book begins with an introduction about Freda and her husband Brody. You hear their love story and the trials and heart-aches that ensued soon after they were married. Health problems abounded. Both Freda and Brody were plaugued by ailments causing not just physical stress, but emotional and marital stress as well. They were desperate to find a solution. I greatly enjoyed reading this portion of the book. Freda has a warm engaging writing style that draws you in. (It was also kinda fun to see another couple who also met on eHarmony and married the same month and year as my husband and I did!)

Part I of the book is a testimony to the faith of Freda. Freda uses the Word of God to encourage and uplift the reader, particularly those readers struggling with illness issues or caring for others in the midst of a health crisis.

Part II’s focus is on practical aspects of gluten-free living. If you are new to gluten-free living, you will find that Freda discusses a number of essential topics that can help you on your journey. Topics like cross-contamination, eating out, and how to replace gluten in recipes are all explained in detail among many other topics vital to learning how to live a gluten-free lifestyle.

And finally, Part III of the book is filled with recipes. She has recipes for hard to replace gluten-free foods like waffles, breads, and desserts as well as main dishes, sauces, and side dishes.  Continue reading

Friday Funny: Sugar is Killing Us (or maybe not so funny?)

It’s no secret, I’ve been trying to cut sugar (particularly fructose) out of my and my families diets. It’s a challenge! Sugar, or more specifically high fructose corn syrup is in most everything you buy packaged at the store. You think you’re eating a healthy diet including foods like yogurt, marinara sauce, salad dressing, and deli turkey…then you check the label. High fructose corn syrup in every one!

This is one of the reasons we’ve been trying to focus on a whole foods diet: meat, vegetables, and a little bit of fruit (not so much for mamma though, she doesn’t need the insulin spike from the fructose in fruit). This video illustrates some of these points in a fairly comical way. Have a great weekend!

Gettin’ Our CT on with the Cool Fat Burner

A tool to help me get my CT (Cold Thermogenesis) on in the middle of the day while I’m wrangling the 4 munchkins? Sign me up! We were so excited when Eric, the designer of the Cool Fat Burner, contacted us after seeing our blog post with a list of CT resources. Eric, very graciously supplied us with two Cool Fat Burners to try out and tell you about.

We have had a chance to check them out a little bit and are totally impressed. The cool fat burner is a vest, with a piece that drapes over your back and a piece that drapes over the front of each of your shoulders. There are two pockets in the front for ice packs and one large pocket in the back for an ice pack. These were designed to have ice packs covering areas of our body with the most concentrated amount of brown fat.

I appreciate quality, and these vests fit the bill. They aren’t going to be falling apart anytime soon. The Cool Fat Burner is sold for $59.99 on the website, and if you ask me is a bargain for those of us who are trying to get our cool on.

So, Luke and I have recently decided we need some CT goals, so we put a plan together. Without a plan, we tend to let these things slip. We haven’t been very good at CT through the summer and are really looking forward to getting back into it as the weather cools down.

The plan is…

  • Wear our Cool Fat Burners at least 5 times a week for 2 hours
  • Get in our pool submerged up to our neck at least 2 times a week for an hour.
  • We will, of course, be pairing this with our standard ketogenic-Paleo diet and are expecting superb results.

We have taken measurements and will be reporting back every couple of weeks to tell you how our CT with our Cool Fat Burner is going!

For those that aren’t hip with the concept of CT, check out these posts:

Lower-Carb, Gluten-Free Baked Oatmeal (amped up with protein)

As I’ve mentioned in prior post’s, I’m trying to move my family to a lower-carb Paleo type of diet. What does that mean? Basically it means we’ve cut sugar, wheat, processed foods, and most grains…at least while we’re at home. The kids still eat some of these things when they’re at friends’ houses, visiting grandparents, or cousins. But I feel we’re really making some good strides in moving in the correct direction.

This is a recipe based on one on the Healthy Indulgences blog. I made some very minor tweeks. You should check out the blog, Lauren is a very talented cook and has some fantastic recipes!

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract
1/3 cup xylitol
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water
1 cup 4% cottage cheese
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon blackstrap molasses Continue reading

Resources on Cold Adaptation

As some of you know, Luke and I have been experimenting with the effects of cold on our health since reading the blog of Dr. Jack Kruse. We haven’t done too great with our regiment since getting back from vacation two months ago, but we are excited to get back in the groove of things soon!

There are a plethora of health benefits associated with becoming cold adapted. Show me the proof, you might say! Well, below I’m compiling all the blog posts, scientific journal articles, and other resources I find on this subject. If you aren’t yet convinced of the benefits of cold, you can start by reading the posts I’ve written and then delve a little deeper digging into some of the other resources.

. . . .

My posts:

10 Biblical Reasons We Should Appreciate Wine

If you know me well, you know I make my own beer and wine. If you know me really well, you know I really enjoy a frosty mug of IPA or a nice glass of Malbec.

But on more than one occasion I’ve been asked how I could possibly defend my enjoyment of alcohol being a Christian.

I believe the more we embrace a Biblical worldview, the more we will learn to appreciate the good gifts God has given to us, and that includes wine.

I also understand there are some who believe differently than me in this matter. It is not my point here to “quarrel over opinions” (Romans 14:1). Food and drink are not central matters when it comes to gospel-living. As Paul said, “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (v.17).

My only point here is to share with you some of what I’ve learned from God’s Word that has informed my opinions about alcohol. Why do I think it is biblical to appreciate wine? Continue reading

In Defense of Lard & How to Render it Yourself!

LARD! A word that strikes fear into the hearts of men. The fat you’re supposed to avoid at all costs. Right? Not so fast on that one.

I recently rendered my own lard and have even begun to use it in my cooking, and I’m loving it. Lard is a natural fat that has been used for many, many years—even before the “obesity epidemic.” In fact, the “obesity epidemic” didn’t begin until after we decided to add in franken-fats like Crisco and margarine. Unlike Crisco and margarine, lard is naturally hydrogenated and as such can be heated to very high temperatures without it turning to a trans-fat.

It is also interesting to note that lard is remarkably similar in it’s fatty acid composition to that of human breast milk. If you are looking for more information on healthy fats, West A. Price Foundation has a very well researched paper on fats.

Rendering lard is gently heating the fat to separate out the protein strands called “cracklings” from the fat. Organically raised pigs that have the opportunity to forage for food are the healthiest and thus contain the healthiest fat with which to make lard. I got excited about rendering lard after we decided to purchase half of a pastured pig.

I found rendering lard to be a simple and satisfying task. Below you will find the procedure I followed in rendering lard. I referenced a book I highly recommend, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes and also checked out a number of websites online to figure out a procedure that looked like it would work well for me.

Be sure to begin this recipe when you’ll be around the house to occasionally stir and check on your lard. It is not labor intensive, but it is time intensive. It can take 4-10 hours for all of the fat to dissolve depending on how much and what size pieces of fat you are working with. Continue reading

When Good Cholesterol Does Bad Things

Alright, today’s post is going to be a deep one. I spent hours trying to dilute this information down into easily understandable chunks, and I hope that I have succeeded, but you’ll have to be the judge of that.

If you have not already read my prior post on cholesterol, “What is Cholesterol and Where Does it Come From,” I’d highly recommend going back to read that before trying to digest this post. This post will assume you understand what I said before.

Cholesterol moves to where it needs to go in our body via blood, but as you’ll remember, cholesterol is hydrophobic (it can’t dissolve in water), so it must hitch a ride on a special protein wrapped vessel. There are molecules called lipoproteins that transport cholesterol: this is the way cholesterol are moved around in our body. You’ll also probably recall from the last post these lipoproteins are continually changing composition and thus changing size.

There are two (main) types of lipoproteins:

  • One type of particle is very dense, which is where we get the term “high density lipoproteins” (HDL).
  • A second type of particle is less dense, which is where we get the term “low density lipoproteins” (LDL). This has been called “bad cholesterol,” but as you may remember from a previous post, no cholesterol is actually “bad,” in itself.

Again, it’s very important to remember that these particles can carry a variable number of cholesterol molecules. Continue reading

Low Carb Better Than Low Fat for Decreasing Cardiovascular Disease

In a recent issue of a journal put out by the American Diabetes Association titled Diabetes Dispatch, I uncovered a surprising article featuring Ronald Krauss, MD.  The article departs from traditional wisdom espoused by the American Diabetes Association and recommends a low carbohydrate diet over the traditionally recommended low fat diet. 

Dr. Krauss even states in the article, “For most people, saturated fat is not the top priority in managing atherogenic dyslipidemia.”  The features of atherogenic dyslipidemia are a high number of small density LDL particles, high triglycerides, and a low level of HDL particles whereby exposing a person to a greater risk of a cardiovascular event.

If you haven’t ditched your low fat diet in favor of a diet low in carbohydrates you might want to consider doing so now. Sugar, grains, and industrial oils (margarine, corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil, et. al.)  have robbed Americans of their health for too long!