Bedford Real Food Co-op
Live in Bedford? Eat Real Food? Then join up our facebook group and take advantage of bulk purchasing with other like minded people who care about their families health... and their budgets!
I support Compassion and would love to encourage you to as well. Please take a few minutes to read about the work they do and how you could get involved
My incredibly talented friend Hannah has just launched her new website selling custom illustrations for your home. Click here to take a look. You won't regret it!
Below the Line
Each year Matt and I live on just £1 a day for a week in aid of poverty relief in the UK. You can find out more about our experiences (and sponsor us!) by clicking here
Saturday, 27 October 2012
Thursday, 25 October 2012
There are actually some great paleo recipes out there that can easily be slightly adapted to create a GAPS legal version. My children are slightly obsessed with pumpkin pie, so we've made several of them already this year, testing out various recipes and I've finally put together the one that we will be using for our family celebration in November.
In case anybody else wants to try it (or tweak it and share results!) here is my recipe.
*disclaimer* it's really easy to make a pie crust from butter, date and crispy nuts blended together, but my kids just love the filling, so I don't bother to get my blender dirty twice!
2 cups fresh pumpkin
1/2 cup of raw cream (or extra thick double cream if you can't get raw)
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup of honey
Whip eggs in a blender until super fluffy, then add all the other ingredients and whip some more.
Bake at 170c for 45-50 minutes, or until the centre is set and slightly jiggly. If the edges start to brown before the centre is done, just wrap some foil over it, or turn the heat down slightly.
I know traditionally you should refrigerate and serve chilled with whipped cream, but my family can't wait that long. Especially when it smells so good fresh out of the oven!! We eat it hot, drizzle with a little extra honey or with GAPS legal ice cream melting over the top.
Second servings are chilled, if there is any left!!
Monday, 22 October 2012
We've been boycotting nestle products for years, I assumed everyone knew why, but recently more than one friend has given me a confused look and asked why, so I figure it's time for a post - and with it being Nestle-free week it's perfect timing.
Even if you don't boycott nestle all the time, we'd encourage you to try for one week. See if you can live without those products and manage on other brands.
So why should you boycott nestle? Their KitKat is fair trade, right?
Nestle is not a fair trade company, only 1% of it's cocoa is fairly traded and they have still not delivered on their 2001 promise to end child slavery in their supply chain, since then they have been taken to court in the US over child labour and slavery laws.
Nestle pushes formula instead of breastmilk in developing countries in ways that are in breach of international standards for advertising. They claim that their milk 'protects' infants when they know full well that "Improved breastfeeding practices and reduction of artificial feeding could save an estimated 1.5 million children a year." (UNICEF)
Here are ten facts you should know about Nestle (taken from BabyMilkAction's leaflet):
- Nestlé Fairtrade KitKat benefits the 6,000 farmers who are in the scheme, but millions of people outside the scheme are dependent on Nestlé. In 2001 Nestlé agreed to the Harkin-Engel protocol for ending child slavery in its cocoa supply chain within 5 years. It has been taken to court by US campaigners for failing to deliver. Only 1% of Nestlé's cocoa is certified as Fairtrade.
- Nestlé launched Fairtrade Partners' Blend coffee in 2005 and, as with KitKat, uses it to pretend it has changed how it treats farmers. Only 0.1% of coffee farmers dependent on Nestlé are involved and Nestlé is accused of driving down prices for the rest.
- Nestlé violates the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes more than any other company. The Code and other Resolutions were adopted by the World Health Assembly to ensure that mothers are not discouraged from breastfeeding and to ensure breastmilk substitutes are used safely if they are needed. UNICEF says: "Improved breastfeeding practices and reduction of artificial feeding could save an estimated 1.5 million children a year." (State of the World’s Children 2001).
- Nestlé knows that babies fed on formula are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and in poor settings they are more likely to die. Yet in April 2009 executives rolled out a new global strategy promoting its formula with logos claiming it 'protects' babies.
- Nestlé drives down standards for the baby food industry as a whole. In 2007 its competitors tried to stop it advertising infant formula in supermarkets in South Africa, but Nestlé defended its strategy before the Advertising Standards Authority, which it part funds. Now all companies may start advertising.
- The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) launched its Breaking the Rules monitoring report with documented examples of violations from 67 countries in November 2007. The report contains many examples of Nestlé’s aggressive promotion of formula and inappropriate marketing of baby foods.
- A former employee in Pakistan, Syed Aamar Raza, has exposed corrupt practices, including bribing of doctors, implicating staff at the highest level of the company. Aamar says he was threatened when he raised this with managers.
- At a European Parliament Public Hearing into Nestlé malpractice in Pakistan in November 2000 UNICEF’s Legal Officer commented that Nestlé’s Instructions are weaker than the Code and Resolutions. UNICEF has called on it to change them.
- Nestlé refuses to debate in public with Baby Milk Action having lost a series in 2001-2004. Baby Milk Action has invited Nestlé to participate in a public tribunal with an in-depth examination of claim and counter claim and the chance to call expert witnesses. Nestlé has refused.
- Nestlé's Global Public Affairs Manager has admitted Nestlé is 'widely boycotted' - in fact, it is one of the four most boycotted companies on the planet, according to an independent survey. The boycott has stopped some Nestlé malpractice and with your support we can force Nestlé to remove its 'protect' claims from formula labels and accept our four-point plan for saving lives and ending the boycott.
You can find a list of Nestle products to boycott on the BabyMilkAction Boycott List but here are some of the most famous ones:
And finally the one that makes me personally the most disappointed:
I was working for The Body Shop in 2006 when it was taken over by L'oreal. The way it was handled internally was appalling, even hours before the news was announced that the sale had gone ahead stores where getting phone calls assuring us that it would not happen and that the Body Shop would NEVER sell to a company that had anything to do with Nestle, including L'Oreal.
Out of six team members in our small shop, four of us handed in our notice. Sad times.
Next week is halloween, and for those of you celebrating with candy, I'd really urge you to consider boycotting this year. Candy companies take huge profits around halloween, easter and christmas, so if you can join the boycott at these times, even if you can't manage it all year, you can be part of making a significant dent in Nestle's profits, and hopefully encourage them to make some changes regarding how they run their company.
You could also consider handing out candy in nestle free wrappers and putting up a nestle free poster to help spread the word.
Saturday, 20 October 2012
People are longing for stories to live by, inspirational characters who ignite passion and purpose in their lives, who they can emulate and aspire to live like. Why is it that we love epic dramas like Lord of the Rings and Gladiator? Why was the nation, in fact the world, gripped by Harry Potter?
Today I was at Premier Radios Christian New Media Awards and Conference, hosted by the lovely Vicky Beeching. It was my first time at the conference, although I believe Premier and Codec have been running it for three years.
It was great and I'm so looking forward to sharing some of the things I learned there over the next few weeks (I won't overload you with information from it right now as that would be a ridiculously long blog post!)
One of the things that really captured me from the first speaker, Sheridan Voysey, was the idea of how people were longing to hear stories.
Being a homeschooling family, with a bit of a Charlotte Mason influence, we love great 'living books' with godly role models that cultivate excellent character in our children, like the lamplighter books.
Sheridan pointed out that since our nation has lost it's desire to be known for it's judeo-christian 'story' people are looking for something else to live by. He suggested that Anne Rice's books 'The Vampire Chronicles' appeal to the gothic community, whilst Eat, Pray, Love speaks to an entirely different group of people. Whatever the genre, people are looking for a guiding narrative to help them through life.
Sheridan claimed that people have four basic longings; meaning, guidance, liberation and love. God can and will meet all of these needs, but if we don't have Him, we try to fill the void with other things - to get those needs met in other ways. We listen to stories about people who have supposedly got these things sorted and try to make changes that will bring us meaning, liberation...love.
With that in mind I want to share more of my story. Not that I'm inspirational or that I have everything figured out and you should try to emulate me, but this blog started out with me wanting to write and share my story. To be a chronicle of what was happening in my life. Somewhere along the way it turned into some kind of GAPS recipe book with the odd post on family.
Whilst I'm still going to share recipes with you, I want to start being more transparent, sharing with you the good, the bad and the ugly. You'll still be able to get recipes here, but if that's all you are coming for then I suggest you follow more GAPS friendly board on pinterest instead.
I want to share my story with you, because it's not just my story. It's the story of an incredible God, working through an imperfect me and slowly changing me to be more like Him. There's going to slip ups and back slides along the way, but that's part of the adventure and I hope you'll bear with me through it.
I'm going to be vulnerable with you. Please be kind, but most of all please be honest. I'm inviting you into a dialogue with me. The comments section is available with every post. Use it to call me out on poor character. Remind me that I promised you more than just recipes! Discuss conflicting ideas about my theology. I want your input. I'll share my story, His story, but I want you to be part of it with me.
Monday, 15 October 2012
Whilst there is no real cure for die-off except to take plenty of detoxing baths, I can do something about the cold/flu part.
Elderberries are incredibly helpful with cold and flu viruses, in fact according to Prescription for Herbal Healing, “a clinical study of elderberry found that it cured 90 percent of flu infections within seventy-two hours. In the same trial, patients receiving a placebo needed six days.” Source
I felt better within just an hour of taking a handful of elderberries, but I'm currently whipping up a batch of this elderberry elixir that I found a recipe for in one of my old books from when I studied complementary medicine. It smells amazing and I know I'm going to love it. There's a lot of ginger in it though, which I suspect will make my children cry. Putting that in perspective though, if they get a secondary chest infection (strong possibility for Elisha) then they will have to take antibiotics, which also make them cry and have a whole host of other nasty side effects, so I'm going to make them take the elixir.
***UPDATE*** Both my kids have taken this without complaint and Will even asked for a second spoon! Success!
Saturday, 13 October 2012
|Photo from The Nourishing Gourmet|
Friday, 12 October 2012
Thursday, 11 October 2012
'You are not allowed off this chair until...'
'You can't have anything else to eat until you...'
'You'll never be allowed to [insert favourite activity here] again unless...'
Yeah. You know the ugly statements that are ridiculously unenforceable and that you just have to hope your child breaks before you do because in reality you are not going to make them sit on that chair if they need the loo, you won't starve them until they eat that thing they hate (well, not long term anyway. It might go mouldy before they agree to it...) and you secretly enjoy taking them to that activity and it would be such a shame for the whole family to stop it over one silly, stubborn incident.
'What can I do? He won't back down! I know I shouldn't have said it, but now if I let it slide it's like I'm admitting that screaming will get you what you want...'
She had some great advice. It involved losing a little of my pride and just backing down.
The reality is I shouldn't have made the threat in the first place. My anger got the better of me and I said something stupid. I'm human. My kids should know that. I'm not God and I make mistakes, and as we are homeschooling they are probably going to see a whole lot more of my mistakes than most children get to see of their parents. It's good for them. Admitting I'm not perfect helps them to admit that they aren't perfect either.
Anyway, back to the advice. Christine thought I should try to phrase stuff more carefully. Instead of 'you can't do this because...', say something like 'I'm not letting you do this because...' It puts the control squarely back where it belongs, with the parent, reinforcing that you are not in charge, whilst also being something polite enough that you wouldn't mind hearing your child repeat it to someone else ('I'm not letting you snatch my toy' is better than 'don't snatch!')
Christine recommended I take away the thing that was upsetting him and let him leave the situation, but tell him I'm really upset with the way this has turned out.
I did exactly that, and you know what? He turned around and said 'okay then, I'll do it.'
No tears, no tantrums. He. just. did. it.
I'm still slightly in shock, and I'm so glad I have a good christian sister who I can turn to when I do lose control of a situation with my kids.It happens to all of us, but here are some ideas that may help to evaluate when you do:
- When you lose control because your child because they are being disrespectful or disobedient, whose agenda for your child has become most important? Yours or Gods?
- Are you concerned that they are disobeying Gods will? or just yours?
- If there are other people around, are you most concerned for God’s reputation or your own? Are you concerned about your child's character development or your embarrassment?
Monday, 8 October 2012
In an attempt to increase the coconut consumption in our family (they seem to be out of season, Abel & Cole haven't sent us one in a while) I'm resorting to baking coconut filled goodies. I managed to get a good discount on bulk buying some organic, non-hydrogenated coconut oil by buying with friends through our local food co-op, although I'm still currently buying coconut flour from amazon as I haven't managed to get a good bulk price anywhere. If anyone knows of one... let me know!
These muffins have been a total hit with my family, and you can change them up to flavour them differently so that they don't become too boring too.
THE BASIC RECIPE:
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup of honey
Sunday, 7 October 2012
I'm inclined to believe this to be true, as I think most christians (although not all) would take the stance that abortion should not be performed at all, so to come to a 12 week limit seems like it probably didn't come from intense bible study. Although I personally feel that all abortion is unbiblical, I'm pleased to see the issue being discussed and somebody speaking out about lowering the limit.
In fact, culture secretary Maria Miller and Home Secretary Theresa May both expressed the opinion that the limit should be pushed back from 24 to 20 weeks.
Whilst I'm not condoning abortion at any of these stages, I'm grateful to see people standing up and challenging the current limits. Whether a foetus is aborted at 12 weeks, 20 weeks or 24 weeks will have little effect on that child. Dead is dead from my point of view. I do however believe that lowering the limit would be beneficial to women in general and help to reduce the psychological affects of abortion that many women underestimate before they go ahead with the procedure. The limit should be lowered to protect them, particularly teenagers, who tend to feel more pressure from family/partners to make a decision that they don't always fully appreciate the consequences of.
When I was younger I worked in a pregnancy crisis centre and even did training in post-abortion counciling. Both through that, and through ministry to women in the church, I have come to realise that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and general anxiety and feelings of guilt remain for many years, not for everybody, but for far more than would be willing to admit it in a survey.
I want to publically thank Mr Hunt, Ms Miller and Ms May for speaking up on this issue and hope that they will continue to do so at their party conference in Birmingham.
Please add your words of encouragement to them, and take the time to send an email letting them know that you appreciate their voices on this issue.
Jeremy Hunt - email@example.com
Maria Miller - firstname.lastname@example.org
Theresa May - email@example.com
Friday, 5 October 2012
Will has been so helpful, and desperately interested in what each herb is used for. Sage was rather frustrating to him because he loves the smell, but every time I suggested a recipe to use it in he would reply 'wouldn't that taste better with honey and lime?', of course the answer is yes, because he is obsessed with honey and lime and I couldn't think of anything to match up to it.
His favourite so far has been Sweet Melissa.
If you don't currently grow this in your garden, I suggest you get some next year. It spreads like wildfire, requires little to no care, and smells beautifully lemony when it rains. It also makes great tea.
Personally, my tea recipe would be one part sweet melissa to one part mint. It's refreshing, subtle and sweet. However, this post is not about my recipe, so here is Will's version.
- Take a large handful of sweet melissa and place it in a tea pot with some boiling water. Brew for five minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill two mugs with ice cubes.
- Juice an orange and split between the two mugs.
- Top up with tea from the pot.