February 13, 2015
by anna

“I Eat Healthy!”

If only I got a quarter for every time I heard someone say, “I eat healthy!” when diet it brought up in a conversation. Truth is, we were raised with a lot of dietary falsehoods engrained into us, but it’s not Mom’s fault! She honestly was following the latest health research available, and that research told her the same thing we are hearing now: that her mom fed her unhealthy foods!  There are still gaps in the nutrition info available from the “latest studies”.  The answers aren’t all in one place, and there isn’t a one size fits all list of foods to eat and not to eat. Therefore, we must use a variety of resources and find what works for us individually. In this series entitles “I Eat Healthy”, I will layout a road map to navigate nutrition truths and fallacies, and hopefully clear up a lot of confusion regarding what defines healthy food. Here’s a place to start!

If you want a really simple way to check how the food you eat rates on the Nutritious Foods scale, use this “Guide to Food Selection” from ‘Nourishing Traditions’ by Sally Fallon. This book is an AMAZING resource, and one I believe everyone should have in the kitchen, well dog-eared and highlighted and covered with sticky notes. I challenge you to print out this list and highlight all the foods you eat right now, and discover in which of the 3 categories your diet truly lies. (FYI, I don’t receive any compensation by promoting this book; I just love it. Everything in parenthesis are my additions.)


  • PROTEINS: Fresh, pasture-raised meats including beef, lamb, game, chicken, turkey, duck, other fowl; organ meats from pasteurized animals; seafood of all types from deep sea waters; fresh shellfish in season; fish eggs; fresh eggs from pastured poultry; organic fermented soy products in small amounts.
  • FATS: Fresh butter and cream from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and cultures; lard and beef, lamb, goose and duck fat from pastured animals; extra virgin olive oil; unrefined flax seed oil in small amounts; coconut oil and palm oil.
  • DAIRY: Raw, whole milk and cultured dairy products, such as yogurt piima milk, kefir and raw these, from traditional breeds of pasture-fed cows and goats.
  • CARBOHYDRATES: Organic whole grain products properly treated for the removal of phytates, such as sourdough and sprouted grain bread and soaked or sprouted cereal grains; soaked and fermented legumes including lentils, beans, and chickpeas; sprouted or soaked seeds and nuts; fresh fruits and vegetables, both raw and cooked; fermented vegetables.
  • BEVERAGES: Filtered, high-mineral water, lax-fermented drinks made from grain or fruit; meat stocks and vegetable broths.
  • CONDIMENTS: Unrefined sea salt; raw vinegar; spices in moderation; fresh herbs; naturally fermented soy sauce and fish sauce.


  • PROTEIN: Pork, fish from shallow waters, commercially raised beef, lamb, turkey and chicken; barbecued or smoked meats;traditionally made, additive-free sausage; additive-free bacon; battery eggs (from caged chickens); tofu in very small amounts.
  • FATS: Unrefined peanut and sesame oils.
  • DAIRY: Raw, whole, uncultured milk form conventional dairies; pasturized, cultured milk products; pasteurized cheeses; melted cheeses.
  • CARBOHYDRATES: Whole grains not treated for phytates, such as quick-rise breads and pasta; unbleached white flour; canned legumes; thin-skinned fruits and vegetables imported from long distances; canned tomato products; well-cooked, unsprayed seaweeds; natural sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, Rapadura, and date sugar.
  • BEVERAGES: Wine or unpasteurized beer in moderation with meals; diluted fruit juices; herb teas.
  • CONDIMENTS: Commercial salt; pasteurized vinegar; canned condiments without MSG (AKA artificial flavors).


  • PROTEIN: Processed meats containing additives and preservatives, such as luncheon meat, salami and bacon; hydrolyzed protein and protein isolates; soy milk.
  • FATS: All highly processed vegetable oils, margarine, tub spreads and vegetable shortenings; fat substitutes; foods fried in vegetable oils; low fat products.
  • DAIRY: Pasteurized, homogenized commercial milk; ultra pasteurized cream and milk; processed cheeses; reduced fat dairy products.
  • CARBOHYDRATES: Bleached and “fortified” white flour products; commercial dry cereals; granolas; refined sugar in all forms, such as dextrose, fructose and high fructose corn syrup; irradiated and genetically modified grains, fruits and vegetables; most canned products; chocolate.
  • BEVERAGES: Soda pop; distilled or pasteurized alcohol products; full strength fruit juices; commercial rice and oat milks; coffee, tea and cocoa.
  • CONDIMENTS: Commercial baking powder; MSG; artificial flavors, additives and colors; chemically produced preservatives; aspartame (and now under new names of neotame and sucrose).

WHEW! Well,if it makes you feel any better, I also do not find the bulk of my list in the Nourishing Traditional Foods list.  I’m comfortably in Compromise Foods. Money, time, and know-how (in that order) are my hang ups.  Maybe they’re yours, too? Don’t just give up and throw away the list you just made.  Watch for the next article as I begin to define the stuff in that list that you’ve maybe even never heard of and discuss practical ways to incorporate Nutritious Traditional Foods into your family’s eating habits!

July 14, 2014
by anna

Orders for the Week

I just had to take a picture of some of the orders from this week.  They all coordinated so well with each other even though each order was completely unrelated.  Everyone is choosing form the same color palette right now! :)

It must be summer!

July 1, 2013
by anna

Placenta Encapsulation

Placentas are the only organ that the body makes then discards when it does not need it to nourish the fetus any longer. It is a fascinating organ, full of nutritive properties, iron to combat blood loss after birth, and hormones to restore balance to the roller coaster of adjustment from pregnancy to breastfeeding and non-pregnant.
Placenta consumption is becoming more and more popular lately. There are differing opinions on it. The argument against placentaphagy is that scientifically the placenta is made up of both mom and dad’s DNA, so when mom consumes the placenta, she is essentially taking in someone else’s genes. On the other hand, there are proven benefits of placenta consumption that make a good argument. They include the reduced incidence of postpartum depression, hormonal/mood swing rebalance, increased breast milk production, as well as increased energy levels. The benefits speak for themselves, as the four issues mentioned above can significantly impact a postpartum healing period. And how many escape these issues just after a birth?
One benefit later in life is at the time of menopause, placenta helps make the transition smoother by balancing hormones in the body. Hormonal fluctuation is to blame for hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, feminine issues, and much more. All of these are affected positively by a little placenta here and there added into the diet. This of course takes planning ahead earlier in life so that there is one’s own placenta stored and available.
There are different methods of consuming the placenta; dehydration and encapsulation, or baking the dehydrated powder into chocolates that can then be frozen and thawed for enjoyment at your leisure. Some choose to blend raw placenta into a smoothie, others prefer to saute or steam a little bit and eat it that way. I know of some doulas that offer to make a smoothie immediately after the birth in addition to their services!
When the placenta is dehydrated, it can be done at low temperatures for a long period of time and maintains it’s raw form, for those who are on a raw food diet. Then when it is encapsulated, the flavor is masked, for those who are concerned about the flavor. I assume this would be the majority of us.
If you are considering hiring someone to do your encapsulation for you, please do your research and know that you can trust their operation method and facility. Another warning is to watch out for placentas that have been taken to pathology in the hospital. In a hospital birth, if the placenta has ever been out of your site, it has most likely taken a trip to pathology. They add chemicals and dyes that you do not want to consume. Soaking your placenta in vinegar for 24 hours will clean it if you are unsure, and it will bring out obvious signs that it has been tampered with (the vinegar will turn blue/black).
Happy placenta consumption!
Lilia Designs

May 20, 2013
by anna

Breech Birth

When it comes to childbirth, one thing has not changed over the years, and that is the fact that 3 to 4 percent of babies present in the breech position at birth. That means that of the 4 million births in our country each year, the amount of breech presentations are up to 160,000! Ina May Gaskin writes about how she has seen in the past 40 years vaginal breech birth go from being familiar to obstetricians, and facilitated in the hospital, to where it is no longer taught to OBs, and standard protocol in hospitals is a cesarean with no trial of labor. About 40 years ago, the cesarean rate in our country was just over 5%, today it ranges from 35%-47%. How many of those are actually necessary?
It is true that some babies flip from vertex (head down) to breech during labor, but in the majority of cases, a mom has enough time to work on changing baby’s position weeks before labor starts. There are several options for changing baby to a head down position long before a cesarean is scheduled simply because of baby’s position.
When a pregnant woman’s hips are out of alignment, the pelvic outlet is made narrower. If a baby cannot fit well into the pelvis, he or she will try different positions until something fits, and in this case, it may be knees, feet, or butt first. Regular chiropractic adjustments throughout pregnancy are recommended and beneficial, and are effective at reducing morning sickness, pelvic and back pain, reducing the risk of preterm labor, as well as reducing pain during labor and time of labor and delivery. If a baby is in the breech position, a chiropractor trained in the Webster Technique may be seen from about 32 weeks, and it is best to plan for a few visits. This technique has an 85% success rate for turning babies right side down. As the baby gets closer to term and settles into the pelvis, it is less likely that he/she will turn.
What a visit will generally look like at the chiropractor is first visualizing which hip is out of alignment, then gently pressing on the hips if needed, and the Webster Technique, which is gentle pressure on one of the uterus’ round ligaments. Some moms are afraid of snap-crackle-popping, but that is not always what a chiropractic adjustment is like.
A method for turning babies that is used in the hospitals is called external cephalic version, or e-version. It has a success rate of 35%, it is painful, and can be dangerous, which is why it is done under visualization of ultrasound. The CNM or OB uses her/his hands on the outside of the belly to massage baby around to a head down position.
One of the least invasive techniques is called moxabustion. It is cheap and painless. Moxa, which is made from the herb Mugwort, is rolled in paper and burnt close to the outside of the outer toe for 15 minutes, 2 times per day until baby turns. This is a trick of Chinese medicine which uses the body’s energy to bring desired effects. There is a meridian, a channel of energy, that runs from the point next to the little toenail’s outer corner, up to the uterus. The success rate is 80%-90% when done between 34-36 weeks’ gestation. It goes down a bit when done later in pregnancy; 65%-75% after 36 weeks.
Another method using the same theory is acupuncture. This uses tiny needles to activate acupressure points in the body. I have seen it done several times in labor and to induce labor, and I am happy to report that none of the women complained of pain or discomfort! Most of them barely noticed the needles. Acupuncture can also be used for many other female issues such as PMS, infertility, water retention, fatigue, insomnia, and the list goes on.
The most important thing is that each woman knows that she has options when it comes to how and where to give birth, whether or not her baby is in the breech position. Do research, ask questions, and something very important to know about hospitals: they work for you! Stop nurses and doctors to ask them what they are doing and why, ask if it is necessary, and what your options are. This is the main role of a doula, who as an advocate in hospital birth can be your guardian angel.
Lilia Designs

May 14, 2013
by anna

Toddler Friendly Muffins

These are great for picky eaters, it’s a sneaky way to disguise fruits and veggies into yummy muffins! You could freeze them and use them for teething relief. Some ingredients could be tweaked to make a more natural muffin, such as fresh steamed squash instead of baby food.

You will need 15 minutes to prepare the muffins, and 15 minutes to bake them. The recipe makes 24 mini muffins, or 12 regular sized ones.

Ingredients you will need are:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, or to taste
2 large bananas, mashed
1 (4.5 oz) jar baby food squash
2 carrots, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt

How to bake:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin cups.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, oat bran, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt, until just combined.
Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pans on a wire rack. Store at room temperature for up to two days, or freeze.

Lilia Designs

May 7, 2013
by anna

Strawberry and Feta Salad Recipe

This is a great Spring salad to share with friends, it is a unique combination of lettuce, strawberries, feta cheese, toasted almonds, with a sweet and tangy dressing.

1 cup slivered almonds
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup oil
1 head romaine lettuce, torn
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the almonds, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, raspberry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and oil.

In a large bowl, toss together the toasted almonds, romaine lettuce, strawberries, and feta cheese. Toss salad with dressing mixture, and serve.

Makes about 10 servings
The whole salad contains 378 calories (19%), 34.3 g fat (53%), 12.4 g carbs (4%).
Strawberries have a low glycemic load, and pack a little protein, romaine lettuce has a good amount of protein in it as well, almonds have good fats, and a decent amount of protein, and feta cheese has a lot of protein, a tiny bit of carbs, and some good fats as well.

Lilia Designs