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I just wanted to let you all know that I have just updated my Home and School Solutions website. Among other things I added numerous links to all the section favourite link pages, brought the various testimonial (introduction) pages up-to-date, and fixed all the broken links.

The major thing I did, though, is add a Blogs-Plus tab/page. If there is anything I want to add to the website that cannot be naturally included in any of the existing sections (Hebrew Roots, Health=Wealth, Home Schooling, Faith Matters, Desktop Publishing, Store and Services, or About Home and School Solutions) then I will put it here.

Since most of my activity and research in recent years has been in the areas of prepping and gardening, I have put material about these two areas on the Blogs-Plus page. You are invited to go there now and check out all the links I have provided for you.

Have fun!

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Green Flour?

Posted on 13th September 2010 in Food Preservation, Garden, Health & Fitness, Juice Plus, Wild Edibles

Well, as promised some time ago, I did plant my last few clover seeds in a patch of soil in my back yard that was not otherwise needed–because clover is both a great green manure (they say) and because it is edible. How can you lose with that combo? And I thought that the clover might be a good emergency food supply because most people would simply ignore it and leave my supply be.

The clover came up big and beautiful, pleasing me no end. Did you know that clover doesn’t just arrive in a 3-leaf format? I have several 4- and even 5-leaf clover plants! I harvested some a couple of times to hide in salads; however, my great plan for this summer was to harvest and dehydrate everything in sight so I didn’t take too much clover early on. I’ve pretty much kept my awesome Excalibur dehydrator going day and night (except for sabbath) preserving at any given time whatever most demanded to be harvested. The clover had to wait, but no matter–it kept growing big and beautiful, and from time to time I pulled whatever weeds were obvious in the clover patch. Obvious, I say, because I had also planted a number of  ground cherries throughout the clover patch without plotting them on a map (what was I thinking?) and couldn’t identify them for a long time. (Ground cherries are like tomatillos; ours are little yellow balls protected in a paperish husk. Quite tasty, actually.)

One week a big container of strawberries we had purchased from Costco pretty much all rotted and when I complained about the wasted money, my son reminded me that strawberries are just big masses of seeds so they should sprout if we plant them. Now we had an opportunity to try out that theory, so we stuck red craft sticks in the soil around one side of the clover and ground cherry patch and plopped a big red moldy strawberry below each one.

I diligently watered my clover and ground cherries and strawberries all spring and looked forward to the day when I could harvest and dehydrate the clover. Dehydrate the clover? Yep. Linda Runyon’s book “The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide” mentions “green flour” several times and I’ve seen “green flour” in many places on the internet as well. When I think “flour,” I think of wheat or rye–but one dictionary definition is “a fine soft powder.” The same definition also says that flour can be made from other materials, even fish! Fish flour? Hmmm… So this old brain is learning to think outside of the flour-bin, er, box and consider other options when the word “flour” is heard or read. I’ve been making almond flour this summer from the pulp left over from making almond milk. (I would really love some good recipes for using that, if you have any!)

So all spring and summer I’ve been dehydrating kale and beet greens and kohlrabi leaves and early jade chinese cabbage greens and radish greens and turnip greens and mustard greens and chard and even lettuce–and a lot more stuff! Did you know that you can eat broccoli and brussel sprout leaves, and even bean leaves? I haven’t tried the bean leaves yet, but I did decide to dehydrate broccoli and brussel sprout leaves to use in stir fry dishes and soups during the winter. Besides the leaves, I’ve also dehydrated the chopped stems of all these plants. (And, of course, “regular” produce like beans and tomatoes, as well.)

I left some of these leafy green things in their leaf or stem form but, for the sake of variety and space and most of all for winter green smoothies, I powdered quite a bit of it. That is to say, I made green flour. Lots of different kinds of green flour. I figure I could have green smoothies every day all winter and still not run out of green flour! In fact, the thought is niggling in the back of my mind that I really need to figure out or find some recipes for creamed name-the-green soup (made with nutmilk since we don’t use dairy or soy milk anymore).

I also need to experiment with substituting green flour for wheat flour in some baked recipes–so I can figure out just how far I can push the envelope ratio-wise. Of course, such recipes must be simple and cheap because I am thinking in preparedness mode here. All the stuff I’m dehydrating won’t do me a speck of good if I cannot turn them into healthy rations for my clan! If you have good recipes, bring them on! Or share websites that provide this specific type of recipe. If I come up with some unique recipes of my own I will be sure to post them in the Health=Wealth section of my website.

Okay, so baked goods aren’t always the best foods (it’s better to eat veggies and fruits raw) but when push comes to shove in the difficult days before us my family is going to eat whatever we can put together. Green biscuits, green pancakes, green soup, green drinks…

Here is something I never thought of that before! The stuff in the Juice Plus capsules is green flour! No wonder Juice Plus has been taking such good care of me all these years–the capsules are full of highly nutrient dense foods juiced, dehydrated, and powdered down so that a scant teaspoonful or two is all I need per day. But I digress…

Unfortunately, my clover never made it to the dehydrator! Just when I was getting ready to harvest it an ugly plant disease spread through my garden–white powdery mildew. The poor lilacs got coated with it! This scourge infects cucurbits–so I had to regularly cut white spotted leaves off my cucumbers, squashes and pumpkins for many weeks. In the later stages of its spread through my garden the powdery mildew infected my peas, too, so I had to discard even the sugar snap pods–though the peas themselves were still edible. Phew! Fortunately, one does not eat the leaves of these plants and the mildew does not affect the fruit.

But when I saw powdery mildew on my big beautiful clover, that was the last straw. I’m NOT eating leaves that have even the slightest chance of having powdery mildew spores on them, so the clover had to go. I started to hack off the clover and discard it through the city’s garbage system (instead of my compost) but harvesting clover turned out to be a more uncomfortable job than I thought, just because of the way I designed this bed and because clover is a small plant. Live and learn. A couple of insufferably hot days amongst the clover was all I could handle, so I just let the remaining clover grow up around the ground cherries (haven’t seen any strawberries yet) and actually it is a very pretty sight. Next year I’ll harvest my clover (if there is any) earlier–before the mildew arrives–so I can make clover-flour-whatevers the following winter.

And now I must go–kale is on the agenda today. Kale soup, anyone?

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Fasting

Posted on 2nd March 2010 in Health & Fitness, Hebrew Roots, Juice Plus

When our food supply is reduced in the days ahead, we will have to learn to fast to make what we do have go further. I have been trying to learn how to do this for a few years, occasionally (very occasionally) coaxing my body to accept 24 hours without food. Yom Kippur is an excellent time to practice this–but for awhile I tried doing it every Sabbath as well, then forgot about it. Recently I discovered another excellent reason to fast–to detox my body–so I have been fasting this week. Not for spiritual reasons, but just to help my body. I was motivated to do this by Dr. Jeff Hazim’s 1 hour video called “Detox or Die.” You can see that at www.detoxordie.com. It was so good that I watched it again with my husband, and even he was impressed.

I learned many things from the video, including the fact that what we think of as hunger is not really hunger. There is apparently a real hunger signal that you feel (like thirst) at the back of your throat; I have yet to recognize that. The “symptoms” most of us get are not really hunger signs–they are signals that something is not right in your body (in which case, a fast is just what you need)! For some reason, knowing this has made my fast much easier! At the end of the video Jeff challenged his audience to do a 3-day water only fast or a 7-day juice fast, and told them that the 3-day water fast was much easier than the other–and much more helpful to the body. So I chose to try the 3-day water only fast.

Another thing I learned is that the hunger mechanism (he called it a switch) turns off around 24-36 hours or so (it is different for different people) into the fast so that you do not even feel hungry. I figured if I could just make it that long I’d be doing good and could call it practice, and if the switch turns off my hunger mechanism I should be able to go longer. So I committed myself to trying for 36 hours and then seeing if I can make it to 72 hours. I am currently at 42 hours and feeling good. I don’t even have a headache. My stomach is gurgling as it has been doing all along, but I’m just ignoring that. I am feeling a bit weak and shaky, but I am coping with that by not exerting myself. I am making sure to get lots of sleep, because it is during sleep that your body repairs itself. When you are fasting, the body is better able to do that because it is not busy digesting.

Here’s the great news. Fasting for a period of time causes your body to go after and consume things in your body that don’t belong there, like toxins and dead and cancerous cells and fat. It realizes food is not forthcoming but it still wants to burn something for energy, so it goes after these kinds of things. This is why you want to go on a fast for health reasons–to get your body to burn off stuff that shouldn’t be in it in the first place. Everyone needs to do this regularly because we cannot avoid absorbing toxins all day long; they’re all around us.

After the fast is over, the first things you want to eat are healthy whole foods. The body will want to replace the stuff it burned off during the fast and there is zero point in putting bad stuff back in! So I am planning for juice, salads, fruit, vegetables, and resuming my Juice Plus, of course…but not the stuff I usually crave like chips and cheezies! Not even the chocolate cake that my son made the other day!

The 3 days of the fast make me think of something that I believe Monte Judah teaches–that at the start of the tribulation YHWH will test our attitudes by allowing us to go 3 days without food. I used to worry about this, but it occurred to me that those 3 days without food might just be the ticket! If we need to detox (and who doesn’t), such a forced fast will help to make us ready for the Kingdom, besides teaching us how very much we need to depend on YHWH for everything.

In addition to seeing what I can do for my body now, I am thinking of my current 3-day fast as a trial run–practice for the tribulation, if you will. Experiencing it for myself will enable me to encourage my family and others when the real time for it comes. This is practical preparedness; I encourage you to try it!

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Wellness

Posted on 24th February 2010 in Health & Fitness, Hebrew Roots, Juice Plus

I am so excited to have found an awesome site I’d like to recommend to you so that your body can be prepared for the future. The reason why it is so exciting is that like-minded believers have put this site online and are developing a teaching program we can trust. Last evening I attended their webinar launching a new program and bought their best package. You have to know that I do not make such a purchase lightly because money is in tight supply around here. But at this price, and with these teachers, I have every confidence that the program will pay for itself many times over. By improving the health of each member of my family using biblical principles, we will be better able to handle whatever the future throws at us. The webinar was so popular that they are running it again today. I believe you can register for it here. It is exciting to see that these people are also Juice Plus distributors, as I am, because it confirms my belief that Juice Plus is a healthy product that really works! Check out my Juice Plus website for information and to order.

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