Healthy and Happy

10 07 2010

Not that I have many followers on this blog, but it’s been so busy, I’ve had to simply ignore it for the last while.  Bre and I are within a week or two of having our first baby (Jack Hastin Taylor), and all time and efforts have been toward moving, and preparing for him, and working hard doing the Mac IT thing.

But in the midst of all of this, we’ve continued our best efforts to eat more traditionally. And each time we visit the Birth Center, the midwives and nurses say that Bre is the picture of a perfectly healthy pregnancy.

Now this is mostly God’s grace, but I like to think He’s using our wonderful, nutritious raw milk that we drink daily (almost every meal and snacks).  We’ve also be pounding the “Blue Ice” brand fermented cod live/high vitamin butter oil supplement since before we conceived.  Both of these have massive amounts of Vitamin K, along with D and A.  Add to that some wild salmon, and you’ve got a winning formula to grow a super healthy baby.  Jack is of good size and very active. He’s head down, and about ready to start his journey south.  And Bre is about the healthiest she has ever been. Certainly, her body is ready for the multitude of feedings that are about to start.

All in all, we feel blessed  that we have a great local milk farmer, and an amazing connection with our Co-op Urban Acres to get our hands on the healthiest food around.  Learning to prepare it is a whole other story, but that’s why that call it learning.

I’ve added a couple of banners to the right side of my blog that will point you to another blog that I follow. You can now learn along with me how to prepare traditional food, and even master sourdough.  Then pay what you can to help them continue their good work.

I think Jack is going to be one healthy and happy baby.  I hope he learns how to eat traditional foods so that he loves them his whole life.  That would make me a happy father.

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Urban Acres @ IBC – Are you interested?

11 05 2010

Hey guys, JT here, I wanted to let you all know about Urban Acres and to find out how many of you and families that you know might be interested in being a part of our little Co-op, as we make IBC our newest Farm Stand.

So What is Urban Acres and why do we think this is so important?

Simply put, the food we put in our bodies matters. Our modern food supply is providing very poor products. But we can choose better, natural options.  Urban Acres organizes and delivers the best local, organic produce, and the best local pastured meats, “low pasteurized – non homogenized” milk and healthy grocery items from the Oak Cliff Farm Store out to the IBC Farm Stand.  We have partnered with a whole host of local farmers around DFW to get seasonal and unique organic produce, grass fed beef, pastured eggs, pastured chicken and pork, and some amazing salmon straight from a family fisherman in Alaska.  The goal of Urban Acres is to enable people to obtain the best local food products so they can take care of themselves and their families as it relates to nutrition and diet.

We are membership based as all Cooperative Organizations are.

Here’s how it works!

As a member, you have availability to both parts of what we offer, the Bi-monthly Produce, and access to shop online for bi-monthly grocery delivery. Or if you choose to, you can shop at the Oak Cliff Farm Store (Currently every Fri. & Sat from 9-7) You can choose to do either one or both. It’s up to you. Bre and I do both. In fact for us, the grass fed, pastured meats, farm eggs, and low pasteurized milk and raw cheeses are probably more important to us. We still love the fruits and veg too.

Bi-Monthly Produce: Every other Saturday, Urban Acres delivers your produce to IBC. You can pick it up between 9:30-12 at IBC.  You select to receive either the Half bin (15lbs for $30) or the Full bin (30lbs for $50). On your 2nd and subsequent pickups, just bring back your Produce bin, from the prior pickup and grab a new full bin.  Produce is Co-op style, meaning once you start, you are expected to be there every 2 weeks to pickup and pay. If you are unable, you can either send someone, or notify us that you would like us to “donate” your share, but you are still financial responsible. You are always pre-paying for the next produce day, so when you come, you pick up what you payed for 2 weeks earlier, and you pay for the produce that will be coming in 2 weeks. You can stop your produce at any time, but to keep admin costs down, we encourage you only to do that if you must.  There is a small fee to get your produce started again.

Online Ordering for Meats and grocery: Currently available on your Produce pickup days, you can order online ahead of time, and we’ll deliver it to IBC on those produce pickup days.  On the “off week”, we encourage you to come down to the Farm Store and shop. Check out the order form to see all of the great stuff we offer. We are constantly adding new items.

**If IBCers desire to order enough grocery product on the “off weeks” to justify the delivery, we would love to make that available too. The delivery might be something that an IBC volunteer could help with for those off weeks**

Volunteering: That’s what I do. Bre works for Urban Acres, but I volunteer some time when I can.  We sort produce on Friday afternoons in Oak Cliff and load all the bins into a large refrigerator truck for the night. Plus we fulfill all of the online orders. If you desire to volunteer, email our Volunteer Coordinator Christina.

Startup Costs:
For Full bin – Annual membership ($50), bin fee for 2 bins ($12) and first produce ($50) – $112
or
For Half bin – Annual membership ($50), bin fee for 2 bins ($12) and first produce ($30) – $92

What you can do!

If this all sounds like your bag of apples, then please email Bre today and communicate your desire to join and be part of the IBC Farm Stand, or ask any questions so we can provide answers. We would love to have at least 20 families on board to start things, and would love to begin by Saturday May 22nd.

Also, check out the Urban Acres website. It’s a great resource with weekly recipes on how to use some of the variety of produce you’ll see in your bin.

Already, Shannon Miles, Jason Elwell, and other staffers have expressed a desire to join and continue their journey toward better health. It really is a better way to eat. Yes, it’s more work than eating out or buying pre-made lasagnas, but it’s so worth it.

Thanks,

Jon and Bre Taylor

Bre @ Urban Acres
“Your Farm Store in the City”
bre@urbanacresmarket.com
972-824-1046

PS. I’m just an unpaid advocate for Urban Acres, and a contributing writer for recipes on the website.. I’m passionate about what they are doing and I’m passionate about eating and feeding my wife and baby boy a “traditional diet” as much as is possible.





Homemade Chicken Stock

18 04 2010

Homemade Chicken Stock

(excerpts from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)

Here we’re going to make Chicken Stock, but the recipe is the same for beef, and even simpler for vegetable. (For beef stock, you can braise first, then soak. For vegetable, add way more veggies, and simmer for 4-6 hours)

Why make homemade stock?

There are actually many great reasons to make your own chicken, beef, veggie and fish stock.

First, it will only have what you put in. This means no extra ingredients and chemicals that you are better off not eating.

Second, it’s filled with nutrition that store bought stock can’t even begin to give you. Using pastured meats, hearty bones, vegetables from Urban Acres, and bit of Real Salt, your stock will be rich in vitamins, minerals, and gelatin (which aids in proper digestion.)

Third, it adds amazing flavor and nutrition to your other kitchen creations. Make some Chicken Noodle soup or Chicken Vegetable soup. Whip up some Beef vegetable soup or Chili. A great stock can be added to almost any homemade sauce or soup to make it better and more nutritious.

Recipe

1  Chicken Stock kit or Whole Chicken from Urban Acres (Pastured Chicken)

4  Quarts cold filtered water

2  Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

1  Large Onion, chopped coarsely

2-3  Carrots, chopped coarsely

3  Celery Sticks, chopped coarsely

(other green veg or leafy green that you would like to add) no more than 2 Cups worth

1  Bunch parsley

Directions:

If you are using a whole chicken. Cut off the wings and remove the neck, and other parts from the cavity. Cut the chicken parts in to several pieces.

Otherwise, place water in a large stock pot, and add vinegar.  Then add chicken stock kit into the water, and let sit for 30 minutes.

While chicken is soaking, coarsely cut up all of the vegetables and add them to your pot.

Bring to a boil, and using a strainer or slotted spoon, remove most of the scum that has risen to the top. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. I like to simmer for about 8 hours or overnight.

Chop up the parsley and add to stock and let it cook in for 15 minutes, then turn off heat, and remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Set aside so you can get the meat off them later. Once the stock has cooled a bit, strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in the refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals.  Skim off this fat and pour final stock into containers that will be easy to store in the refrigerator. After a month, it’s best to reboil the stock and re-refrigerate.

Urban Acres carries everything you need to make a great stock.

Here’s a list of items you can find at Urban Acres to use in your stock.

1. Chicken Stock carcass kit. $5 (Windy Meadows Farm)

You can also use a Whole Chicken if you plan to make chicken soup and need all the meat. Or you can add chicken breast that has been baked to your future soup.

2. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar 32oz for $5.79

3. Real Salt (sea salt) 26oz for $5.59

All Stocks have salt, but the store bought stocks use processed salt.  Real Salt is an unrefined sea salt that contains all of the natural minerals that salt is supposed to have, including organicly occuring iodine which helps regulate many bodily systems. Real Salt helps activate enzymes in the intestines as well to help with digestion. Use in moderation.

4.  Vegetables from your bi-weekly veggie share. Depending on what you have and what you want to include you may need to suplement with other veggies. Here’s what we are using today. (Onion, carrots, celery, part of a leek, and green chard).





Full-fat Dairy for Heart Health

15 04 2010

One thing I have learned reading Nourishing Traditions and The Untold Story of Milk is that milk is best consumed raw.  This means that I am consuming milk that is between 3.5-4% butterfat.  The trend in America is to drink 2% or 1% or even “not fat”, because we’ve been led to believe that animal fats are bad, and unhealthy.

There is a blog that I follow by Stephan Guyenet. I don’t know him, but I love reading it because he seems to find wonderful and obscure and relevant studies that tell a different story. So for today’s post, I simply want to point you to his latest blog entry, titled “Full-fat Dairy for Cardiovascular Health“.

The more you know about traditional diets, the better you eat, and the healthier you are. Don’t you want to be healthy?  Lipitor is not the answer.  Get some raw milk and start building your future.





Building a Better Immune System

13 04 2010

Do you like cheese, yogurts, butter and fresh milk? Most people, all around the globe would say yes to one or more of these foods.  In fact, the more I learn about eating a “traditional” diet, the more I see the immense importance of fresh, raw dairy, and fermented dairy products.  One of today’s nutrition buzz words is “Probiotic”. Finally, we have a modern trend that I can get behind.  The truth is, every culture around the world, up until about 150 years ago, ate and drank probiotics all the time in the form of raw milk, fresh raw cheeses cultured for weeks or months, and a host of soured milk products like Kefir, yogurt, and sour cream.  When these foods are made traditionally from grass fed cows milk, they have an amazing side effect of boosting your immune system and helping you ward off disease. This is by design. And don’t dismiss real butter from the same raw milk. It’s super high in Vitamin A, D, and K.  It will not raise cholesterol. That is a myth.

Here’s a partial list of some of the more biologically active ingredients identified in grass fed cows milk that helps explain why it’s such important tool for getting and maintaining strong immunity:

Immunoglobulins IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE, IgD: Large, complex sugar/protein (glycoprotein) molecules (also known as antibodies) used by the immune system to find and deactivate pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.

Transforming Growth Factor Beta: Stimulates growth and repair of the gastro-intestinal tract.

Epidermal Growth Factor: Biochemically regulates cellular growth, cellular division and cell type. Fosters rapid tissue repair.

Glutathione: Powerful antioxidant that offers protection to cells from free radicals.

Interferons: Specialized proteins that inhibit replication of viruses within cells throughout the body.

Interleukins: A large group of signaling molecules that help regulate the immune system.

Oligosaccharides: Groups of 3-10 sugar molecules that protect against pathogens by competing for binding sites on the intestinal epithelium and provide support to friendly probiotic bacteria.

Proline-rich Polypeptide (PRP) or Colostrinin: Anti-inflammatory hormone that helps regulate immune system activity by stimulating the thymus gland.

Transferrin: Immune system glycoprotein that binds free iron, which, in turn, inhibits bacterial growth.

Are you tired or wary of the useless pasteurized milk products in our stores?  Aside from a few good yogurts, like Brown Cow and Cultural Revolution, and Kefir from Lifeway, there’s not much worth while in the supermarket cooler.  If all you ever do is add yogurt and kefir to your diet, that is awesome and will certainly help.  If you want to go all the way and start drinking “the good stuff”, start searching for a source of grass fed cows milk.

It may not be legal in your state to buy raw milk, even from the farm.  In Texas it is legal to get it from the farm, or via a milk club (buying together as a group). If you are in the Dallas area, ask me about a local milk club.

The first, and probably best place to go for information on obtaining raw milk near where you live is a site run by the Weston A. Price Foundation. Here you’ll find a treasure trove of information pertaining to raw milk and the the political storm swirling around it.
Go here to find a supplier near you (also on the realmilk site, but just to save you a few clicks):
At the end of the day, I’d rather spend a little extra on the best of super foods, then a lot of cash at the Doctor’s office. Isn’t that a better and healthier way to live?




Patio Garden on the cheap

28 03 2010

Spring is here and it’s time to start the vegetable garden. Unlike most home gardens, ours has to be small. We are upstairs in a 2 bedroom apt. with a super small back porch. A few years ago I built 2 self watering planters. I have one and my friend Eric has the other. They are cheap and small but they work.
I planted 4 different tomatoes, squash, zuchinni, cucumber, jalopeno, red bell pepper, and poblano. These will suplement our Urban Acres produce. Have you thought about planting your own garden? You can get self watering planters at Ikea for cheap. There’s nothing like eating fresh picked produce.





Resources for Traditional Eating

28 03 2010

I finally got around to filling in my “Resources for Traditional Eating” page today.  Check it out. Lot’s of good links and great info.

Red Bell Peppers, Onion & Jalapenos, Raw Cream Cheese