Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Homemade Spelt Tortillas

   My family has a few new toys that we love!!! We bought a tortilla press and a tortilla warmer. They are very inexpensive but they have made a huge difference for our family!

   Let me go back to the beginning. My son Josiah who is now 5 has had major allergies his whole life. Five years may not sound like a long life but when it is filled with pain, itching, puking, sores, and emotions from not being able to eat much variety, 5 years can feel like an eternity. This little guy of mine has been through a lot and on the way our whole family has experienced a shift in the way we eat. We went from a Top Ramen, Macaroni and Cheese, Milk ,candy , processed foods and antibiotics family to Whole Foods, Essential Oils and Herbs.

   One of the things we have had to change is our reliance on wheat, which is where the tortillas come in. One of Josiah's allergies is to wheat, which makes him have itchy bleeding rashes and sometimes it leads to days of puking until we can get him cleansed. Needless to say, we avoid wheat as much as possible. We have found that spelt flour cooks almost like wheat and is not genetically modified. It makes bread possible for our family.

   I love making tortillas instead of bread for several reasons.
1. fast and easy
2. cheap
3. no yeast
4. quality control
5. quick cooking so it retains nutrition ( I am toying with the idea of sprouting my spelt berries, drying them, then grinding them for sprouted grain tortillas. I used to do that for bread but got discouraged with the temperatures I was having to cook the bread at and the length of time it had to be in those high temperatures. It seemed redundant to me to take all of the time to sprout, dry, and grind the grain if it was going to be cooked to death! - not so with tortillas!)

Here is the recipe we have been using lately. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

2 cups Spelt flour
1/2 cup oil
1 t. salt
3/4 cup water

I mix everything together and let it sit for a few minutes to absorb the water. I do not knead the dough much - just mix until everything is incorporated in.  I realize that those reading this may be living in a different climate than my Cheyenne, WY so I would suggest playing with it until you get it right.

    After the mixture is the right consistency - not sticky but firm - I make balls that fit in the palm of my hand and place them in a large baggie so they hold their moisture and don't get dried out on the counter waiting their turn to be cooked. When they are all made into balls I heat the skillets on the stove top to a high heat. I then press one of the balls between plastic sheets in the tortilla press, put it onto a dry skillet, and cook it about 30 seconds on each side. I put it in the tortilla holder that will keep it warm until we eat, and DONE! I use a few skillets at a time so there is no waiting time between tortillas.

These tortillas have been wonderful for our family. There is no longer the push to buy rice bread for Josiah when we want to have sandwiches. We have a quick bread within minutes of deciding we want it, and it is so good for us! We love our new tortilla press and warmer!

Happy Healthy,



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Eating healthy for the mind

I am subscribed to a really awesome blog by Nick Ortner. He blogs about EFT methods, and will usually give you a session to try out with each of his posts. Its awesome. The one I opened in my email today, I thought was something great to share with all of you. Like I said in my post before, your spiritual health goes hand in hand with your physical and mental health. EFT is one really awesome way to keep your mental and spiritual and physical health balanced.
a little smile to remind you to feel happy :)

Here is the link to the Blog post I read today, it has a session for you to do, and instructions on how to tap if you don't know what to do. I have used tapping methods on lots of personal experiences and I have been amazed at what it can do to calm me down emotionally and physically. I will have to share a few of those experiences sometime, it might turn this into a really long post though, lol. Anyway, read this and enjoy some new positive knowledge on how to take care of your mental health :)

Love you all and Hope you all have a happy healthy day! Julia

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


What a dreaded word…I know we ALL hear it, cringe, start thinking of the perfect excuse to procrastinate, or just ignore it all together.
Well, I don’t blame you all on it. I’m the exact same way. It seems like so much focus is to incorporate “exercise” in our lives that we kind of miss the mark on what exercise really is. It’s the act of getting our bodies moving and using the calories we consume. We all know the benefits of exercising, so I won’t dive too deeply into it. I’ll just list some key points that exercise brings to us:
Health of course….by incorporating exercise our health improves in SO many levels. Physical health is the obvious, but your mental health benefits as well. Not only is your self esteem boosted, but exercising releases endorphins and powerful chemicals that can actually treat mild depression.
Reduction of stress….I’ll tell you from personal experience, this is one of the best ways I manage my stress.  Aerobic exercises actually release chemicals and hormones that promote well being which in turn helps you manage your stress.
Self esteem….When you accomplish your exercising goals you can’t help but feel good about yourself and your accomplishments. Plus, with our upcoming 5k race in a few months, what a GREAT feeling you will feel (after the race of course hahaha). You can pat yourself on the back and say, “my two feet did this”. 
Natural boost of energy levels….Pretty much self explanatory.
So with all of these benefits, why is it so hard for us to actually DO it? Well….it’s not fun. It’s hard. It’s time consuming. Well, that’s the problem isn’t it? Who wants to take time out of their busy days to incorporate unpleasantness into our precious time? Not me, that’s for sure. So what do we do about it? Don’t just exercise to exercise. Find something that you enjoy and commit to a measly 15-30 minutes each day and DO it. Just make that mental note that for 15-30 minutes, you will do SOMETHING. Make it fun, who says you have to torture yourself on a treadmill....Enjoy the outdoors? Go for daily walks or go jogging outside. Like watching movies? Do some exercises while watching your favorite movie like sit ups, push ups, or using a treadmill or stationary bike. I myself LOVE music, so that’s what I do on my daily runs. I listen to my iPod and enjoy the tunes. It’s amazing how by focusing on the songs I find how far I’ve ran. I get stuck in that “oh my gosh, I have SO far to go” mindset. By focusing on each song instead of WHERE I am makes the run SO much more enjoyable and the run goes by all the more quicker.
Want other easy ways to incorporate “movement” in your daily life? Do simple things like leg lunges when vacuuming. Skip a stair each step when going up a staircase. Park in the back instead of finding the closest spot in parking lots. Get creative, think outside the "exersize box". I'm sure Kerissa can attribute, daily activities like caring for horses can certainly count as part of your workout routine ;)
What are some other ideas you all have in adding exercising or movement into our days?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Essential Oils Love to Work Out!

On the topic of exercising, and getting ready for the 5K, I thought it would fit to talk about how essential oils and herbs can support us in that endeavor and actually increase our benefits!

Here is a list of what you can do :

Blast Fat with adding any of these oils to your water or make a body oil with one or more: Pink Grapefruit, Orange, Red Mandarin or Lemon. All of these help breakdown and dissolve fat including cellulite.

Peppermint – a great pre-workout rub. Just mix a couple drops of peppermint with a couple drops of message oil (Grapeseed or Jojoba) and massage into the muscles that will be used the most during that days workout. It does a good job of loosening the muscle up and prepping it to work hard.

Rosemary – Put a drop on the bottom of each foot about 20 min before your workout. This will encourage your lymphatic circulation and ridding itself of waste.

Ravensara – Strengthens the lungs. Put a drop on the bottom of your foot or on your chest before and after workout. Making it easier to breathe and keep lungs on the same playing field as the rest of the body.

Cayenne – take a capsule ( or 2) before workout. Will increase core heat as well as keep heart healthy and nourished for working hard.

After your workout is through, right before you move into stretching use the following oils:

Peppermint/Lavender – Keeps the muscles limber, and the lavender helps to repair the tissue for a quicker recovery time.

If you happened to injure yourself, strain a muscle or experience muscle soreness you will find these aides to be beneficial;

Fysical TheraP – a blend of oils known for their analgesic abilities. Apply one or 2 drops to area and massage gently in.

Lemon Grass – has an affinity for ligaments, tendons and other connective tissue. Apply one or two drops to area and gently massage.

Dr. Christopher's BF&C ointment – Rub on any area that may be in pain or injured. Works miracles when mixed with essential oils. (I use it and Fysical TheraP on my knees when they are sore and it only lasts a minute!)

You can mix any of these oils with message oil to make a complete before/after workout body rub that you use everyday to keep your muscles and body toning and feeling great!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Define Whole Foods

Whole Foods. In my mind this term means any food that is in the condition that God made it. Take an apple for instance and picture it in a pie, baked, or fried (I'm not really sure if people fry apples, but it wouldn't surprise me!). All of these things may seem harmless, especially if there have been no sugars added or other things. That's a whole other subject than the simplicity I am trying to portray right now, but they are not exactly harmless. When a food is cooked at a temperature higher than 118 degrees or so, it loses a lot of it's nutrition. The vitamins are cooked to death and you are left with a dead food! I have seen actual pictures of energy around a live apple slice and a cooked apple slice and the difference is staggering. You can see it for yourself on the documentary The Gerson Miracle - it's on Netflix.

If you want to live, eat live food. Your body is craving the vitamins and minerals in whole foods that you can't get from processed food that is void of life. Obesity can in a large way be attributed to these dead foods because people are not getting full! The dead foods fill their stomachs but leave them craving more because their bodies are crying out for nutrients! This is not to mention the additives in most processed foods that make them highly addictive.

I love the way whole foods have made a difference in my life. They, along with herbs and essential oils, have kept my weight stable, give me energy, and believe it or not they are easy on my budget. Because I can grow many of our foods and can buy my grains, beans, nuts, and seeds in bulk, I save on my grocery bill and we haven't been to the doctor for a cold or flu for years.

I realize that there are things that need cooked like potatoes and beans. I sprout my beans and grains as often as possible to get the most nutrition out of them and then low heat cook them so I don't boil away the vitamins. Here is a breakdown on how I get the most whole foods in my diet that I can without being a total raw foodist. Breakfast = freshly juiced fruit: Lunch = a big salad with whatever veggies I want and beans, quinoa, rice, or nuts; Dinner = a main meal made primarily of veggies, a cooked veggie for a side dish, and another big salad.

Just as a disclaimer I will say that my family does not eat the pristine diet that I would like us to. We have junk food Fridays so we have anything we might have wanted during the week. Usually we get sick Friday night and are more than ready for another healthy week. We are toning it down lately since we have noticed this cycle and now just enjoy homemade pizza, a salad, and 1 special dessert. My kids are all super athletic and are always winning this prize or that so I know we are on the right track. Right this minute my oldest boy is making a smoothie packed with greens because he wants major energy for a scout activity tonight.  :)

I would love to hear what you think of when you hear 'Whole Foods'. Is it similar to what I have described or different?

In a nut shell - whole foods to me means 'in it's whole and unaltered state'. I love whole foods!

Elisa Wadsworth

Mental Health

This is seriously something I need to work on, hehe, and as my brother in law joked, maybe I am not qualified to write something on Mental Health. :)

Just Kidding, I am as sane as sane can get.............................

um, so anyway........mental health..........

When I think of it, the first thing that comes to mind is "What can I do to support it?". Good question right?
I really feel like when it comes to just the word "Health", their are three main things we need to focus on. 1 being our diet, 2 being exercise(I can't for the life of me spell that word right every time,  so if its wrong, pleeeease forgive me!), and the 3rd is feeding our spiritual health. 

1. Diet-A good clean diet can always support a healthy mental state. When we feed our bodies with junk, it affects all areas. Junk isn't just raspberry and blackberry Jelly Belly candies either (I am not sure why I mentioned those, well, they might just be sitting on my desk.)
"Food Junk" in my book is, any food that does not still have its "Live" qualities to it. When food is not in its whole state, and it has been cooked, or processed , or changed in anyway, it loses its pure value, and we end up taking minerals and properties that our bodies cannot assimilate properly. It ends up storing in our bodies, and we just can't function like we would otherwise. A stunning fact, that I just can't help but share: Those who eat the standard american diet (meat, dairy, cheese, cooked and processed foods, candy, breads) only absorb 10% of nutrients into their blood stream, because of build up in the lower bowels. When we clean our bodies/bowels out, and start eating foods in their raw/whole form, we start to absorb more nutrients, and we end up having more energy and our mental state is invigorated. 

O.K. Keeping it simple-

2.Exercise-Studies show that having a good habit of reading, can help prevent alzheimer's disease. Reading specifically educational material, or good wholesome books. Something positive. I found this great article, by the Time Magazine, on keeping your brain in "tip top shape".,9171,1147142,00.html
It mentioned doing crossword puzzles and teaching your brain new tricks. Keeping your brain active in learning new things is great exercise for the mental state. 

3. Spritual health- Why does this matter when it comes to your mental health? Well, I think I could give you lots of reasons, from my own personal experience, but to get technical, your spirit is just as important to keeping healthy as your body. Our bodies and spirits are connected and if one is feeling sluggish, the other will too. When it comes to a healthy spirit, it is basically our mental health. As far as exercising our spirit, we can learn new positive and wholesome things, to keep our mental state a boost. Subjecting our mind and spirit to things that are negative in anyway, can take a bigger toll on us than we realize in the moment. Picture harming your body physically continually everyday. Subjecting your spirit or mind to harmful material will end up with the same results of emotional scrapes and bruises. Our minds need just as much positive nutrition and nourishment as our bodies do. 

Anyway, I promise to keep my next article shorter and simpler. I hope this was fun to read, and I look forward to contributing to this blog, with more articles about keeping our mental health positive :)

I would love any comments or feedback on what you would like to learn about mental health. Any research or information you would like to have, please let me know and I will be happy to post about it!!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

The beginnings of this healthy group have seen many an attempt at a blog that would fit the needs of the group. We are trying again but this time is different because many of us are working simultaneously on it, and will be asking many of you for your contributions. It is realized that we are only as strong as our members, so we want you to be involved. We will be asking many of you to write articles for this blog to our enjoyment and enlightenment but we hope that you will not wait for the invitation. It is hoped that you will feel free to write articles for the blog that you feel will inspire us to be healthy and that will get us talking and enjoying the camaraderie of like minded friends. This week we have asked Jill Wilkins to write about exercise, Julia Weis to write about mental health, Kerissa Taylor to write about herbs and essential oils, and yours truly will be writing something about whole foods. I'd like to keep the format of posting fairly simple and would ask that we keep to the 4 main topics of Whole Foods, Herbs & Essential Oils, Mental Health, and Exercise. The facebook page will be a great place for us to continue discussing and hearing from each other also. Again, this blog is for all of us, so please feel free to share! I am excited to see what gems of healthy wisdom we will be hearing from you all!                         Happy Healthy, Elisa Wadsworth