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Monthly Archives: June 2012

10 Pieces, 17 Outfits!

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Here is a study of creating more with what we already have instead of spending money for more of the same old ‘new’ fads. Here is a demonstration of taking just 10 pieces we already own and combining them to make unique looks, each of them smart and stylish.

So, no need to shop unless one’s gym shoes have holes in them…for example.

Think about rich lifestyles on a budget as making our clothes work for us, instead of working for our clothes. This leaves freedom (and cash) for other things like organic food and saving up for that steel-blue F350 Extended Cab Long-Box Diesel 🙂

We used a skirt, jeans, and basic gym shorts; a basic white cami and a blue tee; 2 lightweight shawl/scarves; a cowboy hat; semi-casual sandals; and a denim jacket to create 17 different looks.

These minimalist tips are good to remember for travelling when you don’t want to check luggage or completely fill up the car.

Thanks Nina for modelling! The clothes are nice, and you make them look beautiful.

Why Forage?

Why Forage?
  1. Foraged greens are almost always more nutritious than store-bought salad veggies. (what are foraged greens? Edible plants gathered from the wild–or your own chemical-free backyard.)
  2. Cost effective: It’s free!
  3. Time is reasonable; this delicious plate of salad took me less than 5 minutes to gather while I chatted on the phone with my friend Angie, kept an eye on my baby, soaked in vitamin D, and felt the healing, warm earth under my bare feet. Have you ever gone to the store just for salad ingredients? I have! From the time I leave the house to when I get back with the groceries, it takes a minimum of 45 minutes.
  4. Save some for later! I gathered an extra bucket to freeze some for the winter. What a treat for my comforting winter soups on a cold day! Thanks sis Elisa for the tip 🙂
  5. Edible plants are easy to recognise; google for pictures if you are unsure.  My everyday salad favorites include lambs quarters, wood sorrel,  and dandelion. For cuts, burns, and mosquito bites, topically applied plantain soothes and draws out infection. Before you consume anything, be sure of its identity–beware of poisonous plants!

Happy foraging, eating, and saving.

Be blessed,

Western Woman

Hummus to Share

Today I visited my friend Candy and brought over my staples: Fruit, Hummus, garnished with foraged greens, homemade kombucha tea, and homemade fermented carrots. Easy, healthy, and oh, so delicious. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Chickpeas!?

Chickpeas!?

Who knew you could do so much with chickpeas (or garbanzo beans, depending on where you grew up.) So, let’s talk about hummus, protein shakes, chocolate “pudding”, and more.

Details before we start… First of all, my 25 pound bag of dry chickpeas costs only $26.15 from Azure Standard, making each serving ridiculously cheap. Second, I love chickpeas, always have. They are delicious. Third, chickpeas are wonderfully nutritious; a balanced protein too, meaning they don’t have to be combined carefully with rice, etc. like some other beans do. Easy.

The Master Batch

I cook a large amount to be used in various recipes throughout the week.

  1. Pour dry chickpeas in slow cooker, about 2/3 full. Fill to top with water, and splash in a little ACV*, lemon juice, or whey. Let sit about 24 hours. (This works on the pre-digestion effect. The beans will sprout a teeny tiny bit. This is good!)
  2. Skim off bubbles, add salt to taste. and cook on low for 8-10 hours. (Or until soft, depending on your slow cooker.)
  3.  As it is cooking, skim off bubbles periodically. (This is important, greatly reducing the “gassy” side effect.)
  4. Chickpeas are ready to serve right now, a great side or main course; I like to add sauteed onions. There should be plenty left over to use for the next recipes.

Hummus

A personal favorite that never fails; The perfect crowd-pleaser. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love this hummus!

  1. 1 peeled garlic clove in your food processor.
  2. juice of 1 lemon.
  3. Free-pour (or carefully measure) about 1 T cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. (EVOO—I love it! There are so many uses for this amazing oil.)
  4. Optional; other spices to taste.
  5. Ladle in about 1 1/2 C cooked chickpeas with a little of the water. (You will get a feel for how moist you like your hummus.)
  6. Process until creamy and serve. Be sure to make extra batches to keep in the fridge for meals or snacks throughout the week, even to freeze for later. Hummus makes an excellent main course.
Chickpea Protein Shake
  1.  1/2 C cooked chickpeas in your blender.
  2. 1/2 C ice.
  3. a few drops of stevia OR raw honey and cinnamon to taste (for an immune boost)
  4. fruit and veggies if desired.
  5. 1/4 C cocoa or carob powder, if desired.
  6. 1 C cultured raw milk (unsweetened filmjolk, buttermilk, kefir, yoghurt, etc.)
  7. Blend until creamy. Add about 1 C water, and blend again.
  8. Serves 4. (Or maybe just 2 if people are feeling greedy!) Feel free to enjoy as is, or make extra and turn leftover shake into popsicles for an after-workout muscle recovery treat.

Chocolate-Chickpea “Pudding”

I really couldn’t not include this recipe. No judging until you actually try it.

  1. Ladle 1  1/2 C cooked chickpeas with some of the water to your food processor.
  2. 1/2 C chocolate or carob powder.
  3. 1/3 C raw honey & 1 T cinnamon (immune boost)
  4. 1/4 C raw cream or cultured raw milk
  5. Blend until creamy. Optional, add fruit or nuts for a delicious crunchy texture.
  6. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and serve. Play 20 Questions with your family. I bet nobody will guess they are eating chickpeas!

Also look for…

I have enjoyed fantastic chickpea creations such as chocolate peanut butter protein bars, salads, soups, hotdish, and so much more. (Most of these recipes are quickly located via google.)

Please share with me your special chickpea recipes! I have a large pot of chickpeas ready to be transformed into a mouthwatering masterpiece.

*ACV is short of Apple Cider Vinegar 🙂

and we thought fast food was expensive…

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I know what you’re all thinking; eating right is so expensive! Organic produce, superfoods like chia and cod liver oil, raw grassfed dairy, etc. Who can afford to pay for all that and still maintain a generous, debt-free lifestyle? Here is what I have found out regarding the cost of nutrition:

1. We can’t afford to not eat right. I recently saw a quote from an Urban Organics group, “If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?” Cancer is real. It happens to a lot of people. As for me and my house, we will not do anything to encourage it to attack us in any way. We have to be very proactive.

Serious illnesses aside, general health and energy is reason enough to pay the price for good nutrition. Yes, you can do it! As my sister said at a nutrition seminar last year, “[the cost is not too great an obstacle for you to overcome.]” Thank you! Catch more from Elisa at http://elhogarsencillo.com/

2. I spend less money on food than I did a year ago. This is partly due to avoiding higher cost pre-made foods (which usually have added ingredients that I don’t want!)

My lowered food expenses are also because of a decreased appetite.

Our bodies gets more nutrition out of higher quality food, and may be satisfied sooner. I have heard it said over and over from people switching over to healthier food choices that they are not as hungry as they used to be. Touche!

I remember countless times I used to stop in the middle of my day to grab an impulse treat like a blended coffee or chocolate. My lower energy levels were completely dependent on these deceptively expensive little items that had me hooked.

MSG and refined sugar are extremely addictive. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine! This means that even if we have had enough and maybe don’t even like the food, our bodies keeps craving more–that is, unless we break the addiction. Having come a long way on the low sugar and zero MSG plan, I find myself not eating compulsively in the way I used to. Fewer cravings = lower grocery bill!

I am definitely more financially fit now than I was a year ago, and I credit part of that to food choices.

My next post will talk about one of my saving grace foods that is easy to prepare, cheap, nutritious, and delicious.

What could it possibly be!?

Cheers to that! (As I raise my glass of homemade dandelion wine! Umm, no, the food I’m referring to is not wine. Sorry.)