Saturday, February 28, 2009

Welcome to my blog world

I have this cool spy program hooked up to my blog and now know that I usually have about 40 to 50 different readers every day looking at my blog - you are from all over the country and Canada - and I even know what you google searched to find me with or what website linked you to mine...

I was surprised at how many of you find me that aren't local friends so I wanted to give you a brief snapshot of me. My schooling background is an undergraduate degree in Marketing and also in Exercise and Sports Science ( I also have a degree in Spanish) master's degree is in Health Education. I have been a competitive athlete since 1988. I have been playing piano for 28 years. I write about these things a lot in this blog.

Most of you come looking for healthy life ideas. WELCOME!!

So, this has been cool! I can see you now!

I also realized, that you might not know what I do that gives me my unique perspectives on life. OK, so here's what I am up to to fill my days - in terms of my work only (I counted 4 jobs - yikes!) :

  1. I am a mommy of 2 lovely chillen' - one is a 5 year old princess sprout in kindergarten, the other is an 8 year old Sprout in 2nd grade - here's the fam:
  2. I substitute teach at their school when called upon. I have a masters degree in Education so this is good for keeping the 'ole classroom management skills up to par.
  3. I tour around the country with my brother, David Klinkenberg, playing piano and laughing on stage with him as we bare our souls to audiences about growing up together. Although, lately haven't gone as much due to the economy and lack of bookings.
  4. I teach piano - between my husband who teaches guitar and myself we have 20 students weekly that we teach. We do 3 recitals each year and take the summer off to gear up for the next round in September.
  5. I am David's road manager. This means I get to advance his shows once the contracts have been finalized. Weekly I am talking to people in time zones across the US (hence the 6 am calls from the East coasters that don't realize I am in PACIFIC TIME!)...I get to meet people from all over the US, promoters, other artists, big time music managers, and pastors. It's truly a blast.
And in the summer, I do NONE of the above (except for #1) - we hike, swim, road trip, camp, hang with friends, play on beaches, chill while living in our trailer for 6 to 10 weeks. It's always fun to see how big the zucchinis get when you are not home to tame them for that long!

My life is Abundant! Abundant indeed!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Awesome reads

I'll leave the details up to you to get to discover. Some books I have just finished that I'd highly recommend:

1. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khalid (fast read - hard to not read and want to take action to do something for the plight of the Afghani people. Really awesome book to learn about the Afghani people.)

2. Blink (the Fiction book, not the one I reviewed a few months ago) - Ted Dekker (hard to put this book down - set in the US and in Saudi Arabia) - for locals, I have this book in my personal library- you can borrow any time! You'll have it read in a night or 2 - it's that spellbinding good!

3. Stubborn Twig - Written by a Corvallis, OR author. An interesting historical account of a Japanese immigrant family and their plight in an anti-Jap Oregon in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. It will shock you that such horrible atrocities were heaped on this race of people in our country. Slow read but very interesting and well written.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Turmeric - a spice to cure

Super Spice Secrets: Can This Miracle Spice Stop Cancer, Alzheimer's and Arthritis?

By Dr. Mercola

For more than 5,000 years, turmeric has been an important part of Eastern cultural traditions, including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Valued for its medicinal properties and warm, peppery flavor, this yellow-orange spice has more recently earned a name for itself in Western medicine as well.

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which is native to Indonesia and southern India, and is widely used as an ingredient in curry dishes and yellow mustard. As research into this powerful spice has increased, it has emerged as one of nature’s most powerful potential healers.

Said Dr. David Frawely, founder and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico:

“If I had only one single herb to depend upon for all possible health and dietary needs, I would without much hesitation choose the Indian spice Turmeric. There is little it cannot do in the realm of healing and much that no other herb is able to accomplish.

Turmeric has a broad spectrum of actions, mild but certain effects, and is beneficial for long term and daily usage. Though it is a common spice, few people, including herbalists know of its great value and are using it to the extent possible. It is an herb that one should get to know and live with.”

Turmeric’s Beneficial Effects in a Nutshell

Strengthens and improves digestion

* Reduces gas and bloating
* Assists in the digestion of protein and with rice and bean dishes
* Improves your body's ability to digest fats
* Promotes proper metabolism, correcting both excesses and deficiencies
* Maintains and improves intestinal flora
* Improves elimination of wastes and toxins

Supports healthy liver function and detox

* Turmeric helps increase bile flow making it a liver cleanser that can rejuvenate your liver cells and recharge their capability to break down toxins
* Helps to prevent alcohol and other toxins from being converted into compounds that may be harmful to your liver
* Supports formation of healthy tissue

Purifies your blood

* Stimulates formation of new blood tissue
* Anti-inflammatory: Helps to reduce irritation to tissues characterized by pain, redness, swelling and heat

Contains curcuminoids that fight cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s

* Curcuminoids are potent phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients) that contain powerful antioxidant properties
* Counteract the damaging effects of free radicals in your body
* Relieve arthritis pain and stiffness, anti-inflammatory agent
* Anti-carcinogenic: “Curcumin has been shown to prevent a large of number of cancers in animal studies. Laboratory data indicate that curcumin can inhibit tumor initiation, promotion, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis.”[1]
* Supports treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: “Because Alzheimer's disease is caused in part by amyloid-induced inflammation, curcumin has been shown to be effective against Alzheimer's. Clinical trials are in progress at UCLA with curcumin for Alzheimer's.”[2]

Curcumin: Turmeric’s Active Anti-Inflammatory “Ingredient”

Most notably turmeric is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties, which come from curcumin -- the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow-orange color, and which is thought to be responsible for many of its medicinal effects. There are an estimated three to five grams of curcumin in 100 grams of turmeric.

Curcumin has been shown to influence more than 700 genes, and it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation.[3]

Turmeric’s Cancer-Fighting Properties

In India where turmeric is widely used, the prevalence of four common U.S. cancers -- colon, breast, prostate and lung -- is 10 times lower. In fact, prostate cancer, which is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in U.S. men, is rare in India and this is attributed, in part, to turmeric.

Numerous studies have looked into this potential cancer-fighting link, with promising results. For instance, curcumin has been found to:

* Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells
* Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
* Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body
* Decrease inflammation
* Enhance liver function
* Inhibit the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation
* Prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth

As for the results of research studies, a study in Biochemical Pharmacology found that curcumin can slow the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs in mice.[4]

"Curcumin acts against transcription factors, which are like a master switch," said lead researcher, Bharat Aggarwal. "Transcription factors regulate all the genes needed for tumors to form. When we turn them off, we shut down some genes that are involved in the growth and invasion of cancer cells."

A second study in Biochemical Pharmacology also found that curcumin inhibits the activation of NF-kappaB, a regulatory molecule that signals genes to produce a slew of inflammatory molecules (including TNF, COX-2 and IL-6) that promote cancer cell growth.[5]

Turmeric’s Essential Role for Your Liver

Your liver’s primary role is to process and remove toxins carried in your bloodstream. When functioning at its peak, it can filter up to two liters of blood per minute and easily break apart toxic molecules to reduce their toxicity. Your liver is also a crucial part of vitamin, mineral, protein, fat, carbohydrate and hormonal metabolism.

However, poor diet, allergens, pollution and stress can cause your liver to become sluggish, and this can impair its vital functions. This is where turmeric can be a very useful part of your liver support system. Studies have shown that it:

* May increase important detoxification enzymes in your liver
* Induces the formation of a primary liver detoxification enzyme, glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes

Turmeric is also a natural cholagogue, a medicinal agent that promotes the discharge of bile from your system. Increased bile flow is important to help your liver detoxify and to help your body digest fats.

Turmeric for Your Heart, Brain and Overall Health

Turmeric inhibits free radical damage of fats, including cholesterol. When cholesterol is damaged in this way, or oxidized, it can then damage your blood vessels and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, research suggests that turmeric’s ability to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol may be beneficial for your heart. It’s also rich in vitamin B6, high intakes of which are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

Meanwhile, turmeric appears to be highly protective against neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, in India levels of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s are very low, and studies have shown that curcumin can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in mice. The compound has also proven capable of blocking the progression of multiple sclerosis.

Further, Professor Moolky Nagabhushan from the Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, who has been studying turmeric for the last 20 years, believes that turmeric can protect against harmful environmental chemicals, and in so doing protect against childhood leukemia. The research showed that curcumin in turmeric can:[7]

* Inhibit the toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (cancer-causing chemicals in the environment)
* Inhibit radiation-induced chromosome damage
* Prevent the formation of harmful heterocyclic amines and nitroso compounds, which may result in the body when eating certain processed foods, such as processed meat products
* Irreversibly inhibit the multiplication of leukemia cells in a cell culture

Turmeric's volatile oils also have external anti-bacterial action. As such, they may help prevent bacterial wound infections and accelerate wound healing. Johnson & Johnson even sells a curcumin-containing Band-Aid in India!

And the therapeutic potential of turmeric and curcumin do not end there. Evidence suggests the spice may also be beneficial for:

* Cystic fibrosis
* Type 2 diabetes
* Crohn’s disease
* Psoriasis
* Rheumatoid arthritis

* Cataracts
* Gallstones
* Muscle regeneration
* Inflammatory bowel disease

Which Type of Turmeric is Best?

For use in cooking, choose a pure turmeric powder, rather than a curry powder. At least one study has found that curry powders tend to contain very little curcumin, compared to turmeric powder. Turmeric is also available in supplement form and for many this is a more convenient method to obtain these health benefits discussed above, especially if they are from a high-quality organic source and if one doesn’t particularly enjoy the taste of curry.

Friday, February 20, 2009

David Klinkenberg dot com is back!

For months, I have sat in the evenings on my comfy couch, with a nice cozy cup of hot tea and a good book listening to the quiet clicking of my StudHusband on the computer. The "masterpiece" was in process, and I was not to peek.

The unveiling is finally here. David Klinkenberg dot com is ready for the world to see.

We did a photo shoot last fall on a beautiful fall day and had a blast together. I personally think that these photos are what makes this website HOT! The house is near our own, in the country, and is probably 100 plus years old. True Americana.

Someone just left a question on the comments about who took the pictures - My husband did. Of his many jobs in life, photography is his passion. Hubby, myself, and David (and our mom) spent the day doing the photo shoot out on location and had so much fun.

So, check it out!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Motions

Sometimes during the middle of the winter like we find ourselves in now, I can start to "go through the motions" just to get through the busy grind, grey days, and long evenings of early darkness...

It's happy around here, don't get me wrong, but there are days that I want to feel more passionately alive, like I do on a warm summer day.

This latest song from Matthew West sums it up best...may you be challenged, like I was, to not settle for going through the motions.

Monday, February 16, 2009


This past week I found myself frustrated as I listened to a Christian Sister lecture me about faith. I do not usually like to engage in controversial conversations and often hear myself "agreeing" just to avoid conflict, but I had to take a stand this last week. I am increasingly becoming tired of Christian rhetoric and bad advice that's often hurtful from fellow Christians. It's been a pattern I have encountered for 4 years now, that started with strange and hurtful advice during the years I was sick. Thankfully, no one that I know that reads my blog or goes to my home church has ever said these types of things so I can safely share my thoughts here.

My husband will know in a few weeks how "bad it really is" in this economy as the final numbers come in and the plan is put in place that will undoubtedly reduce our income to an unprecedented low. They actually told them at their staff meeting last week, "don't panic yet, as you don't know what to panic about. You will know on Feb 25th."

StudHusband and I aren't ones to panic but we are ones to plan. If we experience the kinds of cuts that are predicted, one of the options to navigate that lack of money would be to make cuts in areas that we currently are spending in. Logical. So, when I shared why my heart felt heavy this last week to this friend, she began to lecture me that I need to have a spirit of Faith and not Fear. Somehow, sharing to her that it is possible that with these potential major cutbacks coming our kids might not be able to continue at their tuition based Christian school was being "fearful" and not "faithful".

I took this hurtful conversation with me on my run today and chatted with God about it. He impressed this very clearly on my heart: you are to have Faith in ME, daughter, and not faith that the outcome of this situation will be what you are wishing it will be. I am not Santa Claus, I am GOD.

Will you still have faith in me if the future is hard because you have to work more than you ever have, to have the same amount of money you currently have? Will you still have faith in me if you have to cut back in ways you never dreamed you'd have to? Will you still have faith in me if your tomorrows, for a time, are truly challenging?

Or is your faith one where you tell friends, "I have faith that even though these major financial cutbacks are happening, I believe that God is a God of miracles therefore, we will get to continue on as normal because God will do a miracle..."

I absolutely believe with all my heart that if StudHusband's salary cuts are as bad as predicted that one of the potential futures could include miracles that keep things as they are (we keep our house, our kids get to stay in their Christian school, we get to do things we want to do)...but my faith is not going to be proclaiming that I have faith in that particular outcome...I will proclaim a Faith in God...period. Come what may, we will still Love Him and strive to Give Him Glory even if the future that I want is not what future I am going to get.

This "name it and claim it" stuff is turning God into Santa. Instead, I choose to simply proclaim, that :

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, a]">[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
-Psalm 23

Come what may, we know that we will be walking this valley with God, and that's the Faith that I will talk about.

Does that make any sense?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Keyhole

Every so often I have had people blip into my life and offer tons of wisdom and then they're gone. One such lady in my life is named Karen. And I leaned upon an amazing truth she shared with me and some eagerly listening friends some years ago when talking and encouraging my son who was struggling so hard with a difficult situation in his life that he didn't understand.

"You are always wrong", Karen opened her talk with us. Something whispered to her from God in her still moment with him. She was frustrated. Her husband and her were having a disagreement and she had it all figured out, he was sadly mistaken and hugely in error, she argued with God.

"No, my daughter. You are wrong. And you are always wrong."


"Daughter, when you look at any situation you do it with such limited perspective. Think of it this way. Imagine that "Life" is happening inside a giant grandiose ballroom, behind a locked door with an itty bitty keyhole on that door. You, my daughter, are simply standing in the doorway trying to figure a situation out, get a handle on it, and make your verdict known. So, you peer down and look in the keyhole to gaze through to the ballroom...and you think you are seeing the fullness of what is happening in that huge room.

But imagine if I were to open that door - you'd suddenly see things that were never in your scope of vision, never even imagined, happening in corners of the room and all throughout the room that fill in the fullness of the story.

Daughter, I LIVE in the room and you live in the hallway. You can't know the fullness of your husband's perspective, and you know SO little of the situation that you are simply wrong, and you are wrong all the time because you are never going to know the millions of details necessary to walk through your days and possibly think you understand enough to be right."

Karen finished and hung her head for a few moments. Slowly a smile crept across her face and she looked up with a tear trickling down her cheek: "And girls, when I realized this truth, this huge weight lifted from me. A burden was gone. The burden that I had to know, that I had to understand fully, that I had to weigh through and figure it all out, that I had to be right.


And with that, girls, came freedom. Unbelievable freedom."

My son doesn't totally get it yet. I'll just store it away and pull it out in those delicate moments when such powerful truth can rock his life and change his heart.

This truth has popped into my mind so much lately as I trudge through tough economic times with worse stuff predicted for us just over the horizon. I don't have to understand it. I don't have to figure it out. I don't have to be right. I just have to hang out in the hallway knowing that God is amongst it all, in the ballroom, dancing and working it all out for good in ALL OF US!!

Thank you Karen. I miss you!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Berry Muffins

My princess sprout and I love our weekly muffin making dates. Here's what we are cookin up this week!

Soak 3 Cups of spelt, kamut, or whole wheat pastry flour in 2 C of buttermilk, kefir or yogurt overnight. (Milk allergy variation - soak flour in 2 c water plus 2 T whey, lemon juice or vinegar instead of the buttermilk and yogurt).

Runninggal's tip: I used a combination of Whole wheat pastry flour (helps keep it together), rice flour, barley flour, and quinoa flour. This gives the muffins all the wonderful nutrition from these various sources and reduces the gluten. In these winter months, we stay very low on the wheat intake as it's a mucous producer and keeps any colds that come lingering for weeks. The other flours have lots of protein and vitamins. Quinoa, for instance, is an almost ideal balance of amino acids plus vitamins and minerals. It is probalby the least allergenic of the grains and makes baked goods so nice an moist. Used a ton in South America, discover quinoa for yourself! I also buy quinoa and make it like a rice.

Blend in:
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/4 C maple syrup
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3 T melted butter

Pour into well buttered muffin tins, fillng about 3/4 full. Put a few berries on top of each muffin and push into the muffin.

Bake at 325 for about an hour.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sweet potato cookies

In the spirit of sneaking veggies into your kids diet, here's a great recipe that we are eating this week!

Sweet Potato Cookies
1 c cooked sweet potato or squash
1/2 c butter, softened
3/4 c maple syrup (not Aunt Jemimas - real maple syrup - expensive but it's FOOD!)
1 egg
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t powdered cloves
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
2 cups bulgar flour (see below for how to make this)
1/2 c raisins
1/2 cup crispy pecans (See below for how to make this)
Place all ingredients except pecans and raisins in a food processor and process until well blended. Transfer to a bowl and fold in raisins and nuts. Form in walnut sized balls and place on buttered cookies sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 min. After 5 min, press cookies down lightly with a fork. Let cool completely befre removing to an airtight container for storage in the fridge.
Bulgar flour
Remember those wheat berries we soaked and sprouted over the last 3 days, we need those now! Drain well. Spread the sprouted berries on a cookie sheet and set in a warm oven, no more than 150 degrees, overnight or until the berries are well dried. A dehydrater works great too.
Once dried, grind coarsely in a grain grinder (or try using a coffee bean grinder). A food processor might work too. Experiment! Store the bulgar four in the fridge.
Crispy Pecans
Like all nuts, pecans contain enzyme inhibitors that can irritate the mouth and cause digestive problems. Native Americans new instinctively that pecans had to be treated in some way before they were consumed. They'd grind them up and soak them to make a rich nut milk. Pecans contain about 70% fat. This stable oil protects pecans from rancidity. They contain calcium, iron, magnesium phosphorus, potassium and selenium. Exceptionally rich source of manganese. Good source of trace minerals as the tree they grow on has roots that go deep into the earth's rich soil. They contain B complex vitamins, carotenoids and vitamin C as well.
Take 4 c pecan halves and mix with 2 sea salt and filtered water. Leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain. Spread the pecans on a stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours, turing them occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store in airtight containter.
Great school lunch snack! These taste so light and wonderful! It's so simple but transforms them into a delicious treat that is much more digestible.
Recipes and tidbits from my fav cookbook, "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mother-in-law refried beans

Yummiest refried beans on earth! Seriously, creamy and perfect. And I am half hispanic who grew up with my Mexican family whipping out the most authentic Mexican food in their sleep. And I think these beans would win head to head with their beans!

Soak 1 1/2 C Organic pinto beans overnight

Next day, saute in a pressure cooker pot:
  • 1 T Olive oil
  • 1 C chopped green onions
  • 1 seeded jalapeno
  • 2 cloves garlic

Add in:

  • 1 T flour
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/4 t cumin

Blend in:

  • 2 to 3 cups water

Put pressure cooker top on and turn the heat up until that puppy is spewing steam. Keep it at this level for 40 minutes (in pressure cooking terms, cook it at 15 pounds of pressure for 40 minutes). Take off heat after 40 min and let it cool so that you can take the lid off. Put the beans in a food processor and blend until totally creamy.

Add 1 to 1 1/2 t salt.

Trust me - these beans are perfect!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Delicious herb bread

Your family will rise up and call you blessed if you serve them this! We'll be eating this herb bread this week with my prized Pea soup recipe.

Yogurt Herb bread
I'll be using yogurt I made in my crockpot from my yummy raw goat milk I get from a little farm near my house. Of course, mix your 3 Cups of whole wheat pastry flour, kamut or spelt flour with 2 C of yogurt for 12 to 24 hours.
Place flour mixture in food processor and process for several minutes to knead the dough. Add remaining ingredients and process until well blended:
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 stick melted butter
  • 1/3 c maple syrup *real maple syrup friends! Not pancake corn-syrup
  • 1 t dried dill
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 1/2 t dried tarragon
Pour into a well-buttered and floured loaf pan (preferably stoneware). Bake at 350 degrees for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Running gal's Famous Pea soup *famous in my house anyway!*
Soak one pound of Organic green peas overnight then drain. I buy mine from Azure Standard.
In a crockpot in the morning, put 1 pound of green peas, 2 quarts of water, 2 smoked ham hocks, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped onion, and 1 chopped celery in the pot and turn on medium for the day. Should be ready by dinner. Sometimes, for the last 3 or 4 hours, I turn it to high to make sure those peas get cooked.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Friendship Burritos

This recipe has circulated through my close friends - I think it's Ruth's - but I first tasted it from Jen who made it for me when I was recovering from my sinus surgery in 2006. Love these friends!

So, I soaked the beans on Sunday night, cooked them while I taught piano on Monday, and kept them in the fridge until I needed them on Thursday, when we ate them up.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
5 C peeled cubed sweet potatoes
1/2 t salt
2 t oil
3 1/2 C diced onions
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced fresh green chile
4 t ground cumin
4 t ground coriander
4 1/2 c cooked black beans
2/3 C lightly packed cilantro leaves
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 t salt
8 eight-inch flour tortillas
salsa, as garnish
Preheat oven to 350.
Cover sweet potatoes with water and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer till tender, about 10 min, Drain and set aside.
Suate onions, garlic, and chile with oil till onions are tender, about 7 min.
Add cumin and coriander. Cook 2 -3 min longer, stir frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
In food processor, combine black beans, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and cooked sweet potatoes and puree. till smooth
Mix in cooked onions and spices. Lightly oil large baking dish.
Spoon 2/3 to 3/4 c of filling into tortilla, roll and place seam-side down in dish.
Cover tightly with foil and bake 30 min till hot.

Serve with salsa and enjoy!

Monday, February 2, 2009

What's Cookin'?

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker

Periodically, I will detail what's happening in my kitchen. I spend hours planning for how to feed my family (and I also spend way too much, so I am not necessarily the frugal example to follow, but it's healthy!) AND realized how you all might be able to benefit too from these efforts. So, check in to see What's Cookin'? in RunningGal's kitchen!

I love an active kitchen! One with sprouts growing, beans soaking, flour fermenting overnight, nuts sprouting, and the dehydrator whirring. It’s so fun to have all these mini projects brewing, cause the final result, is food that is alive and full of active enzymes.

Right now I have 5 different bowls with beans soaking overnight. I have soft wheat berries soaking too, and starting tomorrow for 3 days, I will rinse and drain them 2 times a day so that in about 3 days, they will be fully sprouted.

The pinto beans will soak overnight and tomorrow I will do my monthly routine of making about 8 batches of my most famous refried beans, as taught to me by my sweet mother-in-law. All recipes posted throughout this week. This is one to cherish! I make a ton, and freeze it in gallon bags for our weekly taco night. These are organic pinto beans from Azure.

The black beans are soaking so that tomorrow I can get them simmering and cooked for a delicious sweet potato black bean dish that my amazing cook of a friend, Ruth, made me during the "sick" era of my life to keep in my freezer for a night that I was just too out of it to cook. No wait, this is Ruth's recipe but our friend Jen actually made these for me to have on hand. Don't you just love dear friends!

The wheat berries are soaking. Once they are sprouted, I will lay them out on a cookie sheet and dry them out in a 150 degree oven. Once dried, I will throw them in the food processor and grind them into a flour called "bulgar Flour" to be used in another recipe later this week.

Tomorrow night, I will soak a couple of cups of rice and wheat flour so it's ready to make delicious honey sweetened berry muffins the next day. Why am I soaking my flour? Well, flour should always be soaked for at least 12 hours, preferably 24 hours in buttermilk, cultured milk, youghurt, or whey to activate the enzyme phytase, which works to break down phytic acid in the bran of grains. Sour milk products also provide lactic acid and lactobacilli that help break down complex starches, irritatin tannins and difficult to digest proteins. Soaking increases vitamin content and makes all the nutrients in grains more available. It makes for light and moist baked products that my family just loves. Civilizations have followed this procedure for thousands of years, and it's been lost in our modern, fast paced society and with it we lose those "good bacteria" that we need for a strong immune system and a well-functioning digestive system. (info taken from my favorite cookbook "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon).

Friday night is Pizza night - using homemade pizza sauce that we made from our summer's garden tomatoes, canned and ready to go. Here's what we are eating tonight:

Turkey Meat Loaf with Mashed Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey - free range, organic

1 onion, chopped

1 bunch fresh ORGANIC spinach (spinach is a MUST for Organic!) - about 4 cups

1 cup flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

2 T Dijon mustard

1 large egg white

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup of Organic Ketchup (make sure your k-up is sugar free. This is yet another product that cheap k-up makers are sneaking corn syrup and sugar into. Azure and Trader Joe's have good k-ups)

2 pound of organc red potatoes, quartered (Potatoes are HIGH priority to make sure are organic. Horrible stuff on regular taters, growth retardant and pesticides are used a ton on the innocent tater making it one of the most lethal veggie to get conventionally)

1 cup buttermilk

1 T olive oil

1.4 c marinara sauce

1. Heat oven to 400. In a bowl, combine the turkey, onion, spinach, parsley, bread crumbs, mustard, egg white, and 1/2 t each salt and pepper/

2. Transger the mixture to a baking sheet and form it into a 10 inch loaf. Spread with the k-up. Bake until cooked through, 45 to 60 min.

3. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash in the pot with the buttermilk, oil, 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper

4. Serve the meat loaf with the marinara sauce and potatoes.