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Thank you for your support! Please send us your questions, thoughts and feedback along the way! We look forward to serving you.

* * * 

Angie Needels / Director

angie@mamakai.org / 510-325-4785

 

 


Berkeley, CA

510-325-4785

(Not used in this template) MamaKai offers support for families in preconception, pregnancy, birth, post partum and child development. This includes: education, classes, support groups, online resources, nutrition, health coaching, and more. Donate TODAY and receive SO MUCH support from MamaKai! 

Blog

Nourishment and Support for Growing Families

Traditional Food on a Budget

Angie Needels

 

It can seem expensive initially when making the change to eating healthy, pure foods. However, there really are ways it can be done more economically and I'm happy to share a few things that have worked well for me and my family.

Consider eating whole foods as an investment in your health. By eating well and supporting your health, you'll have less out-of-pocket expenses on doctor's visits, missed days at work and expensive medications or supplements.

  1. Remember that you will be saving money on processed stuff you won’t be buying anymore! This is huge when you think about how much sugary boxed cereals cost, how quickly you can go through money on eating out/fast food and how expensive other packaged foods are.
  2. Meal planning. Try to sit down once a week and get a general plan for what you’ll be making for meals, then make a grocery list. If you have a thorough list, it really does cut down on the impulse buys and your time.
  3. Make foods at home. Homemade items like breads, crackers, creme fraiche/sour cream, yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, salad dressings, condiments, soups, casseroles and snacks can be much cheaper made at home.
  4. Keep your kitchen well stocked and organized. Have extra staples on hand, so you don't have to do last minute trips to the store or pay high prices at the 'corner store'. You can keep a 'cabinet and/or freezer inventory list' on your fridge telling you what you have on hand. It may cost more in the beginning to do this; however, it will save you considerably over time.
  5. Shop at the farmer's markets. Decreasing the distance from the food source to your table, is not only more beneficial for our bodies and for our environment, it is easier on the budget by cutting out the middle man and the cost of fuel. Also, you can give yourself a budget to stick within much easier when shopping at the farmer's market. Simply allot an amount of cash you can spend and when your pocket is empty, pack up and go home. If you want even further discounts on produce, shop toward the end of the day at the farmer's market and many farmers will reduce their prices so they don't have to take their goods back to the farm. *** NOTE *** If you use food stamps or EBT for buying your foods, many farmers markets will accept those as payment now. In Berkeley they also have an amazing program called Market Match where you'll get extra free dollars to spend on produce if you use your EBT there.
  6. Buy in bulk and/or join a local co-op, buying club or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). When you buy yourself or split orders with friends, you can take advantage of deeper savings in buying in bulk and larger quantities. This can include butchered pasture raised meats, fats and oils, dried pantry goods and spices, fresh produce for drying, canning or freezing, supplements and so much more. Check out: Azure Standard and even CostCo is carrying organic products. We'll be adding a Sourcing Page to MamaKai's Wellness Resource Library in the near future, so please check back soon to find loads of great places to buy high quality ingredients.
  7. Plant a garden. Gardening is very affordable when done from starter plants and even more so when starting from seeds. Even those of you with limited space can have container gardens or fresh herb planters and subsidize your overall food costs. Take pleasure in watching your food grow right before your eyes and pick/eat it when its perfectly ripe for maximum nutrition.
  8. Buy whole foods when on sale, discounted or with coupons. Plan your meals around what whole foods are on sale. Certain stores have specific days/times when things might be on sale, ask your preferred grocers and they'll let you know their schedule. There are plenty of recipe apps, magazines and websites that you can search to find new recipes to make with the ingredients that you find on sale. Crop Mobster is a listserve which alerts you when farmer's have an abundance of produce that they need to sell quickly at discounted prices.
  9. Buy the inexpensive cuts. When buying meats, buy and use more of the cheaper cuts like ground, stew meat, shoulder cuts, roasts, shanks, organs, bone-in and sausages. Because these generally have more fats, cartilage, bones and marrow and take longer to cook they are actually going to be healthier. They'll have a wider make-up of nutrients and those nutrients will be more accessible through slow cooking techniques. Not to mention they'll be much more flavorful and comforting to eat. 
  10. Buy whole pieces of meat. A whole chicken or duck is much cheaper by the pound than the sum of it's parts. You can roast it whole to serve for a couple meals or take off the bone and add to soup or make a chicken salad. You can save all bones, skin and cartilage for making nutrient-dense broths.  
  11. Buy in Season. Out of season produce is more expensive because it is being shipped from other places. If there are things you might like to have on hand throughout the whole year, buy them in bulk when they are in season and either dry, freeze or can them for later use. Farmers have special pricing for full flats or if you buy a pound/s of a particular item.
  12. Make your own bone broths and include them in your cooking. Bone broths are very economical to make. Save bones, skin and cartilage from meat or ask for knuckle, neck, or shank/marrow bones from your butcher. Instead of buying broths that are laden with MSG and other substances to make it taste like broth, Nourishing broths are deeply healing and will make every dish (soup, stew, sauce, gravy or cooked grain) taste rich and comforting.
  13. Make meals in large batches and freeze leftovers. You can make a double batch of any dish you make. So if you're roasting a whole chicken for dinner, roast two instead. Eat one for dinner and save the other for another night. Or you can pick a day a month to make several dishes in large quantity. Package meals in single serving containers for lunches or quick dinners. Simply label the dish name, date, freeze it and thaw it later to balance with side dishes. 
  14. Eat out less. You can buy several meals at home for the price of one at a restaurant. When you make meals at home, you also know all of the ingredients that are used, that they are safe and healing for you and your family's health. Pay less and get so much more!  
  15. Pack your bag with snacks. Take a few minutes before you leave the house to pack a drink and a few nutrient-dense snacks to take wherever you go. This will help you avoid buying fast food or snacks from vending machines that not only add up in costs but are detrimental to your health.
  16. Pack or plan food for trips. By car, take a cooler and have lunch on a picnic table or in a park. By plane, bring non liquid foods like canned fish, beef jerky, cheese, cured meat, dried fruit, sprouted nuts/seeds, homemade crackers. Also save money by staying in a place with a kitchen & shop at local markets, AirBnB makes it easy to do this all over the world. Check out Local Harvest and the Eat Well Guide for more food resources at your destination spot.
  17. Eat a few balanced 'vegetarian' meals a week. Use plant or dairy 'proteins' and healthy fats by incorporating cheeses, yogurt, soaked/sprouted gluten-free grains, bone broth, lard, tallow, coconut oil and nuts/seeds in your meals. You can have very nutrient-dense options for considerably less. Our ancestors didn't eat meat everyday, so maybe we shouldn't either.
  18. Do the best you can and don't stress about it. Make the best food choices with the resources you have. If you can’t afford all organic or pastured meats all the time, make it a goal to add more in when your budget allows.

From the old ways,
Primal Mama

primalmama@mamakai.org

No More Sugar Blues - Starting the Year with a Sugar Detox

Angie Needels

It’s that time of year and many of you probably have some sort of exercise regimen, weight loss program or cleanse at the top of your New Year’s Resolution List. A sort of "hit the reset button" right? 

After the holidays and maybe indulging in sweet treats at work, holiday parties or family dinners, it's time for us to recalibrate our sweet tooth.

Let's do a little sugar detox. This can help increase all of our health goals for the new year.

It’s important to give our bodies a break from sugar and an over abundance of carbohydrates. Too many carbohydrates in our diet are directly linked to fatigue, blood sugar issues, weight issues, brain fog, energy highs and crashes and much more.

In the old days, eating desserts or sugary snacks were a rare treat. Anything sweet that was eaten was from nature and coming with all the necessary components to digest and integrate the minimal carbohydrates in the most optimal way. However, in today's society we've come to expect sweet in our everyday life. By eliminating sugars even for a few weeks, your body can break this addictive cycle.

There are many ways to detox and reset your sweet cravings, here are couple:

2 Week Sugar Elimination - Remove all flours, sugars or sweeteners, including sugar substitutes and even natural sweeteners

Paleo Style Elimination Diet - Remove the above ingredients in the 2 Week Sugar Elimination as well as coffee, grains, beans/legumes, dairy, alcohol, and chocolate. So you're asking... "What the heck can I eat?" - Check out the Paleo dietary guidelines and meal plan generator in the link - http://paleologix.com/about/dietary-guidelines/

When eliminating sugars and carbohydrate rich foods from your diet, you force your body to use fats as a more sustainable source of fuel. Fats contain 9 calories versus the 4 in carbs. You'll find that your energy level is more sustained throughout the day, you have less crashes and a need for a sweet treat or cup of coffee in the afternoon. And not to mention you're body will start to burn the fats that you already have in your body, trimming you up and showing more of your natural muscle tone.

Below are links for more support. Feel free to email me if you've got questions along the way.

21 Day Sugar Detox - http://21daysugardetox.com/

Whole 30 Program - http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/              

Whichever detox you choose, keep in mind that it may be rough the first few days. Sugar withdrawals are similar to the addictive nature of kicking a drug habit. Some of these symptoms include headaches, fatigue, cranky-ness, and digestive issues. Please be sure to take things slow and consider working with a health care provider if you have other health issues.

These detoxes are ideal as they are not depriving your body along the way like some cleanses do. These detoxes are very nourishing and re-building.

To support your body during this detox, consider: getting more sleep, supplementing with high quality liquid B Vitamins, cod liver oil/salmon oil, and minerals.

Happy detoxing and starting your new year off with no more sugar blues!

From the old ways,
Primal Mama
primalmama@mamakai.org

Welcome Primal Mama to MamaKai's Blog

Angie Needels

Happy New Year MamaKai Crew!

With the new year, comes new life galore.

Two months ago my hubby Scott and I welcomed our sweet baby girl Isabelle into the world via a safe and super healthy home birth. We are finding rhythm and balance with all of the great support our beloveds have shared with us. I'm finally feeling ready to emerge from the newborn cocoon and am OH SO EXCITED to get back to my mission here at MamaKai. 

souppot.jpeg

With that, MamaKai's community continues to grow and great new things are stirring in the pot for 2015. I'm excited to expand our blog of great "mama" and "baby/child" related health and well-being topics by inviting our guest blogger, Primal Mama, to share in her expertise, passions and fun in being a health conscious mama with all of you. 

WELCOME Primal Mama... 

Look for more articles on:

  • Nutrition & Health
  • Homesteading
  • Children's Education
  • Sourcing
  • Product Reviews
  • Body & Home Care
  • Crafty Mamas
  • Sustainable Family
  • Recipes
  • Events & To Dos

Don't hesitate to let us know what you'd like to hear more about!

and here's a little from Primal Mama to get us started... 

* * *

I’m Holly, also known as Primal Mama.

I've known Angie for several years now and am honored and excited to collaborate with her and to be a guest blogger here at MamaKai, being a resource for pregnant women and mamas. I hope to pass on some ideas and inspire optimal health and happiness in your family life.

In this modern world there are so many distractions and ‘new’ ways of doing things and often it can be a bit confusing, unhealthy, or even just downright complicated. With that I often try to understand the old ways or how our primal ancestors might have done things. Making decisions about what to eat and how to live based on these old world ways. I aspire to live simply, keeping my family healthy and as balanced as possible.

I am a nutritional therapist turned stay-at-home mama who is passionate and excited about health & wellness, food, crafts, family activities, DIY projects, nature-based education, and homesteading. 

In the new year, I plan on writing about these very same topics. All from a mama perspective... inclusive of kids and family dynamics... and sharing with you the many ways I've been able to keep my own family feeling energized and healthy.

I plan on sending out posts every other week or so. But as you probably know, we mamas need to be flexible and present... so that could wax and wane from time-to-time. Posts will be brief and to the point, giving you quick, digestible chunks of info and projects that you can in a manageable way. 

So stay tuned and don't forget to pass this on to all your mama friends too. 

From the old ways,

Primal Mama

Email me at primalmama@mamakai.org with your thoughts, questions or feedback. I'm all ears!

A Review & Give Away!

Angie Needels

The Nourishing Traditions Book for Baby and Child Care
Bringing Deep Nourishment to Our Next Generation

I'm very honored to support birth and health through advocating for more deep nourishment and community support! All individuals and all families deserve to feel vibrant in health while loving life and sharing it with others. 

* * *

A brief caveat, the original Nourishing Traditions' full book title is "Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats". That's a mouthful but all for good reason. 

Expect the messages in Nourishing Traditions Book for Baby and Child Care to furl a few eyebrows in our present awareness of health care and Western style allopathic medicine as well. If you are new to the Weston A. Price Foundation and Nourishing Traditions as a way to heal and support your family's well-being, please come to these resources with an open mind and heart. And don't be surprised to find you live a more vibrant, happy and healthful life because of it.  

With that said... This book, Nourishing Traditions Book for Baby and Child Care, is a wealth of knowledge and is a user-friendly guide to aiding parents (and grandparents) in navigating a more natural and deeply nourishing approach to preconception, pregnancy, birth, postpartum and childhood development. 

BOOK REVIEW...

Upon finding the Weston A. Price Foundation and Nourishing Traditions, my world was rocked!

I grew up a kid and teenager in the mid-west (eating lots of processed foods) wondering what it looked like to meet someone who seemed happy and healthy and... if they were out there, what were they eating and doing to achieve that?  In my attempt to find these things, I listened intently to the recommendations of our government, health agencies and television commercials, didn't they after all have my best interest in mind? Following the food pyramid and eating more grains and less meats and fats I found myself slowly dip into the vicious cycle of teenage eating disorders and the mental illness that ensues when starving your brain of nutrients. 

My body came so close to shutting down and it was way worse than what it was when I had started asking those questions in the first place. I managed to dig myself out of it, but was even more confused as to what I should do to live a happy and healthy life. 

Several years of dieting and confusion passed, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and found farmer's markets and Nourishing Traditions. I was given the same above caveat by the acupuncturist, Sean Micheal Hall, I was seeing at the time. "REMAIN OPEN to trying new things" -- as ludicrous as they might sound -- was my mantra, and at this point, seriously, what did I have to lose? I was destined to be overweight, depressed, and on my way to many more severe health issues at the rate I was going, and honestly just another statistic in the growing health epidemic. 

I dove in, took out processed foods, ate tons more healthy fats, did an elimination diet, healed my gut and fell in LOVE with food, eating, cooking, myself and my life all over again. 

So what does this have to do with The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care you ask? 

LOTS... Because I fell in love with food and eating and saw myself heal all of the mental and physical ailments I had, I had to stand on the proverbial mountain and sing praises of these methods, new to me, but ancient in their wisdom and human evolution. I created MamaKai.

MamaKai, instead of being rooted in healing those who were already sick, was a way to support healthy new life from the very beginning (granted, I always say, these principals are great for anyone at any stage of their lives, healing or not). What if we never had to get sick, but could live a happy and healthy life from the very get-go?

I learned a lot through my training as a Therapeutic Chef and Nutrition Educator. I devoured books, films, lectures, conferences, more books. I worked with tons of new families, providing healing meals for them in all stages of pregnancy and graciously learned from them what was most challenging along the way. I continued nourishing myself and feeling better and better each day.

And as much as I would always go back to my "bible", Nourishing Traditions (The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats), I found it lacked in so much when it came to serving my "preconception through child-having" clients, who'd beg for more resources and insight to all the things they were facing, including and not including "what to eat".

drumroll please........... 

Finally, and I'm sure it was requested for years of them and took lots of time to write and research, our dear friends Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Thomas S. Cowan published their compendium, The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care in 2013. 

I was elated and ordered my copy on pre-sale 3 months before it's release. I wasn't sure what I'd expect, but I knew how much NT had changed my life so regardless I knew I'd resonate and support the continuation of their work.

The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care is so many things, far beyond a cookbook, it's got some great tried and true recipes in it, but is truly a guide to helping any family understand and navigate every choice they are faced in pre-pregnancy through raising a child.  

There are a plethora of topics that are covered in great detail and are very well-researched. Brought to you with a vantage point of reaching optimal health, but done so in a non-judgmental way, simply educating you so you feel comfortable and confident in making decisions that are best for your family's needs. 

  • preparing the bodies of both parents (yupp, papa's diet is important too) well before conception
  • what does a healthy baby look like and what kinds of foods will provide the nutrients to achieve that
  • morning sickness or anemia in pregnancy
  • fetal screenings throughout pregnancy and birth
  • preparing for birth and successful breastfeeding
  • what if you can't breastfeed? navigating formula feeding
  • good bacteria, probiotics and supporting natural immunity
  • water birth
  • hormones in birth and postpartum
  • newborn interventions such as: bathing, anti-bacterial eye ointments, circumcision, vitamin K, vaccinations/herd immunity
  • diapering and rashes
  • attachment parenting and bond building
  • sleeping schedules
  • toilet training and elimination communication
  • and of course the list goes on and on...

Some are very much linked to mainstream pregnancy and birth approaches and some are incredibly controversial. And now that I'm pregnant and approaching my birth, I'm realizing ALL will come up in some way, shape or form to think about and decide upon. AND boy am I happy to have this book as a resource to reference!

For me and MamaKai, I hope that this book becomes a text discussed in schools around the world, reaching young people early as a method to help them understand how our bodies' work, how our reproductive systems work and making birth a more consciously done endeavor by all. 

I know we will see a reduction in every piece of today's health epidemic if we might start with this type of realistic education. Kids and young adults have a right to know how to take care of themselves and when to choose to become parents; when they are ready to take on the challenge with a healthy body, mind and lots of community support.

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ENTER TO WIN   

Send a friend to sign up for MamaKai's mailing list (click the envelope icon in the top right corner, have them mention you and the "NT Book Give Away" in the message and be entered to win. Each of you will receive your own copy of the book. Deadline is December 31st, 2014, MamaKai will send out personal notice to randomized winners and mail books just in time for some New Year's resolution reading.

Everyone's Raving About... Rachel Yellin's "Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond" Audio Program... GET 20% OFF TODAY!

Angie Needels

 

When purchasing use "mamakai" at checkout and receive your 20% discount.
You won't find a more effective birth tool for less! PROMISE!
And here's a FREE TRACK to get your well on your way to relaxation...

* * *

Now that I'm pregnant and approaching my own birth, I've been elated to have Rachel's NEW Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond Audio Program in my arsenal of tools. What great timing!

Rachel and I have been friends for years in serving birth, but I hadn't had the opportunity to fully step in to the breadth of her work until now. In August, I attended her Childbirth Preparation Series with my husband and at that time started using her newly released audio program. 

I CAN NOT SPEAK MORE HIGHLY of these two tools in preparing realistic expectations for the birth that YOU WANT; and creating a deeply gratifying bond with yourself, your body, your birthing partner, your innate abilities to birth and your baby of course

For birth... THIS IS IT! A serious game changer. Even for me; who's listened to and read hundreds of birth stories, watched videos and films of natural and home birth and who has gone through years of explorations on a wide variety of health supporting modalities, taking Rachel's class and listening to her audio tracks daily has been so grounding and impactful to my confidence in becoming a new mama. 

I'll keep you posted on how the birth goes :)

THANK YOU Rachel for being you and creating this for all the world to have access to!

Rachel's Audio Program has three sections:
          1. Pregnancy & Birth - $40
                   2. After Birth - $25
                             3. Going Deep: Ultra Depth Hypnosis - $15 (for everyone)
                                         * Buy all three as a package and save - $60 *

DON'T FORGET... use "mamakai" at checkout and receive your 20% discount!!!

And if you're a practitioner or birth supporter and would love to tell the world about Rachel's amazing audio program, consider becoming an affiliate, and allow Rachel's work to support you too. Tell her "MamaKai" sent ya.

Fermentation Made Easy with Kraut Source... Get Yours TODAY!

Angie Needels

I'm so excited about my new Kraut Source!

Yesterday my friend Karen Diggs of Cultured Gourmet launched Kraut Source. A new and innovative way to make raw, small-batched, gourmet fermentation projects easily, right in your own home kitchen.

Check out the class that we did together on the health benefits of fermented foods. Not only are these naturally fermented or cultured foods tasty and a great method of preservation, but they are also so incredibly healthful for our bodies.

Feel GREAT eating your own homemade fermented foods made in your Kraut Source.

SUPPORT Kraut Source's Kickstarter and order yours TODAY!

 

 

Sacred Foods: Water & Nutrient-dense Beverages

Angie Needels

Water is life. We can’t exist without it. Water is essential for our bodies’ health and the health of our environment. The primordial soup that made all of life, came from water.

Every day we should be drinking about half of your body weight in ounces of water or nutrient-dense beverages. Averages are 2.2 liters of water for women and 3 liters of water for men. If you don't know or don't think you are coming close to that consumption, carry a water bottle wherever you go and start tracking you're intake. You'll find that you just drink more when you have it with you anyway.

Water composition in our bodies:

  • babies 80-90%
  • adults 60-65%
  • brains & hearts 70-75%
  • lungs 80-85%
  • skin 65%
  • muscles & kidneys 75-80%
  • bones 30%

Water performs many roles in every cell of our bodies.

  • exchange of nutrients in blood and cellular fluids
  • building new materials
  • regulating body temperature
  • metabolizing carbohydrates and proteins
  • flush toxins and waste through urination and elimination
  • shock absorption in joints, brain, spinal cord, and amniotic fluid
  • in saliva transport minerals to remineralize teeth and enzymes to break down food

Water levels in our bodies are constantly changing along with levels of water-soluble nutrients, including the B vitamins and vitamin C, as our bodies try to maintain homeostasis. Results from water-based health tests like blood and urine tests will vary greatly depending on our water levels in that moment. A test that is not water-based like the Hair Mineral Analysis test will give nutrient level results based on a longer period of time, about 3-4 months.

In the U.S. our drinking water comes from one of about 160,000 public water systems that are governed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The EPA created the Safe Drinking Water Act to establish safe drinking water standards. Some people in the U.S. have private well water systems, and those are not governed by the EPA and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The EPA requires that tap water is purified and tested for contaminants in these six categories:

  1. microorganisms - bacteria, viruses, protozoa like giardia
  2. disinfectants - chlorine, chloramine
  3. disinfectant byproducts - bromates, chlorates
  4. inorganic chemicals - arsenic, cadmium, asbestos, fluoride. Drinking fluoride in water does not impact our dental health in the same way as fluoride treatments. Fluoride is not supposed to be swallowed. It disrupts endocrine function, leading to thyroid and adrenal issues.
  5. organic chemicals - lead, mercury, nitrates, nitrites
  6. radionuclides - radium, uranium

Other factors that affect our water quality and resources include:

  1. drought
  2. lead and toxins from pipes or transit system
  3. natural gas fracking / oil drilling / mining / manufacturing
  4. CDC published outbreaks in 150,000 public water systems
  5. people putting things back in
  • antibiotics
  • harsh cleaners
  • pharmaceuticals
  • washing toxic things off body
  • farming runoff: pesticides, herbicides, waste from animals

It is important to drink and bathe in high quality water. Do not use bottled water. Most of the time bottled water is bottled in plastic which has petrochemicals that leach into the water and the bottles create literal tons of waste in the environment. This plastic waste doesn't break down organically and is reaping havoc not only on human health, but on plant and animal life, causing mass extinction for many species.

Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession With Bottled Water by Peter Gleick explains how bottled water has destroyed communities.

Water filtration options:

  1. determine filtration needs by getting a water test from the EPA or other source (check out this easy method you'll be able to do yourself soon)
  2. sources for filters:

Berkey

Premier Research Labs RO Tap Filter / Shower Filter (email to get pricing)

Radiant Life

Brita / Pur - These are not the most recommended systems because they have a lot of plastics involved as well as don't remove all of the toxins that we are hoping to. Might be applicable however depending on what kind of water you have coming from your tap.

Keep in mind, Reverse Osmosis filters strip water of harmful toxins as well as beneficial minerals creating distilled water. We need minerals in our water to make it usable for our bodies. If you use a reverse osmosis filter, please add polar minerals back into your water.

Healthy ways to meet your body’s requirements for your daily water intake:

  • watery foods like whole fruits, celery, cucumber, and lettuces
  • bone broths and stocks in soups and stews
  • herbal teas or tonics (reishi mushroom, fresh ginger, elderberry etc.)
  • lemon/citrus water (rinse often with clean water to ensure the acids of citrus don't break down tooth enamel)
  • fermented beverages like lacto-fermented sodas, beet kvass, water kefir, dairy kefir, kombucha, ginger beer, root beer. check out The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, The Essential Book of Fermentation by Jeff Cox, and Weston A. Price (2) for recipes
  • MamaKai's swamp water (see general recipe below)
  • raw organic coconut water (nature's "gatorade")
  • raw milk (if tolerated)
  • AVOID: pasteurized juices, soda pop, coffee, alcohol, caffeine - These are depleting and hinder homeostasis and are just not good sources for water consumption

 

MamaKai's "Swamp" Water Recipe

Many mornings I make 1 quart of what I call "Swamp" water and drink it throughout the day. This is not the only water/nutrient-dense beverage I'm drinking, but it's a great part of making sure that I'm getting added nutrients into my diet and giving me little bits of those nutrients throughout the day in a very absorbable way. 

I'm not one to recommend loads of supplements, but because many of us are "healing" our bodies we need more components to do that on top of simple maintenance. 

Depending on what's going on with us personally we may adjust what's in our "Swamp" water. This is the recipe that I use daily and is fantastic for any woman who's pregnant or is breastfeeding. 

MamaKai offers these private supplements as a nutrition consultant, please contact me directly to discuss what you might have in your "Swamp" water based on what your overall health goals are and we can get you the right recipe and the supplements ordered so you have them on hand.

  • 1 tsp - Premier Research Labs Greens Powder (chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass...)
  • 1/2 tsp - Premier Research Labs Polar Minerals
  • 1 tsp - Premier Research Labs Liquid Zinc Assay
  • 1 dropper - Premier Research Labs Max B Vitamins
  • 1/8 cup - Premier Research Labs Pomegranate or Black Cherry Elixade
  • 1/2 cup fresh unpasteurized juice or blended fruit of choice (citrus or berries are a great start) - optional

Place all ingredients in the bottom of a clean glass quart sized container (mason jar, reused bottle). Finish filling with filtered water. Place lid on top and shake well. Take with you wherever you go, shake often before sipping on. Finish 1 whole "Swamp" water each day in addition to the remaining water/nutrient-dense beverage consumption you should be intaking based on your weight (1/2 body weight in ounces... example... I am 120 pounds, I drink 60 ounces a day... 1 quart = 32 ounces).

 

Supporting Our Bodies: Digestion, the Gateway to our Health

Angie Needels

Digestion is the entry way for nutrients to be absorbed into our bodies. If we have issues with our digestion and nutrient absorption, it can lead to all other health conditions including smaller things like migraines, tendonitis, arthritis; or larger issues such as autoimmune disorders, thyroid or endocrine dysfunction, cancers, diabetes and more. Whatever the health issue, I ALWAYS look to heal digestion first, this is by far the first step in promoting optimal health.

Our digestive tract extends from mouth to anus, and also involves our brain.

  1. Brain - The thoughts and emotions we have about food affects our digestion. If we eat with our sympathetic nervous system activated and we are stressed, our bodies prioritize handling the stress rather than our digestion. If we eat with our parasympathetic nervous system activated and we are relaxed, our bodies devote more resources to helping digestion. Also, when we think of our mood, we assume that we should turn to our brains first, but actually much or our serotonin and over 100 million neurons are found in our digestive tract, therefore being known as our "Second brain".

  2. Mouth - Our lips, teeth, and tongue chew our food. Chewing food well---to the texture of a blended soup---reduces the workload for our stomach and helps with digestion. Our salivary glands produce amylase and digestive enzymes to break down food, primarily starting with carbohydrates. Peristalsis moves food along our digestive tract and begins with swallowing.

  3. Esophagus - Our esophagus connects our mouth to our stomach. The cardio-esophageal sphincter is a valve that separates our esophagus from our stomach, and if this valve is weak, we may have issues with GERD and acid reflux.

  4. Stomach - The majority of food breakdown happens in our stomach "our blender", taking about 2-4 hours. Parietal cells line our stomach and produce hydrochloric acid to break down long molecular chains in our foods to small units our bodies can work with. Our stomach and whole digestive tract has a mucosal protective lining, keeping our tissues safe from the highly acidic nature of the environment, without it we can easily experience burns or lesions known as ulcers. Food can ferment and cause gas or alcohols to build up in our stomach if it is not fully chewed or if we do not have enough hydrochloric acid to maintain this process. Drinking fluids right before, during, or right after meals dilutes the hydrochloric acid in our stomach and dampens "our fire". It is better to drink between meals leaving thirty minutes before or after to keep our digestion process hydrated yet very acidic.

  5. Small intestine - Nutrients are absorbed into our bloodstream primarily in our small intestine. It is about 15-20 feet long.

    1. The duodenum is the first foot and the majority of breakdown happens here. Enzymes from our pancreas enter here: protease to break down proteins, amylase to break down carbohydrates, and lipase to break down fat. Our liver produces bile which collects in our gallbladder and concentrates, also helping break down fats. If we are missing our gallbladder, we need to eat smaller amounts of fat throughout the day.

    2. The jejunum is the second part of our small intestine and the breakdown of sucrose, lactose, and saccharides happens here.

    3. The ileum is the last part of our small intestine.

    4. Under the mucosal lining of our small intestine, villi and microvilli allow nutrients to flow into our digestive system. Inflammatory foods break down the mucosal lining which allows foreign particles into our bloodstream. This may cause allergies, asthma, or autoimmune dysfunction because our immune system does not recognize these particles.

    5. Our bodies are full of probiotic bacteria that support our immune system and help our digestion. About four to six pounds of probiotics are in our digestive tract. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria.

    6. Our appendix is between our small and large intestine and supports our immune system.

  6. Large intestine - Our large intestine is where stools are formed from waste products: fiber, dead cells, dead bacteria, and toxins.

  7. Sigmoid colon and anus - Our sigmoid colon and anus are the end of our digestive tract. Healthy bowel movements generally happen one to three times per day; are smooth, brown, tapered at both ends; and not hard, lumpy, or runny. The squatty potty is a stool that may help us be in a natural squat position for smooth elimination.

We can support our digestion by eating a variety of nutrient-dense, whole foods, including fermented foods for natural probiotics, or probiotic supplements.

 

Recommended Books on Digestion:

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

Digestive Wellness and Digestive Wellness for Children by Elizabeth Lipski

Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo