Wellness Wednesday #7 – Raw Honey

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Featured this week: Raw Honey!

I don’t know about you, but I tend to have a sweet tooth. Fortunately there is a real food option that satisfies the cravings and has amazing health benefits!

  • Immune System Booster
  • Weight Loss Aid
  • Sleep Enhancer
  • Wound Dressing
  • Skin Cleanser
  • And it tastes amazing

…that’s what I’m talking about!

Raw honey does wonders! Straight from the bees, raw honey is full of nutrients that aid our bodies in various ways.

There are a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in raw honey. It may depend on what kind of flowers the bees were busy with, but most commonly Vitamins B6 and C, along with Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, and Calcium can be found. These are very important nutrients for our bodies!

Raw honey is also an antioxidant. It helps your body fight off free radicals very effectively. It has long been used to dress wounds because of its antibiotic and antifungal properties. Those properties will also help keep your skin beautiful! Honey can be a spot treatment for some types of acne.

Surprisingly, raw honey is a wonderful sleep aid. If taken before bed, honey will help your body sleep by releasing melatonin. Melatonin gives you a good night’s rest and will also improve your immune system. Another part of honey that helps your body functions as you sleep is glycogen. The slow release of glycogen as you rest aids in proper body function while you sleep.

Raw honey is also an excellent energy booster. As it has a high amount of glucose it will get you going, but without the blood sugar spike. It seems odd that honey can help with sleep and with energy, but some how it works out in our bodies to help us in the way that we need it.

The key to making use of these benefits is to make sure you choose raw honey. It has not been refined or processed like many of the golden honeys you find on store shelves. Refining honey will kill off many of the benefits that it naturally contains. And as with anything sweet, it is still best to use in moderation.

I love using raw honey in many ways. Not only for recipes as a sugar replacement, but an immune booster, in shampoo, spot treatment for acne, and as part of a healthy detox.

How do you use raw honey?

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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Welcome to this week’s Wellness Wednesday!

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This week’s features:

Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies by Picky to Plenty

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 The Best Sugar Cookies Ever by Pennies into Pearls

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Are You In the Mood For Lovin’? by The Oil Dropper

Every week we will feature the most popular posts! Your hosts will pin and promote them as much as possible. Thank you for linking up! If you’d like, grab the button below and add it to your blog!

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Creamy Italian Balsamic Dressing

Super simple and sooo delicious!!

1 tsp of  Italian herbs

1/4 cup of Homemade Mayo

1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Crush the Italian herbs in to a canning jar. (Crushing the herbs allows the flavors to expand!) Add the delicious mayo. Add the balsamic vinegar. Stir slowly to get the flavors blended. Then place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously allowing the ingredients to mix completely. Check the consistency of the dressing. If you prefer a more liquid dressing add a touch more balsamic vinegar and shake. Top on your favorite salad or dip your veggies and enjoy!

Making Mayo

Mayonnaise is rather frightening to some people. It is full of fat and has a unique texture. Some people I know won’t even touch it. I am not afraid of mayo. I believe that fats are good for you when you eat the right kinds. I have also found in my real food adventures that sauces are an extremely important part to making things tasty. Mayo is an excellent base for dressings and sauces. I must admit, though, that I am afraid of the ingredients found in traditional store-bought mayo. How to solve that problem? Make my own!!

My favorite cookbook of all time is Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat. Its written by one of my favorite blog writers Melissa Joulwan. (her blog is here) Within this magical book of wonder is a recipe for Mayo! The first time I made it my life changed forever. Mayo on everything!! It really tastes amazing and is an excellent base for dressings. My favorite being Creamy Italian Balsamic. Here is Melissa’s recipe for amazing tastiness:

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My Mayo Making Supplies

1 egg

2 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar at room temp (I like the ACV best)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 cup light olive oil and 1 cup light olive oil

Start by placing the egg and lemon juice or vinegar in your blender or food processor. Let it sit for AT LEAST a half hour. They must be at room temp in order for the mayo to do its thing. (I’ve tried to rush it before and it did not work. There was quite the mayo meltdown going on and not just the mayo was melting.)

Once the ingredients have sat for a while add in the salt, mustard and 1/4 cup light olive oil. Blend together on med/low depending on your blender. Next as it is blending VERY SLOWLY add the 1 cup light olive oil. The key is very slowly. The smallest little trickle possible is best. The reason for this is that it allows the oil and other ingredients to emulsify. That is what makes your mayo. You should hear the pitch of the blending change as it thickens. (my blender is so loud that I can’t hear anything while blending) And then voila! Stick it in a jar and label it with the expiration date of your eggs. (I doubt it will last that long! Nom Nom Nom!)

One small detail that completely changed my mayo making experience was the purchase of a mini food processor. I don’t have room for another appliance such as a full size food processor so I decided to try the mini. I wanted it to help with pestos and small slicing and the mini is just perfect! Part of what makes this mini processor so fantastic is that it has an oil drip tray. Like it was made especially for me and making mayo! Perfect! I can now make mayo effortlessly without making my arm tired slowly, slowly, ever so slowly drizzling in the olive oil into the running blender.

Now you know how to make mayonnaise all on your own!! The ingredients are simple and it comes out extremely tasty.

Linking to: Wildcrafting Wednesday, and Growing Home

My Real Food Journey

I’m going to talk about food and health a lot. I may as well introduce that to you now. It is a very important part of my life. Plainly speaking, I like to eat. My husband likes to eat. Eating is a social thing. People love to eat. We also love to eat things that taste good. This seems to be an innate part of us that started from the beginning. And as it is such a big part of my life I feel like sharing it with you.

I eat real food. That statement could be confusing and misunderstood if left without explanation. For me real food is food that is from this earth and processed very little, if at all. Currently my diet consists mostly of veggies, quality meats (such as grass-fed beef, free range chickens), some fruits and good fats. At this point I am not eating grains, legumes and dairy. I also avoid added sugars and excessive alcohol. When I eat this way I feel my best, my head is clear and my mood is positive. Generally speaking I follow the Paleo guidelines that make up the Whole30 created by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. You can find them here. Now to be honest, I don’t strictly follow those guidelines every single day of the year. Every now and then I will go through a strict Whole30 or Whole14 or something short to give my body a reset. Especially after Christmas, when I enjoy holiday treats. And therein lies the key. I keep treats as treats. This helps me with the emotional attachment to food that previously had me on a path to poor health.

The long story short is that after a wake up call about my health, I decided to get back to my roots and refocus on health. The best way I knew to get my health back was to eat real food. Greek physician Hippocrates, the father of natural medicine once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” To me that makes total sense. The things that I put into my body, must effect how it functions and how I feel. This hasn’t been hard for me to grasp, since I was taught by my mother’s example how to eat good foods. Growing up we were always on the alternative side of things when it comes to health and food. Mom made our bread and cooked most everything from scratch. We were the kids that didn’t drink soda or have normal birthday cakes. (I will never forget about that carrot cake that nearly ruined my princess birthday party.) And although there may have been some horrific incidents times of feeling left out, I think I am better off for it. (Thanks Mom!)

So, now as an adult that has complete control over what I eat, I now have to decide what that is going to be. I journeyed into the Paleo lifestyle sometime last year and am very happy with it. I am preparing to try some “experiments” on myself to see how I react to certain foods like rice or beans. I already know that wheat isn’t the best for me which is no fun because I love pizza. And I’m sure I will be sharing the results with you. (prepare yourselves!) I have learned in the past year to remove myself from the emotional attachment to food that can cause all kinds of problems and I feel so free to eat the foods I love and guiltless when I eat a treat on a special occasion.

My food journey has also been attached to some spiritual growth. Discovering real food as a means to better health is hand-in-hand with my belief that God has a plan for me. He wants me to live a life that glorifies Him and shows others His good name. If I can function at my best when I eat good food, then I can serve God to a greater capacity. In some ways eating real food is an act of worship for me. God gave that food to me and I can honor him by enjoying it and utilize what He has given me to make me healthier. There is also spiritual freedom when food no longer controls my moods. My mind is not focused on the guilt attached to eating  a cookie on a Thursday afternoon and is now free to take the focus off myself. I don’t know if this is how it works for everyone, but there was a stronghold in my life concerning food. Now that I am free from it, and feeling wonderful, I am even more amazed at the path that God has taken me. I never realized before that there could be a connection and now that there is, I am very excited to explore it. I hope to continue to glorify Him through this good food that He has provided and to keep my focus on Him.

Now that you know a little bit more about why I eat what I do, I invite you to share in my adventures, even if it is only reading about them.