Saturday, May 18, 2013

Homemade alternatives - the resources

The more and more I read about all the bad chemicals being put into producing and growing our food, our makeup/body care products, and basically just our life, the more I realize how much I want to get back to the basics of living. My husband and close friends call it "hippie-ist", but I prefer the term "naturalist". Makes it sound a whole lot less.... I don't know, unshowered-noshoeswearing-peaceandlovegiving.

I digress.

As I have been embracing these new concepts, I have been delighted to find resources a plenty on Pinterest and in books at the library (I borrowed the ebooks and read them on the Kindle app on my iPad).

One of my FAVORITE FAVORITE bloggers is Wellness Mama.  She is very inspiring to me as she lives the naturalist life of making her own soaps, shampoos, laundry detergents, vitamins, toothpaste.  Her family eats all Paleo (no grains or processed foods).  She talks about ways to use herbs I've never even heard of.  It is amazing!  Mostly I love that she breaks all her recipes and tutorials down to the most basic level and includes links to ingredients to help you find them.  I follow her via email and Pinterest.

Books that I have read about living a more natural life style include:

Farmer Jane - Temra Costa - this book kind of started it all.  It opened my eyes to the world of CSA's (community supported agriculture programs) and how to find farms that you can buy from directly.  It talks about all the things women as farmers are doing to bring food to tables as opposed to grocery stores.  I can't say enough about this book.  An excerpt from Amazon:

Farmer Jane profiles thirty women in the sustainable food industry, describing their agriculture and business models and illustrating the amazing changes they are making in how we connect with food. These advocates for creating a more holistic and nurturing food and agriculture system also answer questions on starting a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, how to get involved in policy at local and national levels, and how to address the different types of renewable energy and finance them. 

 A Feast Nearby - Robin Mathers  - this was the second book on healthy living that I read and it was exactly everything I needed to hear.  The author is from Michigan and everything she talks about (eating local produce from farmer's markets, freezing and canning food, buying produce and meat according to season) struck me right to the heart.  Not only does she talk about her own experiences "living off the land" but she also includes numerous recipes per chapter for you to recreate.  Loved every minute of it.  Can't wait to buy it and re-read it.

The Feast Nearby celebrates small pleasures: home-roasted coffee, a pantry stocked with home-canned green beans and homemade preserves, and the contented clucking of laying hens in the backyard. Mather also draws on her rich culinary knowledge to present nearly one hundred seasonal recipes that are inspiring, enticing, and economical--cooking goals that don’t always overlap.

Beyond Sugar Shock - Connie Bennett - I liked the recipes from this book, but it reads like a self help book, which is perfect if that is what you are looking for.

In Beyond Sugar Shock, readers will find out that letting go of their sugar or carb addiction is much simpler than it seems—and it can even be fun! And once they’ve addressed their addiction, readers will not only look and feel better, but will also experience an overpowering sensation of joyous freedom and a sweeter, balanced life.

The Homemade Pantry - Alana Chernila  - I rented this book twice from the library and bought it as a gift for a friend at Christmas.  I LOVE it and need to purchase it for myself.  The author is warm and inviting and hilarious.  She is not afraid to share mistakes she has made or give advice so that your recipe will turn out better.  I felt like I was reading from a friend and poured over every page, inspired to try and make EVERYTHING.

In her debut cookbook, Alana Chernila inspires you to step inside your kitchen, take a look around, and change the way you relate to food. The Homemade Pantry was born of a tight budget, Alana’s love for sharing recipes with her farmers’ market customers, and a desire to enjoy a happy cooking and eating life with her young family. On a mission to kick their packaged-food habit, she learned that with a little determination, anything she could buy at the store could be made in her kitchen, and her homemade versions were more satisfying, easier to make than she expected, and tastier.

Books that I want to read this summer are:

Internet resources I have pinned (click on the image to bring you to my "homemade alternatives board"):

What about you? Do you have any secrets of the trade? Any advice for a beginner on the "naturalistic" side of life? I am always interested in trying new ideas and will post my list of "wants" to begin making our more natural products soon!

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