Thursday, August 27, 2015

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Bulldoze That Old Bouillon!

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Look! It even has parsley on the top :) 

There is nothing like an old fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup! The stuff in the cans doesn't even touch the nutrition found from a recipe passed down for generations of REAL DEAL Chicken Noodle Soup. I read a book once (Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)  that was LOADED with great information on why this rare, home-made from scratch, dripping with all the greatness of lovin' from mama's kitchen was so nutritious. It was all in the marrow from the chicken. Whaaaat? Yep. When it is mixed with carrots, celery, parsley, some salt and the fingerlickin' chicken, you can't go wrong! Today many people try to make "from scratch" broths and soups with commercial bouillon ( slight gagging sound). Ok, maybe I'm being a little dramatic here, but lets take a closer look at what is in bouillon and why we should find a healthier alternative. 

Lets take a look at the ingredients....shall we? Here goes: 

Salt, sugar, partially hydrogenated palm oil, monosodium glutamate (MSG)...

Ok, STOP... MSG. Who cares if it has MSG in it? Well, many people are sensitive to MSG without even knowing it because they often get headaches. MSG is a NEUROTOXIN, or brain "neuron" cell toxicity. Not good...moving on...

Chances are, we won't always have a fresh chicken to slaughter and dress for chicken noodle soup. It is most nutritional this way, but I have another idea that also has lots of nutrition, easy to make, no fillers or chemical additives and tastes really great. 

I came across this recipe recently and I've started using it and I love it! I found it on (here is the link to this recipe 

Veggie Chicken Broth Mix
2 C. Nutritional Yeast
1/2 C real salt
2 T turmeric
2 tsp dried dill weed
2 tsp marjoram (optional)
2 tsp dried powdered lemon peel (optional)
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp basil
1 tsp powdered thyme
1 T dried parsley

Place all, except parsley, in a blender in the listed order. Blend until powdered together. Add parsley and pulse to chop. Store in an airtight container indefinitely in the cupboard. To make veggie broth, add 1 T to every quart of water 
Mix in ingredients in blender and then store broth mix in an air-tight container. Add 1 T. of mix per cup of water and use as chicken or veggie broth in recipes.

I have been using this recipe a lot lately and my hubby has even said, "This is good stuff."

Now for the nutritional side of this kind of're gonna love this :). We are going to take each ingredient and see what their nutritional components are - 

  • Nutritional Yeast ( very similar to Brewers Yeast but better) : Chromium, selenium, magnesium, Vitamin B's, protein (and it can also be used in making ethanol to fuel your car :) ).
  • Real Salt : This is different than your table salt from the store. This has NATURAL iodine in it and is so much better for your body (Pink Himalayan salt can also be used). It helps to balance the pH of the body and balance electrolytes. More info here:
  • Turmeric: balances blood (like cayenne) , reduces inflammation (like arthritis), antibacterial for stomach bugs like Ecoli, 
  • Dill: Can be used for insomnia
  • Marjoram: relaxing and pain relieving
  • Celery seed: benefits the kidneys and relieves bloating
  • Basil: LOADED with Vitamin K, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, good for the heart
  • Thyme: beneficial for respiratory, stomach, uterine and bowel problems 
  • Parsley: arthritis, kidneys, bladder and edema (water retention)

When these whole food ingredients are taken individually at higher concentration, you'll see better results than just as a flavor for your soup broth, but it sure kicks the stuff out of the old junk doesn't it? So, grab your bulldozer and get rid of the other stuff! Your body will thank you sooner than you might think. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - That Darn Debt

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I know...its a little early for Turkey day...but...

You know when you've eaten a Thanksgiving dinner and you know you've eaten a little too much? It is nice to be full and have that fresh yummy food in your belly, but you've overeaten just a little bit too much. It is kind of uncomfortable, but you'll live. If you take a little nap, maybe that feeling will go away. Debt can weigh on your mind like that Thanksgiving dinner. It can become so burdensome that you wish you could just take a nap and have the load lightened enough to feel normal. The only problem is, that debt cannot be digested like corn, turkey or olives. It is always there, lurking to remind you. 

This is one of my favorite quotes about finance because it kind of gives a little bit of a face to debt: 

Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; . . . it never pays taxes; it buys no food; it wears no clothes; it is unhoused and without home and so has no washing, it has neither wife, children, father, mother, nor kinfolk to watch over and care for; it has no expense of living; it has neither weddings nor births nor deaths; it has no love, no sympathy; it is as hard and soulless as a granite cliff. Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.

So much for the interest we pay. Whoever borrows should understand what interest is; it is with them every minute of the day and night. — President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report, April 1937, pp.102-103

I have a friend that I remind (whenever it seems proper) that they do not want a new car because the one they have works great and is paid off. The grass can always be greenersomewhere else. But that green grass can get smashed and run over with a bulldozer if times become tight and that payment can't be made. We have been counseled for years along with self-reliance to avoid debt and save a little. Here are some of the great ones given by our prophets.
  • “Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow. “Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little." Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation,” Ensign, Nov 1980

  • President Ezra Taft Benson said, “Do not leave yourself or your family unprotected against financial storms. . . . Build up savings.” — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts,” Ensign, May 2004, pp. 40-41

  • When I was married my wise father said to me, “Get a modest home and pay off the mortgage so that if economic storms should come, your wife and children will have a roof over their heads.” — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Someday Marry,” Ensign, May 1998, p. 50
And my favorite - 
  • First, and above and beyond anything else, let us live righteously. . . . Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt, if not today, then tomorrow. Let us straightly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little. Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and where possible fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it. — President J. Reuben Clark , Jr., Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26
For most of us, I feel, try to live within our means. However, when our dollars are stretched too far, it makes it nearly impossible to store extra goods when we are so strapped. Avoidance is the first line of defense. Avoiding it like a plague has been mentioned several times. Sometimes, debt cannot be avoided.  Buying a home makes more financial sense than renting. Even in order to even rent an apartment or buy a car you have to have good credit. Many years ago, a good handshake and your word was good enough. That is not the case anymore. 
Here is some advice to get you on the road to becoming debt free: 
  • Pay your tithing
  • Pay your highest interest credit first (even if its the smallest, interest can eat you a plague)
  • After your highest interest is paid off, begin with the next highest and so on.
  • Live strictly within your means, don't confuse needs and wants
There are many online calculators and phone apps to help you figure out the best plan of attack. 
Even though paying off debt isn't nearly as fun eating Thanksgiving dinner, we will feel huge relief when it has moved on and doesn't weigh us down any longer. Freedom never felt so good. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - The Knowledge BBQ

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I normally don't have dreams that leave an impression on me. But, the other day I had one. It wasn't one of those," Why am I standing in front of the class with a fishbowl on my head?" or maybe "Why are there dancing dogs on a stage in my kitchen?" kind of dreams. It really made me think. There are several websites that offer guidance when a person wants help interpreting a dream that doesn't make any sense...where is Daniel or Joseph of Egypt when you need 'em? So, here was the dream: 

 My family was in Germany in a large guest house with several kitchens and entry/exit doors. I was looking around at toys left by someone who had been there before. President Uchtdorf (probably because we hang out with him on vacation all the time :) ) was talking to someone in one of the side kitchens. The host was showing me the laundry line where we could hang our clothes. My 2nd son (who is 13) came running in and said, "They are burning books! They want them all." I began to panic because I had brought with me one of my kids' baby books. I was trying to find some way that I could hide it because this was so important to me. 

So when I woke up I thought, "What books are most important to me?"  The books that are most important to me are my herb books, history books, family history books, my kids' baby books and most importantly the scriptures.

I am reminded of a novel (not a true story, but some parts are true) I once read that talked about St. Luke as a doctor. He wanted to study at the Library of Alexandria - but because it had been burned down almost 100 years before Luke was born, centuries of knowledge went with the smoke. Health discoveries of the time (in truth including information about a healing glowing stone) were all lost. This is so incredibly sad to me. 

When I was listening to the scriptures with one of my kids and it was talking about how Joseph had not listened to the Lord after asking for the 116 pages to be shared with Martin Harris. I explained to my son the tight spot Martin might have been in, as well as Joseph but because in a time of weakness Joseph feared man more than God. The pages were lost and his ability to translate were taken away. During this revelation (Doctrine and Covenants section 10), the Lord tells Joseph that he knew even back to the time of Nephi that this would happen and that is why he had Nephi repeat a lot of what Lehi had said. 

I think a lot about having a "second plates of Nephi" for all of my digital things especially...especially family history. I have information on my portable hard drive that I have in a Faraday cage - an EMP is a different kind of "burn" - but is just as effective as real fire. 

While attending the temple recently, my husband enlightened my understanding of Mother Eve. Her choice was about whether she would have knowledge or not. They could stay in the Garden and not progress, or, they could have knowledge (which sorrow would be a part of their experience). Books are knowledge, and it is very important to protect that knowledge. Part of protecting that knowledge in my opinion is to teach and encourage our children to read...even outside of school time. How incredible would it be to have a book written by Eve about her experiences? What would it be like to live for nearly 1000 years? 

I love the story shared about Ben Carson given in last October's General Conference by Tad Callister . It is called "Parents the Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children." Ben's mother cleaned homes for wealthy people. She realized successful people had lots of books and read them. 

"After work she went home and turned off the television that Ben and his brother were watching. She said in essence: You boys are watching too much television. From now on you can watch three programs a week. In your free time you will go to the library—read two books a week and give me a report."

Then Ben reflected, “She laid down the law. I didn’t like the rule, but her determination to see us improve changed the course of my life.”  Here is the whole talk:

This is a gospel principle.

While I don't believe there will be a mandatory book burning anytime soon like happened all across Germany prior to WWII. It has happened on a large scale as recently as last year though in Bosnia by rioters. Large amounts of historical documents were destroyed at the Presidential Palace. I do believe it is important to gather books of value for future generations. Let us have the books our kids are reading be of value and not just for mindless entertainment. Here is an excellent list of classics for young readers: and here is a list for adults:

 Lastly, we should do all in our power to prevent any future B-B-Q of Knowledge.