Friday 17 December 2010

Divine Health could change your Life

My Facebook friend and one of the original catalysts for the existence of this very blog is Lydia Joy Shatney. She writes a blog called Divine Health , and here on her About Me page she writes:
For much of my adult life I have been very interested in health and nutrition. I sought many paths towards health and wellness, but none of them led me where I truly wanted to go. It was about 3 years ago that I discovered ‘Nourishing Traditions’ by Sally Fallon and that was the missing link for me.
It has only been in the past year that I have fully shifted my family over to real foods and away from processed foods completely. It has been a pleasure!!

After having completely eliminating processed foods in just a year’s time, I have seen a lot of transformation health wise for myself. I no longer suffer from intense menstrual pains and cramps each month, nor the pain of mittelschmerz each month during ovulation. I also no longer suffer from random severe body aches and pains all up and down the right side of my body. Sinus infections used to plague me regularly, and I used to have to blow my nose constantly and produced a lot of mucous, but not anymore. I used to get migraines and headaches constantly and popped ibuprofen like it was candy.
Now, I take ibuprofen once in a blue moon. I have seen my asthma symptoms decrease immensely, as well as seasonal colds and allergies. I have way more energy, lost 10 pounds and overall feel great. I am no longer a slave to my cravings. I find great freedom in that alone.

A goal of mine is to get my degree in holistic nutrition and wellness. Until that time, I plan to share my passion here and hope to benefit many others along the way. Here’s to a healthy life, from the inside out!! Peace!

Here are a random selection of some of Lydia's recipes:

Nourishing Sweet Potato Casserole
By lydia, on November 23rd, 2010
I personally did not grow up with the typical sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows being served on Thanksgiving. Typically, we would simply have, essentially, mashed sweet potatoes with butter. When I grew up and went out on my own I learned about the very popular sweet potato casserole that seemed to grace most every Thanksgiving table.
I honestly could not understand why on earth people would want a casserole topped with marshmallows. Nasty! My personal preference these days is for a more nourishing version of sweet potato casserole that hightlight’s the already delectable sweetness of the tuber along with some good fats from cultured butter and pastured eggs. If you are looking for a more nourishing and healthy version of this ever famous holiday side dish, check out my recipe. (I promise you won’t even miss the marshmallows!)

Sweet Potato Casserole
Serves 6
2 1/2 pounds organic sweet potatoes, or yams, peeled and cubed
2 pastured eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons cultured butter, melted plus more for the baking dish
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, optional
Sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup crispy pecans, coarsely chopped (recipe follows)


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Boil potatoes in a pot of water until fork tender. Drain and mash into a large bowl.
3. Add the eggs, butter, honey or maple syrup, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pepper. Stir this mixture until well blended and smooth.
4. Butter and 8×8 inch baking dish. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan and sprinkle the top with pecans. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a bit puffy. Serve.

Crispy Pecans
4 cups pecan halves
2 teaspoons sea salt
filtered water

Mix pecans with salt and filtered water in a bowl and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours, or overnight. Drain in a colander. Spread pecans on a stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees fahrenheit) for 12 to 24 hours, until completely dry and crispy. Store in an airtight container.

Singing the praises of ACV………By lydia, on May 20th, 2010
About a month ago, I decided to try out an experiment with apple cider vinegar. I had read that an application of it on a wart or mole, in time, would remove said blemish. I figured, what would it hurt? I happen to have moles like crazy and never really much cared for them, and some of them have grown in size over the years. Ick! So, I started with two on my face. Word to the wise, start on a part of your body that is covered. My moles did go away after about 2 weeks of on and off application, but the apple cider vinegar worked so good, it drew out all kinds of impurities and gave me black heads surrounding one of the moles and that took awhile to go away. Along with some redness, that did go away but didn’t look super pretty for several days. It was like the vinegar had an acid peel affect on the areas that were under the bandaids. I am quite happy that this worked though and have moved on to a few other moles to work on removing them as well. I have read quite extensively that this is a great way to get rid of warts too. It can be painful from what I understand, depending on how deep the wart is.

Another reason I super love ACV, is for how it helps my digestion. I have taken it on and off for awhile now, trying to remember to take a teaspoon or two in water before meals. Especially meals I usually have trouble digesting, like beef for example. I can eat beef, but if I eat it twice or more in a row, I experience tummy trouble. But when I take the vinegar, I don’t have trouble. It’s wonderful!
Apparently, Hippocrates (the father of medicine) found and treated his patients with ACV way back in 400 B.C. He discovered that natural, undistilled ACV is a powerful cleansing and healing elixir, ‘a naturally occuring antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs and bacteria’ for a healthier, stronger, longer life. The versatility of ACV as a powerful body cleansing agent is legendary. It’s been traced to Egyptian urns as far back as 3000 B.C. The Babylonians used it as a condiment and preservative, while Julius Caesar’s army used ACV tonic to stay healthy and fight off disease. The Greeks and Romans kept vinegar vessels for healing and flavoring. It was used in Biblical times as an antiseptic and a healing agent. In Paris during the Middle Ages, it was sold from barrels by street vendors as a body deodorant, healing tonic and a health vinegar drink.

Even Christopher Columbus and his crew on his voyage to discover America in 1492 had their vinegar barrels for prevention of scurvy as did the soldiers in the American Civil War. For centuries in Japan, the feared Samurai warriors drank it for strength and power. ACV has been used for thousands of years not only for health reasons, but also as a cleansing agent to remove bacteria, germs, odors, and even stains and spots.
From what I understand, taking apple cider vinegar regularly can also help with weight loss, as well as body stiffness. Not to mention it is great as a hair rinse, and a facial astringent too. Here is just one of the many sites you can read up on apple cider vinegar. I personally buy Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, which you can purchase here if you like. Braggs also has a great book, touting the amazing benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. There are many more ways that this wonderful liquid gold can benefit you – try one of them today!!

Brick Chicken & Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

By lydia, on August 24th, 2010
Years ago, I’m talking like a decade ago, I watched Bobby Flay do a show on butterflied and grilled chicken pressed down with a brick covered in foil. I had to try it! It was so wonderfully delicious. Years and years past and for whatever reason (moving, not having a grill, having babies, who knows?), I forgot about this delectable way to prepare chicken on the grill. Until this summer, when all my inspiration and drive to cook fun and fabulous food came back.

There are a million and one ways that you could marinate or season the chicken. Here’s what I did;

1 – 3 to 3 1/2 pound whole pastured chicken, backbone cut out and butterflied

A handful of fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano or rosemary

Zest of one organic lemon

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon coarse celtic sea salt

good quality olive oil


kitchen shears or poultry shears

gallon sized plastic bag or large bowl

blender or food processor

gas or charcoal grill

microplane zester

good knife and a cutting board


Cut the backbone out, then place the chicken cut side down on a cutting board and press down to flatten.

In a blender, place the herbs, garlic, zest and salt. Turn the blender (or food processor) on and slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup of olive oil until well blended to make a thick paste. Add more oil if desired.

Place the chicken in a container or a ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it, making sure to coat the whole bird. Place in the fridge to marinate up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook the chicken, get a hot fire going in your grill, keeping one half of the grill hot and the other half cold. If using a charcoal grill, build your fire only in half of the grill. This won’t work well if you only have a teeny tiny charcoal grill.

Place the chicken, breast side down, over the hot side of the fire and place a brick covered in aluminum foil on top (I actually used my cast iron skillet for this as I didn’t not have a brick or aluminum foil – I suspect it’s a healthier option). Grill for 2-3 minutes just to crisp the skin and flip and repeat on the other side. After the initial browning,
move the chicken to the other side of the grill, the ‘cold’ side, and grill further for 25 minutes or so until a knife inserted into the thigh produces clear running juices.

Return the chicken to the hot side to crisp up the skin again placing the brick or skillet on top. Again 2 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Time Involved:

Active – 15 minutes

Inactive time – up to 24 hours marinating, 25-30 minutes grilling


Alongside this fabulously grilled chicken I served an Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette, which can be quickly whipped up while the chicken is happily grilling away. Here’s how you do it;

1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced

In a bowl toss with as much basil vinaigrette as you like.

For the basil vinaigrette;

1 cup of basil, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup good quality olive oil

2 tablespoons of brine from one of your ferments, or kombucha (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar work as well)

salt and pepper to taste

Pulse garlic and basil in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in the brine and the oil until emulsified. This entire meal really only takes a little more than 30 minutes to pull together, and really is super simple!


5 minutes

Hot Artichoke and Goat Cheese Dip
By lydia, on December 16th, 2010
I have been making this particular version of artichoke dip for at least a decade, and I never tire of serving it around the holidays. In fact, the only time I even think of making it is around Christmas. This hot artichoke and goat cheese dip makes a fabulous appetizer for all the many holiday gatherings we find ourselves attending. One thing that I have adjusted about this awesome appetizer, is that I no longer serve it with crispy pita chips or any type of bread, keeping in line with my need to be gluten free and avoid the starchy carbs. I find it equally as good, if not better, with blanched crudites. Truly this dip is a real crowd pleaser!

Hot Artichoke & Goat Cheese Dip
Makes 3 1/2 cups dip
10 ounces frozen artichoke hearts
1 1/2 cups chopped leeks or onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise, or cultured sour cream
8 ounces cultured cream cheese, softened (preferably homemade)
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 ounces soft goat cheese

Blanched crudites, cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus to serve.

1. In a food processor, combine the artichoke hearts, onions, garlic, mayo or sour cream, cream cheese, parmesan cheese and goat cheese. Blend ingredients, leaving some texture in the dip. Spoon the dip into an 8 inch casserole dish. (at this point you can refrigerate the dip, covered for up to 2 days.)

2. Preheat the oven to 350.

3. Bake the dip, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until it is browned on top. Serve with the crudites.

*Additions – to make this dip even more filling, try adding some crab meat and/or even some spinach. Delish

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The other ebooks available here too at the same price. I have downloaded them all.

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