The Proper Way to Poop

We really do need to get over our taboo of potty talk.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  Our poop matters people!  So I’m doing my part by sharing some clever videos explaining why our potty posture might actually make a difference.  Enlightening to say the least.  Brilliant if you’re asking for my opinion.  Well done Squatty Potty!  (And I must add, I do know someone who has started squatting and it has helped so much.)

My belief is that health begins in the gut.

Listening to and understanding what our digestive systems are telling us, could hold the key to so many of our health issues today.

And I can tell you, the healthier my own bowels get, the better everything else is as well.

So let’s get to it, shall we?  Sitting versus squatting.  The modern world versus the traditional.  The last hundred years or so versus all of time before that.

Making What? Making Whey! (and some cream cheese too)

If you’re going to be making/eating traditional foods, somewhere along the way, you’re going to have to know how to make whey, the liquid remaining after milk or yogurt is strained.  It’s not only easy to make but is very helpful in making your foods more beneficial to that body of yours!  Specifically I’ve used it as a starter culture to ferment veggies as well as to soak grains, such as oats and rice, which helps make them more digestible.

So why whey?

  • Called the “healing water” by ancient Greeks
  • Filled with nourishing probiotic life
  • Has many minerals, particularly potassium
  • Aids in digestion * Drink 1 Tbsp with some water for upset stomach or bowels
  • Good source of protein
  • Muscle builder
  • Lactose free

So here’s what I do:

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Not-Your-Every-Day Veggie Bake

If you roast chickens as much as we do, then your refrigerator is probably brimming with gelatinous, fatty drippings too.  You know what I’m talking about … that fatty, salty, sometimes gooey, yummy liquid on the baking tray once the chicken is done.  Somewhere along the way, when I had too much of it on hand, I decided to pour it over a tray of veggies, in place of oil/butter, and bake away.

And now, making a veggie bake any other way seems criminal!

First let me briefly tell you the nutritional benefits of the drippings (gelatin/fat)

  • Feeds, repairs and calms the mucosal lining of the small intestines.
  • Heals the nervous system.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Reduces allergies.
  • Helps better utilize complete proteins that are consumed.
  • Contains vital minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium from the bones, marrow and cartilage.
  • Useful in treating many illnesses, including digestive disorders like hyperacidity, Crohn’s, and colitis, and chronic disorders including anemia, diseases of the blood, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Relaxes.
  • Strengthens.
  • Gives the most amazing flavor!

Cheap.  Simple.  Nutritious.  Filling.  Satisfying.  Can Feed Many.  Enjoy.

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A Tbsp of Coconut Oil a Day, Keeps the Doctor Away!

NutiveOrganicCoconutOilBenefitsI am absolutely becoming obsessed with coconut oil!  I’m cooking with it, using it as a lotion on body and face, and now taking a tablespoon or two of it every day to aid in the regeneration and restoration of my beautiful bowels.  Amen!  The more I learn about it’s health benefits, the more I’m willing to use it liberally.

Whole Self Health, in my opinion, is a pot full of many different ingredients.  A bit of food nourishment here, a little inner healing there, a dash of love everywhere, and what have you, and you’ve got yourself a very highly functioning Self.  This has been my experience anyways, and that’s the only place I can speak from.  We are holistic beings yes?  Yes.  So sometimes, or all of the time in my case, we need holistic healing.

Which is why I was so excited to meet dynamic Miss Coco Oil.  She’s another weapon for my holster.  Another shiny tool for my tool belt.  And quite a slick one at that!  So let’s take a look.  The benefits:

  •  Antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, so anything that might fall into these categories could be helped.  Some examples would include: athlete’s foot, eczema, herpes, candida, influenza, AIDS, urinary tract infections, ulcers, diaper rash, hepatitis C, etc.
  • Is completely non-toxic without any harmful side-affects (How many pharmaceutical companies can make this claim?  Wouldn’t you rather medicate with something like this?)
  • Helps to increase metabolic rate, which in turn leads to weight loss – “Back in the 1940s, farmers discovered this effect accidentally when they tried using inexpensive coconut oil to fatten their livestock.  It didn’t work!  Instead, coconut oil made the animals lean, active and hungry.” ~ Dr. Joseph Mercola
  • Supports thyroid function.
  • Unlike trans fats, coconut oil does not form any harmful by-products when heated during cooking, so it is a great option when frying.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Boosts the immune system – “The lauric acid in coconut oil is used by the body to make the same disease fighting fatty acid derivative monolaurin that babies make from the lauric acid they get from their mothers’ milk” ~ Mary Enig
  • Increases energy – Nature’s richest source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which means it is very easily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy without any insulin spike.
  • Supports beauty – use as a lotion to alleviate dry skin, prevent wrinkles, eliminate dandruff.  Also use it on psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema or any other skin ailment.
  • Has been documented to aid in the relief of digestive disorders: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, constipation, diarrhea.

And since real life testimonials are sometimes better than research and case studies, you can check out some of those HERE.

And don’t forget these things to remember when purchasing some of this miracle oil sent straight from the heavens:

  • The oil will solidify in cold temperatures and become liquid in warm temperatures.  This is a good thing, so no worries.
  • The oil should always be crystal clear/white.  If it’s any shade of yellow, it’s not the real thing.
  • Make sure you buy cold pressed (which means destructive heat has not been used to extract it), organic (chemical free) raw/unrefined (least amount of processing) and in a glass jar (the oil will leach chemicals from plastic).
  • It should have the aroma of coconuts!
  • No need for refrigeration and will stay fresh for up to 2 years!
  • GO SLOW if ingesting this as a supplement.  You may experience nausea or diarrhea if you take a big heaping tablespoon of it and never have before  (this is actually a detoxification affect), so start with maybe a teaspoon/day and increase the amount every week or so.

Three cheers for coconuts!

For those interested, here is one man’s story of how coconut oil helped heal him from Alzheimer’s.

Kefir: What, Why & How

(FYI: I do not have any milk kefir grains to share at the moment!  Thanks!)

I’ve recently begun making my own kefir (thanks again Rini!) and it has been an absolute hit here at the Odells!  Have you ever tried it before?  Do you know why it’s good for you?  Do you want to learn how to make it yourself?  Yes, you say?  Well come along and I’ll do my best to answer all those questions.

Let’s start with the WHAT:

  • Kefir (click here for correct pronunciation and click here for my pronunciation) is a fermented/cultured milk drink that has a zesty, slightly tangy taste.  By putting kefir grains (pictured below) into milk (cow, goat, raw, pasteurized, full-fat, skim, etc.) and letting it sit at room temperature for about 24 hours, the milk becomes fermented and infused with active, live, good bacteria.  The kefir grains will continue to multiply and grow each day, allowing you to share these grains quite easily!

Kefir grains!

  • Kefir helps to repopulate your gut with good bacteria/organisms.  These good organisms will help promote balance and well being within your digestive tract.
  • Rich in protein, calcium, B12, niacin and folic acid.
  • Full of digestive enzymes.
  • Helps to regulate bowel movements; eradicating diarrhea/constipation.
  • The grains feed off of the lactose (milk sugars), converting it into healthy lactic acid.  For this reason, many people who are lactose intolerant can still successfully consume kefir.
  • After taking antibiotics, or consuming diets high in pesticides or chlorine which deplete healthy gut flora, kefir can help reestablish what’s missing.


  • First, you need to find kefir grains somewhere.  By doing a simple google search, I’m sure it won’t be too hard.  For my American friends and family, check out the Kefir Lady.  (Brother Jeff, she lives in Ohio and also sells goats, fyi) She ships within the United States.  And if you’re in Hong Kong, just let me know and I’ll grow you some from mine and give you the extra!  Once you have a starter, you will never need to buy more again, because the grains will continue to multiply, as long as you continue to use them daily.
  • What else will you need?  Strainer, bowl, 2 mason jars (one to use for fermenting and one to store the finished kefir in) and of course milk!
  • Make sure all of your utensils are plastic (I didn’t know this when I took the above picture.  Oops!)  Because the grains are active and alive, they are able to die.  Metal does not mix well with them and can kill the good bacteria.
  • What kind of milk do I recommend?  If you can get your hands on raw, full-fat milk, then you’re one lucky person and I’m officially jealous.  Check out Raw Milk Facts to learn more.  Here where I live, the best I can find is hormone free full-fat, so that’s what I use.
  1. Put grains in mason jar and cover with 2-3 Tbsp of kefir (this is optional) and milk. Stir.  I use 1 Tbsp grains for 2 cups milk.  This is plenty of kefir for us each day.

    Kefir grains

    Grains covered with fresh kefir

    2 cups of milk added to kefir grains and fresh kefir

  2. Store at room temperature out of the sunlight for 24 hours.  I use my yogurt maker actually and it’s been working quite well.  Otherwise, just store it in a cupboard or something.
  3. After 24 hours, strain the kefir from the kefir grains.
  4. Refrigerate made kefir and serve chilled.  (I think it’s much better served cold but you can drink it straight away too if you prefer it that way.)
  5. If kefir grains have grown and you have too many for the amount of kefir you’d like to make, just pull away the excess and eat them or give them away!  A great way to recycle what you don’t need.
  6. Start the process all over again to keep those grains going.  Such a fun process!