Quick Post: Safe, Corn-Free Beef

Quick post for you guys.  My butcher has about 6 beefs that will be ready at the end of August.  The cows are all grass-fed, no grain whatsoever and processed in a water only facility.  He does not ship.  I’m sorry.  This would be great for those individuals living in the Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi area.  If you’re up for a little drive (we drive over 10+hours to pick up our meat) this would be a perfect opportunity to get some safe beef.

The cost is $1.30/lb live weight.  Minimum order is 1/4 Beef.  Please send me an email cornfreelifestyle (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re interested.

Have a great night!

It’s Saturday!

I hope everyone’s doing well!  Today is Saturday and you know what that means….Farmers Market time!  Get up and get out!

I trust everyone has found a safe source for locally grown (corn/pesticide/herbicide free) food and if you haven’t, the Farmers Market is the perfect place to meet/interrogate farmers.  Get out, ask questions, don’t be afraid to ask the wrong questions and don’t be afraid of rejection/angry farmers (those are the ones you want to avoid anyway).  Let me know if you need any help with developing questions!  Good luck, save for winter and be healthy (as healthy as possible).

Oh, and don’t forget your mask!  Some Markets have taken to making popcorn or other corny foods that can effect some of us.  Wear your mask or get there before the popping starts.

Personal Care Recipe: Homemade Moisturizer…with a secret ingredient

This particular moisturizer is chock full of good for you nutrients and smells wonderful!  I want to say that it is very easy to make, but there are multiple steps before you get to the end product.  I believe it is worth it and all of the steps are usable in their own right.

Are you wondering about the surprise ingredient?  Before starting this journey, I would have scoffed at the idea of using this wonderful, nutrient rich ingredient.  I would have told myself that I am absolutely bonkers and that there was no way I would ever do this…I’m not knocking anything any more, especially after our last three years of this mishigas.  So, do take my suggestion with an open mind and let’s continue.

Moisturizing Cream

So what is it, Chick?  Tallow.  Yep.  Rendered beef fat.  I know, I know… The idea of smathering beef fat all over your body may not sound too appealing, but the benefits may outweigh the ick-factor.

I haven’t gone completely mad.  I was on a search to increase my nutrients and vitamins.  My body is desperate for nutrition.  We all know I have issues with ingesting most things so I look to topical applications to aid in the introduction of nutrients, supplements and vitamins.  Tallow is absolutely awesome.  Heather from Mommypotamus recently blogged about the benefits of tallow for skin.

  • Tallow is uniquely compatible with the biology of our cells. About 50% of the structure of our cell membrane comes from saturated fats, with remaining amounts consisting of monounsaturated and to a lesser degree polyunsaturated fats. According to Nourishing Traditions, it is the saturated fats that give cell membranes the “necessary stiffness and integrity”  necessary for proper function (p. 11). In a research article which I was privileged to preview before publication, I recently learned that:

“Healthy, ‘toned’ skin cells with sufficient saturated and monounsaturated fats would undoubtedly make for healthy, toned skin.Interestingly, tallow fat is typically 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, with almost all of the rest being monounsaturated, so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology.” (emphasis mine) There are other points of biological compatibility, too, such as the fact that tallow and sebum consist primarily of a type of lipid called triglycerides. (“Sebum” actually means “tallow” in Latin, so we are not the first to make this connection!)

  • Tallow contains skin nourishing ingredients that plant-based oils do not – Though I am still a huge fan of coconut oil (which by the way, has an excellent saturated fat ratio) and continue to plan to use it as sunscreen and a whole body moisturizer (because it spreads more quickly and I’m always in a hurry!), the skin on my face is visibly more toned with tallow. I think that may be because of the abundance of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,K and E) that naturally occur in pastured tallow, along with the potent anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and anti-microbial palmitoleic acid.

Read more of Mommypotamus’ blog post here.

We were previously rendering tallow to use for cooking and to make our glutathione lotion (I promise, more about glutathione later).  I took a short reprieve from glutathione after muscle testing “no” for it.  This also meant that I stopped my thrice daily application of tallow.  Within a week I started to become tired and lethargic again.  I did not figure out the connection with lowered energy levels/lack of nutrients and the tallow, that was all the Hubs. Yipi was just fine, high energy and doing great.  We did not stop the glutathione and tallow for her…and she eats more fat than I do, she eats more everything than I do.  🙂

Now, let me admit something….I don’t like the smell of tallow.  I was actually relieved to stop the glutathione for a while because that meant no tallow on my skin… I wasn’t as thrilled with the drop in energy level from the lack of nutrients.  After I began testing “yes” to the glutathione, I knew I needed to figure out a way to reintroduce the tallow without actually smelling it.  Yay for new recipes!

This moisturizer smells wonderful, absorbs well into my skin, and really gives me some much-needed nutrients without the need to ingest anything.  As I mentioned earlier there are multiple steps involved, but each step is usable in its own way.

Before making the moisturizer, you will need to make the ingredients:

  1. Calendula infused olive oil (or whatever oil works best for you)
  2. Tallow (from organic, grass fed cows)

You can search the web on infusing herbal oils or you can follow the directions I’ve posted here.  This is very simple to make.

A little on Calendula from Mountain Rose Herbs:

Calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold or garden marigold, has been used for centuries to heal wounds and skin irritations. Calendula has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties making it useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed  skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, yeast infections, bee stings, diaper rashes, and other minor irritations and infections of the skin. Plus, it stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites to help minimize scarring and assist with stretch marks. This versatile botanical can be incorporated into baths, creams, compresses, washes, salves, ointments, massage oils, baths, facial steams, tinctures, and teas. It is also gentle enough to use for babies, children, or animals. Internally, gargling with Calendula infused water may ease a sore throat, sores in the mouth, and inflammations in the mouth and throat.

Rendering tallow was new and a little intimidating to me when we first began.  I went to internet land to learn how to do this (I would have asked my mother…but she would have just laughed at me…haha…I laughed at myself).  It is very easy.  We use the crock pot method, without adding any additional water to the crock.  We don’t remove all the meat, bones, and blood…probably should and I probably will in the future but I don’t now.  We just thaw it a bit, rinse it well, and chunk it into the crock pot on low to cook for a few hours.  If you would like better instructions on rendering tallow 🙂 look at these sites:

Everyone does it a bit differently.  I hope that helps.

Now, on to the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Calendula infused oil
  • 1/3 cup Tallow, liquid
  • Organic Rosemary Essential oil, 10-20 drops

Materials/Utensils

  • Ceramic or glass bowl for flowers and oil (make sure it fits nicely into pot)
  • Small pot, to be used as the base of “double boiler”
  • Water
  • A spoon or something to use for stirring
  • Clean, sterilized glass container for storing oil

Procedure

  • Melt tallow in the double boiler (water in pot on low, with bowl on top)
  • Remove from heat when liquid.
  • Add calendula infused oil into bowl with the tallow, stir to combine.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes, or so and add essential oil
  • Pour into glass storage container

See?  Easy peasy pudding pop…after you have finish the little bit of prep work.  Both the Calendula Infused Oil and the Tallow can be used separately but they are heavenly together.

Testaments to the benefits of Calendula and tallow are the improvements and healing my mother is experiencing from her persistent and painful/itchy rash and the healing of my poor Yipiyuk’s backside and stomach (bloody, itchy blisters).  I added a smidge of zinc oxide into Yipi’s mixture and used organic lavender essential oil instead of rosemary.  I’m pretty happy with this moisturizing cream.  I hope you will give it a try!

Personal Care/Household Recipe: Liquid Soap

Good morning all!

This is just a quick post.  The hubs and I decided to try our hand at liquid soap a few weekends back and I’m very pleased with the results.  The process was relatively easy and much cheaper than purchasing the safe, corn-free soaps that are available.

Ingredients

  • Organic Bariani Olive Oil
  • Organic Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil
  • Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)
  • Berkey filtered water

Tools / Equipment

  • Crock pot
  • Immersion Blender
  • Scale
  • Spatula
  • 2 and 4 cup pyrex measuring cups
  • Pot (for boiling water)
  • Small container for measured KOH
  • Chop stick or some other stirrer for the KOH / water solution

I followed the wonderful provided by Cindy from Our Life Simplified.  I did change a few of the instructions to fit our situation and ingredients.

  • I increased my cooking time from 45 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • This was to compensate for using Olive oil instead of olive oil pomace
  • I also changed the time because I do not have 60 ml 1% Phenolphthalein in Ethanol Solution Indicator (it just screams corn to me…and I have issue with fumes from chemical solutions) and had no intention of testing it on my tongue, so I need to make sure to cook it longer to ensure that it was done.

It is a pretty good soap.  It will leave spots on your dishes, similar to what happens if you use the Dr. Bronner’s soaps, but they are not as noticeable.

Instructions from her website sans pictures:

How to make Quick & Easy Supermild Liquid Soap:
 
  1. First, weigh the crock pot. This weight will be needed after cooking to calculate the dilution water needed.

  2. Heat measured oils in a covered crock pot on high to 160°F.

  3. When the oil is just about heated, mix measured lye into the measured distilled water. It will naturally heat to the range of 140-150°F. Our goal is 140°F.

  4. When oils are at 160°F and lye is at 140°F, mix the lye into the heated oils slowly (almost a dribble), stirring constantly.

  5. Now, off to trace! Turn the crock pot to low–trace will happen faster when the mixture is at (or around) 160°F. Using a stick blender, use small bursts–on, off, stirring around. Bursts actually bring soap to trace faster than constant blending. Trace with this recipe usually takes about 20 minutes.

  6. Give the blender a rest every few minutes also, this helps prevent overheating (and burning up) the blender and it stopping in the middle of a batch.Let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Trace is reached, if after setting, there is no separation of the lye (clear liquid at bottom) and oils (usually floats to top). I cover it the crock pot…if there’s no separation, the cook period is beginning now.

    1. Liquid soap trace is different than hard soap trace. We reach the hard soap trace rather quickly. But keep going!
    2. It seems to break up into an applesauce-like consistency.
    3. Then back into a pudding texture.
    4. And starts to get thick.
    5. Then, less than a minute later, VERY thick–like a taffy.
    6. All of a sudden, the blender won’t blend. You’re done.
  7. If there is no separation, turn the crock pot to high and keep covered. This will give a cooking temperature range from 180°F – 200°F.

  8. Stir every 15 minutes. Stirring is important. Unlike hard soap, where I just cover it and let it do its thing, liquid soap paste can trap air, slowing down saponification.

  9. While you’re waiting for the paste to cook, boil the dilution water. This is added after the soap is done, but it needs to be boiling. A 1-pound batch of soap usually takes around 70 ounces of dilution water.

  10. Soon (around 40-45 minutes), the paste takes on a vaseline-mashed-potato appearance.

  11. Test for neutrality. This can be done with the tongue-zap test or with 60 ml 1% Phenolphthalein in Ethanol Solution Indicator. With phenolphthalein, drop 1 drop onto a small amount of soap (out of the pot!).

    1. If it stays clear, the paste is neutral…and done. To clarify–the paste is done, but you can continue to cook it until it looks more like vaseline and less like mashed potatoes. Either way is fine! The more vaseline-like it is, the more clear the end liquid soap product it is. I was looking for a quick and easy liquid soap. I have no problem if the soap I use here at home is cloudy.
    2. If it turns any shade of pink, there is excess alkali and it is not done. Continue cooking.
  12. When the paste is done, weigh the crock pot (with the soap in it) and subtract the beginning crock pot weight. The result is the soap paste weight.Pour boiling water into the crock pot (that is still on High). Stir around, breaking up the chunk of paste.

    1. High olive oil recipes need a 3:1 ratio of water to paste to fully dilute without using an emulsifier. If it’s not fully diluted, the liquid will start to congeal, or thicken, on top working its way down through the soap, leaving a thick mass. Remember, since this is a simple, easy method, we’re not adding anything, so it needs to be fully diluted. To figure the exact dilution water needed, multiply paste weight by 3.
  13. Cover and let sit a few minutes. Stir, break it up some more. You can leave this sit all by itself, but the process will take longer. It’s up to you! This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

  14. When it is fully diluted, the resulting soap is thin. It is up to you if you want to thicken it or leave as is. I personally like to keep some of the soap thin. I use it in the foamer in the bathroom. Also I keep a bottle at the kitchen sink. One squirt on the scrubby washes many dishes without filling the sink.

  15. To thicken the soap without adding anything, put it in a pot on the stove. This will evaporate the excess water. I know this sounds insane to add all that water then evaporate it back out, but all of that water is needed so it doesn’t congeal. Leave it to simmer, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan, until it has reduced. I use a guide of about 25%…or 8 ounces down to 6 ounces (this fits in a pump bottle well).

  16. You can also add 1-2 ounces of glycerin per pound of diluted soap for a more moisturizing, lathering, and emollient liquid soap. I have not done this. I just use the evaporation method now. BUT glycerin liquid soap is next on my list to try. It’s fast and easy, too! Liquid soap can be thickened with sodium hydroxide, also. Another experiment in the works!

  17. To fragrance the liquid soap, add up to 2-3% of the diluted soap weight of fragrance or essential oil to hot diluted soap. You can add fragrance to the whole batch of soap in the crock pot (or pan if thickening) or pour the soap into individual jars and add a different fragrance to each one. I generally use 1 1/2 tablespoons of fragrance per quart jar. But it’s your own personal preference! This recipe make 2 3/4 quarts un-evaporated soap or 2 quarts evaporated soap.

Instructions by Cindy of Our Life Simplified.

Last Day: KOL Corn Free Meat

Hey guys!  Quick post.  Today is the last day to order corn-free meat from KOL.  I’m pasting their email below.

100% Corn-free, Grass-fed Beef and Lamb. Order by June 13th!

If you have corn allergies, now is your moment to order.  Our corn-free products are running low – stocks will not be replenished until spring 2014!

Our animals eat a 100% corn-free diet, and no corn is present in the processing.  Healthy and pure by definition. And if you order for the year now, we can store it for you in our freezer and send it to you whenever you ask*.

Order by Thursday, June 13
Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, while supplies last.

How to Order:

  1. Place an order online
  2. During checkout, write, “Corn Allergy” in the comments box.
  3. For a year’s supply, contact us at info@kolfoods.com
Available Cuts:
Rib chops & racks
Shoulder chops & roasts
Shanks
Ground
Flat Iron steaks
Petite medallions
Rib eye steaks & roasts
Minute steaks
Cowboy steaks & Butcher’s roast
Pepper steaks
Strip steaks
Packer cut brisket
Whole shoulder roast
Ground beef
Stew meat
Hot dogs, brats, kielbasa & merguez

*A $15 monthly storage fee applies.  Separate shipping charges will be applied to each shipment.

Personal Care Recipe: Simple Calendula Herbal Oil

This recipe is a simplified version of my Calendula Infused Herbal Salve.  I have removed coconut oil and all of the essential oil to make this recipe usable to us in our current state.  We are continuing an extended break from all things coconut.

Calendula Infused Oil

Remember the blog post by Mountain Rose Herbs concerning the healing aspects of Calendula?  We have been using calendula for healing skin rashes since I read that particular post.  I try not to run out of the dried flower.  My goal is to grow my own, but that hasn’t come to fruition as of yet.

Why Calendula?  From MRH

Calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold or garden marigold, has been used for centuries to heal wounds and skin irritations. Calendula has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties making it useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed  skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, yeast infections, bee stings, diaper rashes, and other minor irritations and infections of the skin. Plus, it stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites to help minimize scarring and assist with stretch marks. This versatile botanical can be incorporated into baths, creams, compresses, washes, salves, ointments, massage oils, baths, facial steams, tinctures, and teas. It is also gentle enough to use for babies, children, or animals. Internally, gargling with Calendula infused water may ease a sore throat, sores in the mouth, and inflammations in the mouth and throat.

This oil is very easy to make and very important to keep on hand.  It smells absolutely wonderful but it is very oily and makes for a slippery Yipiyuk until it is absorbed into her skin.  I keep one bottle in the cabinet for daily applications and one in the refrigerator for those rashes that seem to be uncomfortable, and a little coolness is desired for comfort.

Simple Calendula Herbal Oil

Ingredients:

  • Dried, organic calendula flowers (about 2 cups or so)
  • Enough Organic Olive oil to cover flowers

Materials/Utensils

  • Ceramic or glass bowl for flowers and oil (make sure it fits nicely into pot)
  • Small pot, to be used as the base of “double boiler”
  • Small strainer
  • Clean, sterilized glass container for storing oil
  • Water

Procedure

  • Add flowers and oil to ceramic or glass bowl.  Make sure the oil covers the flowers.
  • Place water into the pot and put that on the stove on the low setting.
  • Place bowl over pot (make sure it never runs out of water).
  • Let it simmer for at least 1 hour
  • Remove from heat, let cool.
  • Strain into glass storage container

Directions From MRH:

This medicinal oil is simple to prepare and has so many uses. The gentle, soothing, and healing oil is perfect for cradle cap, diaper rash, chapped or chafed skin, bruises, and sore or inflamed muscles. The oil can be used alone, or incorporated into salves, massage oils, lip balms, ointments, creams, and lotions.

Organic Olive oil
Organic Calendula flowers

1. Place Calendula flowers in a clean, dry glass jar. If using fresh Calendula, wilt for 12 hours to remove most of the moisture (too much moisture will cause the oil to go rancid) before adding to the jar. Pour olive oil into the jar, making sure to cover the flowers by at least 1” of oil so they will have space to expand. Stir well and cap the jar tightly.

Heat Method: … heat can be applied if you need the oil quickly. To prepare, follow step 1 from above, but place the Olive oil and Calendula flowers in an uncovered container. Warm over low heat at approximately 100 degrees F for at least 3-5 hours, the longer the better. A yogurt maker, double boiler, or inside the oven with a pilot light on are all effective ways to heat the oil, just make sure to check the temperature occasionally to ensure that the oil isn’t getting too warm. Once the oil has infused, strain out the herbs using cheesecloth and package the infused oil into glass bottles.

Bellaphoria Sale: Corn Free Makeup

Hi guys!

I just received this email from Bellaphoria.  They are having a site-wide, 30% OFF, three-day sale.  Some of the products offered (foundation, blush, and eye shadow come to mind) have been used by corn-allergic/intolerant individuals.  I am not sure if ALL of the products are corn-free.  Read the ingredients and email the owner if you all have any questions.  Check it out!