Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Off with the New, In with the Old continued.....

Off with the New, In with the Old

More and more, this seems to be the theme for this year.  My husband, John, has been diagnosed with MG, myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune, muscular weakness disease.  Because of this, Whitney and I have become very intense in researching ways to help him healthwise.  Of course, this means, trying to do moderate exercise and eating healthy.  Eating healthy has always been important to us, but never more important than now.  My husband also has food allergies so he has been on prescribed diets before where his sugar and white processed flour intake, etc. were virtuallly eliminated, so we are familiar with taking these steps. Recently we have visited a health food store and Whole Foods.  Whitney has been experimenting with new recipes that incorporate natural ingredients ...stone ground cornmeal, rice flour, organic milk, natural sweeteners, etc. All of these products bring us back to that thought of simple and "old-fashioned" foods.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
My ninety-five year old grandmother, Whitney's great-grandmother, recently purchased chickens to obtain fresh eggs.  Almost all of her life, she has raised chickens and gathered eggs.  Even Grandma has gone back to "old" times.  In a conversation at my grandma's dinner table last week, talk turned to the past. My dad and my aunt began discussing their memories of preserving food.  My aunt, as a young girl, learning to cook remembered meat stored in a large crock being preserved by "lard" or fat being poured over it.  My dad, being the boy and working outside on the farm, remembered meat being preserved by layering it with salt in a barrel and also being hung up in the smokehouse.  They were asking my grandmother to confirm their disagreement over methods.  She actually confirmed the use of all of the methods, the difference being that my aunt was thinking about cooked meat and my dad was thinking about raw meat that was being smoked in addition to salted. Then the talk continued about preserving other foods.  Grandma said that she remembered her mother drying fruit  in the sun. She would slice the fruit and place it, covered with cheesecloth to protect it from insects, on top of the smokehouse to dry in the sun. The fruit was eaten as it was.  It was easy to carry when traveling.  My great-aunt added that it could be rehydrated with liquid to be used in making pies. My grandmother said that for making pies, however, they mainly used canned fruits. I am very interested in these old ways of preserving fresh fruits, for sentimentalty sake as well as now for health's sake.

Whitney :)
In my search to cook healthy for my dad, I have discovered agave and Stevia which are natural sweeteners. Agave comes in a liquid form. It looks like thin honey. It comes in two colors light (delicate flavor) and amber (rich flavor). I use the agave for multiple purposes. The light is good to sweeten homemade lemonade or iced tea. The amber is good to sweeten fruits for a fruit crisp dessert. I recently made a homemade candy bar. I called it a Southern Candy Bar. I cooked grits in fresh coconut water and milk. Then I sweetened it with Stevia. I poured the sweetened grit mixture in a small glass baking dish. I let it cool and set up. Once the grit mixture was set, I cut it into little rectangles. I pressed a whole almond in the grit bar and then covered it in dark chocolate. It is my take on a healthier, Southern version of an Almond Joy.
My blog will continue in this direction. I want my discovery for using natural and fresh ingredients, to help anyone who has health problems. I pray it will help my dad.
Stay tuned...........

Please keep my dad and my family in your prayers


  1. I'm really excited to see that Whitney is excited about cooking and teaching others about organic and natural foods. Woot!

  2. Wonderful to read Whitney! I'm gluten free and I've been using alternative sweeteners for years! Agave & stevia are two of my favorites! :-)

  3. use natural toothpaste btw, sodium fluoride is highly poisonous, so is aspartame and countless other ingredients in supermarket foods. Buy a reverse-osmosis water filter, it will remove the poisonous sodium fluoride from water of which around 60% of u.s water supplies are fluoridated, many u.s water supplies also contain mercury, arsenic and other poisons.

    Make sure you buy non-genetically modified seeds when planting your own fruit and vegetables and grow them in a greenhouse as the govt sprays chemtrails (aluminium dioxide and barium oxide) from planes with spray mechanisms and also they add it to alot of jet fuel. This is poisonous to breathe and to absorb through the skin, it is also kills plants and is absorbed by plants so you may be eating it if you aren't growing your food in a greenhouse.

    Hope i didn't scare you too much whitney, i hope your father gets better.

    You should start getting your news about food and medical safety from, its a great site which has loads of info about the safety of ingredients, gm food, vaccines, diseases etc.

  4. Sad to know that John is experiencing an autoimmune disorder. Hope you find relief amongst the discoveries you make throughout your quest.

    Seems like anything heirloom tastes better and my belief is that it is also better for you than any genetically modified product.

    Try some mesquite flour. Naturally sweet and it helps balance blood sugar. Imagine sugar free cookies and cakes with no artificial sweetener.

  5. Hi Whitney, Read your post. I am the one whom is posting pics on your site. Sorry, but I love to cook, such as yourself, lol.
    I am sorry to hear about your Dad's illness (MG). I am not too familiar with it but having 3 boys with medical issues I can relate to how important a healthy diet can be. I, myself have an issue with trying to cook healthy but with all the great tasting foods out there, it is hard. I am not a specialist but I have done research over the years for our family to help with their issues and also my own. MILK, not good. Totally do not purchase it anymore. I buy Soy and Rice Milk, Yum! Not sure if your Dad can have it though. I even made an Alfredo Sauce using Rice Milk, Yum again!! Ginger good for immune system and bronchial. Fresh Ginger root tea and bite of honey. Banana's very high in Potassium. Talk to your health food store about Spelt Bread (flour). It is so good and very high in Protein. Today I made a chicken sandwich with fresh sliced cucumbers and fresh cilantro. So good!!!! Just some thoughts. Hope all works out for you.
    Not sure if I mentioned it or not but I did try out for Masterchef in Orlando this past Nov. I made it to the third round but that was it. I guess I am too old, lol. Thats okay, I still cook

  6. please give the whole recipe, that sounds delish

  7. @Linda thank you for all of the suggestions! I tried spelt bread for the first time this past week at a natural bakery. I bought some spelt flour at Whole Foods that I am going to use to make bread. We drink organic milk at my house but I just bought some rice milk to try.

  8. I'm guessing that the reason for a switch to alternative sweeteners might have something to do with blood sugar, something that diabetics have to concern themselves with.

    I say that because stevia and agave have what you call a low glycemic index, meaning they don't cause your blood sugar to rise up the way regular sugar or honey do.

    I'm a type 2 diabetic and I've heard of stevia and have been wanting to try it out. If it's more alternative sweeteners with a low glycemic index you want, you might want to try out Coconut Sap Sugar. I'm not sure if it's something widely used in the US though but here in the Philippines we have lots and I'm loving it in my coffee. :)

  9. Whitney,

    I am sorry to hear about your dad - I will certainly keep you in my prayers. I am so thrilled that you're searching for natural ingredients to help anyone with health issues! Especially your dad..

    I wish you much success in all you do, and God bless you!

  10. I make all my smoothies with Rice and Soy. Also forgot to mention Carob Powder. I have a carob brownie recipe on my blog if you want to view it. Also, Carob smoothie...Rice or Soy, Carob, banana and tsp vanilla.

  11. Whitney, I have friends that have recently struggled with the diagnosis of MG as well. I will definitely be keeping both them and your family in my thoughts.

  12. I have not tried agave or stevia and I don't think it's even available here in Manila (though I may be wrong). We do have a lot of coconut sugar which has a very low glycemic index. The texture and flavor of coconut sugar is similar to muscovado but it doesn't taste as earthy. Hope you get to try coconut sugar and cook with it one of these days! Don't know if you can source it in the U.S. though. Hope your dad recovers soon...

  13. Great recipe, I learned a while back if you need fine cane sugar and don't have it on hand you can just put regular cane sugar in a food processor whirl it up and voila fine cane sugar. :)

    Also you might check out Weston A Price it is a non profit organization dedicated to healing people through food. It might help your dad out. Check it out They have some articles on why Maple Syrup and honey are healing sweetners. Stevia is also good, but watch out for agave, because it is as refined as Corn Syrup. Hope you find this info useful.

  14. We grow stevia in our house:) we make herbal tea out of it........Its really healthy