Monday, January 14, 2013

Holiday Detox & Healing: Bieler Broth

Ugh. I ate a lot of chocolate this holiday season. I also drank more coffee and wine than I'm used to, and it's left me a little sluggish and tired - although let's be honest, it was worth it and I'll definitely be doing it again next year - but now that we're back home and the new year has started, it's time for a little post-holiday detox.

I'm a picky detox-er. For one, I'm still nursing and you have to be fairly careful in how intensely you clear toxins out of your system, because if you do it hardcore, the toxins can enter your milk. I also run on the slippery edge of hypoglycemia and my body can't take straight fasting for very long. Especially now as a busy mom, energy is like pure gold!

This gentle and whole-foods detox is nourishing and revitalizing, without fancy juices or special pills. It was developed in the 19th century by Dr. Henry Bieler, author of the pioneering nutrition book, Food is Your Best Medicine. The mild broth will help cleanse the liver, support the adrenals, reduce back and ligament problems, and increase energy levels. According to nutritional researcher and author Sally Fallon, Bieler broth is especially recommended for those under stress or suffering from stress-related conditions, including seasonal colds and flus.

You can fast on this soup completely, or you can start your morning with a cup of Bieler broth, as well as sipping on it throughout the day. As Dr. Bieler said, "Even one correct meal aids a toxin-saturated body." 

Bieler Broth
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions

4 medium squash (zucchini, yellow or summer), washed, ends removed, and sliced
1 pound string beans, ends removed
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 bunches parsley, stems removed
fresh herbs (thyme, tarragon, etc.) tied together with string (optional)
1 quart filtered water
Sea salt to taste

Place water, veggies and herbs together in pot. Bring to a boil, skim off the rising foam, lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the bundle of herbs.

Vegetables may be eaten whole with the cooking water, or you can blend into a thick soup. Salt to taste. You can also add a small pat of good-quality butter to the top, if you're so inclined (I am.)

To make a tastier, more family-friendly version of this soup, you can substitute chicken stock for the water, add 4 Tablespoons of tomato paste, and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.

Bring stock and tomato paste to a boil, blend with wire whisk and skim off the rising foam. Reduce heat, add vegetables, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in parsley and paprika and salt to taste. 

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting this March!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon January 14 with all the carnival links.)
  • Pinterest Inspiration for Easier Winter Holidays Shannon, writing at Natural Parents Network, shares inspiration for having more relaxed winter holidays from their Handmade Holidays Pinterest board.
  • Seven Recipes for Beans - Post Holiday Cleaning — Destany at They Are All of Me shares her favorite bean recipes that she hopes will help her body recover from overindulging her sweet tooth during the holidays.
  • The Recovery in the Change — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen made changes in her life and attitude throughout 2012 and was pleasantly surprised at how those changes impacted her holiday recovery!
  • Could this question change your life for ever? — To get your new year off on the right footing, Mrs Green of Little Green Blog is challenging us all to love ourselves with commitment and discipline. She asks you to focus on a simple question which might just bring you back in balance...
  • Holiday Recovery — Meegs at A New Day talks about how the holidays can be overwhelming for a toddler, and how she's helping her 3 year old recover.
  • 5 Ways to Detox After the Holidays — Brittany at The Pistachio Project gives a few ways to help you detox and get back on track after the holiday season has passed.
  • 3 Simple Ways to Establishing Rhythm After the Holidays or Any Time — Sheila at A Living Family shares 3 simple ways to reestablish a rhythm of connection and calm in your family after holidays, visitors, travel or any time.
  • Gemstones For Holiday Hangoverss — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama delves into the power of gemstones as an often overlooked means of dealing with the holiday letdown.
  • Getting back to Healthy — Bess at A Warrior Mom talks about the struggle of getting young ones back to eating healthy after several days to weeks of getting more candy and sweets than normal for the holidays and gives some suggestions on how to get them back to eating healthy in the new year.
  • Post Christmas Juice Feast — Sam at Love Parenting explains why she has created a new tradition of juice feasting, and how she includes her toddler when detoxing.
  • The Java Monkey On My Back — Christy at Eco Journey in the Burbs realizes it is time to kick her cup of Joe habit as a first step toward detoxing.
  • Minimalist Holidays — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn't find much need for recovery after her minimalist version of the holidays.
  • Do something for you — Lauren at Hobo Mama urges you to find a silly and indulgent reward of me-time — and she has hers.
  • do we recover? — Kenna at Million Tiny Things wonders what recovery really means in the context of the tragedies of this past holiday season.
  • 37 Easy Ways to Save Money — Shannon at GrowingSlower is sharing these money-saving tips to help get your budget back on track after the holidays.
  • A Two Year Old's ResolutionsThat Mama Gretchen is putting the holidays behind her with a spin on traditional resolutions — New Year's goals for her two-year-old! Sound crazy? Read on for an explanation!
  • How to Find Balance after the Holidays — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her favorite ways to start a new year with hope and calmness.
  • Fresh Awakening — For Luschka at Diary of a First Child, the new year has coincided with a return to restful nights. With sleep, she's found new directions in life, but while she can't make too many changes to her life right now, she's inspired and excited about the future.
  • Learning to slow down after a busy Festive Season Stoneageparent describes the joys and lows of this year's festive season, as well as her New Year's resolutions.
  • Detoxing' Your Toddler After the Holidays — Does your family suffer side effects from the holidays? Join Christine from African Babies Don't Cry to learn how she detoxed herself and her toddler off the treats and festivities of the season.
  • Scheduling is OK! — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep explores the possibilities of the — SCHEDULE!!
  • Holiday-Free but not Stress-Free — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot takes it easy after moving with her husband and new babies to Scotland.
  • A Vacation from the World — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children retreats with her family at the end of every year in order to recuperate and enjoy one another.
  • On the Road to Recovery — Dionna at Code Name: Mama isn't just recovering from the holidays, she's recovering from a lifestyle.
  • We Never Left the GrindErika Gebhardt compares a typical day pre-holidays and post-holidays.
  • Remembering and Recovering from the Holidays (One day at a time) — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM is recovering from holidays slowly--taking one day at a time--while trying to remember all the sweet moments that passed too quickly.
  • 5 a Day — To get back on track Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy needed a simple system to help her family learn new values.
  • Holiday Detox & Healing: Bieler Broth — Megan at The Boho Mama shares her secret for a gentle, whole-foods-based post-holiday detox: Bieler Broth!
  • I'm Mama Not Supermom — After a year filled with changes Angela at EarthMamas World has to remind herself that she does not have to be supermom while recovering from the holiday chaos.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Last year I chose a word: Perseverance. My girls were still itty and I was getting the hang of this two babies thing. I've always had a hard time following through, but becoming a mama challenged me in ways I'd never imagined - I HAD to finish certain tasks. Caring for my daughters required a diligence, attentiveness, and a sacrificial attitude that I had never had to muster in such a permanent way. I had to persevere.

This year, my new word is Movement.

My babies are now toddlers, and move they do. A lot. Everywhere. They want to walk, Afton wants to run, and they explore everything. No longer are we hanging out in the recliner nursing for hours on end - it's a quick tank-up and go, and I'm a different kind of tired. I need to switch gears in my mind from rest to move, and I'm ready!

What Movement (hopefully) looks like for me in 2013:

Family & Personal:

- Taking good care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually so that I can keep up with these busy girls and maintain a positive attitude. Maybe this means a yoga class, or maybe this means just a walk every day.

- Finding a house with a backyard out of downtown so we can run around together without having to walk or drive to the park to find grass. It's hard to find rentals in Portland, but we're keeping our eyes open!

- Moving back into church. We've been MIA for the past year and a half, which is normal and typical for new parents, but we feel like it's time to get back into everything wonderful that the community is doing in our city.


- Movement forward with Umi Sling. I've had a wonderfully encouraging response and am kept busy sewing these beautiful slings, but I want to keep getting the word out about Project Baby Bilum and pack up many more boxes of slings to send to Adriel!

- Keep learning more about running a social enterprise company. I started Umi Sling and then stumbled into the social enterprise world and was overwhelmed, in a good way. It is a whole huge new world to me and I am learning every day about new companies doing incredible things! I've been so inspired by Better Life Bags, Radiant Cosmetics, She Does Justice, and FashionABLE.


- Write from the heart, share what I know and learn, not get too caught up in the "should be doings" and just keep it real.

- Learn how to take awesome blog photos with my new camera!!

That's it so far!

What's your 2013 word, goal, or resolution?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

a happy christmas

I have one word to describe the holidays with twin toddlers: W-h-o-a.

We've had so much fun over the past two weeks but it felt like non-stop activity. The girls have been amazing - I'm lucky that they are so comfortable at my parents' and my in-laws, they just slide right into their routine here and have fun with Charlie the puppy and the special toys that they only play with when they're here. They learned words, one started running, and loved bonding with grandparents, aunties, and uncles. It was busy and wonderful.

Some shots from our holiday:

And, I got a brand spankin' new camera!

Me, seriously? My digital point-and-shoot was taped together and had seen thousands upon thousands of photos. It did me well in my life before kids and before I had an online business and online presence, but I had been needing to upgrade for so long - so my parents surprised us with a Canon Rebel on Christmas Eve and I immediately began snapping shots, filling up my memory card by the next morning.

So, friends, get ready for some better photography on this site from here on out!

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