New Freedom & Simplicity™ Guide

Our newest Freedom & Simplicity™ guide is up and available! And just in time to go with our Holiday Special on the Champion Juicer! Drinking Your Vitamins! is a Freedom & Simplicity™ Guide to Juicing. Have you ever wondered why fresh fruit and vegetables juices? Why not just take vitamin supplements? What kind of juicer to buy? What to do when you can’t juice? Where you can find juice recipes?

These are all covered in this inexpensive, quick introduction to juicing.

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When the holidays get here, you’ll be glad you did.

Swine Flu again

What’s your best defense against Swine (or any) flu or disease? My answer is always having a healthy/uncompromised immune system that can fight it off. That requires taking in the proper nutrients in a form easy to assimulate, and avoiding toxins/nutrient robbers.


Sugar and caffeine are 2 of the worst (although certainly not the only) and should be completely avoided if you want to have a healthy immune system. (Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs – illegal or prescription – shouldn’t even have to be mentioned.) Other refined/chemically processed foods and additives, including colors, preservatives, and flavoring – including all the forms of MSG – should also be avoided. And even too many cooked foods, especially meats, can lead to a less than healthy immune system. Yep, if you want a healthy immune system and just health in general eat G.O.D. foods that are Good for You-Naturally!


Here’s a bit from a Dr. Mercola article last week.

So far we know that, of the 36 children who died from H1N1 between April and August of this year, 30 had some form of chronic health condition, and all of them had a co-occurring bacterial infection.

Clearly, having a robust, well-functioning immune system is the best way to ensure your body’s innate ability to fight off this mild flu virus, and not succumb to secondary infections such as staphylococcus aureus.


Update: Also read this article and watch the video at Mercola’s site today, with Dr. Blaylock, neuro-surgeon and researcher.

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BPA – not the Biblical Principles kind

from Dr. Mercola:

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Bisphenol-A, or BPA, if you’ve paid attention during the past year. It’s been getting a lot of press for good reason.

BPA is an estrogen-mimicking chemical, invented nearly 120 years ago, that is used to make hard plastics and epoxy resins. It can be found in numerous products that most people use on a daily basis, including baby bottles, canned foods, water bottles, and microwaveable plastic dishes and containers.

The Environmental Working Group has published an interesting review of BPA, showing the timeline of BPA’s use over the years. It offers a glimpse of the reality behind nearly all chemical dangers, showing just how long it can take to get something dangerous off the market, despite the evidence of harm.

Industry uses more than 6 billion pounds of BPA a year. As a result, scientists have found that 95 percent of people tested have dangerous levels of BPA in their bodies.

This is one valid reason why you should not tolerate the suggestion that “trace amounts” of toxins are okay.

The cumulative effect of being exposed to minuscule amounts of BPA from cans, bottles, plates and all other sources over the years can eventually spell serious trouble for your health.

read the rest of the article


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My Weekly Yogurt Post

🙂 Yep, I’m posting on yogurt again. I told you last week I’d let you know how the raw goat milk yogurt comes out. Delicious! (Click here for more traditional yogurt making instructions.)


Raw Goat Milk Yogurt - plain and strawberry

Raw Goat Milk Yogurt – plain and strawberry

Here’s how I did it.

Raw Goat Milk Yogurt

Prepare containers and utensils. Wash, rinse very well, pour boiling water over/into them.

1 qt. raw goat milk – heat gently on stove to 110°F. on candy or other food thermometer. (No more. You want it to remain raw.)

Whisk in: 3-4 Tbl. organic, natural plain yogurt with live cultures or recommended amount of dry yogurt culture.

Dump water out of yogurt containers and pour yogurt in. I used the containers that work in my dehydrator since that is where I cultured my yogurt this time. You can use a quart glass jar or smaller glass jars or a wide mouth glass or stainless steel thermos. Put lid(s) on.

Put in warm place to culture. You need a place that will keep a steady temp of 95-110°F. As I said, this time I used my dehydrator, that has a thermostat control on it. Culture 8-10 hours, until it sets up. Other ways you can culture yogurt are listed in a previous post on yogurt that has complete instructions and various uses.( I DO NOT find a crock pot, even on keep warm with the lid off to hold a low enough temp.) More yogurt posts here.

My additions for flavored yogurt per serving – all optional. Add 1 or more. (adjust amounts to your liking):

  • 1/2 tsp. raw organic agave nectar (or raw honey)
  • a couple drops of pure organic vanilla extract/flavoring
  • 2-3 fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries, mashed up – or 1-2 Tbl. other fruit

Enjoy! I am.

OK,  you do need a source of raw goat’s milk for this. You can substitute raw cow’s milk if you have a source/use cow’s milk. (I recommend not, but raw IS SO MUCH better for you than pasteurized, homogenized, chemically, feed-lot raised, …)

Want more help for yogurt making? Get our dirt-cheap Freedom & Simplicity™ Guide to Yogurt Making.

GOCO Salve

OK, this is really called GOOT* but in my book/house it is GOCO and it is good for what ails you. It has all the great health benefits of its ingredients – garlic, olive oil and VCO (organic extra virgin coconut oil). It is anti-infective, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-all those bad microbial things. 🙂


GOCO Salve - good for what ails you

GOCO Salve – good for what ails you

Basically it is equal amounts of the 3 ingredients, blended together in your blender/food processor. Rub it on chests, feet, sinuses, in noses, in ears. Great for colds, flu, athlete’s feet,  – “whatever ails you”!


The recipe is 3 Tbl. of each. Melt your VCO. Blend your garlic with the oils – blend it up good. Put it in a jar.


Here’s how I did it:

GOCO Salve

Measure 3 Tbl. VCO into a small glass jar with a wide mouth. (Thanks Angie for the baby food jars! They are coming in handy.)

Pour very hot water into a small bowl. Set jar of VCO in the bowl of hot water to melt the VCO. NEVER microwave VCO.

Mince fresh garlic with garlic mincer/press. It’ll take approx. 3-4 heads to get 3 Tbl. I got about 1 Tbl. per head of garlic.

Put melted VCO, minced garlic, and 3 Tbl. olive oil into food processor (or blender.) (3 ingredients, 3 Tbl. each – easy to remember recipe!) Process until garlic is very fine, and mixed in.

Pour into small jar. Cap.

Let set out on the counter for a few hours – to really infuse those oils with the garlic. I then refrigerated it (as I think you’re suppose to). But I keep it out of the fridge when actively using it – fridge makes it TOO hard, IMO.


More info at Jacque’s website, where I got the original recipe. [website no longer available] We’ve used fresh garlic, and garlic/olive oil for years, but are new to the addition of VCO and its great health benefits added to these. I’m glad to have this, but not hoping we get to try it out soon.

*Note: I haven’t figured out why it is called GOOT – Garlic, (Olive) Oil, (VC) Oil, ?? What am I missing here? Thus my name GOCO = Garlic – Olive – Coconut Oil.

More on Virgin Coconut Oil

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is the healthiest oil – not just for cooking, but for health in general. I posted on Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) a while back, and have more info on my Resources and Recommendations pages, BUT also promised to post more info on what all it is good for here.


Organic VCO is great for all your cooking and baking. It is a healthy, Good for You-Naturally!™ oil with NO transfats. It is the best oil to use whenever you are going to heat/cook with oil. It doesn’t undergo any changes that other oils do at high heats. It can be substituted for other oils or butter both in recipes and on foods such as bread/sandwiches, potatoes or other vegetables. But it is also a great addition to recipes and foods that don’t need added oil. Add a couple tablespoons VCO to your Good for You-Naturally!™ fresh fruit smoothies or other foods such as (already cooked) oatmeal or other grains, other drinks, or even just in warm water. (“Raw” is the best way to use VCO.) About the only place you will not want to use VCO is in salad dressings, since it is solid at room temperature. Optimal is 2-3 tablespoons per day for its health benefits. (See some of our recipes with VCO here.)

For external use coconut oil is good as a relaxing massage oil, but also so much more! – for scars, stretch marks, insect bites, athletes feet/fungus, body odor, rough skin, baby rashes, skin irritations, eczema, dermatitus, dandruff, wrinkles, corns, calluses, stop bleeding, reduces fever, reduces acne, improves digestion and aids in the absorption of nutrients including essential minerals (such as calcium,) is a great detoxifier, strengthens the immune system and increases metabolism. It is a great moisturizer and hair conditioner. Besides EFA’s (essential fatty acids,) VCO is high in vitamin E/anti-oxidents and is anti-fungal/microbial. [Scientific studies have proven that VCO’s major component, lauric acid, is an effective “anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal compound,”] (See The Virgin Coconut Oil website for one source of more info on VCO.)

“A statement released from the health experts and authorities in the coconut industry of the Philippines said, “While there is no direct proof available for the efficacy of the VCO against the H1N1 virus, scientific studies have proven that VCO’s major component, lauric acid, is an effective “anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal compound.” source and more info


Although Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is an AWESOME oil, it is not a magic pill. Don’t expect overnight miracle results – especially if you are living in a way that is detrimental to your health. Use VCO as a part of a Good for You-Naturally!™ lifestyle of health.


Books on Virgin Coconut Oil that may be helpful – but I haven’t read them yet.


Another website with info on VCO – I’ve only read this page so far, so can’t vouch for the rest of the site.


Order VCO on this page.

Making Yogurt

Before I even start, let me tell you – you don’t have to have a yogurt maker to make yogurt! Yogurt is VERY easy to make. No long list of ingredients or steps to follow. 2-3 ingredients and heat, stir, pour, incubate. That’s it.

I haven’t done it in a while – since we went off “real”/cow’s milk. (I haven’t tried it with the alternative milks yet. Soy milk* is said to work well. Update: I’ve now made raw goat’s milk yogurt. Click for instructions.) I had an individual yogurt maker in the past and for several years used the yogurt making kit that goes with my dehydrator. (It’s time to pull it out and try our own soy yogurt.)

If you don’t have a yogurt maker and want to make yogurt, here are some other sources you can use to hold the right temp. I’ve used them all in the past when I didn’t have a maker.

You need:

Milk (raw, store bought, powdered milk mixed to proper proportions, or soy) about 4 cups (but you can make as much or little as you want.) Heat, in a heavy saucepan over low heat, to a bit under a boil. (Be careful not to scorch it!) Then cool to 115°. My old candy thermometer didn’t go low enough, my new one does. I’ve used a fish aquarium floating thermometer for this and my sourdoughs.

Optional, for “thickening power”. Homemade yogurt is sometimes a little thinner than store bought, more like European yogurt. –

Powdered Milk. You can add extra powdered milk for a firmer yogurt – either regular powdered milk, or soy. I’ve heard that with the “other” starter, linked below, you don’t need to add this. If you do add it, add 1/2 – 1 c. per 1 qt. of milk before heating milk.

Or agar agar powder – dissolve 1 tsp in 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil (watch closely) add to milk.

Live Yogurt Cultures. Stir into the milk AFTER it has cooled to 115° or you’ll kill them! –

From either a Yogurt Starter – I’ve used Yogourmet, I’ve heard of another one that is good for a thicker yogurt. Use the amount listed on the package.

Or from Plain Yogurt with *live, active* cultures. Use 2-4 Tbl. plain yogurt for 1 qt. of milk.

Pour yogurt mixture into perfectly clean containers. (A good way is to pour boiling water into washed and rinsed containers, then empty them.) Small glass jelly jars make a good individual size, or pint or quart jars are fine. My yogurt maker came with small plastic containers with lids.

Incubate – You want a steady temp of 95-115°. Use your thermometer to check that it maintains this temp.

It will take anywhere from 3-9 or so hours for your yogurt to set up. Test it by tilting the jar a bit. Refrigerate as soon as it is set.

Here are some ways you can incubate your yogurt without a yogurt maker:

Pour milk/culture mixture that’s at 115° (or just slightly lower) into an insulated thermos and wrap with a thick towel.

Or place a folded towel on top of a heating pad turned onto low and place yogurt containers on top of it and cover with another towel. Or put containers in a covered box on top of the heating pad.

Or in a box (or styrofoam cooler) with a small light bulb in it. ( I built one of these – cooler with light bulb – for my sourdoughs.)

Or in a gas oven (turned off) with a pilot light.

Or in a ceramic crock, wrapped in a blanket, or placed in an insulated cooler.

Or place containers in a water bath in an electric skillet or slow cooker/crock pot on low. If you do this be sure to test it out with a thermometer in a jar of water (instead of yogurt) to make sure it holds the correct temperature over that length of time. I have not found newer crock pots to hold the proper temp. My newer one, on keep warm setting, still needed the lid off to maintain a temp of 115-120. Also water (of proper temp) needed to be added several times, since it evaporates with the lid off.

Or any other place you can keep a steady proper temp. This is the key thing, find a place that you can test out to make sure it holds the required temp steadily.

My fave place in my dehydrator that has a thermostat control. I can set it at 105-110° and know it is going to stay right there the whole time. But I’ve also had good results with a heating pad on low with a thick (double layer) towel between it and the jars and another towel thrown over it all.

What can you do with your yogurt? (Stir in any additions after the yogurt has incubated.)

You can eat it plain.

You can sweeten or flavor it – with fresh fruit, or fruit only spreads, or honey or agave nectar or vanilla or maple syrup, etc.

You can make awesome smoothies with it and fresh or frozen fruit.

You can make “ice cream” (frozen yogurt) with it.

You can use it in place of buttermilk in recipes. Just stir it to thin it a bit.

You can use it in breads – especially good in sourdough types.

You can use it in place of sour cream or even creme cheese. Put it in cheesecloth and pull up the corners of the cloth and hang over a bowl or the sink to drain/drip overnight. This will make a thicker yogurt, perfect as a substitute for either of these, depending on how thick you get it. Use this on baked potatoes, in dips and dressings, and other recipes.

*Note: Homemade soy milk will need a “sugar” of some type added to it for the culture to feed off of in order to set up. Honey and maple syrup won’t work. (Since I haven’t made this yet, I’m not sure yet what I will use.)

(See update on Making Soy Yogurt)


Want more help for yogurt making? Get our dirt-cheap Freedom & Simplicity™ Guide to Yogurt Making.

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Lisa @ Me and My House ~ Discipleship for Life!
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