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Yogurt Making


Learning how to make your own yogurt is easy!  This is another one of those “home skills” that after you do it once, you’ll be wondering why you waited so long to do it!


Here’s what you need:

  • Raw, local milk (you do want good bacteria and enzymes in your yogurt don’t you?  Isn’t that why you’re doing this in the first place?)
  • Yogurt “starter” - available here. (not an affiliate link)
  • Yogurt Maker – available here.  (not an affiliate link)
  • Dairy or Candy thermometer to accurately gauge temperature.


First of all you need a Yogurt maker.  We bought the Yogotherm model (link above) because it doesn’t use electricity and is super easy to CLEAN.  I actually bought ours from Lehman’s Non Electric Catalog (link here) a couple years ago.  Nothing to break down since it’s not electric!  :)


Find a good local dairy that sells raw milk, either cow or goat.  I have made yogurt using both.


Get yourself some yogurt starter (link above).  You might also find yogurt starter at your local natural food store, in the refrigerated section.


Follow the directions on the starter box:


Heat 1 quart milk to 180 degrees F.  Use a dairy or candy thermometer to accurately gauge temperature.



Once it reaches 180 degrees, remove from heat.

Let milk cool to 115 degrees F, again use the thermometer to gauge temp.

Stir in packet of yogurt starter.  Use a whisk to stir well.

Pour mixture into yogurt maker.


Set the yogurt maker aside to sit undisturbed for up to 8 hours – the longer it “sets”, the thicker the yogurt (and the stronger the taste).  Don’t let it sit for more than 8 hours though or mold may develop.


Once the yogurt is done, pour it out of the maker into a clean medium sized bowl and transfer to the fridge!


Sweeten with maple syrup, stevia, etc.  Flavor with vanilla, berries, whatever!  :)  We use ours in smoothies nearly every day.



Our recipe for our morning smoothie

2 cups yogurt

1 cup frozen organic blueberries, blackberries, raspberries (any combo)

1 banana

1 scoop TruGreens powder (affiliate link)

1 cup Body Balance (affiliate link)

3 Tablespoons chia seeds

2 or 3 ice cubes


Place everything in the blender and give it a whirl!  Comes out pretty thick, almost like a sorbet.  Might not go through a straw!  If you want it not quite so thick, don’t use the ice cubes – we like ours super thick!  :)


Cultured foods, such as yogurt, kefir, and Kombucha, are loaded with good probiotic bacteria that our bellies need for many reasons.  One reason is to properly digest food.  Another is so that our immune systems works properly.  And yet another reason is to “keep things moving” so to speak, if you get my drift.

Are you thinking “why bother” with all this?  Well, there are many reasons I make my own yogurt, among other foods.  

First of all, I like to know where my food came from.  I like to be able to shake the hands of my local farmer friends and look them in the eye when I buy food from them.  I like to know, really know, what is going into our bellies.


It’s one way I can “buck the system”, be independent of government control, do my own thing.


Gardening,  preparing herbal remedies, making our own cultured foods such as yogurt, are all ways of peacefully rebelling against the “status quo” I guess.  It’s my own way of resisting the current state of our culture, our world.


It’s also about being prepared.  We have no way of knowing what tomorrow holds.  Making  and growing your own foods, knowing how to prepare herbal remedies and how to use them, will be tremendous assets “if the unthinkable happens someday.”  Why not prepare NOW and learn how to do a few things this summer?  Why wait?


Got a question or a comment?  Go ahead and post below or on my FB page at  Chat soon!













Give Your Body A Good Housecleaning! DETOX!

by Susan on February 24, 2014

You know how good it feels after you’ve spent a few days doing a deep “spring cleaning”?  You’ve washed windows, curtains, vacuumed in spots that haven’t seen the vacuum in a L O N G time…When you’re all done it feels so good!  Even the air seems cleaner!



Think of a detox in the same way except for your body.


Our bodies are bombarded daily with toxins, pesticides, preservatives and fillers in our food, pollution in the air we breathe, chemicals in the water we drink and bathe in, chemicals that are in the cleaning products we use, our carpets, furniture…the list goes on and on.


These toxins don’t just “go away”.  A large percentage are stored away in fat cells in our bodies and in our digestive tract.  We feel sluggish, our joints ache, our tongues are coated with a whitish film…


We lived for about 8 years in an old 1850′s farmhouse.  We were sick with flu like symptoms the entire 8 years.  ( I was later diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue). What we didn’t know at that time was that our house was making us sick!  Black mold was rampant in our damp, 150 year old cellar (nothing more than a hand dug hole with granite blocks supporting the house – common in this area of Maine).


After figuring out what the problem was, we moved into a new ranch style home.  I thought our problems would be over!  Yay!  No more sickness!


WRONG!  We were still sick! 


I later learned that toxins that build up in our systems (in our case mold and lead)  MUST be detoxed, they don’t just magically disappear.


So began the quest to GET HEALTHY and stay that way!


There are several ways to detox.  I’m going to just touch upon the few that I have personal experience with.


Why juice?  It is SO EASY to get large amounts of green vegetables into your diet by juicing!  Also during the juicing process, other parts of the fruit or vegetable are ground up into the juice, parts that you would not normally eat.  Therefore you are getting vitamins, minerals, and digestive enzymes that you would not normally get!

Juices also are easy to digest, giving your digestive system a much needed rest and also allowing your system to do some “deep cleaning”, extracting some of the toxic gunk that has built up.

Get yourself a GOOD juicer – the kind that grinds up the skin, rind and whole fruit or vegetable without rotating too fast (and therefore COOKING the item – which pretty much defeats the purpose!)  I have an Omega VRT330 which I found on Ebay.  Works great, is easy to clean!


Combining Fasting With Juicing.

Fasting is basically abstaining from food for a certain amount of time, 24 hours for example.  Sometimes your body just needs a “reset”, like rebooting your computer.  A fast is like hitting “reset”.   Combining juicing with fasting is a turboboost!


A healing process occurs while fasting.  Even a partial day fast or a one-day fast is beneficial.  Fasting combined with prayer is a powerful spiritual force, but that is a topic for another post! :)


How To Do A Juice Fast Detox:

  • Decide ahead of time the date that you are going to begin.  Make sure you give yourself enough time to gather together the vegetables, fruits, herbal teas, etc. you will be using.  3 to 10 days is a good length for a good juicing/fasting detox.  (Before you begin PLEASE consult with a health practitioner, especially if you have any type of illness/condition to begin with).


Gather Detoxifying Fruits And Vegetables:

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • lettuces
  • spinach
  • cabbage
  • wheat grass
  • asparagus (GREAT kidney detoxer!)
  • Granny Smith apples
  • berries (FRESH)

You want to keep the ratio 80% green vegetables to 20% fruit and/or sweet vegetables (like carrots).


You’ll also want to add some fiber to your drink – psyllium husk is a great choice.  It just further aids your system in its “housecleaning work”.  Life Force has a great product kit that aids in this cleaning process – Colon Cleanse.  It contains psyllium husk, activated charcoal, and herbs to aid in cleansing your digestive tract.  Activated charcoal absorbs toxins from the walls of your intestine and these toxins are then expelled from the body.  Colon Cleanse can purchased here.


Another detoxing agent is Bentonite clay.  Pure Bentonite clay works similarly to activated charcoal in absorbing toxins.  It literally swells to several times its original size as it makes it way through your digestive tract.  One of the many benefits of pure Bentonite clay is that it also increases your body’s ph level, resulting in a more alkaline and, therefore, less “inflamed” state.  The more alkaline your body, the less physical ailments.  The more acidic, the more sickness!  Pure Bentonite clay can be purchased from the Bulk Herb Store right here.


What Else To Drink:

During your juice fast detox, you’ll need to drink plenty of water, either plain or add a slice of lemon (hot lemon water is a good detoxer too, especially first thing in the morning). Your body will be hard at work and will need lots of water to flush out the toxins.


Herb teas are also recommended:

  • Peppermint (digestive system healing)
  • Ginger (heats you up, therefore aids in detoxing process, also digestive system healer).
  • Chamomile (relaxing)
  • Nettles (works best as an infusion – a great overall tonic).
  • Dandelion root tea – great for cleansing the kidneys & bladder

During your juice fast detox, you are not to eat ANY solid food.  Just drink juice, water, and herb teas.


Other foods to consider during a detox and everyday:


  • Aloe Vera -  You already know how healing aloe vera is for your skin, healing sunburns, scrapes, scratches, burns, etc.  Well, what aloe does on the outside, it also does on the INSIDE, healing your digestive tract from “one end to the other”!  Ancient and modern cultures use the aloe vera plant as a staple of a healthy diet.


  • Sea Vegetables – Sea vegetables, harvested in clean, pristine ocean waters, are one of the healthiest plants found on earth.  They are loaded with nutrition.  The healthiest cultures in the world, like those found in Japan, eat sea vegetables daily.  Fucoidan is just one of the nutrients found in sea plants.  Fucoidan is a heavy duty detoxifying plant, actually pulling heavy metals, chemicals, and dangerous toxins from the body.


The best way I have found to get Aloe Vera and Sea Vegetables into my daily diet is through Body BalanceThis product, combined with juicing, herb teas,  fasting, and major diet change,  is how I went from sick and toxic to healthy and vibrant in a short period of time.


Again, before you decide to do a juice and fasting detox, please first consult with your health practitioner, especially if you have an existing condition or are taking any medications.


One thing to remember:  YOU MAY FEEL WORSE BEFORE YOU FEEL BETTER!  Sometimes during the initial stages of detoxing, you experience “flu like” symptoms, stuffy nose, achy, lethargic, etc.  Some folks experience “stomach bug” type symptoms.  I know it can be discouraging going through this process as I went through it when I first started detoxing.  KEEP GOING!!  It only means your body is having a major housecleaning!  The detox is working.  If you quit at this point, you’re just undoing what your body is trying to do.


I hope you will consider even a few days’ detox, especially just before a season change.  Maybe this late winter/early spring?  :D  Happy Detoxing!











Grow Long, Healthy Hair With Horsetail Herb

February 20, 2014

Tweet     Do you have this funny looking plant growing in your yard or garden in the spring and early summer?  I never knew what it was till just a few years ago.  I always thought it did look like a horse’s tail, never knowing that that is it’s name – Horsetail!   Horsetail, […]

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How To Make An Herbal Tincture

February 17, 2014

Tweet Intimidated by herbal tincture making?  Well, you needn’t be!  It’s so simple! Tinctures can be made with alcohol (at least 90 proof vodka is best), pure vegetable glycerin, organic apple cider vinegar, or raw organic honey.  They are highly concentrated herbal medicines.  We usually take ours diluted in water (2 or 3 droppersful in […]

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How To Make Compost

February 10, 2014

Tweet I’ve been asked “Gardening 101″ questions several times over the past few months and thought I would take this opportunity to answer some of those questions in a series of sorts.  I’ve been gardening organically since 1998.  I would not call myself a Master Gardener but we eat pretty well through spring, summer, & […]

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Natural, Homemade Facial and Body Care Recipes

February 6, 2014

Tweet       As a follow up to a post on the common chemicals found in facial and body care products, I wanted to share with you a couple of recipes that I use myself.  If you haven’t read the previous post about the JUNK that the big companies are putting in your facial and […]

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How To Make An Herbal Infusion

February 2, 2014

Tweet Herbal Infusions are like a super strong tea.  An infusion is more than “just a cuppa”, it is herbal medicine, and they generally are bitter!     Infusions can be made from roots, barks, leaves, flowers, or seeds.  Combinations can also be made but it is best to infuse each plant part separately.  “Simples” […]

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How To Make Your Own Soft Hand Soap – Simple & Cheap!

January 20, 2014

Tweet Sick of spending money on all those fancy hand soaps?  Concerned about the nasty chemicals in “antibacterial” soaps that studies find are actually doing you more harm than good?  Me too.  That’s why I decided it was high time Susan made her own.    It’s so simple you’re going to think, “Really?  That’s it?” […]

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How To Make Elderberry and Rose Hip Syrup: Super Cold and Flu Buster Recipe!

January 16, 2014

Tweet Are you looking for an EASY, yet effective flu and cold busting recipe?  Well, here ya go!   Elderberries are wonderful little immune boosting berries, especially good for boosting your defenses against colds & the flu.  Rosehips are the “apples” of rose bushes and are LOADED with vitamin C.    The following recipe is […]

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How To Make Chocolate Pudding With Avocados! (Yes! AVOCADOS!)

January 13, 2014

Tweet I found this recipe a year or so ago and I was skeptical…I mean, AVOCADOS?  I like avocados but in chocolate pudding?  Yep.  Pure DECADENCE!!   I was looking for “real food” desserts, Paleo-style desserts, and found this somewhere – not sure where now – sorry I can’t give the reference.  I’m thinking it […]

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