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July 4, 2016

2 Ingredient All Natural Carpet Cleaner + Freshener

Heidi Fiscus

This all natural carpet cleaner will help loosen stains while freshening your room. If you need a babysitter just give the jar to your kids and let them make a mess. What kid does not like to make a mess? My 3-year-old loves this activity and it occupies him for at least a hour. I just have to refill the jar a few times.

This recipe is not for all stains on all types of carpets. For the stains that will not lift, I scrub them with an eco-friendly soap like Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds and a toothbrush. My rugs are wool so the soap and toothbrugh always get the stains out and then I follow up with the carpet freshener.

This recipe makes enough for a giant area rug, you can cut in half if needed or store the rest for a later date. I made a shaker top for a mason jar by punching holes in it with a nail.



Ingredients 

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 40 drops essential oil (I use lavender)


Supplies 

  • glass jar with shaker top (as seen above)
  • measuring cup


Method

  1. Combine baking soda and oil in jar. Stir with a spoon until the oil is fully combined and then put the lid on. 
  2. Shake on area rugs then leave for 1 hour.
  3. Sweep up baking soda with vacuum.
  4. Repeat when necessary.
Picture credit:
www.paleoplan.com

Homemade Fermented Kimchi a.k.a Asian Sauerkraut

Heidi Fiscus

I dove right into fermenting after I took a class with Marissa Percoco at the Firefly Gathering. Before the class I was only making kombucha and really had no idea there was a whole world of fermenting out there. Now, I am making huge batches of kimchi, along with jun tea, pickles, and fennel carrots. I even tried salsa which failed miserably. My next project is milk kefir with local raw goat milk.

I wanted the kimchi to taste like Sunjas store bought kimchi so I went off their ingredient list and used this recipe from Kitchen Porch for an amount reference. I believe it tastes just like the jar I use to buy from the store.

Prep time: 30 minutes + soaking vegetables overnight
Ferment time: 3 days to 1 week
Yield: approximately 1 pound


Ingredients 

1 large head green cabbage, cut into bite sized pieces
3 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup sea salt
2 quarts warm water, filtered
4 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 garlic cloves
2 inches of fresh ginger root
2-5 tablespoons red pepper flakes

Supplies 

food processor
steralized glass fermenting jar + weight
cutting board
sharp knife
large mixing bowl
large breathable cloth napkin or towel
small breathable cloth napkin
clean rubber band
pitcher
large spoon

Method

  1. Combine cabbage, carrots, and half of the green onions in large gmixing bowl.
  2. Make a brine in the pitcher with the sea salt and water. Dissolve the sea salt completely in warm water by mixing with large spoon.
  3. Pour brine over the cabbage and carrots in the large mixing bowl. Cover with breathale cloth napkin or towel and let sit overnight (or for 6 hours).
  4. In the morning be sure to keep 1 cup of brine before straining cabbage and carrot mix. Rinse vegetables with filtered water then put them back into the large mixing bowl and set aside. 
  5. In your food processor, add the garlic, ginger, the other half of the green onions, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until paste forms.
  6. Add the paste to the cabbage and carrot mixture. Massage the paste into the cabbage with your hands until all the cabbage is covered.
  7. Pack the cabbage mixture into the fermenting jar and pour 1 cup of brine on top.
  8. Weigh down the cabbage mixture with a fermenting weight.
  9. Finish by covering with small breathable napkin and rubber band.
  10. Let the kimchi ferment for 3 days to 1 week in a cool, dark place. Taste on day 3 to see if it has the flavor you are going for.

June 1, 2016

5 Reasons Why My Kids Never Wear Shoes

Heidi Fiscus


It may be alarming to most adults when I say my kids never wear shoes. It may seem I am neglecting them or putting them in harms way but these opinions are totally opposite of the truth. The American culture believes being barefoot is a sign of ignorance, neglect, penniless, and uncleanness. How do I explain this to my 2-year-old and 3-year-old who do not understand why they "have" to wear shoes?

Recently, a member of The Society of Barefoot Living Facebook Page posted his story about how a neighbor called CPS because his children were in the front yard playing without shoes on. This really hits home for me because I want my children to be free in an important time in their life. I also do not want to get involved in a scary situation with people who will never understand why I am raising my kids non-mainstream. It is very disturbing and disheartening to hear stories like this and hard to understand why people are so close-minded.

After I read Kathleen's post over on Red and Honey regarding 5 Reasons to Let Your Child Go Barefoot, I decided I wanted to write about the reasons why my kids never where shoes. My two little boys have been so inspiring, they are the reason behind why I ditched my shoes over a year ago.

1. Shoes Are Painful and Unnatural

new study by the Wallstreet Journal, says changing shoe sizes is not just for kids. 2/3 of Americans are wearing the wrong size and complaining from painful foot problems. People think they are wearing the right size but are unaware their feet can get bigger or smaller over time depending on activity levels, pregnancy, age, and weight. If shoes are too small they can create issues like hammer toes and bunions, if they are too big there is concern for safety.

"We have always assumed that most people in modern shoe-wearing societies walk "normally." It is true only if we use the term "normal" in its liberal context, meaning to conform to an accepted standard or general average. But natural walking -- the pure manner without faults of form or function -- is quite another perspective. All ambulatory creatures in nature walk naturally, hence with maximum efficiency. That includes all shoeless people, who are the only "pure" walkers on the planet. All the rest of us, by grace of the shoes we wear, are defective walkers in varying manner or degree. " - Dr. William Rossi, consultant for the footwear industry

Most shoes are painful, especially new ones, and rarely fit correctly. They also change the way the foot operates naturally. The first time I wore my soft sole moccasins, my feet had blisters all over them and they felt super tight. I remember trying to wear them while walking almost 2 miles, midway I had to stop because I could not walk. I took off the moccasins and kept walking barefoot comfortably. It was the last time I wore shoes during the Summer.

2. Shoes Disfigure Feet

There is an overwhelming amount of evidence showing how shoes disfigure feet. People who live a barefoot lifestyle have very few foot defects, most of which are painless and non-debilitating, while people who wear modern shoes religiously suffer from all sorts of disfiguration from hammer toes to bunions.

"I have examined thousands of children's and adults' feet, both in the United States and in foreign countries, determined to learn to what extent shoes can disable naturally healthy feet. I have conducted numerous tests in accredited hospitals and published my observations in widely distributed medical journals, presenting my views for the scrutiny and criticism of other doctors. There is now no question in my mind... THE MAJOR CAUSE OF FOOT TROUBLE IS THE TYPE OF SHOES WE WEAR." - Dr. Simon Wikler, podiatrist and advocate for going barefoot

Ever since I started going barefoot, I have noticed an overwhelming amount of disfigured feet. From toes forming a triangle to painful looking bunions. I can clearly see how shoes have disfigured the human foot and do not want my children (or myself) to fall into this category.

3. Shoes Disrupt Balance, Stability, Agility, and Coordination

Being free from deforming shoes is not enough, foot health also depends on going barefoot in order to develop natural gait, balance, agility, and strength, especially forming feet of young children.

Americans spend hundreds of millions a year on trying to normalize gait through walking shoes and orthopedics. All of this money is a waste since wearing shoes make normal gait biomechanically impossible"Natural gait and shoes are biomechanically incompatible because all shoes automatically convert the normal to the abnormal, the natural to the unnatural. And no therapy or mechanical device, no matter how precisely designed or expertly applied, can fully reverse the gait from wrong to right". - Dr. Rossi

My kids are so use to walking barefoot so when I put shoes on them they trip and fall almost like I strapped a few bricks to their feet. They immediately loose their balance and coordination.

Tynan, my 2-year-old also known as my "primal baby", has the healthiest feet I have ever seen. His toes spread far and wide. He has incredible foot strength and is super agile. He runs and walks with a forefoot strike while most of the population uses a heel strike. If you tried to forefoot strike daily, it would feel incredibly odd. I contribute his foot health to being barefoot since birth with the exception of periods throughout the Winter.

4. Shoes Create Health Problems

survey published in The Journal of the National Associate of Chiropodists concluded people in China and India who have never worn shoes have little to no foot problems. This proves ill-fitting and restrictive shoes cause great harm to growing, formative feet and can create issues down the road such as these common adult foot problems.

Tons of people deal with plantar fasciitis (plantar fasciosis) and are told going barefoot is the cause. Plantar fasciosis is caused by elevating the toe spring too high resulting in a pinched nerve in the middle of the foot. If the foot is level with the ground then this would not happen. If you study modern day shoes, especially sneakers, you will see how this happens.

5. Shoes Are Not Needed or Wanted

"It took four million years to develop our unique human foot and our consequent distinctive form of gait, a remarkable feat of bioengineering. Yet, in only a few thousand years, and with one carelessly designed instrument, our shoes, we have warped the pure anatomical form of human gait, obstructing its engineering efficiency, afflicting it with strains and stresses and denying it its natural grace of form and ease of movement head to foot. We have converted a beautiful thoroughbred into a plodding plowhorse." - Dr. Rossi

It is simple, my kids do not want to wear shoes or ask to wear shoes. They do not need them or want them. Playing in the dirt with bare hands and bare feet not only makes them happy but it also restores their microbiome which improves their immunity to illness, adding to their overall health.

Soft Star Shoes for Kids

If you want to shod your kids then Soft Star Shoes is where its at. For the cold months, I bought 2 pairs of black on black for the boys. They have a very, very minimal look with very thin soles. Exactly what I was looking for! Stay tuned for a full review.



Sources:
Samuel B. Shulman. "Survey in China and India of Feet That Have Never Worn Shoes," The Journal of the National Association of Chiropodists, 49, 1949, pp. 26-30
New Study: You Could Be Wearing the Wrong Shoe Size from The Wallstreet Journal and ABC News
Why Shoes Make Normal Gait Impossible by Dr. William A. Rossi
Take Off Your Shoes and Walk by Dr. Simon J. Wikler

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