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Tuesday, December 27

7 Books to Re-Prioritize Your Life this Year!


As we gear up for a new Word of the Year, let's revisit last January....

How'd we do?  
  • Well, I'd love to say that I'm completely rejuvenated, but being a natural-born Type-A, it's probably never going to happen.  What DID happen was that I learned to say 'no.'  A lot.  There were some unhappy people, but I feel considerably more rested than this time last year.

What would I change?
  • Surprisingly, I would say 'no' even more.  Also, I would get a better internet service provider, because honestly...I could spend 1/4 the time working, if my internet would just work correctly!!   (Maybe that should be on the short list for this year.....got any good (rural) recommendations?)

Which book from this list helped the most?
  • As it turns out, the 365 Devotions for Rest book was the most helpful.  This was because the readings were short and I kept it on the toilet tank.  I know...I know...but that's when I usually get thirty seconds of peace!



Rejuvenate.....
a :  to make young or youthful again :  give new vigor tob :  to restore to an original or new state 
My 2017 'word of the year' is rejuvenate.  I plan to spend the year pampering my mind, spirit, and body...  To paraphrase the Beatles, "it's been a long, cold, lonely year," and after going a million miles an hour for years on end, something's gotta give.  So under that theme, my goals for the year will be to : restore, relax, rest, refresh, embrace, sleep, enjoy, and release.  Or, to quote a good friend, "let go and just BE!"
Here's what's on my reading list to get in the right mindset....  Feel free to pick up on and join me on this winding journey!   Do you have a good one to add to this list?  Comment below!



365 Devotions for Finding Rest (Christina Vinson)
Rest. You crave it. Your body needs it. Your tired soul longs for it. But in the madness of your day-to-day rush, how can you possibly find it? Truth be told, when life’s demands overwhelm us, the first thing we sacrifice is our own rest. But God has a different plan for us: He made us to enjoy deep, reviving refreshment in Him. 365 Devotions for Finding Rest will guide you in a yearlong journey toward embracing His rest in your life. You’ll be amazed as God’s peace and restoration transform you.

This is such a busy time of year, and a busy season of life, for many of us, and that makes this book wholly relevant and necessary. We _must_ slow down and just stop every now and again, and this is a wonderful book to help you do just that. Each day offers up a new, short (and thereby completely doable) opportunity for rest and reflection. The devotionals are calming and help the reader to reconnect with the inner spirit. If you, or someone you love, is caught up in the rat race madness that we call life today, this is a great, and economical, gift of love.


What Falls from the Sky (Esther Emery)
Esther Emery was a successful playwright and theater director, wife and mother, and loving it all - until, suddenly, she wasn’t. When a personal and professional crisis of spectacular extent leaves her reeling, Esther is left empty, alone in her marriage, and grasping for identity that does not define itself by busyness and a breakneck pace of life. Something had to be done.  What Falls from the Sky is Esther’s fiercely honest, piercingly poetic account of a year without Internet - 365 days away from the good, the bad, and the ugly of our digital lives - in one woman’s desperate attempt at a reset. Esther faces her addiction to electronica, her illusion of self-importance, and her longing to return to simpler days, but then the unexpected happens. Her experiment in analog is hijacked by a spiritual awakening, and Esther finds herself suddenly, inexplicably drawn to the faith she had rejected for so long.  Ultimately, Esther’s unplugged pilgrimage brings her to a place where she finally finds the peace - and the God who created it - she has been searching for all along.  What Falls from the Sky offers a path for you to do the same. For all the ways the Internet makes you feel enriched and depleted, genuinely connected and wildly insufficient, What Falls from the Sky reveals a new way to look up from your screens and live with palms wide open in a world brimming with the good gifts of God.

While I don't think I'll ever go as far as to live completely off-grid, I was inspired by Esther's story of disengaging.  I can completely get behind her dissatisfaction with the current pace of life; it seems like we're expected to do six things at once, just to keep up, and then we're considered a slacker unless we're doing ten things at once!  It's just....too much.  This is a book I will probably re-read, as I struggle to find the balance between what has to be done and what I want done.  Also, the topic of consumption is addressed, which is something that our nation needs to look at more in-depth.  While I try to do my part to reduce consumption, she offers up suggestions for even more ways to become a producer, or to just be satisfied with our current lifestyle.  The premise of the story is that we should live deliberately, rather than just going through the motions and trying to get through the days.  The days add up, and every day that we spend locked into an unhappy state of digital anethesia (love that term!!) is a day that we'll never get back...  Are you ready to wake up yet?

Wake Up to the Joy of You (Agapi Stassinopoulos)
This is your year of self-discovery, a journey to create a life filled with grace, meaning, zest, peace, and joy. With warmth and wisdom from a lifetime of spiritual seeking, inspirational force Agapi Stassinopoulos guides you through fifty-two weeks of letting go of what doesn’t work for you and finding what does. You’ll cultivate the building blocks of self-care (meditation, health, making time for yourself) and confront the common roadblocks we all face, like pouring your energy into other people or living in denial. You’ll explore your “conflict” areas, such as relationships, money, self-esteem, anxiety, and your childhood. And you’ll learn to trust your creativity, keep your heart open, and connect to the bigger spirit that lives inside you.

Again, the theme of slowing down, finding yourself underneath all the hustle and bustle, emerges in this book.  My word for the year is "rejuvenation," and this book resonates with that.  This hardcover book discusses self-care, and the conflicts and roadblocks you'll hurdle on your journey to it.  There are sections on unlearning behaviors (which is really tricky), quitting worry cold turkey, tucking away anxiety and negative thoughts, and learning to just slow down and be.  Broken into fifty-two meditations, you can focus on one each week as you journey to a calmer, more peaceful you!

Choose Joy (Sara Frankl)
Sara Frankl knew she had a terminal disease, but she didn't let it stop her from living. In the face of immeasurable pain, Sara chose joy--again and again. Her unforgettable message of hope and purpose lives on, even after her death, in her words.  CHOOSE JOY is a compilation of the lessons Sara learned while she was dying, written in her own words and sewn together by her close friend Mary Carver. It is a reminder to see the beauty in life, even when it looks nothing like you hoped or planned.  In a world full of tragedy, choosing joy is no small task--but, as Sara knew, the importance lies in the choosing. Once you learn to make that choice, every day, no matter what happens, joy will come.

This was a book that really spoke to me, on a personal level, and was the impetus for my choosing to let go - on a trial basis - for the year.  2016 brought so many changes to our family's spirit that it is time to settle back and let go of things - to quit trying to control our lives and just go with the flow for a bit.  It would be very easy to dwell on the events of last year, but not helpful.  This is one of those books to keep on the shelf and re-read as needed, as a reminder that there are others out there worse off, and they have successfully chosen joy.  It's a matter of resetting your mind and spirit.

Sisters of Sugarcreek (Cathy Liggett)
Many lives were changed the day a fire burned down Faith Community Church, devastating the small town of Sugarcreek, Ohio.  Now a young Amish widow, Lydia Gruber faces an uncertain future. Her husband, a craftsman and volunteer firefighter, always took care of everything, keeping her isolated from others in their community. Without anyone or any skills, how will she survive?  With the death of her beloved aunt Rose in the fire, single mom Jessica Holtz inherits Rose’s Knit One Quilt Too cottage. Though determined to keep the shop open in her aunt’s memory, she doesn’t know the first thing about knitting and quilting and begins to see her aunt’s dream slip through her fingers.  When Liz Cannon lost her dear friend Rose, she also lost her partner in the Secret Stitches Society―the name they gave themselves while delivering gifts of hope to troubled folks in the dark of night. Liz convinces Jessica to keep the anonymous society going, despite the younger women’s inadequacy with knitting and sewing needles. But soon Liz has problems of her own as the life she has rebuilt for herself begins to crumble again.  When Liz and Jessica choose Lydia for their first mission, the three women cross paths and form an unlikely friendship in the aftermath of tragedy. As they walk together through triumph and heartbreak―through grief and new chances at love―they begin to discover that with friends by your side, a stitch of hope can be found anywhere.

This fiction book embodies the spirit of rejuvenation.  The fire brings such destruction and devastation to the area, that it seems as though some lives will never recover.  And while they aren't the same, they wade through the hard times and discover that life can be just as sweet - albeit in a different way that envisioned - as it ever was.  The theme of nurturing relationships is central to both this story and the topic of spiritual rejuvenation.  Also, if you're a hands-on person, or a crafter, you'll enjoy the surface topics woven into the characters' stories.


Enjoy (Trillia Newbell)
Watching a gorgeous sunset. Sharing a laugh with a friend. Tasting a sun-ripened strawberry. Each day is full of opportunities for you to savor the countless gifts the Creator has given.  But do you feel free to delight in God’s abundant gifts, or is your joy sometimes distorted by guilt, fear of idolatry, or simply an overwhelming awareness of sin’s effects on this world?  Trillia Newbell explains how we often miss opportunities to participate in God’s divine delight because we’re discouraged, fixated on selfish fulfillment, or paralyzed by guilt.  Enjoy serves as an encouraging reminder of God’s gracious gifts and also challenges women to view all of these gifts—from relationships and careers to food and sex—as reasons to rejoice in the Lord and grow in our understanding and appreciation of who He is.  This thought-provoking book invites you to explore the truth of God’s Word and discover how to nurture daily a spirit of gratitude and deep satisfaction. Enjoy will open your eyes and your heart to the freedom of fully enjoying all God has given us!

As a (now former) runner, I was able to relate to the author's story of needing to justify her biking hobby, and that really hooked me into the rest of the book.  Since childhood, I've been taught that hard work is the path to take, and that we should always be working toward better things, but it came at the cost of learning and understanding how to truly experience joy.  Each chapter of this book is dedicated to one area of life that we need to learn how to fully experience and be grateful for the small joys in it.  Also, there are mini-projects, and information about the communal Enjoy Project, spread throughout the chapters as an opportunity to apply what you've learned.  It's a good reminder that all work and no play makes life....less joyful.  We need balance.

Devotions for Easter (Zondervan)
Prepare your heart and mind to celebrate the risen Savior.  It’s time for fresh spring blossoms, colored eggs, special recipes, and family gatherings. This year, with each tradition, small celebration, and new story, take the time to stop and discover the ways Jesus is showing His love for you. In remembering His Easter story—the greatest story ever told—your own will become that much sweeter.  The perfect companion for Lent, Devotions for Easter invites you to find the messages of hope and mercy God places in even the smallest moments of the season. Forty days of warm, inviting readings, prayers, scriptures, and beautiful images will take you through Christ’s journey toward the cross and the miracle of His resurrection. As new life emerges all around you, let your heart be filled with joyful worship of Christ and the renewal He brings.

In the same vein as Devotions for Christmas (which I loved...see that review here), Devotions for Easter is a beautiful hardcover book with incredible pictures that will draw you in.  It is meant to be used for the forty days prior to Easter, known as Lent.  Each day begins with a short Bible verse and ends with a prayer.  The photographs are so beautiful and engaging, you'll want to leave this one out where company can pick it up and flip through it.  The devotions are short - one to two minutes long - and would be appropriate for family gathering time or your morning 'alone' time.  As the title indicates, they are all Easter-themed, and will help to re-center your spirit on the true purpose of the season...which is not bunny rabbits and colored eggs!  This may seem like a strange book to include on this list, but I appreciate how these beautiful pages help to recenter the spirit.

Chasing Slow (Erin Loechner)

You’re here, but you want to be there. So you spend your life narrowing this divide, and you call this your race, your journey, your path. You live your days tightening your boot straps, wiping the sweat from your brow, chasing undiscovered happiness just around the bend. Higher! Faster! Better! Stronger! And on and on you run. Viral sensation and HGTV.com star Erin Loechner knows about the chase. Before turning 30, she'd built a fan base of one million women worldwide and earned the title “The Nicest Girl Online” as she was praised for her authentic voice and effortless style. The New York Times applauded her, her friends and church admired her, and her husband and baby adored her. She had arrived at the ultimate destination. So why did she feel so lost? In Chasing Slow, Erin turns away from fast and fame and frenzy. Follow along as she blazes the trail toward a new-fashioned lifestyle—one that will refresh your perspective, renew your priorities and shift your focus to the journey that matters most. Through a series of steep climbs—her husband's brain tumor, bankruptcy, family loss, and public criticism—Erin learns just how much strength it takes to surrender it all, and to veer right into grace. Life's answers are not always hidden where they seem. It's time to venture off the beaten path to see that we’ve already been given everything we need. We've already arrived. 
This is a strange combination of book....it's like reading someone's (edited) diary, with all of their scrapbook clippings in between the pages.  There are recipes, lists, quotes, and mathematical equations, all tucked into the script of her life.  Motherhood, marriage, success....women are told that we can have it all, if we only try a little harder.  The truth, though, is that something gets lost along the way.  You can either be good at one thing, or mediocre at many things; and coming from a generation of women whose mothers tried to have it all, I think we are re-examining this idea.  Many of us are trying to "chase slow," which can be just at hard as having it all, as we fight this feminist notion that we are somehow going back in time.  The truth, though, is that feminism is about allowing women to be and do whatever they want, without restriction - even if that means that they want to slow down, climb off the crazy train, and embrace motherhood whole-heartedly.  You'll find yourself fighting with the author at times, and relating at others; and you'll find yourself left thinking.

Monday, November 28

Work Song (Hozier)

How many times have you thought to yourself "WHY do I have to do everything around here???"  News flash : You don't.  While we didn't create these little people to make them work, we can teach a lot of character and ethic through chores and working around the home, and it's just as crucial to their schooling. 

Mom, you are the CEO of the home, and need to plan for your employees.  Just like you wouldn't start a new job without knowing the work expectations, they can't work without knowing what is expected of them.

Let younger children work beside you.  Yes, it's going to cause more hassle and a mess in the short term, but the pay out will be worth it!  They will learn how you do something, and (if you'll answer a plethora of questions) why you do it that way.  One of the best tools in my parent arsenal is explaining everything to my children.  Why we something is just as important as how.

Walk your children through each chore three to four times, BE SPECIFIC about what you want done, and then turn them loose.  We have a chore card for each room of the house, and the kids have been walked through each set of chores multiple times.  If they need help with something (we're out of wet wipes; the vacuum is broken; etc), they know that they can ask for help.  They may not ask for help just because they don't feel like doing it.

Setting Up a Chore System
Laminate the chore cards - they'll last longer.  We keep these laminated cards in a pocket chart alongside our laminated school day cards, and chores are a natural extension of the school day in our homeschool.

Don't expect them to do it well at first, but expect to see some effort.  Also, be sure to check behind your child and offer up a smile and positive words when they've done a good job.  If the job needs work, provide constructive criticism, but remember that they did the best they could do and may just need more practice.  (If you can tell they didn't try at all, this is a character issue...address accordingly.)

Give your children both paid and non-paid chores.  This gives them a chance to work and save up for something they have been wanting.  In our house, non-paid chores are everyday ones : feed the animals, clean your room, help clean the kitchen, fold laundry, etc.  Paid chores are provided on an as-needed basis (ie, when I needed help collating 2,000 packets for a meeting).  Occasionally, if they've been working very hard to earn something, typically a Lego set, and are very close to it, we will 'invent' a chore that needs doing, such as picking up sticks in the yard.  They are doing the work, and feel proud of the accomplishment of purchasing their own Lego set.

When you teach your children to do chores, you're empowering them.  They're learning life skills, and they're also learning about work ethics.  They can do something.  They are useful.  They are needed.  Even our special needs child knows that he has value and things that he is very good at - he has confidence!  No matter what the future brings, they will know how to work hard at anything they put their mind toward.  In our opinion, this is just as important, if not more so, than the academics of school.

Monday, November 21

Shine on Harvest Moon (Rosemary Clooney)

On a unusually empty Saturday, as we bumbled around town looking for something to do...a garage sale to crash....something to pass the time....we came across this storage box and began a new project.  If we'd been thinking clearly, we'd have taken some decent 'before' photos...but alas.
The box was made of real wood and had great bones, but someone had painted it this terrible chartreuse color...that's not a color anyone needs in their kitchen.  Or pantry.  It also had hinges that were rusted in place and needed a thorough scrubbing.  Completely do-able in a weekend.
The boys helped to break it apart into all of it's little pieces, and give it a nice coat of off-white paint.  We cleaned it well beforehand.  While the paint was drying, we soaked the hinges in WD-40 to loosen them.
A bit of bright red paint for the covers brought life to our piece and gave it a vintage feel.  We also stapled wire mesh to them, instead of the thick plastic, to open them up and let the food inside breathe.  For the top of the box, we pulled out our old Tupperware stencils and livened it up with the boys' vision of a pastoral scene. 

And voila!  A root box to hold potatoes, carrots, beets, apples, and the rest of your fall harvest.

A few Potato Recipes...

Friday, November 18

Feet on the Ground (Ruby Velle)

Do you have children who seem to notice and respond to every sight and sound around them, including those that you had not noticed? Do your children have a hard time getting homework or chores done because they seem to lose track of what they are doing?

Some children are highly distractible, noticing every sight and sound around them. When working on a task, they are often side-tracked and have a difficult time focusing. On the positive side, this trait also refers to children’s perceptiveness. Highly distractible children are keen observers of the world around them.

I'm not applying labels here....ADD, ADHD...who needs them?  We all have our own issues, and distractibility is sometimes a blessing in disguise...once you get pass the classroom setting.

As a distractible child myself, I have also been blessed with a distractible child.  My mother is amused....  

Distractible children have no filter, so we need to help them limit their distractions.
Use movement to activate learning.  Mindless and repetitive movement will help to keep the body occupied and allow the mind to center and focus on learning.

Movement ideas while learning alone :
  • Skip rope while doing times tables.
  • Hop while doing chants, like Song School Latin.
  • Walk on a treadmill while reading.  I learned to study while using an elliptical trainer, and found that I retained considerably more information.  Research shows that exercising while learning activates different areas of the brain.
Movement ideas while listening to a story or other teaching in a group :
  • Play with silly putty
  • Make a pattern with Legos
  • Organize toy cars by size / color
  • Braid a doll's hair
Understand that they may have to move.
  • "Normal" people stop and pay attention to listen.  Distractible children are no longer listening if they're stopping and 'paying attention.'  I had a professor who finally understood this, and allowed me to doodle all the way through class.  She knew that if I was looking at her, I was zoned out and gone.
  • Give them something to do with their hands, if they need to be still and listen for a while.
Have them take responsibility for their learning.
  • If they don't understand, they have to say so, rather than pretending that they do.
  • They have to try to learn, and try a different method if the first way doesn't work.
  • Ask every so often if they are understanding.
Try different learning styles.
  • Some kids need movement-centered learning (see above) and hands-on (kinesthetic) activities.
  • Others are very musical, and can learn anything put to music.  Try chants and ditties that they can sing and dance along with, such as the ones on Ditty Bugs.
  • Some kids can learn anything from a movie (audio/visual) - most distractible children are going to need to move around while watching a movie.
  • Find what works best for your child.  (You probably already know, just from observation!)
Teach them to develop focus.
  • You may have to remind them to refocus several times a day, but try to do so without anger or condescension.  This isn't a character flaw, and they don't need to be disciplined.  They just need a gentle reminder.
  • Break large tasks into smaller bits, and recognize the completion of these smaller tasks.  Even if your child is a pre-teen, they need to learn to break things down into manageable bits.
  • Use charts to help keep them focused on the tasks at hand.  We use these elementary and middle school daily charts to help remind the kids of what is left to be tackled.
Further Exploration

Wednesday, November 16

Rocky Top (Osborne Brothers)

I dare you to read this post without humming along to Rocky Top at some point.....  *giggle*

One of the coolest parts about our trip through the Rocky Mountains was all of the different geological structures we discovered!  Our son was working on his Geology Merit Badge during this trip, and so we went a little more in-depth than a typical unit study.  It was a lot of fun!  In the photos above, we are looking at a sedimentary structure and the tree line.
Having spent most of our lives at or near sea-level, the plant life zones of Colorado were fascinating to our entire family.  Seeing the timber line, seeing snow in the summer...these were new to us!  This visual helped us as we looked out to the mountains themselves.
At one of the local rock shops, the boys spent well over an hour discussing various geological samples from the local terrain.  We learned about feldspar, quart, and selenite.  The selenite towers were their favorite - as there were some that looked like magic wands!
Another neat thing about this particular store was how they provided written materials to go along with each piece they sold, and the approximate date of the rock itself.  What a cool, hands-on lesson in geology!

Geology Unit Study
Related Trips

Classroom Resources

Hands-On Resources

Sunday, November 13

Meet Me in the Morning (Bob Dylan)


German Apple Pancake
Ingredients
·         2  eggs
·         1/ 2 c milk
·         1/ 2 tsp vanilla extract
·         1/ 2 c all-purpose flour
·         pinch of salt
·         2 Tbsp unsalted butter
·         1 apple, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly
·         1/ 2 tsp cinnamon
·         pinch of nutmeg
·         1/ 4 c packed light brown sugar

Directions
·         Preheat oven to 400 F.
·         Place a cast iron skillet over medium to high heat.
·         Whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla, then mix in flour and salt.
·         Place butter into the cast iron skillet.  Once melted, add apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
·         Cook 2 minutes until apples have softened, then add brown sugar and let the apples caramelize slightly.
·         Pour batter evenly over top, and place the skillet into the oven for 20-25 minutes.
·         Turn pancake onto a plate immediately (before it has a chance to stick).
·         Slice and top with pure maple syrup or confectioners’ sugar.
To freeze :  Let cool, wrap in individual servings, and freeze up to three months.
To reheat :  Thaw overnight and microwave 30 seconds.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
Ingredients

  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3/4 c can pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Mix sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin, and water.
  3. In separate bowl, mix together baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  4. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
To freeze :  Let cool and put into freezer bag.  Keeps about two months.
To reheat :  Thaw and microwave 30 - 45 seconds.




Best Ever Biscuits
Ingredients 

  • 1 3/ 4 c flour 
  • 1 Tbsp sugar 
  • 2 1/ 4 tsp baking powder 
  • 3/ 4 tsp salt 
  • 1/ 4 tsp baking soda 
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold & cubed 
  • 3/ 4 c milk 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. 
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. 
  3. Add butter and mix the cubes into the flour mixture just until crumbly.  
  4. Add milk and stir until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute. 
  5. Flatten the dough out in the shape of a rectangle.  Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. 
  6. Use a biscuit cutter (or a jar will work) to cut out as many biscuits as you can.   Knead leftover dough together, flatten, and cut again.
  7. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
To freeze :  Let cool and put into freezer bag.  Keeps about two months.
To reheat :  Thaw overnight and microwave 30-45 seconds.


Carrot Cake Muffins
Ingredients 

  • 1 c all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/ 2 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/ 2 tsp allspice 
  • 3/ 4 cup sugar 
  • 1/ 2 cup oil 
  • 2 l eggs 
  • 1 1/ 2 cups peeled, grated carrots 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a medium bowl.
  3. Cream the sugar with the oil.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk into mixture. 
  4. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just blended.  Fold in the carrots. 
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Bake 20 minutes.

To freeze :  Let cool and put into freezer bag.  Keeps about two months.
To reheat :  Thaw overnight and microwave 30-45 seconds.

Wednesday, October 26

Bitter Green (Gordon Lightfoot)


Have you ever thought about making your own organic green powder?

Greens are considered one of the best sources of nutrition available.  This can include any type of greens: kale, collards, beet greens, herbs such as parsley and cilantro, lettuce, and even weeds such as purslane, clover, and dandelions.  They are very alkalinizing, meaning they help restore a healthy acid-alkaline balance in the body.  But keep in mind that greens aren’t a replacement for other vegetables in your diet.  It’s still vital to consume a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Making your own green powder has many advantages: it is a great way to use leftover greens, saves money, and puts you in charge of what ingredients you would like to include.

Easy-Peasy Organic Greens Powder :

  1. Take off the stems.  Thicker greens have stems that become quite hard when dehydrated, and can be difficult to turn into powder.
  2. Dehydrate.  Pop into a dehydrator for 4-8 hours, or in the oven at 200 for two hours. They shrink quite a bit, so put them close but not over top of each other. (This is my favorite dehydrator.)
    • Note :  Cooking the greens reduces the amount of oxalic acid, which may be a good option for those with certain health conditions such as kidney stones.
  3. Grind into powder.  Then strain through mesh into a jar or into another container of your choice.  Keep sealed and in a cool, dark place or a refrigerator to keep fresh.
Not ready to make your own yet?  Here are some of the best greens on the market :

Looking for more herbal wisdom from your garden?  Check out all of our 'herbal remedy' posts.