Thursday, January 26, 2006
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Dear "Organic Style" Subscriber,
Rodale Publishing recently decided to cease publication of "Organic Style" magazine. The October 2005 issue was the final issue.
"Organic Style" made its debut in September 2001 and was the first magazine to focus on providing information about organic, balanced living in an authentic and contemporary way. We at "Experience Life" are also pleased to have been at the forefront of the balanced living movement and to witness the movement's shift into the mainstream.
In an effort to help fulfill "Organic Style's" commitment to its valued customers, we have arranged for you to receive "Experience Life" in place of the issues that remained in your former "Organic Style" subscription. Your first issue is enclosed. We hope you will enjoy this award-winning, healthy-way-of-life magazine.
(Skipping over part about if you are already an "Experience Life" subscriber.)
Thank you again for your loyal support of "Organic Style" and for your understanding and patience in this matter.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-749-3964 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Experience Life" Magazine
The site was disabled December 1. 2005, but says that you can still find "Organic Style" articles at Organic Gardening.com.
I don't know what happened but this is really disappointing. My subscription to "Organic Style" started in 2004. It was in the check-out stand of the grocery store. Spying that magazine was like a sign that I needed to get TreeHuggerz.com started (I had ownership of the domain since 2001). So I bought my first issue and subscribed immediately. It's been one of my all-time favorite periodicals but our relationship has been way too brief.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Celebrate. . .
. . .the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King by planting a sycamore or live oak grown from the seeds of trees at Brown Chapel AME in Selma, Alabama. As a young minister, King used to make fiery speeches at Brown Chapel, where he gathered thousands for his peaceful Selma-to-Montgomery march that helped lead to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. For more on these trees or to order, visit: www.historictrees.org or call 800/320-TREE.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Treehugger.com has a contest ending January 20, 2006. To enter you have to outfit an eco-celeb head-to-toe using fashionable green items. You can check out my Wists.com entry for outfitting Brad Pitt. The prize is a HER design bag but I had lots of fun just fantasy dressing Brad and learning how to use Wists. If you enter and feel like sharing, post a link to your entry in the comments. Who's up for Angelina?
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
The Worshipful Company of Bakers
Copyright 2005 Jeremy Likness
Bread is one of the oldest known recipes to man. It has
been around for several millennia.
The recent low-carbohydrate craze has given bread a bad
reputation, but not all breads are created equal. There are
more varieties of bread than there are supplement
companies. This article will explain the history of bread,
the types of bread, and the role that bread can play in the
quest for good health and a better body.
The History of Bread
It is estimated that the first bread was made around 10000
years BC or over 12,000 years in the past. This bread was
more than likely flatbread, similar to a tortilla, made
simply of ground grains (flour) and water that was mashed
and baked. The first tools and implements used in the
making of bread are dated to about 8000 years BC.
Egypt is attributed with popularizing the art of making
bread. Egyptians are considered to be the agricultural
pioneers of the old world, probably benefiting from
interactions with Samaria. The closed oven was invented
circa 3000 BC and allowed for more varieties of bread to be
produced. It is around this time that leavened bread is
first described, that is bread, bread with yeast added so
that it would rise during production. Refined grains were
considered superior and therefore were prevalent in the
higher courts, so the poorer populations used barley and
sorghum in their breads.
Around 1000 BC the Mosaic laws were introduced. These laws,
in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, contained
instructions to the nation of Israel regarding proper food
preparation. When the Hebrew people fled Egypt during the
legendary Exodus, they were forced to make unleavened
(flat) bread in their haste. Leviticus declares a feast
commemorating the exodus using flatbread. Bread is a common
symbol of bounty in the bible – Leviticus 21:22 declares,
“He shall eat the bread of his God.” When the people of God
were lost in the wilderness, they were fed manna, which was
described as bread from heaven. The Christian Savior, Jesus
Christ, is called the “Bread of Life”.
The bible also gives one of the earliest recipes for
sprouted grain bread. It reads, in Ezekiel 4:9-17: “The
thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and
lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one
vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the
number of days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three
hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.” While more
than a year of nothing but this bread sounds like quite a
marathon diet, analysis of products today using the same
recipe show that it was a well-balanced, nutritious bread
that yielded plenty of protein, fiber, carbohydrate, and
In 400 BC, around the time when Socrates was providing sage
dietary advice, Plato imagined an ideal world. In this
world, men would live to a ripe old age. Their main source
of sustenance would be whole grain bread from local wheat.
168 BC saw the establishment of baker’s guilds in Rome.
Bread even played a major role in politics when, in 40 BC,
as part of a campaign, it was decreed that bread should be
freely distributed to every male adult.
In 1202 AD, English laws were passed to regulate the
production of bread. While many people are aware of the
differences between whole grain (brown) bread and white
breads, few realize that it caused quite a stir in 1307
when the white bread bakers and brown bread bakers split to
form separate guilds! It was not until two centuries later,
in 1569, that the guilds were reunited and called the
“Worshipful Company of Bakers.”
As early as 1826, the whole grain bread used by the
military was called superior for health to the white,
refined bread used by the aristocracy. In fact, the term
refined today comes from this fact. Before the industrial
revolution, it was more labor consuming (and therefore
costly) to refine bread, so white bread was the main staple
for aristocracy. This made them “refined”.
In 1910, Americans were eating 210 pounds of wheat flour
every year. The commercial bread-slicing machine was
invented in 1912 by Otto Rohwedder, and unveiled in 1928.
The 1930s saw the United States pursue a diet enrichment
program to begin fortifying breads with vitamins and
minerals after their discovery in the late 1920s. In 1941,
calcium was added to help prevent rickets, observed in many
female recruits to the military. In 1956, it became the law
to enrich all refined breads. By 1971 consumption of white
bread had dropped to around 110 pounds per year, but by
1997 (possibly due in part to the low fat, high
carbohydrate craze and the food pyramid) consumption was up
to 150 pounds – still 60 pounds shy of the fit, trim
Americans at the turn of the century.
Types of Bread
There are many types of bread. This is by no means an
In the most basic form, grinding grains, adding water, and
heating it produces whole grain flatbread. Whole grain
bread is similar, only yeast is added so that the bread
rises. White bread starts out similar to whole grain bread.
The grain is processed, however. The hard, outer portion of
the grain is stripped, removing fiber and many vitamins,
minerals, and healthy fats that are naturally available.
The remaining portion is ground to a fine powder, the
enriched with a generic spray of vitamins and minerals.
This is then used to bake the bread.
Spelt bread is a grain-bread, but made from special wheat
that does not contain gluten. Gluten, a form of protein, is
a common allergen and gluten intolerance or allergies are
Since whole grains are not sweet, sourdough bread is simply
wheat bread with no sweetener added. Once a sweetener is
added – often high fructose corn syrup in commercial
breads, but typically brown sugar, honey, or molasses in
fresh baked breads – it becomes the typical bread you are
used to buying.
Varieties such as oat, barley, rye, kamut, triticale,
millet, and even rice bread are simply variations using
different grains other than traditional wheat. Sometimes
seeds and spices are added, creating varieties such as
basil, garlic, onion, or cinnamon bread.
Sprouted grain bread has increased in popularity in recent
years. Traditional bread is made from ground flour from the
hardened kernel of grain. Sprouted grain bread involves
soaking the grain and allowing it to sprout. The sprouted
seedlings are then mashed together and baked. Sprouting
allows the enzymes in the grain to convert some of the
carbohydrates and fats to vitamins, minerals, and amino
acids. Due to the changes that take place, sprouted grain
bread typically is higher in protein, fiber, and certain
vitamins and minerals than regular bread. It is also less
refined and processed than even stone ground wheat bread,
so it has less of an impact on your blood sugar.
Bread and Nutrition
Many commercial types of bread are highly refined. Enriched
breads have the original nutrients stripped out and
replaced with inferior, often lesser quantities of standard
vitamins and minerals. Some companies will try to produce
wholesome-looking bread by adding grains to the outside,
even when the main ingredient is enriched bread. High
fructose corn syrup is often added as a sweetener.
The first thing to look at when purchasing breads is the
ingredients list. Look for breads where the very first
ingredient is “whole grain” or “stone ground” rather than
“enriched” (even if whole grains follow the enriched flour
ingredient). Look for natural sweeteners like molasses or
honey over high fructose corn syrup. Preferably, the
sweetener and salt should be last on the ingredients list.
If you consume high quantities of bread or keep the bread
refrigerated, it will last longer and you can purchase
fresher varieties that do not contain additives or
preservatives. The most basic ingredients list will look
like this: whole-wheat flour, water, salt. There should be
a few grams of protein and fiber per slice – low protein
and/or fiber is a sign of excessive processing that has
stripped these nutrients, and implies that the other
nutrients will be missing as well.
Rye bread typically contains moderate portions of protein
and fiber per slice. A 100-calorie slice will contain a few
grams of protein, a few grams of fiber, around 20 grams of
carbohydrate, and decent amounts of calcium and iron. The
addition of flaxseed increases protein and fiber (for the
same 100 calorie slice) but also adds trace amounts of
health, unsaturated fats.
There are actually some amazing bread recipes that can be
very beneficial for the bodybuilder. A variety of bread
called “Men’s Bread” by French Meadow Bakery contains the
following: Organic whole wheat flour, filtered water,
organic flaxseed, organic pumpkin seeds, organic oat fiber,
organic low fat soy flour, organic wheat flour, organic
sesame seeds, organic raw sprouted fava beans, organic
sunflower seeds, organic millet, organic pea protein
isolate (non-GMO), organic wheat flour (wheat germ
restored), soy germ isoflavone concentrate (non-GMO),
organic sprouted quinoa, organic sprouted amaranth, organic
sprouted spelt, organic sprouted kamut, wheat gluten,
organic sprouted barley, organic sprouted oats, organic
sprouted wheat, unrefined sea salt.
This power-packed ingredients list provides a 100-calorie
slice of bread with essential fatty acids, 5 grams of
fiber, and 8 grams of protein to only 11 grams of
carbohydrate. It is abundant in over 13 vitamins and
minerals. Compare this to a typical slice of white bread,
which contains no fiber, trace amounts of protein, and
double the carbohydrate.
Bread has been around for ages. While trends such as low
carbohydrate nutrition or low fat dieting come and go,
bread is here to stay – people “earn their bread” or “bring
the bread home” and are constantly looking for the “best
thing since sliced bread”. Before eliminating bread from
your program, consider the many types of bread that are
available and decide if there is one that suits your needs.
Bread can increase your protein intake, add fiber to your
diet, refill you muscles by supply quality carbohydrate in
addition to healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. People
are always looking for the next great protein or power bar.
Why not try a slice of bread?
About the Author:
Jeremy Likness is an internationally-selling author,
motivational speaker, and health coach. His unique coaching
services have assisted people around the world with losing
hundreds of pounds of weight. Jeremy is the author of "Lose
Fat, Not Faith: A Transformation Guide" available at
www.LoseFatNotFaith.com or through major bookstores (ISBN:
0976907925). To learn more about Jeremy and his unique form
of coaching from the heart, visit:
http://www.naturalphysiques.com/hire/ or call Jeremy direct
at 1-888-472-2829 (770-456-5580).
Monday, January 09, 2006
Tuesday of this week is day 10! He's been in the fridge and I forgot to take him out for use Monday night. So...I took him out Tuesday night and left him at room temperature. There's been much discussion around here over which recipe to try first. I want pancakes but Richard wants bread. We compromised and I baked a batch of Herman biscuits Wednesday for breakfast.
Richard liked the biscuits but I thought they had a real strong yeasty/alcohol flavor. Nothing some butter and honey couldn't cure. The biscuit dough itself was perfect and there is no need to roll and cut unless you want to. Each biscuit is made by pinching off an egg sized piece of dough and placing it into a greased 8' or 9' cake pan. The sides of each biscuit should touch. Traditionally they were baked in a cast iron skillet. Then cover with a tea towel and allow them to rest at least 10 minutes before baking. I did note that they took longer to cook than other biscuit recipes I've used.
Herman was fed and left outside the fridge because I have plans for him Thursday morning. Grandma Ruby used Herman almost daily so I don't have a problem using him the next day. I only mention this because many Herman tips recommend using Herman every 48 hours - 10 days after feeding. Some suggest pouring off the alcohol layer that forms on Herman but Grandma Ruby just stirred it in. Be aware of the color of the liquid, if it's green or brown toss your Herman and start over. Some say to toss if it's orange but some say it's okay. If the layer is clear or yellow, it's fine. For those of you who feed Herman milk or milk products toss Herman if there is any pink in the crock. Grandma Ruby used water and so do I. Herman will normally have various scents such as yeast, wine, beer and sourdough which can be quite strong. However, Herman should not smell rotten or have mold growing on top of him.
Thursday is Herman pancake day! The recipe I used is basically a regular pancake recipe with 1 cup of Herman added. Since yesterday's biscuits were so-so I didn't feel too confident using Herman as the pancake base, see TreeHuggerz Herman Blueberry Pancake Recipe. The pancakes were good and cooked up beautifully. They didn't have that strong yeasty taste but not a sourdough flavor either. Herman wasn't fed after the pancakes and he went back into the fridge.
With Thanksgiving next week I want to have Herman rolls for dinner but I think I better do a dry run first. After getting Herman to room temperature on Friday, I tried a Herman roll recipe from the internet. All I can say is YUK! The recipe itself had me worried because it only called for a dash of salt. Even biscuits use 1 teaspoon of salt. Then it also required one package of dry yeast in addition to 1 cup of Herman. This seemed like a lot of yeast for a recipe that claimed to make 12 rolls. I calmed my fears by looking at the rave reviews for this recipe. The first sign of trouble was that the dough was more like batter. So I added another cup of flour. This helped but the dough was still too sticky to knead. More flour was added. The recipe only required one rise after kneading and shaping the rolls. However, I gave the dough a rise before I formed the rolls because I wanted them fresh from the oven with dinner. In my bread baking experience an extra rise makes for a better end product. All was well, the dough rose just as it should but it made almost a double number of rolls. Okay, we'd have extra rolls. My timing was on and they were done just as dinner was to be served. They smelled delicious and looked picture perfect. But even hot buttered from the oven these rolls were awful. Very yeasty in flavor; bland due to lack of salt; and the texture was quite coarse. No one wanted the leftovers so I fed them to the birds. Now I've got to find another roll recipe and get it right before Thanksgiving.
Fed Herman and left him at room temperature to work. Grandma Ruby always kept her crock near the stove and since I plan on using Herman often, this seems best. Maybe my lackluster results are because Herman hasn't had a chance to fully ferment at room temperature.
Stay tuned for Week Three.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
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Wednesday, January 04, 2006
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Monday, January 02, 2006
My knowledge of Herman comes through my daughters great-grandmother, who I will refer to from now on as, Grandma Ruby. Her mother traveled from the Midwest along the Oregon Trail with a crock of Herman. That strain of Herman survived until the 1970s when Grandma Ruby was no longer able to care for him.
Personally, I never even heard of Herman until October 2005. In my teens I tried to make my own sourdough starter but it failed, big time. Richard (grandson of Grandma Ruby and father of DD) encouraged me to give Herman a try because he is sweet, versatile and easy to maintain. His memories of eating Herman baked goods from Grandma Ruby's kitchen persuaded me to go for it.
Started my first pot of Herman on Sunday, November 6, 2005. Used dry package of yeast to start it off, all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup of sugar. My Herman pot is a one gallon glass pickle jar. After allowing it to stand at room temperature for 24 hours I placed it into the fridge, stirring daily.
For Herman directions and recipes check out the current TreeHuggerz Tip page.