Cooking, Hutchens-Nancy, Memoir, Non-Fiction

#1033 Memories of a Midwestern Farm by Nancy Hutchens

#1033 Memories of a Midwestern Farm by Nancy Hutchens was originally published on One-elevenbooks

Cooking, Howard-Chrys, Non-Fiction, Robertson-Kay

#1030 Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen by Kay Robertson

#1030 Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen by Kay Robertson was originally published on One-elevenbooks

Cooking, Health, Non-Fiction, Trescott-Mickey

#812 The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott

The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey TrescottThe Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott

We all know what Paleo is, or we’ve all heard of it. It’s the diet where a person simulates the diet of a Neanderthal, basically. You don’t eat grains and you don’t eat dairy. You don’t eat a lot of stuff. A more in-depth version of Paleo is known as autoimmune Paleo, or AIP. This version of Paleo further restricts what you can and cannot have in an attempt to heal damage to your digestive system, and generally your body. As healing occurs, you can experiment with adding things back in.

This book is a cookbook, but it’s also a why behind AIP. Why would you do it? Why would you need to? What is the diet going to do? What is ok and what’s not ok? All of that is in this book. It also has some nice pictures.

It’s easy to follow, so if you’re endeavoring to go AIP, this book will start you off on the right foot. There’s a meal plan. There’s a pantry list. You can learn how to make bone broth, if you didn’t know already.

What I liked

The presentation of this book is very nice. The information is informative and the recipes aren’t bad, none of them are extremely difficult. I do like the idea of a meal plan in this book, not that I’m going to follow it, but it’s a nice touch.

Since I have to go AIP for a while, this book is a very good resource. Most people will find AIP much too restrictive and would go with regular Paleo, but if you had to go AIP, I think this book is a very good help.

What I didn’t like

I would have loved a lower carb meal plan in this book. Paleo itself is not low carb, neither is AIP, although it’s typically lower carb than your traditional American diet. If you wanted to lose weight right away while doing AIP, there is a chance it may not happen with the included meal plan. It might, but it might not. For many of us, getting healthier involves losing at least a little weight. If I’m already drastically changing my diet, I would love to see some results that I can see. Getting lower or higher whatevers on your laboratory results are wonderful, and healthy, but it’s also nice to know that your drastic changes are paying off in a visible way.


Get ready for kale.

Weigh In

Do you prefer your cook books to have pictures?

Do you think Paleo is great?

#812 The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott was originally published on One-elevenbooks

Cooking, Home, How To, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Plants, Woginrich-Jenna

#573 Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich

Made From Scratch by Jenna WoginrichMade From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich

Jenna moved from the mountains of the Appalachians to northern Idaho, where it’s incredibly cold. Jenna made a conscious decision to return to a simpler way of life. Her dogs could pull her on a sled. She bought household items from antique stores. She learned to can items, raise chickens, grow vegetables, and play the violin. Jenna is something of a woman after my own heart.

Jenna tries to homestead, a bit in Idaho. She learns the pitfalls and joys of raising chickens. They’re great for pest control, but they might wander into the neighbor’s yard or get eaten by the dogs. Jenna learns to bake bread. She extols the virtues of mountain music.

Suddenly, Jenna learns she has to move to Vermont. Jenna packs up her animals and instruments and goes. This is where Jenna’s other book, One Woman Farm comes into play.

What I liked

I admire Jenna so much. I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed her other book, and, yes, I know I read them out-of-order. I really like the idea of learning to do as much as possible yourself. It’s good to know how to do different things. It’s good to know how to bake bread from scratch and grow vegetables. I love that Jenna tackled all of this herself. It’s a big responsibility, but it brings joy and fulfillment to her life.

I love that Jenna learned to play the fiddle on her own. Seriously, I’m going to order a fiddle and that book Jenna recommends and learn myself. I’ve always wanted to. Jenna speaks of a music tradition that is part of my own family. I had a great-great uncle who was in the Foxfire books for fiddle-making. Some of his wood works are still around the area where he lived.

What I didn’t like

I liked Jenna’s book and there isn’t a whole lot of bad I can say about it. Go Jenna. Let’s have a visit one day.


We need more younger people like Jenna. Capisce?

Weigh In

Would you raise farm animals by yourself?

Do you think it’s a good idea to know how to do things from scratch? Why or why not?

Cooking, Home, How To, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Warren-Spring

#542 The Quarter Acre Farm by Spring Warren

The Quarter Acre Farm by Spring WarrenThe Quarter Acre Farm by Spring Warren

Spring decided that she wanted to provide most of the food she ate from her small plot of land, about a quarter of an acre. Spring did not live out in the country where she had ample room; she lived around other houses. This is the story of how she lived off of her farm for a year.

Spring’s children weren’t altogether enthused about her experiment, but since they already had geese, a duck, chickens, and some other plants, it wasn’t that far of a leap. At first Spring found that eating zucchini all the time wasn’t that appetizing, but then she learned the art of zucchini recipes, a few of which are in the book.

Things didn’t always go how Spring had planned. She had more of this vegetable than she ever thought was possible, this vegetable didn’t grow right, this one got too much water, the water bill was too high, a tree fell in her salad garden, and that’s just a few events.

As the year progresses, Spring gets better at dealing with setbacks. She gets better at being a gardener and her family gets better at eating lots of vegetables.


What I liked

I liked Spring’s adventure, even though I wonder if Spring Warren is really her name. I think it’s neat that she endeavored to grow so much of her own food. It’s a worthy task. I liked that she seemed so calm about the thing. I honestly don’t know how this woman eats so many vegetables. I mean, I like vegetables, but she ate a lot of vegetables.

What I didn’t like

The whole thing was rather enjoyable. There isn’t really anything I didn’t like.


I love hearing about people’s lives and their gardens.

Weigh In

Would you grow your own food for a year?

If you had to grow your own food for a year, would you be malnourished by the end of the year?

Cooking, Health, Non-Fiction, Reference, Self-help

#432 Fast Track Digestion IBS by Norman Robillard

Fast Track Digestion IBS by Norman RobillardFast Track Digestion IBS by Norman Robillard

Normal people would probably use their one free book from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library to borrow something exciting. Yeah, well, apparently not me. I borrowed a book about IBS and SIBO.

I know what IBS is, but I wasn’t very familiar with SIBO and I read the term somewhere in an article recently, so I wanted to know more about it.

Norman wrote this book as an explanation and a bit of a diet program. He explains that IBS can be caused by SIBO. I know you’re wondering what SIBO is. SIBO stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You have too many bacteria in your small intestine.

IBS has become a bit of a catch-all description that the doctor tells you that you have when he/she can’t figure out exactly what upsets your stomach all the time. People get kind of irritated because they don’t know why they have this condition and they can’t really get anybody to tell them what would help the condition out.

Dr. Normal links IBS to SIBO. It’s natural to have bacteria in your intestinal tract as Dr. Norman explains, but the bacteria in your large intestine aren’t supposed to be in your small intestine. Those bacteria can get up in there and cause all kinds of discomfort. Basically, you’re looking at a situation where your ratio of good bacteria vs. bad bacteria is out of whack. The reason you have weird bacteria in your small intestine is maybe because just a little bit got in there one day, but you’re eating foods that feed these bacteria which causes some of the foods to ferment in your small intestine which causes lots of discomfort on your part. That all sounds really nasty.

Dr. Norman goes on to explain that he has determined an equation to calculate the fermentation potential of certain foods using the glycemic index of said foods. Essentially, Dr. Norman thinks you can starve your enemies out. If you’re not feeding them the food they need to live, they die, and your stomach doesn’t hurt anymore, everybody wins, except the bacteria, they lose.

Dr. Norman talks about various foods and types of foods that can ferment in your intestines and then that’s the end of the book.

There are recipes and a few charts, but that’s pretty much it.

What I liked

I liked the explanation of what SIBO is. It makes sense to me. Of course if you’ve got a bunch of stuff living in part of you where it’s not supposed to live you’re going to have bad side effects. It’s very similar to the reasoning I’ve read behind a condition called candidiasis, which is a full-body overgrowth of the yeast candida.

On a side note, I once watched a documentary where there was a scientist who studied something to do with digestion in animals I believe and her name was Candida Gut. Seriously, who did that to their child? Maybe she just picked it as a professional name because she’s so awesome. I don’t know.

I liked that Norman had this chart that listed various foods and how bad they are for you if you happen to have SIBO. I appreciate the work Dr. Norman did to develop this equation to figure out the fermentation potential of certain foods. I don’t like math and I don’t like numbers, so I could have never done what Dr. Norman was able to do with his studies. I’m also sure a lot of people have really benefited from the knowledge imparted by Dr. Norman.

What I didn’t like

I didn’t know what SIBO was, but much of this information is a repeat from similar books. The idea is to kill off the things living inside of you and to do that, you surprisingly have to follow similar diets. There really isn’t a lot in this book, diet wise, that I wouldn’t have found in a book about candidiasis or other similar caliber conditions. Really, someone should just write a giant book with this same type of diet, listing exceptions depending on what disorder you’re trying to treat. Oh you have Hashimoto’s? Follow the main diet with these exceptions. Oh you have candidiasis? Follow the main diet with these exceptions. The diets and reasonings are all very similar. There is really no point in differentiating all of these different approaches when they’re essentially the exact same darn thing.

Dr. Norman lacked information. This book is an explanation, but it’s also a diet framework. It’s how to freaking get rid of your SIBO. Dr. Norman doesn’t make it very easy. Sure that chart with fermentation potential is nifty, but what about a chart that says in black and white what foods you can eat during the first week and what foods you cannot eat during the first week. What about meal plan alternatives for someone who really can’t eat wheat or dairy. Dr. Norman’s  two-week meal plan has enough wheat and dairy in it to make me sick for three months. What’s up with Dr. Norman’s casual approval of Aspartame? I’m not quite a week off of Diet Coke and I know Aspartame is bad news. I know it is, but I love Diet Coke.

The allowance of something like Aspartame seems hypocritical. Here Dr. Norman is promoting a drug-free way to get rid of your SIBO just by diet, but then here he is saying it’s ok to drink Aspartame. No mention of the upset stomachs it can cause? Seriously? Not a one?

I kind of want to tell Dr. Norman to go back and develop this book to appeal to a more natural crowd. It’s almost as if he’s got one foot in holistic healing and the other foot right in a puddle of Monsanto.


The information in this book is valuable, but I’m really glad I didn’t pay $9.95 for it.

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Cooking, Health, Non-Fiction, Reference, Robillard-Norman, Self-help

Comical true life, Cooking, Health, Home, How To, inspirational, Memoir, Non-Fiction

#419 The Duggars: 20 and Counting by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

 The Duggars: 20 and Counting by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar The Duggars: 20 and Counting by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

The Duggar family is a much praised and also debated family in the media’s eye. Some of us love them and their ideals, while some of us criticize them for having so many children. Some people claim the problem with the Duggars is that they use up federal and state resources having a family so large, but in reality, the family is very self-sufficient having no debt at all. Of course, haters are always going to hate.

This book is about how the family came into being. We meet Jim Bob. We meet Michelle. We learn how they met. We learn how they dated. We learn how they got married. They worked their butts off. They started a car lot. They had a towing business. They had a convenience store. They did it all. At one point they had five children in a 900 square foot house, which they also ran their car lot out of. Tough cookies, people, they’re tough cookies.

The interesting thing about the Duggars is not the fact that they have so many kids, it’s why. Why do they have so many kids? They Duggars have many children based upon a religious principle called “quiverful,” but that wasn’t always their motivation. At one point Michelle did take birth control pills. They started their family out normally enough, but after having their first child, Michelle had a miscarriage. This miscarriage was attributed to the fact that Michelle had conceived the child while on birth control. While this may or may not be entirely true, it led the Duggars to where they are today.

The couple goes on to have nineteen children total, although it’s not listed in this book. The book chronicles their life. Jim Bob was in government for a while. They bought a large piece of commercial property. They’ve been very blessed to be able to live their lives without debt. That huge house they have is something they built themselves. They’re not work shy at all.

After explaining how they got to where they are, the Duggars give some helpful hints. They explain their chore system, which they call “jurisdictions.” Every family member has chores to do each morning. They explain their home school system. They explain their organization system. They explain their buddy system. Yes, the Duggars have a system for everything. What makes their large family work so well is that they are very organized, if you can imagine a family so large being organized. They dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s.” They don’t simply leave their good life to chance.

The family is very religious. Their home-school education is based largely on religious principles, which isn’t a bad thing, but I don’t necessarily think it’s a great thing either. They attend church in their home. They look at each opportunity they come across as an opportunity to further God’s work. For what it’s worth, they seem to be doing really well.

What I liked

I liked looking into the lives of the Duggars and learning more about them. They’re interesting people.

I do like how Michelle takes the time to lay out her organization. It goes to show people who read the book that she does this all herself and she’s not frazzled all the time. She manages it quite well.

I have known families with similar systems in place in their homes. They don’t have anywhere near as many children as Jim Bob and Michelle, but they have their systems. They have the chore system and the organizing system that keeps all of their stuff in place. They home-school. Life isn’t always easy, but to the outside it looks like they’re full of happiness, but great suspicion is never far away. People always believe that there is some deep, dark secret lurking behind the happy family who constantly praises Jesus and doesn’t play video games.

Look, there are people who make it work. They don’t need TV. They don’t need video games. They don’t need public school. They don’t need the newest Transformers movie. They don’t need the newest fashion trends. They don’t need a ton of personal space. They make their lives work. People think they’re lacking, but they’re not. They have everything they want and need, more so, than many of us do. Could I live their lifestyle? No way. It’s not for everyone. It takes a certain type of person to make life styles like Jim Bob’s and Michelle’s work.

For the matter, I don’t think there is a deep, dark secret. I don’t think the family is secretly drinking special “kool-aid.” I don’t think there is a gambling addiction. I don’t think there is a secret illegitimate baby somewhere. This is just their life. Sure, it’s different, and, sure, they have their troubles, but their troubles pale in comparison to the type of troubles we face in our lives. They live good and they get good back. It’s pretty simple.

What I didn’t like

While I was finishing up this book, my husband was pulled over by  North Carolina state trooper for speeding. Don’t worry, he didn’t get a ticket, but I think that’s what I’m going to remember about reading this book, “Husband gets pulled over,” maybe I should write it in the book somewhere.

I have defended Jim Bob and Michelle. I think they’re pretty awesome, but the cynic in me wonders where all the dirt is. I don’t think there is dirt, but there is still this little inclination that wants me to think there is.

These kids are raised a certain way. It’s a way in which a lot of people I know would love to raise their children. These kids don’t turn out bad. The oldest boy of the Duggars already has his own business and is married with two or three kids of his own. He’s become this model citizen and child. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but it does make me a little sad. I’m kind of sad that he never really got to screw up. It’s not that I wish him to screw up, I don’t, it’s that he’d be more realistic if he did screw up. He’s too perfect. There is also a lot that can be said about the effect screwing up has on your life. Sometimes you screw up and it makes your life suck, but sometimes you screw up and it makes you this awesome person because you learned from your mistakes. I don’t know that these kids get to experience the world enough in their lifestyle. I don’t know how much they know about the world. I don’t know how naive they are. Obviously, at least the oldest one has sex figured out because he’s got a couple of kids, but how naive are the rest of them about it?

This is a minor concern though. The kids are all raised very well. They are successful and well-mannered. They can deal with some things in life that others could never deal with. They may be a little naive as to the ways of the world, but since they’re all religious that fits in perfectly with their beliefs. Jesus said to come unto him like a little child. This family is definitely child-like in their mannerisms and lack of some of the more disappointing ways to live your life.


If you’re one of those people who just love to stick your nose into other people’s lives, you’ll love this book, but sadly, much of this information is relayed via the television show, so if you’ve watched it at all, you already know all of this.

books about large families, family, jim bob and michelle duggar, jim bob duggar, large families, michelle duggar, the Duggar, the duggars: 20 and counting, The Duggars: 20 and Counting by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar
Comical true life, Cooking, Duggar-Jim Bob, Duggar-Michelle, Health, Home, How To, inspirational, Memoir, Non-Fiction