This blog has moved

Thanks for taking a look at Too Many Jars in My Kitchen!  I have now moved this blog to a new site.  Please come visit me at my new address:


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Starting GAPS Intro

Yesterday was the big day.  I started GAPS Intro, Stage 1.  The day started off well.  I had a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup before heading out to meet a friend for coffee.  I didn’t actually have any coffee or tea, but brought along a thermos of butternut squash soup to sip on.

Most of the rest of the day was spent at home either relaxing, cooking, or cleaning the kitchen.  It seems like I spent a lot of time cooking and cleaning.  I realized I probably should have prepped more food than I did.  I have such a small freezer and it was already pretty full with food that I didn’t think I could add too many items to it.  In retrospect, it would have been helpful to have had more broth on hand.  Oh well.  I’ve just been doing a bit more cooking than I would have preferred.

Typical intro meal

Most of my meals so far have consisted of soup, boiled hamburger patties, and boiled squash with tallow and sea salt added.  Almost all of the recipes I’ve used have come from What Can I Eat Now?. It’s a guide to eating for the first 30 days on Intro by Cara of the Health, Home, & Happiness blog.  It’s been such a helpful resource!  Unfortunately, I forgot, until about halfway through the day yesterday, that I should be adding the juice from sauerkraut to each bowl of soup.  Whoops!  I did, however, remember to add garlic all day.

I definitely felt more tired yesterday and was quite hungry throughout the day.  By the end of the day, I was thinking about all of the wonderful fruits that are in season right now, but I can’t have quite yet.  Probably not the most productive thoughts at the moment!  I had a detox bath with Epsom salts before bed and was quickly asleep.  I slept for more than 9 hours last night, which was quite welcome!

Onions simmering in chicken broth

This morning I definitely felt some detox symptoms: sore throat, slightly clogged right ear, head feeling foggy.  I’ve felt a bit worn out today, but not too bad.  I did manage to make a quick trip via bike to the farmer’s market, the library, and Alfalfa’s grocery store.  The heat was definitely getting to me by the time I was home!

So far intro is off to a good start.  It’s certainly not the most fun thing to do, but I’m excited about the healing that is to come!

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Jars, Jars Everywhere!

I thought some of you might be wondering about the name of my blog.  Well, wonder no more!  Here I will explain all.

For those of you unfamiliar with cooking in a more traditional manner, you may not realize how many jars you seem to accumulate the more you switch over to making everything from scratch.  All of those items that you used to purchase at the store, such as mayo, yogurt, beverages, cooking fats, etc., all need to be stored somehow when you make them yourself.  I generally prefer to store my homemade items in glass containers.  You don’t have to worry about plastic possibly leaching into your food, you can easily see what’s inside, and they last a long time.  The problem I have come to realize, though, is that it seems no matter how many jars you have saved or purchased, you always have too few.  Especially when you’ve just made a big batch of something!  Do any of you have that same problem?

I thought I would give you a short tour of the many jars in my kitchen.  Here we go!

My refrigerator

In my refrigerator, I have all sort of jars.  In this picture you can see some water kefir, raw milk, homemade yogurt, whey, duck fat, bacon fat, & tallow.  Further in the back, I also have coconut flour, shredded coconut, and walnuts (that I soaked and dried in my dehydrator).  I also usually have some kombucha that’s ready to drink in there (we’re currently between batches).

My "pantry"

Next on the tour is my “pantry.”  Since we live in a small condo, it’s really just one of my few kitchen cupboards.  In here you will find a small amount of coconut oil (I order it by the gallon and keep the large pail in our closet), Celtic sea salt (both coarse and fine), Rapadura, white sugar (only for making kombucha!), and a few spice mixes that I’ve made up myself.

On top of my fridge

Since that cupboard is really not enough space for my entire pantry, I also use the top of my fridge as the rest of my storage space.  You can see that that houses the bulk of my jar collection.  This is where I store a variety of nuts and seeds (that I have soaked and dehydrated), dried fruit, lentils, and loose leaf tea.  I also store our now empty and clean milk jars to take back to the farm.  I have also stored rice up here when we were still eating grains.  I keep my empty jars (on the rare occasions that I have some!) in the back.

Water kefir

Next on the tour are the jars that hold some of my fermented beverages.  I recently started making water kefir and keep the batch with the grains and the flavored batch fermenting for a few days on my counter.  I’m making a strawberry batch right now.


I also make kombucha.  We store that in our main closet which is just across from the kitchen.  It’s a nice dark spot for fermenting it.  You can see in the picture that we have two large jars of kombucha going at the moment (I lifted the towel up so you can see the scoby).

Jars drying

And, of course, once those jars are washed, they need to dry for a bit before putting them away.  These often end up sitting all over my counter taking up way too much space!  As you can see, I was trying to prep dinner and had to scrunch the jars off to the side.  I think I need to get my hubby to install a shelf in the kitchen for my drying jars.

Well, there you have it.  You’ve seen for yourself the many jars that inhabit my kitchen.  I hope you enjoyed my little tour today.  Do any of you have jar stories to share in the comments?  I’d love to hear how you store your homemade items.

And yes, I may have purchased two more jars today…

This post is part of Fight Back Friday.

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Enter Cheeseslave’s Bone Broth Challenge

Chicken broth simmering in my crockpot

I wanted to let you all know that Ann Marie of the Cheeseslave blog is hosting a bone broth challenge for the month of July.  It’s not too late to join!  She’s currently giving double points for the next few days.  I’ve been participating and it has really helped me increase the amount of broth I’m having each day.  Come join us in the fun!  And, while you’re over there, take a look at her fantastic posts.  Her blog is one of my favorites for great info on traditional foods.

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A Little Background

I thought it would be helpful to share a little bit of my background and the reasons that I’m making this big change in my life.

For most of my childhood and teen years, I was fairly healthy, but tended to get sick quite easily.  I kept active, though, and was a competitive baton twirler.  I was diagnosed with asthma as a child, but it was fairly mild and went away in high school.  After my first year in college, I started having trouble with asthma again.  I went and saw an allergist and had a skin scratch test done.  Not too much came up on it from the environment.  Dairy was mentioned, but the allergist just mildly suggested I might want to remove it from my diet and see what happened.  I was thinking that there was no way I was going to do that!

As I continued into my twenties, I got married, finished college, and quit twirling.  My asthma was managed, but that meant taking several prescription medications.  In 2004, Kent and I moved to the small town of Ridgway, Colorado.  I thought that living in the mountains would really improve my asthma.  Well, it ended up getting worse!  At that time, I also started drinking milk for the first time.  My doctor increased my asthma meds and I started thinking that there must be some way to heal my asthma without taking so many steroids.  I definitely didn’t want to keep taking these drugs for the rest of my life!

I ended up working with a naturopathic doctor who helped me identify the multiple food allergies that I didn’t know I had.  It was quite a shock when the report of the blood test came back.  I found out that I was allergic to wheat, dairy, sesame, lamb, beef, shrimp, cranberries, blueberries, and a few others.  Yikes!  However, with the removal of these foods, along with some supplements, I was able to start slowly decreasing my asthma medications.

In fall of 2007, we moved to the Front Range.  I was continuing on my quest to reduce my asthma medication, but couldn’t quite get it all the way gone.  We met some friends through a small group at our church who introduced us to the Maker’s Diet.  We read the book and thought it made a lot of sense.  While going through this, I was finally able to stop all of my asthma medications!  During 2008, we followed this quite closely and learned more and more about traditional, nourishing foods.  I got the Nourishing Traditions cookbook and we made huge changes in how we ate.  Both Kent and I felt really great.

Unfortunately, about a year later and with lots of changes in our life, some of those habits started falling by the wayside.  While I’ve still managed to stay off of all my asthma meds, I just haven’t felt as healthy and have had problems with weight gain, low thyroid function, lack of energy, and feeling like I’m getting more sensitive to foods.  I decided I needed to find some support for returning to a traditional way of cooking.  I joined the Weston A. Price Foundation and connected with the local Boulder chapter a few months ago.  Around the same time, I started reading a lot about the GAPS Diet on various blogs and the success that people have had with reversing food allergies and becoming healthier overall.  I read the book and thought that this is definitely something I need to do!

I hope this gives you a little bit of an understanding of why I am undertaking this change in my life.  I know it will be a slow going journey, but I’m looking forward to being much healthier!

How about you?  Is anyone else out there going through a similar journey?  Do any of you have experience with the GAPS Diet or with overcoming  health issues?  Please share your stories in the comments.

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The Beginning

I’ve decided to start this blog, at my husband’s prodding, as I begin my journey to regain my health.  I’m getting ready to start the GAPS diet in order to try and reverse multiple food allergies and to help with a few other health problems.  I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you and hope you’ll join me in my quest for better health!

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