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1 gallon of raw milk

Day 1 of my Raw Milk Journey

I went to sleep about 9pm last night, and slept deeply until I was Woken up at 5:40 this morning by my alarm. Oops forgot to turn it off yesterday since its my day off today. But I had some things I had to get done this morning before I start the routine today. Because today and tomorrow will be fairly tough.

Since I’m drinking 5.3 ounces of milk on the hour and the half hour from 7am to 7pm for the first two days it doesn’t leave me a lot of time to do things around the house. If I’m lucky I’ll have 15 minutes in between sips of milk every half hour.

So I dragged myself out of bed at 6am, and got into the shower to wash my hair. I don’t wash my hair every day, but today was a day to do so. When I woke up, I still had a slight headache left over from yesterday, but that quickly dissipated in the shower.

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A glass of freshly squeezed orange and strawberry juice

Freshly squeezed orange and strawberry juice mixed with water

After having such a rough time of it last year on the juice portion of the fast, I decided to take matters in my own hands. Last year I bought prepared juices and had a fairly rough time. I’m not sure if it’s just that my stomach didn’t like the extras that come with commercially prepared juice or juice itself. This year, since I’m working at home, I’m squeezing my juices to order.

I’ve made up detoxing oils for my detox baths. Like last year, they are:

  • Lemon Oil – strengthens the kidney and the liver, boosts the immune system by increasing blood circulation and stimulating white blood cells.
  • Grapefruit Oil – Stimulates lymph, controls water levels and fluid retention in the body (which I needed last night)
  • Geranium Oil – diuretic, helps thin the blood and helps with blood circulation, relieves mental stress and stimulates the lymphatic system.
  • Patchouli Oil – diuretic, fights cellulite and fluid retention, helps flush toxins out through the kidneys, helps with releasing toxins.

I’m also planning on chopping up fresh ginger and adding that to my detox baths in a muslin bag. That will help open up my pores and even if I don’t sweat (which ginger baths promote), It will probably help me to burn up some toxins. My baths will also include baking soda, Epsom salts and sea salts. I’m hoping to take one if not nightly through this process, than at least every other night.

First juice up was a combination of oranges and strawberries (with a few blueberries thrown into the mix). I cut it half and half with water. I alternated sips of juice with sips of raw milk.

A few hours after drinking this, I started feeling a headache coming on and later on my back and shoulder muscles started aching. I knew this day wasn’t going to be easy. And while I know the rest of the three weeks will have its ups and downs, in some ways this is the hardest.

Perhaps it’s because I’m hungry more often. Being on a low carb diet means I never feel hungry and I never felt hungry or deprived on the milk cure last year.

I had some apple, pear and mixed berry juice mid day along with some home-made chicken stock. Lunch was a glass of milk and some mixed berry juice. (all juices cut at least half with water).

Afternoon snack was more chicken stock and the last of the milk. Evening (I really can’t call it dinner) was a pear, two glasses of juice (orange juice and then mixed apple/pear/berry).

Altogether, I had 6 glasses of juice, 2 cups of chicken stock and 3 1/2 cups of raw milk as well as lots of plain water. All the juice was mixed at least half and half with water.

The head and body aches stayed with me through bedtime. I did take a 45 minute detox bath. I listened to meditative music, and alternated between reading and reiki (I just got my first level attunement last week so its good practice). After that I went to bed, windows open just as recommended in the books.

This year, my juice fast was easier than last year by a good long distance. I think the difference of making my own juices from organic fruits made the difference, it had better. Since I don’t regularly juice (and won’t in the foreseeable future), I don’t own a juicer anymore. My braun food processor has a citrus juicer attachment, which made the oranges easy. But all I had for the apples, pears and berries was a small juicer that fit my magic bullet. It really doesn’t work well with the bullet. I found the best way to get juice out of it was to puree the fruit first in my food processor and then take batches and push them through the juicer with the plastic baton you get. In other words, I didn’t use the bullet attachment at all. It was slow and messy, but it worked. And for a once a year situation, its fine.

If you are doing the milk cure, in whatever way you are choosing to do it, let us know how you are doing today in the comments.

Related Posts from Last Year:

Vital Statistics

So coming off my baseline day I was actually surprised to see a 2.2 pound drop in weight. That was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t actually track the juice fast day last year so I don’t have anything to compare it with, but I’m not surprised to see my glucose readings so high in the afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised to see it drop down at bedtime.

Day Weight Basal Temp Glucose: Fasting Glucose: Noon Glucose: Bed
Baseline From 2012 201.4 97.9 114 104 110
End Result Milk Cure 2012 196.0 97.9 103 82 120
Baseline From 2013 176.6 98.1 103 102 81
Day 0 (Juice Fast) 174.4 98.3 103 121 90

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A glass of milk Français : Un verre de lait

A glass of milk Français : Un verre de lait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year, I did a milk cure for 3 weeks, blogged it and regained my health and perspective in the process. This year, I’m going to do it again.

I’ve had a number of people ask me why I’m doing it for a second year and if its going to be a yearly ritual.  This post is an attempt to answer those questions.

Prior to doing the milk cure last year, I had been sick on and off for a year, mostly due to glutening issues. From the gluten challenge that I attempted in January 2011 in order to determine whether I was a diagnosed celiac (I wasn’t, but I still got really sick) to the accidental glutenings that happened throughout the year as I struggled to manage my gluten intolerance and a myriad of other illnesses (which I believe happened as a result of gluten), I wasn’t a happy camper.

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Body By You

For a while I thought I was going to have to confess to another set point or plateau this month.  But in the last week I’ve dropped some weight and while the overall weight loss is only .9 pounds. It’s still a loss.  I’m just about 4 1/2 pounds away from my next reward.  Finally I’ll get that massage and facial I’ve been trying to reward myself with from the beginning.  That will be very sweet.

Last month I decided to try something new with exercise.  I stopped going to the gym.  Instead I purchased a book called “Body By You” by Mark Lauren. The book details exercising using your body weight. It’s also geared directly towards women and busy women at that. So far I’m doing everything I’m supposed to and spending about 20 minutes 3 times a week. Continue Reading »

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The finished dinner. Kidney slices on rice with sauteed kale

The finished dinner. Kidney slices on rice with sauteed kale

Over the past few years, I’ve ordered all of my meat from I order my meat from a local farmer.  He not only sells beef, but poultry, pork, lamb and goat. I tend to have two orders, a spring order which includes beef and pork and a winter order which includes beef and a whole lamb.  For the first time since I began ordering from him, my lamb order included the organ meats.

I never had that much exposure to organ meats growing up.  Some chicken livers at family parties and my mom would make beef liver and onions which she enjoyed and we kids hated.  Once I began cooking for myself, organ meats were never on my shopping list.

Since I began this journey, I have maintained that I don’t want to waste the foods I receive.  So when I get turnip, radish or beet greens with my CSA order, I use the greens instead of throwing them away. In the same situation, I have to make (and eat) these organ meats. Continue Reading »

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A few weeks ago, I went for my yearly physical. In preparation for this, I went to get blood tests. In the interests of light and transparency, I’m not only posting this year’s values for some of the more important tests, but test values that I can find going back to 2005 as well. I took the gluten challenge test (added 2 slices of whole grain bread to each meal) in preparation for the February 2011 testing, I was re-tested in May because of a consistent cough I had which turned out to be silent reflux which I believe was related to the gluten challenge. (I was pretty sick for the entire first half of 2011).


9/2005 10/2007 1/2010 2/2011 5/2011 2/2012 2/2013 Normal Range
Weight 166 178 186 197 196 204 180 135-150

Like many middle-aged women, I’ve gained weight in the last 7 years. The highest weight for me was in 2/2012 at 204 pounds. But at this year’s weigh-in, I came in at 180 pounds, a 24 pound weight loss. Keep this in mind, it’s going to be important later on. Looking at the numbers, I gained the most weight between 2010 and 2012. This is when I believe (looking at further numbers) that I became gluten intolerant, but didn’t know it. It also correlates to the point in time that once having acknowledged that I was gluten intolerant, I decided that any non-gluten containing grain was okay to eat which lead me to that horrendous 204 number. Once I clicked back that grains of any sort and I don’t do well together, the weight loss is obvious. Continue Reading »

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Plated Lasagne

Plated Homemade Pasta-less Lasagne

One of the frustrations of doing a gluten-free and low carbohydrate way of eating is sometimes you just want something hot and heavy and cheesy.  I haven’t had lasagna in many years, but I knew this summer that I wanted to experiment with making it out of my preserved foods.  So when I had a box of zucchini this summer, I made sure to cut some of it into thin long slices and dehydrate them against the day I was going to make this dish. I used the basic recipe from about.com, but obviously tweaked it to use my ingredients.

Properly dehydrated foods last a long time. To use them, I either throw them in a medium that has a lot of water in it already (think chili, stews or soups) or I have to rehydrate them.  For a pasta like scenario like lasagna, I ended up not only rehydrating the zucchini slices, but then drying them out slightly in an oven in order to have them act like a proper pasta.

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An exercise ball allows a wide range of exerci...

Believe it or not, while I haven’t been posting, some things have been going on for me.

The set point disappeared.  So far in the first month of the year, I lost 4 1/2 pounds.  I’m officially out of the 180’s.  What is even more amazing is I did it without exercise.  I also did it without changing the way I ate.  So this really was my body adjusting to the weight loss.

I’ve learned a few things through this process.

  1. Now that I’ve found a way of eating to lose weight, I need to stick with it, have faith and realize that even if the weight doesn’t come off the way I think it will, that I just have to have faith in both myself and the process.  I didn’t put this weight on in a year, why do I think I should be able to take it off in a year?
  2. Exercise (or lack there-of) is not contributing to my weight loss. Continue Reading »

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Hot milk and Tumeric ready to drink

Hot milk and Turmeric ready to drink

I don’t know what is worse when I have a cold, a cough, or that unable to breathe, my head is going to explode feeling.  Probably both.

As I wrote last week, I had a cold for the first time in I don’t know how many years. The cold settled in my head but had a non-productive cough. Both of the symptoms were tiring and annoying. But rather than mask the symptoms, I used herbal remedies to help actually relieve the issues. And you know what? They worked!  Within 3 days of getting the cold and using the remedies I was better.  It took me a few more days to regain my stamina, but within 3 days all my congestion and coughing was done.

I can’t guarantee that you will be totally better in the three days it took me, but I can tell you that using these herbal remedies was much gentler on my system and I didn’t get that loopy/groggy feeling that I have in the past when I took over the counter cold medications. Continue Reading »

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All the spices I got for the cough remedy. Asian supermarkets rock for this!

All the spices I got for the cough remedy. Asian supermarkets rock for this!

Recently I caught a cold. This is the first time I had been sick in a number of years. And while I was miserable, I resolved to do this a little differently.

I have little trust with over the counter cold medications. Without exceptions, those items tend to mask issues rather than work to resolve them. They also leave me feeling groggy or light-headed or worse. I understand how many people choose to use those so that they can continue to deal with their regular schedules since “it’s just a cold”.  But I realized that in listening to my body, I had to accept the fact that I was indeed sick, and to give my body the rest and support it needed to regain my health.

Believe it or not, a fever is natural. It’s our bodies way of naturally combating illness. During an illness, the body will normally raise the temperature to fight infections since a higher body temperature makes the conditions less inviting for infections and inhibits their reproduction. Having said that a fever that is above 102 for adults and teens and above 103 or 104 for children is too high and needs medical attention.  But for a “normal” cold or flu temperature of 100-102, I’m actually content to let it run its course.

So with the exception of some ibuprofen I took for muscle aches, I resolved to use no drugs or over the counter cough remedies. I didn’t try to bring down my fever, and I didn’t try to do my regular routine. Instead I worked on helping my body to combat the congestion and coughing that I was experiencing. Luckily, this mostly took place over a weekend. So for most of the weekend, I rested and drank some herbal remedies that I made.

I hate coughing, most people who know me know that once I start coughing (for any reason), I’ll have that cough for at least a month. So finding a remedy that actually relieved my cough after three days was miraculous.  Note that if you have a productive cough (which is your body’s way of removing phlegm and mucous from your lungs) you should allow the coughing to continue.  For myself, my cough was non productive, since all the congestion was in my head.

A while back I had come into possession of a family recipe for relieving a cough. It’s an herbal remedy from India and while I didn’t know whether it would actually work or not, I decided to give it a try. And what do you know?  It worked.  Within 3 days I wasn’t coughing anymore. The ingredients are easily found in an Indian market or an Asian market that also contains Indian ingredients.


3 cups spring or filtered water
2 Tablespoons cumin seeds
2 Tablespoons cloves
5 sticks Ceylon cinnamon 2-3 inches long (Ceylon cinnamon is the flat bark, not the rolled bark which is actually cassia)
6 pieces star anise
4-5″ of ginger, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 lemons


Cough Remedy on the stove

Cough Remedy on the stove



Combine everything but the lemons into a saucepan, bring to a boil and then cover with a lid and let it boil for one minute. Turn off heat and let it get lukewarm. Once its lukewarm, squeeze the lemons into it.  Let it sit for 15 minutes, then strain the liquid into a container (preferably glass).




The finished cough infusion

The finished cough infusion


Drink a cup of this every 3 hours for the next three days.  I just made a fresh batch every morning. If you can drink it without sweeteners that is best. Any sweeteners will help the infectious agents grow. I found it to be a very pleasant drink without using sweeteners. If you must sweeten it, use liquid stevia.

Other things to remember.

Drink lots of liquids but don’t drink dairy or juices. Stick with water, coconut water or chicken stock (remember, chicken stock, the Jewish penicillin). No fruit, or dairy or anything sweet during this time.  Refrain from eating red meat as well.
Don’t eat anything fried
Avoid caffeine in any form. (If you are suffering from asthma, you can drink coffee or tea since it will help open up your lungs, but not for a cold.)

The reality is that my cough disappeared in three days.  The last day was simply some intermittent coughing but I kept up with the remedy.

So Why Did This work?

The remedy didn’t try to inhibit my cough, instead it worked because each of those ingredients has a reason to be there.

  • Cumin seeds – work to reduce coughs and colds
  • Cloves – reduces irritation of the throat
  • Ceylon Cinnamon – beneficial to the lungs and helps clear congestion
  • Black Cardamom – reduces mucous
  • Star Anise – relieves dry coughs
  • Ginger – soothes sore throats. Contains oleoresin which can relieve coughing.
  • Lemon – Rich in Vitamin C and is an astringent which can help sore throats. (Note, use fresh lemons, lemon juice that has been pastuerized does not contain much Vitamin C since Vitamin C is killed by the pasteurization heat process)

So next time you have a cough, reach for the fresh lemons, fresh ginger and spices rather than that cough syrup.

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