Home Remedies for Colds, Flu and Sore Throats

There’s nothing better on a cold winter day that a hot bowl of soup! Soup also soothes a sore throat like no other. With cold and flu season hitting hard it’s a good idea to put healing foods into our diets, or boost our normal amounts. I’m going to focus on three specific foods and share a bonus recipe for using all three!

Ginger is well-known for various healing properties and useful during: nausea, colds & flu, inflammation and other ailments. There have been many research studies done on ginger which have verified the healing potential packed into this spicy rhizome.
Onions are also superb as healing foods. High in quercetin, onions are useful for coughs and colds as well as more serious ailments such as cardiovascular health issues and osteoporosis.
, that pungent little bulb, packs a punch against viruses and bacteria. With more than 3,000 articles published, garlic is popular for good reason.
Garlic’s major healing component is allicin, which garlic and onions both contain. “In a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, allicin powder was found to reduce the incidence of the common cold by over 50%.”

Here’s a tasty soup that incorporates all three: Chinese Cabbage Soup.Homemade Chinese Cabbage Soup.

Homemade Chinese Cabbage Soup.

Chinese Cabbage Soup

5 qts water
1 pound round steak diced, grass-fed if possible (or meat of your choice)
1 small organic onion, finely chopped
3 Tbs finely diced fresh ginger root
3 organic cloves garlic, diced
2 organic carrots, shredded
2-3 pounds organic Bok Choy (you can substitute, Japanese cabbage or green cabbage) thinly sliced. (I sourced some locally grown bok choy!)
6-8 baby Portobello mushrooms sliced. (I ordered through our buying club!)
1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos
Salt to taste (I use pink Himalayan salt)
Crushed red pepper to taste
Bring water to boil in large stock pot. Add diced beef, be sure to throw in any fat trimmings or bones (if you have some) to add flavor and nutrition, these can be removed before serving. Add onions, garlic, ginger and carrots.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add cabbage, mushrooms, salt, and pepper flakes and simmer for 10 more minutes, or until cabbage appears wilted. Stir in aminos right before serving.

This makes a savory and delightful broth based soup that’s soothing and filling. The broth alone is wonderful for those with sore throats or unable to eat a full meal. A perfect between meal snack as well.

For other helpful home remedies check here.

Southeast Kansas Buying Club
Your local whole foods resource.
Serving Independence, Kansas
and surrounding areas.


Zero Waste?

Is it possible to live without generating any trash in our modern-day society?

(By trash, I mean items that end up in landfill)

What do you think? I think that it may be possible, but it will take conscious effort.

Our family has tried to reduce~reuse~recycle whenever possible. We were more successful in the beginning when our recycling center was fully accepting recyclable items like glass and plastic. As our local center started refusing items, it made it more difficult for us. So we slowly slipped back into our old ways. But I am resolved to get back to being a better steward!

How many bags of trash do you set out per week? Are you recycling? Do you reuse items to keep from putting them in the trash? Share some of your tips with our readers please.

Right now our family of 5 is generating 3 bags of trash per week (13 gal kitchen sized bags) and this is too much! My initial goal is to reduce that to 1 bag per week, then I’d like to reduce that to less if we can.

If you’re like me, you need some inspiration to get you going with reducing your waste. Let me introduce the Johnson family to you. They live in California and in 6 month’s time only produced a handful of trash.  Bea Johnson has done many of the things that I see our club members doing: using cloth bags, bringing your own container to put your bulk items in, recycling waste, reusing boxes and containers that can be re-purposed and so on.

The Johnson’s give three tips to go waste-free:

1. Graduate from just bringing your own shopping bags to the grocery store, Johnson says, and use reusable bags to buy produce as well.
2. Think twice before buying plastic products, and make sure you buy only what you really need. “Shopping is voting,” Johnson says.
3. Refuse junk mail through sites like dmachoice.org and catalogchoice.org.

Click over and read the entire article, it’s very inspiring!

One of the ways to reduce waste is to re-purpose items that have been discarded. I’ve been saving old T-shirts to make into a braided rag rug. Recently I re-purposed some soda bottles, cardboard and straps off of a bag that was to be discarded along with some duct tape, hot glue and spray paint to create this fun accessory that I found on Pinterest~

Playtime Jet Pack.

Playtime Jet Pack.

Ready to blast off!

Ready to blast off!









Will you take the challenge to reduce your waste with me? Comment and in the next few months we will revisit this post and see how we’ve progressed!
Happy reducing!

Being Thankful for Our Food

Written by member Brandi M, with contributions.

When you say “thankful” this time of year it usually conjures up images of
black and white-clad pilgrims and plump turkeys. Vegetarians might imagine a horn of plenty stuffed with fruits and veggies. Still others think forward to the next big holiday and imagine their halls all decked out and the major shopping event that will happen in a few days.

But wait…

What does it mean to truly be thankful for our food?

In America we have largely enjoyed abundance, most of us, for all of our lives. Such abundance that people in third world countries never even dream about. We may eat more meat in one meal than many eat in a month’s time. Really? Yes, really.

Do we ever really sit and ponder what it means to be thankful for our food?

Trace the necessary path for your food. In order for you to eat something, someone (perhaps yourself) had to prepare it. Someone had to buy it. Someone else had to grow it and prepare it for you to buy. There was

someone or more than one who had to earn the money to purchase the food. The list can go on and on. In that list we also find our buying club, the varied individuals and families that come together with a common goal of bringing wholesome foods to the area, with affordable prices.

In our diverse group, being thankful has various meanings, manifestations and realities. With permission, I will share some with you here.

 About a year ago I was diagnosed with Celiacs disease, after many years of mysterious ailments I was grateful to have a diagnoses but confused how to move forward with this new information. After much research and talking with friends with same or similar food restrictions I changed almost everything regarding my diet. I know follow a gluten-free diet in combination with the type O blood type diet. I am very grateful for my local food cooperative as well as friends that have assisted with this journey. I am grateful for the support of my family who do not always understand but go with it anyway. I still have a way to go in reaching my goal of living without medication and only using food as my primary medicine but I have a good start. ~Jennifer C.

Being thankful for my food, What does it mean to me? Thanking God first for the filling of my families bellies…no matter if it is a bowl of rice or a seven course meal. Having the ability and freedom to raise chickens, grow my own garden and drink raw milk (for now). Having options outside of the big box store. I am thankful that I still have food choice and freedoms and folks willing to fight to keep them for me. I am thankful that I can rest assured that even sparrows are taken care of by God and so shall I be. ~Carolyn S.

Being thankful for our food means to me that I acknowledge there is a Higher Power than myself and all the work and energy put into growing, harvesting, hunting, gathering is a gift from God, because of His love for His children. I am grateful for our buying club and all the wonderful people in it who are so helpful with information to guide us in our food choices that improve the life and health of our families and all the work that keeps our club alive. I am also grateful for the knowledge and understanding of what is going on in this world that helps us make, not only the right food choices for the health of our bodies, but that we can understand our spiritual needs and can help us make the right choices for our spiritual growth, which is infinitely more important than our physical well-being. I am grateful that we live in a country where we have so many freedoms and I pray that we don’t lose them. ~Margaret G.

I am thankful for the privilege of living on a farm in a family who loves to produce food. My son and mother in law raise beautiful organic vegetables, I enjoy milking cows, and raising chickens for eggs and meat. We also raise heritage pigs for pork and a beef each year.  Everyone in the family pitches in to help in one way or another. It is a blessing to be able to do this and I am quite aware that our family is in the minority of people who are in a position to be able to raise our own food. With our modern-day lifestyle, there are foods that we enjoy but cannot or choose not to raise on the farm. Some years we have crop failures or other issues that impact the availability of certain foods. For these items I am extremely grateful to have a natural foods buying club (SEKBC) available in our area. The members of the club band together to pool our resources to purchase foods such as organic grains, beans, snack foods and other products in large enough quantities from wholesalers to be able to bring the prices down to a manageable level for our budget. The club also provides a social setting to find other people interested in healthy lifestyles.  Food is necessary for life and I am grateful that God has provided it bountifully for our family through the work of our hands on the farm and through the ability to purchase organic foods from the SEKBC. ~Deanna M.

My own reality of being thankful for my food lies with my Creator. I have been so extremely blessed in my life, both with my needs met and those little “extra” blessings that I cannot begin to express my gratitude sufficiently. I do extend my thanks to each SEK Buying Club member, for without you, we wouldn’t have that choice. I realize that it takes every one of us to make this happen and your contribution does not go unnoticed.

 May you have a blessed season of thanks!

Fresh Produce

Each month with our UNFI order we place an order to Albert’s Organics. Albert’s ships with our UNFI order so it makes it simple to get quality organic produce for very affordable prices.

A member’s order packed and ready to go.

Every month, about a week before our order,  Albert’s sends out a price sheet on the available produce. Items on this sheet include everything imaginable from fresh herbs to pre-cut produce (think chopped broccoli). Fruits and veggies usually come in large boxes by the pound. Often we can get fruits by the 3 pound bag, in cases of 12. Which makes it super easy to divide! Lemons, oranges, apples and pears often come this way.

Bagged oranges.

Albert’s also has a  “Weekly Hot Sheet” which lists the extra special sale prices on produce for that order. These are the best prices, often coming in equal to or below conventional produce prices (grocery store).
Our members enter their choices of produce on a database to facilitate splitting cases. Once the case is full it’s marked “closed” and another one can be created if there is enough demand for it. If we can’t fill a case, it doesn’t make it onto the order. Sometimes this happens but usually we don’t have any trouble filling cases.

Checking in produce.

When our UNFI delivery is made, the produces comes off the truck and heads over to our produce workers who busy themselves with dividing up this wonderful food! Each member’s order is sorted out and then double checked against their order invoice.

An example of one member’s order. A nice variety!

Having fresh produce is a wonderful bonus to being a member of SEKS Buying Club, but that’s not all! We also have a member who brings their wonderful farm fresh, pastured eggs. These eggs are so delicious, their yolks are a deep dark yellow/orange color. Mitchell Family Farms is the source of these wonderful eggs. In addition, they also have honey!

Eggs and Honey available from Mitchell Family Farms!

There’s just nothing better than local honey!

Another member’s order. Looks like they will be eating well!

Juicing carrots, available in 25# bags, are very popular.According to NaturalNews.com juicing carrots help to detoxify the liver as well as bringing about better health in general.

Juicing is the fast track to good health. Using organic vegetables for juicing allows you to take in more vegetables at one time than you would by eating raw or cooked vegetables. The concentrated vegetable mass in liquid form is easily assimilated, thus making juicing daily ideal for health problems.

Avocados are one of our most popular items!

We just can’t get enough of avocados! And it’s no wonder, avocados are a nutrient powerhouse!


Asparagus is an excellent “spring tonic” vegetable. In addition to diuretic properties, asparagus contains Vitamin C, A, folic acid, potassium, and rutin.
SEKS Buying Club has so much to offer, we’re almost your one-stop-grocery-shop! If you are in the Independence, KS area and would like more information, check here!

Getting the Work Done!

By club member Brandi Monson

This month I deviated from my usual routine of just picking up my UNFI order to that of helping with the divide. So I snapped a few pictures of our club members working hard to get the job done.

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It is good to help with the divide every now and then, even if it isn’t my job. It reminds me of just how much hard work and dedication go into this club, to keep it functioning properly.  It also reminds me of how thankful I am for all of my fellow club members!

Our buying club annual meeting will be held soon, after the new year. Be thinking about your role in our club and how you can continue to use your talents to keep our club running smoothly! Remember that working members get a discount in addition to lower annual fees.

Brewing My Own Ale (ginger that is)

So I gave the previous recipe a try, and the verdict is~I love it! Very tasty and healthful. I’ve shared the recipe with several people (besides all of you!) and hope that everyone gives it a try.
Fermenting is fun, but it’s usually a bit of work. This recipe is so simple, it doesn’t get any easier folks!
Look closely and you can see the tiny bubbles formed at the top of the jar.  My third batch which is brewing right now, I’m going to experiment with bottling and leaving out another day in order to increase the carbonation.

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Iron Rich Green Smoothie

Contributed by Club Member Elizabeth Murray

When my little boy was 12 months old, he had a blood test to check for various things. The results came back with low IRON; the Doc prescribed over-the-counter iron drops. Well, me being me, I didn’t want to go that route first. I wanted to try diet first, then if that didn’t work, I’d do the supplements. In the past, I had made fruit smoothies frequently, then got out of the habit. Well, I decided this would be a good time to get back in the habit and this time make then green smoothies! So, I looked around for recipes and tried several different things. I ended up with the following mix of several recipes for our morning green smoothies. The Vit. C from the orange helps with the absorption of the Iron from the Blackstrap Molasses, hempseeds and spinach.


Smoothie, before...

Smoothie, after.



High Iron Orange Creamsicle Green Smoothie

1/2 cup raw cashews

1 cup orange juice (I have used almond milk or water before, but the orange juice gives it more of an orange flavor)

1/4 cup hempseeds (3 tbsps. has 11 g protein, and 16% DV of iron)

2 tbsp. blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp. has 20% DV iron)

3 tbsp pure maple syrup (to taste, use more or less depending on how sweet you want it)

6 oz. yogurt (I use soy vanilla or plain, you can use dairy yogurt)

Put all these into blender and begin blending to crush the cashews, until it is creamy and smooth (this will be several minutes in a regular blender, less in the Vitamix that I wish I had!)

Then ADD (with blender still running):

1 orange, peeled

1 banana, peeled

25-35 spinach leaves (depending on size of the leaves); you can also use kale or other greens…should be about 2 cups greens in all.

Continue blending until the greens are well blended and the resulting smoothie is a nice light green. Then add about 5-6 ice cubes and blend until they are mixed in. Then enjoy!


Blend until smooth in texture and uniform in color.



This recipe makes two large servings (adult size, so could be 1 adult, 2-3 kid servings) Each adult serving contains: 54% DV iron, 19 grams protein and around 500 calories. It’s enough to get me through the morning without needing anything else! Great way to start a day! And the follow up blood test showed much improvement in his IRON levels. Doc said to ‘keep doing what you’re doing’. So Kudos to Green Smoothies!!


A lovely way to start the day!




Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Mothers hold the future first in their wombs, then in their arms, finally by their hands, but forever in their hearts.

Divide Day Photos!

Here are some photos I shot during today’s divide!