Archives

Simple steps to growing Wheatgrass

In order to protect our health, we are advised to increase the consumption of plant foods especially green and dark colored vegetables. But when going through health challenges, it is sometimes impossible to consume the required amounts of these healthy foods. That is why juicing becomes a vital part of the healing process. Juicing grasses, vegetables and fruits helps cleanse, regenerate and rebuild the body. One of the most potent and nourishing juices comes from wheatgrass. Whereas  buying wheatgrass juice can be quite expensive, growing and juicing wheatgrass yourself can be fun and fulfilling! Why don’t you try it and share your experience with us?

  • Growing trays or a protected small plant (nursery) bed
  • Wheatgrass seeds
  • Organic potting mix or organic topsoil (Plant compost is the best). The soil should be light, not too heavy as heavy soil retains too much water which may cause mold. The soil should not contain any droppings or animal waste.
  • Plant food: we use seaweed extract. It is really a matter of choice. There are lots to choose from. Kelp, organic seaweed plant food, some people use Azomite Powder, etc.
  • Watering can
  • Water preferably as a solution with seaweed
  • If growing outdoors: net to protect the seeds from preying birds and the grass from animals such as cats, dogs, squirrels, etc.

Simple Steps

  1. Measure the wheat grains (normally 1 rounded cup per tray 20 x 11 inches) but this will depend on the size of the tray.  For a smaller tray use 1 flat 8 oz. cup
  2. You may rinse it before soaking but if you have clean quality seeds, it is not essential. Soak wheatgrass for 8-12 hours in a clean jar or sprouting jar. Place the container in a cool place.
  3. Drain the water from the seed by covering the top of the jar with cheese cloth or perforated top or strainer. Rinse the seeds again.
  4. Cover with a damp dark dish cloth for 12 to 24 hours until sprouted.
  5. Prepare the soil for planting in a growing container for example: growing tray. Don’t use animal manure. Fill the container to about ¾ to leave enough space for your seeds to grow. Tease your soil and make it as level as possible. Water with a solution of water and seaweed or any other suitable plant food solution (fertilizer).
  6. Plant the seeds in the prepared soil by spreading it on top of the soil. The seeds should be close together, carpeted but not in piles. Water with the same plant food solution by spraying gently using a spray bottle or very lightly with a watering can. Make sure the water drains well or it will grow mold.
  7. Place a growing tray preferably with no holes on top of the seeds lightly, but do not press it down. This will retain moisture. Place in a warm, dark spot for two days while the seeds start to grow. Keep the seeds moist by watering with the plant food solution as used before.
  8. Turn the covering tray upside down to all the grass to grow for 1 more night.
  9. Uncover the tray. The grass will be about 1+ inch high. Move it to a sunny place near a window if growing indoors or leave the tray in shade with some sunlight but not in direct hot sun. Continue watering daily with the plant food solution. Make sure the soil is damp but not saturated. Wheatgrass grows very quickly when well watered. Avoid sogging, as it will cause molding.
  10. Water daily to keep it moist.
  11. When the white sheath at the base of the stalk begins to grow a second grass blade, and the grass is between 7-10 inches in height, it is ready for harvest. This is called the branching stage, the most nutritious stage. If it grows beyond this stage the grass will get tough. Cut the grass for juicing using scissors.

If possible, cut and juice only what you need. If you cut more than you can use, store the rest in the refrigerator in a covered glass bowl or freezer bag. It can last up to 8 days. But remember the fresh juice is best consumed within 15 minutes to prevent oxidation and nutrient loss.

There are numerous benefits from consuming grass juices. See our articles “Our wheatgrass story” and “Wheatgrass pineapple juice cocktail”

What you need:

Share

You Can Grow Your Wheatgrass for Juice

Protection is better than cure and what better way to protect your health and nourish your body than to include fresh green grasses in your daily regimen? One of the popular green grasses is wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is an amazing plant. It makes one of the most nourishing fresh juices, bursting with vitamins, minerals, live enzymes, phytonutrients, natural sugars, amino acids and etc . And what is remarkable is that growing wheatgrass can be fan. When I started growing wheatgrass for our consumption, I never realized that it would infiltrate my life as it has. I learnt about its benefits in 1999 when I came to USA and found my son with a wheatgrass juicer. He was juicing cut wheatgrass from Whole Foods. I would take a short on and off because it was too expensive. In fact, due to its high cost we ended up storing away the juicer and we settled for spirulina and wheatgrass powder instead. Can you imagine that I just started growing wheatgrass last year?

dsci0081

For years, I contemplated growing wheatgrass but I kept putting off as I was intimidated by the whole idea. I thought it was too delicate and too complicated to handle until my sister Cate, who lives in UK was diagnosed with stage 4 esophagus cancer, in September 2012.
After the initial shock and panic we had no alternative but to face the challenge head on, in order to help her fight the cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy. One of the steps we took was growing wheatgrass and I must say, this is one of the most exciting and satisfying things I have ever done.
There are several ways of growing wheatgrass and other grasses like barley and rye but in as we were time sensitive  we could not explore other methods apart from soil. So we used soil as our medium. When I came back to USA, I tried other methods but for the time being, I prefer growing my wheatgrass in organic soil rather than hydroponically (soil free)

What we need to grow wheatgrass:
Growing trays: 4 (20” by 10”) I order my trays on line because I have failed to find them in stores. In UK you can get trays from stores like Home Base, B&Q
Soil: Organic Potting Mix 1 bag. Avoid soil with animal waste. If you are mixing two types of soil, it is better to use top soil with organic potting mix
Seeds: Organic Red Wheat Berries 4 (8 ounce packages or 2 pounds)
Fertilizer: 16 or 32 oz. bottles of Organic liquid kelp or liquid seaweed or (10oz. – 16oz. dissolving seaweed powder)
Wheatgrass Juicer

Steps

  1. Wash the wheatgrass berries thoroughly to get rid of any dust. Then drain out all the water. You can use the sprouting set if you have it but I use plastic measuring jug to wash and I use a strainer to drain the berries.dsci0037
  2.  Soak wheat berries: by adding twice as much water of the level of the berries. Turn around or stir the seeds so they all get equal contact with the water. I soak my berries in a dish or bowl but the sprouting set is normally used.dsci0038
  3. After 12 hours, drain out the water and wash, drain and cover with a damp clean cloth or towel and leave in a dark place.
  4. After 24 hours, the berries are sprouted when you see short tails and are ready to sow.dsci0040
  5. Prepare the medium to grow your wheat grass. Presently, I prefer growing wheatgrass in plant organic potting soil for fruits and vegetables +, than hydroponically (using other medium like baby blankets, STG mats) Do not fill the tray to the brim with soil. At least leave  1/2 inch or so at the top without soil.
  6. Spread the sprouted wheat berries on top of the soil so that there are no spaces between the seeds. My tray looks like a carpet but some people recommend lighter planting. . When we first started growing wheatgrass we used to space the seeds out and we were very disappointed with the yield. We would get just a few ounces from a tray but now we get a real yield 10 oz. – 16oz..
  7. Water the tray with the prepared fertilizer solution and then cover the seed with a tray to keep them from drying and to keep the light out.dsci0041
  8. For the next 3 – 4 days of growth, water well once a day in the morning but do not flood. Then lightly sprinkle some water over your seed in the evening, always covering after watering.
  9. On the fourth day, uncover grass which has grown 1 inch or taller and has a net of root system, (the roots should begin to take over your soil). Water well once a day  photo M6
  10. Continue doing the same (# 9) for the next 4 to 6 or longer depending on how fast your wheatgrass is growing
  11. When the grass starts forking (branching or bringing another blade like a fork) it is ready to harvest, between 7-10 inches. Don’t let it grow too high as the grain may start growing leading to less nutrients in the grass and also the formation of gluten.

Cutting and juicing wheatgrass:

  1. Cut ½ an inch above the soil to avoid contamination. I do not make a second harvest but if you want to harvest twice from a tray you may cut a bit higher to give your grass a better start. Repeat the daily watering of the grass for another 7 to 8 days and re-harvest.dsci0096
  2. Wash thoroughly and juice using a proper wheatgrass juicer. Drink right away. You may store in the refrigerator for several hours hours. But when  green storage bags are used, cut wheatgrass. stored in the refrigerator at temperature between 33 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit, can last up to 2 weeks. These green bags can be reused and can last for a few months
  3. Wheatgrass is most potent when taken neat but if you cannot stand the smell and the taste you can mix it with a little fresh vegetable juice or freshly juiced organic apple juice. Avoid mixing it with citric juices or acidic fruit juices. healthy_juicing_tips1

             A normal short is 2 ounces once or twice a day.

This is just one of the many live  juices overflowing with vitamins, minerals, live enzymes, phytonutrients, natural sugars, amino acids and etc. that are essential for protecting our health. Many people say they can’t afford juicing or incorporating more live foods in their lifestyle. I can understand that, I have been there. It is a fact that these foods are expensive but their benefits outweigh the expense. That was one of the reasons we decided to grow our own wheatgrass.

If you try hard enough, you will find other ways of reducing the cost. Buying what is in season, buying directly from farmers or from farmers’ markets, buying in bulk, looking for bargains from health stores; are some ways which may help you save a bit of money. Every time I go to Whole Foods Market I find some type of bargain. During the past few months, we have managed to buy a different type of organic apples on sale each week. Another step you should take is to eliminate the junk and stop the dependence on fast foods, and also reduce eating out. That money should then be used for potent foods. You will be surprised how these live foods make you feel, especially when you juice. Juicing  is energizing, revitalizing, uplifting and filling. When you use quality fruits and vegetables, pure food goes directly into the body without needing much digestion. I hope you give it a try. It is worth it.

Share

God’s Protection – Our Front Line of Defence

Our loving Father wants us to enjoy long life, divine health and healing. His desires are communicated throughout the scriptures. God does not only assure us of His presence but His protection, peace, provision and power to overcome.

One of the most exciting and comforting chapters in the Bible is Psalms 91 which describes the security we can enjoy through faith in God. In His presence we are safe from the enemy. He protects us from disease, trying circumstances and everything that is against His divine plan for our lives. He even protects us from our selves? “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” Psalms 107:20

God’s supernatural protection is demonstrated throughout the Bible. In the Psalms, David repeatedly reminds us of God’s protection, not only on his life but on the whole nation of Israel. The book of Daniel in the Bible also gives us a glimpse of how far God can go to protect His people. It is no problem for Him to quench a fiery furnace or to shut the mouth of a ferocious lion. He has proved time and again that He is able and willing to deliver us no matter what the circumstances. He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to protect us not only from eternal destruction but also from internal and external forces here on earth!

Health is one of the most precious assets we have from God. We should treasure it and nurture it. Good health is part of salvation. Every child of God should enjoy it. We call it divine health, complete wholeness; spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well being. Unfortunately, most of us are not experiencing the full benefits of our salvation. We should always remember that protecting our health leads to preventing and minimizing disease.

Share

Healthy Eating is not Going on Fad Diets

A lifestyle based on good nutrition, healthy eating habits, and healthy emotions is the best means to optimum health. A good healthy lifestyle will lead you to a healthy body, healthy weight, vitality and a good quality of life as the whole. Why we eat what we eat, when we eat it, how we eat it and the attitude we have towards what we eat has an effect on our overall health.” Protection is Better Than Cure page 163

Healthy Eating is not necessarily going on strict diets

Eating healthy is one of the best and most important decisions we can ever make. Every end of the year or beginning, most people make new goals like: lose weight, spend more time with family, buy a new car, save money, go for vacation to … and etc. Whereas all these may be important, if you are not healthy they may be difficult to achieve.

Healthy eating helps us to get the right nourishment from the food we put into our bodies, a balance of vitamins, minerals, live enzymes, antioxidants, essential fats, proteins and carbohydrates. And we can get all these from the food we eat if we make the right choices. Do you know that eating healthy is cheaper than eating whatever you lay your hands on, in the long run? When we eat healthy we do not spend so much money buying so many supplements, most of which we don’t even utilize? Most of the supplements purchased end up in the cupboards and not in the body. Furthermore, healthy eating boosts our immune system and keeps us healthy.

I have been amazed by the number of people who spend money on fresh food only to store it in the fridge and then go buy fast foods? This is a fact. I have witnessed this repeatedly. Food being thrown away (especially vegetables) after going bad is a common practice. What a waste!

What makes healthy eating so difficult? Unwillingness to change is one of the common causes but we also tend to confuse healthy eating with dieting. Healthy eating is not going on a diet. It is changing your eating habits so that you may eat healthy while enjoying what you eat. Healthy eating does not mean deprivation. You can eat healthy and eat the healthy foods you like.

As you set your goals for 2013 answer this question: Why do you want to eat better? Is it because you want to get healthier, feel better, look better, be a role model? Personally, I aspire to be as healthy as I can be, just for me or for my own good. And yet, as a healthy promoter, I consider what type of message I send to those I try to help. I feel that I have some responsibility towards my family and those I teach. Not that I am responsible for their choices but I have to be a good example and live what I teach. If you are a parent, it is no use telling your children to eat vegetables if you don’t, or to drnk lots of water when you are always drinking soda. Even if you are trying to lose weight your ultimate goal should be to become healthier. With that motive, you will be able to make healthy eating habits. And this will motivate your whole family.

Although changing a habit is not easy, you can start by making small simple changes that you can stick to, for example; adding one more fruit a day, eating at least one salad a day, drinking an extra glass of water, and etc. You don’t have to change everything in a day. But you can work towards your goal a day at a time while you eliminate foods that do not promote good health.

As you make your choices of the food to eat, remember to include a variety. Eating 5 small meals a day is recommended instead of the two to three large traditional meals. These should include lots of vegetables both lightly cooked, raw and salads, as well as fruits and water. The best carbohydrates come from whole grain unprocessed foods, fresh vegetables and fruits. Fish and white meats are preferred to red meats and legumes and pulses can play a big role here. Remember to eat some good quality fats like avocado, virgin olive oil. etc which supply omega 3. And if you crown it all with physical exercise, rest, quality sleep and a positive attitude, 2013 is going to be a very enjoyable year. Don’t forget to laugh as often as you can.
Praise be to God who satisfies us with good things and renews our youth like the eagle’s. Psalms 103:5

Share

Free Range Sheep

dsci0247Some of the protein foods you eat contain all the amino acids needed by the body and they are known as ‘complete proteins’. Most animal proteins belong to this group. Examples of foods with complete protein include: meats, fish, eggs and dairy products such as cheese or yogurt.

 

In the olden days complete proteins were called ‘first class’ proteins. It made sense then because that is what you got from animal proteins; first class quality proteins, (animals fed on natural healthy grass grown on nutrient rich soil). Regrettably, most of our animal protein these days comes with a lot of growth hormones, preservatives and other additives which are harmful to our health. The growth hormones make the meat and milk very fatty and a lot of toxins are stored in the fat. These animals are also treated with
lots of antibiotics which stay in the meat. When we consume this meat, the antibiotics negatively affect our immune systems.

 

Unfortunately, there is a tendency of over consumption of these protein foods. This puts a heavy burden on the organs connected with digestion, waste removal and the immune system. For optimum health you have to make wise choices when buying and ordering food. For example, if you love to eat beef, stick to the leanest cuts. Fish or poultry are excellent alternatives to beef. Combine with plant foods to reduce the portion of the beef or cheese.

dsci0245

Share