Boron for Health

By Cat, July 2012 (duplicated on, Oct 2018); Image, right, from Amazon (1)

Growing up in the 50s and 60s, I am very familiar with the 20 Mule Team Borax ads for the TV show “Death Valley Days” hosted by Ronald Reagan (long before he became president).

But this posting is not so much about borax’s cleaning abilities, but rather about its health benefits when taken internally. Remember that borax is not a soap or detergent, but rather a salt of borax (sodium borate), mined from the deserts of California and Turkey. A box of 20 Mule Team Borax  is pure enough to ingest. According to Walter Last, it is 99% pure (990g/kg borax), and is safe to use; it is the legal standard for agricultural grade borax.

The majority of information on this and related pages is a paraphrase of Walter Last’s The Borax Conspiracy. However, I’ve added a few notes of my own or from other sources – see numbered references throughout the article. I’ve also saved his article as a pdf file, in the event his article is lost: Borax as a Supplement (pdf), a pdf version of this page (originally Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 on my old health website), but without my notes.

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Roast Buffalo (Bison), several recipes

American Bison

By Cat, Oct 2018 (Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

The following recipes are adapted from a flyer on Cooking Bison at my local grocery store. Bison is a very healthful meat, and tasty too. It is not as fatty, and has more protein per ounce, than beef. Generally, bison insist on pasture grass and will not eat corn/soy (GMO) feed. They may eat alfalfa which could be GMO, so buy from a rancher you trust.

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Posted in Alcohol, Beef, Buffalo, Braised, Citrus, Fat or oil, Flour, Leafy Veggie, Onion family, Pseudo-grain, Roasted, Root Veggie, Seared, Starch, Stock, broth, Vine veggies | Leave a comment

Spaghetti & Meatballs, with Grain-Free Spaghetti

Heirloom Tomatoes

By Cat, Oct 2018 (Photo right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Spaghetti and meatballs has been a favorite for me since childhood, though not something my parents knew how to make. Dad had a friend in Great Falls, Montana whose wife was Italian. They came to Bigfork every year for vacation, and she brought a big batch of her homemade dish to give to us.

I’ve always used spaghetti pasta when I make this dish, but this recipe (from Mercola (1)) that uses thin-sliced carrots and zucchini instead of pasta sounds interesting. As usual, I’ve adapted some of the ingredients for my own preferences. I’ve not yet tested this version.

Of course, you could use real spaghetti pasta; cook it according to package directions.

See als0: 1. Casserole menu; 2. Italian meatballs (Polpette) Continue reading

Posted in Baked, Beef, Buffalo, Boiled, Eggs, Fat or oil, Fried, Herbs, Leafy Veggie, Onion family, Pork, Root Veggie, Salt, Simmered, Spices, Vine veggies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Selenomethionine for cats

Charlie & Cloe

By Cat, Oct 2018 (Photo, right, by Cat)

I’ve been updating my article on Beware of Toxic Sodium-Selentie in Pet Food as I try to find a source of cat food that uses Selenium-Yeast (Se-Yeast) instead of the toxic sodium selenite form.  Unfortunately, while the rules for pet food allow Se-yeast in dog food, they do not allow it in cat food, so I’m stuck.

My naturopath (1) suggested giving my cats some of the L-selenomethionine supplement that I take for myself – since it is an organic compound found naturally in certain foods such as “Brazil nuts, cereal grains, soybeans, and grassland legumes” (2), it is not a toxic form of selenium.

He suggested I  use the recommended amount of selenium for people, to determine the amount for my cats, based on weight, and then give them appropriate amount of SeM that will provide that amount of Se. Recommended daily allowance for humans is  200 mcg selenium for a 150-pound human, or 1.33 mcg Se per pound of human or cat.

My cats weight about 12 pounds each, so they need about 16 mcg Se per cat, which can be found in 40 mcg SeM. How did I determine this?

  • The molecular weight of SeM is 196 grams/mole, of which the selenium is 79 grams/mole. That means that in one 200 mcg capsule of SeM, there is about 80 mcg elemental selenium.
  • My cats each weigh about 12 pounds; that means 1 cat needs 16 mcg selenium (as 80 mcg Se/200 mcg SeM) mcg/cat) each daily.
  • So one capsule containing 200 mcg Selenium will serve the 1 cat for about 5 days, or 2 cats for 2.5 days.

I’ll see how much water is needed to dissolve one capsule of SeM, and will then mix that into their food.


  1. Dr Steven Gordon, ND, Whitefish MT
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Cocktail or Seafood Sauce

Horseradish roots

By Cat, Sept 2018 (image, right, from Wikimedia Commons (1))

Cocktail sauce has long been my go-to condiment for deep fried prawns and/or French fries. And now that I know how to make my own catsup (by lacto-fermentation), I love my cocktail sauce all the more. After a conversation about cocktail sauce with a friend who owns the Old Bridge Pub and Sub here in Bigfork, I decided I’d add my recipe here.

It was my Dad who first introduced me to horseradish, when he grew it in our garden. My first taste of it, freshly shredded into a bowl, brought a painful scrunched up look to my face, and whimpering sounds from my throat. But when I learned to add it as a flavoring to other foods, I began to see its merit.

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Good (Healthful) vs Bad (Not-Healthful) Fats and Oils

By Cat, July 20, 2018 (Image, right and below from The Real Skinny on Fat (1))

Check out the infographic (1), below (or see pdf version: GoodBadFats-infographic).  I do have a few comments about items in this infographic, also below.

See also: 1. Foods (About) under Fats; 2. Good Fats for Cooking; 3. GoodBadFats-infographic (pdf) Continue reading

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Blueberry Crisp

Blueberries at market

By Cat, July 16, 2017 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

A good friend has a blueberry orchard, so I’m always interested in trying a new way to fix them. This recipe, from the weekly “American Profile” insert in our local Daily Inter Lake newspaper, caught my eye. I’d also like to try it with huckleberries, which grow wild here.

The original recipe for the topping uses brown sugar but I prefer stevia with a bit of molasses; and white flour, but I prefer to pre-soak whole wheat flour. The filling uses instant tapioca as a thickener. Instead of regular sugar, I prefer to sweeten the filling with stevia.

Not yet tested

See also: 1. Fruity Treats Menu; 2. Yogurt-Spelt Crumble Topping; 3. Soaking & sprouting grains (before or after grinding/rolling)

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Posted in Baked, Berries, Citrus, Fat or oil, Flour, Grain, Soaked, Spices, Starch, Stevia, Sweetener | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keto Cacao Shake

Rapunzel Organic, Free-Trade Cocoa Powder

By Cat, July 11, 2018 (Photo, right, from Amazon (4))

I have been following a keto eating plan, with intermittent fasting (14-16 hours of fasting every night, including sleep time) for several years and can attest to many benefits. and I’m always on the lookout for interesting keto recipes. I found this one on Mercola’s site (1), but it is originally from PaleoHacks blog (2), and just had to give it a try. It is high in good fats including coconut milk and coconut oil, plus avocado; and flavored with cacao powder, cinnamon and stevia. The original recipe calls it a “Milk Shake” but it is not chilled like those made with ice cream, and is fairly bitter, even with a fair amount of stevia added. So I’m working on how to make it better, and will track my testing here.

See also: 1. Beverages Menu Continue reading

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Strawberries with Balsamic-Basil Topping for Ice Cream

Strawberries in Basket

by Cat, July 11, 2018 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I love to make my own ice cream, because I’m in control of the ingredients. Most commercial ice creams are so full of questionable additives that it’s disgusting. See all my ice cream articles and recipes. I’ve been making my own since the 1970s and it is so worth it. I usually eat it plain because most toppings contain sugar, so I was excited to see this recipe in my local daily paper, the Daily Inter Lake. It has a light sweetness from the berries and a savory sourness from the balsamic vinegar.

See also: 1.Dessert Sauces, Frostings & Fillings Menu; 2. Frozen Desserts Menu; 3. Cat’s ice cream articles and recipes Continue reading

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Making real soap at home

Handmade Soap

By Cat, May 2008, moved to it’s own page July 2018 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Real soap, such as what you can make at home, has many advantages over commercial “soaps” that are not soap at all, but rather are detergents made from ingredients primarily synthesized from petroleum, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Perhaps the most important advantage to real soap is that it has antimicrobial ability (whereas detergents require the addition of synthetic antimicrobials that can be harmful, such as triclosan.

In this post, I provide instructions for making bar soap, and liquid soap from a bar.

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Posted in Cleaning, Fat or oil, Health | Tagged | Leave a comment