Friday, October 26, 2012

Please guard your health

  The beautiful red-orange tree in my back yard is now bare,brown leaves litter the ground. We are looking at some very chilly nights ahead, at least for a few days. And a hurricane blowing up the coast may bring some major problems to New England.
   I am a little sad and thinking of several friends who are quite ill just now, one in the hospital, several others facing cancer, blood problems and other health concerns.  Makes me very grateful for my good health. I can't take credit for most of that, God does watch over me. But I have been watching what I eat , drink and do since I was 20 years old and began looking at nutrition as a way of life. It's true you are handed out some genetic probabilites, but if you  look ahead, you can prevent a lot of problems.
    Today I want to give you some harmful additives and processes to avoid. If you can keep yourself and your children from having ADD, ADHD, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, why would you not want to? My biggest fear is becoming a vegetable and needing constant care. I have been that caregiver a few times, and don't want to end life that way.
  Not saying you can never enjoy things you like, that would be dumb. But keep the harmful things in moderation and go for the fruits, veggies and things that enhance your quality of life.
  Lets start with the toxins in your home, and the most deadly ones. Number one are flame retardents. These are a chemical, petroleum based product. Used a lot in kids sleepers. Avoid those, and go for natural cotton. Second, formaldehyde.  This one causes me a lot of grief, if I come in contact with it I break out in a rash, called lichenplanus. Miserable, itchy, and many months to heal. Even in flu shots, which a doc finally figured out when I kept getting sick after shots. This stuff is used in carpets, woods(pressed) and building supplies. Try to choose natural woods and fibers.  Next are Parabans. These are absorbed into the body. They cause cancer and disrupt your hormone system. Look for them in makeup, shampoos and personal products.
  Plastics are also suspect. If you have babys, look for ones(plastic, not babys) that say BPA free, or to be safe use glass or metal cups. Check your containers, they should not be labeled #3 or #7 polyvinyl choride. Never heat things in the microwave in plastic, don't reuse water bottles, you know all that stuff. The stuff that plastics are made of take thousands of years to break down in our dumps.  Avoid cans with white linings, these are deadly.
  Now lets get to food additives, and these are some of the biggest offenders.  Fake sugars and aspartame( yogurts use this a lot) are the worst. Watch out for added colors too, red, and blue are the worst. Stay clear of BHA, butylated hydroxyanisole, and BHT, butylated hydroxytolene. Olestra, a fake fat,  gums, and of course nitrites and nitrates. We are all watching out for the saturated fats too. The good thing is, some manufacturers are catching on to the fact that we want better and safer foods, and are making efforts to help us out.
  There is a bill afoot in CA trying to make it a law that food containing GMO's must  be labeled as such, I hope it passes. Monsanto and other big companies are fighting it tooth and nail. They would rather soak the seeds they plant in weed and bug killers than have to work on the fields more. But those killers are passed right into our flour, corn, soy beans etc and are harmful beyond belief.
  It comes down to making healthy choices as much as possible and limiting stuff that will harm your body, to occasional use. I see now that some bacon  brands and hot dogs are finally being made without nitrates and nitrates. We need to look for these safer brands and thank them for their efforts.
  Got a pot of home grown veggies cooking for soup,  so glad we have had a good growing season. Will miss the fresh tomatos and peppers, but they are about gone now.
  Enjoy life, but protect yourself, no one else will do it for you. And do protect your babys, you are all they have.
  It's almost Halloween, there is a peanut butter scare so watch what the tots get. Have a great fall. See ya next time.
  I would be very remiss if i didn't mention a new blessing, a lovely new grand daughter born earlier this week,  now I have 3 grand daughters and 3 grand sons, and a great grand daughter and a great grandson. Life is good.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Reuse, recycle, re-cook, aw heck

  Went to town this morning, the sun was just coming up and the mountains were lit up red and glowing. The colors are here, and beautiful. It's still fairly warm, need to pick some beans today, and kale, and more parsley. The prediction for November is close to normal, maybe a few degrees colder than last year. Guess we can handle that.
  Last week I bought a whole chicken, organic of course, and stewed it with herbs, onion and garlic. Wanted the broth to freeze for future soups etc. Wish I had known this before, don't toss the carcass. Instead, put the stripped bones into your crock pot, with water, onions, garlic and herbs, and turn on low. Let it go for at least 48 hours. The bones will crack open and you will have marrow broth, deep color, rich flavor, and good for you. Keep it in containers in the freezer for soup etc.  Watch it some as you may need to add water as it cooks.
  Got a church meal coming up? Here's an easy dessert, take a box of angel food cake mix and a can of lemon pie filling, mix together and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Has 168 calories per serving, and soooo easy.
    A little more difficult, but here's another great dessert, makes 8 cupcakes.
Start with 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate is best, melt in microwave, stir until creamy. Drop a teaspoon full into each muffin cup paper and spread to cover paper. Next, mix 2/3 cup of cream cheese, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/3 cup greek yogurt(plain) and 1/2 teaspoon of zest from a lemon or lime.After the chocolate cups have chilled until set, fill with cream cheese mix, drizzle the rest of the melted chocolte over the top and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  The news this morning was again warning parents with small children about those new laundry "pods". At least 100 children a week are eating them, thinking they are candy. They end up very sick, and in the emergency room. Be sure if you use these to put them where kids can not find them, who wants a sick baby.
   My new grand daughter is due any time now, waiting anxiously for her to arrive. Will let you know about her next week, as if she is not here by Wednesday, inducing takes place.
  Take care, stay well, enjoy this splendid fall. See ya soon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall's Rainbow of Color

 About 2 PM I head for the bedroom, for my daily exercise session. I am on the floor to use my weights and oxygenator. Lying there, I look out my north window at a splendid maple tree just outside the window. The color is a splash of red orange, like a flame shot down from the sun and started a fire. It's a magnificent color. And directly under the bottom branches is a holly bush, with its ever bright green leaves, now colored  in with the bright red berries of fall.
  As I look up the mountain, there is a tree with leaves that are a russet color, like a rich dark wine. And beyond that is a brilliant yellow tree, and in between are green ones, still hanging on to their summer color.
  Looking upwards, the sky behind these glowing colors is that fall blue, bright azure, that seems to almost glow. Occasionally a puffy white cloud slides through, adding one more color.
 When I get up, I look up the mountain behind me, to the east. The top is colored now, with reds and golds. The grass is still a lovely green, we have had a lot of rain lately so things are still fresh. And so far, no frost has damaged our late growing garden.
  Fall might be my favorite time of year, except that it tells me the warm days are leaving and soon we will wake up to frost, chilly mornings, and cool days.  When I was young I liked winter, but now it just tells me I might go sliding and fall, and break something.  One of the perks of being a senior citizen. I tend to become a chicken and stay in when the temps fall below freezing.  Broke a bone last year, not wanting to do it again.
   There is no way to look at the colors and not think how God reaches out and paints the scenery with his never failing accuracy. I am grateful to see each season, and enjoy the beauty of this earth. Hope you have time to do some looking too.
 Take care, open your eyes and enjoy. All to soon, the scenery will change to frosty whites, and snow blanketing the grass.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Facial mask, worth $40.00 for pennies, cold season approaching

  I have been readng a blog by Jon Gallagher for some time now, it's a class on learning and using herbs.  Called Learning Herbs, strangely enough. One of the contributors is Rosemary Gladstone. She has been practicing for about 40 years and has a lot of tried and true helps to share. If you go to Mountain Rose Herbs site, you may find their information there.
  This weeks video taught us a simple cough syrup. Slice an onion into thin slices, put in a pot, cover with honey and simmer til syrupy. Long ago, on a wood burning stove, this would have just stayed on the back where it was warm, and you would take out a spoon full when needed. But now, just put the mix into a clean jar and keep in your refrigerator. Take a spoon full when needed. If you want to get fancy, you can add garlic, grated ginger etc, but thats your option. This is much simpler than the stuff I brew all summer on my cupboard, will be doing it soon.
   If you feel a cold coming on, mix equal parts of dried yarrow, peppermint and elder flowers. Steep as a tea and drink a cup several times a day. I have the yarrow and peppermint growing, guess I need to find an elderberry bush. My gram used to have them, made jelly, pie and wine from the berrys.  I am pretty much out of room to add new plants, so maybe just ordering the flowers is in order.
  I love a show called THE CHEW, on ABC. Yesterday Daphne Oz talked about a product she had purchased that cost her $40.00  for a small jar. She read the ingredients and for under a buck, made her own. Very simple, take pumpkin, and this can be canned or one you have cooked yourself  and mashed, add half as much sugar, the grainy organic type, and a few drops of flax seed oil. Mix,  spread on face with your fingers. Let it set about 5 minutes, and gently rinse off. The beta carotene is so good for your skin. Good for you to eat too!
  This time of year there are a lot of squashes ripe and ready, be sure you add them to your diet. The orange veggies are so healthy for you.
  It's dark and gloomy again today, we have had a lot of rainy days lately. Got a little sun yesterday, and may get some later today before it rains on us again by Sunday afternoon. I see the red, gold and orange colors burnishing th e mountain now, driving is a treat as it's a beautiful time of the year. There will be a lot of tourists heading to the mountains to see all this splendor the next few weeks.  I can just look out my window and see the gorgeous trees spreading up the mountain behind me. I love fall, just wish it was not followd by winter, not my favorite time of year.  Mostly because we are unable to be outside gardening. But it will be spring again, just have to be patient. Hope you are enjoying the crisp nights, cerulan blue skys and cooler days of fall. Heat up the cider and stay well.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Old Dog, new tricks, Red peppers, Toner etc

 Yesterday, my son brought me some gorgeous red peppers, one a lipstick. My freezer is full of pre stuffed ready to bake ones, and others cut into strips for stir fry etc, so wanted something different. I love pimentos, and guess what, those pricy little jars are just roasted red peppers. Its so easy, just cut the washed peppers in half, seed and clean out the inside, put them upside down on foil and roast at 450 degrees for about 17 minutes. !5 minutes was not long enough, 20 was too long, so must depend on your oven. Just watch closely, they start to blacken when done. Fold the foil up tightly around them and cool. The skins slip right off and then just chop them and put into a glass jar in the frig, ready for potato salad or whatever , and they taste great.
  There is a web site called They have good recipes for homemade cleaners. Here's one that will clean your shower, tub  etc. Just mix half Dawn and half white vinegar, and apply.  Rinse off and , voila, clean .
   Do you need a good toner for your face? Try this:
 3 tablespoons fresh or dried mint leaves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup distilled water. Mix all in sterile container, let sit 3 days, strain, and apply to face after washing.
  How about an after bath spray? I love to spritz on after I have soaked myself pruny.
 Mix 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon fresh or dried sage, 1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme 1 teaspoon ground  cloves.  let this sit in a mason jar for 2 weeks, the strain and put in a clean spray bottle.
  Lots of stuff in the news , like peanut butter recalls, and items made with peanut butter. Salmonella again. Also, we are watching closely the products containing arsenic and GMO's . The list of food with GMO's is long, you almost have to stick with organic  to be sure. Anything with corn or soy or wheat is suspect.And of course, rice is being tested for arsenic, so that is a concern too. No wonder we have so much illness, we are eating crap. These things all have such bad effects on our babes, children come up with the worst problems as they are small and absorb too much. Be very careful what you are feeding your kids.
  Cooking from scratch takes a little getting used to , but once you are on to it, it's easy and takes little time. If you buy blueberrys, celery,or potatoes, be sure they are organic. Regular potatoes are soaked in insectisides to keep them free of bugs while growing. And it grows right into the potatoes in large amounts. I had not known that til this week. You can pull up Dr Oz s show and find more information there. It was Thursdays, October 4th.
  Well, it's feeling like fall, but still not really cold, We have hovered in the 50's at night and upper 70's days. Just about perfect weather. Still have the windows open, hate the thought of being shut up for the winter.

      Take care, eat well, and stay healthy.