Thursday, March 28, 2013

Good News on GMO's, dip recipe, cleaner recipe Hair help

 On Wednesday of this week, the 26th of March, Dr OZ had a rep from a grocery store called Whole Foods on his show. They are getting rid of any products containing GMO's in their store. For the most part, they are there now, but are looking for re labeling to reflect their stance.  In a few years, any thing you buy there will be totally organic and GMO free. I hope this helps other food stores to see the value, and maybe rethink their ideas, getting more safe foods into their stores too. I am only sad that we have no Whole Food stores in our area.  I know my family in NE can shop at one. At least there are merchants who do realize that some of us care about what we eat. Yeah!
  I also watched a report saying that  we eat way too much meat, it's bad for your heart and brain. Over eating meat causes cognitive decline, or altzheimers. If you back off meat and dairy and all their tainted products,  you could help cut altzheimers by 70%. That's a large number. Not saying avoid it totally, but eat small amounts and avoid processed meats, watch the dairy as it has known hormones added to most of its items.
 There are many ways of keeping your diet full of protein, add beans, brown rice etc.
  Saw a neat item on facebook this week, for making a cleaner for your counters, walls and other surfaces, and it's nearly a freebie. When you eat an orange, save the peel, put in a jar, cover with white vinegar, and steep on you counter for 2 weeks. Strain, put in spray bottle and use to disinfect. I am thinking I might add a little olive oil, to make a furnture dusting liquid, to be sprayed on a dust rag.
 Love avocado's?  Try mashing one ripe one, and adding 2 tablespoons of greek(plain) yogurt, 1 clove chopped garlic, 1/8 teaspoon onion salt and a splash of lemon juice.  Use in place of mayo on sandwiches or as a dip.
  If you are wanting to try a way of avoiding the parabans etc in shampoos and rinses, this is so easy. Put a tablespoon of baking soda in your hand, moisten slightly, and rub into scalp well. Rinse, and spray  your hair with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed into 1 cup of water and placed in a spray bottle. Let that set 3 minutes, then rinse well. Your hair will be super soft and shiny.
  We finally have sun today, and it's just a bit warmer. The snow has melted off everything but the mountain tops, it's still coating them pretty well. It's feeling a bit more like spring. My starter plants are getting leggy, looking forward to warmer days and gardening very soon. Our fruit trees kind of jumped the gun and bloomed ahead of this last very cold week, would hate to loose all the fruit so hope  Mother Nature knows what she is doing. 
  It's Easter week, tomorrow morning  will be attending Good Friday service, and Easter Sunday after that. We have rain in the forcast but that's better than snow. Last year by now it was much warmer, windows open and heat turned off. Not yet this year.  We have had a lot of moisture in our area which should get our growing season off to a good start. Funny, it seems that when thats the case, we have a lack of rain during the summer months.
  Have a wonderful Easter, remember the reason, and give thanks for your blessings.  Hope you have family or friends to spend some of your weekend with, always a pick me up for spirits.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Allergies? Rashes? And Monsanto is doing it again

  If you suffer from allergies or rashes, blame it on products you are using in your everyday routine.  The allergy, rash stuff is just the tip of the iceberg. Have been looking into a couple of bad ingredients this week, parabans and phthalates. Phthalates are  compounds used to soften vinyl, over a billion tons are produced each year in this country. These are used in nail polish, cosmetics and hair products.  Parabans are chemicals used as preservatives. Both of these products alter hormonal systems so if you are using them on your babys, expect them to hit puberty as early as 8 years old. This is frightening, as the earlier a child matures, the shorter its life span is.  These substances also cause breast cancer tumors, and are found in the tumors. Milk, meat and dairy products are high in hormone changing substances, so those are ones to watch  too, read the labels. I heard this week that some milk companys will be adding sugars , and these will be fake ones, like aspartame, so kids will get hooked on the sweet taste. More obesity and poor health will follow that move.  If you are a nursing mom and using cosmetics with parabans ad phthalates, you will pass them on to your baby.
  Monsanto has pushed its bill as far as the President, if he signs it we will have more food grown with seeds that are treated with bug and insect killers.   Don't see how the FDA,  and the president can condone the poisoning of the American people, but it seems health care is not important any more. Just get people sick , then put them on medicines that cause even more problems. That makes it even more vital that we refuse to buy products that will do ourselves and our children so much damage.  Look for organic produce, it's not really hard to cook fresh foods from scratch, they  don' t even take that much more time to cook. Watch for the GMO free products if you are buying processed items, there are a few, but not many.
  On GMA this morning, there was a report that 1 out of 10 deaths in this country can be blamed on salt. We don't think about how much salt is in our bread, cheese, and other things we eat every day. Start a herb pot, keep it in your kitchen window and use to season food with.  I like to watch the Chew sometimes, but their pinch of salt is more like major amounts.  I am not much of a sweet craver, but have to admit to liking the taste of salt, I have been using Himilayan pink salt for  many years now, and it takes very little  so hope I am staying in a normal range.
  It's easy to find recipes for home made face creams, shampoos, bath products and household cleansers on line. In fact the variety is endless. There are a few I am fond of, have been making face cream from organic oils for quite a few years now. If you have baking soda, vinegar and tea tree oil, you can disinfect anything in your house. A little lemon juice added gives a nice fresh smell to your home. You can scan back through my blog and find recipes for almost anything you would need, or just go to your search engine and put in what you are looking for, the sources are endless.
  Spring is being very elusive, do so want to get the garden going again, and be out in the sun but instead, it's cold and snow flurries are in the forecast. The ground hog messed up big time this year.  Our fruit trees are blooming and it scares me to think this cold could take out the peaches and pears and apples this year. If it hurts ours, the orchards in our area will suffer too. Hopefully that spring warm up is very near.
  Closing note, have been watching a series of movies called THE BIBLE, airing on History channel. They are condensed but still interesting and well done. Curiously, Satan bears a striking resemblnce to someone we all know. If you get a chance to watch these, they are well worth the time. Somehow seeing things brings my daily bible reading to life a great deal more than I would have thought. You do have to remember it is a movie, though, so they take liberties with what is presented.
 Hopefully by next week, and Easter,we will have some more spring like weather. Stay warm.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Boost your immune system, home made calamine, and home made cat treats

 For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come.  (Song of Solomon, 2-11)
  Yesterday, I left the mountain at dawn, and drove to Newport for groceries, gas and all the stuff I do while in town. It was cold, 29 degrees, but clear. Along the way, I saw forsythia opening up, glowing with sunny yellow color, the daffodils have been in bloom, and now my front yard is purple with blooming vinca flowers. The blueberry bushes have leaves, sure hope they are not premature,  there will be more chilly days. But when I woke this morning, to a day that's expected to be in the upper 60's, The Song of Solomon was in my head. Funny, it just was there.
  We have touched on the fact that inflammation is the cause of nearly every illness or problem your body throws at you. And of course, that's caused by diet. We eat so many things that taste good but harm our systems. It's hard to follow a rigid, never have a treat way of eating, so we don't stay with it. But you can help by adding anti inflammatorys  to your regime. Eating lots of protein, not meat, but nuts, seeds, beans and lentils, add a vitamin D supplement, 1000 milligrams a day is now recommended,  limit caffeine, after the first few cups of coffee drink some green tea or herb tea, and of course be sure you are including a healthy dose of probiotics, like greek yogurt(plain) add your own fresh fruit so you avoid the sugar,  and things that are fermented, like sauerkraut. Try and stay away from large amounts of sugar, 6 teaspoons a day is enough, and even one can of pop will put you over the limit. It's a job, watching what you eat,but your body is what you make of it. You only get one so it's worth taking care of. It's almost berry season, so add in a lot of fresh strawberrys, blueberrys, whatever you can find.
  It's almost spring, and soon we will be working outside again. There will be itchy weeds and bugs, so today I have a quick recipe for calamine lotion to sooth the skin problems.  Do you have an aloe plant? If you do, just break off a leaf or two and  scrape out the juice.  It takes 2 tablespoons of aloe, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water. Mix, apply as needed. If you don't have an aloe plant, you can buy a bottle of aloe at most drug stores, think I got my last one at Walmart.  Last week when I moved  some plants around I broke off a couple big aloe leaves, so ended up  juicing them out and have a good sized container in the frig. 
  Last year I made that themogenic tea for a lot of family members,so this year I am going to be harvesting a lot more mint and yarrow, amazing how well that worked for colds and flu. I have started some chamomile and other new herbs too, hope I can get them producing well before fall. It's easy to find herbs on line, but here's the stumper, for 6 bucks worth of herbs, less than a pound by a long shot, the postage was over ten bucks which backed me off. I will find local sources from now on. My own if possible.
  Do you have a cat? Even dogs would eat these homemade treats, but you might want to omit the catnip for the pups.  Take some oatmeal and run it through your food processor, making 1 cup of oat flour. To this add 1 egg, 5 oz of tuna, I like the little bags with no fluid in them. 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of catnip. Pulse until well mixed, or do by hand. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and make very small balls using 1/2 teaspoon or so. Place on baking sheet and  bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and store in air tight container. I think these would be too big for my cat so would make them smaller and watch the baking time, would take less time to brown.
  Sitting here looking out the window, the grass is getting very green, although here it never does turn brown during the winter. Even if we get snow, things stay green under it. There are leaf buds on the trees, and the cows have had their babies, so tiny right now, like pups, in fact my oldest son calls them cow puppies, Hope you are getting a break in the winter weather where you are, looking forward to spring veggies soon. take care, stay well.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Grow some Mint, watch processed meats, add some new grains

  If you could only grow one big pot of herbs, you might want to pick mint. It's so versatile. You can make sprays that deter insects, make small pouches of dried mint and tuck into your pets sleeping area to end fleas, add mint oil to cleansers to make your house smell nice, add it to iced tea, use in cooking for a fresh taste, and here's one to save, if you have hiccups, brew up a cup of water, add a couple of squeezes of lemon juice and some mint leaves, brew and drink.  Uses seem to be endless, it's a pretty plant and pretty much easy care. Planted outside be forewarned, it spreads like crazy and will take over an area quickly.
  If you are looking for new tastes and textures in your diet, here are some newer to the US grains to try, Teff, Kamut, and Millet. Also black rice, which I have not seen yet. The first three are high in protein and you use just as you would rice, barley etc.  but they give you many health benefits, and the protein level is high. Which leads me to my next thought, there are new studies out that show eating processed meats shorten your life by 13 years or so, because they cause cancer and other illnesses. An interesting study can be found at "The Atlantic", worth checking out.  One of my Sunday school classmates is battling cancer, wish there was better news for her. The old saying you are what you eat is still holding true, to avoid so many illnesses  be very aware of what you put in your body, food is medicine .If  you must eat processed meats, eat only 1 ounce a day to keep damage to a minimum.
  If you are spring cleaning your body, getting in shape for summer, try loading your plate with one half veggies, 1/4 protein, like chicken or fish, and 1/4 carbs, trying to pick to the healthy ones, like sweet potatoes. A breakfast of a couple of eggs with veggies stir fried into them is  great way to start the day, gives you energy and no mid morning let down. Add a few strawberrys, kiwis etc on the side. Juice is known to be high in sugar and low in nutrition so go for fresh fruit.
  If you are shopping for groceries this week, here is a little ammunition to help you navigate the whole grain trap. If a product is truly whole grain, there is a symbol on the box/bag. If it says on the label bran, or wheat flour or fiber, those are not whole grain. A seven grain bread may not be whole grains at all.  Look for 100% whole grain and the little box  that backs that up somewhere on the package.
 Improving your health is as easy as learning to avoid the "whites," flour, sugar, salt, shortening and rice. Go for the whole wheat's, brown rice, unsaturated oils etc. Once you make the change, its not hard to stick with, and the taste of your food is greatly improved. as well as your health.
  We had an interesting week,  wind, a bunch of rain and then a good snow for our area, school was out the last 2 days, don't know about today, didn't hear the bus but it might have been by. If these mountain roads have any snow, buses will not tackle them, too big a chance of sliding off the roads.
We are supposed to warm up into the 60's at least the next few days, yea, it's been a long time coming.  Will be good to get outside again and do a little spring yard prep and cleaning.
  Hope you are looking at some spring days too, won't be long and we will be complaining about the heat. Til next time, stay well.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Birthday Surprise, butter candles, cancer cure and more

  One day last week, my son here in TN asked me to have lunch after church on Sunday. So we headed to the restaurant after church. We were being taken to a table, and seated at a long one were a lot of folk, with their faces in menus. As we got close, they dropped the menus and there sat my son and daughter in law from North Carolina, and my daughter and grandson from Illinois.  What a big, lovely surprise. We had a great lunch, then headed home for dessert. My daughter in law here made a lovely, yummy cake with fresh strawberrys, and had ice cream and pretty spring napkins and plates ready. When we came in the door a big box said"open now," it was a new coffee maker from the TN kids, who knew mine had become defunct the week before. so we started coffee right away. Had a lovely visit,  got a beautiful orchid plant from N C kids, hope my cactus only mind will let me raise it, its so pretty.  The kids from Illinois brought a lot of great things too, including a raised toilet seat, another make life easier item. I so enjoyed seeing them,  the Illinois crew stayed over night so we had a great visit. Thanks to you all for making my birthday a memorable one!!!
  I spend some time each week making assurance calls to folk who are alone here in the area. This week one of the guys shared a great idea. If the power goes out and you do not have candles, cut a stick of butter into quarters, make a hole in each piece and stuff rolled tight toilet tissue into each hole, coating with the butter. when lit, they will burn for about four hours. What do ya know, niftly idea.
  I watch Dr Oz and The Doctors often, this week they had a wealth of information. A 2 year old girl had been battling leukemia, using chemo and radiation, but it did not work. So they took T cells from her body,and added genetically altered cells to them, and injected them back into her body. In 2 weeks, the cancer was gone and she has been healthy since. She is 6 years old now. This may be useable for other types of cancer in the near future, the T cells hunt out the cancer cells and destroy them. And no suffering from the effects of chemo and radiation.
  Our grocery stores are a mine field of products, stacked against us and our health. Did you know that almost all processed foods are heavily laced with fat, salt and sugar? Potato chips are dipped in a sugar solution to make them brown nicer, and hook us on the taste. A great deal of testing on real people goes into what's on the shelves. A taste panel tests until they say, oh yes, this is very good, like it.  Companys purposely lace their foods with unhealthy additives to get us hooked on them. This craving is fueling the obesity, diabetic, cholesterol epidemic we are facing. Once again, it comes down to you, read labels. There were several doctors on Dr Oz who said high cholesterol is not caused by fat, but sugar which changes to carbs after you eat it. Read labels, avoid transfats and hydrogenated fats, and anything high in sugar. Dr Oz's February 26 show will give you all this info, pull it up and watch on line.  I have been checking some of the things I use, and finding a lot of them are not good. Watch your yogurt, it should have one ingredient, organic skim milk. Add your own fruit and a little honey for a healthy version. When shopping, check the higher shelves and the lower ones, the best options are the ones you might not look for.
  It's getting to be spring cleaning time, if you are  doing kitchen cupboards, dump the old plastic containers. Look for  the BPA free ones but still never microwave in plastic. Use glass. The old melamine dishes let pieces of the melomine infiltrate your food,  Nordicware makes a safe version, and silicone is becoming more popular.
  Looks like winter has saved up for the first part of March, we are having snow flurries and maybe accumulating stuff tonight and into the next week or so. Be glad to see it end, and warm weather come back.  Hang in, we will have nicer days ahead. See you soon.