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.


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