Friday, April 26, 2013

Choose your food wisely, lots of good ideas for you

  Think back, 30 or 40 years ago. Our grandparents, and even parents gardened.  We ate food fresh from the garden, and it didn't take hours to prepare. We were healthier, not so much diabetes, high blood pressure, allergies, ADHD etc.  We drank water, not pop, and ate less processed foods. Now the super market is loaded with stuff to stick in the microwave, foods that are tampered with, containing GMO's  and chemicals and preservatives. Finding things that are good for us is getting harder because we are getting more tuned in to eating stuff that comes in cans and boxes.  We buy into tv ads telling us to do "the smart thing" by eating a container of fruit flavored yogurt instead of cookies, doughnuts etc. Well, those flavored yogurts have 37 grams or more of sugar, more than a can of soda pop. Worse, some of them are sweetened with aspartame which is proven to be a poison to our system, if you see that, avoid the product, also anything with fake sugars, stuff that comes in little pink, blue or yellow envelopes is just a mix of chemical substances. Go for a little honey, or pure maple syrup. Some stevia is good but watch the company and try and get safe, pure, stuff.  A good rule to follow when shopping is, don't buy anything with more than 5 ingredients, and never buy things with ingredients your 3 year old c an not pronounce.  Make a few changes and start cooking fresh produce when you can. Farmers markets are opening up, most of their produce is safe and healthy, and you will find prepping a good meal can be done in anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, unless you are baking things and need more time there.
  Add tomatoes to your diet, people who have a tomato rich diet have lower risk of coronary  heart disease. The color comes from anti oxidants and is even more concentrated in sauce. Watermelon works the same way
  Keeping your immune system healthy is as easy as adding a few items,  like sipping a cup of hot tea. Tea give you 5 times more germ fighting ability if you drink up to 5 cups a day, Do some stretching, and relaxing. Add garlic to your meals, it has antibacterial fighters. Cuts your risk of high blood pressure and heart problems.  And try and stay cheerful, that elevates your mood and helps you feel better.
  When you buy your fresh produce, bring it home and wash it with a mix of 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, a splash of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. I fill a large bowl and let produce soak for at least 15 minutes, then rinse well and store properly.
  I am blessed with green mold on the north side of my house, no sun hits it. Yesterday I mixed a cup of vinegar and a cup of water, and 1 Tablespoon of soda and sprayed the mold. It cuts it well, need a more powerful hose to get it washed off. You can also use this on your bathroom shower walls to stop mildew and mold.
  How about some new uses for olive oil?  Rub gently into your hands after doing painting chores, it helps remove the paint without hurting your skin. If you have a stuck zipper, try rubbing some on that and working it loose. If your hubby has dry skin he can use it to shave with, or try peanut butter(smooth of course) and just feel the silky skin you are left with, and of course if you have pets drizzle a tad on their food to help with  hair balls. Cats of course, dogs don't have that problem. Back in the Roman Empire days, olive oil was taxed because it was such a hot commodity.
 If you are a tea drinker and have stained cups and teapots, sprinkle baking soda on stained area, add enough water to make a paste and scrub with a sponge or dish cloth. Use a cotton swab for spouts,.

  If you use non stick baking pans for muffins, never use cooking spray on them, it makes them sticky. Use a small amount of olive oil, or better, paper liners.
  We have come into a white period, the dogwoods are just breathtaking and the snowball bushes are  out of this world, I have one with saucer sized blooms.  Right now all the white shows up against the fresh green of the trees, finally everything looks fresh and spring like. So nice after the long winter with the brown dead colors. I love these mountains, the colors are ever changing. We really seem to have periods of certain colors, yellow is always first, with the daffodils and forsythias but the whole summer season is filled with beauty. I think my favorite southern tree is the Mimosa, pink and delicate.  It's lumped in with crepe myrtles that range from white to pink, to rose and red and purple,  a never ending rainbow. If you have never been south, take a trip to this side of the country and almost any season but November to March will give you a glimpse of splendorific color.
  Hope you can get out and enjoy this lovely spring weather, til next time, eat healthy.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tough Week in the USA

    Thinking about a blog subject this week has been difficult. So I have decided to say some of the things that are in my heart instead. 
     911 shook this country up, and for a while we were all sort of united in a common cause. Faded away to some extent, we forgot to watch our for each other, cover each others backs and stay in communication.  So we had two major tragedies this last week. Unless you live under a rock, you have to know about the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  It brought back all the memories and thoughts of 911. Once again, someone is  attacking our cities.  Watching all the videos, it's a wonder no more were killed. But there are many who are severely  injured and will not forget this attack the rest of their lives. Many lost limbs, and will require surgery, maybe many times, to help them in their recovery.  Months of pain and suffering will fill their lives. Their families and friends will be caring for  them the rest of their lives. How can it be that people who hate the Americans so  much are among us, talking to us, acting as friends, only to be planning an act of terror. We have always opened our country to immigrants, and hoped they would become American citizens, productive and caring. But that does not always hold true. And it would be impossible to screen out someone set on hurting us very far ahead of time. In fact , sometimes these heinous attacks are done , like at Columbine, by American citizens. It's kind of like this thing with new gun laws, most of us would be responsible and not plan on killing mass amounts of people. But someone who was planning that would likely get weapons whatever the status  was for selling them. It's just sad that so many people have so much hatred in their hearts. Who failed them, how did their lives go wrong? Where is God or their power in their lives?

   To  add to the sadness, there was that horrific blast in Waco, Texas . The town looks like it was bombed. More people died there than in Boston, and this is supposedly an accident. Never the less, it is painful to see so many hurt and gone forever.
  I spend a part of each day, reading my bible, spending time in prayer, asking God to watch over all of us, and keep us safe. Big order. Guess it's all part of his plan, and trying to understand it is impossible. Like loosing a child, or a husband, we are not meant to understand His ways, just to keep praying and asking for his help to understand and go forward, trying to do what he has put us on this earth for. I have days when I truly wonder if I am doing anything worth while, so glad I have some volunteer and some church work to help me feel like I am contributing at least a little in the way of compassion and caring. I continue to hope and pray that this world will become a better place for all of us, the fears for my grand kids and great grand kids are immense. Somehow, I am glad I am old now and will not live to see a lot of what this country will become down the line 20 years from now.
   For all of us, I hope we can step back, say a prayer for all the hurting families this week, and keep praying for better things in the future.
  I hope all of you have a safe and happy week, filled with spring flowers and sunshine, just never forget to be grateful for all the good things your lives  have in them.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Life is full of changes

   This last week was full of many changes. We had our first really warm weather, near 80 several days, almost 90 one day, and rain of course. Now it's cooler, but very pleasant. The Redbud trees burst open in all their splendor  the last few days, most of the forsythia and daffodils are long gone now. I have some pretty tulips blooming  in the front yard. Got the garden ready for planting with the able help of my son.  Have put out seeds for things that won't be up for a bit, so should be warm enough when they do pop out, like beans and zucchini.
  Missed my normal blog yesterday, my old computer started overheating to the point it would pop off, and give me a shock.  So with my oldest son who is a marvel with computers,  helped me pick out and get a new one up and running.  It changed me from a Vista system to Windows 8 and boy are they different.  I spent a while today getting cameras, card programs etc installed, then had a little help finding this blog spot.  Good thing I have a son with a great sense of computers to help me out.  I am  the world's biggest geek when it comes to technology.  Smart phones?  Hey, just give me one that makes calls and lets me text, all those apps just mess with my head. Same with computers, and this one does apps instead of what I am used to seeing. As time goes by, it will get easy and I will wonder why I could not figure out so many things.
  I have not taken time to compile a real blog for this week, so I will just let you know I am still around, just behind the eight ball. 
  Next week I promise to do better!

Friday, April 5, 2013

List of GMO free companys, lots of household ideas

  Ok, so Spring is taking it's time, but they are saying by tomorrow we will be much warmer, in the 70's. Can hardly wait. This has been the 6th coldest winter on record, and my icy feet can attest to that.
  This week has been full of strange and useful ideas to share with you. Did you know that you can rub a stick of chalk on a grease stain, let it set a few minutes, then wash as usual? Should remove the grease.  Or if you have cookie sheets or baking dishes that have been burned a bit, you can make a paste of  1/4 cup baking soda and enough peroxide(hydrogen) to create a paste, rub it on and let it sit a while then wash. You can use this on discolored white refrigerator and stove handles too.
  If you are fighting ear wax, mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar, I would only do a small amount, like maybe 1/2 teaspoon of each, put a few drops in each ear, give it a bit, then tip head and drain it out. May need to repeat for a couple of days.
  This idea came up on face book, but I am not too sure about it. Its a flea and tick treatment for dogs and cats. Mix 8 ounces of apple cider vinegar with 4 ounces of water,  and carefully add 1/2 of salt, it may react slightly.  Put in spray bottle and use on pet, maybe several days running. However, I did a little research and found that if licked excessively, it may change the pet PH which might cause problems, so not sure if I would use it. I would however use it on furniture and carpets to kill fleas. You would want to check materials in an inconspicuous place to be sure of color fastness. I think for the pet, I might still use a little bag of mint tied to the collar. This idea came from  a site called  allthingshomemade, but it just referred me to Pinterest and  got no further information.
 Saw a way of creating tiles for your walls that sounds interesting.  Cut cardboard squares the size you want the tiles, use cereal boxes, shirt card boards, anything about that thick. Using your imagination or a pattern, create  a design you like on the cardboard  with white glue, let it dry. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. securing on back. Then rub with shoe polish or stain to get desired color. Glue on prepared surface.
  A few thoughts on OTC medicines.  Almost all of these, be they for pain, heartburn, etc, cause liver failure, internal bleeding, and the danger of strokes. Please take time to read all the side effects. I had considered taking Pepcid, thinking it was safer than prescription stuff, but I was wrong, it has the same side effects. I learned to eat earlier, a little less, and leave at least 5 hours before lying down for the night. So far I have had good luck. On occasion I do grab some DGL, deglycerized chewable licorice. Great for tummys.  If you want to avoid medications, there are so many alternatives. For pain, headaches or body, try feverfew or white willow bark, shades of Dr Quinn and the indian remedys, but they work, and no side effects.
  If you have arthritis pain, try bromelain,  maybe just eating pineapple everyday,  or capsaicin capsules or rubs, devil's claw, fish oil(capsules)or my faves, turmeric and ginger.  Back to the headaches, you can also try aromatherapy, put a few drops of eucalyptus, lavender or peppermint on a hanky and inhale. Chamomile  or lemon balm tea also help.
   For muscle aches, good old epsom salts in a tub of warm water is great.
 If you have IBS, or that kind of problem, add a couple of drops of peppermint oil to your tea or cocoa.
  I found a good list of company's that are GMO free, their site is  http://nourishedkitchen.comgmofree-food.  In case you don't want to look them up, here are a few of them: Arrowhead Mills, Eden Foods, Purity Foods, Genesoy, Earth's Best,  HealthyTimes(baby foods),  Bob's Red Mill, Whole Foods stores,  Cascadian farms, Muir glen, Nature's path and the list goes on.
  There is a fairly new product out, I find it in my vitamin catalog, Swansons, called avocado oil. If you use this in place of some of the olive oil you are used to, it protects your eyes and vision against macular degeneration, cataracts etc. It's tasty so no problem working it into your diet.
   Can hardly wait for tomorrow, sunshine and warm temps to get out and do some spring gardening,. We have had a lot of rain lately, know it's good for the ground, but this old bod could use the sun for a while. I see the red bud trees are looking pink, so will be blooming soon. Easter week makes me feel like rebirth, all things new again etc. Hope you are getting spring in your area too.
  Remember, you get one body, it's your most precious possession, so guard and care for it. Happy spring.
  One last shot, President Obama signed the bill allowing Monsanto and other growers to expand their list of GMO produced foods. This means more poison in what we eat, our government sure is not concerned about keeping us healthy, just selling medicine to us after we are sick. Somehow, that does not seem right.