Friday, August 30, 2013

BUGS in your Yogurt? Yuck! Roasted tomatoes, face cleaner etc

  If you have had your tv news on at all the last week, you would have caught the blurbs about yogurt. If you are still buying the flavored type, shame on you. And now another reason to skip them, they use bugs to get the color for the red ones, strawberry, cherry etc.  Plus you know they have as much sugar as a can of soda, or use bad stuff like aspartame.  So glad I switched to plain Greek yogurt several years ago, its so good, and I control the add ins, put strawberry's or blueberry's or honey and vanilla. Oh, another point, if you buy regular honey at the store, many of them have corn syrup added to them, did not know that til this week. Try and find local brands, they help your immune system too, could keep those allergies at bay if you eat a spoonful a day.
  My son's garden is producing a ton of cherry tomatoes, and after so much sauce, we start looking for other ways to preserve them. Yesterday, I split a cookie sheet full of them, cut in two, and mixed about 3 tablespoons of olive oil with a teaspoon of lemon juice, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a bit of fresh thyme and basil. Drizzled the oil over the tomato halves, added a touch of pink salt and put them in a 425 degree oven for 40 minutes. They do brown a little. I let them cool, and put them in containers in the freezer, they will add a great flavor to soup, stew and other dishes this winter.  While that was going on, my box of fresh mushrooms got chopped and sautéed and put in the freezer too, love having those ready for making homemade mushroom soup to add to casseroles., and for other dishes.
  Let's create a natural first aid kit.  Here are the items to stock:
Bandages, various sizes
Vitamin E capsules or oil
Tea tree oil(Walmart has)
Lavender oil
A potted Aloe plant
Unprocessed Honey
Ginger capsules( I keep fresh Ginger root, grated , in the freezer)
Peppermint tea
Baking soda
  And what do I do with these? If you get a kitchen burn, run cold water over it at once, for 10 minutes or more. Then grab an aloe leaf, or a bit of the vitamin E. My daughter badly burned her face when she was young, we took her to the hospital where they treated the burn with salt water, it made it hurt so much worse, I went down the street and bought vitamin E caps and squeezed them all over her face. At first the doc was mad at me, but as he watched her heal with little scarring, he became convinced  that they worked better than salt water. Ok, on to minor cuts, not needing stitches, wash with soap and water after you have stopped the bleeding with pressure,  use the tea tree or lavender oil to disinfect, and bandage.  Stomachache  -- try ginger tee, or peppermint. If you have gall bladder problems, enteric coated peppermint oil capsules  will sooth that and indigestion as well. I also keep DGL(de glcerized chewable Licorice) caps on hand, they work wonders. Tried Tums etc, but even those all have an effect on your body if used long term.  If you are stressed, try rubbing your temples with lavender oil. There are also herbs, like Ashwaganda, gensing, valerian root that help you stay calm. And the soda is for grease fires in the kitchen, or adding to your  bath water. Mine is mixed with Epsom salts and lavender oil for bathing, very relaxing.
  Want a gentle, effective facial cleanse, sans chemicals and additives? And cheap  too?  Try this. Put a cup of soy, rice, almond etc milk in your food processor, with 1/2 cup of whole oats and a tablespoon of raw honey. Blend well. Store in clean jar in refrigerator. To use, put small amount in the palm of your hand and gently massage into your face. Rinse well.
 Watching the leaves on the maple tree turn red, seems early. Also sweeping lots of leaves off the porch lately. The pears are getting ripe so will be time for pear butter and canning soon.  Not a fan of winter, hope this is not telling us it will be a long, cold one. We are having some very humid weather now, but next week looks good, only upper 70's and dryer.
 Hope you are enjoying your days, take care, stay well.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Heal yourself with diet

  Quite a few years ago, one of our children, a baby we adopted , was quite ill with a blood problem.  We moved to a small acreage in the country, planted a very large garden and learned to eat natural foods.  We dumped the sugar totally, used honey, and bought wheat from farmers that didn't use chemicals on their farms. We ground it and made bread from scratch. All our fruits and vegetables were home grown.  We bought goat milk for the sick child, and used it for ice cream and baked goods. From this venture, we found out a lot of things. None of us had a cold, or flu etc for all the years we ate this way. Sugar, is like poison in your system, leaving you open for  all kinds of illnesses. Oh, I know, what good is life if you can't eat what you like. But what good is life if you are sick from doing just that? As we get older, our body's  work less well and we need to protect ourselves from aches, pains, cancer etc. 
  Yesterday for the first time in a long while, I watched Dr. Oz.  Because my favorite doc was on the show, Dr. Andrew Weil.  He was a regular medical doctor at one point, but became aware that the meds he was handing out did not cure anything, and often added more problems. So he has traveled around the world, finding cures for illnesses, not just band aids.  We are an impatient people, who go to our doctors with a problem and ask for a pill to instantly make what ever is wrong better. Fact is, those pills just mask symptoms and often cause another problem, thus another medicine. Like ripples in a pond where you toss a pebble, it goes on and on. And you don't feel better.
 Again, Dr. Weil stressed that almost all illness is caused by inflammation in the body. And inflammation comes from diet. Processed foods and trans-fats are the worst offenders.
 Here are 5 rules to get you back on track and help yourself to glowing health.
 1. Be sure you eat  5 to 7 vegetables and fruits a day, the brighter the color, the more anti oxidants.
 2. Eat only whole or cracked grains,  no chips, crackers or cookies  unless they are 100% whole grain. Those white ones with all the fat and ickies in them cause sugar spikes. Eat 3 to 5 servings of whole grain per day.
 3. Oils . Good oils are like olive oil, nuts,  avocados. The Mediterranean diet is the best one to follow.
4 . Sea food.  Black cod is best, but I sure never saw that in any store.  Look for good quality salmon or tuna, the safe ones.
 5. Herbs and Spices. These are truly wonder foods, that help your body heal many problems. Some to try and use on a regular basis are rosemary, basil, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and ginger.  People who eat these have the lowest rate of Alzheimer's.
 Now a recipe, for soup that will help heal aches and pains. Its made with cauliflower. Dr. Weil uses yellow, but I have not seen that in the store. Regular will work. In your food processor, put 1/2 cup of raw cashews, and 1 cup of cold water, blend until creamy and smooth. In a skillet, sauté a sliced onion in olive oil until caramelized.  In a pot,  put your chopped up head of cauliflower,  add 1 Tablespoon each of turmeric and curry powder. 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and cumin, a touch of salt. Cover with water and simmer until soft. Add a small pinch of organic sugar.  Then with an immersion blender, blend until smooth, add the cashew milk, blend again, and serve with the onions on top.  I don't have an immersion blender, use my Magic Bullet and get the job done, you can always just work with what you have some way or another.
  A new secret elixir for pain is sea buckthorn, interesting fruit, ages old in other countries, but just now becoming known here. Again we are behind in natural helpers.
 It's been a difficult week here on the mountain, my lovely daughter in law became very ill last Thursday and ended up in the CCU at the hospital. She is home now, but still weak and tired and trying to recover from this serious illness.  Will be so glad to see her on her feet, her old smiling self again, hope it's not a long time coming, take care dear one, want you better.
  Some of the Maple trees have a few red leaves already. I took out a good share of the garden last week, the constant rains caused leaf mold on a lot of the squash and big leafed plants. Still have okra, tomato and pepper plants, and of course herbs. School has started, which always makes it seem that fall is near,  and sadly winter follows. At least the winters here are not as cold as the Midwest ones I grew up with. 
 Hope you have had a good week, please listen to your body, feed it nourishing food and feel better. We are the most overfed, under nourished country in the world. Looking at the grocery store products you can see why, most of our foods are over processed and not healthy.  Try cooking from scratch with real food, your body will love it. Til next time, take care.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Taking back a recipe, news on soda and new recipes

  First, I gave you a recipe for bubble bath a few weeks back. Don't make it. It doesn't bubble. I will keep looking for a better recipe.
  On the GMA news this week, Pepsi and other soda brands are trying to resell customers on the safety of Aspartame. Sales are down and they are worried. Well, they should be. You are finally aware that Aspartame is as good as drinking poison. If they want your business, company's need to learn to make products that don't add to weight gain, and don't kill you off at the same time.  We have put up with poor quality stuff for far too long.  Regain your health, read labels, be aware of what you put in your body, it does matter.  You really are what you eat.  If you make it a habit to eat things that do only something good for your body, you will get rid of a lot of your health issues.
   There is a new ingredient to add to your "I won't use this" list.  It is Brominated vegetable oil. It's in sweetened drinks, sodas, PowerAde, Mountain Dew etc. Studies now show that using over a period of time causes skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders.  While I am on this subject,  NIH researchers that studied 264,000 drinkers of soda found that it makes you 30% more likely to depression, and  other sweet drinks are worse .The link seems to be the sugar.
  Recipe for a healthy wrap.
 There is a company called  Once Again that makes organic, safe products.  Their peanut butter and honey are used in this recipe.
 Start with a whole wheat  tortilla. Spread it with peanut or almond butter. Drizzle the honey over that. Then mix  1 tbsp. mayo, 1 tsp orange juice, 2/3 cup small dice apple, 6 grapes, quartered, 1tbsp raisins and 1 tbsp. chopped almonds, or nuts, stir and put in center of wrap, roll up and enjoy.  Bet even the small ones in the family would like that. 
   How about new uses for old stuff, lets do Olive Oil today.
  Makes a great furniture polish, mix 1/4 cup olive oil with 4 tbsp. vinegar and 2 tsp lemon juice, spray on rag and dust away.  Got a stuck zipper? Try rubbing a bit of oil on it. Oil your squeaky hinges on doors and cupboards with a drop or two. Use to help remove residue from labels on objects.  Helps shine your shoes, just rub in and buff. Great for your skin and hair,  just rub in a little either place and leave on. Guys, if you run out of shaving cream, use a little oil instead, leaves your skin silky. And of course, use it on your salads, its good for you.
   Saw an ad for a book this week, some of the tips were interesting, if you have mice, put peppermint oil on a cotton ball and leave it where  the mice are, they hate it and will leave., Also, if you have ants around your pet bowls, draw a line with chalk around the area, ants will not cross chalk.
 My lovely daughter in law got really sick yesterday, her BP shot way up, she has had a rough day or two. Just got a call from my son saying they had her pressure down, and she is doing better, but will need meds to control it.  Hope we can keep her in our prayers and avoid a repeat, she will need some recovery time and a lot of prayers and good wishes.
  This week brought some really refreshing cool temperatures, in the 50's a couple of nights, really felt good. Some of the leaves on the maples are already turning red and if we have a little breeze, leaves are swirling and falling. Hope this isn't an indication of an early winter, and a cold one, some folk are saying they are seeing big fuzzy caterpillars already.
  Hope you have a good week, do something healthy for yourself, take care and stay well.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Want Cancer? Arthritis? Heart disease? Aches and Pains? Try these

 Today I am going to tell you about 10 things in our "advanced" world that cause nothing but grief.  There would be a lot fewer people that don't feel well if these were avoided.
1. Phthalates.  These are endocrine disrupting  chemicals that cause breast cancer, and they are mostly found  in PVC pipes,  if you are building a home, avoid those. And in your kitchen, use glass containers for storage, as they are much safer.
2. BPA's  These are also endocrine disrupters,  causing cancer and heart disease. Found in the white lining of cans(are you still buying processed foods?) bottles that you get water in, and other plastic containers. Look for unlined cans if you must buy them. Avoid bottled water, just filter your tap water
3.Chlorine.  Of course this is mostly in your drinking water, or maybe the pools you swim in.  Use a filter at home that removes as much as possible, but don't go to bottled water.  This item causes bladder, colon and rectal cancer.
4.Radon. This gas seeps into your house from the ground, there are test kits you can get to determine the level in your home. Radon causes lung cancer.
5.PFC's. (perflourochemicals) These are found on stain resistant clothing upholstery, pans, and fast food wrappers. Also microwave popcorn bags. Some brands to watch out for are Teflon, Scothguard,  Stain Master and Gortex. They cause liver and thyroid problems.
6. Lead. Mostly this is in paint in old houses, and older plumbing, hopefully we are not having a lot of that to deal with now.  It causes headaches, joint pain, high blood pressure, is a neurotoxin.
7.Pesticides and Fertilizer. Don't use these in your yard or garden, find alternative ways to cope, they are out there and effective.
8.Formaldehyde. This one I know about, caused me a lot of grief. Rash called Lichenplanus for years until my parents finally figured out what was causing it. It is found in building materials, and used to be in new shoes, and clothing was treated with it. Also a lot of wood used in building, and  melamine dishes etc. Causes brain cancer and leukemia.
9.Parabens. This is a preservative used in cosmetics, shampoos, personal products, and medicine. Read labels carefully find ones that don't have this. It mimics estrogen and causes breast cancer.
10. PBDE(polybromatediphenol ether) and PBB(polybromatedbiphenols) This is used in foam cushions, electronics and textiles. It alters brain function, reproduction,  and causes learning and behavioral problems.
 You can get more information on any of these substances at sites for EPA, American Lung association, or Breast cancer site. Take them seriously.  This is one of the reasons my home has become free of store bought cleaners, bath products, laundry soaps etc. I have found recipes to make every thing I need on line, from Green source sites. Mostly using really cheap stuff like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils,  no need to buy anything toxic, and the time it takes to make these items is short,  I even got rid of the green mold on the north side of my house by spraying it with vinegar and soda in water, leaving it on and letting the rain wash off all the green gunk. If you go back through my past blogs, you will find recipes and websites for almost anything you need. I even make my own face creams and toners, slaves , lotions, lip balms etc.
  Had an interesting oil change visit this last week, was reading a magazine when the head guy came in with my air filter, and asked if I crochet or knit. I don't, but he showed me a nest of green yarn in the air filter, and mega mouse droppings also, seems  someone decided to live there.  Hope they have been displaced.
 The mountain is gorgeous with Crepe Myrtle trees, so many colors, from white to pink, purple and red.  We have  has been a very wet summer,  less rain lately, and need to water a bit more, but that's ok, we need some sun and dry for a change. Seems the rain is now in other parts of the states, causing flooding.  We do seem to go from one extreme to the other. Have a good week, look for healthy choices, feel better.

Friday, August 2, 2013

WARNING! Vitamin water and Tylenol. Plus thoughts and recipes

  The news on GMA this morning included a warning for those who take Tylenol type products, in extra strength doses. It can cause blistering and rashes that can be fatal, which takes us back to the fact that no medicine, be it prescription or OTC is without side effects. I laugh when I listen to ads on tv that give all the side effects at the end, why on earth would you take things that cause so many other problems?  Going holistic or alternative is a much safer way to treat your body. If you can find and fix the root of the problem, you are so much better off. A lot of foreign countries go this way, learning to treat the whole person, and not a symptom. We are far behind in this country.
  The second warning was on Pepsi's Vitamin Water, it has as much sugar as 8 lollypops per bottle, of course you get energy, a real sugar high. Pepsi is being hit with false labeling on this item. Most of you are aware that pop and bottled water is not only not good for you, but not safe for your health. My favorite way to hydrate is plain water, and I am lucky to have water that comes from a 400 foot deep well, into a mountain spring, so no chlorine, fluoride or chemicals are in it. If I want it flavored, I do it the easy way, just put a flavored tea bag in my glass, let it set a few minutes then add ice. Lipton has a White tea with peach and mango that is wonderful, and I get organic tea from Swanson in ginger, peppermint and chamomile.  Quick, tasty and good for ya. Put a filter on your faucet or water system and your water is better than any in a bottle, which is just someone else's tap water.
  One of my vices is a long soak in my big spa tub once a week, and I love bubble bath. Have a recipe for you to try.  In a container, put 1 and 1/2 cups liquid castile soap(Swanson has this at good prices) 2 Tablespoons liquid glycerin, 1/2 teaspoon organic sugar, and 5 to 15 drops of essential oil of your choice. Shake and add to bath, not all of course, just a little. I keep lavender, rose, citrus etc oils on hand and make what smells nice to me, rose and lavender are my favorites.
  Foods can be healing, ran across some great ideas in a new magazine last week. If you have achy muscles, try adding a good quality olive oil to your daily diet. It has a similar effect to Ibuprofen, without side effects.  3 and 1/2 Tbsp taken throughout the day will help, add to salad, or use in place of butter on veggies.
  If you are fighting bloat, try good old chamomile tea, it improves your digestion and soothes a bloated stomach. Look for an all chamomile one, no mixed blends.
  When you are stressed, you retain more salt and water, a cup of hot tea can help control this problem plus the bloating.
  Need an afternoon pick me up? Find a brand of crackers that  lists 100% whole grain as the first ingredient. Have about 8 of them with a good cheese on top. It helps your serotonin level and is only about 200 calories,
  Headache? Watermelon to the rescue.  This fruit gets key nutrients to your brain, and keeps you hydrated.  It's natural sugar fuels your brain cells and makes you more alert.
  If you are looking for things that improve  your looks, try foods high in vitamin C, like oranges, kale, strawberries,  broccoli, red peppers,  they all help your body make collagen, and that keeps your skin plump and elastic.
 We continue to have rain, but not as much at a time as before. The garden is winding down to some extent, needs more sun and less rain. The squash vines have pretty much molded. Been cutting back all the icky leaves.  Right now the Crepe Myrtle trees are in bloom. They range in color from white to pink to fuchsia and red,  lots of pretty colors.  We seem to have something in bloom most of the summer, starting in March and on into fall. Speaking of fall, school started here yesterday, have to get used to the sound of the school bus wending it's way up our mountain road every morning about 7:20 am. This is kind of a herald of end of summer, it has really gone fast. Been an odd year, my son has found quite a few copperheads as he worked in the yard. Some are really fat, have had good eats obviously.
  The tomato fields in our area are being harvested. Which is what started this blog. I wondered why they were picked green. It's because they would rot in shipping if they were ripe. So they are picked green and ripened in an ethylene gas chamber. then they are processed and canned in white lined cans containing BTU's, so you are getting a double dose of poison.  There are some organic brands that are safer, and omit the lined cans, but if you can get fresh ones you are better off. I am blessed that we can grow so much of what we eat these days, and we have friends at church that way over produce and share their bounty with us. We all kind of swap if we have more than we need.
  Have a good week, enjoy as much summer produce as you can, it will be gone soon and we will be back to imported stuff. Take care, stay well.