Friday, January 31, 2014

Be prepared for winter's weather, great chicken recipe, other thoughts

  Winter moved in with a vengeance this last week, we were told 2 or 3 inches maybe, and when I went to bed Tuesday night, that's about what it looked like.  Wednesday morning was a shock, we got more in the night, almost 5 inches. For Tennessee that is a whopping amount, the most in many years, and the temperatures took a real drop, the coldest in 20 some years, around zero or below. SO, we woke up Thursday to no water, despite leaving the faucets dripping.  Mine came back on later in the day, not sure if my son has any yet.. He lives higher on the mountain and has more feet of water line.  We still have icy roads, no school, and snow on the ground. It will be warmer so should start melting the next day or so.  We have learned here, that being ready for strange weather and other things that affect our daily lives, is essential. I buy distilled water in gallon jugs for my floor steamer, and when they are empty, I wash them out and fill with our well water and store in my pantry. I also keep about 4 jugs of water in the back of my frig, just as a back up for drinking. I don't like using plastic for storage, but for this use, it seems to be the best way. And a lot of this is not drunk but used for washing dishes, flushing toilets etc.  I would love to have an alternate heating source, in case our power would go our for long periods, so far that has not happened. The house came with a fireplace(wood burning) but we opted to leave it out and have the floor space, dumb move. I have also learned to keep an extra few weeks of food stored in my pantry and freezer, always have beans and rice, and our summer veggies provide a lot of winter eating,  both frozen and canned.  Atlanta has had a particularly bad siege, the South is not prepared for this kind of weather.  It will be February in a few days, and another month will have us looking at spring.
  Looking at my new Mother Earth Living, they are saying the canola oil I thought was healthy is not, hmmm. Olive oil is the best choice.  Grapeseed not bad, and those who can eat coconut can use that oil for cooking. I have an allergy to it so avoid it in or on me.  The best sources of good fats are still nuts, avocados, dark chocolate, mackerel, herring etc.
  There has been a lot of talk this week about avoiding wheat. Dr. Oz had a good show on weight management, and suggested avoiding wheat. You can still have things you like,  here is a "flour" formula to use instead of wheat:  1 and 1/2 half cups sorghum or brown rice flour, 1 and 1/2 cup cornstarch, and 1 cup tapioca flour, mix together and use as you do normal flour.  There are so many options, oat flour is one too, as are amaranth,  buckwheat, barley and bean flours. Bob's Red Mill makes a lot of good organic ones, you can look that up on line. Some stores carry his products. Arrowhead Mills, Eden, just look up organic flour and see how many there are out there.
   Looking for a quick, delicious supper? Try this. In an ovenproof skillet, slice up a package of mushrooms, and slice a red onion into wedges. Put in the pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle fresh thyme over that. If you don't have fresh, use dried.  Put four chicken leg quarters on top of that,  sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and bake  at 450 degrees for about 40 minutes. This would be good with some home grown sweet potatoes and a salad.
  Here's hoping the south thaws out the next few days, it's been a much colder than normal winter here.  That followed a very wet summer, and as the temperatures go up this week end, we have rain moving in again. Wonder how this summer will shape up? Would be nice to have some rain when needed, but not so much that our crops leaves mold again. Being picky, I know, have to take what we get.  Stay warm, brew up some home made soup and grab a good book or a craft project. Hope next week finds you well and warm.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Is Big Pharma killing you? A great stain remover for your clothes

   It's a very cold morning, down to 6 last night. Woke up about 3 am to find the electricity off. Not so bad when you are in bed and can stay warm.  It was out about an hour, and came back on. This morning I was making muffins and washing clothes, by golly, power went out again.  In fact it  popped on and off several times, but seems to be staying on now. So the pumpkin muffins are baked, and the wash is drying. Here's hoping, no heat wave today, 20 maybe.
  There are 7 medicines that are purely poison to your body. If you are taking them, I hope you can get your doctor to find alternatives. Let's start with sleeping pills.  Ambien and Lunesta are particularly bad.  There are better alternatives, including melatonin, valerian, and a great one called Sleep Essentials from Swansons.  The next class is the cholesterol medicines. If you are not aware that statins cause great damage to you kidneys and liver, check them out.  Again, there are many things you can do.  My hubby took plant sterols and a couple of other herbs that worked very well, and you need to cut back your meat and dairy consumption. When I asked the man at our health food store what we could do instead of statins, he said" never eat anything that had a mother."  That may be a bit extreme, but a good choice for some..  The next category is blood pressure medicines,, like Beta blockers, and calcium blockers.  Ask your doc for safer alternatives.  Alzheimer's also has medicine with serious side effects, the worst being Arecept.  And arthritis, steer clear of NSAIDS and Celebrex types. Diabetes is the next area, they are talking on tv about people who have died or developed serious problems from actos, Avandia and metformin..  And last, chemotherapy. Of course it's going to kill good things as well as bad things. The sad part is, there is a new method that can rid you of cancer in 6 weeks with no side effects. You won't get it without a fight, as it will not garner big bucks for the pharmacies.  Big  Pharma is trying very hard to cover this up, and create a chemical to use for themselves.  Be warned, be aware, study the meds you take and know all the side effects.   All this information can be seen in greater detail at HSI. known as America's Health Underground.
  I have a couple of shirts and some sweat pants I love to wear when it's cold, but they are all kind of old and look cruddy because of stains. So I went looking for a solution. It's so simple, and it took out stains that have been there for a year or better. Just mix 4 tablespoons of peroxide to 2 tablespoons of dawn, mix well and apply. I put mine in a spray bottle, coated the stains and let them sit overnight. Gone. Amazing, cheap, simple.
  Need some easy Energy treats?  Try mixing 1 cup oatmeal,1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup ground flax,1/3 cup of honey, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Roll into balls, refrigerate. Of course use the best ingredients you can get, organic if possible.
  The sun is coming over the mountain, but it will only be in the 20's today, and except for a brief warm up to 40 on Sunday, it stays cold the whole next week.   Some where down the line, we will be wishing for some of this cool as we face those hot summer days.  Guess we all need to learn to cope with what we have at the moment without griping. I am good at gripping.  God always sends what we should have, even if we are not thinking that way. 
 Have a good week, stay warm and well, see you next time.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Trip, Changing out Plastics , Face Mask Recipe

  Hello, it's been a while. Thanks to my wonderful children, I have been visiting kids, grandkids and great grandkids from TN to NE the last month.   Weather was not wonderful for driving, rain, fog wind etc but we did it safely, and I enjoyed time with all my family, including sisters in NE.  I was having coffee in the semi dark early Christmas morning, didn't see my little 4 year old grand daughter sneak down the stairs, just heard her yell " He came, he came!" meaning Santa. Sent her to get her parents and the fun began. It's always a treat seeing little ones totally enchanted with their gifts. These are the youngest, 1 and 4 and sadly the day will come when they no longer believe. Enjoyed visiting with my grand daughter and her 2 babes in Illinois, while staying at my daughter's house. Attended her church and was warmly welcomed by her  congregation. All in all, a great time.
  Let's talk about plastic today. It would be nice if we could phase out most of them, it would be more efficient for our planet and safer for us. There are some ideas here for you to seriously consider.  You might even find yourself feeling better by dumping as many as you can. Start by removing items made with Bisphenol A and Phthalates. Why? They lead to cancer and other serious illnesses. They are found in drinking glasses, beverage cans(soda), food storage containers, and toys. These disrupt endocrine function and mess up your hormones.  Try not to use plastic dishes or straws, use glass or ceramic dishes and find paper or metal straws. Buy wood toys, not plastic, use cloth shopping bags, and cook with metal or wood utensils.  I do a lot of canning these days and find the jars great for storage, both in the freezer and the frig. Kids can drink from smaller ones,  you notice a change in taste of foods that have been stored. I have also stopped using my large thermos cup for water and gone to a tall glass one.  Easy changes.
   Beauty products are also something to watch. A lot of them have parabans added. They mimic estrogen and cause cancer.  Read labels, avoid ingredients like methylparaban, ethylparaban, prophylparaban, and butylparabans,  Phtlalates are also present in cologne, perfume, shampoos and numerous other personal products.   We widely use petroleum products, who does not have Vaseline in the house? This  lowers sperm count.  and invades kidneys, liver and lungs.  It's found in baby products, oils etc. So we are on our own to protect ourselves and our children, it comes down to reading and understanding labels.  For the most part, I make the products I use  now, from laundry detergents to bath and personal items, not hard, just takes a bit of research and time to create the product.
  So why not start by making a wonderful facial mask?   In a small bowl put 1/2 cup of steel cut organic oatmeal, or quick oats, organic if possible,  add the juice of an orange, 3 tablespoons of plain (Greek) yogurt, 2 tablespoons of raw honey, and 2 teaspoons of grated orange peel, dried.  This ingredient might be available in the stores, but I just grate the peel when I eat an orange, and put it on parchment paper in the oven, sliding it in after I have baked something and the oven is off, it dries and can be stored in a jar for future use.  Mix all this together, you want it thick enough to stick to your face.  Wash your face, and cover with mask, leave on  for 15 to 30 minutes, then rinse with warm water.  This is very moisturizing, great for these cold winter days, and the left over will keep in your frig for up to a week.
  It is January, we are having some down right chilly days, have another month till it starts looking up here, love the south. By March 1 we usually have daffodils and forsythia blooming and days warm enough to get outside and putter a bit. So I am going to start my spring cleaning, and get it done by then so I  can spend time in the great outdoors.  Hang in, stay warm, eat healthy and stay well.