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Wrapping it Up:  November

The year is just flying by!  I can hardly believe that December is upon us bringing with it the end of 2015!  My oldest son will be turning 17 and I will be....um....well, older than I was last year!

My Writing World

It's PiBoIdMo 2015- have you signed up??

This was the month of PiBoIdMo - the month where aspiring picture book writers check in with Tara Lazar's posts on her blog to see the day's guest writer's post to find inspiration on our craft and attempt to come up with at least 30 ideas for a picture book.  You can check out my posts about the month starting with this one and ending with this one with a few in-between.  Other than reaching most of my much smaller goals for PiBoIdMo this month (I didn't actually get to work on a manuscript), I did get a few other blog posts out and thus have done better than the last few months.  But I really need to figure out a way to work on some manuscripts.  Sigh.  In time, I guess.  If you want to check out some of the other blog posts, here they are:

My Commonplace Book - this is something that I hope will also improve my writing skills; it will certainly lead to more writing topics!

Peaceful Reflections

Book Review Wednesday: Ishtar's Odyssey - finally- the first book review I've done in ages! Hopefully I will get back to at least doing one a month....fingers crossed!

Year One Homeschooling & Orthodoxy

Foster The Good (actually posted at the end of October)

My Book World

Photo by Kregel Publications
Photo by Kregel Publications

It's been a slow month for reading.  I really haven't been doing much of it at all.  I didmanage to complete For The Children's Sake and worked here and there on The Living Page.  And, if you've followed, I read all of Ishtar's Odyssey in time to do the blog post for Kregal Publications.  It wasn't my favorite book by Arnold Ytreede, but still a quality book for family reading during the advent season.

 

 

 

Our Parenting/Homeschool World

This has also been a slow month for completion of homeschooling.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I have determined that it's okay to stretch out a week of schooling (according to the Ambleside Online 'curriculum' that I'm using) into two or more weeks...but I'm not okay with days going by in which we don't do much of anything for school.  Unfortunately there were a few stretches like that this month.  I don't necessarily think that was a bad thing, but I don't want it to turn into habit.  SO - I just need to juggle this around in my head and figure out how to still get a half hour or hour of school into most of our days, even when really busy.

I've also been thinking over twaddle vs. living books as I mentioned in some of my PiBoIdMo posts (yes, even my Writing World intersects with our Homeschooling World).  I'm thinking more and more these days while there can be a huge difference between twaddle and living books, there can also be some overlap.  What's more- perhaps rather than focusing on eliminating 'twaddle' completely, it's just more important to make sure that better quality Living Books make up the majority of your child's reading time.

Homeschooling aside, I've struggled with parenting in general. Nothing surprising. We ALL struggle when it comes to a method of how to get our children to be obedient without killing their spirit or doing it in a non-loving manner.  My son is struggling with following directions without doing his 'growling' thing or actually attempting to push me or protesting by putting his face right in mine with the dirtiest face a five year old can give.  We read recently, my husband and I, Peaceful Parents Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham.  We believe entirely in her theory but putting it into practice isn't always easy.  His behaviors definitely push my buttons whether I recognize his need for guidance in how to display feelings or not and , well, it's a challenge.  So we are working on that. This afternoon was a difficult task - telling him no, he can not go to the neighbor's house as his behavior after church was not of the quality to earn privileges such as that.  While it was difficult, it was manageable, but only because I was able to prepare myself for it.  I knew , getting into the car at church, exactly what was going to happen when we got home and I had 20 minutes to prepare my own set of mind for carrying through.  It's not so easy when a situation presents itself necessitating an immediate response when we are needing to go somewhere or get a list of things done in a short amount of time.  Those cases don't always go the way  I'd like. But I'm sure I'm not the only one in that boat, am I?

Our Food and Health World

My husband continues his health goals in losing weight and becoming more conditioned. doing-the-w30-fb-cover-660x244Have I mentioned since doing the Whole30 during Lent this past year and sticking to a paleo eating style (at least 95% of the time) he has lost over 100 pounds?  The man is amazing as far as I'm concerned!  While I used to be the one doing the attempts at motivation, he is the one trying to motivate me to start exercising now....sigh... the vision is there....finding the time to do it and everything else needs some work!  I'm at least starting to walk a bit more again...if only I can figure out how to keep it up during the winter!  I have a HUGE aversion to cold weather!

This month we started the Nativity fast that is practiced by Orthodox Christians. I'll admit, we've never been ones to follow the nativity fast as well as we do the Great Lent fast.  But this year, my husband decided he wanted to do another Whole30 for the fast.  While my love for sugar was reluctant, I assented to his wish....well, for the most part.  He's doing a whole30 which I help with by keeping completely compliant for the meals (with a few minor exceptions on Thanksgiving) and I'm doing my own modified whole30- while not whole30 approved, is certainly a step up for me as I remain about 95% paleo,  I'm not adding sugar to my teas, keeping my meals whole30 compliant, sticking to non-processed snacks for the most part (at least at home) and attempting to increase my water intake.  And I'm doing my best to keep Wednesdays and Thursdays as days we not only observe the Whole30 rules, but stick to abstinence of meat products as well in accordance to the Orthodox fasting rules.

Our Faith World

Again, the nativity season is upon us.  I'm trying hard to keep up with my morning bible time, adding an Orthodox Advent Study to my materials. I purchased this last year through Sylvia Leontaritis at Orthodoxmom.com.  Unfortunately, I never got past the first week last year.  This year is still a struggle to keep up but I am sticking with it thus far.  I have actually learned a few extra things about the Theotokos I hadn't known before and I always like reading passages from the Old Testament that were prophecies of the birth of Christ.

We were disappointed to know that my husband has been scheduled to work both the nights of Christmas Even AND the night of Christmas Day.  He will be forced into missing both church services.  It's a struggle to not want to pout and think ill thoughts of those in charge of his schedule....  but we are trying to stay positive and be grateful he has a job and, really, other than church - which is of course the most important part of celebrating the holy day- we can do the other celebrations any time...and have planned to do just that.  Yes, Santa is such a NICE man, that he's decided to wait a few days to visit- so we can all open presents together....  cool dude, isn't he?

Other Parts of My World

Hmmm....what haven't I covered?  My son's girlfriend came up from Florida for a few days and visited.  She was able to watch him in one of his last football games of the season.  It was really nice to have her here.  Of course, it was really sad to watch his sadness in the days following her trip back home.  But they are able to at least count the days to the next visit which isn't terribly far off...though I'm sure it seems a terribly long time to them.

Thanksgiving was spent here at home as it usually is.  We had a quiet day- my husband  worked the night before so he slept for a number of hours during the day after he came home and prepped the turkey and chicken (long story that one).  The kids and I lounged in the living room watching the parade and dog show.  It was nice that I didn't have much cooking to do since I was inspired to do the majority of it the day before.  THIS is something that I plan on doing again!  I was sooooo thankful for a low stress day on Thanksgiving!

The days continue to get shorter and a bit colder though I can't complain about temperature just yet, especially for October.  And we've found an excellent 'handy man' to help us with cleaning gutters and other household/outside tasks that makes prepping for season changes all the  more easier.  We also installed a new pellet furnace in the basement and a pellet stove insert into our fireplace.  Between the two, we expect our electric bill and the hassles of last year's woodstove to be a thing of the past.  Time will tell but we are hopeful and feeling warmer already.

It's now 4:08 in the afternoon as I write this and I can see the color changes of the sky in the west already. This indicates to me as the day is nearing an end that I really should be thinking about ending this post and starting the evening meal.  So, until next time- take care and drop in and say hi sometime!

What did you do during November?

It's that time of year!

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

No, sorry..... while it IS the season of pretty autumn leaves (if you live in the part of the country that  has the pretty autumn leaves), pumpkin recipes, and hay rides,  it is also the beginning of Cold & Flu Season.   ICK.

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

This is my third year of blogging about the Cold and Flu season.  Most of what you find here are repeats of my earlier posts from 2013 and 2014, but is revised and updated.  All are methods I truly believe in and what I use in my household.  Just as my Disclosure Page states, " I am not a medical doctor nor do I hold a medical license of any kind.  I am simply sharing with you my food and health story and the information I have found in my research using a variety of sources."

In addition to researching and learning a great deal about horrible ingredients in our food

Photo By Codesign / Pixabay
Photo By Codesign / Pixabay

a number of years ago, my family learned a great deal about conventional medicine vs. natural medicine.  We learned how to build our immune system with the natural ingredients we use in our daily meals.  We learned about wholesome natural supplements.  We learned about homeopathy.

We are no longer supporters of vaccines and other conventional means of preventing or treating illness. I firmly believe, after doing my own extensive research including reading various books and  articles as well as speaking with others with various degrees and experiences, that the conventional 'preventatives' and  'treatments' cause more harm than good.  Now that doesn't mean we don't support conventional medicine at all.  It has its place, especially in emergent situations.  But my main point is this: There are natural methods to prevent and treat illness that do not contain the harmful chemicals laden in conventional methods . These chemicals  actually harm our immune systems and cause disease.  Therefore, this post is about  natural remedies for treatment of colds, flu and other seasonal or viral illnesses.* The first thing,of course, is to remember that food plays an integral role in your health.  If you are eating junk, your body will act like you are eating junk.  If you are eating good quality whole foods, your body will thank you and your chances of getting sick are greatly lessened (NOT impossible, but greatly lessened).  If you do get sick, chances are the illness will be much shorter in duration and less severe.  I, myself, can boast that though I was constantly ill with strep throat and ear infections through most of my childhood and early adulthood, I have not dealt with these illnesses for the past 9 years!  Strep was something I would often contract at least 4 times each fall and winter and several times during the rest of the year.  This dramatic change in my immune system is not short of amazing.

The second thing to remember is that while food does play an integral role, other factors such as being tired and run down,  spending time in areas where people are sick, or working in an environment harmful to your immune system  causes a depletion in your immune system and you will need to do some extra things to help your body prevent illness. You must learn how to manage your stress. You must sleep well. Sleep is vital.  Washing your hands when coming into contact with the public is important. Boosting your immunity with extra supplements when you know you'll be around others with viral illnesses is a good idea. Some of these supplements such as probiotics, vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and Elderberry Syrup used throughout the season can give your immune system an extra boost.  Avoiding environmental situations (polluted air, use of chemicals on surfaces - even harmful cleaning chemicals, etc.) that are harmful would be a good idea as well - though not always possible - but certainly a good idea.

But what can you do if you do get the flu?? Or a cold or other virus??

  • First and foremost:  REST as much as possible.  I know all too well that sometimes life just doesn't give us this option but it is the most important thing to do if you can.  Taking one day off work may prevent you from missing an entire week later. Sleep as much as you are able and resist doing any work that you can avoid (It's okay to let the laundry go one more day and no, you don't HAVE to stay up and watch Criminal Minds with your kids....oh, wait....sorry...a little self-talk there...)
  • Wash your hands OFTEN.  Avoid using antibacterial soaps as there is no real evidence that these products are any better at killing germs than regular soap and warm water.  Some of these chemicals are actually harmful to health. In fact, these products contain one such chemical called triclosan which actually has caused an alteration in hormone regulation in animal studies and is a known endocrine disruptor (it is actually supposed to be removed from soaps by 2016....we'll see!)
  • Eliminate sugar from your diet.  Sugar wreaks havoc on the immune system! This includes fruit juice too!  It is best to get your vitamin C from food in it's natural form or a very good supplement.
  • Eliminate Dairy while you are sick.  Dairy promotes the formation of mucous.  Therefore, it is beneficial to avoid during illness, especially, for those children or adults who get a lot of ear infections (or sinus issues) due to blocked eustachian tubes from the congestion.
  • Eliminate caffeine while you are sick.  Stimulants suppress your immune system.
  • Avoid omega 6 vegetable oils which also suppress the immune system(canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil and soybean oils).  These oils are not beneficial to your health at any time but especially when ill.  Your best oils to use are coconut, olive, avocado and palm oils.  Coconut oil is my primary oil I use in cooking and baking .
  • Vitamin C!  Make sure the vitamin C you select contains a large supply of bioflavanoids.  This indicates the vitamin is coming from natural sources.  Large doses are a must for treatment.  The vitamin C protocol given to me by a naturopath was to take 1-2 grams (1000-2000 mgs).  Follow this with 1000 more after an hour.  Continue this until your bowels have reached intolerance level(meaning loose stools) because only then will you know that you have enough vitamin C in your body to fight the illness.  The following day you are to take two less than what it took you to reach intolerance level.  Continue for as many days as you have symptoms.  For example, if it takes you 5 grams to reach intolerance, then for the next few days you would take 3 grams.  Each person is different and each occasion of illness will be different for the amount needed.  You can easily Google "Vitamin C Tolerance" online and read more about it.
  • Vitamin D3 -  Vitamin D3 is essential for your immune system.  Our family takes this all through the fall and winter months into early spring(adults take about 2-4 grams a day).  We take extra when experiencing any symptoms of illness.
  • Keep your sinuses clean!  You can do this with a neti pot or you can put some sea salt and baking soda(no more than an 1/8 tsp each) in your hand mixed with a bit of water and sniff through your nostrils.  The neti pot is easier. A Xylitol nasal wash is anti-bacterial and can fight bacteria in the sinus cavities and prevent secondary infections.
  • Take a hot bath for 20-30 minutes with 1-2 cups of Epsom Salt.  This pulls out inflammation and will decrease muscle soreness and joint pain.  Do not let yourself get chilled.
  • Drink PLENTY of water!! Make sure you are drinking at least half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 100 lbs., you'd drink at least 50 ounces.
  • Add lemon to your water.  See last year's post on lemons!
  • Tea - Traditional Medicinals makes great teas for boosting your immune system and easing symptoms when ill as does the Yogi Tea brand (herbal teas have antibacterial and antiviral action).
  • Make your own yummy 'tea' to have on hand.  Fill a mason jar (any size) with sliced lemons and ginger.  Layer the lemons so that they are at an angle, allowing there to be space in the jar.  Slice up some fresh ginger, placing nice thin pieces among the lemon slices.  Now pour some nice RAW honey over the lemons and ginger until the jar is full.  Place in refrigerator for safe keeping.  When needed for sore throats or to soothe a cough, place 2 heaping spoonfuls  (you may vary the amount) in a cup of hot water, stir to dissolve and drink.  I try to keep a jar or two of this in the back of the fridge through the late fall and winter so I have it already on hand when feeling under the weather.
  • Drink HOMEMADE chicken broth, beef broth, turkey broth, onion soup or miso soup.(the store bought variety has neorotoxins added and other artificial ingredients that create havoc in your body - not something you need anytime let alone when you are sick).  Store some bones from leftover chicken in the freezer.  You don't need a super great recipe for emergency chicken broth.  Just throw the bones in with some water and let simmer on the stove for a few hours.  There are plenty of great recipes out there though.  I usually put 3 lbs worth of chicken bones in a crock pot or Instant Pot with some other things and freeze whatever I don't use to have on hand for soups and illness. We actually drink our broth on a regular basis throughout the season and other times of the year.
  • Eat lightly.  Heavy meals slow your digestion and interferes with the body's ability to fight off illness.
  • Add onion and garlic to your foods!  These are wonderful for the immune system!! (throwing an onion into that chicken broth would be great!)
  • Elderberries....in whatever form you can find them 😉  See last year's post on this!
  • Put on clean pajamas every day.
  • Change the sheets on your bed when you are better.  If you know someone that will do this for you while you are sick, that would be great too - but don't over assert yourself to do it.
  • Brush your teeth....OFTEN!! It is recommended to brush 5-10 times a day.  Your mouth is where the bacteria like to hang out and this is a good way to get them out of there!  Change your toothbrush as soon as you are better!  This is not something I ever thought of before seeing a homeopath that recommended it.  It makes a LOT of sense though, doesn't it?
  • Keep a window open slightly to allow fresh air in or at least run a ceiling fan to circulate the stale air.
  • Use a Humidifier.
  • Gargle with raw apple cider vinegar.  You can just use vinegar or you can add it to warm salt water.
  • Remember there is a purpose for a fever.  As long as your fever is under 103 degrees, there is no need for alarm or to treat it.  A fever is the body's way of fighting the illness. Even for my child, I do not instantly treat a fever unless it seems to be causing distress (and is under 103).  Sometimes I will give something for fever at night only to ease sleep.  Rest is important!
  • Probiotics can also reduce cold symptoms when used as a preventative, so if you do not take in probiotics on a regular basis, now is a good time start. There are probiotics in supplement form, of course, but can also be gotten through foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha.
  • Continue taking extra rest and doing extra things to boost your immune system for at least three days after symptoms fade.

Homeopathic Remedies:  (I LOVE homeopathy!!)

  • Oscillococcinum -  We keep Oscillo around the house all the time.  My DH even takes it in his bag to work with him because it works best if you take it at the absolute moment you start experiencing symptoms.  Just follow the instructions on the label.  Try not to have anything in your mouth for 5-10 minutes before or after as that could interfere with the remedy's ability to perform well.  If you miss the first symptoms or don't get a chance to take the Oscillo within a few hours of onset, it most likely will not work as well.
  • Ferrum Phos 6x - This is for feverish flu symptoms that make you feel run down and cranky.  Most likely  you have sniffles and a snore throat.  Follow the instructions on the label.
  • Please note that homeopathy works best for these illnesses when taken as soon as the symptoms are noticed.  There are a lot more homeopathic remedies that work for cold and flu symptoms. However, homeopathy works best when you have a practitioner that knows you and how your body reacts to particular stressors and illnesses to find the perfect remedy for you.  I urge you to find a homeopath or naturopathic doctor if you are able.  If not, the two remedies mentioned above are the best for general symptoms.

Other Products for Immunity

Have a few of these products on hand so that you have something when needed and can figure out what works for you.  Remember everyone is different and your body may not respond as well to something that works really well for someone else.

Do you have other natural remedies to share?

Hopefully this flu season finds you healthy and smiling!!

* I am not claiming to be a health practitioner.  I am not a medical doctor, conventional, homeopathic  or naturopathic.  I am simply sharing with you what I have learned in my research from various sources.

 

Wrapping It Up:  September

2015-09-24 12.39.22

I've been able to get a few extra  stolen moments downstairs in my "office" to try to get out a few posts this month.  I  would love to say this is my new habit but I have no idea what each day or week to come will hold for me so I'm just taking it one day at a time....and hoping for the best- whatever that may be.

My Writing World

It's been sparse but it has occurred, at least in my blogging world.  I haven't touched a manuscript, though they still linger in the back of my mind.  I haven't conversed with any of my writing critique friends either and that does weigh heavily on my mind.  But I'm ...continue reading "September Wrap Up"

 

Photo By Pixabay
Photo By Pixabay

 

Wrapping It Up  

March 

March has been a busy month and honestly, I almost forgot to do my wrap up post!  I was so excited that I found the time to write a post last night and was working on getting time to work on another upcoming post, that it almost slipped my mind that my monthly wrap-up was due!  I haven't written much, I know, but I do want to touch base with you all and ask how the rest of you faired this month?

My Writing World

Well, for those of you that follow the blog, you know the blogging part of my writing world isn't all that much these days.  I've kept up with my Sunday posts but that's almost all I've done.  My manuscripts have suffered with even less time.  I didn't even send anything in for critiques this month, but am currently working on something for April. I didn't get my two days away last month for writing (I used them for some spiritual reflection instead) but am in the middle of that two day get away for March right now.  So that's why I had time to do the extra post on food (see below)the other day, the one on reading aloud to your child and am able to write this one now.

My Book World

Here I've kept busy!  In the area of fiction, I finished up A Prayer For Owen Meany.  I'm not sure how I feel about the book.  I didn't love it but I didn't hate it all either.  It was a good read and certainly different from my regular genre which was a nice change of pace.  ...continue reading "March Wrap Up"

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I pay way too much attention to Facebook stuff.....  I tell myself I'm going to start 'unfriending' the people I was never really good friends with and 'unfollow' the pages I liked quite some time ago but really don't serve me so I can just focus on the people I really want to get to know and stay in touch with and get some good information from the really good blog pages.....but....

So the other day I found myself glancing down the feed and came upon a title that hit a nerve.  I'm not even going to post the name of it here or the author or who posted it.  Because, frankly, I don't want to waste YOUR time reading the ridiculous post like I did. Let's just suffice it to say the person, because this person is still suffering from her illness, is trying to tell people that diet does not cure.

Photo By Pixabay
Photo By Pixabay

If any of you have ever read my blog post titled, Our Food Story, you may know just how well this set with me. It didn't.  At first I was aggravated and then really  kind of angry: the nerve!  But I thought about it.  And really, I feel bad for this person.  It's obviously someone who has and is really suffering and is obviously hurting and frustrated.  I get that. Illness isn't fun.  But it CAN be cured by diet.  And to say that it can't be?  Well that  just sends the wrong message to people and convinces some not to even try. And that, I think, is a HUGE disservice to our fellow sufferers.  I'm sure this person has tried several approaches, but just because he or she didn't find one that worked for them, does NOT mean diet can't do the trick.

She also tried to defame someone who  lost her life in the struggle of illness simply because a natural method didn't work for her - but of course not seeing the connection between what the conventional methods this person FIRST tried might have had on their ability to beat the illness with other methods. The unfortunate death of a fellow being attempting natural methods to cure an illness or at least prolong their life is not a sign that natural methods don't work.  I mean really?  How many people have died after undergoing chemothereapy? Yet, 'science' still says it works.  And while I think chemotherapy is awful and not the best choice available, I won't get on my soapbox and say it doesn't work and say it's irresponsible for someone to choose it.  People need to weigh their options and make the choice they believe to be the best for themselves or their children.

I understand this person's frustration over methods tried that failed.  Goodness knows I tried enough conventional medicines for myself and my child that didn't work.  And I see others I care about suffer illnesses without long-term relief or even much short-term relief, if any at all.  But frustration and not finding the RIGHT method doesn't mean there isn't one.

Diet does cure.

Now that's not to say that a person who has suffered from cancer for an extended time or is on the verge of death can go out and, after changing their diet for a few days, suddenly become well. I'm not saying that at all.  There is a point where changes come to late and that is very unfortunate.

And it's not just a matter of  not eating dairy, or avoiding MSG, or taking an extra supplement or two.  It involves a LIFE CHANGE.  It involves eating completely different from your next door neighbor and all the people who stop off at McDonald's on the way home after a busy day (or whatever other convenience food is of choice).  It involves reading labels or, really, avoiding labels and just eating REAL FOOD.  It involves learning about how foods (even the natural ones) affect our bodies and yes, patience and long term dedication.  It's not an overnight success story (though some have had some rather quick success with less debilitating illnesses).  It means researching natural health - a concept that is pretty unknown to the majority of the American population- and learning about nutrition that just isn't taught in the public (or medical) schools; in fact, usually the opposite is taught in these institutions.  It means learning about herbs, vitamins, homeopathy, and toxins approved by the FDA.  It means giving up comfort 'foods' and putting a lot of time in the kitchen and yes, probably a bigger grocery bill.

Photo By Pixabay
Photo By Pixabay

It's really overwhelming.  And I can understand that someone might get really frustrated by the process and give up- becoming an 'unbeliever' so to speak.

DIET DOES CURE.

Countless people have told their stories and countless people have been healed by diet alone- even from the illness this blogger was suffering from.

So, I urge you all-  DON'T GIVE UP ON TOTAL HEALTH.  Diet can be a cure.  Don't listen to those who tell you otherwise.

 

Now.....maybe I should start 'unfollowing' a few sites.......

 

Have you had success in beating an illness with diet?  Tell us about it!

Related Posts:

Our Food Story

Our Food Story - It's Real

My Food Is Not My Religion

The Truth About MSG

Sugar

 

 

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It's true.  I do add salt - SEA SALT - to my food and I'm not worried that it will sabotage my health at all.  In fact, I add it because I know my body needs it for optimal health.

It never fails.  Whether it is the holiday season or some other celebratory time, people center their social events around food.  With that comes the conversations on who is making what and what ingredients they'll use for it.  Along with that comes the comments "Oh that has too much fat in it - I can't eat that!" or "Oh, I'd love to eat some of that but I have to watch my salt intake."  Really? Well, I respectfully disagree.  Ever since my research began into the world of food about 8 or 9 years ago, I have not only learned about the horrors of MSG and other artificial ingredients which my family now avoids, I've also learned that all of those 'taboo' ingredients the general public avoid aren't really all taboo at all - in fact, some of them are downright HEALTHY and essential!!!

Yes, my family DOES eat high fat foods - dairy, meats, etc. that come from quality grass-fed animals.  Yep, even bacon. Somewhat often.  Furthermore, I don't worry at all about adding salt to our foods.  That's because we use sea salt.  And yes, there really is a difference.

Before I go into the details here, let me remind you - I'm NOT claiming to be a medical doctor here (see my disclosure page), but I HAVE done a LOT of intensive research through the past 9 years - and I do keep re checking on what I've learned - and let me tell you, not everything we learned in junior high health class is true.  So while I'm not a doctor, I do have information for you that you can take with a grain of salt (silly pun intended) or you can use it to spark your own research so that you can see for yourself.  Just be sure to consider your sources.  A reliable source is not one that is closely connected to the food industry making money to keep feeding the public lies.

It all started back in 1924 when there was a big epidemic.  A large number of people were suffering from goiter, a swelling of the neck or larynx due to swelling the thyroid gland usually caused by iodine deficiency.  People were not eating enough iodine rich foods such as seafood (shrimp, seaweed, etc.) as well as quality grass-fed dairy and eggs.  So someone got the not so bright idea (though they thought it was at the time) to add iodine to salt. But this factory made salt is overly processed and not truly fortified as much as you would think. This all comes from the ongoing issue of how so many medical studies only focus on one factor at a time and ignore other critical components of the issue. ...continue reading "I Add Salt to My Food – and I’m not worried a bit!"

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Do you have one of those naysayer friends or family members who just doesn't ever get it?  You tell them how something is in your life and they never quite get it and actually don't BELIEVE it?  UGH!  It is soooo  hard to be patient with those sorts, ya know???

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In October of 2013, I wrote a post titled Our Food Story. It was a little glimpse into what got my family started on the food journey we have been on and WILL CONTINUE to be on for the rest of our lives.  It's just that important.  And yes, naysayers- IT'S TRUE and certainly not 'optional'.

Sometimes, though- it's like banging your head against a brick wall.

All pictures in this post obtained from Pixabay.
All pictures in this post obtained from Pixabay.

I totally understand why strangers or people we've just met wouldn't understand the background and the hows and whys that led us to this decision- to follow a whole foods diet and never again consume artificial chemicals, additives and harmful ingredients that is added to the standard American diet on a daily basis by the 'food' companies.  But when it's family or 'friends' that have known us for sometime and they still make comments about whether our kids have to continue this style of life after leaving home....well- it's gosh darn FRUSTRATING!!!

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The thing is, these people just don't understand.  They don't know what we went through.  Oh, sure they've heard mentions of the words "ADHD", "Mental Illness", "Bipolar Depression" and such, but they weren't there- so they don't believe it (I shake my head even as I write this).

Well, my readers.  I lived it.  I know what we went through.  I can remember events vividly that I wouldn't wish upon an enemy. Someday I may write about those events that can still make me shake and bring me to tears as I recall them.  It was real.  It happened.  But we found an answer.  The answer is in God and His Food.

The answer is to avoid artificial ingredients that we were ingesting on a daily basis throughout the day.  The answer is to avoid MSG, artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, and - though I didn't know this then, but am learning now- possibly the processed grains that we were eating from fast-food establishments, other restaurants, and yes- even my own kitchen when using processed or pre-packaged 'foods' or ingredients.

My family avoids these now.  And we are well.  We are healthy.  We no longer carry labels that hindered our lives. It's REAL.  And no, we can't afford to make it an 'option'.

And why would anyone- ANYONE- try to tell my kids that they can eat any way they want to now or in the future?  WHY would they say (essentially) "Hey, you don't have to eat that weird way your parents make you eat now-   feel free to have a mental illness again" ?  Because yes, essentially- when you (naysayer) are telling my child to go ahead and eat 'like everybody else', you know- the 'normal way'- you are telling my child to face the possibility of being committed to a psychiatric ward one day- something we avoided when we took the road to better health.  You are attempting to negate all of our hard work and efforts.

So please-  whether you understand it or not, whether you believe it or not  -   keep your opinions (and yes, it's just an opinion since you are making it without knowledge or understanding of the truth) to yourself.  Let my child make his or her own decisions WITHOUT the influence of someone that HAS NOT A CLUE as to what we went through and what it is we are avoiding.  Better yet- if you have such doubt, why not come to me and ASK QUESTIONS instead of assuming it isn't true??

 

At some point in time, dear readers, I plan to share more personal accounts of our story- but in the meantime- if you are interested in just what it is we do pertaining to food, you can read these past posts:

Our Food Story

MSG

The Truth About MSG

Artificial Colors

Food Vs. Food Products

Food is Not My Religion

 

Who are the naysayers in YOUR life?  What area of your life do you seem to have the most struggle with these naysayers?

 

2

I was glancing through my long list of unread posts in my Bloglovin' feed the other day and stumbled upon one where a sentence caught my eye.  The writer had implied that happiness came from food.  Hmmm.  I have to completely disagree.  I could go on and on about where happiness DOES come from.  And maybe I will in another post. But that's not the part of the point I wish to 'argue' today. I don't believe happiness comes from food....but health does.

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Some of you may be wondering what happened to all my posts on food, recipes, etc. lately.  Don't worry.  I still eat daily. 😉

Photo By Pixabay
Photo By Pixabay

I also still eat healthy food...mostly paleo.

I just haven't posted much about it lately because, well--- one can only write about so many things and with November being picture book month and PiBoIdMo, my posts did weigh heavy with writing and reading.

Now on with food.

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Health comes from food.  No Doubt.

What you consume on a daily basis absolutely does have a PROFOUND effect on your health.  All of the vegetables, healthy proteins, and healthy fats that you consume absolutely have a positive effect on your body and health -  maintaining healthy body function and prevention of disease.  Adversely,  all the artificial ingredients, excessive amounts of grains, GMOs, and other toxic ingredients in foods, etc. that are ingested can absolutely have a detrimental effect on our overall health.

While I always knew this, it wasn't until about 9 years ago that I came to realize that what I thought was healthy food, really wasn't.  I started writing about this aspect of our lives in a post titled Our Food Story back in October of 2013, but haven't followed up a lot with it - other than a few posts on MSG, artificial colors and our paleo adventures with the Whole 30.  What it all comes down to is, while food is certainly not my religion, over the years  I have slowly realized that what the FDA tells us, what the food pyramid tells us, what school books tell us and what's provided in school lunches and hospital cafeterias across this great nation IS NOT HEALTHY FOOD.

I'm not going to make this a long post about what you should eat.  I'm not going to make this a post about how we can solve disease, even mental health issues with REAL FOOD.  I'm not going to go into details on MSG, artificial colors, preservatives, nitrates, and all the other things added into our food supply. Though I certainly could...

What I am going to say is this:

Health DOES come from food. REAL FOOD.  Anything else you put into your body - be it artificial ingredients,  things people claim is food but isn't, medications containing toxic ingredients, artificial ingredients contained in vaccines, etc. is HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE.

I'm not a medical doctor (see my disclosure page).  But I am a mother who has done a LOT of research into the health of herself and her family.  What I have discovered is NOT what I learned in school or was brought up to believe to be the way to health. What I have learned is there is more to learn.  And it starts with YOU.  YOU must do the research.  YOU must know what you put into your body, what it contains and what it's doing to YOUR health and the health of YOUR CHILDREN.

And please, DON'T ASSUME that what is reported on the front of a cereal box, the ad in a magazine, or even the evening news is accurate.  Do the research, but keep in mind who is providing the information.  Are they making money by keeping you in the dark and providing you with twisted information (i.e. the drug industry and the sugar industry?)?  Then is this really where you should be getting your information from?

Take the time to investigate.  Take the time to find quality food sources.  Take the time to prepare your own food within your own home on your stove top. Your health depends on what you are consuming on a daily basis and what you are allowing your body to be exposed to.

So what's really the point(s) of my post? Let me sum it all up:

Happiness Does NOT come from food.

Health DOES come from food.

Do the research.

Know what you are putting into your body.

Your health depends on it.

And while true happiness isn't contained in health alone, it certainly does help a lot.

Just sayin'....

 

 

2

Since my recent post on natural remedies for flu, colds, and other winter maladies, I've done a little more digging into related topics.  Today I bring you - The Elderberry!

Latin Name                                              

Sambucus nigra

Common Names

Elderberry, Black Elderberry, European Elder, American Elder

The Elderberry is a tall, woody shrub widespread in the northern hemisphere, native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa and can also be found in the United States.

The Elder has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and is still primarily used for colds, sinus infections, and influenza (the flu) as well as treatment of the Herpes virus and other maladies. Many  studies have been and are being done to discover all of the medicinal benefits this plant offers. As with most berries, elderberries contain antioxidants (antioxidants help protect cells from damaging effects of free radicals, the byproducts of toxins found in the environment that contribute to serious health problems).  Elderberry is also said to lower cholesterol, improve heart health and vision, and aids in bacterial and viral infections including tonsillitis. While no study indicates the elderberry can prevent the flu, studies have shown this plant extract to be effective in significantly improving flu symptoms within two days of dosing (15 ml syrup four times daily), stimulating the immune system, and in having anti-inflammatory effects.

How Do I Take/Use Elderberry Syrup?

To relieve flu symptoms - begin taking elderberry extract (this can be found in health food stores nationwide as well as big name grocery stores and pharmacies or HERE) at the first sign of symptoms.  The study indicated 15 ml syrup four times daily.  I would suggest following the instructions on the bottle or that of your natural health care provider.  There's also a kid's version.

To boost the immune system - directions on the elderberry syrup bottles suggest doses of 2 tsp. daily.

Drops -  I am aware that elderberry is available in drops and other forms besides the syrup.  I have not used these products therefore I will not provide links.  I'd love to hear though, if there are some that you have used and trust as this is something I do want to look into.  I'm wondering if it would be more cost efficient?

Do you use Elderberry Syrup or another form of Elderberry?  Share with us how you use it!

 

 

4

 

The lemon grows on small evergreen tree native to Asia. The first apparently large cultivation of lemons began in Genoa in the middle of the 15th century.

    Most people are aware that drinking water is highly important to stay hydrated and healthy.  Some people, however (this blogger included), find it extremely difficult to drink enough during the day.  Somehow the instinct to drink just doesn't seem to come as naturally as it does to others and water, well, for me anyway,  just isn't appealing.  Sometimes adding a bit of lemon to the water can make it more so.  Not only that - there's even better reasons to add that lemon besides flavor.

     I've heard all sorts of things about lemons over the years, but never sat down to research it.  I even use lemons in my cold/flu mixture that I keep stored in my fridge during the cold and flu season.  And I do put lemon or lime in my water quite often to give it a bit of flavor.  So when my friend mentioned the other day that she eats a lemon a day when she has a cold, it reminded me that this was something I keep meaning to look up and read more about.  So I did.

     Your immune system is continually fighting against microorganisms and germs on a daily basis. This system is made up of organs, tissues, and cells that attack invading germs and prevent them from creating  havoc on the body.  We must do everything we can to help our immune system stay healthy to be able to continue its daily fight.  That means staying hydrated and eating a variety of fresh vegetables, healthy proteins and fats and fruits - lemons being an important part of this!

     Rich in fiber and low in calories, lemons offer a great deal of health benefits. Apparently, drinking real lemon juice (from a real lemon, not a product from a grocery store shelf) is beneficial to balancing the pH of  our bodies.  The immune system has to work harder when our bodies have an acidic pH (which most people  have and there is quite a strong link associated between  acidic pH and  illness, including cancer). Lemon juice helps  to balance this as it is one of the most alkaline foods available.

     In addition to helping with pH, a lemon has  44.5 milligrams of vitamin C. Since vitamin C plays a major role in the health of your immune system, this is another obvious case to support the consumption of lemons. 

Another way lemons help the immune system is by helping to release toxins at a faster rate.  Lemon juice helps flush out the unwanted materials because lemons actually increase the rate of urination in the body, also keeping the urinary tract healthy and, according to studies conducted by the American Urological Association,   aids in the prevention of the growth of crystals which lead  to kidney stones.

Thus there is evidence to support that consuming lemons (their juices and pulp) will help to boost the immune system.  So drinking lemon in my water for flavor is a good thing and eating that lemon every day when she has a cold is a good idea for my friend, me, and YOU.  In fact,  the Mayo Clinic reports that hot water with honey and lemon juice added to it may help reduce the soreness and irritation of a sore throat and  cuts mucus in the back of the throat that may cause this soreness.

 

Are there any ill effects?

When consuming lemons often, it is advisory not to suck on the lemon itself or let it come into direct contact with your teeth.  Lemons have acids that can harm the enamel on the surface of teeth, causing possible formation of decay and cavities.  While an occasional slice of lemon would not be so harmful (my son likes to eat a slice here and there)   doing so on a daily basis, undiluted, has some potential for such harm.  Daily consumption that IS diluted (lemon juice in your water) would not have the same effect though some sources suggest drinking through a straw to lessen the amount of lemon coming into direct contact with the teeth.

So How Does One 'Consume' a Lemon?

One way is to simply slice the lemon and add slices to your water or tea.  Some may squeeze the lemon in a juicer or squeezer and add all of the juice (some enjoy the pulp as well). One can also make the honey/lemon/ginger mix I mentioned in my flu and cold remedy post (see link above).

Do You Have Other Ways of Consuming Lemons for Your Health?