Friday, November 30, 2007

For Women...Tips on health as it applies to us.

For years I took Advil (and later Aleve) once a month. I toughed it out as much as possible, but I was dependent on the medicine. BUT finally, someone told me that I could take Vitamin E. It was actually tested in a legitimate medical study as effective for menstrual cramps!! And guess what it works! You are supposed to start taking it a few days before, but honestly, I never think about it. So, when I would have taken pain reliever, now I take 2 Vitamin E tablets. When I feel pain again later, I take more. Simple. I've also found that Evening Primrose Oil (in a capsule) works too. So get rid of the drugs and go with the vitamins!

Ok, now for the more adventurous. Want to reduce cramps and shorten the length and heaviness of your cycle? Go natural!! Do you know that bleaching paper products produces a known carcinogen? This includes tampons. A nice alternative is the Diva. It takes a while to get used to (just remember what it was like with tampons as a teenager), but once you figure it out, it's like having nothing and being able to go for up to 12 hours!!! The website can explain all this better than I can (or want to!)

OR you can try cloth pads. I was sceptical, but am very pleased. Just rinse and put in a bucket, then wash with your normal laundry. Or put a stain-type spray on them without soaking. They are so much more comfortable. Buy dark colors, and you don't have to worry much about stains. And think what you are willing to do if it makes that time a bit shorter (for me about 1/2 a day, but it can vary for different people). And you save money and are nice to the environment.

Now, I'll be real and say going natural is something that took me a long time to get around to. But it's not as bad as I thought. Feel free to go slow on changes and do what you are comfortable with. But take some time to research your options and you may find it's not such a hard change after all.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

If it's all about me, then I won't be the "one".

(Beware--it's time for some philosophical rambling.)

This morning, I heard (again) the story of the 10 lepers that Jesus healed and how only 1 (not even a Jew) returned praising God, falling at Jesus' feet, and expressing thanks. As I thought about the story, I realized that it seems the difference in the 1 vs. the 9 is simply focus. Stay with me and I'll explain.

I mean I can vividly imagine a dramatic healing and the amazing freedom it would mean. Imagine every action is restricted. You'd feel like a prisoner and suddenly your free--you can do all the things you've missed for years and years. What would you do first? See, that depends on your focus. If it's "all about me", then you have probably dwelt on what YOU couldn't do for all the time and how unfair, so now it's time to catch up on the lost years.

BUT if it's all about God, then you wouldn't be focused on yourself, but on the awesomeness of the God that healed you. And then you would have had the chance to be the one. Think about it--the nine got healed, but the one got healed AND got to praise the living God in person on earth. It seems to me, that the others missed God in the process of enjoying His gift of health.

So, now where I get convicted. What about my sickness? Is it all about me? What I miss out on? What I can't do? How this affects me? By the way there is a good "me" question to ask: Did I do something to cause or allow this? (My answer would be "yes-carelessness with my health.")

Or is God the center of the universe? Maybe I should be asking: How is He using this for good? Am I allowing Him to use this for good? Does my suffering give me a closer connection to the Savior who suffered? (But not why did God cause this?)

If I'm looking for the healing and hoping that I will be one who praises God for it. But I think I need to start now, making God the center, so I'll be focusing on Him when the healing comes.

In fact, our emotions play such a part in our health. Keeping your heart free is just another good thing you can do for your health. But let's not forget, it's not all about "me" and my health and suffering. There is a bigger picture and best of all, our suffering is only "momentary", as is our time on earth.

Eating Cereal BOXES for breakfast...

According to a study, (done as a joke) rats live longer off cereal boxes than the cereal itself! And it's possible that health food store variety could be worse. Makes you want to reconsider what your having for breakfast. See the full story at:

At least I can still have my Ezekiel 4:9 cereal. But how does one survive a baby without Cheerios??? :)

Ok, let me make this easier. Other than Ezekiel cereal, you can have a bowl of fruit, muffins, toast, eggs, homemade oatmeal, shake, or pancakes (to name a few options). You can cook something ahead of time in a big batch and freeze so you can you don't have to cook in the morning. And just think of how good muffins can be with lots of butter and raw honey--with NO guilt. You can do this, one change at a time. And you don't have to achieve perfection--just small, steady improvements.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How to Survive Thanksgiving

First, don't fear--it's one meal. Fear could do more harm to your body than the meal! (Not to mention what it does to your soul and spirit.)

Second, be very kind to your body the day before and for a day or 2 afterwards. Eat easy to digest food: natural, unprocessed food. This makes it easier for your body to deal with less than ideal foods and get them out of your digestive system before it gets bogged down with something else. I take a supplement when I eat out the has extra digestive enzymes (like bromelain from pineapple) and probiotics. This helps too.

When you choose what you eat, don't think like your on a diet. For me, some foods I don't even want if I picture what it does to me. On the other hand, I will probably have some pumpkin pie anyway. BUT it will be a small piece and I will expect to fill unsatisfied (b/c of the sugar). So, if I feel hungry, I'll one of the homemade wheat rolls I'm bringing--maybe with a bit of honey. And I'll avoid or limit sugar, dairy, and white flour for the rest of the meal. But don't feel you have to be extreme this holiday. Just know the limits your body has!

Remember to be thankful--even for unhealthy food--if someone gives it to you. We can be thankful for those we have to celebrate with. And mostly, we can be thankful that we have been given life. If you are spending Thanksgiving with family, focus on them and showing love. Count your blessings and focus on those.

Happy Thanksgiving!

More Amazing Uses for Baking Soda

This week I cleaned my stove. It's a white gas stove that had lots of burned on stuff that I'd given up on coming off. Enter baking soda. Now it's clean again. Oh and I got rust almost totaling off a stainless steel bowl WITHOUT scratching it. (I got too tired to get the last little bit off--maybe I'll try it again later.

A friend said the other day she uses baking soda whenever a baby spits up, so the clothes don't get stained. Sprinkle a little on as soon as possible. I don't have a baby to try it on, but if someone gets sick, I'll know what to try.

If you have any favorite uses for baking soda, be sure to share it in a comment. And check out the previous cleaning posts if you missed them.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Organics are worthy the price...sometimes!

There was study released recently showing organic foods does prove healthier. The organic good had more minerals and significantly more antioxidants. (You can read more on Dr. Mercola's site or in a British newspaper.) I had always wondered about organic food being "no different" b/c they TASTE so much better. But I'm thinking specifically about organics from the produce section.

I should point out that if food is processed and labeled organic, it is questionable whether it's worth your money (especially on a tight budget). Milk for example in it's natural state is "raw", not just "organic", so organic milk avoids some chemicals, but doesn't get you the benefits you expect when you pay extra for organic food. With animal products, organic does not mean that an animal is allowed to eat and live naturally, so it's all questionable if you are really getting your food "the way God intended." Buying from a local farmer is ideal. And food manufacturers may process the organic cereals so much, that your body can't even absorb the extra nutrients that you are paying for!

Did you know that buying process foods costs approximately the same amount as buying organic whole foods? Processed organic food may break the bank and gain little benefit, but whole, organic foods will cost about the same. It does take more time, but think of how much time you'll save when your not sick! Believe me, I know!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Master Cleanse--Spring Cleaning for Your Body

As I have struggled with Lyme disease, the times I have felt completely healthy have been during and following a Master Cleanse. I can vouch it is awesome. I lost weight that hadn't been budging and kept it off without any other work (but that's not a promise for everyone!) In fact, I weigh as little now as I have since I was in my teens (and I can't even do cardiovascular exercise right now.) After the fast, I had more energy and felt great! Actually by the 3rd or 4th day I felt great, with very short exceptions.

Think fasting is radical? Remember, it was the norm to fast 2 days a week in Jesus' day. (Though I wonder if it was a full fast or not.) If you study how the body repairs itself during fasts, it's as if it were created to work that way and we just never give it the chance! Hmmm.... Just think how you lose your appetite at times when you are sick. It's almost intuitive.

With that said, I should warn you, don't try a Master Cleanse (10 days!) until you are comfortable with shorter fasts. I had some 3-day fasting experience plus a major determination when I first tried it. But fasting is something anyone can do. And it's an incredible health tool.

Jordan Rubin recommends fasting one day a week--just breakfast and lunch. This is a great thing to try if fasting is new to you. In fact, it's a great lifestyle that's really not too hard after the first few weeks. Just think of the money you save on food AND health. Your never too broke to try this health tip--especially if you count the money you save when you don't have to go to the doctor! I feel so much better when I'm doing a weekly fast 1/2 day fast.

Here's some basic fasting tips:
-Don't eat a heavy "last-chance for food" supper--it just makes it worse.
-Drink TONS of water or juice
-Make sure the juice is not pasteurized or "clear"--meaning it's over-processed. Fresh juice is best.
-Come off the fast gradually--eat things like raw fruits and veggies and homemade chicken broth, but no heavy meats or pasteurized dairy (that can hurt your stomach)
-Understand your body is cleaning out--so you may experience weakness, headaches, sinus drainage, or even strong specific food craving. These are signs of the junk your body is detoxing. Remember it will either get cleaned out sometime or it can be stored and cause bigger problems later. "Pay me now or pay me later."

Now about the Master Cleanse. The basic program is fasting 10 days on what I call "spicy lemonade." Count on another day of juice fasting and then a day of eating light.

Drink several glasses a day. Here's the recipe. :
-Juice from 1/2 organic lemon (2 Tbsp.)--I used limes when I couldn't find lemons, though I don't think it's as good. Fresh is best.
-2 Tbsp. organic Grade B (or C) Maple Syrup
-1/8 tsp. (non-irradiated) cayenne pepper (start with a pinch and work your way up)

Add 8 oz. water to make a 10 oz glass and stir. You may want to stir occasionally to keep the cayenne from settling to the bottom.

Yes, organic is essential--you can't add toxins to your body and expect it to clean itself out. The price is not an issue--it's less than the food you eat in a normal day. I confess I thought it would taste bad, but it basically tastes like lemonade with a spicy aftertaste. It helps if you start slow on the cayenne. Make sure you keep it pretty well mixed so you don't get all the cayenne pepper in the last swallow! Drink it every time you are hungry and don't get dehydrated.

Actually, the program also calls for drinking salt water in the morning and a laxative tea at night. I can't handle salt water, so I just did the tea, but if I drink more than half a glass--well, let's just say, it's too effective! There really is a lot to this, but this is already long. The Dr. that created this wrote a whole book on it: The Master Cleanser. You can even find a forum on the Master Cleanse: There's lots of info on library or in books.

Hopefully, you'll consider giving you digestive system a vacation soon! It works hard for you so give it a break and it will thank you. You don't have to do it all today. BUT before you go spend tons of money on the latest health thing, try a simple, ancient secret: FAST!

Friday, November 9, 2007

It's white again!--more tips on cleaning.

Since my last cleaning article was quite a hit, I thought I'd share more: a story, a tip, and a link.

I just have to share how I shocked my husband. You see after juicing some carrots, I was cleaning our juicer (a Juiceman Jr. ). Carrot juice is like a dye and never really comes totally off (I thought) and so after years of use, the juicer was a nice orange/brown instead of off-white. BUT suddenly it hit me--try baking soda. (Do you think God whispers about cleaning a juicer?) So I sprinkled some on and continued washing with my soapy sponge and VOILA. The stain was gone. When I went after the clear cover of the juicer, well, we will just say it's clear again! My husband wanted to know what I did to it. It looked like I had bleached it!

Several years ago, I found that lemon juice takes stains off my stainless steel pan in almost the same way. So, for that white-ish stuff on you pans, squeeze a little lemon juice (fresh or the bottle) watch the magic.

This week I found a great new website: If you like detailed instructions, you'll love all the picture and step by step directions for cleaning with vinegar, baking soda, and other natural things. Check on the toilet or sink cleaning tips. The writers are motivated by helping the environment, which is a good thing. But remember that you are also greatly affected by the personal environment you create in your home. Indoor air pollution is worse than outdoor air pollution! So, make your home a safe place, and then watch how a little good health can affet the world around you.

Cleaning up the world--one home at a time!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Would you like sugar on your sandwich?

My standards for eating out/eating with others are definitely lower than eating at home. The other day, I was fixing a tuna sandwich for my daughter(not at home) and was shocked that I couldn't get around the SUGAR!!! Mayonaise has sugar (I looked at 3 different bottles). Of course most bread has HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP--which is worse than sugar. The relish was of course sweet relish--with sugar! The actual tuna was sugar-free. What do you know! One out of 4 parts of the meal are ok! (Let's not get into mercury in fish, ok!)

The average American consumes 149 lbs/ year of sugar (all sucrose and fructose combined). We are approaching .5 lbs. /day! It's almost 20% of our calories! Of course cutting out soft drink helps, but a lot of people already do that and the AVERAGE is way too high. So, what's the real problem?

PROCESSED FOODS! You see, processed food (including fast food) doesn't natually taste good. Ever noticed how you just can't freeze some things? Then add all the things machines do to the food to make it. And of course, we want a "value", so they make as cheap by picking the cheapest ingredients available. Doesn't come out tasting great, so they add manufactured (read, toxic) salt, high fructose corn syrup or sugar, and manufactured flavorings to make it taste right again. All those things like the gums in the ingredients give it the texture it is lacking. Most of our food is sweet and salty b/c it doesn't have much of it's natural flavor any more. But with the magic of tiny portions of toxic things we create almost any other flavor. Voila, it's almost like real food again! But it won't give you real health, like the food you were created to eat.

Moral of the story: read ingredients and give your mom (or wife or husband) a hug everytime they fix you a home-cooked, unprocessed meal.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Overcome cravings by feeding them!

I am a believer in self-control, but self control shouldn't HAVE to be a main part of every meal. The problem is our bodies have too much food and too little nourishment. If I go out to eat, I am totally unsatisfied with my meal if it has white flour/white sugar in it. So, I skip the bread and I don't really need self-control to avoid overeating.

My favorite trick for cutting my cravings is honey-sweetened almond butter. Especially when the almond butter is raw. I just stir a little almond butter and honey in a cup (sometimes I add a couple berries to make it interesting) and eat it with a spoon. So, it's odd, but it works. The combo of fat and sweet always seems to satisfy and keeps me away from bad stuff. Anyway, I just recently came across a list of "what your really craving." I'd been convinced that cravings are you bodies communication, but I didn't always know what it meant, so I'm very excited to get this info. I had heard before how important fermented/good-bacteria-foods are for you when you are pregnant--thus the sour cravings. But here's a few more ideas to try next time you crave something:

I know since I started eating whole foods, I have a lot let cravings and feel satisfied with my food a lot more. Just one more reason to make those diet changes--one step at a time.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Spice of Health

Somehow, someone tricked a lot of us into thinking healthy food shouldn't taste good!!! So I wanted to list a few things I use to keep my food from being bland. (Organic is best for all.)


-Garlic Salt from RealSalt

-Organic Tamari Sauce (made from soy--must say organic or at least non-GMO)

-Butter (organic--I like cultured butter)

-Honey or Maple Syrup (should not use too much, but sometimes we need it sweet!)

-Cinnamon (I love to sprinkle on toast or pancakes and then add honey)

-Salsa (buy a good quality, pref. organic, and make sure to read the ingredient list or make your own and ferment it!)

-Mayonaise (Do like the Germans do--Ketchup and Mayonaise on french fries, if you can find ones without sugar or bad oils)

-Extra virgin Coconut oil on cooked food. Extra Virgin Olive oil on uncooked.

-Homemade salad dressing: Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, tamari sauce, and honey. Mix with these ingredients in the proportion you like (Think lots of oil, and maybe a third as much vinegar and a bit of tamari and honey) and add spice as you like.

-Your favorite spice (non-irradiated spices can be medicinal! Just watch the mixes that they don't have sugar or regular table salt or MSG.)

Add these as freely as you like and remember it's healthy!! (Ok, the sweet stuff, maybe you need to check yourself, and the butter is not perfect unless it's made fresh by a local farmer, but the rest are on the "A" list!)