Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Too tired of trying to be healthy?

Choosing health is work, especially in the western world. As hard as I'm fighting to overcome a major disease, it can really wear you out. But I was encouraged by something I found in the Bible:

"So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit."

Though Paul wasn't talking about health, it still applies. IF we don't quit, we'll get a reward. That's what I'm fighting for. Don't give up your fight. Health is worth it. You've got to have health to achieve almost anything. You need to be healthy to think straight (ask me how I know!)
You may not see the fruit of your small changes today. Honestly, most improvements take time if you do them naturally. But you will if you don't give up!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Menu Planning--Simple and Easy

If you're like me, you not usually satisfied with menus others have, b/c it doesn't suit your taste or your budget or your healthy standards. But it sure would be easy to have it all laid out. In one month, you can easily have a month's worth of menus you love without doing much more work.

It's easy to do and you'll have your grocery list ready without any work every week! So, here's the plan:

1. Make a list of your family's favorite meals. Be sure to write down the cookbook and page number. Determine how many meals you need to fix a week. We do 4-5 dinners and eat leftovers (or hot dogs!) the other days. Or sometimes we fix something new on one of the other days. Decide how many weeks you can go without repeating a meal. The first set of menus I did was 4 weeks. The second set was 6 weeks. You could start out with only 1 week if you are still searching for healthy recipes. And just add a week at a time as you find more good recipes.

2. Start grouping your meals into menus. I made my list a word document, so I just clicked and dragged the meals around. Make sure to balance quicker-to-prepare meals with more time consuming ones. I also wanted to spread out meals with rice, meat dishes, chicken dishes, and Mexican dishes, so my similar meals were spread out. I'm big on variety! Print out this master list and stick it on your frig so you can see your menu choices for each week, including the cookbook page number.

3. Next, on a new document, make a grocery list for all the ingredients needed for Week 1. Group the lists by sections of the stores (or by separate stores if necessary) and leave space to write in additional things. Also, make a list of things you probably don't need, but might need to check to make sure you have enough of. I actually write down something like check: beans (1 cup), so I know exactly what to look for. You might also want to prepare double proportions of some meals and freeze half. You'll have frozen meals with out eating processed food.

4. Continue making the grocery list for each week. I did this only when I needed it, so it took me 6 weeks to finish this process. You could also do this all at once. It's easiest to print the next grocery list a week ahead and when you run out of something, just add it to next week's list.

5. Perfect it. Did you realize you didn't have enough of something? Fix it on your grocery list. Did you realize you want a certain side to go with a dish? And it to the menu and the grocery list. You might want to add notes on your master menu page about which things need to be soaked a day ahead (for those of you who soak your grains.) After another round of using the list, you should have any kinks worked out. Just think of all the mistakes you won't make! You could also add in lunches.

6. (optional) Type up all your recipes for the week on a single page. Put it in a sheet protector. Then, you save yourself having to look up the recipes and can add in notes to yourself (like use the big pot or start the rice at this point.) You could also make this a once a week cooking plan. Figure out which recipes could be made ahead, such as casseroles. You can cook and freeze some meals. Chop up some of the vegetables. Make a loaf of bread and a salad for the week. Get creative and make it work for you.

Advantages of this system:

--You save hours a week of: deciding what's for dinner, making a grocery list, stopping by the store for something you forgot or for a last minute meal plan, go back to the other side of the store for that produce that you didn't see at the bottom of the list.

--Since you are cooking the same things every so often, you get good at and more efficient, especially, if you make notes to yourself. Before you know it you'll be a professional chef.

--You prevent tons of frustration b/c you can learn from your mistakes and not repeat them. Oh, wait, you probably don't forget to buy things, forget to soak things, not understand the recipes, etc. Maybe it's just me!

--AND don't forget, you will end up eating healthier this way, b/c if it's this easy, you will cook at home more often and have time to cook from scratch. Planning makes it possible.

PS--Almost all my recipes come from Sue Gregg's cookbooks. Meals in Minutes is a good one to start with. It makes cooking healthy easy.

One question I had was what to do if you don't know what recipes you like. I suggest that you try to find a week's worth of meals(even just 4). At least you can use this menu every couple weeks and use the unplanned week to experiment with new recipes until you find some more you like. Then you can add a week at a time as you find what you like.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cancel your cable to get smarter and lose weight!

Ok, so that's not a promise, but here's one lady's story:

Not my typical health topic, but this could be a boost to your health! Why? Did you know your mind is less active when watching TV than when sleeping? "Educational videos" is an oxymoron. And you will learn to think more independently about taking medications (drugs) and eating the normal, but unnatural diet pushed by TV. Think of the stress you could reduce if you use your time better or just give your brain some quiet to think. AND putting that money toward better quality food will overtime have a HUGE impact on your health.

Personally, for a time we were unable to get TV. When I had the option again, I didn't want it! We don't even have an antennae.

I collect my favorite movies, and get others from the library. (I research what movies I want to watch online, I order them from the library online, and can get up to 5 for a week with no charge! Who can beat that? All I have to do is go to the library once a week and I ) I can even watch CNN live online and watch the few other "important" things I miss on YouTube a day later.

My TV's main use? T-Tapp videos for me and ballet, Math lessons, and German movies for my girls. Who needs cable?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Breaking the food code--Is health intuitive?

I believe the Creator meant food choices, health, and "medication" to be obvious and intuitive. Let me give you a few examples:

If your circulation is bad, cayenne peppers (as food or as a supplement) helps. Hmm...they are "hot."

Carrots are good for your eyes and when you slice them, they look like an eye.

Tomatos are good for your heart and what part of our body are they most like?

When you burn your finger, you stick it in your mouth. The best thing for a burn is to replace the lost water immediately. Don't numb it with ice until after you've run it under the water a minute.

When you eat only whole foods, you will find your body craving things and communicating quite clearly. But if you eat artificially tampered with food, your body craves the wrong things. For example, your body expects sweets foods to have plenty of nutrients. But when you eat white sugar or white flour, your body actually uses up stores of nutrients to digest this stripped food. So, it craves more food. I find I never really feel full (or at least content) when I eat out unless I avoid bread.

If you want to read more about created food, try this post.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Eat it or wear it--it doesn't matter which

It's winter--the time when our lips and hands tend to dry out. But before you pick up a bottle of lotion or a tube of chap stick, you might want to know what thing--you're body absorbs most of what you put on it. That's why you can wear a patch to take in medicine. So, look at those ingredients and ask yourself if they are edible. If it's not, it's probably adding toxins to your body. Maybe your body can handle a bit of that, but mine can't! But before you get too stressed out....'s a food, it's a lotion, it's, it's coconut oil. I LOVE coconut oil in place of lotion. It's solid, but melts almost instantly when you touch it. I discovered it when I had a runny nose and the skin hurt so bad and I decided to experiment. But since I've realized how great it is for dry skin.

Another good trick for your hands, is get rid of your regular soap and use Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap. A 32 oz. bottle lasts between 6 mon. and a year at our house and is only about $10. I fill up old foam hand soap containers with about a tablespoon of the soap and the rest water. (Just try and see if it's too thick or too thin) and that's our very CHEAP and non-toxic soap. I will worn you, the bottle is covered with religious writing, but not Christian ones. But, it goes under you sink for refills, so I don't worry about it.

When I first switched to this soap, I was shocked at how quickly my dry skin disappeared. But this year I needed the coconut oil b/c I'm washing my hands so much due to potty training my sweet daughter who has also had a runny nose!

Well, all the talking about dry skin reminds me--I need to drink some more water!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cure for Cancer?

I found this interesting article today.
I pretty much avoid drugs of any kind, but I thought it was interesting that they found a drug recently that seems it might stop cancer. Right now the cancer cure seems almost as bad as the disease and not a sure thing. I've seen several natural things that are also used on cancer patients. But what is exciting about this drug, is for those who prefer traditional medicine, it might be a lot less painful and more effective treatment. But what is so sad, is that it's something that does not have a patent and so will not likely be picked up by the drug companies. Man, do I think this system is broke. But I hope some doctors will be able to utilize this treatment and improve the traditional medical approach to cancer. And I can keep hoping and working to see that the natural approaches have more freedom to share the cures and helps they offer.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Is your body suffering from health debt?

I used to think, "I'm healthy--Why worry?" Now I realize, it was sorta like saying, "I can make the payments, so what's wrong with adding more credit card debt?" Our bodies are able to handle amazing amounts of stress, toxins, and germs. But eventually the scales tip if we add more negatives than positives. Alot of people wouldn't dare treat their cars as badly as their bodies! And we wonder why we should care what's good or bad for our bodies when we seem "perfectly healthy". Of course, we may not realize that small things, like catching lots of colds or skin problems or allergies or frequent headaches, may be a sign we need to look closer at how healthy we really are.

For me, when I was under a lot of pressure and still not paying attention to my health, I got Lyme disease. Can you say "Wake up call!" So, now I'm trying to tip the scales back. The more small health changes I make, the more the scales get close to normal. And right now, I'm feeling like a real person again! (Those with chronic illness will know what I'm talking about.) It really works.

But, I've wised up, when I get the scales back to reading "healthy", I'm not going to be satisfied. Nope! I've learned my lesson and will be getting a good store of healthy habits so I'm ready for the flu season, for an epidemic, for stress, or whatever. You see, I've been a slave to disease already, and I won't be foolish to end up being a slave a second time. And my hope is that as I share what I find "tips the scales", my readers will learn from my mistakes and store up lots of good health before the hard times come.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Homemade Health Tonic...set those germs on fire!

Well, I recently tried a homemade "cure-all" medicine. When it called for peppers, we left the seeds in and boy is it hot! (I like salsa, but go for the mild, so some might not agree.) Next, time I'll leave out the seeds. Anyway, I wanted to share it with you. In the winter, it's great to have something for when you start to come down with a cold. And it's made out of food, so no side effects. I'm taking it once or twice a day right now b/c I have a bacteria (Borelia burgdorforia) and a virus (Epstein-Barr) I'd like to kill. My husband is taking it to keep from coming down with a cold that he started to get a couple days ago--so far so good!

It's the Master Tonic and is a natural antibiotic. Here's the link:

It does take about a week to make and I don't actually gargle like it says (since my germs aren't likely in my throat and well it's too hot for me.)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Health Spa at Home

I recently put together for myself a list of things I could do to boost my health. I got to try it out partially one day and I'm using this list to help me do a much as possibly on a daily basis. One thing I wanted to do was try to eat foods that allow the body more energy to heal, so I leaned toward the vegetarian, though I don't really do this every day.

I took out all my meds/supplements and a few Lyme specific things so I could share with you a plan for a health boosting day. Take a few things. I admit I'm an idealist, so even I don't accomplish all the things I plan out, but I like to shoot for the stars and reach the moon!

Skin Brushing
Apple Cider Vinegar drink
Breakfast (Fresh Carrot Juice and Fruit)

Immunopower (Immune boosting essential oil on feet)
Sit in Sun (15-30 min)
Kombucha (fermented drink)
T-Tapp or jump on mini-tramp

ACV drink
Lunch (Salad and Soup from Chicken Broth)

Ningxia Red Juice
Rest (take some deep breathes)
Spicy Lemonade
Fruit for snack

ACV drink
Dinner (Carrot Juice as 1st course and no processed food for meal) and Tonic (post coming soon!)

To bed by 10 (Early to bed...makes a man's really true!)

Until we claim our health back!