Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sleep..ah the bliss!

Do you know that if your too tired, you can't sleep? At least that's been my problem lately. I got on something from my "doctor" for adrenals and now I can sleep at night! I was getting past the point of exhaustion before dinner and then unable to relax. None of the other insomnia remedies were working for me.

So, now I can follow my own advice: Go to bed early. Do you know that every hour of sleep before midnight is supposed to be twice as productive? Talk about saving time. I do know that it is more natural to sleep when it's dark and wake when it's light. The daylight programs your body and so it's also best to sleep in complete dark.

Let me list a few effects of not sleeping: lack of clarity in thinking, inability to cope with stress, lowered immune function, not producing some certain chemical that prevents cancer (real scientific, I know!), and of course TIREDNESS!!

In Biblical times, dreams were considered to be from God. So, when Joseph told of a dream about 12 bales of hay bowing down, his brothers got mad! They took it as symbolic, but true....unless Joseph was making the dream up. And in fact, it was true. Most dreams though are not prophetic, but rather just processing our emotions. But think of it this way--you can pay a counselor to help you process your emotions or you can sleep. (Not that counselors don't have a place, but substituting for sleep is not one of them!)

I'm always talking about taking things in steps--well this is definitely a process. I consider going to bed 15 min. earlier progress and rejoice in that. Take time to rejoice in your little victories this week and thanks for letting me share mine with you.

PS--now you know why my post count is low this month--less sleep leads to less productivity and creativity!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kitchen Essentials--Tools for the Natural Cook

First let's dream.... Your setting up your wedding registry and already health conscious (wish I was back then). What should you put on it?

  • Stainless steel pans without the non-stick (preferably waterless cookware, like Saladmaster)
  • A Cast iron pan or griddle (to replace non-stick) By the way, it also works to have a hot pan and cold oil--even eggs don't stick bad!
  • Glass and Corningware-type oven and storage containers (avoid plastic.) If you get enough, you can double dishes and freeze half so you have frozen dinners with none of the processed food!)
  • Stoneware for non-stick oven needs (such as muffin tins, bread dishes, and cookie trays)--I LOVE Pamper Chef's. Avoid aluminum and non-stick pans.
  • A toaster oven (for reheating, since microwaves are NOT the best).
  • A grain-mill (fresh flour is much healthier.)
  • A Bosch mixer with food processor and blender attachments. You'll use these for everything since it's much healthier to cook from scratch. The mixer is MUCH better than a bread machine.)
  • A garlic press and a homemade salad dressing mixer container (again, I love Pampered Chef's!)
  • A Juicer (the kind the juices carrots and such--like the Juiceman Jr.)
  • A few plastic storage containers (a very few! I try to avoid plastic, but use a tall approx. 2 cup kind to freeze chicken broth in. Since it's frozen, I don't worry about the stuff getting into it. If you prefer, you can pop them out of the container and store in something else once their frozen. I love having 2 cups of broth already measured out for me (the measurements are marked on the side.
  • A large crock pot (so you can put a whole chicken in it and make broth.)

Well, now, that's my list of kitchen essentials. BUT, in reality I don't even have all of those yet. And it's almost 10 years too late for a wedding registry. So instead, I'm saving up for stuff and have been slowing gathering tools for a healthy kitchen.

Do you have a favorite kitchen tool I didn't include? If so, please share it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A daily diet soda could cause tumors!

Just one more experiment that confirms, if God didn't make it, it's not meant to be food.

In the following link, you can see a picture of what happened when mice were given daily aspartame (Equal/Nutrisweet) to equal 2/3 of that in a single can of soda--adjusted for their body weight.

Two things I found interesting. One, the results took time to show up. The experiment lasted 2 years and 8 months. Most experiments are done short-term without considering the cumulative affect. The difference is this one was done privately by a lady who wanted evidence to show her family. This is why I think the Weston A. Price study is one of the most accurate. He examined the diets of people who had eaten certain foods for generations vs. those who had switched to modern foods. And the differences were dramatic. Most modern studies are done short-term and only consider one or two aspects of the diet.

Second, they were only given aspartame, not diet sodas. Diet sodas (or sodas in general) have lots of other man-made substances, like artificial flavors. So, it is likely that drinking diet cokes (as we say in the south) is worse than this experiment even shows!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Eating Out Survival Guide

How do you eat out (or even at someone's home)? Well, very carefully.

The main trick I have up my sleeve (or I should say in my purse) is my make-up bag with health stuff. I have a little glass bottle with an oil and vinegar dressing (homemade) in it. I have a mini salt shaker (designed for camping) with Real Salt in it. I have digestive enzyme capsules. And I have Hydracel, a product of RBC, which neutralized chlorine in water (since I usually order tap water) as well as makes it easier for the body to absorb.

I use my dressing from everything from salads to baked potatoes. I often order salads as they can be fairly healthy without the salad dressings. But avoid or at least limit the bread (or croutons or tortilla strips.) I can tell a tremendous difference in both health and feeling full from the meal if I strictly avoid white flour.

Two restaurants that I seem to be able to find good food are Jason's Deli and Cracker Barrel. Jason's Deli has organic lettuce, apples, and carrots on their salad bar. They also have whole grain crackers sweetened with agave and yummy hummus. I think it's MSG and hydrogenated oils that they completely took out of all their food. I also like places like Subway or one of the places that makes burritos b/c I can pick and choose what I want (and pile up the raw veggies), so I feel a bit more in control.

Cracker Barrel offers whole wheat sourdough bread. I'm sure it still has some white flour in it, but it is sourdough (which is like soaked grains!) And they have real maple syrup and will bring you olive oil and apple cider vinegar for a dressing. Definitely better than the average.

Other tricks include: drinking Kombucha or an Apple Cider Vinegar drink before going to aid digestion; eating extra healthy at home before and after the digestive system can handle a bit of stress; and remember to limit my food (since I never seem to get full on non-tradition foods.)

Choose food that's better from what you are offered or what's on the menu. Raw food is great. Vegetables are good. Avoid the dairy (b/c it's not raw)and breads (unless whole grain). Go light on the meats. Less processed food is good--look for whole foods instead of likely processed foods. Don't be afraid to ask for things like real butter or honey or olive oil, even if they don't seem to go with your meal (especially at a restaurant). And enjoy the atmosphere and the company! Unless you are ill, it probably won't matter if you eat "bad" food occasionally. It's your habits that matter.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Healthy chips?

Well, I'm not sure I believe chips are healthy. As of yet, I haven't tried making my own, so they are still a processed food at my house. But I thought I'd share my trick for making them super delicious by adding only healthy stuff!

First, take a organic chips that have no hydrogenated oils. Place in a bowl. (Unsalted or with sea salt is best).

Second, put several scoops of coconut oil on the chips--spreading it out a bit.

Third, sprinkle with RealSalt. This is the way salt should be--healthy and good for you! These days I crave salt--apparently that's due to adrenal fatigue--common with chronic illness or just modern-day stress.

Fourth, heat (in a toaster oven or oven, of course, since microwaves are neither healthy nor helpful for food texture.)

This is a great way to get chips that are as good or better than the restaurant chips that are so tempting. It's amazing what heating them alone does. Don't cheat on the organic part unless you find some actually labeled "NO GMO's". Otherwise you're likely eating mutated/indigestible "food"!

One day I'll actually figure out how to make my own chips and maybe then I can claim they are healthy. Until then, at least I can make them decent. I have to have something to eat guac and salsa with. I'm from Texas!