Category Archives: Health/ Nutrition

fast. FaSt. FAST.

But…. E-A-S-Y DOES IT.

Every year at this time Pops comes to me with a modest request.  Will I secure a detox cleanse kit for him.  Oh.. and will I do it with him.   He wants a clean-me-out-for-I-have-not-been-diligent-lately program.

His favorite indulgence is:

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Doesnt matter what form the coke comes….Just bring it.  Now.

Mine?

Caramel sauce.  By the bucket.  I tend to be conservative with my indulgences since each time I indulge I get what feels like a Jack Daniels hangover.

On and off for the last 10 years we have participated in programs with questionable results.  My nutty food sensitivities force me to eat pretty well throughout the year,  so I can’t really tell overall.

After using the same one for several years, I called my doctor to see if he recommended  a newer/better body cleaner  outer.  He did.  So we did.

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This is not a plug for this item.  Believe me.  This is not a plug for this item. Core Restore?  Six pack abs at end of week?     If you notice it even comes with an electric stirrer for the yummy powder that we get to drink twice daily.  The upside to this is that it only lasts 7 days oppose to the 14 day we’ve done in the past.

So, what’s the big deal. you ask?

The big deal is this.  When Pops read the instructions he stopped and said, “Oh my. (actually that’s what I said) It says here that we can begin eating on the third day.  WH-A–T?  Okay.. we calmed ourselves and beginning  Saturday night at  9:53 pm  we stopped eating.  We resumed eating on TUESDAY at 7:26 am. Just approximately.   Let me count….. somewhere in the vicinity of 56 hours.  It was THE most uncomfortable two days of my life.  (I am totally aware that I am dealing with a first world problem and I am very sensitive to those who are not as fortunate as me.  Just want to be clear.  I am just being honest. )   Now, I have gone much longer without food in the midst of a  medical situation, but I wasn’t in my right mind and I think they were getting stuff in me somehow.  And Pops, oh my goodness, he is still down for the count.  Poor guy.

On Monday, he decided to stay home for the fasting was sweating his little brow.  46 hours into the fast he walked in on me watching Dives and Diners (not sure on name).  They were in Texas, I think, checking out the Texas size burgers.   WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? he said.   I can tell you that I was out of my ever livin’ mind.

I contemplate fasting as a prayer offering often. I would love to be able to that.   I physically don’t think I can handle this.  I felt like I was in stressed heart  attack mode.  Flu systems too.  Major toxic shake out.   Maybe now that I’ve gone 56 hours, I can give ‘er a 24 hour try as a prayer lift.   Have you ever fasted?  My son, who has not eaten for days in Army Special Force training, says it gets better. You no longer feel hungry after days.  Maybe because you are not. alive. anyMORE.

Another thing I learned during the two days of fast is that meal time is a sacred thing to me.  I look forward to meals.  We gather and we talk.  Those two days?  No need to talk. Passing ships in the morning, noon and night.  Pops says, do you need anything while I am out?  Nope.  More time to stir and shift in my hungry seat since I don’t have any preparing to do.  Threw both of us into total fuzzy land.

IMG_7903We are half way through the week. I feel normal now.  Unfortunately, Pops is feeling a little under the weather.   Feeling results?  Who the heck knows.  Yeah sure.  Why not?   I did not lose a single ounce of weight during the  56 hour fast.  So whatever that’s worth.  I really wasn’t trying but if your going to take the time, there may as well be a bonus, right?

It is valuable couple time together.  Try it.  Couples that clean out bodies together, stay together.

Peace,

Karen

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Fill ‘Er Up.

Today, I attended a relative’s funeral.  This will be the ninth family funeral in three years for me.  Seems odd, doesn’t it?  It does to me.   Some were to be expected.  Some not.  Even before this funeral, I had been giving  this life/death thing  a lot of thought.  I have been accused of letting my head wander places that most heads would not  and, of course, it seems to have wandered that way again.   The joy in me doesn’t dwell too long  on life ending because I feel  certain that there is a life of eternal bliss that will follow this. I rejoice for those who go before me.   I will admit also, that I struggle in this world and often times feel I have no place here which leaves me daydreaming about what is to come.   I suffer from insomnia so I look forward to one day taking a very long nap.  And I can’t eat many foods that most people enjoy, so I look forward to an eternal mountain  of cookies when I enter heaven too.   I told ya.  My brain gets on the wrong train sometimes.

Cookie mountain

 

So where did it wander to this time?  Memory Bank.  Making deposits.

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While we live, we possess an  unbelievably complicated gift of a memory bank.  We each possess one and it is full up.   Both of my parents suffer/ed from forms of dementia.   I am keenly aware of the gift of our memory bank.   And what a gift it is.  As I take my daily stroll through the woods, I can pluck out a memory from yesterday, or 45 years ago.  I can ruminate on it for a fleeting second or really dig in.  Maybe even end up on a couch over it.  In an office.  With someone listening intently about my precious memory.   Which I have many times.  Memories are not all good.  Each one makes up   who I am.  Good or bad.  Happy or sad.

But you know what?  My memory is mine.  It is very personal.  Very intimate.  I own it.  Our memory banks cannot go bankrupt(except with the dreaded disease) .  There are thousands, probably millions of them  at my disposal.  We can bask in our memories.  When you think about it (as deeply as I tend to think) it is  incredible that we are blessed with such a rich  deposit  of data that can be flashed before our eyes in the second of an adrenaline rush.  Or an aroma.  For me,  a song will send me back to a place that I can literally smell and feel.  Sometimes the stirring of a memory can make my heart hurt.  Just from the yearn for the long-lost time.

Life is really amazing to me and  I like looking deep into it because it’s all I’ve got.   And what a precious, wonderful, hard life it is.  I have very special memories about each of those relatives I have lost recently.  I can bring them around at will.  That is one heck of a good idea.

Peace,

Karen

 

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Sweet, Sweet Sheep and Potato.

A good farmer friend to the north of us sent me this video.  Yep, farmer friend to the north.  I would have a farmer wanna be friend from Canada.  Our dreams were laid down on many a table  whilst biking through Vermont years ago and I am happy to report that he and his beautiful Catherine and we people are realizing our dreams together. I cant wait to travel to the northern land above us to see their farm soon.

He is a gentle soul so it does not surprise me that he sent me this video and when I watched it, it made me yearn for a gentler world.  It made me smile just as he thought it would.   And I am forever grateful that my animals teach me daily something new about relationships.  Enjoy.  And thank you, Farmer Doug,  for thinking of me as usual.

Please click on link below for video.

Sheep teaches young bull to butt heads.

The SWEET POTATO.

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I don’t think I saw sweet potatoes on our dinner table growing up.  It was thrown in sometimes on Thanksgiving by someone.  But, if my memory serves me correctly, I don’t think my mother has ever bought a sweet potato.  Has yours?  But in her defense, I don’t think I have ever bought rhubarb.  Nor has she really.  Whate’er.

We have tons of hamburger and I have been trying to think of good recipes.  I have hit upon a scrumptuous dish that involves sweet potatoes.  It was such a hit that I scrambled for more sweet potato dishes and hit on another winner.  Sweet potatoes are so great and sweet.  And so nutritious.  We need them in our lives more often.

This first recipe is so sweet and yummy.  The hamburger tasted like sloppy joe mixture.   It calls for many middle eastern spices.  I am convinced that a sloppy joe could be made with the following spices and the typical junk left out.  i.e.  ketchup, brown sugar, etc.  I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Pops and I were blown away by the flavors of these two recipes.  I hope you are too.

PAKISTANI KIMA

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  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 pound ground beef (or venison, buffalo, etc) (I get from US Wellness meats)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can or jar of diced tomatoes (organic, no BPA), drained or 2 medium fresh tomatoes
  • ¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder or more to taste
  • 3-4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and garlic powder (or more to taste)
  1. Melt butter in a large skillet and add diced onion. Cook three minutes or until starting to become translucent.
  2. Add ground meat and cook until well browned. While cooking, add curry powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and garlic salt.
  3. Once meat is browned, add the diced tomatoes (drain off liquid first!), peeled and diced sweet potatoes, green beans and any additional spices if needed.
  4. Cover pan and simmer 20+ minutes or until sweet potatoes have softened. Check after ten minutes and add a couple tablespoons of water or chicken broth if needed.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!

Thanks to http://www.wellnessmama.com for that recipe.  Really great flavors.

SWEET POTATO AND CABBAGE BAKE

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12 oz. bacon.  Everything is good when bacon is involved.

1 large onion

1 head of cabbage

2 large sweet potatoes.

salt and pepper

2 cups of homemade chicken broth. or store bought.  I do think homemade sent this recipe from yummy to  exceptional.

Sautee bacon and onions.   Chop cabbage and cut potatoes into small pieces.  Put all ingredients into 9 x 12 baking dish and bake til done.  about an hour.  Maybe more.

I hope you do enjoy the recipes.  They are real food.  No sugar,  but extremely sweet and satisfying.

Have a good rest of your week.

God bless,

Karen

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Cod Liver Oil All That Its Cracked Up To Be?

First, before I tell the cod liver tale, I want to share my new breakfast concoction that is total yummo.  Total healthy.  Plus a secret ingredient that makes it all worthwhile.

Karen’s Yogurt Supreme

Ready?

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Fresh Blueberries

A couple of tablespoons of flax

A couple of tablespoons of Chia seed

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Full Fat (always.  If the fat is from a good source, it is terrific for us.) Organic PLAIN yogurt.

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A couple of tablespoons of pumpkin seeds. Preferably soaked and dried.

A couple of tablespoons of sunflower seeds.  Preferably soaked and dried.

About 8 drops of Stevia sweetener.

And now for the secret ingredient…..

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The darkest chocolate you can find.  Less sugar.  Less processed.

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A teaspoon (or more) of grated dark chocolate.  Ooooh myyyy goodnessss.  This breakfast is good.  And thoroughly healthy.  Every last drop.

Cod Liver Oil

I was reading an article about a gal who had extreme inflammation in her mouth.  Her dentist had her on antibiotics over the course of a year and did not help her.  Someone told her to take 1 1/2 t. cod liver in the morning and at night.   Also, she was told to do “oil pulling” which is where you put gobs of oil in your mouth and “chew” it for like 15 minutes and spit it out.  I have done this before and it is not pleasant, and made me gag.  I do believe it has medicinal qualities but the buck has to stop somewhere and that is where it stops for me.

5 months ago I went into my dentist for a cleaning and told them that it sorta hurt to bite down on popcorn.  Nothing else, just popcorn.  Next thing I knew I was in the chair getting a filling and a crown right next to each other.  I don’t know what they did in that process but I left the dentist not being able to chew on my right side at all.  So, I was no longer sad about not being able to chew popcorn.  I was sad about not being able to chew anything.   I kept going back to Mr. Dentist and they ended up crowning my new filling.  I now have two little crowns side by side.  Kingy and Queeny.  Fast forward 5 months… I still cannot chew on the right side.

When I read this gal’s story, I thought, I can at least try stepping up my cod liver intake from 1/4 teaspoon a day to 1 1/2 t.  and see what happens.  What happened?  I can chew on my right side.

Moral of this story?  Cod liver oil is an excellent anti-inflammatory.  It healed my king and queen.

It is filled with Omega 3.

You’ve heard of Omega 6 and Omega 3.  They are both wonderful for us….HOWEVER…… and I say that really loud……  We get Omega 6 from lots of foods.  All the oils especially, which whether we know it or not,  we eat so much of.   Nuts, seeds, butter…..all good stuff right?   Not good if you are not balancing it with Omega 3’s.  It is necessary to keep those balanced in our bodies or we open up huge opportunities for chronic inflammation and what not.

Omega 3 foods?   Flax.  Beef.   Fish.  Walnuts.  Tofu.  Things we do not eat a ton of.  Unless you’re like me, who is racing against the clock to see if I can eat 900 lbs. of beef before it goes bad in our fridge.

Cod liver oil is a great way to supplement so you can stay balanced.   I am reaching a point in my vitamin supplement journey that if I had to give up all but one of my supplements, I would keep the cod liver oil.

Let me just say that in my research on cod liver oil…I have found most oil has been processed with heat and has synthetic vitamins added back in.  NOT GOOD. Might as well not take it.    It keeps  coming back to the same brand.  It is the best on the market.  It is the bomb.

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It is the real deal.

I may have said before, that I am bankin’ on donuts galore in heaven.  Succulent cookies falling from the sky.  Ice cream fed to me from my chaise lounge down by the river.   I get my “version” of those things every so often but not as often as I would like.  Until then, I fill in the holes with cod liver oil.  I ain’t complainin’.

God bless,

Karen

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Augie Doggie Bloggie

Auggie. The new kid on the block.

Augie. The new kid on the block.

We picked up Augie wandering the streets of our nearby village a week ago today on our way to church.   The people of the village said he showed up about a week before and had been wandering since.  Our county is known for dumping dogs.  Can you imagine?   The poor thing had ticks all over him and was very scared.   The village people said  we were the only people that he would come up to.  He picked us, I guess.   He has been introduced to all the Shieling village “people”.  And he checks out fine.  Although, I am missing a cat as we speak.  ??

Today,  we walked the property to get him more comfortable with the lay of the land.

Augie met the fishies.

Fishie

Fishie

Virginia tried to teach him how to swim.

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We have not been able to enjoy the lake as of recent.  We have had white-faced hornets taking up residency on the dock.  A few days ago, our good ol’ Mr. Shady showed up all decked out to give those old hornets a taste of their own medicine.    He came donned in a bullet proof vest and what not. Of course.   It comforts us to have Mr. Shady come around once a week to kill hornets,  step on mice, moles and voles, among many other household chores.  Is stepping on mice, moles and voles one of your household chores?

Mr. Shady

Mr. Shady

I am happy to report the dock is free and clear.  Whew.

We discovered living cities of beings contained in large basketball sized bubbles in the lake.   Augie was quite impressed by the lake visit.

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Augie and I were amazed at how nicely the cow pasture has adjusted to becoming a shooting range for golf balls.

Golf ball hitting range

Golf ball hitting range

And we ended our tour by checking on our young apple trees that are fruiting for the first time this year.   We are giving organic a go.  They may not look like the big shiny apples in the store, but they taste every bit as delicious.  I am relieved because I am not spraying them.  Did you know apples are top on the list of “Dirty” produce?  Meaning they are highly contaminated by chemicals if not organic.   Although, I  just learned a frightening factoid about organic apples and pears.  Some farms use antibiotics on their “organic” fruit.  More reason to buy as local as you can.  If you can, try buying them from your back yard.

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Enjoy the following list of the Dirty Dozen produce.  Try to buy organic when purchasing the following foods:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries (sometimes sprayed up to fifty times in its short little tiny life)
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

The 12 LEAST contaminated are:

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

It was a glorious day on the farm.  Augie is happy to be here and we are happy to have him.  I  would just like him to tell me where my precious black cat disappeared to .

God bless,

Karen

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This And That Thoughts and Autoimmunity.

A couple of things before getting to Part II of Autoimmunity  8 natural treatments.

I have heard two things that keep resonating with me in the after math of the Boston Marathon tragedy.

1. Quote from awesome author, Ann Voskamp, “..life on this side of the race is hard right to the finish.”

Gosh, the bombing was quite a literal display of this quote.  We live life the best we know how and no matter, no matter, it is hard til the dying day.   Very difficult.  I choose to look at all the trials I come up against as a preparation and testing, if you will, for my life everlasting.  Otherwise, the life can be too daunting and overwhelming.  And I would really be questioning its purpose.

2.  I have to paraphrase this next one from our pastor at church this past week since it was not a written word.  Our country has become a “culture of death”.  We make it legal for mothers to kill their children( at the mind-boggling rate of  3500 a day), yet we are astounded, angered, violated, etc when someone chooses an action that inflicts pain and death on innocent  people of this country.  Could that be a tad  hypocritical?  How can we expect things to change when we have legalized murder in the country?

Woah.  When  you put it that way…. What would it look like if this country  lined up 3500 innocent folks a day and did away with them?   The country would probably look like deep pain and heartbreak.  And in many, many cases, despair.  Hmmm.  That has an eerily resemblance of what I see in the news.   Excruciating, isn’t it?

Ok,  back to task at hand….

Autoimmunity is closely related to chronic illness.  When we have an autoimmune disease we will suffer chronically in one way or another.

Feeling healthy is the key right?

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1. Check for hidden infections with the help of a doctor.   But don’t just rely on medicine if you want to get to root of cause.  Lifestyle changes have HUGE impact on wellness.

2. Check for hidden food allergens.  Food selection can be the solution.  Try the “Elimination Diet” where your body can be the judge.  And remove chemicals and processed foods from your diet. Research the GAPS diet and/or the Paleo diet.   

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3.  Get tested for Celiac Disease.

4. Get tested for heavy metal toxicity.  

5. Use nutrients such as Fish or Cod liver oil, vitamin C, vitamin D and Probiotics to help calm your immune response naturally.  
6. Exercise regularly.  It is a natural anti-inflammatory.  
7. Practice deep relaxation like deep breathing, yoga, massage and longer, restful sleep periods.  Stress worsens the immune response.
8.  Do not accept one solution or opinion.  Seek out professional help who use other methods for healing.  They are becoming much more common.  
9.  Get guided through a thorough detox against parasitic condition or yeast overgrowth attacking your system and greatly compromising your immune system. 
Implementing all of these measures together will most certainly get you to the bottom of the cause and have you on your way to recovery in lickety split.
God bless,
Karen

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Are You Your Worst Enemy?

I am.  My own worst enemy. The word autoimmunity has caught my attention.  I hear it everywhere.   New buzz word.  Probably not new but gaining popularity.   I don’t understand the word.  It  is when our bodies turn on ourselves.  ugh. That is not nice.  That is what I read.  But I read further.  I will try to make sense of it here in a very simple way,  as that will be the only way I will be able to understand it.  As it relates to “crhonic illness”, many of us might find some interesting findings here that relate to our own health. I was nudged to look this up when my big toes became excruciating painful in bed the other night.  Gout?  Too much beef?  Uh-oh.   Sounds horrible, eh?  Nuts have made moving my joints almost impossible at times this past year.  I realize I am a lost cause but we all suffer from chronic something or other whether it be allergies,  colds regularly, arthritis, digestive disorders, headaches, sinus problems, etc.

This might be the way you feel.

This might be the way you feel.

How can all this have anything to do with Autoimmune disorder???  Are they it related? Weeeeellllll.  …… This is what I uncovered in my very brief stint on the subject.  And I’m thinkin’  it may be good for me to know. INFLAMMATION.   It is connected to cancer. Diabetes.  Autism.  Depression. Thyroid disease.  Asthma.  Celiac.  And all that I listed above. Most all of these chronic conditions are treated with power drugs that are IMMUNE SUPPRESSING and the root of the cause is not addressed.   The source of  inflammation in our bodies must be found and treated.

The following definition is one I can most understand:

Autoimmune conditions are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues.

Autoimmunity happens when your immune system gets confused and your body cannot differentiate between healthy body tissue and foreign unhealthy tissue.  The immune system is fighting an allergy, toxin, food, stress and it directs its attack on your joints, brain, skin, gut, your hormones, etc.  Stress is a very familiar example that helps me understand this concept.  As we try to manage our stress, sometimes we can take on physical symtpotms as a result of the stress.  Heart disease, tummy problems, headaches, etc.  In the case of the heart, our immune system attacks our heart in its effort  to manage  the stress.  The result is heart disease. In my research, I have read that many of the medications and over the counter drugs only exacerbate the chronic illness.  They can be used to cool the inflammation short term but would be advisable to get to the root of the problem and correct it.   Antibiotics IS NOT the solution.  Makes sense to me.

In my case, it is becoming blaringly clear that my immune system attacks vehemently when it detects inflammation.  Like my big toes screaming the other night.  Or my joints making a cripple of me.  But always, always, always when I remove what I think is the culprit from my diet, it immediately goes away.  Luckily, I dont run to the doctor to get  a prescription filled.  I would be on a tremendous amount of medicine.

My problem is that I choose not to eat perfect 100 percent of the time.  When I dont, I suffer.  I ride a fine line though.  I play Russian Roulette with my health.   Eat well most of the time and let myself slip to a breaking point then climb back on the train.  Correcting the diet heals me without taking medication.  If I dont watch out, one of these days I will not be so lucky.

Now that I feel  a  teensy weensy more knowledgeable on this subject, and not really that much, I am concerned that this is a real dilemma in our western culture.  I found a super article that helped me with this post and it has 9 steps to treating autoimmune issues.  I will post them next time.   Until then,

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God bless,

Karen

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