Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Drink more tea!

Jeff and I used to be daily coffee drinkers.  We didn't drink a lot of coffee each day.  No more than two large mugs full.......wait!  That is a lot!  He added 3 sugars to his and I usually added 1 sugar to mine.  He liked his very light and I just put a smidge of milk in mine.

On day one of our journey to better health we quit drinking coffee.  We waited about three weeks before we had another cup.  By then the habit was broken.  And it is a habit, an addiction for most folks.  If you can't imagine a day without it then you have a problem.  The first step to overcoming any problem is first admitting that you have one.  Evidently we did and now we don't.

I gave away all of the Maxwell House coffee I had stored in my pantry (about 6 containers) and I also gave away the Keurig coffee machine.

We began to drink tea.  Red (rooibos) for Jeff, and green tea for me. In my research on what tea would be best for us to drink, red tea kept coming up as being the best for Jeff in his situation (cancer diagnosis)  It is much higher in antioxidants than green tea.  This is what we were after.   These are the health benefits we were discovering of drinking red tea:  it is caffeine free.  it is anti inflammatory and anti oxidant, supposedly 50% more than green tea.  It contains the pigment quercetin which has been shown to suppress malignant tumor growth. It is good for your immune system.  I stuck with the green tea because I did not have a diagnosis and it is less costly than the red.

We now  drink tea every morning.  We both take it the same way:  1/2 teaspoon of raw honey, and a smidge of  organic half n half.  In the beginning we drank tea about three times a day.  Now we are usually down to once a day.

Do we drink coffee now?  yes we do!

We buy organic coffee and we use a french press to brew it.  We drink coffee as a treat a couple of times a week--always in the afternoon.  I prepare mine with 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey and a smidge of organic half n half.  Jeff likes his lighter so he adds organic unsweetened coconut milk to his.

Coffee also has antioxidants, but it is high in caffeine and could be unhealthy depending on what you add to it.  We are also now concerned about drinking non organic coffee.

We are both really happy with our decision to break the addiction.  It feels good and right to be in control of what we put into our bodies daily.  Like everything else it is now a want and not a need.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Cook your Oats!

Before we began this plant based way of eating, our breakfasts were typical of most Americans.  I say Americans because that is all I know.  I have no clue what people eat for breakfast anywhere else in the world.

My husband ate 4 eggs and a few slices of bacon every other morning.  On the alternating mornings he ate granola (homemade) with yogurt (store bought sugar laden)

I ate whatever I was drawn to.  I always thought I was eating healthy.  I would sometimes have yogurt (homemade using raw milk, unsweetened) and granola (homemade)
Or I would have a bagel with peanut butter and a banana. Bread was usually always a part of my breakfast.  I would occasionally  eat eggs.

Sometimes, but rarely we would buy a box of cereal.  Whole milk for the husband, and nut milk for me.

Breakfast is now our opportunity to get a dosing of the super nutrition available to us in oats.  We eat oatmeal almost every morning.  If we don't eat oatmeal it's because we are doing a juice fast--that is another topic in the future.

When we have made oatmeal in the past we have just put water in it and shoved it into the microwave for two minutes.  At some point I learned to make a much yummier and satisfying bowl of oatmeal.  This is how I do it:

I use 1 cup of water -you may use milk or nut milk, or a combination as long as it is at least 1 cup.
 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
 1 Tablespoon chia seeds--I alternated every other day with ground flaxseed

**if you like raisins, add a 1/4 cup to the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients
 If we want to have banana or berries, we usually add them to our bowl after the cooking is done.



Place in a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 4 minutes.  When done simmering, remove from the heat and put the lid on.  Now wait 10 minutes at least.  The oats will continue to soften and puff up as will the chia seeds.





Transfer your oatmeal to a bowl.  At this point I add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the top of the oatmeal.  This is optional.  It adds a little bit of good fat to your meal and helps the cinnamon get yummy creamy!  I don't always do it for myself, but I do it on my husbands because some of his supplements require a fat to be eaten.



Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.  As much or as little as you like.  No cinnamon/sugar--just cinnamon! The bowl on the far right above has the fat--see how the cinnamon melts into it?

Drizzle maple syrup over the top.  I usually measure so I make sure it is no more than 1 teaspoon.

Making the oatmeal this way has made it into a much more satisfying breakfast.  We use mostly organic products and they are all readily available at the grocery or big box stores.  The best place to buy organic old fashioned oats is at a health food store (such as whole foods) that sells in bulk bins.  The organic chia and organic maple syrup I buy at Samsclub.

Breakfast is a very good place to start when you are trying to change habits.  I would suggest starting there and making eating a healthy, low sugar, high fiber breakfast a regular habit.







Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Just eat what is good for you!

Something I didn't know about before this food journey was that foods fall into different levels of ph.  They are either alkaline forming or acid forming in your body.  This is what I read.  As a gardener I knew that different plants like different soil ph's.  I knew that some foods were acidic.  I had never seen a chart like this one before.
*if this chart is hard to read just google alkaline foods and tons will show up!
This chart helped us a lot.

I also read some things that said blah, blah, blah, you can't change your body's ph, just eat what you want.  Please do not take me as any kind of authority on scientific anything.  I just know common sense.  And since we were in a scary place of not making any excuses for our bad habits, we were willing to heed the advice of this chart.

The foods on the alkaline level of the chart, that are above neutral ph, are so obviously the most healthy things to eat.  The foods that are below neutral ph are less healthy for you.  This is just common sense, right?

Here is what we read:

Eating too much from the acid forming side of the ph scale will cause your body to be out of balance.  It creates an environment of inflammation.  Inflammation in our bodies is responsible for cancers and autoimmune disorders.

Trying to keep your food choices to the alkaline end of the chart and consume the acid forming more sparingly will help keep your bodies flora in balance and keep the inflammation down.  This will help your body fight disease.  Yes!!!

We try to eat alkaline forming foods in large amounts, neutral foods in moderate amounts, and acid forming foods in sparse amounts.  It makes sense, right?  It did to us!!!

Even if you threw out the words alkaline and acid and all of the numbers on the chart, it still makes total sense!  You will only improve your health by eating foods that are at the top of the chart.

So buy lots of leafy greens and start eating healthy!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Just the Basics

In today's post I will try to give just a basic outline of what is in and what is out in each category of food.

Meats

*We eat some kind of meat product  only about once a week on average.  Honestly, when I think about it, it could be even less.  The desire for it is no longer there.
Organic, grass fed when we do eat it.

*NO PORK Products.  Yep.  No bacon, no sausage, no chops, no ribs, no nothing!
**eventually unprocessed pork may be ok if it is pasture raised & organic, but it will be a seldom occurrence.

*Organic chicken is ok.

*We eat eggs from our chickens.  They are organic eggs.  We limit it to 3 each a week.  We prefer to have them as our dinner in a fritatta or with hash brown potatoes.

*Fish is okay no more than twice a week.  We don't eat it that often.  Maybe once or twice a month.  It must be deep water fish (fish that have scales and fins)  Tuna is okay.

*Beef has been off limits to us also.  Red meat and pork are not healthy.  That being said if you eat organic, grass fed beef in limited amounts it will be okay.  Just not a steady diet of it.

Dairy

Ugh.  This was my addiction.  I love me some cheese.

*We now keep only two types of cheese in the fridge.

Parmesan (the real stuff, I haven't found an organic one I want to spend $$$$ on yet, so it is not organic)
Cheddar organic

these are both condiments and used sparingly.  No more cheesy casseroles!

*Milk.  We no longer support the dairy farmers by buying a gallon of milk each week.  We buy organic 1/2 & 1/2 for our tea/coffee.  For all other milk uses we have substituted almond, cashew, or coconut milk.  They are great in cereals and smoothies and just about any other milk use.

*We still use butter, but it is organic and expensive, so it is also used sparingly for that reason.  But we do love to have some bread and butter occasionally!

*No yogurt!!!  We were yogurt fanatics.  Yogurt every day.  Nope.

*Sour cream & cottage cheese--we still buy cottage cheese and sour cream but both organic and they are used about once a week at best.

*No ice cream!  We make "nice" cream on a regular basis so we don't miss it.  (I will make a post about the nice cream soon.  Or just ask me ;)

Fats

We use organic butter, organic virgin coconut oil, and organic extra virgin olive oil.  We try not to overdo it on the fats, but your brain needs fats!

NO CANOLA OR VEGETABLE OIL!

Grains

*Breads:  We only buy good bread from the farmers market or the health food store (they sell bread from local bakers)  Even the grocery store bakery department sells good bread from local bakers.
Mostly I buy sourdough.  We have tried Ezekial bread, but we don't like it so much.  We don't eat bread every day!  I keep it sliced in the freezer and try not to have bread more than twice a week.

*Oats are our most eaten grain.  Organic Old Fashioned Oats.  Every morning.

*We eat barley, quinoa, brown rice -- all organic.  and wild rice.  We eat them as sides and we eat them mixed into salads.  Rice in a veggie salad is awesome!

Sugar

NO REFINED SUGAR!  We use raw honey (local if we can get it) and organic maple syrup.  We use it sparingly.  I no longer bake like I did, but I have been trying my hand at reworking some things to fit a healthier diet.  I also keep liquid Stevia on hand for random times I may want to use it.  My favorite is the stevia flavored water drops.  I find them in the health food store.

Processed Foods

NONE.  We eat as close to the whole food as we can.  We try to minimally process anything.  We eat a lot of Raw vegetable meals.  Nothing goes into the microwave.  Nothing comes from a package.

Legumes

These are our friend.  We try to eat one cup each per day.  We eat them on salads.  Yum....... all kinds........We make soups......yumm.......
Lentils, black beans, chickpeas----hummus!!!!  we eat a lot of hummus

We eat peanut butter and almond butter 

Vegetables

We start with the dark leafy greens and add from there.  The basis to every salad is romaine lettuce, chard, collard, kale, spinach.  EVERY DAY.  Most days twice a day.

We then go with the cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc........

into the salads or stir frys go onions, garlic, bok choy.  Anything that is leafy and green.

You can't go wrong with vegetables.  The average american salad of ice berg, tomato, and cucs is not eaten in this house.

We sometimes go for color!

CARROTS--I can't say enough about carrots.  We buy 25 lbs a week.

We eat white potatoes and sweet potatoes--organic, about once a week

*obviously all the vegetables are organic.

Fruits

We stick with bananas and berries.  I sometimes buy kiwis.  All berries.  Fresh, frozen, organic.  every day.

Nuts and Seeds

We eat almonds, pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed.
We also eat chia seed and flax seed and hemp hearts

Condiments

We don't use too many condiments.  Salad dressing is either just olive oil with seasoning, or a store bought low sugar organic one.  ketchup and bbq sauce are gone.  If I want some I make it with organic canned sauce/paste/honey/seasonings.  Mayo is gone.  If I want some I make it with organic oil and an organic egg.  obviously these don't keep well, so I only make enough to use at the moment.

We use sea salt.  Either Himalayan or Celtic.  MINERALS!

We read labels and try to keep the sugars low. They can be high in condiments

Beverages

NO ALCOHOL!  ugh

WATER, WATER, WATER

Coffee--organic--two cups a week
Red (rooibos) and Green tea every morning

We drink smoothies a few times a week in the evenings.

Obviously I can't address every anomaly in our diet.  This is a start.  From here I will try to share a different idea each day from a different meal.  That way I can rotate through meal ideas and talk more in depth about them.

Also I want to say that if this seems daunting--baby steps.  One change at a time until it becomes a habit.  That is the way to go!




Sunday, July 1, 2018

A new way of life

I've been wanting to write about our recent journey.  It's been hard to do it, but if I want nothing but positive things to come of it, then here goes.

Our journey began on April 10th of this year.  Really it began some time in March, but April 10th is the day we received the phone call that sent us on our journey.

The phone call came from the surgeon with the biopsy results of a tumor removed from my husband's colon. 

Cancer.

I looked at my husband and said, "are you ready to change our eating habits now?"

His answer was "yes"

I walked over to the bookshelf and pulled out 2 books that I have had for years.  The Hallelujah Diet and Patient Heal Thyself (which is now called The Maker's Diet, I believe)  I felt like God had been preparing me for this.  I felt like I already knew so much about what to do.  We dove right in.

So the journey I was referring to is a journey to GREAT health! 

With the help of those two books and countless hours on facebook groups and blogs about natural healing of cancer, together we devised a plan for battling this cancer.  We did all of this instantly, we had no idea of what extent this cancer was.  We just knew we needed to get super nutrition started in his body immediately.

**I truly believe that God healed my husbands cancer.  I will write about this separately.

A week later my husband's MRI and CT scan showed absolutely nothing.  The surgeon was amazed by the MRI because he was not at all confident that he had removed it all.  Yet no cancer was showing up.  Hallelujah!

This meant no chemo or radiation (praise God because knowing what we now know we would never agree to it)  The surgeon scheduled a resection surgery for a few weeks later. 

Another week later he called us back and said he wanted to send Jeff to a specialist a few hours away.  He wanted him to take a look and see if it was possible to have a less invasive surgery.  (the tumor was in his rectum)   We gladly went!

Upon being examined by the specialist (1 month after the initial diagnosis) it was found that the tumor sight was shrinking and healing--not growing!!  Hallelujah!  He said yes, he was a perfect candidate for the less invasive surgery.  He was very encouraged by the improvement in the site in one month!  We mentioned the excessive amounts of carrots we were juicing and the turmeric he was taking but he dismissed that as having any relevance.  hmmmmm.

Jeff had outpatient surgery ten days later.  When the surgeon came out to talk to me he said there was barely a mark where the cancer had been and he was highly confident it was gone.  He removed tissue at the site and the margins around it.  He told me he was surprised by how much more it had healed in ten days.  I told him about our diet changes.  He didn't dismiss it this time. 

A week or so later we received the call from the surgeon telling us that all labs came back clear! 

I'm telling this whole story because it leads into this lifelong journey we are now on.  It is a journey to be healthy in our older years.  We are 58 and 60.  We have been healthy thus far.  But colon cancer?!!  This clearly is diet related.  My husband loved to eat all of the things that were not good for him in the long run.  I have always been overweight and he had also put on excess pounds in the last 10 or so years.  This was a wake up call!  We have too much to be healthy for!

This journey we are on is called Whole Foods Plant Based eating.  We are not vegan.  We eat no more than 10% animal products.  Mostly less than 10%.  We eat organic.  Refined sugars are gone.  Anything processed is gone.  Coffee is now a treat twice a week.  Green tea and Red tea took its place.

We began eating this way almost immediately after his diagnosis, not quite three months ago.  He has lost 25 lbs and I have lost 22 lbs.  We feel so much better!  We have so much more energy!  And we are happier!

I am going to try to write about this way of eating in the hopes that it can help someone else.  There is so much information out there and I know it can be a daunting task to figure out what to eat and what not to eat!  I have kept a food journal since day one on everything that we have eaten.  I'm not going to lie and say this is easy!  I think eventually it will just be natural to us and easier.

My next post will cover the basics of how we eat.  I will try to outline it as best I can. 
Questions!!!  I would love to answer any and all questions. 
Obviously we are only three months into this, but so far we have seen nothing but good results. 
Only time will tell about the cancer, but right now we have no reason to believe it will ever come back.
I am hoping to keep us accountable through helping others eat healthier also!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Thirty five years

It's a long time

It's a lot of tears

Marriage is hard.

You can't really know someone before you commit.

And then someone changes

Or someone doesn't.

It's what you have

For better or for worse.

There are a lot of betters

There are a lot of worsts.

This is life

This is love.

It's what we are called to do.

Persevere

Giving up is never an option.



We get older.

We get set in our ways.

I'm okay.  Your okay.

We get comfy in our complacency.

We get a glimpse of the fleeting nature of it all.

We always reach out to grab it and then just let it slip through our fingers.

The truth is that for every smiling Facebook photo op

there are 10,000 tears and heartaches behind it.



We are brave.

Those of us who make it past 30 years.

At that point we must be reasonable thinkers.

So much of it is freaking hard

But so much easier than starting over for sure.




I never envy the young.

I would never want to do over one minute of it.

Because I would make the same exact choices.

Because love is irrational, unexplained, everlasting.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Gun Control: a somewhat atypical conservative's viewpoint

First, a few random statements:

1.  It is hard for me to watch the public and the government put so much effort into protecting children's lives when the public and the government are totally okay with murdering the unborn.

2.  I believe that people are inherently followers and like to be told what to think and do by the government.  This is mostly accomplished through the public school system.  Yep.  We all pay for the mind manipulation of children.  Our tax dollars at work!

3.  Most people get all of their information about current events from media of some sort.  All media lies or at the very least distorts the truth to some degree.  I think most people get their "knowledge" of current events from CNN, Fox News, and Facebook Memes.  Not necessarily in that order.

4.  There are way more people who really don't know or care to know anything about current events, yet they will spout off any opinion that fits in with their tribe, mob, peer group, etc.

5.  The NRA (National Rifle Association)  has it's head up it's ass.  They are nothing but a government lobbying group and they ARE part of the problem.  I believe they are in cahoots with the government in it's plan to totally control all citizens.

The Second Amendment
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

*basically, our rights as citizens of the US, are to be able to own guns to protect ourselves and our country, in an organized fashion (well regulated)

Everyone can argue until the cows come home over what the 2nd amendment actually means.....or we can rely on common sense.

We fought for our independence from an absent, unjust, and greedy government using an army made up of civilians using their own weapons.  That is all we need to consider when deciding what the 2nd Amendment was intending to say.

History DOES repeat itself.  Especially when people don't know their history!

The depravity of human nature is a real thing.
Greed is a real thing.
Hate is a real thing.

I don't know about you, but I want to legally be able to defend myself, my family, my town, my state, from psychos and the federal  government!  I want to be able to legally own an assault weapon.

There!  I said it!

Government stuffed shirts and all brainwashed conservatives!  Listen Up!

>Close the gun show loophole.  Yes.  It does exist in MOST states!
>All gun sales should be limited to age 21+
>background checks should be extensive and the waiting period should be long.
>mandatory gun safety courses should be required for all gun owners.
>limit magazine size
>outlaw bump stocks

The federal government does not want to protect and support legal, responsible gun ownership.
The federal government wants an unarmed citizenry.

Read history books, not the fake news.
We can tighten our gun laws.
Will it stop mass killings? 
No.  Where there is a will there is a way.  Even if ALL guns were outlawed, shootings would still occur.  Probably more often.

The last thing we need is for only the government and the criminals to be armed, as they are one and the same.