Fermentation and Lacto-fermentation Benefits

The more I delve into healthy eating the more interesting things I run into. One of these is lacto-fermentation. Although I did make a batch of sauerkraut last summer when I had plenty of cabbage I am really new to making it and also to eating it. There is still some of it in my refrigerator and recently I have been eating it more. I do have a large vegetable garden and at times have more of certain things than I can eat at the time, lacto-fermenting makes it relatively easy to save the excess for later use. This is not just limited to cabbage either but to many other vegetables as well. The fermentation process also alters the food, making it easier to digest, releasing enzymes, vitamins and making it more flavorful. Fermented foods are alive with beneficial bacteria and microbes that live in our guts when we are in top health. This intestinal flora forms a large part of our immune system and thus is a large determinant of our health. By partially breaking down or predigesting the food through the fermentation process; our bodies are more able to absorb the nutrients in the food. The more beneficial nutrients we absorb the healthier our bodies become. This is especially important as we get older as our bodies become less able to do this. Some of the elderly are under nourished even if they eat a healthy diet and these days it becomes harder and harder to eat healthy unless you cook all your own food from  raw ingredients. What portion of us, of any age, actually do that now. The process is inexpensive so almost anyone who wants to can reap the benefits of fermented foods.

I would like to give you a link to some more information about fermentation and some easy recipes of things you can make from Paleo Diet Lifestyle. This is a good starting point but if you are interested in this subject; there is more information about this on the internet than you will ever need. It is not rocket science. You can experiment to find what you like best and to find the exact process that gives you the results you want. It is like making craft beer; they are all different but at the same time, use the same basic process. It is just like adapting the seasonings in a recipe to your own tastes. Just have fun with this and be healthy.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

More Musings.

This is a continuation of my post from from three days ago. I said then I thought I had enough information now to know how to eat to be healthy and to maintain a healthy weight, and I do. Am I eating that way now, no. I have only known this for a very short time. Will I ever totally eat that way? I can’t honestly say for sure but I hope to eventually, for the most part. What I believe, and I know it is true for me, a major change has to be gradual to be sustainable. This may not be possible in some cases such as when we are alcoholics, addicted to drugs or have an extreme health condition that were it to continue, would be life threatening. It would be very hard; for instance, to go from eating steak all the time to eating just rice and I am not recommending a rice diet. If your life depended on it and you truly wanted to live, you could make a gradual transition to a diet of just rice. I am constantly moving in the right direction and I hope one day to be there, eating as healthy a diet as I know how to. Even if I never reach perfection; I will be much better off than if I had never tried.

I am aware that most of us never truly know what the healthiest diet is because of all the contradicting information out there. Something has to be done though; this country has become a nation of the obese, the diabetic, the people living a pills to mouth existence, the unaccountable, that can’t see the results of their actions, of consuming an unhealthy diet. I am really puzzled; can we really not see what we are doing to ourselves or do we just not care? Even if we don’t know exactly what to eat and in what quantities to achieve optimum health we know enough to know that what we are eating is not it. We could do what we know to do and make changes along the way as we get better information. That is what I have been doing for years. Although I feel that I have just about got the puzzle solved, I am sure that something will come along to improve upon it. Should I have waited until I had all the information before I stared? I don’t think so, I would have been fifty to sixty pounds overweight for a lot more years and I could and probably would have developed some serious health issues because of it.

I know people right now that have very serious health problems; some life threatening, that take medications by the handful, some even still smoke, yet they don’t seem to see the cause of the problem. It is like they are wearing blinders; a bad case of denial I guess, I don’t know. I want to help people if I can but how do I get them to the point where they see that they need help. What is the solution? If any of you know, please let me know. I would love to have a dialog about this. I really want your ideas.

If any of you have been in this situation and have found a way to be healthy that works for you, I would love to hear how you did it and who knows, you might be an inspiration to someone else to get healthy. I know there are lots of you out there that have turned your lives around. I know it wasn’t easy for you but it was probably easier than you thought it would be. How about inspiring someone else to do the same. Remember a good idea not shared, has limited reach. I appreciate all of you.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

Another Asault on Our Food Supply

This is not what I planned to write about today but I have to share something that I first saw on Facebook. It is news about a new drug that the beef feedlot operators are giving the beef they are fattening for our consumption. This is something that you will never see in their ads when they are telling you how good it is and how good for you. No ad like; hey folks, we have this new improved beef that we made using a drug that has failed as a drug for us humans. The drug does not make it taste better, more tender, more nutritious or save you money; no, it just helps us make more money off of you. Never mind the possible harmful side affects from the drug.

I don’t know about you but I am damn tired of our food suppliers adding just any kind of chemical to our food that they feel will enhance their profit, for whatever reason. I am giving you a link to the detailed information about this drug and what they are doing. As you will see, a lot of the beef producers don’t even want to use this drug but feel that they will be left out in the cold if they don’t. Here is the link.

I sincerely hope you will read this and share it with everyone you know. We need to stop this now, and don’t buy any beef that you even suspect is contaminated with this drug. If we won’t buy it, they will stop using it. We can do this folks.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

Musings for Today

Today was a beautiful day her in North Alabama, warm and sunny. I feel for those who are in the middle of or in the path of winter storms. Not only was the weather to my liking; I had wonderful  company for most of the day. Much to be grateful for.

I have been trying to solve a mystery; for my benefit first and also to share with my readers or anyone else that might listen. Don’t get the idea that I expect to find some knowledge that is new to the world or has never been exposed to the light of day; I don’t. There are areas where there is a abundance of information; from supposed experts, who all think they have found the end of the rainbow. What I am talking about is what kind of diet and lifestyle will not only allow us to be at our proper weight but to be as healthy as humanly possible..

We read material from numerous so called experts who advocate everything from a low fat, high protein, low carb, high carb, high fat, low protein diets. We are to eat by our blood types, body types and it’s a different diet for women than for men as well. We have to eat by the calorie counts, use points, buy special prepared foods, eat raw food, drink all kinds of juices, not eat trans fat, animal fats, red meat or something else that will kill us. I have been confused and I am sure if you are concerned about your health; you are too. If you are not concerned; you probably could care less..

Well I am concerned about my health; I wasn’t always though, of course I never wanted to be sick or to die prematurely but I guess I just wasn’t all that aware, now I am. I never used drugs, drank to excess or some other things that can ruin your health in a hurry but I have not always been that discerning about what I ate or how much. For the last few years I have really started to do better but haven’t reached perfection quite yet. I have been lucky in one way though; I have been able to retain relatively good health but I am not content with that, I want to actually improve my health. That is why it has been so frustrating trying to figure out what I need to do, health wise. I think I have finally, pretty well got it figured out, at least until something changes my mind but I feel reasonable confident.

I will be letting the cat out of the bag shortly and then you won’t have any excuse to not do it. There is one thing I would like to discuss before I do though. I hope to do that tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

How Does Our Social Network Support Our Happiness?

Those of you who have read my writings already know that I believe that our happiness ultimately comes from within and no outside condition or person can guarantee it. Some of us look to another person to make us happy, some look to money, houses, cars or other things. Whatever happiness we get from these are at best temporary; true happiness comes from within.

That said; having a great romantic partner, a great family, good friends that love you does certainly makes it easier. As with the saying that you have to be able to love yourself before you can love others; it is hard to help someone else to be happy if you are unhappy yourself. I want to talk about the importance of having loving relationships in our lives and how we can improve them. We humans are social creatures, we thrive when we have other like minded people in our close circle. So how can we maximize the relations we have, whether romantic, family, friends or co-workers?

 

  1. Remember everyone is an individual and has their own likes, ideas, needs, wants and ways of thinking.
  2. No one goes into a relationship to give the other person what they need.
  3. If we don’t expect anything from a relationship we will be more grateful for what we get from it.
  4. Their job is not to make us happy.
  5. Don’t ask them to give you something; if we have a need they will probably offer.
  6. If they offer you help, take it if you will benefit unless they are doing it to make you feel obligated to them.
  7. Relationships are never 50/50; we at times may give more than we receive and at times receive more than we give but if the relationship is a good one, it will even out.
  8. That said; when we can, we should give all that we can for there will be times, we can’t.
  9. Always treat others as you would want them to treat you and they will usually reciprocate.
  10. The old saying “ To have a good friend, be a good friend “ rings true.
  11. Be nice to people who can not help us, it cost us nothing but the thought to do it.
  12. A smile is free to you but may be priceless to the one it is directed to.
  13. People don’t want us to change them; they will change when the cost of being as they are exceeds the cost of changing.
  14. They don’t want our advice either unless they have asked for it. Even then don’t be offended if they don’t take it.
  15. They don’t want to hear our constant complaints either.
  16. If we can’t find something to love and respect in everyone we don’t need to be in a relationship with them.

Any or all of these tips may help us have better relationships and having good relationships with others makes it easier to be happy. It also leads to a longer and healthier life.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

What is the Gaps Diet?

We have all heard of, read of, know friends or family members with disorders such as autism, dyspraxia, A.D.D.,A.D.H.D.,schizophrenia, dyslexia and depression. We know how heart wrenching, and how devastating these types of disorders can be and how little hope there is for effective  treatment for them. I once had a family member that had a never ending problem with depression and I know from personal experience how devastating that disorder can be. I can only imagine the heartbreak of having a child or grandchild with one of these conditions and not being able to get effective treatment for it.

I have been reading a lot lately and sometimes when I am looking for information about one thing I run across something entirely different. That was the case a couple of days ago when I read about a doctor that specialized in these disorders and used a very different approach than the norm. There had been other information that I had read that hinted of benefits from a somewhat similar approach so I wasn’t surprised to read this. When you are on a journey you will pass many other paths and if you follow them you never know where they may lead you. If we take a too narrowly focused look, we may overlook something very worthwhile that we would otherwise pass right by. I am always open to something new, something heretofore unknown. When I found this information I knew that it was something I needed to share with you my readers.

The book is Gut and Psychology
Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia  by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.The book is available from Amazon and there are 133 reviews there and all but eight are four or five star and most are fives. The reviews tell of many conditions that were helped or eliminated by the use of Dr. Campbell-McBride’s Gaps Diet.

Rather than write an article myself about the Gaps Diet; I would like to refer you to one on Nourish Kitchen dot com by Kevin. It is an excellent article and very informative. Here is the link.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

I am an Amazon Associate and may receive a few cents from them if you use the link and buy something from them.

One of Those Days

Today is such a beautiful day, like a spring day in mid-February The sun is out and not a cloud in the sky. We had a little rain last night and we have some more due in a couple of days but for now we are being blessed. I am in northern Alabama and hope you are enjoying the same wherever you are. You really have to go out of your way to be ungrateful on a day like this. I actually did the first work in my garden yesterday. I planted a row of Sugar Snap peas and a bed of radishes. Hope they do well, I can see myself eating those peas right now, yum.

At least the first part of my post went well. I had a very interesting post for you today but I can’t give it to you today because of a technical problem I am having. I have tried everything I can think of to fix it but nothing has worked. I guess I have to take my lesson for the day and just let it go, quit letting it get to me. An answer will come or I will have to ask someone who knows more than I but in the end it will get posted, just probably not today.

So what do you do when you have one of those days? Do you let it ruin your whole day or do you just realize that s–t happens sometimes and you just have to accept it and go on? I have found that the more you fight it and the more upset you get about it; the worse the problem becomes. One problem leads to other problems.

I think I am just going to go outside and enjoy that beautiful sun while I can; my problem can wait. Why don’t you join me.    David Johnson

 

Does Happiness Equal A Longer Life?

Does happiness lead to a longer life? I think so. Unhappiness, like stress, worry, fear, depression and anxiety can throw our bodily systems out of sync just like a misfiring spark plug can make our car motors run poorly. Studies have found that healthy people who are happy will live longer than healthy people who are unhappy but an unhealthy person who is happy won’t necessarily recover because of the happiness. We will stay healthier if you are happy and thus live longer because of it. Being happy while We are unhealthy may lead to a more satisfying life but not a longer life. The effect from being happy can make as much difference in longevity as whether we smoke or not.

Numerous studies have shown how negative emotions can harm the body. Chronic stress or fear sustained over time can lead to wear and tear injuries to our bodies just as stress and abuse lead to premature failure of a motor or other piece of machinery. The premature wearing on the body can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other illnesses. Anger and anxiety, when at a chronic level can even disrupt the electrical functions of the heart leading to increased inflammation and atherosclerosis.

When we are optimistic we can expect a fifty percent improvement in heart health over those who are pessimistic When we expect good things to happen, rather than bad and we feel that our actions account for the good we receive, we feel that we control things and not that things are randomly happening to us. The more we feel we don’t control our own destiny the more unhappy we generally feel.

If happy people live longer, and by that I assume better or why would we want to live longer, how can we be happier? We become happy by deciding to be happy, by trying to see the positive in every situation and refusing to be negative about anything. We are the authors of our own happiness. It may be nice to have lots of money, have a desirable and attractive partner, have the perfect career or the perfect retirement, but they do not guarantee happiness. Happiness comes from within, it’s a way of thinking, an attitude, a way of life. There are people who have very little in worldly possessions that are happier than many of the wealthy. It is all about what are our priorities, what we see as being important to us, what makes our life worth living and are we fulfilling your purpose here.

So if we want to be happy we must feel that we have a purpose, feel that we have a measure of control in our life, feel that we are making a difference, and have a connection with other people. We could be raising a grandchild that has no one else or we could be helping hundreds of people by providing them jobs, we could be just supporting your own family but we are doing something worthwhile. We know that life is better for someone else because of us.

So is the glass half full or half empty, it is our choice, we have the power. How full our glass is also determines how full people in out spear of influence see their glasses. We will not change everyone but we will make a difference. The same is true if we see the glass half empty. I choose to see mine three-quarters full.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

 

 

 

Is Our Health Care System Killing Us?

The United States spent more per capita ( $7,146 ) and also the most as a percentage of the GNP (15.2 %) than any other country in 2008; yet, the U.S. ranked last in the quality of health care compared to similar countries. A male in this country will live four years less than a male in the highest rated country. This with the staggering number of 49.9 million Americans that are without health insurance; these are 2010 figures and I am sure they are higher now. Add to that the fact that the third leading cause of death in the U.S. is from the health care itself. These caused by medication errors, unnecessary surgery, preventable hospital errors, hospital infections and adverse drug reactions.

At the same time the rate of cancer deaths from 1974 to 1994 were almost identical, while from 1980 to 2000 the obesity rate has doubled, with about a third of those over twenty years of age being obese. In this country 47 % of males and 38 % of females will get cancer of some sort in their lifetime unless we change what we are doing. The percent increase in this country of diabetes ranges from a high of 70 % in the 30 to 39 age group to a low of 31 % in the 50 to 59 age group. Folks, this is only from 1990 to 1998, eight years. The sad fact is that over a third of us don’t know we have it.

Why is it not working? This is my opinion, you are welcome to agree or disagree. The health care industry has become big business with billions of dollars to be made, they don’t want us to be healthy ( mostly ). They want you to start taking expensive drugs and using expensive tests early in life and to go to your grave depending on them. I am sure they are sorry if you die prematurely but only from the standpoint that their cash cow dies with you. Don’t get me wrong there are good people in the health care industry that are caring people and that are heart-broken every time they see a patient that they can not help. There are doctors that got into the profession to help people who have to do things every day that go against their principles just to keep their doors open.

I believe that one of the reasons that some people are unhealthy is because they have good insurance where their out-of-pocket cost is minimal. They go to the doctor for even minor problems, sometimes demand medicines that they do not need or will not work and will take any test or any medicine their doctor orders because it costs them little or nothing. They expect the medical profession to fix whatever their poor eating and lifestyle has done to their bodies, like putting a bandage on a cut. Then they do not have to take the responsibility to take care of their own bodies and live a healthy lifestyle. I have news for them, their approach is not working, reread the statistics above.

When I was born (1946) health insurance was unknown to most Americans, we went to the doctor when we had to and we paid for it ourselves or in some cases we traded chickens, eggs or whatever we had that the doctor could use to pay the bill. I guess even then some doctors got into the profession to get rich but for most of them it was for the desire to help others. Even if they could have gotten rich doing it, most people would not have picked a profession where they were on call 24/7 as they were back then. Most small towns, if they were lucky enough to have a doctor, only had one and they had to be available at anytime.

I could go on but I think you get my point. When we decide to take charge of our own health and quit blindly allowing a for profit industry to do with us as they wish and assuming  they are doing the right thing for us, the sooner we will regain the health we can have and deserve. We can not just blindly trust that those in the medical industry to have our best interests at heart. God gave us a brain, it is up to us to use it.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

 

More Healthy Eating Tips

Yesterday morning the sun came out so beautifully but there was a biting wind. Did I curse the wind? No, I was too busy being grateful for the sun. A much too short a time later; the sun was gone, the clouds had claimed the day. Was I sad? I did regret that the sun was gone but because it was entirely beyond my control; I accepted it as it was.

Do any of you have problems from foods with added MSG? If so you might want to go read this here. I can not say whether this is all true or not but I do feel that there is enough good information there to be beneficial to anyone who doesn’t desire to eat food with this additive. Certainly if it is a known health risk to you, please check it out.

Also here is something that you might want to bring to the attention of your elected officials. It is an article that tells of several food additives that are banned in other countries but are allowed here by our own government. Here is the link.

We have all been told about the health consequences of eating a lot of fried foods. There is the fact that fried food absorbs a lot of oil and too much fat in our diets can and for most of us will make us fat. I personally believe that the major health factor is probably the kind of fat being used and maybe where you get the food. We as a society have become a society that prefers to eat out; whether at a fast-food place or a more formal restaurant. The frying method is basically the same wherever you go. We usually have no way of knowing what kind of cooking fat they use; even if they tell us, we just have to trust them. Even when they advertise that they use no trans-fat, we may have no clue as to what kind of oil they actually use. There is considerable differences in the properties of the different oils that are available. Even if they do use the more healthy oil, how many times do they use it before they change it. A worn out healthy oil could actually be worse for our health than a fresh one with trans-fat. The key here in both cases is how much is it costing them, how it affects their bottom line. There is no law that tells them when to change their fryer fat.

I just read something that can give all of us who like fried foods hope though. An eleven year study of 41,000 people in Spain, varying in age from 29 to 69 has found that when using olive oil or sunflower oil to fry foods; it did not point to an increase in heart disease or to premature death. This was true of even those who ate fried food the most, in the study. We have to be aware though that in Spain both people at home and also restaurants use mostly olive oil and sunflower oils for cooking; which is not true here.

What I conclude here is that at least in a home setting where you can control the quality of the oil you use; frying may only add fat calories but otherwise not be a health hazard. The control we have when we prepare our own food is the major factor in our eating healthy, in my opinion.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson