One of the Dangers of Modern Life

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Another view from my back yard.

We read or hear every day of things in our environment that may make us sick, give us cancer, change our sexuality; and otherwise fill our bodies with dangerous chemicals.  We are told of possible consequences of ingesting this chemical cocktail but we really have no way of knowing what our particular mix of these substances will manifest sometime in our future.  It is not like each of us has the same mix; it is also not like we are each effected in the same way, even if we did.  We all know someone who smoked and died from it at a young age and others who lived into their nineties or later while smoking.

One of the dangers I am talking about is the use of plastics.  First off I am aware that we are probably not going to eliminate plastic from our lives; at least not in our lifetimes, maybe in a perfect future.  I see this like using organic foods or not, we are not going to eliminate our exposure but we can reduce it.  If you can afford it; I think buying organic is good but it more important to eat healthy foods whether organic or not than to buy organic junk or highly processed foods.

I want to give you a link to a article that explains all the different kinds of plastic and explains which are the healthiest and which to avoid.  The article is called  20 Ways to Avoid the Toxins in Plastics by Dawn Gifford and is found on the blog Small Footprint Family.  We as individuals can only do what we can do but this information can help those of us who desire to lower our exposure to do that.  Any progress we make; could make a huge difference in our lives and those of our families.

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

Change For Good or Change For Change

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The above is an early morning shot of what I see looking out of my kitchen window.

I feel very close to my roots; not to say that I haven’t changed or that there will not be further change but why do we change.  Is it because we dislike the way things are and we think an about face will make it better.  There is an old saying that says do not throw out the baby with the bathwater.  Well you may think that is stupid but how often do we abandon the tried and true methods for doing something and then jump on a new idea that is  in vogue but totally unproven.  Those of you; like me, who have been around for awhile can probably remember Dr Spock’s book about child rearing called Baby and Child Care  . It was published in 1946 the year of my birth.  Although I doubt that it had any affect on my upbringing it did for millions of others. For the first 52 years after it was published it was the second best selling book, next to the Bible.

Dr.Spock had studied psychoanalysis in his search to determine a child’s needs and the relationship with their parents and he was the first pediatrician to do so. How did someone relatively inexperienced in child care and rearing children amass the millions of followers that he did?  He changed the landscape of rearing children; some say for the worse, and it was based not from years of experience but something he put together in his head.  Some ideas for change may be like Dr. Spock’s and change the world but not necessarily for the good.  We have to be careful about jumping on any bandwagon of change even if we are unhappy where we are. The change is sometimes not a change for the better; it is just different. The old saying look before you leap, I think is good advice. 

This article was prompted by something I read called  What You Can Do by Joel Salatin on the Wanderlust Journal.  It shows how a simple change in thinking can lead to great changes and sometimes unintended consequences down the road.  I suggest you read it.

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 get a few cents from them if you use the link to them to buy anything. This helps me to keep this blog going and I appreciate it.

 

I Did Get Some Gardening Done

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I had been planning to do a herb garden this year; not only because I would like to use more herbs in my cooking for the flavor they give but also because of the health benefits of eating herbs.  You can research almost any kind of herb and you will find that they have medicinal or other benefits.  Some of them have been used for thousands of years to get these benefits.

I have had a problem in the past with  something I was growing, mint, spreading and becoming a nuisance. Some things need to be planted in pots so they can not  spread uncontrollably and mint is one of those.  This being the case; I took some large nursery pots and put them in the ground with the tops level with the surface and I planted my herbs in those.  There should be no danger of anything going beyond the confines of the pot. I planted some basil, two kinds of parsley, thyme, marjoram, dill, 2 pots of cilantro, set out some mint, the stevia my friend bought Sunday and re-potted some rosemary I have had a couple of years.  I intend to plant some sage but didn’t have the seed.  I have three other pots I can use but don’t know what to put in them.  I am open to suggestions.

DSCN0023I got my blueberries in the ground and they are looking good.  I also used my tiller to dig up another portion of my garden so I can start setting out my tomato and pepper plants.  I will wait until the storm comes through; my plants are somewhat delicate and might not fair well if there is real hard rain or high winds.

I intended to load a photo of my new blueberries but it just was not to be. I am new to adding photos and it just didn’t want to do what I wanted it to do.  What are you going to do?  I will get the hang of it though and I will be having more photos on the blog, just be patient with me, okay.

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

Another Thing Spring Brings Us In Abundance Is Pollen

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This morning as I was taking two of my grandchildren to catch the school bus I noticed a thick layer of pollen on my truck windshield.  Normally a little pollen doesn’t bother me all that much but I have some family members that have a problem with allergies, especially in the spring and summer. When the pollen is bad it just makes me sneeze and irritates my eyes; I don’t really get a lot of the congestion and runny nose.

My best friend was having some sinus problems last week that she thought was caused by pollen and she picked up a natural product called Allergy Buster Nasal Spray.  She said it worked for her.  Most of the commonly found nasal sprays in the drug store can be addictive if used for more than a few days but this one is said to be non-habit forming.  It is also non-drowsy and has no known drug interactions. This is something that you might  want to check out if you are one of the many who have allergies. You might also want to consume local raw honey; it contains small amounts of the local pollen and in small quantities pollen can desensitize us to that pollen.  It’s the same principle as taking allergy shots only a lot less expensive.

I just read a post written by Amanda Rose on the Traditional Foods Blog about how she is using stinging nettles to help her son with his allergy problems. You can follow the link to read the whole article.

It seems to me like we are having more and more things we are developing allergies to, this is especially bad among our young people.  When I was growing up we had some allergies, some people more than others but now it seems that almost everyone is having a problem.  I think it may be because we are exposed to so many strange things and chemicals through our food and our environment.  I think we as adults can tolerate it better than our kids and grand kids can; so it is manifested more in the youngest of us. I can remember a lot of chemicals and pesticides that were around when I was young that are banded now such as DDT and chlordane.  Young people of our day must be exposed to thousands of things that I wasn’t when I was growing up and there are new chemicals being developed and added to our foods and environment every day. Any way we can avoid being exposes to any of these toxins, and that is what most of them are, the better off we and the coming generations will be.

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 get a few cents from them if you use the link to them to buy anything. This helps me to keep this blog going and I appreciate it.

 

Garden Time, Almost

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Yesterday my friend and I drove to one of the local plant nurseries.  This time of the year on a weekend the place is usually packed with people looking for vegetable plants, flowers, herbs and shrubs.  Early spring has everyone with their foot on the starting line ready to get started beautifying their little area of the earth.  Some want to grow as much of their own food as possible, myself included.  Some want just to beautify the area around them or to plant a tree to shade them in the years to come.

My friend wanted to get some vegetable plants and I went along for the ride; then bought more stuff than she did.  She bought a stevia plant; that is what she usually uses to sweeten her tea and a few tomato plants.  I on the other hand bought two really nice blueberry plants, two trays of pepper, one  yellow bell pepper and one hot pepper.  I also bought three kinds of tomatoes.  I already have several tomato plants that I planted myself but they are a little too small to set out now.  I usually try to have more tomatoes than I can possibly use; I give a lot away but I also eat two or three a day when they are in season.  It is due to rain again tomorrow so I will have to wait to set the tomatoes and peppers out, the spot in my garden where I want to put them is still too wet to dig up but maybe by next weekend I can get them out.

I have previously had blueberry plants but haven’t had the best of luck with them; like no luck at all, really.  At one time I had; I think, six plants and now I am down to one and it looks like death warmed over. Three or four weeks ago I was at another garden center and they had as pretty blueberry plants as I have ever seen and at a really good price but I talked myself out of getting them.  I told myself that with the luck I have had with blueberries it would just be a waste of money; maybe it is but I wish I had just gone ahead and got a couple of them.  Blueberries are really good for you and they are not cheap. Maybe I can still find a couple of really nice blueberry plants to go with the ones I got yesterday.  If not, there is always next year.

I hope you all have projects planned to take advantage of this beautiful weather.  If you have space there is nothing healthier than fruits and vegetables that you grow yourself. You know where it came from and what it was fed.  No additives and no ingredients that you can’t spell or pronounce.

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

 

The Way To Spend a Spring Day

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Today had to have been the most beautiful day of the year so far and I was outside DSC_0103enjoying it.  My best friend and I went for a walk with my dog Boots.  There is a small creek behind my house and it meanders on up and beyond my youngest daughter’s house and we followed it for maybe a half mile.. We walked along the banks; enjoying the spring wildflowers and the rustling of the water through the mini rapids.

My friend had her camera and was taking DSC_0049photos of the wildflowers and anything else that she took an interest in.  I have lived on the creek for most of my life and was telling my friend of all the times growing up that I spent on this creek.  I used to play at the edge of the water and looked for gold just as if I had been in the California gold rush.  Sadly I never found any gold but I whiled away many hours looking for. In the summer I looked for snakes.

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The creek only runs fall through spring and becomes dry most of the time in the summer except the times we have a flood. This time of year is nice for the water is higher than normal and it looks crystal clear. It is also very cold, I am not ready for a swim yet but I have spent many hours in the past in those waters.

When we got up past my daughter’s house; I noticed that my goats were out of their designated area and were in my neighbors driveway.   As he has some fruit trees in the area; I knew I needed to get them back into their place of residence as goats had rather eat something like fruit trees than their grass.  Luckily when they saw us they headed back and when we followed we found them in the barn. The area between the barn and the road has a lot of uneaten grass and I had been letting them eat it but unfortunately that area does not have the best of fences.

DSC_0078When I got to the barn; I found a newborn goat and I am posting a couple of pictures my friend took.  I went ahead and closed off the area with the poor fence and hopefully they will stay put.

 

DSC_0099After moving the goats to the new area and some photos we headed back to the house. By then we were ready for some rest but it had been a very enjoyable time for all concerned.  The baby goat; a girl, is back with mommy and all is well for now.

 

 

I hope all my readers had a chance to get out and enjoy this beautiful day as my friend and I have.  Surely now we will have more and more days like this until it starts to get too hot to spend a lot of time outside.  We might as well enjoy them while we can.

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

 

 

 

 

We Have No Excuse Today

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The weather where you live may not be as lovely as it is here today; if not, I am truly sorry for you.  Yesterday was rainy mostly and all through last night every time I was awake I could either hear it raining or water dripping off the house.  When I got up it was still dripping and maybe even raining a little, dark and cloudy.  Then about an hour ago the sky started to open up, first letting the sun through in patches, the sky still mostly covered by spotty clouds.  Now it is a perfect picture of an early spring day, certain trees turning green faster than the others, the greening grass, white petals being blown off the Bradford pears and falling like snow flakes.  As I said, picture perfect.

As we have; in my opinion, the ability to be happy whatever our circumstances, we certainly have no excuse today for not being happy, for not being grateful, or for making complaints of any kind.  I am going to spend a good portion of my day out in this spring wonderfulness and enjoy it to the fullest I can.  I hope you, my readers get to do the same and that you enjoy it as I know I will.  There will never be another day as unique as today and if we don’t enjoy it; we will never ever get that chance again.

We can also start doing the same within all areas of our lives, we are given each day to use for our best good and for the best good of those around us. Each day we have a unique opportunity, that expires at the end of the day, like a coupon we can use today but like a coupon it will not be usable tomorrow. Our lives is like an hour glass and once the sand has reached the bottom we are out of time.

The next time we have a rainy or cold day or even a day where nothing goes right; think back about how we used the last beautiful perfect day before we complain about the less than perfect one.  Maybe we are getting the less than perfect days because we didn’t properly use and appreciate the perfect ones.

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

 

Mind Body Link

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Today is one of those rainy days where it is supposed to rain all day and it makes you want to just hold up in our cave and wait it out.  We might even let it get to us enough that it would make us feel depressed; especially if we had something special planned for today and it is our only day off for awhile.  In a case like this we really are in control of how we feel and we don’t really have to get depressed but we may choose to.  To most of us it is just something that happens; it’s not our fault and we weren’t singled out to be rained on.  Unless what we wanted to do was a one time event, we can probably do later what we had planned to do today.  We also might find something else to do that might be just as satisfying

Really where I want to go with the mind and body link is where it relates to our health.  The above example could over time lead to health problems if we see everything that happens to us as something happening to us, and  we feel we don’t have any control. That would be an extreme example though.What happens when someone has cancer, it is treated and goes into remission, then it returns later.  Was there a reason that they initially had the cancer; what about when it returned?  Many cancer patients whose cancer returns are not surprised; were actually expecting it to.  If there is a cause for the initial cancer and the cause is not dealt with the cancer will more than likely return.  When we suppress our feeling or emotions and do things we don’t want to do; to get along, we are setting ourselves up to have a health crisis somewhere down the road. Most disease is a manifestation of blocked or suppressed emotions. EFTor Emotional Freedom Technique is a way to we can use to unblock or release these emotions.  I will give you more information about this in a later post.

Stress also can cause us to have health problems but not always. When we have control over the situation that is causing the stress; it does not seem to have the same detrimental affect it normally would.  It is only when we are in a situation where we have little or no control, that is when we suffer the worst consequences.

Sometimes when a person is the go to person that everyone depends on. This can be in the workplace but it is especially in a family situation and they feel that they can not say no, they sometimes develop an illness that makes it impossible for them to continue to fulfill that role. I personally have seen this happen several times and I am sure if you just think about it, you have too.

How many times does someone who firmly believes that they are going to get cancer or some other disease; actually get it.  What if by focusing on the very thought of it for a long period; caused it to manifest in their life. There is a saying; that you become what you predominantly think about.

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 get a few cents from them if you use the link to them to buy anything. This helps me to keep this blog going and I appreciate it.

What I Have Learned About Eating Healthy

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This is the third and last day of this train of thought. Today I want to relate what I have learned as it relates to food and diet.  I have read about gluten free, grain free, dairy free, meatless, vegan, vegetarian, Atkins, South Beach and Paleo diets.  Some call the way they eat, real food diets. Some swear by lacto fermented foods, soaked and/or sprouted grains, beans and nuts and breads made with sourdough starter instead of commercial yeasts.  Others swear that butter, coconut oil, even lard and tallow are better for us than all those highly processed, gmo and trans fat laden oils and shortenings most of us use.

I am going to start off with what I believe is best for us based on the information I have now.  If we had to pick just one diet and stick to it for the rest of our lives I believe a whole food plant based diet would lead to us being healthier and living longer.  You may have noticed I said a whole food plant based diet.  If we pick a plant based diet based on nothing but what we can get out of a box, can or jar we are screwed.  Would I want to live on an 100% plant foods?  No, I grew up eating meat, lots of meat, I love eggs, probably my favorite food.  I could give up a lot of dairy but would miss cheese.  I think we could get at least 90% of the benefit of a totally plant based diet by holding our dairy, meat and fish consumption to 10% of our diet.  By doing that we also cover the nutrients that we need that is not available in an all plant based diet such as vitamin B-12.  Would that be hard for most of us to do?  Probably, at first but it is something we could all work toward and over time we would get closer to our goal of 90%.  As I see it; any improvement in our diets will be good and we didn’t get fat or get unhealthy overnight, so why expect to correct it overnight.

As far as the diets I listed above and all diets really; forget about them, you don’t need a diet, you need a lifestyle change.  You may have to eliminate something from your diet that your body is reacting to such as gluten or anything you are allergic to.  A diet will not work unless it is something that you can do for the rest of your life.  Fundamentally change what you eat and you will lose weight and keep it off.  You won’t even have to torture yourself and be hungry all the time either.  Eat good wholesome foods that are high in nutrients and low in added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats and you will naturally limit how much you eat.

There are ways you can tweak your foods to get more nutrients and to make them more digestible.  I mentioned lacto fermentation, which is foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and pickles.  These foods contain beneficial bacteria that our guts need to have a strong immune system.  They are also filled with enzymes that make the foods easier for us to digest. There is another way we can make foods that are derived from seeds, legumes and nuts more digestible and the nutrients more  accessible to us. That is by sprouting or by soaking them to mimic sprouting.  Seeds are designed to resist sprouting so they will not sprout until they are in an environment where they can grow. This also makes them harder for us to digest and to get the nutrients from them.  Soaking or sprouting breaks down the phytic acid in the seed that prevents premature sprouting and also prevents our bodies from getting all the minerals and other nutrients in the seed.  This soaking process may reduce the sensitivity to gluten in some people.

The last thing that is reported to make grains more digestible and better for us is using a sourdough starter instead of commercially developed yeasts.  Sourdough is a natural yeast.  I have personally started making sourdough breads and breads with commercial yeasts as well, still developing my technique, what I like.  When you make your own bread you can design it with the ingredients you want and the taste and texture you prefer.  I don’t know if I will go strictly with sourdough, like I said, I am in a learning phase now. Some I liked, some not so much.

I am also doing lacto fermented foods now, seems to work for me.  You will hear more about all this later.

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

 

 

 

 

 

What I Have Learned

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Yesterday I talked about learning new things, trying new things and what I had learned by stepping up and trying something I wasn’t sure I could do well.  You will have to judge whether I have done my blog well and you can give me your opinions, whatever  my grade may be, good or bad.  Either way I am personally proud of what I have done so far but I plan to always keep improving and I hope I never get to the point where I feel I am good enough.

As you know my blog is about what makes me healthy and happy and my hope that you my readers may find something in what I do that you can relate to in your journey to better health and happiness.  I have been gradually trying to reduce my weight and improve my eating habits for the last several years but I just realized how that process had drastically accelerated in the few short months since I started the blog.  Having to write something for the blog on a regular basis has sped up my education about new approaches to health.  I have heard it said that a teacher who teaches others learns more than his students.  First off, I have never considered myself a teacher, who is to say that what I believe, have learned or even what has worked for me is right for someone else.  We are all on our own individual journeys and as I said a few days ago, we are in control of our lives, mistakes are ours to be made or successes. My job as I see it is to be a sharer, more than a teacher, a teacher needs authority but the authority is yours.

Even if I am not your teacher; I do feel a responsibility to share useful information and to do that I have to do a lot of reading and research.  I sometimes do that when I am at a loss as to what to write about that day and also to fill in information about things I am already familiar with.  By doing this I am constantly finding new information, new tips on ways to do things, new ideas, rediscovering things that I have heard or read about in the past.  By no means do I feel that a lot of this information is something I need or is something I need to share with you.  I may share something that does not interest me or is an approach that I personally will never use myself if it is something I think may benefit someone else.  I find information about diets, food products, exercise techniques, lifestyle changes that would be great to use in anyone’s journey to health but they are simply not something I would do. We are back to who is in control.  In the above case I might share this or I might not; it just depends on how I feel about it.

Tomorrow I am going to talk about some of the individual techniques and processes I have found and tell you which ones I like and how I am working them into my lifestyle.

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