Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful For You

On this beautiful Thanksgiving day, I just want to say that I am thankful for you! 

I'm thankful for your presence and light in this world.
I'm thankful that you care about health. 
I'm thankful that you care about people.
I'm thankful for what God is doing in your life through all the trials. 
I'm thankful for your support and prayers. 
I'm thankful that I can serve you in this small way of keeping this blog.

I continue to pray for better health for all of us! But most of all for life that is ever sweeter in Jesus, regardless of our circumstances. I'm thankful that His grace abounds, so much more than our needs!

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. -2 Corinthians 9:8

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. To express my appreciation for you, I'll be happy to send a free ebook copy (as a pdf download) of my book, Seeing God Through The Storm to anyone who leaves a comment on this post today, tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday. 

And here's a song by Robin Mark that I've been listening to a lot lately. It's a good reminder of the many things we do have to be thankful for because of God's grace, in spite of the difficulties in this world. I hope it blesses you. 

Happy Thanksgiving. =) 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Have A Healthy Kitchen

This time of year there's usually a lot of cooking, baking and eating going on. =) So here are a few tips on keeping a healthy kitchen.

*Healthy dishes - 
Use glass dishes, cups, baking dishes, etc. Or use made in the USA corelle dishes or ceramic dishes, bowls, mugs, etc. Be sure to read labels and avoid any dishes made in China, as they often have high levels of toxins. 

Use stainless steel pots and pans. Avoid all teflon or non-stick coated dishes. 

Use stainless steel silverware and utensils. If you read labels, you can usually find some not made in China. 

Avoid plastic dishes, cups and silverware, as they can leach harmful chemicals including BPA and phtalates. (Here's a good article about the dangers of plastic dishes.) 

If you buy foods in plastic containers or buy bottled water, be sure to check them and look for the less-toxic plastic. Plastic bottles and containers should have a number on the bottom or somewhere indicating what kind of plastic has been used. Numbers 3, 6, and 7 are the worst, containing dangerous chemicals that leach more easily. Plastic numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 are less toxic, but glass containers are still the best. 

*Healthy cooking - 
Never microwave foods or liquids. If you haven't read it before, here's my post on why you should say goodbye to your microwave.

Use butter or coconut oil for cooking, never margarine or "vegetable oil" which are toxic to the body. 

Try to cook meats within 24 hours of purchasing if possible. Meat that sits in the fridge for several days can grow bacteria, mold, etc. 

Once you cut an onion, don't store part of it in the fridge to use later. Onions attract bacteria, so they must be used as soon as they are cut, or you may eat the bacteria and get an infection. 

*Healthy food storage - 
Use cellophane bags (less-toxic) instead of plastic ziploc bags. Use glass jars or glass dishes for food storage instead of plastic tupperware.

Store leftovers in the freezer, unless they'll be eaten within 24 hours. Mold begins to grow on food very quickly in a refrigerator, so storing food in the freezer is the better option. (Tips for using your freezer to eat healthier.) 

*Healthy clean up - 
Use baking soda or non-toxic dish soap for washing dishes. Use Heinz vinegar for wiping off counters. Avoid chemical cleaners, anti-bacterial sprays, bleach, etc. Also, if you do use plastic dishes, don't put them in the dishwasher, as it will cause them to leach more chemicals. (And never put plastic water bottles in the dishwasher to reuse.)

Well, these are just a few tips. I hope they're helpful. Feel free to add anything else you can think of in the comments. =)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tips For Staying Healthy This Winter

With the first snows fallen and arctic air blowing across much of the country, I thought it would be good to repost this article about staying healthy in winter. I hope it's helpful. Please add any other tips you think of.

Have a Healthy Winter

Here in Florida, summer lasted longer than usual this year. But for many people I know winter is well on its way. So here are some tips to help you in preparing for a healthy winter. (They're useful any time of year, but especially during winter.)

*Avoid unhealthy foods.
Winter is a key time to give extra support to your immune system, and diet directly affects the immune system. There's a very good article on the Beyond Organic Insider blog about the dangers of sugar, including how it damages your immune system. With the holidays coming, sugar is often the main course. So as much as possible, help your immune system by saying no to sugar. Try to avoid unhealthy foods in general, such as processed foods, fried foods, candy, sweets, sodas, processed dairy, etc. Keep eating healthy foods, and don't feel bad about not eating the cookies at every event you go to. =) 

*Monitor your indoor air quality.
As people start using their fireplaces, smoke can be a problem. If you have cracks around doors or windows, aluminum foil tape is a great tool. Just peel off the backing and tape it wherever needed to keep out smells. We have it around both front and back doors. (It's also useful for covering up toxins you can't remove, such as the pipes we just had replaced in the bathroom.) You can find aluminum foil tape online. We usually order it from Foust.

Also try to air out your house often, whenever the weather is clear and dry. Indoor air can quickly become stale in winter. Keep it fresh as much as possible. Use these tips for eliminating any smells. 

*Use foods as medicine.
Organic coconut oil is anti-viral, onions are anti-bacterial, and garlic is anti-fungal (many other foods fit in these categories as well). Besides cooking with these foods, you can use them other ways as well. 

You can rub organic coconut oil on your feet if you're fighting a general viral infection. Or you can rub it on wherever a viral infection has localized - sinuses, throat, stomach, etc. (Just remember that a little coconut oil goes a long way. You probably only need a few drops, unless you have very dry skin. And yes, it makes a good lotion as well.)

Also, simply holding an onion in your right hand for 10-15 minutes can help your body fight off a bacterial infection. Likewise, holding a few garlic cloves in your right hand can help fight off fungal infections. In fact, many winter infections are fungal, even though they're often treated as viral or bacterial. That's one reason a healthy, anti-fungal diet is so helpful in winter. (Just be sure to throw away the onion or garlic after holding it as it is no longer safe to eat.)

*Be sure you're getting enough vitamin D.
Many people don't get enough sun exposure during the winter, thus are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Be intentional about getting sun on your skin and consider supplementing with vitamin D if necessary for your situation. This article has some helpful tips for keeping vitamin D levels up through the winter.

*Keep moving!
Continue exercising and doing lymphatic massage. The natural tendency is to slow down during winter, which is ok as long as you're still moving enough and getting healthy sleep. The body needs movement to keep the lymph flowing and the immune system functioning well. Find a form of exercise that works for you and keep at it.

*Have fun!
Most of all keep smiling, laugh a lot, be silly, sing every day, have fun, and celebrate the special joys that come with the winter season. =)

What tips do you have for enjoying a healthy winter?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

EI Shopper's Thankful List

Since Thanksgiving is this month, I thought it would be good to list some of the stores/suppliers that I'm very thankful for as I try to live healthy in these challenging times.

So here's my Thankful Shopper's Top Ten list. Maybe it'll help you find some healthier shopping options as well. =)

1) Publix grocery store 
They sell a lot of organic foods now. I can get organic fresh and frozen veggies, organic fruit, healthier eggs, chicken and turkey. They also carry many other good products like organic and gluten-free flours, organic apple cider vinegar, etc. And they have excellent customer service. =)

(If you don't live in the southeast where Publix is, there are probably other similar stores in your area.)

2) Super Target
They carry the grass-fed beef I like to eat (Laura's Lean beef). They also still have the gallon jugs of Heinz brand vinegar. (The other stores quit carrying it for some reason.) I pretty much clean off the vinegar shelf every time I'm in there. =) And they still carry the quality bottled water we drink, and often put it on sale. Hooray! 

3) Our three local health food stores.
We can usually find whatever we need at one of these stores. Sometimes supplements are cheaper with online retailers, but many products we can get on sale or use coupons for at these stores.

There are some franchise health food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, but a lot of cities also have small, independent health food stores that are often even better, with helpful service, local produce, etc.

4) Local Farmer's Market
Ours meets every Monday evening. It's about 40 minutes away, but it's worth it to get organic, raw dairy products and other goodies. 

You can always search online to find a farmer's market in your area.

5) Wal-Mart
I'm so thankful that Wal-Mart still carries 100% cotton clothes, not made in China! I buy most of my clothes here and they often have good sales. They also sell notebooks made in the USA, paper plates with no BPA, and toothbrushes for sensitive teeth, made in Switzerland. 

Of course they still sell a lot of toxic and made in China products. But if you take the time and read labels you can find a lot of useful and inexpensive everyday products.

6) Sam's Club
They carry the 13.5 lb bags of baking soda for less cost than other stores. With how much baking soda we use, we're very thankful for this store. =)

The next three business I've mentioned before several times on this blog.

They have discount supplements, shower filters, cellophane bags (instead of plastic ziploc bags) and more.

They sell the air purifiers and replacement filters we have found to be most helpful for us. They also carry the dennyfoil and aluminum tape, which are indispensable products for keeping the home non-toxic.

They sell organic, 100% cotton fabric, sheets, pillows, clothes, etc. I'm so thankful for this company and their high quality products, so that I can have healthy sleep. 

And last but not least,

Believe it or not, they actually have many good products. If I can't find something locally or with one of the above retailers, I always check amazon. I've found 100% cotton rugs, not made in China. I've found affordable shoes and sunglasses made in Italy. I also buy my special organic chocolate here. They pretty much offer anything you can think of. Of course I prefer to support local businesses, but when necessary, I'm very thankful for Amazon's wide array of products.

Well, that's my thankful shopper's list! =)

Do you have any stores/suppliers you'd like to add?