When I moved into my Cottage In The Woods
I furnished it by buying things at Good Will. One of my most prized finds was a $5.00 coffee maker with a grinder attached. All you have to do is put the coffee beans in the machine. It grinds the beans then makes the coffee automatically. Brilliant.
I have since come to learn that while a stainless steal pot is meant to keep the coffee tasting its best, it does a terrible job of keeping it hot. This didn't bother me too badly until I got rid of my microwave this past August. Since then, I have sighed heavily time and again at being forced to drink lukewarm coffee. However, today in a spark of genius it occurred to me that I could pour the coffee into a pot and keep it warm on the stove so that I can enjoy the coffee all morning. This is what I did. I used a 2 quart pot and turned the burner to "warm".
A little while later I was still enjoying my coffee. I had just finished my morning devotion (a new habit started yesterday, thanks to Mindy) and was moving on to my "to-do" list for the day when I heard a POP come from the kitchen. That's when I started smelling the burning coffee. I jumped up and ran to the kitchen to find that coffee was stuck to my pan and bubbling. I took the pan off the burner and swirled the coffee around the pan to remove what was sticking to the bottom of the pan. It all came up pretty quickly and as the liquid was swirling around the pan I realized that I was looking at a coffee reduction. So, I tasted it. OOH, it was thick and bitter, but I couldn't help but taste the potential. I grabbed my bag of sugar (organic raw sugar cane sugar - smiley face) I added about 1/8 of a cup of the sugar and melted it into what had started out as 2 cups of coffee. Once the sugar had dissolved I tasted it again. HMM, much better, but not quite there. I decided it needed some dairy. The only cream I had was some Natural Bliss coffee creamer - Sweet Cream flavor. I poured about 2-3 tbls of this in very slowly and stirred. I tasted it again. BAM, YES, that was it! Pour this over ice cream, pour it over crème brulee then add sugar and torch it, pour it over cheese cake, use it as a dip for strawberries... It was amazing. I tasted one more spoonful and had to quit as the sugar and caffeine went immediately to my brain.
In case you aren't a "foodie", as I have somewhat become because of my job and being around my brother who is a chef, you might not know that reduction sauces are what take foods from 3 stars to 5 stars. You can reduce anything that's a liquid, add to it and pour it over something and you've got yourself a gourmet dish.
I make my own pasta and pizza sauces by chopping up a bunch of tomatoes and then letting them simmer until all the water is gone. What's left is a thick sauce. Just add salt, garlic powder, chopped up roasted garlic, and some Italian spices and you've got yourself a homemade sauce. You can also reduce cream, coffee, wine, vinegar, port, bourbon, beer, cranberry juice, grape juice ... anything liquid that you can think of. I mean heck, a V8 Fusion reduction sauce might be a fantastic dessert topper.
I encourage you play around this Thanksgiving. Since you will already be in the kitchen just take whatever you are drinking, pour some in a pan and let it simmer on low to medium low until you are left with a think sauce. Taste the sauce and think about what might make it taste more complete - salt, sugar, milk, dill, thyme, oregano, garlic, grated cheese, chili powder, curry powder, Dijon mustard, whatever you can think of. I like to take a spoon full of my sauce and add the powder, or whatever I'm adding, to the spoon and taste that rather than add it to the entire dish. Let your imagination be your guide. Also remember that you may not need to add anything. The wine reduction might not require anything and the cream reduction might only require a little salt. P.S. I bet a cream reduction with salt and cheese would be delicious mixed with some pasta shells and then topped with toasted bread crumbs. I haven't tried it, but it sounds good...
Let me know if you try any reductions! I'd love to hear what you came up with and how they turned out!!
This is something Jason says all the time. Even through broke as a joke times in my life I am not sure I have ever understood the effects of this monetarily like I now understand the effects of it physically.
Around the first week of June 2013 I started revolutionizing my life. I started eating "clean" and reading and listening to everything I could about organic living. During this time I discovered the Gerson Therapy. This approach to health made the most sense to me, but it is an incredibly rigorous diet and life style. I followed it to a "T" for the first 2 weeks of September, but then read that "healthy" people should not follow the diet to the letter because it is not enough to sustain normal day to day living. They say that healthy people should adapt the diet by about 25% incorporating whatever they want (healthy and within reason). So, for the past 3 months I have been eating like a star, drinking 4 homemade juices per day and incorporating coffee enemas. I felt amazing as long as I stuck very close to the eating plan, avoided salt and only ate animal protein once per day.
In a lecture I like by Charlotte Gerson she talks about the harmful effects of deodorant. She says that only people who are toxic smell bad. The more toxic you are the worse you smell. (The Gerson Therapy is built around the idea that almost all disease is due to deficiency and toxicity in the body.) In June I switched to all-natural deodorant, but could smell myself after really hard workouts. In September I noticed that I didn't smell anymore. So, I quit wearing deodorant. I smelled myself and my clothes on a regular basis until I was convinced that I literally did not smell when I sweat. That was the turning point! I knew I had reached what felt to me like the pinnacle of health. My body was no longer toxic. Until yesterday it had been almost 2 months since I'd worn deodorant. After a short work trip or a weekend playing in downtown Houston with Jason I would notice that I was starting to smell so I would get back to juicing and coffee enemas and I would be clean again in no time.
However, I have been on a work trip since October 30 and I am officially toxic. It's all I can do not to curl up in the fetal position and cry. I know it sounds pathetic, I don't feel any different that I did for nearly my entire life up to June 1. The difference is that now I have been "rich", and "It's hard to be poor, but it's harder to be poor after you've been rich."
I thought I was ready for this trip. I packed my juicer, my plug-in burner and organic coffee, my oatmeal, my flaxseed oil, and everything I thought I would need to keep up my vigorous lifestyle. Then, I arrived in Europe. I plugged in my burner to make a coffee enema and smelled something burning so I immediately unplugged it and started doing research on using appliances in other countries. I should be versed in this by now, but when all you are doing is charging your electronics with an adapter you don't have to do too much thinking about electricity. Basically, my appliances were useless. The only thing I would accomplish by using them was to burn up the motors. So, I packed them up and left them on the plane for the remainder of the trip.
To make matters worse, the majority of my trip has been to underdeveloped countries where you are forbidden from drinking the water and advised not to eat the produce, which has left me eating pizza, pasta, and proteins with cooked vegetables and starches...oh my!
I started noticing about 4 days ago that my pee smelled like cereal (very sweet). I knew that it meant my blood sugar levels were probably up a little bit, but I felt okay so I didn't pay much attention. Then, yesterday I noticed that my stomach was becoming a bottomless pit and my pee was smelling strong every time I relieved myself. (Yes, I feel fine saying pee, but I can't stand the thought of saying "went to the bathroom.) I finally started "Googling" "pee smells sweet" and sure enough what did I see? Signs and symptoms of diabetes, signs and symptoms of diabetes, signs and symptoms of diabetes... the list went on and on. So, I clicked on one and started reading. 1. Sweet smelling urine (just sounds wrong) but "check" 2. Always hungry, "check" 3. Irritability, "check, check" 4. Constant thirst, "check", 5. Frequent urination, "check"... You get the point. I was dumbfounded. I haven't dealt with my blood sugar in almost 10 years. (Diagnosed pre-diabetic in college, went to classes for diabetics and developed a diabetic lifestyle, lost 40 pounds, never really had a problem since.) To boot, I am dealing with my restless legs, which hasn't been a problem in months. I have a throbbing sinus headache. (I took allergy pills to avoid sinus problems everyday for 4 years and quit in July. I haven't had a problem until now.) I am waking up sweating in the middle of the night every night. (This was my life until recently, tbu I finally figured out that it was my metabolism working at night that was making me so hot and not able to sleep through the night unless my house was set to 67-68 degrees. About 2 months ago, after getting healthy, I started sleeping with my house at 71 degrees and I was sleeping though the night. Now, for the past week I've only been able to sleep about 4-5 hours per night because I'm so hot and 68 degrees is not an option in these parts of the world.) Oh, and my face is broken out. The 1 inch long nasty kind of breakouts. And I smell bad. Needless to say, I can't wait to get home, and get back to being physically rich again.
The crazy part of it all is that now that I have reintroduced all of this stuff back into my body the cravings are TERRIBLE. I feel horrible and yet the only thing that sounds good is pizza, chocolate coffered toffies and Diet Coke, pizza, chocolate covered toffees and Diet Coke, pizza, chocolate covered toffee and Diet Coke... I can't wait to get back to the place where I can hold these things in my hand and not be tempted to move them to mouth. To a place where I can actually tell that my brain is working better, my face is clear, my head and body are pain free, I can breath deeply and easily while everyone else's allergies are flaring, my stomach feels flat and good and full for hours on end and where I can go without deodorant without my husband ever suspecting a thing.
Did I mention that I can't wait to be rich once more? I have always heard that without your health you are left with little, or something like that. I never fully appreciated it until now. I am eating at great restaurants and seeing the world, but all I can think about is how terrible I feel and how all I want is to get home so that I can prepare all my own food and once more free my body of all the toxic build-up. Life really is all about perspective. Don't forget to recognize your true wealth, not just what more money could buy.
I'm so excited to show you my house North of Houston. I live in a wonderful community built around a golf course. It is a community with about 2000 residents. We have our own fire, police, and city departments. It is not uncommon for there to be as many golf carts on the road as cars. It's the most charming place I've ever seen. The 4th of July parade was a line of about 30 decorated golf carts led by the fire truck and police cars and followed by kids on bicycle. All the residents sat in lawn chairs on their driveways and waved as the parade drove by.
On September 11 every single house flew a flag.
It's absolutely beautiful here and I love it. My house is 725 square feet. It's just perfect for me. I still love visiting Jason and our house in Richardson as often as possible, but this is such a wonderful place for me to live while Jason finishes law school in Dallas.
I'd like to welcome you to what I like to call... My Cottage In The Woods.
Above is the view from the front door. The remainder are as much like walking around as I could manage with photos.
I screwed hooks into the bottom of this pin board so that I could hang keys, dog leash, aprons, flashlights, etc.
I hung a decorative shelf upside down to house things I like to keep close to the stove. It's also handy for the back splash I'm thinking about using.
Another small touch that makes it a pleasant place for me.
Guest room (above)
My room (below)
I pinned flowers to my curtains to add a small pop to them.
There was a built in book shelf so I screwed hooks (the same used in pin board) into it to hang my jewelry. I have thought about getting chicken wire to put up for my earrings, but for now they lay on the bottom shelves.
I had a baker's rack that I was able to use by putting bins on it. The bins house cords and chargers, papers that need to be kept, camera supplies, coupons and magazine clippings, and other random things that clutter a home.
Below is a panoramic view from my back door. There is a 230 square foot building behind my house that makes up for the lack of storage in the main 725 square feet and houses the washer and dryer.
That's my place. Thanks for visiting. =)
My journey to health started with the documentary Food Matters
. It was while watching Food Matters
that I was introduced to The Gerson Therapy
. The Gerson Therapy is described on The Gerson Institute website
as the following: The Gerson Therapy is a natural treatment that activates the body’s
extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, vegetarian diet, raw
juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements.
With its whole-body approach to healing, the Gerson Therapy naturally
reactivates your body’s magnificent ability to heal itself – with no damaging
side effects. This powerful, natural treatment boosts the body’s own immune
system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other
degenerative diseases. Dr. Max Gerson developed the Gerson Therapy in the 1930s, initially as a treatment for his own debilitating migraines, and eventually as a
treatment for degenerative diseases such as skin tuberculosis, diabetes and,
most famously, cancer.
I have spent the last week listening to several hours worth of Charlotte Gerson explaining The Gerson Therapy. I also bought and began reading the book The Gerson Therapy: The Amazing Nutritional Program for Cancer
I'm doing the research because I have learned what it's like to feel great, and I desperately want to do everything I can to get my body to a place where it is functioning at its highest level. In one of the videos Charlotte Gerson uses the example of a Maserati to describe the condition of our bodies. She says just imagine a Maserati owner. He has this amazing car that he loves and that performs at the highest level, but when the gas runs out he refuels it with sugar water. Can you imagine? Well, that is exactly what we are doing do our bodies.
I didn't put that in quotes because I can't remember exactly what she said, but it really struck a cord with me. She was right on. We are refueling our bodies with sugar, i.e. pasta, desserts, soda, etc. and other even more harmful substances.
The Gerson Therapy has about a 40% success rate with terminally ill cancer patients who come to The Gerson Institute after the doctors have sent them home telling them there is nothing else they can do. Charlotte Gerson very simply states that the reason people develop cancer and other illness is for two reasons: toxicity and deficiency. Once you get rid of all the toxins in the body and replenish it with nourishment the body heals itself - of everything! The body does not work like doctors think it does. Treat high blood pressure with this, obesity with that, cancer with something else. No, the body is either sick or it's not. It does not discriminate.
I think that is WAY better news than sliced bread.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE GERSON
Charlotte Gerson is the daughter of Max Gerson. Max Gerson was a medical doctor who suffered from migraine headaches. He developed the Gerson Therapy through trial and error in an attempt to get rid of his migraine headaches when the pills no longer worked for him. Once he was rid of the migraine headaches he started helping others with migraines and realized they were also being healed of all their other ailments. That's how it started. His daughter, Charlotte Gerson is 91 years old and she has carried on her father's work and has spent her life trying to educate people about the body's ability to heal itself. To this day she still works at The Gerson Institute in San Diego educating patients about how to carry on the Gerson Therapy once they get home. I can't get enough of her.
In the introduction to the book The Gerson Therapy: The Amazing Nutritional Program for Cancer,
by Charlotte Gerson and Morton Walker, they explain that in 1946 Dr. Gerson went before the senate to testify regarding the Pepper-Neely anti-cancer bill and explain that he had found a successful treatment for cancer. The book states: The impressive testimony of this anticancer specialist and his patients caused Senator Pepper to call a press conference for bringing information about the Gerson Therapy before the media. However, a massive number of lobbyist for the immensely wealthy Pharmaceutical Manufacturer's Association, The American Medical Association, and the American Cancer Society prevailed on reporters to ignore the Gerson press conference and attend a cocktail party where free food would be served and libations would be flowing.
If you Google "Pepper-Neely Bill" all the top links will take you to stories about Gerson's testimony and how it was kept under wraps. From what I understand it was completely expunged from the record. If that's not bad enough, did you know that it is illegal in America to treat cancer with anything but chemo and radiation! In the second video you will learn that oncologists are the largest group of people who won't take chemo or radiation.
Anyway, my plan was to just post a few videos for you to watch. So, I guess I'll do that now.
The first five videos are a radio interview with Charlotte Gerson. Start here! This interview is fantastic.
If you want more info, the sixth video goes more in depth and also to tells people how they can incorporate the Gerson Therapy into their own lives.
The seveth video is three hours long and it goes into great depth about the specifics of the Gerson Therapy. It is Charlotte Gerson doing a lecture for The College of Naturopathic Medicine in the UK. I don't expect you to watch this video, I just wanted to make it available. I am an hour and a half into the video. It's worth listening to if you have the time. You can always pull it up on your phone, plug it into your aux port or use your Bluetooth and listen to it in the car.
A lot of people are skeptical when I drop phrases like, "God said", "God told me", etc. However, I know when God speaks to me because I have learned what He sounds like. For me, it's a thought in my head, but it's conversational and immediate and not generally anything I would say to myself. That's what makes it different than talking to myself. When a person talks to himself he is forming both sides of the conversation. When a person is talks to God he is having a real conversation. The thoughts are only one sided.
There are a number of studies that I don't have time to read through in order to make my point, so I am going to give you the link to the first study I found when I Googled "neuroscience and Christian prayer". As far as I can tell this scientist is either atheist or agnostic. He talks about Christians in a distant, hands-off kind of way. You can click on here
to get to the entire article. "In a recent study our team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to
investigate how the brain responded to praying in Christian believers.
Surprisingly, considering God’s postulated invisibility, omnipresence,
omnipotence, and omniscience, we found that conversing with God was not
associated with regions that process abstract concepts. Rather, we found a
marked pattern of activity in four regions that typically activate when humans
relate to other humans. Neurologically, this finding suggests that strong
believers process God as a concrete person – in spite of the theologically
complex and highly abstract nature of the Christian God. Interestingly, we did
not find this pattern in believers who did not use praying regularly. Perhaps
the religious brain can learn to treat gods as real persons through regular
practice and strong beliefs."
Now, obviously where I differ is "perhaps the religious brain can learn to treat gods
as real persons
through regular practice and strong beliefs." I am not a crazy person. I'm logical. I'm smart. I have very good common sense. Yet, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have a relationship with God that's as real as my relationship with my husband. In fact, God and I go way further back than me and Jason. That said, I believe the man when he says, "We did not find this pattern in believers who did not use praying regularly." You will only hear God when you learn His voice. When I call Jason's phone I know immediately if someone else is answering because I know Jason's voice. The same is true with God.
Below are stories from Monday and Tuesday that have really led to me thinking about prayer this week.
On Monday morning I had an appointment to take my car into the shop. That morning I woke up thinking about a project I needed to get done at work. I mean, the very first coherent thought I had when I woke up was, I wonder when I'm going to be able to get that done.
I sat and went through the calendar and realized that it would be well into September before I would be able to go to the hangar to work on it. Once I decided it was something to leave for another day I moved onto to thinking about something else. I finally got out of bed and started getting ready. I was running a few minutes later than planned, but I knew that if I left right then I would still be on time to my appointment. I grabbed my water, smoothie, computer bag and purse and headed out the door. The driver side door was already opened so I balanced the smoothie in a too small cup holder and put my water and purse in the driver seat so that I could free up my hands to put my computer bag in the back seat. Once my computer was safely in the back seat I shut the rear door and my smoothie went flying. It was all over my car, all over the drive way and all over me. I might have said a curse word, but the very next thing out of my mouth was, "DADDY, WHY DID YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?! I KNOW YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED IT!" Before I could even form my next thought I heard the still, small voice. "Because you really need to go into work today."
"Okay, I will. Thank you for getting my attention. Now, can you please help me get this green stuff out of my car and off my leather shoes?"
My car is fine, my clothes are clean and I'm not joking, miracle of miracles, there is no green on my light pink leather moccasins. And, I spent 8 solid hours working on my project and made ginormous headway.
That's a real life example of my life with God. Tuesday, is an example of the times I really enjoy. When God allows something to happen in my life that makes His words in scripture come alive to me.
So, yesterday I went and worked at the farm. I basically show up when I can and do whatever the GM (general manager) needs done. Yesterday, first thing, the goats needed to be walked. This is where they are let out of their area of the pasture and walked down the road so they can eat what grows along the side of the road. As with EVERYTIME I've gone to the farm, the GM has way more confidence in my knowledge than he should. He always gives me a project and then leaves me to it. I mess it up, watch him fix it and then know how to deal with it from that point on. Yesterday was no different. The GM opened the gated area where the kids stay and said, "Okay, goats are followers, just call them and they will come." And then he left.
I started walking the baby goats. As we are going down the road their mothers spotted them from a different pasture and start running toward the fence. The baby goats take off running and before I know it they are wriggling themselves through the space between the gate and the fence post. They've gone into the pasture and I'm left outside the gate!!! I know this is bad because they immediately start drinking their mother's milk, from which they have already been weaned, and the mother's haven't been milked yet. The milk is money and I'm watching it disappear before my eyes!
I'm standing there in panic mode just watching this happen. Finally, the GM is heading back from where he has been and I flag him down. He goes into the pasture and tries to catch one of the kids, but it's hopeless. The baby is ducking and darting and hiding behind the big goats. So, the GM lets all the goats out and we walk them back to the other fenced area. We get them all inside and then one by one we catch the big goats, who were wearing collars thank goodness. I was very good at this. Once I caught one and it didn't bite me I started catching two at a time and walking them out. Now adults and kids are once again separated. Adults outside the gate and kids inside. The GM shows me once more that all you have to do is say, "Here goats, goats, goats" and they come running! Then, once more he leaves me to it. The adults were easier than the kids. They were WAY more interested in eating.
This picture is deceptive. I took this right after the GM left. Shortly after they started making their way down the road. I was able to herd them to the side of the road while a car passed (I've gotten really good at herding.), but once they were on their way down the road I lost all control. They were not the least bit interested in following me. I was able to herd them when I needed to keep them from going any farther, but when I was ready to put them back in the pasture I started calling them, "Here goats, goats, goats," but it was useless. They couldn't care less. I stood there watching them and at that same time hoping that no one was watching me. I was so frustrated that they wouldn't come when I called. Then, one goat came up to me and started rubbing on me. I pet him for a few minutes and from that moment on he started following me. Once he started following me the others started following too. It was amazing. We were very slowly making our way toward the gate when the GM called from 70 yards away, "Here goats, goats, goats" and the goats went running! I couldn't get the gate opened fast enough. They were trying to weasel through like the babies had done earlier.
As I opened the gate and watched all these goats run toward his voice I realized that I was seeing exactly what Christ talks about in scripture, "and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him because they do not know the stranger's voice." I pasted the passage below from biblehub.com because the entire passage is way more powerful than the small amount I remembered.
John 10:1-18 (New American Standard Version of the Bible)Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of
the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2“But he who
enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6This figure
of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things
were which He had been saying to them. 7So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and
have it abundantly.
11“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12“He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13“He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”I know that I'm getting long winded, but next time your "gut" is telling you something. Stop and ask God to make it clear whether or not it's really Him trying to get your attention. The only way you will know His voice is if you learn what it sounds like. I encourage you to practice praying and then waiting to see if you hear anything. It might take some time, but if you ask God to make himself known to you He will. Without question, He will.
7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9“Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10“Or if he asks for a fish, he will
not give him a snake, will he? 11“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
Since June 2013 I have been on a journey of discovering that you really are what you eat. If you eat junk your body will basically be full of junk. When the wonderful sweet aroma and amazing medley of flavors is gone you will be left with a belly full of junk and a body that has no idea what to do with the junk. Since the body can't just leave it for later it starts improvising. It creates fat in order to store the unrecognizable substances while the immune system revs up in order to attack the junk head on. All the while, your still hungry because your nutritional needs have yet to be met, so you eat more junk and the process continues. In America we have an abundance of food, yet our bodies are starving for nutrition.
In this post I am going to focus on cows. I have read LOTS of different sources with this information, but for the sake of time I am only going to reference one article. The author, Jo Robinson, has thoroughly covered the topic. I would highly recommend reading her article by clicking here
A basic synopsis for you is that when cows are born naturally and raised naturally they eat their mother's milk and then move on to grass. That's it and that's all. When they live like this they are healthy. When a cow gives birth it produces milk for as long as the baby needs it. When a cow is being milked by a human it is tricked into producing milk longer, but it remains healthy during this process and the milk dries up naturally after about 11 months.
Cows do not need anything extra in order to feed us humans. However, the industrial minds of the human race think factories are the best way to produce everything
. By making factories out of farms cows are being forced to live in an unnatural state. The stress this causes is the reason cows are getting sick. In order to protect their meat and milk the factory farmers (as I have decided to call them) are giving antibiotics to every cow everyday. Can you imagine what would happen to us if we took antibiotics every day of our lives? One reason people drink milk and eat yogurt is for the probiotics. Do they mean to tell me that there are actually any probiotics left after a cow has been injected with ant
ibiotics everyday of its adult life?
Another fear with antibiotics is that bacteria builds up resistance. The antibiotics that factory farmers give cows are almost the same as those taken by humans. Bacteria resistance is dangerous for us and it's dangerous for our food sources.
Factory cows can also be given growth hormones. Cows naturally produce a growth hormone called Bovine Growth Hormone - BGH (think HGH - Human Growth Hormone). However, we clever humans came up with a synthetic version of this hormone so that we could increase milk production in cows. The synthetic version is called Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone - rBGH. Traces of this unnatural hormone are found in all the regular beef and dairy products we buy at the store. The use of rBGH has actually declined significantly. According to Robinson's article and an article by The American Cancer Society
only 17% of US cows are injected with the hormone. The biggest concern regarding the hormone is that it makes cows sick. It also causes infection in the udders. These problems lead to more antibiotics and more resistant strains of the infections.
The last issue with factory farm cows is what they are being fed. You are what you eat, and cows are what cows eat. At factory farms cows do not eat grass. They are fed "grain". Grain used to be largely made up of corn, but when corn started getting pricey factory farmers started improvising. Mad cow disease was non-existent until cows started being fed the remains of ground up cow bones and blood. Let me just stop right here and let you in on little secret. If you are in a life and death situation never, never, never eat the guy next to you. You might live a little longer, but you will go crazy in the head. No mammal is made to eat its own. It's called cannibalism, and that's what was happening to these poor unassuming cows. It's fairly likely that all the "mad cows" are gone by now, but there's no guarantee. None-the-less, cows are meant to be herbivores, but they are still being given left over parts of chickens as well as other junk, including but not limited to stuff from the landfill, chewing gum, candy, etc. You can read all about it in Jo Robinson's article. The problem with eating cows that eat junk is that you are inevitably eating junk. There is no way for cows to be nutritious to humans if the cow is lacking in nutrition itself. When you eat a steak from a factory farm you are basically eating flavored empty calories. It's a way to fill your belly, but your body isn't getting nearly the nutrition (vitamin C, E, beta carotene and omega-3 fatty acids) it could get if you were to eat a steak from an organic grass-fed cow. If you are going to eat the calories you might as well benefit from them. That way your body will be nourished and satisfied and it will tell you that it doesn't need anything else to eat.So, that is cows as I understand them. Now for the nitty-gritty - THE COST TO YOUR WALLET. The biggest resistance to going organic is the cost. So, I've gone to different grocery stores and farmer's markets to cost compare for you. Below you will find pics of the prices of ground beef from Wal-Mart in Conroe, TX, Albertson's in McKinney, TX and from Rehoboth Ranch in Greenville, TX.
You are looking at a price difference of $2.71 per pound of ground beef if you buy local organic as opposed to conventional factory farm. If you make 4 hamburger patties from the pound of ground beef that's $0.68 per person for quality beef that you can trust to add to your health and well being rather than potentially harm you. Also remember that the only way to know the living condition of the cows you are eating is to buy local and visit the farm. When you are talking to a local farmer you not only want find out about antibiotics and growth hormones, but also make sure the cows eat grass that is chemical free. A simple word to us is "sustainable". Farms are either sustainable or conventional. Sustainable farms and gardens use organic practices whether they've paid for the sticker or not. Conventional farms and gardens do not use organic practices.
Milk (I'll write about raw milk another day. For now all is pasteurized.) These were taken side by side at Wal-Mart in Garland, TX. The last pic is from Kroger is Willis, TX.
I know it's hard to see, but the bottom pic shows that half of a gallon of organic milk is $2.99. That's $0.24 more than the conventional milk. Isabel De Los Rios, from Beyond Diet
, says, "If you can’t obtain or afford raw or organic dairy products, avoid dairy altogether. Most of the calcium in dairy is not absorbed by the body anyway, so dairy is not necessary for a healthy diet. Obtain calcium from other sources,
such as leafy green vegetables, broccoli, sardines (with bones), and salmon.
Butter. These were taken at Wal-Mart in Garland, TX.
$1.50 difference. And don't be fooled by the claim "from cows not treated with rbST". It doesn't say anything about antibiotics.
I didn't get pics of cheese, but cheese can also be bought organic. I bought Horizon brand shredded cheese last night for $3.98 for 2 cups. Just off the top of my head I think standard bags of chees are 4 cups for $3 - $4.
Organic IS more expensive. There are no two ways about it. However, when cost comparing think about the costs outside your wallet. I would cut cable and sell all but a few of my clothes and work two jobs in order to continue feeling the way I have felt since June. My life has radically changed because I feel good all the time. I still splurge every now and then. My weakness is Asian food. I also never turn down a home-cooked meal from a friend or family member, but I can tell the difference in how I feel almost immediately and it takes me a day to recover per day spent eating "conventionally". What's crazy is that when I'm recovering, I'm recovering from how I felt every hour of every day before I stopped eating processed food and going totally organic. It's mind boggling how much has changed. No more restless legs. (I ate a pasta meal the other night and boom! 30 minutes later I was going crazy with restless legs.) No more allergies. No more feeling tired at 3pm. No more sleeping for 11 - 12 hours every chance I get. I only experience these things after I go back to old ways for a meal or two.
I hope the info helps. I also hope you try local organic beef and dairy products soon. Your farmer neighbors will thank you.
Today, I got a new machine!!!
Well, new to me. And actually, I still have the old one (first pic). The old one was my grandma's. She was a professional seamstress. It started acting up on me a few weeks ago and I wasn't able to figure out how to fix it. So, took it into a repair shop today to get it fixed. She said it would cost $99.95 to do a tune up and diagnosis. I told her I was thinking about getting a new machine. She showed me a fantastic machine that made button holes without you even touching the machine. It was way out of my price range ($700) so I asked if she sold any used machines. She showed me to the "back wall" and while all the touch screen machines were out of my price range I happened to see the sign on this one. It's only about 10 years newer than my old machine, but it's much more user friendly and best of all, it's also an embroidery machine. That's the part that sealed the deal for me.
As excited as I am about my new machine, that's not actually why I'm writing. I'm writing to tell you what I learned today. As I was looking at these machines that were hundreds of dollars brand new I asked the lady what is the difference between these machines and the machines you can buy at Wal-Mart. She responded, "I'm so glad you asked that question!" And she was. She took me over to the counter and set two machines in front of me. The machines were missing their outer shells. One machine was solid metal and didn't look that much different without it's shell (below).
The other machine looked like a high school science project (below).
She showed me that these machines have metal screws that are screwed directly into the plastic. As the machine endures normal wear and tear the metal screws work away at the plastic around them, which causes small shifts in the different parts of the machine. The user will only see that they can't make a straight stich and they will decide that they can't sew. I was told with passion that everyone can sew, however, it requires a solid machine in order to do so.
So, the point of my story is that if you have bought an inexpensive machine and decided that you "can't sew" then I would recommend investing in a better machine. I read several blogs and forums today on the subject and the consensus is to buy a used machine from a reputable dealer. I bought my machine for $299. I know that it was serviced properly and she made sure I had all the parts it originally came with. It also came with a one year warranty. The cheapest new machine that could both embroider and sew was $999, so I'm pretty happy. =)
Hope this helps if you are looking into buying yourself a machine. I think they are a true treat. If you work at it, sewing your own things can save you a lot of money throughout the years, and a good machine can last a lifetime.
P.S. When I got home I started doing some research and I found out that my old machine is worth WAY more than my new machine. Go figure...
When I was 24 and working at Ted's Café Escondido everyone called me a hippie.
It was endearing, but I always told them they were crazy and gave all the
reasons why I wasn't hippy, I mean, do I look like a hippie to you?
Those reasons were: 1) I don't smoke pot, I've never even tried it. Never have, never will. 2) I don't wear rope sandals, never have, never will - that's not to say I had never tried them. I did, and they are super uncomfortable. 3) I don't wear my hair in dreads. That's not to say I've NEVER worn my hair in dreads. Actually they weren't dreads, but one
time, when I was 12, for a two week vacation my mom French braided my hair
into tiny braids all over my head so we wouldn't have to fix my hair for 2
weeks. Anyway, I always gave my coworkers the obvious reason's why I
wasn't a hippy. They were insistent. They said it was because I used
all natural soap and deodorant and therefore always smelled like grass. I
worked at Ted's twice over the span of 3-4 years, so it went on for a long
Fast-forward to now - I'm finally just admitting that I'm a Hippie. I'm using that word very, very liberally. I looked up the term Hippie on Wikipedia and I don't actually fit
any of the vast definition. I'm totally conservative when it comes to sex,
drugs, religion, etc. I'm a strong Christian who believes sex is meant
only for marriage. I believe God calls us to a life of sobriety (which
is not the same as total abstinence), but that's neither here nor there... Sorry, tangent. All this is to say that yes, I compost. And, I LOVE IT. I thought it
was going to smell bad, but it totally doesn't. It smells like rich soil. It smells like the rainforest after it's rained. (I have actually smelled that and you can too. You don't have to go to Costa Rica, you can smell it in your own back yard if you compost. =)) I also like all the bugs. When I lift the lid I can't see anything but old food and soil, but I hear life. It's fantastic. It's noisy with rustling and burying and eating and whatever else the bugs are doing. Then after I shake up the compost bin I take the lid off once more and there are bugs and worms and maggots and all kinds of fun things hurrying to bury themselves again.
Since this is technically supposed to be a how to guide I'll get to the point.
All you need is:
1) A trashcan with a lid that locks closed. I spent at least 2 weeks
going to different stores and looking online for a cheap
trash bin that has a lid that locks. Finally I decided I would
just get the cheapest bin I could find ($15) and figure out a way to
get the lid to stay on.
2) A base. I started with wood and wheels and all kinds of stuff from
Lowe's, but I took it all back after convincing myself this was supposed to be
a inexpensive endeavor and how would I ever sell it to Jason if I was
spending any real money on it. So, what did I do instead of fancy
schmancy? I bought a $1 plastic colander from Dollar General and screwed
it to the bottom with left over screws from a bookshelf I had put
3) A power drill with a large drill bit. (You can probally borrow one if you don't have one and then ask for one for Christmas. Everyone should have an electric
Once you have all your supplies you will need to drill holes all over the sides, bottom and lid of the trashcan (40-50 total). I am somewhat anal, so all my are even. I'm sorry you are going to see a final product immediately, but when I was putting it together I wasn't thinking about blogging. But here are examples of my holes. Don't forget to drill them in the lid and all on the bottom.
Next, you need to attach the base. The base is there to allow for drainage, so it can be anything, a crate, something you design or a $1 colander from Dollar General. I wanted a base that wouldn't interfere with my ability to roll the trashcan around on the ground. I simply screwed the colander straight into the base of the trashcan with three screws. One of the holes in the colander ripped so I just unscrewed the screw that was there and put it in another place. I figure if the they don't hold I can always just screw another hole. However, it's been two months and the colander is holding up better than I would have imagined.
And, that's it! Now you are in business.
Since you now know how to build a composter I feel like it's time to tell you how to use it. First, start collecting stuff. You can use anything organic (comes from the earth).
Good items to use are:
Coffee grounds and filters
Any part of a fruit or vegetable that you don't eat
Paper towels used to clean up water
Dried grass and leaves
You can also use the poop of certain animals, but I'm not there yet. Google which animals to use because I know for sure you CANNOT use dog or cat poop.
Any animal products (meat, egg whites or yolk, fat, bones, etc.)
Any paper that won't break down easily (magazines, for example)
Anything that's been treated with chemicals (i.e. if you get your grass sprayed, don't use it.) Remember that whatever you compost will be used in your garden, if you have a garden, which will then be in your food.
I keep a plastic spinach leaf container on my counter and whenever it fills up I take it to the compost bin.
I pour in my contents - orange peels for demo.
I roll it around to stir it all up. I pick it back up then lay it down the other way and roll it some more, just to make sure the contents on the bottom have a chance to get to the top.
BTW: The lid to this trashcan does not come off even though it doesn't have the lock things on the outside.
Once I roll it around I stand it upright again and check the moisture content.
Since this looks more like mud than dirt I add some shredded newspaper.
And I roll it around again.
I set it back up right, check to see everything is shaken and watch the bugs rush away from the sunlight.
I put the lid back on tight and leave it for another day or few.
Composting has actually been really fun for me. I always look forward to checking it out and shaking it up. When I go on long trips and come back it's really cool to see that what was once food is soil. I think it would be even more fun if I had kids to share in the fun. I totally think this is great science project for kids. Just hearing and seeing the bugs that appeared naturally - I didn't add one single bug or worm - has been fun. I know it's gross to think about, but every living thing plays a part. The first week I had it I just dumped some food particles and newspaper in together and after a couple of days I opened the lid and there were a bunch of flying insects in the bin. But, after the first week or two no more flying insects are ever in the bin, only the worms and maggots from the eggs they laid, and of course the bugs that crawl in. I have to be honest. I have seen one and only one roach. I immediately got online to make sure I hadn't made a huge mistake. But, as it turns out the large outside roaches are good for your compost and they don't come in the house. I have never seen one before or since, but it still gave me the willies. I guess that's a good reason to keep your composter away from the house a bit. Other than that, it's totally cool. I really hope that doesn't scare you away because if you have kids they will LOVE this project.
Something to remember is that the composter will work best if it gets a lot of sunlight, but it's not a requirement if you live in a hot climate, like I do. I keep mine
behind a storage shed to hide it from my neighbors and passerbyers. People are scared of composting because they think it will stink up the neighborhood. Even though that's just ignorance on their part, I really don't want to announce that I'm
Lastly, it's important to monitor the moisture level and smell. If the soil is muddy looking you need to add paper or dried leaves or grass. (I like newspaper
because it composts faster.)
If your compost is not composting then you have too much paper. If the compost smells bad then your chemical make-up is not right. You need to check the moisture level and either add water or paper depending. If your compost is on track then from week to week you will have soil instead of food products and your compost bin will smell like fresh, clean soil. If your compost looks dry then add water. I will sometimes add water to my plastic container before I dump it so that I can go ahead and add newspaper at the same time and it won't change the make-up of what's already in there. You can also just add water with a hose. If you live in Dallas or somewhere else where it doesn't rain much then you will probably want to add some water every time you add food from your kitchen.
There is a science behind it. The green organic matter produces nitrogen, which produces bad smells. You need dry organic matter (paper) to keep the nitrogen at the right level so that your stuff is composting rather than rotting.
I hope this helps and that you enjoy your very own compost VERY soon. If you want to learn more, I recommend youtube.
Let me know if you decide to start composting!
It's been 9 months since I've said a word, but I'm back. My life has been totally topsy turvy since the last post. It's finally back on an even keel and I am relaxing again. I've actually been wanting to write for a couple of months, but it was overwhelming to think about trying to write everything that's been going on, so I've just been avoiding it.
Thankfully, yesterday my best friend asked me to write a post about composting and I decided why not just jump right back in?
This post is just to say hi and give you brief run down of my life since November.
November - Jason and I got settled in our new home in Dallas.
December - A full-time job opened up where I've worked as a contractor for the past 5 years. I asked for the job and it was offered. I became a full-time ConocoPhillips employee on December 31. (From that point on I had to have a residence within 45 minutes of Bush Intercontinental.)
January - The search for a place for me to live in Houston began.
April - After four months and three different contracts on three different houses I closed on a place. The Lord knew exactly what I needed because the third time was a charm. I LOVE THIS PLACE! I love where I live as much as the house I live in. The house in 725sqft. It's 2 bed and 1 bath and perfect for just me. I also love the location. I basically live in the woods 5 minutes from the highway. It's amazing.
May - Moved in and got settled
June - My life started completely changing. I joined a website called BeyondDiet.com. It's a nutritionist that has done tons and tons of research on real food. I threw away all processed food, started buying raw milk and as much local produce as possible. I started buying eggs from a farm down the street and when all else failed I would buy all organic food at the store. I then watched the documentary Food Matters and I tweaked a couple more things. I bought a Nutri-Bullet and started making shakes. I'll talk about all of this more in detail later.
Jason and I have always wanted a farm. We talked about it since before we even got married. However, neither of us really knows what to do with a farm. So, when I was researching where to buy raw milk I noticed that one of the farm's said they like to help people start their own farms. I went to check it out. I left that day with the general manager's phone number and a promise that if he would take me on as an intern I would see it through for a year. (It takes a year for a farm to complete a full cycle - makes sense.) So, since June, on my days off, I have volunteered my time at this farm learning how to milk cows, how to use the milk to make different items, how to start a garden and harvest the produce. It's a totally organic farm so I'm getting to learn to do it the way I want to one day do it myself.
July - Life was normal. I wasn't looking for a place to live, moving, changing my entire lifestyle, etc.
August - I'm breathing easy and taking time to share my life with you once again.
I am an audio book fanatic. I drive an average of 20,000+ miles per year. During my drives I listen to audio books. I absolutely love them.
Recently, I was looking for a dowloadable version of the Bible that I could listen to that hopefully wouldn't put me to sleep. To my surprise I found more than I could ever have imagined! I found a dramatized version that is absolutely amazing.
I recorded the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of what it's like.
(I recieved an email during the recording. Sorry.)
I hope you will listen.
I am a member of audible.com, which is a branch of Amazon. Right now they are offering two free audio books and the first month of membership for free when you sing up using the offercode tvoffer. You can go to audible.com/tvoffer
. They charge $14.99/month, but you can cancel anytime. What I recommend is getting your two free audio books and then canceling your membership. Even if you end up paying one month this version of the Bible is totally worth the $15. Also, I know that if you want a membership, but can't pay $15/month they will work with you on the price. With your monthly membership you get one free book every month for up to 3-4 devices. So, my husband Jason, my cousin Cody and I all have access to the same library, and I have access through my iPhone and my Kindle. We all LOVE it. Jason and I own over 50 audio books through audible.com.
I promise I'm not getting anything from audible.com or the publisher of the Bible or anyone else. I just love this audio Bible, and I know that audible.com is a cost effective way to buy it. (The entire CD collection is $100 on Amazon.)
I listen to it all the time and I am learning so much that I never would have learned by just reading the Bible. For instance, did you notice in the audio clip that when God was saving Lot's life he told Lot to go to the mountain. Lot whined and said he didn't want to go all the way to the mountain and asked if God would spare a nearby city so they could go there instead. We see a glimpse of God's patience here as he tells Lot he can go to the city instead of the mountain. The next night Lot went to the mountain anyway because he was scared to remain in the city. I also realized that the men of Sodom wanted Lot to give them the men who were visiting so that they could rape them in a homosexual manner. Lot didn't want to do that so he offered his virgin daughters up for the gang rape instead.
I can't tell you how many times I've read the story of Lot and never picked up on all the small details like this.
I hope that you will consider buying this audio Bible if it's something you think you would listen to.
Soon I will start sharing all the things I am learning from my audio Bible.