Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Honey for Cough - Week 3 of Winter Illness Carnival

I've had a cough for the last couple weeks.  I've been avoiding cough/cold meds.  Finally I took the time to take a spoonful of raw honey before bed.  The next day I wasn't coughing as much.  I continued that for a couple more days and each time I was coughing less than the day before.  Right now I've hardly had the need to cough.  So I'm going to keep taking honey before bed to see if those few coughs will go away. If that doesn't work I'll try some lemon juice with the honey.

What do you do to treat your cough naturally?  Anything that really kicks it out?

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday.  Click here to read more nourishing facts and some gift ideas for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Treating Sore Throat with Raw Apple Cider Vinegar - Week 2 of Winter Illness Carnival

In continuing the Winter Illnesses Carnival, this week I'm focusing on treating sore throats.

Whenever I got a bad sore throat I would spray the red liquid full of who knows what onto the back of my throat.  Not anymore, whenever I feel a slight pain coming on, I drink about 1/2 teaspoon of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and the pain goes away soon after.  The ACV does a great job of killing the bacteria.

When I first started taking it, I couldn't stand the taste or smell of it.  (I'm known as a picky eater.)  My eyes would water and I'd gag a little bit but I seem to have gotten used to the taste.

When I read about this treatment it warned not to take it too often as it could cause an upset stomach.  Usually I only need to use it 1 or 2 times then I'm fine.  I love how I'm able to kill the bacteria right when it comes rather than hoping it will go away and eventually suffering through a painful sore throat.

How do you naturally treat your sore throat?

This post is part of this week's Real Food Wednesday, go here to read other blogs.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Neti Pots for Sinus Problems - Week 1 of Winter Illness Carnival

Since we're in the winter season with some people getting sick, I thought I'd do several posts focusing on certain illnesses  (Winter Illness Carnival- Week 1) and what we can do to treat them naturally and without antibiotics.  Antibiotics wipe out the good bacteria in our guts and weakens our immune system so I'd rather try treating my illnesses naturally and have the antibiotics be an absolute last resort.  It's frustrating that doctors don't seem to know about these, so they can recommend using this before writing out a prescription.

One thing that I've discovered in my research is the Neti Pot which I absolutely love!  I used to get a sinus infection every year and after suffering for a couple weeks would go to the doctor to get an antibiotic.  Not anymore!  Whenever I feel anything coming on in my sinuses, I use the Neti Pot and it clears it out.  If I do it right away it only takes one treatment or a few, it goes away and I'm able to go through my days just fine.  If I wait longer then it may take a couple days to treat it completely better.  But it always clears the pressure for at least a few hours and I feel ready to tackle the things I need to do or take care of my kids.

Recently my mom was ill and she tried the Neti Pot.  I've asked her to share her experience so you know it's not just me.

I have suffered with sinus problems quite a bit the last few years.

When I get sick with it I seem to be sick for 3 - 4 weeks with sinus pressure, headaches, sinus drainage which causes sore throat & a raspy voice. I find myself clenching my teeth from the pain - which only
makes it worse. I usually try to treat it with over the counter medications first & then end up going to the doctors for prescription meds. Sometimes it takes a couple different times of going back in for another script.

This last time, I had gone for about a week on over the counter meds & asked my daughter if she would mind picking me up a neti pot - She had mentioned it to me that it helped her. So she got me one & I tried it & have used it for 4 days, immediately I felt a clearness in my sinus, the pressure that I had before is not as bad & I feel like each day of using it I feel better & clearer. I've had problems with sleeping with a stuffy nose & my nose has been clear & sleeping better since I started using the neti pot.  I now plan on using it on a daily basis as part of my daily cleansing process.  I would encourage anyone with sinus problems to use this before trying prescription drugs.

I got our Neti Pots at Good Earth, a health food store.  I've seen them at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I would recommend using RealSalt but if you can't find it (they're usually available at regular grocery stores) then you could pick up some salt specifically made for use with Neti Pots.  I've read that regular iodized salt won't help. I'm guessing because it's been stripped of it's minerals in the bleaching process.

Here's how you use it:  Put some WARM (not cold or hot) water in the pot along with about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of Real Salt (it might be different with the other salts).  Try to dissolve some of the salts but not all will.  Have a few tissues ready nearby.  Tilt your head over the sink, being ready to breathe through your mount, insert the nozzle into one nostril and pour about half of the salt water.  It should run out the other nostril.  Gently blow your nose then do it again through the other nostril. Blow your nose again and within 5-15 minutes you'll feel a clearing in your sinuses and be ready to tackle the day!

Neti pots can be used to:
Clear the nostrils to free the breathing
Remove excess mucus
Reduce pollen or allergens in the nasal passages
Relieve nasal dryness

What do you do to naturally treat your sinuses?

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday Carnival, go here  to read other blogs.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Benefits of Grassfed Butter

After reading about the Lipid Hypothesis, the research that challenges it and getting grossed out about how they make margarine.  Another early step we took was to switch from margarine to butter.   At first it was hard because chilled butter was hard to spread.  Then I read that salted butter keeps just fine at room temperature in a covered dish.  So we use that for spreading and unsalted butter for baking, etc.  I'll tell what kinds are best at the bottom of the post.

The Lipid Hypothesis

The theory-called the lipid hypothesis-that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease was proposed by a researcher named Ancel Keys in the late 1950's. Numerous subsequent studies have questioned his data and conclusions. Nevertheless, Keys' articles received far more publicity than those presenting alternate views. The vegetable oil and food processing industries, the main beneficiaries of any research that found fault with competing traditional foods, began promoting and funding further research designed to support the lipid hypothesis.

The "Evidence" Supporting the Lipid Hypothesis

These "experts" assure us that the lipid hypothesis is backed by incontrovertible scientific proof. Most people would be surprised to learn that there is, in fact, very little evidence to support the contention that a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat actually reduces death from heart disease or in any way increases one's life span. Consider the following:

Before 1920 coronary heart disease was rare in America. During the next forty years, however, the incidence of coronary heart disease rose dramatically, so much so that by the mid fifties heart disease was the leading cause of death among Americans. Today heart disease causes at least 40% of all US deaths. If, as we have been told, heart disease results from the consumption of saturated fats, one would expect to find a corresponding increase in animal fat in the American diet. Actually, the reverse is true. During the sixty-year period from 1910 to 1970, the proportion of traditional animal fat in the American diet declined from 83% to 62%, and butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four. During the past eighty years, dietary cholesterol intake has increased only 1%. During the same period the percentage of dietary vegetable oils in the form of margarine, shortening and refined oils increased about 400% while the consumption of sugar and processed foods increased about 60%.

Studies that Challenge the Lipid Hypothesis
There have been many different studies that challenged the Lipid Hypothesis, you can read about it at this link.

Read here about why butter is better, it tells how butter plays a role in heart disease, cancer, the immune system, arthritis, osteoporosis, the thyroid gland, gastrointestinal health, weight, and growth & development.


This is the process that turns polyunsaturates, normally liquid at room temperature, into fats that are solid at room temperature - margarine and shortening. To produce them, manufacturers begin with the cheapest oils - soy, corn, cottonseed or canola, already rancid from the extraction process - and mix them with tiny metal particles - usually nickel oxide. The oil with its nickel catalyst is then subjected to hydrogen gas in a high-pressure, high-temperature reactor. Next, soap-like emulsifiers and starch are squeezed into the mixture to give it a bettter consistency; the oil is yet again subjected to high temperature. This removes its unpleasant odor. margarine's natural color, an unappetizing grey, is removed by bleach. Dyes and strong flavors must be added to make it resemble butter. finally, the mixture is compressed and packaged in blocks or tubs and sold as a health food.
-- Nourishing Traditions

All this makes me realize that our Heavenly Father made butter the way our bodies needed it to be, otherwise we would have gotten margarine from Him.  Men don't know what's best for us, He does.
So, what's the best butter to buy? Here's an idea:

- Grass-fed, organic butter made from raw, cultured cream (you'll probably have to make this one at home).
- Grass-fed, organic butter made from raw cream (depending on where you live, you might have to make this at home, too).
Some examples are: KerryGold Butter or Organic Valley Pasture butter

- Grass-fed, organic butter made from pasteurized cream (available in some stores and online).
- Regular, storebought organic butter (can be found almost everywhere).

- Regular, storebought non-organic butter.

If you can spring for organic and especially grass-fed butter, do it! But keep in mind ALL of the above choices are much, much better than the fake margarine spreads .

I buy our butter in bulk (at Real Foods Market) and freeze them so that we always have them in stock. 

If you have dairy intolerances a good choice would be Green Pastures or Radiant Life's Butter oil.  This product is casein and lactose free.

If you're allergic to dairy: ghee (which is much lower in lactose and casein) is something that most people are able to tolerate.

If you want to do a more deep reading on the Lipid Hypothesis and the struggle Mary Enig and her colleaques had in getting the truth out about trans fats, etc. Read "The Oiling of America" here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Real Salt

One of the first easiest steps I made was to use "Real Salt" instead of regular iodized salt so we can get the trace minerals.  It's easy to find at grocery stores.  I get them in bulk at the Real Foods Market in Orem.

Sally Fallon in NT (Nourishing Traditions) says this of salt:
"Salt provides not only sodium but also chloride, needed for the manufacture of hydrochloric acid, proper functioning of the brain and nervous system and for many other processes.  The chloride component of salt also activates amylases, needed for the digestion of carbohydrate foods."

"Few people realize that our salt - like our sugar, flour and vegetable oils - is highly refined; it is the product of a chemical and high-temperature industrial process that removes all the valuable magnesium salts as well as trace minerals naturally occuring in the sea.  To keep salt dry, salt refiners adulterate this 'pure' product with several harmful additives, including aluminum compounds.  To replace the natural iodine salts that are removed during processing, potassium iodie is added in amounts that can be toxic.  To stabilize the volatile iodide compound, processors add dextrose which turns the iodized salt a purplish color.  A bleaching agent is then necessary to restore whiteness to the salt."

"Both surfeit and deficiency of iodine can lead to problems with the thyroid gland, including goiter, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism."

I have hypothyroidism so this is one of the reasons why I switched to Real Salt.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our Story

Tornado had Dysbiosis 2 years ago.  What is Dysbiosis?  Basically the bad bacteria has overtaken the good bacteria in the digestive tract.  We all need both good and bad bacteria.  Good bacteria can be wiped out with antibiotics or eating a diet high in sugar, etc.  I read somewhere recently that about 70 percent of people have some kind of gut problem and most don't realize that it can be fixed.  I'm seeing a Dr in a couple weeks to see how my gut is doing and what I can do to heal it.

A friend told me about a book called Nourishing Traditions.  At first it was overwhelming.  I've since been slowly implementing it's principles step by step. 

In my research on the internet, I've since figured out why I've had a few health issues such as mild IBS symptoms, Restless Leg Syndrome, among others.  I've been able to minimize those issues whenever I apply NT principles or avoid the Standard American Diet (SAD).  I'm far from perfect in all that I eat but continue to try to work towards my goal of at least 80% real foods.

The more I read about how members of the FDA and CDC being influenced by making money off of medication, vaccines, etc the less I trust what they tell us is best for our health.  It appears that our general health has gotten worse since these organizations were formed.  100 years ago there were hardly any heart problems, ADHD, Autism and various diseases but since these organizations started telling us that margarine is better than butter, etc.  the health of people have declined. I'm determined to research before making decisions except in a true emergency.