Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘natural health’

It has been a crazy year around here and we are only half way through it. I’m not entirely clear on how I feel about that. We have accomplished lots of things around the farm, but we have had quite a ride on the emotional roller coaster. I do know that stress and being away from home so often has my whole body out of whack. My eating habits are getting worse, my coffee consumption has skyrocketed, my arthritis is kicking back in, my memory and mental clarity are declining and my hair is falling out.

So, I decided it was time to do a water fast, followed by a good system cleanse. Flush out all the gunk and start over, you know…

When I suggest a water fast, a lot of people are like, “Nope, I’m out. Can’t do that! I’ll just run to the doctor and see what pill he wants to give me to fix this.”

I get it. Really, I do. The lure of an easy fix is quite motivational. However, I really want to FIX the problem, not just cover it up and prolong it.

I also have a lot of people try to negotiate around this part of the process. “Well, what about black coffee or herbal tea while I’m fasting?” “No food at all? Nothing? What about a piece of fruit or something?” My answer is always the same. I don’t make the rules, I just share them with you. Do it or don’t. How bad do you want to get well? You would be surprised how many people choose to avoid healing, even when the doctors have set their expiration date and given up.

Me? I prefer to get better. I want to be around to aggravate people for a very long time. I want to see all of my grandchildren grow up and give me lots of great grandchildren. I have a lot of plans left on my bucket list and I intend to finish them all!

I’m gonna be real honest, though. I hate fasting because I LOVE food. All kinds of food. Foods that should never pass through the human lips are some of my favorites and I usually avoid those at all costs. Sometimes I fail. The thought of going for days without food on purpose goes against a deep-rooted, primal survival instinct. Nevertheless, I understand why it needs to happen.

Why would any sane person do a water fast? Well, like every other belief I have, there is some small amount of controversy surrounding the practice. Fortunately, there is some good research done on it, too. I could write out pages of info that only repeat what is already out there and readily available, but I’m not gonna. I’m just not feeling it, today. There is some wonderful info, complete with many source references on the Healthline website here. For those of you who insist that any info like this come from a ‘real’ medical website, this link from MedicalNewsToday.com might be better for you. They both say the same thing, along with proper warnings and limitations.

I didn’t start this article in an effort to convince you to try a fast, though. I started it to share with you what to expect while it is all fresh in my mind because, really, that is the first question anyone asks as they are considering if fasting is a good option for them. I’m gonna be honest…this won’t be pretty. This, my friends, is a real-life breakdown of what to expect.

Day one is a little tough. I tend to graze all day rather than eat meals. I think sometimes it is more out of habit rather than hunger, so I spend all of my first day reminding myself not to eat. Then, I get mad that I can’t eat, even if I am not hungry, so I grab some water and try to otherwise occupy my mind. I’m also pretty tired on the first day. I try to start a fast on a day that I know I don’t have to accomplish anything and I sleep through as much of it as I can. I’m only a little grumpy, but you probably ought not to do anything annoying or say anything about food around me. It is for all our safety that I say this.

Day two is bad. I hate everyone and everything. I will throat punch you for making noise in my presence, and if you say something stupid I swear I will cut out your vital organs. Slowly. I try to avoid people and social media on these days. It never ends well. I begin to wonder if a pill wouldn’t be easier. Is this nonsense truly worth it? Humans were designed to eat. Steak. Tacos. Pizza. Big, greasy burgers. FOOD! Unfortunately, I am usually not even a bit tired, but try and make myself take a nap anyway in order to avoid my own company. This is usually the day my family makes itself busy elsewhere. If they have to be around me, they stay a little on-guard and give me plenty of personal space…you know, in case I lash out…with a fist or a weapon…  Nobody mentions food and they certainly don’t consider cooking food in my house because I WILL take them down and steal their food while beating them senseless and berating them for pushing me over the edge. It is on this day that I run the highest risk of having to plead ‘guilty by reason of insanity’ at my future court date.

Day three is amazing! This is where I am today and it’s always the best day. I have lots of energy and my brain is active and clear. I will get so much done today! I’m not really concerned about the food. I’m a little hungry but not starving. I can ride out these last few hours by keeping busy, and if I break down and eat a couple hours before the end of full 72 that I am aiming for, well, no big deal. I made it pretty far!

So, there you have it and it really isn’t that bad. Mostly.

Tomorrow I will start eating some raw fruits and veggies. I’m kinda drooling at the prospect of diving in to my tomato/cucumber/onion salad! Doesn’t it look delicious??? Those veggies have been soaking up all that vinegar and herby goodness for days!

cuke tom salad

And, I have some of this ginger bug that I made a while ago and have been saving. I’ll add it to some freshly squeezed grape juice and maybe add a leaf or two of mint, and a sprig of lavender….and tequila….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And that hair falling out problem…well, I might have fixed it by cutting off 6” of it when I got out of the shower this morning…

Read Full Post »

Degenerative Bone Disease.  It sounds painful, doesn’t it?  It is a phrase that I have been hearing a lot of lately.  At first, it was just the 35 and older crowd -mostly women-  that kept saying they had been diagnosed with it, but gradually the victims have gotten younger.  In fact, just recently I heard about a 9-year-old little girl that had been diagnosed with it.

So, this then, is the newest medical ‘trend’.  Frightening.  Even more frightening is that most doctors are telling their patients that there is no way to reverse the disease or the damage it has caused.  Instead, the best they can hope for is to control the pain with some prescription meds.  ‘Experts’ tell you that osteoporosis drugs are the answer.   Forget the dangerous side effects.

Degenerative bone disease is, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as osteoporosis.   This is caused from a lack of calcium, vitamin D and other bone-building vitamins and minerals.  Many people run to the health food store and stock up on some multi-vitamin that claims to have these ingredients in it, hoping to prevent this disease.  You all know what I think about vitamin pills, right?  This is not the answer.  It is difficult for the body to process vitamins and nutrients that are not organic.  Raw.  In their natural state.  In order to prevent this disease, you have to get these essential elements from your food, not from a pill.

But, that’s not where this blog post is going.  We were talking about Degenerative Bone Disease. So, here’s how it works ~  our bodies, when kept in good working order, are designed to heal themselves.  Skin, tissue, bone and blood will all repair and replenish themselves, returning to perfect working order even after the most severe damage.  We have already dealt with healing skin and tissue, so lets talk about healing bones.

Like most people, I had always assumed that bones, once broken, never truly healed.  Not back to the way they were before.  In fact, when I broke my wrist I remember the doctor putting on that awful cast and telling my mom how careful I would have to be because that would always be a weak spot in my bone.  Later, I learned that it was not the broken spot, itself, as much as the area just above and below the healed fracture that was the most vulnerable.  Either way, things would never be the same.

Then, I decided to go and become an herbalist.  In earning one of my herbalist certifications, I was introduced to the possibility that the bones are, in fact, capable of healing completely.  Just like they were before they were damaged.  With the proper treatment and healing methods, even a shattered, fragmented mess of bones could pull itself back together so you’d never even know it was harmed.  Did you notice the big, dark italicized letters?

The body, when it is deprived of the things it needs to function (things like calcium and vitamin D), will start to pull these things from it’s storehouse – the bones.  When that storehouse is depleted, the shell becomes brittle and fragile.  Bones may break more easily, or even break off a single chip at a time.

It is not just depriving the body of the things it needs that is the problem, though.  There are many other things that will cause the body to lose these essential elements faster.  They will actually pull them from the body.  Iodized salt, white sugar, caffeine and many prescription and OTC medicines are some of the worst culprits.

Coincidentally, it seems that in most cases of osteoporosis, or degenerative bone disease that I have heard about, bad diet  and a history of prescription meds are prevalent.  Without exception, when I asked about their eating habits many of them ate canned or boxed meals on a regular basis, were at least minimally overweight, and consumed high levels of meat, sugar and caffeine.

So, what to do to fix things?  Treat the osteoporosis like it is a broken bone.  Give it what it needs to repair and regenerate stronger bones.  Of course, this isn’t always an easy thing.  For some of us, switching to a raw food diet is just not an option.  However, switching to a partially-raw-food diet is.  That doesn’t mean to eat a rare steak, either.  I’m talking raw fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains.

Here are some of the best foods and herbs to help your body help itself to heal from broken bones or even degenerative bone disease:

Bananas, cantaloupe, eggplant, cucumber, peppers, strawberries, avocados, cabbage, green foods (broccoli, kale, spinach)

And, don’t forget these bone-building herbs:

parsley, horsetail, red clover, alfalfa, kelp, rose hips, dandelion

But, you still need some vitamin D.  Vitamin D is critical because it allows the body to absorb calcium.  Without it, there is little chance of reversing bone damage.  If you ask most people, they will tell you that your best source of Vitamin D comes from milk and other dairy products, or from one of those great-tasting cereals off the grocery store shelves enriched with Vitamin D.  They would be way off the mark.  In fact, there is very little evidence that dairy products help at all with vitamin D.  In fact, most modern research shows that dairy products hinder the system in many ways.  That’s a post for another day, though…

So, what to do?  Simple really.  Step outside.  You know how I’m always spouting off about fresh air and sunshine?   10-15 minutes of sunlight on the face and hands every other day will provide you with the proper amount of vitamin D, among many other benefits.

Here’s the surprise, though.  You would think that brittle bones mean you should stay away from exercise to avoid injury.  This isn’t the case, either.  Gentle exercises like yoga or tai chi will help strengthen not just the bones, but the entire body.  It will stimulate the organs of the body to work properly, which in turn will allow the body to heal itself.  It will help calm and focus the mind, which has been shown to speed the healing of the body.  Plus, it just makes you feel good!

Finally, de-stress your life.  Stress has been shown to promote health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers and other digestive disorders, depression and even with how the body absorbs and uses the vitamins and minerals it is given.  I know, sometimes that is much easier said than done, but  if your health is at stake then maybe now is the time to re-evaluate your life.  Decide what is truly important and let the rest fall to the wayside. Take time to watch a sunrise.  Take a drive in the country.  Spend a night with friends.  Laughter really is the best medicine.

Read Full Post »