tip: don’t take baking soda across the border..

Ok, yes!  This is my advice for the day.  Baking soda is cheap everywhere, so just buy some wherever you are going.   (Apparently border guards think it is suspicious to carry baking soda in its original box, various vitamins all jumbled together and mysterious green powders in unmarked containers… Vive la Health Revolucion!)

Tips you can find on a box of Albertsons Baking Soda:  (and no, brand matters not)

  • Household Cleaner:  scouring without scratching (actually i use nothing else for cleaning the tub and sinks, cheap, safe and awesome!)
  • Refrigerator Freshener:  (we all know this one from Arm and Hammer commercials, no?)
  • Baking Specialties:  see favorite cookbooks
  • For Brushing Teeth: to whiten and freshen (and i've discovered that it can be very useful in the 'oops there is no toothbrush OR toothpaste scenario'… aka fingerbrush)
  • Prevent Litter Box Odors:  Spread whole box over bottom of litter box and cover with cat litter to extend the life of it. (go through a lot of baking soda though, i imagine!)
  • As an antacid:  occasional usage! and well dissolved in a liquid.

(actually i also learned in a herb course that baking soda mixed with water can be used under circumstances where the throat is closing up due to allergic reaction… now i can't find published proof of this, so use at yer own risk… but if i am stuck in a cabin with only baking soda, you can be sure i will try it!)

Maybe it's time to look at how baking soda works chemically huh?

Tune in next week for my continuing obsession with baking soda!

for kelly!

Miso Soup

It is hard enough to get enough protein and B-vitamins in our North American carb-heavy diets, never mind trying to do it while being a vegetarian that doesn't like eggs or dairy!  Nut butters can only take you so far:)

Miso is a fermented soy paste that is basically used like a bouillon.  It is a nice mix of vitamins, minerals, protein, and enzymes and is super easy to digest.  In Japan miso is eaten with every meal (along with rice).  I believe it is a great way to fill in the gaps of our nutrient starved diet. 

a whole bunch of stuff about miso

Traditionally made with a dried fish stock called dashi, you can just omit this for veggie friendly versions.  Wakame is the usual seaweed, but i've used any seaweeds i can get my hands on, they are all great for you and they each have their own fascinating nutritional profile. 

seaweed link

tips:

  • don't boil miso, add it last so you don't kill it  
  • lighter coloured miso is sweeter and milder  
  • darker coloured miso is stronger and saltier (my favorite)  
  • Miso goes with anything where you want a savoury depth of flavour, hot or cold!
  • seaweed is easier to snip with scissors if dried, or soak to remove more salt and make easier to chop
  • mash miso paste with a small amount of boiled water before adding to pot for easier mixing
  • all amounts (or lack of..) are ready for tailoring to your tastes!

Easy miso recipe:

boil pot of water

add seaweed (soaked and chopped or dry and crumbled in my lazy way)

add chopped tofu (any style)

add any veggies you can find in your fridge

cook 5-10 min (depending on veggies)

take off heat

add miso (at least 1TBSP per 1-2 cups water)

add chopped green onions

EAT!!  as often as possible

my current hair update

The Rest of the Story:

(for the beginning of the story)

Well, i am now on month 5 and things are maintaining great!  I have tested my head in Vancouver weather (damp and cool), Toronto weather (cold, and dry with central heating), and touring through the midwestern states (sunny, cold and DRY), staying in hotels and swimming in chlorine.  My tendency towards dry flaky scalp remains relatively the same, reflecting more my neglect to take my winter Omega oils and stay hydrated..  I can't remember how staticky my hair was last year, so i will comment that it is slightly electric when subjected to toques, and i might try rubbing some light oil through my hair after showering next time.

In well water (hard water) it performed great, bar soap leaving more of a residue on my body than the baking soda and vinegar did on my hair. i should admit that i don't wash my hair all that often either…Maybe once a week, if that, rinsing in between for a pick-me-up! 

So far i have not got any hygiene comments from family, friends or the general public. My hair remains curly and full enough and brushing it is as much of a pain in the ass as it always was…

IBS….its a dirty word

IBS….its a dirty word but somebody’s gotta say it! I personally prefer over pleasant dinner conversation..

Pay attention to what you eat and how you feel, this sounds obvious but nobody does it?! Start by seeing what happens when you eat/don’t eat dairy or wheat, and split them up so you don’t get a combo effect…

first things first…..

what does a healthy bowel act like? We would be going 2-3 times a day (after every meal) if we were functioning at optimum capacity. Apparently 1 big once a day is also ok, preferably in the morning. This is after your body has had a chance to clean up all the crap (ha ha!) from the day before and relax in sleep to allow the body processes to work. By big i mean Not little rabbit poo’s, but big and long and firm and floating!???? (dirty in so many ways)….

The body likes order and habit, the same time every day is preferable. This is one i have trouble with, as a hectic schedule and unhealthy eating habits make for irregularity in all aspects….

YES the bowels are affected by stress, worry and all manner of emotions. They have found neurons in the gut which act the same way as ones firing in the brain. Your gut reaction is more than just a saying, your belly is trying to tell you stuff! We should listen! This implies that the gut doesn’t just affect the brain but Is a part of the brain. The body mind connection as a scientific fact. (if you like your facts scientific:)

http://www.psyking.net/id36.htm

so this gets back to my fibre obsession

the things preventing normal bowel movements (other than emotional “holding”)

  • lack of fibre
  • lack of oils
  • lack of good bacteria
  • dehydration

seriously folks Just TRY the 2 liters of water a day that Everyone and their ass recommends and see what happens

35g a day of fibre is really hard to get without supplementing or being a vegan that eats nothing refined. Veggies and whole grains, thats where it comes from. Try counting if you are curious.

The enemies of bowel movements:

cheese, meat, white flour, eggs, bacon (because we all know bacon is it’s own category..) basically anything that is all protein, fat, or sugar/starch with no fibre.

Friend of bowel movements:

  • magnesium helps muscles relax (including intestinal muscles) — remember milk of magnesia…its a laxative!
  • B-vitamins/C-vitamins help ‘normal everything’ function… i know thats not very specific but they really do!
  • flax oil helps lubricate and relax, imagine a nice oil massage from the inside
  • herbs for stress
  • fibre supplements: –psyllium helps some people, the problem being it is comprised solely of soluble fibre…it absorbs a great many things, including all the water in your bowels to bulk it up. If you are already dehydrated you must drink many and more waters to compensate! We are designed to work with both soluble AND insoluble fibre, one absorbs toxins and stuff and one does more scrubbing and moving it along. Flax based fibres are a good route to take being comprised of equal parts soluble/insoluble plus oils. Flax is Canadian grown and easy to find organic….why add more chemicals or irradiation to an already strained system? There are also many good formulated combos out there, personally i find the supplement powder route the most effective when i refuse to keep track of my diet. Which i have to admit is common….

create sludge that turns into clay!

gotta love the word sludge…

THIS POST IS FOR MY SISTER CARRIE WHO IS VERY GOOD AT WHIPPING THINGS UP IN THE KITCHEN TO ENTERTAIN HER 2-YEAR OLD!


Baking Soda Clay:

there are many ratio's out there…i picked the simplest!

    2 cups cornstarch
    2 cups baking soda
    1 1/4 cup cold water


Mix powders in pot
add water while stirring
heat, stirring constantly until mashed potatoey
dump onto plate, cover with damp cloth, let cool.
squish and knead dough (kids join in now) and play!

let dry and paint if desired:)

I will get back to you when i have tried the stuff for myself…

Baking soda and the hair

So Bridget has been washing her hair with baking soda for a while now, and her hair is Still dark and beautiful and shiny.  I figure i should really give it a go!  She found a soap free community online which is quite fascinating…  They call it no 'poo , and there are discussions about it here as well. 

(I remember my boyfriend in grade 10, his parents were talking about washing with only water and drinking martinis, not necessarily in that order)…at the time i thought they were crazy, now i will become one of the crazies myself! 

My hair is thick, curly, and on the reddish side of brown/blonde.  I tend to have dry scalp which gets out of control if i'm not careful, and if I don't brush my hair Every day it turns into matts which i just wanna cut off.  I figure if this works for me that is a very good sign…

I already use Apple Cider Vinegar as a rinse so i guess I am halfway there:  I find it helps with itchy/flaky scalp, softens the hair, and gets the scalp to the acidic pH our skin is supposed to be at (soap alkalinizes and brings it out of balance). 

Well i keep talking about it so i won't have to actually do it…sigh:

 

Day 1:  Assemble Supplies  (no, that is Not another way to procrastinate!)

baking soda

cinnamon

apple cider vinegar (i use raw organic)

plastic squeezy bottle

 

Day 2:  Create Sludge

WASH

1Tablespoon of baking soda, a dash of cinnamon (optional)  and 1cup of water

RINSE

1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in 1cup of water

 

NOTE:  mix cinnamon and baking soda together BEFORE you add water or the cinnamon will clump

ok, i didn't find a squeezy bottle, so i used a glass and just stirred it up while in the shower and then dumped it on my hair slowly….
doesn't really feel like much, cloudy water that you are massaging into your scalp.

Rinse with water.

Feels kinda squeaky and like straw, so i move on to the Apple cider vinegar stage using the same cup  (I am a laaazy showeree)

leave it on for as long as possible before rinsing off and

voila!!  Feels like straw that is less squeaky…

i dry my hair and wonder if i actually got all the baking soda out

hair half dry, actually feels pretty good.

the flu.. the flu..! what’re we to do (la la)

Apparently Still the most effective prevention is WASHING YER HANDS

Now this is a very emotional subject for all parties, and almost Everybody you meet has some opinion on the flu shot.  Putting aside how i feel about vaccinations in general and the current motivations that seem to be behind a push for everything from the chicken pox vaccine to the indirect “cancer” ones being pushed on young girls, the flu vaccine seems to be the most Advertised, poorly researched, poorly assessed, no follow-up, money going to ?? idea yet!

(ok, so not quite “putting Aside” i suppose…)  I know crazy diseases exist, I’m just not convinced vaccinating is our best choice.  I’d like to see a little more research regarding hygiene or other concurrent circumstances and pandemics, especially when the newest scary sickness kills less people than the so called regular flu….

For a quite balanced opinion with stats:

www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/11/02

“Of the hundreds of studies on flu immunization campaigns, only about four are of sufficient rigour to say anything definitive. And two of those studies show the vaccine in question to be useless.”


For a little more scary ideas, but with big names attached:

www.garynull.com/articles/vaccines /SellingaPandemic

for reasons to Take the shot:

Turn on the TV, read the ads on bus/train/billboard…try typing in “flu vaccine proof” in Google and see what comes up.  Find me something that does not sound like hype, wishful thinking or fear mongering.  Granted sifting through search engine results and people’s tirades can be confusing and exhausting, but it seems to me that there is a holdover from the justified moral standpoint that medicine is the saviour of the world without a serious look into the system that supports the ideal.  Please, share your experiences with me!

ps…for what it is worth, as far as i am aware it is not Legal to be forced into the vaccine, only to be Guilted into it

A vaccine probably would not be available in the initial stages of population infection.[76] A vaccine cannot be developed to protect against a virus which does not exist yet.  Once a potential virus is identified and a vaccine is approved, it normally takes five to six months before the vaccine becomes available.[77] Plausible guesswork aside, it is my understanding that the body’s immune system reacts differently to airborne pathogens than to injected ones.  So the immunity itself is very hard to measure and i’ve never seen anyone get a follow up??

hmm, as to what I have to say about it?  I grew up pretty healthy, so i may be biased in that direction, however i am far more scared of Getting the vaccine than of Not getting it…

Last i saw, the flu was time to take 2-3 days off work, get some rest, and drink hot fluids.   I know the only time I get sick (which knock on wood only happens once every few years) with a cold/flu is when i am stressed, not stopping, and eating crap (usually dairy) as well as too much alcohol to counteract the stress.

If i feel a sore throat i first mentally punish myself for getting out of balance (This is NOT a recommendation….) then get on the sage tea/ ginger tea as much as i can drink, eat less, definitely eat no sugar and dairy and proceed to harder herbs as i deem necessary.  (echinacea if i catch it in the first 2 days, goldenseal if I am entirely too mucousy (substitute oregon grape root as a more ecologically sustainable herb), moving on to immune boosting bad tasting mushrooms and worse tasting oregano oil which burns but kills stuff good!)

Chinese medicine (the little i have gleaned from reading) says that we eat our disease, (i love that thought, after all our body can only work with what we give it.) and that to counteract  “cold, watery” disease one should consume “hot, spicy” stuff.  Hmm, sorry, can you say paraphrase??  However, this makes sense in a logical as well as instinctive sense.  We crave hot lemony drinks, chicken soups, warming ginger, spicy cayenne.

One herb course i took taught the most basic folk remedy:

combine garlic, hot peppers, ginger, onion etc. and let ’em soak in apple cider vinegar for 2 weeks…strain and consume if you can!  yuck but sounds comfortingly familiar doesn’t it?…plus you are not supposed to go socialize when you are sick, so the garlic shouldn’t bother you..

All this might not sound too city-ish….however in my humble opinion, if we are to survive the cement world, we Must learn how to take a breath, take a break and nurse ourselves back to health in the midst of whatever is happening around us.

My health To Do list

top of  my to do list:

 

  • hormones…….(balance them)
  • activity…………..(get some)
  • regularity………(yes i mean the plumbing kind)
  • i think my chin is getting fatter….

and fortunately they are all related! so lets get started…. well at least lets get writing some more so i can procrastinate a little longer on the activity thing…

Now Myself, i favour food and herbs first… mostly because i am a control freak and i can watch them come out of the ground myself, and also process them myself if i so desire.  After that, vitamins to correct imbalances, homeopathics if fast results are needed (however a practitioner may be necessary), body work for practical muscular/joint or tension reasons, flower remedies and energetic styles of healing,  and surgery last last last last! and with more than one opinion behind it.

 

Hormones:

Currently taking fish oil on the waxing (growing) moon and evening primrose oil on the waning (shrinking) moon.

Haven't found concrete advice on Why this works yet, but i will get back to you.  It makes sense to me that the moon is involved, what with the 28 day cycle and its gravitional effects on the water of this earth (our bodies being mostly water apparently!).  I read somewhere that you can actually reset your cycle by choosing when you want it and then getting a soft white round light to put by your bed (mimicking the light of a full moon) for 3 days out of the month.  I have not yet tried this as it involves paying Way too much attention to myself, but if anyone has, lemme know.  This also illustrates how much Light affects our cycles but i guess that is kind of self-evident what with the sleeping in the dark and whatnot..

 

Activity:

Many a time have i joined a gym/yoga class and prepaid and mabye gone twice ….I hope i can find it in myself to resist ever pre-paying again as a motivational tool!

For myself team sports has always been the answer, that or volunteering at a yoga studio in exchange for classes.  There is something to be said for other people depending on you to help get you out there.  Then again, there are plenty of people who drag their butts outa bed to go running, my sister still does and i did when i was younger but i never Liked it.  The key is to find something you like and try to have fun, it really does make Everything funcion better.

oh yeah, right now i'm um, walking… sometimes?  That and watching someone else play on the Wii fit gaming excersise program.  Mabye I'll try it out later, but i'm pretty sure typing counts for like 20 minutes or so of cardio!

 

Regularity:

Trying to take a multi for the B-vitamins, any good oils help, good bacteria, water water water and fibre fibre fibre!!!!  More on this later, as fibre has become something of an obsession for me.  A very attractive and sexy obsession!!

 

Chin expansion…

So far scowling in the mirror is my solution, and my solution to That is to stop looking in the mirror.  And mabye try harder to find a soccer team in my area.

I will check in periodically on my hopeful progress in these particular areas

Breathe deep.

where do i fit in?

Now i probably shouldn’t start a health food style blog expounding upon my theories of objectivity and whether it exists… so mabye i’ll start with a story:

Once upon a time there was a cute little health food store manager (hey i can tell it however i want!)… and every prince and princess in the land would come to buy vitamins from her…ok off track, sorry


She had a sick cat and was living in a strange town. 

cutesickcat She tried to find the most natural vet type place she could, but ended up with the usual “pump ‘em up, keep ‘em here, force feed and make ye feel guilty if you question them” style place.  3 days and hundreds of dollars later i was allowed to take her home and they Still had no idea.
Then she got sick in a different way, so i made the long drive to a more naturally based vet.  She spoke my language!  She did not want to immediately pump Tessie full of  drugs, wondered if the previous vets may have caused this reaction, used the test results i already had in hand, and used homeopathic and herbal/nutritional remedies.  I was super syched!
Somehow it came up that i managed a health food store, and Then it came up that i was unfamiliar with one of the amino-acid based medicines she was talking about.  THEN she said that people like me were the problem with the health food industry. (frontline people who don’t know enough —paraphrasing here)

hmmm.  well, i had no answer for that….(although you can bet i did tessiecatweblater!). i paid some more hundreds of dollars and left happy for my cat but kinda uncomfortable for myself.
miow

was she right?
should i know more?
am i wasting my own and everyone elses time?
then i wondered how much expertise she would be willing invest in if she was making retail wages?
and would she be willing to field All the questions I got in a day, just for the love of it and in the detail she seemed to think neccessary?
would people know she existed if there weren’t communities and stores paving the way and pointing in her direction?
what Should my role as a selling person be when really all anyone wants when they walk in the store is INFORMATION PLEASE!! (and free please..)

my basic personal tenants are pretty simple:  You are what you eat, breathe, and think…. but i am definitely Not above taking an ibuprofen when i can’t move or think due to cramps because i haven’t yet fixed all my hormonal balances and i got shit to do! (can you swear in a blog?)

There are so many schools of thought, so many ways of describing the body and the world around us and i think health food stores are a gateway that people can use to glimpse possibilities.  I don’t know the right answers (and we definitely are not allowed to phrase our sentences in ways that might make people think we do!) and besides everyones path to health is a little subjective.

(so health yerself!)

Health Yerself!