Friday, January 25, 2013

Toothpaste...What's one less?

Somewhere along the way, DH heard/read or otherwise came in touch with information that fluoride may not be good for your teeth or your health.  Not being one to jump on any bandwagon without a fair amount of research as well as research on the research methods, DH started his investigation.  A couple of things that he shared with me really shocked me.   Did you know fluoride is a by-product from the aluminum industry?   Check out this link from Dr. Mercola for more info about what it can and can't do.

So needless to say, after much reading, we have decided to minimize fluoride in our house.  There is a filter on the cold tap water.  We keep glass jugs of bottled water in the fridge.  We use filtered water for drinking and cooking.  We use rain water for watering our gardens because tap water won't do.  BTW- Chamomile is a sponge for fluoride so I will growing my own tea leaves next year.

The one thing for sure is that if we didn't consume so much sugar, we wouldn't need all of the dentists.  A thought occurred to me after my last dental check up.  When we go to the doctor for a check up they don't use radiation annually to see if anything has changed or is wrong.  The X-ray when symptoms call for it.  So why should I expose myself or my kids to any more radiation that necessary.  Lord knows that I have had more than my share of it.

Then there is the toothpaste.  In case you were wondering there are tons of quality non-fluoride toothpastes out there.  Contrary to popular belief, most Tom's of Maine products are not fluoride free.  That caught me off guard.  Most fo the products on the market use Xylitol. 

That is what we started with.  We ordered a bunch of different ones from Amazon after looking at all of the ingredients.  We found a few that we liked, and we are using them now.  Some were quite tasty. But is Xylitol better than fluoride?  I am not sure.  So now I am looking into homemade stuff but who knows where we will end up.

Of course this whole discovery led me to listening (while it was free) to an online HealThy Mouth Summit. Okay, a bit terrifying, a bit helpful but at least gives me a broader picture of modern dentistry and the dangers and benefits of root canals, fillings, and fluoride.  Out of this summit has come the determination that my children will not have cavities...if I can help it.   

I have concluded on the fluoride matter that the answer for my family is somewhere between the two extremes but leaning more natural and whole body.  After all, our bodies are bombarded daily with so many chemicals.  This might make you think, "What's one more? but the way I think is "What's one less?  One more day of life?  Less autistic issues in the family?  Less moodiness for the family? More happiness?"  What we eat and put into our mouth is either hurting or healing our bodies including our teeth.  Choose wisely and think, "What's one less gonna do for your family?"

Some other links of interest:

Alzheimers associated with aluminum and low dose fluoride 

how fluoride is made and why we shouldn't be dumping it in our water

Friday, January 18, 2013

Items that I didn't used to buy...

One of my favorite blog and info sites in our journey is 100 days of real food.  The following post got me to thinking about what has entered our house since we started the journey.   100 Days of Real Food

Well, here are some of the ones that come to mind:

     Raw cheese- Warning:  Once you get used to this, pasteurized cheese tastes bland and pasty.

     Pastured beef, pork and chicken- It was really odd when we opened the first  pack of the pastured ground beef and found out it has a good healthy scent to it.  So this is what ground beef is supposed to smell like!  Much better than that stuff washed in ammonia!

     Pastured chicken eggs- I have noticed that the shells seem to be thinner so you don't have to smack 'em too hard to make them crack.

     Duck eggs-  Though I have been to "chicken" to try them for breakfast,  DH eats them for breakfast and I cook with them.  They are bigger so you use fewer of them.

     Coconut oil- which I use in lieu of vegetable oil in baked goods.  I also keep a paper towel in the jar and use that paper towel to grease any baking dishes.

     Organic food coloring-The colors are most definitely pastel, but that will do in order to avoid food dyes most of the time.

     Popping corn- which is much more tasty and all around better than that microwave stuff.  As an added bonus, you can inhale the fumes and not get lung cancer.  It only takes a few minutes to cook on the stove top and is fun to watch through glass top cookware as it hops and pops. 
     Nettle tea- Apparently nettle tea is good for headaches.  I have used it several times to rid myself of an achy noggin.

     Organic baby kale medley-This has replaced our usual romaine or iceberg lettuce for nightly salads.  For a while we used a red and green leaf mix, but the kale is much richer, has spinach and other heavy duty greens. 

     Kefir-The adults drink it straight.  I use it to make smoothies occasionally.  Unfortunately, I cannot get my kids to try smoothies...or milkshakes.  Wait, I guess that is a good thing.

     Whole fat organic yogurt-to make my own cream cheese.  Monica Corrado of taught me to strain whole plain yogurt through linen cloth to make separate the cheese from the whey.  I add a dash of maple syrup to the cheese and use it like any other cream cheese.  I add the whey to soups and slow cook recipes to make them healthier.

     Unfiltered apple juice-Since the kids were still using closed lid plastic cups, they never saw or tasted a difference, but it definitely looks different.  Our favorite is Golden Acres Apple Juice.  When we can't get that, we go with the Safeway brand organic unfiltered.

     Beef stock bones from that I made some great beef stock with.  The stock has been turned into three types of soup, that stock my freezer.

     Pork fat purchased to make lard, but not yet used.

So in six months, besides a litany of items that we used to purchase conventional and now purchase organic, those are the things that are in my house right now.  

Please bear with me as I learn to blog and add photos. My purpose in blogging is to pass along some of the things I have learned on my healthy food journey so that maybe someone else will improve how they eat.  Eating healthy foods is a major part of living well.  If your body is well nourished (not just well fed) then you will be better able to fight off illnesses and have more energy and focus.  

Here's to our health.  Cheers!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Six months and counting

It was less than six months ago that we started the transition from GMO, highly processed "food" consumers to mostly organic, free pastured, grass fed, non-GMO, label reading sentient beings. We have not gone totally Real Food, organic, or any of the other trendy dietary labels and we still eat out after church on Sundays. But we have made many changes.

There are eggs every morning, salad every night, fresh fruit and veggies whenever I want, and a lot less sugar and bread products.

Out went the Pam, in came the Olive Oil. 
Milk in glass jars from trickling springs via Roots fill the fridge, and fill our bellies because it tastes better and feels better. 
Raw cheeses, fresh made cream cheese and homemade pizza dough are new additions.
Salads are made of Kale and spinach not iceberg lettuce. 
We make our own (cheap) salad dressings. 
Low fat is gone and whole fat is here. 
Yogurt is consumed daily. 
The microwave is rarely used.

I still get my chocolate fix, or my glass of wine, but over all we eat pretty clean. Unless I am at a party because I try everything at least once.  I know I shouldn't and I always feel ill from the processed foods and sugars, but I still do it. I figure I will learn the lesson in about 2032 more parties...maybe.

It isn't that much more costly since we shop at Trader Joes and Costco now carries organics. But we do shop at more stores. (Roots, Giant, Safeway, Whole foods, Trader Joes, Sam's and Costco as opposed to Giant, Safeway, Magruders and Sams.) Magruders near us closed in case you want to know why we don't shop there anymore  but they had some good stuff.

It really has not been difficult. The hardest part is learning where to buy what, and when it goes on sale. We shop more frequently stocking up on items during sales and buying smaller amounts of perishable items so they keep fresh.

We have planted our own fruit trees, embarked on communal gardening with two neighbors, and are constantly looking for ways to grow our own food. I imagine when the basement is finished we will have a pantry that will include bins for apples and onions to keep them cool. We are always reading on homesteading, cooking or gardening.

Everyone has benefited from the changes- DH and I have lost weight and have more energy. The kids focus better, behave better and have MORE energy even though I did not think that was possible. Everyone is more patient, and less moody. We all notice the difference (in temperment, energy and feeling well) when we make poor food choices, especially if there is HFCS or MSG in what we eat.

It's has been a short relatively painless journey to better health. If you haven't considered it, I hope that you will.