A New Body? ExCELLent…

There are many things that fascinate me.  I have been on a quest for as much knowledge as I can possibly get.  As I come across things, I am ever learning new things…much to my delight.  Much of these are spiritual, some are political (I am an independent political researcher by day!), some is gardening, and yet others still are related to alternative therapies.

I have always “known” deep down inside that our bodies were made in such a way that, given the proper nutrition and rest, they could heal themselves.  I took biology in high school and college, but must have missed the lesson that captured my attention a few years back while reading that our cells are constantly regenerating…some do it in seconds, some minutes, and still others in years, but they all regenerate…So literally, you can have a “new body” in a matter of years!!!

It is harder to get people (even me!!!) to understand, these days, in our fast paced, instant gratification world that we really do need to eat better, exercise and get the proper rest, for our bodies to be able to do this magnificent thing!  I am not a biologist, by any means, but I do understand cell division…I also understand that with all the impurities and chemicals in our food, water…and air…and the depletion of nutrients in our soil, we do face many challenges with regards to the possibility of regenerating “pure” cells, but I still feel, deep down, that it can be done.

It seems to me that our first step needs to be listen to our bodies.  We might also consider doing a cleanse or two…Next, commit to changing our diet for the better.  Get rid of processed and fast foods…don’t try to do a “cold turkey” sort of approach, but don’t take forever with it, either.  (You can always grow your own, which kind of helps out in the exercise department, as well!)

Next, we need to find and stick to a proper bedtime schedule.  A dear friend of mine told me that he had found in his research sleep before midnight was the most regenerating.  Next we need to find and commit to a a varied exercise program…Walking, swimming, running, pilates, some sort of sport, yoga, tai chi, Qi Gong,  just a mix of things that will get your body and joints moving…While we are at it, let’s not forget to keep our mind active and grow, spiritually.

I am convinced within myself that we can all be better, healthier and live longer without pumping our bodies full of artificial chemicals and impurities…We are magnificent creatures, capable of anything…but we must be willing to participate…

*This information is for entertainment and educational purposes only and should not be used in place of a doctor’s care.  Should you have health concerns, please seek the care of a professional…


“Nature-al” Therapy

Is there too much stress in your life?  Hard as you try, you can’t seem to find that one thing to alleviate it?  Tried yoga, and other therapies, found them very helpful, but still have more stress than you can handle?  The answer may surprise you…get into nature.

Next weekend we turn out clocks up one hour.  for some of us, me included, this is the most dreaded weekend of the year.  It’s only one hour, but it feels like months!  Yet, when you can push past the “loss,” an amazing time is opened up to us.  We can actually get home in time to get into nature, and there are several ways to go about it!

Walking in the park or neighborhood is good exercise, helping us feel better all over, and walking after dinner can help your digestion!  There are all kinds of things and colors to see in nature.  Haven’t you noticed that even the greens are not all the same color!  And, noting that, the trees are different, too.  Different shaped leaves, different heights and overall shapes and, even the bark is different on the different trees!  Birds, butterflies, bees, moths, many with intricate patterns and colorings.  Deer, so majestic in nature.  There are other animals, too, depending on where you live.  Take a camera and enjoy the sights and sounds!

There is something so invigorating about gardening…dare I say it is even spiritual!?!  Getting your hands dirty, digging in the earth, watching as the little seedlings emerge from the turned soil.  It is exciting every year, and I know it’s going to happen!  The earth returns a blessing to us, but it is more than that.  Gardening is good exercise and you get something tangible in return…flowers and food…grown right in front of you.  Not only that, but you can grow many things that are real treat to your eyes as well as your body.  Vibrant red and yellow tomatoes in different shapes and sizes, some heirloom varieties of which have some really neat patterns.  Mixed salad greens, which have differing colors from light green to burgundy reds, not to mention the shapes of the different green leaves!  Garlic chives have a beautiful purple (some are white and some lean towards pink!) tuft on top of their long, slender stalks.  Swiss Chard, the stalks and leaves of which are an array of multicolored wonder.  Peppers…oh the peppers!  Red, green, orange, yellow, “black,” hot, mild, sweet…there is almost no end!  And that is just what you see above the ground!

There are red, yellow, russet and purple potatoes.  Red, yellow and white onions.  Carrots come in orange,  but also yellow, purple, red and even black and white!  And beets, you may ask?  There are red, yellow and white, and some beets are unbelievably patterned inside!  And that is just a FEW of the incr-“edible” things you can grow!

And this doesn’t even take into account the multitude of different grasses, trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs that can be grown.  There are so many different varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers, green plants, grasses…plants that come in so many different colors and textures and smells and patterns, there truly is something for everyone!  There are even plants that are drought tolerant for those who are forgetful!

Sooo…if you are looking for something that will truly lift your spirits and help sooth your mind…Try communing with nature…There is something to do for everyone and benefits are unlimited!

Community Supported Agriculture, Farmer’s Markets, Local Co-op

While speaking to my mother today about the rising price of gasoline, she lives in the country and they have a little drive to get groceries and what not, something occurred to me.  They should consider Community Supported Agricultural or maybe even a Farmers Market in their little town.  They have a Farmers Co-Op, which is a farm supply, and maybe they would consider putting in a co-op for other goods, as well, such as personals hygiene supplies and stuff like that.  Also, many of the people living out there do garden and farm, so they could get together and have their own little Farmer’s Market, right in their town!

One thing is for sure…we need to learn to work together on the community level.  Especially now!  There are several options, but one I became familiar with a few years back was Community Supported Agriculture.

While working in alternative radio, I heard about Community Supported Agriculture, and even talked with some people who offered it.  With the economy tanking, again, and the price of gas going through the roof, it might not be a bad idea!  After all, if you don’t or can’t garden, you could get fresh, local, live food, support someone in your own community, and feel good about all of it!  One of the things to understand about CSA’s is that, at least at most, you get sampling of what is produced…so the veggies vary from week to week.  One of the other things of note is that, like in all businesses, sometimes things happen, and you might get unacceptable produce, no produce one week, or the farm could go under.  There are also farms that raise cattle, pigs, chickens and eggs from which you can purchase a share, as well.  The website Local Harvest has some great info about CSA’s and tell us that in the nine years and the multitude of CSA’s they have listed, they have received only had a handful of complaints per year, so the shared risk seems minimal!  If you are interested, you can search for a CSA in your area at the link above.

So, this year, instead of buying produce shipped in from who knows where, think local…and maybe think about  Community Supported Agriculture…After all, what better way to support your community…and your health!

Healthier bread, anyone?

I love to cook and bake, but time just doesn’t allow much of that.  The weekend gives me a respite.  I cook for my family on Sunday…and it proves to be very therapeutic.  My dad cooks, too, and sent me a recipe for a quick yeast bread from the King Arthur Baking Circle.  The recipe, Moomie’s Beautiful Burger Buns, is a great recipe, no doubt.  Like my dad, though, I take a recipe and tweak it a bit to fit what I need.  I have changed this recipe so much, however, that even Moomie, herself, would not recognize it!  If you are in the market for a great bread recipe, give this a try.  I have used this recipe to make hamburger buns, hot dog buns, regular rolls and bread sticks.  It’s all in how you shape the dough.

1 cup water at 105 degrees

1 Tbs good quality instant or rapid rise yeast (Red Star is my favorite)

1/4 cup plus 1 tsp honey (I always sub honey for sugar, bonus: don’t need as much and makes bread moist!)

1 Tbs milled flax seeds with 3 Tbs water (substitute for any egg in a baking recipe!)

2 to 3 Tbs good quality oil (I use a mixture sometimes of Olive, Canola and Sunflower, but all Olive is good too)

3 to 3 1/4 cups Good quality flour
(My favorite blend: 2 cups unbleached, unbromated all-purpose flour 1 cup Spelt flour, plus extra if needed all purpose)
(There IS a difference in flour!  I use either King Arthur, Hodgson Mill or Bob’s Red Mill)
*You can mix flours, I always do.  Another blend I use with great success are 1 cup all-purpose, 1 cup white wheat, 1 cup whole wheat, the balance in all-purpose as needed; I also use 1 1/2 all-purpose and 1 1/2 Spelt.

1 tsp Salt (I use a red salt, Himalayan or from Utah)

1/4 cup Flax Seeds

If you are in a hurry, you can put all ingredients in your bread machine and let the dough cycle run.  Skip to Step 7

If not in a hurry…
Step 1:  In a bowl, add yeast, 1 tsp honey, 1 Tbs yeast, GENTLY mix.  Set aside until foamy

Step 2:  While waiting, mix milled flax seeds with the water, let sit a few minutes.  Then add oil and honey, gently mix together, add rest of warm water…It may separate again before the yeast mixture is foamy, just remix.

Step 3:  Add water mixture from Step 2 to yeast mixture, gently combine.

Step 4:  Sprinkle some of the Flax seeds over the yeast/water mixture then add 1 cup flour, sprinkling of flax seeds, 1 cup flour, Add salt, last of flax seeds, 1 cup of flour.  (You will add in layers to make sure the flax seeds are well distributed.)

Step 5:  Mix till the liquid and dry ingredients come together.  Might still be damp.  If using Spelt, you probably will not need any more flour at this point.  If using all all-purpose, you will need a bit more.

Step 6:  Kneading the dough…
Many of us don’t make bread because we don’t like to knead the dough for 10 minutes and we don’t have or use a bread machine…I am here to the rescue!  If you knead the dough until it comes together and is mostly smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes, let it rise until double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes, punch it down, knead it for another 2 minutes and let it rise again, you get the same, if not better, results!  After last rise, go to Step 7.

If you want to knead the dough the required 10 minutes, your bread will be done quicker…
Knead, adding flour IF needed, until the dough becomes slightly elastic, 10 minutes.  Oil dough and cover, putting dough in a warm spot until double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Step 7:  Punch down the dough, knead a minute and pinch off balls of dough about the size of a lemon.  Technically, you should get 6 to 8 pieces.  Knead and turn the dough in your fingers, shaping into buns.  Oil the dough on all sides and place on baking sheet.  Let rise another 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 8:  As your buns are rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Step 9:  After last rise, bake in 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Finally, remove from oven, let cool a few minutes, and you are ready to eat!

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By suggesting reading and alternative therapies, we are not attempting to diagnose or treat any illness. Our suggestions are merely that, based on personal experience and research and should, in no way, be a substitute for medical advice.