Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shared from Vanessa's blog at www.healthylivinghowto.com . . . 

What’s so Healthy About Eggs?

“If you look up the nutrition facts for egg yolks, it reads more like a multi-vitamin than a normal piece of food. For instance, just 3 egg yolks, not including the whites, provides over 50% of your daily requirement for Vitamin D and Selenium, over 40% of Vitamin B12, Over 25% of Vitamin B5 and Phosphorous, and over 15% of Iron, Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B2. It also provides 8 grams of protein and 7% of your daily omega 3 fats. They also contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that are believed to help prevent against degeneration and chronic disease. Egg yolks are so nutritious, that many doctors recommend using them to help wean infants off of breast milk. They are one of the few foods that contain high levels of Iron and DHA, two nutritional factors that are extremely important for developing infants.” Living Super Human 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

We sold our house!

After trying for nearly 6 months, we sold our house this week!  We are so thankful and, as always, God's timing is never too late.  We really need to move before the Spring work starts outside this year, and we should be able to do that.  We plan to close the last week of March, so it should all work out just fine.  We have loved living here but also know it's time to make a change, so are so thankful that God has provided a buyer.

Now we have a few very busy weeks ahead, getting ready to move, but are so thankful.  We have a lot of things to get rid of since we're moving to a much smaller home, so working on that, packing, and doing a little painting at the new place will keep us plenty busy.  On top of that, I got the flu right after we agreed on the selling price, so have not been able to do anything the last couple of days.  Ugh!  But, this too, shall pass!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Homemade Cheese Curds

We get raw, grass-fed milk through a herd-share program with a local farmer.  Every week I make yogurt and kefir, which uses up most of our gallon of milk.  Every now and then, though, we have a little more milk than we can use, so I’ve been reading about making cheese – something simple, like mozzarella or ricotta. 

Yesterday I came across the website www.thekitchn.com that had a recipe and tutorial on making “Queso Fresco” or “Fresh Cheese.”  It looked so simple and quick that I decided to try it.  I made mine into Garlic-Dill Cheese Curds because I’ve always liked cheese curds and think the “squeaky” feel is kind of fun to eat!  J  It was easy and turned out really tasty.    

Garlic-Dill Cheese Curds

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Words to Consider

Here's something I read the other day that I thought was worth remembering:
Do nothing that you would not like God to see.
Say nothing you would not like God to hear.
Go no place where you would not like God to find you.
Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like God to say, "What are you doing?”

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Good Fats, Bad Fats

As promised, here is a summary of good fats and bad fats and the health benefits of good dietary fats.  Dietary fat is not the evil macronutrient that people once thought.  The important factor is the type of fat you consume.  Good dietary fat has countless health benefits, some of which are:
- Absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
- Absorption of omega 3 essential fatty acids.
- Healthy skin.
- Healthy vision.
- Improved blood cholesterol levels.
- Improved blood glucose control.
- Improved brain health.
- Improved heart health.
- Improved liver health.
- Improved lung health.
- Optimal nervous system.
- Reduced cancer risk.
- Reduced heart disease risk.
- Reduced inflammation.
- Reduced PMS symptoms.
- Strong cell walls.
- Strong bones.
- Strong immune system.
- They are a good source of fat soluble vitamins.
- They can help you burn fat

The Good Guys:
Coconut Oil - An extremely healthful, saturated fat
Butter (especially from grass-fed cows’ milk) - Another healthful, saturated fat
Olive Oil (only cold-pressed, or extra virgin – “Light” olive oil has been chemically processed to remove the remaining oil after the cold-pressed oil has been removed)
Nut Oils (Walnut, Macadamia, Palm – Not Peanut Oil)
Sesame Seed Oil
Palm Oil
Grapeseed Oil – Has a high smoke point so it works well for sautéing and baking. (An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which it begins to smoke. When it does, disease-causing carcinogens and free radicals are released, so you never want to heat your oil to that point.)
Fish Oil - Best source of Omega 3 fatty acids - vital for good health

Saturated fats are not the cause of our modern diseases. On the contrary, they play a vital role in our body chemistry:
1. Saturated fatty acids make up at least 50% of the cell membranes. They are what create our cells necessary stiffness and integrity.
2. Saturated fat is necessary for calcium absorption into the bones. For calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure, at least 50% of our dietary fats should be saturated.
3. They guard the liver from the harmful effects of medicines, alcohol and other toxins.
4. They improve the function of the immune system.
5. Adequate intake of saturated fat helps raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower levels of lipoprotein, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
6. Saturated fats have antimicrobial properties, which protect us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract. 
7.  Saturated fats contribute to strong lungs.  The lungs are coated with a slippery substance made up of saturated fats.  When the body has inadequate saturated fats, it has to replace this coating with other fats, which causes breathing difficulties, such as asthma.
8.  The brain is made up of fats and cholesterol, mainly saturated fat. A diet low in saturated fats deprives the brain of the building blocks in needs for proper repair and function.

9.  Nerve Communication -  Certain saturated fats, particularly those found in butter, lard, coconut oil, and palm oil, function directly as signaling messengers that influence the metabolism, including such critical jobs as the appropriate release of insulin.  With insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome reaching near epidemic levels, the importance of dietary fat for this role alone can’t be overstated.

The Bad Guys:
Corn, Soybean and Other Vegetable Oils, such as Sunflower, Safflower and Margarines that are made from these oils - These oils, the so-called “healthy polyunsaturated oils,” should not be used.  These oils are primarily polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) that your body doesn’t know how to use. They are wholly unnatural fats, sources of incredible loads of omega-6 fatty acids, which most people already take in too much of.  So your body uses these oils to make you fat and weaken your immune system. Also, these unstable oils are highly sensitive to oxidation and rancidity, so much so that in the process of making them the oil actually goes rancid!  Food manufacturers then have to deodorize and bleach the oils to make them palatable to consumers.  Unlike butter or coconut oil, these vegetable oils can’t be extracted just by pressing or separating naturally. They must be chemically removed, deodorized and altered. These are some of the most chemically altered foods in our diets, yet they get promoted as “heart-healthy.” 
Hydrogenated or Partially-Hydrogenated Oils & Trans-Fats - Adding hydrogen and pressure to liquid vegetable oils creates a semi-solid fat. This changes the chemical composition of the original unsaturated oils and turns them into trans fatty acids, also known as trans fats or hydrogenated oils.  These trans fats are associated with diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and dementia.
Canola Oil – Very highly processed using petroleum solvents, acids, chemicals and deodorizing processes to make a palatable oil
Peanut Oil -  Same as Vegetable Oils, explained above
Flax Seed Oil – Primarily because it goes rancid quickly and cannot be subjected to heat

If you're interested in a very good read on the history of the "fat phobia" craze in America and the truth behind it, I recommend the article by Gary Taubes - "What If It's All Been A Big Fat Lie?"

Friday, January 25, 2013

Facts About Fat

   Most of us know that healthy fats are essential for our health, but many people in America still live with a "fat phobia" that has been instilled by many years of being taught that fat is bad for us.  Mantras like "If you don't eat fat, you won't get fat" or "If you remove the fat from your diet, you'll have no need to diet" or how about "It's the fat that makes you fat."

      Research in recent years has been proving that most of what we were taught is not only untrue but has caused a huge obesity epidemic in the U.S. in the past 50 years.  Since the low-fat craze began, obesity has sky-rocketed in our country.  I thought it would be insightful to share some facts about fat that you may not know.

o        There’s never been a single study that proves saturated fat causes heart disease.

o         As heart-disease rates were skyrocketing in the mid-1900s, consumption of animal fat was going down, not up. Consumption of vegetable oils, however, was going up dramatically.

o          Half of all heart-attack victims have normal or low cholesterol. Autopsies performed on heart-attack victims routinely reveal plaque-filled arteries in people whose cholesterol was low (as low as 115 in one case).

o          Asian Indians – half of whom are vegetarians – have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the entire world.

o        When Morgan Spurlock tells you that a McDonald’s salad supplies almost a day’s allowance of fat, he’s basing that statement on the FDA’s low-fat/high-carbohydrate dietary guidelines, which in turn are based on … absolutely nothing. There’s no science behind those guidelines; they were simply made up by a congressional committee.

o        Kids who were diagnosed as suffering from ADD have been successfully treated by re-introducing natural saturated fats into their diets. Your brain is made largely of fat.

o         Many epileptics have reduced or eliminated seizures by adopting a diet low in sugar and starch and high in saturated animal fats. (The Ketogenic Diet)

o        Despite everything you’ve heard about saturated fat being linked to cancer, that link is statistically weak. However, there is a strong link between sugar and cancer. In Europe, doctors tell patients, “Sugar feeds cancer.”

o         Saturated fat and cholesterol help produce testosterone. When men limit their saturated fat, their testosterone level drops. So, saturated fat does not impair sexual performance.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The purifying fire

I started this blog with good intentions last year as a means to communicate more with the significant people in my life. At the time I was pretty much house-bound due to caring for Mom and felt a need for more interaction with my family and friends. Now that has changed, but I still wish I had more interaction with friends and family. Life is so busy and it's hard to take the time to stay in touch as much as would be good. So, I'm going to try once again to share my thoughts here from time to time and hope that those of you who care to read it will share your thoughts back to me.

Since Spring, I have been in a time of stretching and learning more about trusting God than I've ever had to learn before. It's been an extremely painful time but I have learned some valuable things. The things that have sustained me are:
1) to hold on to what I know is true - the truth of Scripture - when I don't have anything else to hold on to
2) the prayers of God's people - a powerful, sustaining and comforting force
3) the knowledge that God will never leave me and that He is sovereign over ALL
4) the assurance that God is always working for my good and His glory and that He can be trusted
5) the love and support of my family and precious friends

Some things I have learned:
1) God is faithful - no exceptions
2) God is working - even when I don't see it or feel it
3) God can be trusted - always
4) Going through the purifying fire is more painful than could be imagined but God teaches me about Himself in it
5) Changing is not easy and takes time
6) We learn more about God in times of suffering than in times of ease
7) My love for the Word of God grows when it's what I am holding on to for life itself
8) My need for sanctification will be ongoing for the rest of my life
9) I am thankful that God loves me personally, individually and enough to work in my life
10) God works to purify and sanctify me because He wants more for me than mediocrity