Anti-Inflammatory Diet Progress

The beginning of July I started my journey toward health after dealing with my joint pain (as well as my asthma) and it has been very challenging so far.

When I finally decided to make the choice to use food as medicine instead of going the conventional medicine route I knew it would be a challenge.  Even though we were already eating better, it is a huge change.  I underestimated how hard it would be.

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Greens from my garden are the bulk of my diet right now.

At first I started down the Autoimmune Protocol road, but the more I read the more I felt I needed to go down a different road.  The Paddison Program was specifically created for inflammatory arthritis so I thought that would be a better choice.  It goes further by eliminating most grains, all meats and oils.

Then it was my birthday.  I turned 50.  I took a day off from the diet and celebrated the milestone.  Shot a hole in all the progress I had made.  So I ended up started over.   This time hubby decided that he wanted to support me in this and go on the diet along with me.   (I love that man!!!)

Right now I’m on the pretty strict part of the diet that is designed to cleanse and heal the gut.  Once this part is over I’ll start reintroducing things into my diet to see how I react to them.  This will tell me what things are effecting me negatively and what things I have no problems with.

I have no idea how things will end up, but I am determined to see this through to avoid medication if possible.  It’s worked for others so it can be done.   It’s a tough journey and kind of isolating, but with hubby and son supporting me I’m already winning.

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Texas and Preparedness

A friend from Texas (just outside of Houston) posted live videos on Facebook this morning as he tried to get around his town to get some supplies.  He couldn’t get very far as everything was flooded.  My prayers go out to everyone down there as the flooding continues.

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We aren’t doomsday preppers or zombie preppers.  We do keep practical emergency supplies on hand and have plans in place in the event emergencies happen…and we’ve used them when things did happen.

After hearing about all the devastation down there in Texas hubby was concerned about our own preparedness.  We may never see a hurricane here in Indiana, but there are many other things that we should be preparing for.  We haven’t done much with our emergency supplies in quite a while and when we began going through things we found we were not in good shape.  Our emergency bags (bug out bags, 72 hour bags) had outdated/expired supplies and missing items.  Our vehicle emergency boxes were not even in our vehicles.  Hubby’s get home bag was in the closet.  Our pantry is rather empty.  Our water storage is low.  Our plans and paperwork haven’t been updated.   We’ve got some work to do.

Preparedness is for EVERYONE.   Having basic emergency supplies on hand is not something that should be overlooked.  Every family should have plans in place if they are faced with an emergency situation.  For example, does your family know what to do in the event of a house fire?  Do you have copies of important papers and contact numbers that aren’t all in your phone?  We had a couple homes here locally that were totally lost to fires.  Thankfully everyone was safe.

You NEED to do this for your family.   You can’t plan for everything, but doing what you can ahead of time will make a huge difference when emergencies do happen.  Here are a few websites to get you started.

Ready.gov https://www.ready.gov/
Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies
CDC https://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/index.asp
FEMA https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/90354

We continue to pray for those in Texas as they deal with the flooding and devastation from the hurricane.

Recipes: Macaroni Salad

macaroni3aOne of my favorite summertime meals.  Great and frugal for picnics and carry ins too. Here are a few macaroni salad recipes from my stash.  These are easily adaptable to your own tastes and what you may have on hand like chicken or carrots.  They are also easily adaptable to dairy-free.   My opinion is it always tastes better the next day, so I like to make it a day ahead if I have the time.  What is your favorite macaroni salad recipe?

 

Macaroni Salad 1

2 cups macaroni
2 small cucumbers, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 3/4 cups creamy salad dressing
1/4 cup milk

DIRECTIONS

Cook macaroni pasta in a large pot with boiling salted water until al dente. Rinse with cool water and drain. In a large bowl add the chopped cucumber, tomatoes, green bell pepper, and onion. Blend the milk and creamy salad dressing together in a small bowl until smooth and to your liking of thickness. Add cooled pasta and salad dressing mixture to large bowl of chopped vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve.

 

Macaroni Salad 2

1 lb. box elbow macaroni – prepared as directed
4 hard-boiled eggs – peeled, coarsely chopped
3 ribs celery – sliced
1 med. onion – chopped
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives – halved
1/2 cup mayonnaise OR creamy salad dressing – low-fat okay
2 Tbls. milk – low-fat okay
2 Tbls. distilled white vinegar
1 Tbls. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt

Fold together all ingredients in large bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight before serving.

 

Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

2 cups macaroni
2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Rinse under cold water, and drain.

Mix tuna, onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic powder, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and mustard together in a large bowl. Add pasta, and mix well.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

I’m borrowing the title from this movie, it seemed a fitting title.

If you listen to the daily news, that is the impression you would get.

If you go out into your daily life, you might see something totally different. I do.

Matthew 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

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I know that there is a lot of chaos in our world and country right now.  Quite honestly though, I really don’t see much in daily life.  We go into our town and see people going to work, running errands, taking walks. We drive into the city to go to the eye doctor, to the grocery store, to the library etc. and most everyone I come across is friendly.  We went back to our hometown Detroit to spend my 50th birthday downtown. People were out walking around enjoying the sunshine, grabbing lunch, spending time on the boardwalk. People of all sorts of colors, backgrounds and languages milling about all around just living life in that moment being friendly. I’d like to think that THIS is what most people in the US are like. Do we have problems? You betcha. Are there some idiots out there? You betcha. Some great big ones. But I refuse to believe those that are portraying the majority of people in the United States like this. I just don’t see that in real life. Maybe I’m being a Pollyanna. Maybe I’m really in the minority and things really are as bad as the news tells us.

I’ve always believed that if you want change that it has to start with you. I also believe the Bible when it says do unto others.  Even if I’m the only one who does, I still will.  What about you?

Matthew 7:12 – So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Luke 6:31 – And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
1 Peter 3:9 – Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Romans 12:18 – If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all
Leviticus 19:18 – You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Hebrews 13:2 – Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:12-14 – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
John 16:33 – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world

Prepping and Water

I truly believe all families should have some water in storage for emergencies.  You never know when you could find yourself in a situation where you can’t drink your water, or don’t have water to drink.  We all have heard about Flint, Michigan water problems. Then on the news recently was a local community that was on a boil alert due to some big bacterial contamination.  Last week another neighboring community was on a boil alert and another again yesterday.  Last winter several local communities has major water problems when freezing temperatures were causing city water lines to burst and even freeze.  A couple months ago we turned on our own faucets for water and it came out brown.  And then there are the StuffHitttingTheFan situations that our country has the potential to fall into.  Extra water is good, and more water is better.

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Our visit to Indiana Dunes.  The lake was so beautiful.  LOTS of water.

If you have your own water source, that is probably the best position to be in.  There are still situations you need to plan for, but you aren’t relying on anyone else for water.  But for those of us who live in town and rely on public water, it is important to find other options.

I’m on several canning/prepping/homesteading groups and these groups are a wealth of ideas and support.  One of the things I see that is very popular right now is dehydrating.  It is really nice to be able to dehydrate fruits and veggies…and other things…and be able to store them in much less space than it takes to store canned goods.  Also, those freeze dried foods from places like Mountain House are easy to use and a great convenience in emergency situations.  Dehydrated/freeze dried foods are great because they don’t take up much space, they are light and very portable if needed.  But in a StuffHTF situation where getting clean water could be a problem, what if you don’t have access to water at all?  Water isn’t very portable and one gallon per person per day in an emergency situations is a lot of water.

We don’t plan on leaving our home in emergency situations (bugging out) unless it is our last resort.  That would be if our house was hit by a tornado or fire, a major flood, you get the idea.  We do have some bags set aside that include water filters and purification tablets in case they are needed.  “Bugging in” is a different story.  If we can weather out an emergency in our home, we have water set aside here for emergencies, access to water in our hot water tank, access to water in our house lines that we can fill the tub with, two 55 gallon rain barrels, as well as water filters and purification tablets.  But here where we live, we aren’t close to water sources.  There are lots of little lakes and such in our area that we can drive to if needed, but not really within walking/biking distance.   The closest spring is over an hours drive away.  Ultimately we want to have some water stored here @ home that will get us through most emergency situations.

Here are some ideas as well as some of the drawbacks.  The easiest way to start is to buy packaged water bottles and store it away.  While this is a practical way to start, this isn’t the most frugal.  More frugal would be to buy water is larger containers such as one, two, five gallon etc.  The larger the container, the heavier.  One thing also to consider, the plastic containers may not be suitable for long term storage.  The plastic milk jug style containers don’t hold up.  I’ve had a couple that leaked out and I didn’t know it until I found a puddle on my pantry floor.  The large water cooler size jugs are heavy, but hold up better for long term storage.  You can also recycle containers such as clean two liter bottles and store water from your own tap.  However you decide to store your water, you want to make sure to are rotating your stored water.  Out with the old, in with the new every six months.

You can get deeper into water storage including water collection, filtration and purification.  There are many great websites that have good detailed information that can fill you in on how to do that if you are interested and I’ll link a few below.  But I hope that regardless of your views on prepping, you will consider having a minimum of one gallon per person per day for at least three days worth of water for your family, and don’t forget to add water for your pets.

Extra water is good, and more water is better.

https://www.ready.gov/water
https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/creating-storing-emergency-water-supply.html
https://beprepared.com/water-storage.html
http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2014/02/water-storage-tips.html
http://modernsurvivalblog.com/preps/food-storage-water-and-cash-for-1st-time-preppers/

 

Soaking Grains

buckwheatquinoa

Soaking Buckwheat and Quinoa

I’ve been interested in soaking grains for a while now. I try and soak grains we eat (when I remember to) like rice and oats. Right now I’m on a special eating program for my joint pain and it calls for eating a lot of quinoa and buckwheat. And so I’m soaking them overnight to maximize the health benefits. I simply add the grains to the canning jar, add the warm water, and add an acidic medium such as apple cider vinegar. You can also use yogurt, lemon juice, kefir etc. Rinse well and cook with equal amount of fresh water. I like to add a pinch of salt to mine.

Right now my quinoa is fairly plain while I work on healing my gut, but I do like quinoa and if you to go The Nourishing Gourmet you can find some great recipes for it.

Since I’ve been on this program my joint pain has decreased. I can actually close my hands fully into a fist. The pain isn’t gone, but there is a noticeable decrease. I fully believe diet has a huge impact on our health and can reduce and/or eliminate many health issues as well as reduce/eliminate the need for prescription drugs. I still may have to use medication at some point, but I want to do as much as I can control myself. It’s not easy, but trying to avoid being on prescription medication for the rest of my life is worth the effort.

I’d love to hear what you do to keep or stay healthy.  Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know you stopped by.  I’m off to play in the garden. I have many beans, tomatoes and peppers to harvest.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re