Friday, January 21, 2011

The Attack of GM Foods!!!


This is a super scary post!! In fact, its so scary I should have waited until Halloween to post it! But, its so important that I'm going to share this story with you now.

Now, grab your favorite teddy bear, gather 'round the fire, snuggle in close, and don't venture too far out during the telling of this very spooky tale.........


Once upon a time there were people living in our land that grew their own food. I know! weird, huh?
They grew vegetables, raised cows, chickens, hogs, goats, sheep, and whatever else they could afford. They made their own butter and cheese and sugar was extremely hard to come by. (I told you this was going to be scary! But, shhhh, that's not even the scary part yet!)

These people worked hard for their food. But, as such, they were a pretty fit people. They got up when the sun came up, worked all day and then when it got dark went to bed. (You know what circadian rhythm is, right? Its okay if you don't. I just felt like throwing that in there. I think that would be a great post for another day.)
Pretty much, if it didn't come from a plant or an animal that they grew or a friend grew and gave them as a gift or a barter then it didn't go into their bodies. They were a pretty robust people too! Now, sure the average life span was lower then, but that number also accounts for babies and children that have died and that number is averaged to get our "average life span". The disease rate for these people was pretty low. It seems all idyllic doesn't it? It conjures visions of peaceful life on the prairie with fat cows grazing in the fields, chickens pecking around for bugs while mom pulls weeds in the garden with cherubic, pink faced children at her side digging in the dirt.


Okay, fast forward through a century and here we are today. Now, here's where it gets really scary! So, come in closer my little pretties...........

Over the past century our government has gradually been changing legislation that allows more and more chemicals and changes to our food to keep us from starving to death. Now, get a load of the people shopping at Wal-Mart and let me ask.....Does it look like we're starving to death?
Well, technically, we are! We have become an obese nation while being extremely undernourished! Again, I could go on for days about all that! But, I won't. Right now, anyway. I want to tell you specifically about GMO foods. In case you didn't know, that means genetically modified organism. It may not really mean anything to you....yet. But, it will in a minute!


Its not funny.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Millions of acres of corn, soy, canola, and cotton have genetically modified genes inserted into their DNA. The reason that has been done is so that these foods become resistant to pests. They basically produce their own pesticides. This is a problem for a couple of reasons. Number 1 is that the very compounds plants produce naturally to fight pests and disease are the same compounds that go into our bodies when we eat those plants that protect US from pests and disease. So.....if you take away the plants ability to do that on its own, then......I'm guessing that you take away our ability to do that too! Its not rocket science! Just common sense. Also, as a side note, heirloom plants (non GM plants) taste better too. As it turns out, those natural defenses also make the plant taste better!

The 2nd and even scarier reason GM plants are a problem is because there is mounting evidence that these plants just aren safe!

Here's an excerpt from The Well Being Journal's website:

Rats fed GM corn had problems with blood cell formation. Those fed GM soy had problems with liver cell formation, and the livers of rats fed GM canola were heavier. Pigs fed GM corn on several Midwest farms developed false pregnancies or sterility. Cows fed GM corn in Germany died mysteriously. And twice the number of chickens died when fed GM corn compared to those fed natural corn.

Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50 percent. Without follow-up tests, we can't be sure if genetic engineering was the cause, but there are plenty of ways in which genetic manipulation can boost allergies.

— A gene from a Brazil nut inserted into soybeans made the soy allergenic to those who normally react to Brazil nuts.

— GM soy currently consumed in the US contains a gene from bacteria. The inserted gene creates a protein that was never before part of the human food supply, and might be allergenic.

— Sections of that protein are identical to those found in shrimp and dust mite allergens. According to criteria recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), this fact should have disqualified GM soy from approval.

— The sequence of the gene that was inserted into soy has inexplicably rearranged over time. The protein it creates is likely to be different than the one intended, and was never subject to any safety studies. It may be allergenic or toxic.

— The process of inserting the foreign gene damaged a section of the soy's own DNA, scrambling its genetic code. This mutation might interfere with DNA expression or create a new, potentially dangerous protein.

— The most common allergen in soy is called trypsin inhibitor. GM soy contains significantly more of this compared with natural soy.

The only human feeding study ever conducted showed that the gene inserted into soybeans spontaneously transferred out of food and into the DNA of gut bacteria. This has several serious implications. First, it means that the bacteria inside our intestines, newly equipped with this foreign gene, may create the novel protein inside of us. If it is allergenic or toxic, it may affect us for the long term, even if we give up eating GM soy.

The same study verified that the promoter, which scientists attach to the inserted gene to permanently switch it on, also transferred to gut bacteria. Research on this promoter suggests that it might unintentionally switch on other genes in the DNA -- permanently. This could create an overproduction of allergens, toxins, carcinogens, or antinutrients. Scientists also theorize that the promoter might switch on dormant viruses embedded in the DNA or generate mutations.

Unfortunately, gene transfer from GM food might not be limited to our gut bacteria. Preliminary results show that the promoter also transferred into rat organs, after they were fed only a single GM meal.

Okay, kiddies! I would tell you that its going to be okay. Don't be afraid. But, I'm afraid, I can't. You should be afraid!!!! It seems that industrialized farming is growing instead of shrinking. There are a group of fighters on the fringes that keep spreading the word!

We moving into towns and cities near you. We're creeping along in the shadows gradually moving out into the sunshine, bringing light and hope to people everywhere!!! Have Hope! and let your congress people know that you don't want the government changing our food! We want real food!

Okay, now you know. Go spread the word.



This post is part of Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday. Go check it out to learn more about healthy living and real food! Here's the link

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lovin The Lavender!

For this edition of Thursday is Herbs Day, I chose lavender.

Here in North Texas, today, its cold with a slight freezing drizzle. Its a perfect day for cuddling up on the couch with a warm, toasty drink, a blanket, and a good book! I'm not, of course DOING that, but one could. I'm just sayin......

With thoughts of cuddling, my mind drifted to thoughts of relaxation. And for that, lavender is my favorite! Not only that, but it is an absolutely beautiful plant. It makes me think of Old World France or something similarly simple. Not that I've ever actually BEEN to France or that my ultra conservative husband would let me go there, but in my imagination there is lots of lavender....and cream....and butter........Whose up for a quick trip to France???? I'll drive.


We'll have to fly.

Oh Well. In the meantime, lets all take a big whiff of lavender, relax and not worry about what they are eating in France.

We have a few pool customers that grow lavender. Its wonderful and beautiful. I have to tell you this, though, one of our customers has this 100 acre ranch. She and her husband owned it. I LOVED it!! It has these original log cabins on the property behind their house. One cabin is used as a barn for the chickens and guineas. The other one was being used as a guest house. In front of the guesthouse cabin, the lady planted beds of lavender in front of it trimmed with red rocks found on the property. It was truly lovely. I used to love walking by it on my to the pool and just run my hands over the top it. The oils from the flowers would adhere to my skin and my hands would smell good for hours. Her husband passed away and she decided that it was all just too much for her to handle by herself. So she sold it to a young German couple who wanted an authentic horse ranch. So, they completely remodeled EVERYTHING!! They changed the siding on the quaint farm house into a cedar and austin stone with a red tin roof. Then, get this.....They tore down the guesthouse cabin and rebuilt a NEW cedar and austin stone guesthouse!! Then....they ripped up all the lavender (I don't know what they did with it. They probably threw it away!) so they could pour a big cement patio in that spot.

Now. It all looks very nice. It looks like the multi-million dollar ranch that it is. HOWEVER, it is now bereft of all its previous charm. Its very sad. But, *sigh* Oh Well. Such is life. We dream of a simple Old World European existence and they dream of big Texas horse ranches!

disclaimer alert!!!!!

I am a Texan! I have horses! I love America! I love big Texas horse ranches! I love boots and cowboy hats! Not stupid Bud and Sissy cowboy clothes but real Texan cowboys! How did my post about lavender turn into a cowboy lovefest???? I love the Dallas Cowboys too! Oh, yeah! and the Texas Rangers!!!

Oh yeah! I remember. I didn't want you to think that I want us to be like the Europeans. Or like when we were kids, 'you're a peein'! HaHa!

Okay, enough of that tomfoolery!!! Back to the lavender! Geesh! I wish ya'll would stop trying to distract me all the time!

Lavender is a wonderful herb that is native to the sunny, mountainous regions of the Mediterranean. So, if you decide to plant some, you'll want it to have really good drainage. Or as my friend Melanie likes to say "It likes dry feet!" meaning that the roots cant be standing in water. I have some planted at my place and my soil is really sandy. The lavender does REALLY well there.

Lavender is used primarily as an oil that is used in soaps, lotions, shampoos etc. It is proven to induce a slight calm, thereby improving sleep, improving mood, reducing anxiety, better concentration, and helping create an overall better sense of well being. It is also found to be anti-viral and can be used in creams to treat minor skin ailments. In one study, those with alopecia ariata (an auto-immune disorder causing hair to fall out) that used a lavender mixture massaged into the scalp had a 70% improvement in hair regrowth over those that didn't use the oil.

Lavender is also edible. My friend Sue uses it frequently to make jellies,  cheesecakes, and even ice cream. Believe me when I  tell you that they are delicious!!

One of my favorite things to do with lavender is use it by the bed to create a nice subtle aroma as I fall asleep. One year, for Christmas, I made eye pillows for my yoga students. It was very easy and I'm going to tell you how I did it.

First, find a fabric that you like. I found a strong, satiny fabric.

Cut the fabric into 2 12" x 6" rectangles. (you can adjust the size to make it bigger or smaller to your preference)

Sew around 3 sides of the rectangle leaving a "short end" open.

Fill the eye pillow 1/2 full with rice. ( you can use just cheap white rice. The rice is good because you can heat it in the microwave and use it as a moist heating pad. It feels wonderful! The rice also gives weight to the eye pillow very inexpensively. You don't need to use a lot of lavender to reap the benefits!)

Then add lavender to the pillow to make it 3/4 filled up.

Hand sew the short end closed.

And voila! all done! Its super easy. It makes a great gift for yourself or anyone else on your list!

If you want to go to a real Texan lavender farm and enjoy some lavender lemonade, or just some peaceful porch sittin' you can go to Lavender Ridge Farms right down the road a ways from my house and pick your very own lavender. They have strawberries in the spring and flowers too!!!!

Here's a link to their farm

But, I wouldn't do that today! Its really cold out! You should for sure grab a blanket, a book, and warm toasty drink and just cuddle on the couch!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nutritional Healing

Hippocarates said "Let thy medicine be thy food".

It seems that in these times, however, we don't really follow that philosophy. Oh, yeah, I know. Sure, there are a few of us that still believe in that. But, it seems that the majority of us feel like we need a doctor to tell us what's wrong with us and then give us a drug of some sort to "heal" us.

I find it odd and a little sad that we've lost touch with our bodies so much that running to the doctor or taking a pill seems like a "normal" thing to do. Now, don't misunderstand me. I'm not anti-doctor at all! If my son was in a car wreck or I found a lump in my breast I can assure you that there will be a quick trip to the hospital!
But, if say I start running a fever or my husband gets bitten by a brown recluse (which DID happen, BTW, and I blogged about it!) I would most certainly NOT go to the doctor. Now a lot of you just opened your mouth and silently screamed in horror. My husband is just fine so you know. But, my point is, we don't always NEED a doctor to tell us what's wrong with us and we for sure don't always NEED a drug to "cure" us.

Do you know that drugs don't actually cure anything? They can help alleviate symptoms and that's good on occasion. I'm not opposed to an occasional decongestant or anti-inflammatory. But, what really CAN heal and cure our bodies from the inside out is FOOD!

I know we aren't allowed to say that. The government gets angry with us because they haven't tested food scientifically to make those claims. I know what you're thinking. Why not?? Well, I'll tell you why. It's because there's no money in it. And that's a good thing!! If the government started testing our food, then there would be patents on it and it would then become outrageously expensive. Look at Lovaza. Its an omega 3 supplement from fish oil. It is sold by drug companies by prescription. I believe it sells for $90/month supply. You can get the EXACT SAME quality fish oil from the health food store for $30! So, its good that the government isn't ready to test all our foods for medicinal claims.

That means its up to us as consumers to research this on our own. But, don't be alarmed! There are lots of blogs and websites that makes it easy. This one for starters. I'm all about nutritional healing. is another one. You can find more from there.

Its really important that you do this!!! Its not only important for you but for your family as well! If you love your kids you will pay attention to the foods that go into their little bodies! Our foods have become so convenient in the past few decades. Not only that, we are all in such a hurry! That's bad because we grab those convenience foods and eat them in lieu of wholesome, real foods and aren't even usually aware of what they're made from. They are made from sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and chemicals. They are anything but healthy!

The ugly cycle is that our taste buds grow accustomed to them and then the real foods taste "funny" so we don't eat them! I can't tell you how many children (adults too!) exclaim "eeeewwwww, its organic!! I don't want THAT!" without even tasting it first!!! Then, I'll hear moms of said children say "I just can't get them to eat healthy!" so they buy yet another bag of white bread to feed their family. *sigh*

Did you know that the CDC says that the rate of cancer in the 1960's was 1 in 300? In 2010 the rate of cancer was 1 in 2!! Now, we're in the year 2011!! EEEEKKKK!!! At that rate, does that mean we're 1 in 1 getting cancer?? Gosh, I hope not! in addition to that, ALL disease is on the rise. More people than ever are being diagnosed with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, etc. The USDA says that if we eat 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day we can prevent cancer. Now, granted that's a lot of produce. But, there are supplements you can take to get that up. That's why we drink Monavie. They also say that if you consume just 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables you can reduce your risk of ALL diseases. Do you also know that very few people get the reccomended amount of fruits and vegetables into their diets? I don't mean the 9-13. I mean even getting 2-3 servings into our bodies. Why, because we're conditioned to eat the mass produced junk sold in our stores labeled "food".

There are lots of other good foods we should be eating as well. Raw dairy products, grass fed beef, free range chickens and eggs, and herbs and spices. Herbs actually have more effect on illness than drugs do, but you won't see that on any tv commercial. There is no corporation making enough money selling herbs to afford a tv ad. Only the drug companies can do that, so we're all being brainwashed into buying into pharmaceuticals. And don't be fooled. We ARE being brainwashed by the drug companies. If you just pay attention to the side effects at the end of those commercials, you'll crap your pants.....literally...they tell you will! Ginger never made anyone have diarrhea or suicidal thoughts or tendencies...I'm just sayin'.

The components of food are the building blocks for every cell in our bodies. So, if you put good things in, you'll get good things out. It just makes sense. And there are no side effects of food. And, don't go ask your doctor if you can eat an orange. He doesn't know. Truly. Why do you think he's an expert in food? He never claims to be. He is a doctor of medicine not food. God put the right amounts of everything on this planet to make us healthy. He didn't put us here and say, "okay, now go create some chemicals to put in your body or you'll perish!!"

It behooves you and your family to look deeper into this. It can save you thousands of dollars and add quality years to your life if you just let "food be thy medicine"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Ive been a little slow on the blogging, what with the holidays and all. This one is going to be short because Im typing from my phone. We've been off work for a few days and we dont have a computer in the house. It doesnt matter because when we did it was just dial up. We live out in the country, which is cool and all but there is a trade off with some things. For instance, we dont get food delivery and every errand is "a trip into town". Come on you country people! You know what Im talkin bout!

Before we moved here we also lived in the country about an hour and a half away in Westminster, Tx. While we we were buying this house we lived in Lewisville for 2 mos and with my MIL for 2 weeks. What an adventure! But the gun thing is that we LIVED in town. That felt quite luxurious! We had lots of food delivery. One time, I was driving home from work at the McKinney YMCA and called my husband to order dinner. We ordered from a place that hung a flyer on our door! When he ordered, the guy said "You sure have been ordering a lot" To which my husband replied "We're from the country". The guy said "oh! We'll have it there within 30 minutes". :)

That was the last time I had food delivered directly to my door. Now I'M the food delivery person! But thats okay! Its a trade off remember? I get to live in a lot of people's dream! Its not fancy, but its off the road. Its quiet. We raise a lot of our own food. We have a big front porch great for rocking. Animals runnimlng around AND even better......we can afford it!

This New Year reflect on YOUR many blessings! And make 2011 your most successful ever!