Sunday, May 29, 2011

Antioxidants as Sunscreen

Its that time of year when everyone is going out to lake and the pool to have some fun and soak up some rays. When I was but a lass I used to have tanning competitions with my girlfriends. We would slather on the baby oil, OR, if you were really hard core, you'd use baby oil with iodine in it. I don't really know why the iodine. It probably just stained our skin a tan color. But, hey! We were fourteen so don't judge. One particularly pale, red headed friend of mine decided to use one of the first "sunless self tanners".......remember QT? :)

I like to think of her now as a renegade!

Back then we just thought of her as the paleface (orange face after the QT, and we spent weeks not letting her forget her unwashed hands faux pas!!!! Her skin, including the palms of her hands, were the same color as her hair!!! Much fun for teen friends! ) who only freckled!!

In my twenties, I taught countless aerobics classes and lived in the gym. The gyms back then, even some now, were well equipped with state of the art tanning beds. My favorite thing to do was teach a class, hits the weights, then tan. The warmth felt wonderful on my just worked, sweaty muscles. Heaven...........

Except then I learned that sun tanning, even artificially in beds, causes cancer. Well, I have to tell you that cancer scared the crap out of me!! And I'll tell you my rationale. Everybody who gets cancer thinks it won't happen to them. Well, I thought it wouldn't happen to me so therefore, I was sure I was going to get cancer!!!!!!

Stupid reasoning in math class!!!! See? That's what it does. Its not really good for anything else. But, anyway, I digress.

I stopped tanning. period.

I became a fan of sunscreen and hats.

Then I read that sunscreen is worse than sun. Toxic chemicals and all. CRAP!!!!!!!



Man, you try and be healthy and then some other study comes along and pulls the rug right out from under you!!!

But, heres what I've gotten from it all: You know I'm a granola girl so I'm into the no sunscreen other than actual, you know, shade. An umbrella is effective sunscreen.

The other thing I've learned is that use of constant sunscreen decreases the vitamin D in our bodies. Our bodies actually make vitamin D from sunlight. Lack of it is linked to auto-immune diseases. And don't think you can just go pop a vitamin and still avoid the sun and be all pasty white like the Cullens and still be all vitamined up and healthy! You can't. In fact, the vitamins sans the sun is actually not even good for you.

But here's some really interesting news! Highly antioxidant food not only helps repair free radical damage, it helps PREVENT it, including our skin. Tans and burns are essentially skin damage.

You know we own a pool service, Pearson Pools your one stop pool shop! And Im sure you understand that Im in the sun A LOT! I do have quite a nice tan but I never burn and I dont look all old and leathery. Well.....I dont think I look leathery anyway. My husband tells me Im hot all the time and I still even get a whistle or honk every now and then! (When I was younger I got honks and whistles all the time. It really embarassed me and made me uncomfortable. I would avoid any eye contact and pretend not to notice. And think 'what a jerk, go away! Now when it happens, now Im a little "mature" I give a wave and say "hey thanks!!" :)

I eat lots of organic fruits and veggies, drink lots of tea and Monavie and THAT is my sunscreen! No toxic chemicals or avoidance of the sun required. If it works for me it will work for you too. Science even backs it up.

Still dont believe me? I even went and had the black light thingy on face looking for uv damage and theres hardly any at all. The facialists were preaching that I should absolutely be using sunscreen. I explained to them what I just told you. They just stared at me like Im from anoher planet. Then I said "Look! You know I work outside all day. Ive spent years searching for that ever elusive perfect tan. And my skin looks great! Why do I want to introduce toxic chemicals into the mix when I know for a fact the chemicals are going to cause free radical damage too?" No thanks. I'd rather my antioxidants be available to eradicate the free radicals I get from the sun.

Dont get me wrong! Im not stupid about it! I would never lay out or tan in a bed ever again. Why push it? But what I AM going to do is put on a tank top and go outside and work in the garden. Then, Im going to lay in my hammock in the shade..... :)

No toxic chemicals required.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Apple, Cherry, and Cranberry Tartlets

I have to tell you that I LOVE butter!!!!

More importantly, I love fruit cooked in butter! Well, actually, if truth be told, I love everything cooked in butter!!!

More importantly than that, I like to be thin, beautiful, and healthy!

I know, I know! I know what you're thinking. Well, maybe I don't. If you're sitting there wondering why those dang middle easterners just can't get along, then I can't help you with that. Or maybe I can. Here's my theory on that: They're Crazy!!!!! That's the best I can do on that. But, if on the other hand, you are thinking 'Yeah, too bad! You can't have butter and a nice butt, too!' Well then you're wrong!! And you too can have butter and a nice butt too!! Are you loving me right now or what?

The reason a lot of people think they can't have butter is because they are brainwashed into thinking saturated fat is bad for you. Its not. Whats bad for you are artificial, chemical laden food-like substances, margarine, for example, or non dairy creamer.

No, no, no!! Never put those in your mouth! Eat real butter and real cream, preferrably from grass fed cows.

I have to tell you that when I was younger and in my fat free days I tried to make a low fat pecan pie for take to my mother-in-law's house......I know.....What the heck was I thinking? I used egg whites, corn syrup, fat free margarine, sugar, and pecans. It was not pretty. But, I did learn an important lesson at that time. The lesson is 'Its Thanksgiving for goodness sakes! Just eat it and enjoy it! You can walk it all off later.'

As another aside, this is completely unrelated to my post, but its funny. When Robbie and I very first got married I made lasagna for dinner. I was at the grocery store looking for ricotta. I couldn't find it but found feta. I was standing there looking at it thinking 'It looks like ricotta....It probably tastes like ricotta.' You know it doesn't. It was awful! Robbie, however, really liked it. Yuck! Which, that all by itself, sounds like a nice, little romantic story, huh? The new wife screws up dinner. The proud husband likes it anyway. Oh, PROUD? you ask...Yes, because his mother showed up while I was at work. Since he liked it so much I saved the leftovers for him. This is where the story turns from romantic to dark. While I was at work, his mother pops in and Robbie says "Misty made some really great lasagna last night. You should try it!" I know!!! Gasp! Horror!!!!!! He tells me all this when I get home. As I stand there listening to his tale of horror (he doesn't realize its a tale of horror. He's a man, what are you gonna do?) my mouth hangs open and after a few seconds of stunned silence I ask him "You fed your mother that lasagna?!? Oh No!!!!........well, what did she say?"

She said "I like a litte more ricotta in my lasagna."

See? funny, huh?

So, with that all being said, I'm going to tell you what I made last night and Oh My! It was delicious!!! I made apple, cherry, and cranberry tartlets.

Here are the ingredients:

2 T butter
2 apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
15 cherries, chopped
1/4 C dried cranberries
1 T stevia
pie crust, I used Immaculate Baking premade pie crust. Its good and doesn't have any artificial ingredients in it. Plus I had it on hand which is what put the idea of tartlets in my head.
4 small tart pans

*You could increase this recipe to make a big tart. But, I wanted little tarts for single servings. I told you I like to be thin and beautiful!! While you can eat butter and still look good, you can't eat a whole pie and still look good! I'm just sayin'

Okay, pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Measure out the crust into the pans. Melt the butter in a frying pan and then add the apples. Cook them about 5 minutes until they're softish. Then add the cranberries and cherries. Cook another few minutes to get them all buttered up. Add the stevia and mix it all up making a bit of a glaze. Pour the fruit into the crusts and bake for about 15 minutes until the crusts are lightly brown.

And voila!!! All done. Now you have a healthy, fruity dessert with no added sugars for you and your family to enjoy. If you really want to enjoy it further, add cream to it!!!!

There's nothing better in the world than fruit cooked in butter and stevia with cream poured on top!!!

Man oh man! I cannot wait for peach season! :)

I'm submitting this recipe in Monday Mania If you want more real food recipes you should definitely check it out. Definitely. Its right Here!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Soy....Good or Bad?

You read a lot these days about soy. You read in magazines how great it is. In fact, almost every womans magazine you pick up these days will have an article about losing weight or superfoods, and soy is almost always on the list! How could you NOT think its healthy? Well, I'm about to tell you why it absolutely is not something you should put in your body. But before I do that, let me pose this to you to ponder....

Everytime you read about something being healthy or not, ask yourself  "Who benefits from this? Who is pushing for or against this and why?" Almost all the time the answer will be money. Its common sense really to know that we should all be eating lots of fruits and veggies and other foods as nature intended. And whether or not you believe in God, you HAVE to know, if you just spend a few minutes thinking about it, that everything on this planet is made to work synergistically together. Therefore, you then have to make the assumption that everything our bodies need should already be on this planet. Then, you  can deduce even further, by knowing that its a greater benefit to us to eat those foods when they are as close to nature as possible. We all know, for example, that a pear picked straight from the tree that has not been sprayed with pesticide is much healthier (not to mention tastier!!!) than a can of pears from the grocery store!

Okay. I said all that to get you thinking. Because I've become hyper aware lately about the brainwashing going on in our country these days. Every time you flip on the tv you see an ad about pharmaceuticals. The one that really got me was the one with the dad chatting with his college aged daughter via the internet and she's doing an "intervention" with him to get him to take cholesterol meds. I was thinking "that poor dad! I'm sure he's watching what he's eating and trying to cure himself naturally to avoid the nasty side effects of the cholesterol medication and his whole family is trying to make him take a drug that is going to make him feel bad!!" Yeah, probably not. It is a drug commercial after all. Sad....

Okay, again. I said all THAT because it ties in nicely with my thoughts on soy.

I used to be one of those people that got all their nutrition info from ladies magazines, too. I thought a low fat diet was THE thing to keep from getting fat. I thought all fat was bad. I thought if you got sick you took a drug and called it good. I also thought soy was a great alternative to meat for a lean, healthy protein source. But, then.....I opened my eyes and started paying attention to the world around me and not so much on what's coming out of the tv and magazines.

I used to LOVE soymilk on my granola cereal. Now, I have whole, fresh, raw milk on my organic cereal when I eat it.

I started hearing conflicting reports on soy. I went to a sports nutrition seminar where the highly acclaimed nutritionist said that she doesn't believe organic is all important and that soy is probably okay. I believed her mostly. I do know that pesticides have a cumulative effect on your body so I'm out on her thoughts on organics. But, her soy thoughts made sense to me so I continued to consume my much beloved soymilk.

At the same convention, I sat in Anne Louise Gittleman's seminar where she said soy was bad, sugar is bad, stevia and other herbs were good along with a diet of organics. I thought "This lady is a quack and I'm drinking soymilk!!" Well, since then, I learned that Anne Louise was right on!

One of the things I learned about soy is that it is an estrogen. At the time I didn't really know why that was so bad but I was also buying for my only child chocolate soymilk and he loved it too. I asked my ob/gyn about it and he said its bad because we all have estrogen receptors on our bodies and we absorb estrogen at different rates depending on those receptors. Which means you can't really control the amount of estrogen our body absorbs. We also know that an excess of estrogen is linked to cancer. We also know that young girls are starting puberty as young as 6 years old!!!!! My boy started growing breasts! So, I immediately stopped the soymilk and did a little more research.

I also learned from watching Food, Inc that the company Monsanto chemically treats all their soy plants. Not only that they grow over 90% of all the soy grown. And all of their soy is genetically modified. And even more egregious is that they use their billions to run out all the small farms around the country.

Everyone says, "Well, what about those Asians? They are super healthy and they eat lots of soy!" No they don't..... They eat about 2 tablespoons of fermented soy, such as tamari, miso, and tempeh. Why do you suppose we're told they eat a lot of soy and we should be eating 10 times more than the Asians?!? I'll give you one guess and its a word answer. I think you already know.


If you want to read even more about the dangers of soy check out this whole food blog. You should definitely check it out. Its very informative.

Food Renegade's Soy Post

This post is part of Food Renegades Fight Back Friday. You can click on this link and see even more healthy food posts from other bloggers. Fight Back Friday, May 20th

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wild Animal Kingdom!!!

It was like Wild Animal Kingdom at my house the other night!! No. It wasn't a longhorn stampede. It was just all out mayhem! Mayhem I tell you!!!!!!

It starts out with my usual going out to feed the horses and close my chicken coop. I let my chickens free range because I enjoy the healthy eggs so much. It grosses me out to think about my chickens being all cooped up and eating their own crap all day. They do that. They crap ALOT! You wouldn't think such a relatively small animal could poop that much. Then, they are pretty stupid and will peck at anything....including their own crap. So, I let them out to run around and catch bugs like they are supposed to. They feel good about it and I feel good about it. But, because they are so dumb, they don't really stay away from predators the way they should and they end up on other animal's supper table. Chickens are puh-retty tasty!! Everyone says so, including mr. hawk and mrs. skunk! :)

My labs don't really eat them. They just like to chase them. Chasing them is soooo much fun according to the labs and the chickens aren't smart enough to know that if they would just sit down and shut up they wouldn't be near as entertaining. So, I'm always losing one here and there. I don't ever really know about it until evening when I'm closing the coop door and I count them. For awhile now I've had 6 roosting in the coop and 2 that insist on roosting in my carport no matter how many times I carry them into the coop. They are rogue hens!!! And then I have about 20 chicks in a brooder that are a few weeks old.

So, back to the evening in question. I'm out at dusk feeding the horses and closing the coop door. I still have the 6 chickens and all the babies in the brooder. I close it all up and as I'm heading back to the house, I hear chicks, and birds, and what was that???? A chicken clucking? from in the trees? Surely not! But, Festus, my older male lab is positive that chickens are in the trees! Nuh-Uh, I say. Then, I say "Festus NO!!!" because he's right. Apparently, my last missing hen has been sitting on eggs these last few weeks and they just hatched!!! Well, the babies are making all sorts of ruckus and I just told you how much fun they are when they are noisy. In the dark no less.

So, I run into the house and grab a flashlight and come back out to see Festus with a baby chicken. I tell him to drop it. It looks like it is in the last death throes. I pick it up because I don't want them eating it. I pick it up and put it on the old hay netting in the back of my truck to get it up and out of the way thinking "I'll come back and check on it." Oh yeah, because by now, the mama chicken is running all around my yard squawking her head off being even more fun for the labs than the baby chicks!!! So I, and the dogs, are chasing this chicken around. I opened the coop door and we chased the mama into the coop. Yay!!!!!! One down. Now back to the baby.

When I get back to my truck, the baby is gone.......'What? Well crap!! One of the cats must have come and got it. Damn cats!'
Meanwhile, sirens are going off like crazy in the distance. Dogs start howling and now the coyotes are howling too! 'Oh Great!! that's all I need!' Then, I look over at the mama cat looking down at something. 'Aha!!! SHE has it!' I go over  to see and I look down and its a FROG! 'Okay, then where did it go? I wasn't gone that long. What the heck????' Then I find it behind the netting and its ALIVE!! YAY!!! So, I take it back to the coop. I put it in one of the nesting boxes. The baby is calling. The mama is calling. I think to myself 'Okay, they will find each other and all will be well. To be sure, I pick up the mama and put her in the nesting box with the baby. The mama leaves the box and roams all around the coop looking for her baby.....*sigh* I told you they were dumb....
Well, I can't leave the baby there all by itself in the dark or it will die of cold. So, I think 'I'll just put it in the brooder with the other chicks. I hope they don't kill it.' I don't know chick etiquette. So, I put the new chick in there and its so small its feet go through the hardware cloth. That won't work. So I make a new nesting box on the ground next to the brooder with the light on it. I walk away hoping the chick makes it because now the mama is roosting again with the other chickens.

So, I go back into the house feeling pretty good about saving the mama and one of her babies. I go into the bathroom to start getting ready for bed and through the window screen I hear more squeaking. 'Oh my gosh!!! more babies! I run outside and realize that I left my flashlight in the chicken coop. 'Crap!' again. So I go back to the coop and open it all back up for about the third time. Good news!! the mama is sitting on the baby! However, as soon as I open the coop door she jumps up and runs away.  Hey! great mama. Way to protect the baby....AND....not only did I leave my flashlight out there but I left it on...'Oh my!' I grab the light and I run back up to see my lab puppy, Harley, licking an egg and a dead chick on the ground. Its dead for real.....ick.....Then the squeaking is coming from a different chick that is almost dead. I know its dying because it has a whole in it that's oozing. yuck! 'Too slow, I didn't make it.' So, I head back into the house and then......wait......more squeaking!!! I run back over to see a very slobbery alive chick that I originally thought was dead. 'Way to keep kicking baby chick!!!!' I grab a towel out of my truck, dry it off, and head yet again with another baby chick AND an unhatched egg. Again, the mama jumps up and runs away. *sigh* poor babies have a stupid mother...... So, I put the slobbery chick in there with the dry chick and the egg, close the coop door and watch the mother come and sit on them. 'Yay!!!' again. With a sigh of relief, I head yet again to the house to get ready for bed.

I fall asleep feeling pretty good about myself. I didn't ever find the nest to check on more chicks but Festus seems to think we found them all and I believed him.

I'm sleeping pretty good and feel a cool breeze blow on my face as a cold front moves in bringing some much needed rain. Then, I hear poor Harley on the front porch being pelted with cold rain. *sigh* 'Can I leave her out there? Would that be wrong? Of course, it is. I'll have to bring her in.'

But wait!!! I have a shower curtain that's never even been opened! So, I go out in the rain to make a tent for her. All dry and warm...and back to bed to sleep in on a Sunday morning. Ahhhhh....feels good.

Meantime, yesterday, I bought some Yogi bedtime tea. It has valerian in it along with chamomile. It really works!!! So.....assuming you don't have wild animal kingdom mayhem at your house, or even if you do, that tea will help you sleep like a baby. A baby chick, a baby cat, a baby dog, baby frogs, lots of babies at my house!!!!!!!!!!! except none of them seem to want to sleep....hmmmmmm.....Okay, so maybe you'll just sleep like someone you just took some valium. :)