Monday, August 30, 2010

Why Visit Your Local Farmer's Market?

The new trend is to shop locally, but why? What's so great about buying local? Especially if the produce/product is more expensive and/or not even organic?

Well, I'll tell you.

Buying locally is the very tail end of the product cycle that started with a tiny seed. A seed that, thanks to big companies like Monsanto*, have been genetically modified and patented. Who knew anyone could get the genetic rights to a plant? I thought only God created living things, but I'm wrong. Plants grown by Monsanto are altered (for the point of this post, although there are other modifications) to terminate after bearing fruit. The plant no longer goes through the entire life cycle taught in 9th grade biology. It won't produce seeds. If by some chance it does, the seeds won't produce anything. These are called terminator seeds. (tee hee. Click here for the real link) (if you link over, just know that it is already happening. I have a friend whose family owns a small organic farm in Star Valley. They have already been contacted by Monsanto and told they need to no longer harvest their own seeds. And it's not worth the fight for them because they can't afford the court fees So, they have to buy their seeds each year or get a hold of heirloom seeds and produce those). Pretty bold to scientifically alter the very nature of life given by God. But it's all about being able to market something. If you sell something to a farmer and he can keep growing it without you, where's the profit? **

Anyway, when you shop from farmer's markets it is likely that you are buying not only from people who need your support financially, but their plants are heirloom plants. That means they haven't been altered. Their seeds have come from previous plants and have been grown and passed down from generations.

Another reason to buy from local farmers is because of the cost in transportation, or if you care about being green, the carbon impact. Think about how much gasoline it takes to transport that apple from New Zealand, half-way around the world for $1.59/lb. vs. the apple grown even a state away for $1.99. It makes the actual cost of your fruit a lot higher even if you think you're paying less. And less of that money goes back to the actual laborer.

Then, there is the fact that the fruits and vegetables are in season when purchased locally. None of the pink-ish, tasteless tomatoes or squishy grapes. I know first-hand just how different a peach tastes within hours of right off the tree vs. Wal-mart. Did you know that when you buy apples from Wal-mart you are most likely buying an apple that was grown at LEAST over a year ago? Apples are frozen, stored and then thawed. If you are getting any fruit/vegetable in any season other than the one it naturally grows, it had to come from somewhere other than where you live, or been unnaturally preserved to get to you.

Check this out for more information on why to buy from farmer's markets, or visit these links to find one near you!

We'll chat later on why GMO foods are so bad for you.

*To quote directly from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:
"'The Strange Case of Percy Schmeiser'
In 1999, a quiet middle-aged farmer from Bruno, Saskatchewan, was sued by the largest biotech seed producer in the world. Monsanto, Inc. claimed that Percy Schmeiser had damaged them, to the tune of $145,000, by having their patented gene in some of the canola plants on his 1,030 acres. The assertion was not that Percy had actually planted the seed, or even that he obtained the seed illegally. Rather, the argument was that the plants on Percy's land contained genes belonging to Monsanto. The gene, patented in Canada in the early 1990s, gives genetically modified (GM) canola plants the fortitude to withstand spraying by glyphosate herbicides such as Roundup, sold by Monsanto.

Canola, a cultivated variety of rapeseed, is one of over three thousand species in the mustard family. Pollen from mustard is transferred either by insects, or by wind, up to one-third of a mile. Does the patented gene travel in the pollen? Yes. Are the seeds viable? Yes, and can remain dormant up to ten years. If seeds remain in the soil from previous years, it's illegal to harvest them. Further, if any of the seeds from a field contain the patented genes, it is illegal to save them for use. Percy had been saving his seeds for fifty years. Monsanto was suing for possession for intellectual property that had drifted onto his plants. The laws protect possession of the gene itself, irrespective of its conveyance. Because of pollen drift and seed contamination, the Monsanto genes are ubiquitous in Canadian canola.

Percy lost his court battles: he was found guilty in the Federal Court of Canada, the conviction upheld in the court of appeals. The Canadian Supreme Court narrowly upheld the decision (5-4). but with no compensation to Monsanto. This stunning case has drawn substantial attention to the problems associated with letting GM genies out of their bottle. Organic canola farmers in Saskatchewan have now sued Monsanto and another company, Aventis, for making it impossible for Canadian farmers to grow organic canola..." Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

**Specific foods to avoid because of genetic manipulation are corn (in any variety, and it's in almost EVERYTHING, even powdered sugar!), canola and soy unless the package specifically states that it is not GMO (genetically modified).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nutritional Yeast

What is it?
Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast (NOT brewer's yeast).

Why eat it?
It is packed with protein and B-vitamins. It is actually one of the only natural sources for B-12. A lot of vegans and vegetarians eat it because of this.

What does it taste like?
Kind of cheesy, kind of nutty and kind of tangy. Last night Troy and I tried it out on popcorn and both loved it. And that's saying something for Troy! When the weather cools down enough to make mashed potatoes, we're going to try it in that too.

Here is a link to some recipes online  and here is even a bigger list of recipes.

Where can I get it?
At a health food store or online. I bought ours at Whole Earth Grainery downtown.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Before I began running barefoot it was not uncommon for my feet to hurt, especially at the end of a long day. The arches ached the most, followed closely behind by the ball of my foot, just under my big toe. The pain was enough to make me question why my feet were hurting. I wear the right kinds of shoes to give enough support. Was it because I was on my feet all day? Or was it the stress of my job? I even went so far as to learn about reflexology and how every part of our body is connected to another part. I learned that the arches of my feet corresponded to my lower back. And sure enough, when my arches hurt, so did my lower back and vice verse. I learned that the area under my big toe corresponded to my thyroid. But I didn't know what to do with this information except rub my feet at night (or get my husband to do it :)

Since running barefoot, the skin on the bottoms of my feet have changed. They have taken on a smoother feel, and are thicker, but not callused. The only thing I can relate it to is leather. And I've noticed something else too. My arches don't hurt. Even after a long run they feel great. They are stronger now and bear the weight of my body with ease. And that big lump on the ball of my foot? It has flattened out and no longer hurts either.

Coincidence? Perhaps, but I don't think so.

I can't explain it, but running barefoot is more than just a natural way of moving, it is a healing experience. It is my way of connecting my body to mother earth. And it is a healing/spiritual reconnection event every time I run.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why I Wear Men's Deodorant

And it's not because I'm stinky.

Well, I hope not.

Okay, I know first-hand that going organic/natural is costly. I mean, as much as I like to pretend we have money, we don't. My husband just graduated law school, but decided he didn't want to practice law and consequently didn't take the bar. Don't get me wrong, I support him 100% in this decision. I don't think the law is for him. But in the meantime, we are trying to make a go of it starting a business, but not being able to do too much because the business is in a state where we don't yet live, because of a house we can't yet sell...

So, what do I do in the meantime? Find great alternatives to organic. They're out there. You just have to look.

Enter in: Deodorant.

I actually stopped using anti-persperant about 8 years ago. It just seemed weird to not sweat when doing an activity that was supposed to make you sweat. And I didn't like that it turned the armpits of my white shirts yellow. But the real reason I stopped is because anti-perspirant has an ingredient (aluminum) that has been shown to cause alzheimers and breast cancer. Here's a link about it's correlation with breast cancer.

While there is still some dispute online about this info. consider that in 1993 AWorld Health Organization "Public Health Report" cited autopsies that found high concentrations of aluminum in the brains of those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.

Also, consider that everything we put on our skin (makeup, lotion, deodorant, shampoo, etc...) gets absorbed into our skin. Absorbing aluminum? Well, that's a metal that doesn't come back out, but stays stored in our bodies. Hmmm...

Also, consider that aluminum pots and pans used to be the norm until people learned that they could be harmful. Do you see many aluminum pots and pans anymore?

What do I used instead?

While not perfect, it's cheap and can be found at Wal-Mart. And doesn't have aluminum as an ingredient.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Product Recommendation

This stuff is liquid gold.


It cures just about everything and can be used to wash hair, clothes, the bathroom---you name it. It kills most strands of strep and both the cold and flu viruses. It's safe to ingest and can be used as a fruit and vegetable wash. It can also be added to water storage to keep the water safe for up a number of years. This product can be added to a carpet shampooer to get rid of pet odors. It will kill mildew and fungus as well as garden pests such as aphids.

Are you convinced yet?

I'm talking about Grapefruit Seed Extract.

For between $17-20 you can get a bottle of this wonder. I use it all the time.

Warning: gross confession up ahead!

Ever since getting pneumonia a year and a half ago (and taking hard-core antibiotics) I have struggled off and on with candida and yeast infections. Their re-occurrence was mostly caused by my diet, but the antibiotics had weakened the normal bacterial balance in my stomach and intestines so I have to be super careful about sugar consumption as well as white flours. Anyway, the only thing to work (including over the counter stuff) is GSE. I mix 9 drops of it in water and gargle/drink it. It can even be used as a douche (but only if you dilute it a lot). GSE should never be taken full strength. It can be added to water (as stated above), or oil (like when used on a cold sore or cracked lips).

Click here for more information on Grapefruit Seed Extract  or HERE or HERE

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Stye in My Eye

Have you ever gotten a stye? They can be really painful. I used to get them as a child quite a bit.

What is a stye? Simply put, it is an infection in the eyelash follicle of the eye.

I started feeling one coming on last evening and went right home and took care of it, when it occurred to me that most people might not know a natural way of getting rid of styes.
Don't be judgin' my up-close and personal shot.

That said, here is the natural remedy:

First, find a gold* piece of jewelry, preferably a ring.
Next, wash it thoroughly. I wash with natural soap because I don't want anything inside my eye with harsh chemicals.
Third, dry it off using a towel that won't shed any loose fibers.
Now comes the tricky part: Using your fingers, open your infected eyelid. With the other hand, gently rub the gold ring on the inside of the infected lid, right at the stye. It will actually feel cool and soothing.


Repeat as often as necessary until the stye is gone. You should see results right away, with the stye gone in the next day or so.

*I tried white gold and it didn't work.
**While you have a stye, it is recommended that you don't use makeup, or share facial towels. Styes are contagious.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Two Books I Can Recommend

I love to read. That said, I ashamedly only read novels. Oh, occasionally I'll read something non-fiction, but it's rare. That is, until I found two FABULOUS books: Born to Run and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

I tore through Born to Run in a day and half, which wasn't difficult actually considering it's still summer (prime reading in the hammock time) and the book is so well written that it reads like a novel. Seriously. You. Need. To. Read. It. Whether you are a runner or not, whether you exercise or not, whether you like to read or not. It is a book that is entertaining, inspirational, and a wealth of knowledge and experience. Read it! You'll love it!

I only started Animal, Vegetable and Mineral today, but already it is a promising book. I don't like propaganda or political agendas---from either party. And I get the sense that there might be some of that in this book. However I am reading it because of the drive it gives to get back to a natural way of doing things: growing your own food etc...and I am all about that. I will give a more detailed opinion after I finish it. But I am sure everyone could benefit from reading it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Neat Sites

My Nike+ has been a pain in the patootie lately. Every time I run the distance is inaccurate. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE hearing that little voice tell me how far I've come, what my average pace is and how much more I have to go. I just wish I knew exactly how much that REALLY was. Well, I used the mapit portion of the site tonight and checked out my runs. That is a pretty cool feature.

And I found similar sites to share with you all since you probably don't have a Nike+.

Check 'em out.

Man, I Wish I Could Go!

Training is still going well. Not that you guys probably care, but it is a big deal for me. In fact, probably one of the biggest things I have ever done. Today I ran 4 miles barefoot. The bottoms of my feet are feeling a little tender, but not too tender to walk. All in all I feel GREAT!

Anyway, the real reason for this post is this. I ran across the info. about this race today and I really wish we were going to be in Arizona so I could run it. But, maybe next year. And here is a link about the Louis Tewanima.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Well, I'm Addicted

I have been running off and on since I bought my Vibrams a few weeks ago. But Monday I got serious and decided it was time to begin training for a half-marathon October 23. I'm still a little unsure if I will be ready or not (after only two days of training) but I have to give it a shot.

Monday I ran 3 miles wearing my Five Fingers and then took them off, walked and ran off and on for 2+ more miles. My right knee hurt afterward, but I think my form is just off a bit.

Tuesday I went to the gym and just used the machines. Boring.

Wednesday (today) I ran again. But this time I started off barefoot. I managed 2 miles before I thought it best to put the shoes back on. I can't afford an injury or nasty blisters if I am training. And I have also discovered that I can't afford to bring my dog with me running. My time running with Vibrams and barefoot is already A LOT slower than when I ran with my asics, so I can't afford to slow down any extra, let alone turn around to find the dumb, wandering dog. This was the first run I have done since calibrating my nike+ and it will be interesting to see how correct it is once I run without any distractions. But for now, my time tonight was a little discouraging. That said, my goal is just to finish the half-marathon. I don't need to have a record time or anything. I can do that!