Category Archives: Family Life

Winner!! Essential Oil Giveaway

I am sure that everyone is just dying to know who won the set of essential oils from Plant Therapy! The lucky winner is Ceste in Florida! I would have loved to send a full kit out to everyone who entered, (I spent some time looking at all your websites posted in the comments on my blog, and you are a truly cool and amazing bunch!) but if you didn’t win, don’t fret! We had enough entrants to get a surprise bonus – I was given a coupon code for you all that is good for $10 off a purchase of $10 or more – The discount coupon code is naturalfamily10 and it starts today and expires at 11:59 pm MST on the 26th. To use your coupon, go to www.planttherapy.com!

Essential Oil Giveaway From Plant Therapy

I am very excited to do my first official product giveaway! I admit that I was skeptical when Plant Therapy approached me to do a review of their essential oils – there are so many essential oil companies out there all claiming to have the one and only therapeutic grade oils. So, I said that if they could send me a sample, and if it passed my quality tests, then I would be happy to write a review and then do a giveaway, but I only offer things to my readers if they are something that I would feel good about using myself. So they agreed, and a few days later, a package arrived in the mail. It was beautifully presented gift package containing 14 different 10 ml oils – 7 singles, and 7 blends or synergies – All 100% pure, therapeutic grade oils: Sensual , Energy, Germ Fighter, Relax, Immune-Aid, Tranquil, Invigor-Aid, Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Orange, Lemon & Cinnamon.

The first thing that I did was to do a paper test. A paper test is where you take a drop of essential oil and put it on a piece of paper. If the oil leaves a greasy residue behind after evaporating, then it contains fillers, or is not 100% pure. Here is a photo that I took immediately after putting 6 randomly selected oils on a sheet of copy paper – (3 singles, and 3 of the synergies) And then I took another photo of the paper after several hours. On checking, the paper was completely dry, with no oiliness to the touch. The tranquil synergy left behind a light yellow, but only due to the fact that the oils in that blend have some pigment that stained the paper, but the paper felt completely dry.

The next thing that I did was compare the oils to other therapeutic grade oils that I have in my home. I have oils from a few different companies that I use regularly, including doTERRA, Young Living, Butterfly Express, and Mountain Rose Herbs. I also have some cheaper brand oils that I keep for comparison to show people the differences between quality oils and the better brands.  The first and most telling characteristic is the smell of the oils. Quality oils have a nice clean smell, while the cheaper oils tend to have a bitter ‘after-smell.’ The plant therapy oils all smelled very clean, as you would expect from oils that are steam distilled, rather than chemically extracted. I also read their website, and saw on a very long and impressive list of choices, that all of their oils are either steam distilled or cold pressed, and another bonus: Plant Therapy is not an MLM company, so their prices are also very reasonable! At this point, I felt very comfortable with adding these oils to my set that I use for Foot Zoning, and found that I was regularly choosing one of the Plant Therapy synergies while muscle testing oils for clients.

I think that my favorite is the Tranquil synergy blend, which contains bergamot, patchouli, blood orange, ylang ylang, and grapefruit – probably because it is very citrusy, and I also really like patchouli oil. Another favorite is the Invigor-Aid, a great pick-me-up blend that contains sandalwood, black pepper, and lemon.

So, with no further ado – I would LOVE for all of you dear readers to have the chance to win this great set of oils to use in your own home! For your best chance to win, here is what you need to do:

1. Follow my blog by clicking the “follow this blog” button on the Networked Blogs widget in the right hand sidebar.  Then, leave a comment here, stating why you think that you should win.

2. don’t forget to ‘like’ the Plant Therapy facebook page, and leave a comment on their page telling what product you would like to try. http://www.facebook.com/PlantTherapy

3. Share the link with as many friends as possible!

 4. To improve your chances, you can become a fan of one or both of my facebook pages at http://www.facebook.com/100PercentNaturalFamily, and/or http://www.facebook.com/FindRawMilk 
 
5. Share this link with your friends and leave a comment under the giveaway post on my facebook page – either the Raw Milk page or 100% Natural Family :).
 
If there are more than 750 entries, there will be a special surprise giveaway at the end! I plan to announce a winner on Saturday February 16th, so keep watching and may the best fan win!

Book Review – The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast


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I have recently read the book “The Art of baking with Natural Yeast,” by Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson. 10 years ago, I was asking myself “Why is milk, once one of the main staples of civilization, now condemned as “bad” by many medical professionals, including natural doctors who should know better? What has changed?” The answer to that question came pretty easily, since milk processing is pretty obvious. Milk, once straight from the cow/goat/etc. is now pasteurized, homogenized, and then even ultra pasteurized in some cases. Anyway, those same questions came to my mind about bread. Once considered the staff of life, now even whole wheat bread (which should be more healthy, because it is a whole food) causes a myriad of health issues, (sometimes even more so than white bread because of the use of rancid flour) and it is not so easy to see the answer. It can’t be easily explained by GMO or hybridization, because people with allergies to wheat or with gluten sensitivities often can’t even tolerate heirloom varieties of grains, even if they soak them and/or grind their own flour. So over the last while, I had been asking myself “What has changed?” This book has an answer to this question that actually makes sense.

The Authors assert that in 1984, all of the yeast produced by commercial industry went completely synthetic to accommodate industry and consumers who wanted quick rising yeast, and now many of the problems associated with bread and grains are actually a reaction to the synthetic yeast as well as the lack of soaking or pre-digesting more than it is a reaction to the grains themselves. I knew that un-soaked grains were a problem, but the issue of the synthetic yeast was new information for me. Natural yeast is made up of lactobactili and wild yeasts much like the bacteria found in kefir grains. (This makes it a probiotic strain of bacteria, and so it does not cause the same issues for people with candida and systemic yeast overgrowth.) When the yeast in breads changed, the sensitivities to wheat and gluten skyrocketed. Not to say their were not some problems before that point, but before that, these conditions were rare. Anyway, with natural yeast, the dough must have between 6 and 24 hours to properly rise, and during that time, natural yeast not only breaks down the phytic acid in the flour, but it also pre-digests the gluten without losing the elasticity of the dough. Quick rise synthetic yeast, which can rise in an hour or less does neither of these things. In the book the authors state that “several people with celiac disease have tried bread made with natural yeast and told us that they had no reaction to it.”

Another interesting study referred to in the book cites research done on natural yeast that found that people who ate a piece of bread made with natural yeast had a lower glycemic reaction to the carbohydrates in their food, even hours later. As it says in the book, “one woman in Pleasant Grove, Utah recently told us that her husband, who is severely diabetic, was able to eat bread for the first time in years with no glycemic spike when she began making bread for him with a start of natural yeast we gave her.”  This could explain the sharp increase in obesity and diabetes over the last 3 decades.

Also, bread made with natural yeast is actually a living food! How? Because the heat of baking stimulates the yeast to send out spores right before it dies, which can survive even the most uninhabitable environments. Once the temperature gets back to a safe level, the spores hatch and repopulate the yeast colony inside the bread. (something that I did not know before.) The co-author tells about how she discovered this with a great stoke of humor, and little things like this made the book a lot of fun to read 🙂 at the end of this section, she says, “So next time you take your Frankenbread out of the oven, you can hold it in the air and cackle, “It’s Alive! It’s Alive!” Or you can just eat it, but where’s the excitement in that?”

Another great point that the authors made was that bread was the STAFF of life, and not the CRUTCH of life, meaning that it was never the main part of the meal, and if you can’t have a meal without bread or grains, then you are relying on your staff way too much. Caleb has a yeast starter that comes from a 100+ year old start of pioneer yeast, and he will send a start of this yeast for free to anyone who buys his book – all you have to do is send him a request with a self addressed stamped envelope. The yeast is an actual yeast start, and not a sourdough starter, and so it looks, tastes, and smells like yeast bread.

I hope that you all will find this as useful as I did! Not only was it very useful and enlightening, it was a fun read. 😀

 

 

 

 

Why I Use Toothpowder and not Toothpaste

I am currently doing a group buy on Eco-Dent Original Mint tooth powder. If you are not familiar with it, it is a baking soda based powder that is fluoride and glycerin free. I switched to fluoride free after I learned that fluoride is used as a medication for hyperthyroid. This is important information for anyone who has a slow thyroid like I do – if you are hypothyroid, you don’t want anything to slow it down any more than it already is! It also is a powder and so it doesn’t contain glycerin, which is important because glycerin slows down re-mineralization of teeth. This is huge if you are trying to reverse tooth decay (yes it can be done – I have healed some small cavities myself!)

After I started using Eco-Dent, one of the first things that I noticed was that I no longer had that nasty morning breath. After using it for a while, I saw that I had no bleeding gums – not even a little bit of pink after spitting. (This was something that I had not been able to achieve completely even by making my own baking soda based tooth powder.) My teeth also felt much cleaner and my mouth was fresher than with regular toothpastes which usually contain sweeteners of some kind. A bottle of toothpowder also lasts a lot longer than a tube of toothpaste – this 2oz bottle contains enough powder for about 200 brushings. You can buy Eco-Dent toothpowder at the Whole foods in Sandy, but it is almost $8 a bottle. With shipping, I have found a place where I can get it for $6.50 a bottle if I buy a case of 12. If you are in the Salt Lake City Utah area, please let me know asap if you would like to go in on it with me! Now, I know that some of you are going to say, well you just don’t have the right recipe, and I am sure that you are 100% right! If you would like to share recipe’s in the comment section here, I will certainly welcome them! But for anyone else who for one reason or another doesn’t want to make their own, this is a great second.

Crunchy Mama Talk – Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Crunchy Talk

Mama Natural has done it again! And, she used quite a few of my suggestions for part 2 – watch it now 😀

See the original Mama Natural post here

Valentine Love ‘Potions’

Oh, Valentines day! The day of love! Herbs have been used throughout the centuries to not only attract members of the opposite sex, but also to enhance intimate relationships.  Now, herbals certainly can’t make you fall in love, or even trap someone into loving you, but you can certainly enhance the love relationship that already have with your spouse, and how can that be a bad thing? What better way to attract your valentine than by creating a romantic massage oil or using a blend of oils to help guide cupids arrow? One of our most primal senses is the sense of smell, and aromatic herbs can certainly assist with attraction. Just take a nice carrier oil, like almond oil, grapeseed oil, or apricot kernel oil and add about 15 drops of essential oils for every ounce of carrier oil. You can experiment by combining oils that you and your partner both enjoy. Scents are categorized as base, middle and top notes. For the best results when creating a mixture, you will want to include a top, middle, and base note oil to create harmony, just like in a musical chord. Some romantic essential oils and their properties are listed below:

Top Note Oils

  • Cardamon: Elletaria cardamomum: A warm, spicy oil increases circulation. Aphrodisiac and  stimulant.
  • Black Pepper: Piper nigrum: Promotes circulation, aphrodisiac, stimulant, and promotes stamina.
  • Ginger: Zingiber officinale: A warming oil, and stimulating aphrodisiac. It increases local circulation.

Middle Note Oils

  • Jasmine: Jasminum sambac: Narcotic, floral, and aphrodisiac. Contains a chemical constituent known as indol that has a distinct animal earthiness.
  • Rose: Rosa damascena: The rose has traditionally been associated with love and is an intensely floral aphrodisiac.
  • Neroli: Citrus aurantium: Distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, this oil is calming to the central nervous system and nourishes the heart.
  • Ylang Ylang: Canaga odorata: Highly narcotic and aphrodisiac. In Indonesia ylang ylang flowers are spread on the beds of newly married couples.
  •  Clary Sage: Salvia sclarea: Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, euphoric, and sedative.

Base Note Oils

  • Vetiver: Vetiveria zizanioides: Distilled from the root of a grass this oil is grounding and nourishing. It is a circulatory stimulant yet sedative to the central nervous system.
  • Patchouli: Pogostemon cablin: Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, grounding and balancing.
  • Sandalwood: Santalum album: Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, and sedative. Contains sesquiterpenes, which are known to be calming to the nervous system.

A sample mixture for a romantic massage oil would be something like this:

Cardamon (Top) 7 drops + Ylang Ylang (Middle) 3 drops + Patchouli (Base) 5 drops for a total of 15 drops of essential oil mixed 1 drop at a time into 1 ounce of apricot kernel oil, then tip bottle gently up and down to mix.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different oils until you find a scent that you and your spouse really enjoy!

This post is part of the 26th Edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday at Mind Body and Sole

Crunchy Talk

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Crunchy Talk

It’s funny how when you start getting involved in alternative health, there seems to be a whole new dialect that we learn, even if we are not around a lot of other “crunchy” folks! I laughed when I saw this video, because I think I have said almost all of these things, and more . . . And when we get around each other, I wonder sometimes if regular people even know what we are talking about.

 

If I could have added to this, there would have been a few more things that they could have said:

1. “Can you hold on a second? I need to pee my baby.” (infant potty training/elimination communication)

2. Raw Milk (in the two words part)

3. Cold sheet treatment

4. “Sure you can have a green avocado kefir smoothie”

5. “We chose not to participate in the barf fest this year” (referring to the chronic overdose of sugary treats which tend to induce flu every holiday)

6. “Are you picking up milk this week?”

7. Cod Liver Oil

8. “have you watched _________________ yet?” (fill in your food/childbirth/breastfeeding related documentary)

9. “I was so devastated, he self weaned when he was only 12 months old!”

10. Essential Oils (added to two words)

11. “Honey, can you stop and pick up some vodka from the liquor store? I’m out of __________.” (Fill in your tincture)

12. Weston A. Price

13. Vaccination waivers (two words)

14. soaked grains (two words)

15. “We don’t have an infant carrier”

16. “Just sneak into the barn at night, pick up a couple of gallons and leave your money in the box.”

17. “We don’t eat cold breakfast cereal”

18. “We would like to skip the fluoride treatments.” (To the dental assistant)

19. lacto-fermentation

20. Grass fed (two words)

21. “Have some more pastured bacon!”

22. Farm Raids (two words)

23. “Check the label for GMO’s/HFCS/MSG/Red Dye #40/etc.”

24. Monsanto

25. “Keep the government out of my food!”

26. quoting CDC stats on raw milk/spinach/herbal supplements

27. Pastured eggs (two words)

28. “Please don’t trim the fat, and can you throw in all of the organ meats and soup bones, please?” (to the butcher)

29. Are you going to ride with the raw milk freedom riders?

30. Namaste!

A visual of the mother chewing up something and putting it in baby’s mouth would have been too funny as well. I could go on and on, so feel free to leave your additions in the comments!

In Search of a Cure for the Common Cold and other Maladies

Let’s face it, most people’s health insurance isn’t what it used to be. But that has been a blessing in disguise for my family. When my husband dropped his health insurance because it was going to cost over $600 a month for insurance with a $5,000 deductible, that turned out to be one of the biggest blessings of my life, and for my family.

How could that possibly be a blessing? Well, as it turned out, having cushy health insurance was impeding my growth, and causing my family to suffer needlessly. If someone got a cold, we did what everyone does – we bought cough syrup, decongestants, and nasal strips, and if it got really bad and turned into strep or an ear infection, we went to the doctor and got antibiotics.

Don’t those things help you get better faster? Well, I used to think so, but no health insurance for a couple of years introduced me to God’s medicine cabinet, and what’s in there trumps all of the regular stuff! 90% of any family illnesses are 100% curable or preventable, and in less than half the time (probably even a fraction of the time) it takes to go through a course of antibiotics. Having no health insurance led me to the elusive cure for the common cold.

So why ain’t I freakin’ rich by now? I would have thought so, but no – that is another thing I learned. It’s not the kind of thing that anyone can make a lot of money from really. And that is exactly why the health industry has lied to us about it for so long. And that is why what I am about to tell you is something that no one in the health industry really wants you to know. In fact, if you attempt to tell your doctor about this, they will tell you it’s nuts, that it couldn’t possibly work, that it’s snake oil, that it’s just the placebo effect, or that this kind of experimentation on your kids is irresponsible parenting.

99% of all the things you go to the doctor or use pharmaceuticals for can be easily taken care of at home in a fraction of the time and with no side effects. With just a few simple ingredients. Your run of the mill colds, flu, stomach flu, earaches, strep throat, pink eye, and food poisoning (a lot more common than most people realize) take up most of our doctor visits. We limp around on sprains and suffer with minor burns, cuts and bruises a lot longer than we need to. In the last 10 years, the only things we have been to the doctor for were stitches (2 times, same kid) and x-rays to make sure no bones were broken after a couple of playground escapades – one involving a teeter-totter, and another after a bike accident – and for my oldest son who had a non-cancerous bone growth last year. I was very grateful for doctors on that one, but even stitches are up for debate now, if doing it myself will save time and grief. I have done one set of scalp stitches, because the scalp isn’t very sensitive and it’s hidden under hair, so scarring isn’t as big of an issue.

Here is a list of the things that I have found to be very effective for treating some of the most common ailments:

Colds and flu: Prevention is the cure. Most human beings cannot synthesize vitamin C. In studies of disease over 50 years ago, it was found that in cases where people had died of infectious disease, there were no traces of vitamin C left in the tissues of the deceased. People with higher the levels of vitamin c in their body tissues were more resistant to disease. Megadosing vitamin C really can prevent or eliminate an oncoming cold or flu. But it isn’t that simple. The thing is the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is only about 100mg for an adult. The problem is that this is the bare minimum. Most people need much more than that, at least 10 times more, and we are not getting it from our food. Even if we are eating really healthy we generally won’t get enough because the soils are depleted of nutrients and the vitamins are simply not there. Even if you grow the food yourself, unless you have properly amended your garden soil, there will not be enough of the right nutrients in the soil for you to get enough vitamin C without supplementing. The second problem is that simply taking vitamin C on its own does not give you the additional nutrients needed to absorb the vitamin C, and your body eliminates it. Problem 3 – most vitamin supplements are in tablet form and contain fillers and additives that prevent them from being absorbed in any significant amount. The best supplements will be capsules with natural forms of pure vitamin C that contain bioflavinoids. Even with the perfect vitamin C supplement, you will not absorb enough vitamin C by just taking vitamin C only to help prevent a cold. This is the main reason people think that megadosing doesn’t work. The key is that the body is unable to absorb vitamin C without enough fatty acids. Fat is a wonderful thing – it carries nutrients, both vitamins and minerals into the cells where it can actually be used. Vitamin C should be taken along with fat soluble vitamins. I have found that if I take 4,000mg of vitamin C with 4,000iu of vitamin E, or a couple of teaspoons of high quality cod liver oil it speeds up the healing process much faster. I have not had a full blown cold in 5 years, and I used to get a good case of the cold/flu at least twice a year that lasted 2 to 3 weeks, culminating in my losing my voice for at least 1 of those weeks. Not any more!

Stomach flu: The trick with stomach flu is to catch it early. Stomach flu is bacterial and often the result of eating something bad. I read somewhere once that 90% of all stomach flu is food related. When I thought about that, I decided to try some things that kill parasites and other pathogenic type bacteria. If you catch it early before it moves into the intestines, it is easier to get rid of. Taking a dropper each of black walnut extract and olive leaf extract in a glass of orange juice has always knocked out a flu bug within minutes. Just what you needed – kids bouncing off the walls again! If it has moved farther along, you may need to take a few more doses for it to work, and you will want to add some slippery elm bark powder in capsules to slow down any diarrhea, and some oregano oil (also in capsules) to help kill any stubborn bacteria that got stuck down in there. Also add some probiotics like kefir to rebuild the gut flora.

Earaches: Earaches are easily knocked out with a little garlic oil or tea tree oil mixed in to some olive oil or other carrier oil. Simply put a clove of garlic through a garlic press, mix with olive oil, and strain. Add a few drops of  tea tree oil, and put it directly into the ear. It helps to put a cotton ball in the ear to keep the oil from draining out. It sometimes takes about 20 minutes to an hour for permanent relief, but usually relief is almost immediate.

Strep throat: When I first started treating strep with herbals, I actually swabbed the back of my throat with tea tree oil using a cotton swab.  it was dreadfully unpleasant, but it had immediate results. My kids even did it to themselves because they couldn’t stand the sore throat any more. Since then, i have found gargling with colloidal silver gives similar results, and if you have a stubborn strep, add a few drops of tea tree oil and a couple of dashed of sea salt. For younger children, sweet birch oil works better, because it has a better flavor than tea tree oil, but it kills bacteria almost as well.

Pink eye: a few drops of colloidal silver in the eye a few times a day, or use one dropperful of Dr. Christopher’s herbal eyebright mixed into about an ounce of colloidal silver. That mixture is faster acting and you can get rid of pinkeye without antibiotics in about a day. If one kid gets pinkeye, treat them all because it spreads FAST!

Food poisoning: Treat just like the stomach flu.

Sprains and Briuses: an infusion of arnica flowers in olive oil does wonders for sprains. Arnica is a strong anti-inflammatory and does wonders in reducing swelling. Pack a glass jar with arnica flowers and then cover the flowers with a carrier oil. Allow it to sit in a warm sunny place for a few days, the longer the better. You can use this oil to rub into bruises and sprains.

Minor burns: A mixture of the arnica oil with aloe vera gel and St. Johns wort essential oil, also known as hypericum and a few drops of wintergreen will cool and sooth the pain. This is a great combination for sunburns and other minor burns.

Minor cuts: Bleeding can be stopped by putting cayenne pepper on a cut. Once the bleeding has stopped, a good herbal ointment with a good mixture of soothing, and anti-inflamitory herbs like arnica, a pain relieving herb like cloves or st.johns wort, and a cell proliferator like comfrey and slippery elm adds healing properties. It should also have a good antibacterial like oregano to prevent infection. Every family should have a good multipurpose herbal salve in their first aid kit.

With these simple remedies on hand, our family has gone a good long time without the need for professional medical services.

This was posted on Mind Body and Sole, Wildcrafting Wednesday!

Heaing With Food

I went to a workshop with the title “Healing With Food” a while ago, and I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed. Not that it wasn’t good, it was interesting – I never knew you could do so much with a potato. But it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I signed up for workshops at the conference I was attending. Dang, why so picky? You might ask. Well, it turns out I was thinking along the lines of healing with food by eating it. So here’s the deal – maybe I’m arrogant or something, and I think that some people probably think I am a bit of a snob when it comes to food. When I tell people I haven’t had a cold in almost 5 years and that I used to get bad colds at least twice a year, I don’t think they believe me.

That was the year that my cold went from a cold to bronchitis to pneumonia. 6 weeks of sleeping while sitting up in bed so you don’t feel like you’re drowning  can do funny things to a person. I knew at that time that food has powerful qualities – besides just filling your belly, it can heal your ills or it can kill you. It just depends on what kind of food you choose to eat, because pneumonia and colds are not the only illnesses that the right foods can heal. Or cause Illness.

Now rewind to 11 years before the year I got pneumonia. I had much worse problems – I just didn’t know it yet. When I was 28 I had my second child. I had also just graduated from BYU with my BA in English Teaching and had lined up a long term substitute teaching position, which would give me the experience teaching to help me land a permanent teaching job the next school year. Things were busy, finances were tough and packaged food was REALLY cheap, especially if you used coupons. I thought things were great. I loved teaching, but I was having issues with depression and fatigue and I had started to gain a lot of weight. After my first child, I banished fat from the house and by the next year I had hit over 320 lbs. Before I had the baby, I wasn’t thin, but I was about 175 after my first child, about 25 pounds more than my pre-pregnancy weight (which was really upsetting to me at the time) which means I had almost doubled in weight since then, which was really horrifying to me because when I was only 22 -( just 6 short years earlier) I was thin and athletic – I could run a 2 mile distance in a little less than 13 1/2 minutes, I only had 17% body fat – (You know it was a big deal if I knew that) so this was a BIG deal.

Even before that, after I had my first child I had tried to continue with my fitness routines, ramping it up to swimming 40 laps 3x a week, running 2 miles daily, weight training 2x a week and doing aerobics 3x a week, but in spite of that, I was slowly and steadily gaining, until I was so physically exhausted that I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was also having miscarriages – one when my husband and I had been married about 3 months, another when my oldest was about a year old, and another a month or so before I found that I was pregnant with my second.

Halfway into my second year teaching I was in the doctors office – I never felt rested, I was extremely overweight, had stopped menstruating, and guessed that maybe I had a thyroid problem, so I requested the tests. When the results came back, I was told that I was fine. I asked if maybe the results were borderline, and I was told there is no borderline with thyroid your either fine or you aren’t, and I was FINE. Go home and get off your lazy but and lose some weight and all of your problems will go away. Not in those exact words, but I was so upset by the condescending way that he spoke to me that I never went back, and I never looked for another doctor.

I tried to eat better by following the USDA advice and following the food pyramid even more closely, cutting out all fat, being sparing with the meat, and ramping up on carbs. I developed sugar cravings and had dry brittle nails and itchy skin. My hair was shedding so badly that it was in the vacuum, plugging the shower, and it was in the laundry and all over the carpet through the whole house (because the vacuum wouldn’t pick it all up – I had to sweep the carpets and would pick up a giant ball of hair every time I did.)By the time my son was 3 I was having hot flashes and night sweats like a menopausal woman. I was only 31. I had given up on the idea of having any more children, and I felt so sick and tired that I would wish that I could die rather than drag myself through the rest of my life feeling the way I did then. I never acted on that feeling because I had two small children who needed me. I quit teaching in 2001, and concentrated what energy I had on basic survival, which with kids in the summertime means a trip to the library at least once every other week.

And that is where it all started to change. I found a book in the library discard pile that got me thinking. It was “Calories Don’t Count,” by Herman Taller. I had been considering getting a food scale and diving into the world of calorie counting, which I had always refused to do, because I have always believed that eating should be an enjoyable, natural part of life -like breathing. Counting calories in my opinion was the equivalent of counting breaths. It was unnatural. So I paid the librarian 25¢ and took the book home and read it. For the most part, it wasn’t even about dieting, but discussed in basic terms the physiology of fat and why our bodies need it. It seems silly to me now, but at the time, it was an eye opening read – I remember thinking it was nuts, and then question forcefully came into my mind “what if everything that you have previously thought and been taught about nutrition is completely WRONG?”

Taller had briefly mentioned some low-fat experiments with rats that he had done, and some research by Dr. Weston A. Price, having to do with dietary fat that really fascinated me. It really hit home because I was having all of the symptoms that the rats in his study had, and after researching Dr. Weston Price online, I realized that I was doing this to myself with my FOOD. It seems so obvious now, and I have always made an effort to be healthy, but how processed pasta 6 nights a week fits into that picture, I still can’t figure out. Luckily being a farm girl, I had the know how to cook real food, so I started doing it. Adding fat back in was weird – I remember choking down the grease in my hamburger which I had been rinsing off with hot water through a colander. I started feeling better. Over the next year, I went from 385 pounds to about 215. I changed out all processed flour for whole wheat flour and started making my own pancake mix. We switched from regular table salt to sea salt. We got rid of the sugar. We bought a freezer and dumped canned foods. With every change I began to feel a little more normal, but I was still infertile. I started looking for a source of raw milk – I was not trying to get pregnant at this point; after 5 years I had pretty much given up on having any more children.

I spent time calling every dairy in Utah, I even called the Utah State Department of Agriculture – all of who told me that it was illegal and dangerous.  I drove around in the countryside looking for milk cows and even got up the nerve to knock on a couple of doors to inquire about Bessy out in the field. I finally was directed (hush hush) by a goatherd to a ‘gray market’ operation, where I would go in and pick up milk at night and put my money in a box. I noticed for the first time in years that my strength was coming back, and my muscle tone was firming up. I got kefir grains and started drinking a quart of kefir every day. I had been having terrible trouble with candida and would get open weeping sores in the folds of my skin that were really painful, but after just one quart of kefir, they were noticeably improved. After a few weeks they were gone. When I started adding flax seed oil to my kefir, within two weeks, I found out that I WAS PREGNANT!  The pregnancy went without a hitch and I didn’t gain an above normal amount of weight. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within a few weeks after the baby was born.

Things still were not (and are not) perfect – for example, the thing with the colds and later came pneumonia that spurred me farther along the path to more complete healing. But now I have 4 children, and feel that my family is complete. They are healthy and smart and beautiful. So what more could I ask for? Healing with food is real – not just in a potato poultice, but in real whole food that you EAT every day. After all, as Hippocrates once said: “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”

Gum + Kids Doesn’t Have to = Disaster

I had a moment of panic today when my husband came home with my 5 year old in the middle of church with gum all over his clothes AND all over her brand new Christmas dress. Ok, maybe the word panic is a bit strong, but I was mad, because I had told my kids ‘NO MORE GUM!’ after my 7 year old spit out gum at church a few weeks ago and got it all over one of the  upholstered folding chairs in the overflow. I was fortunate at the time – or should I say I was blessed – to be able to get it all off.

This worked for a while, but today while I was home sick, my 13 year old

gave Bee a piece of gum again during the sacrament meeting. The result was gum all over a brand new dress, my husbands pants, and a fairly new white church shirt. The total of which to replace all of these would have been close to $100 dollars. For some people, that isn’t much, but for us that is a lot of money. Sure, I bought those clothes on sale, and I didn’t pay nearly that much, BUT those sales are not going on right now, and not having those clothes available for use would definitely be felt.

So, I went online and looked for ways to get gum off of clothes. Gasoline, Goo Gone, nail polish remover, and lighter fluid were not things I keep on hand, and besides I hesitate to use them on clothes since they are highly toxic and could possibly destroy the clothes anyway. One suggestion was to heat apple cider vinegar and then dip the gum in it and use a toothbrush to brush it off. What the heck! It was worth a shot.

The results were FANTASTIC! I LOVE apple cider vinegar. Now I LOVE it even more!

To remove gum from clothes, heat the apple cider vinegar, dip the cloth with the gum on it into the hot vinegar, and then brush it gently with a toothbrush. The gum sticks to the toothbrush, which will be ruined afterward, so use an old toothbrush that you are going to toss out anyway.  Also, the gum loosens from the cloth and can be picked off, or you can pick off a bigger piece of gum and dab it on the other gum bits and they will stick to the gum in your hand and leave the fabric unscathed.

So, that is my derailed disaster of the day 🙂 and I hope this story helps someone else avoid the unnecessary cost of replacing gummed up clothing.