Earthing or Grounding for Greater Health

Earthing-&-Grounding

 

Have you heard of Earthing or Grounding?  Do you know what it is?

It is simply the act of walking barefoot on the ground, or lying/sleeping on the ground, gardening with your bare hands or feet in the earth; allowing your body to reconnect with the earth’s natural healing energies and rhythms.

Although it is a very simple and natural thing to do, there are actually many health benefits associated with this. I think we all know about walking barefoot on the dewy grass or riverbank or sea side to reduce or ‘earth out’ any build up of static electricity in our bodies. But now there have been a number of scientific studies done that show Earthing can help relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, relieve stress, enhance well-being and much, much more.

Ancient cultures knew about the earths powerful energy and natural rhythmic pulses that keep life running in a rhythm and balance that maintains homeostasis, which is essential to all life, and naturally incorporated them in their everyday lives. But our disconnection from the Earth and Nature has, until recently, meant that Earthing or Grounding ourselves has virtually been overlooked as having any positive impact on our health or well-being, by our modern culture.

During Earthing, negatively-charged electrons transfer from the earth’s surface into our bodies where they neutralize positively-charged destructive free radicals, and also releases any build-up of static energy in the body. These electrons are the most powerful antioxidants known. By scavenging and neutralizing free radicals in the body, antioxidants help to ease inflammation and cell or tissue damage. Earthing also enhances our mood by relieving physical or emotional stress.

So take off your shoes whenever and where ever you can, get your hands and feet back in the earth as often as you can when you’re outdoors, and take advantage of the natural health benefits of Grounding yourself.

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Are Your Food Choices Affecting Your Mood?

Food & Mood

 

Did You Know – Food has a powerful influence over mood, both to your advantage and disadvantage.

 

Your food can assist you to become more happy and healthy, or your food can undermine your health and well-being, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Food used to be something we ate to give strength and vitality to our bodies, to heal us when we were sick and to satisfy an appetite after doing meaningful work. Now food is produced for profit and instead of being eaten when we are physically hungry, food is now consumed to satisfy artificial cravings. We eat, but we are rarely satisfied, only full.

Food changes chemicals in the body and brain, affecting mood and behavior. It is impossible to be contented and emotionally stable while poisoning your body and brain with artificial and adulterated ‘food’. Present day research and experience are proving without a doubt that there is a connection between what we eat and how we think, feel and behave. Improving your physical diet can reduce stress levels, anger and anxiety.

Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, eggs, lean meat and oily fish, for instance, is associated with a reduction in mood swings, depression and anxiety. Eating these foods can help maintain a steady blood-sugar level, which also helps to stabilize mood. Your mood also affects the foods you choose.

People in a negative frame of mind are more likely to choose sugary, fatty, processed and salty indulgence or comfort foods, rather than Life Enhancing ones. Sugar leads to fluctuations in blood sugar, which can bring on mood swings and the Sugar Blues. Sugar, though sometimes a short term fix, encourages poor mental and emotional health. Sugar, carbohydrate and processed food consumption also triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that promote chronic inflammation. In the long term, inflammation disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system and wreaks havoc on your brain, and mood.

A high-quality source of protein – like organic eggs, sardines or a handful of almonds (preferably presoaked to unlock the enzyme inhibitors)– helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady for enhanced energy and mood.

Brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine) influence the way we think, feel and behave. They can be affected by what we’ve eaten. We are becoming more and more aware of the Gut/Brain connection and know that eating traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foods are the best route to optimal digestive health.
Bananas contain dopamine, a natural reward chemical that boosts your mood.

Magnesium, found in pumpkin seeds, almonds and leafy greens, is a calming mineral that gets depleted when we’re stressed.

Leafy greens, legumes, nuts and eggs: These types of foods are packed with vitamin B, which helps to create neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which calms and reduces anxiety.

Caffeine, found in tea, coffee, cola drinks and chocolate, is probably the most widely used behaviour-modifying drug in the world. We often choose to drink it if we are feeling tired and irritable, because it can give us a boost and help us to concentrate.

My main philosophy about what to eat and what to avoid is quite simple. If man has created, enhanced or adulterated a food in any way, then I greatly reduce my consumption of these foods or avoid them altogether. The chances are the molecular structure of the original food has changed due to high heat, forced pressure or some other unnatural process or procedure so our bodies no longer recognizes it as food. This is how some food allergies are created. I prefer to eat foods created by nature, as nature intended.

And last but by no means least is Water. Dehydration can contribute to poor concentration, low energy, and poor mood, so try to drink plenty of water every day and stay hydrated.

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Let Food be thy Medicine

Let-Food-be-thy-MedicineFor thousands of years people were aware of the healing qualities of the foods around them. That is until the last 100 years, where food production has been taken over, hijacked by the ‘Food for Profits’ industries.

Food that is artificially grown, harvested too early, stored too long and heavily sprayed with dubious products has a much harder time sharing any health giving qualities than a fresh, naturally gown, and unadulterated food.

The following are some everyday foods and some of the healing powers they can contribute to our health and well-being.

Apples
There is truth behind the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Lowers blood pressure
• Stabilizes blood sugar
• Dampens appetite
• Juice kills infectious viruses
• Prevents constipation
• Prevents tooth decay
• Helps diarrhea

Bananas
Bananas were first grown in India 4000 years ago, where they were known to help heal peptic and duodenal ulcers, as well as gastritis.

• Prevents and heals ulcers
• Lowers blood pressure
• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Helps alleviate PMS

Blue Berries
Scientists have found that Blueberries are full of anthocyanosides, which kill E-coli bacteria.

• Cures diarrhea
• Kills infectious viruses
• Helps lower blood cholesterol
• Improves blood pressure
• Helps with weight control
• Blocks damage to blood vessels

Broccoli & Cauliflower
The crucifer family of vegetables are known for their cancer fighting properties, ie indoles, dithiolthiones, carotenoids & glucosinolates.

• Lowers risk of cancer
• Protects against anemia and gum disease
• Helps maintain strong bones and teeth

Cabbage
Cabbage has been used to treat scurvy, gout, rheumatism, gangrene, asthma, tuberculosis, eye and gum disease, ulcers and cancer. It also helps purify the blood and is a great tonic especially when made into sauerkraut with the added bonus of enzymes and probiotics.

• Lowers risk of cancer, especially of the colon
• Prevents and heals ulcers ( especially the juice)
• Stimulates the immune system
• Helps kill bacteria and viruses

Onion
Onion has been used as a healing remedy for thousands of years. One of nature’s miracle healing foods, used for the heart, as a diuretic, blood pressure reducer, heart tonic . . .

• Lowers cholesterol
• Thins the blood and slows down blood clotting
• Controls blood sugar
• Destroys bacteria
• Clears bronchial congestion
• Blocks cancer

Garlic
Known around the world for its health giving healing properties garlic has been used to treat headaches, hypertension, rheumatism, asthma, hemorrhoids, ulcers, tumors, typhus, cholera, yeast infection, whooping cough, stings or bites, through the centuries.

• Fights infection
• Contains cancer preventative chemicals
• Thins the blood
• Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol
• Stimulates the immune system
• Prevents and relieves chronic bronchitis
• Acts as an expectorant and decongestant

Ginger

Read the post about the Therapeutic uses for Ginger here.

• Soothe digestive disturbances
• Alleviate nausea (great in early pregnancy)
• Prevents motion sickness
• Reduce fever
• Thins the blood
• Calm coughing and respiratory troubles
• Stimulates the circulatory system
• Helps relieve muscle aches and pain
• Can help get rid of dandruff
• Emerging evidence shows it helps lower cholesterol
• Japanese research has found Ginger is effective in lowering blood pressure and cancer risk”

Honey
Honey is another food that was used extensively in ancient medicine and scientists today confirm its amazing antibiotic abilities, which is why I put it in some of my First Aid Creams.

• Kills bacteria and disinfects wounds and sores
• Relieves diarrhea
• Sooths sore throats
• Calms the nerves, induces sleep
• Alleviates asthma

Oats
I have used oat milk baths to soothe nappy rash, eczema or any other sore or itchy rash or redness. I also put it in some of my First Aid Creams for its age old soothing and healing properties.

• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Regulates blood sugar
• Acts as a laxative
• Soothes contact dermatitis and eczema
• Helps promote weight loss
• Helps prevent cancer

Used mindfully, Food really can be our Medicine!

Source: Natures Healing Foods by Karen Davis

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Gratitude v’s Over Consuming

ContentmentDiscontent opens us to many unhealthy and unhelpful habits in our lives. Our culture encourages discontent through marketing/adverising, competition, education systems, hierarchy etc. Advertisers foster this sense of dissatisfaction and discontent, promising greater satisfaction with whatever it is they are marketing.

Discontent creates a feeling of insufficiency and emptiness within us that needs satisfying and filling up. Wanting more, more, more, better, different; we look to ‘stuff’ to fill us up. Over consuming resources is a result.

But it’s not the conditions of our lives that make us unhappy and discontent, but our choice of thoughts about it, our attitude and behaviors. When we are discontented and unhappy, we are focused on all that isn’t right, all that is missing, all that needs to be Better for us to experience contentment and happiness. We are predominantly focused on the seeming lacks and things that aren’t good enough or right enough in ourselves and our lives.

Gratitude is the path to contentment.

Gratitude is an Attitude. An attitude of gratitude is the best attitude to have. It has little to do with circumstances.

Gratitude is the feeling and expression of thankfulness. While being grateful, our attention is on what we already have and helps us appreciate them more. It reminds us of all the good things already in our lives, no matter how small they may at first appear. And at the same time our attention is away from the idea of things not being good enough, right enough, just not enough! or missing in ourselves and our lives.

Gratitude Turns What we Have into Enough.

Gratitude has the power to turn a negative into a positive, a problem into an opportunity, or a lack into an asset. By finding a way to be thankful for our troubles, they can become our blessings. We are reminded that every cloud has a silver lining. And that the sun never stops shining, it just hides behind the clouds for a while, so we can appreciate it even more when the cloud has moved on.

There is always something to be grateful for, even if it is only the fact that there is air to breathe. Gratitude reminds us what’s important. The simple act of saying “thank you” can help create happiness and contentment in the giver and the receiver.

Gratitude costs little and gives much. Think of all the things, experiences and people you’re thankful for, and thank them silently. The more you practice this, the more you will find to be grateful for. Practice telling yourself positive, empowering things about what you are doing and who you are. The change in how you feel and your life will amaze you!

If you find yourself unhappy and discontented with someone or something, Stop, take a slow deep breath or three, gently turn the corners of your mouth up, soften your gaze and relax. Just Breathe and Smile for awhile. When you take the time to breathe, and smile, it can change how you feel and your outlook on life. Try it and feel the difference.

Grateful People are Happier, more Content People.

Grateful people consistently report increased feelings of well-being, better health, naturally healthier lifestyles, increased optimism, and a more positive outlook on life.

And that being the case, maybe Gratitude is the only thing we really need more of.

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Some Basics for Chemical Free Cleaning

Chemical-Free-CleaningThe chemical revolution didn’t start in earnest until after world war II.  That is only 68 years ago, less than a lifetime, but  every body alive today carries the burden of these chemicals. Chemicals are now reaching us before we’re even born, with researchers finding a plethora of contaminants in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies. There seems to be no escaping it.

The effects on health and environment of these chemicals has  undergone little or no testing and certainly not in the area of collective and accumulative effects of chemical toxicity.

Did you know that literally thousands of chemicals are allowed in your cleaning products?  The chlorine routinely used as a disinfectant in municipal water systems, is toxic, even at low concentrations.

Using typical household ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice for cleaning, is a good place to start lessening this chemical load, and save money at the same time.

Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a commonly available mineral made from soda ash, and is slightly alkaline with a pH of about 8.3 – 7 being neutral. It neutralizes acid-based odors and will eliminate perspiration and many other odors.  Sprinkled on a damp sponge or cloth, or a simple paste of baking soda and water applied to sponge or cloth, it is used as a gentle non-abrasive cleanser to clean bench-tops, tiles, stove-top, bath, sink, inside fridge and much more and replaces a range of commercial cleaners.

I have written about the many uses of Baking Soda here Baking Soda for a Natural Clean  and here Baking Soda for a Natural Clean 2  and here Baking Soda for Personal Care

Washing Soda (sodium carbonate) can be made by heating a 1/2″ layer of baking soda in a glass baking dish in a 200 o C or 400 o F oven for about 30 minutes. It changes the molecular structure from NaHCO3 to Na2CO3. To test for change place a small amount of baking soda in a small bowl and a small amount of washing soda in a separate bowl. Put a few drops of lemon juice on each. The baking soda will fizz, but the washing soda will foam and turn bright yellow. Be careful handling the washing soda, and don’t taste it, it is highly alkaline, therefore caustic, with a pH around 11. It releases no harmful fumes and is far safer than a commercial solvent formula. Washing soda cuts through grease, disinfects, softens water and neutralizes odors. You may, like myself, find it easier to purchase your washing soda at the supermarket.               Caution – Don’t use it on fiberglass, aluminum or waxed floors—unless you intend to remove the wax.

Both Baking Soda and Washing Soda are in My Natural Homemade Laundry Powder Recipe. 

Soaps  and detergents are not the same. Soap is made using fat/oil and lye, while detergents are chemically based synthetic cleaners.

White Vinegar (acetic acid, pH about 2.3) and Lemon Juice (citric acid, pH about 2) are acidic—they neutralize alkaline substances such as scale from hard water. White vinegar kills mildew and removes grease build up. It is also great for cleaning glass and mirrors. Lemon juice is one of the strongest food-acids. Use it to kill virtually any household bacteria in kitchens and bathrooms.

I add lemon skins to my bottle of white vinegar, and let them steep, to increase the cleaning effect of the vinegar – and the fragrance. They work really well together.

Here are some other uses for vinegar: Vinegar for a Natural Clean and More Uses for Vinegar

Mould is being called “the asbestos of a new generation”. Buildings today are much more ‘air tight’ than they were, helping to create ideal conditions for mould to flourish.

Mould is toxic, and dangerous. Growing research into mould has found its impact on health is so much more than just triggering asthma attacks, respiratory irritation, runny noses and allergic reactions.

Bleach merely bleaches mould so you can’t see it, but it doesn’t kill the root system and the mould will grow back.

Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82% of mould. The mould feeds off the vinegar to the extent where the cells actually burst. Add to this the strong fungicide action of clove or tea tree oil and you have a safe but powerful eliminator of mould.

Prepare a solution of white vinegar with clove oil or tea tree oil (approx. 1 teaspoon of oil to 1 litre of vinegar). Wear protective clothing, such as rubber gloves and apply the solution to the mouldy area gently with a sponge or mop. Spraying is not advised as it can cause spores to become airborne and spread to other locations. Allow the vinegar solution to stay in contact with the surface for at least 15 minutes or more. Ensure the treated area dries out as moulds will regrow if the surface remains damp.

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My Chickweed Pesto Recipe

Chickweed1

 

Enjoy the amazing health benefits of this ‘Superfood’, while eating some of your favorite foods. I think of Chickweed as a natural, super nutritious, tasty lettuce or as delicate, mild-tasting spinach. It also makes really delicious pesto. This is a plant, like fresh peas, where it is hard to walk past without picking some to munch on.

Remember it is OK to be versatile and diversify in the kitchen.

I am a person who tends to substitute and cook with what I have in the cupboard at the time. Being versatile in the kitchen can lead to better economy in the kitchen. Plus, versatility and diversity are the spice of life and the kitchen!

Practically any seed or nut can be used in your pesto (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seed (pepitas), pinenuts, cashew nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds). Whichever one or blend of them you choose to use, they will impart their own distinct character and flavor to the pesto. Experiment and see which nuts and seeds suit your budget and palate best.

I often like to substitute a ¼ of a cup to one cup of the Chickweed for some other herb such as Thai Basil, Mint, Plantain, Sweet Basil or any other kind of Basil. Or anything else that is in plentiful supply. My favourite is Thai Basil.

Soak the seeds or nuts in water for a few hours before use, to release the enzyme inhibitors and to increase their creaminess in your pesto.

 

Harvest-Chickweed

Harvested Chickweed

My Chickweed Pesto Recipe

2 cloves of Garlic
3 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
¼ tsp. salt with a little freshly ground black pepper added
2 cups chopped fresh Chickweed, or 11/2 cups of Chickweed and half a cup of Thai Basil and a few Plantain leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Parmesan or other Hard Cheese
Squeeze of Lime or Lemon juice (approx. 2 teaspoons or to taste)

To make:

Pound garlic and salt in a mortar.

Gradually add the nuts, then the greens and continue to pound.

Gradually add oil, until you have a smooth, thick paste, at your desired consistency.

I often like my pesto quite chunky and course, and not too soft, so I don’t pound it as long as you would for a smoother, softer pesto.

Stir in cheese.

Chickweed-Pesto

Alternatively, use a blender or small food processor for all the ingredients except the parmesan cheese, which you still stir in at the end.

And that is all there is to it!

Pesto-Display

Now you can Enjoy your Wonderfully Wild Homemade Chickweed Pesto on crackers, vegetable sticks or mixed in pasta. It also makes a great sandwich spread, or on pizzas, fish, meat or potatoes, or stuffed mushrooms. . . . . .

It’s so delicious, versatile and filled with amazing nutritional value as well.

This is a great example of Food as Medicine.

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7 Amazingly Simple Reminders for Happiness

Happy-Day

Artwork by Lillie

I came across these 7 amazingly simple reminders for having a happier day and thought I would share them with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

1. Say “No” to negativity. Negative emotions such as anger, frustration, envy, blame and impatience are normal in small doses. You can and will experience these emotions, but give yourself a time limit to stay in them.

2. Laugh out Loud. Open your clown chakra, by taking a deep breath and belly-laughing for two whole minutes straight. Laughter empowers you in hopeless situations, and gives you a sense of control when things around you seem to go crazy. If you can laugh at your situations you can survive them much more easily and comfortable. Don’t take Life or yourself too seriously.

3. Perform Random Acts of Kindness. Sharing abundance and goodwill makes people happy and gives you a warm feeling of satisfaction.

4. Give Your Inner Critic a Tea Break. Accept and give compliments rather than criticism and complaints.

5. Practice Shameless Affirmations. An affirmation is a short statement (present tense) of how you would like to be or how you would like things to be now. Make it a habit to repeat the affirmation quietly to yourself and out loud, as  often as you can remember. When your psyche hears, over and over again, how valuable you are as a person and how good your life is, you will start to believe it.

6. Choose how you respond to people and situations. You can either hide under the rock of denial and lash out and blame others, or you can behave with dignity, courage and humour. Know that you have the power to choose the image of a happy and confident person.

7. Dress for Success. A smile is the first thing someone notices about you. So remember to dress yourself in a smile.

 

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