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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Losing Weight with Bentonite Clay?

I've lost thirteen pounds in the last four to five weeks, plus am sleeping better this week, don't seem to have sugar cravings (and I'm addicted to sweets, so this is a biggie) and have no clue why I'm so blessed with improved health. Therefore, I'm racking my brain to pinpoint the cause so I can continue the effect. On purpose.

The only things that I've changed have been drinking less coffee (OMG, never thought I'd ever say that). Instead I'm drinking a ton of Tradewinds flavored unsweetened black teas and now homemade (unsweetened) green tea. I recently incorporated a homemade remineralizing toothpaste I found on the Net (recipe here: http://thepaleomama.com/2013/12/diy-remineralizing-toothpaste/). Oh, yeah. I'm also using helichrysum essential oil in my antiaging skin lotion (somewhat daily), as it is supposed to help dry skin, get rid of liver spots and be good for overall liver health.

The particular homemade toothpaste I chose uses bentonite clay. A quick Internet search did find hits for weight loss associated with bentonite clay as well as food grade diatomaceous earth. But the toothpaste is spit out, while the diatomaceous earth is dissolved in water or juice and to be consumed. Thus the "food grade" preference.

But I'm not swallowing my homemade toothpaste. Yet, if I brush for two minutes, I guess my mouth will absorb some of that through sublingual administration, right?

Anyway I also recently read a couple informative books by Dr. Sandra Cabot on liver health: The Liver Cleansing Diet and Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It. I learned several things reading both, but the few that stand out the most are this:

  1. The liver is the only fat-flushing organ in our body.
  2. The liver is like the trash man. If no one comes to cart off your trash, diseases abound. So a damaged liver isn't capable of doing its job fully and opens us up to ill health (and weight gain or the inability to lose it).
  3. If you treat the body through the skin (like stop-smoking patches and hormonal creams), you actually bypass the liver, so you let it focus on other things.
  4. Fatty liver can, of course, be caused by too much drinking, but fatty liver can also be caused by too much sugar. Wow.
Dr. Cabot states that, if we focus on detoxing the liver, giving it a few weeks to purge itself of the fat-trapped toxins in that organ so it can then do its job better, afterward the weight will come off (or weight gain will ensue, as your particular body needs).

So maybe that's what I did with my half-gallon-a-day tea habit and my homemade toothpaste and adding helichrysum essential oil to my beauty ritual (such as it is)?

I am not following Dr. Cabot's eight-week program but am incorporating more liver-friendly foods, hopefully each day. And I'm not able to do organic either. That's why I'm surprised by the weight loss, because I really haven't done anything drastic with my eating habits.

The only exercise I get is cleaning the house and mowing the lawn.

Has anybody else found this link between bentonite clay (and/or helichrysum) and weight loss to be true? Don't tell me it's because I gave up coffee ... please! Ha! Although, after finding the Bulletproof coffee recipe earlier this year, I was drinking far less coffee a day anyway. But now I actually don't have coffee daily. That may change when winter sets in. Still, it's something to consider.

FYI: I'm not affiliated with any of the particular products noted herein and am not otherwise being paid to advertise them. I just list them here as something I've used which may (or may not) be the current cause of my weight loss.

"If your vocation isn’t a vacation, then quit, leap, change careers."

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you give someone a book, you don’t give him just paper, ink, and glue.  You give him the possibility of a whole new life. Christopher Morley
The best inheritance you can leave your kids is an example of how to live a full and meaningful life. Dan Zadra

Thursday, September 24, 2015

My 15 Healthy Food Tips for Broke People, Like Me

I read several health-related blogs/newsletters and totally understand that organic is the better way to go in the States, what with our comparatively lax standards here as compared to Europe, plus our depleted soils. But some of the people writing those blogs/newsletters, touting how going organic now should be viewed "in the long term" or for "just $5 a month ..." don't have a clue what it's like to be broke.

So, "long term" means leaving my $4.98 just sitting in my bank account, right? Not spending it? Got it.

Conversely, that "just $5 a month" in my world is not "just." It's my "only." Or, in the current matter of my $4.98 in my bank account, I find I'm two cents short. Such is my life. Usually it doesn't bother me, as I know another project will pop in my queue shortly. You've got to be able to roll with the punches when you work freelance.

But when I get to the point of $4.98 (or less) in my bank account while in a slow period and then read one-too-many emails pushing organic as the only healthy option, with the writers of those blogs/newsletters seemingly having no concept of people out there who do not have the money those blog writers obviously do ... Well, I hope I'm never like that when I'm monetarily rich. And from where I sit, there are many, many "rich" people when compared to me.

Yes, I understand how thinking long term is better than short term, whether speaking about relationships or finances. But when it comes to putting that theory into practice, I'd love to hear how to stretch an annual but varying shortfall overnight, not long term. Yes, I've gotten day jobs before and may have to again. Yes, I've worked three jobs simultaneously many times in my life and may have to again. Yes, I've cut my budget to what it takes to keep my house basically running (cheaper than the Dallas apartment I had over fifteen years ago!), plus that extravagant catchall expense of "food," which includes toilet tissue and dishwashing detergent and lightbulbs, as needed. I'm no slacker.

But I am a freelancer. I have unplanned slow periods, where I need a "day" job for a couple weeks or three months to tide me over, and then my 234 hours of work some months kick in (my hours are a reflection of the perfectionist I'm trying to be and have nothing to do with my income, as my main client pays me by the project, not by the time I invest in each project). Even my slow months in this profession are not always consistently slow from year to year. If you know any day-job employers seeking such off-again/on-again temporary employees, let me know.

Don't get me wrong. I love working for myself, even though I've never in my lifetime been so broke for so long (eight years and counting). Still I don't understand how few people truly understand "being broke." Surely most people have had a moment or two being broke, especially in this economy. If their memories fail them, can't they imagine what would happen if their four-figure (and beyond) paycheck was cut to three figures, sometimes two? And its payment was erratic to boot?


I'm no food expert, just a layperson with a lust for knowledge about many topics, including cooking and health. I'm just another gal in the trenches with you. So decide for yourself which of these items in my list below will work for you:

1. Don't stress about it. The last thing you need is another stressor on top of being money-challenged. Watch the documentary, Fat Head, where Tom Naughton loses weight and improves his health (per blood tests) while eating at fast-food chains (which are not touted as organic food havens, as far as I know). As of this writing, you can watch it for free on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=fat+head+documentary. So there's hope for us to be somewhat healthy, even while not eating organic. And I'm not proposing eating mostly at drive-through establishments either, to be clear. In fact, with my budget, grabbing a meal to-go from the golden arches is considered "eating out" and is a rare "treat," in that I didn't have to prepare and cook it myself.
2. Eat whole foods. I believe that an intact apple contains a vital synergy of components, far exceeding whatever's in some mass-produced apple juice or jam/jelly on a shelf. 
3. Wash or soak your produce as needed. I happen to prefer a 50:50 mix of apple cider vinegar and water rather than to use white vinegar. In my mind, the white version is for household cleaning, not ingesting. 
4. Eat more beans, eggs, seafood. Did you know canned seafood (tuna, salmon) is most likely wild caught (or "organic," if you will). Who knew? 
5. If you eat cured bacon and cannot afford the uncured bacon price tag much less pure organic bacon, then eat citrus fruit with your bacon. I read somewhere the citrus will counteract the nitrates/nitrites. I keep a bag of cuties (clementines, etc.) in my fridge, whenever I can. They last a long time too, not going bad before the last one is eaten. NOTE: Add those washed citrus peels to your water and/or your tea for the day. It's amazing how they highly flavor your drink without squeezing, zesting.
6. Homemade is better than prepackaged, store-bought foods. If you are going to eat brownies, make them from scratch at home. That way you can avoid the high fructose corn syrup, the GMOs, the MSG, and whatever else lurks in our foods under the generic term natural flavorings.
7. Lessen the toxins you put in your body by sheer avoidance (like that aisle with all the cookies and candies down it, plus the soft drink lane). Eat fresh fruit for dessert instead and brew your own green tea at home. Even if sweetened, make it with Stevia or honey or a mix of both. 
8. Pick your poison. If you use cream or half-and-half in your coffee daily, but only eat beef three times a month, then I'd suggest you spend any of your dollars set aside for organic foods on purchasing those day-to-day routine items. 
9. Do the best you can with what you've got. Be happy. Be thankful. Pray over your food before eating it, as Dr. Christiane Northrup said in one PBS show from long ago. 
10. If a blog, newsletter does not qualify "if you can't afford to buy organic, don't," then maybe we should just unsubscribe from them. Remember that verse from the Bible about it's better to eat a dinner of herbs in peace than a fatted calf with strife? I just unsubscribed to two blogs/newsletters. Feel calmer already.
11. Stop microwaving. I did, some ten years or so ago. I'm afraid we'll learn that, in the long run, bad side effects are associated with this practice. I hope I'm wrong. 
12. Do some research on your own. Remember the source of your food can make a difference, both good and bad, so read up. Make notes. Plus determine what the first number(s) in bar codes mean as to the country of origin, in case you can't find it otherwise printed on your food packaging. Make a naughty and nice list for your grocery shopping trips. 
13. Be sure to check out ewg.org for their continually updated dirty dozen and clean foods list. 
14. Be more frugal, like our grandparents. Don't throw anything away without considering how it could still be useful. About to toss that hard-as-a-rock bread? The French make salads and soups with it. If it's too far gone for human consumption, toss it outside to feed the birds and the squirrels. You can still be a giver, even when broke. 
15. One more thing. "Rich" is not just about money. It is about quality of life. It is about happiness. Love. Making the world a better place. Fulfilling your purpose here. Keep that in mind too. So while I am rich in a lot of areas, I just happen to be broke as far as dollars go.

These items are a gross overview of course. For all our advanced learning in this the twenty-first century, I read somewhere how we still don't know 80% of the makeup of our unadulterated foods. So, keep on studying. Carry out your due diligence.

Hope this helps you on your road to better health.

"If your vocation isn’t a vacation, then quit, leap, change careers."

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you give someone a book, you don’t give him just paper, ink, and glue.  You give him the possibility of a whole new life. Christopher Morley
The best inheritance you can leave your kids is an example of how to live a full and meaningful life. Dan Zadra

Friday, September 4, 2015

Happy Labor Day!

Yes, we should celebrate having "labor" or a satisfying career that pays the bills. Beats unemployment. And to have a three-day weekend isn't bad either. So go forth and enjoy, both your career and your time off.

Denise Barker