Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Central-Market-Whey-Protein-242x187I have known for many years that I feel positively better when I include protein in each meal, but my focus on breakfast was eggs, meat, or cheese.

I have discovered a new personal favorite, a smoothie to start my day.

These smoothies do not spike my blood sugar, and even though I drink them between 7:00 – 7:30 a.m., I do not feel hungry as the morning progresses. My energy level is sustained for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. By then, it is time for lunch.

I start my smoothie mix with non-fat milk, about 7 ounces. I add slightly less than one scoop of Central Market whey powder, and then I add fresh (that I freeze myself) fruit.

My personal favorite smoothie fruits are granny smith apples (with a touch of lemon juice as a nature preservative), several slices of peaches, and about 1/8 cup (or less) of blueberries or blackberries.

This equates to a low-fat, easy to digest protein packed blend, with nutrition that rapidly goes into the bloodstream.

What have you found that sustains you throughout your morning or afternoon?

If you drink smoothies, what recipe do you enjoy?

Have you tried peanut butter and cocoa? I’ve not gone that route yet. Would love to hear if you have!

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wild rose hips

Wild Rose Hips

While admiring the berries and fruits I found along the wooded paths during my most recent walk, I also noticed wild rose hips. We are abundant in wild roses in our area. Overlooking the fact that the long stemmed bushes are full of small thorns, which stick to a person’s clothes and legs – ouch, I enjoy their beauty and scent throughout the warmer seasons. I had nearly forgotten the amazing health benefits of  rose hips.

Benefits and uses:

  • high in vitamin C – more than the citrus groups
  • rich in bioflavanoids, pectin, Vitamin E, selenium, manganese, and the B-complex vitamins, trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon
  • use in jelly, syrup, wine or tea

Rose hips ripen after the first frost – hence their bright color this season (we’ve had several frosts).

I am gathering the beauties for rose hip tea, and to add to herbal teas that I already have in the pantry. The health benefits are outstanding.

Nature is to be treasured!

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The Best Day Ever

With the mindset of Seeing Life With Imagination, a blog post I published a few days ago (with a focus on seeing through the eyes of a child), I saw this beautiful stray violet this morning.

The violet popped up alone, right below the utility trailer where I store the hay for the goats, in a patch of dirt that we recently worked – hoping to sow and grow some lush green grass.

What did I see in the tiny violet? Hope.  Beauty.  A promise that even though we may feel tired, alone, overwhelmed, and even discouraged, the small things in life are wonderous.  We need to pay attention.

My remarkable coach and friend, Donna Maria Coles Johnson from the Indie Beauty Network, said the words yesterday (and it isn’t the first time I’ve heard her say it), “Today is the best day ever!” Donna Maria sees the violets.  She sees life with gusto.

The best day ever.  Be the violet.  Make your world happen despite anything else in life.  Are you there with me?

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – where you can Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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Natural is good, to a degree.  I like natural.

My husband recently developed hives and then his arms and legs began to swell.   He downed antihistamines for a few days before we sat down with a calendar and tracked the start of the itching to one particular week.  That week he went to the dentist and was prescribed antibiotics.  A few days later he quit taking the pills, blaming them for the developing welps.  A new truck also came into play.  I was the one allergic to the truck (sneezing, stuffed nose, etc…).  And then we also remembered that we had switched to hand-made natural laundry soap that very same week.  Bingo.

The natural laundry-soap helped me with my sensitivities to certain fragrances, but it certainly did not help my husband with his skin.  Once we realized the laundry soap was the culprit I immediately re-washed every fabric that he comes into contact with, and just like that, at a snap of a finger, his arms and legs quit swelling.

There is a reason we have conveniences.  There is a reason some products are commercially made.  And sometimes natural isn’t the best, not for everyone.

Yesterday someone mentioned a supplement that they wanted to try for weight loss.  My interest was piqued, and my questions followed.  How does it work with your prescriptions? What side effects does the supplement have? Has it been time-tested, or safety tested? The person replied to me, “It is all natural, it has to be good for you!” Wrong! Very, very wrong!

An all natural body cream, with no preservatives (and there is NO natural preservative that works effectively), is trouble waiting to happen.  Do you want to spread invisible fungus on your body? An all natural supplement does not guarantee safety (Google all natural supplementst that have resulted in permanent health damage and death).  A mushroom is natural, but that does not mean we can pick just any mushroom from the forest and cook it for dinner.

As I said, I like natural.  I like foods and cosmetics made from whole ingredients, but natural does not mean safe.  And natural does not mean no chemicals, every natural thing that exists on this Earth is made up of chemical compounds.  Chemistry and chemicals are not four letter words.

Buy smart.  Live smart.  Be smart.  Natural isn’t always the answer.


Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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My alone time with the goats normally comes to light in the early morning hours as I am milking one of them.  The barn, where the milk room is located, is normally quiet and abandoned as most of the herd is outside grazing or rummaging through the hay I just placed in their feeders.

This morning as I enjoyed a peaceful moment with one of the milkers my thoughts turned to the goat.

She isn’t the prettiest goat in the world.  She looks rather thin.  She is very healthy.  Her scraggly winter coat has been shed.  What is left is her glossy “summer-do.”  She comes to the milk room to do a job for me.  She puts every ounce of her body into her milk.  She puts on no airs.  She does her job well.  She provides the amount of quality milk that no other doe provides.  She does not complain.  She requires no special care.

Isn’t that how we (as humans) should be? We produce without complaints because we are given the daily opportunity to do so? We do not need to be beautiful, because we are a special and unique begin to begin with.  If we do what is needed, consistently, we will provide for ourselves (and others) so much more than what is needed…calmly, on a daily basis.

Why rush? Why hurry? Why try to be someone we are not? We simply put our best foot forward and give in to what does come naturally, and happily.

Thank you to the not-so-pretty, un-named goat.  You not only provide beautiful milk for our lotions and soaps, you provide a lesson in life.

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About 6 weeks ago my husband and I started a weight loss program. 

I will not bore you with all of the details of our weight loss plan, but I will tell you we integrated less calories (no seconds at meals) with a focus on whole grains, little (to no) white flour/potatoes/sugar, and a diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Is it working? Yes.  Is it difficult? One huge YES!!!!

My slips and slides, spikes of insulin, have lessened, but now the cravings have returned.  It has brought me to comparing the weight loss endeavor to life itself.

How do we stick with a plan? We focus on the horizon.

Small business owners go through ups and downs while growing their businesses.  Is their product what they want it to be? Are their customers really happy? One day it feels right, the next day it feels all wrong.  It is a natural part of doing business, but, without an eye on the horizon, without the steadfast walk towards the goal, it could be a matter of crash and burn.

Weight loss is no different.  Like the carrot dangling in front of the rabbit in the race, if the picture that we want to create of ourselves (a healthier body, or a smaller size) is not retained as a goal, we will eventually give in to our cravings and weight loss will be thrown to the way-side.

Life is full of frustrations, side-tracks, and little lies that tell us that doing what is right is just too difficult.  Na-da!

Keep your eye on the horizon.  Keep your eye on the goal.  Don’t look to the right, nor to the left.  Look where you want to go. 

I believe, do you?

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Breaking Down Goat Milk – Unit #1 – Caprylic Acid

In personal care products and soaps there are many different types of “acids” that can be included that are good for the health of a person’s skin, one of which is caprylic acid. 

What is caprylic acid?

Caprylic acid is a fatty acid found in the milk of many mammals.  It can also be found in coconut and palm kernel oil.  Caprylic acid is very easily digested and absorbed.

Caprylic acid, along with caproi and capric (all named after goats), total 15% in goat milk fat.  For comparison purposes, cow’s milk contains 7%.

What is a fatty acid?

In easy (non-chemistry) terms, a fatty acid is a major component of fats that is used by the body for energy and tissue development (skin being of great importance), a major component of cellular lipids (lipids are fats that are very important to our bodies – they can help lubricate the joints, boost brain function, and promote vitamin absorption). 

A body cannot generate its own fatty acids, they must be ingested via nutrition or a supplement. 

Note:  As we researched caprylic acid we were surprised by the mass availability of it in supplement form.  It is used by many, even to fight off certain infections.  It makes the brain churn a bit more, one more thumb’s up for goat milk!

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