What is a Himalayan Salt lamp?

The first time I saw a Himalayan Salt Lamp I was in awe of their beauty. I thought it was a beautiful piece of natural home décor that was simply meant to create a calming ambiance in the home. When I found out that this beautiful lamp had health benefits I knew I had to own a few!

Fortunately for me, my husband and my mom BOTH bought me Himalayan Salt Lamps for my birthday this week.

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So what exactly is a Himalayan Salt Lamp?

It’s pretty simple. It’s just a giant piece of salt that has been carved and hollowed out in the center so that a light bulb can be inserted. But what are the supposed health benefits and how does it work?

We should probably start with a little chemistry lesson, “An ion is an atom or group of atoms in which the number of electrons is different from the number of protons. If the number of electrons is less than the number of protons, the particle is a positive ion. If the number of electrons is greater than the number of protons, the particle is a negative ion,” WhatIs.com explains. Negative ions are produced by nature (think ocean waves, waterfalls, rain, sunlight) and positive ions are produced by electronics (laptops, cell phones, tablets, televisions). When are constantly exposed to this EM radiation we see an increase in stress and fatigue, and it even weakens our immune system…

Enter Himalayan Salt Lamps.

You’re probably thinking that these amazing salt lamps generate negative ions and that this is how they work… But in fact, these lamps don’t produce any ions at all. Salt lamps are “hygroscopic” which means that they absorb any moisture or airborne water molecules in the air. That’s why you can’t just have salt alone, it needs a heat source to cause this moisture to evaporate. It’s this evaporation that creates the negative ions.

And how well do these negative ions work to actually improve our health? Pretty darn well!

In a 1966, a hospital in Jerusalem conducted a study of thirty-eight infants suffering from respiratory issues. They placed half of the infants in a ward without any ion change, and placed the other half in a ward where negative-ion generators were in use. The researchers reported that negative ions without any other treatment (no prescription drugs) seemed to cure attacks of asthma and bronchitis more quickly than drugs (antibiotics included)… and that the children treated with negative ions were less prone to ‘rebound attacks’ (relapses)… The scientific report said that the tests “demonstrated that atmospheric ions have an effect on infants, especially those suffering from asthmatic bronchitis. Less scientifically, they found that the babies didn’t cry as often and as loudly as they did in normal air.” The Ion Effect, by Fred Soyka, p. 57, 1991.

As a mom of a child who once suffered from debilitating, life-threatening asthma this intrigues me more than anything else. I’d heard of Salt Therapy for children with asthma back in 2009 when my daughter was diagnosed with asthma, but I never believed it could help my chronically ill child… Salt rooms to cure something that bottle after bottle of medication couldn’t cure? It seemed impossible… But it was true!

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Himalayan Salt Lamps are also said to:

•Clean the air
•Soothe allergies (as well as reducing asthma)
•Calm coughs and other symptoms of the common cold
•Boost blood flow
•Raise energy levels
•Improve concentration and performance
•Enhance mood
•Reduce stress
•Improve sleep

We love our Himalayan Salt lamps so far – and I’ll keep you posted on how they work for our family!

I hate Cancer

Lately, I feel like the walls are moving in on me.

Everywhere I look, someone who played a major part in my childhood is being diagnosed with cancer, is fighting cancer, or has already died from cancer… It’s overwhelming.

What’s most overwhelming is how so many of us are just so blindly willing to accept the conventional treatment recommendations and not question what REALLY causes this and what might REALLY help.

I don’t know a single person who has endured years of chemotherapy and radiation that went on to live for another decade with their health mostly intact. (And for all purposes, know that I’m talking about Stage 3 or Stage 4 Cancer here…) But I do see many people who chose not to have chemo or radiation that live for close to a decade doing the things they loved with the people they cared for the most.

I saw this link on Facebook today, and it just got all the wheels turning in my mind:

The TRUTH about CHEMO

From the moment I first met Bryce, he made it very clear to me that he didn’t have a dad because his dad had gotten so sick with Mesothelioma that he underwent chemo and radiation to the point that it FINALLY killed all the cancer…. only for him to die from a YEAST INFECTION. That was the day I learned that Chemo and Radiation kill all the bad, but also all of the good inside of the human body. Bryce went on to tell me that he would never get chemo or radiation if he ever got cancer because he didn’t “believe in it”.

I thought he was insane.

10 years since that first conversation with him, I’m sitting here pondering how he could have had so much insight and so much conviction regarding the topic when he hadn’t really done any research… But a decade later, his viewpoint is one I’ve come to not only accept, but to agree with.

My biggest frustration is that no one wants to really look at what we are doing now with the foods we eat, the products we clean with, the vaccines we inject, the chemicals we use in our yards/on our skin/in our home/at our work…. when all of these things have been shown to be extremely harmful to the human body.

No one wants to miss out on foods they love, on junk, on convenience, on the “best” beauty products, the prettiest yard, the most weed-free garden, on the most affordable products… but the more I look at all the chemo and radiation happening to people that I know and care about, the more that I keep wondering if the “convenience” and “cheaper price” and “better taste” of processed, GMO, non-organic foods is worth this crash ending in our 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Where we die after enduring months or years of torturous amounts of chemotherapy and radiation.

I try to imagine myself laying in a bed, receiving chemotherapy drugs through an IV in my arm, emesis basin in my lap. What will I be thinking? What will be going through my head? Will I be regretting my decision to use any of the following:

(My thoughts below are things that I once used to rationalize by use of the products, and that maybe some of you still use today… I’m thankful that I don’t feel that way about MOST of these anymore. But just so we’re clear… I still drink Starbucks even though I know it’s filled with chemicals, and I REALLY, REALLY need to stop.)

*GMO food – It is easier and cheaper to make, buy, grow and store after all.
*BPA/other toxic plastic containers – Because glass is a PITA and really expensive.
*RoundUp – It takes days to weed my front flower bed and I just want my hard work on my flowers to look good!
*Processed foods – At the end of a long day I don’t have time to cook full meals, from scratch, to feed my entire family every single meal of the day, every day of the week, every week of the year. I need a break and sometimes processed foods are what get me through really hard days.
*Refined foods – I like to follow the 80/20 rule. Eat 80% clean and 20% whatever. I mean… I can’t possibly avoid everything toxic, so I’ll just do my best.
*Make Up – It makes me feel pretty and some days my self esteem just needs that and I want to look nice.
*Skin Care – If it reduces wrinkles, clears acne, eliminates scars and age spots and helps me look better, then maybe it’s worth it.
*Bath Products – The natural stuff just doesn’t smell as good and I can’t keep it for years without it going bad.
*Flouride Toothpaste/Drinking water/Dental treatments – Hello…. My dentist told me it was important to get this so my teeth stay healthy.
*Alcohol – It’s better than prescription pills after a long day…
*Birth Control – I honestly cannot be a Duggar and I don’t have the time to use NFP or use a condom every time when I’m allergic to latex.
*Radiation – Who knows how many times I’m unknowingly exposed to this on top of the dozens of times I’ve had CT scans for kidney stones.
*Tobacco – I smoked for 5 years… At the time, I definitely felt like it was worth it.

And those are just a few of the first things that come to mind when I think about the massive amounts of chemicals we are exposed to every single day.
It’s easy to read about the US cancer statistics. Even a look at a website as basic as medicine net.com reveals commentary that makes my stomach churn:
“Among U.S. residents, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer at some point in their lifetimes. Research shows that environmental factors trigger diseases like cancer, especially when someone has a family history,” said Kenneth Olden, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, which prepared the report for HHS. ( http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=13276&page=2 )

The list of carcinogens is long and growing:

http://scorecard.goodguide.com/health-effects/chemicals.tcl?short_hazard_name=cancer&all_p=t

http://www.disabled-world.com/health/cancer/carcinogen-list.php

When I look at all of the chemical carcinogens, and look at the list of likely carcinogens, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll be the one sitting at the doctor’s office, deciding on my cancer treatment and looking back thinking… The weed free lawn wasn’t worth it, the junky snacks weren’t worth it, the skincare wasn’t worth it, the make up wasn’t worth it, my scars are gone but the those chemicals weren’t worth it either, the cheaper price of GMO groceries wasn’t worth it, the convenience of processed foods wasn’t worth it, the “fun moments” sharing HFCS and chemical filled ice cream from the ice cream truck with my kids wasn’t worth it, the toxic shampoo wasn’t worth it, the delicious smelling commercial bubble bath and bath bombs weren’t worth it, the tan wasn’t worth it, the mixed drinks weren’t worth it, the birth control wasn’t worth it, the plastic tupperware and non-stick cookware wasn’t worth it…

In fact, I bet I’ll be holding someones hand, looking into their eyes and thinking, “I wish I would have really thought about how I’d feel right now, before I continued to expose myself and my family to all of these chemicals…”

And while I know that I will certainly not chose chemotherapy or radiation… I hope that by avoiding as many of the things on those lists as I can, that I might be able to avoid making that decision altogether in my 40’s or 50’s. I want to see my kids graduate from High School and College. I want to meet my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren. (And maybe even my GREAT GREAT grandchildren.)

I want to live (REALLY LIVE) as long as I can.

And in order to do that…. I’ve got to stop making excuses myself.

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Are there things you feel convicted to give up but that you struggle to part with?

Lessons in Goat Farming: Being Fearless

I never could have anticipated all that lay before me when it came to farming. I thought we’d have a few cute little goats, and some chickens, and plant some seeds and watch it grow. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I’ll admit, I had some pretty unrealistic expectations.

Each experience seems to be more hard-hitting than the next. And while some days I feel so all knowing, most days I come to realize that I still have so much to learn. And each day I DO learn a lot… but it never seems to be quite enough for the next day.

We’ve had goats for just over a year. We actually brought home our first two goats a few days after we moved into this house. We never had a single problem or issue with them. So we added SIX more goats about five weeks ago. One of those goats is Mel, our one male adult.

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And this weekend, we hit our first problem.

Saturday was our wedding anniversary, and it was also the launch of our CSA share program here at our farm. We were so excited to finally get food into the hands of the people who wanted it, and to show people what we’ve worked so hard to build. The day was great!

Around 6pm, Bryce and I went to dinner to celebrate our anniversary and spent some time together without kids. We got dinner and walked around downtown Noblesville and were home by 9, just in time for Bryce to go milk Ivy.

When he came in from milking Ivy, one looks into his eyes told me how worried he was, and he showed me a picture of Mel (our male goat) and said, “Something is REALLY wrong with Mel. I think he’s blind, and there’s stuff coming out of his mouth…”

I had no idea what to do, and it felt like I couldn’t get to the barn fast enough to see him. When I did get there, I was horrified at what I saw.

20150613_214505His mouth had drool and mucus pouring out of it, he really was staggering around and running into walls like he was intoxicated. And I had no idea what was happening. The mucus was green and I knew it was pneumonia season so I immediately assumed that must be what it was. But he didn’t really have respiratory symptoms besides green mucus.

I immediately began calling all of the Emergency Veterinary services around us but no one would see Mel. I didn’t even have human antibiotics on hand, and everything I was reading said no to give him Tylenol or Motrin for his fever (which was 106.6).

I felt panicked. I had no idea what to do for him. All I could think about it how I would have treated my kids… high doses of Vitamin C. And since no one would give me any suggestions over the phone, and no one was willing to see him in person either… I pretty much just had to wing it.

Every 2 hours, all night long, Bryce got up and gave him a Vitamin C solution orally. He also placed high powered fans facing directly at him and put some clean hay in his pen. (He never did eat anything).

By morning, Mel looked worse. I’d stayed up most of the night reading Veterinary books on goat health and knew that we were probably looking at either Goat Polio (A Thiamin/B1 deficiency) or Listeriosis. But I didn’t know which. I had no access to the antibiotics that we needed to give him for Listeriosis, so I got the Penicillin that was closest to it and administered that, and I also began tubing him so I could fluids (and medicine, including Thiamin) to his stomach since he was too weak and delirious to drink.

I never imagined I’d be putting tubes down into goat rumens, or administering injections… but if I’ve learned anything about my life, it’s that I have to be FEARLESS at all times. So I just went for it.

We also began noticing another symptom… Mel wanted his head pressed in between things at all times. I thought his head was stuck in his makeshift quarantine pen… I worked like mad to get free from the fencing, but no sooner did I get him out, he scooted right back into the same very awkward position that applied pressure to his skull, particularly to one eye that was bulging.

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But the pressure on his skull, on that one eye, was just so much for him to handle that he was breathing hard and fast just trying to deal with the pain. We couldn’t get him to calm down to be tubed late last night, and even as I tubed him, he was thrashing and bending so much that the liquid tube was kinked and we couldn’t administer more.

It was then that I wondered if he was actually going to make it.

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He was calm only when Bryce applied pressure to his skull. And even then, he was still obviously distressed. So we decided to move him to his pen and make him as comfortable as we could.

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It was heartbreaking to have to put him in pen, surround him by hay, and do nothing but pray that he would get better, because we’d done all we personally knew or could think of to do. With no Vet available to help us, we felt defeated and heartbroken. We said our Goodbyes to him, knowing full well that with his health being so deteriorated that he would probably be gone in the morning.

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Looking into his sad little eyes, I really felt like he was fighting this so hard, and holding on so much because he was meant to be here. Most goats don’t last 3 days with a 106+ fever. I tried everything in my power to help, I did more than I ever thought I would be able to do, and here he was. Still dying. Still sick. Still miserable.

My 6 year old walked over and said a prayer over him that broke my heart but made me proud all at the same time.

I never thought I would be the person to sob over a goat, but I did. I fell to my knees and sobbed and yelled at God to just help him get better or let him die quickly. I cried until my body hurt and my chest was on fire and my eyes were swollen.

And with one last rub of his little head, I had to walk out of the barn with my heart shattering to a million pieces.

I woke up this morning knowing that I would going to have to figure out where to bury him in our backyard. I was dreading choosing the spot… So much so that I had Bryce go check on him first so that I would be completely prepared when I walked into the barn.

And somehow, he had survived the night.

After a million vet calls, and finally showing up in person at a Veterinary Clinic, Bryce found a vet (literally right next to us) to see Mel. He was knowledgeable and so kind. He told us that a respiratory infection and an eye infection were causing Mel’s symptoms and the high fever can cause issues. He said he was surprised Mel had hung on so long, but that with antibiotics (in a megadose) he would probably recover fully.

He said normally he tries treating holistically first, but given how bad Mel was, that wasn’t an option…. I couldn’t get over our luck. Finding a Vet who would provide chiropractic care and holistic treatments to our animals as his first means of treatment from here on out. It’s exactly what we needed, and what we prayed for. So, this time, he gave him injections of antibiotics, a fever reducer, and steroids and told us to call him tomorrow and let them know if Mel is doing better.

He also said that by tubing him we probably saved his life. A procedure I really didn’t want to do because I didn’t know how… but I’m so glad I did it anyways. Showing once again that sometimes you just have to be FEARLESS.

In the midst of writing this, my cell phone buzzed with scripture that I know was sent to me straight from God through my Scripture App:

“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice”

Why Prescription Drugs Aren’t Saving Us

I’ve been on this journey towards better health for almost four years now. When my son died in the middle of the night “for no reason” after receiving his 4 month vaccines, it opened the door for me to really explore my thoughts about the healthcare system– about the successes, the failures, the struggles, the blessings, and most of all… the unanswered questions. Like, “why does the US rank so far below other countries regarding our health?” especially when we have “the best healthcare that money can buy.”

At one point, Bryce and I spent 35% of our monthly budget on our health insurance premium. Self-employment doesn’t afford the luxury of affordable health insurance, and so we spent an obscene amount of money just on the PREMIUM of our insurance policy, not to mention the cost of co-pays, prescriptions and uncovered expenses. We, like most Americans, believed that Doctors knew best, that medicine was life-saving, and that we couldn’t take care of our own bodies because “we weren’t qualified.”

What I’ve learned over the last few years is that we are more than qualified to research, question, and explore the topic of health if we feel like we should. I’ve also learned that many Primary Care Physicians are working a job they didn’t even understand when they went to medical school, a job where prescriptions are better accepted than simple diet/exercise advise, and where one drug causes a side effect that somersaults into another drug being prescribed. Over and over and over.

When I was a kid, I never had an antibiotic. I can vividly remember the first time I ever had one when I was in High School. My parents weren’t “anti-medicine”, they just didn’t run me to the doctor for every ache and pain. And my mom was always a firm believer that most symptoms were working to resolve a problem in the body. (She’s the one who taught me that fevers shouldn’t be reduced by default just because we notice a child feels warm, because fever is the response to infection that indicates the body is doing it’s job.)

Today kids get an antibiotic for pretty much every ailment. I see it all the time with my friends kids. They take the kid in for a sick visit and are told it’s viral, but are also given an antibiotic. It’s the biggest oxymoron… but it still happens a LOT. We also feel the need to treat every health issue with medication. Allergies? Medicine. Side effect from allergy medicine? Medicine. Trouble concentrating? Medicine. That medicine keep you up all night? Medicine. And the cycle continues on and on and on.

I am a BELIEVER in modern medicine. I believe in it for acute conditions which require short-term treatment. I do not believe in daily medication for the rest of your life. I do not believe that the best answer to someone with high cholesterol is to go on a statin. 1 in 3 adults over the age of 40 in the US is on a statin drug. It’s prescribed to people with high cholesterol, to people with heart disease, to people with history of stroke, etc.

Patients are told that this is the best way to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. But do you know what I think this has done?

It’s taken the consequence away from people who refuse to take care of their bodies. Before you jump all over me telling me stories about your loved ones who didn’t bring health conditions on themselves, let me just say that I know that is a harsh statement. It IS a harsh statement. But it’s the truth.

If people knew they didn’t have prescriptions available to save their lives from their poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, do you think they might be more inclined to exercise more and make better food choices? Because honestly… That would be one HECK of a motivator for me.

And statins are just the start.

It’s estimated that 70% of Americans take at least ONE medication daily. Can you think of anyone in your life that DOESN’T take a prescription medication daily? (This includes birth control, SSRI’s, anxiety medication, allergy medication, asthma medications, etc, etc, etc).

In 2011, there were 4.02 billion prescriptions written in the United States. The population of the United States in 2011 was 311 million– that’s about 13 prescriptions for every single living human being in the United States per year.

In 2008, Americans spent $234 billion dollars on prescription drugs.
In 2012, Americans spent $325.7 billion dollars on prescription drugs. That’s over $90 billion more dollars spent on prescriptions in FOUR YEARS.

You know one major change that happened between 2008 and 2012?
In 2010 the Flu Vaccination Guidelines changes from vaccinating only the at-risk populations and their caretakers, to universal vaccinations (which meant everyone over the age of 6 months old.) This “preventative” health care measure of vaccinating everyone was supposed to make everyone healthier, bring healthcare spending down, and prevent illness which could lead to long-term health problems… and yet we saw our healthcare costs SKYROCKET.

Prescriptions are big money. And I don’t think they are saving very many lives.

In 2009, there were nearly 4.6 million drug-related visits to U.S. emergency rooms nationwide, with more than half due to adverse reactions to prescription medications – most of which were being taken exactly as prescribed. 450,000 deaths each year are caused by prescription medications. That would make it the 4th leading cause of death in the US. And there are actually TEN TIMES more deaths caused by PROPERLY prescribed prescription medications that are used correctly than there are deaths caused by ILLEGAL drugs. (106,000 : 10,000)

Each prescription drug has an average of 70 listed side effects…

Prescription medications just aren’t our answer to health problems. I think Hippocrates put it best when he said simply, “Let food be thy medicine.”

I think Doctors gave up recommending dietary changes and more exercise because Americans were so obsessed with finding an “easy button”. Why do all this work when there are millions of prescriptions available to “treat” these conditions by just swallowing a pill?

The problem is that we aren’t seeing quality of life in people anymore.

We are hiding symptoms, instead of healing illness.

We are seeing Americans being the fattest, sickest, most depressed, most stressed out, most exhausted generation than we’ve EVER seen before with the MOST chronic health conditions being treated by prescription medications.

Which brings me to the point where I can’t help but wonder… Are the drugs REALLY life-saving? And- If people aren’t willing to take care of their bodies, work to stay healthy, make the effort of exercising and eating REAL food instead of the processed, toxic “food” of today…. How can anyone believe that the pharmaceutical companies exist merely because they are trying to save lives of deserving Americans everywhere?

Don’t you think that Big Pharma just knows that we as Americans are way too lazy to just take the few simple steps required to maintaining our help? That we believe that their products are the simple solution to our health problems? (Which could honestly be solved by nutrition in most cases.)

So the more medications they create, the more we will take; the more that we take, the more that we will require; the more we require, the more we think everyone else does too, including our children… and the more customers they will have for life.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Who can afford the cost of Organic? And why that’s not the right question…

This morning I posted about starting a small group for our church. Bryce and I plan to start a group this Spring that teaches people about food- how to grow it, how to plant it, how to pick it, how to cook it and every aspect in between. We want to teach people about the importance of eating REAL whole foods, not genetically modified foods or foods covered in pesticides.

Every time I start talking about the issue with modern convenience foods, and processed, prepackaged, or ready to eat food I am immediately faced with a backlash of angry people telling me that they can’t afford to eat organic. It costs too much. One of the major reasons people cite for not eating organic is that the cost is too high…

They say that the foods with GMO’s are more affordable.

Most people don’t really understand what GMO means. Even if you know that GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organism”… you still might not be clear on what that means. And that’s okay.. because for a long time I didn’t quite understand what that meant exactly either.
Today, I was sitting at the kitchen table while my kids ate lunch and I noticed that the ONE non-organic apple in the basket had still been ignored. I had ONE non-organic apple in the bin that I bought from Kroger and ten organic apples from Green Bean delivery. Over the last few days, my kids had been ignoring that one apple from Kroger even though I hadn’t mentioned that it was from the store and not organic. Today… I watched as the last two organic apples were plucked for the basket and the last one remained… one of the kids opted out of fruit entirely.

When I asked why no one was eating that apple, I was surprised to hear my 5 year old say, “Because it’s bad for you.” I was floored! I asked her how she knew. She said, “Because that one’s bigger, and shinier, and prettier, and looks fake. So I knew it had GMOs.” (Now, I don’t think there are any GMO apples yet, but she was right that it was grown using conventional farming including pesticides.) Pretty interesting response for a 5 year old. My 9 year old agreed that the apple looked fake and she knew it wasn’t organic so she didn’t want to eat it. But they both continued to ask me more questions about GMO’s. So that’s what we did for our science lesson today….

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Let me share with you the information I taught my children today.

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. The two main types of GMO’s are:

herbicide resistant (BT herbicide)

and

insect resistant (RoundUp)

But what does that mean? What IS a GMO?

Genetically engineered crops, or what we’ve started calling GMOs, typically have genes from other organisms inserted into their DNA. The most popular ones, like Roundup-resistant soybeans and insect-resistant corn, use genes from bacteria. What this means is that the DNA was altered to contain these herbicides/insecticides within the plant as a way to prevent pests or weeds from killing them.

The question I have to ask you is: If the plant is genetically altered to contain one of the most toxic chemicals of our lifetime right inside, a genetic modification so powerful that it can kill pests or weeds without even being sprayed because the chemical is now INSIDE of every seed… Then how in the WORLD do you think the food it grows is SAFE? How could that even be POSSIBLE?

One more time…. Seeds are being MODIFIED with insecticide and herbicide so that when the seed is planted and grows into a plant, insects and weeds that touch that plant are killed. And we are EATING that plant.

Let’s look at this timeline:

In 1935, DNA was discovered.

In 1973, the first recombinant DNA was created.

In 1982, the FDA approved the first GMO product, a drug called Humulin. This is insulin produced by a strain of genetically engineered E.coli bacteria.

In 1994, the first GMO food hit supermarket shelves when the US was introduced to the Flavr Savr tomato. This tomato was engineered to ripen late so that it would stay fresh longer, even after picked off the plant.

In 2003, a Bt-toxin-resistant caterpillar was found eating a bunch of GMO BT cotton crops in the southern US. (**This means that in less than a decade the insects had already become resistant to these toxins!)

Currently, there are 169 MILLION acres of GMO crops in the US. That is HALF of all farmland in the continental US.

These insecticides and herbicides are linked to all kinds of chronic health problems including adverse neurological effects such as FOUR-FOLD increase of Parkinson’s disease, shortened attention span, memory disordered, and reduced coordination. They are also linked to reproductive problems including miscarriage; reduced infant development; birth defect; depression; and more forms of cancer than I can stomach to count.

An even more interesting note? Less than 1% of the world’s insects are considered pests. The other 99% play a pivotal role in our food chain and many are indispensable.

65 countries around the world require GMO labeling, not us. Why do you think that is? If you KNEW the food you were consuming had these toxins inside, would you still chose to buy it? Or would the GMO labeling guide you into buying different products to keep you family away from this perversion of DNA?

When Haiti experience it’s devastating Earthquake in 2010, Monsanto donated 475 TONS of seeds to help the farmers rebuild. Haiti is quite literally one of the poorest countries in the world. And do you know what these farmers thought about Monsanto’s seed? They were so aware of the dangers of a modified seed that they BURNED all 475 tons (60,000 seed sacks) so that it wouldn’t harm them. In Haiti, seeds are sacred. They are, as one Haitian woman stated, “a Gift from God.”

And I think she’s right. In Genesis, if you go to Verses 29-31, you can see that God’s design of everything was intentional, “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground- everything that has breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”

God made no mistakes when he created each and every seed-bearing plant. He did not forget to add the pesticide genes or the herbicide genes. He looked at everything he created and said it was very good.

I don’t believe that we should alter DNA. I don’t believe that we should experiment with life that God created. GMO’s are organisms that aren’t produced by nature and have never been seen before. We don’t know the side effects of modifying organisms because we ARE NOT the master creator. What Monsanto has done by creating new organisms that weren’t created by God is that he has created side effects that are punishing us. Punishments like cancer in newborn babies, autoimmune disease in young adults, neurological disorders in children, shorter lifespans for everyone who lives and eats the food produced by commercial farming in the United States.

Currently, the following products are Genetically Engineered (GE) in the United States:

85% of corn

91% of soybeans

88% of cotton

75% of processed foods

So, for those who can’t afford to buy organic… Now I have a question for you…

Can you REALLY afford the cost of GMO’s?

For more information on GMO’s and GE foods, check out the following links:

http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/

http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/gm/harmful.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/05/has-any-company-ever-harmed-the-planet-more-than-this.aspx

http://www.naturalnews.com/037249_GMO_study_cancer_tumors_organ_damage.html

Bone Broth– Answering the why, how and how much :)

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I make bone broth– A lot. Some weeks I make a new batch everyday. A lot of people think it’s just so that I can make meals that taste better.. but the real reason is because of all of it’s glorious health benefits. While it’s true that most restaurants have stock simmering in their kitchens all the time so that they can have the best flavor for their plethora of dishes for customers… it’s not just taste that matters.

If you know much about gut health, then you’ve probably already heard a lot about bone broth before finding my post… Bone broth can improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health, and much much more. Bone broth is a wonderful source of minerals. It’s high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, glycerin, collagen, and amino acids like proline and glycine.

The Paleo Mom has a great explanation about the importance of proline and glycine:

“In addition, glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body.  As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing.  Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid.  It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.  Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver).  Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland.  This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system.  In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect.  Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.

Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits.  It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels.  Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.”

Bone broth is also wonderful for preventing illness, and for treating illness. Bone broth is easily digested so that someone who is feeling under the weather doesn’t need to worry about getting all the right nutrition, and can instead focus on healing as the body easily absorbs all of those wonderful nutrients. It is truly a super food and is such a great immune booster. I try to consume as much as possible, with the optimal consumption being 3-4 cups per day.

So, how do you make bone broth? If you’re like me then you probably don’t have a whole lot of extra time on your hands. I turn to my trusty crock pot(s) to make my bone broth 🙂 You can use any kind of bones that you want, but I don’t recommend mixing beef bones with poultry bones, etc. If you are using beef bones you can roast them in the oven first for about 30 minutes on 375– This step isn’t necessary though, and I rarely take the time to do this and I always have excellent broth.

I use an 8 qt crockpot and this is how my recipe works out:

*Chicken/turkey carcass or 1-2 pounds of bones
*3-4 stalks of celery
*3-4 carrots (if buying organic, you don’t need to peel them and you can leave the ends and all)
*1-2 onions (I always use 2… You can chop this up but throw in the peels and ends and everything)
*1 tbsp of peppercorns
*2 bay leaves
*Fresh parsley
*Splash of Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar- I like Bragg’s (this helps pull out the marrow from the bones.. don’t worry! This doesn’t create a sour vinegar taste in the broth)
*4-5 garlic cloves, smashed for the last hour of cooking

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Put all of the above ingredients into your crockpot, and then cover with filtered water so that the bones/veggies are covered 1-2 inches above them. Cook on low for 12-24 hours. Don’t salt while cooking, wait until you use the broth as it condenses as it cooks 🙂

I usually find that with poultry, the bone broth is delicious in 12 hours (although cooking it longer certainly doesn’t hurt anything and brings out more of the flavorful marrow), but the beef bones generally take 24 hours or longer to get a rich tasting broth. When your broth is done cooking, remove all vegetables and bones. Then strain through a sieve. You can strain through cheesecloth if you prefer to get all the herbs out of the broth, but I’ve found that this removes a lot of the gelatin, which contains a lot of the nutritional value we want in our bone broth.

Here’s what your broth ingredients should look like going in and then what it looks like after 12 hours of cooking:

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And I can’t stress this last point enough… Make sure to let your broth COOL before placing it in the fridge (or freezer). Also, I strongly recommend you use glass storage containers/jars instead of plastic.

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I, of course, opt for Mason jars ❤