Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Real Food & Real Milk

Spring is here, isn't it?? I love this forsythia 'peeking' over the neighbor's fence! The daffodils on the ground below it echo the cheery yellow.

This week I drove out to a nearby farm to buy real milk, yogurt & eggs!

I only got 1/2 gallon of milk, since I 'rarely' drink milk these days, but it's s-o good!! In Oregon, a farm can sell raw milk, but they can't advertise that they do. From the looks of the sparkling clean racks filled with half gallons of milk & quarts of yogurt & kefir, word of mouth keeping this great little farm & dairy going strong. The cows are pastured, so eating grass, as cows are designed to. They also sell free range chickens (& have a small, certified processing plant to serve a few other chicken farmers.)

I grew up drinking raw milk from pasture fed cows. At first we had our own cow, Susi, (a Guernsey, cousin to the Jerseys) & my dad milked her. She went to our friends' farm to 'freshen' (I didn't realize there was a calf involved!) We had a separator, & my mom made our own butter from the cream.
After we sold Susi, I'd walk down the driveway with a gallon jar to 'Wilson's dairy' across the road, & put the jar in the 'empty' rack, 50c in the tin can, & choose a fresh gallon from the fridge. Sometimes we'd skim the cream, at others just shake it in. My grandkids still shake milk, tho they're used to the pasteurized, homogenized version.
Later, when the Wilsons moved, Marie Petersen delivered raw milk to our door. All these cows ate grass or hay, what cows are designed for. I recall a conversation with Austin Wilson about cow 'pats' - he asked why I thought they were unpleasant, 'they are just digested grass & hay!!'

In college I still ate butter, & probably drank some milk, but I preferred it raw. I was amazed that some of my friends liked margarine better - that's what they'd grown up on! Yuck!! I also ordered milk when we went to restaurants, & the waitress often forgot it (most kids must have been ordering pop!)

Here's Nina Planck's description of making Margarine, from her book 'Real Food:' Begin with a polyunsaturated, liquid vegetable oil rancid from extraction under high heat. Any oil will do, but about 85 % of hydrogenated oils are soybean. Mix with tiny metal particles, usually nickel oxide. In a high pressure, high temperature reactor, shoot hydrogen atoms at the unsaturated carbon bonds. Add soap like emulsifiers & starch to make it soft & creamy. Steam to remove foul odors, bleach away the gray color, dye it yellow, & add artificial flavors."

Double yuck!! & some folks think this is a 'healthy' alternative?? Nina suggests mixing olive oil into the butter if you want a lighter spread - or try coconut oil! :) (of which she's also a proponent)

When my kids were little, a group of La Leche League moms took turns driving to a farm that sold raw milk, our weekly 'milk run.' When our family moved from Corvallis, my hubby (also raised on farm fresh milk) & I found a local dairy for our private 'milk runs.' In the late 80s we divorced, & around that time stopped getting raw milk. I stopped drinking much milk, 'tho I continued to eat yogurt, & enjoyed a kefir cheese. My former hubby continued drinking milk, & later was diagnosed as 'lactose intolerant.' (he can use some cheeses, but needs to take lactose tabs if he wants any other dairy products.)

Interesting tidbit: raw milk has enzymes - lactase, for digesting the sugars (lactose), phosphatase to absorb calcium, & a protein digesting enzyme. It's high in 'heat sensitive' vitamins, folic acid, Vitamins A, B6, B 12 & C . . . raw cream contains a cortisone like agent which combats arthritis & cataracts.
& raw milk from grass fed cows is resistant to pathogens. So folks drinking raw milk aren't likely to have problems with the lactose.

So why did folks begin 'Pasteurizing' (heat treating) milk??

In the 19th century, the folks in cities (inc: NY Philadelphia & Cincinnati) wanted milk, & owners began putting dairies next to whiskey distilleries, & began to feed cows spent 'whiskey mash' (fermented grain) which was not easily digested by the cows. The cows got acid stomachs, & began getting ill. The dairy workers were often ill as well, & as milk quality went down (in 'city milk' only!) people who drank the milk became ill - Nearly half the deaths in NY in 1839 were probably related to drinking this 'slop' milk! Hence trying the newly perfected 'Pasteurization,' which made the milk 'safer' to drink, but raises a host of other issues!

& at first, no one dreamed of heat treating good farm milk, & in 1907, doctors & social workers fought a raw milk ban in NY, arguing that self milk should be 'guaranteed by inspection, not pasteurization.'

Now, as in earlier years, much milk (even that sold as 'Organic') is from cows who are not pastured, & are fed grain (often corn) & soy, . . . which is no better for cows than the whiskey mash was!
Pasteurization permits milk to be gathered (into refrigerated tanks) over several days from several 'farms,' shipped long distances, then Pasteurized & bottled. (p73/4 in Real Food) Plank comments that about 60% of dairy farmers drink raw milk at home because it 'tastes good,' 'it makes me feel better,' or 'I don't like store-bought food.'

My dad, a farmer at heart, would complain when he saw packets of 'creamer' or margarine on the tables at Grange (a farm org.) "We're farmers! What are we doing with this stuff? We should be supporting other farmers!"

I go through about a quart of yogurt a week, & am happy to have a local source of good, grass fed milk & yogurt. I'd been thinking of making my own yogurt again, & still may.
After reading Nina's book, I noticed that my favorite local brand contains some powdered milk. My mom, in interest of 'lowering her fats' (tho she still cooked with unrefrigerated, polyunsaturated & hydrogenated oils!) drank a mix of 1/2 powdered, 1/2 fresh milk. Planck comments that dried milk powder "is created by spray-drying, which creates oxidized or damaged cholesterol." & this, in turn contributes to atherosclerosis! Skim milk, yogurt, some cheeses often contain powdered milk!

I'm glad to have found a local farm & dairy that operates much like the Wilsons did - you bring back your jar, choose your product, leave your money, how simple is that? They also have a credit card machine, tho as any small business owners know, the cc companies take a 'toll' on each end, ~ 3% in our office, plus .18c per swipe! I'll write checks :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Daze

This week my grand daughters are out of school (& playschool) for spring vacation - & I've hung out with them several days! Today was sunny (YEA) & we walked to the track by their mom's work so they could ride their bikes around - fun! Stopped to visit their mom, then went to Grocery Outlet to see if there was still some of the Coconut Oil my dau. spied there the other day! Yes!! & way cheep (& Organic, unrefined :) - got several bottles, but wanted to try it first (I've had that brand before, but not that packaging).

So I didn't get them all - ratz!! Went back later in the day & there was only one left! I hope folks that really appreciate it picked it up! I did mention it to the checker & an older lady (It's GOOD for you!) I did find some smoked salmon & got more greek style olives that second trip :)

I've been mixing coconut oil with almond butter for my grand daughters, & they tell me when they want more - their moods have been good the last few days, & even 'melts' don't seem to last long! The 4 yr old is particularly volatile, so this is good! I think it's helping with 'brain chemistry' & they sure enjoy it! The oldest said 'grammie, we need more!' & handed me the almond butter ;)
Their dog Dax, a husky mix (almost 13) waits for his spoonful as well - coconut oil? don't mind if I do! This description of dogs 'going nuts' for the coconut oil applies - I give my chihuahua Gracie a dab (about 1/2 spoonful) & Dax a couple of Tbsp - I'd been putting it on a cottonball to swab Dax's ears, as he tends to have yeast & 'itchy' ears - & my daughter just got him a 'senior' kibble.

I have been keeping up with the exercise for the Lenten Challange - got to Ballet last Sat & then Tue, & played with the hula tape again this week. & walking & . . . .

One of the Docs from our office is out of town, so I received part of her CSA 'share!' I was so excited. It included salsify, so I looked up some recipes & adapted one that called for both salsify (related to dandelion & lettuce - you cook the root & can use the long leaves in salad) & jersulam artichokes! Sauted in Coconut oil, & added some garlic & 1/2 an onion.
For liquid I used nettle/alfalfa infusion It was a hit! My daughter grew up eating Jersulam Artichoke tubers, & loves them - with this quick saute (<15 min) the veggies are crunchy crisp, & the flavors go well together! For dinner I added a bit of coconut milk, curry paste & powder & some of the greens (kale & flowering turnip tops) also quite nice! & made some coconut rice (added about a cup of coconut milk while my brown rice, quinoa & teff was a' cooking) . . . Gracie & I both enjoyed it!

I've been reading Nina Planck's 'Real Food' & appreciating again growing up with mostly real foods. The big 'culprits' of 'industrial foods' were the wessen oil & crisco, white flour & white sugar we consumed! & my mom had cooked for the haying & planting crews, so made the best deserts!
We lived across the road from a dairy, so drank plenty of raw milk, ate range fed beef, & prob. good 'farm raised' chicken & eggs, plus venison & trout. As Nina, who began farmers markets in London & NY says, isn't it intriguing how real fats & meat are (sometimes) thought to be 'bad' & are falsly acused of causing all kinds of diseases - that were rare 'till we began eating 'industrialized foods,' inc. relatively new oils (soy, corn, rape - excuse me - modified rape or 'canola'), lots of refined sugars (now GM sugar beets, & high fructose corn syrup)
Several folks mention when farmers tried to fatten hogs by feeding them coconut oil, they got skinny! So they switched to corn & soy oil, & (like so many people,) they got nice & fat!

I also ran across a blurb countering the supposed 'dangers' of feeding dogs 'table scraps' - well, what did they eat for the last several thousand years spent as human companions?? - meat & 'people food' (ie: grains & veggies & some fruits - Gracie esp. loves raw apples & carrots) . . . . rather like the 'dangers' we're told exist if we eat foods we've eaten for thousands of years (alergies excluded ) . . . Marion Nestle gives the 'formula' for pet food: "a half a pound of grains, a quarter of a pound of meat, you bury them within it, you throw in some vegetables, you throw in a couple of supplements that you can buy at a supermarket and you’ve taken care of it."
When I first got Gracie, I made her food, then life happened, & I fed her kibble (Organix - a good brand!) So I've been feeding her bits of my meals (she is sturdy, but still small!) & she loves it!

So that old La Leche League formula: eat a wide variety of food in close to its natural state, is still my watchword.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Win Dolan

In my last post I mentioned a dear elder who turned 100 on the 13th of March, - my anticipation of celebrating his BD on Sun the 15th.

Much to everyone's surprise, he played his last earthly role the 14th, & died at the family BD party that evening, at 100 years, one day!! He'd had some heart problems, & after greeting, naming each of the 26 family & friends present & telling a brief anecdote about each, his heart gave out!

A week later, Sat the 22nd there was a poignant 'celebration of Win's life.' I always appreciate hearing bits that I didn't know about someone, & of course, wish I had before! & while each of us had our own experience with Win, his was a life well lived, & everyone spoke of the same strong character, witty mind, & strength of faith.

Win was born two weeks after my own dad Byrle; & though I met him only 10 years ago, I thought of him as a second father . . . his daughter-in law has told me several times that I meant a lot to him, too; that he always liked my spirit & sparkle! I recall before I began in the choir, his comment that he enjoyed seeing my smile in the congregation; & he loved it when I played harp or 'sign' the songs. Like my dad, he sang tenor, & was in choirs until a few years ago.

When his wife was fading 7 or 8 years ago, Win asked if I'd 'consider' coming to their home & giving her a few back rubs - & of course I did, & of course he paid me! Thelma had suffered (physically & mentally) from a car accident in the mid 60s, which had changed their lives tremendously.
Another friend who acted with Win (even at 90, he was always the first to arrive on set, & had usually memorized ALL his lines before the first rehersals!) She commented that she'd been his 'daughter' in one play, & 'grand daughter' in another, roles she also felt persisted after the plays closed.

After Thelma died, he invited someone without a season ticket to join him at a chamber concert on Campus, & I took him up on the offer. Win served on the college board (had been an interim pres. a couple of times), & continued attend board meetings 'emeritis' - having participated in a 'ferverent' discussion a few weeks ago!

At the cellebration the college president, Dr Hallie, commented here's a set of u-tube videos - 1 (2 & 3) of his Linfield College commencement speach in 2008. Win, at 99, was the oldest commencment speaker for a US college. This was Linfield's 150th Anniversary, & Win comments that he was one of their 'relics & antiques' (The gentleman to his Right & behind him is Dr Hallie.)
Win got a standing ovation for this speach (remember that actor who memorized all his lines before rehersals began :) & several folks told me it was one of the best they'd ever heard! He catelogues some of the changes he'd seen in his 99 years - including learning 'basic' computer programing, & - oh, just watch them!

From his poem written after watching the first footage of the war in Iraq: 'God help us to see that there are no 'we' & 'they' - but only one world for all of us!'
. . .

& the finale of Dr. Win Dolan's speach: "Just for the improvement of your life, look or listen for something beautiful every day, perhaps a flowering tree or the sound of a meadowlark, let it sink in for a moment before you go on."

Wherever you are, Win, I know it is beautiful!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Keep on Movin' Movin'

Oh, today I went to ballet! I love ballet - when I was a kid, I so wanted to take ballet - I had the paper dolls, I got a doll (Francis) who had knees & ankles that bent, & ballet slippers!! & of course, a tutu. :)

When I was 28 (yeah, 30 years ago!!) my neice was in the Nutcracker, & we went to see her dance. . . . the rest is history! I 'drop in' on a ballet class now & then, & if I'm taking my magnesium & Lipoic acid, I'm not even sore! (basically stops inflamation as it's being made by the body! Now that's what I call a wonder nutrient :)
Last summer I took a month long series of ballet classes at another studio & it was a lot of fun - but harder in a way, as the style was a bit different. & though the teacher is delightful, (& so were the girls in class - such sweet girls) & she's very serious, her dancers just don't have quite the flair of 'our studio . . . '

So, with all 3 of my granddaughters taking ballet, two in town, I am eligible for a family discount (parents are offered one complimentary class a week - I can pay $15 a month & also take a class:) I decided to sign up for a month, & make the commitment to get there! Today one of the boys asked Miss Emma who the 'new lady' was, he thought I danced well! (he hadn't been there the last time I 'dropped in,' & the style is very graceful, so it's unusual for someone who hasn't studied with Lynn or Emma to look 'good' in a first class!)

With the combination of doing daily exercise (Thur - water aerobics, Fri - Hula & a bit of walking, then Ballet Sat) & the coconut oil, & the smoothies I've been drinking (thank you, green smoothie girl!) I've been getting compliments on how I'm looking - which always feels good & makes you want to keep on keeping on!

Tomorrow, Sunday, I'll be the gal at the 'welcome kiosk' at church, & then there's a 100th BD celebration for a dear retired math professor (still quite witty & so sweet!). The gal who wrote the article took Hospice training the year I did, & has interviewed me a couple of times (paper dolls & making rose beads) - contrary to some reporters, she tends to be very acurate & kind.

What's inspired you this week?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Coco-nut Nibbles

I found this recipe today for a yummy treat for those chocolate cravings - the gal who shared it suggested using stevia ('sweet leaf' herb, 1 Tbsp = 1 C sugar, so do use just a pinch!) & to store them in the butter holder in your fridge door - for easy access when you want chocolate!

I used 1Tbsp carob powder (sweet itself) & 2 Tbsp of cocoa, 1 Tbsp honey & a pinch (less than 1/8 tsp) of stevia & ~ 1/4 c sunflower seeds. I didn't heat it, so it turned out more powdery & kind of messy. :) yum, yum, yum!
Next time I'd grind the seeds (& prob use some sesame as well) then melt the oil in a double boiler, add the cocoa & carob powders & vanilla, & pour into the little tins.

Coco-nut nibbles
1-2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (or 3-6T unsweetened cocoa), depending how chocolaty you like it
12 Tbsp coconut oil
1/8-1/4 tsp stevia powder
nuts, shredded coconut
(optional) (I added both coconut shreds & a 1/4 c sunflower seeds)

Melt, stir, let cool a bit, pour into ice cube tray or silicone mini-muffin pans (or onto a large baking pan to make a thin bark), harden in the fridge, release from tray and store in a baggie or other container. Yum!

I'm still making smoothies in the morning - the last couple of days took part of the mix to work & sipped throughout the day. I asked the doc (ND) with whom we share office space his opinion on coconut oil, & he basically said he was more concerned with folks getting enough Omega 3 acids. I
I sent him some of the info I've found online, as he has a weight loss program based on a soy powder, to support ketosis. The coconut oil also does that, & from what I've been reading, I'd rather use the coconut than soy (I have some extra pounds, but have never 'done' his diet!)

Today (Wed d) I walked home for lunch - sauteed 1/4 onion & a couple of shiitake mushrooms, added golden beet, a parsnip, some kale (red & dinosaur) & herbs from the garden. Then back to work, so got in my 30 + min that way. I stopped at the Natural Foods store, & admired the Artisana butters - a friend mentioned picking up their coconut butter yesterday. A client brought me a jar of one of these delightful treats, & it was easy to polish off!
I wanted to go to the water aerobics class, but didn't wake up at my

usual' time (with the time change) . . . so just went work, then walked the 4 or so blocks to & from the church a couple of times, as
I'd signed up to paint a banner for Sunday's service. It was fun to use purple paints (didn't photo it - will!) & expand the graphic a bit to fit the l-o-n-g banner!
Monday I put on 2 of the hula DVDs (with Kili) & danced for about an hour! & walked my granddaughter to her playschool (about 4 blocks).

I hope to get up in time for Water Aerobics tomorrow!
I have the seeds soaking for the smoothie (added a dried apricot & some gogi or wolfberries) These are a tonic herb, high in vit A & C, which can be used daily. Oh, & looking them up here, I see the leaves can be used in salads, stir fries & tea as well!!
That's great - I have a plant (hasn't produced fruit yet - the article says ~ the 3rd year) & there are lots of leaves :) Vern says '
The fruit tastes a little like cranberries and anise. The tender leaves are edible and taste pleasantly of apple and nuts.'
I love these little red (raisin size) red fruits!! I was intro. to them by folks at the Herb Store in Lincon City - YUM! They are great in tea, I put them directly in the cup, & always eat them (they are a bit dryer than raisins) & by soaking overnight, they mix right into the smoothie.Link

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Movin' Movin'

I'm still feeling good participating in the Lenten 'moving' challenge - Friday was an awesome 'blue sky' kind of day - during a break (after walking the grand daughter to playschool in AM) I went to the park close to my office, & did Soaring Crane Qigong in the sunshine - such a nice way to be movin' & be outside!

Saturday was my 2x a month 'morning coffee' with my Moms group - walked there & back home (~ 26 blocks) & though I thought of doing more movement, mostly poked around learning more about using coconut oil, & looking up a 'Ranch' type dressing recipes for a dear gal friend. My daughter is a Ranch aficionado, & says that she has given up trying to find one that tastes right without egg yolks (she's allergic).
When my kids were young, I made mayonnaise, using eggs from our own chickens & fresh greens, so decided to try my hand at a creamy dressing.

This morning I used my tiny food processor to make a Creamy Shiitake Mushroom & Garlic dressing / Mayo:
I began with flax seed I'd soaked overnight & ground in the processor, (~ 1/4 C) 1/2 C organic sour cream with a T of lemon juice,
1/2 tsp prepared mustard,
a bit of salt & pepper,
coconut oil (1/4 - 1/2 C) & whizzed that.

Then I sauteed a garlic clove & one shiitake mushroom in a tsp of coconut oil, & chopped a bit when cool, then added
1 tsp curry powder
4 sprigs of fresh parsley (from my garden - overwintered).
I added olive oil in a stream through the hole in the top (about tsp at a time, then whizz) 1/4 - 1/2 cup.

It's a bit crunchy (from the flax - most recipes call for a whole egg & maybe an extra yolk - I could have used egg whites, but decided to try flax! I soaked the flax the night before, then ground in the processor. I think I'll try grinding the flax in my coffee grinder, then soaking.
-- The mushroom was the first from this year's 'Shiitake Mushroom Garden' - so much fun to grow my own mushrooms!! Christmas '07 many vendors shared a space for several weeks, & some local mushroom folks had baskets with a 'garden', (an 'oak sawdust bale' inoculated with mushroom spores) a potholder, instruction sheet, dried mushrooms, a water sprayer & recipe sheet!
I came home & told my daughter & her fiance (now hubby) that I really, really wanted one - so there it was, Christmas morning! I got four 'flushes' from my first garden - was sad when I'd used it up!
This year, the snow interfered with their Holiday Market trip - so I didn't get my 'refill' (the 'garden' in a bag), which needs to be refrigerated overnight to 'star.t) Therefore, I was tickled to find that a newly opened year round shop that features products from many of the same jewelers, carvers, & producers of local food products, also carried dried mushrooms & the gardens . . . 2 weeks ago, one followed me home!

When this flush is done, I'll let the block 'rest' a few days, then soak overnight & put it back in its aquarium (picked up from a local thrift store) & it will produce another cycle. Each cycle lasts about a month, & I expect to get 3 or 4 total cycles - what delicious mushrooms!

** For breakfast, I made a fruit & seed smoothie:
5 raw filberts (local) ]
2 tsp sesame seeds ]
3 tsp flax seeds ] soaked overnight in ~ 2x the water
1 t sunflower seeds ]
In the AM I put the mix in the blender & added 1 1/2 C yogurt (local)
2 T canned coconut milk
2 T coconut butter (Organic Virgin)
1 T Og agave nectar
a pinch of stevia
-- blended till combined, then added ~ a cup of frozen local blueberries

I took it over to my daughters & offered her some - the girls quickly asked for some too, & thought it was pretty yummy :)

Today several people commented on how good I look! I am about a week & 1/2 into using coconut oil, plus more movement, & feel that's making a difference! I need to decide soon if I'm taking the SoulCollage faclitator training I thought I'd do - have found myself 'flitting' from interest to interst recently. Time to step back & 'sit with' what I'd like to explore.

Was looking up some info on teachings I've enjoyed for 15 or so years - & was surprised to see the teacher's 'Native American' credentials challanged! I still enjoy the heart of what was shared, so am intrigued - Dhani Ywahoo - wisdom teacher? fraud? I use her chakra chants, esp if I'm feeling ill (to good effect!) & sat with a delightful group working with these teaching in the mid 90s. (& yes, there was a fee for the workshop!) Like many things, I've take parts that resonated, & haven't explored beyond that. Do I still like the chants? Yes, no matter their origin :)

This afternoon I chatted with my biologist former hubby (at our dau-in law's BD party) about coconut oil, asked what he has heard. He commented on the nature of the fat, & that it was the only fat his younger son could tolerate/absorb before his liver transplant! (the boy had a congenital liver condition, & in '07 at 14 was able to get a new, functioning liver!)
I owe my original interest in natural foods & the reasoning behind using them to his own scientific approach to the issue - so it's fun to pick his brain.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Movement is Medicine

I'm so happy to be a participant in the Moving for Lent challenge!

Mon I took a long walk around the neighborhood - both with Gracie, & then to my daughter's office to pick up an ergonomic purse she got in a give away from one of her co-workers.
just a bit of walking, plus hanging out with the preschoolers all AM at my youngest Grand daughter's playschool - inc. recess :)
Tue & today I took Deep Water Aerobics class at our pool - & can feel a shift happening - more energy, more movement, & some pounds melting - yea (I think using coconut oil is helping with that!) !! I walked home after Tue's class, & both ways this AM . . . ~ 12 minutes.
& tonight I hope to attend Ecstatic Dance @ the College.

Last Nov. I played harp for a presentation on Optimal Aging by the (National) Medical Director of a Sr Care facility, Kevin W. O'Neil, MD. His topic was 'Movement is Medicine,' & Dr. O'Neil began a list of more than 50 diseases that respond (symptoms lessened or remission) with the addition of regular exercise! These include: heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, diabetes, & various auto-immune diseases; plus positive shifts in Mental & Bone health. He commented that regular physical activity is essential for optimal health of those over 55 (&, of course, for younger folk as well!!) saying 10 minutes is the minimum time necessary for exercise to be effective.

One of my favorite statistics: which exercise has an 76% risk reduction for Alzheimer's?? . . . Ballroom Dance! (esp. Tango - which I LOVE!) Movement, social, touch, music, memorization, (inc. body memory!). . .

Dr O'Neil's Rx: for those 65+ (or younger folks with Chronic health conditions):
1st: make it fun, challanging, & try different things!

Do moderate intense aerobic exercise 30 min a day, 5 days a week
Do vigorously intense aerobic exercise 20 min a day, 3 days a week
Do 8-10 stength-training exercises, 10-15 rep of each, 2-3 days a week
if at risk for falling, perform balance exercises
have a physical activity plan.

For reducing the risk of falling (more than 50%), he suggested a daily Vitamin D-3 intake of at least 1000 mg - up from the old USDA suggestion of 400 IU. & getting a blood test to see if you need more (the NDs in our office recommend more for many of their patients (after doing blood work.) Dr O'Neil commented that the 1000 IU a day level is safe for most folks, (those with kidney problem should check in with their doc.)

Oh, & for 'Twilight' fans out there - did you know that there are a couple of mineral make-ups that include 'Twilight' as a colour choice?? A few weeks ago I picked up a 'Bare Essential's' 'Platinum' kit (on sale - $35 so less than $5 each product, plus 3 brushes - these are GREAT tones for my silvery hair :) & the darker shadow is 'Twilight' (I adore the Platinum shadow!)
I can't find this item - either the kit or the shadow - in the on-line shop - looks like it was intro in 2007, as I found a post on it here! You might have to check in a shop that carries the Bare Minerals/ ID line.

My favorite mineral make-up comes from Christina Harris - CMH Essentials - she has a yummy dark green 'sparkle' eyeshadow in Twilight which I love! - I use it as an eyeliner, wetting a brush & swirling it in some of the powder. She has great prices for intro sizes (I've still got plenty of product in my sample size - which is only $1.95) & offers monthly specials. I also use her Shimmer Veil, when I'm in a 'make-up' mood :)
Her diamond or 'blue diamonds' glimmer looks similar to the ID 'platinum' & Chamelion Sparkle is one of my favorites! I got the Green & Gold Trio sets, (Twilight is included in the Green set) & want the purples!
Remember to click the 'discount coupon' in the 'information section - it will take you to the code you need to enter for the monthly special :) Christina's March special is 20% off your order :)

fyi: CMH essentials contains Mica, Zink Oxide, Titanium Dioxide & refined Iron Oxides - no oils, liquids, fragrances, preservatives; & no Bismuth Oxychloride, which irritates some skin, (& is in the 'Bare Essentuals' line.)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lenten Challange - 30 minutes of Exercies daily

Following Genie's suggestion to visit the Green Smoothie Girl's site (great + info on coconut oil, a list of 12 'health myth busters' - including info. on dangers in eating many soy products) I rolled along through several blogs, & found this Lenten challenge over on Fat Bridesmaid here & here - to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise over the 40 days of lent! I'm joining that challenge - what a delightful idea, to choose a positive!

I'd begun well, with our joint Ash Wed service at St James - the 16th year of this ecumenical service. It begins with a fish supper - including the best clam chowder - yum! Thinking of doing a 'spring cleanse/ detox' soon.
On Thur I did Tai Chi (which my dau. proclaimed as aerobic, since you are continuously in motion); Fri went to a ballroom & swing dance at the Ballroom (way more than 30 min of dancing!), Sat walked (OK, so it was in a store - but again, steady motion); & Sunday put on a Hula DVD (Kili - Island Girl series - we love these!! It's an easy way to have fun moving!

This morning was beautiful, so I took my little dog for a walk. We have a nice fenced yard she can play in, & Chihuahua's can take or leave walks, Gracie definitely doesn't like to wear coats, so is happier if it's fair :) & then another walk to take the 4 yr old GD to school - then over to my daughter's office to pick up an ergonomic purse one of her co-workers was passing on - so about an hour just around the neighborhood.

Now I need to remember which pocket I put which item in - always a challange with a new purse!
I made a case for the wooden chopsticks & spoon that I carry with me. Last year at our Farmer's Market, Peter the spoon man commented that he felt hypocritical when he used 'fast food plastic' if he got something from a food vender - so pulled out one of his older 'home' teaspoons to use. I thought that was a great idea, & into my purse went one of the flat spoons I'd purchased from him. The new case will hold the spoon & a dear pair of chopsticks (cherry) that I've had about 20 years.
I eat my morning granola from a pottery bowl & one of Peter's spoons, & most other things with a pair of yew chopsticks he made at my request (I love this shorter style!)

Glad I took those walks earlier - now it's hailing!! Prob a brief squall - I can see blue sky to the West, where our storms 'usually' originate.

Do you have a Lent or Spring intention?