Friday, December 31, 2010

Cottage Door

I got out of bed early because I heard our neighbors' dog attacking the trash bag I left on the porch. I threw on my boots but he had already dragged it down into the woods. AND I'LL SAY IT AGAIN: Sometimes there is not enough land, and there are too few snipers. Immediately following, Caramel started mooing since he saw I was up and wanted his fresh morning hay. Who needs an alarm clock?

SO! This has been a weird week for me. It's usually my big goal planning week- one of my favorites of the year; but basically this year I just need to scratch out '2010' on last year's list, and put '2011' minus the things I've already crossed off. We know what we want, we just need to get it done. Most of the week, I have spent quite a bit of time drafting some final design stuff for the house so that I could finalize everything and spec out the glass panes for the windows and doors I want. That's right ladies and gentlemen. The little lady is adding millwork to her list of dive-in-and-do-it-yourself absurdities.

Monday, for under $30, we bought a pipe clamp and a ten foot iron pipe. The door in this picture is on one of the cottages that Hugh Comstock designed in the 1920s for his wife, which spurred the look of what has grown into an entire storybook cottage town- the town of Carmel, California (type in Carmel Cottages in Google and sit down with a cup of tea to have a really enjoyable afternoon). I read about the cottages in the one magazine I ever really enjoyed- Cottage Living- which is now out of circulation...I'm still not over that. Anyway, I copied the design of this door in a larger scale for my front door. I have begun to glue wood together and clamp it with the pipe clamp. It will form a panel from which to cut the arch. See- you can do anything if you break it down into tiny steps. No big whoop, as Linda Richmond would say.

I still have leftover hardwood flooring in the garage so I am fabricating the door with it. The price tag to have it made was more absurd than the thought of doing it myself; and unfortunately, living with a generic door is more absurd to me than that. See the logic? Some people are into clothes, jewelry, cars, hobbies... I am into doors and windows- cottage-y ones. I am currently waiting on a quote for the panes from the glass fabrication shop. They need to be double pane, Low E since they are on the exterior of the house. The glass for the interior doors I can buy and cut myself from Lowes. This will be my first door. I have a slew to do after this one, so I hope it goes well.

I have been reading about passive solar heating for a year or so since a friend let us borrow a book about it. I have also been reading about masonry stoves. The back room that will be expanded to be the family room is on the south and east sides of the house. With the window and door design, roof design, proper materials, and a masonry stove, we should be roasty toasty in winters without having to pay ridiculous energy costs to a power company that very often burns fossil fuels to provide electricity.

Masonry stoves are fireplaces designed to burn wood very efficiently and store heat to be released radiantly from the brick work. The wood box only needs to be loaded once every day or two. Passive solar is simply designing your house to be heated by the sun during the winter when it is low in the south sky by having a ton of windows there and a material (like the brick of the masonry fireplace) that will absorb that heat and continue to radiate it out at night. During the summer you can prevent overheating a number of ways, but I like high eaves that act as a visor in the summer when the sun is high in the sky. Both are very earth- friendly and cost efficient.

Did I mention already how intimately God loves us and how well He knows us and how He truly does work all things together for our good? The back left corner was all that was needed to get the look I want, so he set us here in a house with the least required to get the look and function I wanted instead of letting us get our plan (which I begged him for)... which was to build a house. I guess He knew the little glitches of where to live while we were doing it and how to find the time when you are so busy were more than little glitches. I also like how He included a lot of efficiencies I couldn't fit in myself.

I have a lot of hopes for 2011, but mostly I want to finish the house and homestead, so that we can nestle in, get set, and be ready to fly out with the confidence of knowing the nest is in tact for us, friends, and family. What are your hopes for 2011? I want them to come to fruition too. Kelly Carr told me once about something God showed her and I hope she won't mind if I shared it with you, though I couldn't be as eloquent as she was in the telling. She saw people marching along in darkness and drudgery looking down and right next to the path was a waterfall of light. When you stepped into it just a little, the light and beauty and joy were overwhelming... but so few would even look up to see that it was there. The scripture says that in God's presence is fullness of joy and my prayer for you this coming year is that you step into it more and more and more and more.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Arthur Miller, Noel Perrin, and Mrs. Wilder

My favorite children's book was given to Quinn before he was born. It begins like this: "God knows all my secrets, He sees into my heart." Each rhyming line has a scripture verse that it was drawn from written at the bottom.

My favorite line is, "He's just around the corner, He's up above my head. I'm not afraid of monsters, God's underneath my bed."

It's no literary classic. I just like it.

Books were never really a big part of my life. I grew up on a steady diet of TV and textbooks from school. Without God's word interfering with my path I would no doubt be a full-fledged blubbering liberal idiot by now. My gosh, looking back, the number of books I had to read for school from the first to the twelfth grade was ridiculously low, and I was in what they called "Honors" classes. If I had to venture a guess, though, I would generously put the number at no more than thirty. Quinn just put down the twelve volume Living Forest series by Sam Campbell in four days flat. I have to force him to put his book down so that we can eat and do our schoolwork.

About three or four years ago I purposed to grow a library for the kids. In my last blog, I referred to a quote from C.S. Lewis, who was one of the catalysts for such a desire. He is one person whose writings and perspective I admire a great deal (a gross understatement). Through a complexity of thought venues he draws out of you a stronger mind and spirit, better sharpened and more humbled in praise for our Creator, at the same time.

While cleaning up last Friday I found one of his books and the quote. It is so good, I wanted to share it with you in its entirety:

I am a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kind reflecting every transient stage of my parents' interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not. Nothing was forbidden me. In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass.

I, very soon after the desire for a library bloomed, found that the local public library held an annual sale where they removed from the shelves old books, to make room for the new books that were coming in. They were 25 cents each, and on the last day they dropped them to 10 cents each. I got a great start that weekend. I pulled everything I saw of value and left all of the useless mind mush behind. You would be amazed at what they removed- classics, great history books, etc.. I am not saying they didn't replace them with newer prints of classics- but a quick walk through the library wouldn't give you the impression that they had at all.

I say all of that to say this: I think God is so involved with the details of our lives that he has been placing books for us. Maybe he doesn't do this for you- you are a different person than I am and he may do totally different things for you.... but of this thing he has been doing for me I am starting to become quite convinced.

One of the books I happened to pick up at the library sale was a book by Arthur Miller called In the Country. It is his writing about moving, you guessed it, to the country. I remembered from high school that he wrote Death of a Saleman- but I never read that book (though SWEET MERCY based on my adult life experiences I want to if the title lends any hint to the content; but I digress). What struck me about it was his observation, as an 'educated' person purposefully going back to a rural area, that the remnant of people who hadn't left for one reason or another yet were literally embarrassed about their way of life. The "modern, industrialized world" had led them to believe that farming and rural living was nothing short of a backwards bygone way of life to be ashamed of....sad.

My sister Charlotte later told me, when we were discussing this, that Dad felt that way. She said that he was always happiest farming...until buddies would come around and talk about their great paying industry jobs; then he would get unsettled and dissatisfied... feeling like he needed to go into that world to "get more." Dad had an eighth grade education but could fix anything with a motor and knew quite a bit about farming; and many other practical things for that matter. He was a smart man who worked very hard and used his hands for a living as well as his mind. The notion that the employment of the one is best independent of the other is a notion that is rooted in utter stupidity.

The other book I happened to toss on my pile was a book by someone I had never heard of before. His name was Noel Perrin and the book was Last Person Rural. If my gut had teeth in it like a bike chain, the stuff in this book was a set of gears that laid perfectly against it and moved me along on the path toward this life. Mr. Perrin was a Dartmouth professor who spent all of his other time on his farm in Vermont, and he loved every inch of it... all of the ways that it moved with the seasons and all of the people engaged in the same thing that he met. I loved reading about his days, his ponderings, his experiences, his work, his integrity, and his disdain for some of the things that he saw from the culture, from the caldron of marketing, and from the throne of 'progress.' I can't even tell you how much I liked this book... for the sentimental things it conjured up from my childhood, to the things that are innately a part of the way I think, to the simple enjoyment of reading how someone else believes that stillness is an event more worthy of attendance than most anything else. I just stumbled across it again and have been meandering through some of the pages. It has the absolute best book review on the back of the cover, by the way, that I've ever read. Roy Blount Jr., from the New York Times Book Review wrote, "This is a dangerous book. It almost made me decide to go ahead and get pigs." I remembered loving that quote the first time I read it; and now that I am so close to getting pigs, I love it even more.

For my third and final book of evidence, I submit this...about a month or so ago I stopped at a yard sale, and picked up some books. I saw a book called Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now, despite the huge fan base for her Little House on the Prairie books, I have never really had a desire to read them because, quite frankly, the television show was so disgustingly sappy. If there is anything I can't stand is sap- you know those shows where they pre-craft some overly sentimental situation where everyone is blubbering? It makes me sick. BUT! Given the title of this book, I picked it up. It is about her husband, Almanzo, when he is a ten year old boy (Quinn is ten) and what all of his activities and experiences are like on the farm. My gosh, she explains so many things in depth that we are going to be doing over the next year that it's practically a reference book! I love it and Quinn loves it. The timing for him and for us at this season in our life is perfect. I already read the ending and I welled up with tears, I admit. Not because of anything sappy... but because, well, you should read it.

I guess God knows all my secrets, and He does see into in my heart; so He sends me books that resonate in it too.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nutrition and Health- Part 2: tailored weight loss

Typed 2 years ago as well, here are all the things that worked for me, after years of trying things that didn't....

Nutrition-oriented Weight Loss Precepts

1.) Ingredients goal: Organic, unrefined, whole grain, unprocessed and sugarless is what I strive for- it is hard to hit that mark with every ingredient. What if you hit 2 out of the 5 categories? That’s better than what you used to do. Proceed from there. I buy almost everything organic now; I try to make up for the cost in some other ways:
a.)cheaper toiletries
b.)by using basic ingredients (not already mixed stuff). For ex: I buy eggs, flour, butter, meat, pasta, fruit, and veggies. With some good fats and some good spices you can whip basic ingredients into many, many things.
c.)I don’t eat so much now! Sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s true. When I eat now, I’m feeding my body. The quality is better so the quantity can decrease.

2.)Eating every 2 ½ to 3 hours keeps your metabolism going strong and steady. You never want to let yourself get hungry or it will go into starvation mode and think it needs to store your fat instead of burn it. This is one of the truths that you will read consistently in every good weight loss plan out there. People say to eat 6 times a day, but a lot of times 5 is plenty for me. As long as I didn’t let myself get hungry, I don’t try to cram in more food just to say I ate 6 times- that’s missing the point (and adding calories that aren’t needed).

3.)Portion size: try to keep your portion sizes of meat and carbs smaller than your fist (stole that from BFL book). I actually try to make them a little smaller than that. I want my meals to be in the range of 200-300 calories. If you do that and eat 5- 6 times a day, you will still lose weight…even if one of your meals blows that out. (Blown out does NOT mean because it’s full of garbage, but because it’s full of calories- good calories). It will all kind of balance out. Portion sizing isn’t so hard once you stop letting yourself get hungry(see #2 above). If you wait until you’re hungry, all bets are off and you will pig out. Portion size is a huge key to weight loss!

4.)Cravings- I am thoroughly convinced that the other reason we “get hungry” is because of a false hunger induced by the chemicals in our food. This hunger is really masking the severe cravings caused by a sugar/refined carb addiction. Kick those and your hunger gauge (the hypothalamus gland) LITERALLY resets (I think I read this in the book UltraMetabolism).. I used to be ruled by cravings and I don’t really crave anything anymore.

5.)Carbs: Carbs are essential- it’s the quality of the carbs, and their portion size that will trip you up… and carbs are the #1 thing that trip people up. Eat the best quality you can. I still like mashed potatoes and biscuits and I still eat them. What is life without biscuits??? I just don’t eat 6 biscuits with dinner like I once did. I will eat 1 or 2 small ones with my chicken and vegetables. All carbs turn into sugar in your body. You want the best quality ones so they do it slowly. (I make my biscuits with unbleached flour, butter, stevia, sea salt, baking powder and organic milk).

6.)Veg your way to a dessert. Most desserts are carbs. If you are going to eat a dessert for 1 of your 6 meals (see note below on desserts), a great way to “save up calories” to offset that dessert that may have more calories (even though you made it with the best ingredients you could) is to have a salad sometime that day or a dish that is largely vegetables. Vegetables are so low calorie that your overall calories for that day (that you consumed) will still be in weight loss target range. Note- I do not recommend or any longer “need” dessert every day- another benefit of getting off ‘sugar crack.” You will start to really get psyched up and feel empowered when chocolate cake no longer has control over you. This year is the first time in my life that I can say that.

7.)Fitness note-muscles you rip from lifting weights need protein to rebuild themselves. Muscles that are rebuilding themselves speed up metabolism= burning fat! I throw raw sliced almonds or peanut butter on A LOT of things just to add that little bit of protein. A good rule is that if you are eating a carb, eat a protein with it- trust me, you need it. Keep in mind that yogurt, cheese, eggs, and nuts are proteins- so this isn’t as hard as it sounds.

8.)Dessert note #1: If you are going to have a dessert- do NOT have it directly after your meal, because that is really 2 meals; and you, therefore, just pigged out!. Oink. Wait the 2 ½ hours and then have it as its own meal (one of your 5 or 6). I also keep a good quality chocolate bar (I get the organic chocolate truffle bar at Trader Joes) and eat only one block if I get a desire for a sweet taste in my mouth. This sounds like a craving thing; but now that I have so drastically reduced sugar, I can tell you it’s not. Sometimes I only eat ½ a block. It’s the taste that I like to have remaining in my mouth after dinner sometimes. One block is only 45 calories!

9.)Dessert note #2: Still try to get some protein in with that thing! (I spread some of my full fat French vanilla yogurt on my apple pie or throw some almonds on my piece of cake… stuff like that- if you can). Note- the one time I made cake so far, I didn’t make icing. Top it with yogurt, strawberries, almonds, coconut…etc. Or, if you eat icing (which has more sugar and calories than the cake itself), recognize it and make up for it- or just call that day a break even day. You will probably maintain where you are or add a ½ lb; but it won’t be the end of the world. The kids put some of the organic chocolate syrup from TJs (the kind you make chocolate milk with) on theirs instead of icing.

10.)Good fat is good for you and will not impede your weight loss: butter, coconut oil, and olive oil are the 3 major ones I use all the time. They add a LOT of flavor in place of what you used to get from sugar and chemicals. The reason the Body for Life diet stunk is because you cut out sugar AND fat. Talk about bland (and nutritionally in error)! The NT (Nourishing Traditions) book goes into a lot of explanation of why we need good fat.

11.)Work your recipes: If you really like something, and we all do… take it and work that recipe til you can have it and not be screwing yourself up. Replace ingredients, search for a recipe version online that will work, whatever. I now have a version of strawberry shortcake and apple pie that I eat whenever the heck I want because I cleaned up the ingredient list and I balance it out with protein.

12.)The inner voice concept- I heard this somewhere and thought- what a bunch of New Age Crap!! But, the inner voice is really your body saying: “I’ve had enough. I don’t need anymore. You can stop eating now (til we meet again in 2-3 hrs).” I thought my “inner voice” was broken……but when I started paying attention, sure enough- it was there. I get to a point and know that if I keep eating past that point, I am now gorging. Gorging screws up all your fine tuned steady metabolism progress- you don’t want to do that. People typically are in the habit of gorging because it’s their natural response after getting hungry. Your body thought you were starving and now it’s saying “EAT!” Something in the back of your mind is saying, “you don’t know when you’ll eat again! Stuff it all in now!” But, if you have a plan, you now can turn that message off! AN interesting tidbit I also heard and learned was true: If you are watching TV, or have company and are involved in entertaining conversation, you won’t be paying attention to the voice. You’ll ignore it! It’s happened to me several times. I’ll be blabbing and realize I just ate WAY more than I would otherwise. I use this more than calorie counting or portion sizing, especially at dinner now.

13.)Compromise is different than cheating. I think success is in the compromises- at least it has been for me. I eat a little sugar- I make sure it’s organic evaporated cane juice and that it’s in small amounts. The yogurt I eat has that kind of sugar in it. It’s so good I feel like I’m eating dessert when I have it. If we go out to eat and I end up eating more than I probably should, I wait a while longer until I eat again. Eating a little more than you should is different than eating a whole pizza or half a cake. Sometimes I have pasta, but I don’t eat a whole plate of it like I once did. If you eat somewhere and have food full of goodness-knows-what, just do the best you can and know it’s a bump in the road. With a stable metabolism, your body can burn through something like that without throwing you off. I think the “cheat day” concept is very flawed. One meal can be handled. If you eat garbage for a whole day it’s another story.

14.)Make your calories matter. Calorie estimating is a basic way of losing weight that everyone knows works. But the critical thing that goes with that is making them the absolute best quality food (calories) as you can.

15.)Staple Starters are a must. Find 2 or 3 breakfasts, snacks, and lunches that work for you. Make them simple, something you like, something that hits your calorie range/ nutritional targets, and can always have on hand. An apple with peanut butter is something I like so I always keep that on hand. You want to have a basic foundation of “go-to meals” when you start or you’ll flounder. You can experiment from there. Liking your food is critical!!!!!

16.)The goal is for food to stop having such authority and control over you. To get rid of that control you need to keep from getting hungry and get rid of the addictive substances in your diet. Chemicals and hunger are what will take you over, no matter what your intentions. Whip those two and you will succeed.

17.) So, flavor is really the goal. I have made food one of my hobbies, spices make a huge difference so I’ve had to learn how to actually cook. I can’t cook instinctively much still, but I have worked enough recipes to keep a decent variety rotation going of things I know are healthy and that we like. I try to find a new recipe or try a new technique (I swear until recently I had never sautéed anything in my life). You don’t want to get bored with your food! That staple stuff from step #14 above will get really old if that’s all you eat. Keep it interesting and enjoy seeing your thin and energetic self again.

18.)Your body’s special needs: I have been blessed to find a natural health professional who is trained in muscle testing- a very accurate way of testing your body to pinpoint what it needs as far as supplements. Since I had more than one issue (which is an understatement) than I or a doctor could sort out by a blood test or guessing (and they all led to a ton of fatigue, it wasn’t just an iron issue), this was crucial for me to start feeling better and for my body to let go of the weight. I highly recommend this type of help. Interestingly, on my first appointment she encouraged me NOT to exercise. She said my body needed time to get what it needed from the supplements and heal- the stress of exercise would use all the effort it should be using to rebuild and clean up to facilitate the exertion. Thus the next tip:

19.)Don’t exercise unless you know you are well. There is always time to get tight and firm, but you need to be whole first.

20.) Exercise: I am no expert on this but I have to say I agree with what I read in the book, The Power of 10 (thanks Melody!), which is to do high intensity, short interval stuff. I also believe various forms of stretching are all very beneficial- yoga etc. I am still getting better so this will be something I know more in practice once I am stronger inside. Sex, by the way, is a great way to burn some calories and husbands are always willing to be supportive in that way, I have found.

21.)Water- drink it.

22.)Your spirit and heart: stress, anger, unforgiveness, all of those other nasty things create tension and keep your body from functioning at it's peak. Let go of them and you will be letting go of some weight too.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nutrition and health part 1

I just sent these notes to a friend and decided to post them here. I quickly typed these up about two years ago (so forgive the errors), but they were the compilation of what I learned from multiple books. I hope you benefit in some way from them:

#1 Rule: If it was made in, modified in, or sprayed with something made in a lab, don’t:
Eat it, drink it, breathe it, cook on it, clean with it, drink out of it, or rub it on your skin (especially under your arms).

2. Cleaners: Basic H from Shaklee for cleaning. One bottle makes a gazillion cleaning bottles (it’s concentrated) and the stuff works for just about everything. The bottle lasts forever. Also, vinegar, peroxide, and baking soda are inexpensive ways to clean most anything. Good detergents for the dishwasher and washer are expensive, but there are easy recipes to make your own on the internet if you have the time.

3.Lotions, shampoos, cosmetics (especially kids products like baby soap!): look for paraben free (parabens are a synthetic estrogen and are in almost all commercial toiletry products as a preservative!) and lauryl/laureth sulfate free(linked with cancer). Burts Bee’s website has some additional stuff that they say they will never put in their products (and I think they list why- but I don’t remember them all). I know anything that says PEG and then a number is bad… There are a lot of alternative options for things like sunblock and bug spray if you look them up.

4.Replace Shortening with coconut oil or butter in recipes. I use Spectrum Expeller Pressed Organic Coconut Oil. They sell it at Food Lion. This stuff can be heated and used as a liquid oil too.

5.Replace any margarines, other sprays with butter (good quality butter is very good for you and I have been eating plenty of it while losing weight) or olive oil. There are other oils that are okay but I stick mostly with these 2 for everything.

6.Stevia is an awesome sweetener that is an herb. It has no calories and is literally the dried herb ground up. It works great in ice tea (it’s an acquired taste- give it a chance for your taste buds to adjust) and can be used in recipes in place of sugar where there’s small amounts. In recipes where there is a big volume of sugar which adds bulk to what you are making, it won’t work as a substitute (at least not totally- you could try half stevia and sugar or another sweetener- discussed below). Note: Not all Stevia tastes the same- try different companies. I get the white powder from Trader Joes. Grocery stores are now marketing two products: Truvia and Purevia. I am leery about these. They have stevia in them, but one has dextrose (which is a form of sugar!) and the other one I remember reading something questionable on the label…

7.Buy organic absolutely as much as you can. This is a financial commitment, but when you read what they spray food with you will realize how incredibly bad the non-organic stuff is. I had to phase this as our budget allowed. If you have to pick and choose, remember that fruits and vegetable with thinner skin likely have more chemicals in them. Things with an outer peel that you take off before you eat probably are a little better (like bananas).

8.Sugar is poison. This is not an exaggeration. It not only jacks up your blood, your brain, your mood, your metabolism and your skin; it robs your body of the nutrients that you thought you got from the other food you ate. I use Stevia, real maple syrup, honey, and unbleached organic sugar in small amounts when needed.

9.Don’t eat fried stuff as a rule. There is a way to make all things breaded by baking it.

10.If it’s white, don’t eat it. White flour, rice, etc. What you want to avoid is bleached, processed stuff. You want whole grain as much as possible. This stuff is very bad- right under sugar in that regard. As a matter of fact, it turns to sugar rapidly after entering your body. Potatoes are ok because they do have nutrients and aren’t processed; but if you are dieting, you want to keep them to a minimum.

11.Don't begin embalming yourself while you are still alive. Preservatives preserve food, but they also preserve the fat in you. They make food last longer on the shelf by killing it and putting chemicals in so it won’t rot. They do the same stuff in you.

12. Artificial anything: dye, color, flavors should be avoided. They’re chemicals. All chemicals mess with your brain and constantly more and more research is showing the overwhelming links to cancer and other diseases.

13. Water: filter for drinking (see NT book). I have a good well so I haven’t gotten a purifier yet. If you have city water you might want to also get a shower filter as you are bathing in chlorine. You know, the stuff that kills everything…. pouring over your skin that absorbs stuff so easily..

14.Meat: you want organic, free range, that is pesticide and hormone free (Poly Face Farms has good info and books). You want to get dairy products and eggs from these animals.

15.Herbs (they sell organic ones now) are awesome for flavor. Learn to cook with them. They have all kinds of healing and health benefits too!

16.Avoid MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). It’s in a LOT of spices. Jacks up your brain too.

17.Plastic leaches into liquid. Glass bottles are always best. This is even more of a big deal as it relates to temp. You don’t want to make ice tea in a plastic picture. The more I read the more I avoid plastic baggies and saran wrap too. I just flip a saucer upside down and cover most of my stuff. You wouldn’t want to drink water from a plastic bottle after it has gotten warm- but who knows how hot it got in transport?... find a good water bottle- glass or stainless steel- and use that.

18.Microwaves are bad. Good stoneware plates can heat up in the oven. Food designed to be microwaved is usually total garbage.

19.Pans- Use stainless steel, glass, stoneware, or cast iron. They coated stuff is very bad and aluminum is terrible.

20.Certain Fats are good (they talk about this a lot in the NT book) and needed by your body. I went back to full fat milk and yogurt and lots of butter!

21.Purify what you like- take recipes and switch out the bad ingredients for good replacements. This has worked well for me in a lot of instances.

22.Buy toothpaste without fluoride.

23. Water- you need it, drink plenty. It’s better without ice for digestive reasons. It’s better not to drink any or much with meals (it dilutes your digestive juices).

24.Avoid Soy- it causes reproductive harm!

25.Avoid Protein Powders/shakes/bars- bad. Exceptions: energy bar at Trader Joes: Greens Chocolate bar uses awesome real food ingredients. Cory uses these. Another exception that I’ve found is Jay Robb’s stuff. I am using his egg white protein right now. The chocolate kind mixes up in milk to make chocolate milk.

26.Cell phones can cause cancer. There’s plenty of research out there showing this. Use caution.

27.Shoe inserts are wonderful things. I got cheap ones at walmart but one day want to go to the “Good Feet” store where they will make you a custom one.

More in depth topics that are important to research and understand:

Thyroid Sugar Adrenal connection (adrenal exhaustion. Thyroid problems, diabetes)
Gut: flora balance
Yeast (and yogurt)
Blood panels and muscle testing
Resetting your Hypothalmus and appetite
Resetting your taste buds
Brain/ Gut connection
Food, herb, chemical affects on behavior/mood
Period as indicator
Pharmaceutical and food companies
To the extreme in a good way:
Grains: Sprouted
Dairy: Raw
Meat: grass fed only
Veggies: fermented