lifestyle

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Ah, it’s almost summer and that means…

Published February 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

It’s almost time to break out the shorts, open-toed sandals, a comfortable top or tank, and sunshine in a bottle.

What? Sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie, that is. I recently came across a recipe for it and it looks delicious. For this you will need the following:

Glass Mason jars (any size).

Glass straws such as these or others found here as well. I know they’re pricey, but when you’re trying to ween yourself off of plastic entirely and are concerned about unhealthy chemicals being leeched into your drinks and food, then glass straws might be a very healthy lifestyle investment. Sure glass straws can be a pain to clean (some come with a straw brush) and the other draw back is they can shatter and get broken, but making any lifestyle changes come with extra work.

You will also need a juicer or regular kitchen blender. If you opt for a blender, then you might want to strain this through a cheese cloth. I’ve tried the wire mesh strainers and they end up becoming rusty after one use. And if you have a juicer that gets rid of the pulp, then great. 🙂

If you’re going the blender route, be sure to add in enough water to cover the blades first and foremost to reduce wear and tear.

Sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie:

Take one lemon rinse, peel off the rind and slice it into chunks. You may want to remove the seeds before tossing it into the blender. Depending on what juicer you have, the more expensive models I’ve heard and read about anyway should eliminate the seeds and pulp. Also, about the seeds, some can have small toxic properties, and although its considered a very minuscule amount when ingested by eating certain kinds of fruit like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits, if the seeds do get ground up, then in turn could cause small sharp particles that can then tear the intestines. Believe me, that doesn’t sound like fun. Therefore, I take the extra time to remove the seeds, especially when in doubt.

Next you will need some Fuji and/ or about three red apples. Wash, rinse and slice them into chunks. Discard the core and seeds in the trash. Add the apple slices in with your lemon.

You will also need some oranges, peeled, rinsed, and seeds removed if you want to go to the extra effort. About two Cara Cara oranges or pretty much any type of orange should work. And you need about three. I used one bag of small Halo Cutie oranges, and prepared these in a juicer and frozen them in ice cube trays.

One pineapple. Rind removed and discarded. Next, you’ll want to cut up the pineapple. Its all a personal preference if you discard the core or use it when juicing. I’ve heard both pros and cons of eating the core of a pineapple. The pros is it contains a high concentration of natural vitamin C and other healthy benefits. The cons of the pineapple core is that it can cause fiber balls to build up in the digestive system that can be difficult for your body to break down. Also, some seeds in fruit aren’t meant to be ingested because they can contain cyanide.  So, for myself personally until I can do more research on eating the whole pineapple I would toss out the core. Yeah, I might be depleting the vitamin properties and not getting the full ‘juicing’ experience, but rather be safe than sorry.

Two Kale leaves washed/rinsed off. I would say optional on this if you don’t like mixing veggies with fruits.

Okay now that you’ve washed, sliced, diced, peeled, chopped and cored your fruit you’re ready to add it into the blender and/ or juicer and whip these ingredients together. Last night I tried making this smoothie with most of the ingredients but lacked the most vital one; the pineapple.

So my “half” sunshine in a bottle smoothie is sitting in the fridge. Today I was determined to  walk to town to get  said fruit. And did the usual errands. I also stopped in a local upscale women’s clothing boutique that sells boho (Bohemian/ Hippie-ish) inspired clothing, jewelry, Vera Bradley hand bags, wallets, small back packs, makeup bags, Hanky Panky thong underwear, and even more Chinese-produced, massively over-priced jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, earrings… eh, I’ll just blog about all that in another post.

Tonight I plan to finish my fruit smoothie, crank out at least two other blog posts on here, do my Yoga for the night, etc. Then tomorrow I plan to get the garden cleared  and get it ready for summer. I already have most of my seeds bought and saved back as many as I could from all the fresh produce I bought at the store (roughly a year’s worth of “almost” free food if it grows and produces, that is).

Oh, and if you tried making this sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie or anything similar, I’d be interested in knowing how it turned out. And should I find the video again of this smoothie I seen on youtube, I will post it in this blog. It looks great, but if you try to make it without the pineapple you’ll have a strong lemon smoothie instead.

Stay tuned for more. As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, tweeting. I always appreciate it a lot! 🙂

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My three-step deodorant (how-to-make):

Published January 31, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

This was pretty much trial and error when I began my mission to quit putting unnecessary chemicals into my body over three years ago. I researched, scoured, and tried many ‘all-natural’ health food store deodorants with less than impressive results. And it was only after the fact when I would arrive home and read all the ingredients of said deodorants.

How much money did I end up wasting? About $30 per month!!! For that price I could have very easily made my own deodorant and still have money left over.

So, I kicked all those mineral salt deodorants and Tom’s of Maine to the curb. I pitched out all cheap store-bought deodorant brands too, especially the kind that contain aluminum, which by the way, from what I’ve read extensively about, the body doesn’t NEED aluminum. Aluminum could be a cause of bone disorders, kidney problems, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer. Therefore, to eliminate these risks I looked through all of my daily beauty products. I was quite shocked to find Ivory soap “the soap that floats” does contain that sneaky beauty industry word, “fragrance”. This means Ivory isn’t 100 pure. Also, whether or not it really does as advertised to kill 99.9 % of germs leaves a lot to the imagination. If it’s a bar of Ivory it will collect bacteria like a Petrie dish.

Throughout the summer of 2015 I experimented using nothing more than a lemon slice daily. And believe me if you have sensitive skin this will burn like a three alarm fire! Lemon slices were out as far as home made deodorant alternatives were concerned in my case. I looked into using just baking soda, but found I had to re-apply it quite often and it sweated off in less than five minutes. Also, some generic and well-known brands of baking soda can contain aluminum which could account for me breaking out into rashes and having it make my teeth hurt when I used to brush with it in place of store-bought toothpaste.

Well, gosh darn it! So I did further research and came across some home made deodorants using Arrowroot Powder, but the stuff’s expensive. For the meantime, I just wanted a ‘go-to’ home made deodorant. While I was reading up on the benefits of raw organic coconut oil (like oiling pulling where you swoosh a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth the very first thing 20 minutes upon getting up and on an empty stomach). Not only is this anceint techinque suppose to help draw out toxins, it’s also supposed to help your oral health and whiten teeth as well. I also read about coconut oil’s deodorant properties too. I then discovered there’s many more uses for hydrogen peroxide other than just using it to treat cuts and scrapes. Hydrogen peroxide also has deodorant qualities. I tried this and almost got it to where it worked for me, but it wouldn’t stick. Hmmm…

For the final test version I dusted off with Rumford aluminum-free baking powder. The results? Excellent!

Here’s my three step process I’d like to share with the readers. If you like, you’re more than welcome to pass this along. I don’t know how well this will work for every individual since everyone is different, but here it goes:

Wash, shave (if you need to), and pat dry your underarms. I do this exclusively as part of my morning routine. I haven’t even begun to master tweezing and don’t ever foresee myself getting the hang of that. Shaving is still very quick for me and less of a hassle.

After your underarms are dry, smear some raw organic coconut oil on your fingers and apply this to the underarms making sure to get a generous amount rubbed into the skin.

Next, soak a piece of toilet paper with Hydrogen peroxide and dab this to the under arm area. Since I haven’t found an easier solution to apply hydrogen peroxide without a piece of toilet paper, this will have to do for now. I’ve tried using cotton balls to no avail and even tried using a facial scrubbing pad with messy results since the hydrogen peroxide doesn’t absorb into either material. It just dribbles all over the place.

And last, using a big makeup brush (or powder/ blush brush), dip it into the Rumford’s aluminum-free baking powder and dust it under the arms. Depending on whether or not you’ve shaved recently this might make sensitive skin hurt and/ or turn red. The redness goes away as long as there’s no razor burn or scrapes. And the sensitivity might lessen. Don’t apply this to broken or irritated skin, nor rub in the coconut oil with sharp fingernails. Believe me, this hurts really bad!

Things you’ll need:

Two makeup blush/ powder brushes. Since I use just one for now I often have to wash it out every other day to prevent bacteria buildup. Having two would come in handy while one is drying.

Hydrogen Peroxide (any brand) although I’ve heard there’s a lot of difference between brands.

Rumford brand aluminum-free baking powder (this can be found in most health food sections of a grocery store and/ or health food vitamin store). The container comes in a red can with a tan-color plastic lid. This baking powder sells between $2-3 dollars depending on location.

Raw Organic Coconut oil. I personally haven’t noticed a difference between cold pressed virgin coconut oil or any other less expensive store bought brand. I use whatever coconut oil I have on hand. I used to buy coconut oil by a brand called Spectrum, however, my store quit carrying it. It was also great for baking too.

And there you have it. I hope this is helpful for everybody. I also did this as to get away from the name brand/ store bought deodorants that have been known to be linked to certain types of cancers. And especially for women since some commercial deodorants have been linked to lumps in the breast tissue and lymph glands under the arms as well. By cutting out the use of deodorants exclusively, it’s my belief that my body is thanking for doing it.

And one other thing before I close: what you eat and put into your body has a lot to do with how your body sweats out the toxins and the odors that it’ll release. For example, if you eat a diet rich in red sweet onions, white onions, garlic, then you’re body will secrete these causing body odor that’s very unpleasant. However, I’ve heard from others who are on raw veggies/ fruit diets say that the body odor is almost eliminated and it all boils down to one’s own chemistry, sweat glands, etc. As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, tweeting. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂

Eating Healthy: My Daily Routine.

Published January 26, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I wanted to share with you a healthy habit to get into. And if you’re already doing so, then great! 🙂

I know– I know, groan all you want. Sigh and roll your eyes. Tell me to my face I can’t possibly know the first thing about eating right since after all, I’m just your average woman out there living on a tight income. I’m not a licensed dietitian. I’m not a physical fitness trainer nor am I a certified life coach. But what I do have to offer is a great way to get started on a path to good health and it might even eliminate some bad habits along the way. And if you chose to stick with it (its a preference, not an order), then you’ll begin to see results.

I don’t believe in pumping my body full of diet pills just to achieve desired results. In fact, I believe those are highly dangerous and some have even caused death (think of that Fin-Fin).

This is like a nutrition ‘meal planner.’ Yep, I pre-plan everything I’m going to eat and prepare it the night before or even set aside time a week before and spend three days preparing my own meals on a budget. Pre-planning can save time, be extremely handy when in a hurry or when arriving home dead tired on your feet after a long day at work.

And eating healthy is just a start. When I get up I put on a pot of water. While its heated I remove my container of oats. I begin my day like anybody else, except I take things slow. I don’t get in a hurry. If I had roses to stop and smell, I do that too. I  don’t distract myself with a blaring TV or radio. The house is silent. The computer is kept off. I shower, then get dressed. I return to my boiling water and fill a coffee cup part water/ part oats. As that cools, I add in some Nature Nate’s Raw Honey and go make my bed and tidy up and get ready to head out.

My stuff like winter gloves, hat and scarf, receipt book, odometer notebook and pens are already packed in my bag so is my music. I snag a hard-boiled egg, peel off the shell and eat it with some salt. I wash it down with either steam-treated distilled water (some times seltzer water), and eat my oatmeal. I shut off the burner and when I’m done eating, brush and floss my teeth.

For lunch I might have a kale and avocado spread sandwich on home made Pretzel bread and a handful of unsalted almonds (high in natural vitamin E) and a cutie (small orange) or similar fresh fruit (never canned or pre-packaged fruit cups).

For supper my one pot meal awaits in the fridge. I either have pea, steamed potato and ham soup, or I thaw a batch of home made chicken broth, add in a piece of chicken and simmer it for two hours on medium heat, then add in some dried peas and whole wheat wide noodles. I check on it and add in water as needed. I clean house, do laundry, and fold and put away clothes. I sweep and vacuum, and when I’m done, the rich aroma of a home made stew fills my cozy house. I bring in my cat and feed her a spoon of Tuna along with her dry cat food. She’s happy as long as I’m the center of her universe. Sometimes she’ll claim the recliner and curl up and sleep for hours. I eat supper, wash up the dishes and wipe down the stove and counter tops.

My meal plan is as follows:

Mornings: Oatmeal and raw honey (in winter), one hard-boiled egg, one banana. In the summer: one hard boiled egg, one banana. I try to eat at least within the first 30 minutes after getting up. This helps to boost metabolism.

Lunch: Sandwich using home made avocado spread and/or soup/ stew or boiled Pollock fish or Salmon (if its on sale) and rice, steamed asparagus, green beans or corn, and a potato (make sure to poke holes in the potato or else it will explode. Do this especially if you plan to have a baked potato).

Supper: This is generally the ‘heaviest’ meal of my day. It can vary depending on what I have on hand. I’ll either have stews, soups, chicken (as the main meat), a veggie, a potato, and for dessert, an apple and peanut butter. Sometimes I forgo the apple and peanut butter and eat a small custard-cup serving of mixed frozen fresh fruit that’s been pre-washed, sorted and bagged. Other times I might make Jack Straw Tuna Casserole and bake it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 mins 20 mins.

How to make Jack Straw Tuna Casserole:

One can of Tuna (drained) and dumped into baking dish. Or, if you prefer, you can always use one can of Salmon or canned chicken with the gross stuff drained off and rinsed in distilled water. The thing about Tuna is that it contains mercury, so you may want to eat this once-in-a-while. And this same heavy metal is also found in most fish as well.

One potato washed, peeled, and cut into shoe-string length. Add those in with the tuna and add in some water. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Sometimes I’ll make this using hot dogs and sauerkraut, and shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Tuna is optional and so are the hot dogs. It’s very rare I do eat hot dogs on a regular basis simply because they are so full of chemicals and they are very unhealthy. The more chemicals you can keep out of your body, the better you’ll feel.

Put some tin foil on the baking dish, set the timer for about 15-20 mins. and place the casserole in the oven to bake. Make sure to use a half cup of water so it doesn’t burn. For a variation Feta cheese is also good as a topping as well in this recipe.

During the summer I rarely heat up the house using the oven and prefer to either steam the heck out of my veggies and chicken dishes, or just boil them in water. I never use any cooking oil and don’t make or consume fried, greasy foods either. It may sound like a plain boring diet, but its what helped me lose a lot of weight and keep it off.

I don’t own a juicer yet. Rather I do blend my fresh produce like kale, fruit, strawberries, bananas, apples, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and add in a small amount of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I also like to use half a cup of steam-treated distilled water and/ or Hiland Drinking water (bought at Dollar General). I blend all of the ingredients using grind, whip and puree on my blender, and when its too my liking (thickness-wise like a fruit Smoothie), I pour it into freezer bags, label them and store them in the freezer for future use. The shelf life of this in the freezer is about one month or until the bananas begin to brown then you know its time to toss it.

The avocado spread is made much the similar way using just enough water not to make it soupy but keep it like a thick sauce texture, some lemon juice (spices optional: rosemary, black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Kosher salt, onion powder or fresh sliced white onion about two strips) and freeze it if its not going to be eaten right away. Shelf life of avocado spread in the freezer is 3-5 months. Thereafter it must be pitched out if not consumed by then. I always like to thaw the avocado spread in the fridge overnight so it’s ready for me when I get up.

The home made pretzel bread I make has to be either frozen or refrigerated. Other times I’ll make Welsh Rarebit for a snack. I did happen across Welsh Rarebit when skimming through my 1890s cookbook and wanted to share it:

Welsh Rarebit:
16 (1/3-inch-thick) diagonal bread slices
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup porter or ale
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large egg yolk

I usually omit the butter, and all-purpose flour and use whole wheat flour instead. I would assume the bread slices are put on a plate and then the Welsh Rarebit is served over it kind of like an open face sandwich. Also, I skip the port and ale and leave out the milk. This is just my personal preference. With the other ingredients in the Welsh Rarebit, you’ll want to mix these and bring them to a low simmer over medium heat stirring constantly so it won’t stick or burn. Once thickened, remove from burner and serve over the bread. Goes great with a little bit of Feta cheese on top and a side of green beans.

I also have a recipe for my no yeast Pretzel bread:

• 3 cups whole wheat flour (preferably stone ground)
• 4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 1⁄2 cups rice milk (works with any liquid) or 1 1⁄2 cups water (works with any liquid)
• 1⁄4 cup liquid fat (i.e. melted milk free margarine, vegetable oil, olive oil)
Directions
1. Mix dry ingredients.
2. Do not sift the flour!
3. Mix liquids and add to dry.
4. Stir until there is no more dry flour.
5. Depending on the humidity of the air where you live you may need a little bit more or less liquid.
6. The dough should be moist but not sticky.
7. It may take a few minutes for the flour to fully absorb the liquid, so don’t rush to add liquid or flour to it.
8. Score lightly the surface in a diamond or X shape to prevent splitting of the crust.
9. This is a country style bread that should be sliced thick.
10. It is important not to overwork the dough.
11. Shape into a ball or an oval, with oiled hands.
12. Place on clean baking sheet.
13. Bake for 40 minutes at 400°F.

Remove bread when done, and brush on a mixture of water and baking powder. Sprinkle with Pretzel salt and return to heated oven for about 5 mins. Take out and let cool on a wire cookie rack. Sometimes the loaf will stick to the bread pan so make sure to oil it with Coconut oil or similar if you’re using cooking oil. This bread comes out hard and crusty on the top, moist and spongy on the inside. Cut into slices (this is hard to do without a bread knife, but can be done), then put into bread sacks or zip lock bags and place it the freezer or fridge. If you place this bread in the fridge be sure to consume it within less than a week. Since there are no additives, this bread doesn’t contain all the chemicals that store bought bread does to keep it from getting moldly. This home made bread also sets better and is more dense (not light as air like all commercial store-bought breads are) and you won’t get hungry afterwards since it won’t contain any MSG Mono Sodium Glutamate = ‘natural flavors’ or artificial “your guess is as good as mine” ingredients.

It might take awhile to notice any results when breaking free from chemically processed foods and switching over to an all natural, raw fruits, veggies and home made meals diet since everybody is different. If you can cut out the sugar (sugary drinks, bagged sugars, candy, and sweetners) you’ll soon discover a HUGE, (I mean massive) increase in energy and libido. Your body will thank you and your spiritual, mental, and emotional well being will love you for it. Not only will you feel great, but you’ll see it physically.

Another helpful tip: start by keeping a weight diary. (This helps, trust me). Weigh yourself each morning after you get up first thing. And don’t eat or drink anything. If you do, that’s okay too. Usually you weigh less in the morning than you would at night. I generally like to take my weight twice (once without a stitch of clothes on), and one weight reading with clothes on including shoes for better accuracy. I always jot down my weight nowadays and the date.

When I began my raw veggies/ fresh fruit about three years back, I didn’t keep a weight diary. And I really should have. I weighed 132 pounds back in 2014, and for a woman of such a small size, I would consider that morbidly obese and I’m not even a medical doctor. Surprisingly throughout my past regular and even yearly exams nobody ever brought up my weight to me. I didn’t gain that weight until I was in my late twenties (27-28) and it just stuck with me since my ex would cook in grease. Everything was grease and he’d swear by it was the only way to cook. I used to drink soda like a fish back then, ate very unhealthy processed foods and by the time I was in my early 30s I hated how I looked and felt. I know what did it for me was when I undergone my emergency gallbladder surgery at 35 and that was my wake up call. And had I not heeded that handsome surgeon’s advice about having the emergency surgery, I wouldn’t be here blogging.

I began to see results almost one week after I cut out soda completely. But mind you I began to do this slowly over time once I healed from my gallbladder surgery completely. Then I stopped baking with sugar. And then I really saw results! I slowly, but surely I eliminated all boxed dinners, processed foods, junk foods, candy, gum, and at the last even tea. I will eat sunflower seeds and chew on toothpicks.

Nowadays I make my own steeped tea boiling water and adding in two fresh frozen cranberries. Other times I will raid my Hosier cabinet for my dried Peppermint leaves and put those in my tea strainer. They won’t change the water to green as I’ve seen from the bagged “Bigalow” Peppermint tea does. There’s hardly any ‘mint’ taste from my dried peppermint leaves, but they complement the cranberries I think. I’ve also tried a little bit of my dried lavender flowers too and didn’t notice much difference (taste-wise). Lavender does help to aid digestion.

Cranberries are an extremely good source of antioxidants and natural vitamin C and if you can buy them fresh in the bag (Oceanspray brand) found in the fresh fruit/strawberry, blueberry, and mulberry cooler, then its worth it. Yep, you can freeze fresh cranberries (at least I do), and you can freeze fresh strawberries, blueberries, and mulberries. 🙂

If I can think of anything else, I will be adding to this blog as time goes on. Please, keep checking back. Thank you for liking, commenting, sharing, re-blogging, and tweeting. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to lose weight? Drink organic apple cider vinegar when you get up.

Published June 6, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

The benefits of apple cider vinegar are two-fold, if not more, and if you buy organic apple cider vinegar, this will help you to lose weight especially visceral fat. It’s usually that stubborn fat stores around your stomach and inner organs. Too much of this type of fat can actually be very bad for your health. According to the website livestrong dot com, they state that an unhealthy visceral fat is 35” for women , 40” inches around the waist or more for men.

Thankfully, I don’t fall anywhere close to the stated unhealthy fat stores. However, I do strongly promote apple cider vinegar for its health benefits. I used to be a white vinegar type of gal in my teens where I’d mix one cup of water, ice cubes, a dash of table salt and some white vinegar and drink it after meals. This I did sparingly since it’s very potent. Also, vinegar can eat away at the tooth enamel, so it’s recommended to drink this through a straw. Personally, I would brush my teeth afterwards. Nobody wants to walk around smelling like a distillery.

For the apple cider vinegar drink you’ll need:

One cup of water (distilled and cold).

Two teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s brand seems to be the best one health fanatics are loving since it come in its un-pasteurized pulpy, form).

Add a teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)

Then add in a splash of hot water for people who might have sensitive teeth.

This won’t taste great, trust me. However, if you’re serious about melting pounds and boosting your metabolism first thing when you get up, this will help. Apple cider vinegar’s health properties have been known for ages. It will help alkalize the impurities, flush out toxins, give you an energy boost, and many other benefits. Some health fanatics even recommend putting a little bit of cinnamon and cayenne pepper into the apple cider vinegar to give it a zing. I don’t think I could tolerate the taste of cinnamon or cayenne pepper in mine.

Hope this helps. Also, thanks for reading, liking, sharing. 🙂

Frugal limited budget consumer part 3 Vitamins: telling the difference between real and synthetic.

Published June 4, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

Yes, I’m very serious when it comes to my health and also taking vitamins. Also, living and eating frugally does show on the outside. And you’ll feel better too both inside and outside and it all starts with….

Loving yourself.

Yep, if you learn to love yourself (that’s being content with how the Lord made you and using daily positive affirmations), then you’ll begin to see a remarkable improvement in how you feel and how people see you. I read this recently in an article from a freebie magazine, Good Health Lifestyles, spring 2015 edition. The advice she gave, I found quite intriguing, but only at first glance from Mariel Hemmingway (granddaughter of literary Ernest Hemmingway) where she discusses finding health and happiness naturally.

Mmmm, okay… an actress giving advice and then by the end of the article she sounded like a typical rehearsed public service announcement and went off topic, I believed.

Rather than trash this magazine like I so often have gotten in the habit of doing if it’s stuffed inside along with my purchases, I decided to skim through it and see if I could pick apart any tidbits of interesting new knowledge and didn’t find much. I did wade through a slew of products promising everything from youthful glowing skin, anti-aging creams, vitamins for men and women, and not an ounce of it made me feel the need to rush out and order it off the websites and try it sight unseen.

Not only am I frugal grocery shopper, I’m also very selective when deciding what to put in and use on my body. Also, there are times when its impossible to evade, especially when visiting a health food and vitamin store. Some of their products are marked up and I’ve discovered no less questionable ingredients in any of the ‘natural’ products we use everyday.

When it comes to vitamins, however, (and I will drill this into your head), I highly recommend that you do your research in the company. Especially when its vitamin E. The vitamin E being sold in grocery stores from vitamin makers like Nature Made, which is inexpensive and here’s why: their vitamin E is synthetic.

You’re likely unwittingly damaging your body when taking something that’s promoted as being healthy when in fact, it probably isn’t.

What to look for on the label:

If it states “dl” Look for the ‘L’ after the ‘D’ and this will let you know that it’s totally fake and a waste of money.

Will the REAL vitamin E please stand up?

Okay, here’s one made by a company called “Solaray” and they list their vitamin E as “natural d-alpha” on the bottle of their multivitamins. If it states “d-alpha” it supposed to be the real deal and not synthetic. I double-checked this with my local vitamin store to verify this.

Let me go on to add that I’m not a dietician or even a licensed nutritionist. I’m not associated with any medical profession, either. I simply love to share my knowledge with others and what’s benefited me thus far in my life. Now, what works for me might not work for everybody else since everyone is different and so are their nutritional needs. I just felt the urge to stress that.

Vitamin C… yes aside from being the name of a Pop singer/songwriter and actress, it’s also a vitamin still untouched and hasn’t turned up being synthetic to my knowledge. In my early twenties I used to take vitamin C powder and mix it with water. I also heard taking a few liquid drops of vitamin B-6 helps the body to absorb it faster. But I’ve never taken a liquid vitamin so I can’t comment on its overall effectiveness.

I take Rexall’s vitamin B-12 and Sundown’s vitamin C along with the aforementioned multivitamin. I also include a Probiotic in my diet from time to time. A probiotic is healthy bacteria produced in your gut. I wouldn’t get carried away with it or any vitamin regimen and just follow directions on the bottle. Personally, I just take under half the recommended dosage.

Now, vitamins can be costly, no doubt, but I do sincerely believe there are many benefits to taking them since getting vitamins naturally from foods would be minimal, at best. And if you think about it, you’d really have to gorge yourself eat a TON of veggies and fruits.

Why I don’t do the fruit or veggie smoothies anymore is because my body can’t tolerate them. Don’t get me wrong I do love blending these up and having a smoothie as a quick ‘go to’ meal replacement, but honestly, smoothies should never replace an actual meal, just pointing this out. But they do taste great none the less. As for the weight loss, I really didn’t notice the pounds melting away like magic. You still have to get out there and exercise even if all you do is go for a short walk around the block or do twenty minutes worth of exercises every day with two days of rest.

Now for the exercises and why I don’t go slap happy crazy on the extreme body toning exercises is because I don’t want to resemble a Rolled Gold pretzel stick. I’m a woman and the Lord has blessed me with a natural hourglass figure and I plan to keep it looking feminine, for one. And secondly, showing off a six pack isn’t my thing. It looks super attractive on some men, but not for me since I’m a woman.

The exercises that I do are what I discovered from late natural path, Bernarr Macfadden. I also walk as well and at one time used to bicycle which was a way of life for me for many years until I discovered that most motorists don’t pay attention and/or have some mean streak a mile wide and just want to run me off the road. It’s a dangerous world for cyclists I found out and that’s the main reason why I quit cycling everywhere. Sometimes the space along a road is marginal and if there’s a slew of parking stalls and motorists turning in and backing out creates a lot of unwanted stress for the cyclist since motorists often times don’t look when backing up or simply fail to pay attention when behind the wheel.
And did you know its against the law to ride on the sidewalk in any area of a downtown district? This is true. It’s something that I didn’t know was even in the law books, but it’s a very antiquated law that’s still enforced and the police will fine you. Same goes for skateboarding and roller blading which was a short-lived fad in the late 90s/ early 2000’s.

So cyclists beware, before you decide to merge with that side walk, hop off your bike and ‘walk’ it. Also, there’s usually never a bike rack when you need one so locking up your bicycle to a newspaper stand, light post or tree might get you in trouble as well.

What I don’t recommend for exercise is jogging and/ or running. Although this will help you lose weight, this also, overtime reeks havoc on your joints and cartilage and tendons. It’s great to build up the leg muscles, but I’d rather have ease of mobility when I hit my golden years than living in constant pain from something I did when young.

I also garden for exercise and mow the lawn, pull weeds by hand and there’s never a shortage of ‘back breaking work’ around my house. I find that engaging in these activities gives me a work out and I take my time. I never hurry through my work just like I don’t get in a hurry wherever I drive. I plan accordingly and leave early and take leisurely routes when the whim strikes me.

Thanks for reading, liking and sharing and be sure to stay tuned for my next installment. 🙂

Part 2: The frugal limited-income consumer:

Published June 3, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

Yes, frugal. It means living and eating as economically as humanly possible. This is part 2 in my series of ‘Poverty and Obesity’. This is meant for everybody of ALL income brackets not just a select few and who knows, you might just learn something new. Not everybody that lives in poverty will be obese and I want to point this out. This accusation is not only very inaccurate, but also excludes some of the richest people in the world who aren’t exactly the poster child for ‘healthy’ thin.

Okay, so say for example, you find yourself in a dilemma and are severely limited to buying one of two things presented when using food stamps: You can buy a package of Ramen Noodles that will make five or twelve snacks, (not meals, mind you) because its inexpensive and you can stretch your food stamp allotment, or you can put that food stamp amount toward some fresh produce or fruit. I would forgo all process packaged foods and opt for the fruit and fresh produce, but that’s just my personal preference. Also, calculate in the difference and how you will pay for it with debt, cash or—?

Well, we can’t trade or haggle for our food and Thou Shall Not Steal, either. So make a wise decision. And here’s a little helpful hint that most folks might not know: look for items on sale and/ or fruit and veggies that are in season. If you have a deep freeze, by all means, if you can, stock up on these items and when you get home separate them into freezable containers. These will become the base of your ‘meals’. Do you have a green thumb? Even better! Now all you have to do is til up a patch of land where you live permitted you don’t live in a Home Owner’s Association area and/ or other tightly-controlled community. It’s a lot of back breaking work preparing a garden bed, but so well worth it once your tomatoes, green bell peppers, onions, lettuce, green beans, squash, etc. produce like crazy.

And if you know how to can (don’t worry it’s a lost pastime that hardly anybody knows how to do anymore), this will save you some serious money and help you provide for yourself and your family in the winter months. Say, you have an urge for pickles and don’t want to trek out in the dead middle of winter and buy some chemically-preserved jar of pickles. Using a water bath canner, canning jars, and cucumbers fresh from your garden should do the trick.

Work, work, and oh yeah, more work… but in the long run its more economical and maybe slightly healthier since you know what you add to the ingredients (minus if you use the pre-packaged pickling spices). It’s insanely easy to grow your own dill and have on hand the pickling spices and so much better for your body, I believe. Well, if you’re not interested in growing your own food, I suppose you can walk down to the store and buy a bag of doughnuts or potato chips. Since I am writing a blog to dispel this poverty and obesity link, I figured I throw out some suggestions that I heavily rely on to sustain myself. One thing that the government is big on promoting (and there are some health benefits too), but you’ll never see them touch these listed foods with a ten foot pole because they are so ‘disgusting’ and can’t stand the taste. They are:

1. Lentils. (You can actually grow lentils). They are part of the bean family and found in most supermarkets. Eating beans has protein in them as well and are (at were at one time) inexpensive to have as a pantry staple.

2. Rice. (Yes, I’ve heard most rice we buy nowadays contains traces of Arsenic, a type of poison and therefore we are essentially poisoning ourselves). If you cook rice for twenty minutes or about the same amount of time you would cook pasta this should help reduce Arsenic intake so experts claim.

3. Beans: navy, Northern, Kidney, Black beans. Bought dry these have a long shelf life and they freeze well too.

4. Cheese. Yes, you can freeze cheese and use it later. I like to buy it in the small shredded variety and take some out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge. I find this cuts my grocery bill in half doing it this way and it’s a product I know I will consume quite fast.

5. Flour. (And I know there are talks about gluten free, non-GMO this and that) and even bleached white (where the nutrients are taken out and minerals re-introduced), and the wheat flour (again, studies are mixed on whether or not this is actually good to be eating) and according to some exercise fanatics they claim to avoid foods made with flour entirely. Flour can also be kept in the fridge or the freezer.

6. Raw unfiltered honey. If you can afford it and find it in your area, then go for it. Just remember, honey can go bad and can get botulism, a type of deadly food poisoning. My personal recommendation: use it up pronto before the expiration date. When you see little crystals appear in the honey, it’s time to throw it out. Honey has so many health benefits, but depending on the type of vegan you are (if you are really die-hard vegan), you may avoid honey completely as well as sugar.

7. Yeast for making bread from scratch. (And no, a bread making machine doesn’t cut it). I mean actually going either online or scratch baking bread loaves from memory. It doesn’t take much effort and the key to good bread is to start with a warm kitchen and never add that yeast to scalding hot water or cold ingredients as this will kill the active yeast and your bread won’t rise.

8. Tortillas. These freeze really well and I find I don’t need to buy these as much, either. They are versatile for all kinds of meal ideas (I use them in place of spring rolls when making egg rolls) simply because they’re handy and economical. Tortillas also make excellent Mexican dishes or just plain out of package with a jar of salsa dip.

9. Chicken. Despite what’s going on in the news about another strain of bird flu (I think will see more mutated strains as time goes on just keep a heads up on it), I used to buy chicken pieces in a package, divide the pieces into individual portions and bake them when needed. There’s plenty of recipes online using chicken and what you can make out of it. Just don’t ask me to fry any chicken. I don’t eat grease-laden meals and never had success making fried chicken in the past that wasn’t burned to a crisp.

10. Fresh green beans and cabbage. Believe it or not you can freeze both. I froze cabbage and green beans two years ago. The green beans lasted longer than the cabbage. But the cabbage went good with velvet cheese sauce and baked in the oven for fifteen minutes. To make the velvet cheese sauce any brand of processed cheese will do and a dollop of sour cream. Spices optional.

11. Blueberries and strawberries freeze really good and contain antioxidants. I find that I’m still eating my blueberries and strawberries a year later. Just thaw them out in the fridge overnight, make a fruit salad and enjoy them immediately. Or add them to a bowl of oatmeal.

12. Fresh Tomatoes for stews and soups. If you freeze these and then make them they’ll be good to flavor stews and soups and that’s about it. Otherwise they turn soggy from the freezer.

13. Butter. This can be frozen for up to three years (if churned by hand) and probably the same amount of time for store bought. I use butter only when baking or a recipe calls for it. Seldom do I ever consume it on a daily or even monthly basis.

14. Onions, Japenos peppers, Hungarian hot peppers can be sliced and stored in a freezer. These go great in Mexican cooking, soups, stews, chicken, etc.

And let’s see you can also buy fresh veggies rather than canned goods. I’ve gotten wise that some of the cans are lined with plastic (BPA’s) to protect the food and ingredients used to preserve them, but plastics can also leech out chemicals that can play with estrogen levels, too. It’s highly recommended if you consume canned goods, then please wash the contents off before adding them into meal or cooking them in a sauce pan.

And those darn pre-packaged boxed dinners… if at all possible avoid them. The chemicals are outweighing the vitamin content. And if you MUST have that certain boxed dinner, do so sparingly like a treat.

I avoid sugar at all costs whenever possible. And since I’ve been sugar-free I have felt positive results in not only my moods, but appetite, and how I feel overall. Also, I lost a lot of weight since avoiding sugary drinks, sugar-laden foods, sweets, gum, candy, ice cream, etc. And I look at the sugar content in grams. If its over 5 grams of sugar I don’t buy it.

See, is it very possible to remain and/ or get healthy even on a limited income. It all boils down to making those eating choices.

Frozen dinners and the like: avoid them. I doubt the frozen veggies have any nutritional value whatsoever. Opt for fresh veggies instead whenever possible.

Frozen fries—okay, this is a weakness for me. I do love the occasional baked frozen fries, however, they love me back in the wrong way and my body doesn’t let me forget it, either. You can make your own French fries by slicing up some potatoes and frying them in shortening… or you can do what I do and forgo the grease and just bake them in the oven until golden brown. They may not be crispy, but that’s okay by my standards.

And the most inexpensive staple to have when on a limited income are… eggs. They have many healthy benefits, but sadly, there is speculation that we might enter an “egg shortage” coming soon to a grocery store chain near you. And the eggs that will be imported here in the US will be out-sourced from China and other countries. I was reading an article that stated this… so to all of you micro-mini farmers and city backyard farmers: keep raising grass fed chickens.

I had a flock of chickens one year and it was a lot of work, but having a steady supply of eggs in my backyard was nice (and they tasted better, too). You can also make scrambled eggs and prepare these in breakfast burritos and freeze them ahead of time and take one out the night before and thaw it in the fridge for breakfast the next morning. There’s a multitude of healthy food choices I could write out, but feel I’ve covered most that I consume on a daily basis. Sure, I don’t buy ice cream anymore or snack foods, sometimes though I will break down and add some nuts onto my shopping list. Nuts contain healthy fats and are a good source of protein as well. I will add more to this when I can. Thanks for liking, sharing and tweeting.

Poverty and obesity, Part One: dispeling erronous accusations:

Published June 3, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

It’s been all over the news lately and a hotly debated topic that poverty and obesity go hand n’ hand and specifically targets only these individuals.

But does it really? I doubt it. I’ve been reading a ton articles regarding this issue and wanted to help dispel some of the truths and a lot of over-exaggerated myths:

First, the truths:

Truth #1: Most individuals receiving food stamps can’t afford to buy the more expensive healthier foods or keep themselves healthy. This is called “inflation” and it’s hurting EVERYBODY of all incomes.

Truth #2: Junk foods/ frozen foods/ pre-processed ‘unhealthy’ foods are priced so they’ll be easily accessible. Truth is, junk foods, etc. are pitched to everybody of ALL incomes, not just those using food stamps.

Truth #3: In some states they’re now making it illegal to purchase steaks and lobster and certain types of sea food with a food stamp/ SNAP/ EBT card. That should nip your ‘protein’ intake and getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids right in the bud.

#Truth 4: You can’t purchase ‘hot’ pre-made foods with an EBT card from a deli in a grocery store. If it’s cold, then you can buy it from a cooler and it will have a sticker: “Food stamp eligible”.  Oh, we’re you planning on hosting a block party tonight? You’ll have to put back the hot fried chicken, fried mushrooms and okra and just have your guests bring their own food and table service (silverware), then.

Back in the day before they issued Food Stamp cards, there was once a form of “food stamp” paper bills and before that, a small book of “stamps” (thus is where ‘food stamps’ derives and was born out of the first great depression of the Thirties and then president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “the new deal”). Food ‘stamps’ allowed a family or a single person to buy a certain amount from the four basic food groups: bread, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.

Truth #5: You can’t buy alcohol, tobacco products, lottery tickets, toilet paper, deodorant, soap, laundry soap, and other non-food items. In California (home of the ‘birth defects, reproductive harm, and carcinogen warning labels’), an individual can’t purchase candy or soda pop when using food stamps.

I sort of laughed when I read a ‘top ten list’ of what can/can’t be bought with food stamps that some contributing reporter/author at the Huffington Post, I believe, compiled. The article seemed largely thrown together to meet a deadline more than likely.

What I disagree with was that the reporter/author of the article states right off, “I didn’t pay attention to Home-Ec (home economics class) and I really should have,”

Excuse me, my dear, but Home-Ec (from my recollection when I took the required class back in Jr. High School eons ago), didn’t breathe a word about food stamp assistance or what you could/ couldn’t buy with them. I don’t know where this reporter/author went to school, but I suppose it’s a geographical thing and what school you attended way back whenever.

What did make me furrow my eyebrows in curiosity is when I read an article recently last month in May in Yahoo news that food stamp recipients and those receiving EBT cash assistance and other government assistance are blowing tax payer’s money on $800 tattoos, trips to Vegas, flat screen TVs, computers, X-boxes, Play Stations. And who does it hurt? The tax payer, first and foremost. Secondly, it has a trickle down effect to the truly impoverished that need the government assistance to help supplement and allow them to simply exist like the rest of society and it hurts everybody in the end. In all my life I never knew it was even “legal” to waste food stamp allotments and EBT cash assistance in such stupid and frivolous ways.

The percentage of the ‘honest’ impoverished folks likely make up a 1 per cent, if even at that. I think the article I read grossly overlooked (or excluded entirely) the individuals who sit at home, have nine, or xxx amount of babies by several different ‘fathers’ just to collect the assistance and mooch off of society. And the comment section lights up with such snide remarks like: “They need to get sterilized… it’s called ‘birth control’.” “They need to get a job,” “They need to execute these types,” etc.

Uhm, this won’t solve the issue of poverty. It’s been around and will continue to be around long after our time. It’s called society and what, we as a nation, sweep under the rug. It’s still a huge nasty stigma and its coming to the forefront thanks to inflation and wages that can’t allow individuals to provide basic necessities of life. And secondly, government assistance like food stamps is there to supplement. It was never intended to live on solely. However, some individuals do find miraculous ways to make ends meet: it’s called living frugal. And this is where I’d like to dispel some myths about poverty and this sudden of interest with obesity being linked:

Myth #1: All individuals living below poverty level and/ or receiving food stamps/ EBT cash / SNAP, disability are morbidly obese. This just isn’t so, and here again, the facts and figures aren’t accurately projected in the article I read, either.

Sure, you might be restricted on what you can/can’t purchase with food stamps, but your eating choices don’t have to be limited to Ramen Noodles or Mac n’ Cheese 24/7, either. Eating choices start with the individual and what they want to put into their bodies.

Myth #2: All individuals living below poverty level and/ or receiving government assistance don’t take care of their oral health, brush their teeth or even see a dentist for regular checkups.

Not all low-income or below poverty level individuals have terrible teeth (or no teeth, for that matter). I can kind of see where this assumption derives from because poverty is directly identified with rotten teeth, poor oral and overall health.

It all depends on how the individual was

a.) raised

and b.) had someone to show them early on in childhood how to properly care for their teeth and show them the importance of staying healthy and active, taking vitamins and eating right. Key to good overall health starts with your teeth, diet, nutrition and exercise.

Myth #3: All individuals receiving government assistance/ EBT/ Food stamps, etc. are all lazy and do nothing all day long and don’t contribute to society in any meaningful way.

Myth #4: All individuals receiving government assistance don’t know how to look after themselves. E.g. (shopping for groceries, buying ‘non-food’ items like toiletries, picking up after themselves and keeping a clean tidy house/ yard, etc).

The answer glares right in my face when these myths are presented in numerous articles and never added into the equation: are these articles presenting ‘generational’ poverty (handed down from family to the next), working class poor, low-income individuals, disability recipients, etc.? Nope. The articles ‘gloss over’ the statistics and sometimes leave a lot unsaid resulting in misinformation and lack thereof.

Stayed tuned for my “Part Two” in this interesting series where I will list some healthy eating habits on a shoestring budget. Oh, and if you’d like to read up on the arsenic in rice, here’s the link. For some odd reason wordpress keeps directing me back to here when I highlight a word and try to insert the link in that… very frustrating, anywho– here it is:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/how-much-arsenic-is-in-your-rice/index.htm

This comes from Consumer’s reports.

Thanks for reading, sharing, and liking as always. 🙂