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Aloe Vera leaves, scarves for soft, luxurious hair and Chinese chopsticks: how I discovered some remarkable benefits for the least amount of money.

Published May 10, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Okay, I admit, it still costs money to buy these things to get started if you don’t have them around your house. However, since I’m always cramming my cranium with more knowledge about health benefits, pros vs. cons using everyday commercial hair care products that I grew up with my entire life and studying up on tons of articles out there both in print (freebie magazines from the health food store and via the internet and Farmer’s Almanac). I used to read the Farmer’s Almanac religiously when it was inexpensive years ago. An issue nowadays will cost $6.97… ouch! And along the way I discovered some fascinating healthy tidbits in my own pursuit of continuing my good health and overall well-being, especially from the of the dusty antique pages of my beloved set of late natural path Bernarr Macfadden Physical Culture encyclopedia. Now, I’m not saying this man is god. His methods and remedies, although outdated by today’s standards, may seem very far out there in left field, but the knowledge he presented (and updated from time to time clear into the 1940s) I find to be highly invaluable and educational. And it was Bernarr Macfadden who essentially opened my eyes to a healthier lifestyle. I also have a copy of his book written specifically for women that includes tailored exercises of the day, ditching the corset, health(ier) clothing choices although plastics weren’t invented yet when this book was written and a host of other information.

And I wanted more than just the egg hair rinse. I began my new hair care routine with the natural and health benefits of the aloe vera leaf. Sure, you can buy an itty bitty spindly aloe plants at Lowe’s on their discount/ distressed plant shelf for about $4 or maybe even at your local grocer for an astronomical amount for a little plant containing three puny leaves that look half dead… and let’s face it, unless you live in an arid, hot year-round climate, then growing your own aloe vera in your backyard for harvesting is nearly impossible to do in cold climates unless maybe if you bring it indoors for the winter. Believe me, I tried keeping small aloe vera plants alive indoors and just didn’t have the right terrarium atmosphere for them to survive. And then again, I only knew as much as my pre-Internet knowledge allotted me back in the day. I understood that aloe vera are desert loving plants and that’s was about it. And I knew back then the juice from a snippet of aloe leaf did wonders for burns, bruises and minor cuts. However, I didn’t come to realize just how beneficial these plants truly are until just a few months back. I live in an area that do stock aloe vera leaves (huge leaves at that). However, sometimes I can find two or even three large aloe leaves bundled for 40 cents-80 cents in the reduced merchandise cooler. Even if the aloe vera leaves look a little expired, I still find that they come in useful for my skin and hair regimen since I don’t consume the juice in smoothies.

 

And what are the health benefits? For starters, the aloe vera juice extracted from a leaf when applied to a burn, minor cuts or even scrapes helps promote healing. But did you know you can also cut open the aloe vera leaf of that clear slimy substance and whip it up in a blender to use straight as a natural skin and hair softner?  Yep, and it feels baby soft to the touch from my personal experience, gives natural luster to the hair follicle, again based on my experience, and when added in with fruit and veggie smoothies packs a lot of vitamins and antiseptics. In actuality the extracted aloe vera gooey stuff has no taste whatsoever. The kind that is produced in the bottles is oversaturated with nasty sugars.

 

It is advised to avoid consuming the yellow-ish aloe vera gooey substance because this acts like nature’s fast acting laxative. And when adding in aloe vera juice to a smoothie, do so sparingly as suggested by some health advocates and avid juicers due to a laxative effect. Also, the leaves I have found to be of use long after I remove the gooey clear substance. I like to cut the leaves in chunks and then freeze them for use later on and scrape the remaining gooey substance and use that to shave my legs with (makes the skin velvety smooth when dry shaving) and it feels excellent after a hard day working outside in the heat as well.

 

The shelf life of aloe vera juice when blended into a frothy foam that settles in the container can be stored in the fridge up to one week. I have heard from many women who also add in olive oil and coconut oil for their hair care routines, but if you hate the greasy weighed down feel it might produce, avoid using these oils entirely. It’s all about personal preference though. Personally, I found the DIY coconut oil and olive oil leave-in hair treatments to soften and restore damaged hair make my hair look and feel really gross as though I haven’t washed it in many months. And it doesn’t help living in a hard water area with nasty, industrial waste fluoride treatments, either. And it took several repeated ACV washings to get said oils out of my hair. I have alternated with the no shampoo, or “no-poo” trials with not so impressive results, either. My hair doesn’t look dirty or anything, but it’s either dry or brittle as a result even though I refrain from using shampoos and conditioners. I do, however, find that washing in city water isn’t helpful at all. I find that I’m literally at my wits end trying to get rid of the chemicals out of my life, especially when it comes to finding a shampoo that doesn’t contain Dimetheicone and its many sneaky aliases which is a polymer silicone and used in a wide array of hair products, skin care products, etc. and I believe I when doing some extensive and exhaustive night owl reading and research into this chemical is also classified as toxic according to the EWG (Environmental Watch Group). Dimetheicone also belongs to the polymeric organosilicon compounds (silicone). It is also used as an antifoaming agent, skin protectant, and skin conditioner. It is also approved for use in food as well. Eww, I’ll pass on that second helping of mystery pie. Here are Dimetheicone’s many different aliases:

 

DIMETHICONE COPOLYOL; DIMETHYL SILICONE; HIGHLY POLYMERIZED METHYL POLYSILOXANE; METHYL POLYSILOXANE; SILICONE L-45; DC 1664; DIMETHICONE 350; DIMETICONE; DOW CORNING 1664; MIRASIL DM 20; VISCASIL 5M.

 

Whew! Now that’s a long list to add to my shopping list of no-no’s. Moving along… the aloe vera leaf has many healthy properties. I heard it might help with anti-aging although I’m a firm believer we all grow ‘old’ gracefully and that is a fact of life. No amount of beauty creams and downright overpriced anti-aging concealers and beauty ‘add-ons’ that are pushed onto us women will amount to much, except perhaps do the exact opposite of what the products promise and could, for example, maybe exacerbate the natural aging process and help it along rather than magically ‘fix’ something that  isn’t broke. I also go by the philosophy, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

 

I noticed first hand the benefits of using pure aloe vera after the first week of using it like lotion. I’m not talking about the chemically-laden fake aloe vera that comes loaded with man made sugars in a 10 gallon oil drum for $1.80 at Big Lot’s. Okay, I exaggerated on the 10 gallon oil drum serving. I think it was more like 32 ounces, but still—that’s sugar overkill if you ask me. I don’t even use sugar in my evening/ morning beauty routine, although I have heard it makes the skin soft and so does pure raw honey. But skin can also absorb the sugars just the same.

 

I like to use straight aloe vera juice and go through one leaf per two weeks (when I can stretch it that far). It does wonders when your hair is damp and you’re drying it naturally (without heat of a hair dryer). I also wrap my damp hair in a soft cotton and/ or silk long scarf and let it completely dry. Using long scarves as in place of a bath towel or hair dryer to dry the hair I stumbled upon quite by accident and I highly credit a youtuber Steph Arizona for using scarves when applying hair masks to prevent it from dripping all over the place and also for throwing out some helpful advice on what to do with all those plastic grocery sacks that can accumulate like dust bunnies around the house. The grocery sacks make really good ‘one use only’ improvised shower caps and you’ll save a few bucks as well.

 

So, I gave some of Steph’s hair care tips a try and went at it with a somewhat skeptical approach at first since most of these DIY hair masks never worked for me in the past. I tried the coconut milk hair mask Steph uploaded on her youtube channel and individual results will vary. Therefore, I wasn’t discouraged when it didn’t work for me. I was only out $1.25. But I didn’t like the chemical they sneak into the Polar brand of Organic Coconut milk that I purchased wasn’t a natural ingredient and the actual coconut content didn’t amount to much. My result was my hair was very weighed down, limp and felt like it had a thick film on it that wasn’t easy to wash out even with repeated ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinses and followed up with a full strength distilled white vinegar rinse with distilled water.

Although it did make my hair look shiny and silky, it was a huge mess to wash out. I then tried Steph’s ‘rice milk’ hair mask. Although, here again I didn’t allow my rice to ferment for three days (I believe that’s what she recommended) so I didn’t notice much of a difference in my hair. And mind you I did these hair mask recipes two weeks apart to give my hair some rest. What I didn’t do was reach for the Mane and Tail conditioner or the even the vegan shampoo (found at Sally’s Beauty Supply). However, even though its listed as vegan the shampoo is still loaded with chemicals in extremely small print, so you’ll need to carry a jeweler’s loop on your person to read these ingredients on the bottle. So I only reserve the vegan shampoo when the olive oil and coconut oil hair mask blunders made my hair greasy, albeit shiny. Also, I had some success with an avocado hair mask mixed with some aloe vera juice in place of shampoo.

 

But since doing the scarves for the hair mask recipes, I do strongly urge to make careful buying choices when shopping for scarves. I admit I buy mine from thrift shops and often times they don’t have tags listing the fabric content. Sounds icky to buy second-hand stuff but if you add a little bleach to the wash (before you put your laundry in), this helps and believe me, anywhere I can save money, I opt for that and leave the big box retailers and online shops alone.

 

Also, when purchasing used scarves for these hair masks I made quite a few ‘disastrous DIY infinity scarf’ shopping blunders, not ‘buyer’s remorse’ per se since I didn’t know said scarves weren’t wide enough, but instead thin, long and slapped together likely by a newbie to using a thimble, needle, and thread (hand stitched in most cases, not that that’s a bad thing). Most of these disastrous homemade infinity scarves I do happen across are less than $1. Sometimes they’ll set me back 49 cents here and there. And if there’s a tag attached to the scarf look for silk and/ or cotton. If its polyester this is spun plastic. And rayon is even worse yet since it’s a chemical that can leech out toxins.

 

Oh, and some helpful buying advice: always look for the tag and read the label for the fabric content. This threw me off a few times since the scarves would lack their tags and feel like soft cotton, when instead they were still stretchy, clingy, and made of either nylon, rayon, and viscose fabrics. Since I did some major spring cleaning yesterday, cleaned out my overburdened closets and donated ten large bags today, I got rid of nearly all of my clothing that not only no longer fit me, but also contained polyester, rayon (which is a toxic chemical and potential carcinogen that can seep into your skin), and nearly all nylons (including hose, trouser socks, trousers, and tank tops). This included many of the scarves that I just recently purchased for my hair mask treatments and natural hair drying.

 

Then what is advisable to wear in place of all these synthetic fabrics? And what if you have extremely sensitive skin? Then what? Look at the tag in the clothing and/ or scarves before you buy them. And do TRY on the clothes before you buy them. I am a repeat offender of ‘assuming it will fit’ mentality, when in fact, it’s the opposite in some cases and it make not look good on me or it make look fantastic on the dress form, but too small around the bust or too large around the waist, etc. And why is this a ‘one size fits all’ society all the sudden nowadays?! Aw, man!

 

I hauled ten trash bags crammed full of clothing and that outgrew me since I lost weight and changed my diet for better and made (hopefully healthier) eating choices for myself in the long run. I’m almost completely vegan now, except I do eat the occasional hard-boiled eggs about once a month. So if I were to say I was full vegan, then it would make me a hypocrite. I am a full vegetarian though and don’t consume meat, chicken, pork, or even hamburger. I don’t even do those ‘veggie burgers’ since here again its all highly processed foods on my ‘no-no’ list.

 

And what does this have to do with Chinese chopsticks? Well, aside from wanting to learn how to use a pair of chopsticks (that’s on my bucket list of things to learn how to do eventually when consuming rice), I also found a new pair of wooden chopsticks today for 29 cents and they were a lucky thrift store find. There’s nothing special about them and they’re not fancy or anything. When I opened the package I was slightly disheartened to see a few splinters so I designated these pair of chopsticks as hair sticks. Hunh? Hair sticks to hold your bun in place. I found some beautiful, elaborate //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=antiquemystiq-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00RHL8XR2&asins=B00RHL8XR2&linkId=89fc8d0b469478d24b773175273788f6&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>hair sticks on Amazon. So, I did a quick skim on youtube for tutorial hair stick videos and used one of the chopsticks to draw my hair in a bun and let it completely dry.

 

I used to keep my hair in a bun all the time back in my younger days with plastic hair clips before I fully understood that plastics are bad for the environment, etc. and keeping my hair in a bun constantly used to give some natural curls to my hair when I let it down so I wouldn’t have to kill my poor [then] chemically treated dyed hair or submit it to harsh hair spray. I used to be a fan of Aqua Net ‘concrete’ super hold hair spray back in the 90’s and that’s how we younger women got that ‘big hair’ look. Back then we called it, “teasing our hair” since the term ‘big hair’ didn’t come into vogue until about, oh… let me think here, around 2008 when I first heard of the term, that and the saying “big hair bands”. We simply used to call our beloved rock stars “hair bands” back in the day and not to be confused with the pony tail holders.

 

So, I’m trying out the chopstick bun in my hair as I write this and will give an update later on. I have a very tough day ahead of me and I need to get some beauty sleep. Oh, and I haven’t packed my lunch, either. I was more pre-consumed with food prepping earlier this evening and making space in my fridge for my leftovers of mashed potatoes mixed with red and yellow onion, fresh broccoli, and Chia seeds and my one pot meal of tri-color Rotini (spinach and tomato variety) without the added man made ‘enriched’ junk. I will post my mashed potato recipe for anybody that might be interested. It’s simple and takes a few minutes of food prep work, but so filling and good after a long day of running one’s legs off. I always say a hot meal, iced herbal tea (not the cheap instant teas), and some dessert of cut up fresh banana, strawberry drizzled with homemade chocolate sauce using Baker’s Unsweetened Baking chocolate bar, two tea spoons of raw honey and a few Carbo unsweetened chips is a real treat! As always thanks for reading, liking, commenting, re-blogging, tweeting, etc. I always truly appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bare it all part three: To Wear or not to wear? That is the question.

Published January 23, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

It’s a debatable topic and I was curious to blog about it. Bras come in all shapes, sizes, underwires, sports bras, shelf bras, etc. And they’re all fine and pretty. But is there a link between them and cancer? I stumbled upon a fascinating natural path website addressing this very issue.

Call ’em ‘Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders’ if you’d like. But according to one Dr. Mercola, he states that wearing a bra can pose health problems for women. “Many physicians and researchers now agree that wearing a tight fitting bra can cut off lymph drainage, which can contribute to the development of breast cancer,[1] as your body will be less able to excrete all the toxins you’re exposed to on a daily basis,”

And there’s a lot of cons with the underwire.  Dr. Mercola recommends women remove the metal wires and buy plastic bra inserts and even provides a link where to buy them in his article. I found that to be helpful, but I don’t entirely agree plastic is the way to go. Normally, I don’t re-insert anything into the underwire bras and just leave them be. Did you know that underwires interfere with the earth’s electromagnetic field and that the metal itself attracts microwaves and radio waves? According to some that have studied this correlation believe this also can pose health risks to women who wear underwire bras.

And it now got me to thinking back to the time I had emergency gallbladder surgery a few years back. In his article, Dr. Mercola also cites from a source published in 1975 about the damage bra restrictions cause to the internal organs, especially the stomach, liver, and gallbladder.

And let’s face it ladies, underwires pinch. They hurt and are very annoying. If not that then bra straps constantly require adjusting. Underwires and bras in general can interfere with the Cooper’s ligaments and lymphatic system. The purpose of the lymphatic system is to cleanse the blood, and when restricted, makes it very hard for it to drain properly. The purpose of Cooper’s ligaments helps to support the breast wall. And when this muscle is supported by a bra it breaks down and gets weak, according to some articles.

I always cut out the underwire and toss it. However, when I seen a youtube video discussing the bra vs. cancer topic a few years ago, I quit wearing bras entirely and switched over to sports bras except in the once-a-year instances.

Some women even recommend wearing a camisole or tank top underneath the clothing when heading out. And its all about personal preferences. It may seem far less sexy in appearance to what we as a society are conditioned into believing, but comfort wins out and so does the feeling of freedom. I can see why women are pitching their bras as I continued to further research this topic.

But is this a New Age/ tree-hugging fad? It almost seems to be a throwback to the Bra Burners of the late 60s, 1968 to be exact. Women did it back then because they wanted to be liberated. Nowadays women are doing it for a variety of reasons and others, not. Some prefer them or have no other choice but to wear them. Either way its a personal choice. I’m just writing this as conjecture for now. And like always I’m not an expert. I just like to bring awareness about a variety of topics no matter how controversial they may appear.

I also watched a few more youtube videos related to the bra and why its not such a good thing to wear and discovered one video by a French woman who went around to the stores and showed off various bras to get her point across why bras weren’t such a good idea from her perspective. She said something to the effect of, “If women were meant to wear bras, we would have been born with them.” The closed-captioning helped since I never learned French. This woman even had a few more videos posted in relation to health, beauty tips, I believe. If I ever find her video again I will have to post a link to it.

So there you have it. If there’s anything you’d like to see posted on my blog, please leave me a comment in the comment section. And thank you so much for  re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, commenting, and liking. I always 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. 🙂

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. 🙂