The Medicine Matrix

If our western diet is so healthy why are we so sick? Diabetes is rising, Obesity is epidemic, heart disease is #1 and we are a developed nation. In the last year I have become more aware of how our medical system works. We treat symptoms not illnesses. Think about it. You have a pain. You are given a pill to get rid of the pain. But what about, what caused the pain in the first place? I have some personal experiences that speak to this.

A few years ago, I went in for a physical. The doctor said I had high blood pressure. I didn’t agree but I took the medication anyway. Big mistake. I took a couple of doses. I felt worst after taking them than I did before. They dropped my blood pressure so low I could not function. I stopped taking them but continued to take the diuretic. I later discovered that the diuretic lowered blood pressure also. I stopped taking them. I increased my vegetable intake and reduced the sodas and fried foods. Every check up for a year showed I did not have high blood pressure. The symptom- high blood pressure, the cause- bad eating habits. Recently, I went through the same thing with a different doctor. I said no pills. I started eating fast food again. Not all the time but just enough to have an affect. I stopped. Pressure decreased. Had I not taken charge and convinced them to try regulating my pressure with a change in my eating habits, I would be stuck taking pills that are hard to get off of. Their pills would not have fixed the problem.

I had another doctor tell me recently that she was delighted that I didn’t want pills. She said it was rare to find patients who didn’t want pills but wanted to find the problem and solve it. Most people wanted what they thought was a quick fix. the pill. It is just a band-aide.

Don’t get me wrong, doctors have their place and so do pills. But a healthy body is not provided by pills. Getting to the source of the dis-ease and treating it does. Most of our dis-ease is caused by eating this western diet that is meat, fast food convenient, low vegetable and low fruit, high sugar based.

I am also convinced had we continued more diligently to eat a high plant, low meat diet my husband would not have had this last heart attack.  We have not been eating as well as before but we are returning to our whole vegetable and fruit juices, no soda and minimal fast food. I am continuing my laboratory (kitchen) visits. Real minimal. I can’t say none because sometimes life will get in the way of good plans.

I am returning to Hippocrates’ declaration.

Let medicine be your food and food your medicine.

This is my focus and intent. Modern medicine is the emergency plan.

Breaking out of the Food and Medicine Matrix as much as possible. My education continues.

The Food Matrix

Where is our Food Morpheus? Where is Food Neo? The Local, State, and Federal system has “matrixized” us.

Food industrialization has caused us to ignore the food system that was very healthy for us: the family garden and the local vegetable market. When I was a child, eating out meant having dinner at a friend’s or relative’s home. Fast food meant heating up leftovers or making a sandwich. I didn’t know or understand just how good I had it. Other than childhood diseases I got the flu or had a cold only when the seasons changed. The rest of the year I was free of disease. Most remedies for the flu or a cold was natural. They were plant or herb based. Oh yeah, there was cod liver oil or castor oil. That cured or killed everything. Pills in the medicine cabinet were few. Those were my good old days.

I was taught in grade school the basic food groups and how much I should eat. I tried to change my home habits but thankfully my grandmother ignored me. We ate red meat and chicken but we ate more vegetables from the family gardens. By the way it was non-GMO and organic. Food was back then. There were some things that infiltrated our home, like white bread, white flour and white rice. I guess that was our beginning of “matrixation.”

The things we were taught:

  1. You MUST eat meat to get enough protein.
  2. You Must have milk and milk products to get enough calcium and more protein.
  3. Vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds don’t provide enough of either for healthy bodies.

We bought it because we trusted the FDA and other agencies that influenced our food supply. Those 3 axioms really only provided convenience for us and profit for the dairy and meat industry. Tell me, if dairy was so great, why wasn’t it fed to cows after they were weaned. They were fed grass and grain. The very things that weren’t enough for us.

Recently, our food pyramid changed to a food plate with the vegetable division the largest delineation. That’s good but now we have to deal with genetically modified organisms introduced into the plant crops. That’s another post, but suffice it to say, our non- organic vegetables, fruit and non-organic fed animals may be more harmful than we realize.

This matrix that we live in is suppose to maximize our health but we are sicker now than we were back in the day. There are more pills prescribed than every before. Our pills require pills to deal with their side effects. If the pills don’t work, there is always surgery.

So how is this meat-ladened lifestyle working for us?

 

 

Continued Search for Gluten free Sandwich bread

I like a good sandwich but good organic gluten free bread is expensive. The one’s I have bought are quite dense. I found this recipe  online while researching  rice flour. Two of the ingredients, white rice flour and cornstarch, are not my favorite but I didn’t want to change the recipe until I had tried it. The results are a tasty bread; soft inside with a toasty crust. I let it cool before I sliced it. It held together; no crumbling. I am interested to see how Brown rice flour and arrowroot starch or psyllium husks will work.

Into the pan after mixing
Right out of the oven
Beautiful loaf
Hmm good 

RECIPE by Christy E. Allrecipes.com

1 Tbl active dry yeast

3 Tbls white sugar (I used raw organic sugar)

1 1/4 c warm water

2/3 c sorghum flour

1 1/3 c white rice flour

1/2 c potato starch

1/2 c cornstarch

1/3 c vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)

3 eggs

1 Tbl xanthum gum

1 1/2 top salt (I used Himalayan  sea salt)

GMO Link to Obesity

This morning I read a blog post from Sherry Brescia. Many shrug off GMO’s and the effect they have on our health. I know we cannot escape them completely but we should pay more attention to what we are eating and the possibility that we are enabling our own demise. Ms. Brescia has written an informative article that warrants re-posting. GMO–Genetically Modified Organism or Getting Massively Obese?

We seem to care more about losing weight than being healthy so maybe this will get some people’s attention.

Sorghum – What Is It?

When i was a little girl, I loved to visit my great-grandparents in the country. That is what city folks called the very rural areas. I especially loved Sunday morning breakfast. My great-grandmother, Momma Lula, served “from scratch” biscuits, homemade butter, eggs from her hen house and some kind of meat. Now, the meat was either bacon or sausage that my great-grandfather’s friends had smoked and seasoned from their slaughter season or chicken from Momma Lula’s yard. Yeah, the raised them for meat and eggs. But the days that were the best was when Daddy Bush went to get the sorghum syrup from another farmer.  He had to walk a mile both ways to get the syrup. That was good eating with those hot biscuits. I never knew sorghum could also come in the form of flour.

I ran across a recipe for waffles using gluten free flour and I decided to substitute sorghum flour for the one listed. I also changed the milk to almond milk and the vegetable oil to coconut oil. The outcome was quite pleasing and they weren’t green.

Recipe

2 eggs    1 3/4 c almond milk     1/4 c coconut oil     2/3 c sorghum flour

2 Tbs Agave Nectar         4 tsps baking powder          1/3 c potato starch

1 3/4 tsp xanthum gum      1 tsp salt20160716_103545

Mix it all up and put in the waffle maker. In the picture you will see so
me waffles are darker than others. That’s because the darker ones were cooked at a higher setting. They were crisper. So set your waffle maker to the crispness you desire.

About Sorghum

It was probably used as flour before syrup. This ancient grain as it is being described was widely used in Africa and Australia. It has many health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties. It is high in fiber, B-vitamins and protein. According to the World Grain Council it is the 5th most important flour in the world and the 3rd in the USA. So for what was it used in the USA? Animal feed and fuel. Once again we treat our animals better than ourselves. It seems only those with wheat allergies or gluten sensitivities were aware of this flour and its nutritional benefits. I also like the fact that it is non-GMO. Being gluten-free is another plus. Diabetics, cancer patients and cardiac patients may benefit from the eating of sorghum flour. Caution, like any other grain, don’t over indulge. Even with all of its nutritional benefits some people cannot tolerate it.

It is suggested that it be used in combination with other gluten free flours, such as potato or in recipes where a small amount of flour is used because it does not have a good rising ability. Flatbreads here I come.

I am going to try some other recipes I have found that use sorghum flour. I am not quite ready to give up bread completely, so healthier alternatives are definitely on my radar. If you have any other suggestions, please share.

Involuntary Muscle Moments

Have you ever experienced an involuntary muscle moment? What is that? We have muscles that function continually without us giving them any thought. In fact we take them for granted. We expect our brain, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, and kidneys to function. We freak out when they don’t.

I have been going through my daily activities at an almost primal instinct level.  Just what’s necessary for us to survive. My creative thoughts have been scattered and unclear. My desire to experiment in my lab (kitchen) has been high but my physical will has been almost non-existent. Biblical research became an effort rather than enjoyable. My sofa became home, at least that’s where I wanted to be. So what has changed?

REST. SLEEP. REST and Floridix. a plant based liquid iron supplement.

Fatigue finally took control. Additionally, I had become quite anemic. I went to bed each night but rarely got “restful” sleep. I have spent several afternoons taking naps. I am on my way back to MY normal. My brain is actually having ideas. Yesterday, I went back into the lab. Amazing what a little rest can do. Next I think I will try the other R. Relaxation. Real relaxation. For me, that is resting while I am awake.

I am moving back into Voluntary Muscle Moments. Moments that require thought; inspire thought; creative thought; living thought.

Hooray for Rest and Floridix.

P.S. I know God had me but my condition was caused by a lack of rest. He placed that in my responsibility bucket. So it is my responsibility to take the rest that he told me to.

Tumeric Tea Blog Repost

I found this blog post from the “unconventional baker” while I was looking for gluten free and tumeric recipes. I have not made it yet but after reading it, I realized I am familiar with all the ingredients and will probably enjoy it. Even if I don’t I am going to drink it. When you have arthritis you will try healthy things that have a chance of relieving the pain. I would love to hear from those of you who try it and I am sure the “unconventional baker” would also.

Anti-Inflammatory Lemon Ginger Turmeric Iced Tea

My New Find – Macadamia Nut Oil

Many of you know I make my own vegan butter. Last week I was standing in the grocery store getting oil to make more. I use coconut oil but I wanted to try another mild oil. I have used grapeseed, almond, olive and sunflower seed oil. Almond and olive oil had been the best so far. I looked at all those choices and read the descriptions. About two oils in I read this oil has a “butter-y, mild nutty flavor. Butter-y was the keyword. So I decided to try it. It was Macadamia nut oil. I thought it would taste strongly like macadamia. It did not. My butter tasted wonderful. I used it this morning to fry some potatoes. It has a high smoke point and it put grapeseed to shame. It got hot really fast and required me to pay attention. I am sold. This is my new go to oil for stir-frying, frying and grilling.

I got excited about my new find and then that other person in me rose up and said, “But is it healthy?”  I went to my computer and discovered it is very healthy and has uses beyond cooking. It is used for skin care, makeup, sunblock, hair care, and eating. Coconut oil has just found a an “alternative to olive oil” partner because I use it for my hair, skin and cooking.

I read some reports on the benefits of macadamia nut oil and they get quite technical. Suffice it to say, it is an intense moisturizer and has powerful antioxidant properties.

Garden update

It is growing fast. The tomato plant is taking over the pot and is blossoming. I might have tomatoes this spring. Awesome. Because of this, I need to transplant the peppers and the onions. So much for plants providing pest protection for each other. If my tomato cost is reduced by a large bounty I won’t complain about a few minutes of transplant work.

My next project is to plant tumeric and ginger root. They are so expensive. I will also be adding some different peppers and lettuce when I get another container. I am liking my homemade hot sauce and ketchup.

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Homemade Apple Butter

I love homemade apple butter. It brings back warm, loving,memories of hot biscuits on Sunday morning at my grandmother Modear’s  breakfast table. Thinking about it is as comforting as big hugs. Over the years since leaving home, I have not found GOOD apple butter. Some didn’t even have that smooth texture much less the remembered taste. One day I saw a jar in the Polly’s Pies Restaurant. It looked right. I picked it up to give it a try and all the disappointing memories popped up. I decided to try making my own and put it back on the shelf. I searched for a recipe and found it in Fannie Farmer cookbook that I have owned for over 30 years.

I did make a few adjustments. I don’t typically use white sugar but I had about 1/2 cup left from a bag my daughter-in-law bought on her last visit. I supplemented with agave. I also added a red delicious apple to the granny smiths apples. I didn’t simmer until smooth because it took too long. I let it cool about 10 minutes and then put it in the blender. I blended it until smooth, less than a minute.

The results were just as I remembered. Warm, creamy, comforting and safe; all those taste and feelings of Sunday morning breakfast at Modear’s. I made biscuits and it was Hmmmmm good!

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4 lbs tart apples

 ∗I added a real sweet red delicious apple for added sweetness

2 cups cider, cider vinegar or water

∗I used water to cover the apples and 1 c apple cider vinegar

Sugar

 ∗ I used 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c of agave

Salt

2 tsps cinnamon

1 tsp  ground cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

  ∗ I used the whole lemon except seeds

Cut the apples into pieces without peeling or coring them. Put them in a pot, cover with the cider, vinegar, or water and cook until soft. Put through a sieve or food mill. Measure. Add 1/2 cup sugar for each cup of apple pulp. The whole mixture, add a dash of salt and the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and lemon rind and juice. Cook, covered, over low hear until the sugar dissolves, taste and adjust the seasonings. Uncover and cook quickly, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until thick and smooth when a bit is spooned onto a cold plate. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal.