Thursday, August 22, 2013

Got me some germs. Lets throw some crazy natural stuff at them.

My son infected me with another cold.  This 2 days after my husband was in the ER for stepping on a pitchfork.  Yes, my compost pile pitchfork.  Yes, gross.  It went in 2 inches- through his shoe.

Yes.  Ouch.  He can't walk, or do much of anything for 10 days, so with the whole family sick, our home resembles a very disheveled medical field hospital.

Ever the optimist, I'm trying to compat the germs the al-natural way.  Today, I googled 'natural antibiotics' and proceeded to consume:
1 Grapefruit
1 cup of pomegranate Keffir
2 TB wildflower honey
1 TB apple cider vinegar, yuck, mix with water next time girlie!
2 capsules chinese skullcap (natural antiinflammatory and antibiotic)
2 cups green tea.  Also some *cough* green tea ice hagen daz ice cream.  Hey, its got green tea in it, it counts!!

Extra Yumminess:
This weekend, I bought a 3 pound local organic chicken, and today I butterflied and roasted it with potatoes, using the fabulous cooks illustrated method.  DELICIOUS!  Not exactly anti inflammatory, but I'm learning to cook more whole, natural foods.. that Jimmy likes!

Nom Nom Nom!

Bonus:  I threw all of the chicken bones and some of the fat into a pot with carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, kale, kelp powder, onions and salt, and made the most delicious home made chicken stock ever.  Can't wait to make soup :)

Critically important note to my followers!!: DO NOT under any circumstances ever add chia seeds to yogurt.  Chia seeds blow up like gelatinous globs when in contact with moisture.  I'm assuming this is why the 'chia pet' was so successful.  I took one bite and it tasted like globby, disgusting tapioca pudding, in a bad, bad, bad way.  


Friday, August 16, 2013

Rainy Day? Explain it by taking your kids to Loudoun Waters FREE childrens museum!

August 2013 has not been very Augusty... April like weather, with a LOT of rain.  Jimmy has been asking lots of questions like "Who is making the rain come down?" and "Where does rain come from?" He has a book on the water cycle, and we've explained it a billion times, but he still wanted to know who, exactly, was making the rain.  Then an idea popped into my head.. of course!  The Loudoun Water plant has a childrens exhibit, best of all, its free!  I visited once before he was born, and remembered a lot of interesting, hands on fun for kids.  So on a rainy afternoon, I packed him into the car and off we went.

First, we said hi to all of the beautiful fishies.  The 2 fish tanks at the museum are filled with 'reclaimed' water; as are the faucets and toilets in the facility.

Hi Fishies!

 For older kids and adults, there is a large exhibit on the first floor that explains the entire process of reclaiming and cleaning Loudouns water supply.  Jimmy enjoyed the model Loudoun Water facility, which shows the potomac river, aquaries, and all of the cleaning and processing facilities.  He also loved the "Whats under the ground" display, which showed cross-sections of all of the different pipes buried in our ground; electric, phone; cable; sewage (it was a nice 'pee pee' yellow color haha, reclaimed water, fresh water, and a few others.  He, of course, liked the 'pee pee' water the best.  Wonderful side note; after that exhibit,  he was practically begging me to go to the potty!

You can see the model (circular object in background, and part of the large display, in the background. 

Upstairs, kids can explore a home, stripped to show the water pipes and appliances in the home.  Again, the potty was his favorite.  He followed the pipe from the potty all the way out to the sewer line.

"i can't believe we're talking about pottys so much today.  Mom made me point to the potty, so here it is!"

 The largest display, upstairs, follows the water from its first entrance to the facility from a sewer line, all the way to nice, fresh, potable water (ending with a fish tank).  Each step has interactive visual displays, buttons, and demonstrations of the filtration processess, which the kids can spin.  In this picture, he is pushing the 'grit cleanser' button for the 40th time.  It shows how rocks and debris are literally spun out of the water.  I think the staff was getting annoyed, because it sounds like a dirt devil on steroids.


My favorite exhibit teaches kids about how THEY and corporations use water in their daily lives.  There is a game where kids can guesss things like "How many gallons of water does it take to grow beans for one cup of coffee? (35), or how many gallons of water does it take to produce one car? (32,000!).  There are flaps they can lift.  He liked the coffee cup the best.  Shocking.... my husband only drinks 3 cups a day.  I think I'm raising a coffee fiend.   There is also an educational exhibit on dangerous chemicals (bleach, paint, cleaners, ect.), and exactly what happens when you pour them down the drain..  Basically, the plant can only do so much, and things like this can't really be removed from the water supply.  So before you clean your potty with bleach, imagine drinking it again in a few minutes.  Blech!

Last of all, there was a wonderful video on the water cycle, and how water affects different climates (from rain forest to desert).  There, of course, was a big fat button on the wall to start the video, so we watched it 4 times.   Jimmy LOVED it.  I was surprised and happy he was so interested!  Here is me proud of my little scientist, enthralled with the water cycle knowledge he was absorbing. 
Jimmy totally into learning about rain, clouds, dirt, and deserts. 

Here's a screenshot of one of the film:

There is a huge indoor and outdoor picnic area, with vending machines as well.  So you can definitely pack a lunch.  Here's my little guy enjoying a Rice Krispie treat :) 

The best part of the day was that when we left, Jimmy asked "mommy, can you play a water song?' (He often requests random songs on the radio.  I said "umm, sure!" and put on Pandora.  I almost crashed when "in the sea" came on.  The lyrics were about waves crashing in the Ocean.  One line was "I dreamed this song for you."  Coincidence? Maybe, but it was a fabulous finishing touch to the outing.  

On the way home, we stopped at a local park (Ashburn/"Dinosaur" Park), for some real life water experience. We hiked and threw rocks in the stream.  Jimmy blew my mind by proudly explaining how the stream water would turn into clouds soon to make rain, and how all of the tree roots he was tripping over let the trees 'drink' water.  He wasn't the only proud one :)  Well, until he jumped into the stream up to his knees, in some brand new sneakers.  Sigh.   You can take a 3 year old to a Water Museum, but you can't make him think.  

Loudoun Water is located at 44865 Loudoun Water Way, Ashburn, VA 20146

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 17- lil buddies

Because more people greet me with "So, how is that alternative therapy thing going?" these days rather than a simple "hello", I thought an update was in order :)

I'm heading into 'week 3', when they actually attach to the inner wall of the intestines.  I have noticed some mild side effects... intermittent stomach ache 'all over' my abdomen, bloating (sometimes my stomach looks like a picture of a starving child), and fatigue.  The fatigue is the hardest to deal with, obviously, because that was one of thes reason I'm doing this in the first place!  So I've been trying to take it easy and remind myself that this is temporary.  However, the doctors did warn me about possible 'extreme' fatigue,   SO, I guess all in all, I'm doing well, and happy with the results!  My allergies also got worse this week... another common yet 'backwards' side effect; allergies eventually will disappear with therapy.  So no, I'm not 'cured' yet, it will be at least 3 months before I know if they've 'worked'. 

The anti-inflammatory diet is going great!  I feel more energy after I eat, where in the past I've felt groggy.  I have focused on cutting WAY back on wheat gluten and carbs, and eating more fruits, vegetables and legumes (hmm, I suppose that could the real cause of the bloating).  My heartburn is GONE!! It used to be daily, severe, and a pain in the ass... er esophagus.  But it's gone!  I believe its due to my replacement of coffee for green tea, and my replacement of twinkies/donuts/[insert junk here] with fruit.   Unfortunately, I have several boxes of tagamet, zantac, and other expensive OTC meds sitting on my shelf unused (any takers? )  Also unfortunately, I haven't noticed any improvement in inflammation!!.  I started this diet before the therapy on purpose... the help with the side effects.  Because they do seem 'not too bad', it could be working, but I'm the only research subject here, so I guess I'll never know! (Or at least not for awhile). The arthritis in my feet has never been worse, in fact there have been days when I literally can't walk without a limp. Inflammation is also a side effect.  Prednisone is actually recommended the first few months of therapy, but because prednisone turns me into a raging, screaming, bi-polar lunatic, thats not really an option for me ; )


Besides the side effects, I've never felt healthier, or eaten such delicious, fresh food in my life!  My favorite meal is gluten-free whole grain bread with fresh garden tomatoes (like an entire tomato, so I can't fit it into my mouth), basil, hummus, Tabasco sauce, oregano, and red wine vinegar.  Sometimes I throw some chia seeds on top for good luck.  Here is one of my delicious creations.  I've also tried them with kelp powder.  Oh dear. 

If anyone has any good kelp powder recipes, I'm all ears.  I tried mixing it into some gluten free mac-and-cheese and presenting it to my 3 year old son, Jimmy, and he looked at me like I was crazy.  I have to admit that it did look and taste awful.  It was pale green, mushy, and reminded me of ' the Futurama episode in which 'Soylent Green' was served.


Being that Mac-and-Cheese is his favorite food, it was a major mommy-fail on my part, and I still have pangs of guilt remembering the look on his face, which seemed to say  "Mommy, what have you done to my delicious mac & cheese! You are ruining my hopes and dreams! Also, you are a terrible mother.  And you suck at driving."

Oh, one more positive... my unquenchable yearning for donuts and skittles is gone.   I just don't crave sugar or fatty baked goods anymore, its wonderful!  Also, I've never been a fan of dark chocolate, preferring milk chocolate (ideally covering peanut butter or holiday-shaped marshmallows), but it is delicious and satisfying and more than enough sugar to satisfy my cravings.  I never expected that.  

However, of all of the things in my life right now, I think the coolest and most interesting is that random acquaintances now know me as 'hook worm girl'.  I suppose it sounds weird, but I'm proud of my 'lil buddies, and yes, I'm proud of my bravery (or craziness, whatever it is ; ) 

So, thats my update.  I hope all of you are healthy, happy, parasite-free, and madly enjoying your delicious gluten.   Mmmmmmm, gluten *slobber*. 

*All photo credits to Fox Broadcasting... except the delicious sandwich.  mmmmmm sandwich.  Ok one more.