Friday, June 11, 2010
Zebra Swallowtail dorsal view
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Today is the 162nd day of the year; there are 203 days left in 2010.
"I continue to find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success." - Thomas Edison
Something I said I'd never do was go organic, as I didn't want to be "one of THOSE". You know - fanatics. Plus we all know, people who buy organic must have more money than God, right?
Reading about all the stuff in processed food made me quit the processed and packaged and bottled food industry; and reading about all the chemicals and GMO in our crops, and my sister's cancer, has made me go organic. At least for the produce.
So I went. Yep, me, Miss Anti-Fanatic, Miss El Cheapo, coupon clipper, and sales-ad watcher of multiple grocery stores every week, went to the organic store for the first time. I had been bracing myself for this, ever since being convinced to do it. I waited as long as I could but I was out of all the basics like celery, onions, fruit; so I had to go.
At first, all these weeks I told myself I would go but I just wouldn't look at the prices until I had to pay the cashier.
But on the way there I decided to face it head-on and be knowledgeable and get a clue about what I'm doing. I decided there was no use in being a coward, no honor in being an ostrich and "not looking", if I'm really going to do this.
First I did a fly-by of the produce section, then went down each and every aisle to see what they had, and familiarized myself with tagging, labels, semantics, and how to tell if something was organic or not. I picked up only less than a handful of items as I went through the store, but I looked at and read a hundred labels. Big Brother was probably watching me.
Then I went back to the beginning to the front of the store and started over in the produce section.
For the most part, I bought organic only if it was from the USA. I would have to see independent testing data on organic produce from Mexico to be convinced to buy it. Mexico and China are the two largest importers of chemicals and pesticides globally, including many chemicals that are banned by most countries, and they spray them on their crops. So if any of you have the research links for independent data that prove otherwise (regarding 'organic' produce from Mexico) let me know. Frozen and fresh 'organic' produce from Mexico and China, isn't.
I almost passed up the peaches, as the sign said Mexico. But then I looked at the produce sticker and they were from California (the store hadn't changed the organic peaches sign from "Mexico" to "California").
Then I looked at produce already in the cart to re-check them.
Then I checked the rest of the produce bins I had already passed over. So this was the third time I went through the produce section! Big Brother probably assigned a person to me. Signs that said California or USA sometimes were not, and signs that said Mexico sometimes were not. So I learned not to trust any sign for fresh produce, and instead look at the tiny teeny sticker that cashiers read for the produce code, instead, to ascertain country of origin.
I also did not buy locally grown if unlabeled/unposted as organic, and I did not buy any 'natural' nor conventional items. I'm not paying $3.99 for a conventional cantaloupe, thank you very much; and they didn't have organic. I'll apply my well-honed bargain-shopping sales-spotting ad-scanning skills at my usual stores for conventional products. I bought a gigantic lope for $2 at another store.
Some things like an entire head of Romaine, each not per lb, was $2.49, which is a pretty good price. Other things like celery $2.99, 1lb strawberries $4.99, cilantro and curly parsley $1.99 ea, and peaches, grapes, kiwi, and almost all other produce, were very high, generally double. But the cost of cancer treatments and surgery are also very very high; generally a thousand times higher instead of just double. Not to mention the torment, plus the prognosis. And I have to say that I, who buy parsley and cilantro every month and am very picky about it, was very impressed with how nice they looked, I had never seen such beautiful bunches. Yes I made sure they were not from Mexico.
I loved their bins of organic dry whole grains, the scoopable kind, a 100 varieties. I didn't need any at this time, but will definitely go back for those. I looooove tabouli, I make tabouli with bulgur wheat all summer long full of fresh summer vegetables. I look forward to learning how to cook with all the grains I saw there that I'm unfamiliar with.
I checked the prices of organic coconut oil, raw honey, and raw apple cider vinegar at vitacost.com and swansonvitamins.com before I went to the store, wrote down the prices and the price per ounce, and took the paper with me, which was extremely helpful. I found I can save quite a bit by ordering online, and I need more SinuFix anyway so I have to place an online order anyway. (Neither Vitacost or Swanson charge by weight nor by order amount for shipping; shipping is a flat fee of $5 for every order, and is worth it for the SinuFix so I don't have to take antibiotics. So including heavy items like oil, honey, & ACV, doesn't affect the shipping price.)
The store had a peanut grinder machine that makes peanut butter right on the spot. I didn't need peanut butter, but it was interesting and I've never seen that before.
Fluoride-free toothpaste was a better buy than the identical item at Walmart, with a much larger variety to choose from, both in brands and in different flavors and varieties.
I wanted organic green tea from the USA but alas it was not to be had. They did have the very same organic tea (from China) as my online sources have - but not as good of a price. So I'll also be re-ordering tea from Vitacost or Swanson.
Conventional grocery stores I've been in have all the sweeteners together, but at this store they were in separate locations. I was disappointed in the selection of sweeteners offered. Honey and agave were in the grocery section. I did not find the stevia & xylitol until I asked for it; as it was hiding in the supplements dept. They did carry NuStevia which comes recommended by one of our team members, and an array of stevia and xylitol products. I wish they had less of an array of stevia, and carried other products like Lo Han and Just Like Sugar, instead, which will also have to be included on my online order. Speaking of supplements, once again I can do better in price online, even for the same brand name identical products.
I sampled three of the strawberries the first night home and I have to say they were very, very good. Lots of people say they can taste-so-and-so in food, but I've never been able to; I think my taste buds have been burnt off by Tex-Mex spices, LOL (or maybe it's the pesticides in the conventional produce). So I didn't expect a difference in taste, and was pleasantly surprised how much better they were.
Verdict: Wow did this first trip and the learning curve and reading labels and starting over in the produce dept twice, take a loooooong time! I closed the store. But I won't have to invest that same time again. And yes it hurt at checkout, even as careful as I was (maybe we can call this the Organic Food Diet). I will continue to buy from the organic store, but 99% of my purchases will be fresh produce, with the exception of occasional good buys like toothpaste.
There is an Amish market near me that operates Thurs-Sat; so I'm meeting a friend and we're going to check it out today, now that I know what the organic store's produce prices are. I hope to find better prices on produce at the Amish market, at least during the summer. (I will stay away from all the incredibly delicious and fattening Amish delicacies, and stick to fresh produce, until I work as hard daily and walk as far daily as the Amish do.) The only one I know of who walks as far daily as the Amish do is MorticiaAdams. I'm working on it but a long way away yet.
Farmers' markets I'm not so keen on now, unless I can find organic farmers. There were many local farms' products at the organic store, which is a very good thing that they are supporting the local farmers, and I was willing to pay the organic price; but in every case their produce was conventional, as well as not as good a buy as conventional produce in other stores.
Two-Tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicauduta) ventral view
"To preserve independence we must not let our rulers load us w/perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or, profusion and servitude." --Thomas Jefferson
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe . . . -Hebrews 12:28
Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes) ventral view
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
I started taking those two things, and I CANNOT BELIEVE how much better I feel! I feel like "I have myself back".
I've taken D3 on an off for awhile - I hate pills tho so sometimes skip.
After the amazing CHANGE IN ME, I eliminated the B12 for 2 days. Because I just found it too hard to believe. I've never been THAT sensitive to things I took. I had planned on a 7day elimination trial and then re-introduction, to prove if it was or was not the B12.
However, on the morning of day 3, I felt so awful and was so bad off, like I had been previously, that I took the B12 again. It was like flipping a switch, it worked so well; before noon I was "back again". It is still hard for me to believe; it's amazing.
Sublingual means "under the tongue"; you put it there and do something else like read email, and let it dissolve on it's own while your mind is distracted.
I take, everyday, a multivitamin/mineral, and a multiB. Since before during and after this test I was already taking B12 in the multivitamin and in the multiB, apparently it is the fact that it is the sublingual kind that made a difference for me.
I can't argue with success. This is the one I'm taking:
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
How Do You React to Setbacks?
When problems come up, how do you react? Do you look for blame, or do shoulder what you can and try to repair it? Do you throw up your hands and look for an easier way, or do you learn, adapt and keep pushing? There's a lot of talk nowadays about 'personal responsibility'. That's great. But it's usually brought up only in finding fault. It's true that to show 'responsibility' is to own up to your role in the problem's cause. We don't often hear about the other side of responsibility--an obligation to be part of the solution. Even when a hardship is not your fault at all, you can--and should--do what you can to fix it. Your skills and abilities create an obligation that only your character can fulfill. - SparkPeople's Healthy Reflections
My Homemade Weights
I found kitty litter and rock salt (from winter) when de-cluttering. I filled 20oz bottles with them, and one with water; even a small bag of rock salt is heavy so you'd think it would be a good idea, but the heaviest were just under and over 1.5lbs. So I ditched all those and am using a 28oz can of vegetables, which, with the weight of the can included is just under 2lbs. The circumference is a little large for holding in my hand; but that will just help develop the strength of my grip, right? I'm going to have to go back to Goodwill and look for more weights, though.
I could have added water into the rock salt bottle but I didn't.
I can also try 1 liter bottles filled with rocksalt.
For those of you with access to a Safeway grocery store, the ones where I live have a coupon in the insert for 1lb organic strawberries, $1.99.
Monday, June 07, 2010
You cannot love your neighbor as you love yourself, unless you love yourself! Love God, love yourself, and out of the overflow of that cup, that foundation, that communion, then love your neighbors. Like the oxygen mask on the airplane, first you put yours on, then you assist children and others with theirs. "Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: human beings must meet their basic needs before they can move on to higher-level goals."
Put Yourself First
Reach Other Goals by Starting With Your Self
-- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer
You’re a parent, school volunteer, Little League coach, and trusted assistant to your boss. You’ve been up since 6 a.m., made breakfast, packed lunches, cleaned the house, chauffeured the neighborhood kids, helped with homework, read bedtime stories, and finished extra work from the office. It’s 11:30.You’re exhausted. And, in about six-and-a-half hours you’ll begin the whole 24-hour cycle…again.
If you find yourself saying ‘Stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off!’ you’re not alone. Most of us—especially women, but men too (hey, there are reasons that men die younger than women)—have at some time found ourselves at the bottom of the heap when it comes to taking care of our needs.
The problem with that is that if we don’t take care of ourselves, sooner or later we won’t be of much use to anyone else—or to ourselves. Just as the airline attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask in an emergency before helping a child with theirs, you must take care of your own basic needs before you can attend to the needs of others. What’s more, being busy is not necessarily the same as being productive with meaningful activity. (Do the workaholics you know really accomplish that much more in proportion to the time they invest?)
If “putting yourself first” (a common admonition) sounds too selfish or too hard, try something simpler: put yourself on an equal footing with those you love and tend to. Do you insist that they get enough sleep? Start making that a priority for yourself too. Do you give them time for fun and socializing with friends? Then you do the same! Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: human beings must meet their basic needs before they can move on to higher-level goals. Since most of us already know that we should take care of ourselves—but often have trouble figuring out how to do it, here are some guidelines for getting there:
- Preserve your physical health with adequate sleep, exercise, and nutrition.
- Value your emotional health as much as the physical, with a support system of friends and a willingness to laugh—especially at yourself.
- Schedule fun activities on a regular basis—it’s just as important to plan pleasure as it is to plan work.
- Identify “busy behaviors” (or people) that drain your time and energy but aren’t really important, then dump ‘em, or at least minimize their hold on you.
- Kill two birds with one stone, combining family time with exercise, for example, which benefits everyone involved.
- Try to look at the problems in your life with new eyes to find solutions. If you’re a new mom, for instance, see if you can trade childcare with another new mom to get some time for yourself.
- Learn to say “No!” Your “yes” is valuable and should not be automatic. Instead, reserve it for the things that are most important to you.
Don’t try to change every problem area in your life all at once. Start with one or two items, then expand as you get things under control.
Your life should be like a checking account, balancing out on a regular basis so that you always have assets to draw upon. By making even small deposits—taking care of yourself with a 10-minute walk or a nutritious meal—you’ll be amazed at the interest you’ll reap.
Get An Email Alert Each Time CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts