I've been talking about the importance of gut health and a healthy and balanced microbiome for years, and it seems the mainstream medical community is finally getting on board! There have been more and more recent studies coming out about how much those tiny little bacteria that make up your microbiome really impact all areas of your health - from your digestive system
and your immune system all the way to your brain.
In fact, mental issues from depression
, to Alzheimer's disease
, to autism
and even addiction
have now been found to have links to the health of your gut bacteria.
So it almost goes without saying that ensuring those little "critters" are healthy is imperative
if you want to be healthy as well!
The good news is, taking care of your gut bacteria isn't really all that difficult. The 7 simple tips below will help you to rebuild and rebalance your gut bacteria if you haven't paid much attention to it before, and to maintain a healthy balance from now on.
Green beans - pickled, & ready for freezing.
Hey, I'm back, and I apologize for the lack of a post last week. I had the best of intentions, but with my mother and sister visiting, I wasn't able to break away long enough to get on the blog last weekend...
It was a lovely visit - we went apple picking, sat around our new fire pit on a windy fall evening, and had plenty of laughs and great meals together. My mom is such a workhorse she cleaned out a great big section of the garden where we will be laying out next year's hay bales soon, and also cleaned up my front flower beds. It was great to see them, and I'm so excited my little sister will be only 2 hours away for the next few months!
Along with all of the visiting, I've been in major food-preservation mode for the past few weeks. This year's tomato harvest was amazing despite all of our garden challenges this season, and we ended up with more canned tomatoes than we have ever made before, plus various pickles, and loads of frozen veggies as well. Below are some of this year's efforts, though it is still a work in progress! (Want my recipes? Just follow the links in the post below...)
Ask just about anybody what their biggest health fear is, and you will most likely hear "cancer" at the top of the list - which is not surprising, considering that statistics show 1 out of 2 people will experience some type of cancer in their lifetime.
There is so much fear surrounding cancer because we still don't fully understand it. Cancer is a complex disease. It can be caused by literally thousands of different factors, and it can impact any part of the body individually, and can also spread throughout the body.
Millions of dollars are thrown towards "cancer research" every year, but still, we remain without a "cure." The truth is, a "cure" for cancer may be a long time coming, simply because of the complexity I just mentioned.
However, there are numerous natural substances that are already known to fight and even reverse cancer in various stages. Most of these work, of course, by strengthening the immune system
. Your body is already naturally an amazing cancer fighter! It is when our bodies become toxic (through consistent exposure to hundreds of different chemicals in our environment), or weakened due to chronic stress, lack of sleep, improper nutrition, etc. that they become unable to perform their natural cancer-fighting functions.
The truth is, there is a chronic health problem in our country today that most people - including doctors - aren't talking about, and this a big part of the reason why cancer is so misunderstood - and so prevalent in today's modern world...
A year or so, I was introduced to an interesting concept popularized by the gardening documentary, "Back to Eden
In short, the concept is that God (or nature) grows plants perfectly and with no effort, and we
have made gardening difficult by trying to change things and go against the way that nature works.
This appeals to me in a number of ways. Being a believer as well as a very curious person, I am always interested in learning more about how God works in the world all around us, and why things are the way they are. And of course, reducing the work it takes to maintain our large garden is always a welcome blessing! So I watched the movie and found it very interesting and inspiring.
We haven't truly implemented this system in our garden just yet, but I think we are starting to move in that direction. Here's what I learned from the movie, and what we have done with the information so far...
School is back in session for the fall, and for parents with small children, that means germs, germs, germs!
Having dozens of small children trapped in a classroom together all day, sharing books, toys, and who knows what else is a recipe for colds and other illnesses. Growing up, it seemed like whenever I was in school, I was sick straight through from the start of fall to the end of the school year in May!
While it may be impossible to avoid all the bugs going around during the fall and winter months, you can take steps to reduce your child's risk of illness, and hopefully shorten any illnesses he or she might come down with anyway.
The quick infographic below explains 5 tips for helping strengthen you and your child's immune system this winter, so that hopefully you all can avoid the worst of cold and flu season!
We're back!! Whew! Sorry for the long, unplanned absence... If you're a newsletter subscriber, you may know that our site access was impacted by Hurricane Harvey (though we are nowhere near Houston, apparently, our web servers are). While fortunately, the site remained available to our readers during this time, I have been unable to log into our website for 3 weeks. The good news is that for those who are subscribed to our weekly updates, we were able to continue to provide you with great recipes, workout ideas, and health and gardening tips via email. If you haven't subscribed yet, be sure to do so via the form to the right - this way if this ever happens again, you won't be left out of the loop!
Anyway, on with the show!
Over the past few weeks, our oddly cool August has transitioned into an even cooler September, with temperatures so low at night I actually considered trying to cover some of the remaining summer garden! However, we didn't quite hit frost-like temperatures, so although the tomatoes and peppers aren't too happy with me, at least everything is still alive, and hopefully, will continue growing/ripening for at least a few more weeks. But if a frost had actually threatened, I would have been left with a LOT of green tomatoes on hand.
If you're in a pickle with too many green tomatoes, it can be a bit challenging to figure out what to do with them all - after all, there are only so many fried green tomatoes a person can eat, right?
Refrigerator pickles to the rescue!
The recipe below is a great way to preserve some of those green beauties for later use. This recipe is not canned, so these will need to be stored in the refrigerator, but they should keep for several months. These are easy to make, and absolutely delicious! Check out the recipe below, or bookmark it for later if you're not quite ready to pick your green ones just yet...
You may already know this, but...I love yoga! I love it so much, in fact, that I even started a blog about it
this year. :-)
I have tried a number of different types of yoga, and Kundalini is the one that I find the most fulfilling - at least for the past few years. But regardless of which type of yoga you prefer, the fact is that yoga is just plain good for you!
Doctors, mental health professionals, and regular old yoga practitioners like you and me all agree - yoga has loads of awesome health benefits for people of all ages and physical conditions. Of course, any form of exercise has its benefits, but yoga has some very special ones that many other forms of exercise just don't provide - at least not to the same degree.
Below is a quick roundup of 10 amazing health benefits that you can experience for yourself simply by practicing yoga on a regular basis.
For this month's free gift, I'm sharing an awesome video "Masterclass" on achieving real health with whole foods. It's presented by one of my favorite natural health authors, Robyn Openshaw, also known online as "The Green Smoothie Girl
In this eye-opening free
class, Robyn explains some of the major health issues facing us today (inflammation, gut health, and more), and how you can combat these issues naturally via your diet.
Read more below to find out more about this special online class, and how you can attend for FREE for a limited time...
Growing up on the farm, we had a huge elderberry bush in the front yard. My sisters and I would climb it in the late summer and pick giant purple bouquets of elderberries for my parents, who would somehow turn the tiny, bitter and unpalatable berries into quarts of delicious, dark purple sticky sweet syrup which was our favorite pancake topping year-round.
This was long before elderberry syrup became one of the hottest natural health aids around. Touted for helping to prevent and fight off colds and influenza, reduce inflammation, and soothe coughs and respiratory illnesses, humble elderberry syrup has recently reached "superfood" status.
Driving down the road the other day, I spied some big elderberry heads beginning to turn purple. It reminded me of the purple-handed late-summer task of my childhood, and it inspired me to share this recipe with you, so you can see just how easy it is to make your very own delicious and immune-boosting elderberry syrup - and you'll save a ton of money on those pricey commercial versions!