New Year Revolution!

podcast of Jan 12 here

also the final in the minerals series

New Year Revolution!

right now you may be fervently immersed in your NYR – losing the Christmas weight, getting fitter, eating better, learning a new skill, learning to meditate, signing up to a mindfulness class, being more present for your children, what ever your choice has been this year…..

or you didn’t even start, and now you are beating yourself up over it. Or you didn’t make any, because, you know …..

so many of us set ourselves up to fail – yes, you are not alone in that! I have made more resolutions  that I care to either count or recount!!
As well, it could be useful to figure out who you are making these resolutions for, is it actually you? Or is it someone in your life, or society in general?

how about this?

why not start a quiet revolution within yourself? And do start very quietly – don’t tell anyone except yourself, and start with a small thing, like getting up a half hour earlier than usual to meditate – as you may recall meditating is really simple! Sit somewhere you will be undisturbed, be warm, comfortably seated, close your eyes, and start paying attention to your breath in & out of your body….that’s it! If you start to go off on a tangent, just gently remind yourself of where you are, and come back to your breath.
But – it of course takes practise  – so don’t give up after a week of failing to turn your monkey mind off – you will reach the state of stillness at some stage – even if it lasts just 10 seconds! You will then know what it feels like, and can easily go looking for it again.

How about upping your water intake? An extra 1-2 glasses a day will make a world of difference – to your skin, your digestion, your very brain!

Want to walk some or some more? Start small, walk around the block in your lunch hour, slowly increase the distance – before you know it, you’ll be getting ready for a marathon!

Want to go to yoga, but you feel waaaaay too unco? There are literally thousands of yoga vids on youtube, why not start there?
Want to eat better, but you are seriously confused as to where to start?
Eat a green leafy salad every day, or even every 2nd day for 2- 3 weeks, see how you feel after that.
Or eat carrots as a snack, they are new & sweet & delicious right now. 
Eat a wrap instead of a sandwich for lunch, try some fermented foods, try a new way of cooking your whatever! surprise and delight yourself with your food!

How about just being nicer to yourself? Please. you are a work in progress after all – you probably won’t get  to where you want to be in a flash – so why not have some fun getting there? Yes, that thing I keep on talking about – the little things we so readily dismiss as not being a big happy – when what we could do is focus on those little happys, and lo! They become a big happy!

what I’m getting at here is little steps will in time be a big goal, and you will pretty much be sneaking up on your self!
and if you get sidetracked, no one but you will know

Last part of the Minerals series:

Iron
symbol Fe atomic number 26 – it is the most common element on earth

more human health problems worldwide are caused by iron deficiency than by lack of any other nutrient.But! excessive iron stores are also responsible for a large burden of illness worldwide – this is known as Haemochromatosis

Iron is used in the transport of oxygen around the body – that is the function of haemoglobin.
It is also used by our DNA & RNA.

Vitamins A and C work synergistically with Iron, ensuring better absorption
Copper & Zinc are necessary for absorption as well
and Calcium can interfere, so if you are supplementing iron, separate intake by 2 hours –

RDA s range from 1/3 mg for infants to 27 mg for pregnant

Infants     0-6 months     0.27
Infants     7-12 months     11     11
Children     1-3 years         7     7
Children     4-8 years           10     10
Children     9-13 years     8     8
Adolescents     14-18 years     11     15
Adults     19-50 years     8     18
Adults     51 years and older     8     8
Pregnancy     all ages     –     27
Breast-feeding     18 years and younger     –     10
Breast-feeding     19 years and older     –     9

of course we all know about animal protein as a source of Fe, but one can get enough iron through both vegetarian and vegan diets
Leafy greens are great sources – as are pulses – and Soybeans
Cumin, Turmeric & Chili are all good sources, so – how about dhal?

Molybdenum  
Mb –
No 42 on the periodic table, and looks like lead  – its name comes from ancient Greece, and means lead – which it was often confused for

a component in several enzymes  – those involved in alcohol detoxification, uric acid formation & sulphur metabolism.

a sulphite sensitivity may be due to a Molybdenum deficiency – as it is necessary for sulphur metabolism, being a component of the enzyme sulphite oxidase.
It has shown possibilty as a cancer preventative, specifically oesophageal cancer.
and cavity prevention

there are no rda levels, however there is a safe & adequate range :
infants 15-30  mcg
6-12 mo 20-40
1-3 yr 25-50
4-6  yr 30-75
7 – 10 yr 50-150
11+ yr 75 – 250

it is readily absorbed, and excess is shed in the urine, although of course it is possible to over- do it – you would need to take a lot however

Molybdenum content of foods is entirely dependant upon the soils in which they are grown, some New Zealand Soils are deficient,
so good to eat some imported whole foods
Legumes and whole grains are the richest source:
Lentils 155 mg
Split Peas 130 mg
Cauliflower 120 mg
Green peas 110 mg
Brewer’s Yeast 109
Wheat Germ & Spinach 100 mg
Brown Rice 75 mg

you will see that it actually is very easy to get enough Mb, you need micrograms, not milligrams

Phosphorus

P, number 15 on the table of elements,it is  never found as a free element, like Sodium & Potassium it is highly reactive and is either red or white

pretty much impossible to be severely deficient, as it is found in many foods. It is possible however to get too much, as it is present in high quantities in cola drinks and many food additives

P is the second most required mineral next to Ca – Phosphorus is an essential structural component of cell membranes -every cell in your body has a  phospholipid bi-layer. It is essential for  nucleic acids and is also involved in bone mineralization, this includes teeth,  energy production, cell signaling through phosphorylation reactions, and regulation of acid-base homeostasis.
The parathyroid hormone acts to move the body’s Calcium content up & down, high levels of  Phorphorus in the blood signals the reactions to move Ca levels up – this is achieved by decreasing Ca output in the urine, and pulling it out of bones & teeth –  so if there is too much P going in, the PTH will be over-utilised by the body, which long term can cause weakened teeth & bones.

ATP Adenosine Triphosphate is the energy carrying molecule in our Mitochondria – the cells’ powerhouse. Tri phosphate means the molecule carries 3 Phosphorus atoms.

Festive First Aid

Last show of 2016 – podcast here
First up –SUNBURN– Chickweed will cool – a very good thing when you have a sunburn or have burnt yourself on the BBQ.  Use a large handful of fresh Chickweed directly on the affected skin; you will feel it heat up as the burn cools. Have another large handful ready to swap out with it, go back & forth with them until relief is felt. You could make a large pot of strong chickweed tea, and keep the strained tea in a bottle in the fridge for ready access.

If you have no Chickweed within easy reach, you can use essential oil of Lavender – it will stop a burn in its tracks – just apply it straight onto the affected area. A good thing to have in your fridge is a small glass spray bottle with filtered water that has 30 drops of essential oil of Lavender in it. This will do double duty – it’ll be cold & have the therapeutic benefits of the oil. you can also put Peppermint essential oil in with the Lavender  – if you are going to do this, 15 drops of each.

If you get a puncture wound in the garden that becomes hot (ie – the beginning of infection) crush some Cleavers  – sticky weed- with a mortar & pestle/rolling pin/whatever crushy type thing you have, and cover the wound with it and repeat 2-3 times daily. This can also be effective for bites and stings.
A splinter can be coaxed out with a crushed dock leaf – place over the affected area, bandage and leave overnight

If your little people are beside themselves, give them a cup of warm Lemon Balm tea, or put them in a bath with a pot of Lemon Balm tea poured in (before they get in!)
If they are itchy & scratchy put them in a bath that you have prepared with a big handful of oats, lavender and chickweed tied up in an old tea towel – squeeze the bag in the water to let the liquid seep into the bath.

this will also work on big people! Lemon Balm really is a marvellous plant – it is sedative, a nerving (nervous system) a potent anti-viral – think flu – and it is also used in topical preparations for herpes simplex – cold sores and other viral infections

you can also use Lemon Verbena, it is a lovely tree many of us have in our gardens

Indigestion from too much food (and/or drink) ? Try a cup of Peppermint tea (remember to NOT use if you have reflux!!) or Lemon Balm tea. If you are experiencing reflux, use comfrey leaf tea, with a bit of liquorice root in it, sip this over a half hour period. If you know you suffer from reflux, have a half cupful of Chamomile tea before you eat.

Hangovers!

eggs contain large amounts of cysteine, the substance that breaks down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde in the liver’s easily depleted glutathione. Therefore, eggs can potentially help mop up the left-over toxins.

bananas
or other potassium rich foods.

try a green smoothie

vitamin supplements especially B-complex

water!!

The fructose — fruit sugar — in fruit juice helps to naturally increase the body’s energy. Studies have proven that it also increases the rate at which the body gets rid of toxins such as those left over from alcohol metabolism. Fruit juice is also a good idea the morning after because it’s high in vitamins and nutrients that were depleted the night before because of alcohol’s diuretic effect. There is a marvellous drink out called happy belly – fruit juice with probiotics in it

TIME

BUT  – did you know that you can also get  hangover symptoms from too much sugar?
metabolically speaking

Or that some food additives can also give you what feels like one?

Stings

bee sting? wasp sting? Calendula petals work wonders here, fist remember to slide the sting out, do not pull it, because this will release more venom into your system! A plastic card does this a treat – and we all have them! 
Then – grab a whole orange Calendula flower, rub in through your fingers then put it on – a mini poultice if you will –

Allergic reactions

Vitamin C works wonders as an antihistamine – 1000mg every 15 minutes, for up to 3 hours, for an adult, 500 mg every 15 min for the under 12s

Hayfever

nettle tea has natural histamines which seems counter-productive, yes? These natural histamines can combat the inflammation  – combine with the Vit C treatment I just mentioned

Accidents

a simple bleeding nose can be halted by a piece of Yarrow, roll it between your fingers and pop it in the nostril
you can use Nettle too, rub it in a piece of cloth to crush the stingy hairs, then pop that in the nostril.

And don’t forget your Arnica, Accident Relief (both these homeopathic medicines are available at  Pharmacys and Health stores) and the Rescue Remedy

Gifts from the Garden Part 2

Actually from the Garden-ish! Podcast here

Bath Salts

very easy to make

2 cups of your choice of salts – sea, epsom, dead sea, himalayan
1/2 cup baking soda
20-30 drops of essential oils , Absolute Essential make really nice blends you can readily buy at Health Food stores – please do read the data sheet that will come with.
1/2 cup per bath

Bath Milk

1 cup powdered whole milk ( you can use powdered Coconut Milk if you like)
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch

10-20 drops of essential oils of your choice
geranium, lavender, palmarosa, cedarwood, rose geranium, ylang ylang , bergamot

Body Polish

if they haven’t got a bath, you can make a body polish/ scrub
mix sea/himalayan salts with enough oil to make a paste, and add essential oils, 10-20 drops per cup of salt
or 2 parts ground whole oats to 1 part raw sugar, enough oil to clump it up a bit – essential oils, then jar it   – paste that is able to be spread on the skin
or you could simply use sugar – I like to make one with 2 parts raw sugar to 1 part white sugar

in the shower, little handfuls, scrub in gentle circular motions, towards the heart.

Bath Melts

cocoa butter & castor oil!
3 parts cocoa butter to 1 part castor oil
melt cocoa butter gently over water, add the castor oil, stir it up, add essential oils and pour into your moods
refrigerate to solidify
easy as – mini cupcake paper molds, put in a complimentary essential oil – vanilla, holy basil,cedarwood, lime, lemon, mandarin

For the Kitchen

Raspberry Vinegar

600 ml red wine vinegar
1T pickling spice
450 g Raspberries
2 sprigs fresh lemon thyme

heat vinegar & p spice gently for 5 min, pour over raspberries and thyme in a non-metal bowl, leave to infuse in a cool dark place for 2 days, strain & decant into clean, sterile bottles

Saffron oil

use NZ grown saffron – it is simple to find

easy as , a big pinch of threads in 250 ml (a cup) of light olive oil or sunflower  or rice bran, leave to infuse 2 weeks, shaking daily, just leave the threads in – looking pretty – and they will continue to infuse into your oil.

Preserved Lemons

have got to be one  of the easiest and most impressive looking  presents – not to mention how delicious they are!
wash 2-4 firm organic lemons, slice into quarters from one end, being careful to not cut all the way through – you want the lemons to fan out, so that you can then pack them with a tablespoon of salt, and close them up. In with the salt you can pop coriander seed. Next, pack them all tightly in to a small, squat jar (pick your jar according to your lemons), cover with olive oil, and leave for 4 weeks.
Some recipes use more salt & lemon juice instead of oil, so you pick your recipe – just make sure the lemons are covered.

Flavoured Salts & Peppers

commercially available blends will have anti – caking agent, even preservatives , stabilisers – we can all do without them!

Cayenne/Turmeric/Chilli Salt

2 T sea salt
50 g cayenne pepper/Turmeric/ground chilli
120 ml white wine

crush the salt with the spice using a mortar & pestle, add the wine, and pour all this in to a bottle, shake well, and leave it to steep for a week, shaking occasionally. Pour this into a wide, shallow dish, place in a low oven, until the liquid has evaporated. Scrape the resulting crystals off the base, and leave overnight for any remaining moisture to evaporate, pop these flakes in a pretty jar

Lemon Pepper

115 g freshly ground black pepper
grated rind of 2 lemons, dried

jar this, and it needs to be used within a month

Celery Salt

equal portions of celery seed & sea salt    – leave whole or grind

perhaps you could make a set of these?

and then there are

Herb & Spice Mixes

Lemon Mix

2 lemons
2 T Lemon Thyme
1 T Lemon Verbena
1 T Lemongrass

peel the lemons, and leave to dry for a few days in your dehydrator
put the herbs in another tray, they will take less time than the peel, so keep an eye
when throughly dry, powder them in your mortar, or spice grinder / clean coffee grinder

Quatre Epices

7 parts freshly ground Black Pepper
1 part each of
freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon & Cloves

yum! an a six month life-span

this is used in France for flavouring sausages, terrines & pates – so a great choice for foodie friends and family!

Mixed Sweet Spices

2 parts dried ginger root
1 part each:
white peppercorns or allspice berries
cloves
nutmeg grated
cinnamon stick

grind up all but nutmeg, add that at the end

also use within 6 months

these are all best stored in opaque jars, label with a use by date along with what it is – and maybe even list uses