“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” –Hippocrates
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ps: There are prizes!!
Birthdays come every year and I have never made a big deal of them. They are just another day.
This year was different. As my birthday approached I began to really feel old. Sixty seemed such a big number. And I had been feeling each and every year recently.
The usual practice in our family is that on your birthday you get to pick where we go out to dinner. Gifts are optional, cards are welcome but also optional. Since moving to Montrose in 2008 and discovering the Ouray Hot Springs we would often go soak. I love the water and my husband loves me!
This year was different.
My husband decided to take the day before and of my birthday off. A first for us!
He made reservations at the Wiesbaden Inn in the resort town south of us, Ouray. The inn has a vapor cave and hot soaking pool, both inside. (I had gotten sunburned the week before so soaking inside was the best option).
We left Montrose at 2:00 the day before my birthday.
Ouray is higher in elevation than Montrose, so a few degrees cooler. We checked in to Wiesbaden with plenty of time to soak before dinner.
The inn provides all guests with very comfortable cotton robes.
While in the vapor cave I practiced deep breathing with intent to relax and renew. I would breathe in for count of 4, focusing on positive feelings and intentions (health, relaxation, healing, peace, etc.). Hold the warm mineral air in my lungs for count of 7. Then exhale for count of 8, anything negative (pain, inflammation, unease, feelings of being tired, etc.). We sat in the hot shallow pool several minutes at a time. Not sure the exact temperature but my guess is >110. Then back onto the ledge and more deep breathing. After about 30 minutes even I was ready to cool off and relax in the room before walking to dinner.
Ouray is a small mountain town in the San Juan mountains, also known as “Little Switzerland”. Wiesbaden Inn is just two blocks off Main Street so we wandered into town, browsing through a few shops. We arrived for our dinner reservation at Brickhouse 737 Delightful restaurant, we had never eaten here prior but will return! They were very willing to accommodate my food intolerances and I enjoyed a delicious meal. Since we were celebrating my birthday AND they have a flourless/dairy free chocolate cake we ordered dessert. Hans even brought us some Syrah port to add to the celebration.
We soaked again after dinner 🙂 The vapor cave pool was much hotter, but the sun was down so we enjoyed a long soak in the outdoor pool. Met several delightful folks to chat with.
John had made reservations for us to enjoy a Jeep tour on Wednesday morning with Colorado West Jeep Tours.
It was so nice to just enjoy the scenery and learn mining history. John let me sit on the driver’s side so I could see better.
Steve, our driver and guide, drove close to the edge. He had already told us the seat belts were not for our safety but to body recovery easier!!
Amazing scenery! The tour was to top of Imogene Pass.
Because of the snow at the top, being cleared by bulldozer while we were stopped,(being in a large commercial vehicle Steve decided not to force the issue), Steve extended our tour and we ventured into Yankee Boy Basin. It was early for flowers but absolutely beautiful!
We were back in town before 1:00, so went back to Wiesbaden for a quick soak and shower.
John’s planning made my 60th birthday a special occasion, not just another date on the calendar. Which made me feel special and celebrated.
As a health coach, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, home maker and farmer I too often get so busy I forget to take care of ME.
In my health coaching practice I am frequently reminding my clients and friends they must take care of themselves FIRST. But as women we simply don’t put ourselves at the top of our list, or even on the list.
For the sake of your health this must not be your mode of operating.
You may not notice at first. But the people you care about do..
Do you recognize any of these scenarios?
I end up here too often. I know better. I get so busy “doing” for others that I neglect self care.
Here are some simple steps to start with.
.While on our outing in Ouray I found a delightful journal, “Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone”. There are prompts for journaling, pages to color, exercises to stretch you. (The link is my Amazon affiliate link, thank you!)
If you have been stressed and want to get back to your life I’ve put together a 4 chapter eBook to guide you through Check it out here “Undress Your Stress”
What are you going to do to make YOU a priority?
Do my suggestions resonate with you? Or do you have other ideas you would be willing to share?
Don’t just read this post without deciding on an action step to take care of YOU!
Comment below to share how you plan to take better care of you.
Or visit my Facebook page and send me a message there. Pharmacy to Farmacy on Facebook.
We have added five turkeys to our farm. We had talked about the idea for a while but weren’t really prepared. Then one day we were at Murdoch’s (local farm department store where you can get clothing, boots, tools, equipment, fencing, garden items, toys, and in season turkeys). They were expecting their final shipment of chickens and turkeys the next week, so all the 3 week old birds were discounted. I bought five. We skipped the most fragile time of a poult’s life, the first two weeks.
Their new home was a galvanized tub with a heat lamp and screen to protect them from the cats. They were so small.
We had ducklings on order and so we moved the turkey poults into a 4×4 cage. The cage was built using pieces I found in the barn. It gave them more room, a perch to roost on, and a view of the curious residents they would be sharing the farm with. Once they had their feathers I would let them loose in a stall during the day, securing them in the cage at night.
One night we could hear one of our kids (young goat) screaming. She had squeezed into the stall, but couldn’t get out. John opened the gate and she trotted out like nothing had happened. The screen top of the cage was bent, but still kept my poults secure at night.
I had taken them into my garden one day. They followed me everywhere, pecking at the ground where I was digging. When I was done I caught them and carried them back to the stall in one of our cat crates. The following Saturday I was working in the garden and realized with all the digging and weeding it would be fun to have them join me. But they were no where to be found. I had been letting them loose in the yard to “free range” and gathering them back into the stall at night. I searched everywhere. I wasn’t concerned a predator had gotten them because all five were missing. Also they disappeared mid-day. I did what so many due in this age of technology, I posted my turkeys were missing on Facebook, tagging neighbors. Friends all across the country commented with concern, and their guesses as to what had become of my birds. Foxes were a common comment.
Several days later a neighbor called, my turkeys had shown up on their porch Sunday. I loaded the large dog crate (turkeys grow fast!!) into my car and went to collect them. I secured them in the cage and they were not happy. They were happy to be let out the next morning and have stayed close ever since, mostly.
They like to roost high in our pole barn. Like 6′ off the ground. They jump up on something, the cage, fence rail, anything will do. Then they leap while flapping their wings and line up on the top beam.
Often when I head to the barn in the early morning the turkeys run to great me. My husband said after watching this, he now knows where they got the “model” for the pterodactyls in the movie Jurassic Park. I might actually watch it just to see if he is right 😉
Last Sunday as we were heading to church we spotted them across the road heading to another neighbor’s. So we turned around and chased them home. So far they are staying close to home. But now at least everyone in the neighborhood knows they are mine.
We added turkeys to the farm because I couldn’t get rid of the grass in my garden. Turkeys, like chickens, like to scratch the ground and I’ve seen them completely obliterate large lawn areas. The plan was to confine them to part of the garden where the grass was thickest, then once the grass was gone they would be allowed to free range.
There were several problems with this plan.
So now I have five turkeys roaming my farm. They are messy and because they can fly they go wherever they please. . When they are in the garden they prefer to take dust baths and peck at my plants. And the grass is still occupying over half my garden
Many people approach health like I did getting turkeys.
You have a vague idea what you need/want.
You’ve read a book.
And you charge ahead.
Is this working for you?
I have three questions for you.
There is an old saying, ” Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” Connect with me and lets go fishing for a solution to your health challenges together. I have set aside time to connect with you! Click here to schedule a complimentary strategy session today!
I wish you many blessings of health and happiness,
I have never focused on weight loss in my coaching, but I know it is a huge issue for many of my friends and clients.
I won’t begin to list the many programs on the market. Few focus on why you gained weight and too many promise their solution is the one perfect for you.
Each person is unique. There is no single solution that works for everyone.
Bright Line Eating addresses why some of us are more likely to be overweight or obese. I am sharing their program with you because it has worked for several of my friends when nothing else did.
Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to lose weight?
Why is it that people in America alone are spending $61 billion dollars each year trying to lose weight, and yet the percentage of our population that is overweight or obese is about to reach 70%? It’s crazy! Even one-third of triathletes are overweight!
The secret lies in the food we put in our mouth. Every body builder knows that when it’s time to get cut for a competition, it’s diet that counts.
So why is it so hard for so many people to eat the right foods and shed those excess pounds? And for those who do lose weight, why is it so hard to keep it off?
The answer is that there’s ONE HUGE MISTAKE that almost everyone is making when they try to lose weight. This one huge mistake also practically guarantees that any weight lost will be quickly regained.
In the second video of her 3-part series, my friend, Professor Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., reveals what’s been blocking your attempts to lose weight, and believe, me, when she does, it will blow your mind.
Of course – if you know someone who can be helped by this special series – PLEASE DO share this email with them – just forward it to them. They’ll thank you for it.
Yours for food freedom,
P.S. Remember this series is FREE, but it’s going to be taken down soon. This is the best free education you’ll ever get on the psychology and brain science of sustainable weight loss. >>>Click here<<< so you will never make the One Huge Mistake again.
We moved to our 8+ acre farm May 2013. I want to be completely honest, the closest we had ever come to living on a farm was a garden. We moved here with one dog and one cat.
The original motive was to be able to produce more of our own food. There is more to health than what you eat, but eating a whole food diet is a good foundation.
We bought our farm. All 8.6 acres of land. In my mind it was perfect. But it needed a “bit” of work. Details like fencing, gates, updating irrigation, learning about pumps. Reclaiming an area for a garden. Learning to care for goats and sheep and ducks. And that is just the outside.
The house is unique and there is character in every detail. (My husband doesn’t use these same terms to describe our house). The work we’ve done on the house, up to this point, has been cosmetic. Painting, updating window coverings, hanging new towel bars.
Until now. We are in the midst of completely remodeling our kitchen.
The kitchen was functional. There were little things that were annoying. One burner on the stove had to be lit with a match. The counter top formica is separating near the sink from the water that is common next to a sink. The main prep area was in the shadows. There was only a vent on the Jen-Air, and it pulled air down to vent to the outside.
So currently I have a working sink and cook top. Most all the cabinets are in the garage. The refrigerator is in the dining area. My table is covered with the items we access daily (coffee pot, supplements, often used seasonings, Berkey water filter. By Saturday the sink and cook top will be gone too.
Am I living in chaos? Or is the empty, non-functioning kitchen a blank slate of possibilities?
Yes, I am living in chaos. But, there is a plan and I see the possibilities.
You may be functioning.
But maybe not with the energy you once had.
It takes longer to feel awake in the morning, or more coffee.
The days seem long and the nights seem short.
You feel stressed all the time.
Here is a quick video.
I’d love to know your favorite part of the video!
Email me your comments at email@example.com
To make life even more interesting we have welcomed two sets of triplet kids and two sets of twin lambs so far this spring. I love living on our farm but it is a lot of work!!
I need to move more.
You need to move more.
This is not news to any of us. Very few of us live active lives. Lives that involve moving, walking, lifting. Even living on a farm doing chores is not enough activity, My doctor told me so.
I was sad, but relieved.
I knew I needed to move more. But hey, it’s winter here in Colorado and going for a walk involves finding several additional layers. And boots. And risking slipping on the ice that is on the road (no sidewalks in my rural neighborhood).
Since I asked her what I could do/change/improve to minimize the recurrence of melanoma I decided I should follow her advice.
Forty five minutes five days each week. My choice of brisk walking, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, or bicycling.
You’ll find me out snow shoeing on Wednesdays, meeting friends to walk trails around town some days, or simply walking with my dog through my lovely rural neighborhood other days. When friends aren’t available to join me Gypsy and I head out anyway.
I am feeling better than I have in a long time. I have more energy, I sleep better (most nights), and I am happier. The fresh air and movement have proven to be therapeutic physically and mentally.
So my advice to you is to grab a jacket and head outside. If you have a dog, invite them!
Just do it!
I find it helpful to track my activity. I have an app on my iPhone (which appeared with an update) called “Health”. It tracks my steps if I have my phone on me. It can track a lot more, but I just use it for activity.
If you are not one who likes to rely on technology you can download Track Your Exercise for a printable page to record your activity.
For you and your health- MOVE MORE!
What apps or methods do you use to track your activity?
Please share as a comment or email me.
As a side note: I was watching a webinar on the naturopathic approach to treating cancer. Studies show that 45 minutes of brisk exercise 5 times a week decreases recurrence of breast cancer.
Late last fall I received a “wake up” call when I was diagnosed with melanoma.
I’m very fortunate to be in good health overall. I’ve been eating a whole food diet for over four years. I’ve learned to manage stress. I get some exercise most days doing chores on our farm.
The initial comment from the medical providers I received care from, after taking an initial history was, “You are in excellent health”. Yet, I still developed melanoma. Being in good health is not a guarantee we won’t get sick.
My initial response to receiving the diagnosis was to make an appointment with a ND (naturopathic doctor) We discussed my typical diet and daily routine, health history, how much I exercise (farm chores did not meet her definition of brisk exercise). She commented “You are in excellent health”. Her suggestions were I needed to adjust what I was eating and add several supplements. And I should be walking briskly 45 minutes at least 5 days every week.
My treatment plan focuses on food. And supplements for when food isn’t enough.
Why is food so important?
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine is often quoted as saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.”
Here are three reasons why what you eat matters:
1. Food is more than calories.
Calorie “a unit equivalent to the large calorie expressing heat-producing or energy-producing value in food when oxidized in the body”. We get most of our calories from fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Fat has 9 calories/gram, protein and carbohydrates have 4 calories/gram. Alcohol has 7 calories/gram. Our body needs more than just calories. Food, especially plants, also contains vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
2. Food is information.
Plants contain phytonutrients and antioxidants. Phytonutrients and antioxidants are bioactive compounds in plants that turn on and off epigenetic switches. This means that just because everyone in your family develops a disease, like diabetes, does NOT mean you will. The food you choose turns these switches off and on.
3. Food either builds your body up or breaks it down.
Whole food builds our body up. They provide energy and nutrients to support growth and health. Processed foods cause inflammation which leads to chronic dis-ease in the body. While processed foods do provide calories, they are often void of the nutrients necessary to repair cell damage.
Due to the size of the melanoma on my leg I required surgery. Additional tissue was removed to assure clean margins. This left a large wound, which required a skin graft to facilitate healing. And to determine if the melanoma had spread I had a procedure called lymphoscentigraphy. At my initial meeting with the surgeon she commented, “You are in excellent health”. Because I started this journey in excellent health I have healed well, and more quickly than expected.
Yes, it matters what you eat. For cancer, or any chronic disease, eating a whole food diet provides the nutrition necessary for the body to repair damage. This does not guarantee you won’t get sick. It does increase the odds of a quicker and less eventful recovery.
If you would like to hear, “You are in excellent health”, from your health care provider contact me today and lets talk about how I can support you in reaching your goals for better health in 2017!
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Karen Hunter is a certified health coach. She supports individuals who are ready to learn how food is medicine and powerful for restoring health. She focuses on the foundational aspects of health and wellness: whole food nutrition, safe movement, restorative sleep, stress management and having fun.
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Like your heart or liver, skin is an organ. It has several vital functions as part of your body. Here are five fascinating facts about skin.
Skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Everyone has the same amount of cells that produce melanin, which is made in the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis; but not everyone produces the same amount.
Skin is an important organ for detoxification, as are the liver, lymphatic system, kidneys, and digestive system
To support healthy skin from the inside out focus on eating foods high in antioxidants and foods that support liver function.
Antioxidants help repair damage done by free radicals. Free radicals are found in the environment, and they’re also produced naturally in your body.
Supporting liver function makes the detoxification system of your body more efficient.
Why you need antioxidant rich foods
Antioxidants help prevent or stop cell damage caused by free radicals.
Your body creates free radicals to help fend off viruses and microbes, but if you have too many, they can cause serious damage and contribute to certain cancers and heart disease. You also get hit with free radicals daily from things like air pollution, cigarette smoke, and alcohol.
Antioxidants occur naturally in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, wine, and chocolate.
Here are some of the more familiar antioxidants
It is always best to eat food so you get antioxidants in balance (vs taking a supplement)
If you choose to supplement choose a supplement sourced from whole foods. Your body is designed to get nutrients from food, and knows the difference if presented with a synthetic version.
There are some specific nutrients that improve skin health.
Zinc is a required nutrient for >100 enzymatic reactions in body. It also reduces production of free radicals, and safeguards the fats in skin against damage from sun.
Foods containing zinc include pumpkin seeds, wild caught seafood, meat and cacao.
Copper plays a role in collagen synthesis. Signs of low copper levels are brittle, wrinkled skin, slower wound healing, higher inflammation and premature graying.
Foods containing copper: seaweed, nuts, cacao, red wine, organ meats, legumes .
Vitamin A is required to produce retinol. Retinol is believed to affect skin aging and prevent acne.
Good food sources for Vitamin A include organ meats, egg yolk, bright orange vegetables (contain beta-carotene, from which the body makes vitamin A) and fish liver oil.
Vitamin C is used to produce collagen, important for skin healing and protects against free radical damage.
Foods high in vitamin C: citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, kiwis, goji, acerola and acai
Vitamin D is fat soluble and produced iwhen your skin is exposed to sunlight from cholesterol.
Best food sources: oily fish, full cream dairy products. Older folks and those with darker skin are often deficient so often require supplementation.
Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant, and protects the skin from free radical and sun damage. Sebum is excreted and high in vitamin E, this helps moisturize and protect skin.
Food sources for vitamin E: nuts, seeds, avocado, oily fish and olive oil.
I added Juice Plus+ to my diet several years ago. The variety of fruits and vegetables in Juice Plus assures I am getting a wide variety of antioxidants and phytochemicals that support my skin and general health.
Here is a short video explaining another benefit of eating Juice Plus for your skin:
Why eat to support your liver
Our body is continually producing free radicals and we are exposed to toxins in the environment every day. Don’t wait until you are experiencing detrimental health effects to include the following 14 whole foods in your daily menu.
(From http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/ by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM)
I have many people ask me about sun exposure and skin health. There are several things to consider.
Everyone needs some sun exposure to their skin to make vitamin D. How much sun exposure needed varies due to several factors such as how dark is your skin (darker skinned people need MORE sun to make vitamin D than fair skinned people), where you live (altitude intensifies the effect the sun has on skin), how much skin is exposed, time of day and length of exposure.
Because too much sun is damaging to the skin getting the amount you need can be a difficult balance.
Using sunscreen to block all exposure is not ideal either. And unfortunately some sunscreens, even when used correctly, contain toxic ingredients. Here is an article from Dr. Josh Axe on sunscreens: The Dangers of Conventional Sunscreens
Here is a handout with a recipe for non-toxic homemade sunscreen, using essential oils. On the flip side is a place to note which foods promote healthy skin. Keep this handy on your next trip to the grocery store so you will make better choices! healthy-eating-4-healthy-skin
You’ve just been to your doctor and your blood pressure is elevated.
Or perhaps you’ve had high blood pressure for a while, but are tired of the expense and side effects of the medication prescribed to lower your blood pressure.
In this post I’ll explain what blood pressure is and share with you how what you eat can support a normal blood pressure.
As a pharmacist, dispensing medication to control blood pressure became very common. Every few years the protocol would change. Start with this medication, add this one. Unfortunately many people believed that if they took the prescribed pill(s) all would be well.
I would get calls, as a pharmacist, about potential side effects. When I would ask a few questions such as how much water they were drinking or when the dizziness occured, it quickly became obvious they didn’t understand what was causing the elevated blood pressure or that their choices were contributing to the condition.
First let’s review what blood pressure is and what is considered “normal”.
Here is a dictionary definition of blood pressure:
blood pressure |ˈbləd ˌprɛʃər| (noun)
“the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system, often measured for diagnosis since it is closely related to the force and rate of the heartbeat and the diameter and elasticity of the arterial walls.”
When your blood pressure is taken there are two values. The higher number refers to the pressure as your heart contracts (beats). The lower number is the pressure when your heart relaxes.
This chart shows the American Heart Associations guidelines for classifying blood pressure (If you would like to read more, here is a link explaining more about blood pressure readings.)
*Rarely is there a single cause for developing high blood pressure. Several factors and conditions may play a role in its development, including:
* From webmd.com
Obviously there are some factors you cannot modify like age, family history or genetics. You can address factors you DO have control over. These would include diet, activity level, how you manage stress, and whether you smoke or drink alcohol.
This post will focus on how choosing your food wisely, with a few simple guidelines in mind, can have a positive effect on blood pressure.
One of the first things about diet you may have been told is to cut back or eliminate salt. This is wise if you are consuming regular table salt. Regular table salt contains sodium and cloride. Here is a short video from webmd.com on salt.
So what are your options?
Replace table salt with sea salt. Sea salt contains a mixture of minerals, not just sodium and chloride. Here is a link to an article discussing the various salts available. You would be wise to limit your salt intake, but eliminating salty processed foods is a great place to start.
It was interesting to learn that even with the same sodium blood level (determined through lab work) a vegetarian is less likely to experience high blood pressure. Why? A vegetarian eats more vegetables than a non-vegetarian (duh). Vegetables are high in minerals, especially potassium. The higher levels of potassium helps stabilize blood pressure.
“While dietary levels of sodium do not differ significantly between these two groups, a vegetarian’s diet typically contains more potassium, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C, and less saturated fat and refined carbohydrate, all of which have a favorable influence on blood pressure.” Dr. Micahel Murray
(Click here to read Dr. Michael Murray’s article)
There are two vegetables I recommend incorporating into your diet if blood pressure is a concern.
Beets are high in nitrate, which is converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes the smooth muscles in blood vessels, helping them to stay properly dilated. Nitric oxide also has an anti-platelet effect, making blood less sticky.
(from Dr. David Williams’ article “One Food Can “Beet” High Blood Pressure“)
Celery also contains fiber, magnesium and potassium which help regulate blood pressure.
I recently shared a series with you by Dr. Sears, “9 Steps to Prime Time Health”. If you missed it you can find it here. Dr. Sears shares how eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables improves our health, regardless of our age.
Whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are high in fiber and minerals. This is beneficail for digestion, regulation of blood pressure and glucose levels. Whole foods are not processed, so they don’t have extra salt or sugar added.
If blood pressure, or any chronic health condition, is an issue for you I have set aside time to answer your questions. Clink the link below to schedule your free health consultation.
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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates
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Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the article. I have a bonus for you!
My favorite way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my diet is to make smoothies.
Click on the image below for your FREE copy. There are a dozen delicious recipes for you to try.
Remember, caring is sharing! Please forward this post to those you care about who have high blood pressure.
These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.