Archive for February, 2008

28
Feb
08

Nutrition, Supplements, and our Environment…

I have been studying ways to change our diet and improve out health for a couple of years now.  It started with Crystal Miller’s website and the purchase of Nourishing Traditions and progressed from there.  I was convinced it would take a lot of money to eat a “healthy” lifestyle.  However, I have changed my tune and believe what you spend eating the right food and supplements you save in doctor’s office visits, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medication.  Also, by eating more “whole” foods you tend to not suffer from hunger pangs in between meals.  Two of the best resources for me are Mercola and Weston A. Price

Here are a few things I changed at the beginning of my journey to leading a healthier lifestyle (somewhat in order).  *May I note my husband has been SO supportive and accommodating through it all.

First things first:

No Soda

Drink Raw Milk (no homogenized, pasteurized, soy, or otherwise milk)

Bake My Own Bread

Whole Grains (whole wheat flours, organic oatmeal, steel-cut oats, whole wheat or gluten-free pasta, etc.)

No More Processed Foods (boxed cereal, spaghetti sauce, etc.)

Kefir

Organic Raw Sugar, Raw Honey, and Stevia

Apple Cider Vinegar

As we adjusted to these changes I gradually began adding to it little-by-little.

Organic, Local, or Homegrown produce only:

This helps not only your health, but the environment by buying locally.  Good Reading: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (my aunt gave me a copy knowing I would be intrigued)

Path To Freedom is also a wonderful sight.

Homegrown and/or Grass-Fed Meat:

Chicken and Eggs-homegrown

Pork-locally raised

Beef-grass-fed, no hormones or antibiotics

Lamb-homegrown

Venison

Cooking from Scratch:

Crystal Miller has a wonderful site with recipes for baking and cooking from scratch.  She discusses the importance of soaking your grains, rice, and beans along with homemade beauty product recipes.

At our home I am the sole chef (unless the grill is used).  Grilling can alter food and should be used sparingly.

I bake my own bread products (sourdough, whole wheat, pizza dough, tortillas, etc.).  I also do a lot of canning, drying, and freezing produce from the garden to eat throughout the winter months.  We use stainless steel and cast iron cookware and glass storage containers as much as possible to prevent metals and toxins from the plastic from leaching into our food.  I would also like to discontinue the use of our microwave.  I use it as sparingly as possible now.

One new addition to our household is a juicer.  I ended up with an ulcer a few years ago, treated it with expensive prescription only to have it return.  So, the juicer is first and foremost for cabbage juice to treat my ulcer.  From there I hope to get more creative and make it a part of our routine.

For the Future:

The Purchase of a Grain Mill

The Construction of a Cheese Press

The Construction or Purchase of a Solar Oven

And hopefully someday the construction of an Off-Grid home with as many organic, reclaimed, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly additions as we can afford and find.

Supplements Added to our Daily Routine:

MonaVie-twice a day (morning and evening)

Kefir

Kelp-morning (I’m the only one who takes this)

Brewer’s Yeast (I’m the only one who takes this)

Cod Liver Oil (in the winter)-morning

Krill or Fish Oil (in the summer)-morning

*We take one ounce of MonaVie and one teaspoon of Cod Liver Oil/Fish Oil in the morning.  The both taste wonderful, so it’s a nice little sweet jolt to get you going.

We start feeling a bug some on we add:

Vitamin C

Echinacea/Goldenseal or Oil of Oregano

We also use tinctures sold at our local herb shop for:

PMS (cramps)

Sore Throat/Laryngitis

Asthma

Supplements for Pets:

We struggle with one of our dogs having skin allergies especially in the winter.  Our vet has used steroids, anti-inflammatory pills, and antibiotics.  They all worked in the past, but this year nothing did the trick.  So, I read up on some alternatives to prescription medication.  We now use one teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar on our dog’s food morning and night.  Guess what, no more rash.  I may add Cod Liver Oil for good measure, but haven’t yet.  I have also been looking for an alternative to Frontline for repelling fleas and ticks.  We haven’t tried anything yet, but I am researching the use of brewer’s yeast and garlic.  I will let you know what I come up with and how it works this summer.  We also feed our dogs a certain brand of dog food which has nearly eliminated joint problems our Blue Heeler was suffering from in her hips.  We switch from Science Diet (Joint Formula for the Cattledog and Sensitive Skin for the mutt) because they just weren’t working.  We gradually switched them over to Purina Mills Exclusive Lamb & Rice, sold at Purina feed stores, was approved by our very picky (when it comes to dog food) vet.  Make sure you have some of their old food on hand whenever you switch to new food.  Do it gradually by cutting it a little at a time so their systems can adjust to the diet change.

I know this is not everything.  We will continue to make changes and improvements to our diet.  These are just a few things to get you started.

A really great blog to read concerning nutrition is Living, Loving, & Learning.  Kristy is a mama concerned with the health of her family and knows it starts with the food they eat (or don’t eat).

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

27
Feb
08

A few posts and blogs…

 

These are a few I came across today I thought were worth sharing:

Finding Contentment

A great post about our food supply and the cruelty animals have to endure.  Something everyone should be aware of.

Resolved to Worship

Amazing pictures of a beautiful family and her love of life.

Living, Loving, & Learning

Great nutritional information.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Great recipes and pictures taking you step-by-step through the process.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

Steppin’ Heavenward

 Just a wonderful and encouraging family.

27
Feb
08

Twelve and still going…

My Dad has been going to our house throughout the day to check on the sheep and now to supplement a noon bottle to the 3-4 who need one.  Yesterday he had two ewes deliver single boys to bring our lamb count up to twelve.  Now, single boys aren’t exactly a sheep owner’s dream come true, however, the mamas had the babies by themselves, mamas are fine, babies are fine, mama has plenty of milk, and are good mamas.  As far as we are concerned, it’s perfect!

Does it get any cuter than little baby lambs?

I mentioned before how we have help outside a lot.  Well, we have two more additions to the “helper” list.

Our oh so nosey ram, Cash, has to be in everyone’s business and has a really bad habit of putting his front feet up on panels and gates.  Cute as he can be, but a pain more often than not.

And the other star of the show, Cooter.  He’s been rolling around behind the chicken coop.

What a sweet little guy!

The cats get locked in our pool house during the night and anytime the dogs are in the backyard.  Our little black dog, Koal, is a cold-blooded killer when it comes to the feline family.

Part of the fun is catching the little kitties.  Cooter had been “avoiding” and running from us the whole evening.  He has been caught, handcuffed, and hauled downtown!

It is supposed to be in the low 50s today.  Yippee!  We are so ready for warmer weather here in Kansas.  Hopefully it stays that way.  I have a garden to plant.

We hope to get our peas in the ground and some boysenberry bushes transplanted from my Grandma’s.  I’m also hoping to trim some of my blackberries up a little and try to start some new ones from the cuttings.  Will this work?

26
Feb
08

Over the weekend…

We are up to 10 baby lambs on our little homestead.  We are also up to four bottle lambs which is not a good thing.  Lamb milk replacer has nearly doubled in price since last year, so it could get a little costly.  Although it will be time consuming, we hope to another ewe will lamb soon and have extra milk we can swipe to supplement everyone with.

Starting around noon yesterday the wind picked up and was blowing 30-35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.  Life on the prairie can be a lot of fun sometimes.  It was nerve-wracking hearing it whip everything around.

Of course I had plenty of help.

Here is a yearling ewe lamb from last year. 

We chose not to grain them heavy and push them to breed in the fall, so they get a whole year and a half to grow before they become mamas.  We are considering keeping Dorpers for fall lambs and Texels for spring lambs.  We just have to get our fences built (and re-built due to heavy ice and limbs crashing down on it) so we have enough pens for everyone.

We had dinner Sunday evening at Mom and Dad’s and Grandma brought down our afghan she crocheted for us out of Hank’s (our llama) wool.  What a great keepsake to have from her.

I also got to try out my new juicer Monday morning.  I juiced and organic cabbage in hopes of taming a ulcer that has resurfaced.

To say cabbage juice is an “acquired” taste is pushing it.  I added a little carrot to help it, but it will take more than a carrot to make cabbage juice palatable.

Hope everyone is having a great week.

22
Feb
08

Overeating in baby lambs

We had a baby lamb Thursday night begin convulsing and throwing her head backwards, she lost the use of her legs within 20 minutes, and her breathing was labored.  Did I mention she was only three days old?  We began flipping through books looking for what could be causing this.  Listeriosis came up again and again.  We called dad to see what he thought and within minutes he came down with medication for us to use.  We gave her a shot, but didn’t have a lot of hope for the little girl’s survival.  Randy checked on her before bed and she seemed to settle down a bit, but it still was not looking good. 

The next morning Randy went out to check on everyone and do chores.  When he came back in he told me the lamb was up walking, no head tossing, and looked perfectly fine.  Huh?  I went out to have a look.  Her breathing was still a little labored, so we gave her one more shot.  She seems to be back to normal now.  What a miracle!  We never thought she would make it through the night.  I stayed home (partially due to icy roads) and kept a close eye on her for an entire day just to make sure.  Every hour I bundled up and headed to the barn to check on her and all our expectant mothers. 

You can read about Enterotoxemia (Overeating Disease).  Our lamb had Type C Enterotoxemia.  It typically takes less than two hours to strike the lamb dead and most sheep owners just find a dead lamb and never know the cause of death.  Scary stuff.

I went out late last night to take pictures and my batteries were dead.  Surprise, surprise!  Does anyone else struggle with rechargeable batteries not staying charged very long?  I love to be environmentally friendly, but these batteries are testing my patience.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

22
Feb
08

A Friday at Work…

Since I took the day off yesterday I decided to make up my time by coming in today which I really hated to do, but the bill don’t pay themselves.  Randy HATES me going to work for a number of reasons, especially if it’s somewhat voluntary.  However, we are really striving to be dept-free and as a result I feel we need to work a certain amount of hours to keep on track.  Tax-time is never nice to us, so we are in a slump right now.

We are striving to decrease our spending, our debt, and eventually our income.  We find it so hard to give away ¼ our hard-earned money to others who don’t have to go to work and spend hours away from their home like we do.  So, the only way we know to avoid paying in a huge amount of money in taxes (legally) is to just make less money.  Yeah, those two college degrees may be considered “wasted” to others, but to us we would never be where we are today without them.  Whether we hold jobs in our fields of study or not.  *I will step off my soapbox now.

Randy’s car wouldn’t start this morning, so he was late for work.  It finally started, thankfully, so we are both away from the farm today.  Dad will check up on the sheep and if anything happens I will head straight home to take over.

Yesterday I got a lot done around the home.  All the usual:  dust, vacuum, clean the bathroom, laundry, and baked bread.  Ash and I got in our three games of fetch, and I managed to get a small bottle of Lavender Linen spray made to help me sleep after my middle-of-the-night trips to the barn to check on the girls.  A big part of my day was spent outside and with a high of 25 degrees it makes for a chilly day.  I am sipping on a nice hot cup of green tea as we speak.

I’m putting together a small post on nutrition, supplements, and some environmental ideas.  Hopefully I can get it posted today.  If not, it will be sometime next week.

I promise baby lamb pictures soon.  They are adorable if I do say so myself.  My favorite is a little boy (of course).  Rule Number 1 for raising livestock:  don’t fall for the baby boys, it only makes your life harder when it’s time for them to “go.”

Have a wonderful weekend and try to stay warm.

21
Feb
08

Easter animals…

My mom owns and operates a small feed store in a town near where we live.  She had a lady come in today who wanted to order one duck for her daughter for Easter.  Mom explained to her that she doesn’t do that and most places won’t sell just one or two especially if they know its Easter related.  She and the lady talked awhile and the lady explained to mom that when the duck/ducks get bigger they just “release” them.  The reason I do not work in the customer service field is because my exact response would have been, “um, hello, genius, what in your brain is telling you this is even remotely a good idea or humane?”  Sadly there are obviously people out there who can take a DOMESTICATED animal, say an adolescent duck for instance, take him out to a pond, by himself, set him on the water, turn around, and walk away thinking, “and Daffy lived happily ever after.”  Ugh!  People still amaze me after 29 years!

On to other news…….

We still have no new babies on our little farm.  Dad stops by periodically to check on them since Randy and I both work.  We have bad weather moving in, so as the front moves through we expect the girls to start up again.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!




Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change.

I am the wife to my wonderful husband and joint care giver to the many animals we have acquired on our small farm here on the prairie. This is a bit about our life on our farm. We are striving for simplicity and self-sufficiency, determined to become debt-free, trying to live in tune with the natural cycles of this earth, and challenging ourselves to transition to a diet based on traditional foods. It isn't always easy, and we don't always succeed, but it is a fun learning process. Join us as we stumble through learning how to provide for ourselves, get off the treadmill, and work toward a simpler way of life.

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