to have Courage....In Family Life, In Spirituality, In Health, In Living Simply

I'm on a journey...... as we all are. Learning, remembering, re-discovering about health, spirituality, relationships, emotions and the mind.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Use of Fire

"It can be said that the greatest single cause of degeneration in man is the use of fire in the preparation of foods."
~ Arnold De Vries

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Incorporate Raw

Did you know that eight to ten times more nutrients are available from uncooked vegetables than from the same vegetables cooked?  The overall nutrient destruction from cooking is estimated to be about 85%.  So, instead of boiling or steaming those veggies, make a platter of raw veggies and let your little ones munch away on those.

I often would have a plate of them available before the main meal was ready, so when they wanted to munch on something they would start to fill up on raw fibrous veggies.  It never bothered me if they were too full on them to eat the rest of the meal because I thought they had already partaken of the most nutritious part already anyways!!

Eating too much cooked, enzyme-depleted food drains the body's natural store of enzymes that aid our body's digestion.  Aim for at least 50% of your daily food intake to be eaten as raw.  Then make the rest of your food healthy choices.  And if possible, eat the raw foods first before eating cooked foods as they will be providing more digestive enzymes to help you digest the cooked foods following behind.

And don't forget eating cultured foods, such as the fermented veggies.  They add lots of digestive enzymes and healthy flora to your gut.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Double One's

Today's Birthday Girl, turned a Double-One

Her idea was to make pancakes herself, and serve it to Mom and Dad in bed!  Yeah, she does the work on her birthday and serves her parents!!  

She's been painting and creating, like Maret always does.  These are just some of the recent pictures

and her hard at work.

One of her Grandma's gave her a book on Drawing and Painting Wildlife, so I'm sure we'll be seeing even more and more of that around here.  Today she's been painting horses.

Happy Birthday, Maret.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Charter of Health Freedom

As a Canadian, do you have any idea that your Freedom to choose concerning your own individual Health is greatly jeopardized?  Do you know that producers of supplements and alternative health products are being denied product numbers so that they can't sell to you and I any more?

Earlier this week I went to the local healthfood store to ask about Colostrum.  (You can check out this if you are curious).  Anyways, its not on the shelves and I wanted to know why, while in pill form it is still on the shelves at a store up island (I know, because I asked Rauchelle to check for me).  I discovered that once Naked Naturals supply is gone, they won't be able to carry it either.


Because in this lay-persons words, our government thinks that I am not smart enough to read literature, research for myself, and decide for myself what products I think would be healthful for me to ingest or even use topically.  Like, I'm not wise enough to decide whether taking cinnamon in capsules would or would not help me with blood sugars.  Or that MSM lotion would be beneficial to lather on my scar tissue. Or if I might find that butcher's broom helps with my varicose veins.

Instead, they are limiting all of this Freedom to Choose so that I have the freedom to choose their pharmaceuticals or nothing.  Or grow my own, I suppose.  But then they would likely come and confiscate even that because it would appear that I am undermining Canada's Healthcare by not purchasing their chemicals to ingest.

In scenario, if I were to discover that I had some type of cancer, I would be able to chose allopathy protocol of surgery/radiation/chemotherapy; Invasive and Chemical.  Or I could choose to do nothing.
Or I could pay tens-of-thousands of dollars to go internationally and be treated by some alternative health practitioner (with a greater success-rate than North American rates concerning cancer, I might add).  But I can't go to a local business and purchase natural products (herbs & supplements, etc) that have a long history of being successfully used to help ones body heal itself.  Because it hasn't been tested in their labs and because it can't be patented,  it won't be available to us.


Because they will lose too much money.

Let's face it, people.  The whole talk about Health Care isn't about Health.  It's about Sick Care and the money they make off of the citizens being sick and staying chronically sick.  If we stay healthy, or get better ...........where is the money in that?

PLEASE!!!!  go to Charter of Health Freedom and find out how you can add your name to the petition, or sign at a healthfood store that has a petition already underway.  We need 3 million signatures by March.  There's a long ways to go, but it can be done.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Digital Sabbatical, What It's Looking Like

I am still practising taking breaks on Saturdays and Tuesdays from my computer.  It's a practise because it isn't habit, yet.

I am doing well at it, looking forward to the breaks where I don't surf, where I ignore FB, let my emails pile up, etc.

I get more book reading done and am more likely to play board or card games with the children.   I am finally getting around to doing projects with them that I've been intending on doing for quite some time but just haven't gotten around to.

You know, things like teaching them to sew.

Everette and I often sneak in a 'coffee break', even if we aren't drinking a coffee.  It might be a quick walk somewhere, a jaunt to the grocery store where we are able to get some adult conversation done without little ears listening in.

Or lots of Saturdays now we go to the Royal BC Museum, or  take in the IMAX , or the aquarium, or the Art Gallery now that we have a bunch of annual passes (thanks, Ministry of Education!)

When the weather gets drier and warmer I'm sure we'll be taking more family walks at Whiffen Spit, or down at the river or at the Potholes.  Or checking out the Galloping Goose Trail.

Like so many people, I enjoy the wealth of information and experiences made available via the internet.  But there are some things that I don't like. ...and that includes the Time Sucking feature of it.   I want to be able to find a balance.  I know it doesn't have to be an All-or-Nothing scenario.  This tool can be beneficial, and that's what I am actively pursuing.

I don't have an iPhone and a bunch of other digital and techno stuff (although I do now have an hTC but I don't use it for much more than a phone and a voice recorder), so taking a Digital Sabbatical for me is mainly just taking a good-sized chunk of time away from the computer.  And I take that time to refocus, and do stuff I often (ashamedly) neglect.

Maybe you need to practice a Digital Sabbatical too.

For some people it might work to take 2 days off in a row.  Or during certain hours each day, say from 7pm until the next morning.  Or lots of moms who have little ones at home, they are well disciplined to stay off the computer unless their littles are sleeping (& no, I don't think they are drugging them to sleep longer hours!!).

My system is working well for me.

I've been hashing over some stuff with Everette over the last few weekends (see, the Sabbatical lets me fit that in!) and am likely to be implementing some more changes in my life concerning the internet, blogging, family time and health topics, but that's all a work-in-progress.  This week I already cut about half my 'friends' on FB who I really didn't converse much with anyways(& that's usually superficial) and I feel better with that already.  Not that I spend a lot of time on FB as it is, but each thing I spend a little bit of time at seems to eat away all my days.  You know what I mean, don't you?  You are likely experiencing the same thing.

Even the good things seem to be robbing from us.  And we are letting them.  I know I am;  that's my present struggle.

Being careful of the little foxes that ruin the vineyard (Song of Solomon 2:15).

If you take a Digital Sabbatical, what does it look like for you?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Got the Girls Sewing

So, I got around to getting Danaka using the sewing machine.  She found a simple apron pattern online, free, and we followed the not-all-there instructions best we could and improvised on the rest.  But she was intimidated by the machine, and its a bit of a struggle to get her sitting back behind that noisey thing that scares her.  So the apron lays unfinished.  But at least Mom finally got around to introducing her to sewing.  Now its in her ballpark.  I'm encouraging her to get back at it, but she needs a bit more warming up to it.

But once I got in the swing of it and I've sketched out some time away from the computer ;) I was able to introduce Maret to the sewing machine, too.  (Interestingly, its been Mitchell, the fella, that has been using the sewing machine for months, not the girls)  Maret was intimidated too, but pushed thru.  She has enjoyed doing all the ironing, and although the sewing machine freaked her a bit, she not only sat down the next day to finish the apron,............


but this past weekend she also designed her own sun top (after a cute one she already owned) and sewed it along with embellishing it with buttons along the neckline.  (Design and sewing might be another attribute Maret has picked up from her big sister, Chelle.  Like 2 peas in a pod, those 2 girls are creative!)

A Bonus:  All the materials are recycled fabrics.  The 2 yellow aprons and this cute top used to be a tablecloth that I got via freecycle but was too small for our kitchen table, and the pockets for the aprons are from shirts that the little boys have outgrown.  The buttons are also from thrashed shirts of the boys.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jack LaLanne

A health icon has died, at the age of 96.

A great role model for a lot of Americans, and the creator of one of our favorite juicers (for citrus juices) Jack LaLanne died after a short illness.  Full of life until the very end.  What a great example of Living Life.

Edited: to add a Natural News link honoring the man.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011


In our religious upbringing, dancing was sinful.  So whenever there was dancing as part of our Physical Education at school, we got Religious Exemption.  Both Everette and I.  Different environments (city gal and country boy), different schools, obviously different parents but same religious perspective.

Dancing was wrong.  Along with a deck of cards.  Bowling alleys.  You get the picture.

Well, I've been wanting to learn how to dance for years now.   I even borrowed some videos from the library, once.  Some Country Line Dancing.  And Layne, Rauchelle & I had a hoot laughing alongside Everette as he tried to follow the steps to something like The Watermelon Crawl with his dress shoes sliding along the shag carpet of a house we were housesitting.  I think tears rolled down my cheeks.

Since then I've either had a growing belly sticking way out there, or a nursing baby I didn't want to drag to a dance class and worry the whole time about, or leave a nursing toddler at home with.....whom??  So we just never learned.

One night many moons ago when I had traveled to Minneapolis with my mom and sister for a cousin's wedding, one of my uncles made me get up and 'learn' to dance some waltz or something as he pushed aside some tables and chairs at the back of the empty restaurant we were having a late dinner at.  He said it was to prepare me for the dancing at the wedding reception in a couple of days.  His alcoholic breath didn't actually endear me to the experience, but I still knew that in the right situation dancing could be fun for me.

Well, the time has come, and tonight actually Everette and I took our very first dance class.  "Social Ballroom".

And it was fun.

We suck.  But we have a whole week to practice!

And did I say it was fun?!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pastured Cows are a Good Thing

We don't eat much at all for meat, and as I've shared recently we aren't actually vegetarians although I can identify somewhat with all the points for vegetarianism here.

But here is a sane (from my perspective) take on raising animals for meat.

Pastured cows enrich soil, improve the environment, and make better meat

I don't believe that its wrong nor inherently unhealthy for people to eat meat.  But many of us grew up with a meat-and-potato diet  (along with dairy products) and America's health seems to be a picture of dis-ease as a result.  We are what we eat.  And most of that seems to be processed and a chemical-cocktail.

It doesn't have to be an All-or-Nothing proposition.  Eating meat can be an occasional (guilt-free) event, if that's what you are wanting.

But the mass raising of animals is not necessary for good health nor is it environmentally friendly.

Also see Why Most Natural Disasters Aren't Natural At All

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calves & Cows

Laying in bed, cuddling with Anders in the morning I was telling him some names of the different parts of his body.  Things like knee-cap, shoulder-blades, calves and shins.

Later, he points at the back of his leg and tells his dad that that is his Calf.

 He points to the front and says "this is a Cow!"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

About Shame & Vulnerability

A heart to heart about our biggest fears and the door to joy and authenticity.  Living a life where "I am Enough" and "I Accept Myself" even though I know I am not perfect.  And needing to ingrain that in my children.

With all of our imperfections, we are still worthy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Staying Warm on High Raw

Shakaya has a wonderful post on Staying Warm on High Raw that has a lot of great pointers.  I am not even doing High Raw at present because I am feeling cold, and this post has encouraged me; nudging me in that direction again.

I love the pictures she has posted, seeing Shakaya walking outside barefoot in the snow.  And here I am being wimpy walking barefoot out on the driveway to empty groceries out of the van, rushing inside because "It's SOooooo cold!".

Anyways, I was encouraged by Shakaya's post and hope that you will be, too.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


If you've tried taking a Sabbatical, but you give in to the temptation to get back on your techno to do something, Freedom is here to help you!

Maybe one of your resolutions for this year is to do more writing, or painting, or reading tangible books.  But you find it difficult to find that quiet time to do it.  Freedom might be the tool you are looking for.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fun With the Birthday Dad

Rauchelle was home for part of last weekend to help us celebrate Dad's Birthday, and so the family (minus Layne) went out to the Sooke Potholes when the sun was still shining and the snow wasn't falling.

 Had a Pine Cone Fight and Attack for at least 30 minutes until those poor pine cones were falling apart
 Got lovely rosey cheeks for mama to adore

 Practicing Skipping Rocks is so much easier when the pond is frozen!!

We had a grand time, which is sometimes a challenge when the age difference spans 49 years.
But when Daddy does silly things like this, it keeps everybody entertained!!

Happy Birthday Hon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Give Away: The Joy of Less

Everybody likes a Give Away, and what better way to start the New Year and probably get pointers on how to accomplish some of your Resolutions (like decluttering your life!) than with winning "The Joy of Less" book over at  The Everyday Minimalist.  

Go on over there and see what its all about.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Regrets of the Dying

I look at this list as a guide as to how I might chose How to Better Live.

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Disconnecting somewhat from my religious upbringing has helped in this area.  Fear is another common issue.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard. I think I have a fairly good grasp on this one.  And learning to live more minimalistic helps Everette not live with such pressure to produce.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings. Not so good at this.  People-pleasing is an issue.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. I have few friends, but some close friends.  And my family truly are my friends.  But sometimes I think I have bailed too often.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.  A real issue with me these days and has led to many discussions with Everette.  I understand "that happiness is a choice."  
"The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives." 

Yup, I can identify.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Four reasons why people become vegetarian

Four reasons why people become vegetarian

We aren't Vegetarian, although friends and family might say that we are.  (what about a Sometimes Vegetarian?)  We just don't purchase & cook meat in our home (only fish).  We may or may not eat it when we are out, depending on the situation and our circumstances.

But the 4 reasons stated for why people have become vegetarian all ring true for me.  I guess I just haven't internalized it all yet.  I suppose I've been convinced of the arguments, but haven't been convicted in my heart yet.  And maybe I don't need to be convicted.  Just willing to follow through with what I am convinced of. (???)

I heard The Skinny Bitch sharing how she instantly became a Vegetarian as she was raising a burger, I think, up to her mouth and thought of it as if she was going to bite into the back of her hand.  She had no plans on giving up meat, but in that unsuspecting moment she couldn't eat anymore of the meat and has since become an animal activist along with a successful author and foodie.

How about you?  Are you Vegetarian?  Vegan?  Ever consider being one?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One Thing at a Time

Like I quoted from Kevin Gianni here we actually need to be just trying to change One Thing at a Time.

Look back at all the New Years Resolutions you've probably made over the years, and how many have you actually succeeded at?  I would venture to say that most of them fell by the wayside.  You worked really hard at change for the first couple of weeks in January, and by February you were probably feeling guilty that you failed yet again.  You want change, but you don't successfully achieve it.

If we keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.....isn't that the definition of insanity?

Well, I agree with Kevin G, that we need to be making just one change here, making it successful, and then building on it.  Don't try and fix your life all in one sweep.   "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." The journey of changing oneself also begins with a single step (change).

Take for example, Diet.  Many people start the New Year with the intentions of changing their eating habits in some way.  Maybe its to lose weight. For a few people it might be to actually put some weight on. Or it could be that you want to improve your eating habits, or incorporate super foods, or eliminate sugar.  All of those are somewhat interrelated, but just start with one.  One thing that you will focus on, make a change, make it a permanent way-of-life for you now.  Get it under your belt, so to speak, before you move onto another thing to change.

HINT: eliminating the bad things out of your diet is actually more important usually, than trying to put the good things in.  What I mean by that is that although its great to start putting super foods into your body, it will be of greater importance to curb your sugar addiction.  Tame the sugar monster.  Then do the next step which might be to incorporate super foods, or drinking more clean water, or starting your mornings with fresh juices.

What One Thing are you planning to change in your life this year?  I'd like to hear from you.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Love You More

I'm not sure I understand how it's possible Little One but.....

Today,..... I know I love you more.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Information Overload

Kevin Gianni in his book "High Raw"

"Another area that causes stress in our lives is information overload.
We’ve all been there, right? How can you not these days in our
information society? First of all, it’s important to trust yourself. If you
take the High Raw approach, the five principles will empower you to be
your own best health advocate. Trust that you have the information you
need in each moment and that you are doing your best with what you

"stress causes a hormone
reaction that is detrimental to your health. Your health and well-being will
benefit more from taking things one step at a time, at your own pace,
than trying to reach all of your goals overnight
Here’s the key: start with one thing. Just do it. Take action on it. Get it
done, then move on to the next step. When you can grasp this, you’ve
got it made. Add to this the unshakable confidence that you know you’ll
achieve your goals and you can relax and enjoy the process of creating
optimal health!

As they say, attitude is everything — and that’s true when it comes to
achieving your health goals too."