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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where's The Beef? and Goodbye to our good doggie friend Jake

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Yesterday we drove out to pick up our beef order at Brassils Creek Farm, just south of North Gower.
We are thrilled to be getting top quality organic meat from our local farmers, who farm responsibly and do not fill their cattle with hormones and antibiotics.
We were able to see the barns and pastures where the cattle graze and even got to meet their dairy cow who was resting in a closer paddock as she was lame. Separating here from the herd and letting her rest is how they bring her back to health, and only if necessary will they give her an antibiotic. So unlike the big farmers who give antibiotics daily just for the hell of it.
They had just birthed a calf and we were going to go see her, but we were short on time as my hubby had to get back to our renovations which are wonderful, but seem to be taking forever.
We enjoyed our time with Scott and I was especially lucky because I got to hold their little Oliver, their fourth son who is around 7 months old. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love babies...
Plus we got to visit with their two Springer Spaniels. Our Spaniel mix Comet wasn't to sure about young Piper who wanted to play with him. At 16 years of age, Comet is slowing down and just likes to putter around sniffing all the good smells in the country.

A month ago we received our delivery of lamb which we got from Scott's brother in law. I have to say it is the most delicious lamb I have every tasted. Last night we had lamb chops. I cooked them slowly in my cast iron pan with a little rosemary, garlic and salt on them. They melted like butter in our mouths. I will never buy store bought lamb again.
We feel so lucky to be able to get meat of this quality and wish more farmers would take the time to farm healthy.

We can hardly wait to taste our beef and will decide tomorrow which cut to try first. Steaks, roast or stew? Hmm, what a decision.

On a sadder note, we want to say goodbye to one of our best loved Canine friends. Our friends Damien and Greta had to put down their gorgeous yellow lab Jake on Friday. Jake was with them for twelve and a half years and was a super dog. He was the king of the neighbourhood and had many girlfriends for sure, both canine and human.
As Jake's Daddy owner was a policeman for 30 years Jake would howl whenever he heard a siren go by and was seen by many in Hampton park over the years.
Jake you will be missed, but we know you are are in doggie heaven chasing squirrels, ducks and sticks galore.
We love you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

PH 101- Acidity vs Alkalinity

So what exactly is PH and why is it so important for your body to be more alkaline than acidic? I am so glad to share this with you all, as it is majorly important for our health and well being.

PH stands for " potential of hydrogen" it is the measurement of hydrogen ions in a particular solution. The more ions the more acidic the solution. So think of our body as a solution, for optimal health we want our bodies to be more alkaline than acidic. On the PH scale -4.5 being very acidic to +9.5 being very alkaline you optimally want to be about 7.5.

The best way to find out if you are acidic or alkaline is to buy some PH paper ( litmus paper strips) sold in most health food stores. The simplest and easiest way to test, is to test your urine, as it is the most reliable bodily substance to test.  These strips are similar to the way you used to test your pool chlorine levels, dunk em in and see the results.
To test your urine, simply hold a little strip of paper in the flow of your urine for a second or two. It will change colour and you can compare it with the chart that is included with your PH paper to see where you are on the scale. For optimum health you want it to be around 7. Your levels will vary throughout the day and depending on what you have eaten during the day.
To get the best result check you PH levels mid morning, before meals or at least 2 hours after eating. One reading will not tell you much, you have to decide to do this for at least a week or two and track your readings to see where you are. A few weeks of testing will give you a good idea of where your body is at.

Different parts of your body have different levels of acidity.  Your blood needs to be slightly alkaline for optimum health, as do your tissues.
Your stomach is the most acidic part of your body with a PH of about 2. This is due to the hydrochloric acid used to fight foreign invaders and it helps to break down food.
Skin, bowels and a woman's vagina should be a bit acidic as well to keep unfriendly bacteria at bay.

Evidence of an acidic body can be everything from a runny nose, skin issues, inflammation, arthritis, poor circulation, irritable bowel syndrome, a weakened immune system and even cancer.

A lot of illness can be traced back to too much acidity in the body.

It is so easy for the body to become acidic with our North American diet. Foods like meat, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, alcohol, coffee, sugar, processed oils, energy drinks, yeast, refined grains, white bread, pasta, and the list goes on.
All these foods increase our acidic levels in our body making our body work that much harder. When our blood has too much acid it in it, it dumps the excess acid into our bloodstream and tissues. Then our lymphatic system tries to neutralize all that acid and so you can see where this can lead to illness and dis-ease in the body. Acid puts an enormous strain on our digestive system, liver and kidneys. Neutralizing all that acid also creates extra molecules called free radicals which damage our cells.
We all know that free radicals can cause major issues in our body and so why not try to limit the free radicals in our bodies by eating a more alkaline diet.

Foods like avocadoes, wheatgrass, green veggies,sprouts, almonds, brazil nuts, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, lentils, beans, lemons, limes, cold pressed oils like hemp, flax and borage seed and alkaline water will all help us to keep our bodies more alkaline than acidic.

So when you are out doing your next shop, add more green leafy vegetables to your cart, and some avocadoes. Forget the potatoes and processed foods and give your body a break. You will feel better for it, I promise!

Last night we made a big tossed salad to go with dinner, it was delicious. This is what is had in it.
Romaine lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, celery, green onion, avocado, and cauliflower. We cut everything really small into bite size pieces and dressed it simply with organic cold pressed olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. Let it marinate for an hour and it is spectacular. Let the salad be the biggest portion on your plate and live green!

Lots of love,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Raw Rocks

I am so lucky to be staying with my best friend and her husband during our renovations. She and I have been having so much fun these past few days.

We are both on healing journeys. She is following the PH Miracle by Dr. Robert Young and has been doing a raw food cleanse for over 6months now.
Her Lupus is in remission and I am so proud of her. It is so powerful to know that we have control over our health, something that I have been learning these last few months.
Both she and I are also doing hypnotherapy as well as other natural healing modalities. We both love our hypnotherapist Johanna Lynn, who is so insightful and gentle with our subconscious minds. We are learning that our thoughts are so very important in healing and well being. Along with daily meditation we also listen to Louise Hay our new Guru in positive healing.

This morning my friend and her husband took me to the IMAX theatre to see Born To Be Wild in 3D. She had to sort of drag me there as I am not great at the IMAX theatre. It makes me sick to my stomach actually. I have always had motion sickness, whether on a train, plane, boat, or merry go round. She said to me, Shirl, you will love 3D. My good friend James is a director in Toronto and has been filming in 3D for years. So I am happy to say I have now experienced 3D.

The movie is narrated by Morgan Freeman and to watch the baby elephants play with each other and then be re released back to wild warms your heart. If you know me ,you know I have a deep love of Elephants and monkeys. The Orangutans are so like us it is scary in some ways. To see them swing from tree to tree and play and be mischievious is simply wonderful and a great way to spend 50 minutes. Yes I admit I had to close my eyes through part of it as I did get nauseous at certain points in the movie. But I highly recommend the movie to all of you.
We are so blessed in Ottawa to have the IMAX theatre and the Museum of Civilization. The leaves are turning colours and the drive over to Gatineau was wonderful.

After the movie we went to a restaurant that I have been wanting to go to for the past 4 months. It
is called La Belle Verte and is a vegan/raw food restaurant.
In my quest for wellness I am trying to adopt a more raw diet and so this restaurant fits the bill. My friend and I shared a raw pizza and a vegan quiche. They were both so delicious and you knew you were eating such healthy food. Instead of a baked whole wheat pizza crust, they make it with dehydrated flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, garlic, sea salt and other yummy things. Then it has pesto, avocado, olives, sun dried tomatoes and peppers on top. All raw. Delicious!

It has been a wonderful day and it was such a gift to get out and experience life with my friends. If you have read my recent blogs you know I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and this summer has been a bit rough. Not a lot of energy and really not feeling that I could do a whole lot.. So as my wonderful husband renovates our bathroom I am feeling quite indulged and comfortable in my home away from home.

Sending out much love and healthy, positive thoughts.