Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Helpful Tips for Dealing with Food Poisoning

You never know when it will hit you but when it does you will wish it didn't. Food poisoning or food-borne illness as it is called in the medical community, is caused from a bacteria or viruses being present in your food. Usually it is a result of poor food handling, (not keeping refrigerated or raw items at a safe level of cold) or not keeping the preparation area clean that causes the growth of harmful bacteria on the food. When you eat the infected food the symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, weakness, soreness of the joints, fever, or the chills and may not show up for up to a month in some cases. This can make it hard to pin point the actual culprit and can sometimes be confused with the stomach flu. At any rate most people will take Imodium and Tylenol to help get through it but this is only treating the symptoms and not the root of the problem, the contaminated food in your system.
If you prefer a more holistic and natural approach here are some options for you:
  1. Activated Charcoal~ This is my all time favorite for food poisoning. I discovered this when I was pregnant with Boaz and was so sick that I was loosing a pound a day. Nothing was working and my midwife was going to put me on IV fluids if I didn't get it to stop by the morning. I had read about activated charcoal and called to verify if it was safe to use during pregnancy. With a go ahead I took 1 Tbs of loose charcoal powder mixed with water, drank 8 more ounces and then repeated the same thing the next hour. Just like that it bound up the toxin and stopped the wild rampage that was in my body. I have used it many times, with success every time. Activated charcoal is not digestible by the body so it binds up anything in your digestive system and eliminates it. It really should be used in it's loose form, capsules will sometimes inhibit the binding process. It should also not be taken with milk or dairy products as they will nullify the charcoal rendering it useless. 
  2. Raw Garlic~ I know this one sounds like a real joke but garlic is a natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial food. So if food poisoning comes from a virus or bacteria then eating a clove of raw garlic will eliminate the problem at it's source. I did try out this one and surprisingly it has a almost immediate relief from the nausea and I didn't experience any of my other symptoms after eating it. This is probably why most people don't get food poisoning after eating Italian food, all the yummy garlic!
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar~ When you are throwing up everything this may sound like the last thing you want to drink but apple cider vinegar, when metabolized, actually makes your body more alkaline immediately reducing the symptoms effect. It soothes the gastrointestinal lining and will kill off the offending bacteria that caused the problems in the first place. You can take 2 Tbs mixed in warm water with some honey or just take the two Tbs straight.
  4. Basil Juice~ Is great for treating bacterial infections, it is also easy to get down. You can just juice fresh basil leaves and mix with honey and take throughout the day. Or if you like to use essential oils, one drop of basil essential oil in a cup of water will sooth the stomach and deal with the bacteria at the same time. 
After you get rid of the bacteria you will want to gently sooth the body. Here are some simple ways to heal your gut.

Drink lots of liquids as you may have lost lots of fluids in the process. Some very beneficial ones are:
  • Lemon water~the acid in the lemon will deal with any lingering bacteria and the taste is refreshing and clean, something you may need. 
  • Ginger Tea~Using lots of fresh ginger, slice and boil it for a few minuets to infuse. Let it cool down till warm take out ginger and mix with honey if desired. 
  • Keifer or Keifer water~This builds up the good bacteria in the gut. 
  • Green Tea
  • Bone Broth
Start on solids slowly. Bland, starchy foods are often the easiest on your body after a bout with food poisoning. Foods like
  • White rice(I really like the puffed rice or plain rice cakes)
  • Bananas
  • Plain toast
  • Instant mashed potatoes without butter
  • Oatmeal(soaked is better)
  • Apple or pear sauce
When you start to feel like you a whole person incorporate yogurt, kombucha and other fermented/probiotic foods and beverages back into your diet to strengthen your immune system and build up the good gut bacteria so you are feeling your healthiest once more.

I hope you never have to deal with food poisoning but it is likely to happen at least once in your life so it is best to be prepared and know what you can do to heal your body from the inside out.
                                                                 The Farmer in the Dell

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fire Water

It's here! Tis the season for sniffles and sneezes, colds all around at every get together. Should you just hole up this season and hide away from the runny noses and sick masses? I know I have been tempted to do that very thing but it is not practical to go into hermit status in the winter. Here are some of our favorite things to have on hand when we come in contact with a sickie or feel like we are coming down with a cold. 
  • Elderberry syrup~ I make a batch of this and the kids love taking a dose, they often ask for more!
  • Echinacea tincture~ I usually make a "tea" with this to give my kids by mixing a few droppers of tincture with warm water and some liquid stevia. If you didn't get a chance to make some you can buy it from Amazon
  • Raw Garlic~ Smash it up and swallow like a pill. You will have garlic breath, it will burn, but you will not get sick! Maybe being a hermit is the way to go ;)
  • On Gaurd Beadlets~ We love these for when you know you have been around the sickness but don't have it yet, it usually works to keep us well! If you are interested in leaning more about essential oils or want help making an order please let me know!
  • Vitamin C~ If I do fall ill I will take extra vitamin C to ward it off sooner. This is great in conjunction with the echinacea.  
  • Fire Water~ This one is one Josh and I favorite ways to boost immunity. It is a spicy but flavorful and it is sure to knock the cold right out of you!
I have been making fire water the longest of all these; made my first batch almost 10 years ago and I still am making it! Partially because the ingredients are easy to find at your local market and it is very easy to make. Notice the amount of easy in the previous sentence :) Anyway, in my book, the only down side is that this would not be one to give to your small children, not if you want them to ever trust you again. It is way too spicy for my little folk but if yours like things hot then give it a try, you know your kids best.

Fire Water
Makes 2 Quarts

  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 heads of garlic, peeled chopped
  • 3-4 ginger roots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large horse radish root, peeled and chopped
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • Raw apple cider vinegar, to cover
 layer ingredients into quart jars, you want have approximately equal parts of all the chopped ingredients so a little less than 1/2 cup of each per jar.

Cover with apple cider vinegar and let set 1 week-1month. Strain out the vegetables and store in quart jar room temp.

Take one Tbs of fire water whenever you feel that tingle in your throat.

                                                          To your family's good health!
                                                                The Farmer in the Dell

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

20 Uses for Baking Soda

I love anything I can use as for multi-purpose. It saves me time and energy of keeping only one thing stocked up rather than having to check over a list of things all the time. One of my favorite multi- purpose items in my pantry is baking soda. It really is a jack-of-all-trades in our house. I like it because it is inexpensive, natural and effective! Here is a list of household uses for baking soda besides making a batch of waffles or a cake!

  • Toothpaste  When I a in a pinch I use baking soda on a wet toothbrush to brush my teeth 
  • Face scrub  Make a paste with the baking soda and water (add EO's if desired) 
  • Shampoo/hair pH balance  I don't use as shampoo regularly but I do sprinkle into my scalp before using my shampoo bar. It eliminates build up on the hair and scalp
  • Deodorant  Because of the pH balancing properties this makes a good deodorant in the winter. Some people find it is too strong/irritating to underarms, so if you have sensitive skin this may not be for you   
  • Dirty hand cleaner  Works well to get grimy hands clean
  • Cold sores  Apply to cold sores around and in your mouth to dry them up
  • Scouring powder  This works amazingly well on sinks and plastic pitchers that have tea stains! 
  • Drain un-clogger  Pour it a whole bunch of baking soda down the drain and pour white vinegar on top to help break down the clog.
  • Odor eliminator  Put a box in the refrigerator and freezer to keep odors at bay.
  • Litter Box Freshener  Put one 2 lbs box of baking soda on the bottom of the litter box cover with cat litter. This extends the life of the litter and helps with the smell. 
  • Pre-soak for Cloth diapers  This is especially helpful if you have hard water!
  • Pre-laundry stain treatment  Make a paste out of baking soda and water and put on the stain and let it dry, it will drawl the stain out of the fabric. If it is an oil or sweat stain, apply dry to fabric and it will pull the oil up out of the clothes. Make sure to brush off the baking soda before laundering as normal! 
  • A pretzel bath  When making pretzels, make a bath of warm water and baking soda to dip them in to give the soft pretzels a nice gloss and salty touch. 
  • pH balance in the body  Just a pinch in some water can help keep your body from getting to acid. I would do this with all the holidays coming up. Processed foods tend to throw the body off balance and make us more vulnerable to illness. 
  • For powdery mildew in the garden  Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda, 1 gallon of water, 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and 1 tbsp of dishwashing liquid. Mix and put in a sprayer. Use weekly. (try to use it when it is not too sunny)
  • To kill crabgrass/weeds  Pour directly on avoiding surrounding grass. This also works in cracks of sidewalks too. 
  • Sweeten Tomatoes  Sprinkle around the earth close the tomato plant, makes a sweeter fruit.
  • Fungicide  Mix 4 tsp baking soda in one gallon of water and spray on plants
  • Pest Control  If you have silverfish, roaches or ants sprinkle around door or window frames to keep them away. 
  • Splinter removal  Clean affected area, make a paste of 1/4 tsp baking soda and a little water. Apply to splinter and bandage. Wait 24 hours and remove bandage. If it hasn't worked out of the skin repeat till it does. This method works best with tiny splinters or really deep ones.
I am sure this is not an exhaustive list but you sure can do a lot with this common, humble household staple! What other ways do you use baking soda? I would love to hear!
                                                                 The Farmer in the Dell

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Heart of a Child

Sometimes, in the chaos that is motherhood, God sends reminders though some of the most unlikely ways. Namely I am thinking of children. As adults I think that we forget that, with all that we are teaching our children, they can teach us too.

One of my areas of struggle is with giving. I am an extremely frugal person. Those that know me well know I like to try and save wherever I can in the area of fiances. I have been a saver rather than a spender for just about all my life. As a child when someone gave me money as a gift I rarely spent it, usually it was put away for a later date. We always take out money from the paycheck for tithe but I am not really the kind of person who just gives money to organizations or people right away without first counting the cost. If the budget is too tight then I will put it off until we can afford it. It is in my nature to do that. However through different ways I had been feeling the pull at my heart to give toward children who don't have enough food and are fighting starvation every day.

First it was this video I watched on my news feed.

Then the radio station I listen to was doing a pledge drive that was working with the group Feed My Starving Children. I would listen to the radio and my heart was so heavy for the children who were forced to eat dirt to quiet the emptiness in their stomachs. Still it was not enough to push me into action.

Jesus talked about caring for children.    

Matthew 19:14-15
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

Mark 9: 41-42

 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.

James 1:27
 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Then I was driving in the car with my daughter and we started to talk about what we were having for supper. She started off by saying that she hoped that we had strawberry bagels for supper and if we didn't she would cry. I went on to tell her we should be thankful for what ever we have to eat because there are other children in the world who have nothing to eat but dirt who would love to have her supper.


"Why, Mommy?"
"Because they don't have money to buy food"
"I have some money, I could send them money so they don't have to eat dirt! I don't want them to be hungry."

She has been saving up for a new wagon but she still wanted to give money to help those hungry children. I had no excuse now, my own daughter showed me true religion. We had to look after those in distress. We had to feed those who had nothing to eat, not just talk about about how blessed we are.

I can't teach her what gratitude is until I show her how to give extravagantly. I can't teach her faith without her seeing that Jesus will meet our needs as well as those who have so much less. It is one of those times where actions speak louder than words and NOW was the time to act.

We are coming up on Thanksgiving, a holiday where we celebrate our gratitude. Why not take this time to share with those who have so much less than we do? If you have been feeling the pull on your heart to help those who are less fortunate it only takes .22 to produce a single meal for a starving child. This can make a huge difference in the life of that little one. Let's use the blessings we have to show others the caring hands of Jesus, the kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

Thank you Phoebe for teaching mommy to give without fear, being led by the Spirit! May our hearts be tender and compassionate like that of a child to the needs of others.
                                                               The Farmer in the Dell