Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Update From The Homestead - May 15 & 22

This blog post is being sponsored by a tired and out of shape blogger. She is recovering, but sadly knows that she needs to get into shape and soon. 

I did finally go to the doctor and get some breathing issues addressed. I have had asthma for over 25 years. However, I have been managing it without an inhaler for almost 20 years. The last few months, however, have not been good. I have been constantly short of breath and have had a few attacks. The doctor does not know exactly what is causing the problem, but thinks it might be more allergies than asthma. As I am already on an allergy med, they are treating me with a generic Singular for allergies and asthma. If it works, great. If it doesn't work, back to the drawing board. I also got an inhaler to use as needed. So far, no need. 

You don't realize how much your health impacts your activities until you are trying to get as much done as humanly possible! I carry a few extra pounds too so getting into shape so I can handle the work has been a priority. 

What have we been doing? A lot! The weather has been gorgeous for over a week and that means really tackling the project list. I am not sure where to start or what project has been the biggest.

We borrowed a tractor and moved dirt around the house. Some of the land around the edges of the house was starting to slope towards the house. We are always actively having to work to keep the basement dry so this needed to be addressed. We moved a fair amount of dirt around the house and have a good slope built up again. We would like to put heavy plastic down with rocks over top of the plastic. We will see if the budget will allow that. 

We (meaning Rob) cleaned up the grove. There was a brunch of work to do in there so all the kudos go to him. I helped when I could as did the kids. He cleaned up the downed trees, about a million branches/brush, and filled in the holes left from decaying stumps and just some low spots. The grove looks fantastic now!

We got all the flowers planted. I need just a few more for the one bed I cleaned out (lower right corner). That particular bed has columbines and wild roses growing there right now. I planted three new perennials in there, but it could benefit from three more perennials. The half-barrels on the left hand side are flowers I got for Mother's Day from Dane and Rob. The orange flower on the upper right hand picture is also from Dane. I went to Country Gardens and got some more flowers to match it and fill in those planters. I also got a yellow gerbena daisy plant from Jordan that I need to bring outside. 

We got the poles up on the new clothesline last night. We rented a post hole auger to make this job much less work. It was worth every penny of the $66 I spent to rent it. We used 4x4x10s for the posts and used Quikrete to cement them in the ground. We will wait a few days to let them get settled before finishing that project. 

We also got the poles put up around the garden. We used the same post hole auger for the corner posts and the gate. I bought snow fence to put around the garden. We are lining the snow fence with rabbit wire fence to keep those darn critters out. We would like to get this project as soon as possible because...

these replacement tomato and pepper plants would like to be planted. Their predecessors were some rabbit or deer's snack over a few nights. I am going to get a few more plants of each yet, but I would love to get them in the ground. I do have all my seeds planted. I planted beets, carrots, green beans, peas, kale, yellow summer squash, zucchini, pie pumpkins, and more onions. 

In other news, school will be out this Friday. I have been spending some time looking for interesting challenges for the kids this summer. Shali is leaving on Thursday for 10 days for a college trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland. I am so excited for her! Jordan is heading to work at the church camp in Okoboji when school lets out in Cedar Falls/Waterloo. She works for the YMCA in the before and after school program at the local schools. Shali will be heading to work at the same camp when she gets back from her trip. Paige will be starting life guarding training as soon as school lets out then onto Drivers' Ed. Dane will be enjoying his summer of very few commitments!

Summer is busy, that's for sure! 

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Preppers and Homesteaders Need To Eat Healthy Too!

I have been thinking about healthy eating and diets a lot lately. I hate diets. I hate the idea of depriving myself of something that can be good for me if I eat in moderation and make wise choices. I have been following a modified low-carb diet lately because Rob needs to for his health and I know I need to cut out more sugar in my diet. 

However, I refuse to cut out any fruits or vegetables out of my diet. Ever. I like them way too much! I just don't understand any diet that tells you something grown in nature is bad for you. 

So you will get a rare post from me on healthy eating. I truly believe it is important and crucial to being in good health. Prepping, homesteading, parenting, and just daily living become easier when you are eating healthy. Eating healthy also lead to other good habits, such as exercising and sleeping well, because you have great energy during the day and actually feel tired when you go to bed.

Everyone has a different idea of eating healthy. We do the best we can buying organic when affordable, locally sourcing our meat, using eggs from our own chickens, raising some of our own produce, and not using hardly any processed food. We aren't perfect and I am sure some of you have better ideas for eating healthy. Please share them in the comments!

Many people think it is too much work to eat healthy all the time. But we are preppers and homesteaders! We thrive on thinking ahead while enjoying the present! We can do this healthy eating thing!

Why should someone be eating healthy? Because:
1. to be healthy. 
2. to lose weight.
3. to cut out processed food in case something happens in the world and need to rely more on what can be raised in the garden and on the farm.
4. to have energy to get through the day.
5. to feel better about ourselves. 
6. to have clearer thinking.
7. to fight against diseases like diabetes, depression, etc.

We want to feel better! We want a better quality of life. We don't want to be so unhealthy that we can't keep up with the work, defend ourselves, be active with our kids/grandkids, or just keep up with daily life.

Healthy eating can be easy. It really can! However, you need to plan ahead. You can plan ahead by: 1.  make ahead breakfasts to quickly warm up in the mornings.
2.  plan ahead on snacks.
3. can quite a bit of your own food to cut out the preservatives and artificial ingredients.
4. meal planning
5. freezer cooking (which makes my life so much easier!)
6. plant a garden, plant in containers, plant edible perennials, and plant fruit/nut trees and bushes. 

Below are some of things I do to plan ahead to have healthy food on hand. I will list at least five things for breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks.

1. Make MYO Oatmeal to have those packets ready to go in the morning.
2. Mix eggs with meat and vegetables in muffin tins and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Make a large batch of granola and granola bars to eat by itself or to have as cereal or with yogurt.I freeze some of them so they do not go bad before we eat them all. 
4.  Bake a large batch of healthy muffins and/or quick bread. I freeze them and pop them in the microwave when I need them. 
5. Make a double batch of pancakes to reheat the leftovers during the week. We often eat the leftover pancakes with homemade jam
6. Always have fresh fruit available. The ultimate grab and go snack or breakfast!

1. Granola bars (see #3 in breakfast)
2. Fruit or vegetables already cut into easy to eat pieces
3. Small mini peppers with cream cheese
4. Summer sausage and cheese
5. Pickles or Pickle roll-ups (ham, cream cheese, and dill pickles)

Lunch (work and school)
1. Sandwiches. My current love is ham, Swiss or muenster cheese, and spinach on a multi-grain sandwich thin. We are also trying making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and putting them in the freezer to pull when needed.
2. Leftovers!
3. Making a big batch of taco meat to reheat in tortillas and eat with whatever you want or have on hand.
4. Fruit and vegetables already cut into easy to eat pieces
5. Create a bento box like meal with 5-6 small choices that are bite-size for easy eating.

1. Freezer meals. There are several recipes on the internet. I tend to stick to low-carb and dairy-free recipes that can be done in the slow cooker.
2. Slow cooker/Crock Pot. I use mine at least once a week. I put at least one slow cooker meal every week in my meal plan. Sometimes I plan for 2-3 times a week depending on how busy we are.
3. Freeze chicken in marinade. As the chicken thaws, it will marinate and be all juicy and yummy. I either pan fry or grill these them.
4. Freeze your vegetables or buy frozen vegetables. Cook on the stove top or in the microwave for a quick side dish.
5. Put meals together on Sunday to have on hand during the week. You can take it out of the fridge and heat it up for a quick, hot supper.
6. Use a pressure cooker. I am learning to use mine, but the ease of use and the many recipes on the internet make using this so much easier. I love making rice pilaf in mine!

You will notice that I like to eat healthy, but I like my meals quick and easy too. I love to cook and bake, but I am lazy and don't want to spend a lot of time doing it! Time is valuable and needs to be prioritized during the week.

If you have food allergies, healthy eating and planning ahead is even more important. Paige is majorly lactose-intolerant and the rest of us are mildly so. Many times Paige cannot eat the school lunches and will pack hers the night before. We also plan meals that are dairy-free so she can be comfortable eating them. We do use lactose-free milk instead of regular milk in every recipe that calls for milk. 

Now, does healthy eating sound hard? 

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Savings On The Homestead: 10 Frugal Ideas To Get Outside and Have Fun!

Every Tuesday I will be posting a Tuesday Savings on the Homestead. This posts will concentrate on one money saving thing you and I can do to save money for the week. Some will be easy, some will be be a bit difficult, and all will concentrate on one way to save money for the week. Please join me in trying to live a frugal life in 2015!

The weather is beautiful this week in Iowa! I feel like Spring is actually here and I want to play outside! 

Homesteading, no matter where you are and how you do it, is a lot of work. Homesteading is a lot of work especially in the Spring! However, Spring is a time to lighten up and soak in the sunlight we have been missing all Winter (or at least I have!). 

This week's challenge? Get outside and have some fun! Get yourself outside, drag your family and/or friends outside with you, and do something fun!

1. Go for a walk, a hike, or ride bikes.
2. Shoot some hoops or pretend to play basketball.
3. Play a game of kickball or softball.
4. Blow bubbles.
5. Draw on the sidewalks with chalk.
6. Practice target shooting with guns or bows and arrows.
7. Have an outdoor scavenger hunt.
8. Have an outdoor picnic/grill out/block party.
9. Have a bonfire or regular fire with all the sticks that fell this last Winter.
10. Play a game of tag or hide and seek. 

Getting fresh air and some exercise is great medicine for the body! After Winter, we all need regular doses of sunlight. We have more energy during the day and sleep better at night. 

Go outside and have fun!

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

$10 Preparedness: First Aid

One of the things I have been trying to do in the last few months is a $10 preparedness challenge. I have mostly been challenging myself and proving to myself that anyone on a budget could prep. I have been budgeting $10 every pay period (bi-weekly) to use towards preps.

Preps can be anything! Prepping has many, many areas. If you don't want to be considered a prepper, you still need things to be ready for any emergency or disaster.

This particular challenge had me concentrating on what I would consider to be a good start to a first aid kit. I have a couple kits already so this would be additional items to have on hand for me or to start another kit for one of my kids. Either way, you should still have these basics on hand.

This prepping challenge took me to Dollar General and I concentrated on a First Aid essentials. This is what I purchased:

Hydrogen Peroxide    $1.00
Cloth Tape      $2.00
Non Stick pads      $2.35
Triple Antibiotic Ointment   $2.50
Gauze pads     $1.00
Band Aids       $1.00
Total     $9.85

This is what I would consider to be a very basic kit or a good start to one. For $10, you can get a lot!
Of course, in the future, I would add to this.

What can you buy for $10 for your prepping needs?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fatigue and Insomnia: 8 Ways To Deal With Constant Exhaustion

I have struggled with fatigue on and off for many years and it still never fails to kick my butt when it happens. So I have slowly been sliding back on the caffeine wagon and now I am trying to get back off. No caffeine for me unless it is in tea. Or chocolate. Caffeine makes for a lot of other problems for me in my life. However, getting away from it is easier said than done especially if I am exhausted and need to get something done!

Fatigue really is life-stopping for me. Getting up in the morning, going to work, coming home to make supper, attend the kids' activities, and coming home again is all I can accomplish some days when the fatigue sets in. Most of the time, I am fine with that because the important things in life are being taken care of. But I have so much more to do and get done! I get so frustrated!

Why do I experience fatigue in this way and manner?

First and most, I had a nasty little bout of mononucleosis when I was a teenager. When doctors say that will follow you around for the rest of your life, they aren't kidding!

Secondly, my body is trying to tell me something. Either I am overdoing things, I am stressed out, I am not feeding my body right, or I am not taking care of myself. I can be guilty of all four of those things simultaneously.

Thirdly, while I like autumn, I do not care for winter, the shortening of days, and lack of sunshine. I like sunshine and being warm! When fall comes, I find my energy levels going down.

Along with the fatigue, the insomnia has come back in full force. Which does not make any sense whatsoever. If I am tired, I should be able to sleep. But when I am tired all day and stressed out on top of it all, sleep doesn't come easily. My normal sleep pattern with insomnia is sleep for 3-4 hours, awake 1-2 hours, sleep 2-3 hours. I wake up feeling like I haven't slept at all.

Insomnia is something I have struggled with for the last 6-7 years. However, I got 7 hours straight last night so maybe I getting back to sleeping right.

So what I am saying is that I am not functioning at top levels which is irritating me because it is fall, I want to do a lot, get a lot done, and get in the spirit of the holidays. So not happening right now.

What to do? How do I overcome this?

I have several tips and techniques I employ. Let me put the disclaimers here and now: I am not a doctor or a medical professional of any sort. I just know what worked for me. I have done a lot of experimenting and researching to find things that work for me. They may not work for you and that is okay. You might have to do some research and experimenting for you.

Tips and Techniques to Overcome Fatigue (that worked for me!)

1. Take a daily multivitamin. I take one that easy to chew and digest. Very important to get these into your system quickly and not make your stomach do all the work of breaking the vitamin down.

2. Take as much Vitamin D as you can have. I take at least 2000IU in the morning and 2000IU at night. This helps me tremendously in the fall and winter to feel better and have more energy. My doctor suggested taking Vitamin D because almost everyone does not get enough Vitamin D. Again, find one that easy to chew and digest.

3. Soak up as much sunshine as I can. Safely. I do not condone the use of tanning beds. I mean all-natural sunshine that is normally in abundance (although in Iowa that can be a toughie sometimes!). Sunshine has been shown to have a very positive effect on a person's energy levels and attitudes as well as their health. Please use sunscreen though. I burn easy so I have to!

4. Get plenty of sleep! With insomnia, this can difficult. I try to be in bed by 10:00 if not sooner. I also find doing a little reading and meditating helps to get myself to sleep. I also find shutting off the television and the phone also helps. I like to sleep in total darkness so I make sure all forms of distracting light is covered up including the alarm clock. When I wake up in the night, if the room is dark and nothing to distract me like my phone, I will usually fall back to sleep faster.

5. Exercise! I know, I know. I hate that word too. Most days I don't have time for much exercising away, but I try to walk a few blocks in town, around the farm, a mile in the country, or clean house vigorously every day. Some days are better than others for that. Sometimes I turn on 90's dance music and get my groove on while cooking dinner. Do whatever works for you! Exercise helps get my energy up and makes me feel better.

6. Eat well. Cut out the processed junk and eat as little sugar as possible. I know this is not easy. I get my choice of concession stands at least 2-3 times a week that do not offer whole, unprocessed food. But eating plenty of vegetables and fruits will make you feel so much better. Eating meat, whole grains or gluten-free, minimal dairy will make you feel better also. I make a lot of our food from scratch and the difference is amazing in how we feel and how some of our health issues have cleared up. I highly recommend this step!

7. Deal with the stress. Stress will cause me a significant number of health issues. Stress directly impacts my ability to sleep and stay asleep. Notice I don't say to get rid of the stress. Sometimes that is not possible, but dealing with the stress is possible. Find something that helps you process the stress like meditating, praying, journaling, talking to a good friend, exercising, etc. If you can get rid of the stress, by all means do!

8. Cut down the caffeine! I am not saying that a cup or two of tea or coffee is bad for you in the morning. I have a cup or two of tea every morning. But drinking caffeine all day long will definitely impact how you sleep and your energy levels. Feeding your body false energy all day will be very detrimental to your body. Your blood sugar levels never get a chance to stabilize themselves and you will be left with a dragging feeling that never quite goes away. Besides that, soda and energy drinks are absolutely horrible for your body and health. Get rid of them and feel better!

I hope I have helped you in some way. I know writing this article has helped me remember what I need to do, but I also want to help you! Struggling with fatigue and insomnia is difficult. Listen to your body and make that changes in your life that you need to feel better!

Thanks for reading!


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