Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I have Psoriasis

1 of my many small spots of psoriasis
I have recently discovered some random spots on my legs and arms. Turns out I have psoriasis, which is an auto-immune disorder which is generally inherited; y grandma was a long time sufferer which explains that.  I am thankful that so far my case seems to be quite random, but I am finding more and more spots regularly.  I have been doing plenty of research online to discover ways to treat, prevent and deal with this newly discovered ailment I have. Considering the array of auto-immune disorders out there, this one is relatively minor and certainly not life threatening. For me, so far, the condition is very mild. There are over 7 million people who suffer from psoriasis so I know I am far from alone. There are many home remedies out there. So far I purchased an ointment from the drug store which contains coal tar which is regarded as being one of the best treatments for psoriasis. After purchasing the ointment I decided to research the active ingredient which turns out to be TOXIC, EEEK!! Here is an excerpt from wikipedia with regards to its safety:

"According to the National Psoriasis Foundation and the FDA, coal tar is a valuable, safe and inexpensive treatment option for millions of people with psoriasis and other scalp or skin conditions.[14] Coal tar concentrations between 0.5% and 5% are safe and effective for psoriasis, and no scientific evidence suggests that the coal tar in the concentrations seen in non-prescription treatments is (or is not) carcinogenic because there are too few studies and insufficient data to make a judgement."

In light of this, I will use the ointment only when I am unable to achieve comfort through home remedies. In my search for help I have come across a few home remedies that I feel may be very helpful. Vitamine D* is known for slowing down cell growth. Since Psoriasis is basically an overgrowth of skin cells, applying topical vitamin D should definitely help. Also, simply moisturizing more regularly as well as not using soaps with harsh chemicals. I plan on using Avocado Oil with Vitamin B12** since it contains omegas which have also been shown to reduce symptoms and severity of psoriasis, It is simply a matter of me finding a pre-mixed cream or making one myself. These are the home remedies that I feel stand the best chance based on their properties. I also am trying to alter my diet a bit, sitting back on grains. I am aware of people who have had success with this alone. I am a lover of breads and pastas but I do believe cutting back is always a healthy move, regardless of psoriasis. I have purchased a Spiralizer to make veggie pastas and also have a Bread Machine to make paleo breads.

Considering this is an overly visible disease, it becomes that much more difficult to live with. I have made a vow to myself to never let it change what I choose to wear not how I view myself and my beauty.  It is not something that is catchy or dirty and is nothing to be ashamed of. I will not hesitate to speak of it if asked about the spots and I will also educate others about the disease.

Paleo Bread: TO) Recipes)

*Info on the link between Vit. D and Psoriasis
**Medical Study of B12 cream containing Avocado Oil to treat Psoriasis

More Great Info on THIS SITE (University of Maryland Medical Center)
The National Psoriasis Foundation also has a discussion board that many may find very helpful.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Milk Kefir and Strep Throat

My daughter recently came down with strep throat.  Kefir has shown in studies to combat the strep bacteria.  It has never been tested on humans but we have relied on drinking kefir twice now when a person in my household had strep and I have never caught the infection.

Here is a great link about kefir.
Also a link to more benefits which go far beyond combating streptococcus bacteria.
And Another Link.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Milk Kefir Troubles

Over the past months I hadn't made milk kefir.  I simply left my grains in the fridge and changed the milk every once in a while in hopes the grains would survive until life settled down and I had time to make it daily.  When left in the fridge the kefir grains go into a type of hibernation.  If left in the cold too long they will lose this ability to culture properly and will eventually die.  I finally got around to wanting to make my milk kefir on a regular basis but my grains didn't seem to want to come back to life.  I had taken them in and out of the fridge a few too many times and so my milk kept spoiling.  Rather than the sweet smell of kefir it would smell like horrid sour milk.  It wouldn't thicken properly and simply separated rather than becoming thickened first.  It also would have a yellowish colour on the top.  I pitched my grains and got some more that I had given my Mom.  SHe had also left hers in the fridge but had never taken them in and out as I had.  At first the grains didn't want to culture properly.  I decided it might help them activate if I added some existing healthy kefir.  So I purchased some from the local store, which is what I had been doing while they sat in the fridge all those months (what a waste of money).  I added my grains to the store bought kefir and also added milk.  My measurements were approx 2tsp grains (3 average size grains) to 1/3c store bought kefir and 1/3c organic milk.  Within a few batches it smelled beautiful!!  It was thickening nicely and tasted as it should.  I am now getting about 2c of milk kefir every 24hrs.  I do believe that the store bough kefir helped the grains get back to their regular culture.  They are growing rapidly and I am back into full swing!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Harvest of 2013

Throughout the summer of 2013 the new garden provided much nourishment for me and the kids.  From beets to zucchinis, we grew quite an array of produce and the gardens did quite well for our first year here.

Mustard Greens, spinach and musclun mix and baby chard.

                 Spaghetti squash

                                                                                                             fresh basil

Brandywine tomato

              This is a golden midget melon!

Well into the fall I was still able to harvest some lovely goodies!
FYI: Green tomatoes when picked will continue to ripen when left out on a window sill in warm temperatures.
NEVER throw away your unripened tomatoes!!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The beginning of a new Era

I purchased my home which is on a small lot but with a decent about of gardening space.  I moved in at the beginning of march 2013 and was able to get my gardens growing in spite of how crazy things were in my life.  Gardening brings me peace of mind and I find it very cathartic.  Here are just a few pics of my gardens from last year.  I won't go into much detail about things because it was last year and I am currently in full swing with my seedlings and planting for this year!  

Cukes, Zucchini, tomatoes, mint
lettuce on the rise.
 Strawberries (which over winter were destroyed by the dog.  :(
 Pease and Beans
2 varieties of spinach

Monday, January 20, 2014

Neglected Blog

My oh my has so much changed.  The last year has been a bit of a whirl wind.  A lot of family changes and yet another move… thats right, another move.  The BTC Acre was such a wonderful idea yet the dream has taken a bit of a detour.  Aaron and I separated and sold our perfect home and moved into separate homes in the city.  *GASP*  The chickens and ducks were sold and we have moved on.  My dream of a homestead is simply put on hold for the time being.  I needed to be in the city where I have a good support system of friends and family.  I moved in March of last year (2013) and still managed to have a decent garden at my new home.  It wasn't BTC acre but it was a nice start for my new home in the city.  I have become a member of the Chicken Co-op yet again and still get out to visit with our original 4 Barred Rock hens as well as the rest of the big flock that is out there now.  My goals in life are still the same, there has just been a few detours along my path.

I have a file on my computer with many pictures and post ideas that I just never got around to writing and so I will be back dating many posts so that it all makes sense and in chronological order.  So from August 2012 I hopefully will be filling in the blanks over the next few weeks.