Category Archives: Healthy Living

Are You Mary or Martha? [Plus Free Printable Lesson]

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Every month, every season, we have reasons to celebrate. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, babies, holidays…our lives can be very full.

This was also true in Jesus’ time. From Passover to Purim and the year of Jubilee, the Jewish calendar was filled with feast days, holy days and times of celebration.

While times of celebration can be joy-filled, wonderful memory-making occasions, just as often they are accompanied by meltdowns…..and not just the sugar-high kids.

Moms can get overwhelmed too…

One very special Jewish holiday  was The Feast of the Tabernacles. Similar to our modern Thanksgiving, it came at the end of harvest and was a time for thanking God for His blessings and bounty. But unlike our one day of Thanksgiving, this holiday lasted an entire week.

A significant component of this holiday was the booth or “Sukkot” each family would build. Representing the temporary structures used by Moses and the Israelites as they wandered 40 years in the wilderness, families would eat meals and even sleep outside in their shelter gazing up at the stars.

So preparing for this week of thanksgiving meant not only cooking, cleaning and decorating the house, but also building and decorating the Sukkot.

(For a fun diversion put “Sukkot” into the Pinterest search box and see how modern-day Jewish families build and decorate.)

Not only is there a lot to prepare, but this feast comes on the heels of the very serious week of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – the week of repentance and day of atonement. Only four days separated the two holidays!

It is into this extremely busy environment that we must immerse ourselves as we read the New Testament book of Luke, chapter 10, starting in verse 38. This is the brief story of Martha, Mary and Jesus.

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

While hospitality was a serious duty, an important part of life during Bible times, Martha, and her siblings Mary and Lazarus, were good friends of Jesus. He stayed with them on more than one occasion.

39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

A significant part of the Feast of the Tabernacles centered around having guests, spending time with friends and family. Isn’t that what we enjoy most even today during holidays and celebrations? In fact, when the Lord established this particular holiday He commanded them to rejoice for seven days! (Deuteronomy 16:14-15)

So if you were to make a “To Do” list of things to get ready for the Feast of the Tabernacles, the #1 thing on the list would be “Get Happy”.

Even though there was a lot to do, Mary took time to sit and listen, to visit with Jesus.

40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“But Martha was distracted”.  Other versions say “cumbered” or “angry”. After all there were only four days to get it all done! The law stated no chores could be done during the week of the feast. She had deadlines!

Do you think Martha sounds joyful?

 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,

Jesus didn’t think so either. Let’s see what He says next:

42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus reminded Martha that Mary was doing the right thing. There will always be chores to do, but Jesus was not always going to be visiting with them. It was important to stop, to be still, and listen to Jesus.

I know I am guilty of being Martha. A lot. I have on more than one occasion told my husband “no” when he wanted to have people over. It was too overwhelming to think of all the cooking and cleaning to be done.

I actually told one of my friends that I couldn’t have her over because I knew how pretty her house was and how scrupulous of a housecleaner she was.

I was being Martha. Upset, distracted, cumbered.

When I did this lesson with my Sunday School class we made a Citrus Mint Punch together. (the recipe is in the free lesson download. See the link at the end.) Then we laid out sandwich meat, cheese, mayo, mustard and slices of a simple homemade bread. The kids made their own sandwiches and we sat down to an indoor picnic.

We had tacked some palm fronds and Christmas lights to the ceiling so we turned out the lights and pretended we were outdoors in our Sukkot looking up at the stars. The kids felt like it was a special feast!

I guess I need to take a lesson from my Sunday School kids. The meal doesn’t have to be fancy and the decorations don’t have to be expensive. When we are joyful even a simple meal is a feast when shared with friends.

Proverbs 15:17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
    than a fattened calf with hatred.

I’d love to hear from you about what you do when you get overwhelmed. How do you show hospitality? Please join in the conversation by leaving a comment!

The people at Ultimate Bundles have a bundle of resources for most every “Martha” in this year’s Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.  I’m excited about the e-course from Cozy Minimalist and the Tiny Owl Guide to Hospitality. There are also 14 e-cookbooks including one just for company. There’s even a whole section devoted to holidays and celebrations.

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale ends in just a week. So click here to check it out!

If you’d like to download a version of this lesson to do with your own kids click the link below.

Feast-of-the-Tabernacles mustard seed cafe

 Leave a comment telling me how your kids enjoyed their special feast!

 

4 Factors That Determine How Severely Amalgam Fillings Affect Your Health

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This is Part II of a 3 part series on mercury in dentistry, detoxification and health. The complete articles are available on the Traditional Cooking School website where I am a regular contributor.

Does long-term, chronic exposure to low doses of mercury vapor pose any risks? What might the health effects be?

And, are there any subsets of our population who might have greater sensitivity to mercury?

These are the questions we will answer in this continuation of our discussion on mercury amalgam fillings. ….. Read More

Please click through and read the rest of the article and leave me some feedback on what you think and any questions you might have!  -Lee

The Historical Uses of Mercury & Its Use in Dentistry Today

mercury gnowfglins blog

(This post is found in its entirety on the Traditional Cooking School site where I also write monthly articles.)

“Will you do a post about amalgam fillings and curing tooth decay? What do you think about biological dentistry? How can I find a dentist with a holistic practice?” asks Michelle A.

In January of 2016, Michelle asked us these questions.

(By the way, we loving getting questions from our readers — they make us think!)

This is one of the most difficult topics I’ve ever written about, and I’ve done some doozies in the past!

To begin, Michelle, let’s talk about the historical uses of mercury and what various countries are doing today, as well as the FDA’s confusing response to mounting evidence against the safety of mercury in dental fillings.

These topics will pose a few more questions, which I will address in future posts. (read more…)

 

Explaining Antibiotic Resistance + Natural Alternatives That Work!

This is my latest article for Traditional Cooking School. Please stop by there and leave a comment or question!

Explaining-Antibiotic-Resistance-and-Natural-Alternatives-That-Work-Traditional-Cooking-School-GNOWFGLINS-main

In 1942, Anne Miller was dying of a streptococcal infection until, literally overnight, a single injection of an experimental drug saved her life.

The medical community predicted the elimination of all infectious diseases in the near future.

What was her miracle drug?

The first true antibiotic: penicillin.

Explaining Antibiotic Resistance

At that time, the entire world’s supply of antibiotics amounted to only 64 pounds. Today, over 60 million pounds of antibiotics are used in the United States each year. (Herbal Antibiotics, page 7.)

Additionally, much of the population now uses antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, and cleaners daily. And yet, this tidal wave of antibiotic use — and misuse — has not eliminated infectious disease, but rather kindled a new war against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

The result?  Keep reading here…

Six Signs You May Need Magnesium

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases. 

six signs you need magnesium titlesWhere Did the Trouble Begin?

A Senate report documented that we are growing our vegetables, grains and fruits in soils that are depleted of the necessary minerals needed to give us the correct balance of nutrients when we eat them. In fact they are so depleted that we are starving for these minerals no matter how much of these foods we eat. Laboratory tests proved the vegetables, eggs, grains and other foods we are eating are not as nutritious as they were generations ago. Scary? You haven’t heard it all….this report was written in 1936!

Six Signs You May Have a Deficiency

One of the most overlooked mineral deficiencies is magnesium.  It is estimated that as many as 80% of us are deficient in magnesium. How do you know if you are deficient? There are many symptoms, but these six are some of the most common according to Liz Lipski, nutritionist and author of Digestive Wellness.

  • Eyelids twitching
  • Muscles twitching
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Muscles very tense at the end of the day
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensitive to Noise

What Does Magnesium Do?

Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, is probably one of the leading authorities on magnesium deficiency and nutrition.  She explains that magnesium is crucial to good health. It is responsible for hundreds of important processes in our body. It activates our muscles and nerves. It creates energy in our cells. It helps digest proteins, carbs and fats. It is a building block for our DNA as well as RNA. It is even part of the process that builds our “feel good” neurotransmitters like serotonin.

What About Calcium?

Everyone has heard about calcium. Lots of people take calcium supplements thinking they are helping their bones. What you may not know is that you need to supplement with equal amounts of magnesium! The two minerals work in balance with each other. In fact they work best in a synergistic balance of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2. When these four nutrients are in a plentiful balance you will be helping care for your bones, heart, and the rest of your body!

Where Can You Find Magnesium?

Foods plentiful in magnesium include almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, seaweed, dark green leafy vegetables, properly soaked and cooked black beans, avocado, wild caught seafood like salmon, and grassfed beef. Often people think whole grains are a good source of magnesium, but the anti-nutrients in whole grains actually deplete minerals from your body. This is why it is so important to soak, sprout or use sourdough leavening with all of your grains and breads. (For a detailed demonstration and recipes see our Breads DVD.) Juicing fresh vegetables is also a good way to get more of them into your diet.

Homemade bone broth is a great source of many important minerals and nutrients. Including broth in your meal helps you absorb even more of the nutrition from all your other foods! Find recipes here and here to make delicious bone broth at home.

What Depletes Magnesium?

Many prescription and OTC drugs deplete magnesium. The list includes, but isn’t limited to, Zantac, Nexium, Prilosec, Maalox, Tums, Alka-Seltzer, most antibiotics, blood pressure medications, Ritalin, steroid creams and inhalers, HRTs, and oral contraceptives. If you take any of these it would be wise to ask your doctor about a good magnesium supplement.

In addition to those medications, magnesium is also depleted by stress, caffeine, high amounts of calcium supplements, and very loud noises. Eating a diet high in processed foods and soft drinks, as well as having any kind of digestive disorder can also deplete your magnesium.

Also remember that foods treated with herbicides, especially glyphosate (RoundUP), will further deplete the minerals in the soil and in the food. So stick to organic whenever possible, or follow the Dirty Dozen guide when choosing fresh vegetables and fruits to find the ones with the least amount of toxic chemicals.

What About Supplements?

Magnesium glycinate is an easily absorbed form of magnesium that’s good for supplementing a deficiency. Be aware that magnesium has a laxative effect when you first begin taking supplements, so start slowly and work up to the most effective dose for you.

Mix up Natural Calm powder if you want to drink your magnesium. Take a bath with epsom salts, or use a high quality high mineral sea salt

Using magnesium oil spray or making a magnesium body butter are two more ways to add magnesium to your daily routine.

What are your favorite ways to get magnesium? Tell us about it in the comments or visit our Facebook page to share your thoughts.

 

 

5 Ways to Bless Your Family, Your Budget and Your Community

 This blog is for informational purposes. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases. 

5 ways to bless your family titles

 

Take This Short Quiz

  1. What is the number one thing you can do as a family to improve your general health?
  1. What is a good way to connect with your teenagers?
  1. What is the most important thing the average person can do to make the American food system healthier and more sustainable?
  1. Name one thing can an individual do to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on a fluctuating, unstable economy?
  1. What activity can you do with young children to engage them in learning concepts in math and science even when they don’t usually enjoy those subjects?

The answers:

  1. cook 2. cook 3. cook 4. cook 5. cook

 Cooking vs Watching Cooking

Two people (both grandmothers!) in the last week have told me “I don’t cook!” Way too many people in my classes over the years have admitted they rarely or never cook. In fact Americans spend less time on average cooking each day than people in any other country! The average time spent cooking per day (not per meal, per DAY!) is 27 minutes – less time than it takes to watch The Next Food Network Star (what is up with this fascination of watching people cook? More people watch cooking than are actually doing cooking, and then when the show is over they still don’t have anything to eat!)

 It’s Healthier

Cooking at home is healthier. When you don’t cook you make yourself vulnerable to the big corporations who make all the ready-to-eat food you have to buy. Unless you spend big bucks to buy your meals from a local restaurant where the chef grows his own organic vegetables and carefully sources his ingredients from local farms, you are most likely eating a lot more refined sugar, industrial oils, and highly processed salt than you normally would if you cooked your own food. Corporations also use all kinds of chemical ingredients not available to the home cook. These chemical ingredients make their food last longer and look fresher than it actually is.

 Teens Like It

Cooking (and eating) together connects you as a family. Teens are social creatures, and they are also usually hungry creatures. 🙂 Bringing them into the kitchen to prepare a meal is a way to get them to interact and be social with everyone who is involved in the meal preparation process. The shared experiences can build family bonds. Eating together a meal you have prepared gives a safe place for conversation, listening and sharing together.

 It Connects Us

Cooking connects you with your food and its origins. We were making homemade pizza as part of a Sunday school lesson and I had brought fresh oregano, parsley, and basil from my garden to use. One young 5th grade girl, already surprised that you could actually make a pizza, freaked out saying “why do you have weeds? How do you know those are safe to eat?” I said, “I grew these. They came from my garden. Where do you think food comes from?” and she replied, “I don’t know. The store has it.”

When we cook at home from fresh ingredients we are connecting in a small way to the rest of the community that grows and raises our food. We gain a new perspective on food when we see a list of raw ingredients get transformed into a meal. Growing something that you eat, or buying directly from a farmer, can bring even stronger connections. Real food doesn’t come in neat boxes, shrink wrapped for microwaving. Buying pre-prepared, pre-wrapped meals separates us from the reality of real food. Cooking at home from fresh ingredients creates more demand for real food while reducing the waste and high cost inherent in the processed food system.

 It’s Budget Friendly

Knowing how to cook gives you power over your budget. The illusion of the “value meal” keeps many people trapped eating expensive yet unhealthy food. Being able to cook for yourself means you can eat higher quality ingredients for less money. It means you can cook a little extra to freeze for later or to eat the next day for lunch instead of eating out. Knowing how to cook helps you be more frugal like when you use the bones for broth, leftover vegetables for soup, or freeze over ripe fruit for smoothies.

 It’s Educational

Teaching your children to cook opens up a new world for them. Measuring and counting, doubling a recipe, figuring out what makes bread rise, what makes pickles sour, seeing liquid cream transform into solid butter, comparing the taste of salt vs. sugar – all of this can bring math and science alive. Tactile experiences like kneading bread, cracking eggs, tearing lettuce, stirring batter, or chopping vegetables can be rewarding for busy little hands. And as your children grow and develop new skills in the kitchen you are giving them the gift of self-sufficiency for when they become adults.

Tell us your reasons for cooking! Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page!

6 Natural Strategies to Fight Off Flu Season

Ginger tea with lemon, honey, garlic for a healthy soothing detox drink

 

Flu season is here again…

And it will last from now through early spring.

An average year sees 5% to 20% of our population affected by the flu virus, depending on the severity of the year’s strain.

Influenza is caused by a highly contagious virus that typically infects us through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes. Exposure to the virus can be airborne from a cough or sneeze — or it can come from touching a contaminated surface, such as a doorknob or telephone, and then touching your nose or mouth.

Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, aches, chills, and tiredness, and possibly a dry cough, sneezing, and sore throat.

If you find yourself sick with the flu, it’s important to know your enemy — the influenza virus — so you can defeat it.

Since it is a virus, not a bacteria, causing the infection, antibiotics won’t work.

Hygiene can play a major role in prevention since the virus spreads through coughing, sneezing, or touching an infected surface. However, antibacterial soap or gels won’t work!

Here are six strategies you can use at home ….[read more]

Homeopathy on Your Homestead

Homeopathy-on-Your-Homestead-Traditional-Cooking-School-GNOWFGLINS-main(This blog is featured in its entirety over at Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS where I also write monthly articles.)

What Is Homeopathy?

Home-ee-AH-pathee.

It isn’t herbal supplements, it isn’t vitamins, it isn’t magic.

Homeopathy, possibly the world’s fastest growing form of health care, is a form of medicine that has been part of the public healthcare systems of many nations and in use for over 200 years.

It was first used by physician Samuel Hahnemann when he became frustrated with the medical practices of his day (the late 1700s). He realized that things like bloodletting often did more harm than good, and gave up his medical practice to research and correct errors in medicine. He began reading and conducting studies on the principles of the Law of Similars.

At its simplest, homeopathy stimulates the body’s innate healing ability.

Read more….

Essential Oils in the Bible: Spikenard

essential oils in the bible spikenard 800

This post is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases. 

How do you take medications? Pill, injection, inhaling, cream or ointment, or a patch are all common delivery systems for medications. They all, except for injection,  involved putting something into our mouth and digesting it, applying it to our skin, or breathing it into our lungs. Most people are careful with medications, but we should be just as careful with everything we put into or rub onto ourselves and our children. Our everyday personal care products can be sources of toxicity unless you make them yourself or choose wisely using something like Skin Deep.

This is why I love essential oils – they allow me to make personal care products that are actually healing, nourishing and uplifting. Which reminds me of something I learned during the Essential Oil Revolution summit, and then researched more in depth, about the essential oil spikenard which has been in use not only as a perfume but as medicine since ancient times.

Biblical application

In the Bible the book of John chapter 12 describes the beautiful and poignant event where Mary anoints the feet of Jesus with an entire pound of an extremely costly ointment of spikenard. John tells us she wiped his feet with her hair and the entire room was filled with the scent of the perfume.

Spikenard, in addition to being an expensive gift to give the Lord Jesus, had other amazing qualities giving even more worth to Mary’s gift. Spikenard has powerful relaxing properties and is commonly used to help those who are experiencing pain or loss. It helps to combat stress, reduce convulsions, give clarity to the mind and facilitate meditation. It is also anti-inflammatory and supports the cardiovascular system.

Dr. Josh Axe describes some key points of essential oil application on the body as being behind the ears, on the neck & abdomen, but also on the soles and tops of feet, as well as the upper back, the temples, and along spine. Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet was the perfect way to provide full the full benefit of her precious gift. It was also part of God’s perfect timing as this healing application came just prior to the very stressful period leading up to and including Christ’s crucifixion. Mary knew she loved her Lord and wanted to express her love with this costly gift, but she also blessed Him with the supporting properties of this ancient oil.

Use this oil at home

We can use essential oils at home to mediate stress and the stress reaction in our own bodies. Spikenard is part of the valerian family which is useful for relieving nervous tension, indigestion, and insomnia. Here are some ways to use spikenard at home:

  • add it to a fever-reducing cold compress
  • include it in homemade face creams to rejuvenate older skin
  • blend it into massage blends for sleep, relaxation and during trauma
  • massage the abdomen with it during menstruation
  • combine with lavender in a diffuser or inhaler for headaches and migraines

Be sure to use caution with spikenard as no more than 1% of any blend, also do not use in conjunction with homeopathic remedies as it may neutralize the remedy.

What are your favorite ways to use essential oils?

 

 

Finding Virtues and Wellness Wednesday

disclaimerThe Essential Oil Revolution Summit is well underway as I write this. I have learned so much already, and am looking forward to the rest of the sessions. Essential Oils are currently one of the hottest topics in the natural health world, and it’s no wonder after hearing that so many people are finding so many benefits from using them. As more moms look for ways to help their family regain optimal health, essential oils make a great complement to a healthy diet, quality sleep, healthy gut flora and a positive outlook.

Day One included a wonderful session with Dr. Sue Lawton who uses essential oils in her practice for stress management, physical ailments, immune system recovery and immune boosting.  Her talk in the summit was one of empowering us with the right mindset to live compassionate, productive, healthy lives. One quote in particular struck a chord with me and I made this infographic that I wanted to share with you today.

essential oils revolution sue lawton smaller quoteIf you would like to own Dr. Lawton’s talk along with all of the other 31 talks from the Essential Oils Revolution Summit they are available for purchase. If you want to listen for free the remainder of this week (May 11-15) they will be live each day at this link.

EO_BlogBanner_600x150_Order

Now on to Wellness Wednesday! Please leave us a link with your own blog and be sure to read the other great blog links too! Share the love by sharing today’s post on your own Facebook page.