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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

A friend of mine recorded this show and played it for me the other day, it is about sugar, fructose and obesity. I have always known that different forms of sugar (anything that ends in "ose") react differently in your body. My younger brother had major problems with ADHD (caused from brain damage at birth), it was difficult growing up with him, my parents tried everything from medication to diet. They learned that if they kept him completely off of sugar, nearly every form of sugar, his behavior was much better, but if he got into the candy, or anything else with sugar, he became a holy terror.

I thought I was through with all of that once I was grown and living away from all of that. Well, turns out I didn't get away completely, my son was also diagnosed with ADHD, I went in with my eyes open about how diet affected behavior. Through a process of elimination, we learned what foods set him off and what foods were OK for him to consume. At that time, fructose was becoming the new sugar alternative, it was said that it didn't affect your body like sugar did, I tried it on my son, it made no difference, he still reacted badly to it. I tried using honey, with the same results. I learned that the sugars that he reacted to were simple sugars, the ones that didn't bother him were complex sugars. I didn't learn this from a book, it was experience. Now this video pretty much explains what I learned during this process, science is finally exploring what different sugars do to the body.

You would be shocked to know how much sugar and fructose is in our foods, the more processed the food is, the more likely it is to contain sugars and fructose. Did you know they even put dextrose in table salt??? Read the label, most "low-fat" or "no fat" foods contain added sugar and fructose as well as tons of sodium, none of this is good for you. It turns out that if you consume 100 calories of plain sugar, it is treated differently by the body, mainly the liver than if you had eaten 100 calories of fructose, you'd think that 100 calories of one sugar would be just the same as another form of sugar, but it's not, and the difference in how they are metabolized by the body are very important to your health.

After watching and listening to this show, I am going to be watching out for fructose in the foods I eat, or choose not to eat. I hope this opens your eyes to what the food industry and the government has done to our foods, to us, it's not a pretty picture.

My food goals:
  • eat closer to the earth
  • eat more of what I personally grow or raise
  • eat fewer processed foods
  • read all labels and choose healthier foods
I have to look at fructose, and high fructose corn syrup as poisons, nothing more, nothing less. I have always refused to consume artificial sweeteners, not only do these taste very bad, they are poisons too. If I'm going to consume something sweet, I'm going to consume the real thing, not some artificially sweetened garbage. I gave up soft drinks many years ago, now I don't care for them at all. I rarely drink sweetened drinks of any sort, I prefer water, maybe with a slice of lemon, or brewed tea, either black or green. I do put a couple of spoons of sugar in my tea, but on occasion if I am very thirsty, I don't even do that.

Don't think I'm a saint, I like junk food as much as anyone else, it's a struggle for me. But if you give up one thing at a time, it's easier to par down your bad food habits. Pick one thing, maybe soft drinks, stop drinking them, choose another drink, water is best. What made me change my drinking habits is I discovered that I was only drinking sodas at work, at home and elsewhere, I drank water, I decided that if I could go without the soda on my days off and when I wasn't at work, I could give them up completely. Now, I don't miss them at all, in fact if I do drink one, it assaults my mouth! It's too strong, too sweet, too tart, too everything, after drinking one now, I feel bad afterward, I feel sluggish, bloated, I'm sure I felt that way every time I drank one, I was just used to feeling that way, yuck!
    Watch this show, yes it's long and yes it's a bit dry and technical, but the information contained within is so important, it's worth watching.



    Tell me what you think after watching/listening to this show.

    All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message. Wretha, properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader), Thanks for visiting!

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Redneck Washing Machine

    I wanted my own redneck washing machine and now I have one, go here to read all about it:
    http://offgridonthecheap.blogspot.com/2010/04/redneck-washing-machine-and-diy-laundry.html

    It works great! I even make my own laundry soap to go in it. Now PB is planning on making a roller wringer for me, hopefully I'll have that by the end of the day.





    All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message. Wretha, properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader), Thanks for visiting!

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Quickie

    I spent the whole day in town with a friend, picked up some cherry tomato plants, a couple of rosemary bushes, actually right now they look less like bushes and more like twigs, but they will grow into magnificent, edible and tasty bushes. I also picked up the rubber ring for my pressure cooker, got the wrong size, darn! Oh well, it just means another trip to town soon. I also had 2 propane tanks filled. I never take them to a place where you exchange tanks, you never know how the last 20 people (including the employees at the store and the people who refill them) treated the canisters. It's a safety thing for me, I keep these inside my skycastle and I know that my tanks are fairly new, I know how they have been treated from the time they came into my possession, they were purchased new for our use, and I always watch the guy who fills the tank.

    Oh, another development, it's getting around that I am the "go to girl" for computer problems, it's hard to find someone to work on your box out here. Right now I have a laptop that was dropped off yesterday for inspection, it should be pretty simple to remove the garbage that has been installed on it, you have to be careful when you are installing anything, don't just blindly click "yes" over and over, many times these companies sneak in extra browser toolbars, they change your search engine choice and do other nasties to your computer, that annoys me to no end, if I had wanted to use your search engine, or had I wanted to add a new toolbar on my browser, I'll do it MYSELF! Don't sneak these things in the installation process, in hopes that I'll not notice it while endlessly clicking on "yes" over and over. OK, I'll step down from my soapbox now. LOL!

    I came home from town, ate dinner and quickly popped the tomato plants in the garden, I'll post some pictures in a few days.


    All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.


    Wretha,
    properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader),


    Thanks for visiting!

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    100th Follower

    There are always milestones in life, some are big, some are small, but all are important. Today I hit a milestone on this blog, for many of the other blogs I follow and read, this has been surpassed a long time ago, but for me, it's quite fun and a proud moment. This milestone is my 100th follower,


    Congrats small farm girl for being my 100th follower, of course this accolade and the larger portion of a five dollar bill will get you a small cup of coffee at Starbucks. :) 

    Thanks to all of you, including small farm girl. This blog would not be the same without all of you. 

    All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.


    Wretha,
    properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader),


    Thanks for visiting!

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    Harvesting Grass

    No, not that kind! LOL!
    Spent the day working on the garden, it's ready to be planted. The strawberry plants are looking pretty good, they looked a bit sad for a couple of days, still might lose a few, but the majority of them are looking great and are perking back up nicely. PB got the water system for the garden back up and running. It consists of a homemade water barrel next to the skycastle, the rain from the roof collects in there, next it is gravity fed into another barrel half way between the skycastle and the garden. There is a black poly pipe coming from that, it goes down to the garden, snakes through the top of the fencing and hangs over the center of the garden. There is a valve on the end of the black poly pipe, that goes into a regular garden hose with a shower attachment on the end. I can water everywhere in my garden with that set-up.

    Today, I spent the day collecting the dead, waist high grass that grows in clumps around here. I use the dead grass as a mulch. Last year, I harvested it by grabbing a big clump with my hand and cutting as close to the base as possible. It was hard work, my back often reminded me of that fact, and I ran the risk of grabbing something nasty with my hands, cactus or snakes. Today I figured out a better way of harvesting the grass. I took a hard rake, (not the kind you rake leaves with), I would take the head, push it into the base of the grass clump, give it a slight sideways move, then pull back, that would break off the dead grass, leaving the living grass behind, the grass would come off in neat clumps that I could stack beside me. Next I stacked it on a strap that was on the ground. When I had all the grass I could get from a particular area, I would use the strap to hold the grass bundle and carried it to the garden. I thought of those pictures I have seen in National Geographic of old ladies, all hunched over carrying huge bundles of grass or sticks, bigger than they were.

    I did two big bundles of grass this way and had enough straw/grass to cover 2/3 of the garden with about a 3 to 4 inch covering of mulch. One or two more bundles like those and I'll be done. It went lots faster using this method. I learned a couple of things, don't step backward while doing this on a cholla infested, rocky slope, and don't harvest any grass that is growing near cactus, especially the cholla, that is very nasty stuff, the spines are just as likely to be on the ground as they are on the plant, it is not worth the pain if I rake up cholla spines with the grass. I was lucky, no twisted or impaled ankles.

    We have strange trees here, most trees turn colors and drop their leaves in the fall, not our trees, our oaks keep their leaves all winter long, only in spring do their leaves turn yellow, gold and orange then fall from the trees. It gives the appearance that the trees are dying, but it's a rite of spring. The nice thing about that is I get to rake up all those leaves to use in the garden to amend the soil and to use as mulch.

    This evening, I had to walk down to my neighbor's house after dark, I had a half gallon of milk that needed to go into the fridge, it wasn't going to be cold enough tonight to keep it here, and we had a mostly overcast day so not much charging for the batteries. The trip down and back went without incident. Going back up the steps to the skycastle, I noticed a box on the steps that needed to be tended to. It contained spices and herbs, I needed to pick out what I wanted to keep and what needed to be tossed out. So I was halfway up the steps, in the dark, using a tiny LED flashlight when I heard something on the ground behind me.

    Shuffle, shuffle, crunch, crunch...

    I turned to look and saw a half grown skunk eating some leftover dog food. I immediately started up the steps, the skunk turned and pointed the business end toward me, fortunately it didn't go off! I stayed on the top step while the skunk ate the remainder of the dog food, I waited until it was finished and had decided there was nothing else good to eat and went on its way, then I went back down the steps, collected the bottles I wanted and zipped back into the skycastle. They are pretty cute, especially when they are not fully grown, but cute or not, they are still quite capable of causing a stink if they want to. I'll have to start being more careful when I walk around at night, with the warmer temps, there will be more critters walking around too.

    Need to explain why I left dog food outside at night. No, I don't have an outside dog, my baby stays inside where it's safe. A few days ago, we were adopted by a stray cat, no collar so I don't know who it belongs to, but whoever it belongs to, the cat likes our place better, so I guess we have a cat now. It is a nice looking cat, full grown, looks well fed, is pretty friendly, and it is very vocal. We have had other cats come and go, eventually they move on, or go back home, not this one, it sits outside and meows insistently until one of us goes outside with a hand full of dog food. This evening, I didn't get the food out until late in the day. The cat didn't eat all of the food, so that was what attracted the skunk.

    New rule, feed the cat during the day, remove left over food, or throw it far behind the skycastle. No more food outside at night.

    I named the cat Kiki, that's what I say to the cat when I go outside, it's short for kitty kitty kitty, it comes out kee kee kee, so that's the cat's name, KiKi.


    All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.


    Wretha,
    properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader),


    Thanks for visiting!

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    Loom Knitting Project and Link


    As most of you probably know, I am into loom knitting. I found a great site and a great loom knitter,






    All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.


    Wretha,
    properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader),


    Thanks for visiting!

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    Freebies-Gotta Love 'em!

    Free stuff, can't resist it, here is a whole lot of it, thanks to Creekmore.

    The Ultimate Collection of Survival Resources

    http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/2010/04/ultimate-collection-of-survival.html


    All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.


    Wretha,
    properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader),


    Thanks for visiting!

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Solar Panel Bobage

    Ready for another Bobage video?
    http://offgridonthecheap.blogspot.com/2010/04/solar-panel-bobage.html
    This one is about the solar panels, and how we track the sun.


    All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.


    Wretha,
    properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader),


    Thanks for visiting!

    Pressure Cooker and Garden Friends

    Woohoo! PB finally found it! Our pressure cooker, I've wanted to cook in our pressure cooker for quite some time now. The rubber parts are still in good shape, it holds pressure, I tested it last night with plain water, it came up to pressure and made the rocker rock.

    I have been cooking in a friend's pressure cooker, mainly cooking pinto beans, I also made chili and chicken soup. Her pressure cooker is a 4 quart size, it's barely big enough to cook in, I have to be very careful when making beans not to overfill the pot, I can cook a half a bag of beans, which is fine for one person. I can put in 2 chicken leg and thigh portions but not much more. I was thrilled to find out that ours is a 6 quart size, it's big enough to cook a whole chicken if I want to, plus all the fixens that go with it. PB had 5 teeth pulled a few weeks ago, so I have to make foods that he can easily chew, so this will come in very handy. The other nice thing about using a pressure cooker is it cooks so fast, it uses much less fuel to cook, pinto beans normally take 4-8 hours (or longer) to cook, it's basically an all day affair, but with the pressure cooker, it takes about 10 minutes, you start timing once it comes to pressure, but that's still better than hours and hours!

    I have a half of a package of pinto beans soaking, I'll cook those for dinner tonight. I would like to try dehydrating the cooked beans, I should be able to do it, I just need to make a dehydrator.

    We started working on the garden a couple of days ago. We removed the last of the dead plants from last year, then using a shovel, we turned the dirt, added some ash from the woodstove, our soil tends to be on the acid side because of all the pine trees and the oak trees, we have added lots of mulch from under these trees to amend the soil, so I figured the wood ash would be good. I also sprinkled in a whole jar of water crystals, these will soak up water and turn into a gel, it will hold water longer and be good for the plants, all of this was dug in well. The only plants left from last year are the carrots and asparagus.

    A friend of ours gave us a whole bus tub full of ever bearing strawberry plants. These came from another gardener out here who was thinning out his strawberry patch, we were gifted with some of these. We planted them in one corner of the garden, they look so good, some of the plants already have blooms, I can't wait to eat my first strawberry! Thanks LL and DL! We have really good friends out here.

    I think this year we are not going to plant as many different kinds of plants, the garden just isn't big enough to plant so many, so we will pick out a few that we really like and plant lots of them. I know we will have black seeded simpson lettuce, that grows very well here and we love eating it. We also love cherry tomatoes, so those will definitely go out there. Perhaps some spinach, I'll grow a few radish plants, but not for the roots, I love the seed pods, they are fleshy and have a mild radish flavor. I have to sneak in some peas somewhere, though PB says he doesn't like them, I suspect he hasn't eaten fresh peas, they have such a different (and better) flavor than canned or even frozen.

    I wish I could grow okra, but after 2 years of trying, I have decided that the old timers out here are right, they just don't like the altitude, they grow knee high at best and put out a few straggly okra pods. These are the same variety that grow so tall by the end of summer that you need a step ladder to harvest them, that is true where I used to live, not here, so I guess, reluctantly, I'll give up on growing okra.

    I also want, and want so bad, to grow blueberries, I hope the nursery in town still has some next time I get out there, I know they will grow well here, with the acid soil. I'll have to protect them from the munching hoards of deer and javelina, don't know about the birds yet, might have to throw a net over them, I'll find out for sure.

    So far I have only 3 pests that I know of, the first is grubs, while digging up the garden, we found dozen and dozens of them, I squished as many of them as I could find, I suppose I'll have to buy something from the store next time I'm in town, can't have them chewing on the roots of my plants. The other pest is ants, they aren't such a problem themselves, but they bring in aphids so I need to keep them out as much as possible. The third and biggest (figuratively and literally) are the grasshoppers. They have already started showing up, right now they are small, a half inch to an inch, but once they find a food source, they grow into monsters that don't seem to be bothered by anything I put out to kill or discourage them. Last year, the garden was decimated by grasshoppers, if I had done something about it when I first saw them, I might have been able to save the garden, but by the time I actually tried to do something about it, it was too late. This year I will hit them fast and hard, I'll not give them a chance to grow into garden chomping monsters.

    The other thing I will grow is tobacco, as far as I know there are very few pests to bother tobacco, the animals shouldn't bother them so I'll plant them outside of the garden. I'll be starting the seeds inside this weekend. I might try direct sowing a couple of plants just to see how they do, hopefully I can direct sow them, but I have read that it's best to start them inside, they start slowly but once they sprout and get a few inches tall (or more), they are quite hardy after that and can go outside with no problems.

    If you are interested in growing your own tobacco, read my review of a great tobacco book
    I personally recommend this one! Click here for the review now!
    and go here to get it
    Grow Your Own Tobacco-Grow-Roll-Smoke!


    All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.


    Wretha,
    properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader),


    Thanks for visiting!

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    Survival Show

    Thanks everyone who responded to my concern about saying "hi" to my readers, I appreciate each and every one of you. :)

    I listened to a good Coast to Coast show today, it aired March 11, 2010, the guest is Jim Rawles, the show was about surviving. I have heard (on the net) some people really don't like Rawles, maybe they think he's too commercial, I just don't know. I found the show to be very enlightening. One of the suggestions that Rawles says to do is moving from high population areas to low population areas, something I have already done. I saw this map on line, it shows the population of all the places in the USA, according to the map, I live in a very sparsely populated area, I already knew that, but it is still interesting to see the various places still available that are not elbow to elbow with everyone, it would seem that someone drew a line going though the center of the US, from north to south with more people living on the east side than the west side. I do wish the map was more interactive, but it's still interesting to see.  Hope you like the show.

    Click here to listen part 1 of 4:


    Click here to listen part 2 of 4:


    Click here to listen part 3 of 4:


    Click here to listen part 4 of 4:





    All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.


    Wretha,
    properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader),


    Thanks for visiting!