As we begin the new year, you may be thinking of improving your nutrition. It is a common resolution. I'd like to share with you the protocol that I use to stay healthy. I've been developing this protocol for myself over the past five years, and it works nicely for me. I put a lot of demand on my health to work as hard as I do each day. I copyedit six to seven days a week, teach homeschool five days a week, and farming is a 365-day commitment. I really push myself, yet folks claim I appear a decade younger than my 50 years. I also fight the disorders associated with my genetics: heart disease, arthritis, obesity, and diabetes. When a friend of mine researched my birth father's history, she discovered that many of my ancestors (Scottish/Cherokee) died in their early 50s from heart disease. So far, the only condition I have lurking is a bit of arthritis in my knees.
Once a year
- Get a checkup with your doctor
- I visit Dr. Bob Doane at the Acupuncture and Wellness Clinic in Poulsbo for pulse diagnosis. Dr. Bob will prescribe herbs for me if I need a bit of fine-tuning. Some folks say that Dr. Bob can be a bit short, grumpy even. Well, he is with idiots (sorry, honesty here). I have found him to be very kind, and he has done a great deal to help my family over the years, including curing my eldest son of ADHD (confirmed by extensive testing done by Dr. Tutty) and my younger son of a plasma anemia that was causing him to be very lethargic. Dr. Bob is a truly brilliant healer.
- For Western medicine, I like Dr. Karl Hadley at the Doctor's Clinic in Poulsbo. Dr. Hadley is a very kind, soft-spoken man who listens to his patients. I have been very happy with his care. And, it is fairly easy to get an appointment with Dr. Hadley. Who like to wait weeks for help? Not me.
- Another local doctor who is quite good is Dr. Donald Novey at North Kitsap Family Practice. Dr. Novey is very smart and has broad knowledge that can help to diagnose more complicated issues. He does prefer to see his patients on a bi-annual basis though, which doesn't work for me. I don't often have time to visit the doctor, and I always have my younger son with me, which makes for some logistical complications. But, he won't fuss at you when he finds out that you also use alternative medicine. Dr. Novey is also the author of various textbooks.
Twice a year
Once a month
- Get a chiropractic adjustment. You may be able to get away with only visiting the chiropractor twice a year, like my boys can because they have healthy spines. I was in a terrible car accident in 1999 that forever messed up my neck. I've been in a few car accidents since then that haven't helped matters. So, I visit my chiropractor once a month. I am so very fortunate to live in Poulsbo where Dr. Craig Benson works, as he is one of the best in his field, especially in the area of craniosacral therapy. Dr. Benson is another doctor (like Dr. Bob) who has gone overboard in his kind, attentive care and generosity to my family. He fixed my son's alternating exotropia as well. I have been to a number of chiropractors over the years; none have even come close to having the talent and expertise of Dr. Benson.
- With your meals, take the following supplements (available at Maxx Nutrition) :
- At bedtime, take Zyflamend Nighttime. My birth sister gave me this tip: thanks Coleen! Zyflamend has helped to remove the pain in my joints from the early stages of arthritis. (Dr. Benson fixes the rest of the pain.)
- Brush and floss. Once again, take care of your oral health!
- Ensure you have the proper minerals each day. This is something that I understand as a goat herder. With livestock, the first thing we look at when one of our animals is not thriving is "are they getting enough minerals"? Why on earth don't people realize they also need minerals? We are not so very different from the animals. I take Beyond Tangy Tangerine. Dr. Joel Wallach, the man who created this blend, is one smart fellow. As a young man living on a cattle ranch, he cured himself of Tourette syndrome* by eating alfalfa pellets for breakfast (with raw milk, as you would eat cereal). He had done his research and learned he was deficient in calcium. Being a farm boy, he knew where to find abundant calcium: alfalfa. Thank goodness there are tastier choices today! (*Note: For those who are used to seeing "Tourette's syndrome," possessive eponyms are no longer used; see Dorland's.)
- If you are feeling sluggish in the afternoon, don't turn to sweet snacks, soda, nor coffee. Instead, I choose Pollen Burst. My favorite is the berry flavor, but they are all good. You can easily order these from Amazon.com.
Eat well; eat local
- Eat fresh and local as much as possible. I am a member of the Kitsap Fresh co-op. I sell my handcrafted goats milk soap, and I buy fresh produce and meat, as well as Sweet Sidney Bean's lotions. I especially like the meats from Blackjack Valley Farms. And, just in, Dungeness Seaworks and Dabob Bay Oyster Company have joined us.
- Grow your own food. Here at Goat Mountain View farm, we raise Nigerian Dwarf goats for fresh goat's milk. My Nigerians average 7 to 9% butterfat in their milk, with the amount increasing as the season progresses. We also have a large flock of free-range hens that eat all kinds of wonderful bugs and plants on our farm, in addition to their feed (this greatly increases the nutritional value of their eggs). And, I have a hoop house (poly-tunnel) full of large nursery pots where I grow fruits and vegetables. There are also two large planting areas next to our house for more fruits and vegetables. Having goats, we have to be creative in setting up goat-free gardens (not to mention the deer and bear that visit our farm). Also, living in the Pacific Northwest means we have little sun and a very short growing season. The hoop house and gardens against the house keep the plants warm and protected, which means they grow better. Having a plentiful source of rabbit manure (from our pet Angoras) ensures the plants grow vigorously. Some are the foods we grow are the following: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, lettuce, cabbage, beet greens, tomatoes, peas, chard, kale, lavender, sage, thyme, oregano, mint, leeks, asparagus, bok choy, cucumbers, pumpkins, butternut squash, summer squash, radishes, sweet onions, chives, cilantro, parsley, spinach, turnips, potatoes, and garlic. We also have an orchard with apples, plums, and cherries. My favorite seed company is Territorial. I also grow some plants in the house using my homemade aquaponics system. I often get lazy and buy small herbs and lettuce plants from Valley Nursery for the aquaponics pots.
- Cook most of your food from scratch. And, gather most of the ingredients for your meals from the perimeter of the grocery store, where you are less likely to find processed foods. Make sure you include homemade sourdough bread in your daily fare. I have a simple recipe I can share with you, using starter from Cultures for Health. We have also enjoyed the kombucha and water kefir from starters bought from Cultures for Health.
- Put up food in season. This used to be the norm for our grandparents. When there is fresh food in abundance, gather and preserve. I love living in the Pacific Northwest. We have such wonderful food growing here, and it is often available at little roadside stands or markets. I routinely gather and freeze the following: raspberries, blueberries, cherries, boysenberries, and salmon. I make apple butter and dried apple slices from the bounty of our orchard. And, I can pears, peaches, and apricots, as well as all kinds of tasty jams and sauces from Washington state fruit. In addition to what we gather in our orchard, we are fortunate to have a produce stand just around the corner that brings in wonderful produce from Eastern Washington: Olmsted's. They often have deals on whole boxes of fruit for canning.
- Drink smoothies packed with nutrition. I make my own smoothies for the most part. But, when I want to splurge, which means someone else makes my treat for me, I head over to Maxx Nutrition. Folks, for the price of a fancy coffee drink across the street (which will pollute your body with sugar and other garbage), you could instead choose to drop by Maxx and get something that will fuel your body. While you are there, Nick, Jordan, and Kendall can help you find your supplements (such as the Seren Oils, probiotics, enzymes, Zyflamend, protein powder, Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox, and greens powder). Don't forget to save the $10 coupon from your Val-Pack. Here are my three favorite smoothie recipes, one of which is copied from Maxx's Cafe Magnet smoothie:
- Faux Cafe Magnet: goats milk (or rice, hemp, almond), Garden of Life RAW vanilla protein powder (also available from Amazon in Subscribe&Save), Bulle Nutrition chocolate Green Zone, spoon of peanut butter, instant coffee (or the bit of French roast in your cup that you've allowed to get cold because you're so busy copyediting), banana, crushed ice. For a special treat, add mint!
- PNW Berry: This smoothie makes good use of those berries you froze over the summer--goats milk, frozen berries, Garden of Life RAW protein powder, Bulle Nutrition berry Green Zone, banana, frozen mango.
- PNW Cherry-Chocolate: Once again, use those frozen cherries gathered from U-Pick stands--goats milk, frozen cherries (pitted), Enerhealth Cocoa Mojo, Enerhealth Coconut Milk Powder, crushed ice.
- Have healthful snacks at the ready. I certainly do not have an iron will. I only have time to grocery shop once a week, and I try to not buy any junk while I'm there. I buy healthy snacks through Amazon's Subscribe&Save program so I am never without something good when my blood sugar is low and I'm too busy copyediting or teaching to cook.
- Have good choices for take out. The honest truth: I work long, hard days. I can't always put a homemade meal on the table. There are deadlines; there is kidding season; there are days spent cleaning the barn. We budget for take out meals from each of our favorite restaurants. We chose restaurants where the food is cooked fresh, where MSG is not used, and where we enjoy the staff. I believe in supporting small, local businesses whenever I can. Here are our favorites:
- Pho T&N: Ask Joe to tell you about his life before America sometime! Our favorite dishes are the (13) hu tieu/mi xao w/ heo, the (23) bun bo xao xa ot, and the (41) com ga xao ca ri. We also love the spring rolls! Feeling decadent? On your birthday, treat yourself to a lavender black tea bubble tea. This is where both my boys ask to have their birthday dinners every year.
- Taqueria los Cazadores: I spend a decade living on the Mexican border near Tecate, and I got very spoiled with good food. This is great food, and I love seeing my favorite server, Maria, when I visit. We usually get Burritos Asadas con crema y guacamole or the Taquitos Rancheros. My husband can pick it up on his way home from work, and he gets a 25% discount by getting there before 5 pm.
- Papa Murphy's: This is honest, simple take-n-bake pizza. With coupons and your punch card, it can be fairly affordable as well. We love the cowboy pizza, though usually opt for a less expensive single topping such as pepperoni or mushroom. The staff at the Poulsbo location have always been responsive and professional.
- Choose ethnic recipes for home cooking. There are so many wonderful foods out there, and the spices and veggies used to make them are very good for you. We love using recipes from India, the Middle East, Italy, Mexico, and Asia. Soups and stir fry are great choices. Our family's favorite dishes, which use local or homegrown ingredients, are the following: caldo verde with clams and mussels; spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, parmesan, and fresh peas; four-bean chili with garden veggies; slow-cooked pork verde tacos with lots of fresh cilantro; aloo paratha with cucumber/cilantro raita (OK, this is my favorite, and I'm known to not share!); north woods bean soup with kale; cellophane noodle and pork soup; smoked cheddar fondue with sourdough bread, veggies, and Washington apples; and Thai coconut curry chicken.