Hi everyone, this is a bit late as we’ve had power outages due to high winds and heavy rain since yesterday. Once the power was back on my internet was still out. So I’m now back and hoping no more interruptions until I finish writing this.
The past week has brought quite a few changes to my life, all positive. ;-) First, I finally got up the nerve to try oil pulling. I bought a jar of raw coconut oil nearly three weeks ago but the idea of oil in my mouth sounded so gross. I was quite surprised by the sweetness and have been consistently practicing oil pulling now for a week. I started because I have battled with gingivitis since my late teens. What I didn’t expect was the difference in the rest of my body. I have been waking earlier, needing less sleep, and not finding myself tired mid day. I have had tons of energy each day as well. At first I thought it might be related to the lovely sun we were having but it’s been raining for a couple of days and my mood and energy levels are still improving, definitely not normal for me on those dull rainy days.
The next benefit was truly shocking. With my Muscular Dystrophy I suffer from tightness in my muscles and tendons. The tightness is reduced and without changing anything else in diet or activity I am moving better which has me super excited. The other symptom associated with my lack of mobility involves swelling of the extremities, namely my feet, ankles and fingers. It used to be that a good nights sleep would take care of the problem but for the last year or so the swelling doesn’t seem to totally diminish during the night and I had to resort to removing my rings. By the second day of oil pulling my edema (swelling) was greatly reduced, and has continued since to the point that my feet and ankles look normal all day and I’ve been able to put my rings back on.
Wendy did a fantastic job explaining oil pulling if you are interested in trying it check out this post to learn how.
This week is also the annual Food Revolution Summit featuring some of the most renowned people in the health movement. Listening to these interviews has brought me back to where I started and helped me to realign my diet with what I knew was best for me. As a result I have removed the butter, eggs and any hidden sugars (such as in bread) from my diet. Combined with the oil pulling I look forward to even bigger results in my health. Today’s interviews were with Dr. Neal Barnard, Nutritionist Brenda Davis, and T. Colin Campbell author of the China Study. If you want to listen to any (or all) of these interviews or those coming over the next few days just click the link above.
There is also good news about my home but I’ll save that for another day. :-) Now it’s time for this week’s challenge from Reduce Footprints. This challenge has some thing for everyone.
This week, park in the first available parking space and then walk the rest of the way. The goal is to use very little fuel once we enter the parking area. It’s a small thing with a big impact. And … it’s great exercise!
The circling is not a problem I no longer own a car. So I will address the rest of this week’s challenge.
If you don’t drive, or want more of a challenge, please focus on other ways to reduce petroleum use. Here are some suggestions:
- Buy local products (they don’t travel as far to get to your market).
- Go “Scent Free” or use essential oils (95% of the chemicals in most perfumes and scents are derived from petrochemicals).
- STOP using plastic bags!
- Air dry your clothing (saves energy which means reduced oil consumption).
- Choose natural, Eco-friendly cosmetics (most lipstick and glosses are made with petroleum products).
- Switch to soy-based printing inks (most inks on the shelf contain petroleum products).
- Say “NO” to nylon and polyester (both petroleum based).
- Avoid aspirin which contains … yep … petroleum.
- Avoid hair color and opt for a natural dye like henna … or just go natural!
- Grow and/or buy organic foods (fertilisers and pesticides contain petroleum).
Local products is a good one. I am close to finishing up the food I put up in my freezer and need a stop gap until the gardens start producing and the farmers’ market reopens. I’ve decided to hitch a ride with my daughter-in-law who has an errand in the city Friday to stop at the whole foods coop. It’s a better compromise than spending my money in the grocery store.
I am scent-free…almost. I just started to use my orange scented vinegar made by soaking organic orange peels in vinegar for two weeks. The only other scented item I use in the home or on my body is the coconut oil I use on my skin. I think the scent is light but Zakk seems to like it and has taken to trying to lick it off of me. ;-) Once the warmer weather arrives I won’t need it as much but the long winter takes a toll on my skin if I don’t moisturize.
Plastic bags were given the heave-ho several years ago, but the last type of plastic bag was finally done away with when I realized that by composting my food I had nothing wet or smelly that would dirty my small can. Plastic trash bags are a headache for the landfill as well. Once your trash is dumped equipment tears up the bags to expose the contents. Some of the smaller pieces of these bags blow in the wind and are carried miles away. Growing up we used the paper bags from the grocery store to hold our trash while not perfect if you don’t have a dumpster, like I do, and are required to have your trash bagged give this a try.
Cosmetics I’ve pretty much given up. I still have an eye pencil and a tube of mascara but can’t recall the last time I used them. Along with cosmetics I also stopped coloring my hair four or five years ago.
Soy based printing inks is a good solution if you need to print documents. I decided to have a paperless home/office so there is no need for a printer. Not owning a printer keeps me honest.
Nylon and Polyester are both horrible. I’ve talked about synthetic fabrics before. By using them you are polluting the waterways when you wash them and you will need to use some sort of fabric softener because synthetic fabrics are the only ones that produce static. By not having synthetics I can dry my clothes and know I won’t have a problem with static, summer or winter.
I avoid all medications, with the exception of one prescription that I need (still working on that one). I don’t have respect for Bayer whose corporate decisions do not align with mine. Tylenol and other non-aspirin pain relievers are even worse. I first learned this when nursing homes in the area needed to stop giving the elderly Tylenol because it builds up in the liver and causes liver failure. Pain is our body’s way of telling us something is wrong. Listening to our bodies can help us reduce further injury. If you have been staring at a computer screen, walk away for a while. Stretch your neck to relieve tension and if a headache persists tightly tie a bandana around the area affected and lay down for 30 minutes. With the exception of migraines (which thankfully I have no experience with) this will usually solve the problem.
Tuesday I talked about pesticides when mentioning Cuba here. Pests are building up immunities to the various pesticides we have been using which results in the need to use stronger pesticides. It’s a vicious cycle. Try companion planting which shows certain plants deter the pests normally found to decimate another. And always rotate the types of plants you grow in your garden.
So what’s left from the list for me to work on? Air drying my clothes. So far we are not permitted to put up a clothes line in the field. I have been using the clothes dryer I have several ideas on how I can build an indoor drying rack but haven’t yet figured out how. While over the shower would be a good spot my bathroom isn’t easily accessible and I could fall trying to work in that area. In the vanity area is the best spot I can think of plus there is a heater in that area for winter but it would block access to the bathroom. It’s a solution I will find, I am determined. ;-)
Which of these challenges do you already do? Is there something on the list you will work on this week?
Don’t forget you can still enter to win a copy of Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times by leaving a comment here.