Thursday, July 16, 2009

Avacado Coleslaw

I got this basic recipe from my dear friend, Karen. I added the carrots--just 'cause we like carrots. It's easy, inexpensive and makes a yummy summer lunch!

Avacado Coleslaw
1 bag angel hair shredded coleslaw
1 generous handful of shredded carrots
Hellman's mayo (Karen swears by Hellman's)
chopped green onions
4 chopped avacados
Mix, chill and serve in your favorite bowl.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Health Pantry: Water

I read the following statistic on the back of an Ozarka water bottle this week and decided I just had to pass it along to you.

Skip the Sugar

A typical 12 oz. sugared beverage contains the equivalent of 10 tsp of sugar. Water has no sugar. Replacing ONE sugared beverage daily with water can cut 3,650 tsp. of sugar a year from your diet. (emphasis mine)

Replacing just one cola a day with water blesses your body on several levels:

* water flushes toxins from your system, which will keep you healthier as you age (toxins store up in our bodies and WILL eventually cause us problems--we can bank on it. We can make our good investments now simply by drinking one extra glass of pure water a day.)

* water makes your skin glow

* water can prevent headaches that are commonly caused by dehydration

* reducing sugar will help extra weight melt away

* sugar is addictive--anything we can do to crave only Christ is a positive thing in our lives

Make it fun to drink your water! For Mother's Day, my kids bought me a large cup from the craft store that they added a picture of our family to, and I love it. It makes me happy to drink my water from this tall cup, so I'm much more likely to drink my water.

Something as simple and inexpensive as drinking water is so a part of my routine that I often forget how basic it is to my health. But I know that when I'm seventy I will be so happly that I drank my water when I was thirty!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Reflux: Apple Cider Vinegar

You would think that adding acid to an already-acidic situation would be just plain wrong. But so many people have reported such success with taking apple cider vinegar for their acid reflux that it's hard not to sit up and take notice.

I found a recipe for apple cider vinegar and baking soda for reflux on this web site.

I highly recommend Bragg's apple cider vinegar if you wish to try this inexpensive remedy. And if you do, let us all know how it works for you!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Probiotic: The Stronger the Better

When you are choosing a probiotic, look for one that has as high a potency as possible to get as much good bacteria packed into each capsule/scoop as possible.

There is a lot on the internet about probiotic, and honestly, it leaves even me confused. So, I rely heavily upon what works for others. And I've heard VERY good things about Beeyoutiful's Tummy Tuneup. For more info on this amazing supplement, click on the Tummy Tuneup banner below.

How do you know if YOU need to balance the bacteria in your gut? You may be a candidate for probiotic if you or your kids deal with any of the following:
Allergies and food sensitivities
Difficulty losing weight
Sugar/carbohydrate craving
Frequent fatigue
Poor concentration
Frequent constipation or diarrhea
Faulty digestion, acid reflux and other gut disorders
Sleeping poorly, night sweats
Painful joint inflammation, stiffness
Bad breath, gum disease and dental problems
Frequent colds, flu or infections
Chronic yeast problems
Acne, eczema skin and foot fungus
Extreme menstrual or menopausal symptoms (PMS)

(I've highlighted the ones I personally have dealt or deal with right now--ok, that's embarrassing to air my dirty laundry :-D)

If you deal with any of these symptoms of an unbalanced gut, please consider getting yourself some probiotic.

In a healthy intestinal tract are approximately 400 different kinds of microorganisms. (Due to their inability to withstand an acidic environment, not many are found in the stomach.) As we move on to the small intestine, the number of bacteria increases by a factor of 10, and by the time we get to the colon, there are almost a billion times more than found in the small intestine.

As you can see, getting good bacteria in the form of a probiotic is essential to your overall health! Every health pantry needs a good probiotic--so grab you some today.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Break Out the Ruffles and Bows!! It's a GIRL!!

Good Friday was a very good Friday in the Fagala house!

That's the day our second precious daughter was born.

Kathryn Elyse

7 lbs. 9 ozs., 20'' long

April 10, 2009

10:28 p.m.

What a special way to celebrate Easter Sunday and the sacrifice of our Savior--by welcoming this NEW little LIFE into our family!

We are filled with GREAT JOY!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Two Sisters Cookbook

For several years, I was a vegan and ate no meat or dairy products. It is a great way to lose weight and cleanse the toxins out of your system!

I enjoyed the first two years of mostly raw fruits and veggies and whole grains very much, then I got pregnant again. . .

Everything was great until the end of the pregnancy and my midwife begged me to eat a hamburger to get a boost of protein. I surrendered. I'll never forget that trip to Sonic. We knew they had $1 hamburger nights, so I packed the chips and our drinks and we set off. I still remember where we parked at the drive-in.

Since that day I have slowly incorporated organic meats back into our diet, but will never lose my first love for a colorful green salad spilling over the plate or a handful of raw, sweet almonds or organic fruits and veggies! They are still the BEST.

One of my favorite meatless cookbooks is FROM THE KITCHEN OF TWO SISTERS by the Voeller sisters--it is absolutely excellent in flavor and in content!

I particularly love this cookbook because the ingredients are wholesome and healthy, but not gourmet or outlandish. They are things I can easily find in my local grocery store or health food store and I really appreciate that.

I also like the fact that the recipes share many of the same ingredients, but each recipe has its own unique character and flavor. So it satifies my frugal palette as well.

Some of the Fagala Family faves are:

Spectacular Sauteed Green Beans
Sunny Yellow Squash
Best Barbeque Sauce (every good Texan or wanna-be Texan needs to make this in BIG batches!)
Sunny Corn Bread
Sweet Biscuits
Egg-Citing Flaxseed Mixture (good egg substitute)
Parsley-Parmesan Pesto

I highly recommend this cookbook for those who'd like to have some delicious dishes that don't include meat or dairy. And trust me. . . I've served these dishes to my cheese-loving friends numerous times with great raves.

There's just nothing that beats great flavor! Bon appetit.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

4-Wheelin' Fun

I got a crazy hair the other day and hopped on the back of my honey's four-wheeler to spend some much-needed alone time with my man. Mind you--I am two weeks, or thereabouts, away from delivering our 6th child.

Pretty quickly I realized that all those bumps and dips out in the pasture don't feel so good at nine months pregnant, even if we were only going 20 mph! He joked and said he was just helping me go into labor. "I've still got too much to do to get ready!" I hollered into the wind. But, much to his credit, he slowed WAAAYY down for his aching wife and got us comfortably home. No baby yet.

I love what my friend Andrea said when I was telling her about it. She laughed and said (and I'm paraphrasing), "I don't think there's anyway you can bump, shake or coax those babies out. They come when they come!"

So true!! God's timing is perfect. . . every time! Stay tuned--we'll keep you posted on our little one's arrival.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Balancing Act

People often tell me I'm a Superwoman.

I need to dispell this myth.

I am simply OCD task-oriented. My grannie was always working on some project; my daddy is always working on some project--it runs in my blood to find joy in having something to do.

With this baby coming, I've had to sit down and lie down a whole lot more. And that's been REALLY hard for me to do. I am used to pressing through the tiredness or the pain, and it honestly makes me feel weak to sit down for too long. Ok, there's the dirty laundry--I judge myself.

What makes you feel weak? What makes you feel strong?

I feel weak when in a moment of passion, I eat three slices of key lime pie in one sitting. I feel strong when I courageously drive past the whipped chocolate donuts screaming my name from the Shipley's donut store.

The things that make us feel weak or strong are going to be a little different for each of us, but that's what makes the world such a beautiful and diverse place. Whatever your strengths and weaknesses, I really believe it's all about balance.

Forgive yourself for the times you are weak and be thankful for the times you are strong. Learn from those things that make you feel weak and then concentrate on the things that make you feel strong.

When I realized how much God adores me in spite of my weaknesses AND my strengths, I felt such release and freedom. I don't have to be Superwoman for Him to love me, lead me and bless me.

But, if He could just help me get my schoolroom organized. . . !!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Reflux: Probiotic

I have been dealing with some reflux of my own with this pregnancy. It will even wake me up at night and make it uncomfortable to sleep no matter what position I lie in. I have found that taking some probiotic "soaks" up that burning sensation very well. I usually do not take it until I feel something, but it would definitely be best if I took probiotic all the time.

And it would be best for you, too--even if you're not pregnant! :-)

There are so many benefits to taking probiotic on a regular basis! I like the way the folks over at Beeyoutiful describe how probiotic works: Our stomachs normally contain both good and bad bacteria. When the two are in balance, the good guys win—even when viruses attack. But the balance can get thrown off if we eat too much processed sugar and white flour or take antibiotics, which indiscriminately kill all bacteria.

Taking a probiotic regularly helps to boost good bacteria which in turn fight off bad bacteria. An abundance of good bacteria is so incredibly important to the health of your intestinal tract and to your overall health that I just have to make sure you know about probiotic.

One of the beautiful things about probiotic is that it is safe for everybody--pregnant women, babies, etc. I love that! Just make sure not to take it when you're just about to drink something really hot because the heat can kill the good bacteria.

To order some of the best probiotic I have found on the market, click on this banner below.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Wintertime Health Pantry: Activated Charcoal

Viruses abound. Especially if you have several children in the house and they like to share.

If one of my kids gets a stomach bug, it will invariably make the rounds of all of us before it's all said and done. But I've decided to fight back!

My favorite weapon against stomach viruses is activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal is pure carbon specially processed to make it highly adsorbent of particles and gases in the body's digestive system. Activated charcoal has often been used since ancient times to cure a variety of ailments including poisoning. Its healing effects have been well documented since as early as 1550 B.C. by the Egyptians.

It is GREAT to have on hand for kids because it can be used if you are concerned your child has overdosed on a chemical cleaner or an over-the-counter medicine. You can even mix it with water to make a paste to apply topically to bug stings or bites. Activated charcoal has even been used effectively in the treatment of snake bites.

It's one of the "right hand warriors" in my health pantry. So, when my four-year-old recently started throwing up and having stomach cramps and diarrhea, I whipped it out and instructed everyone to take some charcoal with their Emergen-C. Paul and I took two a day and the kids each took one.

No one argued with me. I guess they've learned over the years that stomach bugs are no fun!

Since the charcoal is very black and powdery, I camoflauged it as best I could for my two-year-old in some Activia yogurt (Activia is boosted with probiotic). He took it fine. My four-year-old balked a bit, but took it ok a half capsule at a time in the yogurt. It is odorless and tasteless as a capsule.

The quicker you can start activated charcoal once you've been exposed to something or start showing symptoms, the better.

Here's to a year free of stomach bugs!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Reflux: Go Alkaline

Paul is doing very well with his reflux! One of the biggest factors, I believe, has been one of the least complicated and least costly--watching his diet.

Going alkaline is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body no matter what ailment you're dealing with. Diseases and sicknesses thrive in acidic environments, so if you increase the base in your body (does this remind you of high school chemistry class?), the bad stuff has a lot harder time surviving and doing any damage. That's good news!

The challenging part is saying no to or limiting those foods that can increase the acid levels in our bodies. We Americans are so addicted to foods that include: coffee, popcorn, white flour, carbonated drinks, dairy, sugar, fried anything, and just about anything in a can. Just to name a few.

Does it mean we can never eat these things? There will be times you simply can't avoid it, but it is to our advantage to limit these foods and replace them at home with more whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies and raw nuts and seeds. Just to name a few.

I am so proud of my husband. Paul has cut back to one cup of coffee per day, and we are also looking into buying a Toddy cold brew system. The Toddy will apparently reduce the acid in coffee by as much as 67%. I have tasted coffee made by this system, and its smooth, creamy flavor was very pleasing to this non-coffee drinker.

So, I encourage you this week to think green. Think fresh. Think whole. Think low acid. And see how much better you feel for it!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Sweet Tribute to a Sweet Friend

Aren't you so glad for good friends?

I sure am. And there is one I want to pay special tribute to this weekend right here on this blog, so if you'll graciously allow me. . . ahem. . . I would like to honor my dear friend, Denise.

There are several reasons that I am so thankful Denise is in my life:
* Her gentle spirit soothes my often-anxious one
* Her way of always looking positively at things inspires me
* Her eternal patience with everyone
* The goofy giggles we share over the silliest of things
* We write very well together (Homeschool Group Leader blog)
* She is always open to others' ideas without having to push her own
* We both dream really big
* Her simple, delicious lunches
* She listens to all my health talk with interest and support
* We've prayed very deep things together
* She's a grammar nerd like me, and appreciates a well-formed and properly-punctuated sentence!
* She never gives up on me
* She is fast to forgive
* She is fast to seek forgiveness
* She loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind and strength. . . what more is there?

There is much, much more, actually, but you get the picture.

I encourage you to stop right now and think of a good friend in your life who is to you like Denise is to me and thank the Lord for that friend. Pray this weekend for that friend and find one way to bless them in a quiet, special way.

Denise has blessed me already this weekend by figuring out how to put the FeedBurner box on my blog!! I have been trying forever to figure that out to no avail. What a load lifted off my mind. Now, thanks to her generous gesture of time and effort you, too, can sign up to have the latest Health at Home post delivered directly to your inbox. So, when I write on the blog, it'll come right to you without you having to remember to come here. How easy is that?!

If you want to sign up, just enter your email address in the box beneath "Catch the Latest Post" and it will direct you with what to do after that. You will need to check your email for a verification message, so FeedBurner knows you really want to get my posts.

Thank you so much to all of you who faithfully read Health at Home and encourage me more than you could ever know!

HEART you!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

All Choked Up: A Story of Acid Reflux

Last weekend, my husband ate a bite of pot roast at my mother-in-law's house during a party and it got stuck, completely stuck, in his esophagus. Immediately, he had the strangest look on his face and I knew something was very wrong.

A long story short: we ended up in the local emergency room and they transported him to the renowned Methodist hospital in Houston to see a thorasic surgeon (a doctor who cuts on/removes esophaguses). The surgeon scoped his throat several times and removed the pieces of food bit by bit and then took a biopsy while in there to investigate why this might have happened. They think he has acid reflux.

Paul has never had the traditional symptoms of acid reflux, such as heartburn. He does cough very hard, though, and often just out of the blue. According to the surgeon, that can be a sure sign of reflux that shuts out the other common signs, causing the person to not even realize acid is burning their esophagus.

Needless to say, I am very interested now in how to deal with acid reflux naturally. My husband doesn't want to live on Nexium when he's got good, body-blessing options.

So, I will be posting some of the things I'm finding and that we're trying as we go along this journey. Stay tuned for the exciting results.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Health Pantry: Spicy Lemonade

I admit it. I like sweets. Ok, I love sweets.

They are my weakness. And they ultimately weaken my immune system in the wintertime.

So, I've been drinking a lot of Spicy Lemonade this winter to cleanse my system of the effects of all the yummy chocolates.

It's all about balance, right? :-)

The Spicy Lemonade is very cheap and easy to make. Click here for the recipe.

Cheers to a healthy winter!