Cayenne Tea – Excellent Wellness and Anti-Flu Support

CayenneArticleMeme

You don’t have the flu but it’s out there.  You can’t avoid being in public so you want to protect your immune system as much as possible, but you don’t have a lot of money to spend.

Try Cayenne Tea.  I’m having some this morning.  It’s an inexpensive, warming spice and a blood mover,  so it gets YOU moving as well.  Just 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne is enough to do the trick.  Sip an 8-ounce cup a few times a day.

Recipe:
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
8 ounces hot, boiling water

Enjoy!

cayenne tea

Protandim – Anti-aging Breakthrough

 

I have never been one for any supplements using the words “breakthrough” or “miracle” however when I went searching the web in September, to find a product I could really get on board with – being an herbalist and leaning towards natural supplements – I was quite intrigued with this one.

I went to the website – Lifevantage.com – and found that I can only purchase if I am introduced by a rep.  However, I checked out the ingredients and saw that they are all natural, all herbal and they are a patented formula that is capable of reaching the mitochondria via the NRF2 pathways.

You might not know what that means, but I did.  Nutrition reaching the cellular level has been the goal of almost all supplement manufacturers.

Read about NRF2 here.

I was getting excited about what this could mean for me –   especially since I had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome – a complicated disorder with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in my body – my CRP (C-Reactive Protein) levels were at 11.2 (should be at .05 for function) – and my energy was limited to 10 minutes per half hour.

I needed to know more so I called the company to ask how I can be introduced to a rep, and talk to me more about this.   A representative called me and I was quickly put in touch with a doctor.  I asked him how this could help me have energy.  He led me to several studies that had been done and were published on PubMed, on Oxidative Stress, as well as the youtube video above (and there are many other videos as well.)

More studies can be found on Pubmed.  One such study may be found here but please feel free to look it up using key words such as Protandim and Oxidative stress.

I decided to try it.  Within 1 week I began to get some energy back and today I am taking this product for over 3 months.  I am not sleeping during the day and have been able to get back to work in the health food store (before this, I was not).

If you want to know more about Protandim, please send me a message.  I’d love to share it with you.  In the meantime take a look at this Product Information sheet. You will see its patent and the herbs used, which are formulated in a proper ratio to each other, that make it possible to reach the mitochondria and nourish the cells.

Darlene

Keto (High-Fat, Low-Carb) Thin Mint Bark

This, by far, has got to be my best keto treat yet.  And it is so easy to make!

IMG_0367

2 Heaping Tablespoons Extra Virgin, Cold-Pressed Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 Scoop (about 2 Heaping Tablespoons) Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (Pea Protein, Egg-White Protein or other Protein Powder of your choice is also good but I like the vanilla or you may choose chocolate)
1-2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (dark)
2 Tablespoons Grade B Pure Maple Syrup (Grade B is more expensive but has high nutritive value.  Grade A is good for taste alone, but I want to make sure that whatever I do is high in nutrition.)
1 capful Chocolate Peppermint Extract
Crushed Walnuts
Chia Seed
Sunflower Seeds (unsalted)
Himalayah Salt

Let the coconut oil sit at room temperature until soft.  If it is not soft and you don’t mind using a microwave for 10 seconds, that is fine as well.

Add the next four ingredients to the coconut oil and blend well, using a spoon, until it forms a thick paste.

Spread the mixture onto a paper plate (or flat plate with parchment paper) until thinly spread to cover as much area as you can, being careful to not spread so thinly you can see the plate. IMG_0365

Sprinkle with walnuts, chia seed, sunflower seeds and salt to lightly cover.  There is no set amount but a guideline might be a tablespoon for nuts and seeds and 1/2 teaspoon for the salt.

Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove from freezer and cut like a tic-tac-toe board.

Enjoy!

Pathways of Elimination: The Liver

In 1994, a Russian naturopathic physician named Ilya Metchnikoff discovered that the body would recycle whatever toxin it could not purge via the elimination pathways.  These pathways are the lungs, liver, kidneys, skin, colon lymph and blood.  Each of these pathways works with the others to break down and eliminate toxins from the body.  If one of the pathways is compromised in any way, it places greater burden on the other pathways.

Constipation is an example of the colon not functioning to its fullest capacity. Edema in the tissues is an example of the kidneys, lymph and skin not functioning to their fullest capacity.  Bloating, belching and flatulence or gas are the result of the liver not functioning well. Poor circulation is an example of the blood pathway not functioning at its best.

The key to good health is to know these seven pathways and do whatever it takes to keep them functioning optimally.

So let’s talk liver!   The function of the liver is to break down everything that enters the body and redistribute it to other organs or pathways.  Toxins will be distributed to the kidneys and colon, however when it gets overloaded, it tries to utilize every other elimination system until they become full.  The liver chemically converts destructive toxins into less harmful substances that the colon and kidneys can eliminate. When toxins fail to be eliminated due to overburdening of the pathways, they are then sent to the fat cells to be stored.

Some helpful herbs for the liver are milk thistle (silybum maarianum), artichoke leaf (cynara slolymus), dandelion root (taraxacum oficinales), ashwagandha (withania somnifera), and garlic (allum sativum).  Dandelion root is widely available in our backyards (but collect what is about 100 feet away from the roads to protect from possible pesticide contamination from neighboring yards or spray trucks).   The greens are bitter and can be added to salads, or steamed and added with other greens.

Make your own Dandelion Root Tea

Gather the entire plant from your backyard.  Some lawns will still have dandelions growing in the fall but others may need to wait until spring.  Spring dandelions are best for leaf gathering because the leaves are tender and new, but fall dandelions are best for root harvesting because they are more nutrient dense.

There are a lot of dandelion look-a likes out there so be sure you are pulling up a dandelion plant.  The leaves are long, and jagged (pictured below).

Shake dirt off before bringing into the home and remember that there are insect eggs and possibly adult insects so be sure to wash the whole plant well to remove what dirt and insects did not shake off.

Separate the root from the leaves and chop the root coarsely.  Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a saucepan and add 2 teaspoons of the root.  Cover and lower the heat to simmer for about a minute.  Remove from heat and let steep for about 40 minutes. You may add the leaves and flowers about 5-7 minutes before you are ready to strain it so as not to damage the nutrition from them.

Strain by placing a strainer over your teacup and pour.  Add honey if desired.

Drinking a few cups daily will help cleanse your liver and support its function.  If you have bloating, belching, gas, or constipation, dandelion root tea may help remove the burden.

 

What the heck is Endocrine Disruption????

While this term is as common to me as the word “band-aid” is in most homes, I realize that not everyone has ever heard of this term.   So, allow me to explain.

From my book “Endocrine Disrupted” – Chapter Four.

In the headwaters of the Potomac River, scientists have discovered that male small-mouthed bass were producing eggs. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources asked the US Geological Survey to examine the fish near the town or Moorfield, about three hours from Washington D.C. after learning about fish die-offs in the South Potomac in 2002.  Anglers reported fish with lesions. It was determined by the USGS these fish were exposed to bacteria and other contaminants.

Another test was conducted a year later, and it was revealed that male fish had testicular and ovarian tissue. Some 42 percent of male small-mouthed bass surveyed showed signs of inter-sex development.   A second sampling produced an even higher rate – 79 percent showed sexual abnormalities, according to Leestown Science Center in Kearneysville, WV.

The cause of intersex development in fish has been debated, but under suspicion are emerging contaminants known as endocrine disruptors, or ED’s.   EDs work like biological disinformation campaigns, potential affecting any system in the body that is controlled by hormones.  Sometimes mimicking natural hormones like estrogen, ED’s can alter other hormone concentrations interfering with the normal cell-signaling process by turning on, shutting off, or disrupting the signals that hormones carry.

EDs work like biological disinformation campaigns, potential affecting any system in the body that is controlled by hormones. 

Sexual abnormalities are not confined to West Virginia waters.  David O. Norris, a professor in the University of Colorado’s Department of Integrative Physiology, has specialized in environmental endocrinology for over 35 years.  He was involve in leading an ongoing research project which looked into hormone production in the Denver waters.  He studied fish that were located below and above sewage treatment plants where effluents are added to the waters, and found reproductive abnormalities in fish downstream of the treatment plants.  His impression was that the male fish were being feminized because of the contaminants in the water, mostly estrogenic. Some of the chemicals he found in the waters were estrogenic compounds from human urine originating from birth control pills. He also found large concentrations of chemicals from household detergents and personal care products.

Experts on endocrine disrupters have become increasingly concerned over the presence of contaminants in drinking water.  Robert W. Masters of the National Ground Waters Association, NGWA (Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Disruptors in Rivers and on Tap, 2011) raised concerns about the public water system after it had tested positive for drugs. He wrote in his article that tap water in Wheeling, W.V. and the Ohio River tested positive for antibiotics, according to USA TODAY, November 7, 2000.

Current drinking water standards do not require testing for any of over 7,000 pharmaceutical compounds being prescribed.

The endocrine system excretes hormones in an organism that govern many functions, including sexual and reproductive characteristics. Agricultural, industrial, and household products often contain compounds that mimic estrogen when ingested.  ED’s of this type may contribute to the high percentage of male small-mouthed bass found in the Potomac that exhibit female characteristics.

ED’s are found in many of the everyday products we use, such as household cleaning products, plastic bottles food can liners, and cosmetics and pesticides.  These hormones and hormone-like substances are typically highly soluble in water and are easily transported in the blood. They are of particular concern because they can alter the critical hormonal balances required for proper health and development. The glands that make up the adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries, testes, pineal gland, thymus, all of which are potentially affected by endocrine disruptors.

If these chemicals are introduces into the water systems from human waste and food, then it is possible that human tissues might also contain detectable levels of contaminants.  We may be experiencing subtle population changes from chemical exposure that are particularly impactful during fetal and newborn developments.  Other known possible effects on humans caused by chemical contaminants in tissues of the endocrine system include cancer particularly breast and testicular cancer, infertility, disorders of sex development and asthma and other immune related syndromes such as autism, ADHD, learning and behavioral disorders, diabetes, thyroid disorders, poor semen quality, testes cancer undescended tests and hypospadias,  a condition in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis.

Each week, I will have a theme to write about.  This week it is Endocrine Disruption.  The remainder of the week I will write about what is in your cleaning supplies, foods, beauty products and the herbs and foods and lifestyle that is “clean” – free of the dangerous chemicals that can be making you sick.

endocrine d cover

To your good health,
Darlene Rose

 

 

What You Probably Didn’t Know About Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)

Image result for black pepperblack pepper nutrition facts

Black pepper.  Have you wondered much about what it is, where it comes from, what nutritional value it has?  Most of us think of black pepper in the shaker or grinder and not much beyond that.
McCormick Pure Ground Black Pepper, 6 oz

In fact, I remember the day I found out that ground black pepper actually came from peppercorns and I could crack them in the grinder.  (It was a long time ago lol).  I was in a restaurant and the waitress came to the table and asked if I wanted freshly cracked pepper.  I looked at her with a blank stare as if to ask “what do you mean?”  As she cracked the pepper over my salad, I could really taste and smell the freshness and was ruined for anything else.

Black pepper always seemed like salt’s tag-along buddy; salt being the more boisterous friend.  But black pepper has some wonderful magic all its own.

The What and Where of Black Pepper

Black pepper comes from the Piperacae family (sounds like papparazzi – sorta), and is not at all like bell pepper, or sweet pepper, chili or jalapeno. In fact they aren’t even in the same botanical family.  Black pepper comes from peppercorns;  berries from the blossoms of a trailing, woody vine grown in tropical climates.  Many years ago, black pepper was a sign of a man’s wealth.

Nutritional Facts

An ounce of black pepper provides 79% of manganese, 57% of Vitamin K, 45% of iron, 30% fiber.  Although an ounce is way more than we would have at one time, it provides perspective; a teaspoon of black pepper provides 6% of the total manganese we would need in a day.

But here is another fabulous black pepper fact – it has potassium – and I’ve been writing about potassium a lot lately because it is THAT important to our health.  Potassium is responsible for improving our stomach’s ability to digest food.   If you were to look at many supplements on the market, turmeric, for example, you would see that Piper nigrum or Piperine is added.  That is black pepper.  In fact, turmeric which has been touted as a giant superfood, may not be useful at all unless paired with black pepper, because it is not bioavailable, or absorbable.  Black pepper or piperine, increases its absorption. The use of piperine can boost blood levels of curcumin from the spice turmeric by up to 2,000%.  Source

Piperine also increases the body’s ability to absorb betacarotenes, selenium and B-vitamins (which, in black pepper means pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin), as well as other nutrients from food.

Black pepper is also a carminative; that is, it keeps the intestines from forming gas.   And when black pepper is freshly cracked from the peppercorn, the outer layer of that pepper corn helps to break down fat stored in the body.   Source

Studies

One study showed that black pepper inhibited the growth of various types of bacteria in the gut, and the report concluded its findings with a statement that black pepper is not only anti-inflammatory, but antioxidant, fever reducing, and immune enhancing.

The free-radical scavenging activity of black pepper and its active ingredients might be helpful in chemoprevention and controlling progression of tumor growth. Additionally, the key alkaloid components of Piper Nigrum, that is, piperine assist in cognitive brain functioning, boost nutrient’s absorption and improve gastrointestinal functionality. Source

Black pepper or piperine treatment has also been evidenced to lower lipid peroxidation in vivo and beneficially influence cellular thiol status, antioxidant molecules and antioxidant enzymes in a number of experimental situations of oxidative stress. The most far-reaching attribute of piperine has been its inhibitory influence on enzymatic drug biotransforming reactions in the liver. Source

Piperine had been reported to inhibit tumors formation in different experimental models. Many studies revealed the antitumor activity of piperine by the oral administration. The alcoholic extract of peppercorn and piperine exhibited effective immunomodulatory and antitumor activities. Piperine is also reported to reduce lung cancer by altering lipid peroxidation and by antioxidative protection enzymes activation  Piperine has distinct pharmacological activities along with Anti-cancer activity.  Source

How-To-Use-Black-Pepper-For-Weight-Loss

Using Black Pepper for Weight Loss

Because black pepper has the ability to reduce fat in the body, and boost metabolism, you can add this to your healthy diet as you lose weight.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper to boiling water, along with a little ginger, lemon and honey or stevia, and sip as a tea before breakfast.

To low sodium V8, add black pepper to enhance the absorption of all that good potassium.

Add to all your foods, including steak and eggs.

And now, for my favorite way to have black pepper:

Black Pepper Healthy Recipes

2 tablespoons salt 1 pound grass-fed beef or buffalo/bison strip loin ¼ cup peppercorns, crushed roughly ¼ cup butter
1 teaspoon tamari sauce (wheat-free) 2 tablespoons beef stock 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Procedures:

  1. Place peppercorns on a plate and press steak into peppercorns to cover both sides thickly. Work peppercorns into the meat using your hands.
  2. Sprinkle a skillet with the salt and over medium heat, cook until salt begins to brown. Add steak to the pan and brown over high heat. Reduce to medium heat and cook until it reaches the desired degree of doneness, approximately three to four minutes per side for medium-rare. Discard drippings. Note: as much as possible, avoid charring the meat to prevent the formation of carcinogenic chemicals.
  3. In a separate saucepan, combine butter, tamari, beef stock, and lemon juice.
  4. Serve the steak with the sauce on the side.

This recipe makes 3 to 4 servings.
(From Dr. Mercola’s No-Grain Diet)

Enjoy black pepper in a whole new way!

Why I Love Meditating on The Psalms

https://biblicalpreaching.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/openscroll16psalms.jpgAbout 12 years ago, I learned how to meditate on the psalms and proverbs;  every morning I would read the psalm that corresponded with the date.  Today is October 30, therefore my reading would be Psalm 30 and Proverbs 30.   But it didn’t stop there.

After Psalm 30, I would add 30, and then read Psalm 60.  I added 30 again to read Psalm 90.  I added 30 to that and also read Psalm 120, and added 30 to that, to include Psalm 120.

Yesterday, my scriptures were Psalm 29, 59, 89, 119, 149 and Proverbs 29.  I don’t study it. I just read.  Oftentimes, I would be reminded of other scripture elsewhere and read that too.  Again, I don’t study. I just read.

It is a great way to allow the word of God to sink into your heart, and remain there.  Psalm 119:11 says “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I would not sin against You.”

I know that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work,”  (2 Timothy 3:16),  and I don’t ONLY meditate on psalms,  but this is a foundation for understanding His Word, knowing His ways, knowing how passionately He loves me even though I sin, seeing myself as I read David’s writings; his emotions as ungodly as they seem to be at times, are the emotion and heart of every human being – David was honest.

In Psalm 55, I learn of David’s heartbreak and feelings of betrayal as he was stabbed in the back by someone he thought was his closest friend; someone he trusted and bore his soul to.  He desired to fly away and be at peace because the relentless anguish in his heart and soul left him at unrest.  How many of us have felt that?  How many of us could relate?  Yet David, did not take revenge.  He brought his broken heart and ungodly thoughts to the Lord and through doing so, released them and declared “as for me, I will trust in the Lord.”   It is the Lord’s decision to take revenge….  OR not.   Either way,  David knew that he could trust in the Lord.

In Psalm 1, I see the strength of those who delight in the word of God;  who meditate on the word.  I see the promise of fruit and steadfastness.  I know that by doing so, I will not be moved. When winds of doctrine come down the pike, I know, because I have meditated on the word, that His word will rise up in my heart to test the “word of the hour.”

Reading the psalms, not studying but just reading, allows me to hear God’s heart for the moment I am in.  I will read and sense Him saying “okay, stop right here. I want you to repeat this verse back to Me.”   And I do.  Sometimes He will tell me “Sing it to Me now.”  This is meditation.  It is contemplation.  Pondering.  Singing.  I may write a poem of the entire scripture, as in Psalm 5.

Give ear to my words, Lord Give heed to my cry                                                                       My King and My God To You I draw nigh  Hear my voice in the morning’ For it speaks only to You                                                                                                                                   Consider my musings, While on the ground there is dew  You take no pleasure in wickedness, Evil flees from Your door,  Boasting becomes silent, Deceitful men You abhor, Workers of Iniquity,  You do not enjoy, Those who speak falsehood, You will destroy,

But as for me I will come into your house of mercy.  In their mouths lie unfaithfulness; Destruction within                                                                                                                        Their throats are an open tomb,  littered with sin                                                               Tongues drip with flattery Judge them guilty! Oh God May all of their counsel Now be their own rod But may all those rejoice, Who put trust in You, Because You defend them, And make mercies new A garment of praise, Worn by lovers of Your name, Oh Lord bless the righteous, Shield us from shame.

 

 

Or in a song, as in from Psalm 139, I find that no matter how dark it seems my life may be, or the dark place I find myself in, I am not lost.  I am only lost if I cannot be found.  Yet, the One who created me in a dark place, saw me before I was born and created my destiny.

Oh Lord, You’ve searched me
And You know me
You know when I sit
And when I rise
Nothing, nothing’s ever hidden
From Your eyes
From Your eyes

Oh where can I go to find
You’re not with me?
Where I can I be and find
You’re not there
Since, since You’re always with me
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?

If I say
If I say that darkness shall
Hide me
And the light
Oh it’s so far away
It will never
It will never be dark to You
You shine like the day
Shine like the day

Your Light guides my way

In darkness You saw
My unformed body
Before
Before foundations were laid
I know
I know that I was fearfully
And wonderfully made
Wonderfully made

So if I say
If I say
That darkness shall
Hide me
And the Light
Oh it’s so far away
It will never
It will never be
Dark to You
It shines like the day
Shines like the day

Your Light Guides my way…

I learn who I am, who He is, how much He loves, and not only loves, but likes me.  He has trained my fingers for battle (writing) so that I can bend a bow of bronze (when I write it is often my warfare) Psalm 18:34

For some it is singing or artwork.

I have overcome a diagnosis of depression by meditating on the psalms.  Psalm 84 speaks of the Valley of Baca – Baca means weeping.  Valleys mean low areas.  So when depression comes, I know I don’t have to camp there like the world does. I know I don’t own the valley nor does it own me.  I have set my heart on pilgrimage – movement – journeying and when I find myself in the valley of Baca or time of weeping,  I make it a blessing with my tears – for me it will be a deeper time of meditation with the Lord.  I know that depression comes to every human being on the face of the earth but only those who choose not to camp there, yet make it a pool of blessing for others,  are able to pass through to the greater strength.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;  
Each one appears before God in Zion.  Psalm 84:5-7

Proverbs is the book of wisdom – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  (Proverbs 9:10).  It is the BEGINNING.  How can we have wisdom unless we know God means what He says?   By meditating on the book of wisdom, I hide Wisdom in my heart.

And certainly not last nor least, my birthday Psalm – Psalm 27 – (birthday is May 27), has taught me incredible truths throughout the years, but I know that no matter what happens to me, I have confidence that My God will always be with me.  He is the One Thing I desire more than anything.

Reading the psalms and proverbs daily is foundational; a starting place, a place to abide in but certainly not the only place to meditate.   In the twelve years I have been reading and meditating this way,  I learn something new every day.  Still.  It never gets old, nor irrelevant.

 

 

 

 

Potassium-rich Foods and Herbs (And Myrrh-C Tea)

Potassium doesn’t get the attention it needs, IMHO, and yet it is (also IMHO) one of the most important minerals our bodies need.  Here is the reason:  The human body needs 4700 mg per day in order to function in optimal health.  We need potassium for heart health, kidney health, blood pressure support, weight maintenance, and more.  Too low of potassium can cause fatigue and slow heart beat, muscle spasms and malfunction, kidney malfunction, severe dehydration, migraines, edema, and death.  Too high potassium can cause rapid and irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, kidney malfunction and death.

Necessary for Brain Health and Reduction of Stroke Risk
Your nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. When you are low in potassium, your blood pressure rises and fluids don’t move “fluidly” around your cells, which, in the brain, means higher probability of severe headaches.  Because it also protects your nervous system, water balance and heart function, potassium reduces your risk of stroke.

Necessary for Heart Health
Low potassium can cause muscle spasms and cramping.  Because your heart is also a muscle, low potassium is responsible for many heart attacks.  A diet rich in potassium will keep your muscles functioning properly and your heart beating regularly.

Necessary for Blood Pressure Maintenance                                                                            You need 4700 mg but only 1500-1800 mg of sodium per day.  High blood pressure often occurs because of the imbalance of the ratio between sodium and potassium; we get too little potassium and too much sodium.  The average daily intake of sodium is just over 3000 mg per day.  The average intake of potassium is 2,640 mg per day.  Source

A single teaspoon of table salt has 2300 mg of salt.  Combine that with any processed foods you eat, and sodium that is naturally occurring in fruit and vegetables, there is an upset in the average daily diet, ripe for high blood pressure.  Source

Bone Health                                                                                                                              Potassium reduces bone absorption and is responsible for increasing bone strength.

Decreases Cellulite and Helps Maintain Desired Weight by keeping the fluids moving in the body. 

So you see, it is extremely important to be monitoring how much potassium we take in daily.  I know, it sounds like it’s just another thing to monitor but I have good news.  Most of your other minerals are found in potassium rich foods so if you only watch your potassium levels daily, you will be getting most, if not all, of the other minerals your body needs, such as the all-important magnesium and calcium, boron, phosphorous and others.

Here is a list of the 25 Top Potassium-Rich Foods Source

#1 Potatoes, with Skin (1 potato = 1,081 mg, 23% DV or Daily Value)

#2 Avocados (1 avocado = 975 mg, 21% DV)

 

potassium rich food - avocados

#3 Lima Beans (1 cup = 955 mg, 20% DV)

#4 Winter Squash (1 cup = 896 mg, 19% DV)

#5 Sweet Potato, Cooked with Skin (5” sweet potato = 855 mg, 18% DV)

#6 Prunes, AKA Dried Plums (1/2 cup = 637 mg, 14% DV).

Potassium Rich Foods - prunes

#7 Coconut Water (1 cup = 600 mg, 13% DV)

#8 Brussels Sprouts, Cooked (1 cup = 504 mg, 11% DV)

brussels sprouts - potassium

#9 Milk (1 cup = 496 mg, 11% DV)

#10 Cantaloupe (1 cup = 494 mg, 11% DV)

#11 Beets (1 cup = 442 mg, 9% DV)

Potassium Foods List - Beets

#12 Fresh Tomatoes (1 cup = 427 mg, 9%) and Tomato Products such as Canned Sauce (1 cup = 909 mg, 19% DV)

#13 Bananas (1 medium banana = 422 mg, 9% DV)

#14 Apricots, Dried (10 halves = 407 mg, 9% DV)

#15 Honeydew Melons (1 cup = 388 mg, 8% DV)

#16 Raisins (1.5 ounce box of raisins = 322 mg, 7% DV)

#17 Yogurt, Plain (½ cup = 290 mg, 6% DV)

#18 Nectarines (1 nectarine = 287 mg, 6% DV)

#19 Dates, Dried (5 dates = 271 mg, 6% DV)

#20 Figs, Dried (2 figs = 271 mg, 6% DV)

Potassium Rich Foods - figs

#21 Peanuts, Dry Roasted & Unsalted (¼ cup = 257 mg, 5% DV)

#22 Oranges (1 orange = 237 mg, 5% DV; 1 cup orange juice = 496 mg, 11% DV)

#23 Kiwifruit (1 medium kiwi = 215 mg, 5% DV)

#24 Pears (1 pear = 206 mg, 4% DV)

#25 Spinach (1 cup raw = 167 mg, 3% DV, 1 cup cooked =  840 mg, 18% DV)

For those of you on a Low-Carb Diet, or Sugar-Restricted diet, getting potassium from foods will be challenging, especially if you also are on a Paleo Diet, which restricts legumes and peanuts.   Fear not!  That’s why there are potassium-rich herbs.

Hibiscus – The American Heart Association reported that the blood pressure is lowered by the consumption of hibiscus tea. The study made by Odigie IP addresses that those people having the chances of cardiovascular disease and hypertension may be benefited by the hibiscus tea due to the presence of cardio-protective and anti-hypertensive properties. The research made at Tufts University in Boston summarizes that the anti-inflammatory properties in hibiscus tea helps to lower the blood pressure. Three cups of hibiscus tea should be consumed daily for few weeks to achieve the improvement. Due to the diuretic properties, the blood pressure is lowered by increasing urination. Those who drank 3 cups of hibiscus tea for 6 weeks found that the arterial blood pressure was decreased. The blood pressure would be effectively controlled if 8 ounces is drink 3 times per day regularly.  Source

Hibiscus Tea also has 21 mg of potassium per tablespoon.
Anise Seed – 97 mg per tablespoon
Citrus Peel – 293 mg per tablespoon

Myrrh-C Tea has hibiscus, red rooibos, passionflower, anise seed, citrus peel, oatstraw, oats, cinnamon, and myrrh gum – formulated for my husband after he had a mild stroke and was put on Warfarin and could not take herbs due to contraindication.  Myrrh-C tea is not contraindicated and is useful for blood pressure support.

Try including myrrh-c tea in your daily strategy of increasing potassium in your diet, while helping to maintain normal blood pressure.   It sells for $10 per ounce plus S & H.  Payable via paypal at darlene.rose50@yahoo.com.
Be sure to specify Myrrh-C tea.
ke myrrhctea

 

 

 

The Necessity of Grieving

hoosier2

This past week was a difficult week.  Our furbaby, Hoosier, was hit by a car and died.  My husband and I, along with the community of pet lovers, looked for him for two days before we found him by the road.  Both of us grieved harder than we thought we would grieve, considering he wasn’t with us for longer than 6 1/2 weeks.  We have had dogs that have died before and we mourned, but this was different.

Perhaps because it was tragic and preventable.

This little pitbull/boxer mix came into our lives one night by knocking, yes knocking, on our door. (Boxers knock, or “box”). I got up to answer the door, thinking it was the neighbor but there he was. I laughed but shooed him away.  The next morning, I saw him sitting on the patio furniture outside, shivering and shaking from a cold rain in the foggy morning.  I noticed he had no collar, and he was not neutered.  He needed to be dried off and fed.

Exact details are sketchy here. I took him in and my husband and I fell in love with him immediately but we did try to find his owner.  “Whose your Daddy?  Whose your owner?”  and after two days of searching to no avail, we named him Hoosier (whose your).  We thought we couldn’t keep him, we had too many dogs already.  We had our two dogs, Hannah and Zeke, and I had my parent’s dog, Missy, a little Yorkie who was very ill and old and likely ready to die.

We took him to the vet, got his shots, had him neutered and while he was in our care he gained nearly 15 lbs.  In the same week, I had to put Missy to sleep with Hoosier in the room with us.

Hoosier was the best, well-behaved dog we have ever had.  We only had to teach him once and he did it.  House-trained – just once.  I taught him to come, sit, stay, roll over, jump up, and be gentle, just once. And he was a lover. He would lay right next to me and wrap his paws around me. Oh, there was one naughty habit.  He didn’t stay in the yard.

I was on my way out the door one morning and Hoosier escaped.   We nicknamed him Houdini for that reason.  We would put him in the fenced-in yard, but he would dig under or find a way through or go under the house.  Yet, he always returned shortly afterward.  So when he ran out the front door that morning, I let him run because he always came back.  And I was going to be late for church.

A woman in our church just lost her husband a few days prior and we were going to meet with her after church and surround her with love and friendship.  I say “we” meaning most of us in church, but another woman wouldn’t be coming because her mom had just passed away and she would be traveling to another state for the funeral.  It was obvious that she was not going to be there and she was missed.

While I was with the first woman, my husband called me from home.  (He had to go home after church to let our dogs out and feed them).  “Hoosier isn’t home,” he said.  I felt he would be back soon, since he always came back but my husband wasn’t convinced.  Hoosier and my other dog, Hannah, traveled together.  Hannah returned alone.

Later, when I arrived back at the house, I decided to look through the woods and then drive through the community to see if I could find Hoosier.  It was getting dark and there was no sign of him.  I turned to a Facebook group for lost and found pets to see if anyone found him, but they did not.

The next day, I felt a hole in my stomach. I had hoped that he was taken and was unharmed.  I put out a reward for his return and made posters with the intent of putting them up in key locations around town.  Later on in the day, I received a notification from a woman on the lost and found sites.  “I hope this isn’t your dog, but I saw a black and white dog lying on the side of Strawberry Road on my way home from work tonight.”  I replied I’ll be right there.  That was around the corner from me.  However it was dark and I was unable to find him.  I’d have to check again the next morning.

I had a dentist appointment that morning, so on my way there, I slowed down to look along the side of the road and there he was.  I got out of the car to get a closer look.  It was him.  I stood there for what seemed like 10 minutes and just cried.

After my dentist appointment, I went to get my husband to help me lift Hoosier into the car.  We decided to cremate him so we took him to the crematory.  On the way home, I received a text message.  Another woman’s husband passed away earlier that morning – “Could you round up the posse and see what is needed?”  (I am somewhat of a coordinator for meal planning for home-bound, post-surgery, and events, as well as woman’s minister for our church). I just finished taking my dog to the crematory and I was grieving but, I reasoned, this is a dog we had for 6 weeks, but that was her life partner.

I happened to be around the corner from the woman’s house so I went over to see her.  She had family there so of course I wouldn’t stay long, but my visit encouraged her.  Then, after I left, I started planning the meals for the family coming in and after the funeral.

It has been one week since I found my dog lying there, and every day I miss him terribly but each time I had tried to grieve, I thought of the three ladies in our church who lost a significant family member this same week.  I don’t want to forget to mention that America lost 59 lives this week in Las Vegas.  Grieving the death of a dog we had for 6 weeks seemed selfish.

But grief doesn’t work like that.  Grief is grief and grief is necessary.  Whether you are grieving a close friend or family member, or a pet, or lives you never knew, grief is grief and it must be processed.  I had to put on my life coach hat and pour out my grief to God.

I became aware of the Jewish grieving custom, Shiva, many years ago because my father’s relatives are Jewish and my husband was raised Jewish.  Immediately after burial, the family would mourn for up to seven days.  Mourners do not work during the shiva period and for the most part stay at home. During the shiva period, mourners also do not participate in parties, concerts, shows, movies, or similar events that are celebratory in nature.  Mourners are to focus on their loss in order to be able to gradually heal, and by leaving the shiva house, mourners are surrounded by distractions and more likely to lose focus.

I’m not suggesting that anyone should sit shiva for a dog, or even practice this if it is not their custom, but I’m writing about it because the Jews knew how important it was for the human soul to grieve.   Grieving is not a sign of weakness, and some people grieve differently than others.  Some may need weeks or even months, while others may need a day.  How much grief or how long one needs to grieve is not dependent upon who else had passed away at the same time, or whether the person was a spouse or unknown lives, or a beloved pet you only had for 6 weeks, grief is necessary to process so that you will be free to love without fear or reservation.

GRIEF IS NECESSARY TO PROCESS SO THAT YOU WILL BE FREE TO LOVE WITHOUT FEAR OR RESERVATION

So whether it takes a day, or whether it takes a few weeks; whether it is your spouse, your parent, your child, or your pet, allow whatever time is necessary to grieve.  Each person is different.  Allow yourself to go through the five stages of grief, which are not complete until you have done so.

  • Denial: When you first learn of a loss, it’s normal to think, “This isn’t happening.” You may feel shocked or numb. This is a temporary way to deal with the rush of overwhelming emotion. It’s a defense mechanism.
  • Anger: As reality sets in, you’re faced with the pain of your loss. You may feel frustrated and helpless. These feelings later turn into anger. You might direct it toward other people, a higher power, or life in general. To be angry with a loved one who died and left you alone is natural, too.
  • Bargaining: During this stage, you dwell on what you could’ve done to prevent the loss. Common thoughts are “If only…” and “What if…” You may also try to strike a deal with a higher power.
  •  Depression: Sadness sets in as you begin to understand the loss and its effect on your life. Signs of depression include crying, sleep issues, and a decreased appetite. You may feel overwhelmed, regretful, and lonely.
  • Acceptance: In this final stage of grief, you accept the reality of your loss. It can’t be changed. Although you still feel sad, you’re able to start moving forward with your life.   (WebMD)

We went through the denial when we thought we would just wake up and find it was all a dream. It didn’t happen.  We went through the anger, towards ourselves for leaving the house and not calling him back in, assuming he would come back like any other day.  We went through the bargaining. “If only we could have this day back” and we did actually pray that way.  We went through the depression as we cried together and felt regretful and allowed the pit in our stomach to be an empty pit. And then, we accepted.

Today is one full week since we found our baby by the side of the road. As I allowed myself to grieve him so hard, I realized that October 1, the day he was hit by a car, was the first anniversary of my father’s funeral, which I had never fully grieved.  There was too much to do.  My father was mom’s caretaker (she had ALS and died a few months after he did).  Caring for my mother became a priority as well as making sure she had an income and proper care.  It took months before I was able to return home (800 miles away) but by that time, grief was buried. I had to be strong for my family.

Last year in November, I had been rushed to the hospital for atrial fibrillation, while at my parent’s home.  Not once but twice.  The third time I drove myself in.  I also became exhausted to the point of being unable to function.  I was diagnosed with Adrenal Cortical hypo-function.  Stress was not an option.  I had been told that the stress was likely due to my parent’s recent deaths, the estate, setting up the wills, and preparing the home for sale, while trying to maintain a business and my own family back home.  It had taken its toll because I did not give myself time to grieve.

Today, I’m getting ready to get on a plane to go back to my parent’s home, to clean it up and hand the keys to a realtor.

It was grief for my dog, that helped me realize I did not fully grieve my parents’ recent deaths.  We may have had Hoosier for a short while, but his short little life was very valuable.

mom and dad