Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Year 2018, where did 2017 go? Food changes on the horizon.

Amazing Fall Sky on Forsythia Hill
The first part of 2017 was a big blur. My father passed away in May from Alzheimer's and the lovely Spring flowers were hardly noticed, for the exception of the daily drive through neighborhoods to see my father in the Nursing Home during his last days.

I've been wanting to write about our family experience with this disease but have been unable to relive this devastating experience. My hope is to one day to write in order to help someone else that is in this hopeless situation.

It certainly makes one want to never get this disease and do everything possible to change the course. Drug after new drug tests fail and little snippets of potential causes are periodically proposed, but no concrete evidence has been found. A few weeks ago they claimed to think sleep disturbances contributed to Alzheimer's. My father never had a bad day of sleep in his life. Just yesterday I heard someone say they believe some people diagnosed with ALZ really have Mad Cow disease. Well that's a distinct possibility as my father did consume a lot of meat. Obesity and sugar consumption certainly fit the bill too.

Jethro is still protecting the ladies on our mini farm.
With each passing year I try to improve my diet and tread less on the environment by making life changes. Beginning in 2018 my husband and I have decided to consume less dairy products by removing the cheese blocks, sour cream, and yogurt from our grocery list. If you have not yet watched What the Health, a movie that could be called "the life changing movie of 2017", I recommend it. I'm still not convinced that eggs that I raise in my backyard are the root of all evil but it got my attention. I do believe that factory farm meat and eggs, and fish farms ARE the root of all evil and terribly unhealthy not to mention a cruel existence for so many animals. The premise of the movie is that in the United States we have a health care system focused on disease control by pill not prevention. While watching, just remember that claims to find the solution to perfect health are often called "a fad".

Strangest photo of 2017 - Gus and Cesar spotted together!
Sure, every day some new revelation is discovered; Eggs were in, then were out, now are in. Diet fads come and go. One constant seems to be that the major U.S. diseases; Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer, Autoimmune Disease, and Alzheimer's are either inflamed by meat and dairy or occur because of diets rich in it. Diabetes is epidemic in this country. I want to live a life with the least amount of suffering and if I can make gradual changes to my diet to improve my health and potentially stave off these issues then I'm all in. Personally I believe GMO's are our enemy as is high fructose corn syrup and barley malt. Simple to avoid as they don't add any value to the taste. Common sense tells you that any product - food or cosmetic - should have the least amount of ingredients and be made of things you recognize!

Beach trip with Jenn to Southern Shores
Over the years I've set several goals and it's helped me stick to them by making a public pledge in my blog. I still only purchase recycled toilet paper and paper towels, always bring a fabric bag when shopping, don't eat chicken or turkey, eat my own chicken eggs or organic when out of season and don't drink cow's milk. I'm actually excited to remove 3 more dairy products! I'm still guilty of an occasional weak moment concerning hamburger or pork but it has evolved to be a desperation moment when I'm tired or craving Barbeque (I just bought my first 2 cans of Jackfruit to turn into BBQ, hoping that does the trick)! I'm stuck as far as coffee creamer as I have yet to find a dairy substitute that tastes GOOD. Fish are so polluted or fed GMO meal so that too has nearly been scrapped from my list. I really hate labels such as vegetarian or vegan as it can come across as boastful and is also too restrictive in my journey. My father's death certainly brought home the thought, "you only live once". Life is too short to be so anal about it that it becomes a chore. The more great tasting plant based options that are developed, the easier it is to make the change!

A drone fly over when Forsythia was in full bloom!
Even if the claim that meat and dairy are a detriment to your health is false, no one can dispute the cruelty to animals in factory farms and the unnatural conditions forced upon them My philosophy is that if each of us would cut back on the meat they consume and make the effort to eat local farm raised meat then the planet would be a better place. I can not imagine living next door to a factory farm being subjected to the noise, pollution, stench, and the horribly sad animals that are imprisoned there for life. It's simple, the less we support, the less suffering.

A crowd of Angels marching to the gates with my Father
On the day before my Dad's passing, I looked at my phone and noticed this strange photo that was on it (that I never shot). A friend said that purple signifies death in many cultures and that the white dots were spirits. It gave me a little peace to know he might be leaving us with angels all around!

Our much improved newly painted shed
I did manage to make it to the beach and it was so lovely. We did get one out of 2 sheds painted and I love the new look. We're going to paint the house and other big shed this color. We also redid the bathroom downstairs which was also a major accomplishment! Anthony is installing a hot water insinkerator that I picked up at the Habitat Store for $30.00 on this last day of the year! I hope he is finished in 2017 and that it actually works!

Our new little Powder Room
I'm hoping for 2018 that I can get back into the garden and celebrate SPRING, my favorite season. Happy New Year and take a stand to change your life to better your health and the planet. I would love for you to leave a comment if you plan to do just that!

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