Sunday, August 27, 2017

On Weight Management And Drinking Water

To start off today, here  are a couple of interesting articles from Mother Earth Living that I'd like to share:

6 Unhealthy Health Foods You Should Never Consume

The Importance of Honoring Food Cravings

The title of the second article is a little misleading and I started reading it because I was going to argue with the author, but I found it to be, in fact, very helpful information.  On the second page there is a list of things the body craves that we translate into cravings for something else, and provides information on what can be eaten instead that will satisfy the craving.  Good to know.

I know it doesn't seem like it now, but Thanksgiving is only a few months away from us here in the U.S.A. it's about the only time we can buy fresh cranberries.  Of course, Craisins are available year-round but they have added sugar and probably some chemical spoilage retardant, not sure.  HERE is information about why buying cranberries when they're in season and sticking them in the freezer is worth it.  Some people say they don't like the taste and so they swallow them whole, and I don't know if that'd be a choking hazard or not.  Seems to me like it would.  I guess you could cut them in pieces and swallow those.  There's a lot of emphasis being put on berries that grow in some exotic location and I'll tell you what I think is a fact:  God puts plants everywhere that we can use to improve our health.  The fact that He didn't see fit to put Acai in the USA just means we probably have something else that grows right under our noses that'll do the same thing.  The cranberry might be it.  There are some herbalists that use poke berries.  If you try this for Pete's sake, be careful.  They say it's the seeds in the berries that make you Gawdawful Sick, but that if you swallow the berries whole there won't be a problem.  Frankly, I have a healthy respect for the Poke plant and I'm real hesitant to try it.  HERE is an article by Susun Weed about it, if you are so inclined.  A better alternative might be Aronia berries.  I have a bush that has grown from a start I bought several years ago.  I think, this fall, I'll be taking cuttings and putting them in the ground under jars so that they will be rooted and ready to grow by spring of '18.  I only had a few clumps of berries on the bush, more than last year, but still not many.  I didn't seem to have much trouble keeping the birds from getting them.  Maybe those birds were just too busy poking holes in every apple and pear I had hanging on their trees.  Aronia berries don't taste very good when you have just picked them off the bush.  They have a very distinct taste like you just put a little Cream of Tartar in your mouth.  Sometimes you get this same thing from grapes that have a kind of a dusty look to the outsides.  That's because Cream of Tartar is made from the residue that forms inside wine barrels.  It's part of why grapes (and Aronia berries) are good for us.  I haven't had many Aronia berries to experiment with, but I did notice that when I baked them into muffins, everybody that ate the muffins thought there were blueberries in them.  And they were quite good. 

Another thing I wanted to write about this time was the quality of our water.  Water is very important to those of us who are trying to lose weight.  I remember, back in my younger days, when we thought the way to lose weight was to dehydrate ourselves.  So we'd do something that made us sweat.  One basketball player I knew even kept a cup at her desk in school that she would spit in periodically, so that she'd weigh less during weigh-in.  Oh, we were so wrong.  Aside from all the other things we've learned about dehydration and what it can do to us, we need also to know that we cannot flush out our body's waste products without water.  When you lose weight, you have extra waste products.  The ashes of fat, kinda, to be over-simplifying it.  If you are well hydrated, you can actually weigh less the morning after, on an empty stomach, than you would if you didn't. 

Giving blood is harder when we are dehydrated because our veins actually shrink.  So when I know I'm going to have to have blood drawn, I hydrate like crazy the day before.  And I always tell the tech, "I have small veins and they roll, so if you think you're going to have a problem with that, I'd really appreciate it if you make that decision earlier rather than later."  And then I smile, because if they're going to be poking a needle in me I sure don't want to make them nervous.  And when you're not nice, they don't really give a rat's ass about whether they're nice to you or not.  I'm sorry.  That's just human nature.  But I've actually had them go and get someone else, first rattle out of the box.  I've never again had to suffer through somebody poking a needle in me multiple times in order to get into a vein.

I know a lot of people that drink only bottled water.  Except that now they're saying that bottled water is just tap water from somewhere else.  And we thought we were getting water taken from some pristine spring, up in the mountains.  *Poof*!  There's another myth debunked.  PLUUUUUUS, it's packed in thin plastic bottles and how good for us is THAT, anyway???  So, back several years ago, I bought a water distiller, because the city where we lived was having a lot of trouble with its water quality, and sometimes you'd get a glass of water out of the tap and it'd be brown. 

I think I paid about $100 for the distiller, but it pays for itself in bottled water after awhile, you don't have to lug the water home from WMT and then you don't have plastic bottles, or the concern about whether they're safe, to be bothered with. Lately, I've become concerned about the water supply again, mostly because of the stuff they add to it because The Powers That Be have deemed that we NEED it, and even if we don't think we do, we don't get a say-so.  I've been reading about fluoride, in particular.  There's lots of information about it all over the Internet.  For us to be being practically force-fed this chemical all our lives should be a crime.  There's also chlorine, added to kill bacteria.

You can buy this distiller from Amazon, here is the link:
https://www.amazon.com/Megahome-Countertop-Distiller-Stainless-Collection/dp/B000ANW7HQ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
When I bought mine, they provided a water jug that was made of very thin plastic, which I didn't trust.  So I used a food-grade plastic container and now I don't really trust IT, either.  I was pleased to see that they are now including a glass water jug, instead of the plastic, but reviewers said the glass was pretty thin and easily breakable.  Probably like those carafes that come with coffee makers.  Raise your hand if you've ever broken one of those.

I thought so.

I bought a glass pitcher this summer at a garage sale that I think will work. 

And this is what's always left in the bottom when it's finished:

YUK!!

An added plus to a distiller is that the water actually boils, and what goes up through those coils is the steam from that.  So that will take care of any bacterial contaminant, too.  When people are told to start boiling their water, I always wonder how long they've been at risk, drinking their water, before anyone that will be willing to send up a red flag, knows. 

What to put the water in after the distiller is finished?  Well, if it dripped into a nice glass pitcher, you can just slip that into the refrigerator.  But you'll have it tied up if you should want to make another batch.  It takes several hours for the process so you have to plan ahead.  if you're a good-ole "Garage Sale Ruthie", like I am, you watch for bottles that can be reused.  Those quart vinegar bottles that you get REAL cider vinegar in are good.  So are clamp-style bottles that a certain brand of beer comes in (maybe it doesn't anymore, I don't drink beer so I wouldn't know).  Sometimes you'll find an actual refrigerator water bottle.  Does anybody remember when every new refrigerator actually CAME with a glass water bottle?  There are larger, clear glass bottles that some health food stores and some grocery stores sell kombucha in, and lots of people will put those in their garage sales.  I wouldn't, if I was you, put my water in a beer bottle and then drink it out in public or in my car.  A good way to get to know the fellas on your local police force, and maybe not in a way you'd like to start a new relationship.

If the gasket on these swing-type bottles are old and ruined, you can buy a package of new ones at some places that sell home brewing supplies.  Amazon has nice silicone ones here:
https://www.amazon.com/Silicon-Rubber-Grolsch-Bottle-Washer/dp/B016VXG2VA/ref=pd_sim_328_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=Z7N33EA9DPFDJV7JJ5KC
Or, hell's bells, why not a good ole gallon glass jug from back in the day when vinegar came in it?  I don't pass ANY of those things up.  The beauty of glass is that you can pour boiling water in them to sanitize them.  Just start with the bottles at room temperature, and don't have them setting on a cold surface.  We don't want any surprises, do we?  Most of those old gallon vinegar jugs had metal lids and those are almost never with the jar.  If they are they're either too rusty to use or so rusted onto the jar that they are ruined when you get them off.  So not an option.  However, if you buy vinegar for pickling in gallon plastic jugs, those plastic lids will fit.  That jar in the picture that doesn't have a lid and it was one of those twist-on lids rather than a screw-on, so one that fits will be hard to find.  If I really needed it, I'd walk up and down the grocery store aisles looking for things in jars.  If the lid is right but the original container is small, I could just buy one and discard the little jar.  But I have enough jars that have fitting lids to fill my needs, so unless I get another chance to make apple cider again, I won't need to try to put this particular jar in service.

The only problem with my home-distilled water is that I just don't like the taste.  It seems metallic, and they're aware of that because part of the drip assembly is a little receptacle that will hold a packet of activated charcoal.  Plus enough people have noticed it, too, and commented on it in their reviews.  Not sure if the metallic taste has something to do with the fact that the inside of the distiller is stainless steel, or if it's those coils the water runs through that are in the lid.  So.....  What's going to happen in the future?  We're told stainless steel is safe, but will that be found to be wrong after we've been in harm's way for half a lifetime or more??  Been there, done that, don't want to go there again if I can help it.  There are, for example, stainless steel water bottles that people are buying and feeling good about till they find out they're lined in plastic that isn't even BPA-free, for Cripe's sake!  Or that the inside of the bottle is actually aluminum.  Or that the plastic lid is dropping plastic shavings into the water every time the lid is screwed down tight. 

Lately I have had some exposure to discussions about "Super Water".  I did a Google search and found out that's actually a brand name and Amazon sells it.  Then I noticed in the Reviews that many people said a brand called "Glaceau Smart Water" is a better product and at a better price, though the price on Amazon fluctuates wildly.  So I put some of that in my "Save For Later" category.  Every time you go to your Shopping Cart, it tells you if any of the prices of things in that category have changed since you last were there.  At this time it's $10.99 and free shipping for six 32-oz BPA-free durable food-grade plastic bottles.  I'll watch for a fluctuation and try some if the price is good.  I don't feel bad about buying healthy things for myself.  Hubs willingly switched from smoking cigarettes to a vapor cigarette, but can't or won't get free of THAT, now, and he's addicted to Pepsi, which he keeps on hand all the time.  At least MY choices are better for me than his are for him.  I'd be glad to share the things I get for me but he tends to give things like that The Old Fish-Eye.  *Sigh*.  Just one of the frustrations of an old marriage.  Men are so much more malleable when the relationship is new.  Sometimes even the same man.  I remember knowing a woman who'd just gotten a divorce and she was so flabbergasted that, after begging him to take her dancing, unsuccessfully, for YEARS, she saw him with a new woman and what were they doing?  DANCING.  Sheesh.

There's also the concern that many have about whether people who make things FOR us are actually doing, or NOT doing, things to it that we wouldn't like, and would cause us to not buy the product, if only we knew.  Yeah.  We've been lied to so many times that we don't believe anyone anymore.  A big concern for me is fluoride.  There are lots of whispers (and some outright yelling in certain circles) that fluoride being added to our drinking water as a way to reduce tooth decay is the biggest hoax since snake oil.  And that it was just something somebody made up because fluoride was a by-product of something else that they made, and they had no way to dispose of it.  Yikes, isn't THAT scary?  http://fluoridealert.org/content/top_ten/

But we've been scared spitless before, now, haven't we?  Still, my dentist laughs and tells me he's never heard THAT.  So I don't know.  I just don't know.  But I'd like to be the one that chooses what's in my water.

Anyway, here's the link to Amazon's "Smart Water" in case you're interested.
https://www.amazon.com/Glaceau-Smartwater-Vapor-Distilled-Water/dp/B00KIG3WPQ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_pb_opt?ie=UTF8&th=1&psc=1

We have a new LG refrigerator with ice and water dispenser in the door and of course neither will work if there's no filter installed.  Lowe's price for the replacement filter is around $50.  I bought a replacement filter on Amazon here for $16.99 and was pretty proud of myself
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00W0XE60U/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1ORYOYEL3M35T
and then I found out from one of the reviewers that according to this product's data sheet, it ONLY filters out chlorine and odors.  Sheesh.  So I looked up LG's water filter and it said "REDUCES lead, mercury, benzene and asbestos.  FILTERS chlorine taste and odor.  REDUCES contaminates, such as iron, particulates and chlorine".  REDUCES.  I don't like that word.  Especially when they don't say BY HOW MUCH.  Again, Sheesh.

I even saw somebody's recommendation that you boil water before you put it into your distiller because there are two kinds of fluoride in the water and one of them can only be destroyed with high heat.  Then I see elsewhere where they say boiling fluoridated water only increases the strength of the fluoride.  Say it with me:  Sheesh.

Well, I believe I've said the word "Sheesh" enough time for all of us this time.  So I will get this published and move on.  I hope everyone is safe and well and happy.  And rocking on.  Hugs xoxoxo

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