Friday, November 25, 2016

Smoke on the Water

I probably could have com up with a more relevant title for this post, but I couldn't think of a better smoke-related title. So, Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" it is! Why smoke? Well, read on...

Today was an interesting Black Friday 'shopping' trip! We had every intention to do no shopping except for some groceries and our weekly pick-up of our raw milk at Deerfield Farm. Well, we ended up having one brief detour from the plan...

Yesterday, I read an article that described the benefits of 5 plants - benefits to improve your sleep. Who can resist the ability to experience better sleep? Soooo, I checked things out.

First, the article explained the benefits to have aloe vera, English ivy, snake plant, jasmine, and lavender plants. For me, two of those plants really struck a chord for me - English ivy and snake plant. According to the article, English ivy "is easy to grow and is the best air-purifier of all. It may be beneficial for those who have breathing problems and asthma. Studies show that English ivy can reduce air molds to 94% in 12 hours. You can hang it in a pot inside your house, or place it on a ledge where the leaves can trail down." Rather than it being a 'sleeping plant,' the "best air-purifier" is what really stood out for me. As for the snake plant - "They improve the quality of air and overall atmosphere at home ... They also filter nasty household toxins from the air." That last line is what really attracted me to snake plant. We live next door to a smoker - well, two smokers, technically - and we get way too much second-hand smoke infiltrating our home. I don't know if the snake plant will do too much for us as far as second-hand smoke is considered, but I can't rule out its potential benefits.

As the snake plant came in a decent-looking pot and I didn't want to spend anything for a better pot, all that I did need for pots for the ivy plants. So, for a grand total of $30, we ended up with 1 potted snake plant and 1 plant each of two different varieties of English ivy, the necessary potting soil, and 2 pots for the ivy plants. As soon as I got home, I re-potted the ivy plants...

The current plan is to put one ivy plant in the bathroom for its air-purifier/air mold-reducer aspect. Given that there is NO sun in the bathroom, I plan on rotating the ivy plants- one will stay where they are sitting in the picture while the other will be in the bathroom. I want them to establish their roots in the new pots before I start the rotation. As for the snake plant, my plan is to set it downstairs in the basement where the second-hand smoke seems to infiltrate our home.

When I re-potted the ivy, I took two of the vines from each pot and put them into a decorative 'vase' that has been empty for several years...


Hopefully, the ivy will take hold and provide both of its air-purifying benefits along with the decorative look!

I'll be sure to update you with the progress...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Heat(er) of the Moment

My song for this post is "Heat of the Moment" by Asia. This was definitely not the topic that I had planned on, today. I am, however, influenced to change my plans due to the heat (and the heater) of the moment.

Yesterday and Friday were so exciting! (Please note the sarcasm that can't be communicated through text...) We had to replace our water heater. Definitely an expense that I was neither expecting nor could I easily afford. We were out of the house on Friday for a good portion of the day. When we got home, we found that water heater had sprung a leak and we had a minor flood in our basement. We shut off the main water source for the water heater and started to make some calls. It was late enough in the day that we were unable to get any service from the various, local plumbers (even though they claim 24/7 service!). This turned out to be a blessing, though. Fortunately, we have some great friends and neighbors that helped us out. One of them offered to do the plumbing the next day if we were able to get a new water heater! Lowe's is right around the corner from us and they are running a 10% off sale for their water heaters. So, what would have been a minimum of $1,500 from the "emergency" plumber ended up only costing us $400 to get the new water heater and have it installed. Another friend is loaning us their dehydrator to help dry out the basement. We'll probably still have to replace the carpeting in the basement, but it could have been a whole lot worse...

How does this contribute to my journey to wellness and why am I sharing it with you? Well, wellness isn't just physical. It is also mental and spiritual. From this experience, I was able to view the benefit from the lack of emergency service from the plumbers rather than curse them. While it did cost us $400 to replace the water heater, we grew closer to two friends through their assistance to "fix the flapper" (remember that post?) rather than costing us more than 3 times than the cost of the water heater alone. So, this may not have been a step down the physical path but it was certainly progress down the spiritual and mental journey to wellness.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Key to D

Vitamin D - specifically, D3 - can be acquired 2 ways: through sunlight and through food and supplements.  As such, I'm giving you 2 songs on this post. The reason - technically, 2 reasons - that I'm using the first song might be more evident than the second song. It is "Waiting For the Sun" by The Doors. Reason #1: the sun is a fantastic source of Vitamin D. Reason #2: The "D"-oors! OK, it may be a silly reason, but there is more behind my choice of The Doors. Vitamin D isn't as simple as it may seem and you should have a key to unlock the 'D'-oor - hence, the title of this post.
The second song that I chose is "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down. There are also a couple of reasons why I chose this song. Of course, 'D'oors but also because of '3.' Vitamin D3 is really what we want to acquire through food and/or supplements because it is more absorbable/effective than D1 and D2. As well, D2 is synthetic and should be completely avoided! Title of the song also has multiple reasons for its selection. Vitamin D supplement could be your kryptonite if you don't, properly consume it (if you don't know the reference of kryptonite, look up Superman...). So, how do you properly supplement your Vitamin D? Consume it with Vitamin K! Get it? D3 - 3 Doors, K - 'k'-ryptonite? OK, so kryptonite is harmful to Superman/Super Girl but Vitamin K is beneficial to us... Still, I couldn't resist using this song.

So, I may have been a bit off by stating that K is the key to D, but if you are supplementing with Vitamin D3, you really should also supplement with Vitamin K2.

Essentially, taking Vitamin D as a supplement can lead to too much calcium in your blood. This can then cause the hardening of your arteries! Rather than spending too much time to describe all of that here, I recommend that you check it out HERE - the Vitamin D Council website.

What does Vitamin K do for us?

Here's what Dr. Andrew Weil says about Vitamin K:
"Vitamin K is an essential nutrient necessary for responding to injuries – it regulates normal blood clotting. In addition, by assisting the transport of calcium throughout the body, Vitamin K may also be helpful for bone health: it may reduce bone loss, and decrease risk of bone fractures. It also may help to prevent calcification of arteries and other soft tissue."

While it isn't quite the key to Vitamin D, Vitamin K reduces the potential for negative side effects and improves the definite benefits of supplementing with Vitamin D.