April 7th – the World Health Day

Did you know April 7th is the World Health Day? 

Let’s celebrate it as a way of life.

We hear a lot about health and healthy lifestyle nowadays. I remember when my husband visited me in Russia in our first year of knowing each other, he said: You guys live so healthy! I remember being very surprised, and not being quite clear of what he meant. When I moved to the States, I understood.

Back to hunter/gatherer/homesteader

In Russia we always cooked from scratch (lack or restaurants, absence of fast food back then), grew our own vegetables. Most families, even if they live in a city apartment own a piece of land outside of town, where they have 3-4 season cottage and a big vegetable garden/fruit orchard). We would be busy pickling, canning, freezing, drying and preserving, picking wild berries, and wild mushrooms. 

Read the ingredients

So eating healthy is the only possible way, if we want to be and stay healthy. What does it mean? Reading ingredients and seeing what is inside the stuff we eat. I usually avoid packaged things altogether, just buy natural or organic meat/vegetables/fruit in the store. I bake my own organic sourdough bread. Use my garden produce. We keep chickens for eggs and raise our own meat birds, and harvest wild rice and venison when possible. 

The list of things to avoid from the ingredient label (it is a big one): 

We read ingredients with my children every day, and discuss what we find. What I like to tell them is: What is our body made out of? Water, minerals, vitamins, protein, fat, carbs and that is it, right? If we add ANYTHING ELSE that is not on this list, our bodies, livers, kidneys, etc. then have to work extra hard to get rid of it. Just invest your dollars in better food and better health.

Good old fat

Use good old fat, like butter (organic and grass fed is the best), olive oil, avocado, nuts, good quality fish oil or just fish, good homemade lard (not processed hydrogenated  lard from the store), WHOLE FULL FAT milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir. You will feel full longer and your brain and body will thank you. If you give your body enough of healthy fats, it will drop that high cholesterol right down. And please eat eggs, they support healthy liver and provide choline that reduces bag cholesterol.

Fiber and probiotics

To keep digestion on time (once or twice a day is the goal), eat a lot of fiber daily, like carrot/beet/cabbage/apple/greens salads, whole grain bread, organic grain, vegetables and fruit. Use naturally soured products like sourdough, sauerkraut, kimchi, natural plain yogurt or kefir (just add honey and fresh or frozen berries) to keep it regular. Clean colon means long life. 

Bake or boil your food, as opposed to frying or grilling. Or use real wood, gas or hardwood lump charcoal on the grill instead, they are safer and cleaner alternatives. Charcoal Briquettes leave a chemical residue on your food. 

Movement is life

I grew up walking to school (5 minutes one way, but I would always stop by my friends first, and we would walk to school together, so that made it 10 minutes one way). Walking to my music school on the other side of town (20 minutes one way), walking to stores to get essentials almost daily (10-30 minutes one way). When I lived in St-Petersburg, Russia for 5 years going to college, I walked at least 3 miles daily. That is why I think most Russian ladies are skinny:-) They also hawl all their groceries for the day from store to their home, which is quite a load sometimes.

Move as much as possible. Park once, and walk in town to post office, store, bank and library. Take daily hikes. Fresh air, sun for vitamin D are essential for good mood and high energy levels. And how about yoga, belly dance or tai chi class? Call WITC or Velo Cafe in Cable to inquire about classes. 

Anyone can cook

Last fall we went to a Bag River Reservation by Ashland for a history lesson with our homeschooling group. The lady was sharing her memories of her grandma. Grandma used to say to her, that the tribe used  to have a lot of really old folks, like 130-140 year olds. Our famous local Chief Namekagon lived to be well over a 100 years old and did not die a natural death (as far as I researched).  Then the living ages declined, when asked what changed, the grandma (it was 1932 at the time) said that people should not eat at the restaurants, as Natives noticed a connection between quality of food and health decline.

In my Slavic origin there are references to 140 year olds wise men and women.  Can’t we become some of them again? 

Open up YouTube or cooking channel, get inspired to cook.

No to spoiled food

Avoid spoiled food. If in question, just throw it out. There are harbored bacteria and mold cells that are not great for our bodies. I say no to blue cheese too:-) 

3 minute stretch

If you sit a lot at work or at home, every hour spend three minutes stretching, moving your body from side to side, walking in place. That moves the energy and lymph around and prevents stagnation in our tissues. 

If you still smoke, reconsider, or start using local mullein plant leaves instead, like the Indians used to do:-) 

Eat your weeds

Stop spraying the lawn, and eat your weeds instead (after 3 years). It is harder if you play golf, but wash your hands well after, as those golf fields have so many herbicides applied to them almost daily. The glyphosate is already found in some of the drinking water, we are poisoning ourselves instead. Canada already banned Round up, so can we. 

This summer I will be teaching a wild edible ID class, call me to get signed up (715-798-3175) and come to learn that the dandelions for example are our best medicine. 

Worry less or not at all. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and the big stuff is actually pretty small too if compared to the eternity.

If you are mad, just express it safely. Storing it inside does not good. 

Alcohol and liver health

Alcohol molecule is small, the absorption starts in the mouth already (3-5%), 20% in the stomach, the rest – in the intestines. Then alcohol gets to our main filter, the liver. Liver produces enzyme – alcohol hydrogenase, that is necessary for breaking down the alcohol. Then it turns into acetalhyde – toxic substance, that negatively affects the cardio-vascular system, damages liver cell, and even the DNA. Then that turns into acetate and later breaks down into safe components – carbon dioxide and vinegar acid. But if that process happens a lot, the health ultimately suffers. 

More water, please

Drink more water. It is an active component of most body’s internal reactions and processes, and the cleaner it is, the cleaner is our body. We can not live without water, or not as long at least. 

Try to sleep at least 8 hours per day. It is restorative. 

Find a purpose

If you are single, get married, or find good friends, a social hobby, let life be joy and fun again. If you have a skill let’s share it. We have so many talented people around!!! How about creating a bank of people’s skills, and do some weekly workshops at a local library or something, you can teach those youngsters a thing or two, right? If you are interested, talk to your local librarian to see how that can be done, they are always looking for class ideas. 

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