Sunday, December 30, 2012

How to Mick’s up Fries

Mmmmmmm…. French friesYum!

Is that your opinion?
Sweet Potato Fries in the making!

I can’t lie.  I’ve always loved fries.  I even remember a time when I was pregnant (before healthy living), going through the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant, and being handed a note passed on from the car ahead of me (via the cashier at the window), reading, “Baby is hungry for fries?”  I hadn’t realized a family friend was in that car.  What a fun surprise!

Even though I've lost my craving for French fries and other greasy foods, now that my body isn't addicted, it’s still nice to have a treat reminiscent of the “old days.”  So, once in a great while, I get some sweet potatoes in the house.  I make sure I have a good amount of coconut oil, and an extra half hour or so.

Give it a try!  It’s simple.

Cut up some sweet potatoes in the style and thickness you like.  (Beware of the cooking time difference for thinner vs. thicker cuts.)

On medium heat, have enough coconut oil in a medium-sized sauce pan to fill it approximately half way.  The key is to be sure the pan is large enough in diameter to fit the size (length) of your fries, and to be sure the coconut oil covers the fries to cook them evenly. 

After a few minutes, the oil should be ready for the potato slices.  Add salt to taste.  Allow the fries to cook for several minutes, turning them once.

When the fries are done to your desired consistency, it’s a good idea to place them on a paper towel, when you take them out of the oil, and allow the oil to drain off.

I must admit:  One night, after over-cooking sweet potato fries for the family’s dinner, I went to an event, where a lady asked who had fries.  She could smell them!  The “aroma” was lingering around me.  I guess that proves the coconut oil can cook just like the nasty, unhealthy greases, without the deadly side effects.

Coconut oil does have many health benefits, but there are better ways to ingest it, and since there are healthier and more nutrient-rich food choices than potatoes (sweet potatoes are one of the better potato choices, though), I do not recommend these be a staple at your dinner table.  However, it’s fun once in a while! 

Nowadays, if there are sweet potatoes in the house, the big question I  hear is, “Are we having fries?!”

You might also like to try roasting the sweet potatoes in your oven, especially if you do not want to mess with frying.  Another of our favorite special occasion recipes with sweet potatoes is mashed and/or casserole.  Just have some fun experimenting!  If you have more ideas and/or questions, please post them here in the comment section.  I'd love to hear from you!

"Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive."


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mick’s up With Germs

Have you noticed lots of people out sick at work and school, during this past couple of months?  I have.  In fact, at our office, we've all noticed.  I overheard one of my coworkers ask, “Why is everyone sick right now?”  So, I decided this would be a good topic for a Mick’s up Life.

Let’s think about it for a minute. 

With all the many different celebrations going on over a 2 month period, candy and desserts are everywhere!  Not many of us can say we didn't sneak a candy or two from the Halloween bowl.  At Thanksgiving time, so many wonderful homemade desserts surround us (not to mention the carbs ingested before we even reach dessert), and then during Christmastime, we are bombarded from both sides, with candy in the stockings and punch and pastries on the table.

My neighbor friend and I were just talking about this.  Sugar is the main ingredient of those beloved confections, and as we know, sugar is an inflammatory, dragging down our immune systems.

Next, let’s step outside to take a look at the temperature.  With the chill in the air, some of us get scared inside to snuggle up (with a sugar-laden hot chocolate and/or latte, perhaps?), cozily soaking in the glow of the lights of the season… when we’re not scrambling for time to run the kidderz to their new school-year events, shopping for all those aforementioned celebrations, and running to parties, plays, and just plain busy-ness of the holiday season.  With all that happening, how many of us are keeping up with our exercise routines?  Plus, we are trying to cram so many activities into a day, we might not even be getting the amount of sleep (or at least not good sleep!) that we need.  Again, our immune systems are jeopardized.

Oh, can you step outside with me one more time?  When you feel that chill, what do you notice yourself doing?  Do your shoulders tense up?  Are you rubbing your arms to keep warm?  I am!  (In fact, I was doing that at my desk at work for a while, until the temperature got regulated.)  You know what else?  The season, along with my job, keep me at the computer longer.  Do I have perfect posture at the computer?  No!  Do you?  Maybe for a short period of time, but if you’re there, or in any position, for an extended length of time, you just might find your upper back and neck getting tight, stiff, and uncomfortable.

When we are tense in our upper backs and necks, do you know what might be going on inside?  There is more opportunity for our vertebrae to shift out of place.  Do you know where the nerves serving your sinuses and face and throat are directed from?  That’s right!  Those vertebrae that are being affected by the tight muscles have a very close relationship to those nerves.  Hmmmm… yes, you probably guessed it.  If there is pressure on the nerves in that region, you could be finding yourself having sinus issues, headaches, throat problems, etc.  For that reason alone, a visit to your chiropractor would be a wonderful gift to yourself, not to mention a boost to your immune system.

Yes, those things did happened to me this season, too.  I fought off a nasty cold and fever, but it was a quick, easy fight.  I got myself back on track (and drank lots of extra water!), keeping the immune system enemies at bay, especially sugar.  It’s really amazing how much quicker the healing process is, when sugar is taken out of the equation.

So, let’s try to be sure this is a jolly season
  • Let's reduce stress during these months, no matter how crazy things get, and that includes minimizing physical stress (you know, the posture thing we were just looking at)… and remember to sleep… sleep well.
  • Say “Merry Christmas” to you our chiropractors more often at this time of year.  (In other words, schedule more visits.  This can help with the sleeping, too!) 
  • Make better choices of what snacks we enjoy, foods we prepare, and drinks we consume, in order to eliminate (or at least minimize) sugar (look for alternatives, and be sure to read all ingredients!).
  • Enjoy our coffees (again, look for alternatives for flavorings)  healthier hot chocolate (make your own mix), but in moderation, because as we know, nasty things thrive in an acidic environment, which these yummy concoctions do, unfortunately, promote. 
  • Finally, let’s remember to take time to do some quick interval exercising (only 15 or fewer minutes of your day!), and be sure to fit in stretches.  (The stretches can help with that upper back/neck tension thing we previously touched on.)

As it is said, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

"When it snows, 
she has no fear for her household."


Friday, November 23, 2012

We Mick's up Thanks Again

"All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill…
there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings."
November 1623, Governor William Bradford of the 1620 Pilgrim Colony
Plymouth Plantation” in Plymouth, Massachusetts

Remembering the 1st Thanksgiving
(Original Post Date 2011)

For those of us from the United States, this week is a celebration of Thanksgiving. It’s wonderful to think back to the origin, back to the Pilgrim times, when they endured so much hardship, but still found energy and reason to be thankful.

I am thankful for leaders with wisdom enough to remind us to be thankful: Henry Laurens, President of Continental Congress 1777; President George Washington, National Thanksgiving Proclamation 1795; President Abraham Lincoln, first annual National Day of Thanksgiving 1863, “It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people…” (Catherine Millard "Why do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day")

I am thankful, also, for a God we can trust to place us right where we need to be, even when we don’t see it. Squanto found that out, over his life, and we are thankful God placed him where he could help the Pilgrims. (Squanto--God's Special Indian a Thanksgiving Story)

Finally, I am thankful for creative artists who are able to get the point of the holiday across to us in a way we understand and remember:
“In the year 1621, the Pilgrims held their first Thanksgiving feast. They invited the great Indian chief Massasoit, who brought ninety of his brave Indians and a great abundance of food. Governor William Bradford and Captain Miles Standish were honored guests. Elder William Brewster, who was a minister, said a prayer that went something like this: ‘We thank God for our homes and our food and our safety in a new land. We thank God for the opportunity to create a new world for freedom and justice.’” (Linus Van Pelt – From a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving)

Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?
Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Re-Mick's with Turkey

Here's a Re-Mick's of Thanksgiving Day 2011:

I've been enjoying talking with family and eating lots of food I did not have to prepare.  What a wonderful day! 

Because of this, today the nutrition and exercise posts are combined into one.

To all of my American friends, "Happy Thanksgiving! Be honest.  How many of you did like I did this morning?  We exercised, in order to feel better about eating the feast later in the day.  Actually, I know lots of you really have been outside enjoying the beautiful weather, and working off that full feeling.  What a great way to make the most of this family time!

It's also a wonderful way to keep from falling asleep.  You know the feeling.  After the big family dinner, we all feel like taking a nap.  We always blame it on the turkey... poor bird.  We say it's the tryptophan.

Did you know, though, that research shows it's not the turkey's fault?!

If you think about it, the usual list of items on the Thanksgiving menu are primarily carbohydrates and high on the glycemic index.  What does this mean for our bodies?  It means we eventually experience a sugar crash.

So, let's not go pointing fingers and falsely accusing the holiday favorite.  Instead, go for a walk with the family.

...when deep sleep falls on people...

Job 33:15 (NIV)


Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Thankful Mick’s up

I like what I heard this week:  We should have a spirit of thankfulness all year long, so that this upcoming week is just an extension of that attitude.

That is so true.    

In addition, our pastor at church said it in a catchy way this morning:  Thanksgiving is thanks living.  Hear the rest of our morning service at: NazCentral's podcast

Leave a comment below, describing some things you’re thankful for this year.  It would be a blessing to all of us readers.  Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!

Also, enjoy my 2011 Thanksgiving posts:

Mick's up Turkey and Exercise
Why the Mick's up of Thanks

"With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:
'He is good;
    his love... endures forever.'
And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord..."


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why Mick's in Schools

It doesn't seem possible (especially to those of us sending the first of our babies to high school), but it's again time to be thinking about kidderz starting a new school year, and for some, the school year has already started.  In certain situations, parents need to think about vaccinations, to be in compliance with the school district's rules.

There is help out there, if you are looking for some tips. 

In one area of the United States, several doctors and local businesses are partnering together to put on a free Back-to-School Clinic (with a donation).  Many other doctors across the nation are holding back-to-school workshops, offering helpful hints, recipes, and other information on how to make it an amazingly successful school year for your children.  Included in these offers is a free downloadable Back-to-School Guide. 

There are businesses and non-profits around the globe that are helping supply children with items they need to attend school.  There are fun Back-to-School bashes at malls, TV stations running Operation School Supplies to fill busses to help the needy, and churches collecting bags and backpacks full of school supplies, so the underprivileged students and schools have enough.  Caring individuals can "adopt" a child in a different part of the world, and through their monetary giving, they assist that child in getting the clothing and materials needed to attend school near their village.

As I anticipate my daughter receiving notification in a couple of years, regarding a required vaccination for sixth grade, I am researching as much information as I can.  It is entirely up to parents, whether or not to vaccinate, and there are many differing opinions on the subject.  The best way to make a decision on any subject, but most especially with regards to our children's health, is to be informed.  For that reason, here is a list of links to help you make an educated decision:


Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
   love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
   Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
   embrace her, and she will honor you.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Mick’s up With the Skinny

Some readers might view this blog’s purpose as an advertisement for one of the “next best” diet fads.

That certainly is not the case.

I have not been one to jump on the nearest bandwagon.  Ask my hubby.  Just yesterday we had a brief discussion in which he assured me that he knows I keep far, far away from anything cliché.  (In other words, I don’t choose the “popular” route, and I despise fads.)

Many people in my circle of acquaintances approach me proudly to tell of a recipe they like to use that has “low fat” this and “nonfat” that.  I actually take offense to those statements.  True.  I shouldn’t.  However, it feels like an insult, because never do I mention those phrases in my information.  The reason is:  They usually have nothing to do with my main objective for sharing what I’ve learned, but instead those phrases give the impression that “diet” and “weight loss” are the tactics involved.

Basically all the health information I share boils down to this: Healthy cells and spines allow the body to function at 100%.
Do you want to be and remain cancer-free?  Are you hoping to make your children’s lives as disease-free as possible?  Does your family health history scare you?

I don’t think the catwalk is where you’ll find the answers you need for true health.

You are beautiful just the way God made you!  Your family and friends want to celebrate life with you for a long, long time.  That alone should be enough of a reason to work at being 100% healthy.  Isn’t it?!

Jonny Diaz sings a song that says it well: “More Beautiful You.”  Enjoy the video link below.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”


Monday, July 16, 2012

Mick's up with Horses

You can lead a horse to water...
I am enjoying time with my parents, away from the every-day chores and monotony.

The expectations I had of these couple of weeks included journaling, catching up on reading, relaxing, exercising, and starting back up on blogging.

Well, what I did not expect was to have so many horses around to love.

My parents are boarding horses for the summer, in order to have animals around for the grandchildren during their visit.  Along with these horses came a pony and her 3-month-old baby.  Who can ignore a baby?!  We have been working at teaching this baby to enjoy being around humans and to trust them to handle her.  We've made progress!  I'm going to hate to leave her.

During this wonderful time in horse heaven, I was reminded of a popular cliche.  Because of the hot temperatures we've experienced, several times I witnessed someone leading a horse to water, thinking they're being helpful.  You know the rest, "but you can't make it drink."  It's true!  Those horses won't drink just because you take them to water!

It's the same with health and lifestyle information.

I can take people to the information, but I can't make them live it.

It's that way for all of us.  We have a wealth of information we want to share with others, but it's up to others to do something with it.

Those of you who have information to share, hang in there!  Be faithful.  Keep up the good work.  I know you're out there!  I've had several heartfelt conversations this summer with people wanting this healthy lifestyle stuff to "click" for their loved ones.  I also know of hearts heavy with the burden of bringing friends and loved ones into the Kingdom of God.  It hurts to know they don't want to be saved from an eternity of torture.  It would be so easy for them to escape that.  We can't make them accept that gift that is at their fingertips.  It has to be their choice.

To those of you at the other end of the information (the lead rope, so to speak), nobody can make you (drink) understand or want to do something with that "water."  Please know it's all in love.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
  that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.  
Whoever believes in him is not condemned,  
but whoever does not believe stands condemned already
because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mick’s up with the Pledges

My daughter surprised us last night.  We were talking about the fact that we Flagdo not use vulgar words, and were reminding the kidderz why.  (No, we did not have any  scene with bad language.  Whew!  Thankfully, that’s something we’ve never had to be concerned with in our household: kidderz shocking us by blurting out swear words.)  The discussion was simply based on using our words to lift others up, even when bad words are all around us.

In the middle of the discussion, Lakelyn started rattling off something we had not heard before.  We asked her where she learned it.  It turns out, her school has a Pledge of Learning they recite after the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag.  I hope it serves as a constant reminder to all kidderz there, and maybe even beyond

It goes something like this:

I shall use my hands for peace, not pain.
I shall use my heart for love, not hate.
I shall use my voice for song, not slur.
I shall strive each day to grow and learn.

Wow.  Maybe we should all recite that pledge every day, like the kidderz at the school do.  Thank you, Sweetie, for teaching your mom and dad something so important!

The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Mick’s Sum up with Toxins

Blah!  Blah!  Blah! 

Is that how you wish you could respond, when you hear people start talking about toxins? 

Me, too!

The problem is, I've learned too much in the last 1 ½ years to allow myself to ignore it.  It's a slow, agonizing death, to plead ignorance. 

Do I want my kidderz to end up like typical Americanssluggish and unmotivated, at best; fighting chronic disease, most likely; or worst-case, suffering and dying from cancerNo way! 

I've found I can do something to try to help them avoid living like that, and so I'm on a mission to do so.

Recently, I overheard someone say, when approached by an Isagenix distributor talking about toxins, that they believe if we eat right, we can avoid toxicity, and so a detox is not a necessity.  Oh, dear!  If they only knew. 

That is what triggered me to write this post.  I want to offer some information, and put some resources in front of you, so you can make an educated decision for yourself.

Yes, eating right is one great way to keep the level of toxicity lower in the body.  However, most of us have already put toxins in our body since a young age, and we're still being bombarded every day with more!  Because of that, our bodies get overwhelmed with toxins, and they do their best, but still end up with challenges.

"With the increase of toxins within the environment and foods we eat, it is not surprising that the majority of people are at a level of toxicity that is past the point that the body's own natural detoxification system can cope with." - ecomall

As I listed out in Mick's up on Toxicity, there is a multitude of challenges you could be facing, due to toxicity.  Inflammation plays a big part.  Plus, our bodies are meant to be in a neutral state, but we tend toward acidic.  Toxins, food choices, etc., increase the acidity, and so nutrition can help with swinging the pendulum more toward alkalineHowever, that is not the topic I'm focusing on at this point.

Not only is it the obvious stuff that causes toxicity in our bodies, but it's the sneaky stuff, too:  candy and sugar, artificial sweeteners, fillings, chemicals, vaccinations, antibiotics and other medicines, grains, processed foods, deoderants, soaps and detergents, cosmeticsThe list goes on and on, but don't get overwhelmed Just start somewhere!

Do you want to go days, weeks, months without a headache?  Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Do swollen, achy joints drag you down?  Are you living in a fog?  Does the thought of living with Alzheimer's scare you?  Are you wondering if... when... you will hear the doctor say the word, "cancer!?"

You don't have to sit around and let these things happen to you.  You are not a victim, or at least you don't have to live like one.  Take some precautions, and make some first steps to changing your lifestyle for the better.  I won't lie.  It's not easy... but it can be simple.

Why do I believe you can't just rely on eating the right foods to keep you from being toxic?  "Your fat cells can accumulate numerous types of toxins." - Tom Venuto

"Body fat functions as a storage mechanism not only for things you need -- such as essential vitamins -- but also things you can do without: environmental toxins, for example. A significant loss of body fat sometimes evacuates some of these stored toxins into the blood or tissues. While it's not possible to avoid environmental pollutants, the benefits of body fat loss far outweigh the potential risk of releasing toxins from the fat cells." - Emma Roberts (Livestrong)

"The highly intelligent immune system will not allow the removal of excess fat and water if the level of toxins that is stored in the fat and water may put your life in jeopardy by their release into the bloodstream." - Healing Naturally by Bee

What this is telling us is that the toxins are stored in our body, unless we do something to get rid of them.

So, what is a person to do?  One thing, the person I mentioned above was correct in saying, to watch your food intake, BUT I must also add... detox your body.  Because I know I'm surrounded by toxins, and because I know I splurge now and then (eating sugary foods), I prefer to detox on a daily basis.  I mention some resources in in Mick's Sum-up for the Week (Hint: The picture in today's post has something to do with an ingredient used in most detox protocol.)

I encourage you to look into it.  My hope is that you're not still thinking, "Blah!  Blah!  Blah!"

On a side note, but not at all less important, I must go on to say...
Even though we work hard to live healthy lives, we do eventually die.  (It's worth doing our best to live at our best, so we can pass on the message of the Gospel and build up the kingdom of God.)  So, we must put effort into planning for our eternity, too.  We might suffer here on earth, but we don't have to suffer for eternity.  Make the right choices now.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his great mercy he has given us new birth
into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 
who through faith are shielded by God’s power
until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 
In all this you greatly rejoice,
though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith
—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—
may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 
Though you have not seen him, you love him;
and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him
and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 
for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mick’s in Some Valentines

What did you end up doing on Valentine’s Day?  Go to my Facebook page to tell me about it.

I got a call from a very tall, dark, and handsome guy, asking me to go on a date!  We enjoyed a splurge dinner out.  It was such a great surprise to run into friends at the restaurant!  The best part, though, was some time alone with my honey.

What did we do during the other hours of that day?  I woke up early to make Grain-free Cinnamon Rolls, Fluffy Gluten-free Pancakes, and Strawberry Sauce.  I wrapped up pictures of my hubby and me, for him to take to his new office, and I presented the kidderz with gifts from their grandparents.  (The grandparents are awesome!  They know we are keeping sugar away from our house, so they made sure not to get sweets for gifts.  Instead, they bought little strawberry planting kits for the kidderz.  How cute!)  Also, I did actually make the Chicken Salad with Cranberries for everyone’s lunches, as well as the Strawberry Cheesecake Bites for the evening’s dessert.  Yummy!

My daughter had fun giving away all our xylitol candies with I hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day!Valentines for her classmates, but when we ran out, she was creative in her choice of Valentines for our neighbor boys.  She made paper airplanes out of Valentine paper, and wrote their names on them.  The boys seemed to love them!

Oh!  I forgot to mention: My Valentine gave me 2 potted miniature rose plants.  They are beautiful!  Not only that, but we also watched a movie at home:  Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility
adapted for the 1995 filmI love it, every time I watch it!  Even though it was a very mild night outside, we had a fire in the fireplace to enjoy while we snuggled up for the movie.

So, I write this only to encourage you in knowing there are alternatives.  You don’t have to celebrate Valentine’s Day (or any special day) the same old way.  Make life interesting.  Mix it up!  Better yet, Mick’s up Life, and be inspired into wellness!

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children
and walk in the way of love,
just as Christ loved us
and gave himself up for us
as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mick’s in Love

I love my sweetheart!  I really do have the best guy in the world as my husband… MY VERY OWN HUSBAND!  Since our dating days, I have referred to him as my Knight in Shining ArmorGod knows, better than I, what I need… and I am THANKFUL!  It makes Valentine’s Day a necessary celebration.Wedding Day 1996

I dedicate this post to my Valentine… Jay.       

So, with Valentine’s Day less than a week away, it’s time to plan ahead for special treats to share with your Valentine.  If we don’t plan ahead, do you know what happens?  We end up buying that $14.99 heart-shaped box of chocolates or that $65 bouquet of long-stemmed red roses.  Those are wonderful splurges, but if your sinuses and wallet are anything like mine, you prefer to have an alternative choice or two that are healthier and cheaper.

What are some of the fun things you plan to do for your Valentine on Tuesday?

I’m thinking our house might be filled with a breakfast menu of Strawberry Smoothies and/or Strawberry Sauce on Fluffy Pancakes (depending on how much time I have in my Tuesday morning schedule)… a lunch menu of Chicken Salad with cranberries mixed in (see below) and Almond Power Bars (for the chocolate)… a dinner out for a splurge with my sweetheart, or a menu something like Chicken Cacciatorre and peas (family’s favorite veggie)… and finish it off with a dessert, such as Strawberry Cheesecake Bites and Chocolate Chip Cookies or Coconut Macaroons or Strawberry Gelato… and heart-shaped Almond Bark (not the peppermint version like this link is for) (Do you see my pattern of hints of pink and red and chocolate?)  We’ll see how well I actually do with that!

Even with all the fun festivities, especially if you have young children still doing the school party thing (or teenagers newly discovering puppy love), let us not forget the truest, purest, biggest Valentine gift ever:  Christ laid down His life for YOU!  Here is a great song about that very thing.  Enjoy!

You might be the wife waiting up at night.
You might be the man struggling to provide,
feeling like it's hopeless.
Maybe you're the son who chose a broken road.
Maybe you're the girl thinking you'll end up alone,
praying, “God, can you hear me?
Oh, God, are you listening?”

“Am I more than flesh and bone?
Am I really something beautiful?
Yeah, I wanna believe.  I wanna believe that
I'm not just some wandering soul
that you don't see and you don't know.
Yeah, I wanna believe.  Jesus, help me believe that I
am someone worth dying for.

I know you've heard the truth that God has set you free,
but you think you're the one that grace could never reach.
So you just keep asking what everybody's asking,

“Am I more than flesh and bone?
Am I really something beautiful?
Yeah, I wanna believe.  I wanna believe that
I'm not just some wandering soul
that you don't see and you don't know
Yeah, I wanna believe.  Jesus, help me believe that I
am someone worth dying for.

You're worth it!  You can't earn it.
Yeah, the Cross has proven  that you're sacred and blameless.
Your life has purpose.

You are more than flesh and bone.
Can't you see you're something beautiful?
Yeah, you gotta believe.  You gotta believe.
He wants you to see.  He wants you to see
that you're not just some wandering soul
that can't be seen and can't be known.
Yeah, you gotta believe.  You gotta believe that you are someone worth dying for.
You're someone worth dying for!
You're someone worth dying for!

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Chicken Salad
Mix desired amount of shredded or cubed cooked chicken with desired amount of cottage cheese.  Add extras, such as salt and pepper, sliced almonds, raisins, or dried cranberries (if the ingredients say they are sweetened with apple sauce, that's best, rather than the cranberries dried with sugar) and/or diced cucumbers, etc.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Re-Mick's in the Fog

(First posted October 11, 2011)

Have you felt like you’re not as sharp as you used to be? Do you feel fatigued? Are you wondering why you’re in slow-motion, while the world is moving faster than ever?

You might be dealing with Brain Fog.

Some of the symptoms of Brain Fog are (Brain Fog is Real and is a Common Symptom - by Lisa Cruz):
  • Lack of focusIn a Fog...
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of mental acuity
  • Decreased mental stamina
  • Decrease in creativity
  • Confusion
  • Lack of spatial awareness
  • Absentmindedness or spaciness
  • Decreased attention span
  • Decreased short term memory
  • Difficulty finding words

What can cause it?

Dr. Lawrence Wilson defines Brain Fog as “feelings of mental confusion or lack of mental clarity.” (BRAIN FOG by Lawrence Wilson, MD) He goes on to say nutrition and lifestyle are the beginning of the solution to the problem of Brain Fog, which has many causes.

Toxicity is one of the main causes. We are bombarded by toxins every day, everywhere we turn. Heavy metal toxicity not only causes Brain Fog, but it can also produce other chronic conditions such as Autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Multiple Sclerosis, and a host of other serious disorders.

What can you do about it?

Getting regular chiropractic care to keep the signal passages clear from the brain to the rest of the body… getting exercise to increase oxygen… getting the right nutrients in your body… and getting away from toxins as much as possible… if all working together, will help to clear up brain fog. (Again, it’s the simple lifestyle of incorporating the idea of 5 Essentials for healthy living.)

The way my family has decided to deal with toxins in the body is with a product called Daily Detox. I am not advertising. I don’t get any kick-backs by telling you about it. There are other products out there, and maybe there are even some very similar to it, but I’m just letting you know what I found out about this one. It’s not a periodic cleanse. It’s not a fad. It’s not a fast. The product has recently changed a little bit, with the inclusion of a new manufacturer, however the idea of it is that it includes a vitamin B complex and a glutathione enhancer (the most powerful antioxidant naturally produced in the body) to give your body’s natural detoxing system a boost (using such ingredients as milk thistle). With this detox system, the toxins are drawn from the cells… and as a side note, proper nutrition allows for healthy cell walls to have a more efficient process of getting bad things out and good things in. So it’s a cleanse at the cellular level. It also has activated carbon, which acts as a magnet, drawing toxins to it. Then, since the body cannot process it, the carbon and the toxins are totally eliminated from the body.
When toxins are eliminated, your body can start to heal, and your thinking can become clearer.

100B1030Depending on the toxicity and acidity levels of the body, the healing process will happen at different rates for different people. It’s a process, so be patient. If you’re really serious about healing, be sure to improve everything together: attitude, nutrition, exercise, spine/nerve system care, while working on decreasing toxicity.

I’ve seen it happen! I’ve witnessed Brain Fog clear up! It is possible! My husband can testify to it!

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The fog can lift!

“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober,
set your hope on the grace to be brought to you
when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.”
1 Peter 1:13 (NIV)


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mick’s up Sodas

You’ve probably heard  by now the news about Pepsi commenting on their Mountain Dew law suitKind of gross, isn’t it?  It would be bad enough to imagine a mouse was in the batch, but I think it’s even worse to hear the company admit a mouse carcass would not survive in the liquid.  If the soda can do that to something inside it, imagine what it’s doing inside us!  Besides that, did you read the article that tells us a fire retardant is in the ingredients list?

I’m not even going to get into the diet vs. regular argument.  There are some nasty stats I can share on that alone, but the point of this post is that soda in general should be avoided.

Don’t get me wrong.  I used to LOVE soda and drink it ALL the time.  In fact, if I’m around soda, it’s still a temptation for me.  My husband, being a computer programmer, used to run on Mountain Dew and Twizzlers as his fuel.  Thankfully, we both wised up.  Then information like this comes out that reminds us why we decided to seriously give up soda. 

Besides, we want our bodies to be less acidic, if we want long, healthy living, right?  If so, soda is certainly not the beverage we should be consuming.

I can understand the desire to drink a soda now and then, especially on your splurge nights, like maybe Friday pizza nights.  However, if you choose, like we do sometimes, to have a healthier pizza night, or just need that fizz of soda on an ordinary day, there are alternatives.  In my Mick’s up with the Sweeteners, I mention a soda sweetened with stevia, which I am finding in more and more grocery stores now.

Another idea is to make your own soda at home!  We’ve had fun doing that with our soda maker we have left over from our coffee shop ownership days.  There is also the Sodastream Penguin Starter Kit .  For our house, we choose to find healthy fruit juice or mix up juice from freshly squeezed lemons and limes.  This way, we get the fizz and yummy flavors without the sugar and other gross ingredients that would harm our bodies.  We still have lots more Make your own soda!experimenting to do, so if you have any ideas, please leave them in a comment here, or write on the Mick’s up facebook wall.

Thanks for dropping by!

Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do…
Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’
But God said to him, ‘You fool!’


Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Mick’s up with Aha!

Have you ever read something that you have come away from saying, “Aha!  So THAT’s why!”?  That just happened to me today.  I’m so glad a friend shared on his Facebook a link to the article How to Starve Cancer Out of Your Body - Avoid These Top 4 Cancer-Feeding Foods.

As I read through the article, I had several “Aha!” moments.  Now I can better explain why we do what we do to be a healthier family, as well as why I believe what I believe about doing or not doing certain things for the sake of avoiding cancer and other serious diseases.

As I mentioned in It's a Mick's up With Cancer Information, I don’t like the idea of women getting mammograms.  Focusing on breast cancer, the article I read today gives some good reasoning behind that, as well as some alternatives.  Dr. Horner states, “Everything has its pros and cons… [M]ammography produces radiation, which has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.  It's like, ‘Why are you doing the test to look at a disease when it's actually causing the disease, too?’”

When I read, Vitamin D cuts your (cancer) risks in halfTurmeric and anti-inflammatories cut your risk in half,” I thought to myself, “Aha!  I’m so glad my family and I are keeping up with taking our Vitamin D3 and our EFA (Omega)!  I can hope that this means our kidderz won’t have to watch us suffer from cancer, nor experience suffering themselves,” especially when reading, “Healthy fats of particular importance for cancer prevention are omega-3 and omega-9.  According to Dr. Horner, omega-3 in particular serve to effectively slow down tumor growth in estrogen-sensitive cancers such as breast-, prostate- and colon cancers.”  Aha!  Yes, again, aha!  Our major avoidance of bad fats is rationalized!  Woohoo!  We really ARE reading these labels for a good reason.

The next “aha!” was regarding grass-fed meatWhy am I so picky about my family eating the right kind of meats?  Some days I get doubting this myself, and I start asking that question.  Articles, such as this, put it in perspective again.  We get inflammation issues and cancer risks with the wrong meat.  Meats from confined animal feeding operations (CAFO's) “are given antibiotics, growth hormones and other veterinary drugs that get stored in their tissues.  Additionally, cooking the meat over high heat creates heterocyclic amines, which further add to its carcinogenic effect.” 

Then, if I get thinking about what hormones in foods are doing to children in regard to way-too-early development, I wonder, “So, what is the bad result of this, other than being abnormal and frustrating?”  Articles like this help to answer this and other questions:  Bodies end up getting more “estradiol, which is the strongest, most abundant form of estrogen, and the one that's most associated with breast cancer.”  Plus: “cells become really sensitive to environmental toxins, radiation, and so forth.  They're considered immature.  They haven't differentiated– as a more scientific term for it– so there's a longer period of time that they're exposed to these toxins where they have a greater sensitivity.”  Whether or not it makes sense or can be easily understood, all I know for sure is that I want to give my kidderz the best chance of living with healthy cells and bodies to fight off any risk of cancer.  It’s not fair to do otherwise. Is it? If you have the knowledge, but choose to ignore it and continue to put your loved ones in danger, is that really love?

With that in mind, let’s talk sugar.  Since the start of our “no sugar” kick, I get extremely excited to see or hear someone else with the same opinion about sugar and other inflammatories.  Dr. Horner refers to them as “cancer-promoters” and explains that this includes ALL forms of sugar, including fructose and grains.  “To me, sugar has no redeeming value at all, because they found that the more we consume it, the more we're fuelling every single chronic disease,” Dr. Horner says. 

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Cut out the sugars!!

Dr. Horner continues, “In fact, there was a study done about a year ago… and the conclusion was that sugar is a universal mechanism for chronic disease.  It kicks up inflammation.  It kicks up oxygen free radicals.  Those are the two main processes we see that underlie any single chronic disorder, including cancers.  It fuels the growth of breast cancers, because glucose is cancer's favorite food.  The more you consume, the faster it grows.” Enough said?!

So, what is good to eat? 

Do you have a sister, dad, husband, kidderz (or even yourself) who do not like to eat “rabbit food?”  Are you needing some “ammo” to convince them of the importance of eating greens?  Well, here’s an “aha!” for you.  Dr. Horner describes plants by saying, “some of them behave exactly like chemotherapyEvery plant has some anti-cancer properties to them. There are some that are standouts.  Cruciferous vegetables are something that I really recommend.  They're a family of vegetables that include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and Brussels sprouts… All of them have several different chemicals in common.  They've got indole-3-carbinol, Calcium D-glucarate, and sulforaphane.  They have big anti-cancer properties to them, and they inhibit the growth of breast, prostate, colon cancer and a variety of other ones.  Of all the families of vegetables to consume, [cruciferous vegetables] are the ones to be aware of, so you can make sure you're including that in your diet frequently.

I use flax seed at times, but never seem to remember why.  Dr. Horner helps by saying, “The lignans in flax seed inhibit the growth of cancer in about a dozen different ways, including the exact same mechanism as the anti-cancer drug Tamoxifen and Arimidex, which shut down an enzyme in fat cells called aromatase that converts androgens into estrogens.” Aha!  We’ll be adding more flax seed to our recipes, for sure!

My husband tries to get proper sleep, but when he slips up, I try to explain to him how important it is.  Dr. Horner does a much better job at it:  “If we, for instance, go to bed by 10, we have higher levels of our sleep hormone melatonin; there's a spike that occurs between midnight and 1am, which you don't want to miss because the consequences are absolutely spectacular.  Melatonin is not only our sleep hormone, but it also is a very powerful antioxidant.  It decreases the amount of estrogen our body produces.  It also boosts your immune system… And it interacts with the other hormones.  So, if you go to bed after 10… it significantly increases your risk of breast cancer.”  Aha!  (Well, I like to think it doesn’t stop at breast cancer.)  Any cancer in general is a good enough reason, not to mention all the other benefits… but definitely assisting the immune system is something we all need.

Moving on to things other than food, we’ll look at stress.  We cannot stop traumatic events from happening in life, but it is interesting and insightful to read that when you experience stress like that, “your risk of breast cancer is 12 times higher in the ensuing five years.”  That’s more like an “ugh!” than an “aha!”

The final “aha!” is exercise.  It has some good defense, too! “One of the primary ways exercise lowers your risk for cancer is by reducing elevated insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells.  Additionally, exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood.  Your immune system is your first line of defense against everything from minor illnesses like a cold right up to devastating, life-threatening diseases like cancer.”

So, just like it’s nice to know why you’re right in telling your kidderz to wear a helmet when they ride their bikes, it’s nice to know why you’re right in creating healthier habits.  Go with your gut!  You know healthier is better. 

I’ll leave you with an Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.even better “aha!” than all the above “ahas!” combined:

Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.