Friday’s Frugal Five

I just love fall.  It is my favorite time of year when the weather cools down and it’s time to pull the crock pot out and make warm you all over stews and soups.

It’s also the time to pull out my big tea mugs for my hot teas.  The Z Man is a coffee drinker, but I am a tea girl.

Friday’s Frugal Five:

  1. I’ve slowed my roll this week and got back on track with meal planning and prepping.  What a huge difference that makes in the budget.  Listen, we have food and I mean we have plenty of food in our house, so there is no reason I should be at the grocery store.  I do not need to be at the grocery store more than once a week (if even that).  But if you don’t plan then you might as well plan to fail.
  2. Saturday is the beginning of hunting season and I am ready.  While the Z Man does all the hard work of harvesting the deer, I do all the processing.  Knives are sharp and freezer bags are stocked.  Stocking our freezer with venison saves us a ton of money every year in beef purchases.  The thing is that we really like venison.  We actually prefer venison in place of beef in most all recipes except a burger, because Double M Dairy ground beef is awesome and makes the best hamburgers!
  3. I’m disgusted to admit this, but in full disclosure I have to come clean and admit that I have become somewhat obsessed with frozen yogurt over the past month and was indulging myself way too often.  Not good for me and certainly not good for my budget! That stuff is expensive, especially when you put all the yummy (unhealthy) toppings on it.  I am proud to report that I did not get one frozen yogurt this week, saving about $6
  4. The importance of taking care of yourself for good health is obvious, but it’s also an important part of frugality as well.  I got back into my exercise program this week, cut out the junk and got back to whole food, clean eating.  Missing work, paying insurance deductibles and prescription cost… that’s NOT frugal.
  5. Our usual frugal routines of drying clothes on the clothes line, having our meals at home, paying our bills on time avoiding late fees, returning library rentals to avoid late fees, reducing waste, planning, budgeting and still breathing fresh air and adding to the pickle jar.  Whew, that’s a mouth full!

How about you, what frugal fun have you had this week?

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Till next time,

Lori

 

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Acid Reflux

A friend of mine reminded me of the benefits of coconut oil when it comes to dealing with acid reflux.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed mixing it in my hot tea, which is one way to get it in your diet.

Image result for coconut oil images

However, I am on a recovery mission so I am taking it straight from the teaspoon three times a day.

Cure Acid Reflux with Coconut Oil

When the esophageal sphincter fails to contract, it allows gastric acids to move from the stomach upward. This causes a burning sensation in the lower chest and throat known as acid reflux. Certain research reveals that acid reflux may be caused by bacteria that grows in the stomach. According to surveys, nearly half of all Americans experience the chest pain, bloating, and burping associated with acid reflux, or heartburn, at some point in their lives.

Various symptoms of acid reflux include gas, chest pain or heart burn, burping, bloating, bitter taste, experiencing uneasiness in lying down or bending.

There are plenty of commercial heartburn medicines available, but their effects are short-lived and they often cause unwanted side effects. Why bother wasting time and money on those when you can treat and prevent acid reflux with coconut oil?

Coconut Oil Helps To Reduce Acid Reflux

  • Coconut oil coats the throat and digestive tract, reducing burning sensations and other irritation caused by acid reflux.
  • The lauric acid in coconut oil is a natural antiseptic that kills the fungus and bacteria that cause acid reflux.
  • Overeating causes acid reflux because our stomachs struggle to break down large amounts of quickly consumed food. When taken before meals, coconut oil prevents overeating by making you feel full. This also helps you lose weight.
  • The medium chain triglycerides (MTCs) in coconut oil are easily digestible and they offer numerous health benefits.
  • Because it is alkaline, coconut oil neutralizes acid, reduces inflammation, and helps repair tissue damage caused by heartburn.
  • Coconut oil triggers the production of chloride, which is essential for the production of stomach acid which helps for proper digestion.

 

This is the brand that I’m using.  I’ll admit that at first taking it straight from the teaspoon is a little strange feeling.  Starting out with a smaller amount or mixing it in a hot beverage will work just fine too.

Image result for coconut oil images

 

If you suffer from acid reflux, try some coconut oil, it has helped me and it probably will help you too.

Till next time,

Lori

Happening On The Homestead

It’s been over a month since I last blogged and the simple reason for that is….  I burned out and I got sick.

Between working a full time job six days a week, putting something in jars (canning) almost every night till late (sometimes till early morning), helping the Z Man take care of our homestead and all the animals, it just all caught up with me and I came crashing down.  I went to the doctor because I wasn’t feeling good then came home and went to bed and slept for two days, then I got up and laid on the sofa for three days.

A couple of weeks later and after a few more visits with my doctor,  I’m feeling better, but still not 100%.

Time for some soul searching into what’s most important for us and weed out the rest.  I get so caught up in an idea or a project I want and it’s 100 miles an hour until it’s done.  The thing is that sometimes it’s never done.  I want more and more and more….

I have to admit that during this time, my diet was awful, just grabbing something here and there and grabbing all the wrong stuff.  This is one of the main reasons I got sick.  For someone who is six months coming off of Prilosec after having taken it for over 20 years, I can not neglect my diet.

The discomfort of my reflux and indigestion had become so bad that I went to urgent care thinking I was having a heart attack.  The EKG was normal, and the bariatric cocktail the doctor gave me to drink worked, and I am feeling much better, about 90% better.

But it’s time to slow down and get back to taking better care of myself, eating better, working less and Yoga begins this week.

In the meantime, here is what’s been happening on our little homestead.

Our beautiful Maddie delivered 6 perfect little puppies, three girls and three boys.

puppies-4

 

I was there with her while she was delivering and it was amazing.  She is such a good mama.

They are growing so fast.  I mean is this just not cuteness overload?

puppies-3

We got three new chickens.  Three Leghorn hens and they lay white eggs.

I kind of like getting white and brown eggs.

white-chicken-1

We harvested three of our older hens, which was the first time for the Z Man and I to do that.   I don’t have pictures, but it went very well and peaceful.

Back when I quit smoking on January 4th I started saving my weekly cigarette money.  By saving the money specifically for a “treat” for the accomplishment of quitting it not only motivated me to get through the cravings and over the habit of smoking, it gave me something to look forward to as well.

So, the Z Man and I had a little fun with my quit smoking money…

game-5

We went to the Redskins season opener against Pittsburgh.  I am a Redskins fan and the Z Man is a Pittsburgh fan, so it was perfect that this year they were playing each other.  Unfortunately, it didn’t end well for my Redskins.

It’s amazing to me that by quitting smoking I was able to pay for a little mini vacation for us.  Now, that’s some good motivations right there.

game-3

So, that’s whats been going on around here.   I’ve really missed blogging, but I’ll be talking to you soon 😉

Till next time,

Lori

 

Day Three – No Prilosec

For more than 20 years I’ve taken prilosec (or the generic, omeprazole).  I was prescribed the medicine when I went to the doctor for stomach pain. He suggested that it could be stomach ulcers and ordered some upper GI testing.  Back then you drank this horrible thick pink liquid and then lay face down on a table that tilted you back and forth like a lava lamp.  It was a very awkward procedure to say the least.

Thankfully no ulcers were found, but the pain persisted so we continued with the testing and finally found that my gal bladder was full of stones and needed to be removed.

After having my gal bladder removed I tried to stop the prilosec but by then it was in my system and trying to stop it caused terrible reflux and heartburn.  It was easier just to stay on it and the doctor agreed.  Remember this was more than 20 years ago…

Fast forward to today and I am on my third day of not taking prilosec.

It’s been seven weeks since I began this process of weaning myself off the drug.

I started this process after going to the doctor a few months ago for stomach pain.  Ironic huh 🙂   My doctor wanted to run some test but I couldn’t be seen by the specialist for about six months and in the mean time “we could up the dose of prilosec if I wanted to”   That’s when I made the decision to look into options for myself and do what I could on my own.

Last week was the last step down dose of the prilosec of each week removing 25 of the 200 little balls in a 40mg omeprazole (generic prilosec) capsule.  I have spoken to other people with the same dosage but their capsules have only 36 little balls.  They made the decision to reduce it by 6 little balls each week.

Side note:  I have to admit that I chuckle a little bit every time I type “little balls”  It’s just funny.  Yes I’m 12 years old. 🙂

Anyway….  I have had some moderate discomfort with heartburn and a couple instances of reflux, but in total disclosure I have to admit that I’ve been a little bad in regards to my diet (pizza and wine) and lets go ahead and add portion control to the mix too, all of which is probably more the cause of my discomfort instead of the absence of the medicine.

I’ve also decided to add probiotic to may daily regimen.  Following is a list of the supplements I’m taking now and I’ve included some information on all of them from Dr. Amy Myers with mindbodygreen.

Probiotics
Our gut is full of “good”and friendly bacteria that help us properly break down and digest our food. They help keep our gut in check and prevent ‘bad’ bacteria from overgrowth. Unfortunately, these friendly bacteria can be depleted and disrupted by taking antibiotics, steroids, acid-blocking medications, eating a poor diet, and many other factors. Taking a highly concentrated dose (25-100 billion units a day) of probiotics on a daily basis can help you regain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.

L-Glutamine
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is fundamental to the well-being of the digestive and immune systems. Glutamine is great for repairing damage to the gut, helping the gut lining to regrow and repair, undoing the damage caused by leaky gut, and reducing sugar cravings. I recommend 3-5 grams a day.

Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are plant or microbial-based supplements that support the breakdown, absorption, and utilization of macronutrients. Taken with meals, they work with the body’s own reduced supply of enzymes to achieve maximum digestion and support intestinal repair mechanisms.

Slippery Elm
It might have kind of a strange name, but slippery elm has been used as an effective gut healer for centuries in the United States. This supplement both contains mucilage and stimulates nerve endings in the body’s intestinal tract to increase natural mucus secretion, which is an instrumental part of the stomach’s protective lining and helps combat ulcers and excessive acidity in the digestive system. It also contains important antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel symptoms.

Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)
DGL is an herb that has been used for over 3,000 years in the treatment of digestive issues including ulcers and indigestion. It’s made from whole licorice, but the manufacturing process includes the removal of glycyrrhizin, which can cause an elevation in blood pressure. DGL supports the body’s natural processes for maintaining the mucosal lining of the stomach and duodenum.

 

Like I said before, this will be a lifetime process of being aware of my diet and the triggers that cause discomfort.  Also managing portion control, properly chewing my food and not eating two hours before bedtime.

These are things I should have been doing all along and I suppose we can chalk that up to being another side effect of the PPI drugs.  Being able to over eat and basically eat anything I wanted because I could just take a pill for any discomfort it caused me.   Think about that for a minute.  How crazy is that?

It makes me wonder if there was a pill that cured cancer how many people would start smoking (again).

Now that I’ve had to pay attention to the foods I eat and when I eat them I have learned that if I start my day on the “right track” then the rest of the day goes well.  The “right track” for me is a breakfast of mostly protein and very little, if any grains.  Luckily we are blessed daily by our chickens with fresh eggs and I have a freezer full of sausage and bacon from our hogs.  Cereal, over night oats and muffins for breakfast are out (for now anyway).

The most important factor about dinner is timing and portion control.  I try very hard to make sure that dinner is finished at least 2 hours before bedtime and I also make sure that my portions are in check by using a salad plate as my dinner plate.  I also drink very little fluids with dinner usually just sipping on some water.

This is my plan for the next 30 days…  Now that I’ve stopped the prilosec I will continue the L-Glutamine and probiotics in the  mornings, DGL licorice before meals, digestive enzymes after meals and slippery elm as needed.

The anxiety…  I’ve said that this process hasn’t been that difficult, and I’m proud of myself for doing it the right way and including the supplements allowing me to wean off the drugs and heal my gut at the same time.  What I haven’t talked about in my blogs is the anxiety associated with it.   If you’ve taken any of these PPI medications, then you know how effective they are in preventing heart burn and reflux.  And I’m betting you also know how painful the heartburn and reflux can be when you miss a dose.  It can be excruciating!  I don’t know one person who isn’t to some degree afraid of pain.  This is what can cause the anxiety.  I’ve asked the Z Man many times… what if it doesn’t work… what if I make it worse…. what if I can’t do it…  what if……

This is where I need to say Thank You to the Z Man for his support and encouragement through this.  Thank You My Love! 🙂

While I was worried about the possible discomfort and pain, what’s worse is the fear of the terribly damaging side effects of these drugs that made me want to finish this.

I’m sorry this post got so long and I want to thank you for letting me share my experience with you, it has inspired me to do the research, to learn more and to make better choices for us.   Thank you! 🙂

Have a great day,

Till Next Time,

Lori