FARM Cooking = Good Medicine

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HOW MY JOURNEY TO HEALTH BEGAN…

I think I’m having a heart attack!

That’s how it felt, as I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance!

Yet, after a weeks stay in the cardiac unit… various tests – including a heart catheter to see if there were any blockages… I was given a prescription of antacids and sent home.

Diagnosis – a severe form of Reflux!

With medicine in hand, I went home, but continued eating the way I always had – with every bad habit I’d learned since childhood! 

Let me explain…

I grew up in a family that didn’t drink alcohol or smoke, but all food — no matter how unhealthy — was considered okay.

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Most of my childhood memories – both good and bad – centered around food.

When we had something to celebrate, we celebrated by going out to eat.

When we were sad, we consoled ourselves with comfort food.

When I got home from school, milk and cookies, or some other sweet confectionary, was a ‘tide-me-over’ until dinner.

As I got older and moved out on my own, I rarely exercised, and ate junk food constantly. I paid little, if any, attention to my health.

FAST FORWARD TO 2014

After dad passed away, mom decided she wanted to move to the country… to raise chickens, and grow our own food…

But even then, my bad eating habits and my love of sweet confectionery foods continued…

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However, after my third trip to the hospital, and second stay in the cardiac unit – once again told that it was my digestive system, I knew drastic changes were needed!

I began educating myself with different eating plans… Yet I was still having severe pains in my stomach, which now included pain in my gallbladder!

My digestive track was under attack!

In August 2016, I began a severe elimination diet. The purpose – to eliminate the pain!

I was only eating 4 veggies (carrots, zuchinni, spinach and green beans), chicken, and homemade bone broth.

Amazingly, within 24 hours the pain was gone!

The only problem – I quickly became bored with my ‘diet!’

I needed to find a better way to eat. A food plan that would allow me to eat without pain!

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That’s when I stumbled upon an eating plan that helped me understand my relationship with food and how it affected my health.

Unfortunately, as good as the plan was, its wasn’t meant to be a long term eating plan…

I needed something that would carry me through this journey we call life!

That’s when it hit me… The foods I was growing and raising on my little homestead was providing me the nourishment I needed for good health!

Henceforth, ‘Farm Cooking’- eating whole fresh foods from the farm, equals good medicine!

Here’s to good health!

~ Sheri

A Game of ‘Chase the Chicken’

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My chickens are escape artists!

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Oh, they look innocent enough when you see them frolicking happily in the field… but don’t you dare turn your backs on them! My dastardly little dinos are quite mischievous!

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They are always looking for new things to get into or investigate. And, every chance they get, when they know we’re not looking, they find ways to escape our yard!

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On more than one occasion, I have found several of our more mischievous chickens frolicking in our neighbors garden! With my neighbor getting ready to plant seeds and starter plants, our chickens need to be confined to our yard! The question is how?!?

We’ve tried clipping their wings… Didn’t work!

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And, just when I think I have secured every possible escape route, they seem to find another! With spring here, they are becoming even more adventurous!

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Thankfully, my neighbors don’t seem to mind – too much.

After all, we did adopt the original flock from them!

I guess our brood assumes its okay to jump the fence and go visiting every once in a while… Or maybe it’s a way to beat barnyard boredom…

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Either way, Teriyaki (Terry), our head rooster (we’ve got 5), can’t protect them if they’re on the wrong side of the fence.

So, like any good informant, he lets us know when his hens escape.

I’m not sure if he’s giving his hens a good talking to or not… To be honest, when I’m out there chasing his hens back over the fence, I think it’s more like he’s laughing at me!

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Even those who use the trail next to our home find it quite amusing to watch us chasing our chickens! Especially since chickens can run faster than humans!

I’d love to replace our present fencing with taller fencing. but until we’re a little more flush financially, it’s a game of ‘Chase the Chicken!’

Until next time,

~ Sheri

Ready for Spring!

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It’s been a topsy turvy, rollercoaster ride with the weather, this winter! With temps one day in the 20’s or below, and in the 60’s the next, it’s been hard to plan or get any work done!

Just when I finally figured out what I wanted to do with the pile of pallets in the back of our yard, mother nature decided to dump more snow on us – with the threat of more snow on the weekend!

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I’m so ready for spring!

I’m anxiously awaiting the day when I can get into the garden and plant seeds.

Getting dirt under my fingernails is therapy to this winter weary country girl!

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When I dig into the dirt, feelings of pleasure fill my head as I work the ground. It makes me feel useful and productive!

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I am looking forward to seeing our vegetables grow… and our grocery bill shrinking!

Our plans are for a much larger garden this year! However, I’m not too sure how we will keep our chickens out?!?

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The fencing that used to be around our garden, was used to enlarge our flocks free range area, out behind and around our barn.

Although at first they we’re not sure about being allowed to go into the new area, it has become their favorite spot to hang out! The ground seems to be softer… easier for them to dust bath in.

In choosing the seeds I want to plant, I want to ensure I will have plenty of the foods that will allow me to be successful while following The Whole 30.

And my clients, from my home based business, are even getting excited! I’m creating delicious, healthy meals during cooking demonatrations, giving them healthier options that fit their busy lifestyles!

With all these plans I’ve got, I’m itching to get started. I’m so ready for spring.

Now, if Mother Nature would just cooperate!

Until next time,

~ Sheri

Restoring Order…

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Well isn’t that a fine how do ya do! Here I told ya I was back, only to wind up having disappear again!

Turns out that after working away from the homestead, I found oodles of work to do!

One project in particular was dealing with a broken fence, out behind the barn!

Of course it was cold and raining… and, I wound up with a cold that knocked me off my feet for several weeks!

That’s what I get for working on the fence in the cold, cold rain!

Well, I’m here again. Not at 100%, but better than I was…

The littles must know I’m not at my best, because the boys’ have been quite the handful lately!

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‘EggHead’ and his brothers kept jumping over the broken fence…

Their 6 sisters following after them!

More than once our neighbors had to shoo our gang down to our place!

Thankfully they are understanding…

Especially since their Guinea hens like to come down and visit our boys on occasion.

Guess its a case of the grass being greener…

Now that I’m on the mend, its back to work…

Egghead, up to his usual shenanigans, started quite a ruckus, while scratching in our old tomato bed, near the back door of our house…

Out of the blue, ‘Egghead’ let out such a terrible screech. His brothers and sisters joined the screeching and took flight – in my direction!

I thought for sure that I was in the middle of an Alfred Hitchcock movie!

As I raised my arms in protection, the gang flew past me heading to a pile of skids where the flock like a to hang out.

Thankful that my eyes weren’t plucked out, I continued to watch the actions of the babies. Turns out that 3 of the boys tried to hump 1 of our hens at the same time!

I knew then that it was time to remove the boys from the flock.

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They were not happy about being moved to the confines of the barn… but at least there is order once more…

The girls are feeling more comfortable with only 1 rooster -Teriyaki (Terry) – in charge!

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Until next time,

Sheri

 

I’m Baaaaaack!

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After what seems like an interminably long time away, I’ve come back home.

No, I haven’t gone anywhere, other than to work… at a job away from the homestead.

If you’ve been following along, you might remember that back in January, mom decided to retire.

Shortly after, however, we had a slew of issues that hit us hard financially!

The biggest issue was when our heating system went out during the coldest part of the year!

We limped along through the growing season, but when it became evident that I needed to have my truck repaired – something I use quite a bit of – I realized that I needed to find a job away from the homestead!

And so it was… Each day I went to my job, leaving mom and the homestead behind…

Yet, life continues to throw us one curve ball after another. Once again, I find myself back on the farm, fulltime, to deal with family health issues.

Today, as I wandered around our little homestead, I made a list of all the things that need to be done!

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It would seem I’ve got my work cut out for me!

The only problem now, is that I’m fighting my own health issues! I seem to have gotten a bug…

As I sit here peruseing my ‘to do’ list, I’ve decided to take the day off and take care of my self. And, enjoying a nice cup of hot water with honey and apple cider vinegar. It’s good for what ails ya!

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So, as I ponder where to begin, I think I will focus on some basic practical indoor skills before I tackle the challenge of the work outdoors…

But, today, I rest…

It’s good to be home!

Sheri

When Food Doesn’t Satisfy

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Let’s face it! We not only desire food, we need it to survive!

But what happens when that food doesn’t satisfy us?

This dissatisfaction is usually an emotional one and if not dealt with, can manifest itself in a number of ways – such as bulimia, anorexia or compulsive eating.

To often we don’t know why or even understand the reason we give in to our unhealthy eating habits.

For example…

All my life, I have struggled with being overweight. I have tried many different weight loss plans, and even lossed weight… But, as soon as I lost the weight, I reverted to my old habits and gained all the weight back, and then some!

Why?

Well, in my case, I am an emotional eater… And when I am depressed, I really eat!

The reason – I look to food to find comfort!

I won’t go into detail about the reasons why I succumb to food for comfort – that’s a post for another day – just suffice it to say, the root cause of my emotional eating stems from a very poor self image.

Once I realized the hidden reason behind my unhealthy eating habits, I started looking at things differently…

First, I had to ask myself, ‘Do I want to be made well?’ — ‘Am I ready to face the truth?’ — Am I ready to give up this flawed thinking, and do what is necessary to get healthy?’

The road to reclaiming my health is not an easy one… I am fighting emotional demons…

Finding the willpower to overcome first takes the desire to be made well.

My faith, my trust in God, who is faithful and true to help me in this battle will help me overcome those demons…

I will lose the weight… and KEEP it off!

I am providing the will… others will provide encouragement… and He provides the power…

I can do this!

Until next time, eat healthy!

~ Sheri

 

 

Let the Healing Begin!

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DO YOU WANT TO GET WELL?

Do you ever have times when you have felt that you just ‘didn’t get it?’ You know, where sometimes you have to hear something a couple of times… Or maybe many, many times before the light bulb in your head clicks on?

As I sat in church this past Sunday, once again, the story of a man who was sick for 38 years was brought to my attention…

Back in the days when Jesus walked the earth, there was a pool… and at certain times, an angel would stir the waters… The first person to step into the water, after the water was stirred, would be healed of whatever disease they had! How cool is that?!?

One day, Jesus saw this man who had been sick for 38 years and asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?

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EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES!

I would have thought that the man would have answered with a resounding “YES!”

However, he did not…

Instead, he gave Jesus excuses as to why he couldn’t get into the pool.

This got me to thinking. How many times do we make excuses for not taking better care of ourselves?

I know in my own life, I struggle with eating healthy. I know what I should eat, but I make excuses as go why I can’t go without those unhealthy foods!

But as I continued to listen to the story of this man, it came with a new twist…

Our pastor asked us a question. Why didn’t he just say yes? Why did he make excuses? Was it because he was comfortable in his situation? Had he become so used to people taking care of him, that being healed, he might actually have to live a healthy and productive life?!? Perhaps he enjoyed being taken care of… perhaps it was more comfortable for him to wallow in self pity…

This made me stop and wonder… Were there any underlying reasons keeping me from eating healthy…

I’ll share with you next time what I uncovered.

Till then, eat healthy!

~ Sheri