Jan 22, 2011

Find Spring Fed Water Sources Near You

Over 30 years ago, my husband and I lived in Haledon, NJ, not far from a source of spring water. All residents of the Town had access with a key given only to residents by the Town to this source of water. It was just around the corner from us, so we went regularly and filled bottles full of delicious drinking water. It was so very much better than the chlorinated tap water we had at the time.  I'm not sure whether they still offer this service to residents of Haledon, but it was a wonderful thing while we were living there.

There is a site that tells you, by state, where to find sources of spring water near you called findaspring.com - you can look at the "Springs by Region" tab along the top and find the spring water source closest to you...in and in some regions outside of the United States.

You can also add a spring to the site if you know of one near you that is not listed on the map. 

Updated 3/288/16

Sources of good spring drinking water are hard to come by, so treasure it if you find one!

Jan 19, 2011

Learning About Foods By Trying them Free

I just finished typing a post about saving on groceries, and then came upon a site that gives you the opportunity to try things for free. This can be helpful if you are interested in learning about a food or kitchen item, but don't want to spend the money until you know more. I noticed there were offers, at least at the time I am typing this, for free Magic Grip Jar Openers; free Fiber Plus Cereal; free samples from Gerber and also free Enfamil samples for new mothers; free Men's Health Guides; free french fries and the list goes on and on.

Can I suggest something? When you visit sites like this, don't just go through the list and get anything that you see for free...get things that interest you, or you will overwhelm the party that is giving away free things. You are not likely to try something that doesn't interest you once you receive it anyway. I remember once I was offering free stuff and there was simply no way I could provide for all the people that contacted me, but I am not a large company either. 

Updated 3/28/16

I love the idea of free trials when it comes to helping people decide whether a product is something they would like to use in the future.

6 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store

From gas to groceries, everything is getting more expensive, challenging our dollars to stretch further and further. We have to find ways to spend less on groceries while still getting the things that we need to feed ourselves and our families. Here are 6 ways to save money at the grocery store. Some are obvious, but maybe during better times, you have gotten out of the habit of practicing them, so it's time reconsider these simple ways to save.


  1. Clip coupons - Whether you clip coupons from newpapers, save the ones often printed out with your receipt when you shop, or search them out online and print them, coupons are one of the best ways to save. Couponing has become quite popular and the subject of television programs.
  2. Use a Loyalty Card - Most stores have cards that give their regular customers discounts on select items each week.  Our ShopRite offers what they call a "Price Plus" card.  That, added to coupons that you clip, or are sometimes generated at checkout, can give you significant savings.
  3. Use Digital Coupons - I am updating this post and including this method of saving as it has become popular in recent years. Our supermarket has a weekly list of digital coupons online that I check off after logging in. They are identified at checkout by my loyalty card which I and the amount is automatically deducted
  4. Buy more staples than prepared foods. It is easier to buy a box of macaroni and cheese, but is it more economical? Sometimes if may be, but you may be trading good nutrition by purchasing prepared foods with all the additional chemicals added.  More often than not, a large box of macaroni and a block of cheese will make more servings for your family than one box of prepared macaroni and cheese.  And you have the option to buy a better pasta...I like to use multi-grain pasta in my Macaroni and Cheese. The next time you go shopping and pick up a box or bag of an already prepared item, ask yourself if you can make that at home for less. If you can, then put that item back in favor of less expensive staples.
  5. Buy in bulk and buy extra when items are on sale. Consider the food items that you use most often. Cereals, meats, vegetables, condiments, juices, and paper products can be bought in bulk usually at a lower price at food warehouses like Costco, BJ’s, and Wal-Mart. Of course, storage will be a factor here, but do the best that you can.  We have an extra freezer, and I only buy meats at our "regular" supermarket when on sale and get an extra package each time so that we are always eating meat that was purchased on sale, and have a variety in the freezer at all times.  I do this with frozen vegetables as well.
  6. Don’t shop when you are hungry.  Shopping on an empty stomach means that you will pick up more things than you need. You are more likely to pick up that bag of chocolate chip cookies or that box of donuts when the growling gets underway.
  7. Use a shopping list - I keep a list going as things run out during the week and limit my shopping to what I need plus specials as mentioned above.  Check your cabinets and the fridge to see what you need and write them down, and stick with your list as much as possible. With the shop-at-home services that many stores offer that allow you to shop online, you can have a list of commonly used items readily available to you when you log in to your account at your supermarket.
  8. Shop at the same stores. This is easy for us as we are in a relatively rural area and there's only or two large stores in the area. Going to the same store each time makes you more familiar with the prices so you can estimate your bill as you write your grocery list.
Rising prices don’t have to mean a lean dinner table. There are ways to make your food dollar go further and if you take the time to implement the ideas listed above as well as others of your own, you’ll see savings each and every time you shop.

Updated 3/28/16

Jan 11, 2011

What is the Colonoscopy Procedure Like?

Someone commented on my earlier post mentioning that I had a colonoscopy asking me to describe the preparation and procedure...I can do that, but want you to remember that this is my experience...your doctor may guide you through a different, but similar approach.

Preparation:

The entire day before the colonoscopy, I had no solid foods. And I waited 3 weeks from my doctor appointment until the day of the colonoscopy, so had time to get much more nervous than I should have...I'll know better next time.

During the day before, I was able to eat/drink lemon Italian ice, yellow Gatorade (62 oz during the day), broth, anything liquid that was not dark or red. 

I was supposed to take 4 Dulcolax plus 230 grams of MiraLax , the latter is a powder mixed into another 62 oz bottle of Gatorade. I will not tell you the exact timing on how this is taken, your doctor will, or you can search for it online, I am not comfortable taking responsibility. But I will say that I have IBS and a VERY sensitive colon, so tried just 1 Dulcolax in the morning to see how my body would respond...well it responded very powerfully, so I didn't take any more of that.

When it came time for the Miralax solution, I mixed about 1/4 less of the Miralax than the doctor suggested into the bottle of Gatorade and drank in the intervals suggested in the late afternoon/early evening. It lead to a real good clean-out. I was able to get some sleep in eventually...but up often...it's good to stay near a bathroom. For me there was no cramping or pain.

My appointment was at about 7:30 in the morning. This was my second Colonoscopy, the first was 4 years ago, and I used an oral Fleets product and found that it was even more draining than the procedure that I did this time...still, I was quite weak and tired when I went for my appointment, this is to be expected. 

The biggest suggestion I can make is to get as much fluid as you can up until midnight the night before...you have to stop drinking at midnight...and drink the full 2 bottles of Gatorade as well as water during that time...one of them is your prep, the other just for fluids that contain electrolytes you need. 

The preparation dehydrates you by pulling fluids into the colon from the body, so you need enough fluid in your system to compensate.

Procedure:

The procedure is nothing, especially if you are sleeping during it.  You need a driver to bring you and take you home.  You go in, register, change into your gown and lie down, get your intravenous, I was given oxygen right before being put to sleep...and you wake up feeling great, at least with the drug they gave me. You don't feel a thing, and are awake and walking within a very short time.  

I was offered my choice of juices to drink after waking.  I was lead by a nurse or aid to the place where I changed into the gown, my cloths and pocketbook locked in a locker, and then left to change.  Then was led to wait for my son, and on my way home in an hour or less from the time I woke up. My son drove me and it was about 2 hours between the time he dropped me off for the procedure and the time he took me home. When you get home, you rest and sleep off the rest of the anesthesia, which is very mild, but you shouldn't drive until the next day.

An odd after affect, I felt like I had a cold for a couple of days after...lots of sneezing and aggravated sinuses, probably due to whatever was blowing into my nasal passages when given oxygen. It was annoying, but passed.

I had one pea sized polyp removed the first 2 times I had a colonoscopy. One was the kind that can turn into cancer if left alone. The 3rd colonoscopy at the end of 2015 (see below)...no polyps, so I get a 5 year break.

That's all there is to it....anticipating it, and the preparation are "harder" than the procedure itself. And it's worth it, especially if they find something that shouldn't be there and remove it, reducing your risk of developing colon cancer.  If they find nothing, generally you can wait 5 years for your next look-see, your doctor will let you know.

March 2016 Update:

I had another colonoscopy done at the end of 2015...waiting 4 years rather than 3. This time the doctor prescribed a liquid preparation for me to use...NEVER AGAIN! Being the sensitive person I am, I was able to keep down the first dose, and it seemed to be plenty to clear me out. The second dose did not stay down, my body rejected it immediately, and I was sick right up until the time they took me in to do the colonoscopy...which went fine. NO POLYPS this time. 

So next time, I will be going back to the procedure I described earlier, with the over the counter Miralax etc., I'll insist on it no matter what the doctor says...unless they have come up with a milder solution by then.  

Jan 5, 2011

A Happy Healthy Colon

I may have posted on this blog a few months back that I had a colonoscopy, a test that can prevent cancer if done regularly. During the test, my second one in 4 years, they removed another polyp of the type that can, if left alone, turn into cancer. So I feel that the effort and time involved is not wasted.

Then I returned home, and found that my digestive system was a good bit out of balance, likely because the bacteria in the colon was out of balance, so started taking a Probiotic supplement which helped tremendously.

I don't often use articles written by others, preferring to write my own material, but the following was helpful, so for today, I'd like to share this with you:

Boost Colon Health With Nutrition and Digestive Enzymes 

by Darrell Miller

A healthy colon is the basis for a healthy body, with most of not realizing exactly how important a healthy colon is for obtaining and maintaining optimal wellness. When searching for a healthy body, colon health should be a primary concern, as it is the source for a lot of diseases and health problems. A healthy body depends on the maintenance of a healthy digestive system and elimination. Since food is the primary source of fuel for the body, if the wrong foods are eaten, the body will not function as it should.

The nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids that are found in the foods we eat are what give us the energy and resources that keep us alive. Sadly, the foods we eat are also loaded with toxins and unnecessary substances that prevent our body from removing waste properly. A healthy colon means a healthy body, so learning natural methods to achieve colon health is extremely important. Nutritious eating habits, cleansing diets, fiber sources, herbal remedies, and nutritional substances can all contribute to the body’s well being.

The food we eat ultimately determines how efficiently our entire body system works, with digestion being the body’s first line of defense against foreign invaders that cause disease. The digestive system is also responsible for supplying cells with the nutrients and compounds that they need. There are many factors that contribute to digestive disorder including overeating cooked food and not enough raw foods, constipation, wrong combination of food, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, sugar and sweets, white flour products, stress, any imbalance in the body, lack of hydrochloric acid and enzymes, Candida overgrowth, colon and liver congestion, allergies, hiatal hernia, gallbladder problems, ulcers, and heart problems.

Americans usually cause the most harm to themselves because of the types and amounts of food that they eat. In order to break down food, the body uses hydrochloric acid that is found in the stomach. This acid is actually strong enough to dissolve metal and is used in the stomach to neutralize the inappropriate substances, toxins, and bacteria that enter the body through the food that we eat daily. On occasion, the stomach and the acid inside breaks down and digestive malfunctions result.

There are many nutrients that are recommended to assist in proper digestion. Digestive enzymes are critical for digestion of any food, with acidophilus being important for proper bowel function. Hydrochloric acid is crucial for the assimilation of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and calcium. B complex vitamins promote a healthy digestive tract and assist enzymes in the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Sodium, which is stored in the stomach wall and joints, neutralizes the acidity in the body and is needed when there is a deficiency of hydrochloric acid.

With out hydrochloric acid in the stomach, calcium, an essential mineral can not break down and is not properly absorbed in the stomach. Fiber, essential for proper digestion and elimination of food, reduces the absorption of fat, inhibits bad estrogens from absorbing into the bloodstream, and helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Additionally herbal aids such as capsicum, garlic, gentian, ginger, golden seal, licorice, papaya, and psyllium powder are great for assisting with digestion. Taking a good digestive enzyme is the first step to promoting a healthy digestive system and properly function colon. As we age, digestive functions will decline which causes disorders such as fatigue due to mal absorption. Those over 50 should take a digestive aid on their heaviest meal to ensure that proper digestion is happening and good health will continued free form disease.

Author Resource: More information on colon health is available at VitaNet ®, LLC Health Food Store. http://vitanetonline.com/

Used with permission. Formerly on Selling with Articles.