Friday, January 21, 2011

The "Zig-zag" Diet Plan

This isn't a new diet "per say" but it is new to me.  It goes by other names as well -----  

I first heard about it being referred to as  the "Calorie Shifting" diet plan.  Then I found it referred to as the "Calorie Cycling" diet plan... but I prefer the last reference I found it labeled under:  "The Zig-Zag Diet".  This diet plan interests me for many reasons:

1.  It recommends you eat many small meals a day, which is becoming a very popular and scientifically supported and productive dieting tip.

2.  It gives you "cheat days" where you can indulge, within reason, so you don't feel deprived.

3.  It is balanced, no food is banned, but common sense is stressed, so you can eat the foods you want, you just need to factor them in at the right time, and on the right days.

Here are the basics:

The 1-2-3 rule, when following the diet plan:

In each of your meals, approximately 1 part of the calories should come from fats, 2 parts from protein and 3 parts from carbohydrates. 

This is a guideline, not a hard-and-fast law. Just keep your fat intake down to a low level but do not eliminate fat completely, as some fat is essential for maintaining good health, but make wise choices like olive oil; sesame oil; or coconut oil.

Consume enough protein and carbohydrates in comparison to your energy output.  Carbs are your body's preferred energy fuel source.  Remember that protein and carbohydrates both have 4 calories per gram, while fat has 9 calories per gram.  Choose smart carbs like whole grains and try to limit your white flour/white sugar intake. 

Next, you will  need to discover how many calories you will need to consume each day, times that number by 7 (your weekly caloric intake number) and chart out your eating plan.
Here is a link to a BMI calculator, that will help you determine how many calories you need to consume each day:  Calorie Calculator

On a busy day, I could eat 1900 calories to maintain the weight I'm at now.  On a relaxed day, I should only eat around 1750 calories, to maintain the weight I'm at now.  But, I want to lose weight (a lot of weight!)  And since 1 pound of body fat is equal to approximately 500 calories, I will need to shave 2000 calories out of my weekly menu to lose 2 lbs. of weight each week.  

So, by "shifting" or "cycling" my calories in a "Zig-zag" pattern, my body is not able to predict how many calories I'm going to be eating on any given day or week, thus, the theory is, it won't go into starvation mode, nor will it become stalled out on a plateau of normalcy.  

A Zig-zag week for me might look something like this:

I calculated how many calories I can eat a day to be 1850 calories; times that by 7 =  13,000

So my week might look like this:

Monday:  1750
Tuesday:  2000
Wednesday: 1750
Thursday:  1750
Friday:  1800

Which leaves me with 3800 calories to split; and because it's a weekend, I can choose to go a bit heavy on Saturday, if I have a date night planned with my husband.  Or, if I have a pot-luck after church on Sunday scheduled on my calendar, I would probably choose to use my heavy calorie day there instead.

So, you can be flexible, and here is what my weekend might look like:

Saturday:  1800
Sunday:  2150

The key is to keep your metabolism "guessing" and don't let it get complacent in it's expectations of how many calories you will be eating on any given day --- switch it up!

Don't allow your weeks to remain the same either, little switches is all it takes!

Zig and then zag!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tis the Season --- hoe, hoe, hoe. . . For Pondering Gardening!

I am just itching for spring, and as I sit here in my cozy home, with snow and ice falling outside my window today, I figured it's time to start gathering seed catalogs and ordering my garden seeds for 2011.  We plant only Heirloom / Open Pollinated vegetable seeds, so we can save seeds (and thereby save money on seeds in the future, plus share them with family and friends!).

Here is a list of some catalogs that offer Heirloom seeds:
Annie's Heirloom Seeds
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Seed Savers
Abundant Life Seeds
Victory Seeds

Monday, January 10, 2011

A new loom, "looming" in my future....

My husband is building me a sock loom, and I'm very excited to get a chance to try it out!  We have to make a trip into town to look for "cotter pins" (they are the little pegs or pins that the yarn is wound around in order for the actual knitting to take place) and it will be done!  I'll post some pictures when I get it up and running! I'm hoping I might actually be able to learn to knit socks with this method!  Worse case scenario is I'll have a closet full of leg warmers and hats!  Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Knitting Board Blog

Build your own adjustable knitting loom!

Here are some web sites that show you how to build a wooden adjustable knitting loom:

Plans and instructions
Suggestions for gauges to use when building your loom(s):
Loom Gauges
Gauge Peg Dist. Stitches
per Inch
Yarn Recommendations
Large 5/8" 2.5 1 strand of Super Bulky (6)
1 strand of Bulky (5)
2 strands of Medium (4)
Regular 1/2" 3 1 strand of Bulky (5)
2 strands of Medium (4)
Small 4/9" 3.5 1 strand of Medium (4)
2 strands of Light (3)
Extra Small 3/8" 4 1 strand of Medium (4)
2 strands of Light (3)
Fine 1/4" 5 1 strand of Light (3)
1-2 strands of Fine (2)
2 strands of Super Fine (1)
Extra Fine 3/16" 7-8 1 strand of Fine (2)
1 strand of Super Fine (1)

Looms from Knitting

 These are examples of knitting boards; aka "knitting looms" made by  I love their metal pegs with grooves on the smaller sock loom; and I am trying to find a source for those type of pegs. 

Until then, we will use "Cotter Pins" (found at most hardware stores, or try Fastener Mart where I got 500 for around $16.00.  (It will take almost 200 just to do one double loom; and my husband was having so much fun building the first one, he played around with another style, so now I have two looms to play with!  (One will most likely find a new home soon at my daughters house!) 

And because we will have 100 left over Cotter Pins, I hinted really hard that I would like a smaller one sock loom like the last picture above with the green yarn, so it can travel with me!  I am trying to secure better pins/pegs for future looms, and I will post pictures of the completed looms when they are up and running!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One more list for items to have on hand in emergency situations....

Main Food Staples
Beef - Cooked and Canned
Pork – Cooked and Canned
Chicken - Canned
Sardines (optional)
Tuna / Canned Seafood
Assorted Cheese (can be frozen)

Flour – unbleached white
Bisquick - baking mix
Corn starch
Baking powder
Baking soda
Salt  (3 lbs per person)           
Cayenne Pepper -  1 large can
Herbal Seasonings
Sugar  (60 lbs per person)

Whole wheat berries
Rice, (100 lbs per person)
Corn meal  
Peas (50 lbs per person)
Beans  (50 lbs per person)
Lentils  (50 lbs per person)
Dried Beans / Split Peas

Poppy Seeds
Oatmeal (50 lbs per person)
Noodles / Pasta / Top Ramen
Dried Potato Mixes

Dried Milk (80 lbs per person)
Powdered Coffee and Tea
Kool-Aid and Instant Fruit Drinks
Gatorade dry mix drink

Honey  (60 lbs per person)
Maple Syrup
Peanut butter (50 lbs per person)

Granola Bars
Mixed Nuts
Bottled Water

Canned Goods
Green Beans
Fruit cocktail
Canned Vegetables
Canned Pineapple
Canned Pumpkin
Canned Potatoes
Canned Yams
Canned Berries
Canned Pie Fillings
Canned Chili
Canned Soups
Pasta Sauce
Refried Beans

Sunflower Seeds

Cake Mixes
Pudding mixes
Bread Mixes
Canned Frosting

Dried Cereals
Dried Fruits

Olive Oil
Grapeseed oil

Other Needs to Consider
Garbage Bags
Dish Soap
Laundry Soap
Fabric Softener
Toilet Tissue
Paper Towels
Nose Tissues
Stacks of Old Newspaper
Bee Sting Kit
Coffee Grinder
Whole Wheat Grinder 
Meat Grinder

Medications (OTC & Rx)

Dog Food
Cat Food
Livestock feed
Medications for your pets

Cleaning Equipment
Vacuum cleaners
Soaps of various kinds
Air spray / freshener
Cleaning supplies

Mosquito netting
Bug spray
Bug repellent
Bee sting kits
Snake bite kits
Sleeping bags
Rain slickers
Hiking boots
Extra dry socks
Rain boots
Air mattresses
Puncture kits
Rain repellent coating paint
Ridge poles
Pins and rings
Repair kits
Bungee stretch cords
Air hand or foot pump
Wool blankets
Folding camp stools
Folding tables
Folding pots, pans and utensils
Back packs
Climbing gear
Pick axe

Survival Food Kits
     Hard sausage
     Sticks of beef jerky
     Canned bacon
     Powdered orange drink
     Powdered coffee or tea
     Granola bars
     Peanut butter and honey
     Instant soups
     Minute rice
     Instant  mashed potatoes
     Mixed nuts
     Dehydrated fruits

Must Haves
Propane Stove
Propane Heater
Halogen Lamp
Head Lamp flashlight (LED)
(Get the new type you shake with LED bulbs)
Insulated food and drink containers
Waterproof matches
Fire sticks
Magnesium fire starter

Insect repellent
Sun screen
Portable toilet facilities/bags
Toilet tissue

Foxhole shovels
Mini tool kit
Snow Shoes (in winter or in the mountains)

Things to know
Keep extra gasoline and a gallon of water in the car.  Keep a sleeping bag and blankets in the car.
Keep at least 5 gallons of drinking water in the house. One gallon per person per day.  (Use GSE drops to keep it from developing algae if you are on a spring or free flow water system)

Boil water after an emergency situation. - Don't take chances with possibly contaminated water.

Keep on hand a supply of dried fruits and nuts at least 5 days worth per person.

Have basins or buckets to catch rain water in.

Have a supply of water purification tablets or bleach - plan to boil water otherwise.

Have a good first aid kit.

Fill bathtub with water to use to flush toilet, replenish with rain water as needed.  (Good to know if your pipes freeze or your water gets shut off!)

Eye glasses
Magnifying glasses
“How To” books
Diapers - cloth only
Women's cloth pads - no disposable pads

Bartering, a new "old" way of doing business...

 In these uncertain times, I like to look back in time and see how people carried on their daily lives. (And did so with ease, in most cases, even without ready cash on hand!)  Here is a list of items I want to try to have on hand to use as a form of barter, but also to make our daily life a bit more "do-able" in case things aren't "normal" (as in a non steady flow of electricity or high fuel costs that would make it something we would have to really regulate how much we use on a daily basis; and possible unaffordable fuel costs that would make travel to and fro something we would need to learn to curtail as well:

Lamp Oil, (Kerosene) Wicks, Lamps
(Thrift stores and garage sales are a good place to look now, but will become scarce if times change for the worse)
Lamp Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult)
Coleman  Fuel cylinders ($2.69-$3.99/gal.) to operate lamps and camp stoves.
Candles; Charcoal; Lighter fluid  
Propane Cylinders (To use our propane BBQ as a cook stove in the event we are without power)
Lantern Hangers
Gasoline containers (Plastic or Metal - metal for longer term storage)  
Matches (3 box/$1 .44; Strike Anywhere)

Honey, real maple syrup, sugars and flour (freeze flour in moisture proof bags if possible)
Rice - Beans - Wheat (some churches have get-to-gethers and repackage food in #10 cans with oxygen absorbers.)
Olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil 
Vitamins  and herbal supplements; GSE; Advil, aspirin, decongestant, etc.
Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake liquid every 3 to 4 months.) 
Canned Tuna Fish or wild caught Salmon (in oil) Sardines in oil if you like them; canned meat
Garlic, spices; vinegar, baking soda and powder; yeast (keep in freezer) salt; pepper; etc.
Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
Soy sauce, vinegar, bouillons/gravy/soup base 
Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts 
Teas; Coffee
Vodka (for making medicinal tinctures)
Dried soup; dried fruit; dried vegetables; instant rice and potatoes

Pet food
Garden seeds (Non-hybrid or Heirloom seeds only) and gardening books; 
Garden tools; supplies; Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
Chickens and feed

Water containers (I am saving used 1/2 gallon juice containers that are HARD CLEAR PLASTIC, and refilling them with water and a few drops of GSE as needed during the winter when our water often freezes.)
And we also have numerous 5 gallon containers for longer term use.

Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry) and an old wringer washing machine; clothes line and poles, clothes pins;  laundry detergent (liquid); Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)

Handbooks for advice/tips on survivalism; herbal healing; emergency medical treatment
Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
Aluminum foil Reg.& Heavy Duty (Great Cooking/Barter item)
Garbage bags (Impossible to have too many.) 
Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage)
Fire extinguishers (or a large box of Baking soda in every room...)
Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates)

Toilet Paper, Kleenex, paper towels
Paper plates/cups/utensils  
Duct tape
Fire extinguishers (or a large box of Baking soda in every room...)
Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Winter time)
Cast iron cookware
Fishing supplies/tools 
Hunting supplies; ammo
Radio (solar if possible)
Duct tape
Writing paper/pads/pencils/erasers/ solar calculators

Canning supplies (Jars/lids/wax); Pressure Canner; Hot Water Bath Canner; Vacuum sealer
Hand-Can openers; hand egg beaters, whisks 
Grain Grinder (Non-electric)  
Hand pumps; siphons (for water and for fuels) 
12 volt pump for showering
Hand turned bread kneader
Hand turned popcorn popper

Hygiene items: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, tweezers; etc
Reading glasses
Anti-bacterial soap; anti-bacterial wipes
Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
First aid kits
Mosquito coils/repellent sprays/creams

Thermal underwear (Tops and bottoms)
Work boots, belts, durable clothes
Rain-gear, rubberized boots, etc
Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras) 
Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens 
Backpacks; Duffle bags 
Sleeping bags & blankets/pillows/mats 

Scissors, fabrics; sewing supplies
Knives; Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
Bicycles; Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
Board Games Cards, Dice
d-Con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thoughts on nursing the sick in tough times...

Last spring our daughter and son-in-law became the proud owners of a new, (1936 vintage) home!

They had lots of work to do, and part of that entailed tons of yard work.  They pruned the bushes, and yanked out a few overgrown rhododendron bushes.  We lent them our truck, and on one occasion we needed to borrow the truck back, so we hauled home the bush debris to burn here on our property.  My husband unloaded the brush one Sunday afternoon while I fixed lunch and as we sat in our home eating our lunch, our goats helped themselves to the brush outside.  Within just a couple of hours, they were drooling and shaking their heads and vomiting.  I had kept goats for over a decade, and did not know that rhododendron brush (especially ones that have wilted) are extremely toxic to goats!!!  By the next day it was obvious that something was terribly wrong, and I researched what to do for them on the internet.  I ran into town and purchased some activated charcoal from the feed store.  I also purchased some Probios "goop" to give them.  I mixed two different tonics that were prescribed by helpful people at a web site called "Goat911" and monitored them for 48 hours.  Out of 10 goats, we lost 2 babies.  Here is the recipe for the recommended tonic I used to try and detoxify them:

¼ cup cooking oil
 ½ cup strong/strong cold tea (6 to 8 tea bags removed) ["English" tea]
 1 teaspoon ground ginger
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 MIX ALL TOGETHER and drench the goat with it all.

How does this work?

Oil puts a lining on the stomach preventing more poison going into the system, tea is the antidote, and ginger relieves pain, baking soda helps bring up the gas.

My next episode was more recent....  Our two year old Golden Retriever/Beagle do got into something and slowly lost his appetite over the course of about two weeks.  Then he started vomiting sporadically,  just before Christmas.  He ran a fever, but drank fluids ---- and slept.  I tried to find a vet to help, but due to the fact that it was the day before New Years Eve; they were all booked and told me to call back on Monday.

So, I went into town on New Years Eve and purchased some Pro-bios "goop" and tried to purchase some activated charcoal but they were all out.  So, I purchased a bottle of Penicillin and some syringes.  I drenched him twice a day with Sulmet mixed with honey water (Sulmet is an antibacterial and I was hoping that if he had some sort of gut infection due to eating something off of the ground that this would help heal his gut.)  I also put some colloidal silver water in his drench.  I also gave him some anti diarrhea  medicine in case he was suffering from an upset stomach.  He didn't start showing improvement though until I had given him 4 days worth of Penicillin (1/2 ml; 2 x a day) shots, intramuscular, given on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday)

I must add, I cried like a baby the night before I purchased the antibiotics and such; and I cried and prayed out to God to give me wisdom and guidance as to what to do.

On day 3 of the antibiotics he was like a new dog, he barked for the first time in over a week, he licked us and wanted to be petted and he started eating again.  Today he played with his kitty "Dinky" (a new kitten we acquired over the summer) and has eaten almost non stop all day.  He is playful and affectionate.  I am so thankful, I was so afraid we would lose him.

So, moral of the story -----  know what sort of things are toxic to your livestock and try to keep them out of reach from them;  and try to have things on hand to treat them as soon as you suspect they have gotten into something they shouldn't have! 

Activated charcoal; Probios (powder or goop) and Penicillin are things I will try to always have on hand.

I am grateful for Vets; but I am also grateful for the wisdom of those who have had to deal with things on their own when vets weren't available.  And as a side note, we had a dog years ago who got into something and was suffering with diarrhea and lack of appetite so we took him to the vet.  They pumped his stomach and started him on antibiotics and fluids and asked to keep him overnight.  I went to pick him up the next day, and the bill was over $700 dollars.  I was floored to say the least!  The activated charcoal is supposed to absorb toxins, and I think in many cases it could take the place of having to have the animals stomach pumped, as in the case of my goats.  I would have used it on my dog, but the feed store was out of it.  Drenching the goats and my dog with fluids helped keep them hydrated and sooth their gut.  Antibiotics was added to fight off any infections they may have acquired.

I hope this information might encourage you to not give up in desperate circumstances.

Night all, from my Home, Sweet, Simple Home!

Preparing for Hyper Inflation

The daily news isn't very rosy these days ------ matter of fact, I'd liken it to something more like skunk cabbage!

There has been talk in the past 2 years about recession; double-dip recession; depression; inflation; hyper inflation ----- are you depressed yet?  I try not to let it get me down, but look at the days we are living in as a challenge!

I do believe that tough times are ahead, and I want to do everything I can to make our daily lives run as smooth as possible.  So I am trying to formulate a game plan that I can put into play that is simple yet thorough.  Even if the economy doesn't go into a terminal tail-spin, keeping a 6-12 month food supply and learning to rotate it will give you one less thing to worry about should you get laid off, or suffer some other unforeseen financial crisis. Here is what I have decided to focus on first:

~ Food Storage 
                            (check out the other links on the left side of the page for other food storage tips)

~ Non-Food Storage Items
~ First Aid; OTC Medicines; Herbal Medicines; and Supplements
~ Non Electric Helps
~ Garden Supplies
~ Animal Feed
~ Clothing

Gleening from the past!

Greetings!  I have been pondering how to best prepare for the possibility that we will have to deal with inflation, or maybe even hyperinflation in the coming year, as I hear about it daily in the news and do not want to be caught unprepared.  I stumbled upon a wonderful resource, a cookbook published by Mrs. E.E. Kellogg in 1893.  It is more than a cookbook actually, and goes into great detail to help the homemaker look at meal planning as more than a daily event.  It is free to print, published by the Gutenberg Project.

Home Sweet Simple Home!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, new adventure!

Well, here we go!  This is a new year, 2011 ---- and for me, it is not just a new year, but a new adventure, on a few different planes.

First, my husband and best friend of 32 years retired last week.  He was a construction Laborer foreman for Andersen Construction company in Oregon.  We are so excited to be able to just slow down and enjoy life here on our 6 acre homestead; and Lord willing, do some traveling this spring.  And, a lot of fishing in between! 

I have always loved the idea of living simply!  I have ancestors who came across the plains in covered wagons from Kentucky and Nebraska to eek out a new life here in the Pacific Northwest, and I have always been enchanted with the idea of living with few frills and appreciating the basics.  

Little did I know that when I married, I would get a chance to do just that!  

I will save the details of that saga for future posts though, as I want to move on to some other areas of more pertinent interest for the near future...  things like:

Learning to knit
Learning to save money on the grocery bill
Traveling on the cheap
Raising poultry economically
Thrifty meal planning
Once a month shopping
Frugal Quilting
Starting a greenhouse garden in winter

And I am interested in knowing what you ladies are doing in your homes this new year?  Does the uncertainty of what the future might hold for our country cause you to want to prepare your homes for the possibility of having to tighten your purse strings and learn to live on less?  It does me!  And that is the direction this blog will take for the new year!  So, please jump on board with me for this new adventure, and maybe we can all help each other to create "sweet and simple homes" for 2011~

Cheers and God bless!