We had planned to grow a veggie garden this year. After researching what we need to start it, we just don't have it.
HARD red clay here. It would have to be tilled (with rented tiller) with much fertilizer turned in. We need to fence it from the deer and rabbits. Nothing major, but some kind of "chicken type wire"
OR, we can get a truck of black soil to plant in.
But after calling around, it's going to cost about $300 to start and while I'm sure we would save in the long run, don't have the $300 to get started.
So, will do some herbs and tomatoes in pots I already have.
I started a garden last year. My brother went ahead and bought a tiller and tilled both our gardens. Then he advertised on craigslist to till and was able to pay for the tiller plus some. He is going to do it again this spring.
Our city has a compost and mulch giveaway each spring. They collect everyone's yard waste throughout the year and then turn it into this great compost. We got a pickup load of that for free. We have clay soil here too and it does take a lot of work it get it ready.
I've found if I keep my diet free of processed foods and the white stuff (flour/sugar/rice etc) I don't have any joint pain and feel much better overall.
I've done a LOT of reading on the subject because years ago I didn't eat healthy, drank a LOT of Diet Pepsi (w/aspartame), and my system became so toxic, I was not only having angioedema all over the outside of my body (giant hives), but it was happening inside, too. Once my eyes swelled shut and I had to go to the ER for epinephrine. There were nights I was afraid to go to sleep because I could feel slight swelling happening in my chest, and I wondered if I'd wake up. I lived on benedryl, and steroids wouldn't help me. I was also getting forgetful, depressed wild mood swings.
I learned of toxicity when, one day while waiting in a store and standing next to a book rack, I noticed a book entitled Toxic Relief. I began reading through it (and purchased it :lol), and for the first time in my life I realized what I'd been doing to my body by consuming all of the CRAP that some call the Standard (or Stupid) American Diet (SAD). I googled "aspartame" and I saw my symptoms everywhere. It opened my eyes and changed my life, truly.
I eliminated all chemicals from my diet (especially aspartame), and within 3 months my problems were gone. That was seven years ago, and what the doctors had diagnosed as "food allergies" (that I'd just have to live with) causing the problem, was really toxicity in my body, and it has never recurred, not once. I take a daily Zyrtec for animal and environmental allergies, but now I don't have this mile-long list of things that would trigger allergic reactions.
Now I'm an avid ingredient reader. Aspartame is a poison, and I've lived it, can testify to it, and I don't care what doctors or the FDA says (when I was pregnant and had gestational diabetes, they TOLD me to drink diet drinks!).
I'd like to add, a missionary friend of mine spent quite a few years in Central Europe. She told me she feels strongly that many of our medical conditions might stem from our diet because where they lived before, nearly all of the food was fresh, bought at the local markets almost daily. She said asthma, autism, diabetes, fibromyalgia, etc., was almost nonexistent there.
Oh (I'm on a roll :lol), another friend of mine was miserable, in constant pain, her hair lost its shine and began to thin. This formerly funny, full-of-life woman, was falling apart. The smiles vanished, and it was hard to watch. After extensive tests, her doctors diagnosed her with fibromyalgia. She'd just have to live with it, and her insurance paid for massage sessions to help ease her pain. She was a fighter, though, and didn't want to live that way, so she got on the internet (this was in the early 1990's). She found a doctor several states away who said fibromyalgia was a myth and was treating patients by detoxifying their bodies and starting on a natural food regimen. I didn't believe it at that time, but she did it, and that woman blossomed like a rose! The sparkle came back, her pain went away, she had more energy than ever before - I was stunned, I only wish I'd paid more attention then. Maybe I could've avoided my problems down the road, but oh well.
My motto is: If you can't pronounce it or it sounds like it was manufactured in a lab and you probably shouldn't be eating it!
(thanks for your patience in my going on and on, but I get excited about this topic!)
I'd like to hear more SugarMama. I have one Equal in my coffee every day. It is the only artificial sweetener I can tolerate. I don't drink diet sodas. Are you willing to share what specific problems it can cause?
I don't think I mentioned, I'd had the detailed allergy testing and out of 97 things I was tested for, I reacted positively to 78 of them! The doctor said that was as bad as he'd ever seen. The list of foods I could eat without reaction could fit in the palm of my hand.
My specific issues that disappeared when I eliminated aspartame from my life included: severe angioadema (giant hives all over my body, large swellings of histamine the size of an egg at times appearing on my cheek, chin, forehead, eyebrow, or neck, then dispersing into a giant hive), sudden hives all over my body, a ringing in my ears (more like a buzzing sound sound really, when a television is off a station), uncontrollable clenching and grinding of my teeth, memory loss - got so bad I would lose parts of a day at times, muddled thinking (sometimes I couldn't process a simple task), severe mood swings, depression, thoughts of suicide (the last three were much later on, near the end). All of that was gone in about 3 months! My husband couldn't believe it, but he sure was relieved!
Here are some links. With me it was a build up over years. A friend of mine (the one I had lunch with yesterday) told me how when she was pregnant with her son, she was borderline gestational diabetic and had a sugar-free yogert (with aspartame). She said he started punching and kicking and turning and rolling for about an hour. She never had it again and has told him to never have it because she's convinced he reacted to it. That was the only time he ever did that, and it was the only time she ever ate that. Anyway...
Aspartame Side Effects
Aspartame Dangers and Side Effects
Everything there is to know about aspartame side effects
There are also sites swearing that aspartame is just fine. But I know it isn't fine. There may be people who aren't affected at all - could be their specific body chemistry, or maybe they've just not had enough exposure...yet. I say don't take the risk.
I am an ingrediant reader too! Everything by law in Ontario (not sure of other provinces) has to have a list of ingrediants. For me, the first thing I check is the sodium. I cut out salt years ago in the early 80's when I was pregnant, and that helped me with the issues I was having at the time. During that time, I cut out the sugar in my coffee, and started using aspartame because at that time, it was a big thing and became very popular very quickly.
I too started feeling awful. I'd get a fuzzy headache, not a headache but a feeling of being out of it. Suddenly I didn't like the taste of it in my coffee and just switched to black. I stopped having those headache feelings so frequently and realized it could be the aspartame. At the same time whenever I bought gum, I bought the kind with aspartame. I don't know why, but I was not liking this taste of it. When I started using it in my coffee, it was ok and I didn't mind it, but as time went on, it just tasted funny, sort of a chemical taste. From then on, I make sure I never buy anything with aspartame. I don't drink soda's either. The only sugar I crave is when I want a chocolate bar!
I used to be a total Diet Coke fiend - maybe a 6-pack per day. Then a friend of mine sent me an email with loads of links to various studies outlining the possible effects of aspartame. I quit right then and there. I did go back to it about 3 years ago, but quit again when I was diagnosed with acid reflux. I can't have colas at all now. I honestly don't miss it. If I want a soda, I get a Sierra Mist/Sprite, but I never buy it to have at home - only when I'm out. Now, if I taste any diet soda, it tastes disgusting! Once I was off aspartame, I rarely got migraines. When I was drinking tons of Diet Coke, I got them ALL the time. "Detoxing" from Diet Coke sucked, but I felt so much better afterwards!
I can't have Splenda at all - it makes my tongue feel funny. Plus, if it's allegedly made with real sugar, why don't I just have real sugar?
I try to stay away from soda of any kind - doesn't always happen - and then, when I add real sugar to my iced tea at home (I LOVE my iced tea pot!), I don't feel bad about it. A few tablespoons of sugar for three quarts of tea is nothing compared to how much sugar is in soda. Plus, tea is just better for you anyway.
I try not to use any artificial sweeteners if I can help it. The only exception is that I use Equal in iced tea when I buy it out - regular sugar just sinks to the bottom of the glass and doesn't dissolve.
The list of all of the problems/potential side effects linked to artificial sweeteners, is pretty scary.