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I'm a Christian homeschooling mama attempting to live a healthful lifestyle. My blog offers encouragement and practical ideas gleaned from my own journey.
Many health-conscious people are probably drinking *too much* water. Contrary to popular belief, the standard "8 glasses a day" was never a research-based recommendation. While water *does* matter, too much water can throw off your electrolyte balance, leaving you feeling *less* hydrated. Under average life circumstances, water consumption should be *moderate*.
We're accustomed to thinking of smoking as purely recreational. And so we focus on the health *risks* of things like tobacco and marijuana. But did you know that for centuries, smoking herbs has been considered one more modality for using them medicinally, just like drinking a tea, taking a tincture, or applying a salve? In particular, respiratory-supportive herbs -- like mullein -- were smoked because that's a logical means of delivering the herbs to the lungs. https://botanicalstudies.net/herbalism/smoking-medicinal-lungs/ (image via Pixabay)
Someone recently posted in one of my communities about Jim West's book on prenatal ultrasound risk. Predictably, the response was mostly panic that acknowledgement of *any* degree of risk would result in people's eschewing all use of prenatal ultrasound in any and every circumstance -- and that routine prenatal ultrasound is essential because it saves lives all the time!!! But it doesn't really. Because most of what we assume it to be essential for, it's actually pretty inaccurate at. e.g. : "Ultrasound estimates of AFV [amniotic fluid volume] correlate poorly with direct measurements of amniotic fluid." "The use of percentiles rather than fixed cut-offs does not improve the accuracy of AFI [amniotic fluid index] in identification of low or high AFV." "...use of AFI results in overdiagnosis of oligohydramnios, leading to unnecessary interventions (eg, labor induction), which often contribute to increased morbidity without an improvement in perinatal outcomes." (Source: https://www.contemporaryobgyn.net/view/amniotic-fluid-volume-when-and-how-take-action) "Subjective estimates [of amniotic fluid volume] ranged from 65% to 70% correct..." The three sonographic measurements were similar in overall accuracy (59-67%). (Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9314106/) And yet literature aimed *at* medical professionals, or at the public, tells us that "The routine use of ultrasonography has created a safe, reliable, and repeatable method of measuring amniotic fluid volume (AFV)" -- even though the actual research indicates that it's *not* reliable. (Source: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/405914-overview) "EFW [estimated fetal weight] was correct [within 10%] in 72.2% of patients with fetal biometry; 19.7% were underestimated [by more than 10%], and 8.1% were overestimated [by more than 10%]." "Overestimation was associated with an increased risk for delivery by caesarean section....The incidence of perineal tears of grade 3/4, shoulder dystocia, postnatal depression and neonatal acidosis did not differ between groups." "Antepartum ultrasound-derived EFW does not improve maternal and fetal outcome and is therefore not recommended." (Source: https://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-018-1772-7) The accepted error rate is 15% -- which is a pretty significant difference when you consider that most babies aren't more than 10-11 pounds. Even a 10% margin of error can easily be a full pound off. "The error rates of <15% <10% and <5% for GA of 37 to 40 weeks was seen as 86%, 68% and 38% respectively." (Source: https://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2020/05001/Accuracy_of_Estimated_Fetal_Weight_in_Third.54.aspx) In other words, at 37-40 weeks, 62% of ultrasounds were more than 5% off. 32% were at least 10% off. 14% were at least 15% off. Let's put that into real-life perspective: if they say you need to be induced because you're having a 10-lb baby, there's a 14% chance your baby is actually only 8.5 lbs. Ultrasound does pick up some abnormalities (some better than others), but these are rare enough in general that when balanced against all the inappropriate early intervention that happens as a consequence of false alarms, routine ultrasound doesn't statistically improve outcomes. One meta-analysis indicated that "routine ultrasound scanning does not improve the outcome of pregnancy in terms of an increased number of live births or of reduced perinatal morbidity." It *appeared* to improve outcomes by reducing perinatal mortality -- because many of the babies who otherwise would have died shortly after birth were instead murdered in utero, skewing the numbers. "Authors of over 100 studies that evaluated the use of ultrasonography in obstetrics claimed a benefit of routine scanning. Our meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials shows no evidence that routine ultrasound scanning in pregnancy improves the outcome." "The significant reduction of perinatal mortality in the screening group is due mainly to the contribution of the Helsinki trial...this reduction in the Helsinki trial was mostly the result of induced abortion of malformed fetuses..." (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1678458/pdf/bmj00028-0017.pdf) *Targeted* screening when there are particular indications for it (together with a correct understanding of what an ultrasound can and cannot accurately predict) is probably a better risk/benefit balance than routine ultrasound screening by default.
$1/packet seeds at Halden Garden. They seem to specialize in flowers, but they also have some herbs. (I've seen veggie seeds in photos, but if you're looking for veggie seeds on the site you have to just scroll through all the seeds alphabetically -- there doesn't seem to be a section for them.) https://vrlps.co/71exxeb/cp (referral link)
Despite knowing that organ meats are really nutritious, we really hate them. As in, even mixing just a little liver into ground beef, I had to reassure my family the meat wasn't rotten because no one but the (then-) toddler could choke it down. If that's you, too, you've gotta check this out: https://titus2homemaker.com/easy-delicious-way-to-consume-organ-meats-eat-pluck/
Gluten has NOTHING to do with folic acid, so eating gluten-free will not (in itself) prevent you from consuming folic acid. Folic acid is added to supplement *processed* grain products -- of all kinds. White gluten-free flours are (typically) just as processed as white wheat-based flours. If you want to avoid folic acid in your food*, you need to eat 100% *whole grain* products -- regardless of what kind of grain it is. (Alternatively, you can stick with 100% organic, as folic acid is a synthetic and may not be added to organic food products.)** * There are a few other oddball exceptions, like orange juice and nutritional yeast -- and vitamin supplements, of course -- but for the most part, folic acid in foods is found in grain-based products. ** All of this assumes U.S. foods. I don't know the labeling laws for other countries.
I was surprised this week to find that Dollar Tree had a good price on Himalayan pink salt. From what I can tell from reading the label and from examining the salt itself, it looks like a decent salt. (They were also cheaper for me than Aldi on the "pure cane sugar," which is by no means "healthy," but slightly better than the totally white stuff.)
Conventional allopathic medicine relies on a blunt approach of "matching things up." Not only is the typical approach to *match symptoms* to a drug or procedure; it's also dependent upon having studies to "prove" that a certain factor "causes" a certain disease, defaulting to the fallacious assumption that if there isn't proof that A causes B, then A *doesn't* cause B. Holistic medicine doesn't require such proof (although it welcomes it when available). The approach is entirely different. The holistic approach aims to understand how a *healthy* body is supposed to work, and draws logical conclusions about what might happen if a particular part of that process breaks down. (Do you need a study to tell you that if your sink clogs you might end up with an overflowing sink, or can you just *figure that out* based on what you know the function of the drain is? Same idea.) And we recognize that a study isn't what *makes* something true; a study can only *reveal* what is *already* true.
We need to allow ourselves to think outside the box a little and consider why Bible reading matters and whether there are other practices that can accomplish the same thing in addition to — or, yes, sometimes even instead of — sitting and reading individually. I highly recommend making time for it (them) if you possibly can, even if it’s just five minutes a day to read or a single half-hour block of study in a week. * Scripture music – Playing Scripture set to music as you go about your day is an excellent way to take in a lot of Scripture (albeit usually not in large chunks) when you aren’t able to take time out from your necessary tasks. But overvaluing how the “reading” is happening and undervaluing all these other routes of exposure can lead us to look at the mama who’s attending church every week, reading the Bible every night with her family, and listening to Scripture on her stereo all day most days, and conclude that she’s falling short as a Christian because she isn’t also setting aside a second time of day (in addition to the family worship time) to read the Bible for only herself.