Eggshell Calcium Benefits

There are some wonderful studies that show eggshell calcium to be the best and most bio available calcium available.  I find it very interesting to see people giving the recommended recipes for getting the calcium as crushed eggshells in lemon juice.  They also say that this tastes quiet ‘pleasant’.  I have tried the eggshell and lemon calcium recipe and find that not only does it not taste ‘pleasant’, it is quite disgusting.  The best way I could describe the smell is the lovely aroma of the chemicals in a hair perm.  I could not bring myself to taste it, but my husband sacrificed himself for the sake of the experiment.  He confirmed that it was at least as disgusting as it smelled, probably more so.  I tried dissolving the eggshells in Orange Juice, but found that the orange juice was not acidic enough to fully dissolve the shells. 

Meanwhile, Cardiovascular doctors began to say that the cardiovascular implications of calcium supplements out weigh the possible benefits.  Apparently, calcium supplements can accumulate in and around the heart causing an increased risk of heart attack. 1

While a healthy diet rich with calcium and vitamin D is preferable to supplements, eggshells, properly prepared, can be used as an effective calcium supplement for both people and dogs, when required.

The following Scientific paper by Rovenský J1, Stancíková MMasaryk PSvík KIstok R. from the National Institute of Rheumatic Diseases, Piestany, Slovak Republic abstract presents some of the copious amounts of evidence which does support the use of eggshells as an effective supplement:

Abstract

In this paper the most significant biological and clinical aspects of a biopreparation made of chicken eggshells are reviewed. Eggshell powder is a natural source of calcium and other elements (e.g. strontium and fluorine) which may have a positive effect on bone metabolism. Experimental and clinical studies performed to date have shown a number of positive properties of eggshell powder, such as antirachitic effects in rats and humans. A positive effect was observed on bone density in animal models of postmenopausal osteoporosis in ovariectomized female rats. In vitro eggshell powder stimulates chondrocyte differentiation and cartilage growth. Clinical studies in postmenopausal women and women with senile osteoporosis showed that eggshell powder reduces pain and osteoresorption and increases mobility and bone density or arrests its loss. The bioavailability of calcium from this source, as tested in piglets, was similar or better than that of food grade purified calcium carbonate. Clinical and experimental studies showed that eggshell powder has positive effects on bone and cartilage and that it is suitable in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. 2

Another benefit of cooked and crushed (powdered) eggshells is for treating heartburn and acid reflux.  Just place a quarter of a teaspoon of the eggshell powder on the tongue, washed down with water. I find that, in most cases, the heartburn is gone in seconds, and if not, a little more won’t hurt.

Note: Do not throw the powder to the back of the throat or attempt to mix with water, it is very heavy and not water soluble.

To prepare Eggshells:

Rinse well.  Leave the film inside the shell.

Bake at 350℉ – 177℃ for 20 minutes.

Cool and crush.

Grind to a fine powder (coffee grinders are very good for this).

Store in an airtight container, indefinitely.

References:

1. Calcium Supplements May Damage the Heart

Experts recommend caution before taking calcium supplements

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/calcium_supplements_may_damage_the_heart

Calcium Intake From Diet and Supplements and the Risk of Coronary Artery Calcification and its Progression Among Older Adults: 10‐Year Follow‐up of the Multi‐Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

John J.B. Anderson, Bridget KruszkaJoseph A.C. DelaneyKa HeGregory L. BurkeAlvaro AlonsoDiane E. BildMatthew Budoff, and Erin D. Michos

Originally published11 Oct 2016https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.116.003815Journal of the American Heart Association. 2016;5

2. Eggshell calcium in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 2003;23(2-3):83-92.

Rovenský J1, Stancíková MMasaryk PSvík KIstok R.

National Institute of Rheumatic Diseases, Piestany, Slovak Republic. rovensky@nurch.sk

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15018022

Overhaul NFL’s OT

The National Football League’s overtime rules have been questioned by football fans the world over for many years. I find it particularly frustrating when the team that wins the coin toss marches down the field, kicks a field goal, and game over. This has occurred 55% of the time since the NFL started sudden death overtime in 1974.

I prefer the overtime structures of the Canadian Football League, the American College Football and Canadian University Football. The systems offer an equal number of offensive and defensive possessions to determine the winner.

The Canadian Football League rules for overtime state: If the score is tied at the end of a game, each team gets an opportunity to scrimmage from its opponent’s 35-yard-line, until it makes a score or loses possession. If the score remains tied, the procedure is repeated at the opposite end of the stadium. If the score is still tied after each team has had two attempts, the game is declared a tie if it’s a regular season game. If the game is a playoff or championship game the same procedure continues until a winner is finally decided. This past year the Canadian Football League’s Board of Governors approved a rule change that now has teams that score a touchdown in overtime be required to go for a two-point convert by running or passing the ball into the end zone instead of kicking for a single point. (cfl.ca)

This past spring May 2018, the Canadian Football League’s commissioner called on fans to give their feedback and he asked them to pay particular attention to whether the league’s overtime format could be improved. Fans sent in more than 2,000 rules suggestions, with about 1,500 of them focused on overtime.

The NCAA rules for college football overtime are certainly different from that of the NFL’s. In college football, if two teams are tied after the final whistle of the fourth quarter, the teams will meet at the 50-yard line for another coin flip to determine the possession of the first extra period. The visiting team picks heads or tails. The teams will play extra periods until there is a winner. The order of possession is changed after each period.

The extra period begins at the 25-yard line, and each team is given the opportunity to score a touchdown or field goal. After the fist team completes its drive with a score or turnover, the opposing team has the same opportunity from the 25-yard line. If the teams are still tied after the second team’s possession, they must play another period. If the game goes into a third overtime, they can no longer kick extra points after touchdowns and must instead attempt a two-point conversion. (https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/college-football-overtime-rules-explained)

Canadian college football has a similar set of rules but each team begins from the 35-yard line of the opposing team. (cisfootball.org)

It’s time the NFL gets out of the dark ages and adopts an overtime system similar to that of the CFL and both American and Canadian college leagues. For each team to have the same number of offensive and defensive possessions will not only create balance and fairness. It is long overdue.

Forever Homes and Considerations for Dogs

It is very important that you learn about the dog breed that you are considering joining your family. Buy dog books or go to the library and read about the background of the specific dog breed you are considering. Check online as there are many reliable sources to learn about the temperament, size, care, exercise needs.

Some other important characteristics for consideration will include whether or not the dog sheds, optimal brushing, and ear care requirements. It is important to know things like floppy ear dogs require additional ear care as there is a lack of air flow to the inner ear which causes more frequent ear infections.

Some people take a garden hose to their dog or wash them once a year if that. I do not believe that this is sufficient. Dogs may not always like the part about getting in the tub or the actual bath process but they all love to be clean. Our dogs, after they have been bathed, will go back to the bathroom a number of times and look down at the bathtub as if to say. “Ha, I conquered you”. At least once per month is ideal for us with our current dogs. We had a golden retriever that had many allergies including skin irritations. He could not go long without a bath before he started itching. We needed to bath him almost every two weeks.

It is best to know whether a dog will fit your particular lifestyle before they join your family. Discarding dogs after the fact can cause irreparable harm to an innocent. Animals are important members of our families and should be treated as such. They are innocents and dependents. We need to exercise them, teach them, love them, and care for them with patience for their entire lives. We can learn so much from our furry friends, and they from us.

It is very important to determine if you are up to all the work that is required to properly care for the breed of dog that you are considering as an addition to your family.

It is also very important to consider the emotional attachment and investment when we add a dog to our households. Generally speaking, we are expected to outlive our dogs and the emotional responsibility of a sick or old dog at the end of their lives is an extremely emotional time. The responsibility will fall to us.

Dogs bond strongly with their owners/guardians. If given away or sheltered they will likely develop depression and possibly anxiety issues. It is best if you are considering acquiring a dog that you know you will be there for them for their entire lives and that they will fit your lifestyle now and in the future.

Frank

Staff and Customer Respect

Respect your staff and your customers

Two of the most important tenants in business are to treat your staff and your customers with respect and consideration.  When successfully executed, a business will begin to realize its true potential.

Pay your staff accurately

Your employees are employed to do a job.  It is vitally important to pay your staff accurately.  If paychecks are issued in hardcopy, they should be released as early in the day as possible to allow the employees the opportunity to get to the bank on their lunch or afternoon break.

If your business is struggling, or in slow period, remember, your employees should be paid first, before you. It is important to pay staff on time, and in full every time.

Empower your staff

Keep your employees current on work related matters.  Bulletins from suppliers that provide information of products or rebates and recall notices are important tools for your staff to assist your customers.

Empowering employees with more information instills the feeling of trust which will in turn encourage staff to work hard for both your customers and therefore, you.

Listen to your staff

Be a good listener!  Listening to, and acknowledging what your employees had to say can have a profound effect on your business.  Tom Peters of the “In Search of the WOW”, states that the most successful companies listen to the ground or frontline employees.  These companies will reward employees when good ideas are suggested and incorporated into the company’s business model.

Reward your staff

Rewarding employees is important and it does not need to be monetary.  Telling employees that they did a good job can go a long way to increasing employee satisfaction.  It is helpful to take opportunities to thank your staff.  Be that at a Christmas party, staff barbecue, or a meeting, a few words thanking your staff for a job well done, and perhaps singling out an exemplary employee for credit, will encourage other employees to step up their games.

When employees feel appreciated and respected they will have a greater tendency to perform at a higher level and are more likely to enjoy coming to work with their attendance greatly improved.

Happier employees generally result in happier customers, and your business can only benefit!

CUSTOMER CARE

“Take care of your customers and your bottom line will take care of itself” said John Verde, USPTA Master Tennis Teaching Professional and President of Strokemaster Tennis products. What is taking care of your customers and how does one go about doing this?

Listening to what the customer is saying or asking for is very important. Have you fully comprehended what was said and reasonably acted upon the information?

When shortfalls occur in customer service, it is important to acknowledge it and rectify the situation as soon as possible. An apology to your customer is also warranted. Be open and honest about what happened and offer a solution as to how you will deal with their problem.

Occasionally, offering a small discount or adding a “little extra something” can go along way to appease the customer. Often, an apology will suffice.

Respecting the customers; time is also very important. Handling requests as quickly as possible reducing any delays for the customer especially if they are waiting for a specific order or product may result in a less frustrated customer.  It is also very important to keep the customer up to date with how the situation progresses.

Be sure to thank your customers for their business and let them know that you appreciate their patronage. By keeping your customers happy, they will likely become repeat customers and there is a good chance they will recommend your business to their friends, family and coworkers.

Word of mouth is one of the best types of advertising available.  The above simple tips can set you on the path to maximizing and capitalizing on that very profitable tool.

 

The Invasion of the Paper Products

I was amazed the other day watching a commercial claim that, ‘cloth dishcloths only push messes around, one needs a paper towel to truly clean up a mess.’  Are you kidding me?  This might be true if the dish cloth were dry, or soaked, but if it was wet with hot soapy water and wrung out, the paper towel wouldn’t stand up.  Your dishcloth can be rinsed or thrown in the washing machine hundreds of times, while the paper towels are a single use item.   For the goopy messes one would not like to use their dishcloths on, there are always rags, the remnants of the old t-shirts, dish cloths, towels, sweats, safely stored in the place where cotton goes to die.  These rags have been used so much, that should you get something on them that is not washable, they can happily go to the landfill where they will fully break down in a relatively short period.

One might claim that paper napkins are necessary.  I heartily disagree.  A beautiful, cloth napkin is a better alternative. Not only is it eco friendly, but much gentler on your skin when you’re using them, and they don’t rip and stick to you if you happen to be having some very sticky wings or ribs.   A certain amount of style and class is also attached to the use of cloth napkins over products at your table.

Another commercial claims that your hand towel is very dirty, and one must have disposable towels in the bathroom for drying hands.  Again, haven’t they heard of a washing machine?  The world certainly does not need any more disposable items.  The use of all these paper products is not sustainable in the long term.  The production of all these paper products require a great many natural resources and purchasing them on a regular basis, definitely adds to the expense for a family over a year!

Then there are the wipes, which don’t only use paper but also use chemicals and encase their products in plastic.  Do we really need more chemicals and plastics in our homes and environment?!?    The great marketing machines are once again preying on our fears.  They have us convinced that to keep our home and children safe we need to kill all of the bacteria in the world.  Not true.  We live symbiotically with many thousands of bacteria.  Many are necessary for our survival. Some governments are beginning ad campaigns to discourage the overuse of antibacterial product.

The CDC has published an article from Stuart B. Levy of
Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA beginning with:

“The recent entry of products containing antibacterial agents into healthy households has escalated from a few dozen products in the mid-1990s to more than 700 today. Antibacterial products were developed and have been successfully used to prevent transmission of disease-causing microorganisms among patients, particularly in hospitals. They are now being added to products used in healthy households, even though an added health benefit has not been demonstrated. Scientists are concerned that the antibacterial agents will select bacteria resistant to them and cross-resistant to antibiotics. Moreover, if they alter a person’s microflora, they may negatively affect the normal maturation of the T helper cell response of the immune system to commensal flora antigens; this change could lead to a greater chance of allergies in children. As with antibiotics, prudent use of these products is urged. Their designated purpose is to protect vulnerable patients.” 

To summarize the above, too much use of antibacterial products is NOT a good thing.  Once again, this is all before considering the economic and environmental costs of the products themselves.

So many paper products like paper towels can be replaced with long lasting alternatives.  While it may be difficult to eliminate all of the products you use on a daily basis, minimizing the use and transitioning to more eco friendly alternatives is definitely a great place to start.  Even a little bit of change makes a big difference for our world, our children’s world.  

This:

over this:

 

shouldn’t be a hard choice.

Tracey

Homemade Dog Earwash

We have a wonderful Golden Retriever named Shalmar.  He is goofy and loving and allergic to EVERYTHING including Antihistamines.  Shalmar had constant ear infections that were secondary infections caused by his allergies and, apparently, yeast infections.  This meant that Antibiotics would not work for him so we tried Antihistamines as recommended by our vet.

Shalmar began to gain weight and sleep a lot.  Within a few weeks, he couldn’t hold his bladder for more than a couple of hours.  He was deteriorating quickly.  His ears did clear up for a short time but this was obviously not a viable option.  We could not just leave him with the constant pain of an ear infection so we started to look for alternatives.

We first found a fruit based Ear Wash only available in the US.  It worked fairly well for him when we rinsed his ears twice a week.  I kept looking and experimenting.  Finally finding a recipe for a Homemade Ear Wash that are inexpensive and easy to make.  A trip to the pharmacy to get Boric Acid (a powder) and Rubbing Alcohol, and Apple Cider Vinegar from the grocery store, add a squeeze bottle and you have all you need to make a very effective product to keep your dogs ears in great shape.  Shalmar hasn’t had any problems since we started using one of these ear washes every week.  Now for the recipes:

½ cup Rubbing Alcohol
½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbsps. Boric Acid

or

1 cup Rubbing Alcohol
2 tbsps. Boric Acid

Mix very well and put in the squeeze bottle.  Squirt into each ear once or twice a week as needed, and massage the ear well before the dog shakes it out.

This recipe also works for drying dogs’ ears after they get wet, and works for most other ear infections we’ve come across.  We use it for all of our dogs after every bath as a general maintenance and drying rinse, as well as, when we see a lot of ear scratching going on.

The best way to tell if your dog has an ear infection is to inspect the ear and if it is red and inflamed and/or has a dark discharge or flakes, then there is an infection present.

Good luck and I hope that this works as well for your dogs as it has for ours.

Tracey

Rising Food Prices

Garden Broccoli with Carrots and Swiss Chard in the background
Garden Broccoli with Carrots and Swiss Chard in the background

Watching the news the other night, we hear that China is stockpiling food, corn at the moment.  There was already a shortfall due to the pressures for plant based bio fuel and the absolutely crazy weather over the last couple of years.  Supply and demand; rule one of a capitalistic society.  Corn is an ingredient to so many other things, processed foods, dog food, and fast food.  These prices will all be increasing to reflect the increased corn costs.

We have been seeing a distinct and sharp upward trend in our food prices over the last few years.  The environment has been playing a major roll in it all.  Frosts and snow in the south, floods, well, everywhere, except where there is drought and fire.  Crops on a world scale are being damaged and destroyed by ecosystems that are reacting in record setting extremes.

Lovely and fun news (insert heavy sarcasm here).  Some of us are so fatigued by listening to disaster after disaster, that we have a level of unidentified anxiety about, well everything.  We are tuning out the news or simply shell shocked as we hear of another flood, earth quake, drought, fire, volcano, hurricane, tornado…  The unbelievable thing is that the government is trying to normalize the entire thing.  A 6.8 earthquake is hardly a whisper in the news world.  I remember when a 5.0 quake was talked about for a week or longer.  I actually had a great laugh when we were informed by one news source, that the 5.0 earthquakes in Ontario and Quebec in June 2010, was a fairly normal occurrence.  Really???  The last one on record, I believe, was in 1935.  This does not in my opinion, constitute normal.

The bad news and disasters are, however, becoming normal occurrences.  The question, how to deal with the stress and anxiety of unstable environments and food sources?  At what point do food prices outstrip the family food budgets.  For some, that time has already come.  But, we are not helpless.  Many have lost touch with our food production and preparation.  We have the choice to resolve some of these things.

There are some fairly simple things we can do to contribute to our food supply.  One is to start a garden in your yard, a family member’s yard, or if you don’t have access to a yard, in a community garden in your area.  Even if you don’t think that you have a green thumb, some carrots and beans, corn and peas are fairly easy to grow from seeds (no need to buy starter plants), can be eaten fresh, frozen, or canned and taste fantastic, are less expensive, better tasting, and more nutritious than store bought.  A small patch takes no more time to care for than a flower garden, but the returns are so much higher.  The whole family can get involved.  It is fun and rewarding.

What I have started doing over the last couple of years is exchanging the regular inedible houseplants with edible herbs and plants.  When anyone brushes up against an herb plant, the most delightful aroma is released, all natural, no purchase necessary.

It is amazing how many different fruit and vegetables should grow in my climate.  I live in the Interlake region of Manitoba, Canada.  The fruit trees and bushes, as well as, the perennial herbs have survived through a very cold winter last year, with very little snow for insulation.  Organic food for nothing more than time and energy is a wonderful thing.  Harvesting seeds is another way to decrease the cost of gardening and food.

I’m excited to see what I can bring home into my control.  Definitely helps with my anxiety, my health, and my food budget.

Tracey

Stove Top Percolators vs. Drip Coffee Makers

Looking at the downsides of Drip Coffee Makers and finding them to be many, I had finally had enough of them. The machines that just quit, right in the middle of brewing a pot of coffee, while company, who has come over for a cup, sits waiting for the coffee that will never appear. Or the coffee makers that do not make the coffee hot enough, so one brews a pot, pours a cup, and then proceeds to the microwave to warm it up. The coffee just doesn’t get to the great taste one would expect. It always tastes a little watery, cold, weak, or just not very good. I haven’t even mentioned the broken and the cracked carafes yet.

How does one make a glass coffee carafe husband proof? For some reason the laws of expansion and contraction elude my lovely husband Helping out, doing the dishes, wanting to get it all done, puts a hot glass carafe in the considerably cooler water and sure enough, the carafe cracks, surprising him of course. Trying not to waste, and having finally found a coffee maker that at least does a passable job, we order a replacement carafe: cost $60.

This carafe lasts a while, until one day, I am going to make a pot of coffee and behold, another crack running along the bottom. My husband stands blinking with the, “I didn’t do it” look. He later admitted that he just tapped the side of the carafe on a ceramic bowl in the dish tray, and once again, was very surprised that it cracked.

At this point I am no longer willing to spend another $60 to special order the carafe, but there are universal carafes available. We end up trying two of them. One carafe does not fit at all (I had actually grabbed the wrong one), one almost fits, but alas, the coffee is cold and watery. ‘Almost Fits’ is just as bad as ‘Wrong One’ for coffee maker carafes.

I start to consider all the coffee makers of days past. I consider the interesting info about plastics leaching toxins when heated and it occurs to me that I am done with Drip Coffee Makers. I do not need to be poisoning myself while having a bad cup of coffee. I do not need to be spending ridiculous amounts of money replacing the machines and the carafes on fairly regular schedules. I was looking for something that made a great cup of coffee, would not break down, and was husband proof.

Stainless steel appeared to be the answer. I had already switched to a stainless steal stovetop kettle after the last time my son fried the cord on my electric one. Just need to clean it with vinegar every 6 months to a year, give it a wipe once in a while, and that’s it. Love, love, love my stove top, stainless steel kettle! So the question was, how do I find the same thing for coffee? Happily, I found a stainless steel stovetop, 12 cup, percolator at my local hardware store. Both the jug and inner working are stainless steel, stronger and definitely less fragile than the aluminum ones. It looks great. It took brewing 3 pots to come up with a killer combination and timing to perfectly fit my taste. Did not take any longer than a drip machine. The entire setup cost me less than $45, made a fantastic pot of coffee and I will not have to replace the equipment again. It is sturdy and husband proof. It is the most Eco Friendly and pocket book friendly option I could find. I do love the win, wins when I find them. Newer is not always better, and this is definitely the case for the New Drip vs. the Old Percolator Style Coffee Makers. The stove top Percolator wins hands down!

Tracey

Have You Considered Boiling Water? ­­­­

What an amazing entity.  Beyond a cup of coffee or tea, beyond cooking, the simplicity of boiling water.

People spend a fortune on chemicals to rid themselves of the weeds and grass that grows between the cracks of sidewalks, driveways, patios.  Pulling the weeds and grass is very difficult and does not necessarily get the roots, so very quickly, the weeds and grass return.  How really effective are the chemicals?  Usually to get a really good kill, hours of hot sun is required.  If it rains, effectiveness is cut drastically if not totally.  Consider the damage is done to the environment by using these chemicals: our water and air, our children and pets, wildlife and every other living thing on this earth.  All before considering our pocketbooks.

I believe that it is time to consider methods that have a smaller price on the environment, our children and pets, as well as our pocketbooks.  Now back to the thought of boiling water.  Boil a pot of water and ladle it out onto the troublesome weeds and/or grass.  This is the most effective way of eliminating unwanted plants and weeds that I have ever seen.  None survive.  Even the indestructible quack grass stands no chance against the boiling water.  It kills the entire plant, including the roots.  If it rains shortly thereafter, no problem, if the sun is not shining or you only have time in the evening, again no problem.  The weeds and grass will be gone in a very short time.  The seeds present will be cooked so they will not germinate.  The mature plants and roots will also be cooked so they will quickly decompose and be gone.  New seeds will eventually find their way into the area, but nuisance re-growth will take much more time than if you were using one of the chemicals on the market.

Please be careful not to splash the boiling water on anyone including you.  It will burn or scald.  Also, do not pour too close to plants and or grass you do not want to kill.

If you are doing boarders, experiment with small amounts.  You will be surprised how little is required to get a remarkable result without damaging the environment.

Do you have ants?  Boiling water poured onto the ant hills is the best way to rid yourself of this nuisance as well.  The hill might require a couple of treatments, but I can assure you that the ants will not develop a resistance to it!

Boiling some water and spreading it around.  What could be simpler?

Tracey