Homestead Wellness Practices

Reader Contribution by Rosemary Hansen
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There is lot of confusing information out there for the COVID-19 coronavirus. We use some very commonsense wellness practices to keep our family healthy and I wanted to share them with you.

Please seek professional medical attention if you or your children are ill — do not follow a blogger’s advice. These ideas are for folks who are currently healthy and want to be cautious. It is important to have a well-functioning immune system.

Keep your fingernails short. This prevents bacteria from building up in your nails if you normally keep your nails long or have artificial nails. I keep mine very short, and I also keep my kids’ nails short. I haven’t heard any doctors mention this tip, but I think it’s pretty important.

Wash hands frequently. This is vitally important. But we also have a spray bottle full of 5% acetic acid white vinegar spray (same as canning vinegar), which we spray on our hands after touching items from the store or post office. We keep one in the vehicle, too. Vinegar can kill bacteria and fungi! It can even kill film-forming bacteria, one of the hardest types of bacteria to get rid of. I spray vinegar on all packages from the store as well. Leave the vinegar on, don’t wipe it off. I am not suggesting that vinegar replaces bleach and water for sanitizing. Do what you feel is best for your family and consult the CDC for best practices. Vinegar will not help with respiratory transmission of illness. It’s also important to note that the CDC recommends an alcohol-based hand cleanser of at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. 

Avoid sugary foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners, and highly processed foods. Learn to cook at home. Try making something simple like slow-cooked potatoes and chicken. Simple techniques and only a few ingredients can help a newbie cook navigate the overwhelming task of cooking at home. Slow-cooking is the easiest way to make meat dishes taste amazing. Try this simple recipe to start: Put a whole chicken in the slow-cooker or Crock Pot (or a few breasts), add water until it rises up about halfway on the chicken, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of curry powder (or chili powder if you don’t like the taste of curry), a generous sprinkle of salt, add optional 2 to 3 large potatoes (chopped) and let it cook for 12 hours on low. I like to squeeze a little siracha sauce on, or sometimes add a can of tomato paste. This recipe is so forgiving because slow-cooking will always make meat taste wonderful, no matter what spices you put in. Now you have yourself a delicious supper that will probably last until the next day’s lunch or if you live alone — for many meals.

Add lots of fruits and veggies to your diet. Add some wholesome dried fruits such as prunes and apricots to your snacks as well as nuts and plain (no-sugar) yogurt. Whole foods are always a good idea over take-out food or processed microwave meals. If you model this behavior, your kids will mimic it, too.

Avoid alcohol if you are feeling sick. Alcohol suppresses the immune system and also disrupts sleep. If your body is trying to fight infection it needs adequate rest and a strong active immune system!

Eat raw garlic (with the powerful natural antibiotic, Allicin), raw ginger, and turmeric when feeling sick or even just a little off. Not only is garlic anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral, but best of all it contains a natural antibiotic that selects the bad bugs in your gut and doesn’t harm the good ones (unlike antibiotics that are prescribed by the doctor, which annihilate everything in your gut — very hard on your body). Yes, garlic is smelly, but don’t be tempted to take a garlic pill. As far as I know, garlic supplements do not have the potent allicin in them, unless they are freeze-dried. The cheapest way to get garlic benefits is to eat it raw! You need to smash or chop fresh garlic before consuming it for the allicin to be present. We put it on sourdough toast, mix it into eggs (after they’ve cooled from cooking), put it into salad dressing and fresh hummus.

Read only the most essential news. A lot of it is full of fear and even the facts are meant to scare you. Limit yourself to 5 minutes a day. Set an egg timer and stop looking at it after 5 minutes when it dings. I’m not saying don’t be informed, but many people who read the news tend to get stressed out by it. Stress hastens illness.

Rosemary Hansen is an author, homesteading Mama, and a chef. She has spent the last 10 years “homesteading” in the city. She and her family have just started their off-grid homestead in rural British Columbia, Canada. Her books, Grow a Salad In Your City Apartment and Rosemary’s Natural Cosmetic Guide are a great way to ease into a healthy, pure lifestyle. You can connect with Rosemary at her website or on her YouTube channel. Read all of Rosemary’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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