Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A year of endings

Happy New Year to all of you!

This has been a life changing year for me. I've seen many endings and all of them have been good.

I've suffered from depression and hypothyroidism for 10+ years, I've steadily put on weight and had an incredible lack of energy. This past fall I discovered how to regain my health!

After my diagnosis of diabetes in October, I discovered what it means to eat Paleo and took back my body. Initially the diagnosis felt like the end of the world, but it has proven to be the blessing I needed to regain my life.

I went to see a specialist yesterday. He is an Endocrinologist and head of the Diabetes Unit at our local hospital. I had to wait 2 months to see him but it was worth the wait.  After 2 months on my new food lifestyle, he was so impressed with my health, that he said, "I have no words of wisdom for you, just keep doing whatever you are doing."  

In 2 months time, my hypothyroid is normal, he could detect NO evidence of it in his exam! I have LOST 20 pounds! I have massive amounts of energy, wake up on my own every morning feeling rested and energized, and even more important to me, I have not had one moment of that sluggish, no spark to life, feeling of depression. I have an enthusiasm and a joy for life that I can't remember ever feeling.

Over the last 50 to 60 years, our options for obtaining food completely changed from those of our parents and grandparents. With the introduction of large chain grocery stores, the small neighborhood butcher shops and grocers, who got most of their meat and produce from local farmers, slowly went out of business, and big corporations took over. They supply us with everything a person could imagine in the form of processed foods, unhealthy antibiotic filled, and grain fed meat, along with produce bathed in poisonous insecticides.

The good news was, people could stop growing their own produce, stop harvesting, stop canning, stop fertilizing the earth with hard work and sweat... and just go to the store!

So, what does it mean to eat Paleo? For me it simply means taking control of my own well being, and not depending on a government to make my food choices any longer.

Once I found out about the Paleo lifestyle and began to expand my reading, I discovered there is an entire life style changing movement going on! Who knew?! Certainly not me in my brain fogged world! People have gone back to homesteading!  They grow their own produce, have relearned lost talents like canning, fermentation, pickling, and cold storage in order to save it all. They have whatever farm animals they can, and learn how to care for, and eventually use as nourishment, and products (ie: skin care, soaps, etc), what they can from them.

With all of this year's endings for me... I now have a goal for the new year. We have already started our homestead on paper, and in our heads. Sadly, we have to wait for winter to be over before we can begin the outside portions of this new and very exciting life! This too, has certainly proved to be the ultimate blessing, as it's given me much more time to learn, explore, and pass on the knowledge I am gaining.

Health and Peace in the New Year!  See you there...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Second Chance Homestead

Hi, I'm Margo and I live in Upstate New York, in the middle of the city of Rochester. I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you the story of how I came to create the Second Chance Homestead.

Some people have called me stubborn (my mom, my spouse, yep... even my kids) but I'm not really. I just need to learn things the hard way! I grew up with a dietitian posing as my mother and we had totally balanced meals for every dinner, salad included. I have always been a lover of all foods that are not really good for you... yes, I mean salad. I also mean vegetables, multi grain 'super foods', etc. I love bread, potatoes, pasta and of course dessert!
This past October was a difficult month for me. Leading up, throughout the summer I found I had less and less energy, needed a nap every evening after work, and couldn't get enough to drink. Now, when I tell you that the last 3 weeks in October I couldn't drink enough... it was a wicked thirst!

I will tell you that I diagnosed myself, but my spouse will tell you a different story. 
Right - I didn't want to hear what she had to say, so once again I went the hard way.
I wasn't able to see my doctor until the last week of the month, so I consulted my local pharmacy. I was given a blood glucose testing kit, and my first result was a very abnormal 470! For those that don't know, normal glucose runs around 80 to 125. When I saw my doctor on 10/29 he told me I was highly diabetic. For those in the know, my A1C was an astonishing 10.

The first thing I did was cry, the second thing was to realize that I was scared to death. I went straight from there to total panic, because I had NO clue what to eat!

I'm a huge believer in posting just about anything on facebook - eek - so I began telling anyone that cared to read about it.

My cousin kept responding but all she would say was: "Eat Paleo"  Well! I've never heard of Paleo, didn't know where to buy it, or if I could even find it, how to cook it! 
Being the wise person I am, I finally asked her, and I ended up reading  The Paleo Solution It has changed my life and led me onto a path that is giving me a second chance to live life not only to its fullest, but in an entirely different way then this city girl has ever lived before.

Our home has seen many lifestyles in it's 100+ years, it's housed a grocery store, restaurant, cobbler, ice cream factory, and most recently a dog grooming shop. But it has never seen what is about to happen...

I hope you will join me as I learn how to build a chicken coop to house the 4 chickens --that I know nothing about, but have always thought would be fun to have - we plan to purchase in the spring, along with the raised garden beds I hope to create so I can grow, and somehow, preserve our own vegetables.

These things along with fermented foods and drinks (what??..eww she said at first), a greener lifestyle, and if I can talk my darling into it, a goat, should all prove to be a wild ride for this simple city grandma of 3. My family will never believe this!

A BIG shout out to Melissa at Ever Growing Farm for her thoughtful kindness in directing me to the correct blog site for a beginner, and sharing needed info on blogger etiquette!