Before we moved to the mountains, I read articles about how healthy it is for “older people” (that would be us!) to live in the mountains. And it’s true. It is healthy to live in the mountains. What I didn’t know was that much of that health comes from lots of hard work!
For example, whenever it snows. Mike gets up early and clears our very long, steep driveway with the snow blower. Then he makes paths for our goats so they won’t be terribly annoyed when they come out of the barn. Then it’s time to gather wood for the wood stove. And it’s not uncommon for the temp to be single digits or below zero that time of the morning. And it’s not just Mike. This past summer, I took my little chain saw and cut down more than 200 sick or dead trees so that our forest would be healthy. It really made a fabulous difference in the look and usability of our land but, whew! These are jobs that we really feel, for they take more strength and fortitude than what we experienced when we lived elsewhere.
We have really had to work at our health level intentionally. There are a lot of aspects of doing that, but for this blog, I thought I would share with you some of our favorite health supplements, that have helped us to keep up with the demands of mountain living. I say “supplements” but really, we don’t take vitamins very often. We depend on lots of healthy food to provide that. These supplements are, for the most part, concentrated super foods that we have found to be strength- and life-giving.
Flaxseed: Mahatma Gandhi once said in regards to flax, “Wherever flax seed becomes a regular food item among the people, there will be better health.” I believe it! I grind it in a little coffee grinder and Mike and I take the resulting flax powder faithfully in our juice almost every day.
Spirulina: I first became amazed at the healing power of spirulina when our family owned a 58 gallon salt water fish tank. We were home schooling at the time and what a natural way to teach many aspects of science! One of the types of fish we had in our tank were yellow tangs. Sometimes one would get sick and turn very pale. There were two things that nursed these fish back to health with glowing yellow color: romaine lettuce and spirulina! And believe it or not, spirulina has been approved by NASA as a superfood for astronauts. Read about that here.
Cod Liver Oil: What do you think of when you hear “cod liver oil”? Probably yucky tasting stuff that makes you burp! But this brand is surprisingly non-offensive in that way. And what a power-packed source of omega 3 fatty acids as well as a great source of vitamin D! We stay away from fish oil capsules (just as we stay away from flax oil capsules.) There’s just no telling how old or impure the stuff in those capsules is. But taking refrigerated cod liver oil by a spoon is a much better option.
Bilberry Powder: Bilberry is sometimes called European blueberry. Both contain about the same nutrition. Blueberries are more common in American. The reason we stir bilberry powder in our juice (along with the flaxseed powder) is because berries, particularly blueberries, are such a power food! Whenever I see a list of “super foods,” blueberries are always on the list! Bilberry powder is just an easy way to get all that benefit when we are not able to eat lots of berries.
To end this, I’ll say that healthful mountain living isn’t all work, good nutrition, and super supplements. Part of health is getting some good rest!