Q:  I know probiotics are good for me, and I try to use them regularly.  Unfortunately, they are often too expensive for my budget.  Any suggestions on where to find them more reasonably priced?


A:  Buy a gallon of organic milk and allow it to spoil.  The warmer the environment, the quicker it will spoil.  Once the curd (the the thick, milky-cheesy part) separates from the whey (the liquid), cut open the plastic jug and pour the contents into a colander lined with cheesecloth or plain white paper towels.  The curd is loaded with natural probiotics and can be eaten plain (like yogurt) or you can add fruit and nuts to your liking.  


If you have a good blender you can use the curd to make the best, most healthy and delicious ice cream-like dessert.  Just add the curd, half the amount of oil as curd (I suggest flaxseed oil), frozen fruit of your choice, and raw honey to taste and blend ‘til smooth.  The whey is loaded with protein, and should be saved to use in smoothies or other other health drinks.  Whey is a natural preservative and will keep for weeks if you refrigerate it, or you can freeze it to keep it longer.  


Refrigerate the curd as well, and it too, will last 2-3 weeks or longer.  Another option is to buy organic milk and then make yogurt, using cultured organic buttermilk to get started.   Making your own yogurt is easy, but time consuming. You will find plenty of good videos on how to make yogurt on YouTube.


Q:  I’m six months pregnant and I get a lot of heartburn and acid reflux.  I eat a lot of Tums and take Pepto bismol, but I worry that I might be taking too much of it sometimes.  My doctor says that heartburn is normal and that Tums and Pepto will not hurt me or the baby.  But I’m wondering if you know of something more natural that I can take?


A:  One tablespoon of Bragg's apple cider vinegar in 4-6 ounces of distilled water relieves heartburn and acid re-flux.  Although apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, once ingested, it has an alkalizing effect. It is important to use vinegar that has not been distilled.  


Bragg's is an organic vinegar that keeps the "mother" of the vinegar, which settles at the bottom of the bottle. Shake before using to get the benefits of the mother, which is where most of the nutrients are. Also, ingest natural probiotics (see the answer to the probiotics questions above for more information) to help with your digestion.


Q:  I try to do the right things to be be healthy, but I don’t make a lot of money.  Is it worth the price to buy organic?


A:  Many years ago, it would have been easy to answer that question; but today; it isn’t. There was a time when I could say that if you’re on a tight budget, then purchase organic produce that has a thin skin like carrots, and blueberries, and conventional produce if the skin is thick, like bananas and oranges.  I would also have advised you to purchase grass-fed beef, and wild-caught fish.


However today, so many farmers have involuntarily had their crops “infected” with the cross-pollination of genetically modified plants and been allowed to continue labeling as organic, that it has become increasingly difficult to make the better choice.  Although rice and potatoes are now likely to be GMO, at the moment, it appears that  most whole foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, lentils) are not yet being modifed, and the modification of potatoes will soon be discontinued; if not already done.


When a study was conducted that fed one group of sheep GMO food (sheep mostly eat grass), and the other conventional, the sheep that were fed the GMO died within a few weeks; but the sheep fed conventional lived a normal life-span with no unusual disease. So what does this mean?  It means that if your only choice is GMO or conventional (even if that GMO is labeled organic) then you may be better off going with the conventional that has been sprayed with herbicides, and then washing it with soap three times before eating, to remove approximately 97% of the toxins.  Because livestock, poultry, and fish are fed GMO grains and grass, for the sake of your health as well as your budget, you might want to consider becoming a vegetarian.                  

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