Saturday, October 29, 2011

Olive Leaf and bone density....

Here's a supplement to add to your arsenal of natural treatments for osteopenia and/or osteoporosis.

For some time, the oleuropein in olive leaf has been known to have the following pharmacological properties:

  • antiviral
  • anti-microbal
  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • skin protector
  • anti-aging 
  • anti-cancer
  • anti-atherogenic
Here is an article summarizing the benefits of olive leaf.

New research has shown that olive leaf is also beneficial for bone health.  In summary, olive leaf has been shown to stimulate osteoblasts (the cells that are involved in bone growth) and inhibit the formation of osteoclasts (the cells involved in bone removal).
  1. Olive leaf stimulates bone growth. A study documenting the usefulness of Olive leaf in the stimulation of bone growth was done at the University of Cordoba in Spain.  It found that "oleuropein provoked an increase in the diffentiation of osteoblasts, cells responsible for bone formation". Source: .doctac 2011.
  2. In addition there has been research showing Olive leaf as preventing bone loss.                                In April 2011 Japanese scientists Keitaro Hagiwaraa, Tadashi Gotob, Masahiro Arakic, Hitoshi Miyazakic, Hiromi Hagiwara published a paper, "Olive polyphenol hydroxytyrosol prevents bone loss" in the European Journal of Pharmacology>/i> stating:                                                    "Polyphenols reportedly exert physiological effects against diseases such as cancer, arteriosclerosis, hyperlipidemia and osteoporosis. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, the major polyphenols in olives, on bone formation using cultured osteoblasts and osteoclasts, and on bone loss in ovariectomized mice. No polyphenols markedly affected the proliferation of osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells at concentrations up to 10 μM. Oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol at 10 to 100 μM had no effect on the production of type I collagen and the activity of alkaline phosphatase in MC3T3-E1 cells, but stimulated the deposition of calcium in a dose-dependent manner.                                                                                                              In contrast, oleuropein at 10 to 100 μM and hydroxytyrosol at 50 to 100 μM inhibited the formation of multinucleated osteoclasts in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, both compounds suppressed the bone loss of trabecular bone in femurs of ovariectomized mice (6-week-old BALB/c female mice), while hydroxytyrosol attenuated H2O2 levels in MC3T3-E1 cells. Our findings indicate that the olive polyphenols oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol may have critical effects on the formation and maintenance of bone, and can be used as effective remedies in the treatment of osteoporosis symptoms."

Additional information on natural alternatives to prescription medications can be found here... highly recommended!

There is a free monthly newsletter that you can sign up for here which will keep you up to date on the latest research/natural options for battling bone loss.

I don't have a specific brand/dosage of Olive Leaf to recommend to you... you'll have to do your own research to make an informed decision.  For now, I have simply purchased olive leaf from Amazon, but I haven't yet done enough research to recommend a certain brand... I'm still learning here too!

Hope this is helpful.... bone health is so important!

Do your research, take responsibility for your own health and stay strong ladies!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Ruffled Messenger Bag Tutorial!

Remember this messenger bag that I showed you yesterday?

To be quite honest, I originally bought the drop cloths to make a slipcover for one of our (very tired) couches, but first I was distracted by my super-simple table runner idea and then by this messenger bag.  I am going to work on recovering the couch this weekend... I'd *love* to finish it before I have hip surgery Monday.

I'll try to take photos as I go, so perhaps I'll have another semi-helpful tutorial to share sometime soon.

My other big project this weekend is to do some batch cooking.  The children are helping me put some beef meals in the freezer during the next few days.... I'm using this batch cooking plan.  It'll be so good to "feed our freezer" again~ I *love* having these meals to draw from on busy days... actually that would be almost *every* day here (and I wouldn't have it any other way)!

Back to the messenger bag though...  when I began planning what I wanted to sew, I used ideas that I have saved in Evernote and on Pinterest like these:

(And yes, I want the truck too, but that'll have to wait until we find just the right truck, and I talk the boys into refurbishing it for me in their "spare time".... um guys??)

I *loved* the ruffles, but I really wanted more of a messenger-type bag with the longer single shoulder strap (since I'm on crutches right now) and a flap rather than an open top.

I decided to use this messenger bag tutorial and simply add my own ruffles!  I think Alida's tutorial is fabulous, so I won't redo it, but I will tell how I adapted it so I could have my ruffles, plus I decided to line it a slightly different way, which I think turned out pretty nice.

Ruffly Messenger Bag Tutorial
  1. Cut out the pieces for outer bag, pockets and lining as detailed in Alida's messenger bag tutorial.
  2. In addition, cut out 8 strips for the ruffles as follows:  4 pieces 5 1/2" x 30" for the back and 4 pieces 4 1/2" x 24" for the front pocket. 
  3. For each ruffle strip, serge or hem to finish the long edges.  If you choose to serge the fabric, one of the long edges then needs to be turned up and hemmed.  
  4. The other long edge needs a double row of basting stitches sewn the length of the fabric so it can be gathered.  
  5. Follow Alida's instructions, attaching the magnetic snaps, sewing the pockets and sewing the shoulder strap together.
  6. Stop before Alida's instructions to "sew the bag sandwich" together, since you need to attach the ruffles first!
  7. Gather the ruffles for the front flap and the back and adjust to fit the outer fabric pieces.  
  8. I spaced the ruffles and placed them, one overlapping the other and baste them in place.  The bottom three ruffles I simply basted with the gathered, serged edge flat, but for the top ruffle, I placed it upside down and then basted it down so that when it was flipped down there would be a finished edge.  
  9. In addition to basting across the gathered edge of each ruffle, I also basted the short edges all the way down the long the edge of the outer flap.  That way, when you sew the lining to the flap, the ruffles with stay where you want them.  I didn't baste the side edges of the bottom front flap ruffle though, since I wanted it to drop below the edge of the front flap, so I needed to be able to keep it out of the way when sewing the outer fabric and lining of the front flap.  Here's a few pictures which might help show what I did:        

10. Now you will need to place the four ruffles on the back of the bag.  The will be gathered and basted on the same way as the ruffles on the front flap were.  Be sure to leave the side edges of the bottom ruffle free~ don't baste those side edges down since that bottom ruffle will extend below the bottom edge of the bag and you will want it to stay free of the stitching when you sew the back of the bag to the front.

11.  I decided to sew my bag lining in a slightly different way than Alida did.  First I layered the front and back flap, right sides together and stitched along the three sides of the flap, being careful to keep the bottom ruffle free of the stitching.  Clip the bottom corners and then turn right side out.  

12.  Next, layer the front and back outer fabric, right sides together and sew around the side and bottom edges of those pieces.

13.  Now arrange the lining, front and back, right sides together and sew around the sides and bottom of those pieces.  

14.  It is time to sew across the bottom corners of the bag, both outer fabric and lining~ see Alida's fabulous tutorial and pictures to do this step.  

15. Finally it is time for the exciting part of placing the lining in the bag~ you're getting close to the end now!  Turn the bag lining inside out and slide it down into the outer bag.

16.  To finish the top edge of the bag, simply turn under the top edges of the bag and lining so the unfinished edges are hidden and then topstitch all around the top edge.  

17. Don't forget to make some fabric flowers for embellishment!  I tried several tutorials like this one and this one... pretty fun!  **editied: This one is really good too!

Enjoy your messenger bag!  Thanks Alida, for the fabulous tutorial!  I *love* my bag!

If you have any questions, please ask away and I'll try to clarify my instructions!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inspired by Pinterest

It all started innocently enough with images like this...

And then I came across this post by Miss Mustard Seed on using dropcloths (of all things!) to make slipcovers!  

My sweet, patient husband, who goes along with most of my endeavors, took me to several home improvement-type stores so I could find just the right dropcloth.  I wanted one that was a nice texture and color, and preferably with no seams.  

We ended up purchasing an 8oz dropcloth that was 4' x 13' from Lowes that was a nice light color and washed up beautifully.  It did have a seam in it, but the fabric was so nice and soft after washing and bleaching it that I didn't really care.

Once I finished washing/bleaching it I laid it out on our long table and it hit me... all I needed to do was cut it in half and I'd have a super-easy table runner~ perfect for painting some sweet French-style pinstripes on!

So I cut the dropcloth in half lengthwise, serged the raw edge to finish it and used blue painter's tape to mask off the area that I wanted to paint.


To paint fabric, all you need is plain-ol' acrylic paint~ I used the brand Apple Barrel and for best results it is good to add some fabric medium to the paint to "set" it.

I was really happy with how it turned out!


Now I'm itchin' to try out some glass etching like this:

and create some glass hurricane candle-holders similar to this to put on my beautiful new table runner:

I think that will be so pretty and fun to customize for different seasons too!

That just got me started though....

I think that I mentioned that I am back on crutches again, trying to get another femoral neck stress fracture (in my hip) to heal up.  I am on week 2 of trying to be totally non-weightbearing.  sigh.  So I can't run or bike right now, but I have been swimming~ a lot, and I am gradually improving.  I actually swam 2.4 miles last Saturday~ without stopping~ all in about 1hr 20 min!  Wow! I was *so* excited!  Last June it was a struggle for me to get to the other end of the pool.  So all that to say, persistance does pay off.  I may not be fast, but I am persistant!

Anyway, I digress.... Tom and I decided that it would be best for me to go ahead and have this hip "pinned" like I had to do with my right hip last fall.  That pretty much means that my orthopedic doctor will put three screws in my femoral neck (that's the top part of my femur, the narrow part where it turns and goes into your hip).  That way, even though I am dealing with osteopenia (and I do have some new research to share here on building bone density... soon, I promise!) I should be "good to go" for running and doing some longer-distance triathlon events next year.

So Monday, Oct. 31, I'll be having my left hip pinned.  It wasn't very fun last fall, so I'm not really looking forward to the surgery, but I'm really looking forward to getting past these fracture issues and back to running with my sweet family.  I *hate* missing out on all of the beautiful autumn runs they have been going on!

I'll still be on crutches for another 6 weeks after surgery and one of the things that is most frustrating to me about being on crutches is that I can't carry anything.  Last week I decided that what I needed was a messenger-type bag to carry my "stuff" around the house in.

After looking at lots of bag ideas I came up with this:  (using dropcloth fabric, of course!)


I'm really happy with how it turned out... more info about that project soon!

Have a great day, my friends!

ps- if you want to follow my Pinterest boards....  here they are!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I need friends! LOL!

Hey there!

I've been planning all sorts of posts, but have been so busy with life here that I've had no time to write!

I did want to take a sec here though before I go swim (while the children eat lunch) to make a little request/offer.  If anyone would like to be "friends" with me on MyFitnessPal, I'd *love* to add you as a friend!  Let's encourage each other!

I'm joyfulmomofmany (such a surprise, huh?!) there... look me up and "friend" me, K?

You can read my post here about how I'm using MyFitnessPal to loose some stubborn weight.

Have a *fabulous* autumn day!  (or spring day, for those of you in the Southern hemisphere!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On choosing the better thing...

Yesterday we attended a memorial service for my dear Nana.  

I have an incredibly supportive family... loving and super-patient with all of my many pursuits, but my Nana played a unique role in my life.  

She thought I was perfect.  For my whole life she has been my biggest cheerleader.

Certainly, I was aware of my faults, but I am sure that her unwavering confidence in me and my abilities, however unfounded, has encouraged me to attempt goals that I might never have considered otherwise.

She never started her own business, wrote a book, invented anything, or was highlighted in a magazine article, but her life was still incredibly significant because she chose love. 

She chose love.  

She chose forgiveness.  

She chose grace.

She chose to "not take into account a wrong suffered," (1 Cor. 13:5)

She rejoiced in the truth.  (1 Cor. 13:6)

Oh, I know... she wasn't perfect any more than I am, but as I reflect on her life I realize that I too want to choose love, forgiveness and grace as I relate to my family.

What a legacy an "ordinary" life can leave, when lived with love as the predominant motivation.

The years, they pass *so* quickly.  I want to choose love too.

Here's to choosing grace.

Here's to choosing love.

I'll let the following photos speak for themselves.  I know that this post is photo-heavy, but as I sorted through photos that we used for the slide show at her memorial service, I felt compelled to include these~ there are so many memories attached to them for me.  So humor me, ok? 

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;"
2 Tim. 4:7

May that be said of all of us.