Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Whats the "Beef" with Beef? (or chicken for that matter)

So now that we know the story of pesticides on our produce what is the story about our beef and chicken. Well first of all in regards to poultry, there is a misconception that hormones are used to grow the chickens faster. While there are things used to grow the chickens bigger and faster, it isn't hormones. The use of hormones in U.S. poultry production has been illegal since 1952. However, hormones are used and found in over 75% of our cattle. That being said there is another problem that is found in both beef and chicken.. Antibiotics!
Nearly half the volume of antibiotics produced in the US each year - about 15,000,000 pounds, worth almost $250,000,000 - is fed to animals. Penicillin, tetracycline, and other such medications are routinely mixed into the feed of a majority of livestock in this country... not mainly to stave off disease but, instead, in efforts to increase growth rates.
In 1949, Dr. Thomas Jukes - who then worked for Lederle Laboratories, the company that discovered chlortetracycline (aureomycin) found that feeding the wastes from the production of chlortetracylcline to baby chickens increased their growth rate 10% to 20%. Continued research showed that the effect was at least as pronounced on piglets and calves. Companies claim that giving doses of antibiotic well below those that would be used to treat disease (a procedure called subtherapeutic administration) can return $3.00 in improved feed-conversion efficiency for every dollar invested. Dr. Jukes discovery did much to make a whole new sort of farming possible. Antibiotics have made it more practical to confine animals, where they can be fed controlled doses of commercial feeds, rather than allowing them to range. This permits animals to be kept in very crowded conditions without serious outbreaks of disease. According to an Office of Technology Assesment report in 1979, 99% of all poultry, 70% of all beef cattle and veal, and 90% of swine recieve routine subtherpaeutic doses of antibiotics. It's now nearly impossible to find livestock that don't have significant population of resistant bacteria, whether or not they have actually been fed antibiotics. The resistant strains quickly pass from one animal to another in confinement and have even been reported to mysteriously travel several hundred yards between pens.
North American countries stand practically alone among developed nations in allowing indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animals. Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, the Netherland, Norway, Sweden, and the West Germany all require veterinary prescriptions for animal antibiotics. In the U.S., however, the director of FDA's center for Veterinary Medicine, Lester H. Crawford, has been unsucessfully pursuing a ban on subtherapuetic use of antibiotics since 1977!
As of today 25% of samonella strains in humans are resistant to antibiotics. The over prescribing of antibiotics by doctors to their patients has definitely contributed to these virulent and resistant strains of bacteria. However, I firmly believe that the massive over-use of antibiotics in animal feed is one of the greatest threats to us today!

15 Produce Selections You Dont Need To Buy Organic!

Of course we all know that organic is much better than non-organic. Not only does organic have way more nutritional value but it also doesnt contain pesticides nor genetically modified materials. However, like many of you, I am on a limited food budget and am always seeking to provide the highest quality of food to my family without breaking our budget. I have researched and found a list of the top 15 foods that are the least likely to contain pesticides.. or at least have the very lowest amounts. Whenever you come across these products you can purchase them non-organic and save those extra pennies for something else that should be purchased organic. Just remember that you should always wash the non-organic fruit before cutting into them so the pesticides so not creep into the fruit or veggie once cut open.

1- Onions (there isn't much a pest problem with them, so less pesticides)
2- Avacado (thick skin acts a protector from pesticides)
3- Corn (although they take alot of fertilizer, not many pesticides)
4- Pineapple (thick protective skin)
5- Mango
6- Asparagus (fewer pest problems with this veggies)
7- Sweet Peas
8- Kiwi (peel acts as a barrier, still wash this fruit before cutting!)
9- Cabbage (not alot of spraying required to grow this veggies)
10- Eggplant
11- Papaya
12- Watermelon (rind has a natural defense mechanism against pesticides)
13- Broccoli (fewer pest problems, so less spraying)
14- Tomato
15- Sweet Potato

So there you have it! A list of foods that you can feel a little better about eating non-organic!

2010 Dirty Dozen Produce List

The following is a list of produce that was goverment tested in 2010 and found to have some of the highest pesticide residues:
1- Celery (it has no skin to protect it and 64 pesticide residues were found)
2- Peaches (62 different pesticide residues were found on them)
3- Strawberries (59 different pesticides)
4- Apples
5- Blueberries (52 different pesticide residues)
6- Nectarines (33 different pesticides)
7- Bell Peppers (these have thin skins and 49 different pesticides were found)
8- Spinach (48 different ones, making it one of the most contaminated green, leafy
9- Kale (traditionally a hardier veggie, but found to have high amounts of pesticides
this year)
10- Cherries (42 different ones, one survery showed three times higher pesticide
levels in US cherries when compared to imported ones)
11- Potatoes (37 different pesticides)
12- Grapes (imported ones contained 34 different pesticides)

With that being said, leafy greens are frequently contaminated with what are considered to be the most potent pesticides used on food. Many leafy greens contain 55 different pesticide residues on them, yet they were dropped off the 2010 dirty dozen list. While this is the dirty dozen list for produce it does not discuss the peticides that are laced within non-organic meats, milk and coffee. Non-organic milk has been found to have up to twelve different types of pesticide residue. The fat of meat is known to carry the most pesticides as well as other toxins. Pork fat has been shown to have eight different pesticides and chicken thighs are the most pesticide filled part. There is no comparison to the nurtritional value of organic food versus non-organic and also the lack of pesticides.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stevia - An Herb With Natural Sweetness!

Stevia is an herb from the species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family. It is native to the subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. A natural scientist named Antonio Bertoni, first recorded its usage by native tribes in 1887. It has a record of centuries of safe use by indians in Paraguay. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Medical research has also shown possible benefits of stevia in treating obesity and high blood pressure. Because stevia has negligible effects on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetner to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets, like diabetes. The availability of stevia varies from country to country. In a few countries, it has been available for decades or centuries; for example, stevia is widely used as a sweetener in Japan where it has been available for decades. In some countries, health concerns and political controversies have limited its availability; for example, the Unites States banned stevia in the early 1990's unless labeled as a supplment, but in 2008 approved rebaudioside-A extract as a food additive. Stevia occurs naturally, requiring no patent to produce it, therefore the government can really seek to gain nothing by employing its use more often. It is a perfectly safe sweetener and has been proven so for many centuries. There is somewhat of an aftertaste which one can grow accustomed to and if used in larger quantities is can be bitter tasting. However in the right amount it can add a pleasant sweetness to drinks and desserts without affecting your health in a negative way.

Xylitol - A safe, natural sweetener!

Xylitol was first manufactured by a German chemist in 1891. It was re-discovered in Finland during World War II, when there was an acute sugar shortage. It was a low-calorie sugar made from birch bark originally. By 1930, xylitol had been purified, but it wasn't until World War II sugar shortages forced the researchers to look into alternatives. It was also during that time that researchers discovered xylitol's insulin-independent nature (it metabolizes in the body without using insulin). By the 1960's xylitol was being used in Germany, Switzerland, the Soviet Union and Japan as a preferred sweetener. It has been relatively unknown in the USA and Australia, primarily because cheap supplies of cane sugar made the more expensive xylitol less economically viable. Xylitol is a natural substance found in fibrous vegetables and fruits, as well as corn on the cobs and various hardwood trees like birch. Xylitol is produced naturally in our bodies; in fact, we make up to 15 grams daily during normal metabolism. Although xylitol tastes and looks exactly like sugar, that is where the similarities end. Xyitol is really sugar's mirror image. While sugar wreaks havoc on our bodies, xylitol heals and repairs. It also builds immunity, protects against chronic degenerative disease and has anti-aging benefits. Xylitol is considered a five-carbon sugar, which means it is an antimicrobial, preventing the growth of bacteria. Approved by the FDA in 1963, xylitol has no known toxic levels. The only discomfort that some sensitive people may notice initially when taking large amounts is mild diarrhea or slight cramping. Since the body makes xylitol daily, as well as the enzymes to break it all down, any discomfort usually dissapears within a few days as the body's enzymatic activity adjusts to a higher intake. Xylitol has 40% fewer calories than sugar and 75% fewer carbohydrates. Xylitol is also wonderful for dental cavity protection and has been shown to pass benefits of oral health to the unborn or nursing baby of a mother who consumes it regularly. It is also known to protect against ear, nose and throat infections. Xylitol's ability to inhibit growth of bacteria that cause middle infections in young children is amazing! Xylitol has been shown to be effective at inhibiting Candida albicans, a serious systemic yeast problem, and other harmful gut bacteria including H.pylori, which is implicated in many things from ulcers to stomach cancer. It can even reverse bone loss. The health benefits of xylitol are vast! Over 1,500 scientific studies have found that the more you use xylitol, the more you can eliminate sugar cravings, reduce insulin levels and alkalinize your body!

Artificial Sweetners

Well I don't have much good to say about artificial sweetners as they are mostly neurotoxins. Many people looking to lose weight or diabetics are lured into using artificial sweetners due to their zero calorie claim. While I believe that sugar can damage your health I believe that aritificial sweetners are even more deadly! "Artificial" means something that is not found in nature, but is instead a man-made chemical compound. Current artificial sweetners include (in order of creation): Sacchrin, cyclamate, aspartame, acesulfame-K, sucralose (splenda), alitame and neotame. My personal position on all artificial sweetners is that you should simply avoid them. I believe you should stick to the food your body was designed to eat, which is foods found in their unprocessed state in nature. There are so many side effects reported with artificial sweetners. Everything from skin rashes, shortness of breath, migraines. itchy eyes, nausea, vomiting, chest pains, seizures, anxiety, numbeness of limbs and even claims of these substances contributing to cancer. While it is better to avoid sugar for your immune system sake if you have to have a soda or pudding or whatever please stay away from the sugar-free version. It is a better to have a sugar filled drink or dessert once in a while than to ingest a product with artificial sweetners. There are many websites and books out there discussing this topic further. One website I would recommend is - I think you will find the information helpful and enlightening. In my next blog entry I will discuss some natural sweetners that are side-effect free and are a wonderful addition to a healthy kitchen.

Real Salt Is Good For You

The salt used in most homes and restaurants is very different from nature's original seasoning. Table salts are mined from the earth with bulldozers and heavy machinery, often resulting in a negative enviromental impact. The salt is then iodized, bleached and diluted with chemical anti-caking agents. After processing and kiln drying at temperatures in excess of 400 degrees, its natural state is changed and most trace minerals are lost. The result is a far cry from the natural sea salt our bodies were meant to ingest. Natural salt will not clog your system and is solar dried keeping the trace minerals in tact. It is not bleached so it maintains the original tan color with specks of darker brown which are the trace minerals. I personally have not ever had table salt in my home.. and I have been using sea salt since I was a child. The taste is remarkably better and stronger and because it is natural and unprocessed it does not contribute to the many health conditions that table salt does. The brand I use is called "Real Salt" and it can be purchasd at most health food stores. I suggest you test all salt before using, regardless of where you buy it. Mix a spoonful of salt in a glass of water overnight. If the salt collects on the bottom of the glass it has been processed. Natural salt dissolves. Salt that does not dissolve in water cannot disolve in your body. Therefore it has a tendency to collect in the bodys organs and tissues. Salt, in its original form, is good and natural; its the processing that's bad and unnatural.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What You Should Know Before You Vaccinate

Vaccinations are a controversial topic in America, but one that I am convinced needs to be talked about more openly and honestly. If vaccinations were as safe and effective as they claim, then there were be no reason to withhold information, to manipulate research data, and to viciously attack anyone who publicly questions mass vaccinations - yet all of these things happen. If authorities had the best interests of children at heart, there would be no reason for them to dismiss, without objective evaluation. proven options to vaccinations. Yet this also happens. For instance you may know that vaccines are intended to prevent diseases, but did you know that there are serious risks involved? That children have died from receiving them? That sometimes vaccines aren't effective, and often contain potentially harmful additives? The lack of information surrounding vaccinations makes it essential for parents to inform themselves before vaccinating their children. You, not your Doctor, public health officials, or any other medical or government authority, are responsible for this. It is sad but true that most parents who research vaccines for themselves become more educated about them than their own doctors. However this does not stop the doctors from criticizing them to the point of being abusive, accusing them of being irresponsible parents because they choose not to vaccinate. Dr. Mercola always tell parents facing this dilemma to ask their doctor this simple question: "Will you give me, in writing, your personal guarantee that if you vaccinate my child, the vaccine will be totally effective and totally safe?" He has yet to hear of a doctor who would put their personal assets on the line to give such a guarantee. There are five claims that the public health authorities make about vaccinations and I would like to discuss each one. Claim One: Vaccinations have virtually eliminated infectious disease. There is plenty of evidence that vaccines do have some protective effect. However, this does not mean that they were responsible for some of the significant reductions in disease levels seen during the 20th century. In fact, in many cases, disease improvements that have been credited to vaccinations were actually caused my improvements in water quality, sanitation, living conditions and nutrition, which led to an overall increase in public health. Most health departments will produce data that makes it seem like vaccinations were the savior. However, if you examine the same data from 1900 onward, the data shows unambiguously that most of the fall in deaths from whooping cough occur ed before mass vaccination was introduced! Improvements in hygiene, nursing care, and infection control caused the decline in deaths from diseases, not vaccines. Claim Two: Vaccination is highly effective. If you are a parent you were likely encouraged to believe that vaccinating your child would forever protect them from that specific disease. However, even public health sources admit that no vaccine is 100% effective, and most are reported to be between 75% and 99% effective at best. But these numbers don't even come close to reality, for when you examine real-world outbreaks, as opposed to clinical studies, you will find that protection rates are lower than this. Many studies out there can prove that. Claim Three: Vaccination is very safe. When your child is vaccinated there are foreign substances being injected into their body with contain potentially toxic chemicals. Routinely used chemicals include mercury and aluminum compounds, both of which are neurotoxins, along with formaldehyde, phenoxyethanol, neomycin, polymyxin, gentamicin, streptomycin, and phenol. Along with these potentially harmful chemicals, some vaccines contain genetic material from animals and humans, including mouse brain serum protein, human albumin, fetal bovine serum, porcine gelatin, and mokey kidney VERO cells. Claim Four: Vaccination is cost effective. Conventional medical authorities have not quantified long-term adverse effects of vaccination, stubbornly refuse to objectively evaluate data available on homeopathic option to vaccination, and have not correctly quantified the effectiveness of vaccination. So why do health authorities relentlessly push vaccination? Vaccinations are a $3-Billion Industry! With so much money at stake, why wouldn't the vaccine manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies lobby for compulsory vaccinations for all children? These same pharmaceutical companies use their money and power to influence and control our government and medical schools, indoctrinating physicians and politicians that vaccines are essential to preventative medicine and health. Vaccines are the bread and butter of the pediatricians practice. Claim Five: Vaccination is the only way to prevent infectious disease. You as a parent need to understand that you can help protect your children against all types of infectious diseases by providing them with healthy food to eat. Also important is eliminating processed foods and sugar as much as practically possible, as these foods typically lead to immune system impairment that will subsequently increase the risk for developing these infections. Research published over 50 years ago verifies this fact. When scientists attempted to infect healthy rabbits with polio, they were unsuccessful until they started feeding the rabbits sugar. Providing children with a peaceful and loving home environment will also enhance the general well being and support good nutrition. In closing I would like to quote Dr. James R. Shannon, who said: "The only safe vaccine is one that is never used."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Is sugar bad for you?

The white crystalline substance we know of as sugar is an unnatural substance produced by industrial processes (mostly from sugar cane or sugar beets) by refining it down to pure sucrose, after stripping away all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and other beneficial nutrients. What is left is a concentrated, unnatural substance which the human body is not able to handle, at least not in anywhere near the quantities that is now ingested in today's accepted lifestyle. Sugar is addictive. The average American now consumes approx 115 lbs of sugar per year! For hundreds of generations, your ancestors exsisted primarily on a diet of wild animals and vegetation. It was only with the advent of agriculture a mere 6,000 years ago- an extrodinarily small period in time- that humans began eating large amounts of sugar and starch in the form of grains and potatoes in their diet. With this change in diet came in a decrease in life expectantcy, increases in infant mortality and infectious disease, and higher nutritional deficiences. This is because consuming sugar also impairs your white blood cells' function and thereby decreases your body's immune system, making you more vulnerable to disease. The biggest reason sugar does more damage than any other poison, drug or narcotic is twofold: it is considered a "food" and ingested in such massive quantities and the damaging effects begin early, from the day a baby is born and is fed sugar in its formula (which is why breast is best!). Although mothers milk can be contaminated with with sugar is the mother ingests alot of sugar in her diet. Sugar is addictive to! Another reason sugar is bad for you is because it is slow but insidious. It takes years before it ruins your pancreas, your adrenal glands, throws your whole endocrine system out of kilter and produces a huge list of damage. If you examine the foods in the supermarket almost everything contains sugar - from cereals, to soups, to ketchup, to hotdogs. Eating a whole foods diet is imperative to avoiding as much sugar as possible. You can't go wrong with some meat and veggies! (and fruits in limited quantity) So just remember to think twice before you reach for that piece of cheesecake or doughnut... they are slow killers!

Raising Healthy Children

"How can I get my children to eat healthy?" This is a question that I have asked myself many times and I have come to one conclusion... the sooner you start the better off you are! That is not saying there is no hope for the older child who has eaten less than wholesome foods most of his or her life.. but there will be a commitment required and a determination to break the old habits and start new ones. For those of you who have not had children yet (or they are not old enough for table food)... my advice is stick with simple whole foods and avoid processed like the plague! A child's first foods are whole grain cereals, veggies, then fruits and then proteins. This is a wonderful start and should be the general rule we stick with through their childhood. Then come the regular table foods and the temptation begins to offer them less than the best like cookies, cupcakes, lollipops and sugar filled cereals (that are so appealing to kids eyes but SO toxic to their health!). If a child is raised on healthy, wholesome foods from birth they will not be as tempted or addicted to the sugar laden "treats" (they aren't truly treats if they cause us less than optimal health) of our society. They can continue to eat good proteins, fruits, veggies, whole grain waffles, whole grain pancakes, eggs, nitrite/nitrate free turkey sausage and the list goes on and on. In order for this plan to be most effective you must share your new eating habits with your family and closest friends so they understand where you are coming from and won't sabotage your efforts when you visit or leave your children with them periodically. Although some people may think you are "crazy" for adopting this new way of eating.. no one can deny the benefits of a wholesome, whole foods diet. Your diligence in this healthy way of eating will be rewarded with children who are sick less often and who recover much quicker than a child on a high sugar, highly processed diet. For those of you with children who have already starting eating an unhealthy diet.. there is hope! You can change and institute new guidelines for eating in your home. You can choose to no longer buy unhealthy foods and offer them healthy snacks and meals. Trust me... when they are hungry enough they will eat whatever is set before them! Before you know it you and your children will be experiencing an enhanced immune system, better behavior and energy like you never thought possible before. The habits we instill in our children are everlasting passing down from generation to generation. Break the chains of unhealthy eating and establish a pattern healthy eating and you will reap the benefits!

Coconut Oil

The more I read on coconut oil the more convinced I am that this oil's amazing properties should be shared. Medical research and clinical observations have shown that medium-chain fatty acids from coconut oil may provide a wide range of health benefits, some of which are as follows: kills many types of viruses, kills many types of bacteria, kills fungi and yeast, expels tapeworms (and other parasites), improves digestion of fat soluble vitamins and amino acids, relieves stress on the pancreas and enzymes systems of the body, reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis, supports thyroid function, applied topically helps form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward off infection, does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperatures like other vegetable oils, is lower in calories than all other fats and supports and aids the immune system. This list is by no means exhaustive as there are many other benefits of this amazing oil! I have found using it to saute veggies is delightful and the benefits are amazing. When purchasing coconut oil though, not all is equal. Make sure you purchase organic unrefined virgin coconut oil. I personally use the Spectrum brand. I use coconut oil for all my sauteing and it would be great to use in baking as well. Cold-pressed olive oil is the second best to use in cooking but again coconut oil can withstand the highest temperatures before converting into harmful by-products and producing trans-fats which we all know are hazardous to your health. So next time you run out of oil consider picking up some virgin unrefined coconut oil and adding some amazing health benefits to your cooking!

Friday, June 18, 2010

One Step At A Time

I know there are many of you out there who are like me and are thinking.. oh my word this healthy lifestyle is too overwhelming, too confusing, too expensive and too time consuming... but none of that is true! We all eat the way we do now because that is how we were trained. It has become habit and we dont think twice about cooking we just open up the cabinets and cook whats in them. Imagine when you opened your cabinets all you had to choose from were things that were natural and healthy. You wouldn't have to think about it.. there would be no "junk" food available. This is how I changed.. one step at a time. I finished everything little by little that was not so healthy and replaced it with the healthier alternative. Once you run out of white flour buy whole wheat, instead of processed canned and boxed goods replace them with fresh fruits, veggies and meats. Replace your potatoe chips with some good healthy nuts or some non-GMO corn tortilla chips. Just one step at a time and before you know it your kitchen will be filled with healthy, wholesome choices. As for too expensive... honestly if you stop buying convience foods and junk foods you will be amazed how much grocery money you have leftover to stock up on good, quality foods. And there is no need to buy beverages because filtered water should be what you drink almost 24/7. For an initial $90 investment and a yearly $50 investment for the new filter cartridge you can own a 10-stage water purifier that easily hooks up to your sink faucet and can supply good, pure water to a household of four yearly. If you are interested in more info about the water purifier I use please feel free to ask. So to sum this up.. don't get overwhelmed.. Rome wasn't built in a day and your kitchen isn't going to become an organic whole foods cafe overnight. Little changes every day are the step in the right direction. Before you know it you will wonder how you ever functioned on such a processed diet before!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Homemade Yogurt In The Crock Pot!

Ok, so I have always wanted to make my own yogurt but it sounded too complicated and too difficlt so I have never actually tried. However a friend of mine posted a very easy yogurt recipe that I just had to share with everyone. I haven't tried it yet but I definitely will this week and its so much cheaper than store bought. You can of course use organic milk to make it more wholesome or better yet get some raw milk if you can and that would be the best. Anyway here is the recipe:
Half gallon of whole milk, 1/2 cup of store bought, natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to buy this as a started but once you make your own you can reserve 1/2 cup for future batches as a starter), fresh/frozen fruit for flavoring and a thick bath towel. This takes awhile so make your yogurt when you are going to be home all day to monitor it. She used a 4 qt crock pot. Plug in your crockpot and turn it to low. Add the entire half gallon of milk. Cover and let it cook on low for 2 1/2 hours. Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on and let it sit for 3 hrs. When 3 hrs have passed scoop out 2 cups of the warm milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in the 1/2 cup of store bought yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine. Put the lid back on the crockpot, keep it unplugged and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation. Go to bed or let it sit for 8 hrs. In the morning the yogurt will have thickened. It is not as thick as store bought yogurt (it doesn't have all the thickeners and additives). Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form - they aren't a big deal and will eventually settle. Chill in a plastic container in the fridge. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make your next batch. Now sit back, relax and enjoy your healthy creation!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Soy is NOT a health food!

I am amazed at how the public has been misled into thinking that soy is a health food. The products we make here in the United States from soy are so highly processed they can hardly be called "health food". Over 80% of the soybean crops are genetically modified (something I will write about later but is very damaging to your health). The farmers can use abnormally high levels of pesticides on these plants because they are genetically engineered to contain a gene that makes them resistant to Roundup! Soy contains Antinutrients (enzyme inhibitors), Hemaglutinins (cause red blood cells to clump together and inhibit oxygen uptake and body growth), Goitrogens (frequently lead to depressed thyroid function), Phytates (prevent absorption of minerals), Phytoestrogens (can mimic and sometimes block the hormome estrogen), Aluminum (at high levels) and Maganese (at potentially toxic levels). One of the worst soy offenders out there is soy infant formula. In a 24 hour day a child who receive all their nutrition from soy formula will recieve the equivalent five birth control pills worth of estrogen! There is also a misconception that Asian countries have a high soy inake and have great health. The type of soy they consume is mostly fermented non-GMO soy products such as soy sauce, miso, tempeh and natto. These non-GMO soy foods are not highly processed and can be found in most health food stores. Fermentation drastically reduces the levels of soys harmful, anti-nutritice components, and it also aids in making the diffulcut to digest nutrients in the soybean more available for absorption. Soy can cause a host of problems like impeding the sexual maturation of boys, accelerating the sexual maturation of girls, reduced fertility, thyroid disorders, weakens your immune system and many other things. So dont be fooled into thinking soy is healthy for you.. its not!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Radioactive Produce?

Wow I think I have heard it all... unless you are purchasing organic produce the produce you are buying in the grocery store has been irridiated (basically microwaved). We all know about limiting our exposure to xrays and such but how many of us even realize we are exposed to radiation just by eating fresh produce? Meat and Poultry is being irridiated and the radioactivity is 150 times more than that of a chest xray. I don't know about you but thats a scary thought to me! Not only does radiation cause a food to lose its nutrient content significantly but it also chemicals within the food causing potential carcinogens to be created. Now I know we can't all buy 100% organic (I know we can't) but lets be mindful when we pick out produce. If its only a few cents more for the organic version, buy it! The other day I bought bananas (one of the fruits you should buy organic due to mycotoxins in the non organic ones) and they were only 20cents more per pound for organic ones. That was an investment that was worth it and afforable. I also try to heat leftovers in the oven and on the stove. Think about our ancestors who did not have some of these modern conviences. I often think just how many of this modern conviences are a curse to our health and our generation. I try to plan ahead to I can thaw my meat overnight in the refrigerator rather than using the defrost portion of my microwave. I personally believe we are exposed to enough radiation in the enviroment that we have no control of ... so lets take control of what we can and lessen oru use of microwaves and eat more organic produce and meats. Now there is some food for thought!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The "Raw" Truth about Raw Milk

Raw milk is an amazing food! All the enzymes are available as opposed to the pasteurized milk in which less than 10% of the enzymes remain. Raw milk contains 100% of its vitamin content. Pasteurized milk has a loss of Vitamins A,D,E and F of up to 66%. Vitamin C loss is usually greater than 50% and Vitamin B6 & B12 are virtually destroyed. Pateurization does not sterilize milk. Residual bacteria and post-pasteurazation contamination can cause health problems. Extensive records show that raw milk from healthy cows has a high safety record and that pasteurized milk does not, having caused thousands of cases of bacterial disease. These same records show that certified raw milk products have never been proven to cause a fatality, but pasteurized milk has caused many. Additives are common in pasteurized milk and some producers add vegetable oil to their milk products. Milk and milk products have a US Agricultural Department "Standard of Identity" which allows processors to put anything into the products as long as they heat them, without listing all the ingredients on the label. Now that is scary if you ask me! Our family drinks only raw milk and I have noticed how well tolerated it is by my kids even when they are sick. Raw milk does not seem to cause the stomach upset that pasteurized milk causes in my son and I. Also I noticed that raw milk does not seem to increase the mucous production in my little one when he has a cold. I could go on and on about the benefits of raw milk but you can research and read for yourself more. A great website that I highly recommend is called and on that website you will find information to the Weston A Price Foundation which is another wealth of research and information on raw milk and raw milk products. I hope you found this article informative and I hope it got you thinking outside the box!

Failing To Plan

I couldn't do a blog on holistic living without sharing the absolute need for planning. You have all heard that saying, "if you fail to plan you are planning to fail". That statement is so true as cooking holistically and living that way requires diligent planning. Planning is something I enjoy doing but am often neglectful at consistently doing it. When my son's stomach starts acting up or when I am feeling under the weather I am often reminded that I have been slacking up on my planning. Cooking holistic meals is not complicated... but it does require planning ahead of time. For those moms who work it is even more imperative that they plan ahead so that they can thaw the meat the night before and throw something in the crockpot on their way out the door. For those of us who are stay at home moms the temptation to stay in bed and sleep in is great. During the day we are tempted to watch TV, get online or read a book. While those are all fine things they can rob us of our valuable time which could be spent on planning holistic meals for our family. I find the day so much smoother when I have gotten up early and the sink is empty and laundry is started and I have dinner simmering all before the kiddos wake up. This gives me time to myself and yet creates a home atmosphere that is more orderly which helps my thoughts to be more orderly and my attitude to be more orderly. Strange how one thing helps something so seemingly unrelated. I would love to be more diligent in this area but I know I have a long way to go. Thanks for sharing in this journey with me and if anyone out there has tips or ideas on how to plan more effectively or anything along those lines please feel free to comment and share! We can all benefit from eachothers feedback!

Thinking For Yourself

I thought I would start my blog off with an entry on thinking for yourself because this is something I am so passionate about. Too many times I hear parents say things like, "well they had to have this or that" and it infuriates me to think that so many people are made to believe they have to do something. Remember that the United States of America is a free country and we have the right to make the decisions we feel that are best for ourselves and our families. Everything from whether or not your child should be vaccinated to whether or not you want to go on IV antibiotics for childbirth due to a positive Strep B test, are all decisions that are yours to make. You have the right to say "yes" and most importantly the right to say "no". Once impowered with this knowledge you and not the doctors can decide on what is best for you and your family. In order for us to think for ourselves it will require research on our part and a desire to learn more. It will take more effort and more time but it is well worth it. The Bible says, "My people perish from lack of knowledge..."(Hosea 4:6) Another version puts it, "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge". We are living in a sinful world far from God's original intention. While we cannot avoid all diseases I do believe that we can make decisions that will allow us and our families to live an abundant life. Let's not get caught up in following the crowd but let us seek His face and ask what He wants for ourselves and our families.