Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sounds Like Doughnuts to Me!

This story was of interest to me because it shows how specific foods are engrained in culture. I had never heard of fry bread before, but I can see how it can be quite addictive. Whether it is the turkey, dressing, gravy, potatoes, etc. at holidays, or the white-on-white cake at birthdays, or the bag-full of trick-or-treat goodies at Halloween, or funnel cakes at the county fair, there seems to be no end to food and festivities. Ultimately, these foods become "comfort foods" reminding us of the special event they originally represented. As a second obstacle, we have the "fast food/junk food" craze going on. Fast food is too available in our society, and we've come to depend on it. When these special foods and fast foods become a part of our everyday fare, then we've really got an uphill battle on our hands.

COMMON SENSE: Proper nutrition is a daily challenge. Refrain, abstain, and try to change!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Aggressive Attack on Trans Fatty Acids

Way to go New York City! I am humbled and amazed that municpal leaders are actually taking the lead in protecting the health of its citizens. When I eat out, I really don't know what I am ingesting - maybe I don't want to know! I applaude this move towards eliminating a big disease culprit.

COMMON SENSE: The big wheels of the government move slowly. When a city the size of NYC admits that a food additive is dangerous, it is time to take heed! Read your food labels and boycott items that contain trans fatty acids by not buying them! (If the ingredient list includes the words "shortening," "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil," or "hydrogenated vegetable oil," the food contains trans fat.)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Eat Less Sugar!

Eat less sugar! That's a given. But why replace sugar with a non-nutritive product? It always amazes me that nutritionists recommend "sugar replacements" that may have questionable health risks. If your body wants sugar (glucose, fructose, etc.), give it what it wants, not a substitute. You'll end up filling more satisfied. Honey, for example, satisfies a sweet tooth and can ward off sweet cravings for the rest of the day. Non-nutritive sugar substitutes give the illusion of "calories to spare" and may cause you to eat more calories during the day. Plus, instead of being detrimental to your health, raw honey is loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and natural energizers.

COMMON SENSE: Eat foods in the natural stated provided to us, not the way the lab prepares them for us to use. Nature already figured out the best and safest way to attain health. Do we really need to be eating man-made food, excuse me, food substitutes?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Study Says Echinacea Doesn't Help Colds

The latest study from the National Institute of Health tells us that Echinacea doesn't help the common cold. The study published in The New England Journal of Medicine used an extract of Echinacea angustifolia on 437 volunteers and found no effectiveness in treating rhinovirus or its symptoms. What do you think? I have found that if I take a teaspoon of Echinacea every two hours (I use a blend,) a zinc lozenge, a lot of water, and a hot shower at the very first symptom, I can usually ward off a cold even when every one else around me is sick. It works for me. Maybe it is the combination of everything else I do, or maybe my mind perceives the effort I am making and just doesn't let me get sick!

COMMON SENSE: Echinacea has been used "effectively" for illness for thousands of years. Can a clinical study discount years of tradition? It doesn't matter what a "controlled study" tells us or for that matter, doesn't tell us. Every body is different. Whatever works for you, works!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Fertilized Veggies Are Less Nutritious? Really now...

"Fertilize, fertilize, fertilize, grow bigger and faster, make more money....sacrifice nutrition." Our fruits and vegetables have less nutrition than they did 50 years ago, thanks to modern agriculture. That's what the new research at the University of Texas at Austin has to say. What about organic agriculture? It is actually more nutritious! The advice they want you to take? Eat more fruits and vegetables to get the same nutrition!

COMMON SENSE: We already eat too much in this country as a whole. Don't eat more to get the same nutrition. Eat better quality (ORGANIC!) to get the right nutrition.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Booming Sales of Anti-Bacteria Products Endanger Public Health

OK - I will admit it. I am a germaphobe. I wash my hands constantly, but I still haven't bought into the antibacterial "this and that" crusade. I am fearful that anti-bacterial products will create super-resistant bacteria, and I am not alone in my thinking. Now I find out that chloroform and dioxins may be created by these products as well. Read the story This Is Why We Don't Clean. Another example of convincing the public that something is better for us without examining the long-term consequences.

COMMON SENSE: It's survival of the fittest out there for bacteria as it is for every other species. The strongest will survive. The strongest will adapt. Then, what kind of anti-bacterial towel are you going to use for them?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Dry Skin Brushing for Health

I bought a boar's hair brush about two months ago and started the Paavo Airola method of dry skin brushing. He recommends brushing twice a day, but it takes about 15 minutes, so I have been brushing nightly before I go to bed. My skin feels incredibly energized. My muscles feel warm and relaxed. It's a good time to get in touch with what's going on with your body as well. If you don't have Airola's book, this article by Sabrina Marie gives a good overview of the benefits and the "how to's" of dry skin brushing.

COMMON SENSE: The skin is your body's largest organ. When improperly maintained, the elimination duties of the skin are forced upon the kidneys. Give your kidneys a break - keep your skin clean and rejuvenated. Brushing helps stimulate blood flow to the surface and gives your kidneys a break.

Drink More Spring or Filtered Water to Improve Every Facet of Your Health

I get a headache. I have a muscle cramp. I get in a really foul mood. You know the last thing I think about doing is drinking a glass of water! But it helps - when I remember. I have a friend who was getting regular back spasms. Her doctor told her to down as much water as she could as soon as she felt one coming on. It worked! And every time she felt the spasm starting, she knew she was getting dehydrated. I am really trying to pay attention to the signals by body is sending me. Some are subtle, but some speak loud and clear like my friend's back spasm. Staying hydrated is not easy in my hustle and bustle day, but I think there are compelling reasons to drink plenty of high quality water. Check out this link for a more in depth discussion of the benefits of water:

Related Articles:
Fluoride in the Water Increases Hip and Bone Fractures
Fluoridation Halted - Cavities Decrease
13 Million in US at Increased Cancer Risk Due to Arsenic in Water
Aluminum in Water May Increase Alzheimer's Risk
Physical Proof that Distilled Water is Inferior
Don't Drink Your Milk!
Amazing Statistics and Dangers of Soda Pop

and this book by F. Batmanghelidg, Your Body's Many Cries for Water.

COMMON SENSE: Do I even have to say it? Drink high quality, life-sustaining water. Flush out toxins. Hydrate your cells. Regulate your pH. Replenish your minerals. And for heaven's sake, don't drink beverages with sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, or any other unnatural food additives.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Journey to Health

I would like to introduce this blog with the sentiments of my mother who turned 70 years young today. As a second-generation skeptic, I was raised to believe in the simplicity of nature - and how complex that has been! My own journey to healing begins with health, and this is how it all started:

"I was a young mother in the 1960’s. I breast fed my babies when the doctors advised that “bottle feeding” was best. I shopped the grocery stores for the freshest produce even though the “TV Dinner” was the greatest time-saver on the shelf. I read the product labels on every food item I bought, just to know what we were eating. I wanted my children to be healthy and in order to be healthy, I was convinced that their diets had to be the best.I was a trusting mother and consumer. I believed that food companies were truthful and that additives were safe, but I began to question the food colorings, stabilizers, preservatives, and hydrogenated oils listed on the labels of the food I was buying. I had an intuitive belief that food should be eaten as close to the natural state as possible, so something did not feel right about this. How could these man-made chemical additives be nutritious, and how on earth could we possibly know – in the long term – if they were safe? How could we, as consumers, allow the food processing companies to slowly poison us?Thus began my foray into the world of organics. I became increasingly concerned about the safety of many of the ingredients listed on the labels, not to mention all the “hidden ingredients” of which we are not informed. What about the elements that are in the soil and the plant before it is processed for our consumption? Our bodies are not designed to process chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, synthetic steroids, and genetically modified organisms! What will our bodies, and our planet, be like after a few more generations of toxins and GMO’s?"

COMMON SENSE: Mom knows best!