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Tower Garden Update

It has been three weeks since our little sprouts were put into the Tower Garden and there has been some growth. On the left side of the Tower Garden, we wanted to experiment with purchased plants while on the right side, we only have our original sprouts.

Over the past three weeks, we have had to deal with the store-bought plants being attacked by aphids, as well as these plants not being particularly healthy to begin with. They do however appear to be surviving and coming back to life…which I am very happy with, especially considering I definitely don’t have a green thumb. The sprouts on the right side are coming along and growing well.

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The one thing that has helped the store-bought plants to recover is that instead of using the rock wool that is used to sprout seeds (which was what was suggested), we wrapped the plant bases with felt to provide extra support, leaving a small portion of the roots exposed inside the Tower Garden. Originally, we had implanted them using the rock wool, but found that as heavy as the plants were, that they needed more support.

I will update the Tower Garden progress again in a few weeks.

Gigaom

For a new generation of patients, could the laptop — or even cellphone — replace the stereotypical shrink’s couch? A crop of new startups wants to take psychotherapy into the 21st century.

About one in five Americans will experience a mental health challenge during their lifetime, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association. But experts say that 60 percent of them will never seek help. The lack of available care, inconvenience and cost are all barriers to access, but so is the fear of prejudice and discrimination from friends, family and even employers.

“Stigma and shame is a huge factor – maybe the most important one,” said Oren Frank, founder of mental health startup Talktala. “People who have been to regular therapy are less ashamed of it, but people who are newcomers are paralyzed by fear.”

Online options enable people to receive therapy on their own…

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TED Blog

We all think we understand the formula for keeping healthy — eat right, exercise, don’t smoke, skip dessert. But that picture is vastly incomplete, perhaps fatally so. In the eye-opening new TED book, The Upstream Doctors: Medical Innovators Track Sickness to Its Source, physician Rishi Manchanda says that while our individual health is highly dependent on our daily behaviors, it may be even more strongly influenced by the social and environmental conditions in which we live. Manchanda argues that the future of our health, and our healthcare system, depends on growing and supporting a new generation of healthcare practitioners who look upriver at the source of our health problems, rather than simply opting for quick-hit symptomatic relief.

These “Upstreamists,” as he calls them, are practitioners on the frontlines of health who see that health (like sickness) is more than a chemical equation that can be balanced with pills and procedures…

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I sometimes wish we humans had the instincts to sense the things that are dangerous to us and those which should be avoided.  Animals utilize their senses constantly to survive and protect themselves.  They use their hearing to listen for predators approaching.  They use their sight to look for food, predators, and places to take shelter in bad weather. They also use their sense of smell to determine if the food they are about to eat is ripe and safe to eat.

One difference that GMO fruits, vegetables, and grains have from pure, natural, non-GMO fruits, vegetables, and grains, is that they have a much different smell.  Animals can tell the difference, and if given a choice between GMO and non-GMO feed, they consistently avoid the GMO feed.  If animals are only provided with GMO feed, they do what we would do to survive…eat what’s available to avoid starvation.  Unfortunately for the animals that are forced to eat GMO feed, severe damage happens pretty quickly, sometimes in as little as a few weeks.  Some of the damaging effects seen in GMO fed animals include sterility, cancer, liver damage, smaller litters with reduced-sized offspring that often die within days of birth, premature births, and more.

Take a look at what Monsanto doesn’t want consumers to know:

 

On May 25th, 2013, millions of people worldwide marched and protested Monsanto and their force-feeding of GMO foods to people around the globe. Yet, the mainstream media refused to cover the protests. Numerous countries are now banning GMO products, but here in the USA, there is still a fight that must continue until every last food product on the market to the American people, and people everywhere, is GMO-free.

Currently, only one state has a GMO labeling law (CT), but California failed to pass legislation, and the issue is still being debated in many more states. Our biggest step right now is to force Monsanto and all food manufacturers to label their GMO Frankenfoods. Consumers have to be given a choice.

Monsanto has been quoted as saying they will not sell GMO products to those who don’t want it. We have to make it abundantly clear to Monsanto and food manufacturers that we Americans don’t want GMOs in our food.

In trying to feed my family the best, safest, and healthiest food possible, I now have a Tower Garden. The Tower Garden is a Non-GMO, aeroponic and hydroponic garden that uses less that 10% of the land and water of a traditional garden. Each Tower Garden holds up to 20 plants and cycles a water and nutrient mixture in 15 minute intervals. The plant roots are exposed to both air and a trickling water/nutrient sprinkle which helps them grow at a faster rate than a ground-based garden would.

Tower Garden

Today is Day 1 of using my Tower Garden and I will be updating the progress here with photos taken on at least a weekly basis. Check back to see how it’s growing.

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GMO: Think about this

If you think GMO foods are good for you, take a look at the research on GMO corn. You might be surprised at how toxic it is and how little nutrition you actually get from these “Franken-foods.”

GMO Vs. Non-GMO

Don’t forget there is a worldwide “March Against Monsanto” this Saturday, May 25th. Find your local march and join in to say NO to GMO.

March Against Monsanto locations

Life expectancy is on a downward trend . Generation X-ers are on their way to being the first generation in more than 50 years to not outlive their parents. New research indicates that the cure for this disturbing trend begins in the womb, or even before conception.

Babies’ birth weights and mothers’ pregnancy weight gain have been on the rise for at least the last 20 years. What moms eat during pregnancy determines their baby’s food preferences. Research indicates that the fetus develops a taste for what mom likes to eat, so if mom eats junk food, high fat/high sugar foods, and not enough fruits and vegetables, her baby will crave the high fat/high sugar diet. If, on the other hand, mom eats healthy, low fat foods and lots of fruits and vegetables, her baby will prefer these healthier foods.

So, how do we combat the obesity epidemic? We start by teaching our children healthier eating by example. Train them to be smart consumers and teach them how to eat healthy now, before they have babies of their own.

Low Carbohydrate diets have been touted for more than 10 years as being really good for helping people lose weight. Such diets as Atkins and the South Beach Diet are among the most popular of the low-carb diets.  The creators of these diets propose that a diet low in carbohydrates allows a person’s body to more easily use fats as energy, thereby burning excess fat and allowing a person to easily lose weight. It has even been proposed by advocates of low-carb dieting that people with diabetes can eat their way to a non-diabetic life, eventually being able to stop taking insulin and other medications.   But these diets have both pros and cons that must be weighed.

PROS:

  • Reduces the amounts of processed sugars eaten
  • Promotes the use of dietary fiber in foods to counteract carbohydrates
  • Promotes eating fruits and vegetables*
  • Gets low-carb dieters away from eating processed starches (breads, pastas, pastries – which tend to contain GMO ingredients)
  • Reasonable grocery cost

CONS:

  • Tends to be high in fats, including saturated fats
  • Promotes high protein in the diet to feel satiated (45-85 grams of protein a day is adequate depending on your activity level)
  • Carbohydrates are supposed to be kept below 60 grams a day (difficult to do if you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily)*
  • Although you eat fruits and vegetables with this diet, you cannot eat many of the more nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables due to their high-glycemic/high-carb status (i.e. root vegetables like beets and onions, which are beneficial)
  • Proposed used of alternative sweeteners (including Aspartame – which is GMO) to avoid excess carbs. This is problematic because the body cannot discern the difference between natural sugars and artificial sweeteners and thus the glycemic result is the same…it spikes blood sugar.

The Atkins low-carb diet was one of the first diets my husband and I tried after he was diagnosed as a diabetic.  Although both of us lost some weight with low-carb dieting, and the grocery cost was reasonable, it never helped my husband to get his high-cholesterol or high-triglycerides under control, and in turn, his blood sugar also stayed high.  The saturated fats and artificial sweeteners seem to be the downfall of this diet.  For a low-carb diet to be adequate in weight-loss as well as being healthy for you, it needs to reduce the amount of saturated fats you eat and promote the use of natural, non-GMO sweeteners in moderation, in addition to eating plenty of low-calorie fruits and vegetables.

I am a parent of three children… I have been to doctors with my children.  I have gone through the “You need to vaccinate your kids” and “Your child needs to take antibiotics to get better.”  The truth is, rarely does a person really need antibiotics, and vaccines may actually do more harm than good.  “How so?” you ask.

Antibiotics are specifically designed to kill bacteria.  Even though there are different antibiotics designed to kill different groups of bacteria, they all also tend to kill off the “good guy bacteria” in your body as well as the bad guys.  These “good guy” bacteria in your gut are part and parcel of your immune system and are there to help you fight off the “bad guys”.  But, when you take antibiotics, you kill both the bad and the good bacteria which, yes, killing the bad bacteria helps you to get over what’s causing your current illness, but leaves your body wide open to attack from many other bacteria that are not covered by the specific antibiotics you’ve taken.

Vaccines, ideally, are designed to protect our bodies against viruses that are deemed serious or deadly.  The problem is, that they generally only provide temporary protection, and if given too early (such as before a person’s immune system has had a chance to develop – ie. before age 2), the body can’t adequately develop immunity to the vaccinated virus.  The World Health Organization says,  “Children under two years of age do not consistently develop immunity following vaccination.”  What this means is that since our immune systems are designed to fight viruses that enter through our eyes, ears, nose, and mouth (which is how MOST viruses enter our bodies), being stuck by a needle may  introduce virus material into our bodies that our immune system may not even detect, and if it is detected, the less developed your immune system is, the less likely you are to develop antibodies that will protect you and can actually weaken your immune system.

Another issue with vaccines is that they are frequently made with substances (eggs, MSG(GMO), formaldehyde,  & lactose among others)   to which many people are allergic or are GMO.  If these vaccines are given to young children under the age of 2, you risk your child developing allergies which could easily have been avoided.

Your best bet is to avoid taking antibiotics unless you can’t get better on your own, and avoid vaccines if they have allergens that affect you.  Wait to give children most vaccines until after they turn 2, just to be sure they don’t develop allergies or avoid as many adverse reactions as possible.

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