Archive for May, 2013


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.

On Saturday, May 25th, 2013, there will be a worldwide march against Monsanto and GMO. Please find your local event and support the fight to save our food sources from the poison that is GMO. Share with everyone you can. We want to let Monsanto know that “We will not go quietly into the night…we are fighting for our right to live” (quote from Independence Day)

March Against Monsanto

The GMO Impact on American Health

Genetically Modified Organisms (or GMOs) were introduced  to consumers’ diets back in the 1990’s.  They were supposed to increase crop production, reduce crop losses due to insects and plant diseases, increase bio-available nutrients in our food, and lower food costs to consumers.  Ideal goals, for sure, but have GMOs actually helped or harmed consumers since their inception?

In the almost twenty years GMOs have been in American grocery stores, incidences of food allergies, diabetes, obesity, autism, auto-immune disorders, infertility, and cancers have all more than doubled.  Biotech companies, like Monsanto, claim that their GM seeds and, resultant food products, are not to blame for the increasing rates of these diseases, disorders, and health issues.  How can that be?  Think about it…GM seeds are created using parts of virus DNA (the most recent of which – Cauliflower Mosaic Virus promoter) injected into the DNA of Non-GMO seed cells in order to make the newly created seeds resistant to plant viruses, bacteria, fungus, and insects as well as insecticides such as Roundup.  One problem that results from these GM seeds is that once the plants are grown and seeds harvested from those plants, these offspring seeds cannot produce new plants.  They are, in fact, infertile.  If these offspring seeds of the GM seeds are infertile, what do you think the food from these plants is doing to our bodies?

These GM seeds actually contain virus genes which produce a protein which suppresses immune function in plants, animals, and humans.  They also cause nutrient deficiency in the plants; and insects that eat from those plants have adverse affects such as deadly gastronomical  explosions…yes, their stomachs actually explode.

If these foods are nutrient deficient, don’t you suppose that in order for our bodies to get the nutrition they require, that our bodies would tell us we are still hungry for the missing nutrients by making us crave more food?  Don’t you think that could be a reason why obesity, diabetes, and other diseases are increasing at such an alarming rate?  If these plants can cause an insect’s stomach to explode, don’t you think there’s a possibility that these same plants could be damaging our gastrointestinal tracts?  One other point I’d like to make…a major reason cows, pigs, and chickens have been given antibiotics and growth hormones (which has been proven to also be bad for humans) is to help them grow faster and stay “healthy” long enough to make it to the slaughter houses.  It is also to fight off the bacteria and viruses that their immune systems can no longer fight, partially because of being caged in their own wastes, but also because of the GM feed they are given.

They only way to stop GM foods from being literally “forced down our throats” in increasing amounts is to avoid buying and eating GM foods.  Read labels and look for the Non-GMO Project label or a label that specifically states that the food product is Non-GMO.

 

I Have No Time For Exercise…

I would disagree with the statement “I have no time for exercise.” Exercise is cumulative. Five minutes here, five minutes there…it all adds up.

If you work in an office, sitting in front of a computer, take five minutes out of every hour to do a little something…squats, lunges, chair or desk dips. Bring hand weights to work, and work your arms and shoulders. Take part of your lunch break and walk around your building. All it takes is a little creativity to get a workout in by spreading it throughout the day.

You say, “Ok, that’s great for strength exercises, but what do I do about cardio?” Here’s what you do…do your strength exercises as fast as you can in each five minute session. Not only will you build strength, but you’ll raise your heart rate and increase your breathing, which is the whole point of cardio.

In an eight hour workday, those five minutes per hour add up to a 40 minute workout…a 12 hour workday would yield a full hour workout. Either way, it will help you concentrate better at your work tasks, and increase your productivity. You’ll also be less likely to be sleepy in the afternoon at work if you move around for five minutes out of every hour. Besides, if anyone asks you about it or comments that you look silly…just tell them it helps you focus better. You may find yourself starting a trend.

TED Blog

Unstoppable-LearningOur minds and bodies constantly master lessons from our surroundings. In other words, we seem to have a natural inclination to learn. That is the idea behind this week’s TED Radio Hour: “Unstoppable Learning,” brought to you by NPR. This episode explores that dynamic experience of learning that begins in the womb and how recognizing this essential nature will revolutionize the way we teach.

What happens when you stick a computer in a wall, three feet off the ground, in a slum without so much as running water? “Unstoppable Learning” kicks off with TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra, who found that he had stumbled upon a new method of education — self-directed, with no adults around. He found that the children in the slum, who had little access to education, were able to teach themselves English and even biology just from a computer.

In the next segment…

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Keys To Health

We all hear constantly that exercise and nutrition are the keys to maintaining health. However, there are so many different diets available, how does one know what’s best? The same can be said for exercise routines.

Together we will explore the different exercise regimens, diets, and products to help you find a good fit for you. No one diet or exercise is a one-size-fits-all. So try different things out, explore, learn, and see what you like.

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