Live Total Wellness

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oh Nuts!

After years of staying away from nuts, among other foods, now nutritionists are telling us we should eat them.  As recent as 5 years ago, nuts were bad for your health because of the high fat content.  That was back in the day when we were supposed to eat low fat foods.  Now we read and hear that nuts are good for us and help keep our arteries clear.  With all this conflicting information, do you ever wonder if "they" really know what is right or not?

It may have been about 20 years ago that we were told to eat a low fat diet for our overall health, especially our heart health.  So, being someone who wants to be healthy, hence the name of the blog, of  course I wanted to make sure that my family was fed the lowest fat diet.  We had low fat cheese, low fat sauces, cakes, cookies and on an on.  I stopped using butter because that was too high in fat.  Eggs, well you could only use the whites because the yolk was pure cholesterol!  We went for years eating this way.  I even went so far as to completely cut some foods out of our diet because they were too high in fat.  Nuts being one of them.

Except for peanuts all other nuts were off limits.  Somehow, peanuts were okay.  Although still high in fat, peanuts were from the ground so they were better for us.  With all this confusing information I finally said enough.  I took it upon myself to find out what should we really eat?

With the help of my daughter, who learned about veganism*. (no not some form of weird cult group) and my brother, who had been a vegan before the word was coined I think, I went about finding out as much as I could about food.

*According to Wikipedia a vegan is:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Simple example of possible vegan lunchor dinner option: pumpkin seed-crusted lentilpatties with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and salad.
Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.[1][2]Vegans endeavor not to use or consume animal products of any kind.[3] The most common reasons for becoming a vegan are human health, ethical commitment or moral conviction concerning animal rights or welfare, the environment, and spiritual or religious concerns.[2][4][5] Of particular concern to many vegans are the practices involved in factory farming and animal testing, and the intensive use of land and other resources for animal farming.
Properly planned vegan diets are healthful and have been found to satisfy nutritional needs, and offer protection against heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.[6][7] 

Once my daughter related the information she had learned about a vegan diet, I started to look into the information further.  Not only did I find out that nuts were good for you, but there was a plethora of foods that I could eat without guilt.  Oh to enjoy the taste of food again!  But will this new information soon be found to be unhealthy as well?  Does anyone really know what the "right" or "healthy" diet is for today?  Suffice it to say that any diet with pure fruits, vegetables, legumes and NUTS, can't be bad for you!  

Growing up, my mom would always have a bowl of nuts on the table.  After dinner, especially on holidays, everyone would sit at the table and talk as they cracked open the nuts.  It was a family ritual that we all knew and looked forward to after the meal.  It also kept us all at the table as we listened to family conversation, stories, and jokes.  Then, all of a sudden, the nuts were no longer at the table!  Word spread that nuts were bad for you.  Among other foods, nuts were on the outs.  No matter where you went, if nuts were included in the meal they were left on the side.  

As we moved into the 21st century, the information gathered was changed and re-evaluated.  Thank goodness someone has the sense to get the word out before we all continued on that tasteless road of bland, fat free food for life!  I, for one, am grateful to my daughter and my brother for opening my eyes to another way of enjoying my food and learning that there is more to health than fat free.

Today, it's comforting to know that nuts are back on the table and a part of the meal again!  So go enjoy those nuts and maybe a few conversations around the table while cracking some of those nuts as well!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Autism - What is the matter?

As a former Special Education teacher, I have seen the number of students with an autism spectrum disorder grow significantly.  It's baffling to say the least as to why.  When we look at all the new chemicals and toxins in the products we use, in the air, in the water, in the home, we can see how these can possibly be the culprit.  Mercury is one of the most targeted toxins.  But there is no way to know for sure.  Just look at the list of products and ingredients that contain Mercury.  As far as I'm concerned, taking these products out of the homes and schools will help as we move closer to finding the reason these children are hindered with this diagnosis.  

This is from an Autism research site (see the link below for the full article and
What is Autism?

Autism is a devastating neurological and biological disorder that typically affects children between the ages
of 18 months to five years of age. Autism currently affects 1 in every 166 children born today. There
are over 1.5 million people in the United States  alone with autism. Autism affects each individual
differently and at different levels of severity. Some people with autism are severely affected, cannot speak,
require constant one-on-one care, and are never able to live independently. While others are have less
severe symptoms, can communicate, and eventually acquire the necessary skills to live on their own.
Typically, autism affects individuals in four key areas:
  • Communication (verbal and non-verbal)
  • Social skills
  • Behaviors
  • Learning
Mercury Containing Chemicals
We have heard a lot in the news about Mercury and Thimersol. These potential harmful ingredients can
be found in MANY commercially available items items per the Environmental Protection Agency. This is
a list of information as of May 2002 from the Environmental Protection Agency provided off the internet.
Here is the link for this information:
Inventory of Mercury Sources in a Health Care Environment
PLEASE visit the site above for the full listing
Mercury (II) oxide
Mercury chloride
Mercury (II) chloride
Mercury (II) sulfate
Mercury nitrate (for corrosion of copper alloys)
Mercury iodide
Mercurial diuretic
Fixatives (many)
"Metexchange" reagent
"Precision" reagent
Preservatives (e.g., Thimerosal, Phenylmercuric acetate, Phenylmercuric nitrate)
Stains (e.g., Carbol-Fuchin, Gram iodine, trichrome blue, mercury chloride, Carbol Gentian violet, Gomori's,
Sulfuric acid (commercial grade, Hg as impurity)
Thimerosal(used in Haemophilus, hepatitis, rabies, tetanus, influenza, diptheria, and pertussis vaccines)
Zenker'ssolution and other histological fixatives

Phenylmercuricacetate used as preservatives
Opththalmicproducts and contact lens solutions
Nasal sprays (as preservative)
Topical anti-microbials and disinfectants (e.g., Merthiolate,
tinctureof Merthiolate)
Diuretics (mersalyl, salts, mercumatilin, mercuramide,
mercurophylline, mercaptomerin, merethoxylline)
Eye cosmetics
Hemorrhoidalointments (use discontinued in 1995)
Homeopathic remedies (listed as `mercurius' on label)
Merbromin/water solution (used in plastic/reconstructive surgery as
disinfectantand marker)
Mercuric chloride peritoneal lavage in cancer surgery (uncommon in
Skin bleaching creams (OTC use discontinued in early 1970's, but some
prescriptionformulations still available)
Teething powder (discontinued in 1950's)
Human and veterinary vaccines (now being reviewed by FDA)

Ajax Powder
Comet Cleaner
Derma Scrub
Dove soap
Ivory dishwashing liquid
Joy dishwashing liquid
Kodak Fixer
Kodak Developer
Lysol Direct
Murphy's Oil Soap
Soft Cide Soap (Baxter)
Soft Scrub
Sparkleen detergent
Sunlight dishwashing detergent
Plus, Many greeting cards, gift gadgets, etc have batteries

Note: This information is being provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. We do not warrant
the accuracy of this information. Please check with you local agency for any questions. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Egg Shell Contamination Recall - continued

Here is a list of the brand names of eggs that have been contaminated.  Avoid purchasing or throw them away if you have purchased them.

Mountain Dairy, 

Farm Fresh, 
Dutch Farms and 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Egg Shell Contamination Leads To Recall of Millions of Eggs

Yet another recall!  Now it's eggs.  If you are already purchasing organic eggs, free range chicken eggs, you have nothing to worry about.  However, if you are purchasing regular eggs from the store, you need to know if your eggs are a part of the millions of eggs being recalled. Millions of eggs are being recalled because of salmonella contamination that has sickened hundreds.

Bacterial contamination on modern industrial-scale chicken farms (factories, really) is a growing problem. Cramped conditions are breeding grounds for disease. Widespread use of antibiotics is creating drug-resistant strains of bacteria. Salmonella in eggs only emerged as a problem in the 1980s, several centuries after humans started raising chickens for food. According to the New York Times:
The company behind the recall, Wright County Egg, of Galt, Iowa, is owned by Jack DeCoster, who has had run-ins with regulators over poor or unsafe working conditions, environmental violations, the harassment of workers and the hiring of illegal immigrants.
One antidote to the problem of industrialized agriculture is to choose locally sourced eggs from farms that allow their chickens to run free. Though be aware that the label "free range" doesn't mean what you might think.
See a photo tour of a free-range chicken farm.
Here's a list of the brands involved in the egg recall:

Egg Recall List

Dutch Farms
Farm Fresh
James Farms
Mountain Dairy
Pacific Coast

Egg Recall Numbers

egg recall numbers
The recalled Eggs are packed in 6- 12- or 18-egg cartons with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946. Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton (see photo at right). The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.
Consumers should not eat the eggs, and should return recalled eggs to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.

Salmonella Poisoning Symptoms

Within 6-to-72 hours of eating an egg, you may experience lower abdominal cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), vomiting, fever, chills, malaise, nausea or headache. Symptoms may persist for as long as a week. While most people recover without treatment, some patients require hospitalization.
Among the 21,244 cases of foodborne illness reported outbreaks in the United States in 2007 (the last year for which data is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Salmonella was the No. 2 cause of illness, causing 27% of foodborne illness outbreaks, including 55% of multi-state outbreaks, and 81 illnesses attributed to Salmonella in eggs; five deaths resulted from Salmonella-contaminated food. The two biggest foodborne illness outbreaks that year were caused by Salmonella, in hummus and frozen pot pies.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What? Toxins In Your Cosmetics?

Did you know that cosmetics and personal-care products are a huge source of chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other diseases.  They can contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals.  According to the Endocrine Society an endocrine-disrupting substance is a compound, either natural or synthetic, which through environmental or inappropriate developmental exposures alters the hormonal and homeostatic systems that enable the organism to communicate with and respond to its environment. In other words, these substances will cause many of the health issues we are dealing with today such as rising rate of cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and so many others. These compounds are found in the food we eat, the products we use and as this entry points out, the cosmetics we use.  Our body's largest organ is our skin.  We absorb everything through our skin.  This is not meant as a scare tactic.  This is information that you would not normally know about from the government because they can't regulate EVERYTHING!

You must be thinking, "But if it's on the drugstore shelf, it must be proven to be 100 percent safe — right?" Not necessarily. While the Food and Drug Administration regulates the safety of cosmetics, manufacturers don't have to seek approval before they bring a new product to market. Beyond an established list of prohibited or restricted substances, the FDA doesn't have the authority to regulate individual ingredients. As a result, all kinds of questionable chemicals are in the products that many of us rub into our skin every day. Here are some of the potentially harmful ones I want you to avoid:

Formaldehyde: This preservative may be found in moisturizers, facial cleansers, baby shampoo, baby wash, shampoos, conditioners, body washes, eye shadows, mascaras, toothpaste,  and many other products. It's harmful to the immune system and is a known human carcinogen.

Parabens: Found in shampoos, conditioners, body washes, tooth whiteners, toothpastes, facial cleansers, sunscreens, moisturizers, and astringents, these preservatives have estrogenic effects on the body and have been linked to breast and prostate cancer.

Placenta: Used in some hair relaxers, moisturizers, and toners, placenta is also estrogenic and may increase the risk for breast cancer.

Triclosan: This antibacterial agent is found in a variety of products, including moisturizers, hand creams, shampoos, conditioners, antiperspirants, and toothpastes. It may interfere with the metabolism of thyroid hormone and contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Look for products that are made without these ingredients.  There are many stores where you can find these safer products.  If you would like more information about an online store, where you can shop for safe, green products, less expensive and delivered right to your door, visit my website at

Do You Have Any Of These In Your Home?

Do you have any of these in your home? Johnson's Baby Powder, Crest Tartar
Control Toothpaste, Clairol Hair Products, VO5 Hair Conditioners, Ajax
Cleaner, or Lysol Disinfectant???

If you do we need to talk. According to the National Cancer Prevention Coalition... These are the TOP 6 Cancer Causing Products in the average home!!! We walk for the cure. We donate for the cure. We do many things for the cure. Why not rid your home of the stuff causing cancer??? 

Work At Home United