Friday, November 9, 2012

"Non Toxic" Care of my skin - a work in progress

I read about the oil cleansing method a while back and gave it a try.  A few days after I came across a post from someone else who tried it and had broken out severely and it took her 3 months or so to get her face cleared up. YIKES!  I promptly decided not to pursue this method further.

UPDATE (5/13/2013):  One of my fave blogs posted a great list of TIPS on using the Oil Cleansing Method if you are thinking of giving it a try - one of her tips was not to use olive oil or coconut oil.

A friend told me she loved the Pumpkin Compexion Soap that I gave her for a gift one year and has been using it on her face ever since and LOVES it.  Her face looks great so I decided to give it a try too.

Its been a few months, and I love using this soap.  Its easy to use, it takes my makeup off easily, my face feels nice and clean afterwards.  My face does feel a bit tight and dry after it dries so I do need to follow it up with a moisturizer....

What should I use?

I started with organic virgin coconut oil as a moisturizer, as well as a lotion for all over my body.  It worked ok.  My skin definitely "drank" it up promptly, but it was difficult to figure out that balance of applying too much or too little.  Too little - would make my skin itchy and dry, too much - I would be a big greasy ball and leave grease marks on anything I touched.  :/

I ordered some samples of Body Butta from Bubble and Bee to try instead of the straight coconut oil.  I loved the smell of the Rasberry Vanilla and the Coconut Lime.  Wonderful!  They both did an excellent job of moisturizing all day with one application.  Not to mention, I smell divine!

I also tried their sample of Organic Face Cream.  It was better than using coconut oil, but it is very thick and it takes a while to spread on your face - you have to let the heat of your body warm it up a bit so it melts some and then it spreads around much better.  I still felt like I needed more moisturizing than what this product offered.

A few months ago, I had found a moisturizing cream, the Healthy Glow Facial Hydrator, in my local ULTA Beauty store from a line called Belli.  This line is geared towards pregnant moms who are concerned about chemicals in their beauty products.  You can read more here.

I initially tried it when I bought it months ago, but at that point, I was still trying to move towards using the simplest products on my body.  (Products that had one or two ingredients, basically trying to use products that weren't full of preservatives, additives, no matter how natural they were touted to be - just trying to keep it simple)  I remember liking the smell of the Belli lotion, but I remember that I was also battling some minor acne at the time too, thinking that this lotion was just exasperating the problem....and so I put it aside.

Anyway, I pulled it back out about a week ago and started using it again for a moisturizer.  Its smells great, reminds me of orange popsicles....Its a very light cream that doesn't leave my face feeling oily.  It soaks in quickly and has worked great these past few days.  No feeling of tight or dry skin.  And I haven't had any breakouts either....yet.  I hope I don't.  I really like this lotion.

So what's in my cabinet now for skin care?

Pumpkin Complexion Soap - to cleanse my face
Coconut oil - to remove that pesky waterproof mascara
Belli Healthy Glow Facial Hydrator - for moisturizing my face
Bubble and Bee Body Butta Rasperrry Vanilla - for moisturizing all over

UPDATE: (5/13/2013)  I recently had a facial at my favorite spa and they just started carrying a new line of skin care called Naturopathica.  Their products are very simply made and use essential oils and other natural ingredients.  I was very impressed with how my skin felt and looked after my facial with these products.  I have been using the products for about 2 months now and my skin looks great and feels great too.  The products that I am using are:

  • Aloe Cleansing Gel
  • Lavender Protective Moisturizer SPF 17
  • White Tea Antioxidant Mask

Simple Workout

I used this little workout to get back in shape for bikini season this summer.  I found it on Pinterest.
I do it every couple of days - basically whenever I remember to do it.  It takes all of about 2-3 minutes TOTAL.  AND IT WORKS.  no joke.  really.

I typically do this right before I jump in the shower, so you can do it in your bathroom if you want or wherever.

Here it is:

50 jumping jacks
5 pushups
30 crunches (with legs at 45 degree angle, straight)
20 mountain climbers
hold plank position for 60 seconds
30 squats

I do all of these, one right after the other.  No rest in between.  That's it. Who knew something so simple would work so well!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Healthy "Raw" Snack Bars

A friend of mine recommended these snack bars to me.  She's very health conscious.

A health food store employee had introduced her to them, and I went along with her to the store to check out these snack bars.  (can't remember the name of the store, but its in in the Sunset Ridge shopping center off of N New Braunfels in Alamo Heights)

I found the ingredient list to be surprisingly simple for a processed bar of "raw" food.  They also use sprouted nuts in them too - I've been hearing more and more about eating grains and nuts that are "sprouted" but haven't had the time to investigate those further.

So I purchased one bar to try it out.  $1.69/bar.  My friend told me this is her favorite flavor, the Spirulina Dream.  (What is Spirulina?) My friend also warned me not to look at this bar, and to just put it in my mouth before I judge it.  (I have to admit, it was kind of funny looking - not gross, but just not sure how to describe it)

Anyway, I tried it.  It was actually pretty yummy for a healthy snack bar.  My husband tried a piece and he said it tasted like sweet feed.  :)  I think it tastes like sweet feed smells.  Kind of nutty and sweet and chewy. Not too bad.  I'm a horse lover so I happen to love the smell of sweet feed, and horses, and leather, but I digress.....

I could eat these every now and then, for breakfast in a pinch or something like that.

There are several other flavors, of which I have only tried one other (see below)

It was not as sweet as I expected, but still good.   I hope to try some more flavors soon.  The Whole Foods market on Blanco and 1604 carries these but only the two flavors I featured here and they are $1.99/bar  there.

I plan to make a trek to the little health food store and try some more flavors soon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baby/Child Toothpaste

I've been on the hunt for a less toxic version of baby/child toothpaste for my daughter.  We started out using the standard Baby Orajel (with the Elmo on it) that you can get in the local grocery store.  I wasn't really happy with it - since it was loaded with all sorts of parabens.

In my search I came across the brand Jack N' Jill.  I read some great reviews online about the toothpaste from several moms and decided to give it a try.

I soon found out that the company is based in Australia - wow.  However, they did ship to the USA, but shipping wasn't cheap.  After much debating, I decided to order 3 different flavors to make the shipping worth it.  I was pleasantly surprised and my daughter loves the toothpaste so much that she comes running to the bathroom when I tell her its time to brush our teeth!

I also love that the toothpaste uses certified organic flavorings - and they taste GREAT!  We ordered the strawberry (pictured above), banana and blueberry.  We've just finished the strawberry and started using the banana, and it is amazing how yummy each flavor has been.  No wonder my daughter loves brushing her teeth.  I'm looking forward to trying the blueberry flavor along with her in the future.

I also love that you can start using this toothpaste with babies that are 6 months old and it is safe to swallow.  Overall a great product and cute packaging too!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Safer Nail Polish

I say safer, because if you really don't want toxic chemicals on your nails, which in turn can leach into your body, then don't put ANY nail polish on.

Sadly, even the least toxic polishes still have some stuff in them that I would prefer not to put in my body if given the choice.  However, there are events that would require a bit more dressing up, and nail polish is a necessity, toxins and all.

For those events, I have found a brand of polish, Honeybee Gardens, that is reasonably priced ($7 a bottle), can be removed with simple rubbing alcohol from your medicine cabinet and dries quickly.

I have two colors so far in the polish, a bubble gum pink called Valentine (not pictured) and Goddess, a frosty plum (pictured below)
I've been using these polishes exclusively for about 6 months.  They work well for me and it was an easy transition to this brand from standard nail polish.  However, I have found that the longer you leave this polish on, the harder it is to take off.  When I mean "harder to take off" I mean it takes me a good 15 minutes to get the polish off my nails instead of about 5 with standard polish.  It does state this on the product label as well.

Overall, its been a good transition for me to a less toxic product.

I did come across another brand of less toxic nail polish called Aquarella, but it was more expensive and dictated that you needed their brand of polish remover to get the polish off.  Maybe at some point I will give that brand a for now, Honeybee Gardens polish works just fine.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Natural Deodorant Update

Back in November last year, I made the switch to homemade deodorant.  Its worked pretty well for me.  There was an adjustment period that I went through since it is deodorant and not anti-perspirant.....It took a while to get used to having wet armpits now and then.  And if I would have a particularly stressful day, I would begin to get a little "stinky" about the time I was on my way home from work, ugh.

Surprisingly, its only been 11 months since I started using homemade deodorant and I've only had to make 2 batches of the stuff - it really lasts a long time!

My husband tried it a few times, but it didn't seem to be strong enough for him - he was stinky by afternoon.  I did play with the ratios of the ingredients on the second batch thinking I could make it more potent, but it didn't seem to work as well.  I cut back on the amount of coconut oil in it too, but I don't think that helped much either.

A few months back i found a website, Bubble & Bee Organics, that makes a non-toxic deodorant.  Looking at the ingredients list, its almost the same.  I had purchased a stick of it for my husband to try, since I was having trouble concocting a homemade deodorant that would work for him.

He tried it, but wasn't impressed.  So, it sat on his dresser for a few more months.  

And a week ago, I saw it and got curious (nevermind, that I was getting low on my homemade deodorant and was brainstorming new ratios to try on the next batch)

So I used it.  It had a very bright lemony smell, which I didn't mind.  

It worked pretty good!  Actually, it worked better than my version!  Ha!

I think I'm over trying to figure out the correct ratios - Bubble and Bee apparently have it right.  I've been converted.  I've been using this ever since.

UPDATE (5/10/2013) - Still using this wonderful Super Pit Putty from Bubble & Bee Organics.  I recently discovered that after applying the deodorant to my underarms, if I would rub the product into the skin and make sure it got smeared all over my armpit equally that completely stopped my random "stinky" moments.  Since making the switch to natural deodorant, I find that I don't sweat nearly as much as I used to when I first started (unless I just went for a 5 mile run, obviously) if I even sweat at all.  My hubby is still using conventional deodorant, but I have just found a new concoction to try on him.  Its a mixture of grain alcohol and Tea Tree Essential Oils sprayed on your pits.  It came recommended by another guy.  Stay tuned for the results!  :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wait a minute, what side are you on Monsanto?

Monsanto, a biotechnology company has contributed over $4.2 million dollars to try to defeat the upcoming vote on Labeling GMO foods in California (Proposition 37).

But according to the advertisement below, they are in support of labeling GMOs in the United Kingdom.

Uh, what ?

Here's the advertisement, taken from Monsanto's own website in the UK:

Monsanto's Advertisement

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Baby Wipes

I recently came across a list of natural/non-toxic baby wipes that a young mom had put together and posted. It was such a plethora of great information, I thought I'd share.  She lists several different brands of baby wipes,  attributes AND how to purchase/find in stores.

A wealth of info for mommies, all in one convenient place!

Here's the link: click here

Just FYI we use the California Organics brand - and are very happy with them.  My only gripe with them is that HEB runs out of them on occasion and they are not flush-able.  Other than that, they are great!  And they make great makeup remover cloths too!

Friday, August 24, 2012


This was a very unsettling article I recently read via the Organic Consumers Association.  
Stop Syngenta's Insecticidal 'Bt' Genetically Engineered Corn
Four Reasons to Avoid Non-Organic Corn and Processed Foods Containing Corn or Corn-Sweeteners:
1. GMO "Bt" corn produces its own insecticide. It kills bugs, bad bugs and good bugs alike, including beneficial insects like honeybees, ladybugs and butterflies.
2. Inhaled Bt has caused severe allergies in farmworkers while GMO Bt corn pollen has reportedly killed peasants in the Philippines. Besides setting off serious allergies in farmworkers inhaling Bt, in 2003, five people living around Bt corn fields in the Philippines died and dozens became ill with fever and respiratory, intestinal and skin problems. Subsequently, 38 individuals had their blood analyzed and all were positive for antibodies specific to Cry1Ab, suggesting an immune reaction to genetically engineered Bt toxins.
3. GMO Bt corn livestock feed kills animals. In 1996, Syngenta abruptly terminated a US Bt corn feeding study after four cows died in two days. Later, Syngenta paid a German farmer 40,000 euros in partial compensation for dead cows, decreased milk yields, and vet costs incurred during authorized field tests from 1997 to 2002.
4. More than 80% of women and their unborn children have GMO Bt toxins in their blood! Most Americans probably have no idea how much corn they're eating, but with all the high-fructose corn syrup, corn oil, and food from animals raised on corn, it's little wonder that so many of us have GMO Bt toxins coursing through our blood.
Please, encourage everyone you know to stop eating non-organic corn and help get this stuff banned - or at least labeled!
There are already 16 different GMO Bt varieties of corn cultivated in this country - even though many other countries ban Bt crops. Now, Syngenta wants another approved.
Stop Syngenta's Insecticidal Genetically Engineered Corn!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Grass fed BEEF VS. Grain fed BEEF

article can be read here

Humans can't eat grass, but the meat we eat should come from animals that did.
Truth be told, we do eat a little bit of grass. Three-quarters of all human nutrition comes from wheat, rice and corn, all of which are grasses. But what we eat is actually their seeds, the dense package of complex carbohydrates that is the specialty of annual grasses. Perennial grasses, which are more common, pack a larger proportion of their energy in their roots, stems and leaves; the building block for these is cellulose. Humans cannot convert cellulose to protein, but cows, sheep and other ruminants can, thanks to the resident bacteria in their highly specialized fermentation tank of a stomach, known as a rumen.
Grass-fed beef, as its name implies, comes from animals that eat perennial grasses all their lives. In contrast, "Grain-fed" beef is what is most commonly sold in supermarkets. While all cattle are grass-fed at some point in their lives, conventionally raised cows spend the majority of their lives feeding on corn and other grains, typically in a confined feedlot.
So what's the big deal? Why is it so important to choose grass-fed when buying meat?

1. Grass-fed animals don't need the large quantities of antibiotics that feedlot cattle do.

Most beef cattle spend their short life in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where a thousand or more head of steer are kept in close, concentrated conditions and fattened up for slaughter as quickly as possible. Since the 1950s it has become routine practice to add low levels of antibiotics to the feed or water of healthy poultry, cattle, and swine to promote faster growth and prevent infections that tend to occur when animals are housed in crowded, unsanitary conditions. The practice is now so common that according to the FDA, which regulates the use of antibiotics in food animals, 80 percent, or the lion share of antibiotics used in the United States, are used not in humans but in animals, and most of those - an estimated 83 percent -are given to healthy animals, not to treat the sick ones.
The problem is, as organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize, the "overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food animals" is a major source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are affecting humans, a major public health crisis. Increasingly, bacteria are resistant to multiple antibiotics, leading to infections that are difficult to treat and sometimes impossible to cure, require longer and more expensive hospital stays, and are more likely to be fatal. At the same time, the development of new antibiotics has slowed to a trickle. In some cases, there are now few or no antibiotics that work to treat drug resistant bacterial infections.
Pastured cattle don't require the drugs their CAFO'd cousins do. But again, a wise shopper should know that antibiotics are allowed for certain grass-fed certification programs, USDA Process Verified for one, while not for others, such as the American Grassfed Association. Use Label Lookup to learn more about what claims on meat mean and which ones you can trust.

2. Perennial grasses are better for soil.

Healthy topsoil is a biological matrix, a housing complex for an incredibly diverse community of organisms. In every handful are billions of beneficial microbes, nitrogen-fixing fungi, nutrients and earthworms whose digestive tracts transform fine grains of sterile rock and plant detritus into the fertile excrement that gave rise to the word dirt itself (drit in Old Norse).
In his book Dirt, David Montgomery, a geomorphologist at the University of Washington, describes modern agricultural practices as "soil mining" to emphasize that we are using up topsoil much more quickly than earth's natural processes can restore it. According to the National Academy of Sciences, cropland in the United States is being eroded at least 10 times faster than the rate at which lost soil can be replaced by natural processes. Tillage, by moving topsoil with high levels of organic matter into the moist depressions, releases not only carbon dioxide but also nitrous oxide and methane (both global-warming gases) by triggering decay and erosion. Shallow-rooted annual grasses, such as corn, wheat and soy, further deplete the soil of critical trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iodine.
In contrast, the deep roots of perennials, often extending more than 10 feet below the surface, act like elevators, lifting nutrients back into the system and making them available to plants and everything else up the food chain. Pure prairie builds up organic matter: the richest of virgin prairie soil in the Midwest once ran to 10 feet deep and was about 10 percent organic. What's left of the soils where corn and soy now grow typically contains less than half that amount of organic matter. Perennial pastures can restore the richness of the soil in a decade or so.

3. Animals that are grass-fed their entire life are healthier--and their meat safer for you.

A ruminant's gut is normally a pH-neutral environment, best suited to a diet of cellulosic grasses. It is not well suited to a diet of corn and other grains, the primary fare of feedlot cattle. High in starch, low in roughage and a poor source of calcium and magnesium, corn upsets the cow's stomach, making it unnaturally acidic. Not only is this harmful to the cow--giving it a sort of bovine heartburn or, worse, making it very sick--but it allows a whole range of parasites and diseases to gain a foothold, including the pathogenic E. coli0157:H7 bacterium.
Making its first appearance a little over 25 years ago, E. coli is now found in the intestines of most U.S. feedlot cattle. As Michael Pollan explained in "Power Steer," a 2002 New York Times Magazine article, "By acidifying a cow's gut with corn, we have broken down one of our food chain's barriers to infections."
Interestingly, this process can be reversed, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist, who discovered that switching a cow's diet from corn to hay in the final days before slaughter reduces the population of Ecoli in its manure by as much as 70 percent. Such a change, however, is considered wildly impractical by the cattle industry (see 4 below for reasons).

4. Grass-fed animals produce the right kind of fat.

Many of us think of corn-fed beef as being nutritionally superior, but it isn't. A corn-fed cow does develop well-marbled flesh, and the USDA continues to grade beef in a way that rewards marbling with intramuscular fat, but this is simply saturated fat that can't be trimmed off.
Grass-fed meat, on the other hand, is lower both in overall fat and in artery-clogging saturated fat. It has the added advantage of providing more omega-3 fats. In addition to being higher in healthy omega-3s, meat from pastured cattle is also up to four times higher in vitamin E than meat from feedlot cattle, and much higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a nutrient associated with lower heart disease and cancer risk that is lacking in our diets.
Beware of claims that animals spent most of their life in pasture. When cattle are taken off grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they immediately begin losing the omega-3s they have stored in their tissues. As a consequence, the meat from feedlot animals typically contains only 15 to 50 percent as much omega-3s as that from grass-fed livestock. Use Label Lookup to learn more about what claims on meat mean and which ones you can trust.

5. The corn fed to feedlot cattle is fossil-fuel intensive and heavily subsidized.

Our energy-intensive food system uses 19 percent of all the fossil fuel consumed in the United States, more than any other sector of the economy. And it isn't all for powering tractors and farm equipment. Twenty-three million tons of chemical herbicides and fertilizers, all derived from fossil fuel, are used on crops in this country, 10 million tons just on corn. According to Cornell University ecology professor David Pimentel, to make the fertilizer to grow the corn to feed just one feedlot steer during his short life (14 to 16 months, on average) takes about 284 gallons of oil, or1.2 gallons per bushel.
You might think all that oil would make corn an expensive food source. In fact, it does cost more for the farmers to grow than the feedlot operators pay. But corn is heavily subsidized: over the past decade, the federal government has poured more than $50 billion into the corn industry. The fertilizers plus the subsidies have led to huge surpluses. Add in the USDA's encouragement of farmers to feed the corn to cattle, whether they like it or not, and you've got the makings of modern factory farming. Corn is an artificially cheap foodstuff that’s plentiful, compact and portable, making it ideal for quickly feeding tens of thousands of animals on small plots of land.

6. Perennial pasture reduces flooding and pollution-laden runoff.

As noted above, corn and soybean production depletes the soil of its natural health. This greatly diminishes its environmental value, flood control in particular. A stretch of pure prairie will absorb five to seven inches of rain an hour. But when that same land is tilled for corn and soybean production, the normal absorption rate drops to 0.5-1.5 inches an hour. This meant that when the storms of 2008 brought 12 feet of rain to parts of the Midwest in just 24 hours, catastrophic flooding devastated cities and towns throughout the region. Had upriver land been pasture rather than cornfield, the heavy rains might have produced no runoff.
If more cornfields were converted to perennial grasses, we could significantly reduce the devastation of aquatic life from fertilizer- and herbicide-laden runoff. Consider this: when runoff from the predominantly corn-growing fields of the Midwest reaches the Gulf of Mexico, it contributes to what is known as a dead zone, a seasonal, approximately 6,000-square-mile area that has almost no oxygen and therefore almost no sea life. Because of the dead zone, the $2.8 billion Gulf of Mexico fishing industry loses 212,000 metric tons of seafood a year. Elsewhere around the world, there are nearly 400 similar dead zones. It is sadly ironic that to produce one of the least healthy sources of protein--grain-fed beef--we destroy one of our leanest and healthiest--fish.

7. Perennial pasture is a carbon sink.

Agriculture contributes about 30 percent of all global greenhouse-gas emissions when land conversion impacts are considered. This is much more than the amount emitted by transportation. Production of meat, particularly beef, is a very heavy emitter of heat-trapping pollutants. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported in 2006 that current production levels of meat contribute between 14 and 22 percent of the CO2–equivalent gases the world produces every year. See the chart (right) for a comparison of some common lower- and higher-carbon foods per 100-gram serving.
Heat Trapping Pollution from Food Production chart
credit: USDA
Beef and dairy production, according to the FAO, emit particularly high levels of greenhouse gases; producing a given amount of ground beef releases four times as much greenhouse gases as are released in the production of the same amount of pork, 14 times as much as chicken, and 50 to 60 times as much as fruits and vegetables. This is particularly true when the animals are raised in CAFOs where they are fed corn or soybeans. Researchers are finding that tillage systems used to grow row crops release not only carbon dioxide but also nitrous oxide and methane (both global warming gases) by triggering the decay and erosion of topsoil. Without exception, all of the tillage systems examined in a recent study published in Science contributed to global warming, and the worst offenders were conventionally farmed corn, soybeans and wheat.
This is not the case for perennial grass systems. In fact, fields of perennial crops in the same study pulled both methane and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stashed them in the soil. There is even some evidence that perennial grasslands are often better at sequestering carbon than forests are.
Note: Though perennial grass systems may be carbon sinks, many other factors must be considered before it can be determined whether ounce for ounce grass-fed beef has a smaller carbon footprint than grain-fed beef.

8. Modern grazing methods match the efficiencies of industrial-scale grain production.

Modern grass farmers almost universally rely on something called managed intensive rotational grazing. Polywire fences confine a herd of perhaps 60 cows to a small area, maybe one-quarter acre, typically for 12 hours. Then the grazier moves the fence, cycling through a series of such paddocks every month or so. This reflects a basic ecological principle. Left to their own devices in a diverse ecosystem, cows will eat just a few species, grazing again and again on the same plants. Rotational grazing forces them to eat all the available forage, including plants they would normally leave untouched. This produces much more beef or milk per acre than does laissez-faire grazing. But how do modern grazing methods compare in efficiency to industrial-scale grain production? As Todd Churchill, owner of Thousand Hills Cattle in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, reported in the OnEarth, he can make more money than a subsidized corn farmer because he can produce about two steers per acre. It takes roughly the same acreage to grow the 3,000 pounds of grain used to finish a single steer in a feedlot.

9. Pastured animals are treated more humanely.

From a humanitarian perspective, there is yet another advantage to pastured-animal products. The cruelties of modern factory farming are severe, with livestock cooped up in cages barely larger than their own bodies, or packed together like sardines for months on end, standing knee-deep in their own manure. Pastured livestock are not forced to live in confinement and to endure the miseries of factory farming. But buyer beware: some beef labels have only vague standards regarding animal welfare, while others have detailed rules that ensure animal health and well-being in a clean, comfortable environment. Use Label Lookup to learn more about what claims on meat mean and which ones you can trust.

10. Grass-fed is more expensive.

Yes, you read it right, grass-fed beef is more expensive, but maybe as a result, we may eat less of it. This is a good thing, actually, both for our health and for the environment. And honestly, feedlot beef is not really cheaper, not when you add the invisible costs: of antibiotic resistance, environmental degradation, heart disease, E. coli infection, corn subsidies, imported oil and so on. But be advised, while pastured-animal products may have many advantages over factory farm and feedlot products, they are still high in saturated fat (though not as high), still high in cholesterol, and still devoid of fiber and many other essential nutrients. They take less toll on the environment, but the land on which the animals graze still must often be irrigated, thus using up dwindling water resources, and it may be fertilized with petroleum-based fertilizers.
So eat less meat, and when you do, make sure you choose grass-fed, knowing you are supporting a humane, health-promoting, environmentally responsible system of agriculture. Use Label Lookup to help you find beef and other products from animals that are grass-fed their entire lives.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A snapshot of our daily exposure to chemicals

I used to never give it a second thought about what I was putting on my body in the name of "beauty".  Becoming a mom changed all that - the more I research the ingredients of products that we so readily put on our body on a daily basis - the more shocked I am - and saddened.  I guess I always assumed that companies that create these products would realize that these ingredients are not good for us to put in or on our bodies and that they would have their customer's best interests at heart.  (don't forget that your skin is one large organ that allows products to soak through and be absorbed straight into your bloodstream)

A friend sent me this picture - It sums up some of the chemicals that we are exposed to through our favorite beauty products.  I am familiar with many of these through some of my research, but it still shocks me to see just how much.

There are lots of alternative beauty products out there that don't have all of these chemicals in them....and they work just as good as the chemical ones.  I hope you are inspired to give some a try, and reduce you and your family's exposure to some of these chemicals.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Reality Check !

Friends, before I became a mother - I was pretty oblivious to the real challenge of family life-work life balance.  Now that I am one - Wow.......It was a rude awakening.  However, I also noticed a change in myself - a desire to spend all my spare time with my family - and how important that really is to me AND them.

I just started reading this article by Anne-Marie Slaughter called "Why Women Still Can't Have It All".  I'm not even done reading the article but it is a MUST read, especially if you are human.  :)

Here's the article

Now, back to the article.  :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Article on GMOs, written by Genetic Engineers

Its refreshing to finally see some genetic engineers talk about GMOs and what they think about them. Here's the article take a moment to read their article and if you have time, their rather lengthy study.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

YAY for Coconut Oil

A few weeks ago, I got asked why we use coconut oil (virgin), since it has such a "bad for you" reputation.
I had been reading about its benefits for a while now, in various articles and blogs that I have come across.

We use it for some things, but not a WHOLE lot.  I've actually been trying to incorporate it into our diet more.

We use it in our homemade deodorant and pan frying food.

I've read you can use it as a deep conditioning treatment for your hair, haven't tried it yet.

Also read you can use it as a replacement for vegetable shortening - and tried it a few weeks ago with my chocolate chip cookies - my husband remarked that they were the best I had ever made.  I have to say, they were pretty yummy.  I was pleased with how the coconut oil substituted for the shortening very easily.  I dont use shortening very often - only for a few baked goods that traditionally make during the holidays.  So I am looking forward to trying this new substitution for my Christmas sugar cookies!

so the Hype is that Coconut Oil is a saturated fat and we all have heard that those and trans fats are the ones that you need to stay away from.

But Here's the scoop on why its really good for you!  :)

This Cooking Oil is a Powerful Virus-Destroyer and Antibiotic…

link to article:

You've no doubt noticed that for about the last 60 years the majority of health care officials and the media have been telling you saturated fats are bad for your health and lead to a host of negative consequences, like elevated cholesterol, obesity, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Meanwhile during this same 60 years the American levels of heart disease, obesity, elevated serum cholesterol and Alzheimer's have skyrocketed compared to our ancestors, and even compared to modern-day primitive societies using saturated fat as a dietary staple.
Did you know that multiple studies on Pacific Island populations who get 30-60% of their total caloric intact from fully saturated coconut oil have all shown nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease?[1]
Clearly, a lot of confusion and contradictory evidence exists on the subject of saturated fats, even among health care professionals.
But I'm going to tell you something that public health officials and the media aren't telling you.
The fact is, all saturated fats are not created equal.
The operative word here is "created", because some saturated fats occur naturally, while other fats are artificially manipulated into a saturated state through the man-made process called hydrogenation.
Hydrogenation manipulates vegetable and seed oils by adding hydrogen atoms while heating the oil, producing a rancid, thickened oil that really only benefits processed food shelf life and corporate profits.
The medical and scientific communities are now fairly united in the opinion that hydrogenated vegetable and seed oils should be avoided.
These unsaturated fats, artificially manipulated into saturated fats, are also called trans fats, and no doubt you've heard about them lately. Some cities and states have now outlawed their use. There is no controversy anymore regarding the health dangers of these artificially saturated fats.
And guess what?
These are the same damaged trans fats that have been touted as "healthy" and "heart-friendly" for the last 60 years by the vegetable and seed oil interests!
But the truth finally came out. Trans fat was rebuked, debunked, and revealed as the true enemy to good health that it has always been, regardless of what the seed- and vegetable oil shills told the American public for the last half century.
Unfortunately, this rightful vilification of hydrogenated saturated fats has created a lot of confusion regarding naturally occurring saturated fats, including coconut oil.
If one form of saturated fat is bad for you, the argument goes, then all saturated fat must be bad.
Nothing could be further from the truth!

The Truth about Coconut Oil

The truth about coconut oil is obvious to anyone who has studied the health of those who live in traditional tropical cultures, where coconut has been a nutritious diet staple for thousands of years.
Back in the 1930's, a dentist named Dr. Weston Price traveled throughout the South Pacific, examining traditional diets and their effect on dental and overall health. He found that those eating diets high in coconut products were healthy and trim, despite the high fat concentration in their diet, and that heart disease was virtually non-existent.
Similarly, in 1981, researchers studied populations of two Polynesian atolls. Coconut was the chief source of caloric energy in both groups. The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,[2] demonstrated that both populations exhibited positive vascular health.
In fact, no evidence exists that the naturally occurring high saturated fat intake had any kind of harmful effect in these populations!
That's not what you expected, is it? Based on 60 years of negative public policy towards naturally occurring saturated fats, you would expect these cultures to be rife with clogged arteries, obesity and heart disease.
It may be surprising for you to realize that the naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil actually has some amazing health benefits, such as:
  • Promoting your heart health[3]
  • Promoting weight loss, when needed[4]
  • Supporting your immune system health[5]
  • Supporting a healthy metabolism[6]
  • Providing you with an immediate energy source[7]
  • Keeping your skin healthy and youthful looking
  • Supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland[8]
But how is this possible?
Does coconut oil have some secret ingredients not found in other saturated fats?
The answer is a resounding "yes".

Coconut Oil's Secret Ingredient

50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. If you're a frequent reader of my newsletter you already know that I consider lauric acid a "miracle" ingredient because of its unique health promoting properties.
Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.[9]
Monolaurin is a monoglyceride which can actually destroy lipid coated viruses such as:
  • HIV, herpes
  • Measles
  • Influenza virus
  • Various pathogenic bacteria
  • Protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
Lauric acid is a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer, and coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on earth!
Capric acid, another coconut fatty acid present in smaller amounts, has also been added to the list of coconut's antimicrobial components.
This is one of the key reasons you should consider consuming coconut oil, because there aren't many sources of monolaurin in our diet. But the health benefits of coconut oil don't stop there.

The Benefits of Medium-Chain Fatty Acids

Coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids produce a whole host of health benefits.
Coconut oil is nature's richest source of these healthy MCFAs.
By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs.
Let me tell you why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs found in coconut oil[10] :
  • LCFAs are difficult for your body to break down -- they require special enzymes for digestion.
  • LCFAs put more strain on your pancreas, liver and your entire digestive system.
  • LCFAs are predominantly stored in your body as fat.
  • LCFAs can be deposited within your arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.
  • In contrast to LFCAs, the MCFAs found in coconut oil have many health benefits, including the following beneficial qualities:
  • MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body.
  • MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system.
  • MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
  • MCFAs actually help stimulate your body's metabolism, leading to weight loss.
Coconut Oil Helps Fight Diabetes
 Your body sends medium-chain fatty acids directly to your liver to use as energy. This makes coconut oil a powerful source of instant energy to your body, a function usually served in the diet by simple carbohydrates.
But although coconut oil and simple carbohydrates share the ability to deliver quick energy to your body, they differ in one crucial respect.
Coconut oil does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. You read that correctly, Coconut oil acts on your body like a carbohydrate, without any of the debilitating insulin-related effects associated with long-term high carbohydrate consumption!
Diabetics and those with pre-diabetes conditions (an exploding health epidemic in America), should immediately realize the benefit of a fast acting energy source that doesn't produce an insulin spike in your body. In fact, coconut oil added to the diets of diabetics and pre-diabetics has actually been shown to help stabilize weight gain, which can dramatically decrease your likelihood of getting adult onset type-2 Diabetes.[11]

Cococut Oil, the Friend to Athletes and Dieters

If you live in the United States, you have an almost 70 percent chance of being overweight.
And, by now, I'm sure you're well aware that obesity affects your quality of life and is linked to many health concerns.
One of the best benefits of coconut oil lies in its ability to help stimulate your metabolism.
Back in the 1940s, farmers found out about this effect by accident when they tried using inexpensive coconut oil to fatten their livestock.
It didn't work!
Instead, coconut oil made the animals lean, active and hungry.
However, many animal and human research studies have demonstrated that replacing LCFAs with MCFAs results in both decreased body weight and reduced fat deposition.
In fact, the ability of MCFAs to be easily digested, to help stimulate the metabolism and be turned into energy has entered the sports arena. Several studies have now shown that MCFAs can enhance physical or athletic performance.[12]
Additionally, research has demonstrated that, due to its metabolic effect, coconut oil increases the activity of the thyroid. And you've probably heard that a sluggish thyroid is one reason why some people are unable to lose weight, no matter what they do.
Besides weight loss, there are other advantages to boosting your metabolic rate. Your healing process accelerates. Cell regeneration increases to replace old cells, and your immune system functions better overall.

Coconut Oil on Your Skin

Besides the mounting medical and scientific evidence that coconut oil has powerful positive health benefits when eaten, it has also been used for decades by professional massage therapists to knead away tight stressed muscles.
However, you don't have to be a professional massage therapist to gain the skin and tissue support benefits of coconut oil. Just use coconut oil as you would any lotion.
Coconut oil is actually ideal for skin care. It helps protect your skin from the aging effects of free radicals, and can help improve the appearance of skin with its anti-aging benefits.
In fact, physiologist and biochemist Ray Peat, Ph.D. considers coconut oil an antioxidant[13] , due to its stability and resistance to oxidation and free radical formation. Plus, he believes it reduces our need for the antioxidant protection of vitamin E.
Like Dr. Peat, many experts believe coconut oil may help restore more youthful-looking skin. When coconut oil is absorbed into your skin and connective tissues, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple, and aids in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother.

Coconut Oil and Your Heart

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. And heart disease is often a silent killer. The first sign of cardiovascular disease is commonly a heart attack, and sadly, over one third of heart attacks are fatal.
And despite the propaganda, the truth is this: it is UNSATURATED fats that are primarily involved in heart disease, not the naturally occurring saturated fats, as you have been led to believe.[14]
Plus, the polyunsaturated fats in vegetable and seed oils encourage the formation of blood clots by increasing platelet stickiness. Coconut oil helps to promote normal platelet function.

Coconut Oil in Your Kitchen

I only use two oils in my food preparation.
The first, extra-virgin olive oil, is a better monounsaturated fat that works great as a salad dressing.
However, it should not be used for cooking. Due to its chemical structure, heat makes it susceptible to oxidative damage.
And polyunsaturated fats, which include common vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola, are absolutely the worst oils to use in cooking. These omega-6 oils are highly susceptible to heat damage because of their double bonds.
I strongly urge you to throw out those omega-6 vegetable oils in your cabinets.
Reason # 1: Most people believe that frying creates trans-fat
. That is not the major problem, in my opinion. Although some are created, they are relatively minor. There are FAR more toxic chemicals produced by frying omega-6 oils than trans-fat.
Frying destroys the antioxidants in oil and as a result oxidizes the oil. This causes cross-linking, cyclization, double-bond shifts, fragmentation and polymerization of oils that cause far more damage than trans-fat.
Reason # 2: Most of the vegetable oils are GMO. This would include over 90 percent of the soy, corn and canola oils.
Reason # 3: Vegetable oils contribute to the overabundance of damaged omega-6 fats in your diet, which creates an imbalance in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. As you know from my extensive writing on this subject, I believe that excessive consumption of damaged omega-6 fats contributes to many health concerns.
They are all highly processed and consumed in amounts that are about 100 times more than our ancestors did a century ago. This causes them to distort the sensitive omega-6/omega-3 ratio which controls many delicate biochemical pathways which results in accelerating many chronic degenerative diseases.
There is only one oil that is stable enough to resist mild heat-induced damage, while it also helps you promote heart health and even supports weight loss and thyroid function -- coconut oil.
So, whenever you need an oil to cook with, use coconut oil instead of butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, margarine, or any other type of oil called for in recipes. Even though I don't fully recommend frying foods, if you must fry, by all means use coconut oil -- it's your smartest choice.

Coconut Oil Safety

The medium-chain fats in coconut oil are considered so nutritious that they are used in baby formulas, in hospitals to feed the critically ill, those on tube feeding, and those with digestive problems. Coconut oil has even been used successfully by doctors in treating aluminum poisoning.[15]
Coconut oil is exceptionally helpful for pregnant women, nursing moms, the elderly, those concerned about digestive health, athletes (even weekend warriors), and those of you who just want to enhance your overall health.

No More Soda

After reading this article recently - I have really lost my desire to drink soda, any soda at all.  Pretty enlightening - I've always had an interest in how things you eat are processed in your body afterwards.  You might find this interesting.

What Happens to Your Body Within an Hour of Drinking a Coke

here's the link to the site if you want to read the article there 

Do you want to be healthy? Drinking soda is bad for your health in so many ways; science can’t even state all the consequences. Here’s what happens in your body when you assault it with a Coke:
Within the first 10 minutes, 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. This is 100 percent of your recommended daily intake, and the only reason you don’t vomit as a result of the overwhelming sweetness is because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor.
Within 20 minutes, your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat.
Within 40 minutes, caffeine absorption is complete; your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream.
Around 45 minutes, your body increases dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain – a physically identical response to that of heroin, by the way.
After 60 minutesyou’ll start to have a sugar crash.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
How many sodas have you had today? How about your kids? As of 2005, white bread was dethroned as the number one source of calories in the American diet, being replaced by soft drinks.
The average American drinks more than 60 gallons of soft drinks each year, but before you grab that next can of soda, consider this: one can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites. Not to mention the fact that it’s also your largest source of dangerous high-fructose modified corn syrup.
Let’s take a look at some of the other major components of a can of soda:
  • Phosphoric Acid: Which can interfere with the body's ability to use calcium, leading to osteoporosis or softening of the teeth and bones.
  • Sugar: It is a proven fact that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, premature aging and many more negative side effects. Most sodas include over 100 percent of the RDA of sugar. Sugar is so bad for your health in so many ways, I even created an entire list outlining 100-Plus Ways in Which Sugar Can Damage Your Health
  • Aspartame: This chemical is used as a sugar substitute in diet soda. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilispsy/seizures.
  • Caffeine: Caffeinated drinks cause jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral depletion, breast lumps, birth defects, and perhaps some forms of cancer.
  • Tap Water: I recommend that everyone avoid drinking tap water because it can carry any number of chemicals including chlorine, trihalomethanes, lead, cadmium, and various organic pollutants. Tap water is the main ingredient in bottled soft drinks.
  • Clearly, the over-consumption of sodas and sweet drinks is one of the leading causes fueling the world-wide obesity epidemic.
    One independent, peer-reviewed study published in the British medical journal The Lancet demonstrated a strong link between soda consumption and childhood obesity.  They found that 12-year-olds who drank soft drinks regularly were more likely to be overweight than those who didn't. In fact, for each additional daily serving of sugar-sweetened soft drink consumed during the nearly two-year study, the risk of obesity jumped by 60 percent.
    Here’s another sobering fact if you’re struggling with weight issues: Just one extra can of soda per day can add as much as 15 pounds to your weight over the course of a single year!
    Other statistics on the health dangers of soft drinks include:
    • Soda drinkers have higher cancer risk. While the federal limit for benzene in drinking water is 5 parts per billion (ppb), researchers have found benzene levels as high as 79 ppb in some soft drinks, and of the 100 brands tested, most had at least some detectable level of benzene present
    • Soda has been shown to cause DNA damage – courtesy of sodium benzoate, a common preservative found in many soft drinks, which has the ability to switch off vital parts of your DNA. This could eventually lead to diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson's
    If you are still drinking soda, stopping the habit is an easy way to improve your health. Pure water is a much better choice, or if you must drink a carbonated beverage, try sparkling mineral water with a squirt of lime or lemon juice.
    There is absolutely NO REASON your kids should ever drink soda. None, nada, zip, zero. No excuses. The elimination of soft drinks is one of the most crucial factors to deal with many of the health problems you or your children suffer.
    If you struggle with an addiction to soda, (remember, sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine!) I strongly recommend you considerTurbo Tapping as a simple yet highly effective tool to help you stop this health-sucking habit. Turbo Tapping is a simple and clever use of theEmotional Freedom Technique, designed to resolve many aspects of an issue in a concentrated period of time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Update on No Poo :)

Well, its been over two months since me and my husband quit using shampoo and conditioner on our hair.

We've been using Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar instead.  (see my previous post in March about No Pooing if you want the recipe we use)

Our hair is in great condition, it feels good and I would say that there's not anything I miss about using regular shampoo and conditioner.  In fact, I used to have to wash my hair daily or it would get too oily to style.  Since I've been No Pooing, I've gone as long as 5 days without washing and as little as 2.  And can you say - CHEAP?  I haven't calculated out just how cheap, but I was paying about 8 bucks a bottle before on my salon shampoo.  And now i use about a Tablespoon of baking soda and a Tablespoon of vinegar everytime i wash my hair, which isnt even every day.  :)  so there's some serious savings there.....

:)  So, if you are curious about it and want to give it a try - go for it!  You dont have anything to lose!  Feel free to bombard me with questions you have too.  I will be happy to answer them.  :)

UPDATE (5/13/2013):  Still no pooing!  Its great!  Love it!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

If you are going to eat sugar, Try not to eat Fructose, Here's why:

A great article about why you should pay attention to what is in YOUR food.

 Fructose is not processed the same in your body as Glucose, which is the fuel for all cells in your body. I have copied and pasted the article here (I never can seem to get "links" to work on my blog)

 Sugar May Be Bad, But This Sweetener is Far More Deadly

 Scientists have proved for the first time that fructose, a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks, can damage human metabolism and is fueling the obesity crisis. Fructose, a sweetener usually derived from corn, can cause dangerous growths of fat cells around vital organs and is able to trigger the early stages of diabetes and heart disease. Over 10 weeks, 16 volunteers on a controlled diet including high levels of fructose produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs. They also showed signs of food-processing abnormalities linked to diabetes and heart disease.
Another group of volunteers on the same diet, but with glucose sugar replacing fructose, did not have these problems.

 Dr. Mercola's Comments: This study takes its place in a growing lineup of scientific studies demonstrating that consuming high-fructose corn syrup is the fastest way to trash your health. It is now known without a doubt that sugar in your food, in all it's myriad of forms, is taking a devastating toll. And fructose in any form -- including high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and crystalline fructose -- is the worst of the worst!

 Fructose is a major contributor to: Insulin resistance and obesity
 Elevated blood pressure
 Elevated triglycerides and elevated LDL
 Depletion of vitamins and minerals
 Cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancer, arthritis and even gout

 A Calorie is Not a Calorie
 Glucose is the form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body, every bacterium -- and in fact, every living thing on the Earth--uses glucose for energy. If you received your fructose only from vegetables and fruits (where it originates) as most people did a century ago, you'd consume about 15 grams per day -- a far cry from the 73 grams per day the typical adolescent gets from sweetened drinks. In vegetables and fruits, it's mixed in with fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and beneficial phytonutrients, all which moderate any negative metabolic effects. It isn't that fructose itself is bad -- it is the MASSIVE DOSES you're exposed to that make it dangerous.

 There are two reasons fructose is so damaging: Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose. The entire burden of metabolizing fructose falls on your liver. People are consuming fructose in enormous quantities, which has made the negative effects much more profound. Today, 55 percent of sweeteners used in food and beverage manufacturing are made from corn, and the number one source of calories in America is soda, in the form of HFCS.

 Food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (table sugar) to corn syrup in the 1970s when they discovered that HFCS was not only far cheaper to make, it's about 20% sweeter than table sugar. HFCS is either 42% or 55% fructose, and sucrose is 50% fructose, so it's really a wash in terms of sweetness. Still, this switch drastically altered the average American diet. By USDA estimates, about one-quarter of the calories consumed by the average American is in the form of added sugars, and most of that is HFCS. The average Westerner consumes a staggering 142 pounds a year of sugar! And the very products most people rely on to lose weight -- the low-fat diet foods -- are often the ones highest in fructose. Making matters worse, all of the fiber has been removed from these processed foods, so there is essentially no nutritive value at all.

 Fructose Metabolism Basics
 Without getting into the very complex biochemistry of carbohydrate metabolism, it is important to understand some differences about how your body handles glucose versus fructose. I will be publishing a major article about this in the next couple of months, which will get much more into the details, but for our purpose here, I will just summarize the main points. Dr. Robert Lustig[i] Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, has been a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism. His work has highlighted some major differences in how different sugars are broken down and used: After eating fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent. Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is "burned up" immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat. The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this. When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat! The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout. Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain's communication with leptin, resulting in overeating. If anyone tries to tell you "sugar is sugar," they are way behind the times. As you can see, there are major differences in how your body processes each one. The bottom line is: fructose leads to increased belly fat, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome -- not to mention the long list of chronic diseases that directly result.

 Panic in the Corn Fields
 As the truth comes out about HFCS, the Corn Refiners Association is scrambling to convince you that their product is equal to table sugar, that it is "natural" and safe. Of course, many things are "natural" -- cocaine is natural, but you wouldn't want to use 142 pounds of it each year. The food and beverage industry doesn't want you to realize how truly pervasive HFCS is in your diet -- not just from soft drinks and juices, but also in salad dressings and condiments and virtually every processed food. The introduction of HFCS into the Western diet in 1975 has been a multi-billion dollar boon for the corn industry. The FDA classifies fructose as GRAS: Generally Regarded As Safe. Which pretty much means nothing and is based on nothing. There is plenty of data showing that fructose is not safe -- but the effects on the nation's health have not been immediate. That is why we are just now realizing the effects of the last three decades of nutritional misinformation. As if the negative metabolic effects are not enough, there are other issues with fructose that disprove its safety: More than one study has detected unsafe mercury levels in HFCS[ii]. Crystalline fructose (a super-potent form of fructose the food and beverage industry is now using) may contain arsenic, lead, chloride and heavy metals. Nearly all corn syrup is made from genetically modified corn, which comes with its own set of risks. The FDA isn't going to touch sugar, so it's up to you to be proactive about your own dietary choices.

 What's a Sugarholic to Do?
 Ideally, I recommend that you avoid as much sugar as possible. This is especially important if you are overweight or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. I also realize we don't live in a perfect world, and following rigid dietary guidelines is not always practical or even possible. If you want to use a sweetener occasionally, this is what I recommend: Use the herb stevia. Use organic cane sugar in moderation. Use organic raw honey in moderation. Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners, which can damage your health even more quickly than fructose. Avoid agave syrup since it is a highly processed sap that is almost all fructose. Your blood sugar will spike just as it would if you were consuming regular sugar or HFCS. Agave's meteoric rise in popularity is due to a great marketing campaign, but any health benefits present in the original agave plant are processed out. Avoid so-called energy drinks and sports drinks because they are loaded with sugar, sodium and chemical additives. Rehydrating with pure, fresh water is a better choice. If you or your child is involved in athletics, I recommend you read my article Energy Rules for some great tips on how to optimize your child's energy levels and physical performance through good nutrition.

 What Else Does the Science Say about the Health Impact of Fructose?
 According to, scientific studies have linked fructose to about 30 different specific diseases and health problems. Select the hyperlinks provided to review how fructose may:
 Raise your blood pressure, and cause nocturnal hypertension
 Insulin resistance / Type 2 Diabetes
 Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Raise your uric acid levels, which can result in gout and/or metabolic syndrome
 Accelerate the progression of chronic kidney disease
 Intracranial atherosclerosis (narrowing and hardening of the arteries in your skull)
Exacerbate cardiac abnormalities if you're deficient in copper
 Have a genotoxic effect on the colon
 Promote metastasis in breast cancer patients
Cause tubulointerstitial injury (injury to the tubules and interstitial tissue of your kidney)
 Promotes obesity and related health problems and diseases
 Promotes pancreatic cancer growth 

If you'd like to read the article at its source: