Thursday, December 31, 2009

New SSRI warning: antidepressants increase risk of stroke and death

My very first blog post was a compassionate plea to reduce your intake of pharmaceuticals. I urge you to re read that post. SSRI's are one category of pharmaceuticals that you more than likely have a choice on. There are so many proven alternatives to these drugs, I pray you seek them out.

New SSRI warning: antidepressants increase risk of stroke and death

Saturday, November 28, 2009

7 Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips

7 Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips

Great article!

http://health.msn.com/nutrition/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100246775

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Food Matters


I was thinking today about how I should post a recipe to the blog, as it's been a while since I've done so. BUT....

then I got a link sent to me from my husband, about this movie, Food Matters.

I'm still waiting on seeing Food, Inc., but between this movie, Food Inc, Supersize Me, and All Jacked Up, I do believe we are seeing a revolution taking place! Honestly, the trailer for this looked awesome, I can't wait to see it!
Amy

Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food

Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food

"Somewhere in Iowa, a pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won't bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics. The waste produced by the pig and his thousands of pen mates on the factory farm where they live goes into manure lagoons that blanket neighboring communities with air pollution and a stomach-churning stench. He's fed on American corn that was grown with the help of government subsidies and millions of tons of chemical fertilizer."

Friendly Bacteria Blunt Anti-Nutrient Action

Friendly Bacteria Blunt Anti-Nutrient Action

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Revelation

Russell M. Nelson:
For each of you to receive revelation unique to your own needs and
responsibilities, certain guidelines prevail. The Lord asks you to develop
“faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God.”
Then with your firm “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience,
brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, [and] diligence,” you may
ask, and you will receive; you may knock, and it will be opened unto you.

Revelation from God is always compatible with His eternal law. It never
contradicts His doctrine. It is facilitated by proper reverence for Deity. .
.

Revelation need not all come at once. It may be incremental. “Saith the Lord
God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon
precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken
unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn
wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more.” Patience and
perseverance are part of our eternal progression.

(General Conference, October 2009)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Feedback Please!

Hello all!

We've set up a new account for those who have Amazon Prime, which allows people to receive free shipping, which is great but it required us to make a whole new listing for the book. This means all the reviews submitted on my past amazon listing are not on the Amazon Prime one, so.....

Go to http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0981694918
Scroll halfway down and click 'create your own review'

Additionally, a digital version is in the works!

In Health,
Amy

Monday, October 19, 2009

Holistic LDS Living Conference!


Please check out, and mark your calendars for, the Holistic LDS Living Conference!

Sat., June 25, 2010
South Jordan, UT!

www.holisticLDSliving.com

Friday, October 2, 2009

Are Organic's Really Worth It?

Sept - the first tomatoes and bell peppers of the season from our organic garden...finally!

The short answer....yes.

Once I understood that I had a choice in produce, I was always a champion, albeit a fair weather consumer until a few years ago, of eating organics. On a very basic, surface level, it just didn't make sense to me. Spraying and eating artificial poisons....duh, there might be a problem somewhere, right? Also, I thought, we've survived this long without poisons in our food supply, why do we need them?

Granted, people would give me arguments galore about how conventional foods are no big deal, and actually helpful to the planet and people. I had an aunt and uncle who had a peach farm and gee, all these chemicals and gmo's are going to help feed the hungry around the world, right? That's the line they had been fed and regurgetated onto my parents. But something in me never bought it, even though I wasn't well versed on the subject.

Luckily, many studies have come out, spelling out in detail, not only the risks of conventional food and gmo food, but the benefits of organic food. I won't delve into the risks of spraying and sprayed food, but will highlight some points about organic food:
  • organic foods contain, on average, 25 percent higher concentration of 11 nutrients than their conventional counterparts.***

  • Organic fruit and vegetables contain up to 40 percent more antioxidants**

  • Organic produce had higher levels of beneficial minerals like iron and zinc**

  • Milk from organic herds contained up to 90 percent more antioxidants**

  • Organic blueberry has higher fructose and glucose levels, malic acid, total phenolics, total anthocyanins and antioxidant activity***

  • concentrations of dimethyl metabolites, one OP metabolite group, is six times higher for children eating conventional diets.***

  • The average level of salicylic acid (responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of aspirin, has been shown to help prevent hardening of the arteries and bowel cancer) in 11 brands of organic vegetable soup was 117 nanograms per gram, compared with 20 nanograms per gram in 24 types of non-organic soup. The highest level (1,040 nanograms per gram) was found in an organic carrot and coriander soup. Four of the conventional soups had no detectable levels of salicylic acid.***

  • organically grown oranges contained up to 30 percent more vitamin C than those grown conventionally.***

  • 27% more vitamin C, 21.1% more iron, 29.3% more magnesium, and 13.6% more phosphorus. In addition, organic products had 15.1% less nitrates than their conventional counterparts. ***

  • Five servings of organic vegetables (lettuce, spinach, carrots, potatoes and cabbage) provides the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for men and women, while their conventional counterparts do not.***

  • Organic lemonade contains ten times more eriocitrin (an antioxidant) than a glass of its conventional counterpart. ***

  • Organic lime juice had three times the level of eriocitrin compared to conventional lime juice.***

  • organic tomatoes contain on average 79 and 97 percent more quercetin and kaempferol aglycones (beneficial flavonoids) that their conventionally grown counterparts.***

  • grass-based organic cattle diets reduce the risk of E. coli contamination while grain-based conventional diets increase the risk.***

  • Antioxidant levels in sustainably (using fertilizer but no herbicides or pesticides) grown corn are 58.5 percent higher than conventionally grown corn.***

  • organically and sustainably grown marionberries have approximately 50 percent more antioxidants than conventionally grown berries***

  • Sustainably and organically grown strawberries have about 19 percent more antioxidants than their conventional counterparts.***

  • organic milk contains 68 percent more omega-3 fatty acids, on average, than conventional milk.***

  • mothers consuming mostly organic milk and meat products have about 50 percent higher levels of rumenic acid, a conjugated linoleic acid, in their breast milk.***

  • Improved immune system status*

  • Better sleeping habits*

  • Less weight and were slimmer than rats fed other diets*

  • Higher vitamin E content in their blood (for organically fed rats)*

Buy This, Not That

I understand that going completely organic is not practical for everyone, due to cost and/or availability. When I tell people, though, that eating 1 organic apple is like eating 1.5 conventional apples in terms of nutrition, their ears perk up just a bit.

I have such a hard time getting my 4 year old to eat any fruit or vegetable, so when I can get one in her, you bet I'm going to make sure it packs as much punch as it possible can. I make her chocolate chip banana bread (from my A World of Wisdom Cookbook, minus the chocolate chips....look, she'll only eat it if there's chocolate in it, okay?!) with only the finest, organic half rotted bananas I can ;). And the peanut and almond butter in the Better Than Rice Krispie Treats (WOW cookbook again) are with freshly ground organic nuts. That girl needs all the nutriets she can get.

But, if you feel like you have to choose, here is a list of produce that you should always buy organic and has highest pestitcide load:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
The produce with the lowest pesticide load aka, they are alright to buy conventionally:
  • Broccoli
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Eggplant
  • Asparagas
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Peas
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Mango
  • Onion
Non-organic meats actually have far higher concentrations of pesticides than all of the fruits and vegetables. And the highest concentration of pesticides is actually in non-organic butter.

So, the heirarchy priority to buy organic is:

Butter

Meat
Milk
Produce

I've been spoiled since moving to Northern Utah in that I can get raw, grass fed, organic milk and meat pretty easily. Can I tell you, there IS a difference in not only the way it tastes, but the way it makes us all feel. If you can get it, use it.

I have to admit, before I researched for this article, organic butter and orange juice weren't high on my organic purchasing list, but they are now. One of the biggest deterants to buying organic is cost, which I understand. But you have to look at it as an investment, and that you will be lowering your health care costs buying ingesting organics. And if you are eating in harmony with the WOW, you won't be buying as much meat so your dollars can be converted into buying higher quality organic produce and grain.
Yes, I am a big champion of organics. The only thing it could possibly hurt is your wallet, and that's only in the short term. Slowly, but surely, organic costs will come down as more consumers switch to organics, and I am anxious for the day that we make converts out of everyone. And that uncle and aunt of mine? They are no longer peach farming. He has a very severe, deblitating form of alzheimer's, which is one risk of heavy exposure to pesticides. It makes me sad, but it's a very real lesson in the importance of giving your body only the best.

*Journal Agricultural Food Chemistry February 26, 2003;51(5):1237-41,
**Quality Low Input Food Study
***Organic Trade Association

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Deliciousness of Homemade Polenta

photo courtesy of mimicooks.wordpress.com

I made my Black Bean and Polenta Casserole tonight. It is one of my most favorite dinners ever. Because I am lazy, I would often buy the store bought polenta, even though I knew the yumminess of homemade.
Homemade polenta really is worlds apart from store bought. It is quite easy, just requires time. It so much more rich and dimensional and you can add all sorts of lovely spices. Store bought just....stinks. It's like grainy rubber. I mean, in a pinch it'll do, but honestly, just trust me. Make it yourself. Thank me later.

Polenta (pg 61 in A World of Wisdom Cookbook)

1 C fine grind yellow cornmeal or grits
3 C milk or milk substitute
1/4 C parmesan (optional)
1 T butter
Fresh herbs as desired

In a 3 qt saucepan boil milk and butter. Turn off heat and whisk in cornmeal, then parmesan for 4 minutes until thickened. Add herbs and cover. Let it sit until it is 'set up' (about 20-30 minutes). Unmold it onto a cutting board and cut 3/4 inch slices. Saute, broil or bake slices and add toppings.

Polenta and beans (pg 71 in the cookbook)
3/4 C chopped cilantro
1 C diced green chiles
1/4 C salsa verde
3 minced garlic cloves
1.5 tsp cumin
16 oz of polenta (about 1.5 times the recipe above)
1/2 C whipping cream
1.5 C black beans or navu beans
2-3 C shredded monterey jack cheese

Combine 1/2 C cilantro, chiles, salsa, garlic and cumin in a middium bowl. Arrange polenta slices on the bottom of a greased 8 X 8 casserole dish. Drizzle half the cream over it, top with half the beans, then half the chile mixture. Sprinkle with half the cheese and repeat layering. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes at 450. Uncover and bake till top is browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What in the World are Probiotics?


Pro biotic: For (pro) life (biotic)
Antibiotic: Anti (against) life (biotic)

I first really understood what probiotics were when one of my kids a few years ago took an antibiotic for an abscess. With everything in me, I didn't want her eczema to flare up again, so I gave her a probiotic. Since then, our family takes probiotics almost daily. I use it for cavity prevention, after someone has thrown up to get the good bacteria flowing again, before someone throws up to get rid of the bad bugs, indigestion, and as an illness preventative.

You've seen the ads. Probiotics this, probiotics that. Yet, when I suggest them to people, they still give me a blank stare like they haven't heard of them.

Probiotics are incredibly important for you immunity, your digestion, your skin, really everything.

Why do you need them?

Short explination: Your body has a balance of bacteria in your system. The good bacteria keeps you healthy. The 'bad' (I put bad in quotes because it's not that the bacteria is so much bad as it can become bad, like my little 4 year old when she wants candy and I won't give it to her), so the bad bacteria can over run the body when you don't have enough of the good bacteria and wreck havoc on your system, causing all sorts of symptoms like yeast infections, fatigue, brain fogginess, eczema, lowered immunity, etc.

Probiotics are basically your good bacteria. The bad bacteria, namely yeast, can literally eat you from the inside out if it's overrun in your system. The role of yeast in our body, is that it primarily helps your body decompose after you have died. But if you have too much of it and not enough good bacteria, it can help you decompose while you are alive.

Why does our good bacteria die off? We are inundated with antibiotics....
stress, processed food, literal antibiotic medicines, other pharmaceuticals, vaccines, plastics...we are all exposed to toxins that kill off our good bacteria.

There are tons of studies on probiotics, like how it increase brain function, immune function by up to 70%, prevent tooth decay, improve behavior, improve digestion.

Here are some studies to whet your whistle:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ColdandFluNews/story?id=8167051&page=1
http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE56Q4PX20090727
http://www.naturalnews.com/026802_probiotic_probiotics_disease.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/026772_colic_bacteria_health.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/024968_probiotics_probiotic_health.html
http://mizar5.com/probiotics.html

With the cold and flu season fast approaching, if you do nothing else to boost your immune system, incorporate probiotics into your routine. They come in many forms:

pill
liquid
chewable's
powder
food, like some yogurts, sauerkraut, and miso

You can also make your own probiotics quite easily
and inexpensively, but whatever you get, make sure that your probiotics are refrigerated. It dies in heat, which is why people who live in hot climates need even more supplementation!

Here is a short list of symptoms caused by too much bad bacteria and not enough good:

colic....lots and lots of colic
cradle cap that tuned into a lot of dandruff
eczema/dry skin
extensive diaper rash
prolonged wheezing after illness
psoriasis
unexplained anger
joint pain
fibromyalga
digestive problems
bloating
cramping (during menses or not)
diarrhea
earaches
asthma
allergies
athletes foot
gluten and or casein intolerance/Celiac disease
fatigue
IBS/Chrohn's
endometriosis/PCOS
mastitis (breastfeeding infection)
thrush
sore/cracked bleeding nipples during nursing

To remedy this, I suggest you take the Cand-e-Cleanse from www.herbalogie.com and a good probiotic and fish oil supplement, like Barlean's Lemon Swirl (My kids fight over who gets the fish oil first, it literally tastes like liquid Lemonhead candies). I had to tincture my own cand-e-cleanse formula (and added a little bit of sweet cinnamon to offset the bitterness) to give to my kids, but once their gut was in check, the difference was amazing! I can always tell just by their behavior alone when their gut is off balance now, it's that drastic.

If you have experience with probiotics, please post which brands you and your kids like best!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Depression: Detoxification Outweighs Drugs

Depression: Detoxification Outweighs Drugs

I had a hefty response to my very fist post on this blog, with some of the responders asking how to get off of anti depressants.

So, I give you this article.

There was a lot of things mentioned in this article, and I want to give feedback on my personal experience with some:

Mercury: I had some big allergic reactions as a preteen to mercury and subsequently got some of my fillings replaced. After that, I lost some weight, slept much better, had more energy and was a happier kid. Mercury is a huge toxin that needs to be avoided!

Aluminum: I reduced and have no eliminated my aluminum exposure after I heard rumblings of aluminum being connected to Alzheimer's (Which my Grandma had for years and years) as a teen. This heavy metal, along with mercury, is very damaging. Both cross the blood/brain barrier. Again, avoid it!

Candida (yeast) overgrowth: holy cow, this is a pervasive problem in our country, something like 80% of the population has an overgrowth leading to many varied symptoms. I have personal experience in balancing my yeast levels that I could write a whole blog post about, but long story short, balancing your yeast will make a WORLD of difference. And it can be easy!

Tryptophan: love this supplement. When my husband began taking it during his illness, all of the sudden he could sleep all through the night and took the edge off of his mood swings. BIG fan of tryptofan! Eat your nuts!!!

Depression: Detoxification Outweighs Drugs

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Come Here Honey, and Give Me Some Sugar


This article was my first ever newsletter entry, and it's such a prevalent topic, I thought I'd repost. I wrote this back when Wild Oats was Wild Oats, and not Whole Foods, so make adjustments where mentioned. It's long, but good!

Ah, sugar…..One of the topics most brought up with me when talking with someone who wants to make a healthier switch. And, rightly so. We Americans have become addicted to sugar, and the thought of living without it can send people into a panic. With the holidays fast approaching, and sugar ready to flood our parties, stores, and mindsets, it leaves many wondering ‘What am I to do?’ ‘How can I fend off my kid’s (and sometimes, spouses) whining and begging when they will soon be practically swimming in opportunity to eat sugar right and left?’

Back in 2000 I made the commitment to live the WOW, but it wasn’t until 2001 that I really put a lot of commitment into the sugar aspect of my diet. I was then pregnant with Sage and at the prompting of my good friend Jonelle, I decided to make a commitment to the Lord. We both decided that for one year, we would eat no refined, white sugar. Natural sugars were fine, but none of the white stuff. Keep in mind I was pregnant and the holidays were coming up…A double whammy. How could I pass up my ultimate comfort food at Christmas…my mom’s cinnamon rolls? Real convenient timing, eh? What if I had some pregnancy craving I just couldn’t resist? But making sacrifices isn’t about convenience, so I sucked it up and prayed for help.

Needless to say, I fell off the wagon about 3 times, and each time, because I had made a spiritual contract to avoid sugar, I paid the price with illness. After that year, though, I had a peek into what addicts go through, and never again will I cold heartedly pass judgment on them. The first 3 days were horrible. I went through the cupboards and refrigerator looking for sugar I knew wasn’t there, because I didn’t buy anything with the white stuff. I felt like a crazy person…like a crack addict looking for a hit. Maybe somehow I’d find a stray chocolate chip. Maybe, just maybe, Scott had hidden a candy bar somewhere in the house. Could the girls have dropped an M &M between the couch cushions? I’m glad there were no hidden cameras in my house, I was embarrassed for myself!

The first 3 weeks I thought about sugar all the time. The first 3 months was a lesson in self control and avoiding discussions about sweets. But after the first 3 months, and the holidays, it actually became second nature, although a point of confusion for most people that asked about by commitment. So, anyone who thinks they are not addicted to white sugar, think again. I won’t go into the chemical structure of white sugar, but when all is said and done, after looking at the science, it is clear that white sugar is an addictive substance.

One of the excuses I get as to why people can’t stop using white sugar is the cost of alternative and natural sugars. I address this issue in two ways. First off, once you start eating healthier, you crave sugar less, therefore your ‘demand’ for sweeteners diminishes greatly, and you are not buying sweeteners at the rate you once were anyway. For instance, I find when I have an all fruit smoothie in the morning, not only do I not crave a sweet for the majority of the day, but in fact I often turn them down. Secondly, if you really wanted to make the switch, you would make it work financially. You know, meat costs a pretty penny, yet I never hear anyone complaining how they can’t afford to buy meat. They just make it work, right? And in that vain, per the WOW’s instruction, we are to restrict our meat intake as it is, so just take the money set aside for meat and put it towards natural sweeteners. Also, if you pray to find cheap sources of natural sweeteners, believe me you will find them. If you are living the WOW, it’s that whole “hidden treasures of knowledge” thing that the Lord promises in D&C 89.

Natural sweeteners not only can act and taste just like refined sugar, but some, if not most, have a definite medicinal benefit, stevia and xylitol to name a few. If you have subscribed to this newsletter, I assume you are motivated enough about health to know at least a handful of harmful things white sugar does, so I’ll spare you the preaching. Instead, let me point you to the alternatives to white sugar, as well as my feedback on a few of them. These are just what I would use in baking and I will list these in order of my favorites:

1. Honey: I love honey. My third born's middle name is Honey (after my Grandma, who’s birthday she was born on, but it’s a nice coincidence that I love honey. Plus it’s fun to say, “Come here, Sage Honey”) It comes in tons of varieties and also has many medicinal properties. I prefer raw honey, because the heating/pasteurization kills many of the nutrients and enzymes. I also like raw honey because it’s sure to be organic. Conventional honey is gathered by bees from plants sprayed with pesticides and chemicals and those chemicals end up in the honey we eat. Further, conventional bee keepers use sulfa compounds and antibiotics on the bees regularly. At the end of the season when they are ready to extract the honey, conventional bee keepers will kill the bees with calcium cyanide and carbolic acid. Organic bee keepers don't do that; they work with nature. The bees gather nectar from organic plants. Since bees can fly around a certain area, the entire radius must be free of pesticides. The plants depend upon the bees for pollination. This furthers the entire organic process! Supporting organic honey supports our earth.

2. Sucanat: This word comes from the term Sugar Cane Natural. I first found out about this in 1999 from a random little healthy living newsletter. When I brought it home, I had my husband taste it and he went a little nuts. “Where did you get this?! This is the stuff we used to eat in Brazil. It was the only sugar they really had.” Also, I couldn’t keep the girls away from it – they loved it! I knew I had a winner. It was also relatively affordable compared to other natural sweeteners. How it’s made: After sugar cane is harvested, it is pressed to squeeze out the juice. The juice is then filtered and evaporated to remove excess water. The resulting syrup is then crystallized, and it is rich in molasses flavor plus the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements found in the sugar cane plant remain as a source of nutrition. Sucanat is rich in minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium) trace elements (chromium, copper, zinc, and other) and vitamins. Like other whole foods such as brown rice and whole wheat, Sucanat contains up to 3% mineral salts. Sucanat can be used as a one for one replacement for white and brown sugar. The only down side is that it turns everything brown. It also has a more subtle sweetness than refined sugars, which I personally like, but others don’t. Some also refer to this as evaporated cane juice, but you will see that these are two different things. Rapadura is another name for this product. I usually wait for a sale on the bulk sucanat at Wild Oats and then stock up.

Honey and Sucanat are pretty much the only sweeteners I use, but in a pinch, or if I’m feeling like I want something different; the following is what I reach for next:

1. Agave: LLLOOOVVEEE Agave. I first tried this about a year and half ago at Young Living Farms in Mona, UT. It is naturally "tapped" like maple syrup. It comes from the Agave cactus, native to Mexico, and best known for its use in making tequila. It is similar in consistency to honey but pours more easily. It dissolves nicely in liquid. It is 10% glucose and 90% fructose, but this is fructose in its natural form (unlike high fructose corn syrup). It is absorbed more slowly by the body since it is lower on the glycemic index, and therefore eliminates highs and lows of regular sugar. It does have a slight flavor to it but the lighter varieties have less than the darker varieties. It contains minerals like Iron, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium. You can find it at health food stores, but it is a pricier item.

2. Date sugar: I started using this in 2002, when I would get it from a date farmer at the farmer’s market. It is intensely sweet and very granulated, similar in texture to refined sugar, but darker like sucanat. It is created from grinding dried dates. It is sweet with a wonderful flavor and can substitute regular sugar in recipes 1:1 while imparting more flavor, fiber, and nutrients. In fact it contains all the vitamins, minerals and fiber found in the fruit. However, it does not dissolve in liquid like sugar so it cannot be used in drinks. I bought a lot of this at the farmer’s market, so I am unclear where else it is carried.

3. Xylitol (pronounced Zylitol): I just found out about this one this year as a result in my quest to find ways to remineralize my girls’ teeth. Found naturally in fruits like strawberries, raspberries and plums, and trees such as birch, xylitol is also produced in our own bodies. Xylitol is from a group of sweeteners that are often used in food called sugar alcohols or polyols. These in fact are not either sugar or alcohols, but natural compounds formed from sugars. Not only does this look exactly like white sugar, it tastes very much like it, too. Also, many studies have found xylitol to be great for teeth and preventing cavities, but also good for diabetics. Recent studies show that
Xylitol destroys bacteria that may cause ear infections and ulcers and may even help strengthen bones. My only gripe, besides the price, is that it left somewhat a of a funky after taste when I made cookies with it, but that may have been a fluke, so I will keep on experimenting with this. But my girls LOVE the gum and tooth gel made from it, under the brand name Spry. You can also get this in syrup form. Available at the health food store.

So if none of these float your boat, below I have listed other natural sweeteners. Personally, I have no desire to use any other baking sweeteners, but please let me know your experience with any others!

1. Molasses (I do use this when called for in recipes). There is blackstrap molasses, which is ridiculously high in magnesium and copper, but the molasses that most people bake with is not blackstrap molasses, and while although still nutritious, should not be confused with blackstrap. Check the label, though, as you can get nutritious baking molasses

2. Maple Syrup and/or sugar (evaporated syrup crystals…like the ones left at the mouth of the maple syrup jar). Maple is incredibly high in potassium and calcium (better than milk!).

3. Sorghum (extracted from the sorghum cane (related to millet) and is similar to molasses in consistency, though the color and flavor is lighter.) High in niacin and iron.

4. Amasake (made by fermenting sweet brown rice.)

5. Stevia (not my favorite, but some people loves this plant leaf as it has a great nutritional and medicinal benefit)

Now, as far as store bought sweets, you can actually eat quite well buying baked goods, cookies and what not made from natural sweeteners from the grocery store. Typically evaporated cane juice and fruit juice sweeteners are used.

I want to give you a head’s up about evaporated cane juice, though. While although better and less refined than white sugar, this can also be really refined, and therefore not the first choice, in my opinion. Sometimes Sucanat is also called evaporated cane juice, so you need to be savvy in that regard, they are not the same thing. This processed cane juice is also known as Turbinado sugar and Demera sugar, Florida Crystals and Raw Sugar (these are steam-cleaned rather than bleached like white sugar).

Additionally, when it comes to fruit juice sweetened items, again, while although better than white sugar, when juice is concentrated, it is cooked down and therefore not only are the beneficial nutrients destroyed in cooking, but it turns from a complex sugar to a simple sugar. This is also the case with Brown rice syrup (made from fermented brown rice and sprouted whole barley) and barley malt syrup (made from whole barley which is sprouted to break down some of the carbohydrate into the simple sugar maltose.) Still, I’d eat these any day over white sugar.

Just as a side note, the term refined, as used in our food chain, has an interesting history. Several centuries ago, refined sugars were expensive to produce, and were also taxed at a higher rate. Therefore, only the affluent could afford them. Refined goods became a symbol of status. People who had access to these foods were called “refined” people. Interestingly, this affluent sector of the population also had a disproportionate rate of disease and illness as compared to the lower classes that only had access to unrefined, natural foods. There appear to be references to the evils of sugar as early as the 1800s when rations in the military were compared to standard civilian meals and it was determined that refined foods had a potentially negative impact on health.

I’m not even going to give the topic of artificial sweeteners any time. I hope everyone knows to stay away from these poisons at all cost. Yes, that includes Splenda.

So, eat well my fellow WOW junkies! You can have your cake and eat it, too. Please be sure to check out the web links in my sources as well.
Amy
Sources:
http://www.naturesflavors.com/default.php?cPath=164
http://www.deliciousorganics.com/Controversies/sweet.htm
http://www.janethull.com/newsletter/0705/organic-sucanat-natural-sweetener.php
http://www.everydiet.org/articles/sugar_and_alternatives.htm
http://www.wholesomesweeteners.com/
http://www.xylitol.com.au/

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chlorine in Your Baby Carrots

Chlorine in Your Baby Carrots

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A Principle with a Promise


Ezra Taft Benson:
The Word of Wisdom is a law—a principle with promise. If we obey the provisions of the law, we receive the promises. If we do not, there will be both temporal and spiritual consequences.

. . . In this revelation the Lord counsels us to use meat sparingly. I have often felt that the Lord is further counseling us in this revelation against indiscriminately killing animals, for He has said elsewhere in scripture, "Wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need." (D&C 49:21.)

Wheat is particularly singled out as being good for man, as is the fruit of the vine—vegetables and all fruits. This is the wisdom of the Lord on the matter of sound nutrition and diet.

("A Principle with a Promise," Ensign, May 1983, 53)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Study: Caffeine may boost miscarriage risk


Study: Caffeine may boost miscarriage risk

The Kaiser study looked at 1,063 women in the early stage of pregnancy. Among women who consumed no caffeine, the miscarriage rate was 12.5 percent. In comparison, 25.5 percent of women who consumed more than 200 mg of caffeine a day miscarried.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Doctrine of Signatures

I've gotten a good email a few times this past year, so maybe you've seen it before, but it's definitely worth posting. Hats off to whoever compiled it!

It highlights a fascinating thing that God has done with some of His creations. He made them look like the organ they treat. That, in a nutshell, is the Doctrine of Signatures...that God has signed his creations. This is a very ancient theory, one that is pretty useful, in fact. Referred to in the classical period of Rome as the "Law of Similarities" it is now called by scientists, "Teleological Nutritional Targeting".

So, enjoy this great bit of info regarding the Doctrine of Signatures:




Peanuts have a profound effect on the testicles and sexual libido. Peanuts were banned as a food for males by the church ofin during the middle ages. Most people don't realize that arginine, the main component of Viagra, comes from peanuts.



A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and science shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes




A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.




Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.





A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.




Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.


Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.




Eggplant, Avocados and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? ... It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).



Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.




Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.





Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries and testicles.


Grapefruits, Oranges, and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.


Onions look like body cells. Today's research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Had a Love Affair Last May....With Dirt.


I really don't profess to be a great gardener - or really a gardener at all. Don't ask me to tell you what to plant next to each other, how to pollinate (see my friend's hilarious post on pollinating) or when to know if something is ready to pick. In fact, the only reason why I tried gardening years ago, is because I knew I 'should' do it, but primarily because the gardening book I bought had a money back guarantee. I was sure I was going to kill everything like I had before, so I wanted to be sure I only lost time, not money.

I really had no plans to do a garden this year. I knew the time (even though it's a short time with this method, it's intense) and expense - self imposed, mind you - involved in setting up my lazy man's garden, so I just scratched it off of this year's list. Until, my neighbor Mia asked me if I wanted to split a plot with her. We live in an HOA that provides organic community gardens. Initially I was opposed to community gardens, for who knows why, but the thought of splitting our time and cost and still getting results??? I couldn't resist. I sold her on my method, and we went to work. If we didn't have to dig out the plot we had, it would have been no problem, but we spent 75% of our time digging that weed infested dirt out and hauling in new compost, peat moss, worms, bone meal and mulch.3 of the 5 garden slaves, I mean fairies

In the middle of it all, I took a breather, looked at this rich, dark, moist, good smelling compost and fell in love. I loved the way it looked, felt, smelled, and I loved what it was going to give me. I bent down, picked up a handful and rolled it around. When I would get home, I would think about it and wonder if the worms loved it as much as I did. I was almost jealous of them. As I found myself going on and on about my soil to other people who gave me blank stares, in my head I knew I sounded a little mad, but it was almost as if someone else was controlling my mouth. I couldn't shut up about it.

We got all of our seedlings in, watered faithfully and waited with baited breath. When, oh when, were we going to eat our first pepper or tomato or pea??? I had complete faith in my system. It promises no weeding and no tilling. Just water and add compost every so often. I did this method for 2 years in Las Vegas with great success, so I knew it would be a no fail in Utah, right?

Our June was wacky. Lots and lots of rain. I would go to water occasionally and be disappointed that the only thing really progressing was the spearmint and one little bell pepper. I was none too happy.

I didn't do all this work for one miniture bell pepper!

Then July came! Wow...our garden took off. I apologized to my soil for doubting it's power and had renewed faith. Last Sunday I went to water, and thought I'd give one of our zucchini's another 3-4 days to mature. I came back 1.5 days later and it had doubled! The peas, the cilantro....ah, it is so very satisfying.

I wish everyone could know the joy of investing in a garden. It really holds many lessons. Honestly, the book makes it pretty fail proof, and you could technically do it for free or close to it if you planned far enough ahead, but the money and time I shelled out has already been worth it in teaching my girls the joys of working hard, planting, being patient and savoring all our hard work in one bite. Before this, my girls wouldn't touch a pea, now they fight over who gets to split the shell and eat the first pea. You'd think it was gold.

Well, that little book is a gem. It's called Lasagna Gardening . I look forward to next year, when there will be no work involved in getting the soil ready and I will actually start my own seeds. If you've never gardened before, or have been previously traumatized by a garden gone wrong, don't give up! Honestly, this book is Gardening for Dummies.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Declare Your Independence.....From Pharmaceuticals

It is the 4th of July. I love the 4th. As I reflected for 30 seconds today on the freedoms I enjoy (I have 5 kids and a husband, you know....my reflections are short lived these days), I thought of the typical stuff....

Freedom to worship freely
Freedom to educate my children how I see fit
Freedom to wear stripes with polka dots

I also thought of one of the freedoms I enjoy most....my health. When you are healthy you have the freedom to think clearly, move easily, and be closer to God. The Word of Wisdom guarantees that. This line of thinking led me to appreciating the fact that my family has always been pharmaceutical free, if you don't count the 3 times we've taken antibiotics in the last 14 years. Once for a postpartum UTI 13 years ago, once for celulitis for dd #3, and once for an abscess for dd #4. All of which I wouldn't have done, given the knowledge I have now.

I am well aware that some people need their meds for life threatening conditions, and in no way am I saying that everyone everywhere needs to replace or drop their meds.

But when we talk about food storage and living without our modern conveniences, it never fails that someone says, "What am I going to do about the medications I'm taking?" To which I've yet to hear a suitable answer.

My mom takes about 7 pharmaceuticals today. At one time she was taking 11. I caught my parents at a choice time in their lives where allopathic medicine had failed them and they had turned to nature and God instead. Apparently, I was the only one out of us 6 kids that caught this window, and boy am I grateful. The last time I remember seeing an allopathic doctor was when I was 5 or 6 at the pediatrician for an ear infection. From then on out, I saw an MD turned homeopath that was in our ward.

I woke up one morning at age 11 and really struggled to walk. My legs were in pain when I did. Sometimes in the morning I would be so dizzy that I couldn't see anything but fuzz and I was a terrible insomniac. They took me to Dr. Royal, who I didn't know wasn't 'a regular' doctor, but it was fun going to him. He'd give me vials to hold, push down on my arm, read my feedback on this archiac computer. Turns out I had major allergies. I'd go home, inject myself with shots (which I didn't know were homeopathics), and call it good. This went on for a year and then my allergies were gone and I was fine. My parents also got involved in Sunrider at this time from my aunt and uncle, an MLM that marketed Chinese herbs. So, I'd take herbs and homeopathics, not really knowing I was doing anything out of the norm. My mom never explained anything to me. She herself had very limited knowledge about what she was doing, so I can't blame her too much for my lack of knowledge.

My mom got in a car accident about 7 or 8 years ago, which got her scared and started on the domino of drugs she's on now. Granted, she only hurt her wrist, but you know, she's older so she has to take osteoporosis drugs, right? Those gave her a heart problem, so now she's on heart meds and has had multiple heart surgeries, which messes with her potassium levels, so she has to take a drug for that, of course or else she'll faint. Also, she's always had trouble sleeping, but the meds give her even more trouble, so she takes a sleeping pill. The sleeping pill does this or that, so she has to take another drug to treat that. You know the drill.

So, I asked my mom...
"Mom, what happens when you can't get your meds anymore?"
"Well, we do have a 15 day supply."
"Okay, but what happens after that?"
"I don't know. We just pray, I guess. Or maybe I'll just will lay down and die."

That's the spirit, mom. Unfortunately, I don't think that attitude is so uncommon, though. It makes me sad. And sure, I guess that would be an option, one that some might willingly take, but what if the Lord won't allow it? What if you give up, try to die, but the Lord has other plans? Or what if others end up depending on you for their survival but you're too sick to do anything?

I don't know. It's not a scenario I like thinking about, to be honest. To see all the pain, suffering and chaos happening when people can't get their drugs and they are going through withdrawals. I fear the government will implement some sort of trade with these desperate people that they will feel forced to take.

'Give us your food storage, we'll give you you're meds.'
'Let us implant a chip in you and you can have your meds.'
You see where I'm going with this...it's not lovely thinking.

Like I said, my family has manged to stay pharma free our entire marriage. Not by luck or chance, but through work, study, prayer and blessings. When I tell people that my kids have never had an ear ache, only two of them have had antibiotics once, my husband took no meds during his serious illness, I think half of them don't believe me. I'm not saying this to boast or brag, but to give hope and encouragement.

Maybe you can't go off of all your meds, but you probably can go off of some. For those with major illnesses, like thyroid or heart problems, I always advise to go off of meds under the care of a trained and skilled alternative practitioner. But, on this 4th of July, give yourself back your freedom and replace those meds with better living, herbs, homeopathics, essential oils, massage...whatever your chosen modality is. And for heaven's sake (literally) clean up your diet!! I've seen many people do it and improve their lives. You CAN reduce your meds or be pharma free!

Even if that day never comes that you can't get your meds, you will have given yourself and your family multiple blessings in becoming healthy and liberated. It's peace of mind knowing that the only person you depend on for your health and wellbeing is God and the bounties from the earth.

In Health,
Amy