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Inquiring minds want to know! What healthy suggestions are on the list today? Stop by frequently for the lastest listing of healthy tips, ideas and resources.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hidden Names for MSG

FACT: MSG: monosodium glutamate, is a flavor enhancer added to our food to improve taste and smell, as well as being a slow poison, that creates a host of health problems.

If I asked you, "Do you intentionally purchase products with MSG?" you most likely would say NO. You might even go further and say, "I absolutely never buy anything that contains MSG!". But you may only be referring to packaging that specifically states on the label that MSG is an ingredient.

How about the products containing the hidden names of MSG? Well you might say, "What do you mean?" MSG can be found in a large amount of processed products. So familiarize yourself with the hidden names stated below and try to avoid consuming products containing MSG, you will be giving your health a boost.


Autolyzed yeast
Calcium caseinate
Glutamic acid
Hydrolyzed corn gluten
Hydrolyzed protein (any protein that is hydrolyzed)
Monopotassium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate
Natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium)
Sodium caseinate
Sodium glutemate
Textured protein
Yeast food
Yeast extract
Yeast nutrient

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Power Packed Parsley

Author: Susan Anderson

Parsley is such a commonly used culinary herb, that it is easily overlooked for its therapeutic and healing benefits. Along with turmeric, chili peppers, sage, cinnamon, oregano and ginger, it is one of top seven powerhouse herbs and spices that are frontline helping individuals to prevent illness and maintain good health. Don't let the easy availability and common use of this herb go unappreciated. Check out the list below of some of the benefits of using parsley on a regular basis.

1. Builds blood
2. Aids in digestion
3. Boosts energy
4. Combats fatigue
5. Helps the heart
6. Dissolves cholesterol in the veins
7. Supports the adrenals
8. Strengthens teeth
9 Builds bones
10. Prevents birth defects
11. Enhances nutrient absorption
12. Eliminates bloating
13. Reduces inflammation
14. Provides hormonal support
15. Helps with kidney problems
16. Provides general immune support

1. Beta carotene
2. Chlorophyll
3. Alpha-Linolenic Acid
4. Fluorine
5. Folic Acid
6. Iron
7. Protein
8. B-12
9. Vit K
10. Vit C

1. Add to sandwiches
2. Add to salads
3. Juice it
4. Just chew on it raw
5. Make a parsley tea
6. Purchase a bottle of parsley tincture

So the next time you look at parsley sitting on the side of your plate, remember that its usefulness goes beyond a decorative dish feature, so why not start adding it to your daily routine. It is just another simple, inexpensive, readily available remedy that is a long distance runner!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

All That Glitters Is Not Gold: Toxic Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid

Many of us out there are working hard to improve the quality of our life. We are trying to educate ourselves about health, wellness and the environment. We are trying to eat better, live healthier, and be more aware of our impact on the enviroment. But one area we often overlook-- the personal care products we use on our skin.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body and our first line of defense. Just as we have learned to read labels to find out what ingredients we are ingesting with our food that are helpful and which should be avoided, we must also be as diligent with label reading of our body care products. Why? Because, all that glitters is not gold! Toxic ingredients found in our personal care products, which are applied to the skin, do make their way into our bodies. Once inside, the party begins.

Read below about some of the common not-so-good for you ingredients that we are bringing into our body system, and what effect they may have on us. Maybe the next time we pick up a bottle of shampoo, lotion, cream, or cosmetic, we may decide to check out the label before buying.

Coal tar is used to treat eczema, psoriasis and other skin disorders and can be found in anti-itch creams and scalp treatments. It’s also a known carcinogen.

A lathering agent in soaps and shampoos, DEA isn’t carcinogenic by itself, but can react with other chemicals in products to create a carcinogen readily absorbed into the skin. Look for DEA in many forms, such as Cocamide DEA, Oleamide DEA and Lauramide DEA.

A frighteningly common ingredient in a variety of beauty products. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Causes allergic, irritant and contact dermatitis, headaches and chronic fatigue. The vapour is extremely irritating to the eyes, nose and throat (mucous membranes).

More and more products are being specifically labeled “paraben free.” This is because parabens, in their many forms (methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, or butylparaben) have been linked to breast cancer. The FDA claims that parabens aren’t dangerous at very low levels, but when you consider that 25,000 different cosmetics and skincare products contain these chemicals, it’s feasible to build up quite an exposure in a lifetime.

An ingredient used in hair dyes (including eyelash dye), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has run studies that show a higher incidence of cancer among hairdressers and cosmetologists; they have the highest PPD exposure. Although PPD is not approved for products that come in contact with the skin, hair dye usually gets on your forehead or ears for up to 30 minutes. Why take the risk?

The subject of much controversy because of hormone-disrupting phthalates being found in plastic baby bottles and teethers, let’s not forget that they’re a common ingredient in cosmetics, too.

A foaming agent in soaps and shampoos, SLS and SLES are skin irritants and can enter the heart, brain and liver through the skin and accumulate in these organs.

Found in nail polish and hair dye, this is a nasty one. Toluene is toxic to the nervous system, and breathing it in can cause dizziness and headaches. High exposures can lead to birth defects and miscarriage, so watch out if you work in a nail salon. Use toluene-free brands of nail polish instead.

Because of an FDA loophole, cosmetic companies can hide a whole slew of chemicals, many of which are phthalates, under the label “fragrance". The synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 200 ingredients. There is no way to know what the chemicals are, since on the label it will simply read “fragrance.” Some problems caused by these chemicals include headaches, dizziness, rash, hyper-pigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting, skin irritation, etc. Chose products that are fragrance free.

TEA is used to balance PH and is a common ingredient in “gentle” cosmetic products, but unfortunately it’s been known to cause allergic reactions, is an eye irritant and can cause dry hair and skin. With consistent use, TEA is absorbed into the body and accumulates, where it can become toxic.

A skin-bleaching ingredient, hydroquinone is banned in Japan, the European Union, and Australia, but it’s still in use in the United States and other countries worldwide. Hydroquinone is found not only in Asian and African skin-lightening products, but in creams to lighten age-spots as well. There’s some evidence that hydroquinone is a carcinogen, and is linked to ochnronosis, a condition in which grayish brown spots and bumps occur on the skin.

These are widely used preservatives. The American Academy of Dermatology has found them to be a primary cause of contact dermatitis. Two trade names for these chemicals are Germall II and Germall 115. Neither of the Germall chemicals contains a good antifungal agent, and they must be combined with other preservatives. Both these chemicals release formaldehyde, which can be toxic.

Also known as petroleum jelly, this mineral oil derivative is used for its emollient properties in cosmetics. It has no nutrient value for the skin and can interfere with the body’s own natural moisturizing mechanism, leading to dryness and chapping. It often creates the very conditions it claims to alleviate. Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.

Is a colorless, nearly odorless, syrupy liquid that is derived from natural gas. It is used in dozens of products that you commonly use around your house. Some websites and natural product promoters argue that PG is a nasty, carcinogenic chemical that has been wrongly green lighted by the FDA. The FDA, and others, say that their claims are completely unfounded - that PG is completely safe when used properly. It has been known to cause allergic reactions, hives and eczema. When you see PEG (polyethylene glycol) or PPG (polypropylene glycol) on labels, beware, these are related synthetics.

A petroleum-derived chemical used in hair sprays, styling aids and other cosmetics. It can be considered toxic, since inhaled particles can damage the lungs of sensitive persons.

Developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener, SKC is a quaternary ammonium compound used in hair conditioners and creams to add shine and improve managability. It is a lot cheaper and easier to use in hair conditioning formulas than proteins or herbs, which are beneficial to the hair. SKC is highly toxic and causes allergic reactions.

Used to make cosmetics attractive to buyers, synthetic colors, along with synthetic hair dyes, should be avoided at all costs. They will be labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number. Example: FD&C Red No. 6 / D&C Green No. 6. Many synthetic colors can be carcinogenic.

Toxic Cosmetic Ingredient List
Toxic Ingredients in Cosmetics

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Got Ants?

BY: Susan Anderson

Remember the lyrics to a song from childhood that went, "The ants come marching one by one, hoorah! hoorah!"? Well that is exactly what is playing out on our kitchen counter right now. And to say the least, I would rather have them marching to their catchy little tune outside, instead of tramping through our house.

Each summer it seems these tiny little creatures make their pilgrimage into our house. Sometimes they come by route of the front door, at other times they come from the kitchen window sill, but regardless of their point of entry, they remain uninvited. My first attempt is always to ask them politely to remain outside, but my communication skills with these insects isn't honed enough yet that they respond to my requests.

So the second try is to use non-toxic remedies. Let me clarify, the non-toxic methods are for humans and pets, but are a deterrent to the ants to keep them out. So if you have GOT ANTS too, here is a list of suggestions. Depending on your conditions and the type of ants entering the premises, different suggestions work better than others. So read on to find out what can be done to keep them marching four by four out the door.

It is always a good idea to find the point of entry and work from that direction onward:

1. White Vinegar: place in a spray bottle and squirt the area where you see the ants, let is dry. Reapply as needed

2. Sprinkle plain old cinnamon where you see the ants coming into the house.

3. Black Pepper: can also be sprinkled at the point of entry to keep the ants from marching on in.

4. Mix a 50/50 blend of apple cider vinegar and water and sray as needed.

5. Mix equal parts of Windex and Ivory Soap, then spray the problem area.

6. Keeping Bay Leaves out in the areas that are affected by the ants.

7. Mixing a bit of borax with sugar then spreading out on the counter where the ants will come for a taste.

8. Drawing a line with white chalk where the ants are entering is supposed to keep the ants from crossing over.

9. Mint: not a favorite of ants and they will stay away.

10. Diatomaceous Earth: sprinkled where the ants will be walking.

There are plenty more solutions-- this being just the short list of possibilities. This year we had the teeny tiny little black ants coming through by the kitchen window so I used a combination approach. First, I wiped down around the affected window and counter area with straight white vinegar. After that dried I then mixed cinnamon with some crushed mint leaves and spread a line of the blend right below the window on the kitchen counter, and so far so good- I no longer GOT ANTS at this point in time.

Good luck to you. Send it your suggestions or approaches that have worked for you, I would love to hear them

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Many Uses For Your Basil Bounty

By: Susan Anderson

If you are a gardener growing basil, this time of year is when the plant begins to really fill out and provide you with a lot of aromatic abundance. So what are some of the ways to use this garden delight?. Let's see... how can I count the ways?

1) Make Basil Infused Oil. Here is a link to an easy recipe.

2) After you make the infused oil, why not a companion basil vinegar? Go here to see how to make it.

3) Still have more basil coming in- give it away to family and friend,no one says no! Then they will come back asking for more.

4) Want to save some basil for the winter? Freeze the leaves- Here is a trick I learned a few years ago. Clean and dry the basil leaves, then place in a small jar with good quality olive oil, just enough to keep the leaves wet. Place in the freezer. When you pull out your basil in the dead of the winter, it will be fresh and green. If you just freeze your leaves they will not retain their color.

5) Now who can resist basil pesto? Easy to make! Use right away or freeze. Rather than share my recipe which uses no measurements and is completely done by eyeballing it, here is one that is easy to follow.

6) Crush a few fresh basil leaves to use as a herbal rub and topical treatment for insect bites to reduce the itching and inflammation.

7) Make a herbal tincture with basil leaves to help with relieve nervous conditions and induce relaxation. Click here to learn how to make a herbal tincture.

8) Make a herbal tea with fresh basil leaves and a few of the seeds. Basil is known as a herbal aid in digestive issues. Studies show that basil contain anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

9)For a relaxing bath, add some fresh basil leaves to the warm bath water.

10) Use a cooled basil tea made with the leaves as a hair conditioner.

There are many more ways to use this wonderful herb, but instead of overloading you with ideas, let's just say this is a springboard into the infinite possibilities. Have fun! And by the way, why not share your experiences and ...Tell us about your favorite use.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Benefits of Probiotics


Because of the many functions shown below of probiotics, studies are showing that probiotics are beneficial in the treatment of many chronic illnesses that seem to have nothing to do with each other.

Among their many functions are:

• Lowering the intestinal pH

• Controlling growth of pathogens like the H Pylori Bacteria and Intestinal Candida

• Taking up space on the intestinal wall to prevent bad bacteria from adhering

• Production of essential nutrients like Vitamin B12 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

• Regulation of the levels of IgE and IgG antibodies in immune responses

• Binding and metabolizing Environmental Toxins

• Regulation of intestinal motility

• Mucus production

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Who Is the Worst Corporate Abuser of 2010?

Do you know who will be the next winner of the Corporate Hall of Shame award? Corporate Accountability International, is an organization which has been waging winning campaigns to challenge corporate abuse for more than 30 years.

They are asking for our help. It is a simple task- make your voice heard by voting for the corporation you believe has acted the most irresponsibly. Then, pass the information along to family and friends, and ask them to vote as well. If you have a blog, post the information there. Adding the link to your Facebook page or other social network sites you belong to will also bring more people to the campaign.

Go Right to The Voting Booth...but please read on...

Last year more than 10,000 votes were cast. Big Oil polluter Exxon Mobil took the prize for stalling crucial action on climate change, and making record oil profits while externalizing its environmental costs.

"Over the years, the Hall of Shame has not only cast a light on a range of corporate abuse, it has moved corporations to cut political contributions and adopt new codes of conduct." Together, we can work to make a difference.

So by now you must be really curious as to who was nominated for this year's award? Ok, now--drum roll please---up for this year's dishonorable award are the following:

2010's Nominees for the Corporate Hall of Shame

1. bp

2. Monsanto

3. Nestle

4. Mc Donald's

5. Goldman Sachs

6. Pfizer

7. Chase

8. Chevron

9. Or Your Write In

They are definitely all worthy of induction into the Hall of Shame, but my personal favorite villain and who I voted for was Monsanto. Through the years they have acted so negligently. Monsanto’s abuses are legendary. They have been involved in destroying our food system, ranging from spreading toxic pesticides to bankrupting small farmers to fighting against labeling restrictions for genetically engineered foods. So how is all this possible? Why Monsanto, with their far reaching hands and deep pockets exploits the system by creating a revolving door between its senior leadership and the federal agencies responsible for regulating its products.

I am sure you have your own favorite among the candidates on this list.
So please take the time to cast your vote.

Our single voice alone often gets lost in the background, but collectively it sends a loud unsettling frequency through the air that can have the effect we wish to accomplish on those who hold the reins of the power to change. We must always remember- we have the power to make a difference.

Here is the link to Corporate Accountability International that will get you into the voting booth.


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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern

Information Source: ElectromagneticHealth.org

Concern 1:
Industry’s own research showed cellphones caused brain tumors

Concern 2:
Subsequent industry-funded research also showed that using a cellphone elevated
the risk of brain tumors (2000-2002)

Concern 3:
Interphone studies, published to date, consistently show use of a cellphone for
less than 10 years protects the user from a brain tumor

Concern 4:
Independent research shows there is risk of brain tumors from cellphone use

Concern 5:
Despite the systemic-protective-skewing of all results in the Interphone studies,
significant risk for brain tumors from cellphone use was still found

Concern 6:
Studies independent of industry funding show what would be expected if wirelessHere is the beginning of my post.

Concern 7:
The danger of brain tumors from cellphone use is highest in children, and the younger a child is when he/she starts using a cellphone, the higher the risk

Concern 8:
There have been numerous governmental warnings about children’s use of cellphones

Concern 9:
Exposure limits for cellphones are based only on the danger from heating.

Concern 10:
An overwhelming majority of the European Parliament has voted for a set of changes based on “health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields.”

Concern 11:
Cellphone radiation damages DNA, an undisputed cause of cancer.

Concern 12:
Cellphone radiation has been shown to cause the blood-brain barrier to leak

Concern 13:
Cellphone user manuals warn customers to keep the cellphone away from the body even when the cellphone is not in use

Concern 14:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warning for cordless phones

Concern 15:
Male fertility is damaged by cellphone radiation

Read the full article here

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Friday, July 2, 2010

7 Steps to Wean You Off Processed Foods

Real Food Has Curves, a new book written by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, offers a 7-step plan for weaning yourself off processed foods:

1. Seek true satisfaction.
Enjoy genuine flavors, rather than fat, sugar, and salt added to mask the metallic taste of chemical additives.

2. Read labels wisely.
You can find food with "real" ingredients in the supermarket if you read labels carefully.

3. Relish what's on your plate.
Devote time solely to enjoying the pleasures of eating.

4. Wean yourself off excess salt, fat, and sugar.
You can also cook with smaller amounts of these ingredients by using natural substitutes like strong spices.

5. Give your palate time to change.
You'll gradually lose your taste for excessively sweet and salty foods.

6. Go for high-quality foods.
Look for products that contain the least amount of processed ingredients.

7. Treat yourself well by not skipping meals.
Try eating three meals a day at fairly regular times, plus a mid-afternoon snack. . And here is the rest of it.

SOURCE: U.S New & World Report, June 4, 2010

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Organic Skin Care Winners and Losers

Is Your Organic Skin Care Product Really Good For You?

Organic Consumers Association (OCA)has a Coming Clean Campaign to which is working for organic integrity in skin care products. It is important to know what is really in the products we are purchasing and how they are affecting our health. Since there is no certification standard for organic labeling in the body care industry, it is much easier to put misleading claims on a product. Below is the list of the organic cheaters and winners that is posted on OCA's website. You just might be surprised at who is on the list and who is not.


◦Avalon "Organics"
◦Desert Essence "Organics"
◦Earth's Best "Organic"
◦Eminence "Organic" (Except Few w/USDA Seal)
◦Giovanni "Organic"
Goodstuff "Organics"
◦Head "Organics"
◦Jason "Pure, Natural & Organic"
◦Kiss My Face "ObsessivelyOrganic"
◦Nature's Gate "Organics"
◦Physicians Formula "Organic" Wear
◦Stella McCartney "100% Organic"

Alteya Organics
◦Baby Bear Shop
Brittanie's Thyme
◦Bubble and Bee Organic
◦Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
◦Earth Mama Angel Baby
◦Indian Meadow Herbals
◦Intelligent Nutrients
◦Kimberly Parry Organics
◦Little Angel
Miessence Certified Organics
◦Nature's Paradise
OGmama and OGbaby
◦Organic Essence
◦Origins Organics
◦Purely Shea
◦Rose Tattoo Aftercare
SoCal Cleanse
◦Sensibility Soaps/Nourish
◦Trillium Organics
◦Vermont Soap

Source: Organic Consumers Association

Visit Environmental Working Group to find out the Hazard Score for each of the products listed above.


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