"health nuggets"

Can Fat Make You Thinner?

The first time my dad came to visit us in Peace River, he commented on the number of "oversized" people he noticed. It wasn't his imagination--Peace River has the highest obesity rate in Alberta. I am not sure why, exactly, because there are plenty of opportunities to be active. I have a few theories, such as how long and cold our winters are--it does not encourage getting outside much in the winter. When I lived in town, I remember being quite frustrated with the fact that we lived in a small neighbourhood on top of a hill and the snow was not usually cleared from most people's sidewalks, making a winter walk with the stroller nearly impossible. (I tried once, and ran into a snow-hidden pipe sticking up out of the sidewalk with the front wheel of the stroller. I had had the wheel locked so it would be pushed more easily, and this broke the lock. Grr.)

Interestingly, the first time Mike came up and visited us in Peace River from Arkansas, he couldn't believe how skinny we Canadians were! I was a little amazed, considering that there were way more people here that looked a little "fluffier" in my eyes than where I had come from. However, after moving to Arkansas, I understood why he thought that. It truly seemed that people down there that were fit and thin were in the minority. Teenage girls would walk around in low-rise jeans and cropped shirts and rolls of fat hanging over the waistband. To me, it looked awful--but if all your friends are in the same shape, and doing the same thing, I guess you wouldn't realize it, would you?

Jason and I were probably both at the heaviest weight of our lives last winter--Jason, thanks to the desk job he had had for the past few years, and me, thanks to several years of lowered activity and a summer of Tim Horton's bagels. We went to karate to try and change that. When I made comments about how out-of-shape I was, people in the class would laugh. I honestly started keeping those things to myself, because I really didn't have as far to go as many of the others there.

It seemed that many teenagers (especially girls, for some reason) were well on their way to a double chin by the age of twenty. Wal-Mart was especially bad. (It is here, too, for some reason.) I think it's the motorized carts--it always made me think that if they would get off the cart and actually walk around to buy their groceries, they might find they don't need it!

I am not relating this to gawk in incredulity. I actually found it rather sad. I started asking why?

There were a few answers that I guessed at. For instance, the one (and ONLY!) time I tried to buy a roast from an actual grocery store, I went to the only two in town and could not find any fresh-cut and butchered meat. They had all been pre-packed and injected with a solution--in other words, this is inferior meat, raised on inferior feed in an inferior environment, and they were trying to mask that by adding some juice into it. There are a lot of chicken barns in that area, and I tell you, being raised in one of those is no way to make a happy chicken. If you've ever driven by a commercial feedlot, you may not ever want to buy a pre-packaged roast again. But most people do not even think about where their food comes from--and if your only option is to buy garbage (or you don't know that you could find good food from your neighbour down the road if you only asked), then you eat the garbage and don't even realize that it IS garbage.

In fact, less people there seemed to be aware of how what they ate could affect their health. Or, if they knew, they didn't care. Some people seemed to be afraid to know. Or offended that anyone would figure that what they were doing might be the reason they were slated for cancer or diabetes or obesity in only a few years (if it wasn't already too late).

But, on the other hand, I also knew many Albertans that maintained similar lifestyles to the Arkansans I knew, yet were not as overweight. Why not, I wondered? Could it actually have something to do with being cold for so much of the year?

Not long ago, I came across this little blurb that may support that idea:
(Wise Traditions, Summer 2009): Brown fat is a type of adipose tissue which has the sole purpose of expending energy. Biologists once thought that brown fat disappeared after infancy, but new studies show that most adults have unexpectedly large and active deposits of this calorie-burning fat. According to scientists, the only safe way to activate brown fat is to stay chilly, right on the verge of shivering, for prolonged periods. This causes the fat to use up calories to keep us warm. As expected, leaner people have more detectable brown fat than overweight people. Studies show that stimulating the production of brown fat in mice--which can be done by injecting them with a growth factor called BMP7--makes them resistant to gaining weight or to developing diabetes when fed a high-calorie diet (Washington Post, April 9, 2009). Naturally, scientists are looking for ways to increase brown fat in humans--by injection or pill--the typical reductionist mentality. What would be really interesting to know is what kind of nutritional support allows us to carry large amounts of brown fat from infancy into maturity, so that we know how to ensure that lucky condition of being able to eat lots of food but not gain weight."

Well, to answer that last question, I could look at my paternal family. My dad has seven brothers and one sister. Not one of them are obese. Some of them have a few extra pounds around the middle, now that they are getting older, and that's it. Judging from the diets they were raised on, it involves plenty of farm-fresh meat, raw milk and butter and cream, fresh vegetables, and plenty of work involved to grow and produce your own food.

After my cleanse this spring, I managed to drop 8 pounds, but then gained a few of them back on the trip up here and in the summer months. However, I am now back to a trim, healthy weight that I am quite happy with. I like how my body looks. And I like the full-fat food I eat. Yes, I am much more active than I have been in several years--which I love! But this article got me to thinking...

Apparently, there ARE perks to winter! Maybe I shouldn't be in such a hurry to build an airtight house--apparently the draughts are keeping me thin! :-)

Raw Milk vs. Pasteurized: What's the difference?

I began this blog almost three years ago, and for most of that time I have had on my "to-do" list to write a post about why I prefer to drink raw milk. Well, I'm not really getting around to it: I am borrowing a well-written summary from someone else.

Right now, you can go and cast your vote to raise awareness with the new Obama team to help get the issue of legalizing raw milk into their "top ten issues" list. You will have to sign up for the site, but it is a quick and simple procedure--you can always cancel your account right after. Just go to:

This post was written by Mary Rudinger, who included this in the comments on the voting page. With her permission, I am reprinting it here:

Milk straight from the cow is how mankind drank it for thousands of years. In the late 1800s, as people moved into the cities, urban confinement dairies sprang up. "Swill dairies" was the name given to feedlots where cows were fed swill from nearby liquor distilleries. Open milk wagons moving through city streets with horse manure complicated things. Milk from these dairies was of such poor quality that it was thought to be contributing to the high death rate of urban infants at the time (the yearly death rate of U.S. infants in cities was about half of the yearly birth rate).
In the 21st century, pasteurization is unnecessary if cows are raised in clean environments. Modern dairy procedures no longer necessitate sterilization. For the public health, raw milk must be a lawful choice for consumers who have studied the issue and choose raw milk.

Pasteurizing and homogenizing deprives milk of its natural nutritional content, and adds artificial chemicals and hormones. A propaganda campaign of germ phobia was launched in the early 1900s that exists to this day. The powers that be frightened city folk about the bacteria in raw milk. The propagandists did not reveal that raw milk has enzymes and lactic acids that prevent bad bacteria from growing. They did not reveal that when the inherent bacteria enter pasteurized milk, it grows quicker and becomes harmful because it is fed on the mutations and contaminants caused by pasteurization. Milk contaminated with bovine fecal matter and bovine disease could be sold as long as it had been pasteurized. In time, cows were dosed with hormones and antibiotics. Farmers could be sloppy, cows could be dirty or diseased, and milk became a cheap commodity designed for long shelf life, not human health.

According to the Weston A. Price Foundation:

"Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly and many die before maturity. Raw milk sours naturally but pasteurized milk turns putrid; processors must remove slime and pus from pasteurized milk by a process of centrifugal clarification. Inspection of dairy herds for disease is not required for pasteurized milk. Much commercial milk is now ultra-pasteurized to get rid of heat-resistant bacteria and give it a longer shelf life. Ultra-pasteurization is a violent process that takes milk from a chilled temperature to above the boiling point in less than two seconds.”

Homogenization strains fat particles through tiny pores under great pressure. Because of homogenization, an enzyme called xanthine oxidase is able to pass through the gut wall into the bloodstream intact where it attacks plasmalogen within artery walls. Plasmalogen is a tissue that makes up 30 percent of human heart muscle and artery wall cells. The body registers an injury and sends its nurse, cholesterol, to the scene to lay down bandaids – what we call cholesterol plaques. Over time, they calcify. Eventually this leads to blockage of blood flow, arteriosclerosis. Some doctors believe that the rise in heart attacks in America corresponds with the rise in consumption of homogenized milk.

The economic fight to kill raw milk is tremendous. For example, Dr. Al Sears wrote on 8-11-18: “You know I’ve raised some serious concerns about the health hazards of commercial milk. Specifically, I’ve talked about how pasteurizing and homogenizing strips milk of some natural nutritional content—not to mention the addition of artificial chemicals and hormones… The Australian Dairy Industry Council’s (ADIC) response was not friendly. They accused me of being a hired gun whose ideas about health and wellness make me a biased commentator. The phrase was ‘Mr. Rent a Statement for money’ and asked if I had anything better to do than write ‘false and misleading articles.’ Even the most skeptical reader would be hard-pressed to show how I profited from my statements about the dangers of commercial dairy products. I’m not in the business of selling milk. I don’t have any connection to the industry. All I did was suggest that organic milk was a better alternative, and cited a new study proving it.”

Too many people suffer from chronic illness. It is time to sift out the PR hype and competitive interests from the fact, and allow people to make their own choices in this matter. It took citizen activist groups to draw attention to the trans fat issue, and to the problems with mercury fillings. It is time we stopped letting the dairymen’s lobbyists dictate this issue.

Mary has been published in newsletters and health magazines. She says:

"I am amazed that the Obama site has the time to turn something like this around, that's great. I am holding an Obama-Daschle health care discussion in the Phoenix area December 28th. I am amazed how many people opened their databases to me, amazed at how much people want input into not just health care 'reform,' but the holistic perspective of creating a healthier population such that we need fewer medical services/interventions."

If anyone is interested in attending Mary's health care talk, please contact me (address at left) for her e-mail address.

Be well!

Can't Beat the Real Thing

"With all the publicity about eggs and cholesterol causing heart disease, the food industry quickly responded in making a preparation that looked and tasted like eggs ... one such product was called EGG BEATERS. An experiment was conducted at the Burnsides Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, by Meena Kasmau Navidi and Fred A. Kummerow in which one group of lactating rats was fed exclusively on fresh shell eggs and another on EGG BEATERS. The rats on fresh shell eggs thrived, were perfectly healthy, and grew normally. Those on EGG BEATERS did not grow normally, were stunted, and all died long before reaching maturity." H. Leon Abrams Vegetarianism: An Anthropological/Nutritional Evaluation

Link-A-Doodle Doo

Today, I just want to share some links to recent articles I have read that I thought might be of interest to my readers.

Have you bought a mattress within the last year and a half? If the answer is yes, and you live in the United States, you should read this about the fire-retardant chemicals most new mattresses are now being saturated with. Is Your Mattress Making You Sick? We are experiencing frustration with this right now, because we are needing to buy bunk bed mattresses for our boys, since we just bought them new bedframes--and the two organic companies we checked out were running us around $1000 each for a twin mattress and slat foundation. Yikes! We might just make our own out of felt or something. Hmmm... I wonder where we could get some felt?...

Does it seem strange to you that with all the--I'm going to go with "billions"--of dollars being poured into AIDS research, they still seem no closer to a cure? That despite the length of time virology has been a scientific field, there still seems to be nothing they can do to "cure" a virus? Perhaps this site could answer the "why" of all that: VirusMyth. Perhaps you don't need to worry so much about West Nile Virus after all--and spend a little more time concerning yourself with reducing your toxic load.

Check this article out for some great suggestions on how to prevent hearing loss--and maybe even help you save money! (Especially if you end up never needing hearing aids!) How You Can Damage Your Hearing

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Whassup witchoo?

Aaah... the blissful sound of happy and contented children beating each other with colourful styrofoam pool noodles... interspersed with the counting and giggling of an hours-long "hide-and-seek" game... while Mommy gets to work uninterrupted without worry, because she knows that the biggest kid down there often masquerades as a responsible adult! :-)

This is the last day my brother will be visiting us. It's been awesome having him here this week, not a little because of how much my boys have really had a chance to bond with him for the first time. He has lived far, far away from us for their entire life-spans, and most of our visits have been short or in more "adult-y" situations.

This week, they have learned all kinds of cool stuff that only an uncle (and a younger brother of their Mom) could teach them:
  • How to play hide-and-seek professionally
  • Good ways to annoy their Mom
  • Really great quotes from a variety of movies, books, and T.V. shows (I'm not sure how many of these will be remembered later on, though)
  • I don't even know everything, because I'm sure he's been tutoring them in private. I'm thinking the rest of it will come out in the next few weeks, though! :-)
It's hard to believe the week is nearly over already--another one that just flew by. Tuesday was my 8th wedding anniversary, and I didn't even comment on it here. Jason SPOILED me this year: lasik surgery for my eyes, which I thought was supposed to be the totality of my gifts for the year. Then, he goes and buys me a really nice Calvin Klein swimsuit, plus an entire outfit (dress, shoes, unmentionables) from Victoria's Secret! Oh, and did I mention my new van? I'm not sure what I did to deserve that man!

Anyway, I really should be working during this child-free time I have, so I will gush more about my husband and other family members in a future post. I leave you with a justification of my almost-daily hot chocolate habit:

Cocoa Officially Lowers Blood Pressure
: (NaturalNews) More happy justification for chocolate lovers: blood pressure (BP) responds favorably to cocoa, but not tea, a new meta-analysis suggests. Authors of the study say that while both products are rich in polyphenols, the study findings suggest that phenols in cocoa may be more active than those in tea. The study appears in the April 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Products rich in cocoa may be considered part of a blood pressure lowering diet, provided that the total energy intake does not increase," lead investigator for the study, Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, from the University Hospital of Cologne in Cologne, Germany, told heartwire. "I believe that cocoa is healthier than other sugar confectionary or high-fat dairy products."

Hmm, you know what makes paperwork more fun? A steaming cup of hot cocoa. Uh, gotta go!

MSG - A Slow Poison

MSG: A Slow Poison

By Lois Lenz

25 years ago, four of us went to dinner at Dr. Hoagley Woagley's Texas Barbecue in California. We all ordered different meals in order to test them. I ordered roast beef, and everyone raved about how tender it was. Within an hour, I became deathly ill. I felt as though my heart was totally dry and very painful.

We rushed home and I drank my old-fashioned remedy against food poisoning -- apple cider vinegar, honey, and water -- and I slowly returned to normal. My roast beef must have been loaded with MSG, but I thankfully, I was aware.

It is almost impossible to avoid all MSG, and this kept us out of the hospital twice on cross-country trips when we got bad food -- and kept us out of the hospital!

See my website at www.ascendingenterprises.com for more Old-Fashioned Remedies.

MSG in Coffee

The food additive MSG (MonoSodium Glutamate) is a slow poison. MSG hides behind 25 or more names, such as "Natural Flavoring."

MSG is even in your favorite coffee from Tim Horton's* and other brand-name coffee shops!

I wondered if there could be an actual chemical causing the massive obesity epidemic, and so did a friend of mine, John Erb. He was a research assistant at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and spent years working for the government. He made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book he was writing called The Slow Poisoning of America.

In hundreds of studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies. No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so scientists have to create them. They make these creatures morbidly obese by injecting them with MSG when they are first born. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing rats (and perhaps humans) to become obese. They even have a name for the fat rodents they create: "MSG-Treated Rats."

When I heard this, I was shocked. I went into my kitchen and checked the cupboards and the refrigerator. MSG was in everything -- the Campbell's soups, the Hostess Doritos, the Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, and Kraft salad dressings, especially the "healthy low-fat" ones.

The items that didn't have MSG marked on the product label had something called "Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein," which is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate.

It was shocking to see just how many of the foods we feed our children everyday are filled with this stuff. MSG is hidden under many different names in order to fool those who read the ingredient list, so that they don't catch on. (Other names for MSG are "Accent, "Aginomoto," "Natural Meat Tenderizer," etc.)

But it didn't stop there.

When our family went out to eat, we started asking at the restaurants what menu items contained MSG. Many employees, even the managers, swore they didn't use MSG.

But when we ask for the ingredient list, which they grudgingly provided, sure enough, MSG and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein were everywhere.

Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bell, every restaurant -- even the sit-down eateries like TGIF, Chili's, Applebee's, and Denny's -- use MSG in abundance. Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed to be the WORST offender: MSG was in every chicken dish, salad dressing. and gravy. No wonder I loved to eat that coating on the skin -- their secret spice was MSG!

So why is MSG in so may of the foods we eat? Is it a preservative, or a vitamin?

Not according to my friend John Erb. In his book The Slow Poisoning of America, he said that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human body.

Even the propaganda website sponsored by the food manufacturers lobby group supporting MSG explains that the reason they add it to food is to make people eat more.

A study of the elderly showed that older people eat more of the foods that it is added to. The Glutamate Association lobbying group says eating more is a benefit to the elderly, but what does it do to the rest of us?

"Betcha can't eat [just] one," takes on a whole new meaning where MSG is concerned! And we wonder why the nation is overweight!

The MSG manufacturers themselves admit that it addicts people to their products. It makes people choose their product over others, and makes people eat more of it than they would if MSG wasn't added.

Not only is MSG scientifically proven to cause obesity, it is an addictive substance. Since its introduction into the American food supply fifty years ago, MSG has been added in larger and larger doses to the pre-packaged meals, soups, snacks, and fast foods we are tempted to eat everyday.

The FDA has set no limits on how much of it can be added to food. They claim it's safe to eat in any amount. But how can they claim it's safe when there are hundreds of scientific studies with titles like these:

"The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of exercise in obesity." Gobatto CA, Mello MA, Souza CT, Ribeiro IA. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 2002.

"Adrenalectomy abolishes the food-induced hypothalamic serotonin release in both normal and monosodium glutamate-obese rats." Guimaraes RB, Telles MM, Coelho VB, Mori C, Nascimento CM, Ribeiro. Brain Res Bull. 2002 Aug.

"Obesity induced by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment in spontaneously hypertensive rats: An animal model of multiple risk factors." Iwase M, Yamamoto M, Iino K, Ichikawa K, Shinohara N, Yoshinari Fujishima. Hypertens Res. 1998 Mar.

"Hypothalamic lesion induced by injection of monosodium glutamate in suckling period and subsequent development of obesity." Tanaka K, Shimada M, Nakao K Kusunoki. Exp Neurol. 1978 Oct.

No, the date of that last study was not a typo; it was published in 1978. Both the "medical research community" and "food manufacturers" have known about the side effects of MSG for decades.

Many more of the studies mentioned in John Erb's book link MSG to diabetes, migraines and headaches, autism, ADHD, and even Alzheimer's.

So what can we do to stop the food manufactures from dumping this fattening and addictive MSG into our food supply and causing the obesity epidemic we now see?

Several months ago, John Erb took his book and his concerns to one of the highest government health officials in Canada. While he was sitting in the government office, the official told him, "Sure, I know how bad MSG is. I wouldn't touch the stuff." But this top-level government official refuses to tell the public what he knows.

The big media doesn't want to tell the public either, fearing issues with their advertisers. It seems that the fallout on the fast food industry may hurt their profit margin. The food producers and restaurants have been addicting us to their products for years, and now we are paying the price for it. Our children should not be cursed with obesity caused by an addictive food additive.

But what can I do about it? I'm just one voice! What can I do to stop the poisoning of our children, while our governments are insuring financial protection for the industry that is poisoning us?

This message is going out to everyone I know in an attempt to tell you the truth that the corporate-owned politicians and media won't tell you.

The best way you can help to save yourself and your children from this drug-induced epidemic is to forward this article to everyone. With any luck, it will circle the globe before politicians can pass the legislation protecting those who are poisoning us.

The food industry learned a lot from the tobacco industry. Imagine if big tobacco had a bill like this in place before someone blew the whistle on nicotine?

If you are one of the few who can still believe that MSG is good for us and you don't believe what John Erb has to say, see for yourself. Go to the National Library of Medicine at www.pubmed.com.

Type in the words "MSG Obese" and read a few of the 115 medical studies that appear.

We the public do not want to be rats in one giant experiment, and we do not approve of food that makes us into a nation of obese, lethargic, addicted sheep, feeding the food industry's bottom line while waiting for the heart transplant, the diabetic-induced amputation, blindness, or other obesity-induced, life-threatening disorders.

With your help we can put an end to this poison.

Do your part in sending this message out by word of mouth, e-mail, or by distribution of this printout to your friends all over the world and stop this "Slow Poisoning of Mankind" by the packaged food industry.

Blowing the whistle on MSG is our responsibility, so get the word out.

*Thanks to a savvy--but for some reason, anonymous--commenter, I double-checked this claim, and according to the Tim Horton's website, they do not ADD any MSG into any of their foods or beverages. However, they do go on to say that people may still experience sensitivities to some of their food products which contain natural or free glutamates. (The hydrolyzed plant proteins and autolyzed yeast extracts, which have been altered from their natural form, are particularly nasty for those with MSG sensitivities, I've heard.)

This does not, however, negate the fact that MSG is in nearly every processed and packaged food you buy--even some so-called "natural" and "organic" packaged foods. The bottom line is ALWAYS read the label, or--better yet--make everything yourself from whole, organic ingredients, avoiding processed foods altogether.

Did you know that it only takes about five minutes more to make your own brown rice pasta and cheese sauce as opposed to cooking something out of a box? While this type of thing is not always the case, usually all it takes to eat healthier is a little planning--not a whole lot more time in the kitchen.

Not Just A Load Of Beans

Last spring, I was reading a book by Kevin Trudeau called Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know About. In it, he makes a lot of claims that he does not necessarily back up with substantiated proof, which annoys me. It's a good book, but when someone is making claims like that, it would be nice to see references to studies where someone has actually gathered some evidence on the subject.

It was in this book that I first heard anything about the Nazis inventing the microwave, the Russians banning it, and the first time I heard anyone say anything about throwing it out completely. He claimed that microwaving food changes the energy of the food--energy that all things have, created by how our molecules vibrate. If you photograph an apple with Kirlian photography, it's energy pattern is beautiful and round. If you microwave that same apple, then photograph it again, it's energy pattern is rough and jagged and ugly.

I was already aware of the microwave oven's propensity to create cancer-causing free radicals with the way it heated the food, but thought that using it to heat water would still be fine. This was the first time it had ever occurred to me that it might alter something fundamental within the chemical structure of what was being microwaved.

That's when I came to a claim I knew I could check. Kevin Trudeau said that if you try to grow beans with water that had been microwaved, they would not even sprout! I raised an eyebrow, thought about it for a minute, then got to work on an experiment a là Grade 7 Science.

I used navy beans from my cupboard, splitting them into a control group of six, and an experimental group. The first group was watered with Reverse Osmosis filtered water. The second group was watered with RO water that had been microwaved for 1 minute per 8 oz. (or 250 mL - I'm Canadian. That means I'm measurement bi-lingual) and allowed to cool.

What I should not have done, since I was testing this "not sprouting in nuked water" claim, was plant them in the peat pellets (2 per pellet, 3 pellets per tray), which I didn't think of ahead of time. The peat pellets gave them nutrients that the water did not contain.

I heart Peat Pellets. They are so fun.

The beans were planted on March 10. On March 14, when I noticed sprouts of equal sizes in both trays, I thought that the experiment was over, having successfully disproved Trudeau's claim. However, I did not dump the trays, and kept watering them with their own kinds of water. These are my notes from March 18:

"Beans in 'normal' tray have grown and thrived - 2 pellets have sprouts that are a minimum of 5 inches, while the third has a 1 inch sprout. In the 'microwaved' tray, the sprouts have remained at a height of less than 1 inch for days, while the third has none at all."

Photo from March 16.

Photo from March 18, as well as two following.

Control Group

Microwaved water

That means that in the normal water tray, all three pellets had sprouts--two of them had sprouted both of the beans they contained. They thrived and grew tall. In the microwaved water tray, only two of the pellets had one sprout each, which were stunted, brown around the edges, and did not thrive at all. Other than the type of water used, all other conditions were the same for both groups.

At this point, I believe I moved them from my office to my living room so they could get more sunlight, at which time my 18-month-old decided they would look better upside-down on the floor than on the coffee table. End of experiment.

I do intend to repeat this experiment, sprouting the beans in water only. If any of you try this, please leave your comments and results on this post, or e-mail them to me and I will post them here for you.

Needless to say, it was enough evidence for me to be concerned. After that, I started getting a little fanatical about not using the microwave, even asking for my food to be un-microwaved in restaurants. In doing so, I discovered that what may only take a few seconds to re-heat in the microwave really only takes a few minutes on the stove.

What health sacrifices are we making for a few minutes' convenience? What's the rush--so we can go watch T.V.? If we are in such a hurry to heat up our food, perhaps we are moving too fast!

A Brief History of the Microwave Oven

An excerpt from an article on NaturalNews.com by Christopher Gussa.

Microwave Ovens: The Curse of Convenience: It turns out it was the Nazis who actually invented these ovens. They were used in their mobile support calling them the “radiomissor”. These ovens were to be used for the invasion of Russia. By using electronic equipment for preparation of meals on a mass scale, the logistical problem of cooking fuels would have been eliminated, as well as the convenience of producing edible products in a greatly reduced time-factor.

After the war, the Allies discovered medical research done by the Germans on microwave ovens. These documents, along with some working microwave ovens, were transferred to the United States War Department and classified for reference and "further scientific investigation". The Russians had also retrieved some microwave ovens and now have thorough research on their biological effects. As a result, their use was outlawed in the Soviet Union (for a year or two). The Soviets issued an international warning on the health hazards, both biological and environmental, of microwave ovens and similar frequency electronic devices.

After the war, Dr. Percy Spencer, a self-taught engineer with the Raytheon Corporation, claimed to have “invented” the microwave oven in 1946. The Raytheon Corporation did actually file the first U.S. patent on one. The first ones were called Radar Ranges in 1954. Thank You Raytheon, but I like your missiles much better!

The following is a summary of the Russian investigations published by the Atlantis Rising Educational Center in Portland, Oregon.

Carcinogens were formed in virtually all foods tested. No test food was subjected to more microwaving than necessary to accomplish the purpose, i.e., cooking, thawing, or heating to ensure sanitary ingestion.

Here's a summary of some of the results:

* Microwaving prepared meats sufficiently to ensure sanitary ingestion caused formation of d-Nitrosodiethanolamines, a well-known carcinogen.

* Microwaving milk and cereal grains converted some of their amino acids into carcinogens.

* Thawing frozen fruits converted their glucoside and galactoside containing fractions into carcinogenic substances.

* Extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens.

* Carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants, especially root vegetables.

How Microwave Ovens Work:

All microwave ovens contain a magnetron which is a tube in which electrons are affected by magnetic and electric fields. They produce micro wavelength radiation at about 2450 Mega Hertz (MHz) or 2.45 Giga Hertz (GHz). This microwave radiation interacts with the molecules in food. The wave energy inside the oven changes polarity from positive to negative with each cycle of the wave. These changes of polarity happen millions of times every second. Food molecules (especially the molecules of water) have a positive and negative end just like a magnet has a north and a south polarity.

As these microwaves generated from the magnetron bombard the food, they cause the polar molecules to rotate at the same frequency millions of times a second. This is major agitation. (Much less agitation is used in pharmaceutical drug labs to separate or isolate molecules in the making of just about any thing they want). This agitation creates the molecular friction, which heats up the food. The friction also causes substantial damage to the surrounding molecules, often tearing them apart or forcefully deforming them. The scientific name for this deformation is "structural isomerism".

In Comparative Study of Food Prepared Conventionally and in the Microwave Oven, published by Raum & Zelt in 1992, it states:

"Production of unnatural molecules is inevitable. Naturally occurring amino acids have been observed to undergo isomeric changes (changes in shape morphing) as well as transformation into toxic forms, under the impact of microwaves produced in ovens. One short-term study found significant and disturbing changes in the blood of individuals consuming microwaved milk and vegetables. Eight volunteers ate various combinations of the same foods cooked different ways. All foods that were processed through the microwave ovens caused changes in the blood of the volunteers. Hemoglobin levels decreased and overall white cell levels and cholesterol levels increased. Lymphocytes decreased. Luminescent (light-emitting) bacteria were employed to detect energetic changes in the blood. Significant increases were found in the luminescence of these bacteria when exposed to blood serum obtained after the consumption of microwaved food."

You Are What You Eat

This landed in my e-mail inbox, and I can't seem to find a source for it. So, I don't know how accurate everything in here is, but it is kind of a cool idea, so I thought I would share it.

The reason I haven't been sharing anything else for the last week is that I got sick last Tuesday night and just have finally got all my spunk back today. In order to preclude repeating the sleep shortage that let me get sick in the first place, I may not get to do a real post for a few more days while I get caught up on everything I couldn't do while I was laying in bed, too ill to even read a book.

Don't worry--I am feeling much better now, thank you.


@ @ @

This is interesting info...

You are what you eat, so eat well. A stupendous insight of civilizations past has now been confirmed by today's investigative, nutritional sciences. They have shown that what was once called 'The Doctrine of Signatures' was astoundingly correct. It now contends that every whole food has a pattern that resembles a body organ or physiological function and that this pattern acts as a signal or sign as to the benefit the food provides the eater. Here is just a short list of examples of Whole Food Signatures.

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, Avocadoes 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.

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.

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

What I Learned Today...

  • Adding 1/2 cup white vinegar to your washing machine's rinse cycle is a natural fabric softener, helping you avoid the health hazards of dryer sheets
  • There are more reasons to avoid buying from China all the time. Makes me so glad that we get our vitamins from superfoods such as blueberries and cod liver oil, and that I try to get local, organic produce and meat as much as possible--but makes me think twice about the fish from China in my freezer. Also, I think I have to return one of Noah's birthday presents.
  • That when you run your dryer at least once a day with a super-sized load, and your ducting travels over twenty feet to the outside of the house, it gets plugged. Then your dryer won't work anymore. Apparently, you are supposed to clean your ducting once every year or three. Makes it tricky when you can't reach more than 20% of it. (Someone was thinking!)
  • That our local fire hall gives free tours. I found this out when the fire commissioner came (at my request) to inspect our unused fireplace this afternoon. With three boys, you can bet I'm going to take advantage of the tour!
  • That having two twelve-month-old baby girls is more exhausting than I would have thought imaginable. I am so. glad. I got to send them home at 5. And I volunteered to babysit them all winter? Am I crazy?!
  • That Jabin really, really likes ice cream cones.
  • That Jude is a super-duper helper. I've known this for a while, but it's become quite obvious the last couple of days with the babies here. I'm going to miss him in the mornings when he starts kindergarten on Friday. (For more reasons than just that, but I'll miss his helping, too!)
  • Also, the contrast with the babies has shown me how grown-up Jabin really is. Just being able to talk helps. And walk. And feed himself. Okay, he's just really grown-up. Definitely not a baby anymore.
  • That it's pretty easy to be asleep by 10:30 or 11:00 when you're getting up at 7 and running off your feet all day. Think I'll go hit the hay.
How was your Wednesday, friends?

The Dangers of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Here is a great article about some common ingredients that you probably were not even aware of before. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are used in many of our everyday personal care products, in spite of the fact that they are known irritants and may be associated with PMS, male infertility, breast cancer, and menopausal symptoms.

Check it out. It's a short read. Then start checking your labels!
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS ) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
The Killers in your bathroom?

Both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to "foam up". Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants.

SLS and SLES are esters of Sulphuric acid - SLS is also known as "Sulfuric acid monododecyl ester sodium salt", however there are over 150 different names by which it is known - see them here. In fact, SLES is commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen.
For more info, please click on the link to read the full article.

The Hazards of Chlorinated Water

I just finished writing this "Letter to the Editor" of our local paper, in response to an article about a chlorine gas tank that was not properly closed, causing a small leak that inspired the purchase of new monitoring equipment. This article was on the front page. I wonder somewhat if my response to it will even be printed. Regardless, here it is for your pleasure and education:

Dear Editor,

Upon reading your front-page article in this week's newspaper outlining the dangers of chlorine gas, I was somewhat flabbergasted that this dangerous substance is used to treat our drinking water. From the article:

"Chlorine is a highly toxic compressed gas. It is commonly used for purification and disinfection of drinking and swimming pool water, in the manufacture of disinfectants and cleaning products, and as a bleaching agent.

"Chlorine is highly irritating to the respiratory tract, and if inhaled can cause lung injuries and be fatal. When mixed with other substances, it can react violently or explosively, and forms dangerous chemicals when mixed with water."

Say WHAT?! It forms dangerous chemicals when mixed with water, yet we use it to treat the very water that we are expected to drink, cook with, and bathe in?!! I realize that this is used, not just in our municipality, but the majority of water treatment plants. My question is: WHY?

To answer this question, I started doing some research. Not surprisingly, chlorination is the cheapest method of sanitizing large amounts of drinking water. (Why is everything always all about the money?) Also, there is a residual amount of it left purposely in the water after leaving the treatment centre. (This is no surprise to anyone who has ever had a drink of municipal tap water--the chlorine taste is apparent immediately.)

However, the "dangerous chemicals" chlorine gas produces when mixed with water are trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids, which are a byproduct resulting from the reaction of chlorine with organic matter such as skin particles, hair follicles, and water-borne bacteria, among other things. The alarming thing is that these are suspected carcinogens--and a certain number are allowed to remain in our water. Yes, it is at "low allowable levels," but if we had small amounts of urine left in our water, would we want to drink it? I think not.

So, not only is some toxic chlorine gas allowed to remain in our water, but carcinogenic THMs are also allowed to remain there.

From the article "Chlorine, Cancer, and Asthma: Oh, My! Why You Might Need A Water Filter":

Chlorine and Cancer
Chlorine and its byproducts are now known causes of three of the most deadly types of cancer: bladder, rectal, and breast cancer. When chlorine is added to water, it interacts with natural organic compounds in the water to form trihalomethanes (THMs). THMs are incredibly carcinogenic. Once ingested in the body, THMs encourage the production of free radicals. These free radicals are a major cause of abnormal/cancerous cell growth. Chlorine byproducts specifically affect the bladder and rectum (due to the amount of ingested water that is sent to these organs). Once cancer has infected these areas, it can quickly spread to more sensitive and/or vital organs. According to current statistics, bladder and rectal cancer account for 30,000 deaths in the United States each year.

In addition to its causal role in bladder and rectal cancer, chlorine is now being connected with cases of breast cancer. Breast cancer currently affects one out of every eight women, and it has become one of the deadliest, most damaging diseases women face. In a new study conducted in Hartford, Connecticut, breast cancer victims were examined in order to discover possible correlations between the different cases. While studying the women, researchers came across a surprising connection between cases. The results of the study indicated that women with breast cancer had between 50% to 60% higher levels of chlorine byproducts in their breast tissue as compared to women without breast cancer. These high levels of chlorine byproducts in breast cancer victims are hardly coincidental. Just as THM-created, free radicals damage and kill healthy cells in the bladder and/or rectum, they also damage and kill healthy cells in the breast tissue."

But wait. It gets better.

Chlorine, and it's byproduct-THMs, can not only aggravate, but actually cause asthma. Have you wondered why the number of asthma cases has skyrocketed in the last fifty years? The answer could be right in your tap.

A recent European study explored this connection by studying the effects of chlorinated swimming pool water on healthy school-aged children. The study found that chlorinated water can not only aggravate asthma, but actually trigger it. One of the three blood-markers being tested for in the study, surfactant-associated protein B, was found to increase in the same amount as those found in smokers in children with the highest pool attendance! (For more information, please see the online article at http://www.respiratoryreviews.com/jul03/rr_jul03_pools.html.)

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the same fumes that can trigger asthma symptoms from merely sitting by a swimming pool can also affect those who are taking a hot shower in chlorinated municipal drinking water. Every time I step into my shower or give my kids a warm bath the chlorine fumes are overpowering. So the chlorine in the water is a) being released as a toxic gas for me to breathe in, and b) combining with sweat, skin cells, and urine from my and my children's bodies to form carcinogenic THMs, which my 15-month-old, 3-year-old and 4-year-old blithely consume every time they pour their bathwater in their mouths (for I cannot get them to stop drinking it. They refuse.)

Although we have not drunk the municipal water for over a year, we still shower in it, brush our teeth with it, wash our hands in it, and are exposed to the chlorine gas being released from our dishwasher during the steam cycle. While chlorine filters are an option, why should entire communities be forced to add these to their home's water systems to protect themselves from something their taxes paid to put in the water in the first place? Especially when there are other water treatment options with far fewer negative side effects, such as Ozone treatment and UV Radiation treatment? Yes, these may cost more, but I think the price would be worth the gain--the health of an entire community.

After all, as Count Rugen says, "If you don't have your health, you haven't got anything."


Talena Winters