Friday, November 25, 2016

Phthalates and Your Health: Why avoiding plastics is essential for childhood & adult health

Phthalates and Your Health 

Why avoiding plastics is essential for childhood & adult health

To maintain optimal health in today’s world, it’s essential to be aware of how plastics affect our biology.  Plastic contains a number of chemicals that are similar in structure to our natural hormones, and thus they have a hormone-mimicking effect.  This mimicking effect
interferes with the function of our own natural hormones, which causes endocrine-system related problems in both adults and children. 

In adults, phthalate exposure has been correlated with weight gain, polycystic ovary disease, reduced testosterone levels, fertility problems, low sex drive, breast cancer, uterine fibroids, and depression.  In children who are still in their growth and development stage, the effects of phthalates are even more troubling:  Research has linked phthalate exposure to birth defects, early or delayed puberty, and reduced reduced IQ.  Prenatally, higher phthalate concentrations in the mother's system have been linked to a decrease in the child's ability to concentrate, working memory, perceptual reasoning skills, and information retrieval efficiency- at age 7.  
Plastics are pervasive in our world, but a little awareness can go a long way in reducing your exposure and boosting your health!  

Here 12 Tips for Reducing Phthalate/PVC Exposure for Adults and Children… 
1.  Choose toys made from natural materials (or at least only buying those made from phthalate-free plastic).
2.  When redoing your home, look for "green," toxin-free alternatives in lieu of regular paint and vinyl floor coverings.
3.  Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric or better yet install glass shower doors.
4.  Switch over to natural brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, and cosmetics.
5.  Check your home's tap water for contaminants and filter the water if necessary. You may also want to use an alternative to PVC pipes for your water supply.
6.  Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, scented candles or other synthetic fragrances and perfumes.
7.  Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap.
8.  Avoid processed foods (many are packaged in phthalate-containing packaging) and instead focus your diet on fresh, organic and locally grown whole foods.
9.  Breastfeed your baby exclusively if possible, for at least the first six months (as you will avoid phthalates exposure from infant formula packaging and plastic bottles/nipples).
10.  If you use baby bottles, use glass, not plastic.
11.  Use only natural cleaning products in your home.

12.  Buy food and/or water packaged in glass rather than plastic containers.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chickpea Soup for the Soul

Today's post is excerpted from the e-newsletter of one of my favorite vegan, mostly raw, and all-around vibrant food chefs-   Jennifer Cornbleet.  If you would like to be on her list too, visit her amazing blog!

Jennifer notes that she's found that slowly cooked chickpeas develop a thick broth, which tastes very similarly to chicken broth.  So- if you are new to vegetarian recipes (or have family members who are), this recipe is for you!  The well-balanced combination of herbs she uses and lovely variety of vegetables create a colorful and flavorful "one pot" meal.  If you wish, you can also reduce the water content in this soup in order to make it a stew.  In that case, serve over your favorite grain - like sprouted brown rice, red rice, or quinoa - and enjoy a perfectly hearty early Spring meal!   



Chickpea and Vegetable Soup
Yield: 4 servings

1 cup chickpeas, soaked 8 to 12 hours, drained, and rinsed
8 cups water, plus additional as needed
1/2 onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1 tomato, chopped (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped parsley (optional)
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Put the chickpeas and water in a 5-quart pot. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium, and cook, partially covered, for 1 hour. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and salt and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the kale, optional tomatoes, olive oil, and additional water if needed and simmer 10 minutes longer. Add the optional parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, Chickpea and Vegetable Soup will keep for 3 days.

Replace the bunch of kale with collards or with 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced.

Check out Jennifer's latest book, Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People.  The recipes are delicious AND practical! 

Did you try this recipe?   If so, let me know how you liked it below!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Coconut Oil Offers Hope for Alzheimer's Patients and Their Families


Alzheimer's disease is a heartbreaking condition, both for patients and their families.  The latest research offers hope for both, however, as its been discovered that coconut oil can help rejuvenate damaged brain tissue.

The latest research on Alzheimer's has indicated that the disease is related to a problem with glucose uptake in the brain.  The mechanism for glucose uptake in the brain is an area of only recent study.  What is known thus far, however, is that the brain actually produces its own insulin.  When the brain loses that ability, neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, may result.  Portions of the brain can start to atrophy from lack of energy from glucose, which leads to impaired functioning and eventual loss of memory. 

Coconut oil is offering hope for recovery from Alzheimer's disease because the medium chain fatty acids it contains are converted to ketones that feed the brain directly, allowing brain tissue to regenerate even after it has lost the ability to utilize glucose.  In clinical studies, MCTs have produced better results in Alzheimer's patients than any other treatment currently known.

Mary Newport, M.D., documented her own husband's incredible progress in reversing the disease using coconut oil as a source of ketones to regenerate his brain.  Her book, Alzheimer's Disease:  What if there was a Cure? is available for people interested in learning more about this groundbreaking new approach to treating or preventing Alzheimer's disease. 

Another researcher in the area of utilizing coconut products for promoting brain health, Bruce Fife, N.D., has released a book called Stop Alzheimer's Now!: How to Prevent & Reverse Dementia, Parkinson's, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis & Other Neurodegenerative Disorders. 

Both books are available from

References: (image)