Category Archives: Natural News

Paleo Diet Basics

PALEO DIET BASICS

With all of the diets out there, it’s hard to know which one has the qualities you are looking for or can live by.  Over the past few years I’ve heard paleo this – paleo that.  I wanted to share a brief summary that might help you understand this particular diet.  I’ll be sharing paleo recipes in upcoming posts for you to try out.

Dr. Loren Cordain, Ph.D., the word’s leading expert on paleolithic diets and founder of the paleo movement explains the paleo diet as the following:

The paleo diet is based upon eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era, the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to the beginning of the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago. These foods include fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game meat, if you can get it), fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed). Dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods were not part of our ancestral menu.

paleo diet healthy eating high protein low carb vegetable fruit weight loss organic rabbit

Decades of research by Dr. Loren Cordain and his scientific colleagues demonstrate that hunter-gatherers typically were free from the chronic illnesses and diseases that are epidemic in Western populations, including:

  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Acne
  • Myopia (nearsightedness), macular degeneration, glaucoma
  • Varicose veins, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, gastric reflux
  • Gout

The paleo diet premise includes the following:

  • Higher protein intake
  • Lower carbohydrate intake and lower glycemic index
  • Higher fiber intake
  • Moderate to higher fat intake dominated by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with balanced Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats
  • Higher potassium and lower sodium intake
  • Net dietary alkaline load that balances dietary acid
  • Higher intake of, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals

For a more in depth explanation, go here.

While I don’t endorse or deny any claims made in regards to the paleo diet.  It’s definitely worth looking into.  Information is power.

Look for upcoming paleo recipes.

 

 

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GMOs Exposed! I urge you to read this!

GMOs Exposed!

English: Poison Symbol

English: Poison Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently read an article titled “Overcoming the GMO Lies” that made me feel as if I was sucker punched.  In simple language, the article breaks down why it is so important to read the labels on the food we buy. We are being blatantly deceived by the biotech industry about GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms).  The biotech industry are the “chemists” that make the majority of the foods sold in the grocery store.  Chemists, not farmers.

This information directly affects what we put in our bodies and our health.  What is more important or valuable than our families health?  Nothing.  The article breaks down very clearly and simply the lies we are being fed when it comes to the food we buy.

Here is why GMOs are probably the worst science experiment ever created.  I found these astonishing facts at “10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs“.  I’ve condensed them a bit and added my own two-cents but I urge you to read the full explanation at Responsible Technology.

10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs

1. GMOs are unhealthy.
Numerous health problems have increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise.

2. GMOs contaminate―forever.
GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.

Will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste!

3. GMOs increase herbicide use.
Most GM crops are engineered to be “herbicide tolerant”― the deadly weed killer. Monsanto, for example, sells Roundup Ready crops designed to survive applications of their Roundup herbicide.  Roundup, for example, is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

We buy more herbicide products because it doesn’t do the job on the resistant crops, they make more money, you get sicker and big pharma gets richer.  Nice gig huh?

4. Genetic engineering creates dangerous side effects.
By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects. Moreover, irrespective of the type of genes that are inserted, the very process of creating a GM plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

When we deprive our bodies of nutrients, we are continually hungry.  That leads to eating more often and unless we choose nutrient rich foods that our bodies require, we will stay continually hungry.  Eat bad food, stay hungry, gain weight, get sick.  See where I’m going with this?

5. Government oversight is dangerously lax.
Most of the health and environmental risks of GMOs are ignored by governments’ superficial regulations and safety assessments. The reason for this tragedy is largely political. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, doesn’t require a single safety study, does not mandate labeling of GMOs, and allows companies to put their GM foods onto the market without even notifying the agency. Their justification was the claim that they had no information showing that GM foods were substantially different. But this was a lie.

Secret agency memos made public by a lawsuit show that the overwhelming consensus even among the FDA’s own scientists was that GMOs can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects. They urged long-term safety studies. But the White House had instructed the FDA to promote biotechnology, and the agency official in charge of policy was Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, later their vice president. He’s now the US Food Safety Czar.

6. The biotech industry uses “tobacco science” to claim product safety.

Biotech companies like Monsanto told us that Agent Orange, PCBs, and DDT were safe. They are now using the same type of superficial, rigged research to try and convince us that GMOs are safe. Independent scientists, however, have caught the spin-masters red-handed, demonstrating without doubt how industry-funded research is designed to avoid finding problems, and how adverse findings are distorted or denied.

7. Independent research and reporting is attacked and suppressed. 
Scientists who discover problems with GMOs have been attacked, gagged, fired, threatened, and denied funding. The journal Nature acknowledged that a “large block of scientists . . . denigrate research by other legitimate scientists in a knee-jerk, partisan, emotional way that is not helpful in advancing knowledge.” Attempts by media to expose problems are also often censored.

Countless amounts of money, time and man power is spent to cover up the truths about GMOs so those in charge can keep their jobs, stay rich while the rest of us get sicker and sicker.  This is all about money, bottom line!

8. GMOs harm the environment.

GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.

Bee shortage explained?  Mysterious bird deaths by the thousands?  Marine life dying off in masses with no explanation?

9. GMOs do not increase yields. They work against feeding a hungry world.
Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report, authored by more than 400 scientists and backed by 58 governments determined that the current GMOs have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability.

On the contrary, GMOs divert money and resources that would otherwise be spent on more safe, reliable, and appropriate technologies.

10. By avoiding GMOs, you contribute to the coming tipping point of consumer rejection, forcing them out of our food supply.
Because GMOs give no consumer benefits, if even a small percentage of us start rejecting brands that contain them, GM ingredients will become a marketing liability. Food companies will kick them out.

In Europe, for example, the tipping point was achieved in 1999, just after a high profile GMO safety scandal hit the papers and alerted citizens to the potential dangers. In the US, a consumer rebellion against GM bovine growth hormone has also reached a tipping point, kicked the cow drug out of dairy products by Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Dannon, Yoplait, and most of America’s dairies.

The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to achieve a tipping point against GMOs in the US. The number of non-GMO shoppers needed is probably just 5% of the population. The key is to educate consumers about the documented health dangers and provide a Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make avoiding GMOs much easier.

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I’m not trying scare anyone, actually I am.  This is scary stuff.  Our own government is allowing these atrocities to take place. You can read more in-depth at http://blogs.naturalnews.com/overcoming-the-gmo-lies/.  Make your food choice decisions yourself.  You can’t say you weren’t warned.  You can do something about it if you make the right choices.

What can you do to help? By choosing organic and/or non-GMO brands. The biotech companies are out for the almighty dollar, not our health or safety. Please consider choosing healthier non-GMO brands, tell others about GMOs so they can do the same. Together we can quickly reclaim a non-GMO food supply.

gmo

gmo (Photo credit: decorat)

Organics aren’t just a fad.  For more information on organics, read Why Organic?.

Look for an upcoming article on label reading.  It sounds easy enough but the biotech industries don’t come right out and tell you there are GMOs in your food.  They hide them in fancy sounding ingredients.  Knowledge is power.

 

 

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Whats with Dry Brushing?

Whats with Dry Brushing?

Have you heard about dry brushing and wondered what, why and how?

WHAT is Dry Brushing?

Dry skin brushing is a simple and effective way to detox the body and renew the skin.  

images-1

WHY I dig Dry Brushing!

Your skin is your largest organ so if you treat it right, it will treat you right.  The benefits of dry brushing definitely outweigh the effort of dry brushing.  Here’s a quick list of the awesome benefits:

  1. Removes dead skin cells.  Especially in the rough and tumble areas like the elbows, knees, back of the heels and ankles.
  2. Helps the lymphatic system release toxins and boosts circulation.
  3. By releasing toxins, it helps in digestion and kidney function.  The skin is the last organ to receive nutrients but the first organ to show signs of deficiency.
  4. Opens clogged pores.  Most people exfoliate their face on a regular basis but the rest of the body gets no love?
  5. Strengthens the immune system by encouraging the body to release metabolic waste.   We know how important the immune system is right?
  6. And my favorite benefit of dry brushing is the reduction in appearance of CELLULITE!  It promotes tighter skin and a smoother complexion.

In my weight loss journey I’ve had some significant cellulite.  I’ve used creams, coffee grinds, rollers, tears, hopes and wishes but nothing worked until I started dry brushing.  My cellulite is almost non-existent now.  No joke.  The more I dry brush, the better my skin looks.  So much that I don’t focus on my cellulite any longer.

imgres

HOW do you Dry Brush?

Dry Brushing is one of the simplest, quickest and easiest ways to do something great for our bodies largest organ.

I purchased my dry brush at my local big box store for under $10.  It came with a long handle attached to the brush.  The brush has an elastic band on the back of it.  I don’t use the long handle at all.  You may need it for the hard to reach areas on your back perhaps.  I just slip my hand under the elastic band and go to town.   It’s easier for me to reach most places without the long clumsy stick.  But for the middle of the back it comes in handy.images

Dry brush your body prior to showering or bathing so that you can wash off the toxins and impurities that dry brushing produces.  Always use a dry brush on dry skin.

  • Starting at your feet in long upward strokes, brush towards your heart working up your legs one at a time, the calves, back of knees and thighs.  Just a warning, it may tickle a little at first but you get used to it.
  • Continue to work up your body in the direction of your heart including your buttocks.
  • Work your lower back upwards as well.
  • Next, work from your hands, up your arms to your chest working one arm at a time.  Make sure to do your armpits as well as much of your lymph nodes live there.
  • For the abdomen, you will brush in a large circle clockwise motion as if you are making huge circles and zeroing in on your belly button.
  • For the parts above the heart, you will brush them downward towards the heart center.  Start brushing at your collarbone, down your chest towards your heart.
  • Follow your dry brushing session with a cleansing shower and follow with a good moisturizer like coconut oil or jojoba oil. 

dry_brushTIPS:

1. Always brush towards the heart.

2. When brushing the abdomen, brush in a clockwise circular motion.

3. It is normal for the skin to turn pink.

4. Don’t brush too hard, you don’t need strength, a light brushing is fine.

5. Avoid skin that is broken or torn.

6. Clean your brush with soap and water afterwards.  Matter of fact, take it in the shower with you and clean it so its nice and dry for your next session.

7. Don’t dry brush your face.  There are other stimulating techniques for your face.

8. Its best to use long, upward overlapping strokes.

9. The best time to brush is in the morning before your shower.

10. A good dry brushing session should take about 5 minutes.

Your skin is an excellent barometer of your health.  Which stands to reason that if you treat it accordingly, it’s better for your overall health.  I wish I had started doing this simple quick effective routine sooner.

This is one small change that can make a BIG difference.  

Why Organic?

Why Organic?

Labeling for products that meet the USDA-NOP s...

Labeling for products that meet the USDA-NOP standards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the past few years I’ve become increasingly aware of exactly what I’m putting into my body.  I’m not just talking about fruit and vegetables but how they are grown and what is on them.

So what exactly constitutes “Organic”?

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

English: Organic cultivation of mixed vegetabl...

English: Organic cultivation of mixed vegetables on an organic farm in Capay, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why is organic important for our health?

REASON #1

One reason is that it’s better for your health.  Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time.  However, these effects depend on how toxic the pesticide is and how much of it is consumed.

Some pesticides may also pose more health risks to children.  Pesticides may harm a developing child by blocking the absorption of important food nutrients necessary for normal healthy growth and development.  Another way pesticides may cause harm is if a child’s excretory system is not fully developed, the body may not fully remove pesticides.  There are “critical periods” in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual’s biological system operates.

If a food is not labeled organic, you can bet there was any number of pesticides used during its creation.  Luckily the USDA does regulate organic labeling so you know what you and your family are consuming.

REASON #2

Another reason is the environmental footprint.  Not only is consuming organic foods and products better for our bodies but there are environmental benefits as well.  For every acre of organic farming, roughly 7000 pounds annually of carbon dioxide is removed from the environment.  Which, according to the Organic Trade Association equates to a 1/3 of the cars used worldwide.

Another reason is that about 30 – 50% less energy is expelled in organic farming.  This includes the gasoline to power the trucks that carry the pesticides, the machinery used to distribute it and the amount of water used in the process.  The USDA states, “Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water”.

ORGANIC FOODS STILL USE PETICIDES?

That’s not to say that organic farmers don’t use pesticides.  It means that these pesticides, if used, must be derived from natural sources, not synthetically manufactured. Also, these pesticides must be applied using equipment that has not been used to apply any synthetic materials for the past three years, and the land being planted cannot have been treated with synthetic materials for that period either.

In conclusion, eating organic foods will allow you avoid ingesting synthetic chemicals, heavy metals and solvents.  But food is not the only product affected.  This applies to the products we use ON our bodies as well such as beauty products.

Our skin is the largest organ we have and tiny amounts of harmful chemicals can leach into the bloodstream, albeit a very small amount at a time and over time and used daily, it may make a difference.  For this reason, more and more parents are choosing to use products that use organic ingredients.  Better late then never to start embracing organics right?  Just one small step towards a healthier you.

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