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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Writing Is Beneficial For Stressful or Traumatic Experiences

I think this Buckeye Butterfly would consider this a stressful moment with the Praying Mantis encounter. In case you're wondering, the butterfly got away. Research says that writing about the stressful events in life makes a beneficial difference in your health.

Non-drug treatments, with little patient cost or risk, are useful supplements to drug therapy in the treatment of patients with chronic illness. Research has demonstrated that writing about emotionally traumatic experiences has a surprisingly beneficial effect on symptom reports, well-being, and health care use in healthy individuals.

There was a trial done with the objective being to determine if writing about stressful life experiences affected the disease status in patients with asthma or rheumatoid arthritis. The results determined it definitely made a difference in disease symptoms.

Doesn't it sound glorious to be able to dump your troubles on to a piece of paper with the assurance that you will actually feel better? Read the entire study.

So ... if we think that stuffing our emotions or bad life experiences will make them go away, the results are quite opposite. Even if you just write about them, it appears you take a load off of what you carry around and what is affecting your health.

Dr. John Sarno's book, The Mindbody Prescription, states he had 90-95% success rate on structural pain issues by having people pour out their anger, frustration, and stress on paper and then combat their brain's choice to create physical pain from buried and even unconscious emotions.

I know that God has answers for us on healing .... but our brain is a powerful portion of our body that controls the rest of it .... so keep searching and don't give up.

Nature and Your Health

In the two decades since Harvard University biologist E.O. Wilson first suggested that fascination with nature might be hardwired into the human brain, health researchers and psychologists such as Heerwagen have amassed significant evidence that he was right.

Research shows that regular contact with nature boosts physical and mental health as well as productivity. With a little imagination, even people who are stuck inside can reap these benefits.

Read the whole story and get some great ideas on the NWF website.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Making A Difference Improves Our Health

by Donna L. Watkins

This little bluebird is looking at his reflection in the water. I want to say, "Penny for your thoughts?" What do bluebirds think about as they fly, hop and jump around discovering new things each day?

There's been a lot of emphasis on exercise for years. It's amazing the amount of money being spent on gym and fitness center memberships. Walking has always been great exercise.

It's well known that the aerobic benefits of fast walking is good for the heart, but with all the research being done on how our health is affected by our state of mind - by stress and anxiety - it is also important to note that even slow walking has many terrific benefits if done on a nature trail in slow motion. To me it's doing what comes naturally, and like this bluebird, you'll discover new things each day too.

The value of the shadows and light patterns on a wooded path along with the sounds of songbirds serenading the forest and all inhabitants, is priceless compared to a fast hard walk on asphalt along a path that changes little from day to day. There can be a lot of muscles used on a nature walk as you bend over to look at the detail of a wildflower or stoop down to get a close-up look of a mushroom that sprang up over night in the path. You can get plenty of neck movement as you watch a female Tiger Swallowtail butterfly floating through the canopy of the forest in search of the perfect tulip poplar tree to lay its eggs.

The emotional benefits will go a long way to making it a great day and those hormones now being produced by your smiles and good thoughts are going a long way on building your health also. I've never been able to use exercise machines. I guess there's always been something inside me that said it wasn't my way. Pounding asphalt doesn't fit either, but I do enjoy gardening while all the people walk by and take time to say "good morning." It's refreshing to begin the day with greetings from human beings who have at least learned to take some time for themselves in today's busy world that screams for more and more productivity.

I always lived life at such a fast pace before having health issues that have slowed me down a bit. Sleep was a waste of time for a couple of decades of life and if I wasn't getting something done, I didn't consider it a good day. But now, I've learned to take life slower even if I have the energy to do all that I did before. I see life differently and my priorities have changed.

In the book, "The Meaning of Faith," the author, Harry Emerson Fosdick tells of a conversation that John Quincy Adams had, with a friend on a street in Boston, at the age of 80.

"Good morning," said the friend, "and how is John Quincy Adams today?"

The ex-president replied, "John Quincy Adams himself is well, quite well, thank you. But the house in which he lives at present is becoming dilapidated. It is tottering upon its foundation. Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it. Its roof is pretty well worn out. The walls are much shattered, and it trembles with every wind. The old tenement is becoming almost uninhabitable, and I think John Quincy Adams will have to move out of it soon. But he himself is quite well, quite well."

This attitude has been called "body transcendence," which means you don't judge yourself only on the state of your body. One online mention of this term is: "Body transcendence vs. body preoccupation. Stresses the ability to focus on comforts, enjoyments, and mental tasks while de-emphasizing body aches, pains, and losses. "

Getting old does not cause one to automatically become less of a person. Even while aging, we maintain many of our abilities and we can continue growing in Christ and in wisdom, as we learn to love more deeply. We should have more patience and tolerance for things our younger bodies and minds could find not comprehend. There is much to contribute to this world regardless of our state of health.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven."

Having to slow down for a health problem doesn't mean it's permanent. Sometimes our bodies just demand some R&R. Don't let a health issue make you believe that life is over and that you are no longer of value because you can't do what you used to do. Life has many seasons. Live and enjoy them as they come and keep yourself in the present. Don't look back over any regrets and don't look forward with fear. Take today and be who you are and make it a better day for somebody else.

You wouldn't believe how much a smile and a few kinds words can do for those you see each day. Taking time to add value to somebody else's life will always add value to your own. Handwriting is becoming a lost art. Take the time to write a short note to somebody - even somebody you don't know. I drive past a place when I go to town that always makes me smile. The landscaping is lovely. I realized one day that it may make a difference to the owners to know that others are receiving joy from their work, so I wrote a note and stuck it in their mailbox.

After that I decided to keep notes in my car. Making a difference in somebody else's life sure makes a difference in mine.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Natural Solution For Head Lice

Although they may sound gross, lice (the plural of louse) are a very common problem, especially for kids ages 3 years to 12 years (girls more often than boys). Lice are highly contagious and can spread quickly from person to person, especially in group settings (schools, child-care centers, slumber parties, sports activities, camps, and even playgrounds).

You may wonder if Fido or Fluffy may be catching the pests and passing them on to your family. But rest assured that pets can't catch head lice and pass them on to people or the other way around.

A child's doctor can recommend a medicated shampoo, cream, or lotion to kill the lice. These may be over-the-counter or prescription medications, depending on what treatments have already been tried. It isn't uncommon for treatments to be unsuccessful. It's important to note that these products are insecticides so they have many cautions. Applying these medications too much or too frequently can increase the risk of causing harm.

Paw Paw has properties that kill lice without the dangers of insecticide. When you read about the ingredients used in the following recipe you will find benefits for each of them to be helpful in other ways also.

Get the head lice recipe.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Dr. Whitaker’s Formula to Prevent Cataracts

"Since free radical damage is the key mechanism in the development of cataracts, it makes sense that increased levels of antioxidants would protect against them, and the research bears this out. Several studies involving thousands of people have found that long term use of multivitamins, vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E, and carotenoids (particularly lutein and zeaxanthin) reduces risk of cataracts."

And of course, green leafy vegetables including broccoli, tomatoes, melons, and citrus fruits are beneficial.

Source: Dr. Whitaker’s Health & Healing

Editor's Note: A good overall nutritional support for your eyes is called Perfect Eyes

Friday, December 1, 2006

Connecticut to Use Only Safe Cleaning Products

All state agencies in Connecticut will now use only environmentally safe cleaning products in their facilities. Green products maintain sanitary conditions while minimizing harmful side effects and improving indoor air quality. More here

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Plastic Water Bottles & Unsafe Water

According to the Container Recycling Institute, an estimated 8 in 10, or 22 billion single-serving plastic water bottles won't make it into the recycling bin this year, but instead will end up in a landfill.

What's more, bottled water isn't necessarily safer than tap water. Bottled-water companies aren't required to disinfect or test for parasites such as Cryptosporidium or Giardia, a requirement for city tap water.

Read Consumer Reports complete bottled water report.
Read about Fertilizes and Medications In Bottled Water.
For more information on the state of plastics recycling, and how you can help, here's a website.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Holiday Cleansing and Weight Loss

It's the time of the year for both. With all the junk food and holiday treats consumed, many people begin thinking about a cleanse before the season hits. Seems to make sense to lose a few pounds before clothes get snug. :-)

The Dieter's Cleanse is a great combination of cleansing and weight loss formulas. Cleansing is the best first step to any weight management program, but if I just want to do a cleanse I choose between these two: Clean Start and Chinese Tiao He Cleanse

These links are to The Herbs Place since they sell Nature's Sunshine Products at wholesale prices.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Essential Oils in Well-Known Cancer Treatment Center

Imagine this: a bubble bath that improves your memory a kitchen cleaner that wards off nausea and energizes you a scented handkerchief that calms your jangled nerves.

Usually, people from throughout the world come for treatment to Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the country's top hospitals for cancer care. So you probably wouldn't associate something alternative like aromatherapy with a internationally known cancer facility, especially when the world is so filled with skeptics.

Learn the uses, healing properties and how-tos of using aromatherapy to heal and get stress out of your life, courtesy of one of the world's best known cancer centers. Read the entire article.

What About Quality and Purity
Best Place to Shop for Essential Oils & Accessories
Tell Me About Essential Oils
Essential Oil Recipes

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Hospitals Serving Organic Food

Hospitals are serving all-natural all-organic foods in their cafeterias to satisfy not only their mission to promote health but the appetites of visitors and workers who rave about the fresh fruit smoothies, wild salmon, and homemade pies with antioxidant-rich dried cherries.

Not only does the organic food taste great, but the hospitals' budgets are benefiting, because more people are buying the food. No longer does the cafeteria staff worry about which patient needs low-salt and which needs low-fat. Everybody gets the same healthy, lean, and tasty food. In just a year one hospital rid its menu of all trans fats and major additives. Read entire article

What Do Stools Tell Us?

From your stool you may be able to get clues about your diet, your gastrointestinal health, and even whether your stress, anger, or anxiety levels are too high. Stools can reveal a lot about your health. Find out what your stool can tell you.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Why Should I Cleanse?

Millions of us suffer from disease, sickness and pain because we simply don't know this truth about our own health: our bodies are not properly eliminating poisons and environmental toxins. The colon's job is to hold waste before it is evacuated from the body and to reabsorb water from the waste.

Years of poor eating habits, low-fiber diets, sedentary living and other lifestyle choices can slow the digestive processes. If waste sits in the colon too long, toxins build up there and are eventually absorbed back into the body. A toxic colon eventually leads to a toxic liver, which pollutes the tissues and the bloodstream, making a person very sick.

Get more information on symptoms indicating a cleanse may be helpful and find a list of toxins that reside in the colon and reason to keep the colon clean by reading the article, Why Should I Cleanse.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Help for Childhood Obesity

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has a website to get kids healthy and out of obesity. Doctors and laypersons working together for compassionate and effective medical practice, research, and health promotion. PCRM promotes preventive medicine through innovative programs. Statistics show that people who maintain a healthy weight throughout life stay well and live longer than those who are overweight. The lifestyle habits that help keep us slim - exercise and a healthy diet - also cut our risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

This site has helpful tips, hints and resources to help with childhood obesity. Get a free booklet by mail or download the PDF version of it on the site. Visit Kids Get Healthy now.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Black Tea Soothes Away Stress

The BBC reports that scientists found evidence behind what many tea drinkers already know - a regular cuppa can help you recover more quickly from everyday life stresses. The study of black tea - instead of green or herbal varieties - found it helps cut levels of the stress hormone cortisol circulating in the blood. They found people who drank tea were able to de-stress more quickly than those who drank a tea substitute.

Source: BBC News

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

At Risk - Common Household Cleaning Products

There are three ways toxic chemicals enter the body: by swallowing, by breathing, or by contact with the skin or eyes. An EPA report concluded that toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than oudoor air pollution.

In one study conducted over a 15-year period, women who worked at home had a 54% higher death rate from cancer than women who had jobs away from the home. The study concluded that the increased death rate was due to daily exposure to hazardous chemicals found in ordinary household products.

What is not being reported are the slow poisonings that occur in every home from continual exposure to household cleaning chemcials. Cancer, birth defects, heart disease, genetic changes - almost any symptom imaginable, both physical and psychological, has been associated with certain chemicals in common household products. At greatest risk are fetuses, children, the elderly, pets, and those who are already ill.

Sunshine Concentrate Household Multi-Use Cleaner

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Lift Your Spirits with Lemon Essential Oil

During long voyages, seafaring men often found themselves seized by a debilitating illness they called “scurvy.” It was a most unpleasant and sometimes fatal condition. Symptoms ranged from spongy gums and loosened teeth to bleeding in the soft tissues. Random experimentation by these world travelers uncovered a simple remedy. The ingestion of citrus fruits, mainly limes and lemons, proved to be a miracle cure. Just like the sailors of old, you too can tap into the miraculous revitalizing power of citrus with Lemon Essential Oil.

For many of us, the color and fragrance of a lemon bring to mind freshness and vitality. While the uses of lemon and lemon juice are countless and varied, perhaps the strongest effect Lemon Essential Oil has to offer is that of lifting our spirits, particularly when we face mental fatigue.

Lemon Essential Oil helps the body face physical and psychological weariness, most strongly influencing the mind by supporting concentration and the ability to memorize. In Japan, a test showed a 54 percent decrease in typing mistakes when lemon oil was diffused into an office area. If your concentration needs a lift, get a bottle of Nature's Sunshine Lemon Essential Oil at the link below.

The Essential Facts
Lemon Essential Oil is a powerful antiseptic. Not only has it been used to clean contaminated surfaces, such as a butcher’s cutting block, but it has a powerful antibacterial and antiviral effect attributable to its limonene content.

Lemon Essential Oil also contains antifungal compounds. Some people have even used lemon to disinfect questionable drinking water. Because of its vitamin content, Lemon Essential Oil offers strong support to the immune system.

Rather than exhibit an extreme acidic quality, Lemon Essential Oil works as an excellent stabilizer of the body’s acidity-alkalinity content. Its astringent qualities make lemon oil useful in the home for many conditions, including insect bites, fever and skin conditions.

The Acid Test
Make sure your essential oils are pure. We use and sell Nature's Sunshine Lemon Essential Oil. It is certified organic and cold-pressed from lemon rind. Extracting this precious substance from the lemon peel is costly and time-consuming. The peels of about 1,500 lemons are required to produce one pound of lemon oil. In our competitive market, some companies may be tempted to add synthetic ingredients to their lemon oil, such as those created to approximate a lemon scent in commercial detergents and soaps, but that won't happen with Nature's Sunshine. Purchase 100% Pure Lemon Essential Oil

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Detoxify Your Soaps and Cleaning Supplies

Sunshine Concentrate is an environmentally-friendly cleaning and washing concentrate with a multitude of uses. We've used it for 15 years for laundry, hand soap, pet baths, soaking produce, dishwasher, cleaning, washing cars, for gardening, and a multitude of other uses. This product has saved us money and health. No more "itch" of chemical soaps. Read more about Sunshine Concentrate.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Buy Local Produce and Food

Most of the produce and meats on your dinner table were shipped an average of 1500 miles before being sold in your grocery store.

That's U.S. produce -- We're not talking about New Zealand beef and Costa Rican bananas and coffee. Shop a farmer's market or find farmers and cut the emissions used to truck food around the country. Visit Local Harvest to find a local source for foods and support the economy in your area and the farmers so they aren't forced to sell their farms.

Nothing tastes better than something picked fresh and ripe.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Nature Makes Us Happy and Heals Our Bodies

Intuitively, we know something in us responds to nature, even as most of us live our workaday lives further and further removed from flora and fauna. Learn why contact with animals, plants and nature may be a potent antidote to stress, distracting us from worrisome thoughts, depression, reducing anxiety and lowering blood pressure. Gathering some facts from these articles will send you running to the nearest green space you can find.

The Value of Autumn

Monday, September 4, 2006

Eating Wild and Natural

Randal and I have been vegetarians for 27 years, but we realize there are people who will never give up their meat. So, the next best alternative is to at least provide information for meat-eaters to choose humane sourced meats, so they won't be buying factory-farmed products.

The Eat Wild website is the most comprehensive website on grass-based farming, providing information about the animal welfare, human health and environmental benefits of grass-fed husbandry. On this website you can also locate grass-based farmers by state from which to buy grassfed beef, veal, bison, poultry, pork, eggs and milk.

Select the "Shop for Meat, Eggs & Dairy" tab on the left side of the page, then your state, for a list of farmers in your area. Some farmers will ship products directly to your door, so look at neighboring states also. Visit Eat Wild.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Milk Thistle For The Liver

Our livers have a big job and with all the pollution in our air, water and foods, a little bit of herbal help would prove to be wise. Our forefathers always did Spring tonics for the liver and blood because they knew that keeping their livers healthy had a lot to do with feeling good.

This powerful formula provides nutrients that must be present for the liver to perform its 500 or more functions. It contains Vitamin A & C, milk thistle extract (80% silymarin, 175 mg.), dandelion root (150 mg.), choline bitartrate (60 mg.), and inositol (60 mg.).

Milk Thistle consists of three powerful liver-protective flavonoids. These flavonoids, silybin, silydianin, and silychristin, are usually referred to as silymarin. The effects of silymarin are well researched, showing protection against such hepato-toxins as alcohol, carbon tetrachloride, pesticides, heavy metals, and acetaminophen overdose. Not only can silymarin protect liver cells, it can regenerate already damaged ones. Additionally, silymarin was shown to increase liver, stomach, and intestinal glutathione. Read more about Milk Thistle.

The ABCs of Immune Defense for Kids

It's time for school supplies and getting your children prepared for another year of school. Don't forget to include the supplies you need to keep them healthy. Keeping their immune systems working at peak efficiency will prevent colds and flu from gaining ground.

Here's a great article that will help you to have some direction in keep your kids healthy. They don't have to be sick. Read Defending Kids Against Disease by Brian Gill.

Study Shows Laughter Helps Blood Vessels Function Better

Using laughter-provoking movies to gauge the effect of emotions on cardiovascular health, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have shown for the first time that laughter is linked to healthy function of blood vessels. Laughter appears to cause the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow.

When the same group of study volunteers was shown a movie that produced mental stress, their blood vessel lining developed a potentially unhealthy response called vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow. That finding confirms previous studies, which suggested there was a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels. Read the entire story.

The FDA Formed 100 Years Ago - Are We Safer Because of It

A century ago, in an era of snake-oil salesmen, dangerous medicines, and horrifying conditions in the meatpacking industry, Congress created the Food and Drug Administration. Consumers’ health and safety has improved remarkably since then. Yet problems with our food and drugs today echo the very reasons the FDA was established.

Congress and some states are considering legislation to require that drug companies make public their clinical trial results. And measures in Congress would empower the FDA to require drugmakers to complete any requested follow-up safety studies once their products are on the market, so patients and doctors know about harmful side effects. But the bills languish, fought by a pharmaceutical industry that flourishes in the status quo. Read the entire article here at Consumer Reports.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Spoiled Meat Looks Fresh 8 Weeks After Sell-by Date

Attention, meat shoppers: Your supermarket may be selling ground beef and steaks packaged with gas that keeps it looking red for a month or longer. Consumer Reports tests found that meat packaged using that method stayed red even if it was spoiled. They tested 10 samples of locally purchased ground beef and steaks from three companies. We found that the meat appeared red even if it was spoiled or had bacterial counts that were close to indicating spoilage. By their use- or freeze-by date, seven samples were fresh but two packages of ground beef from one company were spoiled; an additional sample was on the brink of spoilage a day before the stamped date. Get more info - find out what you can do at your grocery

Monday, July 24, 2006

Women’s Sleep Habits Predict Weight Gain

Skimping on sleep may mean greater weight gain for women. That’s the finding of a study presented in San Diego at the American Thoracic Society’s International Conference.

Data came from 68,183 healthy women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study. The Nurses’ Health study started in 1976, when women were 30-55 years old. In 1986, the women reported how much sleep they usually got per night. They reported their weight every two years for the next 16 years.

Women who reported sleeping five or six hours per night gained more weight than those who got seven hours of nightly sleep, the study shows. The researchers included Sanjay Patel, M.D., of Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University. Read the rest of the story

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Antibacterial Soaps a Danger

An increasing social obsession with cleanliness may be doing more harm than good. Scientists at the recent International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia, revealed that the widespread use of antibacterial soaps on children might influence the development of chronic diseases and lead to other health problems in developed countries.

Scientists suspect that eradicating organisms can weaken some parts of a child's immune system and cause an imbalance that triggers illnesses, such as asthma, allergies and some severe types of diabetes.

Read this article from the Discovery Channel, "The Dirty Truth about Washing Your Hands"

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Using Simple Remedies for Sick Children (and Adults)

These comments are shared with you as a story of what our family has done. It is not meant to prescribe for you.

1) Insist on lots of rest. Help your child feel as comfortable as possible, but in a resting position. Don't allow books, games, or TV that will stimulate the body which produces stress on the immune system.

2) Simplify and lighten the diet. Lack of appetite is natural and remember that it takes the same energy to digest a meal as it takes to ride a bike 5 miles, so don't feed unless hungry and then only small portions of food without much fat or protein.

3) Give plenty of water, especially if there is fever. A child with a fever must be pushed to drink at least a small amount of water or herbal tea (1/4 to 1 cup) each hour or two. Water is needed for the body to 'flush out' the dead bad guys.

4) Address any infection that might be present with the appropriate treatment. Treatment will be quickest and easiest if you begin at the first signs of illness, but you can begin using the herbs at any time during the course of illness.

We've used herbs for our family. We keep an Herbal Medicine Chest of our favorite products on hand. We have personally followed the above guidelines. We would give only water, watered down non-citrus juices, and herbal teas to drink and withdraw food for 24 hours. We would set the timer hourly, through the night if necessary, to feed the soldiers of the immune system. They are fighting a war with the virus or bacteria present that is causing the illness, so they need to be given ammunition on a regular basis or they will lose the war.

Often people lose the battle when using herbs and nutritional remedies because they administer them just a few times during the day, while trying to maintain the normal schedule without enough rest, and eating foods that weaken the immune system even further.

It takes a common sense approach to make herbs work and also common sense to know when to go beyond using herbs. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Read more about herbs and children

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Center for Food Safety Concerned About Mad Cow Disease

Beginning in the 1970s, the meat rendering industry began processing dead, dying, disabled, and diseased animals for use in livestock feed--and pet feed--as a way to increase the protein consumption of cattle, pigs, sheep, and poultry (cattle can get the disease by eating less than one gram of diseased meat and bone meal fed to them as a protein source).

For over 30 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture have been flirting with a mad cow disease epidemic. The public has largely been kept in the dark about regulatory decisions leading toward this potential public health catastrophe and even about the dangers associated with eating contaminated meat and meat products.

Tissue from infected cows' central nervous systems (including brain or spinal cord) is the most infectious part of a cow. Such tissue may be found in hot dogs, taco fillings, bologna and other products containing gelatin, and ground or chopped meat.

Humans who eat contaminated beef products are at risk of contracting the human version of mad cow disease known as new variant Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (vCJD). The disease slowly eats holes in the brain over a matter of years, turning it sponge-like, and invariably results in death. There is no known cure, treatment, or vaccine for TSE diseases.

Despite the adoption of additional safeguards following the discovery of mad cow in the United States, the FDA still allows the risky practice of recycling animal offal into feed: ruminant animals (cattle, sheep, goats, deer) are fed to non-ruminants (pigs and poultry), and these non-ruminants are rendered and fed back to ruminants. Such practices are banned in Britain and Europe. Also, in spite of the wake-up call the FDA and the USDA recently received, only a small percentage of slaughtered or soon-to-be slaughtered cows are tested for BSE in the U.S. By contrast, Britain tests 70 percent of its beef cattle and Japan tests 100 percent.

So far, none of the vCJD cases diagnosed in the U.S. have been linked to domestically-produced beef, but this fact may have little bearing on the reality of the situation: the disease has a long incubation period and few dementia-related deaths in the U.S. are investigated. Creutzfeld-Jakob disease is not yet a reportable disease with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Center for Food Safety seeks to make CJD a reportable disease so occurrences can be tracked, and to plug the loopholes that still exist in FDA and USDA regulations, i.e., require testing of all cattle over 20 months of age and ban all animal products from feed.

Visit their website for further resources and information on Mad Cow Disease. This is a preventable disease so be informed. It seems our governmental agencies do not have our best interests at heart. The Center For Food Safety.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Essential Oils Are Nature's Remedies

Essential oils are frequently referred to as the "life force" of plants. Unlike fatty oils, these "essential" oils are volatile, highly concentrated, substances extracted from flowers, leaves, stems, roots, seeds, bark, resin or fruit rinds.

The amount of essential oil found in these plants can be anywhere from 0.01 percent to 10 percent of the total. That's why tons of plant material are required for just a few hundred pounds of oil. These oils have potent antimicrobial factors, having 200-300 therapeutic constituents.

Beware of imitations. Essential oils cannot be substituted with synthetics. Only pure oils contain a full spectrum of compounds that cheap imitations simply cannot duplicate. Read the complete article.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Low-Fat Diets Do Not Cut Health Risks

The largest study ever to ask whether a low-fat diet reduces the risk of getting cancer or heart disease has found that the diet has no effect.

A major study published gave some researchers pause. Nearly 49,000 women were randomly assigned to follow a low fat diet or their regular diet for eight years while researchers kept track of their rates of breast cancer, colon cancer and heart disease. Not only did the diets have no effect on these diseases, they also had no effect on the weight.

Read about it at The New York Times website.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Could Soy Help You Lose Weight?

Weight LossCould adding soy to your diet help you lose weight? University of Illinois scientist John Erdman says preliminary findings are intriguing. Although reports in recent days have downplayed the research that links soy to heart health, Erdman said the evidence indicates that soy can help alleviate some of the symptoms of the chronic diseases related to obesity.

"A number of studies do link consumption of soy to improved cardiovascular health, including lower cholesterol and blood lipids," said the U of I food science and human nutrition professor. "A 3 to 4 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol is not insignificant, and several studies have reported similar findings."

He noted that other studies show that soy appears to reduce blood pressure and enhance vascular function. "And we've also seen evidence that soy slows the progression of diabetes and kidney disease," he said. "We need to continue to study the effects of soy, but if you're overweight, it makes sense to incorporate soy into your diet for these reasons alone."

But there's more to this story than the debate over soy's heart-healthy benefits, he said. Soy protein may be of special benefit to weight watchers for its effects on satiety and body composition. The benefit of high-protein diets in weight loss has been documented, Erdman said, and soy is an excellent source of vegetable protein.

"High-protein diets are effective because protein gives you a feeling of satiety so you eat less and lose more. Protein-rich diets also preserve lean body tissue so that you lose fat and not muscle," he said.

At least one study has raised the question of whether soy protein may be better at promoting weight loss than other protein sources, he said.

Source: John Erdman - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Easy Addition of Soy to the Diet

The easiest way to add soy to your diet is to switch to soy milk which can be used for shakes, smoothies, cooking, cereal and anything you would use milk for. Smoothies are a great way to lose weight since you can pack them full of nutrition with minimal calories and you can sip them to make the meal last longer. Variety can be had simply by changing the fruit you add or the flavoring. Check out the recipe below.

Tofu Moo soy milk powder is a great way to make only as much soy milk as you need. No worries about containers going back before you finish them. If you're making smoothies, you can mix the powder and water in the blender container so no need to keep a bottle of soy milk in the refrigerator.

Don't like the beige or tan color of most soy milks? No worries with Tofu Moo. It's white like milk!

Read more about and purchase Nature's Sunshine's Tofu Moo