Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Trees

This post is a little late for this year but its something to think about for next year.

Did you know that many artificial trees contain lead?????

Children who touch the tree and then put their hands in their mouth, or eat without washing, can ingest the lead. It can also be inhaled through dust in the air that comes from the tree. Lead is a neurotoxin and should be avoided at all costs, especially with young children.

What you can do:

- Buy a real tree! :) Artificial trees end up in landfills eventually.

- do not let children play with Christmas lights either as the coating on the wire USUALLY contains lead because its made from PVC (like the tree). Unfortunately so do many ornaments "made in china". Even trees made in the USA can contain lead.

- buy a lead test online for about $15 to test your tree. I found a kit at my local hardware store as well but Im not sure if they are as accurate

- if you have an older artificial tree, throw it out and get a newer one which should have lower levels of lead.

- gate the tree or put it somewhere that in inaccesible to your children

- If your child touches the tree, have them thoroughly wash their hands

- Do NOT put presents beneath the tree. dust containing lead can settle on the presents. Just store them somewhere else (this helps keep the focus off presents as well!)



This year we got a real, potted table-top tree that we can plant in our backyard after Christmas. Its a green idea and the kids love it!

Merry Christmas!

ARTICLE

BBQ Sauce

My husband loves BBQ sauce but the regular stuff is FULL of HFCS, sugar, soybean oil, etc. I searched and searched for one that doesnt contain HFCS or soy. Well I finally found one and its also organic! Its about $4 a bottle and its delicious!


It still has sugar but its great for the occasional use. And since it costs slightly more than regular BBQ sauce we tend to use less anyways. I think I found mine at Central market - hopefully it will be more readily available soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another Shameless Marketing Scam


These big companies blow me away.

yesterday I was at the grocery story and saw a canned fruit by DelMonte that said "Healthy Kids".

Surprise, surprise. Its in a "light syrup", not even 100% fruit juice (fruit juice isnt great, but its at least healthier than sugar) It has 49 grams of sugar to be exact. Its so much healthier to eat a peach - or apple - or whatever - something not in an aluminum can. "Enriched" just means they added in vitamins - but vitamins and minerals found in nature are always better used by the body.

Canned foods are great occasionally. We use canned organic beans a lot since I cant cook beans without burning them horribly. But fruit is so easy, why eat canned??? (my husband loves it but the kids rarely, rarely have any)

The point is that they are trying to market to parents who want to be healthier. That is a GOOD thing but they are taking advantage.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Safer Dishwashing Soap

This is a follow-up. Ive finally found a safe soap to use in our dishwasher that WORKS. I am careful to rinse my dishes after use so I dont expect to much from something without bleach and nasty chemicals but the pay-off is worth it. It is SO nice to know that my plates/silverware, etc. are safe when I pull them out of the dishwasher. And this BioKleen powder is working great for us! I got mine at Kroger. Here is an online merchant that carries it.
Two thumbs up from me!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

How They Make the Flu Shot

This is hilarious.

"How they make the Flu Shot"

makes you think twice (I hope).

The flu shot is an easy NO for us. We do use a homeopathic treatment called
Influenzium. You take two tablets, one time a month, during flu season. I got
them from my Dr but Ive heard you can get them online (I couldnt find it but its late and Im tired). Homeopathic treatments are safe, so even our 1yr old takes two tablets like we do. It cant hurt! ;)



Flu —The homeopathic flu remedy is reformulated each fall using the current viral strain—just as is the flu vaccination. In fact, the Influenzium remedy protects better than a vaccine—it's safer and more effective. A dose of the remedy can be taken once a month as a preventative. If you have symptoms take the remedy every hour for four hours until symptoms ease. Or if you've had the standard flu vaccination and it made you ill, the Influenzium remedy will help you get well. The French flu remedy Oscilliocossum has been used by 63 million people, and I always have a course of it in the homeopathic drawer during the flu season.

source

Awesome, Yummy, Healthy Muffins!

Thsi morning my oldest told me he was "sick of eggs" so I dusted off an old muffin recipe Id tried before and made it our own. They are delicious - and have no refined sugar and are dairy, soy and egg-free! Try them out and let me know what you think :)

1/4 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Honey (or molasses/agave/etc)
1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
1 tsp real vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour (i used freshly ground organic whole wheat hard white berries - yum!)
1/2 tsp aluminum-free Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg or cloves (opt)

3/4 cup Organic raisins

Combine wet ingredients in one bowl
Combine dry ingredients in seperate bowl and whisk together.
Add wet ingredients until moistened. Add raisins and stir gently.

Bake 375 for 18-20 mins in greased muffin pans (i used coconut oil to grease my silicon muffin pan)

Delicious! :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Jud :(

Jud (see original post) has gone to be with the Lord

Parent's Journal

I am so grieved for his parents and family :(
But I rejoice knowing he has a new body and is dancing in the streets of heaven! Praise God!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the good guys. Its had a bad rep in the past but its making a comeback. But. Coconut oil is NOT all created equal. Most of the stuff you can get in your health food store is refined, bleached, deodorized and just plain useless. You have to buy from a reputable company who preserves the integrity of the oil to get the health benefits.

We buy ours from TropicalTraditions.com. The best choice is their organic but we get the expeller pressed since I dont like the tast of coconut. They refine theirs in a gentle way, using no solvents or bleach, etc. so it retains its healthy benefits.

*For one more day its on sale, Buy one Get one Free! SALE

Since we have dairy allergies we use it ALL time in place of butter - to cook eggs, on toast, to sautee, etc.

There is a ton of information on their site that will explain it better than I can! This is a great oil for kids' developing brains!!!! (and their Organic Whole Wheat pasta is the best Ive ever had!!)

From WestonAPrice.org:
Coconut Oil 1
Coconut Oil 2
Coconut Oil 3

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Product Reviews

#1 Diva Cup. (First post on these) So after 15 months my cycles finally returned and I got to try a diva cup. The first cycle I hated it, gave up after a day and went back to tampons ((shudder)) The second cycle I LOVED it. Love, love, love it. Yes, its messy but if you've had a baby then whats the big deal?! I dont even know its there, it lasts longer, and I love knowing its safe to put in my body (unlike bleached tampons) I highly recommend it!

#2 Natures Gate Organics Raspberry Mint Toothpaste. Ive started having reactions (itchy throat) to our Tom of Maine toothpaste so I wanted to try something new. This stuff is GOOD. Its a very subtle flavor, the kids love it! I got mine at Drugstore.com and its free shipping over $25 for your first order.

#3 Aubrey's Organics Green Tea Shampoo. None of the other natural/organic shampoos that Ive tried Ive liked. They are just "ok" but dont foam up at all and it takes a TON to wash my long, thick hair. This comes out really thin but it actually lathers up so it will last me much longer. Im very sensitive to scents and this is very mild. Two thumbs up :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Healthy Changes

So much to say.....so little time.

Recent changes we've made to improve our health and/or the environment:

- Using Agave Nectar on pancakes (we cut out syrup years ago - full of sugar and/or chemicals but usually the kids use jelly). This stuff is GOOD. Its best to buy it raw and organic. Its more expensive but you use less. It doesnt raise your glycemic index like honey or sugar (GI of 39 vs. 110 of sugar). I got mine at Kroger :) More Info

- No more gallon size plastic bags. They are expensive and wasteful. Only a few times have I really missed them. I may get a small box to have around but no more Costco-size boxes for me!

- Im off of sugar (again - ugh, its like a drug! Shamefully I fell hard since last time I posted and I felt so awful. I felt like such a hypocrite feeding my children so healthy but destroying my body with that crap)

- Ive also cut out dairy for a month to see how it feels and see if my allergies/asthma improve. Im one week into my dairy/sugar-free experiment and Ive lost 5.5 lbs! woohoo! The more I read about dairy the more I never want to eat it ever again......

I found a cool new site: www.GoDairyFree.org

:)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

For the mothers......

A sweet friend of mine wrote this poem. It really encouraged me so I asked her if I could share....

I’d rather hear you all trying to speak to me at once,Than to hear absolute silence.


I’d rather find a stuffed doggy “drinking” milky water out of a cereal bowl, Than to never feel that warming in my heart when I see your special stuffed friend.


I’d rather stay up all night comforting your fears, or easing your sicknesses,Than to sleep all night and wake up to an empty house.


I’d rather be distracted from something “important” a million times, Than to get everything on my list done, and look around... seeing that I am alone.


I’d rather clean mud off of your face, arms, out of your ears, and in between your toes, Than to be without you and have spotless clothes and floors.


I’d rather hold on tight when your sticky hand reaches for mine, Than to never have a little hand to hold.


I’d rather you put finger prints all over the window I JUST cleaned,than to never be able to see you watching out the window for Daddy to come home.


I’d rather trip over and stub my toe on your toys in the night, Than to never hear your squeals and laughter as you play.


I’d rather give you every moment of my day, every bit of me, Than to have a life full of my self.


I’d rather hurt when you hurt, Than to never know the blessing of carrying your burdens.


I’d rather bear the criticism of the world, Than to turn away the blessings a mighty Creater designed with His own Hand!


I’d rather lay in bed weary at night, physically and emotionally exhausted from all the things that went “wrong”, Than to never know your big blue eyes and precocious smile.


My precious children, yes, I would rather do all that I am doing to raise you, train you, love you, than to have never known what it feels like to have you crawl into my lap, wrap your arms around my neck and whisper in my ear, “I love you mama.”


My precious ones in Heaven,I’d rather know you were created in my womb, and have to say goodbye long before I ever imagined, Than to have never known you, loved you at all.


You are ALL worth it ALL.



A Woman's Journey Home

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

HPV vaccine

(this is my 100th post - yay!!!)

I just read this article today. Eleven girls have died after receiving the HPV vaccine. Thousands had experienced adverse effects. Almost half the pregnant women who received it experienced complications, including spontaneous abortion :(
Article

On message boards I read posts from moms who are saying they'll do anything to avoid HPV and cancer for their daughters. Of course we all want that. But vaccinating with a new vaccine, for which we have no idea the side effects OR the efficiency is not the answer. If its given after a girl has HPV it can cause more harm then good - how many girls do you think are lying to their moms when they ask them if they are virgins before taking them to get vaccinated???

The answer is not trusting in this vaccine, its teaching our young daughters to respect their bodies and not have premarital sex (and in the very least, have protected sex). I dont want my daughter to ever have cancer or suffer infertility due to HPV but I also wouldnt risk her life for the *possibility* of preventing it.

Its just not worth it. Our family will be staying FAR away from this vaccine for sure. I hope that many girls arent killed or injured over this. (a vaccine for boys is in the works!)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Chemicals in our Children's bodies

Read this article from CNN:
Test reveal High levels of Chemicals in Childrens bodies

The kids in the article were tested in 2004. So three years later we are hearing about this. Of course its probably not a big surprise to any of you that have read this blog before (or done research on your own of course). And the idea that any amount of toxic chemicals in a developing child's body could NOT be harmful is ridiculous. You may not see the results now, but our kids will see it eventually.

We cant get rid of all the chemicals because we breathe them, sleep on them, sit on them, etc. We cant live in a concrete house with concrete furniture and gas masks on. But we can do our best, to step-by-step, make our homes safer for our kids. Is the only hope we have to fight this clear neglect by the big companies and our government in caring for our children and our environment.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

MSG

MSG = monosodium glutamate. Its a flavor enhancer derived from seaweed, and although it comes from nature (technically), its NOT good for you. It is toxic - especially for children :( Many people have severe reactions such as asthma, headaches, behavioral problems, etc.

If you've read my blog before than you will not be shocked to read that the FDA does a HORRIBLE job regulating the labeling of products containing MSG. Many, many, many foods contain it and they are not required to label it. (and its added to shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics live vaccines according to article 3 below and even formula!!!)

If a product says "No MSG added" its kind of like saying "Zero Trans Fat per serving". It just means they didnt ADD any MSG, not that the product is MSG-Free. Its a loophole - a big one.

Check the labels on your food - especially the processed stuff.

If the food has any of these ingredients then it DOES contain MSG
Monosodium Glutamate
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed Protein
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Plant Protein Extract
Sodium Caseinate
Calcium Caseinate
Yeast Extract
Textured Protein
Autolyzed Yeast
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour

If the ingredient list uses these terms it *often* contains MSG
Malt extract
Bouillon
Broth
Stock
Flavoring
Natural Flavoring
Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring
Rice Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup
Seasoning
Spices
Carrageenan
Enzymes
Soy Protein Concentrate
Soy Protein Isolate
Soy sauce or extract
Whey Protein Concentrate
Pectin
Spice
Gums
Dough conditioners
Yeast nutrients
Milk powder
Dry milk solids
Annatto
Citric Acid (from corn)
*Modified Corn Starch
anything Ultra-pastuerized
Wheat, rice or oat protein

MSG is "natural" but it is not healthy to eat (and most of the foods its added to arent healthy anyways!). So read labels and avoid it as much as you can :)

Article 1
Article 2
Article 3
Article 4 (detailed list again)
Article 5 - Mercola

Friday, October 12, 2007

MILK

someone in Africa read my blog today - how cool is THAT?!?!? I love the internet :) Hello out there to everyone reading, wherever you are :)

Milk. Well Ive always personally thought it was nasty - I called it cow pee when I was little LOL. So Ive always had a problem with it. I was allergic as a child and still dont handle it well straight, like on cereal, although I eat a lot of (too much) cheese.

Non-organic cow milk is full of hormones, antibiotics and devoid of the natural enzymes God created it with to aid in digestion and improve health. Basically they pump the poor cows with hormones so they make many times more milk than they are designed to. This leads to a lot of infections which leads to antibiotics. Ive even read that there is a lot of pus in the milk - gross!!!!!! Check out the site if you really want to know this stuff. warning: its sad :( MilkSucks.com

Its seriously worth it to buy organic although read my friend Green Republican's post about that - its actually best to buy local if you can.

Raw Milk is another option. People are scared to death of it and I admit I was too but Im coming around (I still pray a lot when I give it to my kids!). Basically they dont heat up the milk and pasteurize it. This means they dont kill the good bacteria that comes along with the bad and those handy enzymes are still there - which means many people allergic to mik can handle raw milk just fine (my son for example). The people we buy raw milk from are local and have a Grade A Raw Milk liscence. If you are fortunate to live in a state like Ca then you may find it in a store but some states, like TX, it is illegal. (dont even get me started!!!!) Check out RealMilk.com

Note: Its safest to give your kids raw milk if they eat a healthy diet and have a strong immune system. Its possible there is bad bacteria and if they cant handle it they can get sick (As you can from many foods of course!) Although I read somewhere once that if you dropped a Tsp of E.coli into pastuerized milk it would live but if you dropped it into Raw Milk the good bacteria would kill it right away. Pretty cool :)

Most of the time my allergic-to-dairy son drinks almond milk (we dont drink a lot of milk though). I usually buy him the unsweetened vanilla almond milk from the store. But I came across this cool YouTube video of how to make it yourself and Im definitely going to try it! (you need a milk bag) Im hoping my little one will like the homemade stuff because she doesnt like the commercial stuff.

Its interesting to me that no other mammal drinks milk after its weaned. I believe that we are not just "animals", we are made in God's image, however its an interesting thought. I truly dont believe babies "need" milk after they wean, its really a cultural thing (and a result of MILLIONS of dollars of marketing) that makes us think we do. I know I eat way too much dairy and Id like to cut it out completely ...I just LOVE cheese LOL (and no I dont buy raw or even organic cheese, cant afford it!) But Im going to work on it! :)

Great Article "Milk:It Does a Body Good?"

Is Raw Milk Safe for Babies?





Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, essential fatty acids EPA and DHA and Omega 3 oils. These are essential to proper function of the brain and nervous system.

check out this article from WestonAPrice.org - there are some really impressive claims about how cod liver oil helps with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, etc.

I bought some originally for C since he has some speech delays and many speech therapists prescribe cod liver oil to add the brain. I just went to the health food store and picked up the common brand Nordic Naturals.

BUT. Turns out this is kind of like buying a "diamond ring" from Target LOL. The nutrients in NN arent even comparable to a real, quality, cod live oil. NN gets their oil from sardines and anchovies - vs. um, COD (go figure). The brands Ill list below get theirs from deep-sea Noregian cod. NN uses Vitamin E derived from SOY (I was really not happy to find this out) wherease a quality brand will use natural preservative like rosemary oil (also an antioxidant).

So. I am going to buy some more soon and really the good stuff is not that much more expensive. Generally adults take 1/2 tsp (its good for us too!) and children take 1/4 tsp so its lasts for quite awile.

Dr. Ron's Blue Ice Cod Liver Oil
(in cinammon, orange and mint)
$23.95 for 8 oz

Quantam Cod Liver Oil $15 for 8 oz

Weston Price recommended taking your Cod Liver Oil with a butter oil blend form pastured cows. Dr. Ron's site offers that choice as well. For a family of 4 it will last 45 days so thats $1 a day.

Ill write more later specifically on Vit D but from what Ive been reading, it is VERY important and MOST of us are not getting enough.

.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Genetically Modified Food

Ferbit over at the Green Republican lent me Dr. Mercolas book, Take Control of your Health. There is a lot of interesting information in the book but the chapter on Genetically Modified food really got to me. I am far from being able to explain it all to you but let me just say it is DISTURBING.


45% of corn in the US and 80% of soy is GM. Some of you know how I feel about soy already, so my vote is for not eating it at all anyways. But if you buy organic corn (costco sells a big bag of organic sweet corn that is super yummy and cheap!) then you know you are not eating something GM.

Id heard "genetically modified" but I never really knew how scary it is getting. They arent just trying to breed bigger, prettier foods. They have actually created food that is resistant to antibiotics and some that has its own pesticide INSIDE its DNA ...... um, thats totally freaky. And they are doing it to animals too - like breeding super pigs that have human growth hormones.

I dont know about you, but my instinct tells me that tweaking things at the DNA level "just aint right". We cant avoid GM foods 100% but no more non-organic corn products are coming into this house anymore! (corn chips are something the boys can have because they dont have soy. organic chips are so much more expensive but its ok, they dont need them anyways and neither do I!)

Avoiding processed foods is a great place to start. Anything with HFCS is guaranteed to have GM corn. Its estimated over 75% of processed foods contain GM food. Just another reason to eat real food!

Article from The Center for Food Safety

Dishwashing Detergent - 2

Ok. So I wanted to know exactly which toxic chemicals are in standard dishwashing detergent. I did some searching and didnt find too much but.......

Sodium Lauryl Sulfite (SLS)
DEA
Chlorine Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)
DMDM hydaritoin
Triciosan
Fragrance
(source)

Next time you are at the grocery store check out the main brands. The Palmolive I have is 3.3% phosphorus. Avoid tablets or packs which will be higher, like 8 or 9%. So if you cant find or cant afford a non-toxic option, at least you can choose something healther from the standard detergent.

I have three bottles left (2 from Costco, 1 Palmolive). But I am still going to try and find something better. Ill report back if I find something that works in our hard water!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Dishwashing Soap

I want a healthier dishwashing detergent. We have super hard water here so the Seventh Generation stuff didnt cut it at all in my washer.

The "green" issue is with phosphorus. It is horrible for the environment As far as our health, common sense tells us that smelly whatever-it-is-made-of cant be good for us to eat off of.

Like with other household products, the manufactuers dont have to be too specific on the labels about what exactly is in the detergent. I personally get so creeped out if I think of those chemicals all over our dishes. I wash a lot by hand (with seventh generations handwashing dish soap which works well) but Im not ready to give up the dishwasher.

SO. Anyone know of a good, phosphorus-free dishwashing detergent that actually works???

*In 2006 Washington passed a bill prohibiting detergent with more than 0.5% phosphorus. Most detergents are at least 3-4% and can be as high as 9% - the same level as fertilizers such as Miracle Grow!!!!!!!

ick. there has to be a better choice! HERE is a chart listing the phosphorus levels in different detergents and it offers many phosphorus-free choices. I am definitely going to try some of these out - Ill let you know!

Meat

We are now getting our meat from a local ranch, Paidom Meats.

Many places that claim to sell "grass-fed" beef, actually finish the cows on corn to fatten them up and make more money. This decreases the nutritional value and of course introduces corn - the #1 genetically modified food (more on that later) and can be a problem for those with allergies.

Paidom cows ONLY eat grass - birth to slaughterhouse. The freely roam the pastures like cows should. Their chickens are pastured and eat lots of yummy bugs which gives them tremendous nutrition. They are fed a healthy diet which inclues NO soy (this was important to us).

The meat is more expensive than what you'd get at Walmart - but the reasons are obvious. So we eat less of it, spread it out thinner, mix it with some organic brown rice, etc. But we'd never go back. I buy the cheaper cuts - ground beef, chuck steaks, pork chops, etc. Its all super delicious. The whole chickens are expensive but fabulous and we make them last for two meals.

He comes through every 2 months so we are learning to work this into our budget. Ive also purchased their raw milk and its very good!

I highly recommend them. :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Because Im the Mom

Of course none of us really want to nag our kids all day, or make the same mistakes our parents did, or any of that. But we all find ourselves saying things we'd never thought we'd say anyways!

I love this.

"The Mom Song"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Vitamin C

Well the first cold of the season hit our house last week. I got it first but I thought it was just allergies and ended up passing it along to all three kids (and our friends - sorry!).

Ive seen it before and I saw it again - Vitamin C is powerful to help the body fight off illness. I guess its impossible to *prove* but I started giving it to all of them, twice a day or more and they never got really sick. They had runny noses and some dry coughing but that was it. And if it didnt help ..... well, it cant hurt.

Some tidbits:

- you cant overdose on Vit C. You need to find the child's threshold. You increase the dose until they have loose stools, then thats the amount they can handle. I used this general guideline from this site (this is a dosing amount for fighting an illness):


Vitamin C
60 mg 4 times daily for children 6-12 months old;

100 mg 4 times daily for ages 1-4.

500 mg 4 times daily for children over 4.


- I gave the boys about 800mg twice a day (they are 3 and 4 but the same weight).

- ** The best, most easily absorbed, type of Vit C is "Sodium Ascorbate". This is the brand we buy. I dissolve it in some water (its salty) and add some stevia and they drink it down.

-Chewable Vit C tablets can harm the enamel on their teeth.


HERE is a great thread on this from Mothering.com. The first post contains many links to scientific studies and also includes some dosing guidelines.

As we approach cold and flu season Ill share more about what we do to avoid being sick. Vitamin C is an affordable way to help keep our kids healthy - cant hurt! :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A vent

I just need to vent.

There are some people who speculate that I over-react, I live in fear, I worry too much about whats in their toys and whats in their food (my kids of course), etc. Its really annoying me. They dont know me at all.

I know about things - That doesnt mean I fret all day about pink slushie that they had when I was out of town. I cant worry about the lead-infested James train that they played with for 6 months. I cant change that - and pink slushies are ok once in awhile!

I dont lay in bed at night worrying. In fact, the more I know about it, the less I worry. I believe in doing what you know and doing the very best you can. So when Im in the grocery story I try to buy less of something healthier and stretch it somehow. Or choose to buy less convenience and be determined to do the work to make something healthier at home. Sometimes I do and sometimes I fail. But I do my best.

When I found out the disposable plastic silverware I had for the boys was a very bad thing - I just bought them each one metal set (cheap at Wal Mart) and threw out the plastic stuff. Less clutter in my drawers, less dishes to watch and that was that! No worries :)

Sometimes I cant afford whats best (often) so I buy the best I can. But I dont *worry* about it. I trust the Lord. I know He gives me the information that I need for MY family. I do my best according to what He teaches me and let the rest go in prayer. I encourage everyone else to do the same.

Some people just say "oh well, everything gives you cancer". I heard a news person say the other day, about the lead issues, "well no kids have died, I dont know why everyone is making a big deal". That mans obviously never had a child that wasnt able to acheive a normal milestone (because lead is a neurotoxin. it mentally harms many many more than it will every kill) Some people just laugh at me about the plastic silverware issue - its black and white that a chewed up peice of plastic can leach chemicals!!!! Whats the big deal about getting a $3 metal set if you can. Better safe than sorry. So anyways, its drives me crazy :)

Ugh!!!!!!

so theres my vent. all done. night night :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pray for Judson

Through my friend Ruth I heard about this amazing little boy named Judson. He is not only 3 and his body is shutting down on him. Please take the time to learn more about him - his parents believe God *will* heal him. Please pray for him!

Myspace Page

Caring Now Page

YouTube video - get to know Jud

A conversation he recently had with his mom and dad:

Jud's Vision
Date: June 27, 2007

A friend from church brought us dinner tonight. While we were eating, Jud had a sippy cup directly in front of him, less than a foot away, on the table, and he asked us, "Where is my drink?"

We helped him find it, along with the rest of his meal. Jud's symptoms continue to decline. He has a hard time "seeing" (an issue of neurology not eyes) much at all now, which affects many of his abilities. This is the most prominent of his symptoms, but he also cannot walk well (severe stumbling and falling).

A few minutes later Drake asked me how I was doing. I responded, "It's killing me as I realize that this could be our reality."

Jud quickly piped in, "Don't say 'killing' mommy."

Drake began to cry.

The pain of our circumstance is ever-present and raw; the emotion strikes each of us at different times.

"Are you crying daddy?" Jud asked. "Why are you crying?""

All the problems we have been having have been hard. We want you to be able to see and walk again," Drake responded.

In that moment, Jud began quoting, word for word, the story of Job from his toddler Bible… "One day a man ran to Job. 'Your children and animals have died,' he said. Then Job got sores all over him.'

"Drake cried harder."Do you want me to hold you, Daddy?" Jud inquired.

Drake replied, "That would be great, Jud, but why don't you finish eating first."

Jud continued with the story of Job… "Did Job get angry at God? No! 'God gave me all I had,' said Job. 'I will still love Him.'"

Our emotions flowed. Jud may not currently be able to "see", but in that moment, both Drake and I wanted Jud's vision—the unfluctuating faith that beholds God's grace despite circumstances. We have so much to learn from our precious little man!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lead testing

I got the call yesterday that my two youngest had a negative result on their lead tests. phew! I will be getting my oldest son tested next month.

It does make me feel better but I am still suspect of every single toy they have. Check out Adventures in Imperfection for more thoughts on this.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lead, lead and more lead

Latest report says that Mattel toys had 180 times (!!!!) the amount of lead allowed by law.

an excerpt:

That means the level in some of the Mattel toys was almost twice the amount allowed before lead in house paint was banned 30 years ago, says John Rosen, a pediatrician and head of the lead program at New York City's Children's Hospital at Montefiore. He says a child who played with a toy with up to 11% lead paint for one to six months could get "substantial, severe lead poisoning."

ABC news article

and we've only scratched the surface here ...........

I just had my youngest two tested. I should hear back soon. Ill post the results. Hopefully they are fine :(

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Oprah today - autism

So who watched Oprah today? Jenny McCarthy was on talking about her son and autism. I was very impressed with her and Holly and I was so happy to hear thoughts/ideas/stories on TV that Ive read so many times online.

Dr.s dont like it (trust me, I know!) but this is a new age. A lot of moms, especially those whose children have challenges, do have a "Google Degree". It doesnt make us Dr.s of course but there are a lot of moms who do know A LOT and they make very educated decisions. "Mommy instinct" as Jenny referred to it is a gift from God. Especially if you have a relationship with the Lord, He will show you and your husband what is right for your family.

The CDCs statement was the most mild Ive ever heard from them. I was disappointed though that they only addressed the issue of thimerosal. Again - the MMR does NOT have thimerosal/mercury and it never has had it, because its a live vaccine. However, it is a very powerful vaccine since its three live viruses in one so moms of autistic children often believe its the "straw that broke the camels back" for their child's immune system.

Most likely there is a genetic predisposition and then the stage is set by the merury/aluminum/formaldehyde in other vaccines that they begin recieving in birth, them the bombardment of chemicals from everything from their lotion to household cleaners, to their food. We know now that our second son has some neurological issues (he is improving so much!) and I am so thankful that through lots of prayer we knew it was best to stop vaccinating him. I shudder to think what could have happened. (we have a very strong family history of immune system disorders)

Anyways. I think they did great. I hope this opens up lots of discussions. I also hope it opens up the eyes of all the high-horse, condescending pediatricians out there. More and more of us are going to have access to this information so they need to get used to it and start treating us with respect. And the government will hopefully feel the pressure and start to get real and stop hiding evidence.

Any thoughts on todays show from anyone else? :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sugar Update

Well I indulged while in Ca on vacation (like I said I would). We had a party and a BBQ while I was there and the chocolate fountain was running 7+ hours each time! yummmm. The indulging has not stopped yet LOL - but tomorrow we start again - no more sugar. After a week and a half Im ready! I really do feel so much better when I dont eat after 7 and I dont eat sugar (and I lose weight when I do that too)

Keeping lots of fresh fruit around helps me a lot, although Im careful not to eat *too* much since the sugars in fruit raise your insulin levels as well (and its expensive). But I dont believe in cutting out wonderful things that God gave us like fruit so I do enjoy it daily :)

how is everyone else doing?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Candles

I threw out most of my candles when I purged all of our other artificial fragrances. I do have one soy candle that I use if we are having company or something like that and some plain ones for emergencies. But I dont burn them like I used to and I do miss the warmth and yummy smells they add......

so I was excited to read THIS BLOG about healthy candles made from palm oil by Aloha Bay. They are not more expensive than regular candles and will burn longer than candles made from petroleum products (which are never healthy anyways!). Regular candles can have lead in the wicks too - boooooo! Plus these candles only use 100% essential oils for fragrance. Im definitely going to get some for the winter and Christmas time!

Here is the direct link to them on Amazon.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Clorox Anywhere Spray


I was suspicious of this from the start because a) its made my Clorox and b) few things that are not harmful chemicals kill bacteria like they claim.

Id never heard of the ingredients so I did some digging ... its just watered down chlorine bleach!!!! It doesnt smell because its mostly water. It costs like 15 cents to make it and they sell it for $3.49. Guess what all the extra goes towards? Marketing executives who are good at duping the public and a trip to the Bahamas for the guys at the top.

I really did expect more than watered down bleach. I admit I bought a little bottle -but I researched before I would use it.

Also note:

- only works on non-porous surfaces
- must sit for 2 mins
- kills bacteria not fungus or viruses
- after its used, baby's toys are now covered in bleach.

This was a sneaky one but again I say SHAME, SHAME on you Clorox.

I use rubbing alcohol, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect. Much more bang for your buck and you dont have to risk any bad effects. I do use bleach once every few months on my dishtowels but that is it (and I rinse them twice). Once I run out I wont be buying it anymore.

Article about Chlorine - dioxin and organochlorine linked to birth defects, cancer, developmental and reproductive harm :(

GREAT blog on Clorox Anywhere Spray. very funny.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Cytotec

If you or anyone you know does choose to be induced PLEASE dont let them give you Cytotec. Cytotec is a drug used for ulcers but is now also used to induce labor. *It is not approved for the purpose of inducing labor* It can work well for some, but for some the consequences are severe - even deadly.

I came across the package insert from Cytotecs manufactuerer, Pfizer. Besides numerous warnings against taking it while pregnant it says:

Cytotec has been reported to cause the uterus to rupture (tear) when given after the eighth week of pregnancy. Rupture (tearing) of the uterus can result in severe bleeding, hysterectomy, and/or maternal or fetal death.


THIS news story by CBS is about a woman whose baby died as a result of being induced with Cytotec :( It also says that company has repeatedly emphasized that its not for the induction of labor - but Dr.s continue to use it anyways and insist its safe.

Its very cheap, its fast and its easy to administer. Why wouldnt Dr.s love it?

The biggest risk is uterine rupture - especially in mothers who have had previous csetions. It can also cause severe, long-lasting contractions, fetal distress and hemorrhaging.

Article from CesareanBirth.com

Article from Mercola.com

Cytotec used as abortifacient :(

Article from Ina May Gaskin

Warning from FDA not to use Cytotec to induce labor!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Childbirth - Inductions

Natural Childbirth is a passion of mine. It something I feel very strongly about so its hard for me to write about it, although I have plenty to say ;) I never want to make any woman feel bad for her choices but I do feel an obligation to educate women so that they dont go into the hospital as passive patients and end up victims of intervention. Of course there are medical emergencies where intervention is a blessing but a lot of times "medically managing" endangers the mother and the baby.

[*DISCLAIMER* Please do not feel judged or condoned by this information. This is an issue in which I fall very far onto the "crunchy" side of things. My intention is to share facts to help those who want to birth their babies in a different way or heal from past deliveries. If you are happy with your birth then no worries!]

HERE is a really neat article from this week in the LA times. It reviews the very popular trend in our country of induction. Many times inductions are elective, even before the Estimated Due Date (EDD). This puts mom and baby at an increased risk. An excerpt:

When the cervix is optimal (it must be opened and thinned out enough to allow the baby's head to pass through the vagina), labor averages about nine hours in a first-time pregnancy, according to Intermountain. If the cervix is not ready, however, an average labor is about 22 hours. The guidelines (to only induce under certain criteria) have reduced rates of elective labor inductions performed before 39 weeks gestation from 28% in 1999 to 3.4% in 2006. The percentage of first-time moms with an elective induction has fallen from 15% in 2003 to 4.7%.

Some hospitals have csections rates as high as 50%!! (average rate in the US is 25%) There is NO way that many women need a csection. Most Dr.s wont even let women attempt a vaginal-birth-after-cesarean because of fear of being sued. Many women are scared of the stories they hear about uteran rupture but its in fact very rare and not any more common than complications from a cesarean.

According to this study from the College of Midwives, inducing women who have had a previous csection greatly increases the risk of uterine rupture. Women who go into labor spontaneously post-cesarian actually have less of a risk of rupture than those who have an elective repeat csection or are induced. (study)

From a study done Feb of this year, 2007

A study published in the 13 February 2007 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that women that have planned caesareans had an overall rate of severe morbidity of 27.3 per 1000 deliveries compared to an overall rate of severe morbidity of 9.0 per 1000 planned vaginal deliveries. The planned caesarean group had increased risks of cardiac arrest, wound haematoma, hysterectomy, major puerperal infection, anaesthetic complications, venous thromboembolism, and haemorrhage requiring hysterectomy over those suffered by the planned vaginal delivery group. [8]



My issue is not with personal choices but with the lack of education many women today have regarding their own bodies and the safety of commonly practiced medical interventions. Many women think cesarians are so common that they must be safe. Ive heard women say they want an elective cesarian just to avoid the whole pain of labor. They are obviously missing a big piece of the picture to think that a major abdominal surgery is a better choice than a few hours of pain.

I am a doula and attended the birth of a friend yesterday. She had studied hypnobirthing as I did for my last two (drug-free) deliveries. She has a VERY fast, very beautiful and natural delivery. She was calm and collected and didnt even make a peep as she pushed her baby out in two contractions! I am so happy for her that she got to experience the thrill of letting your body birth babies as God has designed us too! I want this for every woman who wants it for herself :) (and thats why Im a doula!)



more to come on this .....

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sugar

I am facing my sugar demons and I promise you its something Id rather ignore. I love a big bowl of ice cream after the kids are all in bed, to unwind from a hard day. But its not good for me and Im being a hypocrite because I dont let my kids have sugar.

So. Im going to talk about it until I convince myself of how totally evil it is. Special occasions are ok of course. I am going to visit family this month and I assure you if my sister and I are together - there WILL be chocolate ;). But everything in moderation and when Im back Ill be off of it again (Ive lost several pounds since I stopped eating sugar 2wks ago!).

Check out Ferbit's blog entry about how sugar affects the immune system: Green Republican

She mentions that ONE teaspoon of sugar can lower your immune system for 5hrs.

1 tsp sugar = 4 grams.

Here are some example so you can see how quickly your sugar content adds up in a day:

  • 3/4 cup Honey Nut Cheerios: 9 grams (more than 2 tsp of sugar!)
  • 1 Snickers bar: 29.8 grams sugar
  • Kellogs Cereal Bar (apple cinnamon) = 13 grams (Id rather have half a snickers bar LOL!)
  • 8 oz Orange Juice = 22 grams sugar (even 100% juice is processed by your body just like sugar - sorry!)
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms = 48 grams of sugar (ouch!)
  • 1 cup Ragu Spaghetti sauce = 10.8 grams
  • Sonic Blast, Large = over 100 grams of sugar!!!! (ask me how I know LOL)

I can eat M&Ms with the best of them. But I cant imagine just chewing on 14 teaspoons of sugar - YUCK.

We are no longer buying Orange Juice. We are trying to switch to some healthier breakfasts like Steel Cut Oats with stevia and cinnamon or eggs instead of the organic shredded wheat they often eat (more on breakfast cereal on another day).

anyone want to get on the No-Sugar bandwagon with me? ;)

EDITED TO ADD: Its nearly impossible to eat ZERO sugar. I dont want to be a sugar-natzi and never enjoy life. I should clarify that we dont eat sugary drinks, juice, cookies, ice cream, candy, etc. If its a whole wheat product that has *a little* sugar then Im ok with that for the kids. But no junk. I guess thats relative LOL but I just try to error on the side of not eating it if Im not sure ;)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Lead in Childrens Jewelry

Im very upset about this. My daughter has worn jewelry, 99% made by me, since birth. I bought good-quality Swarovski crystals thinking that was a good thing but apparently the better the quality, the higher the lead content. I read a little before and one site I read said you'd have to ground the crystal into a powder and have your child eat it to be dangerous. That made sense to me - or maybe I just wanted to believe they were safe.

But since all this lead controversy with the toys being recalled I felt like I should research it again....... They can actually get lead poisoning just from sucking on the crystals :( We've highly discouraged J from doing that but I know she has at times, had them in her mouth. (article)

So Ive pulled those bracelets from my stores and Im replacing any that I sold with glass beads which are lead-free (like cat eye beads).

Im so sick over this :(

J has a check-up next month and Ill have having all the kids lead-tested (for this and because we own so many toys from China). We also owned those vinyl bibs that were recalled from Walmart :(

*You can buy lead-testing kits HERE. Also check this site for recent recalls.*

Also stay away from pacifiers decorated with crystals. They are being recalled for the same reason.

*sigh*

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bye-bye Paper Plates!

Hi. My name is Rachel and Im addicted to Paper Plates.

It must have begun when I was pregnant with #3, but Im not sure. I began using paper plates to make life easier for myself. After quite awhile of wasting money and killing the environment I read about not using bleached products with your food. Duh. So that made sense and I stopped putting anything hot on them to avoid the leaching of chemicals like dioxin into our food. But I still felt guilty everytime I used one to make a sandwhich on and then it was thrown away 20 mins longer.

Finally, about a month ago, I ran out and decided not to buy anymore. I still wish I had them sometimes and I do still cheat every now and then and make a sandwhich on a paper towel, but otherwise I am just using glass plates for everything. (Ikea has great inexpensive glass plates/bowls for the kids)

I dont think Im running the dishwasher too much more often because extra plates dont take up that much room. So I like to think Im saving money, keeping my home healthier and helping the environment at the same time.

Now I can start trying to wean myself from my beloved paper towels........



- Eye-opening lesson plan about bleached paper products

- Article #2: More info and what you can do to make a change

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Response to a Comment

This is in response comments on my Johnson&Johnson post.

It makes me sad that apparently many of you feel that I am condescending in the way I write things on this blog. I dont understand, since Im usually writing against the FDA and large corporations, on behalf of our children, but if thats how Ive made you feel, I sincerely apologize.

I started this blog as a place to get out everything I was learning - it was driving me crazy having it all inside my head. I also wanted to help educate other moms so that they could make healther choices for their families like Im trying to do.

I started not knowing about trans fat, parabens, the dangers of plastics, etc. just like everyone else. Sacarasm that I sometimes use in my posts is directed ONLY at the agencies and corporations that KNOW things are dangerous and yet, because of money, continue to pass them down to consumers. It makes me FURIOUS that companies make choices they know will harm our children (case in point: Thomas the Train).

I cant take the passion out of my writing or my blog will be pointless. I will, however, do my best to write in a way that is encouraging to other moms who read. Again, please forgive me for the times that I have offended you.
- Rachel

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Johnson and Johnson

I was at Target and looking at their selection of Ca Baby products (for which care has actually been taken to make them healthy and safe)

I glanced over and saw J&J has a new natural looking product line called "Johnson's Soothing Naturals". I picked it up to read the label and saw exactly what I thought I would - a long list of chemicals, names I cant pronounce and even cancer-causing parabens. It even has trans fat it in - yuck, who wants to rub that into their skin?!?!

Wow, but be impressed ... it has Vitamin E, Olive Leaf Extract and "skin essential minerals" (whatever that is).

Shame on you Johnson&Johnson.


Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Potassium Aspartate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Magnesium Aspartate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Sarcosine, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Carbomer, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance.

* My whole point is this: Was J&J was happy that Ca Baby got a nationwide contract with Target? Of course not! Before, they had the baby lotion market cornered. They know that consumers are now demanding more and more natural products and that means a profit loss for them. So they purposefully created a product that sounds/looks more natural and purposefully put it right next to the Ca Baby products at Target. They know that if they actually made an effort to change some of their ingredients it would implicate all the other products they sell are unhealthy. So they count on people not knowing the difference and use MARKETING to make sure they keep making money. This is plain and simple, deception. It makes me upset. I posted about it so that we could all know that there IS a difference - a big difference. I dont know what half those ingredients are but I do recognize some that I know are not safe - parabens and fragrance, to name two. Ca Baby managed to make a lotion without them and they did it because they really wanted to make a product that is healthy, not just make more money. My hope is that you get upset with J&J with me and let other people know to not fall for this marketing scheme.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Polio Vaccine

Vaccine Facts:

- The Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) is a live vaccine and the virus can be passed through the feces of the vaccinated
- OPV has not been used in the US since 2000 because the only cases of Polio between 1980-2000 were from OPV
- We now use an innactive vaccine (IPV) called IPOL made by Sanofi Pasteur
- Two doses acheive a 90% effectiveness and Three doses, 99%
- If 4 doses are given before age 2, no 5th dose is needed at age 4/5.
- The vaccine should not be given to people allergic to streptomycin, polymyxin B, formaldehyde or neomycin
-Reaction rate is lower than a lot of other vaccines. Most common complaint is irritability and tiredness (according to package insert)

CDC reference
Package Insert

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

requests?

any requests for the next vaccine to cover? (after I finish Polio)

:)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Polio 2

I kept wondering why some sites claimed DDT "caused" Polio. Then I remembered that I read that Dr.s were not required to actually TEST to verify that their patient had Polio. Since the symptoms of Polio mirror those of poisoning and meningitis it is easy to see how thousands of people could have been misdiagnosed as having Polio prior to the introduction of the vaccine.

  • Most people just had flu-like symptoms.
  • 5-10% developed nonparalytic aseptic meningitis with symptoms like fever, headache, vomitting, neck pain and stiffness, muscle spasms, fatigue, etc. that lasted 2-10 days.
  • 1% develop the more severe paralytic polio (source)

Meningitis can be caused by MANY, many, many other things besides Polio. Without a spinal tap it would be impossible to know if it was Polio or not, even with some muscle weakness/stiffness. In the middle of the epidemics of the 1950's there was panic and it seems very plausible that many were misdiagnosed.

more to come......

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Polio

The Wikipedia says that:
- the name poliomyelitis means inflamation of the spinal cord.
- its a virus spread through fecal matter (fecal-oral transmission)
- 90% of cases are asymptomatic (!)
- only 1% of cases of Polio cause paralysis


I read an article recently, about Polio and its "erradication" supposedly due to vaccines, that was VERY interesting. If your parents grew up in the 50's like mine did then they will surely have some strong opinions about the Polio vaccine but there may be more to the story. This article sheds a different light, worth considering. Ill share a recap.

- The largest epidemic was in 1950. It had already begun to decline when the vaccine was introduced in 1955.

- Prior to 1954 diagnosis was made if paralysis was present longer than 24hrs. After 1955 the requirement was changed to paralysis lasting longer than 60 days!!!! All other cases were labaled as meningitis. "Polio" cases went down, but meningitis cases went up!

- Polio trends in the 1900's directly related to the use of DDT - a pesticide sprayed openly on pastures, parks, etc. (see graph here)

Info from Article on Polio from the Vacination Liberation site


Second article "Hiding Polio". An excerpt:
"Polio has not been eradicated by vaccination, it is lurking behind a
redefinition and new diagnostic names like viral or aseptic
meningitis.......According to one of the 1997 issues of the MMWR, there are some 30,000 to 50,000 cases of viral meningitis per year in the United States alone. That's where all those 30,000 - 50,000 cases of polio disappeared after the introduction of mass vaccination"---Viera Scheibner

This is definitely an intersting theory. To think they sprayed parks with DDT while children were playing at them (!!!!!!) is horrifying. I wouldnt be surprised at all if that was poisoning people. We all know what enviromental toxins can do to the body because we live in the autism era.

Another article on the possible causes of Polio, including the spraying of DDT. Flies were suspected of causing it which is why they sprayed and fields and fields of crops and animals with DDT :(

Polio is a VIRUS. Im gathering from reading all these articles that, like any viruses, it is more easily acquired if the person has poor hygeine, poor nutrition (coincides with trends to refine flour/sugar) or has a weakened immune system due to exposure to enviromental toxins (like DDT).

We tend to think of Polio as something that everyone is mangled by or dies from. But really the chances of being paralyzed are only 1-2% if you get it. It is basically erradicated in most industrialized countries like the US so the risk is low, low, low of contracting it.

My next post will be about the Polio vaccine itself, risks, etc.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Vaccine Package Inserts

If you do have vaccines coming up and want more information, reading the manufacturer's package insert is the best way to get honest date. Here is a list of all the inserts - you'll need to ask your Dr which specific brand they use for each vaccine. This is one of the things that helped me the most.

For example: by reading the inserts I learned that with the DTaP, if you spread out the first 3 doses so that the 3rd dose is given after a year old, then they dont need a 4th dose. So thats one way to save them a vaccine. I believe its the same for some of the other vaxes as well.

You will find reaction and effectiveness rates there as well and that can help you weigh your choices.

MMR

The MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) has been in the media the most because of the suspected ties to autism.

As I mentioned in a previous post, thimerosal/mercury is not an issue with the MMR because it is a *LIVE* vaccine. It does not need a preservative so it never had mercury in the first place.

The MMR used to be given at 18mos which is also the same time that "regressive" autism appears. This is the reason for the correlation. Some children regress without a vaccine, some regress sooner or later but many do regress after their MMR. One side says is suspicious, one side says its a coincidence.

Going back to thinking of our childrens immune system....if a child is predisposed to an autoimmune disease and/or autism then a very powerful 3-in-1 vaccine like the MMR *could* push that child over the edge into autism. Many mothers believe it did just that to their children.

One option is to split the vaccines. Its not easy to get them and your Dr may not like it but you do have the right to do so. (Ill work on getting you that info). Then you can give them a year apart. If I was going to do this Id only vax for measles since, IMO, that is the only disease of concern for a young child.

Mumps is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms as well as swollen cheeks due to infection of the salivary glands. For most the disease in not serious but in up to 10% it can lead to meningitis. It has also been linked to spontaneous abortion and deafness and very rarely, death. Meningitis can cause sterility in adolescent and adult males, but from what Ive read the risk is only 1%. In 2006 there was an outbreak of 1000 peopole and no casualties. Typically there are only a few hundred cases a year in the US.

Rubella or the "german measles" is not a serious disease for children. Many people have it and never even know. The risk is to pregnant women and their unborn children because Rubella can cause severe birth defects and miscarriage in 20-25% of those who contract it in the 1st trimester. I do think women who are thinking of having children should consider vaccination if they are not immune (before you are pregnant!). And while I hate the thought of my child causing harm to another its another story of vaxing our children on behalf of others especially since there are very few cases of rubella a year (less than 20).

Measles is the most serious of the diseases IMO because it is more common than the others and has a higher fatality rate. That said, most healthy children will recover without complications. A few generations ago nearly every single child would have had it, it was a normal childhood disease. Secondary complications can be severe in a small percentage though - meningitis, pneumonia, high fevers, brain damage and death.

*since the MMR is a live vaccine it *is* possible to contract a strain of measles from the vaccine.


to be continued.........

Friday, August 3, 2007

Hep B - the Vaccine

There is no way to prove one way or another that a vaccine is safe or unsafe unless it is causing drastic, measurable reactions like some vaccines that have been pulled in the past. The way a child reacts to a vaccine depends so much on genetics, their health, their age, etc. We also need to consider long-term effects on the immune system and not just immediate reactions like seizures, fever, swelling, etc.

Hep B is genetically engineered vaccine (not derived from biological, infected cells like other vaccines) so its impossible to get Hep B from the vaccine. However, it is a completely foreign substance being injected into the body. My biggest concern, personally, come from stories Ive read of people being crippled with arthritis or other major immune system diseases.

I am going to quote an article from http://www.909shot.com/ I personally consider this site to be somewhat alarmist so I recommend that you do NOT read the personal stories of children damaged if you want to approach this factually and not emotionally, because they are very upsetting. They do, however have some great articles and info on legislation, etc.

Regarding the Hep B Vaccine from -this- article:

Hep B Vaccine Licensed By FDA Without Adequate Proof of Long Term Safety - In 1986, the FDA gave Merck & Co. a license to market the first recombinant DNA hepatitis B vaccine, which replaced the old hepatitis B vaccines made from blood taken from human chronic hepatitis B virus carriers. In awarding Merck & Co. and, later, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, licenses to market their genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccines in the U.S., the FDA allowed both drug companies to use "safety" studies which only included a few thousand children monitored for only four or five days after vaccination to check for reactions. As "proof" their hepatitis B vaccine is safe to be used in children, Merck & Co. stated in their 1993 product insert that "In a group of studies, 1636 doses of RECOMBIVAX HB were administered to 653 healthy infants and children (up to 10 years of age) who were monitored for 5 days after each dose."


Merck & Co. found that injection site and systemic complaints, such as fatigue and weakness, fever, headache and arthralgia (joint pain), were reported following up to 17 percent of all hepatitis B injections. Because the FDA did not require drug companies to provide scientific evidence that hepatitis B vaccine does not compromise the immune and neurological systems of children and adults over weeks, months or years post-vaccination, Merck & Co. warns in the 1996 product insert that "As with any vaccine, there is the possibility that broad use of the vaccine could reveal adverse reactions not observed in clinical trials" and SmithKline Beecham (1993) has a similar warning that "it is possible that expanded commercial use of the vaccine could reveal rare adverse reactions

Another warning in the Merck 1996 product insert is "it is also not known whether the vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity" and "it is not known whether the vaccine is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are secreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when the vaccine is administered to a nursing woman." And, although doctors routinely inject hepatitis B vaccine into children along with many other vaccines such as DPT, HIB, MMR and chicken pox vaccine, Merck & Co. state in the 1996 product insert: "Specific data are not yet available for the simultaneous administration of RECOMBIVAX HB with other vaccines."

Hep B Vaccine Efficacy Also Questioned - All vaccines stimulate only an artificial, temporary immunity, and the length of immunity conferred by the hepatitis B vaccine and the future need for more "booster" doses later in life is still not clear. Merck & Co state in their 1996 hepatitis B vaccine product insert that "the duration of the protective effect of RECOMBIVAX HB in healthy vaccinees is unknown at present and the need for booster doses is not yet defined."


In the CDC Prevention Guidelines: A Guide to Action (1997), the CDC states "The duration of protection [of hepatitis B vaccine] and need for booster doses are not yet fully defined. Between 30% and 50% of persons who develop adequate antibody after three doses of vaccine will lose detectable antibody within 7 years but protection against viremic infection and clinical disease appears to persist." If immunity only lasts 7 years, babies vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine may be candidates for more shots at age seven.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by a virus. It is spread much like HIV - through infected bodily fluids and dirty needles, and it can be passed from mother to child during childbirth. You can have Hep B and have no symptoms or you may have flu-like symtpoms such as fatigue, upset stomach, etc. Hep B can get better on its own after a few months or it can become chronic. Chronic Hep B can lead to liver damage, failure and/or liver cancer. About 5.000 people die a year from chronic liver disease/cancer from Hep B in the United States each year.

According to the Hepatitis B Foundation's site, children with Hep B are at no risk for physical disabilities and can live a "long and healthy life" with proper care. (source)

Those in the high-risk group include illegal drug users, someone who lives with someone with Hep B, the promiscuous, h*mosexuals and those who handle human blood in their jobs like healthcare workers (source)

So. If Hep B is a disease mainly of those who are s*xually promiscuous or sharing drug needles WHY (WHY?!?!?!) you ask, are they vaccinating our tiny, sweet, healthy babies the day they are born?!?!?!

Because its easier to vaccinate tiny babies then to get pr*stitutes and dr*g addicts to come in and get a 3-dose vaccine series. Nice plan eh?

It makes me absolutely FURIOUS that they do this; and even more so that people have no idea how NOT at-risk their babies are and how dangerous this vaccine is. Its a social injustice and its harming our children (because this vaccine in particular is not safe).

In my next post I will share some specifics on the safety (or lack thereof) of the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vaccines 3

One more thing. Autism is NOT - I repeat, NOT - the only risk in vaccinating your child. You have to think about the immune system as a whole and the toll that multiple vaccines could take on a child. The preservatives used can have affects on the brain (because they far exceed the levels they'd allow any other person to have of heavy metals like aluminum or mercury) but this can show itself in other ways besides autism (like learning disabilities). The overall toll could trigger or worsen allergies and asthma or make the child actually more susceptible to other diseases.



Again, we should take each vaccine one at a time (and we will, I promise). If we were going out of the country I might consider having my children vaxed for Polio. If I had HepB I may consider that vaccine for my children (ok, probably not)



I always hear people say "no, its safe now. They took the mercury out of the MMR". Well .... the MMR never had mercury in it because its a live vaccine so it doesnt require a preservative. Its the inactive vaccines that had/have mercury. The MMR however is a very potent and strong vaccines because it introduces 3 live vaccines at one time to the body. THAT is why it may be linked to autism because it just may be too much for some children (see my post below).



A women I "know" from online, who always happens to live near me, has a site for her autistic son Cameron. Check it out http://www.camsvoice.com/ Her son actually tests positive for Measles. They couldnt find it but finally figured out it was living in his gut. He also tests positive for Rubella but they dont know where it is - perhaps in his brain (scary!). He also has extremely high titers (measure of antibodies) for Heb B. His body thinks he has it and is chasing it all over his body making antibodies when he doesnt actually have it at all (its an inactive vaccine). His immune system is confused. She has seen the top specialists in the world which is why she knows this information and she definitely believes vaccines played a role in her sons disease. Many austic children test positive for having measles ... makes you wonder doesnt it........



Hep B coming up soon.......

Remember - dont make decisions based on fear. I dont want anyone freaking out - NO freaking out LOL.

Pray and ask for the wisdom to discern the informatoin. I still pray about this issue to make sure we are doing what is best for *our* children - because only the Lord knows.

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vaccines 2

Anyone who has ever started to study vaccines knows what a scary decision it becomes when you start to question their safety. There is a lot of propaganda and scare-tactics used on *both* sides and it makes it hard to seperate fact from fiction.

The most important thing is to go in with your eyes wide open. If you are reading this then you can no longer be naive to the fact that vaccines DO damage millions of children. Do they help prevent disease? Yes. Is it as wonderful as "they" say it is? Maybe, maybe not. Is it worth the risk? You'll have to decide for yourself.

Ive heard the argument several times that vaccines benefit the masses. Its a "herd immunity" idea. I find it unbelievable as a mother that some moms are fine that some are sacraficed for the masses. I guess it seems ok until its your child.

And the thing about vaccines and autism is its like proving something causes cancer. The truth is MANY things cause cancer and there are A LOT of things that play a role in our growing autism rate. Its a very complex issue.

My opinion - reached after hearing the stories of many mothers of autistic children - is some children are predisposed genetically to have weak immune systems and for some of those children *something* can "tip the scales" and result in autism. For some, an inherited weakened immune system means food allergies, asthma, etc. but for some it means a more devasting breakdown in the bodies ability to function and process attacks. Many mothers of autistic children believe vaccines were the "straw that broke the camels back" for their child/children.

When a vaccine enters the body its job is to make the body think it has contracted that disease so that it produces antibodies resulting in immunity. This can take up to 2 weeks and several doses of the vaccine. But whether a live vaccine (chickenpox, MMR and some flu vaccines) or a "dead"/inactive vaccine, its designed so that the child doesnt actually get sick. The body of a child who's immune system isnt working propery may get confused and 'malfunction' to put it in simple terms and this can wreak havoc in the body and brain.

On the other side of things, we dont live in a culture that is healthy to begin with. A child who eats fruit loops for breakfast, goes to the Dr. and gets 6 vaccines at one time and then has McDonalds on the way home isnt healthier than an unvaccinated child who eats no sugar or processed foods and eats lots of meat, fruits and vegetables. We can do things to strengthen our childrens immune systems so that they can fight off viruses/bacteria on their own (vaccinated or not) and it will also help them to recover more quickly when they do get sick. Breastfeeding is the first step, but as they get older, feeding them healthy whole-food diets, limiting processed food and sugar/white flour, getting them exercise, etc. will help.

Some things to remember before I get into each vaccine:

- just because a child is vaccinated does NOT mean they are immune to a disease. Some vaccines have rates as low as 70% even after a 3-dose series (pertussis/whooping cough)
- its not all or nothing. you as a parent have the right to choose some and refuse others
- the CDC's schedule is a recommendation and it is designed to make it more likely for people to get their children vaccinated (e.g. when they are infants) not on how beneficial it is to the child to vaccinate at that age
- "Preservative free" or even "Mercury free" vaccines sometimes still contain mercury. Some just replaced mercury with other preservatives like aluminum or formaldehyde.

My next post will be about the Hep B vaccine which is one of the ones I feel most strongly about. We will build from there, getting more controversial as we go ;)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Vaccines - intro



Ive been putting off writing about vaccines but Im in the mood to jump in, so here goes!

I studied vaccines intensely for about 4 years. I read the governments sites and anti-vaccine sites. I read every single package insert for each vaccine they wanted to give my second son. Im a mathematician so I wanted numbers and I studied and compared and analyzed whatever I could get my hands on..... I learned a lot from all those pages and pages of tiny text because they manufactuers data isnt sugar-coated like the CDC's. The CDC obviously has objectives so they also like to leave out key pieces of information that dont suit their cause.

I will be writing about each individual vaccine as I have time and I hope the information will be helpful. I am not "anti" vaccine, I am anti-ignorance. Many vaccines have toxic ingredients like mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde (I cant spell, sorry) and we as parents need to know exactly what the risk to vaccinating, and not vaccinating, are.

We also need to be aware that some shady things take place to hide information from the general public.
(Here is a website if you want to know more on this right now)

How do vaccines work?
How do they help/hurt the immune system?
How risky is it to not vaccinate?
What can you do if your child gets a disease like Whooping cough?

and more........ to come!

**Print this out!**
Article by Robert F. Kennedy for Rolling Stone Magazine regarding the governments cover-up about the mercury issue. A MUST-read!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tear-free Shampoo

So Ive heard and read several times that the reason some soaps and shampoos are "tear free" is because a chemical is added to them that actually numbs the eye when it comes in contact with it. This is obviously alarming. When I researched it I found other articles (from sites like Johson & Johnson) that say its a PH thing - getting it at just the right PH means it doesnt sting?
I found this, which seems to make sense:
"PH of hair and skin of humans is 4.5 to 5.5.PH of eyes is 7.By making the PH of the shampoo the same as the eyes, it doesn't causeas much stinging and tearing. It does however, dry out the hair and scalp."

Here is a store selling a tear-free shampoo that they say is tear-free because of a ph of 6.5 but they do claim that other companies use a tear-supressing chemical in their tear-free products. So maybe its both??? or maybe its just a big internet myth?

J&J didnt score well for any products on the EWC site - click here. But there are much healthier options for shampoos (click here) like Ca Baby and even Huggies shampoo (shockingly) got an "ok" score.

If anyone knows if there really is a chemical used in some of these tear-free shampoos Id love to see some proof!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Apples

Maybe Im the only one who didnt know this, but ... you should store your apples (organic of course because apples are in the "dirty dozen") in a separate drawer from your other produce in the fridge, because apples release ethylene gas, which makes other food spoil more quickly!

yet another free tip from yours truly LOL :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Airborne - overdosing on Vit A

Just a warning about Airborne. Yes, Airborne has a lot of great vitamins and herbs it may help you to not get sick. BUT it also carries a risk so please be careful when using it for yourself, and especially for your children.

The RDA for adults for Vitamin A is 5.000iu (some revised recomendations are even lower). Each Airbornne has 5,000iu so taking it more than once a day could lead to an overdose. The package recommends taking it every 3-4 hours!!! (but not more than 3 doses in a day). An overdose of Vit A can be toxic and even result in death.

Children 4-8 should only have 1333 iu a day so giving them half of an adult Airborne (as the package says you can) will give them almost twice that dose. A dose of Airborne Jr has 1250iu so it should only be given once in a day and should not be given to children under 4. (source) Their packaging does say ages 4-10. I used to give to the boys when they were 2 and 3 though - dont make the same mistake!

You also do NOT want to take your daily multivitamin on a day that you take Airborne as this could definitely cause an overdose. Especially be careful of this with children.

I would not recommend taking Airborne while nursing but that is something you can research yourself if you dont believe me :)

When Im getting sick I take high levels of Vit C. You can also take zinc. I will post more about that soon!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Natural Fabric Softener

So if you read this blog you know that fabric softener is evil LOL.

I recently found a natural option, for those of you who miss that fresh scent when you open the dryer. Its called Ecover and its made with plant-based surfactants, water, salts, plant-based fragrances and a 100% biodegradable preservative.
I bought some and while it smells realy nice, it totally bothered my asthma. So Im giving it to a friend. But if you are sensitive to scents then this may be a natural option for you!


http://www.ecover.com/

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lead in Tap Water

Filtered water is best. We have a reverse osmosis filter and the water tastes sooo good.

If you do use tap water DONT run it hot. There is lead present in old pipes and it leaches more easily into hot water. So run it cold and then heat it up on the stove.

:)

just a free tip LOL.

Nitrates

One reason that processed meats like lunch meat, bacon and hot dogs, are so unhealthy is because they contain unhealthy preservatives called Nitrates.



From PreventCancer.com:


Q. How could hot dogs cause cancer?
A. Hot dogs contain nitrites which are used as preservatives, primarily to combat botulism. During the cooking process, nitrites combine with amines naturally present in meat to form carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds. It is also suspected that nitrites can combine with amines in the human stomach to form N-nitroso compounds. These compounds are known carcinogens and have been associated with cancer of the oral cavity, urinary bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain.
(Full Article), Article 2




The good news is that preservative-free meats are now much more readily available. Our Super Target even carries them now and so does Kroger/Ralphs. Your local health food store will definitely carry them. Ive had one really bad brand of preservative-free hot dogs (frozen section at Kroger) but the rest all taste the same. Even Oscar Myer has one now, I found it right there, with the other hot dogs. I love that my boys can have something "normal" like a hot dog every once in awhile, but do it in a much healthier way. :)

Because these foods are VERY high in sodium, they should still be eaten only occasionally.



If you check out my friends blog, the Green Republican, you'll see her post about Applegate Farm's new hot dogs that are made from Grass-fed beef! That is the healthiest option!


*please note* Consumer Reports commented in a hot dog review that "uncured"hot dogs can have as many nitrates as regular hot dogs. This is an inaccurate comment however because the nitrates are from different sources. Please see the response from Applegate Farm's CEO.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Marketing

I wont bore you with all my lengthy opinions about the big, rich companies and all of their horribly immoral marketing stratedgies (especially those aimed towards children) BUT I am going to rant for a minute.......

There is a new toothpate, by crest, called "Natural Expressions". If you've seen the commercial you may have noticed thats its worded carefully to make it appear to be a healthier, more natural product. Really, its the same Crest toothpaste with fancy, natural-sounding names likes "Herbal Mint" and "Lemon Ice". How stupid do they think people are????

(a much better choice is a toothpaste by Tom of Maine, available at your health food store)


It makes me FURIOUS when big companies try to cash-in on the current trend towards more natural, more healthy products by spending millions of dollars to try and trick consumers into thinking they are offering something better. Johnson and Johnson has a new commerical too where people in white lab coats are in a green house carefully inspecting plants like lavendar. Then this voice tells you all about how healthy all their products are. Seriously?!?!?! Do people actually believe this? The healthiest change would be to remove every ingredient they use except the water and add some vinegar and essential oils back in. THAT would be a public service.

If you've read my past blog about those ridiculous Febreeze commericals then you may have watched their new one with different eyes (why cover up smells with fragrance when you could just CLEAN your house!). They actually show children hanging out in a room next to this plug-in air freshner that is dispensing fragrance (aka toxic chemicals) into the air. You'd laugh if you saw me screaming at my TV when its on ;)

So dont buy into what they what you to believe. Research it for yourself - or just ask me ;)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

HFCS

HFCS = High Fructose Corn Syrup

This probably is a familiar ingredient to you since its in so many of our foods. I think it flew under my radar for so long because it doesnt sound that bad. You can pronounce each word and it has "corn" which is a vegetable and "fructose" which we associate with fruit.

Unfortunately HFCS is another hidden ingredient that is VERY unhealthy. You can read how it is made HERE if you want the scientific explanation - but here is a recap: they process corn starch to yeild glucose. It is processed by using 3 enzymes - 2 of which are genetically engineered. It is a complicated process involving fungus and chemicals - yuck!

HFCS has the same sweetness as sucrose from cane or beet sugar but even though it is much more complicated to make, it is cheaper than sugar. The article says that only 4 companies control 85% of this 2 billion dolllar industry. They are making a fortunte because HFCS is in tons of our food - ketchup, marinades, salad dressing, fruit juice, bacon, beer, ice cream, BREAD, and even a lot of "health food".

In the article linked above they mention an experiment with rats - the livers of those fed HFCS "looked like the livers of alcoholics" and the female rats could not produce live young. Eek!

We should avoid fruit juices anyways because water is the healthiest choice but especially avoid those loaded with HFCS. Next time you need to restock on ketchup or BBQ sauce or whatever, check the labels to find one without HFCS. I was unable to find any BBQ sauce without it at Target (grrrr!) but the organic ketchup we buy doesnt have it. Also if you buy powdered marinades in a packet and mix then yourself you can avoid HFCS. Same with salad dressing.

Whether its worse than white sugar or not, we can preserve the health of our families but avoiding both in our regular diets. :)

more about the effects of HFCS on our health