Monday, April 30, 2012

Food Pharmacy - What to Eat to Heal Your Ills


The Solution: Tart cherries-one cup, or two glasses of juice, daily, before and during exercise

The Science: Contains the same anti-inflammatory enzymes as ibuprofen, without the potential kidney and stomach-related side effects.

Sunflower Seeds

The Solution: Sunflower seeds-a quarter cup daily

The Science: These vitamin E-loaded seeds will protect the neurons in your brain from oxidative stress, which means you keep your memory longer.


The Solution: Kale-one cup daily

The Science: Xanthophyll pigments not only give kale (and other leafy greens) its color, they can also help slow age-related macular degeneration, the process by which vision goes from sharp to blurry.


The Solution: Apples-one daily

The Science: Leave the peel on-it's full of ursolic acid, which fuels the production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) and insulin, two hormones important in building muscle.


The Solution: Oranges-one daily, or six ounces of juice

The Science: Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, the protein that keeps skin elastic.

Brown Rice

The Solution: Brown rice-one cup of cooked rice daily

The Science: Carbs help regulate the production of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter in controlling mood and suppressing anxiety. A complex carb like brown rice will give you the best high-carb-low-cal combo.

Peppermint Tea

The Solution: One cup of Peppermint Tea after dinner

The Science: Peppermint has long been associated with aiding digestion and has also been shown to soothe inflammatory pain in the gastrointestinal tract.


The Solution: Spinach-one cup daily

The Science: The leaf is loaded with vitamins A and C, which help your body to create sebum, the oil secreted by follicles to give your hair gloss and shine.


The Solution: Bananas-one daily

The Science: The potassium-packed fruit is also a great source of magnesium, a key element in producing and storing energy.


The Solution:
 Almonds one handful twice a day

Regular consumption of almonds helps to increase the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL), thereby effectively controlling cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol.

Here is a list of our links.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

By Kathy Azmeh-Scanlan

If springtime in the air has you running for the tissues, you’re not alone. Each year, millions of Americans seek relief from seasonal allergy symptoms. Pollens, molds, grasses and budding tree growth are common culprits, contributing to the classic symptoms of hay fever: itchy, watery eyes; runny nose; sneezing; and sinus congestion with pressure and pain.

Read More by going here




Here is a list of our links.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4 Health Foods with More Sugar than a Twinkie

By Anthony Gucciardi - NaturalSociety

Is sugar the last ingredient that has not been slammed by health conscious activists? Numerous crusades have been waged against GMOs (genetically modified organisms), aspartame, high-fructose corn syrup and trans fat, but where does sugar reside in the equation? Excess sugar consumption, which has now become an ‘average’ amount of sugar consumption for many families, has been linked to everything from DNA damage to excessive cancer growth — so where is the anti-sugar movement?

Some scientists and health experts are certainly declaring a health crisis over a large-scale ‘sugar epidemic’, but are you truly aware of how much sugar you intake on a daily basis? Even if you are consuming many health foods that are really free of other toxic offenders, chances are they may be containing a whopping amount of sugar — or at least enough ‘small’ amounts to set you over the edge throughout your daily nutritional intake. It is recommended you eat less than 16 grams of sugar per day (from natural sources) — even less if you are suffering from a serious health condition. A Twinkie has 18 grams of sugar in the processed form, and exceeds the daily sugar maximum in one health-threatening serving.

But what about health foods? Many contain just about as much or more than 18 grams, and it’s important to know which. Here are 4 health foods with more sugar than a Twinkie:

1. Yogurt

You may be consuming yogurt in order to take in some beneficial probiotics, but the truth of the matter is that yogurt is oftentimes loaded with sugar — it can even be added  in larger amounts by the manufacturer. The natural amount of sugar is about 12 grams of sugar per 6-ounce serving, which is below the daily allotment. One 6-ounce container of fruit-flavored yogurt, however, can contain 32 grams of sugar, which is way more than the daily recommended amount.

In order to avoid a high sugar content, look for high quality organic Greek yogurt (or avoid dairy altogether).

2. Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce can be used for a number of different food items, but the amount in which it is used often exceeds the designated serving size. While the intended serving size is about half of a cup, many individuals use the entire cup for pasta or other meals. Many brands contain 11 or 12 grams per serving, which means a full cup can exceed 22 grams of sugar on average — more than a Twinkie.

3. Granola Bars

Granola bars can be loaded with sugar. Granted, it may sometimes be in the form of evaporated cane sugar. More often than not, however, it will be white sugar. I’ve personally witnessed many health-conscious individuals integrate at least one granola bar into their daily life without even thinking about how much sugar they’re taking in. In one instance, the sugar from the granola bars alone totaled around 50 grams! That’s way more than a Twinkie, and that’s from just one source.

Some products like Clif Bar contain around 22 grams per bar, which surpasses the daily intake level.

4. Pre-Made Smoothies

As with juice, you simply should not be buying pre-made smoothies from the grocery store or restaurants. Make your own instead; the nutrients will actually reach your body instead of degrading over time, which ultimately makes the juice nothing but a tasty load of sugar. Smoothies from places like Jamba Juice can exceed 77 grams of sugar, while Smoothie King has options that top 117 grams. These are certainly way beyond the healthy levels.

Here is a list of our links.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Natural Remedies for Headaches

Headaches are an extremely common complaint in our society, and are often treated with “quick fix” pain medication. In fact, over half a billion dollars is spent annually on this type of remedy. What is in these drugs and are they doing us more harm than good? Are there more effective and natural remedies we can use to alleviate headaches?

Ingredients in Conventional Headache Medication

There are two main ingredients in the leading headache medications. These are Acetylalicylic Acid and Acetaminophen. Today, an estimated 80,000 tons of these two ingredients are being consumed each year.

The main side effects of Acetylalicylic Acid can include, but are not limited to: gastrointestinal ulcers, stomach bleeding, severe abdominal or stomach cramps/pain/discomfort, heartburn or indigestion, bruising, confusion, dizziness, fainting, nausea or vomiting, buzzing or ringing in ears, tiredness or weakness, loss of hearing, allergic reaction, bleeding, etc.

The main side effects of Acetaminophen can include, but are not limited to:  nausea and vomiting, appetite loss, sweating, diarrhea, irritability, abdominal pain, yellow eyes or skin, liver failure, kidney failure, heart problems, ulcers, bleeding in the digestive tract, coma, seizures, death, etc.

Please also note that these symptoms do not necessarily have to manifest instantly after taking them. Continuous use of these products can slowly wreck havoc on your system.

Causes of Headaches

In some cases a headache may be a symptom of a more serious underlying disorder, but often headaches are caused by stress, dehydration, tiredness, poor posture, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, food allergies, eyestrain, sinusitis, poor nutrition, or low blood sugar.

Alternative Remedies


Traditional Chinese herbal medicine recommends ginger for headaches. Eat a small piece of fresh ginger root or make ginger tea from the fresh root or tea bags.

Coriander Seeds

An Aryuvedic treatment for sinus-related headaches is the steam inhalation of coriander seeds. Put the coriander seeds into a small bowl. Pour on some boiling water, drape a towel over your head and the bowl, and inhale the steam.


Celery contains phthalide which helps you to relax and be less anxious, which helps with pain. It is also rich in potassium which many headache sufferers are deficient in. Celery seeds can be used in smoothies/juices or soups. Taking 2 oz of celery juice and then laying down for 30 minutes has proven to be a very effective remedy for headaches.

Herbal Tea

Sitting down with a relaxing cup of mild herbal tea is often good for a tension headache. Good choices are peppermint, spearmint, chamomile, rose hip, lemon balm, or valerian root (may induce sleep). Additionally, adding cayenne pepper to your tea can help.

Vitamins and Minerals

Frequent headaches could be a sign that you are low on some important vitamins and minerals. Low levels of niacin and vitamin B6 can cause headaches. For example, all the B vitamins are needed to help combat stress and avoid tension headaches. The minerals calcium and magnesium work together to help prevent headaches, especially those related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Good sources of calcium are dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale or broccoli, and beans and peas. Magnesium is found in dark green leafy vegetables, cacao, nuts, bananas, wheat germ, full spectrum salts, beans and peas.


The relaxing qualities of lavender oil make it a good treatment for a tension headache. This essential oil is very gentle and can be massaged in your temples, the base of your neck, or the base of your nostrils. Taking a bath with relaxing oils such as chamomile or ylang ylang will also help to soothe and relieve pain.

Emotional Freedom Technology (EFT – a.k.a Meridian Tapping)

The EFT tapping points align with particular acupuncture points along the meridians. EFT tapping techniques can help to remove emotional blockage in our body’s electrical or subtle energy system. EFT is referred to as ‘acupuncture without the needles’. For more information on EFT and where to find your meridian points, please visit The Tapping Solution.


In order to learn how to relax and cope with headaches, you need to become familiar with your own breathing patterns and change them in ways that will help you relax. We tend to hold our breath when we are anxious, stressed, or in pain. Below are a few relaxation exercises:

Rhythmic breathing

If your breathing is short and hurried, slow it down by taking long, slow breaths. Inhale slowly then exhale slowly. Count slowly to five as you inhale, and then count slowly to five as you exhale. As you exhale slowly, pay attention to how your body naturally relaxes. Recognizing this change will help you to relax even more.

Deep breathing

Imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot, filling your abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon. With every long, slow exhalation, you should feel more relaxed.

Visualized breathing

Find a comfortable, quiet place where you can close your eyes, and combine slowed breathing with your imagination. Picture relaxation entering your body and tension leaving your body. Breathe deeply, but in a natural rhythm. Visualize your breath coming into your nostrils, going into your lungs and expanding your chest and abdomen. Then, visualize your breath going out the same way. Continue breathing, but each time you inhale, imagine that you are breathing in more relaxation. Each time you exhale imagine that you are getting rid of a little more tension.

These are just a few natural remedies. There are many more. However, prior to any of these recommendations, we should always ensure that we are getting enough pure water throughout the day. It seems simple, but dehydration is the leading cause of headaches. By simply drinking more water during the day, we may reduce the frequency of headaches and their debilitating effects.

Please note that some of the food items mentioned, such as bananas, cacao, and nuts can actually trigger headaches in some individuals. If this happens to you, don’t give up. With a little research, you will definitely be able to find the remedy that works best for you.

Trusting in our Natural Ability to Heal

Our bodies are an amazing design. If we allow ourselves to trust our bodies’ ability to heal itself, the results will be astounding. Let’s treat our body with the respect and loving care it deserves. If we do, symptoms such as headaches will occur much less frequently.


1. Prescription for Nutrional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch
2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies; C. Norman Shealy

About the Authors

Jordan and Kyla are passionate about health; together, they have overcome many illnesses through dietary and lifestyle changes, and the art of practicing a positive mindset daily. Kyla is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Reiki Master, and Jordan is currently learning about traditional North American medicinal herbs, in hopes of becoming a Certified Herbalist. For more information, please visit the following sites; guidinginstincts.comFacebookTwitterGoogle+, or Pinterest

Here is a list of our links.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Lime & Sunlight Naturally Purify Water, Could Solve Global Water Crisis

By Anthony Gucciardi

Natural sunlight and a slice of lime could potentially be the answer to the global water crisis, affecting millions of individuals worldwide who do not have access to water filtration services. Found to effectively remove all detectable levels of harmful bacteria such as E. coli, sunlight and lime work together as powerful disinfectants. Perhaps the most amazing part is that it only takes 30 minutes for this effect to take place, making it extremely fast as well.

The news could also prove useful for many first world citizens, who may not have access to water purification systems while traveling or even just looking to reduce their bacteria content in local water. While certainly no substitute for a powerful reverse osmosis or carbon filter with regards to the removal of heavy metals and other chemicals, the health-promoting combination can aid any water supply. In fact, adding lime or enjoying water with lemon is an extremely effective way to fight unwanted fat and boost your immunity.

On a larger scale, many countries are continually searching for ways to reduce the death toll from water-related illnesses. As a result of drinking seriously contaminated water, half of all hospital visits are a result of rampant bacteria and other water contaminants. On par with actually boiling water and other household treatments, lime and sunshine offer natural methods of combating the death toll as well as the infection rate — all at an extremely inexpensive price. Kellogg Schwab, the author of the study from Johns Hopkins University, explains:

“For many countries, access to clean drinking water is still a major concern. Previous studies estimate that globally, half of all hospital beds are occupied by people suffering from a water-related illness,” he said.

The news echoes announcements made by other nations who are continually turning to natural and sustainable alternatives in order to preserve the health and wealth of their citizens. In a monumental move, the political head of the New Zealand islands of Tokelau announced back in 2011 that Tokelau would soon be abandoning traditional energy sources (diesel, gasoline, kersone) in favor of coconut oil and sunlight. The alternative energy plan alloted 93% of the power generation burden to photovoltaic solar arrays, with the remainder placed on biofuel derived from coconuts.


Here is a list of our links.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Week Eight - New Stats

I'm coming home this Thursday and I'm sooooooo excited. I look forward to going back to my old gym and I look forward to some WARM WEATHER!!!!! I can't believe that I have been wearing a heavy jacket ever since I arrived. It was so cold that I didn't bother to go to the park and record my update video blog. Since this is my last week here I'll touch it out and do it tomorrow.

Here are my stats.

April 15, 2012

Height – 6’2″

All measurements are in inches.

  • Weight – 193 lbs

  • Waist (navel) – 34

  • Waist (below) 36.5

  • Hips 43

  • Right Leg Upper – 25

  • Right Leg Mid – 22

  • Left Leg Upper – 24.5

  • Left Leg  Med - 22.5

April 22, 2012

All measurements are in inches.

  • Weight – 190 lbs

  • Waist (navel) – 34

  • Waist (below) 36

  • Hips 43

  • Right Leg Upper – 25

  • Right Leg Mid – 22

  • Left Leg Upper – 24.5

  • Left Leg  Med -  22.5

Pounds lost since last week – 3lb

  • Inches lost in Waist – .0

  • Inches lost  in waist below – .5

  • inches lost in hips – .0

  • inches lost in right leg upper – 0

  • inches lost in right leg mid – 0

  • inches lost in Left Leg Upper – 0

  • inches lost in Left Leg Mid – 0

So I lost the three pounds I gained last week which wasn't a big deal. The only part of my body that went down is the lower part of my stomach. All the other parts are staying the same since last week. This is a temporary plateau and everyone goes through it.

Next Sunday I'm going to take pictures of my body again since I'll be back home. Next Sunday will my last time weighing myself every Sunday. My purpose is to lose fat and gain muscle. Now that I'm below two hundred pounds it's time to start "cutting" as if I am going to compete in a natural bodybuilding competition.

The above pic was taken when back in 2009 when I was competing in several BBing competitions.

So when May gets here I'll be taking progress pictures once a month and posting weight and body measurements stats once a month too. I will also start my new youtube channel. As you can see, a lot of exciting things are on the way next month.

Whoo Hoo


Friday, April 20, 2012

12 Easy Ways to Be the Healthiest Person Alive

By A.J. Jacobs 

Three years ago, I was fat. Not fat all over. I was what they call "skinny fat"-a body that resembled a python after swallowing a goat. My wife had a repertoire. She'd ask me when my baby was due. She'd subtly sing the Winnie the Pooh theme song. And she'd tell me about this legendary place called "the gym." If I went there, maybe I wouldn't get winded playing hide and seek with my kids. I ignored her. Then came a freak case of tropical pneumonia, a three-day hospital stay, and a now-urgent plea from my wife: "I don't want to be a widow in my forties."

Thus kicked off a two-year quest to remake my body, a journey I chronicled in my new book Drop Dead Healthy. As with my other books The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All, I pledged to become the world's greatest expert in a field I know nothing about.

My goal? To test out every diet and exercise regimen on planet earth, and figure out which work best. I sweated, I cooked, I learned to pole dance. In the end, I lost weight, lowered my cholesterol, and doubled my energy level. I feel better than I ever have. (Though I know that just typing that will mean I'll get a case of rickets or something tomorrow.) In any case, the project is over, but I've kept dozens of the strategies I found most helpful.

Embrace Chewdaism 
We are a nation of under-chewers. We are wolfer-downers. Chewing offers two health advantages: It gets us more nutrients, and more important, it slows down our eating. The slower we eat, the less we eat (this is because it takes 20 minutes for the "I'm full" message to travel from the stomach to the brain, annoyingly enough).

I ran across a passionate pro-mastication community on the Internet. They call their movement "Chewdaism." They're overzealous-they recommend 50 chews per mouthful, which means you spend a day and a half eating a sandwich. But their heart is in the right place. As a reform member of Chewdaism, I chew about 15 times. 

Any Movement Is Good Movement 

Sitting is bad. Really bad. Like eating-a-Paula-Deen-lard-fritter-with-extra-lard bad. If you're chair- bound for more than 23 hours a week, you can be 64 percent more likely to develop heart disease. Sitting may raise blood pressure and blood sugar levels. And it places you at risk for various cancers. The good news is, any movement is helpful. Even fidgeting, or as scientists call it, spontaneous physical activity. Fidgeting can burn several hundred calories a day. So if you are going to sit, tap your foot, wiggle in your chair. Better yet, try to get up from your desk every hour and walk around for a couple of minutes.

I went full throttle, and joined the small but growing fans of the Treadmill Desk. I bought a treadmill off Craigslist, balanced some photo albums on the monitor, then put my laptop on top. So I write while I walk (slowly, only .7 mph). Far from distracting, it keeps me focused, awake and productive. My book took me 1,200 miles to write.

Work out Fast and Hard 
There's more and more evidence that lightning-quick intense workouts might be as good for you-if not better-than longer, medium-intensity workouts. It's called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and it's the Evelyn Wood equivalent for fitness. Instead of jogging at 60 percent of your percent of your ability for 45 minutes, you sprint your legs off for 30 seconds. Then rest for a minute. Then repeat six times. Total workout time: 10 minutes, plus a short warm-up and cool-down.

Scientists at McMasters University in Canada have shown intense bouts of sweaty exertion raise endurance, lower blood pressure, and improve lung capacity. It changes your body in ways that the slow-and-steady approach doesn't. It alters the muscle structure and releases enzymes. It improves your metabolism. When I do cardio, I try to do 20 minutes of sprinting and resting. You do elicit some stares. But it's worth the saved time.

Track Yourself 
If you want to be healthy, follow your body's statistics like a day trader follows the NASDAQ. To put it in bumper sticker form: Crunching numbers is better than crunching abs. This is because the more you pay attention to your body's measurements, the greater the chance you'll adopt a healthy lifestyle. The mere act of weighing yourself every day makes it more likely you'll lose pounds, according to a University of Minnesota study. People given a pedometer walked about a mile more every day, according to a Stanford University study.

Keeping a food diary has also been shown to lower over-stuffing. During my project, I self-tracked with a gadget called Fitbit that measures calorie intake and output. It'll tell you how many calories are expended in practically any activity: while vacuuming (246 calories per hour), cooking Indian bread (211 cph) and vigorous sexual activity (105 cph). Plus I spent quite a few calories punching the buttons on my Fitbit every hour.

A much easier fix is the pedometer. I guarantee that a pedometer and a goal of 10,000 steps a day will revolutionize your life. It'll make you less sedentary and less stressed out. The other day I scoured the house for half an hour looking for my son's lost stuffed elephant. Normally, this would be a horrific experience. But I chalked up 514 steps, and felt like I'd accomplished something.

Respect Your Future Self 
The Nobel Prize-winning economist Thomas Schelling has a great theory called egonomics. He proposes that we essentially have two selves. Those two selves are often at odds. There's the present self, who wants that Frosted Apple Strudel Pop-Tart. And the future self, who regrets eating that Frosted Apple Strudel Pop-Tart. The key to making healthy decisions is to respect your future self. Honor him or her. Treat him or her like you would treat a friend or a loved one. A Stanford study showed that those who saw a photo of their future self made smarter financial decisions.

I think this could be applied to health. I decided to make it concrete. I downloaded an iPhone app called HourFace that digitally ages your photo. I did it with a picture of myself, and, well, the results were alarming. My face sagged and became splotchy-I looked like I had some sort of biblical skin disease. I've printed it out and taped it to my wall, alongside my Carl Sagan quotation about skeptical open-mindedness. And you know? It works. When I'm wavering about whether to lace up my running sneakers or not, I'll catch sight of Old AJ. Respect your elder, as disturbing-looking as he may be. This workout is for him.

Use Peer Pressure 
Peer pressure has a negative connotation. But it can be harnessed for good, especially in our social media age. During my project, I would tweet or Facebook my health victories-e.g. "I ran two miles today"-and get encouragement from friends. Or I would confess my health sins-e.g. "I had a large Mister Softee with rainbow sprinkles"-and get mocked relentlessly.

Practice Contextual Exercise 
A lot of us go to the gym for an hour (if we're good) then sit on our butts for the remaining 15 hours of the day. Unfortunately, that's almost as bad as not going to the gym at all. Which is why I've been on a crusade to incorporate exercise into every nook and cranny of my life. I make the world my gym. I opt for stairs instead of elevators. At airports, I avoid the siren call of the People Mover and actually move my own person. I started to run errands. Literally. Run to the drugstore, buy a tube of toothpaste, then run home. When I talk to my young kids, I squat down so I'm at their eye level, then I pop back up. I'm doing 50 squats a day without going to the gym. I call it guerilla exercise. A friend calls it "contextual exercise."

Treat Yourself Like a Lab Rat 
Humans have free will. We also have enormously fat butts. Especially in America, where two-thirds of the population is officially obese. So for the sake of your waistline, imagine yourself not as a free agent, but as a lab rat that responds to certain stimuli in a predictable way. This is the idea behindNudge, the influential book by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler. You should arrange your cage to maximize healthy choices. For starters, eat off of small plates. Since we have an irrational urge to finish everything on our plate, it makes sense: the smaller the plate, the smaller the portion, the lower the caloric intake. At restaurants, I often put my entrée on the salad plate so I don't fall for the clean plate club fallacy. 

Or try eating in front of a mirror. Studies show that watching yourself makes you more conscious of what you're stuffing in your face, and decreases your calorie intake. I do it, and find it's delightful company.

Or place healthy options at eye level in your fridge and cabinets. I've got an addiction to dried mango, which masquerades as healthy, but is really just a sugar-delivery vehicle. I now store it at the top of the cabinet. And I triple bag it.

Don't Sit on the Toilet 
Turns out I had been going to the bathroom incorrectly for 40 years. To explain: Human bodies were built to squat in the fields, not sit on a toilet. If you squat while moving your bowels, you'll a) do it a lot faster and b) help prevent hemorrhoids, which affect 70 percent of people at some point in their lives. Initially, I thought this was New Age crazy talk, but there are actually several studies to back this up, including one by an Israeli scientist who compared subjects who defecated on a high toilet with those who squatted over a plastic container. The squatters averaged 51 seconds per movement. The sitters, 130 seconds. And the squatters also rated the experience as easier.

You can even buy an apparatus on the Internet called "Nature's Platform." It fits over your toilet and turns your flush American Standard into a third-world hole in the ground. My wife didn't think the Nature's Platform went with our décor, so it's been discarded. But an easy compromise: Put your feet on a stool or blocks while doing your business.

Pipe Down 
My Lord, it's a loud world. Just spend an hour listening. The chirping text messages, the droning airplanes, the flatulent trucks, the howling Glen Beck, the chiming MacBooks, the crunching of orange food-like snacks. Thing is, noise is not a minor nuisance-it's one of the great under-appreciated health hazards of our time, damaging not just our hearing, but our heart. A University of British Columbia review found that those with noisy jobs suffered two to three times the heart problems. Likewise, it's bad for your brain. Studies show noise impedes learning, memory and concentration.

I try to live a quieter life. My weapons: Bose noise-canceling headphones (which are, admittedly, ridiculously expensive, about $300), and SureFire Sonic Ear defenders (hardcore but comfy earplugs developed for the military and law enforcement, about $7 online).

Eat More Soups, Purees, Apples, and Cayenne Pepper 
All are natural appetite suppressants. A Penn State study showed that those who ate an apple 15 minutes before lunch consumed 187 fewer calories than those who had applesauce. A Virginia Tech study found that drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water before a meal helped obese people lose weight. Spicy foods might also help us lose weight, partly by curbing our urge for sugary, salty, and fatty foods. A Purdue University study showed cayenne pepper lowered the appetite. And purees. The sneaky Jessica Seinfeld-esque trick of putting cauliflower puree in kids' foods? It also works for adults. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those given puree-filled casseroles ate 200 to 350 fewer calories per meal.

Don't Become Overly Obsessed with Health 
I interviewed a Colorado-based doctor named Steve Bratman who invented a new eating disorder. He calls it "orthorexia," the unhealthy obsession with healthy food. If you stress out about getting just the right locally-grown, organic quinoa at every meal, your life will be out of balance, he argues. If you can't eat out with your friends at a restaurant once in a while, that's not healthy. Having a close group of friends is crucial to our longevity. So be healthy, but not fanatical.


Here is a list of our links.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mother Who Took on Monsanto, Wins Global Prize

By  Kristin Schafer

Hats off to this mother of three who got fed up and took charge. Thirteen years ago, Sofía Gatica’s newborn died of kidney failure after being exposed to pesticides in the womb. After the despair came anger, then a fierce determination to protect the children in her community and beyond.

Today, she’s one of six grassroots leaders from around the world receiving the Goldman Environmental Prize, in recognition of her courageous – and successful – efforts.

We at Pesticide Action Network are deeply honored to host Sofía as she travels to San Francisco for tonight’s ceremony and celebration. And personally, I look forward to meeting a mom with the chutzpa to take on Monsanto to protect her children.

Pesticides drift from GE soy fields

Sofía lives in Ituzaingó Annex, a working-class neighborhood of 6,000 bordering commercial soy farms in the province of Córdoba in Argentina.

Argentina is the third largest exporter of soybeans in the world. It is also the third largest producer of genetically engineered (GE) crops worldwide, following closely behind the U.S. and neighboring Brazil. The explosion of GE soy production in Argentina has brought with it dramatic increases in pesticide use, and specifically aerial spraying of Monsanto’s weedkiller, RoundUp. Spraying of the antiquated insecticide endosulfan was also common until this year. Its use is now banned in Argentina as it moves toward a global phaseout under the Stockholm treaty.

RoundUp, long touted by Monsanto as all but harmless, has recently been linked to increased risk of birth defects when mothers are exposed during pregnancy. Endosulfan has also been linked to health harms in children, including birth defects, reproductive harm and autism.

Local mothers take charge

Here’s where Sofía’s story becomes truly inspirational.

After she lost her newborn, she realized that such losses were all too common in her small community. Building on Argentina’s powerful history of movements led by mothers, Sofía worked with other concerned moms to go door to door collecting stories about health problems in each family – essentially conducting the community’s first-ever epidemiological study.

Despite few resources and very real threats, Sofía led the Mothers of Ituzaingó to concrete victory.

“The Mothers of Ituzaingó” discovered the community’s cancer rate to be 41 times the national average. Rates of neurological problems, respiratory diseases and infant mortality were also astonishingly high.

The group then launched a “Stop the Spraying!” campaign, leading demonstrations and publishing materials warning the community about the dangers of pesticides.

Their efforts bore fruit. In 2008, Argentina’s president ordered an investigation of the health impacts of pesticides in Ituzaingó Annex; the resulting official study corroborated their informal door-to-door research. Sofía and the Mothers of Ituzaingó then won a municipal “buffer zone” ordinance, prohibiting aerial spraying less than 2,500 meters from homes.

Honoring leadership & courage

Each year since 1989, the Goldman Prize has honored grassroots leaders across the globe, unsung heroes who are campaigning for environmental justice and sustainability in their local communities. This global recognition of Sofia’s work couldn’t be more deserved.

Despite few resources and very real threats -including being held at gunpoint in her own home – Sofía led the Mothers of Ituzaingó to concrete victory: on-the-ground protections for the children in their community. The group also raised the profile of the broader issue of the health harms of pesticides to the national level, making room for a push for safer and more sustainable approaches to agriculture.

Sofía is now working with mothers in other Argentine communities, looking for ways to expand protections to families across the country. We at PAN salute her commitment, dedication and creativity, and congratulate her for the well deserved international recognition of today’s Goldman Prize.

Video: 2012 Goldman Prize Winner for South and Central America: Sofia Gatica

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The World Needs You to Follow Your Inspiration

by Annika Thomas

As I left the San Francisco head office of the clothing company I worked for, I felt anxious and scared. I knew, in the depth of my heart and soul, that I did not belong there and that I needed to do something about it.

Up until a year before then, I had thought I did. But then I met this new friend who was a very spiritual person. He talked to me about things like universal mind, energy, a new era, and the importance of finding your dharma—your true vocation, which starts to be revealed once you start listening to, and following, your deepest inspiration.

It all touched a deep chord in me. Since that day I started following my thread of inspiration and searched and read everything I could find about the psyche, how we are affected by colors and shapes, and about symbols and esoteric teachings. I felt like I already knew all of it, and that I had finally found my way home.

My friends and colleagues didn’t understand the depth of the transformation I was going through. I felt misunderstood and very lonely.

But at the same time I was happier than I had been in a very long time. I felt connected to my true Self. I was truly inspired and felt like I had a special job to do in the world of clothes: I was to find new ways of designing and using clothes, built on feminine principles and a different set of values than those of our modern culture.

As the head designer for the Scandinavian branch of a multinational clothing company I earned quite a lot of money. I also led what many would consider a very glamorous lifestyle, with lots of traveling and meetings with interesting people.

But did it make me happy? Was there room for me to grow and develop in new ways?

No. Absolutely not. As a professional designer it was my job to focus on contemporary clothes, on what our costumers would want the next season. Looking further into the future was not an option.

Every day that went by made it more impossible to stay. I remember telling a friend that I felt like an eagle with my wings clipped at work.

I knew that leaving would be a point of no return that would ruin the career I had put so much energy into. But what else could I do?

My biggest problem was how to support myself. I understood that it would even be difficult for me to have freelance design jobs on the side, since my heart was no longer in it.

All that inspired me about designing clothes were the deeper aspects: Who was the person behind them? Could garments styles and fabric patterns play a role in the development of our consciousness? Was it possible to use design to stimulate the soul?

I had so many questions. But I was absolutely convinced that there was another way to work with clothes that truly honored the body and spirit of the person wearing them. I was determined to find it and just needed to trust what my heart told me.

Was I delusional? It was obvious that many others thought so…

Still, I finally took the step. One day I just knocked on my boss’ door and told him I had decided to quit. He looked almost shocked and asked me what my plans were. When I told him I didn’t really know yet, he bluntly told me that he didn’t believe me. He thought I hid something from him. ”What company bought you over?” he asked.

To him just leaving the whole fashion business at the top of my career was unimaginable.

To tell you that everything was sunshine and roses from that day onward would be a huge exaggeration. Actually, it was often quite the opposite.

When we challenge our personal patterns and step out of our comfort zone, we are often faced with our deepest fears.

I had to face many, and lived through some dark periods when I felt convinced I couldn’t find a new way to work with clothes. And yes, sometimes I questioned my choice.

Maybe I could have made a different one? Maybe I could have compromised a little? But in my heart I knew that it wouldn’t have worked. I’d needed a clean break in order to totally change my perspective.

Even if I missed the big check every month and the whole support system of a clothing company, I have never regretted my decision.

The years went by and I took one baby step at the time. As I reached one level of understanding, I expanded it through speaking and writing about it. I experimented with smaller clothing lines in colors and fabric patterns in the five elements—tools to help people find balance. One step led to another in ways I could not have foreseen.

That’s often what happens when we take a risk: things start to come together in ways we could never have predicted.

Looking back, I realize that the most important thing was that I really followed my heart. I was relentless. As soon as I felt like I had strayed from my vision, I made amends. When I didn’t, circumstances forced me to. Once, when I started selling a clothing line, all my sewing machines and computer were stolen, which made it impossible to continue down the wrong path. It was a blessing in disguise.

My farewell to fashion took place more than two decades ago, and my quest is still the most inspiring thing in my life. It kept (and keeps) evolving. Right now I feel very close to manifesting my alternative to fashion—clothes for body, soul, and spirit—in a bigger way.

If I had not taken that scary step, I would have missed out on so much. I feel proud of myself when I compare who I have become with the person I would have been if I had stayed.

Looking back, it’s surprising how everything took care of itself, even money. In periods, when I needed to just study, I was sometimes deeply indebted.

But there were also times when I made a lot of money so I could pay off my debts. I secured teaching jobs on the side when I needed to just experiment for a while. Had I known that things would work out just fine I wouldn’t have worried so much.

Worry and doubt were probably the most painful (and completely unnecessary) parts.

Life has a way of manifesting what we think about; so one great tool to deal with financial worries is to learn to focus on positive things. Another is to empty your mind and open up to solutions and new ways to earn.

So, if you find yourself in the wrong place, uncertain about whether or not you can find your way to the right one:

  • • Figure out what makes your heart sing and take one step on that path—today. Don’t make excuses to wait.

  • • Trust your gut feeling. It’s usually right.

  • • Focus on possibilities instead of the problems you might face.

  • • Believe in your dreams and visions. You have to believe in them to create them.

  • • Take inspired action!

And remember: You are unique. Your perspective of the world is equally unique, and it’s important you share it as only you can. The world needs you to follow your deepest inspiration.


Annika Thomas calls herself a holistic designer and a soul stylist. Through her company, Metamorfos, she offers fabrics, clothes, individual sessions, books about the deeper aspects of colors and surface patterns, and interesting lectures. Her blog at offers weekly inspiration.

Here is a list of our links.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monsanto - How and Why We Must Take Them Down!

By Dr Akilah El

Monsanto is one of the most dangerous and evil businesses in the world because it is responsible for poisoning people, wildlife, farm animals and the environment at large.

Monsanto is a global bio-engineering company that alters the very building blocks of life. Monsanto is the creator of genetically-engineered crops which produce GMO foods. These crops have genetic material that conquers and kills crops made by “The Most High”. These seeds are mutated and take on a totally different life form. This is why it’s known as "Frankenscience". Foods containing genetically-modified ingredients (GMO), such as modified maize or soya, is known as "Frankenfood."

This type of food was forced upon us and we (the consumer) was not given an option. We were not asked do we want GM ingredients in our food but we got them anyway. Big companies like Heinz, for example started using genetically-modified ingredients. For a list of other companies who use GMO ingredients click here!

Roundup ready

There are many problems with these GE crops. There are those that are "Roundup ready," meaning they contain a gene that makes the plants resistant to the Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide. Unfortunately many weeds are becoming resistant to the weed killers and are now labeled "superweeds”

Despite Monsanto's assurances that it is safe for wildlife, many studies have shown it is anything but and it is one reason many amphibians are becoming endangered or extinct. It has been shown too that in America where pollen of genetically-modified crops has blown onto nearby Milkweed that Monarch butterfly caterpillars eating this die.

The use of Roundup also kills so many plants that are the food of countless insect species which in turn are the food of birds and other animals. In the UK Roundup is often sprayed on Nettles to kill them but they are the only food source of the Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies.

Monsanto have also engineered crops to have a "suicide" or "terminator gene," which means that they cannot produce seed for future generations. This means that farmers are compelled to buy more new seed from Monsanto. The old traditional way of harvesting seed from your crops has been destroyed by Monsanto.

In India, not only did these new crops fail but the farmers were too poor to afford the Monsanto prices and thousands have been driven to commit suicide. These farmers were conned and lied to. This is one of many examples of how Monsanto is directly responsible for causing the deaths of people in other countries.

Conservationists and botanists are worried about the possibility of these artificially created pollens crossing with wild species and weakening or destroying other plant types.

Monsanto also brought us the poisonous artificial sweetener originally marketed as Nutrasweet but now more commonly known as aspartame. This stuff is responsible for all types of serious illnesses and yet it is added to an increasing number of food and drink products.

In the past, Monsanto created Agent Orange, a herbicide used in the Vietman war which had a terrible after-effect on many of the soldiers that were exposed to it because it contains dioxin, one of the most dangerous poisons known, which can cause everything from severe birth defects,cancer, neurological disorders and/or death. Monsanto has been successful in blocking any motion towards compensating Vietnam veterans and civilians who were exposed to the company's Agent Orange.

They have also been responsible for making rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone), which was marketed as POSILAC and has been shown to make cows suffer many illnesses including mastitis, foot problems and reproductive disorders.

Monsanto ultimate goal is take over all food crops and replace the natural ones with their genetically-modified frankenseeds. I believe that this company is planning to kill off as many of us as possible by using food shortage, poisoned foods and water as part of their weapons against humanity, whilst at the same time making sure they have healthy and natural seeds to plant after they have succeeded.  BUT THEY WON’T!!!!!

Here is how we can stop them! Watch this video to learn how.




Click Here to Learn How to Protect Yourself From GMO Foods

Monday, April 16, 2012

Enzymes: A Simple Way To Improve Your Health

by -

Do you want to feel better?

Do you eat cooked or processed foods?

If the answer is yes, then you need enzymes to feel better and improve your health!

More than 90% of the food eaten by the average American is cooked or processed at temperatures greater than 118 F. The heat involved, whether it comes from micro waving, steaming, broiling, roasting, pasteurizing, sauteing, stir frying or any other source, destroys food enzymes. The result is incomplete digestion, less nutrition, greater stress on your digestive system, which can lead to more digestive problems.

Enzymes are proteins that catalyze (increase or decrease) chemical reactions. When enzymatic reactions occur, the molecules at the beginning of the process (substrates) are converted into different molecules (products). Enzyme activity can be affected by other molecules called enzyme inhibitors. Many drugs, medications, and poisons are enzyme inhibitors. Enzyme activity is also affected by temperature, chemical environment, and the concentration of substrate. Some enzymes are used commercially for different purposes such as in antibiotics, household products, meat tenderizers, and for digestion. The enzymes used in household detergents break down protein or fat stains on clothing. The enzymes used in meat tenderizers break down meat protein so that the meat is easier to chew. The enzymes for digestion break down foods into smaller molecules, thus providing assistance for efficient digestion. There are two major types of enzymes: synthetases and hydrolases. The synthetases (also known as metabolic enzymes) help to build body structures by making or synthesizing larger molecules. The hydrolases (also known as digestive enzymes) use the process of hydrolysis to break down large molecules into smaller ones by adding water to the larger molecules. The best natural food sources of enzymes are fresh fruits, vegetables, and fresh juice made from them.

Superfoods That are Rich Sources of Enzymes:

Bee Pollen - As the main food source for honey bees, bee pollen captures the essence of every plant from which it collects pollen.  Bee pollen has been called "nature's perfect food" because of it's dense nutritional quality.  Bee pollen is packed with vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and amino acids. It contains 18 amino acids; vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and B12; niacin; pantothenic acid; folic acid;
vitamins C,D,E, choline; inositol; rutin and other bioflavonoids; calcium; magnesium; iron; zinc; ten types of enzymes; coenzymes; and many other nutritional factors.

Aloe Vera Juice - For centuries aloe vera juice has been recognized for it's numerous health benefits both internally and externally.  Although aloe vera provides external benefits for the skin, it's especially useful in relieving a variety of conditions inside the digestive tract.  Aloe vera juice provides anti-inflammatory action in the digestive system, it helps to detoxify the bowel, it neutralizes stomach acidity, and it relieves constipation and gastric ulcers.  Aloe Badensis Miller (the most nutrient dense of all aloes) contains at least 75 nutrients and more than 200 active compounds including 20 minerals, 22 necessary amino acids, and 12 vitamins.

Sprouts - When we eat sprouts, we're actually eating very young versions of entire plants.  Sprouts are one of the most concentrated sources of nutrition.  They're rich in enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and phytonutrients.  Sprouts can be made from a variety of seeds.  Some of the most commonly consumed sprouts are made from beans, lentils, broccoli seeds, alfalfa seeds, and clover seeds. Sprout kits
are available at sprout specialty food stores such as

Cereal Grasses (Wheat Grass and Barley Grass) - Not only are wheat grass and barley grass high chlorophyll foods, they contain many other nutrients and enzymes including the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD).  Superoxide dismutases are a class of enzymes that provide important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen.  Without SOD cells are highly susceptible to damage and inflammation.

Although wheatgrass and barley grass are very similar, barley grass is more easily digested.  Wheatgrass juice is usually tolerated well by people who are allergic to wheat and gluten.  Barley grass is a great alternative for those who can't tolerate wheatgrass.  Although barley grass is milder and bitter compared to the slightly sweet wheat grass, both cereal grasses contain similar nutrients.  Some studies
suggest that barley grass is especially beneficial for boosting energy levels, improving stamina, and providing clarity of thought.  Barley grass is also known to improve the texture of the skin and to heal the dryness associated with aging.  Studies indicate that wheatgrass is especially beneficial for cleansing the lymph system, restoring balance in the body, helping to remove toxic metals from cells, and it restores vitality.

Microalgae (spirulina, chlorella, and wild blue-green alga) - These three types of microalgae contain more chlorophyll than any other foods on the planet. Aside from cereal grasses, microalgae are considered by most health experts to be the healthiest foods on the planet.  In addition to chlorophyll, microalgae are a rich source of complete protein, beta-carotene, enzymes, and nucleic acids (RNA and DNA).

Green Leafy Vegetables - Like other chlorophyll rich foods, green leafy vegetables are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients.  There are several types of green leafy vegetables and each provides it's own set of unique beneficial nutrients.  Green leafy vegetables include chard, collard greens, mustard greens, bok choy, kale, dandelion greens, parsley, broccoli, and romaine lettuce.

Metabolic Enzymes (Synthetases)

Metabolic enzymes carry out a variety of functions in the body.  They flush toxins from the body, they help to produce energy, and they ensure the correct function of every organ.  They're a major component in the reproduction and replenishment of cells.  One of the most important functions of metabolic enzymes takes place within the blood.  Metabolic enzymes process nutrients that are provided by foods, and
they distribute them to every area of the body in order to replenish cells.  The pancreas is the primary organ that produces and releases metabolic enzymes into the body.  Metabolic enzymes are necessary throughout life and for the aging process.  A lack of metabolic enzymes accelerates several conditions in the aging process such as wrinkles, bone loss, and other conditions that generally come with aging.   Studies have shown that as we get older, fewer enzymes are produced in the pancreas and there are fewer enzymes found in the various cells of the body.
For this reason, many people turn to enzyme supplements to increase their level of enzymes in the body.  Although enzyme supplements are an option, they're not necessary.  Fresh fruits, vegetables, and fresh juice made from them are often referred to as "live foods" because they contain active enzymes.  Since enzymes are extremely sensitive to heat, they're found in higher amounts within raw foods. By consuming whole plant foods and fresh juices, the body not only gets the enzymes but it gets many other nutrients as well.

Digestive Enzymes (Hydrolases)

Digestive enzymes provide relief for the digestive system because they break down proteins.  There action is especially beneficial for those who have digestive conditions such as IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac Disease, and Gluten Sensitivity. The human digestive system has 4 major sites of digestion: the oral cavity, the stomach, the duodenum, and the jejunum.  Digestive enzymes are naturally secreted by different glands: the salivary glands, the glands in the stomach, the pancreas, and the glands in the small intestine. When foods are consumed, they must be broken down into simple, soluble, and diffusible substances before they can be absorbed into the body.
Digestive enzymes start their action in the oral cavity by using saliva to break down food starches into smaller molecules.   The various digestive enzymes help to break down the different components of foods such as starches, proteins, fatty acids, and sugars.

Digestive enzyme supplements are becoming more popular as more people are learning that they have food allergies and digestive conditions.  Most, but not all, digestive enzymes in supplements are extracted from natural foods.  Although digestive enzyme supplements are available, the best way to obtain them is to eat natural foods that contain them.   Raw fruits, vegetables, and "live food" juices are excellent sources of enzymes.  There are three classes of digestive enzymes: 
proteolytic enzymes (proteases) which are needed to digest protein, lipase enzymes which are  needed to digest fat, and amylase enzymes which are needed to digest carbohydrates (such as starches and sugars).

Natural Food Sources of Digestive Enzymes:

Pineapple (bromelain) - The bromelain in most digestive enzyme supplements is extracted from pineapple stems, since they have the highest concentration of the nutrient.  The core and flesh of pineapple fruit contains good amounts of bromelain as well.  Bromelain is a group of powerful proteolytic digestive enzymes and provides several other health benefits, most of which are still under investigation.  Studies have revealed that bromelain is also effective in fighting cancer growth.  It blocks growth of a broad range of tumor cells in several types of cancer including breast, lung, colon, ovarian, and melanoma.  Pineapple is also a great source of several other nutrients including manganese, vitamin C, and potassium.

Green Papaya (papain) - Like the bromelain in pineapple, papain is a group of  proteolytic digestive enzymes.  Papain, often extracted from papaya, is another major ingredient in digestive enzyme supplements.  Papain is also added to most enzyme supplements that are formulated specifically for pain relief (arthritis, sports injuries, etc.).  Papain may also have anti-inflammatory properties.  Papaya is an excellent source of several other nutrients including potassium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

Mangoes (magneferin, katechol oxidase, and lactase) - In India, green mango powder (amchur) is often used as a tenderizing agent for meats.  Mango lassi is a common drink in Indian restaurants and it's made from a combination of mangoes, yogurt, and spices.  Not only are mangoes a rich source of digestive enzymes, they're also an excellent source of potassium, vitamin A, and beta-carotene. Mangoes are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and fiber.

Kiwifruit (actinidin) - The actinidin enzyme in kiwifruit eases digestion due to it's proteolytic enzyme qualities.  Actinidin is also found in pineapples, papayas, and mangoes.  Aside from kiwi being a great source of digestive enzymes, it's also a great source of several other nutrients including vitamin C (almost twice the amount in an orange), magnesium, and potassium.  Kiwi also acts as a blood thinner without the adverse side effects of asprin.

Figs (ficin) - Used as a meat tenderizing agent, ficin is another protease (proteolytic) enzyme that eases digestion.  Ficin is found primarily in figs.  Figs provide several other health benefits as well.  They're an excellent source of fiber and a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.  




Here is a list of our links.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Week Seven – New Stats

I apologize for posting this late. I have been preoccupied with my "bring down Monsanto" agenda.  Last week I didn't have time to concentrate on my cardio but I never missed a day to lift weights. Here are my stats.

April 8, 2012

Height – 6’2″

All measurements are in inches.

  • Weight – 190 lbs

  • Waist (navel) – 34.5

  • Waist (below) 37

  • Hips 43.5

  • Right Leg Upper – 25

  • Right Leg Mid – 22

  • Left Leg Upper – 24.5

  • Left Leg  Med 22.5

April 15, 2012

All measurements are in inches.

  • Weight – 193 lbs

  • Waist (navel) – 34

  • Waist (below) 36.5

  • Hips 43

  • Right Leg Upper – 25

  • Right Leg Mid – 22

  • Left Leg Upper – 24.5

  • Left Leg  Med 22.5

Pounds lost since last week – 0lb I gained 3 pounds

  • Inches lost in Waist – .5

  • Inches lost  in waist below – .5

  • inches lost in hips – .5

  • inches lost in right leg upper – 0

  • inches lost in right leg mid – 0

  • inches lost in Left Leg Upper – 0

  • inches lost in Left Leg Mid – 0

Here is an example where the scale doesn't really tell the complete truth. I gained 3 pounds but I lost half an inch in my waist and hips. Since I'm apple shaped my thighs are going to be the last body part to let go fat easily. I look forward to go back home to Atlanta in two weeks. The weather here has been cold and I have no motivation to walk in the morning. Even though I don't walk in the morning I ALWAYS lift weights for 90 minutes and perform 60 minutes of cardio afterwards. That has been consistent. My eating has been PERFECT. Living with another vegan was one of the best moves I made over here in Germany. They say that who you spend time with is who you become. I have surrounded myself with positive thinking, athletics vegans and vegetarians. It looks like I am a product of my own enviroment. :)


Friday, April 13, 2012

Monsanto ‘Knowingly Poisoned Workers’ Causing Devastating Birth Defects

By Anthony Gucciardi

In a developing news piece just unleashed by a courthouse news wire, Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children. The farmers are now suing not only Monsanto on behalf of their children, but many big tobacco giants as well. The birth defects that the farmers say occurred as a result are many, and include cerebral palsy, down syndrome, psychomotor retardation, missing fingers, and blindness.

The farmers come from small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell their tobacco to many United States distributors. The family farmers say that major tobacco companies like the Philip Morris company asked them to use Monsanto’s herbicides and pesticides, assuring them that the products were safe. Through asserting that the toxic chemicals were safe, the farmers state in their claim that the tobacco companies ”wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects.”

The majority of the farmers in the area used Monsanto’s Roundup, an herbicide with the active ingredient glyphosate that has shown to be killing human kidney cells. What’s more, the farmers say that the tobacco companies pushed Monsanto’s Roundup on the farmers despite a lack of protective equipment. In other words, these farmers — many in dire economic conditions — were being directly exposed to Roundup in large concentrations without any protective gear (or even experience or skills in handling the substance). Still, the farmers say the tobacco giants required the struggling farmers to ‘purchase excessive quantities of Roundup and other pesticides’.

Most shocking, the farmers were ordered to discard leftover herbicides and pesticides in locations in which they leached directly into the water supply. With Monsanto’s Roundup already known to be contaminating the groundwater, this comes as a serious threat to pure water supplies.

The farmers end their landmark case with an explanation as to why the tobacco companies allowed Monsanto’s herbicides and pesticides to be unloaded on the small family farms in such vast quantities and purchased in excessive amounts. In their claim, the farmers state that the tobacco companies were ”motivated by a desire for unwarranted economic gain and profit,” with zero regard for the farmers and their infant children — many of which are now suffering from severe birth defects from Monsanto’s products.



Here is a list of our links.

Ah Germans............gotta love 'em!

There's a lot of reasons why I love Germans but one of the reasons is because of their brutal honesty. Earlier this morning I was in the weight lifting section of the gym working on my arms. While lifting the dumbbells an older lady approached me with a concerned look on her face. As soon as I finished my set I placed the dumbbells on the floor and asked "What is wrong?" in German. The woman begin to tell me that I am lifting heavy weights like a man and this is not attractive. She is afraid that if I keep lifting weights that I'll never get a boyfriend. I told her that I have a boyfriend but things are not good between us at the moment. Then she gets excited and yells "Genau! Genau!" which means "Exactly! Exactly!" Then she told me to give the weights to the men and to join the women in the zumba class. Once stop lifting weights and stick to cardio classes all will be well with me and boyfriend again. She told me to stop lifting weights soon because she can see some muscles under my fat.


She saw some muscles under my fat! Ironically, I was asking myself twenty minutes before if I was making any visible progress. I think I got my answer!

To make her feel better I told the lady that I'll give it up after this month. There was a little truth in that. After this month I'll be back in the states so I have to give up lifting weights in Germany............right?


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ten Health Benefits of Cold Showers

By Jordan & Kyla Miller

How many of us can actually say that we take regular cold showers? If you’re from a colder climate, the number is likely to be even less. However, cold showers and baths have a long history in many cultures, and for good reason. Vincenz Priessnitz, a farmer in the 1920s, developed and marketed a medical treatment he called hydrotherapy. He sold the concept of using cold water to cure a long list of aliments, and achieved almost instant success. As the 20th century moved along however, the popularity of hydrotherapy began to decline and falter when medical professionals began to rely more on drugs to treat illnesses and the luxury of hot showers began to increase. However, the use of hydrotherapy as a viable medical treatment never completely stopped. Here are 10 of the many reasons why:

1. Strengthens Immunity

Cold showers are sometimes touted as a preventative tonic for colds, flu, and infections. An experiment in Prague studied the effect of cold water immersions on athletic young men. They immersed themselves in water at 14°C (57°F), three times a week for six weeks. Among many changes, they saw increased levels of two types of white blood cells: monocytes and lymphocytes. While certain lymphocytes are instrumental in eliminating bacteria, viruses, and toxins; monocytes are indirectly responsible for the engulfing and consuming of pathogens and foreign materials. Researchers believe that the increased metabolic rate, which results from the body’s attempt to warm itself up, activates the immune system and releases more white blood cells in response. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that people who take regular cold showers are less likely to develop colds, flu’s, and even some forms of cancer.

2. Improves Blood Circulation

Good blood circulation is vital for overall cardiovascular health. Alternating between hot and cold water while showering, is an easy way to improve circulation. When exposed to cold water, our arteries and veins constrict or tighten. This process is called “vasoconstriction”. The tightening helps blood to flow at a higher pressure as now there is less space for the blood to flow, meaning circulation will improve. “Vasodilation”, the opposite effect, and is done when we are exposed to heat. The natural tendency of the body when it is exposed to cold is that your blood rapidly circulates to your vital organs to keep them warm, hence increasing your overall blood circulation. Why should you be conscious of having good circulation? Well, it prevents such problems as hypertension, hardening of the arteries, and the appearance of varicose veins. Good circulation improves the performance of your system and thus help looking and feeling better.

3. Regulates Temperature

Cold showers provide a gentle form of stress that leads to thermogenesis (internal generation of body heat), which in turn activates the body’s adaptive repair systems. If you suffer from chronically cold hands and feet, or feel that you sweat an abnormal amount, try a cold shower.

4. Promotes Weight Loss / Increases Metabolism

Brown fat, as opposed to white fat is heavily involved in burning energy. Exposure to cold naturally stimulates the production of these brown fats. These cells burn glucose to try and produce as much heat energy as possible. Having a higher amount of brown fat leads to more energy being burned per second and therefore, more weight is lost. As a result of the increased brown fat levels, and the increased blood pressure and body temperature, chemical reactions in the body will happen faster than they would have without regular cold showers. An increased metabolism is what a lot of people seek for because it means that any process in the body will become more efficient; meaning more weight loss will be seen and more growth/repair of muscles and otherwise will be seen.

5. Alleviates Depression

Depression is yet another thing that cold showers can help and prevent. Research at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University indicates that cold water has a stimulating effect on the brains “blue spot”, the main source of noradrenaline for our bodies. Noradrenaline is a chemical that might be used to help alleviate depression.

6. Improves Lymphatic Movement

The lymphatic system is a system of tubing separate from our blood vessels that is responsible for carrying away waste from your cells as well as help fight pathogens (disease). Unlike blood vessels, the lymphatic system does not have blood, it has lymph, which carries away waste products and white blood cells which handle infection. Also different from blood vessels is that the heart does not pump lymph around the body like it does the blood. The lymph relies on the contraction of muscles. This contraction squeezes the lymph up to the thoracic duct so that the lymph can mix with the blood and then be dealt with by organs. Cold showers cause whole-body contraction and this works excellently with the lymph system, squeezing the fluid up through the body. If the lymphatic system is compromised and not efficient, then the fluid pools at faraway places (usually the feet). This results in what is known as lymphedema (a type of edema).

7. Deepens Breathing

What you will notice as an effect of cold showers is that you begin inhaling very deeply. This is to try and combat the stress of the shock, the vasoconstriction and the overall need for oxygen to respire and keep oneself warm. This process opens up the lungs much like strenuous physical exercise does and results in a higher average intake of oxygen, which is good for many things like not feeling tired during the day and doing better at sport or other exercises.

8. Keeps Skin and Hair Healthy

It is well known that hot water dries out our skin and hair. On the other hand, cold water can make our hair look shinier and our skin look healthier by tightening cuticles and pores, preventing them from getting clogged, thus reducing blemishes like acne. Cold water also contributes to detoxification which results in the squeezing of toxins and waste products out of the skin. This detoxification has a good effect on the skin which appears more clean and young. Additionally, the cold water closes the cuticle which makes the hair stronger and prevents dirt from easily accumulating within our scalp. Stronger hair, of course, prevents hair from easily falling out and it helps in slowing down overall hair loss.

9. Increases Energy and Wellbeing

There are plenty of mental benefits to ending your shower with cold water. The ancient samurai warriors used to pour buckets of cold river water on their heads every morning in a Shinto practice called Misogi. This was a purification ritual on a spiritual level. They believe that it cleansed their spirit and helped start a fresh new day. A cold shower can definitely leave one feeling invigorated and energized. The heart starts pumping, and the rush of blood through the body helps shake off the lethargy of the previous night’s sleep. Additionally, while there are not many studies to confirm, many people swear that cold showers are a definite stress reducer.

10. Increases Hormone Production

Cold water showers have the ability to increase hormone production and activity by giving the body’s glands a boost. For example, cold showers can be of great benefit to the reproductive system when trying to conceive a child. A man’s testes are not meant to get too hot; that’s why they hang outside of a man’s body. Sperm counts decrease when the temperature of a man’s testes increases. In fact, experiments done in the 1950s showed that hot baths were an effective contraceptive. Men who took a 30 minute hot bath every other day for 3 weeks were infertile for the next six months. More recently, the University of California at San Francisco did a study with men who were exposed to 30 minutes of “wet heat” (hot baths, saunas and such) a week. When the men cut this exposure out, their sperm count went up by 491%, and their sperm’s motility improved as well. While switching from a hot to cold shower may not have as dramatic an effect, if you’re trying to reproduce, it surely won’t hurt. Furthermore, it has been said that cold water therapy helps regulate the endocrine system (including the adrenals and thyroid).

How to Start

Gradually adjusting from hot to cold showers is recommended. For many, a drastic change in temperature would be too much a stress to their body. Push yourself to step outside your comfort zone, while at the same time listen to what your body can handle. A great way to implement cold showers into your daily routine is by turning the water to cold for the last 30 seconds to a minute of your shower. Give it a try and see what benefits you experience. Who knows, maybe the secret to the fountain of youth is hidden within cold showers.

Your question(s): Are you open to the idea of taking a cold shower? What about a polar ice dip? (post your comments below)

Jordan and Kyla are passionate about health; together, they have overcome many illnesses through dietary and lifestyle changes, and the art of practicing a positive mindset daily. Kyla is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Reiki Master, and Jordan is currently learning about traditional North American medicinal herbs, in hopes of becoming a Certified Herbalist. For more information, please visit the following sites;




Here is a list of our links.