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Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Little Havah Update

Havah was diagnosed with pertussis Tuesday, November 2nd. It's not quite two weeks later and if you heard her cough you wouldn't know that she has whooping cough. No more "big coughs" really. We have been free of the real ear catching coughs for several days now. The ones that I'm hearing now are more and more under control. We aren't totally out of the woods, but I can see that we're pretty much done with the most of this. As long as I'm keeping her diet as mucous free as we can manage then the girl seems to be doing just fine. She has never stopped being her cheerfully silly self. She's just been a bit more tired, a bit more cranky and coughing obviously.

Monday is our liberation day. Havah's been on lock down for the most part until the antibiotics are wrapped up. Two weeks of antibiotics is A LOT of antibiotics. I have been taking an antibiotic as well because I've been coughing and I don't want to pass this thing on to other people. We went to take her big sisters to the doctor the other day and while on the way we saw a play ground with a bunch of kids. She almost cried when she asked me if we could go play with those kids. It broke my heart. This girl is SOCIAL. She loves her friends dearly. She names her things after her friends (Aubrey cup, Angie cup, Abel cup, Baby Sophie, Baby Aubrey).

Baruch is still showing no signs of WC. He did get a new tooth today - his first. I'm hoping that this means I will get to sleep all night tonight. Come on....say a prayer for me right now. Something like this, "Dear Jesus, please give Danie a full nights sleep tonight. Amen."

Thank you. I appreciate that.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Juicing, Opinions and Vaccinations


I've been juicing a lot in the past two weeks. The main things being carrots and apples. Occasionally I throw something exciting in there, but for now I'm pleased with the same old same old. If I were diagnosed with cancer I would live on fresh juice. Probably less carrot and more greens. Juicing is an excellent way to provide nutrition to your body. You get the vitamins and minerals from the item juiced, but almost no work for your body to digest. Digestion is a very energy taxing function of the body. When you are sick you want your body to rest as much as possible.

Anyway...back to juicing. Havah loves it. We wash the carrots and apples together. I trim the ends and let her help me push them into the juicer. Then we put the juice in tiny little tea cups and have our "tea time". She is so absolutely delightful. Havah says the funniest things. I love to sit and chat with her. My sister likens her to a cartoon and it is a perfect comparison. Havah is very tiny, but has a personality larger than life. I wish everyone could know the joy that it is to have her as my own. At the same time I feel very special that I know and not everyone does.

I have a very nice juicer - maybe I should say had. When Sean and I got married we went for it and bought the kitchen appliances that we knew we would love and would last us a lifetime. We got a Vitamix, a 10 cup food processor and a Green Star Juicer. They are all amazing and are all used regularly. The juicer can be a bit of a pain to use though. It produces an amazing amount of juice from the things you stick through it. You can do all kinds of other things with it. The down side is that you have to push quite hard to get a carrot to go through. Also, there are several parts to be taken apart and washed with each use. It has been living at "the shop" where we make soda. I got it back for a few days and remembered how laborous it was to use and quickly traded it in for our old Juiceman JR. Cheap and easy to use. It produces much less juice but I'm done in less than 5 minutes. You can get a Green Star when you are a serious juicer. They are about $450. You can get a Juiceman almost anytime. They are $50. The Green Star is now back at the shop where it belongs.


I come from a big family that is very skilled in forming opinions. My sister Angela being the very best at opinions. When I need one I always know that she will have a very good one for me. I am also quite opinionated. I don't think that I'm judgmental (being the humble one that I am), but about things I have looked into I feel pretty confident in my opinions. When it comes to thoughts about people, actions, what's for dinner or why someone did something they way that they did - I usually pass on having an opinion. An opinion is like a nose. Everyone has one, right? My friend Jennifer wrote an excellent blog post on opinions. So in the next few paragraphs there may be an opinion or two. I'm not telling you what I think you should do. I'm just telling you what I do.


Havah and Barch are not vaccinated or immunized. For anything. Sean and I decided that we were not against them getting booster shots. We just don't feel comfortable with them getting them at such young ages and weights. When we felt it was the right time we planned to figure out exactly which shots we want them to get.

So with all this scare of WC I am getting calls, opinions and recommendations from all kinds of medical professionals and people from the health department. Of course they are all telling me that I need to get Havah and Baruch vaccinated right away. Both of them need to get up to schedule with all of their shots and they need to do it right away. Israel and Judah only had a few shots when they were little so we are being "encouraged" to get them up to date also. I'm also getting lots of questions from these same folks about why I have yet to get my children immunized.

So I have a few facts for you about the pertussis vaccination. They are from different sources - I don't believe all of them to be facts.

The CDC says that WC is the most widely spread disease which is preventable by vaccination.

The CDC said in 2009 that only 0.06 of the US population was not current on their vaccination schedule.

The CDC said that last year there were more than 17,000 reported cases of WC in the US. They also said that many more cases go unreported.

My new friend at the KC Health Department, whose name I won't mention here, told me that it doesn't matter if you get vaccinated for WC. If you are exposed to WC you are very likely to get it.

My doctor at the Urgent Care told me that if Havah's test came back positive for WC that everyone in the house would have to be treated as if they had WC - even if they had been vaccinated for it. She told me that we should plan on everyone getting it (though they haven't) no matter if they had the shots or not.

A nurse at our family doctor (who talked to me like I was a Moron because I didn't take my kids to the well baby visits) told me the same thing. Their patients were getting WC whether or not they had their booster shots.

SO all of this makes me a wee bit angry. The pertussis vaccination has a reputation of being one of the most dangerous vaccinations. It is also one of the most widely used (possibly why it is getting all the bad reports). All of the risk in the vaccination for what??? My child would be just as likely to get the disease and have the exact same reaction to the disease! So why am I getting all of this pressure from my health care providers to get my children vaccinated for WC??? All of this makes me quite angry.

Another thing that really disturbs me is when medical professionals assume that they will make the decisions for your child. Uh no, when my baby is born you aren't going to poke and prod my brand new person. You can't take my child to the nursery. I will decide when my child will go to the doctor. I will decide when my child gets antibiotics, shots or any other medication. Please boss someone else around.


I do feel better having written that down. The above does not reflect my opinion on all vaccinations. For example - a few years ago Sean got vaccinated for the chicken pox. He was in his mid thirties and he decided that it was no longer worth the risk of getting chickenpox as an adult. It is much more dangerous for an adult to get chickenpox than a child.

When we decided not to have the little ones vaccinated we took the risk of them getting infectious diseases. When it comes to our decision about not having vaccinated for WC I am glad that we decided to wait. It is one that I do not plan to give them even later in life. Havah's immune system is doing an excellent job of killing this disease. We are seeing almost none of the major signs of WC that the CDC reports. This is not the case for all children, but it seems to be the case for mine. I have worked very hard to keep her in the best of health and nutrition.

We have also spent time praying for Havah's health. I believe that God is bigger than her cough and I tell her that all day.

And this too...
This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots. I'm not likely to even reread these posts before posting. Hope it makes sense.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

As Promised

Additional Measures and Baruch

We are doing more than just the fresh food, juice, antibiotics and probiotics. Some of these may seem obvious, but I'll list them anyway.

Lots of Liquids - Poor kid is running to the potty about every half an hour. She is getting barley and fresh juice, but I'm trying to get her to drink as much water as possible. The more hydrated she is the easier it will be for her to cough this funk up.

Lots of Rest - When you are sick in any way it should be a sign to you that you should take extra measures to rest! I get Havah outside for a few hours while the weather is so nice, but then we're taking it easy. She still needs to get her wiggles out, but I'm making sure she's got a big window of time to get in a nap. She is going to bed half an hour early (though last night she didn't)and we're trying to help her sleep in. The sleeping in is essential for me. Little Baruch is keeping me up at night.

Havah's room has a sound machine which helps her sleep longer. I've been putting her in a pea pod and putting a blanket over part of it so that her room seems darker. I have a monitor right by her bed so that if she had any issues I could help her out immediately.

Humidifier - We have a humidifier running in Havah's room all the time.

Chest Percussion - I put Havah in front of Blue's Clues and spend 20 or so minutes pounding on her back and chest around her lungs. I'm trying to help loosen any mucous (there's that lovely word again) that might stick to the inside of her lungs. She usually coughs a few times while I'm doing this, but nothing major.

Essential Oils - This may seem like snake oil, but I really believe in it. Havah has a diffuser in her room. It is diffusing Four Thieves Oil and Lavender Oil. Both are excellent at killing "bad stuff" and for helping the lungs. Baruch is getting Four Thieves Oil on his feet before naps and bed. I brush my teeth with it at night - just a few drops on the tooth brush. It's great for killing bacteria, kills gum disease and helps with sensitive teeth. Fair warning - it's spicy. I think both oils are essential to every household. Four Thieves oil was used during the Bubonic Plague. Thieves who wanted to rob dead bodies would use it so as not to catch the disease. Other oils to keep on hand are Oregano, Eucalyptus, Peppermint and a citrus oil.

About Baruch

Baruch is my 5 months old rolly polly baby. He is possibly the most delightful thing on earth (good thing cause he's keeping me up a lot at night right now). WC is very dangerous for little babies, so we are keeping a close eye on him. He has no signs of any sickness. My breastmilk is full of antibodies that help protect him from the sickness. I am nursing him just about every time he cries or acts hungry. That's not normally my style, but right now I want him to get as much of a defense as possible.

Well I have to end there because it's time for dinner.

And don't forget...
This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots. I'm not likely to even reread these posts before posting. Hope it makes sense.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Kindness of God

Thank you Jesus for the sunshine! The weather for the past few days has been absolutely amazing. The sun has been shining. The breeze has been blowing. It has been almost 70 degrees every day! This means while we are on lock down (Havah can't play with friends for two weeks while she's on the antibiotics) we still get our wiggles out!

We have a great backyard. Well parts of it are great. We have a trampoline, a preschool sized table, a car, a bike, a swing and bubbles. Lots of bubbles. We have been outside for a few hours each day. This has been so helpful to our mental and emotional wellbeing. It is also extremely beneficial for health. We get our peneal glands filled (no jokes please), the ability to convert cholesterol to vitamin D and fresh air in our lungs.

The clouds have been beautiful. The leaves have been beautiful. My children have been joyful while outside.

Here's a video of cuteness with a special shout out to Grama and Grampa Renee (sorry grampa that's what she calls you guys)...

And on another good note. Havah didn't have any serious coughing spells today. She did cough today. She cleared her lungs several times. No hacking, no deep breaths. Thank you God!

Well the video isn't working. Maybe next time.

Treating WC - Well At Least What We're Doing

Children with WC have really two main issues. Well maybe three. And in no particular order: 1# Their throats and lungs are inflamed #2 Because of this they are producing copious amounts of mucous (yum) #3 Because the throat is inflamed coughing out and up that mucous is a challenge. When the airway is swollen or filled with mucous then getting your breath between coughs becomes a great challenge.

We have Havah on a mucous-less diet. Arnold Ehret wrote a whole book on the topic. I have not read it myself, but Paul said that it is an excellent book...and he would know. By eating a mucous-less diet we are telling Havah's body to not produce any extra mucous. Because of the irritation and inflamation she still has mucous. Just not as much as she could. Mucous mucous mucous! Gag!

So I could tell you what that means Havah doesn't eat, but it is much easier to tell you what she does eat. Havah is eating fresh fruits, veggies and seeds.

Here's what that looks like:

Barley grass, beet and carrot juice
fresh juiced apple carrot juice
buckwheaties with almond milk
potato leek soup
lentil soup
any other vegetable concoction Sean comes up with that has garlic and onions in it
and more fruit

In addition to those foods she is also getting a probiotic, digestive enzymes with some of her food, vitamin D and mullein leaf extract. Oh and breastmilk. Because I have been exposed to this virus my body is working hard to protect little Baruch from getting it. My breastmilk is full of antibodies for WC! I regularly pump a few extra ounces for a friends baby, but for now I am pumping it for Havah. I just put it in with her smoothie.

Well that's enough for now.

Oh and don't forget:
This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots. I'm not likely to even reread these posts before posting. Hope it makes sense.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Where We Are at with Pertussis

Havah is currently in stage two of whooping cough. Typing that out each time is going to get old fast so from now on I will just write WC. I don't even like calling it by name. It annoys me. It makes me angry to even say it.

So back to the stages of WC. Stage 1 lasts for about two weeks. The symptoms are very minor and are usually confused with the common cold. Most people miss this and pass it to the masses. This stage is when it is most contagious.

Stage 2 is where the real WC shows itself - the demon that it is. This is when you hear the real "whoop" come from children as they try to catch their breath between coughs. This is serious stuff people! Children die in this stage!

Thankfully, Havah does not have any of the severe symptoms. She does not have coughing episodes that leave her vomiting, turning blue, or having seizure like symptoms that children quite often have in this stage. Havah has two serious coughs a day. She will cough three to four times between breaths. Her eyes turn red. She takes deep breaths. On at least two occasions she has gagged as if she would throw up. On one occasion I did actually hear her "whoop". Sean (my husband) has heard her whoop on another occasion. It is absolutely the most horrible thing that a mother could hear coming from her child. This happens in the morning as little H is starting her day (though it did not happen today). It usually happens post nap also. It usually happens once I start giving her food after she has woken up (I'll tell you more about that later).

She will cough several times during the day, but the coughs sound very much like a chest cold. You know when you've had a cold. It starts in your head and moves down to your chest. Then you have to work it out of your lungs. It sounds very much like that.

Havah has never been sick before. She's never had a real cold. She's had runny noses, but they usually produced teeth. I have been relatively aggressive with her nutrition to try to help her body be strong and fight off disease. This bout with WC is a reality check and right now we are kicking it into high gear. We will not be in high gear forever (i'm saying that mostly for me), but we will be for at least the next month.

Havah is not immunized. After the reading I've been doing and conversations I've had with the Health Department I am still thankful that this is the case. I might discuss this more with you later.

Havah is taking antibiotics. She has never had them before. I could have never imagined that she would need them in her life unless there was a real emergency. Well here we are in a critical situation. So bring on the antibiotics. The antibiotics don't treat the virus. You don't treat viruses with antibiotics. It just prevents the spreading of the virus. She isn't having a super dramatic response to WC but someone else's child might! We don't want to spread it. Also, we don't want to be "holed up" for more than we absolutely have to.

Well there's where we're at.

And here's my disclaimer again...

This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots.

How We Fight Pertussis (whooping cough)

Well...Havah has pertussis. I'm not going to go into what exactly that is. You can google it. Fair warning though - it may scare the pants off of you.

As you probably have guessed we're treating it as naturally as possible. There really isn't any way to "treat" pertussis. Once you've got've got it. You can take antibiotics. They will help prevent the spreading of the disease. I've been poking around the internet for helpful tips and I'll share with you what I've found and what we're doing to help little Havah through this.

I should tell you though. This is not my advice to you. I'm not suggesting that I know what you should do. I'm not suggesting that I know better than your doctor. I'm not giving you advice. Whooping cough is a serious virus! This year alone 10 infants died of pertussis in California because they had been misdiagnosed. So please...if you have pertussis or your child has it TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

And one more thing. I'm sleep deprived. I'm stressed out. I will spell things incorrectly, punctuate incorrectly and use lots and lots of dot dot dots.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Heart Wednesday - The Morning Smoothie's 1:26 on Thursday morning, but I'm doing my best.

Each morning Havah and I enjoy a fruit smoothie. We try to make it as yummy as possible, but keep still keep it simple.

Starting your morning with fruit, even if it is just a piece of fruit means that you are filling your body with alcaline forming, vitamin rich food.

My smoothie is a bit different each morning. I keep several key things in the fridge to make it a success.

Left Over Bananas
Organic Peaches
Organic Berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc.)
Any ripe fruit that was about to go bad on the counter

100% juice (my personal preference is anything but apple or grape - they don't always taste or combine well with what I'm making)
Raw Almonds (usually soaked)

Any combination of two to all of the the above gets tossed into my vitamix and blended on high for about a minute. I use half juice and half water when I'm adding the liquid. Frozen fruit can often not be as sweet as you would expect because they flavor doesn't really come alive until things are at room temperature. A room temperature fruit smoothie just seems kind of gross. Adding the juice will increase the sweet flavor. Using half juice and half water means I'm not overloading myself with sugar that my body can't handle.

I always toss in a handful of raw, soaked almonds. This adds some protein and will help keep my blood sugar stable for hours to come. Raw almonds are the only alcaline forming nut. They also add a yogurt like taste to the smoothie.

The berries and peaches are organic because they have a very high pesticide residue even after washing them. Pesticides are there to ward off and kill bugs. Definitely not something that you want to put in your body on a regular basis. In past years I have not been such a stickler for organic fruit, but since we are consuming it daily and in high quantity it is becoming a higher priority. Honestly, when I use conventional berries Havah tends to keep a diaper rash and her skin isn't as soft.

I price hunt of frozen fruit as it can be expensive if you buy it all at Whole Foods. Here in KC I find the best prices are at Price Chopper, Costco and I get the organic stuff from our food cooperative or Whole Foods.

I could make this every morning, but at least once a week I feel the need to change things up.

Now for something completely different.

The Beloved Coconut Shake

1 young Thai coconut (sean likes his coconuts like his women...just ask him)
1/2 cup raw soaked almonds
2 T of natural sweetener (maple syrup, dates, honey or agave - risky i know)
1 T of vanilla extract (though sometimes I like more)
1/2 c ice

Open that young Thai coconut and pour in all the water - freezing the meat or adding a bit for some extra good fat. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. This makes the most amazing morning shake. Packed with tons of nutrition, good fat and electrolytes.

It is pretty easy to get creative with this. We often add:
orange zest (think cream sickle)
cacao - risky again!
coffee grounds

So enjoy your mornings! Make a great smoothie. It doesn't require much but a blender and a few minutes. There's no worrying about fruit going bad on your counter and your kids will love it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Misconception Monday

After an amazing week with my family I will attempt to blog regularly again. Attempt...

They Henry's always eat healthy.


While I have packed my little brain full of glorious nutrition and health information - I break and bed the rules. This doesn't exactly mean that I have ice cream every time I want ice cream. It does mean that this week I had cupcakes on two occasions this week. Next week I will not be eating cupcakes.

As a general rule the Henry's eat food for meals, that almost always means plants. At times that can mean plants on pizza! We love the Vegetarian Gourmet Pizza from Papa Murphy's.

I was watching a video on Paul Nison's blog this week where he interviewed Frederic Patenaude. I can't remember the exact quote, but Patenaude said something along the lines of, "It's not what we eat in a meal that counts, but what we eat in a day." I'm not looking to every piece of food I put in my body to provide me with perfect health, though that does make a huge impact. I first look to The Creator. Health and life are a gift from Him! Life is a gift as well and I plan to enjoy it! Sometimes that means I enjoy food that bends and breaks the rules of what I know to be healthy. They may be high in fat, salt, sugar and refined something (hello cupcake), but these things are the exception. I've worked hard and long (longer than I'd like to admit) to kick my addictions to these brain stimulating foods. They can be just like drugs. Being eight months pregnant means that the battle is raging!

In order to win this battle I change my expectations. There are seasons of total abstinence, raw food and not breaking a single one of those golden health rules. I love these seasons. I feel great. I know I'm doing my body a tremendous favor. The longer I eat this way the more I want to eat this way! Then there's the rest of the time. I don't want to set myself up for failure. That feels horrible and only leads to binging. This may not be the case for everyone, but I know myself well enough to know that if make food a religion I will fail miserably and food will fail me! I want to teach my children good lessons in health and nutrition. I want to help them make good life long decisions that will promote health and an enjoyable life. It is totally possible to have an enjoyable life on a raw food vegan diet. That just isn't a realistic life for my family.

I have my regular food patterns, the rule that I almost never dismiss. I take Barley Life every morning. I know that barley grass juice is one of the best things I can put into my body, so I don't skip it. Next I have a fruit smoothie or at least a piece of fresh, raw, ripe fruit. If I do these two things first thing in the morning I feel better all day and make better food choices all day. I also follow closely to a Levitical Diet. God gave us some rules about food that I think are most beneficial for long term health. Most days I choose to eat a plant based diet. I enjoy it and I understand the benefits that I reap from sticking with it. I don't beat myself up with my food facts, but I use them as tools in my tool belt. I use them to get what I want and to avoid what I don't want!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

It's in the Water

I've always known that fluoride was bad, but I didn't realize how bad. When I was younger I can remember one of my sisters had to have her front teeth replaced because fluoride had caused her teeth to rot! The dentist that told us that and replaced those teeth gave me regular fluoride treatments when I would go for a cleaning.

In my last post on coconut oil I confessed how hard it has been for me to give up deodorant. Now for my next confession...I love to use "normal" Colgate toothpaste. I have used the Tom's (gross) and the TJs brand (not as bad) but have never successfully made the switch. I did have found a few that I thought were okay, but ouch - they are expensive. So...I'm considering making my own. The other bad thing about the store bought natural versions is that they almost always contain sodium laureth sulfate. I've read enough on it to know that it is something that really does not belong in your mouth. The next time you think about it take a peek at your labels friends. It is in almost every kind of soap (hand, dish, shampoo, toothpaste, carpet shampoo). Google it if you're interested in the topic because I'm not talking about SLS today, I'm talking about fluoride!

Actually, I'm doing talking and will let Dr Kim from take it from here. Check out this video. I thought it was good.

5 Things to Consider About Fluoride Author: Dr. Kim, March 19th, 2010

I began doing some research in preparation for this blog post on fluoride, and there’s just SO MUCH info out there. I just don’t have the time to learn most of it, and I don’t like super long posts. So, here are my5 main points. The longer, original post with more info and links is below:

1. Fluoride is a man-made TOXIC BYPRODUCT. Meaning, it’s chemical waste that would cost billions of dollars to dispose of properly.

2. Fluoride is the active toxin in rat poisons and cockroach powder. It has been proven to be deadly, and harmful even in small doses.

3. Your body is not capable of metabolizing fluoride. Whatever goes in, stays in. It gets stored in your fat, where most toxins are kept. The only way to rid your body of it is through a purposeful detoxification.

4. Fluoride in small doses added topically to your teeth MAY help reduce cavities. There seem to be more studies showing that it causes tooth decay. (And whatever is happening to your teeth is also happening to your bones–you just don’t see it) The problem is, we get MUCH more than just a little, and if we’re drinking it, it’s not just topical.

5. Adding fluoride to your water without your consent is, in my opinion, horribly unjust. If you have fluoridated water, everything you drink and cook, and even bathing adds fluoride to your body. Call your water company to find out if you have fluoridated water.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluorine is an element. It is a gas, never occurring in its free state. In microscopic amounts complexed with other minerals, it is often listed as a trace mineral, a nutrient for human nutrition.

This has nothing to do with fluoride or fluoridation. The fluoride added to 90% of drinking water is hydrofluoric acid which is a compound of fluorine that is a chemical byproduct of aluminum, steel, cement, phosphate, and nuclear weapons manufacturing. Such fluoride is manmade. In this form, fluoride has no nutrient value whatsoever. It is one of the most caustic of industrial chemicals. Fluoride is the active toxin in rat poisons and cockroach powder. Hydrofluoric acid is used to refine high octane gasoline, to make fluorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons for freezers and air conditioners, and to manufacture computer screens, fluorescent light bulbs, semiconductors, plastics, herbicides, — and toothpaste.

It also has the ability to burn flesh to the bone, destroy eyes, and sear lungs so that victims drown in their own body fluid.

Yeah. I want to drink that.

Once in the body, fluoride is a destroyer of human enzymes. It does this by changing their shapes. In human biochemistry, thousands of enzymes are necessary for various essential cell reactions that take place every second we‘re alive. Without enzymes, we‘d die instantaneously.

Here‘s the short version: fluoride is a toxic byproduct in the manufacture of nuclear arms, aluminum, cement, steel, and phosphates.

Millions of tons of this poison are produced every year. Imagine the cost of containing and disposing of those mountains of waste every year. It‘s in the billions.

But what if lobbyists from these industries could present “scientific studies” paid for by the industries, and provide for a continual stream of media presentations about the health benefits of fluoride, and create unimaginably lucrative positions for “research” and “education” within the American Dental Association and the AMA, and do all these things in a consistent and unending way, year after year?

What are the economic advantages of that? Simple: instead of paying money to dispose of toxic waste, money could now be made by selling fluoride to the water companies of the nation.

They‘ll use the public water supply as a sewer for industrial wastes. And now with these new billions added instead of subtracted, there‘s plenty to go around, for everyone involved. Out of the Red, into the Black.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I Heart Wednesday - Coconut Oil

I heart coconut oil. says:

Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconut harvested from the coconut palm.

Of all of the things in my pantry the coconut oil might get more use than anything else.

I use it for all kinds of things.
Deodorant - I make my own. The main ingredient is coconut oil. Oh friends, I have a list of products that I have held onto dearly through the years while I transitioned to a healthy, natural lifestyle. "Normal" deodorant was on the top two of the list. I have clung to my aluminum filled deodorant, failing miserably ever time I tried to give it up. Come on, who wants to stink?? Surprisingly, this has been a MUCH easier transition than I would have expected. The recipe I use works much better than Tom's, Jason's or any other natural deod I've tried.

Make-up Remover - massage into your skin and over eyes then rinse off with a warm wash cloth - I LOVE this part of my day

Moisturizer - there are so many strange things in lotion. Skin is SO thin. Whatever you put on your skin goes into your blood stream. Not only does it work really well, but it is purely plant oil. Nothing strange about it and it smells nice. Perfect for dry baby skin (cradle cap, paci face, winter dry skin, red skin around a runny nose - you get the idea).

Hair Goo - Pregnancy hair has not been so nice to me. Most days my hair ends up in a pony tail or bun. On the other days I use a little to smooth down the frizz.

Diaper Rash Cream - When Havah was in diapers (and sometimes still) I would rub a little on her tush when she started to look rashy. I have had to use other creams, but this is my first choice and usually her skin responds pretty quickly.

Anti-fungal cream - Confession...I have a weird toe nail. I suspect a nail fungus (ewww gross!). It has been that way since I was 11, so it's been a few years. I've started applying apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. I've noticed a tremendous improvement in the nail since I've started doing this regularly. I know several folks who've had rashes quickly disappear by applying coconut oil regularly. A much better option than most RX creams that kill everything alive on your skin.

I think you get the idea. If it doesn't look normal just put some windex...I mean coconut oil... on it.

In the kitchen I use it:

In place of crisco - I've made some delish chocolate covered strawberries recently. Adding 2 tablespoons of c/o has made them pretty close to perfect.

In raw recipes - I have a few favorites, like Andrea's Raw Cheesecake, that call for coconut oil. They are usually luxury items, but oh they are good.

Whenever we need to "cook" with the oil (sautéed veggies, baked potatoes, making popcorn, etc). I don't advocate using oil on a regular basis in food because it just doesn't promote health and can contribute to heart disease, but if you are going to use it - and I do - this is the one to grab!

The rule of thumb with oils and cooking is - if it is solid at room temperature it is safe to cook with (butter, c/o). I do sometimes make eggs in butter, but really I prefer to use the c/o if I'm going to cook with oil. There is no cholesterol in the coconut oil and there's plenty in the butter.

So there -put some coconut oil on it!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Myth Busting Monday

If you buy it from the health food store it must be healthy!

Many times I have walked into Whole Foods and checked my brain at the door. It's so easy. You can just turn on auto-pilot and start filling your cart! Unfortunately, just because something comes from the health food store does not make what you are buying healthy. No, not everything at the health food store is organic, actually "whole food" or even good for you! If you go to Trader Joe's and buy sugar - guess what folks - it is still just as bad as any other sugar and might as well be from the discount grocer. I LOVE to shop at health food markets like Whole Foods. It is easier to find the things that actually are healthy foods, organic produce and some of those hard to find products that might not be available anywhere else. But quite often things are over priced at these grocers.

I may write more on these topics later, but just so you get the idea:

Ice cream at the health food market is STILL ICE CREAM! There may be less chemicals, but I'm betting there's still just as much sugar and fat!

Just because the vitamins come from the health food market does not make them good for you.

The "snacks" at the HFM most of the time are still junk food!

Just because the packaging says - Good for you, less fat, less calories, less salt, vegan, gluten free, raw, organic bla bla bla does not mean that it is any of the things!

Just because it is organic does not make it healthy. Come on...I can buy organic dog food, but I'm not going to eat it! On a side note, there are a few things that should always be organic, but the list is pretty short.

I can buy whatever I want from the HFM, buy some oil while I'm there, take it home and deep fry it. While this might taste like a piece of heaven it is probably not good for me.

All of that said, again - I still LOVE the health food markets and suggest that you support them! At the same time, I make it a practice to buy healthy, whole food items at the regular grocer nearest to my house. When I go into Price Chopper I make sure I buy a piece of organic fruit every time I go in. I want my local market to know that I want and will buy good, local, organic products! While the HFM already recognizes the need for these things my neighborhood grocer may not! When I'm at Wal-Mart I might buy the organic, local apple just to tell them - HEY! I want to support my local farmer! I want to support the biodynamic farmers who are growing food in a way that supports health for people and the planet.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not So Much...

Well I had high hopes of writing a post today about the environmental impact of our diets. Exciting - I know. :) Well at least I think so.

I started reviewing some of my notes from one of the classes I took on the subject and realized that I should take more time to collect my thoughts.

Right now I'm watching James Oliver Food Revolution. An ABC Show where British Chef James Oliver has come to "revolutionize" the diets of Americans. I don't exactly expect him to do that. I don't know that I fully agree with his food choices, but he's making FOOD. I do think that having a show like this on ABC prime time will expose the void of nutrition in our diets and the abundance of sugar, salt, fat and artificial ingredients. You can watch the first episode here if you are interested. In the first episode he goes to a public school Huntington Beach, WV. Apparently, Huntington Beach is the winner. Congratulations! You are the fattest, most unhealthy city in the United States, leading the county deaths from heart disease and diabetes, ranking #1 in obesity. The United States is the winner too! We lead the world in health care expenses. In turn, we rank 37th in health care quality according the the World Health Association. We are the fattest country in the world.

I feel so passionate about health. I'm not exactly sure why. I think health is a REALLY important topic. I REALLY like to talk about it. So, if you are reading this - you will be subject to my ranting, statistics and recipes on the topic. This is, if I can keep up this blogging streak...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Almond Milk

I have my weekly routines of making a few staple items. Our kitchen always has something soaking, fermenting, blending, dehydrating and is that molding?? Almond milk is one my favorites and it is one of the easiest to make.

We use almond milk for a couple of different things:
Cereal - A common question is, "Since you don't drink milk, what do you put on your cereal?". Granola, boxed cereal or my favorite - Buckwheaties - YUM! I make cereal once a week by sprouting buckwheat groats, blending them then putting them in the dehydrator. only takes about 10 minutes of work total. We do sometimes have boxed oat milk for Judah, but it usually has a few ingredients I don't like and usually a lot of sugar.

Smoothies - I make a smoothie each morning...sometimes twice a morning. This is a great alternative to add some flavor without adding a bunch of sugar.

In coffee - Sounds crazy and not my first choice. Sean and I make coffee each Saturday. On the weeks where I forget to buy whole cream, or we aren't lucky enough to score our friend's raw cream he pulls from the top of his fresh milk, we use almond milk. It has a little vanilla flavor in it so it is quite yummy (just not as "creamy").

On it's own - This can be quite a filling and nutritious snack. It is one of Havah's favorites.

So here's how you make it:

1 cup raw almonds
5 cups filtered water
1/4 cup of low processed sweetener (raw honey, agave and my current favorite grade B maple syrup)
1t vanilla extract

Optional Ingredients: maca powder, hemp seeds (YUM!), stevia or cacao for chocolate almond milk

The almonds and water go into the blender on high for 2 minutes. I then pass the liquid through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth. Save the almond pulp!

The liquid goes back to the blender to get the sweeter, vanilla extract and anything else I want to add. Then I store the extra in the random jars my husband saves and keep it in the fridge.

Having a high speed blender is nice, but not totally necessary for this recipe. I heart my vitamix.

I freeze the almond pulp and put it in my buckwheaties each week.

Another great recipe for Almond Milk is here. Just scroll to the bottom.

*A side note on milk and cream. I have a big beef with cow's milk. I posted on that here. I have been checking out local sources for raw goats milk. Nutritionally I am okay with it. Mainly we want it for the cream to make butter.

We buy whole cream that comes from our local dairy. My main concern with cow's milk is the protein content. The higher the fat content, the lower the protein content. Whole cream is the best option.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Havah's Room

I've had three friends ask me this week to post pictures of Havah's room. There's never a good time for me to get photos, so you'll have to excuse my poor lighting and craigslist camera.

The artwork above the changing table is from Sarah Sulek. Designer and friend extrodinair. The changing table is from Marci Lewellen. We found it on the side of the road and spay painted it white. I LOVE finding treasures on the side of the road. The hope chest was my 17th birthday present. Handmade by Art Fore, my piano teachers husband.

Notice the post its. I recently realized that I was the only one in the house who knew what was in each drawer. Now everyone knows!

The crib is from Craigslist. Got it for less than $100 and refinished it while I was pregnant.. Amazing branches and leaves along the wall are by , Christina Ortega, Jocelyn Winterman and me.

The glider and dresser are also from the side of the road also. :) Sean snagged the glider and I recently recovered it. The dresser got a can of spray paint and a cute piece of fabric modge podged to the top of it. This dresser is for baby brother. His crib will eventually go where the glider and night stand are now. The glider will go to where the hope chest is currently. The hope chest will go to my room.

This painting is from my grandmother. She painted it for me when I was little. It has hung in my room almost all of my life. I am happy to have something so special in Havah's room.

You can just catch a glimpse of the curtain in this photo below. I wish I had gotten a better picture of it. My mom made the most amazing curtain for the window with the fabric that inspired the color on the wall. I LOVED the gray Amy Butler fabric and wanted it to be a part of the nursery. Katchen Weaver encouraged me to go for it and paint the walls gray. Thank you Katchen!

This is Havah fresh in bed. That smile is because she just spotted her paci. If you look closely at this photo or the one above of her crib you will see that her bumper pad is completely smashed. She loves to jump on it. Mom made her a beautiful quilt (currently rolled up on the glider), bumper pad and crib skirt. All with a delicate trim that she hand folded and sewed into place. Hours and hours of work. Thank you mommy!

Here she is offering you a taste.

Have you ever seen a room filled with so much love? My dearest friends worked hard with me to make her room so special. She has almost no appreciation for it, but I am so in love with it. I have spent countless hours in this room and think of my friends when I sit and rock my baby to sleep.

There are many more small details about the room that I could share...but that's probably enough.

Oh look! I found the picture of the window covering!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Corn Syrup is Natural (j/k)

Have you seen these new commercials about corn syrup? - It's Natural. Right...

Here's one of them.

Of course, the people who paid for these commercials have no vested interest in you buying products with corn syrup in them do they? They don't have any vested interest in your long term health! I just LOVE how the concerned mom ends up looking and feeling like a complete idiot! The surprise is how many of the products we consume that have corn syrup in them. Take a look at the back of your snack crackers, bread, any candy, coffee creamer, ketchup and the worst of all...soda. That's why the only soda you should by is this soda - no corn syrup.

I recently found a great blog radio show. Well With U. There most recent show was on corn syrup.

Below I'm posting their show on corn syrup and some info from their blog. If you don't read the whole thing at least check out the parts about leptin. If you can't see the radio player - try clicking on the blog title or refreshing the page.

Tomorrow evening Well With U Radio is having a free online seminar tomorrow evening. It should be interesting. Paul Nison (he's the bomb too) will be sharing along with a few other speakers on Health According to the Scriptures.

So the multi-national food conglomerates and their advertising firms want you to believe that High Fructose Corn Syrup is natural because it “comes from corn”, and is fine “in moderation”?

Well, let’s take a closer look at how it’s made so you can make an educated decision!

Converting corn starch into corn syrup

  • Corn starch is converted into ordinary corn syrup through a process called acid hydrolysis. In this process, the wet starch is mixed with a weak solution of hydrochloric acid and is heated under pressure. The hydrochloric acid and heat break down the starch molecules and convert them into a sugar. The hydrolysis can be interrupted at different key points to produce corn syrups of varying sweetness. The longer the process is allowed to proceed, the sweeter the resulti?g syrup.
  • This syrup is then filtered or otherwise clarified to remove any objectionable flavor or color. It is further refined and evaporated to reduce the amount of water.
  • To produce a corn syrup powder, also called corn syrup solids, the liquid corn syrup is passed through a drum or spray dryer to remove 97% of the water. This produces a crystalline corn syrup powder.

Converting corn syrup into high fructose corn syrup

  • Ordinary corn syrup contains dextrose sugar which is about three-quarters as sweet as the sucrose sugar in cane or beet sugar. In many sweetener applications this is an advantage because it does not overpower the other flavors in the food. However, in some applications, such as soft drinks, a sweeter taste is desired. To improve the sweetness of ordinary corn syrup, it undergoes a further process called enzyme conversion. In this process, the dextrose sugars in the syrup are converted into sweeter fructose sugars by the action of an enzyme in a series of steps under carefully controlled temperatures, pressures, and acidity. This produces a high fructose corn syrup with a 42% fructose content. It is used in canned fruits and condiments.
  • To produce corn syrups with a fructose level above 50%, the 42% fructose syrup is passed through a series of fractionation columns, which separate and hold the fructose content. The separated portion is about 80-90% fructose and is flushed from the columns with deionized water. A portion of this is retained and sold for use in “light” foods where only a small amount of liquid sweetener is needed. The remainder is blended with other 42% fructose syrup to produce a 55% fructose syrup, which is used in soft drinks, ice cream, and frozen desserts.
  • Powdered high fructose corn syrups can be produced by evaporating the water from the syrup and then encapsulating the powder grains to prevent them from reabsorbing moisture. Pure fructose crystals may be obtained by further processing the 80-90% fructose syrup. It is used in cake mixes and other food products where a highly concentrated, dry sweetener is desired.

Today, corn syrups are an “important part” of many products. In 1996, there were 28 corn-refining plants in the United States that processed a total of about 72 billion lbs (33 billion kg) of corn. Of that amount, about 25 billion lbs (11.4 billion kg) were converted into corn syrups and other corn sweeteners. These corn-based products supplied more than 55% of the nutritive sweetener market in the United States.

Fifty-five percent! And this is something the Corn Refiners Association seems proud of. Americans currently consume about 25% of their total calories from sugar, and about half of that in the form of fructose. So, what’s so bad about that you say? Here’s a little lesson about precisely how dangerous it really is.

Leptin: the reason why obesity and obesity related deaths are on the rise

  • To sum up a complex process very simply, the hormones your fat cells produce impact how much you eat and how much fat you burn.
  • One of these hormones is leptin, and leptin sends signals that reduce hunger, increase fat burning and reduce fat storage. That is, if your cells are communicating properly and can “hear” this message.
  • If you are eating a diet that is high in sugar — this is the same type of diet that will also increase inflammation in your body — as the sugar gets metabolized in fat cells, fat releases surges in leptin.
  • Over time, if your body is exposed to too much leptin, it will become resistant to the leptin (just as your body can become resistant to insulin).
  • When you become leptin-resistant, your body can no longer hear the messages telling it to stop eating and burn fat — so it remains hungry and stores more fat.
  • Leptin-resistance also causes an increase in visceral fat, sending you on a vicious cycle of hunger, fat storage and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome (a group of symptoms including diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol that increases the risk of heart disease) and more.

Leptin, the hormone responsible for satiety (feeling satisfied), simply isn’t working. And it’s all because of massive surge in sugar intake spearheaded by the yearly conversion of over 25,000,000,000 (twenty-five billion) pounds of corn into corn syrup. Corn syrup is now found in every type of processed, pre-packaged food you can think of. In fact, the use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in the U.S. diet increased by a whopping 10,673% (that’s more than 100x) between 1970 and 2005, according to a report by the USDA.

(And, by the way, this is just part of the High Fructose Corn Syrup story. There’s a lot more to come…)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

When I Grow Up

About a year ago I heard a lecture by Pam Popper. It was on propaganda in food marketing. One of the BEST lectures I've heard on the topic. Pam Popper, like T. Colin Campbell, is the bomb. When I grow up I want to be like Pam Popper. If I've spiked your interest enough - go to and search for videos by her.

Dr Popper runs the Wellness Forum and has a great blog. When I have an extra $250 I'll complete her course.

Below I'm pasting two brief posts from her blog on general health and nutrition that I thought were just great!