Stay Healthy Day 19: Avoid natural flavors

Or should we say “natural flavor.”

This is another term companies use to make something sound healthier than it actually is. If you knew where & exactly what “natural flavors” are derived from, well you might 🤮.

Take raspberry flavor for instance. It’s made from a beavers anal glands. Yes, you read that right.

Typically, natural flavors are made up of 80-90% chemical solvents & additives! Learn more here.

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Naturally colored candy

Traditional candy has a lot of artificial colors and ingredients. But peanut M&Ms are so good! I found this Unreal brand at Whole Foods. They have versions of plain M&Ms, Snickers, Recees Cups and something like an Almond Joy. YumEarth has a yummy Skittles and Sour Patch kids alternative, all free of artificial food dyes.

Did you know artificial colors are banned in Europe and other countries because of the known health and behavioral effects they have. My oldest get very hyper with food dyes and artificial sugar, and my youngest was having some urinary issues and one of the things we were told to avoid was artificial food dyes, specifically red #40. Makes me upset food companies make artificial dye free versions for other countries and sell the artificial color containing versions in the US. We deserve better!

Side note, I prefer this natural version to the “real” one. 😉

Unreal has naturally colored versions of peanut M&Ms, plain M&Ms, Snickers, Recees peanut butter cups.
Giggles by YumEarth. A natural alternative to skittles.

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Is your salt healthy?

Salt. It’s essential for life. But did you know the type of salt you use matters? This is something I recently learned. The white stuff we typically use to flavor our food is refined and stripped of its minerals in the process. Other ingredients are often added, sometimes including sugar and anti caking agents. Salt is processed and bleached for various reasons including removing toxins, but also removed the beneficial minerals and elements that are beneficial to our health. Iodine is often added to prevent thyroid swelling, or goiters, but it is not a sufficient amount to do so.

We started using Redmond’s Real Salt recently and we have made the switch to using Redmond’s to season our foods. I use the table salt to clean my cast iron pans. Redmond’s is milled from Redmond, Utah. You can see the difference in the mineral content between the salts.

My daughter kept having to urinate frequently and her doctor said to be sure we were using Redmond’s Real Salt. The salt is needed so the body can retain the water and be able to use it to hydrate the body before it leaves the body.

Did you know this about salt? What type of salt do you use?

Here is Redmond’s Real Salt on Amazon.

Read more about the differences in salt here.

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Stay Healthy Day 18: Avoid artificial food dyes

The Dangerous Impact of Food Coloring
Americans are now eating 5 times more food dye than in 1955.

Many parents have observed their child’s behavior improve drastically when taken off food dyes, especially Red #40. Because of this widespread anecdotal evidence, the editors at Special Education Degree decided to do an investigative report on the negative effects of food dye’s in human beings.

The hidden dangers of food coloring dyes:

🔵 Blue #1 Brilliant Blue

Known Dangers:

Caused kidney tumors in mice
May induce an allergic reaction in individuals with pre-existing asthma

Commonly found in: baked goods, beverages, candies, cereal

🔵 Blue #2 Indigo Carmine

Known Dangers:

Causes significant occurrence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats

Commonly found in: beverages, candies, dog food

🔴 Citrus Red #2

Known Dangers:

Toxic to rats and mice at modest levels
Bladder and other tumors found in mice
Labeled “possibly carcinogenic to humans”by the IARC

Commonly found in: skin of Florida oranges

🟢 Green #3 Fast Green

Known Dangers:

As a food dye it is prohibited in the EU and some other countries.

Caused significant increases in bladder tumors in male rats.

Commonly found in: beverages, candies, ice cream, cosmetics.

🔴 Red #40 Allura Red

Known Dangers:

Accelerates the appearance of immune system tumors in mice.

Suspected trigger of hyperactivity in children
Causes allergy-like reactions in some people.

Commonly found in: beverages, candies, cereal, cosmetics

🔴 Red #3 Erythrosine

Known Dangers:

Suspected trigger of hyperactivity in children
Thyroid carcinogen in animals.
Issued a partial ban by the FDA in 1990

Commonly found in: baked goods, candies, sausage, maraschino cherries.

🟡 Yellow #5 Tartrazine

Known Dangers:

Can cause allergy-like reactions
May cause mild to severe hypersensitiviy reactions

Commonly found in: baked goods, candies, cereal, beverages

🟡 Yellow #6 Sunset Yellow

Known Dangers:

May cause hyperactivity in some children
Causes adrenal tumors in animals.

Commonly found in: baked goods, sausage, cereal, cosmetics.

Alternatives to Artificial Dyes Include:






Red cabbage

Turmeric powder

Saffron powder


Natural dyes do not have as concentrated color as artificial ones. Thus, more must be used, which may affect taste. They’re also more sensitive to heat, so colors may vary.

Now, 30%-40% of the nation’s food is colored with naturally-derived food dyes. Organic food has no added dyes or preservatives.

On food labels, artificial dyes are often identified by their alternative names.

Learn more about the effects on young children here.

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Stay Healthy Day 2: Health effects of sugar

American 🇺🇸 adults consume an average of 77 grams of sugar per day 🍫 which is more than 3 times the recommended amount for women and in total equates to roughly 60 lbs of sugar annually. 🍩🍭😳

🌭 1 in 10 Americans have Type 2 Diabetes (more than 34 million adults).

🍬 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 Diabetes.

🍟 This year 1.8 million Americans will be or already have been diagnosed with cancer and of that amount 276,480 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

🍦 30.3 million Americans have heart disease and every year about 647,000 Americans die from it.

🌮 There’s a reason you can eat 7 tacos from Taco Bell without feeling full.

🍔 There’s a reason you can eat 2 burgers & a large fry from Mc Donald’s without feeling full.

🥞🍕🥙There’s a reason why you can sit down for a meal at Arby’s or Wendy’s and then thirty minutes later feel like you need to eat again.

All of those foods are loaded with processed sugar and (by design, to keep you coming back!) and because refined sugar is digested quickly, you don’t feel full when you’ve eaten. Can you say, repeat customers?

Refined sugars also cause your insulin and blood sugar levels to sky rocket and when blood sugar levels are too high that can lead to serious health problems.

Having too much sugar in your blood for extended periods of time can damage the vessels that supply blood to your organs; that can lead to health complications such as increased risk of cancer, inflammation, kidney disease, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, problems with vision, nerves & more.

It’s important that parents are monitoring how much candy/sugar their children are exposed to, especially since having too much sugar can affect your immune system.

Sugar interfers with the body’s ability to fight disease and bacteria and yeast can feed on sugar which can increase the risk of illness and infections.

That’s not what we want to see happen when we are literally heading into the colder months of the year! This is the time to be nurturing and supporting our immune system, not crashing it!

Check out this brief video of Dr. Bradford Weeks, who explains what the best foods are for preventing cancer.

As well as this video of Dr. David Jockers who explains the relationship between sugar and insulin, and how that can lead to chronic disease.

Wondering what an anti-cancer diet looks like? Here Mike Rangers explains:

How much sugar do you think you’re consuming? A healthy amount, or too much? 🍰

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31 steps to better health day 1: remove fluoride from water

Good morning friends! 🍶🍳

This month we are going to do something really special and work through a series of 31 posts (one for each day of this month) dedicated to helping you stay healthy.

So, where are we going to begin on this 31 day journey to better health?

We think it’s important to begin with something that everybody consumes (or at least should consume) daily… WATER… but not the fluoridated kind!

But why? Why shouldn’t you consume water that has added fluoride? What’s the big deal? Don’t we need fluoride? Isn’t that what prevents our teeth from decaying?

Well, no. We don’t need it, it doesn’t prevent tooth decay AND there’s actually never been a single study that proves adding fluoride to water has been beneficial or prevented anything… what’s more is that, most other countries do not add this neurotoxin to their water supplies. It’s actually shocking that people in the US drink more fluoridated water than the entire world combined!

Now, it is said that fluoride is the reason why tooth decay has rapidly declined over the past sixty years but the fact is, that just like diseases after the invention of modern day plumbing (prior to modern day vaccination schedules), tooth decay was already declining AND in other developed countries that have still NOT added fluoride to their water (like the UK), tooth decay has still continued to decline in their countries. Explain that!

It’s unsettling that “experts” claim that adding fluoride to water has been thoroughly studied and is safe for human consumption however according to the well-known toxicologist, Dr. John Doull, who chaired the National Academy of Science’s review on fluoride, the safety of fluoridation remains “unsettled” and “we have much less information than we should, considering how long it has been going on. Shocking isn’t it?

What DO we know about fluoride? We know fluoride impacts our brain health and function, as well as fertility, and that it’s associated with Alzheimer’s disease, bladder cancer, disrupted thyroid and endocrine function; plus diabetes and other health problems.

Don’t you think that it should be more closely studied and monitored?

Furthermore, fluoride advocates aren’t assessing how much fluoride exposure is actually safe for people and particularly children and babies – over the long term. Actually, according to a recent national survey by the CDC, about 40% of American teenagers have a condition called dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is a defect of tooth enamel caused by fluoride’s interference with the tooth-forming cells.

During the 1950s, fluoride advocates claimed that fluorosis would only affect 10% of children in fluoridated areas. This prediction has proven false. Today, not only do 40% of American teenagers have fluorosis, but, in some fluoridated areas, the rate is as high as 70 to 80%, with some children suffering advanced forms of the condition…

What’s more troubling is that babies that are formula fed are often given bottled fluoridated water… then they are quickly introduced to fluoridated toothpaste. Who says that is safe? In-fact infants who consume formula made with fluoridated tap water consume up to 700 to 1,200 micrograms of fluoride, or about 100 times more than the recommended amount.

It’s not even just water and toothpaste. Fluoride can be found in teflon pans, processed beverages and foods, some teas and fluorinated pharmaceuticals… so how much exposure is too much? Are long term studies being done?

Fluoride is actually not even approved by the Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) even though fluoride is considered a “medicine” when it’s added to public drinking water…

Find this all interesting? I hope so, it’s incredibly important that we inform ourselves about these things so that we may make the best choice possible for future generations.

You can find more information about this here… Attorney Michael Connett summarizes 10 basic facts about fluoride that should be considered in any discussion about whether to fluoridate water.

And to top it off, here’s 50 more reasons to rethink whether fluoride exposure is a good idea.

One more thing! Wondering how this is all connected to cancer? Well, listen up!

Click to access ca-oehha.2011.pdf

Do you drink fluoridated water? Or, will you be rethinking it after reading this? I want to hear from you and spark important conversation. 🙂

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High Fructose Corn Syrup contains mercury

A new study shows half the samples tested contained mercury. This includes 1/3 of 55 popular name brands where HFCS is the first or second ingredient.

Mercury contamination is very harmful and toxic in all forms. It should be avoided. Pregnant women are advised to avoid certain fish because of high levels of mercury.

High fructose corn syrup is a synthetic sweetner that has replaced sugar in many items. It’s much cheaper than sugar, so is used by many companies in all types of foods and all kinds of brands. 

“Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply,” said the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies.

The use of mercury-contaminated caustic soda in the production of HFCS is common. The contamination occurs when mercury cells are used to produce caustic soda. So the good news is HFCS can be produced without caustic soda, the bad news is us consumers do not know if the HFCS containing products we are consuming are produced using caustic soda or not.

What can you do? Avoid HFCS. Read the labels, if it contains HFCS, put it back on the shelf. This is what I have done, even before knowing about the mercury contaimination.

We try to avoid sythetically produced ingredients in our house, opting for the safe and natural stuff. HFCS has also been linked to behavioral problems, but not sure anything has been proven there. Though I know several kids who were taken off HFCS and their behavior improved drastically with this change alone. Proof enough for me. 

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