Stay Healthy Day 3: Health effects of alcohol

“According to SAMHSA, over 65.5 billion beers were consumed, 13.7 billion glasses of wine and 29.3 billion drinks of distilled spirits were consumed in the US in one year. Also: Americans consumed 6.3 billion gallons of beer last year. People are spending over $19.9 billion on liquor in America each year.” Source

88,0005 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die every single year from alcohol in the US… Globally an estimated 237 million men and 46 million women suffer from alcohol-use disorders. Source

With all these health issues, why isn’t there more information shared about this from mainstream avenues?

Interesting to note, the alcohol industry is worth an estimated $1,684 billion. Are they more worried about profit than our health? It really makes you wonder doesn’t it?

I have the very occasional glass of wine, but it’s rare, and it’s one glass. This is more referring to regular use, even if you don’t over do it.

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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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What is inflammation?

Inflammation happens in all of us, whether you’re aware of it or not. Your immune system creates inflammation to protect the body from infection, injury, or disease. Your body needs some level of inflammation to heal from many things.

Sometimes though, with autoimmune diseases, including certain types of arthritis, Hashimotos and inflammatory bowel disease, your immune system attacks healthy cells.

Inflammation is classified into two main types:

👉🏻 Acute inflammation typically occurs for a short, usually severe duration, with symptoms appearing quickly. It often resolves in two weeks or less. This type restores your body to its state before injury or illness.

👉🏻 Chronic inflammation is a slower and a usually less severe form of inflammation, lasting longer than six weeks. It can occur even without injury, and it doesn’t always end when the illness or injury is healed. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many chronic conditions.

Chronic inflammation can cause:
🔹 Obesity
🔹 Diabetes
🔹 Cardiovascular disease
🔹 Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
🔹 Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
🔹 Certain types of cancers, including colon cancer
🔹 Arthritis
🔹 Depression
🔹 Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other chronic lung diseases
🔹 Allergies
🔹 Autoimmune disorders

So how do you know if you have chronic inflammation? If you have symptoms that you feel aren’t normal, see your doctor. I see a functional medicine doctor. She is helping me fight my autoimmune disease with more natural solutions. And it’s working! Through blood tests, she discovered I have inflammation and Hashimoto disease. With treating the inflammation with diet, I have been able to reduce it over time. There are also great supplements like turmeric that are proven inflammation fighters. Cinnamon and orange peel (found in Earthley’s anti-inflammation tincture) are also inflammation fighters.

🍒 berries and cherries, and other fruits
🐟 fatty fish, like salmon or mackerel (high omega 3 content)
🥦 broccoli and other vegetables
🥑 avocados
☕️ green and black tea
🍄 mushrooms, like portobello and shiitake
🧄 spices, like turmeric, curcumin, ginger, and clove
🍅 tomatoes
🥜 nuts
🌱mung beans
🌾 sesame oil

🌽 Sugar and high fructose corn syrup
🍩 Artificial trans fat/hydrogenated oils
🍟 Vegetable and seed oils (canola, corn, safflower, peanut, sunflower, soybean oils due to high omega 6 content)
🥖 Refined carbohydrates (breads, pasta, candy, cookies, some cereals, etc.)
🍻 Excessive alcohol
🍔 Processed meat (particularly beef and pork, though 100% grass fed beef seems to be much less of a problem)

My experience: For my autoimmune disease, I try to address with diet as much as possible. Food is medicine. I also made lifestyle changes as needed (like daily sweating, getting enough sunshine and exercise, avoid toxic products, etc.) Supplements are a beneficial next step. Then prescriptions if needed. There ARE natural pharmaceuticals! 🙌🏻🙌🏻

Many of these triggers and symptoms can be resolved within your diet or lifestyle change.

Studies show that changing your diet to a low-glycemic diet can lower your risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes. Studies also suggest reducing the intake of fats, saturated fats, and trans fats.

Taking micronutrients like magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, & selenium are super beneficial because they have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms of inflammation?

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, so not offering medical advice. Sharing my experience and research from my own personal journey living with an autoimmune disease. Be your own advocate! I fought for myself for a couple years to find what was causing my symptoms after my doctor brushed off my chronic fatigue as a busy mom of 3. That’s not what it was! My functional medicine doctor diagnosed me and gave me my life back by helping me make lifestyle and diet changes.

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Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Believe it or not, the health benefits of tomatoes for fighting cancer are pretty legendary—and fully backed by science too! Read on about how research is setting the record straight regarding the health benefits of tomatoes, including their cancer-protective properties.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Let’s take a look at the long list of the health benefits of tomatoes first, and then we will discuss how researchers have traced these benefits to particular substances. According to recent studies, tomatoes can have substantial benefits for:

• Heart health
• Blood pressure regulation
• Younger looking skin and hair
• Bone health
• Lowering homocysteine levels
• Lifting mood and curbing depression
• Protecting against the damaging UV rays of the sun
• Assisting with weight loss and fat absorption
• Smoking cessation support
• Preventing DNA damage
• Preventing and possibility helping to heal cancers such as prostate, pancreatic, lung, endometrium, breast, and stomach

What Makes Tomatoes So Healthy?
The key to all of these health benefits has to do with the fruit’s rich phytonutrient content, as well as its vitamin and mineral content. Side note: yes, a tomato is technically a fruit since it contains a flower and seeds, although some experts call it a vegetable.

Whether they are red, yellow or purple, tomatoes are a rich source of many nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, copper, manganese, folate, and fiber.

It is a particular kind of carotenoid called lycopene that gives tomatoes their cancer-fighting edge, however. A 2005 Canadian study found that “a diet rich in tomatoes and tomato-based products with high lycopene content may help reduce pancreatic cancer risk.”

Other antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid, choline, beta-carotene, and lutein provide even more nutrition and protection against disease. Finally, tomatoes only have about 32 calories per cup, making them a good choice for those who want a healthy way to reduce calories.

What About Nightshades and Cancer?
Tomatoes belong to a group of plants called “nightshades.” The nightshade family is also known as Solanaceae; all plants in this category produce an alkaloid compound called solanine. Solanine is a natural insect repellent.

Some people avoid nightshades because they are thought to increase inflammation. Many professionals, on the other hand, recommend them as part of an anti-inflammatory diet.

So what gives?

The truth is that most nightshades don’t contain enough solanine to cause any significant harm for the majority of people. For most people, the dozens of other healthy phytonutrients in nightshades help to actually lower inflammation and prevent disease.

That being said, a small percentage of individuals are extra sensitive to solanine. For those individuals, ingesting any amount of nightshades would cause inflammation.

In addition, it is important for everybody to avoid certain sources of high solanine, such as the leaves and stems of nightshade plants and “potato eyes” (i.e. the sprouts that form on potatoes if you leave them in the bag too long).

What Are the Best Ways to Eat a Tomato?
Unlike many antioxidant-rich foods, tomatoes are still beneficial when they’ve been processed. Canned tomato products, tomato juice and even ketchup can still have a high lycopene content. In a report for the Food Science & Nutrition Journal in 2019, Japanese researchers found that unsalted tomato juice improved blood pressure in local residents who were at risk of cardiovascular system conditions.

That being said, some tomato-based products like pasta sauce and ketchup are notorious for being very high in sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup. Be sure to check the sugar and additive content in these products especially. In addition, make sure that your canned tomatoes are stored in a BPA-free container. The high acid content in tomatoes makes leaching of toxins in cans more of a concern.

Finally, while canned, jarred, sauced, juiced and even jellied tomatoes can all be good for you, the most benefits are going to come when tomatoes are picked fresh right off the vine, when they are organic and, ideally, when they are of an heirloom variety.

In 2015, scientists at the Kew Gardens in London found that certain “natural defenses” which had been “bred out” of commercial varieties were present in heirloom varieties. They also found higher levels of the super antioxidant lycopene (mentioned earlier).

Tomatoes grown at Kew had a much higher level of complexity of chemicals than supermarket tomatoes, which are picked early and not matured on a vine,” commented Professor Monique Simmonds, Deputy Director of Science at Kew. “…The complexity of chemistry suggests that they are likely to be healthier.”

Your diet is a crucial aspect of total body wellness. Choose wisely, shop responsibly, eat cleanly, and reap the benefits for decades to come. Organic tomatoes are one item from your local produce department, farmer’s market or your own backyard that you can eat every day for good health!

Check out some recipes here:

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DIY Natural ant killer

DIY Non Toxic Ant Killer

I’m a sucker for animals. I know God made everything for a purpose, but if ants infest my kitchen, well sorry ants.

Sugar ants love sugar. So that’s our bait. For this you will need:

🐜 Borax
🐜 Sugar
🐜 Water
🐜 Small containers like baby food jar size (lids are great too but not critical to have)

You will need 1 part borax to 3 parts sugar. I used a tablespoon, so 1 tablespoon borax and 3 tablespoons of sugar. I mixed this in a wide mouth mason jar until no clumps were visible. Then I added water slowly until it was a syrup consistency. Stir until the powders have dissolved. Then pour a small amount into the containers and place them where you have been seeing the ants (but out of reach of children and pets). I did put the lid on ajar so ants could easily enter. Now wait. Some ants will meet their demise there in the container. Others may take it back to the nest to share and that’s ok, the colony will die or move on.

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Problems with aluminum in deodorant?

Do me a favor? 🥱

Go get your deodorant and tell me if aluminum is an ingredient. I’d like to talk about that!

Were you aware that some research suggests that deodorants that contain aluminum, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and have effects on the hormone estrogen?

Estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells and some scientists have said that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants could contribute to the development of breast cancer. In addition, it has been suggested that aluminum may have direct activity in breast tissue.

These studies are interesting!

Do you think it’s coincidence that the area in which most women are consistently applying aluminum based deodorants is in the quadrant of the breast that has the highest percentage of cancer growth?

Personally for me, I’d rather just not take the risk, especially when our bodies naturally need to sweat and aluminum blocks that ability – I certainly do not want to be storing toxins in and around my breast tissue, do you?

If you use an aluminum free deodorant do you care to chime in and help the members here to find a good one? What’s your favorite?

This is my favorite.

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What is Thermography?

Thermography is a test that uses an infrared camera to detect heat patterns and blood flow in body tissues. It can be used in the detection of breast cancer and it can do so without causing discomfort or pain to the recipient.

Thermography is beneficial to women who may be concerned about developing breast cancer as it doesn’t require a physical tumor to be present in order to detect minute changes in the breast which mammograms and physical exams do.

Thermography will actually detect heat produced by increased blood vessel circulation and metabolic changes associated with a tumor’s genesis and growth. That’s right, it detects the changes in your breast before the tumor has time to grow!

Here Dr. Veronique Desaulniers talks about the difference between Mammography & Thermography.

It’s important to know that you have options when it comes to detecting breast cancer.

Learn more here:

Before you go, what would you rather: Mammography or Thermography? I’m curious!

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Badger sunscreen product review

EWG's top-rated sunscreen

I finally got a chance to try some of this stuff. We ran out of our California Baby and TruKid Sunny Days sunscreen and since Badger once again took the top spot in the Environmental Working Group’s annual sunscreen guide, I ordered some. Since my son has sensitive skin and I have eczema, I went with the unscented variety. I loved that I could pronounce all the ingredients and knew exactly what they were.

We have used it several times now and are really pleased with it. On Sunday, we really put it to the test at my sister-in-law’s pool which had no shade. We slathered each other up (2 kids, 2 adults), and since its water proof for at least 40 minutes, I reapplied before each hour we were in the sun. I didn’t take the time to reapply, but was not splashing as much as the kids either. My hubby (who has had a few melanoma removed) put it on waaay thick and wore a hat.

The results? No one got burned at all, I didn’t even notice any color on anyone. I got just a little color (color, not pink or burned!), but was the only one who did not reapply during the 4 hours we were in the sun. Which was fine by me, I needed a little color on my pasty white skin. So, we are very pleased with the results.

This is a mineral-based, zinc oxide sunscreen, so it goes on white, but rubs in well and does not leave a white coating. I like that it goes on white because I can see if I missed any spots. The benefit of zinc oxide is that it is a physical barrier so reflects and scatters the harmful rays. You can almost see the barrier because of the way it repels water, and because you can see it repelling the water, I don’t feel as if the sunscreen is washing away as we swim. It also goes on easier than chemical sunscreen if you are reapplying on wet skin.

Badger sunscreens are safe for infants too, though if you are using on an infant under 6 months, check with your pediatrician.

The Badger website is very interesting and full of information about their products, ingredients and the company itself.  A few things I took away: 

  • A little about nanoparticle vs. micronized particles. I was concerned about nanotechnology and those concerns were relived after reading this great explanation in their FAQ section. 
  • Badger is a small family business. They provide free organic lunches and bad mitten games to their employees; and support charitable giving by giving the greater of 10% of before-tax profits or $10,000 to a variety of charities. Love this! 
  • And their sunscreen blocks UVA, UVB and UVC rays – UVC does not reach the Earth, but is good for pilots and astronauts! So interesting! 
  • I also did not realize the span of their product offerings – I’ve used this sunscreen and the bug balm – but they also offer soaps, body butter, balms, oils and more.

Badger sunscreen is available in a lightly scented SPF 30, unscented SPF 30, sunscreen with bug repellent SPF 30, lightly scented SPF 15 and a face stick SPF 30.

Where to buy? Many online retailers carry this, but right now it can be a little harder to come by since it’s in such high demand. Best bets: Amazon, Vitacost,, or try your local organic grocer, health store or Whole Foods.

Safer sunscreens 2010
California Baby sunscreen review

Safe sunscreens 2010

EWG's top-rated sunscreen

I never really thought about what was in my sunscreen until I had kids. Before my daughter was born, I was just beginning to learn about all the harmful chemicals in soap , shampoo, etc. So when it was time for us to take our yearly family beach trip, I sought out a safe sunscreen. Then I had to do the leg work myself, but didn’t really know what to look for either.

Thankfully, the Environmental Working Group came to the rescue 4 years ago with their Safer Sunscreen Guide. Every year, new research is available, shifting the list around a bit. This year, research shows that vitamin A may speed up the development of cancer. See their whole list of surprising facts about sunscreen.

And you definitely will not find the widely used and available  Baby Blanket, Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic, Panama Jack or Neutrogena anywhere near the top of the list, in fact, you will find these at the bottom of the list. Blue Lizard and Bull Frog are middle of the road. These chemicals sunscreens contain ingredients that are possible carcinogens. To me, it does not make any sense to slather on something that may cause cancer in an effort to protect yourself from something (the sun) that may cause cancer.

Non-nanoparticle zinc oxide based sunscreens are deemed to be the safest and most effective sunscreens available today. Zinc oxide is all natural offering sun protection without the harmful chemicals. And like other skin care products, you should be able to pronounce all the ingredients and it should be free of PEG compounds, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance and any other active ingredient other than zinc oxide (or possibly titanium dioxide).

This year, EWG tested 500 sunscreens and can only recommend 39 of them for safety and effectiveness. That’s 8%. Pretty lame.

Here is a list of the top-10 sunscreens as tested by the EWG, and the EWG rating (0-2 = low concern, 3-6 = some concern, 7-10 = high concern).
1. Badger Sunscreen Face Stick, SPF 30, Unscented 1
2. Badger Sunscreen for Face and Body, SPF 30 Lightly Scented 1
3. Badger Sunscreen for Face and Body, Unscented, SPF 30 1
4. California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+ 1
5. Loving Naturals Sunscreen, SPF 30+ 1
6. Purple Prairie Botanicals Sun Stick, SPF 30 1
7. Purple Prairie Botanicals SunStuff, SPF 30 1
8. Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+ 1
9. Soleo Organics Atlantis Resort All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+ 1 –
10. Soleo Organics Wyland Organics All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+ 1

…….I have to toss CA Baby in here as it is one of my favorite lines
19. California Baby Sunblock Stick Everyday/Year-Round, SPF 30+ 2
20. California Baby Sunscreen Lotion Everyday/Year-Round, SPF 30+ 2
21. California Baby Sunscreen Lotion No Fragrance, SPF 30+ 2
22. California Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+, Citronella 2

Want to see the rest of the list and see how your sunscreen stacks up? Visit EWG’s mini-site dedicated to sunscreens and sunscreen safety.

California Baby sunscreen review
TruKid Sunny Days Sunscreen review
Lead in the garden hose
Add sun protection to your clothes