Monday, December 27, 2010

Chromium-6 Is Widespread in US Tap Water | Environmental Working Group

Chromium-6 Is Widespread in US Tap Water | Environmental Working Group
Very disheartening. Clear cry for having CLEAN water to drink in your home!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vitamin D Update

There’s been a lot of expectation that the Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin D would officially be increased; the level for adults is 400IU. Vitamin D is seen as a measure of “wellness” by some doctors now and as many as 9 out of 10 patients have been found to be deficient in this important supplement. One doctor quit testing his patients because over 90% of the ones he had tested were deficient.

A "high" daily dose of Vitamin D may help prevent bone fractures in older adults; "high" being over the 400IU recommended. Preliminary research shows intakes of between 1000-2000IU as being safe and effective for adults. One doctor I read about is taking 3000IU a day. Personally, I have have upped my intake to 1000IU daily.

Vitamin D mainly comes from sun exposure, and from a few foods such as egg yolks, fish, and fortified milk and grains. It is an important component in helping your body absorb calcium for strong bones and healthy teeth. Recent research, however, is showing that Vitamin D is important for far more than just your bones: it may protect against heart disease, some cancers, severe asthma in children, and reduced mental function. It may also help with fibromyalgia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, general muscular aches and pains, and in supporting your immune system.

The Institute of Medicine recently released their report on “Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D.” While the RDA has been changed, it has only been increased to 600IU for children and adults, 800IU for those over the age of 71. The safe upper limit was changed from 2000IU to 4000IU. Calcium RDA levels remain the same. You can see the full report at http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-for-Calcium-and-Vitamin-D/Report-Brief.aspx.

I found this to be a bit disappointing. From what I have read, the expected new RDA was 1000IU. With so many people deficient in this very important vitamin, I feel more emphasis needs to be placed on sufficient levels. There are concerns that this issue will get worse before it gets better: obesity causes Vitamin D to disappear from the bloodstream and it is a lot harder to get levels back to normal after this occurs. Vitamin D levels have also been found to be low in African-Americans and Hispanics (due to their darker skin blocking sunlight).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Take a Stand

I recently started my own health and wellness businesses and it has been an eye-opening experience! We are poisoning ourselves, our families, and our planet and we don’t even realize it! It has become my mission in life to educate everyone on the dangers of toxic chemicals in so many of our common household items. And what better place to start than in my own community, with the people that mean the most to me.

I started giving presentations to civic organizations just to get the message out. We play a little game called Toxic Hold Em. I deal out about 30 cards in 5 different colors; everyone has to keep them face down – no peeking. Then I describe a toxic chemical and its effects on our bodies. I ask all those with blue cards, for instance, to then turn their cards over and one by one they share the product on their card. Often times they also share a personal experience related to the product – a time they or someone they know got sick using it. I have heard a LOT of these stories.

My very first time was at the local Women’s Club. EVERY lady there shared a horror story about cleaning! It was amazing and not at all what I expected. My next 2 talks were at local Rotaries. I have also spoken to 2 high school classes. The teens were great and everyone was involved and interested. They concluded, however, that they shouldn’t clean anymore! Not quite what I was trying to get through to them. I also had an article published in the local newspaper in conjunction with hazardous waste pick-up day. I don’t think people realize that they should dispose of household cleaners via hazardous waste recycling.

I have also hosted Healthy Home parties related to my business. We play Toxic Hold Em at these parties too. The wheels begin to turn and people begin asking “what about this product…?” I can tell they are starting to get it! They are realizing that some of their favorite commercial brands from bubble bath to perfume to makeup might actually be hurting them.

I have small children and so talked to our daycare owner about going green with their cleaners. The daycare was using bleach to clean toys – the last thing you want to do for kids, especially ones with asthma getting breathing treatments several times a day. The owner wanted to go green and was very interested in the information I gave her. Unfortunately, our state requires the use of bleach and does not allow for safer, more effective alternatives. That’s now a bigger issue I must tackle.

Whenever I get the chance, I talk to people one-on-one. I want to share what I have learned. I want to help people improve their lives. It is so important that we have a healthy future!

I am booked for another presentation soon with a local Soroptomist group. The President of that group also owns a school and asked me to come talk to the young children. It’s wonderful that I am finding new ways to reach out to people and I am loving it!

My goal with all this has been to raise awareness that we are exposing ourselves and our families to many toxic chemicals and creating a kind of toxic soup in our homes. I encourage everyone to go to the National Institutes of Health website http://www.householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/products.htm and look up your favorite cleaners! To find safe alternatives, check out the Environmental Working Group’s website http://www.ewg.org/. And share what you learn with everyone you know!

"This is part of the Healthy Child Blog Carnival- an effort by Healthy Child Healthy World to help inspire a movement to protect children from harmful chemicals."

Read more: http://healthychild.org/get-involved/events/comments/blog_carnival_community_advocacy/#ixzz133yvobqY

Monday, September 27, 2010

CAN YOU MAKE IT TO AGE 109?

Would you make changes to your lifestyle NOW if you knew you would live longer and better?

Did you know that the 4 major causes of death in the US are mostly preventable? That’s right, around 80% of deaths from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer can be prevented! How long and how well do you want to live?

First thing, stop smoking. You know that smoking is bad for you. Cigarettes lower your body’s ability to function properly. Don’t take my word for it – read up on it at the American Lung Society’s website http://www.lungusa.org/stop-smoking/ and the American Cancer Society’s site http://www.cancer.org/. This one change could be the most important thing you ever do. And one of the toughest.

Next, you might need to shed some extra weight. Being overweight may make you more susceptible to certain cancers as well as increasing your risk of diabetes. Being overweight puts extra stress on your joints and increases your risk factors for a lot of other health problems. Start slowly – try to lose just 10 pounds.
Drink plenty of good, clean water (here’s one option bit.ly/9gz7ts). Toxins get stored along with your fat cells, so as you lose weight (hopefully just fat and not muscle) you also release these toxins back into your system. Water will help flush them out. Not having enough water affects you in many ways – ability to concentrate, feeling hungry when you are really thirsty, lack of energy, etc.

Get more active. Exercise has a lot of benefits and it actually gives you more energy. Increasing your activity level reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and yes, even cancer! Walk, bike, dance, find something that gets you moving!

If you have existing conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, manage them closely. Keep your body as strong as it can be. Read more at the American Diabetes Association’s web site http://www.diabetes.org/.

Improve your diet. Eat less saturated fats and more grains, fruits, and vegetables. I know you have heard this before! Read more at the American Heart Association’s website http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/. Try to buy organic food whenever you can. Pesticides and hormones added to food can cause problems of their own. Read more at the Environmental Working Group’s web site http://www.ewg.org/ourfood.

Get your cholesterol levels down; the bad cholesterol that is. You can do this naturally with an FDA approved product bit.ly/aV4CE8. Oddly enough, alfalfa can help clean out the plaque build-up in your arteries. Watch your sodium intake too.

Your goal is to be as healthy as you can be so your body can ward off attacks. Imagine not getting sick in the first place. That’s easier on your wallet for one thing, which will likely reduce some stress. It also beats getting sick and then fighting to get better. Prevention is the key! If you don’t believe me, read more about the spread of a new germ that is resistant to antibiotics – you don’t want to catch this one: http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/medical/2010-09-17-1Asuperbug17_ST_N.htm.

Eliminate toxic exposures in the home. It makes sense, when you stop to think about it, that spraying cleaners with toxic chemicals in them all over your home, day after day, year after year, is going to have an affect on your health. Don’t think you use any products with toxic chemicals? Go to the National Institutes of Health website http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/index.htm and look up your favorite cleaners. Odds are, they are slowly poisoning you and your family. Use green, safe cleaners; here’s a sample of what I use bit.ly/awUEs1.

Have regular check-ups with your doctor. Take charge of your health. Keep on top of things. Early detection of a problem will help you get back on track.

Let’s sum it up. Quit smoking. Lose some weight. Eat well. Drink clean water. Exercise. Keep healthy (diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol levels well-managed). Go green with your cleaners.  Take one step at a time and find yourself living a vibrant, long life!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pollution inside our homes

“…Pollution inside our homes….” I remember the first time I read that phrase. Pollution was always something that referred to the outside – we go into our homes to be safe! But according to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html), the pollution inside our homes is 2 to 5 times greater than outside. Think about that. We spend, on average, 90% of our time indoors – work, school, grocery store, movies, home.

Go to Sloan Barnett’s website (http://greengoeswitheverything.com/) and take the body burden test. You’ll begin to see where all these pollutants are coming from: chemicals in our carpets; mattresses; paints; household cleaners (especially ones in spray bottles where particles can float around your home for days); furniture upholstery, wax, and glue; fireplace pollutants; dry cleaning chemicals; pesticides, just to name a few.

The first time I took Sloan’s body burden test, I was more than twice the national average! That scared me, and little by little, we have changed our lifestyle. After getting educated we now use only green cleaners. We use Basic H for keeping most outdoor garden pests at bay. Over time we are replacing our few carpeted areas with natural stone. We now use natural, safe personal products such as baby bubble bath, shampoo, lotion, etc. We can’t be too careful with our health!

Water is another area of concern. Our water comes from a well since we live in a rural area. We don’t have the smell of chlorine in our water nor do we worry about getting those scary quality control reports about “monitoring requirements for your drinking water not met.” What an awful thing to get in the mail AFTER the fact! But we do worry about what chemicals get washed into our water. Our under sink osmosis system died recently. Those are expensive – the filters alone are well over $100/year. Luckily, we just found a fabulous water pitcher filtration system. It filters 56 toxins including lead and costs less than the filters for the osmosis system! Again, you can’t be too careful with your health and that of your family.

This is part of the Healthy Child Blog Carnival about Clean Water and Air Solutions [http://bit.ly/cleanAir] - an effort by Healthy Child Healthy World to help inspire a movement to protect children from harmful chemicals.

Read more: http://healthychild.org/get-involved/events/comments/blog_carnival_clean_water_and_air_solutions/#ixzz0x1Nl4iWg

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pretty But Dead?

This is a great article (below) on some of the dangers of cosmetics. I found it on Healthy Child but it originated on the Environmental Working Group’s website. We don’t normally think of cosmetics as “dangerous.” We are a little too trusting and too na├»ve. I have heard rumors about lipsticks with fish scales in them. Yuk! What else don’t we know?

And it is not just women. Do you men use deodorant? Toothpaste? Shaving cream? Shampoo? Soap? You get the idea.

http://healthychild.org/blog/comments/test_your_knowledge_of_cosmetics_safety_8_myths_debunked1/

Here’s a related article from the Environmental Working Group. http://www.enviroblog.org/2010/07/being-clean-and-pretty-has-toxic-costs.html

We need to think about what we are doing to ourselves. Is it any wonder that rates of cancer are on the rise? Did you know that, according to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 5 women will die from cancer? For men it is 1 in 4. I, personally, do NOT like that statistic.

Read up. Take action.

I use Shaklee personal care products so I now feel quite safe, but for years, who knows what was in the stuff I used. We bought what was cheap, and, oh lord, what smelled good.

I’d like to find some safe, natural, good cosmetics since Shaklee is no longer selling that line …

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Splendor in the Grass: Greener and Safer Backyards

While we can’t control the chemicals used in our daycare, restaurants, etc (ie bleach!), we make sure that our backyard is a safe haven for our little ones, starting with our cleaners. If you aren’t sure what chemicals are in your cleaners, detergents, etc, please visit www.householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/products.htm and check out the effects of some of those dangerous chemicals. Many common, commercial brands are actually classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous waste. You don’t want to use “hazardous waste” around your kids, do you?! Look for green alternatives and keep your kids safe.

My family found a great, multi-purpose natural product that we use for almost everything. I spray it on my rose bushes to get rid of spider mites. Our 2-year-old twins are always curious and wanting to pitch in and now I don’t have to worry about spraying around them. We also use this product, in a different concentration, to green up our lawn. And it’s completely safe for the kids to run around on. We keep our patio furniture and windows clean with it too! And it’s ok for the kids to help out with the cleaning (and they love to get big washcloths and go to town!).

West Nile Virus, borne by mosquitoes, is in just about every place in the US now. Believe it or not, but this same product, again at a different concentration, can safely be applied to the skin to protect against mosquitoes and other insect bites. We don’t have to worry about which is worse, the insect repellent or WNV.

That just leaves us with finding a safe sunscreen. Over 75% of sunscreens at SPF15 or higher either provide inadequate protection or contain harmful chemicals. Go to this link to find an effective and safe sunscreen http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/.

Our kids are so precious to us and it is up to us to keep them safe and healthy. Kids should be playing outside, especially in the summer time. But being outside shouldn’t mean extra exposure to dangerous chemicals. Keep your kids safe and do your homework. Find green alternatives.


This is part of the Healthy Child Blog Carnival (link to http://healthychild.org/blog/comments/splendor_in_the_grass_blog_carnival/) – an effort by Healthy Child Healthy World to help inspire a movement to protect children from harmful chemicals.


Check out these other articles from the Carnival:
Sunshine and Bugs: A Natural Defense at http://www.euphoriababy.com/blog/healthy-living/sunshine-bugs-a-natural-defence/
Green Thursdays: a Green Lawn at http://www.adventureswiththreegirls.com/archives/577
Our Grass is Greener at http://farmersdaughterct.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/our-grass-is-greener/
Making Changes to Protect my Children Outdoors: The Grass IS Greener on my side
Splendor in the Non-Toxic Grass at http://thegreenmomreview.com/2010/07/15/splendor-in-the-non-toxic-grass/
I Am Not the Master of My Backyard at  http://eco-novice.blogspot.com/2010/07/i-am-not-master-of-my-backyard.html

Friday, July 9, 2010

Baking Soda - a bunch of uses

Check out this article!  Great ideas, natural, safe.  http://bit.ly/d11EVy

Monday, July 5, 2010

Going Green Tips

I think a lot of people want to go green but aren't sure what they can easily do. We are all so busy. Start out with baby steps. Work your way into it. Commit to changing something every month. Every little bit helps.

Here are a few simple ideas.
1. Stop buying bottled water. You are putting tons of plastics into the landfills and that stuff isn't biodegradable.
2. For fresh water buy a filter for your faucet or a water pitcher/filter system.  Those aren't expensive.
3. Conserve electricity. Turn off lights and fans when you are not in that room. Turn off your computer at night. Turn the thermostat a little higher in the summer and a little lower in the winter. You'll save money with this one too.
4. When it's time, replace appliances with energy efficient ones, including low-flow toilets and shower heads.
5. Read how one woman saved $10,000 by going green - tons of ideas in there.  http://yhoo.it/9osGDx
6. Buy organic cotton bedding and clothes.
7. Buy organic food. Support your local farmers markets, if you have them.
8. Recycle.
9. Install floors made of recycled and renewable resources.
10. Get educated on the chemicals in your common household cleaners at http://www.householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/products.htm

Please add your ideas!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Home Health Hazards

I talked to some ladies yesterday at a party and was amazed again at how many people have had problems with common household cleaners, perfumes, and even our kids are having problems. Get one or two women together (I am sorry but I have not been able to have the same level of interest when the group is mostly men) and start talking about environmental indoor hazards. We all have horror stories about getting sick from cleaning or headaches from someone's strong perfume or kids with allergic reactions to weird things. How much more data do we need to see before we take action? Asthma in children has been growing at an alarming rate. The US has the highest rate of cancer in children of any country in the world. Heart disease and cancer in adults is growing rapidly.

I think the US Center for Disease Control has it right. See the summary here and you can go in and read the full policy if you so desire:  http://www.thecanaryreport.org/2010/04/07/centers-for-disease-control/. Basically, no smelly stuff at work. The CDC even goes so far as to include laundry detergents and personal care products like hairspray and perfume. Of course, some of this is fueled by lawsuits, and companies keep losing those. But, finally someone saw the writing on the wall and made a change for the better. Do you think other companies will follow suit?


In this day and age, there is no reason NOT to use green, non-toxic products. They are out there. They aren't that hard to find. They aren't that expensive - some are much cheaper than what you may have been using in fact. 


Take action. Read my other posts. Decide to make one change a month towards going green. It's good for you, your family, and our planet.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Get off the merry-go-round of dieting

Trying to lose weight? Been on diets before? You need to re-think “dieting.”

The problem with diets is that you cut back on eating and send your body into famine mode. You lose muscle mass and as a result lower your metabolism making it harder to burn fat. Plus you feel more tired. Maybe you lose some weight. Once you go off the diet, however, you have less muscle mass and thus will gain weight back easier than before. Very frustrating. We call it the yo-yo cycle of dieting.

You need to understand a few things. Once you have created a fat cell in your body, you can never get rid of it; you can only empty it. You need to maintain your muscle mass so you can keep your metabolism working at the highest possible level to burn fat. Also realize that as you do lose fat, you are also shedding the toxins in your body. Those nasty things tend to get stored in with the fat and come back into circulation as the fat is used up. Drink plenty of water to flush the toxins out.

You want to include a lot of leucine in your diet. Leucine helps you maintain muscle while burning fat, decrease cravings, stabilize your blood sugar levels, and and will keep you feeling less hungry. You need to keep your body healthy while shedding fat, so eat more, smaller meals. Starving yourself will lower your metabolism and make your body want to hang on the your fat even more. So eat well and often but with smaller portions and try to avoid the things you know you shouldn’t eat. Exercise – find something you like to do that gets you up and moving around: running, dancing, swimming, walking, etc.


Focuses on losing inches not weight. Muscle weighs more than fat but you don’t want to lose muscle mass. Fat weighs less but takes up more room. So focus on losing inches = fat. Take a good, all-natural vitamin to keep your body’s nutrient needs met to help you not feel hungry.

Good luck and stick with it!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vital to Your Health - Vitamin D

Vitamin D levels are being seen as a "measurement for wellness" now by some doctors; see NPR article http://bit.ly/bQhWfW. But over 75% of Americans are not getting enough Vitamin D; NPR article http://bit.ly/c9wIdn.

Vitamin D mainly comes from sun exposure, and from a few foods such as egg yolks, fish, and fortified milk and grains. It is an important component in helping your body absorb calcium for strong bones and healthy teeth. Recent research, however, is showing that Vitamin D is important for far more than just your bones: it may protect against heart disease, some cancers, severe asthma in children, and reduced mental function. It may also help with fibromyalgia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, general muscular aches and pains, and in supporting your immune system.

The appropriate level of Vitamin D is now being reviewed. The current Recommended Daily Allowance for adults is 400 IU. A "high" daily dose of Vitamin D may help prevent bone fractures in older adults; "high" being over the 400 IU recommended. Preliminary research shows intakes of between 1000-2000 IU as being safe and effective for adults. One doctor in the first NPR article cited is taking 3000 IU a day. Personally, I have have upped my intake to 1000 IU daily.

There are concerns that this issue will get worse before it gets better: obesity causes Vitamin D to disappear from the bloodstream and it is a lot harder to get levels back to normal after this occurs. Vitamin D levels have also been found to be low in African-Americans and Hispanics (due to their darker skin blocking sunlight).

What can you do? You can drink a minimum of 4 glasses of fortified milk (10 if you want to hit the 1000 IU level). There is a great chart (Table 3) at http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp about a quarter of the way down the page. Cod liver oil is very high in Vitamin D. Salmon and mackerel also contain significant amounts. But do you eat fish every day or worry about poisons like lead, mercury, PCBs, etc in your fish? You probably ought to consider taking a supplement. I take Shaklee's Vitalizer with iron (being a woman under 50) - 1000 IU of Vitamin D. Whatever supplement you decide on, make sure it does not contain synthetic ingredients - they can do more harm than good.

Decide to do something, please! Let me know what you are doing to ensure YOU get enough Vitamin D.

Questions or comments? Feel free to contact me at kirstenm@frontiernet.net.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Need energy, fast!

I had to get up early today and drive about 3.5 hours to a workshop. My 2-year-old daughter had me up at 11:30pm and again at 2:30am. I am sure you can imagine how tired I was. I did ok driving there, but boy was I feeling sleepy when I got there. And there was no coffee or tea! Luckily I had planned ahead and brought my energy chews. I took one and almost immediately felt better. For 3 hours and 40 minutes I felt fine and enjoyed and participated in the workshop discussions.

But as the 4th hour was rolling around, my eyes tried to go up the back of my head. So I took another energy chew. Right away I felt more alert. I finished the conference and the long drive home without feeling like I was going to fall asleep. Do you know what it is like to drive through the Mojave Desert in the evening when you are tired? Dangerous! But I made it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Go Green Now!

Check out this video for green cleaning products http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyQH-sTt7Ak
Make it happen. Contact me kirstenm@frontiernet.net or 760-532-3208.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Body Burden Score

Sloan Barnett's website is great. Take her body burden test. It does take a bit of time to load, but it is such an eye-opener! My score is still above the national average but it is getting better!
Comment back and let me know what your score is.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Do Toxins Cause Autism? NYTimes

Check out this article

Friday, February 19, 2010

"The best way to predict the future is to create it” - Peter Drucker

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What is this site about?

This site is about sharing information. It's time we take charge of our lives. We have to take care of our own health. We are responsible for our environment, both in our homes and on our planet. Learn what you can do to improve your life and the lives of others.

About Me

This blog is a way for those of us trying to better our lives through our own actions and thoughts to share inspiration and receive support.