Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's your crack cocaine??

Ok, I have a slight confession....when I was on my soapbox during the last blog, saying I would win the war against fat, slugginess, non movement, etc, and I mentioned I had just stocked up on lots of healthy things....well, I forgot to mention 1 other thing that I happened to slip into my basket at Costco....

Ok, I admit it. I'm hooked, addicted. I'm a Dark Chocoloate Acai with Blueberry crack addict.
And it all seemed so innocent at first.....

It all started with those dang "powerberries" at TJ's....I bought that hook, line and sinker...those are "good" for me...dark chocolate - good, blueberries - good - so how could I go wrong?!
THEN I happened to run into this 2 pound bag of Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry ...OMG, it didn't take long and I was HOOKED! With every small handful of 5 or 6 (come on, give me a break, they are just little small berries!), I convinced myself of all the good properties they had...I was in denial ...until I read the back side of the bag :

Serving size 1/4 cup
Calories 180
Total Fat 7 grams
1 measley gram of fiber :(


So even those "exotic fruits from around the world" paired up with "healthy dark chocolate" aren't good!?!?!? -Yep - read the print - this can't be too good.....And certainly not as good as a piece of fruit or some veggies...

By the way, I have never done crack cocaine...wouldnt know it if I saw it.....even though while teaching class in NY this past year, I described to my "new" class that at dinner the evening before, my coworker knocked the bowl full of parmesan cheese off the table and it looked like a cloud of "coke dust" - where in the world do I come up with some of this?!?!? How do I have any clue what coke dust is like, or if it even exists?!

Anyway, I just had to come clean to my friends on the blog (again, I may just be talking to myself - I may be the only one reading this blog after all)....but it feels good to say it outloud

I AM A CRACK ADDICT....OOPS, I MEAN I AM A CHOCOLATE ACAI BERRY ADDICT (that sounds a bit better doesn't it!?!?)

So what's your addiction?! Come on, we all have something....My friend, Erin, at work today confessed she is a "MERB's Caramel Apple addict" - lucky for her, that is only 1 time a year addiction....

Speaking of which....when you really really like something, do you find yourself wanting to buy multiples?! As long as I'm coming clean, I will tell you I do have 1 "extra" bag of my crack cocaine in the freezer....I told myself I would buy a 2nd bag to have for all the company at Thanksgiving! HA! Hopefully the bag in the freezer won't be empty by then! I will say this was the first time I bought "multiple" bags....

But do you ever think to yourself - oh oh I better stock up - what if they run out?! Or heaven forbid, what if they stop making these!? Then what?!!

I'll tell you "then what".....then what happens is bye bye addiction :)

So now that I have gotten past
"Hi, my name is Maureen Roth and I'm addicted to Dark Chocolate Acai berries"....hopefully I can begin to wean myself off of these little bits of heaven on earth - oh oh, i'm slipping again...

Seriously, admitting is the first step, right!?

So, come on, what is your crack cocaine?! Admit it and start thinking about what it is and why you think you must have it......think about how much better you would be WITHOUT it!!!

So just for today - share your addiction with someone else and start kicking it....right out of your life! I'm not ready to dump this bag in the trash yet, but I will think twice before I open the bag again!!! And how often I open it! 1 small step at a time, that is how these changes are made people!

Hang in there and have a good night!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall back....did you reset your clock?? No, not the ticking clock....

Fall Backwards....yep, that is what today is all about as you find that suddenly you are arriving at church, at the gym class or at brunch 1 hour too early....

Unfortunately, babies don't get the memo, as my cousin Heather, noted on Facebook this morning....dang it anyway! But that little smile, even 1 hour earlier, still makes getting up all worthwhile!

Even if you get the memo or got the hint from the papers, friends, news, and set your clock back 1 hour, even if you did wake up on your "body clock", you could just roll over for another leisurely hour of rest or "free" sleep because the clock did indeed "fall backwards"....

I was thinking about this the other night and thought why 2am?! Why in the world did someone decide at exactly 2am, we turn back the clock? So go to bed, set your clock at 2am, and get up, turn back the clocks and go back to bed! No, I'm not falling into that trap :)....but seriously, what about those people that ARE awake at 2am.....what do they do at that point - bar is open an extra hour? The hospital staff stays on 1 more hour??? Or what if your baby decides they want to make their appearance at exactly 2am - man that would be exhausting the rest of your life explaining well I was born at 2am, but actually it was 1am......

So what does "fall backwards" really mean??!

Well, it is a bit scary actually - if you think of it in a literal sense....falling backwards, hitting my head or any brave limb of my body that tries to reach out and catch this load of weight!!! Not a pretty picture....

Today in the news, the headline read "Fall Back - did you reset your clock?"

Answer - YES, boring as I am, about 11p last night, I went around and reset all of the clocks and was so excited as I recalculated how much sleep I could catch up on...seriously, it is just 1 hour, why do I keep doing the math in my head....

Anyway, I realized that "falling backwards" while, yes it is a good thing for the extra hour of sleep, is just what I have been doing for the last few weeks.....No I haven't been turning back my clocks back every weekend, but I seriously feel like I have been FALLING BACKWARDS??????

How so, you ask?

-Not working out like I should
-Not eating like I should
-Not getting rid of the stress from everyday life and WORK!
-Not feeling great

Yep, that "falling backwards" stinks!

So now, that the clock has been reset, I need to forget about the fact that I have "fallen backwards" and get up and move FORWARD! You know winter is coming and with that comes those big old sweaters and room for lots of "hidden danger".....i.e. extra winter weight!! I am not "falling" into that trap!

So what next?
I "fell" out of bed this morning and headed off to body pump. I pushed my weight up a bit and could feel the body trembling just a bit (but will feel it a lot more tomorrow - which is always good news to me that I did what I intended to do!)

Yesterday, I stocked the fridge with apples (all cleaned now from the water/apple cider vinegar solution to get those pesticides off!!!! Seriously, I cannot eat an apple unless it is organic or cleaned that way, without about getting sick thinking of the 35 kinds of pesticides they are sprayed with!!!), organic carrots and other healthy stuff.

BTW, on a side note, Costco is really offering LOTS of "organic" choices now at very very reasonable prices!

So on this "fall backwards" day, I am moving forward! I am dusting myself off from the last 2 crazy, insane work weeks, and mindless stress eating, and endless Halloween candy, and moving FORWARD! I have alerted my body that it may not like me for the next couple weeks as I move "forward" but it will like me after that. As the body pump instructor mentioned today in class, I don't like working out, but I really like it when it is OVER...

So what are you up to? Are you falling backwards? Have you already fallen? If so, it is time to get up and move FORWARD! On this beautiful, cool, sunny day, just move yourself FORWARD into some kind of motion! It's not too late!!! Your clock has been reset, so now work on resetting your MIND and BODY!

Have a great Sunday!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What if you turned on the faucet and not 1 drop came out.....what else are you taking for granted?

-Waking up in the morning
-Having a job
-Having good health
-Opening your fridge and pantry to a buffet table of food
-Family, friends
-Our God
-Jumping in your car and driving wherever you want to go
-Saying what you want to, when you want to, how you want to

Okay, this isn't a "wish" list....this my friends is my "don't take these precious things for granted" list....

For starters, you get up each day (which in itself is worth a prayer of thanksgiving!!) and turn on the water to brush your teeth, wash your face and then GULP, jump into a nice long HOT shower....That is what we need to think and talk about...

Don't worry, I'm not EVEN suggesting you forego any of the cleansing activities....that would just be WRONG....instead, I want to share a few stats with you....

In the TRUE GREEN book, it reminds you of 100 everyday ways you can contribute to a healthier planet.....and yep, you guessed it, water is listed on several pages....why? because we don't really "get it" and we have definitely started taking the nice flow of H2O from our faucets to mean, the supply is endless - NOT! Read on please....

Showers -
How long is your shower? A family of 4, each taking a 5 minute shower 1 time a day, uses about 700 gallons of water every week! A standard showerhead, uses about 4-6 gallons of water PER MINUTE!!! If this same family of 4 used a "low slow showerhead", they would save up to 20,000 GALLONS of water , not to mention the energy used to heat that water!!! This also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 300 pounds per year! So the message here is, every MINUTE you shorten your shower, you save 4-6 GALLONS of water! Just imagine how many zillions of people are showering each day and if each one of us, cut our shower down a bit, and didn't use such HOT water, we would make a HUGE impact!!!! Next time you take a shower, just time yourself - I think you will be AMAZED at how long (and how unnecessary) your shower is! Come on, scrub a bit faster - do it for the planet!!! Cutting your shower from 10 minutes to 5 mintues, over the course of a year, would provide enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool AND saving an extra 2200 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions just from the energy used to heat the water!!!! That 's over 4200 gallons of water you can save in that simple green effort!!!

Flushing it away - Okay, my sister lives in LA, and years ago, I remember being out there and California was way ahead of the rest of us, with its conservation efforts. I remember during my visit with her she told me, the motto is "if its pee, let it be, if it's brown, flush it down" - sorry, for the graphics, but that is really what the saying was....this was their daily effort at conserving energy and water.....I know, it's a tough idea to swallow and I'm not suggesting you do that, but just be aware...toilets use the most water in the home...Over 4.8 BILLION gallons of water are flushed down toilets EVERY DAY in just the US along, that equates to 9000 gallons of water per person every year! YIKES! Between the shower and the toilets, our "per person usage" is going up quickly!!! Older toilets use more than 3 gallons of water in 1 flush, vs modern reduced flow use a little more than 1 gallon....Keep that in mind during your next "toilet shopping spree" :)

Dishwashers and dishwashing - This accounts for 15 perscent of the household water use, not to mention HUNDREDS of pounds of greenhouse gases in hot water heating! The dishwasher can use more than 10.5 gallons of water per cycle, vs a newer model uses 1/2 that. Sooooooooooooo,
only run it when it is FULL and save 10-20 gallons of water per day! If you are a hand washer, that will likely use less, UNLESS you are one of those LET THE WATER RUN NON STOP people.... Remeber this is sending 2.5 gallons of water PER MINUTE right down the drain!!! And if it is HOT, you are emitting more greenhouse gases by the minute!

Washing machines - The average washing machine produces nearly 200 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year, but if you choose HOT water, it gets worse! Over 80 percent of the energy used to wash clothes comes from HEATING the water and a hot water wash generates 5 TIMES MORE in greenhosue gases than a cold wash! Choose cold and save 6.5 pounds in emissions FOR EVERY WASH! Be careful when adding your detergent also - for each 3.5 ounces of detergent, 3 pounds of greenhouse gases are generated!!! So remember, don't wash your clothes because you just didn't hang them up and you don't feel like it (come on, how many of you can relate to this!!) make sure they need washing and then only wash with a full load! I have switched to cold washes 98 percent of the time - and it works just fine! And hats off if you can do the line dry and save on the dryer!!

Water bottles - I know I have talked about this before, but sorry, I am very passionate about this one.....I too got caught up in the INSANE "bottled water" frenzy that caught on several years back! OMG, if we would just stop and think about it, it is insane. Especially considering the fact that many of the bottled waters have been tested and are NO DIFFERENT than our tap water! Buy a nice stainless steel water bottle - you will LOVE it and take it everywhere! Your beverage stays hot or cold for hours!!!! Remember, plastic comes from petroleum, a limited resource (like WATER!) and it takes over 1.5 MILLION BARRELS of oil each year, just to cover America's demand for bottled water!!! Converting this oil to gasoline equates to fueling 500,000 station wagons on coast to coast road trips!!!!! YIKES!!! Come on peeps, we can do this!!! I won't even tell you how many bottles are not recycled and could stretch across the globe and back as they litter our landfills and will be there long after we are "pushing up daisies" as they say :)

So, are you thirsty yet?! Hopefully there is still some water left, to quench your thirst!!!

So just for today, think about what you take for granted?!?!? And think about what you can do to make our planet a little better, a little less "gassy"......

Remember, we need to drink a lot of water every day, so save some from your showers, toilets, washing machines etc - so you can have your 8-10 glasses in your stainless steel mug :). Yikes, I just read that and want to reiterate, I'm not suggesting you drink from the toilet!

Here's to an H2O toast to our planet!

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm not going to tell you again....oops, I mean, I'm not going to tell ME again...

Yesterday was 1 of my old friend's birthday - 57 years "old friend" I don't mean old either...come on peeps, give me a break, 50 is the new 40 and I'm going by that standard, so we aren't old yet.... Anyway, she has been fighting the weight battle for too long and we always try to "encourage" her whether she wants it or not. You know how we are, we WANT help, but then when we get it, we really don't want it so much. On Friday night, when you are eating and drinking, it is easy to talk about what you are going to do come Monday morning!!! Until Monday morning comes....

Anyway, her work has a "weight challenge" and I mean a BIG weight challenge - big contest with big prizes, etc - and I was trying to remind my friend, that she could WIN the whole thing! She lost 9 pounds at the first weigh in, without tremendous effort (she won't like hearing that) and this thing goes to JANUARY! HElllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooo
January is 2.5 months away!!! She could not only win the contest, but more importantly, win back her healthy life!!! After all, I did say, we are YOUNG,but we aren't getting any younger...and we are like cars at the 50,000 mile check start needing tune ups and replacements :).

So as she sat there with a beer, I was the cheerleader in her FACE, saying, YOU CAN DO THIS, this is your opportunity, you can change your life!!! Because clearly winning the prize would be great, but the biggest prize would be her new life as a healthy person. I have known this girl since we were in highschool - she WAS the jock, the petite but strong and healthy girl! I want that back so bad for her. But SHE has to want it back too. Most importantly, SHE has to be the one saying "I CAN DO THIS" and we aren't quite there yet......But I do understand's tough - it is a HUGE decision and takes a tremendous amount of effort, courage and determination...I KNOW she can do it and will be praying that she realizes that. Because as Karen told me on the blog recently, and I love this...."NOTHING tastes as good as "Healthy" feels!!!" LOVE THAT ONE!

As I sat chanting "YOU CAN DO THIS" to my friend last night, I realized that I was not only reminding HER but also ME....I was thinking about it on my early drive to Body Pump this morning (I had to say YOU CAN DO THIS to me about 7a as I pulled the old body out of bed on Saturday to go subject it to pain :)).....

Remember that saying that "everything we ever needed to know about life we learned in kindergarten" - well I agree that we have learned so much from infancy on, but for some reason, we have to hear it over and over and over....seems the first 5000 times, just haven't sunk in....let me give you a few examples....

-I'm going to floss daily (RIGHT! That doesn't happen....then when I do, why am I surprised that I get a little bleeding?!?! Helloooooooooooooooooooo, 50,000 mile check up time, floss em while you got em!!!)

-I'm going to set the alarm early so I have more time in the morning ............No thank you, I would prefer to get up everyday and run like a gazelle through the house, trying to get the dogs fed, out, pilled, me showered, teeth brushed (can floss at night :)), and out the door with lunch in hand in time for my conference call.....

-I'm not eating BLANK ANYMORE! Or drinking BLANK ANYMORE? Yes, you are probably laughing at this one, because I'm sure you can relate.....sometimes, I find myself saying that as my spoon is dipping into the bowl :( and then when it is gone, I think, why in the heck did I eat that?!

-I'm not going to procrastinate.....heck I do that with my blog all the time, waiting for the perfect "inspirational" story to pop in my head....sorry, folks, you know that hasn't happened!!! But procrastination just leads to so much stress in our lives.....

-Here's a good one....I'm not going to "judge people" or gossip - Geez, despite your best efforts, this is if I do either of them, I'm going to just try to talk with Buster and Charlotte about this (my dogs :)), because let's face it, we shouldn't judge ANYONE except yourself! And gossip is empty energy that is painful and goes nowhere!!!

-I'm going to declutter - Yikes this is painful to even say outloud...although I do continue to chip away at this....even if I get it to 1 room, then I can make myself take 15 minutes a day to work on 1 area.....

So, all of those things, that you find yourself telling yourself OVER and OVER and OVER, what are they!?!?! Come on, share them with the rest of us!? Getting it out there in print is step number 1, plus it reminds us of all the things that we all do and need to face and conquer!!!

So just for today, think of 3 things that you tell yourself over and over and over, for the last "only God knows how many years", and write them down, say them outloud and find a plan to face them head on....we just can't keep using our energy up on recurring issues :)

Enjoy this magnificent weekend...and remember YOU CAN DO THIS (you have to fill in the "THIS" part!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

You have IT...then you lost IT and try to get IT back!!!

Like ding dongs to a Hostess addict.......or dog hair to my ultra suede couch....some things just need each other......some things just stick together.....kind of like IT when you find IT.....

What is IT, you ask?

IT is that drive, commitment, unyielding and unwielding power of powers that you somehow mysteriously FIND and while it remains with you, you are invincible......

-You can fight off chips and ice cream with an easy NO WAY
-You can work through 5 workouts a week with no resistance from the "non exercising other personality in your person"
-You can stay dedicated and on the right track without someone watching your plate for you and asking "do you REALLY want that?"
-You can get on the scale each day, week or month knowing that the number is going down, down, down (without having to say a novena before you get on!)
-You can pass up those "stashes" of danger you have lurking in your the freezer or in the diningroom hutch, without batting an eye..
-You live it, breathe it and LOVE it, WHY!? Because you feel so dang good!!!


Then as quickly and powerfully as it came, it disappears with a flash of an barely remember what IT looked like, sounded like or felt like.....

-The sugar devils start hounding you and filling your thoughts with all kinds of dangerous sugar know what they are
-The exercise fairy is beaten up by the many couch potatoes that lure you to the tube with the remote in hand and put you in a "clicker frenzy" while you sit there instead of heading to the gym
-The waffle top comes back and wraps around your middle so as you sit and type you can feel it falling over onto the rim of your pants, what a lovely feeling that is.....
-You keep looking for IT over and over and can hardly remember what IT looked like, felt like or sounded like....

Do you know what I mean!?!?!

Well, there is 1 more stage to IT and that is.....

I found IT, I lost IT, I found IT, I lost IT, the kind of hide and seek IT mania, I call it.....

-You wake up in the morning, raring to go....only to be taken under by the kind looking, but sneaky pumpkin bread on the counter, calling your name
-You recover from the p bread and just say no to anything for the next few hours and head out for some running
-You try to run, you really do, but you find yourself about 1 tank short of oxygen, so you huff and puff as best you can, even though you really are thinking about the couch potatoes again, but you keep on moving....and feel good when the sweat starts dripping....
-You come home with good intentions as you dig out the fish and veggies for dinner
-You hear the ice cream calling and you justify it because you did some huffing and puffing and also had fish for dinner
-You plan a weekend full of exercise...

Ah yes, the found IT, lost IT still know what IT is, you still see IT and you definitely don't want to lose IT....but yet there are those times IT slips away.....

So back in January, I started this LAT (Lose a Ton) challenge and managed to drop 30 pounds....
I don't want those pounds back, although I know a few have creeped back on.....I'm fighting it and don't want to lose and don't intend to! I just need to get IT totally back under control. Thank goodness I haven't lost IT totally. I just periodically lose IT and have to find my way back home.

So where do I go from here? It is all up to ME! I am the fool making the decisions, good or bad. I may be blaming this on my imaginary IT figure.....and what a powerful imaginary figure IT is - ha, but the reality is that IT is all in my own brain!!! Mind over matter....we have talked about this when my brain had to tell my feet to keep was totally up to my brain, not my feet, but I had to realize that too. Just like I have to realize IT now....IT is in my own mind, and up to me to keep IT going!!!

So just for today and for this weekend, I am going to have a long talk with my old friend, IT. What have I got to lose, besides hopefully a few more pounds!!!

Hope you have IT under control!!! Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let's Get Chemicaled.....(sung to the tune of "Let's get physical")...

"What does she have in her mouth" it, she will choke on that......boil that plug, it just fell on the floor....don't let her play with that, she will put it in her mouth and swallow it"..... and on and on, go the sayings of watchful parents over their babies and part of parental caretaking 101, the primary task is to ensure that only "good & approved" things can go into their little children's mouths....

Then, we grow up....and that means, we have our own "mouth patrol and control"...that is, if we like it, if we want it, we eat it! We certainly know what is GOOD for us, don't we?!? Just in case we don't, we can read the fine print on the outside of the package.....because that is the truth, right??!?! Well, i'm afraid to tell you...............well, let's just start from scratch.....

The truth is...there are chemicals, toxins, carcinogens, volatile organic compounds (vocs), everywhere....let's just step back for a minute and go through our day and see what we put in our mouths and on our bodies that we THINK is GOOD for us?!?!

Let's back up a bit and start with a good nights rest - right?! Well....not so much.....

11pm - Time for bed - climb into that nice mattress full of polyurethane foam and particleboard containing formaldehyde (YEP YOU READ THAT RIGHT, YOU AREN"T DEAD YET, BUT ARE ALREADY GETTING SOME EMBALMING FLUID TO GET YOU READY!).....and if you have the bonus of "fire retardant" in your mattress, then you get some bonus chemicals such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) which accumulate in humans and may promote things such as breast cancer in woman and interfere with brain development in children. Some states have banned certain forms of PBDEs.....

Cold??? Next, cover yourself up with some nice sheets and if they aren't "organic", they are likely sprayed with 1.25 pounds of pesticides - YIKES! INTERESTING UNBELIEVABLE TIDBIT HERE - conventionally grown cotton uses 25 percent of the world's insecticides and 10 percent of all pesticides, which of course are carcinogens (i.e. cancer causing!) - PLUS BONUS, regular cotton sheets are also usually treated with formaldehyde (YEP MORE EMBALMING FLUID! So that is why they don't wrinkle~?~) which is also a carcinogen and can cause throat irritation and headaches among other things! So SWEET DREAMS...............go to sleep!!!

7A - Alarm clock rings - jump up and head to the shower......How about cutting your shower a little short...did you know that the average faucet runs through 3 gallons of water PER MINUTE!
So if you leave the water running, just while you are brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, 2 x day, that is 12 gallons a day, 4380 gallons per year. Beyond the whole "conserving water" piece, just think about all that water that literally had to be "treated" to just go back down the drain and the energy that took! 4380 gallons of water equates to 25 pounds of CO2 into the environment and that is just YOU brushing your TEETH! Turn off the water while you brush!!! You can only imagine how many gallons are going down the drain during our leisurely showers!!! How about shaving your legs before you shower, or turning off the shower, while you soap up!? I didn't say this was going to be easy....or fun.....

So on to your shower.....
get your shower gel or soap, shampoo, conditioner and lather up....oops wait a minute - more chemicals.....
Most body care products are produced in a lab and have harmful chemicals including 1) Phthalates (found in deodorants, baby wipes :(, baby powders :(, liquid soad, sunscreen, lotions, referenced only in the ingredient list as "other" ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Scientists have shown they are probably carcinogens as well as "endocrine disruptors" which means"gender bender chemicals that make girls develop earlier and reduce testosterone levels in boys!!! Because of commercial "trade secrets", there is no need to list "phthalates" on the labels :( VERY SAD INDEED;
2) Next look for "parabens" which are chemicals found in most soaps and shampoos made commercially; whether they are shown as "methyl, prophy or butyl" they are endocrine disruptors;
3) Lastly, look for DEA, which is a wetting, thickening and foaming agent used in shampoos (including baby wash :(, liquid hand soaps, shaving products, deodorants....this group of chemicals interfered with normal brain development in baby mice when applied to the skin of pregnant mice based on a study at the UNC at Chapel hill - OMG!!!!!! Plus, bonus, DEA can react with other ingredients in a formula, whether on the store shelf or in your cabinet, to form extremely potent carcinogen called NITROSODIETHANOLAMINE (NDEA) which is readily absorbed through the skin and linked with stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers!!!

Basically, try to avoid buying products with ingredients that end in the letters "eth", "oleth", "laureth", "ceteareth", PEG, "polyethylene" and "polyethylene glycol" or "polyoxyethylene" or "oxynol".......Even some of the "natural" and "organic" products have this stuff in them....Best idea is to use trusted info from organizations such as the Environment Working Group (EWG) online database of personal care items (

Fragrance?? Buy things with the fewest ingredients listed, that are fragrance free or even make some of your own!!! Even toothpaste isn't free from these things!!!!

8a - Time to put on your makeup - yikes - what is in all this stuff we are putting right near our eyes and on our face!?!?! And what about your nails - do they need some polish!???
Avoid these 5 ingredients in makeup:
-petroleum (adds moisture to skim, listed as "mineral oil" p"paraffin" or "propylene glycol" - besides petroleum being a "nonrenewable resource" i.e. limited quantity, this ingredient adds to "clogged pores" - just what we want - petroleum loaded up in our pores!

Buy things "unscented" when possible, as the word "fragrance", innocent as it appears, indicates there may be formaldehye, phthalates or parabens present! Man, lots of sneakiness going on!!!

Lipsticks are the worst :( - and that is bad because over your lifetime you eat pounds of lipstick! Estimated 4 to 9 pounds per person! They are often petroleum based and contain formaldehyde in the form of preservatives....but there are good ones out there.....i.e. (haven't tried it yet, but plan on it!) and also Burtsbees!

Eye makeup - watch out for the lead (usually listed as lead acetate) because it is a "neurotoxin"..

I actually read (and someone from Holland on my recent trip to Curacao confirmed this!) that some makeup/perfume companies actually put certain things in their products for AMERICA that are actually BANNED in Europe!!! So they make up 1 "batch" for America and the other "batch" for Europe! That was shocking and made me sick!

Next up - time to get dressed! Opt for "organic cotton" when possible! Why? As mentioned above, conventional cotton crops use the most pesticide-intensive farming process in the world! Consider this - 3 percent of the world's farmland is used to grow cotton but 24 percent of all the insecticides IN THE WORLD as well as 11 percent of all the pesticides are required (which then permeate the air, damage the soil and seep into our water supply - YUCK!!!!!!!)
This translates to every POUND of cotton (which is about what it takes to make 1 shirt) is sprayed with 1/3 of a POUND OF PESTICIDES!!!! Smell your shirt now!? And if you have gone to the cleaners, they have added even more chemicals to your shirt! Really amazing that the cotton doesn't just disintegrate, isn't it!?!? And that material is right next to your skin - makes your skin crawl a bit doesn't it!?!?

So each cute little cotton tee, has about 1/3 of a cup of chemicals, including cancer causing agents! If you would have just bought organic cotton, there are no pesticides or chemicals used!
Wool isn't much better! Linen actually is made from the flax plant and doesn't get near the chemicals as cotton. And workout gear?! Well, most workout gear is made from nylon and polyester which are manufactured from petrochemicals, the creation of which releases nitrous oxide into the environment :(....Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is 310 (YES 310!!!) times stronger and worse than carbon dioxide!!!

Good news - you can actually find lots of workout apparel made from ecofriendly fabrics, such as bamboo - believe it or not!!! Check out or

Once dressed, time for a nice cup of coffee (never actually touch the stuff, never have, but most of my friends and husband do!!! So here's the dirt on coffee.........

Sorry to add 1 more thing to stir the pot, but coffee is 1 of the most chemically treated food crops ON THE PLANET!!! It is sprayed with 1) pesticides 2)grown with chemical fertilizers, 3) herbicides 4) fungicides......all those "cides" can't be good! Most coffee is imported from countries that use chemicals that are BANNED IN THE US! Yikes, bottoms up peeps!

And then there is the whole thing about coffee used to be grown in the shade of tropical forests, which provided habitat for over 150 species of birds and wildlife....but now we want faster, cheaper, so forests are cleared and coffee grown in full problem, right? WRONG!! What's the problem? Negative impact on the environment, and wildlife, when the birds are removed, more pests come in which equals, you guessed it, more chemicals!!!

So what to do?! Look for "shade grown" coffee - it's on the package! They use significantly fewer chemicals.....better yet, choose organic! BTW, Starbucks buys "certified fair trade coffee"!

Okay, enough for 1 day.....but just pointing out that while our bodies are STRONG, come on, we need to give them a break from SOME of these chemicals........I'm not suggesting you throw out everything in your medicine and food pantry! That isn't green either - use up what you have! However, every little change you make, makes an impact!!!

And speaking of "green"....not only are plants pretty, they also help ELIMINATE TOXINS in your home, such as formaldehyde, toluene, xylene and others.....for example
1. gerber daises - reduce formaldehye levels
2. chrysanthemums - reduce benzene and trichloroethylene levels
3. orchids - reduce xylene and toluene levels
4. english ivy - reduces benzene levels
5. bamboo reduces formaldehyde levels

So just for today.....what's 1 little thing you can do to start making this world a bit greener and YOU a bit less CHEMICALLY INDUCED!?!? GO FOR THE GREEN!

Friday, August 27, 2010

This little piggy went to the market......

Okay, how many times do you suppose you have read that nursery rhyme??? As a child, my sweet mom read it to me, as well as some of my siblings I'm sure...why not? I was the baby of the family so everyone likes to remind me that I was spoiled rotten.....
Then as a mom, I read it to my 2 sweet darlings....and now I have 2 precious granddaughters that I can read it to (okay, maybe via skype some of the time, but I guarantee you, I will be reading it to them!)

But I must say, I never really realized how SMART that piggy was? Why - you ask? Well, I have been going to the market (Ferguson Farmer's Market on Florissant road - AWESOME) on Saturday mornings every possible week I can and I am LOVING IT!

Why, you ask?! Well, besides the fact that it is just plain FUN, you can even pull your red wagon (there on loan for your shopping and to get your purchases out to your car!) and wheel it around to all the vendors and load up on all kinds of FRESH, UNSPRAYED food as well as cute little booths with jewelry and all kinds of stuff...Plus they always have some kind of fun entertainment going on...the 1st week we went they were shearing sheep! Yes, you read that right, that was pretty neat to see! Usually there are some fun musicians playing while you shop and you can even pull up a picnic bench and order an hot, fresh omlette! (Doug usually does this while I wheel around the wagon!) It is just a real "event" and one you shouldn't miss!

So you know I told you I have been reading up on some "green books"...and although I already knew "pesticides" were not good, the more I read, the more I realize that "not good" is seriously not strong enough! Why, you ask? Well, I'm glad to share.....

An interesting comment in 1 of the books talks about someone babysitting at the writer's house and telling her family how all of the food in the house is organic and "so weird"....well I can remember when the term "organic" kind of made me tilt my head and scrunch up my eyes and nose and wonder - hmmmmmmmmmmmm - what is that all about!? That has been many years ago, but now just wish I would have paid more attention a long time ago.....

Is it more expensive? Yes, sometimes it is, but if you go to the farmer's market, it is quite reasonable and that runs from May-Oct! Just remember to ASK and even if it doesn't say "organic" still ask if or what they "spray"...many small farms can't afford "organic certification" but they do not use the chemical pesticides on their crops.....and I have found that some of my "local farms" DO spray with pesticides - VERY DISAPPOINTING!

I think Chapter 1 in Supernatural Home summed it up perfectly....."imagine picking a fruit or vegetable from your garden, spraying it with bug spray , and then eating it! That's exactly what we do each day with store-bought non-organic produce even if we wash it."YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That should make all of us a bit queasy!

"Organic" means grown without pesticides, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, fungicides or herbicides! OMG, you mean ALL that stuff can be on my "non organic" fruit and vegetables! That answer, I'm afraid is a big fat YES! Organic foods are minimally processed with no artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation. Unfortunately for us, chemicals in pesticides are ODORLESS, TASTELESS and INVISIBLE so the only way you know a food is grown without pesticides is to buy organic.... Sorry, but it gets a little worse...

For example, those red delicious NON ORGANIC strawberries (yes, I have bought them many times also.....) look and taste delicious BUT
-the red color is enhanced by a "fungicide" whatever the HECK that is!
-they are "infused" with methyl bromide, a gas injected by the tractor into the soil (OMG, that just sounds ILLEGAL!)
And that my friends, (fungicides and methyl bromide) do not wash off! How many times have you bought those strawberries, brought them home and ran them under the water before you started cutting and eating them!!! Me too :(

Then we have the fruits/veggies that FLY in from other countries (so besides the fact that in some countries ANYTHING goes in terms of pesticides), we have now wasted all that energy getting the dang fruits/veggies here! And the pesticides got a free ride into the USA too!

And PESTICIDES - REALLY!?! When I think about this, I'm embarrassed to think that it has taken me so long on this.....seriously, I'm OKAY with someone spraying CRAP on my food, this CRAP they are spraying is KILLING bugs, but I'm okay with that!? OMG, when you think about that it is quite unsettling....

When I had breast cancer in 1999/2000, I went to the LIvingston Clinic in San Diego to beef up my immune system between my surgery and before my radiation started (another scary decision I made!) There among other things, the diet was very clean and we were told to try to buy organic whenever possible, but if not possible, take all of your fruits and vegetables and put them in a sink full of water (now suggesting filtered water - if you don't have a BRITA pitcher, get one, it is better than nothing and affordable!) adding 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (I buy Braggs organic - not expensive) - let the fruit/veggies sit for 5 minutes or so, then rinse with cold water. Obviously for some fruits (i.e. strawberries ) don't do this until you are ready to eat them. But for others, you can do it as soon as you get them home and just let them dry well before putting them in the fridge. You will be surprised how apples become "not so shiny" once they are in the vinegar water and rinsed off. But that is a good thing - as apples can have up to 50 (YES 50) kinds of pesticides sprayed on them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I could go on and on....I know organic can be more expensive, so another good thing to consider is to buy the energy of shipping our food all across the country! But eat organic and local when possible -

The books I have been reading list the 12 fruits and veggies that you should buy organic. The list is based on studies by the Consumers Union and Environmental Working Group who have done analysis on the amounts and level of toxicity of the pesticide residues found in conventionally grown food samples by the USDA and the FDA....The reality is that in a "single dose", the "safety limits" (I.e. how much pesticide can you eat BEFORE your belly hurts?!?!?! or who knows what else happens!!) weren't "exceeded" however, most contain MULTIPLE PESTICIDE RESIDUES!!! i.e. 30 different pesticides on strawberries, 50 on apples...need I go on?

So the 12 fruits/veggies to definitely buy organic are:
-sweet bell peppers
-green beans

Wow, do you know HOW many many spinach salads with strawberries and raspberries I eat!!! YIKES! And we think we are eating so healthy and we are if we are CLEANING it well or buying organic. Trader Joes is another great place to buy things like organic spinach - very affordable there.

I'm sure you want to know the 10 "nonorganic" fruits/veggies with the fewest traces of pesticides too:
-frozen peas
-frozen corn

Another suggestion for cleaning the "conventional" fruit/veggies is something called "veggie wash" but it can be a bit pricey. And don't forget - you still need to wash the organic stuff too!

For those "eye rollers" out there, a few more interesting "organic facts to leave you with....

-If the entire planet did "organic farming", it would equate to taking 1.5 BILLION cars off the road!
-You can increase your antioxidant intake by 30 PERCENT by choosing organic - WOW!!!!!!!!
(Remember the antioxidants power off the "free radicals" that try to mess with your cells and when cells are compromised, things like cancer, disease, set in....Ok, I'm not a scientist, or biologist or doctor, but that is "my version" can get a medical book for the fancy version!)
-The average child in America is exposed to 5 pesticides DAILY in food and drinking water!!!
FEED YOUR BABIES REAL FOOD, not all this FAKE stuff in boxes and in dairy/frozen cases that are giving us "false hope" on what it really is!!! Read the ingredients...if it has more than 5 and if you can't pronounce them, do you REALLY want your children eating them! i.e. Goldfish are cute, but come on, what exactly are we expecting out of them!?

Lastly, I'm not suggesting that you forego all the good CRAP that we are all addicted to and have come to know and love, what I am suggesting is that you LOOK at what you are eating, make a conscious effort to eat some REAL food and CLEAN it somehow before you eat it! We can't or shouldn't change everything at once, but we can make those little changes along the way that will help not only our health, but also the health of our poor little planet! So come on peeps, head to the Market and have fun!

Until next time, what are your plans for your next meal!?!?