November 17, 2009

Pain Eased by Thoughts of Loved Ones

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In a recent study published in Psychological Science, the somewhat logical has been discovered: thinking of a loved one eases physical pain. The study's co-author Naomi Eisenberger, assistant professor of psychology at UCLA, explains in LiveScience:

This changes our notion of how social support influences people. Typically, we think that in order for social support to make us feel good, it has to be the kind of support that is very responsive to our emotional needs. Here, however, we are seeing that just a photo of one's significant other can have the same effect.
Using psychological support to ease pain is a natural approach anyone can adopt, reaffirming the importance of love in our lives.  I imagine even the love of a pet can substitute when human relationships go awry.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 29, 2009

Chinese Candy Contains Excessive Lead

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Chinese candy made by Jigong Chayote has been recalled due to excessive lead content (note: The above picture may or may not feature Jigong Chayote candy). The San Jose Mercury News reports:

The California Department of Public Health has warned consumers not to eat an imported Chinese candy called Jigong Chayote after it was found to have unsafe levels of lead.
Recent tests found 0.68 parts per million of lead, and candies with more than 0.10 ppm are considered contaminated, the CDPH said...The CDPH said pregnant women and children who might have eaten the candy should see a doctor to determine if they need lead testing.

Just why would there be any amount of lead in candy to begin with considering the adverse effects it has on our health, especially children?
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 27, 2009

Yoga and Pilates Prevents and Treats Stiff Arteries

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If you are a regular yogi or yogini, you know that yoga keeps your body flexible, among many other health benefits. New research published in the American Journal of Physiology "suggests stretching exercises that increase flexibility could prevent or reverse stiffening of arteries." Natural News reports:

So, because arterial stiffness often precedes cardiovascular disease, this simple, non-drug, non-invasive test could become a quick measure of a person's risk for early death from heart attack or stroke...Why is arterial flexibility related to the flexibility of the body in middle-aged and older people? The scientists say that remains unclear but one possibility is that stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates may put into motion physiological reactions that slow down age-related stiffening of the arteries. Moreover, they cited additional recent research that found middle-aged and older adults who began a regular stretching exercise program significantly improved the flexibility of the carotid arteries in their necks.

This is good news for our health, especially people who know they have a genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease. Yoga and Pilates are simple ways people can maintain arterial health.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 19, 2009

Organic, Gluten-Free Bread by French Meadow Bakery

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My father has celiac disease, so I have tasted lots of gluten-free products. Some of them are so good, like Pamela's chocolate chunk cookie mix, that I eat it even though I don't require a gluten-free diet. Recently, I tried French Meadow Bakery's gluten-free breads that include many organic ingredients.

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Ingredients:
Filtered water, corn starch, egg whites, tapioca starch, organic honey, palm oil, organic raisins, sugar, distilled monoglycerides, rice bran and germ, contains less than 2% of the following: maltodextrin, palm oil, yeast, salt, cinnamon, carbohydrate gum, pectin, xanthan gum, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), guar gum, calcium sulfate, soy lecithin, natural flavor, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner, enzyme.

Gluten-Free Multigrain Bread
Ingredients:
Filtered water, corn starch, whole grain flour blend (amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum, teff ), egg whites, organic honey, tapioca starch, organic flax seed, palm oil, organic millet, organic quinoa, contains less than 2% of the following: rice bran and germ, distilled monoglycerides, yeast, maltodextrin, salt, carbohydrate gum, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), pectin, xanthan gum, guar gum, calcium sulfate, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner, enzyme.

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
Ingredients:
Filtered water, corn starch, egg whites, tapioca starch, palm oil, organic honey, distilled monoglycerides, maltodextrin, contains less than 2% of the following: rice bran and germ, yeast, organic apple cider vinegar, salt, carbohydrate gum, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), pectin, xanthan gum, guar gum, citrus fiber, calcium sulfate, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner, enzyme.

Each loaf costs about $5.00 and is smaller than your average loaf of wheat bread. The bread is a little bit rubbery and is better toasted, like most gluten-free breads. Unlike some gluten-free breads, it does not fall apart, which makes French Meadow Bakery gluten-free breads perfect for packing in lunches. These breads are probably the best gluten-free breads that I have tried, but I am still addicted to my wheat flour.

Disclosure: I received three free loaves of French Meadow Bakery gluten-free bread to sample in order to write this review. There were no guarantees of a positive or negative review in exchange for the sample. This is an authentic review.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 16, 2009

Solar Produced Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat Tea Gets You Through Winter Time Ills

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My family's favorite tea bag variety is Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Herbal Tea. We especially appreciate this tea made from "the highest quality, pharmacopoeial grade herbs" when we are ill, but we actually drink it all the time. We take it backpacking, we drink it at home, we take it to school, etc. Recently, I took the time to read the little paper wrapper the tea bag comes in:

We have installed solar panels at our corporate headquarters and tea production facility. This solar project includes 1,450 solar panels, and generates approximately 430,000 kilowatt hours per year making us the largest solar powered tea factory on the planet!

My tea bag was a little outdated (2008), so Traditional Medicinals may have even increased their solar energy capacity. Alternative energy and good tea: we will keep enjoying our Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Herbal Tea without any eco-guilt.

Disclosure: This product was personally purchased. 
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 13, 2009

Floradix Iron Plus Herbs Naturally Supplements Your Body

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Floradix Iron + Herbs is a naturally derived supplement for those of you needing a little extra iron. I discovered Floradix upon my midwife's recommendation after childbirth hemorrhaging, and I recently began purchasing it again when my son was discovered to have low iron. He is not one for supplements, but liquid Floradix tastes good, and he actually asks to take it!

According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency occurs in 66-80% of the world's population. Do you need iron?

Why does your body need iron? Because the body is constantly making new red blood cells through a complex process that requires a daily supply of iron. If the supply of iron is inadequate it will lead to a lack of oxygen and nutrients in the blood, and will consequently weaken the whole body. Some of the symptoms of iron deficiency are: ? Fatigue and general lack of energy ? Decreased ability to concentrate ? Decreased endurance during exercise ? Increased frequency of infection ? Ridges along the fingernails ? Paleness and/or dark circles under the eyes?

Floradix Iron + Herbs uses herbs, fruit, vegetables, ocean kelp, wheat germ, rosehips, yeast, and is sweetened with kosher honey. It is non-constipating and contains vitamin C to increase absorption of iron. It also contains a high level of B12, and important supplement for many vegetarians. Floradix is also available in a gluten or yeast-free formula.

Disclosure: This is an item I purchased for personal use. It was not provided to me in exchange for this product review.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 3, 2009

Kissing Builds Our Immune Systems

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Why do we kiss? Researchers believe the act of kissing was actually developed in order to build up our immune systems by exposing us to more germs. Specifically, the cytomegalovirus is spread through the act of kissing, a bug that can be dangerous during pregnancy. The Telegraph reports:

Writing in the journal Medical Hypotheses, researcher Dr Colin Hendrie from the University of Leeds, said: "Female inoculation with a specific male's cytomegalovirus is most efficiently achieved through mouth-to-mouth contact and saliva exchange, particularly where the flow of saliva is from the male to the typically shorter female."
Kissing the same person for about six months provides the best protection, he added.
As the relationships progresses and the kisses become more passionate, the woman's immunity builds up, cutting her odds of becoming ill.
By the time she becomes pregnant, the odds of her unborn baby becoming infected are much lower.

Now that Spain has asked people to stop kissing in order to prevent the spread of H1N1, what will happen to the cytomegalovirus?
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 25, 2009

Ethical, Performance Sunscreen by KINeSYS

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KINeSYS SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray is touted as the world's first "ethical sunscreen" by its founding partners for supporting sustainable practices. As part of its commitment to the earth, KINeSYS uses "100% recyclable High Density Polyethylene (Bisphenol-A free)" and "non-aerosol pharmaceutical-grade sprayers disperse an ultrafine mist but result in no direct detrimental environmental effects". In addition, the company purchases "clean, emissions-free electricity generated by wind power to offset that used in our manufacturing process as well as our office" and is a signer of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. KINeSYS SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray is free of parabens, alcohol, PABA, oil, and preservatives. It has received a safety rating of 3 out of 10 on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) cosmetic database.

When reviewed on other blogs, such as Eco Child's Play, readers have questioned the safety of KINeSYS. In an open, honest dialogue, founder Jeff Kletter wrote to us:

I fully agree in this chemical laden world that we should find alternatives if possible. The problem is that "natural" doesn't always mean better. The reality is there is no such thing as "natural" sunscreen. The products that advertise and promote "natural or organic", are using physical blocks. As you may know, Sunscreen ingredients are regulated and are broken down into two groups: organic ingredients that tend to absorb UV light; and inorganic ingredients, which reflect UV light.
Inorganic ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide reflect radiation (which are often marketed as "natural, organic or chemical free" use an aggressive chemical process to make the minerals small enough and a mechanical process- still using energy), they provide protection from components of UV light. However, one of the issues with these ingredients is their opaqueness - they leave an unattractive white colored film on the skin. New technology has been developed that can eliminate this disadvantage. The processing of the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide into nanoparticles allows formulation of a product that is transparent, yet reflects all components of UV radiation. But, the jury is still out on the safety of nanoparticles. I have read numerous articles and I really don't know what to believe, as we did make a sunscreen with Micronized Titanium Dioxide. At this stage the EWG is re-evaluating nanotechnology...KINeSYS technically is "organic", but doesn't market it as "organic or natural" (we will never market our products as "organic or natural"). We are proud signers of The Compact for Safe Cosmetics, the products are not tested on animals, cruelty free and vegan.

There are other sunscreens with lower ratings by EWG, but at least I feel comforted by KINeSYS's commitment to the environmentally ethical practices.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 23, 2009

First Made in the USA Filtered Stainless Steel Water Bottle by EcoUsable

486_image.gifEditor's note:  Please read the comments below.  Apparently only the filter is made in the USA. The labeling on the bottle's tag did not state anywhere that we could find about the bottle being made in China.  We have not confirmed the information contained in the comments below, but we would like to draw your attention to them. 

In the great reusable water bottle debate, Kleen Kanteen is always criticized for being made in China, and Sigg has fessed up to having BPA in its epoxy liner all along. Finally, there is a stainless steel water bottle made in the USA, and it has a bonus feature of filtration! EcoUsable 25oz Filtered Water Bottle - Stainless Swirl is so cool! It is the absolutely best stainless steel water bottle on the market that I have found, and the filter will last for approximately 12 months.

EcoUsableā„¢ presents the world's only Environmentally Safe Stainless Filtered Water Bottle.

Enjoy filtered tap water on the go instantly filtered as you drink through the ech2o sport top! This exclusive top removes up to 99.99% of pollutants for up to 100 gallons* of great tasting filtered water.

Each 25 oz. 304 food grade stainless steel water bottle is non-leaching, BPA-free, reusable, lightweight, and taste-neutral.

The Ionic-Adsorption Micro-Filtration System is an entire water filtration plant within a portable bottle. The patented Ionic-Absorption Micro-Filtration reduces up to 99.99% of the following zones of contamination:

  • Aesthetics: unpleasant taste, odor, clarity, chlorine, sand, sediment and Radon 222.
  • Biological: Pathogens such as cryptosporidium, giardia & other cysts and spores.
  • Chemicals: toxic chemicals, detergents, pesticides and other harmful industrial and agricultural wastes.
  • Dissolved Solids: heavy metals such as aluminum, asbestos, copper, lead, mercury and others.

Ecousable also makes a variety of other stainless steel bottles, but only the EcoUsable 25oz Filtered Water Bottle - Stainless Swirl is made in the USA. Other bottles include:
All of these bottles are BPA-free, recyclable, and come in a variety of colors.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 10, 2009

Swine Flu Deception

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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