December 8, 2011

Gifts for the Allergic or Diabetic Child: Even Princess and the Peanut & Even Superheroes Get Diabetes


Children's literature is a developmentally appropriate and fun way to educate about illness. Whether sharing with classmates and friends or individual children, we were sent two books that can help youngsters understand their potentially life-threatening health conditions.

 
The Princess and the Peanut by Sue Ganz-Schmitt is a very well done.  This delightful story is loosely based on the Princess and the Pea, only the pea is a peanut. Referring to several other fairy tales, this book not only informs but entertains children.

Every queen knows that in order to find out if a princess is REAL, one must send the "alleged" princess to bed on a magnificent pile of mattresses, slip in a pea, and see how she sleeps. But when the royal kitchen is fresh out peas, the queen tries a peanut instead. The princess turns out to be as real as her food allergies.

This vibrant and humorous tale inspires, and educates children with allergies, as well as those who live in, and around food sensitive kingdoms. Includes a food allergy guide for adults, and kid-friendly allergy definitions.

Even Superheroes Get Diabetes is also by Ganz-Schmitt. It is not as well done as the princess book, but that may just be my preference for fairy tales over comic books. I did learn a lot about diabetes from the book.

Even Superheroes Get Diabetes focuses on the gift within the illness. It is the story of a boy named Kelvin who loves Superheroes. His childhood days are spent in imaginative play--saving the day. One day, his fantasies are marred by the reality of getting diabetes...the incessant finger pricks, shots, and the constant doctor's appointments. When a mysterious doctor uncovers that Kelvin has superpowers, the story reveals itself as the genesis of a new kind of superhero. Kelvin is monikered 'Super K' and uses his superpowers to help other kids with diabetes. The discovery of Super K's superpowers is akin to the discovery of one's inner strength in the face of adversity--in the face of illness. The comic book style illustrations by Micah Chambers-Goldberg beautifully connect children and parents to the world of diabetes. The book includes a kid friendly diagram that explains type 1 diabetes, and definitions that discuss both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 7, 2011

Really Natural Books: Thugs, Drugs and the War on Bugs: How the Natural Healthcare Revolution Will Lead Us Past Greed, Ego, and Scary Germs (Why Were Sick)

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It's pretty much a common consensus that our health care industry needs to be overhauled. The fact that we even call it an industry alone should be signal. 


Dr. Brad Case in his book Really Natural Books: Thugs, Drugs and the War on Bugs: How the Natural Healthcare Revolution Will Lead Us Past Greed, Ego, and Scary Germs (Why Were Sick) writes a compelling argument that corporate money is causing medical treatment to be the number one killer in the United States. Corporate greed wants us to be sick.

Thugs, Drugs and the War on Bugs, How the Natural Healthcare Revolution Will Lead Us Past Greed, Ego, and Scary Germs, by Dr. Brad Case is a scathing expose on America's "Sick Care" industry. This well-referenced tome covers topics such as: the history of allopathic medicine and its continued reliance on dogma over science, despite considering themselves "scientific medicine"; the American Medical Association's longstanding and ongoing war on the competition: natural healthcare providers; the drugging and brainwashing of America; the FDA/Big Pharma collusion and other conflicts of interest affecting healthcare; the huge issue of "iatrogenesis" or doctor-caused illness and death; the fallacy of Louis Pasteur's germ theory, which is slowly being replaced by a "new" germ theory that's sure to surprise and will completely change how you look at germs; the overuse of antibiotics and how this practice has led to the development of antibiotic resistant "superbugs" (like MRSA) and yeast overgrowth; parasites: how to detect them and how to get rid of them; the controversy surrounding vaccines and whether or not they are responsible for autism; what to do if you decide you don't want your child vaccinated; the media-generated fear around the outbreaks and "epidemics" of bird flu, swine flu, and seasonal flu, and what you can do to protect yourself; and it challenges the entire HIV=AIDS theory. It also gives an entirely new theory on what viruses really are. But Thugs... is not all doom and gloom. Case describes what's wrong with our healthcare system in an engaging and even humorous way and then gives us common sense approaches to either work within the system or avoid it altogether. What's more, he references Western medicine's own journals, Big Pharma's internal memos, and other credible sources, many of which were acquired through the freedom of information act, to back each of his amazing claims. An outstanding book for doctors and patients alike.

Wow!

The section on vaccines and autism is very interesting and sure to cause renewed controversy. The "20 Steps to Perfect Health Checklist" makes perfect sense. The reality of this book is a hard pill to swallow, sort of like the reality of global warming; however, information is the first step to change and empowerment.  This book is rather radical, and of course medicine does save lives, my son's for example; however, Dr. Case makes some very valid points in his book. 

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 18, 2011

Gifts for the Healthy Cook: Superfood Cuisine Cookbook

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Superfoods are called superfoods because they are super for your brain! Adding a few of these ingredients to your pantry and learning to cook with them will create interest in your diet and health in your body.

Superfood Cuisine: Cooking with Nature's Most Amazing Foods by Julie Morris would make a great gift for any cooks in your life!


Superfood Cuisine is not your ordinary cookbook. But then again, superfoods are not your ordinary ingredients. From omega-rich chia seeds and nut-like sacha inchi, to antioxidant powerhouses like blueberries and exotic maqui berry (the #1 antioxidant fruit yet discovered!), to true energy foods like maca powder and cacao, and even everyday sprouts and leafy greens ... these are the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. Touted today by leading nutritionists and health gurus including Dr. Oz, these foods have been celebrated by ancient civilizations for thousands of years for their remarkable powers to heal and energize, promote radiant health, and enable high performance.

Now, discover their unique health benefits and exciting new flavors through learning how to use them in delicious dishes -- from breakfasts to entrees to desserts -- with this definitive guide to cooking with superfoods.

Beautiful photographs accompany the information and recipes in this fabulous cookbook. The Incan Patties look amazing!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 16, 2011

National Geographic Books: An Uncommon History of Common Courtesy

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As a race, we value manners. Culturally-specific, young children are taught early on to be polite, say please and thank you, keep your elbows off the dinner table, etc. Ever wonder why or where these common manner come from?

An Uncommon History of Common Courtesy: How Manners Shaped the World is an interesting book.

With engaging and artfully presented text, including sidebars on media mavens throughout history, social gaffes, and archaic manners, this book is as entertaining as it is informative. Readers delve into cultural similarities and differences through lively passages, colorful photography, and sidebars on unique history. Topics include Courtesies and Greetings, Communication and Correspondence, Dining and Entertaining, Hierarchies and Protocol, Hospitality and Occasions, Amusements and Institutions, Boundaries and Cultural Differences, New Technology and Old Manners. Whether you are planning a trip abroad or just want a fascinating, browsable read, find out what is universal and what is merely a product of one's culture.
As with other National Geographic books we have reviewed, there is nothing eco-friendly about this book other than the work National Geographic does as a society. I would really like to see the company move towards using recycled materials in their books.

 

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 15, 2011

Really Natural Books: Urban Green Architecture for the Future

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Ever wonder when buildings went bad? What are green alternatives for construction that go beyond materials to design as whole? How would the world be a better place if we just let our yards go wild?

Urban Green: Architecture for the Future by Neil B. Chambers explores many topics from energy to our role as a keystone species.

Sustainable design is booming, but the men and women dedicated to reducing their carbon impact have lost sight of what they are trying to save: the natural world. Author Neil Chambers has been at the forefront of cutting-edge, sustainable architecture for years, and Urban Green is his revolutionary vision for bringing the power of the conservation and design movements together. He advocates looking to nature for the missing components of the green revolution: oysters that can clean water at up to 5 liters an hour; beavers that reshape their environments while simultaneously enriching ecosystems; and mountains that offer a new way of imagining how a city could be built. By designing our homes and cities in harmony with the natural world, we can take the next step in the sustainable revolution.

Chambers takes green building beyond gray water and energy smart appliances to larger issues architects should consider when designing for urban ecology.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 9, 2011

Really Natural Cookbooks: Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day: A Game Plan for the Budget Conscious Cook

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One of the biggest complaints of eating healthy is that it is more expensive than chemically flavored and preserved food, yet it doesn't have to be. Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day: A Game Plan for the Budget Conscious Cook by Ellen Jaffe Jones makes it easy, affordable, and delicious to eat vegan. Whether your vegan choices are for health, the planet, or consciousness, not only is this cookbook filled with great recipes, but it also tells you how to stock your pantry on a budget.

Not only can a plant-based diet be good for health, it can also be easy on the pocketbook. At a time when many people are looking for a way to cut costs, Vegan on $4 a Day will show readers how to forgo expensive processed foods and get the most flavor out of delicious, high-quality basic ingredients. Author Ellen Jaffe Jones has combined passion, money savvy, journalistic expertise, and culinary skills into a consumer's guide for an economically viable dietary lifestyle. She has scoured the shelves of popular supermarkets and big-box stores and calculated exactly how much it costs to eat healthfully and deliciously. Readers will learn how to adapt their favorite recipes, cook with beans and grains, and use bulk buying to get big savings. Includes nearly 100 nutritious, delicious and low cost recipes and a week's worth of menu- planning ideas that show how the recipes can be combined to get a cost of $4 a day.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 31, 2011

Really Natural Books: DIY Solar Projects: How to put the sun to work in your home

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Many people view solar energy as something you need to hire a contractor to take advantage of or else be super handy. DIY Solar Projects: How to Put the Sun to Work in Your Home is a very user-friendly book containing many projects from the simple to the more complicated. From building a still to solar oven, there are seven projects to help you take advantage of solar heat. There is also loads of information on solar electricity, such as how to mount solar panels.

With high energy costs and a warming planet that needs cleaner fuel sources, the time has never been better for homeowners to get involved with solar energy. And despite what many may think, you don't need to spend $50,000 to coat your house with an array of panels to participate. In DIY Solar Projects (Creative Publishing international, Oct. 2011), environmentally-conscious (and cost-conscious) homeowners will find a surprising array of achievable, clever projects they can make and install to begin creating their own solar lifestyle. From a simple solar oven that can cook a roast in a couple of hours to a standalone solar water heater, this book provides clear instructions for sun-powered equipment homeowners can make and install on their own. Readers will see how to mount small photovoltaic panels on a roof, bring power to lights in a remote shed or garage, and create a solar still that purifies water without consuming power. A wood kiln, a battery charging station, and supplementary heat sources for your home are just a few of the other unique and highly practical projects in this book.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 26, 2011

National Geographic Books: Brainworks: The Mind-bending Science of How You See, What You Think, and Who You Are

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Brain science fascinates me, and a new book by National Geographic has my whole family enthralled. Brainworks: The Mind-bending Science of How You See, What You Think, and Who You Are by Michel S. Sweeney is a companion to the three-part series "Brain Games" on the National Geographic TV channel.

The captivating companion book further messes with your head through the visual illusions discovered and perfected by masters of fine art as well as through deceptively simple illustrations that are finely crafted by psychologists to highlight the way we take in and process the world around us. In three sections, "Seeing," "Thinking," and "Being", you'll see for yourself why these visual illusions and experiments hoodwink the brain. You'll find out how the structure of the eye influences what you see. And you'll think of events that may not have actually happened, in order to learn how the mind can create a false memory.

Rather than simply displaying a collection of puzzlers or visual illusions, each chapter guides you through a series of perceptual and thought experiments firsthand and then walks you through your brain's reaction in clear, user-friendly language, providing every reader with a compelling personal interest in finding out why his or her mind acts the way it does.


As mentioned with previous reviews of National Geographic books it does not appear this book is made with FSC paper or recycled content; however, the National Geographic Society's mission does include conservation and their Green Guide is a great resource.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 25, 2011

Really Natural Cookbooks: 300 Best Potato Recipes: A Complete Cook's Guide

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I love potatoes! I love growing them; I love eating them! They equate comfort food for me.

300 Best Potato Recipes: A Complete Cook's Guide is filled with delicious, easy to read recipes and many beautiful photographs.

A "desert island" vegetable if ever there was one, the potato appeals to all of us, whether in the form of traditional comfort dishes or in the guise of the new and exotic. Versatile, nutritious, inexpensive and unfailingly delicious, no other vegetable, and few foods in general, can make those claims.

These are just some of the delicious possibilities that the humble potato offers in this wide and varied assortment of recipes:
  • Classic mash de luxe
  • Garlic roasties with rosemary
  • Real English chips
  • Gnocchi-roni and cheese
  • Saffron potato cakes
  • All-American potato pancakes
  • Sweet potato-crusted shrimp
  • East Coast chowder
  • Creole potato salad
  • French potato galette
  • Fennel, potato and white bean stew
  • Potato lasagna
  • Oyster pie with top mash
  • Sweet potato gnocchi
  • Mennonite country potato doughnuts
  • Potato fudge.
Appetizers and snacks, soups and salads, side dishes, main courses, hearty vegetarian main dishes, baked goods and desserts make up this vast and colorful collection of recipes. The author also includes a complete history and origins of potatoes as well as a comprehensive chapter that covers hundreds of potato varieties.
This cookbook is not strictly vegetarian, but many recipes can be adapted, and many do not need to be. Shoot, I may even try to make the Mennonite Country Potato Doughnuts, considering my children have never eaten a doughnut before.

 

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples, unless noted differently in the review. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 20, 2011

National Geographic Books: The Untold Civil War

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Are you looking for an amazing gift for a history buff? The Untold Civil War: Exploring the Human Side of War by James Robertson is an astounding collection of photographs and stories!

Was Gettysburg a tactical success, or was the outcome determined by a far more mundane factor: access to fresh water? How did the need to spread information about the dead and wounded give rise to the U.S. Postal Service? Did President Lincoln really age so dramatically during the course of the war, or was a rare disease to blame for the shocking difference in images of him from before and during the war? From overlooked elements, such as the role of weather, health, and high emotions, to the world-changing effect of the rise of female workers, to the many "firsts" including the introduction of standard time, pre-sized clothing, canned goods, toilets, and Santa Claus, The Untold Civil War reveals new facets of a seemingly well-known slice of American history, just in time to commemorate its 150th anniversary.

Dramatically illustrated with archival images and objects and compelling contemporary photography, this book delivers a surprise on every page: from precious personal mementos to forgotten battle sites; from newly recovered glass-plate negatives that reveal long-obscured photographic details to long-lost documents; this book adds a new dimension to our understanding of the Civil War and is a must-have for anyone with an interest in American history.


Unfortunately, it does not appear this book is made with FSC paper or recycled content; however, the National Geographic Society's mission does include conservation and their Green Guide is a great resource.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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