Archive for the ‘Health Issues’ Category

Does your food need an exterminator?

Buyer beware!

How about a little beetle with your juice?  Most people wouldn’t even consider it, might even gag at the prospect of it yet are eating (and drinking) beetle bodies and their eggs every day.

Innocently called Cochineal Extract and used in foods such as artificial crabmeat, fruit juices, frozen-fruit pops and snacks as well as candy and even yogurt, this additive gives food a dark-crimson color. The water-soluble form is used in alcoholic beverages while the combination ammonium carmine can be found in meat, sausages, processed poultry, bakery products, cookies, desserts, icings, pie fillings, jams, marinades, gelatins, cheddar cheese and a variety of other sauces and packaged products.

But Cochineal Extract is actually a pigment extracted from the dried and crushed eggs and bodies of the female Dactylopius coccus, a beetlelike insect that feeds on the juices of cacti.  Once used for creating dyes for painting and clothing, some genius got the bright idea to use it to “enhance” the color of the foods and drinks we consume!


Cochineal Extract can go by others names too.  Carmine and E120 are two you may find on labels.  Or not.  The FDA won’t make listing beetle parts, or their eggs, on your food labels mandatory until January 5, 2011.

Now let’s get past the gag-reflex of this entire scenario and look at the health implementations of having bug parts purposely placed in your food.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, these bug parts have caused allergies ranging from itching, swelling of the eyes or tongue, difficulty breathing, hives, and headaches. And according to Wikipedia, cochineal is one of the colors that the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group recommend be eliminated from the diet of hyperactive children.

Dear Food Industry,

I’ve got a question for you.  If you so very much want the foods and drinks we consume to be prettier, with more vibrant taste and colors would you please add more fruit to the product, not bugs?

Thank you!


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Infant Vaccine, Rotarix, Under Fire by Health Authorities

Attention all Parents!

“U.S. federal health authorities recommended … that doctors suspend using Rotarix, one of two vaccines licensed in the U.S. against rotavirus, saying the vaccine is contaminated with material from a pig virus,” reports CNN recently. “The FDA learned about the contamination after an academic research team using a novel technique to look for viruses in a range of vaccines found the material in GlaxoSmithKline’s product and told the company,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg stated during the report.

Scary, considering that approxiately 1 million U.S. children (of the 30 million worldwide) have been given GlaxoSmithKline vaccine. 

What does this mean?  Dr. Mercola once again breaks through the confusion by providing detailed information that parents should know…

Please remember to question everything.  What you eat, drink, put on your skin and inject creates a response inside of your body.  Be aware of how you are caring for yourself, and your family!

Truth, lies and artificial sweeteners

Not long ago, I attended an event with a prominent marketer who ended the evening drinking waaay too much.  I’ve learned in my years on this planet that drinking loosens lips and the truth flows from them in ways that people are normally able to hide.

In this drunken state, this marketer said “everything I say has an *element* of truth.”  Wow…it surprises me, although in hindsight it really shouldn’t have.  That is the moment I got it! Not everything, and everyone, is as it/he/she seems.  I chose to no longer work with this person and dissolved the business relationship as amicably as I could.  But it really left its mark and widened my eyes to the many ‘almost lies’ that are so prominent in today’s world.

That example was an “in my face” example of how marketing can be deceptive.  And I thought of that event as I was reading about another deception that has been going on for many years.  As I have been researching and writing this series on sugar and how it damages so many parts of your body, I learned that aspartame producer Ajinomoto is soon to be launching a new initiative to rebrand aspartame as “AminoSweet”.  Their element of truth?  There are some amino acids in the powder and it is sweet.  Their elements of deceptions go on and on.

Read the rest of this entry »

Are you “Non-Sick”?

“Non-sick” represents the vast health field between medically sick and optimal health. When you are non-sick, your energy level is low, your focus isn’t clear and you rely on caffeine or other stimulants to keep you awake and going. Typical indicators of being in a non-sick state also include:

• Being overweight

• Not sleeping well

• Fatigued

• Weak or flabby

• Stressed out

• Taking a lot of over-the-counter medications

• Not as interested in sex or having a lowered libido

Read the rest of this entry »

Eating Healthy on a Budget

One of my most favorite people in the world is Dave Lakhani, a man with integrity and a heart and an ability to train and teach others to be successful. He is one of my mentors.

A few months ago, Dave implemented a movement called KickStart America, an initiative to raise up and support the people who have found themselves homeless in our fallen economy.  Until Dave began speaking about it, I hadn’t paid much attention to the fact that so many families are homeless. In my small town in East Tennessee, we have few – that I know of at least – and often wave at them as they have become a part of our familiar environment.

As part of Kickstart America, I offered to write an Eating Healthy of a Budget book, as a gift to the project.  I thought the book would be easy to write. I imagined I would simply suggest healthier fast food choices, the best picks at the grocery store, better ways in which to cook.  And yes, that part was easy.

Then, I began envisioning myself homeless.  What good is a free book, if I had no money in which to buy food? Why know the healthiest frozen dinners, if I had no microwave, no heating source in which to cook them? How do I choose healthy, if I’m at the mercy of the kitchen in which I must eat?

As I sat there envisioning, it became clear to me the importance of what Dave is doing. In my beautiful home, with my beautiful family and my fully functioning kitchen, it is easy to not see the challenges facing others.  But the challenges are there, whether we see them or not.

So…I continue to write this book, with new eyes and new awareness. And, as I write this book, I’m going to continue to look for ways in which I can make a difference in the lives of other human beings. I’m going to pay more attention to Dave’s updates and step in where I can.  Will you?

Could you donate healthy foods to your local food kitchen? A recent article highlighted how unhealthy the foods are that our homeless are served. I know each donor is appreciated and I’m sure they weren’t considering the nutritional quality of the food they are donating, perhaps Kickstart America will raise an awareness of the importance of donating healthier foods.

As Dave mentions in his latest post, this is a bigger initiative than he ever imagined and it will take more resources than he had first believed to Kickstart America again.  If you can, see how you can help. You can follow Dave on Twitter to  ask how you can help.

Swine Flu Vaccines’ Ingredients…What’s In it?

With all the hysteria still surrounding the Swine Flu outbreak, I stumbled on this sadly funny video that makes you wonder…. exactly what IS in the vaccines? What IS being injected into your body when you roll up your sleeves?

I’m beginning to wonder… does Big Pharma own the media too? With 1,000 lobbyists in Washington, they certainly seem to rule healthcare decisions from a governmental level. Now, with the mass hysteria creating lines of people waiting to role up their sleeves, I’m beginning to be concerned that there is a connection there too.  From the outside (and with no proof) it certainly feels that way.

After seeing this video, I began a search looking for the ingredients of the Swine Flu Vaccine…. I developed a new wrinkle reading about it.  Wasn’t mercury banned from vaccines many years ago? I suppose that the manufactures aren’t concerned, they are free from liability anyway. Why would they possibly care if their vaccine caused harm?

Luckily, I stumbled upon a blog post of Dr. Mercola who explains in detail the ingredients involved.  What I like about Dr. Mercola is that he isn’t a vaccine basher, he is simply working to make sure that safety is upheld. And, I’m a true believer in awareness. If it so moves you, check out Dr. Mercola’s article Reviewing the Swine Flu Vaccine’s Active Ingredients and see if the risks vs the benefits of the vaccine are worth it for you.

Swine Flu….what should you do?

On the news, people are lined up to get the H1N1 vaccine having been convinced they are at risk of this dread and horrible disease. Are they?

With so much mis-information, it is so easy to second guess oneself. Get vaccinated? Don’t get vaccinated? What happens if we do? What happens if we don’t?

What’s a healthy person to do?

In wading thru all the news reports and studies, I landed on Dr. Mercola’s blog that discusses Swine Flu in a very statistical way. As a science geek, I always want to know how conclusions are made and pay attention to those things that can be proven to be true.

Should you be vaccinated? I can’t answer that for you. My best advice is that you read all the information – not just that fed to you by the media. Make the decision that feels right to you. And don’t second guess.

My wisest advice is that you immune yourself with a healthy lifestyle. Eat foods and take supplements that supports your immune system. Get to a healthy weight to reduce the underlying health concerns that place you most at risk. Be at the driven seat of your  life. Arm yourself with good health!

If you overeat today, a diet high in sugar and processed foods, you will lower your immune system by as much as 50%. Instead, choose fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Avoid sugar and processed food, drive away from the drive thru and walk around the block a few times.

Raise your awareness of your true risk. You can take my “What’s Going On” assessment to uncover any underlying health concerns you may not be aware of. Read Dr. Mercola’s site. But, more than anything, choose your food and lifestyle wisely.

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