Eat Well, Avoid Toxins, Be Happy!
September 2013
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September marks the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).   One of the things I love about this time of year is the opportunity to think about goals and aspirations for the coming year, ahead of the end of the secular year.  It's a good time for reflection and renewal and makes me feel just slightly ahead of the curve.   I also love this time of year because it is the start of the traditional school year, even though it has been A LOT of years since I attended school.  What are your thoughts turning to as summer winds down? 

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Avoid Toxins!

Let's talk about Triclosan.  For me the most compelling piece of information about Triclosan is that there's no evidence that it adds any value to our personal care products in household settings, but there is evidence that it might increase antibiotic resistant bacteria.  In 2005, the FDA found no evidence that antibacterial washes containing Triclosan were superior to plain soap and water for protecting consumers from bacteria.  It's hard for me to understand the inclusion of chemicals in products when they add no value.  Triclosan is a pesticide found in numerous consumer products.  It was initially developed as a surgical scrub but has become widespread in household products.  In Canada, the percent of Triclosan in a product is limited, because it is in so many products, this limitation is somewhat artificial in terms of its impact on any one person. 
The official FDA position is that while there is evidence of Triclosan causing health problems in laboratory animals, there is not proof that it causes harm in people.  In 1978, the FDA stated that Triclosan is "not generally recognized as safe and effective." However, because we are still waiting for them to complete their review 34 years later, this did not keep it from being incorporated into products.  The FDA has stated that they will complete this review. 
In the meantime, some places are taking action, Kaiser Permanente has removed Triclosan containing soaps from its hospitals and Johnson & Johnson has pledged to remove Triclosan from all of its adult products by the end of 2015. The company says none of its baby products currently contain the ingredient.
The Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are among the many organizations concerned about Triclosan.  The European Union has banned it.
There are concerns about Triclosan causing skin irritation and that since it passes through the skin, it may function as an endocrine disruptor.  It is classified as toxic to aquatic organisms by the European Union   The Center for Disease Control and Prevention detected Triclosan in 75% of the people whose urine they tested for this substance.  When products containing Triclosan are used and washed down the shower drain or just disposed of, they run  into the waterways. This suggests a threat to the environment and our water sources.  
So, what can you do?  Make wise non-toxic choices in the products that you purchase.    This will help eliminate Triclosan from your system (and the systems of your loved ones), and send a message to companies about what products are acceptable.    If you carry non-toxic products with you, encourage others to use them.  I have many friends whose children bring their own hand sanitizer to school so that they don't have to use the Triclosan containing pumps at school.  Wash your hands, your counter tops, etc, but do so with safe, effective products.
Of course, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic products contain no Triclosan!
Interested in exploring Non Toxic products?  Check out Ava Anderson Non Toxic or call or email me about this fabulous line of products.

Did you know?

There is a big debate going on right now about whether Genetically Modified foods should be labeled as such.  I think it is important to realize that many food companies are resisting even telling us what is in the food they provide to us.  Some retailers, such as Whole Foods and Chipotle, are taking a strong stand towards labeling foods as genetically modified.  In the meantime, countries such as Russia will not import Genetically Modified crops from the US.  It is also important to be aware that food companies who created genetically modified crops were not required to do any food safety testing before beginning to grow, distribute, and process these genetically modified crops.
Organic foods have significantly fewer pesticides and toxins on them than conventionally grown produce.  Even the study that came out last year from Stanford (and generated a lot of media attention) claiming that organic foods do not have more nutritional value acknowledged that they have fewer pesticides and toxins.  Moreover, that study was based on a narrowly defined definition of nutritional value.   We are increasingly learning about additional nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables.  There are also methodology questions about this meta analysis of existing studies.   Where you can afford it (referencing the dirty dozen is a great starting place), organic foods do seem to be safer and healthier for you and your family.
While chemicals used in food are often tested and recognized as safe on their own, they may not be safe in combination with other chemicals and not in the quantities and combinations that are often consumed.  For example, food dyes are only approved in basic colors, which are then combined to create all of the other artificial colors we see in the supermarket.  
Artificial flavors are specifically designed to leave you wanting more.   Why give someone else control over your food decisions?
A little about me and why I am doing this.

I am passionate about working with people to help them achieve their goals through making healthier nutrition and wellness choices.   My particular interest is in working with people who are seeking to make health and wellness choices to help to prevent cancer or its recurrence.   I believe that through healthy food choices, avoiding toxins, and taking steps to reduce stress and be happier, it is easier to achieve life goals and to stay healthier.   Because of my passion, I am a certified holistic health coach, a distributor of Ava Anderson Non Toxic Products, and a one-on-one provider for Heart Math.
To learn more about how to eat healthy, avoid toxins and be happy, go to:
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Health and Wellness: Worth the Effort
How will your food and exercise change as the weather cools?  Will you be outside more or less?   Will you eat more cooked foods and fewer salads?   What are the goals that you still hope to achieve before the end of the year?

Are you interested in learning more about my health coaching practice and how I can support you in achieving your goals?   Contact me for a complimentary one hour health consultation or to learn about upcoming workshops and webinars.

Eat Well! - Eat the Rainbow

Remember Roy G. Biv?  It's how we learned all of the colors of the rainbow - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.    With the weather turning cool, a lovely vegetable stew is an easy way to eat many of the colors and have a versatile food for several days.  Here's what I do:
Buy lots of fresh vegetables like:
- Eggplant
- Zucchini
- Yellow Squash
- Mushrooms
- Tomatoes
- Onions
- Garlic
Dice the onions and sauté them in olive oil, with some water added,  in a large saucepan or stock pot.  Toss in the garlic, sliced or minced or whole, whichever you prefer.  Gently mix the onions around until they are soft. Toss in the garlic (sliced, minced, or whole, depending on which you prefer).  As the lovely aroma starts to appear, reduce the temperature and begin to toss in the vegetables.  Start with the eggplant, then the zucchini and squash, then the mushrooms and tomatoes.  Add whatever fresh spices you enjoy.  Turmeric is a great addition.  When it is all starting to soften and the smell is delicious, you're done. 
Dr. Weill recommends adding water when you sauté in olive oil, that way the temperature will not get above boiling point and the olive oil will not reach its smoke point.  Keeping oils below their smoke point is important as that keeps them from releasing free radicals. Excess free radicals are problematic as they are thought to break down and destroy healthy cells.
When using garlic, it is a good idea to let it sit for five or ten minutes after peeling and slicing as that increases the healthful properties provided by allinase enzymes.
Once the stew is done, the options are endless:
  • eat it hot or cold
  • serve it on top of rice or quinoa
  • use it as a pasta sauce
  • serve it as a side dish
  • serve it as a topping for a piece of fish
  • mix it with cubed, cooked sweet potato
  • serve it cold on a bed of lettuce
Eggplants have nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are healthy for you as well as chrlorogenic acid, which fights free radicals and Nasunin, which has cancer fighting (anti-angiogenic) properties in the skin.  If you buy organic eggplant and wash it really well, try leaving the skin on when you cook it and benefit from the additional, healthy properties brought to you by the beautiful, violet skin.

Be Happy! 

One of the scary things about toxins in our environment is that they can actually interfere with our genetics - this is called epigenetics.  How fabulous, therefore, to learn that meditation can also impact epigenetics, but in a positive way.  The Inner Ease technique described below can bring you into a peaceful meditative state and create a sense of ease that can restore balance to your day.   The Institute of HeartMath has released multiple research studies demonstrating the many healthful benefits of HeartMath.  The Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post have published positive articles on the restorative capabilities of HeartMath and the new Inner Balance application.  Call me if you are interested in learning more about HeartMath and all that it can do for you.
Inner Ease (TM)
(1) If you are stressed, acknowledge your feelings as soon as you sense that you are out of sync or engaged in common stressors— feelings such as frustration, impatience, anxiety, overload, anger, being judgmental, mentally gridlocked, etc.

(2) Take a short time out and do heart-focused breathing: breathe a little slower than usual; imagine you are breathing through your heart or chest area.

This is proven to help create coherent wave patterns in your heart rhythm—which helps restore balance and calm in your mental and emotional nature while activating the affirming power of your heart.

(3) During the heart-focused breathing, imagine with each breath that you are drawing in a feeling of inner-ease and infusing your mental and emotional nature with balance and self-care from your heart.

It’s scientifically proven that radiating love and self-care through your system activates beneficial hormones and boosts your immunity. Practicing will increase your awareness of when the stressful emotion has calmed into a state of ease. The mind and emotions operate on a vibrational level. Slowing down the stressful vibration helps re-establish the cooperation and balance among heart, mind and emotions.

(4) When the stressful feelings have calmed, affirm with a heartfelt commitment that you want to anchor and maintain the state of ease as you re-engage in your projects, challenges or daily interactions.
Institute of HeartMath
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