Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act

The Bill Nobody Noticed: National DNA Databank

What is the status of the bill?

* House cosponsors

* Senate cosponsors

* April 24, 2008 –- The Newborn Screening Lives Act is signed into law by the President.

* April 8, 2008 –- The Newborn Screening Lives Act is passed by the House of Representatives.

* December 13, 2007 –- The Newborn Screening Lives Act is passed by the Senate.

* November 14, 2007 –- The Newborn Screening Lives Act is approved by the Senate Health

Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

* October 15, 2007 –- The Newborn Screening Lives Act is introduced in the House.

* July 23, 2007 –- The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act is introduced in the Senate.

This is a bill that has been passed that allows all newborns' DNA to be collected, which is in act NOW! I feel that this is something that we (the people) should have had a chance to vote on. I also feel that the parent's should have the right to withdraw their newborns participation in this DNA collection if they wished to. I first heard of this the night before last on a show on the History channel. I couldn't believe it, regardless of it being true. Is the only way to get out of this through having your child/giving birth at home or in a naturopathic clinic/birthing center? I will try to stay informed on this topic. Until then, God bless.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Ancient Greek Goddess of Health

Artist: Gustav Klimt
Temple of Hygieia

In Greek and Roman mythology, Hygieia (Ὑγιεία), or Hygeia (Ὑγεία), was a daughter of the god of medicine, Asclepius. She was the goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation and afterwards[clarification needed], the moon. She also played an important part in her father's cult. While her father was more directly associated with healing, she was associated with the prevention of sickness and the continuation of good health. Her name is the source of the word "hygiene".

Reference source for above excerpt: Wikipedia

"Western medicine inherited twin Greek-derived systems, one of which has come to dominate illness-treated attitudes around the world. But for the early Greeks, their two approaches to health were complementary. One school of thought was naturopathic, regarding health as the norm, an entitlement from living intelligently, represented in the feminine energy of the goddess Hygieia. The other maintained, sceptically, that life's imperfection was manifest in diseases, which had to be corrected by 'doctoring'. This interventionist approach was championed in the name of the male deity, Asclepius."

_ A Practical Guide to Naturopathy by Stewart Mitchell

The Insignia of Asclepius:

My thoughts on symbolism: Interesting how both Asclepius and Hygieia both have snakes. However, the insignia for Hygieia (shown below) is not used in reference to what is generally seen on "modern medical doctor's prescription pads".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Test Your Natural Health I.Q.

Celebrating Organic Harvest Month!

Clayton College of Natural Health

Posted using ShareThis

Word of the Week:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Preventing Further Acidic Erosion on Tooth Enamel

How to Keep Your Teeth From Dissolving

Shared via AddThis


This is a great article about how to prevent further dental erosion by avoiding or minimizing the amounts of certain acidic foods and beverages.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

This is a condition that I learned about when reading The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. "Guillain-Barré syndrome, or GBS, usually attacks a month or so after a patient has had a common viral or bacterial infection." _ "an autoimmune illness in which the nerve's myelin sheaths are destroyed by the body's own immune system." To me, this definition sounds interestingly similar to Multiple Sclerosis. _"infusions of immunoglobulin, or other people's healthy immune cells, the standard treatment for GBS." To read much more into this enlightening topic, you may check this book out at your local library. However, I must admit, the more that I read this book, the more I wish I owned it: great as a reference.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anti-Inflammatory Herbs, Foods, and Beverages

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic
  • Coriander
  • White Willow Bark
  • Pineapple
  • Red Wine*
  • Stout Beer*
  • Dark Chocolate*
  • Fish Oil*
  • Coconut Oil*
  • Olive Oil*
  • Butter*
  • Potatoes*

* In moderation

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Favorite Friendly Flora Source: Kefir

Kefir grains are a combination of bacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars.

I make my homemade kefir by fermenting the kefir grains in either an animal milk (goat, cow, etc.) or in a vegetable or nut milk product (coconut, almond, oat, etc.) along with (maybe) some whey powder or whipping cream to aid in thickening the mixture. I set the grains suspending in the milk product for 2 days on countertop (at room temperature). This allows the mixture to ferment long enough to become a good kefir. After fermenting, strain the mixture through a plastic colander to remove the grains. A thicker kefir makes a great homemade sour cream.

My "nana" likes to make labne (kefir cheese) by fermenting the kefir, removing the grains, and then running the mixture through a cheese cloth and allow to drain. What is left in the cloth (the sediment) is the labne. My sister and her husband, ferment juices into wines, spritzers, beers, and also to ferment herbs with. Kefir needs sugar to survive. Lactose or fructose both work; however, once you transfer a portion of your grains to fructose, you shouldn't go back to a milk product with these grains. Discoloration generally occurs in the grains by taking on the juice's tint. The more you use your kefir grains in a milk mixture, the more the grains will grow.

I like to make a coconut milk kefir and gently fold in my homemade marshmallow fluff. This makes a very tasty fruit dip. Serve chilled. This recipe can deflate if exposed to heat. To help prevent this, you may want to add softened and whipped cream cheese to you coconut milk before or after fermenting in kefir grains and folding in fluff.

My Marshmallow Fluff recipe:

3 egg whites
1 tbs. vanilla extract
2 cups homemade light corn syrup substitute:
2 cups white sugar, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar, and a dash of salt
2 cups homemade powdered sugar:
2 cups white sugar, 1 tbs. corn starch, and 1 tbs. tapioca starch/flour

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Plastic-Free Coffee Maker

Here lately I have read and heard so much bad publicity about plastics. You know what I’m talking about: the lady at work who chooses not to microwave her lunch in a plastic container ... or hearing about certain plastics breaking down or “leaching” into what is stored inside of them or onto other dishes in the dishwasher ... or remember this one, “Never freeze then thaw out your water bottles”. Yeah, there is certainly a lot of hype or skepticism out there about plastics and their safety, but how much of this should we really be concerned about? In the past, all I have really been concerned with is not to store something in a plastic container that may stain it; generally something acidic like tomatoes.

Just the other day, though, I got to thinking about the coffee maker my husband and I used to have, and how I appreciated the stainless steal lined pitcher it had. Nowadays, we have one of those fancy coffee makers with a large plastic carafe instead of the pot. My husband likes it for the convenience of being able to dispense your coffee as you need it; this is done by simply pressing your mug against a button. However, there are a lot of plastic fixtures within the coffee maker that are exposed to the coffee, which is very acidic and also "of course" very hot when brewed. We have always used regular ceramic mugs instead of plastic mugs to drink out of, but is this all the "plastic exposure" to really be aware of?

So the question came to me, “Is there such a thing as a plastic-free coffee maker?” ... and sure enough there are! There are french presses, percolators, and a little retro, but very efficient Chemex Coffee Maker! The Chemex supposedly makes coffee just as tasty as your conventional drip coffee maker; however, you do have more control over the brew because you are bringing the water to a boil in a kettle and transferring it to this lovely appliance ... and no electricity needed, which makes this coffee maker great for camping. However, you wouldn't want to place the Chemex directly on an open flame or on a burner for it is made of glass and doesn't conduct heat too well. With a percolator you can though! The percolator has always been a camping staple, and works by water seeping through the coffee grounds and leaving the coffee chamber through the bottom, dropping back into the lower half of the pot, and is then forced up the tube again. This causes the brew to continually seep through the grounds until the overall temperature of the liquid approaches boiling point. This is known as the "perking" action, which signals to you that the coffee is ready to serve. A french press requires coffee of a "coarser" grind than what is used for most drip brew coffee filters, as finer grounds will seep through the press filter and into the coffee. With the coffee grounds remaining in direct contact with the brewing water, and the grounds are being filtered from the water by a mesh instead of a paper filter, the coffee brewed with the french press captures more of the coffee's flavor and essential oils, which supposedly become trapped in a traditional drip coffee maker's paper filter. Something to think about, huh? Well to each their own. ;-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Midwifery and Health Care Reform

Check out the article below! It certainly grabbed my interest, and it may do the same for yours too. :-)

Not In Our Name: Midwifery Turf Battle? |

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Diet's Best Friend

Exercise! Yes, we all know that exercising really is the key when it comes to getting into shape and speeding up our metabolism. However, we all try to avoid this truth, and buy into the idea that some new found option is going to solve this “problem”. First of all, it is not a problem; exercising can be a lot of fun and most of the time, not even noticed (i.e. when you become so intrigued with the sport or with whom you are spending time with). Dieting alone certainly is not the answer; you have got to get the blood flowing even if it is a brisk walk or just stretching out you limbs. And who said it wasn’t any fun?! Grab your best friend or loved one and just “hanging out” can lead to a healthier stronger you.

Stretching is also very important. If you can try to stretch a little before you go to sleep at night and after you wake up in the morning, you will feel more capable of taking on the days tasks. You also should take advantage of you limberness right after exercising, and try to stretch then too.

Here are some summer activities that just might pop your cork: swimming, hiking, biking, canoeing, tennis, playing catch, jumping on the trampoline, jump rope, hopscotch, and much much more. Yes, a lot of these activities I have listed are child-like games. Ever wonder if this could be the secret to eternal youth? :o)~

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hungry for Change

“How much do we really know about the food we buy at our local supermarkets and serve to our families?”

I was having my afternoon lunch at work today and I noticed a little advertisement on the top of my Stonyfield Farms Organic Yogurt. It was an ad for a movie that was released in theaters this last month (June 09). The film is titled Food, Inc. I am very interested and excited about this film coming out. Regardless of what it does or does not cover, the point to be made is that we as a community and as a nation don’t just need improvements made to our health care system, but also a simpler, more economical, and/or natural alternative/mind-set to what is truly healthy care.

Another movie to see that actually has been out for a little while is The Business of Being Born. A must see for all audiences: close-minded and/or favorable. Check it out.

Moral of the Week: We must feel comfortable and honest when talking to our doctors. We should see specialists when we are concerned and/or feel that we may have a distinct disorder. Talk to your pharmacists and chiropractors ... nutritionists and neighbors. Let these individuals know that you are interested in the most natural approach to treatment/therapy. Remember that those of us who choose to put our care into a professional's hands are also putting trust in that person’s beliefs on how the job is to be done.

Additionally, I would like to mention that for future postings I hope to clarify the specifics on what “I consider” is important to look out for in grocery ingredients.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Chemical Free Swimming

I used to have on my wish list a “Salt Water Pool Pump” along with a swimming pool of course ;o) ... However, the more the research I did the more discouraged I got on the idea. It seems that salt water pools are often misunderstood. I found this out buy visiting:

“The fact is all salt water pools simply convert salt into chlorine. Through the process of electrolysis, water passing over the chlorine generator cell produces chlorine. The chlorine in salt water pools is virtually identical to chlorine purchased in stores.

Chlorine and its by-products are harmful to humans and the environment. Chlorine is a highly toxic carcinogen, regardless of whether it’s purchased at a store or manufactured at the pool. For pool owners who want to lower chlorine, UV is the "gold standard".

UV is the proven and fastest growing alternative to chlorine and chemicals. It's in use by over 60 major universities and municipalities. UV sterilizers have been used to purify drinking water for over 25 years and used on commercial pools for over 10 years now.

The Olympics in Sydney and Athens embraced ultraviolet to keep their pool safe and clear. The State of New York requires ultraviolet on all water parks. The Centers for Disease Control have recommended UV on all public swimming pools. Discover how to eliminate chemicals using a powerful light.

In the last few years, we're just beginning to understand how dangerous chlorine by-products really are. A recent scientific study has found that swimming in chlorinated water increases the risk of bladder cancer by 57%.”

_The study was published in the January issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

All-Natural Bug Repellent Ingredients

Natural ingredients found in a compounding pharmacy’s formula:

_Citronella Essential Oil

_Pennyroyal Essential Oil

_Bay Essential Oil

_Vanilla Extract

_Vegetable Glycerin

_Purified Water

Burt’s Bees All Natural Herbal Insect Repellent Ingredients:

_Castor Oil

_Rosemary Essential Oil

_Lemongrass Essential Oil

_Cedar Essential Oil

_Peppermint Essential Oil

_Citronella Essential Oil

_Clove Essential Oil

_Geranium Essential Oil

_Soybean Oil (Olive or Peanut will do too)

_Vitamin E

Sunday, June 21, 2009

No Longer Regret That Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday to your little niece, cousin, sister, daughter or granddaughter. This is a beautiful idea that my sister and I both tackled together. Yes, we made a great team, and we had a lot of fun making both the Barbie doll cake and the cupcake castle. Time management is important. The budget is not too bad. Most everyone has these ingredients as pantry staples; except for maybe the all-natural vegetable food colorings, organic ice cream cones, aluminum-free baking powder, unbleached all-purpose flour, farm fresh eggs, organic milk, cultured butter, homemade marshmallow fluff, and decorative pieces: doll, crown, wand, streamers, flags, etc. "Ha ha", this is a pretty BIG exceptions list ;o)~ Well, my sister and I loved this project so much that we are considering starting a little business of our own. Creating all-natural cakes for those special occasions we all have that deserve to be special, not unhealthy. We both love to bake and both have our favorite cake recipes. We hope to share our craft with anyone who is interested in having a cake made for a special occasion.

Contact me (Andrea) by e-mail with any questions at:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Mortar and Pestle

  I wanted to start my blog with not only a discussion over a caveman's kitchen gadget, but of a tool that has been used for centuries, and is still used today in modern medicine.  The mortar and pestle is something that is used everyday at your neighborhood compounding pharmacy.  What is a compounding pharmacy?  This is a pharmacy that works just like every other (filling prescriptions of pre-manufactured medications) and more ...  The pharmacists here are able to work along side with your doctor to formulate a medication that is personal to your needs.  The benefits are that you have the opportunity to not only ask questions about your medication, but also you have the chance to request a more natural ingredient in your compounded prescription; this normally being one of the inactive ingredients in the formula.  Yes, your medicine is made right there on site.  Inside of your compounding medication there are active and inactive ingredients.  Generally every ingredient in a formula has a role (not just a filler); however, sometimes there is a more natural ingredient to choose from that plays the same role.  For example, using riboflavin (vitamin B 2) instead of an artificial colorant, which is needed to test to make sure that the mixture is uniform.  Also requesting for the use of vegetable glycerin in you cream medication instead of propylene glycol.
  Giving credit back to the "mortar and pestle" though, everyone should have one of these gadgets in their kitchen or bathroom.  Yes, bathroom!  I have used mine to mix in my preferred essential oils into my body lotion or bath salts.  Plus, as a cooking tool, one of the best ways to preserve the freshness of an ingredient is to triturate it right before serving.  This allows the natural juices to escape at the perfect time: in your kitchen and to the table :-)