Thursday, March 27, 2008

Musings from my (death) bed

OK now maybe not my death bed but that is what this certainly has felt like at times over the last 3 days. But, armed with my laptop, today I started to fight back. I developed a theory that life (and disease) is all about PH. What is PH? It either the alkalinity or acidity of something. When you get too much of one thing, bad things happen. When did I start looking at this? Well, last summer we had the "climbing thing" which was one of those Step 2 or similar brand thing with slides, tunnels, etc. that the kids could climb on. A troop of ants apparantly built a nest right under it and swarmed it and Matthew one day. He was COVERED in red ant bites. Due to his mis-perception of pain, he was in a little pain but not as much as he probably should have been thankfully. I went online quickly and found that red ant venom is alkaline which means acidity would counteract it. I quickly grabbed vinegar (one of life's gems) and dabbed it all over his legs. The bites subsided, immediately. And I mean immediately! By the next day there was no sign they were even there.

So here we are, day three into major stomach/intestinal hell. Nothing is staying in my system, nothing. I had no idea I had this much fluid in my body!! I start trying to find the PH of the flu virus. Turns out intestinal viruses are very alkaline. They replicate (the goal of a virus) quickly and fill both the small and large intestines. The alkalinity signals your stomach to vomit so that production of acid will commence. Also, alkalinity DOES burn, just as acid can. Since our intestines are used to acid, the alkalinity actually burns which triggers the intestines to produce copious amounts of fluid in the form of diarrhea to flush out the offending alkalinity. The antidote? Pure tomato juice, lots of it and nothing but tomato juice, anything else will feed the alkalinity. Drink 8 ounces each 1/2 hour. You do this for 8 hours AFTER the last symptom subsides. Here I am, 2 hours into this and I cannot even tell you how much better I feel. I did pop a Virastop and Olive Leaf Extract (both very good at fighting viral issues) and I feel like I am getting back to my old self. I still do not stray too far from the bathroom but hey, this is better than I was just a mere 4 hours ago, yippee!!

So at day 3 I have learned, this was not a fun way to 1) lose 7 pounds or 2) get a full system cleanse. Nonetheless, it is what it is, now I will try NOT to gunk it up again after this is resolved.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back to the land of the living (sorta)

So....I thought I had missed the nastiness that has been going around my house. Not so. From midnight Monday until about 9 pm last night, I was sick, sick, sick. I was sicker than I have been in years. It was not pretty, it still isn't really great but at least I am vertical. Eric luckily was able to rearrange his schedule and stay home with the kids because I was not able to do a thing. Today I got a massage and a Meyers cocktail at my friend's office, True Harmony Wellness, visit their website A Meyers cocktail is IV therapy that has mega vitamin C, magnesium, B vitamins and lots of other great vitamins and minerals. They are used to help with chronic fatigue, cancer patients, or just any time you are run down and need a little pick me up to boost your immune system. So, every mom should have one weekly, lol. You feel SO much better after one. Vitamins and minerals are not fully absorbed through the gut so IV form gives you greater absorption and effectiveness. Anyone in the Phoenix area who needs a great OB/GYN should run to True Harmony and see Dr. Christine Brass-Jones. In addition to being a phenomenal doctor, she is also a great friend and wonderful person. She has a naturopath on staff as well as massage therapist and reiki practitioner. They have even started doing facials. It is so great there, a blend of mind and body and even a meditation room to wait in if you need some quiet time before your appt. She also serves as my general practitioner. I still don't feel great but man, do I feel better. So, off to bed to try and recoup the sleep I did not get at all Monday night and last night. Hopefully the next time I post I will be back to my usual self!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Coo Coo for Coconut Oil

Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a great day. Today's blog will be about Coconut oil and oils in general. Our personal preference is Coconut oil. In the past, coconut oil (and other tropical oils) got a bad rap for saturated fats. However, this was based on studies with hydrodgenated coconut oil. I am talking about pure, organic coconut oils here. The benefits of coconut oils are rich and varied, just google it for your own edification. Coconuts in general are extremely healthy, in remote areas coconut water has even been used as blood plasma in cases of emergency, what other item from nature can tout that? In short, it is a healthier alternative that even helps fight yeast, for those people who have that as a concern (which is about 90% of the American population, many don't even know they have a yeast problem!). But what about Soy and Canola? Aren't those great alternatives? Well, the government would have you believe that, and they are so cheap! That is actually one of the main reasons, they are cheaper to produce. I have already covered soy and why I am against that, and that goes for soybean oil too. Canola oil is another story. The latest hype is on hydrogenation, with many fast food chains and snack foods touting "NO TRANS FATS" because that is what hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils are, trans fats. Why are they bad? Well, they basically clog up your neuro transmitters. And, when you do take in the good fats (like avocados, nuts, etc) your body will ignore those in favor of the yucky trans fats that you may have consumed. And we won't even go into the problems with trans fats and your heart/cholesterol. Lets get back to Canola oil. They toot their own horn as having no trans fats. However, what is a canola? Do you know what plant/animal this oil comes from? No? Me either. It is derived from the rapeseed plant, which who wants rapeseed oil? That doesn't sound so great. It is a product of Canada so Canada + oil = Canola. Anyways, most oils are already oils and then they are hydrogenated = the labeling of trans fats. But, to be edible/safe, the rapeseed oil goes through a process of hydrogenation and then viola, Canola oil. But because the hydrogenation is done pre-production so to speak and not after it becomes Canola oil, it can carry the label "Trans Fat Free". But, it is hydrogenated. Now more than ever you will find this little gem on packaging, it is cheap and they can get away with the "Trans Fat Free" label by using this. Your best bet? Olive oil, coconut oil or good 'ole butter. You want things to harden when it gets cold, melt when it gets hot, not stay the same no matter what temp it is! That is just weird. I know you are probably thinking, BUTTER? Yes, butter, you know the stuff that comes from COWS? Not margerine (again, what kind of plant/animal is a margerine??). Oil is oil, it is supposed to be used in moderation. We can't have our cake and eat it too. A fat is a fat. Use the real deal, just don't go crazy. But, if you are interested in trying a new oil, one that tastes great (we use it to pop popcorn and it tastes buttery, not at ALL like coconuts) I would highly suggest coconut oil. We bake with it, cook with it, even fry with it on those rare occassions where we fry. It does not convert to transfats upon high heat like other oils do. So, yes you are still eating fried foods but at least some of the ick factor is gone. Try it, I bet you'll like it!

Monday, March 17, 2008

What a week

So, in the past week I have:

* Had a bday
* Got a massage
* Pigged out on Pizza at Oregano's (and paid for it the next day)
* Started my BRICK workouts (Bike, Run, ick...) for the Triathlon, currently up to my total biking distance of 9 miles (even more sometimes) followed by a 1 mile run so far. Swimming is going great, that is the least of my worries now, I am now more worried about the run....
* Eric is gone again
* Not 20 minutes after he left Matthew started complaining of stomach ache, 2 hours later, began throwing up and kept throwing up all day. Typical. If you read my earlier post about his 1st ear infection you will know one of the kids ALWAYS gets sick or something happens around the house when Eric leaves.

Whew.....It has been busy. I officially signed up for the Triathlon as my 36th bday present to myself so I am committed now. I am excited that I am almost up to the bike/run portion. The 400 meter swim is actually pretty easy for me at this point, even though I was most worried about it. We rode to the chiropractor then Riparian Preserve then Fresh & Easy on Sunday. In total a 12 mile ride with Eric pulling the kids. A month ago I would NEVER have considered riding that long at one time, I am getting stronger and am so happy about that. Today I am going to ride the bike to the gym then do a 2 mile run and the 400 meter swim. That's my goal anyways. The ride will not be 9 miles (only about 5 or so) but if I can do at least 2 of the 3 events each day, I will be feeling great about the tri in April. If I do the run/swim and part of the ride today I think it will give me an idea of how ready I am.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Missing: 15,000 gallons of water

We are having our pool acid washed and then converted to a salt water system. We've been waiting for about a month to have this done. We moved our pool equipment last spring, and recently a pipe that was moved had started to leak air and we were trying to get the other company who moved the equipment to fix it under their warranty. We'll, their lack of communication, resolution, service just prompted us to say "let's just have the new guy fix it!". Well, I couldn't be happier. We are using Doctor Pool for the new stuff and they are AWESOME. They came out even a day early! Their team is cheerful, professional and respectful of our home. It has been a pleasure working with them. They are very communicative which is a huge change from the other company. So, here's what our pool looks like right now. Today it will get acid washed and then refilled. But what a weird sight! It actually looks a lot deeper than it really is. I thought I would share our big empty hole in our backyard!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Let's talk beef

So we've all pretty much heard the saying "corn fed beef" right? It usually is said with a level of pride attached, like that is the best. Well, I am here to dispell that myth. Cows aren't meant to digest corn, it ferements in their stomach, allows eColi to breed which then requires antibiotics. Yummy, huh? When you see "Corn Fed Beef" you know now, regardless of what the packaging says after that, they have been given antibiotics. And, many places will try and fool you by putting "grain fed" on the packaging, which usually means corn. And nowadays most of the corn is GMO anyways which is another level of eww for me. What you want to look for instead is grass fed beef. A brand that I buy is Laura's Beef, their site is here and their products can be found locally here in AZ at the Super Target stores and at some Fry's stores.

A brand that I have not tried yet but am eager to is Alder Springs. I am thinking of getting a group together to order one of their large packages, anyone interested in going in on it, let me know.

So avoid the hype over "corn fed" beef and save the antibiotics for when you want them and really need them, in a prescription bottle, not in your meat!

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I am kind of bombarding my blog with stuff that I took the last 2 years to learn. I hope no one is getting too overwhelmed. I went through the process of anger, disillusionment and then dispair as I did this research. I was very angry at our government, the "regulatory" process that governs our food supply and food manufacturers. But, I realized that it will not change until WE change it, through legislation and simply NOT buying the junk anymore. So, as I share all this stuff, I realized that you may be getting a crash course. I started to get overwhelmed and decided I could ONLY focus on certain things right now. I chose dairy first. Then we focused on hydrogenated oils, then MSG, we never really used artificial sweeteners or that would have been next. Then we focused on cleaning products, personal care products and food storage. I know, it is ALOT. Once you realize just what we come in contact with and especially for children with developing nervous and immune systems. So, I want you all to know, I am never trying to be condescending, egotistical or come across as a know-it-all. I do regularly use sarcasm, it is as natural as breathing to me :) So if you have stumbled upon my blog and do not know me, please do not confuse my warped sense of humor for anything other than that. So if I am bombarding you too fast, speak up. Otherwise I will keep posting.

Almond milk recipe

1 1/2 cup almonds
4 dates

Soak almonds between 6 and 24 hours
Rinse thoroughly

Add 4 cups water, dates and almonds to blender. Blend. Strain with a coarse strainer. Add 2 more cups of water to blender and remaining pulp that you strained. Blend again. Continue straining until desired conststency. We strain using a bigger strainer for 2 rounds of straining, then switch to a fine strainer for 2 rounds of straining, then we use flour sacks for a pulp-free milk. The dates add just a hint of sweetness. You can customize, adding more dates or Stevia for more sweetness, vanilla, cocoa powder for chocolate, etc. We do a double batch every 4 days or so. It will be good for 4 days in the fridge. Enjoy!

Soy sorry to tell you this......

but if you are believing the hype and adding soy into your diet, you may want to reconsider. Here's a link from my dear friend Sunny's website She also has a seperate page just on the research to support the claims laid out on her page. You may be asking yourself "well, who is this Sunny person anyways?". She is a friend I met here in AZ who was instrumental in helping our family figure out what was going on with Matthew, getting services, changing our lives through better eating and health in general. She is an OT (occupational therapist), Reiki practitioner, Doula and childbirth educator. She also has degrees in health education, and more I cannot remember. In short, she is about the smartest person I know about food and health. Her OT background was with children on the Autism spectrum and sensory processing disorder. So she knows a lot about the neurological system and understands the intricate balance between our nutrition and neurological health (she is a raw foodist now by the way). I bow down to Sunny when it comes to all things nutrition! Anyways, read up, do your own Google searches. But please learn more about what soy does. Even plant based hormones are not good for us, even in small quantities. And please don't give your kids soy!! Remember, the more refined the product is the better, but chances are you are not going to find many well refined soy products because of cost and time involved.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sugar, Sugar, aw honey honey

Well, you should know by now that too much of a good thing is bad. This goes for sugar too. Now do not get me wrong and think "well if sugar is bad I should reach for the aspartame, Splenda, etc., etc". You could not be more WRONG. Those things are pure poison, I don't care if their marketing gurus tell you "it tastes like sugar because it is made from sugar". Yeah, sugar bound with chlorine, does that sound like it is good for you? Come drink my pool water, you will probably get less chemicals in that gulp! Look, the bottom line is, losing weight and getting healthy won't be easy. Why do you think I am not in perfect shape? Knowing the stuff and implementing it are hard to do. Years of bad eating habits have certainly caught up with me, I just am trying to detox and make darn sure my kids don't have the food addictions I do. Here's an excellent article on sugar

One thing to think of is that sugar depresses the immune system. As we battle through cold and flu season and our kids constantly bring home bugs, each piece of candy they (you) eat only serves to bring your defenses down. You don't want that do you? But maybe you are asking yourself, well does that mean I can't ever have sweet stuff? Well, no that would be silly, and more importantly depressing. Here are some healthier alternatives:

1) Stevia - all natural sweetener, sweeter than sugar, sold in the supplement aisle because of the lobbying done by the sugar/artificial sweetener corps. There is a great conversion chart here for baking It has no impact on the glycemic levels so it is safe for diabetics too!
2) Agave nectar
3) Real maple syrup
4) Dates
5) Other fruits (especially bananas)

You may ask what the difference is. Sweet is sweet right? No. Not all forms of sugar are the same. Natural ones that are not refined are more gentle on our systems and do not produce the insulin spike like the refined forms do (sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, high fructose corn syrup, regular syrups, etc). You don't want your body riding the sugar roller coaster, constantly spiking insulin. Eventually your body gets sick of that and then you get sick. Talk to someone with diabetes, I bet you will begin looking at your sugar consumption when you see the effects of that disease on a body. The goal here is to be as healthy as we can for as long as we can right? I love sweets as much as the next person (ok maybe more) but I have to look at the long term. So put those Girl Scout Cookies down and go grab a piece of fruit. I know, its not the same but your pancreas will thank you for it.

Monday, March 3, 2008


In my mission to help people make better informed choices about what they put into their bodies and their children's bodies, here is my public service announcement on MSG. MSG is insidious, its main purpose? Flavor enhancer. They created the 1st strain of obese mouse using this stuff, it can cause brain lesions (irreversible damage), has been linked to ADD, Autism and other neurological disorders, basically this is bad stuff for your brain. The FDA knows it is bad stuff yet it allows it in our food supply because it sells more products. This stuff hits certain receptors on your tongue, enters your bloodstream, works on your brain as an excito toxin (much like aspartame) and can make you addicted to products. It also has a hand in the obesity epidemic. They have added "labeling laws" that require labeling of foods that contain MSG (mono sodium glutamate). But, those crafty manufacturers have figured a way around that. There are over 200 other ingredients that DO the same thing but since they all have different names, if a product does not have "mono sodium glutamate" as an ingredient then the product can carry the label "NO MSG" and still have MSG in it. Nice, huh? Want to read more: and here about labeling

Want to know other ingredients to watch out for, here they are. Now go check your pantry and be amazed at how many things have MSG, even multiple sources...It is super common in things like breading, ranch dressing, BBQ sauce and other dips. Check those labels.

* Food Additives that ALWAYS contain MSG *

Monosodium Glutamate
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed Protein
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Plant Protein Extract
Sodium Caseinate
Calcium Caseinate
Yeast Extract
Textured Protein (Including TVP)
Autolyzed Yeast
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Corn Oil
Gelatin (including all supplements and/or vitamins in gelatin capsules)
Autolyzed Plant Protein
Glutamatic Acid

* Food Additives That FREQUENTLY Contain MSG *

Malt Extract
Malt Flavoring
Natural Flavors/Flavoring
Natural Beef / Chicken / Pork / Smoke flavoring
Vegetable Gum
Torula Yeast
Modified Food Starch
Carmel Flavoring
Enzyme Modified "anything"
Ultra-pasteurized "anything"
Fermented "anything"
Dry Milk Solids
Milk Powder
Dough Conditioners
Citric Acid (when processed from corn)

* Food Additives That MAY Contain MSG Or Excitotoxins *

Soy Protein Concentrate
Soy Protein
Soy Protein Isolate
Soy Sauce
Soy Extract
Whey Protein Concentrate
Whey Protein
Whey Protein Isolate
Rice Syrup
Brown Rice Syrup