Beauty IS More than Skin Deep

I’ve been asked a lot lately about several skin conditions like acne and eczema and if I have any products that will help. Although we have a few products coming down the pipeline, I think it is prudent to explain what you can do from a holistic stand point TODAY.  It doesn’t much matter what you slap on top of your skin to fix a problem (which is really just a symptom of something deeper oftentimes) without fixing the real underlying problem – the inside! The old adage “you are what you eat” is SO true! Many skin ailments begin on the inside. Remember last week we talked about how the skin is actually the largest organ in the body? and how it absorbs and excretes things? Well let’s dig deeper.

Recent research has shown that ailments like asthma, allergies and eczema (all three ride on the same gene) and even psoriasis can be improved with taking probiotics. Why is that you ask? Many chronic illnesses with immune system or inflammatory issues actually begin in the gut just like Hippocrates said!

All disease begins in the gut.

So we talked briefly before about gluten and leaky gut.  So here we are again.  Allergic or inflammatory responses like eczema and psoriasis can find their root in your gut.  If you have the typical Western or American diet, then likely all of the (genetically modified) additives have poked microscopic holes in the lining of your gut and caused an imbalance in the bacteria that line your intestines.  Recolonizing your gut with the good bacteria it needs from fermented foods and high quality probiotics can help. Taking colostrum can also help plug those holes in your leaky gut as well.  When you have a leaky, improperly functioning gut, partially or improperly digested food particles can slip straight into your bloodstream through the gaps that are created in between your intestinal cells by this unhealthy environment.

f14-large

These molecules are recognized by your immune system as foreign invaders and attacks them.  The problem is that your now overactive immune system also attacks your own healthy tissue by mistake – including your skin.  In addition, as we mentioned earlier your skin excretes and absorbs things.  When your liver (which typically helps filter and clean your blood of undesirables along with your kidneys) becomes overloaded, the skin takes the hit as things spill over into the blood stream in uncontrollable amounts. The consequences can be eczema, psoriasis, acne, and hives among other things. One thing that you can do to help is adding Epsom Salt to your bath water. The magnesium sulphate is absorbed directly through your skin and gives your liver the cofactor it needs to help with the excretion of toxins via a sulfation process.  It will also help calm the itching.  If you can’t stop to take a bath try soaking a clean cloth in warm (not hot) water with Epsom salt dissolved in it and apply it to the rash. Don’t apply to broken skin that has been scratched raw as the salt may cause a stinging sensation. Be sure not to bathe in hot, hot water as heat causes histamine to be released from your immune cells and will aggravate itching. Hence, the use of anti-histamines to treat allergies (anti means “against” or “opposite of” so an anti-histamine medication works “against” the release of histamine to reduce or prevent itching).

One other thing to consider is not using harsh soaps. In fact, try to refrain from lathering your whole body and taking prolonged showers or baths as that disrupts the protective lining and probiotics that naturally coat your skin.  I’ll tell you like I tell my kids “Get in, get the good parts, and get out!”  Of course, they don’t always listen as they LOVE to play in the tub but I try.  That’s part of the reason that I created my own Body Wash without the harsh Sodium Laurel Sulfates and the like so as to minimize the damage to our skin. I also load their bathwater up with Epsom salt to boot.  Infants (especially newborns) and very young children don’t need baths everyday by the way. They don’t have developed sweat glands like adults that cause odor yet. (Put a pin in that topic for another day). So unless they’ve had an extensive day of outdoor play in the hot sun, it’s okay to skip a day especially in the cooler months when eczema symptoms can be more intense. Now if they smell like the “great outdoors” after a day of play, of course, give them a bath.  But if not, don’t stress about it.

Be Mindful – Herxheimer Reaction

Be aware but don’t panic! Sometimes as you begin a new regimen, your skin symptoms may sometimes appear to worsen briefly before they get better. This is a phenomenon known as the Herxheimer or die-off reaction.  As the new, good bacteria starts to squeeze out the old, the old bugs will die and release some toxins which have to go somewhere. If your liver is overloaded, the toxins will exit through your skin. This may appear as an increase in your original symptoms or new rashes.  You may also feel a general sense of ‘blah’ and maybe even joint or generalized aches and pains.  Have no fear – this, too, shall pass.  If you can push through the discomfort (consider slowing down on your new regimen for a few days if it becomes too much) and drink plenty of clean water, then life will be better on the other side! Applying coconut oil to those areas of your skin rash flare -ups can help.  If you mix in a little lavendar or Teatree oil with the coconut oil that may help even more. Coconut oil is antiseptic and anti-bacterial and also helps kill yeast which is one of the main culprits in eczema.

canstockphoto23765846Cleaning up your diet  (and personal care products) and removing processed foods by sticking to organic vegetables, fruits, fats, and meats (in that order) is a great first step.  Daily probiotic use, drinking clean water, and even juicing can take you to the next level of health. We will go into more detail about juicing in the future – it’s more than just a fad. Awesome things can happen when you add it to your healthy lifestyle. Can’t wait to chat about it later!

Happy Healthy Living!

Until next time…..

Questions? Comments? Post them below.

The Doctor is in….

The Name Game

A few weeks ago we talked about “What’s in a Name?!” where we focused on food labels and what they meant.  This week let’s focus on personal care products and how to shop wisely.

First and foremost, don’t be fooled by packaging.  Often times the same old players will catch wind of the newest trendy oil or ingredient and simply change the color of their packaging to green and scrawl “NATURAL” all over the bottle (even though we now know that the word natural means nothing).  Then they print in bold letters the name of the latest trendy ingredient.  Please know that could mean they put a drop of the new thing in a huge vat of their same ole chemical laden formula, make it pretty, jack the price up, place it strategically in the store, and rake in the dough!  Don’t fall for it! If “natural” isn’t what that company was founded on, “natural” is likely not what they are really doing….

While working on production for our next lavender based product line a friendly healthcare worker overheard the conversation and belted out “oh that’s that stuff that has all these babies coming in our office with rashes!”  I politely asked “what stuff?!”  She went on about the big purple bottle of ‘nighttime’ baby wash and lotion that bears a household name. I smiled and thought to myself “I’d bet money there isn’t one drop of lavender in there”.  Sure enough we pulled it up online and for starters, the first ingredient is WATER! If you don’t know, that matters because the ingredients are listed in order by volume.  That means that water makes up the largest component of what is in that bottle for which you’re overpaying. The rest of the ingredients were nothing that any average person can even read, let alone pronounce! I have a degree in Chemistry and I still paused to dust off those brain cells in the back of my mind that haven’t been used lately to read it! The last and final ingredient was PARFUM! Case closed!! You just bought overpriced, chemical laden water with PARFUM.  Parfum or simply (synthetic) fragrance have NO therapeutic effect! so even though it may smell remotely like lavender it will do NOTHING to relax or calm anyone, most especially after your immune system goes berserk trying to process all those chemicals you just slapped on!

perfume-1468091Authentic essential oils have been scientifically proven to have therapeutic effect on your mind, body and psyche. Parfum? not so much!

Why does any of this matter?  We forget sometimes that the skin is the largest organ in the body and we absorb what we apply. How else would deodorant work if that weren’t the case?

Let’s dive into some of the chemicals and why we should be concerned…

Here are just a few of the usual suspects.

Parabens (paraben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben)

Parabens are VERY commonly used preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products like lotions and deodorants (remember that). It is widely known that they are hormone disruptors but they also STIMULATE CANCER CELLS. Well, remember I just mentioned deodorant? About 90% of breast cancers occur in the upper outer quadrant (the part closest to the armpit). Your deodorant could be a large part of the problem.  Then there is also the aluminum factor but that is a topic for another day.

 

Lead and Heavy Metals (???)

These are typically contaminants and, therefore, may not even be listed in the ingredients but still commonly found in lipsticks and other cosmetics like foundation. Developmental delays and frank mental retardation, hormone and general organ disruption are some of the biggest concerns. Guess what? If you used any of these items before or during pregnancy, then your kid(s) were exposed, too! They absorb what you are exposed to via the umbilical cord while you’re pregnant.

 

Petroleum Jelly

Did you catch that? PETROLeum jelly. PETROL = GASOLINE.  You heard me correctly! The same source of oil that creates gasoline for your car is what you are slathering on your lips everyday!

 

Formaldehyde (Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and others)

Used in many industries (including morgues for preserving dead bodies) and can also be found in baby personal care products. Cancer and skin irritation are the major concerns.  Also be mindful that it is also used to fix the dyes found in clothes so the colors are brighter so ALWAYS wash new clothes before you wear them the first time – especially for our little ones.

Phthalates (phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP and fragrance)

Commonly used in cosmetics and lotions and can also disrupt hormones, fertility, and contribute to cancer risk and a host of other issues.

 

Talc (Talcum powder, Cosmetic Talc)

Commonly found in “baby powders”, feminine hygiene products. Recently recognized as a causative factor in ovarian cancer.

 

pexels-photo-6So start reading your labels. If you can’t read or pronounce it, you may want to think twice. This is why I went through so much to create products that I feel comfortable using and using on my kids. My husband blinked and I had turned my side of the garage into a literal apothecary! I began reaching out to organic wholesalers and farmers and started concocting personal care products to use so that I knew EXACTLY what sweet little BeBe & Bunny were absorbing. I even started making toothpaste! I’m not playing around! There’s a reason why there has been such an uptick in chronic illnesses that our parents and grandparents generations didn’t see. Check your Pantry and your Powder Room. The culprits could be lurking in there….

 

Happy Healthy Living!

Until next time…..

Take home Tidbits

  • Don’t fall for marketing traps and pretty new bottles or labels
  • Your skin absorbs what you put on it
  • Water is likely the first ingredient in a lot of your personal care products
  • If you can’t read the labels of your personal care products, you probably should be using them

Helpful Resources

Sweet Cheeks Personal Care Products by Mommy Made, M.D.

Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards

Substances Listed in the Thirteenth Report on Carcinogens

Fragrance allergens in cosmetic products

Safe Cosmetics

Please be sure to check out the informative video below. Questions or comments? Ask me comments sectionbelow.

The Doctor is in…

Subscribe and WIN!!!!

It’s my birthday but YOU get the gift!!

Subscribe to MMMD’s newsletter and be automatically entered to win one product of your choice!

The contest is now closed but you can still sign up for our informative newsletter! Our winner will be announced soon…..

It’s a Win-Win! You will get MMMD’s informative newsletter delivered directly to your mailbox AND you get a free full sized bottle of one of our delectable certified organic, wildcrafted, farm fresh products or medical grade, allergen free supplements!**

 

image

BeBe & Bunny can’t wait to see who wins!

Entries must be received by September 20th.

(Don’t worry! If you have already signed up for our newsletter you still qualify for the contest!)

**All Products are MMMD Certified and BB&B Approved. ?

*Continental U.S. only due to shipping constraints required to keep probiotics cold during transit.

Cholesterol Does NOT Cause Heart Disease. INFLAMMATION Does….

There’s a lot of misinformation and misconceptions about cholesterol and its impact on our cardiovascular health. Eating good, clean fats in your diet is NOT bad for you. In fact, elevated cholesterol levels in elderly people actually INCREASES life span and DECREASES the risk of cognitive decline and dementia like Alzheimer’s Disease. Recent studies show that consuming 1 tablespoon of coconut oil daily can slow the progression of and even reverse the signs of Alzheimer’s. Think about it – cells of the brain are lined with phospholipids. Did you catch that? phospho-LIPIDS. Lipids=FAT. Phospholipids that coat all of your nerve cells help increase the conduction of nerve impulses down the nerve cells so that they can communicate with each other and your muscle cells more efficiently and more rapidly.  Side bar – cholesterol is also necessary to produce all of your sex hormones like testosterone. So if your loved one is suffering from “Low T” and taking supplements for it, you may want to revisit what your having for dinner tonight. ?

Now on to this inflammation. I hear you saying “but I don’t have any inflammation”. If you eat the typical American or western diet, NEWSFLASH – yes you do. We were taught for so long to eat “low fat” – translation high additive diets – and to eat fake chemical-laden margarine instead of real butter and to use vegetable oils to cook. ALL of those things contribute to inflammation.  Typically “low fat” food items have added salt, sugar and chemicals to enhance the taste so that you will eat it. These additives are huge part of what is causing our dramatic increase in health problems in our society today.

Recently the American Heart Association released that they were lowering the dietary sugar intake recommendations for kids because of the association with heart disease. THEN the American Medical Association published in their newsletter that back in the 1960s ‘scientists were paid to minimize the effect of sugar by the sugar industry on heart disease and to play up saturated fats and blaming fats for heart disease’. So the truth is that sugar is to blame and has been all along!!  I have known this for years and I’ve tried to explain this over and over again to close friends and family – some listened and some didn’t – that we’ve all been hoodwinked. I’m so glad that this information has finally come to light.

sugar-1482196

Additionally if the label simply states sugar and not sugarcane then the source of the sugar is more likely genetically modified beet root than actual sugar. That doesn’t even consider the (genetically modified) high fructose corn syrup which is typically what is used as the main ingredient in most all processed foods these days. Too much to get into today but we will dive into that at another time as it’s very important to know what you’re eating and what it is really doing to you.  Also remember that simple carbs like bread convert rapidly into sugar once you eat it.  So remember that the next time you’re eating out and they bring you that infamous bread basket while you wait for your meal.

Of course, the best way to reduce inflammation, oxidation and free radicals is to eat a diet high in organic vegetables, fruits, clean fats, and protein – in that order. It’s best to stay away from  processed foods in general.  Anything in a box or bottle will likely have some of the common offenders present – even your salad dressing and sauces. So stay on your toes and stay on the perimeter of the grocery stores.  Pretty much everything that you need will be along the perimeter or outside walls of the grocery store – veggies, fruits, meats, eggs, dairy and out! Most of the stuff that is found on the aisles throughout the middle of the grocery store could possibly survive a nuclear war and has no business being eaten. canstockphoto11868540

By the way cooking with vegetable oils is actually a no-no for several reasons. I know, I know! That goes against everything we’ve been taught for the last few decades but hear me out! Remember what happened in the 1960s?! We have to renew our minds around that. Firstly, many vegetable oils are genetically modified. Find out why that matters here. Even that magical Olive Oil has likely been adulterated or mixed with other vegetable oils UNLESS the bottle clearly states otherwise. Secondly, vegetable oils oxidize when heated. It is this oxidation and the free radicals that it produces that causes microscopic damage to the lining of your blood vessels, joints, and other tissues.  That’s why there is all this hype now about eating, drinking, or taking anti-oxidants and their benefits. Anti-oxidants counteract oxidants or oxidation. The prefix anti- comes from the Latin word meaning “against” or “opposite of”. Anti-oxidants are great but if your consuming them on top of an inflammatory, oxidant filled diet, that’s like giving a whale a tic-tac! It won’t do as much as it would if you removed the culprit. 100% Olive oil is great on a cold salad where you would benefit from all of it’s wonderful properties but don’t heat it up! Other oils and fats that have higher smoke points (they can tolerate higher temperatures before oxidizing) are better to cook with like avocado, coconut, palm oil, or small amounts of grass fed butter or clarified ghee, organic tallow (beef fat), duck fat, nut based oils like peanut (if you’re not allergic), and others.

Other factors that you probably eat every day contribute to inflammation. Gluten. Yes, all of the hoopla is warranted. Let me briefly explain…. Even if you don’t have celiac disease or a documented gluten allergy, you could still be sensitive to the presence of gluten and its effects on your body as a whole. Here’s how. Normally the cells that line your intestines are tightly knitted together and there is a gate keeper, zonulin, that keeps those cells in line and close together.

Gluten (the protein found in wheat, flour, etc) acts directly on zonulin and forces the gap between your intestinal cells to widen.

f14-largeThis allows large, undigested molecules to slip straight into your blood stream unprocessed. These molecules aren’t supposed to be there so your body recognizes them as foreign invaders and deploys cells form your immune system to attack them.  The problem with that is that oftentimes these immune system cells fly around all willy nilly and cross react and attack your normal tissues and cause damage.  So if you’re suffering from allergies, auto-immune diseases (or they run in your family), or chronic aches and pains, you may SERIOUSLY want to consider removing gluten from your diet.  I will devote another post in the future with more detail about the hows and whys.

canstockphoto16809752

In the meantime bring on the bacon!

(Organic, pasture raised, no nitrate added, no preservatives, uncured bacon in moderation?)

Happy Healthy Living!

Until next time….

Take Home Tidbits

Helpful Resources

Sugar is the real culprit in heart disease

Plant based anti-oxidants can help prevent and even reverse heart disease

Lowering sugar intake in kids can help prevent the development of heart disease in the future

 

Comments or questions? Feel free to post them below.

 

The Doctor is in…

Stomach Flu Got You, Too?!

It’s that time of year! The Stomach Flu is in full effect! The weather is beginning to change and some of those bad bugs are making their way around. The best way to prevent infections is to practice good hygiene – WASH. YOUR. HANDS! The virus that is one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis, commonly known as the stomach flu, can survive on surfaces for up to SIX WEEKS! Here’s the kicker – you can actually be contagious up to 24 hours BEFORE you show any symptoms at all! So you can be happily sharing the joy before the party even starts!

If you’ve already missed the boat and have become ill, there are some things that you can do to expedite the healing process… If there is vomiting going on, the first thing you want to do is try to stay hydrated – carefully! GO SLOWLY! Although you may be desperately thirsty, overdoing it too quickly may cause you to vomit everything right back up and then some! The stomach can become overly distended, contract violently and force everything in the path of least resistance – straight back up! This is especially true in the case of small infants or children. I’m talking give them only a spoonful of liquid every 5- 10 minutes for a bit or you may regret it.  Start with CLEAR LIQUIDS like water or an oral rehydrating or electrolyte solution.  Did you know that you can make your own at home and you probably already have all of the ingredients that you need?! To 1 liter of water add 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar (or honey if 1 year of age or older- do NOT give honey to children under 1yo!). Isn’t that easy?! and NO artificial flavors or colors in the mix! If the taste is too off putting, you can add a splash of juice to better mask the flavor.

Stomach FluThe beauty of water and properly balanced electrolyte solutions is they can be absorbed directly by the stomach lining without being processed.  This way the hydration goes straight in to the blood stream. Dehydration in the very young and very old is what is dangerous about illnesses like the stomach flu.  Once you’re able to tolerate a little bit of liquid, add activated charcoal to the mix.  Activated charcoal can safely absorb all the bad stuff in your gut and help escort it right on out of your system and help abort the illness a little more quickly.  Just add it to the rehydration solution that you made. It also comes in capsule form for those that can swallow pills and capsules.  Activated charcoal  can stain so handle it carefully. If all you have on hand is the capsule, carefully crack it open and empty the contents into your rehydration solution. It has no taste at all but remember to put it in a liquid in a dark or opaque straw/sippy cup if you have picky kid that might be thrown off by the dark color.

Once you’re no longer vomiting, we can address the diarrhea aspect.  Typically in younger kids vomiting lasts for 4 – 24 hours but then they can develop diarrhea that can last for several days.  The diarrhea can be greatly alleviated by high quality probiotics (powdered form is available, too).  If you’re already taking probiotics, bump it up to twice a day until we get over this hump. Also, be mindful of juice – especially apple juice as the increased sugar load to your system can actually cause more diarrhea. Water it down tremendously if you give it.  Also, stay away from cow’s milk for now as you can temporarily lose your ability to process and digest lactose found in milk (breast milk is okay).  The cells that line your intestines have what’s called a brush border made up of cells with tiny hair like projections, microvilli. These produce lactase, the enzyme that digests the main carbohydrate in milk, lactose. During an illness like the stomach flu, you can lose your brush border and its activity temporarily. Since your brush border is gone, drinking cow’s milk can then provoke more diarrhea because your intestines are not properly able to process the lactose.Stomach Flu

Once you are tolerating liquids by mouth, then you may begin to start slowly advancing the diet. For instance, maybe start with soup (made with bone broth would be great), then add bland things like potatoes, rice, etc.  Once your comfortable, you can return to your regular diet.  Remember preventing dehydration is most important. Your full appetite may not return for a day or two but as long as your drinking (oral rehydration solution) and keeping it down you’re on the right track.  Signs of dehydration can include decreased urination (decreased number of wet diapers in infants and young children), dry mouth, sunken eyes, lethargy, or crying without tears. If you’re not sure, call your primary doctor’s advice line. There should be a doctor or nurse on call after hours that can chat with you and help you determine if you’re headed in the right direction or if you need to be seen immediately, or in the office in the morning.

Has the vomiting become green or bloody? Go straight to an Emergency Department! Do not pass go, do not collect $200! If your child is the sicky-poo in question, try to take them to a Children’s Hospital or at least a hospital with a Pediatric Ward or Department.  Kids are NOT short adults! Their physiology and medical needs can be totally different! Children’s Hospitals are better equipped and better trained in treating kids.  They will have smaller equipment and nursing staff more adept at drawing blood from their tiny veins if need be. Of course, any hospital is better than no hospital but if you have time to make a choice, choose wisely.

Stomach FluBe sure to wipe down and sterilize EVERYTHING! Toilets, toilet handles, sinks, sink handles, door knobs, diaper changing stations, toys (especially if you have children that tend to put things in their mouths), pacifiers, any surface area that you can think of that you may have come in contact with before and during this spell to keep it from ping ponging around your house.

Happy Healthy Living!

Until next time….

Take Home Tidbits 

  • Stomach Flu viruses can survive on surfaces for SIX WEEKS
  • Rehydration is key – go slow!
  • Activated charcoal powder or capsules can help calm the symptoms
  • Probiotics help stop diarrhea. (powdered form is available, too)
  • Green or bloody vomiting? Go to an Emergency Department in a hospital immediately

Questions? Comments? Ask me below.

The Doctor is in!

 

What’s in a Name?

So you want to eat and live healthier but it feels like you need a secret decoder ring to figure out what is actually healthy. Let me help. Firstly, labels on fresh fruits and vegetables are pretty simple, right? – either it’s organic, or not – or are they? What does organic really mean? and why is it that some items are grown in an organic manner but don’t have the label? Then there are foods and personal care and health and beauty items in pretty green bottles that say “natural” but I can’t pronounce half of the ingredients! What’s that all about? And don’t get me started on vegetarian fed, grass fed and all of those variations that sort of sound the same….
Let’s dive in shall we?….

What does organic mean? There are a strict set of regulations.  Organic produce must be:

Why may something be grown or raised organic but not bear the label? Organic regulations are quite strict and can be expensive. You have to be able to provide at least three years of proof that your products have been produced in an organic manner. Once the three years are completed, THEN you can apply for organic certification which can cost several hundred up to several thousand dollars. Then you must be re-certified every year. Quite frankly, some small farms just simply can’t afford it.  However, you can NOT assume that simply because something is “locally grown” or sold at your local Farmer’s Market that pesticides weren’t used or that it is any cleaner or healthier. You have to ask to be sure but at least at your local farmer’s market, you can look someone in the eye and find out.

Then there’s the whole “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen” propaganda.  Please know that “clean” means it contains the LEAST amount of pesticides – not none. I appreciate the sentiment but you can’t rest on your laurels as the lists change as well.  Strawberries shot up to the top of the dirty list this year.

What is a GMO? “A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified using recombinant DNA methods (also called gene splicing), gene modification or transgenic technology. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.” English? DNA form another thing (plant, animal, or bacteria even) is rammed into the DNA at the equivalent of several hundred miles per hour with the HOPE that it will demonstrate the desired effect. never mind the fact that where it lands is haphazard and the it could land right smack dab in the middle of another gene for say a nutrient that is now rendered defunct because it is now like a bad movie “DNA Interrupted”.

Unfortunately, pretty much anything in a box or a bottle (unless it is Non-GMO Certified) will contain (high fructose) corn syrup or soybean oil as its first ingredient.  Ingredients are listed in order according to volume so the first thing listed makes up the largest portion of the ingredients. 90% of all corn and soy in this country is genetically modified. Also, unless it says sugar cane, the “sugar” is genetically modified beet root. Oh! and did I mention that soy is a hormone modulator and can mimic estrogen in our bodies?  On that note I’ll choose (D) – none of the above…

Can GMO’s be used in organic products? “The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients.”

There are plenty of retailers that are certified and registered as Non-GMO.

What does “free range” mean? Not much….”Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.” Catch that? “allowed access to”. That literally could just mean there is a teeny tiny door on the side of a warehouse sized coop with a VERY small fenced in area that the chickens can enter – if they can physically find it and walk thru the door….

pexels-photo-4

Your best bet is to look for “Pasture Raised” or “Pastured’ (not pasteurized) meats and eggs. When animals are truly allowed to roam free in a pasture, then they naturally eat a balanced diet that provides the proper nutrients that are then passed on to you. Prime example from my own kitchen:

IMG_2143

Top right: Organic eggs from a popular specialty store

Bottom left: Farm fresh, pastured raised eggs.

You see the difference? All of that deep golden color means more nutrients for you….

The same thing applies to “grass fed” versus “vegetarian fed”.  Tell me that you didn’t think that those two things were the same.  The marketing machine is hoping that you did.

“Vegetarian fed” = grain (corn and soy – likely GMO).  Cows are NOT designed to eat and digest corn hence the E.Coli and other bacteria that can run rampant when they do.  Switching them back to eating grass can drop the amount of E. Coli in their systems by up to 80% in just five days – without giving them antibiotics! Also, grass fed beef naturally contains more Omega 3 which is a great anti-inflammatory and supports your brain and nervous tissue (and is less likely to contain pesticides if the cows are allowed to roam free in a pasture).

In addition, those yummy golden eggs? That extra color comes from chickens that roam free and get extra protein. That protein comes from eating bugs, etc. (I know, I know) that are supposed to be a natural part of their diets that’s lacking when they only eat grain. So be wary of the big colorful signs at the meat counter that simply say “vegetarian fed”…

Then there’s fish. Wild caught or farmed? Well, farmed fish are crammed in pens and fed pellets or feed that is laden with mercury, pesticides, and leftover fish bits. Then there’s the sea lice. Yes, lice. There are plenty of documentaries like this one here that describe the atrocities at length. When talking salmon, Sockeye or Alaskan are typically wild caught.   The rest are likely farm raised. Feel free to ask your fish monger at your local grocery store. Talk with them and get to know them.  They’ll probably tell you the real deal and they may even tell you what’s good on sale. Mine does.

pexels-photo-92918

Also, be aware that genetically modified “Frankenfish” will be coming to a store near you soon.  Fortunately Costco actually declared that they will NOT sell it.  Since Costco is one of the largest retailers around, that’s a really good thing!

How about “natural”?! Ummm yeah that means pretty much nothing… Anything even remotely “derived” from a “natural source” can be deemed natural.  Had a strawberry shake lately? or a red colored drink? Know where the “natural” red dye comes from? BUGS. Yum!

It’s a jungle out there people. Try not to get overwhelmed.  Start small. Do what you can when you can.  Don’t go spend a fortune revamping your whole pantry all at once.  As things run out or expire look for healthier options.  In time your fridge and pantry will have had a facelift for the better. Just put one foot in front of the other and before you know it you will be running with the best of them!

Happy Healthy Living

Until next time…

Take Home Tidbits

  • Organic includes non-GMO items.
  • 90% of corn and soy is genetically modified.
  • Soy mimics estrogen in our bodies.
  • “Natural” means pretty much nothing.

Helpful Resources 

USDA Organic Regulations

Seafood Watch Guide

Seafood Watch Guide by State

Questions and/or comments? Ask me below.

The Doctor is in!