Monday, October 08, 2007

I'm thankful my children are healthy!

I had the opportunity to speak at a meeting this past weekend, and someone asked me if I have found giving my children this brand multi-vitamin saved me time and money.
My answer?  YES!
I had to take my six-year-old into the doctor this May for an ear infection.  At the office, I had to fill out new patient paperwork because we hadn't been to the doctor's office for almost a year and a half.  I was amazed!  When we first moved to Illinois from Florida, we were regular visitors to the doctor's office, and even though we only paid a co-payment, that adds up quickly with four children.  We were spending quite a bit of money on prescriptions too.  Not to mention time sitting in the waiting room, in the examining room, trying to keep four children from exploring all those interesting things in the examining room... just thinking about it makes me a bit stressed!
Then I started giving my children probiotics, in addition to their multivitamin.  And that dramatically cut the number of our doctors visits.
That's why I was surprised by this headline:
Basically it says "studies don't prove that multivitamins are good for kids."  Surprisingly enough, I'd agree with that.  The average, off-the-shelf, children's multivitamin is most likely not that great for kids.  It's probably made in the science lab and sweetened with artificial sweetener, also made in the science lab.  Our bodies don't absorb lab-created nutrients well, and the chemicals in artificial sweeteners - well, don't get me started.
That's why I only give my children this one.  And recommend it to others.  I grew up on this brand, and so I know it's safe, made from real food and has no artificial colors or sweeteners.  And no matter what "the studies" say, as grandma says, "the proof's in the puddin'." 

Thursday, September 13, 2007

HPV vaccine


Gardasil has been heavily promoted by its manufacturer, Merck & Co., as a vaccine to be administered to girls from ages 9-26. This vaccine is aimed against 4 strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which are sexually transmitted, and can cause cervical cancer. However 15 strains of HPV have been implicated in causing cervical cancer, so the vaccine does not protect against all of the high-risk strains of the virus.

As of July 27, 2007 there were 2207 reports of adverse reactions to Gardasil submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This was an increase of 2125 new reports in 5 1⁄2 months since February 6th, 2007. These formally reported cases represent the most serious side effects that girls have experienced. I expect that many less damaging side effects have not been reported.

There have been 3 deaths reported in girls shortly following vaccination.

31 reports were considered life threatening. This is 1.4% of the girls reported.

1385 girls went to the emergency room. That is 62.75% of the girls reported.

451 girls at the time of the report had not recovered. That is 20.43% of the girls reported.

51 girls were disabled when the report was filed. That is 2.31% of the girls reported and more information was requested.

You can access the VAERS database at: to obtain further information about vaccine damage reports.

Because of the many unresolved issues regarding the safety and efficacy of this vaccine, I am currently recommending that my patients avoid Gardasil. I feel that it will take at least 5 years until we have enough data to objectively judge the value of this vaccine. Don't let Merck use your daughters as guinea pigs for testing their new vaccine.

George B. Elvove, M.D., P.C.
1029 W Park Ave
Libertyville IL 60048-2550
(847) 362-1367     

Thanks to Cheryl S. for forwarding this information to me.  I hadn't planned on having my girls vaccinated, but this confirmed my decision.  I have to admit, the more I read about clinical trials etc, that the pharmicuticals conduct on their products before they go to market, the more frustrated I am.  Most of the time, they push products through short trials to gain favorable results, then persuade the FDA to give them market approval before the safety and efficacy is proven.  I agree - don't let pharmecutical companies use you or your family as guinea pigs.  Better yet, chose to begin a supplement program from a company you can trust, and make lifestyle choices which will protect, not harm, your health. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Food additives and ADHD Study from Lancet

Thanks to Bob Furguson for passing on this information from Dr. Frank Painter.
 Today's  (Sept. 7)  New York Times discusses a new article just published in the English medical journal The Lancet. [1]
Their findings in this double-blinded and placebo-controlled trial confirm what Doris Rapp, MD [2] has been saying for years...that food colorings in children's food have a dramatic impact on behavior and attention span.
The study included (153) 3-year-olds and (144) 8/9-year-old children.  They were given a drink containing food colorings and the preservative sodium benzoate.  Virtually ALL the children from both groups experienced deteriorated attention spans, as reported by teachers and computerized attention testing. [3]
Here's a comment from an author:  A mix of additives commonly found in children?s foods increases the mean level of hyperactivity, wrote the researchers, led by Jim Stevenson, a professor of psychology at the University of Southampton. ?The finding lends strong support for the case that food additives exacerbate hyperactive behaviors (inattention, impulsivity and overactivity) at least into middle childhood.?
The researchers also did a bit of hand-wringing about what impact this will have on the food industry and food spoilage.  It makes me wonder if these folks live exclusively on packaged foods. 
Another  researcher asked: Even if it shows some increase in hyperactivity, is it clinically significant and does it impact the child's life? That makes me wonder if he has any small children. 
He then asked:  Is it powerful enough that you want to ostracize your kid? It is very socially impacting if children can't eat the things that their friends do.   It's even more difficult, since many teachers provide food-colored candy treats as a way of managing class room behavior.  Managing your child's diet may be challenging, but isn't that why God invented the parent?
I hope you will find this study of interest.  It has already been added to the ADD/ADHD Page [4].
1]  Some Food Additives Raise Hyperactivity, Study Finds
2]  Doris Rapp, MD's website
3]  Food Additives and Hyperactive Behavior in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old Children in the Community: A Randomized, Double-blinded, Placebo-controlled Trial
4]  The ADD/ADHD Page

Monday, September 10, 2007


This is really fascinating....

Water or Coke?


#1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half the world population.)

#2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.

#3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as 3%.

#4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

#5. Lack of water - the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

#6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain
for up to 80% of sufferers.

#7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on
the computer screen or on a printed page.

#8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast
cancer by 79%., and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.
Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?

#1. In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.

#2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days.

#3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the "real thing" sit for one hour,
then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.

#4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers:
Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

#5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble
away the corrosion.

#6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Apply a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

#7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake.
Thirty minutes before ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.

#8... To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke into the load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run
through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.


#1. the active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid.
It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis.

#2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup! (the concentrate) the commercial trucks must use a hazardous Material place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.

#3. The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean engines of the trucks for about 20 years!

Now the question is,
would you like a glass of water?
or Coke?

Thanks to Sherrie Attila for this information.

I need to drink more water!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Plastics for water bottles

This information came across my e-mail this week.  I'm going to check the water bottles I just bought for my children to make sure they are safe!  
 Featured in: Nutrition & Life

Choose your water bottles very carefully in order to prevent chemicals in the plastic from leaching into your water.

Plastic water bottles are very convenient for carting water around when we are on the go, as they don't break if we drop them. However, it is worth paying attention to the type of plastic your water bottle is made of, to ensure that the chemicals in the plastic do not leach into the water. If you taste plastic, you are drinking it, so get yourself another bottle.

To be certain that you are choosing a bottle that does not leach, check the recycling symbol on your bottle. If it is a #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), or a #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), or a #5 PP (polypropylene), your bottle is fine. The type of plastic bottle in which water is usually sold is usually a #1, and is only recommended for one time use. Do not refill it. Better to use a reusable water bottle, and fill it with your own filtered water from home and keep these single-use bottles out of the landfill.

Unfortunately, those fabulous colourful hard plastic lexan bottles made with polycarbonate plastics and identified by the #7 recycling symbol, may leach BPA. Bisphenol A is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor, meaning it disturbs the hormonal messaging in our bodies. Synthetic xenoestrogens are linked to breast cancer and uterine cancer in women, decreased testosterone levels in men, and are particularly devastating to babies and young children. BPA has even been linked to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. For more of the science on the effects of BPA on our endocrine system etc. see these studies: Environmental Health Perspectives Journal. Nalgene, the company that manufactures the lexan water bottles also makes #2 HDPE bottles in the same sizes and shapes, so we have a viable alternative. Order one at Nalgene.

Unfortunately, most plastic baby bottles and drinking cups are made with plastics containing Bisphenol A. In 2006 Europe banned all products made for children under age 3 containing BPA, and as of Dec. 2006 the city of San Franscisco followed suit. In March 2007 a billion-dollar class action suit was commenced against Gerber, Playtex, Evenflo, Avent, and Dr. Brown's in Los Angeles superior court for harm done to babies caused by drinking out of baby bottles and sippy cups containing BPA. To get safe plastic baby products, try BornFree Natural Baby Products, or use glass bottles.

Check the recycling numbers on all your plastic food containers as well, and gradually move to storing all food in glass or ceramic.

Store water in glass or brass if possible, and out of direct sunlight.

Chek, Paul; How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2004.

Alonso-Magdelena, Paloma; "The estrogenic effect of Bisphenol A disrupts pancreatic β-cell function in vivo and induces insulin resistance" Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 114, No. 1, Jan. 2006.

Hunt,Patricia;"Bisphenol A Exposure Causes Meiotic Aneuploidy in the Female Mouse" Current Biology, Vol 14, 546-553, 1 April 2003.

vom Saal, Frederick and Hughes, Claude; "An Extensive New Literature Concerning Low-Dose Effects of Bisphenol A Shows the Need for a New Risk Assessment" Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 113, No. 8, August 2005.

Schonfelder, Gilbert et al.Parent Bisphenol A Accumulation in human maternal fetal placental unit Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 110, No. 11, Nov. 2002.

Thanks to Sherrie Attilia and Marian Gray for this article. 

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Healthy Eating on the Road

My family and I have been spending a lot of time in the car this summer - to and from family reunions, family parties and an (almost) family vacation (without Daddy because he has to work).

I found an article in the Daily Herald about healthy eating while traveling and found it very helpful. Here are a few of the hints they shared - with a few of my own thrown in for good measure.

When taking a cooler:
  • use block ice - it'll melt more slowly. Look for it at campgrounds and truck stops.
  • double-bag your ice in a watertight bag so you don't find your food swimming in melt water.
  • reusable ice packs can keep items cool for day trips, and can be refrozen in some hotel mini-fridges
  • secure your cooler with a seat belt or snuggly on the floor so it doesn't become a hazard during a sudden stop or a collision
Healthy snacks for in the car:
  • cut-up veggies like baby carrots, grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, pepper strips
  • string cheese
  • fruits easy to eat like blueberries (prewashed), apples, plums, pears
  • granola bars or other snack bars. I particularly like these snack bars - they're a great, inexpensive, light lunch too.
  • crackers, chips, and/or pretzels
  • if you're sleepy and need to stay awake - make some "Rocket Fuel" - a mixture of an energizing tea and rehydration powder - in either hot or cold water. It's tastes great and will keep you awake without a sugar or caffeine crash from soda pop.
I really like this idea from Sandra Nissenberg: allow each family member create their own trail mix from a choice of raisins, mini-pretzels, nuts, seeds, goldfish or teddy bear crackers, dried fruit, cereal and M&M's. Put them in self-closing bags or in plastic cups with lids and put them in the car's cup holders.

Inexpensive, healthy hotel meals:
  • pouches of chicken or tuna salad with crackers
  • bowls of dried soup or noodle cups to which you can add hot water (made in the hotel's in-room coffee maker)
  • instant oatmeal in a disposable bowl
  • meal replacement shakes made in a shaker & milk - these shakes taste great.
Ways to save money when eating out:
  • check out for restaurants where you're going in which kids eat free.
  • choose an appetizer for dinner, or split an entree between two people
  • eat dinner at breakfast restaurants as a special treat

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Toxic Noise

Honestly, I have never really put those two words together... "toxic" and "noise."
Until I read a great column by Dr. Bernadine Healy in US News & World Report last week.  It's titled, "Stop the Decibel Damage."
I've always been sensitive about noise - refusing to let my children wear headphones until they're at least teenagers, turning down the volume of my Bluetooth headset as low as possible.  I think it stemmed from reading something years ago about a man deep in the Asian jungles who had perfect hearing at an old age - 90's I think.  The author drew the conclusion that it was because he wasn't exposed to the noise of modern society.
But I've never thought of noise as toxic.
After reading her article, I thought about it when I vacuumed my basement last night with my four children in the room - shouting to be heard above the noise giving instructions on what to move where - I thought, "I'm killing my hearing, and theirs, by vacuuming here."  Yikes.
She does give some hope though.
She quotes Neurobiologist Josef Miller as saying a combination of vitamins A, C and E, plus magnesium taken before noise exposure protects the inner ear from damage for up to 72 hours after the exposure. 
I'm not going to remember to down some vitamins before my ears are assaulted - let alone remember to remind my children of the same.
I guess that prevention is the best medicine here.  Daily doses of antioxidants to protect my hearing - and my childrens' - certainly would be helpful - and probably protect a lot more than just our hearing.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Kids Come Up Short

Vitamin D deficiencies are all over the news these days.  I spotted another article in the paper about being outside for a bit without sunscreen in order to be able to make enough Vitamin D.  Then, I picked up my weekly US News & World Report and found yet another article about it.

This article focused on more than just vitamin D though.  It also mentions that "rates of asthma and related respiratory problems climb in kids who are short on other commonly missing essentials, including vitamins C and E and omega-3 fatty acids."
In short, even if your kids eat everything put in front of them, they are not going to be getting enough nutrition from food alone.  That's why we've chosen to supplement with a top-quality children's vitamin, which doesn't break the bank.  It's made from real food, the raw ingredients and final products are rigorously tested for impurities (better than organic!), it's made in the US, and my children love them.  What more could you ask for?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More Moms Want to Stay at Home

I can understand why.
My husband has a very stressful job that has required him to work many hours.  One of the people on his small team is a working mom. She has two little girls who she leaves with her mother-in-law.  I cannot imagine having to work that stressful job, then go home to make dinner and take care of a house and two girls.  I wonder how on earth she does it.
Many, many times I have been so thankful that I can stay at home and still contribute to the family finances.  Right now, it's a small contribution, but it's still a contribution, and will grow over time.
I have the privilege of homeschooling my four children, helping my family stay healthy, and contribute to family finances all at the same time.  It's a wonderful place to be.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More info on the importance of Vitamin D

After I wrote earlier this month about the importance of Vitamin D and sun exposure, another article on the topic crossed my e-mail.  I thought you'd like to see it.
In order to make sure my children are getting the nutrients they need - without worries about the quality and nasty, unknown extras - I give them this multi-vitamin and this calcium supplement.
It's a wonderful peace of mind for this mom!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Do you REALLY want to kill germs?

If you do, then don't use the stuff from the grocery store or Wal-Mart. 
This came from my friend, Harriet, who's an RN:
"Earlier this year, two of my friends, Joan & Sharon, taught a college level MicroBiology Lab for Nurses.   They tested the effectiveness of bleach, Isopropyl alcohol, Hydrogen peroxide, Lysol, Betadine, Listerine mouthwash, and Basic-G (diluted in a spray bottle) for killing Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis which are difficult-to-kill germs in hospitals. 
The agar plate treated with Lysol killed a few of the germs and the rest multiplied.  The other disinfectants had varied ineffective results EXCEPT FOR BASIC-G.   The germs were killed and did not grow on the agar plates sprayed with a dilute solution of Basic-G.   WOW!  Too bad I don't have a picture of the agar plates.  You'll have to use your imagination."
The bottom line is that Basic-G kills GERMS, it doesn't kill YOU.
(Thanks Harriet!)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Vitamin D Deficiency and Sunscreen

Vitamin D is essential for building healthy bones. Scientists are also discovering that vitamin D may play a role in preventing other diseases like:
  • preventing breast cancer
  • lowering risk in developing multiple sclerosis
  • preventing other kinds of cancers including: colon, prostate, ovarian, pancreas, kidney
  • preventing diseases including: heart disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes, arthritis, etc.
The problem is that we are chronically deficient in vitamin D. The body synthesizes vitamin D from exposure to the ultraviolet rays. Naturally, those of us who live in the northern climes have less exposure to vitamin D.

Also, the sunscreen we slather on our skin limits the UV absorption by our skin.

What to do?
partially sourced from "Packing a Punch", Daily Herald, Monday June 25, 2007

Soothing Bug Cream

Thanks to my good friend Harriet for this information!

The e-mail from Taralinda, (Harriet's) 20-year old daughter working in Madison for the summer, was very short:

Please send multi-purpose cream. Huge bug bite, no cream.

She is asking for Multi-Purpose cream in the tube. It's light green in color, cooling, mentholated, nongreasy and the BEST thing we've ever found for bug & mosquito bites. Much better than any cortisone cream and it's completely safe. I keep a tube in my purse year-round.

It was originally sold as a foot cream because it softens even hard, calloused skin on knees, elbows, and feet. It quickly gained the admiration of users who found a host of other uses for the product such as:

FACE…..for acne, skin rashes, pimples, blackheads, sunburn

LIPS…..for chapped, dry lips, canker sores, cracks at corner of mouth, cold sores

HAIR….for dandruff, head sores, scaly spots on scalp, perm burns

BACK….for backaches and tightness in neck

HANDS….for chapped, dry hands, warts, rashes, detergent burns, cuticles, hangnails

FEET….for athletes' feet, planters' warts, warts, corns, calluses, rashes, foot cramps, tired aching feet, bruises,


LEGS….for charley horses, cramps, aching muscles, dry skin, rashes, cuts, bruises

BOTTOMS….for diaper rash, hemorrhoids, vaginal infections

SHAVING CREAM….Add some water to cream. Gives clean, smooth, cool shave

PSORIASIS….Relieves redness, itching and inflammation
"I cured seeping Psoriasis on our son's scalp when he was about 20 years old, by having him wash his head each night with Basic-H and every morning I rubbed Herbal Blend Multi-Purpose Cream on his scalp…IT WORKED!! For a long time he continued to bathe and wash his head in Basic-H.

POISON IVY…. Wash affected area immediately with Basic H and water. Dry and apply Multi Purpose Cream.

MOSQUITO BITES…Relieves itching better than Cortisone Cream or products sold for mosquito bite relief.

HOT PEPPER HANDS….Relieves burning and soreness caused by hot peppers.

HEADACHES….Rub on temples and forehead. Helps relieve ache.

DIAPER RASH….Has eliminated this problem in many infants.

ACNE….Wash with Basic-H and apply cream. Amazing results

WARTS….Has a tremendous healing effect and you can eliminate warts if you apply Herbal Blend to the area twice a day CONSISTENTLY!! It may take several weeks but eventually you will notice a separation around the perimeter of the wart and it will fall off leaving a crater like hole in the skin. Keep applying the Herbal Blend and the area will heal and fill in with new tissue.

CHICKEN POX….Applied at onset, pox marks heal quickly and disappear.

The above are not product claims…rather they are results that some people have experienced!

Care Packages for Soldiers

In May, my family said a very sad farwell to my dear cousin, who is now in training to go to Iraq with the Wisconsin National Guard.

Before our farewell, my sister gave us a great idea of giving him small gifts he could open here, but we would send in a care package once he got to Iraq. We scoured the internet, looking for ideas of what to send.

Here are some great ideas for care packages:

all-natural toothpaste
multi-purpose cream (for sore feets, dry skin, bug bites, chaffing boots)
rehydrating drink powder (easy to ship, plus the best stuff on the market)
muscle recovery shake powder (again, easy to ship; good for after workouts or long working days)
individually-wrapped protein bars
energy tea sticks (for hot or ice tea)
multi-vitamins (to keep them healthy!)
beneficial bacteria (to keep Montezuma's Revenge at bay)
individual all-natural cleaning wipes

Thanks to the men and women who are serving our country. I appreciate your sacrifice.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tips for a Safe Summer

As we focus on the fathers in our lives this month, let's look at some ways to keep those special guys healthy this summer.

The American Cancer Society predicts that men will account for 64% of the 8,000+ people who will die from melanoma in 2007. That's a lot! Here are some ways to protect your skin this summer (for both guys and gals. :) )
  • Avoid going outside between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun's rays are most intense.
  • Count time in the water and being out on hazy days as time in the sun. (Water lets nearly all UV rays through - and even cloud cover lets 80% of UV rays through.)
  • Don't depend on clothes or an umbrella for protection. (Wet or light-colored clothing offer almost no protection. Also, light reflects! So sitting under an umbrella at the beach can create the same UV exposure as sitting in direct sun.)
  • Apply UVA/UVB protection every day - indoors and out. (Statistics prove most UV exposure occurs when we're not even thinking about it! Don't forget ALL areas - tops of ears, bald spots, back of necks and hands, and tops of feet.)
  • Boost your skin's natural defenses against environmental pollutants. (Researchers agree that the same nutrients that protect your health also play a big role in the vitality and appearance of your skin. This sunscreen contains nutrients readily available to your skin to help break the free radical chains which can prematurely age the surface of your skin.)

Stay Hydrated
The Center for Disease Control says men account for 66% of all deaths caused by extreme heat. Keep cool by avoiding exercise in the hottest part of the day, and hydrate early and often. "Feeling thirsty means that you are already dehydrated," says Ingrid Skoog, director of sports nutrition at Oregon State University. Drinking lots of water is a great idea. If you need an extra boost, try this rehydrating drink.

Florida summers are hot and lawn work can be exhausting. [This rehydrating drink] to the rescue! I mix it up based on the label suggestion and drink a big glass before I go out. I make extra so there’s a big thermos ... waiting a break time. I have more when I finish, plus [this muscle building and recovery drink] if my jobs were strenuous. I really love the stuff!”
-Billy C.

You can also rehydrate by eating watermelon! A 1" slice is a great source of hydration - it contains 92% water and lycopene - which boosts skin's natural SPF.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Dirty Dozen Ingredients In Personal Care Products

by Diane di Costanzo 


In pursuit of cleanliness and beauty, we buy approximately $20 billion worth of personal care products every year. Unfortunately, many ingredients in these potions and lotions have the opposite effect on the planet—and some of them are linked to damaging effects on human health.  And unlike the pharmaceutical industry, the government does not require safety testing for these products before they go to market.  Updating "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" (GG94), we've culled a list of the worst of the worst, ten chemicals you do not want on your skin.


Found in cleansers, deodorants and other cosmetic products, antibacterial agents such as Triclosan encourage the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, according to a studies in the April 1999 Journal of Biological Chemistry and the July 13 2000 Nature.


So-called coal-tar chemicals are found in many "FD&C" or "D&C" colors used in makeup and hair dye. FD&C Blue 1 and FD &C Green 3 are carcinogenic, and impurities in other colors -- D&C Red 33, FD&C Yellow 5 and FD&C Yellow 6 -- have been shown to cause cancer when applied to the skin.


Widely used in shampoos, DEA is a suspected carcinogen, and its compounds and derivatives include triethanolamine (TEA), which can be contaminated with nitrosamines -- compounds shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Contamination is more likely if the product also contains Bronopol (see above).


Found in eye shadows, mascaras and other cosmetics, formaldehyde is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen," according to the National Toxicology Program's "Ninth Report on Carcinogens" (January 2001). The EPA classifies it as a probable human carcinogen.

In its liquid state, formaldehyde, present in the ingredients DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15, can be absorbed through the skin and nails. As a volatile organic compound, or VOC, formaldehyde evaporates when the product is wet; levels drop sharply once it's dry. Consumer concern has led many manufacturers to remove it from their nail polishes. Quaternium-15 causes more dermatitis complaints than any other preservative, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Bronopol, often listed as 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, can contribute to the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines, according to the FDA. It can also break down to produce formaldehyde.


Widely used industrial solvents found in nail polish, deodorant, perfumes and other cosmetics, some glycol ethers are hazardous to the reproductive system. Other effects of overexposure include anemia and irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat. Avoid those listed on labels as EGPE, EGME,EGEE, DEGBE, PGME, DPGME and those with "methyl" in their names.


A brain- and nervous-system toxin as well as a known carcinogen and hormone disruptor, lead accumulates in the bones. It is found in lead acetate in hair dyes and makeup.

Mercury: A tiny amount of this potent nervous-system toxin, which accumulates in the body, is allowed as a preservative in eye-area cosmetics.

PETROLATUM (vaseline, petroleum jelly)

Commonly used in cold creams, lipsticks, lip protection, baby creams, eye shadows. Petrolatum can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Furthermore, since it is a petroleum product, its use depletes a non-renewable resource.


Found in many hairdyes,PPD is linked with skin irritations, and respiratory disorders. PPD is mutagenic and reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, and has been banned in Europe. Also called oxidation dyes, amino dyes para dyes, or peroxide dyes.


Used widely in fragrances, deodorants, nail polishes, hair products and lotions, the oily texture of phthalates acts like a moisturizer and helps lotions penetrate skin. Various members of this family of chemical plasticizers have been found to produce cancer of the liver and birth defects in lab animals. Since, phthalates often "hide" behind the term "fragrance;" choose products labeled "fragrance-free" or that are scented exclusively with pure botanical or essential oils.


The Cosmetics Ingredient Review (CIR), a panel of cosmetics-industry experts established to safety-test ingredients (, reported that SLS also causes "severe epidermal changes" to mouse skin, a finding that "indicates a need for tumor-enhancing activity assays." This year, after review of over 250 existing SLS studies, the CIR concluded that SLS is not cancer-causing. However, Samuel Epstein, M.D., says he is not convinced and recommends avoiding SLS.


This solvent found in nail products can cause liver damage and is irritating to the skin and respiratory tract.

The company I represent does not use any of these ingredients in the personal care products, in skin care products, or in makeup products they sell.  I love that I can use these products without worrying about poisons or harmful chemicals soaking into to body.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

We DO Need our Beauty Sleep!

Are you having trouble sleeping at night?  I love these tips from Melanie Vasseur on how to sleep better at night.

Here are a few ways to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly:

1. Develop a routine for going to bed at night, and be consistent about it. You might enjoy a cup of soothing herbal tea (no caffeine!) and a chapter from a favorite book before turning the lights out.

2. Try to exercise daily, but not within three to four hours of bedtime. Exercise has been shown to increase the amount of deep sleep you get. It can also reduce symptoms PMS in women, which can be uncomfortable enough to disrupt sleep.

3. Don't have a heavy meal right before going to bed. and avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine close to bedtime. These can all disturb sleep.

4. Don't use your sleep space as a workspace, and keep the TV out of the bedroom. You should associate your place for sleeping with sleep, not with work or entertainment (other than lovemaking, of course!).

5. Make the room as dark as possible. The less light there is around you, the more melatonin your brain produces. This hormone has been shown to help you feel sleepier, fall asleep faster, and make you sleep longer. Room darkening shades can help tremendously, but a sleep mask is also very effective and a lot cheaper!

6. Control noise levels. You may get so used to familiar sounds like street noise or the sound of someone's snoring that you don't even notice it anymore, but it still affects the quality of your sleep! Ear plugs are helpful for some. Other people find that white noise or soothing music are helpful if it's impossible to block out distracting sounds.

7. Don't keep checking the clock. Experts say that if your sleep is interrupted, checking the time will only increase anxiety about getting enough sleep, and make it harder to get back to sleep. ( I have a tough time following this one!)

8. Make sure you're comfortable! Are you sleeping on the right mattress? Are your pillows giving your neck the right amount of support? Too much tossing and turning could be a sign that one or both need replacing.

I would add: try adding B-complex and calcium to your evening routine.  They promote relaxation.  Sometimes I like to take an all-natural stress reliever to help my mind calm down.  As a last resort, an all-natural sleep aid also helps.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Non-toxic, environmentally-friendly cleaners make cleaning FUN!

Are you afraid you will have to give up a quality clean if you switch from regular cleaners to non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaners?  Not with these cleaners!
Here's what Christy K from Chicago says:
"I just wanted to tell you I LOVE the cleaning supplies!!! The bottles are so pretty, the sponge works better and faster than ANYTHING else I have tried. I have have tile 5 feet high in my kitchen and could never clean it properly. A sponge would just push the dirtiness into the cracks. With the shaklee sponge and All-Purpose Cleaner, years of grime just wipe away so easily.
I use the Window Cleaner on my chrome fixtures and they sparkle.  I have two sets of french doors with all that seperate glass and it all cleans so easily. I don't feel gross with the fumes from my old cleaners. Clean really feels clean - inside and out. Sticky grimy prints all come up. Oh and the scrubby part on the sponge is truly amazing. It feels soft but it really gets hard stuff off dishes. I haven't used the laundry soap yet, but the fabric softener really leaves things so nice and fluffy!
I was worried that it would be inconvenient to use and hard to get used to. But it really makes cleaning easy and fun. Yes, I said "fun". And I think anyone who tried it would love it."
Cleaning fun??  I didn't think those words could be used in the same sentence!  I think you ought to try these cleaners, don't you?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Cleaning your Windows - streak-free!

I don't do windows very well - so I was thrilled to receive these tips from Don Aslett.  I've modified them just a bit to reflect my favorite brand of cleaners - non-toxic and earth-friendly.  I recommend you buy the tools mentioned here at Don's site (see below); but buy the cleaners here.

Do you say you don't do windows? Once you learn to clean like a pro, you will never say you don't do windows again. With the right tools and the right techniques, your windows will sparkle and let the spring sun in easier than ever. Professionals use simple cleaning solutions and the window washer's best friend -- a squeegee. A squeegee is the best way to do any full-size window or other large expanse of glass.

The equipment you'll need to easily produce gleaming, streak-free windows can be found either around the house or from the Cleaning Center. All you need for clean windows are:

• A bucket with cleaning solution (the solution is created with [a few drops of this non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaner])
• One 10" or 12" professional quality brass or stainless steel squeegee, or the Super System Squeegee
• A window scrubber, like the new Microfiber Scrubber with scrubbing strips, or the new Back Flip, with the Squeegee included
• An Extension pole, if you'll be cleaning high windows

Now don't let windows intimidate you. All you do is apply a cleaning solution with a window scrubber, and then simply remove the solution (and the dirt) with a squeegee. Avoid cleaning windows in direct sunlight though; they'll dry too fast and streak. Now, here's the skinny on squeegeeing:

Seven steps to crystal clear glass:

1. Mix up your solution: Put no more than a few drops of this cleaner in a bucket of warm water... any more cleaner than that will only cause streaking.
2. Wipe around the outside edge of the window with a damp cloth to remove debris that otherwise might get caught under your squeegee. Or if it's an extremely dirty outside window, a quick spray with the garden hose will remove mud, cobwebs, etc.
3. Dip the flat side of your window scrubber about ¼ inch into the solution, then lightly wet the window. Next, go back over it to loosen any stubborn debris before finally sweeping the scrubber around the edges of the window frame to pick up any dirt you may have pushed against it.
4. Before squeegeeing the window, wet the blade of the squeegee with a damp cloth, so that it won't skip on the glass. You should wipe the blade between strokes, too, when you're working with the squeegee. If you're doing high windows with an extension pole, simply hit the pole with the palm of your hand to release excess solution from the blade.
5. Placing the squeegee against the glass at the top of your window, tilt one end outward so that only about one inch of the blade's length rests lightly against the surface. Pull the squeegee straight across the top to create a dry strip about an inch wide. This will prevent drips from running down from the top of the window.
6. Place the squeegee blade in the narrow dry area and pull it all the way down to approximately three inches from the bottom of the window. Repeat until the window is done, making sure to overlap a little with each stroke; this prevents water from running into the cleaned area.
7. Finally, run the squeegee across the bottom of the window to remove the last of the solution. Finish by wiping the sill with a dry cloth.

Once you've squeegeed your windows, resist the temptation to remove lingering water drops with a cloth. This will only leave an irresistible streak. Just let them evaporate. If you must wipe, use the tip of your bare finger (after steps 1-7 it will be oil-free and the perfect touchup tool!)

Your squeegeeing techniques might be a little awkward at first, but you'll quickly catch on and then marvel at how easy it is to have sparkling glass... and you only used a few drops of cleaner!

Brass Squeegee -

Super System -

Window Scrubber -

*NEW* Back Flip -

Extension Poles -

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happy Tax Day? It is possible!

This story came across my computer this week, and I thought it quite appropriate to share with you.
"I'm an RN and I love to help people get healthier. The problem is that prescription drugs have lots of side effects.
When I started using [this brand] natural products my own health improved so dramatically a big light bulb went off in my head.
Now I help people get healthier without drugs and have a business that lets me work from home. No boss! Nobody tells me WHEN to work. It's fantastic! My husband is thrilled with the tax benefits. He actually gets excited over April 15th!
Do you know of anyone who might like more information about these products or this opportunity?"
~Harriet G., Wisconsin
If you would like to start looking forward to tax day, just as Harriet does, contact me through my website.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Myth: Our Body can Handle Whatever We Dish Out

We Can Handle the Body Burden

“Mainstream physicians and toxicologists assure us that a frontline defense of healthy livers and kidneys will keep us safe from nearly all levels of toxic accumulation” (pg 28).

“Unfortunately our bodies were never designed to protect themselves against this chemical onslaught,” observes Paula Baillie-Hamilton, a British authority on the health effects of toxic chemicals.

“As a result, our systems usually fail to process and remove most of these chemicals once they have entered our bodies, so their levels start building up inside us. Consequently, every single human on the face of this earth is now permanently contaminated with these modern synthetic chemicals” (pg. 28)

-From The 100-Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald

Not exactly the news I wanted to hear, right? However, you can take steps to limit your chemical exposure and reduce the toxic load your body is carrying.

First, I would recommend switching brands. That easy, simple step can immediately limit your toxic exposure. I recommend Shaklee brand - it's a company you can trust for non-toxic products that are safe for you and your family. Switch cleaners, personal care products (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.), skin care and makeup too.

Second, I would recommend high-quality supplements - and even a detoxification program. There are many books you can read about detox programs, but remember to never start a detox program unless you are under the care of a medical professional.

Third, make sure you are breathing clean air. The products we surround ourselves with are drenched with chemicals... and those chemicals don't stay where they're put. They release into the air we breath... filling our bodies with more toxins. I recommend this air purifier. It's made a tremendous difference in my health.

Fourth, make sure you drink clean water. Water, too, is full of toxins and poisons - and our body can be affected by even the smallest dose. You never know what can or will trigger a reaction. The best purification system for water is reverse osmosis, and can be quite expensive. I recommend this reverse osmosis system. It's a counter-top system and easy to use. No plumber needed!

Fifth, start changing the foods you eat and the cookware you cook with. There are simple steps you can take to start switching over to less-processed, more nutritious foods. For example, switch from iodionized salt to real salt. Simple, yet it can make a big difference. For more information, contact me.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Myth: Low Doses don't Matter

The Poison is in the Dose

“We are told by mainstream science, medicine, and industry that we shouldn’t be concerned about our toxic body burden because “the poison is in the dose,” a mantra that is the foundation for our public health standards” (pg 27).

However, that’s not true when it comes to chemicals in our bodies. “New chemicals and new mixtures of chemicals that have never entered the human body before are being absorbed” (pg 27). “Many synthetic chemicals are biologically active at incredibly low levels” (pg 27).

-From The 100-Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald

I wonder how many of us have trouble controlling our weight, fighting illness after illness because of the toxic levels of chemicals in our bodies. I don't have an answer - but it certainly is food for thought. And a good reason to consider a detoxification program - and certainly to switch brands of cleaners, personal care products, makeup and skincare products. It's also a good reason to switch brand of vitamins - because you never know what other companies have included in their vitamins that aren't on the label (see Myth of Product Label).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Myth of Product Labels

There is Truth in Labeling

“The only “truth” in labeling today is the fact that there is widespread secrecy. Of forty common consumer products tested by the National Environmental Trust in Washington, D.C., during 2004, more than half contained toxic chemicals not listed on the product labels” (pg 24).

“Toxins expert Doris J Rapp claims that at least two hundred chemicals classified as “inert” are environmental pollutants hazardous to human health” (pg 26).

Read more in The 100-Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald.

Do you know what chemicals you're using in your home? In your garage? On your lawn? Do you know what those chemicals are doing to you? Your family? Your pets? Your world?

I know what products I'm using - and I know what they're NOT doing to me or my family. They are NOT making me sick. They are NOT full of toxic chemicals. They are from a company I CAN trust.

Is it time for you to switch?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Another Myth We Cherish

The Government Knows What is Safe

“Toxins expert Doris J. Rapp warns us that the rules have been written in such a way that we can never know what is safe until people or animals in the wild begin suffering. ‘The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 allows chemicals to be sold and used unless they are proven to be a risk. The EPA, however, does not conduct its own safety tests, but relies on research conducted by manufacturers. Yes, you read it correctly. Is the fox in charge of designing the chicken coop?” (pg 23)

With all the chemicals made today, there’s no way to be able to test them all alone, let alone how they interact with all the other chemicals on the market (pg. 23-24).

I am so thankful to have found a company which I can trust - and won't sell something that is not safe for me or my family. This company has spent $250 million on research and development - unheard of in the industry. No other company can come close, because this company has been researching for over 50 years. To match the level of research, a new company would literally have to spend billions of dollars. Do you know of a new company - or even an established company - who has that kind of money to enter a market?

Now, more than ever, it's time for change and take responsibility. Let's take responsibility for what we clean our homes with, what we put on our skin and in our bodies. Let's take responsibility for cleaning our air and our water. Only then can we truly take responsibility for the earth on which we live. And, when each one of us takes that step - sometimes just changing the brand we buy - we can not only create a healthier home for ourselves and our families, but also create a healthier world for all of us.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Myths We Cherish

Toxicity is Some Else’s Problem

“While it may sound rather harsh to label each and every one of us a living toxic waste dump, the reality of the body burden of toxins we each bear does support that description. We absorb so many synthetic chemicals during an average lifetime that, according to some reports, when we die our bodies decompose more slowly today than if we had died just three decades ago” (pg. 20).

“’The chemical threat is the ultimate threat to mankind, worse than bombs and war. You cannot hide from it. It reaches everywhere in the world’” (pg. 22)

- Taken from The 100-Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald.

The chemical threat reaches everywhere in the world, yet we can do something about it. One way to stop, and even reverse, the toxic trend is to switch our household cleaners. Stop buying the chemical-laden cleaners pushed by Madison Avenue, and start using non-toxic, biodegradable cleaners. You can find them at the local health food store, at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. However, the most economical non-toxic cleaners on the market today are these cleaners.

This company created the first non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner in 1960... and has continued its commitment to our environment by expanding its non-toxic cleaning line to include a scouring paste, laundry cleaners and dish cleaners.

You can learn more about non-toxic cleaners here.