Friday, February 23, 2007

Healthy Homes e-news from November 2006

Greetings from Wauconda, Illinois, where it is cloudy and drizzling. It’s supposed to be nicer tomorrow and Wednesday and I’m hoping to give my windows a good washing. They’ve not been washed for years (we’ve only been here a year) – and I think I’d be able to manage winter better with them clean. We also need to start working on the front yard, which is blanketed with the yellow leaves from our maple tree. It seems they all dropped last night in the night. My kids are looking forward to playing in the leaves – but I’m afraid they’ll be too damp.

As we look forward to the holiday season, here’s some news to keep in mind:

  1. Be a Smarter Spectator
  2. Can the Cola
  3. Shaklee Tip of the Month
  4. Plant a Tree in Memory
  5. Secret Santa – and other stuff


1. Be a Smarter Spectator (USA Weekend 10/27-10/29)

OK – I’ve arrived at that “soccer mom” status – although my sons are not in soccer at this moment in time. I suppose I’m a typical suburban mom. My girls are in ballet, my oldest son is in basketball camp this fall and looking forward to basketball league in the winter, and we are counting the days until we can enroll our three-year-old in something that will keep him running and burn up his energy.

As I work to build a relationship with my children, I think Jorge Cruise had some helpful hints in last weekend’s USA Weekend – especially when those children are involved in sports. Hey – it might even help with my relationship with the other men in my life.

He quotes John Pelletier, president of “ ‘It’s important to know the rules to more actively engage with a child before and after a game, not to mention knowing what to cheer about during a game. … that can be a bonding element in the relationship.”

Are you like me, and not quite so sports-savvy? The internet is a wonderful tool. Check out sites like and You can also purchase booklets with more detailed information and field diagrams on the sites.

Jorge also makes another good point. “With childhood obesity on the rise, getting our kids engaged in activities that keep them healthy and fit is essential.”

I’ll heartily second that, and pass along some current statistics courtesy of Rick Seymour.

Between the ages of 3-14:

70 % have elevated cholesterol

40% are overweight

In 1996, 1 million with ADHD -- in 2004, 5 million with ADHD

13% on at least one prescription drug more than 3 months at a time

More children die of cancer than any other disease - 30 years ago childhood cancer was unheard of!

12% have allergies – 12% have asthma, which has doubled in 10 years

"This may be the first generation in the history of mankind to have a shorter life span than their parents."

Alarming, isn’t it? Since we homeschool our children, I find I have to make an extra effort to make sure my children are moving. Well, maybe not that big an effort. They still have a tendency to run, run, run around the house chasing each other. Noisy, but good exercise.

However, I find myself signing them up for more activities at the park district than I might have otherwise, since they don’t have a daily gym class.

I also make sure to have healthy snacks on hand – our favorites are baby carrots, bananas, apples, and whole wheat crackers or rice cakes with hummus. Honestly, I’m not the best at remembering to make vegetables at dinner, so I make sure all the bases are covered with this great childrens chewable and, because they’re growing so fast a chewable calcium - it really helps ward off those growing pains.


2. Can the Cola (US News & World Report 10/16/2006)

Women who drink any kind of cola may be putting themselves at risk for osteoporosis. Researchers in one study looked at the diet and bone strength of more than 2,500 people and found that, in women, daily cola was linked to lower hip bone density – no link showed up in men (not fair, right ladies?!)

Researchers believe the culprit is phosphoric acid – which prompts the body to pull calcium from the bones. The connection is not proven, but still, we ladies need to rethink that daily cola.

And also consider this new calcium product. It’s a complete source of calcium (taken with this multivitamin), and contains other nutrients and minerals essential to building those strong bones (the mortar that holds the bricks of calcium together).


4. Plant a Tree in Memory…

(from Arbor Day Foundation

Or in celebration...

Trees in Celebration

Trees in Memory

The Arbor Day Foundation’s Trees in Memory and Trees in Celebration programs plant lodgepole pine and Douglasfir trees in national forests which have been destroyed by fire, disease or insect. When you plant a tree in memory of a loved one, or to mark a special occasion, you contribute to a healthier environment and provide for future generations.

You can plant trees to celebrate:

  • New births and birthdays
  • Baptisms and Confirmations
  • Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs
  • Graduations
  • Engagements and Weddings
  • Anniversaries
  • New Jobs and Retirements
  • Holidays
  • Special Occasions

For each $10 donated, 10 trees will be planted and you will receive a certificate which you can send or personally present to the person or family you have chosen to honor.

A vibrant, beautiful tree benefits everyone in this and future generations and is perhaps the most fitting memorial of all. Planting a tree is an act of direct benefit to all.

It can inspire energy, faith, devotion, and courage and carry forward the name of those memorialized in a living, vital way that grows grander with the years.

For each $10 donated, 10 trees will be planted and we will mail a thoughtful card to the family of the person whom you have chosen to honor.

As the trees grow and prosper, so does the meaning of your gift.

Over the course of 50 years, a single tree can generate $31,250 of oxygen, provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycle $37,500 worth of water, and control $31,500 worth of soil erosion.

Let me know if you decide to participate, and how many trees you planted. The company I represent is keeping track of all trees planted this year for their “Million Trees, Million Dreams” Initiative – in partnership with Wangaari Maathai – the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2005. Let’s include the trees you plant!

Read more about “Million Trees. Million Dreams.” here.


A friend of mine gave me a copy of a thankful list she had from the November 1999 issue of Family Circle. I love the persepective on life expressed in these pages. Today, laundry day at my house, I am “thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.”

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