Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dear Social Media- Please remove your heads from your collective a$$es

RANT ON.

In the past few months, maybe even few years, I have seen a plethora of things that piss me off on Facebook. Now that I'm more tech savvy, I'm seeing these things on twitter, instagram, etc etc. And now I've just hit my breaking point.

So what's got me raging this time?

Pictures of breastfeeding babies. Pictures of women who've endured mastectomies then covered their scars with tattoos in lieu of reconstructive surgery. Pictures of preemies with shunts in their heads to save them from brain swelling.

All of these pictures have been removed by Facebook for inappropriate content.

REALLY, FACEBOOK?

Women standing up, encouraging each other in the face of a disease that might be a death sentence, encouraging each other during the 2am feedings where you think your nipples just can't take it anymore, where super hero mammas are exclaiming with joy that THEIR MIRACLE IS ALIVE AND THRIVING....these are the pictures you choose to take down??

Want to know the pictures I want off of FB?

How about the ones I get on my newsfeed when my clearly horny acquaintances from other countries (they may or may not be related to the hubbs) "like" photos of women SPREAD EAGLE NAKED. You know what I don't want to see first thing in the morning? Vulva.

How about the pics that pop up when others decide to "like" a page dedicated to putting plastic surgery barbies in a too-tight bikini top in all sorts of "sexy" poses on motorcycles, cars, boats, feigning orgasm faces.

How about the pics of celebrities who apparently forgot to PUT. ON. THEIR. DAMNED. PANTS. before leaving the house. (Ri-Ri I'm looking at you. And you, X-tina)

How about we get rid of THOSE pictures, and then we can talk about how inappropriate it is to see less boob than you would in a v-neck with a child attached.

I've never considered myself a feminist (I really don't think I'm educated enough in that world to give myself the title)...but this sure smacks of sexism to me. As long as the pictures satisfy some sort of sexual pleasure, then it's all good. But GOD FORBID we take a look at something REAL. Something BEAUTIFUL. Something MEANINGFUL. Well now, that just makes us uncomfortable. And it's all about the comfort of our fellow men (I'm looking at you, large men on airplanes who insist on sitting spread eagle and REFUSE TO LET ME USE MY OWN ARMREST).

RANT OVER.

Jersey out.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Why I'm Irritated...today

I'm kind of over it. The "everyone is being so honest so I'll jump on the negativity band wagon" thing that's been happening on parent blogs all over the country lately. I'm all for honesty...but can we celebrate everyone without making anyone else feel like they must be crazy, or abnormal. Maybe it's just me, but I feel a little like I CAN'T be honest in social media because then I would be making others feel bad. and that ticks me off.

So what am I talking about? 

It's posts like "Why I dread breastfeeding". "Why I regret being a SAHM". "Why what you do doesn't matter so you shouldn't be happy in it"...and on and on. (Yes. Theses are all actual blogs that were on Huffington Post today)

I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you the way you hoped it would. I truly am. But should I feel like I'm a freak show because I love it? Because I feel like I was called to do it? Should I keep quiet about my day and my thoughts because it makes you feel bad? AND.  Don't you think maybe, just maybe, your "honesty" about how hard everything was/ is is scaring the crap out of new parents?

We all know it takes work to be parents. Not a shocker. We know it takes work to breastfeed. But weren't there some moments you loved? Wasn't there SOMETHING outside of guilt that made you keep on keeping on? Even a little? I'm all for not making people think your life is perfect, and that everything came easy. But COME ON. Every day for you was hell. You were simply a dairy. You had no impact on your (now grown) children's lives because you raised them instead of working outside the home. No one appreciates you at all, ever. You are a shell of your former self because you chose to be a mom.

These statements are not exactly helpful either.

Everyone has different struggles in parenthood, and in general. But I notice that the only ones being plastered everywhere only contain the downsides. Is it just cool now to thrive in your suffering? Misery loves company so let's all band together and not give any credence to the possible positives of the role that YOU CHOSE.

What would happen if I wrote about how I dread the day babygirl no longer wants to breastfeed. Or how I LOVE cooking for my family- I look forward to it on an almost daily basis. How I love keeping a clean house. How, regardless of the temper tantrums and crankiness, I wouldn't trade this job for anything else in the world. How uber-obsessed with my daughter and hubbs I am. Of course, I'll add in there that it took some serious work.  Work to get her to sleep by herself for naptime (19 months to be exact). Work to get her to breastfeed. It took months of a nipple shield, it took months of daily biting, sometimes drawing blood. It took sometimes not going out without babygirl because she refused to take a bottle. Some days I ask the hubbs to just pick up dinner cause I can't even think about coming up with a meal. Sometimes, clean laundry stays in those baskets until we've reworn everything in there and I just have to wash it all again. Sometimes there's just a lot of crap on the floor, and I still don't turn on the vacuum. 

BUT.

I wouldn't trade it. Not a second of it. Not for anything in the world. And I don't think my life is meaningless now. Do I have the same impact now as I did when I was a teacher? Nope. Does that make me sad? Not really. Does everyone feel this same way? Nope. Is that ok. ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY.

I'm going to share with you now the biggest lesson I've learned since becoming a parent. I'm telling you this has SAVED. ME. And it's this:

KNOW going into it.

KNOW that you're not going to sleep like you used to. For the next few years at the very least. Accept it. You'd be amazed how much less irritated you'll be when you're woken up on an almost nightly basis for however long. Cause you expect it.

KNOW that your life is going to look drastically different than it did before kiddos. You'll be more open to it if you just stop fighting it.

KNOW that there are going to be days when ZERO gets done. And be ok with it. Cause you just CREATED A HUMAN BEING and shit got real.

KNOW that there will never be another thing on the planet that you love as much as that tiny little person in your arms.....and there will never be another thing on the planet that drives you bat s*** crazy like that tiny little person in your arms. That doesn't mean you love them less. It means you're human and all of those references about toddlers just being tiny drunk adults?  They're true.

KNOW that if you plan to breastfeed, your boobs will HURT. In the beginning, you might not be prepared for it. Because everyone talks about how beautiful it is. But the beginning? Just remember, it passes, fairly soon. Just hang in there, and ask all your breastfeeding friends the secret to non-cracked nipps. Everyone has them. (Mine are putting breastmilk on them, followed by coconut or olive oil).

And please. PLEASE. Take everything you read, including this, with a grain of salt. Everyone's experience is different. If someone tells you everything is absolutely perfect- they're lying. If someone tells you that life was hell and there are no redeeming moments to be found- they're lying.

Look for the folks in the middle. Look for the mommy blogs that resonate with you. Trust me, you'll find, and then treasure these women that you don't know who are living your life and your issues that you immediately bond with. (I have my phone on me at all times when I'm getting babygirl down for a nap since I have to hold her for about 20 minutes after she falls asleep before I can put her down- and it's GAME ON for mommy blog time).

I may not have the standard yoga pant mommy uniform (I JUST CAN'T DO IT), but I'm right there in the everyday messes, tantrums, and beauty of life with a toddler. Perhaps I'll invest in some yoga wear if more babies come along. But probably not. I'm from jersey and I've gotta represent.

Loves!



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Genetic Roulette" a MUST SEE documentary

So I watched "Genetic Roulette" on June 15th with the hubbs and babygirl. I took 5 pages of notes- it would have been more but someone was cranky and needing to nurse sporadically throughout the hour and 25 minutes.

Let's start with it was really REALLY hard to not yell at the computer (and so I did). It was really REALLY hard to not stop it every 3 minutes to look at hubbs and say WHAT THE EFF!?!? (and so, I did). It was really REALLY hard to not look down at babygirl and think "how on EARTH did I not completely JACK UP your system while I was preggo with you?"- and then I remembered that I, in fact, did. And I'll spend the rest of my life ensuring that the damage is reversed and teaching her how to keep her body healthy.

And so friends, I'm going to share a good portion of the info with you, here. And I encourage you to RUN and watch this movie. Now. Right now. No more burying our collective heads in the sand when it comes to what exactly is being done to our food supply. And make no mistake folks. This is really only being done in the US and to some extent, Canada. Most European countries, Australia, many Asian countries and some African countries have banned GMO's, have banned Monsanto (aka satan's minion), and have DEMANDED that any and all GMO's, food dyes, chemicals etc be LABELED on their products. And by the way, they are. THEY ARE. They are either NOT USED in the products they import to Europe, or they are LABELED with a warning similar to cigarette warnings. For example, Kraft makes a macaroni and cheese for the UK that contains ZERO food coloring (the orange color comes from spices like turmeric) and ZERO GMO's. When asked why they wouldn't sell THAT SAME KIND here, they responded that based on their customer inputs, no one here wants that. Ummmm.....I call bull s***.  To say that my blood boils just knowing that a) they've already done this so they easily CAN and b) unlike the UK government who demanded it, ours just lets Big Ag do whatever the hell they please in the name of corporate greed is an understatement.

Awesome. 3rd paragraph in and shaking rage with boiling blood.

Did you know that 88% of corn and 94% of soy grown in the US is GMO? Staggering right!?! But, you say, I don't eat corn or soy so I'm good right? Do you eat any processed food at all? Because if you do, you are guaranteed eating corn and soy, in different forms (soybean oil, corn syrup, soy lecithin, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oil etc etc etc). Yeah, vegetable oil is really soy bean oil- it's cheap so that's what they go with. I strongly advise you only use organic extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil. And if it's not organic, chances are that olive oil is actually cheaper oils mixed together- that's just a whole nother post but seriously we're getting ripped off in a big way.

Did you know that GMO's have existed in our food supply since about 1992. Here's how (and partially why) they were created. They take genes from one species and force it into the dna of another species. They gave a few examples. That are horrifying. One was the dna of a cow forced into the dna of a pig so that the pig would grow cow hide. I'm sorry. I'm not anti-science. But that's just wrong. On so many levels.

There are 2 types of food GMO's- herbicide tolerant and pesticide producing. So. They force herbicides/ pesticides into the genes of plants (soy, corn, alfalfa, wheat, etc), and then those plants either are able to tolerate a crap ton of poison (Round-up weed and pest killer), or the plant produces that pesticide inside- meaning you can't ever wash it off. It's now part of the plants' dna. They've already proven that GMO craps, er crops, are less nutritious- Round Up makes nutrients unavailable to the plants, hence how they kill weeds. So you, and the animals that are eating these crops, are not getting nearly as much of a nutritional benefit as you may think you are. Plus, if you're eating the animals that are eating these crops, you're getting a double whammy of chemical poisons in your systems, not to mention the illnesses of the animals whose systems were not meant to tolerate this garbage either.  But I keep getting off track.

The gene sequence of the GMO crop is NOT FOUND IN NATURE (not surprising, since nature didn't create Round-up and didn't intend the crops to ever mate with it). Our bodies, then, do not recognize this as food. They see it as a foreign substance and ATTACKS it. This attack causes inflammation. And inflammation leads to a host of diseases- auto immune, crohn's, reflux, thyroid, not to mention diabetes and allergies (which was all known to the scientists at the FDA when this stuff was released into our food chain).

Let's just use common sense for a minute. Let's say you don't believe that this could ever happen. Here. the land of the free and all that. You don't believe that scientific evidence was covered up. Fine. I'd like you to think back on the last conversation you had about "kids today" with your peers, kids, grandkids, etc. You know you've made a statement like this:

"When I was your age, we could eat whatever we wanted in school. How is a kid so allergic to a peanut they can't even smell it!?!"

"When I was a kid, there was none of this gluten-free, dairy-free, nonsense. A glass of milk never killed you. A slice of bread and a bowl of pasta was hearty and healthy!"

"When I was a kid, we didn't have to take pills for ADHD. Our parents told us to just calm down and focus, and we did."

Do those sound familiar? Stop lying, of course they do. Of course you've said them. Because it's the truth. Who the hell wasn't ALLOWED to take a pb&j to school for lunch??  It was EVERY ONE'S lunch.

Now here's the common sense part. When did we start to see the rise of food allergies in kids? Of autism. Of ADHD. Of Crohn's disease. Of some SERIOUS childhood obesity problems. Of diabetes. Of KIDS WITH CANCER. When??  The mid to late 1990's. And it's SKYROCKETED since then.

Please please please don't tell me that you can read that and still say "it's just a coincidence".

It makes me weep. Literally. I'm literally crying right now. Because what we've done to generations of children, and ourselves??  What GREED and MONSANTO and GOVERNMENT has done? Produced a nation of sick people. Dying people. Fat people (while shaming them into believing it was all their fault). ENTIRE BUILDINGS DEDICATED TO CHILDREN WITH CANCER. I can barely even type that sentence out. There SHOULD NOT EVER be that many children with cancer. Who die of cancer. EVER. Of millions of women who struggle with some sort of reproductive issue- infertility especially.

THIS IS NO COINCIDENCE.

Would you like to know why?

In 1992, the FDA scientists were finding that GMO's were causing massive health issues in the animals it was tested on. Problems like tumors, infertility, obesity. They found that it could lead to an increase in allergies. That information was stifled. By who?

Michael Taylor. He was MONSANTO'S LAWYER. Who was then hired as the HEAD OF THE FDA, just in time to push GMO's into the generally recognized as safe category. He then was hired back as the CEO of MONSANTO. And he went back to the FDA again.

Monsanto. The makers of Round up (the weed killer and pesticide used on plants everywhere). Of course, if plants can withstand more Round up, Monsanto gets to sell more Round up. One better, if they can somehow create seeds that will produce it, patent those seeds, and then somehow are able to make everyone buy seeds from them, signing a contract to ensure that users must destroy their crops every year and buy new seeds from Monsanto yearly....well they stand to make quite a bit of money, don't they.  Yes, this happens. This is their operation. And getting one of their own to head up the FDA? Genius. And the FDA then made this statement- "It is the company's responsibility to decide if it is safe." SERIOUSLY!?!?!?  Good thing we have an FDA huh?

Oh and by the way. Monsanto made Agent Orange. Just so you have some idea of what kind of science we're dealing with.

And through all of this? There has only ever been 1 HUMAN FEEDING TEST. Just 1. GMO's have been on the market for 30 years now. And just 1 human test. And do you know what it found? Bacteria from the toxins stayed in our gut and continued to function. We don't poop it out. It doesn't pass through. It stays and wreaks havoc on our systems. Which causes "leaky gut"- where the lining of your stomach is no longer tightly woven...it now lets larger and larger chunks pass through. I'm gonna get personal, and a little gross here. My hubbs thought I was insane, and making stuff up when I told him that I could evacuate my meal about 10 minutes after eating it, and IDENTIFY what it was. He told me that it was impossible (he was pre-med for 2 years before switching to aero space engineering. he's kind of a smartie pants). I asked him if he wanted to see for himself. He declined. (Thank God, cause I'm not sure our relationship could have survived him inspecting my # 2's.) But guess what? I was right. Because I had some serious leaky gut. I was told by my gastroenterologist that I was malnutritioned. Turns out, when the food passes out of your stomach and directly out your anus with no digestion, you don't get any nutritional benefits. Do you know what else a leaky gut causes?  FOOD INTOLERANCE/ ALLERGIES. Perfect.

They also found that the toxin from GMOS's (known as BT toxin) is in EVERY CELL OF THE PLANT. Every cell. And it effects the plants (and us) the same way that it is meant to effect the weeds and pests- it slowly destroys them from the inside out. Yup. Why on EARTH would anyone think it would be safe to consume something that was DESIGNED TO KILL LIVING THINGS.  This info brought to you by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, by the way. Not some radical activist group, lest you think that this is not "real" science.

Can I just tell you that I am only on page 2 of my notes? This is going to be a long post but I'll try my best to condense.

LIVESTOCK THAT EAT GMO FEED. For starters, cows were not meant to eat corn. They were meant to eat grass. In a field. Happy, wondering cows. So there's that.

There was a DRAMATIC improvement found in cattle and pig health when they were introduced to non GMO feed. Like, within 2 days, the health issues the farmers had been seeing disappeared. Not just one farmer either. There was better fertility, way less birth defects, no diarrhea, and the animals were much calmer.

Let's talk about milking cows, shall we?  Monsanto created a hormone to make cows produce more milk. They mixed it with E COLI to inject them. It's called RBST, or RBGH. And until recently, without going organic, there were no RBST free options. And even now, Monsanto fought (though they didn't have to fight very hard since it was one of their guys as the head of FDA that passed the decision) to have a label on all RBST free milk that says *there are no studies to show that milk from cows treated with RBST is harmful*. Total and udder cow dung. (you see what I did there?? good stuff.)

Would you like to know the REAL info on RBST?  Science has found that men are 4 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO GET PROSTATE CANCER. and women? 61.6% INCREASE IN BREAST CANCER.

The approval of RBGH was hugely controversial, and here is a FANTASTIC example of how our dollars worked FOR US.  It was immediately banned in Europe, Japan, Australia... (yeah everywhere except here). And we found out. And we got mad. And we demanded better. And so:
WALMART, STARBUCKS, and other big American companies STOPPED PURCHASING MILK FROM COWS TREATED WITH RBST.

People. That is huge. HUGE.

We have a voting voice. We vote with our dollars. AND COMPANIES LISTEN TO OUR DOLLARS.

Oh, and fyi. The Monsanto scientists that created the RBGH injection? They refuse to drink anything but organic milk. One actually PURCHASED HIS OWN COW to ensure that that stuff never touched his, or his family's, lips. NICE.

And the claim that GMO's are helping to feed the world? Well, we're finding it's actually the exact opposite. Organic crops always outperform them. And the documentary goes into great detail regarding what happened in India when GMO Cotton was introduced. It's shocking. But I'll let you watch for yourselves.

9 crops. 9 crops are GMO crops. And you think, well I'll just avoid those. But those 9 crops are found in 72% of foods. It's pervasive. It's everywhere.

And since the plants are all becoming resistant to round up (because of course, that's what happens- we learn that in freshmen science classes), they're using more and more and more. And now? They're finding ROUND UP IN THE BLOOD OF FETUSES. And in 60-100% of rain and air samples.

So how can we reverse GMO Damage? There is one way. And it's been proven to be effective ALWAYS. ALWAYS.

Go on a non GMO diet. It reverses the damage. You know what else it does? It tells Monsanto, and the fraudulent FDA, that we will no longer tolerate being slowly poisoned to death. Vote with your dollars. VOTE FOR YOUR HEALTH. Our food should not be poisoning us.  There are so many corporations that don't want to see this nation healthy. No, no conspiracy theories. But if you don't think Big Ag and Big Pharma are in bed together, nestled up nicely with the head of the FDA, you're missing a biiiiiiiig piece of this puzzle. But we'll get more into pharmaceuticals another day. I'm exhausted from the rage and the crying and the kicking my own ass for letting my babygirl be affected by this crap.

I love you. I want you healthy. I've seen WAY too many people in my life be taken by cancer. People that should still be here. People I love dearly. HEALTHY PEOPLE who should not have died. And I want it, I NEED IT to stop.

Please watch.

Loves!





Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"Natural Flavoring" and other General Nonsense

BEAVER. ANAL. GLAND.

You read that correctly. Beaver anal gland. Not something I ever thought about before. Until I was forced to. And those three little words have convinced me that I will never again put anything non-organic, labeled "natural flavors" in my mouth again.

There is a TON of crap in processed foods. That's not really shocking. What is disturbing and shocking is that a company can yell "Natural Flavors" on their labels....and no one, NO ONE, monitors what that means. There are no rules for that phrase. Seems a bit odd. Seems hard to believe. And you will be amazed at what Big Ag is calling natural.

Let's start at the end. Literally.

Beaver Anal Gland (known as castoreum) is what they use for "natural" vanilla and raspberry flavorings. Think back to the last time you had a fruit juice, or pudding, or CAKE MIX and it touted the natural flavoring label and wasn't organic....you may want to keep a bucket next to you if you continue reading. I know I needed one after reading this list. I mean, besides being totally disgusting...what if you're a vegan?

 L-cysteine- that word doesn't sound very offensive. Except that it's human hair and feathers. And it's used in BREAD. It's a dough conditioner that makes the bread apparently have better taste and texture (I beg to differ). You know who uses it? SUBWAY. Eat fresh my a$$.

Carmine- crushed abdomen of the female Dactylopius coccus, an African beetle-like insect. It's used as a red dye, in things like ruby red juices, candies, and yogurts (thanks Yoplait and Tropicana). Ummmm. I'll pass.

Above is just the highlights reel. There are a total of 15 things on this particular list....these just happened to be my favorite.

To read the full list from Rodale, and you should, go here!

Carageenan is another one to be on the lookout for. The problem is, this one is actually natural, AND it's used in organic foods (also found in Toms from Maine children's toothpaste). It's made from seaweed and is used to keep foods from separating, but it's been found to cause bowel inflammation, leading to other not so great things.

More about Carageenan, and high fructose corn syrup here.

And really. Is anybody buying those crap commercials stating how corn syrup has gotten a bad rap and it's just as natural and good for you as sugar? So many things wrong with that sentence.

THIS. READ THIS.

I know I'm asking you to read an awful lot of extra stuff in here, but I didn't think this post would be all that effective if it was just me yelling about how awful this stuff was. So I'm backin it up with science. I'll give the highlights from the above. But really you should read these.

"Not-from-concentrate orange juice is processed with “flavor packs” to artificially ensure that each bottle tastes exactly the same." Do you know how pissed I was when I bought a crap ton of oranges in order to make the hubbs some fresh-squeezed oj, and he told me it didn't taste very "orange-y". What the hell??  It was made out of ONLY ORANGES. Then, I read about this. And now, I get it. (I hate oj, always have - until I started squeezing it myself- so I had no idea what he was talking about). And they DON'T HAVE TO TELL YOU IT'S IN THERE. Dirty Liars.

"The canning process for soup is so violent that companies grow huge, super-tough carrots for the soup so they won’t disintegrate." Why?  What about soup canning needs to be that violent? And also, most soups are made with MSG, even when they say they are not. Awesometastic.

"Coffee creamer is made of corn syrup and (hydrogenated, trans-fatty) vegetable oils." For the caffeine junkies out there, that will take a cup of coffee anywhere, even when those little I-don't-need-to-be-refrigerated creamers are the only kind available. And all those flavored ones that are refrigerated. Just, don't.

"Shredded cheese is packed with cellulose — aka refined wood pulp — to keep it from clumping." Perfect.

I heart food babe, and here's what she had to say about it.  Watch the video. Trust me.

"Givaudan is the largest flavor manufacturing company in the world. They pride themselves on making flavors that are irresistible – starting from mother nature, taking something as simple as a strawberry and then destroying everything mother nature intended for it." "It might be ingenius chemical wizadry to them. But I call it WARFARE. Is it too far to say they are using chemical warfare to slowly kill us one by one...?"

Re-watching this video right now makes me want to punch these ass hats in the throat. SHAKING RAGE. I have to remind myself, a lot, that I am a Christian and I am called to love others. Because most of the time? I want to lock these people in a room and force feed them their chemical flavorings until they get the diseases that are killing our children.

WHY CAN'T WE JUST EAT THE FOOD THAT HAS THAT FLAVOR? You know what tastes a million times better than powdered roast chicken flavor?  A ROAST CHICKEN. ARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!

But it's all about the benjamins, right?

Am I too white to pull that off?

GRAS- Generally recognized as safe

Did you need more reasons why not to trust the FDA? The above article gives you a bunch more.

"Opium poppies were used by the ancients for pain relief; only when opium was refined and mixed with tobacco in the 17th century did it become addictive. Bolivians have used coca leaves for millennia as a home remedy for aches and pains; it was only when cocaine was refined and concentrated to high doses that it became addictive and poisonous. Even marijuana has beneficial properties, e.g. preventing nausea and vomiting with chemotherapy; 18 states currently allow medicinal use, and Colorado and Washington have adopted recreational-use statutes. What about our food? Paracelsus would argue -- real food is food, but processed food is poison. Literally. "

"First: A substance can become GRAS in two ways: a) "general recognition of safety through experience based on common use in foods requires a substantial history of consumption for food use by a significant number of consumers" 21 CFR 170.30(c); or b) "generally recognized, among experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate its safety, as having been adequately shown through scientific procedures ... to be safe under the conditions of its intended use" 21 CFR 170.30(b). The operative phrase here is "intended use."" GRAS was never intended to give the food industry free reign to add any substance in any amount to our food supply. "
"Second: Before 1997, a food company had to petition the FDA to get a substance on the GRAS list. Now all it has to do is convene a meeting of scientists (paid by the company -- talk about conflicts of interest) to sit in a room and declare a substance is GRAS. And they don't even have to tell the FDA they did it. Of the 10,000 items on the list, 3,000 have never undergone review, and for an estimated 1,000, the FDA was not even notified.""Worse yet, the FDA does not systematically reconsider the safety of GRAS substances as new information becomes available; and even if it wanted to, it couldn't because it has been underfunded by Congress for decades. GRAS has simply become a back door for the food industry to add substances to our food supply without FDA approval."

I'm sure some of you think I've gone all government conspiracy theory. Maybe I have. It's becoming abundantly clear that the big ag companies ARE DESPERATELY trying to hide information- why else would they spend MILLIONS on trying to ensure that GMO food does not have to be labeled? If there's nothing wrong with it, what's the big deal? You label a food when it has nuts in it. And soy. And gluten. So why not GMO? Call me crazy, but I actually like to know what I'm ingesting.

And what I've learned sickens me. Or at least, it did until I did something about it.

So please don't think I'm rude if I refuse to give babygirl the snack you offered her. I sincerely appreciate your generosity. But I CANNOT UN-KNOW this. And I hope you can't either. Because without our dollars buying their business, Big Ag will have to change. Lord knows something has to, or we're gonna find ourselves in even worse shape than we are now. 

Have you watched TV lately? Here's the line-up:

Kids! Eat frosted chewey gooey yummies! Drink this obnoxious colored beverage! SO GOOD! Go beg your parents for it!

Are you fat? Do you want your life back? Eat our meal plans! Not a veggie or fruit to be found but all these celebrities are real skinny now! EAT IT! LOOK LIKE THEM!

Accu Check NAAA-NOOOO!  You're the one I choose! (YUP. A cheery little jingle for a diabetes blood checker. You know. An awesome little gadget that has a cool new look for all the teens and kids that now need to check their levels due to Type 2 Diabetes).

And repeat.

When did we let the greedy rat bastards completely take over? Let's take our food power back.

Loves!















Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Grease Slick Acne Face No More!

My. Face.

UGH.

My face has been the bane of my existence since high school and continued into my 30's. I was pretty sure that I was just going to have to live with the insane crazy acne I had, and being so damned greasy you could fry an egg on my forehead for the rest of my life. After all, I'm Italian, so I thought it was totally normal.

I started using Noxema on my face when I was in junior high, because it was clear I was going to be a zitty hot mess. Nothing was going to prepare me for what was coming. It was pretty freakin awful. I had to wear make-up at all times. but no matter how much I slathered on, you could still see my horrible skin. And when your skin is that bad??? Zero self esteem. Everyone must be staring at it, right? I mean, it's just RIGHT. THERE. There's no way to hide it. except Halloween. I LOOOOOVED Halloween when I could paint my face with all sorts of make-up and you finally couldn't see those angry red monstrosities.

I went to the dermatologist, but nothing they recommended helped. No prescription cream touched it.

I went off to college. I slept in my full make-up just in case we had a fire alarm in the middle of the night. It seemed to actually get worse. I tried ProActiv. NIGHTMARE. It didn't clear it up, it actually made the zits ginormous CYSTS that were suuuuuper painful and absolutely un-hideable. I sent that right back.

My sophomore year, I was diagnosed with endometreosis, and after surgery, my doc put me on birth control to help it not to grow back. That actually helped my skin. It wasn't perfect, but it was significantly better. I just turned into a psychotic beeotch.

Turned into???

Shut. Up.

Anyway. Because the pill was mad expensive and not covered by my insurance (I could spend the next few hours RAGING about how Viagra is covered for men, but bc is not, even when it's used as a medication for women, but I won't. yet.), and because I didn't relish the mood swings, I took myself on and off of it over the course of about 10 years. Without fail, my skin would get awful as soon as I went off of it. So back to a dermatologist I went. I was teaching high school by this time and when your students' faces are clearer than yours, you know it's a problem.

She put me on accutane. There's A LOT of paperwork you need to sign to take that, and blood tests you need to have done. It totally jacks up your kidneys and liver, and you have to sign a waver swearing you won't get pregnant, AND you can't donate blood until at least 6 months AFTER you've taken it because if a pregnant woman gets your blood it will severely harm the baby. This stuff is no joke. You should see the warning labels all over it. It was supposed to be one round of it and my skin would be clear forever!!!  except oops sometimes kids on it committed suicide. or went into crippling depression. or had kidney or liver failure. But whatevs, my skin would be clear. HAZZAH!

Sooooo.......it was red and crusty and dry for a while. And then I stopped getting zits, although my scars were not cute. And then my dosage was over. And my acne came back.

What. The. Eff.

So I got on another round. By the way, each round is about $500. Yup. Awesome.

This one kinda sorta took a little bit better.....but I still got zits. a lot. along my jaw line especially. and my nose. and my forehead (thank God for bangs).

My number one worry on my wedding day at the age of 27?  Would I have a breakout??  RIDICULOUS.

I continued to use harsh chemicals on my face- salicylic acid being my go-to. Until I got pregnant. And I wasn't allowed to use that anymore. My skin cleared up a bunch due to the crazo hormones, and I just used Cetaphyl. It was recommended by everyone because it's "safe" for pregnancy. And I kept on using it after I had babygirl cause it was mostly working. Except for the oily part. And the random dry patches. And the acne scars. And the never leaving my house without make-up.

We had been organic for about a year and a half, when I started paying attention to all the garbage I was putting ON my body as well. And propylene glycol?  That was some serious crap.

" Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. Propylene glycol is also used to make polyester compounds, and as a base for deicing solutions. Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products. It is a solvent for food colors and flavors, and in the paint and plastics industries. Propylene glycol is also used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and in theatrical productions. Other names for propylene glycol are 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 1,2-propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol. Propylene glycol is clear, colorless, slightly syrupy liquid at room temperature. It may exist in air in the vapor form, although propylene glycol must be heated or briskly shaken to produce a vapor. Propylene glycol is practically odorless and tasteless. " (definition on a cdc.gov website) i don't have the energy to even get started on the highlighted section. I mean really. The next line down tells us how they use it in paints and plastics. does that SOUND like something we should ingest!?!?

Basically, it allows your skin to suck in more of all of the chemicals that are found in soaps, shampoos, moisturizers- you name it.  So not only are you washing with antifreeze, but it's aiding in sopping up all kinds of nastiness. Perfect.

So I looked. And wouldn't you know, on my "safe" bottle of cetyphil, there was propylene glycol. How on earth is THAT safe for pregnancy???  In the garbage it went. And I went searching online.

I stumbled on several websites for homemade face wash, soap, shampoo, shaving cream, lotion. You name it, they made it. But for facewash, my favorite was just a tiny little blurb that I unfortunately have not been able to find again, otherwise I would totally give her credit. Here is her recipe/ instructions for face wash:

Daily, get some extra virgin organic coconut oil. put some in a jar in the shower. Grab about a quarter size-ish scoop with your fingers. rub it on your face. rinse with warm water. When you dry off, don't dry your face. let the oil act as your moisturizer (you can add more if you need it but you definitely won't need it after your skin gets all healthy). Since I'm a bad example, I don't wash my face at night. I KNOW. I pass out before I get around to it. If you are one of those perfect people who do, then use this at night, in the morning just rinse with water, and if needed add some as moisturizer while your face is still a little damp.

Once every 3 or 4 days, exfoliate with 1/4 tsp baking soda mixed with enough water to make a paste. You will not need to do this as often as you continue to use this method. Follow that with the coconut oil wash.

Easy. And cheap. And so I figured I'd try it. I even made jokes about it on facebook- don't judge me for being a grease slick hot mess, and don't lick my face. HA! Hilaaaaarious.

But.

It worked. Like, that day. It was such a major improvement I could barely believe it. And it took zero time for my skin to get used to. It. Just. Worked.

So. Today I took a pic. 100% make up free. No filters. I've been using this now for a few months.
please ignore the fact that I look like a hairless cat. my blonde eyelashes and brows are the reason why I MUST wear mascara every day.

Even my acne scars are not nearly as bad. And I no longer wear foundation. I use some bronzer (I AM from jersey), some blush, some mascara and lip gloss/stick.  AND coconut oil works as an amazing sunscreen- it protects from burning withOUT blocking the Vitamin D that everyone is so deficient in (mainly because the poison sunblock companies keep preaching about slathering yourself in their chemical shit storm 75 times every day to "protect" you).

And it's doing a really nice job in the wrinkles department.

Years and years and years of garbage on my skin. Of needing to hide my face. Of being SO. EMBARRASSED. of my face. And all I needed was a little mother nature.

Do I still get the occasional zit? Of course. I still get my period so this is a given. What do I use to get rid of it?  Right now, I use breastmilk. This may not be an option for everyone. I highly recommend it. But if you don't have access to any, leaving a thick baking soda paste on it for a bit will help. As will using lemon as an astrigent.

Now, make-up. Well. Since I rarely use foundation (I will if I'm going to a wedding), I still use my bare minerals that I've had forever. I'm sure that there are some things in there that are no good...but since I do it so rarely, I haven't really checked into it. Slackerface.

My bronzer and blush? Yup, pretty sure those are awful too. My hubbs has this thing about me throwing out stuff. I'm supposed to finish it before I buy new. So, hopefully in the near future I will have an update on that.

My mascara? I just recently got a Stila mascara. I know not all of their stuff is good, but the lady tells me that this one is free of all of that garbage and she loves it. I looked at the ingredients, but have not researched them. I bought it because I simply listened to her and I was needing it RIGHT NOW, so I'm *hoping* she wasn't a dirty liar.

And lipstick. I've been getting Burts Bees gloss and chapstick. Now, I'm not a huge fan of this company anymore since it was bought out by Clorox, who is the opposite of trustworthy. However, I was wanting lipgloss RIGHT NOW and the ingredients looked pretty good, so I caved. I really have to do research on the make up thing. Let me know if you found any you love that are organic/ natural/ etc.

So that's the story of my face. Here's to ending puberty when you're in your 30's! Hazzah!

Loves!








Monday, June 3, 2013

BEST. STUFF. EVER.- organic homemade lotion!

Outside of breastmilk. That stuff is magical- if I had to draw a picture of it, it would be a unicorn with a halo.

This best stuff ever happens to be the lotion that I make for babygirl, hubbs and myself. After trying, in vain, to find an affordable organic lotion without all the preservatives (the cheapest I found was $28 for 8 oz....no thanks), a friend of my mom's told her about a lotion that she makes for her child. I also looked online and found a very similar one. I tweeked it for us and we are in love with this stuff.

First off, who doesn't want their kid to smell like chocolate?? It is heavenly. I *may* have licked her face  after I put this on her.

Second, I found out that this is also the perfect sunscreen for us. It protects from burns and the harmful rays, while still allowing the body to absorb the Vitamin D that everyone needs. AND it doesn't have cancer causing agents in it like store bought sunblocks. WIN WIN.

So here is the recipe:

Organic Homemade Lotion Basic Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup beeswax (grate this or it will never melt!)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon shea butter

How to Make Lotion:

  1. Combine ingredients in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives or other foods.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat. Make sure not to heat too much, or the coconut oil loses some of it's valuable properties.
  3. Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.
  4. As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (8 ounce) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
  5. Use as you would regular lotion. This has a longer shelf life than some homemade lotion recipes since all ingredients are already shelf stable and no water is added. Use within 6 months for best moisturizing benefits.
 The Wellness Mama blog is where I got the measurements for this, and she also lists optional additives and where you can buy some of these ingredients. I believe a few of her optional ingredients include vitamin e and essential oils. But I happen to LOVE the chocolate coconut smell.

I bought everything except for the coconut and olive oil on amazon. They were organic, it cost me $32, and I have enough of those ingredients to make lotion for the rest of my life, as long as I store them properly. I made this a few months ago and we still have 1/4 of a jar left. 

Just a note: the beeswax and coconut oil have a tendancy to get solid again if it's not particularly warm where you live. But as soon as you rub some in your hands it all melts down again, and then you have nice warm lotion to put on your babe. 
We put some of the lotion in a travel size soap squeezie-thingie to use in her diaper bag in lieu of aquafor and other chemical crap. Girlfriend does not get diaper rash. Because it's magic.
I also use it as a nipple cream. Earth Mama, Angel Baby makes pretty much this exact same thing as nipple cream, but mine is cheaper. And it's edible so you don't have to wash it off. 
I also use it as lipbalm at night and after showers (I, of course, wear a lip gloss when I leave the house....).

And I'm not gonna lie. It took me a few months to buy into the idea of making a lotion. It just seemed like a lot of work. So I went out and bought all sorts of lotions, and ended up throwing them out. I finally just gave in in desperation. And then I discovered how easy this really is to make. And of course the hubbs was just THRILLED that it took me so long to figure this out. He says I love to waste money. He might be correct. 

So that's the story of amazing lotion. Make it. You'll never go back to buying it. Unless you don't like the smell of chocolate. In which case, you're not human so what do you need lotion for.

Loves!