The “Art” Of Health {updated budget & a new business}

Summer. Relaxing days spent outdoors blowing bubbles and lounging by the pool while the children swim happily. No fighting, everyone can swim without some sort of floatation device needing to be blown up. They can go potty alone, feed themselves and always keep a tidy room oh and no schedules, homework or field trips. What a dream. I don’t know why I wake up most days and think this is reality? We lead a very busy life, probably more busy than most and the last two years has been insane.

 

My Husband and his Brother have been tirelessly working hours on end, after their normal day job, creating an iPhone app. The last two years I have given up my Husband to pursue his dream, creating something with his brother for the iPhone. The day has finally arrived, the app is FINISHED and releasing in the iTunes store TODAY. I could not be more proud of them and I must say the app is really awesome. Here is a little bit about the company:

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 8.50.37 PM is an iPhone app that enables artists to share original art with their community and locals to find and buy art. A wall often exists between regular people and the art world. Artists, whether hobbyist or professional, have no simple way to make their art accessible, and everyone else has no simple way to connect with local artists and purchase their work. Finestra changes all that by giving people a chance to preview art on their own wall while hearing the artists themselves tell the story behind the art. Potential buyers can email an artist to set up an appointment or get directions to see the art in person right away. Artists use the app to easily capture, manage, and promote their work professionally, or on a casual basis. Art surrounds us, and Finestra connects us through art to restore the role of artists in our communities and re-imagine our living spaces.

You can watch a 1 min promo video: 

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/61433410″>Finestra Art App</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user16940238″>Finestra Art App</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

It would be really awesome if you could go like them on FB: Finestra! Also, if you have an iPhone go download the app and check it out and request your city! You won’t be disappointed 🙂

Thank you for letting me go outside my normal posting to brag on my Hubby. Now back to foodie talk 🙂 The last 4 months has been a time of learning and figuring out “what works” for our family. Thankfully we have finally gotten into a pretty nice groove and I have tailored down our budget A LOT!

After the great purge of GMO’s from our house we were left pretty bare. I had to do a lot of stocking up on normal everyday items that I threw away. It was an expensive first few weeks! Thankfully I have figured things out and I have barely stepped foot into Whole Foods in 3 months! Crazy. I hear from several people that “it was just too expensive”. I get that. It IS expensive. But, you have to weigh the pro’s and con’s of cheap food now… potential health problems in the future or a little more expensive food now and great health later.

 

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Here is the break down of a general week in food for us. First, I get this really amazing farmer’s market basket every week that consists of local produce. I get a large basket and I typically add on 18 organic farm fresh eggs. It generally costs me around $30 dollars a week for everything you see pictured above. I also get my local raw honey from here for a great price! Do you have a local farmers market or farm share near you that you love? I would highly suggest looking into it if you do not know.

I do the rest of my shopping at Publix and Costco. Publix is generally just for spices, organic chicken, milk and gluten free items. Costco is awesome for frozen organic veggies, snacks and organic beef! We spend around $90.00-$100.00 a week in these places, sometimes it is less depending on what toiletries we need. So, in a month we generally spend $490.00 on groceries and toiletries.

I will do a much more detailed post in the future, but for now I need to help my Husband finish the last touches for our app release party here tomorrow night.

 

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Day Fifty Two. Eat Healthy + Gain Weight = Happy.

Day Fifty Two.

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I never thought I would see such a drastic change in my son just by changing his eating habits. I knew that eating healthy has it’s benefits, but I would have never guessed I would get these results so quickly. This update on my sons health makes me tear up with happiness. All those nights spent worrying if my son was growing, why was he hurting, does he have some major illness, etc…all gone, just a memory and a memory that seems like it was years ago, not just a few months.

If you are just joining my blog let me fill you in on our journey. My three year old son suffered several “symptoms” that I could not let pass by anymore and I had to get answers.

  1. He never had a normal bowel movement, it was always diarrhea and frequently would have whole undigested food in it.
  2. Horrible, horrible foul smell from BM’s.
  3. Was very irritable.
  4. He wet the bed.
  5. Would wake up several times throughout the night whether it be a bad dream, tummy ache or just restlessness. At 3 years old he still had only “slept through the night”  maybe 3 times. Sleep stretches would be no more than 3 hours at a time.
  6. Nail biting.
  7. Poor weight gain, which eventually started to get to weight loss (this is when we took him to medical doctors).
  8. Poor growth, short stature, although this was less concerning being that both my husband and myself are shorter.
  9. Extremely picky eater. Poor appetite.

It might not seem like a lot to you, but for me as a mom I just knew something was not right. We went through several different tests which all came back clear for any major problems. Whew. All we discovered was that he had high fat content in his stools and had trouble with nutrient absorption. Our GI Specialists suggested taking him off gluten to see how he responded.

We not only took him off gluten but we proceeded with a 60 day detox of all GMO’s. I started seeing results almost immediately. His attitude seemed different. He was a happy kid again, as the weeks go by things keep improving.

  1. His bowel movements look normal. No more diarrhea. Food is processed and it smells SO much better.
  2. He was happy. Still whines like your normal child, but nothing like before.
  3. No more bed wetting! Bye-bye pull ups!
  4. Sleeps 12+ hours a night. Seriously, amazing.
  5. Still bites his nails, but I think it has to do more with just being nervous. It did stop for awhile, but that has returned.
  6. February 2nd weighed in at 31 lbs. June 2nd weighed in at 35.5 lbs! 
  7. February 2nd he was still wearing 24 month clothing. June 2nd he now fits 4T perfectly!
  8. “Better” eater, still picky, but he does not gag on food anymore.

I cannot say enough about our new lifestyle and how much it literally has changed our life. Whenever we slip out of our diet due to a vacation or pure laziness I can tell the difference. It is really weird how quickly your body responds to poor eating habits. You start craving sweets and fats more, you get irritable,  it’s a beast. The opposite happens if you increase healthy foods and good fats. Your mood lightens, your are happy, you feel energized and sweets are a thing of the past (haha, yeah right!).

I know I have been lacking on posting, Summer has been super busy. I know you understand, right? Our littlest started walking, she is such a monkey and always into trouble. The other two are just as busy as ever, parties to attend, vacations, swim lessons, etc… I really do want to be posting more and cooking more but life has taken over. I will get back into a regular routine very soon. All Summer vacations are over at this point. We just have one more major event… My Husband and Brother-in-law have been working tirelessly on creating an iPhone app and I have been writing for them as well. I will be announcing their app Thursday, it goes public Friday, and I couldn’t be more excited for them!

 

 

 

Former Pro-GMO Scientist Speaks Out On The Real Dangers of Genetically Engineered Food

This is a bit lengthy and unlike my usual posts, but I would encourage you to take the time to read it. Very interesting information from a former Scientist. One quote I really liked from this article:

“One argument I hear repeatedly is that nobody has been sick or died after a meal (or a trillion meals since 1996) of GM food. Nobody gets ill from smoking a pack of cigarette either. But it sure adds up, and we did not know that in the 1950s before we started our wave of epidemics of cancer. Except this time it is not about a bit of smoke, it’s the whole food system that is of concern.”

monsanto-GMO-corn

Thierry Vrain, Prevent Disease

May 6, 2013 | By  |
Waking Times

I retired 10 years ago after a long career as a research scientist for Agriculture Canada. When I was on the payroll, I was the designated scientist of my institute to address public groups and reassure them that genetically engineered crops and foods were safe. There is, however, a growing body of scientific research – done mostly in Europe, Russia, and other countries – showing that diets containing engineered corn or soya cause serious health problems in laboratory mice and rats.

I don’t know if I was passionate about it but I was knowledgeable. I defended the side of technological advance, of science and progress.

I have in the last 10 years changed my position. I started paying attention to the flow of published studies coming from Europe, some from prestigious labs and published in prestigious scientific journals, that questioned the impact and safety of engineered food.

I refute the claims of the biotechnology companies that their engineered crops yield more, that they require less pesticide applications, that they have no impact on the environment and of course that they are safe to eat.

There are a number of scientific studies that have been done for Monsanto by universities in the U.S., Canada, and abroad. Most of these studies are concerned with the field performance of the engineered crops, and of course they find GMOs safe for the environment and therefore safe to eat.

Individuals should be encouraged to make their decisions on food safety based on scientific evidence and personal choice, not on emotion or the personal opinions of others.

We should all take these studies seriously and demand that government agencies replicate them rather than rely on studies paid for by the biotech companies.

The Bt corn and soya plants that are now everywhere in our environment are registered as insecticides. But are these insecticidal plants regulated and have their proteins been tested for safety? Not by the federal departments in charge of food safety, not in Canada and not in the U.S.

There are no long-term feeding studies performed in these countries to demonstrate the claims that engineered corn and soya are safe. All we have are scientific studies out of Europe and Russia, showing that rats fed engineered food die prematurely.

These studies show that proteins produced by engineered plants are different than what they should be. Inserting a gene in a genome using this technology can and does result in damaged proteins. The scientific literature is full of studies showing that engineered corn and soya contain toxic or allergenic proteins.

Genetic engineering is 40 years old. It is based on the naive understanding of the genome based on the One Gene – one protein hypothesis of 70 years ago, that each gene codes for a single protein. The Human Genome project completed in 2002 showed that this hypothesis is wrong.

The whole paradigm of the genetic engineering technology is based on a misunderstanding. Every scientist now learns that any gene can give more than one protein and that inserting a gene anywhere in a plant eventually creates rogue proteins. Some of these proteins are obviously allergenic or toxic.

I have drafted a reply to Paul Horgen’s letter to the Comox Valley Environmental Council. It is my wish that it goes viral as to educate as many people as possible rapidly. Any and all social media is fine by me. This can also be used as a briefing note for the councilors of AVICC or anywhere else. Thank you for your help. [Original source with replies from Dr. Paul Horgen]

Thierry Vrain
Innisfree Farm

thiery_formergmoI am turning you towards a recent compilation (June 2012) of over 500 government reports and scientific articles published in peer reviewed Journals, some of them with the highest recognition in the world. Like The Lancet in the medical field, or Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, or Biotechnology, or Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, European Journal of Histochemistry, Journal of Proteome Research, etc. This compilation was made by a genetic engineer in London, and an investigative journalist who summarized the gist of the publications for the lay public.

GMO Myths and Truths – an evidence based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops. A report of 120 pages, it can be downloaded for free from Earth Open Source. “GMO Myths and Truths” disputes the claims of the Biotech industry that GM crops yield better and more nutritious food, that they save on the use of pesticides, have no environmental impact whatsoever and are perfectly safe to eat. Genetic pollution is so prevalent in North and South America where GM crops are grown that the fields of conventional and organic grower are regularly contaminated with engineered pollen and losing certification. The canola and flax export market from Canada to Europe (a few hundreds of millions of dollars) were recently lost because of genetic pollution. Did I mention superweeds, when RoundUp crops pass their genes on to RoundUp Resistant weeds. Apparently over 50% of fields in the USA are now infested and the growers have to go back to use other toxic herbicides such as 2-4 D. Many areas of Ontario and Alberta are also infested. The transgenes are also transferred to soil bacteria. A Chinese study published last year shows that an ampicillin resistance transgene was transferred from local engineered crops to soil bacteria, that eventually found their way into the rivers. The transgenes are also transferred to humans. Volunteers who ate engineered soybeans had undigested DNA in their intestine and their bacterial flora was expressing the soybean transgenes in the form of antibiotic resistance. This is genetic pollution to the extreme, particularly when antibiotic resistance is fast becoming a serious global health risk. I can only assume the American Medical Association will soon recognize its poorly informed judgement.

In 2009 the American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for a moratorium of GM foods, safety testing and labeling. Their review of the available literature at the time noted that animals show serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system. Monsanto writes “There is no need to test the safety of GM foods”. So long as the engineered protein is safe, foods from GM crops are substantially equivalent and they cannot pose any health risks.” The US Food and Drug Administration waived all levels of safety testing in 1996 before approving the commercialization of these crops. Nothing more than voluntary research is necessary, and the FDA does not even want to see the results. And there is certainly no need to publish any of it. If you remember 1996, the year that the first crops were commercialized, the research scientists of the US FDA all predicted that transgenic crops would have unpredictable hard to detect side effects, allergens, toxins, nutritional effects, new diseases. That was published in 2004 in Biotechnology if you recall seeing it.

I know well that Canada does not perform long term feeding studies as they do in Europe. The only study I am aware of from Canada is from the Sherbrooke Hospital in 2011, when doctors found that 93% of pregnant women and 82% of the fetuses tested had the protein pesticide in their blood. This is a protein recognized in its many forms as mildly to severely allergenic. There is no information on the role played by rogue proteins created by the process of inserting transgenes in the middle of a genome. But there is a lot of long term feeding studies reporting serious health problems in mice and rats. The results of the first long term feeding studies of lab rats reported last year in Food and Chemical Toxicology show that they developed breast cancer in mid life and showed kidney and liver damage. The current statistic I read is that North Americans are eating 193 lbs of GMO food on average annually. That includes the children I assume, not that I would use that as a scare tactic. But obviously I wrote at length because I think there is cause for alarm and it is my duty to educate the public.

One argument I hear repeatedly is that nobody has been sick or died after a meal (or a trillion meals since 1996) of GM food. Nobody gets ill from smoking a pack of cigarette either. But it sure adds up, and we did not know that in the 1950s before we started our wave of epidemics of cancer. Except this time it is not about a bit of smoke, it’s the whole food system that is of concern. The corporate interest must be subordinated to the public interest, and the policy of substantial equivalence must be scrapped as it is clearly untrue.

About the Author

Thierry Vrain, Former research scientist for Agriculture Canada and now promoting awareness of the dangers of genetically modified foods.

Sources:
vancouversun.com
GE Watch Comox Valley

 

Article copied from: Waking Times

 

Know Your Ingredients. When is Healthier NOT a Better Choice?

Did you guess the Know Your Ingredients, Name This Product from yesterday? This product is actually better off with you buying the full fat version. The “healthier” option is actually contains more genetically modified ingredients than the original version! In case you missed it from yesterday, here is the ingredients list again. Try to guess it before scrolling down to the answer.

Know Your Product Icon

#8.

WHOLE CORN, SUNFLOWER, CANOLA, CORN, AND/OR SOYBEAN OIL, MALTODEXTRIN (MADE FROM CORN), LESS THAN 2% OF THE FOLLOWING: WHEAT FLOUR, SALT, CHEDDAR CHEESE (MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES), WHEY, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, BUTTERMILK, ROMANO CHEESE (PART-SKIM COW’S MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES), WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, ONION POWDER, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OIL, CORN FLOUR, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, DEXTROSE, TOMATO POWDER, LACTOSE, SPICES, ARTIFICIAL COLOR: YELLOW 6 & 5, RED 40, LACTIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, SUGAR, GARLIC POWDER, SKIM MILK, WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, RED AND GREEN BELL PEPPER POWDER, SODIUM CASEINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, DISODIUM INOSINATE.

The Answer is:

Doritos Nacho Cheese, 100-Calorie Pack

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A few of you guess it right! Good job. I L-O-V-E-D Doritos and would crave them during my pregnancies. Do not judge 🙂 The companies have it right when it comes to grabbing you with an addicting taste… they are good. Am I the only one?

Let me compare the two labels for you so you can see where they trick you into thinking “healthier” is better for you.

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I think it is sad. Healthier should not mean adding more additives and extra not-so-good-for-you ingredients. It seems by doing this they are sending out the message that healthy does not really taste good. I think the major food companies are wrong here. Do you?

Day Twenty Seven. Do You Eat Biopesticides?

Day Twenty Seven.

Bt cell

Biopesticides sound delicious don’t they? Yum. Basically, a Biopesticide is what makes a plant Genetically Modified. Americans consume on average roughly 200 lb. of GMO foods each year. Since I am not very good at math I let someone else do those calculations for me. This is from the Natural Society website.

“We know that the vast majority of corn, soybeans, and much of many other crops are genetically modified, but do we know how the how much GMOs are consumed each year? Actually, yes. Average Americans today eat about 193 pounds of genetically modified foods over 12 months—and that’s an underestimate, according to the Environmental Working Group.

EWG analyzed data from 2011 provided by the US Department of Agriculture to investigate how much GMOs Americans were eating annually.   Four foods—sugar beets, corn syrup, soybean oil, and corn-based products—were selected for calculation, with 95 percent of sugar beets, 93 percent of soybeans, and 88 percent of corn grown in the US being some of the top genetically modified foods.

They found that the average American adult, weighing 179 pounds, consumes 68 pounds of beet sugar, 58 pounds of corn syrup, 38 pounds of soybean oil, and 29 pounds of corn-based products each year.  This means the average American eats more than his or her body weight in GMOs annually—likely more than that.”

 

There are three types of Biopesticies (Bt). The one I want to focus on is the second, the most commonly used form of Bt. Here is a definition from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

“The most widely used microbial pesticides are subspecies and strains of Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Each strain of this bacterium produces a different mix of proteins, and specifically kills one or a few related species of insect larvae. While some Bt’s control moth larvae found on plants, other Bt’s are specific for larvae of flies and mosquitoes. The target insect species are determined by whether the particular Bt produces a protein that can bind to a larval gut receptor, thereby causing the insect larvae to starve.

 

Now, the EPA states that Biopesticides “generally affect only the target pest and closely related organisms”. Notice how they worded that, “generally”. Generally, in my opinion, means they are not sure and if you are not sure then do not use it. You agree with me? I read that last line in the description and it sounds like what most Americans struggle with, gut related issues. 1 out of 133 Americans will have Celiac Disease.

 

There is so much here I do not even know how to process it all. I don’t want to overwhelm people, I just want people to be informed. I think this is important and I think the presence of Bt in our food is wrong. Unless people start speaking up about it, refusing to buy GMO foods then the FDA and EPA will continue its money making schemes and the GM “food chain” will grow bigger and bigger.

Take a look at this video on Genetically  Modified Salmon…