Category Archives: Gluten Free

Artificial Dyes linked to Hyperactivity

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This is taken from a petition I received in my mail.  To sign the petition, click here

I could add my own comments here… but this lady has worded it well.  I would only add that it’s not just candies we need to be concerned with, but any food (and there are many) that these items are used in.  I’ve seen Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40 in several different things, and it’s adversely affecting our kids.  Even if your child has not received an ADD/ADHD diagnosis, it could still be causing behavioral problems of a sort… and it is something that our children do NOT need to have in their diets.  Interestingly… in Europe, they actually put WARNINGS if these dyes are used in food!  Why can’t we in the US do the same…? *sigh* good ole FDA, always watching our backs…. :/   Here is her text in its entirety, you can click on the link above or on the bottom below her post.  It is definitely worth a read… here it is:

“Did you know that M&M’s candies contain harmful, petroleum-based, artificial dyes that can trigger hyperactivity in sensitive children? I believe eliminating these dyes did wonders for my family’s health. M&M’s are already made without most of those dyes in Europe so I don’t understand why they are being made with cheaper, controversial ingredients in North America? Please sign my petition asking for M&M’s to be made without artificial dyes.

I’m a mom to two kids, and we like having some sweets around the house like most people do. Several years ago our little Trenton (now 9 years old) was having some behavioral problems. He was having trouble in school, at hockey practice, and at home with tasks as basic as falling asleep. He’d often have nightmares, and the slightest disappointment would set him off. As I did some research, I found out that parents all across the country have been struggling with similar hyperactivity issues. I also found out that many families were using an “elimination diet” to isolate and remove harmful ingredients — particularly artificial dyes. By removing dyes like those found in M&M’s, they were able to delay, reduce, and sometimes eliminate the need for medication.

Some of the latest info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that more than 1 out of every 10 school-aged child has received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder! My understanding is that’s a 41% percent increase in the past decade, and that’s why I’m so interested in trying to find simple solutions that will help make our families healthier.

I’m not trying to keep my kids from being kids.  They can have treats.  But they don’t need petroleum-based dyes.

Just two days after deciding to eliminate artificial dyes from Trenton’s diet, we saw dramatic improvements! His nightmares stopped and he was able to sleep through the night. Trent changed from a child who would have a meltdown if he didn’t get his way during playtime to a calm student who could share and do his schoolwork. When Trenton returned to hockey camp, the coach couldn’t believe he was the same person, calling him “smiling, eager to participate, and a joy to have on the ice.” Trenton’s teachers and coaches all know him for his sense of humor, wit and contagious positive attitude. Trenton excels in academics and sports, and this has been possible since our family figured out the harmful effects of the dyes.

We did this without medication and by eliminating harmful dyes like the Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 found in M&M’s. When M&M’s are sold in Europe, different dyes are used because otherwise they’d be required by law to place a label on the packaging that says “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

With Halloween coming up, I’ve decided to work with the experts at the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) on this campaign. Their review of scientific studies shows that artificial dyes including Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 can stimulate hyperactivity and other behavior problems in children.  CSPI has recommended that these additives be prohibited from use in foods. I was present at a 2011 hearing where even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged that “Exposure to food and food components, including artificial food colors and preservatives, may be associated with adverse behaviors” in children.

M&M’s used to be one of Trenton’s favorite candies, but we’ve found products in the United States like SunDrops, Yummy Gummies, and Unreal that don’t use these dyes. And they taste great! I don’t believe anyone should be eating cheap, harmful, unnecessary dyes when safer alternatives exist and already are used in M&M’s in Europe! Please join us in asking Mars Inc., manufacturer of M&M’s, to replace artificial dyes with natural coloring.”

https://www.change.org/petitions/m-m-s-candies-stop-using-artificial-dyes-linked-to-hyperactivity#

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HerbMentor News 82: Holy Basil Tulsi Tea

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HerbMentor News 82: Holy Basil Tulsi Tea.

This was my first foray into making my own herbal teas directly from dried leaves, flowers, etc.  This tea is an ayurvedic remedy, good for so many things!!  This is posted from herbmentor.com… check it out and give it a try!

I made it for the first time last night and loved it… and it’s pretty too!  Nice and pink, add a little agave nectar (PLEASE leave out the sugar… that just ruins the whole healthy aspect :P ) and VOILA  you have an awesome health perk right in your cup!

The Amazing Holy Basil & Tasty Tulsi Tonic Tea

by Rosalee de la Forêt

Our featured herb at HerbMentor.com for the months of May and June is holy basil or tulsi (Ocimum sanctum).

This mint family plant has been a sacred and important medicinal plant in India. Tulsi is one of those plants that will amaze you with the many ways it can support health and well-being.

As an adaptogen…

Tulsi’s main claim to fame in the western world is as an adaptogen. In Ayurveda they refer to it as a rasayana. This term is similar to the Chinese term tonics. It basically means that this is a transformative herb and, when taken daily, it moves a person towards health. These are generally building and nourishing herbs.

I often hear people say that they don’t want to be taking herbs for the rest of their life, the idea being that if they were healthy they wouldn’t need to take herbs. In this sense, people are equating herbs with pharmaceutical drugs. However, in other systems of healing like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, specific herbs are taken for a lifetime to ensure vibrant health and longevity. Holy basil is one of these herbs.

Holy basil not only helps the body adapt to stress, it can also promote energy and endurance. One way it does this is by increasing the body’s ability to efficiently use oxygen.

Holy basil is a relaxing nervine that can help calm the mind and recover from our hustle and bustle culture.

As an herb for the heart…

Tulsi has many beneficial actions on the heart. It is slightly blood thinning and promotes good circulation. It can lower stress-related high blood pressure and taken daily it can help optimize cholesterol levels. Stress can play an ugly role in overall cardiovascular health and the adaptogenic properties of tulsi can help mediate stress-related damage.

In Ayurveda, a formula that is balancing to all who take it (tridoshic) is made up of tulsi, arjuna and hawthorne.

For musculoskeletal pain

In scientific studies, holy basil has been shown to be a COX 2 inhibitor (many modern pain medications are COX 2 inhibitors), making it useful against arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Tulsi is high in eugenol, a constituent also found in cloves, which is helpful to decrease pain.

Holy basil growing in southern France.

And more! This is just a smattering of beneficial uses for this amazing plant. It’s also used for viral infections, fungal infections, radiation exposure, high blood sugar, hay fever, the herpes virus, anxiety, high blood pressure and on and on and on!

Note: I know some of you are wondering if our common culinary plant, basil, is the same as tulsi or holy basil and the answer is no. Our culinary plant, Ocimum basilicum, is a different species although they do have some overlapping properties and uses. There are over 60 different species in the Ocimum genus.

A “Tulsi Journey”

Many members of the HerbMentor.com community have signed up for a tulsi journey.

We’ve agreed to take tulsi as a tea or tincture daily for thirty days and then report back on what our experiences are. We can share recipes and different ways we experiment with taking tulsi as well as changes in how we feel.

Since we are drinking tulsi tea daily at my house I have been experimenting with all sorts of different recipes. Today I am going to share one of my favorites.

To make this tea you’ll need…

To make this tea simply place the herbs in your tea pot.

Pour in the just-boiled hot water.

Let steep for 10 – 15 minutes and then pour.

…And enjoy!

~Rosalee

P.S.

If we collect enough recipes from HerbMentor.com members I’ll be making it into a community ebook! Look for it on HerbMentor.com.

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Are you in Peri-Menopause? (sorry guys, don’t look! LOL)

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Has your body over the last few years started to go a little (or a lot) wacky?  Feel like you’re falling apart but know you’re too young to feel this way?  In your 30’s or older?  Have several symptoms and they seem unrelated?  No, it’s not in your head.  It’s in your hormones!

The bad news is… this may be normal.  And the good news is… this may be normal.  Basically, it’s just like that saying “life happens.”

You, my friend, may be in… da da DA… (dramataic pause)……………  the early stages of perimenopause.  And you thought it couldn’t happen to you!

More good news though… you can help alleviate the symptoms you might be having, like this whopping list:

  • abdominal bloating
  • agoraphobia
  • aggression, anger, rage, resentment
  • alcoholism, particularly pre-menstrually
  • allergies
  • anxiety, nervousness, irrational fear
  • arthritis, joint and muscle pains
  • blood clots
  • breast tenderness
  • bruising and capillary breakage
  • chronic fatigue – muscular weakness, procrastination, exhaustion, tiredness, mental confusion, difficulty in getting up after enough sleep, lethargy
  • clumsiness
  • cold hands and feet
  • constipation
  • cracked heels
  • cravings, eating disorders, binges, inability to tolerate long intervals without food
  • cysts – breast and ovarian
  • dizziness
  • depression – loneliness, uselessness, endless crying, irrational behaviour
  • fibroids
  • guilt
  • hair loss and excessive facial hair
  • headache
  • hot flushes and night sweats
  • hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
  • hypothyroidism
  • incontinence
  • insomnia
  • irregular menstrual flow, heavy or light flow
  • irritability
  • lack of self confidence and esteem
  • libido loss
  • memory loss
  • mood swings and irritability
  • nails – flaking, brittle and weak
  • osteoporosis
  • palpitations
  • panic attacks
  • personality changes
  • skin problems-dry skin and early ageing of the skin
  • sleep disturbances
  • tension
  • urinary tract infections, cystitis
  • vaginal thinning, dryness and itching
  • violence-verbal and physical
  • violent dreams
  • weight gain
  • water retention
Yes, it is glorious to be a woman… ;) 

It just doesn’t get much better than that! *smile*

                    Read more: http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/peri-menopause.html#ixzz1uYcnVtFp Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

All kidding aside… if you have many of these symptoms… it could be worth your while to consider using progesterone cream.  Look for a brand that lists the amount of progesterone, and it should say “Progesterone USP” NOT “wild yam root”.   Wild Yam Root needs to be converted to  progesterone, in a lab… our bodies can’t just take wild yam and convert it.  So be aware of that.  I personally use a brand by Emerita called  Pro-Gest.  I began using it a few months ago, when my thyroid symptoms got worse… to my surprise, I found that the signs of estrogen dominance are almost identical in SEVERAL ways to hypothyroidism!  So, after being put on a small dose of synthroid, and still having the same problems, and the doctors saying I was “normal” … I decided to give progesterone a try.  In some ways my body is still adjusting so not everything is “fixed” but I have seen several things that ARE being “fixed” such as my problems sleeping at night, mood swings, tough PMS symptoms, painful periods,, menstrual migraines, (and amazingly even my gluten intolerance has gotten better, and I really don’t understand that at all but HEY I am not complaining!)

For an amazing article, check out http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/peri-menopause.html#axzz1uVAZWOx2  and it will give you a lot of really good info.  The whole site is incredibly helpful.   This article will explain more in detail about the effects of perimenopause on your body and how progesterone cream can help you.
So smile, it *will* get better! :) 

MSG Slowly Poisoning America… and causing obesity

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This article comes from http://www.advancedhealthplan.com/msg.html – click here to read in its entirety

MSG – Slowly Poisoning America:

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) Causes Obesity

“I don’t eat much. I eat healthy. Why am I so fat?” Have you heard those words from your friends and family, as I have? Here’s an answer to their question. Doctor Sica gives us a very good description of the current science about this horrible substance which has been in so much of our food (at least in the U.S.) since about 1947.

To get a handle on what to look for on food labels, you need to print out a list of all the disguises food manufacturers use for it. Here is a web site with a good list for you:

http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html

THE MD’S EXPLANATION OF THE CAUSE OF OBESITY

“From: Robban Sica, MD
Subject: Please read
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007

This is critical to your health for you to know!

MSG – The Slow Poisoning Of America

MSG Hides Behind 45+ Names, Such As ‘Natural Flavoring.’ MSG Is Also In Your Favorite Coffee Shops And Drive-Ups

I wondered if there could be an actual chemical causing the massive obesity epidemic. So did a friend of mine, John Erb. He was a research assistant at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and spent years working for the government.

He made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book he was writing called ‘The Slow Poisoning of America.’ In hundreds of studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies. No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so the scientists have to create them. They make these morbidly obese creatures by injecting them with MSG when they are first born. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing rats (and humans?) to become obese. They even have a title for the fat rodents they create: ‘MSG-Treated Rats.’

I was shocked too. I went to my kitchen, checking the cupboards and the fridge. MSG was in everything: The Campbell’s soups, the Hostess Doritos, the Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, Kraft salad dressings, especially the ‘healthy low fat’ ones.

The items that didn’t have MSG marked on the product label had something called ‘Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein,’ which is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate.

It was shocking to see just how many of the foods we feed our children everyday are filled with this stuff. They hide MSG under many different names in order to fool those who carefully read the ingredient list, so they don’t catch on. (Other names for MSG: ‘Accent’ – ‘Agino moto’ – ‘Natural Meet Tenderizer’, etc) But it didn’t stop there. When our family went out to eat, we started asking at the restaurants what menu items had MSG.

Many employees, even the managers, swore they didn’t use MSG. But when we ask for the ingredient list, which they grudgingly provided, sure enough MSG and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein were everywhere:

Burger King
McDonalds
Wendy’s
Taco Bell

And every restaurant like: TGIF, Chili’s, Applebee’s and Denny’s use MSG in abundance. Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed to be the WORST offender: MSG was in EVERY chicken dish, salad dressing and gravy. No wonder I loved to eat that coating on the skin. Their secret spice was MSG.

So, why is MSG in so many of the foods we eat?

Is it a preservative or a vitamin?? Not according to my friend John. In the book he wrote, an expose of the food additive industry called ‘The Slow Poisoning of America’ he said that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human body. Here’s the web site where you can buy the book, if you’re interested:

http://www.spofamerica.com

Even the propaganda website sponsored by the food manufacturers’ lobby group supporting MSG at:

http://www.msgfacts.com/facts/msgfact12.html

explains that the reason they add it to food is to make people EAT MORE OF THEIR PRODUCTS.

A study of the elderly showed that people eat more of the foods it is added to. The Glutamate Association lobby group says eating more benefits the elderly, but what does it do to the rest of us? ‘Betcha can’t eat just one,’ takes on a whole new meaning where MSG is concerned! And we wonder why the nation is overweight?

The MSG manufacturers themselves admit that it addicts people to their products. It makes people choose their product over others, and makes people eat more of it than they would if MSG wasn’t added.

Not only is MSG scientifically proven to cause obesity, it is an addictive substance! Since its introduction into the American food supply fifty years ago, MSG has been added in larger and larger doses to the pre-packaged meals, soups, snacks and fast foods we are tempted to eat everyday. The FDA has set no limits on how much of it can be added to food. They claim it’s safe to eat in any amount. How can they claim it safe when there are hundreds of scientific studies with titles like these?

‘The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of exercise in obesity’. GobattoCA, Mello MA, Souza CT, Ribeiro IA.Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 2002.

‘Adrenalectomy abolishes the food-induced hypothalamic serotonin release in both normal and monosodium glutamate-obese rats’. Guimaraes RB, Telles MM, Coelho VB, Mori C, Nascimento CM, Ribeiro Brain Res Bull. 2002 Aug.

‘Obesity induced by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment in spontaneously hypertensive rats: an animal model of multiple risk factors’. Iwase M, Yamamoto M, Iino K, IchikawaK, Shino hara N, Yoshinari Fujishima Hypertens Res. 1998 Mar.

‘Hypothalamic lesion induced by injection of monosodium glutamate in suckling period and subsequent development of obesity’. Tanaka K, Shimada M, Nakao K, Kusunoki Exp Neurol. 1978 Oct.

Yes, that last study was not a typo, it WAS written in 1978. Both the ‘medical research community’ and ‘food manufacturers’ have known about MSG’s side effects for decades! Many more studies mentioned in John Erb’s book link MSG to Diabetes, Migraines and headaches, Autism, ADHD and even Alzheimer’s.

Poisonous Sweetener, possible link to brain cancer MUST READ

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Good old FDA… they never let us down. NOT.

You can read the following article in its entirety here:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/a-poisonous-sweetener.html

A Poisonous Sweetener

A Poisonous Sweetener

By Zachary Shahan, Green Options

According to a UK documentary, “Sweet Misery,” the National Cancer Institute identified a significant and impressive increase in brain cancer starting in about 1984. Why did brain cancer shoot up? Evidence suggests that it is because of artificial sweeteners such as those found in diet drinks and food.

Scientists noticed that in 1983 humans began consuming something never before consumed by humans — aspartame, a chemically created substance acting as a sugar alternative used in diet drinks, food, and even on the table in most restaurants (i.e. NutraSweet, Crystallite, Equal).

Increase in Aspartame, Increase in Brain Cancer

According to the documentary, in 1984, one year after its introduction, 6.9 million pounds of aspartame were consumed by Americans. In the next year, that number doubled. It continued increasing into the ’90s.  This spike in Aspartame consumption parallels the spike in brain cancer.

From 1984-1987, other cancers outside the brain basically remained the same or declined. However, brain cancer rates shot up.

Scientists confirmed that the increase in brain cancers is not due to technological advancements that made diagnosing brain cancer easier and it is not a result of changes in disease classifications.

Why is it suggested that aspartame has this neurological effect?

Scientists think that it is because 10 percent of the chemical substance, after ingestion, becomes free methyl alcohol (wood alcohol), which as one scientist in the film states, is a “real poison.” Another says, “the poisonous effect of methyl alcohol and its methyl esters are well-known.” Even small amounts of this poison can lead to blindness and death. The “miniscule” amounts in our common foods and drinks seem to sometimes lead to cancer and other neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Bottom line — maybe it’s time to cut artificial sweeteners out of your diet!

Hot Dogs Dangerous, Red Meats Can Increase Cancer Risk

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I read the following article on Care2.com this morning.  Many of us already know this but it is worth reminding everyone.

On Wednesday, July 22, the Cancer Project, an affiliate of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit organization that advocates vegetarianism and alternatives to animal research, filed a class-action consumer fraud lawsuit to require hot dog manufacturers to place warning labels on hot dog packages sold in New Jersey. The labels would read, “Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer.”

According to PCRM’s press release, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of three New Jersey residents who purchased hot dogs without knowing that processed meats contribute to colorectal cancer.

Studies show that there is conclusive link between meat consumption and colorectal cancer.

The American Cancer Society even warns, “A diet that is high in red meats (beef, lamb, or liver) and processed meats such as hot dogs, bologna, and lunch meat can increase your colorectal cancer risk.”

Additional Sources of MSG

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Depressing how little our FDA thinks of us to allow this crap in so much of our food… but here it is: http://www.vitalearth.org/MSG.htm (please see my additional post below about additives used to GROW CANCER CELLS… in our ice cream, dairy, and more!)

Hidden names and sources of MSG
enzyme modified
annatto
Anything “enriched”
anything fermented
anything protein fortified
anything ultra pasteurized
autolyzed yeast
barley malt
broth
bouillon
calcium caseinate
carrageen
caramel flavoring
Corn syrup
Corn syrup solids
Cornstarch
Dough conditioners
Dry milk solids
flavoring
natural flavoring,
gelatin
gums
hydrolyzed oat flour
hydrolyzed vegetable
hydrolyzed protein
malt extract, maltodextrin
Malt flavoring
Milk powder
Modified food starch
natural flavors
Natural chicken, beef, or pork pectin
plant protein extract
potassium glutamate
Protease, protease enzymes
Rice syrup
seasonings
sodium caseinate
soy protein
Soy protein isolate
soy sauce or extract
stock
textured protein
Vegetable gum
Vitamin “enriched”
Wheat, rice or oat protein
whey protein
Whey protein isolate
yeast extract
yeast food
Yeast nutrients