Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Some cancer prevention info

I got this information from Curves. They usually have some great info posted around the place, and I really liked this one.

At least on-third of cancer deaths may be preventable

Unfortunately, advances in cancer treatement have not been as effective as those for other chronic diseases. Part of the reason is that effective screening methods are availalbe for only a few types of cancer.

More than one-third of cancer deaths are attributable to nine modifiable risk factors. Primary prevention through lifestyle and evironmental interventions are the main way to reduce the main burden of cancer.

The leading risk factors for death from cancer worldwide and in low-and middle-income countries are:
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Low consumtion of fruits and vegetables

For women in low- and middle- income countries, sexual transmission of human papilloma virus (HPV) is also a leading risk factor for cervical cancer. Smoking, alchohol use, and overweight and obesity are the most important causes of cancer in high-income countries (ie USA).

Reduction of exposure to key behavioral and evironmental risk factors would prevent a substantial proportion of deaths from cancer.

Source: Lancet 2005;366:1784-1793

I think I mentioned cancer prevention in a previous posting, but correct me if I'm wrong. It is really important to also look at your own home as a cancer causing environment- there are many products on the market that have ingredients that are only being tested now and labled as cancer causing ingredients. Try going organic, or research a company that sells non-toxic products. There are many companies out there that really do have products that are chemical free. You just need to do your research to find the product that will work best for you.

Monday, March 20, 2006

In Honor of National Poison Prevention Week

There is so much information to share with you all about preventing household poisonings. With the start of the National Poison Prevention Week, I will share with you what I know. Here's something of immediate importance for you to look through...

News from CPSC
U.S.Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, D.C. 20207
For Immediate Release
March 16, 2006 CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
Release # 06-115 CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7800
National Poison Prevention Week Launch: Young Children Remain Most
Vulnerable for Unintentional Poisonings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the past 45 years, National Poison Prevention Week has worked to
educate and inform consumers of the dangers of unintentional poisonings. These efforts have
contributed to a significant decline in injuries and deaths.
But there are still about 30 children younger than 5 years old who die from unintentional
poisonings each year. Most of these poisonings are from products commonly found in the home.
About 85,000 young children visited U.S. hospital emergency rooms due to unintentional
poisonings in 2004.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the National Poison Prevention
Week Council, and the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) today
reported these deaths and injuries at a news conference to kick off National Poison Prevention
Week (March 19-25, 2006).
“Back in the 1960s, the number of deaths each year from unintentional poisoning was 15
times greater than it is today,” said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. “Now there are literally
thousands of young people alive today who would have died without child-resistant packaging
and other measures that protect children from poisoning hazards.”
To further reduce the number of unintentional poisoning deaths and injuries, CPSC
recommends that the entire family do its part. Parents should keep items in their original
containers and leave the original labels on the products and read labels before use.
Grandparents should use child-resistant packaging and keep all household products and medicines locked up, out of sight and out of reach of young children. Older children should be aware of the dangers associated with poisonings and help their parents keep younger siblings in sight; this means taking them along when answering the phone or doorbell.
In addition to the poison prevention tips above, parents and caregivers should follow these
safety tips to reduce the risk of unintentional poisonings.
1. Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container securely after
each use or, if available, choose child-resistant unit packaging, which does not need to be
2. Call (800) 222-1222 immediately in case of poisoning.
3. Do not put decorative lamps and candles that contain lamp oil where children can reach
them. Lamp oil can be very toxic if ingested by young children.
4. Always turn the light on when giving or taking medicine so you can see what you are
taking. Check the dosage every time.
5. Avoid taking medicine in front of children.
“Proper and safe storage, use and supervision of all household products can substantially reduce
accidents in the home,” said Nancy Bock, Vice President of Education at The Soap and
Detergent Association, and chair of the Poison Prevention Week Council. “Take away the
opportunities for accidents to happen and you can literally save lives.”
According to AAPCC, poison control centers nationwide received about 1.2 million calls
about poison exposures involving children 5 years and younger in 2004. Among the potentially
toxic household products referenced in calls to the poison control centers were:
• Personal care products, including baby oil and mouthwash containing ethanol;
• Cleaning substances, including drain openers and oven cleaners;
• Over-the-counter pain relievers – including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin – and
cough and cold medicines;
• Hydrocarbons, such as lamp oil and furniture polish; and
• Adult-strength vitamins and supplements containing iron.
“While we recognize the significant strides that have been made in poison prevention,
every day there are new parents, grandparents and childcare providers who may not be aware of the potential for poisonings,” said Kathy Wruk, president of AAPCC.
To get a free packet of poison prevention publications, write to “Poison Prevention
Packet,” P.O. Box 1543, Washington, DC 20013, or visit
For additional information about poison prevention and poison control centers,
visit www.aapcc.org.
That being said, there are many different products on the market that are labled as "safe" yet still contain chemicals. Be extremely cautious when you purchase your common household products and be aware of the ingredients that are listed. Also know that not ALL of the ingredients are listed- and the ones not listed are the most harmful of all.
At the moment, there are a few companies that do sell safer products, products that are environmentally friendly. The least known companies are registered with the DSA, or the Direct Selling Association. I cannot list them here, but chances are that if you are reading this, you may know of one or two of them already! I am involved with one, which I have mentioned in previous posts. From what I know of the other companies, thier products are extremely comparable to the ones I use, but each has it's own formulas for safety ingredients. Each company will have one particular product unique to them. So do a search, research the products if you have time, and you will find great quality products that are safer to use in your home than the ones you see at Target or Wal-Mart. I promise!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Finally a new post!!!!

Whew!! I'ts been a while, but I finally took a minute to check in with everyone!! Lots have been going on here at home, and I've not been on the computer enough lately. I'll update my other blog in a while, but in the meantime read this neat article on diets that I found.

by Debbie Overstreet and Susan Daniel

For the person who wants to shed a few pounds (or even a lot of pounds), there are many choices of diet programs. To pick the best one for your tastes and lifestyle, you need to look at the attributes of each diet plan. A listing of just a few is below.

L. A. Weight Loss

L. A. Weight Loss is based on a unique combination of regular foods that you purchase at your local grocery store or in a restaurant. Each diet plan is personalized and includes one-on-one counseling.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers includes eating regular foods that you purchase at your local grocery store or in a restaurant. However, there is no pre-set combination of food for each day. Foods are assigned "points". As long as you do not exceed your points each day, you can eat whatever you want. You will of course want to vary your food to include all of the food groups in your daily diet. Group meetings or internet tracking is available.

Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig includes food that is already prepared and pre-packaged for you. This saves you time and makes choosing what to eat very easy. They also recommend physical activity as a way to accelerate your weight loss. You meet with a personal counselor each week to discuss successes and challenges.


Nutrisystem food that is already prepared and pre-packaged for you. This saves you time and makes choosing what to eat very easy. You can order your foods on-line, and they are delivered right to your door. Most of the food includes low Glycemic Index carbohydrates which make losing weight easier. You have the option of calling or emailing your counselor so that you do not have to attend any meetings.

Finding the right diet program can be easy if you do your research. The important thing is to get on a program and stick to it. Diet, exercise, and counseling seem to provide the proper ingredients for lasting weight loss.

Copyright © 2005 Susan Daniel and Debbie Overstreet About Susan and Debbie: Susan and Debbie are internet marketers. You can review more articles and Web sites on diets and weight loss by visiting http://www.thedietstartstomorrow.com.

I'm not active in any of these diet plans, but maybe I should be ;) I know many people on Weight Watchers who are very successful in thier weight loss, and they work out at Curves too. There are other diets that are not listed, such as the South Beach, the Atkins, and more. As these two wonderful ladies who wrote this article said, do your research right and you will find the right diet for you!! GOOD LUCK!!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Some Scary information I dug up...

And it concerns our food! I often have been told that when you are looking at food, if there is something listed as an ingredient that you cannot pronounce, chances are that it's bad for you. Well, I decided to do some research on a few ingredients that I keep seeing on a few things that I eat and drink on a normal basis.

1. Carrageenan, xanthan gum (basically all words that end with "gum")
This excerpt is taken from http://home.howstuffworks.com/question315.htm
Lots of foods can contain some pretty weird-sounding stuff. That's because processed foods have some amazing things they have to do. For example, a cookie might get made in Texas, trucked across the country in the middle of the summer, sit in a warehouse for a couple of weeks before it is sold and then ride home in the trunk of your car. And when you open the package, you expect the cookie to look perfect. Not an easy thing to accomplish, it turns out...

Things like liquids and cheese can be even more problematic, because their natural inclination is to separate, foam, melt, precipitate, et cetera, especially after they bounce down the road for a thousand miles.

That's why many foods contain chemicals known as gums. Two gums that are pretty familiar are gelatin and corn starch. If you look at processed food, you see all sorts of other gums like carrageenan, xanthan gum, cellulose gum, locust bean gum, agar, and so on. Food scientists (not cooks -- food scientists make processed foods) use these substances for four main reasons:
They thicken things:
Ice cream, marshmallow fluff, pancake syrup, etc., all benefit from thickening.
They emulsify things: They help liquids to stay mixed together without separating.
They change the texture: Generally, a gum will make something thicker or chewier.
They stabilize crystals: A gum might help prevent sugar or ice from crystallizing.

These are all handy capabilities when making food products that have to look good for several months after trucking them across the country. The reason why a normal cook usually does not need to use things like carrageenan or xanthan gum is because the food a normal cook makes gets eaten quickly and is not mistreated. A cook can also use less expensive things like gelatin, flour or eggs because the time span between cooking and consumption is so short.

Carrageenan, by the way, is a seaweed extract. This particular type of seaweed is common in the Atlantic Ocean near Britain, Continental Europe and North America. You boil the seaweed to extract the carrageenan. In that sense, carrageenan is completely "natural" -- it's not much different from tomato paste in its creation.

Ok, all fine and dandy, then I found this one:
2. Guar Gum
Found on http://sci-toys.com/ingredients/guar_gum.html
Guar gum is a polysacharide (a long chain made of sugars) made of the sugars galactose and mannose.
Some other familiar polysacharides are starch and cellulose, which are made of long chains of the sugar glucose.

Guar gum comes from the endosperm of the seed of the legume plant Cyamopsis tetragonolobus. Cyamopsis tetragonolobus is an annual plant, grown in arid regions of India as a food crop for animals.

Guar gum is used as a thickener in cosmetics, sauces, salad dressings, as an agent in ice cream that prevents ice crystals from forming, and as a fat substitute that adds the "mouth feel" of fat.

In pastry fillings, it prevents "weeping" (syneresis) of the water in the filling, keeping the pastry crust crisp.

It has a very high viscosity (thickness) even when very little is used. When mixed with xanthan gum or locust bean gum, the viscosity is more than when either one is used alone, so less of each can be used.

So aren't polysaccarides bad for us? Uh Huh, that's what I thought... That particular ingredient kinda worries me. Especially since it is widely used in cosmetics as well as ice cream...


Now a little note on this one before I get into the info I dug up. This is listed as an ingredient in my milk. I drink LACTAID. I cannot drink regular milk because I am lactose intolerant (have been since birth). I've been drinking LACTAID since before I can remember. So read very carefully on the information I dug up about this ingredient.

MSDS Number: C0490 * * * * * Effective Date: 10/12/04 * * * * * Supercedes: 08/10/04
1. Product Identification
Synonyms: Tricalcium phosphate; Calcium hydroxy apatite; hydroxyapatite, Precipitated Calcium Phosphate.
Health Rating: 1 - Slight Flammability Rating: 0 - None Reactivity Rating: 0 - None Contact Rating: 3 - Severe Lab Protective Equip: GOGGLES & SHIELD; LAB COAT & APRON; VENT HOOD; PROPER GLOVES Storage Color Code: Green (General Storage) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Potential Health Effects ----------------------------------
Inhalation: Causes irritation to the respiratory tract. Symptoms may include coughing, shortness of breath.
Ingestion: Causes irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Skin Contact: May cause irritation with redness and pain.
Eye Contact: Direct contact with the eyes is irritating and may cause corneal damage. Chronic Exposure: No information found.
Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions: No information found.
4. First Aid Measures
Inhalation: Remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical attention.
Ingestion: Induce vomiting immediately as directed by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.
Skin Contact: Immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes. Wash clothing before reuse. Thoroughly clean shoes before reuse. Get medical attention if irritation develops.
Eye Contact: Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting lower and upper eyelids occasionally. Get medical attention immediately.
9. Physical and Chemical PropertiesAppearance:
Fine, white powder.
Odor: Odorless.
Solubility: Practically insoluble in water.
16. Other InformationNFPA Ratings: Health: 1 Flammability: 0 Reactivity: 0 Label Hazard Warning: WARNING! DIRECT CONTACT WITH EYES MAY CAUSE SEVERE IRRITATION OR BURNS. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. Label Precautions: Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing.Wash thoroughly after handling.Avoid breathing dust.Keep container closed.Use only with adequate ventilation. Label First Aid: In case of contact, immediately flush eyes or skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes. Wash clothing before reuse. If inhaled, remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. If swallowed, induce vomiting immediately as directed by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. In all cases, get medical attention. Product Use: Laboratory Reagent.

Ok THIS ingredient is added to my MILK? HOW IN THE @%&*# DO THEY GET AWAY WITH THINGS LIKE THIS? I mean, there cannot be another ingredient by the same name that is not what is listed here? I think not. So if this ingredient is hazardous in it's powder form, then how is it in the other forms, if there are other forms? There must be if it is listed as and ingredient in my milk!

4. Phenylketonurics (always found in sodas)
I've always wanted to know what that warning label meant "Phenylketonurics - contains phenylalanine" that is on every can of soda that we imbibe. Well here you go:

"Phenylketonurics" is the term used to refer to people that have the metabolic disorder Phenylketonuria, or PKU for short. The warning on diet soda cans is included merely to inform people that the product contains aspartame. People that have the disorder PKU cannot consume any product that contains aspartame.

Phenylketonuria is a metabolic disorder that results when the PKU gene is inherited from both parents. When babies are born in the United States, a heel stick blood test is done to test for various disorders - PKU is one of the disorders that is tested for. It is very rare, in the US an average of 1 in 15,000 babies is born with the disorder (this number varies from region to region). If a baby is tested positive for PKU at birth, a follow up test is done a few days later. Out of 500 babies which do test positive for PKU on the first test, on average only one will actually have the disorder.

So, what is PKU? What happens to people that have it?

People with PKU have a deficiency of an enzyme which is necessary for the proper metabolism of an amino acid called Phenylalanine (i.e., the component in diet soda included in the warning). Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid and it is found in nearly all foods which contain protein: meat (of all kinds), dairy products, nuts, beans, tofu... the list goes on and on. Additionally, phenylalanine is found in aspartame, the sweetener found in most diet soft drinks and sugar-free candies/gum, hence the need for the warning on the labels of these products. Those of us that have PKU must follow a strict "low protein" diet to avoid all food sources that have high phenylalanine content. To get adequate amounts of other amino acids found in protein (without the damaging phenylalanine), people with PKU also have to take a special formula which is usually in the form of a liquid beverage.

If those of us that have PKU do not follow a strict low protein diet, phenylalanine is not adequately digested in our bodies and it builds up in our blood in the form of an acid called phenylpyruvic acid. High levels of phenylpyruvic acid damage the brain and can cause an array of side effects - mental retardation, the loss of pigmentation in the skin/hair/eyes (people with untreated PKU often have light skin, blond hair and blue eyes), a mousy odor, muscle aches and pains and in extreme cases, even seizures. Depending on the severity of the PKU, babies who were not treated for the disorder and put on the special diet at birth run the risk of suffering irreversable mental retardation within the first year of life.

Phenylalanine is absolutely, 100% NOT cancerous! It is in virtually every food you eat, it is one of the 8 essential amino acids that comprise a complete protein. If you don't have PKU, you would become protein deprived and seriously sick if you never ate phenylalanine!
However, the synthesized chemical called ASPARTAME is the artificial sweetener that is used in many kinds of diet soda and other sweets. It has phenylalanine as an ingredient, but is itself a completely different chemical. Apartame can cause a wide range of side effects and is considered to be very unsafe by many people (including medical professionals). Some people complain that they get headaches, cramps, severe vomiting, seizures, etc... Indeed, when aspartame is heated it breaks down into a chemical that is comparable to wood alcohol (Don't ever drink a warm diet soda or consume any warm food that has aspartame in it!).


I worry about other ingredients too, but these just happened to be closest to me in the last few days, so I had to check them out. The consequences? Who knows. But if you have any problems, have them checked out soon. Especially if you have been told you have PKU and you drink any kind of soda, even if it is once in a blue moon. And take a look at www.sweetpoison.com to get more information about aspartame and splenda- you'll get a shock there too!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Weight Loss Tips from Mom-Defrazzler

Great info here!! I agree with nearly everything she says in this article!! Go ahead, read it and let me know what you think:

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook” Julia Child

I hate dieting. It doesn’t matter what diet I follow, I gain weight. It’s so frustrating! If I do find one that works, I usually find that right about the time I’m getting used to the diet, my life ends up creating situations where I need to be eating out a lot, or spending time with friends and food. ARGH! I’ve stopped dieting now. I’m just working on healthy lifestyle habits that I can work with anywhere, at any time and that allow for “life” to happen, so I don’t need to panic. Now, believe me, I’m no expert, so check with your doctor before you follow ANY of my advice – I’m just a fellow mom, trying to get back into pre-baby clothes! I have found some things to be consistent in the myriad of ever-changing diet/health rules, and I’d like to share them with you here. So ladies, if you want to lose those extra 10 pounds (or more) that just refuse to disappear, here are some tips that are finally working for me: Pick Your Time Weight loss involves very personal issues for most people, and is closely related to their self esteem. It is crucial that you attempt to lose 10 pounds at the appropriate time - at a time where you otherwise feel good and satisfied with your life. If you try and lose 10 pounds during a period of time in your life where you have a lot of stress or other distracting things going on, you drastically increase your chances of failure, which will only make things worse. Do It With Friends A great and fun way to help you stick with your plan is to undertake your project of losing 10 pounds with a friend. Not only will you be able to provide support for each other and track each other's progress, but you'll be able to engage in fun exercise activities together. Make Your Plan Realistic It's important that you set achievable goals for yourself. For example, with just some basic changes in your lifestyle and eating habits, you can lose 1 pound a week. There's no need to be in a huge rush to lose weight, and trying to lose weight quickly often requires a regimen that is difficult to keep up. For most people, it is healthier to lose weight slowly than with drastic dietary changes. Exercise in the morning on an empty stomach There are two main reasons why you can more easily lose 10 pounds by exercising in the morning. The first has to do with the fact that it is much easier to build into your daily routine. One of the keys to losing weight by exercise is to do it regularly, which many people find difficult: it's always hard to find time. So a great reason for exercising in the morning is that you'll have very little distraction. In many ways, you are literally "making time" for the exercise by starting your day earlier. The second reason is that if you exercise in the morning on an empty stomach, you're burning energy at a time when your body's carbohydrate levels are the lowest, and therefore more fat will be burned with the same amount of exercise. There have been studies that suggest over 250% more fat is burned when you exercise in this state. Balance Your Diet Try as much as possible to balance your diet. This doesn't mean that you have to starve yourself -- rather make a point of getting no more the 30% of your calories from fat. Eat more fruits and vegetables and try to add as much variety to your diet as possible. Try new things, and new meal ideas. A great rule of thumb is to take a 9” plate and divide it into quarters. One quarter is starch/carbohydrate (potatoes, pasta, rice), one quarter is protein (meat, beans, tofu) and half is vegetables. Keep Track Of Your Progress The problem with dieting for many people, especially in the early stages, is that even if the diet is working they can't see any results. It's hard to really notice if you lose 1 pound. For this reason it's important that your track your progress, so you can have a good sense of the accomplishments you've made. Don’t just track pounds, make sure you are also tracking inches by keeping track of the measurements of the main body areas: bust, waist, hips, thighs, calves, and even your upper arm. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine Another good idea is to try and get some exercise while you're at work. Think how often you end up staying in your office on your lunch break. Instead, why not take a walk? It may not seem like much, but if you did that every day, you'd be walking 5 hours a week, which is a pretty great start towards getting some more exercise. On the weekends and in the evenings, take up a sport or an active hobby like hiking. The key is to find ways that you can get exercise while also doing things you enjoy. You can lose 10 pounds fairly quickly by starting a serious exercise regimen, of course, but that's not necessarily the best way to do it. If you make your exercise like work, it'll start to feel like work, and it will become tempting to put it off and avoid it. If you incorporate exercise into your daily routine, however, it won't seem like work at all - it will be fun. And the best part of all is that the more you exercise the more energy you'll have: instead of being tired when you come home from work, you'll feel like doing something active. Before you know it that 10 pounds you lost might become 20. So, there you have it! Try implementing one tip a week and making a habit out of it. You’ll drop those pounds in no time! Tipping the scales in your favour! Darlene Hull www.mom-defrazzler.com P.S. Want more weight loss ideas and a community to share frustrations and triumphs? Check out Darlene’s March 2006 blog entries at her “Mom-Defrazzler Blog” http://mom-defrazzler.com/Mom-DefrazzlerBlog/nfblog/ (There’s a contest, too!)