Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some vinegars -- often expensive, aged balsamics -- contain a big dose of lead

Fascinating article about lead content in aged balsamic vinegars.

Not something I really wanted to read, considering how I enjoy balsamic vinegar dressing on my salad. Its just amazing to me sometimes how dangerous even the most innocuous foods are these. Its like now matter how hard you try, you just can't escape something in food killing you. Its a fallen world.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Movie Theater Popcorn - Still Terrible for You...

The LA Times has an article on movie theater popcorn and how dreadful this stuff continues to be. I'm surprised, though, that there's no mention of hydrogenated oils, which I would have figured to be the biggest health culprit in the stuff (liquid margarine... yuck...) I stopped eating the stuff long ago - actually, I stopped going to the movies years ago too, and only rarely catch a film (I think the last film I saw was the 'Indiana Jones - Crystal Skull' film, which was just ridiculous and silly.)

The best bet for popcorn is to just invest in an air popper, then lightly salt/lightly butter it at home. Cheaper, healthier, and I think tastier than then microwaved versions.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stop the Thyroid Madness

Here's an excellent book for those with hypothyroid. Worth checking out if you have any of the symptoms and discussing with your doctor.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Phthalates - Plastic in the Body

I've just started reading about phthalates, a type of plastic chemical found in a number of products, and some of the detrimental health effects from this stuff. It's one of those things like hydrogenated oils that, once you start reading about it and some of the bad things reported about it, it can just be overwhelming (particularly some of the studies reporting reproductive problems associated with phthalates.)

In terms of plastic, I know that I've had drinks from plastic containers and picked up that "plasticy" taste to the water, so the idea of plastics in material being ingested isn't an alien idea (it;s part of why I try to avoid using plastic bottles and utensils when I can, but it can be hard to avoid sometimes.) This is one of those things that makes me think I'm long overdue for another fast.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Melamine & Infant Formula

Another interesting article from natural news about the "safe" level of melamine in foods, namely infant formula. I know that sometimes formula is the only option for some babies, which is why there should be better safety standards in terms of what goes into infant formula.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Soft Drinks Aren't Good For You (Obviously)

Yahoo! had another half-decent article on the negative side of soda, including citing the negatives of aspartame. The article could have gone a little bit further, but I think the article covered a number of important negative aspects of regular soda consumption. I do enjoy non-HFCS soda's from time to time, and these are likely my biggest nutritional vice, and the article points out some good alternatives to soda (such as water, which I really should be drinking more of.)


Friday, October 16, 2009

FDA to study negative effects of Lasik eye surgery

A subconjunctival hemorrhage is a common and minor post-LASIK complication, courtesy of wikipedia
There was an article in the health news today about the FDA to study the negative effects of Lasik. I'm curious to see what, if anything, will come from this.

I remember chatting with the optometrist about this procedure at my last eye exam. I've read a number of things about people getting chronic dry eye (and even worse, chronic pain) from having the surgery done, so I asked about some of this. As I understand it, the laser surgery can potentially damage the tiny optic nerves in the eye, that play a big part in telling the eye how and when to hydrate itself.

This isn't something I'll be getting anytime soon. The contacts I wear work fine (although they tend to get dry around 5 pm, so I transition to glasses around then.)


Friday, October 9, 2009

Mercury and Seaweed

I'm a big fan of seaweed, so I found this article interesting, both the article and the comment connected to it, about mercury and seaweed. This article has had me curious enough to include a blood mercury test as part of my blood work that I need to do this year as part of my employer's benefit plan. Considering that I was fully vaccinated as a child (albeit by a much lighter CDC schedule years ago) I wonder how much mercury I've stocked up in my brain over the years... :)


Historical Data Shows Vaccines are Not what Saved Us

Historical Data Shows Vaccines are Not what Saved Us

I read this today, and while I still try to see both sides of the issue, some of the things I hear about vaccine damaging people is just hard to get past.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Soda & Obesity - dang!

Just reading about the link between soda and obesity, which makes sense, but it makes me sad, as soda is one of my few nutritional vices.

But the soda I drink is generally Hansen's, or Jones, both without high fructose corn syrup. All the same, I know that all that liquid sugar isn't good for me. It's not fair... :)

I'm going to have one now to commensurate...


Monday, September 14, 2009

Initial thoughts on WiFi dangers

I thought that this was an interesting article on the dangers of WiFi. I'm around wireless radiation constantly through the day, so this is the start of a topic that I've been researching. Just because the FDA gives it's good blessing on the safety of WiFi and radio frequency radiation, doesn't mean I'm convinced it's completely safe. But then again, these days WiFi is nearly inescapable, and even if you had no wireless broadband/cell radiation in your house, your neighbors are sure to. And look outside the window and there's bound to be a cell tower not far from view.
Even living in remote places in the country you can't escape some sort of satellite radiation. Maybe it's harmless, but my thinking is, the technology is so new, how can they know for sure at this point?


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Medical doctors aren't taking the H1N1 vaccine

The video I posted talks about how some individuals in the medical community are avoiding H1N1 and urging their friends and families to do so as well. This is interesting, and a little alarming, in light of what I just heard on the radio the other day with the head of the CDC telling people to get the vaccine. It also sounds as if the testing has been minimal, and per the video children in Oklahoma were used as "guinea pigs" for testing.

What frightens me most is things such as the bill being drafted in Massachusetts which, in light of the potential pandemic, allows health officials to invade homes and detain without warrant, as well as fine individuals who refuse the shot. Granted, that's one state, but I live in Texas, where the governor wants Gardasil vaccine required for ALL girls in the state. It's one thing for the government to recommend a vaccine schedule, and another thing completely to mandate it by law.

So I'll keep my eye on the news regarding swine flu, and pray that this isn't the "epidemic" that the media plays it up to be.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dark History of Vaccines

Here's a link to an interesting article about some of the darker history of vaccines. Frightening, and it is bothersome that this type of material rarely makes the mainstream media (or even Readers Digest, but no real surprise there.)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

iHerb - where I go for vitamins

I've been ordering most of my supplements from iherb lately. The prices, for the most part, seem to be better than I can find locally, and I like that they have a large selection of freebies that you can get with your order. Plus free shipping is a plus, too. It's a site without a lot of flash and dazzle, but it's got a decent selection of products, and I think I've been able to find 90% of whatever I was looking for.

If you check out iHerb, you can use code YUZ753 to get a $5 off credit (at least, I think so. This is what the site says.) Shameless self-promotion, I know, but hey, why not.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Will Americans follow orders to take flu shots?

I've been reading on a number of sites about the possibility that the swine flu vaccine will be mandatory by law. I'm not sure if there's any ground to this, but considering that vaccines are mandatory for public schools, colleges, and even some pediatric clinics, this isn't completely unthinkable. I ride the fence on the vaccine issue: I think there can be some advantages, but at the same time, the current schedule is pretty heavy, and I wonder if scientists have really done a thoroughly-comprehensive study of these drugs and the effect that they have on the body, also factoring in environmental conditions. I do not believe that any vaccines should be mandatory, though, and that individuals should be free to opt out of receiving them, so it can be a little frightening reading some of these articles.


FDA Declares Mercury Amalgam Fillings Safe for All

The FDA declaring mercury fillings to be safe is highly questionable to me. I've heard some mixed things from, of all people, my own dentist. We talked about about mercury fillings, and while he does believe there can be some risk to these, the likelihood of these leaking is rare. The other thing he mentioned is, to have mercury fillings removed involves wearing down remaining tooth material to get them out. They don't just melt out, but you need to wear away the tooth further to get these out. So there's a trade-off involved there. Frankly, the idea of a mercury-based item situated in one's teeth does not seem like a good idea. My understanding is that it's mercury in vaccines that also causes these products to be suspect as well.

This gets into the area of heavy-metal detox, which is a new subject that I'm just beginning to research now. I've heard of a few foods that help remove toxic metals from the body, and I also know that fasting is supposed to do the same thing as well. I'm curious to learn more about what one needs to do to get toxic metals and chemicals out of the body.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stir-fry veggie dish from "Iron Monkey"

The film "Iron Monkey" featured plenty of goofy kungfu action and silly dialog, but during one scene in the film, the hero is shown making some very tasty-looking food, such as this dish here. Best I can judge there's some red pepper, green onions, mushrooms and greens at work in this dish, and it looks very tasty! I wish that the film had included a recipe...


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Apple Cider Vinegar Cures: a wealth of information

I found a site that has a ton of good information about apple cider vinegar and various cures it offers.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ten Things You're Not Supposed to Know about the Swine Flu Vaccine

Ten Things You're Not Supposed to Know about the Swine Flu Vaccine is an article worth checking out. Especially alarming is the fact that this vaccine has been rushed out the door and, apparently, not tested on any humans.

I don't understand the hype over this. From what I've read, this is only really a concern for immune-compromised individuals, but I keep hearing about this in the news like it's something catastrophic. I'll keep following this, because I'm curious what's going to happen with this disease vaccine.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot dogs warning labels and musing about flexitarianism

Fox news had an article about an anti-meat group pushing for cancer labels on hot dogs, and it's interesting to see stuff like this, because I don't think they are too far off. Warnings about limiting consumption might not be a bad idea - plus I'd like to see some warning labels about the sodium nitrates you generally find in Oscar Mayer products (I know that Oscar Mayer does make some meat products without nitrates, such as some of their hot dogs and bacon, but I haven't been able to find these at the store in a long time. Not sure if Walmart/HEB just aren't carrying these anymore, or if Oscar Mayer discontinued these particular brands.

In any case, I'm a content flexitarian: I try to go easy on the meat, and I enjoy mainly salads, vegetables, raw milk/yogurt/whey, as well as soaked/fermented grains... but don't tell me not to eat beef, chicken, eggs, or seafood, as I greatly enjoy these as part of my meals from time to time. I try to find natural grass-fed beef (generally a little more expensive, but worth it) for foods like tacos and chili. Natural chicken can be tricky to find (Whole Foods has it, but Whole Foods isn't close, or cheap, for that matter.)

I'm contentedly a flexitarian. I considered, and researched, vegetarianism and veganism in college, and determined that both of these were not the ideal direction. For one thing, I just enjoy the satiety that meats provide, that veggies just cannot. There are times I want meat, and a carrot just won't substitute (and I avoid soy proteins like the plague these days, per sites like this one, among others. The big thing that turned me off of the strict vegan direction was the inability of finding natural sources of vitamin B-12. You only get this from animal products, which just goes to show that we were designed to ingest animal products as part of our design. But because of the makeup of our digestive system, we also aren't designed to consume huge portions of meat, either. Unlike carnivorous lions and tigers, we have systems that slowly break down and absorb nutrients from foods, making vitamin-rich plant foods far more ideal than non-stop beef for dinner. Flexitarians, I also seem to recall reading (but I don't have a link to add here) generally outlive vegetarians and vegans, because of things like B-12 (I need to research into this more. It's a blog, so I'm not being graded for this stuff...)


Farmed Fish May Eat Your Brain?

I thought that this was an interesting article at Natural News, basically identifying a link with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) (aka mad cow disease) and how it's finding it's way to farmed fish. I try to avoid farmed fish anyhow, since I've read it's generally not as healthy (with some exceptions, such as the farmed fish sold by Whole Foods, which have higher safety standards) but all the same, I prefer to purchase fish that's caught wild. Walmart, of all places, sells a decent wild salmon fillet for about $6, which isn't bad considering it's salmon, it's wild, and it's a large enough portion to feed the fam.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Teeccino coffee

I'm currently a fan of Teeccino coffee, namely the hazelnut blend. This is a great-tasting coffee, without the caffeine. It's got a fascinating, rich flavor, and it's loaded with unique ingredients like organic roasted carob, organic roasted barley, and chicory root, etc. I've only been able to find it at health food stores, some grocery stores and some sites online, but it's worth finding.

For the longest time I was drinking Seattle's Finest (Hazelnut blend again) and this is good, but I could do without the caffeine. Usually it would be a weekend drink, and I'd drink tea during the week while working. I still down a lot of tea, but now I've been including more of Teeccino during the week as well, since it doesn't have the caffeine.


VitaminWater10, and some nasty-tasting artificial sweetner content

I sampled some Vitaminwater 10 the other day, and found the flavor absolutely repugnant. This thing is going back to the store. Routinely artificial sweeteners have an awful taste to me (considered safe by the FDA, considered repulsive by me) but this drink doesn't have any of the usual culprits like aspartame, sucralose, splenda, etc. Rather, it's got something in it called "erythritol" (a "natural" sweetener, which I doubt is natural at all) and the flavor is just a wallop of chemical aftertaste. Artificial sweeteners usually dry out my mouth and throat, and if I drink enough, I get a headache, so I avoid this FDA-approved-to-be-safe additive, so I'm not sure what to think about erythritol, because it looks like this is the new artifical sweetener on the block and there's not a lot of information out there about this (here's one link on it on Mercola... good site but I can live without obnoxious pop ups asking for my email. Look, I want information - not a newsletter.)

Stevia is in this drink as well, and I've tried Stevia straight and I just don't get into the taste of it. It just doesn't work the same for me as natural sweeteners do, like sugar and honey. So no more of this for me, unless they find some other natural way to sweeten this (and I mean "natural" in terms of reality, not "natural" as defined by the FDA).

(as a funny side note, it's interesting that when you spell-check the word erythritol the first suggested replacement word is "urethritis". I wonder if that means anything...?)


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nourishing Traditions

I've just recently started reading "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon, and there is a wealth of information about preparing good, healthy recipes, many of which involve sprouted grains and fermentation. In fact, in a future post I'm going to show some steps I took recently to create curds and whey using raw cows milk (it was a fascinating experiment and the results were just great.) I've been trying to incorporate whey into recipes recently, and I'm going to post notes about that here as well.

The book is worth checking out, and will probably do a much better justice explaining things than I could here. It's worth picking up for the recipes alone.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stricter labeling urged for bottled water

An interesting, but somewhat vague, article from the AP about stricter labeling urged for bottled water. I would have liked to read more specifics about what it is that's wrong with bottled water. My own understanding is that, with time, the plastics of the bottle slowly seep into the water itself (ever drink water that had been sitting around in a plastic container that, when tasted, had a "plasticy" taste?)
I've also read that this effect can be magnified by leaving bottled water sitting out in the sun.

I'd like to see more labeling, and I'd also like to know that the bottled water (until tap) is free of fluoride (which should be avoided in drinking water. See here.)


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Centrum and.... hydrogenated oils?

I was in Walmart the other day and saw Centrum vitamins on the shelf. Just for kicks, I read over the nutritional content label, and was surprised to see that Centrum Silver contained not only FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake but Hydrogenated Palm Oil?? Why would they make a multivitamin that contained unhealthy trans fats? That seems counter-intuitive: packing a vitamin with something that's bad for you.


FDA Complicit in Pushing Pharmaceutical Drugs

No real surprise here. In fact, nothing in the article that I didn't really already know, but still interesting to see this surfacing on a censored internet site...

FDA Complicit in Pushing Pharmaceutical Drugs


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar

I've recently started incorporating Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar into my diet more. The stuff is amazing, and the more I read about the health benefits of organic apple cider vinegar (ACV, as I call it) the more impressed I am. I pick up ACV at HEB generally, as I haven't seen it elsewhere (other than a few health food stores).

The ACV sold by Bragg is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and includes "the mother", the somewhat icky-looking stuff that occurs naturally, as "strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules" (per the Bragg site.) I've been using the ACV in homemade salad dressings (with a good extra virgin olive oil), as well as in chili, and I've even been drinking it straight (sometimes diluted, sometimes not.) If I've got an upset, acidy stomach, if I take some of this ACV, slightly watered, it generally eases the problem perfectly. I've also (and my wife thinks this is revolting) taken my daily vitamins and fish oils washed down with a nasty cocktail of watered-down ACV and psyllium husk fiber. She thinks I'm crazy, but I'm all about the detox (this is NOT recommended for everyone and may cause complete and total nausea, but it works for me... :)

The health benefits of a natural Apple Cider Vinegar are impressive from what I've read so far, and the subject is worth investigating more. I recently read though a book called Wild Fermentation that gives steps (among other recipes) for making your own apple cider vinegar, which I'd like to experiment with sometime.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chik Fil A: Great place, but could still use a few more changes...

A site called OrganizedWisdom had an article on healthy eating, and Chik Fil A made the list. I've enjoyed Chik Fil A a lot: the food is tasty, the customer service is exceptional (every time I've been there, the people are always extremely friendly) and the attention to extra details (like little containers of cheerios for toddlers, tons of condiments, etc.) make it a fast food place I've enjoyed visiting. In fact, the kids meals, unlike places like McDonalds, actually feature educational material like kid's books or computer software. You go to McD's, you'll get a toy that ties into a movie promotion (generally a PG-13 rated film, too...) I also really respect that Chik Fil A closes shop every Sunday. That's admirable.

The only thing about Chik Fil A, however, that could use changing, is the presence of MSG in some of the foods. I've noticed this on the menu for a few of the chicken sandwiches, and I'd really like to see this food additive taken out. Last I checked, the chicken sandwiches were without hydrogenated oil, which is great, and the lemonade was not made with high fructose corn syrup (another plus.) But I avoid MSG, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, etc, and it would be a good move for Chik Fil A to drop this from their food items.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Triumph Over Disease by Fasting And Natural Diet by Dr. Jack Goldstein

A good book worth checking out on the subject of healing the body through fasting is once called "Triumph Over Disease by Fasting and Natural Diet", by Dr. Jack Goldstein. I owned this book a few years ago (and subsequently lent it out and lost it) but it looks like the entirety of the text is online at this site (it is a geocities site, though, so it won't be around forever, so it's best to just pick up a copy from Amazon.... however, I just searched Amazon and couldn't find this one in stock. Hmm...)

The story behind the book is that Jack Goldstein suffered from a host of illnesses, including ulcerative colitis, and by undergoing an extensive fast of foods (under a Doctor's supervision) his body (and digestive system) was able to completely heal itself. Fascinating material, and definitely a topic you will NEVER read about in the latest Readers Digest (why, there are pills and things that can fix that problem!)


Artificial Sweeteners Stay in the Water Supply

Artificial Sweeteners Stay in the Water Supply

Interesting article, and pretty gross to read about how an analysis of the water samples in this study found a large percentage of things like sucralose and acesulfame in the water. I can't stand artificial sweetners, as the stuff gives me a headache and dry mouth, so it's not encouraging that this isn't being filtered from water.


Ezekiel 4:9 bread

I've recently started enjoying Ezekiel 4:9 bread. The entire idea of sprouted grains is new to me, and it's been something that I've been researching, but high level, the idea behind sprouting grains is about briefly soaking the grains in order that the grains can attain an easier to digest state. Even whole wheat grains and breads, while beneficial, are still difficult on the digestive system to break down, and sprouting grains addresses this issue.

I'm sort of mixed on the idea of marketing the bread with a Biblical passage title. While I think it's cool to see a Biblical title to the bread, I also think that the context is just a little bizarre (Ezekiel can be a troubling book to interpret, especially some of the "other" bread passages that come to mind from this book, that I would NOT want to find in a bread recipe! :) But do I like the idea behind it, and I've been fascinated by the idea behind sprouted grains. This is a subject I continue to research.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Pepperidge Farm bread - bravo for getting rid of the HFCS!

Bravo to Pepperidge Farm for getting the high fructose corn syrup out of their "100% natural bread" (and the last loaf I bought actually had labeled, on the front, "no high fructose corn syrup".... very cool.) Now if only Pepperidge Farm would start offering sprouted grain breads (at an affordable price) and get rid of the hydrogenated oils in their cookies, they'd be all set.


Whole Foods: fantastic selection of foods yet just a little pricey

I visited one of the Houston 'Whole Foods' stores recently, and this place is just remarkable. Almost every thing that I wish I could find at my local grocers (HEB, Walmart, Kroger, etc) I can find at Whole Food. Their selection of meats, including grass fed beef, is amazing. I sampled a chicken noodle soup and was just blown away, not only by how good it was, but that I could find a tasty chicken noodle soup without hydrogenated oils, msg, hydrolized additives, preservatives or nitrates (take note, Campbells... and even your supposedly "natural" soups still have "yeast extract".... the same thing as MSG. Take out ALL the MSG and I'll start buying your soups again.)

Anyhow, the bakery, the fruits, the dairy, etc... it's all just fantastic at Whole Foods, but the prices.... ay-yi-yi! I've heard the store referred to as "whole paycheck", and there's something to that. The lunch and groceries that we purchased brought us a hefty bill, but oh, was it worth it. Even their bakery has good, non-garbagy, non-hydrogenated baked goods, and that's so refreshing to find. I wish more stores would take note of this place, and start carrying a similar lineup of foods (Market Street HEB in the Woodlands is sortof close, but it's got a long way to go.) This place was a nice grocery refuge, and the selection was fantastic nutritionally, but the prices make it a place I can really only visit on occasion (and besides, there isn't a location close to the Woodlands/Spring/Conroe area anyhow...)


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Danger of Trans Fats and Hyrdogenated Oils

ban trans fats, and better food labeling laws from the fda

I great site with plenty of information about the danger of hydrogenated oils is Ban Trans Fats: The Campaign To Ban Partially Hydrogenated Oils. I like this site, and it has a lot of good information on the campaign to remove these harmful, plasticy artificial fats from foods. For a long time now, I've been avoiding ANY foods that have the word "hydrogenated" in the label, and I'm always anxious to find a site to provide more information about this nasty food additive.

The site points out something important, that even though FDA regulations state, "if the serving contains less than 0.5 gram [of trans fat], the content, when declared, shall be expressed as zero," this doesn't necessarily mean that the product is actually trans fat free.... it just has a very small content of trans fats! So if you eat enough of this product, you'll still be ingesting trans fats, just in a smaller dosage. I think that this labeling is deliberately deceptive, and there need to be some changes to make this labeling system more accurate... and honest!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Diabetes: What the Experts Say

Here's a good article on differing opinions over the health dangers of high fructose corn syrup:

High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Diabetes: What the Experts Say

I avoid the stuff as much as possible, but it can be difficult since the stuff is everywhere.


Berry Benefits

Yahoo! Health had a good article on the health benefits of berries. I'm glad to read this, as lately berries have been on sale at the grocery store, so we've been loading up on these and enjoying them greatly with breakfast.


My first post about.... ketchup

My kids drink an unnatural amount of ketchup with food (which doesn't say much about my cooking) which was why it was such great news to find that HEB, the grocery store near us, is now carrying a ketchup without high fructose corn syrup (in fact, it's advertised as HFCS-free right at the top of the bottle! Very cool!)

I've been tired of supporting Heinz ketchup, where HFCS is one of the first ingredients in the ketchup, so now there's a decent (and affordable alternative.) I've tried some of the other "natural" ketchups, but I just haven't been impressed with the taste. The HEB no-HFCS ketchup tastes great, though, so we'll be picking up plenty of this. I hope this trend continues.

Granted, HEB isn't always the cheapest, and sometimes I get better prices at Walmart, but I'm impressed that they are making an effort to market and sell products like this one, for people who are avoiding junk in foods.


Monday, June 22, 2009


Outside of webcomic creation, theology and miscellaneous artistic endeavors, I have an interest in reading articles related to health and nutrition, so I'm going to start gathering them here.

This blog is my own opinion, and should not be used to diagnose or treat any disease (no blog should.) Leave that to a doctor.... preferably a doctor who believes in teaching health and nutrition and not pharmaceutical addiction.