Your brain on sugar

Sugar is everywhere and in almost everything you eat. It’s almost impossible to avoid but something we should consciously be trying to eat less of …much less of!

 History of sugar consumption

The manufacturing of sugar began in the middle ages and was so expensive that it was a luxury reserved only for the wealthy. By the 17th century, the price of manufacturing sugar was significantly less and hard candy was starting gaining popularity. By the mid 1800s there were over 400 factories in the U.S. producing candy.

sugar graph 

As you can see from the graph above, sugar consumption reached historic levels around the 1920s. We can see a slight decrease in sugar consumption during the Great Depression but it picked up again at the end of WWII.

According to Dr. Josh Axe, author of “The Real Food Diet” and founder of the Exodus Health Center in Tennessee “sugar is not only devoid of any and all nutrients, it’s actually worse than empty. Sugar is an anti-nutrient that drains and leeches the body of precious vitamins and minerals through the demand that sugar’s digestion, detoxification, and elimination makes upon your entire system.  Excess sugar affects every organ in the body.”

Sugar meticulously breaks down your immune system and your ability to fight off disease. Also note the time frame in which sugar consumption reached historic highs and what other critical event happened during that era? A disease that frightened every parent to the core during the time…POLIO…but I won’t get into how sugar played a critical role in the polio epidemic your grandparents remember, I’ll save that for later 🙂

 Your brain on sugar

Sugar is highly addictive primarily because it fuels every cell in your brain. Your brain then sees sugar as a reward, which then makes you crave more of it like a drug. Sugar acts on your brain in the same manner as cocaine and the two are alike in chemical composition in many ways. The “sugar high” happens because your body quickly turns this simple carbohydrate into glucose causing your blood sugar level to spike. Simple carbs are also found in fruits, veggies and dairy but these have fiber and protein that slow the process. Eventually you will have a sugar crash. This happens when your body needs to move glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells for energy. Your pancreas then makes insulin and as a result your blood sugar suddenly drops leaving you feeling wiped out and craving more sugar to regain your energy.

 Forms of sugar

There are many different types of sugar but here are the most popular

  •  Cane sugar
  • Beet sugar
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup

High fructose corn syrup has taken over everything. Cane sugar consumption has gone down since the 1970s but high fructose corn syrup took its place. You’ll find it in candy bars, soda, processed junk, fruit juices, salad dressings, etc. Aside from being derived from GMO corn crops, which is a heck of health hazard on its own, it is identical in chemical composition to white sugar.

 The natural sugar debate

I read an article that claimed there is no safe amount of added sugar consumption and that sugar in all forms should pretty much be avoided like your life depends on it. I do agree 100% that we should be avoiding sugar BUT I don’t believe natural sugars should be thought of as an equal health hazard as refined sugar. Yes, honey is made up of fructose and glucose just like white sugar BUT here’s the big big difference between the two.

Honey and maple syrup are natural sugars and when consumed in their pure, unrefined form can have many health benefits. Honey’s sugars are independently fructose & glucose, which are monosaccharides.  Sugar (sucrose) is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose.  The difference?  In digestion, monosaccharides are absorbed in our intestinal tracts, while disaccharides have to first be broken down to monosaccharides to be absorbed.  Our bodies naturally have enzymes to break them down.  However, not all sucrose molecules are broken down in digestion and they reach the gut bacteria. The bad bacteria in our guts feast off of undigested sugars. If there is an over-population of bad bacteria the intestines become inflamed to fight the infection resulting in severe symptoms like food sensitivities or worse leaky gut syndrome.  By using honey as a sugar substitute you can limit the sugars that reach the intestinal flora, therefore starving out the bad bacteria over a long period of time to help restore a normal balance of flora. I’m not saying to use honey in everything, what I’m saying is that pure raw honey should not be vilified and the same goes for pure maple syrup.

So what’s the big deal?

Well, we’re consuming more added sugar than ever before and we’re seeing the health consequences of all this sugar rear its ugly head in the form of obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer, dementia, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cancer LOVES sugar, it needs it to survive. If you’ve been following me, you know my dad has cancer and that my health journey started as a direct result of his diagnoses. What ever I can do to decrease my risk of cancer, I will do!

 How can you make changes today?

I’m not going to tell you to avoid all sugar in all forms. How boring would that be?

What I am going to tell you is to be honest with yourself and really look to see how much sugar you’re consuming. Read the labels of everything you consume and if you’re eating out, expect your food to be loaded with added sugar. There is always raw honey, pure maple syrup and coconut sugar at my house and we eat it in very small amounts.

With children, you should be extra cautious because they’re developing so quickly and building a nutritional foundation from the very beginning is essential to long-term health. You may think that a little candy won’t hurt but you’re setting the stage in those early years for either a lifetime of health or a life filled with chronic health conditions.

Sugar substitutes

 

  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut sugar
  • Stevia (an acquired taste and not one I personally enjoy)
  • Swerve

Eating healthy is a way of life around here and yes, it does involve a lot of work but work that will reward you greatly and worth all the time you invest into it. Although my little boy is only 20 months old, he has never had to go to the doctor. He had a minor cold just after his first birthday but he was all better just 2 days later. I work hard to keep him healthy and to keep my husband and myself healthy for him so that we can be around for him, healthy for him to be there for him to see him turn into a man and my hope is that some day he will take care of himself as much as I have taken care of him and that he will pass along his nutritional foundation to my grandchildren someday in the very very far future.

What are your thoughts? Do you eat sugar? Are you trying to cut back? Was this information eye opening to you? Share with me in the comments below.

 

Until next time, be well!

xoxo

 

 

Source: Sugar: The Bitter Truth, Dr. Josh Axe

 

 

Do you know what you’re putting on your skin? Part 4

In the 4th and final post of the do you know what you’re putting on your skin? series I want to talk about babies.

Babies are especially sensitive to toxins for a number of reasons and you should be extra cautious of what you put on your little treasure.

  1.  Your baby’s skin is 10x thinner than yours
  2. Like you, their skin is the largest organ on their bodies
  3. Your baby’s cells are dividing much more rapidly than yours making them more sensitive to DNA disrupting toxins
  4. Their rapidly developing brains are much more susceptible to neurological damage from neurotoxins that can be found in typical baby care products.

Because their sensitive skin is much more likely to be damaged and because they’re growing so fast, the less ingredients you put on your baby the better.

Now, I’m not really on the “you must do everything yourself just to be safe” bandwagon. I think that mothers who make everything themselves are amazing but the reality for me is that I just don’t have the time to make everything. However, for my son I will go to the moon and back. Here are some easy peasy DIY nontoxic baby care products.

Diaper Rash cream

 Mix well and store in a covered glass container.

Baby Powder

  •  ¼ cup Non-GMO Organic cornstarch
  • 10-15 drops of lavender or melaleuca essential oil ( I use native american nutritionals oils)

Put it in a blender and either store it in a shaker top container or in any covered container. That’s it!

Why should you avoid talc? Talc is toxic! It is hazardous to inhale and has been linked to ovarian cancer.

Cradle cap- just some good ole coconut oil

Moisturizer- coconut oil or jojoba oil, the same stuff I use.

Shampoo/ Body Wash-  ok, so I have tried a lot of different kinds of shampoo/body washes on Deci since he was born. As a matter of fact, I took my own organic shampoo to the hospital with me because there was no way I was going to let them wash him with Johnson&Johnson. Here are my top five favorite:

  1.  Babytime by episencial
  2. Dr. Bronners organic castile baby
  3. Nature’s baby- lavender and chamomile
  4. Angel Baby calming lavender
  5. Burt’s Bees- Baby Bee calming shampoo

There you have it, everything I use on my little snowflake. At 20 months old, he has only had two mild diaper rashes and he has the softest, most supple skin. I sleep better at night knowing exactly what I’m putting on him.

I hope you found these tips helpful. If you missed Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 check them out.

If you have any helpful recipes or great products you use, please share with me in the comments below.

Until next time mama bears, be well!

xoxo

 

 

Do you know what you’re putting on your skin? Part 3

If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, check them out for some helpful tips on my face care routine and makeup.

In Part 3 of this series I want to talk about personal hygiene products and give you some less toxic alternatives. I know there are many DIY recipes out there but I’m not quite there yet on my journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Fortunately, there are excellent companies out there who are making great products helping to make the switch to a less toxic life effortless.

Below you will find a list of many different personal hygiene products that I’ve put together for you and have read all the ingredients for you. Find what fits your budget and soon you will find a brand that suits you and your family.

What I have tried, loved and hated

 Body Wash

Dr. Bronners castile soap (bars and liquid)

S.o.A.P. (South Austin People) only available in Austin, TX area and www.southaustinpeople.com

Burt’s Bees Peppermint & Rosemary Body Bar

 Shampoo and Conditioner

Acure organics Moroccan Argan oil

Dr. Bronners citrus hair conditioning

Herbal Choice Mari

Eye Makeup remover

Real Purity Eye Makeup Remover

Boots eye makeup remover

Tooth Paste

Earth Paste

The Natural Dentist

Body Oil (I don’t use lotions or creams)

NOW Coconut oil

NOW Organic Jojoba oil

Organic Shea butter

 Deodorant

Lemon wedge (just a plain lemon wedge)

Real Purity deodorant- works for me

Primal Pit paste – hated it, really irritated my skin

Dr. Haushka- just ok and too expensive

Hair shine

Maracuja oil- just a few drops

Here is a list of companies that are doing a great job. I have not tried these products but they are definitely worth considering.

Body Wash

Aubrey Organics Bath Bars

Auromere Ayurvedic Soaps

Druide Pur and Pure Organic Soap Unscented

Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Gentle Cleansing Bar

Nature Clean Bar Soap Unscented/Liquid Soap Unscented/ Citrus Liquid Soap

Natural Spas Canada Nanaimo Bar Soap

Nuvo Olive Oil Soap

Purple Prairie Botanicals Soaps

Goodness Sake Bars

Suki Sensitive Cleansing Bar

Terressentials Natural Unscented Glycerin Soap/Real Soap for Hands

Theraneem Organix Cleansing Bar

Trader Joe’s Oatmeal & Honey Soap

Shampoo & Conditioner

Alaffia Shampoos

Miessence

Nurture My Body Shampoo

Purple Prairie Botanicals Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar

Solay Shine Unscented Natural Shampoo

Eye Makeup Remover

Jane Iredale Dot the i

Mindful Beauty Organic Sweet Almond Oil

Nurture My Body Cleansing Milk Fragrance Free
Toothpaste

Desert Essence – Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste

Druide Toothpaste (contains sorbitol from natural sources)

Hakeem Herbal Toothpaste (contains only herbs and neem)

Ipsab Tooth Powder

Nature’s Gate Creme de Anise Toothpaste

Solay Smile Tooth Powder

Tooth Soap Peppermint Liquid

Deodorant

Burt’s Bees out door herbal deodorant

Erbaviva organic deodorant

Aubrey organics

Lafe’s organic baby mother to be

Miessence

Terressentials

So there you have it! I hope you’ve found this list useful and that it will help you switch to non-toxic products more easily.

If you found this information useful, please share with your family and friends.

If you haven’t already, please don’t forget to like me on facebook 

Stay tuned for part 4 of this series where I will discuss baby skin care.

Until next time, be well! xoxo

 

 

 

Do you know what you’re putting on your skin? Part 2

In part 1 of my skincare post I talked about my face care routine. In this post I want to talk about Makeup.

Our skin absorbs about 60% of anything we put on it and goes straight into the bloodstream, so it’s important to be conscious of what you’re putting on your skin because the effects of the ingredients they contain can be more than just skin deep.

In the U.S., major loopholes in federal law allow the cosmetic industry to put thousands of synthetic chemicals into personal care products even known cancer causing chemicals and more and more chemicals are being introduced without a shred of accountability, causing damage not only to you but to the environment as well.

Fortunately, there are companies who are aware of this and are making the effort to provide good, clean products that you can feel good about putting on your skin.

Here are some of the nasty ingredients that you’re likely to find in your makeup, even in your high end, super expensive, department store makeup.

Phthalates- a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are found in cosmetics like nail polish and in synthetic fragrance. Phthalate exposure has been linked to early puberty in girls, a risk factor for later-life for breast cancer. Some phthalates also act as weak estrogen in cell culture systems.

Triclosan- used in antibacterial soaps, deodorants and toothpastes to limit the growth of bacteria and mold. The chemical, which is classified as a pesticide, can affect the body’s hormone systemespecially thyroid hormones. Widespread use of triclosan may also contribute to bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents.

 1,4-dioxane is not listed on ingredient labels. It is a petroleum-derived contaminant formed in the manufacture of shampoos, body wash, children’s bath products and other sudsing cosmetics. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has ranked it as a possible carcinogen, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) has identified it as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen.

Parabens– a group of compounds widely used as an antifungal agent, preservative and antimicrobial in creams, lotions, ointments and other cosmetics, including underarm deodorants. They are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors.

Ethylene Oxide- is found in fragrances and is commonly used to manufacture popular brands of shampoo. It is classified as a known human carcinogen and is one of the 48 chemicals that the National Toxicology Program (NTP) identifies as mammary carcinogens in animals.

 Lead- may be a contaminant in over 650 cosmetic products, including sunscreens, foundation, nail colors, lipsticks and whitening toothpaste. Lead is a proven neurotoxin, linked to learning, language and behavioral problems. It has also been linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility in men and women, and delays in puberty onset in girls.

 Aluminum-is found in some underarm antiperspirants. Aluminum is a metal that mimics estrogen and can also cause direct damage to DNA. Studies have not shown a direct causal link to breast cancer risk, but breast tissue has been shown to concentrate aluminum in the same area where the highest proportion of breast cancers is originally diagnosed. There is an ingredient called magnesium aluminum silicate that should not be confused with aluminum the heavy metal. It is found in makeup but I’m ok with that because the aluminum molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin.

Wow-Wee

Don’t despair! All is not lost!

In order for me to purchase a product it must fulfill three requirements.

1. It MUST be cruelty free! No ifs ands or buts about this. If a company tests their products on animals, I want nothing to do with that company. Also, they cannot sell their products in China. Estee Lauder sells in China and Chinese law requires animal testing before cosmetics hit the shelves. Estee Lauder claims to be cruelty free “except where mandated by law.” Popular makeup lines like MAC and Bobbie Brown are under the Estee lauder umbrella and have chosen to continue misleading consumers that they are no longer cruelty free companies because they market in China.

Here are some unethical, bunny hurting cosmetics companies to look out for:

Avon, Biotherm, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, Chanel, Carefree, Chanel, Chapstick, Clairol, Clean and Clear, Clinique, Clearasil, Dove, Donna Karan, Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder, Garnier, Giorgio Armani, Head & Shoulders, Helena Rubinstein, Herbal Essences, Jurlique, Kerastase, Kiehl’s, La Mer, L’Oreal, L’Occitane, Lancôme, M.A.C, Max Factor, Maybelline, Michael Kors, Missoni, Nair, Neutrogena, Olay, Old Spice, Pantene, Ponds, Redken, Revlon, Shiseido, SK-II, Sunsilk, Vee, and Vidal Sassoon. Find out if your makeup is cruelty free by visiting Peta.org

2. It MUST be made in the U.S., Canada or Europe. Many “higher end” cosmetics are made in China. Let’s face it, China does not have a good track record. Also, if I’m going to pay a premium for quality, it’d better be made somewhere where it costs the manufacturer more to produce.               

3. It MUST be free of the above-mentioned chemicals. Now it’s virtually impossible to wear makeup without some sort of chemical and there are a lot more chemicals typically found in makeup, but the ones I mentioned are the most worrisome to me.

So now on to my makeup

I have chosen 2 brands, and although neither is perfect my goal is chemical exposure reduction, not complete elimination.

1. Tarte, Inc. – Tarte is a great company making really good products. I love their stuff! Some of their inventory has more chemicals than others, so you should definitely read the labels and pick your battles. Here’s what is in my makeup bag from Tarte:

  • Colored Clay CC Primer
  • Amazonian Clay full coverage foundation
  • Amazonian clay waterproof concealer
  • Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush
  • Skinny smoldereyes
  • Amazonian clay-“call of the wild” eye shadow palette (this might be discontinued but all their eye shadows are wonderful

2. Jane Iredale- What an impressive company! Not only are they dedicated to using clean ingredients; they also support environmental organizations working hard to make a difference. I’m new to this line and have not built up a collection but I love it so far. Here’s what’s in my makeup bag from Jane Iredale:

  • Smooth affair primer
  • Pure pressed base
  • POMMISST
  • PureGloss

Jane Iredale is my everyday makeup and I would like to add more products to my makeup bag. It is lighter than Tarte. However, I don’t think that I would be able to achieve a dramatic look with Jane Iredale so I will always go back to Tarte for drama. Both are great brands that I feel very comfortable with.

But Adriana, you forgot mascara!

Remember I said earlier, you have to pick your battles when it comes to makeup?

Well, I really don’t like Tarte’s mascara and I have not tried one from Jane Iredale. My favorite mascara is Smashbox Photo OP. I don’t wear mascara everyday and Smashbox fulfills my first two pre-requisites for makeup so, although it has some questionable ingredients, this is a battle I have chosen not to fight because I love this mascara.

So there you have it, more makeup than I need for sure but I love makeup. What girl doesn’t?

What makeup do you use? Are you planning on revamping your makeup? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Stay tuned for part 3 of this 4 part series, where I will go through hygiene products and in part 4 I’ll go through natural baby skin care.

If you like what you read please share with your family and friends and don’t forget to “like” me on facebook.

Until next time, be well! xoxo

 

Do you know what you’re putting on your skin? Part 1

There is no question that your skin is the largest organ on your body. It protects everything that’s inside but it also acts as an entry point to harmful chemicals that can overwhelm your body’s ability to detoxify naturally. The average person puts over 100 chemicals on their bodies daily in the name of cleanliness and hygiene…yikes!

I used to be one of those people that spent hundreds of dollars on high end skin care products thinking that the more expensive it was, that it must be better for my skin.

WRONG!

I didn’t know then but I was paying a whole lot of money for ineffective products that were essentially harmful to my long-term health. Most if not all department store and drug store skincare products contain toxins like:

  •  BHA and BHT– used as a preservative in creams and makeup. BHA disrupts the endocrine system and is a suspected carcinogen.
  • Coal tar dyes– used as pigment in makeup. They have the potential to cause cancer and can be contaminated with heavy metals that are toxic to the brain.
  • Dibutyl phthalate– Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant.
  • Formaldehyde– used as a preservative in cosmetics and nail polish and a known carcinogen.
  • Parabens– Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
  • Parfum– used as fragrance and can trigger allergies and asthma.
  • PEG compounds– used in cosmetic cream bases and can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which can cause cancer
  • Petrolatum- Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers
  • Siloxanes- Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant
  • Sodium laureth sulfate– Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer
  • Triclosan– Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria

What a nasty list!

So I had to throw everything out and start from scratch experimenting with different natural products to see what worked for my normal/combination skin.

Here is my facial care routine

Cleanse 

My favorite cleanser is 100% Pure-Jasmine Green Tea Facial Liquid cleanser. This stuff is amazing and free of nasty chemicals. It won’t dry your skin and leaves your skin looking brighter and refreshed. The downside, it’s a bit expensive but well worth it.

Another more affordable option is Yes Carrots Daily cream facial cleanser. It is not 100% natural but I’m pretty comfortable with the majority of the ingredients and it ranks low for toxicity on the EWG’s skin deep database.

For the DIY folks, I have read wonderful things about the oil cleansing method and I’m fascinated by it. It involves using castor oil and a single carrier oil of your choice like sesame oil, olive oil or coconut oil…that’s it! Sounds kind of crazy, but oil dissolves oil and it will not strip and dry your skin like many facial cleansers. It is used to pull out impurities and bacteria to the surface so you can wipe it away. Please follow this link so you can create your own personal blend. This is something I have not personally tried but definitely plan to. If you try it or have tried it, let me know how it worked out for you.

Your face only needs to be cleansed once per day so the best time to cleanse it is right before bedtime. In the morning, just rinse with water.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating is important because it helps to remove dead skin cells so that new healthy ones can grow. It also helps to remove toxins from your skin and helps increase blood flow to those areas for the appearance of “glowing” skin. You should only exfoliate 1-3x per week. The frequency will depend on your skin type.

I’ve tried many different kinds of exfoliators but my favorite by far is just a slice of lemon. Yep…lemon! I take a lemon slice and scrub it all over my face followed by my Clairsonic. My face always looks brighter and healthier after I do this.

 Moisturize

Right now, I am in love with Maracuja oil. It is rich in vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus. It helps remove toxic build up from the skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory.  It also helps improve fine lines and wrinkles. It’s full of essential fatty acids that help repair and rejuvenate skin. Let me say that I have an acne prone forehead and this oil does not make me break out. I use Maracuja oil all over my face and neck and for added moisture to the sensitive under eye area; I also apply a layer of NOW coconut oil. I love that it absorbs quickly and leaves my skin supple.

For Blemishes

The only product I have found that works wonders on blemishes is melaleuca oil. I stumbled on this by accident when my son developed a diaper rash and I cleared it with melaleuca oil and coconut oil. So I rubbed some on a pimple and wouldn’t you know it, it disappeared the next day.   I’m new to the world of essential oils and after doing tons of research, I realized that I am not comfortable with the pyramid marketing of the two most popular oil companies, Do terra and Young Living. So after contacting several essential oil companies, I decided to go with Native American Nutritionals and I am very happy with the quality of their oils.

I still have a lot of work to do with my skin. My skin is not terrible but I do have hyper-pigmentation on my nose and forehead left over from acne and I have seen my complexion really improve since I started using this skincare routine.

Remember that taking care of your skin on the outside is only part of the solution to radiant skin. True skin health starts from the inside. Your worst enemies for aging are sugar and simple carbs and no skincare routine will give you the skin of your dream of if your diet is wrong.

Here are some super foods for more youthful, radiant skin:

  1. tomatoes
  2.  green tea
  3. berries
  4. spinach and other leafy vegetables
  5. pure dark chocolate
  6. extra virgin olive oil
  7. vitamin k rich foods: eggs, liver, raw milk, cheese, brown rice, cabbage, prunes and cashews

So there you have it, my easy skincare routine and my skin has never looked better.

Remember that knowledge is power and when know better you’re able to make better decisions for yourself.

I’d love for you to share with me what your skincare routine is like and what has worked and what hasn’t. Is there another oil that you use that has worked for you? Do you make your own products?

If you like what you read, please share with your family and friends and don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook

Stay tuned for my next post on makeup and my recommendations.

 

Until next time, be well.

Is Your Cookware Poisoning You?

Toxic cookware

One of the things that I was floored by when I began my health journey was learning that the cookware I owned could actually be poisoning us and worst of all, that it is perfectly legal. Maybe you already eat pretty healthy but you’ve never given much thought to the cookware you’re using. If you’re into eating healthy, then you probably already know what kinds of food to eat and avoid for optimum health, you know to exercise and you probably know about toxins that can have a negative impact on your health. But have you ever given thought to the cookware you’re using to cook your meals in?

According to Dr. Mercola there are several types of cookware that leech dangerous toxins right into your food. The following are the toxins most commonly found in cookware although there are other radical elements that can be found as well.

  1. Aluminum
  2. Non stick anodized aluminum
  3. Ceramic coated non stick aluminum

PFOA

One of the biggest problems with non-stick cookware is peflourooanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical used to create Teflon. This chemical releases its toxins once heated and reaches dangerous toxic levels at 446 degrees Fahrenheit.

In animal studies the following problems have been identified with PFOA exposure:

  1.  Major organs such as the brain, liver, prostate, thymus and kidneys show toxicity.
  2. Changes in pituitary reaction in female rats.
  3. PFOA’s associated with tumors.

According to the EPA (environmental protection agency) the use of PFOAs presents significant developmental and reproductive risks in humans. The EPA has also recommended that PFOA be classified as a human carcinogen, in other words, cancer causing!

Even more disturbing is that a study by the CDC showed that 98% of Americans had PFOA’s in their bodies.

Aluminum

Aluminum is problematic because there is a well known Alzheimer’s and aluminum toxicity connection. If you notice, your aluminum foil has a shiny side and a dull side. The dull side is a protective coating that separates aluminum from contacting your food. When you cook in aluminum cookware, there is no barrier and the aluminum leeches right into your food. Aluminum is not easily detoxified from the body through bodily fluid. It goes into your blood stream when ingested and deposited into your brain, bones and tissue. High levels of aluminum have been found in breast tissue of women with breast cancer.  And since I’m on the aluminum topic, it is in every conventional deodorant as well.

You may be wondering, well if they know this, why is it allowed?  I don’t know the exact answer but probably for the same reason that GMOs have been allowed to contaminate our food supply…money and greed.

So what can you do to reduce your exposure?

Here is my cookware set and it’s really all you need to cook everything.

Stainless Steel

Cast Iron

Ceramic

Glass

Changing your cookware is definitely an investment but one that is well worth your health.

What cookware do you use in your kitchen? Do you plan on buying new cookware? Share with me in the comments below!

Sources: Dr. Mercola

 

 

 

 

About the Natural Mama Bear

My Family

Welcome to the Natural Mama Bear blog!

I’m so excited about launching this blog and to connect with other like-minded people out there. Let me give you guys a little background about myself.

My name is Adriana and I’m 29 years old. I’m a Southern Cali girl, born and raised but recently moved to the DFW area in Texas. I’m loving Texas! Even though the culture is completely different, I feel that Texas is a better fit for the way I want to live my life. We have an organic dairy farm just two miles from my house where we get raw milk and other goodies and we get to see the pretty ladies that give us these foods grazing on grass the way they should.

I’ve been married to my wonderful husband, Giovanni, for almost 5 years. He’s the master mind behind this awesome website. Together we have a beautiful, healthy, 20 month old son named Decius Alexander or as my family likes to call him, “the organic boy.”

I’m a huge animal lover and am also a mom to a German shepherd named Champ and two Rottweilers, Xena and Hercules.

I’m not a medical professional, I don’t have a medical background and I’m not a scientist. I’m just a mom on a mission to make the world a better place for my son by educating and inspiring others to live more naturally in a toxic world.

When I was in college I got my bachelor’s in Accounting so I’ve been trained to think critically, be overly analytical and to question everything! That type of training has carried over into my now research obsession. Now I have the best job in the world! I get to stay home and raise my precious son.

How it all started

My journey towards more natural living started about 2 1/2 years ago when my dad was, unfortunately, diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. This disease really shook up my family especially because there is no history of colon cancer in my family. I wanted to know everything about cancer. I wanted to know why my dad got cancer but most importantly, I wanted to know what he could do to get better. But all the conventional information available and endorsed by the American Cancer Society and other like-minded cancer organizations didn’t answer any of my questions and statistically, the doctors gave my family little hope. I wasn’t willing to accept that; I wasn’t willing to accept statistics!

I wasn’t willing to lose my dad… not to cancer!

I just had to do something, anything… so I read and read, and then I read some more. I would read during my lunch breaks, as soon as I got home from work and into the wee hours of the night desperately trying to find answers. I must have read more in the first year after his diagnoses than I did in my five years of college combined. I was on a mission and I still am today on that same mission to save my dad and to give him all the knowledge I am acquiring so that he can make better medical decisions for himself; decisions based on knowledge and not fear.

The words “terminal”, “no cure”, and “18 months to live” are still fresh in my mind. And so, our search for a cure continues.

 Learning to think

It wasn’t until I changed my preconditioned mind-set of trusting doctors as all knowing that I was able to slowly put information together in a way that made sense to me. I started learning about holistic medicine, Eastern medicine, nutrition, immunology, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases and the politics behind the pharmaceutical industry along with a few other subjects that really put things into perspective for me and got me thinking in ways I had never thought before.

Then I almost lost my mind!…But I didn’t

A few months after my dad’s diagnoses, I got pregnant with my son. It was a very exciting time but also filled with a lot of sorrow and uncertainty because we had no idea what the future had for us. Was my dad going to get to meet his grandson? We didn’t know. I spent my entire pregnancy literally freaking myself out about everything! From GMOs, to toxic cookware, to chemicals in personal hygiene products, cleaning products, toxic diapers, toxic mattresses, vaccines, fluoride and so on. The information was

O-V-E-R-W-H-E-L-M-I-N-G! Sound familiar?

And then I had an epiphany. What if the CDC and FDA are not really there to protect us, but rather to protect the pocket books of the pharmaceutical companies and unethical corporations? After all, money talks right? And scientific data can just as easily be influenced.

I had to learn to breathe and take it one step at a time. So I just kept breathing and decided to make crucial changes little by little and remove toxic products and food from my life one at a time.

Forgiving myself and moving on…

My only regret is not knowing everything I know today before I got pregnant. This is something that caused me a lot of guilt and I have had to learn to forgive myself and acknowledge that I did the best I could with the information I was able to interpret at the time. But I’m grateful every day that despite my lack of knowledge at the time, I gave birth to a strong and healthy baby boy. I’m also grateful that I gained enough knowledge during my pregnancy that I approached standard newborn medical procedures as a protective mama bear ready maul for her cub.

I strive every day to give my son nutritionally dense foods to keep him strong and healthy but more importantly, to help him build healthy eating habits that he can carry with him into his adult life. I think that as a mom, this is best gift I could ever give him; the gift of health through nutrition.

I may not be a doctor, my beliefs may not be “scientific” and I may not have a PhD written after my name BUT first and foremost I’m a mom and I like to think that I’m a darn good one. My job is protect my cub even when that means going against the status quo.

The Natural Mama Bear

My goal for this blog is to encourage, support, educate and enlighten others. Because let’s face it, once you become a natural mom, there’s no turning back. You can no longer go to the grocery store without reading labels, you can’t even buy a freakin’ toilet bowl cleaner without reading the ingredients and this way of living can easily make you the laughing stock amongst your family and friends who just don’t get it. And that’s O.K. they don’t have to “get it”, we’re all on a different journey in life. And I think that it gets easier when you learn to laugh at yourself. So laugh at yourself! Even when it feels like you’re doing it all wrong…laugh at yourself!

This isn’t a place to pass judgment! Let’s encourage each other, let’s inspire and educate each other. I don’t know everything about healthy natural living. I’m learning something new every day and hope to learn more from more experienced natural folks out there. What I do know is that I don’t want to face a load of health problems like my dad. Because really, who wants to be sick? Getting a common cold can be pretty miserable and I can’t imagine living with chronic illness or developing a life-threatening disease. Although there are no guarantees that living a more natural lifestyle in this toxic world will keep me and family from getting sick, I can at least try because small changes overtime do snowball into larger changes.

Cancer changed my life forever! It awakened a beast inside me with an insatiable hunger for knowledge.  I like to think that although unfortunate and heartbreaking that my dad’s diagnoses was sort of a blessing in disguise because I would have probably continued living in my blissful, toxic bubble ignorantly thinking that cancer is something other people get and that it could never happen to me or someone I love.

This is my journey and I hope you’ll come along for the ride with me to make the world a healthier place for our children. Because at the end of the day, whether you’re a hard-core natural mom, a not so natural mom or a mom trying to find your way in this crazy natural way of living, I think it’s pretty safe to say that we would all kill and die for our children, hence the Natural Mama Bear.

Now that you know a little about me, I’d love to get to know you! Tell me about your journeys towards more naturally living in the comments below.

So until next time mama bears, Be Healthy!

Adriana

xoxo

P.S. my dad is doing well thanks to holistic medicine, major dietary changes and aggressive detoxing therapies. He decided to forego further conventional cancer treatments since November and although he is still not out of the woods, we are very hopeful.