Is your food loaded with toxins and chemicals? Here, simple swaps to protect yourself!

Clean eating means choosing fruits, vegetables, and meats that are raised, grown, and sold with minimal processing. Often they’re organic, and rarely (if ever) should they contain additives. But in some cases, the methods of today’s food producers are neither clean nor sustainable. The result is damage to our health, the environment, or both. So we decided to take a fresh look at food through the eyes of the people who spend their lives uncovering what’s safe — or not — to eat. We asked them a simple question: “What foods do you avoid?” Their answers don’t necessarily make up a “banned foods” list. But reaching for the suggested alternatives might bring you better health — and peace of mind.

The Best Packaged Foods to Shop For:

1. Canned Tomatoes

Fredrick Vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A, gives us the scoop:

The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”

The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi.

Budget tip: If your recipe allows, substitute bottled pasta sauce for canned tomatoes. Look for pasta sauces with low sodium and few added ingredients, or you may have to adjust the recipe.

Low-Sodium Alternative Dinner Options

Keep reading to three more foods to avoid.

2. Microwave Popcorn

Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, gives us the scoop:

The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize — and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.

The solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.

Budget tip: Popping your own popcorn is dirt cheap.

Diet Foods That Actually Make You Fatter

3. Farmed Salmon

David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish, gives us the scoop:

The problem: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You could eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.

The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.

Budget tip: Canned salmon, almost exclusively from wild catch, can be found for as little as $3 a can.

4. Conventional Apples

Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods, gives us the scoop:

The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.

The solution: Buy organic apples.

Budget tip: If you can’t afford organic, be sure to wash and peel them. But Kastel personally refuses to compromise. “I would rather see the trade-off being that I don’t buy that expensive electronic gadget,” he says. “Just a few of these decisions will accommodate an organic diet for a family.”


Comments (1)

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 2.59.34 PM

      Reiki Energy Healing Session

With Kathleen Hanson, CRMT

Kathleen has been a Reiki Energy Healing Practitioner since 2006. She is a certified Usui Reiki Master Teacher. 


Introductory OfferAll New Clients – Book 1 (one) Reiki Session and get the second for one half off. 

Reiki Healing Session – $55/hour and $80/90 minutes.



Benefits of a Reiki Session may include but are not limited to help with:

 ·       Stress Reduction

·        Relief of Headaches

·        Insomnia

·        Emotional Well Being

·        Sprains, aches and pains.

·        Spiritual Well Being.

 Some patients have even noted release of:

 ·       Anger

·        Fear

·        Worry

·        Sadness and other unhealthy feelings.

Reiki energy healing was developed by Mikao Usui in 1922. Energy healing has been utilized for thousands of years. Reiki simply means “life force energy”. We all have life force energy and have the ability to heal ourselves and others.

 A Reiki session is administered by a practitioner with the client lying fully clothed on a massage table. A session generally lasts for 1 – 1.5 hours. The Reiki practitioner very gently lays his/her hands at locations around the head, shoulders, abdomen, legs and feet. Reiki energy then flows from the practitioners’ hands into the clients’ body and energy field. A Reiki session feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that surrounds and fills the client. The radiance includes feelings of deep relaxation, peace and well-being which helps to promote healing.

 Kathleen was introduced to Usui Reiki Method by a friend who was studying to become a Reiki Master Teacher and needed a person to practice treatment sessions on. One Reiki session convinced Kathleen there was more to relaxation, stress reduction and promoting healing than she had been aware of. 

Being a licensed Cosmetologist, Kathleen has always known how wonderful and stress relieving a good shampoo, head massage or hair brushing is to an individual. Over the past 8 years in her “energy healing” quest, Kathleen has also become a Certified Master Chios Teacher as well as becoming a Healing Touch and Quantum Touch Practitioner. All of these energy healing modalities study the auras, chakras and the energy fields that surround each and every one of us even though these are not always visible to the human eye.

 “It is my sincere wish to assist you to relax, de-stress, get in touch and in tune with yourself which will ultimately lead to a less stressed and healthier you. Being both a Certified Reiki and Chios Master Teacher, if you find yourself with the desire to become a practitioner, l can assist you there as well.” -Kathleen.

 ***Each patient’s experience to a Reiki energy healing session will differ. Reiki or any form of energy healing session is not meant to replace your current physician, medical care or medications that you may be taking at the time of the session. Alternative healing sessions will not interfere  adversely with  any medical condition or medications that you may be taking.***



Comments (0)

Why You Should Wash Your Face With Apple Cider Vinegar!

The thought might put you off. Why would you want to smear such smelly stuff all over your face when there are delightfully scented face care products available? I’ll tell you why. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is freaking awesome, that’s why!…Still not convinced? Let me elaborate…

Real ACV is made by fermenting pressed apple juice until the natural sugar turns into vinegar. The ACV you should use is the raw, organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized kind of ACV. Not the refined kind. Only the good quality kind of ACV contains the “mother” of vinegar, which is the cloudy stuff that sinks to the bottom of the bottle. This substance contains the beneficial enzymes, bacteria, pectin and trace minerals that makes ACV so good for you. Just remember to shake the bottle each time before using ACV to distribute the elements. You can even easily make your own natural ACV. It has a lot more uses as featured in my previous articles 10 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar for Great Health and At Home and 11 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Can Revolutionize Your Health.


ACV for Age Spots

AVC contains powerful alpha hydroxy acids to help remove dead skin cells and reveal a fresher and healthier complexion underneath them. Many expensive commercial face washes bang on about the tiny amounts of alpha hydroxy acids they’ve added to their products, but ACV is full of far higher levels, of which are alive and ready to revive your skin. The ‘natural’ ingredients in commercial face products are actually dead and useless by the time they are processed and bottled up.

When you use ACV for age spots, apply a little undiluted ACV directly onto the age spots with a cotton wool bud and leave for about 20-30 minutes once or twice a day before rinsing of. Do it for about 6 weeks to see if you notice any improvement.

ACV for Acne and Pimples

Instead of buying a typical over-the-counter pimple cream, why not allow mother nature to work her magic on your skin? Celebrities such as Hilary Duff and Scarlett Johanson use ACV to cleanse their skin and keep pimples away. They have the choice to use super-expensive products and they choose to use good old ACV, and here’s why…

– During the creation of ACV, substances such as malic acid are formed, which give ACV antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties which help prevent acne and skin infections.

– ACV’s natural goodness also unblocks pores and allows skin to breathe properly, so it is very effective in treating acne and pimples.

– AVC doesn’t just effectively remove excess oil from your skin, it also helps to balance pH levels and can prevent your skin from becoming too oily or too dry by balancing the production of sebum.

How to use apple cider vinegar to cleanse your skin

ACV is strong stuff, so you are best to dilute it with water when you apply it all over your face. Don’t be naughty and use undiluted ACV on the skin. It is very acidic and can damage the skin. To make your own ACV toner, mix equal parts of ACV and water. You can get creative with your ACV solution. Try adding green teaaloe vera gel or witch hazel. After a while when your skin got used to it, you can gradually increase the concentration of the ACV. It depends on the tolerance of your skin. Just make sure you shake it before you use it, so that the water and ACV are thoroughly mixed up.

  • Before you use ACV all over your face, it is advisable to test it on a small area of your face. Under the chin is a good spot, just in case you do get a reaction, then it’s not too noticeable!
  • To apply ACV to your skin, simply use a cotton bud and gently glide over skin to remove make-up, oil and impurities. Be careful not to get it in your eyes!. If you are suffering from a break out, then be warned it will sting your pimples. However, this should feel like a ‘good’ hurt, and not be intolerable.
  • When you use AVC for the first time, after 5 minutes, it is a good idea to rinse it off with warm water. This is just so your skin isn’t too exposed to ACV on your first time. If you don’t get a reaction, then the next time you use it, don’t wash it off, and then you can build up your skin’s tolerance. It is best to apply the ACV toner at night as ACV can increase sensitivity to ultra-violet rays.
  • Don’t leave your body out. ACV isn’t just for your beautiful face. If you suffer from acne on your back, you are not alone. Fortunately, ACV is wonderful for treating acne on the back too. If you’re worried about how the hell you’re going to apply it, then just use a spray bottle.
  • To finish off your new fabulous ACV skin care regime, you can use a natural, chemical free moisturizer such as coconut or jojoba oil, or whatever suits your skin.


Categories : skin care
Comments (0)

Healing With Food

By · Comments (0)

Healing with Food

Lose_weight_nowWhat to eat to help you lose weight, beat fatigue, and boost your immune system.

No one wants to spend the fall feeling sluggish or rundown. Or battling colds and allergies. Or gaining weight. The best way to avoid any of these scenarios is to eat energizing, immunity– boosting food.

“Everyone knows the expression ‘You are what you eat,’” says Dale Bellisfield, R.N., a clinical herbalist with a practice in New Jersey. “But I tell my clients, ‘You are what you absorb.’ Every part of your body—your neurotransmitters, immune system, skeleton, and muscles–puts the nutrients in healing foods to work.” In Bellisfield’s kitchen, healing foods include fish to fight fatigue, herbs and spices to fortify the immune system, and teas to hydrate and tonify. 

Eat to beat fatigue.

“When a client comes to me with fatigue, I tell them first to get rid of the stimulants in their diet—coffee and sugar that can burn them out—then energize with protein, good fats, and dark leafy greens.”

Buy quality protein.

Get your protein from a combination of organic whole grains and legumes; low–mercury, sustainably raised seafood; or from soy–based products like tofu. Protein increases our metabolic rate, and because we digest protein more slowly than carbohydrates, we get a long–term energy boost rather than a brief burst.

Enjoy fats wisely. 

Incorporating olive oils, eggs, nuts, and seeds gives you the most efficient, energy–dense fuel and helps create the building blocks for compounds that fight inflammation and maintain brain health.

Choose dark leafy greens. 

Kale, spinach, and collards—all of these contain energizing B vitamins (including folate, the B vitamin critical to the generation of healthy new cells), antioxidants, and dark green chlorophyll, which helps in tissue growth and repair. 

Eat to boost your immunity.

“Lately I’m really keen on ‘black foods’ like olives, berries, figs, dark chocolate, and sea vegetables,” Bellisfield says. “The darker the hue, the higher the immune boost.”

Pile on the onions. 

To ensure a healthy immune system, get your fill of onions, shallots, leeks, and fresh raw garlic. High in pungent sulfur compounds, these aromatic veggies can provide potent protection against harmful microorganisms and cancer.

Sprinkle in some herbs. 

Fresh and dried herbs like turmeric, ginger, rosemary, and thyme, all have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiinflammatory properties.

Learn to love fermented foods. 

To optimize the effectiveness of herbs and spices, Bellisfield adds foods like miso, yogurt, or sauerkraut for their ability to aid in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. 

Eat to lose weight

“Eat a rainbow,” says Bellisfield, who recommends colorful fruits and vegetable—bright orange, for - example, indicates beta–carotene, while dark-blue and—red produce is high in the antioxidant anthocyanin.

Choose good proteins and carbs. 

Foods low on the glycemic index, like sweet potatoes, berries, eggs, fish, and whole grains, and sweeteners like stevia, don’t spike blood sugar the way white potatoes and refined flours do.

Discover low–calorie foods. 

Low-calorie winners include quinoa, goji berries, black beans, and broccoli, says Bellisfield.

Eat to detox.

Bellisfield starts a cleanse with spring greens like dandelion leaves, watercress, and broccoli rabe. Blend sour fruits and bitter greens. The sharp flavors of tart fruits and bitter greens increase digestive enzymes and nutrient absorption–ideal for cleansing, toning, and stimulating digestion. Drink tea. Accompany your fruits and greens with organic white or green tea or a tea made with an adaptogenic plant like holy basil or ginseng (which help reduce stress and fight fatigue) to stay hydrated and ease gentle digestive cleansing.

Article Source: By: Rozanne Gold

Picture Source:

By Alan Cleaver (Flickr: Lose weight now) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Categories : Ecohealth, Weight loss
Comments (0)

Reduce your risk of dementia right now


(CNN) – The statistics, unfortunately, are staggering. An estimated 44 million people worldwide are living with dementia, according to a report released Tuesday by Alzheimer’s Disease International. As life expectancies continue to rise around the globe, that number is expected to nearly double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050.

But there is some good news laid out in the sixth annual World Alzheimer’s Report. For the first time, we’re starting to get a clearer understanding of cause and effect when it comes to this debilitating disease.

Here’s the takeaway, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International: What’s good for your heart is also good for your brain. More specifically, there is now “persuasive evidence that dementia risk … can be modified through reduction in tobacco use and better control and detection for hypertension and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular risk factors.” Alzheimer’s is No. 6 on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of the top 10 causes of death in the United States, claiming nearly 85,000 lives in 2010.

“Given this epidemic scale and with no known cure, it’s crucial that we look at what we can do to reduce the risk or delay the onset of developing the disease,” wrote Marc Wortmann, executive director of Alzheimer’s Disease International. “Governments must develop adequate strategies to deal with the epidemic holistically, including tacking both reduction in risk for future generations, and adequately caring for people living with the condition and supporting their friends and family.”

The bottom line is that it’s never too late to make some changes to improve your physical and mental well-being. Here are five things you can do right now to reduce your risk of dementia:

1. Look after your heart.

2. Be physically active.

3. Follow a healthy diet.

4. Challenge your brain.

5. Enjoy social activity.

The strongest evidence exists in linking dementia to a lack of education in early life, hypertension in midlife and smoking and diabetes across a lifetime, according to the new report.

“There’s also relatively strong evidence that people in low-education countries have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias,” said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs for the Alzheimer’s Association. ” (This) can be controlled across the lifespan. Taking people and giving them a better education in grade school, high school, and college significantly lowers risk at the population level.” It’s also important to keep our brains buzzing as we get older.

“While we don’t endorse specific activity like crosswords or mazes,” Fargo said, “we say, ‘Find a mentally challenging activity that’s fun or enjoyable for you, and you’ll maintain it. That’s going to be good for your brain health as you age.’ “

“If we can all enter old age with better developed, healthier brains,” the report concludes, “we are likely to live longer, happier and more independent lives, with a much reduced chance of developing dementia.”

The global cost of dementia in 2010 (the latest year for which data are available) was estimated at $604 billion. That number is expected to rise to $1 trillion by 2030.

“With this in mind,” wrote World Dementia Envoy Dr. Dennis Gillings, “we can’t afford to do nothing.”

Article Source: By Ben Tinker

Picture Source: By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Comments (0)

EcoHealth & Wellness

250 Mathis Ferry Rd, Suite 101
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Phone: 843.884.4466
Fax: 843.388.1612