Tag Archives: health

food for thought: forks over knives…

so many of the chronic illnesses we suffer from can be alleviated with food. that’s right, food. not pills or magic potions, but healthy and vibrant plant-based foods. you all know that i don’t eat meat and yet still i suffer from high cholesterol…i think i told you that for me, my arch nemesis is cheese…and eggs. i’ve really reduced my egg intake, but the cheese? ah, the cheese…it’s a tough one.

we all can look around and see that we are no longer are a healthy nation. when i was growing up, there was no such thing as childhood diabetes or childhood obesity. and now those two words are uttered so often it’s heartbreaking. literally.

but what if you knew, truly knew that diabetes, obesity,  heart disease and high cholesterol could be prevented simply by taking a good long look at your plate? wouldn’t you want to make this simple change? i don’t want to get all preachy, but i’ve seen the benefits first hand. if you’re like me with cheese and you can’t imagine your life without your burger or your bacon, that’s fine…we just need to make those foods we love smaller and less frequent on our plates. now when i have cheese, it’s a really special cheese. and i savor it.

i really urge you to see forks over knives for yourself. it’s not often a film can change your life, but this one just might!

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i ♥ annie leonard…story of cosmetics

i don’t really wear makeup, but i do use a lot of lotions and potions trying to turn back time and mend the damage from the california sun, to make my hair shinier, make my teeth whiter and on and on… but what’s really in all those jars and bottles of promised miracles?

check out annie leonard’s latest: the story of cosmeticstoxins in, toxins out – as always, it is a brilliant and eye-opening 10 minutes. she urges you to visit safecosmetics.org.

and if you missed the article in the latimes, it’s here on my blog – with links to her other works: the story of stuff and the story of bottled water.

get involved and spread the word!

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finding my way back…

the last couple of months (and the last two weeks in particular) have been pretty brutal. i got a new job in april and have been swimming against the dysfunctional tide ever since. i kept trying to figure out what the problem was. how i could fix it. what i was doing wrong. on and on. i was working 16-18 hours a day and everything around me was dying:  my relationship, my health, modernest, and my spirit.

i would call my friends and tell them how insane the job was and that i didn’t think i could take much more. the problem was, i actually believed in the core of the business. i believed i could make a valuable contribution, if they would just see what i was capable of. if they would just see ME. but they couldn’t.

and as each day passed, things got more and more ugly:  backstabbing. gossip. sabotage. but still, i hung on. why? out of loyalty? to what? some crazy work ethic? a twisted sense of i love a challenge? fear of the economy? be grateful you have a job, my talented unemployed friends would say. hope? my friend marie at the spirit factor would have something to say about that!

my boss (whom i adore) said, “you create your environment” – so i wrestled with that one for awhile. did i have a hand in all this chaos? was my behavior contributing to the problem? maybe a tiny bit, but it was something way bigger than me. along the way, we all contributed to that environment:  being on call 24/7, working from 6am to midnight (and beyond), accepting unacceptable behavior…is the economy really that bad?

so, friday was the breaking point. they wanted me to take on another job (i already have two). the higher ups, realizing the system truly is broken, finally ask those of us in the trenches what we think the problem is. there are a ton of excel spreadsheets to fill out. we have to account for our time in 30 minute intervals. some feel hopeful (there’s that word again, marie!). everyone is saying, things are gonna change. just hang on. it will get better. this time it will be different (we’ve had many “solutions” in the 2+ months). they understand now. they hear us. they care. or so they say.

but sometimes, you just have to stop. you can’t live in fear of unemployment. you can’t stay when every cell in your body is telling you to go. you have to remember who you are. how you want your life to be. at our last staff meeting, we were told to shape up or they were going to clean house. they told us we had to be flexible and to bend (i told marie, “i’m so bent over, the whole world is upside down!”).  well, it’s me that is cleaning my house of them. it’s just not worth it to feel this way everyday. and so, i am on the path back to happiness (broke, beautiful happiness)…

…oh, and while i have your attention, know anyone who is hiring?

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farmer knows best: BPA in canned foods…

planet green just posted this article on the 7 foods so unsafe even a farmer wouldn’t eat them (not sure i understand the headline – are farmers known for eating anything?). i quickly want to post this because one of the items on the list is my beloved canned tomatoes.

The Expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.

The Reason: Tin cans are lined with a resin that contains the synthetic estrogen bisphenol-A, which has been linked to a slew of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, reproductive problems, and obesity. But that’s not the biggest problem. The acid in tomatoes breaks down that bisphenol-A, leaching it into the food, and not just in insignificant amounts. According to the article, Saal comments that “you can get 50 mcg of BCA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young.” That’s why he’s not touching the stuff.
The Solution: If you love the taste of “canned” tomatoes but prefer to skip the bisphenol-A, select glass bottles instead.

the rest of the list:

corn-fed beef, microwave popcorn, conventionally grown (non-organic) potatoes, farmed salmon, milk produced with artificial hormones, conventionally grown apples – i’m safe with those but my diced organic tomatoes are a staple in my pantry, and obviously won’t be any longer.

a must read is organic grace’s post with a list of well known brands and their stance on BPA in cans.  according to simple steps, buying canned goods from eden foods or in glass or aseptic cartons are safe choices.

update: the huffington post tell us about more everyday sources of BPA in our daily life. and the soft landing baby has two BPA-free tomato recommendations.

update2: care2 has an informative post about BPA and how to limit your exposure. care2 also wrote about what the food companies are trying to do (slowly) to deal with consumer pushback and getting BPA out of our food supply.

update3: treehugger lists 7 companies you can trust to be BPA-free.

living in a modern world, it is a constant journey to stay informed!

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goodbye 2009…hello 2010!

this has been quite the year and quite the decade… through it all, i think we discovered that we all are connected – for better or worse – and that we must start paying attention to the consequences of how we live on others and our planet. and that we also must focus on what really matters:  good friends, family, good health and making time for each other. as we say goodbye to 2009, my hope is that we bring with us these simple lessons of  kindness and sharing into the new year.

my new year’s resolutions are to be more present in my life and in the lives of others. to stop looking back with regret, but to always remain introspective and reflective. to be generous and genuine in action and words. to buy american whenever possible. to eat healthful, local foods. to appreciate and create beauty. to take longer walks. to read more books.

and biggest of all for my boyfriend and me, january 2010 will bring the launch of modernest. it has been a journey, as any creative endeavor is – but also so fulfilling and so gratifying. i’ve learned a lot through the process…about courage and commitment and discipline. about believing in myself and working harder than i’ve ever worked before. and also about facebook and twitter and this blog – all these new ways of connecting with like-minded people. it’s been pretty amazing.

so wherever you are and whatever your dreams and goals, i wish everyone a happy and healthy new year!

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