Tag Archives: health

Toxin Contamination of Spirulina Supplements

Toxin Contamination of Spirulina Supplements

Apparently, you can have too much green! Stick to chlorella to avoid contamination with toxic blue-green algae!

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Eat to live; don’t live to eat!

You have probably heard of the saying, “Work to live. Don’t live to work.” Recently it just occurred to me that the same thing is true for food. During an age where the entire globe seems to be obsessed with food, weight and health/beauty ideals, it is about time we realize: We eat to live, we don’t live to eat!

[“Eat to live” also happens to be the slogan and title of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, which explains the nutritarian diet.]

Do you find that your day revolves around your eating schedule? Do you long for the next meal like it’s your salvation? A lot of people are plagued with what they perceive as cravings for a certain food, a sweet, or a caffeinated beverages. What they are most likely experiencing, however, is a feeling of emptiness and boredom that they try to fill desperately by chewing on something. People turn to constant snacking to break out of the routine, to add a little pleasure sensation throughout the day.

There are three things essential to our survival in the physical realm: air (oxygen), water, and food, respectively. Notice that food is only the third requirement on the list. We can survive weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without oxygen. We need to fill our lungs with oxygen and make it available for assimilation by our cells almost immediately. Water makes up about 60-70% of the average human body, and balance must be maintained between intake and output. Food takes a much longer time to be processed and integrated into the tissue and eventually to the cellular level.

The process of digestion and metabolism of the food has been studied extensively but still remains among the most controversial sciences. This, in turn, is responsible for the myriad of opposing dietary theories that float around the media, are propagated by the government in the form of food pyramids and guides, and are taught on all different levels at schools and universities. However, with mixed messages from food and health industries, and a focus on convenience and consumerism rather than sustainability and nature, people are as confused as ever about what to eat. According to Michael Pollen, author of “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” the human body is nourished by only about 1/4 of what we eat, and the rest of what the average person consumes is only detrimental to the health (see interview here).

Industrialized countries in particular have become obsessed with staying healthy and fit and determining the proper eating habits. Third world, countries, on the other hand (which, incidentally, have the lowest rates of psychological illnesses such as depression) don’t seem as concerned.

Even if you genuinely try to eat well and lead a ‘healthy lifestyle’ – the overwhelming presence of food as the centerpiece of our society is evident. We are constantly setting up lunch and dinner work and romantic dates, and checking out the local spots for good food and drinks to socialize. Our schedules revolve around food, and our day is broken up by eating times. We are habitually bombarded with food imagery from the media, and enticed by the smells of food encountered wherever we go. We let our stomachs govern our entire existence!

There is no question about it, food gives us more than just cellular nutrients – it has complex interaction with hormonal and neurotransmitter systems, which make us feel good. This may sound shocking, but here is a consideration: shift focus away from food and towards fulfilling your life with satisfaction on a much deeper level. Think about what spaces you are trying to crowd out by temporary “food highs.” Things like meaningful relationships, a career where you feel valued, a spiritual practice you believe in, physical exercise and ways to express your creativity are all areas of life that are often overlooked. Yet these are the things that truly count, that make us fully human on an emotional and spiritual level. It is no wonder health is defined as the sum total of physical, emotional, and social well-being (WHO definition).

Living healthily entails more than what you put in your plate and into your physical body. Living your life according to your dreams, goals, and values, with the people that you want to share it with, needs to be addressed. Only then can full health be achieved by proper nutrition.

Meditation Experience

Meditation Experience

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Listen to your body

Listen to your body
It knows more than you think
Listen to your body
It guides your intuition
Listen to your body
It follows basic instincts
Listen to your body
It is the sixth sense
Listen to your body
It craves what is missing
Listen to your body
It will steer you to balance
Listen to your body
It is your temple
Listen to your body

No time to meditate? Quick tip on how to unwind…

Besides checking in with yourself periodically and making sure you are breathing right (deep, slow inhalations), there are a lot of quick little things you can do to relax and de-stress.

If you don’t have time for a bath with candles, bath salts, and incense, you can easily make an adjustments and create a similar effect in your 10-minute shower session! Instead of fluorescent lights, light a candle. Plug the shower and instill a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, mint or eucalyptus into the tub. The scent will vaporize while you shower. Voila – you can now enjoy a spiritual aromatherapy shower session, with no extra time needed. Just take as long as you would a regular shower, and enjoy the experience. Trust me, making these little adjustments will make a big difference in how you feel during and after the shower. Try it out and see for yourself.

Shower happy!

Back to Basics

Growing up, I was always reading. I was fascinated by the ability of writers to master a language and create a whole new world within the pages of a book. Now, everything is digital and almost everyone is a writer – just look at the amount of blogs out there!

Using all the resources available to us now, we have expanded the ability to communicate beyond what is physically feasible – people can reach each other across the globe with the touch of a button! With that said, the human element has somehow gotten lost in translation.

I’d like to raise questions and invite people to think about what we are gaining and what we are giving up. The culture today is all about instant gratification, without taking the time to getting to the root of something and finding the best solution. The media and industry has a stronghold on all aspects of our lives. We are being brainwashed without realizing it, every time we watch a show, ride the subway, read a nutrition label, or put on a brand of clothing. Healthcare is running on autopilot: diagnose, prescribe medication, dispense, bill insurance. Our bodies are abused rather than being nurtured.

The world is on the precipice of something – values are shaking up and people are awakening as if from a deep slumber. We are the the masters of our own destiny. If we are careful, we can find a balance with nature and live in harmony, within and without.

My intention for this blog is to organize my ideals for what it means to be human, and inspire people to find their own ideals. Everyone is different, but we must each embrace our individuality in order to stay true to ourselves. Looking within is the key to living a happier, healthier life. I will also post tips on health & wellness, spirituality, nutrition, and living green.

Namaste, to those who are reading and following.

Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry

Continuing my observations from my last entry, I was linked to another site through my research initiated by Story of Stuff. The author’s friend, Stacy Malkan, has written a book called “Not Just a Pretty Face” and it is dedicated to exposing the Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry. Apparently, companies are not required by law to list all possible hazardous processes involved in production of cosmetic products. They justify this by saying we don’t actually ingest their products and hence don’t need to worry about slathering potential carcinogens and other nasty byproducts onto our hair, skin and lips. Yeah, I feel much better about that!

Anyway, according to the Not Just a Pretty Face blog written by the book’s author herself, even organic companies are take part in these charges. Man-made carcinogens are introduced to cosmetic products and no one is held accountable! She writes, “The Organic Consumers Association and author David Steinman shook up (and hopefully shook awake) the natural products industry with their report that 46 out of 100 brands of ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ body care products contained 1,4 dioxane, a probable human carcinogen that is the byproduct of a nasty petrochemical process involving the known breast carcinogen ethylene oxide.”

Another threat is the use of mercury and lead in personal care products. Both are well-known toxins, the latter of which has been denounced for its use in number two pencils. So it has been recognized because it is so harmful to kids, who may accidentally ingest it, but it is still being put into lipsticks. According to a comment to this entry, when confronted about this trend, an organic company has claimed that this is due to the fact that some of their organic earth minerals naturally contain trace amounts of lead. L’Oreal, which makes 6 of the top 11 most contaminated lipsticks according to the site, is shirking the responsibility of cleaning up their act. It even defends this production due to the fact that there are no FDA regulations prohibiting the process. So if lead is so harmful by ingestion to kids, how do these companies justify their ingestion by women of child-bearing age, who put the toxins right on their lips?

The blog also discusses the nationwide effort to make breast feeding safe, because breast milk samples were found to contain perchorate, a component of rocket fuel. Making Our Milk Safe, MOMS, is dedicated to preventing breast cancer at Safemilk.org. If you are interested, check out more info on Cosmetic Database and on Not Just a Pretty Face.

What are we really putting in our hair?

All of us are (hopefully) always aware of our hygiene, and would naturally want the best products to achieve these means. If you didn’t notice, I am generally concerned about health issues whether it’s regarding what we eat, what we breathe or what we use or even do on a daily basis.

While browsing around on the last site that interested me, that same Story of Stuff I was writing about last time, I found a bunch of links that the author has composed to help us start to treat ourselves and the environment better. The author has her own blog on the site, and her posts cover a variety of subjects that interested me. One in particular, which can be read here, lists suggestions on how to prevent the adverse effects of the capitalism system we have developed, and how to make the earth and ourselves better.

One of the most interesting links I found on the site though, is the Cosmetic Database. This has been developed by the Environmental Working Group to promote consumer awareness of products we use for hygiene, etc. It is basically a database of companies and their products, which can be searched and cross referenced by concerned potential customers. Whether you use hair products such as shampoo, hair dye, and gel, or cosmetics such as facial cream and lipstick, this site may be beneficial for you. A lot of these products don’t have any warnings on the label about their hazardous potential effects due to the methods of their production, simply because the FDA doesn’t require these warnings. Can you believe that? I was shocked to find out even that a lot of the so-called “organic” products may have additives that can harm us. Anyway, if you are interested, visit the site, type in the products that you use and they will be rated on a scale 1-10 based on how safe they are for use.

People With Cars

Everyone who has a car is missing out on tons of physical exercise. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t choose a healthy sprint or even a walk rather than plopping down for a quick ride? Most people who own cars tend to drive even the short distances that could easily be overcome just by foot.

In the last few years, I think that my friends and I managed to walk across all of Brooklyn and parts of the city. Walking was natural and second hand to breathing, since it was the healthy and cheap alternative to public transportation.

According to a website called Transportation Almanac, which is dedicated to providing information and statistics about transport, car emissions killed 30,000 people in 1998. The website provides various facts regarding negative effects of excessive car usage in recent times, and advocates bike usage as a healthy, cheap and beneficial alternative.

But now that some of my friends do have cars, they have started to use them for the most mundane tasks that could easily be done by walking. Instead of getting some slight cardio in, they hop in the car for just a few blocks of driving, thereby also adding some pollution to the environment. Guys, please, just ride the bike for those measly five minutes!