Saturday, May 29, 2010

Do you really want your whites whiter?

I know this has nothing to do with food but it's something that I started thinking about today. Chemicals on our body have potential to enter our body through our skin and other openings, so we're ingesting them (that's why I can include this on my blog).

To the point - I heard recently that way detergent makes your whites whiter and your brights brighter is by adding a fluorescent compound that literally makes your clothes glow. They're not cleaner, it's just an optical illusion. I decide to do some googling to see if it's true. So here's what I found:

First of all, I was not able to find any articles or blogs written on the subject. I found some random websites that mention "Optical brightening agents" were used in detergent to make the clothes appear brighter. Then all I could find was a Wikipedia entry that confirmed that these in fact are used in detergent. I started googling "Optical brightening agent safety" which brought me to a bunch of manufacturer websites which again confirmed these are used in detergent (among other items), and they recommended to view the "safety data sheet" before use. But where were these safety data sheets? Hard to find, but finally I found one. Unfortunately, listed on this data sheet were these side effects:
Hazardous ingredients: OPTICAL BRIGHTENER OB-100 >90%
Skin contact: There may be irritation and redness at the site of contact.
Eye contact: There may be irritation and redness. The eyes may water profusely.
Ingestion: There may be soreness and redness of the mouth and throat.
Inhalation: There may be irritation of the throat with a feeling of tightness in the chest. Exposure may cause coughing or wheezing."

This is a chemical that we are putting on our skin! How are they permitted to do this? Oh ya, and "Environmental precautions: Do not discharge into drains or rivers." Good thing none of the water from our laundry drains into the rivers. I had trouble with linking the PDF file so email me if you would like to see a copy.

We all know about the fragrances and harsh cleaners in cleaning products, but this is just another reason to choose an all natural detergent or to make one yourself.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beef.. It's what's for lunch

My Oriental Medicine Practitioner told me that I needed to eat more blood building foods especially red meat. Red meat is not something that I eat very often, a few times a month if that. It is pretty disgusting the way they raise the cows that American's eat. They are miserable and treating horribly from birth to slaughter. They are fed food that they cannot digest which, along with their living conditions, makes them sick. Their feed contains pesticides and herbicides, and they are pumped full of hormones. After slaughter during processing they are washed with chemicals and exposed to many toxins. When eat them, we are ingesting all the toxins they had and the chemicals released by their body in response to them being sick. Gross! That's enough to make anyone a vegetarian.

The irony is there are so many health benefits to eating high quality red meat. As I said before it is blood building, full of vitamins and minerals. Grass fed beef even contains omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fat that is found in fish. Feeding grass to cows also cuts down significantly the number of bacteria found in the beef.

99% of the time I refuse to eat beef unless it is organic and grass fed. Today, my sister and I went to Blue Moon Burger for some cheeseburgers. They get all their meet from Thundering Hooves Ranch. Thundering Hooves is a small family own ranch that takes care of each individual animal that they raise. The meat is purchased directly through the farm rather than through a distributer or market. It feels good to be able to eat a burger with a clean conscience. The meat we ate was from a healthy cow with no hormones or antibiotics. It consumed no pesticides or herbicides. I know it was treated good through it's life and was aloud to roam free and be happy. When it came time for slaughter I feel confident that it was done as humanely as possible.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Darn Wheat

Wow, time goes fast. I can't believe how long it's been since I last blogged. I thought it had only been a week and a half. Everyday as I go about my business I think "I need to blog about this, or I have to remember that for my blog". But for some reason it hasn't been happening. I feel like I have so much going on in my head that I can't keep my thoughts straight and don't even know where to start!

So what am I thinking about right now? I've been having self control issues lately when it comes to wheat. I'm slightly allergic to it, and I know refined carbohydrates are not good for me. I have successfully cut it out of my diet previously, but can't seem to do it right now. I have an undergraduate degree in nutrition and I'm halfway through my masters. I know all the biological responses that happen when I consume a food I am allergic to. I know the specific way my body responds. I know if I cut out wheat I won't be congested in my head and I'll lose weight. I also have studied the psychology behind food cravings and the stress it creates to cut specific foods out of the diet. I am also currently writing an essay for class about why carb and sugar preferences are biological and a protective mechanism from back in the day when we used to forage our food. I also know so many alternatives to wheat and living in Seattle the selection is wide!

If I know so much about it, why am I having such a hard time cutting it out? I know if I just do it for a few weeks, I will barely crave it anymore. I got through the whole day today without wheat and then my sister made pizza tonight. Homemade pizza with fresh dough and veggies by a fantastic chef. How could I resist?

How am I supposed to be a successful nutritionist if I can't even control my own cravings? Don't just talk the talk, walk the walk.