Saturday, August 2, 2014

Surgeon General Issues Urgent Health Warning Against Tanning

The US Surgeon General just issued an Urgent Health Alert regarding the dangers of tanning. View the health report from ABC World News, which informs us that one blister-inducing sunburn in childhood may double a person's chances for developing melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Healthy First Birthday Cake Made from Fresh Fruit

Mellow, pineapple and mango make a great base for a fresh fruit cake!
Make Your Baby's First Birthday Cake Out of Fresh Fruit!

If you're looking for the healthiest cake for baby's first birthday then look no further than the fruit aisle! That's right, a baby's first cake can be made of delicious fresh fruit! My daughter's piano teacher made the one pictured about out of watermelon (the base tiers), mango (the flowers), honeydew (the hearts), pineapple (the #1 cake topper) and embellished the whole thing with grapes, strawberries and kiwi.  The whole thing was assembled with toothpicks, took little time to make, and was very affordable.

Personally, I can't stand the tradition of allowing a one-year old baby to gorge him or herself on a piece of overly sweet, overly processed flour cake for their first birthday. Starting children on processed sugar before the age of two spoils the palate and introduces non-healthy food cravings that make it difficult to develop an appetite for whole, natural foods. If you have to have a real cake at your baby's first birthday, serve it to the older kids and adults but let the babies delight in the beautiful new tradition of a Fresh Fruit First Birthday Cake. As a bonus, your healthy child will thank you for not corrupting her taste buds corrupt by 12 months. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Safest and Most Harmful Sunscreens of 2014

Every summer I rely on the annual Sun Safety guide from Environment Working Group (  to keep me up to date on which sunscreens are currently the most harmful and which sunscreens are the safest. This easy-to-read guide never fails to inform. Take a look at the #1 sunscreen to avoid AGAIN in 2014: spray sunscreen. Read the full report to find out what you should be looking for and what you should be avoiding in your next bottle or tube of sunscreen:

EWG Sun Safety Campaign

Monday, June 30, 2014

All Natural Scalp Exfoliation

Not Just for Baking -  Baking Soda Exfoliation for the Scalp Soothes Itching and Kills Bacteria
If you suffer from dandruff, allergies that affect the scalp, or hair product overload then it's time to exfoliate with good old fashion baking soda. Scalp exfoliation with baking soda will not only kill any yeast buildup, it will also make you feel as if you've been to the spa (for just a handful of pennies, no less). Follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse to complete the treatment, and your scalp will be thanking you for weeks. Or until you eat too much sugar again (which can cause dandruff when the sugar turns to yeast in your system and clogs the pores in your scalp as it's trying to exit your system).

How to Exfoliate Scalp with Baking Soda:

  1. Wet hair thoroughly (best to do in the shower or tub).
  2. Pour about two tablespoons of fresh baking soda into your palm.
  3. Add drops of water to the baking soda until it forms a paste.
  4. Start at the temples and begin massaging the baking soda paste into your scalp in a circular motion.
  5. Avoid the strands and ends of hair - and focus only on the scalp. Use more baking soda to create enough paste to massage your entire scalp.
  6. IMPORTANT: Rinse with COLD water (not warm). Cold water helps close the pores of the scalp. 
  7. If you have longer hair, it's important to follow the scalp exfoliation with an apple cider rinse, otherwise your hair will feel dry and tangly. Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar to 5 parts water. 
  8. Lean your head back when pouring the vinegar mixture onto your scalp. Start with the scalp, but work the mixtures into your ends. 
  9. AGAIN - VERY IMPORTANT: Rinse with cold water (not warm).
  10. If the smell of the vinegar is lingering or bothering you, follow up with some cream rinse on the ENDS ONLY. Do not put ANY products (or cream rinse) on your scalp.
You'll find that the baking soda treatment doesn't just treat the itching, it actually cleans the scalp so you  won't have to shampoo for days (or ever again … really ...if you become a no-poo believer).

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Toxic Hot Seat - A Documentary About REAL Flame Retardant Dangers

Finally, last fall some light began to be shed on the poison we are all forced to live with: toxic flame retardants in our sofas, our beds, our children's car seats, our electronics and more…more…more. "Toxic Hot Seat" is an amazing HBO documentary that should be watched, feared, and fought for by all. Check out the trailer...

Saturday, May 31, 2014

How to Pack a Plastic-Free Lunch

Zero Plastic School Lunch

Believe it or not, it's easy and COST EFFECTIVE to pack plastic-free lunches. This is all you would need to pack the non plastic school lunch you see pictured above:

* (2) Stainless steel sectioned sandwich containers (like the lunchbots brand above).
* (1 or 2) Snack size containers (like the Kids Conserve container above with pineapple)
* (1) Stainless steel water bottle (with silicone sipping parts that can be rinsed with vinegar and scrubbed with a small bottle nipple brush).
* (1) 100% COTTON bag to function as a lunch box (no lead linings)
* (1) Store bought snacked wrapped in paper - NEVER plastic.

Remember - once you invest in a set of stainless containers, you'll have them for decades. Now, how is that for waste management!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Non GMO Alternatives for Veggie Booty and Pirate's Booty

Bearitos Veggie and Cheddar Puffs: a GMO-Free Snack Alternative

Who amongst us has not fed their toddler or elementary-age children gallons of Veggie Booty? Sure, we knew we weren't giving them REAL vegetables, but never in our wildest organic dreams did we imaging we were feeding our kids GMOs. Well, we were. For years. In my case, a whole decade. I knew most field corn crops were genetically modified, not to mention virtually all non-organic soy and canola oils. So I avoided those ingredients in breads and baked goods and thought we were safe. Somehow, it never dawned on me to think about the cornmeal and oils in my kids' beloved booty. Then one day I did. And then I "googled". And then, there it was, right there on the company's website (and still is)  "Yes, our products include some ingredients that may have been genetically modified. " 

The Pirate's Brand company admitted over two years ago to using genetically modified ingredients in their products. And have they taken any steps to change their ingredients since people started complaining? No. So guess what happened? Someone else beat them to the punch.  Bearitos, an organic chip company that's been around for decades, swooped in and created their own line of organic, GMO-free Veggie Puffs and Cheddar Puffs. And guess what? Kids love them! If your local natural foods market isn't carrying them yet, tell them to. Remind them  about the GMOs in the Pirates Brand and tell them you won't be buying that brand ever again. Only if companies lose money will they ever learn.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Best Tasting Gluten Free Cereal

In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, I wanted to give a shout out to my favorite new all-natural gluten free cold cereal: Cinnamon Heaven by Van's Natural Foods. This stuff reminds me of the cereals I loved as a child. My own kids call it "marshmallow cereal" because it reminds us of the marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal (minus the artificial flavors and colors). If only the Whole Foods Markets and Natural Market Co-op near us would start carrying this brand. Instead, I have to make a special trip to Vons to find any Van's products. Oh well, it's worth it.