A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam


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BANNED FOODS THAT ARE LIKELY IN YOUR GROCERY CART

grocery copy

It turns out that a lot of banned foods end up in our grocery cart, and contain hidden toxic chemicals that increase your risks of disease, hormone disruption, and obesity.

We hate to be the bearers of bad news but… every day, Americans eat tons of dangerous banned ingredients, and chances are you’re one of them.  Below is a list of the top 5 most toxic ingredients that probably make it on your dinner plate:

1) Ractopamine (in pork)

  • Banned in the European Union, China, and Taiwan.
  • Consumer Reports found this dangerous drug in 20% of all pork products in America.

2) rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone – in milk)

  • Banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel and all European Union countries.
  • rBGH, a hormone used to increase cows’ milk product, is still used in all 50 states.
  • The use of rBGH increases the levels of insulin like growth factor – 1 (IGF-1) hormone in the milk by at least 6 folds, increasing risks of various cancers.

3) GMOs – Genetically Modified Organisms (in almost everything)

  • Over 50 countries require labeling of GMO foods, and many of them banned GMOs altogether.
  • In the US, GMO foods are NOT labeled – even if 91% of the population feels like they should be.
  • Because 90% of all soy, corn, canola and sugar (sugar beet) in the US is now GMO, Americans eat their weight in GMO foods each year.
  • The first-ever lifetime feeding study on the potential health risks of GMOs was published in September 2012. The results of feeding rats GMO corn for two years were frightening: some rats developed massive tumors that represent 25% of their body weight, liver damage was up to 5 times higher in the GMO group than in the non-GMO group, and female rats that ate GMOs had a 3X higher risk of premature death.

4) Potassium Bromate (in bread – brominated flour)

  • Banned from dozens of countries.
  • Called a cancer threat by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) since 1999
  • Used in bread as a dough conditioner and preservative.
  • When it combines with gluten it becomes even more toxic.

5) Chloramphenicol (in honey)

  • This is an antibiotic used on honey bees
  • It has been banned in the US for years, but can still be found in cheap supermarket honey (along with heavy metals) that comes from China.
  • A recent study found that 75% or more of all the honey in the U.S. may be Chinese honey sold as American honey.

Source: Nick Pineault, Author and investigator, The Truth About Fat Burning Foods


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“GIRLS’ NIGHT IN” SALAD RECIPE

"Girls' Night In" Salad

“Girls’ Night In” Salad

Last weekend, we decided to host a girls’ get together. But Molly and I could not decide on what to serve for dinner. A lot of our friends are “dieting” and we knew they wouldn’t want to eat anything heavy. So… we came up with a salad that has all of our favorite ingredients in it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Green and red butter lettuce
  • Chicken breast
  • Cabot Alpine Blend Italian Style hard cheese (mix of Italian and aged swiss cheese)
  • Hass avocado
  • Marinated hearts of palm and artichoke salad mix
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Spice Islands ground rosemary/garlic blend
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil

We served the salad with white wine and our girlfriends were quite pleased! It was a great night.


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TYLENOL IS LINKED TO MORE THAN ADHD… WHAT THE MEDIA ISN’T TELLING YOU!

tylenol-acetaminophen-dangers

We have been talking about this topic since January of 2012 (click here for article). However, we were excited to see that today, 2 years later, the story has reached the mainstream media.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded from their study of 64,322 live-born children and mothers enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort during 1996-2002 that, “Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for Hyperkinetic Disorders (HKDs) and ADHD-like behaviors in children.”

This is not the first study to replicate the findings reported on by Dr. William Shaw two years ago. Dr. Shaw, in his recent newsletter, refers to a study reported on in the International Journal of Epidemiology between 1999 and 2008 on 48,631 children. They found that:

  • Exposure to acetaminophen for more than 28 days during fetal life increases the risk of adverse psychomotor and behavioral outcomes by almost 70%.
  • Exposure to acetaminophen doubles the risk of language problems in 3-year-old children.
  • In contrast they found no association between ibuprofen on the same neurodevelopmental outcomes, which suggests a specific effect of acetaminophen rather than a general effect of pain medicines.
  • Even short-term exposure (1-27 days) during pregnancy was associated with poor gross motor development.

Also in his recent newsletter, Dr. Shaw calls for a warning label be placed on all acetaminophen products intended for pregnant women and young children. His rationale for this is that acetaminophen has not just been linked to ADHD. It has been associated with:

  • increased rates of cancer
  • plausible causation of autism
  • plausible causation of brain damage (in vitro evidence associated with acetaminophen metabolites)
  • increased risks of testicular damage
  • asthma
  • allergy
  • language problems
  • adverse psychomotor and neurodevelopmental outcomes when used in pregnancy

To read more about the risks of acetaminophen, click here.


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BAD TEETH AND AUTISM HEALTH CONNECTION?

plaque teeth

Not Really Annie’s Teeth – But She Gets Plaque Build Up Like That

I hate to talk about this topic because it makes me feel like a bad mom. I know people judge me and think that I don’t teach my daughter proper oral hygiene. They probably think that I don’t brush her teeth at all.

But the truth is – even during the worst of times, when I used to have to wrestle my daughter to the ground to get her to brush her teeth because her sensory issues were so bad that a tooth-brush terrified her and made her have a tantrum, I made sure she brushed her teeth every day, at least twice a day. Even now, I still brush her teeth for her so that I know it is done thoroughly and correctly.

Regardless, she has unbelievable amounts of plaque on her bottom two teeth that can literally accumulate overnight. No joke – I scrape it off with my dental pick at night and by the next morning, it’s back like a bad dream!

I hope that I am not alone because I have noticed that several other (certainly not all) children with autism don’t have the pearly whites that we in America all strive for. I think this is due to the health issues sometimes associated with autism.

You may be wondering if Annie’s diet is to blame for her dental issues… thinking that maybe she eats sugary foods all day long. Let me assure you this is not the case. Annie is on a gluten-free, casein free, soy free, corn free, Paleo, organic, rotation, no sugar diet. She eats organic meats, lots of vegetables, fruits (not too much), and a few gluten-free grains. It is not sugar nor lack of nutrients that causes Annie’s mouth issues.

I know Annie’s ongoing mouth issues are linked to her remaining digestive and health issues. While her health has improved dramatically (along with her symptoms of autism – see Annie’s Recovery Story), her immune system is clearly still not one hundred percent. One of the ways her immune/digestive system deficiencies manifest is by creating plaque in her mouth and wearing away her tooth enamel.

“The mouth is a portal into the rest of the body,” said Dr. Donald Ratcliffe, chairman of the department of dental medicine at Staten Island University Hospital. Growing research shows “there’s a relationship between the bacteria — and the inflammation that bacteria cause in the mouth — [and] a lot of other diseases,” he said.

My daughter came home crying the other day because a boy at school had told her, in a rather not nice way, that she has tooth decay. She is now at the age (age 9) where she is aware that she is different and it hurts her. And that, in turn, hurts me. What am I supposed to do? How can I help her?

I talked to my homeopath about all of this and she helped me come up with a new plan that I am excited about. So far, it really seems to be keeping the plaque in check. I can’t say it has repaired her tooth enamel yet, but the plaque is so much better that I had to share! Here’s what we’re doing:

  1. Hyland’s Calcarea Fluorica 6x - this is to remineralize her teeth that have been so badly damaged by the chronic plaque build up.
  2. Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse (fluoride-free) - works for all oral issues including whitening, gum pockets and receding gums, tooth sensitivity, bad breath, tartar, canker sores and toxic morning mouth. It does not contain any of the following: Sodium Laurel Sulfate, Flourides, Glycerin. Alcohol, Chlorine Bleach, or Pesticides. This is what I use to brush Annie’s teeth after every meal. It is a pain because it is a liquid but she loves the taste and we have gotten used to it.
  3. Citrus Tooth Swish – I put some of this powder in Annie’s mouth after she eats. She swishes it in her mouth to mix it with her saliva for a minute or so and then spits it out. It helps to neutralize food acids, promote salivation and bathe teeth with 84 ionic/colloidal minerals and trace elements. They make an unflavored version as well as other flavors like peppermint if you prefer.
  4. Pekana Lactic Plus –  this homeopathic remedy helps to maintain the acid/alkaline balance in her mouth and body. Annie tends to be too acidic with causes tooth enamel to erode.
  5. I switched Annie to a Sonicare toothbrush that includes a UV sanitzer so that I would stop reinfecting her mouth with the same bacteria over and over again.

I’ll keep you posted about whether Annie is able to repair her tooth enamel and keep the plaque at bay. But in the mean time, if any of you parents out there have experienced dental issues and found ways to improve them, please write to me and let me know. I am desperate to figure this out for my daughter. Thanks in advance for your help and advice!

Molly

Other Reading:

Curing Tooth Decay Naturally from Crystal Child


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ADHD DOES NOT EXIST OR IS IT NEUROCHEMICAL IMPULSIVE DISTRACTIVE DISORDER?

ADHD book cover

Today, February 18th, 2014, a new book is being released entitled “ADHD Does Not Exist” by Richard Saul, M.D.

Molly saw the author interviewed yesterday on “The Doctors” television show and it got us researching to understand more about what the author is really saying. We knew the title would offend lots of people and ignite a firestorm of controversy. But we wanted to take the time to understand… was the doctor really saying ADHD does not exist? Or is he trying to get our attention in order to make another point?

Dr. Saul says the medical establishment’s mistake is defining ADHD by its symptoms — failure to pay attention, too much fidgeting or running around, fast talking, repetitive behavior — rather than what causes it. Said another way, Dr. Saul believes that ADHD is a set of symptoms and not a disease. This belief led to the title of his book. He is not denying that real and devastating symptoms do exist for millions of children diagnosed with ADHD.

His main point is to ask doctors and families to first rule out several other diseases that can lead to the same symptoms as ADHD. In fact, Dr. Saul lists 20 possible “true” diagnoses in his book that mimic the symptoms of ADHD. For example:

  • sleep disorders
  • problems with hearing or vision
  • learning disabilities like dyslexia
  • substance abuse
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • major psychiatric disorders such as depression
  • hard-to-detect seizure disorders (20 second epileptic seizures)
  • simply being gifted

Dr. Saul explains that he routinely administers a series of tests before making any recommendations, beginning with a blood work-up to eliminate problems such as:

  • hyperthyroidism
  • iron deficiency
  • hormone imbalance
  • lead toxicity

If none of these physical causes are at issue, Saul looks for stress-related psychological problems.

It is important to note that none of these 20 other disorders that mimic the symptoms of ADHD benefit from amphetamine-based medications such as Ritalin. Possible side of Ritalin according to the FDA’s website include: slowing of growth (height and weight) in children, seizures, eyesight changes/blurred vision, painful and prolonged erections (priapism), headache, decreased appetite, stomach ache, nervousness, trouble sleeping, and nausea. The inactive ingredients of Ritalin are: D&C Yellow No.10 (5-mg and 20-mg tablets), FD&C Green No.3 (10-mg tablets), lactose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, starch (5-mg and 10-mg tablets), sucrose, talc, and tragacanth (20-mg tablets). We point this out because, often times, children with ADHD are sensitive to dyes and lactose.

If these other diseases/disorders/health problems are ruled out, Dr. Saul admits that the child’s symptoms may need to be treated with Ritalin. Rather than calling the child’s symptoms ADHD, he names it Neurochemical Impulsive Distractive Disorder.

Whether or not you agree with everything Dr. Saul has to say, we hope his point gets across… that we shouldn’t be in such a rush (or allow ourselves to be pressured) to give Ritalin to our children with ADHD. Let’s slow down and take the time to rule out other diagnoses, nutritional deficiencies, and health issues first. Let’s try to get to the root cause of the ADHD symptoms.

As moms, we recognize that parents may not have the time to wait before trying Ritalin for their children. We have heard stories of schools saying that a child cannot return to school without a prescription, and we cannot imagine the pressure that puts on a family. We are not here to judge and we know there are times when Ritalin (or other prescription medications) is the best option for all involved. However, we are simply saying that if you have the time and money for testing to rule out other causes of ADHD symptoms, it may be in your child’s best interest to look into it.

Side Note:

This struck such a chord with us because it is so similar to what we believe about a subset of children with autism spectrum disorder. We believe some children with autism have chronic health issues as the root cause of their autism. As you treat the health issues, their symptoms go away. We are not trying to say that this is true for all children with autism. We recognize that some children with autism don’t even have health issues and that their autism is likely genetic. But with the “spectrum” being as broad as it is, health issues are the root cause of the disease for some children with autism. Here is a link to an article we wrote called Health Induced Autism.


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ARE NIGHTSHADES BAD FOR YOU?

Nightshades1

We never really understood why people say nightshades are bad for you. We have heard people say they cause inflammation and we know that our children are prone to inflammation so we thought we better take the time to learn more. In our research to better understand nightshades and how they may be contributing to our children’s health issues, we came across this explanation of nightshades by a fellow blogger and learned a lot.

Are Nightshades Bad for You?

After reading this blogger’s summary of the Weston A. Price article on nightshades, we will now be limiting (working towards eliminating) nightshades from our diets as well as Annie and Brody’s.

Have any of you out there eliminated nightshades from your child’s diet? What did you notice? Did their symptoms of autism get better?


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PREVENTING AUTISM – WHAT THE PARENTS SAY

preventing autism video

This is a video we found on Recovering Kids, a website owned by Regarding Caroline.

Recovering Kids asked the members of their group what can be done to stop the increasing numbers of children being diagnosed with autism. Their answers give valuable insight to anyone who is terrified of the epidemic that is changing the face of a generation of children…. currently one in every 50 children is affected by autism.

We wish we would have had this advice before our children were born.

Do you have advice to add?

We’d love to hear from you – parents who are living with autism every day. We respect your opinions and have learned more from you than from our pediatricians. Please write to us and let us know your best advice. We would like to publish your responses to help other parents who are just beginning their journey with autism.


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CLINICAL TRIAL FOR MAGNETIC RESONANCE THERAPY ABOUT TO OPEN

MRT boy

We went to a 3 day autism conference recently and learned a lot.  One of the most amazing things we heard about was Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MRT). In mom language, MRT is pulsing a big, super strength magnet on your child’s forehead to re-set the brain’s electrical system. This therapy is very new and very expensive (one month is $11,500) so we won’t be using it with our children any time soon. But we wanted to make others aware of it, especially since Dr. Bradstreet is about to open clinical trials for this procedure. If your child is selected, the procedure will be completely free.

If you want to learn more about MRT, check out this website. They have information about the cost and side effects as well as video testimonials. Dr. Bradstreet said he will post information on how to apply for the clinical trial today on his blog. You can also scan here to look for information on the trial once it is posted.

You have to watch this amazing video of an 18-year-old boy with severe autism. Warning… the video is disturbing. In the “before” video the boy is violent… punching himself over and over and attempting to hit his mom. After MRT, he is able to play ping-pong, shoot hoops, and he can laugh! The quality of life for both the boy and his mother is remarkably improved.

Disclaimer: We are not patients of Dr. Bradstreet and we know nothing about the effectiveness or safety of this therapy. Please do your own research. We are simply passing along information.


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A CAUTIONARY TALE… A STYROFOAM CUP CAN GET YOU GROPED BY A TSA AGENT!

tsapic1

Stewart Airport, 5:00am, Sunday morning.  Still dark outside and not much movement at the airport. The morning rush for flights had not begun.

I entered the terminal and walked over to the rental car counter to turn in the keys. I dropped the keys in the box and turned around meeting the gaze of a TSA agent. I smiled and continued the process of checking in and getting my flight ticket from the JetBlue kiosk. I had the feeling I was being watched and I looked around and noticed the same TSA agent (known from here out as Skeletor) still watching me. He was making me feel uncomfortable. I took the last sip of my peppermint tea and dumped the styrofoam cup in the garbage can.

As soon as I walked up to the TSA line,  Skeletor asked to see the palms of my hands. No hello, how are you, or other form of greeting? He informed me he needed to scan my hands. What the heck? After all my years of traveling, this was a first. What could he possibly be checking for? The only thing that came to my mind were drugs.

Wrong! The lights of the machine turned red and I immediately got the “uh oh” feeling. Skeletor asked me to step aside and called for his supervisor. Long story short, my hands tested positive for explosive residue. Over the next 30 minutes, I was subjected to a humiliating and invasive pat down and my suitcase and purse were ransacked.

After being questioned, I was placed in a holding room where two female TSA agents rambled on about where they were going to touch me and how they would use the backs of their hands and fronts of their hands during the dreaded “cop a feel.” At this point it didn’t matter what part of the hand they were going to use. They were still rooting around in areas I would prefer them not to be. It was disgusting.

After they were done with me, I was dismissed with a wave of a hand and left to re-pack my suitcase and put myself  together. I was mad. No one else had been targeted nor had their hands been scanned. Why was I randomly selected? Why did Skeletor have his eyes on me from the second I walked in the door?

I support the fact we have to beef up security, but in this situation I felt there was more to it. How sensitive are Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) machines?

Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) Machine

Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) Machine

What can cause false positive readings? Did Skeletor know that a styrofoam cup could leave suspicious residue on a drinker’s hands? Is that why he was watching me? Hey, let’s target the tired housewife and make her cry. Five points for the TSA agent who can get her to wail or four points if you make her mad. Is it a sick game in which they tally up the points at the end of the week and the winner gets a free dinner at Bennigan’s?

This experience was scary. I was traveling alone and truthfully, did not know what my rights were in a situation like this. My suitcase, purse, driver’s license and ticket were confiscated from me. They were out of my eyesight and I was at the mercy of the TSA agents.

What would happen if something “magically appeared” in my suitcase or my money/credit cards went missing? It would become a game of he said, she said. And I have a feeling I would not have a leg to stand on.

What are a passenger’s rights in a situation like this? What would happen if a passenger missed their flight?

But this is what I have learned… all the following have the potential to cause false positives on the ETD scan:

  • Taking nitroglycerin-based heart medication
  • Living in & around agriculture
  • Being a legal gun owner
  • Using glycerin-based lotion
  • Being in the active military, guard, or reserves
  • Working in the explosives or mining industry
  • Working in the cosmetics industry
  • Touching styrofoam/polystyrene

Just to name a few.

The moral of this story… next time you go to the airport, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly… but NOT with glycerin-based soap! Happy travels.

 

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