Weekly Recap: Minimalism, pesticides, babies, and food

While I am not a mother now, I plan to be someday. For me that means when I can read/hear advice that will benifit my future children or grandchildren, that I want to soak it in. I read this interview with Alexandra Cousteau (granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau), she is expecting her first child this summer and Shares Tips For Green (Blue)-Minded Moms and Moms-To-Be. Check it out here. And while we are on it, the interviewee has written another article about having a green pregnancy. It is full of great tips that you can apply to your life anytime – check it out here.

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Research links pesticides with ADHD in children! Ekk! Children may be especially prone to the health risks of pesticides because they’re still growing and they may consume more pesticide residue than adults relative to their body weight. More reasons to know your farmer, or be your farmer 🙂 Read the article here, and why take the chance with those chemicals!

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Once you get in baby articles, you get stuck 🙂 Give this article a read, it is about the chemicals that we are exposed too and how they are in babies umbilical cords. In the month leading up to a baby’s birth, the umbilical cord pulses with the equivalent of at least 300 quarts of blood each day, pumped back and forth from the nutrient- and oxygen-rich placenta to the rapidly growing child cradled in a sac of amniotic fluid. This cord is a lifeline between mother and baby, bearing nutrients that sustain life and propel growth. Chemical exposures in the womb or during infancy can be dramatically more harmful than exposures later in life. Substantial scientific evidence demonstrates that children face amplified risks from their body burden of pollution. Prepare to be shocked – read it here.

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Over on ‘The Zero Waste Home‘ this week, there was an article that sparked some discussion. You see, Bea and her family have been living with zero waste, and doing a great job at it. Her blog stands as a source of inspiration to declutter and consume less, therefore wasting less. You see the issue is that she has a very modern style, which I love, but some people feel she is trying to push it on them. People are accusing her of saying you can only live zero waste in a white and empty house (this is her house picture, I love the style!), but she is just showing how she has decluttered. I have never herd her say you need to paint everything white or give decorating advice. She runs a blog about reducing the impact we have on the earth, not a decorating blog – I am saddened that some people are not able to see past that and have to go get defensive and therefore miss the real point she is trying to make. Give her reply to the [rude and confused] comments a read and chime in with your opinions here.

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I have just read Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck, and gosh I loved it! I will be doing a full post about it in the future. If you care about what you are eating, where it comes from and if it is truley good for you then I strongly suggest picking up this book. It is great since she goes back to what our forefathers ate and really digs into the facts and science of it in a way that is super easy to follow.

[If you know me, you know I really do not like reading books often. And if you dont know me, now you know that 🙂 I tend to dread pick up a book, then I do remember it is not all that bad to sit around and read. However it does normally take me ages to get through a book. But this time I picked up Real Food, and it was the hardest book for me to put down. I wanted to know everything she had to say in it right away. I am so passionate about wanting to eat right and this book was the perfect answer for me to be able to have answers to many questions I have been having. Now I am excited to eat traditional and healthy food. It seems so obvious after reading the book that this is what we should have been doing all along, and where until the industry wanted to make a fast buck.]

Why I don’t use toothpaste

DISCLAIMER!! Please read this and make an informed decision – ie. read up on tooth soap and tooth ‘healing’ around the internet. I am not a medical professional, just someone very interested in being healthy, natural and safe. I have had great success with this, but I still think you should make an INFORMED decision.

I bet that got your attention. It is definitely not a good opening line when meeting new people, so I use caution – but will share with you today anyways.

So a few months back my toothpaste started to really bother me, not that it was not working – but that I could not pronounce what was in it and it was in wasteful plastic. After digging around online to find alternatives, I read that baking soda was supposed to work great. But I recall Mema using this, and that while it cleaned she said it was harsh on the gums. So I read some more and found out that if you brush daily with baking soda it is like basically taking sandpaper to your teeth and gums. Ok so that was not a winner. Time too keep reading around then.

I came across this book “Good teeth, birth to death” by Dr. Judd. Dr. Judd explains that when we brush our teeth with conventional tooth paste that the glycerin in the toothpaste (all have it, even organic ones) coats are teeth. This is what the glycerin is there to do, protect the teeth from stains. However, if you have this coat of ‘gunk’ (if you will), on your teeth then your enamel will not regrow. So then your teeth are just getting beat up, then covered with a thin barrier wall. Sure this barrier wall is great, but it is not natural and has adverse side effects. If you have a layer of glycerin on your teeth they can not repair themselves, thus you get sensitive teeth or cavities or rot. And the fluoride in your toothpaste it not helping. Before fluoride was used for the teeth it was used as rat poison. yeah. ekk.

Dr. Judds lays out some things to do like make sure you are getting enough vitamins like calcium to have strong bones and to rinse your mouth after eating – especially well when eating acidic foods, just a swish of water around the mouth will do. You can order the book, or read it all here as DR Judd has allowed in the copyright for anyone to reproduce it. Dr. Judd is a chemistry professor and he is now in his 80’s with prefect teeth. He recommends that you avoid fluoride with all cost to, as it does not protect the teeth, and can harm the body. You know, those kid toothpaste tubes say to monitor your kids till you know they will not swallow and only give them a pea sized amount – but if they do swallow to call poison control, this should be a red flag to us!

I did not need to do much more reading before I decided that I was going to give it a try. I am one for jumping on these experiments. So I went to the store in hunt of a glycerin free bar of soap – as Dr. Judd says to use. (don’t use liquid, it supposedly does not work as well) I bought the only bar I could find that was plastic free and glycerin free. I was abit skeptical at this point, as I bought a bar of 100% olive oil soap and just could not imagine that it would be palatable. But I was committed, so I decided to suck it up. It is a rather simple process, wet your tooth brush and rub it over the bar a few times. Then brush as normal. The first 2 times the taste bothered me a tiny bit, but was manageable. By the time a week had gone by I did not even notice the taste anymore! And the most amazing part is that my teeth felt like I had just been to the dentist.. I could not stop running my tongue over them! They were so slick and so so clean feeling. And it just gets better, they stay that was all day – 3 meals later I still had slippery teeth! Since there is not a layer of gunk to catch the food, they stay smooth.

I am now a few months into this, and my sensitive spots have gone away. At times you can tell where you teeth are rebuilding themselves. At first I was alarmed by this and had to do a crazy amount of googling before I found out that this was normal. What might happen, if yours do this, is that there will be what feels like a new bump in your teeth. If you poke at it it will kinda crunch away, but try not to. From what I understand it is like your teeth form a barrier of its own over a ‘bad’ spot while it does maintenance. Your teeth somehow repair themselves then this ‘barrier’ just goes away and a happy new layer of enamel is there. Another great benefit of this is that new/renewing enamel means your teeth will be whitening themselves! At first your new enamel will not match your old enamel. It is supposed to take around 6 months for the whole tooth to re-enamel and then the colors will all match. My teeth are the most white at my gums, and it seems that it is slowly working down. I do have a few very white spots throughout too.

So you brush with soap every day. Then you also need to do this: once a week take a pinch of baking soda and wet your toothbrush to brush with it. NB: Be very careful to avoid the gums, just brush the teeth. This is to help with any build up that might have occurred, so brush very thoroughly. If you have never brushed with baking soda, it is salty so avoid the tongue too! One of the reasons that it will take around 6 months before you will see a complete change it that conventional toothpaste takes something like 40 washes to remove it and the glycerin from your teeth. Don’t get impatient, you will see results.

I read this a account of one ladies experience, she said that for the first 3 months when her teeth were ‘naked’ they felt abit more sensitive. I however have not had this issue. But I just wanted to put it out there. She said that it went away and she has not had any issues ever again. She also went on to say that around the 6 month mark she was shocked at how white her teeth were – and that it looked as if she had white veneers put on.

I have recently tried another bar of soap out of curiosity. I am working to convince Ole that he too can use a bar of soap so I was wanting to find one that had the least taste (Update: Ole has now been using soap with me since 2012). I tried a bar of Dr. Bronners mint, I was hoping that it might have or leave that minty taste. I found that it tasted to soap and that the mint essential oil in it somewhat stung my mouth. I would suggest going to your local store and hunting a pure oil soap with no essential oils. It might take a few stores actually. Read the labels, ask questions. Make sure to avoid glycerin in the soap, and I will also suggest to avoid essential oils. My soap is 100% olive oil that has been saponified. (Or check out where to buy Natural Toothpaste Alternatives online in my new article)

So as promised to some of you, I am posting photos of my teeth from before and current. I will post an update in 3-4 months with more results, as I am sure I will see more changes. I would like to point out that my goal is not for white teeth, I do not want Hollywood teeth – I want healthy teeth!

The first photo is from before when I was using toothpaste. The middle one is a month in. The 3rd photo is from April. Sorry they are not the best photos ever. Has been hard to get a good photo of teeth upclose.

Let me know your thoughts! Or if you have any questions.

UPDATE June 1, 2011
I just wanted to post an update, it is a great one! My younger sister, who is 12, had been to the dentist earlier this year (I think in February) and was told she had a cavity and to come back in a few months to get it fixed. Around that same time I had switched to brushing with soap, and she eagerly switched over to brushing with soap just after me. I had mentioned it to my dad, and he was on board and she wanted to join – I loved hearing that she was wanting to and understood the benefits.

So this week she went back to the dentist, there has been much talk about if this ‘soap and re-enameling healing’ stuff worked in our family, we have had our fingers crossed hoping it was so, so she could save her ‘adult’ tooth in whole. So my dad decided to no tell the dentist their new practice till the end, he wanted a non-bias appointment. So here is the good news – the dentist actually refused to fill her tooth, saying that it was healing and doing great. He said she had great levels of phosphorus (I think it was this?) and calcium in her salvia and her teeth were looking great and to keep doing what she was doing. At this point, my dad and sister did tell the dentist what they were doing.. and of course he had to get all doctor on them saying that it was not good to do, and they should basically use chemicals – haha, I had to laugh when my dad told me this since the dentist had just told them whatever they were doing was working great!

I am thrilled that my little sister was able to keep her tooth! It is just a great reassurance to me that brushing with soap and getting enough vitamins through your food makes for great teeth!

UPDATE January 15, 2013

Time for another update: I am still brushing my teeth with soap. I am using baking soda on Sundays to help polish off any stains (from tea/coffee) and using peroxide sometimes as a mouthwash. Other than that I have not had any changes. I just got back from the dentist, he was very impressed with my teeth. He confirmed that in a few spots where there were small very white spots where where my tooth was trying to remineralize and where fighting out previous cavities… He said they looked old (the cavities) and healed. He helped take the barrier off those areas with a high pressure baking soada wash. He said he could see that at one point many years ago I had bad teeth-care, but now that it was good and reversing. Just goes to show that the reversal does not happen over night. I definatly think I will go in once a year for the baking soda wash, it was nice and lifted a few light stains.

fondas teeth jan 2013Here are my teeth as of January 2013. You can see they have gotten much whiter. Other than a tooth I had problems with as a teen and am having rebuilt do to it dying years ago, I have not other issues with my teeth. yay!



See where to buy TOOTHPASTE ALTERNATIVES here.



Plastics: The Sixth Basic Food Group

The article below is lengthy. All credits are given at the end. If you are worried about plastic in your food then this is a good read. If you are not worried about plastic, but don’t want to eat harmful chemicals that can disrupt hormones in you and your children – then this is a good read.

Readers who saw the 1970’s film The Graduate, starring a young Dustin Hoffman undecided about a career path, may recall the scene at his graduation party where an older family friend places an arm around young “Ben” and utters, “In one word – plastics. The future, my boy, is plastics.” Three decades later, the future is here and plastics are everywhere. We are now just beginning to understand the many ways plastic chemicals can interfere with health.

Phthalates

Phthalates are synthetic chemicals commonly found in inks, adhesives, vinyl floor coverings, some paints, and most plastic, including food wrap. Phthalates are plasticizers used to make plastic products more flexible. Their effects on human health is increasingly coming into question.

The offspring of female rats exposed to phthalates demonstrated a variety of abnormalities. “Most striking were their effects as androgen (male hormone) blockers in male offspring, which included a reduction of testosterone levels and abnormalities in the male reproductive tract.” [1]

A higher risk of miscarriage was observed among women exposed to high levels of phthalates. [2]
Continue reading

Robyn O’Brien – What is real food?

Robyn shares her personal story and how it inspired her current path as a “Real Food” evangelist. Grounded in a successful Wall Street career that was more interested in food as good business than good-for-you, this mother of four was shaken awake by the dangerous allergic reaction of one of her children to a “typical” breakfast. Her mission to unearth the cause revealed more about the food industry than she could stomach, and impelled her to share her findings with others. This is a very informative video!

Abeego Wraps: Alternative to Plastic Wrap



Goal # 32 Completed: Stop using saran wrap / plastic wrap

Well ok not 100% completed, I still have like 1/4 of a roll of plastic wrap left, but once it is gone we are not buying a new roll.

“Abeego is natural, reusable, eco-conscious food storage created with hemp/cotton fabric infused with a blend of beeswax and plant extracts. The fluid-resistant coating keeps food fresh and is easy to clean. Simply hand wash Abeego in COLD, soapy water and enjoy the long life of this breathable, plastic free innovation.” -Abeego

So let me just say that I am in love with these Abeego flats I ordered! In my attempt to rid my house of plastic wrap I came across these amazing things! At first I was a tid bit unsure how fabric coated in beeswax would keep my food fresh – but since it was a natural way and I am up for taking chance, I ordered the Multi-Pack. They only cost $15 CAD and the sweet owner, Toni, backaged them in a flat envelope to mail them from Canada to Norway for me. I was first of all OVERLY impressed with the envelope when it arrived – All paper and NO plastic! Packaging after my own heart!

So the multi-pack, also called Flats, are just like plastic wrap in function.. here is what the site says (since they say it best!). “Abeego Flats are the ideal kitchen companion for fresh food storage. Simply press and form over dishes to cover leftovers. Wrap up cheese, mold around produce, baked goods and more. Bend and shape the Flats to suit your individual food storage needs. Explore the versatility with this multi pack containing a small, medium and large Abeego Flat. Use pressure in combination with the warmth of your hands to form it tightly around the item to be stored. Abeego responds to temperature. It will be more adhesive and moldable at room temperature and will stiffen when cool, holding the shape you created.”

We have tacos every Tuesday – AKA Taco Tuesday – and we always have half a cucumber leftover, that I always hope will last until the next Taco Tuesday. But it never does, it is normally mushy. So I was super excited test this. And guess what – after one week of it wrapped in a Abeego and sitting on my counter it was still crisp and fresh – no mush!

There is only one thing I am bummed about though, that is that I want one in like 18×18 inches – haha. Toni has been very helpful in all ways, so I think I will have to make a request (or if you are reading this Tone, this is a request for bigger sizes!) I am very excited about this product and have been telling everyone. Give them a try, and if you like them (I am sure you will!) – then spread the word! Kudos to Toni on that, she is really helping eliminate the plastic consumption.

You can find out more information about Abeego here.