Saturday, June 26, 2010

H20 Treatment Methods

I really wish we could have an expert guest post about all aspects of H20 because I am a passionate part-timer that learns new things every day.  For now, it is likely best to get everyone on the same page with water treatment methods...

Activated Carbon
Water is filtered through a carbon trap that absorbs the contaminants.  This reduces chlorine, herbicides, lead, hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds ("VOCs").  Price ranges between $20 and $1,250 for faucet-mounted or pour-through unit versus a whole-house system.

Carbon filtration
Passes water through a charcoal or solid carbon block and captures contaminants.  When carbon sites fill up, the filter cartridge is replaced.  This reduces chlorine, organic chemicals, and pesticides.  Price ranges from $25 to $300 and up for a faucet-mounted unit versus a under-counter unit.

Distillation
Raises water temperature to boiling, leaving contaminants behind.  Purified water vapor condenses to liquid.  When the steam rises it leaves behind most of the bacteria, viruses, chemicals, minerals, and pollutants.  For those concerned about the lost minerals, Concentrace mineral drops from Trace Minerals is a great option. Distillation reduces levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, orin, lead, giardia cysts, nitrates, and sulfate.  The cost ranges between $99 and $4,500 for a countertop unit versus a whole-house system.

Reverse Osmosis
Forces pressurized water through a contamination-rejecting membrane; sends improved water to holding tank.  This reduces levels of arsenic, cadmium, iron, chlorine, lead, giardia cysts, nitrate, radium, and sulfate.  The price ranges from $150-$1,500 for a countertop unit versus a under-sink unit.

Water softener
Replaces calcium and magnesium with sodium to "soften" the water.  Also reduces the amount of iron and radium.  A whole-house system can range in price from $950-$3,500.

It is great that many of the options above provide long-term solutions (investments) to home water treatment methods.  In my dream world I would install a water softener, reverse osmosis, and a whole-house distillation unit next month. 

Water is involved in nearly every bodily process from digestion and absorption to circulation.  Nobody would wash dishes in a sink of dirty water...we should not have to "live" in dirty water!

There are other quick fixes that carry many of the same benefits listed above. The next H20 post will walk through some easy to execute ideas.

Source: Phyllis A. Balch. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York: Avery, 2000.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

I came across a couple of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's research articles tonight and thought I would share the link.  I thought he did an excellent job speaking both as a doctor and a father about pesticides and other environmental concerns.  Take a few minutes to poke around his site!
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2010/toxic.america/

Hope everyone is having a healthy, productive week.  Happy summer solstice.

My sister Lisa started her radiation last Thursday.  Keep sending her healthy, positive and healing thoughts.  She is so awesome and found a gym right next to her radiologist.  I told you she was amazing! 

I can't wait for my next post when I will cover solutions to tap water.  See you then.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

H20

With nearly 70% of our body composition being water, we are truly "bodies of water."  Could we go as far as saying that we are what we drink?  If so, what can we do to ensure that our bodies are flowing with the cleanest and most pure water...

Reliable and pure water seems fundamental, right?  I think most people assume that our tap water is safe despite horrifying headlines about tainted water supplies.  Remember Erin Brockovich (the gutsy woman who uncovered that Pacific Gas & Electric was poisoning a small town's ground water for 30 years with toxic Chromium 6).  Did anyone hear about the Marines at Camp Lejeune (their website is tftptf.com -- the few, the proud, the forgotten -- the water provided to the Marines and their family was highly contaminated with multiple toxic chemicals).

There are numerous types of classifications of water and the average consumer can easily be confused about what is available.  So, let's start the water discussion about common classifications:

Tap water:
Water from household taps that is generally from surface water (pond, creek, stream runoff which is collected in reservoirs) or ground water (extracted by a well).  About half of the tap water in the U.S. comes from surface water, 35% from municipal wells, and 15% from private wells.

Safety of tap water:
There are definitely a few things to be aware of with tap water.  There may be radon, fluoride, arsenic, iron, lead, copper, and other naturally occurring heavy metals.  Other concerns are pesticides, industrial chemicals, fertilizers, asbestos, cyanides, and herbicides which can leach into ground water from the soil.  Water can also contain viruses, bacteria, and parasites.  Often chlorine, carbon, lime, phosphates are added to public water supplies. 

Even if levels of individual substances are within allowable limits, the total of all may still be harmful to your health.  Private wells may not be regulated at all.

Biggest concerns with water
Chlorine: Chlorine is added to public water supplies to kill diseases-causing bacteria.  The levels of chlorine in drinking water can be quite high, and some byproducts of chlorine are known carcinogens. 

Pesticides: Pesticides pose a risk where tap water is extracted from the ground (well water).  These chemicals are suspected of causing, or contributing to, an increased incidence of breast cancer.  Some scientists believe that certain pesticides mimic estrogen in the body.

Municipal reporting
If you receive water from a municipal water source, they are required to send an assessment of the water and core contaminants. 

But...
More than one-third of community water has been cited for failure to meet the EPA's water safety standards, monitoring, or reporting requirements.  Ralph Nader's Center for Study of Responsive Law issued a study in 1988 entitled Troubled Waters on Tap: Organic Chemicals in Public Drinking Water and the Failure of Regulation.  The report identified 2,100 contaminants in tap water.  According to a study released in 1995, 54 million Americans drank tap water that was contaminated by feces, radiation, lead, or dangerous parasites between '93-'94.  In 2007, Federal officials began studying the effects of pharmaceuticals (pain killers and depression medicine) in our water supply and how they are causing bizarre mutations to wildlife.

Source: Phyllis A. Balch. Prescription for Nutritional Healing.  New York: Avery, 2000. 
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition

Check back tomorrow for water solutions...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blood type game day 2

Hey everyone.  I promised to follow-up on the blood type game and guess food that may make you feel energized and vibrant.  Here goes...

Blood type O:
If you had teriyaki chicken, white or brown rice, and a salad you may feel energized.  If you ate steak for breakfast it might not make you feel tired at all.

Blood type B:
A bowl of oatmeal with bananas and a side of yogurt may be the perfect way to start your day off right.

Blood type A:
You could eat a bag of peanuts at a ballgame and it may not phase you.  Raw vegetables and fresh pineapple may be your favorite whole foods.

Blood type AB:
If you ate tofu, seafood, dairy, and green vegetables you may lose weight.

Here is the link to the blood type book: 
Eat Right 4 Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving Your Ideal

The GenoType Diet, the sequel to Eat Right 4 Your Type, is posted above.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blood type game

The post from yesterday introduced the blood type diet and Eat Right 4 Your Type.  For those of you not familiar with the blood type diet, I thought I would try to guess some foods that might not make you feel 100%. 

Oh yeah, if you do not know your blood type you can order an at home test strip.  If you are not brave enough to prick your skin (it is harder than I imagined), ask your doctor to do it next time you are in.
Eat Right 4 Your Type Home Blood Typing Kit with Eldoncard.

If your blood type is A:
A rich, creamy tomato based lasagna with ground beef and a glass of red wine may make you feel less than 100% -- more like 25%. Oh yeah, milk might make you phlegmy.  Phlegm is not an easy word to spell :)

If your blood type is O:
A bowl of raisin bran with cow milk or a side of eggs with OJ and milk might make you want to climb back in bed for a nap.  You may feel just fine after steak (or that lasagna) for lunch.

If your blood type is B:
You may be able to handle all dairy products except ice cream which might make you feel sleepy or awful.  A plate of chicken parmesan (chicken and tomato sauce) could make you feel sluggish or you may have trouble digesting it.

If your blood type is AB:
I have actually only talked to one AB person about the blood type diet and she could not believe how the blood type "fit" her eating quirks.  She loved lemon water, hated ketchup, disliked corn, gained weight if she ate meat, and could not drink milk.  This blood type is called the enigma and it is the rarest and youngest blood type (only 2-5% of the population).

Check back tomorrow.  I will walk through the blood types again listing "highly beneficial" examples.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blood type and food

I had chronic ear infections until I was 21.  Sometime in the middle of my 21st year my Mom introduced me to the blood type diet (Eat Right 4 Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo) and I was a little skeptical about the connection between blood type and diet. 

The basic structure of the book is that it breaks down each blood type by food groups (e.g., breads, meats, spices) and places each food (e.g., Ezekial bread, beef, black pepper) into a category:
     1. Highly beneficial (like medicine to our body)
     2. Neutral (like food to our body)
     3. Avoid (like poison to our body)

What initially intrigued me about the blood type diet is that most of the foods I don't like were on my avoid list.  For example, I love all meat (and O's thrive on meat) but I have never liked pork (the only meat that O's are supposed to avoid).  There are more examples, but you get the point.

I decided to only eat foods in the "highly beneficial" category for three weeks.  I didn't notice anything spectacular during my trial run; however, when I reintroduced certain foods by body went on strike.  I ate graham crackers (wheat) and broke out in a rash around my mouth -- it was very cute.  I had milk and it took me three days to recover. 

The coolest and most unexpected results were noticed over the longer-term:
1. I did not feel sluggish anymore after I ate (the post-lunch sleepy coma or the post-Sunday-breakfast-must-take-nap-now-feeling)
2. My ear infections disappeared
3. I lost my last five pounds of chubbiness that I could never get rid of.  It literally felt like it melted away.

The book does a great job explaining the science behind blood type and diet.  I have been following the diet for 12 years and it works for me. 

It is one idea to explore if you are looking for more connections between nutrition and healing.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Alkaline Salad Dressing

Thanks to my mother-in-law (Betty Mellon) and sister-in-law (Paula Mellon) I have gotten more creative with my salads.  I used to do the same boring salad and by week two I was over the whole veggie experience.  I honestly love my salads now & will share my favorites.  I would LOVE for you to share your favorite salads.  You can email me at seattlemelissa@gmail.com or post them in the comments below.

The one thing that bothered me about my salads was that my salad dressing was acidic.  In one recipe, I used balsamic vinegar. In another, I used seasoned rice vinegar.  I pretty much knew that any good I was doing with my alkaline veggies was completely offset by my acidic dressing.

Just tonight I discovered this recipe for alkaline salad dressing and I could not wait to share:
1/3 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
2/3 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1/2 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
Dash of salt and cayenne pepper

Here are my favorite salads these days:

Salad #1:
Romaine, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced avocados, sliced green onion, and artichoke hearts (these are not alkaline but I love them too much). 

Salad #2:
Spring mix lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, red onion, sliced radishes, sliced cucumbers, sliced carrots.  Sunflower seeds are also alkaline.

As an aside, I was checking out store bought salad dressings today.  I was appalled at the rotten ingredients: high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated everything, monosodium glutamate, Red #40, etc.  It blows my mind that salad dressing contains this stuff.

Small changes in our lives will make a big difference in our health.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Barlean's Nutrition

In my last post I introduced my favorite nutritional supplement: Barlean's Greens.  In general, green drinks are good detoxifiers and blood cleansers.

Over the next few days I want to go into more detail about Barlean's ingredients and discover exactly what they accomplish in our bodies.  Sound like fun?  

Just so everyone knows -- I am not a paid spokesperson for Barlean's.  I just happen to love their product, want to share it, and learn more about its awesome ingredients.

Green Food
In just one heaping tablespoon of the Barlean's Green powder there are land greens concentrated at 1500% totaling nearly 3,500 milligrams!  The land greens include organic barley leaf, organic wheat leaf, organic oat leaf, spinach, and parsley. 

Organic barley leaf
Barley is high in calcium, iron, all of the essential amino acids (important for vegans), chlorophyll, flavonoids, vitamin B12, vitamin C, many minerals, and enzymes.  It heals the stomach, pancreatitis, and is an anti-inflammatory.

Organic wheat leaf
Excellent source of beta-carotene, calcium, chlorophyll, fiber, iron and vitamin K. It is also a very good source of protein, vitamin C, vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin B6, trace minerals and contains all essential amino acids. Lastly, it helps alkalize blood (pHabulous).

Organic oat leaf
Rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and minerals.

Spinach
Spinach is one of the most beneficial vegetables. It is filled with vitamins, proteins, anti-oxidants and essential nutrients that promote overall good health and well-being.  It is an excellent source of vitamin A (good for eyes) & choline and inositol (good for blood arteries).

Parsley
Most of the nutritional value of parsley comes from Vitamin C and A.  Some herbalists also think that parsley helps reduce high blood pressure. 

What is a flavonoid A powerful antioxidant and also has anti-cancer agents like carotenoid which may help prevent the formation of tumors.

Why is chlorophyll important?  It contains protein (great for vegans), all of the B vitamins, vitamins C and E, amino acids. It is virtually a complete food.  It contains more vitamin B12 than liver.  Lastly, chlorophyll can help clean the bloodstream.

Did I mention that there are only 30 calories in one heaping tablespoon? What a serious bang for your buck.  In more ways than one, this is truly a superfood

Here are the links if you want to see the packaging or purchase:
Barlean's Organic Oils Barlean's Greens, 9.3oz Container (powder)
Barlean's Organic Oils Barlean's Greens, 240 Count, 12oz Bottle (capsules)