For many, the morning cup of coffee is a can’t live without ritual. There are studies that show moderated daily coffee is healthy for you (some of that here). For me, it kind of makes me shaky. I drink it few and far between. That’s a personal thing, of course. However, when I do drink it, I always put butter in it. As weird as it sounds, it’s actually the best thing you can put in your coffee.
When I get in line at Starbucks, I order a plain black coffee and ask them for a side of butter. They give me some pretty odd looks, but what I already know is that every Starbucks has butter packets on hand to go along with their oatmeal. And what’s more? It’s Kerrygold Irish butter. And that’s grass fed.
So what health benefit would one get from this?
Coffee can be a starting point for health, but it can also be an ending point just as easily. People order / make their coffee in all shapes and sizes. Some people add sugar laden creamers or hormone laced milk. While others might just add a little cinnamon. Those concoctions offer vastly different health profiles. Having just sugar and caffeine first thing in the morning sets up impending doom for the rest of your day. You are almost sure to crash out at some point, only to find yourself digging around for candy or a muffin.
The first health benefit you get from putting only butter in your coffee is that you are leaving out the bad stuff. A huge part of a healthy lifestyle is what you don’t eat. The butter is a fat, which will also help blunt blood sugar spikes.
Butter is almost a pure fat. That’s going to scare a lot of you, but really, it shouldn’t. Fat is good (mostly). And the idea that fat is a villain has been almost entirely debunked at this juncture. Saturated fats can actually improve your blood lipid profile (here).
Grass fed butter is loaded with Vitamin K. Wait, what? Vitamin K is awesome. And it’s sure great for the heart. There is K1 (phylloquinone), found in leafy greens, and Vitamin K2 (menaquinone), which is found in animal foods. Vitamin K2 is especially important because it helps keep calcium out of your arteries.
So far, what do we have? Putting butter in your coffee means skipping garbage sugary or hormone laced concoctions. Your arteries are less likely to be subject to calcification. You reduce your risk of coronary heart disease (here).
But hold up, its going to get better.
Person drinking coffee with butter in it…..meet Butyrate. Butyrate is a fatty acid and it is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is pretty much the cause of all evil in the body. When excessive inflammation lurks, so does bad healthy profiles. Butyrate is shown to lower inflammation (here).
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is found in grass fed butter and it has been linked to reducing body fat mass. Yep, your old coffee was plumping you up, your new coffee is slimming you down! You can see a study here.
But how gross does it taste?
I get this question all the time. The answer is that it taste great. And no, I’m not just saying that. You have to stop thinking of it as butter, and start understanding that at the end of the day, it is just heavy cream. If you put butter and cinnamon in your coffee, it taste amazing. Now, again, we are talking grass fed butter here, not just any old butter. The most popular is Kerrygold butter, but if you have a store that sells local products you can likely find whatever suits you.
The point in all of this? Your morning coffee can be a true health bomb!
Marconi Union’s song, Weightless, is garnering a lot of attention these days.
Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. have been trying to find activities, behaviors, and songs that reduce anxiety levels in people. Let’s face it, we all have our moments battling anxiety. Any easy, non-pharmaceutical solutions would be incredibly helpful.
The neuroscientist found that one particular song, Marconi Union’s “Weightless,” absurdly resulted in a 65 percent reduction in anxiety. The kicker? This was almost double what their best naturally anxiety reducers typically yield as far as results go. That’s a huge uptick and makes this song definitely worth a listen, particularly if you are feeling a little stressed. Researchers claim the song seems to lower the stress hormone, cortisol, which is what prompts the lowered anxiety.
I have to admit, it did make me feel better. But was the affect placebo? Decide for yourself.
Angelina Jolie did it. In fact, she’s the face of it in some ways having done it only due to her carrying what modern medicine considers a “genetic disposition” to it. The mastectomy, a procedure used to remove the breast after an aggressive breast cancer diagnosis, or in the more controversial “preventative” action, is ever-popular. And the amount of mastectomies are rising, according to a study from last year.
In the past decade, there have been marked trends toward higher proportions of BCS-eligible patients undergoing mastectomy, breast reconstruction, and bilateral mastectomy. The greatest increases are seen in women with node-negative and in situ disease. Mastectomy rates do not yet exceed current American Cancer Society/American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer accreditation benchmarks.
I noted that final sentence because, well, it needs to be noted. Many women subjected to mastectomies either did so due to carrying the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes which are touted as massive precursors to breast cancer, or due to misdiagnosis (like this woman). The credibility of preventive mastectomy has been called into question, as you can imagine. The American Cancer Society paints the picture of the disfiguring surgery in almost a heroic way (see justifications above in high benchmarks). Believe me, I respect and empathize with any woman who has had to go through it, but I do think we need to question how needed it actually is.
The main reason to question it is because mastectomies are simply dangerous. In fact, they are the most dangerous breast cancer treatments available. When you combine mastectomies with breast reconstruction, you risk serious financial gloom and health complications surpassing all other treatments. A recent study examined the burdens of mastectomies. The study used 100,000 women with early-stage breast cancer. The researchers analyzed 10 years of medical claims within two divided groups: Over / Under 65 years of age. The under 65 group of women who had a mastectomy followed by reconstruction ended up having complications. In the latter half (over 65), the number was 70%.
And the cost are no joke either. You can see a graph here directly from the study itself.
For those who do end up with complications, the complication ends up tallying an average cost of $10,000. That’s in addition to the treatment’s initial cost of $1,400 to $3,600.
With mastectomy rates increasing, there is really no indication that the financial and health related complications will do anything but scale in growth. It is important that women understand that they do have options and should seriously research and consider everything. When a Doctor recommends a mastectomy, do your research, particularly if you don’t have breast cancer in the first place. These procedures are very serious surgeries which aren’t without serious risk, as the study shows. Photo by KOMUnews
This just makes me absolutely sick. According to The Washington Post, the children and people of Flint, Michigan are being severely infected with lead poisoning; so much so, the city has been declared a state of emergency. Children are reporting learning disabilities and behavorial issues from what might turn out to be years of exposure. Unfortunately when it comes to lead, the toxic side-effects can remain rather stagnate until years later.
The Hurley Medical Center, in Flint, released a study in September that confirmed what many Flint parents had feared for over a year: The proportion of infants and children with above-average levels of lead in their blood has nearly doubled since the city switched from the Detroit water system to using the Flint River as its water source, in 2014.
Lead poisoning can severely affect children’s brain functions and reduce intelligence. It can also create short attention spans, behavioral disorders and anti-social behavior. The circumstances surrounding this issue are nothing short of absolutely tragic. People have been dumping in their river forever and the water is grossly cloudy and smelled foul. People are getting rashes and reporting difficulty breathing. Lets really hope this situation gets worked out and these people are somehow helped out.
Yep, this is actually happening. GMO Salmon is now approved by the FDA. So go ahead folks, eat your science lab fishy with that peaceful safe and secure feeling you eat regular fish that was made by nature with. Because that just makes all the sense in the world.
The FDA has approved AquaBounty Technologies’ application for AquAdvantage Salmon, an Atlantic salmon that reaches market size more quickly than non-GE farm-raised Atlantic salmon. The FDA regulates GE animals under the new animal drug provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, because the recombinant DNA (rDNA) construct introduced into the animal meets the definition of a drug. In this case, the rDNA construct introduces a trait that makes the AquAdvantage Salmon grow faster.
“The FDA has thoroughly analyzed and evaluated the data and information submitted by AquaBounty Technologies regarding AquAdvantage Salmon and determined that they have met the regulatory requirements for approval, including that food from the fish is safe to eat,” said Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.
The CEO of AquaBounty, Ronald L. Stotish, says it’s a “game changer.”
So what does this mean? It means corporations and labs are inventing your food, both vegetables and actual paraphyletic species. Of course, you can’t avoid eating it by reading the label, but you can avoid farmed salmon to avoid ingesting it. So buying wild salmon means you aren’t. Or buy farmed “game changer laboratory invented” salmon. Your choice. I think we all know the choice we plan to make.
The FDA is clearly got it’s hand in someone’s pocket, which is disturbing at the highest of levels. This is our food supply. I can’t see how they can pitch the “GMOs save the world” with this one, as I doubt highly they are producing this same for philanthropic purposes in Africa.
Jack Andraka is a fifteen year old freshman at North County High School and lives in Crownsville, Maryland. He recently developed a novel paper sensor that could detect pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer in 5 minutes for as little as 3 cents. He conducted this research at Johns Hopkins University. He is also on the national junior wildwater kayaking team, has won awards at multiple national and international math competitions, and enjoys playing with his dog and folding origami.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Raw honey is a game changer when it comes to your face. I started using it on my face a year ago and haven’t looked back since. I noticed effects rather immediately. I have some eczema issues which right away seemed to react in a pretty good way. But the main thing I noticed was that my skin on my face felt extremely clean.
So what all can raw honey do?
Normal artificial foaming soaps only serve to strip your skin of natural, protective oils. This can cause your skin to begin overproducing those oils. Raw honey simply removes bacteria from the skin in a gentle, natural way. This will leave your skin feeling ultra-clean.
Raw honey is antibacterial by nature. It can help manage and even eliminate rosacea and eczema.
The antibacterial properties in raw honey serve to combat acne from forming on the skin. You don’t have to be a teenager to appreciate this wonderful attribute of your raw honey.
It has natural antibacterial and probiotic properties which help to prevent any acne from arising.
How do I use it?
There are more than a handful of regimens available by searching online, however, I am going to give you mine. Like anything, I always just try to figure out what works best for me and my situation. Some places recommend you leave a honey mask on for 3 hours every 2 days if you have eczema issues.
When I get home each day, I wash my face with warm water. I then dry it. Next, I apply the raw honey using my fingers and a spoon. I dip the spoon, pull the honey, then use my fingers to spread the honey on my face. I then make sure I am in a cool environment (my house has AC) and I allow it to sit anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. The time is decided by how things go: allow me to explain.
When you put raw honey on your face, it isn’t comfortable. First off, the honey tends to run down your face. When this happens, expect to feel itchy (at times almost severely). You can’t do a whole lot (I typically sit at my desk and write articles, like this one, while it is applied) but you can’t just lay back on the couch, because you will get honey everywhere. You really don’t want to walk outside if it is warm, because that will create problems. I find 10 minutes does the trick, but if I can, I go into overtime.
When I am ready, I go to the bathroom and rinse it off in the sink. It comes off super easy. I only do it in the sink so that when I get undressed for getting in the shower, I don’t get honey everywhere. The next thing I do is get in the shower. I take cold showers. I then wash it off using African Black Soap, followed by some exfoliation. My skin is immediately clean, clear, balanced. It only takes you one time to realize how darn well it works.
How do I buy it?
Raw honey is not ALL honey. Make sure your bottle reads “raw.” I would encourage you to go to a farmer’s market to get some local stuff. If that doesn’t work, try a Whole Foods if you have one in the area.
Check out this cool video on how she makes her mask.
Alternatives to chemo therapy aren’t exactly popular talk these days. The chemo business is a robust, money-making machine. And the FDA has its back. Whenever any sort of alternative treatment arises, it is met with great criticism and public backlash. As is the case with the Graviola (also known as Soursop).
The Graviola is a tree found in the Amazon basin of South America. They can range from 15 to 30 feet in height and are well known in the area to be extremely nutrient dense. It appears from the exterior to be a watermelon with spikes on it. It has a soft and smooth flesh. But it is the tree bark and the leaves, when consumed, that are supposed to offer people incredible healing benefits. The natives of the amazon make tea with it. It is supposed to be an incredible immune system boost. A natural, viable healer to the human race.
The noted benefits:
Increased immune function
Better overall circulation
Soursop / Graviola is loaded with vitamin C and a handful of B vitamins, such as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. It contains good amounts of calcium, phosphorus and a bit of iron. As an herbal remedy, it is given to help people with stomach issues, fevers, coughs and asthma. It is also believed to be antiviral.
Many people drink it daily as tea, or in canned products, as you can see below.
But its ability to kill cancer cells is what is being called into question by Government agencies. Soursop has been associated with many unsubstantiated claims, says Daniel Kellman, Clinical Director of Naturopathic Medicine at our hospital outside Atlanta. And the rabbit hole goes even deeper. In two separate studies (here) and (here), this same Clinical Director pushed the idea that merely consuming the fruit could lead to Parkinson’s disease and potentially neurotoxicity.
A study published by the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 1997 suggested otherwise, though. When Graviola was tested on breast cancer cells in cultures, they were more effective than chemotherapy (source). But the data is considered to be unsubstantiated due to not having a Government backing. This was published on SFGate’s health section regarding the fruit and it’s effects on cancer.
Soursop’s acetogenins are the compounds that have been most studied, especially for their potential to prevent or slow the growth of cancer. The Cancer Center also says that some compounds in soursop may be naturally antiviral and antiparasitic, and may also suppress inflammation. (source)
So is Graviola a true natural healer that’s considered a rival to a booming chemotherapy industry? The dilemma here is, as always, the Government shuts out any experimentation which could legitimize such a science. Anything that challenges the Pharmaceutical industry is an enemy of the state. It’s an unfair shake for a fruit that clearly has some merit in the game. And this is the case with most alternative health treatments, unfortunately. Without being able to take part in real, unbiased studies, alternative concepts such as this have no chance to garner merit. We have to believe at this point that solutions exist outside of Chemotherapy treatments, which are harsh and destructive.
One of the biggest bottled water producers is about to make some rather serious changes. And it isn’t good for them or their brand. Long marketed as a better, economical solution to tap water, has lived down to it’s advertising: It’s just tap water itself. Pot, meet the Aquafina kettle.
PepsiCo is now going to admit the public sources of their bottled water product. In other words, they are coming clean.
Aquafina is finally coming clean: it’s really just tap water! So why do we pay 2,000x the price of tap for it? https://t.co/Fdku3Rw7Py
Yep, that’s right, buyers of Aquafina have been paying to have someone put public tap water in a plastic bottle. Coca Cola admitted that they were full of it back in 2013. “We don’t believe that consumers are confused about the source of Dasani water,” Coca-Cola spokeswoman Diana Garza Ciarlante said. “The label clearly states that it is purified water.” So Pepsi is just now catching up. Congrats to them, I guess.
Bottled water is big business. Believe it or not, America has shifted somewhat away from carbonated sugary drinks and replaced them with water. And that’s when the big producers of Nestle, Coca Cola and Pepsi moved in to save marketshare. And they did this by turning on tap water and filling up plastic bottles. It’s a shame, but sadly brilliant. Hopefully this is lesson learned for the general public. In 2014, the bottled water industry raked in $13 billion ( International Bottled Water Association). This doesn’t take into account the massive plastic dilemma pushed into our environment. Photo by JeepersMedia
This is a guest column from one of our readers who has struggled with Halloween. This is her story of another mother calling her out about it. My children are my pride and joy. They are the love of my life. There is nothing in the world I put more as a priority than my children’s happiness. And that’s what makes Halloween such a difficult time for me.
It’s the conflict. And the dilemma. And honestly, it is agonizing.
The other day I was at my daughter’s school halloween function. She’s 9. The kids went classroom to classroom trick or treating. I was one of a handful of mom’s helping out. I admit, I was jaded and bitter over the matter. I hate halloween because I just don’t allow my children to eat processed foods, especially candies. And in the case of Halloween, it is my children begging for the very items that I’ve told them aren’t good for them.
I made the decision this time to allow my daughter to partake and I volunteered to help out. I have battled with the idea of eliminating Halloween, but then I feel as if I am stripping my children of a piece of their childhood. So over the years, I’ve compromised. When my children come back from trick or treating, I allow them to “donate” their candy to a fund that returns itself in gift value. They hand over the candy, then get to go to the store and buy something. I understand, I’m probably not winning mother of the year for this one, but it does typically eliminate them from pounding candy for days.
While I was working the Halloween event, my daughter came over, being the amazing, articulate, and mistimed child she is, and said “mommy here can I just give this to you now to throw away.”
Ugh. No she didn’t, I thought. But she had.
First, I should explain, I do throw the candy away, but I’ve never intended for her to realize that. I always avoided the “what happened to the candy” because in some ways, I never want my daughter to think that throwing away something someone gave you is the nice thing to do. Again, I am not proposing that makes any sense, but it is just the way it has always went down. But children are always more observant than we adults give them credit for, so I guess I should have known.
When she walked away, another mother turned to me and gasped, then said, “you throw the candy away?” This mother and I have some past history here, which should be noted. She knows I have an anti-vaccination stance and she has called me out on it. No punches thrown, but she was rather direct in telling me that I was endangering other children. I mostly avoided further exchanges with her regarding it, but this Halloween drama seemed to give her an opening to challenge me again (just on a different matter).
I kept my cool and replied, “no, they get the choice of eating the candy or trading it in for a trip to the store to pick out a gift.” She then said, “you know, sometimes kids just need to be kids. You are stripping her of her childhood. Don’t you want her to be normal?”
You can imagine how I felt at that moment. It was a mix between a sad, defeated mother and a mother enraged with the wrath of a lioness chasing a gazelle for dinner. Did she really just tell me how to raise my kids?
I turned to her and said, “you parent your kids however you like, I don’t want my kids growing up in a world that revolves around their next sugar high. My daughter is happy and healthy. Move on.” She walked away, but she left a bit of a mental scar on me at a time I feel most vulnerable (again, the Halloween blues). I am not judging you for letting your kids collect candy on Halloween. I am NOT that mother. But I expect every mother to understand my stance. To understand that my negotiation with the holiday, while probably not perfect, is the best I can do given the circumstances.
I really hate this holiday. And sometimes, to be honest, I hate me for hating this holiday.