Chemicals, Kids and what we as parents butt-up against as we try to raise healthy children in a toxic world.
It’s been a few months since my last post – the longest writing drought since I started writing this blog nearly three years ago now. I’ve felt somewhat paralysed to write lately, not exactly knowing my path in life anymore, feeling unsure, sensitive. In numerology I’m in a year one of the nine-year cycle. A new beginning which holds the promise of new adventures and daring feats, and yet while the prospect of starting something new is certainly exciting, it is also a little daunting….and to be honest it had me a little stumped as to how I move forward. And when I do take steps it’s often feeling a little ungainly, like a newborn colt trying to stand up after birth.
This year I’ve said goodbye to my postdoctoral research (although my next book is still in the wings) and old ways of doing work. Jase and I have made the decision to take concrete steps towards financial independence and freedom of time. We’re getting responsible for generating our own ethical wealth and want to break the cycle of trading our time and money (for someone else). Our experience of working is one reminiscent of Robert Frost‘s quote ‘By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually become the boss and work 12 hour days’. Instead, we want to move even closer towards more everyday sustainable living, conscious health, deliberate wealth. And the path is not always so clear how we do that yet.
What is clear though is that to get something we’ve never had, we need to do something we’ve never done before. So I have started to do just that… and I try to remember that from little things, big things grow!
So this is how I have become unstuck (sometimes anyway)…
In January I started making my own sour dough bread. Our family mission is make and bake our own real bread from now on. To do this we have become the proud parents of a beautiful sourdough ‘starter’ culture that we feed and house and in return she provides us with a spectrum of bacteria that raises and ferments our dough and tastes sour and magnificent. Nothing better than a warm sourdough bread for in the morning with real butter…and lots of it! We get beautiful creamy yellow butter made from cultured cream from Northy St organic markets here in Brisbane. We have churned our own butter before, but it’s not particularly cost effective so far. So until we have our own cow, we will stick to with the butter that the butter man sells at the markets.
Later in the month I conquered the software program Prezi and made my own ‘Start your own ethical organic business in 2012’ presentation (with the help of some supportive friends). It took me a while to get my head around this program, but it was worth the brain strain to produce a presentation that is visually stimulating and compelling. I have been delivering this presentation across Brisbane and to international audiences via webinars. If you want to check it out, just let me know.
In February we started making our own kombucha. Kombucha is a passion of ours, as are fermented foods generally. Jase is now our very own brewmaster and making us our very own delectable fermented brews. Like our soughdough starter culture, we are now the house to many healthy kombucha ‘mothers’ who’s symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts breathe life into our sweetened tea. The microorganisms ferment the tea, converting the sugars into health giving organic acids such as glucuronic, lactic and acetic. So it’s nutritious, detoxifying and delicious all at the same time. We have equally passionate friends who are embarking on this endeavor commercially with us. Stay tuned as we go into large production later in the year…
And then there was the Earth Frequency Festival in the Sunshine Coast…
And at the Bodhi Festival in Newcastle we had a Miessence nutritional stall and I managed to sneak in a yoga practice and a healing with the Shanti Mission…
And in March was the Glocals Forum organized by Organic Farm Share that I spoke at. I felt particularly honoured to be on the panel and alongside some of the most incredible local community leaders. Glocal is a term which defines local leaders actualising transformative ideas that have the capacity to regenerate both society and the environment we currently live in. And it’s a privilege to be part of the organic farm share community.
This is a year that is certainly thrusting me, us, our family into new projects. I don’t know yet how to make these passions into a generous sustainable income for my family, or how they fit together, but I am clear that taking small steps in sustainable living is crucial to living a more connected, content life. And if you are like me, taking small steps do not come naturally. I usually have a clear path. So here are a few tips I’ve learned over the last few months to cultivate more trust and patience:
Trust my Intuition: Intuition is our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason. When I feel overwhelmed by uncertainty I often panic and make my decisions with my head rather than my heart. I don’t listen to that strong, initial gut response and I start polling people around me for an answer.
Feel More – Think Less: ‘Drop’ into yourself. Ask yourself what is the next step that makes you feel happy, that feels ‘right’.
Exercises in gratitude: In times when I feel uncertain as to my path I can often spiral into a self-conversation about scarcity and I wait wondering when things will all fall apart around me (or that I will fall apart). I am learning to sit with uncertainty and be appreciative for what I have in these precious moment. I’m not sure that it will ever be easy for me to do this, but I have learned to trust this practice.
When we asked Miessence Director Narelle Chenery to create a special product for the holiday season, we knew that she would deliver an exceptional treat – and she has! The environmental-saving Darling Salt Glow is an eco-conscious body scrub made from salt sourced from the troubled Murray-Darling Basin located in southeastern Australia. The salt in the body scrub is produced naturally from underground saline aquifers that have been lying dormant for thousands of years. By utilizing these waters the salinity problems are reduced, the environment is improved, and a unique, pure, inland salt is produced. I haven’t found a product on the market that is this environmentally conscious.
The Darling Salt Glow helps to reduce the serious salinity problem in the Murray-Darling Basin. The impact of salinity is immense, resulting in losses in fertile productive land and decreased biodiversity in the native wetlands. An area the size of a football oval is being lost to salinity every hour. So scrub up!
Exfoliation of the skin has significant benefits.
● Blended with nourishing, organic coconut oil ● Delicious organic citrus and spice essential oils ● Revitalizes skin, leaving it feeling silky soft and smooth ● Exfoliates dead, dry skin cells, revealing plump, fresh skin ● Boosts circulation and stimulates the senses ● Smooths rough, dry areas ● Leaves skin supple, glowing and nourished
And here are the certified ingredients for the Darling Salt Glow:
*Cocosnucifera (coconut) oil – Virgin coconut oil from the Pacific Islands, collected, grated, and cold-pressed within hours of opening the nut. Antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, soothes, softens, smooths. Relieves dry, rough and wrinkled skin.
*Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil – Cold-pressed from the bean of the desert plant in Argentina. Emollient, moisturizing, high in vitamins, skin protective, helps regulate PH, soothes inflamed skin.
*Certified Organic Ingredients
The Darling Salt Scrub is only around during the festive season so if you want to try some CLICK HERE
Happy scrubbing for your health and the environment!
Alf is a entrepreneur activist, ethical investor, and developer of regenerative businesses. He is a founding director of several enterprises which have achieved annual revenues ranging from three hundred thousand to twenty million dollars. Alf is the co-founder and co-director of Miessence the worlds first certified organic range of skin care, cosmetics, and nutritionals and co-founder of the Organic Farm Share. I have certainly learnt much from him about growing ethical businesses and the organic industry.
Come and learn about health and the body, toxicity, how you can start and grow a successful organic business, build a passive income and have a positive impact on our planet. CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR DETAILS, OR TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT AT THE EVENT, OR FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.
I presented a workshop called ‘Natural Mama and Eco-Parenting’ to a packed audience. Thankyou Sydney! Then the rest of the weekend I ate myself around the entirety of the expo – there was not a sample that I did not hit my tastebuds. And Loving Earth did have me come back quite a few times…I even had Adiva smuggle me a few of their new raw orange chocolates and hid behind another stand until she came to get me…I know, certainly not very natural parenting of me. They are just so good though!
Of course, the chicks and I also hung out with the lovely Miessence crew and handed out samples of Deep Green and the fermented InLiven probiotics.…targeting as many parents, children and toddlers as possible (See pic of Adiva and Jeddabug sharing their own stash of Deep Green and InLiven); bought some of the sensational Nui wild virgin coconut oil for cooking, eating raw and lavishly smothering on my skin; gave a cheer of gratitude to the Vitamix boys; met the owner of the organic Tetra tea tree baby bedding (we used their products when our girls were babies and just love them); spoke with the Sun Warrier (Bio-fermented raw sprouted whole grain brown rice) protein distributer to see what super deals we could strike; fed the baby animals in the children’s petting zoo lots of organic carrots; then got engaged with watching Costa and Kylie Kwong cook organic treats on stage; and was re-energised by Carla Oates (aka. the beauty chef) prepare body scrubs, face masks and spritzers for the skin from everyday food products straight from the refrigerator and pantry. Lovely to watch. I also met up with a few ladies who went to my talk at the expo last year and who are now heavy pregnant. It was a satisfying sight to behold!
These photos are of my highlights of the Sydney Organic Expo. We are happy to be back and connecting with the organic community again…but do look forward to nomadic living again next year!
The Home Beautiful Magazine interviewed me for an article about detoxing the home. And here it is! It’s exciting that mainstream magazines are starting to take up the issue of chemicals in the home. The article has some practical solutions and gives people some consumer options for cleaning without chemicals.
Click the link for the Home Beautiful Article…
It’s an apt place to do this thinking given we (our family) are snug in a cabin in the woods of the Teton Mountain ranges in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 10,000 ft about sea level and surrounded by swirling snow, naked aspens, snow covered spruces, rolling rivers and the most incredible feast of nature.
Each morning the girls and I wake up to see what snow has brought us through the night. The irascible moose and her baby may have returned to our cabin for some relief from the snow or to eat the succulent green water grasses from the Fish Creek riverbed nearby. There is something about an irascible creature that I am drawn to. I·ras·ci·ble – unpredictable, prone to outbursts of temper; easily angered; known to charge if their calves are under threat. As a mama I appreciate some of these qualities and am known to charge too if my girls are under threat.
During the day the girls and I have taken to watching the elk on their migration routes; the mule deer forage for food anywhere they can find it; coyotes lingering on the margins of the forests; and the bald eagles flying overhead as the first field mice start to emerge from their burrows as the long winter ice starts to thaw. The girls build ice caves, make snow angels in the powder, and collect river rocks to paint. We drink lots of herbs in front of the fire to keep warm, and at nights when everything is silent – I write and watch the snow fall.
Yes… there is no doubt that this environment can also be extreme – dry cracked lips and stringy hair, muddy and cold and sometimes impractical – but its an environment that’s easy to think about nature in, because it becomes you; engulfs you. John Muir’s quote is apt here: ‘When one tugs at a single thing in nature, (s)he finds it attached to the rest of the world’.
So about kids and nature…
For years I have been speaking to groups about the importance of nutrition (raw and nutrient rich foods for kids and how to make these part of their everyday diets), adequate sleep, co-sleeping, touch, reducing (eliminating) toxic exposure to everyday consumer products. But importantly – kids also need contact with nature! The missing link (and heart) of my presentations.
There is a great book by Richard Louv called Last Child in the Woods. He writes about reducing what he calls the ‘nature-deficient disorder’ in children of the 21st century. Where more kids than ever before are disconnected from nature – have reduced amounts of leisure time; spend more time in front of the TV and computer; growing obesity rates, sedentary lifestyles and where nature activities are being criminalized. Researcher Jane Clark also calls these children ‘containerized children’ – they spend more time in car seats, high chairs, and even baby seats for watching TV. And when they do go outside they are often placed in containers – strollers.
Louv talks about the time he spends with teenagers: ‘I am reminded that while they are aware of the global threats to the environment – their physical contact, their intimacy with nature, is fading. It seems nature is something to watch, to consume, to wear’.
His primary argument (and core of his book) is to reduce the ‘nature deficit disorder’. Why? Because it is in our self-interest, not only because aesthetics or justice demands it, but also because our mental, physical, and spiritual health depends upon it. Exposure to nature reduces diseases, improves cognitive abilities and resistance to stresses.
I would also add that the health of the earth depends upon it as well. How young people relate or connect with nature, and how they raise their own children, will shape the conditions of our cities, our homes, or parks and the conditions of our animals, plants and ecosystems.
Author Bill McKibben has called this time as ‘the end of nature’. But a mama of two small girls and connected to a community of conscious parents, I am far less pessimistic. I watch how children connect with nature with such ease if we give them the space to do so. It’s like breathing to them.
Svetla Stoikova, a clinical psychologist at Alexandrovska University Hospital in Bulgaria notes in her research, ‘…If you place a bunch of flowers and a telephone in front of a 8-month-old baby, she reaches for the flowers. If you give a 4-year-old girl the choice between sand and stones, or dough with milk to cook a meal for her doll with, he will choose the former. If you offer a 14-year-old teenager a hike to a mountain peak or to let her chat on the computer, they will choose the mountain’.
Of course they will. We, as parents, have a brief opportunity to pass onto our children this earth.
* Photos of our cabin in the woods and hooked on nature adventures
So as health nuts, what do we do to maintain our health while we are travelling?
We ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS carry THREE health enhancing products when we travel. And I’m going to share them with you. You may use different ones, but these are the ones we just love! They are:
i) Probiotics – InLiven is our preference and I have written about this previously. Certified organic, fermented, and a superfood (so we don’t have to keep it in a fridge –which is very handy when travelling and fridges are not always available)
ii) Antioxidants – we try and get as many natural occurring antioxidents in our diet as we can – berries, aloe vera, raw cacao, fruits etc. but we can’t always get the full spectrum, so when we travel we bring along Berry Radical. A great cuppa in the afternoon.
But the one I want to talk about is a new product called:
iii) Alkalising superfood - ‘Deep Green’. And it’s amazing!
Now I get the opportunity to review quite a few health products, most I don’t even bother to write about. But this one is quite different…
‘Eat more leafy greens!’, was the catch cry of my grandma.
Because leafy greens (and grass juices and spirulina) are the ‘deep-greens’ of nutrition. I think about them as the pigment-rich dark green veins of the plant. It is these dark green foods that contain all the essential nutrients and precursors upon which all other life depends. Deep-green foods are concentrated sources of easily absorbed vitamins, amino acids, chlorophyll, enzymes, phyto- nutrients, and alkaline minerals. And to eat them is to optimise our health, immunity and energy levels.
The ideal balance of food intake is 80% alkaline and 20% acidic.
Alkaline-forming foods are theses deep greens (and some fruits). They are great at doing this. They neutralise toxic acids in the blood and tissues caused by eating acid foods, excess stress, excessive exercise, environmental pollutants, drugs, alcohol, coffee, and tobacco. When our bodies are acidic, bad bacteria, viruses, yeast, and other unfriendly organisms flourish. When our bodies are slightly alkaline (from eating alkaline foods like raw veggies and green food powders), bad bacteria, cancer, yeast, and viruses can’t survive. Deep-greens are good for your brain, your bones, and your heart, AND they help to prevent cancer, detoxify and alkalise your cells, boost your immune system, and give you more energy.
Acid-forming foods include just about everything else we eat – meat, poultry, milk, cheese, bread, pasta, pastries, snack food, soft drinks, and processed foods.
So this is why we should ‘Eat more leafy greens!’.
In a nut shell, Deep Greens contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll-rich greens are blood builders. They cleanse and heal, as has been heavily documented in a multitude of studies, detoxifying heavy metals from the body. Chlorophyll stimulates tissue growth and red blood cell production. (NB. Chlorophyll is almost identical to haemoglobin, the red pigment in blood – instead with magnesium at its centre instead of iron).
DeepGreen Alkalising Superfood contains ONLY certified organic blue-green algae, green grass juices and leafy green vegetables!
This is where it gets interesting. There is so much I could say here, but I am going to limit it to two main comments. Firstly, Deep Green Alkalising Superfoods are RAW, unprocessed, certified organic algae, grass juices and leafy greens which contain an abundance of natural enzymes – the body’s spark plugs – that are responsible for digestive processes, cellular energy, supporting immune function, and promoting circulation and detoxification.
Most people don’t get enough enzymes because heat destroys enzymes and most of our foods, whether cooked at home or processed, are heated and the enzymes destroyed.
But what sets it apart from any other product on the market – and this is critical – is that Deep Green is not Grass – it’s juice!
All other products I have seen on the market use pulverized dehydrated grass and leaf in their product. Pulverised grass powders are completely useless for humans! Unlike cows or horses, we cannot digest the cellulose in grasses, therefore all the nutrition remains ‘locked’ in those fibres. Deep Green uses ONLY the grass juice powders. Only grass juice powders contain easily bioavailable nutrients we can absorb.
How amazing is that!
• Extremely concentrated and dense – 1 teaspoon of powder is equivalent to over 60ml (2 fl.oz) of fresh green juices. • 100% RAW, VEGAN and CERTIFIED ORGANIC. • A concentrated source of super nutrition. • A natural source of alkalising minerals. • Formulated without fillers – no rice bran, no flax seed, no beans or legumes… just pure DeepGreens! • Great for those on low carbohydrate diets. • Perfect for convalescents or those with weak digestive systems who are unable to obtain enough green foods through their diet.
Add a teaspoon or more of DeepGreen Alkaliser to water or fresh juice. I have a heaped teaspoon every morning (sometimes more if my body wants more).It can also be added to smoothies, sprinkled over foods, and used in salad dressings. DeepGreen Alkaliser is organic food, and can be taken in larger amounts if intense cleansing and nourishment are desired.
Absolutely. If they are eating, then you can add it to their diets.
This is completely up to your child. As I have written about previously, follow their lead and never force children to eat anything they don’t feel like eating. Trust them. Eating comes as naturally to a child as breathing. Allow them to choose from a range of foods including Deep Greens. Some mornings both our chick drink a glass full of Deep Greens (about ½ tsp in water or extremely diluted fresh juice), sometimes it’s a gulp and sometimes they don’t feel like any at all. We notice when we allow them to do this, they are intune with what their bodies need. It’s beautiful to watch.
Full Ingredient list of Deep Green:
*organic spirulina (arthrospira platensis) powder, *organic wheat grass (triticum aestivum) juice powder, *organic barley grass (hordeum vulgare) juice powder, *organic alfalfa grass (medicago sativa) juice powder, *organic oat grass (avena sativa) juice powder, *organic kamut grass (triticum turanicum) juice powder, *organic spinach (spinacia oleracea) powder, *organic nettle (urtica dioica) powder, *organic collard (brassica oleracea acephala) powder, *organic kale (brassica oleracea acephala) powder, *organic parsley (petroselinum sativum) powder. *Certified Organic by USDA
Whilst we did not have to evacuate our inner city sanctuary (flood waters reached the end of our street) we were cut off from other suburbs and services, and were without electricity for days. Sitting in our leafy green courtyard contemplating our low supplies of fresh food, Jase and I marveled at our fortune at having spirulina and vital greens (barley/wheat/chlorella) in our cupboard. We could all live for week…months on our supply (and avoid the frenetic panic buying in the supermarkets). As long as we had enough fresh food for our chicks (and spirulina) we were set! So let me tell you about this greeny-blue, slightly sweet, intense algae…
Japanese scientists look towards spirulina as the solution to the world’s hunger and health problem. NASA considers it a vital and compact space food for astronauts. The World Health Organisation has called it one of the greatest super foods on earth. And New Agers all over the world are rediscovering the wonders of spirulina, adding it to their diets, and for many living, just on the nutrients of this super-food alone.
From origin to content: 1 kg of good spirulina is the equivalent of 1,000 kg of assorted vegetables; 10 gm of spirulina contain 6.6 gm of protein (milk has 0.32 gm). It has no bad cholesterol, contains 18 of the 22 amino acids the body needs, and is the richest source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant which combats free radicals.
Other exciting things about spirilina…
It is a wonderful tonic for our body and helps to strengthen our immune system in general.
The dark blue green colour shows Spirulina is rich in Phycocyanin, helping to build blood and healthy red and white blood cells.
It’s high in chlorophyll.
It’s high with GLA essential fatty acid.
It’s low in fat.
It’s low in calories.
It increases your energy levels and puts your body in a great position to be the best it can be, for as long as it can.
And Spirulina can also be added to your home made face and body masks, albeit it does look a little ‘hulkish’ on the body.
So while other people have been scrambling to gather groceries from an ever-dwindling shortage of fresh food supplies, I feel grateful for our spirulina and supergreens. Jase and I breath a sigh of relief that even if we were cut off from services for weeks and months we would probably come out of the floods in better health than before the waters were rising.
NOTE: Kids and Spirilina. Yes, our chicks eat spirulina. Adiva eats it straight from the jar sometimes when her body feels like she needs it (and then she’ll go for days without it as well). Sometimes we add it to her smoothie, and sometimes we put it in what she calls her ‘honey herbs medicine’ (a concoction of naturopathy herbs to boost her immune system if she is developing a cold or cough, added to a generous scoop of spirilina, InLiven (certified organic, fermented, probiotic), cinnamon, ginger and mashed together with manuka honey).
Today’s fast-food society and nutrient deficient soils makes it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain the quality and concentrations of daily nutrients necessary to positively impact our health. Berry Radical, by the makers of Miessence, is a revolutionary organic, superfood, designed to assist the body in attaining vibrant health, wellbeing and longevity. The ingredients in Berry Radical have been proven to assist the body in neutralising free radical damage.
Berry Radical is a combination of 10 of the worlds most potent, antioxidant, superfoods and contains:
Berry Radical Laboratory Results
Brunswick Laboratories to put Berry Radical through it’s paces and see how it performed. Brunswick Labs are recognised internationally by leading health research institutions and companies in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries, as a world leader in research and diagnostic services related to antioxidants and oxidative stress.
Berry Radical vs. Other Sources of Antioxidants
Brusnwick Labs compared the antioxidant power of Berry Radical to some high antioxidant supplements on the market. Below is a graph of the results:
Yes, that’s right… One box of berry radical contains 217,200 OrAC units! (Explanation of OrAC units in FAQ below)
See the OrAC score per serving in the table below:
|Supplement||OrAC Score per Serving||Additional information about the product|
|Tahitian Noni Juice 30ml||165||Reconstituted concentrate|
|Himalayan Goji Juice 30ml||380||Preserved with sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate|
|Reconsituted from concentrates Xango 30ml||530||Preserved with potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate Reconsituted from concentrates|
|YL Berry Young 30ml||1130||Preserved with potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate Reconsituted from concentrates|
|Berry Radical 5g sachet||7240||Certified organic, freeze-dried, raw, living fruits, berries and cacao (chococolate) Preservative-free|
We compared the antioxidant power of Berry Radical to some high antioxidant foods and supplements and ascertained how much you’d have to buy to get the equivalent amount of OrAC units in one box of berry radical:
|9 kilos of blueberries @ ~$500||6 bottles of yl berry young @ US $324|
|14 kilos of strawberries @ ~$220||12 bottles of Xango Mangosteen juice @ US $480|
|17 kilos of raspberries @ ~$840||17 bottles of Himalayan Goji juice @ US$ 893|
|41 bottles of Tahitian Noni juice @ US $1727|
Frequently Asked Questions about Antioxidents
What Are Free Radicals And Why Do We Need Antioxidants?
Oxidation occurs when free radicals (highly reactive, high-energy particles) ricochet wildly throughout the body and damage cells. Free radicals can be produced within the body by natural biological processes or introduced from outside via tobacco smoke, toxins, pollutants and sub-optimal eating habits. Free radicals are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, and age-related diseases. Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables help to neutralise free radicals in our bodies.
Australian’s are encouraged to eat 7 serves of fruit and vegetables a day. Specifically, 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each day. Many people struggle to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables each day. Within Australia, only 14% of men and 21% of women report eating the recommended four or more servings of vegetables daily.
Why Do Plants Contain Antioxidants?
Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants convert light energy from the sun into stored physical energy. Photosynthesis exposes plants to a massive number of free radicals. Plants produce antioxidants to protect themselves from damage by these free radicals. Antioxidant plant pigments, primarily carotenoids and polyphenols that are responsible for the bright colours of many orange, red, blue and purple fruits, berries and algae, provide most of this protection. Research has shown that human ingestion of these plant-based antioxidants result in similar protection. Research also shows that antioxidants work synergistically (where the combined effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects) and are far more effective when a spectrum of antioxidants are ingested, rather that individual isolated compounds.
Why Did You Make A Powder Instead Of A Juice?
By utilising raw, freeze-dried powders we have concentrated all the nutrition from the fruits and berries into a much more potent, nutrient dense form. Which is why 1 box of berry radical is equivalent to 12 bottles of mangosteen juice 17 bottles of goji juice and 41 bottles of noni juice, in terms of antioxidant capacity. Our organic fruit and berry powders are highly concentrated foods, with all the nutrients and enzymes in the fresh fruit. Only water has been removed. Gram for gram, powders are far more potent and concentrated than water-down juices. Many fruits are more than 90 percent water, which mean you get at least 10 times the nutrients in a freeze-dried fruit than the fresh fruit or a rehydrated juice. Powders do not require the preservatives that juices do. The freeze drying process does not kill the enzymes. It puts them in a state of suspended animation. They are brought back to life by adding the Berry Radical to liquid.
How Much Caffeine Does Berry Radical Contain?
Interesting research on caffeine in the field of homeopathy indicates caffeine’s stimulating effect when cooked, but not when eaten raw. One experiment conducted with a decoction of roasted ground cacao beans in boiling water produced an excitement of the nervous system similar to that caused by black coffee and an excited state of circulation, demonstrated by an accelerated pulse. Notably, when the same decoction was made with raw, unroasted cacao beans neither effect was noticeable.
A cup of tea contains an average of 40mg of caffeine, compared to 85mg as found in a cup of freshly brewed coffee. A cup of hot chocolate usually contains about 4 or 5 milligrams of caffeine, which is about 1/20 that of a cup of regular coffee. A serving of berry radical contains about 6mg of caffeine, about as much as in a hot chocolate, but considering the coffee berry and cacao in Berry Radical are both raw, there will be no stimulant effect.
Food vs Supplements
If you’re supplementing with single dose antioxidants, or a combination of a few isolated antioxidant nutrients, you may not be getting the benefits you hoped for.
Whilst isolated nutrients may have powerful antioxidant benefits in vitro (test tube) they rarely have significant benefits in vivo (humans). Whereas foods high in antioxidants have proven benefits in both humans and in vitro. it is known that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancers, coronary heart disease and strokes. Synthetic antioxidants appear to be so ineffective that they may actually increase cancer risk. In fact, every large clinical trial that has used isolated antioxidant nutrients has failed to show benefit for cancer and cardiovascular disease. [61,62,63,64]
Most isolated antioxidant nutrients are chemically, and structurally, different to those found in foods; and do not have the desired effect in the human body. Research has found that whole tomato powder but not lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes, inhibited prostate carcinogenesis in rats, which demonstrates the superior functionality and efficacy of whole-food nutrition compared with high dose, isolated nutrient, supplementation. 
What Are ORAC Units And How Many Do We Need?
OrAC, short for Oxygen radical Absorbance Capacity, is a standardised measurement of the total antioxidant power of a substance. Antioxidant power is the ability to neutralize oxygen free radicals. The more free radicals a substance can absorb, the higher it’s OrAC score. Nutritionists recommend that we consume around 5000 OrAC units per day to significantly impact antioxidant activity in the body and reduce free radical damage. One serving (half a cup) of fruits or vegetables provides approximately 500 OrAC units. if you’re not eating at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, you’re not getting the recommended amount of OrAC units to mop-up the damage caused by free radicals in your body every day. The OrAC (total) score of 1 gram of berry radical is 1448. So, one 5g sachet of berry radical contains over 7000 OrAC units! One 150g of berry radical box contains over 217,000 OrAC units.
Berry Radical ingredients:
Berry Radical contains 10 of the worlds most potent, antioxidant, superfoods: certified organic raw unrefined cacao powder, dried coffee fruit extract, certified organic freeze-dried pomegranate powder, certified organic freeze-dried goji berry powder, certified organic freeze-dried acai berry powder, certified organic whole dried dunaliella salina marine microalgae, certified organic freeze-dried blueberry powder, certified organic freeze-dried raspberry powder, certified organic freeze-dried strawberry powder, certified organic freeze-dried olive juice extract, natural flavour.
1. Raw Cacao (Chocolate!)
Grown and harvested ethically and sustainably in ecuador, raw cacao contains the antioxidant polyphenols, catechin, epicatechin and gallic acid. Epicatechin and it’s metabolites have been singled out as providing cacao’s vasodilation benefits, which help protect against thrombosis formation and hypertension. Cacao provides significant protection to cardiovascular health, and has been found to provide more than 21 times the free radical protection of green tea. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]
Cacao and Magnesium
Cacao is believed to be the richest source of magnesium of any common food. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body and is the number one mineral that assists and supports healthy heart functioning. it is vital for over 300 enzyme systems in the body – more than iron and zinc combined, yet nearly 70% of the population is deficient in magnesium.
Many experts believe even with a healthy diet, produce may still be grown in mineral-depleted soil and lacking in this vital nutrient. Studies have shown magnesium may have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. low magnesium levels have also been found in patients who have died from heart attacks. Magnesium has also been found to be beneficial in Asthma, where it promotes relaxation of the bronchial smooth muscle. Magnesium may help prevent calcium crystallising in the kidneys to create kidney stones. Magnesium deficiency is strongly implicated in PMS. Symptoms like abdominal bloating, breast pain, headaches, fatigue, fluid retention, mood swings, insomnia and anxiety are all symptoms of magnesium deficiency and PMS! Magnesium supplementation is as important as calcium supplementation in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. It helps the body metabolise calcium and converts dietary vitamin D to an active form. Magnesium is also beneficial for Gastric disturbances (heartburn and flatulence) as it neutralises the stomach acid converting it to magnesium chloride. With less acid available less gas is produced, resulting in alleviation of the symptoms. Magnesium may also help relieve constipation, by relieving pressure on the bowel and allowing fluid to soften bowel movements. Studies have found magnesium supplementation may help relieve tension headaches, muscle tension, and associated pain and cramps. low magnesium levels have also been found in chronic migraine sufferers.
2. Coffee Berry
like many plants, coffee distributes its powerful nutrition throughout the whole fruit, not just in the seed. Whole coffee fruit is loaded with high concentrations of beneficial antioxidants and other extraordinary nutrients including polyphenols, chlorogenic, caffeic and ferulic acid. Coffee plants grow on the slopes of high-altitude volcanic mountainsides. Nourished by mineral-rich soil and warmed by intense tropical sunlight, coffee plants produce a profusion of wonderful bright red fruit. Coffee fruit is so exceptionally rich in antioxidants because it grows in high altitude, low-latitude regions where the sun’s rays are strongest. As the plants mature, they develop powerful antioxidants to protect them from damage caused by high doses of the sun’s radiation and the natural by-products of photosynthesis. One gram of our coffee berry provides the same free radical protection as over two kilograms of grapes. [9, 10]
Coffee Berry and Glyconutrition
The whole coffee fruit also contains many healthy poly-, oligo- and five of the eight essential mono-saccharides. Polysaccharides, such as mannans and aribinogalactans, make up nearly 50% of the coffee berry. Conventional roasting destroys these nutrients, so they’re not found in traditional coffee. We all know that carbohydrates provide the ‘fuel’ that we use to run our bodies. Until recently, it was thought energy creation was the only role that carbohydrates played in our body.
During the last few years, however, emerging science has suggested that eight carbohydrates, Mannose, Galactose, Fucose, Xylose, Glucose, Sialic acid, N-Acetylglucosamine, and N-Acetylgalactosamine, are essential to life because they are the basic building blocks of all biological communication. Scientists believe that this family of eight mono- saccharides is essential in order for our immune systems to function properly. Coffee berry releases unusually high levels of mannose, galactose, fucose, xylose, arabinose and glucose during digestion.
3. Açaí Berry
Wild harvested sustainably and fairly from the Amazon forest, the powerful purple berry, Açaí (ah-sigh-ee) contains a potent antioxidant, anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a group of phytochemicals found in red wine that are thought to contribute to the “French paradox”, i.e. France has one of the lowest incidences of heart disease of any western society despite the prevalence of smoking and a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Açaí contains the potent antioxidant, anthocyanins, at 10-30 times the concentration found in red wine. Other potential physiological effects of anthocyanins include radiation- protective, chemoprotective, vasoprotective and anti-inflammatory agents. [11, 12, 13]
4. Goji Berry
The ‘red diamond’ of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years, contains the powerful carotenoid antioxidants, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, cryptoxanthin and xanthophyll. Carotenoids are thought to protect against cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, vision-related diseases (such as age- related macular degeneration and glaucoma), and are anticancer agents.[14, 15, 16, 17, 18]
Contains the polyphenolic antioxidant anthocyanins. Anthocyanins, which are flavonoids, were found in one study to have the strongest antioxidant power of 150 flavonoids tested. Anthocyanins have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and protect both large and small blood vessels (including those in the eyes) from oxidative damage.[19, 20, 21, 22]
Contains the polyphenol antioxidant, ellagic acid, has been shown to reduce heart disease, birth defects, liver problems, and promote wound healing. ellagic acid may help inhibit different types of cancer causing agents, including aflatoxin and nitrosamines.
Ellagic acid seems to have some anti-cancer properties and has been found to cause death in cancer cells in the lab. [23, 24, 25, 26]
A rich source of the polyphenol antioxidants, quercetin, ellagic acid and anthocyanin. Quercetin has been shown to protect colon, breast, ovarian and gastrointestinal cells against cancer growth. Quercetin has also been shown to protect strokes, cataracts, virus’ and allergies. [27, 28, 29, 30]
Contains the polyphenol antioxidants, punicalagins and ellagic acid. research suggests that pomegranate may be beneficial for artherosclerosis, heart disease, osteoarthritis and prostate cancer. [31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38]
Contains antioxidant polyphenols extracted from the pulp of fresh, organically grown olives. Hydroxytyrosol is the natural olive polyphenol with the highest level of free radical protection activity ever reported for any natural antioxidant compound!
While the olive has received most attention for its oil, until now the olive water, or juice, has been a mere by- product of olive production. In fact, disposal of the juice has been costly for the industry.
After all, the olive is only 15-20% oil and more than 50% juice. So what have we been throwing away? The answer is olive polyphenols, especially hydroxytyrosol, a highly potent and protective antioxidant. In fact, polyphenols are much more prevalent in the olive juice than in the oil. Yet it is these unique polyphenols that are considered responsible for extra virgin olive oil’s health benefits. Imagine the antioxidant capacity of olive juice with up to 300 times more polyphenols than the oil! [39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45]
10. Dunaliella Salina
Is a marine microalgae, and the richest known source of dietary carotenoids including extremely high quantities of beta and alpha carotene, a deep orange-red pigment. A rich combination of carotenoids and green chlorophyll give Dunaliella salina its orange-red colour. Our Dunaliella salina is farmed in large shallow lakes at Karratha in Western Australia. They are grown in clean Australian ocean waters collected from natural tidal catchment ponds, and use pure sunlight as an energy source. No herbicides or pesticides are used. They are harvested and dried mechanically without chemicals or solvents. Research shows that carotenoids have antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and immune enhancing properties. They help to protect against free radical cell damage responsible for premature ageing, cataracts, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.This marine microalgae contains the powerful antioxidant family of carotenoids, including alpha and beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin, which may help protect against premature ageing, cataracts, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. [46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59]
We thoroughly recommend InLiven for you and your family’s health. Click here for a 5 minute presentation about Berry Radical.
1. Lee KW, Kim YJ, Lee HJ, Lee CY. “Cocoa has more phenolic phytochemicals and a higher antioxidant capacity than teas and red wine.” Department of Food Science and Technology, School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, South Korea. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Dec 3;51(25):7292-5 2. Vinson JA, Proch J, Bose P, Muchler S, Taffera P, Shuta D, Samman N, Agbor GA. “Chocolate is a powerful ex vivo and in vivo antioxidant, an antiatherosclerotic agent in an animal model, and a significant contributor to antioxidants in the European and American Diets.” J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Oct 18;54(21):8071-6. 3. Francis ST, Head K, Morris PG, Macdonald IA. “The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people.” J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006;47 Suppl 2:S215-20. 4. Selmi C, Mao TK, Keen CL, Schmitz HH, Eric Gershwin M. “The anti-inflammatory properties of cocoa flavanols.” J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006;47 Suppl 2:S163-71 5. Vlachopoulos C, Aznaouridis K, Alexopoulos N, Economou E, Andreadou I, Stefanadis C. “Effect of dark chocolate on arterial function in healthy individuals.” Am J Hypertens. 2005 Jun;18(6):785-91. 6. Keen CL, Holt RR, Oteiza PI, Fraga CG, Schmitz HH. “Cocoa antioxidants and cardiovascular health.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;81(1 Suppl):298S-303S. 7. Osakabe N, Yamagishi M, Natsume M, Yasuda A, Osawa T. “Ingestion of proanthocyanidins derived from cacao inhibits diabetes-induced cataract formation in rats.“ Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2004 Jan;229(1):33-9. 8. Carnesecchi S, Schneider Y, Lazarus SA, Coehlo D, Gosse F, Raul F. “Flavanols and procyanidins of cocoa and chocolate inhibit growth and polyamine biosynthesis of human colonic cancer cells.” Cancer Lett. 2002 Jan 25;175(2):147-55. 9. Lee WJ, Zhu BT. “Inhibition of DNA methylation by caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid, two common catechol-containing coffee polyphenols.” Carcinogenesis. 2006 Feb;27(2):269- 77. Epub 2005 Aug 4. 10. Daglia M, Racchi M, Papetti A, Lanni C, Govoni S, Gazzani G. J. “In vitro and ex vivo antihydroxyl radical activity of green and roasted coffee.” Agric Food Chem. 2004 Mar 24;52(6):1700-4. 11. Hong W, Cao G, Prior P. “Oxygan Radical Absorbance Capacity of Anthocyanins.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 45, 304-309, 1997 12. Kong JM, Chia LS, Goh NK, Chia TF, Brouillard R. “Analysis and biological activities of anthocyanins.” Phytochemistry. 2003 Nov;64(5):923-33 13. Schauss AG, Wu X, Prior RL, Ou B, Patel D, Huang D, Kababick JP. “Phytochemical and nutrient composition of the freeze- dried amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (acai).” J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8598-603. 14. Li XM, Ma YL, Liu XJ. “Effect of the Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on age-related oxidative stress in aged mice.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Dec 28. 15. Wu H, Guo H, Zhao R. “Effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide on the improvement of antioxidant ability and DNA damage in NIDDM rats.” Yakugaku Zasshi. 2006 May;126(5):365-71. 16. Zhang M, Chen H, Huang J, Li Z, Zhu C, Zhang S. “Effect of lycium barbarum polysaccharide on human hepatoma QGY7703 cells: inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis.” Life Sci. 2005 Mar 18;76(18):2115-24. 17. Chan HC, Chang RC, Koon-Ching Ip A, Chiu K, Yuen WH, Zee SY, So KF. “Neuroprotective effects of Lycium barbarum Lynn on protecting retinal ganglion cells in an ocular hypertension model of glaucoma.” Exp Neurol. 2007 Jan;203(1):269-73. 18. Cheng CY, Chung WY, Szeto YT, Benzie IF. “Fasting plasma zeaxanthin response to Fructus barbarum L. (wolfberry; Kei Tze) in a food-based human supplementation trial.” Br J Nutr. 2005 Jan;93(1):123-30. 19. Bell DR, Gochenaur K. “Direct vasoactive and vasoprotective properties of anthocyanin-rich extracts.” J Appl Physiol. 2006 Apr;100(4):1164-70. 20. Faria A, Oliveira J, Neves P, Gameiro P, Santos-Buelga C, de Freitas V, Mateus N. “Antioxidant properties of prepared blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extracts.” J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Aug 24;53(17):6896-902. 21. Joseph, J.A., Shukitt-Hale B., Denisova, N.A. Bielinksi D., Martin, A., McEwen, J.J., & Bickford, P.C., 1999. “Reversals of age-related declines in neuronal signal transduction, cognitive, and motor behavioral deficits with blueberry, spinach, or strawberry dietary supplementation.” Journal of Neuroscience 19 (18): 8114–8121. 22. Seeram NP, Adams LS, Zhang Y, Lee R, Sand D, Scheuller HS, Heber D. “Blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry, and strawberry extracts inhibit growth and stimulate apoptosis of human cancer cells in vitro.” J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Dec 13;54(25):9329-39. 23. Olsson ME, Gustavsson KE, Andersson S, Nilsson A, Duan RD. “Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation in vitro by fruit and berry extracts and correlations with antioxidant levels.” J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 1;52(24):7264-71. 24. Wargovich MJ. “Experimental evidence for cancer preventive elements in foods.” Cancer Lett. 1997 Mar 19;114(1- 2):11-7. 25. Devipriya N, Srinivasan M, Sudheer AR, Menon VP. “Effect of ellagic acid, a natural polyphenol, on alcohol-induced prooxidant and antioxidant imbalance: a drug dose dependent study.” Singapore Med J. 2007 Apr;48(4):311-8. 26. Han DH, Lee MJ, Kim JH. “Antioxidant and apoptosis- inducing activities of ellagic acid.” Anticancer Res. 2006 Sep- Oct;26(5A):3601-6. 27. Meyers KJ, Watkins CB, Pritts MP, Liu RH. “Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of strawberries.” J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Nov 5;51(23):6887-92. 28. Amalia PM, Possa MN, Augusto MC, Francisca LS. “Quercetin Prevents Oxidative Stress in Cirrhotic Rats.” Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Apr 12 29. Wilms LC, Hollman PC, Boots AW, Kleinjans JC. “Protection by quercetin and quercetin-rich fruit juice against induction of oxidative DNA damage and formation of BPDE-DNA adducts in human lymphocytes.” Mutat Res. 2005 Apr 4;582(1-2):155-62. 30. Hubbard GP, Wolffram S, Lovegrove JA, Gibbins JM. “The role of polyphenolic compounds in the diet as inhibitors of platelet function.” Proc Nutr Soc. 2003 May;62(2):469-78. 31. Lansky EP, Newman RA. “Punica granatum (pomegranate) and its potential for prevention and treatment of inflammation and cancer.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jan 19;109(2):177-206. 32. Esmaillzadeh A, Tahbaz F, Gaieni I, Alavi-Majd H, Azadbakht L. “Cholesterol-lowering effect of concentrated pomegranate juice consumption in type II diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia.” Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2006 May;76(3):147-51. 33. Adhami VM, Mukhtar H. “Polyphenols from green tea and pomegranate for prevention of prostate cancer.” Free Radic Res. 2006 Oct;40(10):1095-104. 34. Malik A, Mukhtar H. “Prostate cancer prevention through pomegranate fruit.” Cell Cycle. 2006 Feb;5(4):371-3. 35. Sumner MD, Elliott-Eller M, Weidner G, Daubenmier JJ, Chew MH, Marlin R, Raisin CJ, Ornish D. “Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary heart disease.” Am J Cardiol. 2005 Sep 15;96(6):810-4. 36. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hoffman A, Dornfeld L, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Liker H, Hayek T. “Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation.” Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33. 37. Aviram M, Dornfeld L. “Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure.” Atherosclerosis 2001 Sep;158(1):195–8 38. Ahmed S, Wang N, Hafeez BB, Cheruvu VK, Haqqi TM. “Punica granatum L. extract inhibits IL-1beta-induced expression of matrix metalloproteinases by inhibiting the activation of MAP kinases and NF-kappaB in human chondrocytes in vitro.” J Nutr. 2005 Sep;135(9):2096-102. 39. Visioli F., Bellomo G., and Galli C. “Free radical-scavenging properties of olive oil polyphenols,” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 1998, 247 60-64. 40. Fabiani R., De Bartolomeo A., Rosignoli P., et al. “Cancer chemoprevention by hydroxytyrosol isolated from virgin olive oil through G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.” Eur J Cancer Prev 2002, 11(4) 351-8. 41. Visioli F., Galli C., Plasmati E., et al. “Olive phenol hydroxytyrosol prevents passive smoking-induced oxidative stress.” Circulation 2000, 102 2169-2171. 42. Manna C., Della Ragione F., Cucciolla V., et al. “Biological effects of hydroxytyrosol, a polyphenol from olive oil endowed with antioxidant activity.” Advances in Nutrition and Cancer 2, Plenum Publishers, NY 1999, 115-30. 43. Etienne N, Alonso MG, de Pascual-Teresa S, Minihane AM, Weinberg PD, Rimbach G. “Antioxidant and anti-atherogenic activities of olive oil phenolics.” Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2005 Jan;75(1):61-70. 44. D’Angelo S, Ingrosso D, Migliardi V, Sorrentino A, Donnarumma G, Baroni A, Masella L, Tufano MA, Zappia M, Galletti P. “Hydroxytyrosol, a natural antioxidant from olive oil, prevents protein damage induced by long-wave ultraviolet radiation in melanoma cells.” Free Radic Biol Med. 2005 Apr 1;38(7):908-19. 45. Manna C, Galletti P, Cucciolla V, Montedoro G, Zappia V. “Olive oil hydroxytyrosol protects human erythrocytes against oxidative damages.” J Nutr Biochem. 1999 Mar;10(3):159-65. 46. Astley SB, Hughes DA, Wright AJ, Elliott RM & Southon S (2004). “DNA damage and susceptibility to oxidative damage in lymphocytes: effects of carotenoids in vitro and in vivo.” Br J Nutr, Jan, 91, 1, 53-61. 47. Knekt P, Heliovaara M, Rissanen A, Aromaa A & Aaran R K (1992). “Serum antioxidant vitamins and risk of cataract.” BMJ, Dec 5, 305, 6866, 1392-4. 48. Van Poppel G (1996). “Epidemiological evidence for beta- carotene inprevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease.” Eur J Clin Nutr, Jul, 50 Suppl 3, S57-61. 49. Chidambara Murthy KN, Vanitha A, Rajesha J, Mahadeva Swamy M, Sowmya PR, Ravishankar GA. “In vivo antioxidant activity of carotenoids from Dunaliella salina–a green microalga.” Life Sci. 2005 Feb 4;76(12):1381-90. Epub 2005 Jan 18. 50. Xue LX. “Experimental study on extract of Dunaliella salina in preventing NSAR-induced cancer of proventriculus in mice” Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 1993 Nov;27(6):350-3. 51. Cerhan JR, Saag KG, Merlino LA, Mikuls TR, Criswell LA. “Antioxidant micronutrients and risk of rheumatoid arthritis in a cohort of older women.” Am J Epidemiol. 2003 Feb 15;157(4):345-54. 52. Nishino H, Murakosh M, Ii T, Takemura M, Kuchide M, Kanazawa M, Mou XY, Wada S, Masuda M, Ohsaka Y, Yogosawa S, Satomi Y, Jinno K. “Carotenoids in cancer chemoprevention.” Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2002;21(3-4):257-64. 53. Fung TT, Spiegelman D, Egan KM, Giovannucci E, Hunter DJ, Willett WC. “Vitamin and carotenoid intake and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.” Int J Cancer. 2003 Jan 1;103(1):110-5. 54. Holick CN, Michaud DS, Stolzenberg-Solomon R, Mayne ST, Pietinen P, Taylor PR, Virtamo J, Albanes D. “Dietary carotenoids, serum beta-carotene, and retinol and risk of lung cancer in the alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene cohort study.” Am J Epidemiol. 2002 Sep 15;156(6):536-47. 55. Gale CR, Hall NF, Phillips DI, Martyn CN. “Plasma antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids and age-related cataract.” Ophthalmology. 2001 Nov;108(11):1992-8. 56. Lu QY, Hung JC, Heber D, Go VL, Reuter VE, Cordon-Cardo C, Scher HI, Marshall JR, Zhang ZF. “Inverse associations between plasma lycopene and other carotenoids and prostate cancer.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Jul;10(7):749-56. 57. Toniolo P, Van Kappel AL, Akhmedkhanov A, Ferrari P, Kato I, Shore RE, Riboli E. “Serum carotenoids and breast cancer.” Am J Epidemiol. 2001 Jun 15;153(12):1142-7. 58. Nishino H, Tokuda H, Murakoshi M, Satomi Y, Masuda M, Onozuka M, Yamaguchi S, Takayasu J, Tsuruta J, Okuda M, Khachik F, Narisawa T, Takasuka N, Yano M. “Cancer prevention by natural carotenoids.” Biofactors. 2000;13(1- 4):89-94. 59. Rumi G Jr, Szabo I, Vincze A, Matus Z, Toth G, Mozsik G. “Decrease of serum carotenoids in Crohn’s disease. “J Physiol Paris. 2000 Mar-Apr;94(2):159-61. 60. Franke AA, Harwood PJ, Shimamoto T, Lumeng S, Zhang LX, Bertram JS, Wilkens LR, Le Marchand L, Cooney RV. “Effects of micronutrients and antioxidants on lipid peroxidation in human plasma and in cell culture.” Cancer Lett. 1994 Apr 29;79(1):17-26. 61. Francheschi S, Parpinel M, La Vecchia C, Favero A, Talamini R, Negri E. Role of different types of vegetables and fruit in the prevention of cancer of the colon, rectum, and breast. Epidemiology 1998;9(3):338-341 62. Rautalahti M, Huttunen J. Antioxidants and carcinogenesis. Ann Med 1993;25:435-441 63. Paolini M, Abdel-Rahman SZ, Sapone A, Pedulli GF, Perocco P, Cantelli-Forti G, Legator MS. Beta-carotene: a cancer chemopreventive agent or a co-carcinogen? Mutat Res. 2003;543(3):195-200 64. Van Duyn MS and Pivonka E. Overview of the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption for the dietetics professional: selected literature. J Am Diet Assoc. 2000;100:1511-1521. 65. Boileau TW, Liao Z, Kim S, et al. Prostate carcinogenesis in N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (NMU)-testosterone-treated rats fed tomato powder, lycopene, or energy-restricted diets. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003;95(21):1578-1586.
Narelle Chenery, Director of Research and Development for ONE Group and formulator of the world’s first certified organic skin and body care products, Miessence, and member of the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists looks at the much maligned and often misunderstood chemical, sodium laureth sulfate.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is a chemical used universally in cosmetics, personal care and skin care products. Whilst SLES is often claimed to be natural because it can be derived from coconut oil, it is the manufacturing process that bears looking into.
Ethoxylation is a process that uses ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen, to manufacture ‘milder’ surfactants like SLES. Ethoxylated surfactants may be contaminated with 1,4- Dioxane (dioxane), an un-wanted by product of the manufacturing process.
Ethoxylated ingredients, including detergents, foaming agents, emulsifiers and certain solvents are identifiable by the phrase “PEG,” “Polyethylene,” “Polyethylene glycol,” “Polyoxyethylene,” “-eth-,” or “-oxynol-.”
Exposure to large amounts of dioxane can cause kidney and liver damage. Accidental worker exposure to large amounts of dioxane has resulted in several deaths. Symptoms associated with these industrial deaths suggest dioxane causes adverse nervous system effects. Laboratory studies show that exposure to dioxane over a lifetime causes cancer in animals. Dioxane may likewise cause cancer in humans. 1
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the presence of dioxane, even as a trace contaminant is cause for concern and the Commission continues to monitor its use in consumer products. 2 Skin absorption studies demonstrated that dioxane readily penetrates animal and human skin during use of contaminated shampoos and other personal care products, although it is uncertain how much is available for absorption and how much evaporates instead of penetrating the skin. It also caused systemic cancer in a skin painting study. 3
The Australian government have assessed the main risk for the general public for dioxane exposure is from consumer products containing dioxane as an impurity. A so-called ‘worst case scenario’ for daily intake is 7 micrograms, based on an assumed level of 30ppm dioxane in end-use products. This is claimed to be 1000 times ‘safer’ than levels where no adverse effects were observed in animal studies. 4 However, overseas studies have shown dioxane levels to be much higher than the assumed ‘low’ level of 30ppm. Dioxane has been found in household products at the following levels: shampoos (50-300ppm), dishwashing liquid (3-65ppm), baby lotion (11ppm), hair lotions (47-108ppm), bath foam (22-41ppm) and other cosmetic products (6-160ppm). 5
Two studies reported an increase in liver cancer of 50% and 64% in workers employed in workplaces where dioxane is present. The same authors also carried out a workplace exposure survey and reported that the majority of dioxane levels measured in workplaces were less than 3ppm! Although they claim the data was insufficient to speculate on the workplace exposure levels in the liver cancer studies.
Scorecard, the internet’s most popular resource for information about pollution problems and toxic chemicals, lists dioxane as a recognised carcinogen and suspected cardiovascular or blood toxicant , gastrointestinal or liver toxicant , immunotoxicant , kidney toxicant , neurotoxicant , respiratory toxicant and skin or sense organ toxicant . 6
However ‘safe’ dioxane is purported to be, it is still not something I would like to see in any amount in my personal care products. Some manufacturers may claim that the alarming facts previously mentioned are irrelevant because they are based on the product in it’s pure 100% concentrated form and not relevant for the diluted form found in personal care products. But think about it… no matter how you look at avocado oil, whether in it’s concentrated form, or diluted form, it still ain’t toxic!
My philosophy is if it is possible to create a product without the use of any harmful, or even potentially harmful, chemicals then do it! And it is certainly possible: theMiessence certified organic product range is living proof that skincare can be made with only beneficial 100% natural and organic ingredients.
‘…live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived…to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.’ (Walden, Henry David Thoreau, pg. 85)
Living deliberately is a big deal for us, even if we don’t come close to doing it a much as we intend. What we do know though is that everyday big business, the media, the cosmetic/personal care/fashion/medical/diet/food industries spend millions of dollars each day trying to make us crave and desire their products; and in the main, they are effective at doing this. They produce advertisements that appeal to us, both visually and emotionally, offering us promises of better/easier/faster laundry, cooking and cleaning; smarter kids; healthier kids, happier kids; and better/younger/fitter bodies, skin and lifestyles.
It’s all so alluring… but is it?
Therein comes the cycle of working, consuming, working, consuming, working, consuming, working, consuming…. more is better, growth is good…. And in this world of ‘more is better’ our planet is used as a disposable resource; parenting inherently becomes about control and discipline; the ‘sickness’ industry thrives as people (and our planet) gets sicker; and we are all so individually divided, yet accept that this is what we do in life, and go along for the ride.
And whilst it’s difficult to always break this cycle, we can be conscious of it – our relationships and interactions with people, the sort of families we wish to create, our connection with our environment – and go some way towards changing it. This is what deliberate living is for us (my family and I)
Most of the factors in deliberate living start with us as individuals, extend to our family, and then our approach to the world. In practice, this means living green – living as close to the earth as possible, and when we’re busy and not able to do this, supporting the organic industry – particularly those who deliver us the weekly box of organic fruits and vegetables and connect us to our local organic farmers. Essentially, living green means being aware of our impact on the world and the environment. When you are raising future generations, how can you not be? There’s an ancient Indian Proverb that says, ‘Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our children’.
It also means conscious parenting, and in process of parenting we invest in our own self-development. We have had to unlearn much of the inherited values that we grew up with, compassionately acknowledge our baggage and mistakes and move towards who we want to be as parents. We read, we take courses, converse and share stories with others on the same path and keep moving forward. We respect children, ours and others, as being whole and complete just as they presently are—not in the state of becoming, but rather that they have already arrived. In this way, we engage in ways with children in a way that fosters empowerment and connection, and we have learnt a lot about active listening, being present and giving up our own ‘stuff’ for another. This is not always easy to do. Author, Rue Kream’s work has been particularly influential in my own journey of conscious parenting. She states ‘… yes, we are parents, but we are also people living our one and only lives. Let your children see you live each day with happiness and hope’. In this way, we also try and lead by example because we know that what parents do, rather than what they say makes the difference for their wellbeing as they travel into adulthood.
Living deliberately for us also means establishing and maintaining as much of toxic free environment as we can. This means removing or minimising the chemicals and contaminants in our lives. We use personal care and cleaning products that are toxic free, natural, local and 100 percent beneficial to the body. We use natural remedies, herbs, oils, before we would consider dosing ourselves or our children with any sort of drugs. We live more and more by Hippocrates motto, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’.
We also know in practice that a good partnership (or marriage), keeping the company of supportive friends, a nutritious diet, physical activity, rewarding ‘work’, sufficient money ( living deliberately means life gets less expensive), sound sleep, and religious or spiritual belief or practice all enhance our happiness, and their absence diminishes it. Gratitude and kindness lifts our spirits; and giving support can be as beneficial as receiving it. Being connected, engaged, cherishing intimacy, and maintaining interests give meaning to our lives. Having goals, a sense of belonging, hope, a belief that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves fosters happiness. As 19th Century German Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzche states, ‘He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how’.
Really, we all know we are going to die, therein comes the yearning to make the most out of the time we do have—to live deliberately. And so we continue to move towards this….
Join our elist to receive a FREE BOOK CHAPTER from our best-selling book Chemical Free Kids: Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World. Additionally you will occassionally receive special offers to assist you to make healthier consumer choices for you, your kids and your family.
My resume looks something like this: mama, university lecturer and researcher [currently at the University of Queensland], nutritionist, writer, author, presenter, health coach, ethical business consultant, and all round chemical conscious parenting nut.
Along with our research grants, our Certified Organic Business allows us to expand Chemical Free Kids, conduct research, and explore conscious parenting, deliberate, non-toxic living. The products are raw, certified organic, potent and made fresh!
For more information, please email us: email@example.com