Chemicals, Kids and what we as parents butt-up against as we try to raise healthy children in a toxic world.
Over the past few months we have been experimenting with new ways of getting more green leafy vegetables in our family’s diet. Kale in particular has left us stumped, and one can only add so much kale to our green smoothies in the morning. But thanks to our raw foodie friend Ame from Raw and Peace, she introduced us to raw kale chips. And they are completely delicious and moorish! It is now quite common for Adiva and Jedda to eat a whole bunch of kale during the day in the form of raw chips. And here is how you do it…
1. Kale (I use a couple of bunches)
2. Olive Oil (or we use hemp oil if we have it)
3. Salt (good salt such as himalayan)
4. Smoked Paprika (or we have also used sweet paprika when smoked wasn’t available)
Thoroughly wash (this is important because I dehydrated a poor darling catapiller last week) and cut into pieces. Make sure you take out the stem because it can be a bit chewy otherwise. Toss in a bowl with enough oil to coat the kale, add a pinch of salt to season, and a couple of tablespoons of Paprika (add more or less depending on your own taste).
Spread the kale out in the dehydrator and wait till it crisps up.
Delicious! And still so full of goodness!
The nutritional benefits of kale are many: cholesterol-lowering benefits; risk-lowering benefits for cancer; support for the body’s detoxification system; and researchers have identified over 45 different flavonoids in kale which have both antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory benefits.
How to Make Raw Chocolate
Put the cups in the refrigerator to harden. It doesn’t take long. Then take your yummy chocolates out, and store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator. They don’t last long in out home! They are also great for prezzies!
RAW CACAO is incredibly rich in Magnesium. Other essential minerals present in Cacao are Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Copper, Sulfur, and Potassium. The raw bean also contains more antioxidant flavanoids than any other food tested – including blueberries, red wine and green tea. In fact studies have shown RAW Cacao powder to have 7 times as many antioxidants as dark chocolate.
Sorbolene usually contains liquid paraffin and white soft paraffin, both petroleum by-products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. They interfere with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. They also slow down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Any mineral oil derivative can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH’s (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Manufacturers use paraffin because it is very inexpensive.
From the National Toxicology Program Chemical Health and Safety Data on mineral oil:
‘A human carcinogen by inhalation that produces gastrointestinal tumors.’
‘A human teratogen by inhalation that causes testicular tumors in the fetus. Inhalation of vapor or particulates can cause aspiration pneumonia.’
Sorbolene creams also do not contain any vitamins or essential fatty acids and disturb or even prohibit the skin from absorbing fat-soluble vitamins. They appear to hydrate and moisturise but in reality they can suppress the skins ability to function normally, and do very little to nourish and hydrate the dermis.
The skin then develops a dependency on constant applications of mineral oils which, in turn, results in a deterioration of the skin’s character and overall health. Long-term usage of these products may block the pores resulting in acne and blackheads; they strip the skin of its natural oils and can create fluid retention, resulting in irritation, sensitivities and allergies.
This article was published in the November 2010 ‘Addiction’ edition of Holistic Bliss Magazine ‘Your Magazine with Soul’. This is a monthly magazine distributed throughout Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast in QLD.
By Dr Sarah Lantz
What’s your food compulsion, obsession, addiction? Brownies? Bread? Beer? What comforts you? And what calls to you in the late afternoon such that you need to steal away from your desk in search of it? Surely you were not born with this compulsion? Or were you?
Consider that our food compulsions are built (mostly unconsciously) into the fabric of current parenting practices – as a tool for reward and punishment, inclusion and exclusion. Think about it…food is a reward (‘You can have a brownie when you finish your homework’); a form of punishment (‘No desert tonight because you didn’t clean up your bedroom’); a method of control (‘No, you can’t just eat the icing off the cupcake’ or ‘Finish what’s on your plate, kids are starving in other countries’). And then these unconscious food patterns follow us into adulthood (‘I’ll have a brownie when I finish the dishes’ or ‘Let’s celebrate with a piece of cheesecake’ or ’(S)he doesn’t find me attractive, let’s eat icecream and watch a movie’). Then we wonder why we are concurrently confused and obsessed with food – hoard food, hide food, scoff food, binge, purge, and diet. We have a national eating disorder!
Consider also that the foods we now choose from are more processed, preservative and additive-packed, and low-nutrient than any other time in history—and we have access to more food in general. The average Australian household spends more on fast food than fruit and vegetables. Alcohol and tobacco combined account for nearly twice the spending on fruit and vegetables, and we spend five times more on recreation than healthy foods. The consequences of these choices is that we spend nearly twice as much on medical expenses as we do on fruit and vegetables, with obesity almost doubling over the last two decades. Sixty percent of adults currently exceed their optimal weight and 25 percent of children are overweight or obese. Australia also has the fastest growing obesity rates in the world, and is the only country where childhood obesity is increasing faster than that of adults, a trend which suggests that half of all young Australians will be overweight by the year 2025. And with obesity comes increased rates of diabetes, respiratory illnesses, infertility, heart disease, and cancer. What an achievement for our civilization – to have developed a diet that consistently makes its people sick!
The central contradiction here though, is that while research reveals that people are increasingly ‘confused’ about what they need to eat to stay healthy, advice about nutritional benefits of diets based largely on plants—fruits, vegetables, and grains—has not changed in hundreds of years and is consistently supported by research. Michael Pollan sums up the solution to this ‘national eating disorder’ succinctly when he says, ‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants… and don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food’. It’s as simple as that!. The bigger task I see possible for our generation and for those to come, is to eat with a fuller and deeper consciousness. To ask, ‘What am I eating? Where in the world did it come from? How much life is still in this food.’ And if one does not know the answers immediately, seeking out the answers can bring such liberation from food obsessions.
Dr Sarah Lantz (PhD) is a research fellow in public and environmental health at the University of Queensland, mother, and author of the bestselling book Chemical Free Kids: Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World. Visit her blog for more information on this topic www.nontoxsoapbox.com or go to www.chemicalfreeparenting.com for a copy of her book.
My best friend Yani died of Breast Cancer nearly two years ago now, so the links between breast cancer and synthetic chemicals have been a particular interest of mine (and yet to be seriously taken up by the Australian breast cancer foundation and services). Written by by Dr Janet Gray, State of the Evidence: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment 2010 is the sixth edition of the US Breast Cancer Fund and now available, and makes those links very clearly! Among the risk factors are exposures to radiation, carcinogens and chemicals that act like hormones (known as endocrine disruptors). Add into the mix your genes, diet, lifestyle and reproductive history and you begin to see the complex web of breast cancer causation. Given that one in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85, this report is well worth the read.
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