Thursday, August 31, 2006

Lymph massage

Your lymph system is basically one of your body's most important detox systems. Lymph is a fluid that collects toxins and helps your body expel them. Sometimes lymph gets over saturated with toxiny gloop (don't you love how I just fling those scientific terms around?) and becomes thick and sludgy, then you end up with swollen glands, or, on the extreme end, lymphoma.

Many things we do that are healthy in general not coincidentally keep the ol' lymph flowing. Exercise, for one thing--lymph doesn't circulate around continuously like blood, it is propelled around the body by these one-way valves and so movement help squish it along not unlike mooshing toothpaste out of the tube.

Massage is another way to squish it along. A few ladies have told me they have done abdominal massages that they think that helped them become pregnant. Again, not coincidentally there are also tons of lymph nodes in the groin area, and men and women can benefit from an easy massage: just lie down and massage first the insides of your thighs basically as far down as you can reach without curling up, and then with a soft feathery touch (i.e., not shiatsu, not Swedish massage, and please, no accupressure type poking) use all your fingers to sweep-massage the glands in the lines around your pelvis where your legs are attached to your torso (think of your naked Barbie doll--that line). The glands should be soft lumps, and a feathery sweepy touch should feel great.

The organic/wildcrafted/pure and loooove-infused infused lymph massage creme from Simply Divine Botanicals will add to the relaxing experience that'll give your body the signal it's being cared for.

(NOTE: DO NOT massage hard, inflamed lumps! See your healthcare practitioner for those and anything else that might seem unusual.)

We also pay extra attention to our son's back (spinal cord tumor!) and do a simple lymph massage by gently doing a circular rub in the spaces between the knobs of the vertebrae (he is missing a bunch of those knobs--sniff! sob!--in the t7-t9 vertebrae, so I just do that whole area). Start at the neck and go down. This one give you lots of bang for the buck--some people swear it can stop a cold in its tracks--but obviously, you can't do it on yourself.

Oh, and wearing a BRA can constrict lymph drainage, and some health practitioners at turning to a possible UNDERWIRE bra connection to breast cancer because tight underwire bras and constrict lymph drainage from that area (you have a HUGE concentration of lymph nodes there). My idea: free-range lymph!

Other posts:

Why Your Bra Can Kill You

Founder of Olga Bras Died of Breast Cancer and Her Daughter Creates Lymph-massaging Bra has a good, detailed explanation of the lymph system.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Denial about death from chronic diseases

Back in Minnesota, we used to have this crusty lives-in-a-cabin-with-an-outhouse old babysitter, "Sam," whose husband, "Mr. Sam" was this quiet iron miner who smoked like the proverbial chimney, ate tons of ice cream, and started to show signs of degenerative disease pretty early on.

When we kids would say, "Stop smoking, Mr. Sam!" Sam would say tell us to leave her spouse alone, something about "After all, you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, you know!" And she'd hand him another bowl of ice-cream, which he'd grasp with his tobacco-stained fingers.

(I should also mention that under Sam's care, I broke my arm, and later, one finger on each hand--various cabin and bike accidents, and Sam would take us fishing on a LIVE railroad trestle that spanned a river--and yet my mom sent us back there!).

So I can't remember exactly--heart disease or lung cancer--but Mr. Sam did indeed depart somewhat early from us, and Sam needed to babysit more than ever to support herself.

I finally found what I think might be an explanation to why a majority of people are able to eat Krispy Cremes while the death toll from chronic diseases piles up around their feet, and rising.

In this marvelous book, The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz says,
"Respondents [in a study] judged accidents of all types to cause as many deaths as diseases of all types when in fact disease causes 16 times more deaths than accidents...dramatic, vivid causes of death (accident, homicide, tornado, flood, fire) were overestimated whereas more mundane causes of death (diabetes, asthma, stroke, tuberculosis) were underestimated."
I just watched a medical malpractice case where the deceased was a man who worked hard to support his family, became super stressed at work, ate at ton of junk food, was overweight, ignored a 20-year history of high cholesterol, etc., and subsequently died of heart disease in his mid-forties. The family blamed the doctor (for not installing that fancy internal defibrillator-thingie Dick Cheney has that costs $32K?), but I they really should have been suing McDonald's. And the jury did agree that the doc could only do so much against the onslaught of tranfats, corn syrup, GMOs, toxins, etc. It was sad all around--the sad widow also had lung cancer on top of all this (both had been smokers). I kept gazing at the children through the trial, sending them telepathic messages to not eat junk food.

So I guess the lesson is, in the absence of flood and fire, you may want to tell the FertilityBitch to shaddup, wanting to eat your tube of Pringles in peace and leave cleaning up your health habits for another day. But that habit is sixteen--(16!) times more likely to kill you than getting hit by Sam's proverbial bus...

Bonus Wed. Post For Local Yokels: Farmers' Market at Brown

Brown Dining Services - Farmers' Market:

Every Wednesday, 11 - 2 p.m., this fall on Wriston Quad. You’ll find farmers from across the region offering a selection of locally grown vegetables and fruits and other edible goodies. From fresh-pressed apple cider to purple cabbages, from Macoun apples to homemade salsas, purchases at the market support local family farms and producers.
I think I'm a gonna go get me some eggs...I think enough time has passed since that quasi-dinosaur-looking thing dropped out of my other free range/wild egg order last spring. I'm an easily upset nature girl!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Clomid side effect (??)

To be filed under: News of the Weird

I found this on a site called Fertility Now! that called this, Clomid side effect: a pictorial representation.

Errr, what is happening? Blood? Lactation? Gardening? Not exactly sure what it's representin'

Monday, August 28, 2006

Book review: You Can Get Pregnant Over 40

You Can Get Pregnant Over 40 is a self-published e-book, so I was a bit skeptical about it, but after reading it, I was impressed with the author, Sandy Robertson's, thoroughness. What's even more interesting, I think, is how she started with artificial reproductive technology (ART), specifically, in vitro, which made her feel terrible, stressed, and even worse, blew out one of her fallopian tubes.

Then, when she chucked it all, cleaned up her act, body and mind, she subsequently succeeded at becoming pregnant FOUR times in her 40s with only one tube, and finally had a daughter at age 44. In her own words:
I spent years reading and doing research on natural methods to enhance fertility. I wanted to get pregnant on my terms without relying on more expensive consultations and treatments by paid professionals. My research led to a specific pregnancy protocol which prepared my body
Her way may not be your way, but her tips on hormone balancing, pelvic massage, stress reduction echo a lot of common sense advice, and as she says, it's inexpensive.

And, again, wholistic things you do to nurture your fertility comes around to enhance your health, so why not? And if you are doing IVF, etc., these tips won't hurt that and may help as well.

The FertilityBitch thus recommends.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Your Sunday Drive--Oh, and George Clooney!

Today's gas prices make me wax rhapsodic over our '86 VW Jetta, which weighed about as much as a half-full tuna can, was a manual, and therefore got thirtysomething miles a gallon--comparable to today's hybrids.

That was back when gas was 99 cents a gallon. I remember driving the car from Oberlin to Brown and feeling like we never stopped for gas. "Jet" died on 95 a few years back, however, when her odometer was inching toward the 200K mark, R.I.P. We subsequently bought a compact car that gets a lot worse gas mileage, but survived being rearended by a huge pickup truck (major bumper mismatch, put it that way), and seems to be heading for another good ten years.

I have to admit that *I* was the one who opted for a gas-inefficient automatic tranny car (okay, and air conditioning--also bad for gas mileage), as Providence is hill country, and I was having mini-infarctions trying to navigate those busy 4-way stops that are ridiculously half-way up the hills, gunning the engine and watching the car roll backwards....

Tried to absolve for these sins by living in a low-carbon-footprint situation where we continue to possess only one car, both walk to work, and try to walk to do our errands (n.b. rumor has it the FertilityBitch may be testing out a new commuter BICYCLE that can haul groceries--then we won't even have to take the car out for it's once-a-week jaunt!).

So, put it this way, we're not super involved in the electric/biodiesel/hybrid car thing, as we won't be in the market for a new car anytime soon, although MAN FERTILITY's environmental studies colleagues seem to be gravitating toward a consensus that biodiesel, no matter what Ah-nold says, may be an equally carbon-petroleum inefficient form of fuel.

But for your Sunday reading pleasure for those who are interested, The Greener Side has some interesting articles on Electric Cars.

Here's friend/colleague Sasha Hom's traveloque Naima the Nomad on Mamazine, about their adventures in biodiesel.

And thanks to reader Lynnette for this tidbit about G. Clooney and his goofy looking car. Reminds me of a friend from high school who was really into ballet, not the "safest" interest in the north woods o' Minnesota where most hobbies involve guns. This ballet-guy was so happy with himself, however, he didn't seem to care what others thought--he was also ran with the full-fledged jock crowd--how cool is that? And he ended up dancing in a Joseph Papp production on Broadway, as well--I ran into him on a flight from Hibbing back to NYC. This might even beat GC in terms of cojones. I wonder, does GC reaaaalllly take this thing out in the streets of LA?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Consumer complaints about poisonous cosmetics--eek!

(image courtesy of the Breast Cancer Fund)

In the European Union, chemicals are required to be proven safe before they are approved to be used in cosmetic products, as your skin is a big sponge to soak up stuff, you breathe in the fumes, etc. Big example is TRICLOSAN, banned in Europe at a potential carcinogen, here the major ingredient in all the antibacterial soaps and things a helping to breed super-bugs everywhere! (Hello, antibiotic resistant flesh-eating bacteria?)

In contrast, in America, we have the half-assed Cosmetic Adverse Reaction Database.
The Cosmetic Adverse Reaction Monitoring Database of the Office of Cosmetics and Colors (OCAC) is comprised of consumer adverse reaction reports received at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Headquarters, FDA District Offices, and FDA MedWatch Program.

The OCAC estimates that it may receive only a small percentage of cosmetic complaints reported by consumers. Complaints may be more frequently filed with with poison control centers, state and local agencies, or with the product manufacturer and/or distributor who are not required to submit their complaint files to FDA.

Note: All reporting is voluntary and the information is "as reported" by the complainant. There may not have been any FDA follow-up to determine the accuracy of the information, and it may be uncertain whether or not the reported product actually caused the adverse reaction.
The report stops at 2003, and, as the ever-vigilant (haha, that's a joke, son) FDA says, first, someone has to go to the trouble to figure out how to report the reaction (as opposed to just chucking the bottle in the garbage as you run screaming from your "non-thermal" burns) and then, pretty-please, the company has the option to report it VOLUNTARILY. (How often did you ever volunteer that you were the one to leave the toilet paper roll empty?) But check out just a few of the ones for which people DID go to all the toil and trouble and used productive working hours to file complaints--we're not talking mysterious Romanian products from the dollar store, we're talking stuff that's at the local Rite Aid:
"No More Tears"** baby products (eeek!)

Johnson's Gentle Treatment No LYE (emphasis mine--eeek!) Hair Conditioner

JASON Natural Shampoo for Damage Control (a "natural" brand that sometimes uses a sprinkling of organic flowers to excuse the icky icky chemicals, by the way)
And "complaints" include: Dermatitis (to include rash, redness, swelling, blisters, sores, weeping, lumps, inflammation, sunburn, chemical burn, and irritation)

Tissue Damage-other than thermal burn (to include dryness, peeling, splitting, cracking, hair or nail breakage, hair or nail loss, ulcerations, hair matting, and scars)

Nervous System Reactions (to include dizziness, headache, irritability, nervousness, and numbness)

Read it and eek here.

** (did you know they use, or used to, at least, an anesthestic so that it doesn't hurt the baby's eyes? My father was an anesthesiologist....)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Visualizing Disaster or Fertility?

I just read this odd scrap--which was sent to me out of nowhere--about how visualizing disaster can cause disaster, sort of like you invited good/bad into life depending on your thoughts.

I'm not saying I invited my kid's cancer by being a worrying mother. But I DO think anxious thoughts ("What if I have to go to the bathroom when I'm up on stage during during my reading?"), that quickly become self fulfilling prophesies. Likely, they are a purely psychosomatic reaction. But hey, the mind-body connection is REAL.

The name of this blog caught my eye, and here's the quote of the day.

Peace of Rice: "Quote:

“Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character for it will become your destiny.”

- Rabbi Hillel"

p.s. I've also gotten an email from a woman who said she peacefully visualized what life could be like with her future children. Instead of the usual, Don't even think about it, you'll jinx it!! What if I never HAVE a baby? mania, she would actually look at baby clothes and think, Hm, that'll look cute on my baby.

I wonder if there's any difference in the outcomes thinking pleasant thoughts versus disastrous ones? at the very least, what's the HARM in thinking happy thoughts? Need to work on my need to always be disaster-prepared...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

End of Summer Hair and Skin

(this is my son J at the beach...)

Okay, most regular readers of this blog know I'm anti-sunscreen for all sorts of reasons (let me count the ways: do a search on "sunscreen" on the blog) including it gumming up your body's natural (fertility-important) Vitamin D production. Glad to report J and I and MAN FERTILITY haven't gotten burned at all this year despite weekly trips to the beach (came close in Cali, however), judicious covering up (like with my light-n-cool long-sleeved persimmon-colored T from Bamboosa)

While I'm a much more likely to scoop a wee bit of coconut oil with which to protect my hair from the salt and also smell like a pina colada at the same time, if you want to go all Hollywood, check out this Hamadi hair pomade.

You gotta love a company whose motto is "Tested on actresses,never on animals." Jamal Hammadi came up with his own organic line of hair products after "I couldn't find products rich enough for my clients." Drew Barrymore swears (via People Magazine) "It single-handedly brought my hair back to life." You can get it at places like Fred Segal and The Beverly Hills Beauty Bar.

Ingredients: Shea Butter* (Butyrospermum Parkii), Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia) Oil*, Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata) Oil* (*organic).

Big plus: shea butter is a natural sunscreen. I liked it because I (along with Sandra Oh, I suppose) am one of the weird Koreans with wavy/frizzy hair. I could blow dry it straighter but I don't for many reasons (electricity waste! EMFs!). Even though it says it's for short hair, it made me and my long hairlook totally in control (at least on the outside). Also works great as a moisturizer.

Bigger plus: it's all non-GMO, and one of the nicest smelling products (along with Juice Beauty stuff) I've ever tried. Ylang Ylang is also supposed to be an aphrodisiac, active fertility types take note...

(also please note, some of the other Hamadi products had longer ingredient lists that included some not-so-good-for fertility-health items like dimethicone--a silicone-related chemical that can, silicone-like, clog up your skin and hair--etc., caveat emptor!)

Coming up soon: a primer on icky chemicals in "organic" cosmetics!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

U.S. Rice Contaminated with Unapproved GM Strain

Howzabout some GMOs with that?

Japan, like the countries in the European union, strictly bans genetically modified (GM) food and tightly restricts agricultural imports, especially the all important rice and has not imported long-grain rice in raw form from the United States since the business year to March 1998, according to the Japanese farm and health ministries.

But it does import 235,000 tons of short and medium-grain rice, including rice powder, from the United States and 17,000 tons of processed rice products, which unfortunately, may be "accidentally" contaminated with GM rice.

This case also highlights the ridiculousness of global trade, just like NAFTA opened the doors for us (i.e., US) to flood Mexico with corn (coals ===> Newcastle) and thereby drown out small producers until Mexicans will be BUYING imported and fossil-fuel transported cheapo (and likely GMO) corn.

Now the US is messin' with Asians' rice. You can kick us off the planes, but don't mess with the rice!

From the Biotech Industry News blog:
"Last Friday, U.S. Federal officials announced that a long-grain rice sample tested positive for a genetically modified strain that had not yet been approved for consumption. The modified genes from the strain in question were developed to resist a specific herbicide.

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture did not know where the strain came from or even how much conventional rice could be affected."
Read here a previous post about how it's very much in the GMO manufacturers' interest to have their patented GMO seeds "accidentally" (I dunno...) slip into the regular seed population because, by some stupid patent law, then THEY own the genes, and these organic farmers everywhere also "somehow" get GMO seed (sprinkled by the tooth fairy?) in their fields and end up having to destroy their crops, take the loss, and be sued by Monsanto (who probably put the stuff in there in the first place) on top of that. Where is the justice? (Not to mention, organic farmers don't get the welfare-like handouts of government farm subsidies, which drives the overproduction of crops like corn in the first place...)

I suppose some day, if you eat the GMO food and it gets into you DNA, Monsanto will own you as well.

Dear Monsanto, Bayer (ironically, a German company that makes GMOs not for Germany, obviously, but us!)Keep your GMO-cotton-picking hands off the rice!!

Add GM rice to another long list of things to avoid in order to preserve your health and fertility--eat organic!

Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed

(no, sadly, it's not a Green Fertility joke, it's an actual headline)

Okay, now just having dark hair and dark eyes qualifies you to be under suspicion, as two Korean American friends of mine found out recently while vacationing in Florida and people kept asking them suspiciously, "Are you Muslims?"

The terrorists win when people allow the situation to become a get-out-of-jail-free card for paranoid racists. Check out this story from the Daily Mail in the UK:
British holidaymakers staged an unprecedented mutiny - refusing to allow their flight to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed.

...Initially, six passengers refused to board the flight. On board the aircraft, word reached one family. To the astonishment of cabin crew, they stood up and walked off, followed quickly by others.

The Monarch pilot - a highly experienced captain - accompanied by armed Civil Guard police and airport security staff, approached the two men and took their passports.

Half an hour later, police returned and escorted the two Asian passengers off the jet.
Read the rest here.

But wait, there's MORE! Actually a different but equally boneheaded story:

This poor man, a doctor returning from a conference in San Francisco with two colleagues, was kicked off a United Airlines flight because his behavior (saying a prayer) was "suspicious"!
...even officials from the Transportation Security Administration soon realized the flight crew had overreacted, but by the time that conclusion had been reached the trio were forced to stay in Denver for the night and catch a flight the next day — at their own expense.
To his credit, Dr. Farooq is not going away quietly and is demanding an apology from United--but deserves one from all Americans, starting with the White House. Read the story here.

This is becoming a totally hideous situation for people of color where people get to let loose their racism and paranoia while self-righteously feeling patriotic and/or as if they are protecting their children when they are just infecting them with bigotry. Like all those small-town pious churchgoers who used to populate the KKK.

I doubt I'd get too much traction if I made a stink, "I don't wanna get on the plane because this man looks like Timothy McVeigh!!!!" Probably just end up in the clink myself.

And it's also another breach in our global society where the rich and powerful "use" the situation to their benefit (just like the rich people who can always get their abortions feel very moral about vigorously trying to take away that right for the poor). For example, when I was in LA, the oher thing I felt, besides CLASS RAGE, when seeing all the private jets lined up at LAX, was the anger at the ILLOGIC of the thought that just because people are filthy rich enough to afford a private jet, who says they are NOT SECURITY RISKS, hmmmm? Hello, TSA?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bowling & Organic Food

How cool is this? MAN FERTILITY and I went to the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, where we bowled and ate organic and sustainable food. I also had my best game, ever (over 150!), at least since bowling class (yes, this was part of our phys ed curriculum in Hibbing) in high school.

God how I wish we had something like this in Providence. It's an honest-to-goodness old-time (tyme?) bowling alley, even has lanes w/bumpers for the kiddies. And it's always so relaxing to eat great food and not have to worry about MSG, transfats, etc. They had artisanal cheese from Wisconsin, bison burgers, organic chicken, and the menu was sustainable and local to a large degree as well. At places like these it's also easy for me to stick to my gluten-free, dairy-free diet (of course there's the Faustian temptation of the cheese plate!!!) since it's not the usual everything-breaded-and-covered-in-liquid-cheese and fried in transfats.

There's even a little theater in the back, and is one of the sites for the annual Fringe Festival. Looked like that documentary about the Pixies was playing.

Anyway, what a cool space where little kids can bowl en famille while the pierced and tattoed attend the theatre, a fundraiser for the local Greenway biking association was held, and we all ate food that was good for us and good for the environment.

Thanks to Gramma/Halmoni, we had a relaxing date night--first one in a looooong time.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Two Fertile Times per Cycle

Okay, multiple orgasms, why not multiple fertility?

I had JUST (not kidding) been pondering on why I and other friends had become pregnant at times when we were SURE we were not in a fertile part of my cycle.

A friendly email pointed me to a concept of "lunar fertility," where you may have a second fertile "chance" where the phase of the moon matches with the phase of the moon when you were born. Strange idea, maybe, but people getting pregnant when having sex at times they KNOW are safe is still unexplained (i.e., the idea of the rhythm method is nice...but...)

According to this lunar/loony theory, if your birth moon-phase matches with your regular ovulationtime, it's ESPECIALLY fertile. Couldn't hurt to try, ey?

Check this out, as it might be helpful to anyone actively trying or trying not to become pregnant!

p.s. the above site tries to get you to buy a fertility calendar, but here's a nice website that will calculate your lunar fertility for free:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Please "bear" with me

I'm still vaguely (?) on vacation, but now back in the motherland (Minnesota) thought I'd share a strange and terribly pathetic bear story in the paper today from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Country star charged with killing tame bear in pen

The incident in Sandstone, Min., was videotaped and edited to make it appear that the bear had been shot in a "fair chase," charges say.
The singing duo Montgomery Gentry made its name in country music with such hits as "Good Clean Fun."But according to a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday, there was nothing good or clean about the death of a tame bear named Cubby at the hands of Troy Lee Gentry.

Gentry, half of the singing pair, bought the "trophy-caliber" bear for $4,650 from Lee Marvin Greenly, owner of the Minnesota Wildlife Connection in Sandstone, according to the charges filed in federal court in Duluth.

...The charges said Gentry killed the bear with a bow and arrow in October 2004 while it was enclosed in a pen on Greenly's property.

...Cubby had been raised in captivity and was housed at the Wildlife Connection, a private preserve that bills itself as a place where animal lovers can photograph creatures in the wild.

The kill was videotaped and later edited to make it appear that Gentry had killed the bear in a "fair chase" hunting situation, the indictment said. The hide was sent to a taxidermist in Kentucky.

Montgomery Gentry has been a top country act since the late '90s, with two No. 1 singles and a string of gold albums.

My sister JUST HAPPENED to send me a clip of a "bouncing bear," so I guess it's cosmically meant to illustrate this post:

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

North Korea's Mass Games Show Cancelled

Global warming has some pretty odd far-reaching consequences. Article in the WashPost on how North Korea's "Mass Games Show" has been cancelled unexpectedly this year due to lethal floods.

More warming news (sorry, some of this occurred while I was "away" and I'm just compiling it now):

Pat Robertson on how the heat has made him a "convert" to the idea of global warming.

BBC NEWS: Earth - melting in the heat?: "Predictions vary from the catastrophic to the cataclysmic."

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fun picnic food- kim bap

(notice the smiley face?)


Garlic scrapes

Carrots and Mushrooms

This is part of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) series, otherwise known as WHAT TO DO WILL ALL THESE VEGGIES!

Today we're making kim-bap, seaweed wrapped rice, which is the KOREAN version of the Japanese sushi (and who copied whom is up for debate). Anyway, how else to celebrate Victory over Japan day, a quasi-racist, certainly anti-Asian holiday for which Rhode Island is the only state of the union to observe this weirdness? This means mail, but no garbage pickup today, and I'm sure a lot of people are heading to the beach.

Anyway, we have supported our local CSA* for years. It's a little $$, but it's nice to eat local, get to know our farmer(s), and the freshness (organic!) can't be beat (beet?). The challenge is using up this profusion of beautiful veggies.

Kim-bap is great because you can put anything you like, with rice. Here I'm using our CSA garlic scrapes (raw!), mixing with a little shitake 'shrooms cooked in soy sauce, plus tiny CSA carrots.

I also have weaned myself away from the devilishly convenient but toxic teflon-coated Asian rice cookiers and just boil brown rice myself in glass Visionware cookware.

So get your nori seaweed, place the rough side up, coat with rice (spatula) leaving 1/4" at the end, put the goodies at one end and roll up. Wet your finger on the plain end and the seaweed will self seal, and you can make your own smiley face.

If you're going on a picnic and don't want the hassle of bringing a little dish of soy sauce, you can put a little salt in the rice, or, I like to make hamburger and season it with a ton of soy sauce, green onion, ginger, sea salt, and it seasons itself, not to mention, it keeps well, and you can leave the forks behind: i.e., THE PERFECT PICNIC FOOD.

Bon apetit and happy v-j day!

*Read more about CSAs from Local Harvest.
Our CSA in Rhode Island.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Forces of Nature - 100% organic treatments for herpes, warts, hemorrhoids and more...

Hm, this small company has some organic essential oil treatment for all the things that you would normally slink in and out of the Walgreen's for.

The nice people at Forces of Nature sent me a bunch of remedies, and I'm only writing about it because I haven't (yet!) had any of these conditions**, but I did give some H-balm to a friend with a cold sore outbreak...guess what? It was gone in a day.

These folks obviously put a lot of care into making sure their products have pure, natural--therefore potent--ingredients (the owner told me they make sure the stuff's not grown by the highway, for example, and even the water they use on the plants is biodynamic). A lot of their stuff seems to be based on tea tree oil, which is naturally anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. Plus you don't get all the extra chemicals the drug stores put in their lotions and potions.

Forces of Nature - 100% organic treatments for herpes, warts, hemorrhoids and more... **More includes impetigo, pinkeye, acne, PMS, soreness, candida, colds & flu...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bush staff wanted bomb-detect cash moved - Yahoo! News

Apparently Bush spent most of the recent liquid-terror alert leisurely biking on his ranch...and no one makes a big deal about it like they did with Kerry's windsurfing....oh.....well...

Obviously I couldn't a pic to illustrate as the media, as always, give him a break (e.g., where are the pics of him falling off his Segway scooter--because he hadn't turned it on?). Anyway, I thought this one was at least symbolic--it's from when he was going too fast and lost control and took out some bobbie in England.

Sigh....check it out:
Bush staff wanted bomb-detect cash moved - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON - While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ultrasound Affects Embryonic Mouse Brain Development

I know Tom Cruise bought Katie an ultrasound machine so she could see "what was going on" at any time. This might be a warning...

From Yale: Ultrasound Affects Embryonic Mouse Brain Development:
"The study reported on August 7 is believed to be the first to look at the possible effect of ultrasound waves (USW) on neuronal migration in mice at a late stage of embryonic brain development, when the migratory pathways are the longest and may be most vulnerable. The Yale team injected more than 335 fetal mice at embryonic day 16 with special markers to track neuronal development. Exposure to USW for 30 minutes or longer caused a small but statistically significant number of neurons to remain scattered within inappropriate cortical layers and/or in the adjacent white matter."
Note: Ultrasound DOES have its uses. In my case, it helped me figure out that what I thought was a pregnancy was actually a blighted ovum and I was able to get it out earlier (okay, the crazy anti-abortion protesters...but that's another story).

But obviously you don't want to tinker too much with the delicate circuitry of the developing fetal brain. I know a bunch of moms in my birthing class who went and did this study for Brown, where they had an U/S for an hour or so and got a video of it as a reward. Eeeeps. And in strip malls they have similar places were you can get ultrasound CDs made for your friends. FertilityBitch says, for the love of Pete, don't do that!!!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Balsamic Vinegar has lead...

So this is the kind of stuff that's on my mind while here in sunny Cali. I was a little amazed to see this sign afixed to a shelf containing, among others, Newman's Own balsamic vinegar (sniff!) Obviously this needs to get looked into when I get back.

But again, makes sense to always minimize your exposure to lead and other toxic crap, so get rid of that Anna Anaconda lunchbox for starters (and don't lick your hands after you've touched it)!

One has to admire California's Proposition 65, which mandates that the consumer be informed of EXACTLY WHAT'S IN things you eat, breathe, etc. And the news ain't pretty.

Sending good vibes from the left coast.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Even the bitch needs a break!

See ya next week. I'm sure I'll have pictures.

No-Plastic Wrap Watermelon Consumption tip

I gotta admit upfront: this is a MAN FERTILITY idea.

I'm not happy about all the plastic wrap they use on the slices o' watermelon you get in the store: first it's more plastic waste, and second, the melon is sitting there with all the flesh in direct contact with all those endocrine-disrupting plastics (rule of thumb: the more flexible the plastic, usually the worse it is for you--i.e., the more easily it transfers to food--never microwave with plastic wrap!).

Our local market had organic watermelon slices, but in addition to the plastic, underneath there was some weird plasticy pad, like a pee-pad you put on baby's bed. So of course I asked, and they said it's "to soak up the juice."

Of course, whole watermelon is a pain because once you open it, you have 7 lbs of watermelon to store, and you may again wrap it in plastic wrap. MAN FERTILITY came up with this idea to just chop off the top and scoop up the goodies as we go along. This melon then fits in the fridge fairly nicely, topped with a piece of waxed paper held on with a rubber band.

I wish I woulda thought of that!

Want to know more about plastics and other endocrine disruptors? Check out this nice get-you-up-to-speed summary from the the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Where were all the ADHD, etc., boys when we were growing up?

One has to ask: where are all these attention deficit disorder (w/ and w/o hyperactivity), autistic, dyslexic, bipolar, Tourette's, depressed, oppositional-defiance disorder kids (the majority, boys) coming from?

Maybe at least partly from little Timmy putting his pesticidey apples in his leady lunch bag when he's already a little bit damaged from a wee bit too much mercury in his vaccines?

Fresh from the NY Times (of course, buried on p. 13, next to story about how Bush is so very healthy...hey, he exercises 3 hours a day and does not let himself get stressed about anything! Hez-bah-wha? Very admirable)
Unions representing thousands of staff scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency say the agency is bending to political pressure and ignoring sound science in allowing a group of toxic chemicals to be used in agricultural pesticides.

The chemicals at issue are organophosphates and carbamates, long a matter of controversy over their environmental and health risks. They are in such pesticides as chlorpyrifos, methyl parathion and diazinon...which can affect the development of the brain and the nervous system,

A North Carolina researcher found that chlorpyrifos might have a more damaging effect on developing brains than other studies. “What we heard back from headquarters was, ‘No, he’s wrong,’ ” the scientist said.

Chemicals like these can be harmful to children in ways we don’t understand yet,’’ the scientist said. “If there is disagreement, doesn’t that cry out for further research?”

Here's what summer camp has turned to:
The breakfast buffet at Camp Echo starts at a picnic table covered in gingham-patterned oil cloth. Here, children jostle for their morning medications: Zoloft for depression, Abilify for bipolar disorder, Guanfacine for twitchy eyes and a host of medications for attention deficit disorder...

The dispensing of pills and pancakes is over in minutes, all part of a typical day at a typical sleep-away camp in the Catskills....

All my best friends take something, said David Ehrenreich, 12, who has Tourettes syndrome yet feels at home here because boys with hyperactivity, mood disorders and facial tics line up just as he does for their daily meds.
Read more.

Brave New World! Great for anyone who has lotsa pharma stock, stressful for parents, not to mention what are we supposed to do with a generation of damaged boys (testosterone often potentiates toxins)? Start another war? We probably will have tons of aggressive, angry, frustrated dropouts...

And sorry to add more worry to your day, but remember my post about malaria and why supporting charities that buy mosquito nets is actually NOT a good idea because of the pesticides used on the nets? Well, they also sometimes add these icky chemicals in combination on those mosquito nets they then give "free" to pregnant ladies and babies, not to mention that Deltamethrin (mosquito pesticide)'s toxicity is exponentially potentiated by organophosphates. Of course, someone's keeping track of all this, right? Right? (I only have two words for pregnant ladies, who are carrying the littlest, littlest children ever: EAT ORGANIC).