Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Support Bacteria

Recently I read this funny quote: "Support bacteria. It's the only culture some people have." =)

Even though it's meant as a joke, there's a lot of truth in it. We do need to support bacteria.

Right now it seems like most people, doctors, and companies are trying to rid the earth of all bacteria! Practically every product from hand soap to trash bags is now labeled "anti-bacterial."

Newsflash: God created bacteria. It serves a vital role in the earth's natural processes. It isn't going to go away anytime soon.

I think all this emphasis on "anti-bacterial" is actually very damaging. The bad bacteria are just getting stronger and more resistant to the chemicals and drugs used to kill them. And the good bacteria are being killed off more and more.

Yes, I said GOOD bacteria. Believe it or not, we need bacteria.

Did you know that approximately 80% of your immune system is in your gut (intestines)?

Whenever I heard that statistic before, I always assumed that was the doctor's way of trying to get me to eat healthier. =) But it's much more than just eating a healthy diet.

Can you guess the reason why 80% of the immune system is in the gut?

Because that's where the GOOD bacteria live!

Think of the good bacteria as the cowboys in the white hats, and the bad bacteria as the rustlers in the black hats. Good guys verses bad guys. When the bad bacteria enters our bodies, it's the good bacteria that's able to fight it off. The good bacteria also fights viruses, candida, and other invaders.

If there's not enough of the good guys in our bodies, then we're in serious trouble.

Because the good bacteria is such a huge part of the immune system, not having enough can cause all kinds of health problems. This includes everything from digestive problems to many things you wouldn't expect, such as: arthritis, chronic fatigue, skin problems, etc.

Certain foods are rich in good bacteria - saurkraut, yogurt, and other fermented foods. However, it's hard to eat enough of these foods to get all the good bacteria you need. (Not to mention that most yogurt has more sugar in it than ice cream has--unless it's plain and unsweetened. Eating yogurt for bacteria isn't worth the trade off of the sugar damage.)

So it's important to supplement with good bacteria.

According to Brenda Watson, author of "The Road To Perfect Health" ( - there are 4 main requirements to look for when purchasing a "Probiotic" (good bacteria) supplement.

It should have -
1) at least 10 different strains of bacteria.
2) a total culture count of at least 15 billion
3) delayed release so it will reach your intestines before being broken down
4) full potency until date of expiration

A lot of probiotic supplements do not meet these requirements, so always read labels to find a good one. Here's a link to the NEEDS website (discount supplements) that has some good options.

Lots of good bacteria in your body is essential to the function of your immune system and thus, your overall health. It's an easy step to take that could possibly yield amazing results in how you feel.

(Remember it takes time for your body to repair and heal itself. When starting a new supplement or program keep this in mind. With some supplements/programs you'll see results faster, but for major improvements in your health, 3 months is a general rule of thumb.)

So go find some good bacteria and give it your support. You'll be amazed how much it supports you and your health in return! =)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tips for a Less Toxic New Year

The following ideas are things that have become a way of life for all of us with Environmental Illness. For those of you who are still healthy, you can think of them as 'preventative medicine.' =)

Whenever you buy something new, even if it's not made in China, it still contains some amount of toxic chemicals. "Off-gassing" just means helping the item get rid of those chemicals before you put it to use or bring it into your living space. There are several ways to do this.

1) unwrap - Always remove items from boxes, bags, plastic wrapping, etc. and throw away immediately. This is where a lot of the chemicals come from. (If you have to keep a box or other packaging, be sure to store it in the garage or somewhere outside the house.)

2) air - Put the item on the porch, in the garage, or somewhere it can air out for a period of time. This is especially important with large household items like TV, exercise equipment, etc.

3) wash - For clothes and fabrics, wash at least twice before wearing or using. Non-washable items can be wiped down with a damp cloth and a bit of baking soda.

4) sun - Putting items in the sun usually helps them off-gas more quickly. Depending on the item, 20 minutes may be all you can do while 2-3 days is better for other things.

5) zinc - For appliances especially, zinc is a great tool since it binds to mercury. You can put 30 zinc tablets (capsules don't work for this) in a new washing machine for 30 hours and they will absorb much of the "new" chemicals. (Be sure to throw the zinc away afterward as it will be toxic.) For smaller appliances, less is needed, like 20 tablets for 20 hours. It's not an exact science. But any amount will help reduce toxins in the item.

1)toxic bags - Many stores' plastic bags are now toxic. I'm not sure if it's a disinfectant, deoderizer, or what. Throw plastic bags away as soon as you get home, or ask for paper bags (I think they aren't as bad), or if possible, take your own bag to the store.

2) toxic receipts - A recent study found the toxin BPA in many store receipts. You can read about it at this link:
If you don't need the receipt, don't take it or throw it away immediately. If you need it, keep a ziploc bag or other sealable container in your car and put receipts in it. Also keep a container of water to rinse your hands after handling receipts. I know it sounds like a lot of trouble, but BPA can absorb through your skin. It's better to take a little trouble and protect your health.

Water is one of the best healing resources for the body. Yet most of our water is contaminated with toxic chemicals and other contaminants. (One dr tested her water and found traces of anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs.)

1) whole house - You can get a whole-house water filter at Lowe's for less than $100. It removes some basic chemicals like chlorine. For all the times you wash your hands, dishes, laundry, etc. it's really good to have this filter, thus less chemicals infiltrating your life.
It does take a little know-how to put this filter in, but the maintenance is simple, just change the filter cartridge about every 3 months.

2) drinking water - One dr I know recommends each person should drink half their body weight in water (in oz) per day. So for 140lbs, drink 70 oz of water a day. I don't know anyone, besides myself, who actually does this. Yet it's one of the most important, and easiest, things you can do for your health.
I drink Evian bottled water because that's the only kind that I don't react to, but most experts agree that filtered tap water is as good or sometimes better than bottled water, depending on the variables. Here's a link with lots of information all about water filters.

3) shower filter - My dr once told me that when I take a shower, it's like drinking a big glass of that water. Our bodies are like sponges, absorbing what touches the skin. That's why a shower filter is so important (even on top of a whole house filter). Here's a link to one like the one I have, but I'm sure there are other good ones as well.

Water filters don't have to cost thousands of dollars to be helpful. Just find ones that work for you and then make the most of the wonderful gift of water!

TOP 10
Finally, here's a list of tips from the Natural News website, that I think is worth repeating here.

Ten powerful ways to protect yourself from toxic chemicals
If you want to protect yourself from these toxic chemicals, here's how to do it:

#1) Don't put anything on your skin you wouldn't eat! Avoid all mainstream consumer skin care, cosmetics and personal care products, period! Need soap? Try natural, organic brands like Dr Bronner's, AnnMarie Gianni or Pangea Organics.

#2) Don't eat foods made with chemicals you can't pronounce. Read the ingredients labels. If the list of ingredients is too long and complex to figure out, it's probably made more with chemicals than actual food.

#3) Don't poison your body with over-the-counter drugs or prescription pharmaceuticals. If you do need to use medication for short-term emergency use, be sure to detoxify your liver afterwards.

#4) Detox your liver, kidneys and colon at least once a year. You can do this with a juice fast combined with detox supplements such as those offered by or (get professional guidance from a naturopath before fasting).

#5) Drink more water. Most people simply don't consume enough water to effectively remove toxins from their bodies. If you don't like water by itself, drink fresh vegetable juices such as celery or cucumber juice (which are actually structured water).

#6) Cleanse your body with parsley, alfalfa, red clover, chlorella or chlorophyll. All these substances can help cleanse your body and eliminate toxic substances that may be detrimental to your health.

#7) Don't fill your home or apartment with products that off-gas toxic chemicals: Air fresheners, perfumed candles, particle board furniture, carpets, glues, etc.

#8) Don't cook on non-stick cookware. These are the worst! Invest in quality copper-clad stainless steel pans and use those. They'll last a lifetime and they don't contaminate your body with chemicals. Don't eat at restaurants that use non-stick cookware. (That's just about every restaurant in the world, it seems...)

#9) Buy certified organic products. In the USA, the USDA Organic Seal is a trusted seal that genuinely indicates organic quality (both in foods and personal care products). Don't be fooled by brand names that use the word "organics" in their name but aren't really organic. For example, "Bob's Organics" may or may not actually be organic. The Organic Consumers Association ( can keep you posted on what's what.

#10) Get the cancer out of your laundry! Stop washing your clothes in toxic brand-name laundry detergents, and stop using brand-name fabric softeners or dryer sheets. Do you have any idea what chemicals are used in those products? The truth would astonish you.
(from -

Well, this turned into a VERY long post. Sorry about that. Hopefully you found something helpful in it though.
May this new year be one of great joy...and less toxins! =)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Challenge

Here we are in a new year - time for making resolutions, setting goals, forming new plans....

This year I want to encourage you to do something that I believe will improve your health and also make a difference.
My challenge is for you to boycott products made in China.

Now, I have nothing against Chinese people. My problem is simply with the products that are made there.
I know a lot of people these days are boycotting made in China products. Most of them are doing it for political, economic, or humanitarian reasons. I'd like to add to that list the very important reason of health and safety.

For whatever reason (maybe poor quality control or greedy companies trying to cut corners...), in my experience, 99% of made in China products are highly toxic.

This may be hard for you to believe, but I've lived with the painful consequences. Think of me as the canary in the coal mine. If the canary keeled over, the miners knew they were in danger and had to get out of there fast. That's me. My body is super-sensitive to toxins.

Anything from notebooks to shoes to appliances made in China, that I've encountered have caused a serious, sometimes life-threatening, reaction in my body, taking days or even weeks to recover from.

As far as we can tell, made in China products have high levels of toxic chemicals such as mercury, lead, aluminum, formaldehyde, etc.

Oddly enough, I almost never have problems with products made in Central or South America, Europe or Japan. I occasionally have reactions to items made in India or Indonesia. But the worst by far is anything made in China.

The problem is that more and more companies are now outsourcing to China. If we as consumers don't send these companies a Financial message soon, it won't be long before we'll have no choice but to poison ourselves with toxic products or do without.

I know this kind of a boycott is inconvenient. Believe me, I've had my share of struggles trying to find safe products made elsewhere. But I also know that I don't care how hard it is, I'm committed to taking care of this body, God's temple. I will do everything I can to keep it from being poisoned by unnecessary toxins.

I'm challenging you to make the same commitment. Please join me in this boycott, and tell at least one other person about this information. Please do this for -
- your own health
- the sake of the people who work in those factories (I imagine they're dropping like flies from the constant toxic exposure)
- the sake of the children in this country (They have no idea about these things and are daily surrounded by toxic products. No wonder so many kids are sick, have ADD, or other problems.)
- and to send a message to those companies that we will not tolerate toxic products

Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge."

Please don't let ignorance about these things destroy your health or the health of those you love. It's time to take action. It's time to start reading tags and labels. It's time to 'talk with your wallet.' It's time to start protecting yourself and your family.

I hope you will join me. I hope together we will make a difference.