Living Green

Benefits of Juicing

Juicing Benefits…

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of a wide range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other nutrients, including, phytochemicals – compounds that have been shown to combat cancer.

Since more of the healthful substances found in fruits and vegetables are being discovered all the time, no supplement pill can contain all of theses compounds. Also, because each plant appears to produce particular phytochemicals that work against cancer in particular ways, it is suggested that a rich assortment of fruits and vegetables be included in your diet.

It is also recommended that you consume two glasses of live juices a day for health maintenance. Four glasses a day is recommended if you want to speed healing and recovery from illness.

Juicing is an excellent means of adding fruits and vegetables to your diet. Since juice contains the whole fruit or vegetable, except for the fiber, which is the indigestible part of the plant – it contains virtually all of the plants’ health-promoting components.

Because fresh juices are made from raw fruits and vegetables, all of the components remain intact. Vitamin C and other water-soluble vitamins can be damaged by overprocessing or overcooking.

Enzymes, which are proteins needed for digestion and other important functions, can also be damaged by cooking.

Fresh juice, however, provides all of the plants’ healthful ingredients in a form that is easy to digest and absorb. In fact, it has been estimated that fruit and vegetable juices can be assimilated in twenty to thirty minutes.

Ideally, juicing should be made fresh in your kitchen and consumed immediately. Many commercial juices are heat-treated to lengthen shelf life. As previously discussed, this process can destroy important nutrients. In addition, preservatives may have been added. Even pure, freshly made juices can lose some of their nutrients by being allowed to sit for long periods of time. By buying the best products available, properly preparing it for juicing, and processing it in your own juicer, you will produce the most healthful, nutrients-rich drinks possible.

Green Juices or “Green Drinks”

Benefits of Juicing

Green juices cleanse the body of pollutants and have a rejuvenating effect. Made from a variety of green vegetables, green juices are rich in chlorophyll, which helps to purify the blood, build red blood cells, detoxify and heal the body, and provide the body with fast energy.

Green juices can be made with alfalfa sprouts, barley grass, cabbage, kale, dandelion greens, spinach, and other green vegetables, including wheatgrass. Wheatgrass juice is particularly important in any cancer treatment, especially when radiation therapy is involved. To sweeten and dilute your green juices, try adding fresh carrot and apple juice. (No other fruit juice should be added.) Steam distilled water is another good addition.

Although green juices have great health benefits, they should be consumed in moderation. Try drinking about 8 to 10 ounces a day.

You owe yourself a healthier life

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - February 18, 2015 at 9:52 am

Categories: Detoxify, Green Education, Green Life, Green Solutions, Health and Wellness, Living Green   Tags:

Toxic Free Living

Toxins are poisonous substances harmful to the body

Home toxins can be divided into three categories:

  • Airborne
  • Biological
  • Chemical

Airborne – Consist of small air borne particles such as lint, dust mites, human skin, and pet dander.

These toxins are more dangerous than they sound because their small size enables them to travel deep into the lungs.

Biological – Such as bacteria and viruses, attach themselves to airborne particles, increasing the likelihood of lung infections. Mold is also part of this category.

Chemicals – Come into our home in the products that we buy to improve the look, smell, and cleanliness of both ourselves and our home.  There are over 80,000 Chemicals out there used to make cleaning and personal products.  Many have never been tested for toxicity by themselves let alone in combination.  Every year 1,800 are introduced in North America, with little to no toxicity test.

 

 

 

GermGuardian AC4825, 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System with True HEPA, UV-C and Odor Reduction, 22-Inch

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - February 11, 2015 at 11:50 am

Categories: Chemicals, Detoxify, Green Solutions, Health and Wellness, Living Green   Tags:

How to Clean Vegetables

How To Make An Organic Fruit And Vegetable Wash

It’s always a good idea to thoroughly wash all your fruits and vegetables before consuming them. You never know what kinds of pesticides or dirt may still be attached to the skin.

Although washing with plain water can accomplish quite a lot, adding a natural sources of acid (namely lemon and vinegar) to the wash can provide a much better natural disinfectant.

 

Things You’ll Need:

  • 1 organic lemon (Recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar (Purchased at any Supermarket.)
  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1 cup tap water
  • Kitchen knife & chopping board

Prepare the organic lemon. You can use a normal lemon, which would be slightly cheaper, but the wash couldn’t be called “organic”, just “natural”. Regardless, both kinds of lemons will be fine for this task.

Follow these few simple steps to make your own organic and inexpensive lemon and vinegar cleaning recipe.

Step 1: Squeeze Your Lemon
Slice your lemon in half and squeeze out one tablespoon of lemon juice and pour it into your spray bottle. The lemon juice is a natural disinfectant and will leave your fruits and vegetables smelling fresh.

Step 2: Vim And Vinegar
Pour the vinegar into your spray bottle along with one cup of water. The acid in the vinegar will neutralize most pesticides. Screw on the top and shake the mixture vigorously. Spray your wash on all your fruits and vegetables then rinse with filtered water if possible.

Recommendation: You might still want to choose a spray bottle that does not contain phthalates or bisphenol: Plastics with recycling numbers 1 and 2 are acceptable choices, and number 4 or 5 should also be alright.

Below is a video on “How To Make An Organic Fruit And Vegetable Wash.”

You never know what kinds of pesticides or other toxic chemicals may still be attached to your produce. Protect your health by following some of the steps provided in Wikihow videos and throughout this website. To better health!

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - January 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Categories: Chemicals, Green Life, Green Solutions, Health and Wellness, Living Green, Non Toxic Products   Tags:

Treatments for Cancer

Research Note regarding the President’s Cancer Panel.

The President’s Cancer Panel dedicated the last two years to examining the impact of environmental factors on cancer risk. The Panel has just released an extensive report on their findings, which include eye-opening recommendations for individuals, such as giving preference to organic food, checking radon levels in the home and microwaving food in glass containers rather than plastic. Although many of us have read similar recommendations and warnings, it is important to highlight that this report emerges from mainstream scientific and medical thinking, the President’s Cancer Panel, a panel of three experts who review the U.S. cancer program and report directly to the President.

“Most of what we know about cancer is based on studies of non-Hispanic white people, but by the middle of the century that group will be only 38 percent of the population,” said panel member Margaret L. Kripke, a professor emerita of immunology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “We need more data on cancer among minority populations so that we can begin to implement specific preventive measures.”

The report recommends more research into sociological factors that may explain disparities in cancer mortality among minorities.

Detoxify Your Body

“There have been a lot of studies in recent years trying to understand genetic differences associated with cancer susceptibility, but there are also cultural factors that can affect cancer mortality,” said Kripke. “In some cultures, people are so afraid of a cancer diagnosis that they don’t seek treatment until it’s very late.”

Current cancer screening guidelines should be evaluated, the panel noted, “to determine their accuracy in assessing disease burden in diverse populations.”

“One-size-fits-all screening guidelines don’t work,” Kripke said. “For example, the breast cancer screening guidelines have been loosened up so that women can start having mammograms later and may be screened less often, but we know that there is an early age of onset of breast cancer among Latino populations, and so if you change the guidelines based on the majority of people, these women will be left out.”

Another recommendation is that “cultural competency” become an integral part of medical school as well as continuing education for all health-care providers and administrative staff.

Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, praised the report, and said it “hit all the right points.”

Another statistic that I found staggering and scary is that approximately 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and about 21 percent of us will die from cancer. The Presidential Panel noted cancers are becoming more common, particularly in children, and the proliferation of chemicals in water, foods, air and household products is widely suspected as a factor according to the Panel. I’m glad to see that the Panel recognizes that there is a link between cancers and chemicals – I intuitively knew that there had to be a connection as I’ve witnessed friends and family having to deal with childhood and young adult cancers. Thirty or forty years ago, you rarely heard of a child with cancer (or severe food allergies for that matter). With the growing body of evidence linking environmental exposures to cancer, the public is becoming increasingly aware of the unacceptable burden of cancer resulting from environmental and occupational exposures that could have been prevented.

What Individuals Can Do: Excerpts from the Presidential Panel’s Recommendations.

Individuals can take important steps in their own lives to reduce their exposure to environmental elements that increase risk for cancer and other diseases. And collectively, individual small actions can drastically reduce the number and levels of environmental contaminants.

Children

·    It is vitally important to recognize that children are far more susceptible to damage from environmental carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting compounds than adults. To the extent possible, parents and child care providers should choose foods, house and garden products, play spaces, toys, medicines, and medical tests that will minimize children’s exposure to toxics. Particularly when pregnant and when children are small, choose foods, toys and garden products with fewer endocrine disruptors or other toxins. (Information about products is at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com or www.healthystuff.org)

Chemical Exposures
Individuals and families have many opportunities to reduce or eliminate chemical exposures. For example…

·    Removing shoes before entering the home and washing work clothes separately from the other family laundry.

·    Filtering home tap or well water… Unless the home water source is known to be contaminated, it is preferable to use filtered tap water instead of commercially bottled water.

·    Storing and carrying water in stainless steel, glass, or BPA- and phthalate-free containers.

·    Microwaving food and beverages in ceramic or glass instead of plastic containers.

·    Choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers and washing conventionally grown produce to remove residues…

·    Exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications if it is available. Avoiding or minimizing consumption of processed, charred, and well-done meats.

·    Properly disposing of pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, paints, and other materials.

·    Choose products made with non-toxic substances or environmentally safe chemicals.

·    Reducing or ceasing landscaping pesticide and fertilizer use will help keep these chemicals from contaminating drinking water supplies.

·    Turning off lights and electrical devices when not in use reduces exposure to petroleum combustion by-products because doing so reduces the need for electricity, much of which is generated using fossil fuels.

·    Driving a fuel-efficient car, biking or walking when possible, or using public transportation also cuts the amount of toxic auto exhaust in the air.

·    Reduce or eliminate exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in the home, auto, and public places.

Radiation

·    Adults and children can reduce their exposure to electromagnetic energy by wearing a headset when using a cell phone, texting instead of calling, and keeping calls brief.

·    It is advisable to periodically check home radon levels. Home buyers should conduct a radon test in any home they are considering purchasing.

·    Patients should discuss with their health care providers the need for medical tests or procedures that involve radiation exposure.

·    Adults and children can avoid overexposure to ultraviolet light by wearing protective clothing and sunscreens when outdoors and avoiding exposure when the sunlight is most intense.

Self-Advocacy

·    Each person can become an active voice in his or her community… letting policymakers know that they strongly support environmental cancer research and measures that will reduce or remove from the environment toxics that are known or suspected carcinogens or endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Individuals also can influence industry by selecting non-toxic products and, where these do not exist, communicating with manufacturers and trade organizations about their desire for safer products.

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - December 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Categories: Chemicals, Ecology, Green Life, Living Green   Tags:

Chemicals in Cosmetics

What should I avoid when I am buying makeup or other personal care items?

These are the top 12 ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics. There is a link at the bottom to companies who pledge to avoid these chemicals.

1. Antibacterials
Overuse of antibacterials can prevent them from effectively fighting disease-causing germs like E. coli and Salmonella enterica. Triclosan, widely used in soaps, toothpastes and deodorants, has been detected in breast milk, and one recent study found that it interferes with testosterone activity in cells. Numerous studies have found that washing with regular soap and warm water is just as effective at killing germs.

2. Coal Tar
Coal tar is a known human carcinogen used as an active ingredient in dandruff shampoos and anti-itch creams. Coal-tar-based dyes such as FD&C Blue 1, used in toothpastes, and FD&C Green 3, used in mouthwash, have been found to be carcinogenic in animal studies when injected under skin.

3. Diethanolamine (DEA)
DEA is a possible hormone disruptor, has shown limited evidence of carcinogenicity and depletes the body of chlorine needed for fetal brain development. DEA can also show up as a contaminant in products containing related chemicals, such as cocamide DEA.

4. 1,4-Dioxane
1,4-Dioxane is a known animal carcinogen and a possible human carcinogen that can appear as a contaminant in products containing sodium laureth sulfate and ingredients that include the terms “PEG,” “-xynol,” “ceteareth,” “oleth” and most other ethoxylated “eth” ingredients. The FDA monitors products for the contaminant but has not yet recommended an exposure limit. Manufacturers can remove dioxane through a process called vacuum stripping, but a small amount usually remains. A 2007 survey by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that most children’s bath products contain 10 parts per million or less, but an earlier 2001 survey by the FDA found levels in excess of 85 parts per million.

5. Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde has a long list of adverse health effects, including immune-system toxicity, respiratory irritation and cancer in humans. Yet it still turns up in baby bath soap, nail polish, eyelash adhesive and hair dyes as a contaminant or break-down product of diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea and quaternium compounds.

6. Fragrance
The catchall term “fragrance” may mask phthalates, which act as endocrine disruptors and may cause obesity and reproductive and developmental harm. Avoid phthalates by selecting essential-oil fragrances instead.

7. Lead and Mercury
Neurotoxic lead may appear in products as a naturally occurring contaminant of hydrated silica, one of the ingredients in toothpaste, and lead acetate is found in some brands of men’s hair dye. Brain-damaging mercury, found in the preservative thimerosol, is used in some mascaras. Despite the fact that some cosmetic industry people say lipstick can’t be made without lead, lead-free lipsticks are already on the market

8. Nanoparticles
Tiny nanoparticles, which may penetrate the skin and damage brain cells, are appearing in an increasing number of cosmetics and sunscreens. Most problematic are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, used in sunscreens to make them transparent. When possible, look for sunscreens containing particles of these ingredients larger than 100 nanometers. You’ll most likely need to call companies to confirm sizes, but a few manufacturers have started advertising their lack of nanoparticle-sized ingredients on labels.

9. Parabens
(methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, butyl-, isobutyl-) Parabens, which have weak estrogenic effects, are common preservatives that appear in a wide array of toiletries. A study found that butyl paraben damaged sperm formation in the testes of mice, and a relative, sodium methylparaben, is banned in cosmetics by the E.U. Parabens break down in the body into phydroxybenzoic acid, which has estrogenic activity in human breast-cancer cell cultures.

10. Petroleum Distillates
Possible human carcinogens, petroleum distillates are prohibited or restricted for use in cosmetics in the E.U. but are found in several U.S. brands of mascara, foot-odor powder and other products. Look out for the terms “petroleum” or “liquid paraffin.”

11. P-Phenylenediamine
Commonly found in hair dyes, this chemical can damage the nervous system, cause lung irritation and cause severe allergic reactions. It’s also listed as 1,4-Benzenediamine; p-Phenyldiamine and 4-Phenylenediamine.

12. Hydroquinone
Found in skin lighteners and facial moisturizers, hydroquinone is neurotoxic and allergenic, and there’s limited evidence that it may cause cancer in lab animals. It may also appear as an impurity not listed on ingredients labels.

A few more chemicals to avoid

Moderate Hazard

UREA Imidazolldinyl, Diazolidinyl Urea: A preservative that often releases formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has a long list of adverse health effects, including immune-system toxicity, respiratory irritation and cancer in humans.

Alchohol Isopropyl (SD-40)
Drying, irritating solvent that strips skin’s moisture and immune barrier, making you vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Made from a petroleum derivative found in shellac and antifreeze as well as personal care products. Promotes brown spots and premature aging. A Consumers Dictionary of Cosmetics Ingredients says it may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting and coma. Fatal ingested dose is one ounce or less.

Sodium hydroxide
Found in drain, metal and oven cleaners, is extremely irritating to eyes, nose and throat and can burn those tissues on contact. The cosmetic industry is now putting it in skin care products and oral care products. The warning label on sodium hydroxide products reads “POISON. May be fatal or cause permanent damage if swallowed. May cause blindness. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, mouth and clothing.”

Skin Irritants

Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol
Petroleum by-products that act as surfactants (wetting agents and solvents), they easily penetrate skin and weaken protein and cellular structure. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs. The EPA requires workers to wear protective clothing and to dispose of any PG solutions in toxic waste dumps. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.

Sodium lauryl sulfate, used in about 90% of personal care products that foam, a common skin irritant. When rinsed off, the product will have cleaned the area but will have taken moisture from the top layers of skin. In people with sensitive skin the drying property of these type of detergents can cause flare-ups of skin conditions or may worsen existing conditions. Personal care product manufacturers often add back chemically derived oils such as mineral oil to coat the skin leaving the illusion of the skin being moisturized when in fact these products only interfere with the skin’s natural moisturizing abilities.

Mineral Oil
Petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic wrap, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging.

What can you do?

Look for body care products from one of the 600 retailers that have signed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ Compact. These companies have pledged to phase out the 450 chemicals banned by the European Union in 2005 because they’re strongly suspected of being mutagens, carcinogens, or endocrine disrupters.

See the attached list of good ingredients for moisturizers.

The Cosmetics Database is a great resource for finding information on all your beauty products.

http://safecosmetics.org/search.php

http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - December 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Categories: Chemicals, Health and Wellness, Living Green, Non Toxic Products   Tags:

Eco-Parenting

8 Steps to Eco-Parenting:

How do I eco-parent?

Eco Parenting

Raising children is hard enough without worrying about the environmental consequences of your parenting choices. Don’t sweat it. You already care about your child’s well-being and green choices make it easier. When it comes to eco-parenting, here are eight fundamentals:

1. Lead by example. You are the greatest role model your child will have. She will look up to you, learn from you, and embrace your habits. If you teach when you talk, you avoid many of the “why” questions that inevitably come when she sees you separating food scraps from glass from cardboard or turning the lights off when you leave a room.

2. Instill fundamental human needs. In addition to love, he or she needs to know that clean air, clean water, and clean soil are essential to human life. He can live without video games, but he cannot live without these precious commodities.

3. Share “green” experiences. Start a composting project or visit the aquarium to learn about the importance of the marine world to our lives. What happens when we take too many fish out of the sea or dump too much garbage into it? How does it affect the family? Come up with other “green” experiences.

4. Seriously consider breastfeeding. In a perfect world, no food is better (or greener) for an infant than mother’s milk. It is the ultimate in nutritious, local food production. Don’t take my word for it – check out the American Medical Association position on breastfeeding at www.ama-assn.org.

Healthy Food

5. Healthy food is usually green food. Your child will benefit from local fruits and vegetables at home. Take him to the local market or, if possible, a farm to learn about fresh food. Encourage him to start a garden in the backyard or grow some herbs in a pot at home. He is less likely to develop food allergies or sensitivities if he is not eating processed, packaged, or fast foods.

6. Green food makes you smarter. Diet is critical for learning. Parents can pitch a green school lunch partnership plan that is both healthy and financially responsible. If schools and school boards know that healthy cafeteria options don’t inflate the budget, it is hard to argue against them. For example, a school garden is a great education tool and a source of nutritious food for students.

7. Travel green.Don’t let your child develop an automobile addiction. Seek out destinations that you can reach together safely on foot or by bicycle. It is a great way to share time together and get fit. When the car cannot be avoided, try to combine errands or carpool with other families. Carpooling is a great, green way for parents to share the travel load.

8. Seek out green products for your kids. When you buy her toys, clothes and bath products, take some time to find eco-friendly, safe options. Green products for babies and children are growing in popularity.

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - December 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Categories: Ecology, Green Education, Green Life, Health and Wellness, Living Green   Tags: