Get some One-on-One time. Nothing beats some good old fashion face time with your partner. In a world of late work nights, endless errand running, and keeping up with other family and social activities – it’s easy to fall into a habit of missing each other, literally for days on end. Do whatever it takes to get some daily face time with your partner…and then make it about the two of you…make it fun!
Appreciate the Relationship! How many times have we heard “He takes me for granted” – or, “She just doesn’t appreciate what I do anymore.” It’s a choice that we can make to either look for the good in our partner, or find something to complain about. We can choose to complain or we can choose to appreciate. We can choose find fault and criticize just about anything, or we can choose to show more love and appreciation. A simple “Thank You” goes a long way!
Keep Your Balance. What two things can you do to spend more time with your partner while balancing all of the other pieces of your life (career, friends, family etc.) Give this some serious thought, write them down and begin putting them into action now!
Coaching, Training, Making a Difference
In Do You Believe in Magic?, medical expert Paul A. Offit, M.D., offers a scathing exposé of the alternative medicine industry, revealing how even though some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, many of them are ineffective, expensive, and even deadly.
Dr. Offit reveals how alternative medicine—an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks—can actually be harmful to our health.
Using dramatic real-life stories, Offit separates the sense from the nonsense, showing why any therapy—alternative or traditional—should be scrutinized. He also shows how some nontraditional methods can do a great deal of good, in some cases exceeding therapies offered by conventional practitioners.
An outspoken advocate for science-based health advocacy who is not afraid to take on media celebrities who promote alternative practices, Dr. Offit advises, “There’s no such thing as alternative medicine. There’s only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t.”
Medical expert and health advocate Dr. Paul A. Offit offers an impassioned and meticulously researched exposé of the alternative medicine industry.
A half century ago, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, Chinese herbs, Christian exorcisms, dietary supplements, chiropractic manipulations, and ayurvedic remedies were considered on the fringe of medicine. Now these practices—known variably as alternative, complementary, holistic, or integrative medicine—have become mainstream, used by half of all Americans today seeking to burn fat, detoxify livers, shrink prostates, alleviate colds, stimulate brains, boost energy, reduce stress, enhance immunity, eliminate pain, prevent cancer, and enliven sex.
But as Offit reveals, alternative medicine—an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks—can actually be harmful to our health. Even though some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, many of them are ineffective, expensive, and even deadly. In Do You Believe in Magic? he explains how
Dr. Offit debunks the treatments that don’t work and explains why. He also takes on the media celebrities who promote alternative medicine, including Mehmet Oz, Suzanne Somers, and Jenny McCarthy. Using dramatic real-life stories, he separates the sense from the nonsense, showing why any therapy—alternative or traditional—should be scrutinized. As he advises us, “There’s no such thing as alternative medicine. There’s only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t.”
Paul A. Offit, MD is the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Offit is also the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a recipient of many awards including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics bestowed by the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Paul A. Offit has published more than 130 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas…more
Offit begins his book with a the case of Joey Hofbauer, a 10-year-old boy who died in 1980 of Hodgkin’s disease. Joey’s parents eschewed radiation and chemotherapy, often curative for Hodgkin’s in children, and, instead, took him to Jamaica for treatments with laetrile. This drug, produced from apricot pits, gained popularity in the 1970s as a “more natural” cancer therapy. Thousands went to Mexico or the Caribbean seeking laetrile, which was illegal in many states, and repeatedly proven ineffective against cancer. By the time of Joey’s death, several states had legalized laetrile, influenced not by science but by lobbying groups, the testimony of actor and cancer patient Steve McQueen, and public opinion. “By the end of the 1970s,” Offit writes, laetrile wasn’t just a drug; it was a social movement.”
Offit points out that the key elements of the laetrile story can be seen today in Jenny McCar-thy’s crusade against vaccines, Dr. Oz’s promotion of coffee enemas and homeopathy, and celebrity anti-aging programs: patients eager for relief, distrust of conventional medicine, charismatic spokespeople — and huge profits. He highlights the irony that those who decry “Big Pharma” embrace alternative medicine, which is highly lucrative and virtually unregulated.
Even before writing “Do You Believe in Magic?,” Offit had ardent admirers and detractors. The coinventor of a vaccine against rotavirus, which causes the diarrheal disease that kills hundreds of thousands of children worldwide annually, Offit is a hero of modern medical science to many. His financial ties to the vaccine industry and his outspoken opposition to the antivaccine movement have made him a villain to many others.
Reportedly, Offit gets a lot of hate mail. “Do You Believe in Magic?” will no doubt add to the pile. Feelings about alternative medicine run so strongly that Offit’s new book is more likely to validate the opinions of readers who agree with him than convince those who don’t. But Offit’s clear, well-documented arguments may make even the most avid fans of glucosamine for aching joints, vitamin C to prevent colds or other forms of alternative medicine pause to ask why they are spending money and even risking their health on treatments that have been shown ineffective.
via … bostonglobe.com
When medical malpractice leads to violent revenge, Irish-style…
Kieran Kelly’s world turns upside down when his wife’s health is devastated by an epidural in childbirth. Incensed by damning evidence of medical and pharmaceutical misconduct, the tormented former IRA hit man plots revenge against those he deems responsible, including a government that doesn’t seem to care.
Kelly’s quest brings him face-to-face with an alcoholic physician, an altruistic scientist and a corrupt government minister – but not before the love of a stunningly beautiful but crippled Countess makes him question his motives. He meets Countess Magda von Esterhazy at a meeting of a self-help group for victims of the uniquely painful iatrogenic (doctor-caused) disease that struck down his wife. Magda awakens feelings that he thought he had lost forever.
Meanwhile, one of Kelly’s targets, scientist Jonathan Tring, finds himself embroiled in the Machiavellian machinations of his boss, the gruff and corrupt owner of a pharmaceutical company, and his boss’s young wife, a stunning blonde Texan. In all the mayhem, Tring, too, finds love – and desperately wants to live to enjoy it.
Cry of the Needle is a searing tale of love and vengeance; revenge that is a dish best served Irish.
It is definitely a very intense narration, with much intrigue and passion. The author’s deep feelings for and identification with everyday human struggle are beautifully portrayed in many of the characters. His depth of knowledge, critical observation of the current politics and understanding of cultural nuances come out vibrantly. Spiced with romance, humour and adventure, and a sensitive and humane handling of the subject matter throughout, it was a wonderful read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Dr Ram Anand (Bagalore, India).
Read a Free Excerpt of Cry of the Needle.
Buy as ebook on Amazon
30×30 Nature Challenge participants doubled time in nature, increased happiness
TORONTO – More than 10,000 Canadians and over 250 workplaces participated in the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30×30 Nature Challenge. The national program challenged participants to commit to getting out into nature for 30 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days.
Recently, the Foundation released results from research into the impact the challenge had on participants’ health and well-being and connection to nature, conducted by Trent University Researcher Dr. Elizabeth Nisbet.
“We found that participants in the 30×30 Nature Challenge almost doubled their time spent outside during the month and reduced their screen time by about 4.5 hours per week,” said Dr Nisbet. (more…)
This post by Louise, first appeared on The Canadian Daily TheCanadianDaily.ca, and received over 25,000 views and over 5,000+ Facebook share, in a very short period of time. An issue of great concern to parents around the world. Thanks Louise!
– John Malloy
When buying food for your family, do you ever read ingredient labels and feel exasperated? How to pronounce some of those ingredients can be challenging, let alone trying to determine whether they are something you want to feed those precious tummies of yours. Most of us moms genuinely want to buy what is ‘best’ versus what is ‘easiest’ for our children’s meals, as long as we feel it is within our means. Yes, we all need to take an occasional short-cut here and there. But, we still just want what is best for our children.
Moms are not taught how to shop or how to make the best decisions about food. We just have to pick it up along the way. The place where we make these choices for our children only adds to the confusion. At the grocery store, colourful boxes, packets and cans literally lean into the long aisles, begging us to free them from their chemically-extended shelf-lives.
“Buy me! I may be lower in nutritional value and manufactured in a lab, but I am SO cheap and SO fun!”
“Don’t be a bore. Your kids and all their friends will love my rainbow colours that have only been linked to hyperactivity, ADHD, allergies and cancer (not definitively proven, so until then your children can eat in abundance and launch a class-action lawsuit in 20 years when it will be too late anyway).”
Kraft, Campbell’s, Heinz, General Mills, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestle, No Name. They boldly assure us that their packaged foods are ‘ALL-NATURAL’, ‘NO SUGAR ADDED’, ‘NATURALLY-FLAVOURED’, ‘LOW-FAT’, ‘WHOLEGRAIN’ and ‘IMPROVED’ (what was wrong with them to begin with?).
The big food brands have been around for years and we ate them growing up. Surely they have our own offspring’s best interests at heart?
Don’t. Buy. Any. Of. It
Call me a mistrusting antagonist. Call me a conspiracy theorist. Call me a challenger of authority. Call me hippy-dippy. Call me the ‘no-fun mom’. Or call me a mom who, like other moms, simply wants the best for her children.
The truth behind the ingredients that go into most foods sold in North American supermarkets is not pretty and once you go there, you cannot ‘unlearn’ the unhealthy facts. In fact, your grocery shopping experience, like mine, will likely be forever changed.
10 Facts About Food You Need To Know Now:
1. Artificial Dyes. Artificial dyes are made from petroleum and have been linked to all kinds of behavioural disorders in children, as well as cancer. In Europe, foods containing artificial dyes, such as tartrazine (also known as Yellow #5), which has been specifically linked to hyperactivity in children, must contain a warning label that states, “May have adverse effect on activity and attention in children“. In Canada, these artificial dyes do not even have to be specifically described on the ingredient list. The ingredient list need only state “colour”. Canada lags behind other developed countries when it comes to food labelling.
2. MSG. MSG stands for monosodium glutamate. It is used as a flavour enhancer in countless processed foods. But, as it is an excitotoxin, it can cause headaches, asthma, disorientation and other side-effects. It can also cause potential damage to the brain and body. A child’s brain is four times more sensitive to damage by excitotoxins than the brain of an adult. MSG is often hidden on ingredient labels and can be disguised as other ingredients, such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), yeast extract, maltodextrin, malted barley, rice syrup and many more. Food labels lack transparency.
3. High Fructose Corn Syrup. High fructose corn syrup (‘HFCS’) is labelled in Canada as ‘glucose-fructose’ or ‘sugar/glucose-fructose’ which is confusing and misleading to consumers. A 2011 Ipsos Reid poll revealed that the most Canadians thought that ‘glucose-fructose’ was another name for sugar. HFCS is the main ingredient in soft drinks and is linked to diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Even the Canadian Sugar Institute has spoken out about the need for more accurate and informative food labelling of high fructose corn syrup. Food labels are intentionally confusing and misleading.
4. Natural Flavours. Natural flavours is a benign umbrella term that appears on many processed food labels. Food companies can use this term without conveniently divulging the actual source of the natural flavours, which could be from any plant or animal and obtained by a whole variety of processes. Some notorious sources of natural flavours have been revealed to include beaver’s anal gland secretions for vanilla flavour and beetle shell secretions for the shiny appearance on doughnut glazes. Ingredient descriptions lack transparency.
5. Carrageenan. This is a synthetic ingredient derived from seaweed that is used as a stabilizer to prevent separation in certain foods. The Cornucopia Institute reported that carrageenan, found in conventional and even organic food and drink products, such as yogurt, cream cheese, ice cream and milk products/alternatives, could be causing digestive problems, inflammation and even cancer. Dr. Joanne Tobacman, MD, physician-scientist at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, says that carrageenan so reliably causes inflammation that scientists actually use it to induce inflammation in biological experiments. As a mom, wouldn’t you just rather shake the container than have it include an ingredient that puts your children at risk? Unnecessary additives are being added to children’s foods.
6. Fruit Juice. Choosing a fruit juice can be mind-boggling. There is ‘not from concentrate’ (the supposed best kind), ‘from concentrate’, ‘juice cocktail’, ‘juice blend’, ‘sweetened’ and ‘unsweetened’. However, fruit juices have a lower nutritional value than actual fruit, are high in fructose (linked to obesity), loaded with additional sugar or artificial sweeteners (even aspartame) which can be harmful to children’s health and encourage a craving for sweetness, and worse still, may simply not be juice at all but rather artificially coloured and flavoured water. When it comes down to it, children should be eating fruit rather than drinking it. The fibre in the fruit slows down absorption of the sugar and prevents over-consumption and the antioxidants that are lost in store-bought juices, remain in the fruit. Fruit juice is over-marketed to children.
7. Hormones, Antibiotics, Pesticides & Nitrites in Meat. Growth hormones are used in raising beef cattle in Canada and antibiotics may be used to prevent or treat diseases in farmed animals. Factory farms use grain such as soy and corn meal for animal feed that are grown by intensive industrial farming operations that use large amounts of pesticides and often rely on genetically-engineered crops. Although the powers that be state that such practises pose no risk to human health, the truth is that there are indications to suggest otherwise. Hormones and pesticides are both endocrine disruptors and exposure to them has been linked to the onset of early puberty in girls, breast cancer and prostate cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research and World Cancer Research Fund reviewed thousands of studies and concluded that processed meats, including hot dogs, bacon and deli meats are linked to increased colorectal cancer. The preservatives, sodium nitrate and nitrite, added to processed meats to give them a salty flavour and pink colour, form nitrosamines, a known carcinogen, when mixed with protein, like meat, which then causes cell damage. One study in Denver by researchers Sarusua and Savitz, found that children who ate hot dogs just once a week were at a higher risk of childhood cancer. We need to know more about where the meat we buy comes from and the ingredients it contains to make informed decisions.
8. Grocery Store Wars. In 2007, most major grocery stores in the U.K. (including Asda, a Walmart subsidiary) banned not only artificial colours and flavours, but also aspartame, from their own label products. Loblaws announced last year that it would remove all artificial colours and flavours in the PC line by the end of 2013. Loblaws is the first Canadian grocer to make such an announcement and it is indeed a welcome move. Canadian grocery stores lag behind even their own affiliate stores abroad.
9. GMOs. An estimated 75-80% of processed food in Canada contains GMOs. GMOs were silently introduced into the Canadian and the U.S. food system in the mid-1990s and food manufacturers began using them in our favourite foods, including everyday foods such as cereal and bread, without telling us. Some more startling facts about GMOs:
– Unlike consumers in 50 other countries, including in Europe, China, Japan, Russia and Australia, Canadians and Americans do not have a right to know whether our food contains GMOs. They are not identified as GMOs in the ingredient list, unlike in other countries, where they must be labelled. We deserve the right to know what we are feeding our children and deserve the same level of information as moms in other developed countries.
– GMOs have not been adequately tested for safety and Canada, like the U.S., does not require independent safety assessments on GMOs. This is perpetuated by the fact that GMOs are patented and so independent testing is difficult, given the proprietary rights granted to their owners, the biotech companies. It is unethical to be putting an experimental technology into the food that we feed our children.
– GMOs are heavily regulated in many developed countries, where there are severe restrictions or bans on genetically-engineered crops, food production or sale. Cross-contamination from genetically-engineered crops is a huge concern and they have already contaminated most of the canola crops here in Canada. Our children here in Canada and the U.S. deserve the same level of protection that children receive abroad.
– The official line of biotech companies that produce and own genetically-engineered seeds is that GMOs are needed to feed the hungry world and increase yields. However, this is just not true. The aggressive measures taken by these chemical companies, including powerful lobbying, suppression of independent reports and legal action against farmers, indicates they are driven by their corporate bottom lines and are ultimately seeking control and monopoly of the world’s food supply through patenting of the transgenes in the genetically-engineered crops. Their focus is on producing cash crops for animal feed and biofuels for affluent countries rather than food for people. As we have experienced in the recent credit crunch, corporate greed is a real and pervasive force and it even shows up on our dinner plate.
– Genetically-engineered crops, such as corn, are contributing to the alarming decline in the world bee population. Contrary to the claim of biotech, genetically engineered crops require more pesticides, fungicides and herbicides (coincidentally manufactured by the same chemical companies that sell the genetically-engineered seeds). Bio-intensive integrated pest management formerly used by farmers has now been replaced with a pesticide treadmill and it is poisoning our pollinators and our soil.
– Seeds used to be owned by farmers and plant-breeders. Now, almost half of the world’s seed supply is owned by chemical giants, Monsanto (23%), DuPont (15%) and Syngenta (9%). Intellectual property laws mean that genetically-engineered seeds can be owned by the chemical companies that develop them and this maximizes their profits and eliminates farmers’ rights (who can no longer save such seeds and must pay royalties and other fees to biotech companies). This ownership of seeds by corporate giants and cross-contamination caused by genetically-engineered crops, means there is a real threat to the global seed supply and the future of our children’s food.
10. Canadian Food Companies use Safer Ingredients Abroad. Canadian and U.S. food companies use safer ingredients in the same products they sell in Europe, e.g. Nestle stopped using all artificial additives in all of its U.K. confectionary, replacing more than 80 artificial ingredients with natural alternatives and Cheerios and Kraft products in the UK contain no GMO ingredients. Food companies are exploiting North American consumers by using inferior ingredients in our food. Our children deserve the same, safer ingredients used by these food companies abroad.
These facts may seem overwhelming at first, but there is a way to take back the power.
We, as moms, can work together and learn how to use this information to our advantage. This involves rethinking our shopping routine and rediscovering ‘real’ food, as promoted by groups such as “Moms Across Canada”. I founded this group, a uniquely Canadian organization, to channel my own frustrations that I experienced as a mom trying to make the best ‘food’ decisions for my children. Our group aims to shift the balance of power from the food industry to moms by empowering moms with specific knowledge. Moms, now, more than ever before, need to be able to decipher information on food labels and know what ingredient descriptions really mean. We need tips on buying and making real and affordable food and how to fit this into our busy lives. It may seem like an inconvenience at first. But with rates of allergies and other health issues increasing in our children, and with the lack of transparency in the food industry and the real threat to a healthy, future food supply, us moms would, and can, do anything for our children.
The U.S. food industry is currently experiencing the full force of ‘mom’ power. Websites such as 100 Days of Real Food (which recently petitioned Kraft to stop using artificial dyes in its mac ‘n’ cheese), Moms Across America and inspirational mom and author, Robyn O’Brien, are all taking on the U.S. food industry by storm. If you have 20 minutes to spare, Robyn O’Brien’s TEDx talk is a must-see. Be prepared to feel both shocked, saddened and empowered at the same time by what you learn.
For the full version of this article, please see pinkpresse.com
In the words of Erin Brockovich,
“In the absence of the truth, all of us stand helpless to defend ourselves, our families and our health, which is the greatest gift we have.”
Louise F. Shillington
Founder, Moms Across Canada