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Environmentally Friendly

Real Dirt on Clean Water

Everyone knows that water is essential to life. But what’s coming out of your tap or bottle may not really be your healthiest choice.

Sure, your water may look clean but is it?

Fountain and Lights by Elise Hearn

Fountain and Lights by Elise Hearn

Most people think that governmental agencies ensure that our water’s clean. And while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Clean Water Act to safeguard our water supply, it only set standards and testing requirements in our municipal water treatment facilities for 114 different contaminants out of literally hundreds more.

In fact, the Environmental Working Group obtained test results from a database of over 20 million records from state water officials to determine the quality of drinking water in 45 states. The results revealed 316 contaminants were present in our water supplies. Among them were 202 chemicals that aren’t regulated by any safe water standards.i

Checking the quality of your local water is easy to do. Just visit the National Drinking Water Database.

So yes, your water looks clean. But really, it’s not.

Why Filtration?

The simple answer? You either use a filter or you are the filter.

Only 2% of all treated water is used for drinking water. The rest is used on your lawn, shower, laundry, or used for farms or industry. It’s simply too time-consuming and expensive to test and remove the thousands of chemicals that may be present in any particular water source.

And even if your water was perfectly clean before it left your municipality, it still has miles to travel in pipes before it gets to your home. Who knows what it runs into along the way?

What are you really drinking?

Here’s what may be in your water, and some of its hazardous effects:

Industrial Pollutants (such as benzene, nitrates, and petrochemicals): Long-term exposure may cause increased risk of cancer, as well as blood, nervous system, kidney, and liver problems.

Agricultural Pollutants (pesticides such as atrazine, lindane, alachlor, and others): Long-term exposure may cause increased risk of cancer, as well as eye, liver, kidney, spleen, blood, and nervous system problems.

Heavy Metals (such as lead, copper, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium): Even at low levels, long-term exposure may cause behavioral problems and learning disabilities. The EPA estimates that between 10 and 20% of total lead exposure in young children comes from drinking water.ii

Disinfection By-products (such as: trihalomethanes, chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane,and bromoform): Long-term exposure may cause increased risk of cancer, as well as liver, kidney, or central nWater Bottlesrvous system problems.

With all these problems with tap water, you might think that bottled water is the answer—but you’re wrong. What most people don’t know is that there’re no regulations regarding the quality of bottled water. That’s right, none. Bottling companies don’t even have the same regulations to follow that your local municipal water supply does. That means that despite the clean look of your bottle, in many cases the water it contains isn’t any better than tap water.

The bottom line is that you can’t control what happens to your water before it gets to your house. But you can control what happens after. If you want to make sure you have r

Get Clean Water

Get Clean Water

eally clean drinking water, you really have to use a filter—a good one.

Why Get Clean® Water?

Because it’s safe, powerful, green and smart—and it outperforms both Brita® and PUR®*, hands-down:

Safe:  It reduces 59 harmful contaminants—at least 21 of which Brita doesn’t even touch—including up to 99% of water-borne lead.

Powerful:   It’s incredibly thrifty, delivering over 80 gallons of purer water from every hardworking, environmentally friendly filter—twice as much as big-name brands—for just a little over a penny per glass**.

Green:   It uses a unique refillable filter system, so there’s less waste in landfills.†

Smart:   It features a convenient smart-meter that shows you exactly when to replace your filter, so there’s no more guessing. And on top of all that, it’s ‘Gold Seal’ certified to tough ANSI/NSF Standards 42 and 53 by the Water Quality Association (WQA).

Ready to feel better with good Clean Water?  Visit my site  Elise.MyShaklee.com for purchasing options and more information!  Good health is a choice we make all through the day, make Shaklee Products part of those choices. Stay Well! Elise

i http://www.ewg.org/tap-water/executive-summary.php

ii http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/lead/lead1.cfm

* Comparison of current WQA and NSF certified reduction claims conduced on May 26, 2011, referencing Brita® pitchers using OB03 cartridge and PUR® pitchers using CFR-950Z cartridge and is valid only for the named products marketed at that time. Product data claims obtained from the NSF and WQA website certification listings. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. “Big name brands” defined as Brita and Pur.

** Compared to Brita and Pur pitcher filters at 40 gallons.

† Compared to traditional carbon production.

Source: Shaklee Corporation 04/10/13

Throw away that Heart Shaped Box!

It is that time of year when we are accosted with ads for candy, diamonds and more candy.  This year is the year to throw away that Heart Shaped Box and do something Out of the Box!pictures_of_hearts

Now what could that be, you might be asking yourself since you were wanting to have a few choice pieces from that heart shaped box.  Well, thinking of new and fun things to do just takes a few minutes of looking around your local area to see what opportunities await your senses.

Look for a cooking class, something fun that you two can do together.  Cooking a fun, different meal together can lead to a whole new side to your relationship.   Who knows what talents you both might have when working together in the kitchen.  Experiment with different spices, different vegetables, different recipes.  Have fun and laugh.  This could be the start of many new traditions.

Volunteer in your area or the surrounding areas.  There have been so many storms IMG_3620 Old Barn 150dpi 5x7and fires this past year that many people are still struggling with repairs to homes and businesses.  Reach out to one of the local churches or Habitat for Humanity for their volunteer programs.  You may have talents in building or painting that would be of help, or you could partner with others to move much needed supplies to a stricken area.  Bringing a hot cup of coffee and a hot meal to those working to repair their lives can make a big difference in the day of a survivor.  And the benefits to yourself are immense

Plan a day trip to one of the local “tourist sites” that most locals never visit.  Many people live in a town with a wonderful museum, park, factory or historic site that they have never visited.  So “play tourist” for a day and visit something local.  Tour that dairy farm outside of town that makes that wonderful cheese you both love.  Wineries and Vineyards are popular tours, look for a new wine to share with that meal you cooked from your cooking class!  Our area is full of Revolutionary and Civil War battle grounds, so if you are a history enthusiast, visit your local historic sites.  Have fun doing something out of the ordinary!

Get creative, have fun, plan the budget so you don’t get in trouble with the costs, laugh as you explore new things together!  Elise

“Cinching” Preparation

Being Prepared for storms and severe weather has been one of my ongoing themes since I started this blog.  Living in the South, I have experienced 4 hurricanes whiles living in Central Florida (all in 2004) and more tornadoes than I care to remember, along with ice storms, snow storms and ferocious thunder storms with straight line winds and hail.  Life in the South is not calm when the seasons change, during hurricane season (June 1st- Dec 1st), and any time cold air runs into warmer. moist from the Gulf.

Being prepared for these weather events along with fires and earthquakes just makes sense.  However, lately there has been lots of talk about storms on the sun causing problems with our power grid and such.  So that has brought to mind again the need for being ready for any major event in our area that might knock-out the power for a few days or even weeks.  The tornadoes of 2011 brought close to home the sad fact that power lines, water and gas lines are all fragile when it comes to the strong influences of nature.

Naturally, I want to be as ready for the next event as anyone else.  And that realization that the power grid might be in danger from the actions of the sun, made me realize even more that being prepared is a prudent idea.  Among the items that I intend to add to my small stash of food items are canisters and packets of Shaklee’s Cinch Shake Mixes and canisters of Shaklee’s Instant Protein.

The Cinch Shakesare a full meal replacement, low glycemic, with 24 grams of protein when mixed

Cafe Late Cinch Shake

with milk or soy milk and 23 vitamins and minerals.  What I like about the Cinch shakes and the Instant Protein is that they can be mixed with water just as well as milk.  Since the shake mixes and Instant Protein are lactose free, they are great for everyone in the family.  I often add an additional scoop of the Instant Protein to give me an extra boost on those long, busy mornings when lunch might be delayed.

Another good thing with the Cinch Shakes is they are either non-GMO soy protein or whey protein, your choice.  Natural flavors, no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners.  Also, the canisters are sealed, dated with an expiration date and are 15 servings per canister.

Once you have finished the shakes, you can then reuse the canister for storing other items.  I use them in my pantry for rice and noodles.  The labels peel off easily, and then I add my own so I know which canister is holding  what!  If you have children, the canisters would be great for holding small toys like Lego’s, crayons, doll clothes and such.

To go along with the Cinch Shakes there are Meal-in-a-Bar meal replacement bars as well as snack bars.  The Meal-in-a-Bars are again full meal replacements, easy to store and great to eat! So follow this link to learn more about the Shaklee Cinch Shakes, Cinch Meal-in-a-Bar, Instant Protein and more.  Having good, nutritious foods to eat in for survival is important.  Knowing that your family has good tasty options in time of stress is comforting.  So plan ahead, stock-up on enough Cinch for a few days or a week or more.  Rotate your supply each week, keeping the stored emergency Cinch as fresh as possible!

To go along with the Cinch Shakes, etc, I am adding another bottle Shaklee’s Basic H2 Super Organic Cleaning Concentrate to my next order.  I use Basic H2 each day for washing dishes, cleaning counter tops, cleaning up after the cats and more.  Since it is so concentrated, a 16 ounce or 32 ounce bottle will last for a really long time normally.  However, in an emergency situation where hot water and general cleanliness might be harder to keep, the larger the bottle of Basic H2 the better.  Remember to also add some of the spray bottles so you can dilute the Basic H2 for dishes, windows, general cleaning and de-greasing.

I am adding another bottle of Shaklee’s Basic G Concentrated Germicide for those extra dirty days of having to keep things clean in difficult conditions.  Basic G not only is a germicide it also cleans as it gets rid of germs.  Bacteria, fungi, and viruses can wreak havoc on your family’s health and safety. Used as directed, Basic-G tackles over 40 of these pesky microbes, including several animal viruses. That makes it an excellent choice for use in the kitchen, bathroom, or pet area. In addition to being economical – one quart makes up to 64 gallons – it’s also EPA registered.

For ease and convenience during a disaster, both Shaklee’s Basic H2 and Basic G come in handy to use wipes.  Tuck a few of these in your emergency kits along with the larger concentrate bottles.  The convenient bio-degradable wipes will be easy to use on small jobs, making life a little easier.

Thinking about being without power for a few weeks as well as the possibility of not having access to grocery stores, banks or gas stations drives home the need to keep on top of what is stored at home.  When the first hurricane hit in 2004, Charlie it was named, the area around me was without power for week or longer, in August!  I was lucky that my power came back on in about 24 hours since I lived between 2 hospitals and power was restored to them quickly.  Gas stations were without power as were the grocery stores and banks for a while.  Therefore, think ahead, keep the gas tank of the car as near to full as possible, keep some cash in a household safe, and fill-up the larder with Shaklee’s great products, some nuts, water, pet food, first aid kit, solar powered flashlights, solar powered radios, (alternative power radios & lights from C Crane are great!) and anything else that comes to mind!  Preparation is necessary.

 

Easy Open is still an Oxymoron!

Some how it keeps happening to me.  I get a package of some sort with the words “Easy Open” printed prominently on the package.  Great I think, I can easily get to my whatever and munch away to my heart’s content.  How could I ever be so wrong?!?

I had the opportunity to fly to New York and spend some wonderful time with friends in Yonkers! Wonderful food, marvelous friends and perfect weather.  If you are in Yonkers, head

Anna Artuso's Pastry Shop Specialty Cake

over to McLean Avenue and  Anna Artuso Pastry Shop for the BEST in Italian pastries along with great Irish and Italian restaurants.  I gain weight just breathing the air in the pastry shop.  Stop in, say hello to RJ and his crew and be prepared to take home box after box of goodies.  At least their boxes are truly easy to open!

But I digress.  One the flight up to NY, I was offered a really bad cup of coffee.  Sorry Delta, Southwest has so much better coffee.  Anyway, as I was trying to sip the not-so-palatable coffee, I was also trying to carefully open one of their packages with Biscotti cookies inside.  Long,  somewhat narrow package, 2 thin cookies high.  Should be simple enough to get open.  Ha!  I tugged on both ends.  Nothing.  I then did the opposite way twist on both ends thinking the area where all the sides met the ends would be weaker, and let me in to get to the Biscotti.  HA!

So there I am, it is 6:45AM and I have a cup of really bad coffee and no way to open this little Biscotti package.  You can’t carry scissors anymore, no sharp nail files, no letter openers.  Finally after several minutes of wrestling with the red package, I finally got it open!  The opposite twist at one end finally did the trick.  But then the whole package started to fall apart.  It was as if once you got a chink in the armor, the rest feel apart. Easy open fail #1.

As the day continued, the opportunity to have some legendary airline peanuts came along with a small cup of Coca Cola (enough with the bad coffee).  Peanuts are some of  my

Stuckey's Candy

favorite munchies, being from Georgia where peanuts and pecans are so very good.  Spent high school years in Eastman, GA where Stuckey’s Candy was founded.  Right in the midst of peanut and pecan country.  Yummy treats that can each be cooked, used in cooking and eaten by the handfuls.

Now these little packages contain about 21 peanuts, all roasted and salty.  Just need about 21 bags to make it worth my while to try to open just one without scissors or a knife.  Again I am struggling to open the package.  No arm movements are enough since the package is just not budging at the little place where the opening is supposed to be.  Finally I turn the package over, twist and peanuts pour out!  Easy open #2!

Today the fun continued with Easy Open #3,  with a box of Peanut Butter Cookies, natural ones in a simple but well closed box.  First of all the construction of the box leads you to believe that the makers don’t want to hurt the environment any more than necessary, so there is no built in closure slots on the top.  Then, once you do manage to open the box, the package with those yummy cookies manages to slice itself all the way from top to bottom!  So I guess the idea of natural Peanut Cookies is to put them in a piece of Tupperware after opening so you can immediately recycle the box!

Easy Open is an Oxymoron!  Will I never learn?  Laughter seems to be the best way to deal with the term Easy Open!  Laugh when I see the term and head for the drawer with the scissors!

Stay well and have fun!!

 

Simple Changes Make a Big Difference

Life today is a risky business when it comes to drinking water and food.  As a person who believes in and takes natural supplements, I am always amused when people tell me that they will not take anything that their doctor has not prescribed.  Little do they know about all the chemicals (most untested for human toxicity) and drugs that lurk in our food, water and air.  We are “taking” things not prescribed by doctors all the time just by drinking water and eating our food and don’t even think a thing about it.

There have been dramatic changes in the our food supply as well as our eating habits that are causing equally dramatic changes in our health.  While we are using more pesticides and herbicides along with genetic manipulation of crops, the nutritional of our food has decreased since the 1950’s. Crops are picked before they are ripe, lowering the nutritional potential of the fruits and vegetables.

Our drinking water is the source a myriad of chemicals including prescription drugs, industrial pollutants, agricultural runoff  and fertilizers.   Now 20% of the lead exposure we get on a daily basis, including bottled water.   Using filtered water is sensible and a healthier way to get the much needed hydration we need daily.

Get Clean Water

Get Clean Water

So think carefully the next time you turn your nose up at the idea of taking a natural supplement, remember all the chemicals you are “taking” because of poor quality drinking water  and our food sources.  Do something good for yourself.  Make some simple changes in your food, water and supplementation to have a healthier life.

Use  filtered water such as from Get Clean Water from Shaklee since it filters 99% of the lead from water along with many agricultural and industrial pollutants.  Purchase organic foods from local growers.  Talk with the grower if possible to establish how they grow their crops, what pest control methods they choose and how they handle the food once it is picked.  Avoid processed and fast foods because of preservatives, fat content and sodium levels.

Increase your exercise each day, walk or jog in your neighborhood, use the Wii Fit program at home, go to a gym or local fitness center or take classes in dance.  Eat well and use good natural supplements.  I always recommend Shaklee supplements since they are known for being safe and contaminate free.   In my “Supplements to Avoid” post on August 22nd, I sited Dr Jamie McManus explaining why Shaklee supplements are safe.

Simple Changes Make a Big Difference every day of your life.  When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change!  Eat good healthy food, exercise daily, drink filtered drinking water, and supplement wisely! Stay Healthy!! Elise

Know what you are Eating

Pesticides and herbicides are used on non-organic fruits and vegetables to help the crop  have more product per acre.  However these same chemicals are not so good for the people who eat them.  The more we know about the effects of these commonly used pesticides and herbicides on people, them more I don’t want to eat them!  And you might want to do the same if you are concerned about the health of yourself and your family.

Strawberries

Dr. Andrew Weil has a partnership with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies that protect global and individual health.  Dr. Weil has complied a list of fruits and vegetables that should be organic when purchased.

Vegetables

The List tested fruits and vegetables that had been washed as a family would normally wash produce.  These fruits and vegetables all have high levels of pesticides and herbicides and should be only purchased if organically farmed.  Included in his list of “dirty foods” are celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries(domestic), nectarines, sweet bell peppers, spinach, collard greens/kale, cherries, potatoes and grapes (imported).   To learn more about these “dirty” fruits and vegetables, check out Dr. Weil’s articles.

Always wash your fruits and vegetables before preparation and eating!  Buy local and organi whenever possible.  Keeping yourself and your family healthy takes a little more planning, but is easier than being sick!  Stay Well, Elise!

CDC’s New Indoor Air Policy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a policy on indoor air policy for all its buildings whether owned, leased or rented.  According to the CDC:  “This policy establishes guidance and procedures to protect and maintain safe indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and guidelines for reporting and investigating complaints. This policy applies to all CDC workers (employees, contractors, guest researchers, etc.) at all CDC facilities, both leased and owned, and all CDC work areas including animal facilities.”

CDC in Atlanta

The CDC Policy further states:  “CDC will ensure that products used in the workplace, such as soaps, cleaning products, paints, etc. are safe and odor-free or emit low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to the fullest extent feasible. Only Green Cleaning Products shall be specified and used within CDC facilities and leased spaces unless otherwise approved by the Office of Health and Safety.”

The CDC Indoor Environmental Quality also has rules for personal fragrances and more.  The policy includes a list of Non-Permissible Products:

“Non-Permissible Products:  Scented or fragranced products are prohibited at all times in all interior space owned, rented, or leased by CDC. This includes the use of: Incense, candles, or reed diffusers; Fragrance-emitting devices of any kind;  Wall-mounted devices, similar to fragrance-emitting devices, that operate automatically or by pushing a button to dispense deodorizers or disinfectants;   Potpourri;  Plug-in or spray air fresheners;  Urinal or toilet blocks;  Other fragranced deodorizer/re-odorizer products.

Personal care products (e.g. colognes, perfumes, essential oils, scented skin and hair products) should not be applied at or near actual workstations, restrooms, or anywhere in CDC owned or leased buildings.

In addition, CDC encourages employees to be as fragrance-free as possible when they arrive in the workplace. Fragrance is not appropriate for a professional work environment, and the use of some products with fragrance may be detrimental to the health of workers with chemical sensitivities, allergies, asthma, and chronic headaches/migraines.”

As you can see, Green Cleaning Products, Natural and Organic Hair Care Products, Shower Gels and Body Lotions, Skin Care Products,  Laundry Products and Daily Personal Products are the options available to comply with the new policy.  The company that was the first Company in the World to be Climate Neutral Certified has the products you need.  Stay Well!  Elise

Phthalates Linked to ADHD in Study

A recent study by Korean researchers found a link between Phthalates and ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder).  Dr Yun-Chul Hong, MD, PhD, senior author of the study said that this study is the first documented association between Phthalates and ADHA in school age children.  In this study of 261 Korean school children, age 8 to 11, the higher the level of Phthalates in the urine, the worse the ADHD symptoms.

Phthalates are often found in toys, cleaning materials, personal care products such as shampoos, air fresheners and lotions and plastics.  While this study is not the final word on the relationship of Phthalates and ADHA, is does gives reason for more study and caution in using products with Phthalates.

Children are particularly sensitive to chemicals in since there bodies are so small.  They do not have the same ability to deal with toxic exposure as adults.  So be careful and mindful when choosing products for children.  Stay Well!

Salmon Capital of the World! Ketchikan AK

Salmon Run Ketchikan Creek by Elise Hearn 2009

On my recent journey to Alaska, I had the pleasure to again visit Ketchikan.  A beautiful city on Revillagigedo Island, in southeast Alaska.  Ketchikan is close to Misty Fjords National Monument, where day trips are meant to discover part of this largest wilderness in Alaska.  Ketchikan as well as Misty Fjords National Monument receive over 100 inches of rain each year so mist is often hanging on the hills and mountains in the area.  About 32 inches of snow falls in the area each year, but the temperatures are moderate.

Know as the Salmon Capital of the World, Ketchikan is a friendly city, with many other reasons to visit.  During my visit, the salmon were on their fall run up Ketchikan Creek that runs in front of the famous Creek Street Shops.  Heading upstream to spawn and then die, the creek was full of salmon fulling their life cycle.  It was amazing to see these fish fling themselves upstream against the strong currents.

A visit to the Tongass National Forest, part of the world’s largest temperate rainforest, will have you wanting to visit again and again.

Serendipity: Change Results in New Adventures!

Tracy Arm in Rain

Tracy Arm in Rain by Elise Hearn 2009

How often do we make plans and stick to those plans for vacations, family reunions, weddings and such?  We plan out vacations, making reservations for tours, dinners, lunches, this particular hotel, that specific museum and so on!  We leave nothing to chance.  There is no space for those wonderful serendipities of life, nothing is spontaneous.

As we left Juneau AK, we were heading to Sitka AK closer to the Pacific ocean, not in the Inside Passage.  As we were having dinner, the captain made an announcement that due to high winds expected the next day, we would not go to Sitka.  60 mile per hour winds were worth avoiding in my mind!  So we set off for a new adventure!North Sawyer Glacier in Rain by Elise Hearn 2009

As the captain spoke, he told us we would sail Tracy Arm, heading to the North Sawyer and then the South Sawyer Glaciers.  Located in the Tongass National Forest,  Tracy Arm is a steep granite walled fjord with hemlock and spruce rainforest to about the 1500 foot line.  There are many waterfalls from the ice fields as well as icebergs from the tidewater glaciers.  Some of the icebergs are as large as a 3 story building!  Often the waterway is clogged with ice.

North Sawyer Glacier in Rain by Elise Hearn 2009

The images here are from the day we sailed Tracy Arm.  The weather was supposed to be clear, but the rain stayed with us and poured all day.  The good thing about the extra water was the extra water falls!  With the solid rock walls, and very little soil, the rain had to head to the fjord, creating many more instant water falls.  Spectacular.

So the next time you head out on a vacation trip, or just a drive to work, make room for changes in your route and the Serendipities along the way!

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