Friday, April 20, 2012

Our Favorite Product of the week

One of the unique aspects of Green Baby Proofing is that we personally use products or get great recommendations of products before we add them to our line. The beauty of this is that you have a product that comes highly recommended from actual parents so you don't have to be a guinea pig.

Our favorite item of the week is the Naturepedic portable crib pad. Portable cribs can be very concerning because of the amount of plastic used, off-gassing, foam & flame retardants. They contain lots of synthetic materials that we as parents are constantly trying to protect ourselves and our children from!

But the portable crib/play yard is so convenient! Easy to travel with, small to store, and handy when you need a place for the baby to play in a space that is not very....baby proofed.

We have ended up using ours to sleep train our daughter. She is sleeping in the portable crib every night, in the bathroom! So that is where the need for a non-toxic solution came in. And this mattress is it!
An organic, waterproof, non-toxic mattress made just for the portable crib (and they come in different sizes too) and made in America! It is firm but not hard, and we love it. Just thought we'd share.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sleep Training Updates

We have new developments on the sleep training front. We saw some major improvements during our 3 nights of implementing big changes (see entries below) but last night we saw the biggest most amazing results ever!!
My friend from whom I got the original sleep training advice, of whom I will henceforth refer to as: "The sleep training wizard" gave me a gem of new advice.

We had gotten the baby to sleep longer than ever before, but she has been waking up between 2:30-4:00 or so and staying awake for 2 hours. My husband did everything he could do to console her but she just fought hard and long. We did that for 2 nights and then I said she must be hungry, so I brought her into bed at 4:30 one night and gave up...

My friend said that the trick to the late night baby hunger attack is:

As soon as you hear a wimper (anytime from 2am on), go to her (or him) before she wakes herself up. Make no noise, don't talk, Shush, or turn on lights. Just go in with your boob (or bottle) out. Lift the baby to the breast without cuddling, hugging or making noise. Let her nurse for a minute or less, till you hear the gulping stop. Then lay her back down and leave! 

My daughter fussed for a minute or 2 and then went to sleep... Till 6:30am!!! It worked!
The trick is that she got what she wanted: she nursed. But she didn't get enough to fill her tummy and make her wake up every night expecting to eat. This just gave her enough foremilk to satiate her need to nurse and allow her to sleep. Soon, she will skip that feeding altogether.

Just thought I'd share! Best of luck to all those sleeptraining families out there :)

Sign the Petition: Tell Infant Formula Makers to Stop Using Hospitals as Marketing Tools

Healthcare facilities shouldn’t market commercial products. Yet infant formula companies have coopted many hospitals and healthcare providers to market their products.
In the United States, the vast majority of birthing hospitals give away industry-provided samples of infant formula to new mothers after they give birth.
All major healthcare provider organizations recommend breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life. However, mothers who receive formula samples in the hospital are less likely to breastfeed exclusively and more likely to breastfeed for shorter durations. That’s why this kind of marketing is in violation of the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.
Infant formula companies are directly harming babies’ health and undermining the healthcare mission of hospitals by engaging in this destructive marketing practice.

Add Your Name to the Petition Below



We, the undersigned, call on Abbott (maker of Similac), Mead Johnson (maker of Enfamil) and Nestle (maker of Gerber), to stop distributing samples of infant formula in healthcare facilities, including hospitals and other medical clinics. The immediate end of this practice would be a crucial initial step to become fully compliant with the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

Sleep Training, Night 3: Our final hours...

Night 3, the night that should complete our cycle in breaking old sleep habits and seals the deal for the new ones. We really hope. The good news is that last night we noticed some serious improvement!
We put her to bed (after her normal routine) at 6:45. She went down easily as usual, and she did wake up a handful of times, but only for a couple of minutes and then back to sleep! Until 3:21, that is.

She woke up fussing at 3:21, but she was not crying so after a few minutes we both fell back asleep. The walls are paper thin between our room and her room (the bathroom) so we will definitely hear her if she starts crying hard. We woke up again at around 4 and she was still fussing, so my husband got up with her and comforted her, trying to get her back to sleep for around 20 mins or so. No luck. He gave her another 15 minutes and went back in. This time he stayed with her fo 45 minutes and she got to sleep a few times but as soon as he would put her down or close the door she would wake up. He returned to bed feeling discouraged but I reminded him that his job is not necessarily to get her back to sleep, its to comfort her so that she doesn't feel abandoned and knows that we are there if she really needs us. Even in our sleepy state we can certainly decipher between a baby fussing (which many times they do to self soothe and get themselves back to sleep) and a baby who is crying out for help. It is actually very important to allow her some time to fuss on her own without rushing back in so that she can blow off steam/energy and get herself to ease into sleep. She will let us know when she needs us, and knowing that gave me a boost of confidence during the night while listening to her.

He went back in for another 5-10 minutes, and this time he got her to sleep... But this time it was 5:30!
We felt bad because now is when she could have woken up to nurse! But she was back to sleep, and slept until 7! So I would say that we have made some serious progress!

The Results:
She went from waking up between 3-5 times a night, to waking up once on the 3rd night.
She slept a record of 8.5 hours on night 3. I never even expected that!

The Future Plans:
We will leave her in the bathroom in the pack n play until she is reliably sleeping through the night.
Then we will move her into her sister's room!
I have read that they need 12 hours (or so) of sleep per night so I will plan on reaching that eventually, (our older daughter was already doing that by 6-7 months) but I think that if she wakes up anytime between 5-6 from now on I will just bring her into bed and nurse her.


The Sleep Training Summary:
All in all, this is the first time we have seen real improvement in getting our baby to sleep-this is actually working-and without too much stress on our part or the part of our baby. It is tough, admittedly we have been frazzled through the process. But it was only 3 nights, and we hope that it will pay off.
I do notice that she is "clingier" ( I really don't like that term-it feels like it downplays and insults the need for affection, but I used it for lack of a better term) during the day and wants to nurse and be held much more than before. But  I think that is great, because day time is the time for eating and cuddling!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sleep Training, Night 2: A sleep Odyssey

Tonight came with much anticipation because I was told by my sage friend that the 2nd night of training was tougher [for her] than the first. Oh great! But things did not go as planned for us because we were at a friend's house and did not get the chance to put her to bed at home with her regular routine. So we wondered if it was just going to be a complete disaster.

We fed her at 5:30 (normal dinnertime) some mashed sweet potatoes.
At 6:30 she was fussing and telling us that she wanted to sleep, so my husband held her and soothed her to sleep and put her in a pack n play in our friend's living room (she had it set up there for her 7 week old). The other kids were playing and woke her up, so he held her and she fell back to sleep on his chest until we left at 8:30 to go home. She woke up when he put her in the carseat, but within 10 minutes she was back to sleep. We got home at 9:30 and he put her down. By 10 she was sleeping again. She slept until 1:30 when she got woken up by our 3 1/2 year old who had wet her bed :(
I know this because my husband told me this morning...Apparently in my blacked out state, I missed the whole thing! He cleaned our daughter's bed, and then went in to soothe the baby. He said within 15 minutes of him soothing her, she went back to sleep.

I do remember waking up lightly at some point in the night and hearing the baby wimpering. I noticed that my husband was in a deep sleep next to me so I didn't want to ask him if he would go in there. I listened, but I was in a partial sleep state so I am not 100% sure about how much time went by. I do know that after not too long, she quieted down and went back to sleep. I have to imagine it must have been around 3am (her former night nurse time) but I did not look at the clock.

The next thing I knew, we heard her crying and looked at the clock-it was 6!
So he went in to get her, brought her into bed and she nursed intensively. Both sides.

So today I feel like a new woman. Even though it was not a 10 hour night of un-interrupted sleep (I still warmly remember those days), I did sleep from 11 till 6 without waking completely. I AM THRILLED!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sleep Training, Night one...

Our second daughter is 7 1/2 months old now, and that means that its been about 7 1/2 months since we have had a decent nights' sleep. Well, you could say 9 months because during the last 2 months of the pregnancy the nights are spent flipping over trying to find the right position. With the baby keeping us up all night, and our 3 1/2 year old keeping me busy all day, the light at the end of the tunnel was flickering. Dimly.
I read some books, researched online, asked for advice from many, and tried to remember what we did with our first daughter and how we survived so many sleepless months. The reality is that our older daughter was just a better sleeper! I did read books, research and sleep train her, but she was easier to train because she was tough to put to sleep but once she was asleep she stayed asleep. Our baby #2 goes to sleep rather quickly but only stays asleep for 1-3 hours at a time. So all the techniques that worked the first time were just useless.

We created a bedtime routine including a bath, massage, nursing in the rocker and then to bed at 7.
We tried feeding her at dinner time (she was begging for food since she was 5 months old) to rule out the possibility that she wasn't getting enough milk. I gave her a "lovey" to sleep with and I slept with it a few times to get my smell on it. I spent some time most days letting her "hang out" in her crib so that it would be a happy place. We even tried allowing her to co-sleep all night but that just resulted in her sleeping restlessly and keeping us up all night too. We moved her crib as far away from our bed as possible (her crib is in our room because we only have 2 bedrooms and when she finally sleeps she will share the room with her sister!) so that she wouldn't be able to see us. Nothing seemed to help! She still woke up every 1-3 hours! Finally, yesterday I spoke with my girlfriend and she knocked some sense into me.

She has 2 girls the same age(ish) as ours, and she has many siblings (with kids of their own), she is smart and on the same wavelength as I am. So I always trust her judgement and value her input.
She said that I was crazy to be getting up all night with the baby, she is already 7 MONTHS OLD!
7 months old sounds young to me, and I remembered reading somewhere that 9 months old was the milestone when babies no longer need to nurse at night. But she insisted that the baby does not need to nurse at night anymore, and that her girls were both done with night nursing at 3 months old. She said that I was not being a mother, I was being a slave and that I was going to be sick if I didn't start sleeping. I agreed, and my back did go out on me a few weeks back as a result of not sleeping, but how did I make her sleep!
My friend insisted that she needs to be out of our room, so as per her suggestion, we set up the pack and play in the bathroom ;)
Then we made a plan: My husband would take care of her all night. That way, she would not see me and expect to nurse. And as with any babys' habit you try to make or break, it should just take 3 days. And 3 looong nights. OK, I am ready and really really hoping this works!

So, Night one:
We let her hang out in her pack and play for a few minutes first, and then put her down in her new room after her regular routine at 7pm. The room was very dark and we turned on her "rain" noisemaker because she was used to that noise at night. We put her lovey in the pack and play and off to bed. She went to bed quickly as usual, and slept till 10ish as usual. But this time, she just wimpered a little and went back to sleep. Already an improvement from her waking up at 9:30 or 10 and needing to be consoled back to bed. Around 10:30 she woke up again, but back to sleep in a few minutes. She woke up around 11:30 and my husband went in after a few minutes. Now this was the rough one. She was used to nursing between 10:30-11:30 so I knew that is what she wanted.

He went in and did all his best Daddy moves. After a few minutes, he retreated to our room frustrated.
I kept quiet even though my nerves were lit up like a Christmas tree. My baby! This was hard. He waited a few minutes and went in again for 15 minutes or so. He retreated, defeated once again. This time I was frazzled from holding myself back and listening to her cries...for me. I could hear the words describing a babys' experience of crying it out from the book "The Continuum Concept" (by Jean Liedloff) ringing in my head:

"He awakes in a mindless terror of the silence, the motionlessness. He screams. He is afire from head to foot with want, with desire, with intolerable impatience. He gasps for breath and screams until his head is filled and throbbing with the sound. He screams until his chest aches, until his throat is sore. He can bear the pain no more and his sobs weaken and subside. He listens. He opens and closes his fists. He rolls his head from side to side. Nothing helps. It is unbearable. He begins to cry again, but it is too much for his strained throat; he soon stops. He waves his hands and kicks his feet. He stops, able to suffer, unable to think, unable to hope. He listens. Then he falls asleep again".


But does this apply to a 7 month old? And she wasn't crying that hard, I thought. My husband returned and was very frustrated and when I said to him "calm down" in my late-night, frazzled Mama tone it put him over the edge. He went downstairs to cool off. "I can't do this", I thought. But the words of my friend came to mind and reminded me "She doesn't need to nurse at night anymore". It took him many attempts and defeats, while I sat at the edge of the bed ready to give up and pick her up at any minute-but by 12:30 she went to sleep-FINALLY! Ok, time to pass out.

5 am, she wakes up. The minute I hear her I look at the clock and already see improvement, she slept a record 4.5 hours! But at 5 she was awake... and crying. He went in at 5:20 or so, comforted her for a few minutes and then came back to bed. She fussed but didn't cry. She fussed and yelled but didn't cry so we left her, and by 6:10 she was back to sleep. Until 7am. When she woke up I sprinted into the bathroom to get her and it was like a reunion! I was sure she was STARVING and would need a record-breaking nursing session, but when I sat down, she calmy nursed, slowly, not starved at all!
And only one breast! Then 30 minutes later she calmly requested to nurse a bit more.
What a relief, my baby wasn't starving all night and we have all survived night one. Hopefully tonight will be better.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Home Made Play Dough-and its good!

Making Play dough is a fun activity to do with your kids. Besides the fact that its fun to make, your kids will love to play with dough that they helped make! It saves on packaging and who knows what is really in store bought dough anyway. This is non-toxic and eco-friendly.
We tested out some recipes, and this one is the best. It really is easy to make, it the perfect consistency and lasts a long time. We made ours months ago and it is still in great shape.


Ingredients:
3 cups of flour
1-1/2 cups salt
6 tsp. cream of tartar
3 cups cool water
3 T. canola or other oil
Food Coloring (optional)


Mix dry and wet ingredients separately. Blend together, then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. In a few minutes the dough should start to pull away from the sides of the pot. Once you can pinch the dough without it sticking to you, remove it from heat. Knead until soft and well mixed. Store in an air tight container.
Have fun!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Indoor Pollution Threat You May Not Have Known Existed-From ABC News By: Elisabeth Leamy

The following ABC news article (by Elisabeth Leamy) is an important read for those of us who have a baby or will in the near future. This is one of the main reasons why Green Baby Proofing got started!

Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, but have you ever thought about the purity of the air that you are breathing as you sit inside your home, office or even a restaurant?
Indoor air quality is considered to be the fourth greatest pollution threat to Americans by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Even if you can never see, and can’t always smell, the chemicals inside your home, they are there.  It comes from cleaning products, drycleaning chemicals, plastic products like computer keyboards, furniture, paint, carpeting and more.
With the help of the Greenguard Environmental Institute, part of Underwriters Laboratories, “Good Morning America” set out to investigate exactly what kind of threat indoor air pollution posed to the average person by setting up a child’s nursery with a new crib, changing table, rocker and decorations.
Seven days of testing later, the results were in.  The air in our new nursery contained 300 different chemicals  — compared to just two right outside the same house.  The EPA confirms that indoor air is usually more polluted than outdoor air.
The rocker in the nursery contained seven times California’s recommended level of formaldehyde, a chemical known to cause cancer. The crib mattress gave off more than 100 different chemicals, including industrial solvents and alcohols.  Meanwhile, the paint used on the nursery’s walls contained chemical gases at five times the recommended limit.
Yet, none of the products used in the “GMA” testing were in violation of any law. Fortunately for consumers, there are easy, practical steps you can take today to minimize you and your family’s exposure to your home’s chemicals.
Look for certifications.  Certifications for low chemical emissions are in their infancy, but the more people who buy and request certified products, the more there will be.  Greenguard, part of Underwriters Laboratories, certifies furniture, paint, and other office and household products.  Scientific Certification Systems is another certifier.  And, for carpet, you can look for the “Green Label Plus” created by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).
Choose unscented products.  Many manufacturers make both scented and unscented versions of their products.  Always choose the unscented ones.
Avoid pressed wood.  Pressed wood and wood composite materials are manufactured using strong glues that often contain volatile organic compounds.
Unwrap.  When you buy new furniture, unpackage it outdoors and let it sit outside for at least one week to air out. Similarly, make sure to unwrap your dry-cleaning outdoors before bringing it into your house.
Ventilate.  Try to paint in the spring and fall when you can comfortably leave your windows open for ventilation.  Same goes for new furniture or cabinetry.  Keep your windows open for a couple of weeks, if possible.
Paint first.  It’s a good idea to paint your home first, then ventilate for several days before installing new carpeting and other textiles.  That’s because these products can absorb chemicals from the paint and re-release them into the air over time.
Buy used.  Chemical emissions are at their highest when a product is brand new, so one solution is to buy used furniture that has already off-gassed in somebody else’s house.  (Unless that used furniture has just been refinished.)  Just be careful, because you want the latest safety features in things like baby cribs.  And you should look for furniture built after 1978, when lead paint was banned

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Natural Immune Support for Colds/Flu by Veronica Hayduk, ND Second Nature Health

Natural Immune Support for ColdsDr. Hayduk photo/Flu

I know, I know. Most people yap about treating colds and flus in the winter months. But we can be bombarded by viruses and bacteria at any time. Our poor overworked bodies are fighting these small invaders every minute of the day.

I recently had my share of something yucky and I wanted to talk about what I did to recover as fast as I could. Doctors aren't suppose to get sick, yet we too are mere mortal humans.

First of all, when you think you are coming down with something (for me it was a scratchy then sort of sore throat), rev up on taking vitamin C. I mean crazy amounts, not just one pill. You'll be surprised at how much your body can handle. I was up to 8,000 mg in no time. Of course back off if you get loose stools.

I also took an extra dosage of my multi-vitamin and some extra zinc picolinate, oh around 25 mg twice a day.

Then I made sure to stay really well hydrated with green tea and I added a few drops of Lomatium tincture (an awesome antimicrobial herb, tastes horrendous, but very good for the immune system.)

By day two, it was very clear that I was not feeling well. So I took some time off. I would say that is the biggest mistake we make in not doing. Our bodies often make us sick for a reason, to slow down! I took it easy for a few days. I avoided all simple carbohydrates, all juices and anything with sugar. If I didn't feel like eating I didn't. Staying hydrated is important, but a day or two of not eating is okay.

I slept.

I also continued with my multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin C and zinc. Then I added in 15,000 iu and more of vitamin A to really boost my immune system. I continued with the lomatium herb and added in some licorice (my favorite herb, very good at killing viruses, which I was sure I had.) I also added in a good probiotic, as our immune system lives in the digestive system. Klaire Labs Therbiotic Complete is my favorite and I took 1/4 tsp twice a day with what I was eating.

Priority One Bio-Vegetarian is a vitamin and herbal formula, sort of like a natural antibiotic. I took two of those every few hours while I was awake. Homeopathic Engystol® by Heel, Inc. also helped me feel less achy and sore.

Do eat simply. Include broth soups, and oodles of orange and red foods (which contains lots of beta carotene, in the vitamin A family). I left wheat alone. While I am not sensitive to it, it is hard to digest for everyone. So forget the crackers and toast! Focus on berries, rice, lean meats and beans. Steamed veggies are better than raw when you aren't feeling well; as the body expends too much energy digesting them when not cooked. I did 'healing sock' treatments nightly (let us know if you'd like the handout on this) and gargled with salt water and colodial silver.

And I slept.

After a few days, I emerged from my bed with more energy than I had in two weeks ago. Amazing what a cold can do for the body. I am not suggesting we all go out and get one, but our own inner wisdom knows when to shut it down and force us to focus on our own best health and what really matters - good health!

About Us

Dr. Veronica Hayduk is a naturopathic doctor and owner of Second Nature Health, our medical office in Rockville, MD.
We offer an individualized approach to optimizing health by creating a comprehensive treatment plan that focuses on clinical nutrition, herbal and homeopahtic medicine. Really, whatever it takes to help achieve abounding wellness!
Dr. Hayduk evaluates lab work differently than most primary care physicians and actively ensures each of her patients are taking charge of their best health. She provides the tools and the training to put her patients in the driver's seat of their own health.
Dr. Hayduk does not work for insurance companies, she works for her patients and her goal is their goal!
Second Nature Health is grateful for the many referrals we receive. Your loved ones may also enjoy visiting with Dr. Hayduk. They are welcome to call her and discuss their concerns for a no hassle, no commitment complentary phone consult.
Our number is (301) 395-9118. Our website is: www.secondnaturehealth.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pesticides and Babies Don’t Mix

"As if we needed any more evidence that pesticides are bad for human health, three independent scientific papers have provided some of the strongest evidence yet of the link between exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides and lower IQ levels among children."



Read the rest of this Article Here:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan halts vaccines from Pfizer, Sanofi after deaths of four children


CLICK to read full Article

Baby Gift Baskets



I have been wanting to add these to the website for awhile, but we are updating the website and it will be some time before we are ready to add new items... So I thought it was a good idea to show a couple samples of recent Green Baby Gift baskets we made for customers! These can be custom or designed based on a price preference. Each basket is unique.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

FOUND: An Awesome local farm for eggs and meat


We found a FANTASTIC local (Mt. Airy, MD.) farm that has lots of meat choices (beef, pork, goat, sheep, chicken) and wonderful eggs. All the animals live happily-free range-in a gorgeous open environment. The eggs are $3.50/dozen which is a competely reasonable price. When we go we buy 10 dozen, and it makes the 1 hour drive worth it.

They were so friendly there too. When we arrived they asked if we (and our 2 year old daughter) wanted to see the new-born baby goats, it was so much fun!
Apparently they sell to whole foods as well as to the general public. You just have to call before you go to make sure someone will be expecting you.
It's definitely a fun farm to visit:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tell chemical industry their profits can’t trump kids’ health

The American Chemistry Council should be ashamed of itself.

Last week, the heavyweight industry group killed a common sense, bi-partisan effort to ban the controversial chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) from baby bottles and children's drinking cups. This, despite strong science linking kids’ exposure to the chemical with a range of health effects later in life, from breast cancer to infertility and diabetes.


I just told the chemical industry they should be ashamed of themselves. Last week they blocked a common-sense, bi-partisan effort to take the dangerous chemical BPA out of kids’ sippy cups and baby bottles.

Join me and Pesticide Action Network in letting them know we’re fed up with them putting chemical industry profits over kids’ health. Click here to send a letter to the American Chemistry Council: http://action.panna.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5243

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Parents Should be Warned: Fluoridated Water is Not Recommended for Infants

Contacts:
Paul Connett, Director of FAN, at
media@fluoridealert.org
Stuart Cooper, FAN's Campaign Director at
stuart@fluoridealert.org

A new study confirms infants fed formula reconstituted with fluoridated water are at greater risk of developing discolored teeth (dental fluorosis). (1) The American Dental Association (ADA) warned dentists about this in 2006 but has done little or nothing to inform the nearly 200 million Americans who live in communities with fluoridated drinking water.

The study by Levy et al., a Journal of the American Dental Association cover story (October 2010), confirms Levy's earlier studies, which show "[F]luoride intakes during each of the first 4 years were individually significantly related to fluorosis on maxillary central incisors, with the first year most important," and that "[I]nfant formulas reconstituted with higher fluoride water can provide 100 to 200 times more fluoride than breastmilk, or cow's milk." (2, 3)

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 32% of American children have dental fluorosis, an increase of 23% from the 1980s. (4) Black and Hispanic populations have even higher rates. Dental fluorosis is a visible sign that a child was overexposed to fluoride. Pictures of fluorosis: http://www.fluoridealert.org/health/teeth/fluorosis/moderate-severe.html

"The message from Dr. Levy's work is loud and clear: Don't give babies fluoridated water," says Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director, Fluoride Action Network (FAN). "Unfortunately the ADA has known about these risks for more than four years. Researchers are telling dentists; but dentists are not telling parents."

This and other little-known adverse fluoride health effects led Connett to co-author, "The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics that Keep it There," with James Beck, MD, PhD, professor emeritus of medical physics, University of Alberta and Spedding Micklem, DPhil, professor emeritus at Edinburgh University.

A recent review in The Lancet (5) describes fluoride as "an emerging neurotoxic substance" that may damage the developing brain. The National Research Council (NRC) has identified fluoride as an "endocrine disrupter" that may impair thyroid function. A recent Harvard University study links fluoride to bone cancer (6).

"Approximately half of the newborns and infants I see in practice are fed formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, which I find alarming since the blood-brain barrier is not even developed until 6 months of age, placing these young infants at risk for neurotoxic effects that can be severe and permanent," says Dr. Yolanda Whyte, a pediatrician in Georgia. "Parents should be warned not to give fluoridated water to babies and children, and they should know that fluoride is also present in juice and other water-reconstituted beverages. I diagnose dental fluorosis on average 5 times daily, but fluoride doesn't only affect teeth, it can potentially affect the brain and nervous system, kidneys, bones, and other tissues in young children during their critical stages of organ development. A public awareness campaign is urgently needed."

FAN will launch a campaign in November to urge water companies and public-health officials to inform parents that fluoridated water should not be mixed into infant formula. "If the ADA and CDC won't educate parents, then FAN will," said Connett.

FAN is the leading science and advocacy group focused on health issues surrounding fluoride in water, food, air, pesticides, and industrial exposures. Dr. Connett was an invited presenter at the initial meeting of the NRC panel and FAN researchers submitted extensive scientific information throughout the panel's proceedings. Visit: http://fluoridealert.org/

References:

(1) Levy SM, et al. 2010.
Associations between fluorosis of permanent incisors and fluoride intake from infant formula, other dietary sources and dentifrice during early childhood. Journal of the American Dental Association 141(10):1190-1201.
http://jada.ada.org/cgi/content/abstract/141/10/1190

(2) Hong L, Levy SM, et al. 2006. Timing of fluoride intake in relation to development of fluorosis on maxillary central incisors. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 34(4):299-309.

(3) Levy SM and Guha-Chowdhury N. 1999. Total fluoride intake and implications for dietary fluoride supplementation.
Journal of Public Health Dentistry
59(4):211-23.

(4)
CDC. Table 23 from Beltrán-Aguilar et al. 2005. Surveillance for Dental Caries, Dental Sealants, Tooth Retention, Edentulism, and Enamel Fluorosis --- United States, 1988--1994 and 1999-2002. MMWR Surveillance Summaries. 54(03);1-44.
Table 23 at
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/figures/s403a1t23.gif
Full article at
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5403a1.htm

(5)
Grandjean P and Landrigan P. 2006. Developmental neurotoxicity of industrial chemicals. The Lancet 368(9553):2167-78. December 6.

(6) Bassin EB, Wypij D, Davis RB, Mittleman MA. 2006. Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and
osteosarcoma (United States). Cancer Causes and Control 17(4):421-8. May.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

American Drug Addiction

Does this sound extreme? It's actually more typical than you might imagine. It has been noted that 50% of Americans are taking some type of Pharmaceutical. The problem is not that every drug is bad-the problem is that these drugs are being created so fast that there is not enough research done to know what the long-term affects are. You may notice that right after the long, artsy pharmaceutical drug commercial, you see an advertisement by a law firm asking if you had taken the last "pop" pill and have "cancer, cerebral palsey, brain damage, stroke, death, or any other adverse reaction imaginable.
These drugs are widely advertised and promoted (why would anyone advertise medication?), given in doctors offices like candy (even free-in the form of samples), and everyone is profiting. Everyone except for the victims whose health issues show up months or even years later.
I think the only safe answer is just that-play it safe: Just say NO to drugs!

There are certainly times when taking medication is beneficial, but those times (in my opinion) do not apply to colds, flus, heart burn, weight gain, mild allergies and so many other symptoms that are your body's natural way of crying out and telling you that there is a bigger issue at hand. We are a culture of "no pain is acceptable" and we want to kill the symptom instead of finding out the source and looking for a cure. It is like "putting a band-aid on cancer", and the band-aid is a toxic chemical.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Got Bedbugs?


I keep hearing about bedbugs lately. On the news, twitter, blogs; it seems that bedbugs are arriving in massive numbers-planning some giant bug party that none of us have been warned about!

None of the solutions to bed bugs are pleasant. Throwing away furniture, paying professionals to search your bed & furniture crevices, spraying toxic chemicals all over your home, not to mention the sleepless nights and/or bug-bitten skin!

Ok, so it all sounds horribly expensive and time consuming. But I am here to solve your problems :) I will say something that sounds quite different from what people have been saying... "BED BUGS ARE NOT HARD TO GET RID OF!"

The reason I can say that is because we had them. We lived in an apartment building with 1100 units, so about 2000 or more people lived there. They had the exterminators search the apartments for bed bugs but they never found any in our place so they didn't treat for them. This was lucky for us in fact because we had a cat, dog & baby in the belly, so we didn't need to deal with having chemicals that kill sprayed all over our stuff.

When we bought our house & moved we noticed that we were getting bitten at night, so I looked up bed bugs to learn about searching for them. I inspected our mattress and found nothing, but when I took our bedframe apart, I found the buggers in the particle board in our bed frame. I threw out our mattress, bed frame, and upon inspecting our side table lamps and side tables, I had to throw those out too :(

Ok, so this is sounding macabre, I know. Loss of furniture is always a bummer. I steam cleaned our rugs and vacuumed daily hoping that I had gotten rid of them for good. I was not sure but I didn't want to hire an exterminator (lots of money & very dangerous chemicals, no thanks).

Then I found a cure! Cedar oil is the tried and true natural essential oil that has been used to combat bugs bugs forever. I read lots of articles about it and bought a bottle (expensive for oil, cheap compared to the alternatives). I mixed a spray bottle of oil with a little bit of water and sprayed daily.
I was still so nervous about another outbreak that my research continued. Then, I stumbled upon an amazing product that we immediately ordered and used. A company called Cedarcide created this great potion which uses mostly cedar oil as a base and it is totally non-toxic to animals and humans. They sell a fogger machine that you can fill with the solution and fog your home.
We bought it, fogged our house, and have never seen a bed bug since. That was about a year ago!

Here is the info, I highly recommend it:

www.cedarcidestore.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Exciting weekend Plans


Come and visit us & check out our growing line of great products. We will be at the Petowrth Market again this friday from 3-7. On Saturday, you can visit us at the Fenton Street Market in Downtown Silver Spring, Md. from 9am-4pm. Sunday we will be at the Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. Hope to see you there!

Here are links to the markets:

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Venue: Petworth Farmers Market


Come & see us this & every friday (3pm-7pm) at the new Petworth (Farmers) Market!
Check out our line of great products in person!
The market is located on 9th St, NW (between Taylor and Upshur).

Here is our website where you can see our growing line of products:

And here is a blog where you can learn more about the market:




Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Want to stay healthy? Take fewer antibiotics...


"...Twenty-five years ago, Norwegians were also losing their lives to this bacteria. But Norway’s public health system fought back with an aggressive program that made it the most infection-free country in the world. A key part of that program was cutting back severely on the use of antibiotics."

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Dangers of Carpeting


Wall to wall carpeting has an allure particularly for a family home-it is cozy, insulates, is soft and nice to lay on, offers noise reduction and serves as the perfect play yard for little ones. Unfortunately, there are major draw-backs, particularly when you are concerned with environmental friendliness, and even more urgently with the immediate health of your children and family. As with many lovely things found on the market today, most manufacturers are more concerned with finding the cheapest alternatives than making a safe, healthy & "Green" product.

What is so bad about "regular" carpeting? 'Second to paint, carpeting is the leading cause of indoor air pollution' (sited: Organic Baby: Simple Steps for Healthy Living).

They are dangerous from top to bottom:

• The Carpet fibers are made with synthetic petrochemicals & covered with VOC's (volatile organic compounds)

• The backing material are made of reactive compounds and release toxins in the home

• Carpets are colored with chemical dyes

• Adhesives are toxic chemicals

• Pads are made from prime urethane and hydrocarbons

• Layers are treated with flame retardants (including Boric Acid and boric anhydride). Fire retardants often contain PBDEs which are known to cause damage to thyroid, immune system and brain development functions in humans.

• Stain guards (includes chemicals proven to cause miscarriages, neurological damage & other ailments)

• Include PVC ( Poisonous plastic PVC ) , vinyl & latex materials

Contain toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene, acetone and a host of other chemicals that are known carcinogens and produce fetal abnormalities in test animals. These chemicals also cause hallucinations, nerve damage and respiratory illness in humans.

• That 'new carpet smell' comes from 4-PC, associated with eye, nose and upper respiratory problems. 4-PC is used in the latex backing of 95% of US carpets.

• Mothproofing chemicals contain naphthalene, which is known to produce toxic reactions, especially in newborns.

One should also be aware that if you move into a house with existing carpets, you are taking on all the aforementioned toxins, but you will also be exposed to their dust mites, pesticides, toxins brought in on shoes, pets and more. Carpets can hold eight times their weight in toxin-filled trapped dirt that is well hidden in the fibers and underneath the carpet. The EPA has stated that 80% of human exposure to pesticides occurs indoors. If the house has ever been sprayed for bugs, the chemicals settle in your carpet and remain there for years. If you paint your room or put in new wood or laminating flooring in any part of your house, the carpet is very efficient at holding those toxins for you to inhale long after the work has been completed.

So what are the alternatives?
The good new is, you can get safe wall to wall carpeting.

• Choose 100% untreated (pesticide free) wool or hemp (most are chemically treated, so you will have to ask). Wool is a great choice as it's biodegradable, naturally fire-resistant, hypoallergenic, soft, resists dust mites better than nylon carpets, and purifies the air (even absorbs airborne contaminants like formaldehyde). Hemp is durable and great for high traffic areas. It is also resistant to mold and mildew. Hemp is great in areas where there may be moisture, where wool is not as it takes a long time to dry.

• Make sure that the carpet is installed using nails or staples-no glue.

• Look for the Green Label Plus Certification (In 2004, the Carpet and Rug Institute started the Green Label Plus Certification, which certifies that carpets are free from 13 toxic chemicals.)

• Make sure to remove your shoes and have guests do the same to keep outdoor and other contaminants from getting into your carpet.

If you can not remove the carpet due to time &/or money limitations, you can do the following:
• Steam clean the carpets to kill dust mites and bacteria
• Leave windows open as often as possible.
• Use a HEPA Vacuum cleaner
• Get a great air purifier that removes VOC's (Oreck.com)
• Have lots of great plants-many can actually reduce pollutants (Read a list here: avianweb.com)

Where to buy safe carpeting? Here are some local (D.C area) places to get safe carpeting:

Want to read more about this? Here are some articles: