Archive for the ‘Health & Awareness’ Category

I’m really tired of hearing people say “I don’t understand why everyone is so mad at Paula Deen. I mean, she admitted to saying the ‘N-Word’ once. We all make mistakes.” Umm, firstly, stab yourself in the throat. Secondly, it’s not that she’s used racial slurs in the past. Coming up in the South, a lot of people are taught that that sort of thing is acceptable. The point is, we grow beyond that and educate ourselves. The issue isn’t THAT she said it once (although I doubt that) the issue IS that she doesn’t understand why it’s wrong. She even went so far as to suggest that black men dressed in a state of servitude was somehow romantic. She also said she wasn’t offended by her husband’s racist ‘jokes.’ Seriously? I really wonder if people are genuinely this fucking dense.

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It’s catchier, don’t you think??

For those of you who don’t follow my personal Facebook page, I have recently started taking a more “Green” approach to cleaning and living. I stopped drinking Diet Coke, and started using only baking soda and vinegar to cleanse by entire apartment. One place I haven’t ventured yet is into the land of noms.  I’m a little intimidated by reading labels and researching the hundreds of names for aspartame and other such ingredients I wish to avoid. So, as I dab my toe cautiously into the waters of healthy living, I thought I would share my journey with you! Here’s an article I found outlining the 10 additives to avoid if you avoid nothing else.

  • Is this something that’s important to you? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences and journey!!

1. Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame, (E951) more popularly known as Nutrasweet and Equal, is found in foods labeled “diet” or “sugar free”. Aspartame is believed to be carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined. Aspartame is not your friend. Aspartame is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory, the components of this toxic sweetener may lead to a wide variety of ailments including brain tumor, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue, emotional disorders like depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures. Acesulfame-K, a relatively new artificial sweetener found in baking goods, gum and gelatin, has not been thoroughly tested and has been linked to kidney tumors. Read more about the dangers of Aspartame here.

Found in: diet or sugar free sodas, diet coke, coke zero, jello (and over gelatins), desserts, sugar free gum, drink mixes, baking goods, table top sweeteners, cereal, breathmints, pudding, kool-aid, ice tea, chewable vitamins, toothpaste

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a highly-refined artificial sweetener which has become the number one source of calories in America. It is found in almost all processed foods. HFCS packs on the pounds faster than any other ingredient, increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage, among other harmful effects.

Found in: most processed foods, breads, candy, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals

3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG / E621)

MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and many restaurant foods. MSG is known as an excitotoxin, a substance which overexcites cells to the point of damage or death. Studies show that regular consumption of MSG may result in adverse side effects which include depression, disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, and obesity. MSG effects the neurological pathways of the brain and disengaged the “I’m full” function which explains the effects of weight gain.

Found in: Chinese food (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome ) many snacks, chips, cookies, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners, lunch meats

4. Trans Fat

Trans fat is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products and is among the most dangerous substances that you can consume. Found in deep-fried fast foods and certain processed foods made with margarine or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats are formed by a process called hydrogenation. Numerous studies show that trans fat increases LDL cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, and contributes to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems. Oils and fat are now forbidden on the Danish market if they contain trans fatty acids exceeding 2 per cent, a move that effectively bans partially hydrogenated oils.

Found in: margarine, chips and crackers, baked goods, fast foods

5. Common Food Dyes

Studies show that artificial colorings which are found in soda, fruit juices and salad dressings, may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies have linked other food colorings to cancer. Watch out for these ones:

Blue #1 and Blue #2 (E133)

Banned in Norway, Finland and France. May cause chromosomal damage

Found in: candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks and pet foods

Red dye # 3 (also Red #40 – a more current dye) (E124)

Banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate from use in many foods and cosmetics. This dye continues to be on the market until supplies run out! Has been proven to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, may also interfere with brain-nerve transmission

Found in: fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products and more!

Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102)

Banned in Norway and Sweden. Increases the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals, may cause chromosomal damage.

Found in: American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy and carbonated beverages, lemonade and more!

6. Sodium Sulfite (E221)

Preservative used in wine-making and other processed foods. According to the FDA, approximately one in 100 people is sensitive to sulfites in food. The majority of these individuals are asthmatic, suggesting a link between asthma and sulfites. Individuals who are sulfite sensitive may experience headaches, breathing problems, and rashes. In severe cases, sulfites can actually cause death by closing down the airway altogether, leading to cardiac arrest.

Found in: Wine and dried fruit

7. Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. This ingredient, which sounds harmless, is actually highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. There, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc with a number of internal organs: the liver and pancreas in particular. Sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient, and the USDA actually tried to ban this additive in the 1970’s but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained they had no alternative for preserving packaged meat products. Why does the industry still use it? Simple: this chemical just happens to turn meats bright red. It’s actually a color fixer, and it makes old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant.

Found in: hotdogs, bacon, ham, luncheon meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat

8. BHA and BHT (E320)

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. This common preservative keeps foods from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. Effects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has potential to cause cancer. BHA and BHT are oxidants which form cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.

Found in: Potato chips, gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening, candy, jello

9. Sulfur Dioxide (E220)

Sulfur additives are toxic and in the United States of America, the Federal Drugs Administration have prohibited their use on raw fruit and vegetables. Adverse reactions include: bronchial problems particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. It also destroys vitamins B1 and E. Not recommended for consumption by children. The International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease.

Found in: beer, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar, and potato products.

10. Potassium Bromate

An additive used to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls, potassium bromate is known to cause cancer in animals. Even small amounts in bread can create problems for humans.

Found in: breads

Original Article Found HERE

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I’m currently watching a documentary on Netflix on asexuality entitled “(A) Sexual.” I find it to be fairly interesting thus far (sixteen minutes in). I enjoy educating myself with a variety of mediums, and documentaries are a little more entertaining. I may write an article if the film inspires me. If not, I will be back later to ramble on as usual. I recently watched a documentary directed by Ricki Lake called “The Business of Being Born” Honestly, the education that documentary offers is far superior to most that I’ve seen. I was stunned, completely stunned. I don’t think I’ve been that moved since watching Dear Zachary (all of the aforementioned films are available on Netflix). I will be returning to (A) Sexual now; however, before I go I will share one of the biggest A-HA moments for me personally from The Business of Being Born.

 

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Article

The outfit is part of “Miss Conception,” an exhibit by artist Michele Pred which opens on December 4th at Art Miami, a contemporary art fair held every year in the Magic City. According to Pred’s website, the performance installation “offers a wry commentary on 21st century sexual politics, with a focus on birth control.” On December 4th, for two and a half hours, Pred donned said gown, tiara, scepter and sash and became “Miss Conception.” She will do the same on December 7th.

“I’m dressing up … in this very ’60s-era version of a beauty queen to reflect on that era and how many things haven’t changed since that era in regards to attitudes toward birth control,” she told The Huffington Post. “Some have changed — you used to be considered a slut if you took birth control back then, and luckily that’s changed … but there are [still] so many misconceptions about reproduction and reproductive rights.”

Pred was first inspired to use birth control in her artwork in the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election. “It really started with the growing concern before the election regarding access to affordable birth control, and even access to birth control [at all],” she said. “Obama won. But it doesn’t take away many of the issues and … there are still many states that make it very difficult for women and teenagers to have easy access to birth control.”

The “Miss Conception” exhibit also includes an interactive element. Pred invites observers to talk to her and hands out cards that have common myths about gender and sex printed on them, such as “You can’t get pregnant if you have sex standing up,” to people walking by. This interaction is key to her goal as an artist, she said.

“My art is really about igniting dialogue,” she said. “Whether you agree or like what I’m doing, it’s about provoking a conversation.”

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Let’s begin this article with the universal truth that the majority of pro-life (pro-birth) organizations are psychotic, and that’s putting it respectfully. Now, in any basket of rotten eggs there’s always a few that are far smellier than the rest. Beyond that, there’s that single putrid chicken fetus that’s been shat on, eaten, converted into waste, and expelled into a pile of maggots and vomit. That egg is Nebraska’s Right to Life.

Now, I am incredibly tolerant of people whose beliefs may oppose my own.  I may not agree with your point of view, but I will never attempt to silence you or strip away your rights because of it. Equally, where I start to get a little bitchy is when you’re not showing me the same level of human dignity and respect.

Nebraska’s Right to Life according to this article, is doing just that. The organization is attempting to pass a law that would require women not only to see the face of the fetus they’re carrying, but also have photos of the fetus posted on Nebraska’s official state website. Furthermore, the ultrasound would be carried out not by a trained ultrasound tech, but someone with the training that’s at least the equivalent of a registered nurse. As the daughter of an RN, I can tell you personally that they do not have the knowledge to perform, nor read an ultrasound. Why? Because they’re nurses. There’s some knowledge that’s universal, but imaging just is not one of them.

This seems to me nothing short of bullying. What Nebraska’s Right to Life is proposing is not for the benefit nor the education of expected mothers, it’s for pushing their own agenda through public shaming. This is a technique usually reserved for criminals, not women taking advantage of their rights as American citizens.

I honestly feel as though these people belong to the type of organizations that post billboards luring in scared pregnant teens. They promise them assistance and understanding, and trap or guilt them into birthing children they cannot care for mentally nor financially. I’m not saying they do this specifically. I just get that same dirty vibe. Ya dig?

Jill June Responded:

Jill June, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said women should have all the information they need to decide whether to have abortions.

“Such information should support a woman, help her make the best decision for herself, her family and her circumstances, and enable her to take care of her health and well-being. Information should not be provided with the intent of shaming, coercing or making a woman change her mind,” she said.

“The recent elections imparted a strong and clear message that all legislators should heed: Women’s health matters. It is not the people of Nebraska who are driving legislation that harms women’s health. Rather, it is extreme special interest groups wanting to outlaw access to safe and legal abortion,” June said. “The bottom line is that a woman, not politicians, should make informed decisions when it comes to her own pregnancy.”

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First Presidential Debate

 

Vice Presidential Debate

 

Second Presidential Debate

 

All are full length videos! 🙂

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