Monthly Archives: September 2012

Healthy Living Kids & Family Kids & Junk Food Real Food Toxin Alert!

SimplyThick Brand Instant Food Thickener/Formula Causes 22 Infant Deaths

www.mypicshares.com
As heartbreaking as this subject is, I feel very strongly about discussing this topic as a way to prevent more damage to children’s health in the future. Unfortunately, recalls of infant formula and related products, and sickness and deaths from babies consuming them are nothing new.

Today, news reports are showing the recall of Simply Thick brand “instant food thickener”. This time the problem is being blamed on a thickening agent in the formula designed as a “digestive aid” to enable infants who have trouble swallowing liquids.  Health officials have confirmed that the gel included in this product is the cause of severe tissue inflammation and “may lead to death.”

This story is another testament to the fact that chemicals harm human health. Commercial formulas, like many processed foods, contain a variety of chemicals, preservatives, synthetic nutrients, and other additives. These ingredients are dangerous and don’t contain the nutrition growing babies need, which is why there are so many issues with these products.

It’s also a major contributing factor to many childhood epidemic health problems we hear about so frequently – autism, digestive disorders, food allergies, eczema, asthma, serious infections, failure to thrive or gain weight, chronic illness such as flus, colds, ear infections and sore throats.

Other issues with commercial infant formula

Infant formulas have also been found to contain percholate, which is rocket fuel.  The protein content in formulas is highly processed (spray dried) and subjected to high heat temperatures during processing, it causes the cholesterol in to become oxidized. Do you want your infant consuming these substances?

Did you know the DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an Omega 3 fatty acid included in infant formulas, is often sourced from genetically modified algae? After hearing this, it wouldn’t surprise me if this ingredient wasn’t in a variety of other food products and health supplements claiming to contain Omega 3 essential fatty acids, especially those claiming to be from plant-based rather than animal-based sources.

Most parents who have raised babies are familiar with so-called “normal” issues that babies experience such as colic, eczema, digestive issues such as gassiness, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and fussiness. These are not normal, and are the baby’s reaction to not receiving adequate nutrition in the diet and also to toxic chemicals found in baby formulas.

My own son was born 9 weeks premature because I had a ruptured appendix. I was very unfamiliar with natural health and the power of real food for preventing health problems back then. So my son was put on formula because I couldn’t breastfeed due to my sickness, and was given a variety of medications while in the hospital and after he came home, and had a variety of health issues including constipation and diarrhea, colic which lasted 5 months, chronic fussiness and inability to sleep well, and was sick frequently during winter months.

He also received 25 vaccines before I realized just how harmful these were to his health. Vaccines contain a variety of toxic ingredients which can greatly suppress the immune system and contribute to a variety of health issues (along with environmental factors and poor diet). I believe my lack of knowledge about all these things contributed greatly to many of his health issues.

I am happy to say that a few years later I discovered all the harm I was doing by not feeding him properly with real, whole, traditional foods and making sure he was not exposed to toxic chemicals in medications and vaccines, and his health has much improved.

In December of 2011 I wrote a post about Enfamil formula killing a 10 day-old infant.

Here are just some of the other infant recalls from the past:

Breast feeding and home made formula

Breastfeeding your infant is the best choice for his or her health. Your diet is of critical importance as well, and should include whole foods from the best sources possible such as:

Plenty of healthy fats should be consumed:

The nutrients found in these foods will not only optimally support your baby’s health, but yours as well. They are important sources of brain, nervous system, endocrine (hormonal), bone, cardiovascular, and immune system health support.

Healthy fats contain critical fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 for all these areas, and are important to enable absorption of minerals and other nutrients from other foods you eat such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains.
If you cannot breastfeed and are having trouble getting enough nutrition for your baby, check out this great resource for children’s health and feeding your baby a healthy formula, Food For Kids Health. There you will find some great advice about feeding and several recipes for the home-made formula and a hypoallergenic recipe for children with sensitivity to cow’s milk.  These recipes are from the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Natural choices and real food for your child’s health

If you would like to make more natural and healthy choices for your baby? Watch this informative video from a new series being aired on PBS called Healing Quest. It features a segment about natural child care from a pediatric clinic in CA with Dr. Lindy Woodard, M.D., and talks about a wonderful option for mothers who cannot breastfeed, home-made infant formula with nourishing ingredients.

Dr. Lindy talks about how she came to be a part of this unique clinic. When practicing medicine in the conventional environment, she noticed the children were not getting well, but staying sick from the treatments she was giving them. When she came to this clinic, the focus was on using food as medicine and naturopathic and homeopathic medicines to nourish and heal the body.

Resources:

Reducing your child’s risk of autism and other disorders: conception, pregnancy, and the newborn infant, Part I and Part II 

3 First foods that your baby needs and your doctor won’t mention, Holistic Kid

Optimal diet for pregnant and nursing mothers, Nourishing Our Children

Nourishing babies and toddlers, Nourishing Our Children

Nourishing Our Children, Food Pyramid

Suggested reading:
Real Food for Mother and Baby, Nina Planck 

The Crazy Makers, Carol Simontacchi

The Unhealthy Truth, Robyn O’Brien

Healing Our Children, Ramiel Nagel

Digestive Wellness for Children, Elizabeth Lipski, PhD, CCN

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics, Autism, ADD, Asthma, and Allergies, Kenneth Bock

Vaccine information: 

Vaccines: A choice or a mandate? Part I and Part II

Think Twice.com

National Vaccine Information Center

Suggested reading:

Saying No to Vaccines, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny

Vaccine epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children, Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland

Vaccine-nation: Poisioning the Population One Shot at a Time, Andreas Moritz

Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Recipes

Homemade Mayo and Tartar Sauce Recipes

www.mypicshares.com
Some years ago I attempted to make home-made mayo a couple of times in my old-timer blender. It was a flop. I got frustrated and gave up.  I did not have the patience to stand there and drip olive oil one drop at a time for 5 minutes to get the consistency to be correct.

My husband is very penny-pinching when it comes to buying anything so I could not convince him we needed to spend money on a new appliance just for mayonnaise.

Then I noticed that my friend Soli from I Believe in Butter was having a giveaway for a stick blender, which I had read was fantastic for making h0me-made mayo. How excited was I? It’s not that stick blenders are terribly expensive, the challenge was convincing my husband that I needed one. So I entered the contest, and I won! Out of 300+ entrants. It was meant to be.  :)

Ever since my lovely stick blender arrived, it’s been one of my best friends in the kitchen. I make mayo with it regularly now, and it was a cinch (I couldn’t believe it!).  I also make other dressings and sauces too.

What I love about the stick blender is that you don’t have to add the olive oil in a drop at a time, but rather in larger (but still small amounts). So it doesn’t take quite so long, but still produces the emulsifying action that you want.

I don’t have any experience making mayo with anything but a stick blender, so if you don’t have one I highly recommend buying one.  This is the one I have, by Cuisinart, and it works great (and it’s only $34.99).

If you know how to use a blender to make good mayo, you can use these ingredients and skip the directions. I experimented with dozens of recipes I found online which I didn’t like as is, and I came up with my own recipe.

Why make your own mayo?

Most store bought mayonnaise is full of terrible ingredients. Here are the ingredients for two popular brands, Hellman’s and Best Foods mayonnaise:

SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, WHOLE EGGS AND EGG YOLKS, VINEGAR, SALT, SUGAR, LEMON JUICE, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (USED TO PROTECT QUALITY), NATURAL FLAVORS. GLUTEN-FREE.

These ingredients are from commercial sources and contain GMO ingredients. Here’s a rundown:

  • Soybean oil is a modern oil that comes from GM soybeans. It’s highly processed, is rancid from high heat temperatures it is subjected to during processing, and contains too high of a ratio of Omega 6 essential fatty acids.
  • Eggs are from feedlot hens which are administered antibiotics and don’t get access to the outdoors or sunshine as they should. On Best Foods web site, it now says they are committed to using certified cage-free eggs (yeah, don’t count on it, what does that mean, anyway?). For more information, read Deciphering egg and poultry labels.
  • Natural flavors, according to Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D., is a form of MSG.
  • Calcium disodium EDTA is used for preserving and color retention. It has been found to cause intestinal and kidney problems when consumed.

Since most of those ingredients are harmful to your health, why not make home-made mayo? You know what goes in it, and it tastes so much better than anything store bought.

Here is my recipe for the best mayo I’ve ever tasted (really).

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup olive oil (I use a lighter, more sweet and fruity variety from Napa Valley Naturals). I have also used Chaffin Family Orchards olive oil and it is divine.
  • a dash of sea salt
  • a dash of coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp organic mustard
  • 1 tsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Separate the whites from the yolks and put the yolks into the stick blender mixing container.
  2. Add in the sea salt, coconut palm sugar, mustard, and lemon juice and use the stick blender to combine (should take you about 2 minutes)
  3. Add in some of the olive oil. You don’t have to do it drop by drop, but just pour some in – maybe a tablespoon or more at a time and keep using the stick blender to emulsify. You should start seeing the recipe becoming emulsified and as you do this, you can keep adding more olive oil in a tablespoon or more at a time, depending on how quickly it emulsifies.

That’s it! The mixing process should take approximately 5 minutes or so, and then your mayo is ready to use. We use our mayo up pretty fast (within a few days) and you should too, within about a week. I don’t have a lacto-fermented mayo recipe yet. That will be posted in the future.

Tartar sauce:

  • 1 cup of home-made mayo
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dill pickles, chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp finely minced onion (optional)

Directions:

Whisk ingredients together and put on your favorite fish or seafood, or whatever you love tartar sauce with. Store in refrigerator and keep for up to 1 week.

In this recipe, I add in a dash of coconut palm sugar because many people (myself included) don’t care for the strong olive oil taste. This addition helps to mask that flavor and adds a little bit of sweetness that makes the mayo really delicious and tangy with the help of the lemon juice.

If you use yolks from pastured hens, your mayonnaise will turn out much more yellow than the store because these yolks are much more yellow and contain more beta-carotene from the natural diets of hens raised outside in the sunshine, pecking and foraging to eat plants, insects, and worms.

Store-bought mayonnaise, which you are likely more familiar with, is much paler because it comes from hens in confinement that eat mostly soy, corn, and grain, and don’t get to forage on pasture and a natural diet. The “certified cage-free” terminology that is used on Best Foods’s label is meaningless.

Ideas for mayo:

Home-made dips, dressings, and sauces are among some of the easiest things to make. I often I just throw things together that I have already in my kitchen and I usually get something delicious.

Add herbs, salt and pepper, freshly squeezed citrus and other fruit juices, different vinegars, onions, garlic, chopped fruit or veggies, raw honey, or a bit of coconut date sugar or sucanat…anything else that strikes your fancy that’s real. Whisk together blend in the food processor.  The possibilities are endless!

Simple creamy salad dressing – Delicious Obsessions

8 basic and healthy salad dressings – The Healthy Home Economist

Arugula salad with lemon dressing – Real Food Whole Health

10 real food salad dressing recipes – Keeper of the Home