Why going to hospital is a REALLY bad idea!

(reprinted by permission)

People who are hospitalized in the United States risk acquiring healthcare-associated infections, which kill 75,000 patients per year, US health authorities said Wednesday.

Many bacterial infections — which can lead to serious complications from pneumonia and illnesses of the intestinal tract — could be prevented if healthcare workers practiced common hygiene, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Although there has been some progress, today and every day more than 200 Americans with healthcare-associated infections will die during their hospital stay,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden.

“The most advanced medical care won’t work if clinicians don’t prevent infections through basic things such as regular hand hygiene.”

The data, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, came from 183 US hospitals in 2011.

That year, the CDC survey found that about 721,800 infections occurred in 648,000 hospital patients.

Some 75,000 patients with healthcare-associated infections died during their hospitalizations.

The most common infections were pneumonia and surgical site infections (each at 22 percent), followed by gastrointestinal infections (17 percent), urinary tract infections (13 percent), and bloodstream infections (10 percent).

The germs causing these infections were C. difficile (12 percent), Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA (11 percent), Klebsiella (10 percent), E. coli (9 percent), Enterococcus (9 percent), and Pseudomonas (7 percent).

A second report out Wednesday from the CDC found that nationwide, such infections are on the decline in recent years.

Bloodstream infections were down 44 percent between 2008 and 2012, and infections related to 10 selected surgical procedures were down 20 percent in the same timeframe.

Hospital infections with MRSA and C. difficile showed less substantive declines, at four percent and two percent respectively from 2011 to 2012.

The United Sates is “making progress in preventing healthcare-associated infections,” said Patrick Conway, chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

He said the gains come from three main mechanisms, including financial incentives, performance measures and public reporting to improve transparency, and increased use of interventions that have proven effective.

“This progress represents thousands of lives saved, prevented patient harm, and the associated reduction in costs across our nation.”

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Ten best foods for your dog

(reprinted by permission):

Dogs Like Veggies, Too
If you’re on the lookout for new and fun ways to rev up your furry best friend’s diet, adding vegetables and fruits can be a really healthy way to do that. Of course certain veggies and fruits will be better for your dog than others. Take a look at the following 10 healthiest human foods for dogs and consider adding them to your own dog’s meal routine.

Believe it or not, the same fruit salad staple that humans have come to know and love is just as good for dogs. They’re full of vitamins that will help with your canine’s eyesight, as well as lots of vitamin A and lots of beta carotene, which helps reduce the risk of cancer and prevents cell damage. It’s also a good source of vitamins B-6 and C, fiber, folate, niacin and potassium.

Green Beans
Getting your dog to eat his green beans will probably be easier than getting your kids to do the same. Green beans are good for your pooch because of their omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and K. They’re also a good source of calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, niacin, manganese, potassium, riboflavin and thiamin, as well as beta carotene. Essentially, they’re the superpower of vegetables for your pooch.

We certainly understand the value of spinach in our own diets, but luckily this green, leafy vegetable can be just as powerful for your dog. Although it’s high in iron (with almost twice as much of it as most other sources), spinach is a particularly good option for your dog since it helps fend off inflammatory and cardiovascular issues, along with cancer.

Besides the fact that it’s super fun to watch a dog eat an apple, the powerful antioxidants and loads of vitamin C will do wonders for your dog’s diet, as well.

Feed your dog pumpkin to load him up on fiber, vitamin A and anti-oxidants to help alleviate diarrhea and constipation and to promote his overall cardiovascular health.

Sweet Potatoes
A great source of vitamins E, A, B-6 and C, as well as calcium, iron, folate, potassium, copper, thiamine and iron, sweet potatoes are a wonderful (and super tasty!) addition to any pooch’s dinner bowl.

Blueberries, with their high levels of resveratrol and their anti-cancer and heart disease fighting qualities, make a great option for your dog’s diet. As an added bonus, the tannins found in blueberries also help prevent urinary tract infections.

If it’s lycopene that you’re looking to add to your dog’s diet, watermelon is your best source for that. The health benefits don’t stop there, though. Give your pooch a piece of this delicious summer treat and you’ll be loading him with up with tons of healthy vitamin A, B-6 and C, as well as thiamin.

When cut into bite size pieces, Asparagus makes a healthy veggie option for your dog because of its vitamin K, A, B1, B2, C and E, along with the folate, iron, copper, fiber, manganese and potassium that’s found in them.

Brussels Sprouts
Maybe if your kid sees your dog eating her Brussels sprouts, she’ll hop on board and eat them, too. And your dog should be eating Brussels sprouts for their vitamins K and G, manganese, folate, fiber, potassium and vitamins A, B1 and B6.



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Bamboo not as green as you think…

Many people are buying bamboo items because the marketing is that bamboo is a green choice for clothing. In fact four companies are in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission for making false claims about their bamboo clothing.

Here are a few tips if you’re looking to go green with your wardrobe:

•  Be thrifty
As in thrift store. The greenest clothes come preworn. Reused clothing stays out of the landfill and saves the fossil fuels used to make, package, and transport a new garment. So visit the used-clothing or vintage clothes store nearest you before hitting the mall.

•  Favor plant fibers
Organic cotton is still relatively water-intensive, but its production doesn’t result in a load of chemicals being dumped into the soil. And you can find green clothes made from other less-thirsty plants, such as flax (which is used to make linen) and hemp.

•  Save the bamboo for flooring
Bamboo’s environmental downsides come primarily from the processing of its pulp into fiber for use in clothing, bedsheets, towels, and other fabric products. However, it’s still a better choice than most wood used in things like hardwood flooring, cutting boards, and furniture.

•  Recycle your old clothes
The FTC accused bamboo specifically of not biodegrading in landfills, but in reality, no clothing will degrade in a landfill, whether it’s made from cotton, bamboo, or any other fiber. When your clothes have worn thin, send them to a charity. You may not think your holey white T-shirt is worth anything, but the charity can sell it to a textile recycler, which will turn it into rags or even acoustic stuffing for your car doors. Just make sure your donated clothing is clean; a single pair of dirty underwear can contaminate an entire bin of recyclable clothing, condemning the clothes to a landfill.

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14 nutrition tips for 2014

OK, I did think about 2,014 nutrition tips but that is just too much so here we go:

Tip #1: Sweet potatoes are one of the best vegetables you can eat. A nutritional all-star, they’re loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Mix in unsweetened applesauce or crushed pineapple for extra moisture and sweetness.

Tip #2: Instead of chips, try munching on asparagus for a quick snack. It’s delicious raw or lightly steamed. Throw some in your lunch box for a snack or use a few stalks to dress up your next vegetable platter.

Tip #3: For an easy vegetable side dish, steam fresh spinach for 2 or 3 minutes (or cook some frozen spinach). Then drizzle on a little balsamic vinegar or parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast which is loaded with B12 and tastes like parmesan cheese.

Tip #4: For a quick, healthy pizza, buy a whole-wheat crust and top it with a modest amount of shredded light mozzarella, a spicy red pepper spaghetti sauce (look for a lower-sodium brand), sliced onion and red pepper, and chopped marinated artichoke hearts – or your favorite veggies. Follow the baking instructions on the crust package.

Tip #5: Make a delicious homemade sorbet by freezing 4 cups of your favorite berries or melon chunks, then combining them with a half cup of orange juice in a blender or food processor until very smooth.

Tip #6: Read nutrition labels carefully. Make sure the serving size on the label matches what you eat. If not, adjust the numbers accordingly.

Tip #7: Choose whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta instead of the white, refined varieties.

Tip #8: If all you have on hand is full-fat salad dressing, mix it half-and-half with vinegar or lemon juice to reduce fat and calories. I prefer this method as your body needs fat to feel full. It also needs healthy fats to metabolize certain vitamins.

Tip #9: Uncut garlic and onions lose their flavor if you store them in the refrigerator. Instead, preserve their freshness and taste by keeping them on the kitchen counter: onions in a bowl and garlic heads in a container that gives them a little air.

Tip #10: Afraid of undercooking your fish? For white fish, a fillet of 1 inch should be sauteed for 5-7 minutes total while a 1/4 inch thick fillet will take from 2-4 minutes to cook. You want the fish to be opaque and flaky but still moist.

Tip #11: When buying chicken parts, stick to the breast and drumstick. They have far fewer calories and far less fat than the thigh and wing.

Tip #12: Looking for a flavorful lower-fat cheese? Jarlsberg Lite, a delightful Swiss cheese available at most deli counters, has only 2 grams of saturated fat per ounce. (Most cheeses have 5 or 6 grams.)

Tip #13: Treat all raw poultry, seafood, and meat as if they were contaminated with bacteria. Wash your hands, sponges, and implements carefully in hot, soapy water after touching them and before touching anything else. Never put cooked meat or poultry back on a plate that contains raw juices.

Tip #14: Leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen within 2 hours of cooking the food. If cooked food has been left out for more than 2 hours, throw it away. (Reheating will not destroy some pathogens.) If refrigerated leftovers won’t be eaten within 2–4 days, freeze them.

You know by now that I am a huge proponent of organic so do your best to shop the CLEMSON AREA FOOD EXCHANGE.

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Follow these rules (so easy) to get the most from your food

(reprinted by permission)

You’ve heard the standard nutrition advice before, like stick to fruits and vegetables, and focus on whole foods. But what if you’re following all the tips andstill missing out on important nutrients?

In order to make the most of your food, you need phytonutrients—the healthy plant compounds that fight cancer, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol, and enhance memory—says Jo Robinson, author of the new book Eating on the Wild Side. Follow these six surprising food rules to get more of them.

1. Look for dark colors

Focus on blue foods like blueberries or blue potatoes, black like blackberries or currents, red foods like cranberries or peppers, or purple—concord grapes or purple asparagus, says Robinson. These foods all contain anthocyanin, which has more health benefits than other plant nutrients.

2. Stop peeling carrots

The nutrients in the skin of a carrot are equal to the amount in an entire peeled carrot, says Robinson. Just wash off the dirt and enjoy.

Know the 5 Foods You’re Eating Wrong so you can cut, cook, and sip for the most health benefits.

3. Embrace the bitterness

Americans have a habit of skipping bitter foods—which means they’re missing major health benefits, says Robinson. A dandelion, for example, has twice the calcium and eight times more antioxidants than spinach, says Robinson. If that’s a bit too extreme for you, start small by adding pieces of bitter red lettuce or radicchio to regular salad.

4. Rip up lettuce before storing it

It’s easy to forget vegetables are still alive when they’re harvested, says Robinson. When ripped, lettuce will believe a predator is eating it, so it produces four times the amount of antioxidant-rich substances in order to protect itself. (Yes, you’re benefiting from scared lettuce.)

5. Have an “eat me first” list

Certain foods lose nutrients faster than others, says Robinson. Eat arugula, broccoli, cherries, and kale within one to two days of harvest. Foods like onions, potatoes, or apples are okay for a few days longer.

6. Let the garlic rest

Don’t toss whole cloves of garlic into hot oil. Instead, mince it and set it aside for 10 minutes. Chopping will start a chemical reaction allowing an enzyme to produce the healthy compound that reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease, says Robinson.

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Wake, Walk, Water…I have said this before but it bears repeating

From my friend, Isabelle:

Whenever I find that I have gotten myself back into a cycle of reaching for a coffee first thing, I implement this quick fix. In fact, whenever I find that my health or happiness are not where I want them to be, I implement this.

Like most of the better fixes in life, it is very simple, and works 100% of the time you actually DO IT.

Wake. Walk. Water.

Wake - ideally to no alarm.

Walk - outdoors for 15-60 minutes. Do this immediately on waking. Do not pause. Do not delay. Do not turn on your cell phone, and do NOT check your email. You CAN stop and leash up the dog(s) but no other distractions until AFTER the walk.

Water - Water yourself, to the tune of about 1.5 liters, consumed during your walk.

If you are a true caffeine hound, then doing this the few first times is going to be really hard…. for about 5 minutes. Then you will find that you are waking up, feeling pretty good, and ready to face the day.

All that, and DRUG free… AMAZING.

Let’s look at the simple benefits of Wake. Walk. Water.

Hydration: if you are even partially dehydrated, mental and physical performance can suffer, leading to lethargy and fuzzy thinking. I don’t think we need to walk around carrying a bottle and sipping water all day, but start your day out fully hydrated by knocking back 1.5 liters in your morning walk and I guarantee you will thank me for it.

Light sensitivity and neurotransmitter activity: our brains are pretty well cued to run off LIGHT as a signal for when to get up and go, and when to lay down and face plant. (No screens late at night and pitch black room for sleeping, anyone?). Now we are simply offering the opposite trigger. SUNLIGHT. Body and brain take note, it is wake up time.

Vitamin D and the sun: I don’t push the D3 in a bottle much mainly because I MUCH PREFER THE SUN. This is an opportunity to get outdoors, and get some sun. Ensuring adequate levels of Vitamin D is easily one of the most important factors in total health and happiness.

Movement, oxygen and neurotransmitter activity: when was the last time that going for a brisk walk made you feel sleepy? There are complete university degrees on what happens to our body when we exercise so going into it in detail could take me up to four years. The short version: There is not a SINGLE hormone in your body that won’t thank you for going for a walk. Movement rocks. Sunshine rocks. Being outdoors rocks. Once again, even a little bit of movement (especially coupled with the light) will induce a nice natural release of all those wonderful transmitters you need in order to focus and think clearly.

Connection with nature: walk in the most natural environment you can find. Like the nasty food most people eat, our modern lives tend to be very far removed from our ancestral norm in terms of connection with nature. Even little bits of exposure to nature are good for happiness and stress levels.

Wake up each day without reaching for a drug. In this case, caffeine.

Improve health and happiness.

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The ugly truth about “heart healthy” vegetable oils (HINT: there is NO such thing!)

Vegetable oils: an unnatural process from the start.

Before we talk about the process by which vegetable oils are made, let’s first look at one of my favorite traditional fats: Butter.

Butter is a simple process that comes when cream separates from milk. This is a natural process that only takes a little patience. Once the cream and milk have separated, all you need to do is skim off the cream and shake it until it becomes butter. (And it really is as easy as it sounds, I’ve made butter lots of times. Takes about 5 minutes. Just put about 1/2 c. heavy organic cream in a baby food jar, add a bit of salt and shake to a smooth butter spread. You can even add some garlic or dill or other herb. Experiment!)

Now let’s compare that to the production of canola oil. Here’s an overly simplified version of the process:

Step 1: Find some “canola seeds.” Oh wait, they don’t exist. Canola oil is actually made from a hybrid version of the rapeseed… most likely genetically modified and heavily treated with pesticides.

Step 2: Heat the rapeseeds at unnaturally high temperatures so that they oxidize and are rancid before you ever buy them.

Step 3: Process with a petroleum solvent to extract the oils.

Step 4: Heat some more and add some acid to remove any nasty wax solids that formed during the first processing.

Step 5: Treat the oil with more chemicals to improve the color.

Step 6: Deodorize the oil to mask the horrific smell from the chemical processing.

Of course, if you want to take your vegetable oils one step further, just hydrogenated it until it becomes a solid. Now you have margarine and all its trans-fatty wonder. Tasty? I think NOT!

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Buy your organics with a conscience: who supports or opposes GMO labeling?

Believe it or not, the following list of companies are in favor of HIDING what is in your food:


Plum Organics

Honest Tea

Naked Juice




Cascadian Farms

R. W. Knudsen



Lara Bar

Wolfgang Puck

Morningstar Farms


Simply Orange

General Mills

Santa Cruz Organics

Campbells Soup


And the obvious:  Bayer, Monsanto, ConAgra, Pepsico, CocaCola

But then ask yourself, WHY BASF AND DUPONT?!?!?



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19 foods to naturally detox the body of radiation


  1. Spirulina
  2. Chlorella
  3. Seaweed
  4. Kelp
  5. Black / Green Tea
  6. Garlic
  7. Onions
  8. Wheat Grass
  9. Apples (and other fruits rich in pectin)
  10. Lemons
  11. Parsley
  12. Beets
  13. Sauerkraut
  14. Ginger
  15. Avocado
  16. Horseradish
  17. Kale (and other leafy greens)
  18. Broccoli
  19. Coconut oil
 We all remember the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 and damaged the Fukushima power plant, causing radiation to leak into the environment. Although it seems like it was so long ago, the health hazards are still real and happening today.

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co) finally admitted in July this year that radioactive water has been leaking from the plant since the accident and new studies have also shown that it will likely reach the U.S. coastal waters by the beginning of 2014 and peak in 2016. Radioactive elements have already been detected in the food chain in Japan and radioactive rain has been recorded in California.
The Swedish Government monitored the radiation level of foods following the Chernobyl disaster. They found that most animal based foods including meat, dairy, and fish had higher levels of radioactive substances than fruits, vegetables, grains, and potatoes. Eating plant based foods can reduce exposure to radioactive substances by avoiding concentrations of these substances in animal fat and tissues. A plant centered diet in the midst of radiation exposure provides lower levels of radioactive substances as well as fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that have the potential to reduce cancer rates associated with radiation exposure.

Sulfur-containing antioxidants found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage, have been found to provide protection against radiation exposure through their detoxifying properties.

Pectin in fruits has also been shown to reduce levels of the radioactive substance Cs-137. Plant based foods provide protection against free radical damage and they can reduce the absorption of radioactive substances.

A study published in Russia reviewed the protective nature of dietary fiber against radiation. Researchers used concentrates of dietary fiber from lemon peel and beet root among other plants and found that the fiber did have radio-protective properties. The authors concluded that concentrated dietary fiber can be used in human nutrition to accelerate the elimination of nuclides or radioactive elements.

Whether or not the Fukushima plant meltdown the radioactive levels escalate or not, the simple change to a strong plant diet can provide significant protection and health benefits for you and your family. Consuming a broad spectrum of fruits and vegetables can provide powerful protection against the ravaging effects of radiation exposure.

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What exactly is in Coca-Cola?

(parts reprinted by permission)

When having a cold bottle of Coke and enjoying its undeniable freshness are we aware of what chemical “cocktail” we are putting into our bodies? The active ingredient in Coca-Cola is orthophosphoric acid. Due to its high acidity, cisterns used for transporting the chemical have to be equipped with special reservoirs designed for highly corrosive materials.

Let’s have a look at “the anatomy” of one of the most advertised products of “Coca-Cola Co.” – Coca-Cola Light without caffeine. This drink contains Aqua Carbonated, E150D, E952, E951, E338, E330, Aromas, E211.

Aqua Carbonated – this is sparkling water. It stirs gastric secretion, increases the acidity of the gastric juice and provokes flatulency. Filtered tap water is what is primarily used.

E150D – this is food coloring obtained through the processing of sugar at specified temperatures, with or without addition of chemical reagents. In the case of Coca-Cola, ammonium sulfate is added.

E952 – Sodium Cyclamate is a sugar substitute. Cyclamate is a synthetic chemical, has a sweet taste, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar, and is used as an artificial sweetener. In 1969 it was banned by FDA since it, as well as saccharin and aspartame, caused cancer in rats.

E950 – Acesulfame Potassium. 200 times sweeter than sugar, containing methyl-ether. It aggravates the operation of the cardiovascular system. Likewise, it contains asparaginic acid which can also cause an excitant effect on our nervous system and in time it can lead to addiction. Acesulfame is badly dissolved and is not recommended for use by children and pregnant women.

E951 – Aspartame. A sugar substitute for diabetics and is chemically unstable at elevated temperatures it breaks down into methanol and phenylalanine. Methanol is very dangerous as only 5-10ml can cause destruction of the optic nerve and irreversible blindness. In warm soft drinks, aspartame transforms into formaldehyde which is a very strong carcinogen. Symptoms of aspartame poisoning include: unconsciousness, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, palpitation, weight gain, irritability, anxiety, memory loss, blurry vision, fainting, joint pains, depression, infertility, hearing loss and more. Aspartame can also provoke the following diseases: brain tumors, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), epilepsy, Graves’ disease, chronic fatigue, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, mental deficiency and tuberculosis. This substance was made legal in a very suspicious manner.

E338 – Orthophosphoric Acid. This can cause irritation of the skin and eyes. It is used for production of phosphoric acid salts of ammonia, sodium, calcium, aluminum and also in organic synthesis for the production of charcoal and film tapes. It is also used in the production of refractory materials, ceramics, glass, fertilizers, synthetic detergents, medicine, metalworking, as well as in the textile and oil industries. It is known that orthophosphoric acid interferes with the absorption of calcium and iron into the body which can cause weakening of bones and osteoporosis. Other side effects are thirst and skin rashes.

E330 – Citric Acid. It is widely used in pharmaceutical and food industries. Salts of citric acid (citrates) are used in the food industry as acids, preservatives, stabilizers, and in the medical fields – for preserving blood.

Aromas – unknown aromatic additives

E211 – Sodium Benzoate. It is used in production of some food products for anti-bacterial and anti-fungal purposes. It is often found in jams, fruit juices and fruit yogurts. It’s not recommended for use by asthmatics and people who are sensitive to aspirin. A study conducted by Peter Piper at the Sheffield University in Britain, found that this compound causes significant damage to DNA. According to Peter, sodium benzoate which is an active component in preservatives, doesn’t destroy DNA, but deactivates it. This can lead to cirrhosis and degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

So, if you can’t imagine a life without coca-cola, take advantage of the following recommendations:

- Many distributors of Coca-Cola in U.S use this drink for cleaning their truck engines.

- Many police officers in U.S have bottles of Coca-Cola in their cars and when a car accident happens, they wash the blood off of the road with it.

- Coca-Cola is a great tool for removing rusty stains on chrome surfaces of cars. To remove corrosion from a car battery, pour Coke on it and the corrosion will disappear.

- To unscrew a rusty screw, dip a cloth in Coca-Cola and wrap around the screw for several minutes.

- To clean stains from clothes – pour Coca-Cola on the dirty clothing, add washing detergent and run the washing machine as usual. You will be surprised at the results.

- In India, some farmers use Coca-Cola instead of pesticides for pest extermination because it’s cheaper and the effect is very similar.

Coca-Cola is undeniably a very useful product. The key is to use it for purposes that do not include drinking!

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