Personally, I get somewhat grossed out by things being made in factories. I like to have as much control over what we eat.. however, there are just some thing (more than I care to admit) that we have to purchase. So then making smart well informed choice is the best option.
Olive oil, Coconut oil, butter (and other animal fats) were all available a 100+ years ago. We know that Olives were being picked 8th millennium BC [source]. Butter can be traced back to 1500 BC, but is thought to be much older [source] and coconut oil also cating back to 1500 BC [source]. These fats have stood the test of time and are traditional fats.
New fats (vegetable oils), that could not be produced until we had the chemicals to extract the fats/oils, are not so good. Many of them are bleached! ek! There are plenty of articles that explain in detail why these oils are not healthy, I suggest that you read them.
Vegetable oils (and margarine, made from these oils) are oils extracted from seeds like the rapeseed (canola oil) soybean (soybean oil), corn, sunflower, safflower, etc. They were practically non-existent in our diets until the early 1900s when new chemical processes allowed them to be extracted.
Unlike butter or coconut oil, these vegetable oils can’t be extracted just by pressing or separating naturally. They must be chemically removed, deodorized, and altered. These are some of the most chemically altered foods in our diets, yet they get promoted as healthy.
Vegetable oils are found in practically every processed food, from salad dressing to mayo to conventional nuts and seeds. These oils are some of the most harmful substances you can put into your body, but more on that in a minute!
Vegetable oils contain a very high concentration of Omega 6 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats, which cause an imbalance of these oils in the body. Omega 6 fats are easily oxidized with heat or light exposure. This is another reason that when these types of fats/oils are incorporated into tissue like skin cells, the heat and light from sun exposure can increase skin cancer risk.
So now on to the main event: HOW IS VEGETABLE OIL MADE?
I think that 3:07 is the nastiest part to me. Any time I think about eating something with vegetable oils in it, I think about that part..
Now lets compare that to a good healthy traditional oli… HOW OLIVE OIL IS MADE:
This process seems much nicer. I like how they show the traditional and modern process. Both are clean and chemical free!
Then on to my all time favorite – BUTTER! I know it is not a oil per say, but it is a great choice!
This is the factory version, some of you might have made butter at school when you were a kid. It is a really fun process I think – great to teach kids where there food is coming from! Here is an example.
Then just for good measure.. Coconut oil!
It was hard to find industrial videos of coconut oil being made, this was the best I could find.
A great BONUS to using coconut oil and olive oil is that they tend to come in glass! Yey, no plastic! And of course, butter comes in paper!
Since publishing “Why I don’t use toothpaste“, I am asked which toothpastes / toothpaste alternatives I reccomend – as not everyone is able to find the Oliva soap that I use. I am going to review a few products which I have used.
Redmond Trading Company
We wanted a toothpaste that was as natural as possible, so we started with hydrated Redmond Clay and added Xylitol, essential oils, and Real Salt. And thats it. Earthpaste is amazingly natural toothpaste. Most brands of toothpaste contain foaming agents like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), and chemicals like titanium dioxide to make the paste bright white. Not Earthpaste. It isnt just safe to swallow each ingredient in Earthpaste has been used to support healthy systems. Earthpaste is different Earthpaste delivers all the benefits you expect from a toothpaste without any chemicals or unnatural additives.
We discovered this when visiting the U.S. this summer.. I was very interested to see what the clean options were for toothpastes at Whole Foods (which is discovered changes town to town). Earthpaste really caught my eye with the extra large NO GLYCERIN advert on the box. We have almost used a full tube of the paste now, and really enjoy it. It is nice to have the option of minty fresh breath. I highly recommend this if you are considering the switch but just can not bear the thought of soap. I have ordered extras for traveling and to have at the house for those days where minty fresh is desired – but we have decided that since it comes in plastic it will not be used daily since we have other plastic free options.
Kiss My Face
This is the closest to what I use daily (Oliva – which seems not to be sold online). This bar is created without animal ingredients, artificial colors, unnecessary chemicals or animal testing – all thats in it is: Saponified Olive Oil, Water, Sodium Chloride (AKA: Salt). That means no SLS, no parabens, and no phthalates.
The beauty of this soap is it simplicity. It is wrapped in paper, so there is no plastic waste. There are 3 very simple ingredients. And for us, one bar of soap last at least half a year. That means you can brush your teeth for around $6 per year.. which is a bargin!
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps
I am the biggest fan of Dr. Bronner’s! I love all their castile soaps and use them for everything. I began this no toothpaste journey with the Oliva soap, as that was what I had access too. I have used the Peppermint Castile Soap in the past, but found I prefered flavorless to this. However, my family all use this. So it just goes to show how everyones tastes will be different. This soap also comes simply in a paper wrapping.
Dr. Bronner’s have always been very open about what is in their soaps. While this soap does have more ingredients than the Olive soap, it is worth testing out if you are on the hunt! If all else fails, use it to wash your hands (sidenote: peppermint soap is not good bodywash – it can sting your bits).
Here the ingredients are straight forward as well: Organic coconut oil*, organic palm oil*, sodium hydroxide**, water, mentha arvensis*, organic olive oil*, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, organic peppermint oil*, salt, citric acid, tocopherol. *Certified Fair Trade Ingredients. **None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin. Completely Biodegradable and Vegetable-Based. No Synthetic Foaming Agents, Thickeners or Preservatives.
So those are my top three.. I am sure that there are many other out there – and I would love to hear what you all have discovered and/or are using!
Happy 2013 readers! I hope that you all had a great 2012 where you learned how to care better for your body and the environment. I have been very busy this year in my free time learning about all these little things that interest me. Me and Google are best friends
I was wanting to do a “Top 10 Things I Learned in 2012″ post, but I think it just needs to be a top few. I have been abit slower with the blogging now, as I am busy working full time now – unlike when I started with this journey I hope that you all had a wonderful and insightful 2012, now lets make 2013 a year we learn even more about making ourselves and the world healthier! Below are the top things – the things that stand out the most in my head – that I have learned this year, plus some tips and a few goals for the year.
1.Magnesium! What does it not do!
You really need it! Magnesium used to be in our food, in abundance. Now with all our mass farming and lack of care for the earth, we have depleted the soil of this amazing nutrient. Unless you are swimming in the ocean daily, it is safe to say you are deficient.
Magnesium is a mineral that’s important for more than 300 enzymes to work properly and is needed for proper digestion and elimination. A magnesium deficiency causes a slower bowel emptying which leads to malabsorption and constipation and those are all contributing to gut flora problems.
Magnesium is also very important for proper and restorative sleep, vitamin D function and immune system function, three things that you want on your side when trying to heal the gut and rebuild a good gut flora. -via
This is one of my more recently discoveries, and I plan to write a very long and detailed post on why you need it. The short list of ailments caused by lack, of magnesiums are: Anxiety and Panic attacks, Asthma, Blood Clots, Bowel disease, Depression-Serotonin, Fatigue, Heart disease, Heart disease, Hypoglycemia, Insomnia, Kidney and Liver disease, Osteoporosis, PMS, and tooth decay. In the mean time, if you are interested – start doing some research of your own
2. D3 kicks the odor
Vitamin D3, it is my new best friend. When I take it my body odor leaves! yay! I could not remember where I heard about this, so I had to do some digging. It turns out that I can not find it, I assume I read it as a suggestion in a comment or such. What I do remeber is that earlier this year I wanted oh so badly to avoid the nasty chemical laden sunscreen. So in my searching I read that coconut oil and a extra dose of vitamin D3 a few weeks ahead and through sun exposure would prevent a burn. While it worked great on light sun days – ie. walking around town in and out of cafes and stores – it idid not work on the beach of hours on end. I did end up burning once I spent a full day on the beach – maybe I was not applying the coconut oil enough or maybe it was my “vacation eating”. Who knows! What I know is that I was in pain. Through all of that though, I kept taking the D3 through to the fall. I probably had started taking it around March, if I were to guess. In the late fall (aprx. September) I realized that if I missed a day of deoderant that it was not the end of the world as it would have been before. I could wear a cardigan for more than one day without making the people around me pass out and it was great. Now this is not to say that I am deodorant free just yet (though I feel that I am working toward it) but I am able to survive on natural deodorants with peace.. which is groundbreaking! yay! I am now taking around 300 micrograms per day of liquid drops.
3. Sugar is the devil!
Ok, well I already knew that – but I really got a good kick in the butt reminder about it. When I was growing up all my family knew that sugar made me sick. They always were so good about having alternative desserts and such for me. Sometime these were fruits and chesse (and sometimes sadly slendia laden desserts which at the time we thought were great). My stomach would twist up and cause me tons of pain.. and I was really good at saying “no” and avoiding it. For some reason once I cut out all gluten, I started getting abit more lax on the sugar consumption. I still get kill stomach aches, body aches and sometimes if I really over due it need to all but lay down for a half hour. I still like a treat here and there, so I am going to be looking into some of Sarah Wilson’s (aka: the I Quit Sugar lady) desserts and treats and stick to them instead of say ice cream or chocolate! I have done my fair share of experimenting this year with baked good and sweets with Stevia and fresh dates or berries to sweeten. They all taste amazing, even much more so if you have not been eating white sugar!
For the first time, a direct link has been established between the amount of sugar circulating in the blood and how old a person looks….They found that those with higher blood sugar looked older than those with lower blood sugar. In fact for every 1mm/litre increase in blood sugar, the perceived age of that person rose by five months. -via
If you are interested in reading some of the articles about quiting sugar that I read this year, then check these out!
- Why sugar makes us fat
- Ten ways to sweeten food without sugar
- Whats the deal with coconut sugar?
- Artificial sweeteners…are any ok?
- The deal with agave
- The Question of Seasonality in Fructose Availability
4. Gluten allergies + coffee = BAD
When I started on the journey to heal my thyroid I read about coffee inhibiting my thyroid from healing, so I cut it out right away. Coffee is really bad on the adrenals, which we really need in tip top shape (if interested, read this article on The Definitive Guide to Stress, Cortisol, and the Adrenals)
Frequent stimulation of the adrenal glands from caffeine eventually leads to adrenal exhaustion whether this be at age 20 or age 60. If you’ve been drinking coffee for years and think you are “just fine thank you”, think again. Feeling bone tired and not being able to get off the couch to do much of anything could be just around the corner as hormonal problems can strike suddenly and seemingly out of the blue (just ask any menopausal woman). It is the sleeping giant you best not ignore.
Other symptoms of adrenal exhaustion include lack of physical endurance and stamina, weight gain, reduced ability to handle stress, impairment of calcium absorption, and depression of immunity. -via
So that was why I kicked the coffee, but I still would occasionally have a small cup here and there. That was until I read this article about Coffee and people with gluten problems, here is an excerpt:
In a nutshell, fairly recent lab research has revealed that 10% of coffee is a protein that cross reacts with gluten antibodies.
This means that if you are gluten sensitive or celiac and are avoiding gluten containing grains or perhaps have even gone completely grain free, if you still drink coffee there is a strong likelihood that the protein in the coffee is triggering the very same gluten related health problems you are trying to avoid.
In other words, even if you think you are doing fine with your current gluten free diet, it is very possible that skipping the coffee could take your health to the next level.
5. No more sick days
That once you cut out grains and sugar – you barley get sick! I used to get sick all the time, once the weather got cold – there I was home in bed. I was always having sick days – but this year I did not! I was only missing work a few times for small sickness this past year. It is such and improvement from the past! I think it is also to do with the facet that I am not so OCD about my cleaning anymore. I dont carry around hand sanitizer or bleach the house anymore. You know the saying “a little dirt never hurt” is so true! I also notice that when I eat sugar, I start feeling ill (not the ill I talked about like upset stomach, but sick/flu ill). I feel terrible and get headaches and sleep terrible ect. It is a nightmare. The times when I have been eating lots of sugar are the times that I remember getting sick – sugar weakens the immune system!
6. Gluten, that sneaky *****!
I still hate gluten! It is one tiny little sucker! It can stay in the body for around 6 months when ingested – so once accidental bite or acidental contaminated meal can really cause problems in the body potentially for months. It has taken the whole year with friends and family, but they final remember that I can not have gluten and dont think I am so crazy anymore! yay! If you have not read the book “Wheat Belly” I HIGHLY suggest it. Even if you think that you don’t have a gluten problem, you should learn about the dangerous genetically modified wheat that most people are eating multiple times per day. The book is very informative and a good read for health nerds like us! Gluten issues are up more than 400% in young adults than they are in 50 year olds! That just goes to show that this new modern wheat we young adults have gown up on has reaked havoc on us! It is also thought that one in three Americans have gluten senstivity! ekk! (source)I try to cook everything from scratch to make sure I know whats going in my body, but also to make sure I am not getting gluten. One thing I really noticed this year was how gluten is in everything! eh! I find it most on lazy days, where as I hate to admit it I walk through the store hoping for some quick dinner like soup or such. Soy sauce sweet chilli sauce, brown sauce, white sauce – ok basically all sauces, soups, chili mixes, spice mixes, potato chips, trail mix (ekk! its the pretzels or chocolate with crispy things in it), ice cream and I could go on and on.
All these things I have learned are to help make me healthier … some may say that it is too late for them – but just remember that some of these things might take generations to heal.. so please start now
There’s the Pottanger’s Cats theory. In the 1930s Francis Pottanger ran experiments on cats over 10 years and found that when he fed them the cat equivalent of McDonalds they got sick. He found the illnesses (including infertility and the same degenerative diseases we’re now seeing in humans) took several generations to kick in. And that it took four generations again of being fed good food for normal health to be restored. -via
I suggest that when you are taking on this life style to take one thing at a time.. in the beginning when I started this I wanted to do everything at once. While I though that maybe I could handle it, I did not want to do that to my family so I decided to take one thing – like taking my own shopping bags – and once it became a habit for us, then I would move along to the next. I have made a list of Goals (though that is not all of them) that I would like to accomplish, and I try to tackle a new one every few weeks or at least once per month. It really helps on the stress end and also will help you get through each goal and stick to it!
What I am looking forward to in 2013!
I sold one of my websites this past fall, so I am looking forward to having more time to relax and blog on this site (that site took the majority of my blogging time up).
Reading Magnesium Miricle and writing a post on it.
Writing a post on my cleaning products/methods – I am starting to get lots of questions now, so time for me to get busy writing them out!
I am looking forward to getting the last few chemicals out of my house!
Eating full Paleo, time to cut the excuses out. I feel 100% when I eat clean – but sadly, all to often Ill allow myself some sugar for a “special event” and feel like crap for a few days. In addition to getting off the sugar, I would like to cut out a few of the gluten free alternatives I have been using (like corn based pasta.. ekk, I know!).
Full Paleo + strength training. We will be going to a good friend of ours gym this year. I am looking forward to it. It will be tough, but I am sure worth it!
What have your learned this year? What are you looking forward too? – will you share with us?
Today I watched Genetic Roulette.. these are my thoughts on the documentary:
I hear a lot that I am “over the top” and such. I hear things like these 3 statements and I have even heard them all from the same person(s) before:
“No one used to be so concerned over food, just eat what is at the store, stop worrying. The government is watching out and testing things”
“Back 30 years ago there were no food allergies, I think people are just oversensitive or something”
“People never used to be sick this much, but I just think it must be that we did not have names for all these things people have now or the science didn’t pick up on them. People died, they did not die from XYZ”
These statements sadden me. It is like people have figured it out but are being to naive to accept it. For example in 1996 GMO Corn was introduced to the states. In the years following disease rose majorly in inflammation based disease.
These GMO super bug grains like corn or wheat that can fight off ‘pests’ (pestacides) and kill them by breaking there (the bugs) stomachs open are being ingested by millions daily – not just once but in almost all types of food. These GMO’s deplete the minerals in your food, making your food sick. Then your food (i.e. cow) and you eat this sick food and sick animals… not giving you much nutrition to keep you healthy. Then not only did you eat sick food and therefore have a sick stomach (leaky gut/weak immune system) you have introduced those pesticides into your intestines and they can take over your gut flora (bacteria) and make it bad. Some studies show too that once you get enough of these pesticides in your stomach that they will reproduce themselves in your stomach.. making this problem ever so long.
I think the freakiest part of the documentary to me (mind you, all of this stuff was freaky) was when they were talking about the birth defects. They have done lots of testing on mice with GMO feed. Birth rates went down, testicles changed from pink to a strange blue color, by the 3rd generation some lost the ability to reproduce and (this part with made me sick!) some had HAIR growing in their mouths!!! (pictured below)
Between all my research about food quality – non gmo, organic, whole food, paleo foods ect. paired with my hatred of plastic plus my hatred of cleaning chemicals I have see one common thread in all these. Chemicals. All these things that are making us sick have chemicals that are not natural in them that cause all types of disease in people. Things like leaky guts and autism, BPA factories and infertility, and grains and obesity. Going back to that “they did not have these diseases back in the day” statement.. it is probably somewhat true. People were eating some grains (probably even the late cave-peoples) but they were pure – as nature intended them to be. Now they are all hopped up on hormones and chemicals. It makes so much sense to me that when people switch to whole food or paleo diets that they start having medical break throughs. I have read 100′s of accounts of diseases leaving, aliments being healed, autism reversing and so on.. so much so that I feel like a 1910 fair ground sales man selling magical elixers when I talk to people about this. But I know these things are true, I have had it happen to me when I switched. No more thyroid problems or medicine for me! yay!
The biggest thing for me now is finding a sustainable way of life. In some of my previous post I have stated that I am working toward a guilt free compromise. A small update about that. I have added a few things back into my life that I am ok with. Cleaning for example, I have my vinegar and baking soda of course – but I have added in Grønnsåpe. Grønnsåpe was originally saponfied hemp oil, and sometimes still is. But more often these days they are mixing a few oils together for it like rutabaga or vegetable soaps. I think of it like Castile soap for my floors. As it is a wood cleaning soap. We have also started to buy salad items again. It is next to impossible to get salad items plastic free here. So we just stopped eating salad items due to my plastic hatred. However, chemical absorption from plastic is highest in fatty items. So it should be relatively low in salad lettuce and spinach.
Ok, back to the documentary at hand. Genetic Roulette is one of my top 10 documentaries everyone should see. I highly recommend it, and suggest you set aside a simple hour and half to watch this! I have found a version of it online in full – so you don’t have to run around the internet looking for a version to watch or trying to download it somewhere. I hope that this copy stays up for awhile, but I can not guarantee.. so watch it sooner than later!