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December 26, 2010

Healthy Kitchenware

by Stephanie Carnes

The quality of the food you eat is just as important as the quality of kitchenware that you use to cook and store it in! Finding non-toxic pots, pans, and food containers is an essential step on your journey toward optimal health. Here’s a review of the non-toxic options available:

GLASS
Glass pans are considered to be one of the healthiest options. Although there are white glass casserole dishes sold in the national chain stores, glass saucepans have been discontinued. However, you can still find them at thrift stores and on eBay.

PORCELAIN
Porcelain covered aluminum is considered safe as long as there are no chips or cracks. These pans are lightweight and very reasonably priced. For example, Martha Stewart has a line of lightweight gray-colored porcelain pots that are sold at K-Mart.

TEFLON
Teflon scratches easily and it toxic at very high temperatures. If you’re careful with your pans, Teflon is an acceptable option that’s safe to use for short, stove-top cooking.

CAST IRON
Cast iron was once considered to be one of the healthiest options. However, Raymond Peat, a respected naturopath in Eugene, Oregon, has explained that excess iron is very toxic. In a newsletter article called “Iron’s Dangers” he writes:

“Just like lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel and other heavy metals, stored iron produces destructive free radicals. The harmful effects of iron-produced free radicals are practically indistinguishable from those causes by exposure to X-rays and gamma rays; both accelerate the accumulation of age-pigment and other signs of aging.”

STAINLESS STEEL
Raymond Peat explains that there are two main types of stainless steel, magnetic and nonmagnetic. The nonmagnetic form has a very high nickel content. He explains that nickel is much more toxic than iron or aluminum. It’s both allergenic and carcinogenic.

To test for safe stainless, use a refrigerator magnet to determine which pans contain a high amount of nickel. The magnet will stick to the safer type of pan. Note: Newer thermos containers tend to be lined with stainless steel that does not pass the refrigerator magnet safety test described above. The older thermos bottles lined with glass are the safest option, and they are available at www.thermos.com.


SOURCE: Ten Days to Optimal Health (Amelong 2006)


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December 21, 2010

When The Bubbles Dissipated

by Kristina Amelong 

(PART 2 of Kristina's personal wellness story entitled "Golden Arches")

During that first year at McDonald's, I mastered every station in the grill area: buns, regular grill, quarter pounder grill, and fish filet fryers. Working my 2- to 3-hour shift, a few times per week, I answered a need that I hadn't yet been aware enough to recognize, let alone articulate: I had purpose in my life.

We all loved working the regular and quarter pounder grills, laying the round, red, stiffly frozen beef patties, searing them tightly to the stainless steel surface, flipping them one (sometimes two) at a time, and finally, in their sizzling perfection, placing those grilled disks on their buns. The faster we worked, the higher we were held in esteem by others -- management and co-workers alike. And we had fun -- lots of it. We had mastered a set of skills and we showed off these skills in heroic fashion.

These brazen beef patties marched out of the grill area to gratify the hungry mouths that called for fulfillment, or as birthday blessings for blameless children, or simply as a mindless lunch. The pedestrians and the cars, pulling forth from all corners of the universe, weren't satisfied with only a beef patty, but also dove selfishly into French fries, large Cokes, and apple pies. In concert with the drive-through and the woman in the blue uniform, we dispatched these terrestrial treats at light speed.

It was a good year.

On May 27, 1981, a bit more than one year later, I wasn't at work. On that day -- other than chores, a bit of chemistry homework, and an episode of Gilligan's Island -- I had no plans.

I decide to tackle doing the dishes first. As the hot water poured from the faucet, I squirted soap into the sink, watching it turn to bubbles. I imagined the bubbles carrying me off, always popping before I got very far, sending me crashing to the kitchen floor. During a particularly hard fall, I caught a glimmer of light from the front yard. I pulled myself off the floor and went to investigate: it was a City of Madison police car.

As I went outside, I saw that the police vehicle's trunk was open because it contained a bicycle. It must have taken me 3 or 4 minutes to go from the front steps to the end of the driveway -- a journey that normally took no more than five seconds. As I stepped off the porch, onto the sidewalk that ran in front of our modest ranch home, the police officer set down his clipboard and opened his door. I could hear his every move -- the silence of setting down his clipboard, the chiming of his keys as he shut off his car, the shuffling of his feet as his body shifted to open the door, the creaking hinges as he pushed open the door.

I don't remember what the policeman told me. I do remember that he left me with my younger brother Jay’s crumpled bicycle, lying on the front lawn, with no Jay in sight and no information except, "There's been an accident."

Back in the kitchen, I stood at the sink. The bubbles had now dissipated, and the air seemed odd. As the phone rang, I felt unusual, thick, pregnant. I turned to answer it, wondering why I felt this way. 

Bringgggg, bringgggg, bringgggg.

As I lifted the handset off the base of the olive green, wall-mounted rotary phone, it occurred to me that my 13-year-old brother had probably been smoking pot that day after school. Is that why his bike was now strangely distorted on my front lawn? Is that why time had slowed? Is that why the phone was ringing?

"Hello."

"Kris, it is Jan Anderson. I am picking you up in five minutes. Your brother is at the University Hospital."

Click.

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December 15, 2010

Fibromyalgia and Emotional Stress

by Stephanie Carnes

According to the American College of Rheumatology, three to six million Americans have fibromyalgia and ninety percent of the cases of fibromyalgia occur in women. Below is a case study by Kristina Amelong that demonstrates how toxicity in the body can cause pain and emotional problems.

Case: Joyce, age 40, October 2001

Background: Joyce presented herself at the clinic with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, a spastic bladder, intense carbohydrate cravings, anxiety, depression, a sleep disorder, and severe mood swings. Her bowels were moving only one to three times per week. Her mood and temper were at times extreme.

Sessions and Treatment Recommendations: During each of her weekly sessions, our work together included reviewing her eating habits. Originally, her meals consisted of cereal or toast for breakfast, a sandwich at lunch, meat and vegetables for dinner, and fruit smoothies and bread sticks for snacks. Each time I saw her, we would fine-tune her diet.

In her first colon hydrotherapy session, she removed 20 feet of stored stool in a 40-minute period. The bowel issues were taken care of within 35 days by using the OHC plan. Plus, her long term nutritional habits were refined and brought into sync with her lifestyle needs. She found that raw, grass-fed butter made a tremendous difference in her cravings for carbohydrates as well as in how she felt emotionally. She ate the equivalent of a stick of butter daily. Supplements were used to help her with the other problems; magnesium, an antioxidant, raw, organic liver, a probiotic, and cod liver oil.

This first round of treatments got her feeling 50% better. Three months later, after two fasts, she finally regulated her sleep schedule and was able to cry and rage a lot. She now spent 90% of her days with no pain. She has had to maintain a strict diet to keep her symptoms from flaring up. Her anxiety and depression were completely gone, and she found that if she gave herself permission to cry when she felt like it, she quickly moved through any mood swings.

Status (December, 2002): Approximately 90% of her problems are gone as she continues to maintain her new eating habits, to practice emotional release, and to take her supplements!

For more information on how foods can assist our bodies in the healing process view Kristina's 10 Day Diet and Nutritional Program.

SOURCE: Ten Days to Optimal Health (Amelong 2006)

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December 10, 2010

Why You Should Avoid Pasteurized Dairy

by Stephanie Carnes

Pasteurized dairy is heated to high temperatures to kill pathogenic bacteria. Most dairies—including those that sell pasteurized, organic milk—often have filthy cesspools with cows standing in manure several feet deep. The factory dairy cow is also fed a mash full of antibiotics and hormones such as rBGH, waste products, and sometimes meat from infected animals, even though the cow is an herbivore (vegetarian).

Essential Guideline: 
Avoid pasteurized yogurt, cream, butter, cheese, cottage cheese, and ice cream.

Very few of us can truly digest today’s commercial dairy products. The reason for confining our cows in feedlots and feeding them grain rather than grass is that they produce more milk—especially when injected with biweekly hormones. Today’s grain-fed cows produce three times as much milk as the old family cow of days gone by. Unfortunately this industrial process leads to health concerns for both the cows and those who drink their milk.

Products from grass-fed animals offer a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. On the contrary, industrialized animals whose diets are made up of grain have a high concentration of omega-6 fat which contributes to many diseases. Animals who eat grass contain at least two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids in their meat and milk. These omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae that they consume.

Additionally, the protein in pasteurized cow’s milk is the leading cause of food allergies in both adults and children. The fat in pasteurized and homogenized milk has been altered and no longer comes with the lipase enzyme that is needed by the body to digest the milk fat. Ask around. You’ll be surprised to find how many people have already figured out that giving up pasteurized dairy has decreased the number of colds they get, the sinus problems they have, the number of ear infections their children get, and the amount of bloating they experience.

Raw dairy is a superior food, but only if you can obtain if from a farmer who has healthy animals that eat green nutrient-dense grass and has its enzymes intact.

For more info view our raw milk Resource Guide.

SOURCE: Ten Days to Optimal Health (Amelong 2006)

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December 5, 2010

Well-being: The Beginning of a Very Long Story

by Kristina Amelong 

(PART 1 of Kristina's personal wellness story entitled "Golden Arches")

What is well-being? How do we create well-being within our own lives? What do we need to learn to attend to life’s challenges with a growing vitality?

In her diary, A Burst of Light: Living with Cancer, Audre Lorde writes, "Another secret is to find some particular thing your soul craves for nourishment -- a different religion, a quiet spot, a dance class -- and satisfy it. That satisfaction does not have to be costly or difficult. Only a need that is recognized, articulated, and answered."

My journey of well-being began at McDonald's, the day I turned 16. I showed up drunk that first day, or, more accurately, hung over -- I had been drinking an assortment of stolen liquor since 8 a.m. By 4 p.m., the start of my 3-hour Friday night shift, I boasted a respectable hangover.

My job was buns. My entire focus centered on the hamburger bun, top and bottom -- the same bun found in the Happy Meal. I was to listen for the woman in the blue uniform to call out some number of burgers, always a multiple of two.

"Twelve burgers!"

As I split each white bun in half, I placed the tops face down on one stainless steel tray and the bottoms face up on a separate stainless steel tray. I then put the tray of the bottom buns, lying face up, in the toaster.

The waiting part was the hardest -- standing with nothing to do (which I was quickly trained not to do). This nothingness invariably led my attention to just how deathly ill I felt. At one point, I ran to the bathroom to throw up. Luckily, no one seemed to notice.

Sixty seconds later, the bun buzzer went off. I scrambled to take the stainless steel sheet and its buns out of the toaster, without losing any. Once this was done, the tops went in. Next I placed the perfect amount of mustard, ketchup, onions, and pickles on the bun. Once accomplished, I called out, "Cheese on a dozen?"

The woman in the blue uniform responded, "Eight, please."

Finally, I placed all twelve tops onto the tray of twelve burgers in one elegant move. Done!

Throughout the years, five in all, I delighted in the burgers I flipped, the French fries I brought to a crispy perfection, and the Coca Cola I passed off with a smile. But preparing and serving the food weren't the only skills I learned.

While my time at McDonald's may have contributed to my later chronic illness, in many ways it also helped to save my life:
  • I learned how to think and how to work with people
  • I learned how to be a part of a team and how to show up
  • I learned how to listen, work hard and respond flexibly to new situations
  • and, I learned how to improve myself
Now, at 46, I am continually awed at how the skills I learned at McDonald's help me to stay healthy, grow emotionally, and attend to life's challenges. Join me as I share my journey of well-being in continued posts.

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The Origin of Disease

by Stephanie Carnes

Scientists have concluded that cancer 'is purely man-made' after finding almost no trace of disease in Egyptian mummies.

Author Fiona Macrae discusses some of the scientific findings: 'Tumours were rare until recent times when pollution and poor diet became issues, the review of mummies, fossils and classical literature found. A greater understanding of its origins could lead to treatments for the disease, which claims more than 150,000 lives a year in the UK.'

Michael Zimmerman, a visiting professor at Manchester University, said: 'In an ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases. The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer-causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialisation.'

'In industrialised societies, cancer is second only to cardiovascular disease as a cause of death. But in ancient times, it was extremely rare,’ said Professor David, who presented the findings to Professor Mike Richards, the UK's cancer tsar and other oncologists at a conference earlier this year.

'There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer. So it has to be a man-made disease, down to pollution and changes to our diet and lifestyle.’

SOURCE: Mail Online-Science & Tech 15 October 2010

The Origin of Disease

In 1949, Linus Pauling, the founding father of molecular biology, and author of Vitamin C and the Common Cold, Cancer and Vitamin C and How to Live Longer and Feel Better, made public his theory that the origin of disease is based on specific changes in genetic materials due to environmental influences, which in turn modify physiological function.

In addition to an increase in environmental toxins and chemicals found in our polluted air and water, each year the FDA approves more and more chemicals for use in foods. These chemicals increase shelf life, kill bacteria, improve taste, replace fats, replace carbohydrates, and replace protein. The main goal of food is to supply our bodies with a natural healing capacity through nutrient rich sources. However, many of us now eat chemicals for our nourishment instead of vital macronutrients. To our food suppliers, profit is the key factor in food production.

Unfortunately, for the consumer of these fancy foods, food additives are often neurotoxic and/or carcinogenic. Thousands of the processed foods on the market are loaded with synthetic chemicals, which inside your body overload your organs of elimination. These chemicals are then stored in your cells, where they cause damage. Where the chemicals are stored is different in every individual. This is why one person might end up with cancer and another with irritable bowel.

Here are a few items on the market today that are widespread contributors to ill health:

Processed meats – Full of synthetic chemicals that weaken our bodies creating toxicity and a demand for extra nutrients just to cope. Lead, aluminum, and mercury are used in conventional processing.

Pasteurized dairy - There is also evidence that pasteurized dairy consumption causes immune-system reactions that trigger arthritis, atherosclerosis, type I diabetes, and increased risk for cancer.

Sugar and unnatural sugar alternatives – Too much causes the digestive tract to slow down and creates an overly acid body that can lead to chronic heart burn and the wearing down of all body systems. The more sugar you eat, the more nutrients are required to keep your body in balance!

Refined or denatured foods – Protein powders, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and white flour.

MSG or monosodium glutamate – This increases your chance of obesity and can permanently shift neural mechanisms in your brain that will alter mood.

Table salt – Strains your body due to being highly refined by drying at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. This changes its chemical structure and strips all nutrients.

It is important to realize that all diseases have their root in toxicity and cellular malnutrition! The above food facts are not meant to scare. Rather, they touch on the simple reality that eating healthy, non-toxic foods will assist our bodies to be able to fight disease naturally instead of creating an environment that leads to disease.

Dietary changes and detoxification are two main focuses of the Optimal Health Network. Colon cleansing, along with diet and lifestyle changes, will assist your body in eliminating stored toxins and can be a valuable tool in optimizing health and well-being.

SOURCE: Ten Days to Optimal Health (Amelong 2006)


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