I’d had nightmares about standing up in church and uncontrollably bellowing no-no words, but I never expected this. Without a blip of warning my mouth hijacked the controls and blurted it out. The first hint I had of what was going on was the sound of my voice crashing into my eardrums.
I love you.
It would have been nice if you said it first. Then again, it would have been nice if I had given you the chance.
These days, those three words usually come with an extra phrase or two, like “I love you, babe, AND NO YOU MAY NOT SUCK ON HIS FACE!” or “Love ya. Muah! Cat food is not a toy, Micah!” Parenting has changed almost everything about our lives, but it hasn’t changed this: I am crazy in love with you. How could I not be?
I said it first and I’ll say it now: I love you, Daddypotamus! You’re a phenomenal dad, and we’re going to dogpile you with kisses now.
Aquabounty, the biotech firm that spent 15 years and $60M creating GM Atlantic Salmon, is up a creek without a paddle. Better them than one of their fish, which could devastate natural populations if they ever happened to mix.
In an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill, the U.S. House of Representatives moved to ban the sale of GM Atlantic Salmon. It’s just a draft and hasn’t been voted on yet, but it signals a shift away from blind acceptance of GM foods.
Earlier this year expert testimony from Consumers Union senior scientist Michael Hansen revealed Aquabounty’s negligence toward human and environmental health. Only SIX FISH were studied for health effects, and Hansen believes there is significant evidence they manipulated data to “prove” there is “no significant difference” between wild salmon and GM salmon. Haven’t we heard that before?
This is HUGE, because it is an acknowledgment of one of the most basic flaws of genetically modified foods. Proteins that were not allergenic, when spliced into the genome of a different organism, can become so.
Indeed, a 1996 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who were allergic to Brazil nuts were also allergic to soy beans that had been implanted with a Brazil nut protein. There is also some evidence that even proteins don’t usually cause allergies can become allergenic when they are moved to a new food. A 2005 Australian study found that mice who were fed peas containing a typically non-allergenic protein from kidney beans experienced allergic reactions.
So, what do we know about the allergen potential of GM salmon specifically? Not much, because the research is skeletal at best.
[A] number of consumer, health, and environmental groups say that neither AquaBounty Technologies nor the FDA has enough evidence to ensure the public that the fish—which wouldn’t have to be labeled as genetically engineered (GE) on supermarket shelves—is safe for people or the planet. Consumers Union senior scientist Michael Hansen called the company’s food safety tests “woefully incomplete,” and the group pointed out that the FDA approval panel is mostly comprised of GE cheerleaders, with no fish ecologists or allergists. Why’s an allergist important? Because the company’s own tests suggest that the new salmon could be much more allergenic than regular salmon.
In order to understand the allergy tests, a bit of backstory on how AquAdvantage salmon are made is necessary. First, genetic engineers create a “diploid” fish, meaning like people, it has two sets of chromosomes. Then, to make the final market product, they add genetic material from other fish and breed a new salmon with three sets of chromosomes—a “triploid” female that can’t reproduce. AquaBounty researchers compared the allergenicity—or potential to cause an allergic reaction—of a control group of salmon to both the genetically engineered diploids and triploids. They found that the diploid salmon were 40 percent more allergenic than the control, while the triploid group was 19 percent more allergenic.
AquaBounty says that the triploids’ allergenicity level wasn’t statistically significant, and although the diploids’ level is significant, it doesn’t matter because only triploids will be sold. But Hansen of the Consumers Union finds a few problems with this argument. For starters, the test wasn’t double blind, meaning the researchers knew which fish were part of which test group. Second, the sample size of triploid fish was tiny—only six fish in all. Third, although AquaBounty is going to try to turn all its market-bound fish into triploid sterile females, the process isn’t perfect, and some 5 percent could end up as the more allergenic diploid.
Are Genetically Modified Foods More Allergenic? (emphasis mine)
Allergies are not merely an inconvenience. They create stress and inflammation in the immune system, which can result in many serious conditions.
You know, the ones that will happen because the process isn’t, ahem, “perfect”?? They are NOT sterile, which means that if they escaped they could breed with wild salmon. Scary thought.
The House may be finalizing the 2012 Farm Bill early next week. If you don’t want to leave this victory to chance a call to your senator/representative supporting this ban wouldn’t hurt. The number for the Capitol Switchboard is 202-224-3121. Just ask for your Representative’s and Senators’ offices and they’ll patch you right through. Then when your hubs gets home try to work this phrase in, “as I told the Senator today . . . ”
We’ve been GAPsters for a three and a half months now, which means it’s time for an update! So, the first thing you need to know is . . .
Start GAPS today, and you too can have no pants! Okay, I overshot there. You probably WANT pants. You most likely even want them to fit. Daddypotamus actually does, too, but since the man is shedding about two pounds a week his measurements are a moving target. Nothing to complain about there! I can think of a few other things not to complain about when losing 35+ pounds, and they are bacon, mayonnaise, biscuits and BUTTER! Not in breath mint sized portions, either. No, we’re talking unrestricted access. Take that, Jenny Craig!!
Pantlessness is not the only “benefit” of GAPS.
GAPS is not as expensive as I thought. Yes, we pay more for food, but it’s so nutrient dense that for the first time in years I can count the supplements we’re taking on one hand. Just in case you’re interested, they are . . .
Plus, now that we’re off Intro we can use navy beans and lentils to stretch things a bit. And the fact that Daddypotamus doesn’t sneak off and blow our budget at restaurants now helps too.
We don’t actually know what it was, but Daddypotamus‘ weird, bumpy, crusty flakiness is gone! After using several topical applications on his scalp with no success, we were excited to watch it completely disappear during the Intro Diet.
It hasn’t stopped by to pick up it’s mail in awhile so we’re assuming it’s found a lovely beachside home and will stay gone for good. Fine with us.
Considering GAPS? Feeling overwhelmed? Cara at Health Home & Happiness just released “What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days On The GAPS Introduction Diet.” It is hands down the best resource on starting GAPS Intro I’ve seen. Review coming soon!
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Congratulations Holly Rasmussen! Both you and Samantha Gibbs (who told you about Mommypotamus) will soon receive your very own copy of Anni Daulter’s ICE POP JOY! If you mamas will just fill out my contact form with your address info within 72 hours they’ll be on their way.Read More »
I mean, how good could they be, really??
Why yes, she HAS been singing this Ode To Popsicles for seven days straight and in EVERY possible key, how could you tell? So if you happen to need some, ahem, beautiful music in your life why not
enter the ICE POP JOY giveaway? Two copies of Annis gorgeous book are still up for grabs. Winner will be announced this Wednesday.
And since I’m showing the Potamus kids off today, Mr. Cutie Pants is nine months old!!
Or a walk. Or maybe a run the other direction. Not for the leagues of earnest, hopeful people raising money, of course, but for the Powers That Be who can’t imagine a world full of unemployed oncologists and a billion dollar hole in Big Pharma’s pocketbook? It’s an extremely jaded point of view, but is it . . . right?
Burzynski, the Movie is the story of a medical doctor and PhD biochemist named Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski who won the largest, and possibly the most convoluted and intriguing legal battle against the FDA in American history.
“In the 1970’s, Dr. Burzynski made a remarkable discovery that threatened to change the face of cancer treatment forever. His non-toxic gene-targeted cancer medicine could have helped save millions of lives over the last two decades had his discovery not been criminally suppressed by the US government, as his therapy, called “antineoplastons,” have been shown to effectively help cure some of the most “incurable” forms of terminal cancer.”¹
Burzynski is backed by big names like Dr. Oz and Tony Robbins and is showing up in prestigous papers such as the L.A. Times and the The New York Times, who describes Byrzynski as
” . . . a stoic victim of patent fraud, government harrassment and scientific sabatoge. No one appears to contest the efficacy of his treatment; the problem . . . is a pharmaceutical industry with nothing to gain – and much to lose – from the introduction of a highly successful, nontoxic competitor to chemotherapy and radiation.”
New York Times, Jeannette Catsoulis, June 4, 2010 (emphasis mine)
Surprised? I was. I mean, I know the FDA does ridiculous things all the time (like steal birth tubs, hello!) but for the most part mainstream personalities seem oblivious. So, now that we’ve got their attention, I’d like to propose a slogan to replace The Cure.
A cancer treatment that has no toxic side effects, available to anyone that needs it. No radiation so (nearly) deadly that it shrivels a first grade girls ability to have children one day, no more lethal chemo soups. Even better, imagine it works better than anything we have on the market today. What would a world like that be like?
Every precious soul who has ever walked for “The Cure,” or endured excruciating chemo and radiation, or (like me) watched while someone they love was eviscerated by this deadly disease MUST SEE this film.
I know you’re crazy busy, but can you make time to watch just five minutes? It just may change your life . . . literally. If you miss the premier, check out the first 30 minutes here or pick up a copy at Whole Foods, check it out on Netflix, or order from Amazon.
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Today I’m honored to host another fabulous guest post from Katja Swift. You may recognize her name as the genius behind the almond pancakes, but don’t think of her as the pancake lady because she is oh so much more! Katja is a clinical herbalist currently serving as the director of the Commonwealth School of Herbal Medicine. She has guest lectured at Dartmouth Medical School and the University of Vermont Medical School, but what REALLY impresses me about her is her work to pass anti-GMO legislation and her brilliant plan to save the whales.
Every season has its associated issues: in winter, I would say we can’t live without things like Thyme, Sage, Garlic, Onion – potent plants that get us through cold and flu season. Here are seven plants that will make your summer much more enjoyable!
Lemon Balm is my number one favorite plant for heat exhaustion. Part of the mint family, it grows prolifically, so use all you want! It’s a lovely plant, and smells and tastes delicious – less like mint and more like lemons: I definitely recommend growing some in every back yard!
We use Lemon Balm when we do first aid medicine at summer festivals – it’s the first thing we give folks when they come in with heat exhaustion. It’s cooling and calming, and even has anti-depressant properties. Not only that, but it’s one of our best plants to fight cold sores. You can give it to anyone – little kids, elders, and everyone in between, and it doesn’t have any known drug interactions. You can’t overdose on it, so go ahead and put it in your water bottle on a hot day! If you have some growing near you, just clip off the leaves and stem, and brew it up for tea – it makes a great sun tea! If you don’t have any growing near you, you can find it pretty easily in stores, or online at www.mountainroseherbs.com.
Everyone knows aloe is for sunburns, but sometimes the burn feels too hot even to smear on the aloe. Enter Lavender oil! Make up a spray bottle of water and 10 – 20 drops of Lavender oil, and spray it right onto sunburned skin – once you’re feeling cooler, you can apply aloe. You could even use Lemon Balm tea as the base of the spray for double cooling action, just don’t spray it on anything white!
But that’s not the only use for your Lavender essential oil – it’s also my favorite remedy for sore muscles. Put a drop or two of the oil on sore muscles and rub it right in. This works for anything – a charlie horse, strained back, even tense neck and shoulders from spending too much time at the office and not enough time relaxing in the sunshine!
And for headaches that come along with heat exhaustion, put just a drop of Lavender oil on the temples and the back of the neck, have a drink of Lemon Balm tea, and lay down in a cool room. You’ll still need to rest, but you’ll feel a whole lot better while you’re doing it!
If you only know one plant in the wild, it should really be Plantain (the broad-leafed weed, not the banana). Plantain grows all over the country, and prefers packed dirt. If you have a dirt driveway, or if you hike on a hard-packed trail, you’ve certainly seen Plantain. Good thing it lives everywhere, too, because you can use it for absolutely everything! Burns, cuts, bee stings, itchy or painful bug bites, spider bites, abrasions – even splinters that won’t come out! You can pick it raw wherever you are when you need it, or make it into oil or tincture so that you always have some on hand.
Plantain “draws” things out, whether a splinter or bug “venom”. Bruise up the leaf a bit and rub it on a bug bite to relieve itch, or lay several bruised leaves over a bee sting or a spider bite to relieve pain (you can secure it with a bandana or bandage). For a splinter, fold a leaf up and hold it on with a bandaid overnight – in the morning, the splinter will have pushed out enough that you should be able to grab it with tweezers.
Plantain’s drawing action also can disinfect wounds – again, bruise the leaf up enough to let some of the “juice” seep into the wound. If you’re camping and have a stove, you can also boil the leaves into tea and soak a cloth in it to make a compress.
We like to make oil from the plantain – you could make a tincture too, but oil has all the same properties, and doesn’t sting on a cut or wound – which my daughter greatly prefers! There are instructions at the end of the article for making an oil: it’s a great project to do with kids!
Calendula is the herbal name for pot marigold. It’s not only good at keeping pests off your tomato plants, it has a whole host of medicinal uses! Calendula is commonly made up into an oil or salve, and is useful for just nearly anything that happens to your skin. Campfire burns, any kind of cut or abrasion – if it’s on your skin, Calendula can help. Not only that, but Calendula has disinfectant properties, and is great for moving lymph and stagnant blood – which makes it great for treating varicose veins you don’t want to show off while you’re walking around in shorts.
Instructions for making an oil are at the end of the article – for Calendula, use the flower tops – though many pre-made preparations are available in various health food stores. You’ll often find it combined with Plantain for double skin-healing action!
Yarrow is a pretty plant that grows in lots of places. It’s particularly good for sweating out a fever, but the application that we usually want it for in summertime is bleeding. Yarrow helps restore homeostasis to the circulatory system. If you’re bleeding from a wound, the pressure in your blood vessels has changed – much like if a spaceship’s hull is punctured and oxygen is leaking out into space. (How did we possibly describe herbal actions before science fiction?) Yarrow helps to stop bleeding by re-normalizing the pressure throughout the body, so that you don’t vent all your oxygen out into space – I mean, bleed to death.
Yarrow is also disinfectant – if you’re on the trail, you can actually just bruise up some yarrow flowers and put them right onto/into the cut – it will stop bleeding very quickly and keep the wound from getting infected. In case Yarrow doesn’t grow near you, you can carry a tincture bottle of yarrow with you when you’re hiking, or if you’re prone to nosebleeds, or if you’re the mother of boys and girls with scraped knees and elbows. You can also apply Yarrow tincture directly to the wound, but it will sting because of the alcohol. You might prefer Yarrow oil instead to use in that way, but you will probably have to make that yourself (use the Plantain oil directions at the bottom). The tincture is widely available.
Yarrow is also quite handy for varicose veins – you can blend it with Calendula for this purpose. Used together over time, they do an impressive job of shrinking the veins back down.
St. John’s Wort is a very handy little plant. Great for soft tissue damage and nerve damage, a bottle of this tincture is a must for all weekend warriors. Apply the tincture directly to bruises, contusions, sprains, strains, or the place in between your thumb and forefinger where the frisbee whacks you every time you catch it. St. John’s Wort will heal it up quickly! In any of these cases, there’s damage to the nerve cells as much as there is to the muscle tissues and tendons – and this is where St. John’s Wort really shines. St. John’s Wort helps to remyelinize the nerve endings, as well as to help regenerate damaged nerves.
It’s not just for weekend warriors, either – it’s quite handy for MS, fibromyalgia, shingles, and any other nerve pain. In the case of shingles, St. John’s Wort, like Lemon Balm, has a special affinity for the herpes family of viruses – chicken pox, shingles, cold sores, warts, and actual herpes. Take it internally and externally!
St. John’s Wort is one plant that is best not taken in combination with prescription drugs, as it can speed the metabolism – much like grapefruit. It won’t interact with the drugs, but it will cause them to move more quickly through the system. If you’re on a time-release type of prescription, or any medication with very precise dosing, then just use St. John’s Wort topically.
Although many people are familiar with arnica, I much prefer Meadowsweet for pain. Meadowsweet is one of the original plants used to make aspirin, but when taken as a plant, instead of isolated compounds, Meadowsweet does not have the unpleasant side effects of aspirin.
You can take it internally as a tea or tincture (which is best for headaches), but my favorite use is topically – buy it as a tincture and just rub a few drops on areas that pain you. Not too much though! Pain serves a purpose – usually to let us know that we’ve had enough and need to rest. When you use too much of any kind of pain killer, you’re liable to do something stupid (like head right back into the touch-football game!). Use Meadowsweet to take the edge off the pain, but leave yourself enough so that you remember to stay put until you heal up!
If these plants don’t grow near you, you can purchase them at www.mountainroseherbs.com, or at your local healthfood store. Have some of each on hand and breeze through your summer!
You can use Plantain Oil all year round to keep the medicine of Plantain close at hand! In the winter when you can’t find Plantain outdoors, you will have your bottle of deep green oil to help you inside and out!
Making Plantain Oil is easy and fun!
You will need:
How to do it:
On a sunny day, go outside and pick enough Plantain leaves (or Calendula flowers, or St. John’s Wort flowers, or…) to fill your jar. You will know for sure you have Plantain when you see the broad leaf and feel the strong cords coming out from the stem to the tip of the leaves. Look for the cleanest leaves, without brown spots. Try to pick leaves that haven’t been eaten up by bugs. Make sure to pick in a clean area, where no chemicals are sprayed.
Take your leaves inside, and brush them off carefully. Wipe off any bits of dirt or little bugs that might have come in with your harvest. Double check each leaf to make sure it really is Plantain, and that it looks great.
If the leaves are wet, let them sit on the counter for a little while to dry off and wilt just a bit. This way, you won’t get water into your oil: that could cause mold.
When they’re a little bit wilty, and any water is dried away, tear each leaf into a few pieces and put it in the jar. Make sure the jar is filled – don’t pack it down too tightly, and don’t leave it too loose: just fill it so that it comfortably holds as much leaf as it should.
Now pour the olive oil into the jar. Watch it dribble down into the spaces in between the bits of leaves. Sometimes it leaves air bubbles – shake the jar gently to let the air bubbles escape. Fill the jar just nearly to the top with olive oil, so that all of the leaves are covered, and put the lid on tightly. Make a label for your jar that says Plantain Oil, and the date.
Set your jar in a place you’ll see it every day. You might put it near your bed, or on your desk, or on the kitchen counter. Don’t open your jar! Leave it closed for four weeks so that all the medicine from the Plantain can come out into the oil, and so that no mold or dirty fingers get into the jar. You can shake it gently each day if you like, and you can watch it as the oil changes – it will become a darker and darker shade of green as time goes by! This is the Plantain medicine coming into the oil.
After four weeks, open your jar and pour the oil out carefully, through a strainer into a clean jar. You now have beautiful green Plantain Oil that you can use anytime you have a cut, a burn, a bite, or any dry itchy skin. You can also eat a spoonful of the oil to help you when you have a cough, or if your guts are feeling crampy . . . there are just so many uses for Plantain Oil!
Then again, you’d probably have to fight some pretty serious urges to eat the book if that were true. I’m talking about Ice Pop Joy, of course. The lovable Anni Daulter has really outdone herself with this **mostly** real food project.
That creepy neighborhood ice cream truck guy comes around three times a week? Let me tell you, he’s got nothing on Anni. His food dye, high fructose corn syrup-laden Screwballs may be tempting at first, but think about the sugar crash tantrum you’re going to face a few hours later and STEP AWAY FROM THE TRUCK. There’s a better way, I promise.
You can, but using juices that were not pressed just minutes before consumption are pretty much devoid of their vitamins, minerals and purifying properties. On the other hand Anni’s recipes use fresh purees with nourishing additions I would NEVER have dreamed up.
There are pure fruit combos like strawberries & mint (a personal fave), veggie pops with a hint of cucumber and no trace of the gigantic zucchini we put in (which Katie and I considered a good thing!), creamy dreamy yogurt pops, protein rich breakfast pops and tofu pops (Skip the tofu!!! See notes at the bottom).
Oh, I wasn’t done! There are herbal tea soothers, decadent chocolate varieties, even wedding pops. I’m kidding about that last one . . . she does seem to have something for just about any occasion, though.
And they. are. delectable.
If you’re the type of person that goes for luscious photos and clutch-your-heart-so-they-don’t-steal-it adorable kid expressions, the pics alone just might be worth the cost of the book. But oh, that would be like unwrapping a birthday gift and playing with the paper!! Which, of course, is fine if you’re 1, but since you’re reading this I’m guessing you’re not.
Seriously, though, feast your eyes on these . . .
Need I say more? Yes?? You want me to tell you what all that tofu business was about earlier? Well, it’s basically this: Anni is a culinary genius, but we have different nutritional philosophies. I would consider many of her recipes to be “real food” friendly, but some will need tweaking. Here are a few adjustments I would make:
TO ENTER, help get the word out about Mommypotamus. It’s not about numbers here, but about growing this community so that when you think my posts stinks and don’t comment there’s a better chance someone else might like it. Just kidding . . . sort of! 1. Just find a Facebook friend who hasn’t followed Mommypotamus
2. Get them to “like” the Mommypotamus page
3. Tell them to leave a comment on the page wall that says something like this: “Hi there! [Your Name] just introduced me to Mommypotamus!” This Sunday, I’ll draw a name from the new people who have both liked and commented on the wall, and if your person is picked, you will BOTH win a copy of the cookbook! The Rules:
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