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We have gathered together some articles that you may find helpful in your quest to be healthy.

Why Organic?

Baby's bedding: Is It Creating Toxic Nerve Gases?


Is Your Mattress Making You Sick?

How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind!


Toxic Chemicals, Are Your Children Being Exposed?

Is Organic Really Better for You?


Are Candles Safe?

Mind, Body & Soul



Healthy Choices For Your Life


Choose to Integrate Mind, Body and Soul

Our Pets


What Kind of Mattress Should I Buy?

Are the Parabens in our Personal Care Products Really Harmful?


Why Organic?

We spend almost a third of our lives sleeping on a synthetic mattress full of polyurethane foam and/or other petrochemical materials, covered with synthetic fabrics (such as polyester or nylon) and treated with chemical fire retardants and formaldehyde.
These mattresses outgas over the years and emit potentially toxic substances that you absorb into your skin and lungs which may cause allergic reactions and a many other very serious health problems. Sleep problems, headaches, and asthma to name just a few.
Creating a chemical-free environment should start with your bed so your body can spend its time doing its job of repairing itself as you sleep.
(Author Unknown)

Is Your Mattress Making You Sick?

There are no industry or government standards regarding the chemicals that companies pump into mattresses. WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach reported. The only government requirement is that mattresses must be flame retardant, which means many mattresses are packed with irritating chemicals like pesticides and formaldehyde. "Formaldehyde, unless they've changed it recently, is the major component in embalming fluid," said allergist Dr. Dan Tucker. "It kills things. It kills bacteria fungi -- and enough of it kills people." Tucker said researchers don't know how chemicals in mattresses could affect humans. But studies have shown the body stores many of the chemicals found in mattresses in fatty tissue, including the brain. "We don't honestly know what the long-term effects (of the chemicals) are," Tucker said. "And (there is) a considerable suspicion that they do contribute to the chronic brain disorders as people get older. The less we are exposed to this, the better." Tucker said he is disturbed with new research out of England that explores whether these mattress chemicals could have a link to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
(Author Unknown)

Baby's Bedding: Is It Creating Toxic Nerve Gases?

Research done over the past 13 years in Great Britain and New Zealand indicates that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is an environmental poisoning in the crib. In 1988, Barry Richardson, a British chemist specializing in deterioration and preservation of materials, and Peter Mitchell, a marquee specialist, were working on Mitchell's deteriorating marquee, awnings and party tents. Mitchell's marquee supplier told him that the chemicals in awnings and tents were the same chemicals that had been approved for use in baby mattresses. Mitchell also learned from Richardson that these same chemicals could be converted into nerve gas. Mitchell and Richardson decided maybe there was a connection here to SIDS. The research by Richardson began immediately.

The three chemicals of concern are phosphorus used in the baby mattress cover, and arsenic and antimony added as preservatives and fire retardants. Richardson has determined that a common household fungus, Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, gets established in the mattress from the baby's sweating, spitting up and so on. Once established, the fungus begins to consume these three chemicals in the mattress. This results in the production of three nerve gasses: phosphine, arsine and stibine, all of which can be very deadly, especially to infants.

In late 1988 Richardson asked local coroners to cooperate by releasing mattresses on which SIDS babies had died. He received 200 mattresses of all varieties: foam, plastic, fabric and netted. By June 1989 all mattresses had been tested with the following results:

- Every mattress was infected with the S. Brevicaulis fungus as an organism and spores.

- All mattresses had one or more of the chemicals phosphorus, arsenic or antimony.

- Each mattress generated one or more of the nerve gasses (phosphine, arsine or stibine) when
  brought to blood/body temperature.

At this time, Richardson analyzed six blood samples of the SIDS babies who died on mattresses with antimony and found high levels of antimony in each sample. In addition, Richardson learned that 95 percent of mattresses tested had been used by a previous baby.

Meanwhile, a New Zealand chemist, T.J. Sprott, was questioning the role of chemicals in the baby's environment. He learned of Richardson's research and concurred that nerve gas could also be poisoning babies in New Zealand. He established the guidelines for wrapping mattresses, known as the Cotlife 2000 Specifications. These specifications involved wrapping the baby's mattress with a gas impermeable plastic to keep the gasses from contaminating the sleeping area and, in addition, using cotton bedding. since 1996, New Zealand has wrapped 100,000 baby mattresses to these specifications. There have been no reported deaths to date on these wrapped mattresses.

SIDS is called the "mystery disease." Understanding the gas theory explains away the mystery by answering all of the following perplexing questions:

Q: Why do SIDS babies show no symptoms?
A: The lethal dose of nerve gas doesn't make them "ill." It acts by shutting down the nervous system, stopping heart function and breathing. Research has shown neurochemical deficits in SIDS babies that are consistent with poisoning by nerve gas.

Q: Why are babies at higher risk after illness or vaccination?
A: The fever that results increases the temperature in the crib environment. This stimulates fungus activity and nerve gas production tenfold or more.

Q: why does the rate of crib death rise from one sibling to the next?
A: In a reused mattress, fungus established in prior use cause toxic gas generation to commence sooner and in greater volume.

Q: Why are babies at higher risk in families where births are close together?
A: Once again, the fungus in the mattress from the previous use will be quickly activated, producing gas sooner.

Q: Why are SIDS rates higher in the winter?
A: Windows are kept shut, creating poor ventilation around the crib. Gasses are less likely to dissipate. Babies are often bundled in blankets during the winter, trapping gasses close to their bodies.

Q: Why are babies sleeping face down at higher risk?
A: Stibine gas is formed from the interaction of the S. Brevicaulis fungus and the antimony in the mattress. This gas is very heavy and hangs right on the surface of the mattress. A baby sleeping face down will breathe this gas directly and is more likely to inhale a lethal dose.

Q: Why are boy babies at higher risk for SIDS?
A: Most boys have a higher metabolic rate than girls, thus their body temperature can be somewhat higher than girls. The rate of gas generation increases rapidly with increasing temperature.

Q: Why does SIDS sometimes occur during bed-sharing on an adult mattress?
A: Phosphorus, arsenic or antimony can be found in most mattresses, allowing the generation of the nerve gasses. Adults are not as susceptible to gas poisoning as infants.

Q: Why was SIDS rare before 1950?
A: Prior to 1950, harmful chemicals were not added to mattresses. It was postwar technology that prompted the common use of phosphorus as a plasticizer, arsenic as a preservative and antimony as a fire retardant. In England and Wales the SIDS statistics from 1953 onward increased in parallel with the increasing concentration of antimony in mattress covers. In addition, prior to 1950 people commonly used soap for baby laundry, whereas now detergent and fabric softeners are commonplace. Detergent contains nitrogen and phosphorus compounds on which the fungus feeds.

Q: Why does SIDS generally occur between the ages of 2 months and 1 year?
A: It takes time for the fungus in the mattress to flourish and start generating gas. However, younger babies can die if they are sleeping on a mattress that has recently been used by an older sibling and has established, flourishing fungus. As babies get older, the gas exposure gives them a headache causing them to move around, wake their parents and stand up in their cribs.

Q: Why is SIDS non-existent in some other countries?
A: There used to be virtually no crib deaths in Japan. Japanese traditionally used untreated cotton futons for babies. Recently, Japan has started to adopt Western baby care practices, mattresses, etc., and the crib death rate has begun to rise. SIDS is practically non-existent in Russia, as well. There, it is common place to cover the mattress with rubber sheeting. This rubber is gas impermeable, inhibits fungal growth and is free of phosphorus, arsenic and antimony.

Q: Why have SIDS rates fallen over the past five years, but are now leveling out?
A: Five years ago the Back to Sleep campaign was introduced encouraging parents to position their babies on their backs. This has likely saved many babies from stibine (the gas from antimony) poisoning. As was said earlier, this gas is heavy and hangs right on the surface of the mattress where face-down babies breathe it directly. However, babies sleeping on their backs are still exposed to the lighter nerve gasses: arsine and phosphine. In a warm environment phosphine can be similar to the density of air, and easily inhaled by a baby sleeping on its back. In addition, face-up sleeping is not as effective in a cot or bassinet with enclosed sides, because the gasses cannot flow away.

To prevent these nerve gasses from reaching the baby, New Zealand CotLife2000 Specifications recommend doing all of the following:

- Cover the top, all sides and most of the underside of the mattress with a polyethylene sheeting that is at least 5 mil thick and free of phosphorus, arsenic and antimony. Leave several venting holes on the underside of the mattress cover so that the gas can escape.

- Use fleecy pure cotton mattress cover over the polyethylene sheeting and tuck it in securely.

- Make the bed using pure cotton sheets and blankets.

- Do not use any of the following as baby bedding: sheepskin, moisture-resistant mattress protector, acrylic under blanket, sleeping bag or duvet.

- Clean mattress covers by wiping with pure soap and water. Do not use chemical bleaches or sterilizers.

Author: Joanne B. Quinn, RMA, PhD 
Joanne Quinn is a registered medical assistant with a PhD in holistic nutrition. She is the Executive Director of the Educational Learning Strategies Foundation and field advisor for the National Foundation for Alternative Medicine.

Editor's Note: Subsequent research has failed to establish the link between baby mattresses and SIDS that this article asserts.


How to lose weight without losing your mind!

Ah the ever present battle to lose those unwanted pounds. In today's society we are bombarded with weight loss products and programs. Everywhere you look, it's low-fat this and reduced calories that. It seems every other commercial is advertising some miracle diet pill or program. Fitness clubs are opening up on every corner and new weight loss books are being published at lightening speed! Yet with all this going on around us, we are still not losing weight. What we are doing is driving our friends, family and ourselves insane! Not to mention the damage we are causing our minds and bodies with all the diets and pills. So how do we lose the weight and keep it off? I believe I have finally found the answer!

I have taken the pills, tried the diets (even cabbage soup), and spent more money than I could afford on programs. Finally one day after stepping on the scales and seeing that after a week of dieting, I had not lost one pound, I started thinking about metabolism. I knew metabolism had to do with the rate in which your body uses up or burns calories. So, if I had a higher metabolism, I would burn calories faster than I consumed them, which meant I could lose weight. So I started looking up everything I could about metabolism. I found many pills that claimed to raise metabolism, but after all the money I had spent on diet pills already, I was hesitant to spend more. Then I found out that some foods can give you the same results. The thought of boosting my metabolism with something as natural and tasty as strawberries really caught my attention. I started eating and drinking these natural metabolism boosters along with what I normally eat, and I have started losing weight!

I found most of my information from the book "The Fat Flush Foods" by Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S., C.N.S.  I recommend you read the book for full details on these foods like how to buy and prepare them correctly. If you don't want to spend the money on the book, at least look them up on the internet. If you don't prepare some of these correctly, they won't work properly and some can be harmful. So, without further ado, I present you with a list of natural metabolism boosters!

- Apple Cider Vinegar

- Flaxseed Oil

- Flaxseeds

- Water

- Protein: Beef, Eggs, Lamb, Salmon, & Whey Protein

- Kale

- Berries: Raspberries, Strawberries and Blueberries

- Almonds

- Spelt

- Yogurt

- Chromium



- L-Methionine

- Herbs & Spices: Cayenne, Cinnamon, Cloves, Dried
   Mustard, Garlic and Ginger

- Oregon Grape Root

It is still recommended that you cut back on your sugar and salt intake and it is always good for you to exercise. This doesn't mean strict diets and exhausting exercise programs. Just use less salt, less sugar and maybe take a walk around your block every day. Eat when you're hungry, don't starve yourself. Now you can snack on berries, almonds, hard boiled eggs, yogurt and more. The point is, you don't have to lose your mind to lose your weight!

Find great deals on books at

Author: Shelly Platt


Toxic Chemicals, Are Your Children Being Exposed? 

You do what you can to keep your little ones safe and healthy in this world we live in. You put your household cleaners out of reach and make sure the front door is securely locked. You tuck them in at night with a story and a kiss, wishing them sweet dreams. Unfortunately, your children are not safe! While they sleep, they are being exposed to toxic chemicals found in that crib or bed you so lovingly tucked them into.

Liver poisoning, thyroid problems and altered learning, memory and behavior may be caused by Polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs. These chemicals are used as fire retardants and are found in mattresses and other furniture. PBDE levels in people and the environment have been rising rapidly in recent years, particularly in North America, where the use of PBDEs is highest. In Europe, foods, especially fish, are thought to be a major source of exposure. But in North America PBDEs are much more prevalent in consumer products than they are in Europe. In Sweden, PBDEs have been banned.

You might be thinking that if these PBDEs were so dangerous, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) would know about them and do something. The fact is, they do know. Last year the EPA announced no new manufacture or import of these chemicals can occur without first being subject to EPA evaluation. No systematic monitoring of PBDEs in the bodies of US residents is underway, and no plans have been made to assess the risk posed by the millions of pounds of PBDEs that are already found in furniture and other consumer products in people’s homes. To be fair, the EPA has stated that they have not concluded that PBDEs pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. Of course, they have also acknowledged there is evidence that these chemicals may cause liver toxicity, thyroid toxicity, and neurodevelopmental toxicity.

What can we do to protect ourselves and our children from these chemicals? Get as much information as you can about how your household furniture is made and what chemicals are used in the process. You might consider using organic products that are naturally made with no harmful chemicals. We can never be completely safe from the many chemicals we’re exposed to on a daily basis, but we can reduce them significantly. We can look into the faces of our children and know that we are doing our part to keep them safe in an unsafe world.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.

Northwest Environment Watch

Author: Shelly Platt


Is Organic Really Better for You? 

I had finally come to a place in my life where I was concerned about my health and that of my family. After all, it’s not the quantity, but the quality of life right? And if you can increase both, all the better! We started exercising, eating healthier and taking vitamins. Then one day while I was getting my daily dosage of web surfing in, I came across an article about the hidden dangers of chemicals and how using organic products and food reduces those risks. Now, I’m not one to blindly believe everything I read, so I started searching for some answers on my own. If I was putting myself or my family at risk for serious health problems, I wanted to know! 

It was quite a daunting task to get through all the articles, scientific studies and pages upon pages of information! What I have learned has really helped me to make some decisions about my life though, and I hope you find it helpful as well.  

First, what does Organic mean? 

Simply, that the ingredients used are free from any harmful pesticides, insecticides, growth hormones, antibiotics and a whole host of other artificial additives, flavorings, colorings and preservatives. The harvest and milling of organics is also considerate towards the land and environment.  

Why is Organic so expensive? 

Prices for organic foods and products include costs of growing, harvesting, transportation and storage. In the case of processed foods, processing and packaging costs are also included. Organically produced foods and products must meet stricter regulations governing all these steps than conventional foods and products. The intensive management and labor used in organic production are frequently (though not always) more expensive than the chemicals routinely used on conventional farms.  

The law of supply and demand also plays a part. There are more buyers than crops yields. Why is this? Production yields are often, but not always, lower on organic farms because organic food production does not involve the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and other technological aids. Also, growers who go through the 3-year transition period from conventional to organic management usually experience an initial decrease in yields, until soil microbes are re-established and nutrient cycling is in place.  

And the most important question of them all… 

Is Organic really better for you? 

I have searched long and hard to find the answer to this question! I couldn’t find any scientific studies to prove or disprove that organic is better. Why? Mainly because of the multitude of variables involved in making a fair comparison between organically grown and conventionally grown food. These include crop variety, time after harvest, post-harvest handling, and even soil type and climate, which can have significant effects on nutritional quality. After hitting that road-block, I decided to review the facts. Organic products are organic because they are free from the chemicals used on conventionally grown products. So, I turned my attention to these chemicals and whether they are really harmful to humans? Most reports claim that these chemicals if handled properly and used in small amounts, are not dangerous to humans.  Although, the Environmental Protection Agency had this to say – “Although pesticides can be beneficial to society, they can also pose risks to human health and the environment if improperly handled. The risk to human health can come from a number of sources: direct exposure through improper use, residual pesticides on food and release into the environment from improper storage or disposal. Children are particularly susceptible to pesticide exposure. The effects of exposure to pesticides include poisoning, eye damage, disruption of the endocrine system, and respiratory ailments.” 

So, what I found is that there is no proof these chemicals when handled properly are causing serious health problems. There is also no proof that they are not. Even the EPA says there is some risk. So what now? Now it comes down to a personal decision. Is the risk we are taking worth it? Can we be comfortable bringing these chemicals into our home when they might cause serious health problems to us and our children? When the alternative is paying a bit more for organic foods and products, I’m just not willing to take the risk. You have to make that decision for yourself and your own family.

Author: Shelly Platt


Are Candles Safe?

I love candles! I have candles of all shapes, sizes and scents in every room of my home. I’m the woman at the local candle shop sniffing every single candle and calling out to her friends “Oh, you gotta smell this one!” So you can imagine my horror, my shock, my disbelief, when my neighbor told me that burning candles could be dangerous to my health! Say it ain’t so!

The first stage was denial. I just refused to believe any such nonsense! Then, the doubt began to creep in. Could it be possible? I saw the signs, the soot ring on the top of my jar candles, black marks on the wall. Should I be worried, maybe I should do some research, if nothing else, to prove them wrong! Finally reason took hold and the quest began! Are the candles I’m using dangerous? Are there safe alternatives? Am I going to have to give up my beloved candles forever?

Are the candles I’m using dangerous?

As it turns out, they are. It seems most of the candles I own have led wicks in them. I have discovered that led wicks can cause led poisoning. Under certain indoor conditions, burning these candles may result in lead concentrations above EPA recommended thresholds. Furthermore, inhalation exposure is not the only pathway for lead intake. Unlike gaseous air pollutants, particle-bound lead tends to settle on interior surfaces, where young children can be exposed to lead dust through skin contact.

I also learned that manufacturers are not required to disclose lead content.  Okay, no more led-wick candles! Zinc is okay, or try pure paper or cotton instead.

As for the actual burning of the wax being poisonous, I really don’t know. I have read many reports stating they are and many stating they are not. So I started looking for candles that I could be sure would not cause me harm.

Are there safe alternatives?

This question led me to soy candles. Why are soy wax candles better?

Soy wax is from soybeans, which are a renewable resource, grown here in the U.S.A.
Soy wax is a very clean burning wax and does not give off petro-carbon soot. 
Soy wax does not leave soot stains.

Soy wax candles burn substantially longer than petroleum wax and more uniform.
Soy candles are non-toxic, and do not contain any pesticides or for children and pets.
Soy wax candles are biodegradable
and easily cleaned up with soap and water.

I did run across some safety measures that we should all use.

Do not move a burning candle, or place in a draft.
Keep wick trimmed to ¼ inch to avoid excessive smoking.
Discontinue burning when less than ½ inch of wax remains.
Keep wax free of matches, wick trimmings, or any flammable materials.
And of course, never leave a burning candle unattended!

So it seems I will not have to give up my beloved candles after all!

Author: Shelly Platt


Mind, Body & Soul

Being in tune with your mind, body, and soul and how they work is the one most important thing you can do for yourself.  We know now that, the three work together.  If the body is ill, the mind and soul are
affected as well.  If the mind becomes ill the body and soul show the stress of that.  But, I think the strongest combination showing the most illness is when the soul becomes stressed.  That seems to make
the body and mind crumble the quickest.  I, myself, have learned that first hand!  But, it also works in the reverse!  When the body is healthy, the mind is sound and the soul is happy.  Keeping these three in
balance is a life long task.  So, learning how to do it and then maintaining it with little effort is very important.  We do have other things in life to accomplish!  However, the other things we are accomplishing will be enhanced and go much easier if we take the time to be in tune with ourselves.

The first thing one must learn about being in tune with yourself, is to be in tune with YOURSELF.  When a person finds something that works for them, they are so enthused that they want everyone else to do the
same thing.  Someone loses weight using a specific diet, someone joins a new religion, or someone tries a new vitamin.  We also want to lose weight, or find the happiness in joining a group, or want the benefits
that other person is enjoying from the vitamin, so we try it fully expecting the same results.  My Dad used to say that if a person took mega doses of Vitamin C they would never have a cold or the flu again.  That's
because that is the way it worked for him.  What happens is sometimes we get the same results and sometimes we don't.  Sometimes nothing happens or we get bad results.  The reality of this situation is that each of us is unique.  Yes, our bodies are alike in structure and the method they operate, but there the sameness ends.  Each of us have a different balance.  Because of that you can take one diet and try it out
on ten different people and some will lose weight, for some it won't make any difference, some may gain and some may lose too much weight.   Take ten different people, expose them to the same religion or group and get ten different interpretations of what that group is all about Some will embrace it entirely and find joy, others may be left cold or violently disagree.  Give ten people the same diet regimen and there may be ten different results.  Some it will affect dramatically and others it may not.  So, the key to getting in tune with your body, mind and soul will include finding what works for you, using those things, and not being discouraged when something doesn't work for you that work for your spouse, best friend or neighbor.  Remember, you are unique!

Author: Kristine Peterson


Knowing you are unique will fill you with wonderful feelings of self esteem.  For those of you who believe that God created you, this knowing will help you to understand how special you are in His eyes.  For others it will help you to feel special in your own eyes.  Personally, I am excited that I am part of a super race and yet different from everyone I know.  Knowing that each of us is alike and yet unique gives us the bond of being alike and yet the being set apart, being like no one else. Embracing this will make it easier to celebrate the differences we see all around us.  Just think how keeping this uniqueness in mind would affect our relationships!  I think marriages would stay together, or in the event they didn't the break up would be less bitter.  The couple would just be incompatible because of their uniqueness, not because one set out to ruin the other.  When dealing with each other we think of our own needs and what we want and set our expectations of others accordingly, never realizing that others are not like us, do not have the same needs and wants, or if they do they may realize them in a different manner.  Accepting one another's uniqueness would lower our expectations of others.  Instead of getting angry we would allow for them to be different than ourselves, and not only allow it but celebrate it!  This is one of the ways to unite not only our personal selves, body, mind, and spirit, but the whole human race.

Author: Kristine Peterson


Our bodies were made in such a way that everything is integrated.  The mind appears to control everything.  When something happens to the body whether good or bad, it registers in the brain and the brain then
dictates the bodies response.  Scientists has found that it also works that way within the body.  Biofeedback has shown that the mind can direct the immune system to fight various infections in the body including the dreaded strains of cancer.  For the average person this is a wonderful idea, but biofeedback costs money and besides not everyone has a life threatening problem.  Imagine being able to do this for yourself in the comfort of your own home, office or anywhere else you can go to be alone for a few minutes!   There are another kind of science that is telling us that the body listens when we talk.  Think about that for a minute. When we talk we are saying what the mind is thinking; we are just saying it out loud.  So, it follows we can do our own biofeedback anywhere we want.  A very simple illustration of this will prove this to you.  Hold your arms out in front of you extending your two index fingers.  Shut your eyes and repeat out loud, "fingers come together".  Think it and say it and within two minutes your fingers do come together.  When I first tried this it was very exciting to me that it worked because for me it opened possibilities in my mind!  Since then I have become a talker to myself!  A self whisperer if you will.  I talk to my body and to my sub conscious even and I have gotten amazing results.  This is one thing that I think will work for everyone because this is one of the functions of the body, mind and soul that was part of the design, just as blood running through everyone's body is the same.  But, you must have an open mind!  Your mind accepts that blood runs through the body in a specific manner and so it must accept that the body, mind and soul will listen when it is spoken to, no
matter who is speaking, yourself or someone else.

In the morning when you first wake up, lie still, calm your breathing, still your mind, and have a talk with yourself.  Tell yourself what kind of day you are going to have.  Keep everything positive!  Tell yourself that
you are happy and that you are going to be happy all day and that you are going to smile all day.  Tell yourself what you are going to accomplish during the day.  Tell yourself you will be relaxed and feel
good about yourself.  Tell yourself that you are a good person and that you have a lot to offer others.  You will be surprised at how well your day will go.  Always be honest with yourself!  If you are a person that
has low self esteem, spend some time telling yourself what areas you excel in, list your good qualities.  When you are caught in traffic on the way home from work you can tell yourself what a good day it has been,
list your accomplishments, tell yourself you are going to have a nice relaxed evening.  Tell yourself you will be kind to your mate and your children.

Talking to yourself in this manner can change your life!  I challenge you
to try it!

Author: Kristine Peterson


How you live your life is truly a self choice.  And there are so many choices to make.  We are bombarded from every side about what we should do, what we should eat, that we should get a certain amount of
exercise, that we should believe a certain way, that we should use this product or that product.  The list of shoulds and should nots are endless!  Keep this is mind.  The word should will bring on guilt quicker than
any other word because it is negative.  Just think about it and you will realize what I mean. Some of the choices we have before us today concern whether to use all natural and organic products.  There is a lot to be said for using them and in my own opinion not a lot to be said against.  Some of us feel that it is important because it means we are allowing the earth to support us as it was meant to.  For others it is a neccesity because of allergies and other sensitivities.  Some believe it is all a health issue. For instance, some believe that burning candles with dyes in them is harmful to our health.  I would think for that to be unhealthy a person would need to be shut up in a small closet with many candles burning all the time for several days on end!  And there are some that choose it just because they like to follow what others are doing. Other choices we are presented with every day is our diets.  Back in the day people were concerned with eating the foods they liked.  Now things have definetly changed!  There are low fat diets, low carb diets, high protein diets, becoming vegetarian, vegan or macrobiotic.  Everyone is talking about what each of us should eat or not eat.  There's that word should again!  What chemicals animals are given in their food is a concern, or what chemicals we use on our gardens and fields, growing our food.  Organic food growing gives us a healthy choice. What is most difficult about all these choices is that each choice is touted as being the best for everyone.  So how do you choose?  Talk to your body and don't be afraid to experiment with different things so you can make an informed choice.  Listen to what your body is telling you as you experiment.  Let your body, mind and soul do the choosing!

Author: Kristine Peterson


Having a pet is an experience that I think everyone should have.  It reaches us on a level that few other experiences can.  But, not all of us can handle the kind of commitment that is required or we just don't
want to.  Whatever it is, it is your decision for your life! The bond between humans and their pets has always been of the greatest interest.  I had read about it and heard people talk about it but never experienced it for myself until a few years ago.  The experience was deep and meaningful and made me realize that taking
physical and mental care of my pet was as important as taking care of myself!  Thinking that started me on a quest to find products that would give my pet a long and happy life.  And I then found that they respond
and that deepens the bond between us.  This is a happy catch 22!  I think a lot of it is the time spent together.  Bathe your pet in products that will make their coats shiney and their skin healthy.  Groom their
coats and feed them good food.  And if they become sick, look after them and give them the medicines they need.  Personally, I like to use natural and organic products, because I find they work really well, they
don't introduce chemicals into the system that could have bad side effects and in the long run they aren't as expensive.  There are also natural medicines for them just like there is for humans.  Just be informed about what you are using and what it will do.

Author: Kristine Peterson


What Kind of Mattress Should I Buy?

Sleep replenishes the physical and psychological energy spent during the day. It helps mental and physical well being. Lose sleep and you’re dull, depressed and irritated. Buying a mattress is a very important investment in your future health and happiness. But with all the different kinds of mattresses out there today, how do you know which one is right for you? 

The two main things to consider when buying a mattress are support and comfort. 

Your mattress needs to support the natural curve of your spine. Okay, but what does that mean? It means you need to maintain the same natural alignment whey you’re laying down as when you’re standing. If your mattress doesn’t have enough support, it will sag, throwing your spine out of alignment. A mattress can also be too firm which tends to only support the heaviest parts of your body. It might help to try this: take a doll and lay it on the table. You can see there are spaces between the doll and the table. The table is only supporting the areas of the doll that are connecting with the table. Now put the doll on a pillow. The pillow comes into contact with the entire length of the doll with no spaces in between. This is what you need from your mattress. You want it to be firm enough to keep your spine in place, yet still conform to your body. Here is a general guideline to follow – 

Back or stomach sleepers generally do better with a firmer mattress because it will not allow them to sag into the surface at an unnatural angle. Air, water or foam mattresses are not generally recommended because they do not provide this level of support. 

Side Sleepers usually place the greatest amount of weight on the smallest areas of the body thereby creating pressure points. A side sleeper will probably want a softer mattress, especially if they have a very curved or rounded figure. 

A new mattress should always be placed on a firm base, never a saggy one. The box springs do much of the work for the mattress by absorbing stress and weight. The correct foundation can extend the life of the mattress, therefore you should try to purchase the box springs designed to go with your mattress.

A crib mattress should be firm. Babies can't lift their heads out of soft mattresses if they get turned over. A firm mattress also helps the bedding to stay tight on the mattress which can help prevent bunching.

  • TIP – You can always soften up a firm mattress with pads and toppers.

There is no one-mattress-fits-all. We are all different and have different ideas as to what’s comfortable or not. My best advice here is to go to a mattress store and try out the mattresses. Lay on them in the position you normally sleep in. Take your time. Laying on a mattress for a few seconds will not give you a good idea as to how it will feel after you've been there awhile.

Here are some different kinds of mattresses you might consider – 

Innerspring - There are springs in the mattress that help support the weight of your body. The higher the number of coils, the firmer the mattress.

Pocketed Coil Innerspring - The coils work independently. On a regular innerspring, what effects one coil, effects several of the surrounding coils. With the pocketed coils, what effects one coil, only effects that coil. This system supports your overall body better than a regular innerspring. Also, if you wake up every time your partner moves, this type of mattress will help. 

Latex - It’s impression resistant, conforms to the contour of your body while offering support, hypoallergenic, bacteria and mildew resistant. It also has great breath-ability, it will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Beware of latex allergies.

Multi-Zoned Latex – Latex mattress cores are always made with holes in them. These holes soften the latex and make it comfortable. The larger the holes, the softer the latex core becomes. Most mattresses have the same size holes throughout the mattress giving it a uniform feel. The multi-zoned mattress has sections with different size holes. This gives the mattress different zones making it softer or firmer in different areas. 

Pillow Top – This is a mattress with an extra layer sewn to the top to create a pillow feel. It’s great for support and comfort. You can get the same effect using a mattress pad or topper. 

I would also suggest purchasing an organic mattress. Organic mattresses are made without the use of toxic chemicals which is better for the environment and better for your health.

So, try out some different types of mattresses keeping in mind how well they will support you. If you’re sharing your bed with someone who has different requirements, you might consider using two twin beds side by side. You should also check to see if the store you’re purchasing from has an exchange policy. This allows you to exchange your mattress for another if you find you purchased one that wasn’t quite right for you.

Author: Shelly Platt


Are the Parabens in our Personal Care Products Really Harmful?

I’ve been hearing so much about parabens and how we should try to avoid them in personal care products. I decided it was time to do some digging. What are parabens? Are they dangerous? How can we avoid them? Should we listen and go out of our way to use paraben-free products?

What are they? Parabens are preservatives added to personal care products for extending shelf life. Methylparaben is probably the most widely used.

Are they dangerous? They may alter hormone levels, possibly increasing risks for certain types of cancer, impaired fertility, or alteration of the development of a fetus or young child. Parabens are Endocrine disruptors: They are suspected of presenting risks to the reproductive system that could include reduced chances for a healthy, full-term pregnancy, or for becoming pregnant, based on laboratory studies or studies of human populations. What does the Environmental Protection Agency have to say on the subject? According to them “The science related to measuring and demonstrating endocrine disruption is in its' infancy, so validated methods of testing that indicate specific effects of an endocrine disruptor are still being developed.” To me, it sounds like they’re saying they just don’t know yet.

So if parabens are only suspected of causing all this harm, do we really feel the need to switch to paraben-free products? That’s something we will all have to answer on our own. Is it worth the risk to your health, to your family’s health to use products with parabens? Why take that chance when there are so many personal care products that are paraben-free. Do we really want to wait around until the EPA has a better way of testing the effects of endocrine disruptors? The choice is yours.

Author: Shelly Platt



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