By Natural Advocate | May 24, 2013 - 12:19 pm - Posted in Toxins

I consider myself to be relatively educated on food and how to eat. It certainly doesn’t mean I always eat the right foods for my health and weight maintenance, but at least I have a pretty solid foundation of understanding about what my body does best on, and what the ins and outs of all kinds of foods, food combinations and diet types are.

However, one fact escaped me up until about a year or so ago. This is the idea that veggies in the “nightshade” family of vegetables are to be eaten minimally, at least if you’re a subscriber to the belief that excessive consumption of these types of veggies really can have some sort of negative health effect on you. The reason they are called “nightshades” presumably is due to their growing habits in that they like shadier areas and tend to bloom during the night time.

Several of my favorite veggies are actually considered part of the nightshade family, so you can imagine how disappointed I was to learn that this family of veggies might actually cause some toxic effects in the body. However, I’m one who always considers things with a grain of salt and I think that consuming most veggies at least in moderation is ok. They’re certainly better than eating some other foods!

These vegetables actually contain a family of naturally occurring chemicals called alkaloids. These alkaloids may cause pain and inflammation and worsening of diseases like arthritis in SOME people. They may not affect other people as much though.

You must also remember that some of these veggies have other important health benefits that help to override the potential for toxins – and also remember that every fruit or veggie that passes your lips certain can contain within it chemicals, even when grown organically. Remember that things like acid rain, air pollution and other factors can taint any food. But don’t let fear paralyze you from partaking in eating healthy fruits and veggies.

Nicotine, which is famously found in the tobacco plant, which is indeed a member of the nightshade family, is probably the most well-known alkaloid and certainly the most addictive! In addition, there are also specific alkaloids found in potatoes, chili peppers tomatoes and eggplant.

And yes, these are some of my favorite foods on the planet. I could do without chili peppers, but the rest of them I could probably eat all day long if I had to eat nothing but veggies all day long.

People who avoid these vegetables do so because either they might have inflammatory conditions that they believe are worsened when they eat these foods, or they want to avoid the alkaloid buildup in their tissues. The problem is that the alkaloids in these nightshade plants apparently do not flush out of the system entirely and can therefore build up in our bodies over time.

There are some that say this is really a bunch of over hyped BS though, and that you shouldn’t need to avoid this plant family at all. In fact, they say that diets that promote complete avoidance of these plants are somewhat irresponsible in that there is no real proof that these plants have adverse effects on the body, and that they have several benefits that really overshadow any perceived negative aspects.

If for one, will never cut these out of my diet. I really don’t have problems with inflammation, and I’ve never correlated eating these veggies with negative health effects in me personally. In the end, you have to be your own decision maker when it comes to your dietary choices, and more importantly really listen to what YOUR body tells you when you eat certain foods.


By Natural Advocate | May 14, 2013 - 10:07 am - Posted in Herbal & Natural Beauty, Toxins

While the main concern behind many lipsticks was that several brands – popular brands too – contained shocking levels of the toxic heavy metal lead, it seems there may be more metals lurking in our lip balms, lip glosses and favorite lipsticks.

This is why I stick to only my all-natural lip balm! I use it WAY too much (several times a day) to be exposing myself to toxins at that level. I’d say I apply my lip balm about twenty times a day at LEAST.

This means that if I were applying a toxic mixture with heavy metals and other highly toxic chemicals to my lips this many times a day, I’d be both ingesting it through my mouth as well as absorbing it through my skin via the lips –a double whammy if you will of toxic absorption.

The typical metals that can be found in most brands tested include aluminum, which as you know is a huge concern in deodorants and antiperspirants as well, cadmium, chromium and about five other metals that registered at levels high enough to cause concern. Especially for the many women who are heavy users of these products.

These metals are often found in lipsticks, stains and glosses that are tinted so that they can retain their color longer, or have a better pigment. However, there are natural stains that can accomplish this just as well without exposing you to the same toxins.

While you do have to keep in mind that these metals are also found in nature and you come in contact with them through the foods you eat, it’s still important to remember that topically applying them is a little different. Ingesting them orally at least means that they go through the digestive process and are somewhat neutralized this way through the acids and processes.

However, when you apply something to your skin (your lips are skin too, and are actually more sensitive than the rest of your skin) it absorbs in full potency, and isn’t broken down as efficiently by the body. This is precisely why such high traces of metals, parabens and other toxins like phthalates and artificial fragrance constituents are found in such high levels in the urine and organs of women and men.

Women are a little more prone than most men to test higher because we are of course the bigger consumer of the health and beauty products that typically contain these types of contaminants.

Aluminum has been linked to a variety of health issues, including various types of cancer and alzheimers among other concerns. Chromium has been linked to stomach lesions and various types of bowel and stomach cancer. Lead is very toxic to the brain and organs, and is even more toxic to children since their bodies are still developing, so any of these types of products shouldn’t go anywhere near a child.

The best way to avoid these toxins is to buy all natural lip products. Preferably products with absolutely no preservatives, no artificial fragrances or flavors and labeled as not having any toxic metals and by-products as mentioned earlier. Typically this means shopping online or in a specialty health store for your products, but that’s better than the alternative, especially if you love using lip products.


By Natural Advocate | May 1, 2013 - 4:32 pm - Posted in Foods, Toxins

There are so many yummy, savory Asian food sauces out there that are ready-made, sitting on the shelf and ready for you to pour them over your favorite dishes like chicken stir fry, a delicious veggie stir fry, brown rice or vermicelli made with brown rice (very good, just tried it), or whatever other healthy “base” you choose as your carb base to pour it over.

I’ve been on a kick where I’ve been adding a couple different sauces to my brown rice and veggies, which I’ve been finding is such an easy and filling lunch for me to take to work. I’ve also given up meat and dairy for a few weeks, so it’s one of the things I love to eat when I’m on a vegan kick.

Trying to shed some pounds after my horrendous weigh-in at the Doctor’s office a few weeks ago. Long story, but it’s the most I’ve ever weighed in my adult life and since I’m going on forty years old, it’s now or never to drop it and get back to being comfortable in my own skin.

The problem with so many of these ready-made bottled Asian sauces is that they often contain a ton of bad things. The worst in my opinion is the MSG, or monosodium glutamate, which is notorious for causing a plethora of health issues. Not only that, it also makes you even hungrier by spiking blood sugar and making it unpredictable.

The other big bad ingredient in many of these Asian cooking sauces is high fructose corn syrup. This is a concentrated sweetening and flavoring agent that also spiked the blood sugar and screws up the whole metabolism by making you hungry when you really shouldn’t be.

Then you have a LOT of sodium. This is pretty typical in Chinese food and other Asian staples, especially the processed stuff. My advice is to go to the natural foods stores as these will have a better selection of healthier sauces. Your grocer may offer some too, but you really have to be a diligent label reader to avoid the nasty ingredients that often inhabit these savory sauces.

Some of my favorite types of sauces that offer maximum flavor are teriyaki sauce, sweet chili sauce, pineapple chili sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce (in both plain and ginger), General Tso’s sauce, peanut sauce (fattening, but if used sparingly not bad), Sriracha sauce (another hot chili paste, used sparingly it adds a lot of spice and flavor), and sweet and sour sauce.

These are really great when used sparingly, and if you read the labels and make sure they’re healthy then you can use them a little more without feeling too guilty about it. I’ll admit it, I’m a saucy cook. I like lots of sauce, and that’s been a challenge for me to cut down on since sauces often add lots of calories.

If you pick the right sauces, without the MSG and high fructose corn syrup, or astronomical amounts of sodium, then you can at least rest easy knowing that your sauce addiction isn’t adding too many calories or unhealthy ingredients to your plate. Sauces really do add a lot to your dishes, and they are part of the spice of life that makes food interesting and fun to eat, so it’s important that you still get to incorporate these into your diet – have some fun with it!


There have long been reports and speculation that the situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plants is much more dire than the Japanese government would have everyone believe.  Some experts are pleading with other governments for intervention to help contain the nuclear reactors that they think are very vulnerable still to another earthquake.

Many think that if there were another earthquake, Fukishima is still so unstable that it could cause a huge unleashing of radiation clouds that would go as far as the coasts of the US and perhaps poison the air with radioactive isotopes for years to come, causing cancer and other ungodly diseases and malfunctions of the human body.

The consensus is that the Japanese government is covering up how bad things really are in order to not only save face and make it look like they’re doing a good job of keeping things under control, but also to prevent mass public hysteria, riots and protests.

One could see why certain things have to be kept in order to keep civility, but the citizens who may be exposed and the workers at the plant must know what they are being exposed to.

Now new reports are surfacing accusing contractors who are testing the radiation levels on an ongoing basis to encourage the testers in the field to cover their radiation detection devices in lead shields in order to provide false under-readings of the true levels of radiation at the plant.

The allegation is that these workers were coerced into using these shields and that the reported radiation levels were really much higher and therefore unsafe.  If this is true, then we are witnessing one of the biggest cover ups in our history, and one that could affect each and every one of us if this thing blows after another earthquake.

It could truly be catastrophic if this occurs.  I encourage you to educate yourself about this situation and get the facts so you can be informed in case anything ever does come of this and also to get educate on how to protect yourself in the event of a nuclear emergency.

By Natural Advocate | July 18, 2012 - 7:57 am - Posted in Toxins

Here’s more on the toxic chemicals and materials we used to handle like no one’s business until it was found these materials were highly deadly and toxic.

Madame Curie herself, the researcher who discovered radioactivity (radium and polonium, she actually coined the term radioactivity after discovering these active isotopes), exposed herself to high levels of radioactivity without knowing how toxic it was to her system.

As you have most certainly have heard by now, Arafat is thought to have possibly been poisoned by polonium, a highly toxic radioactive substance, after high levels of it have been discovered on his toothbrush and other personal effects. He is to be shortly exhumed to examine this theory.

Curie died in the 30’s of aplastic anemia, which was undoubtedly related to her extensive unprotected exposure to highly radioactive isotopes in a small shed.  Even her research papers are highly toxic today and anyone who wishes to review them must wear radioactive protective effects. They are also stored in a lead lined box because they are so highly toxic – even after all these years!

It is well known also that real cocaine used to be an ingredient in the still-popular soft drink Coca Cola.  Of course today cocaine, which is a highly addictive and toxic street drug that also happens to be illegal, is known to be dangerous but back then it was simply a plant based extract that was used in a soft drink. It didn’t contain huge levels of it, but enough.

Formaldehyde is a chemical used in construction as well as in several consumer goods – way too many actually. It is highly toxic to the human body, but the FDA has considered certain levels of the chemical to be safe and allowed on the market. It is found in car materials, building materials (unless of course you have paid the extra money to have a green building), and even hair relaxing and curling treatments.

Formaldehyde is basically an embalming substance. It is used to add stability and integrity to many different building materials and to help change the chemical structure of materials as well.  It should be avoided at all costs. That new car smell? Most likely related to formaldehyde unfortunately!

Phthalates are another chemical that is used in construction. It is mostly used in hard plastics like PVC pipe. The European Union has recently taken the bold step to ban this substance from products. It would be great if the US banned it but that doesn’t look likely any time soon.


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