Caffeine Consumption & Miscarriage

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A woman is more likely to miscarry if she and her partner drink more than two caffeinated beverages a day during the weeks leading up to conception, according to a new study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University, Columbus. Similarly, women who drank more than two daily caffeinated beverages during the first seven weeks of pregnancy were also more likely to miscarry.


However, women who took a daily multivitamin before conception and through early pregnancy were less likely to miscarry than women who did not. The study was published online in Fertility and Sterility.

“Our findings provide useful information for couples who are planning a pregnancy and who would like to minimize their risk for early pregnancy loss,” said the study’s first author, Germaine Buck Louis, Ph.D., director of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The researchers analyzed data from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study, which was established to examine the relationship between fertility, lifestyle and exposure to environmental chemicals. The LIFE Study enrolled 501 couples from four counties in Michigan and 12 counties in Texas, from 2005 to 2009.

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For the current study, researchers compared such lifestyle factors as cigarette use, caffeinated beverage consumption and multivitamin use among 344 couples with a singleton pregnancy from the weeks before they conceived through the seventh week of pregnancy.

The researchers reported their results using a statistical concept known as a hazard ratio, which estimates the chances of a particular health outcome occurring during the study time frame. For example, the researchers evaluated caffeinated beverage consumption in terms of the daily likelihood of pregnancy loss over a given time period. A score greater than 1 indicates an increased risk for pregnancy loss each day following conception, and a score less than 1 indicates a reduced daily risk.

Of the 344 pregnancies, 98 ended in miscarriage, or 28 percent. For the preconception period, miscarriage was associated with female age of 35 or above, for a hazard ratio of 1.96 (nearly twice the miscarriage risk of younger women). The study was not designed to conclusively prove cause and effect. The study authors cited possible explanations for the higher risk, including advanced age of sperm and egg in older couples or cumulative exposure to substances in the environment, which could be expected to increase as people age.

Both male and female consumption of more than two caffeinated beverages a day also was associated with an increased hazard ratio: 1.74 for females and 1.73 for males. Earlier studies, the authors noted, have documented increased pregnancy loss associated with caffeine consumption in early pregnancy. However, those studies could not rule out whether caffeine consumption contributed to pregnancy loss or was a sign of an unhealthy pregnancy. It’s possible, the authors wrote, that these earlier findings could have been the result of a healthy pregnancy, rather than caffeine consumption interfering with pregnancy. For example, the increase in food aversions and vomiting associated with a healthy pregnancy led the women to give up caffeinated beverages.

Because their study found caffeine consumption before pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, it’s more likely that caffeinated beverage consumption during this time directly contributes to pregnancy loss.


“Our findings also indicate that the male partner matters, too,” Dr. Buck Louis said. “Male preconception consumption of caffeinated beverages was just as strongly associated with pregnancy loss as females’.”


Finally, the researchers saw a reduction in miscarriage risk for women who took a daily multivitamin. During the preconception period, researchers found a hazard ratio of 0.45 — a 55-percent reduction in risk for pregnancy loss. Women who continued to take the vitamins through early pregnancy had a hazard ratio of 0.21, or a risk reduction of 79 percent. The authors cited other studies that found that vitamin B6 and folic acid — included in preconception and pregnancy vitamin formulations — can reduce miscarriage risk. Folic acid supplements are recommended for women of childbearing age, as their use in the weeks leading up to and following conception reduces the risk for having a child with a neural tube defect.


Source(s): http://www.healthfreedoms.org; nih.gov; dailysabah.com

 

 

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Overcoming a Rare Disease with Wheatgrass

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About eleven months ago, I began to feel rather nauseated, and I had no idea why. I could not eat without having the sensation to vomit, and I felt extremely fatigued after exercising (this was the least of my symptoms). A couple of weeks later, I got a weird rushing sensation throughout my whole body, and I felt like I was chemically out of balance. This really freaked me out and caused me go to the doctor, where I got the expected response, “It looks like a bit of an anxiety problem, but we will get a blood test to be certain.” I had never experienced such anxiety attacks before in my life. Once the blood results were returned, I was diagnosed with Gilbert’s syndrome, which is a liver condition (my bilirubin levels were high). Doctors labeled this as a benign disorder, yet I was left perplexed at living with such annoying symptoms.

After being hospitalized five times, the doctors still told me that Gilbert’s syndrome was nothing to worry about. This struck me as ironic, since I was experiencing severe anxiety attacks and heart palpitations, not to mention the accompanying depression, joint pain, muscular discomfort, extreme fatigue, poor memory, nausea (which led to anorexic-like symptoms due to being unable to eat), terrible headaches, irritable bowel, low body temperature, and an overall toxic feeling. Once I detailed all of this again for the physicians, they thought I had something more serious, perhaps chronic fatigue syndrome. I realized I was becoming a hypochondriac. I was developing into an agoraphobic home dweller, who had reached his retirement at the age of thirty!

I couldn’t go anywhere without the sensation that I was going to die and help was not at hand. The doctors continued giving me prescription after prescription to help me with the multifaceted discomforts and depression. Since my liver was already malfunctioning, the drugs only served to worsen my condition. My liver was only producing enzymes at 30 percent of the normal rate, and my body was riddled with toxins, which were wreaking havoc. I learned that my joint pain was due to the toxic buildup, which was giving me arthritis-like sensations.

In search of a solution, I began to change my diet, and I noticed a smidgen of relief. I could not consume any fatty food without vomiting (perhaps this was a blessing in disguise). I tried one product after another from health shops, as I continued to see new physicians in pursuit of something to alleviate the drudgery of living. Striving to exercise my body daily was a tough pill to swallow, as I would feel knackered from just fifteen minutes of walking. I was not only a physical wreck but an emotional one.

Then I discovered an organic shop in New Zealand, where I was advised to take a shot of wheat grass each day. I was bewildered by this, as I only associated this kind of thing with grazing animals. But I was desperate enough to try almost anything at this point. The first day I took it I felt absolutely horrible; I was bedridden. Oddly enough, the next day I felt okay. After taking it for three days, I perceived a difference when I went for my usual fifteen-minute walk (all I could previously muster) and noticed I wasn’t feeling tired. Two days later, I felt like never before; I was rather energetic. I thought some sort of a miracle had happened, but no, the wheatgrass had helped my body to get to the correct nutritional balance, just as my liver had thrown it out of whack. I couldn’t believe it! I felt like I had been reborn!

I had such zeal that I recommended wheat grass to a friend who was born with a degenerative condition and had only one kidney. Nearing dialysis, he took it habitually, and what do you know—his blood pressure normalized; something that had not been achieved with his medication.

I now heartily believe in consuming wheat grass, and I desire to share its wonders with others. Upon learning that the Hippocrates Health Institute utilizes wheat grass as an integral component of their program, I contacted them with my story so that I could do my part in spreading the word to others who may be suffering as I had been.

Source: Emilio Morales, Canary Islands via Hippocrates Health Institute

 

Cilantro Pesto for Natural Mercury Detox

How to make cilantro pesto for a natural mercury detox

Almost everyone has been exposed to mercury and other heavy metals. Just some of the sources of exposure include air pollution, nonstick cookware, cosmetics, vaccines, dental
amalgam fillings, cigarette smoke, conventional household cleaning products, and contaminated food products.Cilantro (aka coriander or Chinese parsley) has been shown to bond with mercury and other metals and help remove them from the body. Even better effects have been shown when cilantro is used in conjunction with chlorella.

Here is a safe, tasty, DIY pesto recipe which can help eliminate heavy metals from your body.

Ingredients:
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup Brazil nuts*
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds*
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds*
  • 2 cups packed, fresh, organic cilantro (aka coriander, Chinese parsley)
  • 2/3 cup flaxseed oil*
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tsp chlorella powder* or dulse powder* (optional)
  • High quality salt to taste (i.e. Himalayan or sea salt*)
Directions:
  1. Process the cilantro and flaxseed oil in a blender* until the coriander is chopped.
  2. Add the garlic, nuts, seeds, dulse or chlorella powder, and lemon juice and mix until the mixture is finely blended into a paste.
  3. Add a pinch to sea salt to taste and blend again.
  4. Store in dark glass jars if possible. Keep refrigerated
  5. Hint: Cilantro freezes well, so it can purchased when in season and frozen until needed.
Recommended usage:
For detoxification purposes, use 2 teaspoons of cilantro pesto daily for three weeks. Pesto is delicious on grilled or steamed vegetables, pasta, sandwiches, salads, and more.
*available at Upaya Naturals

The Challenge of Intimacy – by Gabriel Cousens, MD

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There are three terms that we will be speaking about. These are love, intimacy, and marriage.

Let’s start with Love. To fully love, one has to actually be in the space of I-Am- ness, which naturally creates a space of independent existence for the other. Love is the perception that allows you to see the inner beauty of the other. Love is the perception that allows you to create the space for the other to be their raw, naked authenticity. Love allows us to be seen in the unique truth of who we are. The process of love creates a space for people to, in essence, manifest for each other their wild female and wild male. Love can be experienced as a quality of the erotic perception. We are talking about Eros by contrast to sexuality. Eros is the subtle play and the experience of the cosmic Shakti on the physical plane. Love in that way is a subtle romantic polarity of the male and female essences where they are both polar and one. Love is a little different in that it doesn’t require intimacy or marriage. Love is a state of being in which you experience your own non-causal love and sharing it with the other; however, this is not necessarily limited to the context of an intimate relationship.

Intimacy, on the other hand, is a commitment over time to a durable, safe, passionate, openhearted relationship as a spiritual path. Here again the male and female energies become one and are complementary. The key to intimacy is “enduring over time” and creating a safe space for people to move into the unknown and, in essence, to face their angels and demons in the process of relationship. Love is more general and cosmic. Intimacy is about the mystery of relationship.

The third category is marriage. There are subtle differences between marriage and intimacy. Marriage is a contract. In the Jewish tradition we call the wedding a Ketubah, which means marriage contract; this is more formal. I have advised for years that couples do not get a state marriage license. Why is this? Because marriage has nothing to do with the government. Traditionally, government is not part of marriage. Anyone can make a covenant or a contract with each other. One limits the relationship if you need the state to okay it. Marriage, as a spiritual path, is outside the realm and control of the government. In addition to it being a relationship contract, in most cases, it also involves an indirect contract for procreation if the couple is marrying in their fertile years. Marriage is also about creating a family as part of the spiritual path. Marriage at it’s optimal includes both love and intimacy but, despite common use of these words, they are really not one and the same.

With intimacy we are talking about tuning into the truth of who we are. This is not something easy. The challenge of intimacy is the final frontier. We have the purifying opportunity to examine our family of origin issues and our personal psychological issues and spiritual issues that come up in the process. This is why there is a natural resistance to intimacy and why intimacy may be part of marriage, but can exist separate from it. The art of intimacy is the art of how to overcome the resistance to intimacy.

We’ve heard people say that love is overcoming fear, however this is not really the case. What we are talking about it that love empowers you to live with your fear, so that you can move beyond it. Intimacy is about creating a safe space so that you and the beloved other can blossom in spite of the fear. This also means that intimacy also has bottom lines rather than the notion that anything goes, as in “unconditional”. Intimacy requires safety, which gives the space to blossom into your sacred unique expression of Self. Safety requires bottom lines that you agree not to cross, so that people can feel safe. It is also an enduring, passionate open-heartedness. Intimacy means keeping your heart open no matter what; that creates a safe space as well as a certain amount of consciousness. The path of intimate love is a great spiritual path. It is a path of liberation that is tantric. This approach differs from how Tantra is used in America, as sophisticated sexual practices. In the deeper Tantra that we know in Kashmir Shaivism the sexual practices are actually only a very small part of a bigger picture. It is more the Eros of how you are in relationship with the Divine, which is not necessarily sexual. In is more about passionate Eros in the broader sense and about the play of the complementary with the polarity.

There is a need for some polarity in a relationship otherwise there is no art, no passion, and no Eros. Eros is different than sexuality. It is a subtler divine energetic concept. For a relationship to be a long-term, enduring, loving relationship there needs to be an arc of polarity, which is Eros-activating. The other aspect of that polarity is the mystical teaching in Genesis 1:27, where the Adam became the he-Adam and the she- Adam. They became separate, and then there is a divine merging back into the oneness. We have this polarity and intimacy creates an alchemical container where the two may fuse back into the one. We also see this polarity in the Yogic tradition with the models of Shiva and Shakti and with Krishna and Rhadha. In many traditions we see this male and female divine dynamic. There is no court of law that can alter these cosmic principles, even in light of popular trends. This male-female dynamic can also be present in a gay or lesbian relationship. Intimacy is not exclusive to a heterosexual relationship. We are talking about intimacy at cosmic levels.

Intimacy is the biggest resistance in relationship. Everyone wants intimacy and yet there is in resistance to it. There are fears of family of origin experiences; one’s intra- psychic issues; as well as past life experiences. We often don’t want to go back into negative experiences, whether we are conscious of this or unconscious of this. The willingness to surrender takes a higher level of consciousness. People are often very addicted to their own egos. Intimacy takes us to surrendering to each other and to the alchemical oneness. If we are too attached to the ego, we cannot really have much intimacy. In our society today, intimacy is not really emphasized. In our movies and television programs we see people having sex on the first date, so to speak. What does this tell us? There is no value placed on romantic, enduring intimacy. This value is being lost. This is a sad commentary on the ability to be in relationship. The ability to be truly intimate requires the maturity to be in relationship. This is very similar to how not everyone is at the place of maturity where there is readiness to have a spiritual teacher. The teacher-student relationship also requires a certain level of surrender and interplay. Another fear is that of loosing yourself, or being swallowed up. This is also about having healthy boundaries. It is not about being rigid but about being in control of when you let go into the oneness.

How do we move through the resistance to intimacy? How do we get unstuck and keep the energy flowing? One way is by staying present rather than bringing up things from the past. By keeping the other in the past, we are not allowing them or ourselves to grow. We are keeping them in a preconceived mold. You’ve got to be open and to forgive and to let go. Bringing in humor and having fun is a good way to change a situation. Many people do not want to invest the time that long-term relationship takes. We live in a culture where everything is quick and disposable, including relationships. This does not build depth, character, or intimacy. You don’t get to really grow because you are in avoidance. It bears repeating that in order to stop avoiding the issues and to really grow, we do need to be in a relationship where there is emotional safety. You need to know that you can share who you are without being attacked. It is important to see and to be seen – to know the spark of the Divine within.

To have this quality of relationship, you have to schedule time to be together. Just as you schedule time for everything else, date night needs to be scheduled as well. Otherwise, the world will take it. In relationship you need time, energy, and space for intimacy to unfold. You need to make sure that you are not both working so hard that when you do have not both exhausted and do not have energy for one another. Setting aside the space, includes having a babysitter for the children if you are parents. If you don’t make time for the relationship, it will fall apart. People often use time, energy, and space in the other way, which is to avoid each other. Consciously or unconsciously managing time, space, and energy can be an anti-intimacy or pro-intimacy strategy. Time, space, and energy create the space to give meaning, value, love, and spirit to the relationship. You need a balance of time to yourself, time with each other, and family time.

This is really a new paradigm. In the past we had the goddess/matriarch culture then we moved into a patriarch paradigm. This is the time for the male and the female to come together into the complementary oneness. It is the time to move out of division and for the two to share their complementary gifts.

In summary, positive strategies of intimacy include:

Seeing the face of God within the other and keeping your mind on that; this means holding of a positive view of the other.
Forgiveness – not holding on to things. When there is a lack of forgiveness a person is keeping the separation going and binding the relationship to the past.
Holding the bigger picture that intimacy is a spiritual path. This gives us the perspective that whatever comes up is a part of the spiritual process together. We know what we are doing here. We have an overview. Within this we know our own oneness. When you don’t know this, it is very easy to have a codependent relationship. For healthy interdependence you have to be in touch with your own essence and clarity for intimacy to really work.
One clarification that is important to make is the difference between non- attachment and detachment. One can think they are practicing non-attachment when they are really detached. Detachment is separation. What I am talking about is seeing the face of God in the other, and celebrating and honoring that face. One does that equally. This is equal vision. The key is maintaining that equal vision, seeing the face of God in all people, and certainly within your partner. Remembering this at all times, and even in the difficult times, is a challenging key to sustaining intimacy. This does take some work. People often don’t put the necessary work in and yet wonder what the problem is. A thoughtful, consistent, spiritual effort is needed to maintain and evolve a relationship. It doesn’t happen by itself.

May everyone who chooses this spiritual path be successful.

Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD, MD(H), DD

Traveling in the Raw

Traveling in the Raw

Following the Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine while traveling, be it a short trip or a long holiday, can be a challenge when you first begin. In this section we give you some basic hints and tips that we have discovered over the years of following a raw-food diet. They make planning your trip simple and the whole experience one of joy.

In Appendix III of this book you will find a section with hints and tips minimizing jet stress, including airplane Yoga. We also recommend that you read the section in Conscious Eating on traveling in the raw.

The tips below can be applied when making fast raw food for when you are on the go!

Planning your Trip

Traveling in the raw, like eating in the raw, is all about good planning—from what to take to where to get your fresh supplies along the way. There are many good resource guides for health food stores, both in print format and on the Internet. In the back of this book you can also find a comprehensive list of resources for stocking up on your bulk items.

Where there are no health food stores along the way, you can usually find supermarkets with a limited organic range such as avocados, organic baby greens, carrots, and sprouts. This can be supplemented with various foods that travel well (as described in this section).

If you would like to eat out at a restaurant, call ahead of time and be specific as to your dietary requirements. If you are specific, you will find that most good restaurants will be happy to cater for your needs. This also applies to eating out at the homes of non-raw friends and relatives. If you are not able to plan ahead, you can request a plain salad and add your own dressing, avocado, and dehydrated seed mix.

Basic Equipment

Your choice of equipment will vary depending on your mode of travel and the space you have available. If you are flying it is not possible to take any form of cutting utensils apart from plastic knives on the plane, but you can take them in your suitcase. Here are some general suggestions:

• Containers that seal well are important. A good-size container will double as your preparation and eating bowl and the lid as your cutting board.

• Plastic cups or glass jars with screw-on lids to mix your green drinks

and dressings.

• Utensils—knife, fork, spoon (take plastic when flying).

• Chopsticks.

• Roll-up chopping mat, available from most supermarkets.

• Wellness Portable water filtration system,* which filters out the

majority of contaminants, saving you from carrying large amounts of

water everywhere you go.

• Tribest Personal Blender, essential for longer trips for grinding your flax seeds and creating yummy dressings for your salads. An inverter can be bought with this product that allows use in car, boat, RV, and camper.

• High-quality knife with plastic cover.

• Iodine is a useful addition for washing your veggies.

• Travel Yoga Mat.

• Jet Stress Kit  (see Appendix III).

 

Basic Travel Foods

There are some basic foods that should be in everyone’s travel pack, because they do not require any major preparation. See the Resources section for companies that sell high-quality food items from sea vegetables to nuts and seeds.

• Nuts and Seeds provide that nutrient density we crave while traveling

(take a plastic cup or glass jar for soaking).

– Almonds

– Hemp Seeds

– Macadamia Nuts

– Sunflower, Sesame, and Pumpkin Seeds

• Superfoods are essential on trips where food choice may be limited,

providing all your nutrient needs in compact packages.

– Green Powders—Spirulina, Vitamineral Green, Pure Synergy,

and Chlorella

– Bee Pollen

– Goji Berries

– Coconut Oil—for both external and internal use

• Nut Butters are great for dipping with veggie sticks or mixing into simple salad dressings with water, lemon, and salt.

– Almond

– Sesame Tahini

• Celtic Sea Salt  is the best salt available, providing trace minerals. Added to water, it helps with hydration.

• Olive Oil —Choose only organic stone-pressed.

• Apple Cider Vinegar (Phase I.5)

• Sea Vegetables

– Whole Dulse

– Dulse Flakes

– Nori Sheets—Great for wrapping up your salads.

• Olives provide a nutrient-dense food that will satisfy you on the go.

• Miso (Phase I.5)

• Flax Seeds —Ideally ground fresh, but for short trips of a few days you

can take pre-ground flax seeds.

• Vegetables/Fruits that travel well:

– Cabbage, Carrots, Bell Pepper

– Avocado, Apples, Grapefruit, Raisins

Foods that Require Pre-Preparation

If you have time it is useful to stock up on some dehydrated goodies. Recipes can be found throughout the book.

• Seasoned Nuts

• Trail Mixes

• Imposter “Caramel Corn”

• Crackers

• Green Wonder Wafers

• Veggie Chips

• Jerkys

• Granolas

• Granola Bars

• Magic Wands

“Fast Foods”

Many of us lead a busy lifestyle that does not allow time for preparing the more elaborate recipes found in this book. Whether traveling cross-country or journeying through your busy day, you can be nourished by Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine. There are many recipes in this book that are relatively fast and easy to prepare.

When “on the go,” wrapping your favorite raw foods in nori sheets, collard greens, or cabbage leaves makes a great meal and minimizes preparation and clean-up! It allows you to be creative and use whatever you have in the fridge. Try making Noritos.

There many salads that can be prepared very quickly yet provide that satisfaction

you are looking for. Some of them don’t mind marinating, so you can prepare your lunch in the morning. We suggest the following “all you need is a knife” recipes:

• Arugula Cumin Salad

• Arugula Spinach Salad

• Avocado Kale Salad

• Avocado Tomato Salad

• Cabbage Hemp Salad

• Zen Cabbage Salad

• Carrot Dulse Salad

• Composed Salad

• Cucumber Avocado Salad

• Hemp Kale Salad

• Mediterranean Sea Vegetable Salad

• Moroccan Olive Salad

• Napa Slaw

• Rainbow Salad

• Sea Palm Simplicity

• Spinach Masala Salad

• Spinach Sprout Salad

• Tabouli #3

• Thai Hemp Slaw

• The Essence of Spinach

Fast Food Tip: Make a batch of pâté or a dressing that will last you a few days.

Summary

With a little planning and use of the guidelines found in this section, you will find that traveling in the raw is actually a great deal of fun and can work for you. Traveling in the raw is simple—no cooking utensils, little clean-up, and you get to feel great because you can stick to a cuisine that works for you and your body without the need to compromise. After a while it will become second nature and give you an amazing sense of empowerment in caring for yourself!

The Benefits of Raw/Living Food Nutrition

The Benefits of Raw/Living Food Nutrition

By Tom Fisher RN, BA

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Raw and Living Foods help to provide: More Energy

When we eat raw and living foods that are easier for our bodies to digest, assimilate, and eliminate, we have more energy left over. This enables our body to cleanse, heal, and repair itself so we feel healthy, vital, and energized.

Fiber

• Fiber is the indigestible portion of plant foods. Fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, and seeds contain an abundance of dietary fiber.
• Fiber acts as a pre-biotic agent. This helps to populate beneficial bacteria in the gut for supporting immune and gastro-intestinal function.
• Fiber helps to regulate blood sugar by allowing the carbohydrates in food to be released into the bloodstream more gradually.
• Fiber helps to lower cholesterol.
• Fiber also keeps everything moving through the intestines, which prevents constipation.

Two main categories of fiber

• Soluble
-This type of fiber actually binds to cholesterol in the intestines and flushes it out of the body
• Insoluble
– Is good for regularity
– Insoluble fiber helps “bulk up” the stool and prevent constipation

Vitamins and Minerals

Raw and living foods are very high in various vitamins and minerals. Sprouted foods have a very high nutrient-per-calorie ratio, which help us feel satisfied on fewer calories. This is in addition to having a high water and fiber content.

We all know many of the other benefits of vitamins and minerals.
• Vitamins and minerals found in raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are in a whole food complex with cofactors.
– They are abundant and absorbable
– They are synergistic in their effects

Alkaline Minerals

• Fruits and vegetables contain beneficial alkaline minerals such as:
– Magnesium
– Calcium
• Most of the byproducts of metabolism in our bodies are acidic.
• Consuming alkaline foods helps counteract this acidity.
• Without minerals, vitamins have no function.
• Research indicates that calcium from our bones is often used to counteract this acidity, so eating foods that have an alkalizing effect may contribute to the maintenance of bone health.

Phytonutrients

• Raw and living foods are very high in phytonutrients. Phytonutrients contain protective, disease-preventing compounds that interact with other plant nutrients to produce a synergy that can help fight many diseases. Some phytonutrients are lycopene, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is the green coloring in plants
– Helps to build blood
– Has antioxidant properties
– Has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory benefits.

• Carotenoids
– A group of phytonutrients that have yellow, orange, and red pigments
– Act as antioxidants in the body
– Yellow pigments – lutein and zeaxanthin
* They help to support optimal vision.
* The body utilizes these pigments to protect the back of the eyeball from the damaging rays of the sun (the macula).
* These two pigments work together synergistically to confer this protection.
* Are best obtained from yellow and green vegetables like summer squash and leafy greens.

Antioxidants

Raw and living foods contain antioxidants which reduce free radical damage and help us age gracefully. Many phytonutrients also act as antioxidants. Antioxidants counteract the damaging effects of “free radicals.”

Alkalinity

Raw and living foods help to maintain the proper alkaline pH in the bloodstream, which is very beneficial to the body in a number of ways, such as supporting energy.

Calorie Density

• Calorie density is defined as the amount of calories in a given weight or volume of food.
• Filling our stomach helps activate stretch receptors which is one of the primary mechanisms that helps us feel satisfied.
• Three primary factors that determine calorie density
– Water content
– Fat content
– Fiber content
• Water is by far the most significant determinant of calorie density, and raw and living foods have excellent water content.
• It is interesting to note that despite the high fat content, rich and creamy avocadoes still have less than half of the calorie density of brown rice cakes, indicating how water content plays a bigger role in calorie density than fat content does.
• The fiber content of a food contributes to the calorie density as well, but not as much as fat and not nearly as much as water.
– Including lots of water and fiber rich raw and living foods in one’s diet makes it easy to feel full and satisfied without eating excess calories.

Plant Fats

• Higher fat raw plant foods, such as avocadoes and nuts and seeds, contain relatively healthy, unsaturated fats.
• These high fat plant foods contain plenty of their own fiber, which binds to excess cholesterol.
• Essential fatty acids:
– Two types of fats that the body cannot make, so they need to be obtained from diet. These are called essential fatty acids (EFAs).
Alpha linolenic acid – Omega 3. Omega 3 fats reduce inflammation.
* Linoleic acid – Omega 6.  Omega 6 fats generally promote inflammation.
– Ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats is between 1 to 1 and 4 to 1.
– When we consume in excess of four times the amount of omega 6 fats compared to omega 3 fats, we tend to create excess inflammation.
– Omega 6 fats
* The average American consumes 20 times more omega 6 fats than omega 3 fats.
* Omega 6 fats are largely found in animal products and processed foods.
– Omega 3 fats
* Omega 3 fats are abundant in leafy green vegetables, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and certain types of algae.
* Smaller amounts of omega 3 fats can be found in fruits and non-green vegetables.
• The standard American diet (SAD) diet contains an over-abundance of omega 6 fats from:
– Processed foods.
– Commercially produced animal products.
– Not enough fruits, vegetables.
* They contain the omega 3 fats that reduce inflammation.
• A diet based on raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and especially a diet that has an abundance of greens and includes some flax or chia seeds, supplies adequate amounts of omega 3 fats. This is without the excess of omega 6 fats, which is seen in typical modern human diets.
• Healthy fats and blood sugar regulation:
– Glucose – blood sugar
– Insulin escorts glucose out of blood and into cells
– Insulin resistance – insulin is unable to do its job properly and blood sugar remains too high
– Insulin resistance – is the hallmark of type II diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes.

An excess of saturated fats, trans fats, and omega 6 fats, along with decreased amounts of omega 3 fats, make major contributions to insulin resistance.
Numerous studies have shown that diets that include more whole natural plant foods, instead of processed foods, can have a significant impact on insulin resistance and blood sugar levels.

Cholesterol comes from two places: animal foods and your body.
– Low fat and high fiber whole natural plant foods, such as raw and living foods, cause the liver to produce less cholesterol to make bile that emulsifies fat in the foods.
• Fresh raw and living foods also contain an abundance of fiber to bind to any excess cholesterol, thus keeping cholesterol at an appropriate level.

Enzymes

Raw and living foods are high in food-based enzymes.
• Enzymes are protein molecules that initiate biochemical reactions in all living things, plants and animals alike.
• Research indicates that plant enzymes are found within plant cells and are released when plant cell walls are broken down either by chewing, juicing, or blending.
• If plants are heated above 115°F the enzymes may denature or break down.
• Chewing raw plant foods well is important for releasing enzymes from plant cells.
• This gives the body a “head start” in digestion, creating less work and taking less energy, so you may feel lighter and more energetic than you would if you ate heated foods without active enzymes.

Increasing raw and living foods in your diet helps to provide:

• More energy
• Feeling lighter
• Greater overall well-being
• An abundance of nutrients
• Weight normalization over time
• Avoidance of hunger and deprivation
– It’s not just another diet, but a healthful, delicious, and – most importantly – sustainable way of changing your eating habits that you can happily maintain for a lifetime!

Source: http://hippocratesinst.org

Product UPDATE: Berry Breeze – Oxygenating Refrigerator Neutralizer

We have been using the Berry Breeze now for over a year and it is still performing like new.   The batteries have been changed twice in the 12 + months.   Which is not bad considering how long it’s been functioning.   The actual unit does not stay on constantly, but cycles on and off, which helps extend the battery life.  We have been using rechargeable batteries in our unit to save on costs and the environmental impact of regular batteries.

We have found that even through the Berry Breeze does a great job, it is still important to make sure that we buy fresh veggies and do not leave them out in the car or heat so they start going bad before they get into the fridge.   We also make sure that when buying veggies or sprouts that are in containers from the grocery stores, that they do not have a lot of moisture in the container itself.  We found that any water that the veggies sit in causes them to  decay faster – especially with sprouts and wheatgrass.   We also give our veggies a good shake before putting them into bags in order to get rid of the water that is misted on them at the store – the dryer the veggies are before going into the fridge the better.

Typically we are able to keep kale in the fridge for a up to 2 weeks.   Raspberries and strawberries last up to a 10 days and blueberries keep for up to 2 weeks.    We’ve had cucumbers last up to 2 weeks and same with tomatoes and red peppers.  We have had citrus last for several weeks.

Overall we are impressed with what this little unit can do and how much money it can save in wasted produce.   We have also commented that fridge manufacturers should include a Berry Breeze in very fridge they sell.   Perhaps in the future these manufacturers may build this technology right into their fridges as an option.

To learn more about the Berry Breeze,  please read below.

 

Berry Breeze – Oxygenating Refrigerator Neutralizer

High in the mountains of planet Earth, an ocean of the purest, most pristine air in the world fills ancient valleys and laps against weathered peaks. It is in this primordial environment that the freshest herbs, most nutritious berries, tastiest fruits and healthful plants grow wild and free.

At that high elevation, far away from human industry and pollution, oxygen is at its peak and the air itself is a life-giving nectar that allows both flora and fauna to thrive. Here, oxygen and other vital nutrients help heal and rejuvenate the fruits, herbs, plants, animals and all of humanity. A visit here – to savor the sunshine or to harvest organic wild crafted herbs – is a spiritual experience.

Our purpose at BerryBreeze™ is to promote healthy, sustainable lifestyles that increase the life and longevity of people everywhere.

Like a breath of cool mountain air, BerryBreezeTM oxygenates, cleans and reinvigorates the fruits, vegetables and food that you store at home in your refrigerator, extending both their life and their freshness while preserving their nutritional benefits.

BerryBreeze™ extends the life and longevity of your food, and that in turn extends the life and longevity of you.

BerryBreeze™ — Keep it fresh. Keep it live™.
What is BerryBreeze™?

BerryBreeze™ is a compact device that filters and cleans the air in your fridge. Using patented technology, BerryBreeze™ fills your refrigerator with activated oxygen to neutralize bacteria, mold and other harmful microbes. As a result, your food stays fresh for longer and your fridge smells as fresh as a mountain meadow – all without the use of carcinogens, chemicals or harsh cleaners. Join the BerryBreeze™ revolution to enhance the nutrition of your food and keep your fridge smelling fresh and clean. You’ll be reducing food waste and protecting the environment at the same time!

  • ~BerryBreeze™ keeps your fruits, vegetables, and other food in your fridge from spoiling and decay (2 to 3 times longer), while maintaining freshness and nutritional value.
  • ~BerryBreeze™ sanitizes your fridge by safely and naturally neutralizing undesirable microorganisms, germs, mold, yeast, fungus, bacteria, and viruses.
  • ~BerryBreeze™ can cure “Sick Refrigerator Syndrome” by neutralizing mold and bacteria and keeping your fridge and your food clean, fresh, and healthy.
  • ~BerryBreeze™ completely eliminates all unwanted odors, tastes and smells from your refrigerator and your food.
  • ~BerryBreeze™ saves you an estimated $2200 per year per household by avoiding spoilage of food in your fridge, equivalent to $165 billion a year for all Americans.*
  • ~BerryBreeze™ can help feed the planet. The average American wastes around 40% percent of all edible food and if we were able to save just 15% of that, it would be enough to help feed 25 million people.*
  • ~BerryBreeze™ can help eliminate pollution. Americans waste over 33 million tons of food per year, which is the largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste and a large portion of methane emissions.
  • ~BerryBreeze™ helps save the planet and reduces your carbon footprint for a greener planet by reducing plastic containers, bags, and wraps.
  • ~BerryBreeze™ is easy to use and maintenance-free. Just put the unit in your fridge and it works without having to remember to replace absorption packs or filters.
  • ~BerryBreeze™ is the only refrigerator product to use a superior Patented Technology that produces activated oxygen versus aluminosilicate (absorption packs).

* Note that this product required 4 D batteries.  They last 6 – 10 months before they need replacement.

*National Resources Defense Council August 2012

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How To Keep Vegetables Fresh In Your Refrigerator

May 28th, 2013

When you stop to think about it, wondering about how to keep vegetables fresh in your refrigerator is a pretty novel thing. Just a hundred years ago, before modern electric appliances, people couldn’t even ask the question. Now things are different. Today you can buy a refrigerator as big as a house or pick up a mini-fridge for your college dorm. Today, people even drive 18-wheeled diesel-powered refrigerators on superhighways. If they were alive, our ancestors would accuse us of witchcraft.

As a species, it’s pretty easy to feel impressed with ourselves – we’ve accomplished some neat things over the past century. But with every new breakthrough come new problems. When we learned how to preserve food with cold air, we invented a system that short-circuits our natural inclination to prevent food waste.

Does Refrigeration Contribute to Food Waste?

So here’s the dark side of the modern kitchen: these days, even though we’re able to put our food in cold storage until it’s time for dinner, the average American family still throws out somewhere between 12 and 25 percent of the food they buy. It’s not because we don’t care about the planet, and we ourselves haven’t changed in fundamental ways. But both technology and the idea of abundance have had an effect on our psychology. When you’ve got a machine that lets you forget about your food, enough people do exactly that – and it’s enough to make a difference.

How much food are we talking about again? It works out to more than 465 pounds of food a year, per family. We can do better than that. We should do better than that. After all, the question of how to keep vegetables fresh in your refrigerator isn’t a hard one to answer. We can prevent food waste. It takes some planning, that’s all.

We take this stuff pretty seriously, so we’ve put together a few tips to help make sure your veggies stay fresh and crisp until you chop them up for that Cobb salad recipe you’ve been waiting to try. Ready? Let’s see what we can do to address this problem.

Keeping Vegetables Refrigerator-Fresh

  • Map out where veggies should go. The first order of business is to find out which vegetables actually belong in the refrigerator. For instance, did you know that cucumbers can actually be damaged by chilly temperatures? They’re out. Artichokes, on the other hand, need to be kept cold.
  • Remember microclimates. Don’t think of your refrigerator as one big block of cool air. It’s more like a collection of tiny zones that are slightly different from one another. Some spots are colder. Some are more humid. Those are microclimates. Your crisper drawer is a microclimate – it’s good for storing broccoli and leaf veggies. Keep beans away from the back and top of the fridge.
  • Be aware of ethylene producers. Ethylene is a gas that causes produce to ripen more quickly. That sounds pretty good, but it can get out of control quickly, and before you know it you’ve got a fridge full of rotten veggies. Apples and figs can fill your refrigerator with ethylene and put the hurt on your asparagus and cabbages, so keep them separate from the rest of your produce. Better yet, invest in a product that neutralizes ethylene. BerryBreeze™ will prevent food waste like nobody’s business, and it’ll leave your fridge smelling fresh and clean.
  • Give your greens a little TLC. Ever had to pick through a bunch of cilantro and throw out the slimy bits? That’s a definite downer. To keep leafy greens fresher longer, wash them in cold water with a little vinegar or lemon juice. Repeat until you’re not seeing any dirt in the sink, then dry them completely and store them in a ventilated plastic bag. Don’t forget them in the back of the drawer.
  • Use the power of oxygen. Activated oxygen is a powerful tool in the fight to prevent food waste, and it’s what allows the BerryBreeze™  Fridge Freshener to neutralize bacteria, mold and other microorganisms that cause spoilage. When you place one on your top shelf, all of the surfaces in your fridge – including your veggies – will be bathed in nature’s original air freshener: clean, powerful oxygen. It’s a truly eco friendly solution to the problem of how to keep vegetables fresh in your refrigerator.

When you teach yourself relevant details about your produce and take the time to think about how your refrigerator really works, you’re arming yourself with the facts you need keep your foods fresher longer. Sometimes it’s nice to have a hand when you’re trying to prevent food waste, though. The BerryBreeze™ Fridge Freshener will help keep your fridge clean and safe without increasing your environmental footprint. That’s a major plus for the health of your family, and for our planet.

Product Highlight: Blue Mountain Better Than Roasted Sprouted Products

Blue Mountain Better Than Roasted

“Better Than Roasted should really be called Best Ever, Never Roasted. What an outstanding product line. Keep up the great work!”  — David Wolfe, raw foodist

BTR-0020-1We start with premium, whole, certified organic nuts or seeds, which are kept in airtight cold storage to maximize freshness greatly reduce rancidity.  We do not use seconds or pieces, since broken skins and nut fragments invite rancidity.  We give preference to sources that implement fair trade practices.Our Better-Than-Roasted™ (BTR™) nuts, seeds, and grains are all handmade in small batches.

 

 

BTR-0030-hazThe process involves first soaking, rinsing and then drying the nuts or seeds.  Our nuts and seeds are dried at low, steady temperatures.  Keeping the dehydrating temperatures lower than 108 degrees Fahrenheit maintains the raw qualities of the nuts and seeds, preserving the temperature-sensitive enzymes and maximizing the nutritional value of the nuts and seeds.

 

 

BTR-0004-1Additionally, we cull the nuts, seeds and grains as we soak them, spread them for drying, and again as we package them. This three-fold quality control process results in an extremely high quality, fresh, sweet and crisp nut or seed that is both healthier and better tasting than raw and conventionally roasted nuts or seeds.

 

 

Blue Mountain Organics’ Better Than Roasted Brand includes Nut Butters, Seed Butters and whole nuts and seeds.   A large selection of these products can be found online at Upaya Naturals.  Free shipping in Canada with order over $100*.

 

Checkout out some of the reviews below or  click here to view the Better Than Roasted  product line.

BTR-0016-1

“At last! I have finally  found products that taste great and are actually good for you. In all the years I have been shopping in health food stores, as well as specialty shops, I have never came across anything like these products.” ~ R.B  Stenson.

BTR-0028-1“Whenever I walk into my health store Blue Mountain’s Chocolate Raw Ice Cream pulls me towards it like a tractor beam. I feel captured by its amazing chocolaty taste, so real you won’t believe it’s dairy free!” Philip M

BTR-0025-1“I definitely love the products, and it’s amazing how much of a difference the sprouting process makes in the digestion of the nut and seed butters. I couldn’t believe the difference in just that one crucial step — also the taste is so fresh and vibrant, bursting with sweet undertones and with a very satisfying texture! I infinitely prefer even the TASTE to the roasted nuts — truly BTR!!  I love your products, you can feel the energy radiating from them! The passion is stamped over each package, you can say.”  ~ Kota R

Grow your own Organic, NON-GMO Fruits & Vegetables, YEAR-ROUND, without DIRT

“Say Hello to the TOWER GARDEN :)”

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How does it work?

Unlike hydroponics aeroponics uses no growing medium. Water and nutrients are continuously cycled through the tower, showering the plants’ roots.

  1. SET UP

Tower Garden comes with everything you need to start growing, including a seed starter kit and a specially formulated plant food called Tower Tonic. It takes no more than 20 to 25 minutes to assemble, following the step-by-step instructions.

 

  1. GROW

You’ll start seedlings using the seed starter kit. Use the non-gmo seeds provided or use any of your own seeds. Depending on what you’re growing, you’ll transport the ceilings into your Tower Garden approximately 1 to 3 weeks later.

 

  1. HARVEST

When your produce is right, just pick it off the Tower and enjoy fresh, nutritious produce for your family! Join the tower-to-table movement!

What Can I grow?

Tower Garden is versatile enough to grow almost any fruit or vegetable that doesn’t grow on a tree (such as apples) or in the soil (like potatoes) as well as a variety of herbs and flowers. Here’s a very partial list.

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FRUITS & VEGETABLES

  • Beans, such as Lima, bush, pole, shell, fava, green
  • Broccoli
  • Chard (Swiss)
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Melons
  • Peas
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

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HERBS & FLOWERS

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Lavender
  • Lemon grass
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Marigolds
  • Sunflowers

 

WHAT IS A TOWER GARDEN?

Tower garden by Juice Plus+ is a state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system. It’s perfect for rooftops, patios, balconies any relatively sunny place outside (or inside with the addition of the growing lights). It grows vegetables, herbs, flowers, and many fruits in less time than it takes in soil.

Tower Garden gives you more control over your family’s health by making it easy to grow fresh, nutritious produce that is nutrient dense and ready to harvest whenever you are.

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It’s Healthier !

Eating more fruits and vegetables is the best way to get the nutrition you need to be healthy. By providing vine-ripened produce right outside your backdoor, tower garden makes it convenient to eat more fresh, healthy food.

Tower Garden produce is also better-tasting, better looking – even better –looking– so your family, including the kids, will want to eat more fruits and vegetables.image5

You can grow up to 20 plants with your standard Tower Garden. Pick your family’s favourites, from lettuces to luscious tomatoes, strawberries and melons.

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It’s Easier !

A which tower garden, there’s no weeding, tilling, kneeling, or getting dirty. Assembly is easy, and it’s compact design fits almost anywhere. Plus, it comes with everything you need to start growing.

Each 5-foot-tall tower garden holds 20 plants because of the patented aeroponic growing system the plants will grow in less time that it would take and soil so you get more produce for less work. (Let’s face it, it’s pretty much self-sufficient).

Plus, when you purchase Tower Garden, you get a full range of customer support at your fingertips – including guidance from your Tower Garden representative and a comprehensive online resource center – to help and sure you will have a successful growing experience.

It’s Smarter !

Built to last a lifetime, Tower Garden is a smart for investment for you. Growing some of your own produce with tower garden will not only save you money versus store-bought, but you can also cost a lot less than investing in tools and products needed to cultivate a traditional garden.

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Tower Garden is smarter for the environment too! It’s patented aeroponic growing system recycles nutrients and water, and it’s vertical design reduces the space required. Tower Garden plants use less than 10% of the water and land commonly used in conventional gardening. Since the Tower Garden is soil free, you won’t need traditional pesticides and herbicides either. You control the growing.

Click here for more information and pricing on your own personal tower garden.

Hand Sanitizers: Are they safe?

Have you noticed that in almost every hospital, supermarket, doctor’s office, dentist’s office, airport, and many other public places there is always a bottle of hand sanitizer sitting on a stand or at a desk?   We even have personal sized sanitizers that you can throw in a bag in case of emergencies.    Funny thing is that we don’t even remember ever seeing hand sanitizers growing up  – we used to just wash our hands.   So is this this just a cash grab for the manufacturers?   Do they really work and are they safe.

 

purellFirst off, washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective way to clean your hands and disinfect them.   Can you imagine getting prepped for surgery and just as you are going under you see the surgeon squirting some sanitizer on their hands.  Of course they wouldn’t do this, because it’s not as effective as washing their hands.   It’s your choice what type of soap you want to use, but it is still better to wash your hands instead of coating them with hand sanitizer.   Also, hand sanitizers are not as effective if you have dirt or grime on your hands anyway.

 

So whats in these hand sanitizers that may concern people.  Well there is alcohol, parabens, fragrances, colouring agents – just to name a few.

Parabens

Parabens are synthetic preservatives found in foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, moisturizers, shampoos and hand sanitizers.  Their function is to allow the product to be shelf stable for months or even years.  That’s all great, but these parabens are also absorbed into our bodies and mimic estrogen which can disrupt our hormone system and endocrine system.   Endocrine disrupters such as parabens can lead to early puberty in adolescent girls and boys, as reported by the New York Times.   So is this what we should be putting on our skin?  I think not.

Triclosan

Triclosan is an anti-microbe agent added to many soaps, hair care products, sanitizers and hand lotions for anti-bacterial purposes.  It can also be found in toys, clothes and furniture to help prevent fungal growth.  It is effective to a certain degree but it can also lead to bacteria building immunity to it and creating a superbug that is immune to anti-biotics.   Triclosan is also a hormone and immune system disrupter.

Fragrances

Lets put it this way,  you will never know what’s in a chemical fragrance because manufactures don’t have to disclose this info – since it’s proprietary property.   You can only imagine what you are putting on your skin when it comes to chemical and natural fragrances.

Colouring Agents

Although some colouring agents are deemed safe by Health Canada their are independent tests that show otherwise according to Dr Oz.   “The researchers and their parents found a significant increase in hyperactivity in the children during the weeks that they consumed the drink with the artificial colors.  This research correlates with an analysis of different studies done at Columbia University and Harvard University. The analysis affirmed that removing foods and products that contain artificial food coloring can help relieve the symptoms of children already diagnosed with ADHD.”

So what can you do if there is no soap and water to wash your hands and you need to sanitize them right away?

ISS Ionic Silver Solution 6PPM

ISS-1527-2Ionic Silver Solution (I.S.S.) is a pure solution of Sub-Atomic Silver Ions making it the most powerful and bio-available form of Silver on the market today! Ionic Silver Solution contains 99.9% silver ions in a soluble state and are 400 times smaller than your red blood cells allowing them to easily pass through cell membranes where viruses reside!

Most antibiotics kill only six or seven different disease-causing organisms, but silver is known to kill as many as 650 of these organisms. This includes bacteria, fungi, yeasts, viruses and parasites. These micro-organisms are suffocated rather than poisoned which prevents resistant strains from mutating. This process is accomplished within minutes.

Ionic Silver Solution contains a solution of silver ions thousands of times smaller than non-ionic Colloidal Silver in turn delivering a superior inter-cellular transport process

 

Or you can try the product below as an anti-baterial hand soap.

 

Silver Hand Soap™ (with ionic silver) – 7oz Bottle

VIP-6001-2A farm hand on the Tooth Soap® Urban Farm told us a few years ago that he has never used a soap that was as effective as Silver Hand Soap™. It cleans up your hands like nothing else!

7 ounces of super rich and thick Silver Hand Soap™ is loving hand-crafted and ready to clean up. Packaged in a plastic, BPA-free, pump bottle.

Ingredients: Saponified organic extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, distilled water, Original Himalayan Crystal Salt® and ionic silver, 5 PPM.

 

 

We always carry a small container of both of these products when we are traveling to avoid the use of chemical soaps and hand sanitizers.