Drastic Plastic: Why Your Choice in Food Storage May be Making You a Bitch and Your Husband a Girl

Plastic Water Bottles Mountain Ice Hunger Takes Flight KFB May 20, 20107
I know, sounds terrible. But here’s the thing: there have been numerous studies that find that plastic leaches a chemical into your food that is identical to estrogen. One such study found that:

In an analysis of commercially available mineral waters, the researchers found evidence of estrogenic compounds leaching out of the plastic packaging into the water. (full article)

Think your safe, just because you choose plastics that are “BPA Free”?

NPR reports:

Many plastic products are now marketed as BPA-free, and manufacturers have begun substituting other chemicals whose effects aren’t as well known.

But it’s still unclear whether people are being harmed by BPA or any other so-called estrogenic chemicals in plastics.

And yes, this includes your beloved plastic water bottles.

So what does this mean to you?

Well ladies, do you find you suffer from PMS symptoms? Get a little overly-emotional for no good reason? Got a little extra fat that you are tired of trying to lose? Your plastic may be hurting your cause!
Let me break it down for you: we all have estrogen receptors in our bodies. What are those? As cancer.gov puts it:

An estrogen receptor is a protein molecule found inside those cells that are targets for estrogen action. Estrogen receptors contain a specific site to which only estrogens (or closely related molecules) can bind.

Well what are those “closely related molecules”?? Glad you asked! Those can be, among other things, those nasty chemicals in your plastics that mimic estrogen! That is what is called, “Xenoestrogen”, which as Wikipedia defines it:

Xenoestrogens are a type of xenohormone that imitates estrogen. They are widely used industrial compounds such as PCB, BPA and Phthalates, that have estrogenic effects on a living organism even though they differ chemically from the naturally occurring estrogenic substances internally produced by the endocrine system of the organism. Their potential ecological and human health impact is currently under extensive study by many scientific institutions and independent researchers.

What does all of that mean? Essentially it means that your plastic cups, dishes, storage containers, etc. contain chemicals that leach (soak) into your food and beverages, which you then consume, which then fools your body into thinking are estrogen. The problem with that? You’re already producing estrogen! So what does your poor body think? That there is now an abundance of estrogen! And what happens with all of that extra estrogen having a party in your system? PMS, menopausal symptoms, depression, weight gain, and even increased risk of female related disease (think breast cancer). Even more research is finding that xenoestrogens act like free radicals and cause too much of this feminine hormone to be present – causing premature puberty and accelerating other types of cancers in the body.

And this is not just a concern in women. Have you noticed a big push lately to have men tested for, and receive supplements for, low testosterone issues? I was just at the doctor recently and saw a poster on the wall offering testosterone tests! Well just like with women, a man’s body can be affected by these xenoestrogens and it is similar to the affects of a man taking estrogen (in lower doses, obviously). But if you think about it, how much food/beverages contained in plastic containers have you and the men in your life consumed in a lifetime?

So consider a plastic makeover! Instead of those plastic containers for food storage, consider the glass storage bowls. I personally love the versatility of mason jars, and you can get them SUPER cheap at the Dollar Tree Online. Just don’t forget to order those BPA-free lids to go with them. Also, if you want to take your food storage a step further, invest $25 to get the handheld FoodSaver Vaccuum System with a jar attachment!

Also, in lieu of all of those plastic water bottles, my hubby and I have saved a fortune, and our bodies, by getting a water filtration system for our tap, and getting some of these inexpensive glass bottles with stoppers. Plus, it makes us feel super-fancy to serve water in the swing-top bottles. Tres chic.

For further reading on this topic, as well as how xenoestrogens in your environment (including in your household cleaners, air fresheners, and more) may be causing hormone imbalance in you and your family, check out this amazing book, “Hormone Balance: A Matter of Life and Health“. You can get it to your Kindle or Kindle App.

This is also a great read: http://www.wsn.org/cbe/hormone.html

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Olive Oil: Not as Healthy as We Think

“This is the reality: just like all other oils, olive oil is 100 percent fat, lacks a significant nutrient load, contains a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon, that’s fattening.”

Olive oil

What???

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who I love, is a board–certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. I found him when DH was diagnosed with high cholesterol (eek!) at 25 (genetics). They doctor was mercifully a “good” doctor and didn’t immediately reach for his prescription pad, telling DH to get his cholesterol down by diet. That is when I found Dr. Fuhrman’s awesome book, “Eat to Live”. Dr. Fuhrman has successfully guided many of his patients to healthier lifestyles and enabled them to ditch their drugs. I respect him greatly.

Well dear Dr. Fuhrman broke my heart today when he announced in his latest article that my beloved olive oil is not as good for me as I thought. I vaguely remember hearing that a few years ago, but I think I stuck that tidbit deep in the dark corners of my mind along with

Regardless, I am a firm believer in looking at logic and not being overly attached to food habits. So if you are like me and feeling that your gut reaction is to defend olive oil – STOP! Is it because you really have irrefutable facts about the benefits of olive oil that will solidly dispute the evidence presented in Dr. Fuhrman’s article? Or is it because, like me, you are just really attached to the way you eat now and don’t want to change? Be honest! And if you do have solid evidence to dispute Dr. Fuhrman’s article, please share 🙂

So here is the deal, I do believe that everything comes in moderation. So am I going to nix olive oil from my diet? Of course not! But I am going to reduce it because, at the very least. Dr. F’s article woke me up to how much olive oil I consume. And it is a lot.

So I did some research and here are some alternatives:

  1. For sauteing: Broth (I love Imagine’s Organic No Chicken Broth) – sure it has some oil in it, but if you think about how little you are using for sauteeing vs. dumping straight oil in the skillet, it is very little.
  2. For sauteing: Coconut oil – so far it is being hailed as a great alternative to other oils. You can get it in a flavorless form and they are reporting many health benefits. But they did that with olive oil too, so again, be sparing (and check out the other side of this debate in an article by the Mayo Clinic). Also, like olive oil, go for the extra virgin cold pressed CO.
  3. For sauteing veggies: Good old fashioned water. Yup – veggies are going to release their own yummy juices when you saute and just need a bit of water to keep them from sticking to the pan until those juices are released. Make the water more lively with some garlic, pepper and a bit of sea salt.
  4. Sauteing: Bareback it (yup, I went there) – I see a lot of people posting that they just dry saute if they know it is something that will be quick, or again, release its own juices. Never tried this, but I just might!
  5. Baking: Applesauce – apparently it can be used in a 1:1 ratio in place of oil.
  6. Dressings: Start with the same amount of hot water as you need oil and add flax seed by the teaspoon until it is the same consistency as oil. The longer it cools, teh thicker it will be.

Also, check out this cool recipe I found from the thefatfreevegan.com for “No-Oil Oil

No-Oil Oil

Source: Benton Sister’s Cookbook #3

1 cup water
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. dried basil

Whiz in blender, water, cornstarch, and salt. Pour into saucepan; stir in basil. Heat to a boil. Cool. Will have the shine and consistency of oil to use in place of oil for those certain recipes or add your own favorite exotic flavor to this no-oil oil to add that special touch to that certain recipe.

I will definitely be making a batch of this and will share with all of you!

Supplies on the Cheap: The Dollar Tree: a Crafter’s Best Friend

The Dollar Tree is my guilty pleasure. Every time I am there, I look around at the other shoppers there and my best guess is that it is a mix of meth-heads, alcoholics and women who likely were surprised by 99.9% of their pregnancies. P.S. Not to sound too judgey, but if you are shopping at the Dollar Tree for your pregnancy tests, you might want to rethink some life decisions. Recently I found myself amused at a sign at the cash register at a Dollar Tree – it read, “Cases of wine are limited to one case per customer per visit” (I’m looking at you, West Sacramento). I love wine more than the next guy and I am not at all a wine snob. but if they had to make that little sign, you know times have been tough in the W.S.

Granted, the plaza that holds this particular DT is the same plaza that had a store that sold puppies and caused me to drag DH (while we were newly in our dating period) there to pretend we were looking for a puppy while I grilled the asshole owner on where he obtained his dogs. Surprise, surprise, he gave me the vague, “breeders in the midwest”. Luckily that puppy mill-supporting d-bag was shut down a few months later. But this gives you an idea of the Dollar Store I used to frequent.

I digress. (But seriously – people who support commercial breeders – AKA Puppy Mills – should have bamboo rods shoved in their pee-holes)

I was so excited when I realized that the Dollar Store was selling their good online. Better yet, if you have your order shipped to your nearest Dollar Store then the shipping is FREE!!

And for crafters who are looking for containers and other crafty supplies in bulk, this place is your DREAM. Here are just a few things I have purchased at the Dollar Store online:

~ 24 pounds of epsom salt for $12

~ 24-pack of 3-pack, 4-inch, glass ingredient bowls (that’s 72 in total) for $24

~ Glass jars with screw top lids, 24 for $24

~ A 12-pack of Kerr mason jars for $12 (great deal! – but don’t forget to order BPA free lids)

Scent Mixing Chart: How to Mix Scents Properly

What to do when a website has no image for you to pin and you get that dreaded, “Sorry, we can’t see any large videos or images on this page” error message from Pinterest? Put it on your own website with copious shout-outs to the original page owner so you don’t look like your jacking their page.

I love this scent mixing chart by Candle Witch. You just go to the scent you want, click it, and you are taken to a little box that shows you which other scents go well with the one you typed. Easy peasy!

So I am placing the Candle Witch site link on this post, to share with all my other wiseass pinners, along with a picture of my former cat “Chrissy” (don’t worry she’s not dead, my ex got her in the break-up) making a hilarious face to something she clearly thought smelled bad. Enjoy!

 

Don’t let bad scents happen to you!

Regular Mason Jar Lids are NOT BPA Free

Holy cow! I just found out that the plastic in some mason jar lids are not BPA free! Which isn’t a big deal when storing dry stuff, but I like to make my own catsup and just started doing salad in a jar – so that is concerning! If you are a big mason jar user, such as myself, you might want to make sure that your jar lids are safe. And if not, no worries! You can order lids are are BPA free! Phew! Get yours now!

How to Make Inexpensive Dead Sea Salt Bath Soaks

I am OBSESSED with this website I found, herbspicetea.com. They have all kinds of dried flowers, oils, teas and spices at amazing prices!

When I first discovered them, I went nuts! Here is my haul:1 pound jasmine flower, 1 pound rose buds, 1 pound lavender buds, 1 pound chamomile buds, lemon essential oil, bergamot essential oil and peppermint essential oil:

Then I went to my local health store and got a little bucket of dead sea salts:

Is this the world’s finest? I have no effin’ idea – but it seems to work well.

Ok, so as those of you who are faithful little wiseasses already know, I am pretty much the best dog mom around because I gave my dog a waterfall of 48 tennis balls for his birthday. And what to do with all of the leftover tennis ball canisters? I turned them into sea salt soak infusion containers:

Yummy, right?

Ok, so to decipher which scents worked best together, I consulted this awesome little chart, put together by candlewitch.com.

Each canister got 3/4 cup of dead sea salt and 1/4 cup of each dried flower. This was because I was too lazy to enter any other measuring cup, other than the 1/4 cup into my mix. It seemed to work well, though. I put them in the canisters, mixed them around, and left them to infuse. Here are the scents I infused:

1. Lavender, lemon, peppermint

2. Lavender, lemon, rose

3. Rose, jasmine, bergamot

4. Lavender, chamomile

5. Chamomile, peppermint, bergamot

I can say, they all smell divine. I cannot wait to take a bath with them!

If epsom salts are more your style, I just found an amazing price for epsom salts on the Dollar Store website!

Dog Cake Recipe for Dogs with Food Allergies

It was my DD’s 4th birthday this month, as well as his first birthday with us since we adopted him from the Kennebec Valley Humane Society back in September. DH and I decided to celebrate his birthday (cute pics at bottom of post) with flare! Since he is OBSESSED with tennis balls, we gave him the gift of his life by dropping 48 tennis balls out of a second story window, and treated him and our chihuahuas, Olive + Smidge, to some frosted “pupcakes”!

Stunningly handsome DH + Stunningly handsome DD = Very lucky Wiseass Wife

Because we have been battling Dexters terrible allergies, which we are certain are food-related, I had to be very careful with what I put in his pupcakes. We recently took him to see a friend of mine, Dr. Sara Skiwski of the Western Dragon, who is a veterinarian that integrates both holistic and modern medicine to treat pets. She felt that his allergies are likely to grain, so we are feeding him Wolf King by Solid Gold, which is a grain-free diet. I decided to use this as the base of his pupcakes since we knew he could tolerate the food. The pupcakes came out AMAZING and were a hit with all three dogs. So here is my recipe:

**Remember: if your dog has allergies PLEASE consult with your vet before giving him this recipe. All of the ingredients contained in this recipe were cleared by our vet**

Dog Cake Recipe

Yield: 3 large pupcakes

Ingredients:

Pupcake:

~ 1 cup ground dog food of choice

~ 1/4 cup honey

~ 2 tablespoons Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (I love Trader Joe’s brand)

~ 2 tablespoons warm water

Icing:

~ 1 can coconut milk

Tools:

~ cupcake or cake pan, depending on size of your dog and how big you want to make them

~ foil

~ mixer

~ mixing bowl

Directions:

Night before: Open can of coconut milk and place in the fridge. You will see that it is thick on top, placing it in the fridge overnight will help the liquid on bottom thicken up. Do not shake or stir – just open can and stick in fridge.

Next day:

Combine ground dog food, honey and coconut oil in a bowl. Slowly add warm water until it is in a paste consistency

Now line the cupcake pan or cake pan with some foil and drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the foil

Place in fridge for an hour and start on the icing.

To make the icing, simply spoon the coconut milk into your mixer and blend until creamy and fluffy. If there is any watery part left, don’t use that as it will make the icing thin.

Pull out the pupcakes and ice them

If the frosting seems thin, put back in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to firm it up

Serve!

The birthday boy checking out his pupcakes

The girls eating their pupcakes

The boys, all tuckered out on the couch

Facebook shot!

And the pic from their angle HAHA