Archive for November, 2009

Flying, Planes, Flying, Planes….

I am traveling to the West coast on Sunday. Traveling via plane is a very stressful and emotional thing for me as I have hereditary motion sickness. It’s been so bad in recent years that I’ve started taken heavy drugs to completely knock me out for the duration of a flight so that I don’t given myself the opportunity to get sick. The issue with the heavy drugs is that while they work for the flight, I’m then completely out of it on the other end for at least 24 hours – can’t drive a car, don’t remember things, and most certainly can’t work. Because of that, I’ve been leaving for work trips a day or two in advance just to get over the meds – not ideal and not something I want to continue.

So for the first time in 3 years, I’m going to try a flight without the heavy meds. I’m feeling very stressed and anxious about it but I also need to find a solution that doesn’t put me out for so long on the other end of the trip. I’m choosing to believe the combination of stuff I’m going to use will work and if it doesn’t I’ll just have to take it as it comes (no pun intended 🙂 )

Here’s a list of what I’m planning to use:

3-4 days before the flight I started taking:

Shaklee Stress Relief. This is to help me stay calm around the anxiety I have around flying without the meds.

Shaklee Stomach Soothing Complex. A side effect of my anxiety is that my stomach gets funky which then cases me to stress more. I’ve found that if I take the stomach soothing complex I don’t get the sick feeling in my tummy. The Complex is also supposed to be good at stabilizing your system for motion (good for woman who are pregnant and feeling sensitive to motion as well).

Day of the flight I am planning to take:

Shaklee Stress Relief

Shaklee Stomach Soothing Complex

Shaklee Performance.  This sports drink helps calm the stomach and I’m planning to sip it until I go to the airport and then again when I’m on the plane. It also works to stabilize your system for motion and has the benefit of keeping me hydrated on the plane as I tend to not want to put anything in me while in flight.

– Travel Eze Wristbands. You can get these in most drug stores and they are something I carry around in my purse for when I find myself in a motion situation. You wear them on your wrists where they hit a nerve which acupressure experts believe when stimulated with pressure reverses motion sickness.

Hyland’s Motion Sickness Homeopathic Formula.  I love this. I use it all the time on trains, in cars, etc and while sometimes I’ll still get a small attack, I’ve had a really great track record using this product. For some reason I’ve never thought it was strong enough for a plane so trying that out now.

So that’s it. I am choosing to believe I’m going to have a successful trip and will feel so good on the other end that I’ll be able to get off the heavy meds. I’ll let you know how it goes and if you have any natural solutions please do share.

 

 

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Our Grandparents Knew Better

My friend Jeremy shared this great article today from Planet Green titled, 5 Essential Green Living Skills. As we sit down tomorrow to give thanks for all that we have, the 5 points in the article ring true for me around how we can continue to improve both our health, planet and comminuty in the coming year. The article frames 5 skills through how our grandparents lived and in my family this couldn’t have been more true. My grandmother used to sew all my mother’s dresses, used powdered milk until the day she passed and cooked everything from scratch (with the exception of frozen peas!) The article notes:

1. Organic Gardening: Planting a kitchen garden or Victory Garden was an essential skill for supplying fresh food with high nutritional value at a low cost. And they didn’t choose to grow organically, as that was how everyone gardened. For those without much space, a community garden is a great alternative, or for city-dwellers, try a fire-escape garden, like Mike in NYC.

2. Food Preservation
: Many people used to can or dry the produce from their garden to ensure their winter food supply, or they had a cold storage area to keep root vegetables, winter squash, and fruits like apples through the fall and winter. Local Ag Extension offices and Master Gardeners can help you find classes about canning food safely.

3. Seed Saving
: Saving garden seeds for next year’s planting was an important task in the past, and seeds of the heirloom varieties of vegetables they grew were like money in the bank. With cheap garden seeds widely available, and the advent of highly hybridized varieties, it isn’t as popular anymore, but you can learn how to save seeds pretty quickly.

4. Cooking from Scratch
: Buying pre-made packaged foods wasn’t affordable for most folks, and the variety available in stores was much less then it is now. Starting a meal with basic ingredients was a normal part of life back then, but sadly, many of us are not able to make a meal without it coming out of a box or a can. Baking your own sourdough bread is a great skill to have, and homemade bread can be made for a fraction of the price of store-bought bread.

5. Sewing: Patching old clothes and sewing your own clothing was an essential skill for those living on a low budget, but it’s rare nowadays to find someone who still knows how to do that. For parents, knowing how to take in clothes for younger kids, or patch the knees of pants can save quite a bit of money and resources. Our grandparents also knew how to darn socks, and I have yet to meet someone who still knows how to do that.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Get Clean and Green

What are you planning to give as holiday gifts this season? Someone asked me if they could give Shaklee products as gifts. We had been talking about the Get Clean kit and pack as the woman I was talking too wants to turn over the cleaning products in her house and was going to purchase the products. She started talking out loud about the fact that her sister is also interested in non-toxic products and she has a few close friends who are also interested…all of a sudden she realized instead of spending money on a bunch of random stuff she’s going to get everyone kits! I thought this was so cool and what an amazing present – I’d love one for sure 🙂

 

Thanksgiving and Cranberries

Today Tim and I are attending our annual friends Thanksgiving today. There are about 22 of us who are each contributing a part of the meal and I’m really looking forward to a relaxing day with good friends, good food and I’m sure plenty of laughs. Tim and I are bringing the cranberries and I wanted to share the recipe as it’s one of the things I look forward to eating at Thanksgiving every year. Enjoy!!

 

Holiday Chutney
Ingredients:
1 20 -ounce can unsweetened pineapple chunks( I use tidbits or crushed)
2 cups sugar( I go under a bit)
1 lb cranberries(frozen is fine)
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Drain juice from pineapple and combine juice with sugar, cranberries, raisins, and spices. Simmer in a saucepan for 15 minutes or until cranberries are tender. Add pineapple and walnuts and transfer to a serving bowl. Refrigerate until chilled.

The Power of Vitamin D

I’ve talked before in some of my posts around the importance of vitamin D and I wanted to share with you a story I heard last night as I was sharing the Shaklee products with a group of friends. One of the woman noted that she’d been feeling down and her doctor recommended that she increase her vitamin D each day to see if that would help. Not only did it help her, she noted last night that she feels like it has drastically changed her mood and she feels much better.

I was thinking about her this morning when I came across this post from the NYT Well blog about vitamin D and it’s effect on our hearts. The post notes:

A new study suggests many Americans aren’t getting anywhere nearly enough of the vitamin, and it may be affecting their heart health.

In the study, researchers looked at tens of thousands of healthy adults 50 and older whose vitamin D levels had been measured during routine checkups. A majority, they found, were deficient in the vitamin. About two-thirds had less vitamin D in their bloodstreams than the authors considered healthy, and many were extremely deficient.

Less than two years later, the researchers found, those who had extremely low levels of the vitamin were almost twice as likely to have died or suffered a stroke than those with adequate amounts. They also had more coronary artery disease and were twice as likely to have developed heart failure.

The findings, which are being presented today at an American Heart Association conference in Orlando, don’t prove that lack of vitamin D causes heart disease; they only suggest a link between the two. But cardiologists are starting to pay increasing attention because of what they’re learning about vitamin D’s roles in regulating blood pressure, inflammation and glucose control — all critical body processes in cardiovascular health.

I realized that personally I never even think about vitamin D and as we talked in the group last night I wondered why. I took a look at the back of the Vita-Lea bottle (my Shaklee multi that I take 2x a day) and realized that it includes 800 IU of D3 per serving. I guess that explains it 🙂 When your multi provides everything you need it takes the many bottles and the need to take multi things out of the equation!

Shaklee and Sustainability

A few days ago I posted on What Green Means to Each of Us and noted that I had a few questions that I needed some help answering. Well, Jil Zilligen, Chief Sustainability Officer at Shaklee, took time out of her very busy day to help me find the data. Talk about getting your info straight from the source!  Thanks so much Jil!

1) Answer to: how does Shaklee source their products?

Shaklee Quality Assurance Program 

2) Answer to: what is Shaklee’s supply chain model?

Shaklee Good Manufacturing Practices

I just have to note that this post really underscores one of the reasons I believe in these products. The folks who work at Shaklee really care about their products, the integrity of the company and hold a shared belief that we should all lead healthy lives.  As a consumer I just love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Kids Toys Safe

Given we are entering a season where we have lots of family gatherings, parties with friends and events where gifts are exchanged, I thought this article from Healthy Child Healthy World on how to keep toys safe was really interesting. Here’s the article’s tips for a healthy toy box:

1. Go au natural.  Look for toys made of natural materials like solid woods (with no finish or a non-toxic finish) and organic textiles (cotton, wool, felt, etc).
2. Simplify.  Buying fewer toys is much better for the planet (and your pocketbook!
3. Re-purpose.  Can something you already have be used as a toy? An empty box or set of stainless steel bowls can provide hours of happy play.
4. Look for items that will last.  High quality toys may cost a bit more, but they will last much longer and can be handed down to younger children. Likewise, you’re more apt to get money back out of them if you decide to sell.
5. Read labels.  What’s this toy made of? Where does it come from? Get to know a toy before you buy it.
6. Look for local.  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by buying local. If you’re looking at global supplies, opt for European, Canadian or Japanese imports as other countries may have lax toy regulations.
7. Opt for open-ended toys.  Look for items that encourage creativity and are capable of being used for many different types of play. Wooden blocks, colorful scarves, smooth stones, and even cardboard boxes can be the foundation for innumerable creative adventures.
8. Avoid cheap jewelry and kids’ cosmetics.  Both of these types of dress-up products are high-risk. Cheap jewelry often has high lead levels and kids’ cosmetics can have any number of questionable chemicals.
9. Purge plastics.  Okay, this is near impossible these days, but make your best effort. If you do buy plastic, look for safer plastics like those labeled #1, 2, 4, or 5 in the chasing arrows symbol usually found on the bottom of the product. Not labeled? Call the manufacturer.
10. Text for Healthy Toys.  HealthyToys.org is a database to help you find safer toys. You can even access it from your mobile phone. Just text key words and you’ll receive information immediately regarding any testing that’s been done.
11. Print a pocket guide.  Download the Healthy Toys Pocket Shopping Guide so you always have tips and safer toy recommendations on hand.
12. Sign-up for recall alerts.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission posts recalls online, as does the website recalls.gov. If a toy you own is recalled, take it away immediately and follow the company’s instructions on how to get a safe replacement.