What's in the Water?

What's in the Water?

Water... Life's Most Valuable Componet (next to the Air we breathe)     I wrote this article on water a while back, but water will always be in the forefront of any...

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New Year, Best YOU Resolution

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With each New Year, comes new resolutions for improving our lives. But what lies at the heart of a resolution?   res·o·lu·tion \ noun \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən\ “firm...

All About Holly Pellham Davis


Water... Life's Most Valuable Componet (next to the Air we breathe)

 

 

I wrote this article on water a while back, but water will always be in the forefront of any conversation about healthy living.  As I have said many times, our health directly depends on the purity of our water, air and food.  Today, while water coming out of any and every faucet across America may be deemed "permitable" to drink, it is still contaiminated with heavy metals, industrial chemicals, disinfectant by products, hormones such as estrogen and pharmaceuticul drugs. 

 

EWG just released another look at bottled water. While the point maybe that most bottled water is commonly municiple, faucet water in a toxic plastic bottle with a nice price tag for convenience, I find the true point, to be how poor our water quality is and the causes. 

 

By: Holly Pellham Davis

 

When my kids tell me they are tired, don’t feel well, or basically grumble for any reason at all, I tell them to drink water. It’s pretty much my answer to everything… But, they know it comes with lots of stipulations, and it’s really not all that simple. Here’s why.

 

All water is not created equal. The formula for which about 70% of the earth is made of, 1 oxygen to 2 hydrogen atoms, is merely the tip of the iceberg. There are pollutants, minerals, additives, chemicals, and treatments to consider.

 

Let’s talk water types:

 

Tap or Municipal Water – The water flowing form our faucets typically contains additives like fluoride, which was introduced in the 1940s by a town in Michigan after studies that showed fluoride strengthened teeth. Many people believe the push for fluoride was a double mistake along with the use of mercury in fillings, both highly toxic and poisonous. Fluoride is a neuro-toxin which has been shown in studies to cause decreased and impaired cognitive development and lower IQs. After studying the effects on developing brains, we now know it is especially critical that fluorinated water never be mixed with infant formula. (By the way, the same dangers lurk in your average toothpaste. Opt for fluoride-free). In January 2011, the CDC reduced the levels of fluoride added to municipal water supplies after a report indicating that 2 in 5 children in America showed signs of fluoride poisoning.

 

Tap water is also contaminated with pharmaceuticals such as Prozac, Viagra, blood thinners, cancer drugs, and statins. (Even found in waters in the Arctic.) The threat is alarming, and its effects are inconceivable when you ponder what the combination of these drugs could possibly do to a developing brain or any living thing for that matter.

 

Treatments, such as the water disinfectant Chlorine, have become a necessary evil. While its a good thing that the chlorine kills the bacteria in the water, it’s usually our bodies that are left to filter the chlorine, and its highly toxic. Chlorine, when combined with organic compounds, result in disinfection by-poducts* or DBPs, which, according to the CDC, have been linked to liver, kidney, and nervous system problems, and are carcinogenic.

 

Bottled Water – Unbeknownst to most consumers, about 40% of all bottled water is tap water. (Nestle has recently been sued with claims of misleading consumers.) So not only do you need to worry about all of the above factors from the tap, but you also need to consider the toxic plastic bottle the water has been stored in. Ugh. We have to read the fine print and look for sources. Best bets are “Spring” or “Spring Mountain Water” with the source labeled clearly on the container. If it states, “municipal source,” forget about it. You are better off getting a glass form the tap and allowing it to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. It will naturally evaporate off many of the toxic DBPs, making it safer to drink. (You still get the pharmaceuticals, fluoride, etc though.)

 

Next, look for how its been treated. You want reverse osmosis at a minimum. Reverse osmosis systems remove most chlorine, inorganic, and organic contaminants as well as about 80% of fluoride and DBPs. Carbon filtration is another good layer of protection. Only use plastic bottled water in extenuating circumstances or if you have a brand in particular you use for health reasons. I have one I consume daily with my workout, guaranteed to be free of arsenic, DBP, chlorine, fluoride, MTBE, chromium 6, and the most difficult, trace pharmaceuticals. Note that with most RO water, unless minerals are added back, the filtering process also removes vital minerals. Make sure you add some back into your diet for peoper balance. Taking a good manesium supplement is advised. 

 

Also, when you do need a bottled water, its comes from a friendly source and does not cause the surrounding people hardship and ALWAYS RECYCLE.  

Beautiful places do not always beget beautiful water.

 

Distilled Water – Another item to avoid is distilled water, as it has been boiled, which takes out the beneficial minerals and can be harmful to your health if consumed repeatedly. It is also very acidic. Save it for your iron.

 

Vitamin Water — So called “Vitamin” Waters are usually accompanied by high fructose corn syrup, dyes, and synthetic vitamins. It is nothing but a deceivingly healthy sounding, high-priced chemical cocktail.

 

Coconut Water – An excellent source of potassium and excellent in treating dehydration (especially associated with a holiday party hangover), coconut water can be a healthy choice. But remember that large soda companies are behind some brands. For example, a container of Zico typically contains 22 grams of sugar (almost the same amount that’s in soda), and that’s the plain version. Added-fruit varieties only increase the calorie count. If you are a coconut water fan, reach for the raw, naturally processed brands. (There are very few.)  Know the difference between Coconut water: the water the comes from the inside of the coconut. It is clear and thin and Coconut Milk which is actually from the flesh of the coconut and high in saturated fat and calories.  If you have had a hard workout and need electrolytes, add a dash of Himalayan salt to purified water, stir and drink. 

 

Be sure and support clean water by refusing to use chemical yard services, fertilizer. Purchase or grow organic food, know what's in your water in your area and hold industrial businesses accountable (meat processing, Chemical companies, Industrial farms, mining, etc) 

 

Here's to your health,

Holly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Holly Pellham Davis

 

***************************

 

Every day, all across America, a mom gets up and douses herself in over 100 chemicals as she gets ready for each day. Beginning with aspartame in toothpaste, ozone depleting chemicals, hydrocarbons and isobutane in hairspray, aluminum in antiperspirant, sulfates and triclosan in soaps, lead in lipstick, coal in mascara, petroleum based lotions full of poisonous fragrance topped off with a splash or spray of perfume containing more fragrance, with a side of petrochemicals, in addition to diethyl-phthalate or DEP,* dressed in clothing washed with detergents containing cancer causing 1,4 dioxane, only to have an appointment later that day at the hair salon for a “Brazilian Blowout” exposing all in the room to formaldehyde, then a manicure polished up with more formaldehyde, Toluene and reproductive harming dibutyl phthalate (DBP), finishing off the appointment with eyeLash extenders applied with glue (super glue to be exact) containing more of... (you guessed it!).... FORMALDEHYDE.


What’s the big deal? All of it. But let’s look at Formaldehyde first, a known carcinogen (cancer causing chemical) and VOC (volatile organic compound) according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Formaldehyde has been shown to cause structural and numerical changes in chromosomes, with particular risk to embalmers and other occupations that expose workers such as beauty salon stylists. (I “grew up” in a beauty shop, so this part is even more personal to me.) These occupations carry an increased risk of blood cancers known as Leukemia, including Myeloid Leukemia according to a National Institutes Health Study published in 2009. Other increased risks are cancers of the nose, nasal cavity, and nasopharrynx and many reproductive problems including miscarriages. In 2011, the FDA sent a violation letter* to the maker of “Brazilian Blowout’s Acai Professional Smoothing Solution” after it found methylene glycol, a liquid form of formaldehyde, in its straightening serum. The box claimed “formaldehyde free” but methylene glycol when heated, turns into formaldehyde and releases into the air. Adding to their deception, the word “Acai” in its name, infers health as the Acai berry is considered a “superfood” high in antioxidants.


All of that toxic exposure is bad enough, right? But, what if that same mom is pregnant? The fetus or unborn child, is exposed to everything the mother is exposed to. In fact, many of these chemicals, including DEP* (fragrance) has been found in cord blood. Our body absorbs these chemicals by inhalation (ie: air fresheners- a TOTAL oxymoron), ingesting them (alcohol in mouthwash), or by one of the most effective means, trans dermal transmission (face makeup, lotion, perfume). In fact, most things that touch our skin enter our blood stream in seconds with the possibility of affecting every cell in our bodies. That fact alone makes it essential to know exactly what ingredients and chemicals are contained in a product. It is as equally important to our health, as food and medicine is! You simply can not separate it and have whole health.

 

This is a point that must be a call to action for change in our system. Today, the 32 billion dollar cosmetic industry has little regulation and nothing requiring evidence of safety, or disclosure of harmful chemicals, often hiding behind classifying ingredients as fragrance, trade secrets and fair competition. What’s fair about poisoning society?

 

It is vitally important to keep your, and your children's exposure to these and other chemicals as low as possible. Start by educating yourself and supporting organizations like EWG.org , by reading the labels on your bathroom products, discarding (properly) the ones containing these (cited above) and other toxic chemicals, by claiming your air and by using the “power of your pocketbook” to increase demand for clean, non-toxic cosmetics and beauty products in the market place.

 

At the end of that day, you will find that true Beauty comes naturally from a truly Healthy place.

 

HEALTHY is Beautiful.

 

XOXO,

Holly

 


 

DEP in Fragrance: *According to research published by Washington Toxics Coalition 2009, found that exposure to unborn fetus can cause abnormal reproductive growth in baby boys and sperm damage in men. 
Formaldehyde in Hair Straighteners:
*http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/chemicals/formaldehyde/docs/consumer.pdf
http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm270809.htm
*Baby Products Tested http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=426
Holly’s Note: *Inquire with the Hair Salon about whether or not they offer “Hair Straightening or Relaxing” Treatments. See OSHA standards on “acceptable” formaldehyde levels. No open room, air ventilation system is effective enough. There is also exposure at the shampoo bowl. A salon is required by Law to Inform patrons of its use.
*http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hairsalons/formaldehyde_in_products.html

 


 

Holly Pellham Davis. Photo by: Richard KrallWith each New Year, comes new resolutions for improving our lives. But what lies at the heart of a resolution?

 

res·o·lu·tion \ noun \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən\

“firm determination, being resolute, resolving to do something, a course of action determined or decided on.”

The Free Dictionary.com. 2011.

We are resolute in our desire to do better, be better, and live better; but what is our course of action, and how long before our firm determination becomes soft?

For many of us, losing weight, taking better care of ourselves, and increasing our quality of health tops our list every year. We typically judge our progress by how far the scales tip, and we might jump start the weight loss process by going on a juice detox, trying out the Dukan diet, or switching over to organic foods. But are we really making a lifelong change to truly better ourselves or just looking for a “quick fix?” And what happens when our determination wanes?

The answer, I have found, is to make resolutions that contain the following three components:

  1. Resolution that Reflect the person you want to become, The BEST YOU – Replace making a resolution to “lose weight” with improving and increasing your health for the long haul. Get in tune with your body, recognizing how each system is working — your skin, hormones, energy, excretion, strength, etc. Instead of dwelling on your jean size, write down and explore how you feel. This shift in attitude, belief system, and perspective, is life changing. You will become more aware of what your body needs and, in turn, more responsible and thoughtful in choosing what you “feed” or put into your body. You begin to qualify every choice you make with whether or not something is beneficial to your health. The greatest gift often comes in truly valuing yourself at a deeper level than just what the mirror is showing you. Instead, you feel what is really going on where it counts… inside.
  2. Resolutions that call you to a specific action – Perhaps there is no greater call to action than that of our health and of our family and children’s health. We see everyday how fragile life can be. Does it not make sense to support health with every choice we make? Do we need a greater motivation than the hope of living a long healthy life or the blessing of watching our children grow up? And do we not owe it to our children to set an example for them and teach them the value of their health? If we don’t, who will? Every choice we make is an action for or against what is best for our bodies and life. It all counts.
  3. Resolutions that have a PLAN — Creating an actionable game plan for how you plan to achieve a resolution is the difference between success and failure. Have a set of rules in place for achieving a healthier state, including:
  • Choosing foods that are as close to nature as possible. I always say, “God made us and God made the food he intended for us to eat.” Most of what is sold and consumed as “food” today isn’t even recognized by the human body and just causes a toxic mess inside. Choose foods that come with no packaging, have few or no “ingredients,” and aren’t heavily processed.
  • always opting for organic. Pesticides are poison on our table. If cost is a concern, serve more veggies and beans than meats at each meal (its better for you anyway). Your body needs less food when it’s real food.
  •  
  • Having a formula. Have a formula you use for every meal such as serving one lean protein (quinoa, chicken breast, wild Alaskan Salmon, beans) with two vegetables (broccoli sauté with fresh garlic and olive oil, zucchini with squash and onions.) And always have washed, fresh salad greens on hand and serve first at dinner. Once you have your formula, it’s easier to create a weekly shopping list…and stick to it.
  • thinking ahead. Plan tomorrow’s lunch along with dinner the night before by making extra protein to throw on salad greens for a super nutritious and quick meal. Or grab a sprouted wheat tortilla, use leftover beans from the night before, and toss some salad greens on top for an energy boosting meal. You can also be your own sous chef by prepping (fresh, cleaned, cut) veggies, garlic, pico de gallo, salad greens, kale, onions, chicken breast. Pair with easy to prepare staples like brown rice, quinoa, and tortillas to create quick, healthy meals like stir fry, quinoa and kale, and chicken fajitas. You can also soak steel cut oats the night before to cut cook time for breakfast. When you designate specific times during the week to clean and prepare meal ingredients, you can easily work them into your daily meal formula.

 

With the above three components, resolutions can now become a way of life. Eat at home as much as possible and make a commitment to gather around the table together with your family. Take time to talk, listen, and share with those you love. Let the conversation nourish you as much as the food does. The food is fuel for the body, the fellowship is food for the soul, together, they are ingredients for a truly healthy life.

I wish 2014 to be your HEALTHIEST YEAR EVER!!!!

XOXO,

HOLLY

 

 
 
 

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