Saturday, June 29, 2013

Propolis the Health Wonder from Bees

Propolis means “before the city”  and is colloquially referred to as “bee glue”. It consists of a resin derived from plant substances that seep from the buds and barks of particular trees,  which is gathered by bees whom mix it with a wax gland secretion on their abdomen. They then knead it into a ball for storage in pollen baskets located on their legs for transportation back to the hive.  Bees use Propolis to coat and seal the walls of their hives and as protection from outside intrusion. It acts as an antiseptic for keeping the hive clean and sterile and has antibacteriological and antimicrobial qualities; providing the whole colony with “social Immunity” 

Bees Gluing Their Hive

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cereal Grasses: The Nutritional Powerhouses of Green Food Goodness

Green foods definitely rank high on the daily dietary list of must eats for ongoing well being. Making sure we eat enough broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, spinach et al is a fantastic base for obtaining many essential nutrients. Yet, what is sometimes overlooked is the health benefits of green grasses as a daily dietary inclusion. In a multi - series group of articles we will explore the different grasses and their body boosting abilities.

What are the Green Grasses ?


No, green grasses are not fresh clippings from your lawn mower. However, green grasses are the most abundant land plant on the planet. The grass that can be consumed is actually cereal grass, the young green plant that will eventually grow up to produce cereal grains. When these grains are young and sprouting they do look very similar to lawn and field grasses. The most common grasses are:
  • Wheat Grass
  • Barley Grass
  • Rye Grass
  • Oat Grass
  • Alfalfa Grass  

What the Three Wise Men Knew About Frankincense and Myrrh for Mood Improvement

For millenia frankincense and myrrh have carried great spiritual and medicinal significance. The plants that the resins are extracted from, originated in the Arabian Peninsula, around what is Oman, Yemen and Somalia today. Both frankincense and myrrh resins were valued as highly as gold. The trade of Frankincense and Myrrh proliferated  to Egypt, Greece, Rome and China.

Probably the best known association is with the Three Wise Men who brought frankincense and myrrh amongst their gifts for  baby Jesus. Through the Old Testament frankincense and myrrh are mentioned as holy anointing oils and for their many medicinal qualities. Egyptians used both extensively, myrrh in particular for embalming their Pharaohs. Indians burn incense made of frankincense and myrrh for religious ritual and worship, both are also used in the Ayurvedic Medicine system. The Chinese used both artfully as incense and medicinally. It is considered a fragrance for calling back the soul or mourning the dead. Medicinally it is used for movement of Qi, the circulating of blood and help with trauma, pain and swelling.

Although frankincense and myrrh have been around for millenia and used throughout many civilizations in multiple ways; as we moved into the 20th century a lot of its benefits that traditional medicine systems were aware of were forgotten. Lately however, there has been renewed interest and study into both plant resins constituents and compounds for healing. 

myrrh photo: Myrrh Plant Myrrh.jpg
Myrrh Plant
A few promising studies suggest that both frankincense and myrrh have potent anti-inflammatory benefits. Much of this focus has been on boswellic acid in frankincense although it is believed there are multiple compounds working in synergy to produce the inflammatory modulating actions. Because of the chemical complexity of tree resins and the fact that the compounds within them vary between different plant species, locations grown, soil and more; it is still relatively unknown exactly why or how frankincense and myrrh have such good results for inflammation, immune system health, antimicrobial and antibacterial needs. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

US Standards of Safe PFCs Limits in Drinking Water too High

A new environmental toxicity study suggests the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) and other agencies threshold of acceptable levels of perfluorinated compounds (PVCs) in our drinking water is to high for children, and it would be wise to research further and revise the acceptable levels.The study “Immunotoxicity of perfluorinated alkylates: Calculation of benchmark doses based on serum concentrations in children" was done by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Copenhagen and found the levels of PFCs in drinking water to be between 100 -1,000 times too high.

"Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at HSPH, and Esben Budtz-Jørgensen of the University of Copenhagen, concluded that current exposure limits do not adequately protect children and other vulnerable groups against adverse effects on the human immune system. These same researchers showed in 2012 that routine childhood vaccines are less effective in children exposed to PFCs."  - HSPH
The 2012 study “Serum Vaccine Antibody Concentrations in Children Exposed to Perfluorinated Compounds" was the first to document how PVCs can be transferred to children prenatally and postnatally by exposure to them in the environment , it revealed:

"PFC exposure was associated with lower antibody responses to immunizations and an increased risk of antibody levels in children lower than those needed to provide long-term protection. (Antibody concentrations in serum are a good indicator of overall immune functions in children.) A two-fold greater concentration of three major PFCs was associated with a 49% lower level of serum antibodies in children at age 7 years."
“We were surprised by the steep negative associations, which suggest that PFCs may be more toxic to the immune system than current dioxin exposures,” said Grandjean."- HSPH

9 Conscious and Green Certifications to Shop

Here is a list of 9 Certifications to look for on your products labels at the store. The organizations reflect growing awareness that we can create, sustain and have prosperous business models and commerce that actually helps our environment, promotes social benefits and is nontoxic as much as possible for our consumption. Check these organizations out. Taking the time to educate ourselves means we become dynamic participants in the future.


Fair Trade USA promotes quality products that improve peoples standard of life experience. It means that the products are "Fair" within their whole chain of manufacture from the farm to the factories to the store. This means any products that carry the Fair Trade logo have not unfairly disadvantaged farmers and workers, and have compensated them in a just manner. Fair Trade goes a step further than just fair compensation, they aspire for empowerment. Fair Trade teaches disadvantaged communities how to use the free market to their advantage and also grow sustainable business models. When we decide to buy a brand with the Fair Trade Certification we could be helping families and communities improve their lives.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fair Trade Universities Coming to Your Campus Soon.

Our purchasing dollar can make a huge difference. Many of us have become more conscious of the products we choose to buy, we think twice before we put something in our shopping cart. Is it non-toxic, GMO free, organic and fair trade ? We know our choices can create change. Whilst we have a lot of choice when selecting stores to shop in and products to buy from shelves or from the internet, it is a more challenging if we are at school or work some place where we cannot choose what they supply in cafeterias, stores or vending machines. Of course we would like that choice. We would like to see the places we spend a majority of our time, as students, faculty, staff and visitors actually participating their resources in a manner that helps alleviate poverty, empower people, is sustainable and acknowledges stewardship for our planet, and in doing so gives everyone involved on a campus the chance to make that choice also.

Following close behind on the Fair Trade movement has emerged Fair Trade Universities, their mission:

Delicious Organic Gluten Free Mocha Brownies

Just because you choose to have an organic and gluten free diet, doesn't mean you need to miss out on delicious decadent joy. We have so many gluten free options out there today, that we don't need to suffer biting into dry, cardboard gluten free foods. This organic gluten free mocha brownie recipe will keep your tummy happy and help the family see they can share a healthy diet and still have taste bud bliss !

organic guilt free chocolate brownies
Organic Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Bliss

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to Reduce Plastic Usage

Plastics are used everyday in everyway and have become a big environmental and therefore health problem. In 2002 the United states alone produced 107 billion tonnes of it. Our landfills are full of plastic and it accounts for nearly 60 - 80 % of marine trash. What is alarming is that plastic does not breakdown easily and when it does it leaches toxic chemicals such as Bisphenol A, DEHA, DEHP, Phthalates and more. There are two big reasons to reduce plastic usage:
1) It is harming many forms of life on our planet with its pollution, in particular our oceans.
2) Using it to store our food, water or in our homes means we are exposing ourselves to toxic substances that are released from the plastics. It is affecting us, our children and future generations.
There are some very effective ways to reduce our plastic dependency and salvage our planet and our own health.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Eliminate Drinking From Plastic Water Bottles With Flaska Organic Glass Water Bottle


FLASKA has made an outstanding and also very cute glass water bottle for everyday use. We have been looking for quite a while at Wellabout for a glass water bottle that includes an organic environmentally friendly carrying sleeve and built in water programmer for positive vibes. (most out there use some form of rubber or plastic with the glass bottle) The sweet little sleeve the FLASKA Bottle comes with is made from Organic Cotton all the way, and has a cozy and clean feel to it, which makes tilting the bottle up for a drink much easier grip wise. The lid is also made from an environmentally friendly cork.

Flaska Water Bottle
FLASKA Organic Re-usable Water Bottle

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Mother - An Energy Inside All Of Us

On a beautiful river in Utah, Melody Shapiro at 67 reflects on her life and how she still has dreams, "Dreams are being able to stay in the flow of life". This short film will leave you breathless, joyous and tearful at this woman's wisdom and beauty. The still waters she paddles upon, run deep inside her heart, as she glides through a canyons immense stoic backdrop, her face showing fortitude and clarity just like the canyon that envelopes her. " We all have the Mother inside of us, I think it's an energy", she says and it is one of the most profound realizations anyone on this planet can make. Let's nurture and protect ourselves, each other and our planet.

OF SOULS + WATER: THE MOTHER from NRS Films on Vimeo.