Yes, we are all "aware" NOW is the time to PREVENT CANCER

Monday, October 26, 2015

October has long been Cancer Awareness Month. While I appreciate all of the advertising and events that this month brings to the awareness of cancer and the millions or billions of dollars that go to the cancer charities; I am quite perplexed why there isn't more of a mainstream public awareness of Cancer Prevention. Wikipedia tells us that National Cancer Awareness Month was founded in 1985 in October as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries which is now part of AstraZeneca, who is a MAJOR player in chemo drugs. (I won't comment about "Big Pharma" because it makes my blood boil)

But....wouldn't it be nice if some of the millions raised went to cancer prevention education. Yes, I do believe that you can take measures to prevent cancer. To prevent it you need to know what causes it. The American Cancer Society tells you right out that tobacco, poor diet, no exercise, alcohol, radiation, carcinogens, etc. contribute to causing cancer. As much as I want some of those millions to go toward educating the public about preventing will not. Big Pharma and the Food Industry don't want us to know what they are doing to us. PEOPLE....NOW is the time to wake up and educate yourself on the harmful effects of processed food, carcinogens in our food, in our personal care products, cleaning products and our environment. Things are not as they were 50 years ago, or even 20 years ago.

It is too easy to go through life looking at everything through rose colored glasses. Too easy to take everything at face value. Call me cynical, a skeptic or whatever; but I'm telling you, I don't believe anything from the media. For decades commercials have told us how gentle and wonderful Johnson & Johnson baby products are. Only to find out they contain a preservative that releases formaldehyde.

Only in the past two years has Johnson & Johnson removed that preservative (only to add a different one) from some of their baby care products. This all happened because of pressure from consumers and environmental groups. Now please note that Johnson & Johnson continues to sell a plethora of beauty products that still contain these dangerous preservatives. Also please note that Johnson & Johnson sells the identical products to other countries without these preservatives, because their version of the FDA does not allow them. The FDA does not restrict the amount of formaldehyde that can be present in cosmetics sold in the U.S  Hmmm, imagine that!  (by the way, you do know that wrinkle free clothes contain formaldehyde)

I worry about our future generations. We need to be educated now on cancer prevention. Look how prevalent infertility is these days. This is an exert from an article by the Environmental Working Group.

"As EWG has reported for more than a decade, many chemicals found in personal care products have the potential to hinder people’s ability to reproduce, to interfere with pregnancies and to cause birth defects. 

And recently, citing scientific evidence accumulated over the last 15 years, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine have urged doctors to warn their patients that exposure to toxic chemicals before conception and during pregnancy can have significant and long-lasting effects on reproductive health.  

The medical groups’ conclusions align with EWG’s research, which has determined that reproductive health problems linked to toxic chemicals in cosmetics and other personal care products include:

-Infertility     -Low birth weight     -Preterm birth     - Cancers

Birth defects for example, in 2005, scientists at the University of Rochester reported that prenatal exposure to phthalates —plasticizers commonly used in personal care products — was linked to abnormal reproductive development in baby boys. Despite these findings phthalates are still used in cosmetic products, including some nail polishes and “fragrance” mixtures."

Full article here: Toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products

Yes, October is now more of a pink month than an orange month. I think we are all "aware" of cancer. NOW is the time to start on cancer prevention! I urge you to use that "Dash of Wisdom" you have in your brain (somewhere) when deciding what to eat, what to brush your teeth with, what to moisturize your face with. Don't believe the ads. Read the ingredients, especially when it comes to your precious children. Let's not let cancer be so prevalent in our next generations.

Health Benefits of Honey, Cinnamon and Lemon...... "Hot Toddy"

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Dublin-born physician, Robert B. Todd (1809–1860), was known for his prescription of a hot drink of brandy, cinnamon, sugar syrup and water. It was called a "Hot toddy". I think Dr. Todd was on to something. All of the ingredients have beneficial health properties. Well, I don’t know about the brandy, except maybe a numbing effect. (I suppose that could be beneficial at times!)

Cinnamon and honey go waayyyy back.

Cinnamon and honey have many references in the Bible. The combination of honey and cinnamon has been used for centuries in both traditional Chinese and Ayurveda medicine (one of the world's oldest holistic whole-body healing systems, developed thousands of years ago in India)  The two ingredients with unique healing abilities have a long history as a home remedy. Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to mankind and honey's popularity has continued throughout history. Cinnamon's essential oils and honey's enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide qualify the two "anti-microbial" foods with the ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi. In Ayurvedic medicine it is believed that honey enhances the medicinal effectiveness of the cinnamon.

There is no doubt that cinnamon and honey were used for medicinal purposes centuries ago.  So why not now? And why not in a Hot Toddy? Well, mine is actually a virgin Hot Toddy seeing that I don’t consume alcohol.  I add fresh lemon juice for its many health benefits. In my last post I talked to you about cinnamon and its many health benefits so here are a few of the benefits of honey and lemon.

Raw Honey 

  • Raw honey is the only food on the planet that will not spoil or rot (it will crystalize)
  • Beneficial vitamins and minerals
  • Nutrients that are essential to dissolve fats and cholesterols
  • Packed with 22 amino acids that are beneficial to your body’s metabolism
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) lists honey as a demulcent, which is a substance that relieves irritation in your mouth or throat by forming a protective film
  • Antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant
  • Boost your energy (great for distance runners!)
  • Reduce allergy symptoms
  • Cough suppressant
  • Boost memory
  • Treats wounds and burns
  • Resolves scalp issues and dandruff

Raw Lemon Juice

  • pH alkaline state – although acidic to taste, lemons are one of the most alkaline of foods and help keep our bodies to the required pH alkaline state of around 7.4
  • Blood purifier 
  • Blood sugar balance 
  • Detoxification 
  • Weight loss 
  • Osteoporosis – lemon juice is rich in Vitamin C and helps the body to absorb calcium 
  • Insomnia
  • Brain and nerve food – potassium found in raw lemon juice helps the brain and nerve cells, improves concentration, memory and calms the mind
  • Boost immune system 
  • Infection – it is rich in citric acid
  • Cough and cold 
  • Nausea, vomiting and travel sickness 
  • Rheumatism, arthritis and bone-related diseases – lemon is an excellent anti-inflammatory

Oh goodness, I get so excited about all of the health benefits of honey, cinnamon and lemon. I pretty much have two hot toddys a day. One in the morning and one in the evening. I invite you to try it and feel the difference in your health!

Virgin Hot Toddy
Juice of half a lemon
¼ tsp. ceylon cinnamon
½ tbs. raw honey
Hot water

Fake vs Real Cinnamon

Monday, October 12, 2015


I love cinnamon. The taste of cinnamon warm and spicy. The aroma of cinnamon takes me to wonderful places in my mind. Bake shops, my grandmas kitchen, my parents kitchen and of course it is a wonderful aroma of Christmas. I use cinnamon a lot in my cooking and baking. It is a must in my homemade almond milk and my Hot Toddys. (blog post on that coming soon)

When I learned that there is a "fake" and a "real" cinnamon (per se) I was........well, I was obviously confused. The cinnamon we buy from the grocery store (the fake stuff) is Cassia or Cinnamomum Aromaticum, also commonly known as Chinese cinnamon. It is cultivated in China and Indonesia. Ceylon cinnamon (the real stuff) is native to Sri Lanka, Madagascar and the Seychelles and sourced from the plant Cinnamomum Zeylanicum.

Cinnamon, whether cassia or ceylon is well known for its many health benefits.

  • strong antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-fungal
  • beneficial effects on lowering your blood sugar levels (diabetics)
  • heart health
  • neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease
  • weight loss
  • muscle spasms
  • vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, loss of appetite, and erectile dysfunction (sorry couldn't tell ya if that's true or not, but thought I'd include it). 

So let's get to the point of this blog post.

Cinnamon contains coumarin, which is a naturally occurring substance 
with strong blood-thinning properties. 

The reason fake cinnamon can be bad for you is that large amounts of coumarin over a prolonged period of time can be toxic and cause serious health issues to the liver and kidneys. Cassia cinnamon, which is 90% of the cinnamon sold in stores, contains much higher levels of this. The amount of coumarin in ceylon cinnamon is only 0.0004%, compared to 5% found in cassia cinnamon. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry tested cinnamon commercially available in the U.S. and found "substantial amounts" of coumarin in cassia cinnamon, but only trace amounts of coumarin in ceylon cinnamon. The U.S. FDA considers cassia and ceylon cinnamon safe for human consumption. (that's all they say about it) Some countries have enforced a limit on the amount of cassia cinnamon used in foods and suggested a minimum daily intake. Organizations like the European Food Safety Authority have recommended no more than 0.1 milligrams of daily coumarin intake from food per 2.2 pounds of body weight. For a person weighing 150 pounds, this recommendation translates to about 7 milligrams of coumarin. These numbers show how it would be possible for a person consuming a lot of cassia cinnamon to increase their risk of potential toxicity problems. 

I personally only use ceylon cinnamon because I ingest cinnamon daily, up to 1 teaspoon or so. Some studies have found one teaspoon of cassia cinnamon to contain between 5-12 milligrams of coumarin. Another interesting tid bit on cinnamon. Some people who have adverse reactions to cassia (fake) cinnamon, do not have those reactions when they use the real cinnamon, ceylon. 
You can visually tell the difference between fake and real cinnamon sticks. The powdered and ground cinnamon, you will have a hard time visually telling the difference. Ceylon cinnamon will have a more mild, sweet taste without so much bitter after taste like cassia. If you look at your current bottle of cinnamon it may or may not say more than just "Cinnamon".  So my Dash of Wisdom to you on cinnamon is; if you are consuming a considerable amount of it, you may want to purchase the "real cinnamon", ceylon cinnamon.

I purchase my ceylon cinnamon on-line. organic ground ceylon cinnamon

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I quit buying cows milk years ago. When one of my boys was a teenager, he had pretty bad acne. Visits to the dermatologist always produced a new prescription or two. Some made his ache worse, some burned his skin, and some did nothing. But all resulted in lots of money spent for the appointment and the prescription. One prescription we filled had a "first time free" coupon. If we needed a refill it was $700.00. Really ?? Who are you kidding here? So I decided to take my son off of milk. I had read a lot about its effect on hormones. Shazam! Would you believe his acne cleared up and has never returned. During one of our dermatologist visits I had asked the doctor about milk consumption in relation to hormones and skin. You would have thought I asked him if his thick head of hair was hair plugs. His reaction didn't surprise me. How could clearing acne be THAT simple. Well, it was, at least for my son.   
Click this link for an interesting article.
Does milk cause acne?

 We love almond milk in our house. We drank store bought almond milk for a while.Then my eyes were opened to the ingredients in some of the major brands. Synthetic vitamins, carrageenan, stabilizers and other additives. I tried making my own. Oh my goodness! It was soooo good, and so easy. It is such a treat to drink a glass.

Here is the recipe:


1 cup raw almonds 
4 cups filtered water
3-4 medjool dates (pitted)
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring 
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash sea salt


1.  Soak almonds in filtered water overnight.
2.  Rinse and drain the soaked almonds.
3.  Place almonds and remaining ingredients in your blender. 
4.  Blend for 1 minute.
5.  Pour almond milk into a nut milk bag or a cheese cloth and strain into a pitcher or bowl. Take your time.
6.  Keep almond milk in a glass jar and store in refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. It is normal for the milk to separate so shake before using.   

Wake Up and Smell the Crap

Monday, October 5, 2015

So Hippocrates definitely knew what he was talking about.
I wish someone had told me this, say like....thirty some years ago. Anyone remember drinking your Tab Cola and having a pack of Nabs? Mmmmm good food there. 
I have to say that in my teen years I consumed my share of junk food. Fast food, 7-11 for snacks (Dr. Pepper and a 3 Musketeers bar), sugar cereals, pop-tarts, geez the list goes on. I never thought these were "bad" for me. Fast forward to my 30's; married, three kids and a dog. I tried to feed my family decent food. Vegetables from a can, canned biscuits, and meat. I cringe as I write this! I trusted the food companies and their advertising.
I knew people who were "health nuts". I literally thought they were nuts. Like tree hugging, granola hippies. No way, I would never be like that.
Yes, that is what I had been eating most of my life. Just watch TV and the commercials tell you how good pop-tarts are. Oh and don't forget Mac-n-Cheese. Your not a good mom if you don't serve that at your dinner table (probably with some hotdogs).(choke and gag)
Thankfully I did wake up. It was late, but you know .....better late than never.
About nine years ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer. What a wake up call that was. I was shocked. She was 76 years old. So healthy and vibrant her whole life. I went into research mode and read everything I could on what caused cancer. FOOD. That was a big one I kept coming across. The "things" that are in our food. Holy Cow has the food industry been taking us for a ride or what? 
Fast forward again, to today. Yes, my family and friends call me a crazy hippie voo doo woman.
And I am so honored to be called that. To all of the hippie, granola people I made fun of back in the sincerest apologies.
Eating clean, whole foods has changed my life, healed my husband of a debilitating disease and has set my life on a new path.