Monday, December 26, 2011

New Year, New Non-Toxic You!

With Holiday shopping and gift giving checked off the list, there's just one thing left to do this holiday season...figure out your New Year's resolutions!  We all know the most common resolutions because they are the easiest to come up with AND the easiest to break (funny how that works out isn't it!?).  So, at ESP we are suggesting some new resolution ideas that we can help you with!

But first, I thought I'd list the most commonly broken New Year's resolutions (according to Time magazine) because I know we can allll relate to them!
  1. Lose weight and get fit. (From experience, I know it takes getting into the habit of going to the gym.  Once you start, it's awesome! But the second you stop, it's so hard to get back on track isn't it?)
  2. Quit smoking. (So important, but the addictive nature of nicotine makes this difficult for many...a great resolution to go for though)
  3. Learn something new. (although this is probably accomplished, it's easily forgotten I'm sure!)
  4. Eat healthier and diet. (hm...sounds like #1)
  5. Get out of debt and save money. (Getting out of debt can be incredibly difficult, especially because it takes time and does not come with instant, that LBD is just so perfect, right!?)
  6. Spend more time with family. (Life gets busy...wouldn't it be easier if family was walking distance?  I'm lucky because both my parents live walking distance from our home, but not everyone is as fortunate!)
  7. Travel to new places. (yea, that involves $$$...but how about trying new local places? you may find some nice little gems in your area)
  8. Be less stressed. (now wouldn't that be nice if we could control this with the snap of a finger...)
  9. Volunteer. (finding time may be difficult, try scheduling volunteer opportunities and adding them to your calendar)
  10. Drink less. (pretty sure thats the most commonly used phrase while facing a hangover)
If the list above doesn't work for you, how about trying our suggestions :)
  1. Use less plastic! (If you opt for a BPA free water bottle that is reusable, you won't have to purchase those toxic and wasteful plastic water bottles every time you go out)
  2. Go organic, when possible (One way to start is by choosing organic fruits and veggies)
  3. Meatless Monday (just once a week, try being a vegetarian!)
  4. Make non-toxic changes in your home (no matter how big or small the changes you make, you can make a difference in you and your family's life!)
Okay, these are just a handful of suggestions...but hopefully you can get some good ideas! Let us know on our Facebook page what kind of non-toxic resolutions you are aiming for in 2012. Time for a New Year and a New Non-Toxic You!


~ Hannah

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Mood Food

What traditions do you have during the holidays?  If you are anything like my family, chances are a good portion of your traditions are centered on food.  I come from a HUGE family.  There are 8 of us, and when it comes to the holiday season, we can’t help but get excited over the influx of baked goods, hearty meals, and stretchy sweat pants to accommodate our growing plates. But this year, I am going to be taking a closer look at our food choices, thanks to a great article on holiday mood foods from Rodale. According to Rodale’s article, there are many common holiday foods that are lacking important nutrients, which can lead to heightened seasonal affective disorder.  Luckily, there are many healthy alternatives to keep your season merry and bright!  Below is a list from The Happiness Diet creators’ list of 11 foods that can bust your holiday mood.

·         Mood Buster: Although these simple treats look good on the outside (and on my family’s tree), it’s what on the inside that counts.  There are loads of sugar that can ruin your mood and cause weight gain—according to Tyler Graham, Dr. Ramsey’s Happiness Diet.
·         Mood Booster: DARK CHOCOLATE ORANGE SLICES are a great alternative because the citrus rinds have phyonutrient narginen, an anticancer compound, and the dark chocolate is anti-oxidant rich, which can improve blood flow to the brain and help you stay more focused. 

·         Mood Buster: Sure, this sounds healthy, but despite the myth that Agave is a natural sweetener, it can’t always be trusted.  Its excess fructose increases your risk of having a metabolic syndrome, setting the stage for brain shrinkage and mood instability.
·         Mood Booster: 100% MAPLE SYRUP (with no high-fructose corn syrup) or LOCAL HONEY because these both carry bonus minerals and plant antioxidants.

·         Mood Buster:  This traditional holiday entre is NOT worth keeping because it is full of sugar, salt, fillers, and nitrate preservatives (not to mention it comes from antibiotic-filled pigs).  All of this can cause low moods, migraines, swollen ankles, and even “cankles”! 
·         Mood Booster: WILD-CAUGHT ALASKAN SALMON has memory-preserving, mood-boosting omega-3 fats DHA and EPA.  Did you know that fish oil containing the same omega-3s found in wild salmon is just as effective as Prozac in treating depression?  If you’d rather stick to pork, opt for PASTURE-RAISED PORK LOIN, a top source of a B vitamin (thiamine) that is vital for nervous system functioning.

·         Mood Buster:  This could probably be relevant year-round since the average American drinks about 600 sodas a year!  Soda turns to fat inside the body, bringing our moods way down after the big sugar rush.
·         Mood Booster: SODA WATER WITH a little bit of ORGANIC FRUIT JUICE. This healthy replacement will taste great and make you feel good for having chosen the healthier option!

·         Mood Buster: For a while, scientists weren’t sure which was healthier, margarine or butter, but recently, studies show that the inflammation-promoting, industrial fats and the high levels of omega-6 fatty acids in margarine can tamper with your mood and insulin levels.
·         Mood Booster: PASTURED BUTTER (from grass-fed cows) has more conjugated linoleic acid (which has anti-cancer properties, brain-healthy omega-3, and has been shown to cut belly fat and lower your risk for heart attack).

·         Mood Buster: While raw pumpkin seeds you roast yourself are healthy, the processed ones purchased at the store are probably not.  They’re typically coated in a preservative called potassium bromated, blocking iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid.  This may cause the thyroid to stop working properly and push your mood down a slippery slope.
·         Mood Booster: RAW, HOME-ROASTED PUMPKIN/WINTER SQUASH SEEDS will help treat your body to good minerals and a natural antidepressant!

·         Mood Buster: They’re typically fried in oils full of omega-6 fatty acids that block omega-3 fatty acids from enhancing your mood.  Plus, frying potatoes naturally creates the carcinogen acrylamide, a substance of great concern.
·         Mood Booster: MICROWAVABLE POPCORN or BAKED RED OR BLUE-SKIN SPUDS.  The red/blue-skin spud skins are rich in phytonutrients ready to benefit your mind and body!

·         Mood Buster: Although I considered these “healthy” during childhood, bagels are actually packed with refined carbs that cause a huge energy crash and mood bust.
·         Mood Booster: ORGANIC, PASTURED EGGS that’ll keep you full and energized with B vitamins, zinc, and iodide for a brain and mood boost.

·         Mood Buster: Packaged, salted peanuts, though easy to serve as a snack at a holiday party, are high in sodium and have questionable food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), an artificial flavoring linked to migraines, weakness, burning sensations, wheezing, and difficulty breathing—not exactly what your holiday guests are looking for.
·         Mood Booster: A MIX OF omega-3-rich WALNUTS, vitamin E-rich ALMONDS, AND selenium-rich BRAZIL NUTS (selenium deficiencies are linked to depression and suicide) to keep up your energy.  If you’re looking for adding some flavor, toss in some rosemary and sea salt and roast them in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.  Interestingly enough, Rosemary is showing brain-protecting qualities in some research!

·         Mood Buster: I’m not familiar with this cooking ingredient—thank goodness— because it should be avoided for the same reason we should avoid margarine: omega-6 fatty acids block out the brain-building, mood-promoting omega-3 fatty acids that you should be getting.
·         Mood Booster: PASTURED LARD (as shocking as this sounds) because leic acid in lard is a monounsaturated fat linked to decreasing risk of depression.  The main saturated fat in lard (stearic acid) doesn’t cause heart disease, nor does it affect your cholesterol levels.

·         Mood Buster: Sure the words “sweet potato” make this sound naturally healthy, but this holiday dish carries multiple cups of sugar that negatively affect your brain process and mood just minutes after eating.  High blood sugar levels even cause your blood vessels to age, brain to shrink, vision and nerve function to suffer damage, and increase your risk of depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
·         Mood Booster: NAKED SWEET POTATOES because they’re loaded with beta-carotene, a brain-protecting antioxidant used to create vitamin A.  This vitamin promotes the enzymes that create mood-regulating neurotransmitters like dopamine.  Better forms of vitamin A also come from butter and eggs from  animals raised on pasture, so add a little butter if you so desire!

Let us know what alternatives you can think of or how you keep the holiday mood soaring high all season long!  And if you feel it’s too late to use these health tips, New Year’s resolutions are just around the corner…

For more info, check out
~ Ivana

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tox21: Safety Testing of 10,000 Chemicals to Begin this Year

Earlier this year the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banded together to give us a high-speed robotic screening system called Tox21.  This system was created to test the potential toxicity levels of 10,000 compounds.  The list of 10,000 compounds covers chemicals used in a wide variety of products including consumer products, food additives, chemicals used during industrial processes, and human and animal medications.

Not only will Tox21 provide us with information on individual chemicals, but it will also test the potential health hazards of mixtures of chemicals.  Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Toxicology Program, notes the importance of Tox21, “All of us are exposed to many different chemicals at the same time, not just one chemical at a time.  These new technologies allow us to more rapidly advance our understanding of not only individual chemicals, but mixtures of chemicals as well.”

This exciting technology will be able to test chemicals at a rate that was never made possible by human hand.  Such speed and efficiency will enable organizations like the EPA and the FDA to quickly determine any potential health risks related to newly developed compounds.  Additionally, Tox21 can improve the efficiency of companies who will be able to avoid the use of chemicals already declared unsafe.  The director of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Janet Woodcock explains that, “the Tox21 rapid assessment of drug toxicity can become a powerful safety tool for protecting the American public.  It also has the potential to help bring innovative drugs to market by allowing drug developers to identify unsafe candidate drugs early.”
After many trial runs, Tox21 is ready to start testing!  Official testing of the 10,000 compounds began last week.  When testing results become available they can be accessed through NIH and EPA chemical toxicity databases.  For more information on Tox21 refer to the following informational pamphlet:

~ Jessica


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baby Bottles & Sippy Cups

A Little Bundle of Joy, Big Situation, and an Enormously, Easy Fix!

So you have just welcomed a new baby in your life, and one of your first jobs as a parent is to get to feeding! Whether you choose to breast feed or use infant formula, you are likely to use a baby bottle at some point—if not all the time. As your baby grows older, the next step is a sippy cup, and we all know how important these are to help avoid spilling, yikes!  But with feeding your little bundle of joy (a constant task—they are always hungry it seems!) there comes a big situation: BPA in plastics, which some scientist believe may have harmful effects on your child’s health.  Luckily, there is an enormously, easy fix!  In this article we talk about the potential dangers of exposure to BPA and how you can help prevent exposure in your child’s life, helping you promote a non-toxic lifestyle from the very beginning.  Read on… J

The Big BPA Situation

Up until 2007, 90% of baby bottle were made out of polycarbonate plastic.  Unfortunately, polycarbonate plastic contains the dangerous chemical called BPA, which can leak (also referred to as leach) into the liquid stored in your child’s bottle or cup.  A bottle filled with room temperature water will leach BPA, but add boiling water to the bottle and the leaching rate increases 55 times as much! With BPA in your baby’s bottle or cup, there are various potential dangers your child is being exposed to. Several recent animal studies have linked low levels of BPA to issues such as hyperactivity, learning disabilities, increased diabetes risk, early onset of puberty, and certain types of cancer.  It has also been confirmed that most babies, as well as adults, have low levels of BPA in their systems, which is why we are here to help give you an option to avoid exposure in the first place.

The Enormously, Easy Fix

At this point, scientists are still debating the seriousness of the effects BPA may have on humans, but as my mother always says, better safe than sorry!  In order to be proactive with this information, I have listed some tips below on how to reduce the BPA in your child’s system.

If you already have bottles at home:

·         Get rid of your old and worn bottles and sippy cups.  Overly used bottles will leach BPA at a faster rate than newer bottles.
·         Don’t heat your bottles.  If you have polycarbonate plastic bottles at home, never add boiling water to them because that will drastically increase the rate at which BPA leaches out of them.

If you’re going bottle and sippy cup shopping:

·         Some plastics are safer than others.  If you are looking for plastic baby bottles, try to get bottles with the following codes punched on the bottom: LDPE #4, PP #5, PA #7, or PES #7. (although I would suggest trying to avoid plastics as much as possible!)
·         Use drop-in liners with your plastic bottles.  These liners are made of safer plastic, but you will have to replace them. (again…I personally still want to avoid plastic!)
·         Get glass bottles.  Glass bottles do not have BPA in them so they are a much safer option.  There is always the fear that glass bottles may easily break, but Lifefactory has some great bottles made from borosilicate glass, which is more resistant to breakage, and has a silicone sleeve to protect the bottle when dropped.
·         Stainless steel bottles.  This material will not leach, so it is another safe option.  It’s also lighter than glass! Klean Kanteen has a new line of stainless steel baby bottles coming soon. In the mean time, their stainless steel sippy cups will do!
·         Nipples made of medical-grade silicone.  Silicone is BPA free and it is durable and dishwasher safe.  Both Klean Kanteen and Lifefactory use nipples made from medical-grade silicone.
·         Avoid aluminum.  Some low end aluminum cups may be lined with a resin that contains BPA.
·         Avoid polycarbonate plastics. This type of plastic is a #7 plastic and can leach BPA.
·         Double check that all parts are BPA free.  That means the caps, sippy caps too! BPA can be in more than just the bottle or cup itself.

By using BPA free baby bottles and sippy cups, you will be giving your child a safer option. You’ll no longer have to worry about BPA leaching into their drinks and feel confident in their health.  Avoiding plastic and opting for glass or stainless steel bottles and sippy cups is also better for the environment. Plastics are often made from petroleum, so by using glass or stainless steel, you will decrease oil consumption. Additionally, glass and stainless steel products are reusable and recyclable, which help minimize waste in our environment.

Essential Safe Products Partners with OCEANA for SeaBlue Event

Essential Safe Products Partners with OCEANA for SeaBlue Event

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Re-thinking my addiction to Breakfast Cereals...

I kid you not when I say I'm addicted to breakfast cereals. That's why I'm not a fan of the name "Breakfast Cereal"...I eat it for breakfast and often times as a snack throughout the day (yep, I love cereal and eat it alllll the time).  But for the sake of its true purpose, we'll call it Breakfast Cereals for now.

This morning I was watching Morning Express with Robin Meade and one of her headlines focused on a new report by the Environmental Working Group on the amount of sugars that fill our favorite cereals.  Ding! I woke up instantly and started listening in...hoping my faves weren't on the list. 

In the report, the EWG took a look at the nutritional content of 84 cereals and found that some of the cereals had more than 50% sugar by weight, ehk!  Here is the list of EWG's 10 worst Children's Cereals (I may not be a child, but children's cereals are great tasting!):
  1. Kellogg's Honey Smacks - 55.6% (phew! not a fan of these but I know my mom used to love them)
  2. Post Golden Crisp - 51.9%
  3. Kellogg's Froot Loops Marshmallow - 48.3% (oh no! wait, the marshmallow one I don't like...I thought I was in the clear until I saw #10)
  4. Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch's OOPS! All Berries - 46.9%
  5. Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch Original - 44.4% (oh man, one of my favorites to mix with fiber cereals...)
  6. Quaker Oats Oh!s - 44.4% (Quaker Oats is taking over!)
  7. Kellogg's Smorz - 43.4% (Kellogg's is coming back to win the # of cereals on the list.  Oh, and a cereal calls Smorz? Sounds sugary so no surprise here)
  8. Kellogg's Apple Jacks - 42.9% (the word apple can be so deceiving...)
  9. Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries - 42.3% (looks like we should just stay away from Cap'n Crunch flavors)
  10. Kellogg's Froot Loops Original - 41.4% (no! I've been defeated!)
So the list was pretty disappointing from my perspective, but the good thing is that I can now make healthier cereal changes in my life. The EWG complimented the list of bad cereals with a list of Good ones:
  • Amborsial Granola
  • Go Raw
  • Grandy Oats
  • Kaia Foods
  • Laughing Giraffe
  • Lydia's Organic
  • Nature's Path Organics
  • Kellogg's Mini-Wheater
  • General Mills Cheerios Original
  • General Mill Kix Original
  • Post Shredded Wheat
  • Post Grape-Nuts Flakes
  • Quaker Oats Otameal Squares Cinnamon
  • Post Bran Flakes
  • Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Vanilla Bunches
Along with this list comes some times on checking cereal labels:
  • Look for cereals with high fiber content
  • Cereals with a short ingredient list are best
  • Check the sugar percentage
  • Look for cereals with few or no added sugars
For more info, check out the EWG article!

~ Hannah

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ESP Holiday Gift Guide Tips!

This year, thanks to the ESP Holiday Gift Guide, you can get your friends and family non-toxic and chemical free gifts for the kitchen and on-the-go! Giving non-toxic gifts is an out-of-the-box idea that friends and family will not only enjoy but truly benefit from. By giving non-toxic gifts, you can help family and friends lead a healthier and safer lifestyle—and who doesn’t want that!?
On a more personal note, this year I think giving my friends a Lifefactory glass water bottle in their favorite color (so many colors and sizes to choose from—it’s great) will be a big hit. As college students, a new reusable and bpa free bottle is perfect for taking water, juice, or, more realistically speaking, a highly caffeinated iced coffee with us to class—they’ll be thanking me, I know it J.
So now that I've got gift ideas for friends all set, what about my family?  Something I think every family could use is a non-toxic set of cookware and food storage containers for safe cooking and safe food storage of holiday leftovers.  My family has actually already transformed their kitchen into a non-toxic zone, but it is still a great idea—the more the merrier in my opinion.  But if you have family or friends that still use PTFE coated pans or plastic containers for food storage, safe cookware and glass food storage are a perfect gift.  These non-toxic gifts can encourage family to take a step closer to a chemical free lifestyle.  Another clever gift that can get children involved with the BPA-free movement from an early age, are the Klean Kanteen and Life Factory Sippy cups!  They're safe to use and a great size for those Saturday ball games or long car rides...
I have to admit that while holiday shopping, I always end up getting something for me.  So, if you’re like me a lower-cost idea for your own personal gift giving is ESP’s bamboo spork set. They are super cute and a great conversation starter, believe me, I have them!
There are endless possibilities when you choose to give non-toxic products to show how much you REALLY care, so enjoy this holiday season and spread some ESP cheer!
~ Ivana

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Let’s Join Jessica Alba in the Fight to Pass the Safe Chemicals Act!

On November 17th a very important Congressional hearing took place—the hearing for the much anticipated Safe Chemicals Act of 2011!  The Safe Chemicals Act was introduced to Congress back in April of this year as a much needed reform to the 1976 Toxic Substance Control Act.  Since April it has received a lot of support, especially from concerned parents.  One particularly outspoken and well-known celebrity parent has become an advocate for this legislation: Jessica Alba.
Like many of us, Jessica Alba is concerned about the chemicals in our environment that may be having negative effects on our health, and more importantly, on the health of our children & families.  And that is why she, along with millions of other parents, has taken up the cause of changing our environment for the better and eliminating toxic chemicals that are legally allowable in the various products we purchase and use every day. 
Some of the hazardous chemicals that are currently legally allowable in the US include BPA, PFOA, and chemicals used in flame retardants.  Under the 1976 Toxic Substance Control these chemicals are all legal for use in household products.  However, recent scientific articles have linked all of these chemicals to serious health issues ranging from learning disabilities, to reproductive issues, to even cancer.  Some of these dangerous chemicals are even legally used in products such as plastic baby bottles, toys, and baby soap.  And this is what supporters of the Safe Chemicals Act are trying to change.
As a result of this growing concern of chemicals in our commonly used products, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 was born.  This act aims to put stricter limitations on the legal use of chemicals that have been linked to these health issues. 
The progress of the act thus far has been promising.  In my opinion, this is a non-partisan issue.  Everyone is interested in making the world a safer place to live in and for this reason the act was fairly well received in Congress on November 17th.  However, there are always lobbyists who will have an interest in suppressing specific pieces of legislation.  This is why it is very important for us all to show our support for this act.  Congress has not yet decided on this legislation, so there is still time to write to your congressperson and let him or her know how you feel! 
Another great way to be proactive about this issue is to stop supporting and purchasing from companies that produce hazardous products—a sort of boycott if you may!  As an alternative to hazardous products, you can by non-toxic kitchenware and on-the-go products at!  
For motivate and inspiration, check out this video of Jessica Alba supporting the cause:

Together we can create healthier environments for ourselves, our families and future generations!
~ Jessica

Monday, November 21, 2011

Non-Toxic & Heartburn Free Thanksgiving Tips!

While the probability of family taking over every part of your home, the kitchen being so packed you can hardly open the oven door to get the turkey out before it burns, and a serious food-coma to persist after a massive meal, there are two things you can do your best at avoiding this Thanksgiving holiday: hazardous chemicals and heartburn!
To help avoid hazardous chemicals, there are several simple steps you can take:
2.      Eat on glass plates—they’re lead free!
3.      Bake on stainless steel or glass bakeware.
4.      Eat organic J
When it comes to heartburn, it may be a little more difficult to manage, but not impossible!  It is estimated that 42% of Americans suffer from heartburn at some point in their lives.  Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that often radiates upward into the neck and throat.  Although there are many causes of heartburn, the primary cause is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  GERD is the condition in which the acidic contents of the stomach leaks back into the esophagus, causing burning irritation.  Our odds of experiencing heartburn can also be increased by what we eat.  For example, coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks can relax that lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which then allows the contents of the stomach to reflux into the esophagus.  In addition, over-eating, eating late at night, and even wearing tight clothing can contribute to heartburn! 
Whatever the cause, our eating habits can often add to the amount of heartburn we feel.  For this reason it is important for sufferers of heartburn to watch what they eat.  Dr. Jaime Koufman, author of “Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook and Cure,” offers many recipes for dishes that are low in acid and may help you avoid heartburn during this holiday season. Here are a few of Dr. Koufman’s holiday themed recipes. 
Happy Thanksgiving Week!
More info:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

6 Reasons to Eat Organic Foods

“Organic foods” are defined as foods that are grown without the use of modern, synthetic products (such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers), do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are processed without industrial solvents or food additives.  In other words, organic is the natural choice.  Below are a list of reasons why going organic is a great choice for your body, your family and the environment:
1.      Overall health. My main reasoning—and the most obvious—for eating organic foods is overall health. Studies about the detrimental effects of synthetic products on our health are rampant across the media, and by eating organic, I’m taking one big step towards avoiding these synthetic products.  However, there are many more benefits to buying organic that are not as obvious as health concerns. 
2.      Water supply. Growing organic food is also better for our water supply.  Pesticides used by industrial farmers inevitably make their way back into our water supply.  The U.S. Geological Survey recently tested the groundwater quality at several locations and detected at least one pesticide in every stream tested.  Unfortunately, this problem will only get worse as we continue to use pesticides on an industrial scale.  Going organic means keeping pesticides out of our environment—sounds good to me!
3.      Nutritional value. Another reason eating organic foods is a great choice is their intrinsic health. Simply put, organic foods have higher nutritional value than non-organic foods.  The chemicals used to keep our non-organic fruits and vegetables looking beautiful right up to the dinner plate actually kill microorganisms in the soil they are grown in. These chemicals prevent soil from enriching our food with nutrients; but organic foods avoid this problem! 
4.      Healthy soil. Not using chemicals in soil helps keep soil healthy. This healthy soil feeds the organic plants, which give carbon back in return.  This process leaves us with better soil in the long run and a healthier environment.
5.      Fewer carbon emissions. Organic foods are also better for the environment because organic foods more often than not are locally grown.  Locally grown foods don’t have to be trucked across the country, which helps reduce carbon emissions.
6.      Taste! Lastly, organic foods simply taste better!
Some people have been slow to catch the organic craze, often saying that the extra cost is not worth it.  However, as organic food becomes more popular and more and more people start growing it, prices will continue to fall.  Take a walk around your local farmer’s market and you may be surprised to find that often times the prices are comparable to non-organic foods, especially if you buy fruits and vegetables in season.
Organic food is an investment in your life that will pay off in the long run.  It will keep you healthier and happier.  What more could we ask for from our food?
~ Jessica

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Should I Exercise While I'm Sick?

I recently read an article from that brought up the question I have always asked myself, “Should I exercise while I’m sick?” I once heard it was a good idea, so when I have a cold, I actually do exercise. And for me, it makes a difference. I feel 100x better after forty-five minutes treck on the elliptical. And honestly, while I have had a few colds already this season, I’ve been flu-free for a very long time!—something I credit to staying healthy and active J.

David C. Nieman, DrPH, FACSM, conducted a 1,000-person study to find the correlation between exercise and catching a cold.  Here are some of his findings:
1.      Those who were physically active, lean, and ate plenty of fruit had fewer sick days (1/3 to be exact) than those who did less physical activity and were overweight.
2.      When those who were physically active got sick, symptoms were less severe.
3.      People who engage in moderate levels of activity while sick can reduce their sick times by up to half. Moderate activity includes exercise for at least 45 minutes five to six days a week.

But these findings are for colds only. Nieman says that if you are seriously ill or have a viral infection, exercise may make the illness worse or last longer.  So stick to resting!

Here are a few exercise tips for staying healthy during cold and flu season:
-          Stuffy nose, sore throat, cold symptoms…get active!
-          Aches, pains, fevers, diarrhea, chest congestion, swollen glands…rest, rest, rest!
-          When you have a cold, make sure your exercise isn’t too rigorous.  Try a brisk walk for 45 minutes.
-          If you are recovering from the flu, don’t jump into intense exercise right away. Ease back into your routine.

Thank you for the tips, Rodale!

~ Hannah
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