Friday, May 30, 2008

REVIEW: Party in my Pants ORGANIC cloth pads

Ahhh, finally a cloth pad that's organic, fun, and doesn't make you feel like you're wearing one of those sumo wrestler things.

In Asian medicine and naturopathic healing, it's not nice to plug up mother nature. Click here to find out why. Even tho' most Gynies will scoff if you refer to your menses as a cleansing process, just think back to...toxic shock syndrome!

These guys are thin and because they have a waterproof lining, really don't leak. Plus, they come in fun patterns. It's kind of a paradigm shift to go back to "the rag," but like many things (I made my own organic raw milk butter the other day--then clarified it myself!) the old fashioned way works well for a reason.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Flat Carbonated Drinks not Suitable for Oral Rehydration

If you care about your health, you should seriously limit your intake of sugary, chemical-y (and, it's made out of tap water, fyi), phosphorus-draining soda. And don't think drinking flat gingerale is doing yourself any favors either, especially for children!

From Newswise, the journalists'-only site:


Newswise — ‘Flat’ carbonated drinks should not be used as an alternative for oral rehydration solution to prevent dehydration in children with acute vomiting and diarrhoea, according to advice published in the May issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Oral rehydration solution is a liquid containing the ideal balance of salts and sugars for avoiding dehydration in people with gastroenteritis who are losing fluids, salts and sugars through diarrhoea and vomiting.

It is commonly believed that ‘flat’ carbonated drinks are an effective alternative to these solutions, particularly for children who don’t like their taste. However, researchers at the children’s emergency department at Watford General Hospital were unable to find any published trials to back this up, so they looked for information about the contents of different types of liquids and compared them.

Carbonated drinks were found to contain too much sugar and not enough salts.

...The authors concluded there was little information available from clinical studies on the effectiveness of using carbonated drinks compared with oral rehydration solution for the prevention of dehydration in children with gastroenteritis, but that there were many scientific analyses demonstrating their inappropriateness.

“Carbonated drinks, ‘flat’ or otherwise, including cola, provide inadequate fluid and electrolyte replacement and cannot be recommended,” they conclude.

Click here to view the paper in full:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

REVIEW: Jigsaw Health Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that basically are all over the place, including out guts. Having these beneficial guys helps keep the pathogenic ones at bay. The article I did for Natural Health on fermented foods showed how ancient people got their probiotics from food.

But like so much in our modern life, our food is so processed--as is the soil--so these naturally occurring probiotics aren't as numerous as they should be. To get benefits from probiotics, especially if you aren't a big kimchi orkefir fan, you may wish to take a supplement. And if you're going on a course of antibiotics, it's always a good idea to supplement with probiotics.

I really like Jigsaw Health's Essential Blend Probiotics, among other things because they don't have a lot of weird fillers and because they actually contain a human strain of probiotics, which is pretty hard to find.

Probiotics in general may help:

  • Restore balance of essential friendly bacteria after antibiotic use.
  • Alleviate digestive disorders.
  • Enhance synthesis of B-vitamins.
  • Absorb calcium, copper, iron, and magnesium.
  • Protect against bacterial irritations.
  • Ease yeast infections.
  • Improve lactose intolerance.
  • Improve immune function.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Don't Use Soap on Private Parts

Hm, I never thought about this, but it makes sense. I've always advocated organic undies for the reason that this area is not only sensitive, but very absorbent (think suppositories, anyone?)

Dr. Ben Kim's newsletter is always a source of sensible health info. Here's what he has to say:

Over the years, I have found that many people aren't aware that soap should not be used to clean the vaginal opening, the tip of the penis (urethral opening), and the anal sphincter.

Regularly applying soap to these areas can cause the mucosal lining in these areas to become dry and unhealthy. A chronically dry mucosal lining can lead to a number of uncomfortable health conditions, such as anal fissures, lichen sclerosus, chronic inflammation and a tendency to experience infections.

If you use soap to clean your body, you should limit its contact to your skin. Your skin is lined with sebaceous glands that secrete an oily substance called sebum, which serves to keep your skin waterproof and resistant to infection by undesirable microorganisms.

Typically, the presence of sebum prevents soap from drying out skin to a point where significant health challenges can arise. Still, unless you work with grease and oil, it's best to use soap sparingly - just enough to remove objectionable odors and to feel clean and refreshed.

The mucosal linings of the vaginal opening, the penile opening, and the anal sphincter don't secrete sebum to offer protection against the drying effects of soap. Actually, the labia minora does contain some sebaceous glands, but in most women, there aren't nearly enough sebaceous glands in this region to keep the vaginal opening healthy if regularly washed with soap.

So how do you wash the vaginal opening, the penile opening, and the anal sphincter? Ideally, with warm or hot water. And when more intense cleaning is desired, you can use warm or hot salt water.

I've worked with enough people who have experienced health challenges from using soap in the private areas to know that this advice is worth heeding. Please share this information with family and friends, as my experiences have led me to believe that most people aren't aware of this issue.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jack Lalanne, Going strong at 93!

Jack Lalanne has basically been conducting an experiment on himself for more than 90 years! He exercises every day and eats no white flour or sugar...(plus, his wife still looks great, too!).

p.s. he also invented that leg extension thingie ubiquitous to all gyms--this was back in the 30s. To see what clean livin' can do for you:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Maternal Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants Linked to Urologic Conditions in Boys

My advice? Eat organic!

Newswise — Higher incidences of congenital anomalies, including cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) and hypospadias, were found in boys whose mothers had higher serum levels of certain organochlorine compounds, researchers say. Two separate studies presented today during the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in Orlando confirmed existing hypotheses that maternal exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals – including total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, such as Arochlor) and organochlorinated pesticides (such as dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane, or DDT) may contribute to an increased incidence of these conditions.

The data was presented to the media on Sunday, May 18, 2008, during press conferences starting at 8:00 a.m.

Mothers with high levels of organochlorine compounds in their bodies are at a greater risk of bearing sons with undescended testicles (cryptorchidism). In a study (abstract #276) of 40 boys undergoing surgical treatment for the condition, researchers from New York and Michigan analyzed PCB serum levels from both the patient and the mother and compared the readings to residual PCB levels in the patients’ fatty tissue samples (taken at surgery). Patients ranged from eight to 18 months of age at the time of treatment.

...Of the sons whose mothers had measurable PBB levels at the time of conception, 35 reported GU conditions, including hernias (13), hydroceles (10), undescended testicles (9), hypospadias (5), phimosis (2) and varicocele (1). Sons whose mothers had PBB levels greater than 5 parts per billion were more likely to report these conditions than those whose mothers had lower levels. Maternal PBB levels were not found to have an impact on birth weight or estimated gestational age. 12.2 percent of boys with maternal serum levels greater than 5 were more likely to report GU conditions, compared to 5.5 percent of boys with lower maternal PBB levels.

“Mothers with known exposure to these enduring compounds should tell not only their own doctors but also their sons’ pediatricians,” said Anthony Y. Smith, M.D., a spokesman for the AUA. “These data underscore the importance of regular ‘well-baby checkups’ so that these easily treatable conditions are diagnosed promptly.”

Monday, May 19, 2008

Is Tyson's Antibiotic-Free Chicken Really Antibiotic-Free?

These days you have to do more than closely read labels to keep from poisoning yourself and your family. From the New York Times:

A federal judge has ordered Tyson Foods to withdraw advertisements claiming its chickens are “raised without antibiotics that impact antibiotic resistance in humans.”

Two competitors said the ads were untrue because Tyson injects it eggs with antibiotics and used antibiotic molecules in its feed.

Tyson maintained that its claim was truthful, and intends to appeal the decision.

“The claim we’re making is ‘raised without.’ And our consumer research would say that ‘raised without’ in the consumer’s mind, is from hatchery to when they buy the chicken in the store,” said Dave Hogberg, senior vice president for consumer products at Tyson.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Teflon Chemical May Harm Thyroid

From Mary Shomon's Thyroid newsletter, yet ANOTHER reason to get teflon out of your house (try cookware like Le Creuset instead!)

Don't forget that the thryoid is one of the most important glands for fertility and you have to be nice to it!

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is focusing attention on a new study that has found that PFOA, a chemical used to make Teflon, food wrappers and other products, may be dangerous to health. The study, which looked at 69,000 people in West Virginia and Ohio who live near a DuPont manufacturing plant where the chemical is used, found that the chemical may harm the immune system, liver and thyroid and cause raise cholesterol levels in children.

In addition to various health concerns, the study found that "thyroid function was clearly affected in PFOA-exposed people, with the effect strongest at moderate levels of exposure, rather than the highest exposures."

Read about the study now.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Review: Applesac MacBook Sleeve

MAN FERTILITY was nice enough to lend his man muscle to help me drag my iMac to the Apple Store to get it fixed (the dreaded spinning beach ball!). I saw him longingly looking at some of the MacBook laptop cases (he currently uses a sophisticated bubble pak envelope--used!), but I noticed they smelled vinyl-y or chemical-y. Glue, PVC (possible lead hazard), basically yech, as he carries his computer with him every day.

So....Applesac to the rescue! Thick, sustainable hemp and snuggly poly fleece. According to the website, hemp is much stronger and more durable than cotton, and you know how much the FertilityBitch likes to promote hemp for its sustainability and how she chafes at the silly US restrictions on growing it because of its tenuous connection to marijuana (Canada seems to deem it's okay).

At first I thought the thing was TOO SMALL when we got it, but it's made to fit the dimensions of the laptop exactly, so no sloshing around in the messenger bag. A handy pocket on the outside, and an unpretentious look (the website says this may even prevent theft--who looks for a nice laptop in a hemp bag?), no yechy glue smell. I love its simplicity--it's sewn! Plus, it looks a wee bit more professional than the used bubble pak envelope, but will give him street cred with the environmental studies types on campus. Yay Applesac!

Their website: www.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More than 50% INSURED Americans Medicated

My mother, who is a social worker, once had an elderly client who was so demented she needed to be institutionalized...until they thought to try taking her off her 1000 meds--antihypertensives, stuff for her digestion, SSRIs, you name it. Interestingly, she "snapped out of it" and was able to remain as a productive member of the senior center she was living in. Go figure.

With so many people taking so many drugs and no one having any idea how they interact (not to mention this is all being peed out into the water supply), it's one of these things that makes you go, Hmmmmmmm.


By LINDA A. JOHNSON, AP Business Writer

TRENTON, N.J. - For the first time, it appears that more than half of all insured Americans are taking prescription medicines regularly for chronic health problems, a study shows.

The most widely used drugs are those to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol — problems often linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

The numbers were gathered last year by Medco Health Solutions Inc., which manages prescription benefits for about one in five Americans.

Experts say the data reflect not just worsening public health but better medicines for chronic conditions and more aggressive treatment by doctors. For example, more people are now taking blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medicines because they need them, said Dr. Daniel W. Jones, president of the American Heart Association.

In addition, there is the pharmaceutical industry's relentless advertising. With those factors unlikely to change, doctors say the proportion of Americans on chronic medications can only grow.

read more here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

REVIEW: Terracycle Plant Food

Terracycle plant food has totally charmed the FertlityBitch. Not only is their stuff made from non toxic worm poops, but they re-use old soda bottles and things by merely refilling, instead of something having to go thru the energy-intensive recycling process. How cool is that?

Plus, the stuff works. I even had a live worm in my Terrcycle potting soil that had been outside all winter. When I lived in NYC, I desperately tried growing stuff in my tiny window and I wish I had this. The food kept my herbs happy all winter long and I even coaxed a berry out of my dormant strawberry plant.

You can get this at Whole Foods--and start bugging your local Home Depot to expand their choices! Scott's (who makes Miracle-Gro) unfairly tried to sue Terracycle for some copyright infringement over "similar" colors in their packaging--imagine, using the color GREEN for their packaging!

Help keep this small and earth-mindful company afloat!

Scotts/Miracle-Gro sues Terracycle.

Scotts Miracle-Gro conducting a recall of four pesticides that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 alleges were unregistered, falsely and misleadingly labeled, or both.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Green Babies, Sage Moms

So reader Ali gave Green Babies, Sage Moms: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Your Organic Baby two thumbs up. Lynda Fassa, the author, makes the adorable Green Babies organic kids' clothes--one of the first organic companies to do so. She asked the FertilityBitch to write the chapter on environmental toxins (includes vaccines, and more). I was pleased at how open (but discerning) she was toward the various views of the "green gurus" in the book.

This book is incredibly well researched AND fun to read. I sure wish I had this book when my guy was young!

You can get this at any bookstore and Whole Foods is also carrying it.


From the trailblazing founder of Green Babies organic clothing comes the very first guide for new mothers in raising a "green" family-and doing it simply and inexpensively. Filled with necessary and convenient advice that takes the reader from the first months of pregnancy and beyond, this indispensable book explains:

• The safest ways to get the house ready for the baby

• The best baby gear-from clothes to crib mattresses

• Organic recipes for health-conscious breastfeeding moms

• How to throw a green baby shower

• The best solutions for storing breast milk safely

• How to keep play areas safe from chemicals

• How to handle the diaper dilemma: wash vs. toss

• And much more!


Lynda Fassa is the founder of Green Babies, which offers the largest selection of organic cotton clothing in the world.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Edible Sunscreen?

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I don't use sunscreen unless I'm going to be out in the middle of the day (e.g., on a boat). Dr. Christiane Northrup and other actually advocate daily sun exposure (again, about 20 mins, not baking on the beach!) to help with fertility (helps reset hormones, Vitamin D, etc.)

We also notice that if we're very well nourished (plenty of antioxidants, etc.) we tend not to burn, anyway. Shea butter is also a nice protective against sun exposure.

Again, you are what you eat.

This is from the very informative newsletter of Vital Choice seafood.

Edible Sunscreen?
Colorful Foods Seen to Deter Sun Damage

Tomato paste seen to reduce skin’s damage from UV sunrays; Other allies include tea, berries, cocoa, and fish
by Craig Weatherby

Click for full story

Moderate sun exposure seems to reduce the overall risk of cancer, probably thanks to UV-induced creation of vitamin D in the skin.

Last year, we wrote about the exaggerated cancer risks of sun exposure – and the long-overlooked anti-cancer benefits of sun-generated vitamin D – see “Cancer Society’s Anti-Sun Ads Decried as Deceptive”.

On a related front, recent years have witnessed a plethora of studies linking diet to protection against sun-induced skin damage, including burning, wrinkling, and pre-cancerous DNA changes.

For example, higher intake of omega-3s – and lower intake of competing, pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats – appears to blunt the adverse effects of overexposure to strong sunlight.

(Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, M.D., deserves credit for bringing the “cosmeceutical” effects of dietary omega-3s to public attention, and for identifying wild Salmon as their healthiest food source. See “Fish Fats Called Credible Foes of Skin Aging and Skin Cancer”.)

And a fast-growing roster of research results suggest that antioxidant-rich vegetables, fruits, teas and plant extracts can reduce damage to skin cells caused by UV sunrays.

Aussies' study identifies food allies and foes

In 2001, Australian researchers published the results of a population study designed to test the proposition that food-borne antioxidants might blunt UV-induced skin damage.

They looked for correlations between dietary habits and the extent of skin wrinkling in older people of various ethnic backgrounds living in Greece, Sweden, and Australia.

Their reported results supported the food-as-sunscreen hypothesis, and pinpointed some helpful and harmful foods:

“…a high intake of … olive oil, legumes, fish, vegetables and cereal appeared to be protective [against skin damage] … In contrast, a high intake of meat, sugar and its products and [full-fat, unfermented] dairy products appeared to be adverse.”

This study illustrates that skin wrinkling … may be influenced by the types of foods consumed.” (Purba MB et al. 2001)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Antidepressants Cause Weight Gain

Boy, this is depressing. No one's sure (we need more industry-funded studies, right? Like the tobacco ones) why, but it may have something to do with the histamines being blocked, causing increased appetite. It also makes you wonder, what OTHER parts of your body's biochemistry are being affected?

Also, getting diabetes or some other obesity related condition will just add to your depression. See a naturopath or an acupuncturist and check out St. John's wort and fish oils, first, people!

From WebMd:

Seeking help for depression -- and following through with antidepressant medication -- is a courageous and important first step on the road to recovery. But too often, those who take that step find themselves faced with another troubling problem: weight gain.

Experts say that for up to 25% of people, most antidepressant medications -- including the popular SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drugs like Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil, and Zoloft -- can cause a weight gain of 10 pounds or more.

"This is a phenomenon that I first noticed years ago when Prozac first came on the market. It didn't initially show up in the clinical trials because most of them were eight to 12 weeks in length, and the weight gain generally occurs with longer use. But it's definitely one of the side effects of this and other antidepressant medications," says Norman Sussman, MD, a psychiatrist and associate dean for postgraduate medical programs at the NYU School of Medicine.

A review published in 2003 in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine stated that while weight gain is a possible side effect with SSRI antidepressant drugs, it may be more likely to occur after six months or more of use.

But SSRIs aren't the only class of antidepressants that may have weight gain as a side effect. Other antidepressant medications, including tricylics (like Elavil and Tofranil) and MAO inhibitors (drugs like Parnate and Nardil), may also cause patients to gain weight with both long-term and short-term use.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Mountain Rose Herbs

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

I take a lot of Chinese herbs, and I'd been a little leery of the ones coming from China, not because of contaminants (like with the heparin scandal) but because with its pollution, even organic products, I feel, can be compromised. Organic does not mean free of heavy metals (e.g., for our CSA, I asked our farmer to test the soil--it was clean). Some suppliers have even admitted their products may have "a little" pollution in them and were trying to convince me that "a little" heavy metals wouldn't hurt me. Eeek!

So in my search for an American sourced ginseng, I found Mountain Rose herbs. They grow their herbs organically and keep 'em fresh. In their own words:

Organic Herbal Products All of the products processed and offered by Mountain Rose Herbs are handled, analyzed and supervised by a full time quality control department. Every aspect of all our products, from the procurement, and the receiving, to the processing and packaging, is done in accordance to strict quality control and organic handling procedures.

The products we offer you are guaranteed fresh, fragrant and colorful, and unlike traditional suppliers of herbal products who keep their merchandise stored in warehouses for several years, Mountain Rose Herbs will never sell or stock products that are more than a few months from harvest (except for seasonal items). This in itself guarantees you a fresh, and effective botanical preparation. Since 1987 Mountain Rose Herbs has placed a priority on our general health and well-being, and in this time we have completely removed all conventionally grown materials from our product line entirely.

I tried the ginseng, it was great in soup, so I'm exploring more for my spice, herb, and seeds needs. I put a little banner up on the side so you'll always know where to go!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Bonus Friday Post: What It's like On a Book Tour

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be on a book tour (fun? boring? lots of groupies?) here's an entertaining minute-by-minute Blog by bestselling writer (and Brown alum!) Tony Horwitz as he travels around the country to promote his new book, A Voyage Long and Strange. He's a fun Virgil to curious book loving Dantes.

Read here.

This post involves escorts.

Antidote to SuperSize Me Diet

Got this from Newswise the journalists'-only site (p.s. Thumbelina nicely pointed out that one of the recommendations is diet soda; please note, this is NOT a GreenFertility recommendation. Diet soda hardly counts as a whole food. However, the larger point--children with cirrhosis!--stands) :

Newswise — It was probably enough to make many Americans lose their appetite: A recent study from Europe showed that eating too much fast food – a diet high in fat and sugar – could cause serious damage to your liver.

Yet for those who overdo it with too many trips to their favorite burger joint, there’s good news. You can likely reverse the damage to your liver and other vital organs if you simply give up the unhealthy lifestyle, according to a leading liver specialist at Saint Louis University who conducted a similar study with mice.

“There’s strong evidence now that a fast-food type of diet – high in fat and sugar, the kind of diet many Americans subsist on – can cause significant damage to your liver and have extremely serious consequences for your health,” says Brent Tetri, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the Saint Louis University Liver Center and one of the country’s leading experts on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease....

Particularly alarming, says Tetri, is that physicians are starting to see children and teenagers with cirrhosis, a serious liver disease once seen mostly in adults with a history of alcohol abuse or hepatitis C. Tetri suspects this is because many kids today eat far too much fast food or junk food and get far too little exercise – the kind of behaviors that can lead to liver damage.

For adults and children who’ve repeatedly indulged in fast food, Tetri urges four key steps to help reverse the damage they’ve done to their liver.
  • 1. Limit yourself to no more than one fast-food meal a week. For some people, that’s going to be a major downshift. But for the sake of your health, a visit to a fast-food restaurant should be considered a treat – not a regular event.
  • 2. When you do eat fast food, eat as healthfully as possible. Try the burger without mayo and cheese, and avoid fries and sugary soft drinks. Better yet, go for a grilled chicken sandwich, a salad with a lower-fat dressing and bottled water or a diet soft drink.
  • 3. Get active. If you don’t already exercise at least three times a week, start now. Regular exercise helps keep your weight down and helps your body better metabolize and process the food you eat.
  • 4. Ask your doctor to do a blood test to check your level of liver enzymes, a key measure of the health of your liver. Many doctors now order test this routinely when doing blood work on adults, but kids who eat a lot of fast food especially need to have their liver enzymes checked.
“Even for those people with the worst kind of diets, it’s not too late to start exercising and eating right,” Tetri says.


p.s. the herb milk thistle and artichoke extract are both good liver tonics