Sharon Hubbs-Kreft, Herbalist - Amazing Grace Herbals LLC

  (Keyport, New Jersey)
Mother Earth Recommended . . .

Info on 1,4-dioxane toxin found in skin care products

I was recently flipping through a great magazine and came across a little blurb about 1,4-dioxane and would like to share it on the blog roll. There was no author listed on the blurb but I would like to credit whoever wrote it for sharing great info.

In cosmetics, 1,4-dioxane is the byproduct of a chemical process used to soften harsh ingredients. Although the FDA says 1,4-dioxane levels in cosmetics aren't hazardous to consumers, the National Toxicology Agency says even its prescence - even in a trace amount - is cause for concern, and the EPA lists its as a probably human carcinogen.

Research from the Environmental Working Group revealed 1,4-dioxane in many children's bath products. Steer clear of the toxin by avoiding products with the ingredient names that include myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth and any other -eth, PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol.

Peaceful Blessings and please read your labels and as always, buy local and organic!!!


Hidden Sources of MSG

The food additive monosodium glutamate, or MSG, has been linked to many health concersn including migraine headeaches and even hyperactivity in children.

If you see the word "hydrolyzed" in any ingredient list on any food item, the product contains MSG. Some companies try to not use the term MSG and will use other terms such as hydrolyzed and terms from the list below to make their customers think the product is MSG free.

These terms are other hidden sources of MSG -

Autolyzed yeast, calcium caeinate, gelatin, glutamate, glutamic acid, hydrolzed corn gluten, hydrolzyed protein (such as wheat, soy or vegetable protein),  monopotassium glutamate, sodium caseinate and textured protein

Please read all product labels and be sure there is not a hidden source if your favorite grocery item. The above are most commonly found in processed and boxed foods.

Peaceful Blessings!


Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

By now, all of us with children have at least purchased one sugar pumpkin or jack be little to keep out little one's quiet and yet excited for the Halloween season. But, how many sugar pumpkins can you really have, why not make one of the best and healthiest snacks for your "little monsters" this autumn season and even give them a scare on Halloween!!

How to make oven roasted pumpkin seeds:

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Scoop out the inside of your pumpkin with a heavy spoon.

2. Seperate the seeds from the "goo" and place them in a strainer. My daughter loved doing this for the first time last year, she was covered in pumpkin goo from head to toe! Here's a little trick though, when you plan on carving the pumpkin, bring it inside for at least a few hours before you carve - I say this because the insides are very cold and your little one's hands will get pretty chilly if they are digging around in the pumpkin.

3. Rinse off the seeds and shake off the excess water - best the adult do this, I had seed everywhere last year when my daughter wanted to give it a try.

4. In a large bowl (make sure its a big bowl when the kids do this, seeds tend to get everywhere), toss the seeds with a bit of Grapeseed Oil (my favorite, loaded with Omega-3's) a dash of Sea Salt and other spice you may like. I use Cinnamon and Nutmeg for a pumpkin pie flavor. I also like Cinnamon and Clove. Turmeric, Cumin,Curry and Coriander are great too and if you have someone who loves hot stuff, try a little Cayenne pepper - good but spicy! You can also add a dash of brown sugar to the above spices if your kids have a sweet tooth rather then the salt, also good if you cannot have salt. Of course, you don't have to add any of the above and just roast plain.

5. Spread the seeds evenly on a large greased cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Your kitchen will smell so yummy!

6. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and remove from cookie sheet with a spatula. I like to store them in a glass jar.

What to spook the little monsters . . . tell them they are baked,dried, crusty fingernails from a mummy and leave them around the house on Halloween to give all a scare!!!

We try and save every seed we can so the seeds will last us through the winter and spring. They are a great, healthy and nutritious snack. You can use the pumpkin meat too, there are lots fo recipes online and here in the Local Harvest blogs for making pumpkin soup and pies.

Baking blessings and enjoy!!


List of Vaccine Fillers & Adjuvents

LIST OF VACCINE FILLERS & ADJUVENTSL This list, officially administered by design with every vaccine provided to the public, in addition to the squalene that appears to be in this upcoming swine flu vaccine, is of great concern to many parents and grandparents, with the announcement that they will start vaccinating children and pregnant women first and then “wait to see if there are too many adverse events” (including seizures, neurological problems, and death).

In addition to the viral and bacterial RNA or DNA that is part of the vaccines, here are the fillers:

Aluminum hydroxide - directly linked to causing Alzheimer's disease
Aluminum phosphate - directly linked to causing Alzheimer's disease
Ammonium sulfate - an inorganic chemical compound used as fertilizer and "protein purifier"; known to cause kidney & liver damage, gastrointestinal dysfunctions
Amphotericin B - an "antifungal disinfectant" and anti-biotic, which damages the urinary tract, bowels, and heart functions
Animal tissues (a causal element for all the various auto-immune diseases associated with vaccination): horse blood, rabbit brain, dog kidney, monkey kidney, chick embryo, chicken egg, duck egg, pig blood, Porcine (pig) pancreatic hyd rolysate of casein (the pig protein/tissue is an additional objectionable issue for Jewish and Muslim people)
Calf (bovine) serum & fetal bovine serum (cow blood is recognized as a significant transmitter of Mad Cow Disease)
Formaldehyde - used as "a preservative & disinfectant", known to cause cancer, chronic bronchitis, eye irritation when exposed to the body's immune system
Human diploid cells (originating from human aborted fetal tissue)
Hydrolyzed gelatin
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) - now known to cause cancer in humans, also linked to obesity
Neomycin (anti-biotic)
Neomycin sulf ate (anti-biotic)
Phenol red indicator - a highly toxic disinfectant dye, attributed to liver, kidney, heart & respiratory damage
Phenoxyethanol (antifreeze) - proven to have extreme neurotoxic side effects
Potassium diphosphate
Potassium monophosphate
Polymyxin B
Polysorbate 20
Polysorbate 80 – associated with infertility when injected
Residual MRC5 proteins
Thimerosal (mercury) - a neurotoxin linked to psychological, neurological, & immunological problems—especially autism. Nervous system damage (such as sub-acute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), brachial plexitis, post-vaccinal encephalitis, transverse myelitis and peripheral neuropathies), kidney disease, birth defects, dental problems, mood swings, mental changes, hallucinations, memory loss, and inability to concentrate can occur. Symptoms also include tremors, loss of dermal sensitivity, slurred speech, and—in rare cases—even death and paralysis. This additive alone was the catalyst for another recent Class Action Lawsuit organized by mothers of children born with autism & the many related behavioral disorders associated with it. Autism is now occurring at levels never seen before in history; depending on the state, its rate is now 1 in 67 to 1 in 150. The autism rates used to be 1 in 20,000. Mercury may also be associated with the significantly increased rates of senility and Alzheimer’s, which is associated with five or more successive flu vaccinations. Although most mercury (thimerosal) has been removed from children’s vaccines, it is still in all flu vaccines at toxic doses.
VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells - linked to the SV-40 virus known to cause leukemia
Washed sheep red blood cells

The more info I receive, the more I will pass on!!
Peaceful Blessings!

Swine Flu Vaccine Notes from the NVIC Conference

This week, millions of doses of the vaccine for H1N1 - or swine flu - will
begin to be dispersed across the United States. Media hype has cultivated fear and anxiety over the possibility of a swine flu pandemic but what you are not hearing is what hundreds of healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, scientists, researchers, advocates and activists are learning and speaking out about the vaccination and the alleged health crises.

The Fourth International Public Conference on Vaccination hosted by the
National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has been a powerful, empowering, and enlightening event. Dozens of professionals from all walks of life have come together to share science and research, knowledge and experience to educate and inform on vaccination. Hot among the topics is the forthcoming H1N1 (swine flu) vaccination.

Without a doubt, there are serious concerns about the safety and efficacy of this vaccination, not to mention questions about the origins of the virus
and the motivation for whipping up public fear and for the mass production of the vaccination itself. Conference Speaker Dr. Joe Mercola points out that, among other concerns, adjuvants in the vaccination include thimerosal (mercury), as well as squalene which has been associated with devastating autoimmune problems as well as with arthritis, memory loss, and neuropsychiatric problems. Conference speaker and Emmy award-winning investigative reporter Gary Matsumoto published a book on the dangerous toxic effects of squalene. The new H1N1 vaccination will contain both thimerosal and aluminum, in addition to squalene, increasing the toxicity of the shot. Each shot is reported to contain 25 mcg of mercury, 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) safety limit. Adding aluminum and formaldehyde to the mix complicates the possibility of adverse effects. According to an article published in the International Journal of Clinical Investigation (2005),those receiving regular flu shots for 3 to 5 years had a ten-fold increase in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to those receiving no flu shots.

Becoming educated and refusing to be part of media hype is the first step
for every parent to take. Of course, staying away from the hype will be much
harder this time around. Several speakers at the NVIC Conference mentioned
the CDC's 12 million media campaign, including Elmo and Sesame Street, to
advocate for vaccination of children. Click here for more information and
find out what more and more parents are learning about the safety of the
H1N1 vaccination and about the swine flu "pandemic".

http://www.facebook .com/l/5ec7a; com/watch? v=E1z7KSEnyxw& feature=player_ embedded

Keeping everyone in the loop - more info to follow as I receive it.

Peaceful Blessings!


Last Day of the Calgo Gardens Farmers Market Sale!

Last day of the Calgo Gardens Farmers Market –             Friday,   September 4th      11:30am – 4:30 pm


Mention this blog and receive 20% off all teas and tinctures and 10% off all natural soaps, lotions, candles, herbal vinegars, herb gifts and herbal culinary spices


If you would like a special order, please email me at and I will be happy to bring it to the market so you can receive the discount.


To view a full line of my remedies, please visit - this offer does not apply to online purchases – or email me for a print list. I also special formulate so if you would like something blended, please let me know.


Thanks for a great season and hope to see you again next year! I also have the soaps and lotions available through the winter and also offer holiday gift baskets.


Peaceful Blessings and warm greetings for the autumn and winter season ahead!



How to protect yourself from the Swine Flu naturally

I was just reading a great article by Dr. Lynn Jennings, MD and information is fabulous on the swine flu and the vaccinations now available.

These are some suggestions to help protect yourself from acquiring the swine flu:

• Get adequate amounts of rest. Irregular sleeping patterns, inadequate sleep all cause stress on your body and can adversely affect your immune system.
• Wash your hands.
• Maintain a healthy diet. You need to limit your intake of refined sugar and grains. You should also stay away from artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame and splenda. Eat plenty of green and purple vegetables. The majority of your diet should be vegetables and fruits. The initial phase diet is an excellent start.
• Regular exercise. You don’t have to be a marathon runner. Walking is good. Do what you can. If you cannot walk, arm exercises are good.
• Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D3. A good starting dose would be 5000 units per day until you can have your doctor or health care provider check your 25 hydroxy vitamin D3 level. Recommended levels are 50-70.
• Vitamin C 4000-6000mg daily.
• Zinc citrate 25mg daily
• Selenium 50ug daily
• I would also recommend an iodine supplement (if you are not allergic)
• such as Iodoral 12.5-25mg daily
• Take daily probiotics.

This is good common sense info with some added supplement suggestions, most suggestions can be followed by children and the eldery and are safe for long term use if needed.

There are other natural supplements that can help protect the body too like Colloidal Silver which I offer here in my Local Harvest store. You can read more about it there and if you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Many Blessings and September Greetings!


How To Make Yogurt

I just came across a fabulous recipe on how to make yogurt and wanted to share it with everyone.

1. Heat 1 quart milk (cow's, goat's, soy or rice) slowly to near boiling, about 185 degrees. Stir frequently to prevent scalding.

2. Cool milk to about 112 degrees

3. Add 2-3 tablespoons room-temperature plain yogurt, or one packet of freeze-dried yogurt starter, and stir. For thicker yogurt, add 1/4-1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk (optional).

4. Incubate yogurt at 108-112 degrees for four to eight hours. Use a towel-covered heating pad set on medium (or an electric yogurt maker) to keep temperature steady. The longer it sits, the firmer and tangier the yogurt becomes.

5. Stir yogurt and pour into sterilized glass jars.

6. Refrigerate for 12 hours to stop acid development; it will keep for a week refrigerated. Eat plain or add your favorite fruit or sweetener. Then use some of the homemade yogurt as a starter for your next batch.

Plain yogurt can be used in place of sour cream in may dips, dressings and recipes.

Peaceful Blessings and Happy Yogurting!!


What's in your lip care products?

Your lip care products are just as important as your basic skin care needs and what you apply to your lips is even more important. Lip skin is very thin and does not have oil glands therefore, it needs deep moisture and added protection. Your lips can absorb harmful substances because of their thin nature so you must give them the beneficial nutrients they need to keep them healthy and safe.

We have all had our out bout with dry, cracked and chapped lips; cold and sun exposure can aggrivate this and can sometimes be the main cause. You should never lick your lips and this only irritates them and can cause further dryness and cracking. Water helps to moisturize the body from the inside out so be sure you are getting enough daily to also keep your lips hydrated. If you apply sunblock (natural based, see previous blog for more information on this topic) also apply a suncreen to your lips, preferably a natural balm that contains zinc oxide.

If your lips are dry and cracked all the time, whether you have been in or out of the sun, they your system may be low on B Vitamins. B Vitamins are essential for good skin and lip health. Ty eating B vitamin rich foods to give your system the extra boost or try a daily tea like Oatstraw with other added benefits.

Most lip care products you find in stores are loaded with things that you would never even think are in there like coal tar or synthetically products products made from petroleum or crude oil products! Yikes!! That's like slopping some oil from your car on your lips!!! Most of these products can cause sensitivities in some people and even allergic reactions in chemically sensitive people. Some symptoms of this are headaches, nausea, asthma attacks, sneezing, wheezing, lack of concentration, fatigue, lethargy, nervousness, irritability, confusion and on site swelling. Can't figure out why when you wear your favorite shade of rose that you get a littel edgy, you may possibly have a chemical sensitivity to the artifical colors and products used.

There are many natural brands of lip products out there that have all natural ingredients with no by-products or crude oil. Be careful too with your little ones, some toddlers love lip gloss and enjoy the flavor and may attempt to bite the tube or ingest the product itself - not good if you are using mass market products! It is still not good to let your little one eat the lip balm but if it is natural based you would feel a little better that they were not eating petroleum!!

Here's what your lip products SHOULD contain: Aloe Vera, Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Natural Colors (beet powder, beta carotene, iron oxides, grape skin, turmeric, annatto), Peppermint, Shea Butter, Allantoin, Sweet Almond Oil (great for sensitive skin) and Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Vitamin A, Vitamin D.

Here's what your lip products SHOULD NOT contain: Alcohol, Cety, Cetearyl, Behentrimonium, Methosulfate, Lanolin (although naturall derived, this can cause allergic reactions, it is a powerful absorbing agent and can become contaminated with carcinogenic pesticides), Mineral Oil, Petroleum, Petrolatum, Preservatives . . basically anything you cannot pronounce or re-spell if you were asked to do so, these can lead to contact dermatitis.

I have more information on the specific ingredients listed above (good and bad), I just did not want a 5 page blog. If you would like more information, please email me and I will be happy to further educate on the chemcial hazards found in our products.

Hope you enjoyed this "mouthful" and happy puckering!!

Peaceful Blessings!


What's in your fabric softener and dryer sheets?

I received an email from a great friend and wanted to pass the info onto you. It is an excerpt from a very helpful book and may surprise you when you read on  . . .

Here are some words taken from Sloan Barnett's book, 'Green Goes with Everything' regarding fabric softeners and dryer sheets:

"...Here's what's in many everyday fabric softeners:  toluene, trimethylbenzene, styrene-which are neurotoxins according to the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health-as well as phenols and xylene.  Still sound soothing?
     If you use conventional fabric softeners in your wash, this alphabet soup of toxicity is all over your body.  There's a party going on in your pants.  And your shirt.  And your nightgown.  And your baby's pajamas.
     Here's a quick list of other chemicals typically found in fabric softeners:  a-terpineol (irritates mucous membranes and causes central nervous system damage);  benzyl acetate (eye and respiratory irritant);  benzyl alcohol (can cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, respiratory irritation, and a drop in blood pressure);  camphor (on the EPA's hazardous waste list);  ethyl acetate (eye and lung irritant and a narcotic); limonene (irritant, sensitizer);  linalool (central nervous system effects);  and pentane (eye and skin irritant and may cause headache, vomiting, dizziness or loss of consciousness).  So it's not the spin cycle that's making your head spin.
     If all this weren't troubling enough, there's another problem:  the whole point of fabric softeners is that they stay on the fabric...which means they are being released into the air you breathe and onto your skin as you wear your own clothes....
.....And speaking of static cling, let's talk dryer sheets.  They're made from synthetic fabric and/or polyurethane foam, which means they're not biodegradable, so they fill up the landfills.  More important, they include many of the same harmful toxins as fabric softener.  And because you use them in the dryer, there's no rinse cycle to dilute or dispurse them, and the heat of the dryer vaporizes some of the chemicals, sending them out into your home through the dryer vent.  This is yet another reason why indoor air is now far more loaded with pollutants than outdoor air.....
.....You can also make your own fabric softener by adding 1/4 cup baking soda to the wash cycle.  Adding 1/4 cup of white vinegar will also soften clothes as well as eliminate static cling.  You can eliminate static cling in the dryer by drying natural-fiber clothes and synthetic material clothing separately.  Better still, use an indoor or outdoor clothesline."
By the way, the Material Safety Data Sheet on Bounce Sheets suggests that we should 'wear gloves to minimize exposure and a mask so as to minimize the particles we inhale.'
There are many natural fabric softeners, dryers sheets and laundry soaps available. I like Seventh Generation products - they have a great website, are very informative and have lots of household products to choose from.
Peaceful Blessings!

What's in your feminine care products?

This blog is a little more focused for us ladies, sorry boys but you may not find this as intersting as the ladies or for some, you may not be interested at all. I am blogging about feminine care products because for most of us when that time of the month arrives, we grab for the same feminine products month after month, year after year and chances are they are the same as what you used when you had your first cycle. We tend to be bothered with menses and just want it to pass rather then trying to help ourselves stay well as we embrace its onset.

We all tend to follow the path of the female guardian who first informed you about your body and what will happen. Years ago, feminine products were made differently then they are today and you might be very surprised as to what you are actually using could be harmful. If you remember stories of your Grandmother (I know I do) and Great-Grandmother explaining how there was no such thing as feminine care products, they used rags and cotton towels as products; they were the best choices ever! Technology can be wonderful as well as harmful. We look for convienence rather then safety and who wants to be bothered with washing dirty towels or rags when we have an agenda that is non-stop.  

If you have a daughter or niece, you are likely to share with her what to do and what to use every month and she will take it with her through life as well. It is important to really know what you are using and putting close to your skin because vaginal tissue is very sensitive and can absorb chemicals, toxins and heavy fragrances into the body.

Most mass market feminine hygiene products have gone through a heavy bleaching process using chlorine dioxide. This process contains low level dioxins which are chemical contaminates deemed unsafe for human use by the EPA. Synthetic tampons that have received this process may contribute to varying uterine conditions such as endometriosis, cancer, immune system concerns, fertility concerns, fibroids, pelvic imflammatory disease as well as other female related health ailments.

Besides the bleach, mass market products may also be made with synthetic fibers like viscous rayon which may increase the risk for TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) as well as other bacterial illnesses or yeast.

If you product contains a fragrance, that perfumey aroma could be highly irritating to sensitive vaginal tissue and some also contain cancer causing parabens.

All of these chemicals could cause minor concerns like itching and discomfort and depending on the sensitivity of your system, it could develop long term concerns. Many of the products do not allow the skin to breathe, especially heavy pads with plastic weaves, these can lead to folliculitis in the groin area which can be very unpleasant.

There are many natural feminine care products that use organic cotton or sea sponge that work just as well as the mass produced products. There are even products that collect flow internally without the use of tampons or sanitary products. I urge you to please check your grocer, market or health food store for these products and give them a try. Feel good knowing you are doing the right thing for your body and you will be able to pass this information onto the next woman of the house so she can continue the natural traditions too.

Personally, I like Natracare products, you can find them in many stores and they are very reasonable. Honestly, I don't know why I decided to blog on this, I was researching a few things and came across some info and just wanted to share it and spread the world. As women, we need to protect every part of our body as well as embrace life's path, try a natural product and you will be surprised at how good you feel. This blog was not meant to offend anyone, I am a big supporter of public awareness and hope that it was an educational read.  :)

Peaceful Blessings and embrace life!


Natural remedies for teething infants

A teething baby and toddler can be more then a handful (trust me!) and I wanted to share some natural suggestions to help relieve pain from your little one as well as help yourself to de-stress.

When a baby firsts starts to teethe, there are tell-tale behavioral signs and changes. Most times babies will chew their hands or put anything they can find in their mouth as well as rub their gums on objects you would rather they stay clear of. Many babies will also drool, this is from the excess saliva to help the new tooth break through the gum. However, there are other signs too like diarrhea, diaper rash, fever and restlessness. I can tell you our daughter was the later, she never drooled but she pooped like crazy and was very restless.

Most pediatricians will encourage you to reach for the baby Tylenol and give it as needed. This may be necesary if your little run in running a mild fever but in most cases you can ease the irritability naturally. I will mention if you child does have a fever and it is over 101 and lasts for more then a few days, PLEASE contact your provider to be sure it is not something else like an infection or illness.

Chamomile Tea has been used in my family for years, especially for teething. You can use Chamomile alone by making a infusion of the flowers and giving it in a bottle or juice cup. Chamomile is gentle addition to many natural fruit juices for older infants and can also be made into ice cubes or popsicle sticks for molar pushing toddlers and for a great summer treat. Chamomile is used for its nervine properties and can bring relief to a restless body.

When the irritability is getting to you and you feel there is nothing more to do, you can add Catnip to the Chamomile. I offer this blend here in my Local Harvest store. "Catnip Tea". Catnip is also a nervine and can also help reduce a fever. This what I was given when I was a baby and this what we gave our daughter. It is very gentle on the system and can help balance the overall child so to say. You would blend both herbs and infuse them. You can also freeze this into chips and popsicles.

Another option is to freeze a cloth either dipped in water or dipped in Chamomile or Catnip/Chamomile. This is great for babies as there is less fear of choking. It will keep baby busy will numbing the gums and if you infuse the herbs you will giving a little bit more to aid in the teething process.

I would also freeze veggies and fruits like apples, broccoli, grapes, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cucumbers, mango - basically any fruits or veggies I had around. When our daughter was a wee little one, I would add the veggies/fruit to a mesh bag and let her explore. She loved every flavor and again, numbed her gums in the process. As she got older, we eliminated the mesh bag and let her "enjoy" the frozen produce, meaning, basically, she was covered in juice as the produce melted!

Teething rings are great, especially the ones you can freeze. We found the fruit and veggies to work a little better but each child is different and you may come up with you own ways to help.

There are homeopathic remedies that work great too - Hyland's offers a topical teething gel which was fabulous. You can apply the gel to the gums and it works as good (if not better) then the conventional, alcohol based/benzocaine topicals. This worked well until our daughter got older and wanted to bite down on your finger to ease the pain but when she was a baby it worked great. Hyland's and Humphrey's also make homepathic teething pellets. These are phenomenal as well. They are safe for use as needed and one of the ingredients is Chamomile. For babies, you would have to dilute the pellets in water but for older babies and toddlers they can be given as direct oral. Our daughter loves Humphrey's "Very Berry" teething pellets.

I also offer Rosehip Syrup. My Grandmother always had this handy for when a friend or relative had a teething infant. Rosehips are loaded with Vitamin C which also boosts immunity and helps the body overall while it is preparing for new teeth. A child's immune system could be lowered due to the effects of teething and it is important to not forget the immune system.

Once the new little teeth have erupted be sure to exercise good oral care and take good care of those pearly whites. Brush them atleast twice a day and after a meal, even the first teeth can be cleaned with a finger brush, and try not to let your little one go to sleep with juice, milk or formula as the sugars from these drinks can lay on teeth as the child sleeps and can promote tooth decay. Of course, if you see any odd spots or strange marks on your little ones teeth be sure to contact the family dentist and have them take a look - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Enjoy your little one, everyday is a blessing and the adage is true, children do grow like weeds herbs!

Peaceful Blessings!


Beans and why they make us "toot"

-          The scientific name for a group of vegetables that research has proven may provide protection against certain cancers. Cruciferous vegetables contain antioxidants (Beta Carotene and the compound sulforaphane). These vegetables, which are all high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, are: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kale, mustard greens, rutabagas and turnips. The health benefits of these vegetables seem to have been known for some time. Around 234-149 BC, Cato the Elder, a Roman statesman, wrote a treatise on medicine that included the following insight: "If a cancerous ulcer appears upon the breasts, apply a crushed cabbage leaf and it will make it well."  Today these vegetables have been found to combat cancer of the breast, endometrium, lung, colon, liver, colon and cervix. Many cruciferous vegetables cause flatulence after eating and may increase a feeling of bloat.

-          Many edible beans, including broad beans and soybeans, contain oligosaccharides, a type of sugar molecule also found in cabbage. An anti-oligosaccharide enzyme is necessary to properly digest these sugar molecules. As a normal human digestive tract does not contain any anti-oligosaccharide enzymes, consumed oligosaccharides are typically digested by bacteria in the large intestine. This digestion process produces flatulence-causing gasses as a byproduct.

-          Though beans are good and good for you, they have the unfortunate side effect of causing the formation of gas in the lower digestive tract. This digestive dilemma can be mollified by adopting some or all of the following practices: Discard the soaking water prior to cooking: Some nutrition-in the form of minerals-is lost, but you are getting rid of up to 80% of the oligosaccharides that cause flatulence. The best way is to bring the beans to a boil for 3 minutes, remove from the heat, cover, and allow soaking for 4 hours, then draining and cooking in fresh water. Cook the beans thoroughly: You should be able to easily mash the cooked beans with a fork. Thorough cooking softens starch and fibers, making digestion more efficient, the main reason why refried beans are easier on the digestive system than whole beans. Give your body time to adjust: If you don't eat beans often, your body never fully adapts to the extra work required to digest the complex sugars in beans. Beginning with small amounts, try eating beans at least 3 times a week while gradually increasing quantity. Choose beans that are easier to digest: A general rule is that the sweeter the bean, the easier it is to digest. Adzuki, Anasazi, Black-eyed Peas, Lentils, and Mung beans top the list. The most difficult beans to digest include Navy, Limas, and whole cooked Soybeans. Cook beans with a bay leaf, cumin, epazote, or kombu: Certain herbs have gas-reducing properties, with epazote being one of the most effective. Add 2 teaspoons dry or 6 fresh leaves to a pot of beans before cooking. Kombu sea vegetable also works well and has the added advantage of replenishing some of the minerals lost in soaking. Add a two-inch strip per one cup of dried beans during cooking. Avoid beans that are cooked with added sweeteners: Some people who easily digest most beans have trouble with sweetened beans due to the added carbohydrates. If adding brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup to beans stresses your digestion, opt for plain beans instead. Try a digestive enzyme product: Digestive enzymes made from a safe, food-grade mold help break down the oligosaccharides before they reach the large intestine, which is where the flatulence problem begins. They are sprinkled on cooked beans or taken in tablet form with the first "beany" bite. 

      I offer a tea called "I Had Beans!" here on the Local Harvest website, it can come in handy when you feel the rumble tumble in your belly after a delicious and healthy meal.

      Peaceful Blessings and Happy "Tooting"!




Are you getting your daily nutrients?

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is quite "sad" when you really look at what most American's comsume in a day. We have the poorest diets and are the highest for obesity and heart related conditons. As the fast food capital of the world, we need to ask ourselves  . . what are we doing?

SAD's are high in meats (especially red) and lack vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Without these essentials our metabolism becomes very poor and can result in serious health issues and concerns. Recent studies have shown that American lack the essential nutrients for healthy and balanced systems based on US Dietary Guidelines. Now you may say, "How can these studies be taken or even true?" Well, they are taken and are true, American's are the highest for heart disease and its no wonder with fast food hang out's on every corner.

There are basic nutrients and vitamins the human body needs on a daily basis to sustain health and balance within the overall system. Here they are, take note and see if you can try and get some more of them into you daily diet habits.

Vitamin A - This aids vision, reproductive function and the role in creating new cells. It can be found in dairy products, liver; precursor beta-carotene in dark green and orange-yellow vegetables, apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, kale, collards, leaf lettuce, mango, mustard greens, pumpkin, romaine lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes and winter squash (acorn, hubbard).

Vitamin C - This aids in numerous, numerous functions (too many to mention) but mainly focuses on boosting immunity and supporting the circulatory system. It can be found in broccoli, brussel sprouts, citrus, red peppers, strawberries, apricots, cabbage, canatloupe, cauliflower, chili peppers, collards, grapefruit, honeydew, kiwi fruit, mango, mustard greens, pineapple, plum, potatoes (skin on), spinach, tomatoes and watermelon.

Vitamin E - This aids in protecting the cell membranes from free-radical damage and can also act as a natural blood thinner. It can be found in egg yolks, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, wheat germ oil and whole grains.

Fiber - This aids in regulating bowel function, blood sugar and cholesterol. It can be found in brans (wheat, oat and others), apple, banana, blackberries, blueberries, brussel sprouts, carrots, cherries, cooked beans and peas (kidney, navy, lima, pinto, lentils, black-eyed peas), dates, figs, grapefruit, kiwi, orange, pear, prunes, raspberries, spinach, strawberries and sweet potatoes.

Calcuim - This helps maintain strong bones and teeth as well as helps to support healthy weight levels. It can be found in dairy products, leafy greens, sardines, tofu, soy.

Potassium - This aids in regulating blood pressure, fluid balance as well as cardiac electric impulses. It can be found in beans, fruits (banana), milk, mushrooms, peas and various vegetables.

Magnesium - This helps create energy, relaxes the muscles to reduce spasm and aid in insulin production. Most people notice they lack this one when there legs get achy and paired with Potassium it can help balance your overall mood too! It can be found in beans, dark green vegetables, fish, grains and nuts (almonds are great!)

Try whole grain muffins or bagels in place of a donut or even better add a piece of fruit in at breakfast. Instead of the same old caesar salad for lunch, spice it up with fresh herbs like Basil and Cilantro tossed with spinach - you will need less dressing because it will be so tasty and you will be helping you body get what it needs. Late night snacks a problem - get local - what's in season now - in New Jersey strawberries are in and tasty as ever, in a few weeks blueberries will begin - these are a better late night snack then the fat loaded ice cream. It is not to say to not enjoy but maybe try topping your vanilla sundae with fresh berries and granola in place of the high fructose sorn syrup laden choclate syrup! There are lots of little things you can do, be creative and you will be surprised what really tastes good blended together.

Peaceful Blessings and Happy Cooking!

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