New Year, New Me!

Are YOU ready for 2015 ?!?  

Too bad if you're not - It's here! 

We're already four days in... are you keeping your New Year's Resolution(s)?

I've started putting plans together and setting goals, while enjoying my few days off at the beginning of the year. But alas, tomorrow is Monday and it's back to work with me - and back on track! 

Done so far: 

Made a Morning Schedule and posted it on the refrigerator and on the mirror in my bedroom. This schedule includes things like "Wake up at 6!" and "Body Love (dry brush, almond oil, shower, etc...)". I don't expect myself to start doing everything all at once - that's unrealistic. Change takes time. 

Posted a weekly Ideal schedule. This is mostly to help me remember that I have more to do than go to work everyday. I've become too focused on work and let everything else slip. This cannot stand! I must reprioritize my life and make it more about, well, ME!

One big task checked off the list this weekend: I finally painted the inside of my sorting cabinet - the cabinet in the kitchen where all the garbage ends up. Here's a picture of my fancy new bins: 

I count this as progress made! This task, while small, has been bugging me for a long time. And now it's done! 

What small task will you complete today? Just one. That's all it takes to change.

What On Earth Is… Glyceryl Stearate

Glyceryl Stearate is the main ingredient in Shaklee’s Prosante Lightweight Conditioner, and as such, wins the honor of being first to go under the microscope in our “What on Earth is…” series. As promised, let us start with the Shaklee definition. The bottle reads ‘glyceryl stearate’, but on the Shaklee ingredients list there is no glyceryl stearate. There is glyceryl palmitostearate, however the addition of ‘palmito’ adds palmitic acid to the mix. Furthermore, Shaklee seems to be specifically listing a component of their CoQHeart supplement, not the main ingredient in their conditioner. So, with moderate disappointment for a first-in-series post, I have decided to leave out the Shaklee definition.

General definition: Glyceryl Stearate is made from glycerin and stearic acid (a fatty acid derived from animal and vegetable oils and fats). It is primarily used as an emulsifier – it keeps the various ingredients from separating. Fun fact: glyceryl stearate also prevents surface crust! In products like conditioners and lotions, it is also used to create a moisture barrier between the skin or hair, and the external environment. So you moisturize your hair with other compounds in the conditioner, and the glyceryl stearate holds in that moisture.

Is it safe to use? Probably. Very few sources list it as a mild irritant that could cause allergic reactions. Dig deeper and you find it on the Domestic Substance List of Canada listed as “Inherently Toxic to Aquatic Organisms”, but that seems to be as bad as it gets. I am in no way saying that aquatic organisms deserve to be exposed to toxic substances, but I also know I should choose my battles and I am fairly confident that there are larger threats to aquatic organisms. Like, oh, say, oil rigs? (No. I just can not help myself)

Now the scariest question that I dare to ask… is it sustainable? Can I sleep at night knowing that I am using products with glyceryl stearate? Ah, this is the trickiest question of all and the one that I may not be able to completely answer. Do I ask it every single time I pick any item up at a local store? I do. I have become that person. A worrier. I worry that someone in Papua New Guinea suffered so that I could have a banana, but I also need that quick, easily metabolized, high dose of potassium to keep my muscles from panicking after I exhaust them playing extreme sports like roller derby. So I eat the banana and swallow the guilt right along with the potassium. I worry about the modification of the wheat plant, the corn plant, and the hydrogenation of oils. I worry about the overuse of paper towels. So yes, I want to know if the glyceryl stearate that I use comes from a sustainable source. Unfortunately, that is not something I can easily know. From time to time, I find a product marked “from sustainable sources”, but it is rare and usually comes at a high price from a local health food store. Worst case scenario? The stearate portion of the glyceryl stearate could be derived from palm oil… it often is. If you do not keep up-to-date on your palm oil drama, virgin rain forest is clear cut to plant the palm trees that are used to produce palm oil. Many animals (like the orangutan), and habitats, are destroyed in this process. It also takes every part of will power that I have not to let the climate protective guard dog inside me out when clear cutting rain forest comes up, but that is an argument for another day and another post. Is every drop of palm oil this evil? No. Is there a sustainable way to produce it? Most likely. I do not know enough about palm oil to offer up ideas at this point, but I promise to think about it. There is a part of me that wants to trust Shaklee. They claim to source from sustainable sources, and I want to believe them. So yes, there is hope for the main ingredient in my Prosante Conditioner. My question to Shaklee is, do you know where the stearate in your glyceryl stearate comes from?

Link Time!!

Article from Care2 about the palm oil drama and orangutans: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-to-stop-buying-palm-oil-and-help-save-the-orangutans.html

Domestic Sub. List of Canada: http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/eng/subs_list/DSL/DSLsearch.cfm?critSearch=CAS&critCAS=123-94-4

I took the picture from here because I thought it was pretty: http://bioselect-us.com/Ingredients.aspx?IngrID=240

I almost always check cosmeticsinfo.org to see what they have to say in these situations. Here is their glyceryl stearate page: http://cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient_details.php?ingredient_id=498.

**This post was re-blogged from my original, free Wild Rose NHC blog. The original post was dated January 6, 2013 

Here Goes the Sun… D, D, D3!

Unfortunately… it’s coming. I don’t even want to say it out loud, for fear that it will get here more quickly if I say it… like saying Bloody Mary or Candyman too many times in the mirror…. but I really have no choice if this article is going to happen… Winter. Winter is coming!!! Here in upstate NY, we’ve already had our first utility-crushing snow storm and now that the clocks have fallen back, it’s dark by the time I get home from work. So why does it matter? Because with the sun goes the D. For those of us that are stuck at desks all day, it is nearly impossible to get outside during the sunny hours in the first place, and winter makes it even more difficult. The sun isn’t as strong and it’s not in the sky as long. So with the shortened light-hours, goes the D. At least the free, easy to get D. And possibly the only form that can go through the proper channels to become totally USABLE D. This is something that I will probably talk about a lot (maybe even more than my hatred for high fructose corn syrup) – soluability. usability. bioavailable-ness-ity. Whatever you want to call it. If you take a vitamin that isn’t in a form your body can use, you’re not only wasting your money – you might even be hurting yourself. This is a huge topic that would take much more than a Monday night blog post to cover – so let’s just start with D.

How to get D when it’s not sad and snowy and dark: go out in the sun. A form of cholesterol in your skin reacts with UVB light to synthesize vitamin D. This D is transported to the liver where it is converted into calcidiol. The calcidiol then passes to the kidneys where it is converted again – this time into calcitriol. Calcitriol is the active form of vitamin D that most refer to as D3. Some researchers consider this form of vitamin D the only truly active form – so it’s important that the rays you absorb make it all the way through this process.

This is where I meet my first tiny wall… what about sunscreen? We’ve all been trained that sunscreen is important, but if you need UVB rays to get vitamin D… you see where I’m going with this… I like to use sunscreen if I’m going to be exposed to a ton of sun during the hottest part of the day. Otherwise, I opt-out for maximum D-absorption. But that’s a choice that each person has to make on their own.

So back to what got me here in the first place – what about winter? If I can’t get sun, what is the next best option? Last year my doctor told me I was D-ficient and that scared me. I was a sad mess by the end of winter and I don’t want that to happen again. So I have to supplement. But what form? What about brands?

There are two forms of Vitamin D supplements – some derived from plant sources and others from animal sources – and the two are not created equal. As previously discussed, when UVB rays interact with cholesterol in your skin, the vitamin D process begins. Since plants lack cholesterol, the plant versions are already a step behind. While the plant-derived D can be used, it doesn’t seem to have all of the same functions as the cholesterol based D3. This is why the animal-derived D supplements are recommended and preferred.

[Time to plug my Shaklee business – the Shaklee D3 supplement is derived from the natural fat found in lambs wool. Go to wrnhc.myshaklee.com for more info.]

There’s so much more to know about vitamin D – I just decided to make it my November topic. So I’ll be back to address all of the functions, uses and requirements of vitamin D as well as signs of deficiency and toxicity. See below for links to more info on D, and as far as the upcoming dark days are concerned…. Don’t get sad – get D!

NIH: Office of Dietary Supplements D Page – http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind

Dr. Andrew Weil D Page – http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02812/vitamin-d

Shaklee D3 – http://wrnhc.myshaklee.com/us/en/products.php?sku=21214

Want a book instead? I like “Staying Healthy with Nutrition” by Elson M. Haas, MD.

Until later, I’m off to get a good night’s sleep – it is only Monday after all.

**This post was re-blogged from my original, free Wild Rose NHC blog. The original post was dated November 7, 2011

HFCS = EVIL

At some point I decided that corn syrup was evil. Specifically high fructose corn syrup. I’m sure this will not be the last time I talk about the evil-ness that is HFCS… but this one has to be quick. I’m visiting friends for the weekend and probably shouldn’t spend too much time on this computer.

So this morning, after a long night out in Brooklyn, we went out for a late breakfast. I had my Cinch shake at around 9am – just to get something in my stomach so I could be patient while others were sleeping – and then went out to get breakfast (or brunch) around noon. I decided to let myself cheat since I’m not at home. I DO love everything bagels… and turkey bacon isn’t the absolute worst thing in the world. So I ordered my sandwich and sauntered over to the drink case, assuming I wouldn’t find anything without the dreaded HFCS. I’ve been avoiding it for so long that if I cheat on that one, it hurts. Headaches, problems digesting, even overeating….

I knew I wanted an iced coffee (with soy milk) but I also wanted a juice or something. Yes. I was very thirsty. I was presently surprised by the number of drinks in the case that lacked my nemesis… and even more surprised by the amount of organic stuff! So I tried something new. “Strawberry Paradise” from a company called Purity Organic (www.purityorganic.com). It was freakin delicious. And didn’t make me feel like crap. Way to go Bagel Factory.

I leave you with an article on the evil demon, study by Princeton University:http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

**This post was re-blogged from my original, free Wild Rose NHC blog. The original post was dated October 22, 2011

Yeah! We're back!

Cheers!

Happy 2015! We made it! In the next few days I'll be starting my "New Year, New Me" Program. This year it's just me and a few friends trying to change our lifestyles. I have a LOT of work to do this year... but I know I can do it! And you can too! Over the next few weeks, keep an eye out for loads of new content: blog posts (possible vlogging?!), book reviews, recipes, and more! 

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