Raising Natural Kids

Raising Natural Kids provides parents with the resources that they need to make informed decisions regarding their children, specifically focusing on raising children in healthy environments that will benefit their overall well-being.

© Raising Natural Kids 2011. All rights reserved. Text and images are not to be reproduced or replicated without my written consent. Contact me at rnkcommunity@gmail.com.

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“Simply” Orange? I think not. The Truth About Your Orange Juice.

Millions of Americans start their day off with a glass of orange juice with breakfast. Sounds simple enough; technically, orange juice has one ingredient – oranges, right? Right – if you make it yourself (which is really quite simple). BUT if you are buying it, that’s an orange of a different color (sorry, I just couldn’t help myself).

ornage juice blog post

Take Simply Orange, for example. The name implies that the orange juice inside is made solely from oranges. Sadly, the name of it is completely misleading, which is exactly what Coca-Cola, the company that owns it, wants. Just hearing that Coca-Cola owns it should stop and make you think. They are masters at making the public believe that their brands are perfectly safe, along with whatever else they want you to believe about it.

The truth is that Coca-Cola uses a formula with specific specifications and algorithms based on data about the exact taste and sweetness of an orange that consumers like best, and the juice is made to match. Part of this process involves sucking the oxygen out of the juice after the oranges are freshly picked and squeezed, so that it won’t spoil while it’s sitting in tanks waiting for the next step in its processing. The problem with this is that flavor is lost in the processing and the stripping of the oxygen. In order to make up for the flavor lost, flavor and fragrance companies are hired to formulate chemically processed ones (and there goes your natural orange flavor). These flavor and fragrance companies “engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh. Flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature,” explains Alissa Hamilton, author of Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice.”

In a time when many people are wanting healthier, cleaner foods (minus the added chemicals), it’s getting harder and harder to discern what’s in the food and drinks on the store shelves these days. This is because the food manufacturers have caught on. People want natural, organic and whole foods, so they change their labels to reflect this want. Marketers for these companies play on people’s trust and manipulate their wording to make it seem that they are something that they are not. It’s always frustrating to find that something you think you’ve been doing right isn’t actually so good for you after all.

Here are some tips to help you navigate around the false advertisements and labeling of foods:

  1. Buy whole foods and make your meals and snacks from these whole foods. This way you know exactly what you’re eating (baring that you are using organic foods). For those who don’t know, “whole foods” refers to foods that are closest to their original form as found in nature.
  1. Purchase your whole foods from local farms and farmer’s markets. Right now is the time that these farms and markets are starting back up for the season. In addition to providing fresh fruits and vegetables, many farms and markets also provide access to organic, hormone free meats, poultry, dairy and eggs.
  1. When buying food in the grocery store, get organic there as well. Buying organic insures that your food is free of pesticides and that it is not genetically modified. In the produce section, this means that you want the number on the barcode to be five digits and to start with a 9. Of course, even with this, there are sometimes loopholes, but we do our best with what we can!
  1. Don’t just read the front of a box/container/can/bag of food. Read the ingredient list. If you can’t pronounce something, chances are that it’s not good for you. This includes misleading wording such as natural flavoring and spices. If that natural flavoring is listed in a product that has the USDA certified organic label, it is probably ok, but if it doesn’t, it’s almost always not good for you.
  1. Take a few minutes to learn about what corporations own which food companies. You’d be amazed at just who is controlling what. For instance, Coca-Cola owns 15 different drink companies, including Vitamin Water; Pepsico owns over 32 food, snack, cereal and drink companies, including Quaker Oats. These companies, along with ones owned by P&G, Kraft and Kellogg’s are ones that you can bet have ingredients that they are not being forthright about and/or aren’t ones you want in your food due to side effects related to cancer and other illnesses. Google “who owns organic” and you’ll find quite a surprise as well.
  1. Grow your own! There’s no better way to know what is going into your body than to have grown it seed to mouth. Start with organic, GMO free seeds. When plants are full-grown, save the seeds from some of your crop so that you don’t have to buy seeds next year.
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911 – The Official Vaccine Injury Reward Report to Joseph Biden from the U.S. Court of Official Claims

vaccine report awards

Here’s the official report, in a letter from the United States Court of Official Claims, to Joseph, R. Biden, Jr. (President of the United States Senate). The document speaks for itself.

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KIND Bars: Still Healthy Despite the Backwards Thinking of the FDA…

KIND bar

The FDA is at it again. Now, the nutritious, protein packed, minimally processed, no added preservatives or any kind of junk snack bar is unhealthy. This is according to the same body of people who once claimed for years that butter and eggs cause high cholesterol, only to reverse this train of thought 2 months ago (finally).

So why is the government deeming the KIND bars as unhealthy and going so far as to make KIND remove the word ‘healthy’ from their packaging? Two words: Saturated Fat. Four flavors of KIND’s bars contain more than 1 gram of saturated fat.

Here’s the thing… this fat comes from the whole, raw nuts that they are made from.

Let’s examine this in relation to other whole foods:

Organic, virgin coconut oil has 13 grams of saturated fat in one tablespoon.

An avocado has 3.1 grams of saturated fat per 1 cup sliced up.

A 0.5 fillet of salmon (1 portion) has 6 grams of saturated fat.

Hard cheeses have approximately 28 grams of saturated fat in half a cup.

Peanuts have approximately 5 grams of saturated fat in half a cup.

Saturated fats coming from whole foods found in nature are healthy fats that our bodies need. Saturated fats coming from nature “provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet, and they provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances.

When you eat saturated fats as part of your meal, they slow down absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes” (Mercola).

So, like anything else that happens to come up in relation to food and the government (you know, like organic foods aren’t more nutritious than non-organic foods and GMO’s are safe – eye-roll), take what you are hearing with a grain of salt and use common sense do your own research.

The fact is that KIND bars are a great alternative to any kind of processed food bars, snack bars or candy bars. With just 5 grams of naturally occurring sugar (like honey), you can satisfy your sweet tooth for the day, while also balancing that with at least 5 grams of protein in the same bar. This is in addition to the benefits of the nutrients provided with the nuts and seeds that nature provides and KIND utilizes to make a wholesome snack.

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The Scary Truth About What’s in Your Maxi-Pads and Tampons (and alternative options)

Like most women, you have probably been wearing disposable maxi pads and/or tampons every month for many years, AND, like most women, you probably aren’t aware of what they are made of and how they can affect your health and the environment.

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I too, used to be one of those women. When I was a teenager and first started menstruating, I remember my mom running to the store to get some disposable maxi pads, and later, after my friends said how great they were, tampons. I remember being scared to use the tampons, always seeing the warning about toxic shock syndrome. I used them anyway, for many years, not knowing about the other scary health risks, and the impact that these items have on the environment. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the only times I suffered from vaginal yeast infections was during the ones I wore tampons.

The good news is that there are safe alternatives, including one that makes it so you almost forget you have your period. ***I’ll get to that after I explain about the dangers of disposables. (Make sure to scroll to the end of the post for a discount code on some of the natural alternatives available).

Material/Ingredients of Disposable Maxi Pads: Sanitary napkins are made of bleached rayon, cotton and plastics. They then have added fragrances, along with chemicals used to absorb the menstrual flow. Most contain “hazardous ingredients including dioxins and furans, pesticide residues, unknown fragrance chemicals, and adhesive chemicals such as methyldibromo glutaronitrile. Exposure concerns include cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption. Studies link pad use to allergic rash” (Chem Fatale). Yes, you read pesticide residues right – the cotton used is not organic, unless it states so (I have never seen this on any mainstream brands), and almost 85 percent of the world’s cotton is heavily doused with pesticides. In fact, the cotton industry uses more pesticides than almost any other industry. So, when wearing pads, you are cozying up to pesticides in your vaginal area (nice, right?). Then, once used, these pads, along with the chemicals they are made of, end up in landfills.

An Alternative to Disposable Pads: I never really liked disposable pads, but was also naïve and didn’t realize that there were alternatives. I can say that I tried many different brands of disposables over the years, trying to find ones not only comfortable, but that didn’t end up smelling. I found that no matter what, after about an hour of wear, there would be a stench. It wasn’t until I became aware that there are cloth options that I realized the stench was solely from the ingredients in the disposables mixing with the blood and not allowing proper airflow (thanks to the plastic). Once I found a great organic cloth pad (SkoonCup makes a great one), I never went back to disposable ones. The cloth pads are comfortable, don’t smell, and don’t end up in landfills. The cloth pads are free of man made materials, and getting organic ones insures that they are also free of pesticides.

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Material/Ingredients of Tampons: Tampons are made from the same materials that disposable pads are made from. When inserting these fibers inside of your vagina, you are exposing yourself to the chemicals they are made of and the side effects they case – so essentially, you are inserting bleach, pesticides, and any number of chemicals used to make plastic malleable, and that’s not all “Tampons are also known to absorb the natural fluids and bacteria’s that the vagina produces to stay clean and healthy. Let’s look at the #1 ingredient in generic tampons and sanitary napkins: Rayon. Rayon is a fiber that is made from cellulose fibers, cellulose is a natural fiber, but to produce Rayon chemical procedures are needed that include: carbon disulphide, sulfuric acid, chlorine and caustic soda. Side effects from exposure to too much Rayon can include: nausea, vomiting, chest pain, headaches and many others” (Collective Evolution). In addition, tampons have been found to contain mold and even cocaine  – My point in highlighting these is to show you that unless you are cutting them open, you really don’t know what’s inside… wait a minute… as I illustrated above, even if you do cut it open you still don’t know what’s inside!

An Alternative to Tampons and all other Menstrual “catching” products:

I still can’t believe it too me 35 years to learn that there is a safe alternative to tampons and pads that is so simple to use that you can literally forget that it’s there and not have to worry about it. I’m talking about a menstrual cup. It’s so simple in design and so easy to use I can’t figure out why more women don’t know about them.

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What is a menstrual cup? A menstrual cup is a small ‘V’ shaped cup that is made out of medical-grade silicone and literally sits right inside of the vaginal canal catching the menstrual flow. My personal favorite menstrual cup is the SckoonCup. It is easy to insert (okay the first time there is a learning curve, but each time after that is a breeze), it’s easy to clean, it’s cheap in that you only need one, as opposed to going through a box of pads or tampons each month, it’s non-toxic, and it only needs to be changed every 12 hours. You will have less cramps than when using a tampon, due to tampons only absorbing the liquid and not the tissue. In addition, the SckoonCup doesn’t leak and you will not have any odors coming from your vaginal region. Really, It’s a Godsend.

***At this point, I should mention that I was sent the Sckooncup to try in return for a written review of the product. Everything I think and write about it are my own thoughts. And, as is required of me by law, “This post was created as part of the SckoonCup Review Campaign in which I am a financially compensated blogger. The opinions are my own and based on my own experience.” Please note, I would have pulled out and not have written this review had I not loved and wouldn’t have used it myself. As always, I only recommend products that I would use in my own hoe and with my own family. ***

Now, over the past year I have tried a variety of brands of menstrual cups, including the Diva Cup. I find SckoonCup to be most comfortable and easiest to insert. This is because SckoonCup is designed with a better grip that allows you to fully turn the cup the 360 degrees that it needs to be turned and has it’s suction holes pointed up in order to get the suction needed for it not to leak. This also insures no pain in that when I didn’t have the Diva suctioned quite right, due to not being able to turn it so well, I would experience pain, especially before a bowel movement. The pain was caused by stuck air and was extreme. In addition, because it is made from a softer silicone, I found it easier to insert than other cups.

sckoon cup comparission

The SckoonCup is made in the U.S.A., which, if you have been following me for a while, is important. All too often heavy medicals and dangerous chemicals are found in the packaging and products coming from countries like China and that is NOT okay for anything entering my home, much less my private area! It comes in two sizes – one for pre-birthing women and one for post birthing women. These are the only sizes needed and there is no guessing to do. Either you gave birth or you didn’t, so choose accordingly.

To learn more about SckoonCup, visit their website at http://www.sckooncup.com. While you are there, if you decide to purchase, enter code QS3U29 at checkout to receive 10 percent off! Put the code in under referral code not discount code. Then apply and update your cart. It will show the discount at the very bottom, above the PayPal button.

You can also join them at any one of their social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr

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Raising Natural Kids – Where We’ve Been

Because there have not been any new posts on this particular page in quite a while, I’d like to let you all know that I am here; we have just been having quite a few technical difficulties. I had a new website created for Raising Natural Kids, but unfortunately, there were too many problems to keep up with. This resulted in me taking the necessary measures to move the site to a new platform and recreate it. Not being tech savvy, I had no idea just how much this entailed. I have been frustrated beyond belief. It was only a few weeks ago that my husband was able to point my new domain to this older site, my original one. I thank you for being here and sticking with me. I promise to bring about more informative and educational posts soon and will be doing so here, on this site, until my new one is back.

In addition, our Facebook page, RNK State Groups (where you can connect with local, like-minded parents) and MeWe (a social media site for those who want the privacy that FB doesn’t give) is still going strong, so join us there. ~ Dawn

Melissa High Res

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