Category Archives: Pregnancy

The Nocturnal Nutrient: Are you getting enough darkness?

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In Paradise Lost, John Milton writes, “What hath night to do with sleep?” The answer – everything!

In last month’s blog, we highlighted the vital importance and life-saving benefits that derive from getting the “right kind” of deep sleep. This month, we would like to delve even deeper into the power of sleep, because as Dr. Russel Reiter, a professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology at the University of Texas San Antonio highlights,  “Light is killing you.”

Continue reading The Nocturnal Nutrient: Are you getting enough darkness?

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Don’t Dig Your Grave with a Knife and Fork – Part I

Granny Versus Food Pyramids, Food Charts, and Food Plates

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By Brent Leung, C.N.

PART I – Common Sense is Not so Common

Growing up, visiting my grandparents was always a harrowing experience. Inevitably, I would do something wrong, causing Grandpa to endlessly chase me up and down the hallways with his slippers. Granny would force me to sit and read Readers Digest. There were mandated nap times and Sunday school lessons (even if it was a Tuesday). Contemporary secular music was out of the question, with classical music and talk radio being the dictated choices. Yet, all of this distress paled in comparison to the dining experience.

Liquids were not allowed during dinner. Greens were in overabundance, dwarfing any hint of juicy, succulent meat. Dessert? Forget about it! I remember sometimes sitting for hours at the table refusing to eat my greens, waiting for that golden opportunity when no one was looking to surreptitiously discard contents from my plate into a napkin.

Later in the evening, once the food digestion process was firmly underway, I was finally allowed some H2O (no sodas) to quench my dry mouth. Granted, fruity fortified water had not yet been invented, but I’m pretty sure if it had, Granny would have had some criticism of it. Growing up, my grandmother had strong, but simple beliefs about what should and should not be eaten for vitality and health. This was not an isolated experience, but prevailing wisdom. Dining out, fast food and instant microwave dinners were not yet common lifestyle traits among my friends. Most brought mom-prepared lunches to school and enjoyed home-cooked meals around the dining room table in the evenings.

Fast-forward some thirty years and the diet of my childhood bears no resemblance to the daily fare of today’s youth. Continue reading Don’t Dig Your Grave with a Knife and Fork – Part I

Water, a Universal Inalienable Right? – Part 1

Think again! 

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“Would you like a glass of water before takeoff?”

As passengers boarded Qantas Flight 32 in November 2010, departing Singapore for Australia’s outback, the harsh realities of gravity were not firmly etched in their minds. Four short minutes after the pilot took off and retracted the landing gear, and passengers were just getting comfortable, an explosion in the No. 2 engine rocked the cabin, reminding everyone that what goes up must come down.

Thankfully, the story ends on a positive note, with the jumbo A380 aircraft landing safely, but the incident was met with swift response. Qantas, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines immediately grounded their fleet of A380s with Qantas’ CEO stating that their planes would remain grounded “until we are confident that Qantas safety requirements have been met.”

Why was such extreme action taken in response to the averted disaster? The question is of course rhetorical. Airlines would find themselves quickly out of business, investors would reap total losses, and economies would suffer if planes of that magnitude started falling out of the sky. So why then is humanity’s response to water scarcity so apathetic, and virtually non-existent (at least in the Western world)? After all, a “lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every four hours,” according to water.org.

Continue reading Water, a Universal Inalienable Right? – Part 1

Say Cheese! Your Killer Smile may be Slowly Killing You

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If you’ve ever worked in a laboratory, hospital, or chemical facility, you know there are certain familiar signs that command one’s attention. One classic example is the skull and crossbones, a universal emblem for poison, or lethal danger.

If you accidently ingest a known poison, there are certain protocols that must be adopted. A medical professional may instruct you to regurgitate what’s in your stomach, you might need your stomach pumped, you may have to swallow activated charcoal, or you may be told to “contact a poison control center immediately.”

The last protocol to contact the poison center also happens to be a compulsory warning that is on the boxes of over 96% of the toothpastes on the consumer market today.

Continue reading Say Cheese! Your Killer Smile may be Slowly Killing You

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

Does Revlon, Mac, and SK-II make you the fairest of them all?

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The answer is a resounding yes, according the Harley Street Clinic, a prestigious, private London hospital. Results from their 2013 survey uncovered that women in the United Kingdom sacrifice on average one year and three months (474 days) of their life scrutinizing and contemplating their image in the mirror.

Currently, skincare sales account for nearly 31 percent of the global cosmetic industry, with the greatest market share coming from the United States (U.S.) where sales exceed 53 billion dollars annually. A report titled Beauty At Any Cost from the YMCA stated that “if a woman invested the average amount of money she spends on a monthly manicure-pedicure treatment ($50) into her retirement account every year for ten years, she would have almost $10,000 in her account at the end of that time.”

Continue reading Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall