4th of July Fun Facts & BBQ Health Tips

 FDP by satit_srihinHere we are again — another #FACTUALFRIDAY everyone — and the day before one of the biggest holidays we celebrate in America — The Fourth of July!

But, what are the facts surrounding the Fourth of July? Many of us think this was the day in 1776 when we received our Independence from England. Well, not exactly — but we’re on the right track.

Actually, the Fourth of July is known as Independence Day because it’s the day the Second Continental Congress adopted the final Declaration of Independence. Originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, John Adams, Ben Franklin and Roger Sherman — the Declaration was later revised and sent to Congress for approval. And, on July 4, 1776, this final version was adopted by all thirteen colonies.

Yet, the American Revolution was still being fought. Indeed, the war did not end until seven years later in 1783 when we finally did receive our Independence from England. And, even though the Fourth of July had been celebrated during the war in very modest and quiet ways, it now became a patriotic holiday marked by large celebrations with speeches, parades and fireworks.


Much like today!! Although today our celebrations are more than likely to include a BBQ as well! So, let’s just add a few more facts to our Friday by reminding everyone that:

1) High temperatures during grilling can result in the formation of chemicals like heterocyclic amines or HCAs, so;

2) It’s good to avoid eating the charred or blackened portions of your BBQ that may contain more of this compound, and;

3) Marinating your meat before grilling can decrease the formation of HCAs by about ninety-six percent!


So have a wonderful and yummy, safe and healthy Fourth of July everyone!

And until next time,



Image courtesy of satit_srihin at freedigitalphotos.net



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The Full Moon and Your Health and Wellness

Full moon “It is the very error of the moon. She comes more near the earth than she was wont. And makes men mad.” – William Shakespeare, Othello



Today is July 1 — and today is also the Full Moon. In fact, this July we not only have the Full Moon on the first day of the month — but, we have a Blue Moon on the last day of the month. Of course, we’re all familiar with the Full Moon, which typically occurs only once a month. But, when we have a second Full Moon in the same month it’s called a Blue Moon — something that is quite rare and occurs — well — er — once in a blue moon.

But, our discussion today centers on the Full Moon and the longtime question:


Shakespeare is not the only one who has attributed strange behavior to the cycles of the moon. For centuries we’ve heard the phrase, “there must be a full moon out there” in an attempt to explain weird happenings at certain times of the lunar month. Indeed, in ancient Rome the goddess of the moon was named Luna — which is the prefix of the word “lunatic.” And, this is what gives us today’s term of “the lunar lunacy effect.”

But, is there any hard evidence to support this theory? Many studies have been conducted over the years to find answers. Researchers have investigated crime, traffic accidents, admissions to hospitals, domestic disputes, crisis center calls and even dog bites and their possible link to the Full Moon. Yet, nothing decisive has been found.

You see, most of the studies that have reported a link between these events and the Full Moon have been flawed. For example, one famous study in the 1980s found that traffic accidents were more common on Full Moon nights. However — in the period of time that was studied, Full Moons occurred more on the weekends. AND, more people drive on the weekends. AND, more people on the road increases the likelihood of more accidents. AND, when the researchers removed this confounding factor from their study, the lunar lunacy effect disappeared.

Having said that, there is one theory that appears to hold up and make sense. It focuses on the bright light of the Full Moon. A bright light can keep people awake and deprive them of sleep. In turn, sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety, nervousness and irritability. And, these emotional states can lead to odd or strange behaviors.

Furthermore, according to psychiatrist Glenn Wilson, the bright light of the Full Moon can create the optimum lighting condition for one to feel “carefree and mischievous.” People may stay out later — they may party a bit more — they may be up when they should be sleeping — and these factors can lead to careless and, perhaps, worrisome behavior.

But — don’t let the Full Moon worry you! Enjoy its beauty — its splendor — its magnificence. Just stay on your regular schedule and get plenty of sleep — in the beautiful and brilliant light coming your way tonight!

Thanks everyone! Until next time,



Image courtesy of Exsodus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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10 Veggies You Don’t Need to Buy Organic

AsparagusWelcome back to WHAT’S ON THE #MENUMONDAY everyone and the third installment of our FIVE PART SERIES on organic produce!

Last week we compiled our list of ten veggies that we should always buy organic. And, this time we’ll continue our series with our list of the ten veggies that we do not need to buy organic!

Remember, this list has been compiled from several sources we mentioned last time. So, these are the TOP TEN VEGGIES that are good to go — even when they are traditionally farmed. And, once again they appear in order from the best with the least pesticide residue, to those that may retain a bit more — but not to any level that is considered dangerous. Ready, set, GO!

1) Onions

2) Avocados

3) Asparagus

4) Eggplant

5) Cabbage

6) Sweet Potatoes

7) Sweet Corn

8) Cauliflower

9) Winter Squash

10) Frozen Sweet Peas

So, there you are!! A list of ten veggies that no one has to buy organic! These products only retain trace amounts of pesticide residue if any at all.

HOWEVER — always remember that ALL produce — whether it’s organic or not — should be washed before eating — because pest res is not the only thing we want to avoid. We also want to avoid ingesting dirt, sand or any bacteria that might linger from the sneezing, coughing or touching of other shoppers and shop employees.

That’s all for today everyone! Next week we’ll continue with our list of the TOP TEN FRUITS that we should always buy organic!!

Until then, EAT WELL and BE WELL!



Image courtesy of Sommai at Freedigitalphotos.net

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News on Possible Cancer Risks of Chemical Herbicides

Nettle weed FDP It’s #FACTUALFRIDAY everyone and 2,4-D is back in the news.

For those of you familiar with Volume 1 of The Single Source Cancer Course, you’ll recall we discussed this chemical in our analysis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

To review, 2,4-D (dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) is a key ingredient in the manufacturing of certain herbicides. For years, studies from the United States, Sweden and Canada appeared to indicate that the risk of developing NHL among farmers who used 2,4-D increased by as much as eight times. In addition, past research found that canine malignant lymphoma was greater in dogs whose owners used 2,4-D or commercial pesticide lawn treatments.

Recently, however, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the latest scientific literature on 2,4-D and human cancers classifying it as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Now, that is one step below the category of “probably carcinogenic” BUT two steps above the category of “probably not carcinogenic.”

In other words, no one really seems to know for sure anymore if 2,4-D is a definite factor in human cancer or not.

IARC also found, however, that another popular herbicide — glyphosate — was “probably carcinogenic to humans”. And that means, of course, that this commonly used product is considered more dangerous than 2,4-D.

Now, we’ve known for years that we need to exercise caution when working with or around herbicides. But, we still don’t know how much caution.

So this summer, when using 2,4-D — or glyphosate — based herbicides for weed control around your home remember to read the labels, follow the instructions and take care to protect your family and pets — just in case the next series of scientific studies confirms the suspicions of many — and finds these products are, indeed, more harmful than currently indicated.

Thanks everyone! Until next time,



Image courtesy of Karen Shaw at Freedigitalphotos.net 

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Top 10 Veggies You Should Buy Organic

FDP Salad Welcome back everyone! As promised, this week’s WHAT’S ON THE #MENU MONDAY will continue with the second installment of our FIVE PART SERIES on Organic Produce.

Last time we discussed the qualities of organically grown vegetables and fruits — and now we’re going to compile a list of those veggies that you should always buy organic.

Now, there are many lists out there with this information. And, none of those lists are exactly the same. So, I’ve created our own list from several sources, including: EatingWell.com, GourmetFood.com, Prevention.com, Organicfoodee.com, Goodhousekeeping.com and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) — a non-profit environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C.

Each of these sources has its own list of what often is referred to as, “the dirty dozen.” So, I combined these lists to determine which veggies appeared the most often on everyone’s list. Also, each of the above sources has listed their findings in order from the worst veggie containing the most pesticide residue, to the best veggie containing the least. But, once again, the lists do not always agree. And remember, these lists are subject to change each year based upon annual sample produce testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A compilation of the above sources, our list will be limited to the TOP TEN VEGGIES that you should ALWAYS BUY ORGANIC — in order of worst to best —    so, here we go!

1) Sweet Bell Peppers

2) Celery

3) Spinach

4) Kale/Collard Greens

5) Lettuce

6) Cucumbers

7) Potatoes

8) Cherry Tomatoes

9) Green Beans

10) Hot Peppers

Now, notice that the produce on this list is, for the most part, thin-skinned and/or leafy. There’s just not much there to protect the edible parts of the produce from pesticides. So, this produce will collect and retain the greatest amount of harmful residue.

Also, these products may retain more pesticide residue — or obesogens — simply because they may have been sprayed more than other products. You see, some produce is more susceptible to bugs. In other words, if a veggie tastes particularly good to creepy crawlies, it’s going to get whacked with chemicals. End of story.

So, these are our TOP TEN VEGGIES that you should buy organic — whenever possible! And, next week I’ll have a list of our TOP TEN VEGGIES that you do not need to buy organic!

Thanks everyone! Until then, EAT WELL and BE WELL!




Image courtesy of Apolonia at Freedigitalphotos.net

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