My kid ate grass seed and edible groundcovers…

We’ve been working on fixing up our lawn which took quite a hit over the long, frigid winter. I’d prefer no grass, but with a puppy and an active, outdoor loving child, we find grass works best for us. My husband laid some new soil in the many bare patches and spread out some seed. Our daughter helped with the seed. We recently did an experiment where we grew bean seeds in different mediums (coffee grinds, soil, and vermicompost). You can see where this is going right? So, she ate some grass seed to see if it would sprout in her tummy so that she can poop out a lawn. Yep, I’m a proud mama! (Don’t worry; we had a talk about the dangers of eating things that we find outside).

And so, while we wait for our grass seed to grow and excrete… here is an awesome slideshow that highlights groundcovers that you may actually want to eat.

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Breast Cancer – an awareness of a different kind

 I read a fascinating blog post this morning about breast cancer and chemotherapy. Did you know that about 8,500 breast cancer patients do not benefit from chemotherapy as part of their treatment? Not only are patients being subjected to a toxic chemical soup and all the side effects that go along with it, but are also health care cost savings. I’ve heard many chemo patients say that if their cancer comes back they will not do chemo again. That alone is enough for me to think that we should scrutinize cancer treatment protocols very closely. Here is the link to original post that got me thinking about this.

Snack Time

I got hungry and I was thinking of the lovely smell of the roasted nuts you can buy from the street vendors in New York City. I’ve never purchased them, but they smell soooo good.photo

Sweet and Spicy Nuts

  • 2 cups mixed nuts (I used raw almonds, walnuts and cashews)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff – table syrup contains high amounts of carcinogens)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/2 of a vanilla bean (scrape seeds out)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you can handle it!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350oF.

Bake nuts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 5 to 7 minutes until lightly toasted. Heat the maple syrup, honey, vanilla bean, salt and cayenne in a medium sized pot just until honey melts. Remove nuts from the oven and add to maple syrup mixture. On medium heat, cook the nut mixture until the syrup mixture reduces and really starts to thickly coat the nuts (3 to 5 minutes). Return the nuts to the baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes. Keep watch so the maple syrup mixture does not burn. Remove and let cool.

BPA-free doesn’t mean it is safe

Just the other day I had a conversation about plastics and BPA with my mom. We have both been very careful not to buy any plastics that aren’t BPA-free or made in China (sorry China – it’s the lead thing). She had found a bento box for my lunch bag that fit all my criteria. It was BPA-free, not made in a land far way, and the dimensions were perfect. Well, I thought it was perfect until I read this article.

Research on sippy cups has found that there is a significant amount of estrogenic activity even in

Image from ceh.org: A Warning for Parents: “BPA-Free” May Not Equal “Safe”

Image from ceh.org: A Warning for Parents: “BPA-Free” May Not Equal “Safe”

BPA-free plastics. Yep, research on sippy cups – that spill-proof-life-saver-of-a-cup that most every parent uses for their toddlers. Estrogen is the primary female hormone and a powerful one at that. Just to give you a sense about how powerful a hormone it is, consider that approximately 80% of breast cancers, once established, rely on supplies of the hormone estrogen to grow. These cancers are known as hormone-sensitive or hormone-receptor-positive cancers, and estrogen suppression is usually part of treatment for these cancers. By now, your intelligent mind has equated that we are giving our children a side of estrogen with their water. Or perhaps, you just washed your birth control pill (aka estrogen) down with a slug of bottled water; double dose for you.

This research from PlastiPure/CertiChem and UC Davis has opened my eyes. I’ve always been cautious with plastic + food, but I’ll be sure to use only glass or stainless steel from now on. So, what do I do with my new bento box now? Perhaps we can use it to store hair elastics and barrettes, or to store and sort our bead collection, or maybe we can use it for our jewelry… it won’t go to waste but it won’t be storing food at any rate.

This post is close to us…

A drug that can help wipe out reservoirs of cancer cells in bone marrow.

News on this study was exciting for our family. Imagine a drug (cyclophosphamide ) that is already created and used, sitting right under our noses, and it can trick the immune system and find hidden tumor cells in bone marrow.  Almost seems like a dream come true for patients who don’t qualify for a bone marrow transplant, doesn’t it? I’ll be following the folks at MIT closely on this one.

Although the funds raised by the Grow A Dream fundraiser do not go to research, it is research like this that gives us hope, not just for our family, but for every family that spends any amount of time in a cancer unit. That is why we have chosen to help fund the Juravinski Cancer Centre in patient care. We want to make patients and families more comfortable during treatment. If you feel the same, hop on over and give a donation. All amounts can help us Grow A Dream.

More about the Grow A Dream fundraiser can be found here.

I once had a Doctor tell me…

“I don’t have ultrasound eyes.”

This is a true story. While I didn’t expect that she did, I thought perhaps radiology could shed some light (no  pun intended, ahem) into the pain that was radiating throughout my insides. Alas, radiology was closed for the day and I was sent home to follow-up with my family doctor and take some Tylenol. I’m still here telling this story, so it all worked out (thanks to my NP). So what is my point? The future is bright for my doctor who does not have ultrasound eyes. Heck if google can outfit glasses with tiny screens, then it makes sense that scientists can do this?

Near-IR-fluorescence-goggle-system

via

Yes, these are cancer cell seeing glasses. The greatest benefit… a reduced need for a second surgery, which according to the article occurs in 20 to 25% of breast cancer patients. I imagine these come with a hefty price tag, but we could GROW A DREAM… just sayin’.