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Ways to Help Siblings Bond


A Love of the Outdoors


Your Family Recipes, Tips & Tools

Summer 2013


Sun Safety 1

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Contents 8 Eco Fab

Summer is here & we are ready for trendy fashions, fun in the sun & so much more!

10 Summer Break Bonding

Five ways to encourage sibling relationships.

12 Nutritional Nuggets

From breastfeeding to food allergies, expert Louise Goldberg has you covered!

15 Summer Sun Safety

Everything you need to have fun in the sun.

20 No Trace

Camping with kids.

24 Encouraging Animal Advocates

Help instil a love and respect for our furry friends.

26 Technology Addiction

Warning signs and steps to create healthy boundaries for kids.

28 Summer Parties

With eco flair!

30 MSG

Cutting through the confusion.

40 Feeding Your Family

Recipes, tools & tips for the whole family.

48 Guided Relaxation

Peaceful breathing.


Image by Fox-and-Fern Photography


50 Tech Savvy Kids

How parents can empower their children to explore the internet safely.

52 What Are We Saying to Girls?

One mother’s perspective.

On The Cover 5 Ways to Help Siblings Bond p10

57 What’s in Season

Summer Sun Safety

60 Conscious Kitchen

A Love of the Outdoors p20 & p26

Try out our delicious recipes featuring arugula and raspberries! Fun wraps kids will love!

62 Sustainable Summer Fashions

Eco styles for summer fun.

69 Ask Green Grandma

Questions from our readers answered.


Feeding Your Family p38, p57 & p60

70 The More You Know Eco

Featuring World Oceans Day.

74 Look, Listen, Read

Our editors’ top picks in books, apps & more.

76 Sacred Pregnancy

Nine sacred ways to increase fertility.

80 DIY Tutorial

All natural bird feeder.

82 Community Marketplace


A collection of artisan shops & resources for today’s green family.


84 Your Green Child

Ways to He lp Siblin gs Bo nd


A Lov

e of th

A peek into the lives of our readers.




Coretta Faux


Fami s & To

er 201




es, Tip


Cover Photography by

e Outd




Sun SSummer afety

More than a generation ago, a young mother and herbalist founded Motherlove to empower women with the wisdom and healing strength of nature. Today our commitment spreads around the world; helping women to discover the bond between motherhood and mother earth. Experience this wondrous connection yourself through our herbal care products for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and babies; formulated to soothe and nurture both body and soul.


Publisher & Editor

Amity Hook-Sopko


Creative Director Amanda Hearn


Elise Jones Suzanne Bertani Jen McLaughlin Lauren Taylor Sandy Kreps Jay Harris

Mellisa Dormoy Anni Daulter Louise Goldberg, RD, CSP, LD, CNSC Hana Haatainen Caye

Megan McCoy Dellecese Kim Garst Mandy Emedi Anne Michelson Jennie Lyon

Media, Advertising & Other Inquiries


Photography by Arturo Donate

from our publisher & editor Welcome, summer! I hinted at it last year, but this time I’ll come right out and say it… Summer is my favorite season. It reminds me of the freedom of childhood. No schedules, just days filled with riding bikes, reading a book on a blanket, or finding just the perfect stepping stones to cross a creek without falling in. Thinking back to your early summers, does it make you wonder what happened to those carefree days? Maybe we get older and take on so many responsibilities, we forget what made us feel alive. Or perhaps that connection gets buried so deeply, we don’t even recognize it anymore. I know, because it happened to me. After college and nearly 5 years in the corporate world, I had forgotten that part of me that relished freedom from expectations and schedules. Experiencing pregnancy and giving birth – doing what my body was designed to do – helped reawaken that connection. For the first time in years, I remembered how right it felt to play outside so long you forgot to come in for dinner. I marveled at my son’s delight at an interesting rock or a bird flying overhead. When people talk about how much you give of yourself as a parent, I can certainly relate. But the ebb and flow of life is such that you can never give without receiving. One of the best gifts my boys have given me is a rekindled connection with my soul. And a decade of amazing summers.

Amity 7


Summer is here, and we are ready for trendy fashions, fun in the sun and so much more!

Boise Bamboo by Proof

Simply stunning & stylish, these shades are handcrafted from sustainably sourced wood and feature polarized lenses. $120 at Proof

Urban Junket

What’s better than a trendy bag? A trendy bag made from reclaimed plastic bottles that will recharge a typical device for up to two full charges! Compatible with any USB or Micro USB, this bag has you covered! $248 at Urban Junket


Clean Water Fun

This garden hose filter provides great fun in the sun by removing chlorine, chloramines, VOCs, and pesticide/ herbicides commonly found in home water supplies. $32.95 at Family Bedrock

Baby Comfy Nose

Summer allergies have a way of sneaking up on us. Be prepared with this handy device that makes clearing baby’s nose a breeze! $12 at Baby Comfy Nose

Little Yoga Mat

These trendy and luxurious yoga mats are designed for the littlest yogis. These mats are also great as a play mat, sleeping pad or surface for an outdoor picnic. $30 at Little Yoga Mat 9

Summer Break Bonding

5 Ways to Encourage Sibling Relationships |by Sandy Kreps

“Mom, he hit me!”

“She took my toy!”

“But he started it!”

Sound familiar? Most households with kids sound like that at some point. The turbulent sibling relationship is a hot topic wherever brothers and sisters reside. Learning to get along with each other is not only great for the children; it makes life easier on the whole family. With the extra free time summer break offers, it is an ideal time to work on sibling relationships.

Here are 5 ways to encourage sibling togetherness:


Do activities together as a family – walk the dog, play board games, ride bikes, go swimming. Family time encourages teamwork and helps children feel like a valued part of the family unit. For competitive games, team the siblings up to play against Mom and Dad, instead of having them play against each other.


Let the kids be bored together. Get them off the TV and video games, and encourage them to find something to do on their own. Then just leave them alone. Boredom leads to creativity, and siblings can create the most enthralling games when they’re forced to amuse each other.


Give your children joint chores regularly – cleaning out the garage, washing the car, or washing and drying the dishes. Cooperation is necessary to get the job done, and the kids will want to get the job done as quickly as possible! 10


Take a little trip. When kids are away from their routine and outside their comfort zone, they often let their guards down. Without all the toys, video games and friends home has to offer, siblings can enjoy each other and bond over the shared experience. This is especially true of older kids who may worry what their friends think if they spend time with a younger brother or sister. A simple weekend camping trip can offer prime opportunities for hanging out together, as well as getting the kids away from the technology that can distract them from each other.


Let them “camp” in each other’s rooms. If your children are younger and have separate rooms, let them hold impromptu slumber parties in each other’s rooms when they don’t have to be up early the next morning. Kids love taking turns dragging their blankets and pillows into other places. Siblings that barely speak to each other during the day may find themselves talking together long into the night. Leave them be and let them talk as long as they want – they’re bonding.

Photography by Charlotte Morrall


Nutritional Nuggets |by Louise Goldberg

The blood or skin prick testing at the allergist only detects if your daughter’s immune system has built up antibodies to the proteins in those foods. If her symptoms are mostly isolated to her digestive tract (diarrhea, cramping, bloating, etc.) she may lack the enzymes to break down sugar in the milk, such as lactose, or proteins in the bread, such as wheat or gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley and contaminated oats). This is known as an intolerance (vs. a food allergy that involves her immune system). While there are several commercial tests available that claim to detect intolerances, none are supported by the medical community at this time. It would be helpful to work with a dietitian who can help narrow down what your daughter cannot digest and suggest alternatives to prevent any growth delays caused by a nutrition deficiency.


For the most part, my kids will eat until they are full and then stop, but if their favorite foods are offered, they seem to be a bottomless pit. If the food is fairly healthy, is this really an issue? You are the envy of many parents who would love to have the problem, “my child eats too much healthy food!” However, there are two things to consider. The first is that we want our children to be in tune with their hunger level and eat only to satisfy that. It is okay to ask, “Are you still hungry? Do you still feel that rumbling in your tummy?” Remind them to give their body some time to tell them whether they are comfortably full. The second thing to consider is that even ‘healthy’ foods can be overdone; for example, olives are tasty and contain good monounsaturated fats; however they can be very high in sodium (about 8-10 olives has 300+ milligrams of sodium!). Dried fruits can also be very nutritious and a convenient snack; however the calories add up quickly. Read ingredient labels to avoid ones with added sugars. Overdoing the serving can also lead to an upset stomach for your kids. Stick with about 2-4 Tablespoons at a time.

Image by Aurimas Mikalauskas

My daughter tested negative for food allergies at the doctor’s office, but she still reacts to certain foods, especially milk and bread products. Could there be something else in these foods that the blood testing doesn’t pick up?

Can I still breastfeed if I’m taking medication? Many mothers stop breastfeeding unnecessarily assuming any and all medicine transfers through their milk, but it actually depends on the medication. Many medicines are perfectly safe for both you and your nursing baby. A resource to try is Lactmed (app available for iPhones or Android phones through the National Library of Medicine). If the medicine is contraindicated but prescribed for a short length of time, a nursing mom may be able to provide previously pumped breast milk or formula until the medication has cleared her milk. If you have specific concerns, talk to your lactation consultant or physician. 13

TM Divine Mama BarsTM are a delicious, delightful snack for a healthy and abundant breast milk supply. Divine Mama BarsTM are 100% all natural with organic and lactogenic (milk-producing) ingredients. No artificial sweeteners, no processed starches, and no new food technology.


summer sun safety guide

Envija : Reader Submitted Photo

Presented by


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This best-selling New Mama Bottom Spray is a soothing perineal mist that also works wonders to cool a sunburn. The secret is in the ingredients, which include astringent witch hazel, antibacterial lavender, and peppermint pure essential oils.


Using the wondrous power of the Scarlet Pimpernel flower, this moisturizing and intensely healing serum is optimal for reversing freckles, sun spots, and rough sun damaged skin. Don’t you just love nature?

METAMOUR SKIN CARE BOTANIQUE PEPPERMINT COOLING TONER Using the cooling agents of Peppermint Hydrosol, this ultra-refreshing toner works wonder for fevers, hot flashes, or sunburn, and can even be used as an astringent for oily skin!




These 100% recyclable, BPA-free water bottles are vacuum sealed with two layers of stainless steel and one layer of copper to help beverages retain their cold or hot temperatures for several hours. Sturdy, convenient, and eco-friendly!

$24.95 17

BREGANWOOD ORGANICS BATH WRAPS These vibrant, 100% certified organic cotton bath wraps will keep your kids warm, dry and happy, whether you’re at home, the pool, or the beach.

$49.00 18

SHOO - FOO BABY BAMBOO BEACH ROBE This all natural hooded beach robe for the little one uses the softness of bamboo to keep him or her comfortable and cozy all day.


These eco-chic chemical free glass containers are a safe alternative to keeping your family's food sandfree and dry with style.


LA VIE EN COLOUR TOTE BAG Handwoven in Morocco from renewable resources like palm leaves, this tote bag basket is perfect for excursions to the farmers market, beach, picnics and more.



Picked for premium taste and crunch, this delicious, all-natural trail mix pack is a perfect pick me up when energy is running low at the end of a relaxing beach day.


This insulated lunch sack with adjustable strap is made from 8 plastic water bottles and will keep your lunch cold for hours. Best of all, the pack keeps everything standing upright, so no spills!



No Trace Camping with


|by Jen McLaughlin

The smell of crisp, clean air, the sound of rain hitting the leaves above the tent or laughter around the late night campfire; these are a few of my favorite things. I was 6 months old on my first camping trip, and from that point on I spent my summers sleeping under the stars. If being an environmentalist is my end point, camping certainly was the starting point. I developed a strong connection with nature that led me to want to protect it so that when I had kids of my own, it would be there for them to enjoy. Now as a parent, I’m passing that love of nature on to our son. We take him on long nature walks and let him explore at his own pace. When it comes to a family campout, teach your kids to leave your campground in the same condition or better than what you found it. This is known as No Trace Camping, and while some campgrounds require it, in general, it is a great principle to use anywhere you camp.


• If the ground cover is grass, never put your tent where the previous campers put theirs. You want to give the grass a chance to recover and repair itself. • Only use certified organic and biodegradable soaps and shampoos. Most campers dump their dishwater out into the bushes. Don’t toss out toxic chemicals with it!

• Pollution prevention is key when camping as it helps to sustain the beauty you left the daily grind to enjoy. Look for campgrounds that have recycling, composting and cylinder return programs. • Always use the designated fire pit. It is built in a safe location and with the structure to contain the fire and prevent accidents. • Pay attention to firewood rules for the campground. Sometimes you can bring in your own but sometimes you can’t due to fears of diseases or insects spreading to species within the park. Never cut down your own firewood inside the park. • Remember to take everything with you. Common items left behind that people think the next camper will use include half empty propane cylinders, clotheslines and bug spray.

Never been camping before? It’s never too late to start, and you don’t have to canoe off to a remote campground to connect with nature. There are great campgrounds right in your neighborhood just waiting for you to explore them. Or join in NWF’s Great American Backyard Campout. As you and your family get more comfortable with it you can try new types of camping and new campgrounds.

The 7 Principles of “Leave No Trace” Plan Ahead and Prepare Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Dispose of Waste Properly Leave What You Find Minimize Campfire Impacts Respect Wildlife Be Considerate of Other Visitors Learn more at:

Get your kids excited about camping with more than just promises of late nights filled with S’mores!

Camping should be fun and it should never feel like “roughing it”. Camp in the style that works best for your family and remember to stop and enjoy the smells and sounds that surround you. The simplicity of it all is bound to stay with you and your kids for a lifetime. 21

Photo by Corette Faux

• Look for campgrounds that promote ecology with nature programs geared for kids. It is a great way to introduce those key environmental concepts to kids in a way that they can relate to. • Plan an eco-scavenger hunt with things commonly found in a campground (i.e.: chipmunk, pinecone, maple key). • Let them bring their bikes so they can explore the park on their own. Making your own adventures is a great way to connect with your environment. • Ditch the stroller and bring a carrier. You will be able to enjoy the park more if you don’t have the constraints of a stroller.

backyard playset safety checklist |by Jay Harris

Climbing, sliding, swinging‌ the backyard play set plays host to hours of summer fun and memories. Make sure it’s in shipshape safety-wise, and you might just find yourself seeing how high you can swing, too! ** Secure structure by sinking supports in concrete or bolting them to a solid surface. ** Swings are at least 30 inches from support beams and set at least 24 inches apart ** There are only two swings per section. ** Spaced bars such as ladders, guardrails and monkey bars are either less than three and a half inches apart or greater than nine inches to prevent fall and choking hazards

** There are no protruding bolts, rusted sections or equipment with loose or broken parts ** Moving equipment has no potential pinch points


Photography by Alana Beall

** The area is free of roots, stumps, loose rope and rocks



Young Animal Advocates |by Megan McCoy Dellecese

Living greener isn’t just about making our planet a better place for people to live. The idea that we share our ecosystem with animals of all shapes and sizes is an important lesson for kids. After all, sharing isn’t only nice; it can be fun, too! Kids can often relate even better than adults to the fact that, domesticated or wild, the creatures that cohabitate Earth have as much of a right to a safe, natural, and cruelty-free existence as do we. This summer, find some opportunities to create your very own junior animal advocates -- and make it a family event! Here are some simple ways to do just that.

To Zoo or Not to Zoo?

There’s an ethical dilemma with regards to keeping wild animals contained in zoos. At times, the animals have been rescued and would be unable to fend for themselves in the wild, or the zoo may be making a concerted effort to breed a species in hopes of saving it from extinction. At the same time, there is always the inescapable fact that no amount of 24

hand feeding and care can compete with an animal’s natural environment. Discuss this idea with your child and consider asking your local zoo what practices they use to keep their animals safe and healthy. Even if you find disappointing information, the dialog is now open and you and your child can take the next step towards helping. This also helps build compassion and empathy between your child and the animals’ situations.

Furry friends.

Looking for a new pet? Stop and consider the endless stream of strays being euthanized on a daily basis before shopping for a “designer” breed. Read up on the topic through the Humane Society of the United States, a site which also offers great ideas for involvement in campaigns against puppy mills and cruelty, wildlife and farm animal protection, and much more. You will also find an “adopt a pet” link to find your next forever friend. While you’re at it, take

this chance to discuss responsibility and the fact that your new pet will need love and respect just like any other member of the family.

Find a Sanctuary!

Sanctuaries are a wonderful way to teach children about caring for animals in a conscientious way, and also about volunteerism. You can find a list of accredited animal sanctuaries at American Sanctuary Association,, or on a larger scale, check out the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Consider aiding by organizing a local walk/ run, a vegan bake sale, or see if your child has another fundraising idea up his or her sleeve.

Old McDonald Had a Farm...

Join an ethically run CSA. Local Harvest gives you the opportunity to get your hands dirty,

Photography by CIA DE FOTO

and bring the kids along for some chores. This will not only teach responsibility and help out local farmers, but also start a conversation about the source of our food and the fair treatment of animals.

Eat Responsibly.

If the hands-on experience on the farm touches those kind little hearts, discuss cutting back on their meat intake. There are plenty of reliable resources to learn more about raising healthy kids on a vegetarian or vegan diet, such as Healthy Children and Vegan Health. And get the kids in on the cooking, which takes the “plow to plate” concept and makes it personal… while upping the odds that your picky eater will become a bit more adventurous.



& Technology Addiction |by Suzanne Bertani

“It’s hard to imagine how the next generation is going to save the environment if they haven’t actually spent time in it.”


Image by Cécile Graat

~ author unknown

Technology is growing and changing just as quickly as our children. With constant exposure to screens, it’s only natural for a parent to be concerned about what all this screen time is doing to our children. What can technology addiction look like? • She can’t entertain herself without electronics. • Disconnecting him results in tantrums or high level of irritation. • She develops a negative attitude towards spending time in nature. • He can’t manage guidelines surrounding electronics. Older kids are entering a digital world with social issues connected to cyber bullying with texting, social media, adult content websites, and violent video games. We are just beginning to learn the trickle effect of advanced time spent connected to screens and children plugged into technology. As a parent – and the one who buys devices, games, and apps – you control your child’s access to technology. Sometimes things get out of hand before we realize what happened. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s never too late to reframe your family’s technology rules.

to free-range with a friend, visit a local park, or just to explore! Start with smaller time intervals and let them enjoy exploring the neighborhood on their own. As a mom learning to encourage free-range play, it’s difficult to not feel panic at first. I stay positive by thinking of free-range play as a gift I can give my children to help them grow and discover the beauty of play and nature through their own eyes and experiences. 3) Insist on electronic free play dates. We’ve all seen the effect of one child pulling out an ipod and suddenly all social interaction is lost with a group of children. Request that electronic gadgets don’t accompany guests or play dates when you are hosting. 4) Have a child that doesn’t like nature? Rekindle their love by including low-level technology to help enhance their connection. Have an old digital camera? Children love to take pictures and you can create amazing eye-spy games and hunts. Another tool to getting kids outdoors is geocaching. It’s a digital style treasure hunt that involves either a GPS or just following clues and instructions. Time spent in nature is incredibly important – if you need to take baby steps to get kids outside, every little bit counts.

1) Don’t view your phone as a shut-up toy. When my oldest child was repeatedly asking for my phone I explained that I didn’t want to shut him up. I always wanted to hear his thoughts. That conversation (and a few reminders) ended the habit he had formed of always asking for my phone out of boredom.

5) Look at your own habits. What example are you teaching children with your relationship to electronics? When you have idle time – how do you spend it? If you are checking your phone and needing constant stimuli, it might be time to wean yourself down. Need something to keep hands busy and productive? Take up a hobby. Watch yourself through the eyes of your child and show them that you are willing to detox from electronics too.

2) Free range your children! The summer months are ideal for getting outside more and sitting in front of a screen less. This is the best tip for that older 10 year old who can’t get enough video games. Give them the freedom

Sometimes we need to reevaluate technology and the huge advancements and accessibility to understand how connected we’ve become. There’s no app that can replace the importance of play and time spent in nature.


Summer Parties

|by Lauren Taylor

with Eco Flair

Whether it’s your Memorial Day cookout, Fourth of July pool party, or any summer gathering in between… there are plenty of ways maintain your ecofriendly lifestyle while having fun.

Buy Local Fresh food is a highlight of any summer party. Buying produce from your local farmer’s market guarantees the freshest, tastiest food. Your party’s carbon footprint drops significantly when nothing travels hundreds of miles to get there.

Keep it Outside Although it might be tempting to sneak inside to escape the heat, consider an all-outdoors party. Turn the thermostat up, and your partygoers will be less likely to hang out in the house. Make sure there are ways for your guests to cool down, whether it’s a shady area, cool drinks or a dip in the pool!

Green Your Grill Grilled food is a summer party staple. Although neither propane nor charcoal is perfect, charcoal releases about twice the amount of CO2 as propane. Natural gas is the optimum choice, so if your family grills often, it may be worthwhile to connect your grill to your home’s gas supply.

Ditch the Paper Plates

Don’t Forget to Recycle!


There’s no need for your celebration to create a bunch of waste. Compost the food scraps and recycle the items your area accepts: plastic, aluminum, and glass. Cups, chip bags, and drink pouches can be recycled through TerraCycle’s free collection program, where two cents for each item goes to a charity of the collector’s choice.

Photography by Jeroen Adema

Unlike most paper, paper plates can’t be recycled due to leftover food residue and any wax coating on the plate. Instead, try to use reusable dishware. If that’s not possible, plastic plates and utensils are a more optimal choice compared to paper because when rinsed off they can be thrown in your recycling bin with the rest of your plastic.

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Cutting through the Confusion |by Anne Michelson

When it comes to a healthy diet for your family, some things are evident: Eat your veggies. Keep a lid on the sugar. Don’t drink when you’re pregnant. But when it comes to specific foods, the path to healthy eating is less obvious. Meat, dairy, grain – even the act of cooking itself – all have their proponents and their detractors. However, few foods are surrounded by as much controversy and conflicting information as Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG. If you’ve been confused about MSG, it’s no wonder. The FDA classifies the substance as GRAS (generally recognized as safe), and cites studies, including one commissioned by the agency in the 1990’s, backing this conclusion. However, there is equally compelling evidence to support the belief of a growing number of doctors and organizations that MSG is poison, is causing widespread disease and ought to be banned. 30

What is MSG? What is it doing in our food, and to our bodies? What about its effects in pregnancy and on young children? Is it safe or not? Should you be concerned? MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, a non-essential amino acid common in many foods and naturally present in our bodies. Because it’s an amino acid (building block of protein), glutamic acid is found naturally in many foods that are high in protein, such as cheese, meat and milk. You might be surprised to learn, though, that many vegetables - such as tomatoes and mushrooms – and grains (including many gluten-free grains) also contain a significant percentage of glutamate. Soy beans and seaweeds are also rich natural sources of glutamic acid.

Photo by Thor


Don’t be deceived by the “non-essential” designation of this amino acid. This simply indicates that the human body can manufacture it out of other amino acids. Glutamic acid actually plays a crucial role in our nervous system. Glutamic acid acts as a nerve cell messenger molecule, or neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for transmitting a signal from a neuron to another cell. Their proper functioning is necessary for the body to accomplish nearly any process. Glutamate is important for cognition and learning. However, it must be present in the right amounts. Normally, the body regulates the amount of a neurotransmitter to enter the nerve cell and excite it to stimulate a response, then quickly clears the neurotransmitter away. When there is an overabundance of excitatory neurotransmitters, and/or they are allowed to stay too long, the nerve cell can remain in an excited state. This is toxic to the cell. Neurotransmitters that overstay their welcome, or are too abundant, are therefore known as excitotoxins. If they are allowed to stay long enough, they will keep on exciting the neuron until it dies.

What are the health effects of MSG? Here’s where most of the controversy surrounding MSG lies. It’s well-documented that in certain sensitive individuals, eating foods seasoned with MSG can result in various uncomfortable symptoms, most notably headaches, flushing, sweating, numb sensations, heart palpitations, nausea and weakness.


However – and despite the FDA’s insistence that the substance is safe - there is abundant

anecdotal and scientific evidence that ingestion of MSG (and other glutamate-containing ingredients) is linked to a multitude of ailments, including: • Obesity (in fact, MSG is used to induce obesity in lab animals) • Cancer • Migranes • Retinal degeneration • Asthma • Reproductive disorders • Irritable bowel • Behavior problems • Learning disabilities • Autism • Seizures • Heart irregularity, and • Sudden cardiac death (including a rising number of cases occurring in high school and college athletes) Most of these ailments are thought to result, at least in part, from frequent, long-term exposure to MSG and other glutamates added to the diet.

Why is MSG (and other glutamate-containing food) so popular? Simply put, MSG makes food taste great. MSG is pretty flavorless by itself, but it is an unparalleled flavor enhancer when added to soups, gravies, and other savory foods. In fact, Kikunae Ikeda, the Japanese professor credited with discovery of MSG, identified the flavor sensation it imparts as an additional taste distinct from the traditional four tastes of sweet, salty, bitter and sour. The most appropriate English word to describe it is “savory,”


but the Japanese word “umami” (which means, basically, “yummy”) has come into common parlance. If you’re wondering whether that newest fastfood fad, the Umami Burger, has anything to do with glutamic acid, you’re dead on. In an interview with New Yorker blogger Dana Goodyear, Umami Burger’s founder, Adam Fleishman, revealed that he was inspired to start the restaurant chain while researching what makes fast food taste so good. The entire point of the Umami Burger is to maximize the amount of glutamic acid (including MSG) in the food. “Umami burgers,” reports Goodyear,” are greasy, juicy, and fat, with a deep, pickley tang; they stuff you, and make you want more.” In fact, MSG is well known for having an addictive effect – doubtless the reason the food industry is so enamored of it. That, and the fact that its flavor-enhancing qualities can make even low-quality food palatable.

Don’t manufacturers have to label MSG-containing food? Yes and no. According to the FDA’s website, “FDA requires that foods containing added MSG list it in the ingredient panel on the packaging as monosodium glutamate. However, MSG occurs naturally in ingredients such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, and protein isolate. While FDA requires that these products be listed on the ingredient panel, the agency does not require the label to also specify that they naturally contain MSG .” 34

In other words, manufacturers are free to add as much MSG as they want to food, as long as it’s hidden within another ingredient that has a recognizable common name. And the majority of them take full advantage of this loophole. Added glutamates have become so ubiquitous in our food that finding prepared foods that don’t contain them can be a challenge: has compiled a list of over 40 separate ingredients that always or often contain MSG or related substances, including but not limited to “stock,” “broth,” “yeast extract,” anything “hydrolyzed” or “autolyzed,” and even “natural flavors.” But it’s not just in food anymore. MSG and other sources of free glutamate are often added to shampoos, conditioners, sunblocks, insect repellents, and cosmetics in the form of hydrolyzed proteins. According to TruthInLabeling. org, there have been reported cases of sensitive people reacting even to these topical products.

Is there a difference between MSG & naturally occurring glutamates? This is actually one of the most controversial aspects of the entire MSG debate. MSG proponents (like the industry-sponsored website claim that there is no detectable difference between manufactured and naturally-occurring glutamates, or in the way they are metabolized by the body. Detractors of MSG disagree. They point out that a large proportion of glutamates present in most natural foods are bound to other proteins. This results in a slow release of the substance that the body is well-equipped to handle.

However, there are some foods, such as Parmesan cheese, that naturally contain high levels of free glutamate. Food scientist Carol Hoernlein explains why manufactured glutamates may differ from these naturally occurring free glutamates: “There are contaminants in processed MSG. An anology that can be used is that there are right-handed amino acids and left handed ones. They are like mirror images of each other. Processed MSG contains not only the kind of amino acids the body is used to handling, but mirror image ones too. This may cause problems because it is like putting the wrong glove on your hand. It’s not quite the same. We don’t exactly know what problems this may cause.“

Should I be concerned? MSG, Children & Pregnancy Neurosurgeon Russel Blaylock, M.D. explains that the amount of MSG in Western diets has been steadily increasing since it was first introduced just after World War II, and the amount humans are consuming is analogous to the amount that’s been shown to cause lesions in animals’ brains (when you take into account the fact that humans are approximately five times more sensitive to the substance than lab animals.) Young children, in particular, seem to be especially susceptible to MSG sensitivity because of their developing brains and nervous systems. MSG is particularly destructive of the hypothalamus, a hormonal control center that regulates, among other things, hunger and thirst, the sleep-wake cycle (attention, new parents!) and emotional response. One clinical nutritionist has suggested a link between MSG

consumption and dyslexia and rage in young children. According to Dr. Blaylock, MSG is capable of passing through the blood-brain barrier and causing lesions on the brain tissue itself. “This is a very toxic substance, particularly to the developing brain, so if a mother is consuming it while she’s pregnant in these high amounts, it not only passes through the placenta to the developing baby, but the concentration of glutamate in the baby’s blood is twice as high as the mother’s.” Putting two and two together, could MSG be involved in the precipitous rise of obesity, autism, ADD and other diseases affecting an increasing number of our children? It seems plausible. At least, quite plausible enough to justify taking a good hard look at our diets, our (and our children’s) health, and the potential risk factors to determine whether we feel at risk enough to change the way we eat.

MSG and Your Family Of course, each family has to decide for themselves how to approach MSG. To be fair, there have been plenty of respectable studies that failed to indicate that the substance is anything but safe. And it’s important to realize that eliminating MSG entirely represents not just a change in diet, but a significant alteration of lifestyle. Truly avoiding MSG and related substances requires massive vigilance, including significant time devoted to self-education; scrutinizing labels; preparing homemade alternatives and/or sourcing hard-to-find commercial alternatives to favorite MSG-laden foods; doing due diligence when eating out; and (probably the most 35

challenging) having to explain one’s dietary choices (and possibly bring special food for one’s family) when attending pot lucks, birthday parties, and other social events involving food. Is it worth it? For some, the answer is no. If your family is not facing health challenges of any sort, you may not need to worry too much, especially if the added stress of complete MSG avoidance would put you over the edge. (Although be careful that you don’t discount those little annoying things that you just “live with.” Small symptoms like a perpetually runny nose, buzzing ears, or a little extra chub can be warning signs of larger, long-term problems. They are worth being concerned about – and finding the root cause of.) Just as a precaution you might want to take small steps to reduce your family’s exposure to MSG, like cutting down on prepackaged and processed foods and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. See the sidebar for suggestions on how to minimize potential damage if you do consume MSG. But if you or your children are struggling with any kind of health issue, whether it’s physical or mental, try eliminating MSG for a while (give it a good three weeks or so) and see if you don’t end up joining the growing number of families for whom MSG is just no longer an option.

How to protect yourself from MSG exposure Eliminating MSG completely is no easy task. Even if you choose to avoid it most of the time, there may be times when you end up eating a meal containing manufactured free glutamates. Unless you are very sensitive, this is no cause for alarm – but there are things you can do to protect your body. MSG expert Dr. Russell Blaylock suggests the following supplements to help alleviate or prevent symptoms brought on by MSG: • Pyruvate – for gut repair and to protect against neuroexcitation • Magnesium - regulates glutamate uptake • Antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C The website offers a comprehensive guide for avoiding foods containing MSG and other free glutamates, including label reading tips and MSG content in popular restaurant foods. This is just a small selection of ingredients to watch out for: • • • • • • • • •

anything “hydrolyzed” or “autolyzed” anything “enzymes” whey protein gelatin soy sauce yeast extract soy extracts protein isolate, also watch for “natural flavors”, “stock” and “broth”

For a complete list visit 36


Recipes, Tip



ps & Tools for

ng Your Family


Infant Feeding Bamboobies Nursing Pads & Natural Nipple Balm These ultra-thin nursing pads provide amazing coverage with nearly invisible coverage! If you find yourself feeling tender, their all new Nipple Balm will naturally heal and soothe.


In baby’s first 3 months, frequent feedings are key. Don’t worry too much about getting baby on a schedule in the early weeks.


If you’ll be returning to work full time, rent or invest in a good quality pump.

If your pumping location has electricity, choose a pump with a plug adapter. Battery-operated pumps go through batteries quickly

Organic Milkmaid Tea by Earth Mama Angel Baby Tasty iced or hot Organic Milkmaid Tea is a fragrant and comforting blend of organic herbs traditionally used to help support healthy breast milk production. 40

Best for Babes by PumpEase Support the amazing work of The Best for Babes Foundation by purchasing the Best for Babes PumpEase in their beautiful signature “Rhubarb” colour. This hands-free pumping bra features PumpEase feature patented, ‘no-stitch’ horn openings, guaranteed to accommodate any breast pump on the market.

Milk Trays These milk freezer trays are designed to make filling a bottle a breeze. The narrow design fits easily in the neck of any bottle. BPA, PVC and Phthalate free.

OrganicKidz Stainless Steel Insulated Bottle This durable, double hulled bottle design keeps liquids cool for 5-6 hours.


Have your partner introduce the bottle about 2 weeks before you go back to work. Be sure baby has an appetite, but don’t wait until she’s desperately hungry and in need of comfort sucking. 41

Toddler Feeding

Sage Spoonfuls This “Let’s Get Started” kit includes everything you need to get started making your own baby food, including glass storage jars!


Making your own baby & toddler food is a great way to know exactly what your little love is getting and to save a bundle over pre-packaged foods!

Smiling Planet Tableware


Kids love fun plates, there’s no denying it, but what is a parent to do when toxic melamine is often the answer? These great plates and bowls from Smiling Planet are made from 100% recycled, 100% recyclable, medical-grade, high purity, number #5 polypropylene - making them all fun!

Emily Press Labels Personalize these dishwasher safe labels as you need them with a permanent marker, then seal and protect the writing with the built-in laminate. Non-PVC and BPA-free. Ideal for labeling baby bottles, lunch boxes, food containers, water bottles, green school supplies, electronics, camp gear and more.

Striped Bib by Finn + Emma Made from 100% G.O.T.S. certified organic cotton and lead and nickel free snaps. These adorable bibs will help keep baby fresh and clean.

Squooshi Food pouches are a fun and easy way for kids to eat but they can be so costly. These reusable pouches are easy to use, easy to clean and downright adorable! Oh, and they’ll save you a ton compared to pre-packaged food pouches. 43

Big Kids Pluck by Boon Strawberry season is upon us and kids just can’t get enough of them. With Pluck, hulling strawberries is fun and easy so you can skip right the fun part - eating them!

Onyx Stainless Steel Popsicle Molds Made from 18/8 stainless steel, this fast freeze mold is easy to use, easy to clean, and will last you a life time. Designed so that one ice pop can be removed (or re-filled) at a time.

Danica Studio Kids’ Laminated Apron Children love helping out in the kitchen but it can be messy. This kid-friendly apron protects clothing from stains and spills. All Danica Studio children’s items are lead and phthalate free.



Carrying a reusable water bottle is a great way to remind kids to keep hydrated. As they say, out of sight - out of mind.

Lifefactory Water Bottle This glass flip top cap bottle features a cool hex design sleeve. It is dishwasher safe, BPA/BPS free & phthalate free - making it perfect for on-the-go drinking!


Family Joyce Chen Bamboo Spatula Natural materials make healthier options for cooking. Non-stick utensils, especially when exposed to heat, can transfer chemicals into your family’s food. Heat and stain resistant, bamboo is both safe and versatile.


Make the most of your farmer’s market finds! Grilling seasonal vegetables with fresh herbs and olive oil is a great way to enjoy backyard grilling without the meat. Veggie kabobs are not only colorful and healthy, they’re fun for kids to help put together!

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet The original non-stick, this cast iron pan features chip and crack-resistant porcelain enamel that won’t react to foods, leaving you free from toxic coatings and uneven heating.


Prodyne Fruit Infusion Water Pitcher This BPA-free water pitcher features a hollow rod that can be filled with your choice of herbs, fruits or other natural flavorings to create a fun way to stay hydrated this summer!


Getting kids involved with the grocery shopping & food prep is a great way to encourage them to try their creations (and new foods!)

Chef’n GarlicZoom XL Vroooom! This fun garlic chopper makes meal prep simple and is a great way to get the kids involved! Drop in a few garlic cloves and let your little one have fun zooming this chopper like a car on the counter. When it’s done, you can empty the contents right into your recipe!


guided relaxation

“Peaceful Breathing”

The subconscious mind of your child is very susceptible and open right before going to bed and right after waking up in the morning. Take advantage of this special time and remind your child how wonderful he or she is, how much he’s loved and how very proud of him you are. These affirmations can make a world of difference to your child, and can help ease stress and worries. This guided breathing meditation calms, relaxes and eases busy minds. Next we’ll focus our attention on details – an important foundation of meditation at any age and finally we’ll use some feel good imagery that you can encourage your child to use every day. “Close your eyes and take in a very slow, deep breath. Continue breathing deeply and feel the cool air come in through your nose and flow all the way down to your belly. Feel your belly expand out as you breathe deeply. Notice how the breath feels as it softly flows in through your nose, into your throat, and further and further down it goes. Make sure your belly is moving slowly up and down as you inhale and exhale.

Isn’t it nice to feel this calm and quiet after the wonderful active day you’ve had? It’s really good for our bodies and our minds just to feel this calming breath flowing in and out. When we learn to pay attention to our breathing, we’re actually practicing meditation. Meditation helps us focus and it gives us peace. Everyone wants to be peaceful! Meditation is simply being very focused and calm within.


with Mellisa Dormoy of Shambala Kids

Now for this moment, just listen very carefully to all the quiet sounds outside of you and all around you. You may hear outside noises. You may hear cars, birds or perhaps something else. It’s perfectly okay. We’re just learning to pay attention… so just listen. (Pause) Now, turn your focus inward. Listen very carefully and quietly to what you hear happening within your body. Can you hear your heart beating? (Pause) Can you hear your breath as you breathe slowly and calmly in and out? Maybe your tummy is making noises; maybe everything is very, very quiet. Whatever is going on inside, just take the time to listen very carefully and notice everything that’s going on, on the inside. (Pause) Paying attention to the sound of your breath, it’s almost magical. You’re whole body is alive and feels so good! You know this breath is very special. It’s part of the energy that flows in and out of us and by working with our whole body, it keeps us feeling so good inside and out. Allow the breath to fill up your whole body now and enjoy as the energy goes into each and every cell, each and every muscle of your body. Imagine that your happy breathe is bringing a big beautiful smile to every place in your body. Does that feel good? It feels good to me! Try to spend a little each day just imagining this. You’ll be really amazed at how good it will make you feel all over. Now when you’re ready, you can open your eyes and give your body a big stretch. You’ve done a wonderful job and I can just imagine all that happiness you’ve spread everywhere in your body. I’m really proud of you for your meditation today!”

For more meditations and guided relaxation audios, visit Shambala Kids online.

“Pregnancy is such an amazing time in a woman’s life and should be honored and valued. Sacred Pregnancy helps empower women and encourages them to personally reflect on their internal process before having children. This is a beautiful gift to all pregnant women!” -Ricki Lake, actress + Abby Epstein, filmmaker The Business of Being Born Go to the website to order the book today!

discover the book : the magazine : the community :

Travel with Fallen Rock on his journey across the country to earn his place as the next Chief of his village. The Journey of Fallen Rock is about family, natural resources and the responsibility to protect and preserve them. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, Fallen Rock crosses paths with members of the Protectors of Our Land who will help him on his path.

“Environmental consciousness is woven into the fast paced, suspenseful story-line.” - Susy Koontz ow! Buy N


Tech Savvy Kids

How Parents Can Empower Their Children to Explore the Internet Safely

|by Kim Garst

The Internet has been hailed as one of the greatest tools for learning, but like many developments in technology, it hasn’t come without risks. While it’s wise to limit kids’ “screen time” (movies, video games, and even the internet) in the early years, especially as their brains continue to develop, sooner or later they’re likely to want to venture online. Social media is one of my passions, but being a wise parent and empowering kids to be safe is an even higher priority for sure! Like any activity, there are risks involved with social media use. When you decide what age is appropriate, prep your family with tools to help raise kids who are socially savvy and wise.

Here’s how


Photography by PictureYouth

Talk to your kids… and listen.

priately to possible predators by blocking them and telling parents about them.

This is important for so many reasons as a parent, and it has special importance when your child is using social media.

Learn how to respond to cyber bullying.

Become familiar with the sites your kids use online. Make it a point to talk with your kids about what they’re doing online. Just like you know their offline friends, ask about the friends they have online.

Let your kids know that you won’t allow someone to bully them (and that you won’t allow them to bully someone else). Talk about some of the different forms cyber bullying takes, and go through how to respond to online bullying together.

It’s also important to make sure you keep the lines of communication open with your kids for another reason - so they know, without a doubt, you’re a trusted person to go to and will have their back if something unanticipated happens such as cyber bullying.

Actions have consequences. It’s good for our kids to learn that actions have natural results - and online this is just as true as ever. Help them to understand that once something is posted or e-mailed - they can’t make it go away.

Teach your kids to communicate politely online, but encourage them to Teach them that it’s good to err on the side of caution before posting. Suggest that they think limit their personal sharing. Just like you model manners to your kids before going out into the world, it’s important to discuss online manners before your kids venture into social media. Please and thank you are always in style - and when texting, their abbreviated forms (pls and ty) are appreciated as well.

in their mind “what would happen if Mom saw it? Grandma? My minister or priest?” Because with the way social media works, more often than not these days, they absolutely will see it!

Limit who sees your kids’ profiles.

Go through your kids’ profiles online and make That said - help them know that even while sure that you’ve limited who sees them. Every they’re being polite, it’s not a good idea to share social media program has its own privacy setpersonal information with people online. Be tings - get familiar with them. Help your kids to specific about the kinds of information that they understand why those settings are so important, shouldn’t share online, whether it’s their own and let them know what you expect in terms of information or information about family mem- the people they connect with online. bers. Raising socially savvy kids requires teaching As your children become teens, it’s a good your kids how to minimize their online risks. idea to talk with them about the possible With a few tips and some work to keep the lines consequences of having sexual conversaof communication open, you’ll raise kids ready tions. Teens who just don’t talk about sex to embrace the technology of the 21st century online are more empowered to respond approwhile protecting them at the very same time. 51

Photography by Rolands Lakis


What Are We Saying to Girls? A Mother’s Perspective

|by Mandy Emedi

I remember my high school English teacher, during one of his “life lesson” tangents, giving this simple, yet sage advice: “If you have nothing to say, you can always talk about the weather.” The weather is a relatively benign subject, one that served me well in idle waiting-inline-at-the-grocery-store chitchat. At least until I had children. It seems it’s hard for most folks to resist talking to a cute kid…and nearly impossible to pass up a sweet duo of four-year old twin girls. I try to relish this time, as I know my girls won’t always be pint-sized and full of magnetic, youthful energy. And the vast majority of the time, the idle chitchat is just that. There are times, though, when it’s anything but benign… At four years old, my girls have amazing

ears and insightful eyes. They are keenly aware of everything going on around them. And I feel passionately protective of their tender hearts. I may overthink it, but I fear too many, “You’ve got your hands full!” comments might make the girls question one day if they’re a burden. Could the “Better you than me!” tossed out jokingly make the girls wonder if I, too, might rather be doing something else? I’ve heard a lot of comments in the past four years, but a recent trip to the grocery with one of my daughters yielded one of the worst exchanges yet. We were waiting in the checkout line and started chatting with a nice grandmother behind us. She was super sweet, and she engaged my daughter right away. I love for the girls to practice their conversation skills, and it helped keep her little hands away from the ginormous candy display. 53

What Are We Saying to Girls? Everything was going great until the lady asked if she had any brothers or sisters. When she learned that Twin Sister was at home, she said, “I’ll bet you’re the pretty one, right?” A focus on physical traits AND comparing my precious girls to one another? My heart sank. What a landmine. I piped in immediately. “No, both my girls are beautiful, inside and out! And they are super smart, too. And they are so kind and loving towards each other. We’re very blessed.” I know the lady didn’t mean any harm. I know she was just trying to make conver-


sation, and I’m certain she didn’t THINK before she said that. My responses these days can no longer be met with a kind nod and echoing sentiment. My girls are watching. They are listening. I’m trying to model grace. And I’m trying to protect my girls’ precious tender hearts. Of course, I can’t expect the random lady at the grocery store to have that in mind when she makes idle chitchat. But it merits asking, “What are we saying to girls?”

Giving Diapers Giving Hope is a non-profit organization that provides education, support and cloth diapers to income qualified families in the continental United States with the help of donations from caring individuals and companies nationwide.

Photo by Kimberly Rosas

Learn more about this great organization and how you can help by visiting their website today!



What’s In Season Summer is here!


Your local farmer’s market is brimming with colors and flavors... just waiting to bring a whole new level of fresh to your family’s kitchen!

You already love arugula for that little zest it adds to your salads and sides. If the kids need an easier intro to this leafy green, try adding it to a pizza. Packed with vitamins A and K and beta-carotene, arugula helps promote a healthy immune system, stronger vision, and proper blood clotting. It’s also a low calorie superfood.

Photo by A. Laczek

Strawberries Rich in fiber and low on the glycemic index, this bright, delicious berry is excellent in warding off diabetes. Raspberries are full of potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, niacin, iron, and vitamin C. The rich color is a sign of how powerful an antioxidant the raspberry is. In fact, research on animals show raspberries can inhibit cancer cells from multiplying or forming tumors. 57

What’s In Season

Arugula Mushroom Pizza

Ingredients: • Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust • 2 cups Arugula, washed & dried • 1 cup Mushrooms sliced • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced or minced • 1/2 lb fresh Mozzarella thinly sliced Directions: Preheat the oven to 450F.

Remove crust from the oven and top with the garlic, mozzarella, mushrooms, and arugula. Return to the oven to bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese bubbles. 58

Photo by Trec Lit

Place pizza dough on pizza stone or baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Organic Raspberry Sorbet Ingredients: • 1 Cup Organic Raspberries • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt • 1/3 Cup Orange Juice • 1/3 Cup Honey • 1 teaspoon Fresh Lemo Juice Directions: Blend ingredients in a blender and freeze for four hours.

Photo by Star5112

Remove sorbet from freezer 10 minutes before serving.


Peanut Butter Fruit Roll-up

• • • • • • • 60

½ small banana, mashed 1 tsp. honey 2 Tbsp. low-sodium peanut butter 1 (8-inch) whole wheat tortilla ½ kiwi, thinly sliced 2 medium strawberries, thinly sliced ⅛ tsp. cinnamon

Conscious Kitchen

Mix banana, honey and peanut butter in small bowl. Spread onto tortilla and layer with strawberries and kiwi. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up tortilla, slice into 1-inch think slices and serve.

Recipes by Produce for Kids PFK is an organization that encourages healthy eating among families by providing healthy meal solutions and resources for parents while raising funds for local children’s non-profit organizations.

Turkey & Veggie “Sushi”

• 1 (9-inch) spinach tortilla • 2 Tbsp. lowfat Ranch dressing • 3 slices 99% fat-free deli turkey breast • ½ cup cooked instant rice • ¼ cup carrots, grated • 2 slices seedless cucumber, peeled, cut into thin strips • ¼ cup lettuce, cut into thin strips • 1 tomato slice, cut into thin strips • 1 slice lowfat cheddar cheese, cut into strips

Heat tortilla in microwave on HIGH 15 seconds. Coat tortilla with dressing. Layer turkey slices on top. Add rice onto ½ of the turkey; press down to flatten. Layer carrots, cucumber, lettuce, tomato and cheese in a line on top. Roll tortilla around rice and veggies; cut into 2-inch pieces. 61


Sustainable Summer Fashions Photography: Tyler Lauer and Emily Showers Styling: Mary Lauer and Heidi Johnson

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Your favorite natural parenting magazine is now available for download in the Apple Newsstand for iPad! Free Shipping Code: GCM7404 Good thru June 30th


Ask Hana Haatainen Caye

Shelley writes: Someone at my church gave me a box of baby clothing for my new baby, but it reeks of mothballs. I tried washing the clothing with my cloth diaper detergent and it still smells bad. Do you have any suggestions? GG: It’s funny you should ask this, Shelley, as a mom in the Green Grandma Facebook community asked the same question recently. Through trial and error, she discovered that rinsing the clothing in distilled white vinegar and hanging it outside to dry took care of the problem. Just add ½ to one full cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle and let the vinegar, sunshine and fresh air work its magic! Jessica writes: I love finding bargains at garage sales, especially for my kids. Is there anything I should steer clear of? GG: Excellent question, Jessica. Yes, there are some things to watch for when buying secondhand kids’ stuff: • Car seats! As someone who once did this without knowing any better, I cannot stress this enough. It is never a good idea to buy a used car seat. Car seats have expiration dates for safety reasons (and not simply as a gimmick to generate more

sales). If the car seat was in a vehicle that was involved an accident; the safety of that seat is compromised, even if it was just a fender bender. Don’t chance it! • Cribs, high chairs, swings, and other baby furniture and equipment. While it might be okay to buy these items at a garage sale, be sure to check on the model numbers to make sure they were never recalled. This is where a Smart Phone can come in handy! • Mattresses. There is just an ick factor here. I mean, was this the mattress where Johnny tried out his first nights without a diaper? • Stuffed animals. Unless the precious pooch is machine washable (in vinegar, of course!), resist that cute little face and leave it behind. So pick up those adorable onesies, sundresses and sleepers. Take them home and toss them in the wash with some non-toxic detergent and vinegar. After all, a bargain is bargain. Just keep the health and safety of your children in mind as you search for those second-hand treasures.

Hana Haatainen Caye, aka Green Grandma, is a wife, mother and grandmother who shares her passion for common sense greener and healthier living. Based on the most popular feature of her blog, Hana wrote her first book, Vinegar Fridays.



More you Know

eco: World Oceans Day |by Elise Jones

As the days begin to warm and our thoughts drift to summer, many of us are planning our yearly vacations to the beach. The ocean seems to beckon us no matter how far we live from it. Yet, as we all know, the ocean has endured its share of horror stories: from oil spills to rising water temperatures to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. As a society we need to get better at reusing what we buy if we’re going to continue to enjoy our beaches and oceans. Five years ago, the United Nations decided to designate a day each year in order to focus attention on the earth’s body of water that serves to connect us all. This day is called World Oceans Day and is celebrated annually on June 8. The goal of World Oceans Day to encourage everyone to get involved with ocean conservation in their personal lives, communities, and globally.


I spoke with Marieta Francis, executive director of Algalita Marine Research Institute, about

her mission to protect the world’s oceans and her thoughts on World Oceans Day. Marieta and Algalita work tirelessly to protect the marine environment and its watersheds. Aligalita was founded by Captain Charles Moore who brought the world’s attention to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch after discovering it on a voyage in 1997. The theme for this year’s World Oceans Day is “Together we have the power to protect the ocean!” What action has had the biggest impact on protecting the ocean? This is difficult to answer. There is so much that needs to be done, and we have not yet really begun to reduce the pollution entering our oceans. Legislation is not being created in most parts of the world, but that may be the best way to begin. Education and outreach have had the biggest impact, I would say. Consumers can play a big part by refusing to buy products that are not sustainably designed.


the more you know eco What are some of the current challenges faced by the international community in caring for the oceans? The oceans are not ruled by any government, except along coastlines. The “middle” of the ocean is not regulated by anyone, thus there is the “out of sight, out of mind” thinking. Much more education needs to take place so that people are aware of the issues and challenges facing us. We must stop pollution from entering the ocean and it has to be stopped on land. How can parents and kids get involved in protecting the ocean? Reduce the plastic pollution in your own home.

Stop buying convenience items, things that are meant to be used just once and then thrown away. Look closely at the products you use in your home and try to replace them with sustainable products. What are five things people all over the world need to do in order to protect our oceans? That’s easy: reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse and re-design! This year, my family will be celebrating World Oceans Day at a local event, along with 600+ communities around the globe. To find a local event or to host one of your own, check out World Oceans Day’s website, worldoceansday. org and Facebook page.

Philanthropist Marieta Francis volunteering in support of the cause.


INTERNATIONAL SURFING DAY RETURNS JUNE 20 9th Annual Event Encourages People To Surf And Enjoy The Waves

Now in its ninth year, International Surfing Day (ISD) continues to unite surfers around the world to celebrate the sport of surfing, while raising awareness and showing appreciation for our coastal environments. “Part of the beauty of International Surfing Day is that people everywhere can celebrate and give back,” said Surfrider Foundation Director of Marketing & Communications Laura Lee. “Whether that’s paddling out for the very first time, sneaking in a quick session with friends, or picking up trash at your local beach, ISD is as big as you make it.” Surfing has a history as diverse as the characters that shaped it; it has grown from an almost forgotten sport of kings to a billion-dollar industry. ISD began in 2005 with a small handful of local observances in the United States and has since expanded to more than 200 events in 30 countries worldwide. As in previous years, the Surfrider Foundation will be organizing various surf sessions, beach cleanups, and coastal restoration events for people to participate in. In 2012, International Surfing Day participants removed more than 3 tons of trash from our coastlines. Additionally, 1,800 people joined or renewed their Surfrider membership and hundreds of thousands of people watched the first-ever ISD Web-A-Thon. Surfrider Foundation encourages you to start planning now and save the date for June 20 so you don’t miss out on this awesome annual celebration. For additional information on International Surfing Day or to plan your own event, please visit


Look Listen Read Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less By Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest

We believe minimalist parenting is all about letting go of society’s expectations and trusting your instincts. For some of us, instinctive parenting comes naturally. For parents who need a gentle nudge, bloggers Asha Dorfest and Christine Koh offer a generous, inspiring approach to opening up enough space in your schedule for your family to thrive. With an empowering, easy to follow approach to parenting, this book makes a light but powerful addition to your summer reading list. $16 at Amazon

Green Child Magazine iPad App By Fresh Green Media, LLC

Green Child Magazine is a growing resource for families who care about the environment, natural and healthy living. You’ll find the latest in organic products, healthy nutrition, holistic wellness, and of course – parenting advice to help you raise happy, healthy children! Free on iTunes, free trial issue, individual issues and subscriptions available. 74

Fireflies and Shooting Stars: The Tale of Enzo By Ed Raarup

A helpful, whimsical story for any child who has ever felt different from the rest. Enzo is a friendly little firefly who was born without a tail light. Follow Enzo’s journey as he builds determination along the way of finding his light. It’s a magical ride of hope, understanding, and discovering the importance of accepting the differences in others as well as ourselves. $25 at Amazon

The Guide to Baby Sleep Positions: Survival Tips for Co-Sleeping Parents By Andy Herald and Charlie Capen

This book is a dose of comic relief for any parent that has ever tried to, or is currently, co-sleeping with their child. It can be an adventure to say the least. Be sure to check out this great guide for tips and a healthy dose of laughs - both of which will help you make it through your early parenting days and beyond. $10 on Amazon


9 Sacred Ways to Increase Fertility By Cara Bergman M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.

Licensed Acupuncturist Specializing in Fertility and Women’s Health

excerpt from

SACRED pregnancy the magazine


Sacred Pregnancy is an independently published quarterly magazine packed with cutting edge soulful information on pregnancy, birth, mothering, and everything in between. A collection of stories, articles and wisdom offered up by empowered women within the birthing + mothering communities, this quarterly magazine offers information anywhere from body-image and mindful eating, to sexuality, food, herbs, DIY ideas, book reviews and sisterhood.

Sage was trying to get pregnant for a year and a half when she decided to go to a fertility clinic. After numerous tests, she was diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” - which just means they have no idea why she is not getting pregnant. Under the clinic’s recommendation, she did an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycle and it failed. She attempted to do a second IVF and her body did not produce enough eggs, so they cancelled the cycle. The doctors at the clinic told her that her only option was to use a donor egg. Sage was devastated and came to me to see if there was anything I could do. The first thing I told her was that unless someone could specifically tell her why she could not conceive, she should assume she can. This was all Sage needed to hear and she started crying. No one had given her any hope nor had any confidence in her ability to get pregnant on her own. She decided to give acupuncture a try and within two months, she was pregnant all on her own. In May she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Too many times, I see people caught in the system (i.e. business) of fertility. Here’s how the story goes. A woman is having trouble getting pregnant so she makes an appointment with her OB-Gyn. Her OG-Gyn is likely to prescribed Clomid or gives a referral to a fertility clinic. If she is not pregnant after six months on Clomid, she goes to the fertility clinic. There she is caught up in their system of testing, medications, and monitoring. She will likely spend six months or more performing multiple rounds of IVF injecting herself with numerous hormones and medications all with a success rates less than 50%. If she still doesn’t get pregnant, she shows up in my acupuncture office depleted, angry, hopeless, broke, and depressed – and tries acupuncture as a last resort. Ironically, because the acupuncture helps to restore her health, and because being fertile is our natural state, she gets pregnant without any interventions at all. What if we reversed the scenario and tried natural ways to restore fertility FIRST and used Western Medicine as a LAST resort? The Sacred Fertility Movement is about reversing this trend. It starts with uncovering the wisdom of natural ways to restore fertility.

Cara’s 9 Sacred Ways to Increase Fertility 1) Take control of your body and your health. Don’t turn yourself over to some “expert” OBGYN or Fertility Clinic – YOU are the expert of your body, and you are naturally fertile. If you are having issues with getting pregnant, trust that your body is doing the very best that it can under the circumstances. Use your fertility issue as a sign that something is off. Find out what that something is and your fertility will return naturally. 2) Learn about your menstrual cycle through Basal Body Temperature (BBT) charting. The menstrual cycle tells the tale of the health of the rest of the body. Are you ovulating? Are your temperatures so low that they don’t even make it onto the chart? Is your luteal phase long enough to sustain a pregnancy? Charting can pinpoint problems and make it more clear what you need to do. You can chart for free and also learn how to chart at www. 3) Acupuncture alone can increase your fertility dramatically. Acupuncture works by increasing blood flow to your reproductive organs, clearing out stagnation or blockages, and by allowing your body to return to its natural state of fertility. Acupuncture is a deeply relaxing experience. When your body experiences deep relaxation, it instantly shifts into a restorative mode which helps your body return to a natural state of health and fertility. 4) If you are having hormonal issues, you may need to cleanse. Your liver is probably overburdened and cannot metabolize hormones properly. We have people do a 21 Day Cleanse at our clinic. I can’t tell you how many people get pregnant after cleansing! If you are not up for a full 21 days, consider juicing once a day for a week. Also consider other areas of your life that may need cleansing - relationships that are not serving, your thoughts, your diet… 77

5) Eat a nutrient dense diet. If your body does not have enough nourishment to keep you alive long term, it will be wise and not create another life. Some fertility boosting foods include organic pastured eggs, coconut oil, fermented veggies, bone broth soups, and fermented cod liver oil. 6) Normalize your weight. Ideal fertility weight is 5 pounds more than your ideal weight. If you are too thin, your body knows there are not enough resources to nourish you, and it will be wise and not create another human. If you are too heavy, you may not be able to metabolize hormones correctly. 7) Get the junk out of your life. Junk comes in many forms – junk TV, junk food, junk (clutter) in your home. The baby’s first home is your uterus. Make sure that is in good shape by going to acupuncture, learning Maya abdominal massage, and applying castor oil packs. The second home for your baby is your body – get that in good shape by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. The third home for your baby is your actual home. How are you and your partner doing? Do you have a loving relationship that would welcome new life? Is there clutter in your home? Is there room? The fourth home for your baby is the earth. What ways are you connecting with nature? Do you notice the cycles of seasons? Are your hands in the earth? Do you know the moon cycle? Ask yourself: is there room in my life for a baby right now? Are you waiting to get pregnant before you quit smoking, stop drinking diet sodas, or to “be healthy?” Make the improvements to your life now. 78

8) Use plant allies - herbs. My three favorite herbs to boost fertility are nettles, red raspberry leaf, and red clover. You can continue drinking nettles and red raspberry leaf throughout your pregnancy and beyond. You should stop drinking red clover once you are pregnant or after ovulation if you are currently trying to conceive. Make herbal infusions with these herbs and drink them frequently. 9) Castor oil packs. Castor oil packs can help relieve congestion in your lower abdomen and initiate the cleansing and detox systems of the body. It is especially good for people who are prone to fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, or painful periods, but it is best to work with a health care practitioner as there are times when castor oil packs should be avoided. Here’s how: Take a piece of material such as a thin piece of organic cotton flannel or even a washcloth and saturate it with Castor Oil. Place the soaked cloth on your lower abdomen. Next, place a thin dry towel on your abdomen. Next place something warm over the cloth such as a hot water bottle, heating pad, or a heated rice pack. Place one more large towel over all the other layers and then relax while listening to soothing music for 20-40 minutes. If you remember only one thing from this article, let it be this: You are naturally fertile. If you are struggling with fertility, give up the struggle (not the HOPE of having a baby) and go do more of what makes you feel alive and vibrant. That energy is the energy you need to create life. Live your life now and know that the Universe is always conspiring in your favor. You are a fertile being…and that is true whether you have a baby right now or not.


DIY Tutorial

DIY Activity Birdfeeder

|by Jennie Lyon

Our backyard is a huge nature preserve and one of my son’s favorite spring time activities is to sit on our patio and watch the birds darting in and out of the trees. After a few days of minimal visits from our feathered friends, we decided to entice them to visit our backyard. We grabbed a couple of pinecones from the front yard, a huge scoop of organic nut butter, some baker’s twine and a bowl full of nuts and seeds and headed outside to make them a little treat. This craft only takes a few minutes, but it combines everything that children love – getting their hands dirty, having a little snack, making something fun and nature. Read on for the full directions and enjoy an afternoon making simple, spring organic pinecone birdfeeders for your backyard.

Materials: • • • • •

Pinecones Baker’s twine Organic nut butter Organic nuts and seeds Scissors


1. Add the Baker’s Twine Simply tie a piece of baker’s twine around the pinecone near the top. This would be the perfect time to reuse a large piece of ribbon, string or yarn that you have lying around the house. 2. Add Nut Butter Roll the pinecones in the nut butter until it is completely coated. You can also use a knife, or let your child dig right in with her hands to get the nut butter in every nook and cranny. 3. Add the Nuts and Seeds Roll the nut butter covered pinecones in the nuts and seeds until the entire surface of the pinecones are completely covered. Push pieces into the folds of the pinecone for an added bonus. 4. Hang Your Birdfeeder, Listen, and Watch! Choose a place in your backyard where you have seen birds visit before. Then sit quietly and enjoy watching them! 80


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