I don’t usually get too concerned with the political side of our business, mainly because I don’t really know that much about it. My sister, who also works at Nature’s Fare, is far more involved in those matters. Not only does she advocate for our industry to our local members of parliament, she has been to Parliament Hill in Ottawa to discuss industry regulations and is actively involved as a director of the Canadian Health Food Association. Recently, she, along with a few of our staff members, went to Kelowna to meet with Ron Cannon, the area MP. The discussion was in regards to a deadline announced by Health Canada that could affect a large number of vitamin and supplement products. Before I get going too much on that I think I should probably back up and give a little bit of history.
A few years ago, Health Canada decided that Natural Health Products (vitamins, supplements, and even some grocery products fall into this category) should be more strictly regulated. Currently, all Natural Health Products (NHPs) are positioned as a subset of the Food and Drug Act and regulated as drugs. In an effort to standardize the requirements for natural health products, Health Canada created the Natural Health Product regulations, which...
Candles help set the mood in your home, and can add a sense of warmth and relaxation. However, there are some ingredients in many candles that add harmful pollutants to your homes air quality.
Most of the candles on the market are made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum also contain synthetic fragrances which are also derived from petroleum. Less common are candles that are made from plant oils such as soybean oil, palm oil, hemp oil, or from beeswax. Research has shown that when paraffin wax candles are burned for over five hours inside a chamber there are measurable amounts of chemicals emitted. Experts found varying levels of cancer-causing toluene and benzene, as well as other hydrocarbon chemicals called alkanes and alkenes, which are components of gasoline and can irritate respiratory tracts and trigger asthma.
Chemicals that reduce your indoor air quality aren’t the only problem associated with paraffin candles. Previous research into candle pollution found paraffin that candles can emit ultrafine, lung-damaging particulate matter that’s capable of penetrating deep into the lungs. The harmful effects can be long lasting since candle soot can deposit on furniture, in carpeting, and in walls.
Nature’s Fare Markets proudly offers a variety of locally harvested beeswax and non-GMO soy candles.
Try these tips to enjoy candles without polluting your indoor air:
• Beeswax Candles. Paraffin candles release chemicals because of improper combustion; meaning that the flame doesn’t get hot enough to burn the oil completely, and chemicals are released as a result. Beeswax candles burn at lower...
Pumping Iron Dr. Kate Rheaume and Natural Factors
Iron deficiency is a common nutrient deficiency. Iron plays a central role in the hemoglobin molecule of our red blood cells where it functions in transporting oxygen throughout the body. Iron also functions in several key enzymes in energy production. Often the dietary intake of iron does not adequately satisfy the body’s needs. This is particularly common in menstruating women, who lose iron every month, and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Vegetarians are at an increased risk for iron deficiency, since their iron intake is often low. Furthermore, since adequate stomach acid is needed to absorb iron, absorption tends to decline with age due to decreasing stomach acid levels. This puts the elderly at great risk for iron deficiency, as well as people who frequently use antacid medications.
Anemia is a condition in which the blood is lacking in red blood cells or hemoglobin. Iron dependent enzymes involved in energy production are the first to be affected by low iron levels, which is one reason iron deficiency causes fatigue. That being said, don’t assume you need an iron supplement just because your energy is flagging! A blood test that measures serum ferritin, the iron storage protein, is the best way to determine iron deficiency. Individuals that are at low risk for iron deficiency (like men and non-menstruating women) shouldn’t take iron “just because”.
The most easily absorbable form of dietary iron is red meat, especially liver. Good non-meat sources of iron include beans, molasses, dried fruits,...
The onset of warmer weather brings us outdoor activities like hiking, camping, sports and picnics. Unfortunately it also brings with it mosquitoes, black flies, and bees. To reduce the number of itches and ouches you experience this summer, try a natural insect repellent with active ingredients like essential oils.
Most conventional insect repellents contain the active ingredient DEET, which is an abbreviation for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide. DEET was originally created for use as a pesticide; however the United States army soon adopted the chemical for use in jungle warfare in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. It is a yellowish oil that can be applied to skin or clothing and can be quite helpful in repelling a majority of insects. Although effective at repelling insects, DEET has been known to cause skin irritations, and in some cases insomnia, mood disturbances and impaired cognitive functions. Studies have shown that DEET inhibits the activity of a central nervous system enzyme in both mammals and insects, which, in serious cases, can cause paralysis and asphyxiation.
Instead of DEET, try using a product that contains essential oils which will discourage insects from invading your space. Lemon eucalyptus, geranium, thyme, clove, citronella and neem are all oils that have insecticidal compounds that are safe for use on human skin. Some natural brands like All Terrain have tested 100% effective for up to two hours of use, and 98% effective for up to three hours of use. Natural formulas are allergy tested, safe for sensitive skin, and most are sweat resistant. Products...
1. Aloe Vera
If there’s one medicinal plant which has 101 uses, that is none other than aloe vera.
Let’s say that you or a kid in your home suffered from a minor burn, you can use the bottom stalk of aloe vera as a soothing balm by rubbing the exposed end on the burn.
Aside from minor cuts and wounds, this medicinal aloe vera is also great for burns, treating eczema and reducing inflammation.
Did you know that this medicinal plant can even be taken internally? You can actually drink aloe vera juice and use it to treat digestive problems, ulcerative colitis, chronic constipation and poor appetite. This plant grows well under the sun, so it works best for outdoor gardens.
2. Great Burdock
Also called edible burdock or Lappa burdock, this medicinal plant is actually used as a root vegetable. In traditional medicine, the Great Burdock is used as a blood purifying agent, a diuretic and a diaphoretic.
Aside from being medicinal, this plant also has great aesthetic value because of its purple-and-green thorny flowers which looks great against any garden.
If you would like to add this medicinal plant to your backyard pharmacy, this can actually grow even without shade; just make sure that the soil is always moist so that the plant will thrive. Other uses for this medicinal plant include boils, rashes, bruises, burns, acne, ringworm and bites.
3. Pot Marigold
The good thing about growing this medicinal plant in your garden is that it can thrive under any soil condition.
As long as you make sure that the Pot Marigold...
Ok, these are actually quinoa (keen-wah) patties, but I have developed a habit of pronouncing quinoa phonetically because my boyfriend thinks that it is funny and constantly calls this amazing seed quinn-oh-ah. I feel a little silly when I’m at the Vernon Apple Bistro and ask our staff member Natalie for a quinn-oh-ah tabouli salad, but it’s in my head now and it won’t get out.
Regardless of pronunciation, I love this little seed! Far more versatile than other grains/seeds, we use quinoa at home at least a few times a week. For me it’s great because I am able to still get a healthy dose of protein even if I choose to go vegetarian that day. My most recent quinoa creation is Quinoa Patties, which are exactly what they sound like, although the name does not give justice to their insane deliciousness. They are also incredibly easy to make and are a great use for left over quinoa. They are actually so good that we are going to be making them for the Apple Bistro in the near future!
Here is the recipe:
- 2 ½ cups cooked quinoa at room temperature
- 4 large eggs beaten (or if you prefer, just the egg whites work too)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
Raspberry Ketone is the primary aromatic compound found naturally in raspberries. Raspberry Ketone supplements have become increasingly popular after Dr. Oz featured the product on one of his episodes. Research has shown that raspberry ketones can be helpful in assisting weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Scientists have discovered that people whose diets were supplemented with raspberry ketones had higher levels of adiponectin, a protein used by the body to regulate metabolism, then those who did not supplement. From this, scientists were able to conclude that raspberry ketones prevented and improved obesity in fat cells and liver cells.
Additionally, it was discovered that raspberry ketones were able to alter lipid metabolism – specifically increasing norepinephrine-induced lipolysis in fat cells – which is scientific talk for the breakdown of fat cells. Similar to cayenne pepper, raspberry ketones are also able to increase thermogenesis in the body, which is the production of heat to create and consume energy. Thermogenesis enhances energy metabolism and thus encourages calorie consumption.
Lately there has been an increase in attention directed towards sunscreens and their active ingredients. Thanks to an informative seminar given by Lorna Vanderhaege that I attended a few years ago, I know that most conventional personal care products are teeming with hormone disrupters and estrogen mimickers. Sodium lauryl sulfate is used to get that nice foaming lather in shampoos and soaps, and parabens are generally used as preservatives. These hormone disrupters interfere with the normal action of our bodies’ endocrine system, meaning the system of hormones that is responsible for development, behavior, fertility, and a host of other functions. Messing around with the endocrine system can have long term side effects like cancerous tumors, learning disabilities, sexual development problems, and the list goes on.
Generally, I buy all my personal care items like shampoo and soap at Nature’s Fare, and I feel safe knowing that our purchasers have taken care to pick products that are free from these chemical compounds. There are times however, if I am on vacation for example, that I don’t have the option of popping into an NF (that’s our staffers nickname for our stores) to pick up a product that I know is hormone safe. Case in point, in May my boyfriend and I took a much needed...