My husband and I recently watched a wonderful documentary called The Greater Good, which is about vaccines. It's not completely anti-vaccine but it gives parents information about the potential side-effects. Doctors often lead parents to believe it is a requirement, or even a law, to vaccinate children according to the standard schedule. They often make us feel like horrible, negligent parents for even questioning their expertise. But doctors simply don't have all the facts. They aren't taught about vaccine side-effects in medical school. They aren't even taught what is in vaccines (like formaldehyde, Polysorbate 80 and heavy metals), and the effect that these ingredients have on the body. There actually isn't any research about the long-term side effects of the combination of so many vaccines that children today receive. And doctors certainly don’t realize how big of a part the pharmaceutical companies play in adding unnecessary vaccines to the standard schedule. These drug companies make loads of money by convincing the FDA that their vaccines are critically needed. I wish that every parent would read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears, which is a pretty middle of the road book with great info about the pros and cons of each vaccine. Actually, I feel it leans a little more to the pro-vaccine side, but I still recommend the book to all parents. And visit www.thevaccinebook.com to find a doctor near you who won’t harass you about vaccines. I also recommend visiting the mothering.com forums, which has an entire area about vaccines where parents share their research and insight.
I’m not going to talk about how bad vaccines are or try to convince anyone to not vaccinate. I would even recommend that certain people go ahead with certain vaccines. For example, many of my Head Start students lived with lots of people in small, unsanitary conditions, and ate diets consisting mainly of sugar, dairy, and processed oils, all of which decrease immune function. If you're not going to vaccinate your children then you've gotta make sure their immune system is in tip-top shape. I’m not anti-vaccine. I’m just pro-informed consent. The best thing you can do is look into each vaccine. Learn about the disease it's supposed to prevent, how common it is, how serious it can be, how likely it is to have a serious complication, and the safety of the vaccine. I also recommend looking beyond the CDC for info because they often use wording that is misleading. Consider your circumstances. Are you taking steps to strengthen your child's immune system? Is your baby breastfed? Does your child come into contact with many other children throughout the day? Do you plan to travel internationally? Could you delay this particular vaccine until the baby is older? Could you remove it from your vaccine schedule completely? No one can make your decision for you. Not even your doctor. So start by looking into Hepatitis B, which is the first vaccine babies receive (at birth) and go from there.
I want to clear up some misconceptions about naturopathic doctors (NDs). Because of the American Medical Association (AMA), many people believe that NDs are dangerous quacks and are less educated as MDs. This is far from the truth. Naturopathic doctors also attend medical schools which are approved by both programmatic and regional accreditors recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. They take the exact same classes as medical doctors, and then some. Many courses at naturopathic medical schools are taught by the same professors who teach at traditional (allopathic) medical schools. The only difference between the two schools is their philosophy. MDs treat symptoms. NDs treat patients. The naturopath’s goal is to facilitate the body's innate ability to heal itself, minimizing the risk of harm from medications. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia license naturopathic doctors, which means that in those states naturopaths function as primary care physicians, and many have prescriptive rights, attend childbirth, perform minor surgeries, and are covered by insurance companies.
What I love about my naturopath is that she spends time getting to know me. When I see medical doctors they have a standard checklist and procedure. The nurse checks my weight and blood pressure, asks if I have had any medication changes, and then leaves me to sit in a room for half an hour until the doctor comes in. Then he goes through his checklist: “Are you feeling tired? Are you experiencing bloating? Muscle tenderness? Heart palpitations? Do you have a family history of such-and-such disease?” All for the sake of following protocol. And then he tells me what he is going to do, without asking me what I want to do. And then of course, as he’s making his way to the door, he finishes with “Do you have any questions?”
When I saw my naturopath for the first time she said, "Tell me everything. Start with the beginning." I began with my childhood and she pried so that she understood what I had been exposed to throughout my life. She asked if I was breastfed, about the type of water I drank and my diet as a child, about the medications I took as a teen, my level of stress, and whether I lived near power lines. She examined my entire situation, rather than one or two symptoms I was experiencing at the moment. I cannot stress enough how important it is for everyone to see a naturopathic doctor. You don’t have to stop seeing your medical doctor. A good MD should be open-minded and supportive of your decision to seek information from other healthcare specialists. If a physician is aggressive or demeaning to other approaches, then that is a red flag. Medical doctors and naturopathic doctors can work together. For example, I’m a thyroid cancer patient. It’s necessary for me to see an endocrinologist who can manage my thyroid hormone replacement and neck ultrasounds. But my ND helps me with diet, lifestyle changes, and supplementation to make my body strong enough to fight cancer. I believe that if everyone was cared for by NDs and followed their advice, we would see a dramatic decrease in disease. Please see the link to the right of this page to find a naturopathic doctor near you.
I was absolutely thrilled to read about this today. It gives me hope for my kids’ future. Victoria’s Secret model Kylie Bissuti has decided to stop modeling for the company because she wants to honor her husband and God with her body and be a better role model to those who look up to her. What sparked her change of heart was a comment made by her eight year old cousin: “I think I want to stop eating so I can look like you.” Now Kylie is encouraging young women to reject some of the false messages that she was receiving. Yay Kylie!
Victoria’s Secret has always been at the top of my “Really Don’t Like List.” It’s one thing to display racy photos inside the store, but Victoria’s Secret hangs them up right in the front window, with no care in the world who might see. It breaks my heart to see people at the mall walking by the almost pornographic picture as if it’s no big deal. All the while, their children are studying it. Maybe they don’t realize or maybe they don’t think it’s that big of a deal. But it is a very big deal. Every time a little girl sees a picture like that it adds to the millions of messages she’s already receiving from the media about what it takes for her to be attractive. According to the National Institute on Media and Family, "A child's body image is influenced by how people around her react to her body and how she looks. A pre-adolescent becomes increasingly aware of what society's standards are for the ‘ideal body.’" Little girls have a need to be attractive and captivating, and when men gawk over a racy photo of a woman, girls quickly learn what they need to look like to get that attention. When they can’t look enough like the ideal body, it leads to low self-esteem, depression, and eating disorders.
But girls are not the only ones harmed by the media. Every time a little boy sees a racy photo it gives him a false expectation of what his future wife should look like. Not to be so explicit, but researchers are finding that pornography ruins a man’s sex life by dulling his ability to please and be pleased by his spouse. I believe that this soft-porn that boys are growing up with on a daily basis has the same effect. Boys have this idea of what women should look like, and then reality hits…women don’t look like that. I just pray that my daughter’s future spouse has good parents who are trying their best to shield their son from the media’s influences.
Let’s try a quick exercise. I want you to close your eyes and pretend that women are no longer the ones being objectified by society. Now, we are objectifying men. Almost every clothing store you walk in displays multiple pictures of muscular men wearing only tight underwear. Almost all of the magazines at the checkout line have pictures of men wearing next to nothing, looking seductive. There might be one picture of a woman on a magazine but the majority are men. Then, you go home and turn on the TV and most of the commercials portray a man acting either seductively or dumb (or both). You accidentally turn the channel to MTV and see a music video with men dancing quite suggestively behind a fully-dressed female singer. Then you get on your computer to search for a picture for your blog and just about many of the pictures you come across is a sexual picture of a man. Quite a culture shift huh?! We don’t even realize how much society objectifies women because we’ve grown up with it and we’re just so used to it.
I want to encourage parents out there to make a big deal of things that you may not have noticed before. Complain about the magazines you find distasteful. Complain to the mall manager about the giant Victoria’s Secret photo or the picture of two naked teens making out on a Hollister bag (these are all things I have complained about). Sometimes you will get an immediate apology and they will take action. Other times they will look at you like you're a freak. Oh well. These are our kids. I also encourage you to join One Million Moms, which is free. They send you email alerts about a certain target (TV network, sponsor, station), giving you a link to take action. The organization has had amazing success getting trash off of TV, like The Playboy Club and Skins. Another great organization is the Parents Television Council. It’s free to join as well. Their goal is to arm parents with the tools they need to make informed decisions about television viewing. Please take one minute of your time and join these two organizations. You won’t regret it!
I can't wait to see the documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. It's about the pink ribbon industry and the profit made off of others' tragedies. Just a few months ago DH was asked to donate and he received some dirty looks when he responded, "Sorry, I don't support that." Please understand that we are not unsympathetic to those who have cancer or have lost loved ones to the disease. My Grandma died of breast cancer when I was seven and it broke my heart. I was also diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year. I know how scary it can be. But we do not need to give money to these foundations who are supposedly looking for a cure. We already know what causes cancer. Cancer, like any other disease, is caused by one thing: malfunctioning cells. Standard cancer treatments just want to kill all of our cells, even the good ones, which leads to a weakened immune system and recurrences. But a natural approach asks, "Why are my cells malfunctioning?" In Raymond Francis's book Never Fear Cancer Again he discusses this. He says that malfunctioning cells are caused by two things: toxicity and deficiency. If we can eliminate toxins/carcinogens and nourish our bodies properly we will kill the cancer cells. Instead of giving money to the cancer industry so that they can "find a cure," we need to encourage insurance companies to cover naturopathic doctors and nutritional supplements.
I first realized that something was wrong with this pink ribbon stuff when I saw the pink ribbon on the Yoplait yogurt container. Their yogurt contains dairy (bad in itself) that is treated with hormones and antibiotics, all kinds of chemical ingredients known to cause disease, and lots of added sugar (cancer cells feed on sugar). There is pink ribbon hair spray, nail polish, candy, all of which are loaded with carcinogens. How messed up is that? If you want to support breast cancer foundations, just buy cancer-causing products. Wonderful! The breast cancer industry is a nearly 1 billion dollar industry. With all of that money going toward breast cancer research, one must wonder if they even really want a cure to be found. After all, if a cure was found a lot of medical professionals would be out of a job.
And why does breast cancer get so much attention anyway? More women die from lung cancer than breast cancer. Oh, I know why. Because our culture sexualizes anything and everything. Teenagers wearing "Save the Tatas" shirts makes me want to puke. Cancer is not something to be taken lightly. It's a horrible thing. Children lose their mothers to breast cancer every day and here goes a 19 year old trying to flaunt what she's got (or wishes she has) under the guise of supporting breast cancer. How about save the lungs? Or save the colons?
If you have cancer or have had cancer, please read Never Fear Cancer Again by Raymond Francis. Also, go see a naturopathic doctor. A naturopathic doctor (N.D.) has completed medical school just as any other medical doctor has. Naturopaths actually receive more schooling than standard medical doctors. The only difference is that medical doctors treat symptoms and naturopathic doctors treat patients.