WWB March Ideal Finds Features Inspiration from the Philadelphia Flower Show & Treats for Bird Chirping Weather

Mar 30, 2018 by

 

BlogMarch18

 

Yes bring on the bird chirping weather! In my area of the country, we have had a very slow start to spring.  With snow still on the ground, it was delightful and uplifting to attend the Philadelphia Flower Show this month for Spring inspiration and color therapy. Having attended many beauty, health, and wellness shows for most of my career, it’s a thrill to add this show to my personal must go list! Presented by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society the beautiful and creative botanical exhibits are the main attraction, but there was also unique exhibitors from the world of beauty, health and wellness I was thrilled to find and discover.

I remember seeing a quote by Christian Dior that said “After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world.” We agree don’t we! There are so many parallels to draw about women and flowers, but the one I like especially, is each flower and woman is uniquely beautiful and comfortable in their own skin. Take a peak at the WWB branding images and you will see how I’ve always made this connection.

Following are a few Ideal Finds I discovered at the Philadelphia Flower show I thought you would appreciate. All of them make great gifts for loved ones and this includes yourself! As always, I have specific criteria for Ideal Finds, so feel free to review the conscious living values I look for when making the month’s Ideal Finds selections for you. Let’s look forward to bird chirping weather and colorful beautiful flowers blooming. Whether it be in your yard, your garden, or a public park or botanical garden, take time to enjoy the magnificent beauty of Spring…

Happy Easter weekend!

 

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WWB ‘FEEL GOOD’ CHECK LIST

  • Cruelty Free: No animal was harmed or tested on
  • Sustainable & Eco-Friendly: green, organic and sustainable
  • Beauty, Health & Wellness Without Compromise: Free of harmful chemicals known to harm you
  • Socially Responsible: Fairtrade and Social Mission Retail
  • Committed to Wellness Culture

 

 WWB  IDEAL CATEGORIES/MARCH

  • Self Care: Personal care products for calm, relaxation and empowerment
  • Conscious Beauty: Meets one or more of the ‘feel good’ criteria
  • Healthy Epicurean: Edible treats and food with healthy and organic ingredients
  • Artisan Hand Made: Beautifully Designed, Creatively Crafted, Useful & Enduring
  • Books & Inspirational Gifts: Celebrating Wellness Wisdom, Lifestyle & Culture

 

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PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW 2018/WWB Photography

 

HEALTHY EPICUREAN & SELF CARE

 

organic-vanilla-breakfast-tea

The Tea Spot

WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST:  Sustainable & Eco Friendly, Beauty, Health & Wellness Without Compromise

Morning Mojo: Morning Mojo’s boost will help you take charge of the day. This breakfast blend pairs pu-erh with the ideal black teas to create a perfectly rounded morning cuppa. Pu-erh, known for its effective caffeine punch, has been used traditionally for centuries as a slimming and beauty tea, as well as a hangover cure. With added vanilla to smooth out your morning routine, and citrus peels for a cleansing glow.

WWB Wellness Note: The Morning Mojo caught our eye at the show but do explore their caffeine free herbal blends as well here!

The Tea Spot Ideal Values: The Tea Spot is a leading producer of handcrafted whole leaf teas and the creator of Steepware®—innovative teawares that make healthy tea effortless and accessible. The company was founded in 2004 by Maria Uspenski, a cancer survivor drawn to the health benefits of whole leaf tea during her recovery. Her message is simple and powerful: tea in its freshest form renders premium flavor and unmatched health benefits. With a steadfast mission to foster health and wellness through tea, The Tea Spot donates ten percent of all sales in-kind to cancer and community wellness programs. To date, they have supported over 100 organizations and touched more than 10,000 lives. The Tea Spot is a Colorado-based Certified B Corp, woman-owned and operated philanthropic business.

 

ARTISAN HAND MADE

 

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Jonathan’s Spoons: This piece seems to be sold at specialty stores around the country. You can check out the makers main passion ( spoons) by visiting his website. To purchase the Sunflower tea steeper visit the Maker’s Market website.

WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST: Sustainable & Eco-Friendly

 

 

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Jonathan’s Ideal Values: My spoons have developed over the years. Originally made of uncommon spoon woods such as lilac, plum, and honeysuckle, I have since chosen to make my spoons of cherry wood. This is a hardwood with handsome color and grain, durable, smooth, and strong. My utensils have a unique sense of balance and warmth because they are designed with the hand and purpose in mind. “Spoons” have become spatulas, tongs, spaghetti forks, spreaders, and more. Today I offer a natural cherry finish, a flame-blackened surface with a sanded edge to reveal an accent of warm cherry wood, as well as flame-blackened stripes and spots.

 

SELF CARE

 

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FORMULA 55  ‘Bath Tablets’

WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST: Beauty, Health & Wellness Without Compromise

DETAILS: The sparkling bath fizzies are made of ground dead sea salts mixed with our signature fragrance blends. When placed in a full tub of water, the tablet fizzes and distributes the fragrance and skin soothing oils throughout the water. I recommend one tablet per bath, although you can break each one up.

INGREDIENTS: ground dead sea salts, epsom salts, baking soda, non gmo-cornstarch, citric acid, almond oil, essential oils

FORMULARY 55 IDEAL VALUES: “We started as a hand-made company and it’s important to us that we remain a hand-made company even as we grow. We’re just getting started, and yet you can already find Formulary 55 products in 800+ retail stores spanning 17 countries!”

 

BambooTraditions

BAMBOO TRADITIONS 

WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST:  Sustainable & Eco-Friendly, Committed to Wellness Culture

PILLOW DETAILS: 

The ultimate pillow for your comfort and relaxation. Shredded memory foam on the inside to keep you properly supported and paired with a hypoallergenic bamboo liner to keep you cool as you rest. Your best night’s rest is only a pillow away.

  • Cover is 40% bamboo (viscose rayon), 60% polyester
  • Removable bamboo outer shell
  • Shredded memory foam inside
  • Perfect for any sleeping position
  • Naturally hypoallergenic, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal
  • Keeps sleeper cool at night

PURCHASE AT AMAZON HERE

BAMBOO TRADITIONS IDEAL VALUES: “Our products are all designed to improve sleep and, ultimately, improve quality of life. The textiles and materials we use are from some of the most sustainable plant sources available. We believe in our products and our customers satisfaction!”

 

BOOKS & INSPIRATIONAL GIFTS

 

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GROW WHAT YOU LOVE by Emily Murphy /NEW Spring 2018

WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST: Committed to Wellness Culture

Grow What You Love, 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life, featuring 12 sets of seasonal ingredients, garden-to-table recipes, and easy to follow methods for growing your garden, no matter the size. The colorful book will begin with an exploration of Emily’s approach to gardening and how it can fit into modern life with little time and effort. She will go on to give advice on how best to choose food plants that readers love, or can discover, and follows with simple methods for garden-to-table growing, including a selection of her favorite seasonal recipes. The result for readers will be a garden-fresh bounty for any time of the year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Emily Murphy is an organic gardener with a BS in Ethnobotanical Resources from Humboldt State University under which she studied botany, environmental science, and ecology as well as religious and cultural studies, and herbal medicine. She later studied pedagogy at Sierra Nevada College and garden design with the California School of Garden Design, and worked as a classroom teacher and school garden educator. She teaches and speaks regularly about gardening and living, and her writing appears in numerous publications such as Better Homes & Gardens. Visit her blog here.

AUTHOR’S IDEAL VALUES: “In gardening, as in life, I say, GROW WHAT YOU LOVE. Find the things that make you happy and grow them. Lots of them!”

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WWB WATCH: Fact or Fable? What to Eat When Researchers & Experts Can’t Agree…

Sep 3, 2015 by

 

Have you seen the news this week about eating organic? It was an article from Quartz Media which is a digital business publication from ‘The Atlantic’. The headline reads ‘Buying Organic Veggies at the Supermarket is a Waste of Money’. When you dig in you’ll find it’s a pretty harsh piece as well. This has been an ongoing debate for the last two years. Last summer the LA Times published a piece entitled ‘Organic Foods Are More Nutritious According to a Review of 343 Studies.’ They were not the only ones to share these findings and these studies set off another media storm of articles completely debunking the findings. See links below to read full articles.

 

Buying Organic Veggies at the Supermarket is a Waste of Money’. August 29, 2015

 ‘Organic Foods Are More Nutritious According to a Review of 343 Studies.’ July 14, 2014

 

Photo by Taryn St. Michele on Flickr

Confused enough? I don’t blame you. Don’t despair, since I read a lot about wellness culture, I can tell you that the argument has been pretty much settled amongst the scientific and medical communities. The conclusion is, there appears to be no consistent differences in the level of vitamins and minerals in organic versus conventionally grown produce. So, when you read the article from Quartz this week, you may come away with a pretty cynical view of the organic industry in general. And I remind you of the word ‘industry’. Big business is big business and ALL of them, both conventional and organic have their interests to protect. So when you live in a capitalistic, consumer market driven society like we do in America, you pretty much have to question everything and always weigh all your options. Why read a lot? Because industry isn’t so much worried about your annual physical, as they are about their quarterly reports! Does this mean you shouldn’t buy organic as the Quartz article concludes? Not so fast–let’s discuss this with some real context…

Right about the same time as these studies and arguments flared up, Marion Nestle PhD and Nutritionist added her expert opinion about this and the headline was…

  Are organic foods more nutritious? And is this the right question?

Marion runs the Food Politics website and is one of my wise gurus at WWB. I trust her assessments because she asks the right questions, always offers context and seems to be an advocate for Public Health. Here are a few of her comments regarding the studies claiming organic food is more nutritious circa 2014.

1. The study is not independently funded.   One of the funders is identified as the Sheepdrove Trust, which funds research in support of organic and sustainable farming.

This study is another example of how the outcome of sponsored research invariably favors the sponsor’s interests.  The paper says “the  Trust  had  no  influence  on  the  design  and management of the  research  project  and  the  preparation  of publications  from the project,” but that’s exactly studies funded by Coca-Cola say.  It’s an amazing coincidence how the results of sponsored studies almost invariably favor the sponsor’s interests.  And that’s true of results I like just as it is of results that I don’t like.

2.  The purpose of the study is questionable.  The rationale for the study is “Demand for organic foods is partially driven by consumers’ perceptions that they are more nutritious.”  The implication here is that research must prove organics more nutritious in order to market them.  But most people who buy organics do so because they understand that organics are about production values.  As I said, if they are more nutritious, it’s a bonus, but there are plenty of other good reasons to prefer them.

 

 

Dr. Nestle said she buys organic foods, because she believes they are better for the environment and wants to avoid pesticides. “If they are also more nutritious, that’s a bonus,” she said. “How significant a bonus? Hard to say.”

I have always found Marion Nestle grounded, unbiased, and wise. Great reasons to follow her website Food Politics.  Almost every article I researched on the subject concluded it is better to eat more fruits and vegetables regardless of the source ( organic or conventional). But I found the following two statements disturbing. In the recent Quartz article, there was a pull out statement that read,“Organic” has essentially become another way of saying “luxury.” In a recent article from the LA Times (May 2015), now with a different headline (one year later) Is Organic Food Worth the Higher Price? Many Experts Say No, the journalist ended the article with a statement from Liz Applegate, director of sports nutrition at UC Davis.

As for organic foods, she said, consumers shouldn’t stress about buying the priciest shade-grown, free-range, no-chemicals-added products.

“My advice is to buy organic when affordable,” Applegate said. “But for a consumer trying to feed a family in as healthy a way as possible, the cost probably isn’t worth it. What’s more important is simply eating fruits and vegetables, no matter how they were grown.”

If the ‘luxury statement’ is true and it turns out organic is really healthier and less harmful, then where does that leave the majority of consumers who can’t afford it? The haves and the have-nots should never be divided when it comes to food or education and yet that seems to be where we are headed in this country. I am sure there are many who will defend organic or agree with the Quartz article. I would love to hear from all of you. But please remember my only goal here is to ask questions and find context when there are so many confusing and conflicting reports out there in mainstream media. I am always going to tell you, “Be Your Own Guru”!

Another sound article on the subject is from the Mayo Clinic. Follow this link for their easy to digest report on the Organic debate. I pulled the following safety tips for you from the article, so we can try to be safe no matter where we get our produce from! Speaking of safe, all certified organic foods are free of GMO’s and this is a whole other highly charged debate and topic. But something you should know when considering the organic debate…

Food safety tips

 Whether you go totally organic or opt to mix conventional and organic foods, be sure to keep these tips in mind:
  • Select a variety of foods from a variety of sources. This will give you a better mix of nutrients and reduce your likelihood of exposure to a single pesticide.
  • Buy fruits and vegetables in season when possible. To get the freshest produce, ask your grocer what day new produce arrives. Or buy food from your local farmers market.
  • Read food labels carefully. Just because a product says it’s organic or contains organic ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthier alternative. Some organic products may still be high in sugar, salt, fat or calories.
  • Wash and scrub fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water. Washing helps remove dirt, bacteria and traces of chemicals from the surface of fruits and vegetables. Not all pesticide residues can be removed by washing, though. You can also peel fruits and vegetables, but peeling can mean losing some fiber and nutrients.

 

In the end I agree with Marion Nestle. When it comes selecting my produce I would opt for less chemicals and pesticides. I don’t want to read 10 years from now that certain cancers could have been avoided if we only used less of them! I do look at EWG’s dirty dozen list and the clean fifteen. If organic farming is the ideal and healthiest production method, then why don’t we make sure all our food sources are produced safely for ALL of us.  Safe produce shouldn’t be a ‘luxury’. On the bright side, I did find the closing statement of the tough Quartz article pretty wise….

 

If you want to know more about your fruits and vegetables, buy them at the local farmers market, organic or not. The prices are often competitive with supermarkets, the in-season goods will be fresher than those shipped long distances, and any questions you have on production practices can be asked and answered on the spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WWB Introduces ‘The Watch’ –A News Alert Featuring the Latest Developments in Wellness Culture

Jul 16, 2014 by


 


 

THE WATCH: I am introducing this new WWB department to help keep you informed about major developments in wellness culture. I know how busy we all are and sometimes we miss or gloss over important news stories. ‘The Watch’ will only feature major developments in the beauty, health and wellness sectors and my mission with this department is to keep the ‘news developments that matter’ on your radar. The following article below is a major development in the nutrition and food sector for your review. Sometimes there are not perfect conclusions to studies and this is why we should always WATCH and seek out balanced and measured reports whenever an important study like this hits the media. Health studies in particular often become reduced to fast ‘sound-bites’ in the news and now more than ever it is important to watch and weigh the findings when new studies are released. Keep in mind, I am not making any conclusions for you here, and only strive to encourage ‘deeper inquiry’ before leaping to any definitive conclusions. ~Truly Herself, Lauroly

NEW STUDY & FINDINGS: There has been an ongoing argument on whether eating organic foods is healthier than eating conventionally grown foods, but now it looks as though a major study has given us some ‘proof in the puddin’ that eating organic is overall a better choice for us and the environment. But wait, hold on, don’t drink the Kool-Aid just yet! See the recent NYT article below for more details on the study. Discover how the experts weigh in and then be your own wise guru when it comes to your food purchases. I especially appreciate the quotes from Dr. Marion Nestle. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley. For a quick takeaway, see her comments and conclusions about this major study at the end of the NYT article below. I find myself agreeing with her assessments and this is why…

Dr. Nestle has been featured here at WWB in our Healthy Epicurean department and is the author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (2002, paperback 2003) and Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety(2003, paperback 2004), both from University of California Press. In 2003, Food Politics won awards from the Association for American Publishers (outstanding title in allied health), James Beard Foundation (literary), and World Hunger Year (Harry Chapin media). Safe Food won the Steinhardt School of Education’s Griffiths Research Award in 2004.

I highly recommend following her digital blog FOOD POLITICS  if you seek wise, grounded, and penetrating coverage of the food industry and want to learn more on how both industry and politics have a huge impact on your food and diet. See my WWB Q&A with her here to learn more about her latest bestseller ‘Why Calories Count’ from Science to Politics’. Dr. Nestle is dedicated to education and her overall body of work will help you decode the findings of studies before you implement any change in your health regimen.

Hope you appreciate the new WWB department! As I always say, be wise and do what’s best for your own bio-individuality and lifestyle. But keep in mind that ‘we’ as a collective society and culture can agree on important things-and clean food free of pesticides might be something we can all get on board with! 😉

Truly Herself,
Lauroly

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Study of Organic Crops Finds Fewer Pesticides

and More Antioxidants

By  

  
A hydroponic greenhouse in Connecticut. An estimate says that domestic organic food sales reached $32.3 billion last year. Credit Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times
Adding fuel to the debates over the merits of organic food, a comprehensive review of earlier studies found substantially higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides in organic fruits, vegetables and grains compared with conventionally grown produce.

“It shows very clearly how you grow your food has an impact,” said Carlo Leifert, a professor of ecological agriculture at Newcastle University in England, who led the research. “If you buy organic fruits and vegetables, you can be sure you have, on average, a higher amount of antioxidants at the same calorie level.”

However, the full findings, to be published next week in the British Journal of Nutrition, stop short of claiming that eating organic produce will lead to better health.

“We are not making health claims based on this study, because we can’t,” Dr. Leifert said. The study, he said, is insufficient “to say organic food is definitely healthier for you, and it doesn’t tell you anything about how much of a health impact switching to organic food could have.”

  

CreditPaul O. Boisvert for The New York Times

A review of earlier studies found significant differences between organic and conventionally grown produce.

Still, the authors note that other studies have suggested some of the antioxidants have been linked to a lower risk of cancer and other diseases.

The conclusions in the new report run counter to those of a similar analysis published two years ago by Stanford scientists, who found few differences in the nutritional content of organic and conventionally grown foods. Those scientists said the small differences that did exist were unlikely to influence the health of the people who chose to buy organic foods, which are usually more expensive.

The Stanford study, like the new study, did find pesticide residues were several times higher on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, but played down the significance, because even the higher levels were largely below safety limits.

Organic farming, by and large, eliminates the use of conventional chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Those practices offer ecological benefits like healthier soils but produce less bountiful harvests. The Organic Trade Association, an industry organization, estimated organic food sales last year in the United States at $32.3 billion, or just over 4 percent of the total market.

What is disputed, vociferously, is whether organic fruits and vegetables provide a nutritional lift. Many naysayers regard organic as a marketing ploy to charge higher prices.

“The other argument would be, if you just eat a little bit more fruits and vegetables, you’re going to get more nutrients,” said Alan D. Dangour, a researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Dangour led a review published in 2009 that found no significant nutritional differences between conventional and organic foods.

Such differences are difficult to discern, because other factors that can vary widely from place to place and year to year, like the weather, also influence the nutrients. Even if differences exist, it is unclear whether they would affect consumer health.

In the new study, an international team of scientists did not conduct any laboratory or field work of their own. Instead, they compiled a database from 343 previously published studies and performed a statistical procedure known as a meta-analysis, which attempts to ferret robust bits of information from studies of varying designs and quality.

Some of the studies reported many measurements, some only a few. Some included several crops grown over multiple years, while others looked at only a few samples. But if done properly, the results of a meta-analysis can be greater than the average of its parts.

Over all, organic crops contained 17 percent more antioxidants than conventionally grown crops, the new study found. For some classes of antioxidants, the difference was larger. A group of compounds known as flavanones, for example, were 69 percent higher in the organic produce. (At very high quantities, as in some supplements, some antioxidants have been shown to be harmful, but the levels in organic produce were not nearly that high.)

The researchers said they analyzed the data in several different ways, and each time the general results remained robust.

The study cost $429,000, which came from the European Union and the Sheepdrove Trust, a British charity that supports organic farming research. The scientists said the money came with no strings, and their research passed the rigor of scientific peer review for publication.

Charles M. Benbrook, a professor at Washington State University and another author of the paper, said this analysis improved on earlier reviews, in part because it incorporated recent new studies.

The findings fit with the expectation that without pesticides, plants would produce more antioxidants, many of which serve as defenses against pests and disease.

The study also found that organically produced foods, particularly grains, contain lower levels of cadmium, a toxic metal that sometimes contaminates conventional fertilizers. Dr. Benbrook said the researchers were surprised by that finding; there was no difference in other toxic metals like mercury and lead.

Even with the differences and the indications that some antioxidants are beneficial, nutrition experts said the “So what?” question had yet to be answered.

“After that, everything is speculative,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. “It’s a really hard question to answer.”

Dr. Nestle said she buys organic foods, because she believes they are better for the environment and wants to avoid pesticides. “If they are also more nutritious, that’s a bonus,” she said. “How significant a bonus? Hard to say.”

She continued: “There is no reason to think that organic foods would be less nutritious than conventional industrial crops. Some studies in the past have found them to have more of some nutrients. Other studies have not. This one looked at more studies and has better statistics.”

Dr. Dangour, however, remained entirely unconvinced. He said the researchers erred in not excluding the weaker studies from the analysis. “To my mind, there’s no convincing evidence that these foods are different in nutritional composition,” he said.

 

 

 

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