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Kiwis - the facts on the fuzzy brown fruit Feb 17 2008 6:38 PM

by lucy

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 A lot of people are curious about the kiwi and why we chose to make Glow Mama from real kiwifruit juice.  kiwi.jpgSo, while I'm not a kiwifruit expert, grower, salesperson or spokesperson... I am a fan, and I'd like for them to have their 15 minutes in the spotlight.  So here are some of the facts, straight from the California Kiwifruit Commission.  

Check out the folic acid, fiber and vitamin C levels in particular - great for us moms and moms-to-be!

 

 

Did you know kiwifruit has the highest level of Vitamin C? Kiwifruit has almost twice the Vitamin C of an orange. A serving of kiwifruit (two medium) provides about 230% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance. Vitamin C aids in wound healing, iron absorption and maintains bones, blood vessels and teeth.

Did you know kiwifruit outranks bananas as the top low-sodium, high potassium fruit? A serving of kiwifruit contains an average of 20% more potassium than a banana. Potassium is an important mineral that controls heart activity and works with sodium to maintain fluid balance in the body.

Did you know kiwifruit is a good low-fat source of Vitamin E? A serving of kiwifruit has some 10% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance. Kiwifruit actually has twice the Vitamin E of an avocado, but has only 60% of the avocado's calories. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and may reduce the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.

Did you know there are few foods equal to kiwifruit in folic acid? Kiwifruit provides 10% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of folic acid, or folate. Folic acid is essential to the reproduction and formation of red blood cells. Lack of folic acid can contribute to some problems of anemia and it is especially important for expectant mothers to protect against birth defects.

Did you know kiwifruit is especially rich in lutein? Kiwifruit ranked higher than spinach and all other fruits and vegetables, except yellow corn, for its lutein content. Lutein is aniStock_000003027558XSmall.jpg antioxidant that may decrease the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration.

Did you know kiwifruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber? Kiwifruit provides both soluble and insoluble forms of fiber (16% USRDA), providing more than a serving of bran flakes and four times that of a cup of chopped celery. Soluble fiber appears to play a protective role in heart disease and diabetes, while insoluble fiber aids in prevention of constipation, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and some forms of cancer.

Did you know all the other rich minerals that are in kiwifruit? Besides potassium, there are four minerals contained in kiwifruit which have a nutrient density of one or more. These are: calcium (RDA of 5.5%); Iron (RDA, 4%); Magnesium (RDA, 6%) and Copper (RDA, 8%). In addition, kiwifruit is an unusual supplier of some new researched trace minerals including Manganese, essential to the enzymes involved in the body's use of protein and food energy, and Chromium, known to be a key factor in regulating the heartbeat and the body's use of carbohydrates.

Did you know kiwifruit promotes heart health? Enjoying just a couple of kiwifruit each day can significantly lower your risk for blood clots (platelet aggregation reduction 18%) and reduce the amount of fats (15% reduction of triglycerides) in your blood.

Did you know kiwifruit protects against Cancer and aids in DNA repair? Eating kiwifruit daily can provide substantial protection against DNA damage that can trigger cancer and, more significantly, greatly speeds the repair of DNA damage.

Did you know kiwifruit is the most nutrient dense fruit? A study conducted by Dr. Paul Lachance of Rutgers University evaluated the nutritional value of fruits to determine-ounce for ounce-which provide the most nutrition. The study found that out of the 27 most commonly consumed fruits; kiwifruit is the most nutrient dense.

California Kiwifruit Commission


Homemade Cleaning Products - A Baby Step Feb 13 2008 4:30 PM

by mindfulmomma

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I've been wanting to start making some of my own household cleaning products for some time now.  It looks so easy, it's better for the environment, saves money, a no brainer, huh? 

Thing is, a person like me is always thinking way too big - as in 'I need to buy every possible ingredient, read every source of information and experiment like crazy before I write a post aboutthis topic.'  Aaaah, but I caught myself - and this time I'm taking baby steps. 

No, I don't have the borax or the soap flakes or the washing soda yet.  But I do have ingredients that I already have in my house:  baking soda, vinegar and some essential oils.

I whipped up a simple sink scrub that made my stainless steel kitchen sink shine and left the whole kitchen smelling fresh.  Oh, and the 'volcano' action you get when you mix the baking soda and vinegar is a fun little science experiment for the kiddos - so get them in on the action!

1/4 cup baking soda

1/4 cup white vinegar

3-5 drops of essential oil (those with antibacterial properties include lavender, lemon, lime, orange, sandalwood, cypress, chamomile, rosemary, thyme, lemongrass and others)

auracacia.jpgI used an essential oil blend from Aura Cacia.  I love their Essential Solutions blends because I don't have to buy a bunch of individual oils.  They create the blends for various effects:  Creative Juice is energizing, Pep Talk is refreshing, Chill Pill is soothing and Mellow Mix (the one that I use) is calming with lavender, lemon, sandalwood, roman chamomile, petitgrain and neroli oils.  It smells SO good! 

I also made a garbage pail freshener using the same essential oil blend.  Just fill a spray bottle with water, add 8-12 drops of essential oil and viola - you're armed and ready to overcome the stench of a stinky pail - without filling the air with toxic chemicals.

Watch out, I just might try some more!  I'll keep you posted as I work my way through the book The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier.  It's got some great tips and over 100 recipes for anyone inclined to DIY.


A Healthy Response to a Year of Toy Recalls Feb 06 2008 12:46 PM

by mindfulmomma

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No doubt about it, there's been a LOT of press about toy recalls in the past year.  As parents are scrambling to figure out what's safe and what's not, some new websites have popped up to help.  Here are a few:

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HealthyToys.org is a consumer action guide to toxic chemicals in toys.  They test toys for five key elements that indicate the presence of chemicals that are linked to long-term negative health effects. Those five elements are:

  • Lead - a heavy metal used as a stabilizer in PVC and as pigment in paints and coatings.
  • Mercury - used in inks, adhesives, and in forming polyurethanes. 
  • Cadmium - a heavy metal used in PVC and in many paints and coatings.  
  • Chlorine - associated with the use of PVC - polyvinyl chloride.
  • Arsenic - a heavy metal used as a wood preservative and in the production of fertilizers and insecticides.

Use their product search guide to search by name, by brand or by type of toy.  You can even request that a specific toy be tested, although they seem to have a long waiting list. 

Each product gets an overall hazard rating (High, Med or Low) based on the levels of the 5 elements.  However, they do make it a point to say that their rating is NOT a specific measure of chemical exposure or health risk.   It is simply a relative measure of the level of the chemical on the toy's surface.

We've got a tub full of plastic fruit in our house...all either from hand-me-downs or garage sales...so I was very concerned when I found a rating for plastic fruit that looked similar to some of mine (although mine is made in Malasia, not China).  It was rated HIGH overall, due to very high levels of lead and cadmium.  So, what should I do with my big tub of fruit? Since we're beyond the 'everything in the mouth' stage around here, my gut says we're OK, but honestly....this is tricky stuff.

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The Consumer's Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports) has a website called Not In My Cart that is kind of a one-stop shop for information about recalls.  It's got toys and other household products (and even some food) all in one spot.  It's updated daily with the latest recalls.  Photos of each product are included which makes it easy to tell right away whether or not the recall is something you've got in your house.

The mission of Not In My Cart is not only to provide consumers with an easy way to keep track of recalls but also to facilitate ACTION.  In fact, they're calling 2008 the Year for Reform (2007 was the year of the recall).  The website's TAKE ACTION page has a form letter for you to fill out and send to your members of Congress urging them to stop unsafe imports.  It just takes a minute, so I urge you to do it!

MyThings.gif

 

 

MyThings is an interesting concept.  It's mainly an organizational tool - to help you keep track of your receipts, warranties and insurance documents.  But they've added a new service called MyThings Recall Alert in response to the flood of toy recalls going on these days.

It's very simple:  Make a list of the things you own.  Then, if something is recalled in the future, they will let you know by email.  The service is free - all you need to do is register with your email address.  I just might try this - that is if I remember to keep track of the UPC codes....


Birthways Birth and Parenting Resource Center Feb 04 2008 10:42 PM

by lucy

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birthways2.gifThis past Saturday I had the pleasure of sharing Glow Mama with a wonderful group of women at the Grand Opening of Birthways' Birth and Parenting Resource Center. 

You must check out the small but incredible room down the back of Waddle and Swaddle (1677 Shattuck Ave in Berkeley) - its packed to the ceiling with magazines, books, DVDs, a computer and of course the contact details and reviews of loads of local doulas and midwives.  And the mural is equally as cool - did she really do that freehand straight on the wall?  I'll definitely be making a special trip back again IF we ever get around to #2 (no questions or pressure please - one and a startup is enough for now).

Anyway, congrats Rebecca and Birthways team.  I did enjoy Henci Goers talk on Avoiding an Unnecessary Cesarean (despite being horrified and dumbfounded by the stats).  See you all again at the Easy Bay Baby Fair in March if not before!birthways1.jpg

 


Glass Baby Bottles - A Safer Choice? Jan 30 2008 2:29 PM

by mindfulmomma

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Glass and babies.  Doesn't sound like a safe combination to me.  But glass baby bottles have been making quite the comeback lately. 

babybottledad.jpgThat's because there's been a lot of bad press about plastic baby bottles.  Many of them are made from polycarbonate plastic (the clear, hard type as opposed to the cloudy, more pliable type) which contains a chemical called Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA.

Numerous studies, including a 2007 study of baby bottles by Environment California have shown that BPA can leach out of bottles and into whatever liquid they contain.  The problem is magnified when liquid is heated in the bottle - a pretty common occurrence with baby bottles, I'd say.  The big concern is that very low doses of BPA can lead to some pretty big health problems like breast cancer, diabetes, early puberty and infertility. 

There are so many people clamoring for glass baby bottles that I've heard they can be hard to find.  But it looks like they are available on Amazon if you can't find them locally.  Evenflo, Dr. Browns and BornFree are some of the brands available.

But still, glass and babies???  Their sudden movements could potentially send a bottle flying...and shattering.  And toddlers?  You never know what they might do!  Fortunately, for every problem, there is a creative solution.  Here are a few:

  • etsybottlecosy.jpgSiliskins - A silicone sleeve or 'skin' that slides easily over a glass bottle. They come in pretty colors but are translucent so you can still read the measurements on the bottle.
  • Wee go - Another protective, silicone sleeve that's easy for baby to grip.
  • A handmade bottle cosy - this one's made from recycled cotton sweaters and old buttons, I found it on Etsy!

If glass still doesn't work for you - don't worry - BPA-free plastic bottles are also available.  BornFree and Green to Grow are a couple brands that come to mind.


What makes you glow? Jan 29 2008 1:30 PM

by Glow Mama

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glowingbody.jpg We've just been sitting here brainstorming about our favorite things that make us smile and glow, so we thought we'd open the question up to everyone....

What makes you shine?  What gives you your inner glow?

 

We'll keep adding to our list, but so far we have:facial.jpg

  • A sleeping baby (especially our own)
  • Random but sincere compliments
  • Great facials
  • Bakesale Betty's banana bread
  • The knowledge that you married the right person

 

 


Glow Mama's Blogher.com Giveaway! Jan 29 2008 12:46 PM

by lucy

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blogherfreestuff.bmp

 

 

 

Morning all,blogher.jpg

 I thought I'd pass on the news of our exciting write up in the Blogher.com Fabulous Deals newsletter. Feel free to enter...

blogherglow.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Stuff: Glow. It's not just for J.Lo anymore.
Are you a woman looking for glowier skin and a healthier bod? Look no further than this drink created by a woman for women: Glow Mama. Glow Mama is a natural juice beverage made especially for you. With the crisp invigorating taste of kiwi (one of earth's most nutrient-rich fruits), Glow Mama keeps you happy, healthy, and hydrated so you can nourish your inner glow. And, it's just 70 calories. The woman behind Glow Mama has generously offered to ship a case of Glow Mama to one lucky BlogHer! For a chance to win simply send an email to freestuffandfabdeals (at) gmail.com with the word "GLOW" in the subject line. Please make sure it's a working email so we can contact you if you've won. Winners are chosen at random. Good luck!


Some Like it Mashed, Some Like it Strained... Jan 25 2008 4:02 PM

by mindfulmomma

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Baby food time is short but oh so sweet! It's been awhile since my kids were at that stage but I remember it well. Starting with that first spoonful of watery rice cereal and movin' on to pureed, strained and mashed everything!

Baby's first meals are a good time to start thinking about going organic. Not to sound alarmist, but exposure to pesticides and other industrial chemicals hasbeen linked to cancer, birth defects, and lots of other nasty stuff. And kids are at greater risk than adults because they eat more relative to their body weight. Organic farmers skip the pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and as a result their food is not only safer but higher in nutrition than conventionally grown crops. All the better for our little ones!

I almost want to have another kid just to try some of these tasty organic options...

Happy Baby's cute little bite-sized cubes come frozen, which preserves nutrients better than the heat-processing that jarred baby food endures. And they don't make run-of-the-mill flavors either. Check out the Baby Dahl, made with lentils, cinnamon and coriander. Even the peas are flavored...with mint!

Tastybaby is another line of frozen baby food, developed by 2 Moms who believe in the power of organics.  And they appear to have quite a celebrity following too! Their slightly wacky flavors include Peas on Earth, Sweetie Pie and Kickin' Chicken.

Keep your eyes out for Plum Organics too. Another flash-frozen line hawking vegetable stew, rice pudding and even a black bean tomato ragout for babies!

homemadebaby.jpgHomemade Baby is a line of fresh, organic baby food available in the refrigerated section.  It's organic, it's kosher, it's non-GMO and it comes in 3 textures:  so smooth, good mushy and kinda chunky, to match your baby's developmental stages.

Earth's Best is another popular organic brand, available at most co-ops and a lot of mainstream groceries too. How can you resist with product names like Butternut Squash Bisque and Peach Apricot Muesli? I just might try some for lunch!

Of course, you can make your own too. It's really easy and very rewarding.  Winter squash and sweet potatoes were my homemade faves. Wholesome Baby Food is a useful site with recipes and how-to's.

I just have to share this goofy photo of my son Liam which captures the joys of mashed sweet potatoes!

Liam3.JPG


Hello from Mindful Momma! Jan 24 2008 4:08 PM

by mindfulmomma

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Hi!  My name is Micaela.  I'm a Mom of two boys and I'm really excited to be blogging for Glow Mama! 

Like many of you, I'm trying hard to be ?green' and to create a healthy life for my family - and I write about my adventures on my blog, Mindful Momma.  My posts cover all sorts of topics that are of  interestto families who want to dip their toes into this concept of sustainable living.  You will also find picks and pans of eco-friendly products and lots of valuable resources if you want to dig deeper into something that interests you!

Here at Glow Mama, I'll be writing about the kinds of things that new Moms might be interested in.  Like the diaper dilemma (cloth, disposable or in-between?), organic baby food (WOW - there are a lot of options these days!) or how to navigate the crazy maze of toy recalls.

Oh, how I wish Glow Mama was around when I was pregnant!  I can totally relate to the desire for a ?special' drink - water gets SO boring!

Thanks for reading - I hope you enjoy the posts!


Caffeine and Conception Jan 22 2008 1:34 PM

by lucy

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coffee.jpgFinally, some real answers... They have just released the results of a new medical study (done with the help of 1,000 San Fran /Bay Area pregnant women) that came up with some scary findings.  They concluded that consuming more than 200mg of caffeine a day can doublethe risk of miscarriage!    

But how much is 200mg of caffeine?   Well, here's the caffeine levels in some common drinks (and other things we consume)...       

  • Starbucks "tall" coffee                                     240mg
  • 2 Excedrin extra strength tablets                     130mg
  • Can of Redbull                                                  76mg
  • 8oz cup of black tea                                         47mg
  • Can of Diet Coke                                               47mg
  • Hersey's chocolate bar (1.5oz)                         9mg
  • 12oz bottle of Glow Mama                                0mg

The short lived fix/buzz definitely doesn't seem worth the risk to me.   That's why Glow Mama has 0mg of caffeine per bottle. 

Any good tips for those looking to quit the caffeine?

Link to the Jan 21st NPR article.



 

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