Sunscreen; Safe or Scary?

As we take time this week to celebrate the birthday of our fair nation, remember to protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of not just the sun but sunscreens as well.

While sunscreen can be an important part of your summer regimen, it's necessary to do your research. According to The Environmental Working Group, this is the first season of new FDA rules for truth in sunscreen marketing. However, many products are not in compliance and labeling can be misleading for consumers. Coupled with the fact that skin cancer is on the rise, this is not good news. According to the Centers for Disease Control, melanoma in both men and women has gone up 1.9 percent per year since 2000. 

 

One of the main carcinogens found in common sunscreens, make-up and anti-aging products is Vitamin A (AKA retinyl palmitate and retinol). Though it has been shown to hasten the development of lesions and skin tumors on sun-exposed skin, retinyl palmitate has been discussed as a potential cause of skin cancer since 2010. Even though all of this information has been made public to consumers, companies that make these products have not necessarily removed this harmful ingredient.   

 

Some of the other dangers of sunscreen include SPF numbers that are too high, which leads to misuse by consumers and compromises the quality of both UVA and UVB protection. Another danger is a chemical used in sunscreen called oxybenzone. This harmful substance can be absorbed into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can alter hormone levels and can also trigger allergic reactions. Lastly, sunscreen in spray form, though convenient, can be easily misused due to lack of proper application and coverage, not to mention inhalation risks.

 

Finding this discouraging? Don't worry, they aren't all bad! The Environmental Working Group has a great list of sunscreens worth buying, and has even rated them on a scale of 1-10 on how hazardous they are. Make sure you're buying the good stuff!

 

Click here to read the EWG list of safe sunscreens

 

Have a fun and sun-safe holiday!

 

 

Cool as a Cucumber

The cucumber is the "coolest" of all vegetables. Medicinally, they can be laid directly on the skin to soothe burns or inflamed areas. When ingested, they can help with conditions like reflux or recurrent mouth ulcers. Cucumbers also contain Vitamins E, A and C, as well as potassium. The skins are high in folic acid, so if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, this a great veggie to add to your diet.  Here's an easy and delicious recipe for a side dish to accompany your next summer meal. It will be a big hit at your next potluck, we promise!

Asian Cucumber Salad


INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cucumbers, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Peel  cucumbers and cut on the diagonal into thin slices. Toss the cucumber pieces with kosher salt, transfer to a colander, and let drain for 1 hour.
  2. Toast white sesame seeds in a dry skillet until they’re golden brown. Whisk together rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  3. Rinse the cucumber slices thoroughly under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Toss the cucumbers with the dressing and toasted sesame seeds and serve.

http://www.chow.com/recipes/10537-asian-sesame-cucumber-salad

A Summer Solstice Tribute To Dad

June the 21st is the Summer Soltice for the Northern Hemisphere. This is the longest day of the year. For us, it's the height of yang energy, right before it begins the descent back to yin. As we have shared in previous weeks, this is the time of the fire energy. Joy, laughter, intimacy, lightness, fun; these are the gifts of this time of year. We found this lovely poem that embodies the qualities of this energy and since last Sunday was Father's Day, we felt it was the perfect time to share it with you. Enjoy The Solstice!

A Boy and His Dad

  by Edgar Guest

A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—

There is a glorious fellowship!

Father and son and the open sky

And the white clouds lazily drifting by,

And the laughing stream as it runs along

With the clicking reel like a martial song,

And the father teaching the youngster gay

How to land a fish in the sportsman's way.

 

I fancy I hear them talking there

In an open boat, and the speech is fair.

And the boy is learning the ways of men

From the finest man in his youthful ken.

Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare

With the gentle father who's with him there.

And the greatest mind of the human race

Not for one minute could take his place.

 

Which is happier, man or boy?

The soul of the father is steeped in joy,

For he's finding out, to his heart's delight,

That his son is fit for the future fight.

He is learning the glorious depths of him,

And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim;

And he shall discover, when night comes on,

How close he has grown to his little son.

 

A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—

Builders of life's companionship!

Oh, I envy them, as I see them there

Under the sky in the open air,

For out of the old, old long-ago

Come the summer days that I used to know,

When I learned life's truths from my father's lips

As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.

 

- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20865#sthash.PCcDoRyV.dpuf

A Boy and His Dad

  by Edgar Guest
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
There is a glorious fellowship!
Father and son and the open sky
And the white clouds lazily drifting by,
And the laughing stream as it runs along
With the clicking reel like a martial song,
And the father teaching the youngster gay
How to land a fish in the sportsman's way.
I fancy I hear them talking there
In an open boat, and the speech is fair.
And the boy is learning the ways of men
From the finest man in his youthful ken.
Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare
With the gentle father who's with him there.
And the greatest mind of the human race
Not for one minute could take his place.
Which is happier, man or boy?
The soul of the father is steeped in joy,
For he's finding out, to his heart's delight,
That his son is fit for the future fight.
He is learning the glorious depths of him,
And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim;
And he shall discover, when night comes on,
How close he has grown to his little son.
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
Builders of life's companionship!
Oh, I envy them, as I see them there
Under the sky in the open air,
For out of the old, old long-ago
Come the summer days that I used to know,
When I learned life's truths from my father's lips
As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20865#sthash.PCcDoRyV.dpuf

A Boy and His Dad

  by Edgar Guest
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
There is a glorious fellowship!
Father and son and the open sky
And the white clouds lazily drifting by,
And the laughing stream as it runs along
With the clicking reel like a martial song,
And the father teaching the youngster gay
How to land a fish in the sportsman's way.
I fancy I hear them talking there
In an open boat, and the speech is fair.
And the boy is learning the ways of men
From the finest man in his youthful ken.
Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare
With the gentle father who's with him there.
And the greatest mind of the human race
Not for one minute could take his place.
Which is happier, man or boy?
The soul of the father is steeped in joy,
For he's finding out, to his heart's delight,
That his son is fit for the future fight.
He is learning the glorious depths of him,
And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim;
And he shall discover, when night comes on,
How close he has grown to his little son.
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
Builders of life's companionship!
Oh, I envy them, as I see them there
Under the sky in the open air,
For out of the old, old long-ago
Come the summer days that I used to know,
When I learned life's truths from my father's lips
As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20865#sthash.PCcDoRyV.dpuf

A Boy and His Dad

  by Edgar Guest
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
There is a glorious fellowship!
Father and son and the open sky
And the white clouds lazily drifting by,
And the laughing stream as it runs along
With the clicking reel like a martial song,
And the father teaching the youngster gay
How to land a fish in the sportsman's way.
I fancy I hear them talking there
In an open boat, and the speech is fair.
And the boy is learning the ways of men
From the finest man in his youthful ken.
Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare
With the gentle father who's with him there.
And the greatest mind of the human race
Not for one minute could take his place.
Which is happier, man or boy?
The soul of the father is steeped in joy,
For he's finding out, to his heart's delight,
That his son is fit for the future fight.
He is learning the glorious depths of him,
And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim;
And he shall discover, when night comes on,
How close he has grown to his little son.
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
Builders of life's companionship!
Oh, I envy them, as I see them there
Under the sky in the open air,
For out of the old, old long-ago
Come the summer days that I used to know,
When I learned life's truths from my father's lips
As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20865#sthash.PCcDoRyV.dpuf

A Boy and His Dad

  by Edgar Guest
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
There is a glorious fellowship!
Father and son and the open sky
And the white clouds lazily drifting by,
And the laughing stream as it runs along
With the clicking reel like a martial song,
And the father teaching the youngster gay
How to land a fish in the sportsman's way.
I fancy I hear them talking there
In an open boat, and the speech is fair.
And the boy is learning the ways of men
From the finest man in his youthful ken.
Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare
With the gentle father who's with him there.
And the greatest mind of the human race
Not for one minute could take his place.
Which is happier, man or boy?
The soul of the father is steeped in joy,
For he's finding out, to his heart's delight,
That his son is fit for the future fight.
He is learning the glorious depths of him,
And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim;
And he shall discover, when night comes on,
How close he has grown to his little son.
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
Builders of life's companionship!
Oh, I envy them, as I see them there
Under the sky in the open air,
For out of the old, old long-ago
Come the summer days that I used to know,
When I learned life's truths from my father's lips
As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20865#sthash.PCcDoRyV.dpuf
 

Some Foods to Keep You Cool this Summer

The buds of spring have made way for the more succulent fruits and vegetables of summer. Nature has provided us with a natural array of foods that balance the intense heat that marks this time of year for us. Now is the time to consume more liquids and raw, fresh foods. Generally, a lighter diet this time of year is better unless you do intense physical activity. It's good to reduce foods high in fat and protein to allow for simpler foods to fuel our bodies. Cool yourself from the inside out with this list of  foods to add to your diet this season. No A.C. required!

Melons - Eat more cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon and papaya! These juicy gems keep you hydrated as well as fortified with lots of vitamins. They have a diruetic effect which can help reduce the puffiness often experienced when the humidity hits the roof.

Sprouted Grains - Here's a great link for a do it yourself sprouting at home. Sprouted grains encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut,  are high in protective antioxidants, and are a good source of fibrer and protein. Because they are easily digestable, the body uses less energy to integrate them into our system, keeping us cooler after mealtimes.

Berries - Besides being loaded with antioxidents and flavonoids, these delectable treats are energetically cooling. They are fluid-filled and very hydrating. They can also do wonderful things like boost memory, delay the onset of alzeimer's, help you loose weight and stabalize your blood sugar. While more is better, as little as two servings a week can make a real difference in your health.

The 3 C's- Cabbage, Cucumber and Celery. Cabbage is alkaline in nature and is great for soothing a "hot" stomach. Cucumber and celery are mostly liquid, so they can aid in hydration.  All three of these cooling summer harvests are loaded with phytochemicals and vitamins. They help move the bowels, are mild diruetics and have been lauded for their anti-inflamitory and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Mint - It's no coincidence that mojitos are so popular this time of year. Mint is cooling and a good relaxant.  It induces sweating, which lowers your body temperature. Mint juice can also be applied topically on sunburned areas of the body to heal and soothe them. Mint is also beneficial for relieving nasuea and headaches which can occur in cases of overheating.  Try adding fresh mint to your water, tea or even your fresh fruit salad.