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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sick of the H1N1 hype?

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 7, 2009

If you’re like me, you’re getting seriously fed up with all the media hype about H1N1. I guess when the MJ hoopla died down they had to find something to rant about to sell papers.

As more and more friends and family get (and get over) the flu, I’m noticing that it’s really no more intense than a lot of other flus we’ve had in the past. Most are sick for a few days and that’s it.

So, why all the hype? Follow the money trail and you’ll see. Who stands to benefit from this so-called crisis? Well, from where I’m standing, it looks to be the media and the pharmaceutical companies that make the vaccines.

I stumbled upon a little blog post today that echos my sentiments. There are a growing number of us who are saying, “Wait a minute. This is stupid.” Davey Wavey is one of them. He did a little research and says, “…more than 20,000 Americans die of the flu each year anyway. And that’s from the days before H1N1.” Hello.

Read the rest of Davey’s blog post here. (Warning, some buff male bodies in the right-hand column. Let’s just say that Davey Wavey’s blog is not one you’d expect a straight, 50-something grandma to frequent. Hee hee…)

The Kirkpatrick way

Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 6, 2009


B.J. as a young girl.

Isn’t it so incredible how life can blind-side you sometimes? One day you’re going about your business and the next you are immersed in a crisis of great proportions and your whole life is changed. No, wait. One minute you’re going about your business and the next minute you get “the call.”

Three weeks ago my beautiful sister “B.J.” landed herself in ICU, where she is to this day. Her poor body ravaged by the effects of sepsis, she struggles daily for her life – but oh what a fighter she is! The doctor told us she had something like 4% odds a couple of days in and now, three weeks later, the odds are more like 50/50. But it’s going to be a long, hard climb for poor B.J. and she will likely have some severe physical challenges when she comes through. Still, we are remaining upbeat and optimistic as much as we can and surrounding her daughters and Doug, her fella, with love.

I have been charged with sending email updates to all those who can’t be here, so that gives me something to focus on; my little bit of helping instead of feeling helpless. Our tremendous family has banded around and helped pay up the utilities, keep the house clean, drive the girls around and miscellaneous odd things. Many, many prayers are being said and those who can are also performing Reiki and other types of energy healing – up close and from a distance. A fundraising garage sale is being planned and bottle drives have already begun.

All of this is being done with strength, smarts and humour because that’s the Kirkpatrick way. We laugh. We cry. But we roll up our sleeves and “git ‘er done.”

Tomorrow my remaining upright sisters and I are getting together for dessert at the Cheesecake Cafe. Our purpose? To appreciate the dickens out of each other while we still can, to celebrate sisters, and to honour B.J.’s immense bravery and strength as she moves through this tragedy. I’m sure she’ll be joining us in spirit.

With any luck, you’ll be reading about a very happy ending right here. Watch for it.

It’s my health, it’s your health

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 5, 2009

My friend Colleen has started a health consulting business and I thought I’d pass it on. Colleen is a caring and compassionate individual who lives to help people live better lives through proper nourishment. She says:

I’m inviting you to visit my web site (www.itsmyhealth.ca), review the information that I’m gathering and posting there, join my membership, and share my site and the information with your friends and family.

Also, if you or someone you know are experiencing health challenges or just want to make sure you are on-track and living a healthy life-style, I’d be happy to do a consultation with you. This can be done by using the forms on my site or arranging an in-person consultation. It would be my pleasure to be your “health coach” and be at your side while you correct or fine-tune your diet and lifestyle.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Colleen Kirtzinger
www.itsmyhealth.ca – - Health tips & Consultations
www.kyco.ca – - Note cards, decor prints, stock shots

The costs of eating meat

Posted by Dawn-Ann on April 4, 2009

Shishkebabs grilling at a family BBQ last summer. MMMmmm... Can't wait!

Shishkebabs grilling at a family BBQ last summer. MMMmmm... Can't wait!

Okay, let me say at the outset that I will probably never become a vegetarian. I love seafood too much, juicy chicken breasts occasionally, and I absolutely HAVE to have red meat (often in the form of an A&W Teenburger) now and then.

But we have cut down on our meat consumption here at the Turner/Kirkpatrick household. We do a “meatless” meal fairly regularly, but with no real intent for a pattern. After reading the following article by Kathy Freston, I think maybe it’s time we consciously strive for one or two meatless meals a week.

Did you know that if everyone in the U.S. went vegetarian for just one day it would free up 70 million gallons of gasoline – enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined? Skipping one chicken meal per week would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as much as taking half a million cars off U.S. roads! Incredible, isn’t it?

Read the rest of Kathy’s article here.

What’s in my bread?

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 29, 2008

I have had a loaf of bread sitting on my counter for a week now. My husband and I have been eating it in fits and starts – a piece of toast to go with my oatmeal one morning, a couple of slices of French toast another. Each time I used it, the bread seemed fresh and soft. Even this morning when I finally threw it out it was still un-moldy and Wonder-squeezable and it seemed a shame to waste, but my goodness… It was a week old!

I don’t know about you, but I am highly suspicious of bread that doesn’t go bad. In the REAL world, it should go stale and dry after a few days, possibly even sprouting the blue fuzzies. I should be able to take that stale bread, dry it on the counter, and then use it for stuffing or more French toast. What the heck is IN our bread nowadays that makes it last so long? I decided to check.

In my research I found others who said things like, “I don’t want to eat the bread because it can’t be good to have lasted that long.” Someone suggested that this person check the ingredients – a fine idea! I dug out another loaf of the same bread I’d just thrown out, bought at the same time and frozen. It had the usual ingredients, flour and milk and the like, but it had a few things that had me scratching my head; items such as sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate and L-cysteine hydrochloride. I decided to find out what they were.

Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate is used as an emulsifier, plasticizer, or surface-action agent (plasticizer?). It is used in many things, including bread and meat batters (meat batters?). It is prepared from lactic acids and fatty acids. Sounds fairly harmless, actually. The Canadian Food and Drug Regulations allow for the use of use of sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate at levels from 0.05 to 2 percent. I got the impression from my research that it is a relatively new ingredient that has no real data backing it yet. Even the doom and gloom websites that said to avoid it couldn’t say why. As near as I could tell, it is a form of lactic acid which can sometimes cause headaches, intestinal upset and skin disorders in sensitive people. Folks who are lactose intolerant should avoid it, too. Iffy stuff, but I doubt that’s what is making the shelf life of my bread unnaturally long.

L-cysteine hydrochloride is an amino acid. From what I can tell, it is actually good for you and some people take it as a dietary supplement. The only possible negative effect I could find was that it could possibly cause chelation (removal) of minerals. It is used as an “improving agent” in bread, whatever that means.

Neither of these things seemed particularly dangerous to eat in small quantities and neither could explain why my loaf of bread had lasted so long. One source suggested maybe I just didn’t have any mold spores floating around my home, but I know I do. Other things go moldy. And what about the fresh, soft texture? What has prevented the bread from drying out and going stale? Even the taste was still fresh-ish (though admittedly not the perfection of hot-out-of-the-oven goodness).

So then I got thinking about some things I’d heard about irradiated wheat flour. Could that be it? According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website, wheat and wheat flour, among other things, are approved for irradiation in Canada. The ingredients list does not have to mention an irradiated ingredient to the consumer unless it comprises more than 10% of the finished product. I suspect flour comprises more than ten percent of a loaf of bread and my ingredients list didn’t mention it, so we should be okay on that score. Besides, would irradiation of the flour cause the bread to remain mold-free? I doubt it.

As an aside, the jury is still out for me as to whether irradiated food is harmful to eat. Some sources state that vitamins are killed in the process and turned into carcinogens, which kind of makes sense, knowing a little about how gamma radiation works, but that’s the subject of another post.

In the end, I haven’t answered my question about why my bread doesn’t go bad, but I will say one thing. I do feel a little bit better about the ingredients!