The Carcinogen Hiding in Your Garage

Have you ever seen a litigation commercial? These are the ones that ask if you or a loved one have used a product and had a negative outcome. They encourage you to contact their law firm ASAP to see if you are eligible for a settlement.

I’m used to seeing these commercials for adverse effects related to medications (for example blood clots associated with a certain brand of birth control).

But recently I saw a litigation commercial for a different product. A product that most of us have in our garages. A product that almost all Americans have been exposed to on a semi-consistent basis.

Roundup.

You know, the weed killer. The one you spray in your yard that does a really good job at making sure weeds die.

It turns out Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, doesn’t just kill weeds.

Roundup may be killing people.

How? Because glyphosate is a known carcinogen (aka causes cancers). And exposure to glyphosate is associated with other aliments such as steatohepatitis (fatty liver) and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.

While this news is taking many by surprise, I’m not shocked. And if you’re a long time reader, you’re probably not shocked either.

Because I did an entire series on the hidden health havoc of chemical exposures last year. Check out the intro, part II, part III, and part iv (where I share the 5 products you need to change immediately to decrease your exposure to carcinogens and endocrine disruptor chemicals).

We now know glyphosate causes a blood cancer called non-Hodgkins lymphoma. And law firms are encouraging folks with the diagnosis to contact them to see if Roundup was the culprit.

How do you know if you’ve been exposed to Roundup?

It’s safe to assume you’ve been exposed to Roundup. Roundup is the most commonly used herbicide today. And use has increased dramatically in the last twenty years. Roundup is used in commercial farming practices, on the grass in parks, and in most people’s yards.

Instead of asking if you’ve been exposed, the better questions are how to minimize your exposure and protect yourself.

I’m providing three ways to protect yourself and decrease your Roundup exposure.

How to Protect Yourself

1. Eat Organic

Roundup is commonly used as an insecticide in commercial farming. If you you want to decrease your risk of exposure through eating, choose organic foods.

Organic farming practices do not allow for the knowing use of glyphosate. When you buy (or garden) organic, you are drastically decreasing your risk of glyphosate exposure.

2. Buy Foods with the “Glyphosate Residue Free” Label

glyphosateseal_1.png

While eating organic decreases your risk of consuming foods with glyphosate, this practice does not completely protect you. Why? Because glyphosate use is widespread and may contaminate foods that are not directly exposed to the herbicide. This can include organic crops. Additionally, foods labeled as "organic" can  be up to 5% non-organic.

If you want more certainty, look for the “Glyphosate Residue Free” label. This label indicates a product or crop has undergone further testing to verify it is free of glyphosate.

Do you want to see more foods with the “Glyphosate Residue Free” label? Write to your favorite food companies and let them know! As consumers, we have the power to elicit change.

3. Stop Using Roundup or Other Products that Contain Glyphosate

Even minimal glyphosate exposure is linked to health problems. Avoid using Roundup or similar herbicides in your personal gardens and yards.

A Change is In the Air

The health risks associated with glyphosate are gaining widespread attention. And there is positive forward motion in eliminating exposure.

California now officially lists glyphosate as a known carcinogen.

The French president said he will take all measures necessary to ensure glyphosate is banned within three years.

However, do not wait for government change to protect yourself! Use my tips above to help keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy.

In health and happiness,
Skye

 

Skye's 5-Minute Fresh Blueberry Salad

Farmers Markets are in full swing right now.

Which you know, I adore.

All the fresh produce, music, and sunshine — it’s completely my jam.

That’s why last week I shared the post Expert Farmers Market Shoppers Always Do These Things.

And to celebrate the season — and one of my favorite berries — I am sharing a wellness boosting Farmers Market salad.

I adore berries — especially blueberries. In season blueberries are tough to beat and are one of nature’s special treats – sweet, juicy, full of beneficial nutrients.

I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t care for a fresh and seasonal blueberry. Eat them plain as a light snack or dessert, add to smoothies for an extra boost, infuse them into lemonade for a summery refresher.

In terms of health benefits, blueberries are chock full -- anthocyanin, catechins, antioxidants (oh my!).

Remember my post on Eating Your Way to Calmness? Blueberries were featured.

And a great way to enjoy them is in freshly made salad!

This recipe was an unlikely discovery from a few years ago.

I had just flown back from a cross country speaking engagement and hadn’t been to the grocery store. Hungry and impatient, I wanted lunch immediately, if not sooner (I was verging on what my husband describes as hangry).

I looked in the fridge and only had a few supplies. Hmmm. Spinach. Blueberries. That, combined with my pantry staples, was enough to whip up something. I quickly chopped, stirred, and mixed.

When I sat to eat? Delicious! An accidental success (aren’t those the best kinds)? I liked it so much, I made it three days in a row.

The Recipe

P.S. Do you want to learn what expert Farmers Market shoppers always do? If so, check out this post!

Happy eating,
Skye

The Breakfast Mistake Most People Make

The Myth

I’m writing this from Jackson Hole where I’ve spent an incredible few days with my husband. We’ve hiked, biked, and dined our way through the Grand Tetons. And yesterday while enjoying a lazy breakfast on the patio, sitting in the early morning sunshine and watching the horses on the property frolic, I realized something IMPORTANT I need to share with you.

It’s a mistake almost everyone I work with makes that sabotages best intentions to feel and look their best. And it has to do with breakfast.

Breakfast is a HUGE area of confusion.

Many times I’ll have someone proudly tell me they eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning. When I ask which kind, they almost always say, “The microwaveable kind in the packets.” This is often followed with descriptions of brown sugar and maple or cream-of-some kind of fruit. And an explanation that they need a fast breakfast option.

This hurts my heart because despite their best intentions, these folks are victims of mass marketing and food confusion. “Instant” or processed oats are the grain equivalent of white bread. Then add the artificial flavoring to make it brown sugar and maple and you are basically eating Wonder Bread with sugar, food coloring, and high fructose corn syrup.

Yuck.

If you enjoy oatmeal (and really enjoy it because I deeply believe we should actively enjoy what we eat), there is another way.

A better way, really. And it includes whole grain oats and real fruit and nuts. Don’t fret — this can be done quickly and efficiently and also tastes great. Much better than the microwaved oatmeal in packets.

The Solution

The better way is steel cut oats (sometimes called Scottish or Irish oats). Steel cut oats are unrefined and have not undergone steaming or rolling. They are literally oat groats cut into smaller pieces. A whole grain approach to oats.

Because they are not previously steamed or rolled, steel cut oats have a toothsome texture and naturally nutty flavor. They keep you fuller longer and have a glow glycemic index. Once cooked, they reheat nicely (unlike quick cook oats) and retain their shape and texture.

Some are scared off because steel cut oats take longer to cook than their quick cook and instant varieties. While it is true (steel cut oats take around 25 minutes to cook), I’m going to let you in on a secret.

You can whip up steel cut oats in a large batch and enjoy them all week.

That’s right. You can make a batch once or twice a week, portion into daily servings, add your toppings of choice, and quickly reheat once you are ready to enjoy them.

And I’m going to share my recipe for steel cut oats plus the toppings I am loving right now.

The Recipe

Morning Glory Steel Cut Oats

Serves 5

For the Steel Cut Oats

1 cup steel cut oats (my favorites are these from Bob’s Red Mill)

3 cups of water

1 cup of almond milk

1/4 tsp salt

Optional: 1 Tbsp coconut oil

For the Toppings

1 green apple, cored and cut into pieces

1/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped

Almond milk to desired consistency

If you like sweeter breakfasts: A sprinkling of coconut sugar or pure Grade B maple syrup.

1. Combine milk and water in a pot and heat on medium to medium-high. Bring just to boil.
Optional step (but highly recommended to enhance flavor and texture): In the meantime, add 1 Tbsp coconut oil to a small pan on medium heat. Add steel cut oats and cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Add oats to pot with milk and water and stir. Bring back to boil and reduce heat to low.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
4. Add salt and stir. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
5. Divide and serve with toppings of your choice.

Consider yourself warned on the biggest breakfast myth and shown an easy way to cook up better oats.

If oats are your thing, I challenge you to make up a batch of your own steel cut oats this week. You’ll find they taste better and keep you full longer — you won’t ever go back to the instant variety! If you take the steel cut oatmeal challenge, take a photo and tag @a.better.way.wellness. I would love to see and hear all about it.

If oats aren’t for you, try my Glow Getter Smoothie.

Sending you light until next time.

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