Demand for products marketed “organic” and “chemical-free” is surging these days, as cautious consumers are worried about chemicals in everything from apples to wrinkle removers. But does “chemical-free” actually mean something is safer? Neuroscientist Alison Bernstein, PhD, says no. “People say ‘chemical-free but it’s really meaningless since everything, technically speaking, is a chemical.”
In the past, highly toxic chemicals, like the pesticide DDT, were once regularly used by farmers and pest control specialists in the US. Thanks in part to the efforts of the environmental movement, which in turn led to the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency, most of these worrisome chemicals have since been replaced by less toxic alternatives. But it’s not uncommon to see headlines today claiming our food is awash in poisonous chemicals or that something as beneficial as sunscreen could cause cancer. Pesticides, sunscreen, flame resistant pajamas, even BPA-free plastics all contain chemicals. So, which products are safe and which are best avoided?
Just because something is a ‘chemical’ doesn’t mean it’s dangerous.
Whether a chemical is natural or synthetic tells you nothing about its toxicity. Almost anything can be toxic — what really matters is the dose — that’s why the basic principle of toxicology is “the dose makes the poison.” When evaluating the health effects of chemicals, Bernstein urges people to “be aware of our biases in favor of the natural and against the synthetic.” Cyanide, for example, is perfectly natural — but it can definitely kill you.
Myth: All chemicals build up in your body and cause you harm.
There’s no such thing as ‘chemical-free’ sunscreen.
Sunscreen is another product you don’t need to fret over. In fact, be wary of paying more for something labeled “chemical-free,” since organic, natural and mineral sunscreens all contain chemicals. Though environmental health organizations like the Environmental Working Group have warned against ingredients found in “chemical” sunscreens such as retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone, the scientific evidence doesn’t support that advice. Most scientists and physicians agree that, as long as the SPF is appropriate, mineral or so-called “chemical” sunscreens are both safe and effective. In other words, just wear your sunscreen. As Bernstein cautions, you face a “much larger, very real risk of melanoma if you choose to avoid sunscreen altogether or use [something “natural” like] coconut oil, which does not block UV light and is [still] made of chemicals.”
That doesn’t mean all chemicals are safe. High exposure can mean higher risk.
That’s not to say all chemicals are safe. Chlorpyrifos, an insecticide banned for home use but still used in agriculture, is far more toxic than Roundup. Studies of agricultural communities and other groups with high exposures have linked chlorpyrifos to neurodevelopmental problems and poor birth outcomes. The EPA recently completed a review of chlorpyrifos and, despite concerns raised by environmental groups and EPA scientists, declined to ban the pesticide.
Whether organic or conventional, wash your fruits and vegetables.
So does this mean you should be panicking about eating fruits and vegetables treated with chlorpyrifos? Well, probably not. Lori Hoepner, DrPH, is an environmental health scientist who researches environmental impacts on maternal and fetal health, including chlorpyrifos. She reminds us that most of the worrisome research on this pesticide looked at communities with high exposures to the chemical, primarily farm workers and their families.
Whether you eat organic or conventional produce, the National Pesticide Information Center says you can reduce pesticide exposure by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables (to avoid exposure to any single pesticide), washing produce under cool running water (don’t soak), scrubbing firm fruits and vegetables, removing the outer layer of leafy vegetables and peeling fruits and vegetables whenever possible before eating.
Skip fire-resistant pajamas and furniture.
One group of chemicals Hoepner says should definitely be avoided, especially if you’re a parent or pregnant, are flame retardant chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, primarily used in children’s pajamas and upholstered furniture. To avoid these, parents should look for pajamas labeled “not fire resistant.” Many furniture companies are phasing out use of PBDEs to comply with stricter California regulations, but exposure could still be an issue in older upholstery, so think twice about used furniture made after the 1970s. Also, if you’re buying new furniture, Hoepner recommends you check with the company for its policy on PBDEs. You can also follow the EPA’s tips to reduce PBDE exposures: wash your hands and your children’s hands frequently, especially before eating, vacuum and dust frequently with a moist cloth and be sure to repair tears in upholstery. More tips can be found here.
News isn’t science.
Scary-sounding headlines about many of these chemicals can cause unnecessary worry, so keep your fear in check with this great bit of advice from Bernstein: There’s a difference between news and science. The results of one study might make news, but generally won’t change science, so be skeptical of over-the-top sounding headlines. “It’s highly unlikely that the results of one study would be enough to persuade you to change your behavior, especially if that single study is inconsistent with most other studies,” Bernstein says.
Marketing isn’t science either. For example, most BPA-free plastic products on the market are actually made with a very similar chemical known as BPS or Bisphenol S. Bernstein says: “companies gave consumers exactly what they wanted – BPA free products. Unfortunately, they replaced BPA with BPS, a nearly identical chemical with a very similar toxicological profile that scientists have a lot less data on.”
The best things you can do are check your facts, exercise and eat your vegetables.
Above all else, Bernstein reminds us what’s really important is “eating lots of fruits and healthy vegetables, reducing sugar and salt intake…getting regular exercise, getting a few minutes of sunlight each day but wearing sunscreen for longer exposures, and not smoking. Often all of these things have a better net benefit than any of these exposures have a net harm.” If you have concerns, pay attention to the EPA and regulatory changes that are underway, avoid truly toxic and worrisome chemicals like flame retardant chemicals in clothing and furniture, but also remember that some of the simplest actions are actually the most effective.
Hi Sunriders! I’m often asked, what’s the best way to use Sunrider’s NuPlus. From smoothies, teas and shakes to hearty meals and desserts, there are tons of ways to use this versatile superfood! Here’s another one of my Super Easy, Super Delicious, Super Nutritious NuPlus Recipes to help you get your daily dose of Sunrider with NuPlus Roasted Vegetables!
I toss fresh Turnips, Beets, Sweet potatoes, Okra, chopped Onion, pressed Garlic cloves, chopped Collard greens, chopped Purple Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Celery, Mexican Squash, yellow squash, fresh Basil (yep, from my garden), fresh Tumeric, serrano chillis, cilantro & red bell peppers with Mrs. Dash Southwest Seasoning, curry powder, Braggs Liquid Aminos, Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, NuPlus (Simply Herbs) , Coconut Oil & mineral rich Pink Himalayan Salt.
I spread the vegetable mixture in a roasting pan, roast for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees. I garnish with fresh green onion.
NuPlus Roasted Vegetable Meal suggestions:
So now that you have the recipe, let me shows you I serve NuPlus Roasted Vegetables throughout the week!
Monday: I serve NuPlus roasted vegetables as a main dish with sliced avocados, tomatoes and chickpeas on the side.
Tuesday: I eat as a side dish served with salmon croquettes.
Wednesday: I scoop two tablespoons into a pita (collard green leaves are a great pita substitute) with Trader Joe’s Masala Veggie patty, homemade Indian style (non dairy) yogurt dressing. Serve with Sweet potato fries.
Thursday: As a main dish, I heat and serve NuPlus Roasted vegetables over stewed eggplant and quinoa (or brown rice)
Friday: I use the veggies as part of a Quinoa, Kale, black bean dinner salad (recipe to come) and serve with fresh NuPlus glazed grilled salmon.
I always include NuPlus in every meal by adding a packet to the roasted vegetables before serving.
NuPlus comes in a variety of flavors. For this savory recipe, I use either NuPlus Simply Herbs or Naturally Plain. Click here to purchase NuPlus or learn more.
Healthy For Good™is the new movement to inspire all Americans to live healthier lives and create lasting change. It focuses on the simple idea that making small, incremental changes today can create a difference for generations to come.
The movement is built on four pillars: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well.
This mantra breaks down the essential principles of true whole-body health – eating healthy, including adding more colorful fruits and veggies; being more physically active; and creating an overall healthy lifestyle including sleep, mindfulness, stress management, mental health, social connection, and more.
Healthy eating starts with food choices. You don’t need to be a chef to create nutritious, heart-healthy meals your family will love. Find delicious, simple, affordable recipes, videos and articles on simple cooking here!
How to Eat Healthy without Dieting
Eating healthier can help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be hard or require you to give up all the foods you love. It’s about making smart choices to build an overall healthy dietary pattern.
Voices for Healthy Kids
Every child should have healthy foods and drinks at home and in school, safe streets for biking and walking, and places to play after school. We are working to ensure that the places where children live, learn, and play make it easy and enjoyable for them to eat healthy foods and be active. Learn more.
Register for a Spring Heart Walk
Is there a spring Heart Walk near you? When you join Heart Walk, you join more than a million people in hundreds of cities across America in taking a stand against heart disease and helping save lives. Walk with friends, family, coworkers and other community members you’ll bond with along the way. Any way you choose to do it, your heart will thank you! Find a Heart Walk here.
Life is Why We Give Millions of Americans live with heart disease, stroke or a cardiovascular condition. Your donation will help us save and improve their lives with research, education and emergency care.
Sunrider Products: An Essential Part of your Morning Meditation.
Sunrider products are wonderful way to recharge and rebalance. Sunrider products were designed specifically to work within the entire body system using all natural, centuries old formulas click here to learn more. The mind is an important part of any healing, restorative protocol. So in this new series we take time to refocus our minds, our thoughts and our emotions. It’s simple just breathe and focus on something that makes you happy, calm and loved. Nature consistently and lovingly provides that something!
“I relax into the flow of nature’s beautiful current. I quiet my mind and breathe. I let the soothing ebb and flow of nature relax, rebalance and restore my mind, my body, my internal organs and my soul. As I breathe in from the top of my head to the souls of my feet. I am recharged. I am grateful. I am blessed.”
Start your day with these Sunrider product essentials:
Sunrider’s Evergreen & Irish Moss Super Green Smoothie ⓒ by Natural Earth Herbs
It’s March! The month of the Irish and the precursor to spring! You don’t need the Luck of the Irish when you have Sunrider. Sunrider helps you stick to your health goals and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This month, we’ve created a green Irish smoothie that’s super delicious, super nutritious and super festive!
Evergreen Super Smoothie with Irish Moss, Sunny Dew & Fortune Delight
Super simple – blend ingredients (for best results place fruits and veggies in blender first) to your desired consistency. Add Sunny Dew to taste, garnish with a fresh Mint sprig and Enjoy!
Benefits of Evergreen:
Evergreen is an exclusively formulated, concentrated liquid chlorophyll that supports the body’s circulatory and digestive systems. Adding Evergreen to your diet is critical because most modern diets contain minimal amounts of fresh greens at regular meals. It packs all you need with the equivalent of several servings of green, leafy vegetables in each bottle.
All-natural, Evergreen contains no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives.
Benefits of Irish Moss:An Ancient Superfood!
Irish Moss is a type of marine algae that contains almost 10% protein, 15% mineral matter, and is rich in iodine and sulfur. Sea algae contain high concentrations of nutrients than fruits and vegetables grown on land, They have historically been thought to possess powers to extend life, prevent disease, and increase youth, beauty and vitality. This mineral packed algae has been the mainstay in Asian diets for centuries.
This Sunrider NuPlus Pineapple Compote recipe was inspired by my beloved grandmother.
This is my grandmother’s homemade recipe. She was an avid gardner and naturalista! Even though time was of the essence, she believed in making everything from scratch using plants, vegetables, fruits and herbs from the garden. So this recipe is all natural, super nutritious and super easy to make.
This Sunrider inspired NuPlus Pineapple Compote contains just 2 simple ingredients – fresh pineapple and fresh pineapple juice. That’s it! And It’s ready in 15 to 20 minutes! My grandmother cautioned me to always simmer compotes on low heat to preserve as many nutrients as possible.
NuPlus Pineapple Compote made with fresh pineapple!
Pineapple compote is perfect on pancakes, crepes, french toast, breakfast toast, waffles, ice-cream and more. So say goodbye to heavy, processed syrups, sugary jams and jellies with high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, additives and chemicals. And say hello to a healthier you!
Most homemade pancake recipes and boxed mixes are made with processed, bleached white flour, chemicals, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial sweetners, preservatives, colors, flavors and dyes. They have zero nutrition! That means they have nothing your body needs, wants or can use.
Why we only eat Sunrider inspired NuPlus Pancakes:
NuPlus Piña Banana Pancakes Super delicious Super Food!
I love NuPlus 1-2-3 pancakes because even though they only have 3 simple ingredients, they are chocked full of whole plant nutrition. NuPlus is specially formulated to preserve and enhance the “life force” and live enzymes in plants. So these pancakes, and anything else made with NuPlus, are rich in the essential nutrients your body needs at breakfast to heal your body and fuel your day. Finally fresh whole bananas and pineapples contain many compounds that foster great health – see the end of this post for more info!
The flavors are Out of Sight Delicious. NuPlus Piña Banana pairs well with the whole banana and aromatic nutmeg for a sweet, spicy tropical treat! Try topping them with my homemade NuPlus Pineapple compote for a rich sweet-tart finish.
So without further delay – Here’s our super easy 1-2-3 Recipe!
Place banana, eggs, NuPlus Piña Banana and nutmeg in a blender. Blend on medium speed until smooth.
Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Drop an ice-cream scoop portion of the batter onto the griddle and cook until edges are golden brown and top bubbles – then turn. Approximately, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Note: If using a regular skillet or griddle, melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet before cooking the pancakes. Add additional butter if needed between batches, about 1 tablespoon more.
From Food Network Kitchen
Can I make this recipe without NuPlus?
Remember, NuPlus is a concentrated Super Food. So yes, you could make these pancakes without NuPlus. However, you’d lose all the nutrition that NuPlus packs and your body needs.
Serve with my fresh, sugar free NuPlus Pineapple compote.
I love, love, love to eat really good food. Whether it’s five star dining or a neighbor’s garden party, I love to indulge in delicious food. However, I’m now on a mission to eliminate fibroids naturally. That means I am determined to live and eat as God intended. No more processed, fried, over-cooked, over-sauced, high fat, sugar dense cooking. These methods mask the natural beauty, texture and flavors of plants and herbs. They also rob our bodies of the vital nutrients God gave us to naturally nourish, heal and replenish our bodies.
So I’ve gone back to the traditions of my southern parents who lived on farms, ate very little meat and seasoned their foods with herbs, spices and extracts that they grew and knew. I do not use white flour. Instead I have found tons of healthier substitutes that my body loves. I turned to my own garden and realized that with Sunrider, I could have the best culinary experience right at my fingertips!
Here’s one of the first recipes I created about 2 years ago. I served it at a recent mid-week brunch for a few of my BFFs. (Yes, we decided to play hookie from work). I turned my backyard garden into a mini spa and we just chilled. I set up cool vaporizers all around and had Sunbreeze oil wafting through my home, garden and by the pool.
As for Brunch we dined on some of the most delightful sweet potato pancakes in the world! Yes, the sweet potatoes are from my garden. Sweet Potatoes are packed with Beta Carotene and vitamin A. They have tons of health benefits. And of course NuPlus is Sunrider’s super food!
So here’s the recipe for my Flourless NuPlus Sweet Potato Pancakes.
Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan of boiling water. Allow potatoes to boil about 15 minutes. Pierce with fork – potatoes should be tender but firm. Transfer potatoes to cold water to loosen skins. Drain, remove skins and mash. Remove any strings and beat until smooth.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spice, nutmeg.
Mix mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, milk substitute and oil in a separate medium bowl. Blend sweet potato mixture into the flour mixture to form a batter.
Add 1-2 drops of Sunny Dew to taste.
Preheat a lightly greased griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter mixture onto the prepared griddle by heaping tablespoonfuls. Let cook until golden edges become brown and the surface begins to bubble. Turning once with a spatula.
We topped our pancakes with homemade pear preserves – my grandmother’s recipe. You can also top with fresh preserves berries, fresh apple-berry compote or molasses.
My White Flour substitutes for Perfect Pancakes:
Almond Flour (gluten free)
Buckwheat Flour (gluten and wheat-free)
Cornmeal (blue and yellow) gluten free
Quinoa Flour (gluten free) – contains twice the protein of rice or corn