Sharing the Blog Love

by Tiffany in Tidbits

One of the first things I do when I sign on to my computer in the morning is cruise the latest posts from my favorite blogs. I actually get excited when I see the the daily email with the RSS feeds from those blogs. I thought I would share a few of the blogs that I like and share a little blog love as I read about today in the Who’s Yo Mama blog.

So here are a few of my faves:

Sustainable Table Blog


Parenting Hacks

Eat Local Challenge

Pocket Farm


Do you know of any other great blogs I might like? Leave a link in the comments section!

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

2 Comments on Sharing the Blog Love


Protecting that Soft Baby Skin

by Tiffany in Birth & Baby

I just wanted to share a great baby product that I use at home. No it is not necessarily an environmental product…but definitely a smart one.

My 7 month old baby boy has just started crawling and his knees and elbows have been getting red and sore from all the friction in those tender areas. I felt so bad for him. L Then I remembered a product I used for him when he a newborn in freezing cold Ohio. BabyLegs! I used them on his legs to keep them extra toasty in below zero weather but they would also work great at protecting his legs and arms against nasty rug burn. They are perfect for this Arizona summer too. He is wearing just a diaper most days to keep cool. I didn’t want to clothe him in long sleeves and pants and now I don’t have to!

He is wearing rainbow BabyLegs on his legs and Jester BabyLegs on his arms. Oh and that adorable cloth diaper is a Deco-Doodlez from Monkey Doodlez in case you were wondering.





Why I Cannot Stand Chuck E. Cheese

by Tiffany in Children, Tidbits

Chuck E. Cheese is one of those places that you hope you won’t ever have to go to again when you make the decision to eat and live more naturally…at least is was for me. The last time I went to CC was a long time ago but I still vividly remember a lot of sickly looking kids with green snot running down their faces and hacking up a storm all the while they had their hands all over the games and play toys. The last time I went it was winter time and it seemed everyone had a cold. Sure enough, my kids did get sick after that visit. Well, my son turned six this weekend and he decided he really wanted to visit Chuck E. Cheese. Well, okay…if I must. 

I made sure we all ate very well at home before we went out and I explained that we would be playing games only…no pizza and no soda would be had at all. Surprisingly they were okay with that and they never even asked once for any of those things, despite the fact that we were surrounded by them. I was happy to see that no children looked visibly sick. But I did remember another reason why I hate places like that. I really start to feel as though I am the only one who still believes in parental supervision at these places. Children run absolutely wild and parents are just oblivious! They congregate together and catch up on the latest gossip while their children terrorize other guests. My two youngest children barley missed being pelted by ski-balls that were thrown outside of the designated area (deliberately). My oldest child was being followed around by an older child (who I would guess had Down’s syndrome) that would wait until my son inserted a token and would then push my son away to play the game or wait until my son was finished and then steal his prize tickets. He was also doing that to several other children. Where were his parents?! I never once saw them in the two hours we were there. Another child that looked to be about 12 or 13 years old was trying to remove the metal plates that covered the ticket dispensers so that he could steal tickets. Lots of children were running wild like this, with a sugar high from all the high fructose corn syrup they were drinking in their sodas. 

I am so glad that I do not frequently have to subject myself or my children to that place. But of course now my daughter has talked non-stop about how she wants to go back. 

Anyone else have a Chuck E. Cheese horror story to share?


Raspberries Rock!

by Tiffany in Health & Healing, Healthy Eating

I have been eating blackberries whenever I can get my hands on them ever since my cancer diagnosis. Why? Well, when I had my colon surgery I was at a hospital only about an hour away from The James Center for cancer treatment and that educational hospital (part of OSU) has done extensive research on blackberries and their benefits to cancer patients. Blackberries have an enormous concentration of antioxidants. So while I was in Ohio (and blackberries where local and available) I was eating blackberry muffins, blackberry pancakes, blackberry bread…you name it.  Today Slashfood (one of my favorite food blogs) brought raspberries to the forefront too. Raspberries are in the top ten for the 1000 foods tested for high antioxidant concentration as well. And according to Slashfood “In addition to simply having high concentration of antioxidants, raspberries’ antioxidant capacity comes from ellagitannins, which are a family of anti-cancer compounds that almost exclusive to the raspberry. Beyond phytonutrients, raspberries also provide nutrition in the form of manganese and vitamin C.”

Well, now I am happy that my daughter insisted on getting raspberries at Sprouts Farmers’ Market yesterday. :) This weekend we will be eating some yummy raspberry/buckwheat pancakes.


Saturday, August 26th, 2006

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Concentrated animal feeding operations near schools may pose asthma risk

Children who attend school near large-scale livestock farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may be at a higher risk for asthma, according to a new study by University of Iowa researchers. 

The study, led by Joel Kline, M.D., professor of internal medicine in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, appears in the June issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org). 

“Previous research has shown increased rates of asthma among children living in rural areas of Iowa and the United States,” said Kline, who also is deputy director of the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center (EHSRC) in the UI College of Public Health, which helped fund the study. “Given that CAFOs release inflammatory substances that can affect the health of workers at these facilities and the air quality of nearby communities, we were interested in whether there was a connection between CAFOs and increased rates of asthma among kids in rural areas.” 

Researchers surveyed the parents of kindergarten through fifth-grade students attending two Iowa elementary schools to compare the prevalence of asthma among students. The “study” school was located a half-mile from a CAFO in northeast Iowa; the “control” school was in east-central Iowa, more than 10 miles away from any CAFO (generally classified as a livestock facility that houses more than 3,500 animals). Sixty-one participants responded from the study school, and 248 participants responded from the control school. 

Study results indicated a significant difference in the prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma between the two schools: 12 children (19.7 percent) from the study school located near a CAFO and 18 children (7.3 percent) from the control school. The overall rate of physician-diagnosed asthma reported for Iowa is around 6.7 percent, the study authors noted. 

Using the broadest definition of asthma (physician diagnosis, asthma-like symptoms or asthma medication use) the prevalence rate was 24.6 percent at the study school, compared to 11.7 percent at the control school. 

Although results showed that children in the study school located near a CAFO were more likely to have a parent who smoked, which is a risk factor for asthma, the significance of parental smoking diminished when analyzed with other variables such as pet ownership, age and residence in a rural area or on a farm.

Kline stressed caution in considering the study results showing the difference in asthma diagnoses between the two schools. “Since different physicians were diagnosing asthma among the two groups, it’s possible that one group may have been more or less likely to receive an asthma diagnosis for similar symptoms,” he said. 

What the study suggests, he added, is more research on the health effects of CAFOs. 

“This is such a trigger issue in Iowa and other agricultural states, so we need to look at these results with caution,” Kline said. “More study is needed on the effect of these environments on the community, not just on workers at these facilities or people who are more directly exposed.”