Tracy’s Pick of the Week: 12/30/13 – 1/19/14

Flight canceled

Image by Marsmetn Tallahassee

Welcome back to the series. Sorry for the late update. I was “trapped” in Las Vegas because my flight back to Boston was canceled due to snow storm; and ended up staying an extra week there. It took me a while to catch up with everything in life, before I finally settled down to write this post. Without further ado, let’s jump right into what you may have missed for the past weeks! This time’s news pick includes a list of four things we should avoid and another list of three things we should embrace ; – ) Enjoy!

1. Five Reasons to Avoid Factory Farmed Fish

Here is the first area to avoid: farmed fish.

Are you a seafood or sushi lover like me? If yes, this is the news you should pay attention to. Dr. Frank Lipman, a pioneer and internationally recognized expert in the fields of Integrative and Functional Medicine, uses 5 reasons to try to convince us the danger of having farmed fish. Interestingly, I realized that I have already covered one type of danger in a previous post. Check out my blog titled “Truths and Myths behind Food Labels”, where you will see Mira Dessy, certified nutrition educator and author of The Pantry Principle, has also discovered the use of hormone in growing rainbow trout.

So what is the solution? Well, opt for wild fish! If you also care about sustainability, definitely check out the Blue Ocean Institute’s Ocean Friendly Seafood Guide, where you can identify sustainable choices from wild-caught fish.

2. The Little Girl’s Experiment on Sweet Potatoes

Now here comes the second area to pay attention to: non-organic sweet potatoes at a grocery store.

This cute and memorable 2-minute video shows a little girl Elise tries to sprout vines from three kinds of potatoes, a non-organic potato from the grocery store, an organic potato from the same store, and a potato from an organic food market, by partially submerging them in mugs of water.  Find out in the video below to see what happens!

In the video, a type of chemical called chlorpropham, or “Bud Nip”, is mentioned. According to Elise, “this chemical can even cause tumors.” In response to the video that went viral on the internet, Prof. Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University’s Officer for Science & Society, later tried to east the public’s worry by explaining that “the amounts found on sweet potatoes are way way below any level that would pose a danger.”

Still, do you want toxins in your body? “Which potato would you rather eat?” as Elise closes her demonstration in the end. Hm…to eat, or not to eat? This is a thought-provoking question. Personally, I would try to avoid non-organic potatoes if I can.

3. Chemicals should Disappear from Cosmetics

The third area we should keep an eye on: chemicals inside the cosmetics.

Environment Working Group (EWG) has made it a New Year Resolution that cosmetic manufacturers should “shed bad actor ingredients that disrupt that hormone system, cause allergies and may accelerate skin cancer”. In the post, they have listed seven names that may be very strange to us right now. Ultimately, we should be able to recognize them in personal care products to protect our skin! If all fails, we can also refer to EWG’s skincare app for support ; D

4. Five Mistakes to Make when Shopping at a Grocery Store

The fourth area that we as consumers can improve on is to become more savvy when it comes to grocery shopping. There are three pieces of advice that I have found most useful here: shop with a plan, talk to the local store restocks to get the freshest produce, and avoid so called “healthy” convenience foods. As I mentioned earlier, food labeling currently has a lot of loopholes. Therefore, just because it is marked “organic”, it might not necessarily mean so. You may find out more by going back to News No. 7 in one of my news updates.

As having fun is a key principle I try to follow in life, I think we could try making grocery shopping fun, too, by picking new real foods that you have never tried (at least for a while), which leads to my next update.

5. Jamie Oliver Talking about Trying Something New in the Kitchen

Alright, after talking about all the negatives on different foods and personal care products, let’s turn to the brighter side: Chef Jamie Oliver, star of TV’s Food Revolution, encourages us to having fun in life by trying different foods. Have you ever tasted or even seen a purple potato? What about a golden beet? I haven’t, but will make some experiments on more “strange” foods this year for sure!

6. The Healing Power of Infrared Light

The second thing you need to bring into your knowledge bank is infrared light. This light offers a great option to remove toxins stuck in our cells and fat tissues. In our modern living, toxins are constantly built up in our skin, lungs and digestive system, while clogged pores lead to dullness and aging in our skin. Even though sweating can help eliminate toxins out of the body, few people sweat every day.

This is when infrared light comes to rescue our skin. It will open up the pores and detoxify the skin on a deep and cellular level, leading to clearer and brighten skin.

The downside is that it is a bit pricey (generally, they cost a couple thousand dollars). Depending on our budget, we may consider visiting a local spa or purchasing it by working hard to earn some bucks!

7. Kimberly Snyder Hosting New Year’s Edition Podcast

So there you have it. You have been given an option of having more fun with foods and another option of trying out infrared light. Here comes the third one: to embrace a breakthrough within you. Below are some key insights from her Podcast that gave some ah-ha moments to me, which I would like to share with all of you:

  1. Stop worrying and start living. I know this may sound like a bit cliché. But the truth is many of us still hold onto worries despite the knowledge. Stress is one of the key toxicities that lead to acne. Worries inevitably cause stress. But, as Echart Tolle mentions: “Worry pretends to be necessary. But it is, in fact, useless.” After repeating this sentence for two times and contemplating for 30 seconds, I found it very profound. So, intentionally let go of worries in the New Year. You will immediately feel lightness and freedom, which sets such a strong foundation for the glow on our face.
  2. Mediate into the New Year. In the podcast, she mentioned after partying till around 11 o’clock at night before the New Year (this is kind of like Cinderella having to leave by midnight, everyone?), she excused herself, found a quiet spot and meditated into the New Year with full energy and peace. Such an inspiration. We are all trained to believe that getting involved in a crowd for countdown is probably the best way to celebrate the arrival of the New Year (otherwise, you aren’t “cool”). Here comes another way to celebrate the New Year with a moment of solitude, peace and deep reflection. Again, I found that very profound and meaningful.

In short, how to start a breakthrough? It begins with shedding unnecessary worries and looking into ourselves. Remember, our positive attitude, peaceful mind and happiness will transform into energy, putting an extra layer of glow on the face ; )

That’s my update for now. Thank you so much for your visit. Which is your favorite piece of news? Or do you get any ah-ha moments from here? Please comment below to let me know what you think!



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