Category Archives: Global Matters

Something to consider-Flint and lead.


Flint, Michigan. January 2016.

The marking of the year and month when many were stunned, and  some horrified to learn, without doubt, that approximately 100,000 people in Flint, Michigan had been drinking, bathing, and cooking with water contaminated with lead.

Flint demographics suggest there are approximately…

… 8,200 children under 5 years old now at risk of lead poisoning as a result of drinking water in the City of Flint.

… 23,000-24,000 young people under the age of 18 at risk for lead toxicity.

… 20,000 females in child bearing years at risk of passing on dangerous effects of lead tainted water to their unborn children.

Is there concern for the other residents? You better believe it! No amount of lead is safe for anybody!

The CDC revised their guidelines and advised in 2012 that any child with more than 5 micrograms per deciliter of lead in their blood be considered at risk. The risk? Adverse health effects in behavior, attention, academic achievement, and extending ‘beyond cognitive function to include cardiovascular, immunological, and endocrine effects.’

Am I the only one wanting to scream, “GET THE LEAD OUT!”?

While government determines  accountability and ensuring non-tainted water access continues,  decreasing the amount of lead and the effects of lead toxicity is critical, especially for the children!

No time should be wasted in decreasing lead’s looming and harmful effects.

While there are hopefully existing efforts to decrease the blood lead levels in Flint’s residents, and reduce lead’s effects, there are noteworthy nutritional changes that may help any body excrete lead. Nutritional intervention hasn’t produced enough evidence for all scientists, but there has been considerable progress. Even the CDC encourages nutritional recommendations for children with elevated blood lead levels.

I AM NOT A DOCTOR. ( Always consult with your doctor!)

I AM NOT A HEALTH PRACTITIONER.

I AM NOT A MEDICAL RESEARCHER BY VOCATION.

I am concerned about getting the lead out!

Lead not absorbed by the body is excreted through feces, urine, and sweat (lead excretion takes place in similar concentration levels in urine and in sweat).

Chelation therapy, a medically supervised intervention, draws metals out of the body so they are excreted. It has been considered the primary treatment method, particularly for individuals with dangerously high blood lead levels.

Yet, research is rising about natural chelators that are more gentle in drawing metals out of the body.

Known natural chelators of lead are …

vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamine (B1),  folate (B9) and iron .

How do we access those natural chelators?

If you answered food and vitamin supplements you are correct!

Did you know?

Most children’s  vitamins contain the above listed natural chelators of lead in their ingredients!

Could it be said that children who take a daily multi-vitamin have a better chance of drawing lead out of their body and excreting lead, than children who don’t take a daily multi-vitamin?

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Foods containing the highest levels of these vitamins include:

Guavas, kiwi, strawberries and oranges (Vitamin C).

Sunflower seeds, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collards, and swiss chard (Vitamin E).

Sunflower seeds, navy and black beans, lentils and peas (B1-Thiamin).

Lentils, beans, spinach and broccoli (Vitamin B9).

Beef or chicken livers, clams, oysters, and enriched breakfast cereals (Iron).

(There are plenty other foods high in vitamins C, E, thiamin, folate, and iron.)

Other foods and spices considered  to be natural chelators include: onions, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar and cilantro.

Cilantro, also known as coriander and chinese parsley, has been involved in double blind placebo studies, showing phenomenal lead excretion results when combined with Chlorella, a fresh water algae. Some suggest the simple habit of adding cilantro leaves into a tossed salad helps decrease lead toxicity.

One study produced somewhat discouraging results for researchers when the cilantro (used alone) and the placebo showed similar lead excretion results in urine– attributed to  benefits of a better diet.

Remembering that no blood levels of lead are good for anyone, could it be said that children who eat meals high in natural chelators have an advantage toward drawing out and excreting lead over children who don’t eat foods known to chelate lead? Could the same be said for adults?

Could education about, access to, and consumption of more foods and meals that naturally chelate lead make a difference for people with lead in their blood?

——-

How would we know if this works?

Time.

The CDC recommends follow up testing on children under 5 years of age in intervals of every three to four months if they test positive for lead in their blood.

An initial blood screening and follow up screenings will help determine if eating meals involving natural chelators plus taking a daily multi-vitamin with known lead chelators makes a difference for countless children, especially those in Flint.

(Since one medically supervised chelation therapy study was followed for four years, a lifestyle change of this sort would best be examined with at least a decade of study. Of course no one would suggest a placebo group for ethical reasons, so historical cases of past interventions would have to suffice in comparison.)

For many reasons, medically supervised chelation therapy is usually reserved for people with dangerously high levels of lead in their blood. No blood level of lead is safe for a child under 5yrs of age.

On the other hand, a meal of a tossed salad with cilantro, black beans, tomatoes, and chicken, served with a kiwi and strawberry fruit salad on the side contains 7 food elements known to be high in vitamins that chelate lead and could be eaten by anyone, of any age, regardless of their blood lead level.

A bran cereal breakfast also served with a cup of orange juice contains a generous amount of three to five vitamins known as lead chelators and a dinner of beans and rice served with orange juice does too!

Only the highest lead levels are targeted for treatment, therefore, many children endure the harsh effects of lead without treatment. Lead stored in the body causes damage. In adults, lead can cause high blood pressure.

What if food choices and vitamins that naturally chelate lead slowly and consistently draw out lead and help promote its excretion? Could this slow some of the damage from lead?

Whatever is done, Flint’s children will need comprehensive and supportive systems for many years to come as their bodies adjust to the effects of toxic water.

For the sake of our future generations, I pray government and citizenry alike do all we can and get the lead out!

IMPORTANT: As always, everyone should consult their doctor BEFORE making any diet or supplement changes for themselves or for their child.

 

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~The silhouettes of a few of my nieces and nephews. I sit in their midst with the biggest smile! Children color our world!~

 

Want to be in the know? Know this!


Many people like to be …”in the know”–celebrity information, the latest scandal, who moved in or out of the neighbor, business turnovers, stock rates, …!

I confess: I like to be in the know! Learning something new is a hobby to me, and the latest “big news” I learned drove me to the blog-o-sphere!

Caution: It might make you turn up your nose or gag. And, it is said it will take something away from you.

Did that get your attention? If so, I’ll be brief.

Before I go further…

I am not a physician.

I am not a nutritionist.

I am a freelance writer who enjoys natural health methods, preventative health, and research.

I am bringing FACT to you, based on brief research on the matter.

Disclaimer over.

Remember: you might turn up your nose, gag, or say, “NO WAY!” But would you try something different for health’s sake?

Here is the fact I learned today, and verified:

OKRA has been shown to DECREASE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS!

Maybe you already knew! Did you? Did you spread the news? Diabetes and  pre-diabetes plagues too many of our loved ones!

‘According to the American Diabetes Association, 79 million people in the U.S. have prediabetes. People with prediabetes are five to six times more likely to develop diabetes over time. Prediabetes also increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, although not as much as diabetes does. It’s possible to prevent the progression of prediabetes to diabetes, with diet and exercise.’ (Retrieved WebMD 1/27/2014 http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/how-sugar-affects-diabetes)

Do you doubt my fact?

There are several natural health sites that do suggest okra can bring down blood sugar levels. For those who aren’t sure about natural health sites, I went a step further. The National Institutes on Health reports, ‘The fiber in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar by regulating the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.’ (Retrieved 1/27/2014  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178946/)

Now that I think about it, when I went to the Bahamas, Uncle Sammy (our tour guide and a nice gentleman) did say something about people eating a plant to help reverse pre-diabetes. I don’t recall the exact food item because his accent threw me off.

But with all that noted, can you imagine the benefit of adding okra into a health eating plan!

I believe this is good news for those who are focused on healthy blood sugar levels, but not good news for those who don’t like okra because of its texture characteristics.  Since taste changes I’d suggest giving okra another try by surfing the Internet for a recipe that seems yummy and just so happens to have okra in it. I enjoy my okra in a vegetable medley. It was great today at lunch!

Oh….have I wished you a Happy New Year? Happy New Year!  Here’s to being in the know when it comes to our health!

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A Perfect “Lousy” Gift!


Imagine this:

YOU GET an unexpected gift.

** What do you do? What do you say?

** Do you value it? Do you think little of it because it cost YOU nothing?

**What if you like it? What if you don’t like it?

**What if you don’t want it? What if you treasure it?

**What if you aren’t ready for it? What if you are ready for it and you know it is something others have been praying for?

**Does the gift, any gift, make you feel loved (it is your love language)? What if gifts don’t mean much to you?

But, nonetheless, YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A GIFT. How do you react, and what do you say and do?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

YOU GIVE an expected or unexpected gift.

**You stretch out your hands and place your gift in the receiver’s hands and they don’t even say, “Thank you.”

** You give a gift and the person thanks you and tell you how much they appreciate it!

**You give someone a gift and the person walks away from it as if it is nothing.

**You give someone a gift and you see it is not cared for. It is misused, broken, or never used or appreciated.

**You give a gift and the light in the person’s eyes makes your sacrifice of time, money, and resources worth it and more!

**You give a gift and learn it is given away to someone else.

But, nonetheless, YOU HAVE GIVEN A GIFT.  Do you give a gift with expectations, or do you give expecting nothing, not even expecting a “Thank you” in return?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have been told I am a great giver. I don’t know about great, but that is what I have been told. All I do is reflect on the person or family and think about what is important to them– hopes, dreams, challenges, needs, what they have said, and what has made their eyes sparkle. I can’t say I give the correct gift 100% of the time because it is a process of learning the gift recipient and I am sure someone could rise and say I got it wrong. But, the feedback is that I get it right, many times.

Through it all, I’ve also learned NOT to give a gift ( a tangible, wrapped gift).

Once, it was on my heart to extend a token of appreciation to a group. It was a big group! And, I was broke! People didn’t know my financial state and I didn’t care to explain it or use it as excuse not to extend something to them. I was determined to find something to let them know I was thinking about them.

I do believe gifts should cost us something, but I do not believe it is necessary or wise to go into deep debt every time we give a gift. My situation at the time was that I was stretched to the limit! Beyond limit! So I searched for options and found something that was cute and useful– a little box that could hold trinkets or personal items for one’s desk or home! Perfect!

I was delighted as I passed out the little boxes and said, “It is just a little something….”  For some of us, giving a gift feels like dishing out love! And this proved the perfect balance for me—take care of my personal obligations (bills and food) and express appreciation for others! Perfect balance! Perfect gift!

Or, so I thought, until…

I overheard someone belittle what I had given. And the boastful and proud pronouncement of their distaste with my selection and effort caught me off guard. My feelings hurt briefly until I realized I had given my best. And then I thought…

WHO DOES THAT?

WHO HAS THAT KIND OF HEART?  

WHO WOULD DARE SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT A GIFT—AN EXTENSION OF SOMEONE’S TIME, MONEY, RESOURCES, AND THOUGHTS FOR ANOTHER?

The answer came to me.

We all do.

God gives us gifts each day. And we forget to say, “Thank you!”

We give gifts to each other and sometimes they aren’t seen as gifts, or seen as gifts and are not appreciated or liked or wanted.

The truth is: A gift is someone stopping for a moment or moments in the course of their life to extend something to YOU! No matter whether you like it or not! Think of kindness; it is a most beautiful gift! Don’t we all hope for more of that?!

How we receive gifts, and how we give gifts tells people about us– our thoughtfulness, thankfulness, expectations, and more!  And how we give gifts and receive gifts affects our RELATIONSHIPS!

How did you feel about the relationship with someone when they did not say thank you for a gift you sacrificed your time, money, or resources to give them? There are many more examples of how gifts affect relationships. I’m sure you can name a few!

BUT LET US FOCUS ON WHAT WE CAN DO?

IF YOU WANT TO GIVE A GOOD GIFT: Take note of what people say in everyday conversation, or ASK your loved ones and friends what they want and what makes them feel loved and appreciated. That is how you give a good gift to them.

IF YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T FIGURED OUT WHAT A GOOD GIFT IS TO YOU: When they ask what you want, or when there is a convenient time, TELL the people in your life what you want and what makes you feel love and appreciated. That helps them give a good gift to you. (We have to remember finances when we communicate wants!)

Let’s cease the hope of good mind readers in our life and simply communicate with spoken words!

Gifts are NOT guaranteed.  It is wise to be thankful for them! We HOPE our gifts are received with thankful hearts, but ask God about that. Soon many will celebrate the greatest gift to mankind, and many still reject him—the Savior of the world, born as a child, Jesus Christ.

With the year winding down, I have written this as a gift from me to you!

The gift I want and hope for you is a little more, of a little “big” thing, called love! ~Nisti K

Love is eternal poster

What are the Odds of 11-12-13? A “Guest” post by Nisti K Delgroothe


The  other day, my friend informed me that 11/12/2013 was a few days away. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about the date until then, but when she told me I wanted to do something memorable. I instantly said, ‘Hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if I finished my memoir?’ We agreed it would!  But, being a realist I accepted the truth and told my friend that finishing it was an improbability. Now that I think about it, we discussed this all while finishing the photo for the memoir’s cover! Backwards?!

Anyway, this morning I woke up, checked the time and noticed the date. I then began to wonder: What are the odds? I began a quick Google search, but didn’t quickly find the answer and decided it might be more fun to play with the odds than to record them. So, here I go with the flow: 11-12-13…14!

14? Yes!

I have no idea what the odds are of 11-12-13 occurring on our calendar, but I do know it is a rare occasion in the 21st century. These mathematical occurrences don’t happen often and are spaced many years apart. So, here are a few fun ideas on how you can enjoy a rare day!

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14 things you can do on 11-12-13

  • Spend 14 minutes giving God thanks for specific things or people in your life and reading Scripture.
  • Send 14 friends or family you haven’t talked to in awhile an email or text to let them know you love and appreciate them.
  • Spend 14 minutes indulging in a book you just haven’t had the chance to read. This can be family read out loud time!
  • Allow yourself 14 little treats–or 1/4 cup.
  • If you have kids, tell them THEY are going to be able to make a family decision. Announce that you’ll all have 14 uninterrupted minutes of family fun time. NO CELL PHONES, COMPUTERS, OR TEXTING ALLOWED! Give them 14 minutes to decide, then GO with it!
  • Take a 14 minute walk.
  • Spend 14 minutes indulging in a hobby you haven’t had a chance to enjoy!
  • Exercise for 14 minutes.
  • Do 14 NON selfish gestures for others. Keep count! Open a door, let someone get in line in front of you,…
  • Set a timer for 14 minutes and do some Fall Cleaning!
  • Set a timer for 14 minutes and clean out that drawer or closet you’ve been wanting to get too.
  • Call an older person and check on them. I don’t dare say 14 minutes.
  • Sing your favorite, most uplifting songs for 14 minutes straight!
  • Donate $14 to disaster relief in the Phillipines, or a hunger relief program that serves the US and/or overseas.
  • Spend 14 minutes writing a fun list of 14 things you’d like to do today! (Okay, that’s 15 items! I know! Couldn’t resist!)

Ooops! My timer just went off. Yep, you guessed it! It was for set for 14 minutes! I kinda went over…but before I go, please note that many of these items can be a family event or something you enjoy with friends! If you go over the time limit, stay in the moment, you are probably enjoying yourself! Whatever you choose to do, have fun with 11-12-13!   If you’ve liked this post and some of the tips, check out my Nisti K News page on Facebook. If you like it, please “LIKE” it! My goal was to help 14 people have a little more love in their day! Hope I succeeded! If I did, please let me know!~Nisti K

http://www.facebook.com/NistiKNews!

By the way, although I can’t finish the memoir by midnight tonight, this post has been listed as an official Nisti K Delgroothe Mission–#11-12-13-14. That’s a good mission for today!

The Mayan ruins, the Mayan calendar, December 21st 2012–a travel log by Nisti K Delgroothe


The Mayan calendar
The Mayan calendar

It is a short story–a travel log really–and you will soon be able to purchase it, enjoy the photos, and share it with your friends. Nisti K goes to a Mayan ruin to find out why everyone thinks the world will end. What she finds along the way is interesting and a great family time read. Not sure how a travel log could be used in family time? She’ll reveal that too!

Nisti K’s Quest: 7 ’til 21, is still very applicable as a good read for families! Stay tuned for more information on how you can get a copy!

Continue reading The Mayan ruins, the Mayan calendar, December 21st 2012–a travel log by Nisti K Delgroothe

Solar flare– July 14, 2012. Images of the early morning skies.


The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

~Psalm 19:1  The Holy Bible

(Click post title to access page and photo slideshow of happenings in the skies during the solar flare)

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The Painted Picture–UARS stats and the news around us.


What is in a statistic, or piece of information ? Truth? A hidden agenda? Facts? Deceit?  It could be one, several, or all the above.

Today or tomorrow, according to NASA, bits of a bus-sized object, UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite), will fall from the sky. Some have found comfort in believing that their odds of being hit by its pieces are 1 in 21 trillion. Others have heard their odds of getting hit by spacecraft parts are 1 in 3,200.  And, many have found comfort,or discomfort, in those numbers.

What  is the truth? Both, if you believe the following NASA official’s quote:

” … according to Nicholas Johnson, NASA’s chief orbital debris scientist, any one person’s chances of getting hit by debris are tiny — something like 1 in 21 trillion. The chances that of the 7 billion people on Earth, one of them, somewhere, could be hit are more like 1 in 3,200″. (www.abcnews.go.com)

How could ‘… any one person’  be different from one ‘… of the 7 billion people on Earth’ , so much so that their odds are polar opposites?  There is obviously more to the story and different data and variables used to give those sets of odds; yet,  some people are only hearing one statistic over the other, instead of both.   Both sets of odds, when shared together, suggest a bigger story, wouldn’t you agree?  It also leads to more questions. Why are the odds drastically different? What are they based on? Etc, etc…
 
 But when NASA official, Nicholas Johnson,  released both pieces of information in his interview, it didn’t  guarantee that both sets of odds would be shared by every information source–print, online or spoken news, coffee pot conversations, family, or friends.
 
Therein lies the trickiness in using (and believing)  numbers and information–there is often  more than the painted picture, and more required for a full story. 
 
Asking more questions, especially before reacting emotionally, financially, or in other ways, may be in order.
 
Who is revealing the information/statistic? What are their sources? How do they know? Why do they believe that information? Is the statistic being used in isolation to prove a point, or, is it being used with comparable facts to show a historical trend? 
 
Questions that reach for more details help clarify statistics or lend credibility to information, and prove beneficial, especially now that there are fraudulent financiers, political tug-of-wars,  storytellers tossing myths and rumors in our midst, and people who paid for an opinion–fact or fiction based. 
 
NASA’s statistics suggest that there is a slim to none chance anyone will get hit by space junk, UNLESS the unusual happens–it breaks through orbit over land, at which point it will fall straight down to earth. (My guess is this is where the 1 in 3,200 odds ring true. But, what do I know?)

Something is falling from the sky...
 I’ll just keep my faith in the Creator of the statisticians, more than the statistics, and listen for sudden changes in the sounds of nature.  (It usually gives a fair warning to something happening in the atmosphere-storms, earthquakes,etc.) If the birds stop chirping and my dog looks up… get out of my way. I’m running for cover!

Aaaagghh!