Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rocket Ship and Morning Star-- Vaccine Victims

If you know me, you know I have my weaknesses. Cheese. Shopping. Kittens. I probably shouldn’t be posting my greatest weaknesses, actually, but I trust that no one will use them against me. And if you do—at least I’ll have cheese, clothing, and KITTENS! A couple months ago I went to a DC United soccer match and sat next to a little girl wearing a shirt that read, “YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY KITTENS!” Needless to say, we were pretty much BFF’s the whole game. Sure, she was seven, but kittens can bridge gaps like age. Never underestimate the power of a kitten.

Anywho, my friend Anna shares this kitten obsession, although she does practice a little more restraint. In May around finals time on a rainy afternoon, Anna and I were walking from class to my car that I always park illegally in this back alley. That’s when, under a desk outside, Anna and I spotted a liter of kittens that couldn’t have been more than 3-weeks-old. After about an hour of playing and looking for their mom/talking to the neighbors, we learned that this place was about to bulldozed and that the mom had abandoned them. They had been trying to feed the babies but they were worried they would end up like the last liter of kittens who literally got eaten by fleas. It was Anna and Linen to the rescue!

After a week of bottle feeding the little guys we decided to make a facebook group to try and find them homes. 3 were rescued and two remained with me. They are still with me, about 4 months old, and are in the SPCA Foster Care program. I’m their current foster mommy and I can’t IMAGINE how I’ll ever be able to give them up! Every second I spend with them they are on top of me, cuddling and purring like little vacuum cleaners. Oh, by the way, I call them Rocket Ship and Morning Star, and by call them I mean I can never decide on a name for kittens so that’s their name this week.

Last Wednesday I took Rocket Ship and Morning Star to the vet to get their *cringe* vaccines. Ever since then they haven’t been eating well and on Sunday they stopped eating all together! To make matters worse, today Rocket Ship wasn’t moving so I took them both to the hospital. RS has to stay overnight for a high fever. The diagnosis? Vaccine reaction.

If I had any doubt before that vaccines were dangerous, that doubt is completely gone! My little guy looked absolutely miserable today. I am so worried about him, and Morning Star apparently has a small fever too, but a stress fever from worrying about his brother. Tonight will be the first night they ever spend apart L I hope they don’t get too scared, especially Rocket Ship.

Tata-off to visit Rocky at the vet!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Goodbye, to a Poisonous Friend

I have a friend who cures and causes my headaches. My friend makes me feel good only to leave me feeling worse. I need this friend but I know it's doing more harm than good. This friend, or foe, is named Diet Coke, and although we have been together for years, I'm just not into it anymore.

Today marks the first day of my own version of the 12 step program. Step one: admit you have a problem… I, Linden Rock, am a Diet-coke-a-holic. Ever since I was little I preferred the crisp taste of a diet soda to the overly-sugary regular coke. I can remember chugging tab and diet cherry vanilla cola (hey, it was on sale) on warm summer days. In college or before field hockey games I would guzzle down a can in seconds to get that extra boost of energy. Now in the middle of the day when my head starts to pound and my body feels sluggish I want, no NEED, that magical drink that seems to keep me going through the day. That’s when I realized that this addiction was just that, an addiction.

I don’t even like the taste anymore but I can’t stop, even if I try. Every day like clock-work I go into work, proud of myself for avoiding the can in the fridge, swearing that today will be the day I choose water over aspartame. Suddenly, the sun rays slip through my window and seem to stab through my eyes to the back of my head. Pounding ensues and I grow grumpy and unmotivated. Ice cold diet-coke cans, which taste so much crisper than the bottles ones, wait for me 5 floors down in the deli shop. They sit, condensation forming on their cool silver containers, WOOING ME, TAUNTING ME!!!! It’s too much to resist- until now.

Thanks to Twitter, I have learned about everything from where the closest gluten-free joints are and how to get there to what a deep and insightful person John Mayor is (John Mayor=diet coke, but alive… double swoon). Today, I learned about aspartame, which is an artificial sweetener in DC and other products, such as Nutrasweet, Equal Measure, and some desserts, yogurts and even chewable vitamins! According to an article in Natural News, research conducted as far back as 2005 has shown that there is a connection between lymphoma, leukemia, and aspartame. Apparently, when aspartame enters the body it turns into formaldehyde, which according to the EPA is a probable human carcinogen. Apparently, the aspartame isn’t immediately eliminated from the body, but it binds to tissue in protein and builds up causing more damage over time. Frightening? Yes.

I decided to do more research and was further disgusted by what the FDA has approved that I have been putting in my body for years. The use of aspartame is linked to systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and symptoms including vision loss, slurred speech, anxiety attacks and depression, just to name a few. Another symptom? Weight GAIN. Yes, while we all sit back and drink our diet sodas, not feeling guilty, we are actually drinking something that makes us crave carbohydrates and gain weight. The aspartame also turns into formaldehyde, as I described before, and stores itself in fat cells our hips and thighs. ARGH.

So, here I go, day one without any aspartame, aka no diet cokes for me. The worst part isn’t giving it up, it’s the fact that the FDA let me get addicted in the first place. They have done the studies that show the harmful effects of aspartame, yet they say tell us it’s still safe. It’s sick to know what a government organization will do to defend major corporations. But the valuable lesson I’ve learned through all of this research is you really do have to do research and find the answer for yourself. You have to educate yourself on health issues because the people that are supposedly ‘protecting’ don’t really have our best interests at heart.

Wish me luck!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sarah Haskins = Hillarious

Check out Sarah Haskins videos. She is HILARIOUS. She points out how sexist the media is.

This is one of my favorite videos on hair...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vaccine Overdo$e

These days the vaccine industry seems to be positively booming. Thanks to Swine flu, the newest epidemic or pandemic or something, Big Pharma has created a vaccine to protect us from this horrifying (?) illness. I know people have died from it but most of the victims already had compromised immune systems. Besides, Ron Weasley had it and he’s still alive! I saw him last night on the big screen in the new HP movie, so I can vouch. Personally- I won’t take it, seeing as it was created in such a hurry and hasn’t been adequately tested to make sure it’s safe. But will I have a choice?

The government has been promoting vaccines more and more lately, including this one and the original influenza vaccine. Apparently in some states children aren’t even allowed to go to school if they haven't received the flu vaccine. But after doing quite a bit of research I don’t trust these vaccines and honestly, would rather risk flu than death or a horrifying auto-immune disorder. Some may think I’m being dramatic and turning into a crazy Jenny McCarthy follower but is she crazy like loon or crazy like a fox?!

My first concern- my friend recently had a baby who is about to turn 3-months-old (Awwww). His 2-year-old nephew recently got diagnosed with autism so as a concerned parent he asked me to do some research on vaccines and their safety or lack-there-of. After countless hours reviewing both sides of the story I have decided that there is no scientifically sound research with hard evidence telling me vaccines do not cause autism. Although there have been studies done that supposedly “disprove” the link, these studies were not only funded by drug companies (who rake in $10 billion, as in B, per annum from vaccines...“hello, biased?!”) but also have countless methodological issues which basically de-validify any of their ‘findings.’ Until there is research not funded by pro-vaccination government agencies and vaccine manufacturing companies, in my opinion, there is no research. Money and ethics don’t mix.

While there have been a couple of “credible” (according to organizations that are funded by the vaccine makers, such as Merk) studies there is so much more to research to be done. Is it the thimerosal, or mercury, in the vaccines that is causing autism and other auto-immune diseases? Is it the amount of vaccines children are given? Is it the age? Countless questions and minimal studies. Yes- the link has not been positively beyond a doubt proven, but it hasn’t been disproven either. And from doing my research, I would bet that in a few years this scandal will be uncovered and the link will be once and for all confirmed. Until then? I say educate yourself. Don’t rely on biased studies or the biased media- go online like I did and make your own informed decision, while you still can. And make sure you do all you can to ensure your decision is protected.

My personal vaccine concern is with Gardasil. I received one very painful shot but, being the forgetful person I am, forgot to get the second two. For once my flakiness might have saved my life (when I know for sure, I can totally use this to my advantage. What a great excuse. Bahahahahaaaa). After researching this ‘miracle vaccine’ I have learned that most of their clinical trials have been on animals (who don’t get cervical cancer…) and there are no longitudinal studies done to show whether or not there are long-term effects from the shot. Theone I'm mostly concerned about? Infertility. And now Merck is looking to make this vaccine compulsory. Merck, the same drug company that was sued by victims and their families who were damaged or killed because of their drugs: phen-fen, chantix, vioxx and accomplia. Super track record! Would you trust a drug company that obviously has no problem putting out drugs that are unsafe? Well, call me crazy, but I don’t. That’s like going back to a restaurant that gave you food poisoning over and over again. I would like to live, thanks.

I researched vaccine injuries from Gardasil and found numerous victims, especially on, pleading with the public to refuse this vaccine. One 21-year-old healthy girl felt tired and dizzy after her third vaccine. These symptoms continued for a couple of days until one night she felt tired, went to sleep and never woke up. The doctors were baffled- her mother was not. She knew Gardasil had killed her daughter. Another girl became ill right after her third vaccine and is battling for her life every day, but sadly is slowly losing. They can’t figure out why her body is killing itself but her and her mother both know: Gardasil. These are just two of the vaccine victims that have been swept under the rug. The phrase “One Less” seems a little bit ironic now, doesn't it? You know, maybe I am wrong. Maybe vaccines aren't the culprit, but I'm making the best decision I can based on the facts provided. Not just facts, but intuition. Millions of parents have seen their children become ill after vaccines. Parents of autistic children tearfully describe how after a routine shot they watched their children's spirit slowly drift away. Sometimes science has to catch up with feeling and in the mean time I'm not going to subject myself or my *hypothetical* children to something that I feel could do more harm than good. And I'll be damned if the government thinks they can take away my choice. -HUHUHI

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back from Greece :( At least I Brought back a Tan!

I’m Back!

Well, I got back Monday night, very late, but I have been out of blog-mode for a couple of days. I still can’t believe I’m back in the U.S. Sighhhhhhhhh. I mean I missed you guys and all but I wouldn't have minded missing my plane. –Away from the beautiful beaches and breathtaking buildings. And the guys weren’t too bad to look at, either. Almost as cute as Italians.

As for the Mediterranean diet, I was a little shocked to see so many French fries. There were French fries in my gyros, with my fish, with my Greek salad and once I was shocked to find fries cooked INSIDE of my beef. I just ate too many French fries at lunch I need to stop writing about them it’s making me sick. Lots of starch- needless to say I probably didn’t order the healthiest Greek dishes, but hey I was on vacation. How did you do?

Everyone, well mostly everyone, in Greece however looked a lot healthier than we do in the U.S. weight wise. However, after being surrounded by a cloud of smoke for 9 days I think the reason they stay so skinny is because most Greeks, well 1/2 , are addicted to cigarettes. It was like the U.S. 50 years ago. People smoked EVERYWHERE. In offices, in restaurants, on ferries etc. etc. etc. I think I shaved off 5 years of my life from that 4 hours ferry trip to Santorini from the smoke. So cheers, thanks a lot Greeks.

The cigarette ads along the highways targeted mostly women and their drive to stay thin. One ad featured a cigarette called “Slim Line,” which already makes it sounds like a diet pill, and pictured a thin woman in a bikini smoking a cigarette looking extremely chic. You wanted to be her, and the ad made it seem like the way to do that was to smoke a cancer stick. The price people pay to stay thin. Another ad pictured an equally chic woman blowing smoke and holding a cigarette in her bony fingers with the quote, “My Fitness.” I know. I KNOW.

How is this legal? The cigarette companies are clearly playing into women’s insecurities and manipulating them into killing themselves. My mom, who works for the American Heart Association, was especially disgusted. She gave our travel agent a lecture about how he shouldn’t smoke while I sat there shrinking down into my seat, kicking her under the table. But it wasn’t too bad because he remembered it and upgraded us on one ferry to the business class, which was non-smoking. Very nice.

Well- I’m off again, jet-setting to Minnesota. I probably won’t try to eat traditionally Midwestern food; I don’t consider butter its own food group.

Until Next Time-


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mama Mia! Ze Mediterranean CHALLENGE!

Opah! Πετώ στην Ελλάδα αύριο! For those of you who don’t speak Greek, which, after seeing what the language looks like, I’m assuming it’s all of you, I am flying to Greece Tomorrow! Gotta love babel fish translator, the only reason I passed my Spanish class. Anyways, my parents and I (the brother is in North Carolina ‘working’ at a children’s museum) will be taking off tomorrow and arriving at the American Embassy in Athens! That’s right, Linden’s crashing the Embassy, ruh-roh. Our family friend, Dan Speckhard, is currently the ambassador there and has invited us to come explore Greece. Jealous? ;)

Coincidentally, as I was exploring my favorite alternative medicine news website, this article popped up on a study that showed those who consume a Mediterranean diet have a longer life expectancy. This isn’t the first time I've heard this, and I’m sure it’s not your first time, either. It makes sense when you think about it: a diet high in fish (hello, omega-3), fruits, veggies, cereals and light wine drinking. Greeks also tend to eat less red meat and processed foods, consuming olive oil instead of saturated fats. That’s when I got the idea for my first, ever HHH CHALLENGE! Do you dare? Are you ready? Can you HANDLE it? MAMA MIA!!! Ok, that’s enough intimidation, here’s the plan…

For 9 days, starting tomorrow, you and I will eat a purely Mediterranean diet. So get that grocery list ready and find Greek restaurants near you (googlemaps, baby), and get ready to live like a Greek for a week. As for me, I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble finding authentic Greek food ;)

The Picture I provided is of the Greek food pyramid, so that should help give you an idea of what to eat the most and the least. Here’s the run-down. The staples of the Mediterranean diet are seafood, fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, yogurt, olive oil and small amounts of wine. Greeks don’t cut out fat, but choose healthy fats, such as nuts and avocados. Limiting the amount of trans fat, Greeks reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke. Olive oil on everything is their motto, which helps prevent countless diseases, including cancer and other ailments, such as arthritis. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in many Greek recipes, which have countless health benefits. It’s all about the veggies. Most meals are primarily veggies and legumes, with small amounts of meat or fish on the side. Whole grains are a huge part of their diet as well, but make sure that you are eating wheat instead of white. Finally, for desert, relish the natural taste of fruit. We get caught up in fatty, processed deserts like donuts and cakes, and forget the truly indulgent taste of a juicy mango or crisp apple.

Here is a link to Mediterranean recipes.

Can't believe I leave tomorrow! I should definitely start to pack... heh...

Good look, and report back to me!

Until next time---

Hungry πεινασμένοςHippy

Wednesday, June 24, 2009