Home Gravity Water Filter Performance


As we might expect, not all home water filters are created equal.  If you currently use a Brita®  water filter at your home, you will want to be aware of the information presented here today.

Did you know that for every minute you spend in an unfiltered shower, you are absorbing approximately one glass of unfiltered tap water, in terms of chlorine?  That means that for every 10 minutes you let the water cascade over you in the shower, you are in effect “drinking” 10 glasses of unfiltered tap water, and all the chemicals that come with it.  Most water in our households is not for drinking, but for bathing, washing dishes and laundry.  A whole house water filter is cost prohibitive for many.  Even a point of service unit hooked up under your sink for drinking water only is too costly for many.  This is where the portable gravity water filters enter the picture.  Here are the test results of several gravity home water filters done by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger.  Testing was done via ICP-MS instrumentation with parts per billion sensitivity using methodologies based on EPA 200.8, using nitric acid digestion, sample normalization, 4-point external standards calibration and in-run calibration checks.  The Natural News Forensic Lab is pending ISO 179025 certification.

Note that the Brita® filter only removed 14% of lead and about 12% of arsenic. It increased the amount of aluminum  in the water by 34%!  It was the worst performing filter tested!

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Vitamin D and the FLU


Vitamin D Proven More Effective Than Both Anti-Viral Drugs and Vaccines at Preventing the Flu

For those of you opting to not have a flu vaccination this year, below is an article that further verifies the recommendations of many alternative health care providers in treating yourself at the first signs of illness symptoms.  Most protocols advocate taking vitamin D, 1000iu’s per pound of body weight orally for 3 to 7 days at the onset of symptoms, be it common cold, or flu.  And yes, that does mean if you weigh 100 pounds, you would take 100,000iu’s of vitamin D orally for 3 to 7 days.  Sounds like a lot, but I utilized this strategy last winter and averted a major cold that my husband suffered from for two weeks.  This seems to apply to children also.

An example is:


The article I mentioned is below:

October 22, 2013 by MARCO TORRES

The risk of children suffering from flu can be reduced by 50% if they take vitamin D, doctors in Japan have found. The finding has implications for flu epidemics since vitamin D, which is naturally produced by the human body when exposed to direct sunlight, has no significant side effects, costs little and can be several times more effective than anti-viral drugs or vaccines according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Only one in ten children, aged six to 15 years, taking the sunshine vitamin in a clinical trial came down with flu compared with one in five given a dummy tablet. Mitsuyoshi Urashima, the Japanese doctor who led the trial, told The Times that vitamin D was more effective than vaccines in preventing flu.

Vitamin D was found to be even more effective when the comparison left out children who were already given extra vitamin D by their parents, outside the trial. Taking the sunshine vitamin was then shown to reduce the risk of flu to a third of what it would otherwise be.

Dr. Damien Downing, a doctor and medical consultant has publicly stated that governments “do like” epidemics as a chance to impose their will. The London based doctor has been advising patients to increase their vitamin D intake rather than get the vaccine.

You might be shocked to know that there are many physicians in both Canada and the United States who prescribe as much as 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily as a treatment for a long list of chronic diseases.

Dr. John Cannell, MD, suggests high-dose vitamin D (50,000 IU) be consumed for three days at the first sign of a cold or the flu. If you have an infection, the truth is you need more vitamin D. That’s a given. In other words, vitamin D acts as a natural antibiotic. It works against every type of microbe (viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites).

Vitamin D deficiency is common during the winter months, especially in countries far north of the equator. Vitamin D acts as an immune system modulator, preventing excessive production of inflammatory cytokines and increasing macrophage (a type of white cell) activity. Vitamin D also stimulates the production of potent anti-microbial peptides in other white blood cells and in epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract, protecting the lungs from infection.

50 Percent Reduction In Flu Infections Using Vitamin D

Altogether 354 children took part in the trial. Vitamin D was found to protect against influenza A but not against the less common influenza B.

The trial, which was double blind, randomized, and fully controlled scientifically, was conducted by doctors and scientists from Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan.

The children were given a daily dose of 1200 IUs (international units) of vitamin D over a period of three months. In the first month children in the group taking the vitamin became ill just as often as those taking the dummy tablet. But by the second month, when the vitamin level in the children’s blood was higher, the advantage of the vitamin was clear.

The Japanese scientists, writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, say that the anti-viral drugs zanamivir and oseltamivir reduce risk of flu infection by 8 percent in children who have been exposed to infection, compared with a 50 percent or greater reduction with vitamin D.

Anti-virals are typically more effective than vaccines for the influenza virus which suggests that both forms of medical intervention would consistently fail in similar studies when pitted against vitamin D.

Anti-virals are also too expensive, and possibly too toxic, to be given to the population as a whole whereas vitamin D has additional benefits. The sunshine vitamin not only prevents bone fractures but is also believed to reduce risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other illness, including various bacterial as well as viral infections.

The Japanese finding supports a theory that low blood levels of the sunshine vitamin occurring in winter explain why flu epidemics generally peak between December and March.

Vitamin D activates the innate immune system, enabling the body to produce several proteins such as defensin and cathelicidin which trigger cell activity and disable viruses.

Dr John Oxford, professor of virology at Queen Mary School of Medicine, London, said: “This is a timely study. It will be noticed by scientists. It fits in with the seasonal pattern of flu. There is an increasing background of solid science that makes the vitamin D story credible. ”

Dose and Vitamin D Levels Are Critical

Researchers have recently pinpointed the mechanism behind vitamin D3’s ability to enhance the immune system and why it is so critical to our health.

– Vitamin D is not a vitamin, but a steroid hormone precursor, which has profound effects on innate immunity.

– The amount of vitamin D in most food and nearly all multivitamins is literally inconsequential.

– The correct daily dose of vitamin D for adults is approximately 5,000 IU/day, not the 200 to 600 IU recommended by the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Medicine and the FDA.

– The only blood test to determine vitamin D adequacy is a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D, not the 1,25-di-hydroxy-vitamin D test many physicians now order.

– Healthy vitamin D blood levels are between 70 and 90 ng/ml, levels obtained by fewer than 5% of Americans.

– The mechanism of action of vitamin D in infection, dramatically increasing the body’s production of broad-spectrum natural antibiotics (anti-microbial peptides or AMP), suggests pharmaceutical doses of vitamin D (1,000 IU per pound of body weight per day for several days) will effectively treat not only influenza and the common cold, but help treat a host of other seasonal infections, including meningitis, septicemia, and pneumonia, in both children and adults.


Some more interesting information regarding vitamin D levels and illness:




This one is for you parents out there:


I encourage you to do further research for yourself if you are concerned about flu vaccines for your family.  This is a very personal decision and being informed is important.

Wishing you a healthy fall/winter season!


Dear GiGi…













More questions from readers:

Question“The U.S.D.A., F.D.A., N.I.H., and the scientific community have assured us that GMO’s and the glyphosate in “Roundup” are safe for human consumption.  Is the opinion that they are not safe on the scientific fringe?”

Answer:  No.  More and more scientists are speaking out and requesting added research in various areas on these topics based on their hypotheses.

We have been told all a long that glyphosate interferes with the shikimate pathway (a metabolic pathway) in plants only.  That is how glyphosate kills weeds.   Mammals do not have a shikimate pathway, including humans, so we are told that it is totally safe for us to consume glyphosate sprayed foods.  Here is the problem.  For every one cell you have in your body, there are 10 microbes living within you, many being the all important gut flora we hear so much about lately.  All of them have a shikimate pathway.  These microbes are affected by the glyphosate saturated food we eat in a big way. Many of them die off, releasing toxins in the gut.  While glyphosate was developed by Monsanto around 1989, it wasn’t heavily used until about 1998 –  2000 with the “invention” of more and more GMO crops.  If you noticed you started to not feel so great in the early 2000’s, this may be partly why.  Wheat is not currently GMO, but it is sprayed heavily just before harvest during a process called “crop decimation.”  This spraying of glyphosate kills the wheat plant and the weeds for easier crop cleanup in preparation for the next planting season.  The wheat quickly goes to seed when this is done, and a greater yield of harvested seed results.  The wheat that we eat is saturated with the chemical at this point.  Yummy!  Further, the testing that Monsanto did regarding the safety of GMO crops for our government, and others, only lasted 3 months in duration.  That is the minimum governmental time requirement to determine safety.  Numerous independent studies of 4 months, to the death of the research animals showed all kinds of problems with GMO’s  starting at the 4 month mark, and later.  Mammary tumors, other various cancers, gastric inflammation, and after just three generations in lab rats, sterility.  Yes, there are definitely some “problems” with both GMO’s and the glyphosate in “Roundup.” Less arrogance and more intense research is absolutely called for.

Question:  “During the hot weather months I used to drink beverages like Gatorade, or other electrolyte drinks to rehydrate after profuse sweating for an hour, or more, after exercising.  These drinks are loaded with sugars, high fructose syrups, dyes, and other undesirable chemicals.  What can I use instead that would be a better option?”

Answer:  I know exactly what you are talking about here.  My ashtanga practice lasts 1 to 11/2 hours and the body heat and sweating generated are substantial! That dehydrated feeling tends to follow afterwards, no matter how much water I drink.  Sometimes, just plain old water is not enough.   I have recently found a great replacement for those chemical laden beverages you speak of.  Here is my secret recipe for a hydration drink that supplies plenty of quality salt (sodium),  magnesium, and other minerals that we refer to as “electrolytes.”   This drink does lack potassium, so be sure to eat potassium rich foods (avocado, nuts, seeds, fish, meat, and dark leafy greens)  all day long in your diet. It even tastes refreshing after a heavy workout, kind of like a lemonade!

  • Squeeze 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into a large glass.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt (or other quality sea salt).
  • Slowly pour in 12 ounces of sparkling mineral water (I use S. Pellegrino for it’s high mineral/magnesium content).

Drink and enjoy!  One or two of these drinks should do the trick nicely!


“Do not seek to follow in the foot steps of the wise.  Seek what they sought.


Summer Chopped Salad

I found this gem of a recipe while leafing through the August issue of “O” magazine in the checkout line at my local food co-op a few weeks ago.  I finally got around to making it and we loved it!  Use all fresh, organic ingredients and this salad does not disappoint!  We paired it with organic free-range chicken thighs.  Delicious!!  Makes 4 servings.


  • Sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. of red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp. of Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. of ground black pepper, more to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup corn kernels (from one to two ears)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 head of romaine, chopped
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional – I left this out)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 tsp. salt, garlic, and black pepper.  Whisk in oil.
  2. Add green beans and carrots to boiling water and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add corn and cook 1 minute more.  Drain in a colander and rinse in cold running water until completely cool.  Transfer to bowl with vinaigrette.  Add tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, and onion and toss.  Set aside to let marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Add romaine, avocado, Parmesan (if using), and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.


The Ashtanga Chronicles – Episode Two



Who are the grandmothers of ashtanga?  They are the over 55 years of age women that can:

  • Plant 1400 annual flowers in one day without any recovery time needed.
  • Run after several toddler aged grandchildren all day, repeatedly climbing two or three flights of stairs with a one year old baby on one hip, and a full laundry basket on the other hip.
  • Take the first bike ride of the season without any muscle soreness or stiffness, while watching her “in awesome shape” husband suffer for two days afterwards, for the very first time ever.
  • Hike all day, then stay up and eat, drink, gamble, and carry-on till the “wee hours”  with their twenty-something year old sons and daughters.  (Hey, no one said we are perfect….)
  • Go on a week long yoga vacation that provides for 31/2 hours of yoga daily, without any fatigue or soreness, at all.
  • And much more…….

In other words, these are the women who do not want to leave this world ambulating with a walker, an oxygen tank, and swallowing a tackle-box full of pills every day, like we unfortunately see many of our peers doing.  These women see the value that a dedicated ashtanga practice affords them…mainly, quality of life as we age.  A clear, calm mind, strong body, and open/flexible joints are what we are after.  While we are not stopping the aging process, we are at least slowing it down some. Perhaps we view the spiritual side of the practice as the most important.  Connecting with your mind and body in such an intimate way almost everyday is something that seems to be lacking these days in our very busy world.  It is something most of us never took the time to do in the past.  It may be that “me time” that we have all heard about.  This group of ladies has some very “real” reasons to show up on their yoga mats daily.  Do we need more recovery time than the 20 or 30 year old next to us?  Yes.  Do we have to modify a lot of poses in the very basic, primary series?  Yes.  So what?  We are still there, sweating it out and improving, ever so slowly.  Was the ashtanga yoga practice originally created for young boys in India, in their teens and 20’s?  Yes.  The very apparent physicality of the practice lets us know this is true with our very first attempt of the practice.  Should a bunch of elderly women, with all types of various health problems, be doing ashtanga “at their age?”  Absolutely!

In the past several months, I have had three people at our yoga studio ask me “Why do you still do ashtanga?  What do you like about it?”  I have been thinking about this for some time now.  What is it exactly that makes me practice 5-6 days per week?  Why do I keep coming back, as hard as it is for me?  That answer may vary for every ashtangi, no matter what their age.  For me, I have to say I am getting stronger in every possible way, and, most importantly,  the practice is somehow  bringing me back to myself.  There is no way to turn away from that.  I am in it for the long haul.  This practice is self-care and anti-aging medicine at its finest!   I look forward to seeing my fellow “grandmothers of ashtanga” daily.  I know they are also on their mats for similar reasons.  They are such smart ladies!

Namaste,  (The light in me sees, and honors, the light in you.)


More Food For Thought….


It seems there are more reasons than ever to buy and eat organic foods.  The high usage of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Round-Up) is effecting our health in more ways than we care to know about.  Here are several very interesting visuals that provide us with quality information on this topic.  The possible link to autism is an interesting one.

Glyphosate Hotspots


Glyphosate Linked to Autism Occurence



Further bedtime reading, for your added knowledge and pleasure (reader beware!):



Will Common Sense Prevail?

GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) have been rejected and/or kicked out of numerous countries, and for good reasons. Several European nations opted to have GMO’s labelled, which resulted in buyers not purchasing them.  As companies lost profits, the GMO foods were removed from European markets, and replaced with non-GMO foods.  Money talks.  In case you need further information to help you make your decision regarding GMO foods and health, here is a very well done documentary titled “Genetic Roulette”  on this important topic.  It is necessarily lengthy, but well worth the time spent viewing it.

Reasons to Eat Non-GMO and Organic Foods

Below is an extremely interesting interview that Dr. Joesph Mercola did last September with Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a researcher at M.I.T..  She explains to us why the active ingredient in Round-Up, glyphosate, is so prevalent in our food supply, and what it is doing to our  bodies. She directly correlates glyphosate with the recent increase in Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity diagnoses, and numerous other health issues as well.  After listening to this interview, and several others, my husband and I plan to axe more of the occasional treat options we now consume.  I love that she encourages personal decision making and self-care as the solution to this now prevailing problem.  She maps out for us exactly what we need to do right now to avoid the glyphosate related health problems that are now epidemic.  This is a MUST listen!

Tooth Fairy Dust

Have you ever gone to the dentist and been told that you have a “soft spot?”  Or perhaps, you report tooth sensitivity to your dentist.  The traditional answer is usually fluoridated toothpaste, or a topical fluoride treatment, or both.  The soft spot is “watched” until it eventually needs to be drilled and filled.  The tooth sensitivity usually gets worse over time.  Both of these maladies are caused by  a breakdown of the crystalized lattice matrix of the tooth enamel, called demineralization.  Minerals are leached out and not replaced.  Why is it that animals living in the wild, following their natural diet, do not have dental issues, like cavities (caries), despite not using fluoride or tooth paste?  The work of dentist Westin Price displayed this same occurrence in humans with his many worldly travels.  Is it possible that we can remineralize our teeth without poisonous fluoride at all?  The answer is “Yes.”

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Easy Hard-Boiled Eggs

I just tried this easy method, found on the “Primal Life Organics Blog,”  to make a batch of hard-boiled eggs this morning.  Worked like a charm!  The eggs were firmly cooked and easy to peel, as promised!  I will add a pound, or two, of bacon on a cookie sheet into the same oven next time.  Such a great time saver, I had to share it with you!