Recently in Wellness Category

After an excellent appointment with my midwife's assistant/doula in Menlo Park, my friend and I headed to downtown Los Altos to indulge in something light and sweet at Satura Bakery. If you've not yet been, I highly suggest taking a trip there on a Thursday afternoon. After eating one of the best choux creams in my life, we walked over to the farmers market. This is one of the rare markets that stays open later in the day. We sampled different types of flavorful cherries that were sweet and not the least bit sour, hearty Jersey Brand milk cheeses, super sweet sweet peas, and dark juicy red strawberries. I left with five small, but crisp and sweet, organic white peaches from Kashiwase Farms, organic Spring Hill Farms garlic curds (made from fresh mozzarella), and also one of their pesto jack blocks, melt-in-your-mouth roasted rosemary fingerling potatoes (we ate those there), and a small basket of unusually pointy, but remarkably sweet strawberries!! Oh, and I also purchased five of Satura's choux creams for Naoki -- three vanilla and two green tea flavored. Forgive all of these foodcentric posts. Occupying my mind most of the time is food, house hunting for friends/clients and ourselves, and this baby.

Green Tea for Health

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For the past few months there have been numerous (but not new) reports on the benefits of drinking tea, especially the green kind! Naoki's family has a beautiful green tea farm in Mie, Japan and they are ready to ship 2007 spring leaves. The cut off date to order will be this Thursday, May 10.

This green tea tastes different and has a sweeter and fresher flavor than what is available in most stores here. It can be cold brewed as well as served hot. Please allow boiled water to cool for a few minutes before adding the delicate tea leaves to prevent burning, which can alter the taste. Hadaseicha's tea is dark green in color, has a bold taste and was carefully harvested by Naoki's parents. Orders are available only once a year and large orders can be stored in the freezer to preserve freshness. My mother likes to order the teabags in bulk and repackage them to give as gifts to her health-conscious clients.

Nature's Air Filters

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Did you know that there are a number of indoor plants that can help improve the air quality of your home?

NASA, along with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) conducted a clean air study on plants that may provide a natural way of removing certain toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde that often come from a number of manufactured items we place in our homes and offices (carpets, mattresses, etc.). The study looked at ways these plants might be effective at neutralizing the effects of sick building syndrome (SBS).

SBS has a lengthy list of symptoms such as the following -

* Headache
* Eye, nose, or throat irritation
* Dry cough; dry or itchy skin
* Dizziness and nausea
* Difficulty in concentrating
* Fatigue
* Sensitivity to odours
* Increased incidence of asthma attacks/appearance of asthma in non-asthmatics
* Personality changes such as rage/weeping/paranoia/depression
* Putative cases of bronchitis or pneumonia which do not respond to antibiotic treatment
* Symptoms resembling Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

This is just a shortened list of the 50 symptoms usually associated with SBS. Indoor pollution does take a toll on our immune system and overall well-being. With the recent concern over the use of ionic air filters and the issue that they may cause ozone pollution, it may be worth it to invest in plants that will not only help clean the air but make your home beautiful.

If you have pets that like to nibble on greens, please make sure you purchase safe/non-toxic plants.

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Sophie's beautiful mother recently ordered us a bazooka-load of these delicious organic, sundried dates from Oasis Garden Farms!

When I was younger, my friend's mother used to make the most amazing homemade chicken soup and used these types of dates to give it a touch of sweetness. The dates also flavor tea in the most remarkable way too. What's special about the dates we received is that they're organic, do not contain sulphur, and their huge size. Most of the ones sold in markets are small and have a tiny seed, whereas you can tell that these were allowed to grow to full size before harvesting.

Please contact me via email if you would be interested in ordering any of these dates. You can learn more about these special fruit (sometimes known as "jujube" Chinese, "daechu" Korean, or "natsume" Japanese) on Wikipedia!

Laughter is the Best Medicine

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There's something about the sound of laughter that's contagious, especially when it comes from a baby. Have you ever laughed so hard it hurt? The worst/best is when you can't stop laughing. I don't know how that affects health, but some of my favorite memories are of times like those. A few of my good friends have the best laughs, which are sometimes peppered with snorts as they try to catch their breath.

I love it when people laugh with abandon!

Last weekend on Saturday, October 21, the ANA (American Nutraceutical Association) held it's annual Nutraceuticals and Medicine Fall 2006 Conference in Memphis, Tennessee. The focus was on the role of nutraceuticals, diet and nutrition in disease prevention. This continuing education program provided CME credits for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and other medical practitioners.

The cover of the program featured a DNA strand interlaced with fruits and vegetables, quite similar to a recent Newsweek cover that discussed the same topic.

Can what we eat/consume influence our genetic makeup and can we take a preventative approach to developing the diseases that are coded in our genes?

* 100% Pure Organic Blackberry Honey from Oregon. - My dear friend introduced us to the best honey that makes everything you put it in tastes dreamy! That's not an exaggeration either. She is also able to get other wonderful natural bee products like propolis and royal jelly from the same beekeeper. Honey is currently on hand, so if you'd like to make a purchase let me know.

* All Natural Gelatin-free Gummy Bear Snacks - These contain a blend of freeze-dried fruits and veggies, along with other added essential nutrients. (No colors, fillers or preservatives) They are so tasty, I find them hard to resist eating by the handful.

* Natural and Super Fresh Tasting Japanese Green Tea - Brewed hot or cold, this is honestly the best green tea I've ever had. Most of the tea we buy at the supermarket has been sitting forever on the shelves or have been overprocessed. This tea is actually green and makes the perfect substitute to coffee in the morning. Does contain caffeine, but does not cause the jitters like coffee.

* Travel size Aloe Gel
- Oftentimes most aloe products do not contain the active ingredients that fresh aloe does. This easy to carry gel is soothing to burns, cuts, and irritations. The healing ingredient of aloe has been stabilized in this product. Sunburns, papercuts, scrapes and bug bites are a few of the things we use this get on.

* Preservative/Paraben-Free Skincare - This line will launch in the U.S. in March of 2007; however, we are able to have our family ship it to us from Japan. It isn't anything like what is currently on the market and the results are remarkable! Did I mention I love the eye cream?

Please contact me directly via email at jeanette337 at gmail.com

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Nothing beats the taste of a freshly picked strawberry or tomato grown in your garden, or in our case, balcony planter. I never believed it til actually trying it for the first time! Our local farmers market carries a fabulous assortment of tasty, organic produce, which I believe probably tastes even more amazing right after it's picked.

We purchased organic baby tomato seedlings and wild strawberries plants from Whole Foods in Campbell earlier this spring. It was the first time I'd ever grown something edible.

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Beautiful white peaches from Kashiwase Farms (Organic, specializing in stone fruit, almonds, and Asian pears (yum!))

Today we headed to the Farmers Market at Santana Row. Thankfully the crowd was light, as I believe most people were swarming around downtown San Jose for the Grand Prix racing event. There were quite a few certified farmers there and a handful of organic vendors as well. We left with decent sized bags of delicious white peaches, white nectarines, shiney red plums, juicy strawberries, and one crisp, j-shaped Armenian cucumber - all organic of course!

Afterwards we made a quick stop over at the Great Mall in Milpitas for something to eat and to get a bit of exercise in. Window shopping at a mall that's the size of four football fields definitely counts as exercise.

This particular mall has a mix of really cool and some seriously junkie stores. I usually have a lot of fun visiting the accessory shops that sell all types of sparkley stuff. It's a bad case of "Magpie Syndrome", being attracted by things that glitter and catch the light. Maybe it was from being full or from shopping the day before at the Gilroy Outlets, but I couldn't find anything to purchase even though there were some excellent sales going on.

Do parabens (preservatives) in skincare and cosmetics cause cancer? I'm not sure, but there have been a number of studies to show they do. Of course, there are still skeptics and a handful of people that say they don't and that the small amounts in their products aren't significant enough to cause any longterm damage. Others, including myself, wonder about the accumulative effects over time with multiple products. Parabens are in almost everything, even products that are touted as safe and natural. For those with a history of cancer in their family, I think extra care and consideration should be given to what we put in and on our bodies.

When our company recently launched a new paraben-free skincare line that uses a new technology utilizing bacteriostatic water to prevent bacteria growth, I thought it might be a good idea to do a little research. Aside from finding information online, what better way to learn about a new product than to use it?

There are seven (7) products total in this interesting assortment of skincare.

1. Cleansing oil
The idea of rubbing oil of any kind on my face to remove makeup seems foreign (and it is!). Many Japanese and Korean cosmetics have a cleansing oil in their line to gentle take off makeup. The texture is very light and not at all like olive oil or even baby oil. It does a fine job of lifting embedded dirt, foundation and eyeliner.

2. Cleansing cream
Included in our pack was a "foaming net" made from corn husk. It's a light and airy little net that does an amazing job of creating well, foam. It made the most luxurious lather which I couldn't seem to do with water and my hands alone. The cream contained fine particles of a special stone that does an excellent job of exfoliating and evening the skintone.

3. Skin lotion
When I think of "lotion", I think of a cream-based liquid, but this is a clear and very light moisturizing toner without any alcohol. It's cooling and moisturizes well without any heavy feeling.

4. Skin serum
Oh this contains vitamin C and a few other key ingredients meant to help with dark spots and improve dull looking, saggy skin. It's supposed to restore elasticity from within. (We'll see...)

5. Skin cream
This is the other product I really liked! It goes on light, but gives that extra moisture without feeling oily or heavy. It comes with a handy little spatula to pull out the perfect amount. I'll use this day and night.

6. Eye cream
I LOVE this stuff!! It's far better than anything else I've tried and really does live up to the hype. It's only been a few days and I've noticed significant different in a reduction of puffiness and definitely lightening of the dark circles.

7. Aftershave milk (for men or women to use as body lotion)
Haven't done this just yet, so stay tuned...

These products were developed and are currently only available in Japan. We are importing these products into the states until they're launched in the U.S., which is around a year or so from now. If you are interested in ordering them, please let me know. We can usually have them delivered directly to you via air shipping.

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Jeanette Lee Hada

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