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Happy “Country of Origin Labeling” Day! September 30, 2008

Filed under: Environmental Wellness,Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 3:55 pm

“Country of Origin Labeling” (COOL-yes, the acronym is actually “cool”) is now in effect! Head to your nearest grocer to find the new COOL labels that will identify the country where your products came from.

Unfortunately, I’m not as excited about this as I may sound… however, this is a step in the right direction. The new COOL law requires that “many, but not all” retailers disclose COOL info for “certain” meats, poultry, fish, fruits, nuts and veggies. There is a lot of controversy on both sides of COOL. Supporters urge that Americans should know where their food is coming from. Opponents believe the law is just a trade barrier in disguise.

My belief is that we, as consumers have the right to know where our food is coming from. However, country of origin required for “many, but not all” retailers on “certain” products is not enough. It’s time we passed SOOL (State of Origin Labeling- a creative acronym I thought up). SOOL should cover “all” retailers and “all” food products (OK, maybe not for Twinkies and the like since chemical companies don’t qualify as states).

We deserve to know what is in our food and to have the choice to purchase more locally. It benefits our economy, the environment and our health.

My motto: happy for COOL, hoping for SOOL.





Good Karma Companies September 29, 2008

Filed under: Environmental Wellness — aprasek @ 11:03 am


Sometimes I’m a bit cynical about big business… maybe often times… however many times, it’s nice to be reminded that there are some ethical companies out there. Plenty Magazine put out a great list of the top 20 companies who are trying to spread some good karma. One of my favorites, Environmental Working Group is on the list, but more importantly, some of the big ole boys like Home Depot and Nike made it as well. If these companies make changes, it’s likely the others will follow. Check out the list to see what these companies are doing to make a difference.   


Breathe in, Peace out…



Lunchtime Procedures September 26, 2008

Filed under: Healthy Mind,Physical Wellness — aprasek @ 1:35 pm

The new lunchtime buffet offers such yummies as Juvederm, Perlane, Botox and Restylane. You can get one of these treatments in the same amount of time it takes to eat a sandwich. Yummmmm…

Dr. Frederic Brandt, a well-known dermatologist, was talking on The View about all these new lunchtime options. He shared his definition of beauty (the upside down V form of the face) and the benefits of these treatments. However, throughout his interview I was hypnotized by the fixed expression on Dr. Brandt’s face (see his picture here). Was he excited about all these “fillers” (as they are commonly called)? Is he happy? I wasn’t sure because his glabellar forehead furrows (frown lines) and lateral canthal rhytids (crow’s feet) were not anywhere to be seen. Which brings up another point- are natural lines in the face really acquiring medical terms to allow for “diagnosis” and treatment? Yup, bring on the glabellar forehead furrows and lateral canthal rhytids- these filler companies have their syringes full and their registers open.

This whole filler business is really ticking me off. Basically, companies and Dr.’s (like Frederic Brandt) are trying to define our vision of beauty by telling us that to truly be “happy” or “free”, we must submit to the syringe. These Dr.’s and filler companies are making sick amounts of money by telling people they don’t measure up to a standard of beauty that has been created by some money-hungry corporate piranhas.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not coming down on individuals who choose to get these treatments. I am coming down on the companies that create these deceitful and deprecating marketing campaigns. Goodness, I don’t know why I’m getting so worked up about this right now-it’s Friday, it’s a beautiful day-I think I need to go walk this off…

Also, because it’s Friday, I’m not going to get into the science/information about these fillers. We’ll do that in the weeks to come, hitting the pros and cons of the 4 fillers listed above (Juvederm, Perlane, Botox and Restylane).

If anyone has had treatments with these or other fillers, let us know by commenting to the post. Was your experience good? Bad? Any side-effects? Would you do it again?


Have a beautiful weekend,



Learning About Integrative Therapies September 25, 2008

Filed under: My favorite things! — aprasek @ 9:48 pm


This is a great post to follow “The Irrational World of Alternative Health” from yesterday…

The Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota has some fabulous (and free) modules on integrative therapies. Click here to visit the site and gather education on everything from chiropractic to music therapy.  And big bonus for those in health careers, the modules can even count for CE credits!


Breathe in, Peace out…



The Irrational World of Alternative Health? September 24, 2008

Filed under: Spiritual Wellness — aprasek @ 12:03 am


“There are two ways of looking at the world, through faith and superstition or through the rigors of logic, observation and evidence–through reason.”  -Richard Dawkins 

I’m back again with another documentary. I’m sorry, I know, I’m super obsessed… 

“The Enemies of Reason” is a documentary from professor Richard Dawkins. I really love this film- it challenges aspects of our life that are at the core of our existence. He questions spirituality, healing and different ways of knowing. He proposes that science– just the cold, hard facts– is the only valid method of interpreting life. It’s really a great documentary that gets you thinking about your own beliefs. You can visit Richard Dawkins website to learn more about him and purchase the DVD.



Here’s my 2 cents…

I appreciate Richard Dawkins critical eye and scientific perspective. I used to think in the same way he does; Why does that work? How does it work? What is the cause? Can you prove it?

My critical, mechanistic thinking is still strong, but in the last several years I’ve had some unexplainable experiences that put what I thought I knew into question. Opening up to these mysteries and uncertainties can really be scary– in fact, it was terrifying for me. I’m thankful that I’ve had support and mentors along the way to guide me. I’m still in flux, but now, I’m ok with it– flux is no Disney World, but it’s closer to “reality” and not so bad after all. Just another day in the journey 🙂  


Breathe in, Peace out…



“Slacker Nation” September 23, 2008

Filed under: Miscellaneous — aprasek @ 4:09 pm

This is not a political blog. Wellness Gossip is all about… yup, you guessed it, wellness. However, there are many different facets of wellness- we hit on a lot of them here.

The hard economic times, the war, pollution and the 45.7 million people in the U.S. living without health insurance-these things definitely affect our wellness.

Many of the solutions for these health concerns fall in the political world. It’s vital that we, as citizens, stay involved so that we can reclaim our own health. We must be conscious of how these important health issues affect the greater community-not just the inhabitants in our own home. There are 8.1 million children living without health insurance in the U.S. Amidst so many other struggles, we simply will never be a healthy community when 11% of our children are not able to see a doctor when they are sick.

On the website for Michael Moore’s new documentary, Slacker Nation, he writes: 

“This is being done entirely as a gift to my fans. The only return any of us are hoping for is the largest turnout of young voters ever at the polls in November.”

This “gift” Moore is referring to is the free download of Slacker Nation from his website– pretty cool.

Here’s the trailer for Slacker Nation:

Michael Moore is one of the more controversial documentarians. He’s definitely got an obvious point of view that he wants to make sure you understand. If you can ignore Moore’s bulldog, sometimes obnoxious personality, then you might dig the film. Also, try to ignore the political bashes that are present in the film- sometimes they distract from the real purpose, which is to motivate citizens to be active in creating a healthier and happier U.S. community. 




Culver’s “Snack Pak”? September 22, 2008

Filed under: Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 2:33 pm


I’m not so sure that I want to get “Culverized”… I just saw a commercial for the “Snack Pak” at Culver’s. Single Butterburger with cheese, small fry and small soda-is this really a snack? The Snack Pak is 673 calories without the soda. You can check Culver’s nutrition facts here. Choose wisely before you get Culverized.


Breath in, Peace out…