Top 5 Posts of 2012

It seems everyone in the blogging sphere is doing Top Posts for 2012. I’m really enjoying the reminders for articles I wanted to check out but didn’t get to, posts I did read and forgot about, etc. I thought the same might be helpful for you. Here, in no particular order, are the Top 5 posts clicked on for 2012 at The Soulicious Life. Coincidentally, they happen to be some of my favs too.  😉

By the way, if you haven’t yet entered my Happy New Year contest to win a beautiful and fun Upcycled Sari Bag, please do so here. You have until midnight, January 8.

Here’s to your nourishing your body and your soul in 2013! Continue reading

How to Avoid Arsenic in Rice

Sadly, two new reports from Consumer Reports and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) show worrisome levels of arsenic in rice and rice product including breakfast cereals, rice flour, rice pasta, rice cakes and crackers.

Yes, this is the same arsenic people have used for centuries to commit murder. Continue reading

Two Chemicals to Purge from Your Bathroom

Among other things, fall often means it’s time to deep clean, and your bathroom is no exception.

I’m not just talking cleaning products here, although you should most certainly evaluate those as well (Remember, a solution of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water is naturally anti-bacterial and works wonders!). But I’m talking beauty products, air fresheners and shower curtains.

Over the past few years, I’ve fully replaced my bath and beauty products with all-natural solutions, and feature glass doors on all our showers. I ditched all artificial fragrances too, and I gotta say, I never miss ’em. I have two good reasons: tricolsan and phthalates. Thanks to Healthy Child Healthy World for reminding me why and defining it well so I could share it with you. Continue reading

Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid

I’m big on lists: Lists of goals (both personal and professional); honey-do lists (just ask SoulDaddy!); and especially grocery lists (otherwise, I walk out forgetting something!)

Lists not only serve as fantastic reminders, but also hold you accountable. Food lists are no exception, including  7 You Should Never Eat, Top 5 Food Rules to Live By, and now these Top 10 food additives to avoid. Continue reading

Non-GMO Shopping Made Easy

Photo courtesy of the Daily Green.

You may have heard a lot lately about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The term has hit the mainstream thanks in part to a current proposal on California’s November ballot to begin labeling food made with these genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GM) ingredients, both of which are one in the same.

Don’t let the impact of this legislation and grass roots initiative be lost on you. It is a giant step towards increasing food safety in the U.S. Continue reading

Top 10 Pet Poisons to Watch For

SoulDaddy's best buddy, Lew.

Today marks the start of the 50th anniversary of National Poison Prevention Week (March 18-24). Avoiding the use of toxic products in our homes is the best choice for our own health and that of our furry friends. 

However, there are other items to watch for that will also help protect your best buddy. In 2011, The American Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty’s (ASPCA’s) Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL, fielded more than 165,900 phone calls about pets exposed to poisonous substances. Some of them may surprise you.

According the ASPCA, these are the top 10 poisonous threats to our animal companions:

  1. Prescription Human Medications. Almost 25,000 calls last year were about human prescription medications. Pets, especially dogs, are notorious for ingesting any dropped pill. Cardiac and ADHD medications make up a large percentage of these calls. Always make sure to take these medications in a safe place away from your pets.
  2. Insecticides. Insecticides were the subject of 11% of calls to the ASPCA in 2011. These include products used on the lawn, in the house and on the pet. The most important thing to do is read the label before you use any insecticide, and never use a product labeled for dogs on cats.
  3. Over-the-Counter Human Medications. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can kill your pet. Never give any medication to your pet without consulting with your veterinarian first.
  4. People Food. Chocolate is still the number one people food that pets ingest (we received over 7,600 calls last year). Too much chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, high heart rate and seizures. The second most common food is xylitol (the sugar substitute). Xylitol can cause seizures and liver failure in dogs. 
  5. Household Products. It is amazing what animals can find to chew up around the house from fire logs to paint. Some household items may just cause stomach upset, while others can be deadly.
  6. Veterinary Medications. Chewable medications make it easy to give your dog or cat a pill. However, this tasty pill can also mean that the pet, if given access, will ingest all the pills in the bottle. Always make sure to keep pet medications out of reach. Contact your veterinarian if your pet ingests more than its proper dose of medication or ingests another pet’s medication.
  7. Rodenticides. When putting out baits to kill mice and rats, never underestimate the resourcefulness of your pet. Most bait is grain based and is attractive to dogs. Depending on the type of rodenticide, ingestion can cause internal bleeding, kidney failure or seizures.
  8. Plants. About 4% of our phone calls are pet parents calling about their animals eating plants. This is one category that cats lead dogs in the number of exposures. Lilies can cause kidney failure and death in cats. Please see our list of toxic/non-toxic plants for more information. 
  9. Lawn and Garden Products. Fertilizers, which can be made of dried blood, poultry manure and bone meal, are very attractive to pets, so it is not surprising that we get many calls (almost 3,900 in 2011) on lawn and garden items.
  10. Automotive Products. With more people keeping their animals inside (especially cats), the number of animals exposed to automotive products (antifreeze, brake fluid, etc.) has dropped. This is great news since many of these products, if ingested, can be life-threatening to pets.

Opt for green, eco-friendly products whenever possible, including household cleaners and garden fertilizers, and lock up – or put out of reach – anything that may be toxic. If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.

I shared this post at Fight Back Friday.