With summer just around the corner and days getting longer, temperatures will continue to rise with warm sunshine and clear blue skies. More children and adults alike will be spending their spare time outdoors, playing, exercising, and enjoying the beautiful weather.

Before stepping outside, we want to be mindful about sun protection, and should apply a formula that protects our skin and children’s delicate skin. With so many different brands available as well as various types of chemicals in sunscreens and sunblocks, parents may feel overwhelmed and often have difficulty choosing the right type of formula or SPF.

Dr Susanne PaddleboardingThe most common question asked in my practice regarding sunscreens and sunblock is, “Which is the safest brand available for my child?”

Sunscreens and sunblocks protect our skin by different mechanisms.

Sunblocks actually sit “on” the skin and act as a barrier to reflect away ultraviolet (UV) rays – both UVA and UVB radiation can cause sunburn and skin damage, and possibly even skin cancer.

Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are both sunblocking agents for both UVA and UVB rays. Sunblocks usually start at an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher.

Sunscreens are made with chemicals that absorb and neutralize the ultraviolet radiation. Sunscreen chemicals typically protect against either UVA or UVB, while only a few protect against both types of radiation. As a result, sunscreens usually have mixtures of both kinds of chemicals in order to be labeled as “broad spectrum” – and to be fully protective. The SPF levels of sunscreen are widely varied, starting as low as 2 and rising as high as 100+.

There are strong concerns about chemical sunscreens acting as endocrine disruptors – compounds that mimic hormones and activate hormone receptors. Studies are showing that these chemicals can also generate powerful free radicals that can damage skin and possibly cause skin cancer (1)(2).

Specifically, the “protection” agents cause what we are trying to prevent! One study published in the April 2004 Journal of Chromatography found that sunscreen chemicals that are designed to prevent UV skin penetration can pass through your skin into the bloodstream.

This leads us to believe that the more applications of these “UV protectors”, and the longer you leave them on your skin, the more dangerous they becomes to your health.

SPF numbers are designed to describe the length of time you can stay in the sun before you start burning your skin. For example, if you normally start to burn after 30 minutes of direct sunlight, then an SPF 30 product should let you stay in the sun for approximately 30 times longer without burning.

Here are some helpful pointers on how to choose a healthy sunscreen / sunblock for you and your family:

  1. Look for formulas that have either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in them. Out of the two, zinc oxide causes fewer allergic reactions. These are natural mineral compounds that will “block” the UV rays from penetrating the skin; the only drawback is that they may leave a white residue.
  2. Stay away from products claiming they use “nano-particles”, which can penetrate skin.
  3. Follow product warnings for infants under 6 months old.
  4. Stay away from synthetic estrogen compounds which appear under names such as Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3 and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), as well as other derivatives that are super free radical generators (causing skin damage) such as avobenzone, Parsol 1789, dioxybenzone, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnimate, octyl methoxycinnamate, 2-ethylhexyl salicylate, Trolamine salicylate, homosalate, and PABA.
  5. Insect Repellents are often added to sunscreen, but should also be avoided, considering they are well known neurotoxins. Purchase cream-based products only.
  6. Avoid sprays and powders, as the vapors and particulates can easily be inhaled and irritate nasal passages and respiratory system.
  7. Use SPF 15-50. Avoid high SPF above “50+”, as the FDA says these numbers are misleading.
  8. Before using any sunscreen or sunblock, test it by applying a small amount to your child’s wrist. If the skin turns red, itchy, or irritated within 20 minutes, try another brand.

The best defense from damaging UV rays is prevention. Use these common-sense tips before grabbing the sunblock/sunscreens:

  • Wear loose, cotton/linen, and light-colored clothes: long sleeve shirts, pants, and dresses will reduce UV rays from penetrating the skin. A good hat with a large brim will protect the face, neck, eyes and ears.
  • For water sports, a rash guard or full-body swimsuit works beautifully for children who love to be in the water for hours at a time. Use a hat that can be cinched down under the chin.
  • Play in the shade. Use a parasol or umbrella at the beach or park, and keep infants completely out of the sun: sunscreen should not be used under 6 months of age due to their sensitive skin.
  • In addition, infants under the age of 12 months do not have enough melanin, a protective pigment in skin that helps block out UV rays.
  • Schedule indoor or shaded workouts and play dates around the peak sun hours 11 AM to 4 PM.
  • Wear polarized sunglasses to prevent skin damage around the eye and cataracts. Do attach the glasses to straps, so you don’t lose them!
  • Use removable mesh window shields to keep direct sunlight from coming in through the windows of your car.
  • Eat organic foods high in antioxidants to build up your “internal sunscreen”, including fresh organic vegetables and fruits such as berries, pomegranate, acai, and goji berries. For children who shy away from veggies, give them a daily antioxidant supplement loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and greens.

References:

  • Garland, Cedric F. et al. Effect of sunscreens on UV radiation-induced enhancement of melanoma growth in mice. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 86, No. 10, May 18, 1994, pp. 798-801.
  • Larsen, H.R. “Sunscreens: do they cause skin cancer.” International Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 1994; 12(12): 17-19.
  • http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

As you know, I’m a strong proponent against fluoridation and fluoride toxicity.  Check out this excellent article on how to prevent damage caused by this harmful toxin.

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This week, I was invited to New York City for an interview with Dr. Manny on Fox News!

With allergy season here, I thought you might be interested to see the interview that just aired today internationally!  Dr. Manny was awesome, and we had a great time chatting about allergies and my book, “The 7-Day Allergy Makeover“!

Just click the video below to watch the interview.

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  1. Close up all of your windows- in your home and office, as well as while driving your car. Keep pollen out!
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  3. Invest in a HEPA filter for your bedroom and living area.
    • Get one that filters and cleans the air in your room completely at least 2-3 times in one hour.
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  5. Exercise and schedule your children’s play dates indoors.
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  7. Don’t forget to push the RECIRCULATING AIR BUTTON in your car to keep the pollen, dust and other toxic particulates from entering your car.
  8.  

  9. GO GLUTEN, DAIRY AND SUGAR FREE- less food allergies means less Respiratory Allergies!
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  11. CLEANSE your nasal passages with a NETI-POT and saline solution- BUT don’t over do it, it can cause more allergy symptoms because you are drying out your nose!
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  13. Wipe down your animal friends with a damp paper towel after you have walked them outdoors to collect any pollen and debris off their coat.

On my flight to the Caribbean right now to spend a week with my mentor Brendon Burchard and our mastermind group. And  I am so thankful that my husband George made me a gluten and dairy-free pizza this morning to take on board!

Bringing my own food, supplements and purified water is an absolute must to maintain energy, mental clarity, hydration and to eliminate sugar cravings. I like to pack foods and snacks that are easy to prepare, store in a glass container and eat with pleasure. 

Yes- the pizza is higher in non-gluten carbs, but it is so much better than a dried up turkey & cheese sandwich with wilted lettuce that the airline sells! I also packed turkey jerky, seed & nut bars, and my green turbo charge drink mix.

My Gluten and Dairy-Free Pizza is easy-peasy to make, just get the following four items at your local health food store. If you can’t find the exact brands, get whatever is available as long as it is gluten and 100% dairy-free. And shop for organic ingredients if possible!

  1. Udi’s Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
  2. Cadia Organic Pizza Sauce
  3. Daiya Dairy-Free Shredded Cheese
  4. Uncured Nitrate-Free Pepperoni

Add more ingredients if you like such as olives, green onions, sun-dried tomatoes.

Heat the oven up at 375 degrees– the pizza size is perfect for a toaster oven. Pop it in for 7-8 minutes and voila! You have your meal on board ready to go.

Cool it, slice it, then store it in a glass container.

WANT A TIP on how do you keep the slices from sticking to each other and not touch the plastic top? Use Parchment Paper to separate each layer! 

I do call myself The Sensitive Voyager –the more I plan, prepare and bring my own food, the more fun I have on my trip!

St. Martin, here I come!

                                                                             

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

You have to try this delicious recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes that can be eaten for breakfast, as a side for dinner or even as a snack! Thank you Diane- I love your Practical Paleo book!

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Approximately 8 small

Pancakes or 2 servings

 

4 eggs 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ cup canned organic pumpkin 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon of organic molasses 2 tablespoons butter, ghee or coconut oil (add extra for pan frying)

 

Whisk the eggs, canned pumpkin, pure vanilla extract, and molasses together. Sift the pumpkin pic spice, cinnamon, and baking soda into the wet ingredients.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, mix the butter into the batter.

Grease the skillet and spoon batter into the skillet to make pancakes of your desired size. When a few bubbles appear, flip the pancakes once to finish cooking.

Serve with grass-fed butter or ghee and cinnamon or sliced bananas.

Recipe is by my friend, Diane Sanfilippo, author of Practical Paleo. Some ingredients have been revised for Dr. Susanne’s community! 

I have stopped eating seafood since Fukushima disaster in 2011 and have been asking people to reduce fish, shellfish, sea vegetable intake, due to the heavy mercury toxicity and nuclear radiation exposure.

Here is another reason to stop eating fish and seafood altogether!

Take a look at this revealing video made by Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org that explains how exposure to mercury during pregnancy by ingesting fish appears to influence fetal brain development as detected by decreased size of a newborn’s brain. 

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Lose weight while you are sleeping?

 What a concept! Look out fitness and weight loss supplement industry, because there is a new weight-loss sheriff in town!

 SLEEP!

Studies are now showing that you can lose weight by how much you sleep and the quality of your sleep and that it has a strong affect on your appetite. There are two hormones produced in our body that are rarely discussed in the health industry- ghrelin and leptin. They both work hand in hand to control feelings of hunger and fullness.

What are these two hormones?

Ghrelin is produced in the gut and it stimulates your appetite, meaning, it makes you want to eat more food. Leptin is produced in the fat cells and send s a signal to our brain when you are full. That is why I created the mantra:

Go away Ghrelin, I love Leptin™!

 So how are they connected to sleep?

When you don’t get enough number of sleep hours, it drives the leptin down, which means you don’t feel very satisfied after your meals. Lack of sleep also stimulates ghrelin release, which means your appetite goes up so you want to eat more food. Not the best for your health and waist-slimming efforts.

This explains why people over eat after a poor night’s sleep—never satisfied with their meals, which sabotages their efforts to lose that muffin top!

One study from Stanford University of California found that those who slept less than eight hours a night had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, AND sure enough—higher levels of body fat! Those who slept the fewest hours each night weighed the most!

OK – let’s make SLEEP a priority to a healthier and happier new you!

Here are 5 easy-to-implement tips to getting more sleep:

 1. Eat healthful meals regularly- 3 meals per day and a snack. Stabilizing your blood sugar and optimal protein ingestion will help with you from waking up in the middle of the night.

Not sure what types of food to eat?

Sign up for my free Do’s and Don’ts Gut Restore Checklist on the right!

 2. Turn off all overhead lights, television, computers, and electrical gadgets by 9:00 pm and take a nice relaxing bath with a few drops of lavender oil.

 3. To keep your mind from thinking about your next day tasks and responsibilities while lying in bed, write them down in your journal and it will free your brain from ruminating.

 4. Use an eye mask and ear plugs, these are my most important sleeping aids!

 5. Keep animals out of your bed, we love them but love your sleep more!

 Sleep is one of my best strategies to living young and strong!

 Be~Well,

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