Monday, May 31, 2010

A New Mom Gets It All: Colic, Gas, Burps, and Sleepless Nights

She Needs a LOT of Motivation to Raise This Baby 
And Stay Calm!

Oh, those sleepless nights and harried days. Endless nights of disrupted sleep. You simply cannot ignore a crying baby.

When my colicky baby cried, and cried non-stop, there was no consolation for me. I would try holding him in my arms. I would sing lullabies from my own childhood, and made up a few as well. Every trick, strategy, folk remedy, and a plethora of Internet guru’s advice was employed. My colicky baby just kept crying.

And it seemed I never slept.

As the little hand on the clock’s face slowly made its rounds... again and again. My heart was squeezing with pain and helplessness. My colicky baby didn’t rest, didn’t sleep, barely ate... for weeks. Months.

I didn’t care what I was feeling and started to look like. My only concern was to bring peace into my baby’s bedroom. The reason for all these tears and sleepless nights – gastrointestinal disruption. Simply known as colic or gas. And I had run out of ideas of what to do.

When my son’s pediatrician told me that it was OK for my baby to have gas and cry, I understand it… generically. I got it. I cried. But, what I didn’t understand – and I refuse to understand – is when my baby’s cry is inconsolably long, almost without any breathers in-between, what can I do? A mother is supposed to do something. Right?

An inconsolable, colicky baby is NOT normal. And may I add, to me, it is unethical to tell a mother to “get over this crying phase” without providing any helpful solution.

If I had only known about Colic Calm... our lives – my baby’s and mine – would have been different. Far happier. Healthier.

Desperate Mom Denied Effective Medical Help
(On purpose or not)
Jacqueline Lawrence had it even worse. Being a mom at 35 was promising to be safe and secure and joyful for her and her husband. What else would you want more than to just have a wonderful experience with your first, newborn boy?

Well, life proved it different for Jacqueline. For sure. Her little bundle of joy wouldn’t sleep more than 15-20 minutes without disrupting the house with his screeching, pain-filled voice, screaming at the top of his lungs. Imagine all this anguish, pain, not-knowing-what-to-do state of mind she found her self in!

Imagine hearing again and again from the medical profession, in your doctor’s office, and online, that there’s nothing you could do to resolve your baby’s severe case of colic. “Just wait and get over this period in your baby’s development, and he’ll be fine and happy again.” But that period lasted for months with no ending in the offing. And, in addition to the incessant crying, it couldn’t  be healthy for the child’s development. It simply can’t be that babies are MEANT to be colicky… that its NORMAL, OK, for them to go through that. Jacqueline knew that from that depth of her soul.

Jacqueline Lawrence’s mission was born: To find the remedy for colic. That was the beginning point of Colic Calm.

Natural Instinct and Need Led to Natural Remedy
(Though, the steps she made were surreal)

Being a teacher before becoming a mom, traveling the world, with her favorite destination being France, Jacqueline turned to her natural instincts – to research and learn what could be done with the colic conditions of little children.

She became an Internet trotter, discovering healthy choices, natural homeopathic remedies that could be used for her son. But, nothing was the answer to the problem. Several sources, however, pointed her in the right direction. She began mixing, and measuring, and concocting different formulas in her kitchen to give to her son for his severe colic.

What she discovered was a life-changing experience. She kept perfecting her formula, until a small dosage was enough to calm down her baby. At that point, Jacqueline felt immensely relieved and happy. A new chapter of her life started to reveal itself. The first page of it was Colic Calm.

NEXT: Jacqueline Creates a Company. Babies and Mothers Finally Get to Sleep.

More on Jacqueline:
The Story of Colic Calm & Jacqueline Lawrence's Amazing Journey

Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Edible Art Supplies... Part II

(Please DO NOT eat them on purpose. But Clementine products are 100% non-toxic, just in case your kids accidentally swallow them.)

So, where did Diana end up with her idea of creating edible non-toxic art supplies? Immersed in  her kitchen testing, and testing, and testing. Endlessly.

CelebrateWoman (CW) Is there anything that was a surprise to you that you did not expect on your way creating Clementine Art?
Diana Mercer (Diana) I had no idea how challenging it would be to make an all-natural art product. Finding stable, workable alternatives to synthetic dyes, preservatives, and other chemical additives has pushed me to put on my chemist’s hat – not one I usually wear.

Even now, the challenge has the incredibly well-trained scientists we are working with scrambling as well. It is so important for a natural product to work as well, or better than the conventional alternative. We’ve finally gotten there, but it has not been easy. And there are more products to make!

CW. How do you see your creation – Clementine Art – will affect your life in the future?
Diana. My hope is that Clementine will provide me with a platform to do what I love; encourage children to grow and learn through art. I can’t imagine anything better than that.

CW.  What is the #1 Thing you would like your customers to know about Clementine Art product?
Diana. Clementine is different because we hold ourselves to a higher standard; Natural AND non-toxic. Honesty, disclosure and transparency is very important to us, so we list all of our ingredients are right on the box.
The more we talked, the more fascinated I was with accomplishments of this definitely unordinary woman. There was no ending to my curiosities about this phenomenon, Diana Mercer. How does she juggle all her priorities and still be success?

Why is she and her Clementine Art are so popular throughout the hemispheres?

Why everybody needs and ought to become part of the Clementine Art movement?

CW. If we talked to All of your family and friends – imagine them in one room at the same time – what would you tell them about what you do? – What would they tell Me about your involvement with your company?
Diana. I would paraphrase Sir Ken Robinson, a British scholar and activist for arts education by reminding all of my family and friends that our world is complex. The challenges we face; disease, famine, Global Warming, war, and poverty are just a few of the issues on our global plate. These issues can’t solve themselves and will require a great deal of ingenuity and creativity to tackle.

Currently, our students are being trained in the art of ‘one right answer’ in educational climates that don’t have the time, room, or resources to teach creativity. Creativity needs to be taught with the same urgency that reading, writing and math is taught in schools. Our future depends on it.

They would tell you that I am a passionate, talkative, and enthusiastic supporter of arts education for children.

CW. What keeps you going day after day?
Diana. I love my job and my life. It’s not hard to keep going when that’s the case. I work with fun people, and have inspiring friends. When I get discouraged, my yoga and meditation practice helps a lot.

CW. How do you celebrate: your achievements; mistakes and miscalculations; and even failures?
Diana. Oh gosh. I wish I were better at taking the time to celebrate the small triumphs along the way. We often get caught up in what’s next around here, so there’s not much time to pat ourselves on the back.

That said, I would like to spend more time soaking in the fullness of what we have accomplished. Learning to celebrate my failures is the hardest one of all.

As a recovering perfectionist, it does not come easy for me. I do try to laugh at my mistakes. What else can you do?

CW. After a long day, when you close your eyes and reflect on the day, just before you go to sleep, what goes through your heart and mind?
Diana. I have a ritual for that. Each night I reflect on all the things I am grateful for. On a hard day, it might just be my comfy bed and my cat, but most days, I am bursting with gratitude for all that I have; many, many blessings.
Thank you, Diana, for this exquisite time learning about you and your dedication to bring the best of health and creativity into the lives or our children.

It is truly extraordinary to be able to eat our art supplies (if that happens ever) and continue to feel great and healthy. (Make sure these supplies are of the Clementine origin!)

This is how Diana started her business
Diana's Culmination as a Creator

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Preventing Childhood Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Kids

Preventing Childhood Obesity:
The Early Intervention Imperative
Nick C. Smith, VP Research, GoZonkers

Editors Note: With the continued rise in childhood obesity unabated, many parents ask the question, “Why not wait for my child to grow out of their baby fat and cute chubbiness before I have to worry about it?”

Parents also raise the question, “What is an effective solution if my child is overweight?”

This article seeks to begin answering these key questions, for parents, teachers, and clinicians.

Evidence becomes inexorably more compelling that the current epidemic of childhood overweight and obesity is directly caused by lack of physical activity and increased caloric intake. Children are progressively exposed to less and less regular physical activity, while being over-exposed to calorie dense, nutritionally poor foods.

The solution to this world-wide problem lies in the schools and the homes of children. Each provide powerful opportunities to make the lifestyle interventions proven effective in changing the activity and eating patterns of at-risk children.

• With insufficient physical activity, children afflicted with overweight and obesity are at elevated risk of early onset of weight-related diseases like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart enlargement, current and later cardiovascular disease, early cancer, limited cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal development, reduced cognitive development, social ostracism, bullying (both perpetrator and victim), decreased academic progress, anxiety, and depression.

• The most effective interventions are well-known; regular and vigorous physical activity, and a change from high calorie, nutrient-poor foods to low calorie, nutrient-dense foods. In todayʼs obesogenic, a concerted effort will be required to ensure the adoption of positive lifestyle changes.

• Schools are positioned to be highly influential in the development of healthy children. Rather than detracting from academic progress, time spent in physical activity during the school day actually improves learning capacity, and well-nourished children are clearly more receptive to instruction. School facilities and personnel can provide both. Preventing Childhood Obesity: Th Early Intervention Imperative

• The fundamental responsibility for child health lies in the home, where parents and siblings have a powerful effect on the kind of lifestyle adopted. Parental role modeling of foods eaten, meal settings, and exercise patterns are the foundation of a childʼs adoption of a healthy lifestyle.

More to come. Stay Tuned.

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What It Takes to Create Edible Non Toxic Art Supplies

("Edible" emphasizes the 100% natural ingredients in all of Clementine Art products. Don't eat them on purpose.)
My readers – All of them – do care about the health of their families, kids especially.

They look actively for healthy, non-toxic, green, sustainable products on the market to incorporate them into their daily life, rather than once-a-month-type-of-thing occurrence.

Diana's creation of non-toxic, edible, fun Clementine Art supplies would definitely contribute to the collection of creative toys in any house, studio, school.

The truth of the product, its ingredients, packaging are revealed here.

Q. Who is the primary target for your product?

A. Mothers (and fathers) who are interested in a ‘better’ product for their child.

Q. What is the #1 reason someone should buy Clementine Art?
A. Because it is natural, non-toxic and supports the development of creativity, with regular use.

Q. How is your Clementine Art product different than your #1 competitor?
A. Our products are simple, wholesome and all natural. The art materials are high quality, long lasting, vibrant and unique. We are the only company to make all natural art materials.
Q. What benefits will kids receive when using Clementine Art?
A. Children who engage in art explorations grow in so many ways; they learn to think outside the box using problem solving, divergent thinking, and innovation.

They learn creativity by creating something new. They learn self-expression and confidence by sharing what they have to say.

Finally, they are learning all of this using natural, safe, and clean products that are better for their health and the health of the environment.

Q. How does the price of your product compare to others in your category?
A. Everyone knows that natural products come at a premium, so just as you would expect to pay a bit more for organic milk if organics are important to you, Clementine products cost a bit more. Even so, for the cost of a latte, you can have a better product for your children.

Q. Everyone is talking these days about being green. To me, that includes being Fair Trade, being sustainable, and organic. It might even include using alternative energy, or buying energy offsets. How does your company, your product, measure-up on these important issues?
A.  Clementine Art is committed to the health of the environment. Our packaging is made from 80% recycled materials in a wind powered facility using soy ink.

In addition, we manufacture all of our products in the US, eliminating carbon emissions from international imports.

We recently moved our offices to downtown Boulder, and nearly all of us commute by bicycle. On our bikes, we’ve saved 12,500 miles in driving this year – the equivalent of driving a car halfway around the world!

Q. When someone reads the ingredients from the label on Clementine Art, what would you like them to notice?
A. We would like them to notice that there ARE ingredients on the label. No other art company holds themselves to this standard and I don’t know why.

When you do read the ingredients, I’d like you to notice how many of them can be found in your kitchen; flour, salt, turmeric, spinach, oil, etc... Simple ingredients; the same ones you’d use to make modeling dough if you had the time
That's what my kid needs: yummy, pliable, fun art tools. My mind was going million miles a second when I started to imagine endless benefits to kids and parents. Every mom and dad needs to know about Clementine!

Q. When someone looks at the Clementine Art’s packaging, what do you want them to see (e.g., warnings, benefits, etc.)?
A. Clementine’s packaging is unique. It is simple, clean and pared down – missing any cartoon characters or other chaotic messaging that is frequently found on children’s toys. We would like people to notice the product itself, and the invitation to create – a blank white surface, like a canvas.

Q. Is it Certified: Organic, Kosher, or Halal, or have any other special dietary certifications?
A. Since our products are not for consumption, we have not certified them according to dietary requirements. That said, most of the ingredients on the package are used in natural foods and meet the rigorous standards of natural products vendors like Whole Foods Market.

Q. Where can my readers find your Clementine Art product to buy it?
A. Visit our website for a list of retailers. Or look at your local Whole Foods Market or Starbucks coffee.

Q. Where can my readers go to learn more about Clementine Art?
A. There is lots more information on and on our blog
Diana, thank you for this wonderful opportunity to connect, to learn from you, and be inspired. You are an incredible person with constructive power to create, and share, and experience joy in this process. And I am truly joyful I have met you.

So, my dear women, check out this incredible art supply source! Buy it, give it to your kids and relatives with kids. Enjoy your worry-free time when they are busy painting, moulding, drawing.

Celebrate Your Creative Kids.

Celebrate Woman Today: Diana Mercer, Clementine Art

This is how Diana started her business
Read Diana's Hero Quest

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Prevent Childhood Obesity. Save Generation of Kids.

Become The Heroic Generation that Changed the World
A Manifesto for Changing the Cruel Fate of Our Children 
By Boyd L. Jentzsch

Who would you be without a dream, without a quest, without a consuming desire to change the world in some small or great way, a change only you can make?

Consider this...
There is a generation of children growing up in our country. Their dreams are mere fantasies now. Yet, in time these silent urgings will take root, blossom, and mature into great life-dreams. Like all the generations before these children will expect to pursue those dreams, fulfilling the ageless miracle of rebirth born into the hearts of countless heroes.

But this new generation will be different. Far different. And that difference will touch us all in ways we can barely imagine.

The newest generation was born into a mean world
This, the newest generation was born into a mean world. A very, very mean place. When you subtract the inevitable wars of their lifetime (there have always been wars), when you take away the crime, the poverty, the infectious diseases, (each in constant ebb and flow), this generation will bear the cruelest fate of all.

No other generation has been called to bear the terrible burden of a disease, an epidemic, they alone have already been singled out to carry. No other children in the history of the world will know the sure progression of their terrible agony. And it has already begun.

If you will listen closely, if you will observe with eyes wide open, you will see what has never been seen before. You will hear silent cries growing in every place children live. The cascading pain of your close attention will pierce your heart, and you will cry, cry shamelessly from your depths, and you will ask, "What can be done? What can I do?" From this will a new hero arise within you?

Understand the special tragedy unfolding around you, the epic proportions of it all, and resolve to do something about it.

This newest generation has the cruel fate to be the first full generation to be born into a world of plenty. A world of surplus. A world of nutrient overload. A place of advertised, appetizing enchantment wrapped around an abundance of food that will kill them. Is killing them. And you, and I, and the whole lot of us are unknowingly doing the poisoned feeding.

Children's bodies can't wait
Grasp the full power of what is happening to an entire generation of children. Comprehend the enormity of the tragedy. Then resolve to do something about it. If the world ever needed new heroes, if the world ever needed your resolve, your ardent quest, this is the time. Children's bodies can't wait.

Consider their plight. One out of three of today's children, our children, will get Adult Onset (Type 2) Diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One out of three. If they are Hispanic, African American, Pacific Islander, it will be one out of two. 50%. One half. If Native American, it is already over 80%. 80%. The devastating assault has just begun. It is rapidly becoming global. Diabetes is just one of the killers.

A child born above-normal in birth-weight has an 80% chance of being dangerously overweight by time they are 3 years old. A child that is overweight at 8 has triple the risk of being an overweight teen. An overweight teen, is 3 times more likely to be obese in adulthood, even if they slim down in their late teens and early 20's.

Obesity is not cosmetic
Obesity is not a cosmetic problem. It is a symptom of a pantheon of diseases. Diseases that kill slowly, but killers nonetheless.

Already one in eight of our children has Type 2 Diabetes or the precursors to it. (This devastating disease used to strike less than 3% of those over age 60.) Over 60% of these children also have deeply ingrained risk factors for heart disease. And if a child has even slightly elevated blood pressure at 8, they are highly likely to be hypertensive (high blood pressure) in their teens, only to see it dangerously rise in pressure as they grow older.

An obese 8-year-old has the quality of life of a child undergoing chemotherapy, according to studies by child psychologists. They are remorselessly teased, pointed at, chosen last for recess games at school, and have great difficulty playing sports and games with their friends.

Their difficulties have just begun.

Teen obesity follows hard on childhood obesity. Obese teens begin to show all the markers of heart disease, hypertension, and Type 2 Diabetes. The nearly irreversible damage to their bodies has already begun its pernicious work. It is deadly work that has only just begun to diminish their bodies. And destroy their dreams.

Grasp the enormity of this unfolding pandemic
Childhood obesity is more than a bunch of kids being less than ideal size. Despite fully 80% of mothers with an obese child not believing their child to be overweight, (according to numerous surveys), obesity has much worse consequences than size alone. The health effects of childhood of obesity are lifelong:
• Most children with diabetes will go undiagnosed
• Children with diabetes are at high risk of permanent small blood vessel damage, leading to later stroke, kidney disease, and limb amputations if not prevented
• Obese children are 53 times more likely to have the risk factors for diabetes
• Diseases like cancer and heart disease are closely linked to improper childhood nutrition
• Rickets (soft bones), once eradicated, is making a comeback
• 7% of apparently healthy children have 3 or more risk factors for heart disease
• Overweight children have inflammatory signs which predict future heart disease and diabetes
• Between 34% and 65% of five year-old girls have ideas about dieting (5-year-olds. Dieting.)
• 1 out of 4 of our 4-year olds are obese or overweight
• Dieting in pre-teens and early teens is the leading precursor to eating disorders and later obesity
• Irregular exercise, appetite suppressants, laxative use, vomiting, and binge eating predict excess weight gain
• Dieting girls have over three times the risk of obesity compared with nondieters
• The psychological stress and social stigma of being overweight may be as damaging as the health effects
• The more overweight kindergarten and first grade children are, the lower their math and reading performance – undermining their academic foundations, setting them up for later under achievement
• If current trends continue, this generation of American children will grow up to be the most obese adults in U.S. History

Long-term results of childhood obesity:
– Type 2 Diabetes
– Asthma
– Arthritis
– Liver disease
– Bowel cancer
– Sleep apnea
– Heart disease
– Lung disease
– Intestinal disorders
– Bone and joint complications

The prime symptom of all these terrible outcomes is childhood obesity
Childhood obesity confronts one in six of our children, today (not to mention those who are overweight and rapidly becoming obese). Soon one in three of our children will be obese. The number is rising rapidly, unabated – 85% of them will develop full-blown diabetes by time they are 40.

Adult Onset Diabetes is the fastest growing childhood disease in America
The incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in children and adolescents has increased 500% in the past decade. The rest of the world is rushing to catch up.

For the first time in history, more people worldwide will die of obesity, and related diseases, than hunger or malnutrition. Contemplate the irony of that.

And the data just gets worse:
• Obese adults make just 60% of the income of those with normal weight
• After 7 to 12 years of diabetes, most are on kidney dialysis (notice all the new places for this in the strip malls?)
• 80% of all limb and appendage amputations are of diabetics
• Diabetic men are much more likely to be impotent
• Obesity affects the quality and frequency of intimate relationships -- for many, it prevents them altogether
• Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness
• Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity dramatically shortens the lives of all those affected
• The drugs used to control the symptoms of these diseases can be toxic themselves, causing other, often debilitating side-effects

Stop for a moment and reflect on how the confluence of these diseases, coupled with each person's personal challenges due to been severely overweight, will affect the emotional development and sense of self-confidence and well-being on these children. Then carry that thought over to emphasize with how that will affect them as adults. Daily. Hour by hour.

For the first time in history, we are facing the first generation of parents who will see their children die of chronic diseases before they do (CDC and World Health Organization, 2003)

The collapse of the dreams of parents
This epidemic is bringing about the tragic collapse of everything parenthood has ever stood for. Being a parent has always been about sacrificing to make the lives of their children better than their own. It has never been about watching them suffer and die before you do. How could we be letting this happen?

As a nation, as a world, as parents and grandparents, we are losing an entire generation. Where will our world be without them? What will our nation be like without children growing to find and live out their dreams?

These children will have dreams, to be sure. They will be grand, and glorious, and beautiful dreams. But they will be stopped short. Their hopes will be shattered.

As they ascend into their 20s and 30s, this generation will increasingly be called upon to manage the ravages of their chronic diseases... many of which can blossom into deadly cancers. They will be consumed by the drained energy, the loss of income, the strained relationships, the incredible expense, the shrinking family resources to do anything but try to live another day – another day with independence and dignity.

What of their dreams? We all live vastly improved and luxurious lives because of the realized dreams of previous generations. The heroic quests of generations-past improve, enrich, and make our lives wondrous, unlike any that have ever lived on this Earth.

But, this new generation will not live many of their dreams. While they will greatly enrich us by their having been here, they will have fewer years to make our world even better for generations yet unborn. Their dreams, their hero quests, will hone closer to survival than to creating new visions for the future.

We are losing an entire generation of dreams
An entire generation of dreamers, of heroic quests is being lost. We will all live diminished lives because of it, even while our hearts bleed for the continued pain of our children and grandchildren.

For those not afflicted, they will be drawn into caring for, and financing the diminished lives of so many chronic disease-stricken young adults, so few of whom will reach the ripe old age of 65.

A preventable tragedy
All of it, every bit of it, is totally preventable. Preventable. PREVENTABLE. The causes are known. The solutions are clear. It is not for want of caring this this is happening. It is not for want of knowledge that our children are suffering these undeserved calamities. It is for want of hearing, for want of seeing, for want of action that the already-devastating tragedy is fully upon us. And upon them.

If you will listen closely, if you will observe with eyes wide open, you will see the terrible calamity that has never been seen before in this world. And while you hear the silent cries growing in every place children inhabit, and while the pain of your close attention will pierce your heart, and you shamelessly cry from your depths, you will ask: "What can be done? What can I do?"

From this will a new hero quest arise within you?

The difference between a dreamer and a hero is ACTION
The solutions are known. The keys to a different future are readily in your hands. You just need to recruit, and join with a generation of champions – a generation of heroes to change the course of history.

Heroes must be informed as to the causes and reasons for their great quest. They must be well informed about effective solutions. They must prepare themselves for the arduous task. They must reach out with compassion. They must know. Understand. Act.

For the difference between a dreamer and a hero is action. Concerted, knowledgeable, effective ACTION.

This great cause, to save an entire generation, is the greatest single quest in the history of the world. The need is immediate – children's bodies can't wait. The stakes are enormous. The heroic effort required is infinite.

We cannot wait. We cannot waiver. We cannot allow our feelings of inadequacy, our fears, our pride, nor our vain ambitions to intercede.

If we succeed in this our collective quest, we will be known as the heroic generation that changed the world.

If we fail.......... if we fail..........

We cannot fail. We must not fail.

Will we allow ourselves to fail? Will we pick up and carry our fallen and weakened friends upon our shoulders until they, too, are ready to join us in this our collective quest? Will we allow ourselves to doubt that we each, together, individually, can make a difference?

Who would you be without a dream, without a quest, without a consuming desire to change the world in some small or great way, a change only you can create?

There is a generation of children growing up in our country. Their dreams are mere fantasies now. In time these silent urgings will take root, blossom, and mature into great life-dreams...
     ...but only with the fulfillment of your heroic quest to change their cruel fate.

If not you, who?

If not now, when?

Please sign and join this manifesto. Send it immediately to others. Tell us two things about yourself. Then share with us what you will be doing today, TODAY, to change the cruel fate of our children.

Don’t tell us about what others ought to do. There is no time to waste in talking. It is a time for you, and I, and all of us to take immediate action.

No matter what you personally may dream, build, develop, or accomplish in this life, remember now, you have been tapped on the shoulder to be a hero today.

Now tap someone else on the shoulder also. Childrens’ bodies can’t wait.

Sign This Manifesto in Comments Section. Twitt About It. 
Spread Awareness.

© 2007-2010 Boyd L. Jentzsch. All Rights Reserved.

Draw Your Picture, Eat Your Art Supplies, Feel Great!

(Please DO NOT eat any art supplies on purpose. But if you licked or even swallowed these – no worries – they are 100% non-toxic, natural ingredients. So, happy crafting!)

Did you know that you actually can eat your art supplies and ... still feel great? Before, it would be a joke for me. Now, however, my two-year-old plays only with such creative tools.

A few years ago at one of the shows for healthy products, I was passing by one booth that was so barraged by attendees that I could hardly peak into the heart of the space to see what this ado was about.

Everybody who was crawling out of the crowd was showcasing a free gift – something of color and of weird shape. I didn’t know what it was, and my curiosity couldn’t get my physical body through the crowd, believe it or not. I just continued to the next booth.

A couple years passed by. Another show. Another huge crowd like never before. Decidedly, I squeezed through it. I couldn’t believe my eyes: Those weird-shaped colorful whimsical creations were staring into my face. One time more.

And this pleasant, soft-spoken woman with a huge infectious smile was quickly showing how to use all that she had at her fingertips.

That was my first contact with Diana Mercer of Clementine Art.
Meeting such women like Diana who actually create products, always makes my mind go crazy with questions.

What is Clementine Art?

What made Diana create Clementine Art?

She answers answers exquisitely eloquently to these probing questions.

Q. What got you started on the path of developing Clementine Art products?
A. I have always been interested in children and art. As everyone knows, art can be messy. One day at Clementine, my children’s art studio in Boulder, a mother and I looked over to see a toddler with a paint brush in her mouth like a lollipop. Aghast, we mopped her up, but the parent’s worried look, and question “Is this ok?” got me thinking.

The status quo for safety in children’s art supplies has always been limited to ‘non-toxic’. I had grave doubts that the non-toxic standard was high enough for children. Why didn’t I know what was in the product?

Why wasn’t there a choice for children made from simple, wholesome and clean ingredients that are better for children, and better for the earth?

Q. What was your life before you started this company ... and after ...?
A. For the past 20 years, I have been in the field of education. After receiving my Master’s in Education from CU Boulder in the early 90’s, I began a rich career in the classroom at a small, progressive school that placed a high value on the arts.

I spent the next 10 years up to my ears in professional development experiences; training with some of the nation’s best educators, and studying child development. In 2001, I moved to Aspen to serve as the Director of Education at the Aspen Historical Society.

While Aspen was a hoot, I missed Boulder and moved back to Boulder in 2003 to open Clementine Studio, a creative art space for children. At Clementine Studio, I provided open-ended arts workshops, camps and classes to the Boulder community for 5 years until it was acquired in 2008 by a local, arts education non-profit.

The idea behind my new business, Clementine Art, was to bring the open-ended, high quality and creative art experience from the studio into people’s homes.

As Diana was sharing her hero quest for the best green and edible product on Earth, I was admiring her determination to fuze safety and creativity into children’s lives.

A. Currently, I am finding my way in a new career that has me stretching, jumping, and learning every day. I am surrounded by very clever mentors who are patient with my retail inexperience, and luckily, I work hard and learn fast.

I’ve been writing about the importance of creativity for children, and demonstrating the benefits of Clementine products at events all over the country. I’ve also been making paint in my KitchenAid, researched natural colors, and learned more about p.H. than the average gal. I’ve also had to learn to Twitter.

Q. Who are those remarkable people that influenced your creative, professional, and personal life that lead you to starting and sustaining this company?
A. The educator with the most influence on my teaching philosophy has been Bev Bos. I call her the ‘Queen of Process Art’, but she is so much more. Bev is a child development guru who runs the most inspiring school in Sacramento, CA. She has written two books on child development called Don’t Move the Muffin Tins and Together We’re Better.

Bev will go to any length to make certain her students have what they need including;  trucking in snow from Northern California for her children to experience, filling her play yard with Evergreen trees in pots so her children can play in a ‘forest’, and filling the inside of her school with a deep, pile of sand that her children climbed on, in and around for a month.

She invents wacky paintbrushes, colored water contraptions, and sound experiments that engage her young learners fully and with all their senses and enthusiasm and she has been a deeply inspiring model to hundreds of thousands of preschool teachers across the country.

Todd Woloson, who is the founder of Izze beverage company and a veteran in the natural products industry, is an original founder of Clementine Art and has been instrumental in bringing the vision for Clementine to life. 

Q. Has your involvement with Clementine Art products and company changed your self-image, and your relationships with family, friends, romantic involvement?
A. I think my sheer excitement about the possibilities for Clementine is somewhat catching, and all of my friends and family, certainly, are rooting for me and helping to spread the word.

As for my self-image, I have moments of feeling humbled and terribly naive, and other moments when I am able to embrace my unique expertise and find a place for it in this quickly growing company. It depends on the day.

Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you? And why?
A. Absolutely. It’s exciting, it’s challenging, it’s totally unique, and I have an opportunity to influence the creative lives of large numbers of children in a manner that I haven’t before. I am excited to make a difference.
With this humble, yet determined outlook into her life, Diana strikes me as a person with persistent drive to find a solution to whatever a situation calls for. Rare and valuable find.

As I was throwing more questions at her, Diana only seemed to get more excited about sharing more of her and her hero quest into edible art supplies. This is not the end of it. This is just the beginning of conquering the world with edible, colorful, whimsical art pieces.

Diana's Culmination as a Creator
Discover Great Kid's Craft Recipe from Clementine Art

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Healthy Choices in Children's Craft ("Edible" if swallowed accidentally by your children)

Wanna Get Groovy? Get Involved with Clementine Art Movement!

Incorporating craft projects and free thinking spirit into a child's play is of utmost importance that a child caretaker could do. Why? Simply put, a child is given opportunities to unravel all the genius of their existence and experience happiness and joy in the moment. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of a loving parent?

Providing healthy choices for a child’s soul to express themselves as a child celebrates creative times – that's what Diana Mercer with her Clementine Art movement does so perfectly.

Here’s just one of many fun projects that can make your child, and you, reflect who they really are.

• Salad Spinner (often available at yard sales for pennies)
• Squeeze bottles (Reuse your agave, mustard or honey bottles)
• Paint (try Clementine all-natural paint)
• Heavyweight paper or card stock squares

Put the paper in the salad spinner and drip, drop and squeeze paint on top. You may want to limit your colors to 2 or 3 for a more interesting result, but don't take my word for it. Try it yourself.

After the paint is to your liking, put the cover on the salad spinner and spin away! Be sure the spinner has come to a full stop before you open it to prevent pinched fingers.

 What do you do with all that collections of spin art? Turn them into framed art, greeting cards, family album decoration pieces. Or just simply collect in you child’s treasure box of saved masterpieces.

Imagine your child’s eyes shine and sparkle as they share their genius of their soul with you. And the rest of the world. Doesn’t it sound and look like fun?

Celebrate Clementine Art Today. With Your Child.

This is how Diana started her business
Read Diana's Hero Quest
Diana's Culmination as a Creator

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Healthy Choices Facts Tested by Science – Weekly Bites

Bladder Cancer Risk Increased by Eating Meat
The longitudinal study of 878 people found out that, those who indulged into frequent consumption of well done or cooked at high temperatures meats, may have a higher chance of developing bladder cancer.
• Meats consumed were beef steaks, bacon, pork chops.
• Risk of cancer increased by 1.5 times for those who ate such meats frequently
• Beware: Even chicken and fish when fried or cooked at high temperatures do contribute to higher odds of bladder cancer as well

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Too Much Weight May Delay Infants' Ability to Crawl and Walk
This longitudinal study of  217 infants found the following consequences of overweight babies.
• Overweight babies were 1.8 times more prone to have a low score on the Psychomotor Development Index test, i.e. delayed motor skills
• Babies with high subcutaneous fat were 2.32 times more likely to perform low on the above test
• Babies with excess weight tend to not explore the world around them beyond their arms reach, which leads to less physical activity in their daily lives

University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill (study was published in the online edition of Journal of Pediatrics)

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Prompts Considerably More Weight Gain
Would love to quote from the study directly to show how "effective" high-fructose corn syrup is in making all of us overweight, obese, fat. And eventually, chronic-disease stricken.
"When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese – every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."

Plus this conclusive quote:
"Compared to animals eating only rat chow, rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats in particular ballooned in size: Animals with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet. In humans, this would be equivalent to a 200-pound man gaining 96 pounds. "

This is not a joke. This is a serious condition called obesity with risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, type 2 diabetes.

Princeton University 2010 (The research was supported by the U.S. Public Health Service)

Celebrate Healthy Choices Today

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Friday, May 14, 2010

What Your Mouth Is Hungry For, Is Not What Your Body Is Craving

Nutrition is something your body understands. It doesn’t need a college degree, or even a high school diploma to figure out what it requires to be healthy. And it tells you in not-so-subtle terms how well you are meeting those nutritional needs. Your body talks.

When you understand the nutritional feedback language of your body, you can take actions that can save you grief – even save your life.

See that spare tire spreading around your middle? Your body is talking. No energy when you wake up in the morning? That’s clear communication.

See that uneven, splotchy surface to your skin? More talking going on.

Of course you know your body talks. We all do.

What is going on when your excess weight is talking but you ignore it and choose to eat something you know you shouldn’t? Remember that heavy meal last night, and how tired you were getting out of bed this morning? Your body says they are connected… why aren’t you listening? 

Have you told your body to shut up, and bribed it with laxatives, antiacids, or maybe Prevacid or Tagament?

How do you get to the point that you quit listening to your body? Or try to talk it out of its strong opinions with drug store remedies? Or Weight Watchers?

Your body deserves a lot more respect than that. It deserves to be listened to. Doesn’t it?

But unlike a chatty spouse, you can’t just chalk up your body-talk to a difference of opinion. Your body is going to keep doing – saying – what it needs to, to express its strong opinions. Like a loving partner, your body is hoping that one day you will listen, and change what you have been ignoring.

Why don’t you listen to your body?

Why don’t you comply with your body’s requests to change what you eat, how you exercise, and your need for proper sleep and less stress?

Only a few real answers to that question. Either you don’t believe what your body is telling you, or you don’t care. Or perhaps you don’t believe you can make changes that will make a difference. Which is it for you?

It really just gets down to your sense of self, your feelings of self worth. And, in this case, that is rooted in your sense of connectedness to your body. Many people tell me they see themselves as one thing, and their body as another. They feel disconnected from their body.

Others tell me they are tired of arguing with their body – it never seems to do what they want it to do. So, on most days they just give up, and ignore it. 

A beautiful relationship develops by listening

What about the healthy people that I know? Each loves their body, and wouldn’t think of not listening to it. Each respects the beautiful simplicity of what their body is telling them all day long. And in listening, they have come to a peace, a beautiful relationship with their body. They are so close to their body, they think of themselves as one with it – true soul-mates experiencing all that life has to offer. A life they share as one.  

If your body is telling you, with its excess weight, incessant tiredness, its skin problems, and general sluggishness, that you need to change something, and it has been telling you that for a very long time, then stop. Ask yourself if you count.

Are you worth being a good listener?

Are you worth being a vibrant person in this world? Because, if you are not worth it, then maybe you have been doing the right thing in ignoring your body’s needs. Keep going your separate ways. Of course that will lead to a divorce one day, a sad and unhappy separation is in your future. It will be costly, and come sooner rather than later.

But if you are worth it, if you truly feel you want to live a vibrant, happy life, then take some time and begin listening to your body. It has a lot to tell you, and believe me, if you listen, and respond, your body will begin leading you back to the joyous health you have been missing.

Remember, you don’t need a college degree, high school diploma, or even a marriage counsellor to learn to listen to and understand your body’s language.

The first step to begin that amazing listening journey is your next bite. Consider that what your mouth is hungry for – is it really what your body is craving? If you will listen to that key difference, you are on the path to a harmonious life together – you and your body can become one.

Isn’t that what you want? Isn’t that what you need?
Celebrate Woman Today

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Recipe for Fish Salad to Be On Track With You Weight Loss Plan

Here’s one of the healthy choices for you that incorporates the principals from the previous post about exercise, and healthy food choices after it (to lower your insulin resistance and lose or maintain weight). This salad does meat those requirements, and it is very filling.

Variety Fish Salad
(Easy delicious recipes for healthy meals. Every day)

1 orange
1 lb fish fillet (go for the cold water and Atlantic salmon, rather than farm fish)
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
8 cups of spinach or green/red salad leaves
1 tomato, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 can (16 oz) white or black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. From the orange, grate some peel to measure 2 teaspoons; set aside. Peel and section orange; reserve. Arrange fish (salmon) in 8-inch baking dish.
2. Combine Balsamic Vinegar with orange peel in small bowl. Evenly brush fish (salmon) with 4 tablespoons dressing mixture. Bake 12 minutes or until salmon flakes with fork.
3. Arrange spinach (green salad leaves), tomatoes, and onion on serving platter. Top with orange and beans, then arrange fish (salmon) and pine nuts.
4. Drizzle with remaining Balsamic Vinegar.

To Your Health!

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Full Meal and... Weight Loss? You Bet!

Enhance Insulin Sensitivity With Exercise and Food After Your Workout
(A great tip to your weight loss plan)

It’s well known that factors such as insulin resistance (when the body has difficulty to take up sugar from the blood stream into its tissues) lead to weight gain. If you would like to lose weight – lower your insulin resistance (in other words, enhance your insulin sensitivity). How?

There is a lot of research that shows that exercise is one of the major factors to lower your insulin resistance. First step to all working and stay at home moms, do something to squeeze intense aerobic activity into your day. Regularly (fyi: 30-40 minutes on most days of the week.)

But there’s another interesting and a very key component you need to be aware of. It is the kind of food you eat After your exercise.1 Make a mental note of the following two factors in addition to exercise that will make a huge difference in achieving your weight loss goals.

1. Eat Low Carbohydrate content after your exercise (Low Glycemic food is the key!)
2. Eat enough calories to match what you just expended during your exercise (those calories that come from your healthy food choices)

Whatever your weight loss plan is, you need to do the above two items Together to get the results, that lead to increased insulin sensitivity and make you lose weight eventually.

PS: For those who don’t have that list of Low Glycemic (GI) foods, just email me. I plan to give a short list of the low GI foods a bit later.

1. Newsom, Sean A., et. al. Energy deficit after exercise augments lipid mobilization but does not contribute to the exercise-induced increase in insulin sensitivity (published in the online edition of the journal for the American Physiological Society)

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Theory of Relativity. And Healthy Food Choices.

With apologies to Albert Einstein, I would like to explain how the Theory of Relativity relates to making healthy family food choices.

Have you ever been on the way home after a long day at work and realized you had nothing healthy in the house to feed your family when you got home?

Have you ever been home preparing a healthy meal for your family, and someone says, "Oh mom, not that again"?

Have you ever sat in the bathroom skimming a magazine, looking for something new, AND HEALTHY, to feed your kids?

Have you ever been in a grocery store, quickly reading labels, trying to figure out if the ingredients on the package match the hype in the ads, while your kids impatiently want you to go to a "funner" aisle?

Time and healthy choices.
Family food choices always begin with you reading labels, trying to figure out what is right for your family. But it almost always comes down to time – how much time do you have to research new, healthy alternatives. How much time do you have to really read the labels? How long does it take to actually fix the food for dinner?

Of course you want to make your meals interesting, and healthy. But you don't always have the time. Sometimes isn't it just easier, quicker, to go with what they ask for, even when you wonder if it's something they really should be eating?

Moms don't have time.
Not enough time to do it all right. Not enough time to learn what you know you ought to about healthier food alternatives. Not enough time to seek out smaller brands that may be healthier for your family – or drive a little further to get them.

When you finally have time to think, and evaluate, wouldn't you rather just relax and think about nothing? Sometimes?

Moms. Enough Time. Healthy Food Choices.
Those are concepts that don't seem to fit well in the same sentence. They certainly seldom fit together well in life.

Which brings us back to the Theory of Relativity.

Mr. Einstein famously said "The theory or relativity can be explained quite simply. When you sit on a hot stove for a minute, it seems like an hour. When you sit next to a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute."

Taking a minute to make informed food choices for your family can feel like you spent an hour you didn't have. Taking and hour to prepare a healthy meal and sitting down to eat it with your family – watching them loving every bite – can feel like a stolen minute in time.

I am not Einstein, but I'd like to help you.
I'm spending more and more time researching healthy products for your family (mine too, of course). Plus I'm spending the extra time to tell you about the wonderful women behind them – I know sometimes that can make a difference – you’re not just consuming a product, you’re ingesting someone’s passionate quest to give it to you.

If you have just a few moments every week, I promise I’ll review some great healthy products for you, and meet the very interesting women behind them. That way, you can spend some thinking time for yourself. And less time worrying about discovering healthy products for your family.

If you have a product to recommend, please let me know and I’ll pass it on to my readers. Perhaps you can save them some time too, and give them one more meal-time hour with their family that will seem like a minute.

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Health Benefits of Chocolate to a Toddler

Kai never fails to spot a Celebrate chocolate truffle in our pantry. His reflexes are quick and focused: Get it now with no delay! This time it worked again. Look at this picture below.

He is too little to know the benefits of a real dark chocolate: like being full of antioxidants and flavonoids to protect heart and arteries, by reducing a bad LDL cholesterol.

You'd utter, "What about Fat in chocolate?" Well, the oleic acid in dark chocolate is actually a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that has been shown to lower blood levels of bad cholesterol.

Reach out for dark types of chocolate to rip the benefits of Chocolate. The majority of brands use wax and additives in their chocolate products. So, when you buy dark chocolate, read ingredients on the back!

As far as Kai, he eats dark chocolate every day. Yes, that's the truth. And I love watching my baby getting "chocolatty" whenever he enjoys his treat.

Celebrate Your Baby Doing Joyful Things Today! Celebrate Dark Chocolate!

To Your Health!

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Curb Your Appetite – Stop Your Cravings

©2010 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.