Category : Health and Fitness
We are honored to have Ashley Longnecker with www.tinyshinyhome.com as our guest blogger this month. Check out what she has to say about their epic adventures and why the Big Berkey is the one kitchen item they will never be without!
Good morning Berkey friends! I’m Ashley – mom, teacher, adventure seeker, route planner and executive chef of the Tiny Shiny Home crew. We are a crazy family of six traveling North America in our renovated 1972 Airstream Sovereign in search of epic adventures and a minimalist lifestyle.
We primarily boondock which means we camp in the middle of nowhere without hookups such as water or electricity. Our Airstream is powered by the sun which gives us the freedom to be off-grid for long periods of time. We haul our water with jugs and a collapsable water bladder and pump it into our 40 gallon fresh water tank.
We have been nomadic for over 3 years now and have had the most incredible time exploring with our 4 amazing kids. We crave new adventures, epic hikes, and an ever-changing backyard.
With summer in full swing and lots of hiking plans, we require a rather large amount of water. From our house to our first RV, and now nestled in our Tiny Shiny Home, our Big Berkey is the one kitchen item we will never be without. We even made sure to design a space for it during our Airstream renovation.
When people come into our home on wheels they always ask us about the ‘shiny thing on the counter’ and usually leave convinced they need to get their own. With the ever-changing quality of water in North America, we are so thankful to always have filtered water everywhere we go.
Having a Berkey water filter gives us one less thing to worry about. Since we know we will always have high-quality drinking water, that means our hardest decision is whether we visit the desert, the mountains or the ocean next. To follow along on our adventures, you can find us on Instagram and Facebook @tinyshinyhome or on our blog, TinyShinyHome.com and on Youtube at TinyShinyHome. See you down the road!
We are honored to have Max La Manna with www.eatingwithmax.com as our guest blogger this month. Check out what he has to say about his zero waste movement and how you can make a difference too!
Ever since I could remember, and perhaps it was the way I was brought up, I was mindful of our resources on this planet. I was conscious of how we used resources and what resources we used. When I used to buy bottled water, I wondered, “what happens to the bottle next?” I knew I could throw it away, be done with it and forget about it. But I started questioning where is “away” and where is the bottle ending up next?
My name is Max La Manna; I’m a zero waste vegan chef living in Brooklyn, New York. I grew up with a chef father and food was the center focus of our family. As a family, we grew and harvested a variety of different vegetables. This was a lot of fun as a child because you would plant a seed and wait patiently for weeks for plant life to take its course. Once it started budding, vines were growing, and you reaped a full, plentiful veggie patch – you were ecstatic! The young me was vegan at heart but didn’t know it yet.
For me, being zero waste and a chef came at the same time – hand in hand! I was working in a restaurant and saw how much food was being thrown away. When I asked the chef about the food waste, he simply shrugged his shoulders and didn’t care. This made me very upset, and I knew that something needed to happen. I moved on and started cooking privately, incorporating this zero waste method – where no food would ever go to waste.
Today, we live in a world of convenience where everything we want is at our fingertips. However, everything has a cause and effect. The number one occupant in American landfills, according to the EPA is FOOD WASTE! We can feed everyone on this planet with the food that we produce, but instead, it is thrown away because it’s grown imperfectly and is therefor non-profitable.
We hear the saying, “leave the planet in better shape than how you found it” – I’m working on that right now – it may take me my whole life, but I am okay with that.
In order to make a better, cleaner world I am going to need clean, pure water to help me achieve this goal. How do you do this? Say no to plastic packaging! Bring your own vessel for water – I guarantee you will save money and help avoid plastic from ending up in landfills and our oceans. We as humans can live without food much longer than water. Water is so vitally important for our health and well-being. When I introduced Berkey into my routine, I noticed it made a huge difference right away in the taste and how I felt. This is because it removes toxins and impurities from the water that I was consuming. Did you know that Berkey Filters will remove over 200+ contaminants?
I want to operate my body and mind at the highest level and having the clean, pure water that Berkey provides is going to help me reach this goal. I leave you with this, imagine a world, where everyone has access to clean, pure water. What a world that would be and how different we would all be.
– Max La Manna
Follow along with Max’s adventures here: www.instagram.com/eatingwithmax
Do you know what’s in your water?
Do you even want to know what could be living in your water?
Not only do you have to worry about bacteria, viruses, chlorine, heavy metals, micro-organisms and pharmaceutical drug contaminants but some water companies add fluoride to your water supply as well.
So it’s apparent that you need a water purifier but how do you know which one to choose? Let us help you compare the differences.
How often do you have to replace the filters? How much do they run? What’s the initial set up cost? Berkey Filters offers seven different sizes starting at $175! The unit comes with two black carbon filters. They can last 2-5 years depending on your water source. That’s about is 1.7 cents a day! Replacements are $107. And each filter can be cleaned up to 100 times!
The additional fluoride filters will reduce fluoride up to 95% and are $50. They will last one year or 1,000 gallons, whichever comes first. Disposable filters that you buy at bargain prices online require frequent changes. Clean water doesn’t have to be expensive!
2. What is being removed?
The Black Berkey purification elements remove over 200+ contaminants including chlorine and lead. These filters have been tested to remove both pathogenic bacteria and viruses higher than the EPA purification standards. Because the Berkey will remove viruses, it is considered a purifier, unlike other filters on the market.
You can find a more comprehensive list here http://www.berkeyfilters.com/berkey-answers/performance/filtration-specifications/ along with our actual testing results and percentages.
One of the great benefits of Berkey Filters is the portability! Each of the seven different sizes contains the same Black Berkey filter element, delivering the same clean water. Our travel sizes make it convenient to use our reliable filtration systems in small RV campers, summer cabins, or anywhere storage space may be limited. All of our units are counter-top models but can also be used outdoors. They are fully functional using only gravity. Therefore they are not dependent on electricity or any other outside source to function. They also do not need to be hooked up to your kitchen faucet and come in handy when the power goes out!
4. Questionable Water Sources
We always recommend using the cleanest water source available when filtering water in your Berkey System. However, lake, stream, pond, river, or flood water can be filtered in the Berkey System. In an emergency scenario, the Berkey will even filter pool water and make it safe to drink! (this excludes saltwater pools because the concentration of salt will more than likely ruin the elements quickly).
Want to learn more about pretreating questionable water sources?
5. Can’t I just buy a filter from the store?
Carbon-based, paper and certain resin based filters do not have filters that can be cleaned, there is no feedback mechanism for filter replacements, most do not remove pathogenic bacterias, and most systems provide only 40-700 gallons (150-2,660 liters) before the filter must be replaced.
6. What about a whole house system?
Because the Berkey system is a gravity fed system, the water processes through the filter naturally by water pressure and gravity. The longer contact time with the filters is one of the reasons it can remove viruses and so many other contaminants.
Many regular home filter systems operate under pressure, significantly reducing the amount of time the water is in contact with the filtration media. Since gravity is used for water filtration in a Berkey system, the contact time with the media is much longer. This extended contact time has a direct impact on the media’s ability to reduce Chloramine and other potential contaminants.
7. Should I look into a Reverse Osmosis or Distiller system?
Another impressive thing about the Berkey system is that it will remove the harmful contaminants from your water, but allow healthy minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium) to remain. Reverse Osmosis or Distiller systems will remove everything from your water including these beneficial minerals! These systems become useless during emergencies when power and or water pressure is lost.
A Distiller specifically does not remove VOC’s (chemicals found in herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers). It also wastes nearly five gallons for each gallon of water that is filtered.
A Reverse Osmosis wastes a lot of water, about three gallons of water for each gallon it filters. It also does not remove pathogenic bacteria and does not have re-cleanable filters. Plus, there is no feedback mechanism for filter replacements and the reservoir tank can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Yuck!
With respect to cost per gallon of water, calculated upon the cost per gallon for replacement filters and energy costs, Distillation systems and RO systems that are properly maintained typically cost between 35-65 cents per gallon. Again, a Berkey system typically costs about 1.8 cents per gallon!
8. I want more evidence! By comparison, Berkey water filters outperform commercially available water filters from both the portable and household water filter categories. Take a look at these Berkey water filter comparison charts and see for yourself that Berkey outperforms the competition in almost every category.
We are honored to have Dr. Ben Lynch with www.seekinghealth.com as our guest blogger this month. Check out what he has to say about the importance of filtered water.
I was in an intense conference call with my agent and my writer.
We were discussing what to call my future book.
The title they really wanted was ‘The 7 Deadly Genes.”
I wasn’t being clear with what I intended to write.
I wanted my book to be:
- truly holistic.
This was the phone call where I had to make myself clear and get the book name clear.
As I discussed it, my writer, Rachel, blurted out, “Dirty Genes.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Dirty Genes,” she said calmly.
I knew that was it! That’s where Dirty Genes was born!
What is a Dirty Gene?
My favorite definition of a Dirty Gene – as it is so clear and concise, is this:
Dirty Gene: A gene that doesn’t work optimally.
What happens when a gene gets dirty?
- It cannot function
- Since it cannot function, work doesn’t get done.
- Minor symptoms start happening.
It’s important to note that genes aren’t just born dirty they can act dirty too.
Our environment influences how our genes act.
For example, your body has to filter out toxins every day and not just from the food you eat, but from the eleven thousand liters of air you breathe and the eight cups of water you drink!
When you drink filtered water, you are removing arsenic, chlorine, and other unwanted chemicals from your water, thereby reducing the workload of your MTHFR gene.
When genes get overworked and tired, they get dirty, which can lead to chronic disease.
Better to identify the dirt early and remove it, right?
- How can you if you don’t know what the dirt is?
- How can you if you don’t know which symptoms link to which genes?
- How can you if you don’t know what these genes do, how they want to work and how they get dirty?
A gene (and the enzyme it makes) does not work optimally IF it:
- Lacks vitamins and minerals to help activate the enzyme it produces
- contains a variant/SNP which affects its shape which then affects its ability to perform a function
- Is blocked by something – such as heavy metals, infections, chemicals, other hormones
- does not have enough material to build with – such as lacking protein (methionine, tyrosine, tryptophan)
- has too much material which inundates it – such as folic acid, methionine and more (discussed fully in Dirty Genes)
Is genetic testing worthless?
Genetic testing and the reports can be a distraction though, from the fundamentals. You have to make sure you clean your dirty genes FIRST before you start focusing on SNPs and genetic results.
The fundamentals start with avoiding chemicals, breathing clean air, drinking filtered water, getting enough sleep. I can go on…I tell you how to “soak and scrub” your Dirty Genes in the book.
If you have a bunch of SNPs, they absolutely contribute to your susceptibility to symptoms and disease. My point is no matter what, you have to work to keep your genes clean – especially if they are born dirty they are easier to get dirtier.
In my book, Dirty Genes, I show you how to dive deeper into what a Dirty Gene is and what YOU can DO…
What if, for the price of a movie, or a nice dinner, you could have a true understanding of genetics and the immediate way you can use that knowledge to change your current health? That’s what my book, “Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health,” offers you.
And it was just voted #1 Best New Release in Immune Systems by Amazon!
Dirty Genes became an Amazon International Bestseller–before it was published!
The benefits of understanding your genetics are huge. You may be on the path already, and have done genetic testing and be eager to learn more about MTHFR or other mutations and how to optimize your health.
Or you may read that sentence and feel like it’s a foreign language.
The truth is that no matter where you come into the discussion, there is still so much to learn and information you need so you can use the key that your own body has to offer you.
Understanding your genetic information is the first step in being able to address issues and “reprogram” your genes to work for you and potentially prevent disease – or even effect conditions you’re currently dealing with.
In fact, your genetic destiny is like a document that’s written in the Cloud–you get to edit and revise it, every moment of your life.
The Dirty Genes book is where you discover the insights and master the tools to harness the phenomenal power of this emerging medicine.
Dr. Ben Lynch received his Cell and Molecular Biology, BS from the University of Washington and his doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine (ND) from Bastyr University. His passion for identifying the cause of disease-directed him towards nutrigenomics and methylation dysfunction. Currently, he researches, writes and presents worldwide on the topic of MTHFR, methylation defects and genetic control.
You may learn more about Dr. Lynch and his work at www.drbenlynch.com. Dr. Lynch is the President of www.SeekingHealth.com, a supplement company oriented towards disease prevention and health promotion. He lives in Seattle, WA with his wife, Nadia, and three boys, Tasman, Mathew and Theodor.
Do you know what’s in your drinking water? According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, 77 million people across the US are drinking contaminated tap water. The EPA states “This is now forcing more people to figure out how and where to get clean drinking water.” As US citizens, we are fortunate enough to have running water, but is your water “healthy”? From Flint, MI to Newark, NJ our drinking water is under siege as a result of cost-cutting budgets and careless disposal of waste.
You care about the food you eat and getting enough exercise, but have you considered the quality of water you drink? High quality “healthy” water is just as, if not MORE important as high-quality, non-GMO food. Filtered water is no longer just a taste preference, but a necessity.
Even if you are lucky enough to live in an area with a cleaner water source there still may be chemicals present in the water. It is still important to consider investing in a water purification system.
The easy “solution” millions make is to buy bottled water, but can you really trust what you are drinking? Where does this water come from, how long has the water been in that plastic water bottle, what chemicals are leaching from the plastic, and are you recycling the plastic bottles? These are all important questions to consider when buying bottled water.
Additionally, if you’re buying bottled water for its convenience and low price, you might want to reconsider. A 40 pack of 16.9 oz. water bottles costs on average $3.98. That’s 5.28 gallons of water which works out to $0.75 per gallon. Remember this number; we’ll come back to it a bit later. To reach the recommended 64 oz. of water a day, each member of your household needs to drink four 16.9 oz. bottles. For a family of four, your 40 pack will last only 2.5 days.
If you’ve already made the decision that bottled water is not for you, you likely know there are many options on the market to filter your water including pitcher, sink and refrigerator filters. However, there are fewer water purification options on the market. A purifier is more powerful than a filter. It’s like a super filter removing more contaminants than a standard filter, such as bacteria and viruses. Whichever option you choose, it’s important to do your research to truly understand what your water filter or purification system removes.
The Berkey system is a purifier meaning it will remove more heavy metals, pesticides, viruses, bacteria, and trihalomethanes, than a typical pitcher, sink or fridge filter. The technology that Berkey uses to purify water can handle the very smallest of water contaminants, even viruses, making it one of the most powerful water filtering systems available.
A common area of anxiety many experience when buying a filtration system is the initial cost. Filter systems are typically less expensive for initial setup than purification systems, however, as you add up the cost and time to buy replacement filters every 1 to 3 months, they are actually substantially more expensive than a purification system, like the Berkey. Consider the average cost of bottled water is $0.75 per gallon (calculated above). A Berkey filter’s cost is $0.02 per gallon ($107 cost / 6,000-gallon filter lifespan). That is 37 times less than bottled water! Let’s also consider the price of pitcher and faucet filter replacements. Typically, pitcher filter replacement cost $0.15 per gallon, as they last 40 gallons and cost $6.33 each. A Faucet filter is even more expensive at $0.18 per gallon, as they typically last 100 gallons and cost $18.99 each. Compared to Berkey Filters both pitcher and faucet filters are 7.5 to 9 times more expensive. Also, take into consideration the lifespan of Berkey Filters (6,000 gallons) will last 150 to 160 times longer than pitcher and faucet filters.
Even though the initial set up cost for Berkey may seem pricey (systems start at $228) you will be saving more money and time than buying plastic water bottles, pitcher and faucet filters. With a Berkey Filter system, your water is a mere $0.02 per gallon for clean drinking water, and your filters will last for years, saving you valuable time!
With Berkey Filters you can now be in control of the water you drink. Make the choice today to cut out unhealthy water and switch to Berkey Water; you won’t be disappointed!
Make certain that you’re drinking enough water every day!
Image via Harold Groven (Flickr)
Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I am a stickler for keeping hydrated. A majority of Americans are chronically dehydrated – 75 percent of us to be exact. This is not good, especially when you take into consideration that our bodies are 60 percent water. We need our water. I even make certain that my dog, Storm, has plenty of fresh drinking water all the time! My blog followers also know that there are conflicting schools of thought as to exactly how much water we need to drink daily, so it’s hard to know what your ideal daily water intake should be. You can tell very easily, however, if you aren’t getting drinking water. How? Look for these important signs: Read more »
Berries are a wonderful way to infuse your water with flavor.
Image via Chris (Flickr)
Different Ways to Naturally Flavor Your Water
As a water expert, I understand the importance of choosing water over any other beverage to quench my thirst and properly hydrate my body. One of the challenges I face when people ask me about water is convincing them to give up their sodas, coffees, teas, juices – you name it – and drink water instead. There are numerous reasons why people prefer a soda to a glass of water, but it’s a safe bet that the primary reason boils down to taste. Even I’ll admit that a sugary beverage can be far more appealing than a plain ole’ glass of H2O.
The beverage manufacturers figured this out a long time ago and introduced “flavored” waters to the market. The stuff started flying off grocery shelves, and why wouldn’t it? After all, you’re drinking water and it’s tasty to boot! It’s much healthier than that can of cola… or is it? Unfortunately, no, it’s not. Flavored waters, sports drinks, fruit punches, I could go on, are all laden with sugar, and the sugar-free varieties are filled with unhealthy chemical “sweeteners.” Read more »
Image via Katherine Johnson (Flickr)
9 Ways to Drink More Water
You need to drink more water! You need to drink more water! Are you tired of hearing that? I know; I am, too. The problem is you probably do need to drink more water. Statistics show that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. That’s a large number of people who are not drinking enough water. I’ve talked about how dangerous dehydration can be in previous posts. Now, I’m going to give you nine tips to ensure that you drink more water and do not fall within that 75 percent.
Tip #1 – Substitute other drinks with water. I know that this won’t be a very popular tip, but instead of having that soda with lunch, drink water. Make water your beverage of choice, and replace soda, tea, coffee, and alcohol with a glass of water instead. Your body needs the water. It doesn’t need the sugary soda. Read more »
Marathon runners can become ill from drinking too much water while running.Image via Andrew Malone (Flickr)
In my last blog post, I discussed in detail the importance of drinking water. Keeping yourself adequately hydrated is critical to your health, but just as too little water can be deadly, so can too much. It’s important to stay hydrated without going overboard and oversaturating your system with water. Although rare, in some cases, people actually do suffer from water intoxication. The scientific term for this is hyponatremia. Drinking too much water can imbalance your electrolytes just as drinking too little water can, and either way, you can become ill and even die.
Why Too Much Water Is Bad
Hyponatremia means that you do not have a sufficient amount of salt in your system. We constantly hear that too much sodium is a bad thing, and it is, but too little sodium can also be a health risk. Your body needs both water and salt to function properly, and too little or too much of either can cause serious health complications. Normally, your body should have 135 to 145 millimoles of sodium per liter of blood. If that amount is reduced from drinking too much water, you will find yourself fatigued, suffering from nausea and vomiting, frequently urinating, and enduring a headache alongside mental disorientation. Read more »
Infants are particularly prone to dehydration, so it’s important that they drink plenty of water.Image via Henry Burrows (Flickr)
Why It’s Important to Drink Water
Often, the image of dehydration is depicted in humorous ways: cartoon characters crawling through the desert, a party at an oasis, people surfing sand waves. Truthfully, dehydration is deadly. We need water more than we need anything else to survive, and most people do not drink enough water. I’m hoping that if you’re one of those people, you’ll read on to learn why it’s so important to your body to drink water.
Our bodies’ own physiology backs up the importance of drinking water. If you go back to your science classes in school, you’ll probably remember that water is the key to life. Nothing on earth survives without water, including humans. Our bodies need water, and here are some basic facts behind the reasons why: Read more »