Laughter .. medicine for the soul

This is the greatest thing!!!


Back at it

After a 2 year hiatus, I am getting back in the groove of Cross fit! After moving back to Pennsylvania, I had a difficult time finding a cross fit affiliation that operated similar to the gym I was accustomed to attending while living in Florida.

Classes just didn’t run smoothly.They were cliquey, “cultish”, unorganized in how they ran a class. The people were not friendly what so ever. They didn’t make you feel welcomed what so ever. They weren’t encouraging.  Everything opposite of what i feel in love with in the cross fit culture.

After a few months at the one gym, and testing out a few others, I gave up. I was frustrated with the programming, how they ran the class.  It was no longer fun for me. I dreaded going and feeling like i was imposing on these peoples gym and feeling like an outcast.

I tried working out on my own at a local gym, it was boring.. SO boring. I got lazy. I started skipping the gym all together.

The last few months has been a struggle. I’m an athlete. I need to be active!

I missed working out, i felt like shit, i felt like shit about myself. Something had to give.

So a few weeks ago I decided to seek out some other local cross fits gyms. I wrote them all down and decided that everyday after work I would run down the list trying out every gym until I found the one.

I’m two weeks into it and holy shit …

I am so out of shape, I am so weak, and god I am so sore, but man, does it feel good.

Today’s WOD

deadlift 275/225
box jump burpees 30/24
deadlift 315/245
box jump burpees overs 50/35

10 mins
300 meter row sprints

Awareness Isn’t Enough – We Need Action

Today the Centers for Disease Control issued the long-awaited autism prevalence numbers for children born in 2000 – 1 in 88 children.  VIEW CDC PRESS RELEASE.
These are real kids, not numbers. They deserve better.

I am asking you personally today to commit to taking action – no matter how small.

  1. Please read this document and share it: SAFEMINDS THE AUTISM CRISIS APRIL 2012.
  2. Send it to some friends and ask them to pass it on.
  3. Use it as talking points and call or e-mail any legislator you can think of.
  4. Send it to anyone you know who cares about autism – relatives, teachers, therapists, doctors.
  5. Forward it to anyone you know who works in media – reporters, editors, production, publishing.
  6. Make sure the world knows we are here to fight for our kids.

    This will not be our only action, but it is an important first step. Please make time to help.


    Katie Weisman
    Mom to Don, Nick and Alex
    Director of Communications

FEBRUARY 22, 2012  Scott Laster, a SafeMinds’ Board Member debated vaccine safety on Public Affairs on Peach, a Sunday morning production of CBS Atlanta News.


Multiple studies link autism to mercury, which is still present in most flu vaccines

(NaturalNews) Despite recommendations made by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1999 that Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, be removed from vaccines, the toxic chemical is still added to the majority of flu vaccines administered to women, children, and the elderly, according to the Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs (CoMeD), a Maryland-based non-profit organization. And according to three recent studies, the symptoms of mercury poisoning are nearly identical to those of autismsymptoms, which strongly suggests that mercury invaccinesis responsible for causingautism.

Mercury is already a known neurotoxin that causes cancer (carcinogen), damages DNA (mutagen), alters proper embryonic development (teratogen), and disrupts the immune system. It is exactly the type of harmful chemical that you would never want to put in your body, and yet it is still added in the form of Thimerosal to millions offlu vaccinesadministered to the public.

“We have scientificstudiesclearly demonstrating thatmercurycauses neurological damage, and we have a cost-effective alternate that has already been used to replace Thimerosal as the preservative in vaccines,” said Dr. Paul G. King, PhD,scienceadvisor to CoMeD.

One such study published in the December2010issue of the journalFolia Neuropathologicaexplains that the mercury used in vaccines appears to directly cause neurodevelopmental disorders like autism ( Another study published in the journalMiddle East Current Psychiatrystates that “[m]ercurypoisoningand autism have nearly identical symptoms” (…).

And a study recently published in theJournal of Immunotoxicologydirectly states that “[n]ot only is every major symptom of autism documented in cases ofmercury poisoningbut also biological abnormalities in autism are very similar to side effects of mercury poisoning itself” (

It remains unclear why thetoxicpreservative is still used in vaccines — especially when there are safer alternatives available — and why mainstream science continues to deny the obvious and scientifically-verifiable link between mercury and autism. The issue is not even one of opposition to vaccinations as much as it is one of opposition to neurotoxic poisons like Thimerosal that continue to deliberately be added to them.

Sources for this story include:…

Learn more:

Autism rates by state

Nationally about six students in 1,000 are classified as autistic, but the rates vary widely by state. According to data reported by the U.S. Department of Education, the diagnosis is 10 times as prevalent in Minnesota as in Iowa. The map of autism rates for children ages 6-17 shows they are highest in the Northeast and on the West Coast and lowest among the Southern and Plains states.

Series: Discovering autism | Interactive: Diagnosing autism | Timeline: Key moments


Story: Read the series | Discovering autism

Autism is an escalating problem that poses a tremendous burden to an entire generation of families. Conventional medicine has struggled with its diagnosis, not to mention a sound regimen of treatments for affected children. What was once a rare disorder occurring in 1 in 1,000s, is now a 1 in 110 epidemic.

As researchers, doctors and health activists argue over causes of the disorder, parents are fighting for healthier, happier children. Caregivers are learning that certain treatments may aid in the health and repair of those affected by this lifelong illness.

Treatment is still evolving while doctors struggle to comprehend how this disorder has reached such devastating proportions. Clinically, some are finding success through various nutritional treatments while others, in an attempt to analyze why their child wants to stare out a window or stack cars in a straight line versus actually playing them, start with an overnight biochemistry background.

Certain trends have developed in the autism community that should be shared to help caregivers learn what might better help their children.

  • Find a doctor who has experience and training in nutritional therapies. Consult with the doctor and learn of their approach toward autism spectrum disorders. Work with someone that you feel you can speak openly with and who will listen to your concerns. Resources include and
  • Understand that every person on the autism spectrum is different. Some are only slightly affected and may not qualify for the diagnosis with further improvement while others suffer significantly. Not everyone will be helped by the same strategy. What ignites one child’s ability to speak might upset the stomach of another.
  • Once the diagnosis of autism, or even developmental delay is made, be aggressive. The chances of improvement are often higher with younger children. Nutritional, speech and occupational therapies can offer significant help when started earlier in development, prior to grade school. If parents are concerned about a child’s development, and a diagnosis has not been made, share concerns with your doctor or consider a second opinion.

It isn’t likely that one therapy will fully treat an autistic patient. Well-rounded approaches such as targeted nutrients, dietary habits, and speech and occupational therapies can have a synergistic effect on development. Autism requires educatation on the part of the caregiver. For example, if a therapist is recommending magnesium for treatment, consider why it was suggested, and then track how well the child does. Caregivers may also consider keeping a journal to document progress.

Autism therapy will be an ever-changing field. As awareness grows, hopefully, so will available treatments. Use local support networks and learn what resources are available through schools and the community. Coordinate a team of knowledgeable physicians and other therapists to communicate the needs of the family and patient.

1: Address any gastrointestinal issues

Many autistic children have problems with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These include poor digestion, food intolerances and dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is a term that means a negative shift of bacteria in the bowel. Our GI tract has trillions of bacteria that actually do good things for us, such as make vitamins and keep our bowel walls healthy. However a shift can occur where some of the healthy bacteria are replaced by “bugs,” and our bowel function can be compromised. This can be upsetting to an autistic child, even causing considerable pain.

This problem can become further compounded by the fact that an autistic child may not be able to say, “My tummy hurts right here,” or “When I eat pizza, I really have a lot of pain.” Many parents have reported improvements in the child’s daily function by avoiding gluten-containing foods and pasteurized dairy products. The is due to the processing of these foods. With greater processing, the foods become much harder to digest. Dairy and gluten can irritate the bowels, leading to pain, brain fog or mood swings. Anelimination diet can be done to see if these foods are a problem. This type of trial should be done for at least 3-4 weeks to see if any benefit is noticed.

2: Initiate a lifestyle comprised of real food and sunshine

Autistic children can be very picky eaters and are often sensitive to foods. This can make mealtime difficult. Healthy meals do take planning, but it’s important to get away from those processed alternatives (foods in packages with little-to-no nutrients, artificial sweeteners and preservatives added to replenish the “taste”). Our bodies are made to receive plenty of proteins, fruits and vegetables, and have remarkable healing abilities when given the right nutrients to do so.

Sunshine is an often overlooked therapy needed to provide vitamin D. It only takes 10-15 minutes of sunshine to help the bones, the immune system and aid to the rest of the body.

With any new therapy, it may take several days or weeks to see improvement. It’s important to know that change in the diet or nutritional therapies may cause shifts in the body to promote healing. When a food is finally stopped after 2-3 years of exposure, the body may gain back a significant amount of energy. This energy is put to use in repairing the affected areas, sometimes with a detoxifying effect. Sometimes skin rashes will flare for a few days, or the bowels may move more rapidly. Discuss concerns with a doctor, particularly if the children seems to be in more pain or is lethargic following a new approach.

3: Detox your environment

An area of big concern with all chronic illness, is the growing toxicity that we face each day. Everyone should take note of their home and work environment and think of how to make it more environmentally and body-friendly. Limit the amount of cleaners and pesticides used in and around the house, and try to keep these chemicals away from areas that could contaminate food or children’s toys. Microwave food in glass, not plastic, containers. Discover foods high in pesticides and look for organic versions

4: Use a water filter

Obtain a good water filter for the house, preferably a reverse osmosis system, and use it frequently. Also, try to limit the electromagnetic pollution in the home. This includes exposure to cell phones and wireless Internet. Though the safety of these frequencies is still being debated, families with autistic children should air on the side of caution until more is known. This means turning off the Internet at bedtime, and not charging cell phones in our near the bedrooms

5: Try chelation therapy

One of the more controversial areas of autism treatment is heavy metal chelation. Chelation is the process of using a medicine, nutrient, herb or other agent to move heavy metals out of the body. This treatment has drawn criticism from conventional medicine, and is attributed to one death from intravenous chelation. But this method is also thought of by many parents to be one of the most helpful treatments for children [Source: ARI]. What has been documented in some autistic children is the inability to move heavy metals, such as mercury, out of the body [Source: Holmes].

Heavy metals and other toxins pose a significant threat to the developing brain, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. Chelation therapy may assist an otherwise weak detoxification process in the autistic child. This method can be done orally, intravenously, rectally with a suppository or through the skin. Children are usually treated through oral or transdermal (skin) routes. Any chelation treatment should be done under the close guidance of a skilled practitioner with frequent observation of the child’s mineral and electrolyte status. Chelation is not without risk, but is packs an array of potential benefits.



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Can TV viewing cause autism?

An autism diagnosis is something that every parent fears. It can mean a life of self-contained struggle, limited growth and social incapacitation for a child, and there is no cure. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in 300 children in the United States suffers from autism-spectrum disorders (ASD). According to the Cornell and Purdue University researchers who released a study connecting toddler-age TV viewing with autism occurrence, that number is more like one in 175.

When an infant or toddler exhibits abnormal

social behavior such as refusing eye contact, withdrawing from outside stimulation and obsessively focusing on a single object and shows slow, non-existent or suddenly regressed psychological development in areas like speaking and understanding language, the wide variety of autism-spectrum disorders becomes a possible explanation.

Autism is the most severe form of these disorders, and an autistic child leads a fairly limited life (at least from an outside perspective), unable to effectively communicate, form emotional connections and manage the stresses of daily life. There are other, milder disorders like Asperger syndrome in which the child can live a more normal life while dealing with relatively manageable social problems.

Studies have shown that ASD affects multiple major brain areas, including the cerebellum, cerebral cortex and brain stem. Science has been trying to uncover the cause of autism for decades, focusing on areas like abnormal brain development, a mutated gene called MET that increases the risk of autism (but does not seem to cause autism on its own), childhood-vaccination ingredients (which have been almost entirely ruled out as a potential cause) and every other potential biological trigger under the sun. But a group of researchers out of Cornell and Purdue has focused on a very different possible cause: television. And while headlines are announcing “TV Causes Autism,” that’s not an accurate representation of what the study found.

Here’s what the researchers actually discovered:

  1. Autism-diagnosis rates began to increase dramatically around the same time that cable TV was introduced in the United States, and counties with greater access to cable TV saw greater increases in autism diagnosis.
  2. Autism-diagnosis rates have increased faster in rainier parts of the country.

The researchers related the second finding to television by referring to other studies that suggest that children in rainier climates tend to spend more time indoors than children in less rainy climates; and children who spend more time indoors tend to watch more TV.

What the study did not discover is that TV causes autism. The researchers behind the study believe their findings indicate that watching a lot of television before the age of three can trigger the development of autism in children who are already at risk for the disorder, such as those who carry the supposed “autism threat” mutation on the MET gene. The study did not find that children who are at risk for autism will be saved from the disorder if they’re not allowed to watch television. To read the full findings, see Cornell University: Does Television Cause Autism?.

Despite the dire headlines, probably the strongest finding to come out of the study is that autism researchers might do well to expand their areas of investigation. Until now, research has focused mostly on biology — the brain and DNA structures and how they may be affected by such processes as genetic mutation, abnormal childhood development and the introduction of foreign chemicals into the body. What this new study suggests is that other, non-chemical environmental factors could provide at least partial clues to the autism puzzle that so far have been very well hidden.