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Protect family health today and avoid unnecessary medical expenses in the future just makes good sense. Let me share just a few of the things that we have learned over the last 12-13 years to keep our medical expenses very low.

Homemaking Essentials #3 - Better Health

Welcome back to the next issue of Homemaking Essentials! In the past few articles, we have discussed TIPS FOR THE BEST BREAD, and HEALTHY KID FRIENDLY FAMILY Favorite Main Dish Recipes. If you still have some unanswered questions, please feel free to contact me anytime at or call toll free at 1-800-552-7323.

If you have been sticking with me here, you are concerned about family health and nutrition. With medical costs skyrocketing and no end in sight, taking steps to protect family health today while avoiding unnecessary medical expenses in the future makes good sense. Let me share just a few of the things that we have learned over the last 12-13 years to keep our medical expenses very low. At the bottom of this issue of Homemaking Essentials, you can learn about how to obtain a top-of-the line drinking water system for free, now until May 31, 2004.

Years ago I read a book that had a huge impact on me called How to Raise A Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor. This book taught me two principles that have saved our family hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in unnecessary medical expenses. Principle #1 : Most illnesses are self-limiting and will resolve on their own if given enough time. Principle #2: One medical intervention leads to another and leads to another, etc. on down the line. Let me explain further Principle #1:

How many times has your child had a high fever, a scratchy throat, an ear infection, or some other acute ailment that had you calling your doctor's office immediately? Usually they will want to see the patient. Did you know that most illnesses, if given enough time, will resolve on their own? Colds and viruses go away eventually. Many times my kids have had a high fever, a fall, or some other ailment I wasn't sure about. I found that if I wait, and IF SYMPTOMS ARE NOT GETTING WORSE, the ailment will eventually go away. ALL BY ITSELF! I have applied this principle countless times when everything in my mother nature says call the doctor. Meanwhile,I have learned that if I wait a minute, an hour , another day, and if symptoms do get worse, that I CAN SAVE THE COST of an unnecessary doctor visit. I have heard some doctors say that up to 75% or more of patient visits fall into what I call "unnecessary doctor visits".

Let me tell you how we learned Principle #2 in our family: Principle #2 states: one medical intervention leads to another, leads to another, etc. When my 15 year old son was aged two, he started into a cycle of recurrent and repeated ear infections and one round of anti-biotics after another over a period of many months. At that time I didn't know about side-effects from anti-biotics, nor did I know about the possible side-effects/risks of ear surgery for "tubes". Time went on and I thought the ear infection cycle was resolved, until we discovered that Stephen wasn't hearing as well as we thought he could and it turned out the ear surgery had resulted in "holes" in both ear drums that required surgical repair. One intervention had led to another had led to another, and the expenses and stress and strain on our family were mounting. This cycle of interventions can often be stopped at home by making a few dietary changes or by using herbal alternatives.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm NOT saying, "Don't go to doctors!" But what I am saying is that oftentimes we moms tend to over-use doctor visits, and that if an intervention is needed, natural alternatives can be safer and more effective with fewer side effects. Smart moms will read a wide variety of books on herbs, natural remedies, health, diet, and cooking. Self-educated homemakers will learn to recognize when an ailment requires medical intervention and when patience, dietary changes, and herbs may be indicated. I would suggest that you educate yourself with books, newsletters, magazines, and other resources designed to keep you challenged, informed, and encouraged as you seek to fullfill your role as a homemaker. The Urban Homemaker publishes a bi-monthly newsletter on a wide variety of subjects of interest to homemakers called From the Heart of the Urban Homemaker.

Another family health topic, that rarely is discussed in popular magazines and periodicals, is the topic of pure water. Although municipal water sources usually meet EPA standards in most areas of the country, the EPA has set standards for fewer than 100 contaminants of the 50,000 different chemicals that have been produced since 1945. In fact, 21,000 pesticides are in use in the US annually. This amounts to 2.2 billion pounds of pesticides in use on an annual basis in the US. And the residue of these chemicals alone are finding their way in increasing amounts into our drinking water. This is only the tip of the iceberg because since the 1950's with the advent of modern chemical usage, tons of contaminants and residues are being disposed of are showing up with increasing frequency in our drinking water.

There is a growing body of evidence to support the fact that legal contaminants in water, although in very small amounts, are associated with increasing incidences of miscarriage, childhood cancers, bladder, brain, and kidney cancers in adults, and many other ailments. For example, chlorine and chloramines, are used to disinfect public water sources from bacteria. Their contact with organic matter in water creates a compound called trihalomethanes, a contaminant in drinking water, known to be carcinogenic over time. Trihalomethanes are only removed from drinking water by a limited number of water purification technologies.

Other contaminants that leach into the water supply in low amounts include volatile organic chemicals such as pesticides, lead, mercury, and chemicals associated with miscarriage including PCBs, chlordane, toxaphene, and, occasionally, microspcopic cysts such as giardia or cryptosporidium which are temporarily introduced into the water. Local boil water orders generally result from these micro-organisms.

Although the purpose of this short letter is to highlight information of interest to homemakers, I would suggest that pure drinking water is not something any family should take for granted. Filtering the family (and pet) drinking water supply can be very INEXPENSIVE over time yet have huge paybacks in better tasting, pure, drinking water as well as in good health. In a day and age when cancers and other degenerative diseases are increasing and conventional treatments are not only expensive and lengthy, disease prevention seems like a wise course of action.

Since pure drinking water can no longer be taken for granted, it can be a daunting task to sift through the nearly 2,000 drinking water systems on the market. We have developed a short questionnaire that can be very helpful when searching for a drinking water system. It is called "What are the Questions you should ask when evaluating drinking water systems?" The questionnaire is detailed below. At the bottom of this Homemaking Essentials #3, we want to make you aware of how to obtain the best drinking water system for most families for free.


1. Ask for the NSF listing for the specific product(s) you are evaluating. Is the product listed under NSF standard #53 for Health Effects or under NSF Standard No. 42 for Aesthetic Effects or both? NSF standards offer a meaningul comparison to help a consumer understand the standards which were developed by NSF International and adopted by many States for drinking water treatment devices.

2. Ask for the product Perfomance Data Sheet (PDA). Many states require that Performance Data Sheets be provided to all prospective customers of water treatment devices. The data sheet will list which contaminants can be removed.

3. Ask about the service cycle (stated in gallons of water treated) of the device. How often will you need to change the filter and what will replacement filters cost.

4. Ask about the product's flow rate.

5. Ask if the manufacturer or distributor provides a customer satisfaction guarantee or warranty.

6. Ask about the range of contaminants which the unit can reduce under standard #53. (Note: most water purifying devices are certified under Standard No. 53 for turbidity and cyst reduction only. Look for a system that also reduces pesticides, trihalomethanes, lead, mercury, and VOC's. These contaminants are usually the most dangerous and are odorless, tasteless, and colorless.)

Then there is always the question of whether to get a Solid Carbon Block Filter, a Reverse Osmosis, Granular Activiated Carbon Filter, a Distiller, or a Ceramic filter. For a comparison of the pros and cons of the different water purification technologies, check this link:

We at The Urban Homemaker, believe the Multi-Pure Drinking Water System can offer superior performance at a better price, and invite you to consider some of the many features the Multi-Pure system offers:

* The Solid carbon Block filter removes scores of harmful pollutants
* Removes over 99% of microscopic organisms.
* Removes lead.
* Removes a wide range of toxic chemicals plus asbestos fibers.
* Removes 98-100% of chlorine, chloramines, and trihalomthanes.
* Has been extensively tested by both NSF International and UL to confirm product superiority.
* Filters waer conveniently at your finger tips. No need to store bottles of water.
* Requires no electricity; runs on household water pressure.
* Easy to install.
* Low initial cost with 0% financing.
* Offers low maintenance costs, average filter lasts 8-12 months.
* Low operating costs: approximately 7 cents per gallon.
* Built to last and comes with a 25 year warranty on the housing and one year warranty on the parts.

Multi-Pure has re-instituted their popular FilterMania Program for obtaining a FREE Multi-Pure System. Here's how it works:

Prepay for ten Multi-Pure filters for the system you desire. Multi-Pure will send the housing and accessories for the system desired plus one filter, along with 9 replacement filter coupons. When you are ready to replace your filter (average filter life is one year) simply send in a coupon along with the shipping/handling fee

For more information check the following URL:

The above information is provided to educate, not to diagnose any illnesses or prescribe any medical advice. You may freely share this information with friends and relatives as long as it is copied in full.

Our next installment, Homemaking Essentials #4, will be called WHY MILL YOUR OWN FRESH FLOUR? I will be explaining about the advantages of freshly milled flour along with a comparison of the different electric and non-electric grain mills on the market. Of course I'll be including a new, easy, delicious recipe for Breakfast Bread and much more. As always, I'm available to answer all your questions on baking and drinking water systems, and issues of interest to homemakers at 1-800-552-7323 or email me at


Marilyn Moll
The Urban Homemaker

Copyright 2004 All rights reserved.

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