Today we’re talking Valentine’s with my guest Annie B. Bond. We’ll explore how to give the traditional Valentine treats in a healthier manner, and ways to show our love from the heart, I met Annie many years ago when her publisher asked me to write the forward to her first book Clean and Green. Annie is the best-selling author of five books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment (Rodale Books, 2008), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010), and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World. She was named “the foremost expert on green living” by “Body & Soul” magazine (February, 2009). Currently Annie is the Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Wellness Wire and leads the selection of toxic-free products for A True Find. www.anniebbond.com
LISTEN TO OTHER SHOWS WITH ANNIE B. BOND
- Toxics Then and Now: Debra Celebrates Thirty Years in Print
- Eight Steps to Improving Your Food Choices
- Great Toxic-Free Holiday Gifts
- Cleaning for Your Holiday Party – Before and After
- Toxic Free Cleaning Basics
- Natural Solutions for Bugs
- Healthy Halloween
- Tips for a Toxic Free Home
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Toxic Free Valentines
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Annie B. Bond
Date of Broadcast: February 10, 2014
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world.
We do that because there are so many toxic chemicals around – in toxic consumer products, in the air we breathe, in the offices we work in, in our homes. Even in our bodies we’re carrying around toxic chemicals that we’ve been exposed to in the past. All these toxic chemicals can affect us physically, mentally, spiritually. If we eliminate them and take charge of them, decide that we don’t want them, I’ve seen in my own life and in others amazing improvements in health and well-being of all kinds.
So, all of these is here for you to choose if you want to. I’ll just provide all that information I can. Every weekday I have different guests on and talk about how they’re contributing to making a toxic free world.
Today we’re going to talk about Valentine’s Day coming up. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful day to celebrate love, but it also has a lot of toxic exposure, particularly, the toxic exposure of sugar. But we’re going to talk about different ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day that can be healthy and life affirming today.
My guest is Annie Bond and she’s the author of a number of books about toxic free living. Clean and Green was her first one and Better Basics for the Home, Home Enlightenment, she has got a cookbook called True Food and she just has been doing this almost as long as I have. So we have lots of experiences. She’s done a lot of writing of articles and websites. Her website is – well, Annie, I forgot your website. You know what’s going on today. Hi, Annie. Say hi.
ANNIE BOND: Hi! It’s so nice to be here. Thank you. Just AnnieBBond.com is fine.
DEBRA: Thank you. I’m sitting here without being able to see my usual screen on my website because I’m actually redoing my website and it’s taking us a couple of days longer than I expected. I had to shut down my old website, but the new one is not ready yet, so I can’t see anything.
ANNIE BOND: Oh, no! Right! No problem at all. That’s it, AnnieBBond.com.
DEBRA: So we’re talking about Valentine’s Day and for everybody who’s listening, Annie has been on four or five times. She’s one of my regular guests. So we’ve all heard her story, but I understand that some of you might be listening and you don’t know anything about Annie. So Annie, why don’t you tell us again something about you?
ANNIE BOND: Sure. Yes, Debra was in a way my mentor because I got into this and she was the only person that was writing in this field when I started. I just have a little slightly different angle, so I just said, “Well, I guess there might be room for me. I don’t know, but I’ll try because I have some things to say.”
Anyway, I was poisoned in 1980. I worked at a restaurant that had a gas leak. I was very healthy, I was 26. It was one of those things that I was breathing the gas so much because I was a waitress that I got really exposed.
Suddenly people started passing out and it was one of these catastrophic things where 80 people had to be taken to area hospitals. It was a big deal.
So at that point, they say I had permanent frontal nervous system damage. I don’t believe it because I’ve worked so hard and I feel like I lead a pretty normal life now. But it hasn’t been without a lot of work.
And then after that, I sort of had back-to-back poisoning. Our apartment building was exterminated with a pesticide that’s been taken off the market because it’s so incredibly neurotoxic. So I just couldn’t have been more vulnerable. That just did me in right then.
And so I got very sick. I was basically a bubble case for a long time until I learned how to live without chemicals. And then I was like a wilted plant that was given water. In six months I popped back and was well enough to have a baby, my doctor said.
So, it was sort of an incredible testament to having an unwavering need for clean air and I just didn’t stop until I got it. That’s what enabled me to lead a normal life ever since.
DEBRA: I think that that’s just a really important point. I had the same experience where – you know, you and I were dealing with this so long ago when nothing was written about this.
When I started, there was only one book that even talked about anything remotely about it. And so, I just took the idea in that book, which was that if you could identify where the toxic chemicals were (and of course it didn’t have very much information about that), if you could identify where the toxic chemicals were, then you could recover from this immune system problem that we were both having.
And so I just took that to heart and I just said, “I’m going to find the toxic chemicals in my house and I’m going to figure out how to get rid of them.” And in some cases that meant just getting rid of whatever it was that had the toxic chemical and having nothing to replace it. It’s not like today where you can go to my website and find anything you want that’s toxic free.
ANNIE BOND: I know! I mean, my work especially is almost obsolete because it’s formulas, it’s the old folk formulas. That’s what interested me, finding how did they use to do it, how did they come up with these, how did they polish the furniture and things like that before we got into the petroleum age. And now, I think you just about do anything. There’s a green product for just about anything.
DEBRA: There is, but you know Annie, I think that there is an important place for people making things themselves and having the power to be able to decide what goes into your products and not just leave it to manufacturers – not that that it’s not good to have things be manufactured.
ANNIE BOND: This is a beautiful simplicity of that lifestyle too. I have to say, I have once had an editor come and she couldn’t believe under my kitchen sink I have five things there – baking soda, washing soda, vinegar, things like that.
It’s not like I live only on homemade cleaning products. I mix and match with a really good green detergent for washing my dishes for example, things like that. But just some of them, you just can’t beat, so why would you ever want to spend a lot of money on something that’s not as good?
DEBRA: Well you know what? That’s what’s under my kitchen sink. That’s what it looks like too.
ANNIE BOND: I’m sure it does. I’m sure it does. And other people say, “How do you do that? How do you get there?” I always say it takes about half an hour in your life once to make the decision to change, find some resources. And then once you’ve made the decision to change and you know what to do, you’re set for the rest of your life. And so you just need to make that intention at some point and then you’ll be fine forever.
DEBRA: I totally agree. That’s all it took. I mean, in my particular case, your books didn’t exist yet and my books didn’t exist yet And so it took me more than half an hour to figure out what I can do, to use baking soda and what to do with it.
But Annie and I have done all the ground work now. And Annie, I just want to commend you for the tremendously helpful and thorough job you’ve done of documenting all of this.
ANNIE BOND:Oh, thank you, Debra.
DEBRA: You really did a lot. You did a lot. I focused more on the consumer products part of it. But I really appreciate all the work that you’ve done to come up with these old folk formulas and preserve them and put them together so that they be used off into the future. You’ve made a tremendous contribution.
ANNIE BOND: Awww… thank you.
DEBRA: You’re welcome.
ANNIE BOND: I have to just interject that somewhere down the line, I’ll have to make sure this is instilled my daughter. I probably have the biggest library of salt formulas of anybody, books with formulas in them than anybody in the planet. So they should go in to some special library somewhere.
DEBRA: They should go in to a special library. Yes, they should. And they should make sure that that happens because that kind of information should not be lost.
ANNIE BOND: Exactly, exactly.
DEBRA: Exactly, yeah. So, I just want to make the point to people who are listening that both Annie and I come from having had this toxic exposures to the point where we were disabled and not able to function in life and having to figure out how we were going to solve the problem. And in both of our cases the major thing that we did was to eliminate the toxic chemicals that were making us sick.
Of course there are other things I did and I’m sure there are other things that you did, Annie, but wouldn’t you say that the first bottom line thing is to eliminate the toxic chemicals.
ANNIE BOND: Absolutely, absolutely. The people that try to just build their immune system and stay in a toxic place just never thrive the way I did.
DEBRA: Yes. And we can see, you can look at both of us and see how we’re thriving and how much energy we have and how we’re pursuing life and that we’re out there talking and doing things and writing books. It’s like if somebody has a chemical situation where they’ve been poisoned, it can be recovered from. That’s the point.
We need to go to a break and then we’ll be back and we’ll talk about Valentine’s Day. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest is Annie Bond.
= COMMERCIAL BREAK =
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Annie Bond, author of many books about toxic-free living. She’s at AnnieBBond.com. And today we’re talking about Valentine’s Day. Well Annie, I love Valentine’s Day.
ANNIE BOND: Very nice, lovely.
DEBRA: Yeah, but there’s a lot of things that probably we shouldn’t be putting in our bodies on Valentine’s Day and let’s start with chocolate. We could talk for five hours about chocolate.
ANNIE BOND: We could. I just would recommend that we can rephrase that to say that we shouldn’t put it in our bodies but also that there are many things that can’t put in our bodies. Chocolate is such a healer of the heart on a biochemical way too.
DEBRA: Well, let’s talk about chocolate because I think that chocolate is the iconic thing to do for Valentine’s Day, give chocolates. And I think that the issue is not chocolate or no chocolate because chocolate is actually a very nutritious food. The problem is what gets put and mixed with the chocolates.
And so, what you want to do is stay away from chocolates that have a lot of sugar, refined white sugar in them or high fructose corn syrup or things like that. And go to the natural food store and buy one that at least has a natural sweetener.
ANNIE BOND: Yes, and that’s very dark because it’s the really dark chocolate that’s incredibly good for your heart.
DEBRA: That’s right, like 70 or 80%.
ANNIE BOND: Yeah, I eat 85% dark.
DEBRA: Yeah, I do too. Many, many years ago, when I first started not eating sugar, when I was very, very sensitive to chemicals, one of the first things that I did was to stop eating sugar. But I love chocolate and I still love chocolate and so I tried to eat cooking chocolate, baking chocolate which has no sugar in them at all.
ANNIE BOND: Hmmm… ooh, that’s bitter.
DEBRA: And that was so bitter, so bitter! Oh, my God. And I decided, “Nope, this is too bitter.” But having that experience of going all the way to totally sugarless chocolate, I could back up to like the 80%, the really bittersweet and it actually tasted good to me.
ANNIE BOND: Even 70% now is so sweet, I can’t stand it.
ANNIE BOND: Yeah. As you say, back up into it. Eighty-five tastes delicious to me now.
DEBRA: Yes, I like it very bitter too.
ANNIE BOND: But I keep thinking how wonderful it is for my heart. That’s the thing. It’s just staggeringly beautiful for your heart. I’ve read so many scientific studies about how good it is for your heart. I’m like really sold on it.
DEBRA: I’m really sold on it too. I just went on a temporary 30-day diet and I’m on day 19, I think it is of the diet. So there’s no chocolate, no sweetener of any kind for 30 days. But prior to that, I was eating chocolate every day. I just have this little chocolate treat and I make it myself with cocoa powder, organic cocoa powder and coconut sugar because coconut sugar is the lowest glycemic organic – coconut sugar. It comes from the nectar of the flowers on the coconut tree. And it has a flavor like brown sugar.
ANNIE BOND: Yeah, totally with you on this 90%, Debra. That combination is just fantastic!
DEBRA: It is. And so I would just mix it up with a little bit of organic…
ANNIE BOND: Isn’t that funny. After all these years, we just keep on honing in on exactly the same things.
DEBRA: Yeah, I know!
ANNIE BOND: This isn’t about the toxic cleaning products, I mean, these are our foods. We’re doing this exactly the same things.
DEBRA: Right, right. So…
ANNIE BOND: That’s an educated eye for you, everybody. I think we have such an educated eye. We keep going until we find what is the right, what is best and what is the healthiest for the planet and for us. I think that’s really true.
DEBRA: We do. And I think that there’s probably some truth to it because each of us independently find it. I mean, we have the same standards and we go find the same solutions and we’re so much in agreement.
One year what I did was that I wanted to not have any sugar at all. Remember when I used to be making all this recipes with natural sweeteners? One year, I decided no sweetener and what I did was I took a nice, soft date, a fresh date. Well I guess it was dried, but you know they’re nice and soft. And I rolled it in cocoa powder. That tasted so good..
ANNIE BOND: Oh, that sounds delicious.
DEBRA: It was so sweet from the date and you had just enough chocolate, so that it tasted like chocolate. It didn’t need to be cooked, it didn’t need to be anything. It’s just cocoa powder.
And nowadays, there are these things called cocoa nibs. If you’re not familiar with them – you probably know them Annie.
ANNIE BOND: Yeah, I know that. I love that brand. I buy my cacao powder from them, yeah.
DEBRA: Yeah, and so what it is it’s just the cocoa beans cracked up in to little pieces. And so, here’s no processing at all, it’s just the cocoa bean now They’re pretty bitter and I’ll tell you, they have a big kick of caffeine in them.
And so when I eat them, I’ll just take a little one because otherwise I’m wide awake. I mean, that’s as pure and unprocessed cocoa/chocolate as you can possibly get. And so that’s a possibility too, so just grind those up.
ANNIE BOND: Yeah, or to use those ingredients for – I mean buying the cacao powder, the cocoa powder, buy the purest possible one at the health food store and then add I’ll add a little bit of the coconut sugar and then it’s just absolutely delicious cocoa. That won’t get my caffeine hit from sometimes – I mean, not my caffeine hit, my chocolate hits.
DEBRA: Yeah, yeah. So there are all kinds of ways to be creative with it. I have in the past made all kinds of chocolate desserts for Valentine’s Day rather than going out and buying chocolates. And so that adds a little extra love to it too.
ANNIE BOND: I think that’s very nice. One could find a really, really good truffle recipe. I have one actually on GreenChiCafe.com. I put it up there many many years ago before I was deeper into the food issues. One could substitute the sugars, but it’s a fabulous recipe for truffles if one wants a recipe. It came down through a few grandmothers, from one via France and it’s just fabulous.
DEBRA: Oooh I’ll have to go look at it.
ANNIE BOND: Yeah, just substitute the sugars.
DEBRA: Once you start thinking in terms of making things like if you could make somebody – say you have somebody.
Oh, we have to go to break again. But after the break we’ll talk more about chocolate and other things that have to go on Valentine’s Day. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, this is Toxic Free Talk Radio. My guest today is Annie Bond and her website is AnnieBBond.com.
= COMMERCIAL BREAK =
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Annie Bond. We’re talking about Valentine’s Day and how to be toxic-free on Valentine’s Day.
So Annie, just to finish up about talking about chocolate, I wanted to mention that there are so many chocolate recipes of things that people could make. For example, I have a friend who’s gluten intolerant. I mean, I don’t eat gluten myself, but he’s never been able to eat gluten. And so he can’t just like go down…
ANNIE BOND: He’s more like [inaudible 00:27:33], it sounds like.
DEBRA: Yeah, he can’t go down to a bakery and buy a chocolate cake. And so for me to make him a gluten free cake is a very, very big deal for him and make it with natural sweeteners and things like that.
And so to me, doing things like that is so much more important, to give things from your heart that are really things that the person will really appreciate rather than just giving a card or things that you buy, consumer gifts, to figure out how can you do something really special for this person. And that’s something that I’d been known to do.
I know when I was married, Larry, had a favorite dessert called Coeur A La Crème, which wasn’t chocolate at all, but like this kind of cheesecake-y kind of thing that you make in a heart shape (coeur being the French word for heart). And then you put it in a pool of raspberry sauce. That was his favorite dessert and he always wanted it on Valentine’s Day. And so I made what he wanted.
ANNIE BOND: Yes, of course. I mean, if there’s ever a time for a heart-based gift, Valentine’s Day is it for sure.
DEBRA: Yeah! But another thing that I like to do is to roast beets and then cut them in slices. I have a little heart-shaped cookie cutter. I cut out little hearts, little red beet hearts and put them in a salad.
ANNIE BOND: That’s a really nice idea. And then you could use all of your peels to simmer in water and get a lot of beautiful red dye. And then, if you made a frosting or something, you could mix the beet into it and you would end up having a great red confection of some sorts.
DEBRA: I think that would be a great idea. So Annie, tell me about your most memorable Valentine’s Day.
ANNIE BOND: Oh, my gosh. There hasn’t really been a high point in my life. It was actually one of the big challenges of my last marriage because I would say, “You know, it really would mean a lot to me if I have had something, a gift or…” and he said, “You know I love you.” I’m like “Well, but it would’ve been nice to have something.” So Valentine’s have usually been sort of sad days for me.
DEBRA: Awww… I’m sorry
ANNIE BOND: Yeah, I always loved being able to do things. I love that kind of time. So I love doing it for my daughter and boys would get her something special, but we’ll make something, that kind of thing. Anyway, so what about you? Why don’t we turn it around for you?
DEBRA: Well, I actually have three memorable Valentine’s Day. I was thinking about this prior to this show and I was thinking, “Which one was the most memorable?” I think well I’ll tell one of them now and maybe I’ll tell another one later.
But the one that came to mind first was that there was one Valentine’s Day when Larry was off in California after we moved to Florida, the first Valentine’s Day he was – we wanted to move here, but he still needed to be in California so he moved me to Florida and I was here alone and he was back in California by himself.
When it got to be Valentine’s Day, it just got closer and closer and closer and I thought that I don’t want to be here when he’s in California. The day before Valentine’s Day I decided that I was going to go to California and see him, which meant getting a flight the day before Valentine’s Day. I had no money, but I was determined that I was going to go see Larry for Valentine’s Day.
And so I borrowed some money, I got a flight. I took the red eye and on Valentine’s morning, I surprised him in California.
ANNIE BOND: Oh, my gosh! What a wonderful thing to do. That’s awesome!
DEBRA: Thank you! But when I got home, he had sent me a Valentine. What he had done is he had gone and got this huge piece of butcher paper. He put it down in the floor and laid down on it and he traced all around his body. He put his arms out open and so he sent me this big hug, a life-sized hug.
ANNIE BOND: Awww… that’s the cutest thing ever. That’s so sweet.
DEBRA: It was! It was so adorable. I put it up on the wall the whole time that he was gone. There was this big Valentine up on the wall.
See, there are so many ways that if you’re just creative about it, that you say…
ANNIE BOND: That story though, I was afraid that he was on the plane coming east. It reminds me of that love story about that woman who cut her hair to buy the watch for the man and the man sold his watch to buy her a comb.
DEBRA: But now that you brought that up, I’ll tell you another one of my three stories and that is that there was another Valentine’s Day when we were apart, when we were living in California.
We were living in the San Francisco Bay Area and I needed to go Sacramento to work and I was supposed to work for a few days before Valentine’s Day and I was supposed to come home the night before so I’d be home on Valentine’s Day. The job went overtime and I called him up and I said, “I have to stay here for Valentine’s Day.”
So he was at home thinking, “I need to go see Debra. It’s Valentine’s Day, we’re supposed to be together.” And this was before cell phones. And so he couldn’t call me, he didn’t know where I was and he didn’t know where I was staying, but he wanted to be where I was.
And so he got in his truck. He knew I was in Sacramento, that was it. He got on his truck and he drove from Marin County all the way to Sacramento and just kind of followed his nose. I finished my job and I was walking through the parking lot to the hotel from my car to go into the hotel and Larry practically ran right over me.
ANNIE BOND: Oh, you are kidding me!
DEBRA: No, this is a true story. This is a true story.
ANNIE BOND: That’s unbelievable.
DEBRA: I was shocked because he just purely used his intuition about where I was. It’s like he set his radar on me and he found me.
So anyway, Valentine’s Day can be romantic without toxic chemicals, without sugar and without consumer products.
So let’s see what else should we talk about? Oh, wait we have to go to break now in about five seconds. So you’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Annie Bond and we’re talking about Valentine’s Day and we’ll be right back after this.
= COMMERCIAL BREAK =
DEBRA: This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Annie Berthold Bond. Ooops, sorry, Annie Bond. I met Annie so long ago that I still call her by her full name.
ANNIE BOND: It’s okay, it’s okay. That’s why I included the B though in my address because if people search for Annie Bond they don’t come up with my books, but if they search for Annie B. Bond, they still come up for books that were under the name of Annie Berthold Bond.
DEBRA: Oh good, good. So my guest is Annie Bond and her website is AnnieBBond.com and we’re talking about Valentine’s Day.
So other gifts we can give for Valentine’s Day commonly, a couple more are – well actually, I would say that any gift that you want to give for Valentine’s Day, physical or otherwise, well the physical gifts, you can get any of them organic now. You can get organic flowers, you can get organic wine, you can get organic chocolate, you can get anything that you would think of – clothing, anything is all available organic. It’s amazing how many organic products are available these days.
ANNIE BOND: Totally!
DEBRA: So, look for organic. Again, the natural food store is a good place to do that. We’ve had as a guest on our show, Organic Bouquet, which is a great place to get flowers, OrganicBouquet.com. You also might be able to get organic flowers from your local farmers market or local natural food store. Just look around and see what you can do.
But I’m still interested in things that we can give from the heart. And another thing that I thought of during the break was love letters. Isn’t this the perfect time for love letters?
ANNIE BOND: Oh, that’s a beautiful idea. That’s a lovely idea.
DEBRA: And poems, you could write a poem. You could have a poem written for you. I have a friend who writes poems for people. You can buy a poem for a birthday or Valentine’s Day or a wedding or whatever. I think people should love each other every day of the year, but this is a time to remember to do that. So what kind of things….
ANNIE BOND: Well, it’s a time to tell people things that you don’t normally do, how much you care about people. I think it really matters. I think that really matters a lot.
DEBRA: I agree with you, totally. So what kind of things did you do with Lily?
ANNIE BOND: Well, I was just thinking that I’m a huge heart-shaped rock person. I’m always picking up heart shaped rocks and I often take pictures of them. I’m just going out of my room while I talk on the radio to find this. I have a heart that is a metal heart and written on it is – it’s like a paperweight kind of thing. And it says “Always follow your heart.” One year, that was my gift to her for Valentine’s Day because that’s what I wanted her to be able to do. It’s a hard lesson to learn, to always follow your heart. So that was an example.
I’d always make something and I’d always be using beets to make something with a red frosting. Just like you had your special heart cookie cutter kind of thing, I would always do things with hearts. We have a heart shaped waffle iron and I would make waffles that were shaped like a heart. I think the shape of a heart is a beautiful shape. So I guess I always saw myself focusing around the shape a lot of times.
DEBRA: Yes, yes. I think so too. I think so too. I really like that.
ANNIE BOND: They’re beautiful. There are a lot of really beautiful quilted kinds of things that have hearts on them. It is always just a reminder to keep your heart open, which is not always easy. We all are shattered and it’s nice to work to have an open heart.
DEBRA: I think so too. I just I think that love is one of the best things. I love love. It’s not just a romantic thing, it’s just the feeling of connection with other people.
I think that love as a general feeling and concept has to do with wanting to make things better or make things good or doing things that have to do with goodness. And so if you love a person, you want to do nice things for them, you want them to be happy, but that can extend out to, of course, your family and out into the environment, about loving nature, loving earth, loving everything. And when you have that feeling for it, then you don’t’ want to harm it. And so, loving your body, loving other people, how could you want to harm them? I just think that having love for something, that results in things being better all around.
ANNIE BOND: Totally! And a lot of the suggestions that you’ve given, it doesn’t require money. So one could spend one year finding the heart-shaped rocks and then give them out on Valentine’s Day, that kind of thing. One could write a love poem and do that kind of thing, it really is lovely.
DEBRA: Yes. Yes.
ANNIE BOND: For some reason my eye [inaudible 00:44:33] to a rose hydrosol that I have. And so there’s something about the rose scent that makes me think of Valentine’s Day a lot. That’s something nice to spritz around I think, the spritz around roses.
I wonder what’s the etiology? Debra, you tend to know a lot about roses and if the rose sent during Valentine’s Day has any kind of historical meaning to it?
DEBRA: I don’t know what the historical roots are of roses for Valentine’s Day. Actually, I was looking at what was the history of Valentine’s Day about right before the show and it goes back to – I’m just laughing before I say this because in the article I was reading, it was talking about
Pagan roots as if that were a negative thing, but to me that’s a very positive thing. There’s this whole culture of people who were relating to the seasonal changes of the earth.
And at this time of the year, it’s a time when things start coming back to life. And so, it’s a time of fertility, it’s a time of love and those kinds of things were celebrated because of the new fertileness of the Earth that at that time, people did ceremonies and rituals to connect themselves to what was going on with the natural changes in the environment.
And this is the time when they wanted the plants to be fertile, wanted the food to come back, wanted the animals to be fertile and it was that kind of a celebration.
ANNIE BOND: Oh, that’s so interesting.
DEBRA: Yeah, yeah. It wasn’t until Shakespeare that – see, this is very ancient. When Shakespeare came along, he started glorifying love and they started exchanging Valentine cards, that they would give someone that they loved a Valentine. It was in a form of a card, a love letter or a poem or something like that. They didn’t go buy them, they would make them and then that put their love into that physical form. And that’s where it came from.
ANNIE BOND: Wow, isn’t that interesting?
ANNIE BOND: It really is.
DEBRA: Well, Shakespeare is very romantic.
ANNIE BOND: Yeah, sure. Absolutely!
DEBRA: Yeah, and all those sonnets. So anyway, there’s so much that can be done for Valentine’s Day. It’s just inexhaustible.
ANNIE BOND: Well, one thing I was thinking about when you were asking me what I did for Lily – for those who may not know, this is my daughter who is now 25. But when she was growing up, one of the things that – I always enjoyed this when she was a child, to really include and inspire children to actually do a lot of creative projects around Valentine’s Day.
And so I remember always getting doilies and having red construction paper and making hearts and making Valentines. And certainly for kids, it’s a big deal. Everybody is giving away a lot of candy to kids and kids are giving it to each other in little hearts with writing on it this time of year.
The health food store just are so much better than when my daughter was young at having candies that’s made with natural dyes so that they can give out these little natural dye-covered M&M type of things instead of those little sugar hearts that have the words on them.
There are a lot of creative things I think that you could do for kids so that they don’t end up having a lot of toxic chemicals (food dyes) in their lives. I think that’s a really good bar to hold as to try to keep them from having food dyes for Valentine’s Day.
DEBRA: I think so too because there’s so much red dye that goes on in Valentine’s candy, it’s amazing. So if you can cut down on that, that is a really big source of toxic exposure for this particular holiday. Well Annie, it’s been a pleasure having you on.
ANNIE BOND: Thank you so much for having me. I always love being here.
DEBRA: I love having you too. We will do it again soon. This is going to be a great Valentine’s Day, I think, for a lot of people. And I think that there are certainly things that we can do that are toxic free.
Right at the moment, it’s down today, but it will be up tomorrow and if not tomorrow, the next day. I’m in the middle between two different websites and I’m working hard to get it back up. But I know that a lot of you will be listening to this after the website is up anyway. You can go there and you can find out more about how to live toxic free. And that’s it! Toxic Free Talk Radio.