This Medical Test Used by Moms may be Linked to Autism Symptoms in Children

That first ultrasound is a thrill for parents, but new research suggests that the practice may make autism more severe in children born with the disorder. [1]

Current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines state that diagnostic ultrasounds should only be conducted in cases of medical necessity, a recommendation that seems to be supported by the findings of the study.

For the study, published in the journal Autism Researchresearchers at University of Washington’s (UW) Medicine school, UW Bothell, and the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, looked at the variability of symptoms in autistic children, rather than the causes of the disorder. [2]

The researchers culled data from the Simons Simplex Collection autism genetic repository funded by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. The data came from more than 2,600 families among 12 research sites across the United States.

Lead author Sara Webb, UW Medicine researcher in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, said:

“There has been a real struggle in why there are so many kids with autism. Where does this disorder develop from? How do kids get autism? And the second question is why are kids with autism so different from each other?

This study really looks at the second question. Within kids with autism, what are some of the factors that may result in a child having a good outcome or higher IQ or better language or less severity versus a child who maybe takes more of a hit and continues to struggle throughout their lifespan?”

The team used a 3-part model explaining variability in the children suffering with autism:

  • a genetic vulnerability to autism
  • an outside stressor (in this case, 1st trimester ultrasound)
  • implications of the outside stressor being introduced at a particular time

The research suggests that kids with certain autism-related genetic variations had more severe symptoms if their mothers had a 1st trimester diagnostic ultrasound.

No link was found between autism severity and 2nd or 3rd trimester ultrasounds. [1]

As a mother of 2, Webb said that she would opt out of having an ultrasound in the first 3 months of pregnancy unless it was absolutely medically necessary, and unless she knew exactly how far along she was in her pregnancy. She said:

“If we can figure out this information in any other way, I would go with that. It’s always worth considering that when we do medical procedures, there are great benefits but also risk.”


[1] Medical Daily

[2] Science Daily

Storable Food

8 Great Sources of Protein That Aren’t Meat

When it comes to protein, there’s a common misconception about how much we actually need on a daily basis. And in the fitness world, many people swear by living a high-protein diet to build muscle and aid in weight loss by making you feel fuller. But how much is too much?

The American Dietetic Association says that for the majority of active adults, they only need to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (1 kg = 2.2 pounds) of body weight per day. So for those that are consuming meat at every meal? They’re ingesting about five times too much of their recommended daily intake. On the other hand, too little protein is a bad thing as well. Protein malnutrition can lead to a condition called kwashiorkor, and can also cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, a weakening of the heart and respiratory system, and even death.

Meat is often looked at as being one of the top sources for protein, hence why so many scratch their heads in confusion as to how a vegetarian or vegan will go on without biting off a piece on a regular basis. But there are a lot of misconceptions regarding this ideology that ought to be cleared up. First off, we need to consume foods that provide us with the nine essential amino acids that our bodies are not capable of creating on their own.

While many have argued that meat is the go-to source because it provides the entire pack, there are some plant-based foods that also contain them.

While underconsumption of protein is harmful to the body, overconsumption comes with risks as well. In the United States, the average omnivore gets more than 1.5 times the optimal amount of protein, and most of that protein is from animal sources. This is bad news, because excess protein is turned into waste or turned into fat. This stored animal protein contributes to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation and cancer.

On the other hand, the protein contained in whole plant foods is connected to disease prevention. According to Michelle McMacken, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician and an assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine:

“[T]he protein found in whole plant foods protects us from many chronic diseases. There is no need to track protein intake or use protein supplements with plant-based diets; if you are meeting your daily calorie needs, you will get plenty of protein. The longest-lived people on Earth, those living in the “Blue Zones,” get about 10% of their calories from protein, compared with the U.S. average of 15-20%.”

Related CE Article:  9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

Chia Seeds

chia seeds

Source: Authority Nutrition

There is a lot to love about these powerful seeds. They have 4 grams of protein in every 2 tablespoons, they aid in digestion, and they help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. They also provide you with all of the essential amino acids your body needs. I like to sprinkle them on top of my yogurt for a little added crunch.

Greek Yogurt

Speaking of yogurt, it is also a high-protein option. With twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt, a 6-ounce container packs a protein punch with 17 grams. It’s great for either a breakfast item or anytime snack.


This ancient grain is another complete protein that has been making waves in the health world recently as a trending superfood to fill up on. And with 8 grams of protein per cup, it’s no wonder why. It’s also a great alternative to rice with its impressive fiber and iron count.


The only vegetable that is a complete protein, edamame, or soybeans, are a great alternative to meat. A half-cup of soybeans has about a whopping 34 grams of protein, whereas a half-cup of chicken comes in at roughly 17 grams.



Source: Veg Kitchen

With 18 grams per boiled cup, lentils provide you with 37 percent of your daily recommended iron. If that’s not enough to spike your interest, they also contain more than half of your daily recommended fiber intake, AND they can aid in lowering cholesterol. Lentil soup anyone?


With 10 grams of protein per a 2 tablespoon serving, hempseed provides a generous helping of all nine essential amino acids. If you’re vegan, these should be on your list, as they contain essential fatty acids, like omega-3s. I sprinkle them on my salad for added texture.


For a great protein-filled snack, almonds are your go-to. They provide about 5-7 grams per ounce, are packed wth healthy monosaturated fat and fiber, and you’d be surprised at how much just a handful can curb your appetite.


avo toast

Source: The Style Eater

Avo toast, avocados sliced on a salad, in a sandwich, or eaten straight up with a spoon makes me swoon. This fruit is a melt-in-your-mouth healthy treat. It also has 2.9 grams of protein per one cup, sliced.

Do Overweight People Live Longer than Others with This Type of Cancer?

Most sentences do not start this way: “Obese people may survive longer than…” However, a new study suggests that people who have kidney cancer who are obese or overweight may survive longer than slimmer people. [1]

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that obesity triggers 500,000 cancer cases every year. So far, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has linked excess body weight to 13 types of cancer, including kidney cancer.

But according to senior and corresponding author Dr. Toni K. Choueiri, director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, in the case of metastatic renal cell carcinoma, the extra padding may prolong a patient’s life.

For the study, researchers looked at 4 databases containing the records of my more than 7,000 patients. In one database of nearly 2,000 people with this type of kidney cancer, those who were obese or overweight survived 25.6 months, compared to 17.1 months for patients of normal weight. Overweight patients were found to be 16% less likely to die during the study period. Similar findings came from the other 3 databases. [2]

Choueiri said:

“Paradoxically, when overweight individuals developed kidney cancer, especially in its advanced, metastatic form, their disease progressed more slowly and they lived longer than their normal-weight counterparts.”

Choueiri and his colleagues couldn’t find any differences in the tumors’ DNA, such as gene mutations, that might explained why heavier patients fared better than thinner ones.

The one difference the researchers did find was that the rate at which the cells used genetic information to create proteins in a gene – called fatty acid synthase (FASN) – was decreased in obese and overweight patients, compared with normal-weight ones. [3]

FASN is vital for making fatty acids. High levels of the protein have been found in many types of cancer, and usually indicate a patient is more likely to have a poor outcome.

Choueiri said the decreased amount of FASN in obese and overweight patients may help explain why these individuals have a better prognosis than normal-weight patients. [2]

Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, chief medical officer at the National Kidney Foundation, said:

“This study might lead to other investigations that could yield new therapies for kidney cancer that target fatty acid metabolism.”

But that doesn’t mean people should dismiss maintaining a healthy weight, since obesity is known to cause the very same disease.

Said Vassalotti:

“That would definitely be the one thing we would not want to recommend.”


[1] Medical News Today

[2] Everyday Health

[3] HealthDay News

Storable Food

20 Powerful Quotes From Rumi’s Spiritual Teacher, Shams Tabrizi

Rumi (1207-1273) was a 13th-century Persian poet, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Over the past seven centuries, his influence has transcended international borders and ethnic divisions, and his poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. Often described as the “most popular poet” and the “best selling poet” in the United States.

His poems and quotes are some of the most favored amongst spiritual communities, but the lesser-known inspiration and spiritual influence of Rumi’s work comes from his mentor – a man named Shams-i-Tabr?z? (1185-1248?).

Tabr?z? was a Persian Sunni Muslim, who is credited as Rumi’s spiritual instructor, and is referenced in great reverence in the work entitled Diwan-i Shams-i Tabr?z? (The Works of Shams of Tabriz). Tradition holds that Shams taught Rumi in seclusion in Konya for a period of forty days, before fleeing for Damascus. The tomb of Shams-i Tabr?z? was recently nominated to be a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site.

Below is a list of 20 quotes from Tabr?z?, that reflect his direct influence on Rumi – and articulate the spiritual journey of life in a simultaneously cerebral and cathartic fashion.

20 Quotes From Rumi’s Spiritual Instructor, Shams Tabrizi


  • “Instead of resisting to changes, surrender. Let life be with you, not against you. If you think ‘My life will be upside down’ don’t worry. How do you know down is not better than upside?” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “The universe is a complete unique entity. Everything and everyone is bound together with some invisible strings. Do not break anyone’s heart; do not look down on weaker than you. One’s sorrow at the other side of the world can make the entire world suffer; one’s happiness can make the entire world smile.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, eastern or western…divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “Most of conflicts and tensions are due to language. Don’t pay so much attention to the words. In love’s country, language doesn’t have its place. Love’s mute.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “This world is like a mountain.
    Your echo depends on you.
    If you scream good things,
    the world will give it back.
    If you scream bad things,
    the world will give it back.
    Even if someone says badly about you,
    speak well about him.
    Change your heart to change the world.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “There are more fake guides, teachers in the world than stars. The real guide is the one who makes you see your inner beauty, not the one who wants to be admired and followed.” – Shams Tabrizi
  • “Don’t search for heaven and hell in the future. Both are now present. Whenever we manage to love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in heaven. Whenever we fight, hate, we are in hell.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “The whole universe is sum up in the Human Being.
    Devil is not a monster waiting to trap us,
    He is a voice inside.
    Look for Your Devil in Yourself,
    not in the Others.
    Don’t forget that the one who knows his Devil,
    knows his God.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “The real dirt is not outside,
    but inside, in our hearts.
    We can wash all stains with water.
    The only one we can’t remove is the grudge and the bad intentions sticking to our hearts.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “The summary of the advice of all prophets is this; Find yourself a mirror.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how is it you want to live your life. We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone. No one can help us. So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing. It is looking at the thorn and seeing rose, looking at the night and seeing the day. Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “While the parts change, the whole always remains the same. For every thief who departs this world, a new one is born. And every decent person who passes away is replaced by a new one. In this way not only does nothing remain the same but also nothing ever really changes.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “It is pointless trying to know where the way leads. Think only about your first step, the rest will come.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “The past is an interpretation. The future is an illusion. The world does not more through time as if it were a straight line, proceeding from the past to the future. Instead time moves through and within us, in endless spirals. Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness. If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for Him: in the heart of a true lover.” – Shams Tabrizi
  • “Love is a travel. All travelers whether they want or not are changed. No one can travel into love and remain the same.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “When everyone is trying to be something, be nothing. Range with emptiness. Human should be like a pot. As the pot is hold by its emptiness inside, human is hold by the awareness of his nothingness.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “To get closer to Truth and Right, we need a beautiful and soft heart. Every human learns one day or another to become softer. Some accidentally, some because of disease, some suffer from human loss, some other from material loss … We all face these situations, but we can either see the good in it and open our hearts, or unfortunately see an another occasion to lock it forever.” – Shams Tabrizi


  • “The past is a fog on our minds. The future? A complete dream. We can’t neither guess the future, neither change the past.” – Shams Tabrizi

Which quote resonates most with you? Feel free to share and comment below!