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My passion it to be healthy. And to teach you how to be healthy. Open your mind and dive in.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Getting Personal

I am feeling a little sentimental right now.

I love my boys so much.  When I look at their pictures I feel like I am in a dream.  I don't want to wake up if I am dreaming.  Being a mom is the best thing I have ever experienced.

E and T, mommy loves you forever.  (Even on those days when I seem a little grumpy.  :-) )

Friday, August 27, 2010

Candles and Air Fresheners-anything with a scent

Well, I will be honest.  For many of you this post will make you very sad.  For some of you this post will make you mad.  But....here we go.

Candles, air fresheners, plug ins, anything that is made with artificial or synthetic fragrance is very very very bad.  There is a lot of evidence that artificial fragrances are related to a lot of problems including headaches, nausea and prepare yourself....birth defects.

Let me explain.  Artificial fragrances are made up of phthalates.  Phthalates are actually chemicals that are used when scientists are working with plastics and chemicals.  WHAT?!?  This stuff is in my favorite candle!!

Phthalates "are present in every synthetic fragrance and are linked to a variety of serious health disorders, including severe allergies, asthma and even cancer.  Phthalates give off volatile organic compounds, known as VOC's, which are also found in vapors emitted from products like toxic solvents, wood preservatives, pain strippers and dry-cleaning chemicals (Green Babies Sages Moms, Lynda Fassa pg 53).  There are also studies linking the phthalates to childhood obesity.

Lynda's book goes much more into detail about VOC's....basically....THEY ARE BAD!!!!!

Phthalates are found in many items like, hair spray, deodorant, nail polish and perfume.

Here is the kicker....this is what REALLY caught my attention.  When it comes to our kids...."in the medical journal Environmental Health Perspectives researchers found a link between premature breast development in young girls (under the age of 9) and phthalates in the bloodstream......The phthalates we have identified have been classified as endocrine disruptor's."  Which would explain why our girls keep developing at an earlier and earlier stage of life. 

"A study by the Harvard University School of Public Health found a link between sperm damage and monoethyl phthalate, a compound used to maintain the color and scent in many cosmetic items such as perfumes, colognes and hair spray."  Which explains why infertility seems to be on the rise. 

Remember, when we look at the labels to find the word phthalate....we won't find it.  Makers of such products are not required to disclose this info. Go to www.nottoopretty.com for a list of cosmetics and fragrances and a system that grades the toxicity levels. 

Lynda gives a list of some clean and healthy alternatives that will still make you smell all so pretty.
www.kuumbamade.com  (I have bought these at Whole Foods and they smell great.  Don't buy any musk scents.  They are made with synthetic fragrances.)
www.sunrosearomatics.com
www.homespaorganics.com
Revlon and L'Oreal have some phthalate-free products
Aveda products
The Body Shop
Essential oils are the best (Organic essentials oils are the very best)

See my deodorant post for the 2 deodorants I use that are phthalate free (the crystal and Tom's of Maine).  Lynda also suggests the Green Salt Stick, Desert Essence and Weleda for your deodorant choices.  I bought my Tom's of Main Deodorant at Wal-Mart south.  (See Deodorant post for more in depth info.)

Plus, I have always heard that the aluminum in the anti-perspirant of deodorant is very bad.  Researchers are trying to tie aluminum in anti-perspirant deodorant to breast cancer. 

Now for the candles and air fresheners. 
Candles-metal wicks....very bad.  Some wicks have a lead core, which when burning is very dangerous (obviously, lead should not be in the air we are breathing).  The fragrance, if synthetic will be filling your home, office wherever you are with phthalates!  The wax in the candles is made of paraffin which is made from petroleum which releases carcinogenic toxins into the air you and your family are breathing.

"Experts from the American Lung Association say that candles are fast becoming one of the most common unrecognized causes of poor indoor-air quality."  "According to Jerome O Nriagu, PhD, a professor of environmental chemistry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, burning as little as four metal-wick candles for two hours can result in airborne lead concentrations that pose a distinct and direct threat to human health."  NOT GOOD!!

What can you buy???



Beeswax candles- (make sure it is 100% beeswax) Whole Foods sells a rockin brand called tru melange www.trumelange.com which are scented with 100% pure essential oils and made in the USA.  Another clean line of good beeswax candles is from Bluecorn Naturals candles. www.beeswaxcandles.com 



Diffuser-you can buy a good diffuser for $20.00 and then buy your essential oils to use with the diffuser.  I have one in my bathroom and I love it for smaller rooms. 

Nebulizer-I bought a nebulizer with my birthday money online and I buy my essential oils at Whole Foods (the nebulizer was pricey.)  Right now I have spearrmint in mine.  Yummy!

Soy candles.  But you still have to check your labels!!  Some candles are still being made with synthetic fragrances.  Always read your labels, do your research and ask questions. 

I am pretty passionate about this one....especially when it comes to my 2 boys and their health.

In a nut shell......essential oils are the best in everything you buy....organic essential oils are the very very best!!!!!  Stay away from synthetic and artificial fragrances (which is most of the things we buy everyday).  No aerosol sprays.  I would rather you and your house stink than harm you and your children's health.  Just being honest.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hair Spray

Well....here it goes....I am making my own hairspray as I type.  :-)
Taken from http://planetgreen.discovery.com/fashion-beauty/prom-hair.html

1 orange or lemon (I picked orange because lemon can sometime dry out your hair)
2 cups of boiling water
Strainer
Knife
Coffee filter
1 bottle (I bought a small spray glass bottle from Whole Foods for $2)

Peel and cut the orange or lemon into wedges.  Place into 2 cups of boiling water.  Start your timer and let the orange boil in the water for 8 minutes.  You want to stop when you have 1 cup of water left in the pan.  Allow liquid to cool in pan and then strain in a colander first and then again in a colander lined with a coffee filter, allowing it to drip into a bowl. 

Carefully pour into your spray bottle of choice.

You have to store this hair spray in the refrigerator, which is kind of funny.  It will last 1 week in the refrigerator.  To make it last 2 weeks add 1 tbsp of rubbing alcohol. 

My house smells wonderful.  Yum!

Check back later to see how it works on my frizzy hair.  :-)

Ok, so this recipe seems to be a "light hold" hair spray.  I have to do more research for my curls.  I have always had to buy the "extra hold" hairsprays.  I will post when I find more info.  :-)

**Sad to say...I gave up and now I buy my hairspray from Whole Foods.  :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Products In My House

Here's a list of what we buy..........

Shower
365 Shampoo (Whole Foods) $4.99 for 32 oz.
365 Conditioner (Same)
365 Body Wash (Same)
Dr. Bronners Shaving Soap Gel USDA Organic (Target)
Burt's Bees Bar Soap Milk and Shea Butter (Wal-Mart North or Target)
Burt's Bees Baby Bee Body Wash (Wal-Mart North or Target)
Burt's Bees Bubble Bath (Target)
(Still using up Arbonne face wash)

Toiletries
Tom's Deodorant Apricot and Unscented (Wal-Mart South) 2.25oz
Crystal Body Deodorant Stick (Whole Foods)  $6.99 last a year
Baby Bees Buttermilk Lotion for Kids
365 Unscented Lotion (Whole Foods) $4.99 for 32 oz (great to use in a lotion dispenser)
365 Herbal Mint Lotion (Whole Foods) $4.99 for 32 oz (too thick for a lotion dispenser)
Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme (Wal-Mart North)
Burt's Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser (Target)
Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Cream
Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer Clear Color
Burt's Bees Radiance SPF 15 Day Lotion (Target) 2.0oz

Tom's of Main Toothpaste Peppermint (Target) 5.2oz
Tom's of Main Toothpaste for Kids Strawberry (Target) 4oz
Burt's Bees Acne Solution (Target)
Orly fingernail polish (Sally's)
I will be trying an apple cider vinegar toner solution shortly (Thanks MK!)

Cosmetics
Mineral Fusion Mineral Powder (Whole Foods or on line)
Mineral Fusion Mascara
Mineral Fusion Cheek color
Mineral Fusion Eyeliner
Mineral Fusion Eye color

Miscellaneous
Dreft stain remover (will soon be replaced with wowgreen fabric pre-wash)
And of course there are a few items of other brands that I do not promote using that I am using up.  :-(

Products I still need to research...
Marrakesh Oil (sounds like I may be able to use Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil here.  Thank you MK!)
A safe hand soap-this is coming from wowgreen!!!!!
A safe hair gel-I am hoping that my new organic unrefined coconut oil is going to be my fix here!
A safe, deep conditioner
A safe hairspray

I am going to make my own hairspray next week (or least that is my goal)!    From oranges!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Babies and Kids

This is an area, I get really fired up about!!  And I am going all out on this topic!!  If I come up missing you know that the big companies have made me and my blog disappear!!

I, like everyone else (practically that I know, with the exception of a few of you) have used Johnson and Johnson products since my babies were in the hospital as newborns.  Then, one day I hear, something about Johnson and Johnson having chemicals in their products that are actually harmful to my kids (thank you JV).  WHAT!!!!!  The company that I have trusted, is actually HURTING my babies!!!!!!!?????  Ticked would not be an adequate way to describe how I felt.  So.......the research began.

The book Green Babies Sage Moms changed my life (thank you JB and JG).  I mean CHANGED my life.  You HAVE to buy this book.  The author is the real deal.  Her name is Lynda Fassa and she is actually someone I call my friend.  I message her through Face Book and I have asked her 1000 questions and she answers every single one of them in detail.  She is an amazing woman.

Anyway, when I bought her book, I skipped straight to page 24...."How cosmetics and skin-care products may affect your developing baby."  Keep in mind this book is written, that we are supposed to read it the first time when we are "thinking" about getting pregnant.  For me, not the case.  My 2 babies were already here...born...breathing....healthy.....how, I ask??.....when I realized all the crap I put into and on my body while I was pregnant?!?!  A healthy baby is already a huge miracle, but to learn all the things I did while I was pregnant that were highly unacceptable...well let's just say I am a FIRM believer now (as if I wasn't before) that my boys are miracles for sure!!!

We only buy Burt's Baby Bee products for the kids.  ONLY!!!!  I am sure there are others out there that are ok.....BUT do your research before you buy.

Method Baby at Target says it is natural and clean....it is not!
Johnson and Johnson is supposed to be a trusted name....it is not!  I really don't like putting formaldehyde on my children.
Earth's Best says it is natural and organic...it is not USDA approved organic.

Just do your research before you buy.  I have not researched everything but I do know that Burt's Bee's Baby line is one of the cleanest....so that is what we buy.  And I am still reseaching.  :-)

Remember if you research through the cosmetic database, they do not separate artificial and natural fragrances when they rate products.  Burt's Bee's baby line is all natural fragrances.  They are working on the adult line to make it just as clean.

Ingredients to STAY AWAY FROM!!!!
Any paraben
methylparaben
propylparaben
ethylparaben
butylparaben
FD&C
D&C

Also, check out Burt's Bees website.  They have a guide that is a MUST read.    www.burtsbees.com  or http://www.burtsbees.com/wcsstore/Bee2C/upload/cmsimages/BurtsBeesGuidetoWellBeing.pdf for the guide.

More to come on the ingredients to stay away from!

Monday, August 16, 2010

wowgreen!!

I am in LOVE.

WowGreen cleaning products are AWESOME!!!

So far I have used the carpet cleaner (it removed black sharpie from our cream carpet upstairs!!), the laundry detergent (you don't have to use softener!!  and your clothes are SOFT!!), the all purpose cleaner and the glass cleaner.  LOVE LOVE LOVE!! 

I will continue to post more on wowgreen as I use the products.

I LOVE wowGreen sooooo much, I signed up to be a distributor.  You can get the products shipped right to your house!!  www.wowgreen.net/147848 and fill out my id # as 147848  Happy shopping for clean and GREEN cleaning products!!!


Product List
Super stain remover-removes clothing stains, carpet stains, permanent marker, ballpoint pen, grease and oil, spray paints, graffiti, tire marks, black heel marks, printer ink, restores blackboards, nail polish, hair dye and so many more stains!
Floor Cleaner-clean base.  restore your floors natural shine and remove unsightly dirt and dust, all with one rinse-free application.
Toilet bowl-wipe out.  clean and remove unsightly stains.
Dishwasher detergent-coming soon
Stain pen-write on.  spot remove any accidental stains from fabric.
Wood and Dust-natural shine.  restore the natural luster of wood surfaces.
All purpose-whole house. free your home of dust and dirt. 
Fabric pre-wash-first step. spray on fabric stains before they set or in-between washes.
Laundry detergent-clean machine. remove the everyday stains and odors from your favorite clothing items.  designed to work in all types of washers--even high efficiency.
Hand Dish Soap-hands on.  gently and effectively loosen and remove the grease and grime from your dishes and all kitchen and cooking utensils.
Glass and Stainless-see clearly.  provide your windows and stainless steel items with a sparkling shine.
Carpet and Upholstery-spot on.  spray spot-cleaner to remove those unfortunate spills and splatters.
Tile and Bath-clean up.  remove the mold, mildew and build-up plaguing most bathrooms
WowGo-FEEL the WOW, WOWGO - (1) 750ml bottle. WOWGO is the first and only beverage to be able to harness the effects of blue-green algae/Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae (AFA) and Phenylethylamine (PEA) with a proprietary super Fruit concentrate in a shelf stable beverage,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Recycling

Ok, now we are on a topic that many of you know is VERY near and dear to my heart.   RECYCLING!!!!

Many of you will first think...."I don't have time to recycle!"  But think of it as one step at a time.  Just pick one thing that you want to recycle and start there.  Build up to recycling more as time goes by and you realize how easy recycling is.

1st Let me say, I don't have it easy where I live.  We do not have recycling pick up along with our garbage pickup.  We had to get creative.

So, at first I was bugging my friends (you know who you are....thank you!!!) and taking my blue plastic bags full of recycling to their house the day before their trash and recycling was picked up.  Crazy I know.  A lot of work....I know....but worth it.  Then during a bible study, a friend revealed to me what happens when you put your blue bag in your trash can along with your other trash.  She had taken a tour of where her recycling goes and was quite disappointed.  If a blue bag came open, there was no effort to recycle those items that fell out, they were just placed with the garbage.  So, she did her research and found the Muncie Mission.  The Muncie Mission accepts all recycling except for plastics.

So, I created a little recycling system in our garage by using cardboard boxes, blue recycling bags and labels.  And when the boxes get full....off to the Muncie Mission we go!  The Mission recycles glass, cardboard (all cardboard, cereal boxes, pop tart boxes, etc), soup cans (steel), pop cans, miscellaneous paper, magazines, newspapers, office paper.  They also accept clothes, toys, household items, etc to sell in the Attic Store.

So, in a nut shell the recycling is converted into money and the money goes to help the Muncie Mission.  THIS IS A NO BRAINER PEOPLE!!!!  You help the planet and the Muncie Mission at the same time!!!

As far as our pop cans and plastic go, we take our pop cans to Union Chapel.  There is an area behind the bus garage where you can throw your pop cans in a bag.  The money goes to Blood N Fire and Christian Ministries to buy food.

Plastic, I take to Eastern Central Indiana Recycling.  They have a bin out front that you can throw your blue bags with your plastics in.  East Central Indiana also takes, broken appliances and electronics.  You can call them at 765-282-1900 if you have any questions.  They are located on Centennial. 

So, do your part my friends....why place something in a landfill that can be recycled and turned into something new?  Think about the footprint you are leaving on this planet.  We must do our part to reduce, reuse and recycle.  :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fruits and Veggies

You have to check out my friends blog at http://www.justtryingtolivebetter.blogspot.com/

I just washed all of our fruits and veggies in a vinegar water solution (2 tbsp white vinegar for every 1 pint of water and approximately 1 tbsp salt) in a white dish pan.  Scrubbed with a veggie brush and rinsed with cool water.  And needless to say I am grossed out!!!!  You should see all the yuck floating in the water!!!  I love this recipe!  And we will be eating very clean fruits and veggies!!  Look at these pictures, that water was crystal clear at the beginning!  Yuck!!



The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 (taken from http://static.foodnews.org/pdf/EWG-shoppers-guide.pdf You will want to go this and print off the card to carry with you.)
It has been said to me......"would you spray an apple with Raid, rinse it off, and then give it to your son to eat?"  NOOOOOOOOOOOO is the answer!!!  Well....this is basically what we are doing to ourselves and our families.  Conventional fruits and vegetable that were sprayed with pesticides, developed to kill insects, are what line the isles in the produce section.

OK.  Now we are going to talk about what fruits and veggies you should either buy organic or don't eat.  Along with a list of fruits and vegetables that it really does not matter if you buy organic or conventional.  Here we go.... 

Dirty Dozen (Conventionally grown foods you most want to avoid due to high levels of pesticides or buy Organic.)
1.  celery
2.  peaches
3.  strawberries
4.  apples
5.  blueberries
6.  nectarines
7.  bell peppers
8.  spinach
9.  cherries
10.  kale/collard greens
11. potatoes
12.  grapes (imported)
13.  carrots (my addition)

Clean 15 (fruits and vegetables that even when grown conventionally, expose you to fairly low levels of pesticides.  BUT STILL WASH THESE BEFORE CUTTING!!!!!!)
1.  onions
2.  avocado
3.  sweet corn
4.  pineapple
5.  mangos
6.  sweet peas
7.  asparagus
8.  kiwi
9.  cabbage
10.  eggplant
11.  cantaloupe
12.  watermelon
13.  grapefruit
14.  sweet potato
15.  honeydew melon 

I have actually seen Meijer, Marsh and Whole Foods sell their organic and their conventional at the same price!  But on average organic runs about $1.00-$2.00 more than conventional, depending on where you shop.  So, we have adapted the attitude, that if we can't buy the Dirty Dozen in organic......we don't buy it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chicken

Well, today for lunch we had BBQ chicken breasts.  And for the first time, I actually felt good about serving my family chicken.  Not exactly the way I have felt since watching Food Inc.  If you have not watched Food Inc., it is a MUST.  What we learned about how a chicken is treated, fed and pumped with, well.....just watch the documentary (and we eat this....our kids eat this!  Not good).

So, back to our lunch, I bought the chicken breasts at Whole Foods.  The chickens were raised free to roam on Pine Manor Farms which is located in northern Indiana in their Amish country.  The chickens were fed an all vegetable diet (that they make in their own feed mill in New Paris, IN), the chickens were not given antibiotics or growth stimulator, no animal by product or hormones.   

I spend $5.99 per pound.  In the last Meijer add conventional frozen Tyson chicken breasts were $2.40 per pound ($4.00 per pound not on sale).   In the last Marsh add conventional fresh Perdue chicken breasts were $1.98 per pound ($4.49 per pound not on sale).

So, in our household, we will not be eating as much chicken, but when we do, it will be the clean, healthy chickens.

I know you can buy the good healthy raised chickens in Muncie at The Downtown Farmstand on 125 E Main Street, Muncie.  I have friends who shop there, I have not yet.  But I plan to.  I am also curious about Fishers Meats and Meijer.  If anyone has any feedback here, please let me know. 

http://www.downtownfarmstand.com/
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/
http://www.millerpoultry.com/

Deodorant

**So, now I find out the crystal stick still has aluminum in it!  The ingedient "alum," guess I should have figured that out on my own.  Wonderful.  Now I am using Tom's deodorant only.  And I have heard that Tom's recently changed their formula and people hate it.  I am still using the apricot Tom's and love it.  I don't know if I have an older formula or am just fortunate that it still works for me.  Man I love living in a country where it feels like 97% of the crap on the shelves is killing us or making us sick.  Depressing..........but it does keep me dreaming, passionate and restless for something better.  :-)


I am still leaving the old post below.






Ok, here we go!  Day 1 of using "Crystal body deodorant stick."  Hmmmm I am using a rock in my arm pits?  Sure.  What I have read leads me to believe that the normal deodorants we are using have aluminum chlorohydrate (AC) in them.  Researchers are trying to link the AC in antiperspirant deodorant to breast cancer.  Since the area is directly beside the breast there seems to be a connection.  So....I am no longer using any antiperspirant deodorant.  I bought the "Crystal" at Whole Foods for $6.99.  Wal-Mart does not carry it.  This one deodorant stick will last up to 1 year!  Now that's saving!!!

The Crystal is also hypoallergenic, fragrance and paraben free.  And can be used by both men and women.  You moisten the top of the stone and apply to under arm.  It is made of 100% natural mineral salts which eliminate odor by leaving an invisible protective barrier against odor causing bacteria.  And has been endorsed by the Cancer Treatment Centers.

I have been using "Tom's natural care of Maine" in apricot.  Yummy smelling by the way!!!  But on those 95+ degree days, Tom's have been leaving me a little short.  LOL  Great for normal temperature days, where you don't sweat just from breathing, but not so great for the scorcher days we enjoy here in Indiana.  By the way, Tom's does not have any aluminum in it and I do like it.  I bought it at Wal-Mart for around $3.50.

So, that being said....it's Tom's for regular days and the Crystal for the HOT days!  I will keep you posted on what I think.  :-)

Ok, Day 2....I am liking the Crystal.  It survived tonight.  Or, I survived tonight...baby crying, hot office, 3 layers of clothes...and my pits do not stink.  YAY!!  Will post more on this topic.

I need to clarify something to about these deodorant choices...they do not prevent the sweat glands from sweating....you sweat when your temperature is raised....you just don't stink.  :-)

The Blog is set up!

Hi Everyone!

It is official!  I have a Blog!  Are you scared??!!  You should be!  LOL  You are going to learn all things GREEN here!  I have so much to share and yet so much to learn.  I hope you enjoy my Blog and will pass your new learned info along to your friends and family.  When my eyes were opened it was pretty earth shattering for our home.  But we are VERY glad that our eyes were opened. 

I will cover a gamit of things on here....
learning about what is really in our food
how our food is made, grown or processed
what foods to eat and which to stay away from if not organic
how to clean your fruits and veggies
brands of makeup to buy
why we have to make changes for our kids
greening your cabinets (bathroon and kitchen)
my favorite book and author (a must have book)
where to shop
organic is not always more expensive
long term pros to organic
saving money
my new love...wowgreen
vaccines
growing a garden and fruit trees organically
diapers
movies you have to watch
websites you have to check out
and much much more!!!