Creating a Toxin Free Home

We live in a toxic world. Water, air, food, and the environment at large are full of harmful chemicals. Synthetic, man-made chemicals are in many household cleaning and personal care products we use every day. They are found in antiperspirants, makeup, toilet bowl cleaner, skin care products, air fresheners, candles, and more. 

To rid your home of toxins you need to know what they are. Below is a non-inclusive list to help you get started. These ingredients may be linked to infertility, obesity, cancer, thyroid problems, birth defects, migraines, allergies, and more. 

Common Household Toxins

  • Aluminum (or aluminum derivatives): commonly found in antiperspirants and deodorants 
  • Ammonia: found in cleaners that shine bathroom fixtures, glass, sinks, and jewelry
  • Boric acid: commonly found in cosmetics, laundry detergent, pesticides, and medications
  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA, or anything with “butyl” listed): commonly found in makeup, cosmetics,...
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Get Started on the Road to Wellness

health wellness Jan 16, 2020

This is the first blog in a series on wellness.  Upcoming entries will focus on: diet, fitness, emotions, and your home environment. You are encouraged to assess behaviors related to each area and decide if there are any you’d like to change. Or, are there new practices you’d like to start?

What is wellness? The definition is, the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as a result of a deliberate effort. Or, an approach to health care that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.

Awareness

First and most important, KNOW YOUR BODY. In order to promote wellness you must be aware of your current state of health. Where you are starting from?

Make a list of:

  • Challenges you’ve experienced related to nutrition, fitness, sleep, emotions or environmental safety
  • Things you’ve tried to do
  • Any that have worked
  • Any that have not worked

Review your list and pick...

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Exercise for Cancer Prevention and Treatment

cancer exercise Jan 02, 2020

Recent research has found that exercise and physical activity can help prevent some cancers and help some cancer survivors live longer. The information was released in a report, Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors. The panel of researchers found that cancer related symptoms may be affected by performing moderate aerobic exercise, resistance training or both.

The evidence based recommendations include:

  • Exercise, for all adults, is important for cancer prevention. It lowers the risk of seven common types of cancer: colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophagus, and stomach. 
  • Exercising after being diagnosed with breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer may help reduce the chance of recurrence and improve survival.
  • Exercise during and after cancer treatment improves fatigue, anxiety, depression, physical function, and quality of life and does not exacerbate lymphedema. 

Other findings include:

  • When it comes to prevention, higher levels of physical activity are...
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Identifying and Managing Stress

stress wellness Dec 12, 2019

Stress is a natural occurrence. It’s impossible to eliminate, but an overabundance can reek havoc on your physical and emotional health. Developing a natural way to relieve stress and manage it, as much as possible, is key to reaching and maintaining overall wellness.

IDENTIFY STRESSORS

Determine what causes you stress. Is it work, family gatherings and obligations, shopping for the “right” gift, travel, work, or etc? Spend some time analyzing the things that make you feel anxious. Consider writing them down and reflecting on them.

STRESS INDUCED ACTIVITIES

What self sabotaging activities do you engage in when you’re feeling stressed out? Do you engage in any of the following, or some other activity: eating, drinking, yelling, binge watching the Hallmark channel, shopping, or sleeping? Bring awareness to how you react to stress and how it affects you. 

WAYS TO ALLEVIATE STRESS

There are a variety of actions you can take to handle unwanted...

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Healthy Holiday Tips

exercise nutrition Nov 21, 2019

Tips to Stay Healthy this Holiday Season

It’s easy for your healthy lifestyle to get derailed during the holidays. There are parties, celebrations and gatherings galore. To stay on track, make a point of implementing the following tips.

Rest and Recharge

  • Do your best to get 7+ hours of sleep a night. The proper amount of sleep will have a positive effect on you both physically and mentally.
  • Schedule quiet time into each day. Decide on a time of day that works for you and stick to it. You only need to set aside about 15 minutes. Use that time to relax and reflect.
  • Consider doing one of the following: meditate, write or recite what you are grateful for, listen to a motivational or inspirational podcast.
  •  Identify and participate in relaxing activities. Make a point of planning and doing things that are fun and bring you joy. Think of activities that you enjoyed during the holidays when you were a kid. Make a point to do them and share them with someone.
  • Schedule a massage,...
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Prevent or Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

nutrition Nov 05, 2019

In the past couple of weeks I’ve had the pleasure to talk to two people who are managing their diabetes, type 2, with diet and exercise. One individual has lost 60 pounds this year and they both no longer need medication. How is this possible?

Many of the choices we make every day affect our health. It’s a matter of whether you want to manage your wellness naturally, when it is possible, or take medication. Both people I spoke with are being very intentional about their health. They have altered their diet and have made significant changes in patterns of behavior.

Dr. Michael Greger on his website nutritionfacts.org shares, “We’ve known since the 1930s that type 2 diabetes can be prevented, arrested, and even reversed with a plant-based diet. Within five years of following the diet, about a quarter of the diabetic patients in that early study were able to get off insulin altogether.”

Dr. Greger further explains that meat may play a role in increasing...

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Burning Candles Versus Diffusing Essential Oils

essential oils wellness Oct 08, 2019

Burning Candles Versus Diffusing Essential Oils

Many people love to burn candles, especially during months when temperatures are cooler. They make your house smell nice and create a cozy atmosphere. Candles may smell nice, but very often the scents are made from synthetic chemicals that are typically labeled as “fragrance”.

Candles actually reduce the quality of the air. Phthalates are often found in scented candles and have been linked to allergic reactions and asthma related problems. Paraffin, found in many candle bases, is a petroleum byproduct when burned, these candles release carcinogenic chemicals into the air. Imported candles may have lead or lead cores in the wick, which is released into the air. Many soy candles are a combination of soy and paraffin, so unless clearly labeled as 100% soy, stay clear of them.

So, is there a safer alternative? Yes, diffusing essential oils. However, make sure you purchase oils from a reputable company. Essential oils are not...

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Journaling Through Breast Cancer

breast cancer Sep 24, 2019
 

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2016, I started a journal. When I went to see the doctor that day, I knew I was going to have questions and because of my emotional state I probably wouldn’t remember what she told me. I recorded everything in a notebook from that day forward. I wish now I had used something prettier.

I recorded everything in that notebook. It has the dates and times of doctors appointments, what the doctors told me at those appointments, the plan for treatment and what I could expect going forward. It includes dates like when my hair started falling out and when my head was shaved. I recorded how I felt each day and after every treatment, what I ate, when I exercised and what I did, how I performed at work, how much sleep I got, and much more.

It became a great resource. It contains a lot of details but I wish I’d written down even more. This morning I looked at it for the first time in over a year. There were things I had forgotten and...

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Healing Your Body With Food

diet wellness Sep 10, 2019

I just finished the book Eat to Beat Disease, The new science of how your body can heal itself. It is written by William W. Li, MD. I was introduced to Dr. Li when I took the Plant Based Nutrition Certificate Program through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at eCornell. In the course, he talked about angiogenesis, which I had never heard of, and the ways it can affect one's health. 

Eat to Beat Disease approaches food differently than the other books I have read. Instead of recommending foods to avoid and eliminate from your diet, Dr. Li shares foods that should be consumed to help keep the body healthy or return it to health.

In the book, he introduces and explains in detail the body’s 5 natural defense systems. They are Angiogenesis, Regeneration, Microbiome, DNA Protection and Immunity. Dr. Li sites numerous studies that have been done, throughout the world, to support his ideas on how the human body is equipped to fight disease. Dr. Li...

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Eat Beets

hummus wellness Aug 27, 2019

I've been harvesting beets from the garden for the past several weeks. They are a great source of nitric oxide which helps open up your arteries to allow for more blood flow. Thus, beets help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Have better workouts. Beets provide energy and stamina. Consume them two to three hours before exercising. They increase oxygen uptake and promote better circulation due to the nitrates they contain.

Beets are rich in the antioxidant betacyanin, which gives them their beautiful red color, that protects against cancer cell growth. 

Two ways I like to cook beets are boiling and roasting. To boil beets: cut off the tops, place in a saucepan, cover with water and boil until tender when pricked with a fork. To roast: wrap them in aluminum foil, place in a 375º oven and roast until tender when pricked with a fork. In each case remove skins when they are cool enough to handle. 

They are great sliced on a...

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