We put gross in and on our bodies, on purpose.

A few months ago, I went up to my bathroom, and gathered all of my makeup, skin care products, and hair care products, and looked at their ingredient lists.  I had just finished reading a book called The Skintervention Guide, by Liz Wolfe, and I was amazed by what I learned!  Have you ever looked at what is in the products that you put on your skin every day?  Did you know that the chemicals in these products are absorbed by your skin?

I looked up the first ingredient of a popular shampoo brand, and it’s called AMMONIUM LAURYL SULFATE.  According to the Hazardous Substances Databank, this ingredient may have a drying effect on skin, and will eventually cause skin irritation.  This is the FIRST ingredient listed, which means of all the ingredients, this one has the highest percentage of the shampoos content.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it’s the best idea to put an ingredient that will dry out my skin in a product that will be applied to it.  Another example is BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE, found in some cosmetics, which can also cause skin irritation.  Finally, look at DIETHANOLAMINE, found in some shampoos and even baby washes, it can act as a carcinogen that can disrupt hormones and can impair fetal brain development.  Now, imagine looking up the effects of all the ingredients listed in the products we use!  It can be exhausting by the way, but very enlightening.

It is much easier to be ignorant, I know from experience, and just keep on using what we are using because it is very well marketed, and packaged smartly.  Think about it though; do these companies actually care about whether or not their products work, or what possible harmful effects they might have on people?  If a product is selling, and pockets are being lined, in an industry that isn’t regulated, why would they?

So, what can some of these effects of toxicity lead to?  In my research, I have found that these chemicals can be involved in things like cancer, infertility, obesity, skin conditions, behavioral disorders, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases.

Now, I’m certainly not telling you all about this because I want to scare you, but I strongly encourage you to start caring about what goes in and on your body, and not just trusting what a commercial with some celebrity tells you.

Ok, so you know a little bit about what is probably lurking in the products you use, now, what’s the alternative?  Well, for me the answers are super simple; coconut oil, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar.  Coconut oil is the first part of my natural deodorant, my facial cleanser, and what I use as lotion.  I use baking soda as shampoo, “soap”, toothpaste and as the other part of deodorant.  Apple cider vinegar is a conditioning rinse, and a toner.  There are many more uses for these 3 ingredients, but these are my basic skin/body care regimens.  I learn a lot of them in the Skintervention Guide I mentioned earlier.  There are also a lot of recipes for home made products that you can make out there.  As for cosmetics, I really don’t wear make-up that often anymore, but when I do, I wear an all-natural mineral line that I buy at Whole Foods.  I love the way it all feels, in other words, I don’t feel it at all!

The bottom line is, what we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in our bodies.

Thank you for reading today! Please feel free to leave your thoughts or questions below.

The whole world smiles at you.

Some of you may have read one of my facebook posts a while back on smiling, but this time I am going to dig a little deeper.  Why do we smile?  Let’s look at all the situations when we usually smile, shall we?

First, the obvious, we smile when something makes us happy.   For me, there are a lot of things that make me happy.  Sleeping until my alarm goes off, hitting all green lights on my way to work, having the dishes done when I get home, a large thunderstorm, the smell outside after rain when the sun peeks  out, Christmas music, a big mug of coffee, and the arms of my loved ones wrapped tightly around me.  There are a lot more, but you get the idea.

Next, we will move on to laughter. We laugh when something is funny, and usually we smile in the process.  I can think of several things that make me laugh.  My husband and daughter make me laugh a lot, along with the rest of my family.  A good, clean joke, anything vulgar just makes me roll my eyes; will usually get my belly a jiggling.  I also love watching romantic comedies.  They can get me laughing in a wonderful way, like a laugh/cry.

Common courtesy will get a smile out of some of us too.  In my experience, it happens when someone holds a door, let’s me in another lane in traffic, when I walk by someone and they say good morning, good afternoon, or some other greeting.  When I check out at a grocery store, and the clerk asks how my day is going.  When the waitress brings me extra ranch, and she usually gets a really big tip for it…

And finally, let’s talk about one that really gets my blood pumping.  A time, when to me, it should be implied that we all smile; for pictures.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people don’t smile for pictures.  I don’t just mean not smiling for a picture or 2 in a lifetime, but for every single picture, no smile.  What’s happened to our culture where some people, mostly females, don’t think they should smile in a picture?  Especially if they are a mother.  Think about it, if the terrible tragedy of losing your mother ever happened, how would you feel if all the pictures you had of her were of some sort of pout or smirk.  I believe pictures capture memories, and why would anyone not want to be remembered with a smile?  I hate to think about how my family would feel if I were gone, and they were all wondering why I was never happy because I never smiled in a picture.   In this day and age, pictures are digital, which means they are out there for a long time.  We don’t have to get them developed anymore, we can just upload them onto our computer and enjoy.  There they are, uploaded to facebook for everyone to see.   I guess you could say this is an issue I’m passionate about.  It makes me smile when I see others smile, even in pictures, even on facebook!

I have a feeling that we are forgetting about how much power a smile can have.  Will you try an experiment for me?  Maybe you have heard of it, it is something I’ve heard before many times.  Go to the closest bathroom, close the door, and look in the mirror.  Now smile.  Do you feel a little better then you did before?  Even if you were already happy?  Chances are you do, and you can feel better every day if you start it that way.  You can make someone else smile when you smile, and make them feel just a little bit better than they felt before.

I have a problem with SAD

I remember watching an infomercial when I was younger.  I will never forget this super skinny lady, who looked like she hadn’t slept in ages, and had grayish skin.  She said something that to this day makes me cringe every time I hear it, but it is stamped into almost every American brain.  She said, “food doesn’t make you fat; fat makes you fat”.  She couldn’t be further from the truth.  Do you still believe this?

It took a lot of time to decide what to write about this week.  I chose to write about my hopes of a future career.  Right now, I am reading books that are required for a course I am planning on taking so I can become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.  Some of you may be asking what the difference is between a certified nutritionist, and a nutritional therapy practitioner.  The difference is, if I went to any old college to study nutrition, I would learn about the SAD diet, or the Standard American Diet.  The diet that still claims fat is bad for you and you should load up on grains that turn directly into sugar, and then fat.  The very diet that will make you sick so you can spend money on drugs that companies who back the government make, that don’t even cure the diseases, but rather mask the symptoms so you continue to get more and more sick.  Those guidelines of eating make perfect sense, right?

I personally became interested in nutrition several years back, when I worked in the weight loss industry.  Back then I was pretty ignorant about it, only basing my knowledge on what the company taught me.  I knew that program inside out.  I knew all the supplements, what was in them, and how they worked.  Again, based on what the company taught me.  I really didn’t know how eating that way affected the human body.  I didn’t know how it would affect hormones, body composition, or moods.  At the time, all I knew was that I was helping people become healthier, or so I thought.  If I only knew then what I know now.

How many of us actually pay attention to what we put in our mouths, and how it affects us?  How many of us actually read the ingredient list?  How many of us just eat what tastes good to us?

The first book I read that really opened my eyes was called Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes.  It is pretty lengthy, and sort of dry, but it is filled with tons of information on different studies that prove the SAD diet isn’t good for us.  It was the first thing that opened my eyes to how much our government is influenced by money.  Most of the studies presented to the FDA are funded by the very companies that make the product.  Does this sound like a good way to do business?  Is this the right way to gather information, to recommend to millions of people, on how to eat?

Here is an analogy; let’s say you are in the market to buy a car.  You want the car to have safety features and you want it to be reliable.  The company that manufactured the vehicle assures you that they have tested the safety features themselves, and assures you that the vehicle is reliable.  Is this good enough for you?  I don’t know about you, but I would be concerned about the information the company gave me.  I would want a nonbiased third party to test the vehicle for me, that didn’t have any financial gain from selling the vehicle.  After all, it’s not like I was there to inspect the manufacturing process.

I was a single mom for 15 years, and I completely understand how easy it is to buy cheap processed food for my family because it’s what I can afford at the time.  I also understand how expensive health issues can be when you can’t afford health insurance.  Let’s be honest about something though, when we are looking at how much food costs, are we giving it a high priority?  What are we putting more of our money too, having the right car?  Shoes?  Clothes?  The right brand of toys for our kids?  The latest and greatest cell phone or tablet?  Nights out on the town so we can get a ‘break’ from life?  I know some of these were true for me.  If you read my last post about money, I talked about coming up with a budget.   Our current budget has a lot of money set aside for food, because we want to eat real food that works with our bodies, not against it.  In turn, we have decreased the money we would spend on clothing, restaurants, and entertainment.

So, what does this all mean?  No junk food ever?  Never again making a toast with sparkling wine, or having a slice of pizza?  No.  However, the majority of the food that goes into our bodies should not have an ingredient label.

There are studies out there about how certain foods can cause health conditions that are prominent in our culture now.  Maybe you have heard of some of them; diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart conditions, leaky gut, thyroid disease, cavities, high blood pressure, obesity, autoimmune diseases, asthma, skin conditions, infertility, autism, and the list goes on.  It is a tough reality to face that what we eat can cause such ailments.  We like to believe that a lot of these things happen by chance.  We seem to worry about offending someone if we mention that the reason they are sick may have to do with the diet they have eaten.  The government won’t tell you that.  You have to find it out on your own.  You have to do the research.

If you’re not like me, then maybe doing all the research sounds overwhelming to you.  This is where a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner comes in.

According to the Nutritional Therapy Association, or NTA, nutritional therapists address nutrition from a holistic perspective.  Their philosophy is “that the myriad of health problems plaguing modern society result from weaknesses in the body’s physiological foundations brought on by poor nutrition”.  During my continued research, I have come to also adopt this philosophy.  It is amazing to me that all of this information is available to the public, but we continue to be ignorant, and believe that our government will provide us with all the information we need.

I plan on taking a course through the NTA, but I need to save up for the tuition first.  For now, I have bought all of the books that are required reading so I may be prepared for when I am able to afford the program.  I have already finished reading the first book, and I am eager to read the rest.  So much good information!  I will be posting updates on this journey, and keeping you guys in the loop on what is causing more wrinkles in my brain.  I am so excited!!

Please feel free to share some of the things you have learned by doing your own research, and how it has impacted your life.  If you are interested in learning more about this nutritional stuff, there is a free summit you can sign up for here: http://transformyourhealthsummit.com/ .