Thursday, October 22, 2015

If You Can't Pronounce It, Avoid It

For the last few years I was using a wonderful organic shampoo that was homemade by a small business. It only had 6 ingredients and no fragrance, plus it worked great in my hair! I was SO thankful for this awesome product! Then as of August, the company was no longer in business. =(

So I began searching for an organic shampoo to replace it. I read almost every shampoo label in the health food store. I scoured the internet. Weeks and weeks of searching and I still haven't found a satisfactory product. In fact, I was shocked by what is sold as "organic" shampoo. The only truly chemical-free product I found was made out of olive oil, but it had borax in it. I don't have a great history with borax, so I didn't want to try that one.

Otherwise, these so-called "organic" and "natural" shampoos still contain various ingredients that are chemical or toxic in nature. You wouldn't believe the kind of ingredients I found in "organic" baby shampoos even! I guess companies assume that if they label their product as "natural" or "organic" consumers won't bother to read the labels and investigate the ingredients.

So, I've decided that my basic rule of thumb is this - "If you can't pronounce it, then you better avoid it."

In the process of my search I found this great website that has a list of many of those unpronounceable ingredients. I think it's a great resource for when you need info on a specific chemical. This link is for the information on an ingredient called "phenoxyethanol." When I read that on a baby shampoo label, I was pretty sure it couldn't be a "natural" ingredient. I was correct. Here's the info on it, rather scary if you ask me.

The Environmental Working Group also has a helpful database, which lists specific details about all kinds of cosmetic products and what toxic rating each product has. I found the info in this database enlightening, but unfortunately I still didn't find a suitable shampoo.

For the moment I'm using a "natural" shampoo that has less than 10 ingredients. Unfortunately it does contain parabens, a kind of preservative used in many cosmetics. (Parabens are endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer.) Thankfully, I found out this month that my organic shampoo maker is back in business! So hopefully I'll soon have my healthy shampoo again. In the meantime, I encourage you to read the labels on your shampoo and find the least toxic option you can. And with all your personal care products, remember this rule of thumb:
If you can't pronounce, better avoid it."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Cancer Resource

Just a quick post today to let you know about a great new resource. It's a series of documentaries called "The Truth About Cancer." It includes interviews with health experts from all over the world! (Including some experts I already knew about and highly respect, such as Jordan Rubin and Dr. Mercola.) All nine episodes of this docu-series will be free to watch online for a limited time.

If you click on this link, you can sign up by email to receive notification for each new episode:

I realize cancer can be a controversial topic, but I think this series of documentaries provides, at the least, a different perspective on cancer, and at best a lot of helpful information and useful tools.

Below is the video of Episode 2: "Cancer Facts and Fictions, Breast Cancer, Hormones, Skin Cancer & Essential Oils"

This video is worth watching even just for the info on essential oils (that starts a little more than half way through the video). I found it very informative and encouraging!

Let me know what you think and please pass this info along to anyone you think would benefit from it! Thanks!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Things I Like About Living Naturally

Ok, so there are a lot of things about this EI life that are difficult, challenging, even ridiculous. But I don't want to forget that there are also things I appreciate about having to live naturally. Here are a few. =)

Things I like about living naturally...

- eating healthy, home cooked food (yum!)

- smelling like peppermint (from using peppermint essential oil) =)

- learning to appreciate simple pleasures in life

- not having to buy all kinds of hand soap, dish soap, body wash, facial cleanser, etc. (I just use baking soda for everything)

- having people complement me on the gray streaks in my hair because they look "sparkly" =) (seriously, it's happened twice!)

- not having to spend time deciding which shoes to wear with each outfit ( sport slides or black sport slides?)

- becoming a master at "repurposing" things

- lots of opportunities to use my creativity to find alternate solutions to problems

- being thankful for the "little" things that most people take for granted (like having a pillow for my head, water I can drink and clean laundry)

- meeting lots of great people who are also on this journey

- knowing that the patience and perseverance required for this life is building character in me =)

Ok, so I don't always feel thankful for that last one, but deep down I know it's a good thing. Of course we would all choose to have a perfect life if we could. But I've accepted that on this earth no life is perfect. I certainly wouldn't have chosen this EI life, but I am thankful for the benefits that come with it.

How about you? What things in your imperfect life are you thankful for?