Detoxing the Body
Every winter, the majority of us catch at least a cold or two, if not something worse, like the flu or pneumonia. It is just the way of the world. Typically when we catch one of these, we reach for over the counter cold medicine to help us deal with the symptoms and get through our day. In fact, in 2011, we spent over $4 BILLION dollars on cough and cold medications.
However, as innocuous as over the counter cold medicines seem to be, they are still full of drugs and chemicals. So, this winter, when I felt myself coming down with a cold, instead of just taking the nearest over the counter cold medicine, I decided to research them a bit to see what there ingredients were and what they could be doing to my body.
For many of us, our routine includes a daily shower, which includes washing and conditioning our hair. It has been a habit for so long for most of us that we don’t think twice about it and if it could in fact be harming us.
I was in the shower the other day and reached for one of the numerous shampoo bottles in our shower holder like normal. However, this time I took a second to think about what I was putting on my head. I took a glance at the ingredients list on the shampoo bottle and found that it was a very long list and that I could not pronounce half of them. This worried me. Over the past few years, I have found that when the ingredient list is long and there are many ingredients that you are not familiar with, it usually means the product contains things that can be harmful to your health.
After I got out of the shower, I decided that I was going to research shampoo and the main ingredients found in it and if they can have harmful effects on your health. Per usual, I was shocked and amazed at what I found.
It is hot these days and getting hotter every single year. Fortunately, there are many different ways to beat the heat. But, if you don’t have air conditioning, a pool or live near high-elevation mountains, your options are a bit more limited.
One of our favorite ways to beat the heat is with a cool drink. Sure, you can grab an ice cold soda, but as we have seen, sodas are not very good for you. You could also grab a milk shake, but who wants all of those calories and fat? No, the best drink we have found to cool you off in the heat is a smoothie.
Not only are smoothies cool, but they can taste great and be packed with nutrition as well, if you make them right. We started making smoothies about a year ago and now make them pretty much every day. During that time, we have tried many different smoothie recipes, including some that are very bad and some that are so good that you won’t believe that it is a smoothie and not a shake.
Below are our favorite 3 recipes. We come back to them time and time again as they are healthy and delicious.
If you have been following are blog, you have learned that modern, processed and prepackaged foods contain very little nutrition and can be full of hormones and nasty chemicals. Not only are processed and prepackaged foods not that healthy, but producing them typically causes great damage to the environment in the forms of: dangerous chemicals used as herbicides and pesticides, hormones used in meat production, GMO’s used in the growing of corn, wheat and other crops, and extreme use of energy (read: coal and oil) to produce and transport food across the globe.
Hopefully, you have switched over to eating natural and organic foods when you can. If you have, you are likely eating out a lot less and cooking at home more, which is great. However, how you cook the food you eat is just as important as the actual food itself. You can buy 100% natural and organic food or even grow your own food in your backyard, but if you cook it in the wrong pan, you can still introduce dangerous chemicals into your body.
Today, the most ubiquitous type of cookware available is non-stick. It is heralded as a quick and easy way to cook food and clean up afterwards. But, is nonstick cookware safe?
As you may or may not know, traditional deodorants and antiperspirants contain some pretty nasty ingredients. Ingredients such as aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol and triclosan have been linked to various conditions, including: cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, endocrine disruption, and kidney and liver function disruption (to learn more, read our post about aluminum in deodorant). Once we learned about how bad traditional deodorant can be for your body, we started looking for some natural alternatives and wrote a review on 4 natural deodorants that we tried.
However, none of the 4 that we tried were perfect. They all had their own flaws, from not working, to bad odor, to high cost. So, we kept looking for more of them to try out. We eventually found 3 more that we thought were worth trying and put them to the test. Here is how they performed and stacked up against the others.
Canned foods. They are a staple of life nowadays. They provide a convenient way to store food so that it can be made quickly and easily.
However, we are all apparently paying a heavy price for that convenience, as the liners of most of the cans used for canned food contain Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is a main building block for polycarbonate (PC) plastics and is a known hormone disruptor. In fact, you may remember the big controversy about plastic bottles containing BPA, especially baby bottles, that happened a while back. Due to the huge public outcry after that discovery, most manufacturers stopped using BPA in their plastic bottles. However, when it comes to canned foods, most of them still contain BPA.
So, what does that mean in terms of your health and what can you do to protect yourself?
Ok, this is a bit of an embarrassing post, but everyone gets constipation now and then right? We just don’t like to talk about it. I mean, no one likes to tell people that they have had to deal with constipation, but we all do. I recently had to deal with a bout of constipation and found myself looking for remedies.
Like most people, my first thoughts went to traditional laxatives available at your local drug store. However, I had never had to take a laxative before, so I was not familiar with them. To get more familiar with them, I started doing some research.
After doing a bit of research, I was taken back a bit by what I learned and thought that it was worth sharing.
I have been a soda fiend for most of my life. When I was younger, I enjoyed two or three regular 16 ounce or 20 ounce sodas every single day. Occasionally, I would even head over to 7-11 for a Big Gulp once in a while. For those of you not familiar with the Big Gulp, it is 64 ounces of soda.
I kept this bad habit until I was in my late twenties. By that point, my life had become much more sedentary and I could no longer drink 40+ ounces of soda each day and not gain weight. So, like any good soda drinker, I cut out regular soda and switched over to diet soda instead.
I drank diet soda blissfully until about 3 years ago, when I became aware of all of the potential issues with consuming aspartame, one of the main ingredients in most diet sodas. However, even after learning how bad aspartame could be for you, I still kept drinking diet soda, mainly because I needed the caffeine to help me wake up in the morning (soda was my version of coffee).
However, with our recent move to grow our own vegetables, join a CSA, eat organic foods as much as possible and generally just consume better products, I could no longer reconcile my diet soda drinking with my conscious. But, weaning off of soda is hard, so to help myself with the process, I figured I would research why exactly soda is so bad for you. It turns out that both regular and diet soda are both bad for you and the environment.
Almost all traditional deodorants on the market today contain triclosan and/or aluminum. Both of these chemicals have been linked to major health problems. Triclosan is known to cause cancer and aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. In deodorant, aluminum comes in the form of aluminum chlorhydrate which is a heavy metal that can be absorbed through the skin. When you apply these chemicals to an area near the underarm lymph nodes they are very easily distributed throughout the body (check out our post on aluminum in deodorant for more information). Read more on Natural Deodorants – A Review of 4 of them…
We bought a new bed for our daughter recently. It was a bunk bed and came in a zillion pieces that we had to put together. When the boxes for the bed arrived, we opened them up and were almost knocked back by the strong smell of paint that was coming from them. As this bed was going into our daughter’s bedroom, I decided to do a little research on what was causing the smell. What I found was absolutely amazing and scary at the same time.