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Chemicals

August 15, 2008

Hi everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying the summer-it’s passing quickly!

If you know me well, you know that I am a bit of a health/holistic nut. I enjoy reading about exercise and fitness matters, nutrition, and just about anything health related. I consider myself moderately “green”, (I cringe at using that word because it is so overused nowadays), and lately I’ve been even more committed to eliminating as many chemicals as possible from my life. It’s nearly impossible this day in age, but I’m going to do what I can do to live a cleaner, less “toxic” life.

I’ve already gone primarily organic as far as food is concerned, and you may be making changes to your nutrition as well. But have you thought about what you are putting on your skin? What about the cleaners you are using in your home? To go completely eco-friendly does take a fair amount of work and possibly a little extra cash (usually these products are pricier), but I have a few ideas that you can implement into your life right now without causing more stress or headache (because I know you are all so committed and dedicated to your health goals right now!). One thing at a time, right?

Yes, you are committed to your health-you exercise and eat right, but have you ever looked at the ingredients in your body lotion? Sunscreen? What about lip balm? Are you inhaling toxic cleaning products regularly? If so, you may want to make a few changes to what you are currently doing. I am not saying that these chemicals cause or create disease, but I’m not taking any chances.

Just like I believe that we weren’t meant to ingest huge amounts of processed food, I don’t believe that using chemicals on our skin is a good idea either. We are a society that tends to look over the repercussions of the countless chemicals we eat and put on our bodies. Think about it-your skin is your largest organ and whatever you put on it, is absorbed into your bloodstream!

I recommend using natural oils to moisturize your skin, or if you don’t like the greasy feel, there are plenty of chemical free lotions and potions on the market today. Burt’s Bee’s is one of my favorite brands. Their products are virtually 100% natural and chemical free, and cheaper than some other brands I’ve looked into. You don’t even have to walked into Whole Foods to buy their products-they are available at CVS and Walgreen’s now (as well as some other natural products). What about the lip balm you use? What you put on your lips is constantly being licked off, so choose carefully in this department as well. Burt’s also makes a few great petroleum free balms that you don’t have to worry about.

Sunscreens are another product that I am a bit leery about. So many chemicals in sunscreen alone, and the amount that we tend to use is over the top. Don’t forgo sunscreen, but choose chemical free as often as you can. I mostly use Alba sunscreens-they offer a nice variety, from sport/sweat proof, to 100% chemical free. You may have to reapply more often, but I think it’s worth the extra effort.

And cleaners for the home-I’m done with inhaling fumes that make me feel sick to my stomach. I’ve switched to mainly using Trader Joe’s all-purpose chemical free cleaner, vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Bon Ami (similar to Ajax but no harsh chemicals) for my cleaning needs. Don’t think you can live without the heavy duty stuff? Just try it for awhile-you’ll see that you can, and you won’t miss inhaling the noxious fumes.

This topic is extensive-I’m only touching the tip of the iceberg here. But the tips I’ve listed above are easy to incorporate into your life right now without changing things up too much. If you want to read more about becoming eco-friendly, I recommend a great booked called “Gorgeously Green” (thanks Kate!) by Sophie Uliano. Yes, the author does delve into A LOT of steps that you can take to become more earth friendly (maybe too overwhelming for someone just starting out), but I think this book is fun to read, funny, and is packed with great information. If you don’t want to buy your own, ask me to borrow mine. You just have to promise to give it back. :o)

Until next time-stay safe!

*Jeannette*

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